You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Politics’ category.

  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.

“The fact of the matter is that there is a little bit of the totalitarian buried somewhere, way down deep, in each and every one of us. It is only the cheerful light of confidence and security which keeps this evil genius down… If confidence and security were to disappear, don’t think that he would not be waiting to take their place. “

-George Kennan (1947).

As an atheist it is sometime easy to become hyper focused on what those people over there are doing wrong and how they need to fix their views and join the 21st century.  Sheldon Wolin takes this view and compares it to what we have going on right now in society, rightly criticizing the capitalist-consumption aesthetic that, by any other name, is doing exactly what religion does.

 

“There was , he [Max Weber] contended, no room any longer for occult forces, supernatural deities, or divinely revealed truth.  In a world dominated by scientifically established facts and with no privileged or sacrosanct areas, myth would seemingly have a difficult time retaining a foothold.  Not only did Weber underestimate the staying power of credulity; he could not foresee that the great triumphs of modern science would themselves provide the basis for technological achievements which, far from banishing the mythical, would unwittingly inspire it.

    The mythical is also nourished from another source, one seemingly more incongruous that the scientific-technological culture,  Consider the imaginary world continuously being created and re-created by contemporary advertising and rendered virtually escape-proof by the enveloping culture of the modern media.  Equally important, the culture produced by modern advertising, which seems at first glance to be resolutely secular and materialistic, the antithesis of religious and evangelical teachings, actually reinforces the dynamic.  Almost every product promises to change your life: it will make you more beautiful, cleaner, more sexually alluring, and more successful.  Born again, as it were.  The messages contain promises about the future, unfailingly optimistic, exaggerating, miracle-promising – the same ideology that invites corporate executives to exaggerate profits and conceal losses, but always with a sunny face.  The virtual reality of the advertiser and the “good news” of the evangelist complement each other, a match made in heaven.  Their zeal to transcend the ordinary and their bottomless optimism both feed the hubris of Superpower.  Each colludes with the other.  The evangelist looks forward to the “last days”, while the corporate executive systematically exhausts the world’s scare resources.”

Sheldon Wolin.  Democracy Incorporated, pp. 12-13.

So, I think it is time to work on our own epistemology.  I’d like to be able to square our expectations of others with those we place on ourselves.

 

“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.  :/

Written by Dr. Caroline Norma her piece is about running up against the male centric Left in Australia.  Inside her essay though are a couple of paragraphs that deserve extra attention.  The notion that appearance and allegiance to the right things is taking precedence over effective action is an important idea.  Coming together despite the differences between the groups involved has been vital in forming effective action in society.  Fragments of groups working apart can be nullified and marginalized by the forces of the status quo in light of the recent gender-identity dust up, it would seem the fragmentation of effective political action is in full swing.

 

“During those 20 years, no activist in Okinawa had the privilege of being able to pick and choose with whom they built alliances or worked in coalition. Their situation permitted no such liberal luxury, only desperate struggle to build movement numbers. They had to be grateful for any friends they could get. The combined will of the US military and the Japanese government was thrown behind the base construction proposal, and so, facing such a Goliath, unionists, churchgoers, artists, fishermen, and feminist groups like Women Act Against Military Violence joined forces in resistance. Defeat was always a possibility, but coalition members permitted no cracks of movement disunity to open up to make it a certainty.

In places like Okinawa, different and even conflicting groups band together for a common cause. In doing so, they prioritize that cause over everything else — including their ideological purity, public image, and social media credibility. In places like Australia, no similarly strong commitment to a cause exists. On the contrary, the priority is performing outrage about inconsequential things in order to appear as though one cares deeply about the right things. People prefer to be seen as the right kind of people holding the right kind of views over actually achieving anything. Meanwhile, coal mine development, overseas military deployment, housing degradation, reef destruction, and corporate tax rorting proceeds apace.

But the problem isn’t one of laziness or smoke and mirrors distraction. We know from the history of left organizing that ideological fitness tests are applied deliberately for political purposes. They are applied for the benefit of the people whose interests a movement is seeking to advance. How they are applied clearly signals who is being prioritized.

