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The Pushback Against Dictatorship Continues

Northern Reflections - jeu, 11/13/2014 - 07:11

Michael Harris' book Party of One details how Stephen Harper has corrupted Canadian democracy. Now you can add John Ralston Saul to Harper's enemies list. Saul's latest book, The Comeback, focuses on the harm Harper has done to Canada's First Nations and the environment. Saul is particularly critical of the prime minister's use of omnibus bills. Lawrence Martin writes:

Saul devotes a chapter of his book to detailing how so-called ‘budget’ bills have been used by the Harper government as camouflage for making controversial changes to law — for example, downgrading environmental protections and changing unemployment insurance eligibility — with very little debate.

The Conservatives have defended the bills by saying that other governments have used them as well. This, says Saul, “is an intentional misrepresentation, which is to say, it is a lie.”
 Other governments passed omnibus bills:

Past governments have built packages of laws, Saul acknowledges, but he argues they tended to be linked by a single theme, were smaller than the Harper government’s omnibus bills and were subjected to more debate. The Harper bills are designed, he says, to short-circuit public debate: “The democratic function is eliminated as a reality. What remains is pro-forma voting.”

In twelve months, says Saul, “Parliament was bullied into radically altering 133 largely unrelated laws through two acts.” 
The pushback against dictatorship is now out in the open. Only time will tell if Canadians are paying attention.

Thursday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - jeu, 11/13/2014 - 06:55
This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Paul Krugman discusses the U.S.' multi-decade pattern of income stagnation. David MacDonald and Kayle Hatt study the price we've paid to suit the Cons' political purposes, while Kristin Rushowy reports on two new calls for a genuine child care system. And Andrew Jackson notes that the Cons' only real end goal has been to hand free money to people who don't need it:
The government forecasts a deficit of $2.9 billion in this fiscal year, (2014-15.) Yet there would almost have been a surplus this year if the government had not decided to introduce family income splitting for the current tax year of 2014, at a cost of $2.4 billion in the fiscal year 2014-15 in terms of reduced revenues.
The big winners are high income, single earner families where the higher earner has an income of at least $75,000 per year. They will receive tax refund cheques of $2,000 on the eve of the 2015 election.

In the context of rapidly rising income and wealth inequality, it is outrageous that the Conservative government’s priority is to introduce a tax measure that will actually worsen inequality and do nothing to lower child poverty or to fund a badly needed child care program.- Meanwhile, Toby Sanger highlights how austerity has undermined Canada's economy over the past few years by replacing efficient public investment with useless tax baubles:

- Which isn't to say that we're lacking for areas where public money can still be put to better use, as Don Pittis writes about the billions being funneled by governments into making climate change worse.

- Alison observes that while deep integration with the U.S. has taken multiple forms, neither its goals nor its proponents have changed one bit over the past decade.

- Finally, both Frances Russell and Lawrence Martin partially explain the Cons' destructive policies by looking at Stephen Harper's insularity and refusal to allow either any real outside input into his plans, or any debate over his unilateral decisions.

New column day

accidentaldeliberations - jeu, 11/13/2014 - 06:39
Here, on how user reviews and the wisdom of crowds don't do us much good if businesses are able to silence anything that raises concerns about them.

For further reading...
- Laura K makes a similar point here.
- CBC reports on libel chill here, including a discussion of the Ottawa property manager which managed to intimidate a tenant into pulling an unfavourable review.
- Again, Mike De Souza discusses Exxon Mobil's attempts to silence his reporting on ALEC here. Jenny Uechl and Warren Bell expose Canada's links to the Western Energy Alliance - including its dirty war against the public - here.
- And finally, CBC reports on Kinder Morgan's attempt to silence protestors and the #kmface movement which responded, while Lauren Krugel notes that there's ample reason to doubt Kinder Morgan's own spin.

What Will Be The New Excuses For Inaction?

