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General

Montreal Simon: The Day Stephen Harper Went Off the Deep End

Posted January 29, 2015 by Simon

I always knew he was dangerous. And that madness ran in his family.I knew the first Harper to arrive in Canada had to removed from office for “violent and oppressive measures vindictive beyond all reason.”I knew one of his grandfathers committed suicide, and that he was prone to violent rages, and frightening bouts of depression.But today Stephen Harper finally went over the deep end.Read more »

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Conservatives

The Canadian Progressive: SHAME: Harper spend $700,000 fighting injured veterans’ justified lawsuit

Posted January 28, 2015 by Obert Madondo

The Harper government blew $700,000 fighting a Charter-based class-action lawsuit filed by former Canadian Forces members who were injured in Afghanistan.

The post SHAME: Harper spend $700,000 fighting injured veterans’ justified lawsuit appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

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Canada

staffroom confidential: What could a Canadian Syriza do?

Posted January 28, 2015 by Tara Ehrcke

It has been so inspiring to see the Greek people reject austerity and vote in a government committed to radical change. And what is so radical about Syriza? They want to do something pretty much no other government on the planet has committed to: put people first.Given the drastic impacts of the austerity program imposed on Greece, it is not surprising to see people so fervently reject yet more of the same. One quarter are unemployed, and of those still with work, average earnings have plummeted. It is frightening to imagine one’s own household with one lost job and (Read more…)

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Feminism

Does the Pill cause an abortion?

Posted January 28, 2015 by Andrea Mrozek

Read here, and decide for yourself: In order to reach high effectiveness rates, hormonal contraceptives rely on two main mechanisms: prevention of the fertilization of a woman’s egg (prefertilization effect), and prevention of the implantation of an embryo by the modification of the lining of the uterus (postfertilization effect). The second mechanism is what we’re […]

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Feminism

27 years of Morgentaler

Posted January 28, 2015 by Andrea Mrozek

The anniversary of Canada’s Roe v. Wade is today. 27 years since the Morgentaler decision. No cheering here, but that means ProWomanProLife is seven. Mike Schouten of We Need a Law addresses what the decision did and did not say. Abortion defenders enjoy referencing Justice Bertha Wilson – the first woman appointed to Canada’s Supreme Court. […]

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Canada

Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: CSEC Back In The News

Posted January 28, 2015 by John Klein

Here’s an interesting bit of the process the NSA and partners are going about tracking your online activities so they can link everything you do that isn’t encrypted and disassociated from your IP address and social profiles online, to you personally. LEVITATION has been watching you, most certainly.

Every RT of #BellLetsTalk will be tracked by the #NSA & its partners like CSEC while Bell gives some money to assuage its corporate guilt.

— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) January 28, 2015

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General

The Liberal Scarf: #BellLetsTalk about mental health in politics

Posted January 28, 2015 by Anonymous

Connecting back to my last post, today is a big day for online, hashtag activism: #BellLetsTalk day. For every tweet tagged with the hashtag, Bell will donate 5 cents towards mental health services.

It’s a good cause to raise awareness and start discussions towards mental health, but it is take a critical eye towards what is also a giant PR campaign for a huge teleco. I don’t discourage people from tweeting with the hashtag, but I also encourage people to find and share some people with critical views on it, and make sure that we talk about mental health (Read more…)

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Activism

You Deserve Better Wages and Benefits

Posted January 28, 2015 by Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Right wingers want to pay no tax. It’s hard to bleat about that in public without sounding like the greedy, selfish people they are. Instead, they say that public sector workers are paid too much, and that we should privatize everything. THAT way, governments get to starve themselves to the point where they collect virtually … Continue reading You Deserve Better Wages and Benefits

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Federal Politics

The ‘real’ thing about the Port Mann Bridge.

Posted January 22, 2015 by Laila

“The thing about the Port Mann Bridge is people start using it–and they love it, because it saves so much of their time that they would otherwise be driving and they can spend with their family for example or get … Continue reading

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Australia

MORE Sexism Against Female Canadian Athletes!

Posted January 21, 2015 by Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Today is a terrible day for gender equity in sports. What it looks like is either continued sexism, or increased anti-feminist backlash against women who have been asserting their human rights to safety and dignity around the world. Female World Cup soccer players have to play on plastic artificial turf while the men have played … Continue reading MORE Sexism Against Female Canadian Athletes!

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Debt

Distracting, dissembling, deflecting – lest you forget

Posted January 17, 2015 by Norm Farrell
Are you unhappy with rapidly increasing electricity rates and the general state of BC Hydro finances? Are you looking for the party responsible? Well, the Vancouver Sun has the answer. It’s a person named Clark, but not the one presently in the Premier’s office.

Vaughn Palmer thinks readers should be reminded of past NDP sins so he offers Gordon Campbell’s words from 2001:

“Under the New Democratic Party, BC Hydro has been viewed as little more than a cash cow for the government,” declared Opposition leader and soon-to-be premier Gordon Campbell on the eve of the 2001 election campaign.

