Archive for June, 2012

Hey America, Aren’t You Sick of War Yet?

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Hey America!

Aren’t you sick of war yet? Haven’t you grown tired of the defense sector increasingly siphoning your precious lifeblood, this swollen and diseased parasite latched on to your once great nation’s face?

Sure, the Military Industrial Complex offers up an anesthetic. Concepts like honor, bravery, nationality, and freedom numb the pain for some and blind the truth for others. But in the end, humanity endures no suffering more intense than that caused by war.

War inflicts such a staggering emotional and financial toll on society that you’d think these massive ongoing fights are imperative, but they are not. The world is ready for peace. Yet perpetual armed conflict, the trillion dollar business it is, permits a handful of powerful corporations to pull political puppet strings, pushing military spending to unprecedented heights.

If you are indeed sick of war, as you should very well be, rest assured you are not alone. Most Americans are ready for their troops to come home and for the fighting to stop. But they are waiting. Waiting for government to decide to cease fighting, or counting on the mainstream media to declare wars to be over. But that will never happen on its own.

Instead it is up to you, dear Americans, just as it is the responsibility of every citizen of earth, to stand up against the empire of war and say NO MORE! WE ARE THROUGH FIGHTING OURSELVES! YOU HEAR US? WAR IS OVER!

Doing this in greater and greater numbers will erode the war machine from within. And not long after that, the peace which has been culminating for centuries will finally be set free to envelop the planet.

Jailed for Reading 1984

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Grad Student Marilyne Veilleix shares a riveting encounter with Montreal law enforcement during her own personal protest of the F1 Grand Prix. Her plan was to ride the metro back and forth while reading George Orwell’s 1984, a novel describing life under a totalitarian regime known as Big Brother. Seems harmless enough, right?

Unfortunately the mere act of nonviolent civil disobedience is enough to get you incarcerated now that a police state has descended upon Montreal.

Riding the subway, reading her provocative book while sitting across from a police officer, someone took her photograph. This was enough to incense the cop, who promptly called for backup. The troops summoned, Marilyne and others were placed against the wall and then escorted out of the metro. They were told that if they returned they would be arrested with no explanation as to why they were kicked out in the first place.

Marilyne describes what happened next:

I committed a terrible act of civil disobedience by going back down into the station and returning to read in a subway car.  When the police officers saw me eating my apple, they shouted at me that they recognized my tattoos and came after me.  I asked them what I had done wrong, other than peacefully reading, and they said that I had disobeyed police orders.  I asked my question again, asking what was wrong with reading in the metro, and I got no answer.  I was put under arrest and the two police officers did a high five to congratulate themselves on their good work.

I was transported, as if I were a criminal, to the SPVM detention centre in downtown Montreal, where they took mug shots.  After confiscating my personal belongings, the officers took me took cell 52, where there were already three other women.  I spent the day behind bars, in a cell with a dirty toilet, sleeping on a bench, without knowing when I would be released.  All this for reading in a subway car, and then repeating this revolutionary act.  Around 3:30 PM, I was released with a citation telling me that all this circus was for a charge of refusing to circulate.

Now you just know some people, upon hearing this story, will feel like that damn hippie got what she deserved. Not only did she antagonize the officer initially with the book, she went on to clearly defied a police order. Lock that bitch up!

But, here in Canada where education ranks amongst the best in the world, you better believe that most of us see something terribly wrong with what happened to Marilyne. It has taken so little for freedom to evaporate and for society to decay into a police state. And look just how quickly law enforcement snatch up any opportunity to exercise authority over their fellow humans.

A few months ago, a college aged person reading a book on the subway would not provoke a response. But now that police have the pretense that there is a war of sorts going on, anyone who fits the bill as a potential threat is fair game. Young? Check. Engaged mindset? Check. Sporting a red square or maybe just some tattoos? Check. Okay, release the Kraken!

If there’s anything to be learned is just how important it is to keep police powers in check right now. Sure, during peace time when everything is relatively calm, law enforcement will keep a low profile. But given a green light, these same personnel can become a free society’s worst enemy, cracking down at the slightest sign of dissent.