Politics and its Discontents - jeu, 11/13/2014 - 06:38

H/t The Globe and Mail

Now that the United States and China have signed a deal to drastically reduce their carbon emissions, one can only imagine that the Harper propaganda machine is now in overdrive, probably squirming under the unwanted attention this deal will direct at the regime.

As noted by The Pembina Institute yesterday,
“Canada has long justified its own failures to limit the growth of greenhouse gas emissions by pointing to the inaction of heavy emitters like the U.S. and China, but that excuse does not stand up to scrutiny.

“With this announcement, China is showing real leadership on climate change. Given the energy demands of China’s growing population and economy, identifying a target year for its emissions to peak, along with a plan to invest heavily in clean energy generation, is a significant and ambitious step.
The Harper spin machine has some formidable facts it will have to twist and pervert if it is to continue facilitating climate change. Here are some of those facts as provided by the Institute:
- Canada is among the top emitters, per capita, in the industrialized world
- Canada and the U.S. have both committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020.
- The U.S. is likely to meet its 2020 climate target, while Canada is expected to miss its emissions target by 20% (122 megatonnes of CO2e).
Canada’s oil and gas sector regulations are now eight years overdue. In the meantime, emissions from the oilsands are set to rise from 34 megatonnes to 101 megatonnes between
2005 and 2020.
- Canada has regulated emissions related to 10% of the energy in its electricity system, whereas the U.S. has targeted all electricity emissions.
- Canada’s coal regulations are mitigating 0.4% of our emissions by 2020. The U.S. clean power plan would mitigate 4.9-6.6% of U.S. emissions.Perhaps the first salvo has already been fired, with the Conservatives employing a technique they have honed over the years - baldfaced lies and non-sequiturs. Stephen Lecce, a spokesman for Harper, said
"Canada has taken decisive action to reduce emissions, while our economy has grown and over 1.2 million net new jobs have been created since the global downturn" Perhaps the regime will take a page out of the U.S. Republican playbook, which was quick and predictable in its denunciation of Obama's deal:
"I was particularly distressed by the deal ... which, as I read the agreement, requires the Chinese to do nothing at all for 16 years while these carbon emission regulations are creating havoc in my state and other states around the country," said U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell on Wednesday.Or maybe, as illustrated in yesterday's post on Fox News' reaction to the deal, it will simply indulge in bafflegag or attempt to change the conversation. Already, as reported in The Globe,
Mr. Harper and Alberta Premier Jim Prentice insist Canada cannot impose costly emission regulations on the oil sands unless the United States adopts GHG rules for its oil sector.If none of these strategies work, I suppose Harper could just continue doing what he has done best for so long: bury his head in the Alberta tarsands.

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Stephen Harper and the Great Benito Leader

Montreal Simon - jeu, 11/13/2014 - 03:25

There is an old internet adage called Godwin's Law, that dictates that among other things, one can't call Stephen Harper and his Cons Nazis.

And I don't, because it also wouldn't be decent. It would diminish the deaths and the suffering of Hitler's many victims. 

And of course, because it's not strictly accurate eh?

You really can't compare our bumbling Con fascists to those genocidal Nazi maniacs.

But Harper is a maniac, and he is killing our country. So I'm really glad to see that at least it's now OK to compare him to Benito Mussolini. 
Read more »

Apples and Mandarins

Politics and its Discontents - mer, 11/12/2014 - 18:08
The logic of Fox commentators is, to say the least, difficult for an old fella like me to follow:

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Deep integration revisited

Creekside - mer, 11/12/2014 - 14:09

Hey, remember the Task Force on the Future of North America, brought to you by the US Council on Foreign Relations and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives back in 2005? Sure ya do. Co-chaired by blue dog liberal John Manley who also co-authored the resulting book:
"The Task Force's central recommendation is establishment by 2010 of a North American economic and security community, the boundaries of which would be defined by a common external tariff and an outer security perimeter."OK, so they are a wee bit behind their 2010 deep integration schedule here.  And way way behind the Fraser Institute who in 1999 published a paper in favor of a continental monetary integration date - also for 2010.

The Case for the Amero: The Institutions of a North American Monetary Union
"On the day the North American Monetary Union is created--perhaps on January 1, 2010--Canada, the United States, and Mexico will replace their national currencies with the amero. ...  At the same time, the national central banks of the three countries will be replaced by the North American Central Bank. The board of governors of the North American Central Bank will consist of members from the United States, Canada, and Mexico chosen by their respective governments in numbers that reflect their economic importance and population." The Fraser Institute article credits Reform Party MPs Jason Kenney, Rob Anders, and Rahim Jaffer for "spearheading a debate in parliament over the issue of monetary union for North America" in 1999.

CFR, minus the help of John Manley and the CCCE this time, is apparently still in 'community-building' mode with the release of a new paper, North America : Time for a New Focus:
"The Council on Foreign Relations has convened an Independent Task Force on North America, co-chaired by David H. Petraeus, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency (and head of leveage-buyout corp KKR Global), and Robert B. Zoellick, former president of the World Bank (and Chair at Goldman Sachs).The Task Force will provide a comprehensive analysis of North American integration in areas including trade, security, migration, energy, and infrastructure, and will generate policy recommendations designed to enhance U.S. and regional competitiveness and well-being."“Now is the moment for the United States to break free from old foreign policy biases to recognize that a stronger, more dynamic, resilient continental base will increase U.S. power globally.”Not really new or news though, is it?
In his 2011 re-election campaign, Harper put out a CPC ad giving it a jobs jobs jobs edge : "so we commit to expanding our management of the border to the concept of a North American perimeter" :
The same month as Harper's 2011 speech, WikiLeaks released one of US Ambassador Paul Cellucci's 2005 cables from the US Embassy in Ottawa.  In it he suggests that "Canadian policy makers" support a "security perimeter" via an "incremental and pragmatic package of tasks" emphasizing "security and prosperity" (SPP!) to pave the way for a future North American "single market and/or single currency."  He also notes that due to its benefits for "law-enforcement and data-gathering", "our governments may always want to keep some kind of land border in place". Excerpted :"An incremental and pragmatic package of tasks for a new North American Initiative (NAI) will likely gain the most support among Canadian policymakers. Our research leads us to conclude that such a package should tackle both "security" and "prosperity" goals. This fits the recommendations of Canadian economists who have assessed the options for continental integration. While in principle many of them support more ambitious integration goals, like a customs union/single market and/or single currency, most believe the incremental approach is most appropriate at this time...Canadian economists in business, academia and government have given extensive thought to the possible options for further North American integration.Paradoxically, the security and law enforcement aspects of the envisioned initiative could hold as much - or more - potential for broad economic benefits than the economic dimension.ORDER VS. PERIMETER: Even with zero tariffs, our land borders have strong commercial effects. Some of these effects are positive (such as law enforcement and data gathering), so our governments may always want to keep some kind of land border in place."Nine years later, the only real difference is that this is starting to sound normal to us.

Das Auto is Awesome.

The Disaffected Lib - mer, 11/12/2014 - 13:15
The rednecks in the state government did everything underhanded they could to keep Tennessee Volkswagen workers from going union.  It was a move that pitted the company against, not its workers, but the government.  Volkswagen had to come out and dispel the lies, announcing that it welcomed a union but it was too late and the workforce was sufficiently intimidated/discouraged that it voted the union down.

In the wake of concerted federal, state and local anti-union interference, Volkswagen's labour council announced that, if the company did build any more American plants, they wouldn't be in the anti-union South.

According to the United Auto Workers, Volkswagen has decided of its own accord to recognize the union in its Tennessee plant.  The UAW says the announcement is expected this week.  That should send a Star Spangled rocket up those redneck asses.

