Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Childish and Cruel Nature of harpercon Attitudes About War

By now, everyone's heard of the corrupt idiot Julian Fantino's non-interaction with Jenifer Migneault, the wife of a Canadian Forces veteran with PTSD. Evidently, Mrs. Migneault has been trying to speak with Fantino (or someone in authority) about how maybe the spouses of veterans with PTSD and other problems, should get training in how to deal with their spouses' problems. She can no longer work as her husband needs 24-hour monitoring because suicidal thoughts are never far from his mind.

I can imagine that the more slobberingly stupid members of the "Blogging Tories" might be speculating that this latest generation of veterans must be of weaker constitutions than their forebears. Something about how feminism and gay-rights has enervated our society so that even manly men in the military end up not being able to cope with the stresses of war. This is of course bullshit. Veterans of the Second World War and the Korean War (not all of them) were traumatized by what they experienced. Some became alcoholics. Some committed suicide. Some were plagued with a lifetime of depression.

I'm writing a story about World War Two because it was an epic tragedy that radically altered the course of world history. I believe that, because of their murderous racism, it was good that the Nazis lost that war. I also believe that had Germany and Japan triumphed, it would have signaled a victory for blatant militarism and, essentially, fascist insanity worldwide. To make a long story short, for all their shortcomings and evils, the better side won that conflict. And I think the same thing about the Cold War. I now think that corporate-capitalist America's victory has infected them with excessive, unchecked hubris and inhumanity. Hopefully they are the last enemy to face before the dawn of a humanistic socialist democracy. But I strive mightily not to make the sections dealing with actual combat into some sort of mindless, childish celebration of action-movie excitement.

But it seems that childishness is the order of the day for the harpercons when it comes to war. These grown men and women actually conjure up images of Canadian "G.I. Joes" fighting with two-fisted fury against the evil forces of C.O.B.R.A. (or Al Qaeda, the Commies, or whatever). It really is brawny he-men marching to victory and handing candies out to the liberated children of wherever it is we're liberating. And then, soldiers either die "gloriously" in combat, or at home, in dignity, after having attended numerous Remembrance Day ceremonies where they say Conservative Party of Canada luminaries honoring both the living and the victorious dead for their noble sacrifices.

Veterans sitting maimed and depressed in hospital wards, or living on the streets as their personal demons and their substance abuses made them unemployable, or screaming at their families, or any of the realities of the response to combat, none of this exists for idiot harpercons.

And then there's the cruelty. Since these people don't exist, they don't matter. Since they don't conform to stephen harper's childish, stupid picture of war and veterans, all they are is a bothersome expense. And, in the end, it seems part of the psychosis of war mongers, that they genuinely don't give a shit about "the troops" (anymore than they do about the people they tell us we're "liberating" or "defending"). stephen harper holds "the troops" in the same contempt that he holds Parliament, which is to say, TOTAL. (Don't ask me why. Just like Newton could not explain gravity, he just discovered it, so I cannot explain this inherent hatred of soldiers on the part of right-wing war mongers.)

Julian Fantino's behaviour is not an aberration. All right-wing scuzzballs would behave the same way. None of his colleagues have come out and criticized his revolting behaviour. They probably masturbate themselves thinking about the grief he's causing and wish they could do it themselves.


I meant to mention the transparently stupid excuse Fantino offered for his $4 million on propaganda to insist that, contrary to the perception, the stephen harper regime is providing all sorts of services to veterans in need. Fantino is, I believe, too moronic to grasp how idiotic of a lie this is. The only perception that matters is that of the military community. Indeed, their protests about their shoddy treatment at the hands of the harpercon chickenhawks is the source of the general public's perceptions. It would therefore stand to reason that instead of wasting $4 million on ads for the general public, that the harpercons spend that money reaching out to veterans and their families; either to inform them of the programs that exist, or to finance things like training for PTSD support workers as Jenifer Migneault is asking for.

Fantino, who is himself stewing in his own corruption, is blissfully unaware that the harpercons are mega-corrupt. The billions spent on outside lawyers, advertisers, the separatist-funded SUN News Network, and on mercenaries, security consultants, and political consultants, dwarfs the Liberal "AdScam" scandal by magnitudes.

But that's why there's no money to train the spouses of veterans suffering from PTSD. It's all gone to reward harperccon scumbags and their friends in the corporate-criminal community.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Obama Defends His Foreign Policy???

Don't get too excited folks. He's defending himself against that portion of humanity who think he's been too restrained. Too meek and mild.

