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Scalia, Dead at 79

The Disaffected Lib - 9 hours 7 min ago

The voice of the fringe right on the US Supreme Court, Antonin Scalia, is dead. Plenty of time for Obama to appoint a replacement.

"..To the Shores of Tripoli"

The Disaffected Lib - 10 hours 8 min ago

Is it time to shoot-up Libya? DefMin Harjit Sajjan hints that Canada may be looking for a new shooting war assisting Italian forces to fight ISIS militias in Libya.

Perhaps it's a matter of never leaving bad enough alone. You may recall way back in 2011 when Canada and our NATO buddies got together for an aerial frat party/bombing campaign against Gaddafi forces in Libya.  We liked it so much we banged away on that drum of eight full months (plus one day), plenty long enough to let Islamist extremists meet their pledge to use the chaos to get established in North Africa. Harper was so pleased with his handiwork, his "mission accomplished" moment that he even staged a victory flypast over Parliament Hill. Here's a picture of the trained seals celebrating the event.

Of course the mission was never accomplished and Libya went straight into failed-state mode. It's still there today.

Joining the Italians and others to drive ISIS out of North Africa could be more productive than our hapless efforts to expel the Taliban from Afghanistan or more bombing of pickup trucks in the deserts of Iraq and Syria. There's no reason Egypt, which shares a common border with Libya couldn't and shouldn't lend plenty of help.

The only thing is we can't do much with penny packets of jets or with token garrison forces of the sort we had in Afghanistan.

This time let's not go in unless we know we have the means and the will to prevail.

Saturday Afternoon Links

accidentaldeliberations - 10 hours 33 min ago
Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Andrew Jackson argues that a federal infrastructure program can and should be oriented toward developing a skilled and diverse workforce, rather than rewarding free-riding contractors who don't contribute to those outcomes. And a joint statement from community and labour groups posted by Angella MacEwen argues that a major focus of the upcoming federal budget should be to repair and strengthen Employment Insurance.

- Andrew Sayer laments the fact that our economy is set up to disproportionately reward unproductive ownership and rent extraction rather than actual contributions to social well-being. And Jill Treanor provides a prime example, as UK banks who are laying off frontline workers and seeing their share values decline are nonetheless handing out billions of dollars in bonuses to a lucky few.

- Sabrina Tavernise writes about the U.S.' growing inequality in life expectancy between the rich and the poor.

- Glenn Burley studies how it's possible to eliminate tuition and compulsory fees from post-secondary education at a readily affordable price. And PressProgress follows up by highlighting how much tuition is currently costing Canadian students. 

- Finally, Andrea Hill exposes the Saskatchewan Party's appalling slashing of services for homeless residents of Saskatoon. And Ken Gousseau reports on the CCPA's research into what Saskatchewan stands to lose if the Wall government gets the chance to follow through on its plans to conduct a fire sale of publicly-owned liquor stores.

Zika, Like Rubella, a Game-Changer?

Dammit Janet - 11 hours 46 min ago
I’ve been collecting links on the Zika virus for weeks now.

If you haven’t been keeping up, here are some points to know:
• there isn’t a concrete link yet between reported cases of microcephaly and the Zika virus in Central and South America;
• some researchers in Latin America suggest that it is not Zika but a Monsanto-linked larvicide causing microcephaly;
• microcephaly is a variable diagnosis depending on the size of the head, unlike anencephaly, which literally means “no in-head”;
• microcephaly is also a variable condition affecting some infants not much, others catastrophically;
• microcephaly cannot be reliably diagnosed in utero until quite late in pregnancy and then, see above for variable diagnosis and prognosis.

So, while this is a fascinating epidemiology narrative, it has devastating consequences for the region.

And may well serve as a game-changer in reproductive rights.

Several writers have drawn parallels between the Zika and Rubella viruses.

The Guardian:
It’s early spring in London. Some of Britain’s leading medical researchers have convened to discuss alarming new evidence linking a virus long presumed to be harmless with a spate of defects in newborn babies. It’s not 2016, it’s 1946, and the disease is not Zika, but German Measles, or Rubella.
The writer goes on:
Such women [infected with Rubella and seeking an abortion], historian Leslie Reagan has eloquently argued, were ‘moral pioneers’. The accidental combination of pregnancy and disease put women in the complicated position of having to assess scientific information about the probability of foetal malformation, and confront the anxieties and uncertainties associated with either terminating a pregnancy or carrying it to term. Not all medical practitioners agreed that infection with Rubella in early pregnancy justified abortion. But many did, to the extent that termination had become the ‘recognised treatment’ for maternal Rubella in British hospitals at least a decade before abortion was made legal.But beyond individuals’ ethical and medical quandaries, there is now in Latin America a helluva public health mess.

