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Seems if you are Quebec, you are not bound by Canadian Laws. 

FED GRITS SILENT ON QUEBEC LAW

New rules forbid some from wearing religious symbols

  • Calgary Sun
  • 23 Jun 2019
  • @kinsellawarren WARREN KINSELLA
img?regionKey=JXGGEftnhUCe3Cgk6jAy%2bQ%3d%3d  

Silence — that’s all that could be heard from the federal party leaders, essentially: Silence, or something approaching that.

The occasion: The decision of assorted Quebec politicians to pass a law telling religious people what they can wear — Jews,

Sikhs, but mainly Muslims.

The law, formerly called Bill 21, was passed last weekend in a special sitting of the so-called national assembly. It makes it illegal to wear religious symbols at work if you’re a teacher, bus driver, cop, nurse, or even a daycare worker. It applies to everyone who gets a stipend from the province, basically.

The law is illegal. It is wildly unconstitutional, for all the reasons you’d expect: It stomps all over freedom of speech, freedom of religion and equality rights. It giddily shreds the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The law is against the law. So, Quebec’s ruling class — who have never been particularly fussy about Jews, Sikhs or Muslims, truth be told — also stipulated their law would operate notwithstanding the charter.

In Quebec, now, you’ve theoretically got freedom of speech and religion — except, say, when the chauvinists in the national assembly say you don’t.

Stick that yarmulke in your pocket, Jew. Remove that turban your faith requires you to wear, Sikh. Put it away.

As history has shown us, freedoms rarely get swept away with dramatic decrees. Instead, we lose freedoms by degrees, in bits and pieces. Fascism typically slips into our lives without a sound, like a snake slithering into the kitchen unseen.

This week, the snake curled around the ankles of Justin Trudeau, Andrew Scheer and Jagmeet Singh. All of them pretended the snake was not there.

Justin Trudeau, in his teeny-tiniest mouse voice, suggested no one should “tell a woman what she can and cannot wear.” That’s all we got from him, pretty much.

Andrew Scheer, for his part, said he “would never present a bill like that at the federal level.” But, he hastily added, he would also leave the whole messy business to the “elected members in Quebec.”

Jagmeet Singh, who now can’t get a provincial job in Quebec because he wears a turban himself, said this about the law when it was tabled: “I think it’s hurtful, because I remember what it’s like to grow up and not feel like I belong.”

Words, but action? Actually, you know, doing something to protect minority rights and religious freedoms in Quebec?

Not on your life. It’s an election year, pal.

During one of the many, many debates Quebec has had about this legislated intolerance — when controversy was raging about the then-Liberal government’s bill that would force women to remove veils when, say, getting on a city bus — Francois Legault, then an Opposition leader, was asked about the crucifix hanging in the national assembly.

It should stay, he said. “We have a Christian heritage in Quebec,” he said. “I don’t see any problem keeping it.”

That’s when Francois Legault’s veil slipped, as it were. That’s when we got to see who he really represents.

At his very first press conference after the Quebec election, Legault dispensed with any notion that he would be the premier to all. To the Muslims (with their head scarves) and the Jews (with their kippahs) and the Hindus (with their markings on their faces), Legault’s message was plain: I don’t represent you. I don’t care about you. You are lower-class.

And, now, from our federal leaders: a shrug, indifference.

Jesus, from that spot He long had above the national assembly, is (as always) needed. Right about now, Jesus could remind our politicians, federal and provincial, what he said in Matthew 23:3. You know:

“Do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.”

As history has shown us, freedoms rarely get swept away with dramatic decrees. Instead, we lose freedoms by degrees, in bits and pieces. Fascism typically slips into our lives without a sound, like a snake slithering into the kitchen unseen.

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35 minutes ago, Marshall said:

Seems if you are Quebec, you are not bound by Canadian Laws. 

Seems to me to be the status quo in Canada ever since  the beginning of Confederation. They say jump or else...the rest of the country says “How Hi? “

With the present unrest in Alberta Canada could be on the verge of a major upheaval if things don’t change. If Trudeau wins the next parliament come October, I believe you can kiss confederation as we know it goodbye.

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Or maybe I should have said.....   Quebec has the guts to invoke the "Not Withstanding Clause" when they don't agree with the Federal Legislation.  Maybe time for other provinces to do so also. In fairness Quebec is not the only Province who has used it.

Here is a goto to a paper on the clause:

https://lop.parl.ca/sites/PublicWebsite/default/en_CA/ResearchPublications/201817E

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Here is a breakdown of the ever increasing list of letters in what used to describe the LGB community:

What was once LGBT is today LGBTQQIP2SAA, (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, pansexual, 2-spirited, asexual and allies).”

 

 

Just thought I’d keep everybody up to speed here, as a community service.😀

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Totally hypocritical of the Left. On one hand, they tell us to Trust Science when it comes to Climate change, but in turn they deny basic Biology/Science when it comes this social BS.

