Saturday, February 04, 2012

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Mike Ward nicely describes the "Orwellian reverie" being used by the Cons to try to manipulate the public into acceding to the every wish of the oil sector:
In what other world could the delivery of jobs, profits and unrefined oil to a totalitarian foreign government be considered an act of patriotism? In what other sphere could dirty oil be called "ethical," and a fragile pipeline, strung across 700 rivers before spilling its contents into balloon-skinned tankers, be eulogized as enlightened?

Unless peace is war, how can First Nations peoples be cast as alien-controlled enemies of the state; unless ignorance is strength, how can a paltry 200 jobs justify the endangerment of 200,000?
- Jeff Davis unfortunately misstates what Dick Harris' private member's bill on Employment Insurance figures to accomplish. (And of course, plenty of right-wing mouthpieces are entirely eager to repeat the inaccuracies.) So let's set the record straight.

No, the current EI system doesn't allow an incarcerated individual to "collect double the (EI)" of anybody else. Instead, it provides for an extension on the time limit in which to apply for precisely the same amount of EI benefits which would otherwise be available. And that makes some sense based on the fact that a person who's incarcerated won't have a need to start collecting EI to meet living expenses until after being released.

Of course, it's fair enough to suggest that other applicants with a valid reason for not applying immediately shouldn't be worse off for waiting. But Harris isn't doing anything in the slightest to help anybody else; instead, he's merely looking for an excuse to vilify and exclude people who paid into EI and meet all other qualifications to receive it.

- Meanwhile, Susan Riley offers some suggestions as to what the NDP can propose as an alternative to the Cons' mean-spirited and inefficient government. Gerald Caplan wonders when we'll see a stronger extraparliamentary opposition develop. And the NDP offers up a useful image to help build the outrage the Cons have so determinedly earned.

- Finally, there seems to be plenty of reason for concern that decisions have been made about the future of the Regina Public Library's downtown home with cursory "consultation" to happen only after it's too late. And a wall of silence from the RPL board certainly isn't helping matters.

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