Pick Of The Day: Hannah Arendt

Directed by Margarethe von Trotta, this visual essay explores a seminal moment in the life and career of German-American political philosopher Hannah Arendt when she covered the 1961 trial in Jerusalem of Adolph Eichmann for the role he played in the genocidal holocaust perpetrated against Jewish people and other despised minorities by Nazi Germany during World War II.

Hannah Arendt screens tonight at the RPL theatre at 7 p.m. Here’s the trailer:

Pick Of The Day: The House I Live In

Directed by Eugene Jarecki, this documentary won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Through an examination of the hardship endured by a number of families, including a person tied to his own childhood, Jarecki outlines how America’s War on Drugs has been an abysmal failure that has hurt far more people than it has purported to help.

For a sobering read, here’s a link to a recent Postmedia story that looks at the jump that’s occurred in recent years in both the United States and Canada in arrests for pot possession and how, in the U.S., blacks are 3.7 times more likely to be busted than white Americans even though usage rates are pretty much identical. At the tail end there’s a mention of how in the U.S. private prison corporations lobby Washington lawmakers for tough sentences — presumably to boost the prison population, and their bottom-line.

The House I Live In screens tonight at the RPL Theatre at 7 p.m. Here’s the trailer:

The Difference Between ‘Political Spin’ And ‘Alternate Universe’

With all due respect to Saskboy, the result of the Labrador by-election wasn’t newsworthy in itself. Incumbent governments traditionally fare poorly in by-elections, and the riding in question is a traditional Liberal stronghold, going to the Conservatives twice – in 1968 and 2010. If the Liberals didn’t win a traditionally Liberal riding, that would have been news. So, I was about to say something along the lines of “… nice, kids, call me when a Liberal wins in Alberta,” when …

(Conservative incumbent Peter) Penashue said he is not sure which issues cost him the job, although he blamed CBC News reports on his spending for having “defined me very negatively.” He was referring to a series of CBC News reports on his campaign spending since last summer.

“I tried to change that but the damage had already been done. I could say, you know there was that issue, that issue. People make up their minds and people make up their choices.”

Oh, really?

Gee, Peter, why single out the CBC when every other news organization in Newfoundland and Labrador was saying the same thing?

And here’s a head scratcher … the Liberals LOST the by-election, says Harper’s spokesperson.

“As we know, majority governments do not usually win byelections. In fact, Liberals have won the riding of Labrador in every election in history except for two, so we are not surprised with these results,” Fred DeLorey, the party’s director of communications said in a statement.

“What is surprising is the collapse of the Liberal support during this byelection. When this byelection was called the Liberals had a 43-point lead in the polls,” DeLory wrote.

“Since electing Justin Trudeau as leader and having him personally campaign there, they have dropped 20 points in Labrador. That’s a significant drop in only a few weeks,” he said.

“Labradorians were able to see firsthand how Justin Trudeau is in over his head.”

Christ on a crutch, Comical Ali’s got a job with Harper!

It’s not so much that the Cons lost the riding, but it’s their reaction to such a loss which indicates that Canada’s going to be in for at least two more ugly years of federal politics. Instead of learning anything from the loss, the Cons have doubled down on the stupid and mean, as if they have no other setting on the program which gives them the ability to impersonate human emotions.

Canada. Governed by 12-year-old schoolyard bullies who are in over their heads.

Rosie’s Six In The A.M. Features An Outraged Stephen Colbert, Collapsing Journalism (in More Ways Than One) And A Guy On a Buffalo

6-in-the-morning1 BENGOUGH? BENGOUGH. It’s cattle and Conservative country, where the townsfolk traditionally run people like me out of their sight. But the Gateway Music Festival has attracted Steve Earle and Corb Lund, for starters … holy moly, it appears they have a pretty good lineup.

2 LET IT SNOW (NOT) … I don’t think I’ll be singing that song to my former bosses in Melville, after the former home of Community Publishing (Prairie Dog used to get printed there long ago, but the printing presses shut down in 2008 and most of the printing now gets done in Estevan). The weight of this year’s snow pack caved in the roof yesterday.

3 NATURE OF THE BUSINESS Let’s face it, Melville isn’t the only place where the roof is falling in on the newspaper industry. The Boston Globe’s publisher recently told a conference that his newspaper used to make from $160 to $180 million on classified advertising alone. That’s gone, and thanks to Internet sites such as Monster.com, it ain’t comin’ back.

