Posts from our progressive community

Okay you Liberal Bastards, What Now?

The Disaffected Lib - il y a 1 heure 29 min
Trudeau the Lesser's Liberals did backflips to support Israel's brutal outrage against Gaza's civilian population this summer.  It was as though no one had ever heard the Israeli military's term, Dahiyeh.  Of course you didn't need any fancy terms to see that Israel was brutally - and quite illegally - targeting Gaza's Palestinian population completely in flagrant violation of human rights laws and the laws of war.  That much is obvious when the side with strike jets takes down the public's water and sewage plants and then moves on to hit schools and hospitals, even clearly designated UN refuge sites.  I was never so disgusted with the Liberal Party, not even under Ignatieff.

The Dippers worked off the same page until Mulcair woke up and realized he was bound to piss off some old school progressives in the NDP ranks.  Then he hemmed and hawed and - waffled.

Well now your boy - and he is your boy - Benny Netanyahu has let his other fascist shoe drop.  This time it's not Palestinians under Israeli occupation but Arab and Christian Israelis who are Netanyahu's target.  The Israeli prime minister and his cabinet by a 2-1 margin have passed a bill that defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

Critics, including cabinet opponents, say the new law reserved "national rights" for Jews only and also delisted Arabic as Israel's second official language.

So Justin - and Tommy - now you're backing a country that's both fascist and racist.  Is there any principle you won't compromise in your bootlicking pursuit of votes?

The Sad Saga of Vikingwarlord14: Part II

Anti-Racist Canada - il y a 5 heures 9 min
We always enjoy when our fans send us feedback:

Oh you sweet talker you!
It looks like "Unit14"/"Jay Stone"/"Jay Smith"/"proudcracker420" might not have appreciated the article in which he was mentioned. We understand. In the article we dismissed him as an irrelevant carnival sideshow not worthy of anyone's time and attention.... and then proceeded to write about a loan misanthrope with delusions of grandeur living in Winnipeg who if we are to be honest isn't worth anyone's time or attention either.
That sort of cognitive dissonance  might scramble the brains of the average bonehead.
So on that note we will continue our profile of Jonathan Kotyk, a man who's name shines as brightly as such "White Nationalist" luminaries as Kevin Goudreau and Tomasz Winnicki:
You don't say, eh Jonathan? ;)We once again introduce our readers to Jonathan "vikingwarrior14" Kotyk on Stormfront. Kotyk often attempts to present himself as a "White Nationalist" man of action, philosopher, and intellectual:

Well then! We're sure someone who advocates for the adoption of a benign dictatorship rules by a philosopher king must have some brilliant ideas on how to govern a nation-state, particularly when he suggests that he himself already has most of the solutions to Canada's "problems" (it seems to us that he might like to be considered a future candidate for the philosopher king role he advocates). 
Okay Jonathan! We await your wisdom with baited breath!Read more »

One Nation Under the Fascists’ Heel

Left Over - il y a 7 heures 31 min
Israeli cabinet approves legislation defining nation-state of Jewish people

Opponents say proposed law would reserve ‘national rights’ for Jews and not for minorities that make up 20% of population

  • The Guardian, Sunday 23 November 2014 19.08 GM

Could anything else be more fascist – inspired than this  hateful legislation?

I am officially ashamed that I have any Jewish relatives in Israel, that I ever supported Israel in my innocence in the ’60′s…for this is the Third Reich personified, suggesting that somehow Jews are a superior culture or religion…this is beyond disgusting.

How can any other  country support Israel now?  It was a sad joke before now, but this  racist, ethnocentric force must be fought and stopped…and any Jew anywhere of conscience has to see this for what it is…a further rationale for not only discriminating against every non-Jew within the boundaries of Israel but a perfect argument for continuing to steal Palestinian land for Jewish settlements..after all, are  any Arabs even considered human by Israel anymore?

This is a human rights scandal to match with anything we’ve seen in the last century or this…and is already perpetrating violence against non-Jews in the area…

What’s next?  All non-Jews must wear armbands with the  crescent symbol? Forced out of  any teaching positions, and  only allowed the meanest manual labour jobs within the confines of the country? And land ownership, a private business?

Will they be herded onto trains?  Once you are denied the rights of citizenship, it’s a short trip to the ‘reservation’  or camp….do you think I’m being sarcastic or ironic, or even melodramatic? Think about it…

These things were said about anyone opposed to the German ‘solution’  from it’s earliest incarnations…


Fantino "explains" government budgeting

Cathie from Canada - il y a 8 heures 49 min
So it has been revealed that Veterans Affairs had $1.1 billion dollars in unused funding over seven years. Now Veterans Affairs minister Julian Fantino is claiming that the Harper Con's "balanced" budgets where not achieved at the expense of our veterans. He is minister-splaining the government budget to us ignorant plebs:
Fantino said claims that the unused funds were a strategy to balance the budget are false.
"The funding is allocated and if it's not spent it's recycled back into continuing programs and services for veterans. It's not lost money," said Fantino.
He called it a technical budget process that does not hamper services and programs for veterans.
"If I can put it bluntly, this is a technical kind of to and fro in the budgeting process of government," he said.Oh, sure, that makes sense.  And those flying pigs over there are actually F-35s.

Whether You Support Pipelines or Not, Here's Something We Can Surely Agree On.

The Disaffected Lib - il y a 9 heures 25 min

No secret I'm opposed to both Kinder Morgan and Northern Gateway.  A sizeable majority of British Columbians are of the same mind but a significant minority supports the pipeline initiatives.  In situations like this it can be helpful to seek out areas of agreement, common ground.

Here's an idea we should all be able to endorse.  If you insist on shipping Athabasca oil to Asia, why not ship oil?  That may sound facetious but it's not.

Bad as these pipelines are, they're made far worse by what Ottawa and Alberta want to push through them - dilbit.  Dilbit is bitumen mixed with a light oil condensate called a diluent.  Bitumen is just too sludgy to push through a pipeline.  It's full of acids, toxins, heavy metals and, of course, petroleum coke or "petcoke," a granular and very high carbon form of coal.  To get it through a pipeline you have to dilute it with condensate.  Even then you have to heat the mixture and propel it with powerful pumps to get it moving through the pipeline.

Pipeline opponents have plenty of reason to object to dilbit pipelines.  You're taking a product that is full of corrosives and forcing it through a pipeline under high pressure.  If you want to know what that pressurized corrosive does to a pipeline you might ask the authorities in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Yes, and that was an Enbridge pipeline.

British Columbians have ample reason for concern because a Kalamazoo-type spill here would likely happen in the mountainous wilderness where Enbridge intends to run Northern Gateway.  That would make it more difficult to detect and extremely difficult to get crews and equipment in to attempt clean up.  A spill into a fast-moving mountain stream would spread rapidly, confounding clean up efforts and endangering the ecology for great distances.  Enbridge repeatedly balked at cleaning up Kalamazoo.  How would the company respond to a far more difficult and enormously more costly clean up in British Columbia?

Another cause for concern is the prospect of a supertanker catastrophe. Navigating those northern coastal waters with their currents and tides is challenging on a good day and, up there, good days are not abundant.  When you're tasked with moving the volumes of dilbit Enbridge is planning for Northern Gateway, you have to keep tankers sailing in and out no matter the conditions and that is a formula for disaster.

Dilbit, because of all the sludge in it, sinks.  The condensate separates out and floats to the surface where it dissipates.  The bitumen component congeals and heads for the bottom which, in a lot of places up there, can be 600-feet down and neither the governments nor Enbridge has anything that can clean up a deepwater spill like that.

So, where is this elusive common ground?  I think both sides should be able to rule out the dilbit option/problem.  How can that be done?  Refine the product on site in Athabasca.  Do it there, at the source.  Then, once you have refined out all the garbage, all you'll be transporting is conventional crude oil.  The product you send to market won't be bitumen or diluted bitumen.  The acids, the abrasives, the toxins and heavy metals, the carcinogens and the petcoke will be removed and dealt with on site in Alberta where they belong.

That doesn't mean we'd be okay with it.  The 1989 Exxon Valdez catastrophe, after all, was a conventional oil spill and Prince William Sound still isn't cleaned up. However refined oil that floats is vastly preferable to hazmat oil that sinks and coats the bottom for generations, poisoning the entire marine habitat.

Another major factor is that transporting fully refined conventional crude oil significantly cuts the volume of product shipped.  The condensate isn't in there. The crud isn't in there.  All of that is removed and left behind in Alberta.  That refining process would allow a major reduction of up to 40% in the number of supertanker trips required to get the product to overseas markets.  The more tanker trips you have the more groundings or sinkings you'll have.  It's that simple.  Even pipeline supporters can understand that.

