Friday, November 30, 2012

The Good Ol' Common Horse Sense of the Canadian People

I'm a political animal. I think about politics to the detriment of succeeding in my everyday life. A lot of people don't really follow politics. They watch the news. But they vote. The thing is, I believe in democracy. I believe people are the best judges of their individual self-interest WHEN THEY HAVE THE CORRECT INFORMATION. I don't believe that our corporate news gives them the correct information most of the time. But even still, ordinary people can figure out what's right in front of their noses.

Take for instance, the fact that the majority of Torontonians (60-65%) think Rob Ford got what he had coming to him when he got turfed from office. At one time, a majority of Torontonians were at least willing to give Ford the benefit of the doubt. But now, after two years of incompetence, buffoonery and self-inflicted crises, ordinary Torontonians are saying "Enough."

Or take the turn towards the NDP after 30 years of neo-liberal failure. It wasn't just in Quebec, where the move could be said to have had more strategic motivations, especially since social democracy is the majority opinion there.

I think people will turn to us if we can get them the information they need.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

We Have to Recover Lost Ground

Radicals and centrists will have to cooperate. Social Democrats, Liberals and libertarian socialists will have to cooperate. This is a death struggle for Canadian democracy. We will have to tolerate bourgeois corporate parties that at least respect the traditions of Parliament. (This excludes Liberals who continue to support the behaviour of Dalton McGuinty, who withheld information that the Ontario Parliament had every right to see and then cynically prorogued that legislature to make his problems go away.) By the same token Liberals, if an NDP candidate came second in your riding last time, then that is who you vote for, regardless of how dreamy looking Justin Trudeau is. (That skin! Those eyes! That hair!)

That is all.

Hat-tips to Montreal Simon and Saskboy.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Interesting Take on Recent Egyptian Politics

Counterpunch has an interesting article by Eric Walberg about newly elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's power-grab. Given that Morsi's actions are going to be portrayed by the mainstream corporate press in the western countries as "scary, scray Muslim Brotherhood leader assaults nascent Egyptian democracy" (with the sub-text: "We TOLD you that Arabs are incapable of democracy!") and given that this is the same hypocritical bullshit wherein western governments and news media that supported decades-long torturing dictatorships in the past and continue to do so today, I thought it worthwhile to share the article's interpretation of events.
Then, just hours after Morsi, the world’s wise peacemaker, waved good-bye to Hillary, but with his old-guard judiciary poised to dissolve the Constitutional Committee and destroy all hope for carrying the revolution forward, the unassuming president stared them down too, issuing a decree putting his decrees above judicial review. And for the second time, he dismissed the procurator general, Abdel Meguid Mahmud, who has presided over the legal stonewalling of prosecutions of counterrevolutionaries — this time not backing down. The time for dawdling and letting criminals off the hook is over. The new prosecutor general, reformer Talaat Ibrahim Abdallah, has ordered a new trial of Mubarak and police and thugs let off scot-free by the old judiciary.
And watch out, Mubarak-appointed Supreme Constitutional Court, don’t you even think about disbanding the Constitutional Committee that is so painstakingly putting together a constitution. (Liberals and Christian secularists resigned from the committee, doing their best to sabotage it, revealing where their sympathies lie.) Or about disbanding the Shura Council on some technicality, as you did the lower house in May, in a conspiracy with the generals to sabotage the revolution.
The secularists should look at the writing on the wall. Egypt is a devout Muslim country, where Christians are protected by Islam and cultural liberals are tolerated. These Western-inspired forces will never prevail, so they should work with Islamists, not against them, if they want to maximize social harmony and their own rights. Sadly, the opposition is increasingly siding with the Mubarak crowd. “President Morsi said we must go out of the bottleneck without breaking the bottle,” presidential spokesman Yasser Ali said. The opposition would rather see the bottle break that get Egypt’s life blood flowing again.
Islamic civilization has been endangered for centuries now, battered and undermined by the Western secularist onslaught. Finally, Muslims are doing something about it.
I hate religion as much as the next guy. But it should be killed with kindness, not with NATO fighter-jets, and only as a cover for capitalist imperialism.

And that's my post for today.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Rob Ford, Bev Oda and Peter 1

So, surprise, surprise. Sometimes there are consequences for your actions when you're a "conservative." It seems though, that you have to be bone-stupid and meth-addict reckless before you get nailed. Rob Ford solicited for donations to his charity from lobbyists using his City of Toronto Councillor card ("city letterhead"), which, to anyone with half a brain, is a big step on the slippery slope to using your position to obtain personal benefit. Ford was asked by the city's Integrity Commissioner, several times, to return the money and stop doing that. He ignored her. She asked City Council to order him to pay the money back. Then, when he became mayor, there was a vote to overturn the Council order. He voted for letting himself off the hook. A clear conflict of interest. Clear as mud. That's what cost him his job. How obvious does it have to be? Politicians don't vote on matters where they have a personal (especially financial) interest. Bank officers don't approve their own loans. Physicians don't prescribe themselves drugs.

No surprise Ford is too stupid to grasp how difficult giving him a pass on this would make it for legislating against other conflict of interest cases. No surprise Ford is too stupid to see how this is a crisis all of his own making. And no surprise that his deluded fanatics are too stupid to grasp this as well. Ford's enemies are bullies. We don't like him because he's "chubby."

Every day it seems as if our right-wing enemies are intent upon de-legitimizing themselves. There are no crimes they wouldn't defend. There are no consequences for their dim-witted heroes.

In a similar vein, a plurality of the good voters in Durham Region have shown that they simply don't give a shit for election fraud, contempt of Parliament, secret government, official corruption and lies. When their team falls from power, expect them to SQUEAL! SQUEAL! SQUEALLLLL!!! when they get their comeuppance. Oh! It's going to be glorious!