Yep. He's defending himself against the Sean Hannity/Bill Kristol/Dick Cheney school of chickenhawks. The people who are so completely delusional that they think the invasion of Iraq was a success! They call Obama, he of murderous drone-strikes across the Middle East, he of troop surges in Afghanistan, he who tried to negotiate an extension of the presence of US troops in Iraq after bush II's negotiated withdrawl date, he of the coup in Honduras and several attempted coups in the rest of Latin America, he of the regime-change in Libya, he of the cynical financing and support for fundamentalist mercenaries in Syria, he of the coup and sabre-rattling in the Ukraine, ... they call him "Obambi."

It's not just people like us who are being treated as if we're of no account, with Obama apologizing to his delusional shit-head critics, rather than the humanitarians and otherwise sane people. The vast majority of people in the United States agree with us and not with Hannity, Kristol and Cheney. This craven idiocy just shows how unimportant the vast majority of the American people are in Obama's eyes. If Obama wanted to, he could face-down his idiot detractors in no uncertain terms and tell them that their war-mongering is over. That they can drag their asses to the front-lines themselves if they're so eager that Americans fight and die for stupid, cynical causes. But Obama doesn't want to. Despite the different tone of the rhetoric, there is no difference in the reality of US foreign policy. None whatsoever.

The point is to have Republican "hawks" bang on their chests and talk like idiots, while Democratic "doves" speak of moderation and restraint, in order to project the illusion that there is a debate when there isn't one. Also, by treating the genuine peace as if it doesn't exist, even when the majority of the American people are on their side, Obama deftly performs the Orwellian trick of thought control. How can you mobilize around something that doesn't exist? If the Democratic Party is the only option you have for "moderation" and "restraint" it's pointless to even think about an alternative.

It seems to me that the imperialist community in the USA is becoming more isolated, more disconnected from reality with every passing year. But, given the zero effectiveness of the opposition and the negligible impact of the will of the majority, this simply doesn't matter. The Democrats and Republicans would have their ridiculous, and ridiculously expensive electoral contests fighting over a mere 30% of the eligible voters, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh could have audiences reduced to the tens of thousands, Bill Kristol's magazines and books could be sent out free to right-wing subscribors who never read them, and US capitalism would subsidize it all to make it seem like there was a genuine debate between the only possible alternatives.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Economics: Go With Your Gut

Somebody found some errors (maybe) in Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century. The whole thing might be a little overblown though.

But remember the errors that were found in the Reinhart and Rogoff study that said that high debt levels cause radical slowdowns in economic growth?

Here's a video clip that sums it up most cogently.

Whatever the case is, I know that economists argue all the time. I know that statistics are increasingly dodgy. I choose to go with my gut instinct after decades of immersing myself in this crap. I know that inequality is increasing. I know that poverty and insecurity is increasing. The political movements in Latin America, the Middle East and Europe all attest to these facts.

I'm not capable of going toe-to-toe with the best liars and rationalizers in the world. But I've never thought that. I keep plugging away at stuff because I know I've got the big picture right.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

How Does Civil Society Influence the State

Right. So, bourgeois democracy is a crock of shit. It's a fool's errand that only the dull and the deluded participate in. What's more important than the state is civil society. The collective will of the people. The power of groups outside of the state apparatus.

What is this power that we speak of? On its side, the state has the police, the surveillance, the courts, the prisons. The money supply. On our side, we don't have the law. Many profound thinkers have schooled me to the fact that the rule of law is a complete sham in this country. We have no rights. If our rights become inconvenient to those in power those rights will be swept aside regardless of the damage to the law's credibility. We should put zero trust and, more importantly, zero effort, in trying to get elites to respect the rule of law.

What do we have? THE POWER OF PROTEST! But bear in mind that we have zero human, civil, and legal rights. So, if twenty disgruntled environmentalist/anarchists go out and block a street for an hour, they'll be physically crushed. They'll be placed in police vans with their wrists tightly plastic-cuffed behind them, which will cause excrutiating pain after a couple of hours, during which they will probably soil themselves. So, don't block that street I guess. Best to stay on the sidewalk. There, you'll probably only be truncheoned and tear-gassed.

But THEY CAN'T JAIL US ALL!!! Of course, they won't have to. Most people don't protest. They know the score.

Now, the wealthy can influence the state. "Civil Society" in the form of corporate front groups and corporate lobbyists and, simply, wealth and power, which exist outside the realm of the state, can do such things as withhold funding for political parties, withhold investment in the economy, or even engage in capital flight should the state enact policies against their interests. Of course, if such shenanigans harm the interests of the state enough it's always possible that a Putin sort of character could be barfed up to use the police and courts to bring some of  the more outrageous types to heel.

But that's not what progressives tend to mean about civil society anyway. We're talking about environmentalists, no matter if they're national or local campaigns. We're talking families where a child has a special need and the families want the state to provide some assistance. We're talking about peace activists marching in the streets and writing letters to the editor and, in so doing, having zero to 1% effectiveness in ending over a decade of war in Afghanistan. We're talking about any number of initiatives, both effective and ineffective in effecting this or that policy.

