Posts from our progressive community

Foreign Policy Wrap-Up - Saudi Arabia, Israel in the News

The Disaffected Lib - 2 hours 35 min ago

The Yanquis, it seems, are leaving Canada's federal government in the foreign policy dust.

First up, Saudi Arabia - or what Steffie Dion and Slick would call our "good ally."  In the course of debate over a new Senate bill that would allow the victims of the 9/11 (mainly Saudi) terrorist attacks to sue the Saudi monarchy, House members of both parties got together to castigate the Saudis for stoking extremism. That, in case you're wondering, is code for ISIS and al Qaeda.

“The Saudis and the Saudi royal family have been right up to their eyeballs in terrorist activity,” said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.).


Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas), the chairman of a House subcommittee on terrorism, noted that “Wahhabi followers are more easily recruited by terrorist groups.”

Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman of California accused Riyadh of funding religious leaders who “preach violent murder against those who they disagree with.”

During the hearing, Rohrabacher asked the four Saudi expert witnesses — who included former 9/11 commissioner Tim Roemer — to raise their hands if they believed the Saudi Royal family did not know of the 9/11 plot ahead of time. Two experts, Karen Elliot House of the Belfer Center and Daniel Byman of Georgetown University, raised their hands, while Roemer and Simon Henderson of the Washington Institute kept their hands down. Later, Roemer said the question was too complex to deal with in an up-or-down fashion, but Rohrabacher rejected that view. “The Saudis have been financing terrorism now for 20 years at least,” Rohrabacher said.
Meanwhile, as Israeli slips into the arms of fascism, its newest Democratic BFF, Hillary "what's in it for me?" Clinton was handed a bit of a setback today. The Dems know they've got a huge problem with Bernie Sanders who, unlike Hillary, consistently outpolls Donald Trump as the peoples' choice for president.
Hillary, for a lot of good reasons, is not well liked. Her negatives far outweigh her positives among American voters. Bernie is the opposite. The Dems know that if they throw the nomination to Hillary - and they will - they'll be vulnerable not only to Trump but, potentially, to Bernie supporters also who threaten to boycott the polls on election day.
Operation Placate Bernie is underway. The Democratic organization is trying to play nice with Sanders, inviting him in to help draft party policy. Sanders foreign policy advisor, Jim Zogby, says that would mean a tougher approach to Israel including calling Israel's half-century occupation of the Palestinian territory a - gasp - "occupation." Remember, this is coming from the strongest Jewish presidential candidate in American history.
We'll just have to wait for Bernie's shopping list to unfold but, chances are, it won't be Hillary-friendly.
To Zogby and other Sanders supporters, the independent Vermonter’s 20 states won in the Democratic nominating contest have given his message a mandate. In conceding appointments on the drafting committee, the DNC has acknowledged Sanders’s clout among the party electorate. And Sanders’s picks, sure to clash with those selected by Democratic leaders and the more hawkish Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and likely nominee, are his most powerful statement yet that he intends to fight for the party’s future beyond the convention in Philadelphia.


Think Of "Dr. Strangelove" on Steroids

The Disaffected Lib - 10 hours 4 min ago

The good news is that your chance of dying in a car accident isn't very high, about one in 120 in the United States.

The bad news is that the risk of an average person dying from an extinction event is five times greater than the car accident risk.

So we demand cars that have the best brakes, stability control systems, crash absorbing zones, air bags, seat belts and more. We spend a fortune to build and maintain our highways and hire police to enforce our traffic laws.

Well then, what are we spending on that extinction event risk, the far more dangerous threat? Well, when you add it all up, it comes out to just about bugger all.

When it comes to extinction-level risks there are several. Climate change and nuclear war are 1 and 2. Britain's astronomer royal, Baron Martin Rees, gives us a no better than 50-50 chance that we'll succumb this century to what he calls "bio-terror or bio-error." According to Rees, now that we've privatized scientific research, there's stuff going on in the big corporate labs, unmonitored, that could easily wipe us out if someone goofs up or should it fall into the wrong hands. He gives many examples in his book, Our Final Hour, that - trust me - you probably don't want to read.