The Right was so strenuously opposed to VW workers going union out of fear that it might spread of other workers in other companies in the low-wage slave states.

It's Down! Philae Lands on Comet.

The Disaffected Lib - mer, 11/12/2014 - 09:34

Here's a name you'll never remember:  67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. That's the official name of the comet that's now playing host to the European Space Agency's Philae lander as both hurtle through space at 66,000 kms. per hour. Here's what the lander's new home looks like.

It took 7-hours for Philae to touch down on the comet after separating from the Rosetta spacecraft that was launched on 2 March, 2004.  Rosetta has spent more than a decade getting into position for today's landing.  

Scientists have likened the trillion or so comets in our solar system to time capsules that are virtually unchanged since the earliest moments of the universe."By studying one in enormous detail, we can hope to unlock the puzzle of all of the others," said Mark McCaughrean, a senior scientific adviser to the mission.Rosetta and Philae now plan to accompany the comet as it races past the sun and becomes increasingly active in the rising temperatures. Using 21 different instruments, the twin spacecraft will collect data that scientists hope will help explain the origins and evolution of celestial bodies, and maybe even life on Earth."The science starts the minute we get down to the ground," McCaughrean said.

Is There a Nuclear War in Your Future?

The Disaffected Lib - mer, 11/12/2014 - 09:19

Maybe that's why Sideshow Steve went on the down low to get F-35s in RCAF hangars as soon as possible.

Could the planet be headed for the first (and last) nuclear world war?  Noam Chomsky thinks it's a real possibility.  (Hint: he's right).

“It’s come ominously close several times in the past, dramatically close,” he said. “It could happen again, but not planned, but just by the accidental interactions that take place — that has almost happened.”“It’s worth remembering that just one century ago, the First World War broke out through a series of such accidental interchanges. The First World War was horrifying enough, but the current reenactment of it means the end of the human race.”“There have been many cases,” Chomsky continued, “not that serious, but pretty close, where human intervention with a few-minutes choice has prevented a nuclear war. You can’t guarantee that’s going to continue. It may not be a high probability each time, but when you play a game like that, with low probability risks of disaster over and over again, you’re going to lose.”“And now, especially in the crisis over Ukraine, and so-called missile-defense systems near the borders of Russia, it’s a threatening situation.”We know that Russia's current rearmament programme is nuclear weapon oriented.  A new intercontinental range missile, a new intermediate range missile, a new (probably stealthy) strategic bomber, a new nuclear missile sub. America already deploys the nuclear capable, B-2 stealth bomber and the F-35 is or will be nuclear-weapon capable.  The US is also working on a new strategic bomber.So, yes, we are upping the nuclear ante even as Cold War II continues to set in. Ain't life grand?  I'm sure a cupboard/broom closet full of nukes would have a powerful appeal to a smug prick megalomaniac like this:

The Phony Warrior

Northern Reflections - mer, 11/12/2014 - 06:19

Now that Remembrance Day is over, Thomas Walkom reminds his readers that a day that was set aside to honour the sacrifices of many is now being used by one man to pave his way back into office:

Patriotism is powerful tonic. The wanton killing of W.O. Patrice Vincent and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo reignited the militant side of Canadian patriotism, a side that — following the disaster of the Afghan War — had been in abeyance.
The prime minister understands this well. It explains his decision to abruptly interrupt a long-planned trip to China in order to make a cameo appearance at Ottawa’s Remembrance Day services Tuesday.To miss the chance of publicly honouring military sacrifice would have been to miss a crucial political opportunity.
Harper will use the murders of two Canadian soldiers to whip up domestic fear of terrorism and to present himself as a "steady hand." He claimed that it was his steady hand that guided the economy. But that line began to ring distinctly hollow. He needs the same line with a different context. Recent events have provided him with that context.

