Tuesday, December 27, 2022

The Failures of Patrick Cockburn


If you search for the name "Jeffrey St. Clair" at this blog you'll probably find a few posts where I criticize him for his puerile sneering at anyone who doesn't think exactly the way he does. "CounterPunch" is an institution and it has long been a source of vital analyses for myself and tens of thousands of other left-wingers.  But it is also a deeply flawed site with a deeply flawed editor and many deeply flawed, if not absolutely useless, contributers.

As of late, writer Patrick Cockburn (a British-born journalist) has been grinding my gears with his constant ignorant, deluded refrain that Vladimir Putin's goal with the invasion of the Ukraine is to recreate the Russian Empire.  In spewing such garbage he has a great deal of company.  My faith in the collective intelligence of humanity took another serious blow when I saw so many otherwise intelligent people babbling about how Putin was a "thug" and a "madman" but he could simultaneously be provoked, his stated concerns for Russia's security ignored with impunity.  This despite the fact that Russia has one of the two largest nuclear arsenals in the world.  Enough weapons to obliterate human civilization.  Supposedly we can provoke the "madman" with the nuclear weapons and rely on his self-control to not do anything rash.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

There's This ...

 I hadn't been following this.  So this video was really my first exposure to it.

Friday, December 2, 2022

That beautiful moment

 That beautiful moment when your sadness at losing someone you loved is replaced by remembering how much you loved them.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Good Riddance To Humanity


As I said in big post about my book readings for 2021 and 2022, I was reading David Suzuki's and The Big Picture.  It's from 2009.  He's describing crises building in 2009 and now it's 2022 and we not only haven't mitigated our behaviour, but we're actually behaving worse.  And there are still idiots denying the reality of global warming and yammering about how expensive it would be to cater to the delusions of global warming fear mongers.

Rain forest depletion.  Mass extinctions.  Massive droughts.  Shrinking glaciers.  Methane bubbles.  Pakistan under water.

Then there's the COVID-19 pandemic.  Stupid assholes from the left and right sides of the political spectrum have decided that since governments lie and pharmaceutical companies do too that the pandemic is a fraud.  It's a "PLAN-demic."  The virus is just the common flu that was invented in a bio-weapons lab by the Chinese to destabilize the West (which is why the Chinese government released it in China first).  Or, the virus (that is no more dangerous than the common flu) was invented in a bio-weapons lab by Anthony Fauci so that he could get rich by not killing everybody.

Nothing really happened!  All those deaths in the old folks' home; all the over-crowded emergency rooms; all the cancelled surgeries; all the burned-out hospital workers; all the scenes of mass death in India; ... all business as usual.  It's a hoax goddammit!  Didn't you know that when John D. Rockefeller sat down with the House of Rothschild and Woodrow Wilson and Margaret Sanger to discuss their long-term plan to smash capitalism and human freedom, it was decided that, after Climate Science, the best place for activists to worm away the vitals of society from the inside was in public health management.

That's why EVERY hospital administration and EVERY local public health official is IN ON THE SCAM!!!  It is a vast, terrifying conspiracy.  Lots of moving parts.  Lots of "crisis actors."

Apparently that is the logic of a significant number of people.  The sort who think they sound intelligent when they say: "I would rather die of COVID than live in fear of it."  Yes genius.  Dying from not protecting yourself from something that you knew could kill you really puts you in your best light.  Too bad you can only die once.  I'd like to see you drive a car without brakes down a hill with no seat-belt on.  Then I'd like you to walk naked through a bear-infested forest smeared with honey.

Apparently wearing a mask over your nose and mouth ["Duh! The nose TOO???"] during a pandemic featuring a respiratory virus is a major infringement on one's freedom.  Gad!  It's just so fucking stupid!!!

Then there's the absolutely inexcusable rah-rahhing for World War III and a nuclear holocaust by shit-heads astonishingly captured by the USA's ridiculous narrative for the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Apparently mad-men with one of the world's two largest collections of nuclear weapons can be safely ignored when they say: "Don't make that large country right on my border a member of your military alliance against me!"  Apparently, right before they're going to rebuild the Czarist Empire, mad-men with gigantic arsenals of nuclear weapons say; "Look!  Let's sign this agreement whereby I agree to respect the Ukraine's autonomy if you'll guarantee it's neutrality."

Apparently the country that launches coups in Honduras, Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador, Haiti, and which destroyed Iraq, Syria and Libya [killing millions], and which is helping the corrupt, misogynist, obscurantist regime in Saudi Arabia conduct a genocide in Yemen, is just passionate about the lives and the freedom of Ukrainians that have been endangered by this UNPROVOKED Russian attack!

This is GOOD vs. EVIL, RIGHT vs. WRONG.

Humanity is too stupid to survive.  We don't deserve to.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Squandering Hegemony (Walden Bello Edition)


Recently I wrote a couple of posts about how the Anglo-American hegemony established after World War II has been in steep decline in recent years. (1 & 2)  Over at CounterPunch the always worthwhile Walden Bello provides us with a similar analysis:

But what overdetermines the current crisis of the hegemon is that it is not just economic but also ideological and political.

The British Marxist Paul Mason has argued that with the triumph of neoliberalism and financialization in the global North, solidarity and a sense of community based on economic class and a shared middle class lifestyle among workers was replaced by an individualized identity as consumers, as market players in a society of seemingly shared prosperity but where rising income was increasingly replaced by rising debt as the mechanism of economic pacification.