Ilana Löwy, historian of science and medicine, writes:
Brazil is facing an epidemic of a severe birth defect: microcephaly (abnormally small head size), a condition linked with important neurological impairments and developmental delays.Brazil, don’t forget, is also hosting the Olympics this summer.

Brazil and other countries are focussed on trying to control the spread of Zika infection, as Löwy says, “undoubtedly an important goal, but difficult to achieve rapidly.”

But the point here, as with Rubella, is that even if the cause of microcephaly can be nailed to Zika and even if a rapid diagnosis for Zika-infected fetuses is devised, what bloody good will it do?

Abortion — and in many countries in the region, contraception as well — is pretty much totally illegal.

So, there will be not only thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of panicky women demanding some recourse, but there will be entire states gazing with despair at a generation of brain-damaged children.

Löwy again:
Microcephaly is scary. As reported in an article published by BBC Brazil on December 15, 2015, pregnant women in rural zones of Pernambuco say they are terrified by what they know about the zika epidemic and its consequences. Brazilian doctors have no answer to their fears. Public health experts are predicting 15,000 cases of microcephaly—and possibly up to 50,000 zika-induced birth defects—before the end of 2016. When asked about the possibility that women will be allowed to abort fetuses at risk of birth defects induced by zika, the answer is: “Abortion is a crime.”In response to the Rubella epidemic, many doctors in Western countries acted in the best interests of their patients and risked their careers to offer terminations.

Löwy concludes: “One must wonder whether Brazilian doctors’ unwillingness to consider interventions beyond the strict limits of the law reflects such strong convictions, or is influenced also by the fact that the majority of women at high risk of giving birth to children with microcephaly live in poor, often neglected areas.”

And Brazil is just one of the affected countries (animated map of Zika’s spread).

Will Zika start to change the discussion of women’s own moral agency as Rubella did? Will a massive public health emergency force priest-ridden states to reconsider privileging medieval views over ordinary citizens’ well being?

We live in hope.

Sorry Liberals. Sorry New Dems. Sorry Conservatives. Even Thomas Friedman has Thrown In the Towel on Israel.

The Disaffected Lib - 11 hours 49 min ago

It's called reality and it's the rarest of commodities when Canada's political leadership addresses the subject of Israel.  Mention Israel and they become so gushing that I sometimes fear one of them might drown. It's the perpetuation of myth at its very worst and they're all bleating from the same page. Sheep.

Maybe they should take their cue from the New York Times columnist, Thomas Friedman. He's written what should be a real wake-up call for Mona and Tommy and Justin - Israel has already imposed its own one-state solution. It's over.

Whoever becomes the next president will have to deal with a totally different Middle East.

It will be a Middle East shaped by struggle over a one-state solution, a no-state solution, a non-state solution and a rogue-state solution.

That is, a one-state solution in Israel, a no-state solution in Syria, Yemen and Libya, a non-state solution offered by the Islamic caliphate and a rogue-state solution offered by Iran.

Start with Israel. The peace process is dead. It’s over, folks, so please stop sending the New York Times Op-Ed page editor your proposals for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians. The next U.S. president will have to deal with an Israel determined to permanently occupy all the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, including where 2.5 million West Bank Palestinians live.

 Friedman notes that there's plenty of blame to go around and that Hamas fullsomely deserves its share.
They all killed the two-state solution. Let the one-state era begin. It will involve a steady low-grade civil war between Palestinians and Israelis and a growing Israeli isolation in Europe and on college campuses that the next U.S. president will have to navigate.

...So my advice to all the candidates is: Keep talking about the fantasy Middle East. I can always use a good bedtime story to fall asleep. But get ready for the real thing. This is not your grandfather’s Israel anymore, it’s not your oil company’s Saudi Arabia anymore, it’s not your NATO’s Turkey anymore, it’s not your cabdriver’s Iran anymore and it’s not your radical chic college professor’s Palestine anymore. It’s a wholly different beast now, slouching toward Bethlehem.

