Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday Morning Links

A few links and comments to start your day...

- Boris picks up on the discussion of Lawrence Martin's new book by nicely summarizing what motivates the Harper Cons:
(H)atred is the motivation behind everything Harper and his band of orcs do. From visits to the Governor General, to mass prisons and beat-downs in the streets of Toronto, the one 'ideology' we see is a pathological hatred of anything and everyone standing against what they do or think.

This isn't politics. They aren't interested in parliament. There's no tradition of intellectual or philosophical thought underwriting their platform. Their numbers betray their rhetoric about small government for a lie. They shut down critical institutions of state that produce information independent of political control. They break protocol and convention at will. All they want to do is smash and destroy anything and anyone not fitting their worldview.
- Meanwhile, James Travers criticizes the fear and loathing the Cons are so eager to spread among the public:
Only an audience contentedly frozen in the Cold War could still fret that the Russians are coming. Tamils put themselves more at risk than us by crossing the Pacific in a rusting hulk. Canadian jails — the ones Conservatives plan to overflow with hardened litterers, crazed dope smokers and Stockwell Day’s masterminds of unreported crime — have yet to incarcerate their first long-form census scofflaw.

Banging the drum so loudly about so little is a sure sign other mischief is afoot. That contrived bit of Ruskie theatre was really about positioning the Prime Minister as Canada’s fearless protector of Arctic interests and justifying spending a breathtaking $16 billion on stealth fighters. Getting tough with Tamils is part of the trend shifting immigration from a social and economic dilemma into a law-and-order peril. Blowing smoke about jailing citizens for census disobedience is cover for the determined Conservative effort to control information.
- And while the Cons blow nonexistent threats and gripes out of proportion, we can fully expect to hear nothing about problems that probably do deserve public outcry - such as the discovery of billions of dollars which look to have been illegally hidden so that wealthy Canadians (i.e. those with a minimum of half of million spare dollars to shelter) could avoid paying the taxes they owe.

- Finally, Rick Salutin's dismissal from the Globe and Mail has given rise to plenty of protest so far. But I do wonder whether the focus is being put on the wrong element of the Globe and Mail's decision: isn't the greater problem the fact that virtually no genuinely progressive voices are being added to the media landscape (even as the reactionary right can add full networks to the mix), rather than what may be some expected churn among the longer-serving left-wing commentators?

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