“Imagine a single person who always thought they were better than everyone else—what kind of relationships would they have? What would they be like to be around? Imagine that multiplied by the power of a nation, and it can spell big trouble.”
When the morons assaulted our country and its values like a pack of wolves, made ignorance and petty chauvinism a virtue, and shamed us in the eyes of the world.
It has been a long, torturous journey for the boy with a big smile who is now an immobile, bloated 37-year-old man whose scarred fingers are twisted into angry fists and has stumps where his feet were burned away so long ago. His skin falls off in chunks, he has hepatitis C and has lost all his teeth.
All but forgotten and terribly lonely.
“Joe’s hanging on, I don’t know how...But it’s so lonely for him. Other than me, hardly anyone ever comes to visit now.
He said the other day that he doesn’t want to wake up any more. When he goes to sleep at night, he hopes he won’t wake up."
It's such a sad story. And to make matters even worse it reminds me of the way some of our wounded soldiers are treated.
Hailed as heroes, but hidden from view, then slowly forgotten. Or worse.
The administrative review is expected to start in the spring but sources say as many as 18 of the soldiers, some severely wounded, could be asked to leave.
Oh boy. If I lived in B.C. I would try to visit Joey Philion.
Just to say hi, and tell him what I would tell those soldiers.
Some people have short memories. Some people are bastards.
Uh oh. It looks like Stephen Harper is courting Jack Layton, like a horny old goat werewolf.
No doubt to try to soften his image, attract more female voters, and pretend he doesn't want an early election. And the NDP appears ready to go along because they really don't want an election.
And apparently, after making it sound like they're hot to trot, neither do the Liberals.
OMG. Pass the gravol. Welcome to the see saw game, doesn't it sound familiar?
But here's the thing eh? Whatever progressive party ends up supporting the budget, will be giving the Harper Cons a lot more than a bunch of economic measures.
By voting for yet another omnibus bill, they will be allowing Harper to change our country beyond recognition...without even needing an election.
A 900-page budget bill changes the country, and a decision to let such a bill pass is a decision to let Harper change the country. Some Liberals yesterday were elated over the game of footsie between Flaherty and the NDP. That means he’s afraid of an election! He’s afraid of Ignatieff! Their internal polls must show it’ll be a slaughterhouse! Victory is ours! Maybe not. Maybe it meant Flaherty wants his budget to pass because it’ll be another 1,000 pages of changing the country, which is what Conservatives are in business to do, and as long as there’s no election they can keep right on doing it.
Great eh? This isn't just convenient collaboration, it's abject SURRENDER.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, until progressives in this country realign their forces, like the Cons did years ago, this nightmare will go on and on.
We can't just wait for the winning conditions. We can't just wait for the Bloc to implode, because that's not going to happen.
We can't just wait for Michael Ignatieff to suddenly become popular.
Or sprout a pair of...um...wings.
We need new ideas, bold visions, and the political courage to carry them out.
We need to drive these ghastly Cons from power by whatever democratic means necessary.
We need to remember that when we are divided we are weak.
But when we are united we are STRONG...
Because until we grasp that simple and increasingly obvious truth, we can play the see saw game all we like.
One of the advantages of spending Christmas in bed, apart from not having to cook a turkey, was being able to have the time to think about the implications of what Frank Rich is saying about the death of the American dream.
How many middle-class Americans now believe that the sky is the limit if they work hard enough? How many trust capitalism to give them a fair shake? Middle-class income started to flatten in the 1970s and has stagnated ever since. While 3M has continued to prosper, many other companies that actually make things (and at times innovative things) have been devalued, looted or destroyed by a financial industry whose biggest innovation in 20 years... has been the cash machine.
And being able to watch the home made movie of the Barstow family's trip to Disneyland, after winning a contest, to get a better idea of what that dream might have looked like.
In a very different America...
You can watch the whole movie by following the link in the Rich article. Or watch it in installments:
But I thought it was the most amazing journey through that lost America I have ever seen...
When I finished watching the video I finally understood at least two things:
What my dad was doing running around in my family's home movies, wearing a Davy Crockett hat...in Scotland.
And of course, why so many Americans are so angry...
The Barstows of 1956 could not have fathomed the outrageous gap between this country’s upper class and the rest of us. America can’t move forward until we once again believe, as they did, that everyone can enter Frontierland if they try hard enough, and that no one will be denied a dream because a private party has rented out Tomorrowland.
