Workers must do our part to Stop Harper!
Happy Labour Day!
In Stephen Harper’s Canada, we keep enumerating the things we’re losing: meaningful legislative debate, evidence-based policy, public science, a free and open society, among other things. But what happens if we go too long with a slow erosion of the features that make our society vibrant? What happens if we let the right wing continue to teach us that we shouldn’t expect anything meaningful from government?
What happens if young Canadians grow up without a sense of what used to be the Canadian birthright: Medicare, the CPP, and (Read more…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
A little bit of civil terrorism keeps the population docile, afraid of irrational and unjust behaviour from law enforcement [sic] but hey, it helps us all live more peacefully because if you’re not a terrorist, you have nothing to fear from police terrorism via unconstitutional and racially discriminatory persecution. Right?
“We’re going to go out there and violate some rights.” Hear the secret police recordings that will take your breath away. In a bad way.
via Meet The 17-Year-Old Who Blew The Lid Off Racial Profiling With His iPod.
And if you’re in NYC, check out the NY (Read more…)
Journalists protest the erosion of freedom of expression in Canada on Feb. 27 in Toronto. Photo Credit: Hiba Zayadin
When I write about soft fascism, I sometimes feel too Canadian. I don’t want to be impolite and talk about hard or old school or 20th century fascism because frankly, when people read that word, they think, “hey, is he talking about Hitler kinda stuff? Ok, then, so it’s not fascism.”
It is though. You don’t have to start a genocide for someone to consider your actions fascist.
It’s a kind, gentler, Canadian-style fascism with a hit of Tom Horton’s (Read more…)
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…)
Some thoughts as we countdown to the reboot of Occupy Vancouver at 615pm tomorrow night at Grandview Park. Come join us with your ideas:
Mine are all about seeking equality and justice: economically, socially, politically and environmentally. Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals is an inspiring classic. Some agree with it, some disagree. Some paint it as the template of Obama tactics [hardly, but still, you should also read this bit below written just after Obama's first inauguration] and some paint it as wholly insufficient. You can read some key excerpts from it here. Then you’ll need to ponder what you (Read more…)
You know you want it!
Someone really crossed the line from whoops, to nuclear codes.
One of the15,000 weekly blog spam comments that never make it to the human eyes stage on this website, accidentally made it through.
Sadly, it is a compendium of all the kinds of faux-sincere blog comments. Which is like Christmas for those who pay attention to the sociology of the internets.
Read at your leisure, and peril. Actual websites deleted to not encourage bad behaviour.
It becomes a mildly deranging mantra of ill. Kind of like neoliberal capitalism.
Remember, Occupy Vancouver reboots at (Read more…)
Emperor Stephen Harper and his double double.
Interesting times indeed.
8 Conservative senators have decided that Emperor Stephen Harper has no clothes. The Emperor has whipped and intimidated his backbench, cabinet and senators for a long time. Senator Hugh Segal stood up to him on bad legislation. Though he left the senate.
Jim Flaherty stood up to him on how bad a public policy that family income splitting would be. I think he quit politics to avoid the idiocy of Harper firing him from his finance ministry to replace him with the lacklustre lapdog Joe Oliver.
Now we have 8 (Read more…)
Once upon a time, before we knew much about ecology and systems theory, corporations just went around raping and pillaging the countryside, polluting whatever they wanted.
Shhh, there’s a secret new law: it’s open season for corporations to rape and pillage our environment.
This came back to me grotesquely in a Mad Men episode a few years ago when Don Draper takes his family out for a picnic in the countryside. When they finished, they packed up to go back to the car to drive home and left all their garbage on the grass. And the sight of that (Read more…)
A few days ago, I wrote about picking May Day as a good time for Occupy Vancouver to reboot itself and catch up with the Occupy Movement’s worldwide #WaveOfAction.
But I think that idea can be bigger, it can be a day for all of Occupy Canada to reboot.
May Day is a good focal point. A tent city at the Vancouver Art Gallery seems to be a distracting fixation. Occupy Wall Street was about people occupying the space of the 1%: Wall Street. In Vancouver, that is not the Art Gallery. It is a fantastic rallying point, (Read more…)
#PMSH goes #BananaRepublic: the (un) #FairElectionsAct lets incumbents SUPERVISE their own election! pic.twitter.com/SG3IT8GMAz #cdnpoli
— Politics, Re-Spun (@PoliticsReSpun) April 6, 2014
Just how stupid does Stephen Harper think we are?
He thinks that we’re fine with the idea that incumbent parties should be able to pick the poll supervisors in the next election.
I kid you not.
This kind of contempt for democracy and embrace of corruption is the worst part of this brand new [un]Fair Elections Act.
This is the kind of thing for which Occupy Vancouver and Occupy Canada should be occupying every single Conservative (Read more…)
We need to think about two things for this Friday’s Occupy Movement reboot in the Worldwide #WaveOfAction:
When thinking about pursuing social, political and economic equality, what is the list of things we need to change, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally? Who do we need to build coalitions with to listen to them, support them, empower them; and who will convene the meetings?
And instead of wondering who’s got your back, figure out whose back you need to protect.
