Monday, August 31, 2015

harper's stench Will Linger

For me, the most important issue in this election is (as it was last time) respect for our Parliamentary traditions.Because not only is harper unwilling to modify his policies so that they'll coincide with reality, .. he has destroyed the very ability of the legislature to observe him and communicate with the public about what they've found. More, he'll shred our constitutional rights to oppose him; and he'll do it again and again, regardless of how many times the Supreme Court tries to shut him down.efeat, his stench will linger. I think I should tell you all that I'm typing this with my eyes closed. Allergies have made my eyes so itchy and watery that I can't see. It got too much about three seconds ago. So what the hell.

harper's stench has already infected other politicians and parties. McGuinty of the Ontario Liberals is the second Canadian premier after harper to demonstrate contempt for the legislature. Thanks to harper's precedent.
harper's secrecy, abuse of process, attacks on our rights, ... they'll all have their influence on subsequent politicians. It is up to us to treat this infection and destroy it.
But I hold no great hopes that we're capable of that.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The "harperman" Investigation

So, Tony Turner is a federal scientist of some sort. As a private citizen he wrote a song called "harperman." (I'm listening to it for the first time as I type.) Anyway, it's anti-harper. And it has nothing to do with his work as a federal scientist. He's being investigated.

Some lawyers are having a debate as to whether or not Turner's blatantly partisan performance is technically allowed, irrespective of the fact that stephen harper stole power through election fraud, is a war criminal, and a thug who rips up treaties and shows contempt for Parliament.
At issue is whether Turner violated the code of ethics that all public servants must adhere to — one that mandates they be impartial and non-partisan.
At the same time, the courts have upheld public servants' right to engage in political activity.
So how should public servants strike the balance between what's forbidden under the code and permitted by the courts?
It's a fair question. But as someone at the CBC comments section asked: Are the PMO scuzz-balls who were lying to Parliament and totally prepared to interfere with an official public audit of the Senate, ... are they acting in a partisan manner? What about the military personnel who tried to investigate critics of stupid Peter MacKay's habit of using Canadian Forces resources for his own personal use?

Are they going to be suspended and investigated?

If not, then shut the fuck up.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Refugee Crises

It is shameful and appalling. The CIA and the House of Saud (together with the IMF, and other international institutions) foment wars and economic disasters in the Middle East, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, ... and now, add global warming to the mix. Millions of refugees are created.

And the wealthiest countries in the world lock them out.
Between five and ten migrant children have been killed since February after the United States deported them back to Honduras, a morgue director told the Los Angeles Times. Lawmakers have yet to come up with best practices to deal with the waves of unaccompanied children apprehended by Border Patrol agents, but some politicians refute claims that children are fleeing violence and are opting instead to fund legislation that would fast-track their deportations.
Disgusting isn't it?
UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants François Crépeau described Europe's current response as a delusional way of trying to stop the influx.
"Building fences, using tear gas and other forms of violence against migrants and asylum seekers, detention, withholding access to basics such as shelter, food or water and using threatening language or hateful speech will not stop migrants from coming or trying to come to Europe," he said in a statement.
This is the degeneracy I was talking about yesterday. It's the reason why decent people need to give their heads a shake and figure out how the extreme right-wing managed to rise to political prominence in the White Settler Societies and in the White Settler Homeland of Europe.

Because if we don't take control, the ecological and human disasters are going to be even more monstrous than they are now.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Unite the Left and Banish the Degenerates

If I were a leftist opinion maker of any importance it would be a top priority of mine to address the relative disparity between the soundness of the left's policies and the practical impact of our political activity.

It seems to me that one thing we have to do is unite under a platform that is at least amenable to the various strands of progressive thought and then investigate strategies to make our collective will felt.

After all, why is it that WE have to be a position of reacting to initiatives implemented by a buffoon such as this?
You all remember this clown right? He said he could cut THREE BILLION DOLLARS worth of "gravy" from City of Toronto spending without cuts to services. He GUARANTEED there'd be no cuts to services. Then he talked about cutting library hours, closing fire stations, raising user fees for recreation centres, etc., etc., .

Now, ordinarily, when a politician guarantees something and then fails to deliver, people will say that said politician didn't know what he was talking about. But with Rob Ford and his fans, ... well, he "held the line on spending" so it's all good.

No. It's not all fucking good. You guys said he'd find $3,000,000,000 in waste and now you're cutting TTC routes and shuttering libraries??? Fuck you!

And, of course, Rob Ford had "zero tolerance" for drugs and gangs. And then, infamously, he was found to have been smoking crack with gangsters on a regular basis. Ford and his fan-base are the degenerates I'm talking about in the title of this post. People on the left don't generally go around talking about locking-up or deporting all the criminal scum, and how we should dish out "hard time" for drug addicts. More often, we talk about attacking the root causes that lead young men to pursue lives of crime and we deal with drug addiction as a medical problem that needs treatment, not criminalization. It's sickening how hypocritical Ford and his fans are when they were exposed on this issue.

And then the asshole had the nerve to vote in favour of carding (harassment of young black men) by the Toronto Police Service!

There was a time when such an obvious imbecile would be laughed out of politics after one term as a city councillor. Instead, this guy might have won re-election as mayor had it not been for his cancer.

Ah, fuck it.

I was going to type more, but instead I'll just post two pictures I downloaded of representative cretins of the political right:
Paul Calandra: Sleazy grifter and useless piece of shit
And ...
John Carmichael: Drooling backbench troglodyte

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Tom Mulcair is my GOD!!!!

Nah. That ain't it. He's moved the NDP to the centre. (And, on foreign policy, into alignment with war criminals and nazis.) I've heard from the former EnMasser/Rabble Babbler "Cueball" that this election's NDP platform actually has some pretty good social policies in it. Maybe.

But Mulcair was never my man. I was going to be happy with a Liberal minority to be honest. A NDP minority would be better. A NDP majority would be great because it would eliminate all doubt about whether harper has lost power or not.

But this "dipper" doesn't feel like he has sold out his principles for power. I'm used to not getting what I want. I knew who Mulcair was (except for that insane praise for Thatcherism part) before this election.

