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Montreal Simon: The G20 Summit and the Day of Reckoning

It's hard to believe that it's been more than four years since the G20 Summit in Toronto, and my neighbourhood became a police state.A dark sinister place where more than a thousand people were arrested, and caged like animals.

For no good reason.And yes, the wheels of justice grind slowly.Read more »

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Great Benito Leader

There is an old internet adage called Godwin's Law, that dictates that among other things, one can't call Stephen Harper and his Cons Nazis.And I don't, because it also wouldn't be decent. It would diminish the deaths and the suffering of Hitler's many victims. And of course, because it's not strictly accurate eh?You really can't compare our bumbling Con fascists to those genocidal Nazi maniacs.But Harper is a maniac, and he is killing our country. So I'm really glad to see that at least it's now OK to compare him to Benito Mussolini. Read more »

Montreal Simon: The Day Stephen Harper Was Accused of Flirting with Fascism

I always knew he'd lead this country to a very dark place, from the day he came to office.And the very first thing he did was order the removal of the words "women's rights" from thousands of government documents.I knew then that he was an alien beast like we had never seen before. And now of course it's even worse. The country is bleeding from a thousand wounds, and he's crazy desperate, and trying to scare us into submission.Read more »

Parchment in the Fire: Front National wins seats in French senate for first time | World news | The Guardian

Front National wins seats in French senate for first time | World news | The Guardian.

Marine le Pen hailed her party’s success as ‘an absolutely historic victory’ and a ‘breath of fresh air in a rather sleepy chamber’. Photograph: Phililppe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

The far-right Front National (FN) scored a historic victory in elections to the French senate on Sunday, winning its first ever seats in the upper chamber as the ruling Socialists and their leftwing allies lost their majority to rightwing parties.

The shock victory of Stéphane Ravier from Marseilles and David Rachline from Fréjus confirmed the party’s political (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Putin leads Russia from Communism to Fascism

Russian president Vladimir Putin is on record as saying that the collapse of the Soviet Union was one of the 20th century’s major geopolitical disasters. Some might say this suggests he is an unregenerate communist but that, I suspect, is not the case. He was comfortable enough in the USSR, serving the state as a member of the infamous KGB, but I doubt he misses communism very much. The empire,

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: What Happens When a Tyrant Holds the Purse Strings and a Harridan Carries the Purse

During the Haiti earthquake relief mission, columnist Carol Goar wrote of a disturbing practice by the Harper government, when it came to charitable organizations.

We had already seen funding slashed to KAIROS, a Religious organization that advocated for the poor and disenfranchised, because they spoke out against Israeli aggression in Palestine.

But they were not the only group in Stephen Harper’s crosshairs, brought to light during the Haiti crisis. Said Goar: A shadow hangs over Canada’s exemplary earthquake relief mission in Haiti. Several of the charities working heroically to deliver food, clean water, health care and shelter to (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Fascism has a long history in Ukraine: 2-part historical review

 Below left: Hero of Ukrainian hardline nationalists – Stepan Bandera  Below right: Bandera in Nazi uniform

In order to get some background on the crisis in Ukraine, it’s important to take the historical record into account – both recent and long standing. This is especially important given slanted western media coverage, with Russia being painted as the chief instigator and aggressor. In actual fact a close look at the sequence of events leading up to the Kiev coup in February of this year tells quite a different story with respect to who was behind the crisis.

In an article (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Signs

While I have never been one to use the term fascist profligately, the creeping authoritarianism that has been the hallmark of the Harper regime gives pause for reconsideration. As the above graphic shows, and as any well-informed citizen knows, the cabal has been intent for many years on tearing down confidence in some institutions while exalting others. The nuances, variety and diversity of a healthy society are discouraged, even suppressed. Cultivating a black-and-white mentality within the population makes it easier to maintain and further control.

Perhaps the most recent and egregious examples of institutional attack has been Harper’s attempt to (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Pro-Kiev radicals linked to lethal attack on Trade Unions House in Odessa: MSM avoids placing blame

Top: Molotov cocktail being thrown at Trade Unions building Odessa Bottom left: A ‘jumper’ tries to escape the inferno

The forty-six people who died in the fire that engulfed the Trade Unions House in Odessa on Friday were victims of an assault on the building by pro-Kiev radicals, a number of whom lobbed Molotov cocktails.

Some 1,500 supporters of the Kiev regime had earlier marched through the center of the city, many of them sporting fascist Right-Sector insignia and carrying bats, chains and shields. They were accompanied by fans of the Chernomorets football club. Chants included Death to Enemies and (Read more…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Corporatism, capitalism and real alternatives: On the power to choose our destiny

Corporatism is simply a more virulent form of capitalism – or a late stage of capitalism: it is what happens when capitalism is left unchecked, to run its own course. First comes the tendency towards ever-increasing concentrations of money, resources and economic power under a capitalist economy, as Marx rightly predicted; then comes crony capitalism, […]

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: More Totalitarianism From The Harper

Just as Harper has been tearing down the apparatus of scientific research that would ordinarily be used by governing parties to make informed policy decisions, the next prong of his attack on reasoned governance in Canada has begun.

It really began in 2012, when the government rolled out a program with specific funding for the CRA to go after charitable organizations that the government suspects of overspending on "political activity".

Read more »

drive-by planet: New government in Kiev not exactly ‘revolutionary’: demonization of Russia

 Top – Kiev government officials / Beneath – billionaire oligarchs  Igor Kolomoyski and  Sergey Taruta

It comes as no surprise that the so-called “democratic  revolution” in Ukraine basically boils down to a change of governing elites. The self-appointed government in Kiev does not herald any sweeping change that could credibly be described as  “revolutionary” or even progressive.  

The new government is prepared to enact austerity conditions that will be part and parcel of any IMF loan package. One reason Yanukovych pulled the plug on EU negotiations was due to the requirement for austerities such as a freeze on salaries (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Con Regime and the Attempted Muzzling of Marc Mayrand

It couldn't have been a more revolting spectacle. Canada's Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand called to testify before a House of Commons committee.To talk about the foul voter suppression bill known as the Fair Elections Act, and the Harper regime's attempts to muzzle him.Only to have the Cons try to muzzle him again, by breaking a deal they had with the opposition, and scheduling a vote in the Commons, just as Mayrand was preparing to address the committee.Which had even the MSM gasping in disbelief.Read more »

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: The Future Of The CPC

Andrew Coyne made an excellent point in his column about the Manning Networking Conference that the Manning Centre is hosting in Ottawa:

So this is what a Conservative convention looks like.  After that bizarre lockdown in Calgary last fall – reporters harassed and penned in at every turn, the prime minister’s defiantly empty speech, the air heavy with self-congratulation and paranoia – the annual Manning Networking conference exudes an altogether different spirit:  thoughtful, open, introspective and conservative.…The party that met in Calgary was not so much the Conservative party as the Harper party.  It was run by and for (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Ukraine’s fascist ‘heroes’ and a bleak new dawn

 Beneath: Banner of Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera hangs in Kiev City Hall /  Yulia Tymoshenko

The forcible removal of Victor Yanukovych’s regime in what has been likened to a “fascist putsch” has led to an unstable and potentially dangerous situation in the Ukraine. Terms such as “democratic revolution” used by MSM to describe what has gone down in Kiev is both naive and misleading. It isn’t unlike the rose-tinted heralding of a democratic revolution in Egypt… even as general SiSi was waiting in the wings to bring down the hammer and female journalists were being subjected to sexual assault by (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Ultra-nationalists and fascist thugs – tools of imperialist designs in Ukraine

The protests in the Ukraine that began last November in Kiev’s Independence Square – the Maidan – were staged to protest president Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to back out of a plan to join a trade agreement with the EU, in preference for joining the Eurasian Customs Union.

As with most political protests on this scale it isn’t a single issue conflict. Underlying the EU issue are a lot of other domestic tensions, some driven by hardline nationalists and far-right elements.

During recent street fighting in Kiev, the majority of protestors appeared to be okay with the role played by the (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Swiss vote on immigration boosts far-right parties through rest of Europe | World news | The Observer

Swiss vote on immigration boosts far-right parties through rest of Europe | World news | The Observer.

When Christian Ragger heard that the Swiss had voted to cap immigration into their country in a referendum last weekend, he was “deeply impressed”, he says. “All over the world, immigration is protected [from being limited]. It required a special courage to vote in that way. This was a typically democratic Swiss action.”

Ragger heads the local branch of the Austrian Freedom party (FPÖ) in its mountainous stronghold of Carinthia, in the south of the country. Once led by the flamboyant (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper, Jimbo Flaherty, and the Fascist Pigs

It had to be one of the most bizarre sights I have ever seen in Question Period. And yet another sign that the Con regime is running out of steam, and Stephen Harper is losing his marbles.

For there was Jimbo Flaherty, on the day after his budget, sitting like a wax figure, or a garden gnome, while Great Ugly Leader answered all the questions directed at his muzzled Finance Minister.

And it does look a lot like the income splitting question is splitting the Con regime. Read more »

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: … It Gets Darker

A break from analyzing Bill C-23 today, but not a break from covering the darkness that is Harper’s shadow.

Today’s instalment comes in the form of the obviously politically motivated witch-hunt that the CRA is engaging in with environmental organizations in this country.  This isn’t particularly new, the Conservatives have been trying to paint the environmental lobby in this country as “terrorists” for years.

Finance Minister Flaherty announced today that the upcoming budget would contain more of the same: “There are some terrorist organizations, there are some organized crime organizations that launder money through charities, and make donations to charities,” (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Putin’s Russia: Where Gay People Are Hunted Like Animals

Well by now I'm sure you've all heard the latest horror story to emerge from Putin's Russia.The story about the brutish Mayor of Sochi Putingrad and his claim that there are no gay people in his corrupt village. And had a good laugh, like I did, when some of them were found hiding in a gay club. Even though they were only a handful.

Read more »

Autonomy For All: Why Do Conservatives Accuse Everyone Of Marxism & Nazism So Much?

Anyone familiar with politics online has encountered the very common strain of right winger (some are “libertarians” instead of conservatives, but I didn’t want to burden the title too much) who run around equating all forms of left wing politics from liberalism, social democrats and other soft-socialists to full bore Marxist-Stalinists, Maoists & (of course, nonsensically) Nazis & fascists.

Why do they do this?  I mean, the distinctions between left-of-centre politics as practiced in the entire rich world set of democracies and those totalitarian ideologies are glaring and numerous.  It can’t be persuasive to anyone who can (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Papers, Citizen!

As if it couldn’t get any worse, the ridiculous paranoia of the Harper regime has surfaced once more in the wake of a sneaky, but peaceful protest in BC.  Senator Runciman wants a law so that protests like this can’t happen again.

“People who sneak into these kinds of events, using phony ID, impersonate others, or conspire with others to do the same, should face indictable offences with serious fines and/or imprisonment,” said Senator Runciman in a written statement sent to the parliamentary press gallery. 

“The decision not to charge two individuals who impersonated wait staff, avoided RCMP security (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Of "Porn Filters" and Agendas

Remember July this year, when Joy Smith stood up in Canada’s Parliament and suggested we should follow the UK’s example and implement a “porn filter”?

Well, Cameron’s filter is about to go live, and as one might have expected, it’s blocking a heck of a lot more than just “adult content” websites:

Included in O2′s “parental control blocklist” are such hotbeds of hardcore porn as Slashdot, EFF, Linux Today, Blogspot, No Starch Press, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, and, of course,Boing Boing. 

A more complete investigation is here.

None of the sites listed above are exactly hotbeds of porn.  In (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: More on Baird and Iran

People, even the media who watch such things, seem mystified by the Harper Government(tm) stance on Iran.

It’s no big surprise, really.  When I took this blog out from under wraps in May, I wrote a lengthy essay describing the “Modern Fascism” that Harper has been cultivating.  On foreign affairs, I wrote the following: Naturally, he would play on this in such a manner as to play up the idea that Canada is being marginalized on the world stage and use that to build up a form an nationalism not unlike what happened in Germany in the post-WWI years as (Read more…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: NAFTA, “Free Trade” and the TPP: Fast-Track To Full Corporate Rule

“Twenty years ago, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed into law. At the time, advocates painted a rosy picture of booming U.S. exports creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and economic development in Mexico, which would bring the struggling country in line with its wealthier northern neighbors. Two decades later, those […]