Having exchanged their class identity for that of consumers in the market, their loss of even the latter owing to the 2008-2009 crisis left them ideologically vulnerable, particularly when it came to their commitment to the liberal democratic belief in universal equality. Even before the financial crisis, many workers had already been feeling psychologically threatened by the gains of the movements for racial and gender justice, and their descent into economic insecurity was the final step in their rightward radicalization.

What the volatile combination of economic crisis, ideological vulnerability, and Donald Trump has done is to make legitimate if not respectable an anti-democratic core belief that has been transmitted generationally, communally, and subversively. This is White Supremacy, which is now informally the ruling ideology of the Republican Party.

Finally, to the political crisis. I don’t think there would be many who would object to our characterizing American liberal democracy as being in crisis. 


To repeat, what distinguishes the crisis of the hegemon today from the 1980s is the fatal combination of severe economic dislocation, deep ideological disaffection, and profound political instability. Global hegemony is difficult to exercise if, in addition to falling behind on the economic front, the hegemon is also nearing civil war and a significant sector of the society has lost faith in the liberal democratic ideology that legitimizes its global economic primacy.

That is where the United States is today.

So, how does it feel to be a member of a society in decline?  Did you subscribe to the moronic "Russiagate" conspiracy theory?  Do you shrug your shoulders at Liberal/Democratic assaults on constitutional rights while shrikeing about Conservative/Republican ones?  Do you believe the absurd official narrative about Russia in the Ukraine?  Are you a shameless hypocrite?

Then you are contributing to your own society's decline.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Ontario NDP Concerns About Provincial Healthcare Crisis


I was going to write something about the apparent crisis going on in Ontario's hospitals, especially our emergency rooms, where wait-times have (I've heard) tripled, with some hospital emergency rooms saying they were completely swamped.  I looked for a source to back that up and the best thing that I could find was this statement from the Ontario NDP:

NDP expresses Concerns about Ontario Medical System

Shaw fights to ensure ambulance availability, end code zeros in Ontario

Sandy Shaw, NDP MPP for Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas, will bring forward a motion for debate Thursday calling for action to end ambulance unavailability across the province.

“It’s a terrifying moment when you call an ambulance for a parent, grandparent, or child, only to learn that no ambulance is available to respond,” said Shaw. “Right now, we are witnessing a dire shortage of available ambulances in all parts of the Ontario. In different areas you may hear ‘code zero’, ‘code black’, or ‘code red’. They all have the same horrifying meaning – that not a single ambulance is available to respond to an emergency call for the entire region.”

In October, Essex County declared a state of emergency when a code black lasted three hours. In Hamilton, Code Zeros have already tripled compared to last year. In OttawaWaterloo, and Thunder Bay, Code Zeros have become a near daily occurrence.

“We cannot allow this terrifying crisis to continue. Ontarians expect ambulances to be available when they need them”, said Shaw. “When ERs and hospitals are short-staffed, ambulances remain parked as paramedics wait with patients instead of leaving them in the care of a nurse. That prevents paramedics from getting back on the road and saving more lives.”

Shaw is urging the government to take immediate action including repealing Ontario’s wage-capping Bill 124 to ensure the province can recruit, retain, and return nurses to hospitals so health care professionals are available to receive patients.

“Every Ontarian should have access to ambulance and paramedic services,” said Shaw. “The Ford government needs to provide the funding needed to end ambulance shortages once and for all. They can make that commitment today by immediately passing this motion.”


Motion 4: End Code Zeros

That, in the opinion of this House, every Ontarian should have access to ambulance and paramedic emergency services, and the Government of Ontario should ensure the necessary funding to end the periods of time when ambulances are unavailable to respond to an emergency call, known as “code red” or “code black”.

Ontario’s staffing-driven health care crisis demands major investments, not partial solutions

QUEEN’S PARK — NDP Health critic France GĂ©linas (Nickel Belt) and NDP Immigration Services and International Credentials critic Doly Begum (Scarborough Southwest) released the following statement in response to the government announcement on Ontario’s health workforce:

“There’s no question that we need to retain health care workers on the frontlines of our hospital crisis right now. To entice non-practicing and retired professionals back to work, we need to make sure that the health care sector is fully staffed and fully funded. Long hours, insufficient wages from Bill 124, and exhausting shifts on understaffed wards will not make people want to return to work and provide the vital mentorship and training that is desperately needed for new nurses.

Forcing internationally trained health professionals to prove language proficiency multiple times is one barrier that many of us fought to remove. While we welcome small steps towards making it easier for internationally trained nurses to join the frontlines in Ontario, it’s disappointing to see doctors who live in Ontario and have international training continue to be left sitting on the sidelines. We have a dire shortage of family doctors with over a million Ontarians lacking access to primary care. The lack of access to primary care is just one of the reasons that people end up in an emergency room – and further burn out health care workers in hospitals.

We need strong incentives to bring retired nurses back to underpaid and overworked positions. Today’s announcement does not address the systemic problems retaining our existing health workforce and preventing health care workers from returning, or attracting new doctors to our system.”

NDP slams Ford for sitting on tens of billions amid worsening health care crisis

QUEEN’S PARK – Catherine Fife, NDP Finance Critic, slammed the Ford government for sitting on $44 billion in contingencies as the health care and other crises worsen in Ontario, revealed by the Financial Accountability Office (FAO) report.

The bombshell figure comes from the FAO’s 2022 Fall Economic and Budget Outlook. In it, the FAO is forecasting a $40 billion shortfall across all programs over the next six years, including:

    • $23 billion shortfall in health
    • $6 billion in education
    • $4 billion in children, community, and social services
    • $2.6 billion in postsecondary funding
    • $2.3 billion in justice

“It is unconscionable for Doug Ford to make cuts in health, education, and social services,” said Fife. “Our hospitals are already at a breaking point. Education workers are accessing foodbanks. ODSP and OW recipients live in legislated poverty.

