Posts from our progressive community

Topham: A Brief Reprieve

Anti-Racist Canada - 2 hours 34 min ago
We learned today that, despite Arthur Topham's hate crimes conviction, his website will remain available online and that he can continue publishing his screeds at least until sentencing takes place in the new year.

Paulie is pleased as punch:

Read more »

We're all People Under the Same Sky

Fat and Not Afraid - 9 hours 55 min ago

Generally if I'm going to be political it's for body or feminist reasons, things that hit close to home for me. Since this summer, however, when I started reading about how many refugees are in the world, especially from Syria, home has become a bit bigger. My activist home is larger to make room for the millions of displaced people in the world.

I've moved a LOT in the last few years. Not having a home to call my own, having to leave one that I loved, again and again, was painful. It's not as painful as this, of leaving home because it's dangerous; leaving filled with desperation. Few things are, except maybe the loss of a child. And then there was that photo of the little boy on the beach in Greece, face towards the waves in the way no living person's would be. His mother and brother are dead too, but his photo will live on in infamy of what we do to each other in the name of power, greed and hate. I can see him in my mind's eye, clear as day, and I hope I do for the rest of my life. I hope everyone who saw his photos remembers him and tries to do better, to BE better, to their fellow humans. We're all in this together on our little blue dot. Try not to forget that in face of irrational fear of people who are different from you. They're not, really. They just want a home again.

"HOME," by Somali poet Warsan Shire:

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbours running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won't let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it's not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn't be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

go home blacks
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
be hunger
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
run away from me now
i dont know what i've become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here.

by Somali poet, Warsan Shire

Breaking News: Canadians are not stupid

Cathie from Canada - 11 hours 51 min ago
It will be amazing news to our news pundits, but Canadians are not stupid knee-jerk war-mongering pearl-clutching conservatives.
After all the news stories of the last week about how the Paris attacks made Canadians question Trudeau's decision on withdrawal from air attacks in Syria, and after all the blithe assertions I heard that Canadians wouldn't have voted for Trudeau if the attacks had happened before the election, today we find out that Trudeau is more popular than ever.
As of Friday, a week after the Paris attacks, Trudeau is the preferred prime minister for 53 per cent of Canadians. This is his highest level ever, and an increase of three percent since before the attacks. He is way ahead of the other party leaders, and the gap is widening. We also found out today that almost three quarters of Canadians think Trudeau is a good leader, while only a third think this highly of the Harper Cons.

What Brad Wall Would Prefer You Ignore

The Disaffected Lib - 12 hours 4 min ago
Alberta's Rachel Notley has vowed to shut down her province's coal-fired power plants and implement meaty carbon pricing levies. Her colleague next door, Saskatchewan's Brad Wall, is already squealing like a pig, whinging about how slashing his province's greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to a clean energy regime will ruin Saskatchewan's economy.

Here, courtesy of the National Observer, is a graphic that tells you all you need to know about the provinces' electrical energy generation. Dirtier even than Chins? You betcha.

Turkey, Russia, Syria

Metaneos - 12 hours 15 min ago
We've reached a new tipping point. Whether this will be localized to merely Turkey, or if it will involve numerous states (i.e., WWIII), is probably up to NATO's response to whatever Russia decides to do about Turkey.
The nation of Turkey's been acting as a spoiler these past few years. A dangerous, and stupid, wildcard. It's been flooding Europe with refugees, and continually allowing radical Syrian militants safe haven within their borders.
Russia probably won't attack Turkey, militarily, but instead economically. A not insignificant amount of Turkey's energy needs are met by Russian suppliers.
NATO needs to find a way of appearing to have Turkey's back, while also burning Turkey's fingertips. If NATO backs Turkey unconditionally, then we're probably in for a cold and dark winter.

New Media Celebrates the Passing of Old (as in "Post") Media

The Disaffected Lib - 12 hours 25 min ago
The National Observer, outshoot of the Vancouver Observer, is making a name for itself as an up and coming new media outlet carrying real news, conducting real investigations, doing the very sorts of things that Canada's corporate mass media cartel jettisoned long ago.

And so it is fitting that the National Observer observe "the Tawdry fall of the PostMedia newspaper empire."

Postmedia is ...a ship taking on water, due to both self-inflicted and industry-wide wounds.

