Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Accomplishing Something

Well, I sent a submission to the Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform. On the very last day to submit.

I have been meaning to marshall my forces to "yawn!" you know, ... write a measly letter to the editor about the hunger-strikers who have been jailed indefinitely, without charges, for years, under the dubious procedure of "security certificates." Somehow, I'm too busy dropping tidbits on blogs and discussion boards, watching Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on YouTube or ComedyCentral, drinking, toking, and all-around wanking, ... to just find the time to meekly protest the violation of our supposed Canadian values represented by these incarcerations.

I never got around to writing that petition for a Parliamentary Inquiry on the Martin Liberal's crimes against humanity in Haiti. I suppose I could still do that.

I've learned a lot online, and I've met (sometimes in person, later) some interesting people. Fine, fine people.

But I think that online "activism" has to be put in its place.

Perhaps a couple of hours every couple of days or something. And then go out and do something "real" in your communities.

There's a tremendous release to be had reading and fulminating with like-minded people online. And there's a tremendous release from watching and laughing along with The Daily Show and The Colbert Report and This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

But maybe the release from laughter keeps us from screaming, which keeps us from then actually doing something to change things.

My recent exercise in negativity (against the imbecilic arguments of the submerged 33rd of the population that gleefully swallows every war that their cyncial and stupid masters calls for) is not something that I wish to repeat.

Keeping a constant eye on those bozos is important, but for my money, Canadian Cynic already does a fine job of that, dismissing the fleas with the contempt they deserve.

What I think I'll do with my little blog is work on something hopefully substantial every week. I'll type a little something everyday, so that I won't forget how everything works, but I'll reserve the bulk of my energy working on a semi-article, which I will post here, on EnMasse.Ca, and (if permitted) BreadnRoses.Ca.

And I think that I'll spend more time and effort trying to crank out some cartoons, ... ANY cartoons, which I'll post on EnMasse, or MayDayMagazine.

Over n' out for today.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


I've just been watching the film "Lumumba" on DVD. It's very well done, and quite tragic. There's a scene where the young king of Belgium is giving a speech to the new Congolese delegates on their day of independence. He actually spouts nonsense about the founder of the Belgian Congo, the mega-thief and monster, King Leopold II, saying that he did not come as a conqueror, but as a bringer of civilization.

Leopold's depredations are well documented in Adam Hochschild's King Leopold's Ghost (which, we're to imagine, has actually been on bush II's reading list, when the man admits that he can't even be bothered to read the daily newspaper).

It is estimated that Leopold killed 10 million Congolese in the process of bringing civilization to them. Hochschild writes that intrepid human rights activists orchestrated the massive public protests that compelled Leopold to give up his gigantic personal plantation, but I recall reading somewhere that what really affected the old man was the declining profitability of the rubber industry as more and more workers died from starvation and disease and rubber became scarcer and scarcer.

The movie depicts the brief career of the Congo's first Prime Minister, Patrice Lumumba. Against Belgium and her NATO allies who wanted him to fail, against rival politicians from the powerful Katanga province who wanted to monopolize their state's mineral wealth themselves, and against the cunning, opportunist Mobutu, Lumumba tried to steer an independent course for the entire nation.

Instead, he was killed by his enemies, and his body (driven around Kinshasa by a CIA agent for awhile) was never found.

This is an important and well done film.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

CounterPunch: Gangs in Haiti

From the valuable website CounterPunch (which I've contributed to financially from time-to-time) an article:

Haiti Struggles to Defend Justice

It discusses a gang of killers called "Little Machete Army," who have worked with both the Haitian police force and the MINUSTAH (United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti) to target and murder the organized political opposition to the puppet government we installed there with the US and France.

The most brazen assault took place at a crowded soccer arena directly across the street from MINUSTAH headquarters. Together with rogue police officers, the gang members killed 20 people and wounded scores more. No Haitian policemen were every punished for this atrocity, and while a few gang members have been jailed, there is little hope that they will receive any punishment.

The Canadian media doesn't seem terribly interested in investigating these documented massacres, which is curious given the fact that there was plenty of space given to the alleged and (so far as I know) undocumented crimes of President Aristide during the build-up to the coup d'etat against him.

Given that we were supposedly motivated by Paul Martin's imperialist "Responsibility to Protect" agenda, to remove the "tyrannical" Aristide and provide the people of Haiti with a responsive, peaceful government, and instead we gave them a government that murders and imprisons people without cause, you'd think there'd be some interest in discovering what went wrong.

And given that Elections Canada officials gave the thumbs-up to what turned out to be a corrupt, fraudulent election, you'd think there'd be an investigation into that as well.

