Get lost NDP!

I’m pretty active politically and for one of the causes that I believe in, I joined all three political parties. Yes you pledge not to join another when signing up but unless you do something stupid like overtly campaigning for one while waving your membership card for another, the parties don’t care and just want your money.

Anyway thanks to the NDP, I now screen my calls because they call me at least daily and on a few occasions more than once a day asking for donations! The Conservatives call me maybe once every two to three days and the Liberals once a week but man it’s driving me crazy though I guess it’s not as bad as the 6 emails a day I use to get from the NDP during the last federal election.

Sanders is the best candidate

So I chime in every little while about the ongoing US presidential election and lol it’s a lot of fun.  The candidates on the Republican side are fighting over who’ll be tougher yet more scared against ISIS, illegal immigration from Mexico (more are leaving the US than entering) and who will cut taxes most to spur the economy (because the last 30 years of that have worked great).

Well Hillary Clinton and her surrogates didn’t want to be left out of the fun and now they’re trying to shame women into voting for Clinton because she’s a woman…  Isn’t that great, it comes off as extremely desperate and while yeah she won Iowa by a razor thin margin Bernie is going to win New Hampshire and I can’t wait to see how the Clinton campaign freaks out afterwards…

I quite enjoyed this op ed piece in the Guardian, a woman explaining why Bernie is the better choice for women voters.

I am a feminist. And I would like to one day break the glass ceiling with a progressive woman who sees class and race as fundamental problems in American society.

But I don’t believe that the divide the Hillary Clinton campaign has created meets that standard – especially not after the destructive political dilemma that Clinton campaign surrogates Madeleine Albright and Gloria Steinem attempted to create last weekend when they accused young women who support Bernie Sanders of being insufficiently feminist. (Steinem has since apologized and Clinton made excuses for Albright.)

As he has repeatedly said, Bernie Sanders is a feminist, too. And he’s the feminist who has my vote.

I am the executive director of the largest nurses union in the US: my members are overwhelmingly female and, not by accident, we were the first large organization to endorse Sanders. Nurses recognized Sanders as one of their own as soon as he got into the race, because they, like he, believe that all people should be treated equally – especially when it comes to healthcare – regardless of race, gender or ability to pay.

Source: The Guardian

I’m not a feminist but I do believe in equal rights for everyone and Bernie has been so consistent in his career about his values…  Sure Hillary has more experience but as Mr. Sanders suggested, Dick Cheney has a lot of experience too and we wouldn’t want him anywhere close to the presidency again. The sleazy Clinton campaign is getting desperate and more dirty tricks will come out when she starts losing (remember her suggesting someone could kill Obama during the 08 democratic nomination?) and I couldn’t be happier.

I wish I could vote for Bernie Sanders, this is one Canadian that FEELS THE BERN!

So Canada is going to get screwed!

Today the Liberal International Trade Minister signed onto the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement and yeah we’re going to be screwed.  If you like what NAFTA, WTO, etc has done to the Canadian economy (move jobs overseas, enrich corporations) then you’ll love the TPP.

Ministers from the 12 Pacific Rim countries met at Auckland’s Sky City Casino on Thursday morning, local time. The signing ceremony kicks off a two-year ratification period, during which the United States, Japan and at least four of the remaining 10 countries must approve the final legal text in order for the deal to take effect.

Source: CBC

Fitting that the deal would be signed in a casino, another place that screws over people…  There are so many bad points about the TPP and I am very much against free trade.  All I can do is hope that with the upcoming election in the US and in the other countries, that the new administrations do away with this monstrosity because it’s definitely going to be bad for the Western world.

I would…

I like Thom Hartmann’s show on RT America and I really feel bad for this mom…  Her daughter has a special genetic disorder and cannabis oil really helps but her state doesn’t allow it and she’s risking losing her child because of it.

What a terrible position to be in… I do not use any recreational drugs and even if it were legalized, would have no interest in doing so however I do know that the “War on drugs” has been a colossal failure that’s only emboldened organized crime. People will do it no matter what so it’s better to legalize it, put standards in place along with removing the stigma of being an addict and finally having actively promoting treatment centers.

Get out of here…

So you’re telling me low taxes doesn’t spur economic growth for everyone and increases the wealth of the rich?!? Who would have thunk it…

The findings, published by the poverty-fighting organization Oxfam, highlight the growing divide between those at either end of the income spectrum. Since 2010, the wealth of the richest 62 people increased 44 per cent to $1.76 trillion (all figures U.S. dollars), the report found. Over the same period, the wealth of the world’s poorest half fell over a trillion dollars or 41 per cent.
“Our economic system is heavily skewed in their (the wealthiest) favour, and arguably increasingly so,” Oxfam said. “Far from trickling down, income and wealth are instead being sucked upwards at an alarming rate.”
Source: The Star

While Republicans in the US like to scream class warfare when Democratic members talk about raising taxes, class warfare has been fought since Reagan introduced supply side economics and the bullshit that lower taxes on the rich and corporations would benefit us all. The fix seems pretty easy to me, if low taxes is causing wealth to move upwards then maybe we should increase taxes on the wealthy…

Climate Change and ISIS?

So the world’s climate is changing fast and we just past 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide but is climate change one of the causes to blame for the rise of ISIS?