I was born at the start of the Cold War and grew up under the constant threat of nuclear Armageddon. When the Soviet Union collapsed we felt a weight had been lifted off our shoulders. The Doctor Strangelove era was over. Well that didn't last long. It's back. More people have nuclear arsenals and some of them are much more likely to use them than anyone who had them back in the 70s. And now we've got all these other extinction-grade threats.

"[N]early all of the most threatening global catastrophic risks were unforeseeable a few decades before they became apparent. Forty years before the discovery of the nuclear bomb, few could have predicted that nuclear weapons would come to be one of the leading global catastrophic risks. Immediately after the Second World War, few could have known that catastrophic climate change, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence would come to pose such a significant threat."
There are no easy answers. Confronting these challenges, reducing the risks to something manageable, survivable is going to require a different model of organization and governance. We'll have to redefine society as we've known it right down to our notions of basic citizenship. That's because we'll never be able to reduce this plethora of risks nearly enough which demands that we also focus on building our resilience, our ability to cope and adapt. You can't do that with social cohesion in tatters as we have today. 
It will take real leadership and vision of a calibre we haven't known for years.

And They Attacked Michelle for Having Bare Arms.

The Disaffected Lib - 10 hours 44 min ago

Remember when Republicans criticized Michelle Obama for appearing in a sleeveless dress? Oh, that was so undignified, so unsuitable for America's first lady.

Well, look what they've got in store.


There she is, bare cheeks, in a thong with a gun on the wing of Her Donald's private jetliner. But wait, there's more. Here's a picture of Melania inside that jet, looking for all the world like some drug lord's moll with a briefcase overflowing with jewelry.


Thank the Lord on High that all them good, God-fearin Americans won't have to put up with this any more:



The Police State Edges Closer

Politics and its Discontents - 14 hours 23 min ago


Perpetually down in the mouth because they are expected to be accountable whenever they beat, shoot or kill a member of the public, police officers in the United States will undoubtedly be buoyed up by legislation that has been passed in Louisiana. The bill, clearly serving to minimize and marginalize the "Black Lives Matter" movement, is entitled "Blue Lives Matter" and would classify any violent attack on police officers, firefighters, and EMS personnel a hate crime.

Louisiana State representative Lance harris had this to say about the bill:
“I certainly do think there is a need for it. If you’re going to have an extensive hate crime statute then we need to protect those that are out there protecting us on a daily basis,” Harris said. “There is a concerted effort in some areas to terrorize and attack police and I think this will go forward and stop that.”Not everyone agrees:
Anti-Defamation League Regional Director Allison Padilla-Goodman pointed out that crimes against police officers are already aggressively prosecuted under Louisiana law: “The bill confuses the purpose of the Hate Crimes Act and weakens its impact by adding more categories of people, who are already better protected under other laws.”
In fact, the notion of a hate law for an occupational category weakens real hate laws, which were enacted for a particular purpose:
“Hate Crimes are designed to protect people’s most precious identity categories,” Padilla-Goodman said, “like race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, and gender identity. Proving the bias intent is very different for these categories than it is for the bias intent of a crime against a law enforcement officer.”As you will see in the following news report, something very similar to Louisiana's bill is now before Congress:



Just one more step, some would argue, in bringing the police state to full fruition.Recommend this Post

Is The TPP Dead?