Of the self-inflicted variety, Postmedia was pilloried last month in the run-up to the federal election after its Toronto executives ordered 16 of its major daily newspapers to run editorials endorsing Stephen Harper. (Postmedia did the same thing last spring during Alberta’s provincial election, forcing its papers there to back Jim Prentice’s Tories).

In a surprising move, John Honderich, chair of Torstar Corp., which publishes Canada’s largest daily paper, The Toronto Star, devoted an entire op-ed pagearticle two weeks ago heaping scorn on Postmedia’s decision, decrying “the negative impact this affair is having on the newspaper industry in general. At a time when the relevance and impact of newspapers are under attack, this doesn’t help.”

Then there was the stunning resignation of Andrew Coyne as the National Post’seditorials and comments editor. Coyne quit on the eve of the election – although he remains a columnist with the paper – when his superiors told him he was not allowed to publish a column dissenting with their endorsement of Harper. Coyne, who declines to discuss the matter, tweeted his disapproval of the censoring, saying “I don’t see public disagreement as confusing. I see it as honest.”

“[Postmedia’s] handling of the Andrew Coyne affair was disgraceful,” says Ken Whyte, the founding editor-in-chief of the National Post, former publisher ofMaclean’s magazine and currently senior vice-president of public policy with Rogers Communications Inc. Whyte said that the former owners of the Post, the Asper family, “even in their worst moments would still have allowed Andrew to write a column stating his own views and the Aspers had some pretty bad moments.”

Meanwhile, last week, the editorial board of the Ottawa Citizen suddenly resigned without citing a reason.

The silencing of Coyne was not an isolated incident either. In August, acclaimed novelist Margaret Atwood watched as a column she wrote for the National Postcriticizing Harper was posted on-line, then removed, and then edited before being reposted with some of her criticisms deleted. “Um, did I just get censored?” Atwood asked afterwards.

Three days before the election, Postmedia also permitted the Conservative Party to buy yellow ads that covered the entire front pages of most of the company’s major daily newspapers, direly warning about voting for the Liberals. This action, says Marc Edge, a Richmond, B.C.-based journalism professor and author of the 2014 book Greatly Exaggerated: The Myth of the Death of Newspapers, suggests Postmedia is “poisoning their brand.”

...Postmedia’s reputational hits are stacking up. Last winter, two of its top business columnists, Terence Corcoran and Peter Foster, and the National Post, lost a defamation lawsuit brought by Andrew Weaver, an esteemed climatologist at the University of Victoria and a Green Party MLA in the BC legislature. Corcoran and Foster wrote false information about Weaver, suggesting he exaggerated the dangers of climate change. The judge awarded Weaver $50,000 in damages. The decision is being appealed and Weaver will not discuss the matter.

...Since being founded in 2010, Postmedia seems to have bled copious amounts of red ink. In its most recent financial statement, it posted net losses of $263-million for this year alone, on revenues of $750-million, while weighed down with $646-million in long-term debt.

Before it bought the Sun Media chain of newspapers this past year, Postmedia’s revenues had fallen from $899-million in 2011 to $674-million in fiscal 2014 – a plunge of 25 per cent in just three years. Meanwhile, its shares, which rose to $17 in 2011, are now penny stock and no longer actively trading.

...Ironically, though, the most serious threat Postmedia faces might be from its owners and debt-holders. The company is controlled primarily by two American hedge funds – GoldenTree Asset Management LP and Silver Point Capital LP. Hedge funds are pools of capital that hunt for investment opportunities, but also have a reputation for being destructive and remorseless sharks within the financial industry.

Indeed, the hedge funds controlling Postmedia specialize in buying so-called distressed-debt companies. For them to profit from faltering businesses, however, often means slashing costs to the bone, sucking out cash flow and selling off assets for scrap to recoup their investment. “Basically that's what they do,” says Martin Langeveld, a former American newspaper publisher and industry expert with Harvard University’s Nieman Journalism Lab. “They take a company, they have different ways of getting their money out even if they don't really fix it… You are cannibalizing, you’re consolidating.”

