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wmtc: revolutionary thoughts of the day: kareem abdul-jabbar, the new yorker, howard zinn

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has an excellent essay in Time, something only a big-name writer can get away with in the mainstream media. Abdul-Jabbar names the stark truths behind the uprising in Ferguson, Missouri. And the mere fact that this appears on Time.com is reason for hope. This fist-shaking of everyone’s racial agenda distracts America from the larger issue that the targets of police overreaction are based less on skin color and more on an even worse Ebola-level affliction: being poor. Of course, to many in America, being a person of color is synonymous with being poor, and being poor (Read more…)

wmtc: today: call your m.p.! stop the (un)fair elections act!

I trust by now you’ve all heard about Stephen Harper’s latest plan to undermine democracy in Canada, his electoral reform bill that the chief electoral officer of the country has called an affront to democracy.

Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand told CBC: “My reading of the act is that I can no longer speak about democracy in this country.” Now, as per usual, the Harpercrats want to pass the bill before it can be properly debated. It was just introduced a few days ago, but could be adopted by the House of Commons as early as today or tomorrow.

(Read more…)

wmtc: nelson mandela, 1918-2013

“The time comes in the life of any nation when there remain only two choices – submit or fight.

That time has now come to South Africa.

We shall not submit and we have no choice but to hit back by all means in our power in defence of our people, our future, and our freedom.

Firstly, we believed that as a result of Government policy, violence by the African people had become inevitable, and that unless responsible leadership was given to canalise and control the feelings of our people, there would be outbreaks of terrorism which would produce an (Read more…)

wmtc: more moyers: democracy and plutocracy don’t mix

I found the preceding rtod post buried in Blogger drafts, something Allan saved there years ago. I never got around to posting it, but I never had the heart to delete it, either.

If you’re not familiar with Bill Moyers, he is an American independent journalist, producer, and public intellectual. Earlier in his career, Moyers served as White House Press Secretary under the Johnson administration, but he’s better known for the many shows he has produced and hosted on PBS.

Moyers has always been liberal, but over the past decade, he has become increasingly radicalized as he reacts to (Read more…)

wmtc: hedges: "when harper passes right-to-work, you must go on a massive general strike, or you’re finished"

Last night, I heard author, journalist, and activist Chris Hedges speak at the Bloor Street United Church in Toronto, sponsored by the excellent Canadian Dimension.

Hedges is a radical intellectual, in the Chomsky vein, also compassionate and fearless, in the mode of Howard Zinn. He touched on many subjects – and credited the work and thoughts of many others. I can only hope to impart a few snippets of the many threads Hedges wove.

“A seismic moment”

Hedges called the recent US debate on Syria a “seismic moment”. The Obama administration pulled out all the familiar mechanisms used to sell (Read more…)

wmtc: happy canada day, a/k/a national stop harper day

This week, pollster Nik Nanos revealed that 51.5% of Canadian voters would not consider voting for the Conservative party, compared to 36.4% only seven months ago.

I don’t play the national pastime – election prediction – so I won’t speculate about if or how this poll will translate on the ground. Whether we’ll have to wait until 2015 to get rid of this corrupt, fraudulent, anti-democracy, anti-human, anti-labour, anti-environment, corporate government – and whether Canadian voters will be hoodwinked by another party with almost identical policies but a friendlier face (and famous last name) – remains to be (Read more…)

wmtc: my journey to palestinian solidarity and the myth of the self-hating jew, part 3 and final

Part 1 here.

Part 2 here.

By now it should be clear that my abandonment of my ties to Israel, and my support for the liberation of Palestine, are not based on denial of my Jewish heritage or on anti-Semitism. This is a political issue, and a moral one. Jewish people cannot be – and should not be – expected to adhere to some kind of party line of political views. I am heartened that increasing numbers of Jewish people are making their own journeys away from unconditional support for Israel – away from nationalism and towards justice – and (Read more…)

wmtc: my journey to palestinian solidarity and the myth of the self-hating jew, part 2

Part 1 here.

For a while I had been reluctant to write this story, because it seemed so baggy and shapeless. The best essays are crisp, with a clearly defined turning point and an easily identifiable ah-ha moment. This story has none of those that I can see. A clear path would make a better essay, but all I have is this murky stew.

My path of change of mind and heart about Israel and Palestine was a long one, and when I try to trace it, many seemingly unconnected points stand out.

Early warnings

In university (1978-1982), I was (Read more…)

wmtc: rtod

Revolutionary thought of the day: No healthy democracy can endure when the most consequential acts of those in power remain secret and unaccountable.