I'll say this: Mulcair won't have a fight on his hands if he becomes prime minister. It would be nice to think the people opposed to the Tar Sands, and Israeli war crimes and Thatcherism would put pressure on Mulcair; but as I saw with harper, us types are no good at even knowing what "pressure" is. We certainly don't know how to apply it.

I do hope for a return to a respect for parliamentary procedures and oversight.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Thanks to Andrew Coyne

I've already said on this blog that I have little respect for the man's economic views. But when it comes to defending Parliament against the serial outrages of stephen harper, I give a tip of my hat to Andrew Coyne.

Yesterday he wrote a valuable commentary about the Duffy scandal. Its main source of value is its serving as a counterweight to all the idiotic attempts by harpercon hacks to deny the scandal of the Duffy-Wright bribe. ("So Wright repaid the taxpayers instead of Duffy himself. What's the big deal?")

Coyne summarizes what other clear-headed critics of harper have been saying for months:
First, there is the matter of the payment itself. The secrecy of it is indeed a large part of what makes it such a big deal. It was one of the conditions attached to the payment — at Wright’s explicit insistence — of the kind that mark the difference between a possible bribe and a gift; moreover the failure to disclose it is itself one of the things the law forbids.
It is important to bear in mind: Wright’s bank draft was not made out to the Receiver General, but to Duffy’s law firm. It may have ultimately gone to repay his expenses, but its first purpose was to relieve him of the obligation. Whether that was illegal or not is for a court to decide, but it clearly sailed very close to the line: if not under the Criminal Code, then under Sect. 16 of the Parliament of Canada Act (“no member of the Senate shall receive or agree to receive any compensation … in relation to any bill, proceeding, contract, claim, controversy, charge, accusation, arrest or other matter before the Senate…”) Put simply, you can’t make clandestine payments to sitting legislators, no matter what your reason.
But the payment was in the service of a broader subterfuge: the pretense that Duffy had repaid his expenses himself. Again, to those who protest “what does it matter who paid as long as it was paid,” it pretty clearly mattered to those involved. It mattered, because they wanted to remove the public stain on Duffy’s name — and not incidentally, on the man who appointed him. And it mattered because the claim that Duffy had repaid was critical to the argument that the quasi-legal proceedings begun against Duffy — the Deloitte audit, the Senate committee report — had been rendered moot.
But Coyne is a nationally-syndicated columnist from the right-side of the political spectrum. When Coyne says it, it has cultural weight.
There was the scandal of harper's arrogance and incompetence in making Duffy the Senator for PEI when Duffy lived in Ontario. There was the scandal of Duffy claiming his principle Ontario residence as an expense to be reimbursed by the taxpayers. And there is the main scandal that all of this was a taxpayer subsidy for Duffy to act as a full-time party fund-raiser.
That was what Wright was trying to buy Duffy's silence on.
In other news, some Globe & Mail airhead named Konrad Yakabuski farted out an entire column dedicated to the phenomenon of "harper derangement syndrome." Poor ol' Yakabuski just can't figure out the animosity to the centrist stephen harper. Nope. No sirreeee. All he can think of his harper's perhaps misguided cancellation of the long-form Census. And, well, ... what's the big deal?
I'm not going to link to that Globe & Mail's trollish click-bait piece of garbage. If Yakabuski wants the country to know that he's a shit-head who hasn't made the slightest effort to read any of the numerous take-downs of harper's disastrous reign of error, that's his business. If any Globe & Mail minions are reading this, I'd just like to add that brazen bullshit like that Yakabuski column is one of the many reasons I refuse to pay money for your newspaper.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

We Aren't Going To Escape Into Space

We were designed to survive on this tiny island that exists in a vast ocean of deadly radiation, deadly cold, burning heat and nothingness. Supposedly there are stars or quasars or some damn things out there that could burst and wipe us all out anyway.

But if something out there doesn't kill us here on the Earth, it appears we'll probably do the job ourselves. And too many of us think that if we kill this planet's capacity to support human life, that somehow a small number of plucky individuals will be able to escape and humanity will survive among the stars.

That is impossible.

So "Stop Harper."

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Battle Among Elites ... but we're included

The harpercons have done so much foul shit. But institutions such as the Canadian Forces, the RCMP, CSIS, Revenue Canada, etc., etc., are headed by corrupt sycophants of stephen harper's and they have kept silent about what they know. Because they are corrupt. Selfish. Debased. Especially those generals who sit there silently and let harper abuse disabled vets, nickel and dime them, when meanwhile, scumbags like Peter MacKay can use expensive military helicopters as his own goddamned taxi service.

But there are, evidently, members of the Canadian elite who are heartily sick of stephen harper. Something tells me that some of those were in the Senate. It was they who decided that out of all the corruption and cronyism, it would be harper's hand-picked trio of Brazeau, Wallin and Duffy who would be found contravention of the Senate's lax rules about expenses.

(Please note: The residency requirements for Senators are NOT confusing. They aren't open to interpretation. You have to reside in the region you represent as a Senator. End of story.)

That was the first salvo fired by harper's enemies. And it knocked him off balance. Never in a million years would harper have imagined that simply stating that Duffy was from PEI and making him a taxpayer-funded, full-time party bag-man would not be accepted by everyone. After all, isn't harper the prime minister?

But when this arrogant violation of the rules was challenged, all the wheels came off the harper go-cart. At first harper thought that Duffy would do what every other one of his subordinates would do, and play the party of the craven, self-sacrificing toady. But Duffy was different. This was too much and, besides, most of it was harper's fault.

So then we got the scandal as it stands; Nigel Wright finally decided to pony-up the cash to pay Duffy's invalid expenses. The PMO would try to manipulate the independent auditors and the Senate expenses committee. And Duffy would admit guilt and claim that he was paying back his expenses himself.

But then Duffy blabbed about it to some friends in an email and one of them leaked it. Then the RCMP got involved. They charged Duffy with accepting a bribe but didn't charge Nigel Wright for paying the bribe. They could have easily done so under the Parliament of Canada Act. The RCMP also interviewed insiders at the PMO and ignored all the evidence that didn't exonerate Wright and protect harper.

