Thursday, April 25, 2013

Whining Corporate Welfare Bums

Quebecor, the owners of Sun News also own Videotron, a cable company serving almost two million subscribers in Quebec and Ontario.  They are before the CRTC right now demanding that Canadians subsidize their Sun News operation by being forced to have it added to all cable packages with an accompanying increase in cable bills.  They claim this is necessary because they aren't seen in enough households and they need this forced government subsidy to survive.

When asked why they don't automatically add Sun News to their own Videotron cable network with prominent channel placement as they have every right to do and are NOT doing now they had no answer.

Why should the Canadian people be forced to provide corporate welfare to a private TV channel that their own owner won't support and promote?

Friday, April 19, 2013

25 Years Ago

Dedicated to all the Truthers, Birthers and Midnight Nerf Herders.
"The kooks are our future. The average fifth-grader these days doesn't know whether Japan is a state or a city; wonders what happens when you get to the "edge" of the United States on a map...and even believes that the government is there to protect him!

The years to come promise incredibly fertile fields for the sowing of superstition, cultism, and pseudoscience; they'll grow so fast we'll wonder if there had ever really been an Age of Reason.

Make no mistake, it shall be a rich harvest for industrious Skull Farmers of every creed; the brains of the all-too-willing are out there, ripening...millions of potential vegetables just waiting to be plucked, shucked, and hauled off to market."
-Introduction to High Weirdness by Mail by Rev. Ivan Stang of the Church of the SubGenius, 1988

Keep Calm and Stay Strong

Muslims all over the world today woke up, read that the Marathon bombers had been tentatively identified as being from Chechnya, home of Russia's own simmering war with Islamist insurgents and thought some variation of 'aw, crap.'

Muslims are once going to be tarred with an ugly brush over this and an overwhelmingly loyal and law abiding American Muslim community is no doubt battening down the hatches and preparing themselves for a long national strip search.

 They will be accused of 'Not condemning terrorism' vociferously enough - were all white right wingers quizzed about their loyalty after Oklahoma City? Muslims from different regions, different ethnicities and different religious traditions will again find themselves conflated with the kind of extremists every faith produces and Jihad, a word with far ranging and subtly distinct definitions, primarily meaning to most Muslims a kind internal spiritual struggle to live up to the tenants of their faith will once again be bandied about as meaning nothing but terrorism and murder.

I'd like to believe Americans have been inoculated against the hate-mongers and divisive demagogues by the last decade - but I'm very much afraid that the terrorist goal of spreading division and fear and mistrust will be eagerly abetted by the same people who helped fan it last time.

 This week has kind of sucked.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Personal and the Political

"Did they expect us to treat them with any respect?
they can polish their medals and sharpen their
smiles, and amuse themselves playing games for a while
boom boom, bang bang, lie down you're dead" 
Pink Floyd, The Fletcher Memorial Home

I've read some truly nauseating screeds in the last few days about individual acts of civility and grace by Margaret Thatcher that supposedly put the lie to her being heartless and cruel. I'm reminded of Sam Donaldson saying of Reagan that if you were down on your luck he would give you the shirt off his back - then sit down shirtless at his desk in the Oval office and with a stroke of his pen take your parent's social security away, your kid's school lunches away and the poor's welfare away. That kind of disconnect between the personal and political isn't evidence of a secret hidden heart, just a failure of imagination and empathy bordering on psychopathy.

Remember when Jack Layton was harshly attacked for pointing out that the social cuts that Paul Martin's liberals committed literally meant they had blood on their hands because of the deaths they would cause? Who's interests are served by the suggestion that pointing out the real human costs of policy is out of bounds?

Maggie Thatcher was hated and reviled for causing real human costs and suffering to thousands of real people. Suggesting that hatred is inappropriate is the real disrespect.

Monday, April 08, 2013


Margaret Thatcher, dead at 87.

For those about to whine about respect for the dead, showing respect for this monster would constitute disrespect for her victims.

She was a vicious autocratic demagogue who figured out how to scrape up a working majority of barely 30% of the population while viciously abusing the rest - sound familiar at all?  She engaged in active class warfare massively redistributing wealth upwards while slashing away at the social safety net at the same time and demonizing the poor.

She attempted to outlaw the very concept of homosexuality.  She engaged in a shameless military adventure to hold onto power before an election she was about to lose, instituted a poll tax to suppress the vote of those who opposed her, supported fascist dictatorships like that of Chile's Augusto Pinochet as if keeping autocrats holding power through torture and death squads in charge was a holy mission and supported the racist regime of Apartheid South Africa - and for those about to argue that was just Cold War anti-Communism her own values can be inferred by the fact her son was later convicted for plotting a Rhodesia style white military coup against an African government.

Good riddance, the world would have been better off without her.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

The leeches at the top bleeding us dry

So private interests take over gigantic communications infrastructures built by the sweat and millions of the Canadian public for pennies on the dollar.  They then reduce quality of service to the bare minimum they can get away with, eliminate thousands of well paying jobs reducing the anemic Canadian middle class even further while exporting those jobs out of Canada to third world sweat shops and taking away all the rights and job security of those few employees left that they can. 

For this their soulless, piggy eyed CEO is feted as a corporate genius and paid 11 million a year.

Welcome to Canada.

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