Thursday, June 8, 2023



I am 56 years old.  (But I still got it!)  And I don't recall ever in my lifetime wildfires simultaneously on the Prairies, in Ontario, and in the Maritimes.  Obviously it's global warming.  Same as the previous wildfires in Alberta in recent years (whereas in the past, including the recent past, wildfires had been rare occurrences) and the towns in BC bursting into flames.  Hotter summers.  Longer warm weather spells.  

This summer (or very soon) we'll have ice-free Arctics.

Glaciers have been in rapid retreat all around the globe.

By this point only insane people and people so shit-headed that their delusions appear insane will doubt global heating is upon us.

And yet our political class only pretends to care.  It pays the merest lip-service to the crisis because to do more would upset the very powerful fossil-fuels oligarchs.  (And, especially in Canada, the Bay Street fuck-heads, like the shit-covered assholes in charge of the Royal Bank, who invest heavily in the Tar Sands and other fiascos.)

And the bulk of the population continues on its merry, deluded, ignorant way.  Celebrating unseasonably warm days in October and November.  Buying their SUVs.  Leaving their air-conditioners on when they're not home.  

Yesterday it hit me.  If Reagan had started a ... well, he DID continue a proxy-war on the Soviet Union's border, when he maintained the Carter/Brzezsinski support for the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan.  At the time (and upt until I started this section of the post) I never really considered how dangerous that was.  Still, the difference between the army of Afghanistan in the late-1970's and the 1980's, and the army that NATO built up in Ukraine, ... plus the difference between the sclerotic USSR and the hyper-sonic weaponized Russia of 2020, ... it isn't comparable.  The Mujahedeen didn't plan on invading the Soviet Union.

The Carter/Reagan adventure in Afghanistan was not the same thing as the support for anti-Russian nazis (as opposed to other sorts of nazis that Putin doesn't seem to mind) in Ukraine.  Bleeding the Soviets in Afghanistan seems worlds away from ethnically cleansing the Crimea and the Donbas of ethnic Russians and taking over the Russian naval base in Crimea.

The former was questionable.  The latter is insane.

It's especially insane when you look at the shit-heads in charge.  Joe Biden used to be a mediocrity.  Now he's a senile mediocrity.  His Secretary of State Antony Blinken is an arrogant, racist imbecile.  (Biden is obvioiusly heavily racist.)  The Republican Party is led by pathetic closet-cases, vermin, and the laughable monstrosity of Donald Trump. Contary to what your average white, male, right-wing conspiracy theorist believes, there are no Jewish Overlords or Alien Reptile Genius Oligarchs pulling all the strings.  Instead there are the arrogant psychopath/shit-heads who gravitate to the "Intelligence" sectors; Wall Street douche-bags like Jamie Dimon; and not-so titans of intellect like Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, .. and whatever.

No.  It's just a bunch of shit-heads and ass-wipes.

Russia has nuclear weapons.  Russia was provoked into this war.  Senile Biden and imbecile Blinken (cheered on by arrogant mediocrity Hillary Clinton) are also trying to provoke nuclear armed China.  Because theyre idiots who have no idea what they're doing and who have been so insulated from the consequences of their serial incompetence that they have absolutely no grip on reality.

Finally; COVID.  COVID is still killing lots of people.  It's still exhausting our healthcare systems.  And humanity is divided.  There's the small but significant minority who have an accurate understanding of the dangers of the pandemic and how to address it.  Then there is the larger minority of deluded and/or ignorant people who pretend it isn't a problem and probably a hoax. Then there are the politicians who pretend to care about the problem and to address the problem but who refused to do anything about it that would inconvenience the banks, Big Pharma, and the capitalist oligarchs in general.  And so, for instance, there were lockdowns but you still had to pay your debts to the banks even when you had no income.  And the profits of Big Pharma selling a product developed on the public's dime prevailed over vaccinating people in low-income countries, thereby allowing the virus to flourish and spread and spread and mutate and mutate.  And now the virus in endemic.  And then there's the terrible reality of people who the pandemic revealed have no idea about how they breath because they wear masks while exposing their nostrils.

And "fighting back" (by doing nothing) is the washout Left that I wrote about last post.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Doug Ford Has Nothing to Worry About


Near Yonge & Queen

So, I went to the Ontario Federation of Labour's "Enough is Enough!" protest last Saturday.  My expectations were, sadly, met completely.  You see, I'd wondered whether the Ontario Labour Movement had learned anything over the last three decades of miserable failure, or whether it remained wedded to the same "tactic" of moronic chanting as they either walk along a parade route or congregate in a pubic square.  Of course it's the latter case.

