Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

Politics and its Discontents: She’s Back

And it sounds like Stephen Colbert has missed her. I haven’t.Recommend this Post . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: She’s Back

In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 1: Happy new year … sort of

Welcome to 2016! Let’s start the year by forgetting old animosities, starting fresh and looking forward to an era of peace and goodwill between all religions and peoples. In that spirit, Iran and Saudi Arabia are engaged in a violent spat over, basically, something that happened in 632. This week, Saudi Arabia (which is Muslim, […] . . . → Read More: In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 1: Happy new year … sort of

Accidental Deliberations: On countermovements

Alison is right to highlight the latest right-wing astroturf group in Canada. But we shouldn’t assume that mere exposure will meaningfully affect the growth of corporate-owned politics alone.As is typically the case, Canadian politics tend to be influe… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On countermovements

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 51: It was a very bad year

Well, I did it. And I’m sure you’re thrilled. When I started writing this blog, I vowed to write a weekly review of events as I saw them. I did it mostly as a personal challenge, a way to instil a little discipline in my undisciplined life, and to boost my memory of the events […] . . . → Read More: In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 51: It was a very bad year

Alberta Politics: Year in review: from plunging oil to rising hope, the Top Ten news stories of 2015

PHOTOS: Cameras try to follow a nearly invisible Rachel Notley through the crowd at an Edmonton hotel on May 5, 2015, moments after she had been declared the winner of the Alberta election. No one could quite believe that the NDP had just won a majorit… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Year in review: from plunging oil to rising hope, the Top Ten news stories of 2015

Alberta Politics: NDP environment minister, premier blamed for withdrawal of Senator Lindsey Graham from presidential race

PHOTOS: South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham dropped out of the race to become the Republican Party’s presidential candidate this morning. Well-informed sources point to Environment Minister Shannon Phillips and the rest of Alberta’s NDP governmen… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: NDP environment minister, premier blamed for withdrawal of Senator Lindsey Graham from presidential race

Politics and its Discontents: And Speaking Of Perspective

…along with xenophobia, bigotry and demagoguery, the folks at Fox News would seem to be quite ignorant about their country’s own history.Here is a timely festive reminder of that history for those soon to be celebrating American Thanksgiving:Thanksgi… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: And Speaking Of Perspective

Alberta Politics: It’s official: the Harper Government’s approach to petro-diplomacy was a spectacular flop

PHOTOS: The White House, home of the Most Powerful Person, etc. Below: Stephen Harper, one of the architects of Canada’s Bitumen bullying export policy, the fruits of which are now apparent; Barack Obama, President of the United States. The office of the President of the United States may not be what it once was, but […]

The post It’s official: the Harper Government’s approach to petro-diplomacy was a spectacular flop appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Les Leopold takes a look at the underpinnings of Bernie Sanders’ unexpectedly strong run for the Democratic presidential nomination. And Sean McElwee discusses the type of politics U.S. voters are rightly motivated to change, as big donors have been successful in dictating policy to both major parties.

- The Edmonton Journal comments on the unfairness of first-past-the-post electoral politics both in allocating power across a political system, and in determining regional representation within it.

- Murray Mandryk calls out the Wall government for its contempt for public money when it comes (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Meanwhile, Beyond Our Borders

The world of U.S. politics is proving to be consistent in its insanity. Watch the following video in which Republican hopeful Ben Carson says, at about the 3:20 mark, what he would use the Department of Education for:

Can a holographic resurrection of Joseph McCarthy be far behind? Recommend this Post

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 38: Too close to call; ‘stuff happens’ in Oregon; what was the Pope thinking?

The finish line of the federal election is in sight, but we’re no closer to seeing a winner than we were weeks ago. The latest polls indicate that support for the NDP is beginning to fall — turning their famous Quebec ‘orange crush’ into an ‘orange crash’ — while support for the Liberals is rising. Or at least that’s the way it seemed on Thursday; Friday’s polls put the Conservatives in the lead, and looking good to get the most number of seats. (It actually makes me physically ill to write this.) And a poll on Saturday put the (Read more…)

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 38: Too close to call; ‘stuff happens’ in Oregon; what was the Pope thinking?

The finish line of the federal election is in sight, but we’re no closer to seeing a winner than we were weeks ago. The latest polls indicate that support for the NDP is beginning to fall — turning their famous Quebec ‘orange crush’ into an ‘orange crash’ — while support for the Liberals is rising. Or at least that’s the way it seemed on Thursday; Friday’s polls put the Conservatives in the lead, and looking good to get the most number of seats. (It actually makes me physically ill to write this.) And a poll on Saturday put the (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: Public health care: We have it, Americans still don’t, they wish they did – there’s a lesson in that

PHOTO: Sorry, no relevant photos tonight. Just this shot of a typical American public servant crossing the rotunda of the New Mexico State Capitol in Santa Fe, deep in thought. She is doubtless wishing the United States had Canada’s system of health care. SANTA FE, N.M. The economy, Harper Fatigue Syndrome or however one should […]

The post Public health care: We have it, Americans still don’t, they wish they did – there’s a lesson in that appeared first on Alberta Politics.

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 34: One little boy changes everything.

The Syrian refugee crisis has convulsed Europe for weeks now, while making only the tiniest dent in the North American conscience. But that all changed this weeks thanks to one little boy, and one gut-wrenching photograph.

All this year, thousands of desperate Syrian refugees have been pouring into Europe in numbers far too numerous for Europe to handle. They’re escaping the six-year Syrian war which has pitted the dictatorship of Bashar Assad (who has no problem killing his own citizens) against anti-government rebels (no slouches in the atrocity department) and ISIS (which has no problem killing everyone). An estimated 3,000 (Read more…)

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 34: One little boy changes everything.

The Syrian refugee crisis has convulsed Europe for weeks now, while making only the tiniest dent in the North American conscience. But that all changed this weeks thanks to one little boy, and one gut-wrenching photograph.

All this year, thousands of desperate Syrian refugees have been pouring into Europe in numbers far too numerous for Europe to handle. They’re escaping the six-year Syrian war which has pitted the dictatorship of Bashar Assad (who has no problem killing his own citizens) against anti-government rebels (no slouches in the atrocity department) and ISIS (which has no problem killing everyone). An estimated 3,000 (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Greg Keenan exposes how corporations are demanding perpetually more from municipalities while refusing to contribute their fair share of taxes to fund the services needed by any community. And Sean McElwee points out how big-money donations are translating into a warped U.S. political system: Available data reveals that donors not only have disproportionate influence over politics, but that influence is wielded largely to keep issues that would benefit the working and middle classes off of the table.

Do donors really rule the world? Recent research suggests that indeed they do. Three (Read more…)

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 28: Your bribe is in the mail; Republicans are Trumped

So, have you received your bribe yet? Stephen Harper’s utterly shameless federal Conservatives are in the process of giving away $3 billion in tax dollars to “hard working Canadian families” (is there any other kind of Canadian family?) in the form of monthly cheques for families with kids. The benefit cheques are larger than usual due to changes the Conservatives introduced last fall – $160 a month for children under 6, up from $100, and a new payment of $60 a month for seven- to 17-year-olds, regardless of family income. The cheques, going to roughly 3.8 million families, (Read more…)

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 24: McMania; a flag flap; PACing it in

Connor McDavid, wearing the surprisingly bold Edmonton Oiler travelling suit.

OMG! OMG! OMG! Connor McDavid is an Oiler! Connor McDavid is an Oiler! Connor McDavid is an Oiler!

Sigh. Poor Connor. The hopes of an entire city are apparently resting on his muscled shoulders.

This city’s infatuation with the Edmonton Oilers reached a crescendo not seen since the Oilers last made the Stanley Cup finals a decade ago when the team drafted Connor McDavid — a “generational player”, so the experts say — at the NHL entry draft. “He’s Ours”, the Edmonton Journal gushed. Thousands paid to watch the draft (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Elias Isquith talks to David Madland about the connection between increasing inequality and the breakdown of trust in the U.S. political system. CBC and Larry Elliott follow up on the IMF’s findings about the economic damage done by income and wealth disparities. And Philip Longman thoroughly examines the cross-generational inequality which is putting every generation after the Baby Boomers at a severe disadvantage: Start, for example, with the twentysomethings of 1979. They had a lower real income in 1979 than twentysomethings did in 1969. And as fiftysomethings now, they not only make (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: The mystery advantage

Shorter Brad Wall:

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Bill McKibben argues that Bernie Sanders’ run for the presidency should have massive positive impacts extending far beyond both Sanders’ central theme of inequality, and international borders to boot. And Salon interviews Joseph Stiglitz as to how inequality and the economy will affect the 2016 presidential campaign.

- Hannah Giorgis writes that a more fair economic system is a must in order to address historical racial inequities in the U.S.: To stifle a community slowly, without the decisive replay value of a chokehold, you criminalize poverty while withholding the resources needed (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: The definition of privilege

Connor Kilpatrick is right to observe that while we should be willing to take note of privilege in many forms, we should be especially concerned with organizing to counter the grossly outsized influence of the very few at the top whose whims are typically allowed to override the common good.

But there’s a handy dividing line available to assess the difference. After all, there’s already been plenty of work done in sorting out who has the most influence on the U.S. political system.

On the best evidence available, any privilege associated with middle-class status or involvement in mass movement (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Lydia DePillis and Jim Tankersley write that U.S. Democrats are recognizing the need for concerted pushback against the Republican’s attacks on organized labour – and rightly framing the role of unions in terms of reducing the inequality the right is so keen to exacerbate.

- And another obvious advantage to greater labour power would be a stronger push against the extractivist ideology that’s turning pensions and public utilities into corporate cash cows at our expense. 

- Sean McElwee and Catherine Ruetschlin discuss the multi-generational impact of systemic discrimination – while (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Robert Reich discusses how outsized corporate influence in the U.S. has kept the general public from sharing in any nominal economic improvements: The U.S. economy is picking up steam but most Americans aren’t feeling it. By contrast, most European economies are still in bad shape, but most Europeans are doing relatively well.

What’s behind this? Two big facts.

First, American corporations exert far more political influence in the United States than their counterparts exert in their own countries.

In fact, most Americans have no influence at all. That’s the conclusion of (Read more…)

350 or bust: Exposed!

Science Historian Naomi Oreskes writes: When I wrote the book Merchants of Doubt in 2010, I only wanted one thing: to uncover the truth about who was behind the widespread, and sadly effective, campaigns to undermine the established science of climate change, and why they were doing what they were doing. I never imagined that, a […]