Tuesday, February 22, 2022

How To Deal With Anti-Masker/Anti-Vaxxers


It is not my place to engage in interminable debates with these idiots.  I'm just an ordinary shlub with no power and no authority.  But were I to be a member of the government of Canada I would deal with the matter differently.  Because as a member of the government I would be responsible for guiding the country through the pandemic, seeing to it that infections and deaths were kept to a minimum.  In order to do THAT I would have to deal with the 20-30% of the population that denies the reality of the pandemic and resists the social distancing, lockdowns, mask mandates and vaccine mandates that are needed to try to bring the pandemic to an end.  This significant minority stands in the way of any successful pandemic response.

Obviously, our self-described "conservative" politicians (they are nothing of the kind, they are nihilistic radicals wedded to an insane ideology of kleptocracy) agree with the anti-reality crowd.  At the very least they pander to them.  Like the detestable former right-wing premier of Ontario (and now a wealthy blood-sucker of the province's elderly) Mike Harris's highschool drop-out education minister said: a crisis is a good cover for neo-liberal reforms.  Both of the prairie psychopaths, Jason "closet-case" Kenney and Scott "Burp! Oh shit! I've killed someone!" Moe are savagely attacking their provinces' public health care sectors.  Because they are shameless, inhuman thieves and scum.  Ontario's stupid, arrogant, lazy-assed, clod of a premier, Doug Ford, has just happily thrown-in the towel on dealing sensibly with COVID-19 and has announced the imminent abandonment of vaccine passports and mask mandates.  (It was pointed out at the beginning that Ford's vaccine passport system was a porous joke and that his setting and end-date for it only encouraged anti-vaccine idiots from getting vaccinated.)

Were I prime minister of Canada at the beginning of this crisis I would have implemented a hard lockdown.  This would have included the suspension of all mortgage and other bank loan payments.  There would have been a massive investment in testing, tracking and tracing.  There would have been a huge increase in the unproductive wealth of Canada's oligarchy.  And I would use the emergency powers of the federal government to takeover the pandemic response from any province that was being derelict in its duties and to hell with their hypocritical, self-serving shrieks of protest.

But, more importantly for this post, I would have had a special office created to deal directly with the conspiracy theories and the delusions and the ignorance of the population.  Instead of doing what liberal parties everywhere appear to have done: which is to ignore these millions of people and incoherently hope that they go away.

I would not censor what people say on social media.  I grow anxious every time I hear some liberal or left-of-center type person advocates censorship of social media.  As if nothing could ever go wrong from granting gigantic corporations like google and Facebook and neo-liberal governments to censor or de-platform people for promoting "falsehoods."

I would not censor people on social media but there would be a major social media outreach program of paid experts who would combat these stupid delusions on a full-time basis.  Why do I think there would be any point to this?  First of all: Ignoring these people and hoping they go away only allows them to fester in their conspiracy bubble.  And as we've just recently seen, that bubble eventually explodes into "freedom convoys" and blockades of the border.  Second of all: I do not believe that every single one of these anti-masker/anti-vaxxer people are hopeless.  Some people (and I've met them) are racialized minorities who do not trust the benevolence of government authority for good reason.  But the anti-masker/anti-vaccine conspiracy theory is so self-evidently stupid (How does wearing a mask allow the United Nations and Davos to take over the country?  If they want to microchip us all why are they denying access to vaccines to the "Less Developed Countries"?  Is China's vaccine part of the same "globalist" plot as is Phizer's and Moderna's?  Or Astra Zeneca?  How about the Cuban vaccine?  Or the Russian one?  Are they all in on it together?  What about the doctors with non-Covid patients who are having to cancel surgeries because of the flood of Covid patients?  Is there no hospital crisis?  And therefore these doctors are likewise part of the conspiracy?  The airlifting of lunkheads like Mark Friesen to an Ontario hospital was all performative theatre?  Is it every flu season that the CAF has to go into our long-term care facilities to help tend to the sick and the dying only to be exposed to the shameful conditions that those profiteering bloodsuckers impose on their clients?)  Go out and find all these anti-vaxxer/anti-masker folks who subsequently got COVID. Like the dipshit in Scarborough with the racist coffee brands who almost died from COVID.  That's another thing:  Anyone who doesn't have a medical exemption from being vaccinated goes to the back of the line when it comes to healthcare.  Triage baby!  There are lots of responsible people who already have a claim on those hospital resources.

