Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Living well is the best revenge.


Lets respond to this attack on Canada by being as Canadian as we can just as hard as we can.

By being decent, and courteous, and concerned about each other and committed to peace and justice and shared struggle.

Lets respond by reaffirming our beliefs in free expression and free assembly, in inclusiveness and welcome. Lets respond to a provocation that HAS THE EXPLICIT GOAL of making us over-react, to behave the way our enemies want us to and expect us to, by not falling for such a blatant scheme and playing into the hands of our enemy.

Lets remember our enemy isn't Muslim, or Arabic, or the newcomer or the dispossessed. Our enemy is injustice and want and abandonment, the sources and breeding grounds for the fanaticism and hate that can be found speaking any language, believing any creed and in any colour

Fear is the only real enemy.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Honest Pro-Lifer

An American right wing pro-life columnist named Kevin Williamson has done us  the good service of taking the pro-life 'Abortion is murder' rhetoric to it's logically consistent extreme:
Over the weekend, a presumably bored National Review writer, Kevin Williamson, became the subject of much derision and shock across the political Internets when he tweeted his argument that ”the law should treat abortion like any other homicide.” My colleague Elias Isquith highlighted Williamson’s clearest descent into pure trolling — responding to a question about whether women who have abortions should get life without parole with the line, “I have hanging more in mind.”
As the Salon piece points out, all Williamson has done is strip away any soft soap gloss from the extreme radicalism of the Pro-Life position.  He has openly articulated the end game of the Pro-Life movement in a way most Pro-Lifers get uncomfortable and mumbly about when pressed, as this video shows.

 Of course the real world expression of this viewpoint is already affecting women's lives as many US states have started criminalizing miscarriages and attacking personal bodily autonomy based on junk science about the effect of maternal drug use on fetuses.





Sunday, September 21, 2014

Birds flying high, they know how I feel

Working hard or hardly working?
The sun is shining, my coffee is hot and a lazy sunday lies ahead of me

And last night Rob Anders slunk away from
his humiliating defeat trying to parachute into the Bow River riding in a last desperate attempt to avoid having to work for a living.

Closed-minded, defiantly, proudly stupid.  arrogant, aggressively partisan no matter how inappropriate  the timing, racist, sectarian and homophobic (but repeated rumours that he's throwing stones from inside the closet.), a petty, dim, small minded thug with all of Ezra Levant's squirming, bulging eyed hatred but none of his even minimal flair or semi-articulate vocabulary.

Basically any chance or hope for growth that he had from the spit be-flecked, wild eyed  ideologue a lot of us flirted with as a persona in college, was ruined by his safe ensconcement in his clearly comfortable backbench seat the last 17 years.  Any incentive the rest of us had due to employment, relationships or just a social desire not to be perceived as a loud mouthed douchebag to sand off our rough edges, learn when to keep our nuttier ideas to ourselves and to not say stupid shit about Nelson Mandela has never been a factor for this sad, emotionally stunted horse's ass with parliamentary induced arrested development.

He will probably be scooped up by one of the wingnut welfare operations like the Fraser Institute, it doesn't serve their interest for him to be found delirious, wandering the streets of Calgary and playing with himself on street corners.  We will be paying him for a long comfortable retirement but not to the lifestyle he's grown accustomed to.

Rob if you are taking suggestions, instead go somewhere they have never heard of you, drop some E, find a bar with pounding beats and sweaty bodies and celebrate the death of Rob Anders MP.  This is your chance to explore becoming somebody else. 

God knows being him couldn't have been much fun.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Is Scotland about to leave the UK?

The UK is about to go through what we did in 1995 - but not necessarily with the same ending.
The headline trend could not be clearer: the poll for TNS showing that yes and no voters in Scotland are level-pegging at 41% among those who are certain they will vote is the second in three days to indicate that the final outcome in the referendum is too close to call.
But if the result on 18 September remains uncertain, the underlying trends are absolutely clear. The momentum is towards yes: in early July, no held a nine-point lead with the same pollster.
The figures tally with others that have been seen. The YouGov poll for the Sunday Times at the weekend gave yes a two-point lead – but no led by 22 points on 7 August.
I'm inclined to think both Scotland and the rest of Britain are better together - the actual slogan of the no to separation side - like here, the loss of the separating nation would tip the rest of the country far more right wing.