“Since the NDP was elected, it has siphoned almost $2.5 billion out of BC Hydro into general revenue. This is $2.5 billion that could have gone to reducing the debt of BC Hydro, into the construction of new generation facilities, or been left in the pockets of customers.”

Shocking, isn’t it. Kudos to Vaughn Palmer for providing key facts.

He gives this additional information:

Turns out Hydro has paid $5.4 billion in dividends to the province since 1992, of which 60 per cent — or $3.2 billion — had to be borrowed.

Presuming Hydro had been able to use that money to offset its own borrowing needs, the Crown corporation’s current debt ($15.4 billion and counting) would be that much smaller and the upward pressure on rates from interest payments would be reduced as well.

However, that turns out to be a rewording of government press notes and it is not entirely accurate. Since 2001, BC Hydro payments to government total almost $10 billion and it does not take a graduate degree in finance to know, had that money not been paid out, the crown corporation’s borrowings would be reduced by the same amount. It is an illogical fiction to pretend that only $3.2 billion had to be borrowed to make payments to government during the past 23 years.

Mind you Palmer could also have reported that when Glen Clark became Premier, BC Hydro’s long-term debt was $7.496 billion and, when he left the office three years later, it was $7.474 billion. When Christy Clark became Premier, the utility’s debt was $11.712 billion. According to the September 2014 financial statements, the debt was $16.588 billion, not the lesser amount from ten months ago noted on the BC Liberal’s press notes.

That’s a 42% increase in long-term debt of BC Hydro, but the amount is chump change compared to borrowings planned in the next few years and the over $50 billion increase in contractual commitments to private power producers, which were non-existent during the days of Glen Clark’s profligacy.

Another illustration of the different approaches to debt and spending during different times follows. It should be noted that quarterly statements of BC Hydro in the current fiscal year show long-term debt rising at a monthly rate of $171.5 million. That is the fastest ever rate of growth in BC Hydro debt.

Liberal policies aim to eliminate elements of a progressive tax system to impose the financial burden of government on lower and middle income citizens. Had BC Hydro been able to use the “dividends” and water rentals extracted from it by government, the utility could have eliminated the tier-1 residential rate for the first 1,350 kWh used over an average two-month billing period. Instead, residents are hit with increases well above the rate of inflation. This is reflected graphically but not show is the 28% rate increase announced in 2014. 9% took effect April 2014, which will cause another upward move when the numbers for fiscal year 2015 are added.

Dropping the irony, I can say this Palmer article leaves me thinking the newspaper’s masthead could accurately describe the Vancouver Sun purpose to be,

Comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted.

Maybe I’ll suggest it to Vaughn if I see him entertaining Liberals at some corporate speaking engagement or encounter him resting in a quiet pasture.

H/T Rob S.

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General

The “Religious Freedom” Issue That May Cost the Accused Boston Bomber His Life

Posted January 15, 2015 by Anonymous

Forget the Charlie Hebdo attacks, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should worry about “death-qualifying” the jury.

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Feminism

No, She Didn’t Deserve It. Yes, She Deserves Our Help to Lead a Violence-Free Life

Posted January 15, 2015 by Anonymous

2014 was the deadliest year of domestic violence in British Columbia in the last half decade, with at least 14 women murdered as a result of domestic violence. It’s long been recognized that women facing domestic violence rarely report to the police or otherwise reach out for help. Unfortunately little has been done to address […]

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General

Sustainable Lifestyle & Best Designer Consignment Shops

Posted January 15, 2015 by Sonya

When you have time to think and assess life, ever wonder what you can do to make the world a better place? I’m not talking about massive changes—unless you want to, of course. But what manageable steps can we take […]

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General

Manitoba Autism Crisis Demonstrates Need For A REAL Canadian National Autism Strategy

Posted January 15, 2015 by H L Doherty

Canada, despite a private members motion championed by the late Fredericton MP Andy Scott and Nova Scotia MP Peter Stoffer which called for one, does not have a REAL National Autism Strategy.  The failure to enact a REAL National Autism Strategy means that in some provinces very few autistic children receive intensive early ABA intervention.
The  private member’s bill, Bill C-304, introduced by former PEI MP Shawn Murphy, set out below was crushed by the Harper Conservatives and Quebecois MPs.   Had Bill C-304 passed 9 years ago many,  many more autistic Canadian children would have received early ABA intervention and made the substantial cognitive, linguistic and behavioral gains reported decades ago by Dr. Ivaar Lovaas and confirmed by studies and reviews since.

