Posts from our progressive community

What If We All Went Out In This Costume at Halloween?

The Disaffected Lib - Fri, 10/14/2016 - 11:07

Here's an idea. Everybody in this costume. You can easily reverse engineer this for guys.

This is British journalist and heiress, Jemima Khan. Brilliant.

How Trump Tripped Up

The Disaffected Lib - Fri, 10/14/2016 - 10:52

Trump, being Trump, set himself up for disaster.

His top campaign staff wanted, even demanded, to run a forensic investigation on The Donald to uncover and prepare for anything scandalous that his opponent could use against him in the campaign - but Trump flatly refused.

Donald Trump's lawyers will be in a funk – last week their client paraded several women who accuse Bill Clinton of treating them inappropriately, and demanded that their stories be heard; but on Thursday, Trump launched a searing attack on several women who accuse him – Trump – of treating them inappropriately, and who want their stories to be heard.

And some in Trump's campaign are in a funk – they've revealed that Trump rebuffed their attempts at standard campaign practice, which is to research a candidate's past so that they might mount a counterattack in the event that, oh, say something like the "grab them by the pussy" video surfaced or a small army of women shared stories of a candidate abusing them.

Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway definitely is in a funk – between the emergence of the video and the first of the new women's allegations of abuse by Trump, Conway thought she was skewering Hillary Clinton but, ooops, she stabbed Trump too, by re-tweeting a Clinton tweet: "Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported."

...The several iterations of Trump's campaign management sought, but always failed to get the candidate's agreement that they investigate his past, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Corey Lewandowski, his first campaign manager who now is a CNN analyst, wanted Trump to submit to a forensic evaluation – no; his successor Paul Manafort insisted to the point of it becoming a divisive issue – still no; old guard Trump advisers Roger Stone and Michael Cohen thought it would be a good idea – Trump didn't.

Wondering what to wear to this year's Halloween costume party? This one seems a killer for all the women out there:

Friday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - Fri, 10/14/2016 - 09:11
Assorted content to end your week.

- George Monbiot discusses the importance of recognizing our social connections in making our political choices, rather than treating the world as merely a collection of unconnected individuals:
It is not hard to see what the evolutionary reasons for social pain might be. Survival among social mammals is greatly enhanced when they are strongly bonded with the rest of the pack. It is the isolated and marginalised animals that are most likely to be picked off by predators or to starve. Just as physical pain protects us from physical injury, emotional pain protects us from social injury. It drives us to reconnect. But many people find this almost impossible.

It’s unsurprising that social isolation is strongly associated with depression, suicide, anxiety, insomnia, fear and the perception of threat. It’s more surprising to discover the range of physical illnesses it causes or exacerbates. Dementia, high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, lowered resistance to viruses, even accidents are more common among chronically lonely people. Loneliness has a comparable impact on physical health to smoking 15 cigarettes a day: it appears to raise the risk of early death by 26%. This is partly because it enhances production of the stress hormone cortisol, which suppresses the immune system.

Studies in both animals and humans suggest a reason for comfort eating: isolation reduces impulse control, leading to obesity. As those at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder are the most likely to suffer from loneliness, might this provide one of the explanations for the strong link between low economic status and obesity?

Anyone can see that something far more important than most of the issues we fret about has gone wrong. So why are we engaging in this world-eating, self-consuming frenzy of environmental destruction and social dislocation, if all it produces is unbearable pain? Should this question not burn the lips of everyone in public life?- Meanwhile, Meghan Joy and John Shields discuss the folly of putting programs in the hands of the corporate sector through social impact bonds which prioritize single contractual metrics over broad social outcomes. And Murray Dobbin criticizes corporate control over hospital food as a prime example of necessities being turned into cash cows, with no benefit for either the public purse or the people being served.

- Jim Stanford points out that implausible denials of the downside of corporate globalization will only strengthen the rise of divisive and destructive alternatives. Paul Waldie reports that two of Belgium's regions may put the ratification of the CETA on hold indefinitely. And Rob Ferguson highlights one of the reasons that's for the best, as the largest award ever under NAFTA has just been ordered due to Ontario's change in renewable energy policy. 

- Finally, Sam Levin reports that multiple social media sites handed over access to user data to a private security firm to track individual Black Lives Matter protesters.

Neo-Liberalism, Sexism, and the Presidential Dilemma....

kirbycairo - Fri, 10/14/2016 - 06:57
I oppose Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton for some of the same reasons: I am a socialist and they are both part of the financial elite; they support the neo-liberal economic agenda; they have both supported radically pro-corporate trade policies (Trump acts as though he hasn't but he has for years), they both defend a capitalist, racist, imperialist nation that has, for generations supported dictators and undermined democracy and socialist efforts worldwide. I think these are pretty good reasons to resist the US and its politicians. You don't have to be that radical to say politics in the US is clown show with few alternatives from the capitalist agenda that has been helping to destroy the environment, suppressed democracy, and enshrined poverty in the very system itself.

But even as a socialist, you don't have to be wildly pragmatic to make an important distinction between Trump and Clinton. They both have records of corruption. But Trump's is much more dramatic than Clinton's, as John Oliver outlines here.

