Posts from our progressive community

Overrated insect parables

Dawg's Blawg - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 08:19
What would happen in a post-scarcity, fully-automated society? I’ve posted previously on this subject. Now neoliberal economist Brad DeLong makes a contribution on the subject in response to tycoon and venture capitalist Peter Thiel. You see, Thiel believes in... Mandos http://politblogo.typepad.com/

Monday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 07:49
Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Aaron Wherry reviews what the last week has told us about the functioning (or absence thereof) of our House of Commons - and points out that the most important problem is one which hasn't yet surfaced in headlines or memes:
(T)he most important sentence delivered last week about the state of our Parliament might’ve been found not on any screen, speaker or widely read page, but on page four of the Parliamentary Budget Office’s quarterly expenditure review: “The Government has refused to release data that is necessary for the PBO to determine whether the recent spending cuts are sustainable.”

That much didn’t inspire even a single question last week (though there was one question about a different refusal to provide the PBO with information). Maybe because this is such old news. But minding the collection and expenditure of public funds is arguably the primary reason we have a Parliament: the idea from which our Parliament began to grow in the 13th century. That we have a profound problem in this regard is hardly news. But to dismiss that concern is merely to dismiss 700 years of progress. - And lest there's any doubt, the Cons are once again taking a stand against their ever having to answer for anything - this time, by opposing the NDP's simple motion to require the government to provide merely relevant answers in question period.

- Meanwhile, Michael Harris notes that recent days have also offered a continuation of some familiar and dangerous patterns when it comes to the Harper Cons' foreign policy choices:
The prime minister long ago used up any “benefit of the doubt” account he might once have had on foreign affairs. His analysis a decade ago would have had Canada front and centre in the last Iraq debacle — which anyone who takes a second to think about it knows set the stage for this latest ISIS fiasco.

The old thesis is back. One can bomb one’s way to peace in the Middle East without telling the folks back home what’s going on. You know, like Viet Nam. Only undemocratic war mongers believe that. And for that matter, only war mongers celebrate the beginning of the First World War, the way Harper did.
...
Harper has done this much for the country. He has shown us that even in an age as shallow as this one, marketing has it limits. Harper’s UN speech was in the same category as the contest to name his new cat. If he thinks that talking peace and motherhood will allow him to send Canadians to fight and die in Iraq without debate, if he thinks he can foist weeping losers on the public in important positions, if he thinks he can replace inconvenient facts with made-up versions, he has forgotten it is no longer 2006. - And Mark Kennedy reports that truth and reconciliation aren't anywhere on Harper's agenda at home either - as he's refusing to meet with the chair of the commission he himself appointed to examine Canada's shameful legacy of residential schools.

- Finally, Tom Sullivan discusses how P3s are failing to live up to their promise of a free lunch around the developed world. And Jim Holmes notes that a combination of vanishing funding, false assumptions and broken promises is turning Regina's wastewater P3 into a bad deal as well.

On choosing sides

accidentaldeliberations - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 07:03
Shorter L. Ian MacDonald:
Anybody doubting whether it's worth going to war in Iraq based on minimal information and questionable reasoning had best take a cold, hard look at the dangers of being on the wrong side of history. But of course, anybody demanding a war in in Iraq based on minimal information and questionable reasoning can count on the full and indefinite support of Very Serious People around the globe, no matter how appallingly wrong the decision proves to be.

The Canadian Rodney Dangerfield

Northern Reflections - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 06:28
                                 http://businessmanagementcoursesuk.com/

Last week was not a good week for Stephen Harper. Certainly, Paul Calandra's performance in the House did not cover his boss in glory. But, Michael Harris writes, Stephen Harper's performance at the UN -- in front of an almost empty chamber -- gained him no praise or respect:

Harper has got to realize that you can’t score points talking up peace and maternal health. Everyone in the world knows he is itching to get deeper into the war in Iraq to bolster his international tough guy cred.

