A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘federalism

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • blogTO notes the continued rise in rental prices for apartments.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at a time in the Earth’s history when there was a lot of atmospheric oxygen but not much life.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting there is an authentic lack of gas giant planets beyond 10 AU.
  • Itching for Eestimaa notes the British politicians who favoured the recognition of the Soviet annexation of the Baltics, and notes that those imperialist times of old are back.
  • The Map Room Blog notes that Trump voters tend to prefer Duck Dynasty and Clinton voters preferred Family Guy.
  • Marginal Revolution notes California’s ban on funding travel to jurisdictions which discriminate against people on grounds of sexual orientation or gender.
  • Peter Watts describes a trip on hallucinogens.
  • The NYRB Daily shares Masha Gessen’s concerns about the threat of moral authority.
  • Spacing links to some article about improving bike infrastructure.
  • Window on Eurasia warns of a new consolidation of Russian federal units.

[URBAN NOTE] “Cities need to heed signals from Trudeau government”

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Spacing Toronto’s John Lorinc argues that a leaked federal government report predicting very high levels of debt in decades to come can, from the perspective of cities, best be read as a warning that hoped-for federal funding in infrastructure is not coming.

The little explosion of sweaty news last week about an apparently buried federal report predicting “decades” of gigantic deficits added just a bit more fuel to the fire crackling around Justin Trudeau’s feet. The key take away was that net debt levels, driven by anemic GDP growth and an aging population, will crest at $1.55 trillion by the 2050s.

The short-hand media analysis focused more on that great big scary number than the complex political dynamic this analysis will set in motion.

I’m not talking about the short-term melodrama. The report obviously feeds into the emerging narrative of the Trudeau government as profligate and beholden to wealthy lobbying interests while increasingly isolated in a world that’s become fixated on the brain-stem appeal of nativist politics. It also gives Kevin O’Leary and the rest of the Conservative leadership pugilists a new talking point, allowing them to change the channel away from Kellie Leitch’s tone-deaf immigrant bashing.

Rather, when I scanned at this report, which is built on the sturdy and seemingly apolitical timber of long-term demographic and productivity analysis, two points struck me:

One, while the media reports presented the document as something the government released as quietly as a church mouse skittering around on Christmas eve, the language in the document bears the unmistakable signs of a political edit: “As this demographic transition unfolds,” the unnamed Department of Finance author states at one point, “the Government will continue to take smart decisions and make sound investments to build Canada’s economy of the future and create an economy that works for the middle class [emphasis added].”

These, clearly, are not the words of some nerdy government economist.

So? I’d argue this document was absolutely intended to be discovered, thus subtly sending the signal that Ottawa is keeping a watchful eye trained on long-term economic and spending trends.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 12, 2017 at 9:00 pm

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • Anthropology.net looks at archeological findings revealing what people ate in the area of the Levant 780 thousand years ago.
  • D-Brief notes Amazon’s patenting of mothership and drone technology.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper looking at how quickly hot Jupiters lose their atmospheres.
  • Far Outliers notes the numerology of 1979.
  • Language Hat links to an essay by a writer of Chinese origin talking about what it means to abandon writing in one’s native language.
  • Language Log looks at European Union English’s latest definitions.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money argues in favour of holding corporations responsible for their supply chains, worldwide.
  • Marginal Revolution notes a San Francisco restaurant that serves food on Ipads.
  • Steve Munro calculates the effect of uneven headways on TTC bus routes.
  • Neuroskeptic notes that creationists who claim Charles Darwin contributed to the extinction of Tasmanian Aborigines appear to be lying.
  • The NYRB Daily reports on an exhibition of the abstract art of Carmen Herrera.
  • Towleroad notes an effort to recreate the sounds of 18th century Paris.
  • Transit Toronto notes higher TTC prices.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests Putin’s regime is increasingly totalitarian, argues the lessons some Russians take from stardom is that reforms lead to revolution, and notes Tatarstan’s being hauled back into line.
  • Arnold Zwicky pays tribute to departed soc.motsser Harold Arthur Faye.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO reports on the Union Station Holiday Market.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly writes about how she has fled toxic environments.
  • Centauri Dreams considers the next generation of observational astronomy with Alpha Centauri in mind.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze looks at how foreseeeable advances may mean that Proxima Centauri b’s atmosphere could soon by studied for indirect signs of life.
  • Far Outliers notes how, in the dying ways of the War of American Independence, British forces were setting slaves free.
  • Language Log shares Chinese science fiction writer Ken Liu’s thoughts about the Chinese language and Chinese literature.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money warns about the potential threat posed to indigenous peoples in the United States by the Trump Administration.
  • The LRB Blog considers the likely fates of Italy after Renzi.
  • The Planetary Society Blog describes the impending launch of a solar sail craft into orbit.
  • Savage Minds considers ways in which the different subfields of anthropology can more profitably interact, looking at scholarship and politics both.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy argues that the American left should make the Trump Administration cause to advocate for a renewed federalism.
  • Arnold Zwicky writes about the art of being camp and its selective deployments.

[LINK] “Why peace won’t come quickly for Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador”

MacLean’s shares this Canadian Press report talking about the chilly relations between Québec City and St. John’s.

They are arguably the least friendly neighbours in Confederation.

Newfoundland and Labrador has been feuding with Quebec since before the Atlantic province joined Canada, with a barely hidden animosity driven by border disputes and hydroelectric power feuds that have wound through courts for decades.

Which is why headlines were made last month when Quebec began talking about possibly “burying the hatchet” on an epic scrap over the lopsided Churchill Falls hydro deal. Premier Philippe Couillard told reporters that it’s not just energy issues — the two provinces can collaborate on other things and need to build more neighbourly ties.

But there is deep skepticism in Newfoundland and Labrador, which has a population smaller than metropolitan Quebec City and a collective wariness borne of distrust.

Premier Dwight Ball says he’s open to talks with Quebec, if they help his province. But any real rapprochement sounds far off.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 5, 2016 at 8:30 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO notes Niagara Falls’ new light show.
  • Body Horrors reports on a 1980 epidemic of MRSA among Detroit drug users.
  • Centauri Dreams describes the final orbits of Cassini around Saturn.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting Tabby’s Star is being star-mined.
  • Language Log looks at an element of Chinese slang regarding telecommunications.
  • The LRB Blog argues against blaming migrants for problems on the left.
  • The Planetary Society Blog discusses the continued Dawn mission around Ceres.
  • Savage Minds talks about the need to slow down in a time of crisis.
  • Seriously Science notes research suggesting whales jump out of the water for purposes of communication.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that, in the United States, flag burners cannot be stripped of their citizenship.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests Russians would like the West to make up on Russia’s terms and looks at the embassies and delegations of Russia’s component regions.

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • blogTO lists ten zine artists of note in Toronto.
  • Centauri Dreams reports on new simulations of gas giant formation.
  • Dangerous Minds shares photos of Halloween partiers in New York City’s West Village circa the early 1990s.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze reports that the system of HR 2562 may include a brown dwarf.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that a Northern Irish party leader has vowed to block gay marriage because of Internet rudeness.
  • Language Hat considers the complexities involved in translating the Odyssey.
  • Language Log reports on how the Chinese word “daigou” might be infiltrating into English.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the popularity of an Indonesian coffee shop known for its cyanide, and reports that East Asian men contribute little to parenting time.
  • The NYRB Daily reports on a new exhibition about the Brontës.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog charts references to Ukrainian separatists in Russia media.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how some wish to abolish restive northern autonomous regions like Sakha, looks at how some Russian Orthodox activists wish to ban Halloween, and suggests Russia is isolated in its anti-Western sentiment.