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Anti-Semites for Trump.

The Disaffected Lib - Wed, 10/19/2016 - 12:19

He's earned the fulsome endorsement of the KKK, the Ku Klux Klan, and its Imperial Wizard. He's pretty much the candidate of choice for all manner of American extremists and bigots. He's their guy.

Among Trump's cadre of supporters are America's anti-semites. It seems they love The Donald.

She had seen her face superimposed on the body of a concentration camp inmate. She had been called "a slimy Jewess." She had been told she "deserved the oven." One anonymous individual had electronically harassed her for 19 hours straight.

Things got so bad that Bethany Mandel, a 30-year-old freelance writer in Highland Park, New Jersey, decided one afternoon last spring to drive to a nearby gun shop. A mother of two small children, she now keeps a .22 in her home.

What had she done to provoke so much vitriol? She posted some messages on Twitter drawing attention to the fact that Donald Trump seemed to have a lot of anti-Semitic supporters.

In some respects, Ms Mandel's story has become a familiar one. She is among hundreds of Jewish journalists who have been the target of anti-Semitic attacks on Twitter during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to a new report by the Anti-Defamation League.

You're known by the company you keep which is a word to the wise for the Trump supporters who keep leaving comments on this blog. You're backing a dangerous deviant, a guy who attacks women, credible women, who accuse him of the very conduct he's caught boasting of. 

Wednesday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - Wed, 10/19/2016 - 10:37
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Peter Fleming writes that the promise of entrepreneurial self-employment has given way to the nightmare of systematic precarious work:
(T)he move to reclassify people as self-employed follows a very simple formula: it helps reduce labour costs and maximise profits for businesses that would rather use contractors than a permanent workforce. This includes Uber, Hermes, universities and many other organisations.

The business logic is rather brutal. If you’re self-employed then all the costs that a normal employer would cover must now be paid by you – including training, uniforms and vehicles, not to mention basic provisions for pensions and sick pay. This is the case even when a contractor works for the firm on a de facto permanent basis.
The problem is that successive governments have completely swallowed the “entrepreneurial society” propaganda that is spouted by neoliberal economists. As a result, the laws and regulations that protect the permanent workforce don’t apply here. Not even the minimum wage. Clearly this has been exploited by employers.
Perhaps the message cuts to the heart of the self-employment movement. It’s all about power. While some may end up on top, most workers find themselves perilously dependent on an employer, and with few rights or protections, not to mention less pay.

What can be done? Well, the airline pilots had the right idea. The only way to rebalance what is now a very unequal power relationship is to collectivise. Workers at Deliveroo and Uber have arrived at similar conclusions.

The so-called “gig economy” sounds glamorous and fun, like trendy graphic designers working from a laptop in a Shoreditch cafe. Sadly it’s turned out to be something of a bad gig for many struggling to make ends meet. The conflict between workers and capitalism hasn’t disappeared. It might have got even worse. - Hina Alam reports on a new Forum poll showing widespread public support for a $15 minimum wage across Canada.

- Tom Parkin rightly pushes back again the claim that we should encourage pay-for-play health care due to the cost of ensuring that everybody has access. And Steven Hoffman makes the case for an increase in public health resources to prevent injuries and illness rather than merely reacting after they've materialized.

- Meanwhile, Laurie Monsebraaten highlights how many people would benefit from a public child care system based on their inability to afford daycare now.

- Abbas Rana discusses Bradley Birkenfeld's thus-far-rejected efforts to help Canada to recover billions in tax revenues from offshore accounts.

- Finally, Neil MacDonald writes that Canada is increasingly reliant on the war business - and the Trudeau Libs are putting large amounts of time and energy into furthering that niche.

"The Definition of Hypocrisy"

The Disaffected Lib - Wed, 10/19/2016 - 10:15

Canada's biggest customer for lethal military hardware also happens to be the biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East with a seemingly unquenchable appetite for slaughtering civilians.

Former DND strategic analyst, Thomas Juneau, who now lectures on international affairs at Ottawa U, sums it up this way:

"We pretend that we're boy scouts, but a lot of what we do is not different from what other countries do. If that sounds like a definition of hypocrisy, well, there you are."

