Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Today is November the 11th. Around the world, we honour our veterans, past and present, on this day. At least, we are supposed to -- one of the reasons I'm skeptical of the day, is that far too often we only pay lip service to what our soldiers have died for, and are still risking their lives for.
We as people, are way too complacent about who leads us. We are either willing to accept creeping dictatorships, or so exasperated with elections that we'd rather not vote at all, than take a stand ourselves.
Despite their frequent use of soldiers as props, our politicians very often neglect and abandon our veterans once they come home from the wars started in our nations' capitals -- far too many of our veterans live as little more than vagrants, often thanks to the same people who demand we support our troops unconditionally.
So take a few moments to think about that -- not just today, but every other day. I don't care how you remember, or when you remember, but I do care IF you remember. The only reason we still have any freedom at all, is because of these soldiers, yet far too often we are making that sacrifice meaningless.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
The original Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament Facebook group, has finally shut its doors.
Some would say this was a long time coming -- not only because Parliament re-opened several months ago, but because the group had fallen listless and troll-dominated for months (due in no small part to the group's creators -- Christopher White and Shilo Davis -- deciding that they had better things to do, than maintain their protest group of 200,000+ people). It particularly reached the breaking point in the last 48 hours, with the appointment of a new moderator, who got rid of the many incarnations of a Harper fanatic who repeatedly harassed the group, accused several of its members of terrorism and treason (myself included), and who went so far as to create several fake profiles to continue doing this. However, this new mod also went so far as to delete several other users who, as far as I could tell, broke no reasonable rules (unless you think it's unreasonable to publicly question or criticize your new admin).
So, this is how activism dies -- with anger, apathy, and arrogance.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
So a big fuss has been made, about Emperor Harper actually preventing a Canadian company from being taken over by foreign corporations (for once). Never mind that we're in a recession, and Harper had previously been letting our companies (and jobs) go like they were candy, apparently the business world and Harper's core supporters are up in arms -- that should show you where their loyalties lie.
But, I'll tell you why Harper really stepped in to save the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (a fertilizer company being eyed by Australia, if you don't know). Simply put, Harper did this for the same reason he caved in to opposition demands to start a (pitiful) stimulus program, and (barely) caved in to demands to hand over Afghan torture documents: to save his own ass.
Stephen Harper only does ANYTHING for one reason: power -- either getting it, or holding on to it. Whether he's willing to admit it or not, he is hanging by a thread, right now -- not only with the country at large, but within his own party. If he'd sat back and let a lot of Saskatchewan workers be laid off by another country, it doesn't take a genius to see that those workers -- and the countless other people whose livelihoods they contribute to -- would be really pissed off at whoever let it happen. When Harper needs all the votes he can get, he really can't afford to lose a lot of them -- especially when the whole province could potentially turn on him, and we're talking about a province that has generally been a Tory stronghold since Confederation. A disaster like that would not only cost Harper his government, but it would probably kill his political career.
I liken it to Hollywood, from what I've seen of it; even if you're the biggest jerk in the world, The Powers That Be will only keep you around if you make money for them. So if your movie flops, you're in trouble. If you single-handedly destroy one of the biggest franchises in town, you're a dead duck.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
So the Republicans managed to make some gains yesterday, and took back the House of Representatives. Good for them. But I would still like to say something to the Tea Party: prepare to be betrayed.
The majority of the Republicans elected into the new Congress, while calling themselves budget hawks, are the same old-school politicians you were supposed to be dead-set against. In other words, the same corporate-kissing fatcats that put the world into this recession, bailed out the banks, and have historically worsened America's economy since time immemorial. Not only that, but many of your more instigating and deranged candidates (like Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell) LOST their runs -- so will you now take the hint that running racists, lunatics, and religious fanatics isn't doing the right-wing any favours?
Anyway, in a lot of ways, this Republican victory is going to make no real difference. The same broken, corrupt system that you're complaining about, will continue to be there. And if you seriously think anything in the country will get better, I suggest you read about the budget surplus Bill Clinton passed on to George W. Bush, only for Bush to burn it at the first opportunity. I suggest you take a look at the history of the Great Depression, and how financial regulations enacted after that helped America survive most subsequent recessions with little trouble (that is, until Regan and the Bushes dismantled them, leading to the crisis we now have). These are the same regulations that Obama put back in, to protect common Americans from another collapse in the future, and which your Republican heroes are promising to get rid of. They will probably do that, by the way, not to satisfy your votes, but to satisfy the corporations that funded their campaigns.
The point is, in many ways you just wasted the last two years of America's time. The next time you want to really change the country, do it yourselves. Then, it might actually work.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
So last night,Rob Ford apparently made good on his deal with Lucifer, because he is now the mayor of Toronto. That's right, a racist, sexist, homophobic, alcoholic, violent loudmouth, who hasn't done ANYTHING in his many years on city council, managed to become the head of Canada's largest and most powerful city. As if it wasn't already hypocritical that a guy born with a silver spoon in his mouth, is bitching about downtown elites, now we have a clown in high office, who openly admits that the "plan" he ran on, to balance Toronto's budget, won't work.
So I repeat my statement from "Local Constipation": either Toronto's spending won't be significantly changed in the next four years, or he'll gut so much funding that he didn't dare reveal during the election, that the city will become a festering cesspool (which he already sees T.O. as anyway). It's also very likely that a man as self-absorbed, immature, and boorish as Rob Ford, will suddenly grow to like those perks of the mayor's office after all, and change his mind about getting rid of them. In any case, anyone who seriously think this guy is going to clean up Toronto, is in for a huge shock.