4 IN OTHER NEWS, MY MOTHER-IN-LAW WONDERS WHERE I GOT THE BLING FOR BUYING HAIR CARE PRODUCTS AT DOLLAR TREE The author of the book Friday Night Lights, Buzz Bissinger, won the Internet a couple of days ago when he wrote in GQ that in order to deal with his sexual dysfunction, he went out and bought clothes. A lot of clothes. A lot of very, very strange clothes unless he’s trying to a second career as a bouncer at a leather bar … “eighty-one leather jackets, seventy-five pairs of boots, forty-one pairs of leather pants, thirty-two pairs of haute couture jeans, ten evening jackets, and 115 pairs of leather gloves.” Buzz is in rehab now, for a mild bipolar disorder. (You mean, somebody can work in journalism and make enough money to afford all that? Who knew?)

5 SAD NEWS I attended the University of Regina in the early 1980s, and shared a Logic 100 class with about 100 others, including Ron Lancaster Jr. The son of Ron Lancaster, and a pretty good CFL coach in his own right, passed away yesterday in his Hamilton apartment at the age of 50.

6 DEFENSE OF GAY MARRIAGE ACT Stephen Colbert launches a freakout after Papa Bear (Bill O’Rielly) goes to play for the other team. In other news, the lawsuits regarding the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 9 (and how the Supreme Court is probably going to throw them both out) is succinctly and entertainingly explained here. And for the bigots in the crowd … were these quotes made by people opposed to gay marriage or those opposed to inter-racial marriage? And could you tell the difference?
HE’S MAKING IT UP AS HE GOES ALONG Let me get this straight. Brad Wall cuts the Saskatchewan Film and Video Tax Credit, saying that it’s propping up an economically unsustainable industry. Then he tells everybody opposing the decision — even the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce — to go pound sand. Then he says the government has studies that show it’s unsustainable. The studies don’t appear to exist, because his government never asked for studies about the film/video tax credit: they only asked for spin doctors to rationalize that decision AFTER the government made the decision. Christ on a crutch, if Wall was any denser we could use him as a sandbag.

YOUR MUSICAL MOMENT OF ZEN PART ONE: The greatest song in the world …

YOUR MUSICAL MOMENT OF ZEN PART TWO: In honour of the Saskatchewan film industry, here’s R.E.M. covering Richard Thompson.

Speaking Of Faith-Based Political Nonsense

Hey nonsense is now officially afoot in the not-so-great state of North Dakota.

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) on Tuesday signed the most restrictive abortion ban in the country, enacting a law that would prohibit abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. A fetal heartbeat can be present as early as six weeks, which would make North Dakota, by far, the state that bans abortion at the earliest point. With Dalrymple’s signature, North Dakota leapfrogged Arkansas for the most restrictive abortion law. The Razorback State earlier this month enacted a law that would effectively ban abortions after 12 weeks, or when a fetal heartbeat can be detected with an abdominal ultrasound.

You can–and should, if you enjoy phrases like “anti-choice hellscape”–read more here.

Anyway, this is the direction a lot of Stephen Harper’s Conservatives want to take our country. Does this sound familiar?

 Dalrymple also signed two other abortion bills that would prevent abortion in cases of gender preference or genetic defects — something a few other states have, as well — and require doctors performing abortions to have hospital-admitting privileges.

Give it up for North Dakota!

In Honour Of Stompin’ Tom Connors, Rosie Encourages Everybody To Stamp Their Heels Through A Sheet Of Plywood While Reading This Six In The Morning

Six!1 MAY STOMPIN’ TOM GO TO HEAVEN, AND MAY THAT HEAVEN BARE A RESEMBLANCE TO A SUDBURY SATURDAY NIGHT When I was growing up, Stompin’ Tom Connors was like Johnny Cash –- someone we could easily mock without understanding where he came from, without understanding we were mocking a part of ourselves. But he sang about regular, working people, something that’s lost in the age of Beliebers. Here’s his final message to his fans, here’s a cool Huffington Post article about how an immigrant learned about the real Canada through Stompin’ Tom’s work, here’s a link to what I think is his best song – written for the CBC in 1972 for a television show (Mothercorp won’t let me embed its videos) and well … read on.

2 PICKING A FIGHT ON THE WAY TO A VENEZUELAN FUNERAL Stephen Harper should learn some manners before it’s too late.

3 NOBODY LIKES STEVIE, EVERYBODY HATES STEVIE, HIS POLITICAL CAREER IS GOING TO THE GARDEN TO EAT WORMS When The Great Pollster comes to rank Stephen Harper, let it be said that every major newspaper in Canada save the Toronto Star endorsed this jerk in the last election. The news is not just that it’s a three-way race: the news is that the Cons are in free-fall everywhere except Alberta and Saskatchewan and the Liberals, with no leader and no money, are nearly tied with the ruling party.

