Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Shop-lifting as a revolutionary act

I got nothing.

That was just something I heard from an anarchist recently.

If you want proof of the Left's incapacity to shape the world, there you have it.

Jesus fucking christ.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

An Inconvenient Truth


I want to return to something I mentioned in my review of Thomas Piketty's Capitalism in the 21st Century. I'd hoped people would have noticed it at the time:
Piketty talks about how the world wars and the Great Depression were the real causes of greater social equality from 1940 to 1980. He talks about real-estate destroyed, investments liquidated (or repudiated), empires lost, whittled away by inflation, but there's not much talk about the impact of trade unions and full employment policies and public social spending. (Oh yes, and the "threat" of a socialist alternative in the USSR and China.)
... 

The terrifying thing that I took away from Piketty's book though, is that if it took two world wars and a great depression to produce the postwar compromise, that means that all the activism of a far more radical period was insufficient to have changed anything. The depressing failures of the left to stop and roll-back the depredations of the predator classes since the 1980s are just part of the historical norm. The rich have always been rich and the poor will always stay poor.
The elites blundered themselves into World War I. The Great Depression was a consequence of the financial instability caused by that war. And World War II was, again a consequence of that initial elite mistake. Unless they fuck-up again on their own, we're doomed to re-living the world of Downton Abbey, with us as the chumps. Forever.
So, do you get what I'm saying? You people have known for a long time that given the dismal response to my campaign to unseat harper and given the undeniable absence of any other alternative campaign, I think we're hopeless and doomed, right? Well, it appears from Piketty's data, that this is in fact the case!

People tell me now, "But thwap, there's all sorts of activism and victories going on. Here, take a look at this for instance." And stuff like that link is all about numerous campaigns, and some of the "victories" that the author at that link speaks about are merely the campaigns themselves.

But there were activists and campaigns and victories before 1914, weren't there? Wasn't there an activist labour movement? Wasn't there a huge socialist movement? Read Peter Linebaugh's and Marcus Rediker's excellent The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic. (Read that review too.) But all of it needed the elite's self-inflicted catastrophe of World War I (and its consequences of the Great Depression and World War II) to fall from their lofty perch.

Piketty actually discusses the results of the French Revolution's reforms of inheritance laws, and the whole gamut of Revolutionary legislation, that opened careers up to talent, freed markets from state control and broke up the great aristocratic estates so that their lands could be bought and sold. Inequality didn't decrease under the French Revolution. It increased slightly. The end of aristocratic privileges and the introduction of capitalist social-economic laws had less than zero impact on inequality. The same held true for the milder social reforms in 18th and 19th Century Great Britain and for the republic of the USA.

So, fellow leftists, you can talk about your "victories" and your "movements" to me until you're blue in the face. Unless, and until, you start to talk seriously about breaking the power of capitalists to control the distribution of income and wealth, utterly and irrevocably, you're getting lost in a forest of saplings, unable to even conceive of the forest itself.

Without World War I we would not have had the Soviet Union, which, however horrible and tragic it was, served as a challenge to the capitalist system and a spur to more worker-friendly political-economic policies for decades.

Without World War I women would not have gotten the vote when they did.

Without the Great Depression we would not have gotten Franklin Roosevelt's pro-union labour laws and social security.

Without the Great Depression and World War II we would not have gotten the Beveridge Report in the UK and the inspiration for the welfare state.

Without the crisis from 1914-1945 we would not have had the break-up of the European empires.

And on and on it goes.

It wasn't a genuine revolution though, and right now, capitalism is in the driver's seat. Ordinary people do NOT appear up to the job of bringing about revolutionary change on their own. This is partly the fault of leftist delusion and navel-gazing, and partly the fault of those bone-stupid people such as the right-wing commentors with the shit-for-brains such as you see at the CBC website.

Do we really need another elite-caused cataclysm in order to even be able to hope for genuine change?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

2015 - An Election Year


I think the first thing we should do is take the Canada Elections Act off the books. In the first place, the advantage of governments waiting for opportune times to call an election is mitigated by the reality that a government could simply time all sorts of tax-cuts and spending initiatives to coincide with the "fixed" election date. In the second place, when the government that crafted the legislation violated the spirit of it, what's the fucking point? Here we've been, for a year now, guessing whether harper will call a snap election, still under the same Act that's supposed to have eliminated such guessing games. Do we really expect that a Liberal or NDP prime minister would stay loyal to a shitty piece of legislation that even its author didn't respect?

To fuck with it!

Since there will have to be an election this year, go all-out trashing harper in front of your friends and relatives.

One time, I was on a bus with a co-worker from a warehouse. I mentioned how Hamilton (Ontario)'s steel industry originated when Sir John A. Macdonald's "National Policy" tariff forced US industrialists to have to build factories in Canada. Some steel-makers came to Hamilton and found the abandoned works for the Great Western Railroad there and decided that this would be as good a spot as any to build a steel mill because some of the infrastructure had already been built. The GWR itself was where it was because our MP was the corrupt, grasping, anti-democracy thug Sir Allan MacNab. So Hamilton's defining industry had, essentially been a product of one man's self-interest and greed.

My co-worker (an older gent in his 50's) merely nodded and said "Uh-huh." I'd decided that I'd bored the fuck out of the guy and shut-up and we talked of other things.

The next day on the bus, he told me that he'd told his wife about what I'd said and they both thought it was fascinating!

What was the point of my digression? Sometimes you don't think you've made an impression, but you have!

So, I think that if you keep your temper, and find a way to connect with your friend or relative, about how scuzzy and contemptible harper is, you might plant some important seeds of doubt in their minds, which could blossom into beautiful flowers of hatred.

I mean, harper is making it as easy for us as he possibly can, isn't he? Talk about his treatment of the right-wing's precious "troops"! There's a whole laundry-list of atrocities that harper and his stoopid thug Fantino have presided over.

Talk about the F-35 fighter. Any right-winger who pretends to care about fiscal responsibility and accountability should be concerned about the precedent of a government REFUSING to document claims and covering-up TENS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS on a white-elephant boondoggle.

Finally (for now) talk about harper's sniveling cowardice! A man who appears to find it easy to send "the troops" into harm's way, nickel-and-diming them when they come back wounded, appears to dash for a fucking closet at the first sign of danger, without even telling his colleagues what he's doing. And then attributing this disgusting cowardice to his RCMP "training."

I'd rather discuss positive policy proposals to this crapola, but this is where we are.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

JT rules out a coalition with the NDP

Now, the real reason that Mulcair has found a coalition to be palatable is because the NDP is running a distant third place to the Liberals and the harpercon scum.

Why should the dreamy, vapid air-head Justin Trudeau sully himself by publicly contemplating associating with those radical nutbar socialists? For that reason, Trudeau sniffed that the very major policy differences betwixt the two parties made a Liberal-NDP coalition very unlikely.

Certainly there are differences between the Liberals' neo-liberalism and the NDP's neo=liberalism/"social democracy." But is Trudeau saying that the differences between the NDP and the Liberals on reducing greenhouse gases are just as important as stephen harper's denial that there is a problem, cynical delaying of legislation to address the problem, and contribution to the increase of the problem?

This could have been both a teachable moment for Canadians, but, alas, Trudeau would rather contribute to the further debasement of our political intelligence and contribute to a tactical error in not coming out swinging against the real enemy of Canadian democracy; stephen harper.

NOTHING is more important that getting rid of harper. In the long-run, obviously, harper is just a carbon-based bag of mostly water. However, we cannot begin to legislate for the things we want unless and until we have a government that restores respect in the parliamentary legislative process. We cannot work to elect semi-decent, semi-sane governments to legislate for the things we want until we defeat the party that commits widespread election fraud and corrupts all our electoral institutions.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again: We have only a quasi-democracy in this country. We elect representatives from among the three parties that have managed to gain enough wealth from a capitalist society to be able to afford campaigning. In a materialist, consumerist society such as ours, obtaining these resources requires sacrifices to the cause of capitalism. Then, capitalists use their influence over the economy and over political parties, to influence the actions that our politicians can take.

That is regrettable. It can also be dealt with. But to deal with it requires investing in this system and working to make it better. (I'm not even going to discuss the empty-headed belief that bands of ordinary people refusing to engage with a corrupt system is going to produce anything of significance.) Working to make our system better has to involve working to destroy the party controlled by those who would make it all a farce.