 Manitoba’s Wait List Autism Crisis

One example of the checkerboard pattern of ABA service for autistic children in Canada is Manitoba as reported in the CBC article Autistic children’s families frustrated by therapy wait-list:

“Some Manitoba families with autistic children say they might get turned away from a highly sought-after therapy program because they have been on a waiting list for so long, their children may end up being too old to qualify. Families that want access to applied behaviour analysis (ABA) therapy for their children must wait roughly 1½ years on a list. The program is available only to children under the age of five. With the waiting list so long, some children may end up being too old to qualify for ABA, meaning they would be turned away this September.
“I just can’t imagine where kids are going to wind up without having ABA,” said Guy Mercier, president of Manitoba Families for Effective Autism Treatment. “Without ABA in my son’s life, he wouldn’t be where he is.”
The ABA program gives children three years of intensive therapy, teaching them social skills and life skills before they enter kindergarten. It also provides support for five years while they are in school.
Samantha Bawtinheimer said she placed her 2½-year-old son, Noah, on the waiting list for ABA soon after he was diagnosed with autism last September.
Bawtinheimer said she is frustrated by how long it will take for Noah to get into the program. “You’re supposed to be there to protect them. You’re supposed to be there to help him. I can only do so much,” she said. “I’ve done my research. I can’t do it all. I still have to work, I have to provide for him. I can’t do it all. I need their help.”
The Manitoba situation proves the need for a real national autism strategy. 

History of the Struggle for A REAL National Autism Strategy

The struggle for a REAL National Autism Strategy is summarized following from a commentary on this site on March 29, 2014:

In The Courts Autons (BC) and Wynberg/Deskin (ONT)
Canadian parents fought initially , and ultimately unsuccessfully, through the courts in BC (Auton) and Ontario (Wynberg/Deskin) for autism treatment coverage under medicare and autism services before commencing their more overtly political efforts, including the Medicare for Autism NOW! campaign.

History of the Struggle for a REAL National Autism Strategy in the Maritimes

Andy Scott Fredericton NB MP,  Peter Stoffer NS MP, Shawn Murphy PEI MP,  Senator Jim Munson NB

Here in the Maritime provinces we took a political approach to developing a national autism strategy with the NB efforts in  which I was personally involved beginning  in 2001, primarily by many discussions with our Fredericton MP, the late Andy Scott.  In 2003  Andy Scott, made a public commitment in 2003 to work toward a National Autism Strategy at a tribute to his 10 years of service as an MP at the Boyce Famers’ Market, an event I attended and reported on to the members of the Family Autism Centre for Education (FACE):

“October 19 2003

Hello everyone:

Some good news for those interested in autism issues emerged last night  at the Boyce Farmers’ Market in Fredericton New Brunswick as Frederictonian’s gathered to pay tribute to MP Andy Scott’s  10 years of service as an MP on behalf of Frederictonians and as an advocate for human rights, services for the disabled, and cultural harmony. Andy announced that he would be meeting with Paul Martin in the hopes of pursuing a national Autism strategy. Although health care is primarily within provincial juridiction some health issues, such as breast cancer, HIV, etc. have been approached on a national level because of the magnitude of the issues involved.  While we have all heard political promises in the past,  Andy Scott has a proven track record of commitment to, and follow through on, disabilities and human rights issues.  Great news.


Harold Doherty
Family Autism Centre for Education (FACE)”

Andy’s comments at the Boyce Farmers’ Market were also featured in a 2003 Telegraph Journal article by Tali Folkins:

“Fredericton MP Andy Scott said Saturday he has been lobbying prime- minister-to-be Paul Martin for a federal program to help young children with autism. “I desperately want a national autism strategy – and let me just assure you that Paul Martin knows it,” Mr. Scott told supporters at a party celebrating his 10th anniversary as an MP in Fredericton Saturday evening.

Early work by therapists with young autistic children, Mr. Scott said, can make a big difference in their capacity to lead fulfilling lives as adults – and can save money in the long run. But the costs of starting such early intervention programs are high and should be borne directly by Ottawa rather than each individual province, he said. “We have responses and therapies and so on that I genuinely believe can work,” he said. “You’re going to save millions of dollars over the lifetime of an autistic adult. If you can get in at the front end, you can make enormous progress.

“But it’s very expensive, and there’s not a lot of stuff being added to Medicare, generally – that’s why we have catastrophic drug problems and other things,” he said. “In the province of New Brunswick, P.E.I., or even Quebec or Ontario it’s very, very expensive. The feds are going to have to step up to the plate.” 

Andy did answer the call on behalf of autistic Canadians and  actively pushed for a National Autism Strategy which he ultimately realized with the passage of Motion M-172.  However, the motion was essentially a commitment in principle with few obligations being undertaken by our federal government but it did help put autism on our national agenda and it was Andy Scott being Andy … getting done what could get done … with a view to moving forward further in future.  One of the specific items that the federal government did commit to in the motion was a national surveillance program, a program that would tell us how many Canadians now suffer from autism disorders.  It is a commitment that has still not been honored 8 years later. 