In fact, says Juneau, "you'd be hard-pressed to find any significant Canadian statements about the war in Yemen. Canada doesn't want to be seen to be criticizing an ally and good customer, and at the same time doesn't want to be seen as closely associated with it. The middle ground, then, is silence."

Trudeau's sock puppet foreign minister, Steffie Dion, says he's keeping an eye on those Saudis and what they do with $15-billion worth of Canadian armoured death wagons. Apparently that's being done from our embassy in Riyadh - out of sight, out of mind.  There's a rich history of what the Saudis have done with armoured fighting vehicles we already sold them but, to Steffie, let bygones be bygones.
Given that Ottawa has outsourced both Canada's foreign and military policy to Washington the inevitable hypocrisy is, well, inevitable. If America was to brand Iran a "state sponsor of terrorism" we'd be barking mad and slapping on sanctions with a near religious fervor. When a real state sponsor of terrorism, the biggest state sponsor of terrorism, comes along, we weigh their purse and look the other way.
Let's take a look at modern terrorism. The US embassy bombings - a Sunni operation. The attack on the USS Cole - Sunni. The original World Trade Center bombing - Sunni. The 9/11 attacks - Sunni. The terrorist attacks on Madrid, London and Paris - Sunni. al Qaeda - Sunni. ISIS - Sunni. al Nusra - Sunni. Where is Shiite Iran in all of this? Nowhere, that's where.
Saudi Arabia introduced the same, violent strain of Sunni Islam practised by all the Islamist terrorists.  Saudi Arabia suppresses human rights without a second thought. It revels in beheading and crucifying people in the public for such crimes as sorcery. It foments this malignant form of violent Islamism by funding Madrassas, religious schools, throughout the Sunni Arab world.
The Saudis are evil incarnate and our government stands deaf, blind and mute.
The Canadian division of the US defence contractor, General Dynamics, pockets a $15-billion score and our government, the Trudeau government, turns its back as it pisses on the honour of our country.
Tom Juneau is right. It's the definition of hypocrisy.

On false prophets

accidentaldeliberations - Wed, 10/19/2016 - 06:41
It wasn't long ago when a series of Canadian federal elections saw Stephen Harper and his Conservatives take more and more power - culminating in over four years of a false majority government - even as upwards of 60% of voters opposed virtually everything it stood for.

Some of us then figured it was worth doing something to fix the first-past-the-post system which Harper was able to exploit - especially when every national opposition party included electoral reform among its top priorities as part of the effort to oust Harper.

But Justin Trudeau has apparently given up the pretense of caring about implementing a system which represents Canadians. Instead, he's abandoning the promise that we'd seen our last FPTP election - because he's apparently perfectly happy trading an artificial claim to barely-checked power with Harper-style Conservatives as long as his party gets a turn.

A Festivus Moment

Politics and its Discontents - Wed, 10/19/2016 - 06:13
Like me, some of you were probably great fans of Seinfeld, the "show about nothing." As such, you may recall the Festivus airing of grievances:

Well, in that spirit I would like to use this blog to air a grievance, and that grievance involves one of Canada's putative icons, Wayne Gretsky, aka., The Great One. For me, the emperor has no clothes.

Readers may recall that last year, during our federal election campaign, Gretsky, a resident of the U.S., took it upon himself to extol Stephen Harper, pronouncing the latter as "wonderful to the country" and "one of the greatest prime ministers ever." Ever since then I have avoided all products associated with his name, most notably his wine label. I am happy to add his new whisky to my boycott list.

Vindictive and petty? Perhaps. But it is also immensely satisfying to exercise my power as a consumer.

Wayne is dead to me.Recommend this Post

There's The Rub

Northern Reflections - Wed, 10/19/2016 - 05:29

Pierre Trudeau famously quipped that Joe Clark wanted to be "headwaiter to the provinces." Susan Delacourt writes that his son will be no headwaiter:

In the years since Trudeau the elder left the scene, his successors have adopted a number of other approaches to the provinces, from the deferential to the collaborative to the virtually absent. From obsequious waiter to dumbwaiter, you might say.

But now it’s looking like we’d better get used to Ottawa coming to the federal-provincial table with some sharp and definite views about what’s on the menu. Even as the provinces grapple with Ottawa’s ultimatum on carbon pricing, delivered just weeks ago, they’re now being told that federal money for health will come with conditions attached.
Yesterday, Jane Philpott's meeting with provincial health ministers broke up without any progress on negotiating a new health accord. The provinces want more money. The Feds want to carefully track what happens to new money:

In September, Philpott declared: “It’s time to reclaim the political will, time and resources to develop and implement bold reforms in the funding and organization of front line delivery.”

It’s been a while since we’ve heard a health minister (or a prime minister, for that matter) declare that money going to the provinces for social programs would have strings attached. “Reclaiming the political will,” in that context, sounds a bit like a government that’s decided it wants to be more than a valet to the provinces.
Trudeau declared that he wanted to establish a new relationship with the provinces. The provinces want to keep the old one. Ay, there's the rub.

Image: CBC

Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and the WikiLeak's E-Mails

Montreal Simon - Wed, 10/19/2016 - 04:40

They will face each other for the last time in Las Vegas tonight, and for Donald Trump it will be his last chance to try to stop Hilary Clinton from becoming the first female president of the United States.

And burying him in a landslide. 

It’s now or never for Donald Trump.

Trump now lags Hillary Clinton in the RealClearPolitics national polling average by about 7 percentage points, a margin that suggests he is in danger of being routed on Nov. 8.

And Trump is no doubt hoping that Hillary Clinton's WikiLeak's e-mails will damage her enough to save him from disaster.
Read more »

Even Monsters Can Have Progressive Leanings

The Disaffected Lib - Tue, 10/18/2016 - 14:24

Donald Trump says he'll do this. Donald Trump says he'll do that. And the Gullabillies cherry pick from what Donald Trump says those things that they like and just discard the rest. In this way, demagoguery flourishes.

An earlier demagogue won over his public by fear-mongering and bigotry laced with some genuinely progressive measures. He tore down slums and constructed low-income housing in their place. He got the trains running on time. He invested heavily in infrastructure, including a world class highway system, and achieved near full employment. He established a social safety net of sorts and was a relentless champion for animal welfare. He promoted environmental protections.

And then he dissolved his country's democracy; established a police state; constructed concentration camps with crematoriums; unleashed his military forces on Europe, on Africa and eventually EurAsia; pursued the hateful dream of world domination and left tens of millions of dead in his wake.

A Confluence of Events or The Tiger Hillary Must Ride

The Disaffected Lib - Tue, 10/18/2016 - 11:57

There's a lot of concern in Europe and Asia that a sudden victory over ISIS forces in Iraq could see a lot of dangerous radicals returning to the countries out of which they were recruited.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that fears for the aftermath of the battle to drive ISIS out of Mosul have Malaysia on alert for returnees.

[Deputy prime minister] Ahmad Zahid told a news conference that Malaysian airport and border security had been increased, while illegal routes commonly used by smugglers were being monitored.

"We have been exchanging intel with international intelligence agencies, and we have a suspect list which includes names of those we believe have ties with Daesh," he said, using an Arabic acronym for IS.

Ahmad Zahid did not state how many Malaysians were currently in Mosul but police figures released last month showed that 90 Malaysians had joined IS in Syria and Iraq since 2013.

In August, Malaysia revoked the passports of 68 Malaysians who had been identified as leaving the country to join IS.
Meanwhile, European Union security commissioner, Julian King, is warning of the danger of returning jihadis.

Julian King, a British diplomat recently made the EU's security commissioner, toldDie Welt newspaper (in German) the threat of IS fighters returning to Europe after the fall of Mosul was "very serious".

There were currently about 2,500 fighters from EU countries in the combat zones, he said.

However, he stressed it was "very unlikely that there would be a mass exodus of IS fighters to Europe".

Similar cases in the past had shown, he said, that "only a few fighters come back". But he added: "I don't want to talk the risk down. Even a small number constitutes a threat."

Some of the militants involved in the deadly IS attack on Paris last November had recently returned from Syria.