The longer someone like Justin Trudeau continues to treat the policy differences between the Liberals and the NDP as of more weight than harper's contempt for Parliament, harper's election crimes, harper's brazen toleration for corruption, harper's scofflaw attitude towards Supreme Court rulings, harper's anti-democratic omnibus bills, harper's wholesale dismantling of our environmental protections, harper's unilateral (and therefore illegal) altering of our treaty obligations with the First Nations, the longer your average uninformed Canadian will continue to see harper's crimes against democracy as just ordinary political machinations.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas, 2014

In honour of the season, I will be getting blotto today. Go fuck yourselves with anal beads and plenty of lube!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Reading Piketty and Raulston Saul

The Comeback

So, I've been reading John Raulston Saul's The Comeback, about the rising political importance of the First Nations of Canada. They are making a comeback in demographics, in culture, in political power. I'd heard good things about this book and I trusted Raulston Saul to summarize things for me, having enjoyed his books Voltaire's Bastards and Reflections of a Siamese Twin. I've done some research on the First Nations before and I know that it is a deep and vast topic. Many non-Aboriginal authors come to the topic with unintended, but very real prejudices, that some Aboriginal authors have shown have important negative consequences. On the other hand, some writers, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, talk about different ways of thinking, about how certain ideas are impossible to convey across linguistic differences (no matter how many words are used in the attempt) that strikes me as dangerous sophistry. I read a few books on responses to the 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples before throwing my hands up in despair at the practical complexities of the topic. (It was independent reading, and I had paid work to do.)

I have to say that I was disappointed with this work. Raulston Saul does a good job of describing how "Canada" has to change its racist attitudes towards the First Nations. They are not a charity to be pitied. They are actually an important, politically savvy people who were crucial to the building of this country but whose generous contributions have been met with betrayal and insult. It is one of the greatest responsibilities of our times that we rectify this shameful situation and work with the First Nations on terms of mutual respect, to build a new relationship built on mutual respect and sovereign equality.

So far, so good. But I genuinely would have liked to know the outline of what such a relationship would look like. What stands in the way of the First Nations controlling the resources under their own lands? What are their own lands? How will they treat with us once their rights are respected?

In all honesty, what I got from Raulston Saul is that Canada should fund an Arctic University (as have all the other Arctic Circle nations) and that we should direct more resources to allow the First Nations to preserve their languages. I got very little in the outline of what this overall new relationship will look like.

Capitalism in the 21st Century

I have mixed feelings about Thomas Piketty's Capitalism in the 21st Century as well. This review sums up what is good about it:
If you get slow growth alongside better financial returns, then inherited wealth will, on average, "dominate wealth amassed from a lifetime's labour by a wide margin", says Piketty. Wealth will concentrate to levels incompatible with democracy, let alone social justice. Capitalism, in short, automatically creates levels of inequality that are unsustainable. The rising wealth of the 1% is neither a blip, nor rhetoric.
To understand why the mainstream finds this proposition so annoying, you have to understand that "distribution" – the polite name for inequality – was thought to be a closed subject. Simon Kuznets, the Belarussian émigré who became a major figure in American economics, used the available data to show that, while societies become more unequal in the first stages of industrialisation, inequality subsides as they achieve maturity. This "Kuznets Curve" had been accepted by most parts of the economics profession until Piketty and his collaborators produced the evidence that it is false.
In fact, the curve goes in exactly the opposite direction: capitalism started out unequal, flattened inequality for much of the 20th century, but is now headed back towards Dickensian levels of inequality worldwide.
While this review sums up what I agree are its weaknesses:
Thus, for Piketty too, people and institutions play an almost non-existent role. Only five social ‘phenomena’ escape this erasure; two world wars, the great depression, today’s fabulously rewarded “supermanagers”, and a middle class newly able to pass mini-riches to its heirs. For the rest, there are no people and, most notably, no institutions. There are percentiles but not classes; great wealth per se but not per its ‘malefactors’; and no transnationals or industry associations. Piketty occasionally mentions the influence of people and institutions when he wants to one-up his colleagues but it’s window-dressing. In his core narrative they play virtually no role; even the cited five make mostly cameo appearances. His is an orthodox closed economic-historical dynamic  in which the relationships between economic aggregates  are guided by other economic aggregates, and they by the former. Thus is Piketty empowered simply to ignore people and their quarrels.
I won't dispute Piketty's assertion that the extent of social-economic inequality did not change between 1800 and 1910. But if that's true, it would be fascinating to read a summary of how it happened that the overall distribution stayed the same while the composition of the membership in the top 10% and the top 1% changed from land-owning rentiers to more and more industrialists and financiers.

Also, Piketty's charts don't show how the population of the world (especially Europe and the United States, and settler colonies like Canada and Australia) grew immensely, so that while inequality stayed the same, more people were obtaining some sort of livelihood (often an improving one) under the new political-economy.

Another reader reminded me of Kenneth Pomeranz's The Great Divergence (among other books) that points out that the genocidal conquest of North America, and the plundering of other lands, gave the Europeans access to entire continents of forests, coal, iron ore, farm land, etc.,. Fair point. What were the changes in the international distribution of wealth between 1800 and today? (Obviously, the data doesn't exist and the numbers would have to be estimates.)

Piketty talks about how the world wars and the Great Depression were the real causes of greater social equality from 1940 to 1980. He talks about real-estate destroyed, investments liquidated (or repudiated), empires lost, whittled away by inflation, but there's not much talk about the impact of trade unions and full employment policies and public social spending. (Oh yes, and the "threat" of a socialist alternative in the USSR and China.)

Piketty offers a nice antidote to the post-war rationalizations of liberal economists like Simon Kuznets, who saw the social equality of the 1950s as an inevitable aspect of mature industrial societies, rather than a consequence of the massive transformations of society between 1914-1945.

Piketty's central thesis is that if economic and demographic growth slow down to close to zero (or 1.5% in the case of mature economic growth) while returns to savings for the wealthy (who can save more than ordinary people who often consume everything) are at 4-5% per year, that inequality will gradually grow. This makes sense, but where does that 4-5% return come from? Eventually, an economy growing at only 1.5% per year will not be able to produce 4-5% returns on wealth that is the equivalent of 7 years of GDP. I was disappointed not to find anything about how financialization, and the computerized manipulation of money (via derivatives and other arcane instruments) can now provide these rates of returns on capital, for as long as computer algorithms are capable of doing so. (In reality, computerized trading has not yet reached the point where financial bubbles never reach the bursting point. Hence the 2008 financial crisis.)

The terrifying thing that I took away from Piketty's book though, is that if it took two world wars and a great depression to produce the postwar compromise, that means that all the activism of a far more radical period was insufficient to have changed anything. The depressing failures of the left to stop and roll-back the depredations of the predator classes since the 1980s are just part of the historical norm. The rich have always been rich and the poor will always stay poor.

The elites blundered themselves into World War I. The Great Depression was a consequence of the financial instability caused by that war. And World War II was, again a consequence of that initial elite mistake. Unless they fuck-up again on their own, we're doomed to re-living the world of Downton Abbey, with us as the chumps. Forever.

Monday, December 22, 2014

This Just In: harper Sent himself to the Closet!!!!

Some of you are finding out that the thwapster doesn't follow the daily news too closely. I don't get a lot out of watching television news and I don't have a newspaper subscription, so I wait for people I trust to respond to it. (Plus, as some of you know, I think we're doomed because we can't organize a break-out from a paper-bag. I don't follow anything that closely anymore.) 

So, when that gun-man stormed Parliament Hill, I first thought that harper had been in the House of Commons and that his security people first put him in a closet and then spirited him away after the gun-man was killed, leaving all the other MP's in lock-down for hours.

With that understanding, I wrote my first post on the subject of harper's cowardice during this incident:
For what it's worth, I had a gun pointed straight at my face (from perhaps 3-5 meters away), so I know they're scary. I might have wanted to hide when there had been shots fired in the hallways outside the Chamber. I'm also sure that there were security personnel who were obligated to protect the prime minister (even though that position is occupied by a usurper) and they would have been very insistent that he be taken to a safe place. I might have allowed myself to have been convinced by their insistence.

But then, if I was a guy who had bullied and brow-beaten my cabinet and caucus for a decade, and lied, cheated and stole to get where I am, I think I would have no problem telling those security people to forget about dragging me off to a broom closet.

