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General

Harper’s War and the Rise of ISIS

Posted October 31, 2014 by Simon

Back in my teenage days when I was studying martial arts and fighting a lot, I tattooed this famous Sun Tzu quote on the back of my right shoulder:

“Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.”

Which I deeply regret now along with so many other things. 

But with Canadian warplanes maybe only hours away from beginning to bomb the ISIS hordes. 

It’s probably a good time for all us to know the enemy. 
Read more »

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General

Montreal Simon: Harper’s War and the Rise of ISIS

Posted October 31, 2014 by Simon

Back in my teenage days when I was studying martial arts and fighting a lot, I tattooed this famous Sun Tzu quote on the back of my right shoulder:”Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.”Which I deeply regret now along with so many other things. But with Canadian warplanes maybe only hours away from beginning to bomb the ISIS hordes. It’s probably a good time for all us to know the enemy. Read more »

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General

Bill Longstaff: MacKay makes the right noises

Posted October 31, 2014 by Bill Longstaff

With all the feverish reaction from politicians and a good part of the media to the two recent “terrorist” incidents, it is encouraging to hear Justice Minister Peter McKay say some of the right things, specifically that the law already has the tools it needs to deal with these kind of crimes. No need for muscling up the cops. “There are already some pretty robust measures that we can use [that

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General

Further reading on last Wednesday and the challenge ahead

Posted October 30, 2014 by Aaron Wherry

What to make of what happened on Parliament Hill and what should happen now?

The post Further reading on last Wednesday and the challenge ahead appeared first on Macleans.ca.

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General

Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Journalist Tired of Unfree Press Pushing War

Posted October 30, 2014 by John Klein

A German journalist explains how the CIA misused him to manipulate people, to push war.

“Non official cover”

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General

‘Good Wife’ Alicia Florrick is an Atheist (and Drinks a Lot)

Posted October 30, 2014 by Anonymous

I wasn’t sure how far “The Good Wife”‘s Alicia Florrick had made it…

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Canadian Politics

Cowichan Conversations: Jian Ghomeshi: One woman, actor Lucy DeCoutere, alleges she was slapped and choked without her consent.

Posted October 30, 2014 by Richard Hughes

Richard Hughes-POLITICAL BLOGGER

Like so many Canadians I jumped on the bandwagon in defence of Jian Ghomeshi. It was a knee jerk reaction and my earlier comments mocking the CBC management were out of line. I apologize.

‘Q’ was one of Canadian Radio’s best and I mourn its’ passing but it is over and so is Jian.

His carefully structured Facebook disclosure was a signal that crisis management was in play. His attempts at marginalizing the women speaking out to reporters underlined a powerful, wealthy male power play, but it was too slick.

Now my concern has shifted to the (Read more…)

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Canada

Conservatives press ahead with income splitting

Posted October 30, 2014 by The Canadian Press

Stephen Harper unveils controversial marquee tax relief for Canadian families

The post Conservatives press ahead with income splitting appeared first on Macleans.ca.

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Canadian Politics

Sifting Through Municipal Campaign Promises: Use an Intersectional Lens

Posted October 30, 2014 by Anonymous

As we approach the municipal election on November 15th, potential voters may feel unsure about which party or candidate represents the best interests of their community. One way to begin sifting through the different approaches to hot button issues is through an intersectional lens. Addressing the specific needs and concerns of our city’s most marginalized […]

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General

The promise Stephen Harper made to voters in 2011

Posted October 30, 2014 by David Akin

The 2011 Conservative Party of Canada election platform (picture with link above) made a very specific promise to voters who were parents with children under the age of 18. Here is how the Family Tax Cut, as it was called in 2011, was presented to voters: …couples with the same number of children and the […]

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China

Political Eh-conomy: Political Eh-conomy Radio: Focus on China

Posted October 30, 2014 by Anonymous

https://politicalehconomy.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/podcast-141102-china.mp3

 

The focus of today’s podcast is China: its development over the past several years, the situation of workers and unions as well as future directions. To get some perspective second largest economy in the world and one still expanding at breakneck, albeit slower, pace, I spoke with two guests: Minqi Li and Cathy Walker.