After Trump has stoked America's Islamophobic fires, a spate of jihadi violence in Europe or Asia would have Trump supporters slamming Clinton with "we told you so" swipes and demands for a crackdown on US Muslims.
Most incoming US presidents enjoy a honeymoon period of at least a few months as they settle in.  Trump has laid the groundwork to ensure that Hillary gets nothing of the sort. She's not only going to need to be quick off the mark, to hit the ground running, but she will need plenty of protection from her country's homegrown Trumpist jihadis.
Already Americans are in uncharted waters. They have faced waves of voter anger in the past, but none had the pulsating angry, aggression and bitterness of Donald Trump's candidacy; and none was sustained in an echo chamber as volatile as today's social media.

Trump, along with surrogates who should know better, keeps stoking the fires.

On Monday he was banging on again about the system being "rigged," hammering his own party leadership, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, for rejecting his conspiracies – he tweeted: "Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day. Why do Republican leaders deny what is going on? So naive!"

Describing American democracy as "an illusion" and the election as "one big fix", Trump has reduced his campaign to a consuming conspiracy theory by which he accuses the Democratic Party, elements of his own Republican Party, corporate America, "global special interests and the mainstream news media" of "rigging " the election – and all along he's prepping his millions of supporters for a "we was robbed" campaign after November 8.

At the centre of it all is Trump the martyr. In a speech in Florida last week, he denounced those he sees as conspirators as vile, bad and vicious, declaring: "Nevertheless, I take all of these slings and arrows gladly for you -- gladly. I take them for our movement so that we can have our country back."

And there's more than a hint of violence from the candidate, directed at protesters at his rallies and at Clinton, who Trump says he'll jail her if he becomes president; he has called for her security detail to be stripped of their firearms; and he warned that the "Second Amendment people," ardent gun owners, might take matters into their on hands if a president Clinton appointed judges who supported gun control.

"That's really scary," Fergus Cullen, a former chairman of the GOP in New Hampshire, said of the violence at Trump rallies. "In this country, we've always had recriminations after one side loses. But we haven't had riots. We haven't had mobs that act out with violence against supporters of the other side.

"There's no telling what his supporters would be willing to do at the slightest encouragement from their candidate."

Will November 9th see the birth of an Islamophobic Trump insurgency? One thing is clear. Donald Trump is doing absolutely nothing but encouraging it.

2016 Already "Hottest Year on Record"

The Disaffected Lib - Tue, 10/18/2016 - 10:43

But wait, we haven't even had the kids at the door for Halloween yet.

Apparently with two and a half months yet to go, almost a full season, 2016 is said to have "a lock" on becoming the newest in a recent succession of years to become the "Hottest Year on Record."

Anybody see a pattern here?

Gavin Schmidt, director of the NASA Goddard Space Laboratory, tweeted:

With data now available through September, 2016 annual record (~1.25ºC above late 19th C) seems locked

I guess that's what you get when 11 of the last 12 consecutive months have set new records.

We Do NOT Need a Law

Dammit Janet - Tue, 10/18/2016 - 06:56
Contrary to the foot-stomping fetus fetishists, Canada does NOT need an abortion law.

The foot-stompers shrieeeek: "Canada is the only country in the western world with no laws restricting abortion!!!!!!!!"

Well, why would we want to use a law to restrict it?

Does it need to be restricted because it's dangerous?

No. Abortion is a very safe medical procedure. In fact, it is "markedly" safer than childbirth.

Does it need to be restricted because it's over-used?

No. Abortion rates in Canada are lower than in France, Sweden, US, and UK, just to name a few countries.

Does it need to be restricted because women regret having the procedure? (Leaving aside the idiocy of legislating against something that is potentially regretted.)

No. The "Myth of Abortion Regret" has been definitively debunked, once in a study from last year and again in a new study released last week.

The first one showed that 95% of women are satisfied they made the right choice and the second showed that women "are significantly more sure about their decision, for example, than people facing reconstructive knee surgery."

(On the idiocy of legislating against regret, how about a law restricting childbearing as more and more women are feeling able to speak up about their own regret over having kids?)

Canada has no abortion law. At all.