Then I heard something about Mulcair praising a security dude who blocked the doors of the NDP's caucus room and I realized my impressions of the event were off the mark. I went back to the CBC and read that he'd been in a meeting in the harpercon caucus room.

But I still thought security personnel had instructed him to go and hide in a closet.

My friends, you really have to have gone a couple of months not knowing that, at the first hint of danger, harper decided, entirely on his own, to abandon his people (including Michelle Rempel, who depends on him to keep her safe), and ran to a closet, so quickly his fellow caucus members had no idea where he was. You have to have first thought that he had been surrounded by RCMP security insisting: "Sir! We have to get you to safety!" and then pictured harper meekly acquiescing to their instructions.

The thought of this towering tube of lard and shit hearing the gun-shots and dashing for the relative safety of the closet, before anyone else has a chance to ask then what they should do, .... it's too much.

It's comedy gold!

It's political manna from heaven my people!

This militarist with the uniform fetish is a thorough coward! So cowardly, he'd naturally play the role of the coward in a film from the 1940's!

You just know he'd have been a stereotypical chicken-hawk in the USA, where the military is a bigger part of the public life, but somehow war-mongers like Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, etc., use clumsy excuses to avoid the military life they find exhilarating when other people are doing the drudgery and the mental abuse and the terror of combat.

harper certainly knows how to nickel and dime wounded veterans like a good US chickenhawk.

Perhaps (if I may indulge in a little armchair psychoanalysis) it is their awareness and shame about their total, disgusting cowardice, and its conflict with their shit-headed desire to see the use of force as an answer to difficult questions, that turns people like harper into the tormented, hateful, sadistic torturers of veterans that they are. A soldier who was wounded in action fills someone like harper with visceral self-loathing. But since harper is a shallow narcissist, with inflated ideas of his own importance (witness his fleeing to the closet and leaving his MP's to their fate), his self-loathing is soon projected outwards, to the wounded troops who make him feel so awful. They must be made to pay for their lives being an indictment of his own. he makes sure that they suffer. They are denied benefits. They are lied to. They are ignored.

My friends, you know I have hated harper for years. I despise the man. But he has managed to sink even lower in my estimation in this than you can possibly imagine.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Getting Radicalized

I write this entry still in the firm belief that "Islamicism" is not a genuine threat to the well-being of most Canadians, let alone to Canada's continued existence. It's far less of a problem than misogyny. 

I'll take it as a given that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau's murder of Corporal Nathan Cirillo and his attack on Parliament Hill with a hunting rifle, was the act of mentally-ill man who had been a heavy drug user and was not a "false flag" operation. In the same spirit, I'll accept that he really did convert to Islam and oppose US and Canadian foreign policy in the Middle East and support the Islamic militants fighting in Syria, the way the media reports many people saying of him.

I'll assume that Martin Rouleau really had converted to Islam and called himself Ahmad the Converted, and that he deliberately ran over those two soldiers, killing Patrice Vincent, as an act of "war" against the West.

I'll assume that Canadian men really are flocking to Syria to fight Assad, and/or the Shiite government of Iraq and/or US infidel imperialists and/or Canadian infidel-imperialists and/or the Kurds.

So what's up with all of this?

Well, the "Great War on Terror" has been a big deal since 2001. It's now nearing the close of 2014. World War II lasted less than half that time. The Japanese went from being non-entities to most US-Americans to becoming vile, racist creatures to be exterminated.

This conflict has been going on long enough to have started to make inroads into the broader culture. At the beginning, we had Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda. At the time of 2001, bin Laden was a guest of Afghanistan's Taliban. Both Al Qaeda and the Taliban were fall-out from or consequences of US support for the Mujaheddin against the Soviet Union. This produces the US invasion of Afghanistan and all the "clash of civilizations" inherent in that. This also produces the US invasion of Iraq, and gives Al Qaeda a new lease on life. More "clash of civilizations."

Surprisingly (given the supposed fact that the fight against terrorism is the great struggle of our times) the USA also allows the arming and funding of Islamic militants in Libya, against the secular dictatorship of Mommar Qaddafi. His government is brought down, Qaddafi is tortured and killed and Libya falls into chaos, with fanatical sectarians fighting against regional groups and fellow co-religionists and US stooges and others. Bloody chaos.

Surprisingly (not really by this point, nor to anyone who has been observing these abominations with a clear head from the beginning), the US provides an opportunity for militant Sunnis to attack the secular Baathist Assad dictatorship in Syria. Things get a little out-of-control (for the USA) as the Saudi-Arabia and Qatari-backed Sunni militants attack Shiite-dominated Iraq too.

And then there's been the whole horrible Israel-Palestine thing that has more monstrous and polarizing as the decades advanced.

So, this has been a long, drawn-out struggle. But what if one looks upon all of this, not as a "radicalized" tool of Western imperialism (who then signs up for the US, British, Canadian, etc., military to go and kill degenerate Ay-Rab Moozlums) but as something else?

For instance; What sort of person switches religions? I mean, ALL religion is complete bullshit, right? So, if you're indoctrinated in a certain religion from infancy, most people lazily conform to its basic premises until they die. Some people (e.g., drug addicts) get "saved" by embracing a more intensive version of their first religious delusion to give some meaning to their useless, wasted lives. But what sort of person decides to abandon the delusions of their parents for a new delusion?

That takes a special sort of person. (I'll say it takes more "thought" to do that, but I don't want to imply that it's sound thinking.)

So there's that.

What if you're already a Muslim and you see your people targeted and abused in this country by (mainly) adherents of an infidel delusion? What if, instead of going online and going to sites that cheer-on "the troops" in Iraq or Afghanistan, and which portray the enemy as the insane Taliban and the insane Al Qaeda and the insane ISIS, you go online and visit sites that praise the heroic Afghan resistance, and the heroic "freedom fighters" in Iraq, Libya and Syria? Sites that present the barbarism of the US/NATO occupations for what they are?

You'd end up as a Muslim-radical version of the spittle-flecked, rage-a-holic Terry Glavin. Except your "radicalization" would be frowned upon here, as opposed to being given a respectful national hearing.

Most sane, normal people, see all of this and just want the violence and tragedy to end. (Especially those who make the connections between the USA's cynical use of Islamic militants and the subsequent propaganda campaigns against them.) In the beginning, the "terrorist threat" in Canada was basically non-existent. ALL of the Canadian citizens CSIS (and/or the USA's intelligence services) had tortured abroad were found to have been innocent. It is my belief that ALL of the non-citizens imprisoned under "security-certificates" were found to have been innocent and the cases against them ludicrous.

The "Toronto 18" was a joke. Some Muslim-Canadian boys were blowing smoke on the internet and the RCMP sent a cocaine-addicted informant to entrap them with a ludicrous plot to attack Parliament Hill with swords and blow-up Bay Street with explosives (provided by the RCMP). Even the informant himself told the judge who ruled on the case that a number of the young men involved had no inkling about what was going on. Their appearance at his "terrorist training camp" had been presented to them as a fitness/religious retreat. To no avail. The judge said that they were "associated" with this enterprise and therefore guilty under the legislation.

After ten years of warfare on the side of the Americans, two men plotted to blow-up a train. Serious stuff. But nonetheless, a product of our foreign policy, not a reason for it (as the cretinous coward stephen harper would have it).

But now we DO have the sorts of Muslim radicals the right-wing and the intelligence complex have been shrieking about for over a decade. And now, because of this, we'll have more and more brain-dead pundits droning on about how these young men have become "radicalized."

If it isn't clear already, I believe that stephen harper is "radicalized." I believe that every slimy inhabitant of the right-wing internet community who spews out the wish that we drop nuclear missiles on Middle Eastern cities has been "radicalized." Young men (and women) who sign-up to fight the "War on Terror" have "radicalized." And now, after 13 years of war, we have a few men who have been "radicalized" by the other side.

And it's not black magic. You don't go to a web-site with a cheap graphic of some ISIS flags waving identically on its homepage and then "DOINK!" you're brainwashed. When you have repeated acts of gratuitous barbarism, year after year, and you have shit-head US generals saying "My God was bigger than his God" and mindless adherents of the Christian delusion (or atheists bigots like Sam Harris and Bill Maher) deriding your faith and cheering on these assaults, ... and you're a certain kind of young male, you'll get "radicalized."