...Postmedia’s roots go back to the Southam Inc. newspaper chain that was founded more than a century ago. In 1996, Black bought the Southam papers and soon created the National Post as its flagship paper. His term as boss would be short-lived, however: pressed by his bankers to chop debt, Black sold the papers to the Asper family’s CanWest Global Communications Corp. in 2000.

Seven years later, the New York-based hedge fund GoldenTree—co-founded by Steven Shapiro, a former manager with CIBC World Markets—began buying up CanWest’s debt issues. As CanWest floundered, GoldenTree acquired more of its debt. Poorly managed by the Aspers, weighed down by $4-billion in debt and pummeled by the credit crisis, CanWest declared bankruptcy in 2009.

A year later, GoldenTree and 19 other foreign and domestic lenders, mostly hedge funds, paid $1.1-billion for the CanWest papers, created Postmedia and made Paul Godfrey its CEO.

...At Postmedia, as revenue and circulation declined, it has downsized staff, sold off assets, consolidated and outsourced operations, cut Sunday editions and shuttered bureaus. Now all of its dailies are copy-edited and laid out, and even stories selected, in offices located in a strip mall in Hamilton, Ontario.

Despite these cuts, Postmedia has never earned any net profit, suffering combined net losses of $624-million since 2010. For the hedge funds who control it, on the other hand, Postmedia is a profitable investment. Because the company’s debt is owed to them, they receive interest payments at rates ranging from 8.25 per cent to 12.5 per cent.

...As long as Postmedia is paying interest on its debts and generating cash flow, the hedge funds will remain happy. The problem, though, is that Postmedia’s revenues keep falling. “It’s very difficult to stay healthy when you have less money every year,” insists Toughill. “Last year alone print advertising dropped 18 percent. That's a huge amount of money to have disappear out of the budget in a single year.”

Thus, in order to keep interest payments flowing to their American owners, the chain must continue cutting costs. But at a certain point, that’s no longer an option either. “If they continue to record net losses they will ultimately consume themselves in order to pay down the debt – unless they can turn themselves around,” says Mitchell Weiss, a former American financial services executive. “So they are in a race against time.”

...So what’s the long-term prognosis for Postmedia? According to Doctor, the hedge funds have likely figured out how they can get their money back by “managing [Postmedia’s] decline profitably.” Which might mean returning it to receivership and selling off its assets, with the hedge funds first in line as creditors to collect.

...One victim of the fall of Postmedia has been its journalism.

A former National Post journalist, who spoke on condition of anonymity, recalls that by last year, reporters were being asked to produce more and shorter stories, with less in-depth coverage. Another former Post reporter said “they would look for a regional CBC stories, get that and put a Post spin on it. That's how they found stories.”
(Back in the day, the CBC poached a lot of its evening news stories out of the morning papers. Times, it seems, do change.)

...Another victim of Postmedia’s crisis is the Chinese wall separating advertisers from editorial content.

Once upon a time, newspapers could afford to alienate the odd advertiser because there were so many others to pay the bills. No longer. Former National Post editor Ken Whyte says it’s now commonplace for advertisers to demand favourable editorial content in return for their money. “Before, [newspapers] might've stood up and said we will let that million dollars go, we won't prostitute ourselves,” he remarks. “Now they'll see they will be way short on their budget and need the money.”

Last year, Greenpeace stumbled across a Powerpoint presentation that someone had leaked on-line. Produced by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) for Postmedia’s board of directors in 2013, the presentation proposed a close alliance between the media company and the oil industry’s main lobby group. “We will work with CAPP to amplify our energy mandate and to be a part of the solution to keep Canada competitive in the global marketplace,” it said. “Postmedia will undertake to leverage all means editorially, technically and creatively – through the Financial Post, Postmedia market newspapers and affiliated media partners – to further this critical conversation.” It’s unclear if this alliance ever materialized, although Postmedia said it would never surrender editorial control.
...Indeed, with a declining and aging readership, taking political and social positions that seem out of step with the majority of Canadians doesn’t appear to be a recipe for attracting new readers and a broad audience. In short, not a smart business plan. Yet the recent actions of Paul Godfrey and his American bosses suggest they are oblivious.
From a century as Southam the once great newspaper chain fell into the hands of the likes of Black, the Aspers of CanWest and then the vulture capitalists and their PostMedia. It's like one long, drawn out wasting disease first contracted in 1996 that metastasized in 2000 and went terminal in 2009, taking its credibility and reputation down with it. Good riddance.

