Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Stupid Justin Trudeau Sucks Ass On Venezuela

Liberal, Tory, Same old story!

Linda McQuaig in the Toronto Star provides the analysis:
In terms of foreign policy damage, whatever harm Justin Trudeau did by parading around India in colourful outfits is a nothing-burger compared to the severe hardship he is inflicting on Venezuela.
And yet media commentators have been full-throttle in denouncing the prime minister’s alleged wardrobe malfunction on his recent India trip while being silent – or downright supportive – of Trudeau’s decision last fall to join the Trump administration in imposing sanctions on the struggling South American nation.
Now, why would the Dream Boat do such a thing?
Anyone following the international media coverage would conclude that the Venezuelan government is terribly autocratic and that Western nations, led by the U.S., have stepped in with sanctions out of concern over human rights abuses there.
A closer look suggests a different scenario that puts Western actions in a less laudable light: Washington is waging economic war against a nation that dared to rise up and reject U.S. control over its ample oil reserves.
The Obama administration targeted individual Venezuelans with sanctions, but the Trump administration’s sanctions are much broader, taking punishing aim at the country’s entire economy.
Sadly, Trudeau is backing up the U.S. bully, apparently hoping to win a reprieve from Trump’s arbitrary trade measures – a strategy that seems unfair to Venezuela and also likely futile. 
Now here's the thing (and I challenge ANYONE from some whining right-wing Venezuelan ex-pat, to a mewling hypocritical Canadian liberal, to a fire-breathing, shit-head right-wing fuck-face to answer this) ... Venezuela has no "death squads." Colombia has death squads. Peasant leaders and trade union activists are murdered with impunity in that country. Honduras has death squads.

None of this bothers Crazy Crystia Freeland with the Fascist Family. Just the glimmerings of Venezuela's "autocratic tendencies" as it deals with violent, right-wing rebels who once staged a coup in 2002 that was thwarted by pro-Bolivarian demonstrators and [FAR MORE IMPORTANTLY] loyal members of the armed forces. Can you imagine the oligarchic sham "democracy" in the USA, or the oligarchic sham "democracy" of Canada tolerating such a movement? [Remember Dalton McGuinty "temporarily" stealing our Charter rights and freedoms?]

Such squalid behaviour is sadly par for the course in this country. And Canadians remain insufferably smug, ignorant or hypocritical.

Obviously, the big news is Trudeau and Morneau pulling $4.5 billion out of a hat to buy the Kinder-Morgan Pipeline. (Probably to bail-out the Canadian banks that had loaned money to the project.) But I started this post before that.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Why the ONDP Should Win

Kathleen Wynne isn't that bad a person I don't think. But the Ontario Liberals are corrupt. The gas plant scandal/pay for access/public-private-partnerships ... etc., etc., .  This is a party that's been in power too long. As premier, Wynne did put through some decent policies. Just like McGuinty the robot created the Green Belt. But the problem with the Ontario Liberals is the problem with liberals (often called "centrists" today) everywhere. The billionaires come first. Then the millionaires. Then it's how can they help ameliorate the worst effects of the rigged "free market" on the shmucks in such a way that it doesn't antagonize the millionaires and billionaires. Usually this involves deficit spending. And deficit spending usually means selling interest paying government bonds to rich people looking for a safe investment. "Win-win" (for them).

Ordinary people are wising up to this scam. Hence the increasing polarization of the electorate towards the left (for decent and/or intelligent people) and the right (for lazy and/or stupid and/or deplorable people).

(Part of the right-wing backlash against Wynne is no doubt motivated by sexism and homophobia. [No doubt there's some of that on the left but if it is it tends not to be stated explicitly.] Just as Hillary Clinton was rightly pilloried for being a mass-murdering war criminal and a corrupt tool of the oligarchy and unjustifiably abused for being "shrill" and a "bitch" and all sorts of other misogynist slurs.)

Here in Ontario, it first looked as if Doug Ford's surprise victory in the quickie leadership race was going to quickly propel him to majority government status. Unfortunately for Doug, he's such a loud-mouth; such a crude ignoramus; such a bully; who surrounds himself with the worst sorts of grifters and Christo-fascist closet-cases (correct me if I'm wrong, but the OPC are prepared to embrace pretty much any religion so long as it's homophobic); ... that his momentum appears to have evaporated in a fog of scandals.

