Posts from our progressive community

Donald Trump's America and the Values That Protect Canadians

Montreal Simon - Sat, 07/23/2016 - 05:14


It speaks to the horror of the Republican convention that although Donald Trump did declare it an enormous success.

As only he could.



The Washington Post editorial board has seen enough.

And has decided to endorse Hillary Clinton about three months earlier than it normally would.

Read more »

Lessons From Weimar

Northern Reflections - Sat, 07/23/2016 - 05:06


In the wake of the Republican Convention, Charles Dermer writes that there are three lessons progressives should remember about the failure of Weimar Germany:

First, the German Left splintered and failed to create strong coalitions. The Social Democrats and the German Communist Party -- both large parties of Labor -- made little efforts to work together or to organize and coordinate closely with many of the remarkably progressive Weimar urban feminist, gay and civil rights movements. Much of the blame falls on the Communists, who decided to take their marching orders from Stalin, believing that the collapse of the German economy would lead to a Communist revolution. But the Social Democrats were also responsible, aligning themselves with conservative parties and aristocratic landed elites -- and supporting repression of Far Left movements while failing to reach out to and make concessions to either the Communists or the movements.

Had the Social Democrats and Communists formed a common bloc, working in a strong coalition with progressive urban cultural movements, they would have controlled the majority of Parliament and might have kept power. The lesson here is that we must wrestle with the potential ways in which the Democratic Party, the Sanders supporters and our major social justice movements might work together, building a coalitional front that can push back against the dangers posed by Trump, promote the aims of the Sanders "revolution," and help unite or "universalize" Left grassroots movements in a long-term effort to create a systemic transformation of militarized, racialized, patriarchal capitalism.

Second, to build a united front, all types of progressives must grapple with the real threat of a Trump victory and of a broader right-wing populist ascendancy, with or without a Trump victory. The German Left -- as well as the German corporate and landed gentry Establishment -- never took Hitler seriously, dismissing Far Right movements and believing Hitler had no large popular base. Likewise, many US progressives cannot imagine that Americans would embrace Far Right populism and elect an overtly racist demagogue such as Trump.

The Weimar Left and the German Establishment wildly underestimated the Far Right and Hitler's resonance during a massive economic crisis with a public with authoritarian tendencies. They lost touch with the working and lower middle class, especially the rural or small town population, who felt they were losing not just their jobs but their country and culture. They also never believed Hitler could gain so much support in his pursuit of genocide.

This leads to a third lesson: the need for a massive shift in the Democratic Party and a resurgence of progressive movements to solve the economic crisis and address the sense of national decline perpetrated by the Establishment itself. The Weimar Left, especially the Social Democratic Party, largely disconnected from grassroots urban progressive cultural movements, had no transformative vision or energy. It was an exhausted, reformist party offering no economic or social solutions. The Communists didn't even try, as they promoted collapse.
The inconvenient truth is that the Democrats have bought into neo-liberalism with almost the same fervor as the Republicans:

The Democratic Party in the age of Clintons, disconnected from social movements, has aligned with the corporate and military establishment. While Bernie Sanders resonated far and wide because of his urgent message of "political revolution" and democratic socialism, Hillary Clinton has only begun to -- at least in rhetoric -- embrace the importance of structural change. But to win, she has to take Sanders more seriously and respond not only to his demands but also to the demands of the civil rights, Black liberation, peace and environmental movements.

Germans made the mistake of believing that Hitler was simply a cook who would self destruct. That's what he eventually did. But what he left in his wake was utter devastation.

Image: www.slideshare.net

The Continuing Adventures of the Annoying Oil Pimp Brad Wall

Montreal Simon - Sat, 07/23/2016 - 01:15


Canada's premiers have made more progress in the last few months than they made in the almost ten years Stephen Harper ruled this country.

And they do have good reason to celebrate.

But there is always one party pooper, and it would have to be Brad Wall. 

The grubby little oil pimp from Saskatchewan, who spent much of that meeting complaining that Justin Trudeau wasn't there.

So he could tell him how much he hates the idea of a carbon tax.

