Monday, December 28, 2015

USA!

tHE story o' the USA ain't special. wee jist git ol the cultural references!

derz mor 2 it den dat!

Philip Palmer's "Version 43"


So, I just finished the Sci-Fi novel Version 43 by Philip Palmer. I actually bought this book and it was well worth the money. I got it for $2 out of a used book store's bargain bin. I got sucked in by the cover art.

I understand that it's not to be taken as a deep, serious, Science Fiction book. It's over the top. But it's not for me. Several times it feels like he's making it up as he goes along. And the writing that supposed to be mind-blowingly magnificent just comes off as implausible. Towards the end, as the Cyborg is engaged in a war of attrition with the Anciens, there's an aura of intense violent doom, but it doesn't last. The battles between the Hive Rats and the Anciens are tedious and the resolution is anti-climactic.

The "deep insights" (people can fall in love and love their kids) aren't all that profound.

I also watched "Entertainment" with Greg Turkington as Neil Hamburger. I was disappointed. Way longer than what it had to be. And it's hard to care about a sullen, misanthropic, untalented comedian (Some of Turkington/Hamburger's "jokes" actually make you laugh, in a shocked and appalled sort of way. The character in the film is presented as being less funny.), when his "real-life" persona gives us no indication as to why he wants to make people laugh. Especially because he seems to hate them all.

I really thought John C. Reilly's character was going to develop into something. But he's just presented as a wealthy doofus who Hamburger encounters and then leaves.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Youth Gone Wild ...

I'm still reading Maury Klein's A Call To Arms. The book is full of tons of vignettes of the USA during World War Two. One I'd long thought of posting about is his account of how white Californians bought the farms from their fellow citizens of Japanese origin for a fraction of their true value, because those Japanese-Americans were about to be interred and had to sell their assets quickly. Before they were shipped-out to the barbed-wire camps in the desert, the Japanese were being held in squalid conditions at such places as "race-tracks, fairgrounds and parking lots with little consideration for their personal comfort or needs."

Even though their 450,000 acres comprised only 1% of California's land under cultivation, Japanese-American farmers managed to produce 40% of the state's total crop.

Hell, I'll just quote some more from Klein:
Once the evacuation began, members of the white-dominated Western Growers Protective Association and others swooped in to grab this land at eviction prices or rent it for a song. In the ugliest display of irony, the governor of California asked the War Department to hold up the relocation of Japanese in July and keep them in temporary quarters so that they might be hired as laborers at harvest time - perhaps on the very land they once owned. This was too much even for [War Secretary] Stimson, who protested it vigorously to Roosevelt and conveyed his feelings to Roosevelt. "After the Californians have been hellbent to get the poor Japs away from California and into other States," he grumbled, "now they are turning around and trying to stop them and keep them in temporary and unsanitary quarters for their own convenience for the period of the harvest."
And now, right-wing morons/assholes want to repeat the same insanity with Muslims!

But I really had to post today after reading the following. (And think about this the next time anyone ever tells you that the world is going to the dogs because the youth of today are completely out of control.)

In a section on the difficulties of raising children with both parents away (either in the military or in war production), Klein has a part about juvenile delinquency:
Sensational headlines leaped from the newspapers. In the Bronx twelve boys were indicted for raping a seventeen-year-old girl in a crowded movie theater. Two Cleveland brothers confessed to more than forty burglaries and three house fires. At home they had twenty guns and 2,000 rounds of ammunition. When their mother protested, one of the brothers shot her in the back, wounding her seriously. An eighteen-year-old in Los Angeles resolved an argument between his father and stepmother by shooting them both, then covering the murders by slaying his grandparents as well. When his eight-year-old brother started crying, he "let him have it too," then threw two of the bodies in a well. On Manhattan's Lower East Side police uncovered a vice ring that furnished teenaged prostitutes to middle-aged men. The madam running the operation was seventeen. All these revelations occurred during a single week. A month later Seattle uncovered "wolf packs" at two federal housing projects in nearby Renton. Fifteen boys and five girls admitted that to gain membership the girls agree to have sex with all the male members. One girl submitted to thirteen boys, another to ninety.
The "Greatest Generation" indeed.

Friday, December 18, 2015

"A Call To Arms"

Right now I'm reading A Call To Arms: Mobilizing America For World War Two by Maury Klein.

I am personally of the opinion that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was an asshole. I think he was inordinately self-centred and an incurable elitist and imperialist. I also think he was less racist than the average person (especially from his social set). But I also think he was brilliant and the perfect man for the time.  His "New Deal" in the 1930's actually watered-down or circumvented more radical possibilities, but given the fact that the powerful reactionary capitalists were actively organizing a coup against even his moderate (and necessary) reforms, and the system itself conspired to frustrate him, I don't think anything other than what Roosevelt did would have been possible.

The thing is, for the Great Depression, only a supremely confidant patrician, long familiar to wealth and power, could have dared to have tried what he tried. And only such a man who saw fit to give the outstanding Eleanor Roosevelt the freedom to champion the cause of workers, Blacks, women,  all of the poor, would have even tried.

And, when it came to the War, ... well, I've said time and time again, that as bad as they were, the pseudo-democratic, imperialist and racist capitalist allies and even horrid Stalin's Soviet Union, were better for the world than the virulently racist and militarist Nazis, and the less virulently racist, but equally militarist Nipponese. (I suppose some readers of revisionist histories could give me a run for my money on this assertion, but I don't think they could ever convince me that I'm wrong.) The right side won the Second World War. And, with that having been said, it was Roosevelt who played his hand perfectly.

He backed the Allies, and later, the British alone (with their Empire) as far as he could against the isolationists (a group I have some sympathies for, their pro-fascist element withstanding). He then pushed his belligerent neutrality as far as it would go. I believe he actually wanted to achieve his ends without America going to war. In the end, war was declared ON the United States, not BY the United States.

And then the USA's participation in the war dramatically altered itself and the whole world. Klein's book talks about this. Read the review linked to above. It says things better than I'm capable of. But Klein's book is important because:
The story of how America became the “great arsenal of democracy” is the subject of “A Call to Arms,” and I can’t imagine it being told more thoroughly, authoritatively or definitively. Maury Klein, professor emeritus of history at the University of Rhode Island and the author of numerous books on the history of business and industry, crowns his long career with this massive examination of one of the most important aspects of 20th-century American history and one of the least documented or understood. We know a great deal about the battles that were fought in Europe, Africa and Asia, but we know far less about the incredible mobilization of American industry that — together with the appalling sacrifices made by Russian soldiers and civilians — made it possible to win the war.
I've posted about two other books on this subject. The Arsenal of Democracy by A. J. Bairne , and Freedom's Forge, by Arthur Herman. Bairne's book was decent. It spent too much time trying to exonerate Henry Ford from the charge of being an anti-Semite, Nazi sympathizer, but it also had good descriptions of the living conditions of Detroit war industry workers and the impact of the war on ordinary US-Americans. Herman's book was too annoyingly pro-business. It was reaching the level of childishness. And some of the reviewers point out some glaring errors that detract from its credibility overall. But one part I remembered, he talked about how Alcoa Aluminium offered to build a smelter for the rearmament program, but those stupid New Dealers insisted that someone else build it, to try to break-up Alcoa's monopoly, and that this caused precious months of production to be lost.  According to Klein's more authoritative work, Alcoa was a monopolist that did everything in its power to buy-out or smother competition and that the only reason it had offered to build that smelter was because a rival capitalist had a new process that he wanted to try out. Alcoa's offer was yet another attempt to circumvent a possible rival. One that failed because of those "stupid" New Dealers.

The story of how the USA became a super-power is surprisingly under-told. Klein's work, I'd say, is the best one for now, and will be for many years to come.

Friday, December 11, 2015

I See Stupid People


They don't know they're stupid!

And there's nothing you can do about it. They're born that way. (And God makes no mistakes?) And it's a terminal condition.

No cure.

