Monday, May 31, 2010

Salute to Canadian Cynic

Canadian Cynic is taking a break from it all. Can't say that I blame him. I get the sense that he's a dude with a lot of marketable skills and recently I've been thinking that he's been getting bored with going into the fetid swamp of the "Blogging Tories" and reporting back on the idiocy he finds there.

I hope he blogs now and again with a more sustained, in-depth dissection of the utter brainless insanity that constitutes most of the Canadian "conservative" bowel movement. But I think he needed to put down the torch and see if someone else will pick it up.

It won't be me.

I'll conclude with this link to my earlier blog entry: "Canadian Cynic's Important Work"

I salute you comrade.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

International Treaty on Poaching Health Care Workers

It's about time:
Last week, international health leaders meeting at the annual World Health Assembly in Geneva made history by endorsing new guidelines to prevent health-worker brain drain from developing countries.
What makes Canada's active theft of highly-skilled personnel from these countries is that we didn't allow them to practice. What a waste.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Lying Jason Kenney

I'm joining a whole bunch of other blogs to spread the video of the extremely fucked-up Jason Kenney lying through his stupid teeth. (How can his teeth be stupid?? Ask him.)




Kenney is lamely insisting that legislative oversight of the executive branch constitutes middle-aged partisan bullies making 25-year-old kids (with the girls in pig-tails and braces and the boys chewing bubble-gum and wearing beanie caps) break down into tears.

Interestingly enough, Kenney was a freckle-faced little brat of 29 when he first became an MP, as representative for the constituency of Oil-Money South in 1997.

You'd never know it by listening to these shit-assed buffoons, but this is serious stuff. Want to cover-up your complicity in torture? Why not block all efforts of Parliament to keep tabs on the executive? Want a completely unaccountable government? Just keep demonstrating your contempt for our parliamentary traditions. Then, one day soon, you'll find yourselves out of power and god help you then.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Thoughts on the Bryant/Sheppard Decision

I don't really talk about things like this, but I'd read about the death of cyclist Darcy Allen Sheppard during his encounter with former Ontario attorney general Michael Bryant last August. I read that Sheppard had been drinking, that he had anger-management issues, that he'd gotten in the face of other drivers in the weeks leading up to his fatal rendezvous with Bryant. But I'd also seen the videos of the event and heard the witness testimony. It seems it was possible that Bryant was being the obnoxious one in this story. From the videos we can see Bryant's car appearing to bump Sheppard's bicycle, knock it down, and then attempt to leave the scene and running over Sheppard's bike and almost Sheppard himself, before Sheppard (in what would be justifiable rage) approaches Bryant, whereupon it isn't clear whether Sheppard grabs Bryant's car or whether Bryant again attempts to speed away.

Bryant drove for a few moments, supposedly in a panic, but perhaps in a concerted effort to knock his adversary off of his car. Sheppard was either trying to punch Bryant's lights out, or, he was holding on for dear life. Following the tragedy, Bryant hired a big public relations firm that revoltingly dug-up a lot of dirt on Sheppard and then broadcast it to the world. Not too classy.

It all added up so that I was interested to find out how it would end. But I was sure there was going to be a trial. Like a HUGE number of people, I was surprised to hear that Bryant has been let go with all the charges dropped.

1. Sheppard was an obviously angry man who irresponsibly rode his bicycle while drunk. This is irrelevant if there is video evidence that shows that Bryant might have been the more irresponsible person in this case.

2. If you're going to accept the possibility that Bryant pulled strings because of who he was, you can't then deny it in the end because of the police report! If the whole legal system is compromised, then obviously the police on the street who wrote the reports are going to be compromised as well.
2.b) Which is not to say that the whole thing has been compromised. Just to remind people that saying it's possible that Bryant pulled strings but that the police reports exonerate Bryant is like saying that the New York Times' reporting about Saddam Hussein's WMDs exonerated Cheney.

3. If Rosie DiManno is taking Bryant's side, then I really have a hard time believing he was blameless. What with her being the journalistic equivalent of an old, used colostomy bag and all. (I realize this is not a legal argument, or even fair. It's just a statement about what a stupid fucking idiot Rosie DiManno is.)

4. Maybe Bryant really is a nice guy whose beautiful, alcohol-free, 12th anniversary date with his loving wife was horribly destroyed by a chance encounter with a drunken, obnoxious cyclist. If Bryant really was innocent, I think it would have been better for him to let this go to trial. Unless he's cool with having thousands of people think he got away with murder.

Scum-bag Mike Harris gets gift from FIRST NATIONS College

The news comes from the blog "Crazy Bitches are Us."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Screw This Bullshit

In the light of this latest example of the harpercons' utter contempt for Canada's system of parliamentary democracy, it seems pertinent to mention this:

Although they can send for certain persons, standing committees do not have the power to punish a failure to comply with their orders in this regard. Only the House of Commons has the disciplinary powers needed to deal with this type of offence.[151] If a witness refuses to appear, or does not appear, as ordered, the committee’s recourse is to report the matter to the House.[152] Once seized with the matter, the House takes the measures that it considers appropriate.[153]

What other response is there but an election? Which we should also have, but let's punish some anti-democratic vermin while we're at it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Is "Democracy" a Winning Campaign Issue?

I was going to write something about capitalist imperialism, the Congo, Honduras, and the need for solidarity with the people of Greece.

But in response to Alison's post about the harpercons' recent assault on parliamentary oversight, I commented: "I guess the opposition doesn't think that democracy is a winning electoral issue. "

And it struck me that that's what this is really getting down to.

Sending Canadian soldiers to die defending an corrupt, fraudulently elected government of drug-dealers and pedophiles? That's difficult to attack without being accused of not "supporting the troops" apparently.

Canadian soldiers being forced to hand over prisoners (including innocent peasants) to a government that practices torture on a regular basis while our government covers it up? Apparently the "Tim Horton's crowd" aren't easy to fire-up on the issue of war crimes and human rights.

Harper abusing his powers to shut-down democracy and democratic oversight? B-o-o-r-ring!

Harper provoking yet another constitutional crisis (trying to overturn CENTURIES of democratic victories) to avoid being accountable for torture? Who could get excited about that?

Harper putting poison pills into the budget to destroy environmental assessments? How can Canadians be expected to care about that?

Harper follows up his attempted contempt for Parliament with a rule to make sure that Parliamentary Committees can't interview anyone? Obviously, there's nothing there.

Look Liberals, NDP, ... I know you're fresh from you political triumph of keeping the Auditor General from seeing the expenses you're frightened of letting her see. I know that Michael Ignatieff is an unpopular, neoliberal elitist with the charisma of a dead fish. I know that the NDP has a leader undergoing cancer treatment and that the party has become afraid of it's own shadow. But sooner or later, you have to realize that this government is a goddamned monstrosity and it has to be killed.

Do you really think that DEMOCRACY isn't an issue to campaign on? Do you really have so little faith in the Canadian electorate, your own convictions and your own ability to run on a platform of restoring respect for democracy?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

What Motivates Canadians?

Not the government violating the treaty rights of First Nations. Not the obscenities of greed at the Vancouver Olympics. Not the possibility that Canada is complicit in torture in Afghanistan. Not (really) Harper's serial assaults on parliamentary democracy.

It seems that we're ALL really incensed (and rightly so) with MP's arrogant, self-interested decision to forbid the Auditor General from looking into their expenses.

Transparency about the spending our tax dollars is essential and there are no "national security" rationalizations to employ here. We should have this. But I wonder why this issue is so much more important than those other ones to my fellow citizens.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Oh! There Goes That Violence Again!

Just like the terrifying smashing of an HBC store window, the casualty-free torching of an empty RBC branch signals the end of the world for some people.

I've said it before, I'll say it again, I'm not advocating violence. I'm just not condemning violence for the sake of it, and thereby enabling the fascist "response." (If the elites don't have an excuse for oppressing us, they'll make one up, don't worry.)

Because part of the climate for the crack-down is universal condemnation of violence against the system.

But if those FFFC-Ottawa folks were genuine, I have a thought experiment. Given the enormity of the crisis of global warming, and given the enormity of the Tar Sands project to contributing to global warming, might not the perpetrators of that fire-bombing be considered heroes to future generations, for doing what they could to stop the catastrophe while most everybody else blogged about doing something?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Canadian Labour Congress Supports Abousfian Abdelrazik's Rights as a Canadian Citizen

A heartening sign that the union movement still has what it takes! (FWIW: I gave Mr. Abdelrazik some cash myself!)

Oh yeah, and Lawrence Cannon is a scumbag.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Return to Recession?

A great CounterPunch article by Mike Whitney about how the reactionary policies of international "investors" and governments in the USA, Europe, and China, might be bringing back the Great Recession of 2008-09.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Livid about this ...

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/liberals-lay-down-your-arms/article1572110/

Blahhr!!! I'm trying to contain my rage! Perhaps a critique tomorrow.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ronnie James Dio

I always thought his lyrics were a little hokey, but his voice was amazing. (I'm too busy to type anything else today.)

Here's Dio with Black Sabbath doing "Neon Knights":



And here he is solo, doing "The Last in Line":

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Federal MPs Unable to Account For Their Spending

How else to explain the revolting refusal to allow public scrutiny into their spending? All parties except the Bloc Quebecois apparently imagine that the Canadian public trusts them to not rip us off when they ask for compensation for "other" expenses. Either that, or (more likely) they know that we won't like what we see.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

On the harpercons' Cancelling of Funding for Toronto Pride

One of my favourite bloggers, Montreal Simon, talks about the lack of support for gays in response to the harpercon government's announcement that they would not be supporting the massive Toronto Gay Pride this year and says maybe it should be a private party:
I'd be sorry not to be able to entertain all those straight people in Toronto. Or soak them with my water gun.

But since so few of them have come to our defence. No editorials, almost no blog posts from those who should know that this not just a parade. Just a torrent of hateful comments in all the Toronto newspapers. About how it's so PERVERTED.

Maybe they don't deserve it.

Maybe it's time to let everybody know that we are fighting for our survival.

We can only count on ourselves.

I must confess that I didn't pounce on the story at all. Of course, I haven't blogged about much of anything the past couple of weeks. Also, my focus tends to be on foreign policy, economics, and national politics. Finally, I thought that Toronto Pride, being a hugely successful institution, didn't really need a lot of federal assistance, so that this cut-off, while depressing, wasn't mortal. Apparently though, all things considered, this is pretty serious:
it's unclear whether the Ontario provincial government will contribute the same $350,000 this year that they gave in 2009. Apparently several sponsors already have quietly dropped their endorsement over the QAIA issue, as the Pride Toronto website as of May 9 shows only two corporate sponsors, TD Bank and Labatt Breweries. Proctor and Gamble and Pepsi Cola were there a month ago, but seem to have decamped, along with others.

So it appears that this is a very bad thing, and, Montreal Simon has shamed me into commenting on it. I was an empty-headed homophobe as a teenager. I never, ever, harboured that insane hatred for gays that animates genuine homophobes and closet-cases though. But I'd toss around "fag" and "queer" as mindless insults with some regularity. Reading the thoughts and opinions of gay friends on the internet has made me much more aware of the struggles that they face, and made me want to be a bit more vocal in defence of GLBT rights.

Reading Montreal Simon's blog post on this subject, I grasp the significance of the harpercons' action better. Toronto Pride isn't the be-all and end-all of gay rights in Canada. But it is a significant statement of solidarity and pride to a population that is still under constant attack in our society. It's a statement of strength directed at a homophobic society:
It's a week-long gathering to celebrate our very survival in the face of the brutish bigotry that seeks to diminish or kill us. A chance to showoff our artists, and show closeted seniors or kids that they are not alone.

Refusing to fund Toronto Pride is an act of historical hatred and ignorance. It is a violent statement, telling an oppressed group to shut-up and stay oppressed. The fact that it's all inspired by freaks, closet-cases, deluded religious nutbars, and hypocrites just makes it all the more disgusting. This is another example of the vile, hateful, idiotic mentality of the harpercons.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Neil Reynolds of the Globe & Mail

I've mentioned from time to time that my partner, for reasons of her own, has subscribed to the Globe & Mail. I tend to get up before everyone else these days, so I get it and read it with my morning calories and caffeine. I must say that it's surreal to once again submerge myself in the blinkered, idiotic world-view of the political dim-wits who put that paper together. It's like this totally professional newspaper with all these interesting things to say about culture and science, with some good journalism thrown in, and an editorial page that occasionally surprises with its ability to get good thinkers' opinions before its readers.

Ah, but that editorial page! Jeffrey Simpson ("Duh! Health care is expensive!"), Margaret ('s brain) Wente, Marcus Gee. Jesus Christ what morons! Seriously. Fucking morons. I mean, they either truly believe this neo-liberal bullshit they peddle, or they're cynical con-artists. Either way they're contemptible.

And, added to this sorry lot of fools is one Neil Reynolds, who appears to be one of their regular columnists. I first mentioned Mr. Reynolds in my entry entitled "Random Crap" wherein I marvelled at the dunce's yammerings that we should ban third parties in order to enjoy the supreme democratic miracle that is the US-American two-party system.

I next encountered Reynolds in the Globe's "Report on Business" section where he ranted against imposing a bank tax, utilizing the standard neo-liberal intellectual garbage, including such faded gems as "taxing business really hurts the poor" and "Keynesianism was discredited." I actually was only skimming his offerings, not prepared to give them the attention that they did not deserve, when the idiot then began to wax eloquent on the bugaboo of Keynes:
For his part, Prof. Tobin described himself explicitly as “a disciple of Keynes.” But, as many contemporary Keynesians forget, Mr. Keynes himself – when it mattered – was himself a disciple of dictatorships. In his essay Keynes, the Man, U.S. libertarian economist Murray Rothbard recalls that Keynes was an enthusiastic supporter in the 1930s of Sir Oswald Mosley, the founder of British fascism, and that Keynes consistently championed the fascist economic model. Writing in 1939, in the foreword to the German edition of The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, his manifesto, Mr. Keynes conceded that his economic theories “adapt more easily to the conditions of a totalitarian state … than to the conditions of free competition.”

It's at this point that sane people throw their arms skyward in despair. In all honesty, I had to stop reading and move on before returning to it later for sheer sick entertainment purposes. Neil! Neil baby! Are you really that stupid? Keynes saved capitalism's sorry ass in the 1940s you stupid fuck! But, more importantly, Neilly baby, do you know who else, what else, most benefits from dictatorships than from democracies? IMF structural adjustment programs! The whole "Washington Consensus" thing! Your precious neo-liberalism! Throughout the history of imperialism in the capitalist era, the Great Powers supported the most reactionary elements against the people, in order to best ensure the plundering of resources and disruption of everyday economies that would inevitably ensure social unrest. Every single time!!

I mean, seriously folks, what else is there to say about this Reynolds buffoon after that? If this idiot really believes that he's upholding democracy when the idea that he has in his head to correspond with the word is the US model and the "Washington Consensus" what is there that's worth saving, that requires treating him and his words with any respect?? There's nothing. The man is as big an idiot as anyone would care to paint him.

So, this morning, I see a third column by the plodding dullard, and I realize that the fuckwad has scored himself a steady gig with the Globe. This time he's droning on about the Greek financial crisis, all the usual rot about "investors" who aren't certain that the Greek government will really deliver on the promised austerity so they're "uncertain" about whether to support the bail-out.

[Let's forget that the bail-out is for these self-same "investors" and that if these "rational" "investors" DON'T support the bail-out, then it means a Europe-wide financial crisis, which will destroy the tepid world recovery, which will kill all these "investors" so why the fuck don't they bite the bullet and play along and accept their 100 cents on the dollar bail-out and shut the goddamned fuck up???]

So, Reynolds is blathering on and on with the banalities when he farts up this:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty are right to press the more profligate countries for an exit strategy from stimulus spending. But what the rich economies actually need is an exit strategy from too much spending of all kinds and a return to some pragmatic recognition of the limits of government.

Um, Neil? Neil? A moment of your time, if you will? Thanks ...

JESUS-FUCKING-CHRIST NEIL!!!!! WERE YOU BORN WITH YOUR HEAD UP YOUR ASS YOU STUPID FUCK?????? IS THAT WHAT MADE YOURS A DIFFICULT BIRTH AND WHAT CUT THE OXYGEN OFF FROM YOUR BRAIN CAUSING YOU TO WRITE TRIPE LIKE THAT?????

I'm sorry Neil. Really I am. No I'm not. I think that was warranted to tell you the fucking truth.

Do you not realize, Neil, that we've been hearing this garbage about the "limits of government" for THIRTY YEARS now? You miserable fucking ignorant slut Neil, do you not realize that the reason that things like health care spending have been rising as a proportion of government revenues because those government revenues have been reduced due to decades of tax cuts to the wealthiest? Do you not realize that this financial crisis was brought on by the deregulation of the financial markets? Do you not realize that the lion's share of the Greek crisis is caused by the fact that the wealthy don't pay their taxes, and then the bastards toss their fucking Olympic fiscal orgies on to the public's dime?

Oh well. What the hell. Neil Reynolds is just a hack pundit, writing for the business press of the national newspaper of a small country (a zit on the back of the dying terminal patient that is the USA), who cares what the unoriginal, untalented fuck has to say?

But then it dawned on me. This puss-ball is just one voice in the chorus of evil. This shit-smear is contributing to the cacophony of voices calling for the destruction of the European welfare-state! Do you see how it works people? Do you see what "hegemony" means? The neo-liberal scum have fucked-over their own little system, where they have ruled for over three decades. Because their ideas are useless, self-serving, self-destructive crapola. But they remain in the driver's seat, which means (picture a dangerous drunk driver at the wheel of a car that you are in) that it's them who get to call the shots, it's them who get to stupidly decide where to veer next.

Just because their policies of devastating the US population's ability to pay for the mountain-ranges of "stuff" that our technology allows us to build, and relying on getting them loaded-up on unsustainable levels of household debt, has blown-up in their faces, doesn't mean that the masters of the planet aren't going to think that condemning Europe to a decade and more of painful austerity is a good idea. And lil' Neil here has drank the kool-aid. He's a true (turd) believer in all this garbage, so of course, he has to contribute his own little stream of piss to the bowl.

That's his function. That's his crime.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Down to the Wire on Detainee Documents in Parliament

So, the parties are still trying to figure out the mechanics of complying with Speaker Milliken's ruling while respecting the harpercon government's bullshit "national security" concerns.

In the Globe & Mail article link there's some speculation about whether the Liberals will attempt to cut a side-deal with harper to allow them to see the documents while excluding the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois:
The Liberals were uncharacteristically silent about the state of the talks, saying they do not want to jeopardize the negotiations, which the key players described last week as fruitful.

But the silence may also be a negotiating strategy – proof to the government that Liberal MPs can be relied upon to respect secrecy requirements should they be permitted to see the documents.

Did you catch that last part? "Should they be permitted to see the documents"? Talk about missing the point! Milliken's ruling clearly stated that Parliament has a RIGHT to see those documents.

I have a couple of thoughts about this. First of all, since Parliament has a RIGHT to see those documents, the process should start TOMORROW, with or without a deal to help harper cover his war crimes and avoid getting his fat ass tossed in the slammer. They can look at stuff WHILE they figure out what they'll release and how. And there can be no debate about this. Parliament is going to see those documents whether the executive branch wants to or not, so get going people.

Secondly, since Parliament means all the people's representatives, and since the parties have representation on various committees in proportion to their representation, that means there can be no deals about excluding some representatives of the people who have a right to be on whatever committee looks at those documents. So that speculation is all a non-starter.

Third, if harper wants to dig in his heels about this, fuck him. Find him in contempt, confine either Cannon or MacKay in the Peace Tower, and force harper to call an election when he's supposed to be pretending to be a "statesman" with this stupid G-2o conference in Toronto.

This is a winnable issue. There was a very heartwarming opinion poll cast recently that said some good things about Canadians' sense of honour and justice:

OTTAWA - A solid majority of Canadians believe prisoners detained by Canadian soldiers have been tortured after being transferred to Afghan authorities, a new Ipsos Reid poll suggests.

A fat majority also say that if torture occurred, it was not only wrong but that they believe there was widespread knowledge of it within the Canadian government -- and that senior officials should lose their jobs, if that was the case.

Pollster John Wright said Canadians are saying they "care deeply" about the possibility of detainees being tortured after Canadian soldiers have transferred them to Afghan custody.

"They're saying it's not proper, it should have stopped and, if it didn't, somebody should have done something about it," he said.

If the political parties can put aside short-term partisan considerations for a moment and remember that they're dealing with issues that are about timeless morality and centuries-old parliamentary traditions, I think we could do a good job of shutting-up the harpercons and their squealing, chicken-hawk mouth-pieces like Ezra Levant.

Friday, May 7, 2010

"Investors," High Frequency Trading, and Market Melt-downs

Okay. Even assuming that all of Greece's economic troubles were caused by a bloated, inefficient public sector and counter-productive social programs, I'd still get a real kick out of all these nameless "investors" who want to make sure that the Greeks endure a really, really punishing austerity program, and who are withholding their money from Greek, Portuguese, Irish, Italian, and Spanish bonds out of fear that these countries' finances are unsustainable.

Because, as "rational" actors, shouldn't these "investors" be able to understand that if Greece implodes, so will those other countries, and then, so too will the big French, German, and British banks that hold their debts? Shouldn't these "rational' "investors" realize that they'd best go easy on the Greeks and play along to get along? Or else the entire world financial system will again descend into crisis, requiring still more massive public-sector bail-outs? (Or is that the hope? Bail-outs mean higher public debts everywhere which equals more excuses to call for austerity throughout the OECD, which means an even more devastated working class?)

As it is though, Greece's problems are not solely (if at all) the result of profligate spending on the needs of the majority. Non-collection of taxes (especially on the wealthy) is a huge contributing factor to Greece's debt-to-GDP ratios.

But how about those "rational" "investors" 'eh? Apparently the world's "investors" were thrown into a temporary panic yesterday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 1,000 points in 15 minutes, wiping out between $800 billion to $1 trillion in value world-wide. Wow! Even $800 billion is a LOT of money! So, how did it happen? Well, it turns out that these "rational" "investors" don't know.

When I was a kid, my mom gave me ten bucks to pick up some groceries on the way home from music lessons. I remembered about the groceries when I was almost home and turned around to go get 'em, but as I was looking for the ten dollars I couldn't find it! I was mortified. Ten bucks was a lot of money in the 1970s and we didn't have a lot in those days. I tried and tried to think about what might have happened, but I never found out. My mom was pissed, but not overly so.

I expect more accountability from the world's "investors" than from a ten-year-old. This is goddamn ridiculous. Especially when these idiots speculate as to what might have happened:

Speculation on the drop ranged from computer glitch to a so-called "fat fingers" error to automated trading that was triggered somewhere around 10,600 for the Dow.

...

Business Insider's Joe Weisenthal said rumour was "big fat fingers" caused the crash.

"Major US bank had an order to sell $15 mln of S&P e-mini contracts. Accidentally sold $15 bln…," he wrote on his blog.

Evidently though, it probably wasn't a "fat-finger" that caused it, but more likely automated, High Frequency Trading algorithms. (But the mere idea that it's a possibility for a ONE-TRILLION-DOLLAR MISTAKE just shows how completely out-to-lunch the thinking within the world's financial markets is.) These automated trading algorithms base their actions upon rough clues from the world's financial markets. They're describing this computerized-meltdown as a glitch. But maybe it isn't just a glitch. Maybe with the economic recovery being fuelled by deficit spending, stock-market speculation based on public funds, increasingly indebted households, and with "investors" behaving like suicidal vultures looking to attack countries that should be clawing out of a recession, maybe the computers are more "rational" than we give them credit for.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Still Alive ...

Here's a video:



I'll be typing more in about a week.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Consequences

Supposedly this big oil-rig explosion thing in the Gulf is a big deal. A major environmental catastrophe. The sane people are currently pointing the blame for it to the relaxation of safety regulations for the US oil industry as negotiated privately between oil-industry sleaze-ball, Vice-President Cheney and oil-industry executives. These were the talks that were never made public.

What's that you ask? Publicly accountable politicians crafting policy with self-interested corporate representatives without public input, let alone oversight? Isn't the USA supposed to be a democracy? Ha-ha! So naive!

These energy policy talks were among many of the undemocratic elements of Cheney's reign of terror n' error. And one way that Cheney avoided having to reveal the content of these talks was to insist that he was a member of either the executive or the legislative branch of government, depending upon which watchdog body was asking for the records of his work as an employee of the government. As the TIME link describes it, he created "The Cheney Branch of Government." Ha-ha. Isn't that funny. What a sneaky, probably corrupt, anti-democratic person Cheney was! Ha-ha-ha. Heh. Yep.

Okay. So it wasn't all that funny. Kind of showing contempt for democracy and the rule of law. On the part of a "law and order" authoritarian, go figure! And he got away with it! How? People just didn't give a shit. About 30% of the US population is stupid enough to worship the guy's political party (despite the fact that it destroys the living standards of 95% of them) and everybody else is too comfortable, apathetic, and disconnected to really care. There were mechanisms to haul Cheney up on the carpet and force him to reveal what he deals he was making with his industry buddies while working on the publics' dime, but everyone decided beforehand that he was "too powerful" (an unpopular, unelected, seventy-year-old creep with a bad heart) to go after, or that it was all too complicated and the public wouldn't care. And now we see the results.

This is the sort of thing that some would allow our own stephen harper to get away with. Secretive government, with no democratic oversight. And it's already producing terrible results. The "security certficates" (cooked up by the Liberals) allowed innocent people to be detained for years without charges, evidence, or any sort of due process. It's led to the torture of at least five innocent Canadian citizens. And it's produced this disgusting war in Afghanistan that has disgraced our country and brought death and dismemberment to hundreds of Canadian soldiers.

Things like Parliamentary Supremacy might seem boring and complicated to people who don't have a fucking clue how their system works. People who imagine that society runs on its own, and the fact that they have decent paying jobs, the fact that (even under the harpercons) the odds are that the food in their fridge won't kill them, the fact that the police can't rape them and kill them at will, are all just as natural as waking up in the morning, might not instantly grasp the enormity of the issues being fought over today. But if that's the case, then we, the people who DO grasp the weight of these issues, must work to keep up the fight, to let our representatives who ARE fighting know that we support them, and to get our fellow citizens to wake up to the dangers of harper's twisted schemes for an unchecked executive.