rabble.ca

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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Build the opposition to Trumpism in Canada

2 February 2017 - 3:51pm

Currently, the United States is headed in directions I couldn't have foretold in my worst nightmares. Perhaps I lacked imagination. Perhaps I should have read George Orwell's 1984 more closely. I have been working to organize within the political system in the U.S. and Canada for decades and, now, all I can do is resist. As I am drawn into new networks of organizers who are building locally and globally to oppose the attacks on everything we believe in, I am inspired by the tools I am finding.

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The radical right has always been on the radar, just not in the media

2 February 2017 - 3:13pm

When radicalization is publicly discussed in Canada, it is almost always with a reference to Islamic extremism or terrorism. It's as if this phenomenon is strictly confined to individuals who have adopted extremist Islamist ideas like those of ISIS. Yet, this narrow conception of radicalization has, without a doubt, allowed for the atrocities in the Quebec City mosque to take place.

By failing to acknowledge the threat coming from the radicalization of individuals and the presence of more than 100 right-wing groups throughout Canada, we have blinded ourselves to the possibility of something like this ever happening.

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Trudeau may tweet a good game on equal rights, but his broken promises are hurting women

2 February 2017 - 2:05pm

We are at a scary point in history -- one that I hope will end up being told through the voices of the hundreds of thousands of courageous people pouring onto the streets to stand in defiance of the hate, fear, racism and misogyny that is being propagated by the new American President and political opportunists here in Canada.

Monday, we stood together in shock, mourning the six innocent victims of this political agenda of racism and intolerance. Men shot, here in Canada, because they prayed at a mosque instead of a church.

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Muslims across Quebec respond to mosque terror attack

2 February 2017 - 9:35am
An engineering professor, a halal grocery shop owner, a civil servant and father of four. These were among the six men gunned down by a French-Canadian nationalist in a Quebec City mosque. 'We feel unsafe now': Quebec Muslims respond to mosque terror attack

Frederick Douglass inspires resistance in the face of Trump oppression

2 February 2017 - 8:37am
Thursday, February 2, 2017

The good news is that President Donald Trump opened Black History Month by mentioning the renowned abolitionist Frederick Douglass. The bad news is, he doesn't seem to realize he's dead. "Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who's done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice," Trump said at his "African-American History Month Listening Session," which he hosted at the White House. Whether it was a misstatement or genuine ignorance of who Frederick Douglass was, or, perhaps, one of Trump's notorious "alternative facts," is not clear. What is clear is that the spirit of resistance for which Frederick Douglass is best remembered is alive and well, and is directed squarely against the Trump administration.

The spirit of resistance for which Frederick Douglass is best remembered is alive and well, and is directed squarely against the Trump administration.

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This feels like it's happened before … it's Groundhog Day and the Liberals have just broken a promise!

2 February 2017 - 1:56am

So long, electoral reform! Welcome back, first-past-the-post!

Elizabeth May, the leader of the Green Party, said yesterday that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's announcement that his clear promise of electoral reform back in the 2015 federal election campaign was going over the side left her feeling "more deeply shocked and betrayed by my government today than on any day of my adult life."

Those of us who are old New Democrats, or old Tories for that matter, may not feel quite so much shock.

It is Groundhog Day, after all, and we've seen this movie before -- over and over and over. Every time we're persuaded to vote Liberal for one reason or another, as a matter of fact.

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How can the Canadian government combat hate crimes?

1 February 2017 - 10:12pm

AN open letter to:

Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration

Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety

Gentlemen,

Canadians watch aghast as intolerance, misogyny and xenophobia sweep the United States, and creep into Canada. 

Six innocent men were murdered, many others grievously wounded and families harmed in Québec City on January 29. This atrocity occurred at a place of worship during prayer.

It is not a coincidence that a similar crime was committed in a African American Church in Charleston, South Carolina less than two years ago. Extreme right wing groups fomenting violence are now in Canada with connections to larger American counterparts. 

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Trudeau provides weak justification for breaking electoral reform promise

1 February 2017 - 9:25pm

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!

And so that's what strategic voting gets you.

During the last federal election campaign, groups such as Leadnow vigorously encouraged Canadians to vote for the candidates in their ridings with the best chance of defeating the Harper Conservatives. 

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Christy Clark gets $50,000 stipend by fundraising for her own party

1 February 2017 - 8:57pm
rey-2017-02-01.mp3

Duff Conacher of Democracy Watch says British Columbia's rules on political donations amount to a system of legalized bribery. The province's conflict of interest commissioner doesn't agree. Duff Conacher speaks to Redeye host James Mainguy about how B.C.'s political donation system works.

Check out our website for more information about Redeye.

Find us on Facebook and like our page for regular updates. 

Like this podcast? rabble is reader/listener supported journalism.

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Originalism and the U.S. Constitution is a mug's game

1 February 2017 - 1:49pm

The Donald's pick to fill the current vacancy on the Supreme Court of the United States is Neil Gorsuch. He is a constitutional originalist.

That means he interprets the U.S. Constitution according to its original meaning. I haven't gone deeply enough into the man's beliefs to determine whether he is among the minority of originalists who look for the drafters' intent, or, instead, is a textualist who goes by the original plain-language meaning of the Constitution as understood at the time it was written.

Both propositions, of course, are a nonsense.

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'We feel unsafe now': Quebec Muslims respond to mosque terror attack

1 February 2017 - 1:41pm

An engineering professor, a halal grocery shop owner, a civil servant and father of four. These were among the six men gunned down by a French-Canadian nationalist in a Quebec City mosque on Monday evening.

Police reported that 19 people were also wounded during the evening prayers at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec (Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre) and that all the men killed had ranged in age from 35 to 70. Thirty-nine people escaped the mosque without injuries.

"We're not talking about a war zone here, we're talking about Quebec," Samer Majzoub, the president of the Canadian-Muslim Forum and a resident of Montreal for 28 years, told Middle East Eye.

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