You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Politics’ category.

Source: Edmonton Journal

We will soon be having a provincial election and I for one, do not want to return to the dark conservative backwater Alberta languished in for some 40 odd years.  We have a New Democratic Party Government that, when situated on the political spectrum, comes up centrist or slightly left of centre.  In Alberta this is pretty heady stuff.  The UCP (United Conservative Party) is the cobbled up zombie corpse of the old Progressive Conservative party and the rural wack-a-loon Wild Rose Party (*shudder*).  It has been stitched together by a greasy re-baked federal conservative pol named Jason Kenny.

The defining feature of the zombie UCP party platform is that it’s *NOT* the NDP and its debt inflating, male emasculating, poor people centring democratic socialism (not the “s” word…*faints*).   In other words, these gormless fucks have sweet FA with regards to policy and what they would actually do if (’til now) they were elected to govern Alberta.  Not much other than “not what the NDP is doing”.   Sorry folks, the lame restatement of an antithesis is political weaksauce at best – but it might be enough to sway our lemming centric conservative voting populace, considering the rightward political leanings in this province.  Apparently many Albertans have been longing for a return to the 40 year the conservative seppuku our province has recently emerged from.  Social programs?  Protections for workers?  Government for the people?  Climate responsibility?

Fuck that pinko communist noise.

I digress.  The platform of the UCP is oozing out into the public’s knowledge and it isn’t pretty (see Ontario’s false populist doppelganger, Doug Ford for Kenney’s inspiration) .  Most of the platform portends a merry jaunt to back to lining the pockets of the rich while proclaiming austerity for the lucky ones and a relentless shitcanning for everyone else.

“Kenney said the UCP will hire people to draft orders in council for cabinet to adopt the week it’s sworn in if the UCP wins. One of the key elements of structural reform, Kenney said, “is to move quickly.”

“Speed creates its own momentum. It also makes it harder for the opponents of reform to obstruct it,” he said.

Kenney said he doesn’t want to get “bogged down” with public consultation, so his party is doing as much as it can now “on the big issues.”

You know all that legislation to protect the working class and benefit the poor.  It has to go.  Stat.  But more importantly we have to fuck the NDP’s social progress up with no debate, no consultation, and none of that fucking filthy democracy we fucking harp on when it comes to protecting business class interests and the rich.

“Kenney said the UCP would freeze minimum wage increases (the NDP recently increased it to $15 per hour). He would also consider restructuring the minimum wage to something that resembles the age-graduated system used in Australia, in which youth get paid less than adults.”

Because why pay young people reasonably?  Who thought up that shit?  Was it Stalin?  Because the young most certainly don’t need money to live or save toward pursing post-secondary education (which will most certainly be gutted during a UCP regime – we need more beer guzzling dullards not egg-heads for christ’s sake).  Screw the young people they vote for commies anyways, plus we can ratchet up poor peoples class antagonism so while they scrabble for the shiny pebbles we deem to throw their way, then we can continue the plunder-party for the corporate and business interests, as it rightfully should be.  Added benefit:  the poor will need to focus on mere survival instead of organizing for a just and equitable society…  so much winning for everyone.

“The UCP would appoint a minister tasked solely with decreasing regulations by one-third as part of an “aggressive process of … lightening the regulatory burden on the Alberta economy,” Kenney said. That minister’s work would be guided by a similar setup under former B.C. Liberal premier Gordon Campbell.

“We’ll be constrained in how far we can go in terms of fiscal stimulus because of the $8-billion deficit and pending $60-billion debt, so we will need to over-compensate on the regulatory side,” he said.”

You know that idea about the government representing the best interests of the people of Alberta?  That is about as red as Lenin’s underpants.  Oversight and regulations are for weak kneed socialist chumps who don’t know the true power of the dark side reckless capitalist exploitation.

Climate change?  Unions?  Checks on corporate power?  That malarkey needs to go, so much so that we’ll set up a supercharged “Fuck You I’ve got Mine” government ministry to expedite the whole fucking process.

Awesome!

“Kenney doubled down on his commitment to a well-resourced government “war room” to defend Alberta’s energy industry here and abroad, setting up satellite offices if need be.

He also pledged to “stop the statutory shutdown of coal.” Federal regulations passed under Kenney’s former government in 2012 would shutter most of Alberta’s 18 coal-fired plants. The remaining six have to close by 2030 under a deadline set by Alberta’s NDP government.”

You know that economic diversification program the NDP has been going on about?  Trying to (after 40 years of conservative dithering) wean Alberta off fossil fuel extraction dependence?  Let’s tear that initiative down.  No..  let’s burn it to the ground with…*thinking*…  COAL!  Because no UCP government policy says ‘we understand the implications of climate science‘ more than’ lets ROLL COAL ALL DAY EVERY FUCKING DAY.

Awesome!

“Kenney said he would consider appointing a fiscal commission to make recommendations on how to get back to balance without raising taxes. A UCP platform would include a “positive vision” for artists and the cultural industries, he said, but “there will have to be a period of fiscal restraint.”

Arts?  Culture?  If its not drinking buck-a-beer while watching the idiot box then you’ve come to the wrong place effete liberal beatniks.  Your highfalutin cultural activities have no place in at UCP province.   We have no need to talk critically about our culture and converse about our place in the world, that kind of thinking promotes democratic ideals and free thought and that shit is bad for business.

Seriously folks, the UCP is ahead in fundraising and in the polls.  It feels like Alberta is about to head back into the insipid MAGA zone.  I don’t want that to happen.  We’ve had a taste of what governing for the people is like, and should continue to support a government that isn’t solely on exploiting everything for the sake of the rich and business classes.

So how about it Alberta, can we not head back into the political dark ages, just this once?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  What’s going on in the US is chilling by nature.  The democratic underpinnings of their society are being being eroded at frightening rate as misinformation, lies, and propaganda replace the space once reserved for reasonable public discourse.  This process of disintegration isn’t new, but is hastened by the current republican administration’s dedication to a post-truth version of reality exemplified by their leader whose internal process seems to be this:  “I am right because I am always right”.

Scary stuff.  Arnold Isaacs, writing for Tom’s Dispatch catches a glimpse into the post-truth world that much of the American leadership seems to be mired in.

 

“President Trump looks like a quite different case. He clearly lies consciously at times, but generally the style and content of his falsehoods give the impression that he has engaged in a kind of internal mental Photoshopping, reshaping facts inside his mind until they conform to something he wants to say at a given moment.

A recent report in the Daily Beast described an episode that fits remarkably well with that theory.

As told by the Daily Beast’s Asawin Suebsaeng, at a March 2017 White House meeting between the president and representatives of leading veterans organizations, Rick Weidman of Vietnam Veterans of America brought up the subject of Agent Orange, the widely used U.S. defoliant that has had long-term health effects on American soldiers and Vietnamese villagers.

As Suebsaeng reconstructed the discussion, Trump responded by asking if Agent Orange was “that stuff from that movie” — a reference evidently to the 1979 film Apocalypse Now. Several veterans in the room tried to explain to the president that the scene he remembered involved napalm, an incendiary agent, not Agent Orange. But Trump wouldn’t back down, Suebsaeng recounted, “and proceeded to say things like, ‘no, I think it’s that stuff from that movie.'” His comment directly to Weidman was, “Well, I think you just didn’t like the movie.”

What makes the Daily Beast report particularly revealing is not just that Trump was ignorant of the facts and would not listen to people who clearly knew better. That behavior is all too familiar to anyone even casually aware of Trump’s record. The argument with the veterans was different because his misstatement did not arise from any of the usual reasons. He was not answering a critic or tearing down someone who frustrated him or making an argument for a policy opinion or defending some past statement.

Sticking to his version of Agent Orange was purely a reflection of his personality. On a subject one can safely assume he had not thought about until that moment, he seized on a fragmentary memory of something he’d seen on a screen years earlier, jumped to a wrong conclusion, and was then immediately convinced that he was correct solely because he had heard himself saying it — not only certain that he was right, but oblivious to the fact that everyone he was talking to knew more about the subject than he did.

In effect, this story strongly suggests, Trump’s thought process (if you can call it that) boils down to: I am right because I am always right.

Lots of people absorb facts selectively and adapt them to fit opinions they already hold. That’s human nature. But the president’s ability to twist the truth, consciously or not, is extreme. So is his apparently unshakable conviction that no matter what the subject is, no one knows more than he does, which means he has no need to listen to anyone who tries to correct his misstatements. In a person with his power and responsibilities, those qualities are truly frightening.

As alarming as his record is, though, it would be a serious mistake to think of Trump as the only or even the principal enemy of truth and truth-tellers. There is a large army out there churning out false information, using technology that lets them spread their messages to a mass audience with minimal effort and expense. But the largest threat to truth, I fear, is not from the liars and truth twisters, but from deep in our collective and individual human nature.”

It’s easier to believe a familiar lie than the uncomfortable truth – this is our human tendency – but now, more than ever, we need to seek out that uncomfortable space where we see ourselves and our situations for what they are, not what we want them to be.

 

Due process? Hello..hello? Is this thing on? I need to hear again how our present system of justice is serving the needs of all people in society…

Things are not okay. The status quo is currently unacceptable and must be changed.

This excerpt is from counterpunch article reviewing Michael Moore’s new film.  I think the reviewer rightly tagged it, along with all the rest of the comedy late night satirists as (I’m paraphrasing now) just more furious fiddling while Rome continues to burn.  It appears that the US Democratic party are subscribing to the notion that as long as they look like they are a party in opposition that is enough for people to vote for them.  US dissident commentators have been correctly remarking decades that the US has two business class political parties that share roughly the same platform and set of policies.  That is sort of a problem if you are trying to get the poor and average people to vote for you and your pro-business/pro-elite (albeit with different window dressings) political positions.

The ‘problem’ that the Democratic party is facing is described below by Louis Proyect:

“Can we expect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to be more like Rosa Luxemburg, as the DSA would have you believe, or like Hermann Müller? The jury is still out.

When she was on Jake Tapper’s show on CNN the other day, the host grilled her about how she would come up with the forty trillion dollars needed to fund Medicare for all, housing as a federal right, a federal jobs guarantee, tuition-free public college, and canceling all student loan debt.

She hemmed and hawed in her reply to the point that Tapper told her that he was assuming that he was not going to get an answer. Instead of her saying something as mealy-mouthed as this: “And, additionally, what this is, is a broader agenda. We do know and we acknowledge that there are political realities. They don’t always happen with just the wave of a wand. But we can work to make these things happen.”

In 1968, I was selling subscriptions to a “socialist rag” door-to-door in Columbia University before the sit-in began. I was also supporting the candidacy of Fred Halstead and Paul Boutelle who if given the opportunity to be interviewed on CNN would have said something like this. “To fund these badly needed programs, we have to start with closing every single military base in the world starting with South Korea. Why are we still formally at war with a country that only resorted to a nuclear defense program to ward off an attack by the USA? The Senate just passed a bill that provides the military with $716 billion for 2019. That should be cut by 90 percent at least. We would also re-introduce progressive taxation measures that would not only be in line with the 90 percent under Eisenhower but exceed it. We would also make sure that Apple and other corporations could not use tax havens in Ireland or Caribbean islands anymore.”

However, this would mark her as a flaky radical that would be an unreliable ally in Congress. What is needed now, according to leading Democrats, is a common sense, progressive, pragmatic approach of the sort Andrew Cuomo prescribed in a press conference after he defeated Cynthia Nixon by 30 points. He wrote off people like Ocasio-Cortez as a “ripple” in the Democratic Party and whose electoral victory in Queens was a “fluke”.

Oh, did I mention what she told Jake Tapper when asked about her attitude toward the corrupt and neo-liberal Governor who just treated her like dirt? “And what I also look forward to moving forward is us rallying behind all Democratic nominees, including the governor, to make sure that he wins in November.” If she is okay with Cuomo, how can we expect her not to urge a vote for Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg or even John Kerry in the next election?”

So, being a flaky radical seems to be something of a no-go.  What identifies one as a ‘flaky-radical’?  Apparently the willingness to examine and tackle the systemic issues of the US imperial system that are making like shitty for the majority of those who live there.  Much better to stick to the common sense, progressive, pragmatic approach.  Also known as maintenance of the status-quo.

It must be tough having to rally against the system by supporting the system…

The need for security actions and endless wars is a self-justifying feature of the US economic and political landscape. The military industrial complex (MIC) is invested in all levels of American society and within the political realm. The MIC is not only good for business, but often it *is* the business providing jobs and civilian infrastructure back in Anytown USA. Certainly the products being made are for bringing death to people, usually brown, in far away lands but ethical concerns aside, everyone wins right?

The war in Oceania goes well.

The infinite war cycle is made possible only because we’ve changed what ‘victory’ looks like. These new victory conditions seem to work very will with the notion that war must remain a profitable endeavour for the American Empire. Nick Turse writes about how changing the conditions for a what a win looks like enables the system to cycle onward:

“Unlike in the Vietnam War years, three presidents and the Pentagon, unbothered by fiscal constraints, substantive congressional opposition, or a significant antiwar movement, have been effectively pursuing this strategy, which requires nothing more than a steady supply of troops, contractors, and other assorted camp followers; an endless parade of Senate-sanctioned commanders; and an annual outlay of hundreds of billions of dollars. By these standards, Donald Trump’s open-ended, timetable-free “Strategy in Afghanistan and South Asia” may prove to be the winningest war plan ever. As he described it:

“From now on, victory will have a clear definition: attacking our enemies, obliterating ISIS, crushing al-Qaeda, preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan, and stopping mass terror attacks against America before they emerge.”

Think about that for a moment. Victory’s definition begins with “attacking our enemies” and ends with the prevention of possible terror attacks. Let me reiterate: “victory” is defined as “attacking our enemies.” Under President Trump’s strategy, it seems, every time the U.S. bombs or shells or shoots at a member of one of those 20-plus terror groups in Afghanistan, the U.S. is winning or, perhaps, has won. And this strategy is not specifically Afghan-centric. It can easily be applied to American warzones in the Middle East and Africa — anywhere, really.

Decades after the end of the Vietnam War, the U.S. military has finally solved the conundrum of how to “out-guerrilla the guerrilla.” And it couldn’t have been simpler. You just adopt the same definition of victory. As a result, a conventional army — at least the U.S. military — now loses only if it stops fighting. So long as unaccountable commanders wage benchmark-free wars without congressional constraint, the United States simply cannot lose. You can’t argue with the math. Call it the rule of 4,000,000,029,057.

That calculus and that sum also prove, quite clearly, that America’s beleaguered commander-in-chief has gotten a raw deal on his victory parade. With apologies to the American Legion, the U.S. military is now — under the new rules of warfare — triumphant and deserves the type of celebration proposed by President Trump. After almost two decades of warfare, the armed forces have lowered the bar for victory to the level of their enemy, the Taliban. What was once the mark of failure for a conventional army is now the benchmark for success. It’s a remarkable feat and deserving, at the very least, of furious flag-waving, ticker tape, and all the age-old trappings of victory.”

One of the small side problems of this MIC strategy is that the rest the ‘homeland’ society goes to shit while the arms makers and assorted war profiteers become obscenely wealthy, and then said obscene wealth is used to further distort the democratic system at home to better feed the MIC machine to make more war, and more profit and…

And once war with Oceania is done, the war in Eurasia can begin proper.

 

We have a NIMBY problem here.  The bad news is that said NIMBY problem is on a planetary scale and my backyard is really everyone’s back yard so to speak.  The doom of our time is coming, human driven climate change, and we merrily continue to do that very things that will cause our end.  It’s fascinating watching the ecocide play out because if there is one truth to the entire situation it is this – until the elites of our society feel the pain of AGW, nothing will be done – because the current status quo is a just too darn profitable and comfortable to want to change toward a future that might sustain the future of the species.

Of course, from my small balcony in which I view the world, I can point to one system that has been royally screwing the planet since it’s inception – capitalism.  And yes, yes, yes, apologists I’m happy I’ve been given the few crumbs of technology and relative stability that make my balcony observations possible but – and it’s a rather large but – would I trade my technology and relatively easy life style for one that works withing the boundaries of the carrying capacity of the earth?  Absolutely.  It is the adult and responsible course of action; the only hitch is that doing the right thing is rarely a profitable venture and we all know how the ‘right thing’ vs. ‘making money thing’ goes, at least in our current economic paradigm.

Paul Street adds to the argument:

   “Other thinkers of an eco-Marxian bent, myself included, narrow the diagnosis. They historicize the climate crisis, situating it in the specific historical context of capitalism. The concept of “the Anthropocene” has rich geological validity and holds welcome political relevance in countering the carbon-industrial complex’s denial of humanity’s responsibility for contemporary climate change, they note. Still, they counsel, we must guard against lapsing into the historically misleading, fatalistic, and often class-blind use of “Anthro,” projecting the currently and historically recent age of capital onto the broad 100,000-year swath of human activity on and in nature. As the Green Marxist environmental sociologist and geographer Jason Moore reminded radio interviewer Sasha Lilley last a few years ago, “It was not humanity as a whole that created …large-scale industry and the massive textile factories of Manchester in the 19th century or Detroit in the last century or Shenzen today. It was capital.”

Indeed, it was not humanity as a whole that built the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)in 2015 and 2016. It was capital, corralled in the accounts of Energy Transfer Partners, under the supervision of a reckless, eco-cidal and profit-mad billionaire named Kelcy Warren, who funded  the DAPL with billions of dollars from across the world’s leading financial institutions.

It was not humanity as whole that hid evidence of Greenhouse Gassing’s deadly impact on human prospects.  It was capital on various levels but most particularly in the form of Exxon-Mobil, who (in the greatest climate and environmental crime in history) buried the findings of its very own cutting-edge scientists in the 1970s and 1980s— an offence that that, as Chomsky says, “is almost hard to find words to describe.”

Moore and other left analysts argue with good reason that it is more appropriate to understand humanity’s Earth-altering assault on livable ecology as the “Capitalocene.” It is just a  relatively small slice of human history – roughly the last half-millennium give or take a century or so – during which human society has been socially and institutionally wired by a specific form of class rule to relentlessly assault on an ultimately geocidal scale.

It is only during the relatively brief period of history when capitalism has ruled the world system (since 1600 or thereabouts by some calculations, earlier and later by others) that human social organization has developed the inner, accumulation-, commodification-, “productivity”-, and growth-mad compulsion to transform Earth systems – with profitability and “productivity” dependent upon on the relentless appropriation of  “cheap nature” (cheap food, cheap energy, cheap raw materials and cheap human labor power)  Moore maintains that “humanity’s”  destruction of livable ecology is explained by changes that capitalism’s addictive and interrelated pursuits of profit and empire imposed on its behavior within “the web of life.”

It is capitalism and its quarterly earnings obsession with short-term profits, not Rich’s “human nature,” that constantly plunders and poisons the commons and trumps long-term planning for the common good.”

Hurricanes give no fucks about your socioeconomic status.

Our short-sighted nature will be the end of us.  Unless…

“This in one of the timeworn paths to societal ruin discussed in a paper published five years ago by mathematician Safa Motesharrei, atmospheric scientist Eugenia Kalnay and political scientist Jorge Rivas in the journal Ecological Economics. Reviewing past societal collapses, they reflected on a potential current global scenario in which:

“[T]he Elites—due to their wealth—do not suffer the detrimental effects of the environmental collapse until much later than the Commoners. This buffer of wealth allows   Elites to continue ‘business as usual’ despite the impending catastrophe. It … explain[s] how historical collapses were allowed to occur by elites who appear to be oblivious to the catastrophic trajectory (most clearly apparent in the Roman and Mayan cases). This buffer effect is further reinforced by the long, apparently sustainable trajectory prior to the beginning of the collapse. While some members of society might raise the alarm that the system is moving towards an impending collapse and therefore advocate structural changes to society in order to avoid it, Elites and their supporters, who opposed making these changes, could point to the long sustainable trajectory ‘so far’ in support of doing nothing.”

Is this not the state of “humanity” under the command of capital today, with many millions of disproportionately poor and powerless people already suffering from climate disruption while the wealthy few continue to enjoy lives of unimaginable, environmentally shielded opulence atop a recklessly fossil-fueled planet so vastly unequal that the world’s eight richest people possess as much wealth between them as the bottom half of the species?

It’s “the rich,” not humanity in general, that “are destroying the Earth,” as Herve Kempf noted in the title and text of an important book eleven years ago. At the same time however, it is in fact up to “our species,” yes, humanity, to save itself and other Earthly life forms by engaging in a great mass uprising against those who have plundered and poisoned the commons for private profit. (If there’s another intelligent life form out there that survived the transition to high-tech modernity and developed the capacity to save other species in the galaxy, now would be the time for them to travel through tie and space to lend us a hand.  I’m not holding my breath for that!)   The best bet we have, my fellow world citizens and common(s)ers, is is eco-socialist people’s revolution here on the planet itself.”

Revolt or die comrades.  :/

 

Bonus Reading: Human Nature and Dynamics There is a good deal of math here, however, also a very readable paper on the collapse of complex societies. It’s a good read and worth your time.

 

 

What happens when you integrate your military into the fabric of the economy?  Why the F-35 debacle of course.

This Blog best viewed with Ad-Block and Firefox!

What is ad block? It is an application that, at your discretion blocks out advertising so you can browse the internet for content as opposed to ads. If you do not have it, get it here so you can enjoy my blog without the insidious advertising.

Like Privacy?

Change your Browser to Duck Duck Go.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 386 other followers

Progressive Bloggers

Categories

November 2018
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Archives

Blogs I Follow

The DWR Community

Volunteer petunia

Observations and analysis on survival, love and struggle

femlab

the feminist exhibition space at the university of alberta

Raising Orlando

About gender, identity, parenting and containing multitudes

REAL for women

Reflecting Equality in Australian Legislation for women

The Feminist Kitanu

Spreading the dangerous disease of radical feminism

Double Plus Good

The Evolution Will Not BeTelevised

la scapigliata

writer, doctor, wearer of many hats

Mars Caulton

Teaching Artist/ Progressive Educator

liberated558

Still she persisted

Old Wives' Tales

feminism, motherhood, writing

Female Personhood

Identifying as female since the dawn of time.

Not The News in Briefs

A blog by Helen Saxby

SOLIDARITY WITH HELEN STEEL

A blog in support of Helen Steel

thenationalsentinel.wordpress.com/

Where media credibility made a comeback.

BigBooButch

Memoirs of a Butch Lesbian

RadFemSpiraling

Radical Feminism Discourse

a sledge and crowbar

deconstructing identity and culture

The Radical Pen

Fighting For Female Liberation from Patriarchy

Emma

Politics, things that make you think, and recreational breaks

Nordic Model Now!

Movement for the Abolition of Prostitution

The WordPress C(h)ronicle

These are the best links shared by people working with WordPress

HANDS ACROSS THE AISLE

Biology, Not Bigotry

fmnst

Peak Trans and other feminist topics

There Are So Many Things Wrong With This

if you don't like the news, make some of your own

Gentle Curiosity

Musing over important things. More questions than answers.

ANTHRO FEMINISM

A place for thoughtful, truly intersectional Feminist discussion.

violetwisp

short commentaries, pretty pictures and strong opinions

Revive the Second Wave

gender-critical sex-negative intersectional radical feminism

Trans Animal Farm

The Trans Trend is Orwellian

Princess Henry of Wales

Priestess Belisama

miss guts.

just a girl on a journey

writing by renee

Trigger warning: feminism, women's rights

RANCOM!

Happily Retired

twanzphobic since forever

• • • • it's mocktacular! • • • •

freer lives

A socialist critique of gender ideology

Centering Women

A radical feminist page made for women only

radicalkitten

radical Elemental feminism

%d bloggers like this: