Dead Wild Roses: What is to be done? – The de-sovietization of America – William Astore

The conclusion of an essay written by William Astore featured on Tom’s Dispatch.  As a member of the minority left, one of the questions frequently asked of us is well then what is your solution to the problems – criticizing is one thing actually putting forward a plan is quite another.  What now you pinko-commie-leftard?   ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Arendt on Revolution and the Necessity of Eradicating Poverty

Hannah Arendt’s essay, “Thoughts on Poverty, Misery, and the Great Revolutions of History,” written in the 1960s, was apparently just recently published for the first time. It continues to be relevant in our increasingly weird times with a tyrant who would rather dominate than excel in case after case: “For the will to power as ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe to Horgan: Get Serious about Kinder Morgan, Woodfibre LNG

John Horgan being sworn in as Premier, with Environment Minister George Heyman looking on (Photo: Flickr/Province of British Columbia) Dear Premier Horgan, My congratulations to you and your new government. I can tell you that a great many British Columbians who do not usually support your party voted for you on May 9 last with ...

The Common Sense Canadian: As Big Oil tanks, why is Canada so slow to adapt?

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau (Photo: Premier of Alberta/Flickr) The business model of Big Oil has already started to collapse.  The model is premised on strong growth to fuel high prices and render economically viable the exploitation of expensive-to-develop, non-conventional fossil fuels, including the tar sands and shale oil and gas. Persistent low ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Wind Will Be Cheaper Than Natural Gas

Will be? Naw, it has been for years. Still, SaskPower is building another 350MW of natural gas to go online in 2019, while building far less than 300MW of wind power by then. They’ve a target of 50% renewable generation by 2030, and still wind is far less than 5% of the grid total. Clearly ...

The Common Sense Canadian: NDP must name & shame or catch the blame – Don’t let Libs off hook for disastrous record

Former BC Liberal Premiers Christy Clark (Kris Krug/Flickr) and Gordon Campbell (Province of BC/Flickr) One of the biggest mistakes Barack Obama made was not doing more to expose George W. Bush’s disastrous financial record as president. As a result, he was quickly blamed for America’s “Great Recession” though everything that set it in motion occurred ...

In This Corner: The Return of Stuff Happens, week 27: The right moves; Spicer quits, comics cry.

Well, that was decisive. The Wildrose and the Progressive Conservatives — the Hatfields and the McCoys of Alberta politics — agreed to a merger on Saturday. And it wasn’t even close. Rank-and-file members of both parties voted in shocking numbers in favour of the merger of the two conservative parties. Remarkably (or suspiciously, if you’re ...

Scripturient: The strange life of Bobby Fischer

Forty five years ago this month, a momentous event took place in Iceland that shook the world. After 21 games spread over almost two months, the eccentric American chess master, Bobby Fischer, ended 24 years of Soviet dominance in chess after beating Soviet grandmaster, Boris Spassky. It shook the world at the apex of the ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe to NDP: Now you’re the government…here’s what to expect that you’re not expecting

NDP Premier John Horgan and his cabinet being sworn in by Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon (Photo: Province of BC / Flickr) In politics, speculation is half the fun – the other half is figuring out how, with all your experience in the field, you could have been so bloody wrong. Actually, for the new minister, ...

Things Are Good: Tonawanda Provides a Template for Transitioning a Town’s Economy from Coal

Globally, coal is on the way out and in America small towns are suffering because coal demand is dropping. The predictable plight of coal-backed small towns in the USA has some politicians trying to bailout the coal industry in order to protect jobs, which is obviously the wrong approach. Instead, what those backwards-looking politicians should ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Don’t Do That

The pompous Saskatchewan Minister of Bad Ideas, serving under the skillfully bad leadership of Premier Brad Wall, has asked people who’ve lost bus service, to just stop hitchhiking, because he doesn’t like to see it. “People have always hitchhiked, and we don’t like to see that and hopefully they’ll stop doing that,” said Hargrave. Next ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Government of Canada To Open Data on Energy Use?

The Liberals Government has done squat in Regina since coming to power, when it comes to (hydro) power generation. I’ve produced over 5 MWh of solar power, and sent almost 3 MWh of that onto the electrical grid, while three layers of government in Regina have produced a whopping goose egg, 0 MWh. “The Government ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: Liberal Opposition will make life very difficult for NDP-Greens

BC Liberal MLAs in the Legislature (Province of BC / Flickr) I wish John Horgan and his new government well. He has his work cut out for him. There has been a load of pollyannish bullshit spouted by the media about what will and what will not happen to his shaky government when it finally ...

