“It is asinine in our age that an armed group of idiots can thwart reasonable government action. Bundy is not a hero, a victim or innocent in any way. Just think of real injustice of America, like people spending life in jail for marijuana charges. It’s hard to imagine the “militia,” a mostly fat, white and ignorant group, showing up to defend a kid in the inner city who was arrested for no reason. Also think what would happen to you, if you opted not to register your car for 20 years. Bundy exploits the most sickening version of white privilege to justify what amounts to theft.”—Fox News’ demented poster boy: Why angry rancher Cliven Bundy is no patriot - Salon.com
First, this entire incident speaks to the continued power of right-wing mythology. For many of the protesters, this isn’t about a rogue rancher as much as it’s a stand against “tyranny” personified in Barack Obama and his administration.
Second, it won’t happen, but right-wing media ought to be condemned for their role in fanning the flames of this standoff. After years of decrying Obama’s “lawlessness” and hyperventilating over faux scandals, it’s galling to watch conservatives applaud actual lawbreaking and violent threats to federal officials.
Finally, I can’t help but wonder how conservatives would react if these were black farmers—or black anyone—defending “their” land against federal officials. Would Fox News applaud black militiamen aiming their guns at white bureaucrats?
Somehow, given the degree to which right-wing media traffic in racial paranoia, I think we’d be looking at a different situation if the Bundy Ranch belonged to a bunch of black people. And as someone who closely follows the regular incidents of lethal police violence against blacks and Latinos, I also wonder whether law enforcement would be as tepid against a group of armed African-Americans. Judging from past events, I’m not so sure.
The most disturbing expression of this government’s relativism is what one might call its relativization of knowledge. That it could casually dismiss the unanimous expert opposition to the bill, without bothering to offer a rebuttal, shows contempt not just for those involved but for the whole concept of expertise. Experts can sometimes get it wrong, of course, even where they are agreed. But the insinuation here is that they are wrong because they are experts, of which their very unanimity is further proof.
That way lies madness, as we saw in the long-form census “debate.” It takes us into a partisan Bizarro World, where the more indefensible the policy is, the more it must be correct — for the more universal the expert dissent it arouses, the more this is taken as evidence, not that the policy is crazy, but of a kind of academic class hatred of the Harper government.
That’s one possible explanation, certainly. The other is that it’s crazy.
“The other worrisome strand in Chow’s positioning is that she seems to have opted to play on Ford’s fiscal field, by Ford’s rules. As we all know, he’s planted deeply corrosive notions that such projects can be funded simply by making all those lazy civil servants work harder, or that the private sector will pay, or that the money will magically appear from some pot of cash heretofore reserved for the watering of plants, etc. Chow must engage with the funding question, and this election presents an important opportunity to make a case for solving the puzzle.”—LORINC: Chow dithers on downtown relief line | Spacing Toronto
The school-to-prison pipeline, to my mind, is the most insidious arm of this country’s prison-industrial complex. Under the guise of protecting our children, we push many of them out of school and into prisons, limit their opportunities, fail to and/or undereducate them, all while feeding our addiction to mass incarceration and retribution that is not justice at all. That the students who find themselves funneled into the school-to-prison pipeline are predominantly black is further proof that the United States system of racist oppression chugs along through the rhetoric of colorblindness.
More via my favourite siren of demagoguery and treachery. <3
… under any normal government, this would be considered fairly devastating stuff: not only near universal expert opposition, but a widely held suspicion that the bill, far from merely flawed, is expressly designed to tilt the next election in the Conservatives’ favour. As for Mr. Poilievre, the revelations that he had acted in such consummate bad faith on such a critically important bill — failing to consult, ignoring some experts’ advice and misrepresenting others — would ordinarily be career-limiting, to say the least.
But this is not a normal government. It does not operate in the usual way, nor does it feel bound by the usual rules. After all, if this were a normal government, it would not have as its minister for democratic reform such a noxious partisan as Mr. Poilievre, whose contempt for Parliament and its traditions registers every time he rises to speak in it.
