Saturday, July 30, 2011

Right Wing Christianist Terrorism

My family heritage is Norwegian.  I'm actually glad my grandfather, a gentle first generation immigrant farmer didn't live to see what happened this month, it would have broken his heart.

What happened was an act of right wing Christianist terrorism.  An assault on pluralism, democracy and the political left.  The despicable Glenn Beck went so far as to insinuate the Norwegian Labour Party run summer camp full of murdered children was akin to the 'Hitler Youth'.  Bill O'Reilly and the rest of Fox News were quick out of the gate to insinuate that the massacres must have been perpetrated by Muslims, and just as quick to denounce any reference to the killers self pronounced Christian faith.

Remember its not terrorism unless its brown.

Another act of terrorism took place in the US this week, ignored utterly by the media and the political right.   Because remember, When Christianist right wingers fire-bomb Planned Parenthood clinics that certainly isn't terrorism. 

I'm tired of pretending.  Tired of protecting their feelings.  It's becoming increasingly clear that the conservative right wing impulse is fundamentally incompatible with pluralistic democracy.

Are all right wingers violent fanatics?  Of course not.  But how much self reflection and denouncing of the mentality behind Norway and the violent attacks on reproductive rights have you heard even from the moderates?  How many times have you heard even moderate conservatives attack the principals of multi-culturalism with much the same terminology in the 'manifesto' of Anders Behring Breivik?  They are quick to label all Muslims and the Islamic faith with the label of terrorism and equally quick to howl with outrage when the tables are turned.

The same impulse behind the absolute refusal to accept democracy if people vote the 'wrong' way behind the Tea Party's refusal to accept the election of a Democrat, the birthers refusal to accept a black President could possibly be a 'real' American, our own Conservatives labeling the basic rules of parliamentary democracy that allow coalitions as illegitimate - all evidence that to increasing swathes of the right wing Democracy only counts if it returns the 'right' result.

From now on the suspicion and stigma that the right insists Muslims and the Left be viewed with should be applied equally to the political right and fundamentalist Christianity.  After Oklahoma, doctor shootings, Norway... how many times do they have to demonstrate how dangerous they are?

UPDATE: Sabina at News of the Restless lays out the roll call of dishonour

Friday, July 15, 2011

Like looking in a Mirror

"Mr Murdoch has no loyalty to anyone or anything except his company. He has difficulty keeping friendships; rarely keeps his word for long; is an exploiter of the discomfort of others; and has betrayed every political leader who ever helped him in any country, except Ronald Reagan and perhaps Tony Blair. All his instincts are downmarket; he is not only a tabloid sensationalist; he is a malicious myth-maker, an assassin of the dignity of others and of respected institutions, all in the guise of anti-elitism." - Conrad Black 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

NDP blasts Harper's Domestic Spying plans

Its been so long since we had an opposition that actually opposes the government on principle rather than purely political expediency while sharing most of the same agenda, its still jaw dropping to see.
TIMMINS, ON – If the Conservatives get their way, police will be soon be able to track every e-mail sent, every website visited and every comment left on Facebook - all without warrants or judicial review.

“Canadians do all manner of business and personal pursuits on their cell phones and online,” said New Democrat Privacy and Digital Affairs Critic Charlie Angus. “These provisions would force local phone and internet providers to spy on Canadians.”

Conservatives have indicated that "lawful access" provisions will be included in their omnibus crime legislation this fall. Experts warn this would legalize widespread snooping on average citizens – all without a warrant. Telecom providers would also be forced to install surveillance software giving police the ability to track internet and mobile phone activity.

“The Conservatives' ‘lawful access’ proposal essentially means it’s open season on the privacy rights of Canadian citizens,” said Angus. “The real question here is why are the Conservatives pushing for such widespread changes and starting such a full out attack on personal privacy and liberty in Canada?”

Angus said New Democrats support modernizing policing powers to deal with digital issues, but pointed out that removing the requirement for warrants altogether opens the door to all manner of abuse by security officials.

“Without oversight or limits, the question isn’t if abuse will occur, it’s how extreme will the abuse be,” said Angus.
The so called 'Libertarian' Harper government has always been very concerned about the freedom of capital to move jobs, resources and money at will with no concern or consideration given to the best interests of Canadian workers or consumers because such considerations are intolerable restrictions on the freedoms of the rich and powerful.  The freedom of people is less important and indeed can get in the way of the 'liberties' of the legal 'persons' that corporations have become. 