Read more »

Elizabeth May Calls Out Trudeau on Corexit

The Disaffected Lib - Fri, 07/22/2016 - 15:53


Maybe Trudeau and McKenna thought no one would notice. They thought wrong. Almost as soon as Environment Canada quietly announced it had approved Corexit for use as an oil dispersant word began to get around.


You see, there are people who know the name. They also know the history of this horrific chemical. There's a massive wealth of experience that goes from the Exxon Valdez disaster in Prince William Sound to the Deepwater Horizon fiasco in the Gulf of Mexico. It's literally the equivalent of thalidomide for any marine ecosystem and the people whose livelihoods depend on it. You can watch the videos here - if you've got a strong stomach.


Now Green Party leader Elizabeth May is taking Trudeau - and his laughable promise that his government will follow the science - to task.

"I am deeply disappointed that our current government is continuing the trend of making decisions based on industry recommendations rather than the evidence-based decision making process we so dearly need," said Dr. Lynne Quarmby, Green Party Science Critic, and Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Biochemistry at Simon Fraser University.

Last month, Environment Canada quietly released regulations that included a list of approved "treating agents" for oil spills. Corexit EC 9500A, which actually sinks oil, was on that list.

"We know from the disastrous cleanup attempts during BP's Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010 that solubilizing oil with Corexit allows the toxins in oil to permeate into bodies of humans and marine animals," Dr. Quarmby said. "In one controlled study, toxicity to planktonic organisms was more than 50 times higher when Corexit was added. As we saw in the BP Gulf spill, Corexit causes oil to sink - out of sight, out of mind seems to be the environmentally disastrous plan."

Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada, added: "Corexit is a highly controversial chemical that doesn't actually disperse ocean oil spills so much as it makes oil sink to the ocean floor, where it is consumed by ocean life," Ms. May said.

"Environment Canada concluded there would be no expected important environmental effects, either positive or negative, by using this toxic chemical, despite growing scientific evidence that Corexit intensifies the toxicity of oil. This government promised to do better by relying on science and evidence-based decision making. This decision falls short and must be reversed," Ms. May said.

There was plenty of reason to suspect that EnviroCan was seriously compromised during the Harper era. Anything affecting pipelines and bitumen export seemed to be whether it was Fisheries & Oceans, the shuttered Coast Guard, Transport Canada and, most of all, the National Energy Board. Harper's National Energy Board was packed with oil industry shills who reached predictable conclusions through a blatantly rigged process. Today, however, it's Trudeau's National Energy Board and it's the same stacked deck only under a Liberal government. That's as inexcusable as it is telling of this prime minister.


Fatally Flawed Survey on C225, "Cassie and Molly's Law"

Dammit Janet - Fri, 07/22/2016 - 12:34
It's a truism because it's true: You get what you pay for.

Cathay Wagantall, sponsor of the latest sneak attack on abortion rights, C225, glurgily nicknamed "Cassie and Molly's Law," bought six questions on a Nanos omnibus poll.

Here's her media release trumpeting the results.
According to the Nanos poll, a majority of Canadians are in favour of Cassie and Molly’s Law, with nearly 70% of respondents saying that they support a law that would make it a separate crime to harm or cause the death of a preborn child while harming a pregnant woman.The release contains no links, no details, no methodology.

So I asked on Twitter and Nik Nanos supplied a link to the power point presentation of the survey (PDF).

Here are the excerpted highlights (numbers added).
1. Half of Canadians say causing harm to a pregnant woman should carry a more severe punishment

2. Canadians support charging those who harm unborn children with a separate crime - Seven in ten Canadians either support (47%) or somewhat support (22%) creating a law that would make it a separate crime to cause harm or the death of an unborn child....

3. Canadians more likely to support the legislation if it has no impact on current abortion laws

4. Majority of Canadians feel it is possible to create the new law and keep abortion legal

5. Canadians feel it is important that offenders be charged separately for harming a fetus

6. Half of Canadians support rights to abortion within a time limit
Number 1: More severe punishment. Dumb question. Offenders in Canada already face stiffer sentencing in cases like this through "aggravating factors" which judges are required to consider.