Justin Trudeau and the New and Better Canada

Montreal Simon - 13 hours 38 min ago

Isn't it great that after all the challenges he has had to face since he came to power, and the way the corporate media has gone after him, that Justin Trudeau is still incredibly popular. 

In Canada and all over the world. 

Have you seen the news from Canada lately? It’s all good. Canadians are currently basking in the glow of the world’s handsomest prime minister, Justin Trudeau, who has just appointed a cabinet we can only dream of.

Imagine, the folks in charge of protecting the land and its people are the original owners. Can you handle it? There’s more. The minister for sport and disabilities is a visually impaired Paralympian. Logic and experience? Please make the acquaintance of politics.

Isn't this a great sign that our Canada is back?
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Critical Thinking - Yes. Fear Mongering - No.

Politics and its Discontents - 13 hours 50 min ago

Last week I wrote a post critical of Rex Murphy's CBC opinion about how the Syrian refugee situation should be handled by Justin Trudeau. At first blush, his view that more time should be taken in admitting 25,000 to Canada seemed reasonable. However, digging beneath the surface of those comments, one could see that Rex while really trying to inject fear and suspicion of them into the equation. I ended the post by saying that the timelines for bringing the refugees to Canada are a fit topic for debate, but Rex's subtly subversive cant is not.

Always an advocate of critical thinking, I offer as a contrast some comments by the Star's Martin Regg Cohn, who, while questioning those very same timelines that Rex seemed to, does so in a forthright and responsible way, without resorting to the demagoguery that Murphy did. Whereas Murphy plays the fear card in urging a slowdown, Cohn argues that the evacuation of 25,000 refugees is quite doable, but having them all come here by the end of this year will put huge strains on the infrastructure needed to accomodate them:
Thanks to the prime minister’s gambit, the Ontario government is scrambling to find every square metre of provincially owned property that it can place at the disposal of refugees arriving in the December cold. That means a couple of recently decommissioned hospitals in the GTA, schools with space to spare and other safe havens that Infrastructure Ontario can ferret out from its portfolio of barren buildings across Ontario, according to a senior provincial source.Cohn attributes political motivations to the rush:
Meeting the December deadline is about electoral credibility, not practicality.

Bluntly speaking, it’s an easy deliverable for a newly elected government trying to show its mastery of events during its first 100 days in power. The question isn’t whether it’s workable, but wise.The above perspective certain offers a positive contribution to the debate, but Cohn also sharply distinguishes himself from xenophobes and fear mongers like Murphy with the following:
Much has been said about the need to delay resettlement in light of heightened security fears after the Paris terrorist attacks. The impulse is understandable but unfounded. To be clear, Canada is drawing upon a pool of the Middle East’s most vulnerable refugees — mostly women and children — who have been languishing in UN-vetted camps for years, not secretly infiltrating Europe’s porous borders.

The bigger uncertainty isn’t security but capacity — the exigencies of timing, the shortages of accommodation and the harshness of the Canadian climate in late December.Responsible journalism versus cleverly-disguised prejudice. Sometimes they are not the easiest to distinguish.Recommend this Post

Oh, Damn !!

The Disaffected Lib - 14 hours 41 min ago

Turkish warplanes have shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border. Vlad Putin has vowed that Turkey can expect to find itself on the receiving end of "significant consequences."

The Turks have called an emergency meeting of NATO members that is now scheduled for 11:00 eastern time.

Putin has confirmed the aircraft, an Su-24, was downed by Turkish F-16s, calling the shootdown a "stab in the back carried out by accomplices of terrorists." At the recent G20 summit Turkey was one of the nations identified by Putin as the principal backers of ISIS.

Empty Barrels

Northern Reflections - 16 hours 27 min ago

Just as they did before the American invasion of Iraq, most of our media -- particularly television -- are once again fanning the flames of fear. Andrew Mitrovica writes:

In times of free-floating anxiety like these, the corporate media does not act as a brake on the state; quite the opposite. Rather than challenge the extraordinary and expanding security powers of Western states, corporate media outlets routinely urge them to exercise those powers more pervasively and ruthlessly. Rather than the question the rush to declare “war” — especially when the target is a non-state actor which has proved itself stubbornly resistant to the traditional tactics of war — they join the chorus calling for more airstrikes, more ground troops, more action.