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Here is a read that really highlights the reality of 2019 in a very scary way.  It illustrates how the 1% will take over.

https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/blog/meet-the-economist-behind-the-one-percents-stealth-takeover-of-america#disqus_thread

Meet the Economist Behind the One Percent’s Stealth Takeover of America

Nobel laureate James Buchanan is the intellectual linchpin of the Koch-funded attack on democratic institutions, argues Duke historian Nancy MacLean

Ask people to name the key minds that have shaped America’s burst of radical right-wing attacks on working conditions, consumer rights and public services, and they will typically mention figures like free market-champion Milton Friedman, libertarian guru Ayn Rand, and laissez-faire economists Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises.

James McGill Buchanan is a name you will rarely hear unless you’ve taken several classes in economics. And if the Tennessee-born Nobel laureate were alive today, it would suit him just fine that most well-informed journalists, liberal politicians, and even many economics students have little understanding of his work.

The reason? Duke historian Nancy MacLean contends that his philosophy is so stark that even young libertarian acolytes are only introduced to it after they have accepted the relatively sunny perspective of Ayn Rand. (Yes, you read that correctly). If Americans really knew what Buchanan thought and promoted, and how destructively his vision is manifesting under their noses, it would dawn on them how close the country is to a transformation most would not even want to imagine, much less accept.

That is a dangerous blind spot, MacLean argues in a meticulously researched book, Democracy in Chains, a finalist for the National Book Award in Nonfiction. While Americans grapple with Donald Trump’s chaotic presidency, we may be missing the key to changes that are taking place far beyond the level of mere politics. Once these changes are locked into place, there may be no going back.

An Unlocked Door in Virginia

MacLean’s book reads like an intellectual detective story. In 2010, she moved to North Carolina, where a Tea Party-dominated Republican Party got control of both houses of the state legislature and began pushing through a radical program to suppress voter rights, decimate public services, and slash taxes on the wealthy that shocked a state long a beacon of southern moderation. Up to this point, the figure of James Buchanan flickered in her peripheral vision, but as she began to study his work closely, the events in North Carolina and also Wisconsin, where Governor Scott Walker was leading assaults on collective bargaining rights, shifted her focus.

Could it be that this relatively obscure economist’s distinctive thought was being put forcefully into action in real time?

MacLean could not gain access to Buchanan’s papers to test her hypothesis until after his death in January 2013. That year, just as the government was being shut down by Ted Cruz & Co., she traveled to George Mason University in Virginia, where the economist’s papers lay willy-nilly across the offices of a building now abandoned by the Koch-funded faculty to a new, fancier center in Arlington.

MacLean was stunned. The archive of the man who had sought to stay under the radar had been left totally unsorted and unguarded. The historian plunged in, and she read through boxes and drawers full of papers that included personal correspondence between Buchanan and billionaire industrialist Charles Koch. That’s when she had an amazing realization: here was the intellectual linchpin of a stealth revolution currently in progress.

A Theory of Property Supremacy

Buchanan, a 1940 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University who later attended the University of Chicago for graduate study, started out as a conventional public finance economist. But he grew frustrated by the way in which economic theorists ignored the political process.

Buchanan began working on a description of power that started out as a critique of how institutions functioned in the relatively liberal 1950s and ‘60s, a time when economist John Maynard Keynes’s ideas about the need for government intervention in markets to protect people from flaws so clearly demonstrated in the Great Depression held sway. Buchanan, MacLean notes, was incensed at what he saw as a move toward socialism and deeply suspicious of any form of state action that channels resources to the public. Why should the increasingly powerful federal government be able to force the wealthy to pay for goods and programs that served ordinary citizens and the poor?

In thinking about how people make political decisions and choices, Buchanan concluded that you could only understand them as individuals seeking personal advantage. In an interview cited by MacLean, the economist observed that in the 1950s Americans commonly assumed that elected officials wanted to act in the public interest. Buchanan vehemently disagreed — that was a belief he wanted, as he put it, to “tear down.” His ideas developed into a theory that came to be known as “public choice.”

Buchanan’s view of human nature was distinctly dismal. Adam Smith saw human beings as self-interested and hungry for personal power and material comfort, but he also acknowledged social instincts like compassion and fairness. Buchanan, in contrast, insisted that people were primarily driven by venal self-interest. Crediting people with altruism or a desire to serve others was “romantic” fantasy: politicians and government workers were out for themselves, and so, for that matter, were teachers, doctors, and civil rights activists.  They wanted to control others and wrest away their resources: “Each person seeks mastery over a world of slaves,” he wrote in his 1975 book, The Limits of Liberty.

Does that sound like your kindergarten teacher? It did to Buchanan.

