Monday, July 10, 2017

Monday, June 26, 2017

"Party of One" - A Belated Review


Found a signed hardcover version of this at Value Village a month or two ago. Just finished it. I hadn't forgotten how vile and loathsome stephen harper was, but this book does an excellent job of clarifying the details that demonstrated his banal evil, shallowness and stupidity. Some random impressions:

I never clearly understood just how illegitimate and sleazy harper's attack on nuclear regulator Linda Keen was. She was just doing her job and harper stupidly attacked her thereby doing a lot of damage. His reasons, obviously, were stupid, because he is stupid. Through and through.

Which compels me to jump towards near the end of the book. The Duffy scandal. It was really too bad that Senate corruption resonated more with Canadians than did contempt of Parliament and war crimes. But it was fun to read Harris's concise summary of the scandal. Coming away from it you realize these people are all insane. Duffy, to his credit, wanted to be a Senator from Ontario, but harper told him it would be PEI and this would be fine, because he, harper the great, had decreed it would be so. Turned out harper was wrong. Whatever. Because Duffy decided all by himself, that if he could lie about living in PEI, he could lie about travel and accommodation expenses. Duffy, all on his own, decided to expense to the taxpayers for food he ate at home in Ottawa. And to this day, Duffy, Wallin, ... the whole lot of these fraudsters who were shilling for the harpercon party while pretending to represent their regions in the Senate, believe they did nothing wrong. The rules were "confusing." (No. They aren't.) They made honest mistakes. (No. The didn't.) They really are entitled to expense personal travel costs to the public dime. (No.)

But the real treat is reading how harper, the coward/bully/cad & thief, put his incompetence and stupidity on constant display when he finally found himself in a crisis he couldn't run away from. One easily disproven stupid lie after another. Each contradicting the previous stupid lie. Only harper's extreme shamelessness allowed him to stand in the House of Commons and  utter these idiocies one after the other without throwing up.

I think Harris goes too easy on Helena Guergis and Rahim Jaffer. Although it was nice (a little) to read that she vocally expressed her disapproval of harper's evil-asshole decision to de-fund "Sisters in Spirit." It seems to me though, that Jaffer was probably engaged in some shady business and the fact of the matter is that a guy from a "law and order/lock 'em up" political party to be driving drunk with cocaine in his car is total hypocrisy. Not enough is said about this sickening double-standard. Also, regarding her alleged meltdown at a Maritime airport, Harris relies on the word of Peter Mansbridge, who says he saw the video footage and that it was nothing remarkable. Mansbridge isn't someone whose opinion I respect.

I wish Harris wrote with more vitriol about the vile and sickening election fraud perpetrated by the harpercons in the 2011 election. And I wish he were more sceptical of everyone he wrote about. I think Sona, Prescot, harper, ... all of them, the whole damned bunch, were guilty of violations. Being scum-bags, the bigger players made Sona the fall-guy, and Sona had to balance his fury at their betrayal with his understanding that they'd really make him suffer if he lashed out. Furthermore, the bullshit inquiry into the scandal is not described for the travesty that it was. This was one of the lowest points.

The part about harper's sickening betrayal of wounded veterans is done very well. You really do get a sense of what total slime-balls, thugs, liars and hypocrites they harper government was.

There's more I could type. But I'm bored. I also planned on quoting from some stupid "conservative" fuckwads who gave the book a one-star rating on amazon and go to town on them. Instead I'll just say that these idiots are irredeemable. They fart out stuff like "Harris just doesn't like Harper so instead of facts he provides page after page of innuendo and smear."

The goddamned facts are right on the pages in front of them but they're too stupid, partisan and deluded to see them.

Edited to Add: The chapter on how harper made an international conman/felon the chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee (the watchdog for CSIS) and had disbarred lawyer/embezzler Bruce Carson as a senior advisor, privy to all sorts of valuable information, reminds us again how incompetent and stupid harper was. It's kind of a litmus test for intelligence and morality: If you're showing off pictures of yourself with the dregs of society such as Dick Cheney, Benny Netanyahu (or stephen harper), ... you're probably a scum-bag.



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

War in Syria: Where are the protesters?

"The United States is at war with Syria. Though few Americans wanted to face it, this has been the case implicitly since the Obama administration began building bases and sending Special Ops, really-not-there, American troops, and it has been the case explicitly since August 3, 2015, when the Obama administration announced that it would “allow airstrikes to defend Syrian rebels trained by the U.S. military from any attackers, even if the enemies hail from forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.” With the U.S. Air Force—under Trump, following Obama’s declared policy—shooting down a Syrian plane in Syrian airspace, this is now undeniable.  The United States is overtly engaged in another aggression against a sovereign country that poses no conceivable, let alone actual or imminent, threat to the nation. This is an act of war."