Earlier in the March. (Oops.)

Way back in the 1990's, appalled at the murderous incompetence of Premier Mike Harris, I attended an OPSEU rally in Hamilton to find out what what we were going to do about that stupid asshole.  I stood at the edge of the crowd for about 15 minutes waiting to hear about some sort of plan of action, but all I heard was "Hey-hey! Ho-ho! Mike Harris has got to go! Hey-hey! Ho-ho! Mike Harris has got to go!"  I wandered away for a while and came back about ten minutes later and all that had changed was that they started marching towards the downtown core still shouting that stupid chant.

Yonge & Dundas

Mike Harris served out two full terms killing people at Ipperwash, Walkerton and elsewhere.  Disrupting education ("Creating a crisis") and serving his corporate masters before retiring to his reward in the corrupt private sector.  Recently, stupid fat tub of shit Doug Ford gave him the Order of Ontario, thereby disgracing the award for all time.

The denouement. (I don't know these people.  I was trying to get a picture of the Doug Ford Puppet.)

Here it is, 2023, and things are worse than ever.  Doug Ford is deliberately allowing Ontario's hospitals to implode so that he can then offer the snake-oil of privatization as a "solution."  He's fucking over working people and rewarding himself and his owners with pubic funds.  The man is vermin.  And all that the OFL can think to do is engage in the same magical thinking.  The same self-evidently failed drivel.  It's pathological.  It's criminal.

This young guy was just up on the roof for his own reasons.  But the police presence for the rally got in the way of his plans.  He was threatening to jump when I left.   (This was at Nathan Phillips Square.  The starting point of the march/rally.)

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Saw a Few Minutes of Question Period Today


It was inspiring.  Genuine Canadian democracy in action.  Slime-ball shit-head Pierre Poillievre was castigating the government for its deficit-spending "adding fuel to the inflationary fire."  (Slimey Shit-head repeated that metaphor a few times during the back-and-forth.)

Deputy Prime Minister Crystia Freeland, the corporate tool/imperialist lackey with the Nazi grand-pappy, replied that the inflation rate is going down.  At one point during the exchange she mocked Poillievre for his crypto-currency fetish, as well as for his wish to fire "the independent Bank of Canada Governor."

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Biden to run again ...


Joe Biden has always been a stupid, stupid man.  A man too stupid to know he's stupid.  His ignorance and delusion subsequently allowed him to see himself as a man of substance who spoke wisdom.  But in the corrupt, degenerate politics of Washington D.C. that allowed him to fit right in.  Except now he's [at least] tired.  Old age.  From his outbursts and his incoherent ramblings he is possibly senile.  Remember that last election the pandemic allowed him to hide from the media and the electorate.  This time he most likely won't have that advantage.  Plus; he's four years older.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

An Excellent Summary of the Emerging Multi-Polar World


Roger Harris's "Whither Mltipolarity in a Changing World Order" at CounterPunch is one of the best summaries of the current world political-power situation as I've read in a while.  It is restrained in its assertions.  It is comprehensive.  And it never loses sight of the importance of the socialist project for the future of the world. (And this includes accepting the current weakness, well-nigh irrelevance of the socialist project.)

Sunday, April 16, 2023

A Personal Reminder About Peasant Revolts


Jacobin has an article about the 1549 Kett's Rebellion in Norfolk.  I'm writing something that has a chapter on peasant revolts in Europe and I want to remember to read more about this.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Cybersocialist Planning

Just a quick post with a link from Jacobin about cybersocialist planning for readers who expressed an interest in the topic not too long ago.

At this point, we can guess what the connection between econophysics and cybersocialist planning is. The former allows us to explain that, compared to the market economy, the latter optimizes or adjusts the use of social information, considerably increasing our ability to adapt. Planning is cybernetically superior quantitatively and qualitatively. By getting rid of redundant information, it does what the market does (optimize costs and distribute work across industries based on demand) faster and more accurately. The possibility, opened up by information and communications technologies, of collecting, storing, and processing huge amounts of information in a viable way allows us to do without the market.

Planning is also clearly different and superior in qualitative terms. As Otto Neurath explained, thanks to calculation in kind and direct democracy, a new type of apprehensive rationality emerges from multidimensional factors, focused on the satisfaction of social needs. We would speak of a control system with the ability to consciously decide what to do and how. Plans are the conscious expression of the popular will at a given time through self-imposed goals and constraints. This can take the form of both expansions and retractions of different productive sectors, depending on what is considered. Why? Because by sweeping the capitalist class off the map and centralizing the means of production, social reproduction no longer depends on a certain employer seeing profit expectations in a sector or on poor monetary games; rather, the different areas of human life (health, consumption, ecology, etc.) would be managed, case by case, based on particular scientific studies and ethical-political considerations expressed in public deliberation.