“Doug Ford needs to allocate these massive historic contingencies to prevent shortfalls in the services that Ontarians count on.”

Fife said covering the projected shortfalls on its own isn’t enough. The NDP is also calling on the government to invest more in health care, education, and social services instead of racking up $25.2 billion in surpluses over the next six years.

“The government should address the staffing crisis in health care by repealing its wage-capping Bill 124,” said Fife. “The government should bargain a fair deal with Ontario’s lowest-paid education workers instead of risking disruption and staffing crises in our schools. The government should double social assistance rates so that Ontarians aren’t forced to live in legislated poverty and rely on food banks.”

I remember it was in the days of the Ontario Progressive Conservative majority of the loathsome, stupid, cowardly, asshole Mike Harris, when our hospital emergency rooms were similarly overloaded.  Perhaps the fact that both of these periods of extreme crisis in Ontario's healthcare system occurred during the administrations of the shit-headed, evil, corrupt, fuck-faces in the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party is the clue? (The Ontario Liberals only ensure a low-level crisis, year after year.  And then they pat themselves on the back for being a lesser-evil.)

Of course, in his own stupid, cynical, corrupt way, Doug Ford is doing what he wanted to do from the beginning.  Which is to (insanely) see the public system fade and to then marshall as many public dollars as he can to give to the wasteful private sector.  And then, with the extra millions of dollars those private sector parasites have left over after their CEO salaries and their dividends to their shareholders and, oh yeah, the delivery of healthcare, they can help build the OPC's electoral war-chest.

But what about the rest of us???  Besides us NOT adequately protesting in the streets for shit-head Ford to spend OUR MONEY on OUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM, ... we see news reports everyday (even from right-wing sources like CP-24) about the burn-out caused by the still-raging COVID-19 pandemic and we blithely allow ourselves to pretend (like our governments) that the pandemic is over and we don't get the boosters (I've read it's only 16% have got the last one.) and we don't wear masks (even on public transit).  We appear to believe that if we keep doing what we always do things will continue as they always have.

Just another way we're failing as a society and as a species.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

The Continued Squandering of Anglo-American Hegemony


I wrote something about this before. Because we were never truly democracies, but, rather, capitalist republics, we never had any chance of genuinely flourishing and perservering.  And people are starting to notice our decline. [That link goes to a review about a Russian's argument for US-American decline, but all one has to do is look at the recent leadership debacle in the UK of Johnson-Truss, and the sad state of leadership in Ottawa with the airhead Justin Trudeau facing-off against the shit-stain Pierre Poilievre, with the cretins Doug Ford and Brad Wall in the provinces.  As I typed I realized that the UK leadership farce is mirrored by Alberta's fall of the imbecilic Jason Kenney and his replacement by the even more embarrassing Danielle Smith.]

Here's some good stuff from that review:

Yet in recent times, he argues, something has happened in American elite circles that has let the more grandiose and delusional side of the American psyche run amok, and this has happened at the very time when America is most in need of good leadership.

Martyanov believes that America’s extreme meritocrats vastly over­estimate their capabilities. This is because, rather than focusing on the strengths and weaknesses of the country they rule, they have been taught since birth to focus on themselves. They believe that they just need to maximize their own personal accomplishments and the good of the country will emerge as if by magic. This has led inevitably to the rise of what Martyanov characterizes as a classic oligarchy. Such an oligarchy, he argues, purports to be meritocratic but is actually the opposite. A proper meritocracy allows the best and the brightest to climb up its ranks. But an oligarchy with a meritocratic veneer simply allows those who best play the game to rise. Thus, the meritocratic claims become circular: you climb the ladder because you play the game; the game is meritocratic because those who play it are by definition the best and the brightest. Effectively, for Martyanov, the American elite does not select for intelligence and wisdom, but rather for self-assured­ness and self-interestedness.

It seems very accurate in my mind.  Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton clearly see themselves super-geniuses even though neither of them achieved anything of merit during their entire careers, which in Biden's case is continuing on in its delusional, destructive path.

But the general public has to share some of the blame for elevating bizarre pieces of human garbage like Donald Trump and Pierre Poilievre to high office. (Or in the case of liberals and social democrats, they praise to the skies robotic centrists and cynical con-artists like Dalton McGuinty or Crystia Freeland and shriek blue murder at anyone who criticizes them.)

Which is a shame because if you read history, besides doing a lot of bad things, British culture produced a lot of good things.  By the 18th Century, many continental thinkers were looking to the British example for good government, religious toleration, scientific advances and individual freedom.  I say all this again, with a fairly strong grasp of the atrocious crimes of British imperialism and the murderous violence of its class system.  But it must also be understood that human cruelty is not particular to the British or to Europeans.

When one says that women's rights made many of their first gains in the Anglo-American countries, or that Britain produced many of the first female authors in the modern period, one is not denying the prevailing oppression of women at the time and which continues to the present day.  I am not attempting to deny the ugly reality that was very much a part of this heritage.  But it did have its accomplishments.  Individual freedom and creativity in the Anglo-American countries was looked at in admiration around the world.  We (especially our leadership) sometimes claimed to have all the answers, and we never did.  But I fear that the good part of our example is going to be forgotten by the rest of the world by the time that these idiots, arrogant mediocrities in our oligarchies drag everything crashing down.

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Shit-Libs Proudly Admit Their Stupidity & Insanity


First of all, most of the writers (I believe there's more than one) at "Lawyers, Guns, & Money" are not full-time stupid people.  There's a series: "So-and-so visits an American grave" where the writer talks about the remarkable life of the person who used to inhabit the body buried under a tombstone.  Eloquent summaries of often forgotten US-Americans who made a positive contribution to their country and helped make their country however good it eventually became.  In the same way, I don't really believe that Christian Parenti or Max Blumenthal are genuinely stupid even though they've both swallowed/concocted some shit-for-brains COVID-denialism conspiracy theory.  I don't really think that Owen Gray at "Northern Reflections" is indifferent to the sufferings of starving Yemeni children just because he never mentions them even when it's pointed out that the USA is being titanically hypocritical condemning Russia's attack on Ukraine whilst aiding and abetting Saudi Arabia's genocide in Yemen.

It's just that like Parenti and Blumenthal allowed their minds to turn to garbage on the subject of COVID, and Gray is doomed to forever believe that centrist maniacs like Thomas Friedman are sources of wisdom because they speak in "liberal" journals like the New York Times, and whoever it is at "Lawyers, Guns, & Money" worships at the altar of the Democratic National Committee, ... on some occasions they espouse clearly stupid beliefs.

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Horrible Thought ..

 How universal is the urge to destroy something only so that nobody else could ever enjoy it?

Saturday, September 24, 2022

A Couple of Things



First of all, the arrests of anti-war protesters in Russia.  I'm against it.  The censorship of protesters here in Canada or the United States  against our wars is pretty bad.  And the harrassment of the peace movement by militarist numbskulls that is permitted by the authorities is worrying.  But so far as I know there haven't been arrests of anti-war protesters simply for protesting.  Of course, since 1945, the USA hasn't been really existentially threatened by, say, North Korea, the Vietnamese, Grenada, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, etc., and Canada was threatened by Afghanistan either.  Not in the way that Russia is existentially threatened by the USA and NATO.  In World War I, the US government passed The Sedition Act which essentially made criticism of the government and of the war it was fighting illegal. And Canada had The War Measures Act that became more famous for its use attacking the Japanese and other ethnic minorities with cultural ties to the countries we were fighting overseas.  I don't doubt for a minute that were Canada or the USA engaged in a truly existential conflict, that the governments would crack down hard on anti-war protesters.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Kherson Counter-Offensive Part II

 I know that I'm a detestable Putin-puppet, but maybe some of you former fans of mine who have slowed down to look at the automobile accident that is my blog can explain what's going on in this picture from last July:

That's US President Joseph R. Biden fist-bumping Saudi Arabia's defacto ruler "MBS" aka "Clown-Prince Bonesaw."  (Saudi Arabia's dejure ruler is some older man whose name I can't be bothered to look up who is hopelessly senile.  [As opposed to Biden who is still in the early stages of his dementia.])

This took place during Biden's trip to the Middle East where Biden also visited the murderously racist apartheid state of Israel (who refrained from killing any more US-American journalists and then attacking their funerals while Biden was visiting) and then he had some sort of geo-political "security" meeting with MBS and other disgusting autocrats and he also pleaded with OPEC to increase oil production because he couldn't think of any other way to fight inflation other than throwing working people out of work.

There was a lot of silly talk about Biden sullying the good name of the United States by treating with MBS as anything other than the international "pariah" that Biden said he would treat him as.  The USA is ruled by a blood-soaked oligarchy of degenerate monsters who are at least the equal of Clown-Prince Bonesaw.

I mention all these facts (or, in the parlance of shit-head liberal imperialist hacks "whataboutism") to continue talking about the Ukrainians recent counter-offensive.  First of all, let me say that the media coverage of this entire crisis has been abysmal.  Surrenders into captivity have been described as "evacuations."  Putin has been on his last legs since the beginning of the conflict.  (Sort of like how "the walls were closing in" on Trump for three years.)  Every Russian atrocity story is trumpeted as true.  Every Ukrainian accusation is reported as verified fact.  (Are Russian soldiers, like any other soldiers, capable of war crimes? Of course they are.  Is the US corporate media capable of lying through their fucking teeth as well as being detestable hypocrites? Of course they are.)  Whatever its quality; one can't deny that Western media coverage of the Ukrainian conflict has been extensive.  Much more so than, say, Clown Prince Bone-Saw's genocide in Yemen.

But the other side; both the genuine anti-war/anti-imperialists and the pro-Putin partisans appear to have almost as shaky a grasp on what is actually happening as the hypocrites, liars and stooges of the West.

So it seems to me that the Ukrainian military had more pep left in it than I or other anti-NATO watchers thought possible.  While middle-aged Ukrainian conscripts were literally being served-up as cannon-fodder to slow the Russian advance, the Ukraine's best elite troops were being armed and trained by NATO and (together with an unknown number of foreign mercenaries) thrown against some less well trained forces from the Donbas "People's Republics" forcing the Russians back across a river.  

The Ukraine still has no airforce capable of contesting the Russians.  They lack the Russians' artillery capabilities.  They can't win this war.  However, Putin clearly can't afford to do much more.  He has kept this operation small because, while the Russian economy is clearly not as moribund as it had been portrayed, it is still not able to afford a massive mobilization.  Even still, with his damaging of the Ukraine's actual power grid (in retaliation for moronic Ukrainian attacks on Russian and Donbas civilian power systems) he has shown that with little effort he could bring real pain to the Zelensky/Nazi/Oligarch Stooges' country.

Despite the fact that there seem to be a lot of genuine Nazis running around in the remaining rump-state of Ukrainie, I do not think that fascism is a popular political movement there.  But it is the one to which the USA psychopaths have given disproportionate power and influence to.  That is what Putin and Russia are fighting.