Finally, in a bit of personal pique, I just want to point out that Dr. Dawg's BFF, Peter1 is also continuing to disgrace himself.  In response to Alison's post about the harpercons' election fraud he says:
If you are still trying to argue that this somehow does or should affect the legal legitimacy of the election outcome, you are making an argument similar to the one Rob Ford is making or at least letting others make on his behalf, which is to try and make a legal question a matter of partisan politics. It's either: A) votes were changed or supressed in sufficient numbers to affect the outcome or B) they weren't. If it's A, then there might be a basis for some kind of judicial review of the outcome. It it's B, it's either a political issue for the next election or the subject of charges against specific operatives. As there is absolutely no evidence of A, no court is going to set anything aside.
an illegal move ignored by the ref because in his opinion it didn't change the outcome of the play
Do you think sports leagues overturn games because of missed calls when there are no grounds for believing it made a difference to the outcome?
I'm not even going to bother responding to that bit of intellectual garbage. I'll just let it sit there in its sleaze.

I genuinely admire a whole LOT of the way Dawg thinks and writes. That's why i continue to visit his blog on a daily basis despite having elected not to comment there. I admire Dawg except for his brain-dead (and ultimately hypocritical) calls for "civility." I treat scum the way they deserve to be treated. And I will make no apologies for it.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Alberta, to the extent that the petroleum economy and its rural base makes it prone to embrace "free markets" and social conservatism, needs to be controlled. The same way that Bay Street parasites in Ontario who vote harpercon need to be controlled.

By "controlled" I mean that their self-destructive political choices (the Tar Sands are contributing to civilization threatening climate change, their "free market" provincial and federal politicians are selling off their resource for a pittance compared to other jurisdictions, and their deregulatory fervor has produced mad cow and listeriosis and the debt-fueled real estate boom) (social conservatism is based on a lack of reality-based inputs which makes people believe in nonsensical gender stereotypes and religious delusions among other things) have to be blocked from harming both them and us.

But this needs to be done within the realm of respectful debate. We shouldn't demonize an entire region just because social-economic factors have caused them to embrace (on the whole) unpalatable and dangerous political delusions.

As a downtown pinko from Ontario, of working class origins, I don't demonize US Americans, suburbanites or Westerners as a people. I have started to demonize Canadians as ignorant and apathetic and occasionally selfish and greedy buffoons, but, obviously "Canadian" is a demographic that I belong to.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Jeffrey Simpson - Shill

 This stupidity has been Jeffrey Simpson's shtick for years and years:
One of the most comforting, yet debilitating, mythologies in Canada holds that we have the best health-care system in the world, or at least among the best.
Canadians desperately want to believe this assertion; hence its mythological status. Politicians have repeated the myth endlessly. The Romanow commission a decade ago stated, “Canada’s health system compares well with those of other wealthy industrialized countries.” Would that it were true then, or now.
Is he stupid or corrupt? Fucking idiot. Big surprise, neoliberal politicians (no doubt partially influenced by Simpson's decade-after-decade harping on the subject in "Canada's national newspaper") slash spending on health care and service declines.

Remember, when these assholes talk about "reforming" health care, they'll mention European policies once in a while, but the reality will be American health insurance companies moving north to exploit and gouge and abuse us.

Thankfully, it's looking like it will take so long that Jeffrey Simpson will have gone on to his final reward by the time it happens and will therefore be unable to reap whatever payments he might have hoped to receive for his services to those parasites.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Would You?

If someone cheated at cards and you know they cheated, would you allow them to keep your money? Would you allow them to keep your money and then play against them at a later date under the same conditions?

Would you allow someone who wants you dead to make your health care decisions for you? Would you allow someone who wants you dead and someone who is a stupid ignoramus to make your life or death decisions for you?

Would you tolerate it if someone stole from you and the police were bought-off or corrupt in some other way and simply refused to investigate?

Would you tolerate it if the police refused to investigate and the judge who tried your case was corrupt?

That's what we, as Canadians, have been putting up with for a long time now.

In related news, The Sixth Estate makes fun of Elections Canada's revolting attempt to foster a dialogue on "lessons learned" about the un-investigated stolen election of 2011.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

F-35 Sleaze

 Nice work. Steal an election. Steal a majority. Dominate committees to hide your crimes.
The NDP accused the Conservatives of using a House of Commons committee to whitewash the auditor general's scathing indictment of the government's mammoth F-35 jet fighter procurement.
The NDP levelled the charge in a dissenting opinion to the public accounts committee's report, tabled Wednesday.
"The NDP remains deeply concerned that this study did not allow parliamentarians to shed light and complete the inquiry on this very important matter," says the three-page dissenting opinion.
"Only seven hours of testimony were dedicated to this study, and no responsible ministers appeared during the inquiry." (Emphasis added.)
Laff it up you fucks.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


What can we do? We can't even guarantee free and fair elections in our own country. We can't get our own government to respect the source of its own authority. How the fuck are we supposed to get our illegitimate government to do the right thing on Gaza? Instead, we have our coward Fucking Affairs Minister John Baird babbling like the idiot he is:
Hamas is targeting innocent civilians with an onslaught of rockets. It’s a despicable act of terror, and yet, as Israel responds, as it has every right to, it is the target of condemnation. Canada, however, stands by Israel’s side.

I have never been prouder to be a member of Stephen Harper’s team; I have never felt a greater honour.
Baird's bullshit "honour" is really the enthusiasm and boastful braggadacio of a bully.

Obviously we can't stop Israel. What clout do Canadian progressives have over racist Zionist politicians in Israel? We can't stop the USA's support of Israel. The majority of US "progressives" can't process that Obama is their enemy.