For this new way of organizing the social metabolism, democracy — something quite different from the representative despotism of bourgeois parliamentarism, prostrated before the power of capital and whose essential task is to guarantee capital’s general conditions of reproduction — is not a rhetorical flourish. Only massive and recurrent popular participation can guarantee a social reproduction that is not turbulent, so long as it is consensual. Likewise, the target record — that is, expressible in a mathematical way — of social needs and, therefore, planning itself, is impossible without a fluid transmission of information from bottom to top.

There you have it.

Sunday, April 9, 2023

From Protest to Self-Government


Purple Library Guy states here that left-wing movements tend to not be capable of moving beyond protesting to governing.  That they could (conceivably) swarm a city, temporarily scare-off the authorities, but afterwards they can't organize themselves to produce a budget, enforce the collection of the taxes necessary for the provision of public services necessary for a functioning society.

Friday, April 7, 2023

A PLG Comment Becomes a PLG Guest-Post


Myself and Purple Library Guy have a bit of back-and-forth in the comments section of my last post.  I was too busy to provide a timely reply PLG's last comment but it's also about something that I've been thinking lately.  If I ever do seriously spend time blogging again it won't be to criticize/analyze.  It would be mainly about recommending courses of action.

I've got a few things to do this weekend so I might not get around to making my reply post.  But without further ado, here is PLG's comment:

I think fundamentally what nearly all left uprisings are missing is some way of making decisions that will have enough of a sense of legitimacy that the movement will follow them, something that can translate into at least a rough and ready approximation of governing in areas they control. Otherwise you can have a massive mob of people with legit grievances, and they can swamp the cities, scare the cops away, make the place ungovernable . . . and then what? They got nuthin'. They hang around and wave signs until they run out of steam and leave. They are not capable of taking over city hall, working up a participatory budget and starting to collect the taxes and run the stuff.

(This isn't universal. The Zapatistas totally knew what they wanted to do, had solid mechanisms in place for continuing to figure it out, and that's why they're still there doing it.)

This is partly because modern radical left wing movements are mostly at least tacitly anarchist. And I mean, I'm sympathetic to anarchism, but it's not capable of defeating modern states because radical decentralization can't muster resources and force the way big centralized things can. But it's a cleft stick--we've seen over and over how centralized leftism ends up with leadership that's effectively a different class with different interests from the rand and file, and that leads to either the leadership getting co-opted Third Way style, or to Soviet style oligarchies that pay lip service to the workers while hosing them. Modern radical activism comes out of a tradition that became disillusioned by all that, and for good reason. But they haven't grappled with the need to somehow muster unified force pointing in one direction.

I do think it's possible to avoid both pitfalls. Especially with modern computer/communication technologies. Existing social networks are of course built by capitalists for whom the last thing they ever want to see is the proles using them to organize and make decisions--but it's fairly clear that if you designed them a bit different, they could work for that. In this connection I'm quite interested in, which does a platform designed expressly for decentralized leaderless decision-making.

So I'll reply when I get the time. 

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Trillions and Trillions


Jack Rasmus is one of the writers who makes it worthwhile to check out CounterPunch.  He had a good article recently about the collapses of Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse. Here it is: Banking Crisis 2023: Deep Origins and Future Directions -

It’s more than a week since the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank, the 16th largest bank in the US at the time of its collapse and reportedly a source of funding for half of all the tech start ups in the US.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

"Diplomacy and Negotiations" in Ukraine


Dimitri Lascaris writes at CounterPunch that any realistic peace initiative in the Russia-Ukraine war is going to have to include territorial concessions on the part of Ukraine to Russia.

Nowadays, few things are as hazardous to one’s reputational health as suggesting that Ukraine should make territorial concessions to Russia. The vehemence with which mainstream commentators reject such suggestions is awesome to behold.

Friday, March 3, 2023

Two Sets of Shit-Heads


So, the Liberal Party propagandist hardly blogs anymore and I hardly read what  he has to say.  But today I saw the title of his latest post at The Galloping Beaver's blog-roll and it was about the detestable Pierre Poilievre and his "Nazi Nightmare."  My loathing for Poilievre is such that I was prepared to read a Liberal hack going to town on him.  (That being said, I was prepared to be disappointed and even disgusted by what I was about to read.)