My first guest is Minqi Li. Minqi is professor of economics at the University of Utah and specializes in China’s economy and offers. He previously taught at York University in Toronto and received his PhD from University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

My (Read more…)

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General

Time for an informed debate over policing powers

Posted October 30, 2014 by John Geddes

A sweeping assessment of how Ottawa confronts terrorist threats is overdue, says one observer

The post Time for an informed debate over policing powers appeared first on Macleans.ca.

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Feminism

Men and the Pill

Posted October 30, 2014 by Andrea Mrozek

Crazy charting of a natural family planning method, see photo. It’s not always easy, but it’s better than the alternatives. And what it does is make a couple aware of their fertility, which is dictated by the woman’s fertility, because of the way biology works. In this article, a man testifies to the benefits. Imagine […]

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General

Stephen Harper, Tom Mulcair, and the Terrorist Menace

Posted October 30, 2014 by Simon

Well I’m happy to see that Great Warrior Chicken Leader has apologized for his somewhat less than Churchillian behaviour during the recent one-man assault on Parliament Hill. 

Prime Minister Stephen Harper told his hushed caucus Wednesday morning he felt remorse for surreptitiously ducking into a closet during last week’s assault on Parliament Hill, CBC News has learned.

But I see he’s STILL insisting on calling it a terrorist attack, to try to make it sound bigger than it was, justify his decision to hide in a closet AND bomb Iraq. Use it as an excuse to ram through cyber-snooping bills that would turn us into a police state

And of course use that definition to attack the opposition as weaklings and terrorist stooges.

So I was really glad to see Tom Mulcair stick a spear in that Con narrative. 
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General

‘Party of One': An Indictment of Stephen Harper (in Culture)

Posted October 30, 2014 by Crawford Kilian

Seeking a documented record of eight years of deliberate misrule? This is your book.

 Related Stories’Serial’ Podcast: True Crime Storytelling at Its Finest (in Culture)’I Must Stay Alive': Lucia Jang’s Escape from North Korea (in Culture)Film…

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Canadian Politics

Andrew Coyne: Time to scrap property taxes and give cities power to raise their own income or sales taxes

Posted October 29, 2014 by Andrew Coyne

Andrew Coyne: The property tax conforms to no known principle of sound taxation, being neither fair nor efficient nor simple

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General

A week later

Posted October 29, 2014 by Aaron Wherry

It’s been seven days since Parliament Hill was the scene of gunfire. Now what?

The post A week later appeared first on Macleans.ca.

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Canada

"Straining" Kuwait? Really Canadian Press?

Posted October 29, 2014 by Boris

There’s a Canadian Press piece on CBC announcing the arrival of RCAF fighter-bombers in Kuwait tonight.

Canadian warplanes have taken up position in Kuwait, a country straining
to hold back the tide of Islamic extremism from its borders.
"[S]training"? A few lines later we learn it is actually more of a "debate" in Kuwait about something happening a very long way away on the other side of a

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General

On key terrorism question, Trudeau stands with Harper, RCMP; Mulcair does not

Posted October 29, 2014 by David Akin

Were last weeks attacks in Quebec and on Parliament Hill acts of terrorism? The government was quick to label them as such. Today, after their first caucus meetings since last Wednesday’s Parliament Hill shooting, both NDP leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau were asked this question. Both had different answers. Here’s Thomas Mulcair: […]

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General

How John Tory remade himself into a winner—and a mayor

Posted October 29, 2014 by Charlie Gillis

John Tory could have been one of our greatest political mighta-beens. Now, he’s tasked with healing a scarred Toronto.

The post How John Tory remade himself into a winner—and a mayor appeared first on Macleans.ca.

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General

Stephen Harper, Canada’s Son, and the Forgotten Soldier

Posted October 29, 2014 by Simon

There couldn’t have been a more impressive and moving tribute. 

Thousands of people lining the streets of downtown Hamilton, to pay their final respects to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. 

There couldn’t have been a more heartbreaking sight…

That little boy couldn’t have been braver on such a sad day.

The media couldn’t expend enough words praising “Canada’s son.” 

They were complete strangers and close friends. They were office workers and decorated generals. Some came from other countries, others needed only to stand up from their panhandling roosts to salute the casket.

And then there was this…

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Conservatives

Leading from the cupboard

Posted October 29, 2014 by Boris

You and I don’t know precisely what went on in the Conservative’s caucus room last week. That said, the information we do hvae suggests that when the gunfire was heard, a good number of Tory MPs acted swiftly to barricade the doors and create makeshift…

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General

Wab Kinew: “This country is true. This country is strong. This country is free.”

Posted October 29, 2014 by David Akin

Dr. Wabanakwut Kinew – Interim Associate Vice President for Indigenous Relations, University of Winnipeg from Cape Breton University on Vimeo. Watch this. It’s very good. Wab starts out talking about Cpl Cirillo and Tecumseh (!) but moves on to offer good advice not only to young Canadians but to all Canadians. Wab may one day […]

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Australia

Stephen Harper and the Monstrous Planet Burners

Posted October 28, 2014 by Simon

He would have us believe that terrorism is a greater threat than climate change. But with every day that passes the burning planet proves Stephen Harper wrong.

For imagine what might happen if a city of 20 million people runs out of water. 
Read more »

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Feminism

On Jian Ghomeshi and Presumptions of Innocence and Guilt

Posted October 28, 2014 by Anonymous

Those who question why the women speaking out about Jian Ghomeshi haven’t gone to the police or made their names public don’t understand one basic fact.
Women who report sexual assault are treated as guilty until proven innocent.

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Canadian Politics

Participate in the 2014 Women’s Forum des femmes

Posted October 28, 2014 by Anonymous

Friends, This Thursday, I will host the third annual Women’s Forum des femmes in Ottawa. The past two years have set the foundation, leading us collectively to begin “Building the Feminist Agenda.” This year’s Forum theme is about fighting for a feminist vision of our lives, our communities, our country and our world. We’ll start the […]

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General

Canada’s New “Anti-Terrorism” Bill: Responding to the Courts, Not the Attacks

Posted October 28, 2014 by Michael Geist

The government yesterday introduced Bill C-44, the Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act. While some were expecting significant new surveillance, decreased warrant thresholds, and detention measures, this bill is a response to several court decisions, not to the attacks last week in Ottawa and Quebec. A second bill – which might use the U.K. legislative response to terror attacks as a model – is a future possibility, but policy decisions, cabinet approval, legal drafting, and constitutional reviews take time.

Bill C-44, which was to have been tabled on the day of the Ottawa attack, responds to two key issues involving CSIS, Canada’s domestic intelligence agency.  The first involves a federal court case from late last year in which Justice Richard Mosley, a federal court judge, issued a stinging rebuke to Canada’s intelligence agencies (CSEC and CSIS) and the Justice Department, ruling that they misled the court when they applied for warrants to permit the interception of electronic communications. Mosley’s concern stemmed from warrants involving two individuals that were issued in 2009 permitting the interception of communications both in Canada and abroad using Canadian equipment. At the time, the Canadian intelligence agencies did not disclose that they might ask their foreign counterparts (namely the “five eyes” partners in the U.S., U.K., Australia, and New Zealand) to intercept the foreign communications.

The post Canada’s New “Anti-Terrorism” Bill: Responding to the Courts, Not the Attacks appeared first on Michael Geist.

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China

Stephen Harper and the Great War Election

Posted October 28, 2014 by Simon

Well at least now we know what will be Stephen Harper’s main weapon in the next election campaign.

Until about a week ago it was going to be all about the economy.

But now he will mount his armoured closet.

And it will be all about WAR. 
Read more »

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General

The Wonderful Day the Ford Nation Died

Posted October 28, 2014 by Simon

Well it was closer than I thought it would be, the bestial Fordzilla  put up a desperate struggle.

But at last he could hold on no longer.

And after four long nightmarish years the Ford Nation has finally been defeated. 
Read more »

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General

Who Just Lost 63 Trillion Gallons of Water?