And given that a big part of the Canadian initiative is to train Haiti's police, there'd be some cause to look into whether the recipients of our knowldege and expertise engage in massacres.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Of course, then ... goes without saying that (pursuant to the posts below) if right-wing warmongers think that 3,000+ combat deaths (with no end in sight mind you) is no reason to end an occupation that has been a dismal, bloody failure, then less than 3,000 civilian deaths from a terrorist attack is no reason to flush down the toilet all the democratic and civil achievements of Western society, since, unlike the occupation of Iraq, our democratic and civil rights have been rather successful.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Compare and Contrast: Part II

You can read part I by clicking the link or scrolling down ....

Now that we've established that "Winds of Change" wants to denigrate and ignore all US combat deaths in Iraq as unimportant and inconsequential, let's find out how the "conservative" readers of sda responded to this position:

"dmorris" warms to the topic:

"'Grim milestone' is right up there with my favorite, the 'senseless killing'.There is one of these reported at least every week, so when do we get to hear about the killing s that make sense?Maybe when our justice system completely fails, and lynch mobs become fashionable?"

Posted by: dmorris"

This is pretty unremarkable "me-too!" stuff. "dmorris" reveals that he obviously thinks that the whole idea of solemnly marking progressive numbers of dead US soldiers is a waste of emotions. I'll ignore his blathering about the phrase "senseless killing"

"Me No Dhimmi" adds that he can't comprehend the meaning of the phrase "untimely death":

"I always get a kick out of the phrase 'his untimely death'. Keep trying to imagine a news story which would contain 'timely death'."

Posted by: Me No Dhimmi"

Let me try to explain it to you "Me No Dhimmi: When someone with a life expectancy of 70 years dies at the age of 18, it's called "untimely." When a person dies at 35 or 45, with young children now missing a parent, it's called "untimely." "Me No Dhimmi," this is a discussion about combat deaths. You're claiming you find terms like "grim milestone" and "untimely death" to be a waste of time in a discussion about combat deaths?

A "Mark Collins" chimes in to provide us with "perspective":

"913 Canadians died at Dieppe in 1942. Canada then had an estimated population of 11,654,000. Put another way, roughly: Over almost four years the US has in total suffered in Iraq one fatality per 100,000 population. In around one day in 1942 Canada suffered one fatality per 10,000 population.Ten times the fatality rate for a country in one day as opposed to four years. Not to diminish any death but to supply some perspective. The war in Iraq may have in the end been carried out ineffectually, but by any reasonable standard it has not been very costly in human lives for the US. And it is the Iraqis who seem determined to cause intentionally great civilian loss of life to each other. MarkOttawa

Posted by: Mark Collins"

"Not to diminish any death" he says! Well, actually Mr. Collins, that's exactly what you're doing. From the comfort of your computer you are dismissing the deaths of US soldiers in Iraq because the numbers aren't as appalling as were combat deaths in World War II. You continue: "but by any reasonable standard it has not been very costly in human lives for the US." Mr. Collins, you should try that argument out on the families of the dead.

If I could add a little "perspective," let me say that when we once again remember that since all of the justifications for this war were fraudulent, and that the occupation of Iraq has been a miserable, bloody failure on its own account, these soldiers have died for nothing. NOTHING. How many soldiers will die before you decide that maybe it's just a teensy bit too costly for your liking?

Next we hear from BillyHW:

"If they had the same childish journalists that we do, then the WWII generation would have lost the war.

Posted by: BillyHW"

Yet another right-wing "support the troops" type who is essentially saying: "Yawn! Wake me when we get to 10,000 deaths!"

A little more "perspective" if I may, "BillyHW"; Germany under Hitler was poised for the conquest of all of Eastern Europe. A Germany under Naziism, possessed of all of the resources (including petroleum, coal, iron ore, etc., ) of Rumania, the USSR, would have been a truly frightening prospect. At the very least, Germany attacked Poland when it had been given an ultimatum not to.

What were the causes for our invasion of Afghanistan and the US invasion of Iraq? Oh my goodness gracious, Afghanistan had been harbouring Osama bin Laden (a fact which had been known by the US for years, and which had brought no condemnation from the US in spite of the fact that bin Laden had already been linked to bombings of US property in Africa and elsewhere) who is suspected of involvement with (and who has made claims to having been involved in) the 9-11 attacks. And oh my stars and garters, Afghanistan had offered to turn bin Laden over to a neutral third country should the US present evidence of bin Laden's actual involvement in 9-11.

Instead of providing this evidence, the US and NATO attacked Afghanistan, killing thousands directly through bombings, and condemning tens of thousands more to death from cold and starvation.

Now, we are staying in Afghanistan because the Taliban government had treated the women of Afghanistan abominably. We are helping to rebuild and develop the country. This would all be very touching were it not for the fact that the norther warlords who are helping to prop-up the Karzai government are themselves vicious misogynists, rapists and murderers. Whereas the Taliban condemned women to a living hell as a result of their fanatical puritanism, the present warlord government condemns women to a living hell as a result of their murderous, frenzied, dehumanizing cruelty.

As for our rebuilding and developing the country, that's a sad joke. See here, here, and here.