We have to focus on our own backyard first. We have to get the power to affect things here. And that means defeating the harpercons here. Defeating them and destroying them as a political force.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Illegal Misleading Election Calls & More Utterly Shameless Idiocy

... and scuzz-baggery.

Aside from the reality that communications firms with contracts with the Conservative Party of Canada made phone calls to people using the Conservative Party of Canada's own database on Canadian voters, falsely telling people their polling stations had been moved, the defense of the right-wingnuts has been that thousands of partisan leftards decided (in response to the acknowledged Conservative shenanigans in Guelph) to launch into an orchestrated campaign of bogus complaints about similar robocalls across Canada immediately after the 2011 federal election.

In short: We made it all up. (Except for Guelph.)

Now, it turns out that Elections Canada officials were receiving complaints about misleading calls 3 days before the election. Furthermore, they were contacting the Conservative Party of Canada for answers.

Obviously, aside from exposing the harpercon trolls as the festering enemies of democracy that they are, this is all too little, too late. Elections Canada has been captured and it is now an enabler of election fraud, along with a majority of our Supreme Court Justices.

Canada, where election fraud is so endemic that the Supreme Court says you can keep your victory even if you have more ballots than names of people who voted, is sending a team of harpercon sleaze-fucks to monitor the election in Honduras. (It's more likely these harpercon swine will spend their time in brothels raping underage prostitutes.) Honduras had a reformist president who was overthrown in a military coup that stephen harper's gang of scum was one of the first governments to recognize as a legitimate government. There has been a campaign of repression, rape, torture and murder of opponents of the military regime ever since, to which harper hasn't extended even the mildest of criticisms. These are pro-USA murderers and torturers obviously. So it's all good.

That a pack of Canadian anti-democratic goons even bothers going through the motions of monitoring a demonstration election by a military junta, ... it's just infuriating in its shameless, murderous stupidity.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Apologies to Recent Commentors

I don't get that many comments so it's a sign that I'm particularly busy that I haven't replied to all of them. My apologies.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Chris Hedges on the emptiness of Obama's Re-Election

Not so much emptiness, I suppose, as a different moral travesty from what a Mitt Romney victory would have been:
Liberals, by voting for Barack Obama, betrayed the core values they use to define themselves—the rule of law, the safeguarding of civil liberties, the protection of unions, the preservation of social welfare programs, environmental accords, financial regulation, a defiance of unjust war and torture, and the abolition of drone wars. The liberal class clung desperately during the long nightmare of this political campaign to one or two issues, such as protecting a woman’s right to choose and gender equality, to justify its complicity in a monstrous evil. This moral fragmentation—using an isolated act of justice to define one’s self while ignoring the vast corporate assault on the nation and the ecosystem along with the pre-emptive violence of the imperial state—is moral and political capitulation. It fails to confront the evil we have become.  
It never ceases to amaze me how people haven't been able to process what an irredeemable monster Barack Obama is. Shoveling trillions of dollars to Wall Street banksters while ordinary US Americans are rendered homeless by their crimes. Shoveling trillions to Wall Street while pretending that Social Security is unsustainable. Torturing Bradley Manning for exposing the USA's crimes against humanity. Firing drone strikes at Yemenis and Afghans and Pakistanis, civilians all. Claiming the right to arrest, detain indefinitely, torture and kill anybody, including US citizens, at will.

Seriously, if you've been taken in by this slick public relations frankenstein's monster, and his crocodile tears when he looks at the young people whose values he's exploiting and betraying, give your head a fucking shake.


Thursday, November 15, 2012


Running around like the chicken with the head cut off these days.

Here's what I'm reading on the GO Bus and the subway:

The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern China by Jay Taylor. It's fairly recent (2009) and makes use of a lot of recently released archival material to construct a sympathetic portrait of China's KMT leader during the mid-20th Century. It encompasses his entire life, so there'll be a lot of stuff about Taiwan which will be brand new to me.

Chiang Kai-shek is generally not well treated by history. He was seen as a ruthless, colourless autocrat who spent more time fighting and killing Mao's CCP than he did fighting the Japanese and reforming his thoroughly corrupt KMT party. This book argues that Chiang has been done wrong by such accounts. While he was ruthless and no democrat, Chiang was a genuine nationalist and Chinese patriot. Mao and the CCP were at least as duplicitous and murderous. Nobody has been able to argue that Chiang himself was corrupt or how, given how tenuous his hold on power often was, he could have controlled the powerful elites whose support he relied on. Finally, contrary to both the US military and government personnel and most histories, it seems Chiang fought the Japanese invaders with as much aggressiveness as was possible given the disparities in the military machines of the two nations.

I'm not sure that I agree 100% with Taylor's revision, but it's at least persuasive.

I'm also looking at Alan Riding's And the Show Went On: Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris. I don't often choose to read about painful things. But this book just sort of jumped off the library shelf at me. I'm only at chapter two but it's already done a fine job of summarizing the national crisis of confidence that prevailed in inter-war France. Conservatives, liberals and radicals argued over society. Militarists and pacifists argued about the real significance of the First World War. Anti-Semites argued with non-stupid people. Hitler bludgeoned the German people into submission. I wouldn't argue that France needed its own Hitler. I don't know what I'm saying. I'm tired. I think it's made real to me the anti-democratic stupor that North America (and most of the world) is in. The disarray and the confusion.

Finally, I picked up two books by long-time blogging nemesis Scott Neigh.

Talking Radical: Canadian History Through the Stories of Activists. There's Gender and Sexuality and Resisting the State. Haven't started 'em yet. Bought them during his Toronto stop for his book tour to support the cause.