Bear in mind that the stuff Big Oil and its governmental minions want to ship, dilbit, still has to be refined somewhere.  That somewhere will be in Asia where they'll have to refine out not only the condensate but also all the crud, including the pet coke, out of the bitumen.  So what could be the objection to refining the goop in Athabasca?

What we're usually told is that it would be uneconomical to refine bitumen in Alberta.  Overseas markets, we're told, have unused refining capacity.  So what? We could not only address the hazmat issue but also create a lot of jobs and revenue by refining Athabasca bitumen on site.

I suspect the on-site refining option would be refused because it would add an unbearable burden to the sleight-of-hand trick used to portray the Tar Sands as a huge money maker.  It would also leave Alberta responsible for the energy requirements and emissions related to the refining process.

So you can see how, to a British Columbian, this smacks of a set up.  We have to accept the risk of a potentially catastrophic hazmat spill to bolster the bottom line of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.  They're externalizing the risks, offloading them on the province and people of British Columbia, and we're being told they're doing it as of right.

That they're dealing us cards from a stacked deck is obvious.  One by one, Harper has stripped us of our safeguards.  He moved the West Coast oil spill emergency centre to Quebec.  He shut down entire sections of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans responsible for monitoring our coastal marine habitat.  He closed essential Coast Guard installations.  He gutted the navigation regulations to accommodate the supertanker armada.  He set up an utterly fraudulent environmental review process, plainly sculpted to deliver a scripted result.  He's engaged the state security apparatus to spy on environmentalists.  Now you tell me this federal government isn't already at war with us.

When taken in the context of this litany of skulduggery, the refusal to refine this bitumen on site in Alberta can be seen in a plain light for what it is - a deliberate choice to expose British Columbia to enormous risks by transporting hazmat - hazardous materials - through highly risky conditions while simultaneously stripping us of every means we ever had to respond to catastrophe.




what i'm reading: swamplandia! by karen russell

we move to canada - il y a 11 heures 53 min
Swamplandia! caught me by surprise. At first, Karen Russell's debut novel seemed like a quirky family story, a strange and somewhat sad tale told with great wit and humour.

Then it deepened, became (possibly) supernatural - or is that just the fantasy of a troubled girl? Then it quickened, and became suspenseful, and dangerous, and a bit heartbreaking. Step by strange step, I was hooked. Swamplandia! is not an easy book to describe, but more importantly, it's not an easy book to put down.

The Bigtree family lives in Swamplandia!, an old-fashioned roadside-attraction theme park deep in the Florida Everglades. In this case, the road is a swamp, tourists and any connection with the mainland world arrives by ferry.

Hilola Bigtree, matriarch of the strange brood, mother of the teenaged narrator, has died. (Not a spoiler.) Thirteen-year-old Ava Bigtree thought her mother's death was the bottom, the end. But the demise of famed alligator wrestler and main attraction of Swamplandia! was only the first link in a chain of events that would take Ava and each member of her family much farther down, into separate hells, and finally, to redemption.

If that sounds spooky or melodramatic, it is. But it's also very funny, and strange, and utterly credible, even when it's not remotely possible. The novel's quirkiness is reminiscent of John Irving at his best; the gallows humour not unlike Frank McCourt or Roddy Doyle. But the story and the language are deeply original.

Russell's language is as quirky as her story. "A brownish-orange algae that...could draw its pumpkin lace across the entire Pit overnight"; a tiny red alligator whose "skull was the exact shape and shining hue of a large halved strawberry". A poor boy's pennies are "a lintlike currency, value that collected in corners"; a chubby boy's jeans on her slim brother "fit him like a puddle"; the white jaw of an alligator "fell open like a suitcase". In Stiltsville, an abandoned swamp community, Ava awakens to "dawn light screaming through the doorways that hung on their hinges, the broken windows that birds could fly through, the plank lace, the cheesed metals".

The voice of Ava Bigtree, the narrator, is a stylistic triumph. Russell doesn't try to mimic the speech of a 13-year-old who has been raised in social isolation. Instead, she gives us a young girls' thoughts and mindset delivered in rich, adult language. It works.

The portion of the book that follows Kiwi Bigtree, Ava's brother - working in a Hell-themed tourist attraction, and his own private hell - is told in the third person. The switch is a bit jarring at first, but as Ava's story darkens, Kiwi's story becomes funnier and more hopeful. Alternating between the two threads builds suspense: the reader wonders how it will all come together, and how bad things will get before it does.