Posted October 28, 2014 by Stephen Elliott-Buckley

A few weeks ago, we saw that the California drought is going to increase BC’s food prices through the rest of the decade. Scientists know things. This isn’t news to them. They know we have burned too many fossil fuels so that the climate is changing. The pine beetle has killed much of BC’s forests […]

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Feminism

The Election-Eve Racist, Sexist Attack on Olivia Chow

Posted October 27, 2014 by Stephen Elliott-Buckley

If this cartoon were published, say, 2 weeks before the election, it would have been debated as a tool of racist, sexist propaganda and yet another blemish on corporate media. Her support would likely have grown after such a brutally immature attack. But because politics is a dirty, disgusting, sociopathic game, it was published the […]

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Feminism

Walmart Angers Internet With “Fat Girl Costumes”

Posted October 27, 2014 by Anonymous

I have a special place in my heart for Halloween. Personally, I am all about the homemade, DIY costumes; I love seeing what people more creative and crafty than me come up with! There has been a lot drama surrounding […]

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General

Stephen Harper’s Terror Story and the Lies the Media Told Us

Posted October 27, 2014 by Simon

You think you know the story. You’ve seen the pictures on TV a million times. Over and over again.

You’ve seen how the media have tried to explain what happened, and how they’ve framed the narrative, complete with more heroes than you can count.

You know what Stephen Harper wants you to believe, and why. 

You’ve seen how many Canadians have reacted, with an explosion of grief and emotion… 

You think you know the story, until it starts to unravel.
Read more »

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General

Will Canada have a snap election over new anti-terrorist laws and ISIS?

Posted October 26, 2014 by CuriosityCat
Big Brother is watching …

There is a clear fault line between the two opposition parties, and PM Stephen Harper’s policies with regard to how to combat ISIS. 

The Conservatives favour actual fighting (planes dropping bombs etc.), while the opposition parties are against this. 

The NDP is further from the government’s position, while the Liberal Party would have Canadian armed forces join the anti-ISIS coalition led by the US and help its efforts (including transporting goods for the coalition), but short of Canadian planes dropping bombs on ISIS targets.

Now another fault line has appeared: the Conservatives want to tighten legislation to combat the use of the Internet by terrorists, while the two opposition parties want to slow things down, and check what is not working before passing new laws.
The police and security arms have voiced concern about their ability to actively monitor dozens of identified potential terrorist threats, without increases in their numbers and funding.
Tom Blackwell has an article that refers to the views of some experts that our laws need tightening:

Does that mean Canada’s counter-terrorism policy contains fatal flaws? Or did the two lone-wolf attackers slip through a net that can be made only so tight — without unacceptable curbs on freedom?

Experts and advocates said Thursday there may be cause to draw that net a little tauter, even if it does mean some further limits on civil liberties…

“Apparently we can do a good job of detecting them, apparently we can do a good job of doing surveillance on them, we can do a good job of removing their passports,” he said.

“But somehow we can’t put them in jail and keep the public safe. That’s the hard question.”

In fact, a Canadian law passed last year allows police to temporarily detain suspected, would-be terrorists under what are known as preventive arrests. Police seem reluctant to use the power, however, likely because they fear judges would require ironclad proof the individuals would otherwise commit terrorist acts, said Prof. Leuprecht.

John Ivison writesthat the Conservatives, which have the majority in the House and can pass any laws they wish to, have been considering changes to our laws:
The Conservatives are understood to be considering new legislation that would make it an offence to condone terrorist acts online.

 There is frustration in government, and among law enforcement agencies, that the authorities can’t detain or arrest people who express sympathy for atrocities committed overseas and who may pose a threat to public safety, one Conservative MP said. “Do we need new offences? If so which?”
Sources suggest the government is likely to bring in new hate speech legislation that would make it illegal to claim terrorist acts are justified online.
The Prime Minister told the House of Commons on Thursday that Canada’s law and policing powers need to be strengthened in the areas of surveillance, detention and arrest. He said work is already under way to provide law enforcement agencies with “additional tools” and that work will now be expedited…

The Criminal Code already prohibits “hate propaganda” and it is not clear how any new legislation would dovetail with existing provisions.