Monday, November 12, 2012

CIDA Aid For Canadian Mining Companies Abroad

The shameless pandering to corporate interests so typical of right-wing scum:
Mining critics are calling yesterday’s parliamentary committee report on the use of Canadian aid money to support mining companies’ interests in developing countries “a wholesale handover of CIDA to the private sector.”
The report, by the Conservative majority House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, proposes to reconfigure CIDA to better serve Canadian corporations as they go abroad, starting with the mining sector.
Oh yes. There's going to be a reckoning. And these corporate criminals and financial sector parasites, ... all of them,  are going to know a new era has dawned.

We have given these people everything they wanted and it's turned everything to shit. Now, their political cats paws are forced to steal elections to maintain control. To hell with them. They've disgraced themselves beyond redemption.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Facing Up to Reality

Today's blog post deals with accepting the significance of the situation. It seems that it's only in politics that we acquiesce to the most blatant cheating and criminality. We put up with all sorts of bullshit because we can't fathom doing what is necessary to respond appropriately.

Let's be clear: Even if harper didn't steal his majority (and he did) he's on record as showing he has nothing but contempt for the institution of Parliament. His [stolen] domination of the majority of seats in Parliament is the source of his authority but he didn't respect it when he had a majority. As I said in the aftermath of the 2011 federal election, his electoral supporters either didn't care about this (showing their own contempt for Parliament) or they were ignorant of this. (And who would trust their future to an ignoramus?)

The longer we tolerate this, the less right we have to declare ourselves a democratic people.

Let's be clear: stephen harper has no claims on our obedience. His omnibus legislation has no legitimacy. Once we have toppled him from power they must be declared null and void.

Let's be clear: Even if stephen harper wasn't down on paper as being contemptuous of Parliament, he stole his majority. 6,000 votes, scattered across the country while at the same time people were sent to fake addresses for polling stations to discourage them from voting. Conservative party goons disrupted polling stations to discourage voters. And, for reasons of innocent incompetence on the part of Elections Canada, or Conservative Party sabotage, we have at least one sitting harpercon MP who owes his seat to voters who nobody can account for.

Elections Canada has proven itself to be dithering, dilatory and useless institution. Captured and beholden to the very man it is supposed to be investigating.

The Supreme Court of Canada has shown itself willing to disgrace itself to protect stephen harper.

These institutional safeguards, and others like the RCMP, are corrupt and useless. Our institutions are failed. We are tolerating an illegitimate regime.

People condemned Omar Khadr for not having rejected his father and his father's teachings. But here we are, continuing to obey corrupt law-makers who are abusers of democracy.

Get it through your heads that rebellion is the only democratic response to these outrages.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Veterans' Frustrations

"Support the TROOOOOPS!!!"
Why are right-wing militarists so disgustingly hypocritical? Why do so many military personnel and military families vote for these turds? All I know is that when Peter MacKay tries to look somber and martial I laugh out loud.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Two Columns

This comparison is posted without comment for your edification.

"Mitt Romney can teach Stephen Harper much about sleazy politics"
At its worst, it was an organized multi-year campaign to rig the U.S. election, with charges of Republican-organized voter suppression, intimidation and fraud.
The tactics included fake robocalls telling voters of changes in poll locations, stiff new voter ID laws, closing advance polls early or holding them on a single day, strict voter registration lists, questionable purging of voter lists and voting-day polling station intimidation.
It’s a lineup that must make Harper and his attack-dog Conservative campaign managers salivate.
For decades, Harper has been a keen student of U.S. elections, especially when it comes to what his counterparts in the Republican party were plotting.
And throughout his political career, Harper has adopted many of the tactics first employed by Republicans, from robocalls and year-round attack ads to calls for tighter voting rules.
Until the 2011 federal election, most of these crude efforts to disenfranchise voters in Canada were often hidden or overlooked. But they were in plain sight in 2011.
"Republicans need to look to Canada to see how conservatives can win"
Compare this with the Canadian election of 2011. The Conservative coalition in one respect mirrored its Republican counterpart: It was rooted in white male voters in the conservative heartland – in Canada’s case, the Prairies, plus the rural parts of British Columbia and Ontario.
But the Conservatives also did well among immigrant voters. In fact, middle-class immigrant voters who dominate the suburban ridings surrounding Toronto and, to a lesser extent, Vancouver were key to the Conservative victory.
Of course, the Tories only took 40 per cent of the vote in the last election, so one conclusion the Republicans might draw is that they should encourage a third party that would split progressive support.
The first is by Bob Hepburn in the Toronto Star. The latter is by the stupid hack John Ibbitson of the Globe & Mail.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Rob Ford (again)

Edward Keenan has another good smashing of Toronto's embarrassment of a mayor, Rob Ford, in this week's Grid TO:
On his radio show this past weekend—in the leadup to a contentious casino proposal at City Hall—Mayor Rob Ford said he’d welcome a gambling palace in Toronto, and justified the decision on economic grounds: “We’re in desperate need of revenues,” he said. And just then, two years into his term in office—the halfway point to the next election—the last faint signs of life that had once animated the ideology you might call “Ford Notion” died out.
For if the mayor has been clear on one thing since the moment he started campaigning for the job, it’s that the city did not want for money. “There’s more than enough money,” he told radio host John Oakley in explaining a tax cut shortly after his election, followed by the familiar mantra: “We have a major spending problem at City Hall, not a revenue problem.”
Even back then, most people who had any familiarity with the reality of the city’s finances could tell he was wrong, or lying.
Ponder that for a moment. This is what I was talking about three posts ago. The political climate is getting heated because one side, the intelligent, reality-based, progressive side, is watching neoliberal scumbag politicians turn everything to shit while the neoliberal propaganda system indulges and reinforces the utter stupidity and ignorance of their chump voter base. In this case, it's shit-for-brains, serial liar Rob Ford gets elected saying he can trim (apparently $3 billion over 3 years!!!) of wasteful spending at city hall and not have to raise taxes or cut services ("guaranteed").

