9.03.2015

A list of the Harper Government's Assaults on the Good, Peaceful and Fairminded People of Canada


Of course no list of the Harper government's assaults on Canada's society can be considered complete because there's just so many of them. When i started this process some months ago i soon realized this. i'm going to start with the worst of the worst from my perspective.

Back in 2012, the Harper government launched an unprecedented assault on Canada’s environmental laws when it introduced Bill C-38, an omnibus bill that put a halt to automatic environmental assessments of projects under the federal government’s purview. All told, the Fisheries Act, Navigable Waters Protection Act and Canadian Environmental Assessment Act were either repealed or simply gutted, while the NEB was neutered. The Harper government made a wholesale effort to not only destroy protection but then to destroy data and destroy knowledge when eviscerating of the Navigable Waters Act, attempting to close the Experimental Lakes Area, and dumping books from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Library. All of this, including the auditing of environmental and civil society groups, was done to allow the fossil fuel industry, Harper's #1 benefactor, to build pipelines without having to endure the inconvience of people and laws that oppose such destruction of our common environment.

This past year Harper passed Bill C-51, the government’s anti-terrorism legislation - popularly known as the secret Police Act -which  criminalizes free speech and allows government agencies to widely share personal information without any regard to privacy, while giving CSIS, RCMP and CSEC freer range to spy on whomever they choose. Consequently, spying on environmental and aboriginal activists, especially those opposed to pipelines or who participate in National Energy Board (NEB) hearings.

Harper is the only Canadian prime minister to be found in contempt of Parliament, which occurred in 2011 after his government refused to release costs on certain programs to opposition MPs. On the childcare front, Harper scrapped plans for a national daycare program that Paul Martin had promised and now is passing out cheques to all parents, including the rich, to buy votes.

Starting in 2010, Harper tabled a bill with 883 pages that included changes to Canada Post and environmental assessments. Since then, Harper has passed 10 more omnibus bills to circumvent debate in parliament, often making sweeping changes to laws and regulations.

Haper's attempt at vote suppression - the Fair Elections Act. Last year the Harper government overhauled Canada’s election laws to deal with electoral fraud. But its critics soon labeled it the “Unfair Elections Act” because it weakened the power of Elections Canada, effectively muzzling the chief electoral officer from communicating with the public and MPs about investigations, and cut off the agency’s investigations arm, it changed the ID requirements for voting making it far more difficult for students, FNs and the homeless [all Harper opponnts] to vote.

Harper's gagging scientists from speaking freely about their research. Numerous scientists have been prevented from speaking to the media, especially those researching the environment. Germanwatch and Climate Action Network Europe — which produce an annual report card on climate change performance — put Canada 58th out of 61 countries in regards to its efforts to combat global warming, above only Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan and Australia.

Taxpayer-funded political ads. This spring, Finance Canada is planning to spend $13.5-million on ads to boast about the government’s budget. The Toronto Star estimates that $500-million has been spent by the Harper government since 2009 promoting its programs – $75-million in 2014 alone.

It's a long list:

Harper’s former Parliamentary Secretary, Dean Del Mastro, found guilty of election fraud;

Government found guilty of election fraud 5 times in 8 years;

Spent $7 million in partisan anti-drug ads in just 3 months

Has spent $700,000 fighting Canada’s veterans in court

Spent tens of millions of taxpayer dollars developing partisan legislation that stood no chance of withstanding a Constitutional challenge……and when all were overturned by the Supreme Court, began undermining the credibility of the Court, and its Chief Justice;

Deception around Nigel Wright repaying the $90,000 Conservative Senator Mike Duffy defrauded from taxpayers, closing off investigation and refusing to give details….with RCMP finding all trails lead back to Stephen Harper’s office;

undemocratic ‘Fair Elections Act’ removing ability of Elections Canada to do its job;

Auditor General reported $3.1 billion in anti- terror funding missing; using taxpayer dollars to fund partisan personal attack ads;

Spent $750 million taxpayer dollars in partisan advertising;

found guilty on three separate occasions of election fraud and campaign financing violations;

Allowed XL Foods meat processing plant to continue to process and distribute tainted meat for 3 weeks after U.S. stopped importing for the same reason;

Over spent those cabinet-approved ad budgets by $128-million — more than 37 per cent…..all the while cutting funding to important government programs;

Shut down Committee investigating F-35 purchase scandal;

Conservative campaign staff proven to be behind Guelph Robocalls;