This is not the story of a plucky democracy having been invaded by an imperialist authoritarian madman.  This is the story of a country being taken over by a fascist-dominated US-puppet government that was abusing its ethnic Russian citizens and (like the shit-heads they are) seeking to threaten Russia on the USA's behalf.  The USA is conducting a fundamentally evil policy in the Ukraine and all you "liberals" who support it are hopelessly stupid.

I was going to put some links in here and there, but fuck-it.  I'm lazy.

Saturday, September 3, 2022

The Kherson Counteroffensive

In Shakespeare's "Othello" the villain of the piece is supposed to be Iago. Today a lot of people would condemn Othello as a villain too, and not a tragic hero "who loved not wisely, but too well." That's because Othello was the one who actually plunged the dagger into Desdemona and killed her.

Still, nobody would let Iago off the hook, since he manipulated Othello to make that happen.

And none of this is to say that Putin's Russia loved the Ukraine and that this invasion is the result of jealousy. But just as Othello would not have killed Desdemona but for Iago's scheming, neither would Putin have invaded the Ukraine but for the USA's installing an anti-Russian government and giving control over its military policy to anti-Russian Nazis. (The descendents of people like our own Crystia Freeland's grandfather.)

Bobak and Lamb-Bobak

 Or, maybe I should have entitled this post "Bobak and Lamb" because Bruno Bobak's wife Molly is often referred to by her father's name; as in "Molly Lamb."  Her father was British Columbia mining engineer and aspiring photographer Henry Mortimer Lamb.  She was born out of wedlock to him and her mother Alice Mary Price.  Price was a free-spirited woman.  When Henry Mortimer later asked to marry her she refused.  He raised Molly as a member of his "legal" [?] family.  As an aspiring photographer, Henry Mortimer often had artists and bohemian types over to his house.  Jack Shadbolt became Molly's artistic mentor.  Anyhoooo, ... when Molly had to find her birth certificate for something decades into adulthood, she found out the name on the birth certificate wasn't even "Lamb."

Anyhow, I mention reading a book about them in the 2022-09-03 entry at my Giant Book Depository, and this is the page where I shall show four examples of their work, chosen pretty much at random.

First, Bruno Bobak:

This image was supposed to go under the war artist image that had been painted earlier and, actually, inserted into my post earlier.  Blogger decided to put it above the first image.  Even though the blinking cursor had been blinking its little blink two lines below the first image.

Bruno and Molly met in England as offical Canadian war artists

Sackville Wire Station (watercolour on paper) 

Now, Molly Lamb:

Private Roy

Fucking blogger keeps inserting images all over the place and moving the captions around.
Anyway, Molly Lamb Bobak's flower paintings were a big part of her output.

See what I mean about the images and captions?  All over the fucking place.  Anyway, she also painted crowd scenes.  This is the lighting of the Christmas tree in front of the New Brunswick legislature.

Holy fucking Christ!  Before pressing "Publish" for this post, the Christmas Tree painting's image had been below the second water colour of flowers.  Mother-fucker.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Video about how violent psychopaths demand "civility"


Not as kick-ass as I thought it would be but worth a viewing/listening.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Jordan Peterson Deep Dive

 Cody the News Guy at "Some More News" briefly looks at the topic of Jordan Peterson:

I don't know how Peterson still has any credibility as a self-help guru after he drove his own life into a ditch a few years back.  But he does.  He is still very influential.  Cody's short video provides a good portrait of the man himself and his style of argumentation and his way of looking at the world.

My takeway from it is that Peterson is a deeply insecure individual who NEEDS for the values of the world he grew up in to remain valid.  That world was patriarchal, Christian, heterosexual, capitalist, with a smattering of liberal-representative democracy.  It was also white supremacist.  And (as the video shows beyond a shadow of a doubt) Peterson is more than happy to quote drivel from nazi-adjacent "thinkers" to "prove" that a certain percentage of the population might be completely irredeemable and useless.  (He leaves it to his readers/listeners to ponder what the skin colour of those "useless eaters" might be.)

Now, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Peterson wasn't/isn't a bad looking guy.  He's also relatively tall (1.85 m).  These attributes, combined with a brain that works quickly at the task of inventing nonsensical arguments, have given him the self-confidence to rise above his squeaky voice and emotional fragility, and become a semi-charismatic bullshit artist.  He is a guru for a racist-conservative philosophy which he cloaks under a veneer of pseudo-scientific mysticism to appear as reasonable.

[Among several painful, cringe-worthy, infuriating segments, there's one part where Peterson angrily denies a nervous male university student's assertion that he (Peterson) defends the hierarchies he is always defending and celebrating.  The young man is unnerved by Peterson's yelling and gives up his point.  At a panel discussion on a British television show, Peterson's self-righteous indignation is less effective when a woman points out that women are not well represented in most Western representative democracies.  In response to her Peterson whines about being insulted and then starts yammering about how maybe she won't be happy unless 51% of bricklayers are female.  To which the woman smiles sadly to herself about the idiot she's sitting beside.]

Which all gets back to Peterson's emotional fragility.  I don't think he's aware that he's actually a con-man.  I think he genuinely believes in the white, patriarchal, capitalist, conservative worldview he proselytizes for.  When he smooshes together truthy-sounding arguments based on pseudo-facts and wishful thinking, he believes he's doing the Lord's work.  He probably truely believes that civilization will fall apart if father-led nuclear families believing in sky-gods who want us all to work hard and get rich are at all challenged.  His tears for the desperate young men who likewise need their fantasies upheld and for his own crumbling under the pressures of defending a world under attack from pink-haired feminist social-justice warriors are genuine.  As was his total nervous breakdown a few years back.