I've already been pointing out the "problematic" nature of the bush II cause for invading Iraq, and that the occupation itself has been a bloody failure by any reckoning.

While it might not yet be registering with the troop-lovin' folks quoted above (since not enough US or Canadian soldiers have died yet to make it interesting for them) one reason the peace movement and the mainstream media point to the casualties is because there's good cause to believe that these soldiers are dying for nothing. Even if the casualties are small by WORLD WAR TWO standards for god's sake, their still too large to be dying for such reasons!

Finally, one "Jema54" provides some comic-relief by providing some "perspective" of his/her own:

"The msm are afraid of what will happen when these soldiers come home and refuse to be shoved around by the PC. Imagine telling a WWII vet that he/she could not light a cigarette in the legion!

Posted by: Jema54"

Yeah, well whatever. For "Jema54" and the rest of the knuckle-draggers at SDA, if the troops continue to die in such tiny (relative to WWII) numbers, that's no big deal. But if the survivors can't smoke at the legion hall, that's something to get indignant about.

Now then, ... HERE's the "Compare and Contrast" part of my essay. A mere couple of days after this right-wing discussion about how sacrifices for stupid causes are insignificant until they reach World War II levels, ... about how the numbers of deaths of US soldiers in Iraq and Canadians in Afghanistan are really no big deal, KKKate has the unmitigated gall to jump up on her "Support the Troops" soap-box ....

You Support The Troops - Support the mission. You cannot have it both ways. To withhold support for their mission is to advocate their - and our - defeat.

Okay. Let this sink in for a minute. They just got finished saying that the casualities of US troops in Iraq and US and Canadian troops in Afghanistan are piddly, no big deal. Okay? They've told us not to get excited about the "small" number of our dead troops. And then they tell us that Canadians and Americans who don't support the assignment that these troops have been sent on are the ones who don't support the troops!!!

The inspiration for this totalitarian mindwarp was a story about Democratic supporters responding to a FOXNews poll about whether or not they want bush II's "surge" to succeed. But a connection is made between US anti-war sentiment and Canadian anti-war sentiment, with KKKate saying:

"I shudder to think what the percentage would be if such a poll were taken here."

Happily enough, even for the average SDA fans, KKKate's imbecilic conflation of dissent with hatred of Canadian and American servicement, was too much. If you link to the comments section, the majority of voices (including war supporters) continue to believe that it's possible to question the wisdom of the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan without wishing grim death on "the troops." (Remember though, that for KKKate and the shit-heads quoted above, any grim deaths among our troops won't be any big deal unless they start getting slaughtered in the hundreds every day.)

I'll share with you though, some of the real gems from out of this stew:

"'I support the troops, but not the mission' is the cowards way out. Some flower children are so bloody frightened at the mere thought of confrontation or violence, they automatically reject anything military, because those nasty soldiers might actually have to do something. Soldiers represent everything bad in the world. Their (lack of) knowledge of history helps their position. Likewise, when confronted on home turf by aggressive activists of any cause or religion, they are quick to capitulate, though they call it 'negotiation'. Some bloggers call these folks 'sheeple'. I don't, but won't argue the point.

Posted by: dmorris"

"dmorris" is our friend who could not understand the term "senseless killing." (Ask him whether the hanging of Saddam Hussein was a "senseless killing" and he might clue-in to how helpful "adjectives" are for conveying specific concepts.) Here we see that "dmorris" is a tough guy. Unlike the bloody frightened flower children, "dmorris" knows that propping-up corrupt puppet-governments isn't pretty. And sometimes, our soldiers have to die in the service of these cynical foreign policies. But he's down with that. He's cool.

"I'll tell you what Canadian's should support...we should be supporting a victory for our troop's mission in Afghanistan. We need to remind the timorous anong us that Canada wnt into the Afghan theater after the US had laegely cleared insugent forces back to the Pakistani border. Canada was essentially peace keeping and facilitaing the new duely elected democratic government in its job of rebuilding public institutions and regaining order and working infrastructires. Canada's peace keeping forces were attacked by insurgents who hole up in Pakistan and run every new offensive from that stronghold. This Taliban insugency has no legitimate claim of being "freedom fighters" as the people's choice of governing regime therefore it is a foreign regime forcing its governnace on Afghanis with geurrila warfare and terroism. Our troops are all that stand between unarmed Afghanis and this terror force. Our troops have done a masterful job in controlling and repelling these insurgent attacks and baiting and capturing terror cells but there are political road blocks that preclude a fully successful mission in the Afghan theater.1) The opium trade/poppy crop are being protected by the CIA ( who are in field command of the Afghan theater) Canadian command has repeatedly stated the poppy harvest and production of opium nust be destroyed because they continue to extend the war with the Taliban using heroin poppy crops to fund its war against the elected Afghan government. Canada's field commander has repeatedly asked for political help in iradicating the poppy crop to end the war sooner.2) Pakistan is not politically motivated to actively root out and destroy Taliban military camps in the Pakistani mountains where Taliban forces retreat after each loss to Canadian forces to regroup, rearm, recruit, retrain and relaunch insugency. Canadian Command has also stated that unless these strongholds can be attacked the war will continue.We need to pressure the government to resolve these roadblocks to Canadian mission success in Afghanistan. Every RCR member I have talked to who has done service in Afghanistan has stated they have won the war there...3 separate times.Support a victory if you want to honor our troops.If you do not support a victory you do not have any empathy with our troops as this is why they are there and why they fight.IF our politicians cannot clear the political road blocks for this victory, then they dishonor our troops and prolong the conflict with their inaction.

