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This Has Nothing To Do With Canadian Politics

Politics and its Discontents - 14 min 15 sec ago
It is a tale of corporate indifference on the part of Porche, and how the 'little guy' attempts to rectify it:

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Stephen Harper and the Canonization of Jimbo Flaherty

Montreal Simon - 3 hours 48 min ago


Well I knew what he was going to do from the moment he announced that Jim Flaherty would have a state funeral, for no good reason.

And then let it be known that he had PERSONALLY written the eulogy he would deliver.

And sure enough he did turn that solemn occasion into yet another giant photo-op for the glorification of HIMSELF. 
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This is priceless!

Cathie from Canada - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 23:04


Rich people are NOT just like the rest of us, only with money.
Sometimes they're just amazingly silly.

Case in point -- Josh Romney sends out a tweet with a photo of his dad, Mitt Romney supposedly standing in a line to mail in his income tax return -- just like the simple folk do!

Josh seemed to think his photo proved some sort of point -- I guess it never occurred to him that just because his dad files a tax return doesn't mean Harry Reid was wrong in saying Romney didn't pay taxes from 2000 to 2010 .  The only thing it proved to me is that Romney is too cheap to have his accountant file electronically.

Cautionary tale

Cathie from Canada - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 21:55
Here's what employers supposedly like about temporary foreign workers:
Dan Kelly, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, recently told CBC News that many Canadian employers feel that temporary foreign workers have a better work ethic than Canadians and that there are some jobs in some regions that Canadians do not want to do.Better work ethic?  What tripe! Here's what I think employers actually like about those temporary foreign workers - they aren't likely to be talking to a union anytime soon.

Video of Jello Biafra appearing in the satirical comedy show...

The Ranting Canadian - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 20:23


Video of Jello Biafra appearing in the satirical comedy show Portlandia.

"Yuppies … Yuppies … Yuppies! … How could people let this happen?"

Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine are on tour right now. See: http://www.alternativetentacles.com/tours.php?sd=x-dgd4VF9l48AYpUWGA

"I can’t even get my friends to like me." Mark this date:...

The Ranting Canadian - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 19:55


"I can’t even get my friends to like me."

Mark this date: April 16, 2014. Disgraced Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper tells the truth for the first time in his political career, as he campaigns at the state funeral of former finance minister Jim Flaherty. The rest of Harper’s speech was full of lies and propaganda, as usual.

Harper should be more like Flaherty (in his current state).

This song is “Crad Kilodney Was Innocent” by the...

The Ranting Canadian - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 17:59


This song is “Crad Kilodney Was Innocent” by the Toronto punk band Armed and Hammered, in response to the news that cult author Crad Kilodney has died. He was a unique and eccentric fixture on downtown Toronto streets for many years, selling off-the-wall self-published books on his own. His titles included Pork College, I Chewed Mrs. Ewing’s Raw Guts, Blood Sucking Monkeys from North Tonawanda, and Putrid Scum.

At some point, I acquired a signed copy of one of his little books of short stories, Sex Slaves of the Astro-Mutants, but I must confess I have never cracked it open. Maybe it’s time to take a look.

From CBC Toronto:

"I started out with this idealistic view that the public was reasonably intelligent," he said in a 1992 York University documentary ​on his life. ”I must say, after 14 years on the street I’ve had all of my illusions about the public shattered. …”

Hope and Autism

Feminist Christian - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:33
I haven't written since late February, and we're in mid-April. It's been a rough couple of months. All three of my kids had birthdays. I was sick. The SEAs all had bouts of illness. Glutened several times. Basically, life got in the way. And besides which, I had books to read, things to crochet, and TV to watch.

And honestly, shit was getting me down. Another birthday for Crackle, come and gone with no language from him. Garbage on the news. Garbage in the government. Garbage, shit, and bullshit. Everything seemed like it was exactly the same, and no improvements anywhere.

