Alberta Politics: Mission accomplished in Syria? Don’t bet more than you can afford to lose on that claim!

Mission Accomplished? Donald Trump’s crowing Tweets prove the wisdom of Karl Marx’s dictum: History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. This fact is a significant blessing, nonetheless, at least insofar as Friday night’s tactically and legally dubious missile raid by U.S. military forces on Syria is concerned. How many Iraqis were slaughtered after ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Kids Are Alright

You may note that in the title of this post, I chose the informal version of all right, lest there be any doubt about the ideology of many young people today. Hardly conservative in their propensities, it would seem that many of them are awaking to the potential for power that they have, as long ...

Alberta Politics: Reflections on Easter Sunday, 2018: There really is a war against Christianity … it’s being waged by Christians

PHOTOS: Easter Sunday shoppers at West Edmonton Mall. Is nothing sacred? Well, actually, something is: The Almighty Market, god of Canada’s state religion. Below: A brass idol to the Market God in New York City’s Wall Street district. Below that, two unchristian politicians beloved by North American Christian conservatives: Doug Ford Jr. and Donald J. ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Jim Stanford discusses what can be done to make international terms of trade serve the public, rather than merely offering multinational corporations control over all participants:  Acknowledging that globalisation produces losers as well as winners, allows us to imagine policies to moderate the downsides of trade – and ...

Alberta Politics: Your Weekend BS: The straight poop on profanity in politics and the state of public discourse in Alberta

PHOTOS: Alberta politicians Deron Bilous, Jason Kenney, Derek Fildebrandt and Thomas Lukaszuk, all from the author’s vast collection of snapshots. Trigger warning! This dispatch from the Annals of Political Discourse in Alberta contains words unsuitable for sensitive and young readers. For a more fulsome discussion of why they are included anyway, read this chapter from ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Elizabeth Bruenig makes the case for the U.S. to make a much-needed turn toward democratic socialism: In fact, both Sullivan’s and Mounk’s complaints — that Americans appear to be isolated, viciously competitive, suspicious of one another and spiritually shallow; and that we are anxiously looking for some ...

Politics and its Discontents: A Heedless Nation

One of our much-vaunted attributes as a species is our resilience. Our ability to recover from trauma, tragedy and setbacks is the stuff of legend. People devastated by wildfires rebuild; parents who lose a child to disease, accident or mayhem have another child; widows and widowers carry on with their lives; even crippling injury and ...

Democracy Under Fire: Speaking Truth to Power.

By now most readers will have read that Sen. Jeff Flake ripped Trump a new one last Wednesday in a speech in the U.S. Senate and perhaps read some extracts from that speech in news reports. If you have not already done so I encourage you to read the entire speech, it is no less ...

Politics and its Discontents: A New McCarthyism

We all knew them growing up – the kid who would do anything to curry favour with the teacher, the one we knew variously as ‘the brown-noser,’ the ‘suck-up’ or by any number of similarly unflattering terms. This kid did it, presumably, to curry favour, to gain some kind of imagined classroom status that his ...

Alberta Politics: Thanks to Donald Trump, the post-war American imperium that’s run like a Swiss watch is coming unsprung!

PHOTOS: U.S. President Donald Trump’s inaugural parade makes its way through Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20, 2017, just before the stuff hit the fan and everything went to hell in a handbasket. (Photo: United States Navy.) Below: President Trump, former president Barack Obama, the late Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and former Australian PM and ...

Politics and its Discontents: When All Else Fails

… claim voter fraud. That is what the notoriously graceless Alabama loser and alleged pedophile Roy Moore is asserting, as he steadfastly maintains that he didn’t lose the election to Democrat Doug Jones. If you ever had any doubts about the cracker’s racism, consider this: the main basis of his fraud claim is that he ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your holiday reading. – The Star tells the stories of a few of the people working to make sure Christmas runs smoothly. And Erin McCormick points out other workers stuck in precarious (and largely care-related) positions who don’t have a choice but to take on holiday shifts in order to try to ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Jessica Corbett charts the U.S.’ unacceptable (and worsening) inequality. Robert Reich discusses how the Republicans’ tax scam represents a triumph for oligarchy. And Ben Steverman notes that the bill passed this month is ripe for abuse – and already being exploited to the fullest by the U.S.’ ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Tom Campbell notes that we may not be far away from seeing the world’s first trillionaire – and that there’s a strong likelihood it will involve a confluence of extreme wealth and concentrated political power. – Meanwhile, Robert Reich observes that the U.S. Republicans’ tax scam is reinforcing ...