If you chip away at them, day-in, day-out, and expose and humiliate their leaders, eventually, some of the followers will see the light and disassociate themselves from the movement.  I know from personal experience that a lot of these people are cowards.  Once you try to get them 

And, furthermore, there would be paid enforcers of mask mandates on public transit and in shopping malls and other public areas.  Put on the fucking mask or pay a fine.  Or get arrested. (There will be special buildings with the proper precautions to house these imbeciles.  All paid for by heavy taxes on our oligarchy.)

Obviously this requires getting the police onside.  Again, the virus is real.  The crowded hospitals are real.  The casualty figures are real.  The "long-COVID" cases are real.  Being arrogant bullies a lot of cops don't believe the pandemic is real.  (Like that state trooper in the USA who video'd his resignation from his police car over his refusal to get vaccinated and who subsequently died of COVID.)  The police MUST be forced to see the COVID-wards and to speak with the victims or their families.  Because we all saw what happened as the "freedom convoy" met up with the Ottawa police.

I was going to put some links into this piece but fuck it.

P.S. - Yesterday I was engaged in a debate with a gaggle of Biden-worshipping shit-libs over the Ukraine crisis.  Brainless group-thinking imbeciles.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Does Biden Think Ukraine Crisis War-Mongering Will Boost His Popularity????


Joseph R. Biden has always been a stupid, stupid man.  These days he's a tired, easily confused, old, stupid, stupid man.  That would account for the otherwise insane idea that babbling out threats to go to war with Russia over the Ukraine will be a to increase his polling numbers.  The idea is so bizarre that it took reading Chris Hedges before I even considered it.

When all else fails, when you are clueless about how to halt a 7.5% inflation rate, when your Build Back Better bill is gutted, when you renege on your promise to raise the minimum wage or forgive student debt, when you can’t halt the Republican suppression of voting rights, when you have no idea how to handle the pandemic which has claimed 900,000 lives – 16% of the world’s total deaths although we are less than 5% of the world’s population – when the stock market fluctuates on wild rollercoaster rides of highs and lows, when what little help the government offered to the labor force — half of whom, 80 million, experienced a period of unemployment last year — sees the termination of the extended unemployment benefits, rental assistance, forbearance for student loans, emergency checks, the moratorium on evictions and expansion of the child tax credits, when you watch passively as the ecocide gathers momentum, then you must make the public afraid of enemies, foreign and domestic.

You must manufacture an existential threat. Terrorists at home. Russians and Chinese abroad. Expand state power in the name of national security. Beat the drums of war. War is the antidote to divert public attention from government corruption and incompetence.

This is something that I can see Biden thinking.  He's always thought that his agreeing with Republican blood-suckers and allying with them to pass anti-people legislation makes him a savvy player of the political game.  It only means that he is a natural corporate tool.  It certainly didn't make him popular with the US-American people.  He had to be injected with mega-steroids to win the Democratic Primary.  His attacks on Social Security and his work on a detestable bankruptcy bill, ... his whole legislative record has made him a singularly unpopular politician.

Anyway, ... Biden is showing his stupidity by thinking that the war-weary, economically exhausted, sickened by elite corruption, US-American electorate gives a fuck about the Ukraine.  Biden doesn't really give a fuck about the Ukrainian people either.  He's deliberately starving innocent Afghans to death.  He's french-kissed Colombian death-squad leaders.  He's assisting in the genocide in Yemen.  He's a psychopathic monster.  He's a disgusting hypocrite.

The Democrat's betrayal of their base and Biden's personal betrayal of promises that he could have done unilaterally through executive actions are going to see the party absolutely decimated in the mid-terms. 