Andy Scott himself did continue the fight   as demonstrated in his June 5, 2007 statement in the House of Commons:

“Autism 

[Table of Contents]

Hon. Andy Scott (Fredericton, Lib.):

Mr. Speaker, it is regrettable that we have seen little action by the government toward implementing a national autism strategy.

It has been more than a year since I introduced Motion No. 172. My private member’s motion called for evidence based standards, innovative funding arrangements for diagnosis, treatment and research, and a national surveillance program.

The motion was adopted in good faith and supported by the government. However, it was very disappointing to see no reference to a national autism strategy in the recent budget or any discussion this spring.

Recently, I joined my colleagues from Charlottetown and Sackville—Eastern Shore and Senator Munson at a rally in Halifax that reinforced that there are families with autistic children across Canada who need the government’s help.

The Conservatives should move off their default position of jurisdictional excuses, show creativity and compassion and start helping these Canadians.”

Jean Lewis, FEAT-BC, Medicare for Autism Now!


NB MP Andy Scott, FEAT-BC, Medicare for Autism NOW!’s Jean Lewis
National Autism Rally, Halifax, May 26 2007
Andy Scott’s reference to his colleagues from Charlottetown and Sackville-Eastern Shore were  references to PEI’s Shawn Murphy and Nova Scotia’s Peter Stoffer both of whom, along with Andy Scott and Senator Jim Munson, also worked tirelessly toward achieving a National Autism Strategy.  The rally of which he spoke was a Halifax rally organized by Jean Lewis and FEAT-BC who had been raising autism awareness, lobbying politically and fighting for national autism coverage in the Courts for several years and continued to do so with its “Medicare for Autism NOW!” efforts.  I attended the FEAT autism really in Halifax and had the privilege of meeting Jean Lewis, several of the BC advocates and tireless Nova Scotia autism advocate Jim Young.  Under the BC leadership there have been subsequent national meetings in Oakville and Toronto.

NS MP Shawn Murphy, Senator Jim Munson, NB MP Andy Scott 
National Autism Rally, Halifax, May 26 2007

Nova Scotia MP Peter Stoffer,  National Autism Rally, 
Halifax, May 26 2007
In 2006 Shawn Murphy went on to introduce his own private member’s bill, Bill C-304,  in the House of Commons which, if passed, would have put Canada well on the way to establishing a REAL National Autism Strategy:
C-304

First Session, Thirty-ninth Parliament,
55 Elizabeth II, 2006

HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA

BILL C-304
_____________________________________________
FIRST READING, MAY 17, 2006
_____________________________________________

MR. MURPHY (Charlottetown)

1st Session, 39th Parliament,
55 Elizabeth II, 2006

HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA

BILL C-304

An Act to provide for the development of a
national strategy for the treatment of
autism and to amend the Canada Health
Act

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Senate and House of Commons
of Canada, enacts as follows:

SHORT TITLE

1. This Act may be cited as the National
Strategy for the Treatment of Autism Act.

NATIONAL CONFERENCE

2. The Minister of Health shall, before
December 31, 2006, convene a conference of
all provincial and territorial ministers responsible
for health for the purpose of working
together to develop a national strategy for the
treatment of autism. The Minister shall, before
December 31, 2007, table a report in both
Houses of Parliament specifying a plan of action
developed in collaboration with the provincial
and territorial ministers for the purpose of
implementing that strategy.

AMENDMENTS TO THE CANADA
HEALTH ACT

3. Section 2 of the Canada Health Act is
renumbered as subsection 2(1) and is
amended by adding the following:

(2) For the purposes of this Act, services
that are medically necessary or required under
this Act include Applied Behavioural Analysis
(ABA) and Intensive Behavioural Intervention
(IBI) for persons suffering from Autism Spectrum
Disorder.

Bill C-304 was defeated soundly by a coalition of Harper Conservatives and separatist Blog Quebecois votes in the House of Commons. During debates in the House of Commons Harper conservative MP Mike Lake from Alberta, the autism face of the Harper government, a father of an autistic son, fought against the Murphy bill and helped vote it down to defeat.  

The hard truth is that there will never be a real National Autism Strategy as long as the Harper government rules in Ottawa.  Nor will a REAL NAS emerge from national autism charities that were never part of the struggle for a national autism strategy to begin with and who do not acknowledge the efforts made by parents across Canada who fought hard and long for a National Autism Strategy. National charities dare not speak contrary to federal government policy for fear of risking their charitable status. 

A real National Autism Strategy, even a real, current estimate of the number of Canadians who suffer from autism disorders will not come into existence until the Harper government is retired from office and will only come into existence with parent driven initiatives for whom helping their autistic sons and daughters is their most important objective.   Until then we will have to accept US figures for autism prevalence.  Accordingly, let it be known:

1 in 68 Canadians has an autism spectrum disorder. (Many of whom still do not receive effective ABA early intervention)
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General

This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Overreacting to heinous acts is what the terrorists want.