Worst of all, the corporate media will never acknowledge — from one episode of panic to the next — that it ever made a mistake, ever took things on faith that it should have verified, ever owed it to the people making life-and-death decisions to shoulder some of the burden of the terrible consequences of errors.
And it's not Fox News or the now defunct Sun News that are beating the drums of war:

And I’m not just talking about rancid right-wing radio and Fox TV commentators. I’m talking about ‘mainstream’ journalism as well. I’m talking about the talking heads who dutifully trot out the usual ‘experts’ — superannuated white, male members of the national-security industrial complex now working as consultants — as they point fingers at everyone but themselves and the state institutions they once served.

These suits are given free rein to say whatever they want, confident that the reporter doing the questioning will nod solemnly and never seriously challenge a word. So they’ll blame the latest ISIS atrocity on American whistleblower Edward Snowden — calling him a traitor, claiming he has “blood on his hands.” These pastured espiocrats will claim that the only way to combat terrorism is to grant to already vastly powerful, secret and unaccountable government agencies even more authority, money and staff. They’ll rush to accuse Justin Trudeau and Barack Obama of weakness, to condemn them for failing to jump into the Syrian quagmire with both feet.

When "experts" start beating their war drums, it's wise to remember that empty barrels make the most noise.

Tuesday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - 17 hours 3 min ago
This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- David Olive talks to Robert Reich about his work fighting inequality:
There are certain irrefutable facts besides water always running downhill. There is no arguing, for instance, that the U.S. era Reich describes as the “Great Prosperity” — the three-decade span between the late 1940s and the late 1970s — was characterized by high rates of taxation on the wealthy; heavy government investment in the people; and the peak level of unionization in America’s private-sector workforce.

That was the era of high and rising household income in Canada and the U.S., and of heavy state investment in public education that yielded the world’s smartest workforces. It was the era of government investment in the Interstate and Trans-Canada highway systems that boosted economic productivity. It was the era in which more than one-third of private-sector workers belonged to a union.

And it was during that era that America’s burgeoning middle class made the U.S. a superpower, and raised Canada into the ranks of the world’s most affluent countries.

Especially in Canada, with a Medicare system more comprehensive even than Obamacare, rocket science is not required to restore a fairer distribution of our collective wealth. Raise taxes on the rich. Use the money to invest in people — their health, education and essential services. And stop thwarting the efforts of those workers who seek to organize their workplaces.

“It’s just common sense,” says Reich of simply taking the steps required to bring back the Golden Prosperity years. He leans forward, a look of weariness and mild frustration crossing his face. “Isn’t it?” - Aditya Chakrabortty discusses the meaning of austerian economics designed to inflate bubbles for the rich at the expense of the poor. Genevieve Lajoie reports that Quebeckers are strongly opposed to the provincial austerity being protested by the province's workers. And Melissa Healy highlights new research showing that inequality on both the individual and the social level is linked to less charitable giving by the wealthy.

- Joshua Rapp Learn points out a few of the ways in which climate change is getting very personal for Atlantic Canada. And Naomi Klein discusses what's being lost in the French government's crackdown on any public activism around the Paris climate conference:
The people facing the worst impacts of climate change have virtually no voice in western debates about whether to do anything serious to prevent catastrophic global warming. Huge climate summits like the one coming up in Paris are rare exceptions. For just two weeks every few years, the voices of the people who are getting hit first and worst get a little bit of space to be heard at the place where fateful decisions are made. That’s why Pacific islanders and Inuit hunters and low-income people of colour from places like New Orleans travel for thousands of miles to attend. The expense is enormous, in both dollars and carbon, but being at the summit is a precious chance to speak about climate change in moral terms and to put a human face to this unfolding catastrophe.

The next thing to understand is that even in these rare moments, frontline voices do not have enough of a platform in the official climate meetings, in which the microphone is dominated by governments and large, well-funded green groups. The voices of ordinary people are primarily heard in grassroots gatherings parallel to the summit, as well as in marches and protests, which in turn attract media coverage. Now the French government has decided to take away the loudest of these megaphones...
When governments and corporations knowingly fail to act to prevent catastrophic warming, that is an act of violence. It is a violence so large, so global and inflicted against so many temporalities simultaneously (ancient cultures, present lives, future potential) that there is not yet a word capable of containing its monstrousness. And using acts of violence to silence the voices of those who are most vulnerable to climate violence is yet more violence.