Not only that, but in the face of constantly-visible brutality, deceit, and oppression from Toronto's police force, Rob Ford -- a man with a fairly lengthy criminal record himself -- actually had the nerve to say that the police were too soft on G20 protesters in June. To be honest, for this reason alone I don't want to go to Toronto AT ALL if I can avoid it, and would advise everyone else reading this to do the same. I for one, don't want to go near a city, whose mayor apparently thinks that the only thing wrong with the cops is that they aren't allowed to shoot jaywalkers.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
For those of you who are unaware, Toronto police officer Adam Josephs was caught on video threatening to arrest a young female protester for assault, just because she was blowing ordinary bubbles at him. The video went viral (at least among those of us who hated what the cops did at G20), and he was nicknamed "Officer Bubbles". At around the same time, satirical cartoons were posted on YouTube making fun of this policeman, basically making fun of his image as a total power-tripper who will arrest anyone for simply breathing around him.
Well, apparently Mr. Josephs has finally been made aware of these cartoons, and has intimidated YouTube into taking them off of the site (though they have been mirrored many times over). According to his attorney, this is because commentators on the videos have made threatening remarks towards the Josephs family -- and if that were true I would be all for suing to have those remarks removed. However, the lawsuit specifically orders the videos to be taken down, and a small list of users suspended/sued, not for harassment or threats, but for defamation.
For those of you who don't know what that means, I'll explain. "Defamation", is basically a legal term for lying about someone in mass media. I have seen at least some of these videos, and they and the majority of the criticisms of Officer Josephs, do not accuse him of anything he did not do (parody notwithstanding, because that is an acceptable defense). All that the videos do, is make fun of actions he truly did commit. All that the vast majority of comments do, is wish for this so-called public servant to be stripped of badge, for what most of us would agree is excessive and unprofessional behaviour. That is all.
That being said, there are some remarks that do threaten or unreasonably malign him. If the lawsuit went after only those users, specifically for threats, I would be fine with that. But they don't. Not only that, but quite frankly Officer Josephs made some dishonest statements himself in his Statement of Claim, by referring to the majority of G20 protesters as heavily-armed thugs in the "Black Bloc" (all of which is well-known to be false). In other words, not only could he be potentially counter-sued for harassment and infringement of freedom of speech, but if he had been stupid enough to name any of those so-called militants in this SoC he could've been sued for libel himself! And that case could probably be won!
In any event, it would seem that Officer Bubbles here, needs to have a couple of things explained to him... things that I either figured out on my own, or had explained to me when I was young enough to be a fan of the Power Rangers. First of all, when a lot of people know about you, you're going to be made fun of. That's a fact of life -- get over it. Second of all, if you want people to stop criticizing you on public forums, maybe you should stop making an ass of yourself in public, by trying to arrest or litigate people for totally absurd reasons. Incidentally, I've seen your Facebook profile -- the one where you proudly describe your job as "Cleaning up human garbage" -- so it truly is stupid to expect the public to respect you, when you apparently have no problem with attacking and insulting them just because you feel like it.
That's it for me.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Now things might get interesting for Stephen Harper...
Canada's Federal Court ruled earlier this week in the case of ex-Scottish MP George Galloway, whom the Harper government banned from entering Canada a year and a half ago, for supposedly supporting a terrorist organization. While the appeal itself (on Galloway's behalf) was thrown out, because Galloway never formally challenged the ban, the ruling also made it abundantly clear that the government was out of line and banned him solely for political reasons (ie. criticizing Israel). Almost immediately, Galloway was announced to be coming to Canada for a speaking engagement this weekend.
Honestly, I'd love to see Harper's cronies try to pull something this time. The whole reason that the "terrorist organization" bullshit didn't work was because all that Galloway did was donate food, medicine and diapers to the Palestinian people (albeit through Hamas). Frankly, even if Hamas were inclined to hold on to those goods, they'd be pretty hard-pressed to find ways to conduct terrorism with them. Then again, this is using logic on Zionist sociopaths who think that trying to bring wheelchairs to Gaza warrants storming a passenger ship in international waters, and shooting civilians armed with sticks (at best).
Besides, if Galloway's actions really did count as supporting terrorism, he would definitely have been arrested by now, and he never has been. That tells me pretty clearly that HarperCons are talking out of their asses.
Furthermore, I find it very rich that the same people demanding that Galloway be silenced -- er, I mean "kept from our country" -- rolled out the red carpet for Ann Coulter, who not only made what can be called direct threats against Canada, but is a genuine Anti-Semite and terrorist sympathizer (look up her remarks on Timothy McVeigh if you think I pulled that one out of my ass). Galloway's critics keep playing the Jew Hater and Terrorist cards, so let's see them get serious.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
(we'll just get this out of the way now: what was Benedict's summer job, again? Oh right, the Hitler Youth... And what faith were most Nazis, including Hitler? Roman Catholic... And what did the Catholic Church do during Hitler's reign? Oh yeah, pray for its success...)
Now look, I might as well say what's been on my mind for some time: GODWIN'S LAW IS OVERRATED. It's well intended, but the fact is that if you've been out in the real world you know that there are a lot of people out there who think that everyone who isn't the same nationality, skin colour, religion, or sexual orientation as themselves should be wiped out. That's not an exaggeration or "liberal bias", it's the truth -- ever heard of the Aryan Brotherhood (or anything coming out of Ann Coulter's mouth)? Heck, if you've seen my video or blog on the Qu'ran burning campaign started in the United States, you'd know that there's some disturbing parallels to the Third Reich becoming more and more common in American conservatives.