What about the danger? If those two guys seriously planned to blow-up a VIA train, that was serious. But, as I said, it would have been a CONSEQUENCE of our foreign policy. The proponents of the imperialist project masquerading as the "War on Terror" would be partly to blame for it. But young men who burn their Canadian passports to fight in Syria? They burned their passports. They're a threat to Assad, not us. The "Toronto 18"? Not a threat. The Canadian men tortured by proxy by CSIS? Not a threat. The landed-immigrants/permanent residents oppressed by security certificates? Not a threat (from what i can recall of the reporting and analysis).

What we have here is an evil, idiotic conflict. Less people have been "radicalized" enough to support the other side, but they're just buying into the same evil that harper embraces and promotes.

Friday, December 19, 2014

stephen harper, the Laughable, Pathetic Coward, Part XXXIX

Is it CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge's job to suck all of the klingons off of the hairs around stephen harper's asshole until they're as clean as if they'd had a shampoo at the beauty salon?

I'm just asking a question here.

Reading Montreal Simon yesterday, I got to find out how the perpetually fearful (of everything) stephen harper has decided to rationalize his laughable, pathetic cowardice when a gunman entered the Parliament building last October.

The CBC has helpfully (because there's no way in Hell that I would ever listen to that jackass for even five minutes) provided a transcript of the recent Mansbridge-harper interview. Let's have a look, shall we?
The incidents that I mentioned, at the moment they were happening it would be hard to determine exactly what was happening, who was behind these, how involved ISIS or ISIL might be. (overlap)
Right.
Um when we've looked at them, the difference between the Canadian and the other incidents is as a leader, you were right there.
Yeah.
You were there when it happened.
Yeah. One of them anyway.
One of them. But we've never heard your story. What was it like in that room? There is a gunman on the other side of the door and there was a lot of shooting going on.
You know, Peter, as you know, I don't spend a lot of time talking about myself. At a time like that, my first responsibility and as you know, I've told you we've received some training to deal with these kinds of situations. My first responsibility is to extricate myself from such a situation so I can continue the normal functions of government and obviously extraordinary functions on a day like that.  ...
Since when is whimpering in a closet an "extraordinary function" that it's necessary the prime minister must do?
...

I don't need to tell you that for everybody in Parliament that day, not just our caucus, the other caucuses, the staff and employees, it was an experience no one wants to repeat. And obviously all our various police and security agencies on the Hill, off the Hill are going over the details of that to reach some conclusions on how they can ah better prevent and better respond to such incidents (overlap) in the future.
(OVERLAP)
Notice how harper is quick to try to switch from his own sordid behaviour to the imagined reactions of others and the responses of security personnel?
Some of the people who were in that room and in the other caucus room thought that they were afraid for their lives at that moment when they heard what was going on outside that door.
Yeah, that's a fact. That's beyond a doubt.
So –
Absolutely beyond a doubt.
(IOW) "It's beyond a doubt that I was in fear for my pathetic existence. Me being a shallow narcissist and all."
What was going through your mind? I mean what were you hearing?
Um look as everybody knows, we were, you know, I told people we were – we were in a caucus room. You see, you see on the video you see security people having a fire fight chasing a gunman down the hall. You're in the caucus room there, all you hear is a whole lot of shooting coming towards you. And you don't know whether that's a fire fight or whether that's just a bunch of guys with automatic weapons wiping everybody out in their path. So you don't know what that is but obviously ah I think it's fair to say that ah for everybody in the room, we were pretty concerned. 
What drivel. The gunman (Michael Zehaf-Bibeau) had already expended most of his ammunition. A few shots were fired (one of them hitting the outer-door of the NDP caucus room across the hall from the Conservative caucus room) and then Zehaf-Bibeau ran past those rooms and around a corner to hide in an alcove near the entrance to the Parliamentary Library. It was there that he was incapacitated by a shot from Sergeant-at-Arms Vickers and then taken out in a hail of bullets from the rest of the security team. 

The thing is, harper was already crying in the closet by the time the gunman had run past his meeting room. Did he really have time to process whether those were police chasing a lone-gunman down the hall or a team of professional terrorist gunmen with body armour and automatic weapons intent on wreaking Islamic vengeance upon the infidel Parliamentarians? The answer, obviously, is "no." At the first sign of danger, harper scarpered. "When danger reared its ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled."
Perhaps you might think that I'm being unfair to harper, expecting him to be coolly evaluating the progress of the gun battle as it was happening. But harper is going to make much of his vaunted "training" and how it helped him deal with the situation. When your "training" only results in your immediately running for a closet, it's obvious that things happened exactly like this: 

Gunfire is heard. The RCMP tells harper to hide. He hides. End of story.

And, I had this to say the first time I heard about harper's cowering:
For what it's worth, I had a gun pointed straight at my face (from perhaps 3-5 meters away), so I know they're scary. I might have wanted to hide when there had been shots fired in the hallways outside the Chamber. I'm also sure that there were security personnel who were obligated to protect the prime minister (even though that position is occupied by a usurper) and they would have been very insistent that he be taken to a safe place. I might have allowed myself to have been convinced by their insistence.
But then, if I was a guy who had bullied and brow-beaten my cabinet and caucus for a decade, and lied, cheated and stole to get where I am, I think I would have no problem telling those security people to forget about dragging me off to a broom closet.

Justin Trudeau's "slut" of a father (to quote the doughy puss-ball Ezra Levant) ignored his security detail when angry rioters were tossing bottles (and god knows what else might happen sir!) at a St. Jean-Baptist Day parade. He stayed put while many others ran for cover and earned enormous political capital for it. Here was harper's chance to prove himself an equal in courage. And he blew it.

I know one thing for certain; if I had gone into a broom closet while my colleagues faced danger, I would NOT then say "We will not be intimidated." Because, harper, you most definitely WERE intimidated.

In other words, harper had a chance to act like a leader and he failed. Simple as that. Understandable, but also, extremely embarrassing for one who constantly poses as a warrior-leader, to the extent of playing dress-up in military attire.
Were you scared?
You know, I, I think I mentioned to you, I've been trained in incidences like that. Obviously you get keyed up. But um –
What does it mean you were trained, like –
Well the RCMP has run me through some drills to simulate these kinds of situations. So ah you know, as a prime minister you're in a little bit different position of other people, Peter. ...
It's already been well established that hiding at the first sign of danger hardly counts as "training." And it's the opposite of "leadership." When a sniper took shots at the crowd during the liberation of Paris, Charles de Gaulle did not cower. He stood there, all two meters of him. (He was insane, but that's what makes a man a warrior-leader. What harper has yet to figure out is that you can't pantomime being a warrior-leader if you're a gutless coward.) 

Here, harper begins to babble about imaginary plots and his own paranoia, acting as if his ravings have anything to do with the mentally-ill man whose attack sent him cowering in fear.
...
As prime minister I have access obviously to all the government's intelligence, all the security risks that are faced by the country and by me personally. 
...
This would be practically nothing. Although, as the government and the news media trumpet "Islamic Fundamentalism" as this super-grave threat to our nation's existence (thus making it seem awesome to a certain sort of insecure, unbalanced men), and as long as we continue to attack predominantly Muslim countries, and (insanely enough) SUPPORT jihadist groups (in Libya, Syria, etc.) a genuine threat might emerge.
... So, you're in a different head space than most other people who are suddenly facing this kind of situation for the first time.  ...
Ah-ha-ha-ha! Ignoring for the moment that YOU were facing that kind of situation for the first time too, are you saying that if they were "trained" like you were, they would have all stampeded for the closet at the same time that you did??? You fucking imbecile!
 ...
As I say it's a – it's a situation nobody wants to repeat. But the bigger question and obviously the questions we're looking at as we formulate additional legislation to deal with this terrorist threat is what do we have to do to protect the country writ large. That's really our main concern. 
...
Given that funding for mental health programs and programs for fighting drug addiction would have prevented this guy's rampage, it's pretty revealing that you've said NOTHING about reversing your cuts to such spending. The fact of the matter harper (you fucking scum-bag) is that you WANT there to be more shit like this. Just not around you. Because it scares you, and your fearful reaction cuts into your laughable attempts to present yourself as a "strong leader."
Just the last point. Were you, as has been reported, put in a closet?
Ah you know, I'm not going to comment on that. Um ah one of the ah – one of the things you try and do in a situation like that is conceal yourself if you can. But obviously the best situation is to exit, as I said, so that you can – so the prime minister can continue to run the government and that's what we were able to do within a few minutes fortunately. 
In other words: "In answer to your useless question (since I already felt ashamed enough about hiding in the closet that I apologized to my caucus), yes, I was hiding in a closet. Can we change the subject?"
Who was the first person you called when you got out of there?
I called my mom just to assure her I was okay and ah, and ah I could tell by her voice that she was concerned.
She'd probably been watching all this.
Yeah she was watching.
What a pathetic fucking coward. What a travesty of a human being. What a bullshit interview.