The people who needed protection were property owners, and their rights could only be secured though constitutional limits to prevent the majority of voters from encroaching on them, an idea Buchanan lays out in works like Property as a Guarantor of Liberty (1993). MacLean observes that Buchanan saw society as a cutthroat realm of makers (entrepreneurs) constantly under siege by takers (everybody else) His own language was often more stark, warning the alleged “prey” of “parasites” and “predators” out to fleece them.

In 1965 the economist launched a center dedicated to his theories at the University of Virginia, which later relocated to George Mason University. MacLean describes how he trained thinkers to push back against the Brown v. Board of Education decision to desegregate America’s public schools and to challenge the constitutional perspectives and federal policy that enabled it. She notes that he took care to use economic and political precepts, rather than overtly racial arguments, to make his case, which nonetheless gave cover to racists who knew that spelling out their prejudices would alienate the country.

All the while, a ghost hovered in the background — that of John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, senator and seventh vice president of the United States.

Calhoun was an intellectual and political powerhouse in the South from the 1820s until his death in 1850, expending his formidable energy to defend slavery. Calhoun, called the “Marx of the Master Class” by historian Richard Hofstadter, saw himself and his fellow southern oligarchs as victims of the majority. Therefore, as MacLean explains, he sought to create “constitutional gadgets” to constrict the operations of government.

Economists Tyler Cowen and Alexander Tabarrok, both of George Mason University, have noted the two men’s affinities, heralding Calhoun “a precursor of modern public choice theory” who “anticipates” Buchanan’s thinking. MacLean observes that both focused on how democracy constrains property owners and aimed for ways to restrict the latitude of voters. She argues that unlike even the most property-friendly founders Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, Buchanan wanted a private governing elite of corporate power that was wholly released from public accountability.

Suppressing voting, changing legislative processes so that a normal majority could no longer prevail, sowing public distrust of government institutions— all these were tactics toward the goal. But the Holy Grail was the Constitution: alter it and you could increase and secure the power of the wealthy in a way that no politician could ever challenge.

Gravy Train to Oligarchy

MacLean explains that Virginia’s white elite and the pro-corporate president of the University of Virginia, Colgate Darden, who had married into the DuPont family, found Buchanan’s ideas to be spot on. In nurturing a new intelligentsia to commit to his values, Buchanan stated that he needed a “gravy train,” and with backers like Charles Koch and conservative foundations like the Scaife Family Charitable Trusts, others hopped aboard. Money, Buchanan knew, can be a persuasive tool in academia. His circle of influence began to widen.

MacLean observes that the Virginia school, as Buchanan’s brand of economic and political thinking is known, is a kind of cousin to the better-known, market-oriented Chicago and Austrian schools — proponents of all three were members of the Mont Pelerin Society, an international neoliberal organization which included Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek. But the Virginia school’s focus and career missions were distinct. In an interview with the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), MacLean described Friedman and Buchanan as yin and yang:

“Friedman was this genial, personable character who loved to be in the limelight and made a sunny case for the free market and the freedom to choose and so forth. Buchanan was the dark side of this: he thought, ok, fine, they can make a case for the free market, but everybody knows that free markets have externalities and other problems. So he wanted to keep people from believing that government could be the alternative to those problems.”

The Virginia school also differs from other economic schools in a marked reliance on abstract theory rather than mathematics or empirical evidence. That a Nobel Prize was awarded in 1986 to an economist who so determinedly bucked the academic trends of his day was nothing short of stunning, MacLean observes. But, then, it was the peak of the Reagan era, an administration several Buchanan students joined.

Buchanan’s school focused on public choice theory, later adding constitutional economics and the new field of law and economics to its core research and advocacy. The economist saw that his vision would never come to fruition by focusing on who rules. It was much better to focus on the rules themselves, and that required a “constitutional revolution.”

MacLean describes how the economist developed a grand project to train operatives to staff institutions funded by like-minded tycoons, most significantly Charles Koch, who became interested in his work in the ‘70s and sought the economist’s input in promoting “Austrian economics” in the U.S. and in advising the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.

Koch, whose mission was to save capitalists like himself from democracy, found the ultimate theoretical tool in the work of the southern economist. The historian writes that Koch preferred Buchanan to Milton Friedman and his “Chicago boys” because, she says, quoting a libertarian insider, they wanted “to make government work more efficiently when the true libertarian should be tearing it out at the root.”

With Koch’s money and enthusiasm, Buchanan’s academic school evolved into something much bigger. By the 1990s, Koch realized that Buchanan’s ideas — transmitted through stealth and deliberate deception, as MacLean amply documents — could help take government down through incremental assaults that the media would hardly notice. The tycoon knew that the project was extremely radical, even a “revolution” in governance, but he talked like a conservative to make his plans sound more palatable.

