Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

Bill Longstaff: Good use of the American military

As a frequent critic of how the United States uses its military in the world, I was delighted to hear that President Obama has made a major commitment to use the U.S. Army against the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Many nations are responding to the crisis—Cuba is sending 165 health workers, China will send 59, the U.K. is building a 62-bed hospital, etc.—but all these are dwarfed by the

Bill Longstaff: Why are Americans so frightened?

ISIS has thrown the fear of God into Americans. According to a poll conducted by the Opinion Research Centre, ninety per cent of Americans believe the group is a direct threat to the U.S. with over seventy per cent believing it already has cells inside the country.

All of this might make sense—ISIS is a really scary outfit—if it were true. But it isn’t. At least not according to the man who is

Bill Longstaff: The Islamic State—should we be helping to clean up the Americans’ mess?

In early 2003, there were no Islamic extremists in Iraq, or at least none that dared raise their heads above ground. Then the Americans and their “coalition of the willing” invaded.

Today, Islamic extremists so vile even al-Qaeda disowns them have taken control of a huge swath of the country including major cities and now threaten Baghdad. And, in a particularly unpleasant development, young

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Freegan Food Activist Exposes Grocery Industry Waste

You’ve got to hear about Rob. He’s an interesting guy, doing what I did last Summer except on a much larger and more successful scale.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Charlie’s War

Saw “Charlie Wilson’s War” [8/10] which explains the background behind the Soviet’s failure in Afghanistan, and paved the way for the Taliban to later take over. Today I saw “Cars 2″ [6/10] which explains why we have people focused on fossil fuel vehicles.

Each somewhat ties into the 10 year old book I’m reading, Power Down, which has theories on economic declines, including the US and USSR. The Soviet’s oil production, and America’s have slowed economic growth for each, leading to predictable collapses.

Bill Longstaff: Hillary Clinton—a very dangerous lady

During the Democratic nomination race for the 2008 U.S. presidential election, my preference was torn between a woman president or a black president. I was leaning toward the woman, Hillary Clinton, when, watching her on a TV interview, she stated that if Iran attacked Israel with nuclear weapons she would “totally obliterate” Iran. I almost fell out of my chair.

What the hell was this all

Bill Longstaff: PR tops journalism in U.S.

If Americans often seem uninformed or misinformed about current affairs, it may be because they get more propaganda than news. There are now five times as many public relations experts at work in the U.S. than reporters. Furthermore, the difference is growing. While the number of reporters in the country dropped by almost 9,000 from 2004 to 2013, the number of PR experts increased by over

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: The Ballad of #MikeBrown

a young Dylan would've written a song: THE BALLAD OF MICHAEL BROWN. #Ferguson— Raffi Cavoukian (@Raffi_RC) August 15, 2014

If you go to Quik Trip You’d better take your gun, Cause the boys in blue will get you, That’s how things are done, In #Ferguson.

@DomoTheTruth dude was running and the cops just shot.him. i saw him die bruh— Bruh. (@TheePharoah) August 09, 2014

If you finish highschool in this two-bit town, A quick trip may last forever if they gun you down, The fate of poor #MikeBrown.

#Ferguson Police Chief says #MikeBrown was stopped because he (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Electric Car Cup T5

Tesla having a range of 250 miles makes a cross continent trip possible, especially if you’re as clever as the inventor of the T5. He gave rides to people in exchange for a little electricity.

The Canadian Progressive: Noam Chomsky on media’s “shameful moment” in Gaza

by: Democracy Now! | Posted Mon. Aug 11, 2014

As a new 72-hour ceasefire takes hold in Gaza, we turn to part two of our interview with world-renowned dissident and linguist,MIT Professor Noam Chomsky. Criticizing U.S. media coverage of the Israeli assault on Gaza, Chomsky says: “It’s a shameful moment for U.S. media when it insists on being subservient to the grotesque propaganda agencies of a violent, aggressive state.” Chomsky also discusses his long-standing view that popular pressure at home is critical to ending the U.S. government’s backing for Israel’s occupation of the (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Who loves the US of A?

The answer to the above question, according to a Pew Research survey of 44 countries, is mostly everybody. Well, outside of the Middle East anyway. Not surprisingly, most Middle Eastern countries hold an unfavourable view of the U.S., led by Egypt where only 10 per cent of the population is favorably disposed.

Most European countries are fans, particularly Italy, France (now there’s a surprise

Bill Longstaff: Hamas is not a terrorist organization

It seems that the media and politicians can hardly mention Hamas, much in the news these days, without referring to it as a terrorist organization. And indeed a number of governments, including our own, have officially labelled it as such. But we might keep in mind that our government at least is sycophantically pro-Israel and labeling Hamas terrorist is very much in Israel’s interest. So is

The Canadian Progressive: House Bars NSA From Meddling With Encryption Standards

The U.S. House of Representatives last month inserted into a defense appropriations bill a measure barring the National Security Agency from meddling with encryption standards.

The post House Bars NSA From Meddling With Encryption Standards appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Here’s One Way to Land on the NSA’s Watch List

If you downloaded the privacy software Tor in 2011, the NSA may have scouped up your computer IP address and spied on you, says ProPublica.