If the No side manages to pull out a last minute squeaker - very possible, polls showing a possible win for independence will have the more cautious supporters of independence reconsidering their vote now that its no longer a protest but a real possibility - expect to see a radical new round of devolution of powers to Scotland from the rest of the UK.

If the Independence side in Scotland wins I think we will feel it here when the Parti Quebecois and the Bloc both rise back from the dead overnight.


Friday, September 05, 2014

BC Parents dropping their Christy Clark $40 bribe checks right into the Teacher's strike fund kitty

They were at $12,000 a few hours ago the last time I looked, they're about to hit $15,000 now. 

This is BC parents giving to the Teacher's Strike fund, in denominations of $40.

The Christy Clark Liberals are throwing a farcical $40 a day bribe paid for with public funds at BC parents in a desperate attempt to deflect the well deserved blame for the teacher's strike.  The parents, in huge numbers, are then turning around and giving that money to the Teacher's strike fund.

The Christy Clark government is helping to finance the Teacher's Strike.

Can there be a more symbolic and perfect demonstration how utterly the Christy Clark government has lost this public relations battle? 

The Teacher's arbitration offer is just a twist of the knife, the government knows it can't win a fair, unbiased arbitration, or even come out even, and they can't explain to the public that they are rejecting arbitration because they can't live with a fair settlement.

All that's left to this war is shooting the wounded. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Christy Clark's Liberals sacrifice BC children to protect Christy Clark's Liberals

School will start late in BC because the BC government wont agree to any deal with its teachers that doesn't give the government immunity from the Supreme Court for any consequences of its failure to bargain in good faith.

This government is sacrificing BC kids on the altar of protecting the BC Liberals from the consequences of their own misdeeds. Their blatant bad faith bargaining is going to end up costing millions of taxpayer dollars once the grievances finish winding through the arbitration process and they don't want to explain that to the voters.

When Fassbender proposed leaving grievances out of bargaining, and allowing the courts to settle the matter, he argued it would allow negotiations to focus on the key issues.
Iker, however, dismissed that proposal after Saturday’s talks.
“Does the government really expect that teachers would bargain away everything the B.C. Supreme Court has already awarded us?” he wrote in a release. “And what future decisions might bring?”

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Persecution Complex

When a North American Christian claims they are persecuted, I hear 'I'm not allowed to persecute others the way I used to!'

Seriously, if anybody can give me an example that isn't that or 'Not allowed to treat our children like property that we can do anything we want to anymore.' I'd love to hear it.

Monday, August 04, 2014

You don't make Peace with your Friends

You make it with your enemies.

"It is a common sentimentalist assumption to hope that somehow the enemies will start understanding each other and liking each other and eventually they will reconcile and make peace. Throughout history things always work the other way round. Enemies with their hearts full of bitterness and hatred sign a peace contract with clenched teeth and revengeful feelings. Then, in the course of time, eventually there may come a gradual emotional de-escalation."

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Deliberate Ambiguity of Occupation

Israel has a policy of deliberate ambiguity about whether its control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip is 'occupation'. Every other country on Earth including their closest ally the US says it is an occupation, Israel coyly argues it both is and isn't depending on which definition gives them the most flexibility under international law in any given scenario. 

In practice this leaves the Palestinians dispossessed, discriminated against and in the West Bank without recourse to the law when bands of violent, fanatical settlers descend from their hilltop bandit nests to attack Palestinian homes and crops and savagely assault any Palestinians who resist. 

 The Israeli police stand and watch.

It's time to stop coddling this sleazy little semantics game.

Le Monde diplomatique argues giving them three more years to the 50th Anniversary of the Occupation to once and for all define what they are doing as occupation or not. If its an occupation they are legally required to begin the process of withdrawal, if its not an occupation they are legally required to give full and equal legal citizenship rights to all the population under their control.

They have been allowed to be vague on this subject for almost FIFTY YEARS.

No longer.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Iron Dome is a Scam

The Iron Dome is a scam according to experts inside and outside of Israel.