When you think about it, the power struggle between civil society and the state seems woefully lopsided.

What about elections? At least we can throw out a pack of bums who have grown too corrupt and too complacent. That's something, isn't it? I suppose it is. I think politicians genuinely like power and the existence of an organized group of power-hungry amoral hacks willing to replace them should the vast majority of the electorate grow disgusted with blatant corruption and incompetence does put something of a brake on their depredations. Of course, the more far-seeing and "radical" amongst progressives reject even this. According to them, we must either go live in a shack in the woods, (to get really extreme, swear-off eating meat - the murdered flesh of other sentient beings - whilst living in your shack in the woods), or, if we like the amenities of urban living, stay there and write pamphlets and organize tiny rallies of like-minded, radical, isolated, unpopular comrades. (Or, just pontificate on the internet. Whatev's.)

But even if we participate in the electoral process, 30% of the public is so ignorant or deluded or debased as to vote for revolting parties of racists, hard-core class warriors, anti-environmentalists, misogynist, homophobic, religious bigots. Another 30-35% vote for corporate liberals who are, as we see with Chretien, Martin, Clinton and Obama, as vilely imperialist, anti-social justice, and anti-human rights as their more cromagnon counterparts. And then we have the "social democrats" who can't decide whether to emulate their liberal counterparts (or in the case of Andrea Horwath's ONDP, aspects of their right-wing counterparts) or whether to pull left. And, then we have the Greens who veer from free-market greens to radical vegan-granola types.

We, as progressives, have failed miserably at making our influence felt at the political level. And civil society is SUPPOSED to influence politics or else its just pointless narcissism. And we have failed because we cannot get our arguments out to the vast majority of the population. What arguments do reach them are either so distorted as to be objectionable to people who would embrace them, or they bounce off the walls of entrenched bigotry and brain-washing of the hegemonic cultural norms.

We have to change this. But I see very little effort on this matter from the organized left and its institutions. I see a lot of repeating of the same useless activity in the absence of any indications about what else to do.

How do you, gentle readers, propose that we change this?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Women Seem Wicked When You're Unwanted

So, I recently added "We Hunted the Mammoth" because he's funny in the way he critiques patriarchal jerks in the way Canadian Cynic was funny when he critiqued the Blogging Tories. (The blog's title is based on some pompous entitled dolt imagining that women have had it easy throughout history because of all the things men have done for them, including the hunting of mammoths. I actually preferred the blog's earlier title "Man Boobz" because I like puerile humour like that.)

So, just as Canadian Cynic was able to stomach going down into the depths of right-wing stupidity and then letting them have it, "We Hunted the Mammoth's" David Futrelle really makes these sexist jerks look the like the total idiots that they are through the application of just the tiniest bit of sarcasm to their own words. In a short time, I've come to have a decent understanding of who MRA's, PUA's, and MGTOW's are. (As well as "anti-PUA's" who are just disgruntled customers of the PUA's.) Go to his blog if'n you want to know about them yourself.

So, reading Futrelle's blog gave me a better understanding of the very recent tragedy when Elliot Rodger went on his shooting spree after making that vile, self-pitying YouTube soliloquy. Rodgers was an "anti-PUA" type. He'd tried to use the bullshit methods of so-called "pick-up artists" and, not surprisingly, he failed. He appears to have been a very shallow, confused, angry person, and these afflictions couldn't be alleviated by following sleazy methods of manipulation to get young women plastered and into his bed.

The thing that I get from reading about Rodgers' murderous rage, and all the misogynist bile of these MRA's, is that they have absolutely no sense of perspective. While it's true that its painful and frustrating for men to approach women and get rejected, its also true that its painful and frustrating for women to be harassed by strangers. It's also true that women occasionally put their own pride and insecurities on the line and approach men only to be rejected. It's true that there are a million ways that women drive men straight up the wall, it's a sign of maturity to realize that we do the same thing to them. Yes, women have some advantages. But you show yourself to be a total ignoramus to deny that men, especially white men, have WAY more advantages at the starting gate than do women.

Whatever is genuine and true within the toxic, hateful stew of misogynist ravings of these guys, the final analysis is that they're stupid, childish, sexist morons. And their hatred gets innocent people killed.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

People Invested in the System

How is it supposed to work?

"I know you worry about having a job and feeding your kids, and that you're able to do that the way things stand now, but I want you to join me in destroying the system, and to trust in some vague collection of generalities that you'll somehow be better off afterwards?"

The fact of the matter is that Canada is a rich country and many people are doing okay. Less and less people are doing okay with each passing year of neoliberalism, and our values are fucked-up and delusional, and etc., ... but we need to face facts: We need lots of boring, non-radical people on our side to achieve real change, and we're not going to get them on our side with radical rhetoric.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Way to go Jack Layton!

