Tuesday, July 31, 2012

More Religion Bashing

A lot of decent progressives get really bent out of shape by aggressive atheism. So much that they tend to blurt out ridiculous things. For instance, I'm sure that some of them would have a knee-jerk reaction to this post, and wouldn't be able to resist smugly telling me that my obsessive hatred of religion said more about me than it did about the religious. I was obviously unwittingly playing the part of the fanatical atheist to a tee. For some reason, daily criticisms of capitalism, imperialism or any of my other usual targets wouldn't elicit such a response from them.

Look folks, religious myths were stories that we used to explain our lives before we knew any better. Nowadays, the way that we interpret reality is through science. Imbeciles imagine that they're being clever when the point to how our faith in science bears a [superficial] resemblance to faith in religion. They also gleefully point to the shortcomings of science and scientists as if this somehow, some way, in some bizarre, inexplicable fashion, validates incoherent religious myths.

We start off as infants incapable of comprehending the autonomous existence of other sentient beings. Then, at some point, we become aware of our parents and attribute to them almost god-like abilities and importance.  Let me point out that the errors of the latter view in no way mean that we should return to the former worldview.

I think that will do for the dismissal of glib defenses of religion for now. What about the good that religion supposedly does? It provides some comfort to believers to the extent that it gives them any sense of understanding and control over a confusing, very often painful existence. Of course, to the extent that it makes people fearful for their lives or their imaginary eternal souls at the hands of jealous, wrathful gods, it provides discomfort. To the extent that following the dictates of the imaginary enlightenment of religion fails to pay-out as promised, to that extent does it provide discomfort instead of comfort. To the extent  that it perpetuates belief in obviously idiotic, nonsensical things, to that extent is it a negative, rather than a positive.

I liked something I wrote in that infamous thread from EnMasse, wherein the clueless dolts who attempted to defend religion stammered all the nonsensical arguments I just trashed above. With regards to the way some religions have been able to incorporate obvious realities into their portrait of the world, I wrote:
4. Some people want to point out that religions have been quite adept at adapting to reality and permitting differences.

4a) This is because less and less people want to die for old myths.

4b) This is because religions are like some pathological liar who used to make grandiose claims about his knowledge and abilities but who has been forced, more and more, to admit that he's full of shit, often doesn't know what he's talking about and never could leap tall buildings in a single bound.
That's about it. The good it brings can be achieved in other ways and the evils it causes are insurmountable and inherent in the beast itself. It introduces an almost impenetrable belief in meaningless magic to one's opinions. It provides an armour behind which stupid beliefs can fester.

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Time to Stand and be Counted

I was skeptical that camping out in public parks and critiquing the system a-la "Occupy" was ever going to change things. I was prepared to get involved to the limited extent that I was able to, when it wasn't immediately crushed and in the USA it's message was resonating with the majority of the US-American public (despite the best efforts of fourth-rate political hacks like Josh Trevino).

One thing I know for sure is that the LEFT has to pull its collective head out of its collective anus [!] and have itself a collective grown-up conversation about VIOLENCE. Because all the agonizing over the brutalized members of Occupy Oakland resorting to violence in the face of thuggish police provocations shows that this is very necessary.

Now and forever, absolute bullshit about "Violence is always wrong" is simply not going to cut it. You do not petition monsters. You do not appeal to the hearts of monsters. You do not point to the moral codes of monsters. You fight monsters. You make things difficult for them. And if you don't steel yourselves, and prepare your minds for what genuine struggle actually means, ... then you will become a monster. Because you haven't worked out beforehand what constitutes fighting and what constitutes rage-induced monstrous behaviour.

So, anyway, here's a pretty good essay from Counter Punch: "What Is To Be Done ... Now?" which looks at V. I. Lenin's famous pamphlet and says that it holds some truths still for us today:
The general problem is that the other side – Lenin would have said the capitalist side; in 2011, that designation was effectively replaced by “the one-percent” – is organized.   It has a state to do its bidding, what Marx called an “executive committee” of the entire ruling class.  In these circumstances, “the ninety-nine percent” has no choice but to respond, as best it can, in kind, by doing its utmost to constitute a rival executive committee.

If the Occupy movements peter out entirely, as Cockburn thought they already have, it will illustrate Lenin’s general point.  For a time, they breathed new life into spontaneism.  Indeed, leaderlessness helped them along.  But they eventually reached a point where the choice was posed: make a quantum leap into the vanguardist model they rejected or fade away.   Since the former hasn’t happened and almost certainly won’t, let us hope that, as they fade into historical memory, some of the good the Occupy movements did can be turned into a useful legacy.

Why Don't I Trash Religion Again?

One reason that I blog is to force myself to write every day. I've got a lot to do this morning and I can't decide on anything topical, so I guess I'll rant about religion.

If you read this blog with any frequency you'll know that I have a real bee in my bonnet about religion and the asinine defences of it that some people imagine aren't ridiculous. I agree with the efforts of Richard Dawkins and other atheists that religion should be criticized and exposed so that it will eventually dwindle into insignificance and this primitive way of understanding our existence can be eliminated from our consciousnesses.

The shit-for-brains critique of Dawkins etc., goes like this:

This is "militant atheism" or "fundamentalist atheism" and (Oh! But this is brilliant!) is no different from militant/fundamentalist religious devotion. (Oh! The delicious irony!)

Yes. Apparently silly atheists can't see that believing that explaining the world according to ancient legends about super-powerful or even omnipotent beings, which legends supposedly are based on infallible, eternal truths (whatever present reality might appear to be) is as valid a way to go as any other worldview.

This isn't the viewpoint of the religious of course. Or at least not most of them. There are some religious people who belief that there is some sort of "truth" in all religions, that the religious impulse speaks to some sort of connection with the divine (or whatever): "There are many paths to God" and all that. But most Christians wouldn't say that the Hindus or the Buddhists are just as right as they are. Most Christians believe that the Jews missed the boat about Jesus and that the Muslims foolishly went and built a new boat and are now rowing in the wrong direction.

The idea that the Buddha, who was supposedly enlightened and all-knowing, and Jesus, who was the Son of God who was also all-knowing, and all the other religions from animist beliefs to pantheistic mythologies contain some "truth" even though these religions themselves explicitly deny this ("false gods" "errors" "heathens" "blasphemies" "heresies") can only be true if you water down the religious impulse so as to make the commonality so as to be meaningless, to whit: "All human cultures have struggled to make sense of the world and they have all invented stories to try to explain it to themselves."

Big deal.

Science will never be able to explain reality. The "world" is bigger than our senses. We cannot even begin to fathom what is beyond our senses to even register. Even the world of sense-perception as extended and elevated by science is incomprehensible to us. Isaac Newton didn't know what caused gravity. He just knew that everything attracted everything else to a degree and he could calculate it for the largest objects like the Earth and the Moon and the Sun and he didn't trouble himself to speculate on the source of this power.

