You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Canada’ tag.

Oh, just shaking my head at this one.  Watch the trans identified male dig a nice hole for himself as he debates with Meghan Murphy and other gender critical feminists.

I have laws enshrined in society now that protects my male delusions of gender, fear me female!  Of course, cue the defence against the world of facts and reality.

Julie Rei makes assertions that are not based in fact.  Watch how quickly Julie gets shut down.

Whoo-whee!  Now there is some goal-post shifting at its finest.  Shift away Julie, I’m pretty sure Gender Rebel is not going to brook any of your shit.

Lol-cakes!  The idea that you can adopt the patriarchally approved gender stereotypes and that somehow makes you a woman is not only foolish, it is appalling.  Bullshit patriarchal expectations are what radical feminists fight against because, you guessed it, they hurt women (and men).

In the last panel Scott rightly points out the irony of Morgane’s position and PinkPussyHatRadFemTERF delivers the Coup de grâce doing what radfems do best naming the problem and identifying how to counter it.

 

This BS sadly is happening in my country.  I’m so very glad that we have people who are standing up to the trans-cult when they make assertions contrary to reality.   Oh hey, let me get that definition mentioned in the twitter stream.

Pluralistic Ignorance – “In social psychology, pluralistic ignorance is a situation in which a majority of group members privately reject a norm, but incorrectly assume that most others accept it, and therefore go along with it.[1] This is also described as “no one believes, but everyone thinks that everyone believes”. In short, pluralistic ignorance is a bias about a social group, held by that social group.[2][3]

Pluralistic ignorance may help to explain the bystander effect.[4] If no-one acts, onlookers may believe others believe action is incorrect, and may therefore themselves refrain from acting.”

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In Canada it is easy to see where elite consensus lies. Marijuana legislation is barrelling ahead (potheads rejoice!) and electoral reform is dead in the water and slowly sinking out of the public’s consciousness.

This is how electoral reform died in Canada:

“In response, Trudeau pointed to a difference of opinions among the major political parties.

“As people in this House know, I have long preferred a preferential ballot. The members opposite [in the NDP] wanted proportional representation. The Official Opposition wanted a referendum,” he said, gesturing toward the Conservatives.

“There is no consensus. There is no clear path forward. It would be irresponsible to do something that harms Canada’s stability.”

Later, in response to a question from May, Trudeau expanded on his explanation.

“Anything a prime minister or a government must do must be in the interest of Canada and all Canadians, particularly when it comes to transforming our electoral system. I understand the passion and the intensity with which the member opposite believes in this and many Canadians mirror that passion and that intensity.”

“But there is no consensus, there is no sense of how to do this. And, quite frankly, a divisive referendum, an augmentation of extremist voices in this House, is not what is in the best interests of Canada.”

It is quite odd that ‘building consensus” and “augmentation of extremist voices” were of such a deeply troubling concern to our dear Prime Minister. The Liberal Party currently holds a majority in our House of Commons – 184 seats (14 more than the required 170) – so they can pass whatever damn legislation they choose, at any time, and the opposition can do precisely diddly-squat about it.

Enter the consensus building. Or, to look at things slightly more Machiavellian, why would the government dismantle the electoral system that has brought it to power tweny-four times since the inception of Canada as a nation?

I’m pretty sure that’s all that needs to be said on the issue of electoral reform.

The other half of the story is the legalization of marijuana and that folks is an example, par excellance of Canadian Government policy careening downhill on the greasiest of skids.  Nothing is going to stop this fully loaded freight-train of weed goodness.   (I have heard nary a whisper of building consensus on this issue – it’s just getting done).  From the Liberal Party website

” Canada’s current system of marijuana prohibition does not work. It does not prevent young people from using marijuana and too many Canadians end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts of the drug.

Arresting and prosecuting these offenses is expensive for our criminal justice system. It traps too many Canadians in the criminal justice system for minor, non-violent offenses. At the same time, the proceeds from the illegal drug trade support organized crime and greater threats to public safety, like human trafficking and hard drugs.

