Tuesday, May 21, 2019

So, You Want To Be Prime Minister of Canada, 'eh?

Who wants to be prime minister of Canada?

Well, to do that, you most likely would have to join either the Liberal Party or the Conservative Party of Canada. You'd have to internalize the values of either of those parties.

For most of us, that rules out joining the Conservative Party of Canada.

So, you'd have to enthusiastically cheer on the current policies of the Trudeau government (on foreign policy/pipelines/First Nations/fiscal policy, etc.,) whatever your personal doubts.

You'd have to have lived a life that could stand-up to media scrutiny. (Any bankruptcies? Divorces? Psychiatric treatments? Online indiscretions?)

You'd have to appear "successful" in life. (Steady employment in a professional capacity/own your own business/inherited wealth/etc.) This includes having an attractive family who can pose with you for pictures. Although in recent years it's permissible to have an attractive same-sex partner. (The Conservative Party seems more comfortable with life-long bachelors for some reason.) You can't run for public office as a "loser" now, can you?

Now, remember, you want to be prime minister! That means you have to stand-out within the Liberal Party. So you DO have to demonstrate some brains. Some competency. You have to win a local election defending the Liberal platform and how you plan on achieving it as an MP, perhaps along with some individual goal you deem important but which is well within the Liberal Party worldview.

The Liberal Party is able to afford to exist and to compete by attracting donors. This would be: ordinary Canadians who believe in the party and its values. Rich people who agree with the party and its values. And money from institutions and corporate entities run by rich people who agree with the party and its values. So, obviously, this means NO SOCIALISM. This means low taxation. This means a "pro-business" attitude.

This BTW is where competition with the Conservatives really comes in. Conservatives pander to the bulk of their voters (ordinary chumps) with calls to lower taxes on them and by promising to crackdown on the standard scapegoats who are believed, or held to believe, are the reasons why these deluded shlubs are suffering in their lives. So, bashing the poor, immigrants, people of colour, non-heterosexuals, environmentalists, unions, etc.,. The Conservatives then pander to their true bosses, the wealthy within the capitalist system. They can do this with no thought of the consequences because their own voting base is so stupid and confused that they won't make the connection between cutting taxes and cutting public services. As a Liberal, you'll have to vie with the Conservatives for the support of the wealthy and the corporate sector as much as you can without completely gutting the ability of the state to function.

Canada is run by Bay Street, Big Oil, a few wealthy families (The Thomsons, The Westons, The Rogers, The Irvings, etc.), and the corporate interests they control. (Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart, The Globe & Mail, Bombardier, SNC-Lavalin, Manulife, Telus). These are your true masters. You cannot propose anything that would even modestly impact their cosseted existences in any way. In fact, for the most part, you are going to have to ADVANCE their interests to really win their favour. 

They will tend to stick more closely to the Conservatives unless they have long-established patronage ties with the Liberals (that are older and more developed than those with the Conservatives), or unless the Conservative Party has gone right off the rails with its moronic delusions and is recklessly undermining the state and the economy with its slashing of revenues/stirring-up racist hatreds/pissing-off the general public, whatever.

Oh yeah. Don't forget the Canadian Armed Forces. And don't forget the United States of America. I mention those two in the same paragraph because the former is an important tool for foreign policy as well as a source of domestic national identity politics. Love of war tends to be a characteristic of stupid people. (For example: "It would be fucking AWESOME to go to war and fight the evil-doers!!!! Aw shit! My leg got blown-off! This sucks! This isn't what I expected!!!" ... or some variant of that.) And stupid people as a demographic tend to lean Conservative. But if you're going to serve the USA in any meaningful capacity, you're going to have to have a military. Which tends to be a useless drag on the economy but it's unavoidable. So, show up at the cenotaphs with the wreaths on Remembrance Day and cultivate relationships with the higher commands. (For some reason, the Conservative Party really enjoys fucking-over wounded soldiers though. Just treat the rank-and-file better than the Conservatives and you'll probably be okay.)

So. There you have it. You're in the Liberal Party of Canada! You just might be prime minister som

e day! Your party is the party of multi-culturalism. You don't rest your appeal on racism. Your party is progressive on social issues. You don't discriminate against LGBT people and you were capable of decriminalizing marijuana. You understand that there's a role for the public sector in managing the economy. (Increasingly, you're thinking that this role is less and less important. Probably because you have less and less revenue as you compete with the Conservatives with tax-cuts.)