Friday, February 18, 2022

The Stupid Convoy Fulfilled Its Purpose


These miserable Yahoos have been allowed to be so effective because the oligarchy is agreed that sensible government/state action to combat the pandemic (and, especially, the increased taxes on the wealthy necessary for this action) are ideologically unacceptable.  With nothing in the way of scientific legitimacy, the clod Doug Ford has announced an end to vaccine passports and capacity restrictions on gyms and restaurants.  He says that the timing of this stupid announcement has nothing to do with the convoy.  If he mans that (and I'm sure he doesn't) somebody should have told him that that is EXACTLY how it's going to be perceived: As a pandering to the ignorant deluded yahoos blocking the border and harrassing the people of Ottawa for over a week. His announcement will surely please his skank daughter and her bully-boy cop husband who are very much the "intellectual" soul-mates of the dullards in the convoy.  

Ford has joined Jason Kenney and Scott Moe (two individuals who put the lie to the belief that psychopaths need to be intelligent) in denying science as well as the obvious reality that is staring them in their stupid faces.  Expect another surge of COVID in Ontario as the shit-heads are pandered to.  The only silver lining that I can see is that Ontario voters will clearly see how incompetent and stupid Ford is and they will ditch him and his whole party of grifters and morons.

Viruses spread and evolve.  That's how reality works.  The more people refusing to mask, observe social distancing and crowded (especially indoor) public events and vaccinations, out of some blinkered notion of "freedom," the more opportunities the virus has to thrive.

But the Trudeau/Freeland Liberals are also satisfied with the convoy.  They allowed it to act as a sort of theatre so that other Canadians (the 80% majority) can see what it is they're up against.  The argument being that if the Liberals' half-assed response to the virus has produced this much rage, imagine what further restrictive public health measures would have done. 

Of course, as Ian Welsh has convincingly argued, pursuing "Zero Covid" from the start would have meant far less in the way of mass lockdowns and overtaxed hospitals.  And subsidizing the people affected by these lockdowns in a meaningful way, and providing the poverty-wage workers with sufficient protective equipment and expanding public transit to avoid crowding and ventilating schools properly, etc., all would require a state capacity that Canadian neo-liberals have trashed and would also require raising taxes on the plutocracy.  So the interminable misery of lockdowns, brief re-openings followed by more lockdowns is the lot of all of us. 

Of course, all of these idiots, from the convoy participants and their supporters, to the convoy organizers, to the right-wing media supporters, to the Conservative Party opportunists, to the right-wing corporate owners, the centrist corporate owners, the Liberal Party of Canada and its insufferable hack supporters, ... they all have their independent ideals and analysis.  They all luxuriate in their ideological bubbles, blissfully unaware and uninterested in superior points of view. But in the end, it doesn't matter.  They're stupid and we are all suffering for it. 

Oh yeah: It's an entirely natural process. But one that allows Justin Trudeau to point out to some hypocritical Conservative wind-bag who happens to be Jewish, that she's siding with people who are led by white-supremacists and who have people waving swastikas at their rallies.  Which gives that Conservative MP the painful moment of trying to deny what a fetid, moronic hypocrite she is.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Ian Welsh on the "Freedom" Protests


I've long been an admirer of the writings of the young whippersnapper Ian Welsh.  A tip o' the old hat to The Galloping Beaver for having put him on their blog-roll where I first encountered him.  If you haven't read him before I'd advise you to put him on your frequent reading list.  I think his recent post on the contrasts between left-wing protesters and those stupid assholes in the freedom convoy is particularly astute:

One of the reasons I didn’t condemn the strategy used by the truckers is simple: For a couple decades now, I’ve been saying that this general sort of thing is what the left should do. Change happens only when you inflict real pain. 


The left cannot do what the truckers do because if they did, they would be shut down with extreme violence — if they were even allowed to get going. Remember, the Ottawa police chief let the truckers set up, knowing in advance what they were going to do.

Note also, that the right uses decentralized action a lot. Their shooters are created by their ideology, but act individually. 


For unions to do what the truckers do they would have to start by decentralizing. No significant  headquarters, few assets to be seized, and leadership that doesn’t matter because anyone can lead. If the “president” is locked up, it doesn’t matter because someone else steps up, and regular members know what to do anyway.

Plus, there needs to an implicit threat. “If you take us out by force, we will keep showing up, and you can’t lock us all up.” The “truckers” (most truckers disagree with them, including the Teamsters) belong to a movement that shows up at school board meetings, that pickets hospitals & legislatures and threatens nurses, and that is generally perceived as dangerous. Politicians don’t feel entirely safe using force and law against them, though this is (or was) far more true in the US than in Canada. The left has spent generations telling themselves that violence is always bad and that even the threat of it should never ever even be considered because Gandhi, Gandhi, Gandhi.