Jeeziz wept

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

new post

whutevah i wuz thinking about it has passet. but i feel i live the history v vr ee stab o' mi pen

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The "Friend Zone"

There's been a lot of justifiable criticism of guys who complain about how women don't recognize the "nice guys" right under their noses and who continue to throw themselves at "bad boys." They complain that they've been put into the "Friend Zone" by these women; as in "I like you, but just as a friend." These self-described "nice guys" then launch into paroxysms of rage about how those women who don't notice them or reject them are all stupid bitches and one day these "nice guys" are gonna snap and fuck them up.

It's especially justifiable when these "nice guys" are relegated to "friendship" by women who actually have zero interest in these guys' advances, or even their companionship.

(I can't find the video, but Amy Schumer did a bit where there was a phone app called "Milady" where women could keep track of all these guys who offered them things --- "For You, My Lady!" -- whether they wanted them to or not. These guys all expected a relationship out of their gifts eventually. Schumer and her girlfriend in the sketch pointed out though, that if they rejected these unsolicited favours, they wouldn't stop coming. And if they repeatedly rejected them they'd be angrily called "stuck-up bitches" and who knew where the hostility would end?)

But aren't there men AND women who hold a torch for someone for years, and who continue to be friends with them and help them out, even as they go through relationships with other people, in the hopes that they'll one day be noticed as a love interest?

I've been thinking about all these songs sung by women about how they'll stay in the background, or even be the girl/woman that he can see between his love affairs. But then I thought; how many of those songs were written by men?

There's a woman I barely know who has thought me cute for years and blurted out a come-on FaceBook. I don't suppose that counts, but it's evidence of holding a candle.

I've never complained about being relegated to the "Friend Zone" because I tended to date women outside my immediate social circle. (It saved uncomfortable awkward scenes later.) When I was in highschool I had a crush on a girl. I dreamed about her literally every school night. It was a new school and her and all her friends thought I was hilarious. I drew a picture for her once but I never expected a reward for it. I eventually had to ask her out, but she said no. (I was a head-banger, she was a preppie. It wasn't so outrageous an idea though. A few years later I told a guy who'd been a popular, preppie jock at that school that I'd asked her out and he thought it possible that she might have said yes.)

Hah! I just remembered, a friend from my old neighbourhood, who listened to me going on and on about her, went off to university, and she went to the same one and was in the class of another one of our friends there, and that guy fell madly in love with her.

"I have to see this girl!" he said.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

thwap's hooker stories ...

When I was a young man of thirty I worked at a place in a neighbourhood where street prostitutes were known to conduct their trade. (The tavern at the corner was supposedly a place where you could get a hooker at any time of the day or night. Irony of ironies, it is now a women's shelter.)

One Saturday morning, when I went to open the place there was a tall, blonde woman in short shorts who looked about 50 standing by the front door. In the same way that I was cuter in my twenties than I am now, I'm sure she must have been quite striking when she was younger. Now she looked like a good-looking, leggy 50 year-old.

"Are you waiting to go inside?" I asked nervously.

"What's that gorgeous?" she asked.

I blushed and asked if she was waiting for the place to open.

"No. No. I'm just waiting for someone."

Even though I knew what was going on, I still felt a wee bit of a thrill at having been called "gorgeous." Then, an 1970's-style sedan slowed down in front of the building, and a fat, bald, middle-aged guy looked over at us. She sauntered over to the driver's window:

"How's it going gorgeous?" she said.

A few seconds later, she got in his car and they drove away.

And so it ended.


Another afternoon and I was walking down King Street. About a block east of Victoria (around the corner from Tabby's Variety) I heard a man's voice (a middle-aged man, with experience and authority behind it) exclaiming: "Come on honey!!!"

I looked around and saw a car parked beside the sidewalk. The man was in the driver's seat, but it didn't look like he was in control of the situation. He would have been a bigger than average fellow. (He was seated, so it was hard to say.) Like everyone in my post so far, he might have cut a dashing figure in his youth. Now he looked like an ageing 1950's greaser type. Round around the middle.

His "honey" was a tiny, sour-faced little woman in her 30's who sat beside him pouting with her arms folded in front of her in defiance. I could hear her little voice but I couldn't tell what she said. Whatever it was, it made him more frustrated.

"I don't want to go to a goddamned motel!" he shouted.

She muttered something again in her squeaky voice.

"Aww, come on Baby!!!" he wailed. He was definitely flustered. She wasn't going anywhere.

It appeared he'd picked her up hoping for a quick hand or blow-job in his car but she was insisting that they go to a motel where he could get the full treatment and, subsequently, pay the full price. In the end, he gave up protesting and they drove away.

I still can't get over how this tiny woman was so determined to have her way, and dictate terms to this much larger man. How he didn't even try to push her out of his car or anything. I'm not trying to argue that maybe women rule the word and that 'john's" are helpless hostages to the power of the pussy. Just that in that situation, it seemed like she was in charge. Gord only knows what happened later.

It was a hot, HOT, humid summer day. I was walking south on Wentworth Street, near Cannon. A young woman was waving enthusiastically at me from the corner. I actually thought she was a young woman I'd worked with a year or two earlier. (Who I wasn't attracted to.) (I'm around 40 in this story.) She beckoned me over. It's not everyday that a past acquaintance seems to want you to cross the street and talk to her, so I didn't really know how to respond. I crossed the street. As I got closer I realized it wasn't who I thought it was, but, whatever. She smiled and said:

"How'd you like to come over to my place for a blow-job and a cold beer?"

To be honest, it was so fucking hot that I was actually tempted by the cold beer. Getting a blow-job on top of that would have probably been nice. But paying for a blow-job from a stranger, ... nah. I stammered, "Sorry, no. I thought you were someone else." and extricated myself from the situation. At least she stayed smiling and bid me a friendly farewell.

That was the second time I'd been propositioned. The first time is described here.


So, there was this guy across the street from me when I was a kid. A widower in his 60's or 70'. Italian guy with the "wife-beater" under-shirt on. He was friendly enough. Quiet guy. I was inside, alone with him for some reason when I was 8 or 10. He didn't seem creepy at the time and in retrospect I'm still pretty sure he wasn't. He'd had a glass of whiskey on his table and either I asked to try it, or he asked me. I'm not sure. Regardless, I took a sip and said I didn't like it, and he didn't seem to surprised by that.

By the time I was a teenager, (mid to late 1980's) he started to have escorts over to his house. Pretty damned often. To the point where one time, when I walked to the corner and saw this vision: I'm 17 years old and this beautiful, absolutely gorgeous blond, 18? 19? Whatever the "legal" age was;, ... dressed up like an angel/stripper for an Aerosmith video comes walking toward me with the most lovely smile. I knew where she was going. His place. (I also didn't think that she had much going on upstairs, to have travelled across town like that on the bus. I knew she'd taken the bus because I saw it pulling away behind her.)

Something like this but without the wings or the halo.
Anyways, 17-year old me smiled nervously back at her and hoped my knees wouldn't give out on me while I was crossing the street.

As I said, this guy lived right across the street from me. I could watch from my second-storey bedroom window as they arrived at his house. One time I was struck by how one young woman was accompanied by her boyfriend. They were holding hands and they kissed before she "went to work" and he left.

I'm pretty sure the last time he had an escort over was the night the young woman (dressed in jeans and some kind of sports jersey) got into a loud drunken tirade in front of his house. It was probably around midnight and the whole street could hear her. Men were shit. Men were assholes. The world was shit.

He kept trying, nervously, embarrassed, quietly, to get her to calm down and come inside.

She yelled at him with disgust that he was as bad as all the rest of the men. He was just an asshole too. An exploitative piece-of-shit.

He never got mad. He didn't yell back at her. I can't remember if he got her inside to wait for the cab, or if he went in by himself to call. I remember it was quiet for about ten minutes or so before it came and she got in and left. So either she'd waited inside for it or she sat quietly on his steps.

And I think that was the last time.  It might have even caused him to move away a year later. I'm not sure.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

So, I Have This "Friend" ...

I was out walking my dog a couple of weeks ago when i saw someone I recognized from my home town.  ...

...

Sorry. He just called.

...

Anyway, i stopped and he didn't recognize me. Then he did. Then I did. I remembered I didn't really like this guy. He wasn't a bad guy. I just remembered that he irritated me.