Posted January 12, 2015 by Laila

This week’s topic: Does the massacre in Paris justify further expansion of spy powers in Canada? In the days since the terrorist attack in Paris, I’m concerned about how this is all unfolding as I look at the response from … Continue reading

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Entertainment

Is Kaley Cuoco Not A Feminist, Or Is She A Victim Of Context?

Posted January 2, 2015 by Anonymous

To end 2014 off on a high note, Redbook released some of its cover interview with Big Bang Theory star, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting. Cuoco-Sweeting, 29, had some choice comments about feminism and the internet responded with its usual vitriol. The magazine […]

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General

Michael Den Tandt is wrong: Mulcair knows what a mess of pottage is

Posted December 31, 2014 by CuriosityCat
Den Tandt: Muclair cannot count

So, what will our next federal government look like? Today is the last day of the year 2014, and most commentators have hidden their heads in the sand rather than venture a public guess.

Michael Den Tandt is one of the braver ones.

In an article in the National Post he forecasts a minority government for Stephen Harper, without any attempt by the two opposition parties – which combined will have more MPs than the Tory minority government – to vote him out in a no-confidence vote.

Den Tandt believes that Harper will survive for at least 10 months (which means a new election if he is voted out then), because Mulcair will prop him up in return for “concessions”.
This is Den Tandt’s forecast:
“The reason is simply that the current crop of New Democrats and Liberals viscerally dislike and mistrust each other … Given his druthers, Mr. Mulcair will be inclined to keep Mr. Harper in power, with concessions, rather than allow Mr. Trudeau to road-test himself as prime minister.”
Den Tandt then sees leadership bids being prepared within the Conservative and NDP parties, but not within the Liberal Party.
I don’t think this gives Mulcair enough credit for strategic thinking.

Mulcair only has to look to what happened with the LibDems in the UK, and with Horwath’s NDP in Ontario, to have second thoughts about supporting Harper for a mess of pottage.

It is clear to even the most obtuse observer that Horwath blew it big time when she cooperated with the provincial Tories to bring down the Liberal Government. She did not gain power; nor did she improve the position of the NDP. Instead, the NDP lost its power of voting for the Liberals in return for meaninglful concessions, and has been relegated to the backwaters of Ontario politics. She will most likely go down in history as a seldom-noticed footnote.
As for the LibDems in the UK, they bargained for concessions from Cameron’s Conservatives that really amounted to very little, and neglected to nail down the one thing that really mattered: electoral reform to strengthen their party.
Mulcair can count.
And he knows very well that as long as the first past the post voting system is our way of electing our MPs, then a party can gain power with less than 40% of the vote and can stay in government.
Mulcair’s other example of short-term thinking resulting in illusory gains is that of Jack Layton’s pact with the devil: his bringing down of the Martin-led Liberal government. This resulted in Harper gaining power, and we’ve seen the results for Canada: a retreat into Luddite-like nostalgia, and vicious attacks on our democratic rights.
Mulcair will have learned from these examples. If he does a Layton, or does a Horwath, he will be brushed aside by angry Dippers when his pact with Harper shows little return.
But he stands to gain a step-change in the power equation in Canada, which will forever benefit those who support the NDP at the polls.
It is within Mulcair’s grasp to change the FPTP system of electing our MPs into a more democratic one, involving some form of modified proportional representation.
Such a change will mean that a party such as the NDP will definitely play a major role in all future decisions by any minority government. The Conservatives will most likely remain in minority territory under such a system, as will the Liberal Party (at least for the foreseeable future).
This means the advent of cooperative, reasoned governance in our country, replacing the mean-spirited, divide-and-conquer governance that is the Harper legacy.
I do not expect Mulcair to fail, as Horwath did; I expect him to take advantage of a minority government and go for a game-changing alteration of our political contours.
That way he will not only make history, but be able to exert pressure to gain meaningful policies for his party’s supporters.
We will soon see if Den Tandt is right, or if The Cat is right.
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Culture

The year in Liberal Stupid

Posted December 29, 2014 by JR

James Delingpole and Milo Yiannopoulos – Part I:

JAMES: “Rape Culture”  … If you want to know what “Rape Culture” really looks like, just pay a visit to Islamic-State-held territory in Iraq and Syria.
… Now compare and contrast with the confected, faux grievances of the West’s oppressed female Social Justice Warriors, as they battle against such appalling injustices as: their insufficient representation on bank notes … not having been given as many Nobel-prizes as men have …

MILO: “GameGate”  … Gamers are the only fandom ever to mount a sustained revolt against social justice warriors riding in to “save” their hobby from “misogyny” and other invented offences.