You will do nothing to impede the USA's dominance of the Canadian economy. You will do little to nothing to harm the oil industry. In fact, you will subsidize fossil fuels to the tune of $3.3 billion annually. (All the while mouthing platitudes on fighting global warming.) With a tear in your eye you will continue to run roughshod over the remaining Treaty rights of the First Nations to service the resource sector while adhering to the long-term goal of slow-motion genocide so as to remove them as a hindrance to further resource development. You will allow massive, brazen corruption from the wealthy. Gouging of Canadians from the telecommunications oligopolies. Price-fixing at all the major grocery chains. Bribery from SNC-Lavalin. Picking up the tab for the environmental catastrophes of the oil sector. Predatory practices of the big banks. Selling weapons to the monstrous, genocidal Saudi regime. Bullying Venezuela.

Wait a minute! Why did you want to become prime minister of Canada again?

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Renewed Call For a Green-NDP Electoral Alliance

There ARE differences between the Greens and the NDP. That's obvious. But as human beings and their capitalism are killing the planet, more and more members of humanity are starting to think that maybe it's important that we not kill the one planet we have to live on. The Green Party's star is in the ascendant. But it's not going to be enough. The NDP, after decades of mismanagement by its "Third Way" shithead brain-trust is declining. But it still has its strongholds and its name recognition. And the attention to issues of class that too many Greens disregard.

A formal electoral alliance; with the parties agreeing to give the other support and no opposition in those ridings where either of them is the most viable is necessary. They should campaign on legislating electoral reform and a Green New Deal.

We're going to need something on the level of a war-time mobilization of resources to avoid catastrophe, if not actual extinction.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

May 5th, 2019 News Round-Up

This is the week that was:

A desperate coup attempt in Venezuela by the hapless Juan Guaido ended embarrassingly for the plotters and their US string-pullers. How is it that such an unpopular, incompetent "regime" such as Nicol├ís Maduro's can be so resilient in the face of such opposition and amidst such glaring economic failure?

Perhaps it's simply the case that the achievements of the Bolivarians have been so significant for the formerly ignored and despised poor majority that said poor majority forgives the economic problems caused by the worldwide drop in the price of oil; the crippling US sanctions; the long-term campaign of sabotage by internal traitors and etc. It's true. Many other Venezuelans hate Maduro. Those who can afford to do so have exiled themselves. Of course, we must remember that 20% of Canadians support shit-head "conservative" parties and believe in all sorts of stupid garbage and state publicly that they'd like to see Justin Trudeau hanged for "treason." I rather suspect that a great deal of the anti-Maduro movement in Venezuela is comprised of the equivalent sort of human garbage as supports Scheer, Ford, Kenney, etc., etc., ad nauseum, here in Canada.

While Guaido was humiliating himself outside of an airport that his tiny band of corrupt army officers and duped rank-and-file soldiers hadn't even captured yet, Canada's own Crystia Freeland (she with the Nazi Grand-Pappy) was likewise humiliating herself with a self-important call for the bullshit "Lima Group" of US puppets to mobilize in support of the farce. I can't recall if any members of the "group" heeded her call. It doesn't matter one way or the other.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is currently in the United Kingdom's corrupt court system fighting extradition to a life of torture and imprisonment in the USA. He is wanted on charges of extreme journalism. You really have to hand it to the hegemonic propaganda system. Half of the so-called "progressives" in the West are prepared to let Assange be crucified for one blinkered reason or another.

1. "Assange is a rapist and should suffer whatever anyone has planned for him." This appears to be based on very thin gruel indeed. When you consider how extremely dodgy the behaviour of the UK and Sweden has been on this case, and you remember who Julian Assange actually is, and you still feel compelled to appear "woke" and leave him for the dogs, ... well, you've been played like a violin.

2. "Assange is responsible for Donald Trump by leaking the truth about Hillary Clinton." So what? Hillary's responsible for Trump by robbing Bernie Sanders of the nomination to gratify her own YUUUGE sense of entitlement. (As revealed by Wikileaks.)

3. "Julian Assange is an asshole." Who cares?