MacLean details how partnered with Koch, Buchanan’s outpost at George Mason University was able to connect libertarian economists with right-wing political actors and supporters of corporations like Shell Oil, Exxon, Ford, IBM, Chase Manhattan Bank, and General Motors. Together they could push economic ideas to the public through media, promote new curricula for economics education, and court politicians in nearby Washington, D.C.

At the 1997 fiftieth anniversary of the Mont Pelerin Society, MacLean recounts that Buchanan and his associate Henry Manne, a founding theorist of libertarian economic approaches to law, focused on such affronts to capitalists as environmentalism and public health and welfare, expressing eagerness to dismantle Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare as well as kill public education because it tended to foster community values. Feminism had to go, too: the scholars considered it a socialist project.

The Oligarchic Revolution Unfolds

Buchanan’s ideas began to have huge impact, especially in America and in Britain. In his home country, the economist was deeply involved in efforts to cut taxes on the wealthy in 1970s and 1980s and he advised proponents of Reagan Revolution in their quest to unleash markets and posit government as the “problem” rather than the “solution.” The Koch-funded Virginia school coached scholars, lawyers, politicians, and business people to apply stark right-wing perspectives on everything from deficits to taxes to school privatization. In Britain, Buchanan’s work helped to inspire the public sector reforms of Margaret Thatcher and her political progeny.

To put the success into perspective, MacLean points to the fact that Henry Manne, whom Buchanan was instrumental in hiring, created legal programs for law professors and federal judges which could boast that by 1990 two of every five sitting federal judges had participated. “40 percent of the U.S. federal judiciary,” writes MacLean, “had been treated to a Koch-backed curriculum.”

MacLean illustrates that in South America, Buchanan was able to first truly set his ideas in motion by helping a bare-knuckles dictatorship ensure the permanence of much of the radical transformation it inflicted on a country that had been a beacon of social progress. The historian emphasizes that Buchanan’s role in the disastrous Pinochet government of Chile has been underestimated partly because unlike Milton Friedman, who advertised his activities, Buchanan had the shrewdness to keep his involvement quiet. With his guidance, the military junta deployed public choice economics in the creation of a new constitution, which required balanced budgets and thereby prevented the government from spending to meet public needs. Supermajorities would be required for any changes of substance, leaving the public little recourse to challenge programs like the privatization of social security.

The dictator’s human rights abuses and pillage of the country’s resources did not seem to bother Buchanan, MacLean argues, so long as the wealthy got their way. “Despotism may be the only organizational alternative to the political structure that we observe,” the economist had written in The Limits of Liberty. If you have been wondering about the end result of the Virginia school philosophy, well, the economist helpfully spelled it out.

A World of Slaves

Most Americans haven’t seen what’s coming.

MacLean notes that when the Kochs’ control of the GOP kicked into high gear after the financial crisis of 2007-08, many were so stunned by the shock-and-awe” tactics of shutting down government, destroying labor unions, and rolling back services that meet citizens’ basic necessities that few realized that many leading the charge had been trained in economics at Virginia institutions, especially George Mason University. Wasn’t it just a new, particularly vicious wave of partisan politics?

It wasn’t. MacLean convincingly illustrates that it was something far more disturbing.

MacLean is not the only scholar to sound the alarm that the country is experiencing a hostile takeover that is well on its way to radically, and perhaps permanently, altering the society. Peter Temin, former head of the MIT economics department, INET grantee, and author of The Vanishing Middle Class, as well as economist Gordon Lafer of the University of Oregon and author of The One Percent Solution, have provided eye-opening analyses of where America is headed and why. MacLean adds another dimension to this dystopian big picture, acquainting us with what has been overlooked in the capitalist right wing’s playbook.

She observes, for example, that many liberals have missed the point of strategies like privatization. Efforts to “reform” public education and Social Security are not just about a preference for the private sector over the public sector, she argues. You can wrap your head around those, even if you don’t agree. Instead, MacLean contends, the goal of these strategies is to radically alter power relations, weakening pro-public forces and enhancing the lobbying power and commitment of the corporations that take over public services and resources, thus advancing the plans to dismantle democracy and make way for a return to oligarchy. The majority will be held captive so that the wealthy can finally be free to do as they please, no matter how destructive.

MacLean argues that despite the rhetoric of Virginia school acolytes, shrinking big government is not really the point. The oligarchs require a government with tremendous new powers so that they can bypass the will of the people. This, as MacLean points out, requires greatly expanding police powers “to control the resultant popular anger.”  The spreading use of pre-emption by GOP-controlled state legislatures to suppress local progressive victories such as living wage ordinances is another example of the right’s aggressive use of state power.

Could these right-wing capitalists allow private companies to fill prisons with helpless citizens—or, more profitable still, right-less undocumented immigrants? They could, and have. Might they engineer a retirement crisis by moving Americans to inadequate 401(k)s? Done. Take away the rights of consumers and workers to bring grievances to court by making them sign forced arbitration agreements? Check. Gut public education to the point where ordinary people have such bleak prospects that they have no energy to fight back? Getting it done.

