Showing posts from March 24, 2016

Why a centrist NDP is not an option

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[One party must actively speak for those who are disenfranchised by the corporatocracy. Corporatocrats "have been exceedingly clever at getting people to believe that lower wages lead to prosperity, and that small government and lower taxes make more sense than widely available, quality public services. Owning the media ensures corporate-sponsored policies become commonplace, while ideas for significant change lack oxygen." *RON*]
By Duncan Cameron,, 22 March 2016

Prominent CBC commentator Chantal Hebert thinks dumping Tom Mulcair for being too centrist would be a mistake.

When the NDP did win elections provincially, it won running from the centre, and the federal NDP would be no different, she wrote in a recent Toronto Star column. She advised that in a succession race, a centrist would win out over someone who wanted the party to go hard left.

A Military Leviathan Has Emerged as the United States' 51st and Most Powerful State

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["One question that this election season has raised: What if our post-democratic military is driven by an autocrat who insists that it must obey his whims in the cause of 'making America great again'? Come 2017, we may find out." *RON*]
By William J. Astore, Truthout / TomDispatch, 22 March 2016

In the decades since the draft ended in 1973, a strange new military has emerged in the United States. Think of it, if you will, as a post-democratic force that prides itself on its warrior ethos rather than the old-fashioned citizen-soldier ideal. As such, it's a military increasingly divorced from the people, with a way of life ever more foreign to most Americans (adulatory as they may feel toward its troops). Abroad, it's now regularly put to purposes foreign to any traditional idea of national defense. In Washington, it has become a force unto itself, following its own priorities, pursuing its own agendas, increasingly unacc…

The Finnish Model

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[Helsinki prepares to give every citizen €800 per month and shut down its welfare bureaucracy. *RON*]
Guy Sorman, City Journal, 18 March 2016 

Career politicians have become incredibly boring. This helps to explain the appearance of rebel parties in every Western democracy. These new splinter groups include the Ciudadanos in Spain, the National Front in France, the Tea Party in the United States, and the Independents in Catalonia and Scotland. Voters have grown tired of accepting the same old tunes, whistled from both Left and Right. Constantly recycled policies and programs offer no solutions to difficult, long-term, and often intergenerational problems, such as unemployment among the unqualified youth, or the excessive dependence of certain groups on the welfare state. The same goes for the debate over immigration. One side demonizes globalization; the other decries nationalism.

Kansas Bill Would Pay Students A $2,500 Bounty To Hunt For Trans People In Bathrooms

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[I would say that the increased polarization in politics is turning people into animals, except animals wouldn't do this. *RON*]

By Zack Ford, Think Progress, 22 March 2016

With only two weeks left in the Kansas legislation session, state lawmakers have introduced a pair of bills that would prohibit transgender students from using restrooms that match their gender. The “Student Physical Privacy Act” would apply not only to public schools, but all public universities in the state as well, guaranteeing that anyone who saw someone transgender in the bathroom could sue their school for $2,500 for every time that it happened.

The complementary bills (SB 513 and HB 2737) declare in no uncertain terms that transgender students are going to harm other students just by using the same facility alongside them. “Allowing students to use restrooms, locker rooms and showers that are reserved for students of a different sex will create potential embarrassm…

Syrians rescue German far-right candidate from car crash wreckage

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["Uhm, thanks...?" Extremist NPD party thanks asylum seekers in Hesse, who gave first aid to Stefan Jagsch, for their ‘humane deed.’ *RON*]
Philip Oltermann, The Guardian, 22 March 2016
The German far-right NPD party has taken the highly unusual step of praising refugees for their humanity, after a group of Syrian asylum-seekers administered first aid to one of its candidates involved in a car crash.

Stefan Jagsch, an NPD lead candidate at this month’s local elections in the Hesse region, lost control of his vehicle on the road between Altenstadt and Büdingen on 16 March and crashed into a tree.

World watching as Canada casts aside austerity and gambles on a fiscal surge

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["If it works, Trudeau and his finance minister will be heralded for their genius. If it doesn't, there will be no shortage of people ready to say 'I told you so.'" Some much-needed context:


By Don Pittis, CBC News, 24 March 2016

Canada has abruptly switched sides in one of the perennial political and economic battles over how to restart a sagging economy.

To put it in a way that would not please either side, it is the contest between the misers and the spendthrifts. After years of the penny-pinching approach, Canada has switched tack to become a big spender.

And despite some very strong feelings on either side, it is not absolutely clear which is the right path to prosperity. The world will be watching.

The clash over the best way to boost a moribund economy is by no means solely a Canadian argument. Nor is it just a modern debate.
Historical debate

Countries from China and Japan, to Greece and Ireland have taken dif…