And where would we put one? Most countries restrict abortion under their Criminal Codes. Do we want to recriminalize abortion, forcing women to seek practitioners willing to break that law? A tiny minority of Canadians do, yes.

Or maybe outlaw it as an amendment to our Constitution, as countries like Ireland do. (Irish human rights campaigners are in the process of trying to repeal such an amendment.)

Or maybe we should take a sneakier approach. Propose an amendment to the Criminal Code that appears to merely seek tougher penalties for harm done to fetuses. This is what C225, or the Exploiting Grief to Attack Abortion Rights Bill -- being voted on tomorrow -- is attempting.

The sponsor of that bill, super-duper anti-choicer Cathay Wagantall had a poll done to assess Canadians' feelings on the matter.

Oopsie! The poll found that "97 per cent of Canadians support a woman's right to an abortion under varying circumstances."

So. No. Canadians do not want any laws on abortion.

Because we do NOT need any laws on abortion.

A Love Note To The U.S.

Politics and its Discontents - Tue, 10/18/2016 - 06:22
From my jaundiced perspective, Canadians sending a 'love note' to America will only add to its unbearable hubris, seen regularly in its conduct on the world stage and in its claims to be the greatest country on earth.

Yet that is exactly what a Toronto firm called the Garden Collective is suggesting we do in a campaign entitled #TellAmericaItsGreat:
According to the Garden’s blog, the digital pep talk is meant as a balm to the “pretty scary realities” and “tremendous amount of negativity” exposed by the campaign, which continues for another three weeks.However, given my low threshold for nausea-inducing saccharine sentiments, I shall refrain from uploading an inspirational video to buck up our neighbours to the south and stick with my core philosophy, which I think you might infer if you are a regular reader of this blog: "Better a bitter truth than a sweet lie."

Recommend this Post

Tuesday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - Tue, 10/18/2016 - 05:39
This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Peter Rossman explains why the CETA falls far short of the mark in accounting for anybody's interests other than those of big business. And Dani Rodrik discusses the dangers of laissez-faire fundamentalism, particularly to the extent it threatens to undermine the foundation of a functional society:
(T)he lesson from the 1980s is that some reversal from hyper-globalization need not be a bad thing, as long as it serves to maintain a reasonably open world economy. As I have frequently argued, we need a better balance between national autonomy and globalization. In particular, we need to place the requirements of liberal democracy ahead of those of international trade and investment. Such a rebalancing would leave plenty of room for an open global economy; in fact, it would enable and sustain it.
The key challenge facing mainstream political parties in the advanced economies today is to devise such a vision, along with a narrative that steals the populists’ thunder. These center-right and center-left parties should not be asked to save hyper-globalization at all costs. Trade advocates should be understanding if they adopt unorthodox policies to buy political support.

We should look instead at whether their policies are driven by a desire for equity and social inclusion, or by nativist and racist impulses; whether they want to enhance or weaken the rule of law and democratic deliberation; and whether they are trying to save the open world economy – albeit with different ground rules – rather than undermine it. - Michael Enright writes about the obvious failure of Canada's corporate sector to convert billions in giveaways into economic investment. And that track record in relying on the corporate sector offers all the more reason to be wary of Justin Trudeau's plan to sell off what's left of our common wealth.
- Casey Quinlan examines how corporations are using underfunded public school systems in the U.S., while Daniel Boffey notes that private schools in the UK are creating new barriers for poor children.

- Sarah Smarsh theorizes that the rise of Donald Trump can be explained in part by the failure of the media and other cultural institutions to provide a voice for many working people. And David Beers warns us that we shouldn't trust the mainstream right to recognize the risk of a Trump-style demagogue.

- Finally, Dougald Lamont reminds us why we shouldn't pretend the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation stands for anything other than unaccountable corporate influence. And DeSmog Canada examines the grossly insufficient state of political finance regulations in British Columbia.

It Can't Happen Here?