Turns out that was the utter nonsense progressives said it was. He proposed cutting library services, raising recreation centre fees, closing shelters for battered women, and slashing TTC services. Now it turns out, that in his lust to please his paymasters and get some lucrative wingnut welfare, by getting a casino in Toronto, he's actually saying the city is "in desperate need of revenues."

I'm sorry, but it's this sort of bullshit, and this sort of lack of accountability, that is driving progressives right around the fucking bend. Despite what the self-interested, contradictory blathering of Ford fuck-toys (like "Scarborough Dave" at the link), you don't get to be that wrong on something so relatively major, and get to get away with it.

But they do, don't they? Because unaccountable media hacks (Sue-Ann Levy, Margaret Wente, John Ibbitson, etc., etc.,) continue to appear in print (or on radio and television, which I don't listen to or watch) to lie, lie, lie, and give the impression (by their consequence-free lying and stupidity) that there's some legitimacy to shameless lying morons like Ford, or murderous cretins like Mike Harris, or gibbering Jesus-freak hypocrites like bush II, or anti-democratic psychopaths like stephen harper, as well as for the views of the closet-case/religious freak/racist/sexist/homophobic dunces who vote on their retrograde "values" and against their material self-interest. Their irrational hatred of the folks who are right all the time (progressives) is fostered by these media sleazemeisters.

The question is: What are we going to do about it?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It's Personal With Me

The thing is, for the past 15 years or so, a big part of my real-world thinking and writing has been on using our present parliamentary system of representative democracy/constitutional monarchy/whatever you want to call our quasi-democratic-part-time-rule-of-law system, to constitutionally enshrine the human rights of people within their workplaces.

Barring the possibility that neoliberal scumbag politicians will read our petitions or hear our protests and the scales will fall from their eyes and they'll legislate whatever we want when we want it, or of that the Canadian state will be brought to its knees by a dozen masked anarchists smashing windows on Yonge Street, I argue that the only way that real progress is going to be made on a number of essential fronts is if we attack the capitalist power that distorts democracy, ruins the environment, condemns people to poverty, at its heart, through the legitimate political process.

We will respect their system and we will ask that they respect us should we obtain the right to enshrine the humanity of workers within their workplaces. This was (is still) meant to be an enormous effort. It's called "Workers as Citizens" and we can argue about it some other time.

The main point is that I think that the leftist habit of empty protest, small-scale mitigation of blatant abuses, petitioning and minor acts of vandalism, is ridiculous and we ignore a powerful tool by disparaging and discounting the actual political process.

That's why stephen harper's serial abuses of this process infuriates me. It is the one way we have of peacefully realizing a massive advance in human civilization and he is rendering it null and void. It's personal with me. If I don't succeed in bringing harper to heel (either through a movement of my own or someone else's), then I will say to hell with it all. If you hear of a rising superstar televangelist conman in Canada 5 years from now, you'll know what happened.

Haiti Needs International Help

Given his penchant for spending billions of dollars to harass us while failing to provide the "security" the billions were ostensibly spent on, d'you think harper could move himself to provide $79 million for Haiti?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Why the Vitriol?

Robert Reich asks it in a fairly reasonable essay:
What’s going on? Yes, we’re divided over issues like the size of government and whether women should have control over their bodies. But these aren’t exactly new debates. We’ve been disagreeing over the size and role of government since Thomas Jefferson squared off with Alexander Hamilton, and over abortion rights since before Roe v. Wade, almost forty years ago.

And we’ve had bigger disagreements in the past – over the Vietnam War, civil rights, communist witch hunts – that didn’t rip us apart like this.
He then makes reference to the impact of the current media situation:
But now most of us exist in our own political bubbles, left and right. I live in Berkeley, California – a blue city in a blue state – and rarely stumble across anyone who isn’t a liberal Democrat (the biggest battles here are between the moderate left and the far-left). The TV has hundreds of channels so I can pick what I want to watch and who I want to hear. And everything I read online confirms everything I believe, thanks in part to Google’s convenient algorithms.

So when Americans get upset about politics these days we tend to stew in our own juices, without benefit of anyone we know well and with whom we disagree — and this makes it almost impossible for us to understand the other side.
He also says something about how the right-wing constituency has been feeling under threat from economic, social-cultural and demographic changes. But where he errs is in inferring it's some sort of bipartisan affliction.

It's true that the right-wing has FOX News, and a whole plethora of toxic right-wing hate-sites like "small dead animals" and that leftists have more leftist internet choices to go to. But, as I've said a zillion times before: They have Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh. And they have said themselves that our equivalents are Michael Moore, Keith Olbermann and Rachael Maddow.  In Canada, there's Ezra Levant on the right and Linda McQuaig on the left.

One team is comprised of serial liars who routinely call for violence upon their enemies. (Those are the right-wingers.)

Look at it this way. The stupid Michelle-Jean, when she was Governor General, looked out the window of Rideau Hall and saw a small crowd of harperites protesting stupidly about a "coup" and she heard stephen harper ranting and raving about how he'd go over her head and trash her and to hell with our constitutional monarchical traditions, and blah, blah, blah. Unless she eviscerated the whole concept of responsible government, there would be trouble with a capital "T."

Why the fuck don't they ever feel so fearful about getting us on the left riled-up? Well, one reason is that they fear the consequences of what we ask for more, so they're even more reluctant to concede anything. ("You want lower taxes right-wing chumps? Here you go!" vs. "You want higher taxes on the wealthy and more pro-union laws left-wingers? Um, ... sorry. Some bullshit liberal economic theory says that would harm more than help and get the fuck away from me.") But it's also the case that they intuit that right-wingers are naturally prone to violence and outrage, given the fact that they're motivated by ignorance, frustrated stupidity, various irrational hatreds and overall boorishness.

