Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Don't Forget How the harpercons Treated Veterans

The anti-democratic harpercon base had one day to bray like jackasses about how Elections Canada threw in the towel on the 2011 election fraud scandal before they had to regroup and spew the talking points defending Jason Kenney's Cheap Foreign Worker Program scandal.

I'm sure it's not easy being so loathsome and revolting.

But keep up the pressure. When the next election comes, don't forget to make the harpercons' abysmal, appalling and screechingly hypocritical abuse of veterans a major issue.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

In Three Days I Bring the Hammer Down

Did that get your attention?

Did it?

DO I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION MOTHER-FUCKERS????

Okay. Great.

Actually, nothing's happening in three days that I know of. I should just be out from under a pretty big pile of work and then I'll blog something big.

Until then, please enjoy this example of high-culture:


The Constitution, Treaties with First Nations, and the Media

Just a quick question here: How many people in the mainstream media, praising the Supreme Court decision which defends the procedures of the Constitution Act, 1982, have dismissed the sanctity of our treaties with the First Nations Peoples?

Monday, April 28, 2014

"Nappy Headed Ho's"

So, the recent news about how repulsive-looking L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling told his trophy girlfriend not to bring black people to his games, or have her picture taken with them, has got me thinking. It reminds me of the Don Imus scandal where he called Rutger's women's college basketball team "nappy-headed ho's." Of course, there's the recent outbursts by the new right-wing hero, the anti-American (literally) Cliven Bundy, who muses that maybe black Americans would be better off if they were still enslaved. And then there's the sickening spectacle of George Zimmerman, the wannabe-cop-loser who targeted and then murdered an unarmed teenager (who I don't want to name in the same sentence of his piece-of-shit killer) because he was black. And the equally sickening defenders of Zimmerman who thought they could refute the allegations of his racism by pointing out how very black and scary his victim was. Then there's the decades-spanning career of Nazi-sympathizer Patrick Buchanan and his cromagnon opinions about black people.

It just goes on and on. And, of course, we Canadians have our own Christie Belchforth, denigrating the cultures of the First Nations, and the boorish Ezra Levant with his racist tirades against the Roma people and his murderous anti-Arab racism.

Can we at least get the right-wing to admit that racism exists? You know, just because people don't have the racist belief that different skin colours equal different "races" or "breeds" of humans, or some eugenic pseudo-science about genetic superiorities or inferiorities, they can still be racist. When you think people are poor and suffering due to the deficiencies of their backward and inferior cultures, that's racism. When you don't want to associate with them because of the colour of their skin, that's racism. When you think they should be re-enslaved, that's racism for fuck's sake!

I'm so glad that I'm white. Because I enjoy the privilege of not having to be so fucking angry and defensive all the time in the face of stupid racist cops, and employers and teachers and business-owners and asshole commentators like those listed above. I don't have to hear how a major sports-radio commentator called a white basketball team a bunch of skin-headed peckerheads. I don't have to hear how I should be sent back to the gutters of Europe, where I came from. I don't have to hear about how should be re-enslaved by the Greeks or the Romans (my Dad's side of the family are Slavs, the people after whom all slaves are named, at least in the English language).

Will these gutless cowards ever look in the mirror and admit to themselves that they and their country are still disturbingly, appallingly racist?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Reply to an Idiot

I've been too busy to be able to write a post about Elections Canada's recent admission of its utter uselessness. (I've also wanted to say something about how mindless it is to refer to the Ukraine Crisis as the return of the Cold War. It is a crisis and all the posturing and troop movements make it terrifyingly possible that there will be shooting. Reflexively calling it a "Cold War" lulls people into thinking that it will never get hot.)

It turns out that Saskboy was getting one of those occasional infestations of harpercon trolls, in this post. I decided to help push back with some suitably derisive comments about their behaviour, and one of the idiots responded by posting urls to SUN News, that they imagine put the leftard conspiracy theorists in their place.  I told the dunce that I don't even bother to click on links from sources as debased as SUN News, and the dunce responded with a slurry of hurt feelings and incoherent drivel.

I have decided to make my response to this loser my post for the day. Enjoy:

Stop whining. Seriously. I didn't even click on those links you half-wit. I tried to explain it to you as clearly as I can that some sources of opinion are too deluded and useless for normal, sane people to be bothered with.

Here's some facts that YOU idiots can't construct a coherent narrative for: There were THOUSANDS of complaints about misleading phone calls in HUNDREDS of ridings. Not just mis-directions to polling sites, but imposters claiming to be from the Conservative Party's rivals, harassing and insulting citizens.


It was found that the Conservative Party's CIMS database was being used to focus these calls. In the case of Guelph, Conservative Party campaign worker Michael Sona was clearly involved as was the computer (at least) of Conservative supporter Andrew Prescott.

The Conservative Party of Canada seemed curiously uninterested in finding out who else had stolen and was misusing their database. Despite claims that they were cooperating with the Elections Canada investigation, it appears they were doing anything but; cancelling meetings, refusing to give evidence. When the Council of Canadians fought their lawsuit to have election results overturned due to fraud (the source of the fraud not being important) the Conservative Party fought tooth and nail to have any discussion about whether fraud even occurred. (Strange behaviour for a party that should be outraged by the idea of nefarious outsiders stealing their proprietary software and using it to debase our electoral process.)

Those are the facts. Those are the facts that you anti-democratic scum have used stonewalling and corruption to avoid having to account for. And then you presume to throw some STUN News links my way, as if I have time to listen to their deluded hypocritical ravings?To hell with you. If I had my way, there would be a reckoning in this country and garbage such as you and the Conservative Party of Canada would be destroyed as a viable political option. Which is to say; your party leadership would be in prison for election fraud and any other crimes they've committed. The Party itself would be bankrupted by fines and lawsuits. And losers such as yourself would be reduced to isolated pockets of discredited, despised hypocritical morons.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Deluded Plutocrats

The fact of the matter is that idiots like Rob Ford, Ezra Levant, Bill Kristol, the Koch brothers, ... they believe in what they preach. Sure, they lie shamelessly. But these are really shallow, confused people. They imagine that they're lying strategically. Every lie is an isolated weapon in a battle of ideologies. They are like animals though. Simple creatures, living in the moment, overwhelmed by the totality of existence. They forget their past lies. They forget their past lies to the extent that they're incapable of realizing that their entire worldviews are based on a mountain of lies. The ideology they believe in so fervently is just a bunch of stupid bullshit. The more afflicted of these people sometimes reach the stage where they repeat a lie so often that its origins as a lie become lost in the mists of time and they begin to believe that it is a truth.

