Sunday, April 29, 2012
Saturday, April 28, 2012
The 3,200-word article apparently proved so embarrassing to the magazine that it scrubbed it from its website, an almost unheard-of step for a mainstream media organization and a generally acknowledged violation of digital etiquette.
Today it’s impossible to find the article, “A Rose in the Desert,” on Vogue’s website. Links to it lead to a notice on Vogue.com reading, “Oops. The page you’re looking for cannot be found,” next to a photo of a fashion model looking sternly into the camera.
Buck’s article, in the March 2011 issue of Vogue, drew widespread surprise and ridicule, especially among Washington’s foreign-policy community, which had long regarded Syria as a regional troublemaker and leading violator of human rights.Did you see that? The hegemonic notion is that the USA and, especially, the foreign-policy elites in Washington, are the last word on human rights and regional interests in the Middle East. The undeniable truth is that the US foreign-policy community has violated far more human rights than has Syria and that it and Israel are by far the regional troublemakers. But such thinking has a hard time penetrating our propaganda system.
Friday, April 27, 2012
The United States Constitution, on the other hand, does not include much in the way of positive freedoms (besides a right to bear arms maybe). It's very hard for the government to do things for it's people. That's what the "system of checks and balances" is all about after all. Because the writers of the U.S. Constitution, suspicious of state power (and the rule of the democratic "mob") wanted to prevent their government from do anything TO them.
But here's the tragedy: While the U.S. Constitution has been very effective at barring effective state action for the building of social programs, progressive labour laws, voters' rights, and etc., ... it has served very little in recent years to prevent the U.S. government from spying on Americans, jailing them without charges, torturing them or murdering them. And much of this has been cemented, or even initiated by Harvard Constitutional scholar, current U.S. President, Barack Obama. The poor baby has had ever so much difficulty taking on private healthcare and Wall Street [sarcasm], but he's been passionately committed to seeing that the constitutional protections of ordinary U.S. Americans' civil, legal and political rights are completely eviscerated.
Canada's tragedy is that our parliamentary traditions and our elections' integrity and respect for our citizenship rights have been spat upon with distressing regularity by the harpercons with very little in the way of a punitive response.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Which just goes to show you that violence never works. It's been proven time and time again that getting permission for a rally followed by a march through a city's downtown core is the ONLY way to get measurable results.
I mean, look at how effective peaceful protests were at stopping NAFTA, rolling back the Harris cuts to social programs in Ontario, the invasion of Iraq, and etc.
Or, perhaps, not.
Perhaps this student protest in Quebec, if it continues, will actually force the government to change its mind. The CBC link says that a majority of Quebecers support the tuition increases. Tough shit. They're not the ones who will be paying the higher tuitions. ["Are you fucking kidding me??? You stupid lefties think that 'publicly subsidized' means 'free'!! What you leftards fail to realize is that it is the tax-payers .... blah, blah, blah, blargle!!!"]
The rich should pay the bulk of the taxes. Because the rich do very fucking well in this country. I read a sidewalk interview with a young woman about the ONDP's 2% surtax on incomes over $500,000. She said: "My mom makes $500,000. I don't think we're rich." No? Try living on $20,000 a year. See how you live on that. (Which is close to what half of the working population makes.)
If Quebec students' tuitions are half the size of the next lowest province, then I say good for them. A post-secondary education is practically an obligation now. What with all those nice, liberal economists saying anyone who enters the labour market with only a high-school diploma is practically demanding a life of insecure employment at poverty wages. If employers refuse to train people on the job, then they (and everyone else who enjoys all the benefits of wealth in Canada) ought to contribute to our expenses.
A Canadian dollar goes a long way in countries like India. But I notice lots of wealthy Indians and others moving to Canada. Why? Because it's safe and secure. They could have veritable palaces with servants galore, but they opt for a split-level ranch in a nice neighbourhood in Mississauga, because it's safe here. (That's what they tell me anyway.) Well, this level of social harmony comes at a price. Taxes are part of that price. All this neoliberal bullshit, followed by public bail-outs of the 1% after they blow all the money we let 'em keep, followed by austerity for everyone else to pay for the bail-outs, is destroying our society. The Quebec students are standing up for themselves. It's high time everyone else did.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
I cooked up some vegetables before they went bad.
Then I cleaned up the mess from cooking right away!!!!
That's how it can be when you don't have 5 things hanging over your head at once!
Saturday, April 21, 2012
I thought it would be pretty good to take the sentiments and the stirring music and try to apply them to some more meaningful ideas (without, of course, reducing everything to some political kitsch).