This is how a guy can write a book called Twelve Rules For Life, have a nervous breakdown and then come out with yet another book with supposedly more rules for life (the majority of all these rules being banalities) and then get a paying gig with racist, babbling speed-talker Ben Shapiro.

Don't get me wrong.  There's stupidity aplenty across the whole political spectrum.  But right-wing ideas, the thinkers of those ideas, and the swallowers of those ideas, enjoy the lion's share of the total quantity of stupidity in the universe.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Escape the Binary


Some musings from the day:

The Liberal Party leadership are merely more intelligent overseers of the same capitalist system as the Conservative Party's. As such, they serve Fossil Fuels, Bay Street, Big Telecom and other capitalist scum.

But grifters like Ezra Levant (who is supported/protected by elements from within the same capitalist elite) keeps his shit-for-brains fans infuriated with Trudeau and the Liberals.

It seems to me that the more extremist and frightening the right-wing base becomes, the more some people seem to think it necessary to coalesce around the Liberals (or in the USA, the Democrats) despite the Liberals (or Democrats) being just as responsible for the growing desperation of the populace.


The first thing to do is to make all future plans with neither the Republicans or the Democrats.

It also supported a pro-Trump/Jan. 6th challenger to a Republican incumbent whom they had only recently praised for voting to impeach Trump for instigating that riot. (The thinking is that the pro-Trump candidate will be easier for the Democrats to beat in the actual election. The same way they promoted Trump over other candidates, believing Hillary would have an easier time crushing him.)


Monday, August 1, 2022

The Catholic Church and the $30 Million


Big surprise that the mobbed-up gang of pedophiles and pedophile enablers/accessories after the fact is sleazing out on their obligations to provide even token compensation for the horrors they inflicted on First Nations children and their familes. (National Observer)  The Catholic Church pinky-swore to raise $30 million in compensation to the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement but has so far failed to raise even 1/6th that amount.  (At the same time it was able to raise four times that amount to renovate a Catholic Church in Toronto.)  This is racist arrogance, pure and simple.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

The Anti-Mask, COVID-denying, Anti-Vaxxers Parades & Rallies


Yesterday I was out near Yonge and St. Clair and a large caravan of "FREEDOM!!!!" idiots were driving south, blaring their horns, waving their Canadian flags, with a lot of them also flying the flag of the Netherlands.  I didn't recognize the flag and asked the driver of a pickup truck stopped at a red light what it was.  I asked him why they were all flying that flag and he asked if I hadn't heard about the protests there.  I said no.  He told me to get on YouTube.  The third most popular flag was "Fuck Trudeau."

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Beating Some Dead Horses


So much stuff happens and it's awful and then we just move on to the next atrocity and we don't seem to remember anything.  Some people (gawd blessum!) appear to be born anew every day.  There's nothing to learn from the past because they hardly remember the past.  [That link doesn't actually validate the point I was trying to make.  But fuck it.  It's interesting and I'm leaving it in.]

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

National Citizens Conferences Part V


This CounterPunch article from Patrick Mazza says what I've been fumbling towards: "Ditch the Constitution and Start Over: When a Government Becomes Destructive of the Rights of the People":

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for a people to dissolve a political system grounded on the rule of minorities over majorities, and to assume the powers of democratic self-government to which common sense says they are entitled, a decent respect for the opinions of humanity requires that they should declare why.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights, among these life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  That to protect these rights, we institute governments that derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government.

Paraphrasing those words of the Declaration of Independence, they seem uniquely fitting in a week just preceding the anniversary of their adoption 246 years ago. A week when the Supreme Court of the United States limited the power of the Environmental Protection Administration to regulate carbon dioxide pollution from power plants. The ruling in West Virginia v. EPA has many technical ins and outs that do not bar this power entirely. But it shifts critical carbon-reducing decisions to a Congress that has so far failed to act on climate. Thus, in practical effect, the court has become destructive of rights. It has undermined a vital protection for the life of people across a nation and planet already suffering and dying from a disrupted climate.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

National Citizens Conferences Part IV


Fascists and shit-libs!  What the fuck does any of this crap have to do with "National Citizens Conferences"?!?

My point is that fascists aren't visitors from outer-space.  They're often ordinary people with deep mental and emotional problems.  But, more importantly, ... not everyone who votes for a fascistic politician (like, say, Donald J. Trump) is a dyed-in-the-wool fascist.  Unlike CounterPunch's Paul Street I do not believe that the 70 million people who voted for Trump should be entirely written off.   As I've been saying throughout this series, fascism only comes to the fore during times of great economic distress, when extremist solutions start to look appealing in the face of the status-quo's failure.  And, furthermore, oligarchs support the rise of fascism because fascism appeals to many conservative values.  It's convenient for them too at first.  Fascists/conservatives call for "law and order" by which they mean the control of the poor and racialized minorities.  But the creation of a police state serves to make it easier to suppress everyone.  (Genuine fascists in Germany and Italy were able to avoid the worst aspects of the police state by becoming party members and functionaries who could wield some of this policing power themselves.)

Saturday, July 2, 2022

National Citizens Conferences Part III


Posts one and two talked about the fascist mindset; how it's always around; and how harsh economic conditions makes it more influential among the sort of people susceptible to it.  (Some people are more enthusiastic than others.  A few Canadians might genuinely believe that Jewish overlords are trying to swamp "old-stock" citizens with swarthy immigrant hordes.  Considerably more Canadians revere the Canadian Armed Forces and might support a political party that espouses brazen militarism.)