He used to go to my high school. A couple of grades below me. I think his sister was in my grade. then we saw each other again at the gym. After a few years of that, he got fairly huge. (Though he's not tall ... 5'7 or 5'8.) But before I left Hamilton he'd let himself go. I remember seeing him looking pretty portly.

So, we talk. He's moved to Toronto. Looking for work. We should get together. We'll see each other around.

We bump into each other again and we have to exchange numbers. (Alternative: I could have refused.)

See, I don't need yet another person i have to walk past in awkward tension.

So, I get a call to come over. Smoke some weed. What the hell. I do. I have weed at home, but I'll be social.

The guy's taste in television is reality tv about yuppies buying houses; teenagers in trouble being "scared straight" by visits to the prison; drug fiends having interventions; and sports.

I've watched more NFL and NHL in the last couple of weeks than I have in the last 5 years.

It comes out: He smokes a lot of pot because he's depressed. He destroyed his hips through work and through (somehow) bodybuilding. He's 100 pounds overweight. He's had both his hips replaced. He's trying to pick up work waiting tables. He has no other job experience. He doesn't know anybody else in Toronto. He's 47, balding, poor and decrepit.

But hey! I go to the gym! We'll go the gym together!

Sure. Why not?

So, he hoarks loogies on the sidewalk all the time. He makes comments about young women's bodies for my consumption that it's entirely possible they can hear. He was staring at some young woman at the gym. (later, he reflected to me on how buff she was and how she could probably beat him up)

When we do dumbbell curls, he says "Curls for the girls!"

I told him not to stare at women on the street. He says: "What am I supposed to stare at? Guys?"

One time; we were watching television, and somehow I started talking about right-wing Margaret Thatcher fans. He mentioned a boss he had who was from Britain. How the guy said all sorts of nasty stuff about "Pakis" and "Niggers" and he (remembering how he'd been called a "Diego" and a "Wop") told him to lay-off that kind of talk around him.

(Side note: This racist British boss had a Chinese wife and had had kids with her! He should be sent to talk to the Anglo-Saxon racists in British Columbia!!!)

So, after every session at the gym, ... Can I come over? Come on! Nah! Come on!

So, I've done it a couple times. A few times. The weed and the booze help to make it semi-interesting for me. I learned a little bit about the economics of pro-wrestling for instance. While high.

He often asks me questions he's asked twice before. He's says things he's said twice before.

Out of the blue one night, he asks me to move in with him. I blurted out: "Fuck off!"

I've got my own bathroom to shit and fart in. I don't need to share the joy.

I told him I couldn't come over after our workout because I had a date. He felt bad. After the workout he asks: "You sure you don't want to come over?" As if I'd cancel a date to smoke weed with this guy from my home town.

People; ... I think this guy is suicidally lonely and depressed. Someone (a woman I know) told me to tell him the truth and that he's not my problem.

But I'm soft-hearted and soft-headed.

But I'm also depressed myself and I'm in no mood to make anyone a "project" to improve them.

What should I do?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

What's Their Story I Wonder?

Last summer I got on the Bloor Line at High Park Station with my bike. As the doors opened a cute red-head, in her early twenties, looked at me with what appeared to be a look of longing. Being 48 and grey (but hey, it's possible my bicycle hid my gut) I figured at least one of us misunderstands something. I'm not really interested in a young lady in her twenties anyway. People in their twenties are cool and all, but it's an entirely different culture for me now. There'd be a lot of re-inventing the wheel. Besides; imagine meeting your lover's parents and they're your age!

So I ignored her and looked for a place to sit.

Because of issues of floor space for my bike, I sat near her and her boyfriend (?) at the back of the subway car. She was dressed in black, with a hat and other art-school girl accessories. Pale, powdered skin, bright red lipstick. He was shorter than me, with glasses and a wiry little beard. He was wearing a black derby and a black t-shirt with some death metal band's imagery on it. His arms were thin and wiry like his beard.

She stared straight ahead while he read intently from his paperback. They ignored each other almost all the way to Yonge Station. I wondered if she hated him, or he hated her, or if they both hated each other, who did it first? Or, maybe, again, I'd just imagined that look she gave me. That they're both totally cool just sharing each other's silent company.

Almost at Yonge, he mumbled something to her. She said "Hmmm?" He mumbled (muttered?) something again and she answered "Yeah."

They got out before me as I waited with my bike for everyone else to exit the train. I got on the escalator to the northbound platform and stood on the right-hand side. On the stairs to my right, a nice-looking, clean cut, shortish young man gave a goofy grin to someone in front of me on the escalator. Then I saw him turn his head, still smiling, as he watched that person continue riding past on the escalator.

You guessed it. It was her. Looking down on him like a beautiful princess passing her secret beloved in a passageway.

As I watched her and her little boyfriend (?) heading towards the Yonge platform, I wondered what their story was. Does he ignore her and she can't stand him? Does she constantly flirt and he can't stand her? Does she purposely get guys' juices going and then they both go home and celebrate by fucking like weasels? Are they just a couple of weirdos in their own worlds, doing their own things? 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Ugh! Ewwwww! I Saw Ezra Levant Today. Ugh! Ewwww!


It was at Bathurst Street, near St. Clair. He was sitting at a table outside a coffee shop talking with some other guy. Bigger than I thought he'd be. Fatter too. He was emphasizing some point about something that was obviously important to him at the moment.

In all honesty, I felt worse than the time I discovered that I'd been inadvertently talking to Christie Belchforth. Being in the presence of this vile racist, shameless liar, torture apologist, boorish creep, made me want to have a shower. I walked a couple of paces away though, and then turned back out of morbid curiosity. I wanted to determine if that was him and then force myself to get a clear picture of the sort of failure the human species is capable of producing.

Two people thought I was staring at them. I apologized. I just said: "That's Ezra Levant." They said "Who?" I said "He's a horrible person. He's written all sorts of vile, racist stuff." They looked in his direction and then back to me with disinterest. (God bless 'em!) I apologized again for having disturbed them and then went on my way.

Got on the eastbound streetcar at St. Clair West Station. Older white dude, 70-something, got on the side doors. A Remembrance Day poppy on each lapel of his sports jacket. He spoke out in a loud, grating voice:

"Hello!"

A black woman (in her 50's I'd guess) at the front laughed a little. He carried on:

"Good day driver! How are you?"

"Fine. Fine."

The old guy took his seat. The black woman spoke to him with a Caribbean accent:

"And how are you? How is your wife?"

"Wife? Wife? I don't ..."

The woman realized she'd mistaken him for someone else and tried to make this clear to the guy. But he was off to the races.

"No Dear. I'm HAPPILY un-married!"

"I see." said the woman, trying to put her mistake behind her.

"No. All of my relationships fizzled out."

"Yes. Yes."

"And now I'm the most eligible bachelor in Toronto!"

"Ha-ha!"

"And how are you, Sweetie?"

"I'm fine. I thought you were someone ..."

"That's what it's like after a few sips of Captain Morgan's rum. S-W-E-E-E-T!"

"Well, I don't ..."

"Yes! Sweet! But I'd guess you're not a Captain Morgan's drinker! You're more an Appleby's drinker."

I assumed this was some Jamaican brand of rum. I couldn't bear to sit and listen to this pompous ass all the way to Yonge Street, so I got off at the next stop. I got on the next streetcar and when we passed the next stop I saw that the woman had gotten off there. For some reason, she didn't get on our streetcar.

At Yonge Station, we pulled up behind my original streetcar and the driver was getting some sand for his sandbox. I asked if things had escalated. He said that the woman got off at the next stop (which I knew) and that she'd handled it all fairly well. She told him she wasn't from Jamaica. The old guy settled down after that.

I went down to the subway and the old guy was walking around in front of the newstand, following a lone pigeon. He had his arms outstretched, and was saying "I'm sorry. I'm sorry." over and over as he harassed the bird.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Another Semi-Retirement

One time I posted that I wasn't going to blog as actively or about anything as much and people thought I was quitting cold turkey.

Apologies for that confusion.

Another time I was just reflecting on how I didn't give much of a fuck about anything anymore and people not only thought I was going to stop blogging, but that I might be contemplating suicide!

Big-time apologies for that confusion.

