Sunday, September 13, 2009

Layton should back Harper!.... Maybe

That's right, prop him up. That may seem like crazy talk especially from someone like me who has been calling for the end of the Harper government since its inception and who has to spit on the ground , excuse me, everytime he even says the word Harper. It's just that the only thing I can imagine being worse and more embarrassing on the world stage would be an Ignatieff government.

Do Ignatieff's supporters really expect the support of the NDP at anytime? Oh yeah we don't mind that you totally fucked us on the coalition. Now that the Liberals feel better about their position and their finances we should stand up with them and bring down Harper at the time of their choosing? Fuck that. Suddenly Liberals are anti-Harper? Nice of you centrist, poll watching assholes to get on board. Unfortunately you're like 70 votes too late.

Harper, whom under normal circumstances should be punted from office as fast as possible, really is fairly toothless right now. His attempts to woo Quebec voters were a terrific failure and all it did was to alienate his base who are pretty pissed at him. In fact it is his drop in Quebec along with a rise in the fortunes of Liberals in Quebec that has their party all horny for an election. Harper can still do some damage by appointing senators and judges but with the right-wing of the Liberal party firmly in control of their party I can't imagine their judges being much better. Paul Martin's Supreme Court choices have already pulled the court to the right. You can bet Ignatieff sure wouldn't appoint any Liberals (His political enemies) to the court.

Anyone with any political smarts whatsoever knows that Obama is on the verge of asking Canada to stay in Afghanistan for another decade or so. He may have secretly done so already. Harper would have one hell of a time saying no. I'll give you that. But you know who would definitely say yes to keeping troops in Afghanistan? Michael Ignatieff. He adores the war in Afghanistan and always has.

By the way there is not an ounce of the hypocritical in the NDP position should they decide to prop up Harper. The NDP was prepared to bring down Harper in order to be in a coalition where we would have some say in what the government were to do. In other words Jack could veto Ignatieff's silliest right-wing ideas and effectively protect the country from both Harper and Ignatieff. Iggy has already shown that he would rather vote with Harper than be Prime Minister of a country where Jack Layton would have some influence on him. Why should the NDP side with him? Especially when the Liberals put up as their man someone who just may be to the right of Harper.

Now having said what I said previously there is still some argument to be made for bringing down the government. No it's not the argument Liberals are making. Hey NDP how could you support Harper? Now that they have their finances in place and the party "braintrust" has rammed their man into the leadership we should support them. Like there is any difference between them and the Cons. The most compelling reason would be the possible end of one of the two right-wing leaders that bring our once great nation down. It is rumored that another minority for Harper and he would be on the outs with the party. It is also rumored that an election loss for Ignatieff would send him back to Harvard and out of our lives for good. Both of these developements could only be good for Canada. However there are some very bad things that could happen. Canadians could turn on the Liberals because of Ignatieff's obviously self serving election call and give Harper his majority. Harper with a majority is very dangerous. Or Canadians could finally decide they have had enough of Harper and give Ignatieff a majority. An equally scary proposition.

I think the best course of action would to be exactly what Layton seems to be doing, let Harper decide. He can come around and give the NDP some of what they are asking for, ( ATM fees seems to be one Harper wouldn't anger his base with too much) stay in power and be a hero to Canadians who want an election like they want a root canal. Or Harper could continue to refuse to budge, be held somewhat responsible for an unwanted election and risk losing his job. The NDP would come out looking pretty good either way and as usual with our principles intact.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Disband the RCMP today!

In 1932 Canada was mired in our last great depression. Just like now Canada was hobbled by having a conservative government. R.B Bennett was Prime Minister. Groups of young men all over the country were out of work and looking for work. Bennett realized that these young men might be easy pickings for communist rabble rousers. He decided he would put them to work in work camps. These camps were set up all over the country. Men received three square meals and 2o cents a day. The men who worked there called them slave camps and needless to say weren't very happy about living conditions and their 20 cents a day. Ironically communist organisers now found they had a captive audience of men who were quite open to their message. By 1935 some camp workers in BC had had enough. A large group of more than a thousand men climbed aboard a freight train and told whoever would listen that they were going to Ottawa to present their problems to R.B. Bennett himself. Bennett thought the group would run out of steam before they got out of the mountains but instead they only picked up more and more unemployed men. By the time they reached Calgary Bennett knew he had a problem. Bennett was from Calgary and decided he didn't want a confrontation in his home town so Regina was chosen as the place he would deal with these men.