Glenn Greenwald

wmtc: election fraud ruling: demand to know the truth

While everyone’s been glued to Rob Ford’s crack and Mike Duffy’s featherbedding, something even more important happened: the Federal Court confirmed that there was election fraud in the 2011 federal election.

Not just “robocalls” – that diminutive buzzword that the media clings to – but election fraud: a deliberate, targeted attempt at voter suppression. The conservative media has framed the ruling as a victory for the Harper GovernmentTM, because the court stopped short of nullifying the election results. But the ruling was very clear. Judge Richard Mosley wrote: I find that electoral fraud occurred during the 41st (Read more…)

wmtc: are we seeing the beginning of global people’s revolution?

“There’s something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear…”

This week, I attended a talk put on by the International Socialists, featuring an organizer with OUR Walmart, by Skype from Texas, and a Toronto-based union activist. Both speakers were terrific and so inspiring, but although I took copious notes, I’m not posting a summary of the talk.

It was similar to the talk I blogged about here - from greece to chicago to toronto, workers fighting back against austerity - and an extension to an article I wrote recently: workers doing it for themselves: fighting

. . . → Read More: wmtc: are we seeing the beginning of global people’s revolution?

wmtc: greenwald, ellsberg, and others launch freedom of press foundation to fight government censorship and secrecy

An important and exciting column by Glenn Greenwald. See original for more links. New press freedom group is launched to block US government attacks

Nothing is more vital than enabling true transparency and adversarial journalism, and preventing further assaults on them

Several weeks ago, I wrote about the steps taken by the US government to pressure large corporations to choke off the finances and other means of support for WikiLeaks in retaliation for the group’s exposure of substantial government deceit, wrongdoing and illegality. Because WikiLeaks has never been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crime, I wrote: “that the

. . . → Read More: wmtc: greenwald, ellsberg, and others launch freedom of press foundation to fight government censorship and secrecy

wmtc: fighting for democracy in the courts and in the street: #idlenomore, democracy 24/7

I no longer see TV news, but I have it on good authority that if your primary news source is CBC’s The National, you haven’t been hearing about two important developing – and exciting – stories.

Idle No More is a campaign led by First Nations peoples to fight back against Canada’s destruction of natural resources and its continued profiting from Native lands. The movement, including a hunger strike by Chief Theresa Spence, is being framed as opposition to the Harper Government’s latest omnibus budget bill (C-45). It is that, but it’s also much more. In their own words:

. . . → Read More: wmtc: fighting for democracy in the courts and in the street: #idlenomore, democracy 24/7

wmtc: saturday across canada: end the siege of gaza

This Saturday, across Canada and around the world, people will gather to condemn Israel’s massacre of Gaza. The call:Stop Israel’s war on Gaza!Stop the killing. End the blockade. Free Palestine. Support BDS.In Toronto:Rally & MarchSaturday, Novembe… . . . → Read More: wmtc: saturday across canada: end the siege of gaza

wmtc: rtod: i ain’t marching (to the u.s. polls) anymore

I spent the summer and fall of 2004 working on a Get Out The Vote campaign for the Democrats, not because they were my party of choice, but because I was angry at the prospect of another stolen election, and I wanted to make a difference in the popular vote numbers. After that election was stolen, too, I stopped voting in the US.

Now, in 2012, voter suppression has reached new depths. If I still lived in the US, I don’t know if I’d vote Green or not at all. Voting Green can be seen as a protest against

. . . → Read More: wmtc: rtod: i ain’t marching (to the u.s. polls) anymore

wmtc: why is "entitled" a dirty word? some thoughts on what we are all entitled to.

When did “entitled” become a dirty word? Why do we hear “entitled” being used as catch-all slur, a derogatory description to be thrown at progressive people working for change? And why should we permit this word to retain such a heavily negative connotation?

Here are some people I have seen called entitled in this negative sense by bloggers and commenters. Brigette DePape. Occupy protesters. Refugee claimants. Quebec student protesters. People opposed to the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline. Voters who believe they were defrauded by the Conservative Party of Canada.

Here is a synonym for entitled: deserve.

Here is another synonym

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wmtc: coming soon to a canadian town near you: the fbi

I seldom play the scary “US is taking over Canada” card, but if the Harper government was any deeper into Washington, you’d need a colonoscopy to find them. I blogged about this here, and I’m glad to see the CBC recognize the issue. This is scary, dangerous, and truly disgusting. When the Conservative government passed its controversial omnibus budget bill last month, it included new powers for certain U.S. law enforcement agents that critics say could have ramifications for Canadian sovereignty.