Friday, July 1, 2022

breaking news - The People's Right To Go Ape-Shit


The world is probably scratching its collective head wondering A) Why my last two posts about National Citizens Conferences (I, II) are about fascist numbskulls & B) Why this post isn't a continuation of that topic when I said at the time that my next post would be:

Next post I'll talk about how the Shit-libs cluelessly insist on poking these people and getting them angry.

So the world's collective voice box says "Thwap, what gives???"

The answer to that question my friends is that I feel the need to comment on recent Supreme Court of the United States ("SCOTUS") ruling against women's reproductive freedom.  And to discuss my response to that I'd like to go back to the year 2013 and link to a post I wrote as a response to the Repugnican-controlled Texas legislature's abuse of process to nullify Senator Wendy Davis's filibuster of their anti-abortion bill. (I didn't actually discuss Davis's filibuster in my first post.  I wrote about other conservative and neo-liberal abominations and our overall failure to resist them.  It was only in my second post that it was the events in Texas (and, specifically, the physical abuse by the Texas Legislature security of Davis's mostly female supporters when they shouted in anger at how Davis's filibuster was being knee-capped by the Republican speaker) that inspired me:

I wrote this 2013 post as a reply to a comment saying that fear of police violence was a factor in people's reluctance to defend democracy. I was also, at the time, inspired by my anger at the treatment of protesters during Wendy Davis's filibuster of an anti-choice bill in the Texas State Legislature a couple of months before. I recalled seeing footage of goons from some Texas police force (state troopers or legislative security of some sort) roughly dragging away (mostly female) protesters when they shouted in anger at the way Davis's filibuster was being illegitimately attacked in bogus rulings from the Speaker of the House.

The anti-choice Repugnicans were inventing tricks not in the book to try to stop this legitimate use of a parliamentary tactic. Okay? Do we understand this? If you play by the rules to try to defend your rights, and your opponents break the rules to try to stop you, and use their power unfairly to impose their rule-breaking, they have renounced their claims to authority. They have no right to expect compliance under a system of laws, because they have violated the laws. And when citizens see their rights being attacked, and that this attack is being imposed illegally, they have a right to voice their protest.

Spectators in the galleries of parliaments and legislatures are not supposed to scream and shout at the representatives. This is because in large territories like Texas (or Ontario, or Canada) people who happen to live near the legislature shouldn't have the right to influence (or bully) the representatives of people who live far away. I understand this. But by the same token, when a highly divisive piece of legislation is being advanced, and representatives of people on one side of that divide are trying to resist it with legitimate tactics and the numerically superior representatives resort to brazen abuses to get around this resistance, then all the claims to sanctity of the legislature have been rendered null and void.

It is in that spirit that I would like to say that the building of the right-wing majority on the SCOTUS and its empowering of all the anti-choice Repugnican state legislatures is an indictment of contemporary progressive political strategy and yet further evidence of the need to recognize the people's right to go ape-shit when their lives are under assault.

So, first of all, SCOTUS justices are nominated by presidents.  If the presidents aren't there legitimately it should follow that all their appointments are null and void.  Partisan Repug hacks and corporate media stooges aside it is well understood that bush II stole his first electoral victory.  Therefore bush II's appointments of John Roberts and Sam Alito were illegitimate.

Perjuring themselves during Senate Confirmation hearings is grounds for impeachment.  Among other things, the alcoholic rapist Kavanaugh said he considered pro-choice to be settled law as did Neil Gorsuch.  Therefore they lied.  Therefore they should be impeached.  (If you look this topic up on the internet you'll find many raving right-wing shit-heads blathering about how if Kavanaugh and Gorsuch were lying then so was Elena Kagan who said in her 2009 confirmation hearing "There is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage." before going on in 2015 to establish the constitutional right to gay marriage.)  

A rather more mature version of this argument can be found here at Brookings.  It's not an unhinged rant but it comes to the same conclusion as the right-wing rants.  But this conclusion just doesn't hold water.  When Kagan spoke in 2009 the fact was that there was no federal legal right to same-sex marriage.  She helped to create one in 2015.  Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973.  Kavanaugh and Gorsuch were speaking decades later about a precedent, saying that so far as they were concerned the issue was settled.  Kagan overturned no established rights in 2015.  Kavanaugh and Gorsuch just did in 2022.  They lied.  They should be impeached.  

It is clear that the Democrats are useless.  As Chairman of the Sentate Judiciary Committee, Biden helped arch-reactionary, self-loathing, right-wing pussball Clarence Thomas get confirmed by denigrating Anita Hill's testimony against him and forbidding other women from contributing corroborating testimony.  (Biden, after ensuring that the Senate did not hear this damning testimony, voted against Thomas's confirmation.  Eleven other Democratic senators voted to confirm him.  Given Biden's track record his "No" vote was most likely for theatrical purposes.  The same way his early career support for "Civil Rights" was mostly empty words and his real spending of political capital was to fight school integration.)

Biden still calls the stinking embodiment of corruption, Mitch McConnell a "friend" after McConnell's illegitimate styming of Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland because it was an election year and his subsequent shameless rushing through of Trump appointee Amy Coney Barrett in an election year.  By all rights Garland should be there and Barrett should not be.

The Democratic Party, the Biden Administration had a month to prepare for this ruling.  What strategy did they devise to counter it?  To once again fund-raise off of the terrorism of the Republicans and ask people to vote for their "lesser-evilism."  When Obama had a super-majority he did nothing, even though he said he would.