Northern Reflections - 14 hours 52 min ago
 
Michael Geist thinks it might be. He writes:

First, the TPP may not have sufficient support to take effect, since under the terms of agreement both Japan and the United States must be among the ratifying countries. Implementation has been delayed in Japan where politicians fear a political backlash and seems increasingly unlikely in the U.S., where the remaining presidential candidates have tried to outdo one another in their opposition to the deal.
Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have been outspoken critics of the TPP from start of their campaigns. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has shifted her position from supporter to critic, recently unequivocally stating that “I oppose the TPP agreement and that means before and after the election.” 
If the deal goes down, that's good news -- because new models are emerging for international trade agreements:
Canada already has an alternate blueprint for a trade strategy to open up key markets throughout Asia. By the government’s own admission, the Canada-EU Trade Agreement offers a better investor-state dispute settlement system than the TPP, while the Canada-South Korea free trade agreement, which was concluded in 2014, eliminates tariffs without requiring an overhaul of Canadian or South Korean laws.
There are criticisms of both of those deals, but they offer better models than the TPP.
And a recent analysis by the C.D. Howe Institute claims that the proposed agreement offers Canada  few incentives:
For example, a recent C.D. Howe study found that the Canadian gains may be very modest, with some gains offset by losses on issues such as copyright and an outflow of royalties. Given the limited effect of staying out (the study describes the initial impact as “negligible”), some have suggested that killing the agreement might be a good thing for the country.
The C.D. Howe study, which is consistent with several other reports that found that TPP benefits to Canada are among the lowest of the 12 countries, should not come as a surprise. Canada already has free trade deals with several key agreement partners, including the U.S., Mexico, Chile and Peru. Moreover, some Canadian business sectors have told the government they would be better off removing inter-provincial trade barriers before working to open markets like Vietnam and Malaysia.
The government is currently holding cross-country hearings on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It will be interesting -- and critical -- to see what Chrystia Freeland and Justin Trudeau decide to do with another piece of Stephen Harper's legacy.
Image: youtube.com

Elbowgate: How the Haters Failed to Hurt Justin Trudeau

Montreal Simon - 16 hours 6 min ago


In my last post I ran a video by John Oliver, where he strongly suggested that Justin Trudeau had apologized enough for elbowgate.

And that it was all just a tempest in a very Canadian teapot.

Now it seems that's also what most Canadians believe.
Read more »

Now, More Than Ever - Boycott/Divest/Sanction

The Disaffected Lib - Mon, 05/23/2016 - 19:28

“If there is something that frightens me about the memories of the Holocaust, it is the knowledge of the awful processes which happened in Europe in general, and in Germany in particular, 70, 80, 90 years ago, and finding traces of them here in our midst, today, in 2016.”
                                                                   General Ya'ir Golan                                                                    Deputy Chief of Staff, Israeli Army
The appointment by Benjamin Netanyahu of ultra-right extremist, Avigdor Lieberman, to the second highest office in Israel's government, defence minister and de facto consul of Palestine, demonstrates that Israel is on a headlong dive into fascism.
General Golan's warning, delivered during a Holocaust Day speech, has effectively ended his career and put his life in danger - from the threat posed by his own countrymen. Speaking the truth in a state of fascism can be a death sentence.
Former member of the Knesset and peace activist, Uri Avnery, has seen the signs before as a young Jewish schoolboy witnessing the collapse of the Weimar Republic. He was lucky. His parents fled Germany just in time. The world knows what befell those who weren't as quick.
"I was there when it happened, a boy in a family in which politics became the main topic at the dinner table. I saw how the republic broke down, gradually, slowly, step by step. I saw our family friends hoisting the swastika flag. I saw my high-school teacher raising his arm when entering the class and saying “Heil Hitler” for the first time (and then reassuring me in private that nothing had changed.)

"I was the only Jew in the entire gymnasium (high school.) When the hundreds of boys – all taller than I – raised their arms to sing the Nazi anthem, and I did not, they threatened to break my bones if it happened again. A few days later we left Germany for good.

"General Golan was accused of comparing Israel to Nazi Germany. Nothing of the sort. A careful reading of his text shows that he compared developments in Israel to the events that led to the disintegration of the Weimar Republic. And that is a valid comparison.