Would they even refuse children clean water? Actually, yes.

MacLean notes that in Flint, Michigan, Americans got a taste of what the emerging oligarchy will look like — it tastes like poisoned water. There, the Koch-funded Mackinac Center pushed for legislation that would allow the governor to take control of communities facing emergency and put unelected managers in charge. In Flint, one such manager switched the city’s water supply to a polluted river, but the Mackinac Center’s lobbyists ensured that the law was fortified by protections against lawsuits that poisoned inhabitants might bring. Tens of thousands of children were exposed to lead, a substance known to cause serious health problems including brain damage.

Tyler Cowen has provided an economic justification for this kind of brutality, stating that where it is difficult to get clean water, private companies should take over and make people pay for it. “This includes giving them the right to cut off people who don’t—or can’t—pay their bills,” the economist explains.

To many this sounds grotesquely inhumane, but it is a way of thinking that has deep roots in America. In Why I, Too, Am Not a Conservative (2005), Buchanan considers the charge of heartlessness made against the kind of classic liberal that he took himself to be. MacLean interprets his discussion to mean that people who “failed to foresee and save money for their future needs” are to be treated, as Buchanan put it, “as subordinate members of the species, akin to…animals who are dependent.’”

Do you have your education, health care, and retirement personally funded against all possible exigencies? Then that means you.

Buchanan was not a dystopian novelist. He was a Nobel Laureate whose sinister logic exerts vast influence over America’s trajectory. It is no wonder that Cowen, on his popular blog Marginal Revolution, does not mention Buchanan on a list of underrated influential libertarian thinkers, though elsewhere on the blog, he expresses admiration for several of Buchanan’s contributions and acknowledges that the southern economist “thought more consistently in terms of ‘rules of the games’ than perhaps any other economist.”

The rules of the game are now clear.

Research like MacLean’s provides hope that toxic ideas like Buchanan’s may finally begin to face public scrutiny. Yet at this very moment, the Kochs’ State Policy Network and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group that connects corporate agents to conservative lawmakers to produce legislation, are involved in projects that the Trump-obsessed media hardly notices, like pumping money into state judicial races. Their aim is to stack the legal deck against Americans in ways that MacLean argues may have even bigger effects than Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court ruling which unleashed unlimited corporate spending on American politics. The goal is to create a judiciary that will interpret the Constitution in favor of corporations and the wealthy in ways that Buchanan would have heartily approved.

“The United States is now at one of those historic forks in the road whose outcome will prove as fateful as those of the 1860s, the 1930s, and the 1960s,” writes MacLean. “To value liberty for the wealthy minority above all else and enshrine it in the nation’s governing rules, as Calhoun and Buchanan both called for and the Koch network is achieving, play by play, is to consent to an oligarchy in all but the outer husk of representative form.”

Nobody can say we weren’t warned.

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time to start thinking and doing things within our control .   Being kind to dumb animals and people.   Reducing our imprint on the world. etc etc.....  and of course enjoying life.  and of course stopping bitching about Politicians and esp. those who we don't get a chance to vote for or against/ 😀  Inother words..... control what you can with the realization that you have absolutely no hope in hell of controlling those outside of your sphere.

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I agree with everything you say, with one caveat...

Do it knowing you are being opposed by very strong forces who wish to control you.

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1 hour ago, deicer said:

I agree with everything you say, with one caveat...

Do it knowing you are being opposed by very strong forces who wish to control you.

 

CB071EF2-E473-4683-AD92-E7BAFB65708C.jpeg

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GOODBYE TO GLOBAL DECENCY

 

  • Calgary Herald
  • 6 Jul 2019
  • TERRY GLAVIN
img?regionKey=y4csD1MQShnj4Pke%2bKvuzg%3d%3dSMIALOWSKI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES BRENDAN The G20 Summit has produced a 12-page Osaka Leaders Declaration full of “disingenuous mumbo jumbo,” Terry Glavin writes.

Here’s an idea. Let’s pick 20 people at random from the millions of Hongkongers who have braved nightsticks and tear gas and pepper spray in the cause of democracy over the past few weeks, and replace the leaders of the G20 with them. This is totally out of left field, I fully realize. But for the fun of it, do you think you could make a case that the world would be, even in the slightest, worse off?

This wouldn’t be democratic, of course, but then again, look who’s in charge of the G20, and look at the disingenuous mumbo jumbo of the 12-page G20 Osaka Leaders Declaration. It’s exactly what you would expect of a document that must somehow purport to bear the imprimaturs of China’s Xi Jinping, Germany’s Angela Merkel, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Canada’s Justin Trudeau, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and 15 more such characters, including of course the infamously louche American president, Donald Trump.