Posted by: WL Mackenzie Redux"

"WL Mackenzie Redux" is, as we can see, a complete imbecile. Here's a BBC article about the necessity (as well as the costs) of the poppy crop for Afghan farmers. The House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs has recently heard almost unanimous evidence recommending the end of our poppy eradication efforts, at least until such a time as we have a program in place that actually gives Afghan farmers alternatives to starvation.

"I think the bottom line for people who don't support the mission in Afghanistan (schooling for girls, for instance)is that despite all their flowery rhetoric about human rights, peace and understanding, they couldn't care less what happens to the Afghan people if we pull out.

Posted by: tower"

Well, "tower," it must be nice. Let's keep talking past each other.

I'm getting bored with this. As any of my readers must be by now. I don't intend to use this blog as an exercise in negativity. And I certainly don't want to spend my time keeping a constant eye on the idiotic commentary of the right-wing warmongering hypocrites.

But I've been moved to blog this here because of the mind-numbing hypocrisy of downplaying the deaths of US and Canadian troops while simultaneously accusing anyone of questioning Canadian foreign policy of not respecting those same troops.

I think this reveals both the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of this submerged 30% of the population that calls itself "conservative." It is possible to raise the abilities of these idiots though. For a number of reasons, the Canadian right-wing is forced to use greater sophistication in rationalizing its policy plans, it is prevented from celebrating its true baseness and depravity in the way that the American right (lgf, "free republic," Sean Hannity, etc.,) is able to. If the environment is improved, the submerged 30% is forced to reach higher in its attempts to join the debate.

Greeting the asshat arguments of these fools with the proper degree of venom and contempt, and causing them to feel shame and embarrassment when exposed, is a necessary corrective, a necessary goad, to help them achieve all that they possibly can.

I can't be bothered to proofread this. You've all been very, very, patient.

Compare and Contrast

For much of his [p]residency, bush II has hovered around the 30 percent mark. After the lies, after all the blunders, evidently 30 percent of the US public is so stupid and base that it continues to support this historically significant monster.

But it also appears that 30 percent of Ontarians remained loyal to the Ontario Progressive [sic] Conservatives after the surge in homelessness, the deaths in hospital waiting rooms or ambulances, the deaths at Walkerton, the murder of Dudley George at Ipperwash, and on and on.

30 percent of Canadians constitute the hardcore of support for untalented corporate shill Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party of Canada.

It seems that this percentage of people anywhere are possessed of either a selfish callousness (obviously the result of a shallow mind) or sheer, unadorned stupidity, that makes idiotic political choices inevitable.

I've said on numerous occasions elsewhere, that in a better world we wouldn't even have to notice the brain-dead yammerings of these people. Unfortunately we are governed by a political-economic system that rewards selfish callousness, and which depends on a lot of people being stupid chumps, and therefore, our culture promotes the views of these people and puts their representatives into positions where they have power over the rest of us.

I don't want to spend too much time on this negativity, but I was struck by two entries on popular right-wing blogger KKKate MacMillan's "smalldeadanimals" that really reflected the contemptible stupidity that has such frightening sway over our society. Once again though; I'm not writing this post because the ideas I will be critiquing merit such attention, but because they represent the thought patterns of cretins who, as the foot-soldiers of the mass of rot and corruption that calls itself "conservatism," have had far too much influence over our lives, with such disastrous results.

The story begins with this post at It mentions some observations (some unremarkable scatter-shot musings actually), from a site called "Winds of Change," but focuses on the blogger's amusement with the media's use of the term "grim milestone" for the 3,000th US death resulting from bush II's invasion of Iraq:

"Grim Cliché Reporting Winds of Change peels back a curtain to expose the steady drumbeat of clichés and sloganeering dotting the media landscape ... well, you get the drift;"

Going to the link, we read further:

"Every 100 deaths in Iraq is a 'grim milestone,' by fiat of the media. It is the most overworked cliche of local journalism ... It requires no thought or reflection. It treats round numbers as the definition of reality. This has been a media trope since the first shots were fired.

I doubt anyone who wrote any of these headlines could explain to you why death number 3,000 was enormously more significant than death number 2,997. Certainly not to the parents of number 2,997.