Right now those angry teabaggers are lashing out blindly, and blaming the left rather than the right.
But sooner or later they will understand who REALLY stole that dream. Who exported their jobs, like so many in Canada.
And the American revolution will begin all over again...
I wrote this post last year. So much has changed for the worse since then in Harper's Canada. But luckily some things don't change. And since I'm not feeling well enough to write another, here it is again...
* * * It's Christmas Eve, and once again I have to explain to my friends, that although I'm an atheist. And believe that our beautiful planet is our heaven and our hell.
And although I hate the shopping and the greed.
And although I know that it can be a lonely time for many, including all those gay people who have been rejected by their families.
I do love this time of the year. The lights, the colours, the snow, the food.
And all those sweet little stories that moved me when I was a child.
Like the one whose happy ending made me cry when I was nine-years-old, and was spending Christmas in hospital recovering from meningitis.
The story of the poor little old donkey and his friend, who was ordered by his father to sell him. But the only one who wanted him was a tanner... for his hide.
Until the kind stranger arrived...
Because even back then I loved animals,and I wanted the humble to inherit the earth.
And now that I know that there are so many of them.
Even in Canada...
I still do. And I won't support any government that doesn't put them, and other poor Canadians FIRST.
And then there's the music...and the songs like this one that I used to sing...when I was a budding juvenile delinquent dressed up as an angel.
In a choir like this one...
The words still don't mean anything to me eh? But isn't the sound of gentle humanity GLORIOUS?
Imagine what kind of beautiful world we could build if there really was peace and justice on Earth?
From me and my beloved companion Sébastien, who makes me believe that we can build that earthly paradise, if we fight for it hard enough.
And of course, from our little old donkey reindeer...
I watched Obama sign the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell today. And it was a joyous occasion. I wasn't planning to write anything about it because I've been sick with a horrible cold, and I'm feeling really tired. And besides I said what I wanted to say about that bigot law the other night.
So I was just going to mention it, and then play a little happy video.
But then I saw this post on Progressive Bloggers and I was so disappointed.
Not just because I simply can't understand why a good progressive would dump on the freedom party of such an oppressed group. But also because, from beginning to end, the post was absolute nonsense.
And then I was even more tired eh? I knew I'd have to reply, because if I didn't who would? I'm sure Bruce McDonald would have had a run at it, but he's not here. Homophobia killed him.
So here goes:
(1) I don't choose to get married, but I'm glad I have the choice, because it's a measure of my EQUALITY. And like it is for many straight couples, for many gay people it is also a way to validate their love. And our love is attacked and dragged through the mud of bigotry all the time. So anything that helps validate our humanity is really important.
(2) Being allowed to serve your country is another measure of EQUALITY. It was for blacks, it was for women, and so it is for gay people. Except that now that gay people can serve openly, it's suddenly a problem.
Even though they've been there all the time...
(3) I don't choose to join the army, I believe in a more peaceful world. But I live with a former soldier, so I know that it can be an honourable profession, and until the last army is abolished that's not going to change.
(4) What does this mean?
A victory for gay rights? Probably, at least in a purely American context. But for human rights grosso modo? I’m afraid that I must remain sceptical, and hold my applause.
Golly. Aren't gay rights human rights? And does Dr Dawg seriously believe that it's only PROBABLY a victory for gay rights in the United States. What planet is he living on? And as for the applause...how CHEAP can he be? When so many gay people are so happy and finally have a big victory to celebrate.
When of course it's a HUGE victory for gay rights in the U.S. where anti-gay bigotry is as American as apple pie, and where the Christianist homophobes are howling like hyenas tonight. And it is also HUGEvictory for human rights all over the world. Because it will send out a powerful message, and encourage millions and millions of oppressed gay people.
Oh boy. All of this is so obvious to me, I don't think it's just a question of heterosexual privilege, I think it's generational issue. Some older people just can't accept that the world is changing for the better. And that the good old days were horrible for many gay people.
And we're coming out of the darkness and into the light whether they like it or not.
And that's all I have the strength to say. Except that when I'm feeling better, if any oppressed group wants to invite me to their freedom party, I'll put on my fancy tuque, and my dancing sneakers, and kick up a storm of happiness.
Because having a chance to celebrate freedom is the BEST thing on earth.
Here's to my beautiful brothers and sisters in the United States tonight.
