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.