That's when I thought that rebellion without responsibility has been the name of the game for quite a few decades. Ever since the shortcomings of Marxist-Leninist strategy, the Left hasn't really had a game plan. The goal of Marxism-Leninism is that a revolutionary vanguard seizes state power and introduces a temporary Dictatorship of the Proletariat, with themselves as the representatives of said proletariat. The trouble was that overthrowing the existing forces of order required centralization of authority and considerable violence, both of which led to the dictatorship of the revolutionary vanguard becoming more or less permanent.
Contrary to what right-wing imbeciles think, most Leftists have rejected the Leninist model since the 1950s. Especially since it reduced oppression to primarily economic oppression and stifled the expectations of feminists, national minorities and pretty much everybody else. So, the Left has rejected the dictatorial power of the state and the professional politicians. But then what?
Then, ... well it's complicated. For a number of reasons, the capitalist system had to make peace with the industrial working class by 1945. (Fordism, the Great Depression, World War II and the Cold War all had something to do with it. Look it up under "post-1945 compromise.") As well, liberal democracy had, by 1945, only recently granted universal suffrage to the societies under its sway. Mass democracy was a new thing and, especially in the circumstances that were then prevailing, they weren't sure that they could pull it off. It was within this context that women, minorities, workers, youth, started to win their rights, and that concerns such as world peace, international justice and environmentalism got a hearing.
This level of accomplishment has seduced leftists into thinking that you can have something for nothing. They think that being peaceful can actually win results. The achievements of peaceful movements such as feminism, anti-war, anti-poverty, anti-racism, was won by a system only made bearable by struggles won with blood. (And, furthermore, all of these movements required some violence to have had an initial impact. Even the peaceful stages had their explosions.)
But the post-war compromise turned some progressives into liberals. Liberals believe in the system and think their only goal is to make it as "fair" as their limited imaginations would allow. But the system is inherently unfair and anti-human. That's why liberal feminists only wanting to break the corporate glass ceiling, or minorities looking to find their way to fulfilling the North American dream of a good income and lots of suff, and etc., inevitably fail to be progressive. They simply want their opportunity to exploit. Just like Barack Obama and the Democrats believe that their revolting selfishness and cowardice are the best that can be hoped for. (You wouldn't want them to jeopardize their careers in a rigged tournament, would you?)
The industrial labour movement wanted pretty much the same thing, except, as an economic class, they had resigned themselves to a position of subordination. Only the exercise of limited power within the capitalist industrial system of state-enforced collective bargaining rights made them think that the system could be made permanently fair. They honestly believed that the positions that forced capitalism to concede collective bargaining rights had had a permanent impact. Or else why would they be so lacking in strategies and so dedicated to appealing to the legal forms of the status-quo after decades of attack?
Genuine leftists are free of the delusion that the system itself can be transformed. True emancipation can only come from a revolution in social relations. But how to achieve this revolutionary transformation? The failure of Marxism-Leninism to resist the authoritarian impulses of state power showed the inadequacy of that particular project. Power corrupts. And so the left has renounced its claims on a right to power. The Left has given to itself the position of eternal supplicant. We will be forever appealing to our masters for better treatment. We will forever be trying to shame them with our pathetic victimization. We will rebel and revolt (however ineffectively) if our masters do not grant us our demands. But we will never try to deliberately take the power necessary to do things for ourselves. (Oh, we will wax rhapsodically about how beautiful "true autonomy" and the "dignity of the individual" will be after some mysterious revolution has taken place, but we have no idea what this will entail outside of some vague, social-realist imagery in our heads.) And, if our masters turn out to be the brutal sociopaths (that our analyses has already told us they are) and they realize that they can ignore us and abuse us with impunity? Well, ... nothing really.
We want rebellion without responsibility.
Well, I've said enough. Tomorrow, or soon, I want to talk about the means with which the non-revolutionary constitutional process can be used to achieve a revolutionary transformation. I've spoken of it before, here and there, to little effect evidently. Perhaps I can express it better, in such a way as to convey the powerful simplicity of the idea.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Canada Crime Bill C10 hunger striker concerned about Parliament’s “silent treatment” (via Canadian Progressive World)
PRESS RELEASE OTTAWA, April 13, 2012 - Today is Day 31 of my indefinite hunger strike against Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s new draconian crime law, deceptively christened “Safe Streets and Communities Act”, formerly crime Bill C10. I’m an Occupy Ottawa activist and progressive political…
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
This is what we're up against people. A system so absolutely insane that it either can't see how ridiculous it is to call a phalanx of riot soldiers to meet a small group of protesters (half of who are old enough to be their grandmothers), or it deliberately wants to intimidate any and all protest against its mass-slaughter all around the world.
This isn't my system. This is the system of the revolting stupid trolls who show up here to gibber in my comments section.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
First is Lawrence Hill's The Book of Negroes. I'm finding it very moving, but I'm not sure if that's because the subject matter is such that almost any competent writer describing the tragedy of slavery could make it compelling. Regardless, I'd recommend it.