When the trekkers, as they were called got off the train in Regina to stretch their legs Bennett's men took over the train and refused to allow the men back on. The men were also unable to leave Regina. They would be going to a special work camp built for them in Saskatchewan. The men wanted no part of this plan. After a contingent of trekkers met in Ottawa with Bennett and were unable to come to an agreement the trekkers decided to stage a protest. Many locals also attended. At this point in our little tail Bennett decided to bring in the RCMP. Can anyone guess what happened next? If you said,"RCMP thugs go on a beating spree" you go to the head of the class. You bet they moved in and you bet they beat down as many homeless poor trekkers as they could. To their credit these men fought back and injured over 40 of these storm trooping pigs.

Now I don't know if this is the first time the RCMP beat down a bunch of innocent people but it sure wasn't the last. Fast forward to 2009 and things sure haven't changed much. I'm not going to bother documenting any of the thousands of examples of RCMP officers acting like fascist cunts because who has the time. Just google "RCMP brutality" and you will be surprised at the never ending list of examples. A couple of my favorites include the pepper spraying of protesters on Jean Chretien's orders at the WTO meetings in Vancouver and that clown who shot a teenager last year in custody because he allegedly struggled with him. The boy by the way was arrested for drinking a beer outside a hockey rink. I can't think of a more Canadian activity.

The RCMP have always been the bad guy's and have always done way more harm than good but things have really moved into the surreal since the advent of Tasers. The people who make tasers can sue me all they want but I will say it straight up. TASERS KILL PEOPLE!!!! Any one who doesn't get that or thinks the police use them instead of guns to save lives is a fuckin retard. Police use tasers for exactly one reason. Immediate compliance. This is the exact reason they are not supposed to use them for but I assure you it is the only reason police use them.

The fact that we live in a world wear cops are even allowed to use tasers is beyond comprehension. It must have something to do with all the right wing, cop loving, protester hating American wanna be, backward pig, dickheads who live in this country. People who think the police are nothing but hero's who never lie. People who have yet to operate their fucking brains.

This brings me to the final and most horrible part of this legacy of fascism. The Vancouver taser death of polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski. Anyone who has seen the video know that every word of testimony uttered by those RCMP cocks was an outright lie. It's to bad we don't have video of everybody who's ever been murdered by tasers because than some of you might understand that the police lie every fuckin time. These are not outta control violent people, the cops still shoot those people every fucking chance they get. The cops use tasers on everybody who doesn't move fast enough for them and they use them on a fuckin whim. It got even worse this week. As a result of the inquiry into Mr. Dziekanski's murder the RCMP are supposed to change their policy on tasers. And what was their absolute, biggest balls I've ever scene in my life response? They changed their policy all right, actually dropping some of the restrictions instead of adding more. What unmitigated fucking balls. These clowns are laughing at us. They are not gonna give up their compliance weapon with out a fight no matter how many people have to die.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to the family of Mr. Dziekanski and the people of Poland. I'm sorry this happened. I'm sorry about the way the cops made things worse by lying and trying to blame the victim and I'm sorry we have so many conservative pigs in this country that we can't do something as simple has keeping killing machines out of the hands of Nazi cops.

There was a time when I would have only said ban the taser, but this whole sad affair has made me come to only one conclusion, end the RCMP. When the law thinks it's above the law it's time for them to fucking go. They shoulda been gone since 1935. Ask a trekker.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sure are a lot of sheriffs in town.