Walkom warns that we could be in for an early election:

His announcement that he will increase the baby bonus is a classic example of bribing voters with their own money. To ensure Canadians understand who is bringing them these cheques, the government is running non-stop ads that trumpet the new goodies.The effort appears to be working. Over most of the year, Trudeau consistently outpolled Harper in popularity. Yet in the latest Nanos tracking poll, the two were in a statistical tie.
Harper understands that he has to act before his new claim about being a steady hand begins to ring as hollow as his claim to economic clairvoyance. He is a phony economist. -- and a phony warrior.

Wednesday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - mer, 11/12/2014 - 06:17
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Jenny Uechi and Warren Bell expose Canada's embarrassing place as the only government participating in a climate-denial group pushing for a dirty war against the planet. But despite the Harper Cons' worst efforts, there's some good news on the climate front - as the use of solar energy is booming in the U.S., while a new bilateral deal between the U.S. and China is rapidly eliminating the Cons' traditional excuses for blocking international agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

- Kathryn May reports on some of the vital public services the Cons have been slashing in the name of paying for income splitting and other tax baubles - with food safety and frontline staff addressing EI and veterans' benefits ranking at the top of the list. And Tim Harper comments on how those cuts affect Canadians directly:
A simple tally of recent reports, some gleaned by this newspaper and The Canadian Press and testimony before Parliamentary committees, gives us a partial sense of what we are sacrificing to ensure this government could get to surplus and offer its tax breaks in a pre-election period.

This week alone there was a report from the government’s public accounts showing the Harper government’s spending on marine safety had plunged 27 per cent since 2009-10 while aviation and rail safety were both down 20 per cent or more.

Transport Canada says the cuts were made on overhead, administrative and support services, but opposition critics find it hard to believe safety is not being compromised while oil shipments by rail skyrocket.

Another document obtained by CP showed Aboriginal Affairs had to shift $505 million in money earmarked for infrastructure over a six-year period to social and educational spending.

The money has bled the infrastructure fund and still not covered the shortfall on education and social spending. The infrastructure shortfall means fewer schools and more boil water orders in First Nations communities.
While you await your cheques, you might want to remember they didn’t come free. It may have already cost you from health care to security, from access to parks to treatment of our First Nations. - Meanwhile, Kelly Grant notes that the Cons' plans to undermine the public service now include taking any real authority out of the hands of Canada's chief public health officer.

- CBC reports that the false promise of a privatized prison in Ontario has finally been deemed a failure in terms of cost and other outcomes - to the point where the province paid millions of dollars just to take back control for itself. [Update: as noted by @YouthAndWork, the story dates from 2006.]

- Finally, Thomas Walkom discusses how the Harper Cons are seeking to profit politically from their own culture of fear.

It Sounds Good, Sort of, On Paper

The Disaffected Lib - mer, 11/12/2014 - 06:06
It is an historic deal - if it ever comes to pass.  China and the US have made a pact to cut carbon emissions.  The US has promised to cut emissions by 26-28% from 2005 levels by 2020.  China has said it will peak its emissions by 2030 and begin cutting them thereafter. 

It is a "landmark" deal, if it ever happens.  Whether the envisioned cuts are enough and soon enough will be the subject of discussion for weeks to come.  Remember, Obama is going to have to lay this out before a Congress now firmly in Republican control. 

Still, it's a deal and, in one way,  the timing couldn't have been better.  The agreement will be the 800-pound gorilla in the room at the G20 summit in Australia where the host, knuckle-dragger Tony Abbott wants to fend off any discussion about climate change.

The China-US deal, atop the European Union's recent initiative for a 40% cut in emissions by 2030 will be awkward for the climate change bad boys, Abbott and his girlfriend, Stephen Harper.  Maybe Harper will find a Tim Horton's to open so he can duck the G20 entirely.  If not he'll probably fall back on his old trick and, when the discussion turns to CO2 emissions, just excuse himself to go to the bathroom for a couple of days.