But what is explained by religion, besides the obvious fact that we are subject to powerful forces beyond our control? What of these "many paths to God"? When we're sick, should we pray for health? Should we sacrifice an animal on a stone altar? Should we try to expel the angry alien souls from our systems? Should we ingest some magic potion?

"AHA! 'Magic potions' 'eh? What's the difference between YOU (oh superior, rational atheist) taking your doctors' medicine and the devotee who drinks a 'magic potion'???"

Yawn. It's true that when it comes to science a lot of my trust in it is based on faith in its truth. But as David Hume said, we have to believe a lot things on faith. Pretty much everything if you read him correctly. He wasn't an atheist, but he was far from being your typical agnostic. He wasn't prepared to think that it was a toss-up between atheist certainty and certainty in ancient myths. Some things were plausible and some almost certainly nonsense. And I don't think, on a practical level, that he would have cared one way or the other if religious delusions were eradicated by the genuine exercise of reason. So, facile equivalence between trusting in the edifice of science and trusting in some groundless, evidence-free magic, is just that: facile.

In the end, human stupidity can create inquisitions and atomic bombs. But there are far more opportunities for misbegotten fanatical certainty to lead one astray with religious delusion than is the case with scientific inquiry.

I've typed enough for today. I'll type again another day. (Unless I get hit by a bus and go straight to H-E-double hockey-sticks.)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

thwap Doesn't Catch Olympic Fever


Sigh. So a television set is playing some Canadian Olympics coverage and there's a commercial for some young male Canadian athlete training and endorsing a product (VISA credit cards I think) and at one point he says "I'm doing it for my country."

That struck me as odd. Really odd. All I could think was "Why? Why do you think you're training for your country?" I should remind people that patriotism is not one of my strong suits. I wrote about that in a post entitled "The Extent of My Patriotism."
Once you say "no" to loving any of those things, or any other unappealing aspect of Canada, then you have to admit the fact that "loving" a country is a ridiculous concept. Nation-states are artificial constructs that have been designed to compel our loyalties and devotion, and they expend considerable resources to ensure that we do so. But there is no natural patriotism.

What we do share as Canadians is a heritage that has its good points and its bad points. But we don't share anything so deep as to justify the exclusion of the rest of humanity from our affections.

I am grateful to have been born in Canada, one of the few countries in the world that provides almost all of its people with a tolerable standard of living. I am grateful for the circumstances of history, and for the people who fought to make this a democratic country. I am saddened that we had to usurp this land from its original Aboriginal inhabitants, and I am ashamed of the way we have tried to eradicate those people and deny our debts to them. I am ashamed of our disgraceful imperialism in Haiti, and I am angry about the lies and deceptions of our imperialism in Afghanistan. I am proud of Canada's international reputation. I am proud of the way we tend to peacefully settle our differences. I am angry at the way that true Quebec nationalists were oppressed and brutalized after 1837, but I feel a little proud to think of the efforts of Baldwin and LaFontaine to work together to support each others' efforts to win their political rights.

I also wrote about the whole revolting spectacle of the Olympics and nationalism here:
What I don't do is slather on some red face paint in the approximation of the maple leaf and cheer like some stupid idiot when the Olympic torch is trotted across this land-mass, just because our government gave the biggest bribes to a bunch of fascists and fuckwads on the International Olympic Committee. Especially if some stupid soda-pop vendor wants me to, since it means turning off my brain, which will then make me more receptive to their soda-pop selling schemes.
 So, that guy wasn't exactly preaching to the converted in my case. But it made me want to return to an idea to write a post that would have been great for Canada Day except that I came up with the idea a few days too late.

Basically, this last Canada Day left me completely cold. The vast majority of our political elites are completely out of touch with the "Canadian values" that supposedly mark us as a people. Our politicians, our state institutions, our punditocracy are all complicit in the degradation of the fundamentals of our parliamentary system. We are a violent, stupid, selfish, ignorant, self-righteous, materialist and deluded people. I can't celebrate a country based on the expropriation of First Nations and, worse (to me in the 21st Century) the continued dehumanization of the First Nations and the complete denial that any of this is happening. Our RCMP kills immigrants, lies about it, and gets away with it. Our CF hand over prisoners to a regime of torturers, the government (which put them in that impossible situation) withholds evidence and sweeps it under the rug, and the majority of my fellow Canadians are so disconnected or delusional or lazy with regards to what we are doing and how it constitutes an assault on our soul as a nation that it all dies with a whimper.

Obviously I'm grateful to have been born in Canada. Although I'm of working-class stock and therefore slightly more prone to being fucked-over than many higher up the income ladder, I had a reasonably good shot to have carved a secure life for myself and I'm still living vastly better than the majority of people alive today or the majority of people who ever lived. But the same could be said for my status as a white male. And I'm not exactly proud of being a white male. I'm glad for it, given material realities and all, but celebrating "White Males Day" sounds like something only stupid neo-Nazis would do. I guess the same thing goes for "Canada Day" for now.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Another Brick in the Wall

Omar Khadr's case is a polarizing one, to say the least. Some people think that he's an evil, psychopathic, Islamofascist terrorist monster, while other people say that he was a victim of circumstances, a child soldier and a Canadian citizen who should have had his legal rights respected and been given a fair trial. These two sides tend to see the other in a hostile light. For those who hate Khadr, people who see him as a child soldier and Canadian citizen and therefore entitled to certain rights and procedures are America hating scum who really love Khadr because he killed an American soldier. We, who think Khadr's rights should have been respected think the other side are documented supporters of the torture of a teenager who have a Nazi/Stalinist disregard for the rule of law.

Tsk-tsk. I do so hate it when political debates become so polarized that people can't see the merit in other people's ideas. Perhaps the truth about the Khadr case comes down somewhere in the middle? Perhaps he was a bad 15-year old who definitely committed an action that isn't quite a war crime and he should only have been tortured a little bit?

Nah.

It's pretty cut-and-dried really. No matter what he might have done, as a child soldier and a Canadian citizen, Khadr was entitled to certain rights and both a Liberal and a Conservative government let the US government ignore those rights. I was around forty years old when Khadr was captured at the age of 15. I'm sure that I wouldn't have had much in common with the lad and the fact that he might have killed an American soldier doesn't endear him to me because I'm not "anti-American" to be perfectly honest. Legal rights and civil rights and human rights belong to everyone. End of story.

"What about Christopher Speer's rights you 'useful idiot'? Did Khadr respect Sgt. Speer's right to life? Or his children's right to their father?" shout Khadr's critics. Which only goes to show their total intellectual bankruptcy. Supposedly, if someone is murdered, we would be able to lock up one of Khadr's supporters for 12 years and respond to the outraged cries for their legal rights with emotional appeals to the dead victim and their family. "But Khadr confessed!" they'd whine, forgetting that Khadr had been tortured and that he was faced with indefinite detention in Guantanamo unless he copped a plea. Obviously, Khadr was in that house when it came under attack, and he might have thrown a grenade (his "war crime") but in the end, withholding evidence, torturing teenagers, and kangaroo courts are not the way to establish guilt and uphold the rule-of-law. (And of course, it goes without saying that one can never mention the innocent civilians murdered by US troops, nor the pain and trauma of the victims' families, to argue anything ever.)