The Syrian civil war is probably partly due to the historical drought that hit the middle east and as our climate becomes more extreme, this type of thing may occur more and more, it’s going to be an unpredictable future we have on our hands… Climate change isn’t something that’s far away in the future, it’s affecting us now.

Oh with that said, Bernie Sanders released a detailed policy plan on how to deal with climate change.

Broadly speaking, Democrats like Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton have long approached climate change as primarily a policy problem in need of a policy solution. You figure out what mix of regulations and taxes and technologies can most effectively reduce emissions and go from there, adapting to political realities as necessary. That was the idea behind the doomed 2009 climate bill. Start with a policy that economists agreed was efficient (cap and trade) and then try to get buy-in from interest groups.

Sanders, by contrast, tends to view global warming — and our inability to fix it — as first and foremost a question of political power. Our system is currently rigged in favor of fossil fuel interests, and by far the most important task at hand is to beat back those interests, to erode the status and power of oil, gas, and coal companies, to re-tilt the playing field. “The reason we haven’t solved climate change,” he says, “is because a small subsection of the 1 percent are hell-bent on doing everything in their power to block action.”

Source: Vox

Absolutely amazing, I agree pretty much with everything Bernie says and it makes me wish I were an American so I can vote for him. Feel the Bern to my American friends, there’s only one politician that actually cares about YOU running for president.

White/Christian vs everyone else

As most people know, I follow US politics because it’s a lot more interesting than what happens up here (though Canadian politics is good too) and whatever happens down there affects us in Canada as well.  Why is it when a white person or a Christian does a mass shooting, it’s always that they have a mental illness and their actions don’t represent the masses but when it’s a Muslim person it’s terrorism or when a black person does it, it’s because they’re a thug?

If someone shoots others and does it for political purposes, that’s terrorism.  For instance the Muslim couple who shot up the husband’s workplace, from the looks of it they were going to do something bad yes but the details that emerged so far make the incident sound more like a workplace shooting than a terrorist activity.  If they wanted to terrorize the public, they would have shot up a public venue like some sporting event, a mall or maybe a movie theatre…  Perhaps that was their original intent and the workplace shooting was just the first step but clearly the husband had a beef with the people there so they shot up his coworkers but this is terrorism.

Dylann Roof shot up a black church and wanted to start a race war but that’s not terrorism, the media and right wingers say he’s an individual who was mentally ill. The white guy who shot up Planned Parenthood citing “No more baby parts” when he was arrested, right wing terrorist no way that’s a deranged individual…

They are all cases of domestic terrorism and the simple fact of the matter is that law enforcement in the US is more afraid of right wing threats than they are of Islamic attacks. But then again let’s profile the Muslims and blacks because they’re the threats.

Sigh

So last week there was a right wing Christian that shot up a Planned Parenthood then yesterday a Muslim couple shoots up an office party…  It’s difficult for me to say and my gun friends will disagree completely but something does need to be done about guns in America.  I’m familiar with all the usual talking points but the fact of the matter is that there’s a disproportionately high level of gun violence to the South and something needs to be done to address it.  I mean this year alone there have been 350+ mass shootings, that’s more than one a day!

Conventional gun control like we have in Canada won’t work in the US, there are just too many fire arms out there and it’d take generations for them to disappear.  There are a lot of societal issues that need to be addressed which would help, better education on what guns are, how to handle them and maybe how to enjoy them properly and who knows maybe a licensing system (like with a car) with testing to ensure competency…

Of course the big elephant in the room is the second amendment but even rights have limitations, like even though you have the right to free speech, you can’t incite violence, threaten someone, yell fire in a packed area, etc there should be some limitations.  I’m torn because a part of me feels that people should be able to do whatever they want as long as they’re not hurting someone else like legalizing drugs (I’m sure that alone will drive down at least gang gun violence) but we have a situation where any yahoo with a grudge can get a gun pretty easily.

I don’t really know what the solution is but I’m sure it’d be a multifaceted approach because there isn’t one underlying issue that if resolve will fix what we see today.  With that said we really do need adults to try and hash out the problem, let’s try something, ANYTHING because the status quo of each side demonizing each other is not working.

Well this is great

So this morning I woke up and read that Turkey shot down a Russian fighter, who could ever see that coming…  Turkey is a NATO member so if shit starts up, the rest of the alliance will definitely be tested but I doubt that’ll happen as no country in the world right now can afford to go to war (luckily).  I don’t really care who’s right or wrong but the situation in the middle east sucks there needs to be a local solution to the problems and right now the locals don’t seem to care.

Turkey shot down a Russian warplane Tuesday, claiming it had violated Turkish airspace and ignored repeated warnings. Russia denied that the plane crossed the Syrian border into Turkish skies.

“We are looking into the circumstances of the crash of the Russian jet,” Russia’s Defence Ministry said. “The Ministry of Defence would like to stress that the plane was over the Syrian territory throughout the flight.”

Russia said the Su-24 was downed by artillery fire, but Turkey claimed that its F-16s fired on the Russian plane after it ignored several warnings. The ministry said the pilots parachuted but added that Moscow had no further contact with them.

Source: Toronto Star

The next few days will certainly be interesting and I hope tensions can simmer down, let’s see how it plays out.