The system is against you, US progressives.  Going ape-shit is your only option at this point.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

National Citizens Conferences Part Two


Last post I mentioned one author who says that Trump's followers are fascists.  I then took some time to describe what 20th Century fascists believed in.  I pointed out that a lot of the fascist agenda was agreeable to "conservative" elites.  Fascism itself came to prominence as a result of the political-economic chaos in Italy and (moreso) Germany.  (Italian fascists were initially more excited about their country obtaining the extra territories they thought it was due for having fought on the winning side of World War I.  Italy had sacrificed 650,000 soldiers lives ... primarily due to the incompetence of its generals ... and fascists felt betrayed.)  Extreme times produce extremist political movements.  Germany would not have produced a Hitler were it not for the immense misery and dislocation caused by defeat in the war, a series of economic depressions and hyper-inflation, and the rise in socialism (that frightened many conservatives).

Saturday, June 25, 2022

National Citizens Conferences


Over 70-million US-Americans voted for Trump.  According to CounterPunch's Paul Street they are all hopeless fascists. (So far as I can tell it, Street's agenda is to write venom-filled journal entries about his country's downfall until his own mortal limitations kick in or civilization has completely collapsed around him.)  But what does it mean to be a "fascist"?  Fascism is a 20th-Century political movement that espoused national unity under an authoritarian dictator who is, himself, also the leader of a mass movement.  This mass movement represents the leader's hodge-podge of ideas with some of the most important being national greatness, racial purity, anti-socialism, anti-capitalism and anti-semitism and other forms of racism. [What's that you say?  "How can fascism be both anti-socialist and anti-capitalist?"  Hitler and Mussolini believed that industry had a part to play in building their societies.  They also believed people had some sorts of rights with regards to their individual property.  But they also believed that the free-market and capitalism were excessively individualistic and that capitalists had to be controlled for the benefit of the nation-state.  Industry and finance could be told what needed to be produced, their profits could be heavily taxed but for the most part there was no expropriation and the wealthy got to remain wealthy.  Think of it this way: Hitler really did sit down to breakfast with the newspaper and if he read about a criminal being convicted of something and he thought the sentence was too lenient he would call up the judge and tell him what the sentence should be and the judge would have to impose Hitler's decision.  It was the same thing with the economy.  Everything would trundle along as before, with the capitalists still in charge of their firms, but if Hitler wanted them to do something, then they would have to do it.]

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Biden Enlists Human Rights Champions Israel & Saudi Arabia to Fight Putin


This meme was probably made by a right-winger.  Perhaps the Democrats shouldn't make it so easy to mock them?

Just to hammer home the stupidity and the hypocrisy of all the shit-head liberals musing about their willingness to entertain nuclear war to stop Putin, ... Joe Biden, the senile corporate whore who stole the primary from Bernie Sanders, is going to Saudi Arabia to plead with Clown-Prince Bonesaw to increase oil production in order to lower fuel prices and thereby injure Putin's Russia.  You see, Putin must be stopped for his provoked invasion of the Ukraine.  So says the USA which illegally invaded Afghanistan and Iraq around twenty years ago and in Afghanistan until 2020 and which still has bases in Iraq.  The USA which also destroyed Libya and tried to destroy Syria through the use of Jihaadist mercenaries.

Joe Biden is so morally certain that Putin must be punished for his aggression and for his overall anti-democratic, authoritarian, corrupt ways that he is turning to an unelected monarch of a state that uses extremist religious obscurantism to deny the rights of the female half of its population; a state that still practices beheadings as well as the death penalty for "apostasy," blasphemy, homosexuality and a few more truly bizarre reasons.  A state that has been conducting a genocidal war of aggression on its impoverished neighbour Yemen, in which civilian infrastructure has been targeted, as well as civilians themselves either as target practice or through starvation as food imports are destroyed.

[That reminds me: Biden continues to keep monies stolen from Afghanistan where people were already starving before food prices started to soar because of the conflict in the Ukraine.]

Biden wants Saudi Arabia to pump out more oil because the disruptions caused by the Russian invasion and the subsequent self-defeating sanctions imposed by the USA's puppet-governments in the EU have raised the price of oil.  Biden wants more oil to be pumped out in any case because the demented dimwit doesn't really grasp that global warming is a reality.

Biden is also stopping over in Israel, the racist apartheid state that has been torturing the Palestinians and stealing their land for longer than I've been on this planet.  Israel which tortures and robs the Palestinians and occasionally subjects them to a mass slaughter. He has asked them not to murder any more American journalists or commit any other atrocities while he's there.  They can get right back to it after he leaves.

Because Biden (and the USA's ruling class in general) are amoral psycopathic assholes.

If Russia backed Hawaiian nationalists to stage a coup in Hawaii and they did and tried to give Russia the use of the Pearl Harbour naval base, ... what do you think the USA would do?

If Russia talked about getting Canada or Mexico to join a military alliance against the USA and flooded us with weapons and military trainers, ... what do you think the USA would do?

Since we KNOW that the USA would not surrender Pearl Harbour but would re-invade Hawaii; since we KNOW that the USA would destroy any Canadian or Mexican government that tried to join an alliance with Russia, we should dispense with the nonsense that the Biden administration didn't know what would happen, ... and that goes for all the US politicians and functionaries who have meddled in the Ukraine since at least 2014.

Biden's criminality, the bipartisan serial violations of international law, the USA's blood-soaked record in Latin America, its support for Israel's racist barbarism and its friendship with the disgusting House of Saud, ... all of this and more gives the lie to the morality of that country.  If you believe otherwise you are brainwashed and have nothing of value to contribute.