I'm writing about this because today the CBC reports that Vic "DO fuck the babysitter!" Toews is using a report about Khadr written by a US military psychologist, which says that Khadr was suspicious and hostile and saw himself as a victim, as evidence for why the harper government is reneging on its deal with the US government to repatriate him. Toews is being laughable (as usual). This report is bullshit.

Once more, for emphasis: Khadr was a teenager and he was tortured in violation of international law and he was subjected to a legal process not recognized anywhere but in the USA itself (only when it's the USA employing such methods) and craven lick-spittles in the unelected harper government. So ends my contribution to Canada's political conversation for Friday, July 27th, 2012.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Canadians lack confidence in governments' abilities to solve problems




According to a recent poll.

Granted, when governments don't even care if they succeed (as in Haiti and Afghanistan) or when they're dedicated to starving the state of resources so that it will fuck things up, or when (like the Liberals) they're such deluded yet conniving scum-bags that it's hard to tell, ... of course a growing lack of confidence will be the result.

But lest we forget, Canada's private sector hasn't exactly been a paragon of honesty and competence either.

Business and government need to be managed by the people who do the work and who live with the results. A revolution is needed in other words.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Revolution

The post about the $21 TRILLION (minimum!) that the Tax Justice Network estimates is sitting in offshore tax havens is evidence of a very big, very simple reality. The present political-economic system is inhuman and it isn't going to change of its own accord. A revolution is needed. The only lasting revolutionary change must be overwhelmingly peaceful, and based on mass agreement, but the main word is "revolutionary." (I say "overwhelmingly peaceful" because it should be obvious to all that the present ruling class is psychotically attached to their power and won't surrender it without at least a few atrocities. Just look at the level of violence directed at the Occupy Movement (which was essentially nothing more than speeches and camp-sites).

There's a rumor going around that globalization is raising living standards around the world, but I'm going to call bullshit on that. I remember when Indonesia's economy nose-dived during the Asian financial crisis and a lot of observers couldn't understand how a currency crisis could instigate such precipitous drops in nutrition and tax revenues and employment and everything. Turns out that when the World Bank and other assemblers of international economic statistics get their information, they get it from the very same countries that are trying to sell their economic successes to obtain more investment. And those governments make up their figures, sometimes out of whole cloth.

I will admit that inequality between countries is decreasing. Globalization has created Indian and Chinese millionaires and even billionaires. But inequality is increasing WITHIN nations. Poverty is definitely increasing in the developed countries, especially in the USA. This has been masked by doctoring the statistics and by increased household debt. Higher fuel and food prices is definitely wreaking lives in the "developing" countries. As the ecology collapses, things will become more desperate for pretty much everyone, as the wealthy retreat to increasingly threatened and territorially shrinking enclaves.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Post

I'm busy. Here's another YouTube link:

Sunday, July 22, 2012

$21-35 TRILLION

That's what the Tax Justice Network says is sitting in offshore tax havens around the world. We need genuine democracy and we need it internationally. That's all.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The July Crisis

Just in case you're a non-historian for whom that phrase means nothing:

US militarism, nuclear weapons, the holocaust, .... all of them the result of World War II.

What was the cause of World War II?

World War I.

Why did World War I start?

The July Crisis.

Here's the Wikipedia entry.

Here's another entry for no particular reason.

Here's a great book about the intellectual bankruptcy and the soaring idealistic delusions that led to it.

There.

There's lots going on the world today. But I thought I'd waste a few minutes talking about some stuff that created the world we're living in today.

Friday, July 20, 2012

No Reward For Hard Work in Canada - Part II

I kinda blogged about this before. But I've been riding through Forest Hill these days, and I see houses like this:



And, I gotta say, it's frustrating. And it isn't class envy. Up into my late-thirties I didn't care that some people were really, really rich. Personally, I don't want a mansion, but I'd like to have a nice 2-1/2 storey detached home and be able to keep it up. And I want to say before I go any further that the people who own these homes might be really nice people who voted Liberal and wouldn't begrudge paying some more in taxes because they recognize that public services and programs are necessary for a healthy, stable society. They might also be hard-working immigrant success stories (or non-immigrant success stories even) who epitomize the "rags-to-riches" dream and who think they deserve the rewards for having played the game properly.

I don't know anything about the people who live in them. All I know is that these are really lovely houses. I moved to Toronto a few years ago and I'm still staggered by the wealth on display here. There's block after block of these mansions and hundreds of other blocks of other homes that are themselves worth anywhere from $1-2 million and that are nicely maintained. And they all give the lie to the right-wing whine about how there's no reward for hard work in this country. The level of taxation on the "producers" in this country is evidently not so crushing that the producers can't enjoy the fruits of their labour.

And what makes it all so frustrating is that this idiotic lie has been used to justify tax-cut after tax-cut, depriving governments of the revenues they need to fund the health care system, the education system, foreign aid, scientific research and infrastructure investment and renewal. Instead of spurring the economy and producing more revenues, we've starved our programs of funds and gone into debt to do so. To top it all off, the whole gamut of government fiscal, monetary, labour and other policies has given the wealthy more money than they know what to do with. I say this again and again because it's true and not generally admitted in the respectable press, that the Wall Street failure and corruption (which our own financial sector was deeply invested in) is incontrovertible proof that the rich have more surplus funds than they can sensibly (let alone productively) invest.

And, really, this right-wing whining nonsense about the crushing burden of taxation is just as adequately exposed for the bullshit that it is by looking at many among the middle-classes. They live in houses like this:







And you know, again, they might be nice people. I have no idea about all these millions of Canadians. It's not my point that they're all greedy and selfish and stupid. My point is that a LOT of Canadians are NOT crippled by crushing taxation in this country. Indeed, many ordinary Canadians evidently have enough extra money to fill their houses up with so much junk that there are television shows about helping them get control over their excess junk.

The reality that most Canadian households are burdened by increasing levels of debt can't really be blamed on taxes. First of all, it's ridiculous to blame taxes for your debts if you house is filled with unused exercise equipment, hundreds of VHS movies gathering dust, three closets worth of clothes and enough broken plastic toys to fill a toy-store. Secondly, the main reasons that Canadians are in debt are due to rising house prices, rising tuition rates, insecure employment and a whole bunch of other problems that non-neoliberal economic policies would help to alleviate.

