Saturday, November 27, 2021

Short Memories, Afghanistan & Propaganda, China, Iran and Russia


Caitlin Johnstone has been sounding the alarm against the propaganda system's ratcheting up hatred towards China lately. China and Russia together. Two nuclear-armed world powers. Somehow or other a majority of US-Americans support going to war with China to preserve Taiwan's autonomy. And the propaganda system is working overtime to convince people that Russia wants to conquer The Ukraine and that war with Russia is justified to prevent this. 

I share her concern and her frustration. Don't we have enough to worry about with COVID and global warming? Why are we bothering with the Washington imperialists' hypocritical ravings about China and Russia? I have no fondness for either of those countries' governments but I also have very little concern about what they're doing. The Ukraine is presently a hell-hole. An economic basketcase governed by fascists. It makes no difference to me if Russia swallows the Donbas Region or turns it into a client statelet. And, really, nobody in Washington's foreign policy elite gives a shit about the Ukrainian people anyway. All this hysteria is meant to justify military spending (huge, private-sector profits) and to harrass Russia for daring to resist US hegemony.  With Taiwan, perhaps it really is more free and democratic than the Peoples Republic of China (now). If it is, it would be a shame if it were to be absorbed by the PPR.  But if it was, do we really think the results would be worse for the people of Taiwan than, say, the way the millions of people in Central and South America have suffered for decades under the neo-liberal puppets who rule those countries under the protection and leadership of the USA? The  reign of corruption, non-development, death-squads?

No. This is all hypocrisy being mobilized as propaganda to justify US imperialism. And nothing else. The same goes for the idiocy of the idiots Biden and Blinken on Iran. Both of them blathering on about Iran's "danger" to stability in the Middle East. It was the USA that set the Middle East on fire, smothered people's movements for democracy and which subsidizes Israeli racism, for decades under Democrat and Republican administrations. Even before his descent into dementia Joe Biden couldn't have articulated why he was so opposed to Iran. The man has always been a soulless opportunist, a hypocrite and an imbecile. The US behaviour towards Iran has been nothing but shameful.

But these nitwits continue to hold sway over our minds. Because most of us simply don't care. We get on with our lives, with all too many of us stirring only to rage against refugees coming to our countries from the lands devastated or destroyed by this imperialism. And, as well, besides apathy, there's ignorance and short memories. For ten years, Canada participated in the occupation of Afghanistan. And both the Liberals and the Conservatives and the mainstream media all told us how we were "winning" in Afghanistan, and it was all lies. And then the USA stayed for ten more years and continued to lie about "winning" until Donald Trump (who had campaigned as an anti-interventionist) negotiated the final withdrawl of US troops from Afghanistan. He did that at the tail-end of his presidency because the Washington foreign policy apparatus would not (and did not) respond well to any shrinking of their evil, asinine interventionism. And, besides, Trump is a narcissistic coward. He just thought the wars were stupid, but he held their victims in racist contempt. But Trump needed to do something for the large numbers of his voting base that wants an end to the "forever wars." He did it because he was desperate and seeking re-election.  It turned out to be Biden who would have to oversee the withdrawl. Biden didn't reverse it. He would never have initiated it but since it was now a done-deal, he probably knew he wouldn't be able to revive what had always been a hopeless failure that was now almost universally unpopular. 

The corporate news media/propaganda system did its job though. Instead of spending their time apologizing for their stupidities and lies about "winning" and telling their audiences how and why the US mission in Afghanistan failed, they bewailed the fate of Afghanistan's women at the hands of the misogynist, fundamentalist Taliban.  And then they moved on as if there were no further lessons to be learned. Leftists and peace activists who were right the whole time are still sneered at (when we're not ignored).

But always remember, we failed in Afghanistan because our leaders are scumbags. Their arguments for intervention anywhere are always rank hypocrisy. And listening to them is a gaurantee for misery and failure.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Freedom Isn't Free Fuck-Face!


Despite what asshats like Jimmy Dore say, the case for COVID vaccines is pretty strong. Most of the people ending up in the emergency rooms with COVID symptoms now are unvaccinated. Areas of Canada with the lowest vaccination rates are suffering the most from COVID-19. COVID-19 is real. (How many years do you remember an annual flu season and the government was imposing lockdowns and vaccine passports/mandates and almost daily some imbecile is posting on social media about how they had denied that the flu was dangerous, didn't get the flu-shot and now they're dying in the hospital?)

With the reality of COVID-19 being a fact, the question is: "Should I get vaccinated or should I stand up strong and proud for my bodily autonomy until I find that I'm one of those unlucky people who finds out that COVID-19 doesn't give a fuck for my bodily autonomy and now I'm in the hospitals, consuming public resources and putting people who are sick THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN waiting longer and longer for treatments and surgeries because of stupid assholes such as myself?"

