Friday, November 30, 2007

I think Stephen Harper is trying to tell us something

It looks like the Harper government is all set to cancel the "Post Living Differential" ...

Since June 2000, almost half of Canada's soldiers have been receiving a bump in their monthly salary -- dubbed the post living differential -- for living and working in cities with a high cost of living.

However, the Forces is reviewing the payments, and according to a report on Global National last night, the Tory government plans to put a halt to them.


Maybe, maybe, some new, similar program is in the works, however:

a new wage package -- which includes post living differential, rental rates for married quarters and special duties allowances -- was discussed by federal Treasury Board but no government announcement had yet been made.


It will be a good idea to keep an eye on this one. Harper doesn't have as many chances to provide blatant examples of hypocrisy on his party's whole "support the troops" mantra as the bush II regime gets. Perhaps he's taking the opportunities to rub everyone's noses in his cynicism and all-around scuzziness where he can find them.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thursday Post

For the record, I don't want any government, of any political stripe spying on me. That doesn't appear to be something that many right-wingers can say.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Practical Hypocrisy? Probably Not. Part II

Slightly related to this immediately preceding post, is one now permantly banned commentator "abu-abu-asshat" who, in this thread about good kids and bad kids, asserted that I have anger-management problems because I hurled insults at Florida teenagers who harrassed a group of fellow students who wanted to celebrate the blessings of peace. Some of them drew swatiskas or wrote "white power" on the peace club's posters, and one useless turd went so far as to write the following un-charming statement on a poster of its own, which it used to replace a pro-peace poster:

"I love America because America loves war."

Abu-abu-asshat wrote comment after comment, asserting that my scorn for these war-mongers was evidence of insanity because I used nasty words to describe them. I tried and I tried to get some sort of sustained, coherent statement out of the asshat, to show why such people shouldn't be derided in the strongest terms possible. Why should we maintain some level of dignified discourse when it comes to discussing them?

Alas, the most that I can make of it is that abu-asshat objects to foul language and that's that.

Which prompted me to write this post. I wondered this morning if asshat was being cynical. Simply posting insulting assertions about my mental health in order to waste my time, and perhaps to infuriate me, an on-line leftist, and therefore an enemy in the "culture war." But it now occurs to me that asshat really does object to cuss-words, and, furthermore, that asshat probably sympathizes with the war-mongers (who will, if recent history is any guide, not sign-up for the war that they claim to love so much, allowing others to fight and suffer and die on their behalf).

In short: Asshat is not "evil," but "stupid." (Obviously, they're not mutually exclusive terms. Asshat's "evil" arises out of the positions that it takes out of stupidity.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Practical Hypocrisy? Probably Not.

I was just thinking; the fascist thugs (examples of which troll my blog from time to time) are generally quite blah-zay about the violations of the civil rights of leftist protestors, and ordinary citizens in general (so long as it's right-wing governments doing the spying and tasering) but we know that they'd howl like copulating cats if a left-wing government did to them what happens to us.

And then I wondered; are these clowns actually being smart? Are their blatant double-standards merely a tactical decision? Are they cognizant that there is a war going on, a "culture" or "ideological" war and that all's fair in love and war, as the saying goes?

Then I thought, nahh. They're just hypocritical morons who have no idea how stupid they sound. And what convinces me that their hypocrisy is genuine rather than cynical tactics is that these dumbkoffs are themselves victimized by their own political masters. Working-class shlubs without the brains to know who their real enemies are, and lacking the courage to go after their powerful exploiters even if they could figure out how they're being cheated. Religious dupes at war with themselves and by extension everyone else who won't conform to their narrow, superstitious morality. Wanna-be tycoons who will never get a foot in the door, but live vicariously through their simplistic business ("bizness") books and their Ayn Rand fantasies.

So, in the end, they're just stupid.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Great Kids and Stupid, Ignorant, Brutish Kids

Here's a heartening/disheartening story from http://www.commondreams.org/:

"Students Wear Confederate Flag Shirts To Oppose Peace-Shirt Group"

It seems that some nice kids at a Florida highschool have decided to start a peace club. This involved their wearing shirts with homemade peace symbols on them every Thursday, and, later, putting up peace posters on each others' lockers. It was intended to be a fun, non-partisan way for these kids to express how much they liked the state wherein resources aren't wasted on guns provided by profiteer scum, children's lives aren't destroyed by these weapons which maim and kill them and their loved ones, and so-on and such-forth.

Sadly, things haven't been going so well for the peace club in the Florida highschool:

The heckling began early in the school year, according to group members. They said they were putting small posters promoting peace on friends’ lockers with their permission.

They thought it was OK, because the cheerleaders and football players had signs on theirs. Eventually, though, group members said they were told by the school’s administration they could no longer hang up the posters.

“People tore them down and drew swastikas and ‘white power’ stuff on them,” Lauren said. Skylar had similar things written on her posters.

“Someone taped an ‘I Love Bush’ sign over my ‘Wage Peace’ sign,” she said. “So I tore it down, threw it away, and the whole commons starting booing. I walk by later and find that someone has completely tore my sign down and placed an ‘I Love America, Because America Loves War’ sign up.”

Nice. Here's my thoughts on the subject: Peace club kids, you guys are an inspiration. You're brave, noble, and obviously incredibly intelligent and mature for being able to resist the brainwashing efforts of your country's utterly detestable media-government establishment.

To the enemies of the peace club, you guys stink. I'm sure some of the swastikas and "white power" scrawlings were only intended in the lame, callous manner of teenage shock humour. (That's how we spell "humor" here in Canada!) In this context however, when your country has been raping and pillaging in Iraq for half a decade, when by some scientific estimates your country has presided over the deaths of over a million men, women and children, when countless other children your age and younger have lost their childhoods to the horrors of war, you're just not funny.

To the committed enemies of peace, you guys really stink. And you're stupid. Your president is a moron, a hypocrite, and a coward. Oh yeah, he's a thief and a dictator. He's the laughing-stock of the world, and that's saying a lot for a political system that's now regarded as a pathetic joke worldwide. I pray that when you graduate (probably by hiring people to do your assignments and write your exams) that you go to Iraq and suffer all the horrors of the war that you claim to love so much. But if the past is any indication, you won't go. Because like most bush-fetishist war-mongering scum, you leave the fighting and dying up to other people.

I can't really blame you guys for being such empty-headed idiots though. You weren't raised right is all. How could you have been, what with your closet-case fathers all off every night getting corn-holed at roadside gay orgies ("Jesus, I have failed you again!") and your mothers' minds destroyed by bulimia-induced malnutrition and their days spent swigging booze and bribing gardeners and other tradesmen to gang-bang them.

To the dipshit who wrote "I Love America, Because America Loves War," well now, you have to go to war now, don't you? Anyway, thanks for expressing the thoughts that have made the vast majority of humanity loathe you. Sure, you guys are still the most powerful country in the world, but another decade of your kind of government and you'll collapse into civil war and anarchy.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Exactly

Mark Weisbrot via Znet: Holocaust Denial, American Style

Of course, acknowledging the holocaust in Iraq might change the debate over the war. While Iraqi lives do not count for much in US politics, recognizing that a mass slaughter of this magnitude is taking place could lead to more questions about how this horrible situation came to be.

...

In fact, there is considerable evidence that the occupation itself - including the strategy of the occupying forces - has played a large role in escalating the violence to holocaust proportions. It is in the nature of such an occupation, where the vast majority of the people are opposed to theoccupation and according to polls believe it is right to try and kill the occupiers, to pit one ethnic group against another. ... It has become even more obvious in recent months as the United States is now arming both sides of the civil war, including Sunni militias in Anbar province as well as the Shiite government militias.

Nazi references are considered gauche, but when reality presents something like so strong a parallel, one has to wonder. At least the Germans could argue that they were living under a genuine dictatorship.

But most Canadians remain happily ignorant of our brutalities in Haiti, and willfully deluded about our work in Afghanistan. NATO has killed as many Afghans this year as the Taliban. Our soldiers apparently hand teenaged prisoners to the rapists and torturers in the Afghan prison system.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

British Leave, Violence Drops

Haven't seen much mention of this, from firedoglake.com.

About the only real reason to keep US troops in Iraq has been the understandable worry that, as bad as things are right now, withdrawing our troops will only make things worse for the Iraqi people.

Well, the Brits have had their troops out of Basra for two and a half months now — and guess what? The violence level’s dropped by 90%. That’s right, Ninety Friggin’ Percent:


There's also a story about mainstream cable-news pundit Chris Matthews and how he's an idiot. I don't watch much of any television news, let along USian news. I only know about Chris Matthews from what I see on crooksandliars.com. But Matthews appears to be a supremely vapid personality, and the epitome of the sort of telegenic airhead that the corporate propaganda system promotes. Matthews doesn't have to censor himself, or reign-in his critical faculties and isolated radical beliefs. Matthews doesn't have any critical faculties or isolated bits of ideological purity. Matthews can pontificate at length and never threaten anybody of substance in the system because such ideas never occur to him. That's why he can condemn the war in Iraq while at the same time mock anti-war protestors and work himself up to an erection about bush II's manliness.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Working on a Bigger Article

It's gonna take me a couple of days. In the meantime, I'll share this with you. When I want to work and drown-out the world with ambient sounds, I listen to somafm.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

"Don't Tase Me Bro" - Vancouver International Airport Edition

Well, I'm actually pretty angry at how Canada's international reputation has been further disgraced. And I'm angry reading about right-wing assholes who rationalize or excuse that monstrous police action and who have blamed the victim.

But as the days have gone by and I haven't had a spare hour to devote to blogging about this incident, my attitude about its causes has changed.

I started out thinking that it was this new attitude of impunity of our forces of "law and order" in these increasingly authoritarian times that was responsible for those RCMP thugs killing that man at the Vancouver International Airport.

Remember the security goons tasering that Muslim kid at his college library, shouting: "Here's your violation of civil liberities!!"

Now, when dissent is marked as treason, anyone standing up and shouting what's on their mind transforms into the image of Osama bin Laden and harmless loudmouths at a microphone are now dragged-off to arrest and electrocuted if they refuse to comply.

But while this new attitude might be part of the problem, as I reflect upon the historic traditions of attacking dissenters (weren't we all "useful idiots," "fellow travellers," "paid agents" of the USSR during the Cold War?) in the USA and Canada during the union struggles of the 1930s and 1940s, and on campuses and at rallies since the 1960s, I can't really bring myself to believe that police today are that much different from police in the past. What is a "Charter-free zone" after all? And notice that it didn't take 9-11 for that Mountie to feel the need to justify his unilateral creation of a "Charter-free zone" at the APEC Conference in Vancouver.

Maybe things have changed a little, since the "Reagan revolution" in the USA, and the attending coarsening of political debate he brought about. Things have changed a little since 9-11-01, but not that much.

I think the lion's share of the blame rests with the technology. Tasers give police the groundless belief that they have an EASY, NON-LETHAL means of quickly subduing a threat, real or imagined, and they all-too-quickly resort to it. And now, all-too-often, people die.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

Favourite Line of the Day ...

"... and that Cheetos blenderized with Mountain Dew Game Fuel tastes like TOUCHING THE FACE OF GOD!!!"


Hit the link for the rest of it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Destructive Harper

Sean in Saskatchewan has decided to compile a list of Harper's cuts to programs, institutions, and studies integral to Canadians' national values.

Indeed. Due to a number of fragile circumstances, Canada is a different political culture from the US. A far less debased, cruel, and stupid one. (This is not a slight against ordinary Americans. Half of them are so sickened by their political culture that they do not bother to vote, and much of the Democratic Party's rank-and-file are furious at their leaders' corruption, weakness, and dithering.)

But Harper, and the Conservative Party of Canada, supported by a loud, stupid minority, unrepresentative of the average Canadian, are working to to destroy this political culture and transform it into the shambling horror south of our border.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Maintaining Decorum

"Mr. and Mrs. Brown, we think we've got all the info we need to convict those assholes who kidnapped your kids."

"Okay. Hold it right there. Pack up all your so-called 'evidence' and just get out."

"Huh? But don't you want to ..."

"If you have to lower yourself to the level of personal invective and ad-hominem attacks, we want nothing to do with you. You've cheapened everything about your case, ... you've basically handed the other side the victory."

"I'm not sure I ..."

"It's simple. By coarsening the level of discourse, by debasing the tone of the debate, you've removed yourself now and forever from civilized conversation and interaction. I'd rather those people never be punished than that they be convicted in such a fashion."

"O-o-o-k-a-y-y-y then. We'll be in touch."

"You might want to see someone about that potty-mouth of yours. And that spittle-flecked chin, from all your raging."

(Door closes. End scene.)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay

"Harold & Kumar Go To White-Castle" was a college-age stoner movie with a bit of a difference. Besides some well-acted, unique minor characters (the volatile pick-up window attendant at the sub-par burger joint, the helpful "Freak Show," and all the cops and prisoners at the police station) and some interesting plot twists involving Doogie Howser and escaped zoo animals, it also dealt with the racism endured by second-generation North Americans (hey, it was filmed in and around Hamilton, Ontario Canada!) who just want to enjoy the same things white North Americans do. It's one of those comedies that pokes fun at the ridiculousness of white stereotyping of others (in this case a South Asian and an East Asian man).

It wasn't politically correct. There's a pervasive heterosexism, and women are presented as they always are in these movies, as beautiful, idealized objects of desire, or as party-girls flashing their tits. Still, it did manage to score some strong points on racism and politics while being a well-written example of the stoner-movie genre.

That's why I'm excited that these two cultural sign-posts have apparently gotten even more political their second time out. This time, they're confronting the absolutely hysterical racism that's been given a free ride since "9-11 changed everything." This time, our heroes have been shipped off to that blight on everything the United States imagines it stands for: the gulag at Guantanamo Bay. I'm interested to see how they deal with the subject.


Friday, November 9, 2007

Just Saying ....

If one really wanted to devastate an opinionated, loudmouthed moron, the best way to go about it wouldn't be to launch an obsessive campaign of stalking and mockery. The best way to deflate someone who is self-evidently proud of their views that they publicly hold forth on them would be to expose the glaring errors that make their entire case stupid and fraudulent.

When you are repeatedly invited to try and do that by the blowhard, and you are consistently exposed as incapable of it, it kinda makes the rest of the world think that maybe you're the moron, and your target's argument is the better one.

Just saying.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Fire

What's funny is that in the movie "Hot Fuzz," when Timothy Dalton's villain character drives up to the burned-out mansion that the Sandford Neighbourhood Watch Association blew up, this song is playing on his car radio.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

About Haditha

A while ago, I posted about [yet another] right-wing doughy pantload named Jason Mattera, who went to annoy democratic congressman John Murtha when he heard that charges had been dropped against some of the marines implicated in the Haditha Massacre.

Why? Why did this Mattera person go and bother Murtha upon hearing news about the Haditha accused?

Because when Murtha heard about the Massacre, in which crazed marines (angered at the immediately preceding death of a comrade from the explosion of a road-side bomb) went methodically from one house to another, shooting innocent, unarmed, men, women, and mostly children, sometimes execution style, Murtha said that US soldiers had been put in an impossible situation, in insufficient numbers, and some were cracking and killing people in cold blood and this had to stop.

Obviously, speaking this simple truth meant that Murtha hated the troops, hated America, wanted America to "lose" in Iraq, and on and on.

Murtha, speaking out from his position on the House Appropriations Committee's sub-Committee on Defense, has supposedly compromised these marines' rights to a fair trial. The right-wing is very concerned about due-process dont'cha know, just check out their silence on the case of Jose Padilla. They never called him a terrorist, or a "dirty-bomber," or anything, because the right-wing believes that rules are rules, and principles are principles, and actually, I'm being sarcastic. The right-wing doesn't give a shit about due-process. They wanted to sweep the massacre of innocent civilians, including children as young as two years old, under the carpet, and let the bullshit charade of US military justice against its mass-murdering heroes to do its work and exonerate as many of them as possible and limit punishment to the obviously guilty by as much as possible.

Because they're vermin.

And, because (as I suggested in that earlier post) Mattera and others as contemptibly stupid as he is must believe that those Iraqis shot themselves. (Which would make the marines' earlier lies about a desperate fire-fight all the more inexplicable.)

But what's going on in the trial of the Haditha accused? How have some of these massacre-participants managed to get the charges against them dropped?

Rahul Mahajan has recently written about the trial at his blog: "Empire Notes." Not surprisingly, this trial has been as big a whitewash as the Abu Ghraib trials, the Padilla trial, or any other trial under bush II's war on democracy and human rights:

The hearings have been a circus. First of all, they were held in Camp Pendleton, California, rather than in Iraq, so the Iraqis who witnessed the events couldn’t testify. Second, the families of the victims refused requests by military interrogators to exhume the bodies for forensic evidence. Third, Lt. Col. Paul Ware, who presided over the hearings, has been both excessively sympathetic to the defendants and excessively concerned with the effect that the verdicts will have on future Marine operations. Fourth, some rather odd plea bargains have been made.

Most recently, Ware recommended that all charges of murder (originally 13 counts) against Wuterich be dropped and replaced with charges of negligent homicide only for seven of the murdered women and children (many of them shot in their beds) – and has added that he doesn’t think Wuterich would be convicted on those charges either.

...

Earlier, Ware recommended dropping all charges against Sharratt, accepting his claim that the execution-style killings of the three men shot in the head occurred in self-defense in the heat of combat. He also wanted charges dropped on Tatum, even though fellow Marine Lance Cpl. Humberto Mendoza testified that Tatum had ordered him to shoot the seven women and children, even after being informed of their identity and that they posed no threat.

Charges were dropped against the two captains, Grayson is still under investigation, and Ware recommended that Chessani be charged with dereliction of duty, although with none of the actual murderers on trial, apparently, he was derelict in investigating nothing.



Aboslutely disgusting, and all-too common in bush II's United States.

Now then, in my post on Maretta-Murtha, one commentator ("anonymous") decided that I was blind to the irony of my harsh words about Maretta and my own condemnation of the morons who wanted Murtha hanged for treason:

"You, Maretta, are just some smirking, useless, stupid piece of shit."
Is what I said about Maretta. Following a summary of idiotic ravings about Murtha, I wrote:

"What happens to the "marketplace of ideas" when there's garbage like this in it, screaming louder than all the rest?"
To which "anonymous" wrote:

You wouldn't recognize irony if it bit you on the ass.
Where "anonymous" got confused is his equating a clearly (to an honest person with half a brain anyway) outlined detail of Maretta's stupidity (to whit; that Murtha responded with genuine outrage at the horrifying consequences of bush II's evil and incompetence, and the grave nature of a slaughter of this nature and these proportions, he did not implicate individual marines, he did not say he hated America, he did not jeopardize anyone's right to a fair trial, and that, regardless, marines on the site went on a killing spree and nobody investigated it until TIME Magazine found evidence of the massacre, and the marines clearly lied about the circumstances of the event. Somebody killed those innocent people. And they were among those marines present.)

"anonymous" equated that, with callous, sadistic, cretinous individuals who called for Murtha's hanging for expressing upset at the marines' slaughter of civilians, including some no-doubt hypocritical thugs who defended the slaughter as a fact of war.

So, the moral of that particular little story is that if someone from the reality-based community sees a piece of dogshit on the floor and says "It smells like shit in here. The dog shit on the floor." then that person is describing reality. But the right-wing will accuse that person of making an "ad-hominem attack," and all protestations that they are accurately describing reality will be met with snorts of derision. (The right-winger will try to outlast the normal person, hoping they will leave the room in a huff, whereupon the right-winger can dive towards the lump of dog-shit and merrily eat it.)

When some right-wing moron sees a bouquet of flowers on a table and says "They smell like shit." and you challenge them, "What do you mean? They're flowers. They smell like flowers." and they say, "You're unhinged. You're a moonbat. You hate America. You're an anti-Semite. You smell like shit too." and etc., etc., you'll find that you're experiencing the delight of the right-wing internet in 3-D! And if, in despair at their hopeless stupidity you turn and walk away, they'll crow about how you're unable to debate them, and that censorship is the natural inclination of the left, and how they always consider views from all sides of the spectrum. But by this time, they've proven themselves so completely idiotic that you couldn't care less what they're saying.


Saturday, November 3, 2007

How Are They Able To Tie Their Own Shoelaces?

Genuine curiosity here. These stupid right-wing fucks, ... how the hell can they be sentient human beings, possessed of an apparent ability to type, but they are so goddamned clueless and insane on matters of substance? What level of human cognitive ability are they at where they can produce such drivel as I've just seen recently?

In this post; "Suppressing Dissent" I link to the harassment of peace activists Ann Wright and others from CODEPINK as they try to enter Canada to discuss the implications of the authoritarian "Security and Prosperity Parntership" for the health of democratic dissent in North America.

Essentially, these fine US citizens have been arrested on bullshit grounds, ticketed, and now their foreign travel is being restricted under regulations that were meant to control dangerous criminals and terrorists, not people who protest illegal wars and mass slaughter.

"wayne" responds to this horrible and disturbing behaviour with the asinine comment: "Good. Condi for president," which got his ugly, pig-headed self banned for life from the schoolyard.

No-life loser "nonny" attempted to post something (in a frenzy of juvenille activity) and I deleted it so that it appears as if it never existed.

But "bert" is the guy who has me scratching my head. In his first post, the twit argues that this harassment of these citizens is no big deal. Then, when I comment that I'd like to see them suffer similar treatment under a left-wing government, he accuses me of fascist tendencies. Which he apparently finds alarming. When I tell him that he's just exposed himself as a complete hypocrite he lets loose with the following idiotic tantrum:

You've got a little on your chin, there, thwappy. Might wanna wipe that up before you go out in public. And try taking your meds, too, before the nice men with the net come by and fit you for one of those trendy jackets with the sleeves that tie in the back. Anti-hallucinatory drugs could surely cure you of your tendency to just make shit up and accuse the other guy of having said it.What a fucking moron you are.

But it is comical to watch you blather on, having a fucking conversation with yourself about points nobody actually made.

You should just disable comments completely because you are incapable of comprehending anything written to you. Your blog is a fucking waste of time. So, fuck you, arsewipe.


I mean, really, what did I miss? I've titled this entry "How are they able to tie their own shoelaces?" and I really do wonder how a person can genuinely miss the significance of their own fucking thoughts and words, and react in genuine outrage when the significance of their own words is presented to them.

"bert" is a prize example of the clueless incomprehension, hypocritical self-righteousness, inability to argue the simplest points, and, finally, inability to grasp the use and meaning of an argument ad hominem that so characterizes this frightfully stupid, and formerly influential political demographic.

Let's review the arrests of the CODEPINK activists:

Desiree Fairooz holding up her red paint stained hands to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and shouting “The blood of millions of Iraqis is on your hands!” As Capitol Hill police took he out of the hearing of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs, Fairooz yelled over her shoulder “War criminal! Take her to the Hague!” Shortly thereafter two Codepinkers were arrested for just being in the room and brutally hauled out of the hearing by Capitol police. An hour later Medea and a male Codepinker were arrested for no reason. Four of the five had to stay overnight in the District of Columbia jail.

Now, it should be completely obvious that all of these arrests were completely bogus. The Ms. Fairooz could be argued to have been causing a disturbance, but her companions were arrested for simply sitting near her, or later, two were arrested simply for knowing her.

Let's repeat that for the braindead morons and/or disgusting fascist authoritarians like "wayne," "nonny," and "bert." They were arrested for nothing. Try to picture this guys: You're walking down the street. A friend of yours had been arrested the day before for shouting "Taliban lover!" at Jack Layton, and had been arrested and held overnight for this non-crime. And now, two police officers approach you as you're on the way to work, or home, or wherever it is, and they say that you're under arrest. Now they're handcuffing you and putting you in a squad car and taking you to jail.

Is this concrete enough of an example for you shitheads? Does this register as suppression of dissent yet in your pea-brains?

And what's more, when you try to travel to the United States, you find that you're on some watch-list for dangerous criminals and terrorists, and you're unable to visit relatives, seek employment, vacation, or network with other compatriots in your great war against "liberal appeasement stalinist gay-burqa loving beheading fetishist global warming fascism" or whatever the hell it is you numbskulls believe you're fighting against.

Of course, there are options to escape from these restrictions. Mountains of paperwork that nobody bothered to inform you about:

After nearly four hours of interrogation, I was told by the senior immigration officer that I was banned from Canada for one year for failure to provide appropriate documents that would overcome the exclusion order I had been given in early October because of conviction of misdemeanors (all payable by fines) in the United States. The officer said that to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) for entry for a specific event on a specific date, I must provide to a Canadian Embassy or consulate the arresting officer’s report, court transcripts and court documents for each of the convictions and an official document describing the termination of sentences, a police certificate issued within the last three months by the FBI, police certificates from places I have lived in the past ten years (that includes Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia), a letter acknowledging my convictions from three respected members of the community (the respected members that I will ask to write a letter all been convicted of similar “offenses”) and a completed 18 page “criminal rehabilitation” packet.


Additionally, besides obtaining theTemporary Resident Permit, since I was being banned for a year from Canada, I would have to obtain a “Canadian Government Minister’s consent.” The officer said that the TRP and the Minister’s consent normally took from 8-10 months to obtain. In the distant future, to be able to enter Canada without a TRP, I would have to have to be “criminally rehabilitated” and be free for five years of conviction of any offense, including for peaceful protest.

And in no way, shape, or form, can anything, any one of you did, be construed as making you security threats on par with dangerous criminals and terrorists, but there you have it.

Once again, ugly-minded, bone-stupid "wayne" thought this was a good way to treat dissenters. And sweet, sensitive "bert" says that everythings on the up-and-up and they can do the paper-work and provide advance notice of their travel plans, and then he makes a lame joke about lefties singing "Kumbiya."

But when I talk about a leftist government meting out the same treatment as these women suffered, when I said that I'd love to see people like "bert," "wayne," and all the other assorted assholes treated like Ms. Wright and friends were, "bert" starts to worry about my fascist tendencies. (I'll admit I also talked about media campaigns of denigration, and spying, which isn't mentioned by Ms. Wright, but unless you've been walking around with your head up your ass for the past five or so years, you'll understand that warrantless, widespread spying, and worse, are the modus operandi of our undemocratic neo-liberal authoritarians. If "bert" wants to argue that he has, in fact, been licking the insides of his colon for the past half-decade, let him do so. I'll give him a pass for his ignorance.)

So, it's pretty clear that "bert" was established as a fascist thug as well as a disgusting hypocrite, yet he's too stupid and self-righteous to notice. Is he a complete waste of time? Obviously. But how such a limited human can function in the world on other levels is still a matter of curiosity for me.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Argentina's Recovery Confounds "Washington Consensus"

This story from Mark Weisbrot on Znet describes the causes of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (Argentina's first elected woman president)'s electoral victory as being rooted in the "pro-Argentina" economic policies of her party.

I have a couple of reservations about the article: 1) This economic growth was more like a recovery from an artificially low starting point, 2) The IMF "oversaw" but did not really approve of the dollarization of the Argentinian currency that proved so disastrous.

But the important point remains true: Following the discrediting of the dollarization policy, Argentina defaulted on foreign creditors and rejected IMF austerity policies and have managed to emerge from a financial crisis far more quickly, and with far more price stability, than the conventional wisdom would have predicted.