Read the whole thing. The answer to the question about where the protests are is that, while they'll never admit it, the leaders of the "Let's mill about peacefully in pubic for an afternoon to demonstrate how we feel" crowd have realized that this "tactic" (or whatever you want to call it) simply doesn't work.

And so, they're all out of ideas. 

I have ideas. But they'd take work. And nobody's in any position to do any work.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Comparing Corbyn and Trudeau

Martin Lukacs has an editorial in The Guardian in which he says that Justin Trudeau is a counterfeit progressive. He wins accolades from the international press for his "sunny ways," which appears to be mouthing progressive rhetoric and/or lying while being very, very handsome. Corbyn, meanwhile, was written off as fringe, unelectable, unstable and charmless.

Some liberal/Liberals here in Canada have taken Corbyn's recent success and linking it to the Trudeau majority as the sign of a progressive wave. Lukacs (and I agree with him) doesn't think much of Trudeau though:

Now that Corbyn has upended the rules that govern electoral life in the west, it will help us see Trudeau in proper perspective: as a smooth-talking centrist who has put the most coiffed gloss yet on the bankrupt and besieged neoliberalism of the age.
Trudeau’s coronation as a champion of everything fair and decent, after all, has much to do with shrewd and calculated public relations. I call it the Trudeau two-step.
First, he makes a sweeping proclamation pitched abroad – a bold pledge to tackle austerity or climate change, or to ensure the rights of refugees or Indigenous peoples. The fawning international coverage bolsters his domestic credibility.
What follows next are not policies to ambitiously fulfill these pledges: it is ploys to quietly evacuate them of any meaning. The success of this maneuver – as well as its sheer cynicism – has been astonishing.
In this manner, Trudeau has basically continued, and in some cases exceeded, the economic agenda of Conservative Stephen Harper: approved mega fossil fuel projects, sought parliamentary power grabs, cut-back healthcare funding and attacked public pensions, kept up the dispossession of Indigenous peoples, undermined the prospect of universal childcare, maintained tax loopholes for the richest, and detained and deported thousands of migrants.
Out of breath? He has also broken an electoral reform promise, initiated a privatization scheme that is a massive corporate handout, left un-repealed a Tory political spy bill, launched air strikes in Iraq and Syria despite pledging a withdrawal, and inked the largest-ever weapons deal with the brutal, misogynistic Saudi Arabian regime.
Not exactly what those who voted for “real change” were expecting? Before you answer, here’s something titillating to distract and disarm you: Justin and Barack Obama rekindling their progressive bromance at an uber-cool Montreal diner. Jeremy Corbyn has shown us the meaning of a politics of genuine hope: what Trudeau has deployed has only ever been a politics of hype.
Trudeau’s latest progressive posturing is over foreign policy. Last week his government announced, to wide-spread acclaim, a brave course for their military that is independent of the reviled US administration. Except they will boost wasteful military spending by more than $60bn, a shocking seventy percent budgetary increase, and are already entertaining new Nato missions — exactly as Donald Trump has demanded. The doublespeak seems to have escaped the navel-gazing pundits: this is utter deference masquerading as defiance.
Did you read that Trudeau-bots? Trudeau-Bro's and Trudeau-Sis's? Did you read those links? This isn't about only having had two years to undo stephen harper's damages. Some of those things were new policies that are terrible. And some things, Trudeau hasn't even pretended to do anything about (such as the draconian spy-bill C-51).

I can barely stomach the NDP. And in some cases, they've been worse than the Liberals. I saw so little difference in them that i voted Liberal last time. I'm thinking of not voting ever again.

But let's not fool ourselves that Trudeau is our friend. He's a bullshit artist. As I said here, being socially liberal is irrelevant to the project of capitalism. And capitalism requires imperialism. Hence all the US-initiated wars around the word and Canada's role as camp-follower.

Corbyn is the real deal. A leftist stalwart who never expected to be leader of the Labour Party but who has been embraced by the millions of ordinary people fucked-over by the system and sickened unto puking from the oily deluded Blairites.

That, by the way, is the proper Labour leader to link Trudeau to. Tony Blair. And years from now, he'll be just as rotten as Blair is.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Murderous "Bernie-Bro's"



So, the racist scum-bag who knifed three guys trying to stop his harassment of a Muslim woman on a Portland train (killing two and wounding one) was found to be a Bernie Sanders supporter. Then, a week or two later, the guy who shot the Republican politicians who were trying to practice baseball (between helping Wall Street rob people and helping health insurance companies kill people when all their money is gone) was also a Sanders supporter.

