Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Brad Trost is a Terrorist

Conservative MP Brad Trost believes female politicians should be bullied and terrorized and threatened with jailing for believing in different things than he does.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Proposed: Let's kill the Sun brand

Lego ends advertising with Daily Mail after calls for companies to 'Stop Funding Hate' 

Toy company responds to campaigners by saying it is 'not planning any future promotional activity' with the right-wing paper  

In august of 2010 The Toronto Sun called for Canada's response to the Tamil refugee crisis to be mass murder. Ships full of desperate refugees? "Lock and load" demanded the Sun.

Ezra Levant forced the Sun Empire to apologize to the entire Roma community after a racist rant and to George Soros after falsely accusing him of complicity in the holocaust.

The Sun chain ran a cartoon of Olivia Chow in a Mao suit.

About the only places you could find enthusiastic agreement with Stephen Harper's xenophobic race baiting campaign or the PQ's a year before that in Quebec were in the Sun chain.

As bad or worse crap appears in Sun papers across Canada with a numbing regularity, with casual, constant racism as a particular theme. 

But with newspaper advertising already bottoming out the Post Media empire would be excruciatingly vulnerable to tactics such as those used against the Daily Mail in the UK putting a spotlight on and turning on the pressure. I propose this since wherever you live in Canada the odds are good that both your supposedly sober and serious broadsheet and the local sun tabloid rag are probably put together in the same Post Media office and rolled off the same presses. 

Both papers are written and edited by the same staff, have the same right wing slant with a greater or lesser degrees of genteel civility applied, promoting and protecting the interests of the same vulture hedge fund on Wall Street and simply written to different mental age levels.

Why not just make the hateful, lowest common denominator Sun brand and voice completely economically nonviable?

It's not suppressing a diversity of voices, there already is none, just brand identities and slightly different flavors of piss being poured into your ears. If, as a nation, we are prepared to allow the entire ownership of the Canadian newspaper and TV news in our country be a group that could fit comfortably in one small office then why allow the pretense of diversity in it's absence?

It would be very, very easy for a mass movement to burn the Sun brand to the ground and dance in its ashes.

Who's with me?

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Open letter to Trump voters:

Voting for Donald Trump was an act of contempt for the people he will hurt.

"I was just voting against Clinton!" Fuck you, there's no box on the ballot that says 'Against Clinton'.

You voted for a narcissistic sociopath, and you did it because he promised to stick it to brown people.

You bought him, you own him.

Demographics will swing things back, no matter how much gerrymandering and voter suppression a Republican Supreme Court lets the GOP get away with, short of physically blocking non whites from the polls this wire thin win cannot overcome the reality that the electorate is 2% less white, every election.

Your kids will be sent to war again. The people around Trump know he's a one term president who will massively damage the Republican brand and will be looking for a 'bad guy' to distract you with. Probably not Russia though, since the White House is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Putin oligarchy.

There were credible reports before the election that Trump was honey trapped and compromised during a visit to Moscow. Considering some of the accusations against him (Guess that child rape trial is off now) we probably don't want to see the photos spread across Putin's desk right now.

But we will, it's inevitable.

In four years half the people who voted Trump last night will be pretending they never heard of him.

The rest of the world will neither forgive, nor forget

Monday, August 22, 2016

Elizabeth May's Cop Out

How come Elizabeth May isn't standing up for Canadians who disapprove of the illegal occupation of Palestinian land and abuses of Palestinian rights against the insulting and false accusation of antisemitism?

 Its a despicable slur, the definition of a blood libel.

She is deeply distressed that 'some people think' the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement is antisemitic. That's an opportunity to respect the democratic will of her members and use her public profile to educate people and push back against a despicable lying slander.  Instead she starts from the position of accepting the slur as fact and is clearly working behind the scenes to reverse the members votes in a way designed to keep them reversed.

BDS is a peaceful, legitimate attempt to hold a state that styles itself as a liberal democracy to the standards of behavior expected from a liberal democracy.

But she's more concerned with acting like a public drama queen and treating a democratic vote as somehow illegitimate because it gives her the sads.

The Green Party has always been a faux progressive joke, a way to blunt the power of the progressive vote and throw elections to the Liberals and with the panicked efforts to overturn a real progressive resolution by members who fell for the pose that just gets more blatant all the time.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Canada Post is picking this fight

Canada Post serves Lock out notice declaring uncertainty about potential work stoppage is affecting business. Meanwhile it's Canada Post management that is creating that uncertainty while the union refrains from issuing a strike notice and makes it clear they want to settle the dispute at the bargaining table.