4 MERCY FOR ME, NOT FOR THEE It’s interesting to watch Tom Flanagan try to rewrite history, in this case, trying to explain away his statements that people watching child porn should get treatment, not jail, after he once said that people who watch child porn shouldn’t get persecuted by the state. See, the whole point of the Calgary School is that they think people should be free to do what they want, no matter who they hurt –- whether it’s the economy, the environment or, in this case, child porn. So what if someone’s life or someone’s civilization gets destroyed? They have a need to be satisfied.

(BTW, the guy who did the video of Flanagan spouting off about this is an activist with Idle No More — a sign that they may have gone from a talking circle to a real and true force that has the means to oppose Harper, rather than just resort to theatrics.)

5 MAYBE THE REGINA CATHOLIC SCHOOL BOARD WANTS THEM TO DO THE LINDY HOP INSTEAD I’ve been out of the loop for a while, so I don’t understand what the Harlem Shake is, let alone what would cause it to freak out a principal of a Catholic high school. (I’m sure the college of cardinals electing a new pope will get right on it.) But Riffel’s student council president got fired by the principal after telling a reporter why he didn’t understand why the principal banned it. Dean Wormer would have been proud. I wonder if Scott Woloshin is any relation to Kelly Woloshin, who was the Carillon’s sports editor in the early 1980s …

6 PIT THE POOR MALE PORN STAR I feel sorry for James Deen. How would he have known that appearing in a movie with Lindsey Lohan would have been a bad career move?

YOUR MUSICAL MOMENT OF ZEN Any other time, I would have instead used this photo I found on Twitter of Olivia Newton John and Billy Bragg together. (According to Olivia’s feed they sang a duet on something called The One Show recently. It’s the late show on BBC One, naturally). But the death of a Canadian icon calls for something else.

[James Brotheridge here. I think Rosie’s video got lost somewhere along the way. In place of whatever he had in mind, here’s another tribute to Stompin’ Tom, courtesy of Prairie Dog writer Mason Pitzel’s Facebook page.]

Let’s Try This Again: Rosie’s Six In The A.M. Part Duh

IT ISN’T GODWIN’S LAW, BUT … The Conservative Party, the riding gerrymandering and the robocalls illustrate that Stephen Harper believes the words of Josef Stalin: Who marks the ballots is unimportant. Who counts the ballots is everything. And it kind of looks like my MP (pray for me) Tom ‘The B Team’ Likuwski didn’t get the memo. As usual.

IF CADMUS DELORME OR WAVELL STAR READS THIS, I’D APPRECIATE IF YOU COULD PLEASE TRANSLATE ‘LAYETH THE SMACK DOWN’ INTO NAVAJO If there’s a better way to banjax an all-WASP anti-immigration rally in Arizona, I’m all ears.

NOSES IN THE TROUGH Unsurprisingly, Mike Duffy took the exit through the kitchen when he evaded reporters. (Hope the chefs put a lock on the fridge.) He didn’t want to answer questions that he’s a senator representing Prince Edward Island while not living in PEI. When he was a journalist, he called politicians who did stuff like that to avoid answering questions cowards. And, of course Senator Patrick Brazeau (apparently representing nobody but himself these days) apparently keeps pace with the sleaze.

GOOD LUCK IN COLLECTING It turns out that the corpse of Richard III, King of England from 1483 to 1485, was lying underneath a parking lot Leicester since he was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field. According to one wag who Tweeted the Guardian newspaper, the daily rate in that city’s car park is 18.5 pounds sterling a day, so given the number of days between his burial and his exhumation, his estate owes 3,564,006.50 pounds in parking fees, about $7 million Canadian.

IN RESPONSE BRAD WALL SAYS TOMMY DOUGLAS HAD US ALL PREPARED The number of alcohol-related deaths increase with the availability of alcohol through private liquor stores, according to a British Columbia study.

I GUESS IT DIDN’T IMPRESS THEM MUCH Shania Twain’s career hasn’t cratered, but her music hall of fame in her home town sure has, and will.

 

YOUR MUSICAL MOMENT OF ZEN To show how much I like Shania Twain, here’s Steve Earle singing ‘Nowhere Road.’