This time, since the fall of harper, I often don't feel like saying much of anything. Or, if I do, it will be to write under my own name and maybe get paid for it.

Who knows? Tomorrow it just might occur to me that spending a half-hour to an hour composing some unstructured rant for perhaps 100 people world-wide is a great source of personal fulfilment, a savvy use of the new digital communications age for political change, and finally, a sure-fire path to fame and riches. And then I'll blog like nobody's business!

But that's probably not going to happen. So, at the risk of sounding (once again) like an attention whore to my tens of fans, I say, once again, be prepared for light (or non-existent) blogging for the foreseeable future.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

I've Just Had a[couple of]n Insight

1. A lot of British histories of the Second World War mention how war planners had expected that "the bomber would always get through" and that in the first little while of a bombing campaign there would be over a million casualties, dead or wounded.

This is always mentioned in retrospect of "the Blitz" which lasted from September 1940 to January 1941 which killed "only" about 40,000 people.

It's never mentioned in the parts of the English historiography about how "the allies" (re: France) "betrayed" Poland when they did nothing but invade Germany only 5 miles before retreating again. They did not want to antagonize Germany. They did not want Paris (or the rest of France) to be destroyed by bombs. They hoped that the "gentlemanly" way in which they planned to wage war would suffice to ensure German humanity.

This is in response to pages 570 -571 of Roy Jenkins's Churchill: A Biography.

2. To Peter Hall's Cities & Civilization; the section on the Ancient Greeks: I have the whole "public opulence/private squalor" thing as being a natural , inevitable result of an accumulation of riches in a poor area. I see rising and declining farmers bargaining with each other. The development of a trading city allows for taxation and rents. Income from that goes to the city. Which helps sustain the material and spiritual needs of the declining farmers.

It is a ransom, paid by the rich, to men who gained through taxation and laws and what-not; to compel the rich to pay for temples which employed craftsmen who also employed and were employed along with everyone else who supported this unexpected market and source of employment.

And it all arose because cutting marble out of rock and images of animals, humans and the gods was cheaper than slave girls or more food from abroad or a private palace. Because your fellow citizens (rich or poor) would not let you.

There. those wur mi 2 incites

Monday, October 19, 2015

Canada Must Rebuild


Well.

It looks like the horrid blue beast is defeated.

I would have preferred a Liberal minority, but who knows?

We're in for tough economic times and perhaps it's better to let the Liberals face it with a majority and no excuses.

I'm a little relieved that I don't have to worry about the Liberals and the NDP disgracing themselves with disconnected horse-trading. By that I mean that with a Liberal minority, Trudeau might have rejected any sort of power-sharing deal with the NDP, governed from the right, and made Mulcair and the NDP decide if they were going to acquiesce or join with the harpercons to force another election. An NDP minority would have come up with something just as nauseating I'm sure.

Of course, a coalition against a harpercon minority would have been problematic as well.

I am, of course, sad that the NDP and all that it used to represent (and still did since it was a decent social-democratic platform) has been thoroughly trounced. But this too might be a blessing in disguise.

[When Churchill fell from power to a sweeping Labour majority in 1945, Clementine Churchill told him that maybe it was a blessing in disguise. He replied that if it was, it was very well disguised.]

Because it will be the Liberals dealing with the tough times ahead. And I'm not Rush Limbaugh hoping Obama will fail. Jeeziz Krye-ist! I'm a working-class shlub! No, ... I just expect the Liberals to fail. The way McGuinty failed and the way Wynne is failing. Their middle-of-the-road ploosh really pleases no one.

No. What we have to do is take advantage of the fact that we now have a party in power that does not spit and shit upon the basic fundamentals of Canadian democracy and push for all we're worth to change this country from one where a total crud like stephen harper can get away with (literally) murder, for almost a decade, and where a lying, incompetent, ignorant degenerate like Rob Ford could have won re-election if not for his cancer scare, ... into one where First Nations do not live with boil water advisories for YEARS at a time; where political candidates who champion the rights of the Palestinians are NOT forced to recant; and where talk of taxing the rich and running the occasional deficit (to the Bank of Canada) are not heresies.

Is Mulcair gone? Probably.

Is harper gone? Hopefully. To be replaced by some even less talented piece of shit.

Congratulations to Justin Trudeau. May he uphold the proud Liberal tradition of not completely defecating on the basic principles of Canadian democracy!!!

Right and Wrong


This country has a lot of problems with it.

But the fact that international race-hatred inciter Lynton Crosby created more disgust than enthusiasm is cause for mild celebration.

Some Canadians don't care if their chosen representatives fuck goats in their spare time (or drive drunk, or are racists, or a hypocrites who are "tough on crime" while smoking crack) so long as they keep their taxes low. But these same Canadians who don't care about goat-fuckers lose their cool around women in niqabs and attack them and tell them to get the hell out of their country.

70% of us are not like those people.

Let's make ourselves heard today.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Glib n' Stale's Idiotic "Endorsement."

People are justifiably mocking the Globe & Mail's nonsensical endorsement of the harpercons with harper. Given the fact that harper has run that cabal of cretins with an iron fist, it's bizarre to imagine how this gang of idiots' record can be separated from its leader. And, even if you somehow could, who are we talking about that is so full of promise? Jason Kenney? Chris Alexander? Pierre Poilievre????

But the Globe & Mail loses its credibility? Too late! They lost it in 2011 when the endorsed harper after he committed Contempt of Parliament. (It was not a biased, partisan "kangaroo court." It was a majority of our parliamentary representatives making the only choice they could. harper was steadfastly withholding from Parliament information it had a right to see. End of story. Finito. That's all she wrote. Good night Gracie. Get outta here fer I slap you again.)

They're shameless, anti-democratic scum. They're as low as Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly and FUX Snooze.
Dawg parodies the Globe's sickening attitude here:
Since then, we have been concerned to observe even more of Mr. Harper’s dark side, toward which his government has, to some extent, strayed. For example, we have seen the routine use of the “notwithstanding clause” in legislation to effectively nullify the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Muslim citizens have been sent to internment camps without charge or trial. Peaceful environmentalists have been charged with terrorism and treason. The definition of terrorism, in fact, has been extended to strip the citizenship of hundreds of Canadians merely for expressing anti-Harper views. We have also seen the widespread use of the Great Lakes for the dumping of spent fuel rods and other nuclear waste, with substantial effects on the tourism industry.
We have expressed our criticism of these and other measures, such as further lowering the GST, in previous editorials. There has seemed to be insufficient rationale for them, and none were properly debated in the House of Commons or the Senate, where time allocation was imposed even before any constructive discussion took place. 
On the other hand, as the world economy has improved in fits and starts
... (Emphasis added.)
It is no exaggeration. These people are the enemy. Of us. Of democracy. Of Canada. Of our children.

They are monsters.

And they have zero right to lecture us on anything. Incompetents, frauds, with blood on their hands.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

A So-So Critique of Strategic Voting


It's starts off really bad but in the end it makes some good points. I'll sorta go through it but probably not in detail because I've got other stuff to do ....
I’ve seen a lot of talk about “strategic voting” lately, and as someone who witnessed the efforts up close and personal last time around, I want to talk about why it is not such a great idea – and, more importantly, why it simply won’t work.
It’s slimyWhatever your thoughts on FPTP, it is a system that serves a population as large as dispersed as Canada quite well, by localizing politics. Even people living in remote parts of the country have a voice in Parliament. Their local issues are heard, because they vote for someone locally. Each vote counts at the local level.
What you are actually doing when you decide who to vote on not in favour of a candidate, but rather against a candidate, is render the vote of your neighbour invalid. This is an intrinsically negative action (more on that later). This negativity really shouldn’t be part of our political process. A much better solution would be to get involved with a campaign, or to run for office yourself, and try to change things for the better, like so many thousands of Canadians do each election season.
No. Our FPTP doesn't "localize politics." My current MP is a harpercon cipher who has done pretty much nothing for this riding and who definitely does not represent all constituents. His name is John Carmichael and he represents stephen harper's nut-sack.

Were I to vote NDP it would definitely be done, at least partially, to try to defeat the party supported by my asshole neighbour with harpercon signs all over his fence. Because harpercon voters are all either assholes, stupid assholes or democratic ignoramuses.