Number 2: Support for a separate criminal charge. Compare here with Ms Wagantall's media release. She is playing a little loose with the numbers. Her "nearly 70%" is actually made up of 47% who support plus 22% who somewhat support.

But that's nuancy, beyond the typical cognitive powers of fetus freaks.

Number 3: More likely to support law if no impact on abortion laws. Another dumb question. There are NO abortion laws in Canada.

Leaving that aside, while Ms Wagantall stomps her feet and shrieks insists that her bill was verrrry carefully written to exclude any impact on abortion rights, others disagree. See links to posts below for many examples, but here's a recent one, from Indiana.

Indiana, home to Governor Mike Pence, now Donald Trump's pick for Vice President of Homophobia and Misogyny, has a "personhood" law that criminalizes any harm to fetuses. So far, it has imprisoned at least one woman, Purvi Patel, for using abortion drugs bought online to end an unwanted pregnancy. Ms Patel was sentenced to 20 years in prison for "feticide." But her conviction was overturned today.

The Indiana Legislature did not intend for the state’s feticide statute to apply to pregnant women or illegal abortions, including the one a northern Indiana woman executed by taking drugs ordered from Hong Kong, the Court of Appeals held Friday.The legislation was NOT intended to criminalize pregnant women, but it fucking well did, in the hands of overzealous cops and prosecutors.

And this is precisely why Ms Wagantall's bill is incredibly dangerous.

Number 4: Too stupid to comment on. What is the point of asking ordinary people what they "feel" about possible implications of a new law?

Number 5: Importance of such a law. Again, why ask this? If they support it, they support it.

But Number 6 is where the alarm bells really go off. "Half of Canadians support rights to abortion within a time limit."

From the PDF
Question: Which of the following most closely represents your personal view about the legal status of abortion?


This is so glaringly opposed to what all other recent polls report on Canadian attitudes to abortion that the whole survey should be kicked down a long flight of stairs.

In February this year, Global News commissioned an exclusive poll from Ipsos.
Canadian attitudes toward abortion appear to be shifting, according to a new Ipsos poll, as six in ten say abortion should be permitted whenever a woman decides she wants."Whenever a woman decides she wants."

Whenever. No time limits.

Similarly, the National Post reported in 2012 that 60% of Canadians say that abortion should be legal "always". (Original emphasis.)

On Twitter last night @Demolition Woman, who is an opinion pollster, offered some thoughts on the survey's methodology.

@fernhilldammit I wouldn't publish if I spotted that kind of discrepancy in a commonly-asked question. Tells me the respondent base is off.

— Demolition Woman (@sieenns) July 22, 2016

@fernhilldammit Also this mixed mode where they get old ppl by RDD and the rest online is garbage & they should not report a margin of error

— Demolition Woman (@sieenns) July 22, 2016

@fernhilldammit Only 28% support abortion under any circumstances? That's at least 20ppt below other rcnt polls that ask almost the same Q.

— Demolition Woman (@sieenns) July 22, 2016

So, what did Ms Wagantall, or her enthusiastic fetus freak colleagues like Dominionist Mike Schouten, pay for this piece of dreck?

Nanos charges $1000 per closed question -- these are all closed questions -- on a Canadian omnibus survey, so $6000.

Supporters of C225, or the Wolf in Sheep's Clothing Anti-Abortion Bill, got the results they wanted, at a price they found acceptable.

Too bad the survey itself doesn't stand up to even casual scrutiny.


REMINDER: If you haven't already, please sign the e-petition opposing this backdoor attack on abortion rights. The petition needs 500 signatures to be presented to Parliament. It's got just over 350 now.

Previous DJ! posts on the Wolf in Sheep's Clothing bill:
Dead as a Door Nail

Exploiting Grief to Attack Abortion Rights

Vengeance Drives "Unborn Victims" Law

It's Baaaack: Unborn Victims Bill C484 Redux

Nope, This "Pre-born Victims Bill Won't Pass Either

Smirking Toward Bethlehem

Dawg's Blawg - Fri, 07/22/2016 - 12:22
“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate... Balbulican http://stageleft.info

A TV Show Goes to Washington

The Disaffected Lib - Fri, 07/22/2016 - 10:00

According to a report in The New York Times, Donald Trump plans to abdicate his role as president just as soon as he redecorates the Oval Office to pimp it out.