The 1993 documentary, "The war room" as you probably know was a documentary that went behind the scenes of Bill Clinton's successful 1992 presidential campaign. Remember, "It's the economy stupid"? Another part of the documentary shows two Democratic strategists talking about crime policy. I'm paraphrasing but it went something like this, "If the other side says to fry em than we say we're gonna hang em." In other words the harder you appeared to be on crime the better. There was no downside politically. Americans left and right were in agreement, they wanted a sheriff . Careful what you wish for. America today is far beyond police state. Almost 2.5 million people are in prison in the land of the free. Mandatory minimums and three strikes your out laws are the norm in every state. The State of New Hampshire, where by the way the motto is "Live free or die" the number two growth industry in the 90's was prison building. New private prisons have been built all over the country to accommodate all these new prisoners. If being tough on crime makes you safer, the US must be the safest place in the world to live by now. A modern crime free utopia! The Americans in their defence (I can't believe I'm saying that) were at least reacting to a 1980's crime wave. I have been laboring under the false impression that Canadians were smarter than that and if not you could at least count on the Charter or the NDP and Liberals to stand against fascism. Boy was I wrong. The Conservatives latest hard on crime plans include a bunch of anti-gang initiatives that include a bunch of mandatory minimums and a plan to do away with double time credit given to people who have been awaiting trial. Sounds great, political winners every one of them. Who cares what happens to gang members who shoot at each other in the street and why should criminals be given double time for time served? Never mind that police will use these tools against more than gang members. If you don't believe there is a slippery slope when it comes to mandatory minimums you just again need to look south. And never mind that people are given double time credit in prison before trial for two reasons. Firstly they have zero access to rehab programs or in many cases even exercise. People who have actually been convicted of crimes have more rights than them. Secondly it is meant to encourage the crown to proceed with trial on a timely basis. I expect Conservatives to be idiots when it comes to crime, they always have been, but what is up with the other two parties? This week anyone who watched question period was treated to the spectacle of Liberal members standing up and asking Harper why he wasn't harder on crime and why we couldn't get these bills passed faster? Whaaaa. The NDP haven't been much better. Why would they? Being hard on crime is apparently politically popular in Canada now. I thought Canadians were thinking people who didn't normally go for knee-jerk redneck solutions. Guess I was wrong. Enjoy your police state morons.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

How about a Canadian car company ?

Ontario lost 70 thousand jobs in January and many of those loses came in the auto industry. The economic engine of Canada is sputtering and were all worse off for it.
I propose a brand new Canadian car company. Of course being a massive old school lefty I would want this project to be a Crown corporation. If the Government is going to spend billions of dollars on stimulus what better way to get results than directly putting people back to work?
Now I haven't been living in a cave, I know that no new Crown corporations are allowed under NAFTA. I know that the world has been going in exactly the opposite direction. Car companies are no longer of a certain country but are instead international corporate entities that make pieces of their product all over the world. That's globalism and the church of globalism still has many parishioners. I'm not one of them but that is an argument for another post. The Americans ignore the rules of NAFTA constantly, (Softwood lumber, The buy American first act) so I certainly wouldn't lose any sleep over breaking the rules. It could be done privately though, some sort of public private partnership, say with Ballard. Again not my first choice, I know that most public, private partnerships just mean public finance, private profit but I'm not cynical enough to think it couldn't be done properly.
The car pictured above is called the Nano and is produced in India. It has a retail price of about $2500 US. I would like to see Canada's car company produce something similar. Now obviously we could not produce these cars for the same price as India and still maintain the high wages and working conditions enjoyed by Canadian Auto workers but we could maybe offer something better. A hydrogen fuel cell version perhaps. Burnaby BC's Ballard company is a world leader in this technology.
Ontario already has the infrastructure and thousands of highly trained auto sector workers ready to work or go back to work. If were gonna play globalism lets do it right. Let's put a Canadian made, non polluting small car in every driveway in China, in India, hell in America. Save the world economy and the environment all at once. Maybe it's a pipe dream, maybe it would never work, maybe it's a crazy idea but it's something. And it's got be a better idea than giving Billions of dollars to bankers who still refuse to loosen up credit.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Falling for Jack.