The interests of the people should be paramount. Their wishes should prevail – not those of the wealthy, or corporations, or multi-billionaire Wizards of Oz, who, behind their curtains of secrecy, trash our democracy and play with our lives like their little toy soldiers, while government, which should protect us, does nothing but betray our trust.
The school is the proverbial Dutch boy with his finger in the dike, heroically trying to hold back the sea. It alone is expected to deal with the lunar landscape of the inner cities and their schools, whose teachers do their best against impossible odds.
Hoping against hope for help to arrive, they never imagined that they, too, would be abandoned by government, which, rather than thank them, now turns on them for “failing their students.”
“Today and for the past several months people have been debating the pros and cons of a proposal to extend the runways in order to accommodate long haul jet service. Surprisingly we have not heard anything about the underlying air transportation problem that this proposal is intended to solve. It cannot be access to national or international cities because of the range of destinations and frequencies available at Pearson. It cannot be access from the city centre to the major business destinations because Porter already serves them. It cannot be economic stimulation because the proposed destinations are already well served by other carriers from Pearson. The city does not have an air transportation problem. The proposal is solely about revenue and market share for a private company using a publicly owned airport.”—
A shoutout to Steph Guthrie @amirightfolks | #WiTOpoli #TOpoli
One of the smartest, bravest, strongest, and funniest women I know. It’s an honour and a privilege to be able to call her a friend, not to mention an inspiration. If I’ve learned anything in the last couple of years about privilege, systemic sexism, racism, rape culture, patriarchy, and feminism, it’s largely thanks to her.
But complaining about political correctness is about as fresh as a loaf of white bread from the 90s. And so, according to the National Review, the “trendy new complaint on college campuses”—or rather, the trendy new thing for assholes to complain about—is something called “microaggression,” with the conservative magazine’s use of “trendy” and “college” telling us all we need to know: This is some serious liberal bullshit.
Dr. Derald Sue, a psychology professor at Columbia University, is trotted out as the liberal caricature asked to do the impossible: defend the concept of microaggression in a publication whose readers stopped taking him seriously as soon as he was introducd as a professor at Columbia named “Derald.” But Dr. Sue does the best he can, informing the National Review’s smirking readers that a “microaggression” is an “everyday slight, putdown, indignity, or invalidation unintentionally directed toward a marginalized group.”
This sounds altogether reasonable, the idea that somewhere between lynching and saying “hello” there can lie something that causes offense.
“The trouble for his detractors was that Benn would not go quietly into old age. He didn’t just believe in “anything”: he believed in something very definite – socialism. He advocated for the weak against the strong, the poor against the rich and labour against capital. He believed that we were more effective as human beings when we worked together collectively than when we worked against each other as individuals. Such principles have long been threatened with extinction in British politics. Benn did a great deal to keep them alive. In the face of media onslaught and political marginalisation, that took courage. And, in so doing, he encouraged us.”—
“When everything has been globalised except our consent, corporations fill the void. In a system that governments have shown no interest in reforming, global power is often scarcely distinguishable from corporate power. It is exercised through backroom deals between bureaucrats and lobbyists.”—
“Below are the screenshots. The participants are as follows: Bart Tremblay: a non-elected student involved with the association for the Arts faculty Alexandre Giroux: On the board of directors of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa, and VP Social for the Science Student Association Alex Larochelle: VP Social for the Criminology Student Association Pat Marquis: VP Social of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa Michel Fournier-Simard: VP Social for the Political Science and International developement Association”—
“And so I have some questions about how the chief and the force have performed in this investigation. These are mostly overshadowed in the public debate by my concerns about how the mayor and his brother have performed, in their jobs and otherwise. But the way in which we’ve come to know so much about the mayor may be unsettling to me.”—
Ed Keenan pinpoints one of the most uncomfortable dynamics underlying this whole Blair-vs.-Ford shitshow: is our disgust with the brothers so profound, and so complete, that we’re prepared to sign off on getting rid of them By Any Means Necessary?Whatever It Takes? That’s an express ride to End-Justifies-The-Meansville.
