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    Sometimes, it seems, my fellow Albertans can be quite the confused lot.  Actually no, that is wrong; we are not confused, just bi-polar.  In Alberta have this curious duality the runs the course of our electoral politics.  We want to be rugged, independent, self-made individuals with no interference from any level of government – private industry and unchecked capitalism is how we roll.

In the boom times…

The other identity like we like to periodically break out (and inflict on the rest of Canada) is the simple, hardworking Albertan who just can’t make ends meet and if the Government only understood our hardship and not alienate us with its ivory tower elitist policies and just HELP us (‘help’ is usually bailing out Big Business at the bottom of the business cycle).   We also have to feel persecuted and neglected at this time as the response from the people we’ve just been telling to f*ck off and leave us alone (during the boom years) are not jumping up and saving us as quickly as we’d like.

“Here it’s a very partisan response to a specific government that western conservatives really, really don’t like.” Smith said.”

[…]

“Smith said the movement in Canada targets the federal Liberal party and its actions toward the oil industry.

“No matter what they do in that sector, the Liberals seem to be criticized for not doing enough,” he said.

“It’s a pretty big stretch to suggest that a government that just bought a pipeline and is now passing over a billion dollars in support for oil or the oil sector is somehow anti-oil, but that’s the rhetoric that comes out of the conservative protests in Canada.”

So, we have these rugged small government loving individualists protesting to get more government intervention into the economy, not on their own behalf, but on the behalf of the oil companies.  The very same oil comapanies that continue to make generous profits and pay substantial dividends to shareholders:

“Lead author Ian Hussey said Suncor, CNRL, Cenovus, Imperial and Husky have remained “incredibly profitable corporations,” banking and paying out to shareholders $13.5 billion last year.

“There’s no question that the price crash had a major impact on the industry in Alberta, most importantly on the almost 20,000 workers who lost their jobs in 2015, but the Big Five are doing just fine,” Hussey said.

“As highly integrated multinationals — all with significant assets in the U.S. — they’ve been able to shift their operations in response to market conditions to ensure they remain profitable despite the issues that have been dominating the headlines in recent months.”

So, as usual, false populism renews its roots in Western Canada.  As our ruggedly bold individualist trek eastward to demand more government intervention favourable to the business elite in our society.

Of course no false populist movement is complete without xenophobia and racism.

“People who attended the rally in Regina on Saturday said they were against Trudeau, the carbon tax and Canada’s plan to endorse the United Nations’ migration pact — which outlines objectives for treating global migrants humanely and efficiently.

Victor Teece, a self-identified nationalist against globalization, said the migration agreement is “destructive to Canada as a nation.” Teece said he believes Canada’s identity is centred around European, Judeo-Christian values.

Smith said there is a concerning, “very loud” and “very disturbing message around anti-immigration” emerging within the Canadian rallies.”

Yeah.  If you didn’t know it, Canada has a huge immigration problem.  According to these people, not enough of the ‘right’ types of people are moving to Canada.  Quite disgusted with the whole rhetorical judeo-christian bullshit narrative.  The cultural mosaic that is Canada thrives on the diversity that people bring with them from across the world.

We are a multicultural nation.  The embarrassment that is this ‘Convoy Movement’ is a gift that inspires the nativist-nationalist right to creep out from the woodwork.  Given the example of the untrammelled false populism down south, this is a direction Canada should definitely avoid.

 

 

“EDMONTON—Police are investigating after members of a local Islamophobic group entered the Al Rashid Mosque in north Edmonton on Friday.

Noor Al-Henedy, a spokesperson for the mosque, said members of the Wolves of Odin group asked pointed questions in a clear attempt to “provoke” worshippers.”

Is there anything more frustrating that having a passel of white dudes – just asking questions – that they don’t want to hear the answer to?  Important male opinion is at stake and these brave douches warriors are taking the front lines and JAQing off at a local mosque.

“She said two men entered the mosque on Friday, the day Muslims gather to worship in public. The men were wearing toques that said “Kafir” in Arabic, which translates to infidel or non-believer. Other members of the group are pictured in a Facebook video standing directly outside the mosque and asking members questions about Islam.

Al-Henedy said it looked like the two men who entered the mosque were “surveilling” the building.”

I know we here in Alberta have the reputation as being ‘Texas North’ but for once,  just once can we not live up to the reputation of being false populist loving, narrow minded, gerbil brained xenophobes (pretty please)?

“In messages over Facebook, Hunt said he was the man wearing the infidel toque inside the mosque, and said he also has the word tattooed on his neck. He denied being Islamophobic, and said he is against all religions. He said his activities are not affiliated with any specific group, though his page features a number of images related to the groups Canadian Infidels and Wolves of Odin, and he said he used to be a member of Soldiers of Odin.