… GamerGate, indirectly, had a huge effect on feminism in the popular imagination this year, because it showed third-wave feminism up for what it is: a hateful, bullying, authoritarian creed of funless cultural Marxism. …

JAMES: “Torture” … can you not see something effete, decadent and self-defeating in our enthusiasm first for washing our dirty linen in public (as the Democrat Senate report was so eager to do)…

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General

Google Chairman vilifies climate skeptics

Posted December 26, 2014 by JR

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt confirms that Google is off the climate deep end:

In a recent interview with National Public Radio, …. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said his company “has a very strong view that we should make decisions in politics based on facts. And the facts of climate change are not in question anymore. Everyone understands climate change is occurring, and the people who oppose it are really hurting our children and our grandchildren and making the world a much worse place. We should not be aligned with such people. They’re just literally lying.”

It’s not surprising that an Obama advisor+bank-roller and green philanthropist would take a leftist climate hysterical position.  But it is disturbing that a company that has such huge propaganda power at its disposal has openly declared such blatant political bias.

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General

Has Stephen Harper’s Bubble Finally Burst?

Posted December 25, 2014 by Simon

After so much bad news, after so many bad polls.

Or ones that defy reason. 

The number of Canadians who believe the Conservative government is doing a good job of protecting the environment is inching upward, according to a recent poll – despite the federal government finding itself repeatedly under fire on environmental issues, and Canada remaining on track to fall substantially short of its Copenhagen greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.

And make you wonder what kind of crazy ignorant country we’re living in.

Isn’t it good to know that Stephen Harper’s bubble may finally have burst?
Read more »

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General

Stephen Harper and the Never-ending War on Women

Posted December 24, 2014 by Simon

Well as we know he’s trying to pose as a kinder, gentler leader. And as I pointed out in my last post, that phony act has given him a big boost in the polls.

But you can’t put lipstick on a Con monster like Stephen Harper. 

Because he simply can’t help himself. And here he goes again. 
Read more »

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General

Stephen Harper and the REAL Nightmare Before Christmas

Posted December 24, 2014 by Simon

Uh oh. It seems I might have been a bit hasty when I declared this to be The Con Nightmare Before Christmas. 

Because although the Cons are just as ghastly as they were in that story, the monstrous Stephen Harper is now smiling, as only he can.

*Shudder*

And the real nightmare arrived YESTERDAY !!! 
Read more »

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General

Why Stephen Harper’s Porky Ads Threaten Our Democracy

Posted December 23, 2014 by Simon

We know that Stephen Harper is spending hundreds of millions of dollars of OUR money to try to brainwash us into thinking that he’s a Great Leader. 

We know that those porky ads are nothing but propaganda to try to bribe voters.

As this excerpt from his latest YouTube channel production, starring the oily Con man Joe Oliver, makes only too clear…

But what every Canadian also needs to know is that these ads are not just sleazy and immoral. They are also an assault on the rule of law. 
Read more »

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General

Stephen Harper’s Desperate and Horrible Coalition Nightmare

Posted December 23, 2014 by Simon

In my last two posts I told you why I believe that Stephen Harper and his monstrous Con regime may have to be brought down by a Great Canadian Coalition.

So Justin Trudeau, Tom Mulcair, and Elizabeth May and their most rabid partisan supporters should at the very least be thinking about it.

Because you can be sure that Stephen Harper is thinking a lot about it these days. It must be keeping him awake at night.

For he surely knows that unless he wins a majority in the next election it’s game over. 
Read more »

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General

Mulcair leads the way to a more democratic Canada

Posted December 21, 2014 by CuriosityCat
Mulcair: The man who would bring democracy to Canada

Thomas Mulcair, that very capable MP who is leader of the NDP, has publicly committed himself to remedy our democratic deficit, as this post indicates.

Mulcair is to be commended for two things.
First, for signing the Fair Vote Canada declaration (click herefor the full text).
Second, for strongly coming out in favour of a modified proportional representation system of electing our federal MPs.
The Fair Vote Canada declaration has this very important commitment:

What is important about the Fair Vote Canada declaration is that it is the modern equivalent of cutting the Gordion Knot, and in so doing, giving all voters – BEFORE THE 2015 ELECTION – and all MPs elected in that election, a clear route towards significant electoral reform.
Note that the declaration does call for public consultation.
IT DOES NOT CALL FOR A REFERENDUM on any proposed reform of our electoral laws.
Note too that the Liberal Party resolution adopted at the last Convention, and supported by the new leader, Justin Trudeau, calls for immediate action by the next parliament, through consultation with Canadians and then a decision by the next Parliament (that is, by elected MPs) to pass laws reforming our system.
What is significant about the policies and public commitments by our two main opposition parties is that – PRIOR TO THE 2015 ELECTION – voters know that these two parties will undertake meaningful electoral change early in 2016, so that the next federal election in 2019 will be held using a system that makes all votes count, and results in a parliament that truly, fairly and democratically reflects all voters in all parts of Canada.
The 2019 election will be the first truly democratic election in Canada’s history.
Voters – in their hundreds of thousands and millions – who in the past cast votes in ridings that did not result in their views being represented in parliament, will now have a system that does just that.
Those voters who vote for Liberal or NDP candidates in ridings in Alberta, for example, will in 2019 be better represented than ever before. The same applies to Conservative voters in areas such as Quebec and elsewhere, where the FPTP system makes their votes meaningless.
A new era of civility in the practice of our politics is near, given the commitments of the NDP and Liberal Party to meaningful electoral reform. Voters considering their choice in the ballot booths in the 2015 election will know in no uncertain way that Canada will be changed dramatically in the following 18 months. By casting their votes for the LPC or NDP, they will be ushering modern democracy into Canada.
The 2015 election will therefore be one of the most important elections ever held in Canada.
Thank you for your signing of the Fair Vote Canada resolution, Mr. Mulcair.
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General