After taking the last few weeks to take many walks in the snow I came to the conclusion that there really is no place in today's Liberal party for anyone who leans left. The Bay street wing is firmly in control and really always has been. Michael Ignatieff and his supporters really must be congratulated on reversing the Chretien, Dion coup attempt. They run that pathetic husk of a party now and I say let them have it. The NDP may have actually caught a break with the death of the coalition. Now a proud party that has actually shown some principle won't have their hands bloodied by being associated with that bunch of Neo-Liberal poll watchers and centre-right assholes who still inhabit the great sinking ship Liberal Party.
Any one who stands opposed to Stephen Harper has only one choice. Smilin Jack Layton period. The Liberal, Conservative coalition government can only be opposed by New Democrats. Left leaning Liberals I implore you, stop taking abuse from your own party, stop apologizing for Gaza and for Afghanistan and join me at my new party. It's great to have a leader who you can agree with once in awhile. The blood is already coming off my hands too.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chomsky on Ignatieff

I've watched this week in horrified disbelieve as many Libloggers, including some very high profile ones, have talked themselves into supporting Michael Ignatieff for the leadership of the party. I imagine this may have something to do with Mr. Ignatieff's electability. After losing so hard in the last election with a less than charismatic leader, many Liberals are looking for an eloquent and engaging leader to take us into the next election. Mr. Ignatieff has these qualities in spades. He is one of the best speakers in the House of Commons in both French and English and has a very commanding presence. If he managed to run a gaffe free campaign, and that is a very big if, I believe he would have the best chance of winning the election.

Unfortunately, he is wrong about almost everything and is the last man, including Stephen Harper, who should be running the country. Mr Ignatieff, in my opinion, is the worst sort of Neo-Liberal. The type that has an almost evangelical view of the market and its ability to grow wealth and help poor people. This of course never happens. For any of you economist types who want to argue that point with me just look at your latest failure. For the last few years the free market parishioners have been telling us about the "Celtic tiger," look at Ireland they would say. They stopped their social programs, sold off their crown assets, deregulated their economy, cut taxes and increased corporate subsidies. Now foreign investment is up and the economy is growing. Same old song they sung while they ruined South America . Well, the Celtic tiger has just become the first European Union country to dive into recession. The Irish will get through it, they have seen tough times before. Of course this time they won't have any social programs to lean on.

Believing in the neo-Liberal fantasy is just one part of Ignatieff's problem. Much more worrisome is his belief in Empire and Imperialism. It is my opinion that Mr. Ignatieff feels we not only have a right to impose our way of life on other countries but a responsibility to do so. If you want Canadian troops to fight and die in Afghanistan for the rest of time never mind Stephen Harper, Michael Ignatieff is your boy.

These are just a few of the reasons I think Mr. Ignatieff should not lead the party or the country, but why take my word for it? I'm just a simple carpenter. What does eminent intellectual and possibly the world's smartest man, Noam Chomsky, think of Michael Ignatieff? Just check out this 2003 interview with David Barsamian. About three quarters of the way through you will find this,

"TRADITIONALLY IF you used the word "imperialism" and attached the word "American" in front of it, you were immediately dismissed as a member of some far left fringe. That has undergone a bit of a transformation in the last few years. Let’s just take Michael Ignatieff, for one. Son of a Canadian diplomat, he’s at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard where he is Carr Professor of Human Rights Policy. He writes in a New York Times Magazine cover story on July 28, 2002, "America’s entire war on terrorism is an exercise in imperialism." Then he adds, "Imperialism used to be the white man’s burden," echoing Kipling. "This gave it a bad reputation. But imperialism doesn’t stop being necessary just because it becomes politically incorrect." On January 5, 2003, in yet another cover story in the New York Times Magazine, he writes, "America’s empire is not like the empires of times past, built on colonies, conquests and the white man’s burden.... The 21st century imperium is a new invention in the annals of political science, an empire lite, a global hegemony whose grace notes are free markets, human rights, and democracy, enforced by the most awesome military power the world has ever known." And he has a new book out, called Empire Lite."