I very much had my differences with him. But, even as with my adversary, Andrew Coyne, i know that Jack Layton respected Parliament and our institutions. 

You fought for human rights for gay people! You created real benefits for real people there!

You respected the results of our electoral process and tried to make Parliament work!

When Paul Martin showed himself more corporate capitalism's servant than Parliament's, you pulled the plug.

When stephen harper showed himself unworthy of Parliament, despite your cancer battle and the rigors that you knew a federal election would hold for you, you rightly declared him in contempt and fought him.

You won, but your victory was stolen from you. Through fraud, stephen harper stole a majority. But all will be made right in the end.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Some Headlines Just Rub You the Wrong Way

Neil Macdonald doesn't appear to be the worst thing that the CBC foists upon us. But the blurb for this editorial really rubbed me the wrong way.
IMF head Christine Lagarde, former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, religious activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali — all smart, conservative women being 'disinvited,' shouted off university podiums. What gives in America's halls of learning?
Did you catch it? I mean, I don't know much about the other two women, but Condoleezza Rice as "smart"? She of the "smoking gun in the shape of a mushroom cloud" mixed metaphor? Her of the "birth pangs of a new Middle East" nonsense? "Smart"? I think not.

And then there's this bullshit about freedom of speech. First of all, Neil, I'm sure you'd be opposed to Paul Bernardo giving a convocation speech anywhere, right? Well, it was a long time ago and you might have forgotten Neil, but that stupid idiot Condoleezza Rice lied her country into a war that's killed about a million people and caused disruption and misery to many millions more. Also, she sat with her fellow cretins in the bush II regime and discussed the methods of torture that they would approve of in their great bullshit "War on Terror."

Rice is a war criminal and the students at that university that was stupid enough to invite her were under no obligation to have to listen to her yammerings or endure her defiling presence.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Separate Lives

On the one hand, the intolerant, angry left-wing elitists did have much more of an impact at one time than they do now. A lot of our values (environmentalism, gay rights, feminism, anti-racism) have become mainstream now, and many people we wouldn't recognize as allies embrace at least some of these notions themselves.

But on the political front, we don't count for as much. I wonder is it because we're so meek and mild or is it because we've lost our fire? Did we alienate too many people when we had the megaphone, or have the Archie Bunkers of the world simply gotten more assertive?

I really don't know.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Speaking of Invented Scandals

Projection, projection, projection.

Remember when the right-wing in the USA accused bush II's critics of suffering from "bush derangement syndrome" and mocked the most tepid complaints about his murderous bunglings as being inspired by hatred and anger?

How WOULD you describe the right-wing's response to Obama so far?

(Not that Obama isn't a monstrous destroyer of the Constitution, but in that hes only carrying the policies of his predecessor forward and not backwards.)

And now, in Canada, harpercon scum are belittling their nauseating contempt for ... well, for just about every foundation of parliamentary democracy: accountability, electoral integrity, ... plus, they're arguing in court (they, the of the "You can't support the troops if you don't support the mission" nonsense) saying that they don't owe veterans anything under Prime Minister Robert Borden's promises for veterans from the First World War. Borden's words were "mere political speech." (Just like harper's words?)

Anyhow, remember how they said that two opposition parties forming a coalition government was "A COUP?" Remember THAT bit of shrieking hysterics?

A while back, there was a "scandal" about the NDP selling advertising space to unions at their conventions. (The NDP got a ruling on whether this was legal from Elections Canada.):
An NDP insider familiar with the issue said that in 2003, when the Liberal government under Jean Chr├ętien moved to limit donations from unions and corporations, the party sought an opinion from Elections Canada as to whether money obtained through selling advertising would be considered a political contribution.
“Where a person or entity purchases goods or services from a registered party with the intention of economically benefitting the party, the payment for goods and services will not constitute contributions to the extent that the payment reflects the fair market value of the goods and services purchased. Any amount of the payment above the fair market value will constitute a contribution if the person purchasing the good and service intended to benefit the party,” says a document obtained by the Star outlining Election Canada’s response to the NDP’s question on the matter.
Based on this, the NDP sold advertising space to the unions. The Conservatives complained about the practice and Elections Canada ruled against the NDP's interpretation of the ruling. The NDP gave the money back, not wanting to contest things and Elections Canada thanked them for their prompt compliance.

There was some stupid asshole troll at Saskboy's who snickered and stormed about this "scandal" for weeks on end.

Then, just recently, harper sought in his own cowardly way, to get back at NDP leader Thomas Mulcair for giving him a hard time about all of his genuine scandals, by forcing Mulcair to defend himself about another bullshit scandal about the NDP using their own money to have offices in ridings they don't represent. (This complaint comes from the party that GAVE GOVERNMENT JOBS to failed candidates to act as shadow MPs in riding held by the opposition!)