Well I suppose there's one good thing about living in Stephen Harper's Big Brother Canada eh? After so many ghastly, grim years he's entirely predictable.
Listen to what he says. Yawn. And then believe the opposite.
Now I'm not too concerned about Harper suddenly gaining fifty seats. But what does worry me a lot is the state of the progressive side. I've never seen our side so demoralized, so stuck in a rut, or looking so BEATEN.
Some have described the situation as trench warfare, but it's worse than that. Because even the First World War was over in four years, and we're heading for SIX.
So in the next two weeks I'm going to discuss some ideas about how to break the stalemate, destroy the Con vote in Ontario, and lead us to a better place.
But all of them depend on ONE thing: the ability of progressives to finally recognize that we need some fresh new thinking, that doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result is the definition of INSANITY.
And that major change is not usually incremental it's traumatic. Like an earthquake or a housequake.
As is often the case, history offers great big neon-bright lessons written in letters 14 feet high, which are nonetheless apparently easy to forget....you simply don’t get a durable change in power in today’s Canada without a structural realignment of the party system, or a period of political upheaval so drastic as to resemble a structural realignment. Stephen Harper is running full-time against a quasi-imaginary “coalition” because he gets that.
Unfortunately too many of us don't get that simple truth. We're still stuck in the past, doing the same old same old. And as a result we're going NOWHERE.
But don't sweat it eh? Once I put on my thinking tuque, the Cons days are numbered.
In the meantime I'll just keep trying to cheer up our side, and dream of the day when we can kick Stephen Harper's big ass all the way back to Alberta.
Oh wait. OMG !!!!! I think I just saw him roar past my house !!!!
Excuse me while I chase after him and try to give him a boot sneaker in the ass myself...
Gawd. I just HATE the end of that ad eh? Kicking a Con tenderly is just not my style. And my Mum warned me NEVER to bring one home. I'd rather see them unceremoniously booted into the garbage can of history.
But don't worry we will.
So cheer up eh? The future really does belong to us, I promise you.
I see the calamitous moron Joe Biden is calling Julian Assange a hi-tech terrorist.
Look, this guy has done things that have damaged and put in jeopardy the lives and occupations of people in other parts of the world.
After denying that the day before.
In an interview the previous day, he had been more neutral about WikiLeaks, saying: "I don't think there's any substantive damage."
I see that Bradley Manning is being slowly broken by torture.
Under the rules, Private Manning is not allowed to sleep at any time between 5am and 8pm; if he does so, he is made to sit up or stand by the guards. He is allowed just one hour of exercise a day, even then not in the fresh air, but an empty room where he can walk in figures of eight. Any attempt by him to keep himself busy by, for example, doing press-ups, or sit-ups, is forbidden.
The guards have to check every five minutes that Private Manning is ok, and he has to verbally confirm that he is alright. The same checks are continued during the night, and, if the guards cannot see Private Manning because he has pulled a blanket over his head (he is allowed blankets but not sheets or pillows) then they wake him up.
With the same kind of sleep deprivation they used to tortured Omar Khadr at Guantanamo.
So I'm not surprised to see the Bank of America joining the war against Wikileaks.
In a sign of the increasing tensions between WikiLeaks and the corporate world, The Bank of America has said it will no longer help process payments for the organisation, which has threatened to "take down" a major United States bank with another data dump.
Because what is the REAL reason Julian Assange and Bradley Manning are being persecuted, tortured, and treated like terrorists?
Even though all they've done is expose war crimes, and embarrass the rich and the powerful.
Answer: they are being made examples of, for committing the unforgivable, the unspeakable crime of meddling with the primal forces of nature.
Of course that pontificating plutocrat is wrong. The primal forces of nature dictate that those who can't adapt to change are doomed to die and disappear.
The world needs to change if it's going to survive.
If the old men who are torching this planet with their greed and their corruption don't understand that sooner or later they will.
Or there will be peaceful change, or there will be a REVOLUTION.
Julian Assange is the imperfect prophet of a new age.
Bradley Manning is its unlikely martyr.
And my hero.
Honesty and transparency are the primal forces of democracy.
As I explained the other night, Sébastien my companion has just returned from Haiti where terrible things are happening. Remember?
And the suffering, the despair, and the violence he saw there has saddened him. And of course I'm still recovering too eh?
Because I'm the one who stays at home, thinking of him, the mob, and the machetes. And quietly going CRAZY.