Today's CBC has a story about one of these imbeciles. McDonald's Canada CEO John Betts. Apparently, this fellow, who has devoted his life to stuffing cheap beef and other fried foods down Canada's gullet, had a conference call with Canadian McDonald's franchisee's about the story's of their corporation's use of the Temporary Foreign Worker program.

The TFW program used to be a way for Canadian companies to import workers with skills that weren't available in Canada. Skilled workers and professionals don't want employers to be easily able to import cheaper sources of their skills, so there were stringent rules about having to prove that you could not find a Canadian to do the job before you could import them. (Very often, in practice, it was more expensive to hire a skilled foreigner than it would be to hire a Canadian, but that was the nature of things. Without the TFW, it would have been very easy to undercut nurses or engineers or mechanics or skills of all kinds. ) Under the harpercons, the TFW was "expanded" to allow greedy assholes like the Royal Bank of Canada, to import foreign workers to Canada, have their Canadian counterparts train them to replace them, throw the Canadians on the scrap-heap and then send the foreigners back to places like India where they could do the same work for a pittance. As well, hundreds of thousands of foreigners were allowed to take jobs in the unskilled service sector, such as fast-food restaurants like McDonald's.

I say this because there's an idiot in the comments section there saying that the TFW program has always been around but people are making a stink about it now for some mysterious reason probably having to do with irrational harper-hatred. Said person is wrong and is probably yet another example of the deluded specimens I'm talking about.

So, McDonald's CEO John Betts says that these stories about his company's use of the TFW program are "bullshit." Which is to say, "lies." They're not true. They're nonsense. Except:
"Here’s the kicker. The kicker is there’s an element of truth in each of these stories," Betts said
 A "kicker" indeed. Betts appears to be a very incoherent thinker:
"This story has been brewing for a lot of years. And you know at the end of the day we just happen to be the business that got tapped into it and we weren’t the first. Obviously, RBC was," said Betts, referring to a previous CBC Go Public story.
 What "story" is Betts referring to? Why; the "story" of Canadian corporations, such as RBC and McDonald's, to use the harpercon-reformed TFW to replace hundreds of thousands of Canadian workers with cheaper foreign substitutes. That's the "element of truth" to the "bullshit" CBC reports.

What part if "bullshit" then? It's hard to say. Betts says at another point:
"The fact of the matter is we are a big bad company, corporate, you know, bad company and these poor maligned employees are who they are."
You see, there's this "anti-business" mindset in this country. McDonald's is bad for wanting to drive down already poverty-level wages, just to make more profit. The CBC is spreading this "bullshit" story about McDonald's using the TFW program to get cheap labour with less rights and less power than the already fairly powerless minimum-wage workers in Canada. But really, the fact of the matter is that all McDonald's is doing is using the TFW program to get cheap labour with less rights and less power than the already fairly powerless minimum-wage workers in Canada. To drive down wages and increase profits.

Which, you will notice, is exactly the same thing as they're being accused of.

It's like a bank-robber saying "They're calling me a thief, because I'm this 'bad guy' who goes into banks with a gun and demands money or I'll shoot people. All I'm doing is going into banks and demanding money with a gun in my hand."

It's astonishing to think that a functioning human being can have so little in the way of higher thought patterns, isn't it?

What about those "poor maligned workers" who "are who they are"? (Whatever that means!)
"Yes, they are disenfranchised. Some of them don’t work for us anymore. But in the scheme of things, it doesn’t matter."
IOW: Yes. Those robbed banks and their traumatized tellers exist. But they don't matter in the larger picture. Because ...

As I said: Astonishing. The dunce knows what the point is, but he doesn't know what the point is, all at the same time!
"The reality is that we have learned internally that we haven’t done a very good job in a lot more places than we thought and that’s just us on the phone talking."
IOW: "Mistakes were made."  It's all about deflecting responsibility by deliberately painting everything as vague, indeterminate. Unfortunately, there's some people who actually have restaurants to run:
One franchisee in Alberta expressed concern about employees — temporary foreign workers — who won't be able to get their work permits renewed.
"When that happens, every single foreign worker in Alberta is going to leave us. They are scared. The restaurants are going to fall apart. This is how it is on the ground," said the franchisee.
Another franchisee was worried about money he had just paid to Actyl, one of the international recruitment agencies McDonald's pays up to $2,000 for every worker they bring in.
"I paid Actyl Group probably $14,000. So am I out the $14,000 now and the whole nine yards?" asked the franchisee.
So, it''s "bullshit" that McDonald's is flooding the labour market with cheap, exploitable foreign workers, but the restaurant owners have become so dependent on cheap, exploitable foreign workers that they think their businesses will "fall apart" without them.

Betts isn't too worried though. He's spoke with the twisted asshole that is Jason Kenney, and he likes what he's heard:
In a recording of the call given to the CBC, McDonald's Canada CEO John Betts discusses recent CBC stories on the company's use of temporary foreign workers and his resulting meeting with federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney.​
"This has been an attack on our brand. This has been an attack on our system. This is an attack on our people. It’s bullshit OK!  I used those words when I described my conversation with the minister last week. He gets it."
Betts says he was "incredibly impressed" with the minister, adding, "He really knows his stuff. And I’ll say he knows his stuff from a business person’s perspective."
This is Employment Minister Jason Kenney. He stands before the Canadian people, like Captain Renault in "Casablanca" saying that he is "Shocked. Shocked! Shocked to find out that the TFW program is being abused!"

But, in conversations we don't hear, Kenney apparently understands the "business person's perspective" on the need to drive down minimum wages which have stagnated and lost purchasing power for decades now. He understands that the workers' needs for a living wage are nothing compared with the needs of multi-billion dollar corporations for more and more profit.

Let's make something clear. Canadians have NOT gotten more lazy over the years. The adequate numbers of people who worked in fast-food in the 1980s would appear today if super-profitable businesses like McDonald's Canada changed their business practices so that they could afford to pay higher wages to attract people who have rent and grocery bills due to their being human.