The wholesale abandonment of the social contract by the rich and powerful has reached the limit of what can be achieved through the democratic process.  The Canadian people can be conned into thinking that our taxes - that is to say the taxes of the rich and powerful - can keep getting cut forever with no ill effect but then when that blatant lie is exposed by the constant drum beat to abandon healthcare or the whole social safety net in general we dig in our heels. 

Someday soon the elites will lose patience with that refusal and our 'immature and unserious' insistence on maintaining a basic level of publicly owned and administered care for all and that's where the spying powers Harper is trying to ram through and all those new prisons come in.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Rupert Murdoch's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

Over the course of literally only a few days Billionaire, Media Baron and all around malign influence on the world Voldemort Rupert Murdoch lost the jewel in his British print crown when he was forced to shut down the 168 year old News of the World tabloid, irretrievably damaged and possibly crippled his enormous power over British politics and culture and now has been forced to abandon a gigantic TV deal worth billions that seemed like a certainty to be approved by government regulators only days ago.

All three main political parties were poised to call on News Corp to abandon its offer in a vote in the House of Commons later on Wednesday.

The move leaves News Corp's key strategy for UK corporate growth in tatters. The proposed £8bn deal has been in train for more than a year, with the first offer tabled in June 2010.

It is the one of the biggest setbacks the 80-year-old media mogul has ever suffered and follows 10 days of revelations about the true scale of phone hacking at the News of the World, the paper Murdoch shut down last week.
With Conrad Black heading back to prison it doesn't seem like a good time to be a ruthless far right media baron. 

But its a very good time for fans of schadenfreude.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Life by the drop

Treasury Board President Tony Clement, who arranged for $50 million dollars in 'G8 infrastructure funds' to be funneled to his own Ontario riding, promises the Harper governments proposed $4 billion dollars in spending cuts 'will not endanger the health and safety of Canadians'.
OTTAWA — Treasury Board President Tony Clement has pledged the Harper government will not endanger the health and safety of Canadians once it decides where to slash $4 billion in annual spending from the federal budget.

In an interview Wednesday with Postmedia News, Clement spoke candidly about the approach he will take to the job as he leads a government wide review of 67 departments and agencies.
Of course an ideologically driven austerity budget that strangles the fragile economic recovery in its crib is rather the definition of endangering the health and safety of Canadians, and while spending is being cut in most areas there still seems to be billions to waste on expensive military hardware and unnecessary new prisons as crime rates continue to drop. 

Like the $50 million available for his own riding (including border security funds for a riding that isn't on the border), Clement seems to be able to find the funding for Conservative ideological pet projects and constituencies if not for basic government services already slashed to the bone by both Conservative and Liberal past governments.

Canadians, If you believe already starved public services can absorb another $4 billion dollars in cuts with no ill effects I have an ideology driven right wing political party to sell you - oh wait, you already bought it.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Beyond Contempt

A right wing tabloid newspaper, like Fox News owned by Rupert Murdoch, hacked into a missing 13 year old girls cellphone, listened to and erased messages interfering in an investigation and misleading police and family into thinking she was still alive when in fact she had been the victim of a serial killer. Lets hear it for another example of conservative 'family values'

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron promised an inquiry on Wednesday into a "disgusting" phone hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch's News International that has outraged Britain and cast a shadow over the mogul's plans to buy control of broadcaster BSkyB.

Britons, he told parliament, had been "revolted" by the affair, in which tabloid journalists from the News of the World were said to have tapped into the mobile voicemails of crime victims, including an abducted schoolgirl later found murdered.

"We do need to have an inquiry, possibly inquiries, into what has happened," said Cameron. He faces questions on his own judgment, for hiring one former News of the World editor as his spokesman and for maintaining close relations with another, now a top executive and confidante of the international media baron.
UPDATE: "Hey, while we're being just completely disgusting, lets hack into the cellphones of the families of dead soldiers."

UPDATE 2: With a major TV deal worth billions potentially at risk due to public outrage Rupert Murdoch stunned his critics by announcing the tabloid accused of hacking the phones of crime victims and the families of dead soldiers would be shut down. A stunning reversal for a media mogul who has exercised unofficial veto power over British politics for years.  Will this satiate or embolden the critics of his bloated empire that includes newspapers and TV channels worldwide?  Could anything similar happen to Fox News for instance?

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