And then I snapped, blew a gasket on some people for their crap, unfriended and unfollowed some accounts that I was keeping around in the idea of knowing one's enemy, but was really just using to anger myself. Stupid. So it's gone. Cleared out.

And I'm back, hopefully more regularly, with less serious, more hopeful and hopefully some funny stuff.

On Hope, because I need some, and so do you:
Some people with children like Crackle have no hope for their full recovery. I have hope for Crackle. Why not? I mean, what's the harm in having hope for a full recovery. I don't mind the term, not because I think it's an illness, but because I think it's a social developmental disorder. And it can improve to the point where it's no longer an issue. I know it can. I have friends who have kids who have adapted so well to it that they no longer need therapies, or only remedial, catch-up therapy (like occupational therapy to help develop fine motor coordination, or speech therapy to help improve clarity). Their kids no longer behave autistically. They don't. They just don't. It's fabulous, it's awesome, it's cool, and it's true. I have one of those miracles myself. Oh, he's not quite there, but so close, it's palpable. And yes, 3 years ago, they told me it was hopeless. That there was no chance. He'd probably never talk. He'd never have a friend. He'd never have a meaningful relationship. They were wrong. And what if I'd given up? What if I'd said, "Okay. We'll teach him to cope."? He'd still be an awesome kid. I'd love him with all my heart (like I do Crackle). He'd be an amazing little liner-upper of all the things. Now? He has a friend. He says things like, "Mommy? Is tomorrow Sunday? I want to go to church to play with my friend! He's so much fun! Last week, we played with the cars." He says things like, "Oh Mommy, I love you." and "When I grow up, I'm going to watch Crackle* for you. I will teach him to talk." (Of course, he used his real name).

I remember telling Santa one year, "They're both autistic. Neither can talk. We're just aiming for a picture." This year, Pop went twice, and talked Santa's ear off.

So I said fuck this ABA bullshit, where the aim is to get a compliant child who will do as asked. I went to Son-Rise. I got hope in bunches there. If you can't get there, buy Raun Kaufman's book and watch him on YouTube.

And where did that get me with Crackle? Well, he's happier. I'm happier. He learned to nod his head yes last week. He learned to say "yeah" in the last couple of months (his only word, right now). He eats what I ask him to. He's potty trained (mostly). He's sleeping better. He's screaming less. He's making almost appropriate amounts of eye contact. He's asking to play with us. He takes us to the trampoline to jump with him instead of going out and jumping by himself all the time. He saw a little girl at my chiropractor's office yesterday, and he lit up with a big smile and gave her a hug. It's slower with him, but it's happening, and there's no reason why it can't continue to happen forever until he's no different from any one else.

Why should I give up on my dream of full recovery for him? Because he's awesome now? Of course he's awesome now. He's fucking perfect now. Like an infant or toddler is perfect. We love them exactly as they are in that moment, and continue to teach and hope and love and nurture. We don't say, "Oh, geez. He can't line up those blocks perfectly. I'm going to aim a little lower. Maybe mechanic instead of engineer." So hell fucking no, I'm not giving up my dream of full recovery. I've seen one miracle in Pop. I'm aiming for two. I am embracing their autism, getting into their world, and showing them that mine is pretty cool too.

And I am not judging those who don't believe like I do. Oh goodness no. They believe their child cannot recover. That is completely okay. They're not comfortable hoping for something they believe cannot happen. No one is. And they'll will do great by their kids. They will teach them to cope with autism. They will get the best therapies they can find for them, to help them adjust to the world as best as they can. They've got hope for learned skills, for new talents to shine. They're not without hope. They just doesn't believe, as I do, that their child could ever be indistinguishable from other people. And that is okay.

My Crackle may never get there. He may never learn another skill in his life. It doesn't matter. I love him unconditionally. And I believe that he will someday tell me his every thought. That he will someday have a girlfriend or boyfriend. That he will someday tell people "When I had autism..."

Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama: Don't approve Keyston XL Pipeline

LeDaro - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 12:35
I believe Jimmy Carter was one of the best president U.S ever had. I suppose nice guy finishes last. Too bad he did not win the second term. He is giving a great advice to Obama.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter speaks during an interview on 
Monday March 24, 2014 in New York. Carter said Monday that he doesn't 
support the Palestinian-led "boycott, divest, sanction" campaign against 
Israel but said products made in Israel-occupied Palestinian territories 
should be clearly labeled so buyers can make a choice about them. 
(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) | ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Getting Their Tunics In A Twist

Politics and its Discontents - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 11:30
I was very pleased to read that Honey Maid has joined the 21st century, evidence of which can be seen in the following television commercial:.

However, those mired in an earlier time are not so happy. You can click here to see why they have gotten their tunics in a twist, but I'll offer you just a hint from this excerpt:

Jennifer LeClaire, news editor at Charisma, an evangelical online magazine, wasn't amused: "Nabisco's brand is no longer wholesome," she wrote in a piece titled "Gay-Affirming Nabisco Is Shoving More Than Oreos Down Our Throats."

LeClaire pointed out that members of the conservative American Family Association's One Million Moms group were "up in arms": "The American Family Association-linked group insists Nabisco should be ashamed of itself for the cracker commercial that attempts to 'normalize sin.'"

"One Million Moms stands up for Biblical truth which is very clear in Romans 1:26-27 about this particular type of sexual perversion," the group stated. "Honey Maid is also using the hashtag #thisiswholesome. There is concern about the way this ad is pushing the LGBT agenda, but an even greater concern is the way that they are changing the meaning of the word 'wholesome.' This is truly sad. If this is what Honey Maid thinks is wholesome, then my family will no longer purchase Honey Maid or Nabisco products."

And below is how Honey Maid responded to those residing in that earlier time of absolutism and intolerance in the name of an apparently very angry and very limited deity:

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CPC slogan 2015: “No grounds for criminal charges.” *

Politics and its Discontents - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 08:41
* H/t Dan Gardner

In the twisted morality of the Harper universe, it will be claimed and conveyed as a complete vindication of the Prime Minister.

That the RCMP has found no grounds upon which to lay criminal charges against Nigel Wright in the $90,000 payoff-to-Mike-Duffy-scandal does nothing to dissolve the deep and abiding suspicions about Harper's influence-peddling machinations was not lost on the At Issue panelists last night:


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Wednesday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 07:16
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Angella MacEwen takes a look at the large numbers of unemployed and underemployed Canadians chasing a tiny number of available jobs. And Carol Goar calls out the Cons and the CFIB alike for preferring disposable foreign workers to Canadians who aren't being offered a living wage:
If employers want to talk about the government’s abrupt about-face, that is legitimate. If they want an “adult conversation” about work and remuneration, they should be ready to answer some key questions:
  • Why should they be exempt from market discipline? The law of supply and demand provides a clear solution to domestic labour shortages. Raise wages or improve working conditions.
  • Why are they telling Canadians their kids and neighbours have a poor work ethic? Lots of Canadians do dirty, onerous jobs — pick up garbage, go down mines, wash highrise windows.
  • Why are they comparing foreign workers whose immigration status depends on their performance to Canadian workers who have the freedom to walk away from exploitative employers?
The business federation is right. It is time to talk honestly about work.

For its members, having a ready supply of low-wage workers may be paramount. For the rest of society, other priorities matter. Canadians want a fair shot at jobs in their own country. They want fair labour practices. They want one set of rules for everybody.- And Dave Johnson compares soaring CEO pay in the U.S. to the stagnation facing most workers.

- So it's no wonder that Ipsos MORI finds that respondents around the developed world see worse living conditions for younger generations than the ones enjoyed by older ones. And the CCPA highlights part of the problem, as university students are facing far higher tuition (particularly compared to the wages they can earn to invest in their own futures).