As to whose interests the Australian left is pursuing, the antics over my attendance at the Historical Materialism Sydney conference gave the game away. Questioning the notion that gender is a matter of how we feel about ourselves, rather than a matter of how we have been systematically treated throughout our lives, was turned into a crime more serious than ignoring tens of thousands of Asian women in brothels on every street corner of Australia’s cities. But the comedic disproportion of this scenario wasn’t accidental. It was manufactured in service of male interests that are now coming under pressure from feminist challenge.”

Paul Street writing at Counterpunch:

“Yellow vest-wearers demand real democracy – popular self-rule. They have called for a popular referendum whereby 700,000 citizen signatories would force the French Parliament to debate and vote on a law within one year.  There have been calls (evoking memories of the great French Revolution of 1789) for a Constituent Assembly to draft a new Constitution meant to create a new French government – a Sixth Republic based on popular sovereignty and majority rule, not the plutocratic commands of a de factocorporate-financial dictatorship.  Imagine!

Calls for Macron’s resignation have been prominent in Gilets Jaunes rhetoric and graffiti. Many, probably most French people want a new and genuinely democratic governmentnow, not on the ridiculously time-staggered scheduled imposed by an outdated Constitution.

Despite predictable attempts by the right to hijack the movement and notwithstanding an absence of coordination by Left parties or unions, France is experiencing a left-leaning popular and working-class uprising consistent with the French revolutionary tradition of “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.”  It is not a neo-fascist or anti-immigrant or anti-environmental petit-bourgeois rebellion. As Mercier writes:

…. What the yellow vests of the Gilets Jaunes symbolizes is blue-collar workers, struggling retirees and students who revolt against the suits of the political class and CEOs. …The Gilets Jaunes movement is strictly horizontal, without a hierarchy or recognized leaders. It has, so far, refused to be hijacked by political parties: either the Rassemblement Nationale of Marine Le Pen on the far-Right, or La France Insoumise of Jean-Luc Melenchon on the Left. It has also rejected association with French labor unions. Without spelling it out, the Gilets Jaunes movement is anti-capitalist:a guttural revolt of the have-nots against the elite.It is a popular, not a populist, movement.Europeans and even American populist-nationalists are already distorting the Gilets Jaunes’ significance to serve their political agenda. As opposed to the rise of nationalism-populism elsewhere, such as in Italy, Austria, Hungary, the UK as expressed by BREXIT, the US, and Brazil with the election of Bolsonaro, the Gilets Jaunes do not have an anti-immigration or even an anti-EU agenda that reeks of racism and neofascism.…The Gilets Jaunes are in revolt against capitalism or neoliberalism, which is a worldwide system of concentration of wealth and power into a few hands. With our pending ecological collapse and vanishing biodiversity, capitalism has failed and is reaching its end game. Unlike the neofascist science deniers, the Gilets Jaunes perceive climate change as a crisis, but they say that it is hard to focus on a global ecological collapse when you live from paycheck to paycheck. They feel that they deal with the anxiety of putting food on the table at the end of the month while the rich talk about the end of the world. Thinking about humanity’s survival is hard to do on an empty stomach.”

The Gilets Jaunes have resisted the nativism of the nationalist right.  They have called  not for closed borders but rather for improved integration policies to help foreigners settle in France (language and civic education), for all foreign citizens working in France to have the same labor rights as French citizens, and for policies that address the causes of forced migrations.

The yellow vest uprising was/is no small development in a nation that is a leading nuclear power and one of just five permanent member of the United Nations Security Council!

You wouldn’t have known it from U.S. cable news last week or weekend, however. The chatterboxes on CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News could barely break from their week-long commemoration of the imperialist war criminal George H.W. Bush and their breathless reporting of the  latest developments in Bob Mueller RussiaGate investigation to give any serious attention to the momentous events in France.”

There may be hope for us yet.

It’s a near cyclical event.  Disaffected folks in the West periodically need to grumble about how shitty it is living in a safe secure nation state.  Nothing more than flashes in the pan when Westerners are feeling like they need someone to blame instead of themselves – because the ethic of bootstrapping yourself up into prosperity only applies to people who happen to be more poor that you…

 

In the coffee shops and meeting rooms throughout Saskatchewan these days, there’s more and more talk about the breakup of Canada. But it’s not Quebec at issue, it’s western separatism.

After years of falling incomes and an apparent lack of action from Ottawa, many Prairie people are now debating the pros and cons of splitting the West from the rest of Canada.”

 

A Okanagan political group is spearheading a campaign to have B.C. and Alberta separate from the rest of Canada.

The group, calling itself 110 West, plans to organize public consultations in the two provinces. It’s running advertisements in local newspapers, and has set up a Web page.”

 

On a sunny Sunday in Calgary, Alberta’s separatists are on the move, pounding the pavement at the city’s popular Lilac Festival on the hunt for signatures.

Larry Smith is working the crowd, looking for support for his fledgling political movement, the Western Independence Party of Alberta (WIPA).

Truth is, WIPA isn’t quite a political party just yet. Before that can happen in Alberta, it needs signatures — and lots of them.

To be registered as a political party in the province, you need 7,868 electors — or about one-third of one per cent of eligible voters — to sign on the dotted line.”

So really, when the latest “Western Alienation” story happens to crop up – remind yourself it has the all the significance of this:

This Blog best viewed with Ad-Block and Firefox!

What is ad block? It is an application that, at your discretion blocks out advertising so you can browse the internet for content as opposed to ads. If you do not have it, get it here so you can enjoy my blog without the insidious advertising.

Like Privacy?

Change your Browser to Duck Duck Go.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 390 other followers

Progressive Bloggers

Categories

January 2019
M T W T F S S
« Dec    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Archives

Blogs I Follow

The DWR Community

Volunteer petunia

Observations and analysis on survival, love and struggle

femlab

the feminist exhibition space at the university of alberta

Raising Orlando

About gender, identity, parenting and containing multitudes

REAL for women

Reflecting Equality in Australian Legislation for women

The Feminist Kitanu

Spreading the dangerous disease of radical feminism

Double Plus Good

The Evolution Will Not BeTelevised

la scapigliata

writer, doctor, wearer of many hats

Mars Caulton

Teaching Artist/ Progressive Educator

liberated558

Still she persisted

Old Wives' Tales

feminism, motherhood, writing

Female Personhood

Identifying as female since the dawn of time.

Radfem Resources | Radical Feminist Literature

A virtual library for those interested in radical feminist literature and resources.

Not The News in Briefs

A blog by Helen Saxby

SOLIDARITY WITH HELEN STEEL

A blog in support of Helen Steel

thenationalsentinel.wordpress.com/

Where media credibility made a comeback.

BigBooButch

Memoirs of a Butch Lesbian

RadFemSpiraling

Radical Feminism Discourse

a sledge and crowbar

deconstructing identity and culture

The Radical Pen

Fighting For Female Liberation from Patriarchy

Emma

Politics, things that make you think, and recreational breaks

Nordic Model Now!

Movement for the Abolition of Prostitution

The WordPress C(h)ronicle

These are the best links shared by people working with WordPress

HANDS ACROSS THE AISLE

Gender is the Problem, Not the Solution

fmnst

Peak Trans and other feminist topics

There Are So Many Things Wrong With This

if you don't like the news, make some of your own

Gentle Curiosity

Musing over important things. More questions than answers.

ANTHRO FEMINISM

A place for thoughtful, truly intersectional Feminist discussion.

violetwisp

short commentaries, pretty pictures and strong opinions

Revive the Second Wave

gender-critical sex-negative intersectional radical feminism

Trans Animal Farm

The Trans Trend is Orwellian

Princess Henry of Wales

Priestess Belisama

miss guts.

just a girl on a journey

writing by renee

Trigger warning: feminism, women's rights

RANCOM!

Happily Retired

freer lives

A socialist critique of gender ideology

Centering Women

A radical feminist page made for women only

radicalkitten

radical Elemental feminism

%d bloggers like this: