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Dead Wild Roses: Life, in one round of show-jumping

The shit hits the fan, and somehow you make it through, with amazing panache. Then, when it’s over, you lose it.

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: horseblogging, musing

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: The Pony Express Government

CSE has undertaken a domestic spy operation that is illegal in Canada, because it’s spying on communication of Canadian citizens. CSE is supposed to only spy on foreigners, and the Commissioner overseeing the signals intelligence agency is supposed to put a stop to any overstepping of that mandate. Something clearly has gone awry in a grave way.

PONY EXPRESS should not exist in Canada nor should every (paper) letter mailed by Canadians be photographed, as the US is doing. Claiming the mandate CSE has to protect government computers overrides its restriction on conducting a mass surveillance operation of Canadians’ (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: C-51 Being Pushed by “Fascist” language

A former Mountie and CSIS operative thinks Harper’s so called anti-terrorism bill is scary and unnecessary.

Mr. Lavigne, 55, left government in 1999, but follows intelligence news closely.

He spent years tracking dangerous radicals without the powers the government wants to give to CSIS.

“I find it a little convenient that in the past few years that these radicalized people are the biggest threat to ever hit us,” he said. “There are more people dying because of drunk drivers or because of gang violence.”

(-link added by me)

Mr. Lavigne said the prime minister’s advisers must tell him that (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Hot Room Politics

Media in Ottawa are too busy eating each other alive to focus on the main course passing authoritarian Bill C-51.

Glen McGregor takes the proposed Press Gallery changes apart.

@pdmcleod fair enough, moneybags. New territory to me. What's a more apt description?

— Jesse Brown (@JesseBrown) February 24, 2015

@laura_payton As this is being triggered now, Q is: if a PPG Member is offended at another's remarks & complains:would this be "just cause"?

— D. Matthew Millar (@dmatthewmillar) February 23, 2015

Left Over: Left Over 2015-02-24 12:32:11

Privatized playground at North Vancouver’s Cousteau International French School angers parent Cousteau International French School has leased the grounds of former Fromme elementary school

CBC News Posted: Feb 24, 2015 7:37 AM PT Last Updated: Feb 24, 2015 8:23 AM PT

When we read comments bemoaning the fact that people just aren’t as ready to volunteer, to help with charitable causes, when those interminable pleas for money infect our public broadcasting choices, we often despair of the public perception of selflessness, even as we resent the intrusion of such dunning in our lives.

This particular story may seem trivial, but (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: The scathing letter of Syriza MP and Economist, Costas Lapavitsas

Originally posted on The Greek Analyst:

Earlier today, Costas Lapavitsas, Professor of Economics at SOAS and influential MP of Syriza, wrote a scathing letter in his blog addressed towards his entire party. Lapavitsas, who belongs in Syriza’s hardliners, says some extremely interesting things. Following Manolis Glezos, John Milios, Sofia Sakorafa (and Mikis Theodorakis!), who have already expressed their discomfort with Friday’s negotiation in the Eurogroup meeting, Lapavitsas joins the chorus of Syriza members that do not view the party’s compromising stance with a good eye.

I find the letter immensely interesting for many reasons, and I think that (Read more…)

In This Corner: Stuff happens, week 7: The return of premiums; a Canadian dog has its day.

The Prentice government continues to float trial balloons. Not long ago, it was a sales tax. Now, it’s the return of health care premiums. The government says most Albertans are in favour of bringing back premiums, which has to be complete BS. Health care premiums mean nothing to the wealthy, and probably nothing to the poor (who would likely be exempt), meaning the only people who would pay it are the middle class. With all these threats of increased taxes, this can only mean one thing — no new taxes. It’s the old bait and switch thing; make dire predictions, (Read more…)

Excited Delirium: Why Is The Clinton Foundation Receiving Donations From Foreign Affairs?

If there’s a positive connection between the Hillary campaign and Keystone XL, what does that say about donations made by Foreign Affairs (on behalf of Canadian taxpayers) to the Clinton Foundation?