But we're not seeing this scandal in its full light. It seems that it's very clear that it's all about making harper squirm about when he learned about the Wright-Duffy deal. There's nothing about the wholesale misuse of taxpayer funds to finance Duffy and Wallins' partisan fund-raising activities. Nothing about the promises to have the audit go easy on Duffy. There's nothing about the RCMP's own compromised investigation.

Watch this all very carefully. This is one group of elites taking on another group of elites with every effort being made to ensure that the damage from this dust-up is kept within "reasonable" (to them) bounds. After all, does Nigel Wright look worried that he's going to go to the Big House?

Meanwhile, other elites (the Liberals and the NDP) are seeing this as an opportunity to hammer away at harper's credibility. (Even if the idea that harper is credible should have been eviscerated long ago.)

Still and all, this is an election. The one time us ordinary shlubs are given an opportunity to toss out one set of managers for another.

Somehow, after writing all this, I don't feel electrified.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

August 23rd 1915

Don't know what else to talk about so I'll mention that 100 years ago not much was happening on the Western Front.

There was heavy fighting on the Eastern Front though. On this day, Russian soldiers were stubbornly defending a place called Klezczeli, but it would be part of an overall German advance. We don't really know that much about the Eastern Front in World War I do we? Apparently the Austrians got pulverized early on but we all know that the Russian army and then the Czarist state would eventually crumble under the German hammer blows.

From an economic-history point of view I find it fascinating. European Russia was able to conquer a vast, sparsely inhabited wilderness. They already possessed a gigantic agricultural plain that was difficult to defend. But they didn't have the means to really harness its potential. What good is having a million more young men of military age than your opponents if your agriculture can barely feed them when they themselves are working the land? If you can't get them to the fighting quick enough for lack of rail roads? If you can't build enough guns for them?

Russia's manpower and natural resources would only be truly realized under the Communists, and only just in time.

On the Southern Front, Churchill's disastrous Gallipoli Offensive was grinding on. It would see Churchill's resignation from the cabinet and start the beginning of his over two decades of failure and gradual political irrelevance until Hitler and World War Two elevated him to almost mythical status in 1939 (First Lord of the Admiralty) and 1940 (Prime Minister).

But it was the First World War that produced all that. It traumatized the West. It discredited the elites. In its own terrible way, it helped to make the second half of the 20th Century one of the most democratic and egalitarian of any era that we know about.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Note To harper: you Shouldn't Lie In Parliament

Aside from the fact that the criminal scum shouldn't even BE in Parliament, at the very least, harper should have enough respect for the institution that he not brazenly LIE in Parliament. Which is what he did, repeatedly, when asked questions about the Duffy scandal.

Now, harper probably thought (and continues to think) that politicians have lied in legislatures since time immemorial, and in that he's right. The differences are that it doesn't happen as often as he imagines that it does and, as well, the majority of the politicians who have lied in legislatures are his type of politician: corrupt, crooked, bought-and-paid-for scum. Also, it helps if your lies are not so shamefully obvious. Easily demolished. Insults to the nation's intelligence.

But that has been harper's whole game plan. Brazen lying. Lying about F-35s. Lying about his omnibus legislation. Lying about where polling stations are located. Lying about health care. This is a man who defended Bev Oda for tampering with an official document to make it justify a subsequent policy decision. This is the guy who made Tony Clement President of the Treasury Board after the grifter embezzled $50 million from the border security fund. This is the guy who let Peter Penashue run again under the Conservative banner after he was found guilty of violating election finance laws.

So, what's going to make him stop his lying now that he's been exposed as having serially lied about Duffy's expenses and the subsequent hush money? Can we expect a cowardly stupid liar like stephen harper to have a genuine "Come to Jesus" moment and start telling the truth? Of course not! Break out the popcorn and watch as the pathological liar begins to spew out increasingly absurd rationalizations for his supposed ignorance about what everyone in his office was doing, and their supposed continued silence after he was making statements about it in the House of Commons, and his inexplicable failure to clean house after it was clear that (if he wasn't lying) they'd been allowing him to look like a fool for weeks and months.

It's apparently been confirmed that the ranting codger at the Conservative rally who called the reporters "lying pieces of shit" for their questions about the Duffy scandal (the details of which he showed himself to be absolutely clueless about) is the same guy who told Olivia Chow to go back to China during a public event at the last Toronto municipal election.  It's been noted by others that Cowan was sporting a pro-Doug Ford button when he went off at those reporters. Big surprise; a racist ignoramus supports the Ford brothers.  If this guy lived in the USA, he'd be a Trump supporter.

Read something on Facebook yesterday. That Trump isn't a disgrace to the American political system; he's an indictment of it. Elites have been encouraging right-wing know-nothing racists in order to distract attention from and divide opposition to their wholesale plunder and criminality. Trump, harper and Ford brother supporters have managed to rally supporters to causes of mass delusion, disgusting racism, crude buffoonery, religious fascism, ... viewpoints that would have been suppressed only a few decades ago. It is ugly, it is contaminating and, when these fools take power (fairly or fraudulently) it injures our lives. But the thing is, there are NOT that many of them. I've said before that if the rest of the USA that despises Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity were to turn, as one, against those conmen's fans, they would quickly pound them into sauce. Perhaps we should all smash their fucking faces in for a better world.

So, Tom Mulcair, Israel and Margaret Thatcher. Straight off the top, Mulcair was never my choice for leader of the NDP. Furthermore, I don't think Mulcair has all that much to do with the current success of the NDP. Walk down any middle-class street in Canada and you'll find a surprising degree of ignorance and delusion about current events. This is the truth. Maybe 20% of the population agrees with the imbecilic Earl Cowan after all. (Remember, he saw fit to wade into a crowd of reporters and scream that the Duffy scandal is about Duffy having cheated on his taxes!) And that Cowan guy is a political junkie! He thinks about politics so much he goes to candidate's meetings and rallies and sports their campaign pins! But he's so dismally stupid that he has no idea what's really going on.

