Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Jim Stanford kicks off the must-read responses to the Cons’ budget with a modest list of five points deserving of public outrage, while PressProgress identifies seven points where the Cons’ spin is far out of touch with reality. Citizens for Public Justice notes that climate change and poverty are among the important issues which don’t rate so much as a mention in the Cons’ plan for an entire term in office, while Jorge Barrera reports that First Nations were also conspicuously omitted other than some cynical re-announcements. Angella MacEwen points out that any (Read more…)
This and that for your Thursday reading.
- Alison picks up on Armine Yalnizyan’s important question as to whether the Cons have a Plan B other than hoping for factors beyond our control to boost oil prices. And Brad Delong argues that based on the foreseeable direction of our economy, we need a stronger public sector now than we’ve ever had before: (A)s we move into the twenty-first century, the commodities we will be producing are becoming less rival, less excludible, more subject to adverse selection and moral hazard, and more subject to myopia and other behavioral-psychological market failures.
The (Read more…)
Prime Minister Harper’s current political “divert the public’s attention” strategy is to beat on the war drums over ISIS.
Yes, ISIS is a brutal lot, and they are doing a lot of horrible things. Should they be held accountable for their actions? Absolutely. Are the western powers the right people to “hold them accountable”? No. Not in the slightest.
Way back in 2002 (before I started this blog), Bush the Lesser decided to invade Iraq, turning one foolhardy war in Afghanistan into two wars. Invading Afghanistan was foolish enough, invading Iraq was ludicrously stupid. Both of these were essentially colonial (Read more…)
And Liars Gonna Lie.
So, one might expect @jkenney to retract that statement today but, I'm guessing, blame the mistake on bad information from DND and/or CDS.
— Glen McGregor (@glen_mcgregor) April 1, 2015
Here's @jkenney's statement in #HOC about precision-guided munitions, that has since be contradicted by the CDS. http://t.co/X46iazLvap
— Glen McGregor (@glen_mcgregor) April 1, 2015
This and that for your Sunday reading.
- Simon Wren-Lewis connects the UK’s counterproductive austerity program to the lack of any wage growth. And Gary Lamphier observes that Alberta is serving as a case in point that jobs generated through public policy rigged in favour of the wealthy are no less precarious than any other type, while Erin Anderssen comments on the connection between public-sector work and greater wage equality.
- Adam Liptak writes that the First Amendment’s protection for speech – like so many other rights which have been redefined to suit the powerful – is now serving primarily (Read more…)
A review of: Conflict – Time – Photography @ Tate Modern, London Conscience and Conflict: British Artists and the Spanish Civil War @ Pallant Gallery, Chichester Brute @ arthouse1, London
We have just returned from Tate Modern and the exhibition Conflict-Time-Photography. On the cover of the exhibition catalogue is the photo of a statue. It’s on the tower of Dresden City Hall, a rare survivor of the fire bombing of the city just months before the ending of the Second World War.
The statue, the allegory of goodness, looks down sadly on the tragedy of devastation below. In the first room (Read more…)
The gentleman in the uniform on the right is William Gordon Pudney, Chief Petty Officer and engineer on the cruiser, Niobe, one of the earliest ship’s in Canada’s fledgling navy. William (Bill) was born in Canada, in 1893. He is perhaps in his early 20s in this undated photograph, taken a century or more ago, […]
It’s articles like this one that make you wonder if the Canadian media is telling you everything you need to know. (Seriously though, that’s plainly obvious.)
If Stephen Harper is serious about criminalising ‘barbaric cultural practices’, then he should arrest himself for even suggesting it
And while he’s at it, he can lock up all the other Western leaders who have savaged the Muslim world too.
Harper […] is about to push a truly eccentric piece of legislation through parliament in Ottawa. It’s called – and I urge readers to repeat the words lest they think it’s already April (Read more…)
The bottom half of this page is all about CSE.
Canada’s had a recent track record that’s bad. PONY EXPRESS ring a bell? So what is our watchdog really doing? Not much, judging by recent news reports.
If you're in Canada I'll be on @cbcasithappens shortly talking about our story exposing CSEC's secret hacking. https://t.co/lzOE69668Y
— Ryan Gallagher (@rj_gallagher) March 23, 2015
Most of us just don’t want to know. Most of the rest are coming to feel the same way a lot of the time.
Interesting op-ed by Quincy Saul, “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” It deserves a read.
Ecology: The global climate is officially destabilized. Major tipping points have passed, and while the struggle to remain within others must continue, we have already lost the battle to preserve life on earth as we know it. Rising seas will reshape continents and spreading deserts will drive mass migrations. Climate change will redraw the world map and will (Read more…)
The Museum of Stolen Art is an online museum that showcases artwork that has been destroyed or stolen in conflict. The new museum couldn’t exist at a better time as ISIS destroys sites of great importance to humanity, and before them the Taliban in Afghanistan destroyed a lot of ancient sites. War always brings destruction and the invasion of Iraq over a decade ago also saw many works of art destroyed or go missing.
By showcasing the missing works we can still enjoy them digitally and hopefully it sends one more message about how evil war is.
The third exhibit (Read more…)
Introduced into Parliament on Jan. 30, 2015, Bill C-51 is an omnibus bill that will undermine constitutionally protected rights and freedoms of Canadians in the guise of combating terrorism. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s bombastic, saber-rattling YouTube video, published 2 days before the bill was tabled, set the tone. Essentially, Canada is under attack and the government will do whatever it takes to protect Canadians.