But, obviously, it's not just Doug Ford. "Conservatism" embraces the stupidest 30% of any given population. How can a government of con-men and religious freaks and "free-market" fanatics be expected to provide good government? The last time these stupid clods had power under Mike Harris they displayed lethal amounts of incompetence, bigotry and corruption. It was a nightmare that those of us who lived through it will take to our graves.

I've said it before that the ONDP should win by default given how gawdawful the other two parties are. But this time it looks like disgust with the status-quo under the Ontario Liberals and the past and present extreme toxicity of the Ontario PC's, that the ONDP might win power, even majority government. Hopefully if that happens, Andrea Horwath won't pull a Bob Rae and succumb to the charms of the Glib n' Stale editorial committee. The odds are that she would though.


Monday, May 21, 2018

Justin Trudeau vs Free Speech Part III

People are probably going: "thwap! When are you going to mention Justin Trudeau?!? You've typed two long posts already [I & II] and you haven't mentioned him once!" To which I reply: Hold your horses! I'll get to him in my own good time. It's my blog and nobody reads it anyway. I'm talking to myself.

I was thinking the other day about how the Powers That Be like to condemn China for its Great Internet Firewall that robs its citizens of the right to access all the information super-highway's information free and uncensored. Those poor, ignorant subjects of an authoritarian/totalitarian regime! Except now we hear our deluded, or, more likely, cynical overlords saying shit like this:
“Civil wars don’t start with gunshots, they start with words. America’s war with itself has already begun. We all must act now on the social media battlefield to quell information rebellions that can quickly lead to violent confrontations and easily transform us into the Divided States of America.”He added, “Stopping the false information artillery barrage landing on social media users comes only when those outlets distributing bogus stories are silenced—silence the guns and the barrage will end.”As this “civil war” rages on, he said, “our country remains stalled in observation, halted by deliberation and with each day more divided by manipulative forces coming from afar.”
And now we have the Trudeau government spewing this sort of nonsense:
OTTAWA—Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has warned social networking giant Facebook it needs to fix its “fake news” problems or face stronger regulation from Ottawa.Trudeau told Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg in November he was concerned the company wasn’t doing enough to stop the spread of misleading information on their platform, a source with direct knowledge of the conversation told the Star.Facebook has been under intense international scrutiny for allowing so-called “fake news” — false and often outlandish information presented as legitimate journalism — to propagate on its network.Sometimes the “articles” are simply hoaxes, designed to profit from Facebook users’ clicks.But as seen during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the tactic can also mislead or manipulate citizens to further political ends – whether by partisan actors domestically, or hostile nations internationally. Facebook has also faced criticism about a lack of transparency around who is buying ads on its platform.As Canadian political parties prepare for the 2019 federal election, the source said Trudeau suggested Ottawa could intervene if Facebook doesn’t adequately address the issues.
I mean, can you process this? That first quote is from someone named Clint Watts, a former FBI agent and a member of something called the "Alliance for Securing Democracy." These cretinous maniacs believe that the USA is a democracy when it isn't. Close, scholarly studies have shown that it is effectively an oligarchy. It is a place where the wealthy rule and the poor (by default) do not. The poor have NO SAY in the running of their country. If the poor want something that the oligarchy wants, the system will work so as to make it seem as if the people have spoken and have been listened to. Because the oligarchy likes people to believe it is a democracy. Debates over topics that have no impact on oligarchic power are allowed, as this allows people on both sides of the issue to feel a part of the political process. This is the same thing as a parent letting the children decide what game they want to play. And if the children can't decide, the parent will come down on one side or the other based on some sort of calculus having nothing to do with the democratic rights of any of the children. Just as these children should not believe they live in a democracy, neither should we.

