Saturday, March 28, 2015

The economy is the most important consideration. Except when it isn't.

It's interesting, how all conservatives, such as Alberta's governing PCs,  firmly oppose higher corporate taxes because of nebulous, highly debatable and entirely theoretical negative economic impacts. 

But anti-gay laws with real, unambiguous, no doubt about it, BIG MONEY negative economic consequences? Well hey, who cares if Salesforce, a company that invested 2 and a half BILLION dollars in Indiana last year says they are now firmly cutting ties with the state over its anti-gay legislation? Who cares if GenCon, the largest gaming convention in North America is making plans to move their annual convention out of Indiana to the tune over 50 million dollars being pulled out of the state's economy EVERY YEAR? So what if the NCAA is seriously re-evaluating any plans to host future events in the state which could add up to hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact.

Add in potential losses in the millions from the tourist industry, jobs from the tech industry and the huge economic loss caused by an exodus of Gay Indianans and the only question remaining is just how many billions of dollars this new law will cost the state of Indiana's economy.

The entirely theoretical risk to jobs and economic growth cited as a reason to never even consider making corporations pay a fairer share of the tax burden is turned on its head with the argument that treating gays like shit is more important than the devastating effect it will have on the state's economy. 

It's almost as if it was never a good faith argument and Republican Governor Pence is happily abandoning it until the next time someone suggests 'Hey maybe our budget problems could be helped by making corporations pay a higher share?' at which point it will be swiftly resurrected.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

New Rule

I propose a new rule: if a government passes a law that is overturned by the courts for blatantly violating the constitution the costs of promulgating and defending that law should be paid out of the governing party's coffers. Why should the rest of us be on the hook for millions of dollars in partisan political theater?
Today, the House of Commons passed Bill C-2, the Respect for Communities Act. Pretty title, but like so much Conservative legislation, the meaning of the title, like the bill, is cruelly ironic.
What the Respect for Communities Act does is effectively block the establishment of new supervised injection facilities like Insite. The bill could make it much harder for Insite to stay open, and it effectively prevents a similar health service from opening in any other Canadian city.
Insite arose as a community response to epidemic-levels of HIV and Hepatitis C infections and overdose deaths in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. A decade of research shows that Insite saves lives, and those of us close to the ground understand the central role Insite plays in the tapestry of specialized healthcare the most vulnerable Canadians need.
Despite the evidence, the site has not operated without controversy. When the last federal Conservative government refused to grant an exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) that would allow Insite to keep its doors open, our community took the fight to protect Insite all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. It was only through the judicial branch that this life-saving site was able to stay open.  
This new legislation will face the same fate so much of the government's attempts at legislation of being overturned by the courts - at great expense to the rest of us.  They KNOW this.  They are already preparing their judicial activism rants.

How much of our money is this government wasting on political theater and legislation they know will be overturned?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The art of exclusion

Public 'art' at the Convention Center C-Train station in Calgary.  Not art designed to communicate or foster understanding, its only goal is exclusion. 

It's an anti-homeless measure like pretty decorative doorstop spikes designed to keep away the shivering souls who would sleep on top of the grates for the warmth.

Sometimes I fucking despise this city.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

You haff your papers?

Maher Arar just announced on Twitter that the US government's No Fly list is now being applied domestically IN CANADA.

If you are on a foreign government's shit list you just lost the right of travel within your own country.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Do we Albertans ever get tired of being bent over and Punked you ask? (Spoiler: "Thank you sir, may I have another?")

The PCs finally face a tiny piece of reality and start talking about revenue, but since they are dedicated servants of the elite the goal of any new revenue generation will be to have it fall mainly, if possible COMPLETELY on the middle class and the poor.
Cut spending, hike taxes, find a climate-change policy, reform health care, control public-sector pay— Premier Jim Prentice’s core agenda sure sounds familiar. 