The mewling self-pity; the idiotic attempts at sarcasm, the gutless weasel words, ... the whole gamut of Betts's response to this scandal provides us with an excellent case-study of the sort of mentally challenged individuals for who our entire society is designed to serve. As is Jason Kenney. He of the anti-Canadian, anti-worker mentality with prime ministerial aspirations.

 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

New Post

I won't be able to add anything to the magnum opus begun with yesterday's post. So I'll just announce that I'm reading Chris Hedge's and Joe Sacco's Days of Destruction: Days of Revolt.

I'm finding it depressing.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Poverty of "Anarchism" Part I

I've always described myself as having anarchist sympathies. Anarchism is about having no authority over and above the individual's free will. In practical terms, anarchism is about having the minimum of authority over sovereign individuals. Leftist anarchists, unlike libertarians, believe that individual freedom is maximized by providing social supports for individuals as a human right, so that they are not forced to rent themselves out to dictatorial employers or to jump through the hoops of exploitative governments. Anarchists also make it a point to challenge all assumptions of authority or power-over others. Anarchists therefore attack the state. They attack capitalism. They attack patriarchy. They attack militarism. They attack oppressive schools and prisons. They attack the assumption that humans have dominion over the earth and all the living things upon it.

But where I part company with the anarchists is the childishness that masquerades as "radicalism" and believes that inconvenient truths about the world and society can be merely wished away. They don't participate in the formal political process because it's a sham. It's an elite-dominated system and to participate in it is to be a willing dupe in your own exploitation and oppression.

You know, except for the fact that people fought and died for the right to vote and for the right to a fair trial and for social justice. The important thing for these childish anarchists is that past revolutions haven't completely broken the power of entrenched elites and therefore their accomplishments are of no account.

It is better, for these childish anarchists, to limit themselves to incoherent meaningless protests and small discussion groups/ (Hopefully you can talk like a fucking idiot using incomprehensible gibberish that alienates and excludes pretty much everyone else from being able to follow your pointless conversations. That's always a plus for some reason.)

Are you capable of fathoming the depths of this delusion? Think about it! Feudal Europe had been stuck in an ossified hierarchy of "nobles" and "commoners" wherein some people were born to privilege, and often, wealth and power, while others were forever excluded from these. There were no equal rights (except in the Bible, in certain cases), there was no religious freedom (to speak nothing of freedom FROM religion), there was no legal equality, there was no political equality. Everyone was bound to a social hierarchy where everyone subjugated those under them down to the lowest ranks of society. Kings ruled nobles, nobles ruled gentlemen, gentlemen ruled peasants, peasants subjugated those poorer than them, priests subjugated each other in their own hierarchy and imposed their delusions upon everyone else. Men dominated women and adults dominated children.

Revolutions erupted in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Freedom of speech was won. Religious freedom and freedom of thought were won. People won the right to elect their own representatives giving them a share of power in what happened in their societies. Whether to co-opt the people, or whether to husband the "human resources" of the state, or whether as a reflection of the will of the people (or perhaps some combination of all three), people won labour rights, pension rights, rights to education, rights to healthcare. Along the way, totalitarian systems (Fascism, Leninism/Stalinism/Maoism) emerged, as a sort of mutation of the demands for democracy and social justice. Thankfully, these genocidal monstrosities were bested. (Even if at times they seemed to possess a dynamism that our own systems appeared to lack, this turned out to be only a temporary condition and they all sank under their own delusions, contradictions and from losing out in their competition with the liberal-capitalist West.)

I say "liberal-capitalist" because that is the system that we live in. "Liberalism" is about "liberty." It is about individual freedom. Freedom of speech. Freedom of thought. Freedom of assembly. Economic freedom. Capitalism is the economic aspect of liberalism. The freedom of individuals to maximize their "capital." Liberalism has achieved a great deal, but it has definite limits. Capitalism has achieved a great deal, but it is founded in inequality and its basic premise of profits before people is inhuman. Liberal-capitalism is the dominant paradigm of our age and its time has passed. It is fomenting socially-destructive selfishness as a virtue. It is tearing societies apart at the same time that it binds the world together in a world community based on short-term profit. It is destroying the earth through consumerism and profit maximization. As I said, fascism and Leninist/Stalinist/Maoist communism arose out of the struggle for democracy and social justice.

Fascism saw that bourgeois-capitalist society was moribund and corrupt. It saw that class within capitalist society was dividing the community (if only from an imaginary unity of the pre-industrial past) and corrupt politicians and businessmen were weakening the nation. Individual freedom was producing degenerate thoughts, degenerate art, a degenerate culture. People needed to be united under the authority of the state. The culture had to be turned to things higher than material profit. Individual classes had to be praised for the contributions to the community and virtuous individuals rewarded from all classes for their services and morals. In the case of Germany, it took the cataclysm of defeat in World War I, with all the paranoid conspiracy theories which resulted from that, and two major economic crises, to produce and sustain Adolph Hitler's political movement and eventually bring it to power. Hitler's rise was very much tied to the crises-prone nature of the capitalist economic system.

But the fascist beliefs in an imaginary national unity (a "people"), and in militarism as the highest form of virtue, and in struggles between cultures, and in the supremacy of a great leader and the suppression of individual freedom, brought about the ruinous Second World War and the eventual destruction of fascism.

World War I also produced Leninist communism. Lenin saw Russia's backwardness as the result of its feudal political system, combined with its exploitation from the advanced capitalist societies. He saw the salvation of the Russian people as coming through communism. He had seen the way that workers' movements had been crushed by bourgeois politicians, who conveniently discarded their liberal principles to defend their class interests. He saw what a sham liberal democracy was in late-19th Century Europe. He saw how trade unionists had resigned themselves to liberal-capitalism and were pathetically (in his view) trying to win gains within capitalism, rather than overthrowing it. (With their gains almost always coming at the expense of their fellow workers.) Lenin saw that the surest way to communism was to form a tight cadre of ruthless, driven professional revolutionaries, who would smash liberal-capitalists at their own game and who would drag the working class into the 20th Century.