Ordinary sane people are mainly focused on their personal lives and their immediate circles. The self, the family, the job, the neighbours. "Politics" for them is a distant concept of only hazy significance. It also appears to be boring. And futile. But what the hell, sometimes they watch the news. And television news is a dreadful source of information about politics. The more ambitious of these people occasionally read the newspapers, which are only slightly less dreadful. (Two-thirds Margaret Wente and one-third Naomi Klein at the best of times.)

The point is that the vast majority of people who are moving to the NDP are doing so not out of some detailed thinking about Mulcair's centrism or NDP policies. They're doing so because they've been fucked-over by neo-liberalism (peddled by the harpercons for the past decade) and they cannot recall the Liberals having done anything substantial to oppose this neo-liberalism in living memory. They have a hazy recollection that the NDP resists neo-liberalism and they've decided to give them a try.

But there's a culture in this country that is built, fostered, enabled, encouraged, enforced, etc., by self-centred, self-deluding, narcissistic scumbags of the capitalist persuasion that allows "conservatives" to run racists, boors, convicted fraudsters and criminals as viable candidates (Rob "crack-head" Ford fer fuksakes!) whereas a left-wing candidate who dares criticize Israel, or bully cops, or mainstream greed-heads is hounded until they give a craven apology and are then hounded into resigning.

In such a culture, only certain people can pass muster. That's why you get a product like Tom Mulcair. At the moment though, harper is the greatest menace. But we'll need to really think about how we can build a different culture in this country, and, what's more, make it the dominant one, after harper is gone.

Finally, I just want to say something about the Liberals. And remember, this is from a guy who is going to vote Liberal this election. You're wrong about Canada having hit a debt wall in the nineties. And you're deluded about how progressive you were in the nineties. And when you're schooled about this you proceed to being in denial about it. This too, is part of the culture that has to change. Justin Trudeau's meaningless twaddle about "growing the economy from the heart outwards" is just as cynical and meaningless as Barack Obama's lies about hope and change. Those of you liberals/Liberals who still gush about the US Democratic Party need to pull your heads out of your asses if you're going to be part of the culture of genuine democracy.

Friday, August 21, 2015

harper's Grim Legacy

I don't want to be premature of course. Vote splitting. Election fraud. Attack ads. They all might still do their part and allow harper to push another "victory" out of his anus.

But, what with the recession, the complete failure of his insane "energy super-power" delusion, and his personal unpopularity combined with the steady drip-drip-drip of the Duffy scandal, it seems that the odds are in favour of harper's defeat.

In light of this, it's time to reflect upon his legacy. What did he teach us about ourselves? Not much that is good I'm afraid. We have a rotten political culture. We are a confused, apathetic people, unappreciative of our democratic inheritance. We don't know how it works and we don't seem to want to know.

Too many mainstream Canadians seem comfortable with the witless notion that "politicians are all the same," while too many radicals drift about in incoherent fantasies of refusal and revolution.

When it comes to our rights, we're indifferent. We accept that we have no privacy and shrug our shoulders at this, as it it is simply impossible to make enforceable laws restricting corporate and state access to our online activities. This same sort of thinking would make it easy for the government to open our mail or for the police to search our homes without warrants.

We should have had a revolt against harper and his cover-up of torture. We showed the world that we really don't care if dozens of innocent people were thrown into torture chambers in Afghanistan.

Oh my fucking god, but we have shown ourselves to be a deeply racist people against the First Nations. When Christie Belchforth called Cheif Theresa Spence's hunger-strike an act of terrorism, and she kept her job ....

I shant continue. Instead I will say that upon harper's defeat (which I am still doing my part to bring about) we must focus our efforts on creating the structures of accountability against the criminal and anti-democratic behaviour demonstrated by the harpercon monsters. And we must work to change the culture of this country.

A big part of this requires a hard look at the tactics of failure that most of you still seem strongly wedded to.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

I'll Take What I Can Get, .... But ...

So, after the contempt of Parliament, the assault on medical care for refugees, the disgraceful violation of First Nations' treaty rights, the torture cover-ups, the insane denial of global warming, the stolen election, the serial omnibus bills, the G-20 atrocity, the insults about how missing and murdered aboriginal women were "not high on [his] list of priorities," the spending of hundreds of millions on advertising for non-existent programs, the lying to Parliament about Canada's latest military adventures, ... after all that, it's the Duffy Scandal that sinks harper?

The Duffy Scandal isn't the non-issue that a commenter here is trying to paint it as:
Here are the main points:
The Senate - like your House of Lords - is an independent chamber of sober second thought - but it has problems - it is unaccountable since it is unelected (senators are appointed to represent the provinces, but as an independent chamber there is little control over what those Senators do or do not do). As this 'scandal' shows, the Senate had very loosey goosey rules on what Senators can expense. Basically anything and everything.
Mike Duffy expensed a lot - just like all the senators including Conservatives and Liberals. He and others were called out for their expenses (and justly so). Many of the senators choose to pay back the money or retire. Duffy either couldn`t afford to pay the money back or didn`t want to because he felt that he was entitled to the money. That was the issue that ended up involving the PMO because it was becoming a political issue (see CBC and their hate on for Harper).
The Conservative Party was originally willing to cover the cost of his expenses using donor money, but as the bill escalated and Duffy became more entrenched insisting that he had done nothing wrong, the party declined.
Nigel Wright stepped up and offered to pay the bill OUT OF HIS OWN POCKET. Was the intent to disfuse the situation - absoluately. How it was bribe baffles everyone? The fact that the RCMP never charged Wright pretty much ends any bribery charges even for Duffy. And since Nigel used a personal cheque it is unlikely he had any intent to 'hide' the fact. Unlike the former Liberal government and Adscam were Liberal senators were literally paying on business with envelopes of cash.
So esssentally a Dudly Do Right wants to return money TO taxpayers and he is hauled into court. Duffy is going to get off since the spending rules of the Senate were non-existent! What rules did he volitate?
The bigger scandal is that the audit completed on 2 years of Senator expenses cost 23 MILLION DOLLARS AND FOUND LESS THAN A MILLION DOLLARS OF QUESTIONABLE EXPENSES. But again since the spending rules are non existent, what does the audit show - pretty much nothing.
So this is a 'big' scandal only for the media who live their lifes in Ottawa and cover all political things.
Apparently that bit of twaddle was inspired by this bit of twaddle. Whatevah.