There are also stories within the story (John Irving-esque again). These are told with such precision of emotion and empathy, that, although impossible, they blur the distinction between reality and fantasy. The reader grapples with that issue along with Ava.

And throughout: the swamp. The untamed and untameable water-land, its wild beauty, its mysteries, its dangers, coexisting with the mundane world of bored mainland teenagers and tourists. The alligators, so vital to the Bigtree family's survival, are death machines lurking beneath every surface. But neither the Bigtrees nor the alligators are the most dangerous beasts on the swamp.

For more, I recommend this review of Swamplandia! in the New York Times Book Review from February, 2011. Better still, read the book.

It's Called "Blowback"

The Disaffected Lib - il y a 12 heures 2 min


Our confused, incoherent, even knee-jerk response to ISIS appears to be backfiring on us, at least in Syria.  There, it's reported, US air strikes are driving anti-Assad groups - outfits we've supported like the Free Syrian Army - into the arms of ISIS

US air strikes in Syria are encouraging anti-regime fighters to forge alliances with or even defect to Islamic State (Isis), according to a series of interviews conducted by the Guardian.

Fighters from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Islamic military groups are joining forces with Isis, which has gained control of swaths of Syria and Iraq and has beheaded six western hostages in the past few months.

Some brigades have transferred their allegiance, while others are forming tactical alliances or truces. Support among civilians also appears to be growing in some areas as a result of resentment over US-led military action.

Isis now is like a magnet that attracts large numbers of Muslims,” said Abu Talha, who defected from the FSA a few months ago and is now in negotiations with other fighters from groups such as the al-Nusra Front to follow suit.

Assam Murad, a fighter from a 600-strong dissident FSA brigade near Homs said: “There’s no way we would fight Isis after the US military campaign against them.”

Some Syrian resistance fighters find the American policies more than hypocritical:

Omar Waleed, an FSA fighter in Hama, north of Damascus, said: “I’m really scared that eventually most of the people will join Isis out of their disappointment with the US administration. Just have a look on social media websites, and you can see lots of people and leaders are turning to the side of Isis.

We did not get any weapons from the US to fight the regime for the last three years. Only now US weapons arrived for fighting Isis.”

Once again, All the King's Horses and All the King's Men, aren't really getting the job done.  We've become accustomed to this "just add water and stir" sort of warfare where we send six warplanes here and six warplanes there without much regard for what they can accomplish or how.  Consider it warfare by gesture.

Oh well, ISIS or FSA, they're all Arabs.  I suppose we were bound to get around to bombing them sooner or later anyway. 

Deniers Pretend to be Skeptics. They're Not.

The Disaffected Lib - il y a 12 heures 29 min
A lot of climate change deniers present themselves as skeptics.  There's a huge difference that is often overlooked.

A denialist is someone who says, "No, the Earth is flat and that's all there is to it."  A skeptic, however, is someone who has done a bit of homework.  A skeptic goes through the process of testing a hypothesis against the evidence.

Earlier this year, physicist David Robert Grimes, offered this in The Guardian:

The nay-sayers insist loudly that they're "climate sceptics", but this is a calculated misnomer – scientific scepticism is the method of investigating whether a particular hypothesis is supported by the evidence. Climate sceptics, by contrast, persist in ignoring empirical evidence that renders their position untenable. This isn't scepticism, it's unadulterated denialism, the very antithesis of critical thought.Were climate change denialism confined solely to the foaming comment threads of the internet it would be bad enough, but this is not the case – publications such as the Daily Mail, Wall Street Journal and other Murdoch publications give editorial support to this view. Worse still, a depressingly large number of denialists hold office around the world. Australia's Tony Abbot decreed climate change to be "a load of crap", and a sizable chunk of the US Republican Party declare it a fiction. Even in the UK, spending on climate change countermeasures has halved under the environment secretary Owen Paterson, who doubts the reality of anthropogenic climate change, despite the fact the vast majority of scientists say unequivocally that the smoking gun is in our hands.We've developed an unhealthy tolerance for the denialists, even when they hold high office.  We really don't have time any more for indulging their nonsense.  We have to start treating them as what they are, a malignancy that imperils our future.On The Daily Show and elsewhere we're treated to montages of the leadership of the new Republican Congress spewing the same talking points: 1. "I'm not a scientist," and, 2. "I'm not sure" or "I don't know" or some other dodge.  No one ever seems to ask a follow up like "Yes, we know you're not a scientist but there are thousands of scientists working for the government you can consult so why don't you know? It's your job to find out.  You're duty bound to know." 
We have to shed our tolerance of denialists in high office.  

