Montreal Simon: Omar Khadr’s Important Message to Canadians

It's been more than twelve years since he was horribly wounded in a firefight in Afghanistan. 

Then jailed and tortured in that hellhole called Guantanamo, even though he was a child soldier. Then betrayed by his own government. 

He is Canada's most famous prisoner, and yet for all that time he has also been its most invisible citizen. Never seen and never heard from. 

But now at last Omar Khadr has had a chance to address his fellow Canadians. And his words couldn't be more moving. 
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Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper’s Terror Story and the Lies the Media Told Us

You think you know the story. You've seen the pictures on TV a million times. Over and over again.

You've seen how the media have tried to explain what happened, and how they've framed the narrative, complete with more heroes than you can count.

You know what Stephen Harper wants you to believe, and why. 

You've seen how many Canadians have reacted, with an explosion of grief and emotion… 

You think you know the story, until it starts to unravel.
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Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper’s Sinister Plan to Suppress Our Freedoms

I knew Stephen Harper wouldn't waste any time exploiting the senseless tragedy on Parliament Hill.

I knew he'd strike when many people were still in shock, emotions were still raw, the MSM in Ottawa was still making it sound like it was Canada's 911. 

And he could still scare some Canadians into believing that our country, and its values, were under attack.

And that only he can save us… 
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Montreal Simon: The Assault on Democracy: When Fear is the Enemy

It was for me strangely enough, the most terrifying moment of a nightmarish day. Standing in a crowded subway station, waiting for a train to take me home, watching the fear on people's faces.

It was only a few hours after most of them must have heard about, or seen what had happened on Parliament Hill.

So I can understand why they were so deathly quiet. Many were probably still stunned by what they had seen. Or the idea that it could happen here. 
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Montreal Simon: Harper’s Canada and the Attack on Parliament Hill

I'm sure you've all seen the pictures of this nightmare day on Parliament Hill, this criminal assault on our democracy. 

So all I have to say tonight is this:

(1) To the crazy fanatics who killed a young soldier today and another one in Quebec the other day: you and your kind will not intimidate us.

And we will remember Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and  Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent​…

Long after we have forgotten their cowardly killers. 
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Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper, the Terrorist Scare, and the Police State

I warned that Stephen Harper was looking for a way to scare Canadians, so he could try to stampede them into believing that only a Great Strong Leader like himself could save them.

So he could use fear to try to save himself, and turn this broken country into a police state.

Well today he got his "terrorist incident." 

A 25-year-old man who injured two soldiers in a hit and run and was later fatally shot by police in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., was known to federal authorities as someone who had been "radicalized," according to the RCMP and (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Leona Aglukkaq and the Ratty Trouble With the RCMP

We already knew that for almost five dismal years Leona Aglukkaq was the worst Health Minister this country has ever known.

Having done absolutely nothing to improve our medicare system, preferring to let it wither on the vine, while embarrassing us at conferences all over the world.

We know she's worst and most shameful Environment Minister in the history of any country. A climate change denier, from the Arctic.

But who knew she was also one of the most aggressive pit bulls, or attack chihuahuas, in the House of Commons? 
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Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Monstrous Spy Machine

We know he loves total control. We know he rules by fear. We know he likes to muzzle his opponents.

But did you know that Stephen Harper has turned his entire government into a massive Spy Machine?

Ottawa has kept tabs on hundreds of demonstrations across Canada and around the world over the last eight years, from peaceful protests to public university lectures to riots. Newly released documents show about 800 public demonstrations and events were observed and reported on by government departments and law enforcement agencies since 2006.

And when you look at the list of those on his (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Ferguson Is The Symptom, Not The Disease

Events in Ferguson, MO this past week have been deeply disturbing, if not downright distressing.  I don’t particularly need to recount them in any detail.

Precisely what happened, and who thought what is no longer even relevant.  In the public perception, a white police officer has gunned down an unarmed black youth in cold blood.  Talk about a trifecta of cultural currents that a prominent in the social malaise that is the southern US.  Racism, gun violence, youth crime all rolled into one little ball.