There’s all sorts of jibjab about harnessing powers, seizing opportunities, tackling challenges and redoubling efforts, as well as affirming this, enhancing that, achieving things, fostering other things, reiterating even more things, and so on. The lies are amazing. “We share the notion of a human-centred future society .... ” No you don’t. “We remain committed to play a leading role in the global efforts to prevent and fight against corruption .... ” No you don’t. “We commit to continue support for girls’ and women’s education and training .... ” Like hell you do.

Behold, the rules-based international order. Twenty world leaders, ostensibly representing 90 per cent of the global economy and two-thirds of the world’s peoples — and really half of the world’s unfree peoples — and of course anything of substance occurs on the sidelines, even the gossip. Are we really going to allow Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman to host next year’s meeting, in Riyadh? Wouldn’t that be just a bit indelicate, now that Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, has just more or less accused bin Salman of ordering the execution of that annoying Washington Post correspondent Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi in Istanbul last October?

And what in heaven’s name is Ivanka Trump doing here? Oh yes. Well, among other things, Justin Trudeau and Ivanka are supposed to showcase this thing Trudeau cooked up with the president’s daughter in Washington a couple of years back at Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women Summit. It’s morphed into something called EMPOWER, in capital letters, and they’ve since rooked Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands into it, and that’s why she’s here, too.

Poor dear Justin. Canada is enduring a sustained economic, technological and diplomatic attack waged by China, which has embargoed Canadian canola products and meat products and soybeans, made hostages of diplomat-on-leave Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, sentenced two other Canadians to death on drug-smuggling convictions, and he just can’t get a break.

All because Canada was a good global citizen and agreed to act on a U.S. Justice Department extradition warrant for Meng Wanzhou, wanted stateside on 13 counts of wire fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy arising from the Shenzhen telecom behemoth Huawei’s alleged double-dealing and sanctions-busting in Iran. Trump said he’d put in a good word for Canada at the G20, but there’s no evidence he did. And poor Chrystia Freeland! All she’s managed to do is get a handful of countries to sign a petition to the effect that kidnapping is a bad thing.

It’s not like any country is going to go out of its way to risk enraging Xi Jinping, though, if Canada won’t even make the effort. After all, who was that at the COWS ice cream parlour in Beijing this week, chatting up all the wonderful business opportunities that lie just waiting to be seized, or harnessed, or tackled, in China? Why it was Mary Ng, Trudeau’s minister of small business and export development. And who was that with her? Senator Peter Harder, of course, the head of the Canada-china Business Council who Trudeau recruited to head up his transition team after the 2015 federal election, then appointed to lead the government side in the Senate.

“We hope that Canada is not naive,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said after the G20 summiteers and their various sherpas and attachés and deputies and hangers-on had left Osaka. This was in reference to the gallant “coalition” Ottawa says it has assembled around the Korig and Spavor case. “Canada should not naively believe that mustering so-called allies to put pressure on China will have any effect.”

You can’t say Beijing is wrong about that. It’s not like Trudeau’s government has done anything to cause Beijing to take Canada seriously. To Trudeau’s advantage, mind you, the sharpest media scrutiny he was subjected to in Osaka devolved into a controversy surrounding whether or not a video clip making the rounds had unfairly portrayed him as having been snubbed by Brazilian strongman Jair Bolsonaro.

At least Freeland is still plugging away at shoring up Ukraine’s sovereignty, what with that Toronto conference and everything, where Canada convinced Ukraine to steady the course on democracy and expand trade with Canada, in exchange for Ukraine taking $25 million to spend on “inclusive and gender-responsive” policy as part of a $45-million support package. At least somebody, somewhere, cares about Ukraine. Only last month, the Council of Europe readmitted Russia to its parliamentary assembly, charging Russia only 33 million euros in blood money. Russia was kicked out five years ago after invading and annexing a huge chunk of Eastern Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula, resulting in 13,000 deaths and causing more than one million people to pack their bags and trudge the backroads in search of food and shelter. Hey, bygones.

More bygones: As much as half of China’s pig population has had to be slaughtered and incinerated or buried because of a swine flu outbreak that Qu Dongyu, China’s vice minister of agriculture and rural affairs, did not seem to notice until it was a full-bore crisis. But Qu was elected to head up the UN’S Food and Agriculture Organization on June 25. Wouldn’t want to upset Beijing and vote against their guy, would we?

And that’s the rules-based international order for you. Everywhere you look, it’s humming along just brilliantly, the G20 even more so than the despot-packed UN Human Rights Council, or, say, Interpol, which held its cybersecurity meetings in Russia just a couple weeks back at a conference sponsored by the Kremlin-owned Sberbank. But at least Interpol isn’t run by China’s nominee, Meng Hongwei, anymore, since China disappeared the guy. Something about corruption, apparently. Who the hell knows?