Trump envisions a new presidency, one in which the duties typically performed by a president are delegated to his vice president. This includes formulating policy, domestic and foreign. While Mike Pence assumes the responsibilities of governing, Trump will focus on "making America great again" whatever that means.

It sounds eerily like Trump's TV show. He figures out what he wants to make America great again and leaves everything else, including the day to day running of the country, to Pence. Perhaps Mike Pence will just be the first in a lengthy line of Trump vice presidents, each dreading the morning they'll be called into Trump's office to be told, "you're fired."

To State The Obvious

Politics and its Discontents - Fri, 07/22/2016 - 08:01


... the world is getting hotter. And now that Southern Ontario, already plagued by drought, is in the midst of yet another heatwave, it seems like the right time to look at some hard numbers.

The Guardian reports that
June 2016 marks the 14th consecutive month of record-breaking heat.

According to two US agencies – Nasa and Noaa – June 2016 was 0.9C hotter than the average for the 20th century, and the hottest June in the record which goes back to 1880. It broke the previous record, set in 2015, by 0.02C.

The 14-month streak of record-breaking temperatures was the longest in the 137-year record. And it has been 40 years since the world saw a June that was below the 20th century average.To cool the ardour of those climate-change deniers who would like to blame it all on El Niño, Nasa’s Gavin Schmidt has this to say:
“While the El Niño event in the tropical Pacific this winter gave a boost to global temperatures from October onwards, it is the underlying trend which is producing these record numbers,” he said.

Nasa’s Walt Meir said the global temperatures have been exacerbated by extreme temperatures over the Arctic. Warm temperatures there are pushing up the global average, as well a causing record-low amounts of sea ice.

“It has been a record year so far for global temperatures, but the record high temperatures in the Arctic over the past six months have been even more extreme,” Meier said. “This warmth as well as unusual weather patterns have led to the record-low sea ice extents so far this year.”As another indication of how dire our situation is becoming, consider Alaska:
Alaska has seen a years-long streak of astonishing warmth, with the warmest year-to-date and warmest June capping it off so far this year.

The heat this week in interior parts of Alaska has been particularly extreme, with one noteworthy all-time high temperature record falling. That record was set in Deadhorse, Alaska, located on the Arctic coast, which rose to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, or 30 degrees Celsius.

Closer to home, there is a heat dome enveloping much of North America that has absolutely nothing to do with the noxious emissions emanating from the Republican Convention:



And so it goes, and so we go, along our merry way, lurching from one climatic crisis to another, sadly and willfully oblivious to the larger picture there for all to see.

Special Note: Special thanks to The Mound, our blogosphere's expert on climate change, for alerting me to some of the links used in this post.








Recommend this Post

Donald Trump and the Nightmare in America

Montreal Simon - Fri, 07/22/2016 - 05:05


I think I've mentioned this before. I once had a lot of trouble calling Donald Trump a fascist.

I didn't want to diminish the word. Or the suffering of its many victims.

I also knew that he was planning to use Richard Nixon's 1968 law and order speech to the Republican convention as a template for his own.

But the deranged rant he delivered last night, wasn't even warmed up Nixon, it was far worse.

Read more »

Leadership and Ideals

Northern Reflections - Fri, 07/22/2016 - 04:22


Rick Salutin speculates this morning that we may be living in a non-leadership moment. Consider what has happened in the United States:

It’s tempting to say Donald Trump is all leader and no ship: no party inclinations in any recognizable forms, nor typical policies, organization, strategy or scripts. It centres on him alone. Except for a literal ship, labelled Trump, that he flies in on and speaks in front of. He likes it so much, he flies it home to New York each night to sleep in his bed — which is kind of touching — then drops in again next day.
In the UK, Jeremy Corbin is Trump's polar opposite:

There’s now a full-blown leadership challenge to him, before he’s fought a single election — after being elected with unprecedented member backing. Why? After one of Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, Hilary Benn, was sacked (as they say) for plotting against his leader — being the UK, foes are called regicides — Benn explained, “Jeremy is not a leader.” That’s what they all repeat. He won’t work ferociously, doesn’t build bridges or concoct complex strategies to ally with others and achieve power, utterly lacks charisma, seems uninterested in doing anything he hasn’t done for years. Yet somehow he hoovers up manic support. 
His opposition claimed that Justin Trudeau was not a leader -- but he has surprised a lot of people:

Justin Trudeau did it with all the basics of the old formula, though in his own rendition — which is worth keeping in mind. But something else is also going on, especially in the aftermath of the quashed hopes that attended Obama’s coming. Would you rather have a victory for plausible principles or one for leadership itself without believable ideals? Because in the UK at the moment it seems impossible to have both elements.
And that's the real question: Can leadership and ideals coexist?

Image: obrussa.com

from the front lines, day 18 (we have a deal!)

we move to canada - Thu, 07/21/2016 - 19:30
The Strike Is Over - We Have A Deal!

The Bargaining Team is very pleased to announce that we have reached a settlement!

This is a "tentative settlement," pending ratification by our members, then the Library Board, and Council. The Bargaining Team is very happy. We are proud of the contract we are bringing home, and we know it never could have been achieved without a strike.

Our members had the courage to use labour's most powerful tool and I believe they will feel it was worth it, both for the gains we've made on this contract, and for our future.

The ratification vote is scheduled for Monday, July 25.

Roger Ailes the Head of Fox News Is Forced To Resign

Montreal Simon - Thu, 07/21/2016 - 15:44


For twenty years as the head of Fox News, Roger Ailes helped shaped the current form of the Republican Party.

And turn politics in that country into a sewer.

But today it was his turn to be flushed into that same sewer.

Read more »

New column day

accidentaldeliberations - Thu, 07/21/2016 - 12:53
Here, on how the City of Regina's actual treatment of key information runs contrary to its stated commitment to open government.

For further reading...
- Natascia Lypny's report on the City's delays and denials of access to information about Regina's new stadium and wastewater treatment plant is here
- I previously wrote about the City's initial open data policy announcement here, featuring this warning which seems particularly on point:
(E)ven the most cynical governments are often eager to use selective “open government” (in the form of limited operational data) as a distraction from opaque political decision-making – with a one-way flow of politically-convenient information substituted for any particular effort to interact with citizens or respond to their concerns. So while we should look forward to what can be done with the information that is included in the city’s data portal, we should keep an especially close eye on what’s left out and how information is handled going in the opposite direction. - And the new policy discussed in the column is found here (PDF).

Ah, Jesus - Not Corexit!!

The Disaffected Lib - Thu, 07/21/2016 - 11:56

When it comes to the pipeline giants, prime minister Slick is their boy. His government had no problem giving the sack to a couple of dozen ambassadors appointed by Harper but Slick has taken a "hands off" approach to the industry shills who have effected and continue the political capture of the National Energy Board.

And now word has come out that Trudeau's EnviroCan has approved Corexit as a dispersant for oil spills. What's wrong with that? Think of Corexit as thalidomide for the marine habitat, including the humans in coastal areas.

I'm now going to post two clips about Corexit. The first is a short teaser in which Vice TV founder, Shane Smith, discusses this vile product.  I hope that will whet your appetite for the full report that follows.



Full report:




Howard's Farewell to Elayne

The Disaffected Lib - Thu, 07/21/2016 - 11:12


Howard Shapray is widely known as a great guy, a fine lawyer and a devoted father and husband. After a lengthy struggle with incurable disease, Howard's wife, Elayne, ended her life with the assistance of a physician. Elayne Shapray was a witness in the Carter case where, in a 9-0 per curiam decision, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the right to physician assisted death.

Howard penned a tribute to Elayne, her good works, her lengthy battles and her death, on her own terms, in her own time. Those who don't understand the Carter decision or who, like the government of the day, can't muster the courage to follow the clear law of our land, need to learn about Elayne and what she and her family went through.

A Teachable Moment?