Lied to Parliament and the Canadian public about the true cost of the F-35's,

Auditor General proves fraud and incompetence in Government's F-35 purchase,

Increased the size of the federal public service by 32,000 employees, increased government spending by 30% to a record $276 billion,

largest deficit in Canadian history,

Industry Minister Christian Paradis stays in Cabinet after being found in violation of the Conflict of Interest Act;

First Government in Canadian History to be found in Contempt of Parliament,

Took $38.2 billion Liberal Surplus, and ran it into 53 Billion Dollar Deficit,

screwed up G8 and G20 Meetings,

Veterans Affairs Minister Fantino criticized for spending $4 million on advertising programs for veterans rather than investing the money in services;

$1.3 billion in unspent funding for Veterans returned to Treasury to help balance budget after Veterans Services cutbacks;

ignored recommendations contained in 2012 Auditor General’s Report regarding security deficiencies at the Parliament Buildings…….contributing to the killing of a soldier there on October 22, 2014;

reduced funding for Canada’s military to an all-time low of 1.4% of GDP;

Despite the Conservative government’s frequent warnings about lingering terrorist threats, it quietly abolished a federal panel of national security advisers;

Lost Canada’s seat on the Security Council;

Turned down $300 million offer to sell the Canadian Wheat Board’s assets to Canadian farmers, so he could give them to American businessmen for FREE;

The annual cost of paying Conservative political staffers working in a network of satellite minister’s offices ballooned by 70 per cent (from $1.6 million to $2.7 million) during the same years the government was eliminating some departments and programs, and ordering others to tighten their belts;

ratified a controversial 31 year treaty that will allow China to sue Canada in secret tribunals for Canadian laws that interfere with Chinese investments;

muzzled outgoing leader of Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC), Lt.-Gen. Stu Beare …. preventing him from talking to journalists about the challenges that CJOC and Canada face during this period of global tumult;

another of Stephen Harper’s key pieces of legislation was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Canada, when his section limiting pre-trial sentencing credit was overturned;

imposition of new federal grain and transportation rules, that because of lack of coordination, transparency, accountability, and infrastructure……caused global clients to walk away and buy elsewhere……at a cost of $5 billion to Canadian farmers;

poor monitoring of safety and environmental controls by Department of Transport, detailed in damning Transportation Safety Board report as a contributing factor in the Lac-M├ęgantic train derailment that killed 47 people;

A report by Canada’s veterans watchdog says nearly half of the country’s most severely disabled ex-soldiers are not receiving a government allowance intended to compensate them for their physical and mental wounds; instructed civil servants to begin deleting ‘sensitive’ emails; Under proposed changes to prescribed annuity taxation, Canadian poor seniors will pay a lot more taxes; according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation……

Stephen Harper employs 3,325 spin doctors, at a cost of $263 million…..almost equal to the cost of operating the House of Commons;

sent out email to Public Servants asking them to promote Conservative tax proposal on Twitter;

Harper government paid $35 million to quietly settle lawsuit regarding contract dispute where Conservatives rigged the bidding process;

Paul Calandra's dishonest and embarrassing performance answering questions in the HoC;

Using taxpayer funded ten-percenters and constituency mailers, and House of Commons free mailing privileges to send out attack literature;

wants to change copyright law to allow for privately owned news copy to be used free of charge in attack ads……but has done nothing to protect film & music copyright owners receive proper payment;

using the Canada Revenue Agency as an arm of PMO to target groups and agencies deemed ‘unfriendly’ to the Harper government;

scrapped 3,000 environmental reviews on pipelines and other projects;

Canada ranked worst of G7 nations in fighting bribery & corruption, by Transparency International, the watchdog agency that monitors global corruption;

Canada slipped out of the top 10 countries listed in the annual United Nation’s human development index — a far cry from the 1990s when it held the first place for most of the decade (rating a country’s performance in health, education and income);

cancelled the Health Council of Canada and the 10-year health Provincial accord that led to its creation;

consistently used Omnibus bills to hide and pass controversial legislation that it did not want to debate separately;

government employment policies stimulate creation of part-time jobs at the expense of full-time positions;

Canada performance ranked as 58th out 61 industrialized countries by international climate organization;

Held back $7 billion in approved spending to finance tax cuts……depriving some departments of required operating funds;

Listeria Outbreak;

Transparency Lies,

Accountability Lies,

Afghanistan Secrecy;

CRTC Meddling,

Rona Ambrose lies & ineptness;

Anti-Intellectualism;