To say that the police and other civic decision makers in Ferguson have handled this (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: That Shining Bunker on the Hill

What else is there for a genuine, honest to God-Fearin’, Warfare State?  Once you’ve militarized your economy, militarized your foreign policy, militarized your society with M-16s under every other bed, why would you not militarize your law enforcement agencies?  What is that beyond a sign of progress toward the evolution of illiberal democracy, nascent oligarchy as prescribed by the ascent of corporatist rule? 

Ferguson, Missouri is not an aberration.  It’s no fluke. That’s what they tell you but it’s not true.   It’s a calculated atrocity that lies in wait in any number of hot spots (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: The Next Step In Harper’s Police State

So, Harper wants to connect the CRA with the RCMP.
Chantal Bernier, Canada’s interim privacy commissioner, says she is concerned by the government’s proposal to allow Canada Revenue Agency officials to voluntarily hand over taxpayer information to police if they have reason to believe such information is evidence of a crime. 

In her testimony before the House finance committee on Wednesday, Bernier urged the committee to properly demonstrate that information sharing between auditors and law enforcement is needed. 

“That is exceptional and therefore should be buttressed by an empirical demonstration of necessity,” she said. 

The proposal, which (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Facebook Creepers

He seeks total control. His dark world is full of enemies and he must know them ALL.

His slogan is "Knowledge is Power, Ignorance is Strength. Where he knows everything about us, but we don't know anything about him.

He's building a massive security apparatus, he's been trying to violate our privacy for YEARS.

And threatening us if we don't surrender…

So I suppose we shouldn't be surprised to discover him with his pants down creeping out our social media. 
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Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Shadow of the Police State

He has committed so many crimes against Canada and his values it's hard to list them all, let alone categorize them. 

But without a doubt his worst crime is his never-ending assault on our democracy.

And in that regard nothing he has done is as sinister as his plan to suppress the vote with his new so-called Fair Elections Act.

For what makes it so sinister is that it is so deliberate, and it is leading us into dangerous territory.
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Montreal Simon: The Week Stephen Harper’s Cons Raped Our Democracy

Ever since he came to power he has been stealthily gnawing away at the fabric of our country.

Waiting until we are asleep, or distracted, to gobble up another little bleeding chunk of what was once Canada.

But what Stephen Harper has done in just the last week, is now threatening to kill our democracy.
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The Cracked Crystal Ball II: On Mass Surveillance

The revelation this week that CSEC has the capability to monitor the movements of Canadians simply by gathering some metadata from the traffic that goes by on public networks raises a lot of interesting questions that are worth discussing.

In an e-mail conversation on the matter, the following question was raised:

And I see that in a debate in the House today Nicholson (Defence) says that the documents don't support that Canadians were targeted. But if WIFI generally is being monitored how can Canadians avoid not being targeted? 

It's a good and legitimate question.  One that I wish had (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…)

Montreal Simon: One Day in the Darkness of Harperland

It was cold and dark tonight by the lake where I live. Like it usually is in late November, in Canada.

But at least for the first time there was a sprinkling of snow on the ground to brighten up the gloom.

Which is more than I can say about Harperland, where it just keeps getting darker and more dangerous.

For just look what we learned about that monstrous regime today.
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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 […]

Montreal Simon: The Con Regime and the Surveillance State

Normally the sight of the moon rising over Mount Royal on a beautiful cloudless night would make me whoop with joy at the thought that I had finally escaped from Harperland.

If only for a few precious moments.

Or smile at the sight of the Muslim crescent and the Christian cross sharing the mountain, after the way the hideously flawed PQ Charter of Values has divided the province.

But somehow last night I found myself shivering in the cool night air, staring up at the inky darkness, and wondering again where Stephen Harper is taking this country.

Because this rings hollow.
(Read more…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: US government shutdown, and other fairy tales and political theatre

I’m not sure what to make of the hoopla going on in the US right now. I’m inclined to think it’s all just political theatre, as Gerald Celente calls it, designed to distract the people from the real issues – the central one being, who controls the government and the nation? Wall Street, the big […]

Writings of J. Todd Ring: The deeper reasons for the “war on drugs”

There is a deeper reason for the war on drugs, which is the central reason for the policy, even outweighing profits from private prisons and seizure of property by law enforcement officers, both of which no doubt are also significant and strong motivations for keeping the “war on drugs” going. Nearly thirty years ago, Chomsky […]