Sunday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - il y a 12 heures 44 min
This and that for your Sunday reading.

 - Lynn Stuart Parramore writes about our increasingly traumatic social and political culture, along with the response which can help to overcome it:
A 2012 study of hospital patients in Atlanta’s inner-city communities showed that rates of post-traumatic stress are now on par with those of veterans returning from war zones. At least 1 out of 3 surveyed said they had experienced stress responses like flashbacks, persistent fear, a sense of alienation, and aggressive behavior. All across the country, in Detroit, New Orleans, and in what historian Louis Ferleger describes as economic “dead zones” — places where people have simply given up and sunk into “involuntary idleness” — the pain is written on slumped bodies and faces that have become masks of despair.

We are starting to break down.

When our alarm systems are set off too often, they start to malfunction, and we can end up in a state of hyper-vigilance, unable to properly assess the threats. It’s easy for the powerful to manipulate this tense condition and present an array of bogeymen to distract our attention, from immigrants to the unemployed, so that we focus our energy on the wrong enemy.
...
Unfortunately, the cycle doesn’t end with you: trauma comes with a very high rate of interest. The children of traumatized people carry the legacy of pain forward in their brains and bodies, becoming more vulnerable to disease, mental breakdown, addiction, and violence. Psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk, an expert on trauma, emphasizes that it’s not just personal. Trauma occupies a space much bigger than our individual neurons: it’s political. If your parents lost their jobs, their home or their sense of security in the wake of the financial crisis, you will carry those wounds with you, even if conditions improve. Budget cuts to education and the social safety net produce trauma. Falling income produces trauma. Job insecurity produces trauma.
...
When I do something as simple as nurture a friend in need, or let myself be drawn in by an artistic creation, or meet the eyes of a stranger with kindness, or plant a living tree, I’m intervening in the trauma and rewriting its trajectory — perhaps only a paragraph, but many paragraphs can make a page, and many pages, a volume.

The etymology of the word “trauma” is associated with the Greek word “wound.” To be human is to be wounded, and the ability to cope with our wounds is the essence of life’s journey. Without wounds, we can’t know our own strength and competence, and we can’t develop empathy for our fellow creatures. Moving from the static place of trauma to something fluid and transformative is the key. The trauma doesn’t go away, but it’s possible to bring it along in a way that helps us witness each other, hear each other, and help each other.- And Monica Pohlmann interviews Armine Yalnizyan about the need to move past self-defeating policies:
Pohlmann: What keeps you up at night?

Yalnizyan: The way we are transforming our views about immigration in Canada. In the coming decades, nation states will be competing to attract people, not just capital. Population aging is occurring in all advanced industrialized nations. Without newcomers, the Canadian labour force would start to shrink in the next year or two. An unsettling trend has emerged in Canada. Public policy now favours a rise in temporary foreign workers over permanent economic immigrants. When companies say they face a skills shortage, all too often the solution is bringing in a foreign worker temporarily for what is often not a temporary shortage. These workers are tied to their employer, and can get deported if they complain about anything.

In such a workplace environment, it’s hard for any worker to ask for anything better. People are constantly looking over their shoulder, wondering, “Will they find a cheaper me?” It’s a recipe for growing friction between “us” and “them.”

The problem arises from a common view that low wages and low taxes are “good for business.” What may be good for an individual business is a dead-end path for society and the economy as a whole. Wages and taxes are never low enough for businesses. Their job is to maximize profits. But the continuous drive to lower wages and taxes erodes the economic heft of a country. The message to workers is “expect less,” even when companies grow and profits rise. The idea that labour is simply a cost, rather than the essential building block of performance, is destructive nonsense.

Middle-class jobs are being cut, replaced by more low-paid and some higher-paid work. Wages aren’t keeping up with costs for most people, and savings rates are falling. A rising proportion of Canadian households don’t have enough funds to last a month should they lose their pay cheques. We pay tribute to a large and resilient middle class as the mark of a flourishing economy around the world, but our own middle class is being squeezed in every way, ironically in the name of economic growth.- In a similar vein, Robert Reich reminds us where jobs and economic development come from - and that funneling ever more wealth to the privileged few does nothing to help:



- Alison examines the "rejectionist" model of politics which has done plenty to eliminate the belief that it's possible to accomplish anything positive through our elected governments. And Jim Day discusses Stephen Lewis' sharp - but entirely justified - criticism of Canada's social breakdown.