Shooting Tame Deer Is Evil

From the Winnipeg Free Press:

Members of a Manitoba Hutterite colony found the fawn in a ditch, its umbilical cord still attached, and brought the orphaned animal into their sanctuary. They hand-fed the deer fresh-baked bread and its favourite beverage: sweet tea. Children frolicked with their cuddly pet and the community laughed when the deer came to church one Sunday. They called him Bambi. Manitoba Conservation officers killed Bambi Saturday on a colony street while the animal’s foster families watched in horror.

“They shot him right in the front lawn and there were quite a few of us watching from the windows,” said Evie-Lynn Maendel, who lives on the Windy Bay Colony, located near Pilot Mound in southwestern Manitoba. ” I saw him fall and he was thrashing around for about a minute. It was hard to see for everyone.”

Fuck. Not okay. Sometimes things happen in life that require a more nuanced solution that idiotic adherence to normally good rules and policy designed to protect both the public and animals. Maybe Manitoba’s government should bring in legislation to make it easier for people in rural areas to give sanctuary to orphaned wildlife.

Of course that’s probably an overreaction too. the best solution would’ve been to offer some support to a community that did a good, Christian thing for an animal.

This is a catastrophic failure of decency, humanity and wisdom. It’s also a profound example of laziness. And cowardice.

Do better, humans.

Today’s Meeting: Maintain The White

Back in the mid-1970s a group of University of Regina engineering students ran a tape recorder, which they called Bob 6, for the student union president. Their argument was that because the position of president – and of the student council – was so impotent that all it could do was take the wishes, concerns and fears of somebody and replay them to somebody who can actually do something.

Today, regional and national chiefs are stuck in the position of Bob 6, or at least Bob 6 if somebody took out the batteries. A lot of people within the Idle No More movement talk a lot about how Bill C-45 overrides the treaties. But it doesn’t matter. Stephen Harper is the prime minister who killed the Kelowna Accord, and he is a member of the same political party that helped destroy the Charlottetown Accord 20 years ago. He made this mess — not the chiefs, not the Idle No More movement — because he and his followers scuttled every other possibility of creating a process of helping to resolve these issues, and offered nothing but contempt for anyone not as rich and as white as he is in return..

So when Murray Mandryk – who’s a fine political columnist and should damn well know better than to write what he did today – tries to call out First Nations chiefs over the procedural wrangling over today’s meeting or non-meeting, there’s a whole bunch of reasons why they’re acting that way. 

Not only are they getting pressure from the Idle No More movement (which is doing as much to undercut the exalted position too many in the old boys club of organizations such as the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations as it is to challenge the Harper government) but they know that to sup with the devil requires a real long spoon. And for any aboriginal person, supping with Harper requires a very long spoon.

See, the Reform/CPC’s whole shtick on aboriginal rights has been to ignore them. Not just rights, but aboriginal peoples as well. Racism? Treaty violations? Screw it, it’s just the economy. They’ll get used to it. Just as Heindrik Verwoerd assured investors (and Commonwealth leaders in 1961) that apartheid was just good economics and labour relations. (It didn’t work – South Africa was expelled from the Commonwealth following the Sharpesville Massacre). And anybody opposing them were people bent on upsetting The System. You don’t want to upset the system, do you?

The Conservative Party of Canada isn’t interested in hearing from aboriginal leaders unless those leaders think they have a knife to the government’s throat – and then Harper will use the real or imagined threats of civil disobedience or ‘domestic terrorism’ to ramp up police powers, do stuff to further disenfranchise people who would vote for somebody else and generally bully the public into following Harper’s agenda. Anybody who so much as looks sideways at aboriginal concerns will be seen as those who Are Against Law And Order. By demonizing and sidelining people such as Chief Spence in particular and aboriginal peoples in general, Harper wants to solidify his hold amongst the chattering classes and business community who worry that hellfire and destruction will happen – especially on the economic front — if Harper doesn’t have supreme power.

That’s how the National Party of South Africa sold apartheid. Anything else is bad for business. And you don’t want to do anything that’s bad for business, right? So take the batteries out of the tape recorder and let them wail all they want, boys.

We Won’t Be Fooled Again

On Monday, First Nations people across Canada were out protesting by the thousands right under the noses of the media. How were we supposed to know? We were busy with the Ikea monkey that day! Yeesh. But, being the gracious hosts that they are,  hundreds of protesters held a redo today at the legislature. Luckily our friends at the LP were on the ball today and were there to cover it. Phew! That would have been embarrassing.

What’s making the natives so restless? Oh, little things, you know, this and that.

More On Brainwashed Republicans

Remember this post of mine yesterday about mayoral candidate Chad Novak’s stadium referendum flip-flops? Much-adored Dog Blog commentator Barb Saylor* suggested I should, and I quote, “Juxtapose [it] with your Republican nitwits post; it’ll be interesting.”

I’m not sure what (if anything) she was insinuating,  but if Barb was pointing out that Regina’s wackiest mayoral candidate is a million times less scary than the Tea Party lunatics in the U.S., I agree with her.

Case in point:

Someone fired a shot through one of the Obama campaign offices in Denver this afternoon, shattering the glass in one of the windows. No one was injured, according to a Denver Police Department spokeswoman. There are also no suspects as of this writing, and the crime at the 9th Avenue and Acoma field office remains under investigation.

So, to juxtapose for Barb: things are bad and scary in the United States. Things are loopy, amateurish and entertaining in Regina. And I’ll take a Chad Novak’s earnest goofiness, occasional weird paranoia and general, good-natured lust for attention over Tea Party racism, ignorance, xenophobia, class betrayal, firearm ownership and general misdirected rage anytime.

*No, I’m not being sarcastic. Barb shows up and speaks up, and I appreciate the hell out of her for it.

Chris Hedges! Tonight! Go!

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, author of several books including the amazing-looking Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, and a man who, briefly anyway, won a lawsuit against U.S. president Barack Obama. And holy shit, he’s speaking tonight at the University of Regina (Education Auditorium, 7:00). It’s free and you should go. Here’s an excerpt from Special Agent Norton’s interview with Hedges, which you can read in full here.

Canada has recently changed its environmental legislation and has accelerated the review process for new projects. What’s your take on this shift?

Well Canada, particularly under Harper, is reconfiguring itself pretty rapidly into a corporate state. It has walked away from Kyoto; it has lifted environmental controls; it has militarized its police as we saw at the G20 in Toronto; it has been impinging on traditional civil liberties. It’s always sort of remarkable because we do it first, we make all the mistakes, and then 10 years later Canada copies us. I’ve never really figured it out.

Your well-known interview with Kevin O’Leary is a scar on CBC’s journalistic record. During the interview you compared the experience to being on FOX News. Canadians tend to chastise the American media for being superficial and hyper-partisan, yet we’re seeing the same patterns emerging in Canada. Why do you think we’re seeing this widespread decline in journalism?

Because corporate forces are an enemy of journalism, which is about verifiable fact, truth, exposing corruption. They have been quite successful at replacing it with celebrity gossip and emotional rants by idiots like Kevin O’Leary.

Chris Hedges is smart, honest, observant, compassionate and he calls it like it is. This will be amazing, and it’s fantastic that the University of Regina’s Social Policy Research Unit was able to bring  in a speaker of this calibre. Hope to see you there.

Fuck You, Texas You Evil Shithole

A Texas man convicted of killing a police informant has been executed after the US supreme court rejected arguments that he was too mentally impaired to receive the death penalty.

Marvin Wilson, 54, was pronounced dead 14 minutes after his lethal injection began at the state prison in Huntsville on Tuesday night. Wilson’s attorneys had argued that he should have been exempt from capital punishment because of his low IQ.

Before the lethal drugs were administered Wilson smiled and raised his head from the death-chamber gurney, nodding to his three sisters and son as they watched through a window a few metres away. He told them several times that he loved them and asked that they give his mother “a big hug”.

“Y’all do understand that I came here a sinner and leaving a saint,” he said. “Take me home Jesus, take me home Lord, take me home Lord!”

More here.

So Who, Exactly, Suppresses Scientists Anyway?

Maybe tyrants who have shit to hide? Hey, wait a second, I remember this old TV show had a theory on that.

(Never saw the remake–anyone know if it had the same awesomely heavy-handed yet relevant metaphor?)

More on the Death Of Evidence rally in Regina — which ought to be well underway at the moment — here. More on the issues around the rally here.

Colorado Springs Residents Are Probably Too Stupid To Live

Whitworth’s Global Warming Post was The Theory, Here’s A Look At The Evidence

Bob Cesca is one of my favourite American bloggers, and one of his most recent posts – with information from Bloomburg News – perfectly illustrates how the ‘don’t tax me, ever’ crowd and the global warming deniers in the United States have sown the seeds of their own destruction.