Mulcair took the opportunity to humiliate the harpercon stooge Jim Woodsworth who tried to be harper's attack poodle on this. The craven bootlickers at the CBC and the Liberal hacks at the Toronto Star have been reduced to saying that while Mulcair and the NDP were technically in accordance with the law, Mulcair did not show due deference to the harpercon and Liberal twits grilling him.

The party that shrieked about polling station irregularities then tried to argue that polling results shouldn't be overturned just because the paperwork isn't in order.

If you listen to these fuckwads, their latest bullshit scandal-de-jouer is the gravest threat this country has ever seen. If you point out their blatant crimes and cover-ups, you're deranged and deluded.

If you try to get this point across to them, the most persistent of trolls will suddenly go AWOL.

Scum. The whole fucking lot of them.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Watch this documentary on Sartre if you want to ...

If you do, you can apply it to your time living under harperino!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Chelsea Manning Causes a Dilemma for US Military

It's quite the conundrum:
The request was the first ever made by a transgender military inmate and set up a dilemma for the Defence Department: How to treat a soldier for a diagnosed disorder without violating long-standing military policy. Transgenders are not allowed to serve in the U.S. military and the Defence Department does not provide such treatment, but Manning can't be discharged from the service while serving his 35-year prison sentence.
Some officials have said privately that keeping the soldier in a military prison and unable to have treatment could amount to cruel and unusual punishment.
Of course, the US military isn't allowed to torture, but there you have it. Sounds like some folks haven't cottoned to how absolutely lawless the USA is.

It would be laughable if it wasn't so putrid.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

In a better country, we would have had the torches and pitchforks out a long time ago

Saskboy hepped me to the existence of this Analysis of Mr. Yves Cote's cover-up of stephen harper's election fraud, by Steven Shrybman. (Shrybman was the lawyer for the Council of Canadians' effort to overturn six election results due to electoral irregularities.)

Now, it's pretty clear that the harpercon scum violated our election laws thousands of times, and drove a stake through the integrity of our entire political system. This analysis makes that very clear. Would I be able to stand in front of the Supreme Court and argue this 100%? No. I can't anticipate every crazy, desperate angle some full-time political operatives can dream up over years and years.

But to me, there's one thing ironclad about what makes's Cote's work a worthless pile of shit. The criminally stupid Supreme Court ruling on the Etobicoke-Centre election challenge argued that in the absence of any evidence of malice, it is best to decide that the existence of more ballots than there are names of people who voted on the voters' list doesn't disqualify an election. It should be decided that those unaccounted ballots were put there in good faith and we shouldn't inconvenience people with a second election just because we don't have a fucking clue who really won the first one.

If I was in charge of this country I would have a goddamned inquiry into THAT particular bit of corruption and insanity. Because as important as the independence of the judiciary is, the integrity of the electoral process is even more important. And the four justices who signed their names to that ridiculous decision are either corrupt partisan hacks, or they're too fucking stupid to conceive of the damage they have done to our democracy. Either way, they're unfit for their positions and I would have them removed.

But they did have one semi-excuse for their asinine ruling. The Council of Canadians hadn't yet had their day in court. And when they did, the federal court judge ruled that there HAD been a concerted campaign of electoral fraud, centered around the use of the Conservative Party's CIMS database. He could not say whether these irregularities affected the outcome therefore he did not overturn the election results. I said at the time:
Perhaps if the CoC's case had been heard before the challenge to Etobicoke-Centre, the corrupted Justices in the majority would have been forced to mitigate their asinine reasoning by accepting the reality that the 2011 federal election was rife with unprecedented fraud and vote-suppression efforts.
But Yves Cote has no such excuse, as Shrybman makes very clear. Cote's work is part of a cover-up. A blatant cover-up. This country is no longer even a pseudo, or quasi-democracy. It is a corrupt petro-state, full of corrupt institutions, inhabited by cowardly, craven hacks.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Need For a Boring Revolution

To save civilization, achieve ecological sanity and balance, drastically reduce the possibility of war, and eliminate social inequality, we need a revolution. The capitalist status-quo is leading us to disaster. Again, we need a revolution and nothing less than a revolution.

But what about "the sheeple"? Happily piling into the cars to drive out to the multi-plex for the latest Hollywood blockbuster of mindlessness? Blithely slumbering in their hammocks while their mutual funds invest in pharmaceutical companies ripping-off millions and mining firms engaging in ecocide and murder? All those happy, suburbanites doing all the things you can picture happy, consumerist suburbanites doing?