And it certainly isn't about Duffy cheating on his taxes, as that clueless and obnoxious hard-core harperbot cretin tried to say. (More about him later!)

Here's what really happened: harper (the laughable coward) made Duffy a Senator so that he could fund-raise for the Conservative Party of Canada on the taxpayers' dime. (The sort of thing that harpercons get incensed about should another party be doing it.) Duffy was to be the Senator for PEI. Duffy balked at this because the rules are quite clear that you have to live in the province you represent and he'd lived in Ontario for decades. But harper told him not to worry about it, so the Senator for PEI he became.

Duffy pretended that his main residence in Ontario was a secondary residence to his un-winterized cottage in PEI and as a secondary residence he was eligible for compensation. Being a shameless hack, Duffy did so expense his main house as his secondary Ottawa residence and much else besides. (Duffy's current protestations that he did nothing wrong are ridiculous bullshit.)

Then, somehow or other, Duffy got audited and it was all found to be wrong. His Ottawa residence was not his secondary residence, he was NOT from PEI, his expense claims were not for official Senate business. Duffy was reeling. What the fuck??? harper had told him everything was going to be all right. Everything was NOT all right! What was harper going to do about it?

harper, being a coward and a shallow, stupid man, decided that discretion was the better part of valour and he would do nothing and let Duffy twist in the wind. Duffy would have none of it. Duffy had been a loyal foot soldier for the party and he'd be damned if he'd go down quietly in the face of such sleazy betrayal.

The PMO decided to get the Conservative Party to bail him out. But they party wasn't prepared to pay $90,000 for Duffy. (They had been prepared to pay $35,000 of publicly subsidized donor's money!) So, Nigel Wright decides to pay up. But Duffy has to admit his guilt. Duffy has to pretend he borrowed the money from the Royal Bank. Duffy has to shut the fuck up. In return the PMO will have the Senate audit go easy on him. They tried to influence the auditors themselves and they rewrote the Senate Committee's report when that didn't work.

Then Duffy blabbed about it in an email to some friends and one of them leaked it.

And here we, and harper, find ourselves.

This is corruption Canadian style and the RCMP, which charged Duffy with accepting a bribe, but chose not to charge Wright under the Parliament of Canada Act (where his actions are very much illegal) and which has been shown to have been strangely unconcerned with the inconsistent and changing accounts of the principles involved, is looking terrible too.

If this is what it takes to bring down harper, so be it. But he is guilty of so much worse. Much, much worse. It's telling about our political culture that something like this brings down a despised prime minister and not any of his major crimes against humanity.

Now, about that cranky old fart who called the reporters "lying pieces of shit": How do we produce such people? Clearly he's able to dress and groom himself. He looks like he held down a steady job for his working age years. And probably a nice paying one too. So how does he feel so passionate about something he clearly knows nothing about? He knows sweet fuck all about this scandal. His characterization of it as being Duffy cheating on his taxes isn't even approaching the standard harpercon distortions. This imbecile has no clue about the Duffy scandal. There is no way that he could have watched a single news report on it in even a semi-conscious state. Now, were I to be so completely ignorant about a topic, the last thing I'd do would be to wade into a group of journalists and berate them for getting it wrong and call them liars.

But this guy did. It's like he ran up to a group of teenagers playing basketball and took the ball and started hitting it with a stick like it was field hockey and yelled at them for not being able to keep up.

This clueless sense of entitlement is the epitome of white, male conservatism. For the most part, these people are morons. Somehow our society is set up to reward these assholes over everyone else, despite their obvious mental shortcomings. They have some deranged, incoherent worldview and even though it is destroyed on a daily basis, they don't notice. They don't have to notice. The don't experience the discomfort or stress of cognitive dissonance, because they have so much scar tissue over their brains that it doesn't penetrate. Facts bounce off their thick skulls like a fine mist.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

First Nations Activists Confront harper In Fredericton

I found this really powerful. When I was a kid I grew up believing that Canada was a good place. We had "Indians" just like in the USA, but whereas the US-Americans fought brutal wars with their "Indians" as they colonized their west, Canadians seemed to have been able to move in peacefully with treaties. Sure, "Indians" were poor and (as I got older I realized that they suffered some social problems, such as alcoholism, which I was told was due to a genetic predisposition), and that this was "tragic" but with hard work, in God's good time, they too would come to take their places in our successful Canadian family.

Obviously I haven't thought that way for quite some time. But I was still struck, when seeing this video, with the visceral feeling that Canada is a landmass named and conquered by Europeans, and that the First Nations are a separate people, ... the people who settled here millennia before us, ... a separate people with a separate constitutional status. (And their "status" is only relevant in relation to us. They exist on their own, quite independently of our courts and our treaties with them.)

They are there protesting the detestable stephen harper as he makes a campaign stop in Fredericton.
These First Nations activists are trying to confront harper because he is the supreme thief and bully. For well over a century, there has been a policy of assimilation and extermination and theft. It was reversed slightly in the mid-20th Century, but it was always there. But with harper, there is brazen violation of treaty rights. Serial insults to the First Nations as a sovereign people. harper represents the undercurrent of racist sludge emitted by far too many settler Canadians. And it is intolerable to them.

Just look at that cavalcade of limousines though! Look at this puffed-up bully and his motorcade. I daresay that cowardly stephen harper loves himself these trappings of power! And it's a well known fact that in this campaign, harper is insulating himself from the public like never before. he's wrapped in scandals, his policies have been failures, and more and more of the population utterly loathes him. And I call him a coward because he is a coward. he has always run from uncomfortable situations (like facing the truth). And (because it needs repeating) this harper character, who likes to masquerade as a great warrior leader, shamefully abandoned his party followers when shots were heard in the corridors of Parliament Hill. Without a word to anyone, Mr. Strong Leadership scurried like a cockroach into a nearby closet, where he cowered until, well, who knows? Did he come out on his own? Or did his followers open the closet door and see him in the fetal position in the closet's back corner?