Anyway, to directly address The Pope's point... There are definitely extremists in every belief system -- and for all intents and purposes, that includes Atheism -- but to say that every Atheist is an extremist is utterly untrue and disingenuous (great, another clergyman who can't follow Jesus' teachings to save his life...). In my experience, most Atheists just want organized religion to butt out of the government, and to leave them alone personally.
If anyone in any belief system deserves to be compared the Nazis, it's the fanatics (and possibly the fundamentalists) that appear in nearly EVERY religion (the most obvious evidence of that are groups like Al Qaeda and the Westboro Baptist Church). Then again, acknowledging that would need The Pope to acknowledge that Mother Church is fallible (which goes against ecumenical policy), and it would arguably require saying that The Pope's most devoted followers could be a problem. So yeah, I'm not holding my breath.
Look, is it really too much to ask that the leader of the largest religion in the world, actually try to teach his followers to be PEACEFUL instead of thinking everyone's out to get them? With an attitude like that, it's only going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
The irony and hypocrisy of this is nothing short of astonishing. We all know how Christian fundamentalists -- like their Muslim counterparts -- have the little habit of totally ignoring what their own holy books say, but this takes the cake. Jesus clearly said, among other things, to forgive and love your enemies -- not piss them off even further. Speaking of which, I guess the right wing doesn't really support the troops and homeland as much as they insist the rest of us do, because it doesn't take a genius to see that this is going to give Al Qaeda and the Taliban even more reason to kill Westerners. If the more fanatical Muslims out there got so mad over a racist cartoon of Muhammed (or putting him in a bear suit on South Park), how do you figure they're going to react to some gun-toting hick in Florida wanting to burn their holy book? Or let me put that another way: how would these same righteous Christians react, if anyone called for an International Burn the Bible Day? I know this is a hard concept for these xenophobic douchebags to get, but Christianity is not the only faith in the universe, and it is very likely not the one true faith.
Which leads me to the real scope of this problem. Mr. Jones -- yet another minister I will refuse to call by title -- may only have 50 parishoners, but there are definitely a lot of other vocal and influential conservatives out there who agree with him (and not just because this guy is a supporter of Fred Phelps). Between this and the so-called Ground Zero Mosque, tons of conservative pundits are calling for everything from the expulsion of Muslims, to actually attacking this community centre if it ever gets built (by the way I'd just like to remind everyone that in the real world, this centre is about as much of a mosque, as a YMCA is a church). It's sadly getting very common in the States for innocent people to be beaten up, stabbed, and left for dead, just for being Muslim. It's even very easy to find remarks on Facebook, YouTube, and God only knows how many blogs, to the effect that every last Muslim should be wiped out, just because they have the nerve to breathe the same air as the righteous Christian folk.
Hey wait a second, where have we heard all of this before? A certain race is expendable, even spawned of the devil; we must take back the land from the minorities and unbelievers; we must smash their homes, businesses and places of worship; we must burn their books; we must destroy the whole people; only we are the master race... Geez, does anyone else remember when it really was silly to compare the Christian Right to the Nazis?
Here's the final reason this is not only ironic and hypocritical, but just plain stupid: all of this is being done on the anniversary of 9/11, to supposedly defend the honour of the people who were killed that day. Far be it for me to presume what the dead thinks, but doesn't it seem a bit dumb, to "defend" victims of religious intolerance and violence, with even more religious intolerance and violence? What exactly makes it so horrible for Osama bin Laden to call for a holy war, but so acceptable for Terry Jones and his ilk to do the same thing? If Jesus does exist, and there is any truth whatsoever to The Gospel, I can guarantee that He is weeping for what is being done in His name, yet again.
Monday, September 6, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
So right-wing radio nut/fake psychiatrist Dr. Laura Schlessinger is quitting her controversial show, because she wants to be free to express her First Amendment rights, without retaliation from the people she offends, advertisers, or the FCC. Evidently, this is in response to her latest bigoted tirade, where she repeatedly referred to black people as n***ers and -- SHOCK! -- people were outraged over it.
(jeez what took them so long?)
First of all, I'm glad she's finally gone -- it couldn't happen to anyone more deserving. Well, except maybe for Charles McVety, the Westboro Baptist Church, the National Organization for Marriage, and pretty much everyone who's worked for Fox News. Oh, and Stephen Harper, but that's a different matter.
Second, before any neo-cons out there get up my ass about free speech, I suggest you take a look at broadcasting laws in your country. In Canada, in addition to our hate speech laws, we have the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. America has the oft-maligned Federal Communications Commission. While both policies -- and their enforcers -- have their occasional problems and brain farts, they are nonetheless the law of the land when it comes to what you can have on public airwaves. Frankly, anyone who's ever been near the broadcasting industry knows that there are certain words you are not allowed to say on the air -- Professor George Carlin did some seminal work on this subject in the 1970s. This is especially wise, when some of those words are used by various bigots and supremacists in their rants to call for the deaths of everyone who isn't a straight white Judeo-Christian (and sometimes it's even more narrow than that).
Third, if Schlessinger really wants to find a place that frees her to spread her bile, she's going to have her work cut out for her. I doubt that any other mainstream outlet will want her, because she's a defamation lawsuit/huge FCC fine waiting to happen, she clearly hates about half of the country, and isn't above using foul language and slurs to say so. The FCC even has some involvement in Internet regulation, which limits her options there as well (plus that's assuming the best case scenario for her, that she's able to set up her own web site and video streaming service -- after all, YouTube, BlipTV and most other video sites forbid her kind of dreck too).