To ensure that we keep marijuana out of the hands of children, and the profits out of the hands of criminals, we will legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana.

We will remove marijuana consumption and incidental possession from the Criminal Code, and create new, stronger laws to punish more severely those who provide it to minors, those who operate a motor vehicle while under its influence, and those who sell it outside of the new regulatory framework.”

Oh the principled anguish!

I’m not buying it for a second.  The legality of marijuana is a trivial issue.   It will not affect those in the halls of power one iota.  And, thus we have this great commitment and expressed vigour to helping all Canadians and making things better for the country.  (Clearly, reforming the skewed FPP electoral system won’t benefit Canadians or the country…)

OTTAWA — The Canadian government has introduced sweeping legislation designed to permit the recreational use of marijuana throughout the country by July 2018, fulfilling an election promise by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The bill, inspired in part by the experiences of cannabis regimes in Colorado and Washington state, goes well beyond the U.S. situation, where marijuana remains prohibited at the federal level. In Canada, the federal government will change criminal law nationally and will license growers and set product standards while leaving it up to the provinces to handle distribution and manage retail sale.

Canada will become the first large industrialized nation with a broad system permitting recreational as well as medical use of marijuana. At present, only Uruguay has a national legal regime permitting widespread use of cannabis.”

*sigh* – Oh, Canada.  :/

 

 

 

So this happened.

Then they changed it to this.

Like the climate change that comes along with carbon emissions DOESN’T hurt us. Short term thinking is our bane.  For the record – the carbon tax is a necessary feature of our society if we wish to continue to progress as a society and a nation.

 

Now that we’re in the era of the 45th republican administration the battles we fight are more basic.  Defending basic rights of people and defending the societal institutions that promote equality in society.  That is where we are now.  But back in the first term of the Obama presidency he had it all, majorities in both houses and what came of it?  Pretty much nothing and in this Q&A interview with Thomas Frank, some of the reasons for the Obama flop are teased out and discussed candidly.

 

The book is about how the Democratic Party turned its back on working people and now pursues policies that actually increase inequality. What are the policies or ideological commitments in the Democratic Party that make you think this?

The first piece of evidence is what’s happened since the financial crisis. This is the great story of our time. Inequality has actually gotten worse since then, which is a remarkable thing. This is under a Democratic president who we were assured (or warned) was the most liberal or radical president we would ever see.  Yet inequality has gotten worse, and the gains since the financial crisis, since the recovery began, have gone entirely to the top 10 percent of the income distribution.

This is not only because of those evil Republicans, but because Obama played it the way he wanted to. Even when he had a majority in both houses of Congress and could choose whoever he wanted to be in his administration, he consistently made policies that favored the top 10 percent over everybody else. He helped out Wall Street in an enormous way when they were entirely at his mercy.

He could have done anything he wanted with them, in the way that Franklin Roosevelt did in the ’30s. But he chose not to.

Why is that? This is supposed to be the Democratic Party, the party that’s interested in working people, average Americans. Why would they react to a financial crisis in this way? Once you start digging into this story, it goes very deep. You find that there was a transition in the Democratic Party in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s where they convinced themselves that they needed to abandon working people in order to serve a different constituency: a constituency essentially of white-collar professionals.

That’s the most important group in their coalition. That’s who they won over in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. That’s who they serve, and that’s where they draw from. The leaders of the Democratic Party are always from this particular stratum of society.

 

There is no party of the working class, or even ones making half-hearted attempts to look like it any more in the United States.  The interests of the great majority of Americans simply have no place, and no voice in the US democratic system.

I hearken back to my country whose political game of hot potato has historically fluctuated between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party – it is the same shit – with the liberals selling out the middle and lower classes at a slightly lower rate than the conservative manage to do every time they are in power.  We have a viable third party in Canada the New Democratic Party – that through the near heroic efforts of leader lost to cancer – could have formed the first avowedly socialist government (we’re pretty social democratic here by default, despite the neoliberal cancer that is US politics) in Canada’s history.