Does it help you to know these numbers divorced from context? Are there not many Americans who would consider, say, every 1,000 abortions nationwide a 'grim milestone?' Even if you set 1,000 battle deaths (not the AP's preferred 200) as the benchmark for 'grim milestones,' you had a grim milestone every five days during America's involvement in World War II with nary a 'grim milestone' headline to show for it.
It's difficult to know where to begin with this drivel. Are we to discount 9-11 altogether because less people died in that terrorist attack than in the military "response" to it (that is: attacking a country that had nothing to do with 9-11)? Why don't we put the deaths of 9-11 into "context" by comparing them with US traffic fatalities, or smoking deaths, or handgun deaths? (Or falling of ladder deaths, or deaths due to inability to afford healthcare?)

When you start trying to process these peoples' attempts at sustained thought, you realize the illogic beggars belief. These are the people who insist "We're at WAR!!!" and we therefore must never criticize the Great Leader, and must accept state intrusion into our private lives and the official trampling of our civil rights. But when it's time to discuss the costs of this WAR!!!, then it turns out to be no big deal. "Don't worry about it." "Nothing to see here."

Notice the writer's (probably genuine) attempt at sensitivity: "I doubt anyone who wrote any of these headlines could explain to you why death number 3,000 was enormously more significant than death number 2,997. Certainly not to the parents of number 2,997."

Ah! I see. So every human life is precious then, is it? Especially if they're the lives of our precious "troops" who so selflessly volunteered to defend their country. [And who have instead found themselves fighting and dying in an illegal invasion of a country that never attacked them.] This being the case, we shouldn't denigrate the deaths of US soldiers that didn't happen to make them nice round numbers for the mainstream media to arbitarily increase in importance. So, every death must be counted as a tragedy for the nation to mourn?

Apparently not! For you see, in comparison with the biggest war in human history, the number of US military deaths in Iraq are miniscule. That's right. In "context," that is, in comparison with the most gigantic war in human history, pitting the United States and the rest of the Allies against the might of the two industrial giants of Germany and Japan, the casualties from Iraq are pretty small.

They're also small in comparison with the intense conflict in Korea against the large numbers of Chinese and North Korean regular troops with Soviet air support. And the numbers of US deaths in Iraq are relatively small in comparison to the 10-years of combat against a well-armed insurgency and a well-supplied regular army in Vietnam.

I'm not sure what the point is though. These were major conflicts during a world-important Cold War. And Vietnam caused such trauma to the body-politic in the United States as to produce a so-called "Vietnam Syndrome" that made the average American highly reluctant to send troops to slaughter and be slaughtered imposing corrupt puppet governments on people who had never given Americans any offence.

Are we to believe that so long as the casualties never approach Vietnam or World War II proportions, US presidents are free to toss up to 5,000 soldiers' lives on any mad adventure that can be imagined? This is the point being made here: bush II's invasion of Iraq is not a cause that any US soldier should have killed or died for. The writer at "Winds of Change" discounts the fact that the purported justification for the war (WMDs) was false; the fact that the invasion and occupation have been complete, disastrous failures; the fact that the tyrant overthrown had been embraced by the Secretary of Defence who had overseen the war from 2003 to late-2006; and the fact that this tyrant had done a better job of keeping the country relatively stable than has the ham-fisted US government and its puppets. "Winds of Change" wants to ignore that this war has been about Iraq's oil, and if US soldiers didn't die for oil then they died for nothing at all.

And "Winds of Change" wants us to believe that the media should not emphasize the deaths that represent any sort of "grim milestone" because these numbers are no more important than odd-numbered deaths, and from his computer keyboard, "Winds of Change" would have us therefore ignore all of the US deaths in Iraq because the numbers are comparatively small in comparison to the biggest war the world has ever seen.

In other words, we should ignore all US deaths and let the bush II regime carry on in its business of sending more into the slaughter. (And of course it goes without saying that the numerically noteworthy numbers of Iraqis killed by the violence unleashed by the bush II regime will never constitute "grim milestones" in the US media, because no official body is even bothering to count them!)

I'll continue in another post.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Too Busy to Blog?

No, not me. Not in the first flush of excitement.

Actually, ... yes. But here's something to check out:

We have a chance to give our opinion on electoral reform in Ontario.

I think we should all take advantage of this opportunity.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Gary McHale - Pathetic Idiot

So, it appears that know-nothing buffoon Gary McHale has taken to comparing himself to slain US Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King.

From ElizaQ on EnMasse we find a link to the Hamilton Spectator's report on racist, pathetic loser, Gary McHale's account of his incarceration on December 16th, when the turd had been arrested for disgracing the Canadian flag by using it as a provocation at the First Nations land occupation in Caledonia.