The USA being the USA, it isn't just rich vs. poor. There are plenty of merely non-rich. These, on the whole, despise the poor and do not often make common cause with them. The non-rich are the largest demographic group (although their numbers are shrinking). The non-rich can get upset about things, including the state of the economy. For this reason there are competing political parties who offer some variants of the oligarchy's economic model for the non-rich to choose from. This too, produces the sensation of democratic choice. But in the end, both the Democrats and the Republicans serve the oligarchy.

And that is why the non-rich (sometimes referred to as "the middle class") are shrinking in numbers and more of them are becoming poor. Because the oligarchy is about enriching itself and at this stage in history, the oligarchy is so serenely self-satisfied in their control over things that they are only allowing their politicians to advocate for policies that will impoverish the majority. The Democrats believe it should be done slower and with more self-delusion about trying to help people, added with the comforting thought that they aren't as nasty as the Republicans.

The Republicans, meanwhile, are brazen in their service to the oligarchy. They are comprised of a toxic stew of the worst their society produces. Some of them are genuine racists and bigots who got into politics to subjugate Blacks, Muslims, Latinos, GLBT, etc., . Some of them are merely boot-licking toadies like Paul Ryan. Some of them are clumsy, violent militarists. Others are motivated by crazy notions that I can't be bothered to enumerate. As such, they will appeal to the bigots and homophobes and "deplorables" (occasionally even from among the poor) while they enact policies that shovel society's wealth to the super-rich in greater and greater quantities.

The Alliance for Securing Democracy also believes (or pretends to believe) that only nefarious foreigners (and small bands of treasonous "citizens") can be behind the divisions in US society. The number one source of foreign-bred divisiveness is "Black Lives Matter" apparently. Supposedly, without the cynical, dastardly Putin ordering his army of internet trolls to stir things up, Blacks in the USA would never in a million years come to think that a racist police force is abusing them and often murdering them like dogs in the street.

I guess the attitude of whites towards Blacks is similar to the attitudes of Canadian whites towards First Nations peoples. Regardless; my main point is that The Alliance for Securing Democracy is a propaganda front, a psyop. It is an anti-democratic organization dedicated to censoring any viewpoints that threaten the neo-liberal, plutocratic agenda.

Since I started this post (a long time ago) the wonderful Caitlin Johnstone as written yet another brilliant expose of the rotten system we're living under and how ALL neo-liberal parties (including that of dreamy Justin Trudeau) are becoming increasingly overt in their efforts to stifle and suppress alternatives to their own failed, destructive, reward-the-plutocrats ideology:
Internet censorship is becoming more and more brazen as our governments become increasingly concerned that we are developing the wrong kinds of political opinions. Ever since the establishment Douma and Skripal narrativesfailed to take hold effectively, we’ve been seeing more and more frantic attempts to seize control of public discourse. Two weeks after the Atlantic Council explained to usthat we need to be propagandized by our governments for our own good, Facebook finally made the marriage of Silicon Valley and the western war machine official by announcing a partnership with the Atlantic Council to ensure that we are all receiving properly authorized information.
Which brings me back to the dreamy Justin Trudeau. Here's a guy promising to bail-out an oil pipeline company with our money. Here's a guy who, after he got elected, ditched his promises about dealing with climate change and simply STOPPED TALKING to David Suzuki when the latter tried to call him on his betrayal. Here's a guy whose finance minister is a fucking air-head who inherited everything he has but who tells regular people that they just have to get used to job insecurity and shitty wages. Here's a guy who voted for stephen harper's Orwellian "Anti-Terrorism Act" (C-51), ostensibly because the Liberals were TERRIFIED of being labeled "soft on terror" by Prime Minister Pissinginthecloset. Stupidly, they said they'd amend it if they got elected. Well, they got elected. And they amended it. Now there's a parliamentary committee that will have "oversight" of CSIS activities. (Subject to "national security" limitations, which means any arbitrary, bullshit excuse Trudeau wants to insult our intelligence with.) This committee then reports to the prime minister (not Parliament) who can do whatever he wants with it.

The difference between the Liberals and the Conservatives is merely the difference between a "socially liberal" fiscal conservative and a "traditional values" fiscal conservative. Both are devoted to the rich and to extracting wealth from everyone else, but one side believes in gay rights and a woman's right to choose and the other side are homophobes (often self-hating ones), misogynists and psychopathic morons.

