Saturday, March 07, 2015

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Alan Rusbridger explains the Guardian's much-appreciated effort to provide both space and analysis of the need to fight climate change. And Naomi Klein makes the case for a Marshall plan-style response to transition the world to a sustainable society, while highlighting the need for a public push to make that happen.

- Meanwhile, Jim Stanford discusses the fallout from the Cons' single-minded obsession with oil development. And Thomas Walkom calls out their blatant attempt to avoid discusses the economy now that they've left it sputtering.

- On that front, Edward Keenan writes that Stephen Harper's fearmongering seems more like a parody of over-top-top rhetoric than anything which could possibly be taken seriously:
On occasion, the Conservative government headed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper has shown an inclination to take on the role of the press — by producing and distributing its own approved news items to print and broadcast media through the PR agency News Canada Ltd., for example. It now appears it has decided to do the work of satirists, too. How else to explain the transparent layers of irony running through the Conservatives’ public communications, the ham-fisted illustrations of doublespeak that so effectively lay bare the cynical, hollow heart and totalitarian inclinations of their new legislation?

One imagines the frustrated novelists and comedians in the Conservative StratCom writers room shaking their heads at the efforts of editorial cartoonists and TV sketch troupes: You call that parody? Let us show you how this is done.

“They hate us because we love freedom and tolerance.”

See, the devastating self-skewering element of this line is that it is nominally intended to serve as the justification for a proposed law, Bill C-51, that will restrict freedom. And it is offered at a time when members of the government are using the bill as a means of whipping up intolerance against Muslims to score cheap political points. Here we have a piece of legislation that would, among other things, curtail freedom of speech fairly broadly on matters related to terrorism and give an espionage agency domestic policing powers that allow it, in secret, to be specifically exempted from honouring the Charter of Rights.

An extra-constitutional secret police and surveillance agency, and criminal penalties for expressions of dissent. If “we love freedom and tolerance” isn’t the perfect punchline to explain that, what is?
- But the spin has had real-world consequences, as Chris Selley laments the fact that the Cons' scare tactics have managed to interfere with a a cheerleading competition scheduled for the West Edmonton Mall. And Humberto Dasilva comments on how the terror push both relies on and encourages xenophobia, while Haroon Siddiqui exposes the McCarthyite hearings being held by the Con-dominated Senate.

- Finally, CBC examines how the millionaire investors being prioritized for immigration purposes actually contribute less tax revenue than the refugees the Cons want to shut out.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting that Walkom article, it was interesting. I can't help but be shocked by the degree to which people are buying this 'terrorism' distraction. But sadly, I also can't help but think that even if people did concentrate on the total economic failure that this party has been, they would then be deluded into expecting that one of the other (essentially) neo-liberal parties would actually fix it.