I'm not going to make any comments about harper's mother. She might have had something to do with her son turning out to be such a disgusting, loathsome creature, or she might have tried her best with the material she was given and he would have been a total scum-bag no matter what.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Haven't Written About the USA's "Torture Report"

Other people are doing it, but I haven't been able to see the point really. Because we've known for a long time how the bush II regime openly practiced torture (and that this disgraceful practice has been adopted by Canadian institutions as well). We've known for a long time that Dick Cheney is a repulsively evil man. We also know that Barack (Wall Street shill/imperialist puppet) Obama is steadfast about "looking forwards, not backwards" and that there will be no accountability. This report was only released because the retiring US Senate has a  Democratic majority that will be gone this coming January. It's focused mainly on the argument that the information gleaned from torturing people was often useless and counter-productive to the "War on Terror." (Which is kinda weird because the whole "War on Terror" itself is almost complete bullshit.)

So, while there are some writers/bloggers who do an awesome job of chronicling the utter debasement of our society, writing the "first draft of history" as it were, I'm afraid that my efforts would be like nothing more than the morbid recounting of a car accident.

Because nothing is going to be done about bush II's and Cheney's war crimes. Obama isn't going to hold them accountable for the quite clearly criminal behaviour they engaged in. (He engages in it himself.) Just as he's not going to prosecute Wall Street leaders for their clearly criminal actions.

He'll just stand there and have the unmitigated gall to tell angry citizens protesting the abuse of process that let the murderers of Michael Brown and Eric Garner walk free and tell them to be peaceful (ie., ineffectual) because this country of torturers, super-corrupt banksters, and kkkiller kkkops is "a nation of laws."

Okay, okay. I'll talk about the torture report. Glenn Greenwald (who is literally hated by the shit-for-brains liberal "Driftglass" for criticizing the loathsome Barack Obama) has a great article about how the media is dredging-up all these torture-enablers and apologists to blather on about how necessary it was/is to slice at the penises of innocent men, in order to get information about terrorists armed and funded by US-ally Saudi Arabia, ... but they hardly ever (or never) manage to find air-time for the victims of these despicable practices, and allow the people to hear their views on the pros and cons of torture.

How about that piece of shit Jeffrey Folmer, who says that the fucked-up nut-case cop who murdered 12-year old Tamir Rice was "justified" in so doing? I think Folmer, besides being stupid, is also evil. I think somehow he has a sense that the words he was spewing were rancid and would cause hurt and anger among certain communities. That's why he said them. To enflame. Either that, or it was a sick exercise of unaccountable power.

How about Barack Obama, fresh off of telling outraged Americans to respect the law that he himself rapes with a broom handle on a daily basis, has decided to take Venezuela to task for their occasionally getting physical with the asshole, murdering, fascist scum-bags who were trying to bring down their government recently? (Meanwhile, the mass-murdering Colombian government, right next door to Venezuela gets gifts of free weapons so they can kill more peasants and trade-unionists. Go figure 'eh?)

Finally, ... people are literally starving in the Canadian north. People are actually foraging in garbage-dumps for food. Sure, we made hay for a few days about the lying psycopath harpercon Leona Aglukkaq (who probably "won" her seat in Parliament through fraud), but what are we doing about it? What CAN we do? (Maybe we should think about that last question.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What Could Andrea Horwath Have Done?

The Ontario Liberal majority government has allowed them to show off all their worst attributes. The main thing that Ontario Liberals seem to like to do is to waste billions and billions of taxpayers' dollars on boondoggle gifts to their friends in the private sector. (Of course, if they didn't, those private-sector scum would enthusiastically pour all their resources into the Tea-Baggers in the Ontario PC Party.)

But that's no excuse. When corporate criminals are extorting you and trying to get you to destroy the living standards of hundreds of thousands of people, you should use the legislative process to break their power. Not cave-in to them.

Why didn't Andrea Horwath pull the plug on the corrupt, contempt of the legislature Liberals when she first had the chance? Because Horwath knows that the electorate HATES elections. The robotic corporate-servo-drone McGuinty had resigned in a fit of pique and Kathleen Wynne, not (directly) personally tainted by the gas-plant fiasco might very well have forced some people to be accountable for this criminal (whatever partisan hacks have to say about it) misuse  of the people's money. That alternative appeared better than forcing an election for what the voters (in their ignorance) would have thought was an unimportant scandal.

Surprisingly, the scandal had legs. People knew that three-quarters of a billion dollars is a lot to spend for purely partisan purposes. (Despite what shameless Liberal hacks might think.) And, no doubt, partisan hacks of the Progressive Conservative persuasion never hesitated to vent to Horwath about this disgusting Liberal arrogance, criminal waste and anti-democratic behaviour. (I can just hear them in their self-righteous, hackneyed fury.) Horwath started to believe that she should defeat the Liberals. They were in contempt of the legislature after all. But defeat them and give the just-as-contemptuous-of-the-legislature PC's power?

What to do? What to do?

In my mind, she played it all wrong. Wynne was able to put a lot of genuinely good proposals in that budget of hers. But it was accompanied (as we see now, and many should have at the time) with all sorts of privatization and other failed neo-liberal policies. Horwath came out against the budget without negotiations, and saw herself painted as "voting against the most progressive budget in years."

She should have negotiated.

She shouldn't have campaigned from the right. She could have talked about being a good steward of the people's taxes, but without antagonizing the public sector unions (which she did). She shouldn't have taken the concerns of small business to heart while once again leaving the working poor hanging out to dry. Small-business has its own parties.

She should have stuck to her guns about the Liberals privatization and PPP-swindles.

But first and foremost, she should not have defeated the budget based on anger about a scandal she had a chance to attack around half-a-year ago. She should have consulted with the party's base (including all those activists her advisors derided as self-interest, out-of-touch codgers).

But Horwath is, herself, mired in the stink of stupid party politics. The permanent staff of the NDP has got to be the most useless, clueless, hopeless, mediocre fuckwads ever assembled. Decade-after-decade, these contaminated doofuses preach moderation, middle-of-the-road-ism, and slavish devotion to whatever flotsam and jetsam gets washed ashore as the party's leadership. They dissipate the activist spirit and it was only the implosion of the federal Liberals that gave them a new lease on life. Horwath listened to them (and her own centrism) and lost touch with the people who voted NDP year after year. She then abused the party's democracy by foisting the nauseating Adam Giambrone on the Scarborough-Guildwood riding association in a dubious decision that the brass has refused to investigate and explained away with the most obvious bullshit excuses.

Thanks to the total ineptness of Tim Hudak, the Liberals stormed to the majority whereupon they proceeded to cover-up and lie their way through exposes of their treasury-busting corruption and incompetence.

Such is politics in Canada.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ontario Liberal Corruption and Arrogance

It is a sign of the debased level of capitalist democracy that we are constantly faced with a "choice" between idiot, retrograde racist asshole thieves (the "Conservatives") and slightly less-idiotic, socially progressive thieves (the Liberals). I pointedly left the insult "asshole" in there because that's how the Ontario Liberals have been behaving with their majority in the face of the Ontario Auditor General's damning report.

When the Auditor General says that Ontario wasted $8 billion on excess costs brought about by private=sector thieves via "Public-Private-Partnerships" the Wynne Liberals say that Ontario simply didn't have the public-sector capacity to build things without the private sector. As if the Office of the Auditor General came to its conclusions mindlessly believing the province had resources that it didn't have.

I mean, the fact of the matter is that the labour movement has demonstrated for years and years that PPP's end up costing more than having the public sector go it alone. The Ontario Liberals are shamelessly corrupt. They know this. All the time that they're cutting programs for the majority, they double-down on the revenue-busting tax-cuts and on the steady, multi-billion dollar gifts for their private-sector masters.