But voting NDP would only take my vote away from the guy who has a chance of defeating the harpercons here. The Liberal Rob Oliphant. So, either way, I'm hoping that my neighbour votes in vain and his party of anti-democratic racist criminals fucking loses.

I'm NOT going to run for office myself. I don't see how my helping out with the last NDP campaign here amounted to anything. I don't know what "try to change things for the better" means in practical terms.
Are you voting for policies you don’t actually support?Secondly, there is the glaring issue of potentially giving your support to a party that at best, you don’t truly support, and at worst, might do serious damage to the country.
In this election, people are being encouraged to vote for either the Liberal or NDP candidate, whichever has the best chance of beating the Conservatives in any given riding. The inherent problem with this recommendation is that these two parties are completely at odds with each other on several key issues that are of great importance to the environment, Canadian citizens, and Canada itself.
Luckily for me there's not too much to choose from between the Libs and the NDP. The Libs voted for C-51, the NDP defends the F-35 deal. Both are horrid on Israel. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives gives the NDP platform a higher rating and Mulcair has promised to get us out of that clusterfuck in Syria, but none of that is going to matter if Carmichael wins by one vote and harper ends up with a majority because of one extra MP.
On that note, there is another glaring issue: grouping the supporters of these two parties together in one group labelled “left-wing” or “progressive”. This is incredibly problematic because it… well, it simply defies common sense. But the numbers don’t back it up either.
Proponents of strategic voting ignore the fact that even the most recent polls show that it’s actually the Conservatives that are the second choice for 18% of Liberal voters; 5% of NDP voters; 11% of Green voters; and 14% of Bloc voters.
Those are not insignificant numbers.
This is the mistake the Liberals, NDP, and Bloc Quebecois made in 2008 when they formed a coalition after the election with the intention of taking control of Parliament. After promising not to form a coalition, they simply added up their total number of votes and came to the incredibly misguided conclusion that, given the choice, every single one of the voters who voted for any of their parties would also vote for a coalition of the three. (That assumption was quickly proven wrong as polls showed massive public objection to the coalition.)
Lesson learned? Treating this diverse group of voters as one homogenous bloc is incredibly simple-minded – not to mention intellectually dishonest, as the numbers proving the theory wrong are readily available.
Fuck those anti-coalition polls by the way. They wouldn't have counted for shit if the Governor-General hadn't (under illegitimate pressure from shit-wad harper) shredded the very principle of responsible government!

But I agree; not everyone will vote the way we want. But I know what I'M doing and why I'm doing it. And I encourage like-minded people to do the same.
Reason #1 is that no matter how many times you re-post it to Facebook and yell it inside the echo chamber of decided strategic voters, the number of people actually voting strategically is pitifully small.
I live in the riding of Richmond Hill, which elected a Conservative last time but has the potential to elect a Liberal candidate this time. I checked out LeadNow’s “VoteTogether” page and plugged in my postal code. There are a whopping 145 people committed to voting strategically through that website. There don’t appear to be any other websites that are actively soliciting sign-ups as a way to gauge how many strategic voters will participate in any given riding. But let’s be generous and say that TEN TIMES that many people will vote strategically. That puts us at almost 1,500.
There are 108,658 people in Richmond Hill. So with 1,500 strategic voters signed up, that adds up to only around 1.4%. Most ridings in Canada have between 80,000 and 130,000 people in them, so that number is going to carry pretty well across the country. “But hey, some ridings were decided by only a few dozen votes!” you’ll say. Yes, but even in those ridings, such a tiny number of strategic voters will not make a difference. Why?
And the rest of it is where he makes decent sense. You can finish it yerselves. But me, I'm not wasting a vote on the NDP. They're simply not in play here. I don't find it "empowering" to throw a Quixotic ballot into the ballot box when I know it's a tight race between the corrupt Liberals and the harpercon scum.

IF harper is defeated, then it's time to ATTACK this rotten political system. But to do so in an environment where the government of the day doesn't give a shit for due process or the rule of law.

I sincerely hope that those criminals are held to account.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Shits n' Giggles Time


I was thinking of not blogging, or just posting a link today. But then while I was out walking the dog (a dog that wasn't my idea!) I passed a Toronto Sun newspaper box and I saw the headline: "Our choice is clear - stephen harper."

First of all, this surprised me because I thought they were actually endorsing the NDP in this election. I'd seen some surprising editorial headlines on my Facebook newsfeed saying they thought Mulcair was the most respectable candidate and that harper was too disgusting and dangerous.

Oh well. In retrospect it was too weird to be true. (I guess I should have done more than read those headlines and teasers.)

Secondly, I was struck by how their choice is "clear" as if stephen harper is clearly the best candidate by far. Banking everything on one natural resource and ignoring manufacturing? (And then the volatile natural resource market tanks?)  Selling GM shares at bargain basement prices to fake a surplus? Driving wounded veterans to suicide? Ending home mail delivery? Appointing hacks as senators to do party fund-raising on the taxpayers' dime?

I would think that even limiting things to the issues that the Toronto Sun would find important, that harper would, at the very least, not be the "clear" choice for them. Sadly no. So, for shits n' giggles, I'm going to read their endorsement and react to it as I go.
There's been a lot of talk in this election about strategic voting -- voting for someone you don't really support to block someone else you support even less.
That's not our advice to our readers in this very important election.
Right. Now, who would the Sun and its readers vote against? My bet is on Justin Trudeau. I'm sure they're tortured by this, but Sun readers would probably put their personal hatred of a "Trudeau" over their hazy, incoherent ideological fears of the NDP. Even if Tom Mulcair is crazy-angry and he has a beard. It's been the Liberals who have tended to have more power and money than the NDP. There's some good, salt o' the earth folks who vote NDP. (Northern miners, Saskatchewan farmers.) But the Liberals are the urban, effete elitist latte-sippers. And, well, Trudeau is a Trudeau. The epitome of the FRENCH-speaking elitist intellectual who made their cereal boxes bilingual and hooked us all onto the great Free Mason conspiracy of the metric system and whatever cockamammy idiot theories they have about Pierre Elliot Trudeau. Plus, well good fucking gracious; "JUSTIN!!!!!" What's not to despise??? Justin Trudeau is an insanely handsome mother-fucker. (I don't mean that literally, but I'll bet these harpercon deranged degenerates would.) He's kinda like Joe Namath was to Grandpa Simpson:
Grampa: "Probably. I'm trying to watch the Super Bowl. If people don't support this thing, it might not make it." 

Howard Cosell: 
"Joe Willy Namath, swaggering off the field, his sideburns an apogee of sculpted sartorium. The foppish follicles pioneered by Ambrose Burnside, Appomattox 1865."

Mona: "His wild, untamed facial hair revealed a new world of rebellion, of change. A world where doors were open for women like me, but Abe was stuck in his button down plastic fantastic Madison Avenue scene." 

