Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Harper CONs campaigning over dead bodies

Israeli Defense Force attacks against Gaza - over Hamas rocket fire - are making headlines here in Canada. This is rightly so as it's a tremendously important situation - especially given the one-sided approach the Canadian Government is taking on the international stage.

I seldom talk about foreign policy issues here, but I have to make an exception now.

This Truth Mashup clip details how the Harper CONs have been using this tragedy in the Levant to their advantage. It also provides some background to the tragedy.

That grossly distasteful Conservative "action movie" trailer was released on July 18, 2014 ... as strikes, fighting and death were happening in Gaza. 

Really, what the fuck is the matter with the Harper CONs? Couldn't they at least wait a few weeks for the dead bodies to grow colder before shamelessly politicking over this issue for domestic gain?

There's ordinary, cynical politics and then there's gross, craven nihilism that ought to be out of question for any mainstream politician in Canada. Sadly, it seems that the Harper CONs' PR machine is okay with crossing that line.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Thugs try to terrorize Fringe actress

Vandalized Fringe Festival poster for Lies of a
Promiscuous Woman

Image Source: Courtesy of actress
Theresa Thompson to CBC,  obtained
off of CBC website.
It's that time of year in Winnipeg: Fringe Festival time!

 Various venues across the city are holding the weird, quirky and off beat plays that make the Festival. Everything from The Big Fat Drag Queen to Boomer Love is on display.

 Sadly, one Fringe play has rubbed some (thuggish) folks the wrong way: Lies of a Promiscuous Woman.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Government responsible to the public, not just taxpayers

Be Warned: Some attempts at philosophizing here.

Contributor to The Winnipeg RAG Review Art Cramer has been debating the Manitoba Liberals' Regional Director for Winnipeg East, Kurt Berger, 140 characters at a time via twitter. Before the conversation took a unique turn (for those interested, available here, here, and here) taxes were discussed.

Can't say I entirely agree with colleague Art Cramer's take on the privilege of paying taxes, though he is echoing a sentiment from the father of economics, Adam Smith, who regarded taxes as a "badge of [...] liberty". Certainly, given the regressive nature of sales taxes and user-fees, not all contributors to the public purse are financially privileged, even given that low income Manitobans end up as net beneficiaries of the income tax and transfer system.

I have a problem with Kurt Berger's perspective as well, though. That is his zooming in on being responsible specifically to taxpayers, rather than the general public.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Why Reddit can be really awesome

This usually applies to the Winnipeg sub-reddit, even though it's smaller than a lot of the other sub-reddits.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Safe road biking tips

Courtesy of the Manitoba Cycling Association and CAN-BIKE.

CAN-BIKE // Traffic Skills 101 from Manitoba Cycling Association on Vimeo.

And remember, never follow the advice of "get off the roads" and onto the sidewalks.

(H/t to Brendax on Reddit)

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Your Winnipeg

As we all know, the various classic rock radio stations of this fine city form an integral part of our culture. They have a crucial finger to the pulse of our municipal zeitgeist or collective unconscious. They understand the listeners and understand the various neighbourhoods within our city. This is why Power 97 is imminently qualified design an utterly serious and scientific quiz, filled with the utmost sensitivity and lack of negative stereotypes, to find which neighourhood most closely aligns with your personal values.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Podcast on the utterly Orwellian FNCFNEA

Indian Residential School in
Elkhorn, Manitoba.

Image Source: General Synod Archives,
Anglican Church of Canada.
The Harper MisGovernment has had quite a bit of trouble ramming the First Nations Education Act down the throats of First Nations. To get passed the genuine concerns of real people affected by this bill  the Harper CONs pulled out all the stops ...

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Jim Flaherty, RIP

Jim Flaherty, Canada's 37th Finance Minister.

Image Source: Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press
In the upcoming weeks this blog will look at the new Finance Minister, how they fit within the broader context of the Harper Government, and what this means for Canada. Before moving towards discussions of the future, however, it is important to acknowledge a very recent and very tragic event: the death of former Finance minister Jim Flaherty.

Flaherty was involved in Ontario provincial politics as a Progressive Conservative before his career at the Federal level, serving in a number of cabinet portfolios. Rising to Ottawa as an Whitby-Oshawa MP,  Jim Flaherty served as federal finance minister within Harper's first year as Prime Minister. He continued as finance minister until March of this year, resigning from cabinet and federal politics due to health reasons.

As a member of the Conservative Party of Canada Flaherty pursued the Prime Minister's agenda, which included spending cuts and slashing corporate taxes While generally a team player, Flaherty got into conflicts with others in the Conservative Caucus over family friend Rob Ford and income-splitting, a tax policy benefiting the wealthy he didn't support.  

On most matters, though, the Whitby-Oshawa MP worked tirelessly to forward Harper's Conservative policy agenda. While I strongly disagree with most of Flaherty's agenda (with the admission that there were some good pieces borne of his more pragmatic instincts), it is utterly sad to know a fellow human being is dead. The deceased Ontarian will be deeply missed by friends and family, including the many politicians he worked with and debated with.

Former Winnipeg blogger and prolific Winnipeg tweeter Scott MacNeil puts it best:

Friday, 4 April 2014

Transit supporters have a field day with Fielding

City Councillor Scott Fielding

Image Source: Winnipeg Free Press
Scott Fielding is the City Councillor for the St. James - Brooklands ward. This rightwing Councillor has pondered leading the provincial Conservatives in the past and is expected by local political observers like Bartley Kives and Aldo Smith to be planning a mayoral run.

Now, how's Fielding going to distinguish himself in what looks like it'll be a field of many suburban-based conservatives vying for the mayor's chair come fall?

By stridently opposing plans to move forward on rapid transit!

A brilliant idea in a city that's talked about and shelved rapid transit plans for 50 years, eh?

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

The Winnipeg RAG Review in ... shorter form

The Winnipeg RAG Review's content is cut down
to size for social media.

Image Source: Broken City Lab
As one can see the post count here's fallen off quite a bit within the last year. Rest assured that this Blogger blog is still in operation, even if at a less prolific rate. Some drafts (that may or may not become actual posts) are stewing in background right now.

But what's an eager reader to do in between the long dry spells between posts here?

Well, there's now social media content for thoughts and reflections that just don't merit a full, long form blog post.

 For the super short form, you can follow yours truly and Art Cramer on Twitter as before.

But now The Winnipeg RAG Review facebook page is no longer just a repository of links back to blog posts here. Original content for stuff that needs to be said in more than 140 characters but still much less than a typical longish form blog post is now there. Plus, it's interlinked with The Analyst's twitter feed so that twitter followers of yours truly can get Facebook page updates directing them to writings with more meat than the average tweet. 

Hope that keeps you satisfied.