Things Are Good: In Venezuela Bus TV is the Free Press

Venezuela has been witnessing a massive crackdown on journalism and public dissent under the current government (not that the previous government was much better). Mass protest happen daily throughout yet receive no media coverage due to government interference. This clampdown has led to frustration amongst media professionals who have decided to keep broadcasting, but on ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: You Are a Dunce, Go Soak Your Head

Look at which anti-healthcare, and pro-wealthcare GOP politicians participated in preventing their inspiration from having healthcare provided by the state. The Dad Who Inspired the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Can't Afford His Own Treatment https://t.co/MMddEcem5t — Esquire (@esquire) July 8, 2017 — The title is in reference to a Wayne and Shuster comedy sketch.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Conservative Party Should Be Sorry

The Conservative Party of Canada, in response to Omar Khadr being awarded a damages settlement for torturous conditions of his imprisonment, said, “No words,” on their Facebook post. I’ve some words. A political party that was okay with leaving a child soldier to be tortured in an American prison, ought to have at least one ...

Dead Wild Roses: Unite the Right in Alberta – And other Trite Phrases

  There is a frighteningly large segment of the population of Alberta that thinks that what the Republican Administration down south is gang-busterly-amazing-awesome-fantastic (full disclosure – by exhibiting knowledge of uncommon adjectives I disqualify myself from said group). The Republicans, led by Trump, are merrily deconstructing American civil society; whether through willful action or diligent ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: NDP-Greens good to govern – but beware Weaver’s IPP support

Andrew Weaver (left) and John Horgan (Photo: BCNDP/Flickr CC Licence) Looking ahead at our political situation in BC and assuming that the NDP will govern with a one vote majority, perhaps it might be well to consider what that actually means. An accepted authority is  HOUSE OF COMMONS PROCEDURE AND PRACTICE, edited by Robert Marleau ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Will Mandryk Eat His Privatization Crow?

Has anyone watched Mandryk eat crow about this doozy of a column defending Wall’s last campaign yet? “NDP must get off privatization merry-go-round“ “On Tuesday, Wall emphatically said “no” to selling SaskPower, SaskEnergy, SaskTel, SGI and even STC. He reminded voters he signed the old NDP Crown Corporation Protection Act and noted his only proposed ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Wall Built A Saskatchewan You Can’t Easily Leave

Saskatchewan Blogger Tammy Robert wrote about the bad governance of Brad Wall. So Brad Wall had his Finance Minister write about the character of Tammy Robert. Meanwhile, Wall’s Government has brought about a very justified human rights complaint by a Cree woman who wants to save the lives of people she hasn’t even met. That’s ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Trans* Human Rights Bill C-16: A Look Back

Although I’ll be remarking on the passing of Bill C-16 elsewhere, I wanted to post Bill Siksay’s closing speech from February 7, 2011, back when the bill was in its third incarnation (of five), Bill C-389.  To me, it’s a profound moment to look back on, and realize just how far we’ve come. It took ...

The Political Road Map: Hate Speech is Free Speech

I know, you’re reading my entry title and thinking, wow…that is one bold statement or rather, what the hell is this guy thinking!? Free speech is a right that all humans should have, this is a basic, but crucial statement regarding life on Earth. After experiencing people of all places along the spectrum practice their ...

Trashy's World: it was 20 years ago…

… last Friday when I started my career in Canada’s Public Service. What was intended to be a stopover gig until I got what I really wanted (a job as a policy wonk on the Hill) had turned into a full-fledged second career. I began at the comparatively late of 34 as an Economist/Sociologist Recruit ...

Dead Wild Roses: Venezuela – In Political, Social, and Economic Crisis

  The situation in Venezuela is grim.  When conditions take a turn for the worse those on the bottom of the social hierarchy feel it the worse, and of course those are almost always females.  I read in the Globe and Mail about Carmen Tovar and her now deceased daughter Nakarid. “Carmen Tovar remembers the ...

Things Are Good: It’s Not the 99%, Class is About the Top 80%

Since the Occupy movement in 2011 there has been conversations about the 99% versus the 1% of wealth holders. The idea then was to show the massive inequality between those in the top 1% of society and everybody else – sadly that inequality has only grown. The rich get richer and everybody else gets left ...