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Showing posts from June, 2016

Sihota says reluctance to go for jugular in last election deep-sixed Dix, NDP

Vaughn Palmer - The Vancouver Sun
The campaign as a whole was weak, not just the positive message Dix wanted to run with. Top to bottom, weak. In all honesty, I don't even remember what the BC NDP had actually campaigned on. It wasn't as though they managed to get their message out, and I'd attended a few gatherings.
Even now, perusing the BC NDP's current platform, I'm struck at how... bland it all is. Nothing exciting. Nothing new. Just the same old safe promises. Raise the minimum wage. Solve the housing crisis. Oppose Kinder Morgan. I agree with all that, but I'm having a hard time getting up for it all.
The BC NDP does understand we're facing a world-wide crisis, right now, as pertaining to climate change, right? Were the BC NDP to promise we would begin work, as of right now, yesterday even, on bringing BC to the forefront of green technology, world-wide, I'd jump onto their platform in a heartbeat.
Were the BC NDP to pick a fight with the federal…

Sports salaries, and then real life

A draft, archived, and forgotten. It's released, months late and unfinished. Never mind the now obsolete claims, throughout.

This is merely a thought. Some light consideration of sports salaries. Nothing in-depth. Merely guesswork and supposition. No evidence. No proof. No editing. No expansion. I'm just going to write out some vague ideas that are lurking below the surface of my thoughts. A free writing exercise.
I enjoy sports. Always have. Probably always will. Can no longer play sports. Injuries and accidents have robbed me of mobility, especially in the past five years. I'm done with anything involving running. Or heavy lifting.
Was intrigued to see David Price, formerly (and shortly) of the Toronto Blue Jays had signed with the Boston Red Sox for $217 million dollars. Wow. That's a lot more money than I could earn in my entire lifetime. I'd have to win the lottery. Just wow.
Seems obscene, but then again, I also subscribe to the old maxim, "Everything i…

Brexit: a disaster decades in the making

Gary Younge - The Guardian 
Just started reading this article. Will take time over the next day or two to really digest it in full, but so far, it's been excellent. One point made, that simply astonished me, I'll share:
Neglect, both benign and malign, and indulgence, both covert and overt, left those prejudices open for opportunists to exploit for their own ends. Now that needs repetition, for our friends in power. Over and over, again and again: "Neglect, both benign and malign, and indulgence, both covert and overt, (leave) prejudices open for opportunists to exploit for their own ends."

When all you have is a hammer...

Canada’s government spending is now on unsustainable path, warns PBO
Financial Post's reporting is a bit, what's the word? alarmist?
Things really aren't so dire.
Canada’s sub-national governments need a combination of new revenue or spending cuts totalling 1.5 per cent of GDP to put themselves on a sustainable path, up from 1.4 per cent last year — what the PBO called a “modest deterioration.” That would require a combined $30.2 billion in spending cuts or tax increases from provinces, territories, local and indigenous governments. You know, the major, important thing is, that no one ever really mentions, is Canada will always have a modest to wealthy tax base. And also, Canada prints its own money. That's a major strength. It means Canada can always repay its dept, even if the value of its currency falls.
$30 billion? It shouldn't be an impossible amount for the government to raise.
It should be a multi-pronged approached. Modestly raise taxes, starting from the…

Another post on Brexit

Pulled out my copy of A Tale of Two Cities, just to read the opening.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. A rather cynical assessment, I suppose. Yes, the Brexit vote was profound, but it was neither the start nor end of anything.
The real story should be austerity. It's crushing the UK, and dragging it ever downward.

Brexit is self-determination, at its core

It's chaotic, confusing, frustrating, fascinating. It's superlative after superlative.
How long will it be before it settles itself? Not soon, I suppose.
Some want it settled, now. Like just a moment ago, before I even wrote this sentence.
But it's complicated. It needs to be hammered out.
And while all that's happening, the hammer's dropping down hard on ordinary people. They're reaching out, trying to blame others for this, when it fact, it's simply the fault of history.
No one told them the European Union would hammer them hard with austerity. It's basically killing the UK, dead. Its industry, six feet under. Its trade, mainly imports. Finances, in the red.
Not much hope there, for them. And there's the nostalgia, remembering the time after World War II, after their economy had recovered, and they were second in the world, just after the United States for progress.
Some where along the way, it was lost. They became purposeless, rudderless.
They e…

Brexit is Only the Latest Proof of the Insularity and Failure of Western Establishment Institutions

 Glenn Greenwald - The Intercept
Corrupt elites always try to persuade people to continue to submit to their dominance in exchange for protection from forces that are even worse. That’s their game. But at some point, they themselves, and their prevailing order, become so destructive, so deceitful, so toxic, that their victims are willing to gamble that the alternatives will not be worse, or at least, they decide to embrace the satisfaction of spitting in the faces of those who have displayed nothing but contempt and condescension for them. Just another way of saying, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
The dream of the EU was beautiful, but the way it was implemented has become a nightmare for millions of people.

Mark Carney, wizard

CTV News
The Bank of England said it had made contingency plans for a "leave" vote and promised to take action to maintain stability. It noted that it has 250 billion pounds ($342 billion) in liquidity available for banks. "We are well prepared for this," the bank's governor, Mark Carney, said in a televised statement. When people state, no one could have foreseen this, remind them Mark Carney did. And not only that, had prepared in advance. It won't stop the worst from happening, but it should mitigate it.
It should give the UK government time to plan, which apparently it didn't.
Sink or swim time, now. Those who find the surface when you're twenty feet under water and disorientated, survive.

British Exit

Decided to sleep on the results. Woke up, and Britain voted to leave the EU.
Wow, sometimes the world changes without you knowing.
Admittedly, it's probably not that easy to leave the EU. There's much to worry about, and plan over.
One can't simply just stop following signed agreements without consequence. And the consequences will probably be severe for the British people.
Granted, if they follow through on this vote, then they could become much better off, in the long run, but there'll be suffering in the short term. But the British people are already suffering from austerity, so what's the difference, in the end?

Bernie Sanders has laid the groundwork for a strong progressive movement

The numbers don't lie: a nearly 70 to 30 ratio of support among voters less than 30 years old could be quite indicative of the future of the Democratic Party. The elderly won out this time, but their numbers are likely to shrink rather then grown in the coming years, whereas Sanders' supporters are likely to move onto the next worthy candidate who proclaims their interests to also be their own. And such supporters numbers are only likely to grow.
Bernie Sanders has charted a path. Perhaps it was only an accident, but it can be followed, but this time with vigour and confidence rather then caution. There's no need for big money in politics, now.
Power can be won without compromising.
Well, actually, let us hope that's what Sanders campaign has shown us.

The worst election in modern US history

It is upon us! We are not worthy!
Hilary Clinton, whose moral scruples are somehow less then her popularity, which is as low as it can get in the modern era, versus Donald Trump, as nasty a piece of work as has been seen in some time in US politics.
It'll be bare knuckle brawling from here on out, and I get the feeling the Drumpf will have the advantage in a pure mud slinging dirty campaign. Then again, I could be wrong.
But I'm not wrong when I predict this will be a low voter turnout. At this point, who cares who wins?
Hilary Clinton is More of the Same! Whereas Trump is Power to the One Percent!
You know, it'll be shit sandwiches, as Ian Welsh calls it, for everyone, regardless of who wins. The difference between the two, is while Hilary will force you all to buy the shit sandwich, she won't force you to eat it, whereas Trump will force you to eat it, but you won't have to buy it.
Well, there's nuances, and everything to consider. What kind of bread, and wha…