This is why we need to speak out against the ham-handed use of police force in Montreal. Just like we need to follow through on punishing cops who overstepped during the G-20 summit. The more we hold power-tripping law enforcement accountable to the public, the less abuse will happen in the future, and the better protected will our freedoms be.

Bill C-38: A Mockery of Democracy

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Conservative ethos tends to embody efficiency, which can be highly effective in the business world. When it comes to handling democratic rule, being too efficient brings the people on par with dictatorship.

Why even waste precious time debating and voting on issues when it’s so much easier to just have one guy make the final decision? Way less red tape that way.

The Tories Omnibus bill is a fine example of this mentality. Slash environmental protections, supersede food safety, gut the fisheries act, bilk old age security, change dozens of laws, then wrap it all up under the pretense of pertaining to the budget. Fast track it through parliament and voila! A more corporatist Canada without all the fuss.

Over the next few days, something like 1000 amendments will be voted upon – the oppositions’ vain protest over the bill – while we get to watch as they all get shot down one-by-one by the majority government, our democracy violated with every silenced critique.

But don’t just take my word for it. Listen to none other than Stephen Harper himself, who in 1994 criticized the use of Omnibus bills saying:

I would argue that the subject matter of the bill is so diverse that a single vote on the content would put members in conflict with their own principles. How can members represent their constituents on these various areas when they are forced to vote in a block on such legislation and on such concerns?

The bill contains many distinct proposals and principles and asking members to provide simple answers to such complex questions is in contradiction to the conventions and practices of the House. Dividing the bill into several components would allow members to represent views of their constituents on each of the different components in the bill.

Eloquent words. If only Harper would listen to his younger self.

 

This Far, No Further!

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Montreal’s Ethan Cox posted a passionate polemic pleading for Canadians to join in the people’s movement, to stand up against a broken government, and to help reclaim our declining democracy.

“Wherever you are, whatever you do, join us in the street,” writes Cox, “If we lose this struggle, if we allow ourselves to be bowed and beaten yet again, I promise you it will not end here. This is our moment, our line in the sand, our primal scream ‘This far, no further!‘”

But the engaged writer doesn’t stop there.

“This movement has awakened our communities,” he says, “We are together, we are strong, and we’re done being pushed around. We’re done being called crackpots and communists for questioning our governments’ slavish obedience to big business. We’re done being arrested, beaten and threatened for excercising our democratic rights. We’re done with greed, with austerity and with unbridled and unhinged capitalism.”

Awesome, inspiring stuff! These words aren’t just for Quebeckers or Canadians alone. The message is for oppressed humans everywhere on earth. Don’t settle for corrupt government. Don’t accept the gross injustices of the system. Rise up alongside your fellow global citizens, and together we will co-create a brighter future for all.

Big Brother in the Great White North

Friday, June 8th, 2012

We protested. We rallied. We petitioned. They didn’t care. No matter how vocal we Canadians have been against ludicrous surveillance bills and privacy eroding legislation, corporately-owned politicians like Vic Toews refuse to quit their attempts to force unwanted rulings into Canada’s law books.

What is it this time, you ask? None other than our old nemesis Bill C-30. Except now that it’s been reanimated, it has extra ghoulish powers, like giving warrantless surveillance not just to Canadian agencies, but also to US authorities who would then have access to our private information.

The bill is not without it’s dissenters. According to OpenMedia.ca, “nearly two-thirds of opposition MPs” stand against Bill C-30, a number sure to grow the more noise the public makes.

Still, as Law Professor Michael Geist points out in a lengthy yet insightful posting, the Intellectual Property Lobby tends to ignore facts in favor of ideology, looking at counterfeiting and piracy as vile evils to be fought at any expense.

But, as pointed out by myself and others, the fight against file-sharing stems from a few behemoth media companies sporting archaic business models that won’t adapt to today’s market. So they do the only thing they can: try to pass laws that protect their bottom line no matter the greater cost to society.

It’s sad and scary to think our elected officials are working so feverishly to screw us all over. Worse still, if the public keeps shutting down individual bills, the Tories might just cram them all together into next year’s omnibus budget bill and then ram it through parliament.

Just 3 more years. 3 more years? Oh man.

Syria, Don’t Give Up on Peace

Friday, June 8th, 2012

United Nations monitors have been fired upon following yet another brutal massacre in Syria. Kofi Annan’s peace plan has been declared a bust. But that is no reason to give up on peace for Syria or the world.

The nation of Syria has long been in turmoil. High levels of poverty and corruption run rampant throughout the authoritarian regime, starting at the very top with President Assad. Attempting to forge a lasting peace would be a daunting task at the best of times, let alone while the country teeters on the brink of civil war.

Plus now that Syria has captured the international spotlight, who really knows what forces are behind the slaughter of civilians. The Military Industrial Complex would love another invasion to grow fat off of, and sending in ruthless hitsquads to take out a bunch of innocents is one sure fire way to drum up enough support for an armed intervention. It certainly worked in Libya.

And despite the fact that Libyan rebel forces bolstered by NATO were complicit in war crimes, or that Gaddafi has now been replaced by equally despotic tyrants, if the world’s people have to endure too many more photos of child sized corpses next to empty shell casings, Syria could very well be the West’s next disastrous military endeavor.

The Un-Daily Show

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Over a year ago, I set a goal to blog everyday. I knew it would help me as a writer and artist. And it has.

Still, the time has come for my blog to evolve. Now, instead of updates coming a set seven times a week, they will come frequently. So if you came here seeing one of my promotions promising daily posts, first, thank you, and second, sorry for the deception by obsoletion.

What I’m hoping to happen is for new ideas/insights/rants to continue to arrive often, albeit without forcing it. So instead of putting up a video or picture to fill in the blanks, I will only post when there’s something I have to say and yelling it to my screen just isn’t enough.

On a positive note, I’m better informed and increasingly in tune with the world more now than ever before, and nothing has dissuaded me from my rationally founded believe that world peace is coming. If anything, I grow more optimistic by the day. The signs are here for all to see.

Cheers and thank you for making my site one of your destinations.

United States Committing Mass Murder with Drones

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Identify a target based on spuriously gathered intelligence, and then blow them up. When people hear the explosion and come running to help, blow up the would-be rescuers. Then, over the next few days, should any funeral processions be held, blow all those people up too.

It sounds like the actions of some sadist playing a sims game, but it’s not. Unfortunately, these unconscionable tactics are being used right now by none other than the United States government in their clandestine war on humanity.

As Glenn Greenwald reports, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism documented that after the U.S. kills people with drones in Pakistan, it then targets for death those who show up at the scene to rescue the survivors and retrieve the bodies, as well as those who gather to mourn the dead at funerals. Classy, right?

The New York Times summarizes these findings, stating how: “at least 50 civilians had been killed in follow-up strikes after they rushed to help those hit by a drone-fired missile” while “more than 20 other civilians [were] killed in strikes on funerals.”

Unbelievable. No wonder the US establishment is so intent on keeping these wars quiet. If Americans (and much of the world) knew what was going on, there would be so much of an outcry it’d never be allowed to continue.

Fortunately for us (and equally unfortunate for the Military Industrial Complex) the human race is uniting like never before. Disgusting acts of terror, like the US’s use of drone strikes, will no longer stay hidden from the mainstream consciousness.

Soon enough of us will see these strikes for what they are – blatant acts of murder – and those deemed responsible will finally have their feet held to the fire.

 

Worth Watching: War Should be Obsolete

Monday, June 4th, 2012

A nicely put together video for your personal enrichment and thought provocation needs.

Tories to Tax Dancing

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

(The prudish townsfolk from Footloose approve of this new legislation.)

The Copyright Board of Canada has initiated new fees to play recorded music at large gatherings, like weddings and parties. If there’s fewer than one hundred people, the fees start at $9.25 per day.  400 guests will cost $27.76.  And get this… if dancing is involved that fee doubles to $55.52.

What an asinine load of horse manure. Why would the crowd’s reaction to the music being played have any impact on the royalties owed?

Not that artists are likely to see a dime from this new tax. Nope, any money reaped is sure to go squarely into the hands of recording industry executives, helping them to fund another round of ludicrous litigation against the entire population.

On the bright side, it’s crap like this that is fueling humanity’s uprising against corporate rule. A few more encroachments might be all it takes for society to snap, forever ousting these cronies from power.