You can’t win applause at the UN when you have consistently made clear that the will of the majority of member states means nothing to you. The world’s top diplomats are beyond being taken in by blue sweaters, Beatle songs, and phoney speeches. Day in the Life of videos, cat photographs, and patriotic selfies now work only with dear friends and relatives.
Harper has as much respect for the UN as Calandra has for the House. And the international community has returned the disrespect:

The prime minister long ago used up any “benefit of the doubt” account he might once have had on foreign affairs. His analysis a decade ago would have had Canada front and centre in the last Iraq debacle — which anyone who takes a second to think about it knows set the stage for this latest ISIS fiasco.

The old thesis is back. One can bomb one’s way to peace in the Middle East without telling the folks back home what’s going on. You know, like Viet Nam. Only undemocratic war mongers believe that. And for that matter, only war mongers celebrate the beginning of the First World War, the way Harper did.
 Back home, the natives are getting restless:

Maybe it was published rumblings on Bourque Newswatch of Harper’s imminent exit from politics, a story based on anonymous sources in the Conservative Party of Canada from across Canada. While some might want to dismiss Bourque, it was an earlier series of stories on the same site correctly reported the looming corruption scandal at SNC-Lavalin.
Everyone -- at home and on the international stage -- is tired of Stephen Harper. The prime minister is now the Canadian version of Rodney Dangerfield.


A Possible Soution To Health Canada's Willful Impotence

Politics and its Discontents - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 06:05


Yesterday I wrote about the fact that Health Canada has 'convinced' (not ordered) Apotex to stop importing drugs from one of its suspect plants in Bangalore, India. The agency's (and Health Minister Rona Ambrose's) ongoing timid relationship with pharmaceuticals at the expense of our health and safety suggests stronger measures are needed

Writing in The Star, Amir Attaran thinks he might have a solution to this sorry state of affairs. The professor in the Faculty of Law and faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa asks,
should we reduce, or nearly abolish, Health Canada’s drug regulatory functions? Could we be safer by trusting in the decisions of larger, better-funded, foreign drug regulators instead of little lame Health Canada?He looks to Europe for a model:
The 28 countries of the European Union, many of them quite small, long ago decided that it is expensive, inefficient and sometimes dangerously ineffective for each country to have its own drug regulator. Nowadays, most of them have delegated large parts of their drug regulatory functions to an EU-wide organization, the European Medicines Agency.Attaran is not optimistic that Canada will likely follow suit with a similar co-operative venture:
Here, the Harper government’s asphyxiating control of government scientists and almost childish pride in Canadian sovereignty mean that Health Canada minimally co-operates with America’s FDA just next door. This is dumb: the FDA is more transparent, better resourced and scientifically better equipped than Health Canada will ever be.
He goes on to offer a picture of the FDA's ruthless effectiveness in interdicting suspect drugs:
Consider the case of Ranbaxy, a pharmaceutical company from India. Last year, the FDA successfully prosecuted Ranbaxy for manufacturing adulterated drugs and misleading it with false, fictitious and fraudulent drug testing data — crimes for which Ranbaxy paid $500 million (U.S.) in criminal and civil penalties.
Contrast that decisiveness with Health Canada's feckless dealings with the same company:
Even though former Ranbaxy executives say they are “confident there were problems” with drugs sold here, after the criminal conviction Health Canada refused to ban Ranbaxy’s factories, and instead negotiated with the company to voluntarily pull a few of its medicines off the market for testing; Health Canada won’t say which ones.
According to Attaran, the main reason for this gross disparity of response is not legal, but cultural,
namely the indolent, lapdog attitude of ministers like Ambrose and the public servants at Health Canada, who seem to lack any understanding of how governments should regulate.
Because they refuse to learn from the best practices of bodies like the FDA and the European Medicines Agency, he concludes that
we should in part abolish Health Canada and harmonize our drug regulation with those foreign agencies that are more competent than our own government.
While that might strike many as too drastic a solution, it is clear that major changes are needed if we are to be protected from corrupt and venal pharmaceutical companies that place their profits and their shareholders above the health and safety of Canadians.

Recommend this Post

keith olbermann: derek jeter is not god. (a must-see!)

we move to canada - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 05:30
Dog, I am a glad this baseball season is over. And not only because the Red Sox finished in last place.


Stephen Harper and the Umbrella Revolution

Montreal Simon - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 02:46


It's an amazing sight, and an incredibly inspiring one. Tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators defying the authorities in Hong Kong. 