Politics and its Discontents - Thu, 07/21/2016 - 07:17
If so, I am afraid Melania Trump failed:



But of course, now that Meredith McIver has taken the fall for the plagiarism, I guess we can all hit the rewind button. Except for one tiny detail. Since McIver identifies herself as an employee of the Trump Organization, not the Trump campaign, Trump has violated federal law in using her, a criminal offence.

Oh, the problems of the rich and famous are ones we mere mortals can hardly fathom, eh?Recommend this Post

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid, but for all the wrong reasons.. . .

kirbycairo - Thu, 07/21/2016 - 06:57
The Republican National Convention is in full swing and this week's theme appears to be fear. The Grand Old Party ('old' being the operative word here) seems to be channelling the past, harking back to a time when American was mostly white and much of that population was feeling the first real tremors of a changing America. They were scared, and fear, as my dad used to say, makes people stupid.

The face of the Republican party in those days was Richard Nixon, a politician whose savvy and sly abilities existed in equal measure to his corrupt and evil proclivities. Nixon knew that much of mainstream, white America was afraid, and he used it to propel himself to the office of president. The strategy of fear is hardly a new one for the rightwing, but there seems to be times of anxiety-ridden unrest that make it an better, more effective approach than others. With the Vietnam War heating up, the younger generation everywhere in cultural revolt, race-riots bringing violence to the streets of America, it is hardly any wonder that Nixon was able to capitalize on fear.

Cut to modern day Cleveland where the Republicans have once again made fear of chaos the cornerstone of their political raison d'être. Trevor Noah caught the mood beautifully in his Daily Show segment. (It seems that you need an American VPN to watch it but if you have one you can see it here.)

The BBC gives us a glimpse into the fear in a report from yesterday.



Maybe there is not more to be afraid of in 1968 than there is today, but for mainstream white America, whose hold on society has never been more tenuous, the new fears are perhaps more unsettling than the old ones. After all, white Americans are fast being outnumbered by non-whites, America's economic supremacy is quickly disappearing, wages have flatlined for years, and secure, well-paying employment is a thing of the past. For Republicans, someone must be to blame for this state of affairs, and the rightwing mind always looks to the "other" when things look rough.

Four years ago when the Mitt Romney lost to Barack Obama, the more astute Republican commentators said that the Grand Old Party was doomed unless it could begin to appeal to people outside it normal purview, to blacks and hispanics, to more women and younger people. Four years later, the Republican Party seems to have decided on the opposite tack; instead they are everywhere intentionally alienating those that four years ago they realized they needed to appeal to. As I said, fear makes people stupid.

It seems that nothing will divert Republicans from their chosen path. To chose a new way forward requires a change of heart or a cool and collected mind. It seems that the Republican Party is not going to embrace either of these.

When people are afraid, it is often for the wrong reasons; they are afraid of the wrong things. There is much to fear in today's world. But Republicans are mostly afraid of people with darker skin and people who don't look or think exactly like them. But if we learn anything from history it is that we learn nothing from history. It is hard to say if the Republican campaign of fear will take Trump to power the way it did for Nixon. I suspect that if Trump were to win, fear in the rest of the world, fear of what he would do,  would make white, American fear look like a walk in the park.

Republican Death Notice

Northern Reflections - Thu, 07/21/2016 - 04:39


Brent Rathgeber writes that the Republican Party is dead. It's been replaced by The Donald Trump Show:

This is no longer the Republican Party; it’s becoming the Trump Party — bombastic, obnoxious and playing deliriously on the fears of white America. Trump has dumped the conservative Republican playbook — he favours brick walls over free trade, a police state over smaller government. His appeal is based almost entirely on xenophobia and many Americans (mostly, but not entirely, Republicans) seem to believe what he is saying about Mexicans and Muslims.

The only constant coming out of the Trump Convention has been the sustained, visceral and vicious attacks on Hillary Clinton. I’m no fan of the former Secretary of State, but one should rely on facts when attacking a political opponent — not wild hyperbole and unhinged fantasy. Given the lack of anything like substantive policy in his campaign, Trump’s strategy seems to be limited to malicious, often reckless, character assassination.