Fake election phone calls in 34 ridings,

Fake Citizenship ceremonies,

Tony Clement's $50 million Gazebo fund,

Misleading Parliament on what the Gazebo Fund was supposed to be used for,

In And Out election violations,

Income Trusts lies,

Security Leaks,

Cadman Affair;

fired Nuclear Watchdog Linda Keane for doing her job,

fired head of Military Police Inquiry for doing his job,

fired Veteran's Ombudsman for doing his job,

had Firearm Long Gun Mountie removed for doing his job,

eviscerated Long Form Census to keep facts from the public,

trashed Diplomat Richard Colvin for doing his job;

Dishonestly used image of Canadarm with photoshopped Canada logo on government websites;

Canada Was The Only UN Member To Reject Landmark Indigenous Rights Document;

Ignored UN Environmental Commission report on urgent need to get greenhouse gasses under control;

Conservative Parliamentary Assistant Alexandra Constantinidis caught twice, trying record Liberal candidate’s private conversation;

Spent $15.4 million on a records archival system it never used (2014 Auditor General’s Report);


Certainly there's many more in our past but no more after October 19th - Heave Steve Day.

8.31.2015

Stop Harper Campaigns Online and On the Street Show Canadians are United Against Conservatives


There are more Stop Harper Campaigns on the go across Canada than could have been hoped for. They range form one person, an 80+ year old lady carrying a Stop Harper signboard on a street corner in Harper's riding in Alberta, to the National Stop Harper Campaign, to the, at times humorous, 'Shit Harper Did' site and hundreds more...

The image above caught my eye because of its simplicity and its sincerity. At this point nobody knows if Harper's past hold on power through divide and conquer tactics will work again but it's clear that well over two thirds of Canadians not only oppose Harper's neo-fascist dictatorship, they openly ridicule it.

One of the Harper's worst assaults is his religiously myopic anti-science policies based on his delusional evangelical beliefs. Harper’s Church, the Evangelical Christian and Missionary Alliance, is “committed to the the authority of the bible”. Recently they wrote an 'Open Letter to Pope Francis on Climate Change' which is so totally based on fear mongering ignorance that it's little wonder so many of harper's opponents agree that 'The Harper Conservatives are afraid of Science'.

None of these campaigns have had as much effect as Veterans Against Conservatives, a group, of veterans and supporters and who disagree with Harper's policies and is asking all Canadians to support their campaign - Anyone But Conservatives - Canadian Veterans Campaign 2015 - and on Oct. 19 vote to defeat Harper's Conservative government.

The veterans campaign is reaching far and wide as this week's Insights West poll finds one-third of 2011 Conservative voters considering other party - 'Poll Shows Treatment of Vets Could Hurt Tory Base'. In case you've forgotten why are the vets declaring war on the Harper-Cons here's a partial list of their grievances: In the past decade Harper's Conservatives closed offices, cut 900 jobs, clawed back benefits, killed lifetime pensions for Afghanistan veterans, and failed to spend $1.13 billion of the Veterans Affairs budget but found money to increase advertising and ceremonies for politicians to honour veterans as well as spend over $700,000 fighting Canada’s veterans in court.

Next up, The Mud Report will publish its own long, but undoubetly incomplete list of Harper's assualt on Canada.

8.23.2015

All Pension Plans, TFSAs, Mutual Funds, etc. Rely on the Delusional Belief in Endless Growth


The issue of pension inequity is making the news today in Canada. According to recently obtained reports an internal Finance Canada review of Canada's retirement system says Canada scores poorly among OECD countries. Many of Canada's MSM headlines out this morning are similar to the CBC's 'Document raises questions about Harper retirement policies'. But none of them really wants to come near the reasons why all of Canada's once highly touted social services are being defunded by successive governments on every level in Canada.

The Harper regime, having been in power for the past decade and undoubtedly the most egregious group of divide and conquer tactic using class warfare politicians in many decades is an easy target. Harper's people - the Conservative base - don't need no stinking pensions [to paraphrase 'The Treasure of the Sierra Madre'] but they do resent paying any type of axes that they believe supports 'freeloaders'. OK, OK, the Canada Pension Plan [CPC] is self supporting, but that hardly matters in this era of noble ignorance.

Then there's the Conservative's answer -  tax-free savings accounts [TFSAs] - introduced by the Harper Conservatives in 2009, and are totally useless to Canadians who live paycheck to paycheck if they're lucky. Most Canadian households, far from breaking even, go further into debt every month. So the only Canadians who benefit from TFSAs are the wealthy who have excess money to deposit in a scheme designed for them to pay less taxes and thereby support less social services.

i hate Harper's policies, but to draw a line in time on the decline of Canada's social services at the beginning of Harper's reign is disingenuous [i was going to say bullshit, but that unjustly denigrates valuable manure]. Nobody in recent times cut more money from social service spending than Chretien and Martin, not even Mulroney, though he destroyed the Canadian working class with his 'free trade' crap and in so doing destroyed the tax base and citizen's livelihood that a robust manufacturing sector once provided. Harper has simply carried on the tradition of cutting taxes on the rich and then, in response to the resulting drop in economic performance, used the costs of social services that the underclasses need as the scapegoat for cutting funds to them.