Stunning, wrenching and inspiring, the fourth novel by Canadian novelist Hill (Any Known Blood) spans the life of Aminata Diallo, born in Bayo, West Africa, in 1745. The novel opens in 1802, as Aminata is wooed in London to the cause of British abolitionists, and begins reflecting on her life. Kidnapped at the age of 11 by British slavers, Aminata survives the Middle Passage and is reunited in South Carolina with Chekura, a boy from a village near hers. Her story gets entwined with his, and with those of her owners: nasty indigo producer Robinson Appleby and, later, Jewish duty inspector Solomon Lindo. During her long life of struggle, she does what she can to free herself and others from slavery, including learning to read and teaching others to, and befriending anyone who can help her, black or white. Hill handles the pacing and tension masterfully, particularly during the beginnings of the American revolution, when the British promise to free Blacks who fight for the British: Aminata's related, eventful travels to Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone follow. In depicting a woman who survives history's most trying conditions through force of intelligence and personality, Hill's book is a harrowing, breathtaking tour de force. (Nov.)I'm also reading Waste: uncovering the global food scandal by Tristram Stuart. It's turning out to be damned important. Harrowing and hopeful all at the same time.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The food crisis, which was back in the news again last week, may not be quite what you expected. Global agricultural systems are struggling to feed all seven billion of us, but the biggest problem isn’t yields or climate change, and it may not be biofuels or speculation or rising meat consumption, although all of those are factors. The biggest problem may actually be waste. That’s Tristram Stuart‘s argument. In the UK, we throw away a third of the food that we buy, and that’s just household waste. More is thrown away by the supermarkets, the suppliers, the manufacturers, or never even harvested.That's all folks!
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Obviously, the smug, self-satisfied pricks, Obama and harper, begged to differ:
The Colombian president also said that the war on drugs isn't working and that he would like to see a debate on decriminalizing them.
Violence related to the drug trade has pushed murder rates in Central America and the Caribbean to the highest in the world.
But Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office has said he won't entertain any policy changes that would lift the prohibition of illicit drugs, while U.S. President Barack Obama repeated at the summit on Saturday that the White House believes "legalization is not the answer."Forget harper. He's a low-functioning ass-kisser. He's always been an unpopular creep who doesn't care that you know he'd trying to insult your intelligence. Look at Obama's drivel again:
"legalization is not the answer."So, a plan that has failed for over forty years IS the answer Barack? All the deaths caused by this war are part of the RIGHT answer? What the fuck are you even talking about Barack? You think your meaningless public relations garbage can get you out of anything?
Legalization of drugs isn't the answer to the failures and misery caused by the war on drugs because it's not about fighting crime or the scourge of addiction. The criminalization of drugs is about expanding the power of the state to oppress the population. Obama is, if anything, intent upon increasing the coercive powers of the state as capitalism implodes. harper hates humanity and jerks off to the idea of people languishing in prison cells. They don't give a shit about the sufferings their bullshit war on drugs is causing to the people of Latin America. They're complete scum-bags.
We need genuine democracy and policy based upon facts and sanity.
ETA: Greg from the Newsy Community" says I should embed their video on the subject.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
There have been consequences as a result of Liberal austerity policy; The recession of 2008 and subsequent deficits (for which the harpercons have cooked-up an entirely new austerity package).
Look at the massive incarceration rates in the USA.
Look at the massive number of personal bankruptcies due to poor or non-existent health insurance.
Look at how the engaged, activist and insane fundamentalist Christian population has decided to teach schoolchildren that hand-holding is evil.
All this waste and insanity will be Canada's fate if we don't rise up against harpercon assaults on democracy.
Friday, April 13, 2012
Well, apparently, as our fake prime minister, harper is heading to Colombia to attend a summit of Western Hemispheric leaders, the "Summit of the Americas." Fresh from his triumph on the F-35 fighter-jet file (where he and his government were shown to be either staggeringly incompetent fuckwads or, what is more likely, brazen thieves and anti-democratic assholes) harper now presumes to strut and fret upon the world stage as if he isn't a loathsome tower of rancid cow encased in cling-wrap.
As our fake prime minister, the usurper will hold forth on the debate about drug decriminalization that is apparently stirring in Latin America, where the enormous financial and social costs of the USA's authoritarian "war on drugs" are felt the most and can be afforded the least. harper, being the USA's boot-licking toady, will argue that of course we must hold fast to a ruinously expensive and freedom destroying policy that hasn't even achieved its primary goal after four decades. Because that policy involves arming the police and the military to the teeth and using them to deprive people of their rights.
Some folks masturbate to bondage videos. harper jerks his slimy putz to genuine prison footage and worse. This is one of the main reasons he stole political power here. A wheelbarrow of erection pills can't get him to pitch a tent unless he knows that someone, somewhere is crying in a prison cell, unjustly incarcerated, because of him.
Hopefully in a couple of years, the only thing that will punctuate harper's self-pitying, hypocritical wailing in his own prison cell will be his stroke sessions when he remembers that Peter MacKay, John Baird, Tony Clement, Dean Del Mastro, and assorted scum are whimpering in their own cells somewhere.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
I like this cartoon.
In other news ... "Canadians continued to heap on debt in first quarter"
The sniveling toadies to the USA masters of the Canadian universe seem perplexed that Canadians, already with debt-to-income levels of 150% are still not living within their means.
In a recent interview, bank governor Mark Carney lamented the comfort level of Canadians with high debt, attributing it to the illusion of affordability at a time of sky-high home values and floor-low interest rates.What isn't hard to figure out is that Canadians, suffering with stagnating incomes, increasingly insecure employment options, rising housing, fuel, food and education costs for decades, and (for many) sudden long-term unemployment since 2008, aren't able to budget properly.
Equifax Canada calculates the number of consumer credit applications in a given period of time compared to 2007, which is the time frame considered “normal.”
“There’s no deleveraging, Canadians are increasing their debt,” Abdo said.
“(But) they’re not applying for new credit as much as they had in the past because I think what’s happening is since were seeing an increase in indebtedness, people are using the lines of credit they had before ... they’re being smarter about how they spend their money because they have the facilities to do that.”
It’s hard to know, he said, whether those people still taking on debt will be able to service it when interest rates rise.
As North Americans, we're simultaneously bombarded with a multi-billion dollar propaganda barrage called "advertising" to make us spend and consume, that capitalists wouldn't pay for if it didn't work.
All the elite hand-wringing about Canadians' household debt is just so tiresome. Meanwhile, our leaders can pull $10 billion out of thin air to buy warplanes that we don't need. And our wealthiest and our financial sector "invest" in fraudulent garbage that ends up needing taxpayer (read: indebted Canadian households') bailouts. It's a fucking farce.
Just to emphasize how utterly absurd our "serious" "economic experts" are, consider where Canada's economic performance would have been without this extra debt (much of it for car loans according to the link) having been taken on by already overstretched households.
We need to find a stable economy that is NOT based on ecologically unsustainable consumerism and socially unsustainable profit.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Tim DeChristopher noticed that the bush II regime was violating numerous regulatory requirements with a last-minute auction of drilling rights on federal lands at the end of its second term. He went to the public auction to protest but was asked by people inside if he intended to be a bidder. He decided to disrupt this irregular auction by bidding for these lands (where there should have been public consultation before granting any drilling rights) and taking them off market. DeChristopher, like many sane people, believes that human activity is causing global warming, which will have catastrophic consequences for all of humanity and all life on Earth. DeChristopher was arrested for disrupting the auction and was rail-roaded into a two-year sentence. In an email to a lawyer DeChristopher said that since one of the donors to his legal defence team had ties to the oil and gas industry that he might "threaten" to return their donation unless they cut those ties.
In the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave a bit of surveillance software caught the word "threat" and this was reported to the head of the prison who reported it to Washington D.C. where an anonymous Congressman ordered that DeChristopher be placed in solitary confinement. In the Land of the Free, prisoners are not allowed to engage in political organization in the outside world.
It can't happen here? It already has! Don't you remember Alex Hundert? He was one of the organizers of the protest against austerity and imperialism and ecocide and the rest of the vast array of crimes of the capitalist world system which was meeting in the guise of the G20 in Toronto in 2008. What we do know is that persons (still unknown) broke some store windows and burned a couple of police cars that the police left their for just such a purpose. ("Why would we do such a thing? Those cars are expensive!" is a paraphrase of Toronto Police Service Chief Bill Blair, whose organization had received part of the over $1 BILLION in spending on security that weekend.)
[You heard that right. The government spent over $1 Billion in 2008 for security at the G20. What's the worst that tends to happen when violence erupts at a political protest in Canada? Some windows get broken. What happened after they spent over $1 Billion to prevent "violence" at the Toronto G20? Some windows got broken AND a couple of police cars got set on fire. Talk about an efficient use of tax-payers' dollars!]
We don't know if Hundert had anything to do with the Black Bloq window-smashers. None of the other organizers arrested before and during and after the G20 were every convicted of any property damage. Let's remember that: However much you might be disturbed at the sight of people smashing windows, the crime is "vandalism." Not murder. Not ecocide. Not war crimes. Not billion dollar corruption schemes. Vandalism. Hundert was arrested and released on bail. Part of the bail conditions were that Hundert not participate in a political demonstration. During his bail period Hundert attended a panel discussion. Twisted lawyers and judges were able to say that a panel discussion was a demonstration and Hundert was re-arrested. His freedom was taken away from him. He was given newer, stricter bail conditions.
1: non-association with individuals such as Harsha Walia and Dan Keller and groups such as AW@L and No One Is Illegal; 2: no planning and or participating/planning public meetings or marches and 3: no expressing political views in public, including in the media.It can't happen here? It did! Hundert at first attempted to refuse these conditions but was informed by some fascist piece-of-shit Security Director at the Toronto East Detention Centre that should he opt prison instead of the full surrender of his political rights, he would be in indefinite solitary confinement, perhaps up until his actual trial.
Things have debased and degraded for so long here that we all might have forgotten that this is not the way free societies are supposed to operate. This is not the way dissidents are supposed to be treated.
Meanwhile, what happens to the REAL criminals? What happened to all the war criminals in the bush II regime? They're all running around free, selling books about their stupid blundering and mass-murder. None of the Wall Street financial fraudsters have been charged with any crime. Their disgusting criminal behaviour of using phony documents to evict people (even those who were making their payments) is being excused with a trifling fine.
Barack Obama, who lied his way into office (Okay! He would have run anyway since his opponents were two complete shit-heads.) is still on the loose, armed and dangerous, with his Predator drones targeting civilians while he pals around with those aforementioned Wall Street criminals.
We have stephen harper wandering around free having successfully suppressed any real investigations into his war crime in Afghanistan. We have Tony Clement in charge of all government spending having engaged in illegal pork-barrelling, cynically using funds marked for border security on things like gazebos and chandelier cleaning in his own riding. We have Christian Paradis, unpunished for having given privileged access to lobbyists. We have Bruce Carson using government connections to extort First Nations into buying his company's water filtration system.
Our national police force can kill an unarmed man in public and be viewed doing it. They can lie about it. And they can get away with it.
Over thirty women were killed by a serial murderer in Vancouver British Columbia and the police can get away with a bullshit inquiry after having demonstrated massive incompetence or worse.
The thing is, these criminal psychopaths want to rob us all blind. They want to slash our wages, or throw us out of work. They want to poison our environment. They want to steal our money in crooked financial schemes. They want to take away our right to health care and then rip us off with private insurance for profit. We know that they want to do these things because they're already doing these things.
And they have been successfully criminalizing our trying to protest against it.
But stephen harper has himself broken the law. Those "dirty tricks" in the 2011 Federal Election were also crimes. And for every crime the penalty is $5,000 and/or five years in prison. Everyone knows that these calls, sent by call centres employed by the Conservative Party of Canada (and which had signed exclusivity contracts with the Conservative Party of Canada), are the fault of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Everyone knows that the Conservative Party of Canada is guilty of thousands of instances of violating our federal election laws. The question is - is the fix in? Is the Elections Canada investigation a cover-up? Are the Conservatives going to receive some token fine and get to say they genuinely have a different idea about what the laws are?
It's entirely possible that the harpercons wouldn't have received their majority without their election fraud. It's a plain fact that because of this large-scale assault on the integrity of our electoral process that we honestly don't know if we have a legitimate government. That is a disgrace. That is a tragedy.
If we don't take this opportunity, then we have shown our own contempt for even the basics of democracy. We have opened ourselves up for more of the same. And I'll tell you this: I have no intention of accepting this. Readers, do what you can ... do what I am doing ... organize real people in your communities to do something real about this scandal. Demand that Elections Canada enforce the law. Demand a Royal Commission. Protest. Occupy. Teach the harpercons and their scum/shit-head followers that this bullshit will not be accepted in Canada.
Hell, just check out this fascist behaviour that Glenn Greenwald posted the very same day that I started this post:
This time, however, she was told by multiple CBP agents that she was prohibited from taking notes on the ground that her pen could be used as a weapon. After she advised them that she was a journalist and that her lawyer had advised her to keep notes of her interrogations, one of them, CBP agent Wassum, threatened to handcuff her if she did not immediately stop taking notes. A CBP Deputy Chief (Lopez) also told her she was barred from taking notes, and then accused her of “refusing to cooperate with an investigation” if she continued to refuse to answer their questions (he later clarified that there was no “investigation” per se, but only a “questioning”). Requests for comment from the CBP were not returned as of the time of publication.When they have you in their clutches there is very little that you can do and very much that they can do to you. There are laws in the democracies preventing abuse but those laws are only worth what the people and the courts can bring to enforce compliance.
harper has to go down for this, his latest spitting on the democratic process and the rule of law. he has to be removed or we have resigned any right to call ourselves free people. Get out there! Organize. Agitate! And, GENUINELY Resist.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
I on the other hand, stayed overnight in the city where I work for an unusually early-in-the-morning appointment.
So I had two drags on the joint my friend rolled and was right into outer-space. I went out for a walk downtown and transport trailer for "President's Choice" products went by. Man oh man but digital photography and printing has gotten impressive! The truck trailer had a picture of 4 giant chocolate chip cookies in a row. They stayed looking like real gigantic cookies even when I was less than a metre away!
Monday, April 9, 2012
Governments aren't supposed to lie to Parliament.
But what did they hope to accomplish? Did they really imagine that the Auditor-General wouldn't find out? Did they imagine that when the bill finally came due and it was $20 billion more than they swore it would be that there would be no repercussion?
By this point, I'm so utterly revolted with the harpercons that this latest example of their perfidy isn't all that important to me. They are illegitimate usurpers and this doesn't change that in any way.
I just wonder what sort of level of insanity made them think that they could do this. What were they thinking?
Sunday, April 8, 2012
1. Elections Canada did not make those calls.
2. Polling locations hadn't changed.
That means that the calls were fraudulent and therefore ILLEGAL.
Who sent them? They were sent by call centers hired by the Conservative Party of Canada.
That means that the Conservative Party of Canada is guilty of sending those illegal calls.
Check it out!
I mean, check it out!
Saturday, April 7, 2012
But there's another danger. Seeing the human beings who are destructive and dangerous and losing sight of their dangerousness because they are human. Because they are not actual slavering monsters with fur and horns but somebody's son or daughter or mother or father or sister or brother, we compartmentalize their criminality (and its unseen victims) and only treat with the affable individual before us.
A case in point was the laughter I pointed out in my post about Kady O'Malley's coverage of the testimony of Marc Maynard of Elections Canada:
Here's the thing for me: People laughed because Del Mastro is a fucking clown. But this is deadly serious. Everyone in that room KNOWS that the harpercons are guilty of these "dirty tricks." But this isn't the USA. where a debased electoral process means that "tricks" are just officially "tricks." This is Canada and these "tricks"are also "crimes." And they're crimes because, while we're damned close, we aren't as debased politically by capitalism as the USA is. In the end, Del Mastro is spinning and babbling to avoid getting caught out in a "trick." But he's also a "crook." He is going to go to prison or there will be hell to pay.Del Mastro will cry pitifully when he realizes that the gravy train is over and in such an ignominious way. The closest that that tower of lard could come to a glamorous lifestyle ended early and with him in prison. Same as all those swine. They might even think: "I never actually hurt anyone!" That just shows how unfit they are to hold power. They can't grasp how precious democracy is. They simply don't understand the significance of the holes they've torn through our democratic fabric.
I realize that they are human. I realize that they have families. I realize that they have children (some of them) who want to look up to them. But just because you haven't found them dragging the bloody knife across the innocent child's throat with blood spilling everywhere, it doesn't mean that these people aren't horrible.
The privatization of health care will destroy countless lives. All the horror stories we hear from the USA will come here. And it will have been Preston Manning and Paul Martin and this present gang of assholes who will have brought it about. All that suffering. All that pain. Thank the people responsible. All the necessary programs that will be cut to make up for the greed of our financial sector and the corruption and uselessness of our fighter-jets and our prisons will devastate people's lives. And it will be harper and Del Mastro and Baird's fault.
And on and on. You get the picture.
I recognize the humanity of my enemies but I never lose sight of what they stand for and the danger they represent. And the same goes for internet opponents. In the 3-d world I won't go out of my way to get in the face of some moronic "conservative" supporter. But when push comes to shove I will not back down. I will be genuinely angry and I will get in their faces. On the internet, as political bloggers, especially with pseudonyms or when we're genuinely anonymous, all we really are are political ideas. If some clown called "Palladium" showed up here and began mouthing off, I wouldn't think about his or her possible home life. They're just "Palladium" the obnoxious "conservative" troll and I will treat them as such.
But if, through a pseudonym, you have endorsed torture, aggressive war, racism, sexism, election fraud, constitution-shredding, and have done so with a ridiculous smirk on your face, then I have no time for you. One witless troll once said that in real life it would probably be fun to have a beer with me. I disabused him of that notion. I said that if we ever met in real life I'd be hard-pressed not to spit in his face.
This is a global village. Those innocent men being tortured into madness at Guantanamo Bay are within our sight (thanks to technology) and they could be within our power to save if there were less revolting monsters giving their support to our pseudo-democratic (but mostly criminal) leaders for these crimes. Those First Nations people freezing and suffering in unheated shacks are continuing to do so because of scum like the harpercons and their trollish supporters.
So, no. If you embrace enough disgusting delusions or you support enough hateful attacks on democracy, people, the Earth, I don't like you and I'm not your friend. I'm quite capable of keeping crimes against humanity in my head no matter how charming you might be in person. We are enemies and only a full recantation and the suitable payment of your debt to society is going to change that.
Friday, April 6, 2012
These trolls must all love Justin Bieber's music because it's so popular if that's how they exercise their critical faculties.
What led to this post was my reading this entry at "Crooks and Liars" about US Repugnicans dismissing charges that their party is engaged with a War on Women. The Repugnican talking-head said the following:
"This started as a war against the Vatican that this president pursued," the RNC chairman said, referring to the Obama administration's mandate that health care insurance provided by religious institutions cover contraception for women. "He still hasn't answered Archbishop Dolan's issues with Obama-world and Obamacare."My first thought was how appalling it was that besides siding with the Catholic Church's stupid views on birth control, it's also that the mobbed-up child-molesters of the Catholic Church still had the level of respectability that a Repugnican shill could imagine people would automatically recoil at the thought of anyone attacking them. (Oh Sinead O'Connor! You were ahead of your time!)
Then I remembered all the Catholics dutifully trudging off to Sunday mass, to get spiritual enlightenment from a possible child-molesting mental basket-case. I think about how the media still treats "the Pontiff" as if he's something other than the head of a revolting organization of abusive monsters. I think about how the forces of the law haven't busted into Saint Peter's and hauled them all off to jail in their flowing robes. And I thought that it was just like the non-response (so far) to the election fraud scandal.
Supposedly, using the logic of these right-wing asshat trolls, molesting and beating hundreds of thousands of children over decades (centuries actually, but I'll cut 'em some slack, times change n' all) and actively working to cover it up and move abusers from one unsuspecting "flock" to the next, isn't a scandal because the masses haven't broken out in protest, the media is on automatic pilot and there are legal barriers to prosecution, compromised institutions and elite complicity.
What trolls can't understand is that we Canadians who are rightfully incensed by this disgusting frontal assault on democracy don't let other people do our thinking for us. Intruding on the electoral process by impersonating your rival parties in order to discredit them is NOT democracy. Calling elderly supporters of your rival parties who have mobility issues and telling them the polling station moved far away in order to discourage them from voting is NOT democracy. ALL of the garbage behaviour of the harpercons was scandalous, anti-democratic, and outright criminal.
And this is on top of their conviction for contempt of Parliament, their war crimes and their blatant lying to Parliament about the F-35 fighter-jets. And their manual for obstructing parliamentary committees. And their in-and-out scandal. And their violations of our Charter rights at the Toronto G-20. And their criminal attacks on the First Nations.
I give the harpercons until September actually.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Sounds like a good read. My thing is that, as some of you may know, I've been doing a lot of thinking and reading about World War II. It seems to me that one of the often neglected tragedies of that conflict was the way it so effectively transformed the USA's culture into the militaristic one we have today.
Here's Elections Canada's page on the Elections Act, Part 20: "Contested Elections." Please note:
524. (1) Any elector who was eligible to vote in an electoral district, and any candidate in an electoral district, may, by application to a competent court, contest the election in that electoral district on the grounds that
- (a) under section 65 the elected candidate was not eligible to be a candidate; or
- (b) there were irregularities, fraud or corrupt or illegal practices that affected the result of the election.
Finally, back to salon.com for "The powerless American worker" (originally from Alternet):
According to Donna Ballman, the labor lawyer six of the Wellborn employees have retained, the workers had no idea their jobs could be imperiled by their choice of clothing color. “Who would?” Ballman responded in an email message. “Most Americans think your employer must have a good reason to fire you.”Canada is among the aforementioned "rest of the world's wealthy nations" where employers cannot fire employees at will. Obviously we know that Canadian workers are still threatened by unemployment and arbitrary dismissals. There's a very low hurdle for employers to have to jump. But the existence of not even this bare minimum in the USA is testimony where capitalism wants to take all of us, and they're using the economic crisis to do so, especially in Europe.
But for the most part, American workers labor under the auspices of employment-at-will, a doctrine that allows employers near total control to hire, fire and promote, for good reasons, bad reasons or no reason at all. Employment-at-will is a principle that dates back to British common law, which early settlers brought with them from the Old World during the Colonial era. It is a relic of that time and has long since been overturned in Britain, along with the rest of the world’s wealthy nations.
This short-term, profit-driven behaviour will destroy us unless we destroy it. There is a way to democratically destroy the power of capitalism. Once again: Rally the people to elect a government that believes in and will amend the Constitution to provide a guarantee for the human rights of workers within their workplaces.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
nothing gets done by a harpercon unless harper wants it done. Just like the party-financed "private member's bill" about the gun registry when he had a minority.
harper is going to test the water for public opinion ONCE and if there isn't a huge outcry, he will strike.
But sometimes the right-wing just demonstrates their overall cluelessness and disgustingness and you have to stop and stare.
It is racist to look at a person and automatically feel threatened by them, automatically suspect something about them and automatically feel hatred towards them because of the colour of their skin.
All of which George Zimmerman did when he saw 17-year old Trayvon Martin going to a neighbourhood variety store to buy some candy.
It is institutional, systemic racism to give preferential treatment or consideration to one group of people and to give inferior treatment or consideration to another group of people based on their respective skin colours.
And that's what the Sanford Police Department did when they saw this unharmed white guy with a gun (note: some commentators feel compelled to point out that George Zimmerman is half-Hispanic and therefore half-dago or something) standing beside this dead black teenager and deciding that there was nothing to contradict the white guy's claims of self-defense.
And that's what the Florida State Attorney did who said there wasn't enough evidence to guarantee the conviction of this son of a retired Florida Supreme Court magistrate so he shouldn't be charged. (Imagine a place where ANYONE found with a smoking gun and a dead body at their feet can claim self-defense and the authorities throw up their hands in helpless confusion!)
Eventually, word of this travesty of justice got out and it became a national issue. Enter the right-wing noise machine. Here's the thing about the right-wing: They're racist. And the first thing they do is deny this. Then they deny the existence of racism as a major social problem. They do the same thing here. They say that, sure, this is a tragedy and all, but it's not racism. And then they go on to justify Zimmerman's behaviour by pointing to Trayvon Martin's "race."
More than this: They make complete fools of themselves by revealing that they're just as racist as Zimmerman. "Martin was over six-feet tall and black!" "Martin got suspended from school!" [Oh. Then he deserved to die did he?] "Martin talked shit with his 'homies' on social media! It sounded vaguely gang-like!"
It's useless to even point their stupidity out to them. Because the cluelessness that led them to blurt out their racist nonsense will also shield them from any comprehension of just how fucking insane they are. They'll stare at you and ask "What? WHAT??" over and over.
Monday, April 2, 2012
Indeed. There shouldn't be any "reasonableness" here. There shouldn't be any silly ideas that just because Dean Del Mastro is a funny clown, or that stephen harper is [sort of] Prime Minister and his imprisonment would be an unprecedented act, or that the Conservative Party of Canada represents significant numbers of Canadians, and etc., ... that the law should not be enforced.
At this point, the Canada Elections Act is virtually a dead letter. The last several years have shown that you can run roughshod over it with impunity. The Prime Minister of Canada lost a court case over election law violations. The Conservative Party of Canada has been convicted of election law violations (and paid a pathetically nominal fine). The Liberal Party has confessed to an election law violation in 2011, apparently without consequence, while someone else pulled off the largest electoral fraud in modern Canadian history last year and it looks like they will never be successfully identified and brought to justice by Elections Canada.
A lot of people have complained that we need new laws to tighten restrictions on robocalls, etc., and this falls into Irvine’s column of “quick fixes” that actually miss the point. There’s no point making new bans if you’re not prepared to enforce the ones that exist.
And the problem isn’t that the law doesn’t provide the appropriate restrictions. 5053 calls successfully placed by Pierre Poutine in Guelph, multiplied by $5000 for every attempt to falsely lead a voter to the wrong polling station, equals over $25 million. Assuming a 1.5% report rate (which is the confirmed rate in Guelph — about 70 complaints for over 5000 phone calls), 800 complaints under investigation by Elections Canada equals about 55,000 fraudulent calls. That times $5000 equals $275 million. I doubt whoever pulled off the Poutine conspiracy has a spare $275 million kicking around.
Don't fuck with the vote and you won't go to prison.
Don't fuck with the vote and you won't be destroyed by fines.
But the harpercons fucked with the vote. They deliberately conducted a nation-wide vote suppression campaign. Nobody forced them to do it. In fact, laws were in place and ARE in place to convince them not to, but they did anyway. They were asking for it, so let's give it to them.
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Mark my words: We are going to see depths of depravity of Hitlerite and Stalinist proportions committed by the corporate-criminal scum in charge of the USA and Europe.
Actually, one of the consequences of corporate-led globalization is the creation of a genuinely international capitalist class. The end of the formal European empires was one phase of capitalist expansion. Like communism, capitalism is an international creed. The capitals of international capitalism are still mainly in the European countries, but to a great degree class warfare is colour-blind. stephen harper will sell out Canadians (white, First Nations, black, brown) to the Chinese, the US-Americans, the Japanese, the Brazillians, Indians, anyone.
It is a war between international capitalists on one side, and humanity and the Earth itself on the other.