Parchment in the Fire: Spain’s labour reform: three years on

Originally posted on Revolting Europe:

By Vicente Clavero*

Three years ago the Spanish government of Mariano Rajoy pushed through its labour reform against despite big opposition. Most of the parliamentary groups and social forces rejected it, to no avail; well founded warnings about possible consequences were ignored too. The absolute parliamentary majority of the Popular Party meant the law got onto the statute book.

Businesses welcomed it as a godsend, as it allowed them to slash their workforces on the cheap, thanks to cut in the cost of layoffs and the fetters it put on trade unions too. And (Read more…)

In This Corner: And the winners will be ….

When I was a kid, on Academy Awards night I’d always have to go to bed before the winner was announced. This was a very long time ago; movies had sound, but not always colour. Even if I had to go to bed, I’d sit at the top of the stairs to listen to who won, which is weird because I didn’t see any of the nominated films.

Today, as a grown adult, I can stay up as late as I like (up to 11 pm sometimes, even on school nights!) and now I can watch the entire Academy (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: “Anti-Petroleum” RCMP Explodes Gasoline In Their Cars’ Engines

RCMP called ‘anti-petroleum’ critics (aka anyone concerned about climate change) a potential security threat #cdnpoli

— Keith Stewart (@climatekeith) February 18, 2015

The RCMP have displayed Climate Change Denial symptoms. This is bad for Canada, because if the police tasked with interfering in climate change related activism do not understand the science that drives the determined actions of peaceful activists, then they’re more likely to act against protesters without a measure of human sympathy.

@climatekeith @JohnKleinRegina Like these "dangerous" people:)

— margaret resin (@margaretresin) February 18, 2015

Remember that RCMP bombed an oil installation just (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Asian LNG prices take record 60% plunge from last year

Asian spot market prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) have plunged by a single year record of 61.7% since February 2014, according to Platts JKM (Japan/Korea Marker) – a leading source of benchmark prices for the industry.

Average prices for March delivery peaked at a historic high of $20.20 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) on February 14 ,2014. By February of this year, prices for March delivery had tumbled to$7.44/MMBtu – representing the largest year-over-year drop since Platts began tracking the market in 2009, and the lowest benchmark price for Asian LNG since 2010.

Said Stephanie Wilson, managing (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: ROCHON On Greece once More


Associate Professor, Laurentian University

Co-editor, Review of Keynesian Economics

Follow him on Twitter @Lprochon


As I have said before (see here) and will say again: any solution to Greek’s tragedy, which involves keeping the Euro as a currency is a second-best solution, unless the appropriate institutional changes are adopted. Anything short of this will simply maintain the Euro straightjacket and perpetuate the policies of deflation. Austerity has proven a disastrous and unsustainable policy that has revealed the weaknesses of the Euro. Indeed, without political union, the Euro remains an incomplete (and illegitimate) currency, and the sooner it (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Meantime, SaskPower Must Consider Solar #skpoli

John Klein:

SaskPower appears to be brushing off my push for progress with a form response letter they customize each time. Watch for the stand-out “Meantime” in each response, spanning years.

Originally posted on John Klein – Regina:

Three years ago, SaskPower VP Judy May promised me that her Crown Corporation would consider solar power once “large-scale solar installations become more economical”.

By and large, utility industry experts agree that when compared to other renewable sources solar is a high cost generation option for utilities in the Northern Hemisphere.

Meantime, SaskPower has programs available to encourage the (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Tweeter’s Block

"#TweetersBlock" is a terrible thing. It doesn't mean you've nothing to write, rather you can't write it in under 140 characters.

— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) February 16, 2015

I’ve a mild case of Tweeter’s block. I guess that means I need to write on my blog instead.

"#TweetersBlock" is a terrible thing. It doesn't mean you've nothing to write, rather you can't write it in under 140 characters.

— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) February 16, 2015

What’s going on? A whole lot of nothing, and a lot of somethings simmering. My to-do list is impossibly long as (Read more…)

Left Over: Idle Worship….