In explaining why forthcoming football matches would go on as scheduled, France’s secretary of state for sport said: “Life must go on.” Indeed it must. That’s why I joined the climate justice movement. Because when governments and corporations fail to act in a way that reflects the value of all of life on Earth, they must be protested.- Meanwhile, Andrew Nikiforuk weighs in on the fragility of our sources of groundwater. And Mike De Souza reports on a stop-work order resulting from a toxic leak from a TransCanada pipeline.

- Finally, Geoffrey Rafe Hall is the latest to comment on the NDP's campaign and what comes next.

Why the Ambrose Cons Are Still the Harper Cons

Montreal Simon - 17 hours 19 min ago

Rona Ambrose has been working hard to try to put a new face on the shattered and shadowy Cons.

And I'm glad she has spoken to some of the members of that little mosque in Peterborough that was torched by bestial bigots.

But almost three weeks after she took over the Cons, she has yet to apologize for the way her party and their depraved leader used bigotry as a weapon.

And helped take us to this dark and crazy place. 

And don't be fooled, the Cons are still very much Stephen Harper's party.
Read more »

"It was pretty remarkable, and it was a pleasure to be able to do it."

The Disaffected Lib - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 23:17
"A pleasure to be able to do it." That's how a senior research scientist from Environment Canada, Greg Flato, described the experience of finally being allowed to brief the premiers and prime minister on up to date climate science and then be permitted to appear at a press conference and actually answer questions.

Our chief elected officials got quite an earful of science today, the straight goods. Yes, climate change poses a severe danger, several in fact, to Canada. Yes, climate change is largely man-made. Yes, we must decarbonize, free ourselves from our dependence on fossil fuels and time is not on our side.

Scientists being allowed to brief elected officials on science. Pretty remarkable indeed.

Sorry, Naomi, Climate Change Can't Be Your Sociology Project. BTW, Nice Hair.

The Disaffected Lib - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 15:46
Naomi Klein has her designer knickers in a bunch because, with some pretty nasty individuals floating around Paris lately, Hollande has banned protest marches at next week's climate change summit.

Klein asks, accusatorially, "Whose security gets protected by any means necessary? Whose security is casually sacrificed, despite the means to do so much better? Those are the questions at the heart of the climate crisis, and the answers are the reason climate summits so often end in acrimony and tears."

Let me clear the cobwebs for you there, dear. The security that gets protected by any means necessary next week has to be that for the delegates whom we all need to conference, undisrupted by acts of terrorism, so that just maybe - at this final opportunity - they can arrive at some meaningful agreement to forestall climate change cataclysm also known as runaway global warming.

Sorry, Naomi, I know that won't give a voice to the little people, especially those who are already reeling from the early onset impacts of climate change, and we can all feel deeply for their plight but this summit isn't some three ring circus or street festival much as you might like it to be.

This is the summit that has to work. We're just out of time to fail yet again. It takes time to slash emissions. It takes time to decarbonize our economies and societies. It takes time to transition to reliable, clean, alternative energy. It's a process - commitment, study, development and implementation - that has to be completed before we trigger runaway global warming (if we haven't already).

There will be more climate summits, plenty more, at which these many other important issues that have somehow become your priority will need to be addressed. We'll have to tackle justice and inequality, wealth and resource allocation, overpopulation and overconsumption and a whole host of other challenges. But, Naomi, if we don't get this summit right all those other issues will be moot.''

I understand you're feeling left out of the limelight. I read your book, "This Changes Everything." Hell, I even bought it. Your message came through loud and clear, we need to develop a post-capitalist society. Got that. You were a little wobbly on the details but don't worry - all the detail work was done long before you tweaked to climate change by folks like Herman Daly, Thomas Prugh, Paul Craig Roberts as well as Costanza, Cumberland, Goodland and Norgaard. You might want to check out their ideas rather than trying to reinvent the wheel in your own image.

Still I think you might want to sit this one out. Leave it to the delegates and their science advisors. It's their turn.