With the fiasco of the smart meters and the above-market energy prices costing Ontarians an extra $50 billion, the Liberal Energy Minister had the audacity to say that the AG had obviously been overwhelmed by the complexities of the issues (and therefore off by $50 billion!!!). The subject matter wasn't too complicated for the corrupt Liberals or their bureaucratic partners.

This is the sort of bullshit we have to deal with, just to hold-off the cromagnon abominations of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party and shit-head Tim Hudak's dreams of being the errand boy of the Walton's and the Koch Brothers north of the 49th Parallel.

Sickeningly, the ONDP and the federal NDP can only see themselves being a more "reasonable" set of corporate sell-outs than the Liberals. The whole thing makes me sick.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Mulcair/Trudeau would DESTROY this country!!!!!

 
Right-wingers are given to hyperbole because they're not good at putting things into perspective. Hypocrisy is second nature to them. So that's why you'll often hear one of them bellowing words to the effect of how either of the Liberals or the NDP would be a disaster for Canada.

To my knowledge though, it tends to be right-wingers who are in power when people die from drinking tap water. It's right-wing governments that cause us to die from eating tainted meat. It's right-wing governments that decimate our hospitals to the point where people die in ambulances driving around looking for an emergency room that can take them in.

What about AdScam? ADSCAM ADSCAM ADSCAM ADSCAM ADSCAM (!!!!!) ?????

The harpercons are guilty of AdScam on steroids! All that money for "security" since 2006, ... money that they can't account for,  or, in the case of Tony Clement, simply brazenly used to pork-barrel in his riding. All those outside lawyers they've been paying, only they won't tell us what they've been paying them for. All those contractors they've been hiring for reasons unknown, ... are we to imagine that the election fraudster harpercon party has been on the up-and-up, hiring people for necessary government work?

Look at the total disregard, the total contempt for our parliamentary system of government harper has displayed. What's left to be destroyed?

No. Anyone who supports the harpercons is either abysmally ignorant, a shameless hypocrite, or a cynical liar.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bill C-639 (Amended!)

Dr. Dawg talks about it here. Another private member's bill that has the full backing of the harpercon government. This one will criminalize people who peacefully "interfere" with the "enjoyment" of "critical infrastructure." This includes 10-year sentences for protesters who block the building of a pipeline to bring bitumen to the BC coast where it will spill into the coastal waters and devastate them. Or the oil pipeline itself (built below standards by underpaid foreign labour) will leak and flood the lands of one of Canada's First Nations.

Cue the shit-heads both at that National Post link, and at Dr. Dawg's (the usual fecal-brains, Peter1, kazyrght, Marky Mark) sputtering about their right to drive around without being inconvenienced. To his credit, Marky Mark is fanatically consistent about everyone's right to not be inconvenienced.)

Let me try to explain things to these stupid motherfuckers; Society is not a bunch of happy, smiley people, holding hands and skipping from one flower-covered hill to the next. In Canada, for instance, our political system is dominated by greedy, selfish fossil-fuels industry assholes, and corrupt, stupid Bay Street criminals, with assorted villains from other industries playing secondary roles. Our elites can, and do, gouge people, fleece people, abuse people, betray people, kill people.

Some people (those with more brains than you apparently) care about the health of the planet, or the rights of people in Afghanistan and Iraq to not be slaughtered, or about missing Aboriginal women, than about your general rights to "convenience" (the opposite, I assume of your being "inconvenienced"). Or, some people have a personal stake in something that they feel is greater than, say, your right to drive around conveniently from place to place. Maybe they've got loved ones in a country that we're planning to attack. Maybe it's their lands that will be destroyed by a leaking pipeline. Maybe it's them and their peers who are risk of being kidnapped and murdered. Maybe they stand to lose pensions that will condemn them to poverty and misery. Maybe they're already poor and miserable and they think the government should help them out? Maybe greedy, short-sighted and stupid assholes are trying to raise their tuitions and plunge them into crippling debt.

The price of living in a quasi-democracy like Canada is that you sometimes have to be inconvenienced by protests held by people who care about something more than they care about your right to flit about like the carefree sheep that you want to be.

First Amendment: That it be added to this blog-post that this bullshit legislation is being proposed to deal with protesters who are responding to a pipeline that is being built AFTER the harpercons used their stolen majority to ram-through omnibus bills that gutted environmental and democratic safeguards that had been created through decades of democratic processes.

The shamelessness of harpercon scum makes your head spin.

Second Amendment: That it be added to this blog-post that perhaps we should retain this legislation after the harpercons have all been imprisoned. We could then accuse those capitalist scum who use economic black-mail of trying to "interfere with our enjoyment of critical infrastructure"  and lock their asses up with their harpercon errand boys. They don't have a god-given right to take Canadian money out of the country because they disagree with the results of the democratic process.

Third Amendment: (And i wasn't expecting this one.) That the anonymous anti-democratic coward who left a puerile insult in my comments section be instructed to leave something slightly more substantial than that if it wants to see it's writing published. Stretch that lil' brain of yours darling. Otherwise fuck-off.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Wynne vs harper & his prostitution law

I'm not a fan of Kathleen Wynne. She was a willing team member of the corrupt and anti-democratic McGuinty gang. She passed a "progressive" budget that's chock-full of privatizations and revenue-busting tax-cuts. But the fact of the matter is that I hate harper even more. His regime is vastly more corrupt and anti-democratic.

So I'm finding it interesting that Wynne and harper are in conflict over his recent anti-prostitution law. I don't like this law because it uselessly re-criminalizes sex-work in ways that the Supreme Court already found unconstitutional. I'm willing to see how the Nordic Model works in practice, but only if a law focuses on the buyers of sexual services, and only if it is accompanied by social welfare support programs that the Nordic countries have.

But it's interesting that Wynne has chosen this issue (which has divided the feminist community) to take a stand against harper. There has to be some political calculation on her part to make a public criticism of harper on this. I also think its a sign of things to come as the harpercons get more desperate and insufferable. They're no friends of Ontario and i think Wynne is going to force them to make this very clear to Ontario voters in the federal election.

harper has avoided meeting with Canada's premiers because he's a gutless wonder who is terrified of meeting with anyone as an equal. We forget that Canadian premiers are very powerful people within our system. I think Wynne, with her majority, is set to make stephen harper very aware of this fact.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

"Mad Man" or just a "Man"?

I think I can answer my own questions. Was the murderer of Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, Annie Turcotte, Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz, a symptom of a wider malaise of misogyny in society, or was he just the archetypal crazy loner?

Because it's important to know when someone is representative of a serious social problem and when someone is an isolated example and not representative of general traits of a wider group or a wider social problem.

What separates the perpetrator of the Montreal Massacre from the two recent perpetrators of what stephen harper and assorted idiots are calling symptoms of the rise of Islamic terrorism in Canada? What is the criteria for judging one as part of a larger problem and the others as just individuals with serious mental problems?

I think the important factor is whether the wider problems being described are very much real, or, ridiculous on their face. For instance, is it the case that men are violent towards women? Do we beat our wives? Stalk ex-wives and girlfriends and kill them? Murder prostitutes? Rape? Exclude them from earning livelihoods? Of obtaining educations? Deny them the vote? Disregard their testimony in court? Condemn their sexuality? Consider them defiling entities in our religions? (If we don't currently do any of those things now, did we do it in the past and do we have men among us who endorse doing it again?) And do we not have men attacking the movement ("feminism") that fights back against the systemic oppression of women ("patriarchy")?

The Montreal murderer was an insane individual. But he was also representative of a wider social problem and the precise nature of his insane act was no doubt fueled by concepts encouraged by the culture he lived in.

Now then, on to the scourge of "Islamicism," ... Were those two murderers of Canadian Forces' members evidence of a genuine danger? Is it true that Islamic fundamentalists "hate us for our freedoms" and are hoping to conquer us through isolated acts of terrorism, and subject us all (including the United States) to the insane dictates of a new Caliphate?*

Or, is it the case that even if these two killers believed in all of that, that the whole idea is completely absurd, and that, therefore, whether they believed it or not, they should be treated as examples of mental illness and not a reason for us to line-up behind stephen harper and his idiotic crusades and our elites' serial assaults on our human and political rights?

So, I think it's safe to say that those people who insist that the Montreal Massacre was not just the work of one sick individual, but a manifestation of societal sickness, are correct, and that the people who want to pretend that "Islamicism" is a genuine danger are using the cases of two damaged individuals to make us afraid of a non-problem.