His partner in crime, Mark Vandermas, says that McHale refused the prison garb the OPP had offered him, preferring to spend the night naked in his cell. We're to believe this moronic behaviour was some form of "political protest." I'm not going to enter into gratuitous fat-jokes here, but given the circumstances it seems entirely possible that the reason McHale sat there naked was because the OPP didn't have any jumpsuits that would fit him.

McHale's whole shtick is that there is a "two-tier justice system" in this province, and it favours indigeneous people. This is such a ludicrous piece-of-shit argument that it makes one weep for the future of humanity that we could produce someone like McHale, let alone anyone else who agrees with him.

There obviously is "two-tier justice" in this country, and it's all in the favour of us, the settler society. Canada's First Nations are "over-policed" when it comes to being on the receiving end of the coercive powers of the state, and "under-policed" when it comes to the protective responsive services of the state. See here (pdf), here, here, and here.

Given McHale's idiotic position, I think that the last link contains some info worth quoting here:

The Canadian prison system is practising “systemic discrimination” against aboriginal offenders, says the federal ombudsman for inmates — a finding that his political masters in the Conservative government refuse to accept.
Howard Sapers, in his annual report Monday, said the Correctional Service of Canada too often overestimates the risk posed by native prisoners and sends them to maximum-security institutions when less rigorous treatment would do.
Aboriginals are also more likely than non-aboriginals to be sent to solitary confinement, and to be overlooked for early parole and thus end up serving too much time behind bars, said Sapers.

Of course, CPC PSEPC Minister Stockwell Day (unsurprisingly) denied reality and said that in spite of the evidence, there was no evidence [!] that Natives were discriminated against. Day, like McHale and all the other racists who have crawled out of the woodwork, is impervious to facts and appeals to human decency.

The pdf report linked to above comes from the Ipperwash Inquiry. It mentions that at Ipperwash, as at Oka, as at Burnt Church NB, as at Gustafson Lake, ... it turns out that the Aboriginal Protestors were in the right all along, but that the settler governments all chose to attack first, and look into the justice of the situation much, much later.

When the barriers first went up in Caledonia, and given the bloody results of Ipperwash, I had assumed that people would take at least a week to look into the Natives' grievances before anyone even began to think about calling in the OPP. Sadly, no. The VERY NEXT DAY the Kaledonia Kry-babies Koalition screamed for the OPP to clear the fucking indians from the housing development. The VERY NEXT DAY!!

Thankfully, the OPP, free from the interference of blatantly racist and stupid politicians such as we had with Tory leader Mike Harris, have overall done a decent job of containing the situation.

Which brings us to the provocations of oooober-moron Gary McHale and his smelly, XXL track-pants. He was at it again yesterday, January 20th. This time, McHale (who had described himself as a 21st century Martin Luther King when he was sitting naked in his prison cell with the split-seamed prison jumpsuit lying discarded beside him) chickened-out of another arrest, and led the several-hundred people who he had gotten riled up on a pointless march away from the OPP lines. A couple of his followers couldn't resist attempting to rush the Natives and were promptly arrested.

After yesterday's pointless bit of grandstanding, I'd like to think it's over for McHale. He's obviously sincere in his racism and his delusion, but it's now also obvious that he doesn't have the courage to back up his odious convictions. He's stirred up the resentments of non-Aboriginals in Caledonia, but he lacks both the guts and the brains to do anything with the anger he's created.

Please disappear you contemptible oaf, and let better people than you handle things from now on.

Friday, January 12, 2007

CounterPunch: Chavez & Free Speech

I like a lot of what Hugo Chavez is doing, but somethings (the personalizing of the Bolivarian Revolution for example) make me leery. Not so much that I fear he's the slavering wannabe-tyrant that the bush II regime and its media allies paint him as, but just because he'll betray the principles of democracy in his struggle with his enemies in Venezuela.

There's currently a debate on Chavez's committment to free speech taking place on EnMasse on this very issue. There's worries that by refusing to renew the concession of Radio Caracas Television (RCTV) is a sign of incipient totalitarianism.

George Ciccarielo-Maher on CounterPunch argues that concerns about this issue are unfounded:

"However, the idea that media concessions entail responsibility is not at all unique. Even the U.S. FCC maintains a similar position, notwithstanding the swift de-regulation during the early years of the Reagan administration. As we all know, the FCC maintains certain content restrictions on broadcasting (more strict, it should be mentioned, than in many European nations), and is not unwilling to silence those who infringe upon these restrictions.


And we are only speaking here of so-called "obscenity," which doesn't even compare to the charges against RCTV, which as is well-known, actively participated in a conspiracy which brought about several deaths and used those deaths to provoke a coup in April of 2002. This was followed by an equally active participation in the oil sabotage of December of the same year, which crippled the Venezuelan economy toward the same end.
While this provides little justification, it is worth mentioning how many FBI visits have been occasioned by "threats" against George W. Bush, despite the fact that these have been isolated and individual incidents, not the sort of organized rebellion and premeditated murder endorsed by the Venezuelan media.

