Is the Helsinki Accord of 1975 a worthless scrap of paper? Because Vladimir Putin sure seems to think it’s a joke.
I was not even three years old when the declaration was signed but my father, an emigré from Croatia, understood its meaning. As a younger it was impressed on me the importance of a document that, among its provisions, was a statement of several important principles:
Is America an Oligarchy? – The New Yorker.
From the Dept. of Academics Confirming Something You Already Suspected comes a new study concluding that rich people and organizations representing business interests have a powerful grip on U.S. government policy. After examining differences in public opinion across income groups on a wide variety of issues, the political scientists Martin Gilens, of Princeton, and Benjamin Page, of Northwestern, found that the preferences of rich people had a much bigger impact on subsequent policy decisions than the views of middle-income and poor Americans. Indeed, the opinions of lower-income groups, and the (Read more…)
“The Pink House”, the last abortion clinic in Mississippi.The owner painted it pink so it would stand out, in defiance.
I’ve thought a lot about heroes, that tremendously overused word, about who my heroes are and why I love them. Moral courage, as you may know, is my highest value. Now, reading this story in Esquire about Dr. Willie Parker, the last abortion doctor in the state of Mississippi, I realize there’s another ingredient shared by all my heroes: an abundance of compassion.
Dr. Parker, a committed Christian, embodies both physical and moral courage, refusing to run despite the (Read more…)
You know how on election night the TV news channels try to out do each other with ever more ridiculous graphics and sound to announce their big “Official Prediction” ages after everyone has already figured out who the winner is going to be? Well drum roll please, ladies and gentlemen and others on the gender spectrum, it is time for an official Progressive Proselytizing Prediction: the marriage equality debate in the US is over. We won. After a short (probably the next Supreme Court term) waiting period until we get the official change, let the fabulous weddings nationwide commence!
It (Read more…)
Four states in the South (via the courts) have now recognized gay marriage: Virginia, Texas, Oklahoma … and now Arkansas. The latter three are actually quite conservative, which is one thing; but what makes the Arkansas ruling interesting is that the court didn’t use “strict scrutiny” to strike down the law, instead it used the “rational relation” test which in civil rights cases is a much
The deliberate and dangerous escalation of violence against eastern Ukrainians of Russian origin and loyalties is driven by NATO partners giving licence to thugs and neo Nazi’s who are doing their dirty work.
It is ugly and is being ignored or reframed by most western media sources. Fortunately not all reporters are being hand maidens for the military intrusions by the US and other NATO participants.
Richard Hub Hughes-Political Blogger
Here is a ‘Bloomberg Business News’ snapshot of todays strained US Canada relations. Our troubles are politically driven and stalled by the ups and downs of the Keystone pipeline controversy.
US President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Harper are dissimilar in most if not all respects.
Many environmentally concerned Americans and Canadians are virtually standing shoulder to shoulder cheering the delays.
With the Keystone pipeline and the Northern Gateway (Enbridge) proposal meeting with increased opposition it is now a possibility that they may both be rejected in their entirety.
The once all powerful PM Steve Harper (Read more…)
This is news, right from the CBC, not April Fool or The Onion: The Massachusetts House of Representatives has finally granted initial approval to a Bill naming the Fluffernutter the official state sandwich. The bill was filed in 2006 by then Representative Kathi-Anne Reinstein, in response to a motion by State Senator Jarrett Barrios limiting […]
Don Maroc-Cowichan Conversations Contributor
Act one of the Discovery Elementary school drama of misguided, overzealous parents disrupting classroom decorum and taking advantage of school district authorities’ well-meaning efforts at accommodation has run its course.
Let school district policy makers, whether elected school trustees or a province imposed single trustee, take a lesson or two from this distasteful episode. Accommodation is like blackmail, the longer it goes on the more it grows. More important is transparency, don’t sweep uncomfortable information under the rug or stuff it in the closet. It will ferment and smell to high heaven (oops, that may be (Read more…)
Last September, when Tim Hudak announced that he intended to break Ontario’s unions, it came as no surprise to labour activists. The head of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party, cynically framing the issue as one of “choice,” talked about “right-to-work” – a familiar euphemism for union busting – and repealing the Rand Formula. That 1946 Canadian Supreme Court decision ensures that everyone who enjoys the benefits of belonging to a union contributes union dues, which in turn ensures that union workplaces can survive.
