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Stephen Harper and the New Racist Canada

Montreal Simon - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 07:02


The snow is finally melting on the waterfront. If I close my eyes and feel the warm sun on my face, I can almost dream that Spring is here at last.

Which is a good thing, because there isn't much else to celebrate in Canada these days.

Not when the country is as beached as the boat in that painting. Looking grubby and going nowhere. 

And not when its depraved leader Stephen Harper is using fear as a political weapon.
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Only One Answer For All Time

Northern Reflections - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 06:58
                                                    http://expertbeacon.com/

Neo-Liberals have been preaching the same message for over thirty years: Debt -- all debt -- is bad. And they have relied on a well worn analogy. Public debt, they say, is like household debt. But, Scott Clark and Peter DeVries write:

We’ve said it before and we’re saying it again: When a government spends money on infrastructure that will provide services to Canadians for decades to come, that’s not the same as spending the same money on programs and services that only benefit current generations.

Programs and services that benefit people paying taxes now should be paid for by the people using them. But public infrastructure is different. Things like modern transportation systems are going to be around for 20, 30 years or longer, and will be used by Canadians who aren’t paying taxes now but will be in the future. So it’s fair and logical to expect future generations of taxpayers to share the burden — through debt.
And right now the economy reqiures public spending:

Build an efficient new highway system and you increase productivity for trucking companies — possibly earning them a return of five per cent, which is taxed. And given the government can issue 20-year bonds at 2.0 per cent right now, the argument for new infrastructure spending becomes bulletproof: cheap debt for higher productivity and higher tax revenue.

This means that if the federal government spends $5 billion fixing the Champlain Bridge — money which could be borrowed in financial markets on 50-year bonds in the first year of work — the spending wouldn’t show up in the budget until the work is done. At that point, the government would start recording $100 million in new spending in every federal budget for 50 years (assuming the bridge that lasts 50 years), along with the annual interest costs associated with the borrowing. Not really a big deal.
The answer to the problem of debt is the same answer to most of life's problems. It depends. But for Neo-Liberals, there are no extenuating circumstances. There is only one answer -- for all time.


About The "Harper Gestapo Act" And Other Prime Ministerial Fear Mongering

Politics and its Discontents - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 06:17


I would feel much more hopeful about October's election if I believed this kind of critical thinking were common among our fellow citizens:

Re: Tory rhetoric defies belief, Editorial March 12
Re: Terror a diversionary tactic, Letter March 12


As a Canadian-born Jew I am offended at Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney’s use of the Holocaust to justify his government’s draconian and vicious terror legislation, Bill C-51.
The roots of the Holocaust are to be found in the German government’s manipulation of hatred and fear of an ethic and religious minority that was seen by the government as a threat to the nation’s economic well-being and to the cultural and ethical values of the German people.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government are using words — not only in the media, but in the very laws of Canada — to attack members of a religious minority.
The government’s rhetoric for writing and then defending Bill C-51 by its constant referral to jihadists and now to the Holocaust reeks of the crematoriums and echoes of jackboots smashing a human face.

Howard Tessler, Toronto

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney has it backwards. The Holocaust was started by casting dispersions on an ethnic minority and blaming them for all the problems in the country and if only they were pure like us we wouldn’t have to rid the country of them; and eventually the world. The propaganda of hate came first and then the Holocaust.

Allan McPherson, Newmarket

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney is right in his assertion that the Holocaust began with words. However, it began with the Nazi government’s words, with a propaganda campaign of lies about “the threat from within” to the German nation from Jews and other minorities.

Once it had unleashed a torrent of words to divide a fearful nation, it passed legislation that day by day stripped German citizens of basic freedoms, including the right to free speech and equal protection under the law.

When our government resorts to this kind of false analogy in order to promote its proposed security legislation, we have reason to question not only the legislation itself, but also the very assumptions on which these proposals are based.

Let no Canadian be misled by the old bromide: “It can’t happen here.”

Rabbi Arthur Bielfeld, Toronto

I think that it should be called the “Harper Gestapo Act,” because that’s what it simply is.

G. Burns, Oshawa

Recommend this Post

“Natural” remedies

Trashy's World - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 05:01
Check out this exposeé done by CBC’s Marketplace. Turns out the show’s producers “invented” a natural children’s remedy claiming to help bring down fevers. They submitted an application to have this approved by Health Canada. No scientific testing. No quantitative evidence whatsoever that it actually worked. And all totally bogus. And guess what? It was […]

Stephen Harper: Great Strong Leader or Terrorist Collaborator?

Montreal Simon - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 03:06


Well don't say I didn't warn you eh? Two years ago I wrote a post saying that I didn't think it was a good idea that Stephen Harper should appoint his chief bodyguard Bruno Saccomani to be our new ambassador to Jordan. 

Not with Bruno's lack of diplomatic training, and not when so many of those who worked for him thought he was a bully.

The management review included interviews with 41 per cent of the 116-member unit, many of whom reported problems with their boss including intimidation, favouritism, discrimination and harassment.

And I also warned that I thought that CSIS was out of control, and also hiring the wrong people...
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E-petitions come to Canada

Terahertz - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 00:35

Congrats to Burnaby MP Kennedy Stewart on getting enough support to make his dream of e-peitions in Parliament a reality. After the next election, Canadians will be able to submit petitions online, forcing a response to every petition over 500 signatures.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s probably a small change, but it’s one that makes democracy easier, not harder. In an age of restrictive voting ID laws and robocall fraud, it’s good to see a positive tool for democratic engagement win support.

Currently, petitions in Canada have to be signed on paper and the originals sent to an MP to sponsor it.

Musical interlude

accidentaldeliberations - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 18:53
Grimes - REALiTi

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