"Things happening in Israel, especially since the last election, bear a frightening similarity to those events. True, the process is quite different. German fascism arose from the humiliation of surrender in World War I, the occupation of the Ruhr by France and Belgium from 1923-25, the terrible economic crisis of 1929, the misery of millions of unemployed. Israel is victorious in its frequent military actions, we live comfortable lives. The dangers threatening us are of a quite different nature. They stem from our victories, not from our defeats."


"The discrimination against the Palestinians in practically all spheres of life can be compared to the treatment of the Jews in the first phase of Nazi Germany. (The oppression of the Palestinians in the occupied territories resembles more the treatment of the Czechs in the “protectorate” after the Munich betrayal.)

"The rain of racist bills in the Knesset, those already adopted and those in the works, strongly resembles the laws adopted by the Reichstag in the early days of the Nazi regime."


"By the way, when the Nazis came to power, almost all high-ranking officers of the German army were staunch anti-Nazis. They were even considering a putsch against Hitler . Their political leader was summarily executed a year later, when Hitler liquidated his opponents in his own party. We are told that General Golan is now protected by a personal bodyguard, something that has never happened to a general in the annals of Israel."

This has been building for a long time. The world was put on notice just over 20-years ago when Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated, put to death by a countryman, for his moderate beliefs and pursuit of peace.
"In Rabin's pocket was a blood-stained sheet of paper with the lyrics to the well-known Israeli song "Shir LaShalom" ("Song for Peace"), which was sung at the rally and dwells on the impossibility of bringing a dead person back to life and, therefore, the need for peace."

What does all this say about the government of the day and our prime minister? Trudeau chose to support the Tories' motion to censure the BDS movement when he should have been embracing it, adding Canada's voice to the international community's.  Instead Trudeau chose political expediency at the expense of everything else, including morality and the honour of Canada.


Wouldn't It Be Great If This Was Comedy?

The Disaffected Lib - Mon, 05/23/2016 - 13:31
It's a Big Club and you ain't in it.


No Non-Polluting Victories on Victoria Day…

Left Over - Mon, 05/23/2016 - 10:16

 

Stephen Hume: Province’s secrecy puts people’s health at risk STEPHEN HUME
More from Stephen Hume
Published on: May 20, 2016 | Last Updated: May 20, 2016 3:25 PM

 

Finally, the  Mayor of Vancouver, BC,  Gregor Robertson is earning the trust that voters have given him for a few years now…and possibly starting the next campaign for the Provincial election somewhat early? So be it! However, Trudeau went on and on, pre-election, about how he disapproved of new pipelines to the West Coast..now? Not so much…be careful who you put your trust in…Christy Clark did the same thing..what we need in BC is a referendum, just like the HST..and then it will be final!

We are all  so tired of  these constant  threats to our well being…at the same time, we are being  bombarded with news of Portugal and  Germany  being  between  50 and  100% self sufficient in energy,  without fossil fuels..why do we lag so far behind?  Why aren’t we harnessing the clean power that exists for the developing ?

Why is the Federal government still supporting the dumping of contaminated soil on Vancouver Island,  in our  neighbors’ hills, above the site of Shawnigan Lake,  drinking water for thousands?  Does no one in our country with any [power at all not  read about what is going on in the  States, where  contaminated water is being  found  in countless places that once thought their drinking water was safe?

While the chattering classes are distracted on Twitter by some inane  shenanigans  in Parliament,  our medical system is going straight to hell, our water is being polluted  with impunity, and  our  new savior is off to Japan to lick his self-inflicted wounds  and take some more idiotic  selfies…and we  here in Canada pay homage to a long- dead queen with our own  version of bread and circuses…

Happy Victoria Day…

 


The Impeachment of Donald J. Trump Or a Caisson-Ride Down Pennsylvania Avenue

The Disaffected Lib - Mon, 05/23/2016 - 10:10



Let's hope he doesn't pick Ted Cruz as his running mate. That said I doubt Trump would want a running mate whose popularity could drag down his own. Trump-Cruz, possibly the worst ticket imaginable.