Now, consider these First Nations women trying to confront harper. It's just them versus all those security men in the suits and the cops. And they know how they've been treated by such men in the past. It takes real courage to face down such power in order to make a stand. harper has none of that stuff.

Ultimately, the thuggish mediocrity, low functioning scuzzball never even sees those women. Only true and blue party supporters are allowed to attend his events. This is the sort of imbecile who will still vote for such a clearly rotten man and rotten party:

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Movies For the Kiddies

If you find yourself stuck trying to entertain kids for an extended period of time, thwap's schoolyard recommends giving "Wreck-It Ralph" a try:
And, it seems that 1995's "Jumanji" (with the late, great Robin Williams) still holds up. (My 8 year old has seen it three times and he was still eagerly anticipating and terrified of the crocodile attack. Plus he liked the monkeys and everything.)
Remember, these are movies for kids. I ain't saying they reach the heights of "The Room" or "Plan 9 From Outer Space" or anything.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Election News Round-Up

I started this post more than a week ago (I think). Was too busy to get to it until now. So what the fuck. I won't have all that effort and shit go down the drain.
NDP candidate for Toronto-Centre, Linda McQuaig says that to respond to the global warming crisis, some of the Tar Sands oil will have to stay in the ground. stephen harper responds with a barrage of laughable bullshit, including the canard that the NDP will "wreck the economy."

Once again; in return for kissing the oil industry's ass for decade after decade, the people of Alberta enjoy no provincial sales tax. (If the right-wing Wild Rose or the corporatist Progressive Conservatives had their way, Albertans would continue to pay no sales taxes, but they'd also suffer health care cuts, education cuts, and there will be no adequate welfare to the workers ditched by the dying Alberta petro-economy (besides one-way bus tickets to another province).

Also, if you want to know what "wrecking the economy" looks like, simply harken back to those thrilling days of yesteryear when financial industry criminals (i.e., pretty much the entire financial industry) caused the 2008 Financial Crisis and the recessionary hard times that the world continues to slog through.

But somehow, stephen harper isn't about to do anything but double-down on that madness.

Anyhow, Linda McQuaig is right. And rather than side-step this obvious reality, the NDP should have already had a narrative in place to appeal to Alberta voters.

In other news, right-winger John Robson simply can't stomach the idea of voting for the harpercons. It's a decent essay and most of you have probably read it already:
Power has corrupted him and his party. I wrote nearly two years ago that Harper is unfit for office because he lied to Parliament over the Wright-Duffy affair, insolently telling incompatible tales five days apart in October 2013, and lying about having contradicted himself.

Instead of recoiling from this cynical deceit, his party enthusiastically embraced it. If they think him worthy of public trust, they aren’t either.
These people are not honourable. Indeed, they laugh at honour. They cherish the low blow, the devious tactic, the unprincipled bribe, in a relentless, sneering, partisan tone. People I know and like retweet Pierre Poilievre with vicious glee. I weep for them and my country.
Self-proclaimed “realists” may consider me unreasonably fastidious. But I will not give my vote to a party that disgusts and appalls me. Neither should you.
But the real reason that I link to it is to point out a hardcore harpercon in the comments section and how somebody else's complaints about harper gagging scientists gave him an opportunity to express his views on the proper role of government-funded science.

His nickname is "Proud Surrey." (Oh! Before I forget; there's another example of right-wing brain-fucked-up-dom at a link to an thingy for Linda McQuaig's The Wealthy Banker's Wife that I posted earlier today. There, another "deep thinker" refers to McQuaig's support for welfare state programs like the Baby Bonus and subsidized daycare as "totalitarian." These pathetic assholes will shit their pants in fear over subsidized daycare but happily continue to vote for mass spying, police-state powers to fight a bullshit "war on terror.") (How many times have I used the words "asshole" and "shit" in this post????)

Here he goes ...
Scientists who work for the government earn their keep as researchers, not whistleblowers, and it's the same for any organization.
First of all; publishing your work (you know, the stuff that the taxpayers have paid you to do?) is not whistle blowing.  Second of all, whistle blowers are people who report illegal activity. So, "Proud Surrey" has basically said that he's fine with harper paying scientists to uselessly spin their wheels and that he agrees that they should not be empowered to expose dangerous or illegal activities.

He manages to say both of these stupid things while denying the whole purpose of government financed science; which is to provide reality-based analysis to help policy-makers construct their laws and regulations. "Reality has a liberal bias" so, so much the worse for reality.

That's hard-nosed "conservative" partisanship for ya! Idiot.

Someone claiming to be a federal scientist takes issue with this nonsense:
I'm replying only to your comment about scientists, because I am a scientist. This government isn't muzzling whistleblowers; they're muzzling research. That very same research you claim we are doing to earn our keep. We aren't allowed to present that research to the public, only the PMO is allowed to do that. Sorry, but that's not science, and I won't be voting for a prime minister who believes that only his favourite truth should be told.
Undaunted, "Proud Surrey" soldiers on ...
Of course you're not allowed to present it to the public. You're doing it for the government, not the public per-se. If you were working for a private company, the company spokesman, not you, would release the results of that research. If you were working for NASA, the NASA spokesman, not you, would release the results of that research. It's no different in government.
If you want to use science to fight some great crusade, I suggest you offer your services to any of the numerous nonprofits who are engaged in doing just that. Just don't be surprised if the benefit package is not as good.
And even then, the nonprofit spokesman, not you, will release the results of your research.
Here, Proud Surrey seems to be living under the delusion that scientific facts are optional. Perhaps embracing some post-structural delusions, wherein professors of English pretend that they can disavow scientific theories that they clearly don't understand the first thing about, Proud Surrey seems to think that if scientific research reveals something inconvenient to government or corporate interests it can be suppressed because the government-corporate agenda is more important than what the science says. One would thin that a corporate scientist would have every reason to find results that favour their employer and that research that shows results detrimental to that employer would have to be pretty solid warrant an employee-scientist to stand by it.

But "Proud Surrey" seems to think that the rights of management supersede reality. Regardless of the consequences. This is no doubt what "Proud Surrey" imagines is "worldly wisdom" when it's really just craven, corporate boot-licking.

