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Alberta Politics: It’s official: Departure of oil sands and hockey billionaire Murray Edwards had nothing to do with taxes

ILLUSTRATIONS: Alberta’s terrifying Temple of Tax, found on the media midway. So scary it even frightens billionaires away. Really! Below: Dr. Samuel Johnson, noted wit, N. Murray Edwards, oil sands billionaire (CBC photo), and Mr. James Boswell, bio… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: It’s official: Departure of oil sands and hockey billionaire Murray Edwards had nothing to do with taxes

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: Baked Alaska and the Fraser Institute: what changes, and what doesn’t, when oil prices fall and the money melts

PHOTOS: Alaska Governor Bill Walker illustrates about how much is left in the northern state’s budget now that oil prices have gone south. (Alaska Dispatch News photo.) Below: The wild rose, official flower of both Alaska and Alberta; baked Alaska, g… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Baked Alaska and the Fraser Institute: what changes, and what doesn’t, when oil prices fall and the money melts

Alberta Politics: Give a thought to Alberta’s approaching budget day: there’s little to gain and plenty to lose from ‘debt free’ government

PHOTOS: Former premier Ralph Klein, now elevated to sainthood by the neoliberal cargo cult, celebrating the retirement of Alberta’s debt in 2004, never mind the mess the infrastructure was in. Below: Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci, Canadian economist Jim Stanford and Wildrose Finance Critic Derek Fildebrandt, with, bottom, his old debt-trailer. Anyone remember Ralph Klein’s . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Give a thought to Alberta’s approaching budget day: there’s little to gain and plenty to lose from ‘debt free’ government

Parchment in the Fire: Growth, what growth? Thatcherism fails to produce the goods | Business | The Guardian

Growth, what growth? Thatcherism fails to produce the goods | Business | The Guardian.

Katie Allen

Margaret Thatcher’s policies of privatisation, light-touch regulation and low income tax failed to boost growth, according to a new study that casts doubt on the merits of free market economies.

In a wide-ranging analysis of Britain’s performance in . . . → Read More: Parchment in the Fire: Growth, what growth? Thatcherism fails to produce the goods | Business | The Guardian

The Disaffected Lib: John Bull In a China Shop

What good is a majority if it lands you in a minefield?  Conservative prime minister David Cameron finds himself in that predicament after last week’s elections handed him a very slim majority.

He’s looking to slash about 12-billion quid from his country’s welfare budget. His “red meat” backbench are spoiling for a tussle with . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: John Bull In a China Shop

Alberta Diary: You could drive one of those tar sands heavy haulers through the gaping holes in the latest Fraser Institute ‘study’ of Alberta’s finances

A worker in Fort McMurray prepares to drive this truck through the holes in the Fraser Institute’s “report,” which claims Alberta’s finances are in worse shape than those of places like Texas, North Dakota and Louisiana. Below: The Norwegian oil port of Stavanger, which, according to the Fraser Institute, doesn’t exist!

Alberta should . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: You could drive one of those tar sands heavy haulers through the gaping holes in the latest Fraser Institute ‘study’ of Alberta’s finances

Bill Longstaff: How will the West react when the Sauds turn on their people?

Various Western nations, including Great Britain, the U.S. and France, are exhibiting great outrage against Syria’s assaults on its own people. And outrage is indeed called for. Yet there is no small measure of hypocrisy about the West’s righteous anger.

Another dictatorship in the Middle East, the misogynous Saud family of Saudi Arabia, may in . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: How will the West react when the Sauds turn on their people?

Bill Longstaff: Tory MPs defy government

No, the above headline most certainly does not refer to Canadian Tory MPs.

In the recent vote in the British House of Commons on Prime Minister David Cameron’s motion to initiate military action against Syria, all attention was focused on the defeat of the motion. And rightly so—the vote was of considerable importance in world . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Tory MPs defy government

Bill Longstaff: Starbucks sticks it to the Brits

I always look forward to reading yet another story about how multinational corporations slither out of their tax responsibilities and was, therefore, duly amused by a piece I encountered in Al Jazeera about the world’s favourite coffee shop. It appears Starbucks, while selling £643-million worth of goods in the U.K. last year, paid not a . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Starbucks sticks it to the Brits

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Quality Problems Plague Britain’s Largest Privatized Laboratory

The Guardian newspaper reported a decline in quality at the Kings College Hospital trust and the St. Thomas Hospital trust’s recently privatized pathology services.

The report cited in the article found an increase in clinical ”incidents” in the first year of the for-profit laboratories operations, and failure to reach “ agreed targets for the “turnaround . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: Quality Problems Plague Britain’s Largest Privatized Laboratory

Slap Upside The Head: Anti-Gay Group Says Equal Marriage Leads To Abortion

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), an anti-choice and anti-gay lobby group based in the UK, has distributed fliers suggesting that legal same-sex marriage will lead to an increased number of abortions.