This fight is 100% unnecessary and 100% being picked by management.

Their middle of the night press release using many many words to avoid using two short ones:  Lock and Out:

 Management, the media and all the usual suspects will be rushing to call this a Strike at every opportunity.  This is deliberate deception to obscure who is launching the first strike.  Do not fall for it and correct it every time you see it.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Fake counseling for a fake condition

Seen on a Calgary c-train.

Project Rachel is a Catholic  anti-abortion group offering fundamentalist Christian guilt and shame based counseling to deal with the shame they promote.

 Actual Project Rachel counseling sessions may not be exactly as portrayed - but probably not by much.

Many anti-abortion activists insist there are proven, profound emotional and psychological effects from having an abortion -- a so-called post-abortion syndrome. One outgrowth has been religiously affiliated retreats such Project Rachel, aimed at helping to purge guilt. Others say the syndrome is non-existent and just a new way to push the "pro-life" agenda, and that most women live productive, psychologically and emotionally normal lives after an abortion."
Like so called Crisis Pregnancy Centres they downplay their fundamentalist religious basis. Fake clinics, fake psychological condition and fake counseling.

The women who fall into their clutches are cajoled into admitting their guilt and writing apology letters to their aborted fetus. The whole process is designed to use guilt and shame to create the symptoms of the syndrome they have made up.

I do not dismiss that some women might need counseling after an abortion - for the guilt and shame people like this promote. I just think they should get REAL counseling, not fake guilt and sin based counseling designed to create and exacerbate trauma not ease it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Inconvenient democracy

Climenhaga nails one of the things that bugs me most about the Leap Manifesto. It would be impossible to institute its program in a democracy.

Literally impossible. You could not win power on this program and you could not institute this program even if you didn't spring it on the public until after you took power.

Its a program that casually writes off hundreds of thousands of jobs with an airy 'Oh don't worry, we'll provide training in windmill and solar panel maintenance.'

It's a program that would require confiscation, heavy handed federal control of key extraction and manufacturing sectors, tearing up trade and labour deals, revenue share agreements with First Nations and international contracts.  It would make stakeholders who are ideological friends of the theoretical Leap Manifesto enacting government winners and take people who would be expected to be ideological foes and rubbing their faces into the dirt.

You could do this in China. Indeed, some of the macro steps China is taking now that the way they've poisoned themselves is unmissable seem almost the inspiration here.

You could not institute this program in a democracy.

So this document then becomes the mournful song of the proud loser spelling out just how great things would be in defiantly impossible idealism if you fools would just be smart enough to pick him  - or something more sinister.

There is no persuasion in this document, just ingroup self satisfaction or exclusionary scorn for anyone too selfish and short sighted or possibly some kind of racist capitalist CEO lighting his cigars in boardrooms with hundred dollar bills and for WHATEVER REASON, just not willing to do what it takes to save the world.

People who want to take control of a democratic movement's agenda and possibly its leadership itself who ARE NOT interested in persuasion worry me, and they should worry you too.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Something else to remember.

The NDP hashes out its debates and policy differences and schisms right out in the open. We don't hide, we don't run from cameras and we stand by who and what we are revealed to be in public unhidden and uncensored.

The 2015 Wildrose AGM held its policy debates secretly hidden behind closed doors. The media was not allowed, the contents of these secret meetings were hidden and the results issued forth like proclamations from a shrouded politburo.

If you guessed this was to hide embarrassing rantings about lakes of fire, ungenerous remarks about gay and trans and Muslim and refugee and unionized people, nutty conspiracy theories and paranoid venom... Well how insultingly accurate of you.

Some parties have the courage to stand up forthrightly and say this is who we are, warts and all. We may not all agree and some of the things displayed may even be damaging but at least we aren't hiding our true selves.

A word of warning

To any Wildrosers and Conservatives making hay over the Leap Manifesto or planning to, think seriously about some of the resolutions passed at your own conventions and how much you want the public to believe your party or any government it might form would be bound by them.

The NDP has some people who let idealism overpower common sense. Your parties have some supporters who are straight up hate mongers with extreme and bigoted views far outside the Albertan and Canadian mainstream.

If you want to play dueling embarrassing convention resolutions that is not going to go as well as you think.

What a mess

I'm a proud New Democrat and I've always felt more sympathy for the left wing of the party.   I believe the party made a tragic and mindbogglingly stupid decision to run too far to the right during the election.

Mulcair had to go and deserved to lose.

But the vote to study and debate the Leap Manifesto (NOT adopt it, an important distinction you can expect to be roundly ignored in the coming days and weeks.) massively overcompensated and took the party too far left.