If you're expecting any of Canada's political leaders to have the sand to recognize the obvious, don't hold your breath. Immediately you treat Israel and the Palestinian territories as a one-nation state, you have to explain your tolerance for the enslavement of the Palestinian people in their own homeland. Maybe we'll just turn our back on them as we've done to so many others in so many places.

Will 2017 Be the Year of the Great Global Migration?

The Disaffected Lib - 14 hours 13 min ago

It's going to happen and, when it does, it will eclipse anything we experienced in 2015. "It" refers to the first of what is predicted to become a constant wave of migrants seeking to move to safety ever further poleward.

Why 2017? Because you can't live forever in a place without water. A report yesterday in The Guardian dealt with new findings that more than 4-billion of us now experience severe water shortage for at least one month per year. As you can see in the graphic below, a good many of them endure several months of severe water scarcity every year. The kicker is that this is a situation that's only going to continue to worsen. reports that severe drought triggered by the latest El Nino is expected to persist across parts of Africa, Central America and Asia into 2017.

Agence France Presse warns that severe, extended drought is threatening food security across southern Africa.

Toward the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is enduring its worst drought in 50-years and is expected to need tens, possibly hundreds of millions of dollars in food aid this year. Is that the same Ethiopia that regularly needs famine relief? Why yes. The same Ethiopia where foreign nations have been snatching up the best farmland for years, displacing locals from their historic plots? Indeed, one and the same. Odd that you would notice given that this is becoming standard practice among the poorest, most food insecure nations of the world. They're impoverished, damn it. Poor people are the easiest to throw off their ancestral lands. Don't get too worked up about it, though. The countries who most often take advantage of the little folks are in many cases nations we consider our friends and trading partners.

Imagine If You Were Like Most People on Earth

The Disaffected Lib - 15 hours 11 min ago

Thank your lucky stars you're not. You're Canadian which is another way of saying very, very fortunate.

A new study finds that almost two-thirds of mankind endures a severe water shortage for at least one month in any year. Some places experience near constant water insecurity. It's bad and it's going to get worse.

If you look at environmental problems, [water scarcity] is certainly the top problem,” said Prof Arjen Hoekstra, at the University of Twente in the Netherlands and who led the new research. “One place where it is very, very acute is in Yemen.”

Yemen could run out of water within a few years, but many other places are living on borrowed time as aquifers are continuously depleted, including Pakistan, Iran, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia.

Hoekstra also highlights the Murray-Darling basin in Australia and the midwest of the US. “There you have the huge Ogallala acquifer, which is being depleted.” He said even rich cities like London in the UK were living unsustainably: “You don’t have the water in the surrounding area to sustain the water flows” to London in the long term.

Therein Lies The Road To Perdition

Northern Reflections - 17 hours 15 min ago

There is more than poisoned water, Chris Hedges writes, at the core of the debacle in Flint Michigan:

The crisis in Flint is far more ominous than lead-contaminated water. It is symptomatic of the collapse of our democracy. Corporate power is not held accountable for its crimes. Everything is up for sale, including children. Our regulatory agencies—including the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality—have been defunded, emasculated and handed over to corporate-friendly stooges. Our corrupt courts are part of a mirage of justice. The role of these government agencies and courts, and of the legislatures, is to sanction abuse rather than halt it.

The primacy of profit throughout the society takes precedence over life itself, including the life of the most vulnerable. This corporate system of power knows no limits. It has no internal restraints. It will sacrifice all of us, including our children, on the altar of corporate greed. In a functioning judicial system, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Flint’s former emergency manager, Darnell Earley, along with all the regulatory officials who lied as a city was being sickened, would be in jail facing trial.
When we place our government in the hands of technocrats, the kinds of things that happened in Flint become common place. And it's not as if we haven't been warned:

Hannah Arendt in “The Origins of Totalitarianism,” Gitta Sereny in “Into That Darkness,” Omer Bartov in “Murder in Our Midst,” Alexander Solzhenitsyn in “The Gulag Archipelago,” Primo Levi in “The Drowned and the Saved” and Ella Lingens-Reiner in “Prisoners of Fear” argue that the modern instrument of evil is the technocrat, the man or woman whose sole concern is technological and financial efficiency, whose primary measurement of success is self-advancement, even if it means piling up corpses or destroying the lives of children.