World War I destroyed Russia's old feudal order, and the German military's high command saw Lenin and his call for peace as an effective way to quickly knock Russia out of the war. If not for the German military delivering Lenin from his exile in Switzerland to Russia, he might never have been anything more than a disagreeable crackpot organizing the acrimonious meetings of a dwindling movement. But history is what it is. Lenin rose to power and kept power by being willing to shoot anyone who opposed him or might have opposed him. His disciplined party was full of similarly ruthless individuals who believed that the world was a cruel place, dominated by the strong. To bring social justice to the people in the face of capitalist repression, one had to kill not only those directly challenging them, but anyone who would steer the country in the wrong direction. Shoot the Tsarist's agents. Shoot the capitalists. Shoot their generals. Shoot their soldiers. Shoot the liberals. Shoot the peasants who refuse to provide food for the revolution's soldiers. Freedom and human rights is a luxury for AFTER the battle is won.

But Lenin's ruthlessness, and his dictatorial methods produced Stalinism. An even more brutal totalitarianism. And Lenin's methods inspired Maoism, an even more psychotic personality cult. Like fascism, communism could produce enormous practical results. In fact, the achievements were far more impressive. Literacy rates soared from previously abysmal levels. The living standards of the majority who survived were higher than for the majority under the decrepit feudal systems they came out of. Industrial production soared. Russia/USSR might not have survived the Nazi onslaught but for Lenin and Stalin's achievements. (The early days of the war might not have been as disastrous if it weren't for Stalin's blunders though.) China's present industrialization is surely the product of the foundation laid by the Chinese Communist Party in literacy, basic skills and industrialization.

But in the end, they failed. They failed because the capitalist West had more resources (both stolen from around the world and from out of their own development). They failed because they spent too much on armaments (partly to counter the threat of the capitalist West). But I think one of the main reasons for their failure came from the centralization of power in the hands of unaccountable dictators. There were no checks and balances on flawed policies. People could not be rewarded significantly for their own efforts. Human creativity and ingenuity was stifled by oppressive cultures. The post-industrial "knowledge" economy depends upon human freedom, artistic, academic, scientific, personal. To a very great degree, liberal-capitalism triumphed over dictatorial communism. Whether we like it or not, more people were attracted by the culture produced by liberal-capitalism than were attracted by the culture of Stalinism or Maoism.

But, as I said, there are many weakenesses and failures of liberal-capitalism. It needs to be confronted. It needs to be defeated. This is already a long blog post. I'll post this for now and continue tomorrow.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The First Petition Didn't Accomplish Anything. Get Ready for Petition Number Two!

And if THAT doesn't convince them that we're serious, ... we'll organize a demonstration! And after that demonstration, we'll go home. And write some articles and ...


Sunday, April 20, 2014

harper putting Canadian lives behind profits, ... as usual

Lorne, over at Politics and its Discontents has the info from the Toronto Star:

Health Canada is keeping secret the vast majority of the drug reviews it conducts despite a clear promise from the federal minister to publish this critical safety information.

Only 24 of 152 drug reviews completed last year by Health Canada are being considered for public release, the Toronto Star has learned. The drug safety reviews that will be open to the public are those triggered by alarms raised by foreign regulators, medical or scientific literature or Health Canada’s routine monitoring activities.


This is par for the course from that pack of scum. (The party of departed saint Jim Flaherty.) Psychopaths. Idiots.

It works like this people; the longer you wallow in TOTAL defeatism, petty bickering, COMPLETE delusion, mental torpor, ... the more unaccountable, inhuman, exploitative, your governments become.

Even if, when one of them croaks, it turns out that these mass-murdering, thieving scum were really nice people when you got to know them. IF you got to know them. Which is never fucking likely.


Friday, April 18, 2014

The Media and Jim Flaherty's Death

It doesn't really surprise me that Jim Flaherty would be remembered as a competent financial manager by the mainstream media. You see, I belong to the team that is never surprised when the corporate-capitalist system falls flat on its face. We instinctively understand that when corrupt greed-heads compel their politician cat's-paws to impoverish and exploit the majority, then the overall economy is not going to prosper. Wealthy media elites and the journalists that they tend to hire are incapable of such insights. Therefore, the fact that Jim Flaherty was a dangerously deluded simpleton with a legacy of disastrous failure simply doesn't compute for them.

But, what does surprise me, and what is far more ominous, is the way these airheads treat Flaherty as more than just an ideological soul-mate. In death, he's been elevated into having been a "statesman." And this, my friends, is what is so disturbing. Presumably, as finance minister, Flaherty would have been one source for the majority in Parliament (you know, the people's elected representatives) to obtain the cost estimates for his governments building of new prisons and purchasing of white elephant fighter-jets.

If so, they were sorely disappointed, weren't they? You see, Flaherty was finance minister in a government that decided that Parliament shouldn't know how much government policies were going to cost before they voted whether to commit the people's tax dollars towards them. The oral statements that this government did provide turned out to be deliberately fraudulent and under-estimated costs by tens of billions of dollars. (Which is why, when the same people who support Flaherty and harper also support Rob Ford, in the name of "fiscal responsibility," I tend to sneer at them. They obviously don't give a shit.)

Flaherty's government was so insistent on not providing the people's representatives with the information they desired that they were prepared to be found guilty of contempt for it. "Contempt of Parliament." It's actually a serious charge. Just because the sun came up the next morning it doesn't mean that demonstrated contempt for our system of democratic accountability is unimportant.

Anyone with a modicum of understanding should have seen that.

It was Flaherty's government that then engaged in a sordid, anti-democratic, debasing, and evil campaign of election fraud in the 2011 federal election that followed their having been found in Contempt of Parliament. Again, you would think people whose job it is to report and comment on "politics" (which is to say, our democracy) would understand that this is a bad thing. Even those pathetic vermin who mewl that nobody says their vote was changed or prevented by the robo-calls, ought to grasp that attempted robbery is a crime in the same way that robbery is a crime. (And, anyway, were people to come forward and say that the harpercons' election fraud impacted on their vote, the harpercon partisan hacks would then insist that they were lying.)

And, after having stolen a majority government, Flaherty's government then crafted an ENTIRE SERIES of anti-democratic MEGA-OMNIBUS bills, to ram through major assaults on our entire system of government and body of laws, with minimal democratic oversight. And it was Jim Flaherty, as finance minister, who allowed his budgets to be the vehicle for this omnibus legislation.