That, the ongoing class war between the Bankers and Billionaires Club and the rest of us, is one of the two biggest reasons for our declining social service quality. It's short-sighted because a healthy economy is one where people have jobs that pay enough to support their families, where those jobs are adding value the countries natural endowments that produce products that they themselves use. A healthy economy is, like a healthy environment, a circle. Once that circle gets over loaded on one side it first wobbles then collapses. We now live in the wobbling era.

The second equally unjust reality behind Canada's pension woes is the same one as is behind almost every other one, including the destruction of the biosphere and its cyclical health, that is the delusion of endless growth in a closed system. All pension plans - public or private - all savings plans, including TFSAs, mutual funds, etc - are simply vehicles that ride on the delusional belief that capitalism's 'markets' only and always go up.

This delusion of endless growth based on a self-serving  belief structure that refuses to acknowledge the unpaid costs to the biosphere and the cleanup/remediation costs that will bankrupt future generations is the biggest lie and the biggest reason why the politicians can get away with advancing the policies and regulations that they do.

The only real solution to our declining social services is the same as our only real solution to environmental degradation and class warfare itself - the ending of consumer capitalism.

8.20.2015

Harper's Petrostate Policies and Free Trade Scams Make Him Canada's Worst PM Ever - Stop Harper


Harper's short sighted petrostate politics combined with the Conservatives multi-decade free trade schemes have combined to undermine the economy of Canada. There's been many excellent articles and studies done on how Canada's once balanced economy has been torpedoed by Harper's obsession with feathering the nests of his benefactors in the fossil fuel industry at the expense of everyone else. Even the far from left-wing Bank of Canada has agreed that Canada has Dutch Disease .

Mitchell Anderson's series at the Tyee titled 'Secrets to Norway's Petro-Wealth: Lessons for Canada?' is an excellent in depth analysis of the Harper government's petrostate policies and what could and should have been done differently. And there's no better explanation of the predicable situation Harper's petrostate policies have thrown Canada into than this interview with Terry Lynn Karl, who wrote the book on petrostates titled: 'Falling Oil Prices Could Rock Canada's Politics'.

Free Trade is a weapon of the 1%, Fair Trade is a tool of the 99%. Free Trade is a whole globe girdling, planet pulverizing, paradigm. Free Trade is tyranny. As Maude Barlow puts it, " I'm referring to those awkward facts about free trade, like that Canada lost 334,000 manufacturing jobs in the first five years after the Canada-U.S. deal was signed -- a decline that continued under NAFTA and continues to this day. Good paying full-time jobs are more often than not replaced by precarious part-time work, which contributes to Canada's stagnating middle-income wages over the past 20 years. It's a harsh reality of the free trade era that most of the new wealth created -- and free trade does create wealth -- went straight to the top, to the richest one per cent in Canada and globally."

Today's Globe and Mail economic headline: 'TSX plunges to 8-month low' explains that the rout in commodities markets are continuing to spread. What they don't explain and what global 'endless growth' addicts always refuse to confront is why. The fact is that endless growth in a closed system is impossible. The loudly trumpeted capitalist growth fallacy is running into the long predicted limits of growth.

The reality is that demand for needless crap [discretionary spending in economic jargon] is imploding not due to high the minded motives of those few of us folks who see the folly of materialism and live lives of simplicity in response. Instead the demand side implosion is being driven mainly by spiraling personal debts and underemployment, both of which are in turn driven by systemic inequalities of opportunity and education inherent in extractive capitalism and it's fallacious logic of endless growth.

Slow degrowth is inevitable in a mildly deflationary world. Avoiding the alternative - a massive environmental and/or financial collapse - can happen through 'co-operative self-limitation' but it can also happen because even the most addicted consumer, when confronted by reality, starts choosing bread over oreos, needs over wants.

These limits to growth should have been understood by Harper and his advisers. They should have understood that the worst possible policies Canada could follow would be one-sided petrostate policies. Instead the big fool - Harper - pushed on more, more, more short term thinking, more, more, more short-term 'profits' for his benefactors until the inevitable happens.