There are two days left. No rush, because Friday is just the start of the 3-month Wave that culminates on (Read more…)
If you want to know what the Occupy Movement wants, it’s equality: economic, political and social. That shows up in many necessary changes to society, politics and the economy.
As the movement reboots for the 3-month Wave of Action starting on Friday, Occupiers around the world are planning to re-assemble at the former Occupy sites to roll up their sleeves.
And in the lead up to the Wave, corporate media and mothercorp aren’t reporting on it. The Wave doesn’t appear to be sending out press releases, but at the same time, journalists aren’t up to speed. Or, with corporate media (Read more…)
In the good old days, we used to be able to bring babies in strollers to protests/rallies/occupations opposing wars based on lies [Iraq] or psychotic arms races.
In the good old days, you didn’t have to worry about being assaulted or beaten to death by the police, or having your children apprehended while you are put under arrest for assembling in public, following our constitutional rights.
Our slide into soft fascism includes the chill effect. Even though YOU may have not yet been arbitrarily arrested or beaten by the police doesn’t mean that increasing arbitrary police brutality doesn’t reduce people’s (Read more…)
Roll up your sleeves, and don’t forget your kazoos!
They say that laughter is good for the soul. But that’s hard when the 1% are crippling people’s hopes and dreams for economic security and stability in their lives.
That said, laughter is good for the soul. And just like no revolution succeeds without dancing, no Occupy exists without laughter.
And it’s just convenient that much of the 1%’s structure of the world is laughable if we want to talk about what a worthwhile civilization looks like.
So let’s look at what laughter, Occupy-style, looks like. And remember, Occupy reboots in (Read more…)
Occupy Returns! This Friday!
Ladies and gentlemen, citizens of the world, the 99%: Occupy Wall St. returns on Friday.
And not for one day. But we’re starting with 3 months. Let’s call it a trial marriage.
After all, if it fails, the despotic corporate totalitarians who run the world will continue to steal our money and make everyone all too intimately familiar with the word “precariat.”
Here are 8 reasons why you should be thrilled with this, as I am:
The exciting details of Occupy, version 2, are here.
And here are my 8 reasons:
I’ve been hoping (Read more…)
Five police beat and kill Luis Rodriguez.
You know you’re living in an increasingly terrorized state when the police kill for no good reason. Sure there are extenuating circumstances, but that should lead to caution, not an impulse to deadly violence.
That impulse marks the increased tendency/willingness of the police to kill for no good reason, and an increasing tone of terror that emanates from those in authority.
Read who the police have unjustifiably killed lately:
In Vancouver, the RCMP killed a distraught man who at times was brandishing a stapler. But mostly he was just distressed. There have been (Read more…)
Once upon a time, we were taught to envy and respect our “betters,” like the rich.
They’re taking our money and throwing us under the bus every day. And it’s not even just the super-rich or those in America, it’s the aspirational rich; they’re just as toxic.
This stops now, it’s time to ramp up the Occupy Movement again, and for good this time:
The super-rich of the 21st century no longer think that you and I are needed for their continued success.
And in some ways, they have given up on America, period.
As Paul Buchheit brilliantly (Read more…)
So Canada is leaving its occupation of Afghanistan.
I never liked the mission. I never liked the context. I never liked the propaganda. I never liked the transformation of some kind of Canada into this occupying Canada.
162 killed and 2,179 wounded? But here’s the very very hard question. Who is the government NOT counting? They are the people the government is actively disowning, to the shame of all of us.
I’ll tell you who some of them are:
They are the human casualties of our new flashy militarism:
they are the veterans whose pensions have been replaced with lump (Read more…)
If the 1% has Russell Brand killed, we will see it in the corporate media as a drug OD relapse, or a freak accident.
He is dangerous because he fearlessly tells the truth and challenges pretence.
Let’s examine this in some detail here [with video]:
His brain works twice as fast as most brilliant people I’ve encountered in my life. He is the socio-political heir of George Carlin. He speaks truth to power AND the masses. And frankly, WE’VE FORGOTTEN THAT THE MASSES ARE THE POWER. He is sober, so no one can credit his speedy speaking style on (Read more…)
I keep writing about soft fascism. Why is that, anyway?
Soft fascism is a process of anti-democratic governing that is not as overtly totalitarian or authoritarian as more historically memorable fascist states. Soft fascist governing has features like:
corrupt electoral processes legislative tactics that undermine democratic engagement warrantless monitoring of citizens limiting the time that legislatures sit silencing of public servants disregarding court rulings against legislative abuses criminalizing dissent
Naomi Wolf’s 2007 book, The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, and her article in the UK’s Guardian newspaper helped begin an analysis of how (Read more…)
I apologize in advance, British Columbia.
This will be the week from hell, and it started yesterday while we were all Family Day-ing. Hold your breath:
Yesterday, the Conservative Soft Fascist Party of Canada rammed through the “Fair (sic) Elections Act” that will further protect us from the possibility of fair elections into the future. The next Fair Elections Act will likely give corporations the vote. Because why not, they’re people too! Actually, they’re more human than us in so many ways. And it’s actually called corporatism, not so much the fascism. In recent weeks we heard that the (Read more…)