U.S. conservatism is built on racism, but it may no longer deliver corporate benefits

7 February 2017 - 6:23pm

A long simmering culture war is back in full effect across the United States -- and has spilled over into other parts of the world, including Canada. It's a culture war that has been long festering, known well to those who perceive themselves to be on the losing end of this culture war -- cultural conservatives -- as well as their victims -- largely, anyone who wasn't a straight, white Christian (and sometimes male). And surprisingly, most lower and middle class white people are at the losing end of this war, but continue to support the movement.

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The Canadian Forces boast largest PR machine in the country, complain about 'toxic' media treatment

7 February 2017 - 4:13pm

The media is unfair to the military, according to the Chief of Defence Staff. During a speech to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade last week General Jonathan Vance slammed "very toxic narratives" in reporting on the Canadian Forces.

"If you're paying attention to the news today, there are some very toxic narratives about the armed forces," Vance said. "The narrative that seems to prevail right now is if you join the armed forces, you are going to be sexually assaulted, raped or you're going to suffer from PTSD at some point and may commit suicide."

Reporting the truth is toxic?

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Colombia's resistance to Canadian mining interests is multi-faceted and fearless

7 February 2017 - 11:03am

Edith Taborda is an Indigenous mother of two girls who belongs to the Embera Karamba community in Quinchia (Risaralda). She is also an activist against mining projects. 

Since 2011 her community has observed the actions of Canadian company corporations such as Batero Gold Corp through its Colombian subsidiary Minera Quinchia SAS and Seafield Resources Ltd. in their territory.

Early on, some people thought their presence was good but local opinion quickly turned against the mining companies.

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How to identify fake news in an 'alternative fact' climate

7 February 2017 - 9:08am
With online news accounting for so much of what we see and learn, a smart Internaut needs ways to assess the increasingly startling reports that other people share. Media literacy in a post-fact age

Spring political follies: Three Canadian leadership races

7 February 2017 - 8:28am
Tuesday, February 7, 2017

On Sunday, when a respected Quebec politician declared for the leadership of the Bloc Québécois, it should have been welcome news for Quebec sovereignists. Instead it provoked controversy.

A one-time Hydro-Québec engineer, former Minister of Natural Resources in the government of Pauline Marois, and two-time candidate for the Parti Québécois leadership, Martine Ouellet is a PQ member of the Quebec National Assembly.

If elected Bloc leader, as appears likely, Ouellet will leave the PQ caucus, but continue to perform her duties as an independent MNA (Member of the National Assembly). She intends to stay in office until the 2108 Quebec election, and then contest the federal election expected in 2019.

In Canadian politics a winning candidate is currently defined as one that can take on Justin Trudeau and make him look weak. Runners in three leadership races will have to measure up.

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Alberta public employees, subject to constant Wildrose and media vilification, win national award for effective service

7 February 2017 - 1:13am

Just guessing, but you probably won't read much news coverage about the national award the Alberta Public Service received yesterday for its effective response to last spring's Fort McMurray fire.

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Dress like a woman in a Red Chick Year

6 February 2017 - 7:29pm

In this first episode of the Red Fire Chicken lunar year, Kelly Okamura reacts to the news reported by Axios that the female White House staff dress code is ‘Dress like women’.* 

She shared her findings from the days after the news broke, and offers advice on dressing in the year ahead.

Check out the #dresslikeawoman for portraits of what women wear in the Chinese year 4714.

*Note on DJT – Kelly supports an online action to not refer to Donald Trump by name to not contribute to his online popularity.

This podcast is dedicated to the memory of Mary Tyler Moore, who's style and smile inspired generations of women.

Photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Scenes_from_the_Mary_Tyler_Moore_Show_1977.JPG

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Will Conservative party puffery or NDP principle determine Canada's Palestine policy?

6 February 2017 - 2:59pm

The Conservative party leadership campaign has unleashed pro-Israel puffery, but it is the NDP race that could have greater impact on Canada's Palestine policy.

Aping Donald Trump, former Conservative minister Kellie Leitch recently asked her Twitter followers to "join me in calling on the Government of Canada to immediately move our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem." This would likely contravene international law.

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Why Canadians are lucky Rona Ambrose was hanging around the Caribbean with a billionaire

6 February 2017 - 1:03am

Anyone can yacht. It takes a certain boldness, though, to excoriate someone for hanging around an island in the Caribbean with a billionaire while you're yachting around the Caribbean with another billionaire.

Well, it's nice to have assistants to send out the press releases and do your Tweeting for you, I guess, when you're soaking up the sun on deck at an undisclosed location somewhere in the Caribbean Sea. 

I know, I know … Prime Minister Justin Trudeau broke a rule on his way to hanging around with the Aga Khan, who is also a family friend. Whereas Opposition Leader Rona Ambrose broke no rules on her way to hanging around with N. Murray Edwards, late of Calgary, who is also a family friend.