“Monsters exist,” Levi noted, “but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men.” These technocrats have no real ideology, other than the ideology that is in vogue. They want to get ahead, to rise in the structures of power. They know how to make the collective, or the bureaucracy, work on behalf of power. Nothing else is of importance. “The new state did not require holy apostles, fanatic, inspired builders, faithful devout disciples,” Vasily Grossman, in his book “Forever Flowing, wrote of Stalin’s Soviet Union. “The new state did not even require servants—just clerks.” 

These technocrats are numb to the most basic of human emotions and devoid of empathy beyond their own tiny inner circle. Michigan state officials, for example, provided bottled water to their employees in Flint for nearly a year while city residents drank the contaminated water, and authorities spent $440,000 to pipe clean water to the local GM plant after factory officials complained that the Flint water was corroding their car parts. That mediocre human beings make such systems function is what makes them dangerous. 

The long refusal to make public the poisoning of the children of Flint, who face the prospect of stunted growth, neurological, speech and hearing impairment, reproductive problems and kidney damage, mirrors the slow-motion poisoning and exploitation of the planet by other corporate technocrats. These are not people we want to entrust with our future.
Yet we continue to put our futures in their hands. Therein lies the road to perdition.

The Demagogue Speaks Again

Politics and its Discontents - 17 hours 41 min ago

Won't anyone tell him just to shut up?

Recently, the CBC, which has an ongoing yet inexplicable and wholly unwholesome relationship with Rex Murphy, gave him yet another opportunity to spew his denigration and venom about those who criticize Alberta and its moribund oil industry. It seems that the rest of Canada is not recognizing its debt to Alberta for being the country's former economic engine of growth.

You may wish to read the original piece, linked above, or move on to The National Observer's dissection of good Rex's cant. To whet your appetite, here are a few excerpts from that dissection, that cuts through the pretext of Rex's article to get to its real purpose: shilling, par excellance, for the oil industry as he vigorously denies climate change.:
After weeping crocodile tears for Alberta and Calgary, Murphy sets about his real work, tearing down anyone who believes fossil fuels have had their day and that climate change is a genuine concern.

David Suzuki and Neil Young are characterized as “dim-minded celebrities that took their jaunts to the oil sands to mewl over its planet-destroying potential.”

Murphy contends that the “critics bark without scrutiny, never receive the zealous oversight they impose on the industry. Environmental reporting is heinously one-sided and close-minded.”

Tell that to the many fine journalists in Canada and abroad - at the New York Times, the Guardian and many, many others - who do their best to tell the complex stories of energy and environment in a balanced, nuanced way.Like his spiritual brother Conrad Black, Rex Murphy is quite adept at hiding his paucity of worthwhile thought with an elevated and clever use of words. Perhaps it is time someone told him the veneer is wearing thin.Recommend this Post

Has Rona Ambrose's Bombing Campaign Just Gone Up In Smoke?

Montreal Simon - 19 hours 2 min ago

One might think by the way Rona Ambrose goes on and on about bombing people, that she was born to kill.

And that she just can't help herself...

But although she is deeply disturbed, the real reason is that ever since she saw this poll. 

She's been going wild, and I mean WILD, trying to use the issue to bomb her favourite target: Justin Trudeau.
Read more »

Musical interlude

accidentaldeliberations - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 20:30
Underworld - Born Slippy

Why is Rex Murphy Trying to Inflame Alberta Separatists?

Montreal Simon - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 17:50

As I pointed out recently, Big Oil's sinking fortunes are driving its faithful hooker Rex Murphy over the deep end.

He has been using his bully pulpits on The National and in the National Post to blame everybody but Stephen Harper for the dire situation in Alberta.

But even by his low standards this deranged rant is absolutely outrageous. 
Read more »

Chill, Baby, Chill

Politics and its Discontents - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 13:39

After spending a rather stressful past day-and-a-half on personal matters, I found the advice of Clive Weighill, President of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and Saskatoon's police chief, rather appealing:

Recommend this Post

This is why the Harper Cons lost the election

Cathie from Canada - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 10:52
So the Harper Cons figured out a complicated legalistic way to screw a few thousand poor First Nations people out of a few thousand dollars in long-overdue residential school reparations.
Now the Liberals have put a stop to it.
And that's why the Harper Cons lost the election -- too cheap, too mean, too incompetent.

Big Fossil's Achilles' Heel

The Disaffected Lib - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 09:04
You don't often come across a vulnerability this huge. The fossil energy companies, virtually the lot of them, have a ginormous problem. Their commercial viability is dependent on maintaining a lie of colossal proportions.