Harper must be stopped. The best way to do that given Canada's demographics and historic divides is a one time 'coalition of the people' who come together on Oct 19th and vote strategically to defeat the neo-con dictator by voting in each of the 338 separate ridings across Canada for the candidate and party who has the best shot at defeating the Harperites. Canada is at a crossroads, Harper can be stopped. Please be part of the coalition that will stop him. And please join the celebrations from coast to coast to coast on Heave Steve Day when it happens.



8.16.2015

For Harper and His Corporate Puppeteers Control is the Objective and Fear is the Tool.


Today's NYT op-ed 'The Closing of the Canadian Mind' is a powerful and accurate condemnation of the tactics employed the Harper regeme. It focuses Harper authoritarian style of interacting with the press by pointing out that:"His relationship to the press is one of outright hostility. At his notoriously brief news conferences, his handlers vet every journalist, picking and choosing who can ask questions." It talks about Harper's war against science, about the Orwellian named 'Fair Elections Act' ..."which not only needlessly tightens the requirements for voting but also has restricted the chief executive of Elections Canada from promoting the act of voting".

It's a very good piece and interesting not only for its content but also for its candor. i've often noticed how hard hitting MSM can be when focusing on issues outside the borders of their own country. It cuts both ways, the CBC becomes and flag waving virtuoso when an issue like SARS or Mad Cow Disease threatens the capitalists in Canada but, like the NYT can be very hard hitting about issues that don't effect the Canadian corporate elite directly. So too at the NYT who swallow the Banker and Billionaires Club 'media lines' perfectly in their own country. So, i guess the best way to get the real story on your own country's dirty laundry is to read what those outside the control of your country's corporate owners.

Harper has learned one of the oldest lessons in the politicians handbook - Fear is a tool of control. For sure it works better on some folks than others, but in every society, every culture, every country there is a large percentage who are very susceptable to being controlled and manipulated by having certain fear buttons pushed.

It's not like Harper, or even politicians generally, have learned some new trick. Humans since the dawn of time have been controlled by fear, more accurately by those who figure out a way to use their fear against them. A great book by Robert Wright titled 'The Evolution of God' explains the phenomena starting with the early hunter gatherer's fear of the unknown and unknowable forces that dominated their world. Their fear of these unkown and uncontrolable forces were paralysing, along came someone who said they understood these unknowns and could mediate with them...if they were well compensated for the effort. Some were lucky ormade such broad claims as to be always somewhat accurate, either way...Viola, the Shaman was born. Wright's book is fanatastic, perhaps the best education on fear as a tool of control in the religious field ever written, but it also translates perfectly to the political as well.

Since the dawn of time, since humans evolved the ability to foresee events, since that ability awakened our ancestors to their inevitable fate, the fear of death has ridden on human shoulders and haunted human minds. Fear of death is the ultimate fear of the unknown. Long ago the powerful, learned that claiming to possess the answer to that fear was the ultimate tool of control. Over time the cheifs usurped some of that contrl by partnering with the Shaman.

Fear works, especially fear of the unknown, the psychological darkness of fear can transform what should be free and independent people into pawns of the powerful. Free and independent humans are wickedly difficult to control. Does Harper, does the US Tea Party who's policies and methods Harper emulates, actually believe the dominionist bullshit? Who knows what another really thinks. Does it matter either way? Not really, authoritarians seek power through control and fear works so it's irrelvent whether the control believe their own bullshit or not. And Harper's regular attendance at the Alliance Church whose adherence to The Cornwall Declaration on Environmental Stewardship which says environmentalist's and scientists are evil and holds to four foundational convictions based on the belief the Bible is without error and their Rapture dogma is proof enough to the fearful and religiously delusional that he's one of 'em.

What does matter here in Canada is that somewhere around 25% of the adult population believe that Chistian fundamenalism, dominionism is the both the truth and the salvation from fear of the big unknown - death. These 25% are Harper's voting base, just as the same group are the Tea Party's base. These Evangelical Christians and their Zionist allies are useful idiots to the corporate interests, and the governments they own. The powerful who seek greater profits for themselves regardless of the long term damage done understand that their objectives are best achieved where there are very few voices of dissent, where the population is controlled and therefore predictable, where laws and regulations are harmonized to suit them and where they own and control a compliant media. Control is the objective and fear is the tool.

8.14.2015

Here's How Canadian Citizens Living Abroad Can Vote on 'Heave Steve Day'


If you know a Canadian citizen who's been living outside the country for less than 5 years, then please urge them to vote in this election. As a bonus, they will have wide latitude in choosing a riding to vote in, potentially choosing a swing riding where their strategic vote could make a big difference.


Here's a link to the Elections Canada application form for getting on the international register of electors list.
As well an application for Registration and special Ballot for Canadian electors living outside Canada can be obtained by email; svrenq@elections.ca or toll free by telephone in Canada and US i-800-463-6868 in Mexico 001-800-514-6868

According to the form's instructions, an ex-pat's address for voting purposes could be their last home address in Canada, or the current address of any relative of themselves or their spouse or common-law partner, or even "a person with whom you would live if you lived in Canada"...which seems like it could stretch to cover any close friend.

Mobilizing this expatriate vote favours the opposition parties since it can avoid vote-splitting. A more detailed outline is available in this brief PDF:

8.12.2015

Harper's 'Security' Agenda Designed to Protect Corporate Supporters by Spying on Peaceful Protestors

Are these the 'terrorists' Harper's security agenda is targeting?
You betcha.

Today's article in Vice News, 'There's a Secret Hearing Into Allegations Canada Illegally Spied on Environmental Activists' is a chilling example of who Harper's security paranoia is aimed at and who the propaganda is designed to protect.

Remember how back in 2012, the Harper government launched an unprecedented assault on Canada’s environmental laws when it introduced Bill C-38 – an omnibus bill that put a halt to automatic environmental assessments of projects under the federal government’s purview. But that was only one step in Harper's attempt to muzzle any opposition to his corporate fossil fuel benefactors plans. After the Fisheries Act, Navigable Waters Protection Act and Canadian Environmental Assessment Act were either repealed or simply gutted, Harper neutered the NEB, then attempting to close the Experimental Lakes Area, and ordered the dumping of books from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Library.

All that was just to prepare the ground for Bill C-51, the recent wide-reaching anti-terrorism bill under which CSIS and the RCMP now act in secret and without oversight while spying on peaceful ordinary Canadian's carrying out their constitutional right to protest. Of course the hearing are held in secret, no members of the public, no media are allowed in despite the fact that there is zero threat to anyone except the profits of Harper benefactors.

Jeffrey Monaghan, a criminologist at Carleton University, has obtained documents from CSIS and RCMP through access to information laws that reveal how these agencies are spying on the environmental movement, especially those opposed to pipelines or who participate in National Energy Board (NEB) hearings. They also revealed that twice a year, at the CSIS headquarters in Ottawa, top-ranking members of the RCMP, CSIS and the CSEC meet with oil industry representatives to brief them on the “threat” from environmental and aboriginal groups.

As Josh Paterson,  British Columbia Civil Liberties Association {BCCLA} executive director, one of the groups who filed the complaint being looked into by the secret court, said, "Witnesses will testify that the allegations about widespread CSIS surveillance has turned many people off from community activism."

Last week, Alexandra Swann, a volunteer with the Dogwood Initiative, another of the groups involved, opened up about how the purported spying revelations have impacted her activism saying in part: "Finding out had a chilling effect for me. Suddenly, I was very concerned how far it had extended. Was I personally named somewhere? Had they investigated my online activities? Read my emails? I realized the right to privacy was a myth in this country, and that being a decent person was no barrier to illegal scrutiny by people far more powerful than me."

Harper's near non-stop pounding on the fear of terrorism drum is meant not only to divert attention away from his economic policies and the Duffy trail but also to divert it away from who his security agenda is actually designed to protect as well as who its real targets are. Harper and his neo-con ilk will do anything to stay in power including subvert the very things that have made Canada the envy of the entire world for generations. Canadians must unite in a one time people's coalition to overthrow this tool of corporate dictatorship on Oct 19th by voting, riding by riding, for the candidate with the best chance of defeating the Cons in that riding before it's to late to stop them.

Please help stop the greatest evil descending on Canada - Harper's Secret Police State - which is designed to silence dissent.




8.11.2015

Stopping Harper and His Fear-Monger Allies is the Main Goal of Strategic Voters on Heave Steve Day


Harper is out beating the fear drum again these last two days...FEAR the terrorists, 'only i can protect you' he intones, but the real truth is the biggest threat to the safety and security of Canadians is Harper and his fear-mongering neo-con ilk.

As Haroon Siddiqui said in The Star recently: "Harper makes the mission against the Islamic State sound like holy war against evil." Then explains that  "Our [Canadian] presence there motivates the angry lone wolfs here to attack Canadian targets. It also prompts some young Canadians to go join the Islamic State in an ill-conceived solidarity with Muslims." Adding: "Whereas all this is presented as jihad and jihadism reality is more prosaic. In just about every case of jihadist attack, either carried out or foiled, the stated reason is the same: retaliation for the endless wars on Muslim nations. But Harper won’t hear of it."

Considering that recently a US ex-intelligence chief's comments on the rise of ISIS in which he said It was "a willful Washington decision" it seems important to look more closely the history of how and why the neo-cons here in Canada and their masters in Washington consistently choose to mis-placed the blame on Muslims generally instead of Whabbism and Salafism which bankroll and export their genocidal religious terrorist delusions throughout the Middle East. This excellent, short, well written article blows apart Harper's fear-mongering with facts, a must read IMO.

As of this morning Canada's opposition parties are focusing their critique of Harper's fear-mongering on questions about why the Harper govt. has done nothing about trying to curb the roots of home grown Canadian based radicalization and just what Harper and the Cons are trying to distract the attention of Canadian voters from. One obvious answer is Harper's disastrous economic policies but another more imminent threat, IMO, is the re-opening of the Mike Duffy trail today and especially the testimony of his former chief of staff Nigel Wright, starting probably tomorrow. Of course Wright is expected to toe the Harper line, and has been training for his testimony for awhile now, but he could possibly be tripped up by an expert interrogator, Perry Mason style, and be put in a position where even the best concocted story unravels and Harper ends up 'under the bus'.

Another interesting piece out yesterday concerns Damian Clairmont's mother Christianne Boudreau, an Alberta woman whose 22-year-old son was killed while fighting with Islamic extremists in Syria who says: "Stephen Harper is looking for a quick fix to deal with terrorism instead of addressing the root cause of radicalized youth." Adding "I believe Harper is overblowing the sense of fear and it's causing a lot more fear in the public than there needs to be. You can't oversee everybody in Canada and watch their travel,"

Harper's fear-mongering reflects his abuse neo-con informed political tactics as a whole. Harper's mis-information and his one sided exaggerations are aimed only at his base of voters, the old, the easliy frightened, those whose only consideration is their mistaken belief that their bank account is the only issue that matters, his corporate benefactors and the delusional dominionists who, like Harper, believe that furthering the cause of Armageddon and their imaginary Rapture are the only issue -  which is a big part of both Harper's anti-science/anti-environment policies and his unwavering support of Zionism.

The only way, given the first-past-the-post voting system here in Canada and the existing division of the 3 opposition parties on the ground that Canadians can stop Harper and his neo-con ilk is by cooperating in a one-time people's coalition on 'Heave Steve Day' by holding their individual noses long enough to vote for the candidate mostly likely to beat the Conservatives in their riding in the next election especially in the swing ridings and those newly formed ridings that are 'to close to call'.

The Tyee has an excellent article today about strategic voting in the upcoming national election on Oct 19th and some of the groups out working hard to achieve the goal of stopping Herper.

8.08.2015

The Flim Flam Fallacy of Endless Growth Seeems to Have Captured Canada's Political Parties


One thing that stood out for me in Canada's August 6th leaders debate was the unanimous agreement among the party's leaders that economic 'growth' is good. No caveats, no mention the impossibility of endless growth or the limits to growth in a system with limited resources.

But IMO, and that of many others, capitalism will collapse because endless growth is impossible and that we are seeing it run into the limits of that cancerous illogic. Right now we are seeing the demand for needless crap [discretionary spending] declining as consumer debt and alternative lifestyle choices fuels the mild deflation/degowth cycle that the capitalists call recession. Whatever its name, this scenario has already begun to lead to a slow reduction in commodity prices across the board, including fossil fuels. This type of slow collapse simply means folks buy bread, not oreos.

Canada has faced other commodity fossil fuel price downturns in the past but in those eras when the exchange rate dropped in response Canada's economy was buoyed by industries that manufactured goods and who saw a big bump in exports as a result. In addition the Canadian manufacturers saw another bump because Canadians bought products from Canadian sources who paid wages, bought materials - including the commodities those products are made of and the energy to run everything - in loonies as well.

The current economic tsunami would be a small ripple if Canadians hadn't bought into globalization, free trade and the free lunch promised by the capitalists and promoted by their captured politicians. Back then the rich paid a far bigger share of the costs of our cherished social safety net. Far more folks had good paying jobs that allowed them to buy goods made by other Canadians. Back then we were far less divided, far less conquered, by our reliance on the myopic delusion that mutual funds, market indexed pensions and 'investments' were a thing we have a stake in.

As the commodity markets plunge because consumers worldwide are over their heads in debt and can no longer continue to buy the many imported items of needless crap they feel entitled to and the industries in those low wage countries where Canada's former decent jobs have been shipped to by the oligarchs slolwly collapse. As degrowth/deflation/recession, by whatever name, gets used by the captured politicos to push more austerity who then, in turn, demand less crap and the cycle accelerates.

So, as the vast majority humans seem incapable of choosing to live simply and consume less and seeing as refusing to accept the inconvenience of living within the planet's or the individual limits will at some point end up running the whole thing off a cliff, as in 'nature bats last', the best solution i can see and the only solution that doesn't require conscious choice by consumers or corporate enablers, is one where this insane and unjustice capitalist system slowly crashes by virtue of its own builtin bullshit.

As for who gets hurt, the old adage 'when you've got nothing you've got nothing lose', comes to mnd. As it is now not only the corporatists but those who borrow to live - be it from the bank or from our children's future - will bitch and moan as they watch the luxuries they have convinced themselves they deserve dwindle. But, they have chosen to be where they are, they believe in and continue to live lives based on the free lunch flim flam. Some folks, hopefully many, will see endless growth as flim flam fallacy, some won't. Those that do will change course and avoid the oncoming cliff, as certainly a few of the buffalo must have turned away before they were riven over 'buffalo jump'. Those that don't will continue to borrow to finance their past mistakes and...

Those who are already dirt poor [like those billion or two who still live a self sustained pastoral village life will hardly notice capitalism's fall just as they hardly noticed its rise.

None of the political party's platforms dare to counter the impossible promises and free lunch lies of globalization. Our western capitalist governments have been captured by the corporate criminals. The only solution, IMO, is the collapse of globalized capitalism through long term mild deflation driven degrowth which will, without the consumer class themselves having to choose 'less', force an end to the gluttony of consumerism and over-consumption. The only solution to having everything you want is to want less.

i know there are other ways the limits of growth could manifest themselves, like environmental collapse, which would be much less just because all classes, not just the greed class, would suffer. Or it could manifest in more aggressive and violent ways. i guess i'm hopeful that the eventual collapse can be just and that in its wake we'll see a newly re-localized culture that re-learns the value of hard work and the real definition of wealth.

Like all empires, the empire of debt will collapse, it's only a matter of when and by what mechanism. IMO a slow mild deflation driven decline is the most favorable and just.

8.05.2015

Harper's Debate Avoidance Strategy is a Huge Mis-calculation in the Long Run-up to Heave Steve Day

Jiminy Cricket says: "Fools rush in where wise men fear to tread"

Harper's strategy of avoiding debate with his rivals in national audiences isn't only to avoid looking like a fool...it's not even his own idea. This past year two of Harper's uber-right-wing heroes - Netanyahu and Cameron - did the same sorta thing. Both Netanyahu and Cameron weren't doing well in the polls, both Netanyahu and Cameron relied on the 'fear factor' and both avoided debating their main rivals in front of a national audience...both went on to win. When harpo saw this he figured it was a 'good thing'.

The idea of fighting on the ground of harpo's own choosing is a very old one, it's #2 in Sun Tzu's 'Art of War'. The idea of not looking like a fool is undoubtedly even older. It shouldn't be a surprise then that harpo would want to avoid an honest discussion or the possibility of having to face any controversial questions that he hasn't rehearsed the answers to. Considering that in Parliament harpo hardly ever responds to the questions being asked preferring instead to resort to insults and innuendo that are irrelevant to the questions accepting an invitation to an honest debate would be surprising. That's why steve won't participate in the consortium debates but only in debates where he feels least likely to stumble in front of millions of Canadians much to the delight of his uninformed base.

There's a couple of big differences here in Canada though. One is that the opponent harpo has the most to fear from isn't his chief rival Mulcair, who already seems to be playing the safe front runner role or Trudeau's Liberals who also see themselves as having a lot to lose by taking to aggressive of a stance, it's Elizabeth May of the Green Party harpo fears the most. Ms. May is very bright,  well read and very well spoken. Further, she has nothing to lose by being brutally honest about harpo's corporate lapdog, anti-science, policies and agenda.

The other big difference between here and the UK or Israel is that the major networks - the CBC, CTV and Global - who are being shunned by harpo will each be broadcasting their bits and bites of these smaller venue debates from the own jilted lover perspective. This framing by the major networks that harpo's avoidance strategy allows may well overcome any home field advantage he has attempted to gain. Remember, Sun Tzu's #1 rule is 'know your enemy' and the way Canada's national audience will know harpo, Mulcair, Trudeau and May will be through the framing of those who see their historic position, and maybe their paychecks in the CBC's case, in jeopardy.

Harpo's debate strategy is a huge mis-calculation in the long run-up to Heave Steve Day.