And that, in turn, sets a standard for all Ontario workers, union or not. This is (Read more…)
In a decision that surprised me, a Southern federal judge overturned Virginia’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen also ruled that the state also had to start respecting the laws of 17 other states and Washington DC that permit the practice. This marks the first time a Confederate state has joined the bandwagon of equality. (Read the decision in Bostic v.
Yesterday, I gave a pretty harsh critique on the self contradicting core conservative talking point of cutting debt and taxes to create jobs. What I argued was that if your vision is a dramatic reduction in the size and scope of government, then be honest about it and run on that. People will approve or they won’t, but don’t dress this up as being able to magically reduce the debt, cut taxation, and increase jobs simultaneously as if there are not contradictory trade offs to each of these.
So what about the left? Is the left similarly about a (Read more…)
Richard Hughes-Political Blogger
Hardly a day goes by without learning about further intrusions into the privacy of citizens in both the US and Canada.
Edward Snowden’s handling of the damning intrusions and once unthinkable surveillance has increased public recognition and appreciation for his efforts shining a light on the unprecedented spying driven by the NSA.
A White House-appointed task force has proposed a series of curbs on key National Security Agency surveillance operations exposed by Edward Snowden.
Democracy Now- brings us up to date with today’s revealations.
As if this was not enough the disclosure bug is spreading.
NSA Whistleblower (Read more…)
Richard Hughes-Political Blogger
In spite of the advances of ultra conservative thoughts and deeds a breath of freedom and fresh air emerges from American colleges and universities. It really does show that many of the younger generations get it and are effectively challenging right wing forces of ignorance and control.
Former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels’ attempt to censor Zinn’s classic ‘A People’s History’ backfires, sparks ongoing interest in late historian’s work.
By Andrea Germanos, staff writer Common Dreams
In organizing a Howard Zinn read-in at Purdue University, students have cultivated what is described as an “imaginative and defiant response to (Read more…)
Richard Hughes-Political Blogger
PM Stephen Harper set out to change Canada so that it would not be recognizable. He has succeeded in spades and at the same time as he is being damned , by association so are we all.
He has diminished our sense of pride and replaced it with shame.
All Canadians must recoil in spite of their particular partisan beliefs at the damage that has been done allowing the unprecedented rape of our environment, regulatory protections, civil decency and honour as a country and as citizens of Canada.
This post appeared on Common Ground and in it Noam Chomsky delivers a well (Read more…)
Richard HughesPolitical Blogger
Canadians cannot and should not avoid taking stock of what is taking place in our neighbouring country, the U.S.A.
Most of us have heard about the fight over Obamacare.
In comparison with our ‘Single Payer Universal’ health care, Obamacare is really just an introductory level of care that falls far short of what we have with in Canada.
It is however an important and immensely supportable beginning. At least it means that people cannot be denied affordable coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
The Republicans opposed to affordable healthcare have been led by politicians like Congressman Ted Cruz and they (Read more…)
Give a listen to this speech by one of the classiest and most skilled politicians anywhere these days. Senator Elizabeth Warren nails it.
Filed under: conservatism Tagged: Conservatism, far-right, US Politics
Jimmy Kimmel’s humorous, if cynical, take on U.S. politics:
Richard Hughes-Political Blogger
Here is a news report from Turkey followed below by a video report that dates back to June and certainly contradicts the line that we are being constantly fed by the Obama administration.
Turkey News reporter Tariq ep says rebels storing Sarin in Turkey: Syrian army seizes sarin cylinders from terrorists in Hama
Reuters report that most Americans are opposed to attacking Syria.
An opinion piece in Aljazzera by Univerity of California Middle East History Professor Mark Levine argues that it is time for a UN-imposed ceasefire in Syria
Britain’s Parliament turned down Prime Minister Cameron’s attempt to (Read more…)