Well, they have to be on side don't they? Because they have a lot of political clout. And, personally, I don't think that they're as entirely mindless as some "progressives" or "radicals" imagine them to be. As i see it, they're playing the game, according to the rules (at least as they appear to be written). They don't think as much about how the rules were written. Or who writes them. Or what it all means. They're just trying to live their lives.

But for the most part, I don't think they're full of hatred and bile and disregard for the earth. Just look at the way US citizens, who are more subjected than any other people on the face of the earth to corporate brainwashing efforts, have, consistently, poll after poll, said they'd like less money spent on the military, more money spent on healthcare, that they'd pay higher taxes to help the environment, and so-on and such forth. But they don't see how to make those wishes become actions, and so they try to make-do with the system as it is.

It is we who claim to think about these things all day long who are the real failures. We reflect on the failure, corruption and brutality of the system, but on the whole we do nothing more than bitch about it. We know a different world is a necessity but we spend less than 2% of our time thinking about how to make that happen. For the most part, we imagine what would happen if millions of people showed up in the streets for one of our useless rallies and then we condemn the "sheeple" when they don't.

A revolution is necessary but it has to be a revolution that the vast majority of people in this country could see participating in. It's no good to imagine your friends and all the other usual suspects who attend protests magically multiplying themselves into an irresistible human wave, rushing "TO THE BARRICADES!!!" and sweeping a dying system before them.

In case it isn't obvious, I think my "Workers as Citizens" is one such peaceful revolutionary alternative.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Global Warming, Ukraine, Corporate Tyranny

Global warming is the biggest threat out there I believe. But even without it, it seems that humanity (and humanity organized under capitalist political-economy in particular) is putting enormous strains on the planet's ability to support us.

Business as usual is not an option. But, thanks to corporate-capitalist tyranny, we're doubling down on the madness.

We need a revolutionary transformation of our political-economy. Or else civilization, and the billions of people it serves, will collapse.

The Ukraine crisis is 90 per cent the result of the Obama administration. (Putin/Russia have long kept the Ukrainian economy under pressure through manipulation of pipelines and through other means. But that being the status-quo, however objectionable, it can't be blamed for the present crisis to any serious extent.) This CommonDreams editorial conveys the enormity of the danger quite well:
“In 2014, on the one century anniversary of World War I, European nations are again mobilizing for war,” Rudmin writes. “As in 1914, so in 2014, war is not for repelling an attack, but for loyalty to an alliance, even when some members of the alliance are belligerent. The 1914 war was supposed to be over by Christmas, but went on and on and on for years, killing 9 million people. The 2014 war, if its starts in earnest, will be over in one week, maybe less, and could kill a 100 million people depending on how many nuclear reactors break open and how many nuclear missiles are launched.”
He adds: “The 1914 war was called ‘the war to end all wars.’ The 2014 war will be that.”
Human civilization is walking along the edge of collapse. Endless material growth, driven by a profit-based economy, is wrecking our natural habitat, but our antiquated systems of leadership answer primarily to the destructive status quo and are unable to implement meaningful, crucial change. That same status quo is addicted not simply to fossil fuels but to a perverted, reptile-brain sense of “survival of the fittest” that requires constantly identifying, engaging and defeating an enemy. This is called war, and we prepare for it more than for anything else, including the education of our children.
The mindlessness of US policy and media coverage of this nightmare is only exceeded by the insane outbursts of the egomaniacal mediocrity stephen harper and his pathetic stooge of a foreign minister John Baird.

We are living in an age of corporate tyranny. We are living under an oligarchy. Corporate criminals loot the country. Our environment is being ravaged and we have an un-elected regime that has turned us into a corrupt petro-state. Under harper, and his coterie of degenerates like Jason Kenney, John Baird, Tony Clement, Peter MacKay, .... Canada has become the second most unequal industrialized country after the USA. Tax policies that favour the rich and labour policies (such as the Temporary Foreign Workers program) that favour employers over workers, and a myriad of other laws and regulations, have served to make this happen.

And harper has gone after free and fair elections. And harper has demonstrated contempt for the legislature. And harper has usurped the rights and privileges and supposed dignity of the Crown. (he has staged a coup!) And harper and his provincial counterparts are criminalizing dissent.

People say: "We should do something about this!"

Well, do something! Propose something!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

What Does thwap Look Like?

Some of the names that have been tossed around over the years ...

David Spade

Dave Navarro
Tom Cruise
Luke Wilson

Steve Perry
Malcolm Young


Mike Scott ("The Waterboys")

Jeff Beck
Todd Rundgren

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Mental Incapacities of the harpercon Base

Yesterday, Owen at Northern Reflections riffed off of this Michael Harris editorial wherein Mr. Harris put harper's idiotic attack on Chief Justice MacLachin into context. Together with all his other brazen assaults on Canada's institutions and values, it's just another indication that stephen harper hates democracy and he hates Canada. (Harris uses more words and argument obviously, but that's the gist of it.)

In the comments section, I noticed a couple of harpercon trolls doing what they do best: Ad hominem attacks on Harris and argument-free cheerleading for their lord and master stephen harper. One imbecile "maryanne" was very busy, writing different versions of "I love stephen and I hate the haters" after another.

It's just like the total shit-headed harper cheerleaders commenting at Saskboy's blog. They affect the tone of one with greater intelligence, dismissing the ravings of their adversaries, but you notice they never say anything of substance. They never address the reality of what their hero is doing. They're like pre-adolescents, pantomiming adult conversations.

The sad fact is that if they were smart enough to recognize stephen harper for the abomination that he is, they wouldn't be typing their cretinisms on the internet in the first place. These are the lowest of the low, inspired by god-knows-what, to do whatever it takes to foist their delusions and bigotries on all of us.

My own MP, John Carmichael, is one such dullard. Watch one of his YouTube videos of his performances in the House of Commons and you're treated to an essentially brain-dead individual, farting on cue, and smiling like the idiot he is when he thinks he got it right.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Post-Constitutional Era

Chris Hedges writes about the US Supreme Court refusing to hear the case against the empowerment of the US military to detain US citizens. Some highlights of his writing:
The 2nd Circuit overturned Forrest’s ruling last July in a decision that did not force it to rule on the actual constitutionality of Section 1021(b)(2). It cited the Supreme Court ruling in Clapper v. Amnesty International, another case in which I was one of the plaintiffs, to say that I had no standing, or right, to bring the NDAA case to court. Clapper v. Amnesty International challenged the secret wiretapping of U.S. citizens under the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. The Supreme Court had ruled in Clapper that our concern about government surveillance was “speculation.” It said we were required to prove to the court that the FISA Act would be used to monitor those we interviewed. The court knew, of course, that the government does not disclose whom it is monitoring. It knew we could never offer proof. The leaks by Edward Snowden, which came out after the Supreme Court ruling, showed that the government was monitoring us all, along with those we interviewed. The 2nd Circuit used the spurious Supreme Court ruling to make its own spurious ruling. It said that because we could not show that the indefinite-detention law was about to be used against us, just as we could not prove government monitoring of our communications, we could not challenge the law. It was a dirty game of judicial avoidance on two egregious violations of the Constitution.
The government, by ignoring the rights and needs of ordinary citizens, is jeopardizing its legitimacy. This is dangerous. When a citizenry no longer feels that it can find justice within the organs of power, when it feels that the organs of power are the enemies of freedom and economic advancement, it makes war on those organs. Those of us who are condemned as radicals, idealists and dreamers call for basic reforms that, if enacted, will make peaceful reform possible. But corporate capitalists, now unchecked by state power and dismissive of the popular will, do not see the fires they are igniting. The Supreme Court ruling on our challenge is one more signpost on the road to dystopia.    
Indeed. Shameful. Frightening. And it's so fucking obvious that this is not about "terrorism." How grave can US elites believe the threat of Al Qaeda is when they're actually arming them and funding them in other countries? It's a scam. A hoax. And harper is bringing it to Canada.

We have to communicate with our fellow Canadians. We have to tell them two things: We have to inform them about what's going on in such a way as to get them enraged about what's going on, and then, equally important, we have to tell them what we, and they, are going to do about it.

Either without the other is useless.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Horwath Pulls Plug on Wynne's Liberals

I have long had mixed emotions about the Ontario political scene. I have long been nauseated with the Ontario Liberal government. McGuinty's contempt for the legislature (learned at the feet of his master, stephen harper) and his ministers' and staff's (technologically incompetent) attempts to erase the records of their criminal waste of over $1 billion makes them unfit to govern.

The present premier, Kathleen Wynne, says she had nothing whatsoever to do with that gas-plant fiasco and I believe her. But nonetheless, this whole "look forward, not backwards" mentality for official criminality is a disease affecting our entire political culture. There needs to be accountability.

But speaking of unfit to govern, ... the practical impacts of a Hudak-led Ontario PC government, would be so grievous as to force me to give a pause to my parliamentary principles. But the hell of it is that when they held power, the Ontario PC's were just as contemptuous of the forms and the spirits of our laws as the McGuinty Liberals ever were. Indeed, several of the most vile enablers of stephen harper's anti-democratic reign are former Ontario PC's: Baird, Clement, and the now deceased Jim Flaherty. To defeat the Ontario Liberals only to usher in a mega-incompetent, equally anti-democratic pack of idiots and scum seems, ... what expression suits "worse than Quixotic"?