Picking 20 random marchers in Hong Kong to run the G20 doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?

Terry Glavin is an author and journalist.

Behold, the rules-based international order. Twenty world leaders, ostensibly representing 90 per cent of the global economy and two-thirds of the world’s peoples ... and of course anything of substance occurs on the sidelines, even the gossip. Terry Glavin

It’s not like any country is going to risk enraging China’s Xi Jinping.

 

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4 hours ago, Jaydee said:

 

CB071EF2-E473-4683-AD92-E7BAFB65708C.jpeg

You're right!  We're not allowed to criticize Donnie(in your opinion), are we?

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The Socialist Leftists criticize Donnie, The Center and the Right criticize Trudeau. All is fair in love and war.

Edited by Jaydee

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Further to the post above on the 1% taking over, this is another manifestation  of those policies...

http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2109777-2,00.html

Incarceration Nation

The war on drugs has succeeded only in putting millions of Americans in jail

 

360_cfareed_0402.jpg    

Televangelist Pat Robertson recently made a gaffe. A gaffe, as journalist Michael Kinsley defined it, occurs when a political figure accidentally tells the truth. Robertson's truth is that America's drug war has failed and that the country should legalize marijuana. This view goes against the deepest political, moral and religious positions Robertson has held for decades, so imagine the blinding evidence that he has had to confront--and that has been mounting for years--on this topic.

Robertson drew attention to one of the great scandals of American life. "Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today," writes the New Yorker's Adam Gopnik. "Over all, there are now more people under 'correctional supervision' in America--more than 6 million--than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height."

Is this hyperbole? Here are the facts. The U.S. has 760 prisoners per 100,000 citizens. That's not just many more than in most other developed countries but seven to 10 times as many. Japan has 63 per 100,000, Germany has 90, France has 96, South Korea has 97, and Britain--with a rate among the highest--has 153. Even developing countries that are well known for their crime problems have a third of U.S. numbers. Mexico has 208 prisoners per 100,000 citizens, and Brazil has 242. As Robertson pointed out on his TV show, The 700 Club, "We here in America make up 5% of the world's population but we make up 25% of the [world's] jailed prisoners."

There is a temptation to look at this staggering difference in numbers and chalk it up to one more aspect of American exceptionalism. America is different, so the view goes, and it has always had a Wild West culture and a tough legal system. But the facts don't support the conventional wisdom. This wide gap between the U.S. and the rest of the world is relatively recent. In 1980 the U.S.'s prison population was about 150 per 100,000 adults. It has more than quadrupled since then. So something has happened in the past 30 years to push millions of Americans into prison.

That something, of course, is the war on drugs. Drug convictions went from 15 inmates per 100,000 adults in 1980 to 148 in 1996, an almost tenfold increase. More than half of America's federal inmates today are in prison on drug convictions. In 2009 alone, 1.66 million Americans were arrested on drug charges, more than were arrested on assault or larceny charges. And 4 of 5 of those arrests were simply for possession.

Over the past four decades, the U.S. has spent more than $1 trillion fighting the war on drugs. The results? In 2011 a global commission on drug policy issued a report signed by George Shultz, Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan; the archconservative Peruvian writer-politician Mario Vargas Llosa; former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker; and former Presidents of Brazil and Mexico Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Ernesto Zedillo. It begins, "The global war on drugs has failed ... Vast expenditures on criminalization and repressive measures directed at producers, traffickers and consumers of illegal drugs have clearly failed to effectively curtail supply or consumption." Its main recommendation is to "encourage experimentation by governments with models of legal regulation of drugs to undermine the power of organized crime and safeguard the health and security of their citizens."

Bipartisan forces have created the trend that we see. Conservatives and liberals love to sound tough on crime, and both sides agreed in the 1990s to a wide range of new federal infractions, many of them carrying mandatory sentences for time in state or federal prison. And as always in American politics, there is the money trail. Many state prisons are now run by private companies that have powerful lobbyists in state capitals. These firms can create jobs in places where steady work is rare; in many states, they have also helped create a conveyor belt of cash for prisons from treasuries to outlying counties.

Partly as a result, the money that states spend on prisons has risen at six times the rate of spending on higher education in the past 20 years. In 2011, California spent $9.6 billion on prisons vs. $5.7 billion on the UC system and state colleges. Since 1980, California has built one college campus and 21 prisons. A college student costs the state $8,667 per year; a prisoner costs it $45,006 a year.

The results are gruesome at every level. We are creating a vast prisoner underclass in this country at huge expense, increasingly unable to function in normal society, all in the name of a war we have already lost. If Pat Robertson can admit he was wrong, surely it is not too much to ask the same of America's political leaders.