That hope was shot to shit by one of the greatest miscalculations in Canadian political history – the new NDP leader, Tom Mulcair unwisely thought that moving to the political centre was the best course of action riding the late Jack Layton’s orange wave of support.  And in our last election the NDP (the MF NDP) was outflanked by the liberals ON THE LEFT and was, once again relegated to second opposition status in the house of commons (Lib 184, Con 99, NDP 44).

The NDP ignored the boilerplate election strategy that has held true for nearly every Canadian election – run centre left, and govern centre right.  Tom Mulcair ignored this simple nugget of truth and now we have the world’s darling Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party ruling the nation from the centre right and showing more and more contempt for the middle class that so dutifully elected them.

What gives?  In the US Thomas Frank contends it is the Democratic Party’s obsession with the professional class to the exclusion of all others.

What’s the content of the ideology of the professional class and how does it hurt working people? What are their guiding principles?

The first commandment of the professional class is the idea of meritocracy, which allows people to think that those on top are there because they deserve to be. With the professional class, it’s always associated with education. They deserve to be there because they worked really hard and went to a good college and to a good graduate school. They’re high achievers. Democrats are really given to credentialism in a way that Republicans aren’t.

If you look at the last few Democratic presidents, Bill Clinton and Obama, and Hillary Clinton as well, their lives are a tale of educational achievement. This is what opened up the doors of the world to them. It’s a party of who people who have gotten where they are by dint of educational accomplishment.

This produces a set of related ideas. When the Democrats, the party of the professionals, look at the economic problems of working-class people, they always see an educational problem, because they look at working class people and say, “Those people didn’t do what I did”: go and get advanced degrees, go to the right college, get the high SAT scores and study STEM or whatever.

There’s another interesting part of this ideology: this endless search for consensus. Washington is a city of professionals with advanced degrees, and Democrats look around them there and say, “We’re all intelligent people. We all went to good schools. We know what the problems are and we know what the answers are, and politics just get in the way.”

This is a very typical way of thinking for the professional class: reaching for consensus, because politics is this ugly thing that you don’t really need. You see this in Obama’s endless efforts to negotiate a grand bargain with Republicans because everybody in Washington knows the answers to the problems—we just have to get together, sit down and make an agreement. The same with Obamacare: He spent so many months trying to get Republicans to sign on, even just one or two, so that he could say it was bipartisan. It was an act of consensus. And the Republicans really played him, because they knew that’s what he’d do.

And we all know how well the Obama Care legacy is going today.  The current set of storm trooper Republicans give exactly no fucks about consensus, bipartisanship, or really anything except enriching and enshrining the 1% as the ruling oligarchs of the US.  And the confounding thing is this – people who are getting hit hard voted this republican administration in.  They took the small mined demagogue and made him their hero, unaware or uncaring of his pedigree and his allegiances with basically all of the forces that are directly fucking the populace over.

The last American election is a stinging indictment of the Democratic Party and how utterly disconnected they are with the majority of Americans.

“A lot of progressives that I talk to are pretty familiar with the idea that the Democratic Party is no longer protecting the interests of workers, but it’s pretty common for us to blame it on mainly the power of money in politics. But you start the book in chapter one by arguing there’s actually something much deeper going on. Can you say something about that?

Money in politics is a big part of the story, but social class goes deeper than that. The Democrats have basically made their commitment [to white-collar professionals] already before money and politics became such a big deal. It worked out well for them because of money in politics. So when they chose essentially the top 10 percent of the income distribution as their most important constituents, that is the story of money.

It wasn’t apparent at the time in the ’70s and ’80s when they made that choice. But over the years, it has become clear that that was a smart choice in terms of their ability to raise money. Organized labor, of course, is no slouch in terms of money. They have a lot of clout in dollar terms. However, they contribute and contribute to the Democrats and they almost never get their way—they don’t get, say, the Employee Free Choice Act, or Bill Clinton passes NAFTA. They do have a lot of money, but their money doesn’t count.