You know, you would think that people whose job it is to watch and report on our democratic system at the federal level would instinctively grasp why such behaviour is wrong, bad, repulsive, appalling. Alas! This is Canada. A brain-dead democracy from the far-right to the far-left of the spectrum.

Typing this entry has changed my opinion of Jim Flaherty. I still believe that he was too fucking stupid to grasp the enormity of his crimes against democracy. But now, having added it all up, and including his alcohol-fueled "friendship" (if the camaraderie of lower life-forms such as Rob Ford and Flaherty can be called such) with likewise repulsive characters, I think it matters not that Flaherty was mentally incapable of knowing what he was doing. He was a villain who has done monumental damage to the health of Canadian democracy. On top of being, among the worst, if not THE WORST finance minister in Canada's history.

And the journalists and the pundits who can't grasp that (let alone the scum who actively supported him) show themselves for the miserable failures that they are by loading this idiot with undeserved accolades and laurels.

EDITED TO ADD

I've been doing my best to shut-out the media coverage of Flaherty's funeral. The whole coverage of this non-event. I therefore forget the even more distressing fact that opposition politicians, who Flaherty had abused for years, were likewise unable to see Flaherty for what he was. Thomas Mulcair's idiotic tears at Flaherty's death were much more disgusting than media fawning over the man. Sadly, ... this whole sordid episode reveals the incapacity of those opposition politicians who, in his death, saw Flaherty as one of their own rather than their enemy.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

So What am I Doing?

Given all that I typed yesterday about how the left needs to start thinking about solutions and thinking big and thinking long-term and thinking major resources of time and energy, in order to TAKE power and SOLVE problems, ... what exactly am i doing?

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I'm doing nothing at the moment.

I thought i could give up my political pretensions altogether, after gradually winding things down. But not so far. So far I just can't seem to give it all up and resign myself to life as a helpless shlub with no autonomy and no agency. (Besides the autonomy and agency that some people have to be materialistic jerks.)

But, ... after spending years proposing "Workers as Citizens" and getting no feedback; while all the while NOTHING ELSE is being proposed, ... after contacting so many people and TRYING to contact so many more people who were nobodies like me but who claimed to be up for something, in order to deal with stephen harper's crimes against our democracy, and getting nothing, ... I admit to being a wee bit dispirited and tired. I spend a lot of time drinking and wasting time.

And, given my always present fear that I'm just a deluded crackpot, I also wait in hope for the powers-that-be amongst the lefty leadership, the progressive community in Canada, to propose a way out. Aside from that patriotic fellow walking from Victoria to Ottawa, and Lead Now's token petition and delivery of the petition, there's been nothing on that front. Nothing. The party we let get away with stealing an election is now proposing to codify their stealing and everything else and we are proposing pretty much NOTHING to stop them.

Which is why I sometimes think that I'm the sane one and everybody else is crazy. Every once in a while I'll read an outraged comment somewhere: "Time to revolt!" "We have to DO SOMETHING!" But it's all as vague and meaningless as the threats and boasts at that pathetic and pitiful protest I attended a few months ago.

Check out my attempts to elicit some sort of response to the harper/poilievre monstrosity at EnMasse recently. I decide to count each day that nothing is proposed either at EnMasse or from the Canadian left in general, and I ask why that is so. The trend of the conversation is that we're defeated. We're tired. It doesn't matter. Canadian democracy has always been a complete sham so who cares? Then it descended into an outburst of anti-Canadian regional animosities. And throughout it all, the poster "Al-Qabong" posted off-topic comments which were sometimes related to some on-topic thing that somebody else wrote, and sometimes he just introduced things randomly.

If anyone ever needs a lesson in how to get burned-out while doing nothing, just watch the left in action.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Nice n' slow see. That's the way to do it. Nice and slow.


So, you know, I'm 48 years old. I've been advocating for the parliamentary implementation of workplace democracy in every place of employment in Canada since the late-1990s. I've never believed that this would happen in one year's time. Or five year's time. But somewhere between five and ten years, I thought something like this would have a chance at being achieved.

You know, as opposed to tiny bands of anarchist fuckwads throwing rocks through windows at gatherings of world leaders or at other groups' demonstrations. Or as opposed to those other groups' afternoon rallies of boring or deluded speeches and pointless marches. Or as opposed to voting Liberal or Green or NDP and thinking that mitigating the myriad symptoms of the disease of capitalism is the best that one can hope for. Or writing cogent critiques of capitalism and imperialism to the already converted in the hopes of converting more people to sanity.

Back in the day, there was an international MOVEMENT of people for socialism. And, however fractious, deluded, whatever, they were, one thing they shared was a desire to TAKE POWER and thereby change the world. Nowadays, we shrink from power and this is a good thing because power corrupts. Yes, power corrupts. Very true. But somehow, leaving power in the hands of people who were corrupt to begin with, in a system that is corrupt to begin with, seems to me to be a greater danger than the corruptions of power on people motivated by higher principles to create a system that is not founded on corrupt principles (as, for example, putting profit over people) and which seeks to disperse concentrations of power.

Accompanying these blinkered notions of avoiding power and leaving it in the hands of the psychopaths, appears to be a vague delusion that by demonstrating, talking, writing, voting for lesser-evils, etc., ... we will create a groundswell of resistance to the system, and that all the people currently filling the parking lots of IKEA and Costco and Wal-Mart and etc., and all the people around the world, will, as one, arrive at the courage and the decision to say "NO!" to the system and shut it down in some glorious transformative moment.

I have no faith in that vision. Instead, I believed that we have a nominal representative democracy where every adult has the vote. Our system is corrupted by money. Wealthy individuals and corporations have much more money than does the majority. They use that money to influence parties, elections and governments. In the workplace they control our rights and freedoms, our incomes our access to incomes (and through their manipulation of politics) our access to livelihoods outside of their system of wage slavery. It's their way or the highway, so far as dissent goes.