Hong Kong democracy protesters defied volleys of tear gas and police baton-charges to stand firm in the center of the global financial hub on Monday, one of the biggest political challenges for Beijing since the Tiananmen Square crackdown 25 years ago.

The so-called Umbrella Revolution...



But while I'm cheering the protesters on wildly, and praying for their safety at the same time.

You can be sure that Stephen Harper is shaking his umbrella at them, and cursing them loudly for threatening to rain on his parade.
Read more »

Did Brian Mulroney Order the Humiliation of Ezra Levant?

Montreal Simon - Sun, 09/28/2014 - 21:21


Yes, according to Robert Fife:

Brian Mulroney called Liberals to say Sun Media will apologize tomorrow for offensive rant by @ezralevant vs @JustinTrudeau. #cdnpoli
— Robert Fife (@RobertFife) September 28, 2014
You know, the CTV reporter who first exposed the Senategate scandal.

And if it's true it couldn't be more delicious.

Or more humiliating for Levant.
Read more »

How Is Paulie's Campaign Going? Also, A Contest With Real Cash Prize

Anti-Racist Canada - Sun, 09/28/2014 - 20:38
In one month, Paulie will go down in flames (again) after another election. Then again, winning the election isn't really why Paulie is running:

Yes, yes, we are indeed a cynical lot. But if Paulie can be considered to be good at anything, it is shamelessly promoting himself to his suckers.... er.... I mean donors. 

A recent publicity stunt certainly suggests the only thing he is serious about is convincing those who still follow him (and it seems to be a shrinking number here in Canada) that he stands an actual chance of winning and thus needs their financial backing. Here he is with the Canadian leader of the violent creativity movement Wes Smith:

Busy Weekend on Campaign Trail -- Mayor of Mississauga 
This was a busy weekend on the campaign trail with extensive literature distribution in many parts of Mississauga. Here we unveil my sharp election banner to inform motorists coming of the QEW gridlock into Port Credit that Paul Fromm is "the motorists' friend."
Hold on there sparky. Mayor of Mississauga? Might be getting a bit ahead of yourself.
I can't help observe two things. First, the traffic. Where is it? Really, it doesn't seem to be so bad.
But assuming traffic is as bad as Paulie claims it to be, we aren't sure someone touting himself as, "the motorist's friend" should be displaying a banner that would inevitably distract said motorists and perhaps result in an accident.
But really, we all knew this already.
The main purpose of this post is to allow our readers to participate in making fun of Paulie:


Oh yes. We certainly couldn't pass of this blank canvas.
As in 2010, we are offering a cash prize to the person who can create the funniest slogan for Pauie's banner. As I am not as affluent at the person who offered the prize the last time, I can only offer $50.00, but it is $50.00 you don't currently have so don't be picky.
Now, I am not as witty (or funny) as Nosferatu, but I did create a few examples to help stoke the creativity of our readers:Read more »

David Cameron's Women Problem

The Disaffected Lib - Sun, 09/28/2014 - 11:14


Why is it always the dweebs?  Conservative P.M. David Cameron's Minister for Civil Society (and Dick Pics), Brooks Newmark, has resigned in disgrace.   The Belgravia resident, father of five, was caught in a tabloid, social media sting.  Newmark thought he was sending dick pics via twitter to an ardent admirer who was, in reality, a tabloid reporter.

Newmark has always been a vocal advocate of the Tory party boosting its appeal to women. He is a founder of the Tory campaign body, Women2Win, which works to help women become Tory candidates in the hope of increasing the representation of women in the Conservative party in parliament.
 
Newmark is co-chair of the group, and is often quoted responding to the party's problems with appealing to - and representing - women. He is also a figure Tory MPs often refer to when attempting to defend their party's attitude to women, ie. a male Tory MP who bangs the drum for women's representation. Now they will no longer be able to use Newmark for this, at least for a good while, and he will inevitably become less of an appealing face of Women2Win and solving the Conservatives' "women problem" in general.

Could Climate Change be Detroit's Salvation?

The Disaffected Lib - Sun, 09/28/2014 - 10:08


Will climate change be America's 21st century equivalent of William Tecumseh Sherman's "march to the sea"?  The Union general has a lasting place in infamy in the southern states for leading his army on a devastating march from Atlanta to Savannah, laying waste not only to military targets but also infrastructure, industry and civilian property along the route. 