The unpalatable choice was up to Andrea Horwath of the ONDP. As with partisan imbeciles at the federal level, she could be accused of "propping-up the corrupt Liberals" by the right-wing, or handing power to Tim Hudak, in the same way Liberal partisans whined about Jack Layton. But the thing is, I don't care too much for Horwath's ONDP. (And I campaigned for her.) I hear a lot of right-wing rhetoric coming from Horwath, and a lot of disrespect for democracy and procedure in her foisting SUN News moron Adam Giambrone on the Scarborough riding-association in a recent by-election.

The budget that Horwath defeated was, apparently, a good budget (relatively speaking). But it was also a desperate political ploy. Furthermore, budgets have to be implemented. The long and the short of it is that I don't really know what to make of Ontario politics, except to say that the whole scene is depressing and demoralizing.

Friday, May 2, 2014

"Pray for my brother ..."

In keeping with my empty, trivial subject matter until such a time as I have time to think about more substantive things I bring you the laughable request of the teary-eyed Doug Ford that we all "pray" for his brother.

What's moved Doug to tears this time, after all the other incidents of drinking and whoring and consorting with gangsters in order to enjoy their illegal substances? Could it be the nail in the coffin for Doug's dreams of continued political fame? Could it be that there are finally images available to the public and Rob and Doug can't even try to lie this time?

And, anyway, presuming this is the Christian God he's asking us to pray to, ... wouldn't that killjoy of a divinity be more likely to consign the hard-partying Rob Ford to the burning pits of Hell rather than "save" him.

I guess that's what makes me laugh the most about Doug Ford's idiotic request. The doofus asks us to pray for his obnoxious, asshole brother. To a god that doesn't exist. But if this god did exist, it's obvious that neither brother pays more than lip-service to its decrees and commandments.

The brothers Ford serve up yet another piece of evidence as to their shallowness and delusion.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Rob fucking Ford

Busy day, as par yooshoo-al. But I can't resist typing something about the cretinous poster-boy for right-wing failure; Rob Ford.

It's in all the papers, yeez can read about it yerselves if you haven't already. Rob Ford was supposedly smoking crack about last weekend at his sister's place. And he was drunk and belligerent in public last Monday. There's a video for the crack smoking and audio of the drinking.

Oh, and "Ford Nation"? Any statements you make about his economic achievements and how they outweigh his gigantic hypocrisy and obnoxiousness just show you for the deluded ignoramuses that you are. He hasn't saved a billion dollars. He's cut some people's taxes while raising other people's costs. He's an idiot and an incompetent. You people are idiots, incompetents, hypocrites and liars for being his fans.

There's a tiny speck left inside of me that feels sorry for this doofus. Sure, he was born rich, white and  male. But he was also handicapped with a severe case of stupidity. And it's got to be fucking frustrating. Especially since there are some people who don't know they're stupid (because they're so goddamned stupid!).

Imagine how frustrating it would be to be a blind person who doesn't know that they're blind (or refuses to accept it). You bump into things all the time and can't figure out why it always happens to you but not so much to other people. People are describing things for you but you don't have a clue what they're talking about, so you pretend that you understand, make comments that, through trial-and-error, seem to make sense to them and make you part of the gang. But it's all a fucking lie.

That's what it must be like to be Rob Ford. That alone would drive me to drink (more than I already do, which is to say, at about the level of Rob Ford)!

But any sympathy I have is mitigated by his bullying behaviour. His homophobia. His predatory sexism. His racism. AND his fucking hypocrisy. No matter how stupid you are, if you're a drug addict, from a family with addiction issues, for you to profess to have "zero tolerance" for drugs and gangs; ... that hypocrisy is no doubt fueled by racism. Ford understands how he and his sister and his immediate acquaintances are human beings; but he pictures the masses of faceless black and brown people selling and taking drugs, committing crimes, and he no doubt thinks "The barbarians are at the gates!"

A last sobering thought: Rob Ford is interesting because he provides a glimpse at how low the human brain can function at. He's a symbol of the depths of the right-wing neurosis. And the continuing loyalty of "Ford Nation" is a cautionary tale of the levels of depravity and degradation a significant portion of the electorate is willing to take this country to. Don't forget, this disgusting piece-of-shit was a boon companion to the recently departed "statesman," Jim Flaherty. Before he became toxic, he was a sought-after ally of both Tim Hudak and stephen harper. "Ford Nation" type people are a big reason why other right-wing parties remain viable in other parts of Canada and in the nation as a whole. This is what we're up against. That is the enemy. To a degree, some of their enthusiasm is based on an ignorant recitation of the dominant themes in the politics of the white, male, Christian-capitalist power-structure (that Bill O'Reilly adores). Some of those people can be turned if you approach them the right way. But unless and until you do that, they and all the hopeless rest of that crowd will do untold damage to you, us and our way of life.