What does this prove? The innate pathological violence of the Left that right-wing trolls are always mentioning (when they're not saying how they'll make our blood run in the streets)?

No.

It remains the case that people whose main concerns are economic justice and individual equality are, on average, less violent than people whose main concerns are individual profit and race wars.

The Portland murderer's defining traits were stupidity and the subsequent insanity that springs from such an intense level of mental deficiencies. His racism and his conspiracy theories were the biggest factors driving him. He would probably be appalled at Sanders' deep commitment to the Civil Rights struggle, but he also would have liked Sanders' clear condemnation of Wall Street criminals. The Nazis in Germany had many followers who saw themselves as "little people" being victimized by corporate elite interests. (Especially those run by Jews!) But their political-economic analysis is marred by their stupidity and so they embrace fascism. Which is what fascism is: Socialism for stupid people.

The baseball field killer was a violent man. Spousal abuse, attacking his neighbours. He had a history of mental instability. (None of which prevented him from legally owning the weapons he took with him to Washington D.C.) Such a man is still capable of seeing if a group of people (such as Republican politicians) are antithetical to his own best interests.

This is what I mean when I say that we shouldn't get stupid (or insane) people angry. Your average Toronto Sun reader might be occasionally obnoxious and irritating, but as long as they have a job and a decent income, their antisocial tendencies tend to stay under wraps. But stir-up a bullshit war with "Islam" (through Zionism and the deliberate encouragement of Jihaadist groups for other twisted reasons) and so many of these people will start braying out their Islamophobic nonsense. Fuck-up the economy and deprive them of employment and protect the capitalist criminals who exploit them, and they'll start to get murderously desperate.

I had thought that Donald Trump would at least have made token efforts to bring back manufacturing jobs and bring down pharmaceutical costs. I would never have voted for the dunce if I was a US-American, but i thought he'd make a show of trying. But he's done the exact opposite. And the rest of his party never even promised to do those things.   Both Obama and Hillary Clinton remained steadfast in their devotion to job-destroying corporate rights deals and to cossetting Wall Street criminals and other parasite scum. Therefore things have gotten horrible.

And things will only get worse since we, as a people, as a species, are too stupid to change.


Monday, June 12, 2017

10,000 BC

"10,000 BC" is a silly movie. It's got an 8% rating on "Rotten Tomatoes" (meaning it's ROTTEN). I bought it for a few bucks back when I liked to get high and watch CGI. I have a bunch of such DVDs and I now only pull them out when the internet is down or so fucking slow that it might as well be down. I have stuff playing in the background as i work on my comics. And I'm usually high when I'm drawing. So I've now seen "10,000 BC" twice. Here's the things I like about it:

I don't believe in magic but I think it's neat how there's a witch in the tribe who looks Neanderthal. As if that lost race had magical powers. She's "the last of her kind."

The tribe is only partially white. The older warrior appears to be of some Central Asian ethnicity. The young tag-a-long is mixed-race. Sure the hero is obviously white. But I can see a director faced with a choice of a white male hero or not getting funding for the movie at all.

It throws in a nod to "Androcles & The Lion" as one of the things that helps the hero.

The slaves are working on a variant of "The Tower of Babel." Which happened a long time ago.



I thought those giant birds that chase them were creepy.

I thought it a neat device to have the "god king" being attended to by slaves who had been blinded, thus preserving his remoteness and authority.

I didn't like it that the slave-owning urban elites were portrayed as effeminate, "decadent" perverts while the tribal people were all stalwart heterosexuals.

The slave-driver who kidnaps the love interest occasionally brought some decent facial expressions to his role.

There was another nod to an iconic ancient legend, but I can't remember it now.

Don't see this movie. You'll be pissed-off with me if you do.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Oh Those Fucking "Conservatives"!


I'd never heard of Katie Hopkins before. Apparently she's a British right-wing racist scribbler, known for her "outrageous" outbursts of stupid bigotry. (A UK version of uber-hypocrite shit-stain Ann Coulter.) But she took it too far when in the wake of the Manchester concert bombing she tweeted a call for a "Final Solution" to the "problem" of the existence of Muslim people. Supposedly she came to her senses soon afterwards and deleted the tweet but many had seen it by that point and saved screen-shots. Hopkins was fired by her employer, radio station LBC.

