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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…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Colbert At Google. Replacing Letterman

Bill Longstaff: The United States—democracy or oligarchy?

Last year, Iran held an election to choose its president. Many in the West mocked the election because the candidates were vetted by the Guardian Council (a group appointed largely by the Supreme Leader). This, however, is not so different from American presidential elections. In the U.S., candidates have to get approval from the corporate sector simply because if they don’t get those big

Alberta Diary: Vladimir Putin’s strategic crisis in 2014 sure looks a lot like John F. Kennedy’s in 1962

President John F. Kennedy signs the proclamation of the “Interdiction of the Delivery of Offensive Weapons to Cuba” on Oct. 23, 1962. The order imposed the U.S. naval blockade on Cuba that Mr. Kennedy had announced during his televised address the night before. Below: Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev, Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, Sun News bloviator Monte K. Solberg.

“Good evening, my fellow citizens,” President John F. Kennedy said grimly on Oct. 22, 1962. “This Government, as promised, has maintained the closest surveillance of the Soviet military build-up on the island of Cuba.

“Within the past week unmistakable (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Dr. Strangelove Was More Of a Documentary Than We Thought

This is a little bit terrifying, in the context of world destruction. Dr. Strangelove was a great movie in the 60s about a military base commander going crazy and ordering a nuclear strike on Russia without Presidential authorization. It should be remade today with another great comedic actor like Steve Carell.

It turns out, MAD was real, and the Russians didn’t tell anyone about it making it pointless. Way to go, crazy Russians.

Bill Longstaff: Ukraine and American arrogance

The New York Times ran an intriguing headline earlier this week. It read “Debate Over Who, in U.S., is to Blame for Ukraine.” Apparently American politicians are debating which among them is responsible for recent events in Ukraine, Republicans blaming Obama and Democrats blaming Bush.

The arrogance is extraordinary. The debate seems predicated on the notion that if something goes awry in the

Art Threat: Skinny Puppy bills US military for music use in torture

The U.S. military is using a Vancouver band’s music to torture prisoners at Guantanamo Bay — and the artists are working to make sure they pay for it.

Electro-industrial act Skinny Puppy has learned through a former guard at Gitmo that inmates would be drowned in their unsettling sounds for up to twelve hours at a time — or until they literally crapped their pants.

Skinny Puppy co-founder cEvin Key spoke to CBC’s As It Happens about the situation, which the band is strongly opposed to. They plan on sending the American government a bill for $666,000 — an (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Pardon?

I’d wondered why the USA wasn’t chasing after draft dodgers still.

On this day in 1977, U.S. President Jimmy Carter granted an unconditional pardon to hundreds of thousands of men…— Christina Cherneskey (@ccherneskey) January 21, 2014

My respect for Carter went up when I learned this.

Obama could redeem some of his failing popularity if he stood up to the NSA spy machine and pardoned Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, among other whistle blowers of illegal American spying programs aimed at American citizens.

Alberta Diary: Ted Cruz: For God (& country’s) sake, talk to Conrad Black before you shred your Canadian passport!

Canada or USA? USA or Canada? Texas Senator Ted Cruz, visible between the signs, ponders what he should do. Actual Tea Party favourites may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Mr. Cruz waves bye-bye to his fellow Canadians … maybe; Lord Black of Crossharbour.

It’s said here that Calgary native Ted Cruise needs to make an appointment to have a serious chat with Conrad Black before he makes any rash and irrevocable decisions to run his Canadian passport through the shredder.

Mr. Cruz is now the junior Senator from Texas and a favourite of the Tea Party, a group that (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Iraq—an Al-Qaeda playground

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The U.S. and its coalition of the willing invaded Iraq with the justification that it had weapons of mass destruction and Saddam was conspiring with al-Qaeda to use them. The country had to be cleansed of both. But of course there were neither WMDs nor al-Qaeda to be cleansed. So how ironic, and profoundly tragic for the Iraqis, that the country has now become a

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: F-35: Lies from Lying Liars #cdnpoli

The F-35 was going to be a plane made with Chinese parts, despite US law forbidding that.… this just adds to the ridiculousness. Russia probably has deal w china to remotely disable these.— jeff cliff (@jeffcliff1) January 04, 2014

The Canadian Progressive: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s “letter to the Brazilian people”

“At the NSA, I witnessed with growing alarm the surveillance of whole populations without any suspicion of wrongdoing, and it threatens to become the greatest human rights challenge of our time,” says whistleblower Edward Snowden in this “open letter to the Brazilian people”, published by the Folha de S Paulo newspaper:

The post NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s “letter to the Brazilian people” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Bill Longstaff: Rebuilding the American middle class

When you consider that the United States is the richest country in the world, the state of its working class is shocking.

The country now has the highest proportion of low-wage workers in the developed world. Fifty-two percent of fast-food workers’ families receive public assistance in an industry that last year earned $7.44 billion in profits. McDonald’s workers alone receive $1.2 billion in

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Obama’s NSA is the East German Stasi of our time

German leader flat out states that Obama’s government is little better than the East German Stasi.

“In an angry exchange with Barack Obama, Angela Merkel has compared the snooping practices of the US with those of the Stasi, the ubiquitous and all-powerful secret police of the communist dictatorship in East Germany, where she grew up.

The German chancellor also told the US president that America’s National Security Agency cannot be trusted because of the volume of material it had allowed to leak to the whistleblower Edward Snowden, according to the New York Times.

Livid after learning from Der Spiegel magazine (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Conservatives Are Not Responsible

Conservatives are not responsible for your neighbour’s children. Your neighbour’s children will be paying off debts incurred by Conservative Ministers, however. Conservatives only feel responsible for your neighbour’s children when they street race, have sex, use drugs, or are bullied. Full bellies are definitely not their responsibility, unless it’s unsafe meat. Why don’t hungry children benefit from the government’s “rigor” to “meet consumers expectations”? Are hungry children not “consumers”?

Why yes @JamesMoore_org, it is the job of those who have lots to ensure those who don't – esp kids – get enough too. #yourjob—   (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: The man from Goldman Sachs comes to Canada

U.S. President Obama has nominated another one of his major fundraisers as ambassador to Canada. Like David Jacobson, the current ambassador, nominee Bruce Heyman was a “mega-bundler” for Obama’s presidential campaigns, helping to raise millions of dollars. Unlike Jacobson, a lawyer, Heyman is Wall Street all the way, having toiled at Goldman Sachs for the last 33 years, ultimately becoming a

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Driving a Nail into the Foot of Tourism

Canada shouldn’t bend to the American desire to insulate the continent from people outside our borders. Stop harming our tourism industry by making travel here even more difficult.

If people think the border between us will get cuddly and soft again if we harden up our ocean borders and the one with Mexico, they are sorely mistaken. The same paranoid border agents looking at stopping people from coming into the continent, will be working the interior border just like Homeland Security has done post-9/11 to turn the Canadian/American border into a gong-show of paperwork and un-free fees. Free Trade Agreement, (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Americans opt to mind their own business

For the first time since it began measuring the statistic 50 years ago, the Pew Research Centre reports that a majority of Americans believe the U.S. should mind its own business internationally. The primary reason suggested for this new-found humility is “war fatigue.” They would also like more focus on their struggling economy.

This is not to say Americans want their country to disengage from

Bill Longstaff: U.S. feeds Japanese militarism

China, with its paltry aid to the Philippines and its announcement of a new air-defense zone over the East China sea, has not been making friends in its region these days. But the country to worry about in the Far East is not China. It is Japan.

Countries such as China and South Korea that have suffered the horrors of Japanese imperialism must feel chills up their spines as they take note of

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Oil and Tobacco

It’s worth remembering that marketers should not drive scientific research. Cigarettes are dangerous? We’d better make them appear less dangerous so they will still sell. I know, let’s filter the smoke. This fibre seems to do some filtering, or at least we can convince people of that. Wait, what’s the fibre? Asbestos.

== Link dump:

What Saskatchewan and Canada should do with oil wealth.


Something other than oil would be nice.

SK Climate Hearings talked about some of these solutions.

Art Threat: JFK After 50 Years: Berlin to Dallas, Cold War to Camelot

Those of us, of a certain age, or so the story goes, can remember exactly where we were and what we were doing on 23rd of November, 1963, when we first heard news of the death of President John F Kennedy.

Some will have been in the concert hall in Boston when the performance was stopped and, in an uneasy silence, the conductor, Erich Leinsdorf, announced in a mid-European accent that somehow heightened the sense of tragedy and foreboding, that “the president has been the victim of an assassination,” and then, amidst all too audible gasps, “We will play a (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: The U.S. and Sweden—a tale of two incarceration rates

Having just watched the documentary The House I Live In about the U.S. drug war, or more precisely about the abject failure of the U.S. drug war, I was intrigued with an article I came across in The Guardian about Sweden’s dwindling incarceration rate. The number of prison admissions has dropped so rapidly in the past two years, Sweden is closing four prisons and a remand centre.

The decline

Bill Longstaff: Good news and bad news about climate change from Stanford U

First the bad news, even if it’s old news. Stanford University scientists report that not only is the Earth undergoing one of the largest climate changes since the dinosaurs disappeared, it is occurring 10 times faster than any other change in that period. Many species will have great difficulty making the behavioral, evolutionary or geographic adaptations necessary to survive that rate of change

Bill Longstaff: The military-industrial complex comes to Canada

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. Over half a century has passed since U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, in his farewell address, warned his fellow Americans against the threat posed by the “meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense.” They failed,

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Where Canada Is Going

It’s very important to Canada’s economy that we send a resource (we can’t use without killing the planet) to Communist China so their economy can continue to pollute at record pace as they ship unneeded goods to the United States and Canada so we can bury them in our landfills when we aren’t burning them to create electricity to power our other throw-away devices.


Rogue PM

I’ve predicted for a year or so that the power brokers in Ottawa will soon sense that Harper isn’t their meal ticket any longer and jump bandwagons to Trudeau because they are not (Read more…)