Critics of C-51 argue that it will criminalize speech, make it easier to arrest people who police think might commit an offence, share citizen’s private information between government departments without oversight, and allow the Canadian (Read more…)
It would have been more of a tribute if the puck was dropped by a disabled vet. https://t.co/mQIN0NKFf1 #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/um7HxKoinb
— Stephen Lautens (@stephenlautens) February 8, 2015
I’m seeing alarming tweeted images of military men taking over a Maple Leafs game with weapons drawn.
Oh wait, it’s a gimmick. Well then.
— kevin harding (@kevinharding) February 8, 2015
“What would Stompin’ Tom say to this?” Possibly:
Hello out there, we’re on the air, it’s military time, The camo’s out, let’s give a shout They’re stopping every dime. Tension grows, & the fans are all insane, The (Read more…)
This shocking news story came up about a year ago, but it’s back in the news because oil crashed, and Alberta tarsand hillbillies freaked out about Saudi Arabia (finally).
The Light Armored Vehicles will be used against civilians protesting injustice in a theocratic, and authoritarian country.
A brief note. I think that this essay should be required reading for all those who consider joining the armed forces and participating in the cycle of terrorism and destruction that currently dominates our foreign policy and geo-political goals here in the West. Many thanks to Tom’s Dispatch for hosting the essay.
“Why The War on Terror Shouldn’t Be Your Battle.”
Let’s start that unpacking process with racism: That was the first and one of the last times I heard the word “enemy” in battalion. The usual word in my unit was “Hajji.” Now, Hajji (Read more…)
From Barrett Brown, a wrongfully jailed journalist… in the USA. He’s imagining speaking to the founding fathers about the country’s progress:
Benjamin Franklin: “It was among my fondest dreams that my beloved Philadelphia would someday grow into one of the world’s great centers of high culture, and become a by-word for the gentlemanly arts. Tell me, has this come to pass?”
Me: “Uh …”
America… the failed experiment in liberty?
Christmas in the Trenches, written and performed by John McCutcheon, as Christians around the world contemplate the birth of the Prince of Peace, in a barn. “Each Christmas come since World War II’ve learned its lessons wellThat the ones who call the shots won’t be among the dead and lameAnd on each end of the […]
“The truth of history,” Napoleon wrote in his memoirs while exiled on St. Helena, “is a fable agreed upon.” Agreed upon mostly by the victors, one should add. The losers seldom agree with it. In 1865, Mark Twain added in his work, Following the Equator: “The very ink with which all history is written is […]
It’s so fantastically shameful the Immigration Minister discriminates based on religion, denying Syrian refugees especially if they are Muslims. This would violate the Charter of Rights were these people Canadians. Not a good Christian case of “do unto others”, is it?
.@CBCAlerts if only we could export our low-price oil even faster! #NoKXL #cdnpoli
— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) December 12, 2014
We have a mean-spirited PM presiding over a failing economy and trying to advertize his way out of trouble. #cdnpoli
— Tony Dean (@TonyDeanQPB) December 12, 2014
. . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Export The Immigration Minister Please
Don't worry folks, no one will go to prison for the massive torture program we ran, but we'll still condemn other countries for injustice.
— Nima Shirazi (@WideAsleepNima) December 9, 2014
Canada is implicated.
Ahem. RT @Independent: These are the countries that will be worried by the CIA 'torture' report
— Doug Saunders (@DougSaunders) December 9, 2014
Don't forget, torture is one of the CIA's favorite things. This isn't new. pic.twitter.com/Fbpdxwvb7z
— Nima Shirazi (@WideAsleepNima) December 9, 2014
Oh good, the “other side” decided to launch a website. That seems like an appropriate response (Read more…)
John Pilger looks at what the Western media offer up as journalism and sees instead propaganda. He sees the essence of the mainstream media as not information but power.
The world is facing the prospect of major war, perhaps nuclear war – with the United States clearly determined to isolate and provoke Russia and eventually China. This truth is being turned upside down and inside out by journalists, including those who promoted the lies that led to the bloodbath in Iraq in 2003. The times we live in are so dangerous and so distorted in public perception that propaganda is (Read more…)
There are very real dangers in the world, but let’s not lose all perspective. Perspective is everything. Don’t believe the hype. It must be stated directly: the majority of people have wildly irrational, and frankly delusional modes of thinking when it comes to risk assessment. And of course, pre-formed, unreflective opinions, that is, prejudice and […]
In its coverage of a video that purported to show a Syrian boy braving sniper fire in the course of rescuing a young girl, the Daily Mail lauded the spectacle as an act of heroism. The accompanying article claimed the video was believed to have been shot in Yabroud, a countryside town 50 miles from Damascus.
The Daily Telegraph also published the same story under the title: Watch: Syrian ‘hero boy’ appears to brave sniper fire to rescue terrified girl in dramatic video.
Both the Mail and Telegraph cited dubious claims in an effort to provide the story with a (Read more…)
Sixteen million people died as a result of Word War One. Of these, as many as 64,990 were Canadian. One of them, a Manitoban named Sidney Halliday, was recently identified as being among the remains of five dead Canadians located in Hallu, France in 2006-07.
One suspects the efforts of our Department of National Defence (sic) to notify family members is motivated more by the Harper government’s campaign to glorify war and militarism than it is to offer condolences or compassion to Mr. Halliday’s surviving descendants.
This November 11th, let us remember Mr. Halliday and the millions who perished (Read more…)
A German journalist explains how the CIA misused him to manipulate people, to push war.
“Non official cover”