- In another prime example of the importance of public policy in shaping outcomes, Matt Bruenig charts the effect of social programs on child poverty - and shows that the difference between the U.S.'s much higher child poverty levels and the lower number in Scandinavian countries arises almost entirely out of differences in benefits.

- Jeffrey Simpson criticizes the Cons' Unfair Elections Act as a whole. And Tim Harper and the Globe and Mail editorial board zero in on the Senate's sad attempt to water down a bill which should be scrapped in its entirety to allow for all-party and public input into the direction of Canada's elections legislation.

- Finally, Colin Macleod looks to have found the perfect descriptor for the Harper Cons.

Abortion in Atlantic Canada: GAME ON!

Dammit Janet - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 07:00
When I was a youngster, the battle for abortion rights in Canada was on. Even as a poor student, I contributed regularly to Canadian Abortion Rights Action League and continued until we won. Natch, I turned my bod out when required too.

Now it's the current generation's turn.

This is winnable. And it will be fun for the young'uns. We haven't had a good feminist dust-up in Canada in ages.

It's got all the elements: a petition, rallies in Fredericton, PEI, Halifax and elsewhere across the country starting tomorrow, Thursday, April 17.

Politics enters in of course, especially in an election year, which seems to spook the fetus fetishists, who must realize the clock is ticking LOUDLY on their antediluvian attitudes.

Plus, of course, the legal battle, instigated by Dr Morgentaler, which has to date provided a handy out for the government.

Health Minister Ted Flemming has declined to comment, citing the lawsuit the late Henry Morgentaler launched against the provincial government in 2002, demanding the government pay for procedures at this clinic.

"That lawsuit is still before the courts, it's still an open file before the courts, so beyond that I'm not prepared to comment further," Flemming has said.Oopsie. Lawsuit has been withdrawn.

Besides the cross-country support, this is a very real issue in PEI, where there are NO abortions performed. About 10% of the procedures at the NB clinic were done for Island women.

In light of that, I found this absolutely astonishing.
A search of Hansard, the official written record of debate in the P.E.I. legislature, shows the word abortion has only come up in debate three times since 1996.THREE times in nearly 20 years??????

The silence is being shattered in Atlantic Canada.

And it's gonna be FUN!



Previous DJ! coverage of New Brunswick and PEI.

Goodbye, Jim

Politics and its Discontents - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 05:55


The other day I wrote a post on Jim Flaherty and his 'legacy,' inspired by two columns published in The Star. On this day of his state funeral, it seems appropriate to offer the views of a few Star readers on Flaherty's record, and the posthumous accolades and state funeral offered him:


Re: Tale of two tragedies reveals Flaherty’s flaws, April 14
Re: Former finance minister made sacrifices for public, April 12


Decorum suggest that we be gracious in remembering long-serving parliamentarians such as Jim Flaherty. True, he was a talented politician who impacted many people in his professional life. And as a private citizen, friends and family will greatly feel his loss.

Unfortunately for myself and probably legions of other voters, his public persona didn’t quite match all the glowing private tributes. What stands out is a hyper-partisan politician willing to take no prisoners in dealing with the opposition, any opposition.

Who can forget his public brow beating of Dalton McGuinty regarding his belief in the need for lowering corporate taxes. And ultimately, what good did lowing corporate taxes do for the greater good of the country?

The facts are, he served prominently on two of the most mean spirited regimes in living memory — Mike Harris in Ontario and Stephen Harper in Ottawa. Once in Ottawa as finance minister, he presided over the dismantling of federal government fiscal capacity and has ultimately tied the hands of future governments in instituting programs that will actually help large numbers of people.

In this regard, he played a large role in radically reshaping this country. This is joy to Conservative supporters, but not so much to the progressive majority.

Pietro Bertollo, Brampton


The passing of Jim Flaherty has been notable for several reasons. While certainly condolences go out to his family and his loved ones, the sugar-coating of his record as a public servant has been awful.

First, the greatest accolades have come from the corporate class, and why shouldn’t they: he has cut their federal and Ontario taxes ferociously. But every day Ontarians and Canadians have paid dearly for these cuts and Flaherty’s own ideology.