There's been a lot of speculation about Trump in the Oval Office, most of it focusing on the rise of a fascist state. Some speculate that Trump would go extra-constitutional, dissolve Congress, suspend the Constitution. Me? I don't believe it.

Two things might happen. One involves a state funeral, the other a trial on charges of "high crimes and misdemeanours."

There are many powerful people in the United States, all of whom have taken an oath to defend their country and uphold its Constitution. Many hold their Constitution in near religious reverence and, to them, the state and their constitution are inseparable. Included in this group are America's military commanders and the key personnel in its national security apparatus. The latter group has already proclaimed Trump as a threat to American security and global stability should he become president. I expect that conversation has been echoed behind many closed doors at the Pentagon.

My guess is that some very powerful voices would speak very softly to president-elect Trump laying out some fairly stark options for his presidency. For all his bluster and eccentricity, I don't see much courage in Donald Trump, any willingness to sacrifice for a cause. No, he won't like it but he will do as he's told once he realizes what's at stake.

Kids, I Think You're Going To Have To Take Your Future Into Your Own Hands

The Disaffected Lib - Mon, 05/23/2016 - 09:38

Has there ever been a phrase more inviting of abuse than, "for their own good"?

People with power like to invoke that phrase to justify what they do to those without as much power. Things get done for, and quite often to, others "in their best interests." The powerful like to do that because they get to define "their own good" and "their best interests" almost invariably in ways that closely mirror the good interests of the powerful themselves.

In this way people with power justify clinging to power long after it should have passed to a new group, perhaps the next generation. After all those calling the shots are only acting in the youngsters' "best interests" and "for their own good."

Governance, however, is not parenting. Those who wield and broker power rarely meet any recognizable fiduciary standard. What is paramount to any government is to still govern after the next election.

Now there's your problem. The kids are still looking to the horizon. They're wondering what they can expect when 2050 or 2060 or 2070 rolls around. The more they look the less they like what they see.

For those in power, their horizon is the current term in office with an option to renew. They see things differently than the kids see things because the kids have to visualize the future, their future. Those in power, snicker among themselves, knowing they'll be taking the eternal dirt nap before the future descends.

Think of it in the context of a commercial airline flight. The passengers are all youngsters. The cockpit crew, however, they're geezers. They're not going to be around for the landing, they won't make it. How does that make you feel if you're enduring the torment of a centre seat in cattle class?

Wouldn't it make sense for all the passengers to get up and toss out the captain and first officer before they managed to get that aircraft off the ground? Shouldn't they demand a flight crew who would at least be around to handle the landing?

In these perilous times that we're entering, that's the predicament facing today's young people, the under 40s. They have to wrest power away and into their own hands. We have shown, time and again, that we're as responsible as drunken sailors when it comes to planning for the future and meeting our fiduciary obligations to our younger generation. We are showing no sign that will change, really change, either.

Time, as the near unanimous chorus of scientists reminds us, is not on our children's side. The Big Bad Wolf is coming and all we've got is a house made out of straw. The kids are going to need something a lot better than what we're planning to bequeath to them. If we're not going to provide it, then it's up to them to take it.

I don't know if they have a sense of their steadily worsening predicament and how urgent it is that they move us out of power and fill our positions with their own. For their sake, the sooner the better. For, once they displace us, they're bound to find they define "their own good" and "their best interests" much differently than we chose to for them.

There Goes the Neighbourhood. Chalk Another One Up for Fascism. And, Yes, It Has Nukes.

The Disaffected Lib - Mon, 05/23/2016 - 09:22


Washington is rightly concerned with who else has nuclear weapons.

North Korea is a case in point. The US has to fret that whatever iteration of lunatic Kim runs the place could get a bit twitchy and launch a warhead or two.