That’s because so much of it was ex-Premier Alison Redford’s agenda, and Ed Stelmach’s before her. 
In fact, if you consider promises to diversify the economy and sock away cash savings, Prentice is still following the agenda Peter Lougheed pursued for 14 years from 1971 to 1985 
The whole Prentice enterprise often looks like a dismal reflection on decades of PC rule. The same party keeps picking new leaders to solve the same old problems.
Lame justifications about 'driving away investment' a bogieman of ancient vintage just keep slamming up against the fact that we could raise 10 billion dollars in new corporate taxation alone, filling our 7 billion dollar fiscal hole with enough leftover for long delayed infrastructure improvements BUT STILL have the lowest corporate taxes in Canada.
The goal is to use the crisis du jour of low oil prices to protect ideologically based wealth distribution upwards and attack organized labour and public services.
At some point we have to stop falling for this.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Learning to Cope

It's been nine days since he was laid off, lets see how Ezra Levant is dealing with unemployment...

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Invisible Backhand of the Marketplace

The holy market has spoken: There is insufficient audience in Canada to sustain a far right TV network - unsurprising as there was insufficient audience even in Alberta to sustain the far right Alberta Report magazine.

If we follow the logic of the political and economic right the judgment of the market on these media outlets is a judgment on the literal value of what they were selling.

Call it the Invisible backhand across the face of Ezra Levant.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Lucky for Some, Unlucky for Others

If you are a crazed far right loon with raging inferiority and persecution complexes and watching bulging eyed mouth breathers spew hatred on your TV is the only thing that gets you through the day then Friday the 13th 2015 is really going to suck for you.

For the rest of us, not so much.
Sun News Network is about to sign off, permanently. CBC News has learned that the cable news television channel will shut down early Friday.
My sympathies for those for whom it was just a job, focusing a camera or spending long hours in an editing suite.  For the Sun News 'personalities' such as revolting bigoted hate mongers Ezra Levant and Michael Coren on the other hand...

Saturday, December 20, 2014

In Character

Honestly anyone surprised by Danielle Smith's craven rat paddle away from the sinking Wildrose ship just hasn't been paying attention. When she couldn't control the Calgary school board with the the sheer self evident perfection of her Fraser institute indoctrinated ideology she blew it up in a display of juvenile mean girl behaviour that has typified her career. 

When it became clear that her deeply held passionate conviction that global warming was just a nasty fraud perpetrated by the 99% of scientists who belive in it meant a permanent exile in the electoral wasteland she abandoned it - publicly at least - with barely a moments delay. When it became obvious that good, moral gay hate clutched close to the withered hearts of her bigoted supporters had inexplicably become a barrier to her ambition she suddenly began pretending to be a lifelong defender of diversity and proud friend of Dorothy.

She's one of Canadian politic's most calculating, chameleon like, weather vanes to ever leave principle lying in a pool of its own roadkill blood as she tools down the highway to the bright future of power in devoted service to the elite.

Don't these mewling whiners understand her needs are what really matter?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cozy little Conspiracy

It is unacceptable for the Alberta government's coalition partner* (in all but name) to also be the official opposition.

Wildrose's leader and house leader and at least five other current Wildrose MLAs are now members of the governing party and the pretense that the MLAs still keeping the Wildrose name are in any way an independent, separate party is just insulting horseshit.

Wildrose must surrender the status and perks of official opposition if they want to continue to pretend to have any integrity at all.

*remember kids, coalitions are only acceptable when they are made up of right wing parties.  Any left of center coalition is of course an affront to democracy and decency

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Personalities over Principals

Who cares what the locals want, this guy has better optics federally.

Federal Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau denies his party's nomination process is undemocratic, and said prominent Sikh businessman Barj Dhahan withdrew his bid to be the party's candidate for Vancouver-South willingly despite accusations he was forced out of the race.
"Barj chose to withdraw from the race and I'm proud of the way the open nominations have been running," Trudeau told Rick Cluff, host of CBC Vancouver's morning radio show The Early Edition.
A number of Skih Liberals in British Columbia told CBC News they would be leaving the party, saying Trudeau is being "manipulated" by the World Sikh Organization, by choosing the WSO-backed Harjit Singh Sajjan to represent the party in the Vancouver-South riding.
Dhahan would not comment on the allegation he was forced out of the race, but told CBC News he withdrew from the nomination process reluctantly.