 

Edited by deicer

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https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/sentiment-building-to-deport-nations-billionaires

Sentiment Building to Deport Nation’s Billionaires

 

THE HAMPTONS (The Borowitz Report)—They don’t pay taxes. They circumvent our laws. They get free stuff from the government. They are America’s billionaires, and many would like to see them gone.

According to a new survey by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, the American people hold the nation’s billionaires in lower esteem than ever before, and a majority would like to see new laws enacted to deport them.

“They come here, take thousands of our jobs, and export them overseas,” one respondent said, in an opinion echoed by many others in the survey.

“They are part of a shadow economy that sucks billions of dollars out of the United States every year and puts it in Switzerland and the Caymans,” another said.

Images of hedge-fund managers arriving via helicopter in the Hamptons this summer have only reinforced the impression that authorities have turned a blind eye to their movements.

“Many of these people should be in prison, and the government is looking the other way,” one respondent said.

Stirring even more controversy is the billionaires’ practice of having babies in the United States and using the nation’s porous estate-tax laws to pass down untold wealth to the next generation.

“They should leave and take their children with them,” one respondent said.

Even after it is pointed out to respondents that some billionaires, such as Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, have made significant philanthropic contributions to the world, a majority of those polled stubbornly maintained their negative views of billionaires.

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I know that post is meant as Satire/Humour but I wouldn’t rule out such stupidity from the Occasio-Cortez / Bernie Sanders crowd.

 

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Yes, it is satire, however, these two lines from the piece ring true.....

“They come here, take thousands of our jobs, and export them overseas,” one respondent said, in an opinion echoed by many others in the survey.

“They are part of a shadow economy that sucks billions of dollars out of the United States every year and puts it in Switzerland and the Caymans,” another said.

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I’m not particularly socialist in my views but the Hamptons is not the only problem with billionaires.

London England is the home of over 100 billionaires and has an increasing problem of non doms...non domiciled property owners who drive up property  prices, over develop the property, then stay in said property maybe 1-4 weeks a year.......downside... the neighbourhoods collapse, grocery stores, pubs, restaurants lose business... rents go up due property values and eventually go out of business.

One of my favourites is now closed:

https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d1043859-Reviews-Audley-London_England.html

  • Thanks 1

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Lack of Gender Equality or perhaps just a Lack of Trust based on results?


             Stephanie Taylor and Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, July 9, 2019 4:35AM EDT

SASKATOON -- Canada's 13 provincial and territorial leaders are in Saskatchewan this week, but for the first time in years, the annual gathering won't have women at the table.

"Symbolically, it's very significant that there is no woman premier," said Sylvia Bashevkin, a political science professor at the University of Toronto, who researches women in politics and recently edited a book on the effect of women in the premier's office.

She said the last time Canada was without any woman as premier was between November 2002, when Pat Duncan left her post in the Yukon, and in November 2008, when Eva Aariak was sworn in as premier of Nunavut.

By early 2014, more than half of Canadians lived in a jurisdiction governed by a woman. Rachel Notley was the last one standing until her government was defeated in Alberta three months ago.

Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have never had a woman as premier.

The Council of Federation conference, running Tuesday through Thursday, should serve as a reminder of the under representation of women at the premier's table, Bashevkin said.

It may also cause people to question whether gender diversity in Canada was really improving, she added.

"It's not just that things have stalled, but they've measurably gone backwards," Bashevkin said.

"We have to come back to the picture that's going to come out of this premiers' meeting and ask ourselves ... what does it mean when we felt we've made all these breakthroughs and then we can go back to zero?"

The Council of Federation conference starts at Big River First Nation, where the premiers are to meet with leaders of national Indigenous organizations, including the Assembly of First Nations.

The gathering then shifts to Saskatoon, where premiers will participate in two-days of closed-door meetings at a downtown hotel.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, who is hosting the event, said health care, reducing trade barriers and increasing economic competitiveness are all topics on his agenda.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has said that in addition to trade and the need to further develop the energy sector, he'll be pushing for jurisdictions to mutually recognize professional credentials so workers can more easily move between provinces for work.

Moe and Kenney kicked off the week together at the Calgary Stampede, where they met with their conservative counterparts from Ontario and New Brunswick, along with the premier from the consensus-based government of the Northwest Territories.

They discussed hurdles in getting Canadian resources to market, as well as their opposition to federal bills overhauling resource reviews and banning oil tankers from the northern B.C. coast, and their common causing in fighting against the federal carbon tax.

Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan are all challenging Ottawa's carbon levy in court.

Bashevkin said she doesn't think an absence of women at the Saskatoon meeting will affect the content and tone of discussions.

There are assumptions that women tend to be less confrontational and seek consensus more than men, she said, but it's not necessarily true.

"We could ask right now ... are the relations between British Columbia and Alberta any better than they were when we had two women premiers?

"The answer's probably not," she said, adding that pipelines were still front and centre under Notley and former B.C. premier Christy Clark.

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