Stephen Harper and the Hidden Story of the Anti-Gay Judge

Posted December 21, 2014 by Simon

The other day I wrote about how appalled I was to see that Stephen Harper, and his ghastly stooge Peter MacKay, had appointed an anti-gay judge. 

A law professor named an Ontario judge this week wrote two years ago for a conservative, U.S.-based institute that the legalization of same-sex marriage in Canada has harmed religious freedom and free speech, and led to the “indoctrination” of children in public schools.

Who sounded like he had sprung from the bowels of bigot America.

But then I decided to find out more about Bradley Miller. 

And now I’m even more DISGUSTED.
Read more »

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Canada

UKIP’s quips

Posted December 20, 2014 by Boris

Ah, I believe we’re a familiar with this sort of problem with our ReformatoryCons, who are basically now required to think only in verbatim PMO talking points.

Nigel Farage is cracking down on Ukip supporters’ social media activity
after a series …

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General

Stephen Harper’s Monstrous Propaganda War on Canadians

Posted December 20, 2014 by Simon

We know that Stephen Harper and his ghastly Con regime run the biggest propaganda machine this country has ever seen.

And that they have spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to brainwash us with our own money.

But who knew they’re also spending a fortune trying to pass off propaganda as NEWS? 
Read more »

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General

Stephen Harper and his CRA Stormtroopers Prepare to Kill a Charity

Posted December 19, 2014 by Simon

For months Stephen Harper has been unleashing the stormtroopers from the Canadian Revenue Agency upon his many enemies.

They have been harassing environmental groups and other progressive charities, and trying to cripple them into submission.

But now it seems they have claimed their first victim, and are preparing to blast it out of existence.
Read more »

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CBC

Michael Harris REALLY Doesn’t Like Peter Mansbridge

Posted December 19, 2014 by Simon

As I said in my last post, I wasn’t impressed with the way Peter Mansbridge handled his year end interview with Stephen Harper.

I thought he stroked Great Crazy Leader with a feather, and failed to challenge his many lies, or ask the follow up questions that needed to be asked.

So the whole thing looked more like a cozy chat than an interview.

But I see that Michael Harris was even less impressed.
Read more »

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General

Stephen Harper’s Crazy Carbon Tax problem

Posted December 19, 2014 by Simon

As I’ve been warning recently, Stephen Harper’s mental state is clearly growing more unstable by the day.

The exhaustion of all those foreign photo-ops, combined with the shock of seeing his beloved Albertonia torpedoed by low oil prices, and his budget surplus going up in flames, has driven him to the brink.

And there is no better example of that than his wildly oscillating position on a carbon tax.

Just ten days ago he called one “crazy.” Or CRAAAAAAAZY.

But in the CBC interview the other night, while being stroked with a feather by Peter Mansbridge, he all but called it a good idea. 
Read more »

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General

2015 election: Coalition gains favour

Posted December 18, 2014 by CuriosityCat
Which one, or two, of these men will lead Canada?

The end of the Harper government is clear from this latest poll, which shows that the Harper scare tactics of the past have run their course:

Liberal and NDP supporters, meanwhile, have expressed a tepid willingness to consider each other, suggesting that a Liberal-NDP coalition may be feasible should the Conservatives pull off a minority win in 2015. Indeed, unlike in 2011, it appears now that Liberals and NDP supporters are equally likely to say they are certain to be voting. The rise of greater commitment to vote in the centre-left is also coupled with a sharp rise in support for a Liberal-led coalition. These two changed forces suggest a formidable obstacle to a fourth Harper Government.

 Canadians prefer Liberal-NDP coalition to Conservative government
Finally, after all this speculation as to the feasibility of a Liberal-NDP coalition, we asked Canadians the simple question of whether they would prefer a Conservative minority government or a Liberal-led coalition with the NDP. Canadians express a striking preference for the latter, with 54 percent (60 per cent when we exclude invalid responses) choosing coalition. This represents a distinct movement away from the days of Michael Ignatieff, when Canadians were evenly split on this issue.

Harper struck first when the coalition talk first arose some years back, falsely framing  the coalition-question as one of political illegitimacy, and his attack was successful because at the time many voters had grave reservations about the gravitas of Michael Ignatieff as a prime minister.