Colorado Springs is the Ground Zero for the American conservative movement – home to Focus On The Family, home of the United States Air Force Academy (the USAF is home to the greatest concentration of religious nutbars in the American armed forces) and the political base for one Dick Cheney. Last week, wildfires ravaged suburbs around the city, and, well, take it away Bloomberg News …

The city where the Waldo Canyon fire destroyed 346 homes and forced more than 34,000 residents to evacuate turned off one-third of its streetlights two years ago, halted park maintenance and cut services to close a $28 million budget gap after sales-tax revenue plummeted and voters rejected a property-tax increase.
The municipality, at 416,000 the state’s second-largest, auctioned both its police helicopters and shrank public-safety ranks through attrition by about 8 percent; it has 50 fewer police and 39 fewer firefighters than five years ago. More than 180 National Guard troops have been mobilized to secure the city after the state’s most destructive fire. At least 32 evacuated homes were burglarized and dozens of evacuees’ cars were broken into, said Police Chief Pete Carey.

Sounds insane? Yeah. It gets better:

Six of the nine candidates in last year’s nonpartisan mayoral election, including the victor, Mayor Steve Bach, signed a pledge to oppose any tax increases.
Richard Skorman, one candidate who didn’t, was flooded with angry e-mails after saying in a debate why he opposed such a pledge. What, he asked, if the city got hit by a major wildfire?
“Resources have been very stretched, and we were always worried,” Skorman, a 60-year-old small business owner and former city councilman who lost to Bach in an April 2011 run- off, said in a telephone interview.

If you live in a house like this, then you have no farking business complaining about the amount you’re paying in taxes.

If I’m an insurance company, there’s no way in Hell I would authorize a damage claim payout. The citizens of this community refused to pay for the basic level of fire and police protection – that’s negligence.

I wonder if any of those Bible thumpers in Colorado think that God is punishing them, the same way many of them thought God was punishing New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina. I wonder if any of those Tea Party activists who decry any form of government spending now wonder whether it would have been better to spend their money on paying for firefighters and police. Or maybe when scientists say that global warming is a problem, you don’t tell the world to look the other way because it might interfere with your lifestyle.

Naw. Not while there are gays and abortion seekers around. This is America, remember?

So who pays when people can’t pay – or in this case, who WON’T pay? That’s right. Everybody else. The state of Colorado sent in National Guardsmen to patrol the area and assist firefighters because the municipality’s voters voted in politicians who LAID OFF MUNICIPAL POLICE OFFICERS AND FIREFIGHTERS! So, who are the freeloaders? Who are the ones sucking off the public teat, expecting the world to pay for their mistakes? That’s right: Mr. And Mrs. Tea Party.

If they don’t learn anything from this disaster – that public works are an important way to keep you homes safe, that you’re not safe unless your community is safe, and that nobody wins until everybody wins – it’s possible that Tea Party types in general, and Colorado Springs residents in particular, probably are too stupid to live.

The Current Gives An Evil Propaganda Outfit A Public Platform, Boo

I’m still on vacation — stay-cation, actually. It’s great! I get to listen to The Current every morning. Anna-Marie Tremonti’s radio news magazine has been one of my fave shows since it launched, and she’s one of my fave CBC people.

Today, a segment on her show got one thing right and one thing very badly wrong.

The Current’s segment, which you can hear here, was about remote-controlled U.S. assasination drones, which are killing terrorists, bystanders and miscellaneous wedding parties in Pakistan and Afghanistan and elsewhere. The thing the show got right: interviewing Glenn Greenwald, a U.S. constitutional lawyer and kick-ass writer who’s one of the best reasons to read Salon. Greenwald is smart, articulate and extremely well-informed, and his scathing condemnation of the United State’s illegal bad-guy-murder-robot-fun-party is a mandatory listen. Dude’s sharp.

After that, for some reason (pressure from management to bring on right-wing sources regardless of the merits, morality or legality of their position, and credibility be damned?), The Current rolled out a troll from the American Enterprise Institute to offer the pro-extrajudicial killing perspective.

Yes, this is where we’re at now. If you write columns about how killbots and weekly presidential assassination meetings are good things, you don’t get shunned as a sociopath. You get invited on the CBC to defend state-authorized killbot assassination.

What more can be said? Well, a lot.

Continue reading “The Current Gives An Evil Propaganda Outfit A Public Platform, Boo”

A Match Made In Heaven

Rush Limbaugh’s radio show has lost upwards of 140 advertisers. But he’s gained one — according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Westboro Baptist Church — yeah, the ones who picket the funerals of deceased American soldiers with big signs saying GOD HATES FAGS — has bought advertising time on his radio show.

I think I’m going to go and lie down for a while.