Northern Reflections - Tue, 10/18/2016 - 05:33

Canadians like to think that Donald Trump could never happen here. But he's been here and left -- for the moment. His name was Rob Ford. And he had lots of editorial support. David Beers writes:

As Donald Trump burst into an orange fireball melting down the Republican Party, one pundit telling us why was the Globe and Mail’s Marcus Gee. His analysis on Saturday echoed others: Gullible Republicans had fooled themselves into believing Trump could be tamed. They shrugged off his deep personal flaws and the divisions his bigotry would sow. Now “the Donald has come home to roost.”

If the GOP loses big “it will only have itself to blame” for siding with those who “seeded the clouds for Trump.” Blame some media, said Gee. Blame those “talk-show ranters” who cheered the rise of an unhinged narcissist with right-wing populist appeal.

Which, by the way, is pretty much what Marcus Gee did six years ago. In February 2010 he cheered the rise of an unhinged narcissist with right-wing populist appeal in his column headlined: “Rob Ford, Please Run. You’re the Right Guy for a Lefty Race.” 
Ford was not very bright, driven by demons and -- in the end -- doomed. But he railed against political correctness -- just as Margaret Wente does:

The country club conservative Margaret Wente, for example, drolly makes fun of Donald Trump. She also happens to regularly nurture the climate that helps Donald Trump thrive. Wente may shake her head at the “angry man yelling at me on TV.” She may marvel that “What’s stupefying is that so many people can’t see that the emperor is naked.” But Donald Trump and his supporters would resonate with much else she says, and they would appreciate her digs at his enemies: We have Trump, she argued in August, because “The Democrats have morphed into an alliance of liberal elites and minorities, with a relentless agenda of political correctness that has driven millions of people away.”
Donald Trump could happen anywhere at any time. All it takes is editorial -- and public -- support.

Image: Huffington Post

Ezra Levant's Pathetic Plea To Justin Trudeau

Montreal Simon - Tue, 10/18/2016 - 05:30

No media personality in this country has attacked Justin Trudeau as viciously as has Ezra Levant.

He has called him a terrorist, he has attacked his family in the lowest possible way.

During Trudeau's fight with Patrick Brazeau he got so carried away, he practically came in his pants wondering whether Justin would be removed in an ambulance or a hearse.

And his ghastly Rebel has run one death threat after another aimed at him in its grotesque comment section.

So this desperate plea couldn't be more pathetic
Read more »

Darth Trump and the Trump Family Brand

Montreal Simon - Tue, 10/18/2016 - 03:56

Like many others, I don't believe that Donald Trump ever thought he would become the Republican candidate for president, when he launched his campaign sixteen months ago.

I believe that all he was interested in was getting a lot of free publicity, and boosting the Trump brand.

So I thought it might be interesting to look at how that brand is doing after all that has happened and all those scandals.

And as it turns out, the answer is not so good.
Read more »

Ezra Gets a Drubbing

The Disaffected Lib - Tue, 10/18/2016 - 01:34

Has he even paid off his judgment creditors yet? It seems Ezra Levant's Rebel Media is flush with funds, enough to send three "journalists" to the upcoming UN climate summit in Morocco.

The three pseudo-journos are still going only without UN accreditation to the summit. Levant's outfit applied but got turned down, turfed out so to speak.

Nicholas Nuttall, a spokesman for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Conference, said the organization tries hard to make sure those who get accreditation are genuine media rather than advocacy groups or non-governmental organizations pretending they're media.

"We had never heard of Rebel Media before but we looked at their website and, to be honest, they seemed to be in the bracket of being something of a one person band, espousing an individual's view of the world, rather than being a serious media operation," Nuttall said in an email.

"Some of the headlines seemed to verge on extremism as well."

Levant has now asked the prime minister and his environment minister to intercede on his behalf.

The Real Problem With Donald Trump's CNN Surrogates

Montreal Simon - Mon, 10/17/2016 - 19:56

About two weeks ago I wrote a post where I said that the only thing worse than watching Donald Trump in full fury, was having to listen to his screaming surrogates on CNN.

And this doesn't help.

Not when Corey Lewandowski is reportedly being paid $500,000 by CNN, while apparently still working for Trump.

But the worst thing about those surrogates is that not only are they incredibly annoying, CNN's decision to employ them is also a threat to American democracy.
Read more »


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