There's always a tension between local riding democracy and the broader strategic interests of a national party, but public ill will, lawsuits and lots of process stories about dissension in the ranks can end up being a net negative no matter what nebulous benefit a so called star candidate offers an often secretive party executive.

For example, will we ever know why Rob Anders was so ferociously protected and local riding democracy suppressed so blatantly to protect an obviously insane dimwit?

But the Liberals, it almost goes without saying, are the real party of the cult of personality in Canada. The don't really have any choice as they so carefully avoid being identified with any specific principles or ideals. They are always on the hunt for the next Messiah so Justin the anointed heir with the good hair is kind of the archetypal Liberal Party leader.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Living well is the best revenge.

Lets respond to this attack on Canada by being as Canadian as we can just as hard as we can.

By being decent, and courteous, and concerned about each other and committed to peace and justice and shared struggle.

Lets respond by reaffirming our beliefs in free expression and free assembly, in inclusiveness and welcome. Lets respond to a provocation that HAS THE EXPLICIT GOAL of making us over-react, to behave the way our enemies want us to and expect us to, by not falling for such a blatant scheme and playing into the hands of our enemy.

Lets remember our enemy isn't Muslim, or Arabic, or the newcomer or the dispossessed. Our enemy is injustice and want and abandonment, the sources and breeding grounds for the fanaticism and hate that can be found speaking any language, believing any creed and in any colour

Fear is the only real enemy.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Honest Pro-Lifer

An American right wing pro-life columnist named Kevin Williamson has done us  the good service of taking the pro-life 'Abortion is murder' rhetoric to it's logically consistent extreme:
Over the weekend, a presumably bored National Review writer, Kevin Williamson, became the subject of much derision and shock across the political Internets when he tweeted his argument that ”the law should treat abortion like any other homicide.” My colleague Elias Isquith highlighted Williamson’s clearest descent into pure trolling — responding to a question about whether women who have abortions should get life without parole with the line, “I have hanging more in mind.”
As the Salon piece points out, all Williamson has done is strip away any soft soap gloss from the extreme radicalism of the Pro-Life position.  He has openly articulated the end game of the Pro-Life movement in a way most Pro-Lifers get uncomfortable and mumbly about when pressed, as this video shows.

 Of course the real world expression of this viewpoint is already affecting women's lives as many US states have started criminalizing miscarriages and attacking personal bodily autonomy based on junk science about the effect of maternal drug use on fetuses.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Birds flying high, they know how I feel

Working hard or hardly working?
The sun is shining, my coffee is hot and a lazy sunday lies ahead of me

And last night Rob Anders slunk away from
his humiliating defeat trying to parachute into the Bow River riding in a last desperate attempt to avoid having to work for a living.

Closed-minded, defiantly, proudly stupid.  arrogant, aggressively partisan no matter how inappropriate  the timing, racist, sectarian and homophobic (but repeated rumours that he's throwing stones from inside the closet.), a petty, dim, small minded thug with all of Ezra Levant's squirming, bulging eyed hatred but none of his even minimal flair or semi-articulate vocabulary.

Basically any chance or hope for growth that he had from the spit be-flecked, wild eyed  ideologue a lot of us flirted with as a persona in college, was ruined by his safe ensconcement in his clearly comfortable backbench seat the last 17 years.  Any incentive the rest of us had due to employment, relationships or just a social desire not to be perceived as a loud mouthed douchebag to sand off our rough edges, learn when to keep our nuttier ideas to ourselves and to not say stupid shit about Nelson Mandela has never been a factor for this sad, emotionally stunted horse's ass with parliamentary induced arrested development.

He will probably be scooped up by one of the wingnut welfare operations like the Fraser Institute, it doesn't serve their interest for him to be found delirious, wandering the streets of Calgary and playing with himself on street corners.  We will be paying him for a long comfortable retirement but not to the lifestyle he's grown accustomed to.

Rob if you are taking suggestions, instead go somewhere they have never heard of you, drop some E, find a bar with pounding beats and sweaty bodies and celebrate the death of Rob Anders MP.  This is your chance to explore becoming somebody else. 

God knows being him couldn't have been much fun.

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