- Finally, Carol Linnitt examines the Burnaby Mountain pipeline protest as an all-too-clear example of petro-politics taking precedence over all else.

Canada's Fearless Tax Warrior

Politics and its Discontents - il y a 14 heures 23 min


That intrepid capeless crusader for core Conservative concepts, Finance Minister 'Uncle' Joe Oliver, has found yet another weapon in his utility pouch to save us from the implacable clutches of taxation. Rather than rely on a bureaucracy that may be rife with 'fifth columnists, Oliver has decided to outsource fiscal analysis to those most acquainted with the scourge of taxation, lobby groups!

Our man's courage in the face of sneering opposition is a wonder to behold:
Finance Minister Joe Oliver says the government approved a $550-million tax credit for small business without conducting any internal analysis to find out how many jobs the measure would create.

The minister told the House of Commons finance committee Wednesday that such analysis was deemed unnecessary because it had already been done by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, a small-business lobby group.That 'analysis' claimed the credit would create 25,000 “person years” of employment, a figure quickly deflated by the Parliamentary Budget Officer, concluding the credit would create only about 800 jobs over two years.

Perhaps sensing that his enemies ('the tax and spend crowd') were getting close to uncovering his alter ego, Oliver performed the perfect feint by taking on the persona of a village idiot. When asked by MO Scott Brison why the government didn't undertake its own analysis before granting the tax credit, he said:
“Because we didn’t think that we needed to do another analysis when we already had received one and we knew that this is a good news story for small businesses. The small business organizations have been asking us for a long time for this break”.The colloquy, as reported by Aaron Wherry, continued:
Brison: So are you aware of the methodology they used?

Oliver: We are aware that they have expertise, they’ve spoken to their members and I have had an opportunity to speak to them and I’ve had an opportunity to speak to many small businesses in my riding in Toronto and elsewhere around the country. You know, you may not want to listen to small businesses. We do, and they are the biggest generators of employment in the country.

Brison: So you’re not aware of their methodology they used to come to that number?

Oliver: I am aware that they have spoken to their members and they do their regular type of analysis that you’d expect them to do. I mean, when you invest over half a billion dollars, there’s a macro-economic impact and we’re very comfortable there’ll be significant job creation.NDP MP Nathan Cullen, part of the brigade attempting to derail Oliver's crusade, offered an observation that we can only hope deflected harmlessly off of the finance minister's protective shield. He said
that the minister’s comment shows the government is making major decisions based on ideology rather than evidence.

“They’re outsourcing policy to business lobby groups,” said Mr. Cullen. “Would they outsource policy to the Canadian Federation of Students? Would they outsource it to the national unions? They are now just allowing other people to write policy and spend employment insurance money.”Fighting for one's faith can be a lonely endeavour, but if anyone can gird his loins and carry on, it is Uncle Joe.


Recommend this Post

Nowhere Man

Northern Reflections - il y a 14 heures 43 min
                                                http://www.musicstack.com/

Yesterday, I wrote that Stephen Harper's refusal to deal with Kathleen Wynne could have significant electoral consequences. Martin Regg Cohn writes that those consequences are being felt now with the alliance which Wynne has established with Quebec premier Philippe Couillard:

There’s a reason the Quebec-Ontario summit turned into a meeting of minds and ministers: Kathleen Wynne and Philippe Couillard are simpatico both in style and substance.
Beyond the good will, there are good works on offer:
Ontario and Quebec signed an unprecedented deal to swap 500 megawatts of electricity during peak periods by way of bartering. They compared notes on climate change. And they celebrated Ontario’s francophone face in a way that touched, viscerally, the visiting French Quebecers.At ground level, it is a federalist fantasy come true. Together, they are laying the groundwork for a Central Canadian axis of power (sharing) that is both political and electrical — with environmental and electoral benefits.
Harper's policy is to not attend meetings of the Council of the Federation. He claims he prefers to meet with premiers individually. But, in Wynne's case, he prefers not to meet at all:

On the eve of the Toronto summit, Harper delivered a bizarre snub to Wynne by refusing her overtures for a federal-provincial meeting. With her request unrequited, the spurned premier went public with their correspondence — pointedly asking why Canada’s biggest province, with 13 million people, can’t get federal face time.
Then she got down to business with Couillard — showing that where there is political will, there can be policy headway.
And that is the point. Mr. Harper lacks the political will to do all kinds of things. In fact, the only thing he wants to do is balance the budget. And, because he has chosen to remove himself from the stage, others will take his place. Cohn writes that there will soon be a third member of the alliance -- Alberta premier Jim Prentice.