And the reason things are so hostile is because these cretins have been indulged by their masters with their right-wing news channels and their own internet narcissism. And, this has all served to invent imbecilic propaganda cover for one right-wing outrage after another. (In Canada, these would be the jingoism over Afghanistan and harper's assaults on parliamentary democracy.) Who can blame leftists for having had to endure decades of this shit?

It's not going to resolve itself by leftists and progressives deciding to live and let live.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Why I Don't Pay For Newspapers

So, the Globe & Mail paid lots of young 'uns to hand out special US election editions of their paper. (Paid for with help from the fine people at Nissan!) So, right from the start I'm thinking that one reason I don't buy the Globe is because they don't have the sense to know that this is one of the most farcical, stupid, bullshit elections the world has ever seen. (It's on a par with the goddamned Rob Ford vs. George Smitherman festival of futility.) But let's go through it, shall we, and see why it's indicative of the reasons why I don't bother to shell-out my hard-earned clams for any of Canada's mainstream newspapers.

It begins with the President of Nissan Canada gettting the first word. The inside cover is an advertisement! Some ghost-written public relations crapola I'm not even going to bother to read.

The real fun begins with "The view from up North" by Editor-in-Chief John Stackhouse, which is evidently some sort of self-serving self-promotion that I also have no interest in.

Page five is more navel-gazing, as three Globe correspondents in the field answering questions about their stories from Globe's Foreign Editor Craig Offman:

"Adam, how is Mitt Romney spending the last days of his campaign?"

I'm not interested.

"Patrick, what's Obama planning in Ohio?"

Who cares?

Seriously. Who gives a flying fuck? Barack Obama is a fraud. A Wall Street shill. A war criminal and a betrayer. Mitt Romney is a flake. A moron. He made his fortune throwing people out of work as a vulture capitalist who now stomps around the country blaming Obama for not giving people jobs. He calls 47% of his fellow citizens as dependent losers. Why such a specific number? Because evidently 47% of US Americans are too poor to pay taxes. Romney didn't pay taxes for over ten years himself, but whatever.

Then we get a big, two-page spread, featuring image of the two contenders facing-off in front of their parties' respective colours. "Big Picture: America faces its future."
America's choice on Tuesday is not just betwen one man whose struggle with the economy disappointed so many and another man who has shed so many political skins. As Affan Chowdhry and John Ibbitson observe, this is an election about two starkly different Americas, either one of which could transform the country and the world.
 I don't know who Affan Chowdhry is. (He must have arrived after I'd given up on the Globe.) But John Ibbitson is a stupid hack. (By that I mean he's a stupid man who also happens to be a shameless political hack. Dude has a man-crush on tottering tower of shit stephen harper.)

"Two starkly different Americas" 'eh? Let's see; When Obama took over from bush II, Wall Street criminals had sunk the economy, the US was mired in two conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the country had disgraced itself by embracing torture as an interrogation tactic. Now, ... uh, ... well isn't it self-evident that very little has changed? Obama got the troops out of Iraq according to  bush II's schedule, after evidence of US war crimes lost him any chance of realizing his goal of keeping them there longer. (The Maliki government would have allowed them to stay, but without legal immunity.)

John Ibbitson might genuinely believe that the differences between these two servants of the financial sector are "stark" but that's why I said he was a stupid man.

There's another two-page spread called "The deciding votes" and it's about the various demographic groups who the two fraudsters are seeking to woo, with all sorts of handy graphics to help you figure out why a member of one of these groups might be conned into voting one way or the other.

Then, for some reason, there's a photo-spread about Williston North Dakota. They struck oil there and a lot of people went to look for jobs in the otherwise depressed US economy. Go figure, these folks like the carbon economy and don't like Obama, who is less delusional than Mitt Romney about global warming. Truck driver Paul Whitcomb doesn't like tree-huggers:
He's leaning Republican, and has a warning for environmentalists who may come to Williston: "People will probably want to tie you to one of the trees you wanna hug."
Ha-ha-ha! What a kidder! Of course, maybe us regular folks should talk that away about these oil industry parasites. Maybe we'd get more of a hearing for our views if people knew how upset we are about how they're putting civilization at risk for their own pecuniary self-interest. (I know, I know. Some environmentalists do talk that way already. Only when they say it, it's not received with a chuckle about the common sense of the salt of the earth. When a greenie talks like that, he or she is condemned for being an unhinged, eco-radical: evidence of the fanatical and authoritarian zeal at the heart of everyone whose concern for the planet goes beyond lip-service.

Page 14 is all about "The swing states." In US-American politics, some states (and their electoral college votes) have a habit of vacillating back-and-forth between the two bullshit parties. As such, the candidates spend extra time and devotion wooing these ... I can't be bothered to write about it anymore.

Page 16 has a feature on "Hispanic Voters: In a state of flux." Obama has deported way more Latinos than even bush II did. But he also cynically halted the deportation of young "illegals" right before the election, with the proviso that they tell the authorities who and where they are so that they can be threatened with deportation all the easier afterwards. As such, Latino voters have a hard time choosing between which piece-of-shit to vote for. Since it's pretty much a wash as to which of them is worse, they often make their choices based on their ignorant, misinformed views on other topics. Take, for example, "Javier Barajas, 54, owner of Lindo Michoacan restaurant. 'The biggest mistake the President made was to give all the money to the banks and the insurance companies.'" [Hey! Not bad Mr. Barajas!] ... Mr. Barajas, who believes too many social programs dull ambition, thinks Mr. Romney would be a superior manager of the eoconomy, and motivate people to become more entrepreneurial." [BLAT!!! Oh! I'm sorry Mr. Barajas. But we have some lovely parting gifts for you!]

