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The Grotesque Hypocrisy of the Con Clown Candice Bergen

Montreal Simon - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 23:54

Like her leathery leader Rona The Vulture Ambrose, Candice Bergen likes to dress in black. 

And with good reason.

She is one of the nastiest Cons in the House of Commons.
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A First Step For Government, a Semi-Giant Leap for Labor

Left Over - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 09:05
Liberal government moves to repeal controversial union laws Employment Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk meets reporters on Parliament Hill at 10:15 a.m. ET

CBC News Posted: Jan 28, 2016 10:08 AM ET Last Updated: Jan 28, 2016 10:13 AM ET



What Pierre Trudeau did to labor in the past,with his so-called wage and price controls,  has now been somewhat neutralized by his son, Justin, and it makes a big difference to organized labor, in particular.
By stopping such revisionist legal twisting and thrashing, set up as an opening salvo against organized labour by Stephen Harper, the Federal Libs have instantly given themselves a whole bunch of extra support they might otherwise have lacked.
But it isn’t enough…most wages and benefits  need to be increased, or, where they don’t exist,  p[rovided for, and  foreign ownership/corporate control  of businesses needs to be tightened up.

Infrastructure repairs and construction are the real way that the Canadian economy is going to grow and improve…if you are old enough, you can remember that Canada once had one of the highest standards of living in the world..housing was economically available, and working meant that you had a comfortable life. We weren’t serfs in our own country…

Corporate types will instantly start whining about  loss of profits etc (a recent report  showed that they  are sitting on  billions and billions, usually squirreled away in tax shelters…)  That will be amusing, I’ll get the popcorn ready….

Thursday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 06:58
This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Ed Miliband offers his take on inequality and the political steps needed to combat it:
(T)he terms of the case against inequality have changed. I have always believed that inequality divides people, deprives many of the chance to succeed and makes us all worse off. But now there is good reason to believe that inequality isn’t just unfair but that it actually inhibits economic growth. ‘Widening income inequality is the defining challenge of our time,’ the IMF announced in a report last year: ‘We find an inverse relationship between the income share accruing to the rich (top 20 per cent) and economic growth … the benefits do not trickle down.’ Last May, the OECD published a study entitled In It Together: Why Less Inequality Benefits All. All this makes it possible for us to talk about equality not only in terms of fairness, but also as the means to prosperity. The UK is deeply unequal and has an unproductive economy when compared to its major competitors. There are good grounds for thinking the two facts are connected: a low-wage economy, which doesn’t invest properly in its workforce, is an unproductive economy. The mechanism that links low growth to inequality is still debated: some say that low wages for the majority cause low demand and low growth; others say that the social exclusion of a large segment of society has a depressive effect. But what is clear is that inequality must be tackled not just because it is important to distribute resources fairly but also in order to secure higher growth, from which everyone can benefit.
(F)inally, there is the question of how political change happens, and how to mobilise the millions of people needed to bring it about. Labour must make use of the opportunity afforded it by the remarkable number of new members it has gained since the general election. But it also needs to acknowledge the challenge it faces. The party emerged from the traditions of community organising, and some local Labour branches are now rekindling that spirit. To succeed, the party needs to be about more than knocking on doors, crucial though that is, and the passing of resolutions. Labour needs to use its expanded membership to build deeper roots in local communities, and to help people find the collective power to change things. In a way I didn’t manage, it needs to reinvent itself as a genuine community organisation.

This is a tough time to be a progressive in Britain, with the re-election of a government that seems determined to dismantle the progressive institutions that remain and to make inequality worse. Labour’s renewal must be built on ideas, the most underrated commodity in politics. Ideas create and sustain movements and inspire people – and indeed voters – to join a cause. The right can’t solve the problem of inequality because to do so would be to abandon too much of what they believe, from a belief in the small state to trickle-down economics. The deep injustices of modern capitalism compel us to find a better way of living together. The left should approach the coming years with a determination to renew itself but also with confidence in its values.- And Ally Foster reports on a panel discussion on the erosion of the middle class in Canada.