Article in Calgary Sun Regarding Murder of Mark Mariani

Anti-Racist Canada - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 15:16
The article published on Saturday lays out much of the evidence (in addition to the released audio transcript that was released a two years ago) used to ultimately convict Tyler Sturrup and Robert Reitmeier, founding members of Western European Bloodlines (WEB) which was, if one can believe it, a more violent offshoot of the Aryan Guard.

We found this line to sufficiently describe the "bravery" of the Master Race once one model example realized he had been caught:

Reitmeier’s last act as a free man is to throw up in front of two cops and a camera....

Looks good on you.

On incomplete care

accidentaldeliberations - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 14:52
Shorter Dustin Duncan:
I'm pretty sure a health care system can't do more than two things at a time. And for the ministry I'm overseeing, surgery is no longer one of them.

Just When I Thought Canada Was Short One Asshole

The Disaffected Lib - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 12:44

Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall popped up to let us know we're in no danger of running a rectum deficit anytime soon.

Wall served notice again today that he's going to be the climate change bad boy in Canada's federal-provincial contingent at the Paris climate summit.

Poindexter plainly doesn't like this talk about carbon taxes. Alberta premier Rachel Notley's carbon pricing plan announced yesterday seems to have Biff a bit worried. In Ottawa, premier Wall said he wouldn't support climate change measures that harmed the economy which, for Brad, is code for "fossil fuel exports." That pointy headed little bugger doesn't seem to understand that, if we extract, sell and burn the highest carbon fossil fuels there isn't going to be an economy especially if climate change brings sustained, severe drought to the Prairie.

Later on, Green Party leader Elizabeth May very diplomatically told CBC that she hopes Brad will benefit from next week's climate summit and will have an epiphany bordering on a religious conversion. Let us pray.

Don’t Send Us your Tired and Poor….

Left Over - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 11:28
More than 30 U.S. states refusing Syrian refugees on ‘shaky legal ground’ In wake of Paris attacks, governors of at least 31 U.S. states announce plans to bar Syrian refugees

By Matt Kwong, CBC News Posted: Nov 18, 2015 3:02 PM ET Last Updated: Nov 18, 2015 7:35 PM E

I am  so disgusted by US politics right now that I can’t believe I  could be any more embarrassed  by  Yankeeland than I already am…guess what?  Today I am angrier and don’t know where to channel it.

I was born in the USA of two American citizens who were just one  generation removed  from being  both refugees and immigrants…and I’m not alone.  I would have to  guess that almost all  Americans, leaving aside those who are First Nations and those who are black, whose ancestors had no options,  have immigrants in their backgrounds. No, I’m wrong, most  First Nations and Afro-Americans have immigrant ancestors as well, some unacknowledged, but nonetheless there..  I know they do, we all do..  No one can  argue the point.  The  American experience is rife with  cultural  ghettos and that  is true from  coast to coast, and with few exceptions, from  Canada to Mexico.  You are all children of immigrants, why deny the same status to those who need  help  now?

Is it fear?  Is it the ugly  Republican  penchant for spreading paranoia and race-baiting hate,  religious bigotry  or simply that these folks aren’t ‘white?’

My own family were one generation removed from both racial and religious hatred, ..paternally, Irish Catholics,  and maternally, Russian /Polish Jews…my ex-husband used to, as a joke, call me off-white (because of the Jewish connection, since his parents were Hungarian Catholics who were, ironically, also refugees to Canada in the  ’50’s, and unapologetic anti-Semites, themselves..)

The wheel never stops turning, nor  can any sane observer expect it to..but the fact that 30 States are unwilling to accept refugees of any sort is  beyond my capacity  for toleration..What on  Earth has happened to Americans?  Is  there no social progress. or social justice to be  had in that country at all, anymore?  Do the few  kind voices  get outshouted by the brainless howling  bigots?

It makes me weep to  think that I  could have  still been stuck there instead of  thankfully coming to Canada, not having to be embarrassed about  the  ugliness, denial and  narcissism  evident in the  country I was born in…and  who would have thought, even a few generations ago, that this would come to pass, that the country that grew and prospered with it’s burgeoning immigrant population would forget, so soon, what made it the  one time Promised Land for the rest of the world…now?



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