Finally, in response to charges about the harpercons destroying decades of work in the form of books and libraries and entire institutions, as well as comments about how truth-based scientific reporting helps to keep government honest and democratic, "Proud Surrey" defecates all over the internet:
Spare me the outrage, Limey. The government owned that data and does not have to keep it if it doesn't see the need. The government disposes of redundant assets all the time. So do private companies. Do you know how many books your community library throws out every year? Is that now to be considered book-burning, too?
And scientists are not the foot soldiers of democracy, any more than union workers or street protesters are. The Soviet Union had a very advanced science program, in some ways superior to America's, but was certainly no democracy. Ditto for Nazi Germany. You are not some thin but unwavering line standing between us and tyranny. So get over yourself.
They must be scraping the bottom of the barrel for scientists these days, if the ones they hire can't spell "scenario." Your reference to Fahrenheit 451 also suggests you are a boomer. The Sixties are over, man. Like endsville. This is not an employee-owned airline in Scandinavia. You do what you're told or you don't get paid. If you don't like it, you are free to look for employment elsewhere.
And those are facts.
Right. So, if a government scientist discovers that the permafrost is melting, or that wildlife is toxic, or that a tailing pond is leaching dangerous chemicals into drinking water, it is a good thing for government or corporate managers to suppress these findings and it is their right to do so. These "facts" about our authoritarian work structures are true and good and all the cancer deaths, billion-dollar clean-ups (that follow the inevitable disasters) won't do anything to make these "facts" any less beautiful.

What a fucking loser.

I don't keep tabs on the right-wing blogs anymore. I don't even read the newspapers much anymore. So it's been a while since I've encountered such brazen right-wing stupidity in such a strong dose.

Finally, I wanted to say something about the disgraceful treatment of Morgan Wheeldon by the Mulcair-NDP. Check this blog. I am not a fan of Tom Mulcair. Not because he's "angry" (a charge laid by people who must never get angry themselves I suppose) or because he has a beard, or because his name is "Tom." No, I'm not a fan of "Angry Tom Who Has A Beard" because he stupidly moved the NDP to the centre, which is the space occupied by the Liberals, whose centrist policies so disillusioned Canadians hoping for an alternative to harperism that they moved (to what they thought was) left, to the NDP.

Lemme see how I can put this: For years, the NDP looked at the Liberal House and there always seemed to be a party going on there. The NDP put out lots of low-brow decorations, old-fashioned rock and roll and blues and folk music, ... lots of simple, but free food, but the whole time, the cool crowd was over at the Liberal house where the latest music played and the hors-d'œuvres and the arty people were. And those party's were bitchin' because the Liberal party had rich backers who could really do the place up right.

Then, the Conservative house down the street got everyone to come to their party. And, at first, not a lot of people went. It sounded horrible. A bunch of tightly-wound militarists, religious freaks and stepford wives having an alcohol free-BBQ that started out with prayer circles and ended in Nickleback and Jann Arden. But then the alcohol started flowing and rumours circulated about weird bdsm games going on in the basement, and they started turning their backyard into a shooting range and rich, white assholes started drag-racing each other up and down the street. (Hitting a few kids who got sent to hospital, but who remembers that stuff for more than a minute or two?) Other religions were invited, and they could pray too, so long as they did it in private and so long as they all agree that queers were a threat to civilization.

Whatever, it started to look crazy-assed good, in a fucked-up sorta way. And the rich friends at the Liberal house started to slither over to the Conservative house. And the Liberal house-leaders started to try to say that they liked Jesus and drag-racing and Nickleback too. But many of the long-time friends of the Liberal house were outraged. Their lawns were chewed up by the Conservative party-goer's car wheels. Garbage was piling up everywhere depressing property values. Somehouses were even being set on fire by Conservative pranksters. (To say nothing of those kids hit by their drag-racing.)

In the end, a whole gang of people left the Liberal house and went over to NDP house. And that's when Mulcair and the NDP brain-trust saw that  the Liberal house was almost empty and they climbed into the windows and unlocked the door and blew the dust off the decorations and announced that the party was there. Meanwhile, the crowds of people at the NDP house helped themselves to cold soup and pizza and listened to records with the few remaining NDP'rs who had stayed at the old place.

Anyhow, this is what Wheeldon said:
Wheeldon is featured on a Conservative Party of Canada website calling Israel’s action against Palestinians a war crime — comments he made on a Facebook post in August 2014.
"One could argue that Israel’s intention was always to ethnically cleanse the region — there are direct quotations proving this to be the case. Guess we just sweep that under the rug. A minority of Palestinians are bombing buses in response to what appears to be a calculated effort to commit a war crime," Wheeldon wrote.
The comment, since deleted, was made in the context of a discussion about controversial British MP George Galloway being physically attacked in London, allegedly for his anti-Israeli views.
“I don't agree with everything Galloway says, but the muted reaction to his beating demonstrates a double-standard in the West. If a Palestinian beat up a conservative politician with the opposite stance, the reaction would be immense,” he wrote.
Wheeldon is also quoted on the Conservative site calling Canada "a country of self-interest and cheap outs" in a September 2011 Facebook post. In his post, Wheeldon wrote that Canada used to be known as a compassionate country.
“They tried to kick out an autistic Korean kid/family not long ago because treatment was too expensive,” he said, before making the controversial comment.
What sort of country do we have where someone can say they stand 100% with Israel when it carpet-bombs civilians, but it doesn't work in reverse?

It's insane.

Weeldon's treatment exposes the sickening falsehood of our pretensions to have been an "honest broker" in the Middle East before harper and his gang of crazed racists and Christo-fascist Zionists took over. We were never an honest broker. We've always been on the side of Israel as it abused the Palestinians and stole their land for decade after decade.

There. I had a free morning and this is what I did with it.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

No "Knock-Out Blow" Against harper???

 I'm glad that I didn't watch that debate a few days ago. Something told me that none of harper's opponents would be able to deliver the metaphorical "knock-out blow." Even though I, personally, believe it would be amazingly easy to neutralize him. Knock him out? It would be easy to knock him down and pound him into sauce.