It's frustrating to carry this knowledge around, day after day, and to look up and see its vindication, day after day, and to then look at some mainstream media twits or think-tank hacks babbling the same old political-economic bullshit. And then hear how the government is denying medical services to newly-arrived refugees ostensibly to save people's tax dollars.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Gun Violence in Toronto

So Rob "fuck-head" Ford has decided to "declare WAR on gangs" in response to the tragic Scarborough shooting last weekend. You know what that means don't you? Absolutely nothing. The stupid fat piece of shit has the begging bowl out to the province for "resources" (although the imbecile hasn't changed his tune that Toronto doesn't have a revenue problem, just a spending problem). It's especially rich that the Toronto Sun ("Wrong About Everything") hasn't mentioned that their idiot hero actually voted against accepting $300,000 in anti-gang program funding from the feds on June 8th.

The fact of the matter is that, once again, it's the 'loony left" that knows the score. Guns cost money but the violence appears to be the work of young men from economically depressed parts of the city. Shooting people has consequences so it's going to be young men who don't think they have much to lose by getting involved in drugs and violence. It's a deranged view of masculinity that causes young men to do these things. The way to bring this culture of violence to an end is to teach the faggy, feminazi, pinko critique of masculinity. It's to give young men real chances to aspire to something else in life besides a gangster. It's to wage war on poverty.

But of course, Ford is an idiot. The Toronto Sun is full of idiots. harper and Flaherty are idiots. Ford, harper and Flaherty's voters are idiots. The Toronto Sun's readers are idiots. They'll aspire to the long-discredited US-American policies of police brutality and "hard time" in for-profit prisons (paid for by the taxpayers).

And we'll have to endure the blundering of these cretins just like we did for Afghanistan, the economic crisis and pretty much everything else.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

More About Canada in Afghanistan

Yesterday's post really didn't capture my disgust with the loons who got Canada into that mess and the ignoramuses who commented on those stories in the Toronto Star. So, here we go again.

If you're going to put the Canadian military into a military mission, you have to do it with your eyes open and only after a thorough investigation into the facts. And one fact of the matter is that while sucking-up to the USA is pretty much an integral part of the job of a Canadian prime minister, the degree to which we suck up to them is negotiable.

The USA is not going to cut-off trading relations with Canada because we don't join them on some mad fool adventure somewhere. The price of US-American displeasure needs to be compared to the price of dragging Canada into an evil (despite what sputtering gas-bags like Terry Glavin have to say about it) clusterfuck. Personally, I don't think one Canadian life is worth whatever temporary bitching and moaning we would have had to endure from the bush II regime, let alone the 158 lives that were lost and the hundreds more that were harmed either through injuries or mental anguish.

Building upon that, ... just what were the practical ramifications of Chretien's refusal to join the invasion of Iraq? I would submit that they were incredibly minor. And, what were the benefits for Canada of having gone in with them to Afghanistan? What recognition (besides having the CF mocked on late-night FOX News "comedy" shows) has Canada received for its sacrifices? Were the benefits for Canada from US goodwill equal to the (modest estimate) of $10-15 billion that we spent over there?

Because a good hard look at the subject should have set off the Liberals' alarm-bells when they waded into this quagmire. "Hmmm. So you're over-ruling the decision of the Afghan Loya Jirga and imposing your own man upon them?" "Hmmm. So you're going to make the Northern Aliance warlords, who tore the country to shreds before the Taliban defeated them, the backbone of your hand-picked puppet's government are you?" "Hmmm. So you're going to make these warlords the governors of Pashtun areas and let them rule them as feudal fiefdoms are you?" As the Mound of Sound said in yesterday's comments, picking Karzai and the warlords and giving them free reign was the start and it was the beginning of the end.

It was obviously a disaster in the making. But the brain-dead, deluded worldview of your average liberal can't see that. We were going to take prisoners and hand them over to the US-Americans. Because, obviously, the loony-left hasn't based their analysis of US-American war crimes on knowledge about the decades of torture and violence in Vietnam or Latin America, but on a visceral "anti-Americanism" that defies reason and logic. Oh, and then prisoners were tortured to death at Bagram and Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, .... OOOOPS! Better find someone else to take our prisoners I guess. Let's get the corrupt, warlord government's NDS to do it! Yeah! There's an idea!  (We'll turn down the offer from the British and the Dutch to build our own safe, non-torturing facility, thank you very much.

So, it was the stupid Liberals who got Canada into the mess. Then, in 2006, the vile and stupid harpercons took over. And, no, we can't blame the harpercons for the mistakes of the Liberals. And that includes the asinine decision of the meat-head idiot loser General Hillier who negotiated the shitty arrangement with the Afghan government to hand over to them our prisoners. But, again, as "Canada's New Government" harper had a right and a duty to reinvestigate the commitments of the Liberals and see whether what we were doing in Canada was in Canada's best interests. But what did he do instead? he embraced "the Mission" with even more insane fervour than Chretien and Martin did. He was more gung-ho about the CF killing rag-heads and even more indifferent to the possibility of war-crimes being committed.

And then, while our overstretched military is fighting, killing and dying for a flawed cause, and Canada's reputation (however stretched) or a law-abiding, human rights respecting nation takes one body blow after another, ... these stupid fucks in the government can't even ensure proper oversight of our aid effort there?? (And, as Beijing York said in yesterday's comments, much of this was supposed to have been the responsibility of Bev Oda and her $16 orange juice.)

And then, some other stupid fucks, instead of being outraged about how our governments have wasted our blood and wasted our treasure and betrayed the people of Afghanistan, there's insulting condemnations of the people of that country and ruminations about our misplaced generosity!

No wonder this country is so fucked.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Paul Watson's Article About Canadian Aid to Afghanistan

The Toronto Star has been running some lengthy articles by Paul Watson about Canada's aid to Afghanistan. I almost didn't read them. We went in there in 2001 and now it's 2012. I've been complaining about this atrocity for over a decade. It doesn't come as any surprise to me that our aid was mostly wasted and that the projects suffered due to corruption or mismanagement. But then I decided that since someone has gone to the trouble of looking into what we spent all that money on, the humanitarian achievements paid for with Canadian and Afghan blood, then I really should take the time to read about it.

"How millions in Canadian aid has failed to bring justice to Afghanistan" shows how many Afghan peasants are turning to tribal or Taliban justice out of frustration with the incompetence, corruption or merely the slowness of the Afghan government's official justice system.

"Failure at Dahla Dam" documents the frittering away of aid dollars on security and contractors' perks rather than on fixing or improving the 60-year old Dahla Dam in Kandahar. Oh yeah, the corruption-plagued SNC-Lavalin had the contract.

"Shoddy school buildings and sagging morale" paints another dismal failure of negligence, corruption and waste:
Kandahar City’s Mohmood Tarzee High School was built with Canadian money from the ground up, and when the first, fresh-faced students rushed through its classroom doors a little more than two years ago, it seemed a new era of great promise had dawned.
Nobody knew, apart from the shady contractors, that the brand-new building was doomed. The weak foundations quickly began to shift. The walls were cleaved by deep cracks. The roof leaked.
So much water poured through the ceiling during winter rains that the top floor is closed. The plywood barricades blocking the stairwells are grey with huge water stains.
The 6,000 students who go to class in morning and afternoon shifts walk along floors with large holes cratered so deep in the crumbling concrete that it looks like someone tossed grenades.
Headmaster Haji Abdullah Nazary fears his school is going to collapse on his students some day.
Nazary taught at the school for five years before taking over as headmaster five months ago and had never seen a Canadian visitor before I arrived.
Quite a few of the comments below these stories are depressing reading. The jist of them is that what else could be expected in a shit-hole like Afghanistan, full of ungrateful, inferior monkey-people. They often add (with some merit) that our own schools or our own First Nations are in need of government assistance so why are we spending money (and wastefully) overseas. For the most part though, these comments all miss the point that we're talking about over a decade of failure, billions of dollars, Canada's international reputation as a law-abiding, human rights respecting country and a lot of spilled blood. The fact that these projects (1/10th of our spending but 90% of our elites' "moral" argument) was so lazily administered, is an outrage.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Latest Reads

More of my WWII reading:

North Atlantic Run by Marc Milner. Highly detailed account of how hard it was for Canada to produce a respectable navy out of almost nothing in 1939.

Operation Husky by Mark Zuehlke. Comprehensive account of the Canadian contribution to the invasion of Sicily.

Vasily Grossman - a writer at war. Summary of the experiences and translation of the journals and published materials of Soviet Red Army edited by Antony Beevor, translated by Luba Vinogradova.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

No Need For Austerity



The Progressive Economics Forum has an excellent post about public debt in Canada and why neither the self-inflicted federal deficits, nor the self-inflicted provincial deficits, justify slashing yet more needed services and general austerity.

That's why harper and Flaherty's masters really aren't all that worried about the government's massive deficits. They contain no real danger but they're damned convenient for justifying still more hacking away at the welfare state.

Still and all, I'd rather we as a nation did more with that $100 billion (and over) than just sustain demand during a recession caused by the repeated failings of neoliberalism.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Enemy




Some people might take offence at the title of this post. I'm referring to some of the people who have different political viewpoints from my own. These are people who will, through their stupid political choices, contribute to the continued decline in my quality-of-life. So the idiotic thoughts spinning around in their skulls has a direct impact on me (and you) personally. These are people who are shamelessly immune to reason and argument. They don't care that they've been proven wrong or that you know they're lying. Their hackery is a vital part of who they are as individuals and they're not going to let go of it. In other words, they will hold on to their political opinions which negatively impact our quality of life no matter how hard you work to convince them that they're insanely wrong. This makes them my enemies as far as I"m concerned.

First up: Rob Ford's fans. Last week, The Grid T.O. had another feature about the failed mayoralty of Rob Ford and pondering who should run to replace him. This week, they report on their mail-bag. In response to that article, one reader, "James" wrote thusly:
Ford is exactly the type of mayor this city needs. Now we just need a vote to cut the number of council seats in half before the next election, so the citizens can elect a council that actually has an interest in serving all of the citizens of Toronto, rather than just serving special-interest groups and their pet projects.
Another reader, "Scarborough Dave" added:
The people who voted for Rod Ford endorsed his mandate and, as a result, the mayor should be expected to implement it, regardless of how some special-interest groups might feel about it. Livable cities are created by successful businessmen, and Rob Ford is a successful businessman.
After a certain point dishonesty, ignorance or delusion overwhelms a person's character and turns them into a joke. Rob Ford campaigned on the lie that there was almost a billion dollars of waste at Toronto City Hall and that he could cut taxes without cutting needed services because it was all a matter of easily eliminating obvious waste. Almost a billion dollars! It would be easy to find and cut! Then it turned out that there wasn't much waste and Ford was reduced to proposing closing a shelter for abused women in order to save a few hundred thousands bucks.

We've become jaded, in this day and age of right-wing politicians who don't care if they fail because it only validates their philosophy that governments always fail. I just feel it needs to be pointed out that being off in your projections by $750 million is always and everywhere a big deal. Especially when you're only talking in terms of a $10 billion budget. Similarly, threatening to close women's shelters when you started out talking about eliminating wasteful spending is quite a leap. People who are so wrong, so callous and so stupid do not deserve to be taken seriously and neither do witless hacks who support them.

We could go on with Ford's disastrous history of failure. His botched handling of the transit file. His obnoxious homophobia. His shameless attempt (with his brother) to toss out years of planning and consultation to propose a waterfront development deal cooked-up with a small cabal of wealthy insiders, but let's let "James" and "Scarborough Dave's" words speak for them.

Both of these guys use the term "special-interest groups." Idiots. As if the right-wing doesn't have special-interest groups that support them. Unless you name these specific special-interest groups and explain why their desires are illegitimate and cancel-out yours, nobody has to take you seriously.

"James" proposes cutting the number of councillors in half, as if this will somehow return only Ford supporters giving him carte blanche to impose his will. "Scarborough Dave" says that because the office of mayor is voted for citywide, the mayor therefore has the right to overrule council. Local councillors' job is to agree with everything the mayor says. Nonsense. "Livable cities are created by successful businessmen"? Maybe. Maybe not. But Ford is a successful businessman? No he's not. He's the idiot son of a sticker-maker. Doug Ford is the guy who managed the family firm after it was already a success.

These Ford fans are shameless, lying hacks. Ford has been an unmitigated disaster and their refusal to confront this obvious reality disqualifies them from the debate.

Next we have harpercon scum-bags. Yesterday, the Toronto Star, to its great good credit, actually ran an editorial about the enormously important decision to be expected from the Supreme Court of Canada, about harpercon Ted Opitz's self-centered appeal to be able to keep his stolen seat in Etobicoke-Centre. (I was going to blog about that editorial itself, but I decided to write this post in response to the comments of the harpercon trolls that followed it.)

Seems to Me Seems to me that at most polling stations I have been at, there are always reps from every party involved. Now according the Mancash, Gimmeshelter, and the rest of the loony left, if a Liberal loses in an election, then it must be something the Conservative rep did to cause that. Absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the voters didn't want the Lib Candidate elected. Whine and Cry On

Hope I hope the Supreme Court rules against the whining Liberals and overturns the lower court ruling. The Libs got beat up real bad in the last election and have been grasping at straws ever since to try to prove it shouldn't have happened. Can't understand why the Libs on here aren't blaming Mike Harris. GimmeShelter, Cry ON.......

The Star would be singing a different tune regarding this issue..... if it were the Conservative's Ted Opitz trying to have the election results nullified. Since a Liberal lost this supposedly 'safe' riding, there is now a call for another 'fresh election'. What about the THOUSANDS of voters who become disenfranchised if the original election result is overturned? The voters rejected Mr. Ignatieff and his party - the Liberals should try to GET OVER IT !

Its like a bad umpire call in a baseball game. Sometimes it works for your team and sometimes it works against. The system is open to deceit. How many times has this system worked against the Conservatives? I wonder.