These emission cuts agreements are important if they're matched by action.  That has to mean slashing fossil fuel consumption and increasing the renewable energy supply.  It's hardly consistent with Obama's "all of the above" energy policy.  His commitment to 2020 means concrete programmes have to be started almost immediately. 

It will be interesting to see what institutional investors make of the EU, US and Chinese initiatives.  If they're finally forced to acknowledge the "carbon bubble" it could be devastating to high cost/high carbon fossil fuels - such as bitumen, coal and seabed oil.  That would be Harper's Sword of Damocles. 

21st Century Assyrians

The Disaffected Lib - mer, 11/12/2014 - 05:34

Overpopulation + Drought = Collapse.  Just ask any Assyrian.  Of course they've been gone since the 7th century so that's not very practical.

Historians have long wondered how the Assyrians, the military powerhouse of their region, were taken down by Babylonian forces at Nineveh in 612.   New research shows the Assyrians were already down and on their way out.  The Babylonians just finished the job.

Experts from UC San Diego and Koc University, Istanbul, have discovered that overpopulation and sustained drought caused the empire to collapse, leading the neighbours to move in.

Analysis of the area's weather patterns from paleoclimatic records found that this drought was part of a long period of drought that lasted for several years. Adam Schneider, from the University of California, said: "As far as we know, ours is the first study to put forward the hypothesis that climate change - specifically drought - helped to destroy the Assyrian Empire." At the same time, the Assyrian Empire was suffering from overpopulation. Society had grown unsustainably large during the reign of King Sennacherib and the Empire was "fatally weakened".Within five years, Assyria was ravaged by civil wars. "We're not saying that the Assyrians suddenly starved to death or were forced to wander off into the desert en masse, abandoning their cities," Schneider said. "Rather, we're saying that drought and overpopulation affected the economy and destabilised the political system to a point where the empire couldn't withstand unrest and the onslaught of other peoples." The researchers said the collapse of the Assyrian Empire is comparable with the current political situation in the Syria and northern Iraq. They also draw parallels with cities like San Diego and Los Angeles, where areas grow too large for their environments. "The Assyrians can be 'excused' to some extent for focusing on short-term economic or political goals which increased their risk of being negatively impacted by climate change, given their technological capacity and their level of scientific understanding about how the natural world works," the authors wrote. "We, however, have no such excuses, and we also possess the additional benefit of hindsight, which allows us to piece together from the past what can go wrong if we choose not to enact policies that promote longer-term sustainability."

Says Pat Robertson: "She's Asking For It"

Politics and its Discontents - mer, 11/12/2014 - 05:34
What is she asking for? Why, divine retribution, of course.

Watch. Learn. Repent!

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Stephen Harper and the Road to an Early Election

Montreal Simon - mer, 11/12/2014 - 03:32

I didn't watch the ceremony at the National War Memorial, but I see that Stephen Harper made it back from China just in time to take the starring role.

So he could take advantage of this country's massive emotional upheaval.

Pose as a Great Strong Leader keeping us safe in a time of war, Canada's Churchill or our Big Daddy.

While extracting every drop of political advantage out of the situation.

And with his every action, as Duncan Cameron points out, dishonouring the very meaning of Remembrance Day. 
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e.u. advocate general ruling strongly supports claim of war resister andré shepherd

we move to canada - mer, 11/12/2014 - 03:30
The fight for justice for US war resisters took a major step forward yesterday, with a ruling strongly in favour of war resister André Shepherd.
In the legal case of U.S. AWOL soldier André Shepherd (37) the European Court of Justice Advocate General, Eleanor Sharpton, today published her final opinion. This official statement contains guiding deliberations for the interpretation of the so-called Qualification Directive of the European Union. Amongst other considerations, these rules state that those endangered by prosecution or punishment for refusal to perform military service involving an illegal war or commital of war crimes, should be protected by the European Union.