Welsh also points out the elite backing behind these imbeciles:

Then there’s Ontario’s Prime Minister, Doug Ford. Doug could have this stuff broken up easily, and if it truly does need the military, he’s the person with the authority to call them in (the Feds arguably can’t without passing a new law). Doug’s daughter is with the protesters.

FDR alleged (but only allegedly) once said, “You’ve convinced me. I agree with what you’ve said. Now go out and make me do it.” Doug almost certainly agrees with the truckers, but he knows that polling is against him.

“Make me do it.”

Killing people for the market is economic orthodoxy. Impoverishing people so the rich can get richer is economic orthodoxy. Taking care of people, in the US, Canada, and Britain is against the ruling ideology — it is actually not legitimate.


Today, unions are illegitimate according to the dominant ideologies. Practically the first thing Reagan did was break a major union (the Air Traffic Controllers). Thatcher showed she was in charge and that things had changed by defeating the Miners in Britain. Punching left is good, punching right is verboten.

The “truckers” can do what they’re doing because they’re doing it in service of right-wing values, not left-wing ones, and they are supported by powerful elite factions, including most of Canada’s Conservative party.

They may well be stopped, and even have the law used against them, mainly because they’ve stopped trade between the US and Canada, but they would never have been allowed to run this far if they were left-wing. They’re legitimate, they have elite backing and the cops are sympathetic.

These are also, by the way, the pre-conditions for revolution: An elite faction in support, enforcer class unwilling to step up, and a popular faction in support (although they are decided minority, which is the only reason they aren’t already in charge).

What we're seeing here is the laying of the foundations of a genuine fascist political movement. It's obviously been germinating for a long time and the fascist [authoritarian] mindset is an unavoidable reality in any industrialized society. Because as capitalism fails to produce wealth it has to cannibalize the society it exists within.  Which means that living standards for the majority will fall. Which makes people angry. Which means that elites have to turn that anger towards scapegoats.  And it is people with brains that cause them to more naturally turn upon those weaker than themselves rather than upon the powerful people who are actually harming them who become the rank-and-file of fascist organizations.  

Unless the Left pulls its head out of its ass and figures out that it has been losing (and losing badly) for decades when all the ingredients are there for it to be flourishing, and subsequently figures out WHY it's been losing, the future will be in the hands of those boorish clods in the "freedom" convoy.  Which means we'll all be doomed.  Because these fuck-heads deny reality and are violent sociopaths who inevitably produce disaster. 

Alas, the current circumstances bring to mind that Yeats' quote:

"The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity."

Friday, February 11, 2022

Blaming Workers For Inflation Means That Wages Must Never Increase


I hope everybody else already agrees with me that it is obscene for any economist, pundit, capitalist, politician to point to rising wages (or merely a vague, nebulous demand for higher wages) that is producing the inflation we are currently experiencing.

That inflation is caused by pandemic related supply chain issues and the resultant shortages as well as by capitalist profit-taking done under the cover of those pandemic factors.  Attend to those issues first.

Because it is a gruesome fact that wages have been stagnant for decades.  Prices have risen gradually all that time, and, in the case of housing and public services, far more than gradually.  The rich and the super-rich have taken the lion's share of the wealth produced by our economies, especially since 2008.  Our governments (mainly the USA) have collectively created trillions of dollars out of thin air to prop up the inflated values of the financial gambling dens to keep them from crashing.  HOW DARE anyone blame modest, insufficient wage increases for the working class for inflation!?!

To say that is to admit that they believe workers' incomes, the share of the economy that goes to labour, can never be increased.  It is to say to working people: "You must forever grind away in declining circumstances as the oligarchy flaunts its ever-increasing wealth in front of you."  

This is a sick, sick culture we live in.

