Friday, July 17, 2020

The COVID-19 Deficit: Everything is fine

Last post I blogged about how Toronto "news" station CP24 had a lengthy interview with some hack from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation wherein said hack babbled about how the deficit from the COVID-19 pandemic of over $300 billion meant that spending cuts were going to be unavoidable to get back to fiscal health when all this is over.

You know, despite the glaring holes in our public healthcare system exposed by the pandemic. And despite the criminal mistreatment of our elderly exposed by the pandemic. And despite the destruction caused by leaving small businesses to hang while allowing banks and landlords to continue to demand payment. Despite decades of cuts to all our public spending (except for war) and decades of tax-cuts and deregulation to corporations and the wealthy, this CTF asshole blandly asserts that the only policy option for the post-pandemic period will be more of the same.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

CP24 & Canadian Taxpayers Federation Call For Austerity

Well, yesterday I was back at work after a two-month pandemic layoff. I was in the breakroom where the right-wing gossip, gab-fest and "news you can use" station CP24 was having an extensive interview with some dumbfuck from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Essentially Finance Minister Bill Morneau has no idea what the deficit is going to be by the time the year is over. CTF asshole says this is unacceptable. The deficit is already the largest we've had since World War Two. What's Canada going to do? The news lady spends a lot of time relaying what lame-duck/embezzler Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is saying. (The usual bullshit.) CTF dude eventually says that spending cuts are inevitable. There's no other way.

News lady then says NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is calling for a wealth tax. CTF arrogant asswipe smirks and says; Sure, rich people are always a nice target, but there aren't very many of them. (No shit! Still and all, they own 1/4 of the country! It's called "inequality" you stupid shit!) And, besides, it would "only" bring in $5 billion annually.

Right. So, instead of taking $5 billion from the super-rich (who don't know what to do with it) let's slash $5 billion from federal spending programs that have been underfunded for years by Conservative and Liberal austerity.

As I said previously, the Liberals have tried to fight a health crisis (that would likely have killed tens of thousands more than it already has, if it hadn't been for the steps taken to temporarily shutdown the economy) as if it could be business as usual for the plutocracy. The government raised taxes big-time in WW2. It should have done so in this crisis (which was never going to last 5 years like the war did) and it should have borrowed from the Bank of Canada instead of the private banks. There should have been a moratorium on mortgages, rents and debts until the shutdown was over. And there should still be a wealth tax.

The system was already failing on its own terms before this crisis hit. Four decades of neoliberalism have failed. We cannot go back to "normal." We certainly aren't going to embrace an even deadlier austerity than what that shit-head from the CTF is calling for and which Liberal incompetence, laziness and cowardice are leading us to. 

Monday, July 6, 2020

The Evil of Mainstream Politics

I'm going to talk about mainstream United States policies today because there is a greater amount of progressive journalism that covers it, plus, the almost total hegemony of capitalist insanity in the USA means that the evil of it is so egregious that it's impossible to deny it.

The point of this little post is to try to convey to my more "centrist" or "moderate" readers that the system they support (while maintaining that it definitely needs "reforms") is irredeemably evil and antithetical to their self-interest.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

It's Always Russia! Russia! Russia! Russia!

So, the latest shit-for-brains conspiracy theory that many of you have swallowed is that Vladimir Putin was paying bounties to Taliban fighters in Afghanistan to kill US troops. And, supposedly, Putin's gay butt-boy lover (in the homophobic parlance of our times) Donald Trump knew all about it but didn't do anything about it because, ... I don't know, ... maybe he hates America or he likes the taste of Putin's jism or something.

Let's break this idiocy down: Vladimir Putin, dealing with US sanctions, plummeting oil revenues, a costly war in Syria, and all sorts of other enormous pressures on his inarguably weak position, thought it a good use of his time and resources to get involved with having the Taliban kill low-level US troops in Afghanistan.


I mean, sure, the Taliban has been shooting at their US-American occupiers for almost twenty years now, but supposedly they needed Moscow's money to get them to continue? Or is it kind of like how people like me THINK that Black US-Americans are angry about racist police brutality all on their own, but "Resistance" (tm.) fighters like Hillary Clinton and James Carville know that all this "Black Lives Matter" activism is really just the result of Vladimir Putin's sociopathic, evil desire to create divisions in US-American society (divisions that wouldn't otherwise exist) through Facebook ads and online memes and giphies. So, the only reason that the Taliban is shooting at US occupiers of their country is because Putin is getting them to do so.

Vlad did a cost-benefit analysis you see and decided that the likely catastrophic diplomatic fall-out from being implicated in the deaths of US-troops in Afghanistan was totally worth it, because, ... because, ... um, .... because .... Let me get back to you on that one.

Anyhooo, so, supposedly Donald Trump was informed about this totally not-fake program of bounties for US soldiers' scalps in Afghanistan and he did nothing about it.  I'm going to go out on a limb here and speculate that if Donald Trump was genuinely told anything that it was a bullshit story with zero evidence (which is where we all are now) that he rightly disregarded; or that it was put into a briefing package that he didn't read (because he's got a lazy brain and doesn't like to read) and that nobody referred to it explicitly and out-loud.

Anti-Russian hysteria is so easy to sell to all of you gullible saps. Even after you've been had you continue to cling to the lies that you were told. Even after "Russiagate" was PROVEN to be nothing but lies and stupidity, you insanely believe that Putin installed Trump in the White House, with the able assistance of Julian Assange, and that Trump has been selling out the interests of the United States of America to Russia ever since.

The oligarchy, the Military-Industrial-Complex, the bullshit foreign-policy "think-tanks," ... they all dine-out on selling anti-Russian xenophobia to you gullible fools.
In its ongoing slow-motion third world war against nations which refuse to be absorbed into the blob of the US power alliance, this tight empire-like cluster of allies stands everything to gain by doing whatever it takes to undermine and sabotage Russia in an attempt to shove it off the world stage and eliminate the role it plays in opposing that war. Advancing as many narratives as possible about Russia doing nefarious things on the world stage manufactures consent for international collaboration toward that end in the form of economic warfare, proxy conflicts, NATO expansionism and other measures, as well as facilitating a new arms race by killing the last of the US-Russia nuclear treaties and ensuring a continued imperial military presence in Afghanistan.

Even though Trump has actually been very bellicose to Russia, and has torn-up arms-control treaties and has sanctioned them and they work at cross-purposes in Syria, in Venezuela, in the Ukraine, in Poland, etc., ... Trump is the "bottom" to Putin's "top" and he just can't help offering himself up to that semi-Asiatic stud.

Don't you ever get a twinge of embarrassment whenever the obvious insanity of your delusions occasionally bursts into your consciousness? As it inevitably must since most of you aren't genuinely mentally ill. You just have allowed yourselves to be manipulated and deceived.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Canada Day 2020

North America is referred to by some of its original inhabitants as "Turtle Island." In the late-15th Century the Italian explorer, rapist, slave-trader Christopher Columbus arrived in the Western Hemisphere and claimed it for the Spanish Crown.

The Dutch, French, and English soon got in on the game and established fishing outposts, fur-trading outposts and colonies in the northern parts of the continent. The English defeated the Dutch, turning "New Amsterdam" into "New York." Eventually, with their defeat in the Seven Years War the French Crown surrendered its territory of New France to the English and it became "Canada."

Then, for a number of reasons, tensions between the British Crown and its Thirteen Colonies led to the American Revolution. Those inhabitants of the colonies who had stayed loyal to the Crown were forced to flee to Canada when the Thirteen Colonies won their independence.

The new United States of America was an oligarchic republic with the majority of its wealth being based on slavery. Canada was comprised of "Canada East" which was majority populated by the former French-speaking Roman Catholic inhabitants of New France and "Canada West" which is where the bulk of the English-speaking Loyalists settled.

Pretty much none of the things that animated and inspired the French and English inhabitants of what is now Canada motivate us today. Very few of us care about the British Crown. Even fewer want to go back to the monarchical system of government that prevailed in the year 1800. We don't (thank god) care much about the differences between Catholics and Protestants anymore.

One constant is that our country was built on stolen lands. And this is inconvenient for us. Aboriginal Title to lands that Canada wants to claim introduce confusion and delay into the capitalist-imperialist project. So it's been one long line of abuse for over two-hundred years. Treaties that were violated (and which stephen harper attempted to unilaterally abrogate), deliberate starvation, residential schools and other forms of cultural genocide, stealing of Aboriginal children, Canadian Apartheid.

This country was founded on values that we no longer embrace. It was founded on theft and genocide. It is a pseudo-democracy that we don't understand or care about. I find it hard to muster suitable enthusiasm for fireworks.