So while they are both corrupt, Trump is demonstrably more corrupt that Clinton. But Trump is also openly racist and promotes racism and conflict at the core of his political agenda. He is openly misogynist and has boasted about his sexual assault behaviour. Electing either Trump or Clinton as president will more or less continue the neo-liberal economic agenda, neither will do much for democracy, for poverty (at home or abroad), nor will they make the radical changes to environmental policy that are necessary. But as president, Trump will legitimize racism and misogyny through his beliefs and behavior. While they will both continue the same kinds of capitalist agendas, Trump threatens to open up a floodgate of violence and hate against women and racialized people. I think that even if you don't believe in the system, these factors make Trump demonstrably worse that Clinton. Some might say that the policies of both are a bit like someone rearranging the deck-chairs on the Titanic as it is sinking. That may be true, but that doesn't mean we should support the guy who is going to encourage people to beat the hell out of, and sexually assault each other as it goes down.

But there is another factor here that should be talked about. Clinton may have a dubious record concerning certain aspects of corruption during her time as a public figure, but if you compare that record to, say, the last Republican presidency, she's a paragon of purity. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney orchestrated illegal wars that killed hundreds of thousands of people. Tens of millions of dollars (if not billions) went totally unaccounted for as wads of cash were reportedly given out to terrorist group as bribes to stop them from undertaking violence. And Bush and Cheney benefited personally from all this through their oil interests, and through corporations such as Halliburton and Blackwater. To compare any contemporary US political corruption to what Bush and Cheney have been responsible for, de facto robs the very notion of corruption meaningless. If Trump supporters were interested in sending anyone to jail, they would never stop calling for the incarceration of Bush and Cheney, two men who destabilized the whole globe, made fortunes doing it, and, arguably, permanently undermined the status and legitimacy of the US as a democracy.

If, like me, you are a socialist with little or no faith in the political/economic system, it is understandable to be dubious about Clinton and Trump for the simple reason that they are both corrupt in various ways and they both represent the capitalist status quo. But if you believe in American capitalism and its supposed democracy, if you believe that, despite its blemishes, the US basically represents what is good in economics and human rights, then to portray Hillary Clinton as some kind of outlier of corruption is just hypocritical because as corruption and dubious behavior goes, she somewhere near the middle of the pack, and in my opinion she comes off much better than Trump.

I continue to believe that the angry, vociferous opposition to Clinton by many Americans is little more than simple sexism. She is not an atypical Democratic nominee in policy matters or in her dubious record. But she is atypical in her qualifications, in as much as she is unquestionably the most qualified candidate to run for president in living memory.

As most of us have heard many women defend Trump's predatory behavior over the past couple of weeks, it is easy to see just what a powerful thing sexism is.

A Remarkable Speech

Politics and its Discontents - Fri, 10/14/2016 - 06:06
This lady surely has a future in politics, should she so choose. Her strength, integrity and passion are a beacon in these politically and socially debased times.

Recommend this Post

Another One Of History's Ironies

Northern Reflections - Fri, 10/14/2016 - 05:43

There are those who believe that engaging in "what might have been" speculation is wasted energy. But Linda McQuaig does precisely that in today's Toronto Star. Doug Peters -- the former chief economist for the TD Bank and former Liberal cabinet minister -- died last week. Peters grew up in Brandon, Manitoba during the Great Depression. That experience -- and the training he received on the way to getting a PhD in finance from the University of Pennsylvania -- made him a committed Keynesian.

But it was Peters misfortune to be at the the cabinet table when Milton Friedman was all the rage. McQuaig writes:

Despite his Bay St. pedigree and a PhD. in finance from University of Pennsylvania, Peters rejected the business world’s obsession with deficits and smaller government.
From his seat next to [Paul] Martin at top-level budget meetings, the soft-spoken, articulate Peters repeatedly challenged the deficit hysteria that gripped the Finance department and increasingly controlled government policy. To Peters, the key problem was unemployment — which hovered above 10 per cent — not the deficit.
Indeed, the way to solve the deficit problem was to reduce unemployment, Peters argued. As he once told a parliamentary committee: “Unemployed people pay less tax. That is one of the most certain laws of all economics. It should be inscribed on plaques and hung in the offices of prime ministers and premiers across the country.”
There were some who sided with Peters:
He got support from an unlikely source — a Goldman Sachs report in September 1994 identifying unemployment, rather than excessive government spending, as Canada’s key problem, and noting that once full employment was achieved, “the budget gap of Canada vanishes.”
But Friedman had received the Nobel Prize. How could be be wrong?
Time has proved Friedman wrong and Peters right. Another one of history's ironies.
Image: Toronto Star

The Incredible Hypocrisy of the Con Queen Rona Ambrose

Montreal Simon - Fri, 10/14/2016 - 05:31

As we all know, Rona Ambrose likes to spend most of her time accusing Justin Trudeau of being a big spender.

She has attacked him for employing two nannies to take care of his three young children.

He has blasted him for taking his mother to Washington even though Barack Obama invited her.

But now the acting Con queen is under attack herself.
Read more »

How Canadians Are Helping To Defeat Donald Trump

Montreal Simon - Fri, 10/14/2016 - 05:29

Judging by this sign, and what I've seen and heard in Montreal and Toronto, if Donald Trump ran for office in Canada, he'd get even less votes than the Cons, and just a few more than the Bloc Québécois.

Most Canadians I've met are disgusted by that loathsome demagogue, and hate him almost as much as most Americans.

And I'm sure even more of them are going to feel that way after they read what that grubby sexual predator did to a Canadian woman.
Read more »


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