- Derek Leahy discusses the Libs' plans to include upstream emissions as part of the environmental review process for pipelines. But Mike De Souza notes that the Libs are already falling behind on international climate change reporting.

- Meanwhile, the list of the Cons' damage in need of repair continues to grow. On that front, Kady O'Malley notes that their changes to elections rules may have enabled third parties to engage in unlimited robocalling, while BJ Siekierski reports on the wide range of Statistics Canada data gathering which was scrapped for no apparent reason.

- Finally, Laurie Monsebraaten writes about the push for Ontario to lead a national movement on child care, rather than settling for wage subsidies as the upper limit of public action.

More On James Forcillo

Politics and its Discontents - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 06:40

H/t Toronto Star

In response to yesterday's post, both the Salamander and the Mound of Sound offered some interesting commentary. The Salamander has experience in dealing with troubled and armed youth, as you will see, and The Mound has had careers both in journalism and the law. I am therefore reproducing their respective observations below:
.. the slow motion process of the Forcillo trial re the killing of Sammy Yatim has come to a temporary junction point. the toronto newstalk jocks can't get enough of expert opinion, so called public sentiment & various views from officialdom. In the past I described my own experiences, to the estimable Mound.. wherein I was called upon to deal with emotionally disturbed teens, drug addicted teens and triple maximum security juveniles.. I was never armed by the way.

Sammy Yatim was troubled, delusional & psychotic.. 1/2 of a collision looking for the other 1/2 .. that's very clear via video evidence, medical history & post mortem toxicology. He was 'out there' .. 'crispy' & as likely to try and swim to Rochester as he was to confront a dozen armed police.

But the killing is really about fearful Forcillo, a known hothead cop who'd pulled his gun a dozen times in 3 years. So lets keep the event very very concise, shall we? Most anyone has seen the various videos of Sammy Yatim's last moments & is aware of Forcillo's 'defense'.

Of course I'll paint it in a slightly different light.. as I've been there, done it, got the t-shirt.. dealing with delusional drug addled teens.. with a weapon.. and nobody died!

Forcillo and his female partner arrived on scene as a seemingly damn cool TTC driver gave up and left his streetcar. 'Taking charge' .. so to speak, Forcillo confronted the teen from a close but safe distance, shouting profanity laden 'orders' as his memory challenged partner holstered her weapon.

In the midst of numerous armed cops beside and around him, Forcillo feared for his life, such was the threat of knife wielding Sammy Yatim, up there inside a streetcar. Really now? Armed cops standing on either side of him, behind him, at the rear doors etc.. and Forcillo thought the teen could fly like a witch and get to him from the streetcar, without descending the steps & covering the 10 foot gap to that crowd of armed cops?

Forcillo exemplifies 'failure' .. the 'fearful' defense is so limp that its to laugh at.. but the Force must close ranks. In reality I suspect other cops curse Forcillo on a daily basis. The idea that his 'training' was to do what he did in approx 50 seconds of disastrous failure is to laugh at. Somewhere right near the bottom of the Toronto Police hires in the last 5 years is Forcillo.. a weak link deserving to drive a desk.. maybe in data entry or vehicle maintenance.. To let him deal with the public, much less ever own a gun again would be a travesty.. Amen, end of story.
I'm not satisfied the judge handled the case correctly either, Lorne. The judge issued revised instructions to the jury after they had deliberated that, to me, sounded bizarre.

The whole theory of whether this was one or two shooting events was confusing. The coroner testified about the nature of the wounds inflicted at the outset, when Yatim had been standing, contrasted with the subsequent wounds from bullets that struck a prone victim. Wound paths are readily traceable.

As I understand it the forensics suggested the initial three wounds were mortal. Yatim would have died without more. How then to treat the next five wounds? The Crown chose to treat that as attempted murder.

In firing squad executions is the coup de grace administered after the initial volley a separate event? I don't see it that way. It's collateral to the first shots.

I think an appellate court might order a retrial. I suspect that better Crown counsel might rethink the prosecution theory and look beyond the 5-second pause.