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The shattered mirror

6 February 2017 - 12:18am

This article is part two of "Media literacy in a post-fact age."

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Media literacy in a post-fact age

5 February 2017 - 10:08pm

Fake news is as old as the Internet. From the 1990s, I remember spam, scams, and ghost ship "rolling" petitions that sailed the white-font-on-black-background PINE and LYNX seas -- almost as soon as the first e-list was compiled.

Spam couldn't easily penetrate Usenet -- the threaded online discussion Bulletin Boards, or BBSes that scientists used before email. When email lists proliferated, however, spamsters found ways to hop on board other people's trains, at open relays.

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Keeping first-past-the-post is a gift to the Right

5 February 2017 - 6:59pm

Karl Nerenberg is your reporter on the Hill. Please consider supporting his work with a monthly donation Support Karl on Patreon today for as little as $1 per month!

We can now see the Liberal strategy for the next election clearly.

It is based on the idea of wasted votes.

Politics in the West has become scary, what with Brexit and Trump, and far-right, populist parties growing throughout Europe.

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What happens when the extreme right moves front and centre

5 February 2017 - 4:53pm
Steve Bannon's political ideology stems Clash of Civilization theories and fear of the other Unmasking the extreme right threatening U.S. liberal democracy

Wildrose reaction to proposed raise for front-line health workers illustrates the party's rightward shift

5 February 2017 - 1:29am

Unhappy Progressive Conservative traditionalists have termed the still theoretical united-right party PC leadership Jason Kenney hopes to create after he wins the party leadership in March, "Wildrose 2.0."

But surely this is incorrect. If the Danielle Smith led Opposition party ginned up by oilpatch operators unhappy with former PC premier Ed Stelmach's plan to get Albertans a slightly better return on the resources they own was Wildrose 1.0, surely the B-Team now headed by Brian Jean is already Wildrose 2.0!

That means that in the likely event Kenney succeeds in uniting the right on his radical social conservative terms, the new entity should be called Wildrose 3.0.

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Electoral reform reversal shows Justin Trudeau takes Canadians for fools

4 February 2017 - 9:36pm

When the new Minister of Democratic Institutions, Karina Gould (No, this is not fake news -- the Trudeau Liberals still do have a ministry concerned with democratic institutions) released her mandate letter from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau it read: 

"A clear preference for a new electoral system, let alone a consensus, has not emerged. Furthermore, without a clear preference or a clear question, a referendum would not be in Canada's interest. Changing the electoral system will not be in your mandate."

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Electoral reform and the Quebec massacre: What's the link?

3 February 2017 - 2:47pm

Whether or not it was intentional that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau decided to announce his decision to drop electoral reform while the country was mourning the Quebec mosque massacre, the two issues are very much linked.

When the Liberals, the NDP, the BQ and the Greens included electoral reform in their platforms for the 2015 federal election, it was with the premise to make every vote count. A premise that is especially important and significant to minorities, whose votes are generally insignificant within their ridings under our current flawed first-past-the-post (FPP) system.

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Unmasking the extreme right threatening U.S. liberal democracy

3 February 2017 - 8:22am
Friday, February 3, 2017

In the interest of knowing your enemy, here are some thoughts on what former Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon, a.k.a. Trump's Brain, represents. Whether these two in fusion -- a political Vulcan mind meld -- can uproot two centuries-plus of American liberal democracy, is what's at stake in the coming years (or weeks). For instance, are Bannon and the alt-right, for which, he acknowledges, Breitbart has been "the platform," racist?

In the interest of knowing your enemy, here are some thoughts on what former Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon, a.k.a. Trump's Brain, represents.

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Trudeau's broken promises are hurting women

3 February 2017 - 7:37am
Canadians need a prime minister who walks the walk. Not one who says the right thing and then backs down when push comes to shove. Trudeau may tweet a good game on equal rights, but his broken promises are hurting women

How does Canada move forward after the Quebec mosque attack?

2 February 2017 - 5:05pm

On Sunday evening, Canadians saw their national myths of tolerance, multiculturalism and liberalism shattered when a young man enamoured with Donald Trump and white nationalism murdered six people in a Quebec mosque.

Choices Right-wing politicians who use Islamophobic rhetoric for political gain should be roundly condemned. Third-way liberals who use the language of trade and economy to avoid taking serious stands on racism and xenophobia should be called out. We must immediately stop and denounce any more war in the Middle East. Bring. Back. The. Long. Gun. Registry. Journalists and pundits who sensationalize Islamic extremism abroad yet avoid talking about right-wing radical organizing at home should find new jobs. Canada is a colonial state built on the stolen resources of Indigenous people and the stolen labour of migrants. Until we confront that fact, nothing will change. Our security forces should recognize that racism and xenophobia are far more threatening than imaginary brown boogeymen. All of the above.

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