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Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Mandatory Fun Time

It occurred to me today how ironic it is that Weird Al releases Mandatory Fun at the same time as I’m given a mandatory break from work for months.

Today's cartoon in The @NewYorker— Al Yankovic (@alyankovic) July 21, 2014

I’ve got lots of time for mandatory fun right now.

WORLD PREMIERE! New music video #LameClaimToFame up now!! #8videos8days— Al Yankovic (@alyankovic) July 20, 2014

Susan on the Soapbox: Top Ten Reasons Why Jim Prentice is Nothing Like Peter Lougheed

“During a one-and-a-half hour editorial board meeting…with Progressive Conservative leadership candidate… Jim Prentice, I was struck by how often Lougheed’s legendary thoughtfulness, tone and command of all topics came to mind.”—Licia Corbella, Calgary Herald, July 11, 2014

It’s official. As far as Ms Corbella is concerned Jim Prentice is the answer our prayers—the leader for those of us who “pine for the days of Peter Lougheed and all that he embodied”.

Are you kidding me?

This statement is so fatuous that Ms Soapbox is compelled to respond with her own Top Ten List: Reasons Why Jim Prentice is Nothing (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Surviving Death Going Well

My death and quick resurrection made it into the local newspaper on the front page. There will be a followup coming later too I think.

In This Corner: How the PCs bungled the license plate design contest.

How does a government botch something as simple as changing your provincial license plate?

Apparently, it’s a lot easier than it seems, because our moribund PC government has done exactly that.

You may have heard that the province has decided to jettison its ages old ‘Wild Rose Country’, white-and-red license plates in favour of something more colourful (and, by mere coincidence, more expensive). Some big thinkers in the government thought it would be a really cool idea to offer up three versions of the plate, and put them online for the public to vote on. Simple, right? A bit of (Read more…)

Sketchy Thoughts: How come so many UK leftists are Trots?

In Terry Bisson’s interview with Ken MacLeod in The Human Front (PM Press, 2013), there’s this great answer to Bisson’s question “How come so many UK leftists are Trots?” :

Short answer: because Trotskyists in Britain moved fast on the CP’s crisis in the 1950s, and moved with the times in the 1960s.

Long answer: in the 1960s in a lot of countries semimass currents arose to the left of the official Communist Parties. In some countries, including the United States and West Germany, most of the radicals who wanted to be revolutionaries became some kind of Maoists. In (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: UK: cost of living crisis continues

Originally posted on Michael Roberts Blog:

The latest data on employment, earnings and prices in the UK confirm that the cost of living crisis continues, despite the claims of the Conservative-led coalition government.

By cost of living crisis, we mean that the average earnings of Britons are not rising as fast as prices in the shops, so that, on average, British households continue to suffer a fall in their standard of living (before we take into account net taxes and benefits).

The latest data for June 2014 showed an uptick in UK consumer price inflation (CPI) from 1.5% (Read more…) My email to Shawn Jeffords

“Dear Shawn:

I understand you are claiming you have been trying to reach me. That is interesting, given that I was at the Sun just this afternoon.

The picture that you consider important enough to write an entire story about is of me, posing with a toy gun. Your attempt to link it to the Olivia Chow campaign, on which I volunteer, is ridiculous. It is beneath any serious journalist. It is absurd.

I confess I also recently played Battleship with my son. Perhaps you would like to write a lengthy feature about the relevance of toy ships to (Read more…)

Melissa Fong: News: Speaking event: On Municipal Socialism- ‘War of Position’ in Vancouver?

RSVP here Free Lecture at SFU Downtown Social Housing under Municipal Socialism Wednesday, July 16, 7:00 p.m., SFU Harbour Ctr. Room 7000 I'm speaking at SFU @InstituteHum event: Theme will […]

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Well Out of Hospital

On medication to slow my heart, and with a modern device to reset rhythm if it’s lost, I’m cool as a cucumber now. There are so many people to thank, and not enough paper.

Eh Types: Mandatory Voting Works, That’s the Problem

After election night concessions and congratulations are done, the news inevitably reports on the low voter turnout. Ontario’s recent election actually featured an increase in voter turnout for the first time in two decades. That’s the good news. The bad news is turnout was still only 52%. While any democracy should want to improve on […]

In This Corner: Is Eugenie Bouchard for real?

By now, even if you’re not a tennis fan, or a sports fan, or even an oscillating fan (sorry, terrible joke; it’s hot in my house and I just happened to look up at a fan), you’ve probably heard of Eugenie Bouchard.

In case you haven’t, here’s the scoop: Eugenie Bouchard is a tennis player. And not just any tennis player, but perhaps the next face of women’s professional tennis. And yes, I know she was destroyed in the Wimbledon final by somebody whose name I’ve already forgotten, but still — she’s the new It Girl of tennis.