Stephen Harper and the Beautiful Flag He Hates So Much


As an ex-Yank who always found it profoundly disturbing that rampant, ignorant, my way or the highway stupid patriotism started with ridiculous flag-worship in the States, have to say that spending any kind of big money on the anniversary of a flag seems dumb in the extreme…It’s great to acknowledge it, and fun to read about the people involved, but I hate to see Canadians who are mostly rational and intelligently fervent about their love of country get all worked up about such trivia as (Read more…) Why not act now?

What a powerful video. We must change our policy and our priorities. Future generations are concerned, why not act now on climate change?!

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 6: All about Eve; Sun sets on Sun News.

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau was all smiles on Monday when announcing that Ontario PC MP Eve Adams was crossing the floor to his party. But the news gave hims critics a new opportunity to question his judgement. Adams has more baggage than Samsonite; she has done so much underhanded and/or highhanded stuff, even the Conservatives told her she wasn’t wanted. But she comes with a bonus in the person of her fiance. Dimitri Soudas was also turfed from the Tories for going too far to secure his finance’s nomination, but before he came a cropper he was the Conservative party’s (Read more…)

A. Picazo: Inoculating Against Science-Denialism

This op-ed appeared in The Ottawa Citizen on February 10, 2015. There’s an illness sweeping its way across North America, one which has long-troubled the scientific community and baffled even the most seasoned medical expert. This problem isn’t new, but was once considered primarily a threat to underdeveloped nations which have yet to fully reap the benefits of … Continue reading →

The Progressive Economics Forum: Rethinking social protections in the age of contractors

The job market is changing rapidly. While most workers of our parents’ generation could have reasonably expected to spend their entire working careers in permanent full-time jobs with one or two employers, today many rely on contract work or freelancing, and even regular full-time employees change jobs frequently. There are pros and cons to this shift, but one very significant problem with it is that our current approach to providing social protections in Canada and the US was designed around the old permanent employee model and does not fit the new new job market reality.

US economist Robert Reich made an interesting observation about (Read more…)

In This Corner: Letter from a 100-year-old man.

My uncle Rolland, the last of the five Tougas brothers of Edmonton which included my dad, turned 100 last year. I get occasional letters from him, more so since dad’s passing two years ago. Rolland and dad wrote each other regularly, but they never spoke on the phone. That’s because Rolland has no phone. This fact tells you a little something about Uncle Rolland.

Rolland lives by himself in Utah. He has an apartment that would need an interior decorator to even qualify to be called spartan. He has been retired from whatever it was he did for probably 50 (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: #DontLookAtTheSun Sun News Off The Air

#FunFact: Sun News was the first "national" "news" TV station to show one of my videos. Of course, followed by Gormley slandering me.

— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) February 13, 2015

Gormley cooked up a conspiracy to try to blame me for his misfortune of attracting a protest to his book talk.

@Limericking @kady Sun News finally wore out, Watch all the media pout, Lacking in clues With Conservative views, Levant's off-air; the lout

— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) February 13, 2015

Everyone at SUN News Deserved to be Fired, by @omar_aok

— CANADALAND (@CNDLND) February 13, 2015

It's somewhat (Read more…)

Valerie Burns: Stick a Fork in Sun TV

Some very kind people have said some thoughtful things about the jobs lost at SUN TV. Kind people are good. I get that.

Personally, I think that rat’s nest shutting down is a fucking boon to this country. The mere fact they supplied jobs is not enough to justify their existence. Lots of crappy organizations that produce no benefit to society supply jobs.

What they were doing at SUN cannot be called journalism. SUN cannot be credited with breaking a single important public interest story. They were an angry opinion entertainment channel, full of (Read more…)

Excited Delirium: Bank of Canada: Important Ruling Concerning Money Issuance

Bank of Canada told it should issue money interest-free instead of borrowing from banks.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Oceans Rising Faster In Last 100 Years

If Greenland ice sheet slipped off tomorrow, sea would quickly FALL in Newfoundland and Scotland, but rise disastrously at South Africa!

— John Klein (@JohnKleinRegina) February 11, 2015

Here’s a fantastically interesting lecture on the science of sea levels. Some counter-intuitive stuff goes on when an ice sheet melts, because an ocean isn’t a bathtub.