The new legislation is likely to prove controversial with the opposition parties and shatter the harmony that emerged in the House Thursday, after the terror attack on Parliament Hill.
David Cameron, PM of the UK, recently announced new laws designed to come to grips with terrorist-tourism:
Among measures announced:

  • Legislation will be drawn up to give the police statutory powers to confiscate the passports of suspect terrorists at UK borders
  • The UK will challenge any attempt by the courts to water down these powers
  • Plans to block suspected British terrorists from returning to the UK will be drawn up on a “cross-party basis”
  • Terrorism prevention and investigation measures (Tpims) will be extended, to include the power to relocate suspects
  • Terrorists will be required to undergo de-radicalisation programmes
  • Airlines will be forced to hand over more information about passengers travelling to and from conflict zones
The home secretary already has executive powers to seize the passports of those travelling abroad in certain cases but Mr Cameron said the police needed greater discretion to act where needed.
How far will the Canadian government go in its new laws? 

We clearly have a problem with the use of the Internet to spread terrorist propaganda, which raises the question of what legitimate limits we can put on the use of the Internet in the public interest. 

We also have a problem with potential terrorists whose behaviour gives our security forces cause for concern.

Will Harper extend the list of new laws to include some of the proposed UK new laws (such as forcing terrorists to undergo de-radicalization programmes, and giving police the power to relocate suspects)?
Given the clear fault lines between the government and the other parties, will Harper decide to table a comprehensive set of new laws and other provisions, and then, if these are opposed by the other parties, decide to go to the people to gain their blessing for the new measures, and also for the government’s decision on our forces going to war on ISIS? 

Coupled with the reduction of the deficit and the cutting of government costs, he could run a two-pronged campaign (best choice to manage the economy, and best choice to keep Canadians safe from terrorism), during a very short election (say, 4 weeks, with election day in late November).

We will see soon if he decides to do this.
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General

Harper’s War and the Delusions of Salvation

Posted October 26, 2014 by Simon

It was a balmy 17 degrees, and my little corner of Canada looked very much like it always does at this time of the year.

But the flags flying at half mast to honour our two murdered soldiers reminded me that this is no ordinary fall.

We’re at the beginning of Harper’s War, we’ve just suffered our first casualties, Great Strong Leader wants us to believe that we have been attacked by the Caliphate hordes, instead of by two mental patients.

And that only he can save us…
Read more »

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General

Stephen Harper and the Great War on the Internet

Posted October 26, 2014 by Simon

Well he may have had some anxious moments, cowering in a broom closet, while his faithful cult members prepared to defend him with home made spears.

And a mentally ill gunman was being gunned down by the heroic Kevin Vickers, and…um… others. 

And it certainly wasn’t his finest hour.

But I see not so Great Warrior Leader did manage to salvage some advantage out of the situation by declaring war on the internet.
Read more »

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General

Liberals in denial

Posted October 25, 2014 by JR
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General

Stephen Harper’s Sinister Plan to Suppress Our Freedoms

Posted October 24, 2014 by Simon

I knew Stephen Harper wouldn’t waste any time exploiting the senseless tragedy on Parliament Hill.

I knew he’d strike when many people were still in shock, emotions were still raw, the MSM in Ottawa was still making it sound like it was Canada’s 911. 

And he could still scare some Canadians into believing that our country, and its values, were under attack.

And that only he can save us… 
Read more »

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Feminism

Reclaiming abortion rights?

Posted October 24, 2014 by Andrea Mrozek

I was trying to ignore Katha Pollitt’s new book called Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights. But I’ve just been asked to do Tommy Schnurmacher’s show in Montreal on Monday at 10:30 am so I can do so no longer. Sigh. Just watched this interview with her. It doesn’t strike me that she is saying anything terribly […]

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General

The Day Stephen Harper Was Forced to Hide in a Closet

Posted October 24, 2014 by Simon

It was a remarkable scene in the House of Commons. Stephen Harper hugging Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau. 

And I must admit I was impressed, because I’ve never seen Harper look so human.

But then there’s nothing like having to cower in a broom closet, while the Con caucus prepares to defend you with spears.

Stephen Harper spent about 15 minutes hidden in a Parliament Hill closet after a gunman stormed Centre Block where he and the rest of the Conservative caucus were guarded by MPs who’d fashioned sharp spears from flagpoles, sources say.

To make a Great Warrior Leader more humble…
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