And yet opposition media outlets attempt to paint the issue of the non-renewal of a concession as the violation of a human right. This "right" presumably means the right of a large private media conglomerate to have unrestricted access to a public good, to use and abuse this public good for profit without acquiring any responsibility. "

.. And etc., ... it's quite a decent article. I hope my many, many, readers will do CounterPunch a favour and boost their hit stats to go read it!

Tony Blair: Another Pointless Speech

So, Tony Blair says it would be a "catastrophe" were Britain to withdraw from imperialism fighting extremism in the world.

What's a "catastrophe" Mr. Blair?

Isn't Iraq a catastrophe? Aren't hundreds of thousands dead from violence a catastrophe? Aren't the geo-political ramifications of the destruction of Iraq enough of a catastrophe for you?

Blair is supposedly a "smart guy" but I've never been able to see it. He's a nauseatingly prissy lying hypocrite. Britain has meddled in this part of the world for almost a century. This isn't about anything other than oil imperialism.

Blair lied about the threat from Iraq. He lied about bringing democracy to Iraq. He's lying about everything and I wish the Labour Party would find its spine, its brain, and its soul, and excise this vermin and all his ilk from their party.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

bush II Gave a Speech Last Night ...

Yeah. He promised much more of the same.

I don't know. I can't stand the sound of his voice and I don't need to subject myself to the emptiness of his words.

Some have argued that the "surge" (as they're calling it) is a desperate attempt to keep the battle going until 2009 when Iraq will be another president's mess and bush II can gutlessly retire to his alcoholism in Houston or wherever.

Richard W. Behan says that bush II only has to last 90 days, long enough for Maliki to get the legislation granting Western oil companies access to Iraq's petroleum reserves through the Iraqi Parliament.

Regardless, there's little anyone can do about this stupidity and greed. The American people still have among them 30 percent of the population so debased and clueless that they support bush II. Too many more of them will dawdle while pinning their hopes for sanity on the detestable, pro-war Democrats. Everyone else is too bitter, weak, and divided, to really do what needs to be done.

I'll also note that incompetent Condoleeza Rice is warning that there will be consequences for any countries working to destablilize Iraq. (I imagine then, that she'll recommend firing cruise missles at the White House, to her Commander in Chief.)

The corporate media continues to act and write as if this "surge" is some piece of serious policy, rather than an arrogant and indifferent "more of the same." And the voices of sanity and reason who were right all along about what the Iraq war would be continue to be excluded from the debate.

Make no mistake about it though. This invasion of Iraq was an act of monstrous evil, and no matter how much the corporate media might want to obfuscate (especially given their role in cheering it on and making it possible) it is a crime against humanity.

Nothing will change though, until the tyranny that marks our economic and political institutions is overcome by genuine democracy.

Greed and imperialism will mark our foreign policy and this will be supported and disguised by a complicit press so long as greed and inequality mark our societies.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Canadian Parliament Report on Haiti

I just found this late yesterday afternoon. I'm sure it'll be an eye-opener!

Haiti engages important Canadian interests, which include the fact that there is a large Haitian diaspora of about 100,000 families living in Canada, notably in Quebec. Canada also has a long history of involvement in Haiti, which predates the start of Canadian official development assistance (ODA) to the country in the 1960s. Canada has contributed a total of over $700 million to Haiti in recent decades, nearly $200 million of that committed in just the past two years. Haiti has become the largest recipient of Canadian assistance in the Americas and second-largest overall (after Afghanistan). Canada is also the third largest donor to Haiti (after the United States and the European Union); indeed it is the most generous of all in per capita terms. Furthermore, on 25 July 2006 during the International Donors’ Conference for the Economic and Social Development of Haiti, Canada announced that it will allocate $520 million in assistance for Haiti over the five-year period from July 2006 to September 2011.6 Canada, in short, has a great deal invested in this small island nation of 8.3 million people. Canadian interests are at stake in being able to show from all of these efforts that real and lasting improvements can be achieved in the lives of Haitians. It is in this context that the Committee strongly endorses the government’s multi-year funding commitment to Haiti’s reconstruction and development, beyond the term of the donors’ Interim Cooperation Framework (ICF) with Haiti that has been extended through September 2007,7 and in line with the priorities outlined by Haiti’s new, democratically elected government. Infrastructure aid projects, particularly, should also emphasize Haiti’s ability to sustain them.

So, what happened to Aristide, and how did the coup plotters and illegal government fare in this report? Let's see ...

At present, it is doubtful that the Canadian public has a clear idea of the policy rationales and guidelines for Canada’s interventions in a fragile state like Haiti, and of what is being accomplished by the large sums being expended on Canadians’ behalf.

Well, that's pretty interesting actually. You know, this is one of Canada's signature bits of current foreign policy, second only to Afghanistan. You'd think the media would be interested in crowing to other Canadians about all the awesome work we're doing, .... 'EH? I suspect that besides being swamped with telling us the latest about Lindsey Lohan and Britney Spears, the media also knows that our work in Haiti has been shameful and disgusting and counter to what Canadians imagine their country is all about.