On the other hand, almost since the moment we met, when he pulled me off a bully I was beating with a pool cue, and received a vicious elbow in the ribs as his reward, I've become rather attached to this noble hunk. And I can't stand to see him sad.
Depp said Disney initially "couldn't stand" his version of Sparrow, with one person asking if the character was homosexual.
Depp told the Disney executive "all my characters are gay", adding that "really made her nervous".
I got a great idea.
I told him if he insists on living such an adventurous and dangerous life, why don't we join the gay pirates?
He could be the skipper and I could be his bodyguard cabin boy.
And if the shit hits the fan, at least we could walk the plank TOGETHER...
UPDATE: The two gay heroes jumped the Cons and made THEM walk the plank. The cabin boy jumped the skipper...the little nipper...and made him smile again. But now they're both going to have to take the day off to recover. AAAAAAAAAARGH.
As I said the other night... love is CRAAAAAAAAZY. In a pleasant delicious sort of way.
Remember the poor people of Haiti. Hug the one you're with. See you on Monday...
It was an unjust law. It was ugly. It was humiliating. It was cruel. And now at last it's dead.
It was unjust because it was bigotry written large and brutal. It was ugly because it made gay soldiers out to be a threat to the military. When in fact, thousands and thousands have always been out there, serving their country and risking their lives.
Bradley Manning spent yesterday, his birthday, alone in a tiny, bare prison cell, without a pillow or sheets on his bed, in weak health and wracked with anxiety at the prospect of a prison sentence of 52 years.
David House, a computer programmer who visits Private Manning in prison, said in an interview: “Over the last few weeks I have noticed a steady decline in his mental and physical wellbeing. His prolonged confinement in a solitary holding cell is unquestionably taking its toll on his intellect; his inability to exercise due to regulations has affected his physical appearance in a matter which suggests physical weakness.”
So they can get him to say ANYTHING. Just like they did with Omar Khadr. Or slowly kill him.
The recordings revealed brain abnormalities months afterward; the most severe were found in prisoners who had endured either head trauma sufficient to render them unconscious or, yes, solitary confinement. Without sustained social interaction, the human brain may become as impaired as one that has incurred a traumatic injury.
Because in its twisting imperial agony the Republic of Fear is capable of ANYTHING. But then so are we now that we have seen that the emperor has no clothes.
Now, we find we are witnessing a new level of info-struggle. We are witnessing how the emperor wears no clothes. We can see the lies made bare, we can see the posturing and propositioning that our governments participate in. We can see the collusion that occurs with transnational corporations and with global media giants. WikiLeaks and others are battling against powerful institutions bent on curtailing our knowledge of and influence over policies and structures that impact our lives: they are information heroes, not information villains. We see all this being done in our name, and we condemn it.
Now it's up to us to defend internet freedom, or risk losing it forever.
As for me, I've seen the future and I like it. I refuse to go back to the darkness.
Julian Assange is a prophet of a new age. Bradley Manning is our martyr.
And, as Broken Social Scene explain in their new video.
His name was Rémy Beauregard. He was a Canadian human rights champion. He was the President of Rights and Democracy. He was a gentle, decent, and fair minded man. But that didn't stop Stephen Harper's Cons from bullying him to death.
They hated him for his Canadian values, and for daring to criticize Israel. So they appointed a gang of right-wing ideologues to make his life hell. This ghastly group attacked Beauregard like sharks in a feeding frenzy. They bullied him, they humiliated him, they cut him out of the decision-making process. They savaged his noble legacy.
The night after another brutal board meeting, he wept in his bed. The next day he suffered a fatal heart attack.
But even that didn't stop the bullies. They set out to try to discredit him by commissioning an audit. But now that audit has finally been released. And so much for that.
It shows what Beauregard’s defenders have long asserted: that the agency was run without scandal, and without unusually lax management, even before his arrival; that he was taking clear steps to improve its management; and that specific claims against him and his staff from Gauthier and others hold no water. In short, that Rémy Beauregard died while fighting back against an unfounded witch hunt perpetrated by scoundrels who today stand unmasked and humiliated. The government of Canada under Stephen Harper and his minister Lawrence Cannon today continues to support those scoundrels, to its shame and ours as citizens.
Rest in peace Rémy.
So now I want need to know this:
(1) Who in the PMO decided to launch an ideological assault on Rights and Democracy? Because anyone who thinks that the PMO didn't orchestrate this foul operation has got to be delusional. When a recent article in the Globe summed up how it operates:
"Message discipline is carefully enforced at all levels and a high level of secrecy surrounds internal deliberations. The overall atmosphere is almost military ..."