*I'm not even going to present the counter-arguments made by sane people about the problem of Muslim terrorists.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

More Evidence of harper's Cowardice

We all remember when macho, wargasm, strong values, strong everything, stephen harper was weeping and peeing in a closet while his colleagues were barricading their caucus room against a mentally-ill gunman.

Search this blog for further commentary on stephen harper's innate cowardice.

Today, the CBC presents further evidence of harper's fear of the world. The Conservative Party (in response to complaints that are a result of deliberate under-funding) has recommended that the Access to Information program be able to raise its fees for filling out a request from $5 to $25. Because, obviously, harper is afraid of an informed electorate.

How anyone could get so clueless, stupid, or scuzzy, to support this monstrosity is completely beyond me.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Conservative Party Deserves a Slap Upside the Head

The harpercon party of Canada follow a revolting coward. In fact, they tremble in fear of their craven, cowardly pathetic "leader." That leader's name is stephen harper. he's a disgusting coward who thinks nothing of sending Canadian soldiers to face death to make himself feel manly, but when he himself faces danger, chooses to pee himself hiding in a closet.

These imbeciles believe (simultaneously) that global warming isn't happening and that it is happening but it's got nothing to do with the carbon gases that industrial civilization has pumped into the atmosphere. Those scientists who measure the changes in world temperatures (which are either happening or not happening, depending on what a denier wants to believe on any given day), and those scientists who measure the greenhouse gases we're depositing in the atmosphere and their impact on the atmosphere, are, ALL OF THEM, part of a vast, left-wing conspiracy. The ONLY truth-tellers are those isolated scientists who (coincidentally) work for the fossil-fuels industry, who deny one or the other thesis of the global warming theory.

(It appears that the vast majority of relevant scientists fabricate their data or twist their theories in order to obtain that sweet, sweet grant money, which is controlled by the "global warming" scammers. The idea that these climate scientists would be happy to tell the truth, but that not even the oil industry can match the research dollars controlled by the global warming conspiracy, is apparently not too ludicrous for denialists.)

As a result of their ignorance, stupidity and delusion, they are putting all of human civilization at risk. They will cause mass-extinction.

And, sickeningly, there are legal barriers in place that should be preventing them from doubling-down on their destructiveness, but they're ignoring them with impunity. Case in point, the treaty rights of the First Nations. I suppose for a harpercon, it's a win-win situation when you can shill for the oil-industry, endanger the planet, and treat Aboriginal people like shit all at the same time:
 

Yukon chiefs say Valcourt insults them over environmental concerns


The Canadian Press
First Nations in Yukon say federal Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt insulted and dismissed them at a meeting to discuss their concerns that planned changes to environmental assessments in the territory give too much power to Ottawa.

“We came down here on the invitation of the minister to discuss this and he totally insulted our First Nations, he totally insulted our agreements and it’s like ‘business as usual. Too bad what you think,”’ said Ruth Massie, grand chief of the Council of Yukon First Nations.
Massie’s remarks Wednesday came as a Northwest Territories Aboriginal band appeared in court in Yellowknife to fight similar moves the Harper government has planned for that territory.
“It’s the same thing,” said Massie. “The minister wants to have delegation of authority over our environmental process.”
...
Massie said she and her fellow chiefs hoped to make headway with Valcourt in a face-to-face meeting on Tuesday. Instead, she said, Valcourt told them he didn’t need to consult them.
“We went to actually talk to him, hoping,” said Massie. “It didn’t matter to him. ‘It’s too bad about your treaties. This is what we unilaterally have decided to do and that’s that.”’

Perhaps it won't be entirely with impunity. The First Nations are mad as hell. All the bleating of racists like Ezra Levant and Pierre Poilieverre and all the other vile gas-bags in the political bowel-movement of Canadian "conservatism" won't save them from the righteous rage that is coming.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Usual Bullshit on Debt

The CBC News has a feature story about Canadians' household debt:
Canadians are falling deeper into debt, with Equifax reporting Wednesday that they are carrying an average of $20,891 in non-mortgage loans.
As usual, this tragedy becomes an opportunity for debt advisors and accounts to offer their services (for a fee naturally) to help Canadians get out of their self-inflicted troubles:

Can we not take it as a given that Canadians of today are just as smart (and just as stupid) as Canadians of fifty years ago? (Similarly, young adults today are not lazier than young adults of the 1980s, 1960s, 1940s, etc.,?)

The article mentions that car loans are bad debts. Right there, ... for many people, having a car is a necessity to work. There are many parts of Toronto that are inaccessible by public transit. Other places just require a two-hour journey that frequently makes you late and, therefore, unemployed. (And that's for the Canadians who have foregone taking out bad debt to get a car. Imagine what the crowding would be like if all those working poor got rid of their cars and waited at the same bus stops as all those other people watching the red and white TTC sardine cans drive past them.)

Other communities don't have the public transit system that Toronto has.

And there are many people working multiple part-time jobs that requires a car to make all that flitting about even remotely possible.

Canadians are going deeper into debt because jobs are insecure and wages are stagnating.  And because of marketing and advertising. Corporations do not spend hundreds of billions of dollars annually for something that has no impact on our behaviour as consumers.

Capitalism continues to fail even by its own yardstick.

Certainly, in a country of 35 million people, you can probably produce dozens of anecdotes about unemployed people putting a trip to the Bahamas on credit, or simply otherwise financing a lavish lifestyle they can no longer afford with credit cards. But the underlying reality is that we've been conditioned to consume and denied the means by which to do so.

So let's all just shut-up and cheer on our brave troops as they fight to advance the interests of fundamentalist Arab monarchs and the overall global domination aspirations of Wall Street and the USA's military-industrial complex.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Mind-Boggling Stupidity of Our "Mission" in Iraq

Sometimes it just sort of creeps up on you, gradually, inexorably. The complete and utter insanity that's going on in the Middle East right now. Let's review:

Saddam Hussein murders his former leader and takes over Iraq and the CIA gives him a list of Iraqi communists to kill.

Saddam is happy with the benevolence of the CIA but he's more enamoured with the Stalinist mode of national industrial development, so he opts for the Soviets to be his protector.

In 1979, the Shah of Iran is overthrown in a revolution led by pretty much the entire country (angered at his corruption and violence) but led by the fundamentalist cleric, the Ayatollah Khomeini. The revolutionaries blame the US for having imposed the Shah on them in a coup back in the 1950s. They take the US embassy hostage. US-Iranian relations go straight down the toilet where they stay for the next 35 years.

Seeing the disarray in Iran, Saddam Hussein (who has some border issues with Iran) decides its an opportune time to invade. The USA supports his efforts, though they privately hope that both sides will destroy one another. To this end, the Reagan administration provides covert weapons assistance with Iran at the same time.

The war ends with both Iran and Iraq exhausted. Soon afterwards, the Soviet Empire implodes, leaving the world with one lone super-power. Knowing who is now the master, Saddam makes an enquiry of the US ambassador in Baghdad:

Kuwait is really pissing him off. They're pressing him to repay his war loans to them, but at the same time they're selling too much oil, driving down the price. Worse still, they're getting the oil from slant-drilling into an oil field on his side of the Iraq-Kuwait border. Would the USA mind if he slapped Kuwait around a little to teach them some manners?

The US ambassador says her country doesn't have an opinion about this inter-Arab squabble.

Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait.

The USA goes ape-shit. Saddam Hussein is the Hitler threat of the 1990s. (Sane people laugh at the hyperbole.) Kuwaiti preemies are being thrown out of their incubators and onto the cold floor. Iraqi tanks are zooming towards the border of Saudi Arabia. (They weren't.)

The massive threat of Iraq is met by a US-dominated United Nations mandate. Iraq's military is obliterated in a matter of weeks. President George H. W. Bush describes a "New World Order" wherein "What we say goes." He exults: "We've licked that Vietnam Syndrome for good!"

Sanctions are imposed on Iraq that produce the deaths of ONE MILLION IRAQIS.

Air-strikes during the 1990s destroy the countries anti-aircraft defenses piece-by-piece.

On September 11th, 2001, a bunch of Saudi Arabians, ostensibly led by Saudi terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, attack the United States. President George W. Bush invades Afghanistan for harboring bin Laden and refusing to hand him over without evidence of his guilt.