According to defence experts - plural - its a public relations exercise and it follows that both Israel and Hamas play along with it with because it suits both their interests for Hamas to seem more dangerous and effective than it actually is.

If the Iron Dome is actually stopping NOTHING and  if the 10% of sputtering rockets barely better than those you could buy from a roadside stand across the border before the fourth of July, that land randomly and have so far killed only one Israeli bringing supplies to the front line, if those pitiful few are actually the ENTIRETY of what is fired and each one is magnified automatically into multiple attacks....

Then you've got a combination appropriations scam, propaganda psyop and false or at least inflated justification for an attack that has taken hundreds of civilian lives including scores of children.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

The last time someone as paranoid and vindictive as Stephen Harper was thwarted...

The one entity, one independent power that has stymied Stephen Harper again and again, contradicted his agenda, limited his options and overturned his decisions MULTIPLE TIMES in just the last few months has been the Supreme Court of Canada.

Does Stephen Harper strike anyone as someone who responds well to independent oversight or any restrictions on the exercise of his power?  Can we really count on Harper placidly accepting such an infuriating limitation on his exercise of power - clearly his number one constant priority?

There is a precedent, for a similar powerful, suspicious, paranoid and dictatorial leader being challenged by the judicial branch and lashing out violently in defiance of constitutional norms.  Should Canadians be watchful for our own high court equivalent of the Saturday Night Massacre?


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Reversal of Fortunes

Rand Paul has a problem:  The American conservative movement KNOWS that 'Obamacare' is an expensive, repressive failure straight from the desk of Satan himself that is bringing a great darkness upon the land, slaughtering millions on the altar of government death panels, blighting the crops and turning good American kids gay. 

But Paul has the same problem as Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell; in their home sate of Kentucky the Democratic governor enthusiastically cooperated with Obamacare and KYnect (Stop that giggling!  It's NOT a funny name!)  the Kentucky state health care exchange has been one of the biggest success stories of the Affordable Care Act.   McConnell's method of dealing with this unfortunate political reality is to deny that KYnect and Obamacare are the same thing - a position that has resulted in scornful take downs within Kentucky and without.  Paul Just tries to dodge the question.

Thousands of people in Kentucky who would have died without the ban on refusal of coverage due to prior medical condition and the medicaid expansion consider the Kentucky KYnect application of Obamacare a lifesaver and attacking it directly is rapidly becoming political suicide in the state - deep in the heart of the firmly Republican south.

The time is rapidly approaching when Republicans will regret so firmly associating a President they hate with a program Americans are coming to love.  Which is probably why Republicans of yore were just smart enough not to call social security FDR-Security or Medicare LBJcare.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

On the Value of Scorn


Of late we've been seeing a lot of bigots, kooks and reactionaries trying to adopt the language of victimization.

Gay rights advocates in the US are not being gracious in their victory over decent people who just wanted to go on treating a whole subset of humanity as second class citizens.  Now various laws designed in the last few years to attack, dehumanize and marginalize gay Americans  topple like dominos and they have the sads and gay rights supporters are being MEAN to them.

A conservative spokes clone accuses Bill Nye of being part of a vast conspiracy to bully people who believe that scientists must just be fibbing with this silly 99% of scientists believe global warming is real and human caused stuff. 

You big meanie!

Scorn is a useful social construct.  It exists for a reason.  In the marketplace of ideas scorn is the health department closure poster on a cafe door.

Some ideas and the people who promote them SHOULD be scorned.  Some positions should be career limiting and socially devastating. 

If you believe this nonsense you are wrong and you should feel bad.

That's how society evolves, less from the new ideas we adopt than from the ones we outgrow.


Wednesday, May 07, 2014

The Real Benghazi Scandal

For outside observers the spectacle of Republicans shrieking "Benghazi!" for the last few years has been so blatantly partisan propagandizing that you have to wonder how anyone falls for it.

There were more than a dozen attacks on US embassies and consulates under George W. Bush but despite that the Republican Party voted to slash $300 million from Embassy security over the strenuous objections of Obama and the Democrats.

Benghazi is a scandal. Its a Republican scandal.

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