Eugenie Bouchard, (Read more…)

Left Over: Should We Pillory Hillary?

Hillary Clinton must reject the stigma that abortion should be legal but ‘rare’

Agreeing with anti-choice activists on even that single word hurts women and the cause of reproductive rights

Jessica Valenti, Wednesday 9 July 2014


Although this article is referring to our neighbors to the South and the possible next Prez, and although Canada has, comparatively, broader rights than many or most in the US, thought I would chime in since this is a question that often simmers just below the surface of right wing politics here, always threatening to rear its ugly head, and send (Read more…)

Excited Delirium: How To Reshape News in Canada

A simple recipe for giving Canadians control over news. For good.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Woke up

I woke up this morning thinking of the Weird Al tune: “I’m So Sick of You”. Probably tired of being poked and vampired every morning  already. Hope today goes well.

Melissa Fong: A Survivor’s Totem Pole to symbolize resistance, persistence, and inclusion in Vancouver

Reposted from georgia straight This year, most of us engaged in the typical Canada Day celebrations, which included parades, fireworks, and the live entertainment that was peppered across the city. […]

Babel-on-the-Bay: Snake at seventeen.

It was the Snake’s birthday the other day. It has been a long time since Babel-on-the-Bay told you about him and his brother, the Corporal. It might not be political.

But Snake at seventeen is something. Tall, tanned, tapered and talented, he might be the answer to many a maiden’s dreams. You could hardly ask for a finer, more obliging grandson. He was at the daughter and son-in-law’s summer place in Muskoka near Parry Sound and we drove up for the birthday celebration. Snake took us out by boat for dinner of pizza at a place on the lake. Skimming (Read more…)

Sketchy Thoughts: Banksy in Boston: FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS CANCELLED, Essex St, Chinatown, Boston by Chris Devers

Interestingly, both of the Boston area Banksy pieces are on Essex St:• F?O?L?L?O?W? ?Y?O?U?R? ?D?R?E?A?M?S? CANCELLED (aka chimney sweep) in Chinatown, Boston

on the main Kersplebedeb website:

Babel-on-the-Bay: Are Wynne’s Liberals in the ‘activist centre’?

A commentary in the Toronto Star on the recent Ontario election written by a member of Kathleen Wynne’s election team is puzzling. The article is by Tim Murphy, a partner at the law firm of McMillan LLP. A former Liberal MPP when Bob Rae was NDP premier and then chief-of-staff to Paul Martin during his brief tenure as prime minister, you would expect Murphy to have learned something about the political centre. Yet he claims that Kathleen Wynne won election based largely on her positioning the Ontario Liberals as the “voice of the activist centre.”

Since the political centre (Read more…)

OPSEU Diablogue: Summer Break

We’re taking a break for summer. See you in September.

Parchment in the Fire: Italian union launches referendum campaign against EU permanent austerity pact

Originally posted on Revolting Europe:

Italy’s largest union has launched a referendum campaign against the EU fiscal compact, a draconian budgetary cap which is set to make austerity permanent across the 27-nation Eurozone.

The CGIL is calling for a repeal of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union that was signed on 2 March 2012 by all member states of the European Union (EU), except the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom. In Italy this new turn in the EU austerity screw signifies 45 billion euros annual budget cuts for two decades.

One of the new (Read more…)

Eh Types: Running Scared

Aside from enough profanity to make the navy blush, there are several words to describe Rob Ford. A few that often come to my mind are incompetent, liar, corrupt, racist, misogynist, homophobe, and criminal associate. I think after profanity, those would top most people’s list. Since his return I’d add another word. Scared. Ford began […]

Left Over: Desperation and Distraction, but a Little Satisfaction?

Two things have me momentarily distracted these days, and both are all about the lack of traction that the Cons are getting from attacking both Junior and the NDP..vis a vis the ‘scandal’ that never was re their supposed illegal Parliamentary postal charge avoidance..what happened with that? Sadly (IMHO) the NDP are falling in the polls, yes, but I think that redemption may be at hand, at least in the form of continuing to be the Loyal Opposition after Junior’s team get elected..yes, I fear the writing is on the wall, I (Read more…)

Joe Fantauzzi: IV. Zone of Indeterminacy: Interdiction concerning the enclosure of the Social Commons

Here, I have taken up the enclosure of the Social Commons. And here, I have attempted to locate those shunted aside by the austerity agenda. In this post, I attempt to describe the zone of indeterminacy into which those cast aside by austerity have been and are to be consigned. The point, I submit, is that the […]

Joe Fantauzzi: IV. Zone of Indeterminacy: Interdiction concerning the enclosure of the Social Commons

Here, I have taken up the enclosure of the Social Commons. And here, I have attempted to locate those shunted aside by the austerity agenda. In this post, I attempt to describe the zone of indeterminacy into which those cast aside by austerity have been and are to be consigned. The point, I submit, is that the […]

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