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

COVIDiot Anti-Vaccine Protests Provide Cover For Oligarch-Serving Politicians


It works for disgusting slime like Jason "Closet" Kenney and Scott "'Burp! OMFG I killed him!'" Moe.  Both of these oozing creatures want to completely destroy public health care (because they're assholes).  So abusing the front-line workers and having the system break down is helpful to that agenda.  They're also ideologically opposed to doing the sane thing when faced with a public crisis, which would be to marshall the collective resources and capabilities of their societies to meet that crisis.  For one thing, that would cost money and it's the rich who have money (and who are getting even more money during this crisis) and they don't want their money touched by the hoi polloi.  So they do as little as possible and pander to the idiots and the scum-bags.

From what little I've heard of the BC-NDP they've been behaving almost as badly as their Albertan and Saskatchewan neighbours.  Because that party has been taken over by anti-environmentalist, cynical, power-obsessed assholes.

The federal government is Liberal and Liberal tends to mean more cognizant of reality than a Conservative.  So the Trudeau Liberals' response to COVID-19 has been far more sensible than those of any right-wing provincial government and far more sensible than what the federal Conservative Party of Canada would have done.  But, again, effectively meeting this crisis would have meant accessing the wealth of the wealthiest and truly regulating the actions of the capitalists.  And that's really not going to happen in the Canada we find ourselves in.  So it's quite convenient for Trudeau to point to these ignorant yahoos and say: "I'm doing all I can! Look what I'm up against!"

The stupid claims of the COVIDiot anti-vaxxers could be easily demolished with an effective public information campaign.  Ask yourself:  Have you ever hear any government in Canada seriously engage with (and by that I mean DEMOLISH) the idiocy of this considerable minority?  Or do they just call them "misinformed" and dismiss them.  You would think that getting people onside and to stop believing in ridiculous conspiracy theories that are prolonging a public health crisis would be worth the relatively small cost of such a campaign.  But Trudeau doesn't really mind because he never intended to do anything greater than a half-assed effort so these protesters provide him with cover as well.

Sunday, February 6, 2022

The Consciences of Conservatives

This moronic and disgusting "freedom" convoy and protest causes me to think about the motivations of its participants.  Who are these people and what exactly are they protesting?  Obviously they're protesting masks, lockdowns and vaccine mandates.  But why?  As for the "who" in the question; some of them are truckers.  Others appear to own pickup trucks and SUVs. Other participants joined the convoy in cars. But that doesn't tell us much.  Some sources say that 90% of Canadian truckers are vaccinated.   One commenter at Canadian Cynic says he has a fully-vaccinated relative who is an enthusiastic participant in the convoy:

I have a friend and his son trapped on the outskirts of Ottawa for the past 3 days. Many people tried to talk him out of his little road trip, but he wouldn't listen. He's vaccinated 3x, but he's very anti-government. It's the way he was brought up. He's there fighting for freedoms, not against a vaccine.

He's trying to leave because food and fuel are short, but the tractors are parked so close together he can't move. In trying to get help, he's being called a traitor for leaving. Fact is he spent a lot of money getting there with the promise once he got to Ottawa he'd receive reimbursement. As of 2 days ago, he can't reach any of the leadership. It's as if he's been soft blocked on the app they used. There's 3 other convoys in the same predicament, leaders are giving interviews from "undisclosed locations" because EVERYONE is looking for them.

The terrific thing is that word's gone through the entire convoy that the RCMP and City of Ottawa are attempting to seize those donated funds, or at least stop them from being withdrawn.

This is _exactly_ what I warned about, to all the people going. I even attended the rally here last Saturday and it was a shit show. It wasn't a protest. It was a mob of asshats looking to start trouble.

I asked one person there what he thought about all the racist images coming in, and he said "that's not here in Edmonton" and I pointed to one in the crowd. Instead of calling it down, he got aggressive and called me a traitor.

He got even more upset when I said if I'm the problem calling out racism in his movement, he was comfortable with the imagery.

As we speak, my friend is walking up the road to ask RCMP for assistance with getting out of the truck line and coming home. He feels like an ass, and he feels like he was duped. He's also not the only one there feeling the same.