All of this happened because of the civil war within the Democratic Party. They fought with each other all the time in the ’70s and the ’80s. One side hadn’t completely captured the party until Bill Clinton came along in the ’90s. That was a moment of victory for them.”

So, I’m thinking third a third party is necessary in the US.  The cynical side of me thinks that there will actually be one in the US.  Not to have a party that represents the people, but as a corrupt puppet of a party meant to siphon off revolutionary zeal and progressive rage to safeguard the oligarch’s corrupt and self-serving ‘democratic’ system that is currently in place.

The United Nations is a marginalized entity, like the League of Nations, it was formed with the idea that humanity, as a species can do better than just sit within our imaginary borders and fling poo (sometimes thermonuclear) at each other.

It’s a noble and nice idea.

And that’s about it.

Any sort of movement toward a more globalized world is always drowned out by the odious strains of nationalism and exceptionalism of the powerful countries of the world.

The summation of Noam Chomskey’s work in international politics is this: “The same rules should apply to everyone.” Strip away the academic writing and the dense prose and you will see him return to this thesis repeatedly. A war crime is a war crime whether it is committed by the ‘good guys’ or the ‘bad guys’ and the judgments and punishments meted out should be the same in both situations. This, of course, would mean that every US president would be charged with war crimes and would be prosecuted thusly – a flight of fantasy in the current geopolitical order – but it would be what a just world would look like.

Possessing the biggest stick should not be an automatic exemption from the rules that everyone else has to follow. Breaking news on this one though – the current bearers of the big stick club resoundingly disagree with me on this point. And thus the big stick carriers rightly get annoyed when marginally global institutions like the UN fail to toe the line on important issues regarding the ‘national interest’ (see imperialism/exceptionism).

“The United Nations general assembly has delivered a stinging rebuke to Donald Trump, voting by a huge majority to reject his unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The vote came after a redoubling of threats by Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, who said that Washington would remember which countries “disrespected” America by voting against it.”

Way to go UN! As far as impotent political statements and actions go, you are doing fantastic work.

“Despite the warning, 128 members voted on Thursday in favour of the resolution supporting the longstanding international consensus that the status of Jerusalem – which is claimed as a capital by both Israel and the Palestinians – can only be settled as an agreed final issue in a peace deal.”

It’s hard to find a more prescient example of US exceptionalism.  The constant untrammelled stream of unwavering support for Israel – notwithstanding the incredibly shitty things Israel is doing/has been doing to the Palestinians for decades- by the US merely underlines how irrelevant the UN is to US foreign policy and its associated imperial ventures.

“Twenty-two of the 28 EU countries voted for the resolution, including the UK and France. Germany – which in the past has abstained on measures relating to Israel – also voted in favour.

Thirty-five countries abstained, including five EU states, and other US allies including Australia, Canada, Colombia and Mexico. Ambassadors from several abstaining countries, including Mexico, used their time on the podium to criticise Trump’s unilateral move.

Another 21 delegations were absent from the vote, suggesting the Trump’s warning over funding cuts and Israel’s lobbying may have had some effect.

While support for the resolution was somewhat less than Palestinian officials had hoped, the meagre tally of just nine votes in support of the US and Israeli position was a serious diplomatic blow for Trump.”

Yeaaaaaa Canada – we abstained.  Such a bold move for our country, we’re really standing up to the injustice and stupidity being visited upon the world by our neighbours to the South.

*sigh*

I suppose it is the best we can do given our geographical and economic situation.  But wouldn’t be nice if we could just denounce this bullshite -rightly on moral an ethical grounds – without always having to defer to the realpolitik of the situation.