André Shepherd, former U.S. Army helicopter mechanic in the Iraq War, during leave in Germany, left his unit and in 2008, requested asylum in that country. 2011, the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees refused Shepherd's application. Shepherd's resulting court action challenge resulted in the Munich Administrative Court's asking for the opinion of the European Court in Luxemburg on significant questions concerning the interpretation of the Qualification Directive. The Justice Advocate General came to the following conclusions:

- The protection guaranteed by the Qualification Directive is also applicable to soldiers not directly involved in combat, when their duties could support war crimes. The German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has as yet failed to respect this definition.

- Within the asylum application process, a deserter is not obliged to prove that he was or could be involved in war crimes, as the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees required. Necessary is only the evidence of war crime probability, based on past occurrences.

- Even a U.N. mandate for a war, in which the deserter was, or could have been involved, cannot serve as grounds for rejection of his rights as a refugee.

. . . .

Rudi Friedrich of Connection e.V. stated today, “Should the European Union Court of Justice respect the Advocate General's final opinion, the position in asylum cases of military service refusers and deserters will be significantly reinforced.

Bernd Mesovic of PRO ASYL declared, “Should the Court acknowledge the content of the advocate general's final opinion, their verdict would set basic precedence. I hope that deserters will soon have better protection in all of Europe.”

André Shepherd, upon reading Sharpton's decision: The final opinion gives me new reason for optimism, both in my own case, and for the rights of other deserters.Read more here.

This is a tremendous victory for Shepherd, for all his supporters, and for everyone who objects to wars for empire and profit. We can only hope that the European Court of Justice will listen.

Ezra Levant's Latest Disgraceful Bigot Eruption

Montreal Simon - mer, 11/12/2014 - 02:17

Ezra Levant is without a shadow of a doubt the most disgusting person on Canadian television.

A greasy, grubby oil pimp, a far-right demagogue, a bully and a bigot.

But even by his low standards, this is absolutely outrageous.
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Ezra Levant, Hyde, and Appealing to the Id

Anti-Racist Canada - mar, 11/11/2014 - 20:51
Our erudite readers will all be well acquainted with this particular novel:

This writer is a fan of both Robert Louis Stevenson' and Sigmund Freud's work (though I actually prefer Jung and think his theories more relevant) so forgive me for the clumsiness when I discuss The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde through a brief Freudian analysis.

The character Hyde is the manifestation of "the id," the deep, reptilian part of the subconscious. The id is where our deepest impulses are located; lust, fear, hate:
[The id] is the dark, inaccessible part of our personality, what little we know of it we have learned from our study of the Dreamwork and of the construction of neurotic symptoms, and most of that is of a negative character and can be described only as a contrast to the ego. We approach the id with analogies: we call it a chaos, a cauldron full of seething excitations. ... It is filled with energy reaching it from the instincts, but it has no organization, produces no collective will, but only a striving to bring about the satisfaction of the instinctual needs subject to the observance of the pleasure principle. ~ Sigmund Freud, New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis [1933] (Penguin Freud Library 2) pp. 105–6It doesn't take a genius to realize the society that would exist if inhabited by people ruled only by their id would make anything Ayn Rand could dream up look like an altruistic utopia by comparison. Thankfully, in addition to the id we have the super-ego or, to overly simplify the concept, a conscious. The ability to discern right from wrong and to keep our id in check. In short, our Jekylls are stronger than our Hydes, at least most of the time.

Now, our readers will also be familiar with this good looking fella:

We won't go into a lot of detail as Ezra Levant's latest screed has been pretty thoroughly debunked. In short, the Greater Essex County District School Board sent out a memo to schools where parents might have safety concerns about their children attending public Remembrance Day ceremonies given the shooting in Ottawa that left a soldier who was standing as an honor guard at the National War Memorial dead. School-based memorials would continue, and for those concerned about safety alternative way to honor those who served in the military were suggested.

Levant took the opportunity to twist the intent of the memo and claim it was an attempt to appease Muslims who secretly hate Canada:

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