So I guess that limits her to private functions with the KKK, Aryan Brotherhood, and Republican Party. Well, at least that would be honest as well as open.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Across Ontario, there's been a young woman in the news, named Ashley Kirilow. If you haven't already heard, she conned thousands of dollars off from people (including her closest friends) by claiming to have terminal cancer. It seems like the only people she didn't manage to scam were members of her family, and only because they saw right through it -- evidently she's been a spoiled liar ever since she was a kid.
Sure enough, now that she's turned herself in and confessed, not a single person is willing to bail her out.
People like her make me sick. All her life she has manipulated people to do her bidding or give her attention. Now that she's in a position to finally get real help, I'd like to give her the benefit of the doubt, but the fact is that the way she's behaving around her lawyer and the judge is exactly the same as how she's behaved around her marks. Plus, in my experience, liars this pathological very rarely change.
And of course, people like her make life a thousand times harder, for anyone REALLY trying to raise money for cancer treatment or research. I had a hard enough time with my cancer drive, and that was BEFORE this twit came along -- I'd be screwed if I'd tried it now, and no doubt many others are.
Honestly, even though I'm not religious, I suspect that there's a special place in Hell reserved for people like her.
Monday, August 2, 2010
I had to comment on this eventually...
The professional football team in my town -- the mediocre Hamilton Tiger Cats (aka Ti-Cats) -- are so adamant that they will not play in the proposed West Harbour Pan Am stadium, that they are threatening to leave Hamilton rather than set foot in it. Furthermore, the Canadian Football League (CFL) is supporting this, adding that Hamilton will never again have a CFL team if it decides on a West Harbour stadium, which is favoured by most of the people who are actually paying for it and have a stake in the proceedings.
This debacle has drawn out the construction dates so long, that Hamilton has already lost the valuable track and field events in the Toronto Pan Am games for 2015.
So let me get this straight... The Ti-Cats play in a stadium right now that is run down, falling apart, and quite frankly is not in the best or most accessible neighbourhood. The city -- their landlords and main fan base -- wants to move them into another stadium that doesn't seem to be much different as far as I can tell, and the Cats suddenly whine loud enough to threaten our stake in the Pan-Am games. Furthermore, they are threatening to leave Hamilton, if they don't get to play where they want -- this, after Hamilton has stuck by them through many seasons where they barely won any games at all. I am outraged that a bloody football team is trying to hold my city hostage -- and not even a good football team, either! If these punks want to give the finger to a fiercely loyal city, then they can just leave now. Don't let the door hit your tails on the way out.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Last week, The Nostalgia Critic posted a review for a really obscure (and totally horrible) movie called The Room, by Tommy Wiseau. Well, apparently someone running the movie's web site freaked out and threatened to sue for copyright infringement (despite the fact that no copyright was breached).
Please take a look for yourself -- and if you think this is stupid, send rude e-mails to Wiseau Studios.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Much bellyaching has been done by our politicians, about how the ISU did very well under extreme circumstances (even though they allowed a small riot to take place, and then "compensated" with behaviour that ranges from unprofessional to illegal). Most of the media either turns a blind eye to this police state that appeared in Canada's largest city (eg. Global National inserting a clip from a totally unrelated riot, to make the protesters look bad), or flat out attacks anyone who has a problem with it (eg. The Toronto Sun and National Post, who are competing to be Canadian print's version of Fox News). This is particularly strange, given that every news organization on the ground during the protest -- including the Post and Sun -- had people who were arrested and beaten, just for doing their jobs. Even in my hometown of Hamilton, there are polls suggesting that most of my neighbours don't think we need a public inquiry, into this $1 billion exercise in fascism. Even the political opposition, aside from some token outrage -- if that -- has done nothing.
No one seems to mind, that our rights were arbitrarily, secretly, and unnecessarily suspended by people who have no right whatsoever to make those decisions. No one seems to mind, that we have been repeatedly lied to and abused by our leaders and watchdogs. No one seems to mind, that the exact kind of threats and violence we see from corrupt dictatorships, is happening right now, in North America. No one seems to mind, that Canadian leaders and police think that simply speaking out, warrants being kidnapped, assaulted, and being regarded as a terrorist.
Across this country, and around the world -- in graves and battlefields, past and present -- our veterans are weeping. The sacrifices they have made, and continue to make, for our freedoms, have just been rendered in vain.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
With the G8 and G20 summits about to go off in my backyard, I think it's prudent of me to ask something about protesting: why are so many protesters little more than thugs that hate EVERYTHING?
Now for those of you who don't know me, don't misunderstand, I applaud dissent. However, I don't condone riots, especially riots sparked at the slightest provocation. What exactly do these "anarchists"* think that that's going to accomplish?
* (true anarchists simply don't like formal authority, they don't think that everyone should be in it for themselves)
If people want to protest globalization, or the exploitation/abandonment of the developing world, by all means do that and make yourselves heard. But when some of these idiots start making threats of blowing up banks or what-not, the only thing I can see that doing, is giving The Powers That Be an excuse to stampede EVERY protester (heck, given Emperor Harper's increasing hate for dissent, I wouldn't be surprised if he'd use that as an excuse for "emergency measures" that he'll conveniently forget to give up).