Neither the Liberals nor the Dippers could come up with alternative framing in time to counter Harper’s framing, during the short election campaign, and the result was a Harper government.
In the years since then, the bogeyman of a coalition has been confronted by Canadians; they realize now that Harper sold them a pack of mistruths last time, and are more prepared to listen to those who know our political conventions.
Coalitions are not illegitimate.
Coalitions are not all the same.
Coalitions are valid responses if no one party has a majority of seats in Parliament.
Judging from recent polls, it is most probable right now that our next government – some time in 2015, most likely in June – will be a minority one.
If Harper ekes out a minority government, convention gives him the first crack at trying to gain the approval of the House in a vote of confidence. Convention also allows a majority of MPs to reject his request to lead the House as prime minister in such a vote. The Governor General will then be bound to turn to the leader of the party with the next highest number of seats in the House to attempt to gain the confidence of the House.
It is in such a situation that Justin Trudeau will have to weigh what to do.
He will have several choices
·       try to run a minority government, supported on an ad hoc fashion by either the NDP MPs or the Conservative MPs; 
·       cut a deal with the NDPs for some sort of committed support in confidence motions for some agreed time, provided the Liberal minority government includes certain agreed items in its mandate (such as introducing a modified system of proportional representation); 
·       or a fully fledged, reduced to writing, coalition government, with Mulcair as deputy Prime Minister and NDP cabinet ministers, governed by an agreed legislative program for an agreed period (similar to the one between David Cameron’s Conservatives and the LibDems in the UK).
One thing is for sure: if either Trudeau of Mulcair fail to replace Harper’s government by another one in 2015, they stood step down and make room for some other leader who might do a better job of giving Canadians what the majority want: a replacement government.
Things are going to be very interesting!
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General

Stephen Harper’s New and Foul Assault on the Justice System

Posted December 18, 2014 by Simon

Well I guess Stephen Harper wasn’t kidding. If the courts wouldn’t kneel before him he would debase them into submission.

Not by simply soiling himself.

But by soiling the entire justice system as only he could.

By among other foul things appointing an Ontario judge who clearly doesn’t believe in the equality of gay Canadians. 
Read more »

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CBC

Stephen Harper’s Scary Year End Horror Show

Posted December 18, 2014 by Simon

I tried to put it off as long as I could, I was having too much of a good time to spoil it. 

Humming Christmas tunes, fixing one of my little robots, and playing with my neighbour’s puppy.

But eventually I figured I better check out Peter Mansbridge’s interview with Stephen Harper. And oh boy did that ruin my evening.

Because it was an absolute HORROR show.
Read more »

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General

The Day Stephen Harper Collided With Crude Reality

Posted December 17, 2014 by Simon

You could can see the strain in his face, he can’t hide it anymore, even under all that pancake makeup.

He’s still trying to pretend that those tanking oil prices won’t affect his plans to try to buy the next election, or balance the budget.

Even though he recklessly blew the surplus before he even had one.

But it’s just not working, and with every passing day he’s sounding more and more delusional.
Read more »

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General

Albertonia Report: The Wild Hog Party Goes Down Squealing

Posted December 17, 2014 by Simon

It could only happen in Alberta, the land of cowboy Steve and not so Big Oil, Canada’s Banana Republic.

Where the leader of the opposition, after attacking the Con government for five years, and trailing them in the polls by only five points.

Has suddenly decided that if you can’t beat them, you should join them.

And is apparently leading half her Wild Hog Party back to the trough. 
Read more »

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General

The Further Insane Adventures of Peter Dumbo Mackay

Posted December 16, 2014 by Simon

Once upon a time I thought that Peter MacKay was a fairly harmless Con buffoon, of limited intelligence, masquerading as a minister.

The happy idiot who was easily conned into selling the once proud Progressive Conservative party, and his soul, to Stephen Harper and his Reform rednecks.

The hopeless loser who shamelessly used his neighbour’s dog to try to guilt out his ex-girlfriend Belinda Stronach…

For having had the good sense to break-up with him.

But now I’m starting to think that Dumbo MacKay is morphing into something far more sinister. 
Read more »

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General

Stephen Harper, Tony Abbott, and the Great Terrorist Conspiracy

Posted December 16, 2014 by Simon

It all looks and sounds so familiar. A wild looking gunman terrorizes a cafe in Sydney, killing two people, and traumatizing a city and nation.

And even though police say there is no evidence the man was a real terrorist, the country’s Prime Minister is quick to plant that idea in the minds of his people. 
Read more »

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Climate Change

Stephen Harper and the Secrets of the Con Regime

Posted December 16, 2014 by Simon

He runs the most shadowy government in Canadian history. Where everything is either a secret or a talking point.

He likes to muzzle the truth. Or bury it. 

Like his shameless minions have just been caught doing with this climate change report.
Read more »

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