Mr. Harper may indeed discover that he resides in Nowhere Land -- a real Nowhere Man.

Shelly Glover and the New Con Assault on the CBC

Montreal Simon - il y a 18 heures 17 min


I have to admit that when I heard that the Con Heritage Minister Shelly Glover was warning the CBC to boost its ratings, or ELSE, I thought of her former profession.

And of what some some bloated foreign fascist, who may or may not have been Hermann Goring once said:

"When I hear the word culture I feel like reaching for my revolver." 
Read more »

Ferguson waits

Cathie from Canada - sam, 11/22/2014 - 21:28
Decision day in Ferguson will be Monday at the earliest | Toronto Star:

“We’re living under a governor’s declared State of Emergency, we’re facing school closures, and we’ve got enough extra law enforcement here to make us all feel like enemies in our own country. And all over a process that should have been decided months ago.”
Is there anyone, anywhere, who thinks that Darren Wilson will be indicted?

Nazi-shmazi

Dawg's Blawg - sam, 11/22/2014 - 18:04
Canada—my country—one of only three votes against an anti-Nazi resolution at the United Nations. Sounds like the bitch is in heat again.... Dr.Dawg http://drdawgsblawg.ca/

Happy, happy!

Dammit Janet - sam, 11/22/2014 - 13:00
To everyone who makes DAMMIT JANET! such a slice, but especially for my co-blogger and co-founder of this here joint, fernhilldammit:


Happy birthday to us, toots!

That by the way is the sans-pareille Betty Bonifassi.  You can hear and see her here, too.

Polar Vortex be Damned. 2014 Could Be the Hottest Year Ever.

The Disaffected Lib - sam, 11/22/2014 - 12:23
Take it from NOAA, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency.  2014 is shaping up to be the hottest year on record.

According to the NOAA, five of the past six months have been recorded warm for their respective months; July was the fourth warmest.The October global land temperature was the fifth highest on record at 1.05 degrees Celsius above the 20th century average of 9.3 degrees Celsius.Warmer-than-average temperatures were evident over most of the global land surfaces, except for large parts of central Asia.NOAA said record warmth was notable across a large area of southern South America, the US western coastal regions, Far East Russia, parts of southern and southeastern Asia, much of southern and western Australia, and parts of southern Europe.

Does Your School Have an STD (Standard Teaching of Dogma)?

Dammit Janet - sam, 11/22/2014 - 12:09
[Guest post by Kathy Dawson.*]
First of all, do not be ashamed. It happens to many nice local schools. With proper treatment and education, a cure is possible.

What it is
STD (Standard Teaching of Dogma) refers to anti-choice missions that are using shame and fear to scare your teen into “never having sex until marriage”. This includes a ban on masturbation or even thinking about sex (thought police)! It is almost always accompanied by a heavy dose of “religious dogma” that masquerades as science based facts. Don’t be fooled! Turning your back on this leads to further infections of sexism, homophobia, attacks on non-traditional families, limiting of reproductive rights and keeping students in total dark about their own sexual health.

How does this happen?
These infections come in free glossy packages affiliated with heavily funded anti-sex league multi-nationals. Egg obsessed missionary hens are accompanied with great qualifications such as “preacher recommend”, “commitment to not counsel or refer contraception” and most importantly a commitment to protect eggs (fertilized or not) at any cost, even if it means financial ruin or death of the “incubators” (the slutty sluts that could not keep their legs closed).

Prevention
These infections happen in secret. Schools do not like it when parents know there is an infection, it makes things a little crab itchy uncomfortable. It is important to ask every teacher, every year: WHO is teaching, WHAT is being taught, and what is Google’s opinion. Tell your child to watch out for specific lying liar agencies. Nothing wrong with a little sound or video evidence, difficult to get but clears infections immediately. A vocal membership on the parent council will strengthen protection.