Give it a break Liberals who don't win will go to any and all means to gain a seat. You lost - now suck it up butter cup.

so...... Then if the court supports the election results, the court is worng in the eyes of the Star. Not suprising and quite predictable...but please to use Dalecourt as a reference? She is a Liberal, her brother works for the party and wasn't she the reporter CRYING when Iggy stepped down as leader..awwww nothing but being unbiased from the Star in this story.

 Remember what we're talking about here people. Nobody disputes that this was a close election. 26 votes out of over 55,000. It's an absolute fact that Justice Lederer found (after discounting the impact of many other questionable ballots) 79 votes that were completely unaccounted for. Elections Canada (now headed by a harpercon hack) can only account for (maybe) 44 of those 79 votes. That's still more votes unaccounted for from only 10 polling stations than the margin of victory. But what do these stupid fuckwads say? "Suck it up buttercup!" "You wouldn't be complaining if YOU had won because of these irregularities!" Typical childish drivel. And then they expect to be taken seriously. Democracy is not a board game. Democracy is a huge accomplishment. It's as close to sacred as a human value can get. And these people ... 

Words fail me. 
 
Alas! The great tragedy is that when it comes to democracy, human rights, economic and environmental sanity, stupid political hackery infects the brains of just around everyone. Witness poor Glenn Greenwald's devastating criticisms of the dictatorial urges of the bush II regime. All his writings found a great deal of approval from Salon.com's mostly progressive readership. And then, when the Democrat Party's Obama becomes president and maintains all of bush II's policies and even builds on them, it turns out that that vast pool of critics of bush II's illegal wars and frightening power grabs are happy enough when it's their team trampling on the Constitution and murdering foreigners (and now, their fellow citizens)!

We have to rise above this. Some people are incapable, but we must hold them to account nonetheless.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Three Shit Songs


I was on the road today, and I didn't finish the post I started this morning, so to keep my posting level up, I've decided to quickly blog about three songs that have re-intruded upon my consciousness in the past week. I first encountered these horrid tunes when I worked at a textile plant. The ladies on the second floor liked to listen to Hamilton's "K-Y FM" which played what is evidently known as "Easy Rock." This term includes sickeningly saccharine, corporate love pablum. These tunes were playing constantly for months at a time and I do not possess the ability to tune things out. While I was pushing a bin full of oven-mitts or table-cloths around, I'd be hearing every bloody word of all the stupid lyrics of all these crappy tunes. (This is probably why I'm so angry all the time. One reason anyway. And my inability to tune things out is also an inability to forget about the glaring hypocrisy and abominable ignorance and crude lies of the right-wing. Which is why I despise them so.)

And so, without any further ado, or introductions or anything, here they are. Comments are welcome!




Sweet jeebus almighty but that was painful.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

What Can the Supreme Court Possibly be Debating Over??


Seriously! Ted Opitz's case is essentially that just because "clerical errors" mean that 79 voters are unaccounted for (with Elections Canada now claiming at the last minute that they can maybe account for 44 of them) in an election won by 26 votes, that this is no reason to invalidate his election.

What possible merit is there in such a brain-dead argument? From now on, in Canadian elections, harpercon sleaze-bags will simply walk from polling station to polling station giving fake names to harpercon supporting polling clerks and vote early and often? And any challenges will be derided as useless expenditures and attempts to take away the people's sacred right to choose?

Are they really arguing as if that's a valid point of view???

We're getting close to a political singularity here. When infinite cynicism meets infinite gullibility.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tuesday News Round-Up



There's three things I'm just aching to write about today, so I'll dump 'em all out in a dog's breakfast of a post.

First of all, this CBC report from Brian Stewart: "Canada in Kandahar, some allies weren't impressed." It's based on a recent series of books and reports, some written by US or British military leaders, some based upon their testimony, saying that they had a lot of problems with Canada's contribution to the occupation of Afghanistan.

I'd like to get this out of the way at once: One of the commentators at the CBC web page points out a glaring error:
"Cowper-Coles records how he and then U.S. secretary of state Condoleezza Rice were irritated by a Canadian briefing in 2010 ..."

Problem. Condoleezza Rice was NOT the US Secretary of State in 2010. She left office with George Bush in January of 2009.
Now, whether that original mistake is in one of the sources that Stewart is referring to, and he passed it along like a virus, or whether Stewart or somebody else made the error or typo, the overall argument is the same. Canada's military was far too small to pacify the insurgency in Kandahar and keep the province secure and Canadian politicians were too arrogant to accept this fact and ask for help.

Since I was just talking about Chris Alexander a couple of days ago, I'd like to point out his little cameo in Stewarts's report:
In his fascinating memoir, Cables From Kabul: The Inside Story of the West's Afghanistan Campaign, Britain's former Afghan ambassador Sherard Cowper-Coles marvels at Canada's cheery boosterism for the war.
He portrays Canada's top civilian on the scene, Chris Alexander, then a former ambassador and top UN official, now a Conservative MP and parliamentary secretary to the minister of defence, as being "among the most persuasive of the optimists, and in many ways the golden boy of the international effort in Afghanistan."
Interestingly, Cowper-Coles believes Alexander was too smart not to see the flaws in the war, but "like many able and ambitious Westerners involved in the project he saw no point in being anything other than optimistic."
Oh yeah, ... "ambitious." Alexander is clearly ambitious and he's clearly hoping to have a brilliant political career as a right-wing imbecile staggering from one bloody foreign policy disaster to another. Unfortunately for him, he's hitched himself to a falling star and in a couple of years he will be forever shamed by his association with the biggest pack of criminals and incompetents in Canadian political history. So sad! Christopher Alexander was clearly willing to let overwhelmed Canadian Forces personnel to suffer and die for no reason in Afghanistan, just so that he could impress his masters back home. Have fun in disgrace you piece-of-shit!

And that goes for all the turds who threw our money down a rat-hole in this bloody clusterfuck. Especially stephen harper, peter mackay and, let's not forget the stupid, pompous blowhard General Rick Hillier who recommended the CF for this impossible task in the first place.


Second up, ... I just couldn't resist typing a response to this editorial by Thomas Friedman. Friedman, to me, is a complete waste of time. He's either completely wrong about things or his observations are convoluted expressions of the obvious. But a Liberal blogger who I very much respect praised this essay while providing a quote that I found less than impressive as a sampler. Let's look at it, shall we?
When you have technologies that promote quick short-term responses and judgments, and when you have a generation that has grown used to short-term gratification -- but you have problems whose solutions require long, hard journeys, like today's global credit crisis or jobs shortage or the need to rebuild Arab countries from the ground up -- you have a real mismatch and leadership challenge. Virtually all leaders today have to ask their people to share burdens, not just benefits, and to both study harder and work smarter just to keep up. That requires extraordinary leadership that has to start with telling people the truth. 
Now, please understand; you will go through that entire Friedman editorial and you won't find a single solitary clue about any details of the "long, hard journeys" that are supposedly necessary to solve the global credit crisis or to assist the democratic forces in the Arab countries. This is because Friedman knows that a) the global credit crisis is very much the fault of policies very similar to his own stupid economic recommendations over the years, and b) because Friedman is very much opposed to democracy in the Arab countries and has advocated for politics that would keep it suppressed, and, therefore, any actual recommendations from him here would expose him for the charlatan that he is.