In recent decades the south has "risen again."  Industries, such as Boeing, chasing cheap labour and weak labour laws, have flocked to the region.  But the region is also the most vulnerable part of America to climate change impacts - floods, droughts, severe storm events, sea level rise and coastal saltwater inundation plus killer heatwaves.  This leads some experts such as Matthew Kahn, professor of economics, UCLA Institute of the Environment, to believe that climate change will revive the fortunes of the languishing Rust Belt states and even abandoned cities like Detroit.

Climate change poses several significant risks to US south-west cities. Major south-west cities such as Los Angeles, Phoenix and Las Vegas face mega-drought and severe heatwave risk. Climate scientists continue to study how long drought could last. Policymakers debate how to allocate increasingly scarce water between agricultural and urban interests.

While economists advocate raising water prices to reflect increased scarcity, politicians shy away from this in order to gain short-term political support. Suppose that the mega-drought persists and desert cities such as Phoenix begin to experience summer temperatures above 43C? In my book Climatopolis, I predict that US urbanites will adapt to these new realities by moving to other cities that are better able to adapt to the new conditions.

Locations such as Detroit (to the north and endowed with water) are prime examples of where we can build our future cities.

The US has more than 300 major cities. These cities will compete to see which (due to natural geographic features and smart local public policies) are best able to cope with Mother Nature's blows. The winners from this competition will experience a net influx of population and rising property prices.

Urbanites will win because they will have a greater menu of destination locations to choose from. Property owners in cities whose quality of life suffers will experience an asset value loss.
They bet on the wrong location.

It does raise the question of what a major exodus out of the US south, especially the south-central and south eastern states, or as I like to call them, Redneckistan, could mean to the more liberal north.  Will they leave that knuckle-draggin', white trash, Dixie culture behind or will they carry that cultural ebola with them? 

The idea of a Rust Belt renaissance is intriguing.  It would be great to see economic and political power restored to the north.  That would be better, all round, for Canadians.
 


Oh, Damn. The Word is Getting Out.

The Disaffected Lib - Sun, 09/28/2014 - 09:36


Don't believe a word of it.  Stay where you're at.  You really wouldn't like it here anyway, really.

An article in The Guardian, "Is Alaska the new Florida? Experts predict where next for America's "climate refugees." is, in a word, unsettling.

The article speculates that, by 2100, Alaska may be a top migration destination for Americans seeking refuge from a much harsher, more hostile climate in the lower 48.  However the bulk of the article suggests the Alaska reference was really a red herring:

"The answer is the Pacific north-west, and probably especially west of the Cascades," said Ben Strauss, vice president for climate impacts and director of the programme on sea level rise at Climate Central, a research collaboration of scientists and journalists. "Actually, the strip of coastal land running from Canada down to the Bay Area is probably the best," he added. "You see a lot less extreme heat; it's the one place in the west where there's no real expectation of major water stress, and while sea level will rise there as everywhere, the land rises steeply out of the ocean, so it's a relatively small factor."

Clifford F Mass, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Washington, writes a popular weather blog  in which he predicts that the Pacific north-west will be "a potential climate refuge" as global warming progresses. A Seattle resident, he foresees that "climate change migrants" will start heading to his city and to Portland, Oregon, and surrounding areas.

"The Pacific Ocean is like our natural air-conditioning," Mass said in a telephone interview. "We don't get humidity like the east coast does."

As for the water supply? "Water is important, and we will have it," he said. "It's a pretty benign situation for us – in fact, warming up just a little bit might be a little bit welcome around here."

Already, he said, Washington state is gearing up to become the next Napa Valley as California's wine country heats up and dries out. "People are going crazy putting in vineyards in eastern Washington right now," Mass said.

Hmm, sounds suspiciously like a Chamber of Commerce pitch to me.  Notice how there wasn't a single mention of how we get earthquakes out here?  Or those really big black & white creatures that prowl the coastal waters?  And, don't forget, we don't have the CN Tower or Marine Land either.  Did I point out that visitors mention that our air smells of the sea?  And we're lucky if we get snow two or three days a winter. You'll miss all that snow and ice.  That sort of thing really gets in a person's blood and, besides, how else do you exercise in the winter?