Grampa: 
"Look at them sideburns! He looks like a girl. Now, Johnny Unitas, there's a haircut you could set your watch to."
Okay. Let's continue ... no strategic voting for the Toronto Sun ... gotcha ....
We urge you to vote for the leader and party you believe is best qualified to lead Canada.
On that basis, we endorse Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives.
Okay? But why? How?
Harper successfully led Canada through the worst recession since the Great Depression, emerging in better shape than almost any other developed country.
Ask any of these numb-nuts "HOW" harper did that (and subtract the surpluses that were the work of Paul Martin and his austerity and Martin's refusal to let the big banks merge and engage in the criminal speculation they were wanting to ) and you won't get a coherent answer. It appeared that Canadian households simply ignored the crisis and continued borrowing to buy houses, keeping the 20% of our economy based on residential housing humming along.
Since then, he has successfully balanced the federal budget and positioned Canada for modest surpluses for the next four years.
Sure, by raiding the EI fund, and by having federal departments withhold spending on such things as veterans' services and even programs for policing child pornography!!! (And that from the "stand with us or stand with the child pornographers" party!!!)
Over his nine years in office he has worked to ease the tax burden of Canadians, by everything from lowering the GST from 7% to 5%, to, in this election, raising the Tax Free Savings Allowance and helping families and senior citizens reduce their tax burden through income splitting.
Ah Toronto Sun! You fucking idiots! I actually support lowering the GST. Despite what neoliberal economists tell us, its a regressive tax. But when you reduce your revenues, you have to make it up somewhere else. Remember Toronto Sun editors, harper had moved the federal government into deficit territory BEFORE the recession hit! The Tax Free Saving Allowance is another budget-buster for the wealthy. It benefits people who already have more money than they know what to do with. And harper's income-splitting isn't just for seniors. I suspect you know that. You're just lying about it because the Liberals have promised to end income-splitting for everyone, because this is, yet again, another reason why the harpercons have to slash spending on veterans in order to squeeze out a meaningless surplus.
He has helped parents by letting them keep more of their money to help with the costs of raising their children in the way they want to do it, not the way the government tells them to do it.
What steaming crap! harper has burdened parents by killing a national daycare program. As if federal daycares with unionized employees would be worse than unlicensed, over-crowded private daycares where children die. It's stuff like this that truly sickens me about the right-wing and their lies and delusions.
He is the only national party leader who understands that in order to maintain its prosperity, Canada must be able to trade with the world and get its resources, including oil and natural gas, to domestic and international markets.

I assume this is a cowardly, round-about way of endorsing harper's ramming through his tar pipelines and his insane idea of loading super-tankers off the rocky, stormy shores of British Columbia. (When they're not leaking all over the goddamned place along the way.)
On foreign policy, Harper has succeeded in the top priority for any leader in the post 9/11 world.
He has kept Canadians safe from terrorist attacks at home while taking the fight to the terrorists abroad, most recently by joining the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
This is such rotten ass-hattery that I can't even be bothered to spit on it.

He has been a staunch defender of democracy in the Mideast and has made Canada Israel's closest ally in the world.
He has been a beacon of moral clarity at the United Nations, which has drifted into moral relativism and hypocrisy, unable to respond effectively to the global threat posed by radical Islamism.

Excuse me while I puke. How the fuck are we defending democracy in the Middle East???? By giving weapons to Saudi Arabia? By token bombing of CIA-Saudi mercenaries? And Israel??? I suppose it's consistent that the racist, anti-First Nations Toronto Sun would back the racist, mass-murdering Israelis. Racist, murderous scumbags like to stick together after all.

Simple point: If you stand behind Israel 100% then you're a complete moral failure.
On the Syrian refugee crisis, Harper has been the only national leader telling Canadians the truth. That is that no matter how many refugees Canada accepts, the federal government must always err on the side of keeping Canadians safe and the only long-term solution to the refugee crisis is ending the Syrian civil war.

BWA-HA-HA-HA! The way to end the Syrian civil war is to continue it!!! Ha-ha-ha! You stupid fuckers are completely insane!!! Ha-ha-ha! And, as for your shit-head notion that there are terrorists lurking among those refugees and that, therefore, the PMO is justified in holding the process up while they select refugees according to their own sectarian religious prejudices, I've already dealt with that stupidity:
Only the right-wing would agree with the insane notion that terrorists are hiding among the Syrian refugees and that this is a grave danger.
Seriously! Take one minute to imagine how that's supposed to work!
ISIS: "Okay Ahmed! We need all our forces now for the great battle against Assad and the Shiites, but I want you and your family to flee to Turkey and go live among the refugee camps. Then, when all your money is exhausted, try to get yourselves to Europe. If you don't drown on the way you'll end up in Greece or Hungary. If you're not arrested and deported or have your brain bashed-in by neo-Nazi thugs, you just might get to apply for refugee status in Canada! Once you're there it'll be a simple matter to buy explosives and organize a terrorist cell among Muslim Canadians and ...."
Let's continue ...
Harper has been unfairly attacked by opponents as a bigot over the government's position on the suitability of the niqab at swearing-in ceremonies for new Canadians, a position he shares with the vast majority of Canadians.
By contrast, we don't think Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair are motivated by evil intentions. We just think they're wrong.
That's awfully big of these morons; to not accuse Trudeau and Mulcair of evil intentions for supporting a woman's right to be veiled at a ceremony. Who the fuck could even construct an argument as to HOW they could possibly be motivated by "evil intentions"????? But, anyway, the Toronto Sun sees this non-issue as decided by majority opinion.

Really? You base your ideas of MINORITY rights on the opinion of the MAJORITY????

You goddamned fucking stupid shits!!! The whole reason for having minority rights is to protect them from the imposition of the opinion of the majority!!!

I called this a "non-issue" because this is about a tiny minority of women taking part in a ceremony. This is AFTER they have proven their identity in a fairly rigorous process. Okay??? Technically, legally, ... factually, ... we know who these women are. Now, it strains credulity to imagine a Muslim woman with "evil intentions" could substitute her niqab wearing terrorist auntie to say the oath for her, but that wouldn't change the fact that she is still the woman who has the name that is on her citizenship papers. Nothing her terrorist auntie could do, walking around with her niece's papers, would allow her to do anything that would threaten the safety of this country.

Do you understand?  It's INSANE to imagine a woman would apply for citizenship and then slip someone else in to the ceremony in a niqab or burqa to take her place. But even if we indulge this INSANE idea, it's INSANE to imagine that anything could come of it!

So there's that taken care of.

But then, what about all the feminist-haters who instantly become feminists whenever the cultural practices of certain groups of Muslims becomes the topic of conversation?

As I've said before, some of these women CHOOSE to wear the niqab because they believe it brings them closer to their imaginary god (or some such thing). The important fact is that for them, while it seems pretty clear to me that this way of dressing was invented by patriarchy, they're doing it because they want to.

So, end of story.

But what about women in households where the man decides what the women in it will dress like? What if it's the product of coercion? Hmmmm. Can you think of anything more "liberating" than to put a woman in a situation where she has to choose between her husband's demands and those of the state? How unproblematic to have women condemned to house-arrest by their men; especially if these women have even partially imbibed the religious-cultural nonsense about it being "indecent" for women to parade around out of doors unveiled?

I can't think of anything as simultaneously bigoted and stupid and counter-productive at the moment.
We don't question their patriotism. We question their ability to keep public sector spending in check and to represent Canada to the world as ably as Harper has done.
That's why we urge you to vote for Harper and the Conservatives on Monday.
Awww! That's so nice of you! Not questioning whether Trudeau or Mulcair are evil and unpatriotic! In so doing, you're better than me! I think harper hates Canada and his intentions are base and crude. But anyway, here's the thing Toronto Sun editors: You can't even pretend to care about fiscal responsibility, because harper's tax-cuts have destroyed revenues, requiring cut-backs in needed public services. And harper was convicted of contempt of Parliament because he refused to come clean about his policies' costs. And he fucking lied, LIED, LIED about the cost of the useless F-35 fighters, to the tune of BILLIONS of dollars. (Perhaps by as much as TWENTY BILLION DOLLARS!!!!!) Also, the money we wasted in the futile war in Afghanistan was also in the billion dollar range. If that money had gone into services for the poor (who you pretend to care about from time to time) you would have gone ape-shit. But because it went into killing Muslims, you're cool with it. (Just so long as we don't spend too much on wounded veterans, right?)

Whatev's. It was good to see that the Toronto Sun's endorsement was as vapid, stupid, incoherent, hypocritical and vile as i thought it would be.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Chris Alexander Turned A Blind Eye To Torture and the Raping of Children?

If we as a country took this stuff seriously, there would be questions such as "What did he know and when did he know it?" in this campaign. But we, as a people, haven't really stirred ourselves at the knowledge of widespread malnutrition in Canada's North, so there aren't any such questions.

But the fact of the matter is that torture and the raping of children was widespread amongst our Afghan allies. Richard Colvin sent out several emails about the torture issue. But just like nobody heard about the Duffy bribe, nobody seems to have read Colvin's emails.

Mr. "Barbaric Cultural Practices" should receive a full investigation after he falls from power.