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Despite the fact that this woman was raised in a partially Christian family, and the fact that she won the contest by parading around in a micro-bikini, right-wing blogger Debbie Schlussel insisted that Fakih was a Muslim extremist because -- wait for it -- she has the same last name as someone in Hezbollah.
Seriously? That's what you've got?
Unfortunately, many others have the same point of view, calling the increase of Muslim beauty queens a quiet form of invasion brought about by affirmative action. Um, here's a wacky thought, but maybe these women EARNED their crowns! And how many times does the smart part of the world have to explain, that being brown doesn't make someone a terrorist. It's like we didn't learn anything from the days when black people had to sit in the back of the bus. By the way, I really have to point out that if Rima Fakih did go around the Middle East dressed the way she does, she would be gangraped, mutilated, and stoned to death for being a so-called whore and infidel. Yeah, she really sounds like a member of Al Qaeda, doesn't she?
And one last thing -- you guys tried this exact same bullshit when Barack Obama ran for president. Aside from bunch of ignorant rednecks, no one believed it, and so most of you guys just look like idiots and racists. Find something else to say, or just quit while you're behind. Enough said.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
According to Ottawa, simply protesting the government makes you a radical, now. Oh, and apparently your Miranda rights don't apply, if you make the Tories look bad.
SCARED YET? You oughta be.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
So Sadie's Second Annual Abuse Awareness Event was on the weekend, in Hamilton. As with last year, I performed folk/acoustic rock songs with Sadie (Lindsay Miller) and her friends/family, while many others close to her raised awareness to people about the prevalence of child abuse, and what to do about it.
This time, we had an additional benefit in that (another) one of Lindsay's friends is a YouTube podcaster, and she did a live show from her laptop as we were busking. Her YouTube channel, for those who are interested, is www.youtube.com/ravenwolfgang1969.
As for my part in it, I was the second musician to play, after Lindz's brother Robert. I played every song of my set, as well as a few extras that I'd pulled out of my hat when it got quiet, and I joined in -- or tried to -- on some of the Sadie songs. While I carried most of my songs alone this time -- due to many of them being either originals or simply a bit obscure -- a definite highlight was being joined on harmonies by Lindz, Rob Barnes, and Haley Arnott on "What I'm Looking For" and "Behind Blue Eyes" (especially since they just heard what I was playing and jumped in! ).
So if anyone's wondering, here's what else I played (and recordings of most of these, can be found on my "band" page, www.reverbnation.com/sonicsnafu).
- "All Along The Watchtower" (Bob Dylan cover, made most famous by Hendrix, and thought by Rob to be a Nirvana song, haha)
- "Hammer To Fall" (Queen cover)
- "Do You Know?" (original, written in part for last year's event, because of some friends of mine having been beaten by friends/loved ones recently)
- "Friends Without Benefits" (original, written about a complicated friendship that was emotionally abusive)
- "(I Still Haven't Found) What I'm Looking For" (U2 cover)
- "Behind Blue Eyes" (Who cover, which was very well received when I played it last year)
- "The House of the Rising Sun" (traditional folk song, again a popular part of my set)
- "Lost In Time" (instrumental original -- filler as Sadie readied for her set)
- "Woe, Canada" (original -- played instrumentally, given the context of the event)
- "Nights in White Satin" (Moody Blues cover -- just as ignored this year, as last, lol).
Anyway, even though it was quiet for some stretches, and it wasn't the best weather we had, by all accounts we did get some word out. I truly cannot say enough about Lindsay's courage and dedication, as well as that of her friends, family and other volunteers -- many of whom have been assaulted at one point or another. Frankly, I can get traumatized enough just going through a bad break-up, so how these people manage to get themselves back together -- AND make something positive out of such horrible events -- is incredibly inspiring. Hopefully that planted a good seed.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
As you might know, I've set-up an online fundraiser, with the Canadian Cancer Foundation. Much to my disappointment, not one person has donated to it, besides me.
This morning, I had new reason to keep fighting.
I found out that the young son, of a girl whom I went to school with, has recently been diagnosed with leukemia. Suffice it to say that his odds aren't good. I'm not especially close to this woman, but we're friendly enough that I promised to do what I can.
I'm not asking for a lot, but please click on that link above, and help me do something to save this boy's life (or at least make this ordeal easier on him and his mother). I was able to find $100 to spare -- even if all you can spare is $10, that's a lot more than was there just a day ago.
What are you waiting for?
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
So the latest lines of bullshit to come from The Pope's people, are that his main critics are pro-choice liberals and gays (WTF?) and that the accusations that Pope Benedict repeatedly covered-up pedophile priests are no more than gossip.
Ugh, where's Kanye when you NEED him?
Does the Church honestly think that it's above the law? What's the matter with them?? And why are they playing from the same pathetic gamebook as the neo-cons in North America??
This is just humiliating.
Monday, April 5, 2010
What the hell??
It seems like every time I turn around, some jerk is using "Anti-Semitic" to label valid criticism, that has nothing to due with Jews -- either as a whole, or at all. The latest example, is Pope Benedict's personal preacher, comparing criticism of the Catholic Church's sheltering for pedophile priests, to the persecution of Jews by the Nazis.
(by the way, I am aware of the irony here, given not only the Church's total non-involvement during The Holocaust, but Benedict having been in the Hitler Youth -- but that's beside the point)
It's disgusting enough, that the clergy is trying to defend what is basically the harbouring of criminals -- and some of the worst kind there is, I might add. But to deflect their critics in this way is not only appalling, but it's embarrassing -- what the hell does this even REMOTELY have to do with Antisemitism? This attitude is totally inexcusable, and illustrates perfectly that the clergy doesn't care as much about their flock as they claim to.