I used to think that maybe the government should offer a card to COVID-denying/anti-vaxxers that told hospital staff: "This person doesn't believe COVID-19 is real or dangerous. This person refused to wear a mask or practice any social distancing for any number of stupid reasons. This person rejected getting vaccinated for still more unimportant, asinine reasons. If this person has ended up in your emergency room due to the results of having been infected with COVID-19 then you are within your rights to SEND THIS PERSON HOME TO DIE."

Of course, how do you carry out such a policy? Certainly some of these nitwits would happily apply for the card, act like shit-heads and then come crawling to the hospital when their stupidity smacks them hard in the face. But others wouldn't bother. Those who did might throw their cards away on the way to the hospital. The logistics of it would probably be more trouble than it was worth. But then it occurred to me: Being unvaccinated (without good reason) is all the proof you need to have to recognize that the feverish, gasping human before you is a formerly arrogant asshole who is now begging for help. Yet another narcissistic moron with delusions of intelligence whose stupidity is harming others, and exposing overworked, traumatized healthcare workers to a life-threatening virus. 

Send them the fuck home and let any of their similary stupid friends and family treat them with the latest wonder drugs they've heard about from the internet or while they were crouching by Donald Trump's fat, ugly ass hoping to breath in one of his rancid farts.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

The High Cost of Crap


We've all heard about the gi-normous costs of paying welfare to all the lazy people who don't want to work and how all those billions of taxpayer $$$ are being siphoned away from decent, upstanding folks, and discouraging them from becoming job-creating entrepreneurs and it constitutes a crippling drain on society as the parasites and the moochers get the public housing and the free food and the clothes and the females push out babies every year to get that cool $1,000 a month (or whatever) for each ward of the state they produce.

And even though our society has been brought to its knees by this siphoning off of the life-force to subsidize the lazy "useless eaters" the lib-left shitheads continue to tax and tax hardworking types until there's no more blood to be obtained by that stone and society descends into anarchy. And THEN those lazy welfare bums are going to find the state sugar-daddy is dead. And they'll probably die from SHOCK when they realize they're going to have to actually WORK to survive. (Growing food, building their own housing, finding their own fuel, whatever.)

Of course, in reality, this is all overblown, fear-fueled right-wing delusion. I mean, the part about society collapsing under the weight of the "socialism" of leftist politicians granting welfare to lazy people in return for their votes. (It never dawns on the people propagating this tale of vote-buying that poor people vote less proportionately than wealthier people.) The facts are that most people on welfare aren't on it for very long. Often they're the working-poor who suffer from precarious employment in a "flexible" 21st-Century, neo-liberal labour market. Often it's a woman with a few kids who left an abusive partner, and who was not in paid employment and who cannot find paid employment in the absence of affordable daycare. [This anti-welfare thesis also fails to account for the observable fall in the income provide by welfare payments to the poor over the decades. Supposedly, even though the money is MUCH less than what people got in the 1970's, more and more people, a veritable flood, are pouring on to the system, threatening to swamp us all.]

Yes, yes. Everyone knows an anecdote about a layabout substance abuser receiving welfare. Or a single-mother who continues to have children while on welfare. But Toronto has about 2.5 million people. Ontario has about 11 million people. Canada has around 35 million people. That's a lot of people. Of course you can find anecdotes about a few individuals who seem to live up to the "parasite on society" meme. But this is a minority of the small minority of the population that is on welfare. Most people want to work. The minimum wage in Ontario is insufficient to afford an average one-bedroom apartment nowadays. And the full-time minimum wage paycheque is more that double what a single individual gets from welfare.

Society isn't crumbling because of the welfare state. It never was either. This theory is (I believe) a product of the general sense of unease produced by the larger amygdala of the right-wing brain. 

But one thing that nobody seems to talk about is the high-cost to human civilization of making and consuming crap. Garbage that we don't need. They'll talk all the time about how much money it costs to provide housing and a subsistence to poor people. When there's a blackout they'll talk about the dollar value of the lost output. Or if people miss work because of accidents or hangovers, there's a monetary price that this costs "the economy" or society. But what about business-as-usual?

Don't we see it as a waste of resources when we manufacture mountains of useless, unnecessary consumer products? The human physical labour and thinking ability that goes into designing, building and distributing garbage are wasted resources. The money we spend as consumers on products that we don't need, that don't last and are occasionally damaging to our health, should be considered as wasted as well.

But according to our culture, everyone has to justify their existence by selling something. Capitalism rests on the idea that you can make people want what you're selling via brainwashing campaigns of marketing and advertising. So everyone's hustling, thinking up crap that they'll try to convince people to buy. And it's a never-ending treadmill of garbage. 

I was going to say more but I'll just finish by saying that this is no way to run a sustainable civilization. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

An Annoucement About My Book Depository

Just letting my vast readership know about how they can follow my vast readings at this post. I've decided to constantly update it to either just mention, or occasionally actually discuss my latest readings.  Because the world needs to know.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Goodbye to Jimmy (Anti-Vaxxer) Dore [Updated]

I wasn't happy about it, but I was prepared to give Jimmy Dore the benefit of the doubt. In this post you can read how I had some sympathy for some of Dore's contrarian position on COVID vaccines. But it's become a flood of deranged stupidity and I've unsubscribed from his YouTube channel and have (for the most part) stopped watching him.

