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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

#BlackLivesMatter but not in #ferguson 

The failure to indict Darren Wilson is a travesty.



 By Langston Hughes:
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Ferguson:
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Chicago:
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Seattle:
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New York:
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Los Angeles:
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Washington:


And in Toronto tomorrow

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Fantino "explains" government budgeting 

So it has been revealed that Veterans Affairs had $1.1 billion dollars in unused funding over seven years. Now Veterans Affairs minister Julian Fantino is claiming that the Harper Con's "balanced" budgets where not achieved at the expense of our veterans. He is minister-splaining the government budget to us ignorant plebs:
Fantino said claims that the unused funds were a strategy to balance the budget are false.
"The funding is allocated and if it's not spent it's recycled back into continuing programs and services for veterans. It's not lost money," said Fantino.
He called it a technical budget process that does not hamper services and programs for veterans.
"If I can put it bluntly, this is a technical kind of to and fro in the budgeting process of government," he said.
Oh, sure, that makes sense.  And those flying pigs over there are actually F-35s.

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Ferguson waits 

Decision day in Ferguson will be Monday at the earliest | Toronto Star:

“We’re living under a governor’s declared State of Emergency, we’re facing school closures, and we’ve got enough extra law enforcement here to make us all feel like enemies in our own country. And all over a process that should have been decided months ago.”
Is there anyone, anywhere, who thinks that Darren Wilson will be indicted?

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Sounds of silence 



Just a note that I'm sorry for my silence this month.
Some family stuff is keeping me busy, but also I am being distracted by technology -- I now have a little tablet computer and I find I am using it more often during the day to check email and surf the web, and it is not set up to let me also do blockquotes and blog posts, etc.

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Thursday, November 06, 2014

Misconduct charges cannot be anonymous 

In my previous job, I was involved in dealing with accusations of misconduct. One of the basic principles of procedural fairness is that accusations cannot be taken seriously if they are anonymous. An accuser has to be willing to come forward before the charge can be dealt with and accused can be required to answer to it.
Imagine if your career could be ruined by an anonymous charge of assault, and you were not permitted to know who made the accusation or where the accusation had come from?
That's a kangaroo court.
So Trudeau was informed about the misconduct charges against two Liberal MPs late last week, then he acted immediately to suspend them.
And now Mulcair and NDP whip Turmel are "shocked" that Trudeau "went public" against the wishes of the alleged victims?
Was Trudeau supposed to just keep quiet and do nothing?
Is that what the NDP would have done?
Is that what they did?

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Follow-up 

Just to follow up on my previous post, Annie Laurie provides links to discuss the Terrorist or Head Case? question.
She notes this article from The New Yorker The Line Between Terrorism and Mental Illness
In a world where “clash of civilizations” rhetoric is pervasive, it is possible that radical Islam offers the same appeal to some unstable individuals that anarchism had for Leon Czolgosz, who killed President William McKinley in 1901, and that Marxism had for Lee Harvey Oswald. If you are alienated from the existing social order, the possibility of joining, even as a “lone wolf” killer, any larger social movement that promises to overturn that society may be attractive. For a person radicalized in this manner, the fantasy of political violence is a chance to gain agency, make history, and be part of something larger.
She also posts some off-the-wall opinions from, who else, The War Nerd.
These guys are surplus, after all, surplus males in an era doing some fairly frantic tinkering with that whole concept. The best way to deal with them is let them take one for the team they’ve talked themselves into joining. ...
Islamic State is such a perfect organ for draining the surplus reactionary-male rage from a certain demographic of the secular West ... a sort of global kidney, drawing in and filtering out a pool of potentially troublesome young males. And all done far away, in the bowels of Syria. But only if places like Canada have enough cold-blooded sense to let this piece of luck keep doing its job. And that means only one thing: business class upgrades for every male under 25 with a record of jihadist rants and a one-way ticket to Istanbul.
And by the way, we're going on holidays this week, so I won't be able to post anything or even check on the blog until next weekend. Happy Halloween!

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Friday, October 24, 2014

It isn't "terrorism", its mental illness 

What Canada should always remember about Wednesday was the courage of our politicians -- hearing a fusillade of gunfire right outside their meeting room, they armed themselves with flagpoles and prepared to defend Parliament and their colleagues against what they must have believed at the time to be an invading force.
But to me, it inflates the importance and significance of Wednesday's attack in Ottawa to continue to call it "terrorism" or even "micro-terrorism".
It actually appears to be an almost-random outburst by a mentally ill man.
While Michael Zehaf-Bibeau may well have thought of himself as an "ISIS terrorist", the attack he made was apparently not planned out in any particular fashion nor was it pointed towards any real goal -- according to the Globe and Mail, he first shot an unarmed soldier who was out in the open, standing still, then he ran crazily down the street, hijacked a car, drove to the Centre Block, and ran inside the Parliament Building. If he was thinking to shoot up the caucus meetings or kill politicians, he didn't even seem to know exactly where they were, apparently running right past the caucus meeting rooms before he was shot down.
Even if he was wearing a ghutra, this doesn't make it terrorism; its mental illness.
Rather than worrying too much about terrorism in Canada, we would do better to make sure a person this delusional doesn't have access to a rifle.
Oh, wait...
As Montreal Simon says about both this attack and the running down of two soldiers in Quebec:
For the day we allow some deranged gunman, or some ISIS wannabe from small town Quebec, or just two pathetic losers like these...To scare us, and change our Canadian way of life, is the day we lose our last shred of self respect.
It's the day the crazies WIN.

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