Did I mention the coastal Rain Festival that usually runs from October to June?  It makes this place the wettest part of Canada - by a country mile.  The Atlantic provinces are next and they're not even close.

So Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan - and you too, Alberta - just stay put.  You really wouldn't like it out here.  Trust me.





Sunday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - Sun, 09/28/2014 - 08:48
Miscellaneous material for your Sunday reading.

- Frances Russell notes that the corporate sector is laughing all the way to the bank (and often an offshore one at that) after fifteen years of constant tax slashing, while Canadian citizens haven't benefited at all from the trickle-down theory. And Jordan Weissmann points out that a recent survey on CEO pay is just the latest example of Americans both severely underestimating the level of inequality in their country, and still preferring a far more equal distribution of wealth.

- Elisabeth Babcock writes that in addition to providing a reasonable standard of living, any effort to ameliorate poverty needs to include a concerted effort to overcome the individual stresses created by precarious life. And Chuk Plante reminds us how poverty and exclusion are intertwined with health and economic outcomes.

- Mitchell Anderson highlights how the FIPPA and other business-biased trade deals serve to undermine not only any hope of people-oriented policy, but also the personal and social protections enshrined in Canada's constitution:
Perhaps most importantly, the deal fails to protect aboriginal rights under the Constitution. The implications of this omission are profound. While our federal government has a duty to consult First Nations, Chinese state-owned companies can sue Canada through a secret international arbitration panel for any such accommodation that affects their economic interests.

This would essentially fetter the Crown, which could be successfully sued by either Chinese interests or First Nations depending on whether they respect aboriginal title or not. Put another way, while the FIPA does not specifically override First Nations Charter protections, it could make providing those protections prohibitively expensive. The Hupacasath First Nation on Vancouver Island challenged the FIPA in court based on exactly these concerns and their decision at the Federal Court of Appeal is expected any day.
...
 With the prospect of a change in government in 2015, many Canadians are hoping for a period of rebuilding public institutions. The FIPA, however, could lock in Harper’s draconian cuts to federal environmental laws for almost eight electoral cycles — effectively an eternity by political standards.

Future governments could revisit the legislative changes by the Harper government, but if they affect Chinese interests in comparison to what is on the books now, we have to pay. How much? According to the terms just agreed to by Ottawa, the sky’s the limit.

Harper famously proclaimed, “You won’t recognize Canada when I’m through with it.” He has made surprising progress on that dubious goal, and like most politicians I’m sure would like to keep it that way long after he has left office.

This trade deal will persist for as long as we’ve had the Charter. But unlike the Charter, which was the result of months of good-faith negotiations between opposing political parties, the FIPA seems instead an undemocratic and underhanded endgame to lock in our prime minister’s ideological legacy.- Meanwhile, Mike De Souza reports that the Cons are once again encouraging the oil industry to flout what few environmental laws are left on the books - this time issuing a drilling permit while studiously ignoring scientific evidence about the danger the drilling would pose to endangered beluga whales. Which means that it's more than understandable that affected communities like North Bay are raising concerns about the Energy East pipeline even as it avoids some of the risks and costs of its even more controversial counterparts.

- Finally, as part of Right to Know Week, Sean Holman unveils a new movement - and hashtag - intended to expose government secrecy in Canada.

we like lists: list # 20: top ten reasons we love our favourite cult show or movie

we move to canada - Sun, 09/28/2014 - 07:17
For those who want the question with no context: Do you love a cult show or movie? What movie and why? List at least 10 reasons.

(I wish everyone would reply here and not on Facebook, but I know that is a lost cause...)

* * * *

Further to my longstanding tradition of watching TV shows and movies years - or even decades - after they first run, I have just completed Season 1 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (What can I say? TV was not important to me in the 1990s!) One of my TV gurus, the famous NFC, is a big Buffy fan, and after hearing the show mentioned several times, it was time for me to check it out.

I enjoyed S1 enough to continue watching, with the understanding that a first season often just lays the groundwork. In other words, I liked it, but I'm hoping and assuming that the show will develop into something more than what I've seen so far.