Sunday, February 26, 2023

A Right-Wing Revolution in Europe?


So, the Biden administration's insane war on Russia has produced an energy crisis and increased inflation in Europe.  People in the UK are freezing to death I've heard.  And most of Europe's ruling political parties, from the centre-right to the centre-left are cravenly submitting to cooperating in their continent's downfall. (They'd been orchestrating the immiseration of the European populations in a big way since the 2008 financial crisis already.)

The only politicians voicing objections to this US-led insanity and hypocrisy have been on the far-left and the far-right.  And the only politicians voicing objections who have any power are far-rightists like Hungary's  Viktor Orban.  Russia's Vladimir Putin is a right-wing authoritarian himself and he has been subsidizing far-right parties and individuals in Europe for years, including outright fascists.  Putin's stated goal of "de-nazification" of Ukraine isn't complete bullshit however.  Ukrainian fascists ("Banderites") are anti-Russian fascists.  Their organization has historical links to Nazi Germany.  For that reason Putin is opposed to them.

Of course, we mustn't then forget that it is the US government that is supporting and enabling the Ukrainian fascists.  In the same way that they support violent Islamic extremists in Syria and Libya (and Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere) despite having claimed that "Islamism" is the great threat of our time.  The USA needs psychopathic morons to work their will because what they want tends to bring ruin to the lands in question.  So it's Jihaadist nutbars in the Middle East and nazi stooges in Ukraine.  

But back to Europe.  The people of Europe have been protesting this shit.  It isn't reported here because our news media is now 100% propaganda and censorship and hypocrisy and obfuscation and it is so blatant and brazen.  But the Europeans are angry.  And if it turns out that the only groups willing and able to tear power away from the neo-liberal US lapdogs and the soulless, insane neo-liberal bureaucrats in Brussells are the far-right, then this whole selfish US policy of maintaining hegemony, de-industrializing Europe, and subsidizing both the military-industrial complex and the fracking industry could well back-fire and lead to a pro-Putin, pro-Russian, far-right Europe.

Friday, January 13, 2023

F-35's, Outside Consultants, and Capitalism


So all of the outrage about the expensive white elephan F-35 fighter jets that the Liberals engaged in when it was the harpercons lying and hiding turns out to have been just for show.  (Not surprised.  Just pointing it out.)

Also, recently, I saw the pea-brained parasite Pierre Poilievre yammering about the Liberals having hired the scumbags from McKinsey to do nothing for tons of public dollars.  Poilievre conveniently forgets how his harpercon crew were unprecedented in hiring outside consultants (generally friends of the party) for government work.

It's the same phoney outrage all the time.  It's the nature of capitalist pseudo-democracy.  The oligarchy always gets its demands.  The two parties play-act outrage when they're in opposition and wounded innocence when they're in power.  

And when the NDP becomes the contender at the provincial level (British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) they become almost indistinguishable from other provinces' Liberal parties (with a few differences here and there).

Nothing will change so long as our society is ruled by a philosophy that puts profits over people and democracy.

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Brief Thoughts on the Recent Chaos Over Speaker of the House of Representatives


I don't know much about the guy who finally won the vote to be the Speaker in the now Republican controlled House of Representatives.  Lemme look up his name again.  (I think it's "McKnight.")


I was wrong.  It's Kevin McCarthy.  As I understand it, despite his enthusiastic support for Trump's contention that he only lost his re-election for President bid due to Democratic corruption of the electoral process [a claim that is obviously untrue and extremely hypocritical], McCarthy is [I think] seen by a small group of extreme-right-wing populists as a representative of the "soft-on-the-'globalists'" establishment.

Anyhow, the Republicans have a very small majority in the House.  Just as the Democrats did in 2020.  As Nancy Pelosi, in 2020, needed the vote of every Democratic Congressperson, McCarthy needed every single vote he could get in order to be elected.  For that reason, a small group of renegades had the ability to block his election either to utterly confound him or in order to extract policy concessions.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Thwap's Post Wherein He Shall List the Books He's Reading in 2023


Apparently there was a series called "The Librarian."

In October 2021 I started a post: "Latest Reads."  About a month later I decided to make it my one-stop shopping post for all the future books that I'd read.  The post's title was amended to "Latest Reads: [NOW THWAP'S GIANT BOOK DEPOSITORY!!!!] I continued it into 2022.  But that eventually became too unwieldy to edit.  By Autumn 2022 I decided to start another post for the year's book readings in 2023 and here it is.