Them's your choices Canadians! Which one of these two sets of assholes is going to exploit you and lie to you?

Hence Justin Trudeau's vendetta against "fake news." The neo-liberals have turned Trump's weapon against him! Well, sort of. Trump's shit-head followers still believe their con-man hero and Sean Hannity and Doug Ford and etc., etc., about the liberal media. In which case, you know, they have a point. The liberal media is socially liberal and it also lies, lies, lies all the fucking time. The only problem for these poor souls is that the garbage they ingest is even more chock full of lying badness.

But no matter. It's not so much these right-wing chumps the liberals are worried about. It's us on the left as well as apolitical people who aren't completely stupid who know when they're getting screwed and are dangerously capable of recognizing the sources of their problems. Just like the liberal media elevated the idiotic "Tea Party" to major importance and either ignored or demonized the "Occupy" movement. The "fake news" on the right will be denigrated, mocked and scorned, ... but it will also be given tons and tons of free publicity. OUR analyses on the other hand will be scrubbed from the internet and (as usual) denied access to corporate media.

So, in the interests of getting alternative viewpoints across whilst simultaneously chipping away at the (inexplicable) authority of mainstream news, here's Caitlin Johnstone again:
Time and time again, we’re fed these deceitful narratives to manufacture support for the agendas of the western war machine, and when the truth begins to surface that we were lied to once again, the news churn moves on and we’re distracted with something else as the old narrative is shuffled back beyond the reach of memory. Maybe a year or two later we wonder to ourselves “I wonder what ever happened with that major news story? I should google it,” but nothing comes up and most of us shrug and move on.
Happy reading!

OH! I should add that while you're reading what Johnstone says about media coverage of Aleppo, remember that one month after their thundering about Assad-Putin's total disregard for civilian lives and other war crimes, the USA and its allies behaved with just as much callous violence clearing ISIS out of the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

stephen harper Slithers Back

The Glib n' Stale endorsed enemy of Canadian democracy is back, making farting and gurgling noises about how maybe he'd like to lead Canada again. Yes, it appears that stephen harper has had enough time crying and shivering, getting  drunk and pissing himself whilst raging against his imaginary god almighty, begging for wingnut welfare and masturbating to internet porn in various offices where his paymasters have put him up, .... and he's apparently forgotten how traumatizing it was for him to be hated and criticized and defeated by the vast majority of Canadians, that he wants to be PM again.

No doubt his bullshit jobs that he's been doing since getting his fat ass kicked haven't had the prestige and the perks of the office of prime minister. Those were the days when he'd travel the world as a recognized statesman. (In his imagination anyway. He was usually the object of contempt as his petulant behaviour offended his various hosts and he usually traveled overseas in cowardly attempts to avoid scrutiny into his many scandals and brazen, stupid lies.)

Recently, from his perch at the head of some right-wing foreign affairs institute (funded by Zionist casino owners, pharmaceutical company mass-murderers, and other assorted scum) harper expressed his support for Hungarian fascism as well as Donald Trump's shit-headed exit from the Iran Treaty. And then, ... nobody condemned him! That was easy!

Of course, hardly anybody cared. He's a has-been after all. No reporters rushed up to him in a scrum. No opposition politicians interrogated him in the House of Commons, because he's not in the HoC anymore. But harper remembered that he liked pontificating about weighty topics and in the blissful quiet after his two recent brain-farts, he probably thought he'd like to be important again. Certainly Andrew Scheer hasn't been burning up the charts lately.

But Scheer is failing because "conservatism" is failing. It's a dying movement of racists and ignorant fuckwads, hypocrites, closet-cases and corporate scum-bags. harper would have been out on his ass if he hadn't stolen that majority in 2011. And by the time he finally collapsed in utter defeat in 2015 he was a drugged-up, sniveling, debased shell of a man.

No stephen. You won't be prime minister again. You're a cheat and a fraud and a failure. Don't forget that time you spent peeing your pants in a darkened broom closet. Think about that moment of disgrace and do yourself and everyone else a favour and return to the obscurity that is too good for you.