But what if we realized that with one-person, one-vote, we could use our greater numbers to break that power? And not through any methods requiring authoritarian governments to dominate the corporations and expropriate the wealthy on our behalf. But through expanding the rights and the freedoms of the majority within their workplaces. There would be no wholesale plundering of the wealthy and destruction of the corporate entities that control our economies and our societies. But with democracy flowering within workplaces, the subsequent distribution of the rewards of work would be altered. The policies of the corporations would be changed. The use of collective resources to fund parasites and ideological whores such as the Fraser Institute and Ezra Levant and their ilk, would be, if not ended, then ameliorated by the collective decisions to fund other think-tanks and advocacy groups. People in their workplaces would have a say about shutting down their plants and relocating to some anti-union, exploitative country. They'd have a say as to whether some extra profit is more important than poisoning their communities.

This expansion of liberal values of human rights and freedoms does not require fostering a totally different  set of values in people. It does not ask people to take a leap of faith in the instant, sweeping transformation of our political-economic system into something, we can't describe for them. It takes the world as it is and asks of people that they only think about how greater power in their hands would transform it.

And, as I said, I did not see this happening overnight. But if a sizable group of leftists got behind it, and it, being the ONLY goddamned strategy for the proportionately necessary transformation of our society that I've seen in DECADES of searching, attracted widespread support among the Canadian left in general, then we would have an outside chance of influencing a political party like the NDP to support it. Say, after two years of widespread support, it would become as influential as the ideas of the Waffle within the NDP from the 1970s. That leftist group was crushed by "moderate" or "conservative" social democrats. But (and you wouldn't know it from the current, totally deluded NDP leadership) that form of social democracy has been completely discredited by their constant failures and retreats since 1980. Today, as the world begins to burn while the fossil-fuels industry prevaricates and corrupts, as the middle-class erodes under the forces of globalization, financialization and austerity, ... as the idiot-fringe of the right-wing becomes the norm in the sickness of late-capitalism, ... I think another year or two of rising awareness of the necessity for major change and the absence of alternatives will make the NDP and a dying labour movement realize that this plan is their last, best hope.

In the battle for the political realization of this project, it will be sure to come under attack. But that will only make it stronger. The basis of the attack will essentially be that the people are unfit to govern themselves. That workers at gas stations are incapable of scheduling their shifts and setting their wages when in the possession of their workplaces' financial numbers. That textile workers don't know how to make their products efficiently. That retail workers can't manage their own labour. That scientists can't manage their own labs. In fighting back against these criticisms, we would be amassing a body of knowledge and theory that would make the successful implementation of this policy all the more assured.

And, while this struggle had gotten to the level of frightening the elites in Canada, it would gain notice by progressive movements in other countries. We would then be able to think about a world where global capitalism in its race to the bottom of working conditions and wages and environmental regulations, becomes faced with people filled with the knowledge that stopping their inhuman, anti-environmental madness can be achieved (technically) through non-violent means. (Obviously, in many countries, the elites can and do crush far milder forms of popular revolt. Even in Canada, the right to peaceful protest is becoming null and void. But we are fighting for the possibilities of our system, not challenging the system itself. There is no legitimate argument within liberal representative democracy against this idea.)

I mean, what are we talking about here? A world where civilization is threatened by human-caused global warming and where power and wealth is skewed to the extent that the richest 100 people collectively have more wealth than the poorest three billion. The international law against aggressive war has been broken with impunity. Our governments claim the right to spy on us, to hold us without charges, to torture us, and, in the case of the great Hope n' Change bringer, Barack Obama, to assassinate us. Our problems are big. And big problems require big solutions. One of the left's problems is fear of imagination. Fear of thinking big. Fear of attempting a meta-narrative. Fear of acknowledging the enormity of the task in front of us. All these fears produce the ridiculously small, incremental, token "solutions" that "progressives" put forward (when they get around to putting anything forward).

My solution involves a campaign lasting a minimum of five years and anticipating ten years. What did Lead Now propose to counter the harpercons' election deformation act? Remember: Pierre Poilievre spent months and months crafting this piece-of-shit legislation and its roll-out to the Canadian public. Backbench harpercons were picked to humiliate themselves with bullshit stories of voter fraud. What does Lead Now respond with? A couple of weeks of gathering signatures on a petition and then organizing a day (in the afternoon, in the middle of the work week for fuck's sake!) to deliver them to a small number of Conservative MP's offices.

The election deformation act is much smaller than the problems I've been talking about. But it's a big problem and it's going to require a big effort to kill it. But aside from Lead Now's token protest, what else is out there? Alison at Creekside mentions the brave retiree Ted Musson, who is walking from Victoria BC to Ottawa (Ontario) to protest the 2011 election fraud. Which is inspiring and a much bigger investment than the whole delivering the petition thing. But, as she mentions, he's gotten little in the way of media attention.

The thing is, you have to think big to achieve big things. And you have to plan big. And you have to be able to implement big. In my post-mortem on my failed attempt to stir a mass-movement to defend the fundamentals of Canadian parliamentary democracy against harper's serial abuses against it,  that it would take months and months of large-scale, grassroots, door-to-door effort to even hope to build a citizens' movement big enough to take on the harpercons in any meaningful way.

Some things to consider:

1. Big problems require big efforts to build big solutions.
2. It takes time and extended campaigns to change entrenched realities.
3. The burn-out of organizers is a real problem, but one reason for the burn-out is their insistence on organizing pointless rallies and marches that don't accomplish anything.
4. The passionate people have to take the lead and actually promote SOMETHING TANGIBLE that will make people notice what they're doing and cause them to think about taking part in it. You can't just expect people to come out in the streets to wander around aimlessly while you tell them how shitty things are.

Is it the case that when people have heard my big ideas ("Workers as Citizens" "Redeeming Canadian Democracy") that they imagine I'm talking about something big happening in a month or two, and they reject that for being as unrealistic as it sounds? Or do they instead imagine that these big things will take some unimaginably long period of time to accomplish and their brains just shut down? Or, are they instead so wedded to the status-quo of a pointless parade and petitioning psychopaths that they simply can't process what I'm saying? Or am I just a deluded crank?

If I am a deluded crank, that doesn't change the fact that the rest of the left in Canada is demonstrably useless and impotent.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Lead Now's Petition

So, not too long ago, "Lead Now" delivered copies of a petition with 80,000 signatures protesting the "Fair Elections Act" to Conservative MPs. 80,000 signatures! In a country with millions of voters. Pathetic.