The post Here’s One Way to Land on the NSA’s Watch List appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Bill Longstaff: Omar Khadr’s trial lacked legal basis

After the way Omar Khadr has been persecuted by both the American government and ours, I wouldn’t have thought any more outrageous news of this sordid affair could emerge. But it has. After a hard-fought freedom of information case by the New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union, a court has ordered the release of a U.S. Department of Justice memo that rejects any legal foundation

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Public Education: School to Prison Pipeline (VIDEO)

To end the violence in Baltimore there must be radical reform of public education and the criminal justice system – a panel moderated by radio talk show host Marc Steiner

The post Public Education: School to Prison Pipeline (VIDEO) appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.

Alberta Diary: On the centenary of Gavrilo Princip’s fateful shot in Sarajevo, let’s learn the right lessons from history

Gavrilo Princip under arrest. Below: Princip and the Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

Today is the centenary of the day Gavrilo Princip took his little Belgian pistol to Sarajevo and blew the heir presumptive to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian empire into history.

As is well known, not long after young Princip caused the demise of Franz Ferdinand, archduke of Austria-Este and royal prince of Hungary and Bohemia, not to mention inspiration for future indie musicians, things went rapidly downhill.

Someone somewhere rolled the dice to score a strategic point or two in the Balkans – one of which, it’s been (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Republicans losing the Cuban vote

Lack of support from minority voters has long been an Achilles heel for the Republican Party. This holds true for Hispanics. In the last presidential election, Obama gained a record 75 per cent of the Latino vote. About the only consolation for the Republicans has been the support of Cuban-Americans who have long identified with or leaned toward the GOP. Now even that is changing.

A recent

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Interchange a Highway

Atlanta isn’t known for being a walkable city. Florence, Italy has a better reputation.

This is kind of mind blowing, and should have people thinking about overpasses and cloverleaf highways in a different way. Auto-sprawl has many costs.

Florence Italy and a highway interchange in Atlanta at same scale. @stevemouzon goo.gl/68yzg0 http://t.co/3dKQkgXHdg— TreeHugger.com (@TreeHugger) June 12, 2014

Alberta Diary: The NFA is right about one thing: it’s time to talk about guns and mental health

The National Firearms Association’s logo and slogan. What do you think their message is? Below: NFL President Sheldon Clare and the organization’s Executive VP, Shawn Bevins. All photos grabbed from the NFA’s public Facebook page.

Enough time has passed since the shocking murders of three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers in Moncton, N.B., for Canadians to start to ponder the serious issues raised by this tragedy.

Unsurprisingly, the need for calm reflection didn’t hold back the so-called National Firearms Association from immediately publishing a press release that bizarrely argued the shootings proved Canada should have fewer controls on (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: PRISM: NSA Caught In Another Lie about #Snowden

The NSA had claimed that Ed Snowden hadn’t contacted superiors with concerns about their illegal activity. They released an email attempting to discredit his claim that he had raised concerns, and the email proves Snowden was telling the truth.

The Washington Post has published a response from Snowden to NSA’s release of this email. He says, “Today’s strangely tailored and incomplete leak only shows the NSA feels it has something to hide,” and, “I’m glad they’ve shown they have access to records they claimed just a few months ago did not exist, and I hope we’ll see the rest of (Read more…)

Art Threat: An open letter to George W. Bush, the artist

Dear Mr. Bush,

I was heartened to learn of your recent exhibition of paintings at your own Presidential Library in Dallas. Some may have considered this a crude display of the vanity of power, but I happen to think such crudeness has its own aesthetic merit and honesty. It is crucial that world leaders such as yourself advocate and promote the fine arts, even if, during your presidency, you oversaw their continued economic abandonment (in favour of increased military spending), and even though many of your colleagues in the Republican party have been at the forefront of castigating, belittling and (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Canada PetroState vs. United States of America

Americans hear this on their news last night. “Feds Issue Tighter Regulations For Trains Hauling Highly-Flammable Crude”

Canadians are told this of their explosive oil in unsafe train cars. “B.C. municipality chaffs at railways’ requirement for secrecy about dangerous cargos traveling through town”

You have to wonder if the Harper Conservatives really don’t give a shit if they vapourize a few more Quebecers. Will your town be next?

Bill Longstaff: The Great Game—did Putin outplay the West in Crimea?

In the 19th century, the British and Russian empires’ strategic rivalry for supremacy in Central Asia was referred to as the Great Game. The game has never really ended as Russia has continued to vie with Western powers for influence and control in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. And in recent days, the Russians may have just outplayed the West in Ukraine.

Influence in Ukraine has see-sawed

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Canadian Police and Suicide Hotlines Violating Privacy

It’s mind boggling that Canadian police would think it’s justified in sharing mental health information with Homeland Insecurity in order to help the USA discriminate against people with mental illness.

What in the heck made them think it’s okay? Are they crazy?

People need to trust that they can reach out to a Suicide Hotline without fear of future reprisals. Canadian police have seriously damaged this expectation, and therefore are likely to have harmed people who’d have otherwise sought help. It would be hard to learn definitively if this abuse of authority has killed people, because the people we’d learn (Read more…)