It has been pointed out that the 1994 restoration to power of democratically elected president Aristide was the first and only instance to date “of the Security Council authorizing the use of force to affect the restoration of democracy within a member state.”21 Yet a decade later, with Aristide forced into controversial exile, the country’s situation appeared more chaotic than ever.

Yeah, ... pat ourselves on the back. US-backed murderers kicked Aristide out the first time, and they let him back after forcing him to acede to the US vision for his country, not the platform he was elected on. In the meantime, the criminal government of Haiti massacred his followers. "Forced into controversial exile" is surely the most cowardly, dishonest way of describing the US and Canada aiding and abetting the second coup against Aristide and our coordinated role in spiriting him out of his country. What nauseating garbage.

Although scheduled elections were repeatedly delayed, witnesses generally saw those of February (presidential) and April 2006 (parliamentary) as being reasonably successful. This view was expressed notwithstanding a much lower voter turnout for the latter, as well as questions raised about the country’s ability to proceed with a further stage of elections at the local level. Canada had a great deal invested in Haiti’s electoral process: the Canadian contributions, from technical assistance to provision of security, involved an exemplary collaboration among Elections Canada, CIDA (including Canada Corps), Foreign Affairs, and the RCMP and senior Canadian Forces officers deployed within MINUSTAH. Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer, Jean-Pierre Kingsley, outlined for the Committee the considerable successes achieved by the International Mission for Monitoring Haitian Elections. Mr. Kingsley was accompanied by Mr. Jacques Bernard, Director General of the Interim Electoral Council of Haiti, who also testified on the national efforts that were undertaken working with international partners. The aim should be to build on this to set up a permanent functional and viable Haitian election authority. Mr. Kingsley seemed optimistic that could be done: “In my view, it would take perhaps one more year of partnering with the Haitian electoral authority — should one be established — to say there is no longer a need for any kind of external support, other than perhaps financial through other means and so on.”29 One of the Committee’s main concerns is that the election infrastructure that has been put in place be maintained and consolidated. Furthermore, in order to continue to nurture democratic ideals, the Committee also believes it is necessary to build knowledge of the value and principles of parliamentary representation at the level of citizens, political parties, and members of parliament.

Oh yeah, ... nausea. Yeah the elections we helped oversee. Let's look into that.

The most obvious impropriety of the 2006 election resides in the fact that it should, by law, have taken place long ago. As noted by Brian Concannon, Director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, “Article 149 of the Constitution gives provisional governments 90 days to organize elections, and that period expired on June 1, 2004, without any attempt to hold elections.” During 2005, the Interim Government of Haiti installed by the US, Canada and France after the overthrow of President Aristide postponed elections four times, missing the deadline of February 7, 2006 for transferring power “that it had promised to meet for 21 months” (Concannon, 6 Dec. 2005). Five days before this presidential election at last took place, the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA), an independent, non-partisan research organization which has been described on the floor of the United States Senate as “one of the nation’s most respected bodies of scholars and policy makers,” released a scathing report declaring that “Haiti’s February 7th election inevitably will occur in a climate of fear and violence, which can in part be blamed upon the failed UN mission to that country.” ... Many people were unable to participate in the election, either as candidates or activists, because they had been illegally imprisoned following the 2004 coup: “Political prisoners included Haiti’s last constitutional Prime Minister, a former member of the House of Deputies, the former Minister of the Interior, and dozens of local officials and grassroots activists” (Concannon, 17 Feb. 2006). Guy Philippe, on the other hand, the death squad leader who lead the coup against Aristide in 2004, was free to present himself as a presidential candidate: he won 1.69 percent of the vote (Keane). The voter registration process was transparently designed to disenfranchise the poor. While for the elections in 2000 René Préval’s administration set up more than 10,000 voter registration centers across the country, the IGH and its international overseers provided fewer than 500. As Brian Concannon writes, “The offices would have been too few and far between for many voters even if they had been evenly distributed. But placement was heavily weighted in favor of areas likely to support the IGH and its allies. Halfway through the registration period, for example, there were three offices in the upscale suburb of Petionville, and the same number in the large and largely roadless Central Plateau Department. In cities, the poor neighborhoods were the last to get registration centers, and Cité Soleil, the largest poor neighborhood of all, never got one” (Concannon, 17 Feb. 2006).

And etc., etc., ...You can read more here at the Canada Haiti Action Network. The article is by Michael Keefer from Global Research. I intend to go through the rest of this self-serving nonsense. I'll finish that I remember looking for Parliamentary Committee evidence on the Foreign Affairs Committee, but the meeting was in camera. I wonder why.

Monday, January 8, 2007


Hi. Hopefully this will be more productive than my last blog.

Ah, good times.