Symptoms May Include (but not limited to):
• Abstinence because they told you so.
• View that youth are too idiotic to correctly use contraception or protection.
• Attack of the killer STI/STD.
• Slutty sluts should watch what they are wearing because boys are crazed sex demons with no control
• Soulgasms – mind blowing orgasms brought on by wearing a wedding ring.
• Mention of fetus or eggs brings on glassy looks and moans of “My Precious”.
• Allergic reactions to the mention of clitoris (also known as the Devil’s Doorbell), masturbation (ringing the doorbell), sexually active people (aka slutty sluts), and LGBTQ2S (or anything to do with rainbows).
• How to crochet a hat for your 16 cell zygote because they are fully formed.
• Adoptions are happy time for everyone because teen parents raise criminals.
• Facts can be found here.

Treatment
Here is a general "how to" when trying to clear up an STD (Standard Teaching of Dogma) in your school. Do not attempt this alone, you will need to call in other stakeholders to help especially if the infection has spread through the entire district. The system is known to shut down and annihilate attempts to clear infection with the process: “you are the only parent, in the only school, in the only board that ever had a problem with it”.

Start gently as some infections are easily cleared up with a little exposure to sunlight. Interactions should be respectful and everyone should focus on what is best for the students. Steps must be taken in a specific order as school systems are very hierarchical and the infection may dig in deeper.

1) Playgrounds can be unforgiving. Protect your child throughout the process.
2) Educate the educator: Try to resolve the issue with the teacher first.
3) Educate school administration: Arrange a meeting with the principal and the teacher.
4) Gather Resources, People, and Research:
    a. Has this issue happened before?
    b. Identify applicable board policies, regulations, curriculum, legislation, etc.
    c. What is the impact on the children? Focus on children’s needs.
    d. Have your talking points (key issues) ready.
    e. Discuss the issue and get support from other parents
5) Educate the Superintendent: provide a copy of your concerns and arrange a meeting.
6) Educate the Board:
    a. Have other stakeholders and yourself attend and speak at board meetings.
    b. Use talking points and be mindful of time limit to get points across.
7) Educate the Minister of Education
    a. Caution: this will automatically start the circular shutdown process. Expect to hear:
         i.“Not our problem it is their issue”. This will rinse and repeat until the media gets involved. Like musical chairs, whomever is left standing will answer to media.
    b. Do not expect “what is good for the students” to be mentioned (that will be your job) as the infection will be trying to survive.
    c. Do not worry, this step is a formality anyway. The next step is critical.
8) Educate the World:
    a. Connect with others stakeholders & organizations:
         i. Comprehensive sexual health providers
         ii. Feminist, Pro-Choice, LGBTQ2S
         iii. Science and/or secular groups
    b. Write letters to the editors
    c. Use social media
    d. Use a petition to connect with interested parties and increase visibility and pressure.
    e. Contact local media and arrange interviews
9) Last resort:
    a. Human Rights: time sensitive, lengthy process. Grounds may be: family status, marital status, gender, orientation, religion (includes non-belief). Check provincial Acts.
     b. Lawyer: Lawyer Referral Services can get you a free consult.
10) Helpful Resource Links:
      a. Alberta Health/Education Teaching Sexual Health website: www.teachingsexualhealth.ca
      b. Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada supports sexual health education: www.sexualityandu.ca
      c. Public Health Canada Guidelines for Sexual Health Education: http://www.sexualityandu.ca/resource-library/single/resources/canadian-guidelines-for-sexual-health-education-2008
      d. SIECUS (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States) Community Action Resources: www.communityactionkit.org


* Kathy Dawson has been active on the sex ed front in Alberta as reported here. Follow her on twitter, @KathyDawson.

Manhood

Trapped In a Whirlpool - sam, 11/22/2014 - 11:02
I grew up in a working class neighborhood in sixties and the notion of what it meant to be a man then looks cartoonish to me today yet many still cling to it.
Read more »

How to Militarize the South China Sea

The Disaffected Lib - sam, 11/22/2014 - 10:32
China is seeking to bolster its military presence in the South China Sea and where better but in the vicinity of the hotly contested Spratley Islands.

The prestigious British military journal, Janes, believes China is upping the ante in the region by constructing an island to accommodate a joint air and naval base at the Fiery Cross reef.


Hong Kong media have reported that China intends to establish a military air base at Fiery Cross reef, something that will no doubt be a burr under the Pentagon's saddle.

Suborning the federal Public Service

Dawg's Blawg - sam, 11/22/2014 - 10:31
In the light of the continuing Canada Revenue Agency scandal—foisting expensive and time-consuming audits upon Canadian dissident groups—we should perhaps not be surprised that the Harper government has now enlisted the federal Public Service to push an unambiguously partisan message... Dr.Dawg http://drdawgsblawg.ca/

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