Because he likes it that way....
And he's WEIRD.
(2) Was this ideological assault, like the one against KAIROS, carried out to appease the rabid Christianists in the Con's base? Christianists like Charles McVety, who believe that Israel can't be criticized, because it might delay the return of their Messiah?
Or just to please the Christianist Bully in Chief ?
(3) Who broke in to the offices of Rights and Democracy, while Remy's friends were attending his funeral? And stole the computers.
Montreal Police confirm that property was stolen from the offices of Rights and Democracy between Friday and Saturday evening last week. Two laptop computers belonging to staff members were taken. One of the laptops belonged to the organization's media liaison.
And was this convenient heist the work of ordinary criminals, or is there a Con plumber's group operating in the sinister military atmosphere of Stephen Harper's government?
I believe that when Canadians find out one day what Harper and his political thugs have really been up to, they will recoil in horror. Because I have always believed that Stephen Harper corrupts everything he touches.
Oh boy. I hate bullies.
I don't just want to defeat those foul Cons. I want to ARREST them.
I'm not either eh? But for some reason the Obama administration seems to think we should be. And so does the New York Times.
The advice is based on recent scientific analyses showing that a nuclear attack is much more survivable if you immediately shield yourself from the lethal radiation that follows a blast, a simple tactic seen as saving hundreds of thousands of lives. Even staying in a car, the studies show, would reduce casualties by more than 50 percent; hunkering down in a basement would be better by far.
Hmmmmm.... that seems to make sense. And if I'm in a car that shouldn't be too hard to remember.
Just assume the same position my friend Angus does...
When I'm driving.
But what really bothers me is what comes NEXT? How do we survive in a post-apocalyptic world?
Luckily, the Australians have just dug up an old film made in the 80s.
And it's packed with useful tips...
Hmmmmm... you know after reading the NYT's story and watching that video something else bothers me. Do you think the terrorists will give us enough time to park our cars?
And you don't think somebody is trying to scare us eh? Into say supporting the Great War on Terror.
Oh well. Now for something really SCARY.
If you see this dog. Cover your face.
And run for your LIFE !!!!!!!
Gawd. And to think I thought a Harper majority was the worst thing that could happen to us
The Conservatives and Liberals appear to be ending the year the same way they started it — in a dead heat.
The poll suggests his party would not only fail to win a majority if an election was called today, it would come back with fewer seats than it won in 2008, when the Tories captured almost 38 per cent of the vote.
Can you believe that? From a man whose FIRST act on coming to power was to attack women's rights and destroy a national daycare program. And who has made it clear poor women do not have a right to a safe abortion. Even if it KILLS them
What a monster. Does he really think he can fool us?
Or make this one fly again?
I don't think so eh? Because we know a Great Flying Fraud when we see one.
You know, instead of using music to try to win a majority.
Or to try to convince us he's half human...
I think Stephen Harper should use music as a means of self discovery.
By locking himself in the washroom. Removing all his clothes.
Staring at himself in the mirror. If he can bear bare it.
And singing this song ...
I'm a loser I'm a loser
And I'm not what I appear to be
Although I laugh and I act like a clown
Beneath this mask I am wearing a frown
Because it's so HIM.
Santa it's Simon. Forget the inflatable Harper doll.The one that goes WAAAAAAAAAAAAH !!!!!!
Stephen Harper's miserable Christmas is reward enough. Give him a sad trombone.
As the Wiki Wars continue, I think some things are becoming clear, even in the piggy darkness.
If you publish material that embarrasses the rich and the powerful you will be treated like a terrorist.
Assange has been held in solitary confinement, released from his cell for only one hour a day, and his mail has been heavily censored, according to his supporters.
If you download material that exposes war crimes, you will be tortured.
From the beginning of his detention, Manning has been held in intensive solitary confinement. For 23 out of 24 hours every day -- for seven straight months and counting -- he sits completely alone in his cell. Even inside his cell, his activities are heavily restricted; he's barred even from exercising and is under constant surveillance to enforce those restrictions. For reasons that appear completely punitive, he's being denied many of the most basic attributes of civilized imprisonment, including even a pillow or sheets for his bed (he is not and never has been on suicide watch).
And that if you want to download Obama's secrets... in the White House.