The Integrated Cross Border Law Enforcement Operations Act now makes it possible for American officers to cross the

. . . → Read More: wmtc: coming soon to a canadian town near you: the fbi

wmtc: how are you celebrating national stop harper day?

Today is National Stop Harper Day. People all over the country are using this day, officially known as Canada Day, to gather and organize and express their anger – and their fear – at the anti-democratic and inhumane policies of the Harper Government.

In keeping with the spirit of Occupy and all the related democracy movements that are sprouting through North America, there’s no central organizing committee, but if you’re interested in attending an event in your area, you should be able to find one. Or you could create one. Call a friend, make some signs, commandeer a street corner

. . . → Read More: wmtc: how are you celebrating national stop harper day?

wmtc: relax, canadians. voter suppression is "as old as the hills". says a cpc lawyer.

In a recent post, I summarized the Conservatives’ arguments in Federal Court, as they attempted to have the case against their illegal election practices dismissed before any evidence had been heard.

I was just paraphrasing, of course. But now I have a real quote, thanks to an email sent today by the Council of Canadians. “Voter suppression is as old as the hills”. – Arthur Hamilton, CPC lawyer

Hey, fraudulent elections, voter intimidation, and dictatorships are the norm all over the world. Why should Canada be any different?

wmtc: conservative party vs council of canadians, round two

In Federal Court:*

Council of Canadians: There was vote supression in the 2011 election.

Conservative Party of Canada: Maude Barlow hates us.

Council of Canadians: There was vote supression in the 2011 election.

Conservative Party of Canada: Maude Barlow is a radical.

Council of Canadians: There was vote supression in the 2011 election.

Conservative Party of Canada: They filed their motion too late.

Council of Canadians: There was vote supression in the 2011 election.

Conservative Party of Canada: There’s no proof that people didn’t vote because of these phone calls.

Council of Canadians: There was vote supression in the 2011

. . . → Read More: wmtc: conservative party vs council of canadians, round two

wmtc: coyne: the conflict is between conservatives and their souls

Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page’s quest to force the Harper GovernmentTM to release details of its budget cuts escalated over the weekend, when Page said that the government’s secrecy could lay the groundwork for a future economic crisis. Page, of course, has laid the groundwork for a court battle that may force Harper’s hand.

Andrew Coyne, ethical conservative: The reality is that the PBO has been given anything but the “free and timely access” that Parliament demanded. Time and time again, rather, he has been given the back of the government’s hand — stonewalled by the bureaucrats, ridiculed by

. . . → Read More: wmtc: coyne: the conflict is between conservatives and their souls

wmtc: why is someone from the house of commons and office of privy council reading my blog for hours?

Progressive bloggers, check your stats.

The Statcounter for wmtc shows “multiple visits spread out over several days” from an IP address in the House of Commons, and a separate visit from the Office of the Privy Council.

This visitor or visitors spent time at several of my “greatest hits” posts, information about my new career, my bio at The Mark, various essays, and a good deal of time searching for “ndp cooksville east mississauga kaminker” and “kaminker member ndp”, and the like.

The entry post was this: july 1 2012: national stop harper day. I noticed this post was tweeted

. . . → Read More: wmtc: why is someone from the house of commons and office of privy council reading my blog for hours?

wmtc: marxism 2012 program notes: the quebec student strike, or, why every canadian needs to bang on a pan

I want to begin my posts from Marxism 2012 with the Quebec Student Strike, because it’s currently the most important progressive development unfolding in Canada.

By now it should be obvious that the Quebec student strike is not only a student strike and is not only about Quebec. It should be obvious, if the corporate media wasn’t ignoring, minimizing, scoffing at, or narrowly spinning this major story.

I posted ten things everyone should know about the Quebec student strike, cribbed from the Montreal Media Coop. It’s a good list, and the full story is worth reading. But here’s

. . . → Read More: wmtc: marxism 2012 program notes: the quebec student strike, or, why every canadian needs to bang on a pan

wmtc: blackout speakout a success: government truthspeak squad dispatched to spread lies

I can’t find exact numbers on how many websites and blogs went dark in yesterday’s BlackoutSpeakout campaign, but conservative mainstream media is saying that more than 500 websites and 18,000 people participated.

Another marker of success is the government’s reaction: 10 Members of Parliament were dispatched to media events to, Joe Oliver said, “set the record straight”. That is, to counter the truth with lies. Bob Rae described it as a “truly Orwellian moment“.

Resisting this majority government can feel frustrating. But the fight has broad, mainstream support, and it’s picking up steam every day. When your opponent

wmtc: mainf casserole toronto, 30 may 2012