The organizers of this convoy say that they are protesting federal vaccine mandates for Canadian truckers who cross the Canada-USA border.  This is an intolerable violation of their bodily sovereignty.  Of course, a Canadian trucker entering the USA is required by US law to be vaccinated so the issue seems somewhat contrived.  I went over to the "freedom convoy" website and at the homepage [I'll not be linking to it] they are also complaining about the economic disruptions of lockdowns, the destruction of homes, and the mistreatment of people and the denial to people of "the fundamental necessities to survive."  I'll go through these in turn:

  • The lockdowns that have all been implemented by provincial governments.  So it's unclear why they're going to the federal legislature to complain about them.  It's true (and very unfortunate) that many small businesses (restaurants and retail establishments mainly) have been forced to close because of the disruptions caused by the lockdowns.  If I had been the king of Canada at the start of this crisis I would have pursued a policy of "Zero Covid." There would have been a massive national lockdown and a closing of the borders and a genuine attempt to discover and isolate every infected individual and anyone associated with them.  There would have been massive subsidies for everyone temporarily out of work and the banks would have been forced to suspend all loans and mortages for the duration.  (That is; to pretend that time had stopped.  Not to allow interest payments to accumulate to be paid off later.) Canada didn't do that.  We made a half-assed attempt at the beginning of the crisis.  We called it "flattening the curve."  But viruses don't work that way.  Long story short: Canada's federal government failed to contain the virus and we have lurched from one lockdown to another.  But those lockdowns have all been provincial affairs and the dismal failure of mainly conservative premiers has allowed the pandemic to rage.
  • I have no idea what they're babbling about with the destruction of homes and I don't care to think any further about it.
  • Who are these people being mistreated?  How are they being mistreated?  Perhaps they're again referring to the lockdowns. Again though, the lockdowns have all been provincial affairs which means that their ire against Trudeau is misplaced.
  • Denying people of "the fundamental necessities needed to survive" is a bit of hyperbole.  It might have something to do with the supply-chain problems that resulted from a globalized economy suffering pandemic lockdowns in various countries and millions of workers getting sick or isolating.  This has caused some dishonest people to post pictures of empty supermarket shelves claiming that this is somehow Trudeau's fault.

Other writers provide some background to the "freedom convoy" organizers that puts them in an unfavourable light.  They're far-right extremists.  Long-term grifters.  White nationalists.  Most of them are what's known as "conservative"; from worshippers of Donald Trump to supporters of the racist People's Party of Canada.  

Essentially these are stupid people.  Deluded assholes who think that they're very intelligent.  People who spend their hours reading shit that turns their brains to shit.  Incoherent stammering morons.  Seflish, narcissistic, entitled individuals.

Everything they believe about the pandemic is the opposite of reality.  They denied the virus's existence.  Then they denied its danger.  They invented all sorts of stupid theories about masks for the sole reason that they find wearing them to be an inconvenience.  They hate the lockdowns because they also inconvenience them.  They start everything from the premise that the virus is fake.  That everything is fake.  From there, a lockdown is going to look like nothing more than a whimsy from a power-mad, authoritarian government.  Even when they get COVID it doesn't affect the rest of their worldview.  Somehow it's still about "freedom."  It's still about resistance to the globalist "Great Reset." (How getting people to wear masks, forcing restaurants and other small businesses to shut-down and vaccinating people against a real virus is supposed to increase the power of the globalist satanic pedophile ring that rules over us isn't ever coherently explained.) 

Vaccines are the match to this oil-soaked rag.  While I was personally concerned about the safety of vaccines that hadn't had years of human trials, I operated from the premise that the pandemic was real and that COVID was a very nasty way to be sick and a very nasty way to die.  While I distrust the pharmaceutical companies it is not because I believe they're trying to insert microchips into us. I believe that they are insanely greedy and that they put profits over human well being.  I distrust neo-liberal governments but I simultaneously believe that libraries, public health insurance, much of my education, etc., were provided for me as a result of historical struggles by ordinary people to force governments to provide these services.  The COVID-deniers are often long-term anti-vaxxers.  The anti-vaccine movement is a big tent housing eco-hippies-organic-gluten-free-greenies and right-wing libertarian conspiracy theorists as well as socially conservative religious nutbars.  They're often the victims of grifters

Forcing people to get vaccines when they don't think the virus is real or dangerous upsets them.  To make a long-story short, these people just don't like being told what to do.  They're stupid (or at least believe in stupid things).  Think of them as overgrown, selfish children.  Anyway, I'm tired of writing about them.