He said he went inside the mosque to use the bathroom, and the reason he went to the property Friday was “to catch real Muslims walking in to possibly answer questions.”

 

This is not the spirit of debate in a free society.  This is a calculated malevolent action testing the waters to see if further bullshite will fly under the radar of society.   Will update the story as it continues to develop.

Source – The Edmonton Journal, Al Rashid FB page.

 

  We humans are really bad at responding to the necessity of long term change.  It doesn’t help that we also happen to be locked into political systems that strongly bias short term thinking and solutions.  I’m thinking when most of Florida is underwater and New York City looks more like Venice the powers that be *might* acknowledge that we have a bit of climate situation on our hands.

Canada is not much better, Andrew Scheer leader of the Conservative party during a Town Hall:

“He promised tax reform and reiterated his opposition to the Trudeau government’s carbon tax, which he called “a cash grab, not an environmental plan.”

“Scheer had to get out of his vehicle and walk to the venue in Nisku, Alta., because of a 22-kilometre convoy of truckers protesting Trudeau’s carbon tax and environmental policies. Scheer sought to reassure people by promising to scrap the prime minister’s carbon levy designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Awesome.  Because the weak half measures started by Trudeau and the Liberal Government definitely need to go.  Why is it that when it comes to climate change conservative types all of suddenly need to compete to see how can fiddle the fastest while the world burns?

In Counterpunch John Davis writes this on our climate situation:

 

“Naomi Klein optimistically wrote, way back in 2014, in This Changes Everything, “There are ways of preventing this grim future….but the catch is these will involve changing everything….it involves changing how we live, how our economies function, even the stories we tell about our place on earth”.

Five years later, it is no longer a matter of preventing a grim future. The careless extension of what the American Sci-Fi writer Kim Stanley Robinson calls ‘The Dithering’ – those decades when we understood the atmospheric CO2problem but totally failed to address it – guarantees its imminent arrival. The catch now is that the climate is changing everything for us.  We have already liberated enough carbon in the atmosphere to put the weather on disaster auto-pilot for the next millennium. We can but batten down the hatches, stockpile provisions and close the fire-doors. The weather is the effective change-agent, not we nor our politicians. The pretense that humans are in charge has finally to be abandoned. We await our fate possessing only crude materials of resistance and, thus far, almost no political will to emplace them.

The most salient function of government is the protection of its people – our allegiance to the Republic depends on its successful manifestation. The present regime appears totally committed to the denial of our climate reality and its power to inflict terrifyingly real damage on our underfunded and aging infrastructure and to the people that that infrastructure supports. Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, Maria, Harvey, Thomas, and Michael, should each have been a wake-up call, a weather 9/11. Instead, they have proven to be opportunities for official prevarication, dissembling and hand-washing. From George Bush’s, “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job”, to Trump’s notorious paper towel toss (in post-Maria Puerto Rico) there is a through-line that speaks of the government’s dismissal of the seriousness of these amplified weather events and their wider implications. The validity of the updated death toll in Puerto Rico of almost 3,000 was, predictably, denied by the president – while estimates of the toll continue to rise. A Harvard study now puts the number of Maria-related fatalities at over 4,500, as of year’s end. The climate has far exceeded the lethality of 9/11. Its death toll, in fire, flood, drought and wind is ever rising, as each season’s disasters inexorably add bodies to the statistical burial mound.”

The weather gives exactly zero fucks about borders and national security, and ‘rogue’ nations.  Every nation is going to have to work together to survive the coming up climactic upheavals.  I certainly hope our unerring dedication to fossil fuel industry will be worth it.

Megan Murphy last night at the Vancouver Public Library:

“Despite what transactivists claim it is not illegal to understand that biological sex is real and that it matters which is essentially what I and other women have been smeared, censored and no-platformed for saying . It’s also not illegal to understand that a woman is an adult human female. It’s not illegal to defend women’s transition houses and to argue that when women are escaping male violence they should have access to spaces that make them feel safe where they can speak to women who understand what it’s like to grow up female in this world and where they can be assured that they won’t be made more vulnerable by having to share a room with a man.

It is not illegal to understand that male bodies and female bodies are different and that women and girls have the right to compete in sports under fair terms against other women and girls not against men who, in most cases, would have an unfair advantage…

It’s not illegal in Canada for lesbians to limit their choices in intimate partners to women only and to refuse sexual partners with penises.”

— Meghan Murphy (Excerpt from speech at Vancouver Public Library)

Feminism has a voice in Canada.  Meghan Murphy continues the struggle against male power and for the rights of women.   This event almost didn’t happen thanks to the ‘progessive, inclusive’ left.