In ten days, and I'm sorry shell-shocked Manitoba New Democrats but its true, there will only be one NDP government in Canada. The convention just made its job far more difficult and its chance of reelection in 3 years far more fraught than it would have been.  That's a pragmatic, unambiguous reality that convention goers were warned against explicitly and chose to ignore.

The Leap Manifesto was a masterpiece of high level manipulative communication.  Long sections full of stuff that all progressives can find to agree with but inextricably bound with poison pills in every section couched in rhetoric deliberately designed to force 'If you disagree with this that means you also disagree with THIS' false conclusions.  I've already had one earnest and slightly hysterical young ND tell me that opposing Leap means 'attacking our environmental and indigenous allies'.  Leap and its supporters rhetoric is explicitly designed to result in such nonsense.

The Alberta NDP and its government and its supporters have been left with no choice but to denounce this manifesto and those who support it in harsh and unforgiving turns.  This will be devastating for party unity and I will be shocked if it doesn't result in increased support for following the example of every other party in the country and disconnecting the provincial and federal parties into separate entities.

All of it unnecessary as the market keeps the oil in the ground anyway and the supporters of Leap congratulate themselves on their moral and political correctness and sneer at the considerations required for basic pragmatic governance.

Saturday, April 09, 2016


My sympathies are usually with the left wing of the party and there's much about Leap that I agree with in principle.

The 'Leave it in the ground' movement is an unforced error damaging to both the provincial and federal party.

Why pick a fight the market is already winning for you?  The oil can't be squeezed out of the sand or pipelines built to ship it at the current price, it would be just barely profitable at twice the price.

OPEC may be finally talking about closing the spigots but Iran has years of sanctions to recover from and will be even more unwilling to follow Saudi lead than usual so an ocean of Iranian oil will be keeping the price lower for quite awhile.

Alberta's NDP government will be improving regulations, promoting renewables and shutting down coal plants in the meantime. 

This is a silly, alienating, unnecessary proposal that looks like an attack on Alberta while the goals of the resolution will largely be achieved by the market anyway.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

You want to be the one to tell him to go to the back of the bus?

This is Buck Angel.

If he  visited North Carolina he would be legally required to use the ladies room in public places and face jail if he didn't because he was born with a vagina.

It's possible the sterling brain trust that is the North Carolina Republican Party have not thought their vicious mean spirited assault on gay and trans people all the way through......

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Ezra Levant now openly embracing racist 'Cuck-shaming' meme popular with the American White Nationalist movement

It's a creepy, racist meme with its origins in fetishistic 'racial porn' and a clear implication of race treason.  It's used to attack political or commentary figures who the far right believe are betraying their race and has, for instance, been used to attack otherwise doctrinaire white right wing conservatives who commit the 'betrayal' of adopting non white children.
As Joseph Bernstein at BuzzFeed points out, cuckold refers to a genre of pornography where married white men willingly watch their wives have sex with other men, often black men. There is a full stable of memes to this effect circulating on the Internet. And as Bernstein explains, the derivative term means that the cuckolded husband represents white politicians impotently surrendering their assumed straight, white constituents to multiculturalism and liberalism.
But for the white nationalist movement, the term has come to represent much more – the ultimate insult to a politicians whose interests, they feel, should be closer in line with the mores and values of the ultra-conservative white nationalist right.
And now Ezra Levant's Rebel media has embraced this racist, fetishistic meme.

Ezra Levant appears to have descended to the depths of not just the American far right but the American white nationalist far right with even more explicit racism than is usual for him.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Question for the day

Question for the day, if Danielle Smith and Jim Prentice hadn't tried their ultimately disastrous little coup-slash-merger and both had gone into the provincial election leading their respective parties would the election result have been different?

Its an article of faith with right wingers that yes, it would. That the scandal hung over the election leading to the dismay that made people vote NDP purely as a protest vote against the government, certainly not because they actually wanted them to WIN.

Progressives believe the result would have been pretty much the same and in one of the few areas of accord Danielle Smith agrees, arguing the election results vindicates the unite the right attempt even if it failed. That she and Prentice had taken a long hard look at polling showing Alberta moving considerably to the left and tried to save Alberta from an NDP victory that happened anyway.

So is there an alternate universe next door where Jim Prentice managed to win and the Wildrose is either the opposition under Danielle Smith or in third party status? Or is Rachel Notley still Premier in the Alberta where Smith and Prentice never attempted their shotgun wedding of Alberta right wingers?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Alberta NDP outrageously refuse to stop governing just because it makes right wingers unhappy

The CFIB, a far right front group masquerading as a small business federation calls for the Alberta NDP to reverse all of the policies they were elected on because of the downturn.