Watching Buffy TVS has made me think about another show, perhaps my very favourite television show: Xena the Warrior Princess.

When we were preparing to leave New York and move to Canada, I used to catch random episodes of Xena re-runs on a minor cable channel. After spending the day writing, it was the perfect mix - fun, absorbing, but not overly challenging. Before I knew it, I was hooked. But I had never seen the whole show, in order...

...until Allan surprised with me with one his amazing birthday presents: first a bootlegged copy of the series on DVD, then an upgrade to this beautiful 10th anniversary special edition boxed set. It even included a miniature dagger, the kind Gabrielle used to whip around.

Now, of course, the series is available on Netflix, but in those days there was no Netflix in Canada, and the opportunity to watch the entire series in order was pure heaven.

Buffy predates Xena by two years, and so far at least, the two shows have a very similar vibe: strongest female lead character, female sidekick, goofy male third wheel, goofy humour, cheesy special effects. (I've also discovered that two of my FB friends also love Xena. Don't you love when that happens?)

So watching Buffy S1 has made me think about why Xena is so special for me. And hey, it's a list!

Do you love a cult show? Or if you're into a lot of cult shows, what's your favourite? Why do you love it? List at least 10 reasons.

Top ten reasons I love "Xena: the Warrior Princess" (not in order) !

1. Mythology. The series moves through the myths and legends of all different cultures: ancient Greek, Roman, Chinese, Hindu, Christian, Norse, and so on. I love mythology, and I love how the myths are adapted and presented in the show.

2. Scenery. Since Xena and Gabrielle are always traveling, the show often has an epic sweep, set in many different terrains. Filmed in New Zealand, the show is sometimes gorgeously cinematic.

3. Cheesy special effects. What can I say? I'm the girl who prefers the Gorn to any more modern sci-fi.


4. Philosophy. What is the nature of good and evil? Can benevolent acts in the present compensate for past abuses of power, or have humans invented that idea for our own comfort? Can good ends justify violent means, or does violence always lead to more violence? Can a commitment to nonviolence bring about change, on its own? What is love? What is mortality? All this and more!

5. Bisexuality. Xena and Gabrielle are life partners, bound in body, spirit, and soul. They have both also loved men, and have recurring relationships with men in their lives. Not a problem.

6. Polyamory. Xena and Gabrielle love each other, and they love other people. Also not a problem. It's not about competition. People are complex, and different relationships satisfy different needs and desires.
I always thought Argo made a better
third than Joxer.


7. The fighting! How will Xena battle these 50 heavily armed but intellectually and morally inferior men? The mandatory group fight scenes in every episode are more choreography than violence.

8. Humour. Cheesy special effects and cheesy humour. They go together like... Xena and Gabrielle.

9. Xena. Lucy Lawless' character is just so freakin' awesome. I want to be her. Isn't that what fantasy - to some extent - is all about?

The obligatory bath scene10. Gabrielle. I said this list wasn't in order, but hmm, is that true? I have always had a mad crush on Gabrielle. Having discovered the series in random re-runs, I first saw her like this, and was smitten. I didn't know she originally looked like this! When I watched the show in order for the first time (on DVD), I was waiting for The Haircut.

Your turn!

Health Canada's Willful Impotence on Tainted Pharmaceuticals

Politics and its Discontents - Sun, 09/28/2014 - 06:48


As I have written previously, the scandal of tainted pharmaceuticals continues, and that which should provoke outrage and demands for accountability seems to elicit for the most part only shrugs and mild interest. And were it not for the Toronto Star's ongoing quest, most of us would be totally unaware of the threats to our health that are aided and abetted by Health Canada and Health Minister Rona Ambrose, thanks to a larger media, including the CBC, that have given the scandal absolutely no coverage.

Despite the investigative series conducted by the paper and an excoriating editorial, the only action thus far taken by Health Minister Rona Ambrose and her recalcitrant department has been to 'convince' (not order) Apotex to
stop distribution to Canadian retailers of what Health Minister Rona Ambrose described as “all products” manufactured at one of Apotex’s factories in Bangalore, India.