And that may be the most alarming thing about Trump — nobody really knows what he wants to do as president. His speeches are generally too incoherent to allow for inferences about whether he stands for anything apart from racial prejudice and misogyny. He is unpredictable, offensive and a blowhard. He is one of the most polarizing figures to aspire to high office in a western democracy in ages.
Trump represents Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy in full fruition. His supporters are seething with resentment and not very bright. All they bring to the table is a long, hard hate. And Trump -- who has transformed the party into a cult of personality -- has focused that hate on Hillary Clinton.

Last night Ted Cruz refused to support Trump. He urged Americans to vote their conscience. Rethgeber understands Cruz' message. That's why he left the Stephen Harper Show.

Image: blackquillandink.com

The Day Donald Trump Was Totally Humiliated

Montreal Simon - Thu, 07/21/2016 - 04:25


It was already the most bizarre political convention in modern American history. A third rate Nuremberg rally if ever there was one.

But for Donald Trump yesterday had to be the worst day so far.

For first he had to try to defend his wife, for the way she stole parts of her speech from Michelle Obama.
Read more »

from the front line, day 17

we move to canada - Wed, 07/20/2016 - 18:39
I am very pleased to announce that we had an encouraging afternoon at the table -- enough that we are meeting again tomorrow. So finally, something hopeful to report.

Maureen O'Reilly, President of 4948, TPL Workers Union, and Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario, were instrumental in breaking the impasse and getting us back to the table. I am so grateful for their help! And even more so for how much I've learned from them.

Change of Plans

Tomorrow and Friday, we are only picketing at Central, and only from 8-12. It's supposed to be scorching, and none of us should be out for extended periods.

Members who need the afternoon or evening shift can make their way to our new union hall, where everyone can call councilors, Library Board members, and/or 311. You might want to come up with a script together, to make sure you're all on the same page.

A contingent of socialists from TO were supposed to come to the line tomorrow. (They have all visited our line and donated things over the course of the past three weeks, but this time were all coming together.) Because of the weather, I've asked them to hold off. If we're striking next week, they'll visit then.

More support from CUPE Ontario

Starting tomorrow, three CUPE members from different library locals will be booked off for a few days, drawing out support for 1989 and 2974, the Essex Library Workers. One person will be calling CUPE members asking them to: (1) call the City, (2) reach out to their own networks and get commitments from others to call, and (3) have their local make donations to both locals' strike fund.

Two other people will be organizing special events for both picket lines, to generate media and help boost morale. From our great day with the Dufferin-Bloor kids, which brought the CBC to Celebration Square, you can see how that works.

The organizers of this effort have included me in their plans, so I've been able to read over what they are saying, and give feedback about what works or doesn't work for us.

All this, and every time I thank them, they say, "No, thank YOU, ALL YOUR MEMBERS, for having the courage to fight."

Reports!

Erin Meadows

A Gentleman said that he used the library to prepare for his exams. Another guy said that he was a teenager using the library lab. A young lady said her mom had been picketing with us yesterday -- and her mom emailed the the Councilors. She took a flyer and said she'll also email, because she remembers going to the library for Summer Reading Club.

Another man wanted more details from us, about wages, and what we're asking for. It began as a negative conversation, but in the end, we encouraged him to email the politicians who can answer his questions about the City budget.

Overall, many people took flyers and promised to email or call.

Two of our Meadowvale customers came to Erin Meadows to see if it was open. They said this was "disgusting" and that they are disappointed with the Mayor and the City, because kids are stuck at home watching TV all day, instead of going to library, which they love and miss so much. They support us.

Another construction worker came with his 6-year-old son for swimming lessons. He told us he is disappointed because the library is closed. He said he would call Sue McFadden, Ward 10 Councilor.

What a wonderful afternoon we had! As a picket captain. I would like to thank the eight members of my team for their cooperation.

Port Credit

We had another very productive day at Port Credit. Managers left us alone, there was no sign of security, and even Shadow the puppy dozed off. We covered the park, the playground, and many businesses along Lakeshore Road, leaving pamphlets at businesses for their customers. There was a lot of support, with the exception of only a few. I think everyone was glad to see familiar faces. Port Credit Arena staff wished us good luck.

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