If we were in a recovery the rationale would be 'cancel your policies so as not to risk the recovery.' If we were in good times their argument would be to 'Cancel all your policies to avoid causing a downturn.' There is NO CIRCUMSTANCE OR CONDITIONS under which they would ever support NDP policies - which mainstream economists would consider straightforward Keynesian stimulus and refusal to protect the well off at the expense of the weakest.

Their objections are not pragmatic, nonpartisan, reality based or any other variation of 'Just the facts ma'am.' that they pretend they are. They are ideological and based on economic theories strongly disputed by the majority of serious economists. The theories that opposed pensions, public health care, infrastructure spending, child labour laws, the very existence of minimum wages or basic labour and environmental standards as tyranny.

These are extreme radicals far outside of the Alberta mainstream being puffed up and supported by a right wing media controlled by corporate interests who benefit directly from such theories being implemented.

Like the angry extremists calling for Albertan's democratic will to be annulled because the election didn't turn out the way they had hoped, they are driven by a profoundly antidemocratic animus to the will of the people.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Judge who berated rape victim is a Conservative Party hack

In September of 2014 Judge Robin Camp of the Alberta provincial court acquitted Alexander Scott Wagar a six foot one 240 pound man of the rape of a 100 pound 19 year old girl.  Throughout the trial the Judge repeatedly referred to the alleged victim as 'the accused', asked her why she just didn't just keep her knees together and pronounced from the bench that "sex and pain sometimes go together, that — that's not necessarily a bad thing."

The case was successfully appealed and will be retried.  Three months after the appeal was filed Justice Minister Peter Mackay appointed Camp to the federal Bench.The fact that Camp had TWO appeals against his rulings for basic mistakes of law and grotesque breach of impartiality would have been completely available to Mackay at the time he appointed Camp.  Camp is now barred from hearing cases as the case against him heats up.

Alberta Attorney General Kathleen Ganley has forced an inquiry into the conduct of Federal Court Justice Robin Camp after his controversial remarks during a sexual assault trial surfaced late last year.
By asking the Canadian Judicial Council to move the complaint to a formal inquiry, the council will skip the review panel phase of its investigation.
Camp got his law degree in South Africa in the 1970s when apartheid was still the law of the land.  He is an Alberta Tory Party insider, Managing Partner in the same law firm as Alison Redford's husband in commercial law (The same law firm at the center of a roiling scandal over improper tendering of Alberta's tobacco company litigation.) before being appointed to the provincial bench by the government of the day.  Because he was already a provincial court judge he could then be appointed to the Federal bench without the same kind of vigorous review other candidates have to go through.

He was also on the board of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, a far right legal group founded by Reform Party and Wildrose party member John Carpay who once berated Ralph Klein for failing to use the Notwithstanding clause to block gay rights.   With connections to the Fraser Institute and other far right groups and secretive about their funding despite the explicitly political nature of their activism they are known for their opposition to human rights legislation and hate speech laws, their defense of Trinity Western University over its discrimination against gays and their attempts to override democracy and undermine public healthcare through legal assault. 

He's a prominent, high profile member of the Canadian right wing establishment.

The Conservatives, both provincial and federal were so eager to get a true believer  Conservative insider on the court they appointed a monster.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Memories of the Apocalyse

The thing about contemporary American crime and thriller cinema, cop shows, serial killer horror movies, every piece of pop culture that assumes a huge level of violence in the world that requires a violent armed hero, is that it is documenting a period in America when a huge percentage of its population was suffering from chemical brain damage.

The huge crime rate spike in the US that started in the early 60's and then dropped just as precipitously in the early 90's exactly parallels the introduction of leaded gasoline in the 1920's and its replacement with unleaded in the early 1970's.  A generation suffering from lead poisoning which lowers intellect and degrades impulse control came of age at once and the poorer the neighborhood the worse the poisoning was due to lead paint, leaded windows and proximity to industrial activity.

Then a new generation came of age born after the introduction of the catalytic converter and the mass switch to unleaded gasoline with just enough less lead in their environment to miss the tipping point that causes major IQ impairment and violent impulse control issues.  Suddenly a massive police state apparatus built when sky high violent crime stats were assumed to be the new normal is using tactics designed for a far more violent population than they are dealing with.

So law, policing policy and pop culture in the US assumes a vastly more violent society than currently exists due to everyone involved in its formation and maintenance coming of age during a mass violent brain damage epidemic that for the most part ended decades ago.

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