Incidentally, before anyone accuses me of Catholic bashing, please take a moment to actually read the news, and find out that there are a lot of Catholics who basically agree with me on this -- so much so, that they are no longer comfortable attending church, over it. They recognize, that this farce has nothing to do with Christianity.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
As anyone following the "Ann Coulter in Canada" farce knows, her primary supporter in the Great White North is a conservative commentator named Ezra Levant. He's mostly known as an exile from the Conservative Party, as well as defending his "right" to reprint the inflammatory cartoons depicting Muhammed the Prophet as a terrorist.
When the provost of the University of Ottawa politely but firmly reminded Ann Coulter, that her usual hate rhetoric is illegal here, Levant was one of those accusing the provost of hate speech himself -- just because Coulter is a conservative -- and has filed a complaint to the Human Rights Commission, despite the fact that the hates its very existence. Sensing hypocrisy yet?
Anyway, a short time ago, an amateur stand-up comic in British Columbia was taken to that province's HRC, for yelling at a lesbian couple that was talking during his act (and if you didn't already guess, it's alleged that he used homophobic slurs). Levant, you guessed it, says that this isn't an issue, and the case has no merit.
So let's recap: it's okay to print sacrilegious and racist cartoons of Muslims (I know he says it's about free speech, but when he prints a cartoon depicting Moses or Jesus in the same light, then I'll buy that claim); it's okay to scream slurs at a lesbian couple in a public place; but God forbid that you remind a hatemonger, that we don't take kindly to her saying things like "we should kill all Muslim leaders and force the people to convert to Christianity", or "Canada's lucky we allow them to exist on our continent".
When this chucklehead comes to the HRC, defending America's answer to Osama bin Laden, I hope they throw him out on his ass.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
THANK FREAKING GOD, ANN COULTER'S BEING KICKED OFF OF CANADIAN SCHOOLS!
So right-wing propagandaist and Neo-Nazi, Ann Coulter, is cancelling some of her stops on her speaking tour of Canadian universities. Contrary to what Coulter and her followers are claiming, this is not because the schools are clamping down on conservatives. No, it's because the STUDENTS THEMSELVES do not welcome racist fanatics that have the same amount of class as a used tampon.
Frankly, I don't understand why this woman was even INVITED to Canadian schools, given that she said we should be invaded and wiped out, just for living on the same continent as America, but that's a different issue.
Evidently, she took issue with a University of Ottawa teacher informing her that much of her usual bile, is considered hate speech, and she would be wise to clean up some of her language if she doesn't want to get arrested in Canada. Once again, this is not an attack on conservatives, unless conservatives are actually admitting now that a lot of them embrace the attitudes of Adolf Hitler and the KKK.
Kiss my ass, Coulter. You won't be missed.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Please forgive the re-postings, but these articles fit my feelings wonderfully.
So this is democracy
The West at its best: Britain is in shambles, America's on the verge of armed populist revolt and Canada's watching its values crumble
Special to The Globe and Mail Published on Friday, Mar. 05, 2010
Lucky old Afghanistan and Iraq. The Western world is ready and raring to introduce you to the joys of real democracy. And aren't we just the ones to do it?
Look at old blighty. With a British election imminent, Gordon “Bully Boy” Brown fights for his political life, with a new scandal revealed almost daily. For those of us who grew up identifying with the Labour Party, the last thirteen years of “New Labour” rule under Tony Blair and BBB have come as a demoralizing blow.
Never mind Mr. Blair's arrogant refusal to admit a single regret in invading Iraq. Never mind the sense of entitlement among Labour MPs (Tories too, but who expected anything more from them?) who had the gall to dun the state for personal expenses?
Never mind the corrupt deal between arms giant BAE and the impoverished east African country of Tanzania, enabled by Mr. Blair. Despite opposition from his cabinet, Mr. Blair personally insisted that hugely expensive military radar be sold to a country that needed none of it. Who won? BAE got a fat contract. Several Tanzanian officials got fat bribes. And Tony Blair pleasured yet another of the fancy corporate supporters he so cherished.
Here's how a Guardian article recently summed up New Labour's overall record: the government “accepted the whole Thatcherite economic settlement, has seen an increase in social and economic inequality, worshipped wealth and fawned on high finance at home and abroad, passed a vast array of repressive laws, …. allowed Rupert Murdoch to dictate its foreign policy, and took Britain – with flagrant dishonesty – into a needless, illegal and murderous war in order to support the most reactionary American president of modern times.” So fed up are MPs themselves that 128 of them, fully 80 from Labour, are not standing again in the spring election.
But at least Britain doesn't have America's problems. A country bitterly divided, a Congress barely functional, a President who's lost the trust of many of those who elected him and reinforced the opposition of the 54 per cent of whites who voted against him – who accepted the Nobel Peace Prize by escalating the unwinnable war in Afghanistan.
“ We may be stuck with the Harper government forever, once the Prime Minister prorogues the next election.”
An angry populist coalition so pathological and apocalyptic many are arming for the moment the White House imposes its dictatorship, an opportunistic right-wing leadership ready to countenance the craziest and most inflammatory threat by the Tea Party movement, high-profile media stars who routinely compare Barack Obama to Hitler, a militia known as the Oath Keepers consisting of armed military vets and former cops who urge citizens to disregard any laws they don't agree with.
A Democratic Party as venal and opportunistic as the vile Republicans, a system of government often run by greedy special interests and their armies of lobbyists, an administration whose senior economic advisers helped create the economic crisis, a judicial system so partisan it operates on the basis of politics and ideology rather than law, a media running the full ideological gamut from centre-right to lunatic right – Brits must be grateful for their small problems.
Fully 80 per cent of Americans are dissatisfied or angry with their government, and who can blame them? Many of them, more bizarrely, are against all government, except, presumably, to maintain a swollen military to protect American interests abroad.
Oh Canada. Do the travails of our closest historic allies give us comfort? Will the Olympic-sized burst of patriotism give us solace in the face of an impossible political conundrum? We may be stuck with the Harper government forever, once the Prime Minister prorogues the next election. The opposition can't risk defeating him because neither the Liberals nor NDP are likely to benefit at all from another election. So Stephen Harper is left with a virtually free hand to do as he chooses, some of which is quite clear.
Step by step he is limiting dissent. We now see that it's not necessary to introduce repressive legislation to do so. The government has so much purchase in so many parts of society that it can intimidate citizens into submission. New areas emerge in which any deviation from the biases of the government becomes inadmissible. Individuals and organizations are penalized for raising issues or pursuing concerns that the government opposes. Innuendo, insinuation, smears and slurs have become the currency with which the government debases its enemies – and to this government, there is no loyal opposition; those who dissent are enemies, not opponents.
Who would have thought that so many Canadians would buy into the government's phony law 'n order agenda. Legislation to implement the program is so unimportant even to Mr. Harper that much of it died on the order paper when he suspended Parliament. He knows that crime in Canada has steadily declined over the years and there's no evidence that most of the proposed laws would work.
But the law 'n order campaign itself has worked. It's conned Canadians into believing there's reason to be afraid. For the first time in years, a majority of Canadians approve the death penalty, a coarsening of public sensibilities that seemed almost impossible. Capital punishment, ending of the long gun registration, accusations of treason against those who don't support war in Afghanistan, allowing prisoners of war to be tortured and covering it up – Sarah Palin, here we are!
If a government that has the backing of less than a third of Canadians, a Prime Minister who is resented for his inability to resist the low road and the low blow, a leader who ditches absolute commitments without batting an eyelash, who has humiliated the institutions of Parliament, the Supreme Court and the Governor-General, whose economic “expertise” embarrasses economists and whose foreign policy is driven by ignorance and prejudice – what further changes to our national values can he get away with?
And who in the world is going to stop him?
Canada wanted Afghan prisoners tortured: lawyer
Unredacted documents show officials hoped to gather intelligence, expert says
Last Updated: Friday, March 5, 2010 | 11:44 PM ET
University of Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran says Canadian officials intentionally handed over Afghan detainees to be tortured in order to gather intelligence. (CBC)
Federal government documents on Afghan detainees suggest that Canadian officials intended some prisoners to be tortured in order to gather intelligence, according to a legal expert.
If the allegation is true, such actions would constitute a war crime, said University of Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran, who has been digging deep into the issue and told CBC News he has seen uncensored versions of government documents released last year.
"If these documents were released [in full], what they will show is that Canada partnered deliberately with the torturers in Afghanistan for the interrogation of detainees," he said.
"There would be a question of rendition and a question of war crimes on the part of certain Canadian officials. That's what's in these documents, and that's why the government is covering up as hard as it can."
Detainee abuse became the subject of national debate last year after heavily redacted versions of the documents were made public after Attaran filed an access to information request. They revealed the Canadian military was not monitoring detainees who had been transferred from Canadian to Afghan custody. It was later alleged that some of those detainees were being mistreated.
Diplomat Richard Colvin says he warned top Canadian officials as early as 2006 that Afghan detainees handed over to Afghans were subsequently being tortured. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
Until now, the controversy has centred on whether the government turned a blind eye to abuse of Afghan detainees.
However, Attaran said the full versions of the documents show that Canada went even further in intentionally handing over prisoners to torturers.
"And it wasn't accidental; it was done for a reason," he said. "It was done so that they could be interrogated using harsher methods."
The government maintains that nothing improper happened.
"The Canadian Forces have conducted themselves with the highest performance of all countries," Prime Minister Stephen Harper told the House of Commons Thursday.
But many facets of the issue remain top secret, such as the role of Canada's elite Joint Task Force 2, or JTF2. There have been hints that JTF2 might be handling so-called high-value prisoners.
"High-value targets would be detained under a completely different mechanism that involved special forces and targeted, intelligence-driven operations," Richard Colvin, a former senior diplomat with Canada's mission in Afghanistan, told a parliamentary committee last November.
Colvin claimed that all detainees transferred by Canadians to Afghan prisons were likely tortured by Afghan officials. He also said that his concerns were ignored by top government officials and that the government might have tried to cover up the issue.
Opposition parties have been trying to get the Conservative government to release the uncensored versions of the documents pertaining to the handling of Afghan detainees.
Retired Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci has been asked to review whether documents pertaining to the transfer of Afghan detainees can be released to Parliament. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)
The Conservatives insist that releasing uncensored files on the issue would damage national security. On Friday, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson asked former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Frank Iacobucci to review whether there would be "injurious" effects if some Afghan detainee documents were made public.
Nicholson did not give full details on Iacobucci's assignment or a timetable for when the review might be completed.
However, opposition parties said Parliament is entitled to those documents regardless of what Iacobucci decides.
"Parliament is supreme," said Ontario NDP MP Paul Dewar. "What this is, is a skate around Parliament."
Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh said the government still has many questions to answer on the subject of detainees.