Friedman's target audience

Anyhow, Friedman imagines him as some sort of visionary about the impact of technology on civilization and so he's decided to spew about how the instant gratification provided by a lot of modern technology has made the masses in the industrialized democracies hunger for the same sort of instantaneous wish fulfilment from world politics.

Which is, of course, laughable bullshit. For instance, the critics of the war in Afghanistan didn't turn against it because [imagine a whining teenager's voice] "It's taking too long!!!" We opposed it because it was a bad idea from the start. Western imperialists inflicting slaughter and starvation to impose a puppet-government of marauding narco-gangsters on a people who are mostly of a different ethnic group is self-evidently stupid. Meanwhile, the people who did support it have supported it for over ten fucking years, failure after failure, and the same goes (give or take a year) for Iraq. And the mushy middle waited years and years before deciding that maybe a decade of failure might point to some underlying problems. So much for Friedman's empty blathering about the people's desire for instant gratification.

It's bullshit from start to finish with Friedman:

Virtually all leaders today have to ask their people to share burdens, not just benefits, and to both study harder and work smarter just to keep up. That requires extraordinary leadership that has to start with telling people the truth.

Yeah. And that's why the Wall Street banksters gave themselves bonuses with their bail-out money and why corporate profits are at all time highs while unemployment and underemployment are raging worse than ever? That's why wages have stagnated for almost forty years? Because for forty years, workers haven't been making sacrifices? What? And just what sacrifices has Thomas Friedman been making? What? 

Lastly, I'd like to give a tip o' my hat ...



... to Montreal Simon for bringing these two polls to my attention. This rise in the fortunes of the NDP is a mixed thing for me. First of all, I think it makes all the hapless failures who steered the NDP into obscurity think that their boring, centrist, sell-out bullshit has been vindicated, when really it was just the result of the implosion of the Liberal Party as a viable alternative to the dog-shit of stephen harper. 

"Hey! Michael Ignatieff! Did you provide effective opposition to stephen harper?"

"I did NOT!"


But, on a happier note, as I've long said, the mushy middle in Canadian politics is breaking down and not because of some sort of new mental fad among the population. This isn't something that die-hard Liberals can fix with slogans or persuasion of any kind. The understandable desire of people to have their cake and eat it too, to have a decent welfare state without a traumatic revolution is what made so many people vote Liberal for so long, and I'm starting to think that decades of neo-liberal failure, involving the very same "sacrifices" from working people that Thomas Friedman blithely imagines they have been hiding from, has started to impact on people's minds in a major way. They are opening up their eyes to the Left, sadly at the same time the failures of social democratic strategists are moving the party to the right.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Opitz's "Argument" (So to Speak)

So, the party that screamed blue murder about "illegal polls" in Etobicoke-Centre and in Guelph, and which (shamefully with the NDP) was having hysterics about veiled Muslim women voting (although people voting through the mail from overseas somehow never appeared on their radar), has now argued, before the Supreme Court of Canada, that simple "clerical errors" shouldn't invalidate an election??

I'm shocked and appalled that this flea-bitten rat Opitz even got an appeal after the devastating critique of the shoddy election monitoring by Elections Canada.by Justice Lederer. I'm now filled with misgiving that the Court is even bothering to mull over the witless argument barfed up by Opitz's lawyers.

In brief, the Optiz team is arguing that just because a bunch of incredibly sloppy mistakes were made in an election that was won by 26 votes out of 56,523 votes, is no reason to have a new election!

Funny that. So, if a teacher adds up the marks wrong on a test, that's no reason to change the results? So if a bunch of people vote and there's no paperwork, that's fine? It's amazing how these pieces-of-shit operate. 

I'm going to tell you this right now: I honestly believe that harpercon hacks signed-on in droves to work for Elections Canada in Etobicoke-Centre just to fuck things up in favour of their boy Opitz. Being a polling clerk isn't rocket-science and voters who aren't on the list have always waited cheerfully and patiently as we did their paper-work. Something stinks and given the harpercons' multi-year hard-on for trying to make Canadian elections as discredited as those in the USA, I won't put anything past them.

A Message to the harpercons About Today's Etobicoke-Centre Ruling

Obviously I don't know what's going to happen. But I'd just like to clear up the stupid things that these whining, hypocritical, self-righteous harpercon cry-babies are attempting:

"This was an Elections Canada screw-up, NOT Conservative Party fraud."

That's true. But given your party's track record on border security funds, listerosis deaths, F-35 cost estimates, contempt of Parliament, robocalls, war crimes and elections financing, why should you be surprised that you're being accused of nefarious deeds in Etobicoke-Centre?

And, besides, the way Elections Canada works, they train a whole batch of applicants to help conduct the election process. I know. I did it. (Most of us are semi-political types who are between jobs.) As such, sure, errors can be made. Although the level of mistakes and the complete absence of paperwork is beyond anything that I've ever seen before. Which makes me think, ... how much of it could have been the deliberate handiwork of Conservative Party of Canada supporters working for Elections Canada in order to throw the election to their boy Ted Opitz?

Lastly, ... and pertaining to the broader scandal of the 2011 federal election, one harpercon hack appeared to admit that violations of elections laws did occur, but stupidly asks, "How do you know it was the Conservatives?" 

Um, ... because the calls about the polling centres' new locations (when they hadn't been moved at all) came from call centres that had signed exclusive contracts with the Conservative Party of Canada? Because your own party admits that the Guelph riding crimes were committed by one of their own? Seriously?

Look, you wretched fucking cry-babies, ... if you're going to be all brazen cheaters and thugs and liars and anti-democratic scum, ... at least have the fucking decency not to play the goddamned victim card. (Not that I don't expect you to. I realize what revolting, contemptible specimens you are. I'm aware of the filthy cloth from which you're cut. I just wrote that to feel better really. Carry on. You're all going down.)

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Couple of Things ...


 
 First off is a recommendation that you read Haroon Siddiqui's "West Speaks with a Forked Tongue on the Arab Spring." It's a pretty clear and coherent defence of what is happening in Egypt with a clear and coherent critique of Western hypocrisy:
We profess fidelity to democracy, especially in the Arab world. But our commitment seems to come with the caveat that the will of the people is acceptable only if it confirms our prejudices. If not — as in Egyptians’ choice of the Muslim Brotherhood for both parliament and the presidency — some of our leaders, thinkers and media eminences get antsy and irrational.
They begin to echo the logic of Algeria, Iran, Israel and the dictatorships and monarchies of the Middle East that have resisted democratic outcomes.

...

In varying degrees, Barack Obama, Harper and other western leaders have paid lip service to the Arab Spring. They have failed to stand by pro-democracy forces at key times.

They have been silent on the series of measures taken by the ruling Egyptian military junta to consolidate its power and even attempt to derail Mohammed Morsi’s election as president.

Yet Washington lectured him on the need to respect the rights of women and Coptic Christians.

This is not surprising coming from a capital that was complicit in the crimes of Hosni Mubarak, who banned the Brotherhood and jailed and tortured hundreds of its members for years.
And on and on it goes. Check it out.

Of course, imperialists in Washington and Ottawa and elsewhere aren't going to be moved by it in the slightest. The best of them are completely deluded about their own pristine adherence to human rights and the "Islamists" earth-shattering threat to civilization to be able to read his words if they were before their eyes. It would all just be transformed by filters into gibberish. Meanwhile, the worst of our elites would ignore Siddiqui because they know they don't give a shit about democracy and human rights and all their rhetoric is to provide a cover story for any future interventions to restore an acceptable status-quo there. The value of Siddiqui's writing is to expose borderline people to alternative interpretations of the bullshit coming out of Washington, and to give us the mental weaponry needed to counter the constant barrage of propaganda that we all face daily.

Second is an important letter to the Toronto Star from one Lee A. McKenna that they titled "Questioning 'star performer' tag."
Re: Fantino takes over from Oda, July 5
If one puts together (1) the Star’s excellent piece on the Afghan detainee inquiry report (which properly excoriated the government for its unprecedented dodging, weaving, political brinkmanship, refusals to produce documents, denials of access, over-the-top redactions based on irrational and unfounded “national security” concerns, preventing witnesses from testifying, launching legal challenges, gagging of witnesses) and (2) Chris Alexander’s protestation that the government provided “exceptional co-operation” to the inquiry commissioners, with (3) reporter Alan Woods’ report that the ex-diplomat, rumoured as Bev Oda’s replacement at CIDA, is considered a “star performer,” one wonders what he’s doing that makes him a star. Perhaps he is understudy to Peter Kent’s Teflon approach to problems. And we get Julian Fantino in the helping-others portfolio. This should be interesting.
Lee A. McKenna, Toronto

I wrote about Chris Alexander before.

I called him a piece of shit. He's definitely not a "star." More like a black hole.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Irrelevance




John Baird is irrelevant. He's a rat, too fucked-up and stupid to realize that he's on a sinking ship. He's an incompetent blowhard and an international embarrassment for Canada. More to today's point, ... his own government's cavalier response to accusations of Canadian complicity in torture render his entire condemnation of the UN and the Syrian dictatorship utterly hypocritical and irrelevant.

Wait. Did I say that his government's response to Canadian complicity in torture has been cavalier? That's incorrect. They have taken this matter very seriously. They have moved heaven and earth to prevent investigation into their war crimes in Afghanistan and they've been very thorough about covering up our complicity in the torture of our own citizens, Abdullah Almalki, Muayyed Nureddin and Ahmad El Maati

You see, that's the way it works in reality. Those three Canadian citizens were tortured in Syria, as was Maher Arar, because our government "security" services told them that they were terror suspects and they even fed the Syrian government questions to ask them while they were whipping the soles of their feet with cables. So, for a preposterous buffoon like Baird to condemn the Syrian government and the United Nations, ... well, he doesn't have the right to be taken seriously.

Let's go through the topsy-turvy world of hypocrisy and irrelevance further, shall we? Baird's irrelevant yammerings were reported in the irrelevant Globe & Mail. The Globe & Mail is irrelevant because, for all their noble rhetoric about freedom and democracy, the newspaper is a hack outlet of hypocrites. There might be (there are) good journalists writing important stories here and there, but the newspaper as a whole endorsed the thoroughly anti-democratic, lying to Parliament, harper government in the stolen 2011 election. To this very fucking day, the shameless, amoral hack John Ibbitson smears his used shit-paper onto the wall of the executive washroom to write fawning praises of this pack of criminals.


The Globe & Mail still prints on its masthead the quotation from Junius: “The subject who is truly loyal to the chief magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures.” and then, will write condemnations of Air Canada workers who showed disrepect to Labour Minister Lisa Raitt (by clapping in an exaggeratedly slow and obviously mocking fashion when she walked by), and says nothing about how workers were suspended for expressing their opinion and about how Raitt herself is the epitome of arbitrary measures (using legislation to side with a private sector employer against its workforce and imposing an inferior contract upon Canada Post workers than the one the employer locked them out for not accepting earlier).

John Ibbitson and Marcus Gee can't get it through their thick skulls that they're like some idiot at a dinner table who has shit himself and is making efforts of sophisticated conversation, oblivious to the fact that everyone else is overwhelmed with the stench and regarding them with disgust and contempt. Canada, meanwhile, is so sick a society that we're like a dinner party that's unable to remove the obviously befouled cretin who is yammering away at their place at the table as if all is right with the world!

Anyhow, back to the irrelevant Baird and his babbling about Syria. Syria is a shit-hole dictatorship that even tortures its own children. But Canada and the USA made use of its torture chambers (which the Syrians provided in a vain attempt to curry favour with Western imperialists). The United Nations is, very often, a hideous, hypocritical institution, where many of the world's despotic governments get to have paying gigs for their national elites on various committees and agencies, the bill for which is paid largely by the wealthiest members of the international community. It is indeed a joke that its human rights committee is staffed by representatives from Colombia (the country that kills more trade unionists every year than any other) and Kazakhstan. It's also a joke that the United States is represented on this committee, given its own adherence to the use of torture, arbitrary imprisonment and its multiple attacks on freedom of speech.

Baird is enraged at Russia and China for using their votes on the UN Security Council to block UN action against the Syrian government. At present, the Syrian government is under attack from mercenaries armed and trained and paid by the US government and its allies. The US government is not attacking Syria's dictatorship out of a feeling of repugnance against its torturing and its suppression of democracy. During the so-called "Arab Spring" the US has provided enormous support to the dictatorships in Yemen and Bahrain, as well as continued support to its abominations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The USA is going after Syria's Assad for the same reason it went after Libya's Qaddafi; because they retain some nominal independence. The US political elite is entirely insane and even though their intended puppet-allies in Iraq and Afghanistan have turned into bloody nightmares, requiring US troops to die protecting uncertain allies, these psychopaths imagine that Libya and Syria will turn out differently.

The entire world community is almost completely insane. Russia and China are governed by corrupt, autocratic governments. They're protecting Assad only to preserve a chess piece against the USA's increasingly desperate attempts to dominate the chess board.

Baird's stupid outbursts mean as much to the leaders of Russia and China as the yapping of a papillon through the front window of a house as you walk past on the sidewalk.Baird's an irrelevant hypocrite. The USA is a hypocrisy. The UN is a hypocrisy. Russia and China are hypocrisies. The Assad dictatorship is disgusting. His mercenary opponents are disgusting. The war in Afghanistan is disgusting. It's all disgusting.