Seriously! I wonder if Mr. Barajas ever sits up at night pondering why Latin America isn't an economic paradise, what with the paucity of social programs and the subsequent explosion of entrepreneurial energies?

Page 18 has "EXPATS: Two stark options for one great problem." Basically, the Globe and Mail "hit upon an idea" ... they'd ask some Canadian ex-pats who they liked and why. But I didn't feel like reading about what some strangers on the street in Anytown USA thought. (Although it's not like I cared what John Ibbitson had to think either!)

Uh-oh! Another face-off! "The Case for Barack Obama" vs. "The case for Mitt Romney." The former is argued by Michael Ignatieff, the latter by Paul Wolfowitz. Two shit-heads who thought invading Iraq for its non-existent WMDs was a good idea. What diversity! And, while I normally don't trash people for being wrong once, you'd have to admit that a "mistake" (OOOPS!) that ended up killing over one-million people while devastating the lives of ten million more (OOOPS!) is kinda unforgiveable, y'know?

Argh! I'm getting tired! We're almost done though. The Report on Business has a section on the economic significance of the election for Canada which was done well I suppose. Then there's a story about the impact of the debates which I skimmed because I think the whole process was a sham. Then there's a "Partisan's guide to following the action" wherein leftists are told they can watch Rachel Maddow on MSNBC or Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on the Comedy Network. I suppose I could stomach those voices if I (for some inexplicable reason) decided to break down and watch the pointless pageantry of it all.

The middle is represented by airheads Diane Sawyer (who must have really gifted cosmetic surgeons and make-up people) and Anderson Cooper (whose physique keeps him from looking really funny looking).

If you're a psychotic idiot with a lot of sexual hang-ups and/or racist tendencies, you can apparently watch slimeball Karl Rove and airhead (and former MuchMusic VJ!) John Roberts on FOX, or wingnut welfare recipient Ezra Levant on the I Forget It's Name News Network. ('All the other channels are in the tank for the Obama campaign,' [I Forget] personality Ezra Levant declares in a promotional ...") Yeah, whatever.

And now you know why I don't pay for newspapers anymore.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Welcome to Canada!


Welcome to our piece-of-shit home and [stolen from the] natives' land! The first image is a picture of Wally Pickton. A misogynist creep who killed women and fed their bodies to the pigs on his farm. The official count is six convictions for second-degree murder, but it's likely there were dozens more. Here was the response of the guardians of public order, the RCMP and the Vancouver Police Department:
The overall police attitude towards sex workers and Aboriginal women (60 per cent of the Missing and Murdered Women were Aboriginal) was one of indifference and disrespect, as if their lives did not matter, as if they weren't even human. Missing persons reports were often not taken or not investigated because officers relied on insulting stereotypes, such as Aboriginal women being "out on a binge," or survival sex workers being transient and "lacking address books, known schedules, reliable routines and homes" -- even though most are residents of Vancouver with homes and families.
Police routinely used the word "hooker," even in official documents. Some officers or staff were hateful or dismissive towards sex workers, saying things like: "fucking whores," "just a bunch of fucking hookers," and "we don't look for missing hookers." A witness at the Inquiry testified that she heard an officer say "good" when told that a sex worker had been violently sexually assaulted. These discriminatory attitudes about sex workers undermined the investigation, according to Gratl, by "precluding the gathering and analysis of vital information about missing women, by misdirecting police investigators, by undermining the integrity of investigative teams, and by preventing investigators from drawing inferences crucial to solving the cases."
Comparisons with unrelated cases showed that the VPD had the resources and capability to carry out large-scale, high-quality investigations, but the "Missing Women" case was always grossly underfunded and understaffed. An officer assigned to the file in 1998 worked mostly alone and unsupervised for almost a year even though she was inexperienced and lacked training in investigative work.
The report in question can be found here.

Next up on our list is constable Monty Robinson watching Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski writhe in agony before he and three other RCMP cowardly thugs watched him die after they tasered him relentlessly. Dziekanski had landed at the Vancouver airport and was hoping to meet with his mother who had immigrated here earlier. Because of various screw-ups on the part of airport personnel, Dziekanski's mother had left thinking her son had missed his flight. Nobody thought it worth their time to explain to him what was going on or to help him in any way. Unable to speak English, Dziekanski spent hours in frustration, thousands of miles from home, tired after a long flight, confused by the bureaucratic immensity of international travel and a foreign country. Finally, he began to shout in frustration at the uncaring, thoughtless treatment he was receiving. Eventually, Monty Robinson and his three amigos sauntered in, and, after Dziekanski relaxed but did not respond intuitively to their contradictory hand signals, decided to electrocute him into unconsciousness with their tasers. Then they refused the requests of the emergency first-responders to remove his handcuffs or take other preventive measures that would keep him from dying from his condition. And then, after Dziekanski was dead, the RCMP goons lied through their teeth about what had happened, slandering Dziekanski as being aggressive and out-of-control. Their lies were exposed through the video evidence provided by a bystander at the airport. Clearly, these four men were guilty of murder and perjury. Not one of them has so far served a second in prison for an innocent man's death.

Oh yeah. The RCMP itself conducted an "investigation" of their own into the tragedy. Part of it consisted of going to Poland to try to dig up dirt on their victim.
Ivona Kosowska said the questions the team was asking about Dziekanski struck her as odd. "What kind of person was he, was he a drinker, drug user? Was he aggressive?" said Kosowska through a translator. "Most questions were to expose him as not a nice human being -- not to find out what kind of person he really was."
Next we have riot police threatening protestors at the G20 conference in Toronto in 2008. That was where we threw over $1 billion at various police and security forces and told them to prevent violence. Curiously, despite the billion dollars, a dozen or so masked protestors were able to break some windows for around half an hour. Obviously this justified gathering up over 900 random other people the next day and holding them under barbaric conditions.