Chomsky continues,

"OF COURSE, the apologists for every other imperial power have said the same thing. So you can go back to John Stuart Mill, one of the most outstanding Western intellectuals, now we’re talking about the real peak of moral integrity and intelligence. He defended the British Empire in very much those words. John Stuart Mill wrote the classic essay on humanitarian intervention. Everyone studies it in law schools. What he says is, Britain is unique in the world. It’s unlike any country before it. Other countries have crass motives and seek gain and so on, but the British act only for the benefit of others. In fact, he said, Our motives are so pure that Europeans can’t understand us. They heap "obloquy" upon us and they seek to discover crass motives behind our benevolent actions. But everything we do is for the benefit of the natives, the barbarians. We want to bring them free markets and honest rule and freedom and all kinds of wonderful things. Today’s version is just illustrating Marx’s comment about tragedy being repeated as farce. "

Mr. Chomsky goes on to talk some more about England and John Mill, then comes back to Mr.Ignatieff,

"I’m surprised that Ignatieff is not aware that he’s just repeating a very familiar rhetoric. And it’s true, even in internal records, when people are talking to themselves. A lot of Soviet archives are coming out, basically being sold to the highest bidder like everything else in Russia. It’s kind of interesting to see that they talk to each other the same way they talk in public. So, for example, you go back to 1947 or so, and Gromyko and those guys are talking to each other and saying things like, We have to protect democracy. We have to intervene to protect democracy from the forces of fascism, which are everywhere, and democracy is surely the highest value, so we’ve got to intervene to protect it. And he’s talking about the "people’s democracies." Well, he believed it probably as much as Ignatieff believes what he is saying."

There is more and I encourage you to read it all. I wouldn't want to be accused of taking something out of context. Now for those of you who say, "this is old news from five years ago," I guess we won't be hearing any talk about "Rae days" then. And for those of you that think I'm wrong and Chomsky is wrong because you believe in "the economic miracle" that is the free market, you just keep on believing it. As for the rest of you, take another look at Michael Ignatieff.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Can Obama save the world?

If all goes according to the polls Tuesday, Barrack Obama should have enough of a margin of victory in electoral votes to overcome any GOP legal challenges, or the Bradley effect. I'm sure there will be attempts to line up "urban voters" in lines so long that some will just go home. I'm sure some voting machines will malfunction and some votes will get "lost", but none of it should be enough to change the results. Also Obama and the Dems will have lawyers and people on the ground fighting for every voter they try to disallow and sounding the alarm on unscrupulous behavior.

So barring a miracle Obama will be the next President of the USA. I am of two minds on this. Firstly I'm not made of stone. I watched that half hour commercial the other day and I have watched Obama speak on many other occasions as I'm sure all of us have now. The guy gives one hell of a speech and by the end I always find myself wanting to believe, wanting to hope that maybe this guy will do things differently . Maybe there can be meaningful change. Maybe America can go back to being a force of good in the world instead of a constant source for Noam Chomsky to write books about. A new diplomacy that takes into account (sometimes) what other countries think. A turn away from the Neo-Liberal school of trickle down economics. A better trade deal for workers in all NAFTA countries.

Alas my cynical side fears things will probably not change much. Obama will be working from a very weak economic position and may have trouble implementing much of his agenda. This has been mentioned by others. It has also been pointed out that Obama may just be trying to win blue collar Ohio and Pennsylvania votes when he talks about changing NAFTA. He may just be another Liberal like Clinton from the, "you only help poor people by growing the economy" school of economics.

He also, despite all his good intentions, may have no ability to effect change. There are many who believe, and I am sometimes one of them, that the USA is run by a small group of industrialists and the people in the Pentagon. Whomever the people choose to be President really doesn't matter and whatever party he is from doesn't really matter. He is just a figurehead. The late, great comedian Bill Hicks used to do a great bit about politics in America that explains what I'm talking about. It is a little dated now but still holds up remarkably well. I hope Bill Hicks and I are wrong and I hope Obama really can save the world. I also hope they don't shoot him down like everyone else who ever tried to make a difference.