If, as the video suggests, Yatim collapsed with the first shot, were the second and third really justified? Was the first shot warranted unless Yatim made some clear move to exit the streetcar such as stepping into the stairwell? That, to me, was the obvious threshold to the "self defence" business.

I think the Crown may have muddied the waters and left the judge to deliver an incoherent, confusing charge to the jury. Were I sitting on the appeal I think I would set aside both verdicts and direct a new trial.

Recommend this Post

New column day

accidentaldeliberations - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 06:28
Here, on the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal's decision (PDF) finding that the failure to provide equal child services for First Nations is a human rights breach which requires federal action at law - rather than merely a moral failure which has too often been ignored.

For further reading...
- CBC reports on the decision, while Neil Macdonald places it in some context
- Tim Harper goes into more detail as to the history of discrimination given wider exposure by the decision. And I'll point again to Murray Mandryk's take on the lack of social resources facing La Loche and other communities.
- But in case we needed immediate evidence that a finding of discrimination will still leave plenty of people to be convinced that there's any problem to be solved, Jen Gerson belittles the decision and apparently the concept of human rights tribunals in general. And Scott Gilmore argues that the only solution is to push the residents of remote communities out of their homes, rather than making any effort to build healthy lives where they already live.

His Base Instincts

Northern Reflections - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 05:20


Stephen Harper lost the last election because he catered to his base. He made the niqab a big issue and it backfired on him. But, behind the scenes, the same instincts that drove Harper to demonize the niqab also shaped his position on Syrian refugees. Stephanie Levitz, of the Canadian Press, reports:

Newly released government documents paint the clearest picture to date of how the Conservative government’s controversial approach to Syrian refugee resettlement played out last year.

Before last winter, the previous government had only committed to take in 1,300 Syrian refugees from the millions fleeing the civil war there and spilling into surrounding countries Former prime minister Stephen Harper had been under intense pressure — including froinside his own cabinet — to increase that total, but only agreed to accept a further 10,000 provided that religious and ethnic minorities were prioritized.
The vast majority of Syrians are Muslims. If Harper wanted to allow only religious and ethnic minorities into Canada, it's clear that Harper's minions were cherry picking the population for Christians. His base wanted nothing to do with either Islam or Muslims, even though that policy flew in the face of United Nations policy:

The refugees the Canadian government accepts for resettlement are chosen by the UN. They do not use ethnicity or religion as a basis for determining whether someone requires resettlement to a third country.

But documents tabled in the House of Commons this week in response to a question from the NDP show how the Conservatives found a workaround.

In February 2015, visa officers in Jordan and Lebanon were instructed to track “areas of focus” for Syrian refugees, which included tracking whether someone was a member of a vulnerable ethnic or religious They applied that criteria to the files they were receiving from the UN.
There was a reason we lost our seat at the Security Council. At the UN, they knew that Stephen Harper catered to his base instincts.

Stephen Harper, the Harper Cat, and the Latest Porky Scandal

Montreal Simon - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 03:40

As you know I have been frantically searching for Stephen Harper all over Canada and the United States.

And I've even adjusted my missing wanted poster to reflect how he looked when he was spotted outside a Shake Shack in Las Vegas. 

With a weird smile on his face, several days of stubble, and a baseball cap pulled down over his nose.

But so far no luck.

And no sadly this was not him...
Read more »

Good Samaritan's Remorse

The Disaffected Lib - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 23:04
There were plenty of warm, fuzzy feelings for western European nations as they threw open their doors to a horde of refugees fleeing the hell on Earth of modern Syria. It's now turning out that some of those nations weren't quite the Good Samaritans we imagined.

Sweden has announced it intends to expel upwards of 80,000 asylum-seekers from the 163,000 who arrived in 2015. Where do you dump 80,000 people who have no place to go?

In neighbouring Denmark the government passed legislation authorizing the state to confiscate the valuables of refugees entering the country.

The Greek migration minister, Yiannis Mouzalas, claims his Belgian colleagues urged him to simply push arriving migrants back into the sea.

Meanwhile Britain's future in the European Union hangs by a thread even as Hungary and Poland embrace far rightwing nationalist populism.


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