And, apparently, us Canadians are such complacent sheep that the people who were responsible for this failure and brutality are still in power.

The tragedy of Ashley Smith is so indicative of the nature of the Canadian state. Smith suffered from mental health issues. She was imprisoned at 15 for throwing crab apples at a letter carrier she'd convinced herself was withholding a neighbour's welfare cheques. Her short sentence transformed into a multi-year torture session and, eventually, a death sentence. Smith was driven over the edge by constant solitary confinements, punctuated only by injections of powerful drugs against her will and other abuses.

Hell, take a look at this picture:

What is a phalanx of riot-geared police doing surrounding the bed of a 19-year old girl? They're just the same sort of lazy, callous, cowardly, entitled thugs that Canadian ignorance and complacency has enable for decades. We're a lazy, sluggish bunch. These outrages are happening to "other people." We're sure there's another side to the story when some authority figure bashes some defenseless person's head in. These are the same goons who killed Robert Dziekanski. The same thugs who ripped off a man's prosthetic leg and told him to hop at the Toronto G20. The same sexist pigs who jerked off to porn on their office computers rather than do their fucking jobs and look for Vancouver's missing women.

Reminded by the fact that the majority of the missing and murdered women in Vancouver are aboriginal, I'm compelled to mention the tragedy of Attawapiskat.

Because of the laziness and cruelty of federal officials, the First Nation of Attawapiskat have been suffering for years with freezing, leaky, improvised, sub-standard housing. When they finally lost patience with our racist government they declared a state of emergency. Our usurper-in-chef, stephen harper, took advantage of the crisis to blame the First Nations for the problem and moved to takeover whatever autonomy they still possessed.  Because that's just the way he rolls.

There. I'm done.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

News Round-up For Our Disgraced Country

The majority on the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that procedural errors shouldn't deprive a vote of its integrity. You have to prove fraud in order for votes (with no accompanying verification) to be discounted.

What the SCOC did not do was to say that the government cannot create laws that restrict the right to vote. The point being that if a voter ID card is made mandatory and that voting without one is a felony (as is allowing someone to vote without one), then it's not a "clerical error" that can be discounted, but a true legal barrier.

The Ottawa Citizen sides with the minority SCOC opinion.
Conversely, the minority judgment strikes an appropriate balance between the fundamental right to vote and procedural safeguards. In this context, the minority ruling is much more persuasive in its adherence to a “comprehensive scheme” that defines entitlement to vote. One’s entitlement to vote does not merely rest on qualification as a Canadian citizen of age, but must also include appropriate voter registration and proper identification according to the provisions laid out in the Canada Elections Act in order to prevent those without the right to vote from voting.
With respect, the majority ruling applies a definition of voter entitlement that is too loose to safeguard the integrity of the electoral system. Further, maintaining that procedural errors in elections are inevitable, and therefore acceptable, is not a persuasive argument. Nor is such a position sufficient to maintain public trust in the electoral system. While the principle of entitlement to vote is a central pillar of the Canadian electoral system, so too are mechanisms to ensure the integrity of electoral procedure.

How should we respond to the SCOC? If we have decided that it has lowered itself beyond redemption with this ruiling, what do we do? You know, "Well, it's the highest court in our land. Whether we agree or disagree is irrelevant. We have to abide by it." 


When it becomes obvious that the system is corrupt, the system has no legitimacy. A prime minister who doesn't respect the will of the majority in Parliament doesn't get respect for his own majority later. Respecting the will of the majority in Parliament is obligatory for our system and harper decided of his own free will to disregard his obligation. Even if his majority wasn't based on fraud (which it is), harper had already renounced his right to our respecting the source of his legitimacy.

An elections watchdog that can't conduct an election (see: "Etobicoke-Centre") has no business overseeing elections. An elections watchdog that refuses to investigate allegations of voter fraud cannot tell us to withhold our criticisms and denunciations of electoral fraud. It has decided to remove itself from the debate. It has made itself irrelevant.

A Supreme Court justice who decides to rule according to partisan or corrupt lines is a Supreme Court justice who has relinquished his or her right to be respected. You're not supposed to disregard laws to support your masters. We're all supposed to be equal before the law and the laws are to be upheld the same way for everyone In civil disputes over allegations of fraud, to criminal cases involving murder, to political cases over disputed elections and the meaning of democracy, the law is supposed to be the law. We don't have that anymore.
We can acquiesce to this garbage as they did in the USA ever since Bush vs. Gore, and fall to the level where we can be targeted for assassination for leading protests against the criminality of Wall Street, or we can genuinely fight now, to restore the integrity of our political and legal systems.
In other news, Michael Sona, the harpercon dimwit who made an ass of himself in the Guelph riding only to be subsequently tagged as "Pierre Poutine" the robocall fraudster, says that he won't be the fall-guy for someone higher up in the organization who he refuses to name. Sona is now well aware what vile scum the Conservative Party of Canada contains (for the simple reason that it is now his own ox that is being gored) but he must be afraid of retribution if he actually names names.
Asked why he's speaking out now, Sona said he had been willing to wait out a month or two, but it's been 18 months since the investigation started and eight months since his name was floated.
"Quite frankly, I've realized at this point Elections Canada is not going to clear my name for me. No one else is going to do that. I'm the only person that can do that right now," he said.
What it shows me is that Canadian democracy is a sick farce. Case in point:
A spokesman for the Conservative Party said he would not comment on specifics so as not to compromise the investigation.
Yes. The two-year ongoing "investigation" behind which nothing can be discussed and during which evidence can be destroyed. And they expect us to respect them!