And, obviously, delivering those petitions to those cowardly harpercon scum hasn't dramatically realigned the balance-of-power in this country. This was a token demonstration. It wasn't really intended to change things was it? It was a pathetic way for what is essentially an NDP-backed group inform the ruling party that some people disagree with them. Well, guess what LeadNow? The harpercons already know that people disagree with them. They revel in that. They're true believers in their blinkered, imbecilic, incoherent worldview. These drooling idiots despise you. The lowest of them (the back-benchers) can't even register your disapproval. They can't see why anyone would disagree with the collection of insane ravings that constitutes their worldview. If their staffs thought about the pieces of paper that you handed to them, it was only for a few brief moments of incomprehension. The harpercon leadership on the other hand, ... they see your protests as the pathetic gasps of losers.

Somewhere, deep down in their animal natures, cretins like stephen harper and pierre poilievre grasp the nature of the disagreement against them. But they twist it up somehow. To sit one of these stupid fuckers down, Rob Ford, harper, Rumsfeld, Ezra Levant, ... and really find out how someone so bone-stupid can tie their shoes and wipe their ass and basically process reality, would be a real treat.

But one thing these monsters understand is power. They understand material reality. (To a degree.) To give them pause, to hurt them, you need power. And we don't have that.

I'd like to think that if the majority of Canadians could be made aware of how abominable it is that this party of scum is proposing this piece-of-shit legislation, that there would be riots in the streets. And that is what we need. Riots in the streets.

More later ...

Friday, April 11, 2014

Thoughts on the Passing of Jim Flaherty

I don't subscribe to the ludicrous notion that we must not speak ill of the dead. Tell you what; after I die, yeez kin say anything you want about me and I PROMISE I won't get mad.

The shameless hypocrites of the right-wing and such institutions as SUN Media will probably take this post as a sign of the burning, irrational hatred typical of the left, but they'll put "ROT IN HELL!!!" beside the picture of someone they don't like on the day of their death. I'm not going to say that about Jimbo Flaherty.

I'm simply going to say that I think he was a dangerously deluded simpleton whose policies hurt a lot of people. It seems, upon reading the eulogies, that he showed compassion for parents of disabled children. This, it is said, was a result of one of his children being disabled. And that, ladies and gentlemen, just goes to show the hypocrisy of right-wing ideologues. They pontificate that it's all about personal responsibility and bootstraps and blah, blah, blah, ... but when they personally experience a challenge, then it becomes a universal and then they understand, but everything outside their own personal experience, forget it. Maybe it isn't hypocrisy, but a marked incapacity for empathy. Which is why better people reject the slurry of ideas that comprise the right-wing worldview.

Finally, returning to hypocrisy, let us not forget that Jim Flaherty, always one of the leading players in two of the most disgusting governments this country has ever seen (the anti-democratic stephen harper and the thuggish Ontario government of Mike Harris), who played so willingly to the "tuff on crime" and "personal responsibility" themes, was a sincere and close friend of an animal like Rob Ford. And really people, the more you observe of Rob Ford, the more loathsome he becomes. Childish, vulgar, stupid, bullying, cowardly, cretinous, oafish, disgusting. It speaks volumes about the shortcomings of Flaherty that he saw something admirable in that misshapen psyche.

No my friends, I think about the single-mothers agonizing over how to pay the rent or heat the house or feed their kids as a result of Flaherty's cuts. I think about the unemployed by Flaherty's policies who were then faced with the loss of their employment insurance thanks to Flaherty's servicing of his Bay Street masters. I think of people dying in ambulances as the drivers tried to find an emergency room that could take them. I think about the sufferings and even the deaths caused by "Conservative" selfishness, incompetence and sheer stupidity. If I were a public figure, I would keep these thoughts to myself out of consideration for whoever his family is. But I'm not a public figure. I'm sure none of them will ever see this. And I simply can't restrain myself from speaking out against all this talk about people being moved to tears at his death and all these efforts to mitigate his appalling legacy.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Elections Canada Playing Us For Chumps

A few fine bloggers have already pointed this out but I'll link to Alison at Creekside (who, obviously is quoting other sources):
A national investigation into allegations of dirty political calls has been under way for more than a year. Elections Canada had planned to wrap up that investigation by March 31. On Thursday, spokeswoman Diane Benson declined to say whether it is ongoing.

The agency was expected to include information about that investigation in a “compliance and enforcement mechanisms” report to Parliament this spring.

Benson said the agency has decided not to report until after the next election.
“In light of the government’s announcement in the fall that it would introduce comprehensive legislative reform, Elections Canada decided to postpone the general enforcement report until after the next general election,” she said. “This was necessary not only to focus our attention and resources on the announced reform, but also of the difficulty of engaging stakeholders simultaneously on a parallel initiative.”
And another source saying:
An Elections Canada report on “compliance and enforcement mechanisms” that was scheduled for this spring has been postponed until after the 2015 election because of the introduction of the Conservatives’ election bill.

That report had been expected to include information on the national robocalls investigation. On Thursday, a spokesman for the agency would not say when any report on that investigation would be released.
Pardon me for asking a simple question, but isn't Elections Canada the agency that can get more resources for investigations, as necessary? Actually, I've got a lot of questions. Why is it necessary to put off reporting on a massive campaign of election fraud that was almost ready to be shared with the public in order to do some vague "focus" on a new piece of legislation? Do the same people who investigate election fraud also comment on new legislation? Isn't it Parliament's job to examine new legislation? Will Elections Canada have the power and independence to "report" on the 2011 election fraud campaign after this bullshit election reform legislation passes?

Allow me now to offer an opinion: This is just one more instance of Elections Canada playing us all for chumps. This investigation has been bullshit. This is how elite systems fake accountability to the rule of law. And they do this to dissipate popular anger and demands for real accountability. The fix is in ladies and gentlemen. What's worse, it seems very likely that the opposition parties with their bizarre inability to recognize the truth when it's staring them in the face, are either too stupid to help us or they're somehow in on this travesty.

