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Cowichan Conversations: Shawnigan’s Discovery Elementary School Drama May Be Nearing Resolution

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…)

wmtc: lessons from wisconsin and michigan: tim hudak’s threat to ontario workers is not over

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…)

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Finally, the Confederacy gets on board — well, one state does

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.

Progressive Proselytizing: Does the Left have a corresponding great lie?

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…)

Cowichan Conversations: Vindication for Snowden? Obama Panel Backs Major Curbs on NSA Surveillance, Phone Record Data Mining

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…)

Cowichan Conversations: Snowden Reveals Extent of Canada’s Spying on Behalf of NSA

More at The Real News

Cowichan Conversations: US Students Holding Howard Zinn Readings to Fight Censhorship

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…)

Cowichan Conversations: Oh Canada! We Were Once Respected, But Now We Are Despised!

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…)

Cowichan Conversations: Ted Cruz is dangerous and he is a Republican Tea Party favourite!

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…)

Cowichan Conversations: North American Democracies Are Shut Down!-RMR-VIDEO

Cowichan Conversations: Elizabeth Warren Speaks Out Against the Bizarre Shutdown of the US Government

Give a listen to this speech by one of the classiest and most skilled politicians anywhere these days. Senator Elizabeth Warren nails it.

Parchment in the Fire: Tea Party Support Dwindles to Near-Record Low

Filed under: conservatism Tagged: Conservatism, far-right, US Politics

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: 50 Years: Has Anything Changed?

I remember that day, in 1963. I was in high school. Penmanship class, after lunch. I think it was the last year for penmanship in Ontario high school, but even if not, I never took it again.* We used those long wooden pens with the fancy metal nibs, removable nibs that had to be periodically […]

350 or bust: Saturday At The Movies

Jimmy Kimmel’s humorous, if cynical, take on U.S. politics:

Cowichan Conversations: US and France Preparing To Attack Syria

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…)

wmtc: the standard double-standard: prison for war resisters, immunity for war criminals

Abby Zimet reports on Common Dreams: Days before Bradley – now Chelsea – Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for helping expose U.S. war crimes in Iraq, the Obama Department of Justice filed a petition in federal court arguing that the perpetrators of those crimes – Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et al – enjoy “absolute immunity” against criminal charges or civil liability. The filing came in a suit brought by Sundus Shaker Saleh, an Iraqi single mother and refugee now living in Jordan, who alleges that the planning and waging of the Iraq war under false pretenses constituted (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: ***Newsflash*** Bill Vander Zalm Puts Politicians on Notice over Chemtrails!

Former BC Premier, the man who led the successful fight over the hated HST, has now turned his energies towards the threat of chemtrails.

Those trails in the sky most of us have believed to be jet stream are thought by many to be dangerous aluminum and barium released to alter weather patterns.

The charismatic populist Bill Vanderzalm is on it.

Are we being poisoned or being treated like unknowing guinea pigs?

Check this out. The governments at all levels have been put on notice!

More information from Canada Sky Watch available here

Listen to Bill Vanderzalm discussing his concerns (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Ed Asner’s Shot at the Rich Crooked Big Business and Wealthy Tax Cheats (Animation)

This is a classic expose of the rich and powerful tax cheats enjoying a free ride in the United States. This applies through Canada as well.

Cowichan Conversations: Edward Snowden Allowed Into Russia Weeks After Outing Himself as the NSA Leaker

The National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden has been given permission leave the Moscow airport where he has been stranded for over a month. Snowden applied for… Read More

Cowichan Conversations: Josh Fox on Gasland Part 2, the Fracking-Earthquake Link & the Natural Gas Industry’s Use of PSYOPs

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

When Gasland first hit for many it was an early wake up call. Nominated for an Academy award Jeff Fox blew the lid of the dangerous risks and terrible damages done by fracking for natural gas.

The same threats face BC residents as the BC Liberal government accelerates catering to the ‘Fracking Industry’ and refusing to allow for independent scientific reviews of threats to our water aquifers.

Ironically promoted as a ‘Clean Option’ it is anything but. Methane leakage from fracking operations dramatically increases our ecological footprint and established BC as a major polluter at a time when (Read more…)

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: Racism and the US Civil Rights movement retold

As I read through Rick Perlstein’s book, Nixonland, about American politics and life in the 1950s and 60s, the Civil Rights movement and the reaction to it by white Americans, the narrative astounds me. Such anger, such violence. Such sadness. … Continue reading →

Cowichan Conversations: They ‘Will Lie, Trick, and Deceive’: Jailed CIA Whistleblower’s Warns Edward Snowden

Richard Hub Hughes-Political Blogger

It is becoming hard to keep track of all the ‘Whistleblowers’ and the tunes that they are whistling. It is clear that many countries spy, snoop and infiltrate. It has been going on for centuries but accelerated during World War 2 and the Cold War that followed.

What seems to have changed is the surveillance over citizens on such a widespread level. Our emails, and phone calls are being systematically captured and stored on massive computers. Our media has been corporatized with fewer and fewer owners resulting in a homogenized and predictable product that renders much (Read more…)

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: A more perfect "union" closer than ever

A huge, huge victory for human rights today in the United States with two decisions from the US Supreme Court. And it means the States is one step closer to joining the civilized world regarding equal marriages.

First, in United States v. Windsor (12-307) the court voted 5 to 4 to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act which defined marriage as one man and one woman, and denied benefits to

Cowichan Conversations: Edward Snowden Flees Hong Kong for Russia

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden- Hero or Traitor?

Here is an update from Democracy NowU.S. Files Espionage Charges

The exact whereabouts of National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden are unknown after he reportedly left Hong Kong and landed in Moscow on Sunday. His flight came just days after the United States publicly revealed it had filed espionage charges against Snowden for revealing the Obama administration’s sweeping domestic spy program. He was expected to fly from Moscow to Cuba today, but was reportedly not on board his flight.

Ecuador Considers Asylum Bid from Snowden

Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño confirmed (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Mandela and Snowden Two Heroes In A Dark World

Nelson Mandela

For decades after the intrusive CIA fingered Nelson Mandela, the terrorist was imprisoned in South Africa.

In spite of his incarceration he never gave up hope. Mandela gained international recognition and upon his eventual release led the South Africans to democracy as their president.

Now in his final hours his name is mentioned along with Edward Snowden a thirty year old who has blown the whistle on the US National Security Agency (NSA)

Both are seen as heroes, both are despised, feared and in the case of Snowden, hunted as a traitor by the USA .

NSA whistleblower Edward (Read more…)