Pakistan likewise keeps Pentagon defence planners up at night. Two threats there. One is the outbreak of war between India and Pakistan leading to a nuclear exchange that might quickly spread to adjacent regions and then, who knows? The other is the prospect of Islamist radicals, either terrorists or from within the Pakistani military, commandeering some or all of Pakistan's arsenal.

Now there's a new name they'll be chalking up on their Worry Board, Israel. This follows Benjamin Netanyahu's embrace of  the Israeli ultra-nationalist party, Yisrael Beitenu, and the appointment of Avigdor Lieberman as the country's defence minister. Critics claim the move represents the evolution of Israel into a full blown fascist state, one with its own substantial nuclear arsenal.

Former Israeli prime minister, Ehud Barak, says Netanyahu has planted the seeds of fascism. Netanyahu's former defence minister, Moshe Yaalon, spurned a new portfolio, quitting instead, and warning, "Extremist and dangerous elements have taken over Israel and the Likud and are threatening (society)."

As the Jerusalem Post points out this means that Lieberman, as defence minister, now becomes Czar of the West Bank and occupied Palestine.

So how is this going down with Israel's neighbours, a.k.a. the Arab Muslim world? As you might expect. Egypt's military government, until now one of Israel's few friends in the region, is troubled by Lieberman's appointment and the shift in Israel's government and society.
Making the Egyptians deal with Lieberman is a slap in the face to Cairo, given that he once suggested destroying the Aswan Dam and sweeping the Egyptians into the sea. Knowing that the erratic and extremist Lieberman has his finger on the nuclear button must also be nervous-making for the al-Sisi government. The pan-Arab leftwing London daily, al-Quds al-`Arabi, reported that circles around al-Sisi were “shocked” at the prospect of having to work with Lieberman, and that they consider his appointment a “red line” after he threatened them with genocide.

On his way out the door, Yaalon warned that the extremism, violence and racism that has manifested in Israeli society is now spreading into the military.

The former prime minister, Barak, warned Israelis that there'll be a price to pay. "The outgoing defense minister, Moshe Ya'alon, was the victim of a purge. In the initial months, Liberman will give off the impression that he is moderate. Sooner or later, however, we will see the price we have to pay."






John Oliver On Why Elbowgate Isn't a Real Scandal

Montreal Simon - Mon, 05/23/2016 - 07:44


I think that most sensible Canadians understand that elbowgate isn't a real scandal.

No matter how loudly Ruth Ellen Brosseau screamed, or tried to look as if she had been shot.

And that by trying to make a huge deal out of it the opposition is just looking ridiculous.

So I'm glad to see that John Oliver also believes the same thing.
Read more »

Are the Cons About To Tear Themselves Apart?

Montreal Simon - Mon, 05/23/2016 - 05:02


After more than six months of self imposed silence, Canadians are about to hear from Stephen Harper again.

When in three days time he delivers a speech to the Con Convention. 

But if he is expecting to be greeted with cries of "Steve we miss you." Or "save us Great Leader."

He may be rudely disappointed.

Read more »

Kagan On Trump

Northern Reflections - Mon, 05/23/2016 - 04:55


Robert Kagan has been a consistent neo-conservative voice for the last twenty-five years. From his desk at the Brookings Institution, he has advocated for a tougher, more militaristic American foreign policy. Successive Republican administrations have adopted his suggestions. That is why his take on Donald Trump is so interesting. In a recent column, "This Is How Fascism Comes To America," he writes:

The entire Trump phenomenon has nothing to do with policy or ideology. It has nothing to do with the Republican Party, either, except in its historic role as incubator of this singular threat to our democracy. Trump has transcended the party that produced him. His growing army of supporters no longer cares about the party. Because it did not immediately and fully embrace Trump, because a dwindling number of its political and intellectual leaders still resist him, the party is regarded with suspicion and even hostility by his followers. Their allegiance is to him and him alone.
Neo-conservatives fear government. But Trump is what the American Founding Fathers feared most -- rule of the mob:

But here is the other threat to liberty that Alexis de Tocqueville and the ancient philosophers warned about: that the people in a democracy, excited, angry and unconstrained, might run roughshod over even the institutions created to preserve their freedoms. As Alexander Hamilton watched the French Revolution unfold, he feared in America what he saw play out in France — that the unleashing of popular passions would lead not to greater democracy but to the arrival of a tyrant, riding to power on the shoulders of the people.
And when a nation chooses one man who will run roughshod over its system of government, the result is fascism:

This phenomenon has arisen in other democratic and quasi-democratic countries over the past century, and it has generally been called “fascism.” Fascist movements, too, had no coherent ideology, no clear set of prescriptions for what ailed society. “National socialism” was a bundle of contradictions, united chiefly by what, and who, it opposed; fascism in Italy was anti-liberal, anti-democratic, anti-Marxist, anti-capitalist and anti-clerical. Successful fascism was not about policies but about the strongman, the leader (Il Duce, Der Fuhrer), in whom could be entrusted the fate of the nation. Whatever the problem, he could fix it. Whatever the threat, internal or external, he could vanquish it, and it was unnecessary for him to explain how. Today, there is Putinism, which also has nothing to do with belief or policy but is about the tough man who singlehandedly defends his people against all threats, foreign and domestic.
Kagan warns his readers that:

Once in power, Trump will owe politicians and their party nothing. He will have ridden to power despite the party, catapulted into the White House by a mass following devoted only to him. By then that following will have grown dramatically. Today, less than 5 percent of eligible voters have voted for Trump. But if he wins the election imagine the power he would wield: at his command would be the Justice Department, the FBI, the intelligence services, the military. Is a man like Trump, with infinitely greater power in his hands, likely to become more humble, more judicious, more generous, less vengeful than he is today? Does vast power uncorrupt?
This is how fascism comes to America, not with jackboots and salutes but with a television huckster, a phony billionaire, a textbook egomaniac “tapping into” popular resentments and insecurities, and with an entire national political party — out of ambition or blind party loyalty, or simply out of fear — falling into line behind him.
Kagan used to be a Republican. He now claims that he is an Independent.

Image: Brookings.edu

Donald Trump and the Fascist Question

Montreal Simon - Sun, 05/22/2016 - 21:40


Donald Trump may be looking and sounding crazier than ever. Calling for guns to be allowed in classrooms.

While also calling for Hillary Clinton's bodyguards to be disarmed.



But despite his deranged statements, polls suggest his support is surging.

Read more »

When everybody is acting like an asshole. Canadian Parliament daycare.

A Creative Revolution - Sun, 05/22/2016 - 15:21

This weeks hijinx in the House of commons just shows why it is hard to get anyone to take our political process seriously. 

Here is what I think....I may swear. I know this offends some more than the real stuff I will say.

First off. The ruling Liberals are attempting to fast track, ram, force and limit debate on important legislation. I am not saying that the end of life legislation is bad either. Its the best we have seen, especially compared to the Harpercon ideology. But yanno.....These are Harpercon tactics.  You can always be better than the Harpercons. Its not difficult, they set a pretty low bar.

We all need to be better than the Conservatives. 

The NDP. FUCK OFF with the kiddie games. Blocking an Mp and having a giggle fit? OMG. Grow the fuck up. This included you Mulcair and Ms Brosseau. 

Trudeau. He MARCHED down there in his too small suit,  (I know its the style, but it looks like his clothes were shrunk in a random drive by laundry accident)  and was a gonna fix it. Grow up already. *stop *Any * full stop physical contact is inappropriate, and you are not a bouncer in a bar. 

The elbow. Nikki Ashton....I'm so sorry. (not really) I do not see this as aimed at Ms Brosseau because she is a woman.