"Who knew what and when, and who allowed the continuing saga of Afghan detainees being sent to a potential risk of torture?" Dosanjh said.
It's not clear whether the government will make Iacobucci's advice public. Moreover, he is not a sitting judge and can't legally rule or force the government to do anything.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
After reading this, I dare anyone to say to me, that this government isn't trying to destroy our democracy and freedom.
Something that I haven't commented on a lot, is a fiasco in the Rights and Democracy board. Over time, Harper appointed some Tory lackies to senior positions, and the result was nothing short of extreme intimidation of the existing board and staff, for ideological reasons. This is yet another example of how the Tories smear anyone criticizing Israel, as Anti-Semitic -- in this case, leading to the resignation of several members, and the death of at least one board member.
It must be noted, that during this man's funeral, the board's offices were looted and computers stolen. The case is unsolved as of this writing.
In another case not too long ago, Emperor Harper was on a public relations tour, and when he had the press on his private plane, essentially confined them there until they were made clear that they were ONLY to report what HARPER wanted them to report. This is coming from a Prime Minister who already exercises heavy control over what the press may and may not ask him (especially in public). In other words, the press was basically held hostage -- not surprisingly, this has been mostly unreported by the mainstream media.
Also of note is that yet another economist was found criticizing Harper's claims that he can eliminate our deficit without raising taxes or cutting spending -- which is something anyone who's ever handled money can figure out. The response from the Prime Minister's Office, was to drag this man through the mud as well, labeling him an elite Ignatieff crony, because he happened to attend a conference in Florida where the Liberal leader was also speaking.
Finally, a Calgary riding association was so fed up with their Tory MP (who had infamously refused to grant Nelson Mandela honourary Canadian citizenship, calling him a "terrorist" and a "communist"), that they tried to have him replaced with another Conservative. The party would have none of this and tried to shut them down -- so the whole staff walked. The MP has since resigned, but that is too little too late.
We are officially living in a country, where questioning the status quo puts you on the receiving end of threats, bullying, and oppression. I was hoping that we could simply wait until the next election to end this, but now I fear we might not get that chance. All Canadians, rise up and fight back -- tell the Conservatives and the press, that we will not just stand by and let ourselves be silenced!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
In case you're wondering, the other world leaders aren't buying it, and neither are most Canadians. This is for a very simple reason: Harper standing up for womens' rights, is like Fred Phelps standing up for a gay pride parade.
This is not only the same man, whose party is supported by ultra-conservative religious groups, bound and determined to keep women in the home; this is not only the same person whose party has repeatedly condemned single mothers and the lower-class in general; this is not only the same person whose government has slashed funding to several women's programs and widened the gender salary gap...
This is the same man who, just last year, personally referred to women as "a left-wing fringe group". In plain English, Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, have complete and utter contempt for women. Therefore, the only reason that Harper is suddenly applauding the fairer sex, must be for the same reason he suddenly acknowledged we were in a recession, or suddenly announced stimulus spending, or EI reform: he's trying to save his own ass.
Nevermind that this shows absolutely no sincerity on Harper's part, but based on past experience you can bet that his supposed "enlightenment" will either be very limited, or totally forgotten about in the next couple of months. Hopefully Canadian voters now have longer attention spans than that, and won't fall for it.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
The grassroots movements protesting Emperor Harper's attacks on Canadian democracy, are growing more and more all the time. I'm hoping to be involved in a rally in Hamilton in the next couple of weeks (will keep anyone interested from here posted on that).
Sure enough, there are still some Conservative trolls (and Members of Parliament) insisting that Harper is a great leader, that this is all perfectly normal, etc. I really wish the right-wing would stop pissing on the public and trying to tell us that it's raining -- it's not only unethical but it's just plain insulting to our intelligence.
They claim that suspending Parliament is a normal procedure -- if so, then why does it rarely happen, and is widely considered a bad thing whenever it does? Furthermore, why does Harper conspicuously only do this, when his ass has been put in a sling?
They claim Harper hasn't been accused of war crimes. Excuse me? His administration has been caught -- in writing -- knowing about the torture of war prisoners in Afghanistan (not all of them Taliban, I might add), and not only has have the Harperites done nothing to stop it, but they have consistently muzzled and vilified anyone who brings it up in public. They have also done everything in their power to obstruct an investigation into the matter (which, in any other world, would be a crime by itself).
Incidentally, one of the many things shut down, by proroguing Parliament, has been the investigation. For a party that claims to be innocent of wrong doing, they do a really bad job of not looking like they have something to hide.
They finally claim that there is no evidence of torture, and that anyone who says otherwise is against the Canadian troops (yet another example of modern McCarthyism and slander). Well, anyone who's paid any attention to this story at all, knows that there have MANY allegations, from sources including our on-the-frontlines diplomats, the Red Cross (who personally met with the Harper cabinet), and various soldiers (even if some top soldiers were apparently kept in the dark). I would therefore argue that anyone trying to get this issue resolved properly, is the real sort of patriot needed right now.
I can go on -- and intend to, later -- but suffice it to say that the Harper government and his lackies will stop at nothing to control Canada with an iron fist, and they clearly have no qualms about using Thought Police-style tactics to do it.
To anyone reading this, please do something about it. If you are Canadian, protest at your MP's offices, city halls, anywhere that can get attention (if you're on Facebook, look for the group "Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament").
If you're not Canadian, please re-post this anywhere you can. We must get the word out to as many people as possible -- at the very least, show the world that we aren't all like Harper.