Democracy Under Fire: Shades of Orwell

The thought police are increasingly active in Trumps Americka, ‘The Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases — including “fetus” and “transgender” — in any official documents being prepared for next year’s budget. Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Damian Paletta and Josh Dawsey report that cash for access is the only way for anybody to raise issues with the U.S. Republicans’ tax bills. And Ronald Brownstein views the tax debacle as conclusive evidence of the closing of Republican minds. – Meanwhile, Mark Kingwell offers a ...

Democracy Under Fire: Tending the Garden

“You have to tend to this garden of democracy, otherwise things can fall apart fairly quickly. And we’ve seen societies where that happens,” Former president Barack Obama In these days of a clearly ‘unstable’ individual in a position of great power in the US of Eh who does not seem to realize that his words ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Christopher Ingraham discusses the U.S.’ distorted distribution of wealth – and how both existing inequality and the Republicans’ plan to exacerbate it run contrary to the values of the general public: Among rich nations, the United States stands out for the extent of its wealth inequality. The top ...

In This Corner: The Return of Stuff Happens, week 46: Trump loses it.

I swear I didn’t want to write another word about Donald Trump. But some weeks – almost any week, in fact – he’s inescapable. So, with apologies, here we go again… When the history of the Donald Trump presidency is written (my guess is sometime around mid-2018), Dec. 1, 2017 will be seen as the ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the spin behind the Trump administration’s push for a massive tax giveaway to the rich has no basis in economic reality – and how Canada shouldn’t be suckered into following suit. For further reading…– Michael Linden examines the overall effects of the Senate’s version of tax reform legislation, with income levels under ...

Alberta Politics: Lack of information and weak enforcement let private health care clinics fudge public-private health-care line

PHOTO: Parkland Institute researcher Dr. Rebecca Graff-McRae. Below: The cover of the Parkland Institute Report, Blurred Lines, Private Membership Clinics and Public Health Care. It doesn’t exactly come as a surprise that so-called “private membership health care clinics” in Alberta have been fudging the line between public and private health care for years, using poorly ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Karl Nerenberg writes about Bill Morneau’s conflicts of interest – with particular attention to the NDP’s justified criticism of legislation aimed at privatizing pension management to benefit forms like Morneau’s. And Brent Patterson discusses a push back against the Manitoba PCs’ plan to privatize public services through ...

Alberta Politics: Which way will the wedge slice? Alberta NDP and UCP adopt opposite strategies on gay-straight alliances

PHOTOS: Jason Kenney may be the UCP’s leader now, but he’s still doing his best to appeal to his red-meat social conservative base. (Photo: Dave Cournoyer, Daveberta.ca.) Below: NDP Education Minister David Eggen, NDP Premier Rachel Notley, and UCP House Leader Jason Nixon. The impassioned, at times bitter, tone of the debate over the latest ...

Alberta Politics: One year has passed since Donald Trump’s election and, here we all are, still in Crazytown!

PHOTOS: Donald J. Trump. (Photo: Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons.) He’s President of the United States, you know! Below: Hillary Clinton (Wikimedia Commons), who won the vote but lost the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who promised to fix Canada’s electoral system, and didn’t. Today is the first anniversary of the ...

Alberta Politics: This is not just what terrorism looks like; it’s what a failed state looks like

PHOTOS: Is Old Glory, as the American flag was once known, now the banner of a failed state? Below: Donald Trump, president of the United States, divider, deceiver and denier in chief, incompetent and seemingly powerless to change anything (Photo: Flickr, Gage Skidmore.) “AT LEAST 58 DEAD AND 500 HURT IN LAS VEGAS AFTER GUNMAN ...