To put it simply, when you look at their balance sheet, the asset column is chock full of worthless junk carried at insane values. These companies purport to have trillions of dollars of assets that are really worth maybe, maybe 20 cents on the dollar of the values claimed.

How can that be? Easy. Our planet now has a "carbon budget." That's the remaining amount of greenhouse gases we can emit if life on Earth is to have a chance, a decent chance of survival. From that we know how many more gigatonnes of fossil fuels we can burn and, from the energy companies' financial statements, we know that limit stands at about 20 per cent of their listed proven reserves.

20 per cent, no more. That means that 80 per cent of the energy giants' listed proven reserves will have to be left in the ground, unburned. 80 per cent of the value listed on that asset sheet is simply wiped out.

Now, if I got you to invest in my company because you believed me when I said I had a million dollars in inventory but then you discover I really only have 20 per cent of that amount you would probably be pissed.

The New York State attorney general has launched an enquiry into whether Big Fossil has done a snake oil salesman act on the New York Stock Exchange. He wants to know if those companies have been truthful with their shareholders and investors. If they haven't, somebody could be headed for the Greybar Hotel where at least they'll be safe from the stampede of investors.

Now it's the European Union's turn.

The EU’s financial watchdog has called for governments to consider imposing asset disclosures on industry and stress tests on banks as a guard against the economic crisis that could be caused by an emergency switchover to clean energy.

The European Systemic Risk Board – set up by the EU in the wake of the 2008 crash to monitor risks to financial markets – has warned in a new report of economic “contagion” if moves to a low carbon economy happen too late and abruptly.

A scramble to take fossil fuels offline could reduce energy supplies, while increasing their cost and exposing investors to the worst effects of ‘stranded assets’, or fossil fuel holdings that may never be recouped without causing climate disaster.

Isn't it great that the State of New York and the European Union are taking steps to protect their institutions and their people from the economic devastation that stranded carbon assets would trigger? Isn't it great that Canada's not in that awful situation? Wait, what's that, we are? Bitumen, really? But aren't the federal and provincial governments doubling down on the bitumen business, racing to build pipelines to get that sludge to "tidewater"? 
At some point you have to ask yourself whose side our federal and provincial politicians are on. Here's a hint - it's not yours.

Cultivated Ignorance

The Disaffected Lib - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 08:33

If American students are told much at all about climate change, there's a good chance what they're being told isn't true much less informative.

In the first national survey of classroom science teachers, researchers found there was short shrift given to the teaching of climate change in public middle and high schools in all 50 states.

The survey of 1,500 teachers, published inScience on Thursday, found most pupils spend only an hour or two in the course of an academic year learning about climate change in middle and high school – and much of what they are taught is confusing or simply wrong.

Only 38% of American schoolchildren were taught lessons that adhere to the scientific consensus that climate change is largely the result of the burning of fossil fuels, the researchers from Pennsylvania State University and the National Centre for Science Education found.

Some 30% of teachers spent less than an hour on climate change during the last academic year, the researchers found. In higher grades, much of that time was spent going over old material without introducing more advanced material.

The blind leading the blind.
Only 30% of middle school teachers and 45% of high school teachers said that human activity was the main driver of climate change, the researchers found.

Why There Aren't Enough Bombs to Stop ISIS

The Disaffected Lib - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 07:11

Well there are but they're nuclear and they would pretty much wipe us all out.

The problem with ISIS, ISIL, Da'esh - whatever you call them - is that those guys are not quite everywhere but just about and they're expanding. This report from the UN Security Council has all the details.

