Fisk On Harper

It’s articles like this one that make you wonder if the Canadian media is telling you everything you need to know. (Seriously though, that’s plainly obvious.)

Aurora

If Stephen Harper is serious about criminalising ‘barbaric cultural practices’, then he should arrest himself for even suggesting it

And while he’s at it, he can lock up all the other Western leaders who have savaged the Muslim world too.

Harper […] is about to push a truly eccentric piece of legislation through parliament in Ottawa. It’s called – and I urge readers to repeat the words lest they think it’s already April Fool’s Day – the “Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act”. Yup, when I first read the phrase “Barbaric Cultural Practices Act”, I felt sure it was a joke, a line from the “Big Bang Theory”…

“these “practices” are already forbidden by Canadian law

“…this unique legislation, [comes] from the Canadian minister of – you guessed it – Citizenship and Immigration. Now isn’t that odd?
[…]
Because in truth, the new Canadian legislation is about foreigners or – more to the point – Muslims.”

The man [Rashed] does not work for CSIS, Canada’s spy outfit, according to Ottawa government “sources”. But officially, CSIS, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police – the guys who always “get their man” – and Harper’s office have all refused to comment. The Ottawa Citizen has been highlighting another new bit of Harper legislation, Bill C-44 this time, which would allow Canadian judges to authorise CSIS activities abroad “to investigate a threat to the security” of Canada, “without regard to any other law, including that of any foreign state…”

Plenty to think about there.

And here’s more to think about, from Hedges, on what Bill C-51 and the new security state we live in means.

Saskatchewan Needs a Real Change of Destination

Greg is making a good point in his latest column, but I had to throw in a Green campaign slogan into the title in good fun. The bottom line really is that the Sask Party is propping up the dying fossil fuels industry, while calls to divest from it are coming from around the world. There’s no stopping this change (for the better).

While the Saskatchewan Party remains bent on thinking small, any reasonable look at the world around us suggests it’s long past time for a big change in direction. And if if this year’s budget again fails on that front, then we should seriously reconsider who’s choosing our destination.

“study finds that the main barrier to achieving those goals is a matter of politics rather than technology or economic limitations.”

“We have the tools to transition to a clean energy economy; all that’s lacking is the leadership to put them to use.”
Greg is bang on, and I’m not saying so simply because I’ve been saying the same thing for years.

Given that there are about 410,000 households in Saskatchewan, we’d need about 3 Ivanpah style solar power plants to provide electricity to every home in the province. We can do it, and we should.

That’s me last year providing a real-world example of technology we could build in Saskatchewan to give every household renewable energy at a price we can afford. We can probably not afford to fail to build such a new system.


ADDED: Prebble and others show that Saskatchewan must turn to renewable energy to succeed in reforming our economy.

Leave It In The Ground

The world has much more coal, oil and gas in the ground than it can safely burn. That much is physics.

Watch this compelling, factual argument about how to solve the climate crisis. I first became aware of this straightforward idea after watching Do The Math by 350.org run by Bill McKibben. It is MAD lunacy to spend billions of taxpayer dollars exploring for more fossil fuels when the existing known reserves would destroy our climate should it all be burned!

if we and our children are to have a reasonable chance of living stable and secure lives 30 or so years from now, according to one recent study 80% of the known coal reserves will have to stay underground, along with half the gas and a third of the oil reserves.

If only science were enough.

We have to convince people of the dire urgency. They’ve many reasons for doubting it, ranging from conspiracy theories, distrust of scientific knowledge, to short term greed. Also a big factor is the concerted corporate misinformation and doubt campaign waged for decades against us. It’s hard enough to help a single person acting against their own self-interest, but imagine fixing entire societies programmed to consume past real limits?

Governments are giving nearly $100,000,000,000.00 a year to companies searching for more ways to destroy civilization. And far too few newspapers take the threat to our civilization seriously and devote appropriate time explaining what people and politicians (who happen to be people in most cases) need to do about the problem “one distinguished scientist has termed as “incompatible with any reasonable characterisation of an organised, equitable and civilised global community”.”

Climate Change AKA Global Warming Denial History

Here the case is made that “global warming” was supplanted by “climate change” because it sounded less urgent, (much as tarsands became oilsands), and other history is presented about the Denial movement infesting political discourse.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2015/mar/05/doubt-over-climate-science-is-a-product-with-an-industry-behind-it

Bad Science: A Resource Book – described in Merchants of Doubt as a “how-to handbook for fact fighters”.

Produced by the tobacco industry to help any industry fight any legislation that responded to scientific findings, this was a representation of big tobacco’s playbook in written form.

The book provided soundbites and ready-made talking points to arm any industry fighting regulation. Among the talking points the book suggested should be pushed home were:

Too often, science is manipulated to fulfil a political agenda.

Government agencies, too often, betray the public trust by violating principles of good science in a desire to achieve a political goal.

Public policy decisions that are based on bad science impose enormous economic costs on all aspects of society.


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More Debates, Not Fewer Debaters

The unethical fools at the Broadcast Consortium will probably gladly keep Elizabeth May away from the debates this year too.
Especially amusing is the Conservative spokes-tool saying more participants would make it a gong show. Mulcair wanting a debate focused on women, while angling to keep the only female leader out of the room, is special too.

What’s wrong with the Star and Robert Benzie to write an article about debate controversy and not even mention the Consortium considering blocking the Green Party again because they got away with it last election?

Why would it be up to the Conservatives to decide how many televised debates there are? Clearly, the Broadcast Consortium isn’t actually in charge here. It’s known that Layton and Harper conspired to keep May from debating previously.

Hot Room Politics

Media in Ottawa are too busy eating each other alive to focus on the main course passing authoritarian Bill C-51.

Glen McGregor takes the proposed Press Gallery changes apart.

National Post Guilty of Defaming Climate Change Scientist

It shows the misguided focus of the national Postmedia “tabloid” when they let a star like Mike De Souza go, and hang onto a convicted libeler like Terence Corcoran. Maybe the Post will hire Levant next and bulk up their libeler ranks a little?

The defendants include the National Post, a newspaper publishing nationally, Peter Foster, Terence Corcoran, and Kevin Libin, all columnists/journalists who have published articles in the National Post and Gordon Fisher, the publisher of the National Post.

The defendants can go suck an egg. Stop making the world a worse place, and resign from your jobs in media.