Thank you for persevering Ms.Murphy.

 

Canadian feminism at its finest.

 

Made the news as well.

 

Laurie Penny has a great review of some of Jordan Peterson’s work, this quote illustrates the continued reliance of sociobiological principles by JP.

“Peterson insists in the very first chapter of 12 Rules for Life that if you’re an adult human man worried about your place in the world, you’ve a surprising amount in common with lobsters, “especially when you are feeling crabby, ha ha.” He then draws a thick, wonky line through several hundred million years of natural selection to advise human primates on their posture. If you stand up straight, like the biggest, toughest lobsters do, “you are a successful lobster, and the most desirable females line up and vie for your attention.”

Idiots will believe anything; fools will believe anything that makes them feel better. Peterson’s followers are not idiots. In November 1975, the New York Review of Books published an open letter from a group of Boston scientists, educators, and students entitled “Against Sociobiology,” in which they warned about the enduring popularity of biological justifications of inequality, ideas for which there is scant evidence but huge public appetite: “The reason for the survival of these recurrent determinist theories is that they consistently tend to provide a genetic justification of the status quo and of existing privileges for certain groups according to class, race or sex.”

Peterson is extravagantly dedicated to this justification, festooning his unscholarly interpretations of nature documentaries with ethical significance. His vision is of a world of crustacean anhedonia, an ordered utopia of jostling invertebrates endlessly battling to be top lobster, all tough carapace and no backbone.

This is Social Darwinism, not science. Peterson is working in a long, long tradition of conservatives, from Galton to Rockefeller to Reagan, using weak scientific data to give their dogma the mouthfeel of objectivity. Actual science journalists like Cordelia Fine and Angela Saini have done the hard work of going through every lazy assumption exhaustively, making it clear that using evolutionary theory alone to make sweeping pronouncements about human behavior is about as useful as scrying from the migratory patterns of birds or the entrails of whatever we’ve sacrificed to the god of late-capitalist male fragility on this day. Possibly our principles.

Social Darwinism, by itself, is a feeble philosophy. Combined with an investment in mythology and spiritualism, however, it becomes more dangerous. And this, brazenly, is what Peterson does. Standing up straight, for example, is important because of the lobsters, but also:

“To stand up straight with your shoulders back means building the ark that protects the world from the flood, guiding your people through the desert after they have escaped tyranny, [and] making your way away from a comfortable home and country… It means shouldering the cross.”

The simultaneous appeal to both science and religious mysticism, to God-and-or-genetics, is an ingenious arse-covering mechanism: if God didn’t strictly say he created man to compete in a series of vicious status battles and fuck the other guy, then genetics probably did, and any blue-haired social justice neuroscientists popping up to explain that that’s really not how gene expression works simply haven’t grasped the larger cosmic context. If there’s no actual scientific evidence for it, then it’s all a metaphor. It’s a prosperity gospel for toxic masculinity, The Art of the Deal via the Book of Leviticus.”

A review of The 12 Rules of life.

I need to find a pdf or two of JP’s works, there looks like there is a lot of comedy gold to mined.

“A poll that surveyed nearly 1,000 Albertans earlier this month found the United Conservative Party have a large lead over the NDP and would win if an election was held today.

The Mainstreet Research poll has the UCP with 56 per cent support among decided and leaning voters, which translates to a 28-point lead over the governing NDP (27 per cent).
Related

“The UCP, led by Jason Kenney, has a substantial lead over the governing NDP and interestingly enough, they also lead among every single demographic that’s out there, which was a surprise,” Mainstreet Research vice president Joseph Angolano said.

The lead largely comes from Calgary (30 points) and the rest of Alberta (46 points) while Edmonton remains competitive for both parties.”

You would think that 40 years of Conservative rule would be enough of a reminder that maybe, just maybe, corporatism isn’t the way to go?  Naaah. The people of Alberta currently seem to think that cutting services and giving more breaks to corporations is the way of the future.

Please take a look down south to see exactly what that get the average voter.

If the UCP (united conservative party) takes the next election, will the average Albertan celebrate the lack of access to public service?  Thank their lucky stars that the oil companies can continue to line their pockets with our resource revenue? Like what?

These people want the party that walked out of the legislature on an abortion bubble zone vote to represent them?  Because preventing a bozo-eruption from the religious fringe that inhabits your party is more important that representing the people that elected you?   But hey, it was just an crucial vote affecting the female half of the population, so no big deal because in the UCP, females ain’t shit.

I’m unimpressed with the UCP and the mewing stampede back into the hell that is conservatism here in Alberta.  :/

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