Reading that story at the link led to another suggested link wherein a writer goes to interview Ms. Hopkins over lunch to see if she's really as angry as she seems, or whether she's just trolling, or what:

[I can't decide which of the several quotes I should pick to go into detail on, so I'll just put a bunch of them down all in a row and provide my overall take on them:]

... When tens of thousands of people bay for Hopkins’ blood and exhaust dictionaries finding new ways to deride her, she laughs and cheerfully fires out a tweet about how migrants are of equal worth to the contents of a vacuum cleaner bag, or something.How can someone be so fireproof?“You haven't separated what you've written from your writing,” she advises. “For me the thing that would hurt me is if people suggested that I was bad at writing.”...I ask about this separation she sees between herself and what she writes.“It’s massive, massive. I completely separate the two things. So here's my view that I'm purporting [not sure if that was a malapropism, but it was a good one if so] through copy or radio, and here's the way I've written it.“Now if I can draw you through 500 words I've done a great job. If you don't agree with my view at the end of those, that's great too, that's fine, but if I've got you through an issue that you don't agree with me on, that's good writing. For me I can see a distance between ‘this is what I've written’ and ‘this is me the person’.”I counter that your writing should be inextricable from you, which I think she finds quite darling....It’s incredibly incendiary wording, but she maintains everything she writes she believes, and that she isn’t a troll.“I really believe the stuff I say. Yes, there is definitely this gap, but it’s not a gap between 'Oh she's controversial for a reason and this is the real Katie' - it’s not that kind of a gap - it's a gap between a very public RAAGH RAAGH RAAGH Katie versus this super private person behind a wall.”...Her second husband, ‘lovely Mark’ as he’s known, is apparently the polar opposite to her - quiet, and culturally and politically liberal. “People say to my husband 'Oh I didn't think you'd be married to that’.” It’s an unlikely dynamic, but it seems to work. “I married myself the first time round and that was really bad, a terrible thing to do.”...Contrary to what you might expect, Hopkins is very genial in person. She is polite, courteous and unpatronising. If you had no prior knowledge of her on first meeting, you would never expect her to be the kind of person who discounts other humans on name alone.This could be evidence that the belligerent Hopkins we see in the media is a facade, but I don’t actually believe she is a troll. To answer my original question, the Katie Hopkins ranting on This Morning is the same Katie Hopkins sat in front of me, albeit with the volume turned down somewhat.

So, to sum up; Hopkins really is murderously bigoted, but in her private life she's quieter about it. And her husband, is apparently, diametrically opposed to his wife's core beliefs, but they "click" and so it's all good. Me, I've never understood how one could make a life partner out of someone whose views you find repugnant, as is the case with the husband here. But I think that I understand Hopkins' ability to do that. She's too intellectually and emotionally shallow to grasp how hateful and vile her views are. Somehow she's able to compartmentalize her racist bigotry and general "conservative" stupidity and appreciate her "darling" liberal husband and be an agreeable lunch companion to a non-threatening liberal reporter. Because, unlike myself and anyone else with a higher degree of empathy than she possesses, Hopkins simply has no clue about what words and ideas really mean.

But this is shameful:

Admitting to being a troll would obviously be career suicide though and is something I’m not going to get her to do (not that I’m convinced she is one), so I get back to the abuse thing. Has she become de-sensitised to it through the prism of the internet?“I think that's super true, being anti-my opinions or views, I'm impervious to it all.” Hopkins rationalises the bile she receives through the belief that her detractors simply aren’t smart enough to critique her properly. “They don't mean they want to rape you with a machete, they mean they really want you to shut up, they just didn't have the language,” she says. “They all go under that folder in my head - ‘didn't have the language, should have tried harder at English, what a shame’. I slide it all away.”
Now, anyone who reads this blog knows that I have a fair degree of hatred for a lot of people. But I do not post murderous fantasies. One, because they're illegal, and (more importantly) because I don't relish the idea of physically harming anyone. I'd like to see stephen harper in prison and Ezra Levant unemployed and destitute. But not harmed. I'd like them to learn from their mistakes. Or at least give those shit-heads the chance to learn.

Speaking of Ezra Levant: More stuff ---- Porter Airlines has joined a growing list of companies pulling their advertising from Levant's hate/propaganda-site. Like most career criminals and con-artists, Ezra pulls the race card, whining about anti-Semitism. Pathetically, he calls for a boycott of Porter Airlines. I read about Levant's response in the free Sun News daily "24 Hours." I can't find a link for it, but trust me, if you were the typical proto-fascist dullard who agrees with their shit, you wouldn't be able to figure out that Levant is the one reacting. It's written as if he's targeted Porter.

It's sad that Canadian journalism is so debased that people are forced to write such drivel. Or, what's more likely, that Canadian society and humanity in general are so debased that we produce people who believe in all the shit that Ezra Levant and Sun News push out.