4. "I'm a moron in the USA's corporate media-system and I sincerely believe that there will be no untoward consequences for my so-called 'profession' just because I cheer on Donald-fucking-Trump (the unhinged, authoritarian, Putin-puppet) to lock-up Julian Assange and torture him forever. Because Assange isn't really a journalist. And Assange discomfited the powerful whereas I serve the powerful." And if you really believe that you really are a moron. You will find that the precedent against journalists extends to your cosseted realms and if you piss-off one sector of the oligarchy you will be destroyed and made an example of just like Assange was.

Zombie Russia-gate is staggering around, trying to get it's bearings. It's possible it could soon topple to the ground, or it could continue to stagger about, spreading disgust and horror in its wake. So far, the strategy of the proponents of this shit-for-brains conspiracy theory appear to be centered on the following:

1. "We haven't seen the full report." That's true. Nonetheless, what you HAVE seen is emphatically clear that there was NO COLLUSION. I put that in all-caps so that deluded sheeple can't pretend not to have read it. I'll repeat: NO COLLUSION.  Robert Mueller found no evidence of collusion. No evidence of even the possibility that there was collusion. Robert Mueller determined that there was NO COLLUSION. So all that stupid nonsense about Trump being treasonously in cahoots with Putin has to be put to rest and given a decent burial.

The idea that an ego-maniac, unprincipled, backstabbing, duplicitous creature like Donald Trump would find himself obligated to serve Vladimir Putin for his having provided some small service in getting him elected US President is ridiculous. Furthermore, it is absurd to imagine that the entire government/state apparatus of the USA would stand-down in mute inability as a president steered US policy to benefit Russia at the expense of their own country. And, anyway, any honest and sane accounting of Trump's actions as president show that he has NOT been serving Russia's interests in any case. 

2. "Well, anyway, the Mueller Report DOES show that Russia interfered in the election." First of all: So fucking what? Trump's policies are not all that different from standard Republican policies. (Which are really not all that different from standard Democratic policies.) Aside from the fact that crazed idiot Hillary Clinton might have started a war with Russia and gotten us all killed, it's simply also the case that the USA "meddles" in other countries' politics (to the point of invading them, overthrowing their governments and installing their own puppets) all the time. Secondly, we don't really know that the RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT of Vladimir Putin actually did anything. We know that PEOPLE IN RUSSIA created memes and groups on facebook. We also know that these Russian people charged fees to run ads on the pages of these facebook groups that they created. So it's quite possible that the Internet Research Agency really was just a "troll farm" to earn advertising dollars on the internet. The fact that the billionaire owner of the IRA knows Putin is not significant in itself. You'd be hard-pressed to point to a US billionaire who isn't known by the leaders of one (or both) of the two main parties in the USA. And, anyway, the idea that those ads were at all a factor in the 2016 election is imbecilic.

We don't know that Russian Intelligence (the GRU) had any involvement in obtaining the Podesta emails and the evidence of the DNC's and Hillary Clinton's corruption.

3. "Barr is a liar. Mueller says Trump wasn't 'exonerated.' Trump should be impeached for obstruction of justice and Barr should be punished for not appearing before Congress when subpoenaed." Fine. Do it. Go nuts. I even agree with you. Get going. Get a move on.

4. "Hey Russiagate Denialist! How can you rely on Mueller establishing 'no collusion' but then doubt Mueller's findings of Russian meddling? You can't have it both ways!" To which I answer: How can you conspiracy theorists pretend that Mueller's finding of NO COLLUSION never happened? But, more importantly I also answer that it's easy for Mueller to say shit about Russia. He knows that nobody in the GRU is going to be extradited to stand trial in the USA because of his indictments. He can say anything he wants about Russia with no consequences. (And, please note: It's telling that when one of the Russian actors named in one of Mueller's politically-timed indictments actually stepped forward to answer the charges in court, Mueller tried to brush them off.) However, if he indicts any US-American citizen for anything, he will have to prove his case in a court of law. And, what with there being no evidence of collusion, that wasn't going to happen.

At the end of the day, I don't know what (if any) involvement Putin had in the 2016 election. I do know that I don't care one way or the other. Both Hillary and Donald are scum. It's not worth ratcheting-up tensions between nuclear-armed countries just because one piece-of-shit might have lost to another piece-of-shit because of the possible actions of a third piece-of-shit.

Whew! That's a lot of typing. I'll put in some links later.