“The quarantine will allow the department time to verify that products from this facility meet Canadian safety and quality requirements,” Health Canada said in a short release.
I guess that is progress of sorts, since the last time Health Canada made such a request, Apotex refused. However, it is an anemic response given that when the issue first arose, the FDA banned the suspect drugs from entering the U.S.

However, even in Health Canada's putative victory with Apotex, there is less here than meets the eye, as is typical of the Harper regime:
Health Canada has not told the public what drugs are affected by this quarantine.So even though many Canadians will have been taking these suspect and tainted drugs, they are not permitted to know which ones they are. Undoubtedly, as has been previously discussed, in the warped of Ambrose and her department, that information is considered commercially confidential.

In my next post, I'll discuss a possible way around the protective wall of silence erected by Health Canada to protect the pharmaceutical industry.

Recommend this Post

All That Dead Money

Northern Reflections - Sun, 09/28/2014 - 06:04
                                                    http://muncievoice.com/

In 1974, Arthur Laffer famously drew a curve on the back of a napkin while he had dinner with a reporter from the Wall Street Journal. The curve illustrated Laffer's theory that, as governments cut taxes, their revenues increased. Margaret Thatcher gave the curve a try and it didn't work. Ronald Reagan gave it a shot, too; but he managed to create the biggest deficit  -- up to that time -- in American history. Next in line was Brian Mulroney, whose application of the Laffer Curve caused Canada to hit the "debt wall."

Paul Martin, Mulroney's successor, managed -- with a great deal of pain -- to bring government revenues into surplus and he began to pay down the national debt. But then came Stephen Harper, who insisted that taking the path that Thatcher, Reagan and Mulroney had trod before him would bring Canada to the gates of economic Nirvana.

However, Frances Russell writes:

Corporate Canada reached a milestone in 2014. For the first time ever, it now has more cash on hand than Canada’s entire national debt – $630 billion and counting.

In other words, Canada’s big corporations could pay off Canada’s entire national debt in one fell swoop with just the cash sitting in their collective bank accounts. And they wouldn’t even have to touch their other assets.
David Macdonald, the senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, has had the temerity to point out that tax cuts have not increased government revenues or economic productivity:

Back in the 1990s, Corporate Canada said it would use the new money to build more factories, employ more workers and make Canada more productive.

“Governments dutifully cut social programs as taxes decreased,” Macdonald says. “But Corporate Canada passed on making Canada’s economy more productive….(And) Canadians are left with weaker health care, veterans care and other social programs.”
The Harper government's response was to order the Canada Revenue Agency to audit the CCPA because it displayed political bias. But the CCPA has the facts -- and history -- on its side. Wherever governments have followed Arthur Laffer's advice, the result has been a pile of dead money -- not increased government revenues.

And Stephen Harper continues to assert that Laffer's laughable curve is sound economics.


Stephen Harper and the Great War on ISIS Trap

Montreal Simon - Sun, 09/28/2014 - 04:10


It couldn't have been a more jarring sight, or a more deeply disturbing one.

For there was Stephen Harper, back from his stunning performance as Great Mother Leader at the United Nations, where he posed as a friend of women and children, and a champion of peace.

Now in an unusually agitated state, bordering on hysteria. Rambling on about the Great War on ISIS.

Trying to make us believe that the caliphate is coming to behead us in our beds.
Read more »

Apologies...

Dawg's Blawg - Sat, 09/27/2014 - 12:26
…if you’ve heard all this before. Really. I’m sorry for any offence you might take. In advance. I haven’t reviewed the no-doubt vast interdisciplinary literature on the subject, but I’m getting tired of these apology thingies, for which again I... Dr.Dawg http://drdawgsblawg.ca/

Apologies...

Dawg's Blawg - Sat, 09/27/2014 - 09:19
…if you’ve heard all this before. Really. I’m sorry for any offence you might take. In advance. I haven’t reviewed the no-doubt vast interdisciplinary literature on the subject, but I’m getting tired of these apology thingies, for which again I... Dr.Dawg http://drdawgsblawg.ca/

Offered For Your Consideration

Politics and its Discontents - Sat, 09/27/2014 - 09:18
While King Stephen has grown positively garrulous with the American media, there's one little detail he seems to have forgotten:



H/t Graeme MackayRecommend this Post

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