Friday, April 4, 2014

An ONDP-led Coalition at Queen's Park

I'm no fan of Andrea Horwath's extreme right-turn for the party, but it is my opinion that the only reasonable outcome to the gas-plant scandal is an ONDP-led coalition between the ONDP and the OLP. The Ontario Liberals deserve to be punished for their revolting imitation of the harpercons' contempt of Parliament, but this should not be in the form of being replaced by the cretinous and (more importantly) equally contemptuous of democracy Ontario Progressive Conservatives led by Tim Hudak.

I doubt this will happen. We'll most likely get a Hudak minority or another Ontario Liberal minority. Either result will be depressing.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

This is what happens when you tolerate usurpers

george dubya bush stole the 2000 US presidential election. he also stole the 2004 election. Therefore, all his policies and all of his appointments are null and void. Alas, there's a scene in the film about Al Jazeera's reportage on the US invasion of Iraq where one fellow from that news agency said words to the effect of "Only the American people can stop the American people." And he had faith that the American voters would see through the lies and corruption of the politicians who started the war and turf them out.

Well, no. The American people put in Democrats to stop the war, but to no surprise to people on the left who follow these sorts of things, the Democrats betrayed any aspirations that the war could be ended through official politics. Then the Democrats won Congress and the Presidency and now progressives fixate on the stupidity of the Tea Party and make apologies for the murderous inclinations and slavish devotion to Wall Street oligarchs of Barack Obama.

And, as a result of tolerating these abominations, the American people find themselves faced with this:

With McCutcheon Ruling, An Activist Court Opts for Full-On Plutocracy

With the ruling in the McCutcheon case—where the court was actively encouraged to intervene on behalf of big-money politics by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky—a 5-4 court majority (signing on to various opinions) has ruled that caps on the total amount of money an individual donor can give to political candidates, parties and political action committees are unconstitutional. In so doing, says U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, says the court has further tipped the balance of power toward those who did not need any more influence over the affairs of state.

"It is far too often the case in Washington that powerful corporate interests, the wealthy, and the well-connected get to write the rules," says Baldwin, "and now the Supreme Court has given them more power to rule the ballot box by creating an uneven playing field where big money matters more than the voice of ordinary citizens.”

The think-tank Demos says the high court's ruling has "overturned nearly forty years of campaign finance law," which is certainly true. But the court has done much more than that. By going to the next extreme when it comes to questions of money in politics, the justices who make up the court's activist majority have opted for full-on plutocracy—and it is unimaginable that this week's ruling will be the last assault by the justices who make up that majority upon the underpinnings of democracy.
Ah! Uncontrolled money in politics! Naked plutocracy!

This is what happens when you tolerate usurpers.With no accountability, corporate criminals become even bolder. They become brazen. Democracy becomes more and more abused. What does this mean; "Democracy becomes more and more abused"? Democracy is rule by the people. When the people abdicate, then other forces rule in their stead. The more we show that we're unconcerned with ruling ourselves, the more non-democratic forces assert themselves.

Since the Canadian right-wing tends to import the latest right-wing US-American innovations generally after a two-year delay, we can look forward to the increased role of money in our increasingly debased electoral process. Then we can look forward to the bulk of Canadian progressives welcoming Justin Trudeau as our saviour, only to be disappointed as he retains all of harper's cuts to the welfare state and to environmental regulations, and maintains the Tar Sands and the surveillance state.

All this time, useless anarchist fuckwits will maintain that sitting at home and doing nothing is more "radical" than foolish engagement with the real world.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Ain't It The Truth?

Kev over at Trapped in a Whirlpool reminds us of an important truth:

While banishing Harper and the Conservatives from power is a worthwhile project our problems go much deeper than the evil he has unleashed on our nation.
Actually he has done us a favour of sorts in exposing the weaknesses in our electoral and parliamentary systems and institutions. None of that will change much upon his ouster. We will still have a first past the post electoral system and parliament will still be governed by conventions that require the government of the day to voluntarily submit to them.

Just as important we will still be governed by neo-liberals, continuing on the path of low taxes, austerity and privatisation. We will still be bound by ruinous trade deals that sell out our sovereignty to corporations.

...
on the day after we will heave a huge sigh of relief at seeing the end of the Harper regime, but much of what ails us will remain and the battle will continue.  

I'm no huge fan of our pre-harper politics. Trudeau, Clark, Mulroney, Campbell, Chretien, Martin were all far to the right of what I think decent political economy means. But I went along with what those people inflicted on me because they got their power legitimately and for the most part, they respected at least the basics, the foundations of the system they presided over. harper does not respect our democracy and he's desecrated the means by which power is given in this country. Getting rid of him is therefore highly important. Then we can try to get back to where we started and from there advocate for social justice and ecological sanity.

What's depressing about this is that harper has not only exposed the weaknesses of our system. he's exposed the the hollowness of Canadians' claims to be a democratic people. he's exposed the complete inability of progressives to defend their values and their rights.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Assholes

The thuggish RCMP officers who murdered Robert Dziekanski just can't help themselves. As I said, they killed a guy and now they're facing perjury charges for having lied their asses of in the subsequent inquiry. And, I mean, I've done and said some mean things in my time. I've been a complete asshole to some people. I still cringe inside about these lapses. I'd like to think, ... I'd really like to think that even if I was so callous, so lazy, so stupid, so ... well, whatever animated those assholes to murder Robert Dziekanski and then lie, lie, lie to cover themselves, ... if I was as rotten a human being as those guys are, that I'd at least have the fucking decency to accept being charged with perjury. You know? I'm a cop. I killed an innocent man for no reason. I lied about what happened. Video evidence shows that I lied. There was an inquiry about the murder of this innocent man. I lie my ass off there too. I lie so blatantly that I'm accused of perjury. I'll never serve a day in jail for having caused the death of an innocent man who came to my country to re-join his mother and maybe become a Canadian citizen. Do I at least have the minimum of shame to accept this single charge for all of my atrocious behaviour?

Nope. RCMP Constable Gerry Rundel and "retired" RCMP corporal Monty "Stop Me Before I Kill Again" Robinson" are protesting some procedural this-or-that having to do with who heard that they all got together to fix their stories before the inquiry.

Whatever happens, the main point is that these guys simply don't possess the most basic, faintest sense of human decency. It's no wonder that the RCMP is universally despised by the people of British Columbia. Most of their officers are complete scum. The dregs of humanity.