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Dead Wild Roses: Excerpts from “Letter to a Young Army Ranger” – Rory Fanning

A brief note. I think that this essay should be required reading for all those who consider joining the armed forces and participating in the cycle of terrorism and destruction that currently dominates our foreign policy and geo-political goals here in the West. Many thanks to Tom’s Dispatch for hosting the essay.

“Why The War on Terror Shouldn’t Be Your Battle.”

[…]

Let’s start that unpacking process with racism: That was the first and one of the last times I heard the word “enemy” in battalion. The usual word in my unit was “Hajji.” Now, Hajji (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: More of Harper’s First Nations Racism

The federal government tells CBC News that 84 First Nations have until Wednesday to post their audited financial statements for the last fiscal year, including the salaries and expenses of their chiefs and councillors.

Pam Palmater is one of the most important voices in Canada in this young century so far. Here’s another reason why:

Below she calls out some racism in the form of settler-occupied hypocrisy.

The first nations, so go the racists, are incompetent and corrupt. Like the unions and the poor. That’s why we have Bill C-377 to make the unions pay for working for working people. (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Lest we forget

Sixteen million people died as a result of Word War One. Of these, as many as 64,990 were Canadian. One of them, a Manitoban named Sidney Halliday, was recently identified as being among the remains of five dead Canadians located in Hallu, France in 2006-07.

One suspects the efforts of our Department of National Defence (sic) to notify family members is motivated more by the Harper government’s campaign to glorify war and militarism than it is to offer condolences or compassion to Mr. Halliday’s surviving descendants.

This November 11th, let us remember Mr. Halliday and the millions who perished (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Are Your White Male Entitlements Maiming Your Vote this Month?

I’m not going to argue that using an Intersectionality lens in the municipal election in 2 weeks will make your voting choices perfectly easy.

But I will say that your white male entitlements have likely contributed to worse choices in the past. Including not voting.

When you read this entire article you will see the lie of neutrality and non-partisanship.

Don’t perpetuate your perhaps inadvertent oppression.

As we approach the municipal election on November 15th, potential voters may feel unsure about which party or candidate represents the best interests of their community. One way to begin sifting through the different (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Russell Brand Re-Spins Stephen Harper, Expertly

Politics, Re-Spun hereby bestows honourary Canadian and Politics, Re-Spun citizenship upon Russell Brand for his precise and effective re-spinning of Steve Harper and his soft fascist, neo-conservative manipulation of most of last week.

And we all need to think more carefully about “convenient murders.”

His new passport is in the mail.

Ottawa Killings: Who Wins? Russell Brand The Trews (E174) – YouTube.

August 11, 2014 Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial! (1) September 14, 2008 How Many More Wars Do You Want, Anyway? (1) September 6, 2013 Chemical Weapons in Syria? Merely a Pretext [Iran, Shhh.] (1) (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Russell Brand Re-Spins Stephen Harper, Expertly

Politics, Re-Spun: Harper, the Dog of War

For Harper, 6 CF-18s in Kuwait, all war all the time, phoning up the Pentagon asking where we can become more militarily engaged…all these things lead to a war posture, including a soldier being killed at home.

A war posture is good for Harper’s base and makes Canadians more scared so that we more more disinclined to vote him out next year.

Don’t change horses in midstream, as the sick spin goes.

Expect Harper to manufacture/inflame more political strife and militarism in the months leading up to the federal election.

All of us should be profoundly uncomfortable that any politician (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Sunday Religious Disservice – Religious Child Abuse

Our imperial conquests in the Middle East are, of course, busily blowing up in our face. The new normal is a murderous state of higgledy-piggledy brought on by us wiping out the quasi-stable societies that had kept the peace (of sorts). Because nothing says we love peace like bombing the shit of a country we now have religious extremists attempting to establish a new Caliphate in the ruins of our bastion of democratic freedom imperial conquest.

So anyhow, once you cripple the umbrella of supports (infrastructure and otherwise) that keep a civil secular society running it comes as (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Video: The war in Eastern Ukraine and the New Cold War

In April 2014, the government that had come into power two months earlier in Ukraine launched what it termed an “anti-terrorist operation” against the people of Eastern Ukraine.

The easterners were opposed to the government’s plans for economic association with Western Europe and were demanding a greater voice in central government decisions.

That political conflict, NATO’s backing of Kyiv against Moscow, and the large-scale humanitarian crisis created by the war have shaken the political foundations of Europe and ushered in a new Cold War.

Roger Annis is a Vancouver-based writer who attended an antiwar conference in Yalta, Crimea on July (Read more…)

drive-by planet: USA #1 when it comes to ‘violence and preparations for violence’

Interesting article on Stop the War coalition site this week entitled Yes it’s true, the United States really is the greatest country in the world – but in what? 

The article includes stats and links to demonstrate that when it comes to “violence and preparations for violence” the USA is indeed the undisputed global leader.

In 2013, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the U.S. government accounted for 37 percent of world military expenditures, putting it far ahead of all other nations. (The two closest competitors, China and Russia, accounted for 11 percent (Read more…)

Sketchy Thoughts: Justice for Jennifer Laude

on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://ift.tt/1sRiLW7

Politics, Re-Spun: What I Am Thankful For

This weekend, I am thankful for folks in Seattle who know how to transform the imperialist Columbus Day into Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

May we all learn this for next year!

“We are all citizens in a democracy, we are all here to work with each other, and by making this Indigenous People’s Day, we are adding something, we are not taking something away. We can both recognize our strengths.”

“We are not reveling in the pain of our past, but rejoicing in the celebration of a triumph—the voice of the indigenous people who are saying ‘we are still (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Harper, Militarism and the New Toonie

Harper continues to ignore, demean and disrespect soldiers while once again sending them into one of his neo-conservative “wars,” which is good for a PM heading into an election, needing to solidifying his base that loves him to kill the evildoers.

But his long-term plan to militarize Canadian culture [Winnipeg Jets logo, honouring military at professional sports, etc.] has stepped up to another level with this WWII photo on the newest toonie.

Fascism glorifies war. Soft fascism makes it look like it’s perfectly natural.

Think critically about the steady creep of militarism and what it does to our culture.

(Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: US Support of Fundamental Islam – The Alternative is Worse.

In the crazy fun house world of imperial politics nationalist regimes are less preferable than radical religious ones. Noam Chomsky and Andre Vltchek discuss the motivations of empire in the Middle East in this selection from the book: On Western Terrorism – From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare.

“Noam Chomsky:

“Anyhow, going back to the Middle East after World War II. The British role in Iran was reduced and the US began to take over. IN Iraq in 1958, there was a so-called independent government, but it was basically British-run, and it was overthrown in a military coup. (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Obama’s Estonia claim that ‘Russia trying to reclaim lands lost in the 19th century’ funny and wrong

Since the crisis in Ukraine made the headlines Russia has been cast as the villain with predictable stereotypes and misconceptions about things Russian showing up on MSM. From a Russian perspective a lot of it must seem clueless, tiresome or outright offensive but such “insights” add to a tabloid narrative that gets very little critical scrutiny. The tendency to caricature Russia isn’t just a tabloid pastime, it shows up in the commentary of politicians in sometimes surprising ways.

Obama and his speech writers could use some remedial assistance when it comes to Russian history.

During a brief stop-over in Estonia (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Middle East Backgrounder – Mission Accomplished…

The chickens of western colonialism are coming home to roost.

Excerpt from “The Guns of August” – by Matthew Stevenson via Counterpunch

 

“Doubts about the sincerity of Americans in Iraq probably began when President Ronald Reagan dispatched his former national security advisor Robert C. “Bud” McFarlane to Tehran in 1986 with a cake and a Bible and proposed swapping arms for American hostages in Lebanon.

 

Until that moment, in the long war between Iran and Iraq, Saddam was our man, a bulwark against Shiite expansion in the Gulf, a non-fundamental (i.e., someone not adverse to girls (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial!

Steve Harper, the greatest threat to Canadian security in the modern era.

Happy August! Happy Day!

I have a few comments about this, the 1,000th editorial at Politics, Re-Spun. But you can read them below, about my sabbatical plan, new visions for this almost 12-year-old website, and other things.

But at the top of this post, I have something slightly more urgent to delve into before I check out for a break.

That great sick freak, Donald Rumsfeld is generally credited with popularizing the concept of unknown unknowns to our modern/post-modern era. Being a sick freak, he spun that bafflement (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Israel: Rogue State

Why It Matters That Norman Finkelstein Just Got Arrested Outside the Israeli Consulate

Israel has the right to defend itself.

Arguably, so does every nation.

Israel, however, gets a free pass for going well beyond defending itself.

I’ll leave the West Bank alone right now.

Gaza:

Is an open-air prison, walled off by Israel. Is under an economic embargo. Is barred from importing and exporting. Recently saw its Gaza Ark bombed. Twice. Has had its children, hospitals, university, homes, beach soccer-playing teen boys, and hundreds of civilians systemically targeted and bombed/murdered. Makes people feel uncomfortable when they see pictures of (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: BC’s Deep Deep Racism, Shhhh!

Shhh, this is uncomfortable. It might make you ashamed.

Hopefully it will anger you to action?

First Nations burial grounds in BC have less protection than settler cemeteries.

Along with desecration at a Musqueam burial site, someone is building their home on top of another burial ground on Grace Islet off Saltspring Island. On stilts [see the horrible details below]. And the person building this home was once fined $150,000 for putting fake safety labels on retail products. Sigh. Morality much? Ever?

The minister responsible said in the legislature that Grace Islet’s “owner” “and the archaeology branch had (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Occupy Movement Has Changed the Narrative, But We’re Not Done

Recently, with the WEF spending the last few years acknowledging global income inequality is a problem, I’ve declared a kind of victory for the Occupy Movement: getting the lexicon on the 1% and inequality on the tongues of the sly gazillionaires who rule the world, and into mass consumption.

Now we see that the CEO of Goldman Sachs, one of the biggest cancers of neoliberal capitalism and a prime mover of the 2008 crash, has admitted that income inequality is a problem and a destabilizer. Sadly, though not surprisingly, in this interview he also trotted out typical neoliberal “realities” (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The 1% Has More Solidarity Than We Do

In Davos, the 1% rule the world. Literally. They also have the guns.

The 1% are claiming we have it out for them; that if we don’t tone down the rhetoric and stop calling them names like “the contemptuous rich,” we might end up starting a class war. But they already know there’s a class war, and it’s been going on for generations. Today, the rich are winning because they have more solidarity than we do. The year 2014 is a battleground and the currency is solidarity. If we don’t start organizing together, quickly, and far more effectively, the contemptuous (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: My Deepest Apology to Stephen Harper, Military Genius

Yes?

For years I have been openly mocking our prime minister. He believes he’s the combined reincarnation of General Douglas MacArthur and Winston Churchill, often touting things like the Canadian victory in the War of 1812, even though Canada wouldn’t exist for another 55 years. Pish posh.

In reality, I have criticized Harper for being an international relations buffoon, something more like Ian McKellen’s Richard III.

But despite having criticized war-mongering Harper [who nevertheless abuses and neglects military veterans and their mental health disabilities] for deciding to buy a bunch of F-35 fighter jets, I shouldn’t have.

I criticized the (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Avoiding Another Imbroglio: A Mound Of Sound Guest Post

This note from the Mound of Sound accompanied the post that follows:

Some of the course material I’ve been going through lately got me thinking about the conflicts raging in Syria and Iraq. I got thinking about them in the context of water and food security as well as climate change. Our corporate media really drops the ball in these situations. They look for one convenient villain, give it the pack journalism treatment, and then serve it up for public consumption. I have been writing for some time about growing tensions between Iraq and its upstream neighbours, Turkey and Syria, (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How the Tsilhqot’in Land Title Ruling Can Help Kill Enbridge

Watch Pam Palmater’s response to the SCC ruling. Click above.

Stephen Harper had about a week to enjoy the glory of his remarkably understated whispery notification that the Enbridge climate killing pipeline will proceed.

Yesterday the Supreme Court shut down the prime minister, which they have a tendency to do because he so flagrantly intends to violate it. So they keep slapping his hand.

With the Tsilhqot’in ruling, our hope that first nations are our last line of defense against more climate killing tarsands development, has been greatly augmented.

In the coming weeks we will see how this may be (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: What Does Soft Fascism Look Like These Days?

We don’t see brown shirts and jackboots, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t seeing the de-democratization of our society.

In Vancouver this month, armed police with guns drawn, raided a house because they suspected people inside not of being terrorists, but of spray painting “No Pipelines” all over the place.

Read Police raid house in East Vancouver, with guns drawn, on pretext of anti-pipeline graffiti | Warrior Publications.

But in Harper’s Canada, opposing pipelines is deemed by the climate change deniers as an act of economic terrorism, which we will likely see in a far more pronounced fashion if in (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Occupy Vancouver Reboots Tonight!

Occupy Vancouver reboots tonight to join the worldwide #WaveOfAction that began on April 4 and runs [at least] to July 4, 2014.

We will meet in Grandview Park on Commercial Drive in East Vancouver, unceded Coast Salish territories.

615pm is the start time, though honestly, I’ll be there a bit early. With my Occupy Vancouver sign taped to my hockey stick. In some convenient part of the park, since there will be a May Day march arriving there for a rally at the same time.

Things to consider:

Inspiration for this venue came from funkypenzz. Vision [mine anyway]: Seeking equality (Read more…)