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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…)

Politics, Re-Spun: People Want BC Corporations to Pay More Tax

…or do they?

Every year the BC government consults with citizens on what should go into their budget.

Last year over 25% of the online survey respondents said new revenue should come from increased corporate taxes, triple the rate of people who thought personal income taxes should go up.

But there are problems with that; see below:

Programs and services are largely funded by tax revenues, and government works to balance where the money comes from. How would you generate one new dollar of tax revenue from among the sources below?

- from Report on the 2014 Budget Consultations

Problems:

(Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Perma-War is Soft Fascism; Reject It!

When the government terrorizes the citizens, they are the enemy.

Not all allies have decided that international cachet means flying combat jets. Many are contributing humanitarian aid, an option often derided by Harper’s Conservatives as sending over some blankets.

Germany’s Angela Merkel is one who has chosen blankets over bombs and no one is suggesting that Germany’s global voice will be diminished.

Go to war or be a free rider? “That is small thinking, facile, divisive and unworthy,’’ said Liberal defence critic Joyce Murray.

When called upon to act, said Justice Minister Peter MacKay, we respond.

But surely, when called (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Stop Persecuting The Rich, You Stinkers!

Rich folks, corporations and capitalists are feeling persecuted AGAIN!

George Monbiot explains that we [citizens in pseudo-democracies] are attacking them and their right to a free market as well as their right to be free from disloyal politicians pursuing policy goals that serve voting human people instead of businesses.

Here is an excerpt; click the link at the bottom for the rest of it:

The more power you possess, the more insecure you feel. The paranoia of power drives people towards absolutism. But far from curing them of the conviction that they are threatened and beleaguered, it becomes only stronger.

(Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Against Collective Forgetting

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…)

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: 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: 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: A Little Bit of Civil Terrorism…

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?

Nope:

“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…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Occupy, For Democracy

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…)

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…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Occupy Vancouver Reboots Tomorrow: A Primer

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…)

Politics, Re-Spun: When Blog Comment Spam Goes Bad

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.

Push back!

Remember, Occupy Vancouver reboots at (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Help Conservative Senators Stop Harper’s Banana Republic

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…)

Politics, Re-Spun: BC’s New Landscape and Ecology Eradication Projects!

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…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Occupy Canada For May Day, With Bananas

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.

Here’s how:

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…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Welcome to Stephen Harper’s Banana Republic

#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…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Honing In On Friday’s #WaveOfAction

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…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Corporate Media on Occupy’s Wave of Action? Crickets.

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…)

Politics, Re-Spun: We Won’t Let Police Brutality Quell Occupy’s Wave of Action

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…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Laughing at the 1%, Occupy-Style

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…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Occupy Wall Street Returns. Friday!

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…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Random Terrorism From North American Police

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…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Stop. Obeying. The. Rich. NOW!

Once upon a time, we were taught to envy and respect our “betters,” like the rich.

No more.

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…)