 

[Source: The Guardian]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A little dark and shameful bit of Canada’s history – (from wikipedia)

     “The École Polytechnique massacre, also known as the Montreal massacre, was a mass shooting at the École Polytechnique in Montreal, Quebec, Canada that occurred on December 6, 1989. Twenty-five-year-old Marc Lépine, armed with a rifle and a hunting knife, shot 28 people, killing 14 women, before committing suicide. He began his attack by entering a classroom at the university, where he separated the male and female students. After claiming that he was “fighting feminism” and calling the women “a bunch of feminists,” he shot all nine women in the room, killing six. He then moved through corridors, the cafeteria, and another classroom, specifically targeting women to shoot. Overall, he killed fourteen women and injured ten other women and four men in just under 20 minutes before turning the gun on himself. His suicide note claimed political motives and blamed feminists for ruining his life. The note included a list of 19 Quebec women whom Lépine considered to be feminists and apparently wished to kill. It is the deadliest mass shooting in Canadian history.

Since the attack, Canadians have debated various interpretations of the events, their significance, and Lépine’s motives. Many feminist groups and public officials have characterized the massacre as an anti-feminist attack that is representative of wider societal violence against women. Consequently, the anniversary of the massacre has since been commemorated as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.”

 

Yeah.  Dude finally makes his rage fantasies real and murders 14 females.  The Wilfred Laurier Centre for Women and Trans People makes the crucial argument – But What About The Men??  – instead of recognizing a day of remembrance for what it is – a day against the sex class based violence against women.

When you see the word ‘intersectional’ these days you can almost assume that the paragraph in question will be loaded with bullshit.  Transactivists and the associated ‘queer theory’ is fucking in love with redefining words into senseless, male-pandering flap-a-doodle.

  Interesectionality (for the nth time) is the study of how overlapping or intersecting social identities, particularly minority identities, relate to systems and structures of oppression, domination, or discrimination.

Intersectionality for many Transactivists is simple a ‘#WATM?’ transcribed into academic speak in order to cloak the misogyny that underpins the transactivist connotation of the word.   And of course, as the post below illustrates this insipid bowdlerization of feminist language servers to erase female history and the class based violence that females experience in our society.

 

 

    The first rule of focus groups or research groups is quite simply this.  If you say yes to one, then you shall forever be on the call list of every research company that has ever existed.  And they do call quite often.  Extrapolating from the frequency that I receive offers, people who are willing to participate in studies and opinion groups are few and far between.

The call I received was from a company doing research on for the federal government of Canada.  I thought to myself, woo-whee, the Feds want to know my opinion?  How could I say no to that (well that and the included honourarium)?   We were not told the details of what the discussion was going to be about beforehand.  It turned out to be a rather mundane discussion on the tax system in Canada and what our opinions and thoughts were on it, along with other issues such as debt, sources of debt, and how well off we defined ourselves vis a vis other generations.

Fascinating (ish) stuff.  What tweaked my interest was my fellow attendee’s lack of knowledge about Canadian fiscal and tax policy.  Like the fact that Canada’s corporate tax rate is miserly 15%, among the lowest, if not the lowest in the G7.  People seemed genuinely surprised when I suggested that we should be raising that tax rate significantly and that in the past the tax rate had been significantly higher (around 40% in the 60’s) .

Similar experiences when mentioning terms like neo-liberal (a la Nafta and the TPP) economic policy and trickle-down economics.  None of the other people in my research cohort used terminology and concepts that named the economic features we were talking about.  There was a good deal of, “oh I agree with what he said,” but none articulated the theoretical features or aspects of the features we were talking about.

The notion of ‘progressive taxation’ seemed to throw a few of my peers for a slight loop, even thought the Canadian tax system is nominally progressive in nature.   I boggled inwardly at that, but we all got on the same page eventually when it came to nailing down the concept.

I’m worried though, I am by stretch of the imagination an economist or policy-wonk, but the amount of time spent getting people up to speed on basic economic features and concepts made me take pause.  I get the feeling that many people just don’t have the time or the inclination to get the basic facts necessary to have an informed opinion on key features of our tax system and economics in general.  Taxes affect everyone in society and not having a base level of knowledge about them and how government policy can change the way taxes work, seems like a glaring oversight in one’s life education.

Ignorance aside, 7 out of the 8 of us present agreed with the legalization of marijuana in Canada so the Feds will at least have positive affirmation that making pot legal makes most of us happy (representative samply-speaking).

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