I have one hope; that the Liberals and the NDP drag all of the harpercon crimes out into the light and destroy them as a political force. Then the business class can vote Liberal and the Earl Cowans of the world can form their own version of the Tea Party and jerk themselves off in rage-a-thons about LIBERAL CORRUPTION!!!!!! and leave everybody else the hell alone. Make Rob Ford their leader.

While Chris Alexander watches it all from his prison cell.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

People are stupid. But right-wingers are disgraceful


People are stupid. And I'm people. And gawd nose that the recent exhibition of partisan hackery and overall cluelessness among certain Liberals, Disaffected Liberals and Disaffected Dippers that I've been writing about of late is also stupid.

But the Conservatives and their right-wing base manage to trump even that. To a right-wing doofus, physical assaults on Muslim women happening at exactly the same time as the Conservative Party whipping-up hysteria about Muslim terrorists and Muslim barbarians and Muslims hiding because well who knows what they're hiding .... to a right-wing doofus, the correlation is just a coincidence. Even if in his lizard brain that right-wing doofus feels like going out and beating up a Muslim or at least writing a swastika on a Muslim-sounding candidate's election signs, for reasons he can't quite remember.

To campaign on such a stupid distraction as the niqab. For someone like Lynton Crosby to think that's a good topic to campaign on. NO OTHER PARTY selects racist dog-whistle imagery to base a campaign on.

No other party accuses anti-war protesters of being troop-hating traitors and then, when the troops come home maimed and wounded, nickel and dime them out of their benefits and drive some of them to suicide in frustration and despair.

Only the right-wing can puke up such a dreadful pool of disgusting vomit as Rob Ford. (I haven't forgotten Rob Ford!) Seriously! They'd vote for that piece of shit!

Only the right-wing gets us involved with wars overseas for the simple reasons that they hate everyone and they love the idea of their country being at war.

Only the right-wing would agree with the insane notion that terrorists are hiding among the Syrian refugees and that this is a grave danger.

Seriously! Take one minute to imagine how that's supposed to work!

ISIS: "Okay Ahmed! We need all our forces now for the great battle against Assad and the Shiites, but I want you and your family to flee to Turkey and go live among the refugee camps. Then, when all your money is exhausted, try to get yourselves to Europe. If you don't drown on the way you'll end up in Greece or Hungary. If you're not arrested and deported or have your brain bashed-in by neo-Nazi thugs, you just might get to apply for refugee status in Canada! Once you're there it'll be a simple matter to buy explosives and organize a terrorist cell among Muslim Canadians and ...."

As I said above; I've said and done some stupid things. But right-wingers, as a group, are so lamentably stupid, on such a consistent basis, that they just get swept along in a wave of stupid beliefs, stupid ideas, stupid opinions, stupid delusions, stupid hatreds, ... and it all piles one on top of another, and then this giant mass of stupidity meets another stupid person, and then cynical corporate scum and their political henchpersons organize and pander to these stupid people and the results are sickening to behold.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Barbaric Cultural Practices


So, just the other day, amoral psychopaths Chris Alexander and Kellie Leitch announced the establishment of a tip-line which would allow Old Stock Canadians to inform the authorities about the barbaric behaviour of their swarthy immigrant neighbours. Jolly good! Tally-ho! Wot? (A journalist asked the RCMP how it would work and he was told that if your Muslim neighbour was honour-killing his wife or daughter, to call 911. Other police officials would not comment.)

[If you have an Old Stock Canadian neighbour who is just beating or killing his wives and daughters for other reasons, don't bother the tip line. Just call the police the usual way.]

Anyhooo, ... THIS has been in the US news recently:
KABUL, Afghanistan — In his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was troubling him: From his bunk in southern Afghanistan, he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base.“At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death at the base in 2012. He urged his son to tell his superiors. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”
And, why don't we dredge all this up from the Canadian newsfeeds from a few years back:
Canadian soldiers serving in Afghanistan have been ordered by commanding officers "to ignore" incidents of sexual assault among the civilian population, says a military chaplain who counsels troops returning home with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The chaplain, Jean Johns, says she recently counselled a Canadian soldier who said he witnessed a boy being raped by an Afghan soldier, then wrote a report on the allegation for her brigade chaplain.
In her March report, which she says should have been advanced "up the chain of command," Johns says the corporal told her that Canadian troops have been ordered by commanding officers "to ignore" incidents of sexual assault. Johns hasn't received a reply to the report.
While several Canadian Forces chaplains say other soldiers have made similar claims, Department of National Defence lawyers have argued Canada isn't obliged to investigate because none of the soldiers has made a formal complaint, says a senior Canadian officer familiar with the matter.
...

And:
Schouten’s allegations that Afghans were sexually abusing children at a Canadian base near Kandahar made headlines in 2008 but his claims were dismissed earlier this year by military investigators as unfounded.
He is, however, not alone in voicing his concerns.
Defence Department records show military police were upset about such incidents but were told not to interfere.
Army officers also met in the summer/fall of 2007 to discuss the issue of Afghan security personnel “having anal sex with young boys” but their main concern was the media would somehow find out.
Others in the military note they were told such practices were an age-old part of Afghan culture. One soldier who emailed the Citizen stated he served at the same base at another time and troops had orders to stop any rapes. But he also noted they were told the practise of “Man Love Thursdays,” as it was called, involved consenting Afghans and no one was raped by older men. The children involved were given small gifts or money in return for sex, soldiers say.
Schouten, however, questions whether a five or six-year old child, or even an 11-year-old, can consent. “The Canadian Forces wants people to think it’s a cultural thing, that everyone is doing it, because it takes the onus of responsibility off them to stop it,” he said.
At the time, our illegitimate prime minister, stephen harper, was so shocked and appalled by these reports that he immediately set-up an inquiry to take two years to investigate them. The inquiry eventually concluded that our troops, "Canada's Best," ... Those heroic young men and women representing the Maple Leaf overseas, gritty, determined, intelligent, ... well, apparently they've all got shit-for-fucking-brains. Apparently they see child rape where there isn't child rape. Apparently the half-naked boy lying dead on the ground with part of his intestines pulled out of his anus wasn't raped at all.

Either that or the inquiry was a cover-up. And, given the fact that US soldiers are complaining about exactly the same thing as our soldiers were, I'm more prepared to think it was a cover-up. Orchestrated from the very top by stephen harper.

So, ... speaking of barbaric cultural practices? Isn't it the case that the harpercons are singling out an entire group of Canadians as being "barbarians" and asking other Canadians to spy on them? But when it comes to the outright, out in the open, raping of children by our supposed allies in Afghanistan, the harpercons were more than happy to turn a blind eye. To enable this. To lend our soldiers' courage and blood to defend it. (As well as their psychological well-being.)

Everyone knows that stephen harper doesn't give a shit for women's rights. he obviously doesn't give a fuck about genuine oppression. All it is is that the way some Muslim women dress is different. It makes him uncomfortable. And, more importantly, he knows that this discomfort is shared by other Canadians. he's also dimly aware that the practice of covering-up, sometimes up to veiling a woman's face, has something to do with misogyny. So he plays that card. But he doesn't care. Just as he doesn't really care about honour killings. Or female circumcision. Or child rape in Afghanistan. Or mass starvation. Or refugees fleeing war-zones.

It's all just fodder to be manipulated for political gain to help him stay in power and fleece us all on behalf of the capitalist beast.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Tragedy of Dana


Now, here's the thing: The Mound of Sound has every right to be horrified at the significance of global warming. He knows more than I do about it. According to David Suzuki, only the Green Party platform appears to take the problem as seriously as it deserves to be. That's why MoS is voting Green. And good for him.

I first took issue with him though, when he decided to pompously and self-righteously accuse anyone thinking of voting for any other non-harper party as being complete moral failures, and, in fact, immoral monsters. People who couldn't make themselves believe that Green Party support in their area would quintuple and make negligible the difficulties of our first-past-the-post electoral system, and who therefore thought they'd vote for the most likely anti-harper contender were evil people, condemning the MoS's grandchildren to blah, blah, blah.

Thankfully, thanks to the spanking I administered to him, he's stopped that nonsense.

But then, sadly, having abandoned his "all or nothing" mentality, he's decided to (as an ex-Liberal) lecture all the "dippers" about how "GASP!" the NDP has abandoned principles for power! It's attacking the Liberals instead of harper! Mulcair is angry and has a beard!! Mulcair is a dictator!!!