"I want to say that for all of us who witnessed this, this was deeply traumatic," she said to her House of Commons colleagues. "What I will say, if we apply a gendered lens, it is very important that young women in this space feel safe to come here and work here."

"He made us feel unsafe and we're deeply troubled by the conduct of the prime minister of this country."

I see the elbow connecting with her because Trudeau was careless and rude and wrong... and she happened to be standing in that spot. While playing the blocking game which was predicated by the Liberals trying to make a massive power grab. :) Turning it into more than it was simply makes it harder for the rest of the worlds' working women to be taken fucking seriously when it does happen for reals thousands of times a day. 

We do actually have a National Daycare program. Its called the Fucking Canadian House of commons daycare. We pay a lot of money to send these fucking children to play together and learn. Perhaps we need to call in some child experts on sportsmanship and just being nice. 

I am not surprised on the reaction of the Harpertwits. They really need to sit down and STFU because they totally embraced, and instigated this kind of crap for 10 long years. They had playbooks that look like the GOP manuscripts on how to cause gridlock. 

Twitter (and other social media) asswipes attacking Ms Brosseau? OH do go straight to hell. Yours, is an attack on a woman, just because she is a woman. And yanno what? You should all have your internet privileges removed. 

The partisan peanut gallery: Fuck off. Your party is just as wrong as the other one.  Look beyond your own chosen affiliations.  

I can send my kids to their rooms when they act like this, and they would actually learn something. With the bunch in this mess? I doubt they even know right from wrong anymore.  And they are in charge of making the laws and keeping our country safe. 

 

Really inspires confidence, now don't it?

Edit: Elizabeth May sounded sane and grown up in all of this. Let's put her in charge of the kiddie tables. 

Everyone Needs to See This.

The Disaffected Lib - Sun, 05/22/2016 - 11:51
Watch the video in slow motion. This puts paid to Angry Tom's fury and Brousseau's feigned martyrdom. It's all on the video once you get it slowed down. Dippers, you might not want to watch this - but you should.

One of these things is not like the others

Cathie from Canada - Sun, 05/22/2016 - 10:54
Canadian politics has apparently entered its silly season just before everyone takes the summer off and goes to the lake.
While Canada discusses Sophie's workload and "elbowgate" -- both such important news stories! -- in the United States we see Hillary Clinton gearing up to do battle with Deadbeat Donald.
Forgive me if I think that what is happening down south is much more consequential and ultimately more meaningful than either of our scandals-du-jour.

W.W.R.M.S?

The Disaffected Lib - Sun, 05/22/2016 - 08:33


Ah, the long weekend! Or, as they apparently now call it in Ontario, the May 2-4 weekend in tribute to the stalwart people of that province who innately understand that a case of beer, a real case of beer, is four six-packs all nestled inside one cardboard box. On this weekend the rest of Canada salutes you.

This is a non-news weekend. There's stuff going on but no one much cares. That's a good thing, I suppose. Good for the blood pressure, for sure. It's a weekend for relaxation and even a bit of reflection.

I took a few minutes to reflect on the week that was and, of course, visions of Ruth Ellen Brosseau drifted by. And then I got it. WWRMS? What Would Rick Mercer Say about this bone crushing affair, this affront to Canadian womanhood? We'll have to wait and see but I'm guessing he'll have some amusing insights on offer.

Then it dawned on me. I know the very person I'd want to hear from, Mississauga's legendary ex-mayor, Hazel McCallion. What's Hazel's take on this business?



Then it got even better. REMATCH! Three, three-minute rounds of wrestling, Greco-Roman, the sort where Trudeau could get "hit in the nuts." Rick Mercer officiating. Hazel McCallion on the bell. Patrick Brazeau as Brousseau's cornerman. In Trudeau's corner, Stephan Dion doing, as usual, as he's damn well told. Rex Murphy offering colour commentary. Wouldn't you pay a buck and a quarter to watch that on pay per view?

See, there you go. Now you've got something to look forward to. Happy Victoria Day.


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