This video by "Shaun" outlines Dore's insanity:

Now, I don't agree with everything "Shaun" says. (He's done brilliant videos about "The Bell Curve" and the racist rally at Charlottesville though.) But, like Shaun, I think Dore has entered grifter territory. I think he senses that right-wing anti-vaxxers are a loyal, gullible fanbase who are quick to open their wallets and purses to anyone who tells them what they want to hear. I was always nauseated with the Trump shit-eaters in Dore's comments section with their ignorance, hypocrisy, racism. As I've said before, these assholes were so sexually gratified from Dore's evisceration of Democratic perfidy that they ignored his stances on immigration and the welfare state which are the polar opposite of theirs.

But in the comments section of "Shaun's" Dore video, there's all these people saying that Dore is and has always been a useless, stupid asshole. And these people disgust me. These people are probably apologists for the Democratic Party or practice some other form of revolting idiocy. Jimmy Dore was right about "Russiagate." He's right about the uselessness of the Democrats. He's right about Palestine. He's right about Syria. I watched enough of his material to know he was at one time a valuable person to have on our side. I know enough to recognize that it's a damned tragedy what's happened to him. I thought I had an alternative to pompous stammerers like Sam Seder, arrogant narcissists like Jeffrey St. Clair, and self-defeating hysterical essays from people like Paul Street who has convinced himself that the 70 million US-Americans who voted for Trump are all fascists and it's a waste of time to try speaking to them. (As I said elsewhere, I think Paul Street's revolutionary strategy is to keep writing his embittered essays for his thousands of readers, until he dies, having impacted virtually nothing.)

In the case of this pandemic, which is real, so all you COVID-deniers and anti-VAXXERS can shove your delusions about your superior intellects and commitment to freedom and science up your asses sideways, the stakes are too high to tolerate drivel like Dore's anti-vaxx tirades.

Un-fuck you Jimmy Dore. Your arrogance, delusion and/or dishonesty are going to get people killed.


UPDATE: Dore has produced a video in response to his critics. Here it is:

A couple of thoughts: How many of the loathsome right-wing people in the comments section have glided easily from denying that the pandemic even existed to agreeing that everyone is going to get COVID eventually?

Dore shows himself saying, multiple times that vulnerable people should get vaxxed. But he has to know that posting video after video with huge banner headlines about the dangers and the lies about vaccines and the heroism and "science" of people who refuse to get vaccinated is only going to discourage people from getting vaccinated. He appears to be directly responding to the section of Shaun's video where Shaun accuses him of misrepresenting an article about a COVID wave in Singapore. Dore admits he was wrong and blames it on a producer who has since been fired. If you watch that section of Dore's video you have to ask yourself whether that producer was only giving Jimmy what he thought he wanted to hear.

Dore insists that it's entirely a personal decision whether to get vaccinated or not. That there are no public consequences when someone chooses not to get vaccinated. In so doing, Dore ignores the fact that the people who require hospitalization are the un-vaxxed. And that therefore these people are putting continued pressure on the healthcare system.

Listen; Starting from the premise that the pandemic is real (and I've already written about my personal experience of this reality for any of the morons who might show up here and arrogantly tell me that I have to open my eyes to the truth about the Davos/UN "Great Re-set" conspiracy to blah, blah, blah) let's discuss things from that perspective. The pandemic is real and all the fucking losers who protested against masks (that they impair your breathing and cause you to panic/that they "don't work" which means that doctors performing surgeries have been wasting their time for at least a century by wearing them), against social distancing and lockdowns (showing that they don't understand what a virus is) and who are clearly anti-vaxxers (of all sorts) ... It has been vastly the case that it is these assholes who have been spreading the virus, getting sick from the virus and overwhelming our emergency rooms, and where these idiots congregate in large enough numbers so as to encourage politicians to pander to them (such as Alberta and Saskatchewan) it is those places that have suffered the most from COVID-19.

Dore has a point (he's had a few points over the past several months which I have always acknowledged) that since it's a fact that the vaccine doesn't prevent one from becoming infected from the virus (as opposed to the measles and polio vaccines) that harsh mandates and vaccine passports are useless because one can get infected from a vaxxed person as easily as from an un-vaxxed person.  But, again, the vast majority of people deciding not to get vaxxed are stupid assholes and their fears of the vaccines are generally delusional. Get the damned vaccine. 

[Edited to add: At the time I wrote this post I really did think that vaxxed people were still as contagious as un-vaxxed people.  I've since learned that this is not the case:  But vaccinated people clear the virus faster, with lower levels of virus overall, and have less time with very high levels of virus present.

Therefore, vaccinated people are, on average, likely to be less contagious.]