Rather than “reaching out” to Canadians, political parties have been busy dividing the population into likely and unlikely voters; lists of friends and enemies. They now have the technology and the databases to do that sorting in an extremely sophisticated way.
It’s resulted in a world of absolutes, where you’re either 100 per cent right or 100 per cent wrong. The conversation, if it can be called that, consists of people yelling past each other and drive-by insults to the intelligence of anyone who doesn’t agree entirely with the team.
Who wants to live that way? Are we surprised that so few Canadians want to join political parties — or even listen to them?
“Problem: when the “biggest achievement” that you cite in three years as a councillor is that you donated some cash, then you are not particularly good at your job. Because you are not elected to dispense donations from your personal wealth, but to tackle systematic issues with the tools of policy and persuasion available to you via your office.”—
In response, I’d suggest this (from a comment on the original link):
As usual, Ed, you’re right. Somewhere in what passes for his brain, there was probably some form of calculation behind this morning’s hissyfit. And you’re also right in pointing out that it’s not right to give the putative mayor a pass on his ignorance and homophobia by just shrugging it off. And you also make a good point, and one that hadn’t occurred to me, when you argue that the continuing debate over this is, in itself, demeaning and insulting to our LGBT friends.
But it’s not being ignored or shrugged off. Anyone with more than a couple of brain cells has already rebuked him and then pushed him back into the irrelevance from which he’s desperately trying to escape. I just wonder what else is going on, since it’s so clearly a manufactured controversy. Clumsy misdirection isn’t his strong point either.
“There’s a fundamental divide at work here, pitting one side who sees through their proverbial windshield any imposition on the right to drive as a deviation from the norm, against those of us who’ve come to the realization that prioritizing private auto use above all other modes of transport is harmful to healthy city building.”—
In a very real sense, social optimization has replaced what used to be called search-engine optimization or SEO, and that means Facebook has replaced — or is close to replacing — Google as the subject of online publishers’ fevered hopes and dreams.
The biggest problem with this state of affairs, of course, is that publishers are just exchanging one master for another. In the end, they are just as subject to the whims and vagaries of Facebook and its changing algorithms as they were to Google — both are giant, proprietary platforms who ultimately have their own interests at heart, as much as they talk about how they benefit humanity.
And after all of these terrible interactions, all I saw materialize was a really sad dude, a man who was drunk more often than not, and always in the middle of an argument.
This is the picture of an Internet troll in real life: an unhappy, substance-abusing, violent, unemployed liar with no friends. I know this isn’t the story of every Internet troll, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the story of many of them.
“This is why Mr Obama calling inequality the “defining issue of our time” has moral resonance. It has nothing to do with the rabble envying Sub-Zero refrigerators. It is not about the iPhone/cheapo-cell phone gap. Inequality is problematic not because it makes some people jealous of others but because it effectively locks millions of people out of opportunities to improve their lives. Ms Anderson put it well: “To live in a low-crime, orderly, unpolluted neighborhood, free of run-down and abandoned property, graffiti-marred buildings, open drug dealing, prostitution, and gangs; to have access to public parks where one’s children can safely play, to well-maintained sidewalks and roads, to schools that offer an education good enough to qualify one for more than menial, dead-end jobs: how many cell phones and athletic shoes is that worth?””—
“… every group finds itself facing criticism, and ends up on the losing side of policy disputes, somewhere along the way; that’s democracy. The question is what happens next. Normal people take it in stride; even if they’re angry and bitter over political setbacks, they don’t cry persecution, compare their critics to Nazis and insist that the world revolves around their hurt feelings. But the rich are different from you and me.”—
“… it appears that Mr. Harper was intent on setting back the peace process, insulting the entire Arab world, making Canada persona non grata throughout the Middle East and angering the United States government which is trying desperately to convince Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to moderate his positions so as to kick-start negotiations.”—