“Legalised same-sex marriage will increase confusion about what it means to be a man or woman and removes natural . . . → Read More: Slap Upside The Head: Anti-Gay Group Says Equal Marriage Leads To Abortion

From Orangutan: Jean Charest fails to silence the Quebec student movement,

As the talks to end the Quebec student strike broke down Thursday (thanks in large part to the Jean Charest Liberal government’s inability to think in a non-partisan manner, thus ending further bargaining for the time being), I am nonetheless encouraged by the increasingly epic support that the student movement here has amassed throughout this country . . . → Read More: From Orangutan: Jean Charest fails to silence the Quebec student movement,

From Orangutan: Jean Charest fails to silence the Quebec student movement,

As the talks to end the Quebec student strike broke down Thursday (thanks in large part to the Jean Charest Liberal government’s inability to think in a non-partisan manner, thus ending further bargaining for the time being), I am nonetheless enco… . . . → Read More: From Orangutan: Jean Charest fails to silence the Quebec student movement,

gay persons of character: London Bus Campaign: ‘Some People Are Gay. Get Over It!’

Source: http://www.facebook.com/stonewalluk

Well this is neat. Throughout April, 1,000 buses in London, England, are carrying ads from the British charity, Stonewall, to promote marriage equality. Bearing the tagline, “Some People Are Gay. Get Over It!” the ads link to Stonewall’s equal marriage campaign website, which includes details of the charity’s response to the British government’s . . . → Read More: gay persons of character: London Bus Campaign: ‘Some People Are Gay. Get Over It!’

gay persons of character: London Bus Campaign: ‘Some People Are Gay. Get Over It!’

Source: http://www.facebook.com/stonewalluk

Well this is neat. Throughout April, 1,000 buses in London, England, are carrying ads from the British charity, Stonewall, to promote marriage equality. Bearing the tagline, “Some People Are Gay. Get Over It!” the ads link to Stonewall’s equal marriage campaign website, which includes details of the charity’s response to the British government’s consultation on the issue and explains how people in support of marriage equality can have their voices heard. . . . → Read More: gay persons of character: London Bus Campaign: ‘Some People Are Gay. Get Over It!’

Slap Upside The Head: Ben and Jerry’s Renames Flavour In Support of Equal Marriage

Ice cream maker Ben and Jerry’s has renamed a flavour of their signature frozen treat from Oh! My! Apple Pie! to Apple-y Ever After last week as a way of showing their support for same-sex marriage in the UK. Opponents of equality are now reportedly lobbying for their own flavour introduction: Living in Sinnamon.

. . . → Read More: Slap Upside The Head: Ben and Jerry’s Renames Flavour In Support of Equal Marriage

Bill Longstaff: Baroness Tonge, Israel and the pain of political correctness

Of all the various catalysts of political correctness, perhaps Israel is the most powerful. Anyone who seriously criticizes Israel or seriously supports the Palestinians is seriously in danger of being accused of such wickedness he or she must be dismissed from public discourse. Such was the fate of Jenny Tonge, Baronesss of Kew, recently a . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Baroness Tonge, Israel and the pain of political correctness

Bill Longstaff: No-religion most successful "faith" in UK

“Give me the child and I will give you the man,” the Jesuits boast. Indoctrinate a child in a faith and he, or she, will carry that faith for life. Or at least, most will.

According to the latest British Social Attitudes survey, not indoctrinating a child in a faith is even more successful. Of . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: No-religion most successful "faith" in UK

gay persons of color: Professional rugby star Sacha Harding goes naked for HIV/AIDS awareness

Voted 2010’s ‘manliest man‘ in Britain in a nationwide competition organised by the leading men’s grooming brand The Bluebeards Revenge, straight, professional rugby star Sacha Harding has stripped off his clothes for the annual ‘Naked Issue’ of Gay Times magazine. The Bedford Blues flanker, who appears on the cover, as well as within the . . . → Read More: gay persons of color: Professional rugby star Sacha Harding goes naked for HIV/AIDS awareness

gay persons of color: Homophobic preacher named Britain’s most inspirational black person

Well, you know times are bad when in a competition for Britain’s most inspirational black person organised by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and Metro newspaper, the winner ends up being Agu Irukwu, an anti-gay pastor who leads an evangelical chur… . . . → Read More: gay persons of color: Homophobic preacher named Britain’s most inspirational black person

the reeves report: UK ‘Green Deal’ set for launch next Autumn

The Energy Act 2011 was granted royal assent in the United Kingdom on October 18, a move that will pave the way for the Green Deal to come into effect within the year. Under the plan, households will be encouraged to install energy- and cost-saving efficiencies to their homes without having to bear the full … Continue reading » . . . → Read More: the reeves report: UK ‘Green Deal’ set for launch next Autumn

Slap Upside The Head: UK Kinda Almost Lifts Gay Blood Ban

The United Kingdom has removed its lifetime ban on blood donations from gay men, replacing it with a one year deferral since the last time a donor has had sex with someone of the same gender. So, yeah—essentially, nothing has changed. Well, I suppose at the very least it’s an acknowledgement that the lifetime ban (which Canada […] . . . → Read More: Slap Upside The Head: UK Kinda Almost Lifts Gay Blood Ban

gay persons of color: Out Magazine salutes five athlete allies

Ben Cohen, Hudson Taylor, Michael Irvin, Mike Chabala, and Nick YoungquestSource: Out MagazineIn its July 2011 issue, Out Magazine salutes five top sportsmen “who have stood up for fairness and tolerance, shoulder-to-shoulder with their LGBT peers.” Th… . . . → Read More: gay persons of color: Out Magazine salutes five athlete allies

They Call Me "Mr. Sinister": The World They Made

If you want to know the state of the relationship between democratically elected governments of the West and the multinational corporations, all you have to do is look at the case of the Parliament of Westminster and News International. The British par… . . . → Read More: They Call Me “Mr. Sinister”: The World They Made