When all of these accusations (aside from the beard, and maybe the angry thing) could apply to Trudeau as well. I mean, if he really doesn't give a shit who wins, why should he revel in the evil that is the NDP and its tyrannical despotic leader Angry Tom With the Beard (SUPER GASP! HE SAYS HE'LL TRY TO ABOLISH THE SENATE!!!! Wait, ... what???) ? If he's truly indifferent, why reduce himself to being a lying, hypocritical partisan hack? I don't know. Maybe because he's a stupid asshole?

Now, from time-to-time I've complained here about the tiresome "Scotian." His mind went off the rails years ago and he's just positively swoonful over the dreamy Liberal Party of Canada because don't you know he was called a "Cassandra" when he predicted blah, blah, blah. And his wife used to be a hard-boiled dipper but now she boils over with anger when you mention blah, blah, blah. And (like the MoS) Scotian believes in the lie that if it weren't for the saintly Paul Martin, Canada would be run by the IMF today. All of this delivered in densely-packed, multi-paragraph tirades. (Oh yeah! One example of the depths of his fanaticism; stephen harper once blathered that the Japanese tsunami tragedy was a sign that we have to keep his steady hand on Canada's economic tiller. People were trashing harper for that bit of nauseating self-serving drivel, but somehow Scotian took it as an opportunity to bash Tom Mulcair, for reasons that escape me.)

I've given Scotian the challenge of addressing any of my criticisms here, with the proviso that he take no more than four sentences to actually get to the fucking point and then stay on the points and argue with them. I notice he hasn't. Instead he's back at MoS's place lying about my ad hominem attacks.

Which brings me to MoS & Scotian's partner in crime, Dana. And Dana's case is particularly serious and I want to address it seriously. (I've actually been treating ALL of this seriously. MoS's self-righteous hypocrisy and his FUCKING LYING, Scotian's inability to do anything but interminable whining pomposity. But Dana I'll treat at length here. In the comments of the MoS piece that was, for me, the straw that broke the camel's back, and where my criticisms have been mucked about by Scotian, Dana says the following:
In 2006 both The Kelowna Accord and the National Early Childhood Education Program had been successfully negotiated and were being finalized. 
At that time the NDP had a choice. They could have supported both of these worthy endeavours, which were long held and articulated NDP priorities, and assisted the Martin minority government in bringing them to fruition. 
Or they could have supported the Harper Conservatives who they knew full well were deeply opposed to both and would immediately destroy both programs should they gain the opportunity. 
The NDP chose to align themselves with the party they knew would destroy the programs. 
That was unforgivable then and it remains so now. 
And it's become worse since. The NDP now supports arms sales to repressive regimes, for just one example. 
I used to be the pre-rally protest and labour song guy on the stage at the old Trianon Ballroom in Regina back in the day. I've been a party supporter since my teens and I'm 67 now. 
I'll have nothing to do with them anymore.
Now then, the Kelowna Accord and the National Childcare program, ... yes. Apparently good things from "Mr. Dithers." The latter one had been promised in 19-fucking and-93, but better late than never I suppose. Especially in the third year of a minority government. The Kelowna Accord? A (too late) death-bed conversion for the Liberal Party that had happily presided over DECADES of neglect and poverty on First Nations reserves, together with the [Progressive] Conservatives. I suppose that was going to have been a good thing too.

But I don't see this as the good work of a good man brought down by the vile, self-serving Jack Layton. I see these things as two means whereby the greatest enemy of the welfare-state to date was seeking to do something to reverse the ten years of austerity, rising inequality, devastation to health care, wholesale looting of the Unemployment Insurance fund, insane imperialism and enabling of right-wing provincial premiers to themselves attack medicare and education, that preceded these two programs.

I have to tell you, by 2003, I was heartily sick of the Liberals and their right-wing bullshit. Paul Martin bragged about reducing the federal state's economic contributions to 1950's levels. Fact.

Layton had a choice? Why, yes he did! AND SO DID PAUL MARTIN! In a goddamned minority-government situation, Paul "Austerity" Martin could have bit the bullet and agreed with Layton's request that he stop the creeping privatization of our health care system. Do you grasp this? Layton was asking Martin that if he were serious about these two proposals and wanted to see them implemented; if he wanted to preserve his government and win the chance to amend his track record of abusive austerity, that he had to do one more thing.

And Martin consciously and deliberately refused.

What do Liberals want? Praise to the skies for some progressive legislation while they commit to wholesale neo-liberalism everywhere else? Like Kathleen Wynne with her "progressive budget" campaign which is followed by selling Ontario Hydro, declaring war on the teacher's unions, and continued abuses of the First Nations. According to Liberals, we're supposed to be grateful for the occasional crumbs that fall out of their pockets (whereas billions fall out of their pockets for the wealthy and the well-connected).

Then, Dana tries to make opposition to Paul Martin's destruction of medicare as somehow being alignment with the Conservatives. The sheer idiocy of it. The NDP believes that the difference between the Liberals and the Conservatives is negligible. Therefore, voting down a Liberal fuckwad like Paul Martin, who deliberately refused to stop de-funding Canada's national health insurance program, is simply that: Voting down a Liberal fuckwad. The goal was to weaken the Liberals and give the NDP more power, not to elevate stephen harper to the PM.

Dana should remember that the NDP has always been opposed to the Liberals. For decades before 2003. It was in all the newspapers.

But, finally, Dana gets around to the NDP's lurch to the centre, Mulcair's dreadful foreign policy thinking, and I agree with him. Search this blog. I'm not a fan of Mulcair. I despise the lurch to the centre as misguided, self-destructive and stupid. But let's continue:
I used to be the pre-rally protest and labour song guy on the stage at the old Trianon Ballroom in Regina back in the day. I've been a party supporter since my teens and I'm 67 now. I'll have nothing to do with them anymore.
And here we come to something very serious. Dana was a long-time social democrat, labour song guy. He's disgusted with the rightward turn of the NDP. So what does he do? Aligns himself with a former Liberal hack, who obviously still carries a torch for the Liberal Party. Because the Liberal Party never attacks the NDP. The Liberal Party never puts power before principles. The Liberal Party never voted for rotten Conservative Party legislation. The truest champion of the anti-harper team is the Liberal Party of Canada.  [Puke.]

But both of these guys have decided to throw their main support behind the Green Party of Canada. Because in maybe 50 years (if our democracy, or even our civilization last that long), then the Greens can become successful enough that they care about pissing-off an entire province because it might be the difference between power and irrelevance. But while both these guys are still alive they can bathe in the soothing waters of moral purity.

Here's the thing. I'm on record as stating I don't care who beats harper. So long as we beat harper. A small part of me would prefer an NDP-led minority, because I think it would mean a lot of people were voting for the idea of what the NDP used to mean, and have been entirely oblivious to its recent history. (Just like that recent video where people in Toronto told an interviewer they didn't know who their prime minister was or what party was in power over them.) And that would have been nice.

Our political culture in this country is at stinking garbage levels of putrescence. harper is a leap backwards. A rot. To rebuild this country, we need to get rid of harper and the toxic levels of racism, ignorance, Paul Calandra/Rob Ford-ism that this country has sunk to.

And then we, the left, have to re-think our own failures. We have to deeply challenge our stupid beliefs that petitions and rallies and chanting really, deeply impacts things. Because they don't. And so-called "progressives" who can still get enthused by scum like Paul Martin or Barack Obama or Dalton McGuinty need to be educated and educate themselves. And support for clear atrocities such as Israel's carpet-bombings and mass-murder has to excised from the body politic.

Our political system does reflect our society. The power of business and money. The prevalence of white, male privilege. The conflicts papered-over with empty rhetoric and delusion. The racism. The contempt for the environment. The ignorance and the laziness.

And all that reflects on OUR failures as progressives, to change things.

The corporate media??? Okay. The corporate media exists. We've known this for decades. What real steps have we taken to deal with this?

We need to work harder and smarter.

Not engage in outright lies and hackery and stupidity such as MoS and the gang are engaged in.