Remember the 2011 debates? When the wooden Ignatieff, and the gentlemanly Layton and the wily Duceppe spent more time arguing about economics with harper (which, given Ignatieff and Layton's mainstream delusions, was the equivalent of fighting with one arm tied behind one's back) rather than upon his dreadful record of abusing our system of parliamentary democracy?

There was one moment when they could have had him. harper had only recently been spewing about how the proposed Liberal-NDP coalition was an anti-democratic "coup" and this was only made worse by the participation of the evil separatist Bloc Quebecois. The trouble for harper was that he proposed the exact same thing with the NDP and the BQ against the Liberals when he was in opposition.

Well, at one of the debates, Layton (I think it was him) brought up this example of Grade AAA hypocrisy, and for a moment or two, harper was reduced to silence. Then Layton stupidly threw it all away by needlessly saying that he'd never signed-on to harper's proposal to the Governor-General. That caused Duceppe to interject that Layton had very much done so, they proceeded to bicker about that, and the moment had passed. Layton forgot that the prime enemy was harper and that the thrust of the attack should have been on harper's hypocrisy and that efforts to deny any connection between the NDP and the BQ would only confuse the issue.

We can't land a knock-out blow on harper's record?

Not on the abuse of Canadian workers and migrant workers under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program?

Not on the rise of household debt in Canada (which has been the maintenance of the construction boom that accounts for 19% of the Canadian GDP)?

Not on his abuse of veterans?

Not on his cowardice of running into the closet and abandoning his MP minions?

Not on the Lac Megantic rail disaster?

Not on the lying to Parliament about the war he was sending us into?

Not on his serial omnibus legislation?

Not on closing the B.C. Coast Guard base?

And on and on and on.

Watching his rival candidates fail to land a "knock-out blow" on harper makes me wonder if this whole process isn't a pantomime and we're all in a reality show set out to discover just how gullible and apathetic a group of people can be. But nobody is that smart or powerful. This is, apparently, the best we can do.

And why not? Radicals and Progressives imagine that milling about in the streets chanting for an hour is "power" and "transformative." Why shouldn't the professionals be similarly deluded and limited?

Thursday, August 6, 2015

harper Attacks Wynne, Notley

They were actually good people. Unfair to compare them with Conservatives.
 From the CBC:
A political spat that erupted this week between Conservative Leader Stephen Harper and the Alberta and Ontario premiers is being seen by some as a calculated move on Harper's part to shore up his traditional party base.
On Tuesday, Harper took a not-so-subtle swipe at Wynne's performance as premier, saying: "I think I will observe what a senior official told me when I took office. They said, 'You will have your best relations with the premiers who are doing a good job in their own jurisdiction.'"
But Harper has also taken aim at Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, referring to her new NDP government's decision to raise corporate and income taxes as a "disaster." (Notley responded that her government's priority is to protect the jobs of "regular working families," rather than "wealthy Conservative friends and insiders.") 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

harper GTA campaign stop

So, sniveling stephen "the coward" harper was in the GTA on a campaign stop, and the laughable psychopath was in a combative mood!
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper rolled into the Toronto region on Monday with a sharpened attack on his political rivals, charging that NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair's ideology and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's inexperience would put Canada's economy and security at risk.
They were the same themes with which he launched his campaign on Sunday, but Harper a day later was stepping up his criticism of the Liberals and New Democrats as he levelled broadsides at the two political rivals trying to block a fourth straight win by the Conservatives.
Canadians face a "stark choice" in the Oct. 19 vote, Harper said during a campaign stop in Ajax Monday evening. 
A "stark choice" 'eh stoops? Mulcair's "ideology"??? Dude! Mulcair thought it was a good use of his time to remove the word "socialism" from the NDP's constitution! And what about YOUR ideology fuckwad? You know the one that says to let dirty, profit-minded railroad owners trash safety regulations and mine owners to ignore concerns about their tailing ponds and the idea that we should shut down coast guard stations while allowing tankers full of bitumen to sail off the British Columbia coast and your ideology that prefers to have heroin addicts die in streets and alleyways rather than manage their disease at safe-injection sites and your ideology that would condemn women to carry unwanted pregnancies or risk their health through illegal abortions or your ideology that honestly fucking believes we should back Israeli barbarism to the hilt so that it will bring on the Christian "end times" and, therefore, the second coming of the imaginary son o' god?

It's a sign of the sickness of our culture that someone as stark, raving mad as stephen harper, with his stark, raving mad belief system gets to give warnings about the ideology of some milquetoast like Tom Mulcair, and nobody laughs.

And Trudeau's "inexperience"?? It's common knowledge you've never held a real job in your life before politics; and it shows with your long record of failure. Your dad got you a job in the mail-room of the oil company he worked for. After that, you were off to the races writing right-wing separatist crap like your "firewall manifesto" and being the "president" of the jerkwad "National Citizens Coalition."

You're a joke harper. Nobody likes you because you're a stupid asshole.
"It's a choice with profound implications for our economy, for our families, for our security," he told party loyalists in a 35-minute stump speech at a local golf club. "It's a choice between risk and stability, between half-baked ideas and proven track record." 
Here's the thing stevie m'boy: You're a stupid asshole. You're a coward. If anyone ever sat you down and forced you to explain the drivel that passes for ideas in your head, and challenged you on your crude lies and stupidities, why, you'd run for the safety of the nearest closet if you weren't strapped to the chair. And even then, your innate lily-liveredness would make you try to take the chair with you.

I've spent hours trashing your shit-headed assertions about how you're defending Canadians' "security." Suffice to say, you haven't done shit except to make things less secure. You stupidly invent enemies to come after us. You invent enemies with the help of the racist incompetents at CSIS and the RCMP. You let trains of fuel tankers smash and burn their way through Quebec villages. Over and over and over again, you're a menace to Canadians' security.

Your economic policies destroy families. 

My problem is that I see harper as such a total idiot that I'm no longer capable of grasping how some people might see him as a worthwhile political choice. It makes me incapable of reading his babbling nonsense with any degree of empathy.

I wouldn't change that for the world though. It's terrifying to think of a state of mind where such a shit-stain of a human being has any sort of appeal.