Despite the efforts of the international community to counter ISIL through military, financial and border-security measures (which have recently inflicted substantial losses), ISIL continues to maintain its presence in Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic. It is also expanding the scope of its operations to other regions. The terrorist attacks carried out in the final months of 2015 demonstrate that it is capable of committing attacks on civilian targets outside the territories under its control. The extent of its reach was notably demonstrated by the suicide bombings in Beirut on 12 November 2015, the coordinated attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015 and the attacks in Jakarta by an ISIL affiliate on 14 January 2016, which closely resembled the Paris attacks.
The recent expansion of the ISIL sphere of influence across West and North Africa, the Middle East and South and South-East Asia demonstrates the speed and scale at which the gravity of the threat has evolved in just 18 months. The complexity of the recent attacks and the level of planning, coordination and sophistication involved raise concerns about its future evolution. Moreover, other terrorist groups, including the Islamic Youth Shura Council and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Libya Province (Derna) in Libya, the Mujahideen of Kairouan and Jund al-Khilafah in Tunisia, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Tehreek-e-Khilafat in Pakistan and Ansar al-Khilafah in the Philippines, are sufficiently attracted by its underlying ideology to pledge allegiance to its so-called caliphate and self-proclaimed caliph. ISIL has also benefited from the arrival of a steady stream of foreign terrorist fighters, who continue to leave their communities to replenish its ranks. The return of these fighters from the battlefields of Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic and other conflict zones is a further major concern, as returnees can extend the presence of ISIL to their States of origin and use their skills and combat experience to recruit additional sympathizers, establish terrorist networks and commit terrorist acts. 
Read the report. That will certainly help you understand how boneheaded the West has been with its aerial bombing campaign, obliterating random pickup trucks in the sands of Iraq and Syria while ISIS busies itself opening new franchises across the Muslim world. If anything the bombing campaign may be a dangerous distraction, leading us to believe we're achieving something while ISIS does an end run around us first throughout the Muslim nations and then in our cities.
They're smarter than we are and by a big margin. They're out to reach a critical mass organizationally, territorially and in sheer numbers while we respond with a war of empty gestures.

That Word He Used To Trumpet

Northern Reflections - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 06:25


Stephen Harper has disappeared. He has not been showing up for work in the House of Commons. Perhaps, Michael Harris suggests, he believes he is the member for Las Vegas/Fort Myers. His party doesn't seem to mind. But they still have not come to terms with their defeat. And their cheerleaders, people like the peanut gallery at the National Post, keep shilling for more of the same. But Harris reviews the record:

Under Harper the economist, 400,000 manufacturing jobs were lost. Worse than that, he presided over a one-third drop in Canada’s value-added exports — the better to concentrate on rapid, unsustainable and environmentally harmful resource development.

While the rest of the industrialized world was investing in alternative energy sources to save the planet, Harper’s master plan was to subsidize pipelines and pollution and damn the torpedoes. That’s why he dropkicked Kyoto into oblivion and replaced it with the environment-killing omnibus bill C-38. And Rona now talks about how much the Cons love nature.

Harper spent tens of millions of taxpayers’ dollars promoting so-called government programs. Much of this material amounted to thinly-disguised promotional bumf for the Conservative Party of Canada.

So great was this prime minister’s disrespect for Parliament that he shuttered the seat of government for an incredible 181 days for purely political reasons. He unleashed the Canada Revenue Agency on NGOs and environmental groups, using audits as a weapon against his perceived political enemies.

Harper’s attack on civil liberties was deep and disturbing. Bill C-51 gave police-state powers to agencies like the RCMP, CSIS and SEC. Some of you may remember that these same agencies were already spying on environmental groups and then meeting every year with representatives of the oil industry to brief them on the alleged threats facing their projects.

Harper the diplomat turned Canada into what former Conservative PM Joe Clark called a “denier and an outlier”. For the first time in fifty years, Canada couldn’t get elected to a seat on the Security Council at the UN, losing the spot to Portugal. He turned the world into a comic book narrative of good and evil, preferring bombing to talking whenever he had the choice.The NDP has reviewed the reasons for their loss -- even though the review was painful. Tom Mulcair has acknowledge the campaign shortcomings and has taken responsibility for them. We'll see if he survives.

Perhaps Steve believes that, as long as he hides, he can escape that word that he used to trumpet -- accountability.

The Con Media and Justin Trudeau's First 100 Days

Montreal Simon - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 04:40

Well yesterday was the day the MSM decided to devote a lot of their coverage to Justin Trudeau's first 100 days in office.

And I must say I found it a rather depressing spectacle.

For there they were toting up his promises, made, kept, or in their opinion broken. Already.

Like a bunch of grubby bank clerks, writing up some small company's balance sheet.

And in my opinion completely missing the big picture.
Read more »

Bernie Sanders and the New American Revolution

Montreal Simon - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 01:17

Three days after Bernie Sanders' victory in New Hampshire I'm still floating on a cloud, and dreaming up a storm.

I still can't quite believe my eyes. How could an old leftie calling for a revolution in the United States of America manage to win so convincingly?

But I suppose it's only fitting that it happened in a state with the motto "Live Free or Die."

For it is a new American revolution, and at its core is a simple but radical idea.
Read more »


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