He wanted to make homelessness illegal, but he laid off tens of thousands of public servants in Ontario and throughout Canada. He was a key member of the Eves government that lied outright about the “balanced budget” that was really a $5.6 billion deficit, as attested to by outside auditors.

He is killing the CBC with funding cuts, and has set in motion dramatic cuts to health care to take effect soon, even as Canada spends only approximately 11 per cent of GDP on health care compared to 16 per cent by the U.S., and he has done federally what he did provincially (by association at least) and put Canadians’ lives at risk by cutting back on those government services that protect Canadians by eliminating inspector positions in certain government agencies.
This radical right wing agenda has resulted in diminished standards of living for a large number of Canadians, frittered away hard won record budget surpluses he inherited from the previous government, and added tens of billions of dollars to our national debt. He has been a champion of the hidden far-right Conservative agenda to starve government of the funds it needs to operate our cherished social programs, only to declare later that they are unaffordable because government lacks the funds to pay for them.

It’s a con game Flaherty played a key part in. I am sorry he has died, and my sincere condolences go out to his family. But let’s look at his record with clear, cold eyes.


Tony Delville, Stoney Creek

Am I the only person in Canada who finds this hyper eulogizing of former Conservative finance minister Jim Flaherty over the top? It appears that the Ottawa beltway and the whole of the Canadian media are falling all over themselves to don sackcloth and ashes bemoaning the death of this man.

Maybe in life outside politics he was “a nice man.” But this “nice man” is, in part, responsible for the Conservative party’s attempt to balance the budget by their giving gigantic largesse to the big corporations right on the backs of the Canadian people.

He was present in the U.S., deliberating and consorting with primary financial elements of the Bush regime. He brought what he had learned back to Canada. With Harper, a willing disciple of the ultra-right-wing Fox News as his partner, he then proceeded to make life doubly difficult for the Canadian working people. He stuck to a right wing bullying Conservative political agenda to the bitter end. This has brought untold misery to a vast number people throughout Canada.

For the media to compare him to the great Jack Layton, a politician who really cared about the Canadian people and put his humanity into practice throughout his life, is absolutely stomach turning. And to waste the public’s money on a state funeral for this Robin Hood in reverse is a real insult to the people of Canada — and another slap in the face to Canadians who believe in honest democracy everywhere.


Laurence D. M. Marshall, Kelowna, B.C.

Click here if you would like to read more opinions of the late Finance Minister's legacy.Recommend this Post

Making The World Safe For Capital

Northern Reflections - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 05:54


Complaints about the Temporary Foreign Workers Program keep piling up. This morning the Vancouver Sun reports:

B.C. workers ranging from seasoned professionals to teenage fast-food employees are complaining about being dumped in favour of non-residents as Ottawa scrutinizes employers who abuse the Temporary Foreign Worker program.

Vern Doak is a crane operator with 37 years experience who lives in Vernon. In early March he was contacted by his union, who informed him that an American company, Oregon-based O & S Contracting, had work for him building a cogeneration plant near Mackenzie in north-central B.C.
The program, Carol Goar writes, was never about filling labour shortages. It's time to answer a few straightforward questions:

If they want an “adult conversation” about work and remuneration, they should be ready to answer some key questions:
  • Why should they be exempt from market discipline? The law of supply and demand provides a clear solution to domestic labour shortages. Raise wages or improve working conditions.
  • Why are they telling Canadians their kids and neighbours have a poor work ethic? Lots of Canadians do dirty, onerous jobs — pick up garbage, go down mines, wash highrise windows.
  • Why are they comparing foreign workers whose immigration status depends on their performance to Canadian workers who have the freedom to walk away from exploitative employers?

  • The program has always been about lowering wages -- and, thereby, increasing corporate profits. Stephen Harper has never accepted the idea that government should balance competing interests. For the prime minister, there has only been one side that matters in any dispute. That's capital. That's his side.