(Afghanistan's horrific decades are a story in themselves.)

The bush II regime decides the time is ripe for the total re-ordering of the Middle East. (An angry Saddam Hussein had been considering taking Iraqi oil off the $US pricing system. This would have weakened the currency more than bush II wanted it to be.)

Oil executive Dick Cheney, Military Industrial Complex shill Donald Rumsfeld, and all the rest of bush II's gang of idiots and scum-bags, invent a fabricated story of Iraq possessing banned weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) including chemical weapons, as well as an ongoing nuclear weapons program. This lie was accompanied by  blatant fraud, shameless stupidity and was accepted by "serious" people everywhere, from David Frum to David Brooks.

Iraq is invaded. Saddam Hussein is toppled from power and eventually tried and executed for one of the few crimes he committed that had nothing to do with US assistance. The US military murders and tortures prisoners. Plunges the country into chaos. Foments sectarian violence. Commits war-crimes.

As of this writing, over ONE-MILLION Iraqis have died because of the violence. Millions more have been injured. Many millions more fled their homeland as refugees.

The Shiite-majority in Iraq was led by the vindictive al-Maliki, who ruled with an iron fist; using police-state violence, censorship, torture, to suppress opposition (especially Sunni opposition). He really pisses off the Americans by refusing to pass the Washington-crafted oil bill which was to hand the Iraqi oil industry over to US corporations.

Lo and behold! The "Arab Spring" breaks out in Tunisia and Egypt! This has nothing to do with bush II bringing "democracy" to Iraq. Wikileaks (its founder hiding from extradition to the USA in the Ecuadorian Embassy) released information (provided by Chelsea Manning who the Obama regime tortured and then imprisoned for life for this "crime") that showed the corruption of the Tunisian government. This same government enforced crippling austerity policies upon its impoverished people. The blatant hypocrisy drove people into the streets and brought down the government. Inspired by this example of "people power," the citizens of Egypt went into the streets to demand the downfall of their own tyrant of 30 years, and an end to his entire corrupt, brutal dictatorship. This movement was temporarily successful, but patient, behind-the-scenes work has produced a military coup and things are back to normal now.

The "Arab Spring" gave Washington D.C. the idea of toppling non-puppet Arab dictators. If small rallies of pro-democracy movements spring up, infest them with violent sectarian movements, cultivated mercenary puppets, and fundamentalist terrorists.

The nationalist dictator Muammar Gaddafi was brought down under just such a coalition, with the crucial assistance of criminal NATO air-support. The country has since fallen completely to pieces in an orgy of murder, rape, and general chaos. The "world community" having caused total devastation to a nation of 6 million people, has discreetly moved on.

Next targeted, was the Baathist  Assad dictatorship in Syria. Assad has been a dictator for decades. He, like his Baathist colleague in Iraq, Saddam Hussein, embraced the Stalinist mode of autonomous national development. The Baathists were secularists. They religion as a regressive force. One that was used by traditional elites to keep the people backward and submissive. The Baathists would develop the country and move it forward, and use torture and murder to keep the people submissive.

Assad's main crime in the 21st Century has been to sign-on to a project to build a pipeline to ship Iranian and Russian natural gas through to the Mediterranean and on to European markets. This has angered the retrograde dictators in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other feudal kingdoms. These dictators practice a the Sunni version of the religious delusion, whereas Syria's dictatorship persecutes it and Iran embraces the Shia delusion. The fundamentalist freaks of Saudi Arabia have vowed holy war on the Shia and it is they and their fellow fundamentalist flakes in Qatar, Bahrain, the U.A.E. and etc., who fund and arm these variants of Al Qaeda throughout the Middle East.

You've heard of Al Qaeda right? The evil terrorists who are so threatening that we have to surrender our rights and our values and our freedom so that our governments can fight them? Yes, well, US allies Saudia Arabia and other Arab petro-states are arming and training them. Hell, sometimes the CIA even helps them out.

Because the War on Terror is the biggest lie going. Because it's bullshit.

Well, anyway, one of these gangs of fundamentalist whack-jobs (who enter Syria via Turkey, which has its own stupid reasons for wanting to topple Assad) have decided to branch out into western Iraq. Western Iraq is dominated by Sunni Iraqis, who have taken years of abuse from Shiites like Maliki. Maliki's army fled in the face of ISIS and former Sunni military leaders flocked to the banner of ISIS.

Basically, Canada is going to war in Iraq (and Syria) in order to fight one of the creatures of US allies Saudia Arabia and Qatar (and Turkey) simply to tame them from their ambitions in Iraq and to get them to refocus on Syria. We've simply sided with the petro-criminals of the West against the petro-criminals allied with Russia. THAT is the policy. THAT is why harper has dragged us off to war again. Obviously, the Sunni monarchs aren't going to help us remove ISIS from Iraq. They want to topple the Shiites in Iraq and then move onto Iran.

This is insanity. This is stupidity. This is shameful.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Ezra Levant fuxxup AGAIN

I gotta say, there's so much more going on the world, but it just warms my cockles to hear that shitty lawyer, failed publisher, hack writer Ezra Levant was found guilty of libel and ordered to pay $80,000 in compensation:
An Ontario judge who heard a defamation lawsuit against Sun News Network host Ezra Levant has ruled that he libelled a Saskatchewan lawyer in a series of blog posts.
Justice Wendy Matheson has ordered Levant to pay $80,000 in damages to Khurrum Awan and remove "defamatory words" about the man from his website within 15 days.
It couldn't have happened to a fouler piece of vermin. Ezra Levant's continued ability to afford to feed himself as a propagandist is an indictment of our country.

You know, when you think about the thousands of Canadians who like Ezra Levant and agree with his bullshit, it gives you a twinge of indigestion.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

"Sex without explicit consent"

A few days ago, some charming Liberal partisans were howling: "A man's career has been ruined because of some lying little bitch!"

I don't know what happened. I have found the whole thing to be confusing. Not as confusing as Sheila Copps, but confusing. Parliamentarians are supposed to be powerful people in theory. They're people trusted by tens of thousands of others to represent them. Once in Parliament, they're supposed to be colleagues.

But all this theory was designed when parliamentarians were all rich, white men. Poor people were dirt. People of colour were animals. And women were "a temple built over a sewer." Sexual harassment wasn't even a concept for these guys. The last thing they'd do would be to set up policies for how to deal with it.

Here's my idle speculation: It all happened just as the female NDP MP said it did. She found herself with the opportunity to speak with Liberal leader Justin Trudeau about something that was bothering her. She honestly (for whatever reasons) did not want to destroy this guy's career. But she didn't want to stay silent and contribute to a career like Ghomeshi's or Cosby's (alleged) serial assaults.

But Trudeau called a spade a spade. Now that he was made aware of these accusations, he couldn't be seen as contributing to a cover-up. He named and suspended the MP. I don't think he knew what else to do. The NDP MP complained somehow and Mulcair heard about it. He didn't know what to do either. His MP was upset. Certainly, Mulcair doesn't like Trudeau, and any chance to criticize him is going to be seen in a positive light.

But I think the non-existence of sexual harassment policies in Parliament is the root of the problem. These sorts of allegations are going to continue, not because female politicians are going to start "crawling out of the woodwork" as some Facebook strangers described the process of Ghomeshi's accusers coming forward. They're going to continue because we men do this shit all the fucking time. Especially the type-A ego-maniacs who go into politics.

John Turner used to pat women on the ass. He thought nothing of it because that's what you did in those days. (At least sexist Bay Street executives thought so.) It's probably still a joke (for guys) to "cop a feel." It's only been a couple of years really since women have insisted that they have the right to be walking down the street hammered, with a t-shirt saying "I am really asking for it!" and not be raped.

Times are changing.

Is it possible that this guy thought he had consent? Maybe. Is it possible that this whole thing is a partisan dirty-trick orchestrated by Mulcair and his army of nubile Quebec honey-pot assassin squad? Maybe. (But I doubt it.) (Even if some Liberals think "sex without explicit consent" is a string of weasel-words to accuse a guy of rape without necessarily saying so. Me, personally, I think she didn't say "rape" because she honestly thinks the guy made a mistake. That she actually wants the guy to get help and stop what he's doing. That's why she's refrained from calling him a rapist.)

About "explicit consent," ... this young lady has been doing these blogs for a while and they're very popular. If things went down the way the female MP described it, the man in question could use it.