    And his mission is to make the world safe for capital.


    Pierre Poilievre and the Great Turkey Senate Scam

    Montreal Simon - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 04:09


    Oh. My. Gobble. I see that Pierre Poilievre is still trying to pretend that his foul Unfair Elections Act is perfect.

    But that if the Cons in the House of Turkeys want to make it even better, he might  welcome their recommendations.

    "I'm prepared to defend every single measure in the Fair Elections Act," Poilievre told CTV's Power Play on Tuesday. But he added: "From the beginning I've said if there are good ideas that will make this great bill even better, then I am happy to hear them." 

    When in fact the bill is hideously flawed, those recommendations are only a SCAM designed to put lipstick on a pig. 

    Or TWO.
    Read more »

    Why the Senate Scandal Can Still Bring Down Stephen Harper

    Montreal Simon - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 00:48


    For a brief moment today I wondered whether I should remove Nigel Wright from the poster for my new and exciting season of Senategate.

    After the RCMP announced that he was no longer under investigation. 

    The RCMP has ended its probe into Nigel Wright, the former chief of staff to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and his $90,000 payment to suspended Conservative Senator Mike Duffy.

    But then I thought no, this scandal is still as sordid as ever. It couldn't have happened without Nigel. Bless him. And it could still bring down Stephen Harper.
    Read more »

    A message from the RCMP

    Creekside - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 00:06

    CBC : Nigel Wright won't face charges over $90K payment to Mike Duffy 
    The RCMP has ended its probe into Nigel Wright... Wright said in a statement to CBC News that he believed his actions were in the public interest and lawful.

    "My intention was to secure the repayment of taxpayer funds," Wright said through his lawyer, Peter Mantas. He added that the RCMP's "detailed and thorough investigation has now upheld my position."Quite the most brazen in self-serving nonsense -- the Senate certainly had no difficulty garnisheeing Senator Patrick Brazeau's wages in order to "secure the repayment of taxpayer funds".

    Presumably the RCMP could not show that Wright stood to personally benefit from paying off Duffy to shut him up, while Steve, on behalf of whom this charade was perpetrated, knew nothing at all about it .

    Well played all round in the best democracy money can buy.  

    Out of Gas

    Fat and Not Afraid - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 15:30

    Out of mental spoons. Out of fucks to give. That's me right now. All of my energy is currently focused on getting through the day by day of my life. It's the uncertainty of what might come next that's bothering me the most, making me waver between frustration and hoplessness with a terrible blankness inbetween. All I want to do is sleep. Or scream. Or cry. I do none of these things. Instead I gave an interview to my local online paper about what it's like to be working and living on minimum wage with two kids and being homeless at my inlaws. (Stay out of the comments unless you've got a lot of sanity watchers points). There are pieces missing, about how I was out west for two years and had a good job and lost it, but that past doesn't change my present, how far we've fallen and how quickly it happened.

    The current hopelessness troubles me, the knowing that fixing this problem is out of our hands unless we earn more money or spend the next year or two or five saving for a house. Ryan recently got a new job, one he doesn't hate and that I hope will treat him well, but it's still just part-time. He's been promised full time in the future, but we've heard that before. Being hopeless, not being able to help myself, is literally depressing me. I can't DO anything but keep putting one foot infront of the other and get through the day and apply for jobs.

    Ryan suggested last night on our way home from my mom's that we use our return tickets for a little trip for ourselves, go back to the Island and visit Tigh Na Mara spa for our wedding anniversary in June since we didn't make it last year. I admit I felt a leap of excitment, but I quickly squashed it. Hope it a firefly I can't afford because I'm so damn tired of being let down and disappointed, and we have so many other things we should spend our money on instead, like getting our things out of storage or saving up to either get a house or move. Instead of jumping in with ideas or planning, like Jen of last year would have done, I said "If you want us to do it, it's up to you to plan it. I just don't have it in me to hope something that wonderful could happen."

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