Posts Tagged ‘politics’

So Long Privacy, Hello Transparency

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

Patsy politicians pandering to plutocratic priorities threaten to pilfer our precious privacy. Lousy legislation like ACTA, SOPA and now CISPA have come to the forefront of this fight, and these bills will all be, hopefully, crushed without mercy beneath  the feet of millions of vigilant citizens.

Still, as disheartening as it may be to hear, these exercises could ultimately prove pointless because privacy is fast going extinct. (more…)

Israel is Threat to World Peace – But Don’t Dare Say It!

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

What must be said“, the short poem by Nobel Laureate Guenter Grass, does something few people in the mainstream Western world ever do: speak critically about the State of Israel.

Israel is a “threat to world peace”, writes Grass, whose poem highlights the hypocrisy of the West for condemning Iran’s search for nuclear power while simultaneously allowing Israel to proliferate it’s own nuclear capabilities. (more…)

Cutting Out the Corruption – Lessig

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Institutional corruption runs rampant throughout American politics. This is especially true in Congress, where members spend 30-70% of their time raising money for their next re-election.

The tiniest slice of Americans – 0.0000063% – fund the vast majority of campaign costs. THIS IS CORRUPTION! It’s a corruption of dependency, as elected officials depend on special, elite interests well above those of the people they represent.

This corruption needs to be removed for democracy to be reclaimed. And the only way this can be done is with an upheaval to the entire system, making it so that the power to select leaders is distributed equally across the population. (more…)

People Power

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

People run the corporations and consume their products.

People pay for the taxes that fund the government, who are themselves people.

People perpetrate injustice, and people allow injustice to be perpetuated.

People everywhere are rising up. The world will soon know the true power of people.

Canadian Conservatives Condone Torture

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Canada “does not condone torture,” said Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, defending his orders to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to begin using information that may have been derived from the use of torture.

“Information obtained by torture is always discounted. But the problem is, can one safely ignore it when Canadian lives and property are at stake?” Toews said in question period.

So, in other words, while he does condone the use of torture, he just doesn’t want it labelled as such.

Opposition MP Jack Harris accused the government of “showing utter contempt” for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms with a “sudden passive endorsement” of torture.

“Instead of moving forward,” Harris said in the House, “this government is moving Canada backwards. The public safety minister has directed CSIS to use information that is extracted through torture. As long as there is a market for information derived from torture, torture will exist. Why is this government getting Canada into the torture business?”

Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae said he’s concerned such a ministerial directive was issued “without real discussion with Canadians about its implications.” “The law in Canada has been pretty clear that information based on torture, first of all, is not reliable and, second of all, is not permissible.”

Amnesty International was quick to condemn the move, stating that information obtained under torture “has no place in the justice system, full stop.”

Once again, the Conservative party has adopted another of American’s failed policies. Following our neighbors to the south, we’ve expanded the prison industrial complex, extended the horrendous war on drugs, and now we are complicit in torture. What’s next from Harper and his cronies?

Maybe we’ll start bombing foreign civilians with remote controlled planes while letting giant corporations decide who wins the next election. Either way, when the Conservatives are behind the wheel, the country keeps heading places most Canadians don’t want to go.

US Politicians Deemed Laughing Stock by World

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

The latest round of sheer absurdity in the ongoing debt ceiling debacle has prompted some harsh criticism from the world.

From Germany: “What America is currently exhibiting is the worst kind of absurd theatrics and the whole world is being held hostage.”

From France:”The American politicians supposed to lead the most powerful nation in the world are becoming a laughing stock.”

From China: “Given the United States’ status as the world’s largest economy and the issuer of the dominant international reserve currency, such political brinksmanship in Washington is dangerously irresponsible.”

When both sides are willing to posture and play chicken with the world’s economy, one wonders what might serve as the encore in this paltry display of political theatre.

But what else can we expect when both parties are becoming increasingly aligned behind a shared agenda of systematically stripping the population of freedom while simultaneously lifting restrictions on big business and protecting the interests of the super rich.

The American people need a change, as do the rest of us. It’s time for a global system that reflects the will of the people, and for every nation’s government to promote policies that serve the public interest.

Obama’s Broken Promises

Monday, June 27th, 2011

It’s got to be tough being President. Especially when your agenda of perpetuating the status quo strays so far from the platform of change that got you elected.

But it’s not Obama’s fault. He’s just one guy, and no matter how liberal he might be at heart, the game is rigged against him. The Left is consistently losing ground to the Right, because the Right tends to have the money needed to buy political clout.

The result is kind of like this cartoon:

The political system in the US, and to a greater extent the entire world, is structured to give people the illusion of choice, when the most important decisions are made in without consulting, or often in opposition to, the voice of the people.

So what hope is there? Well, if all the leading political parties are corrupted, then the solution lies outside the mainstream democratic channels. And what does this mean, exactly?

It means that the change we need will have to come from us, from the regular people. We can’t wait for elected officials to save us, because they’re already lost. It is up to you and me and everyone who wants a brighter future to do whatever it takes to make it happen.

And right now, it seems the establishment could use a good shaking up. It is time for elected officials to be held accountable, and for governments to maintain a healthy dose of fear-based respect for the general population.

Distraction Politics

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

I was planning to write another piece about how Democrats and Republicans both toe the same line for many key issues, be it armed conflict, pro-corporatist legislation, or a widening of the gap between the super-rich and everyone else.

The post would have highlighted how comparatively trivial issues, like same-sex marriage, illegal immigration, or Anthony Weiner’s penis, dominate the political sphere while actually significantly issues, like reforming Wall St. or slashing defense spending, remain mostly untouched by both politicians and the mainstream media alike.

But rather than write this piece, which I’m sure would have been timely and eloquent, I found the following picture which sums up what I’m trying to say quite nicely. So we’ll go with that instead:



NDP Surging Forward in Polls

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

With an election just around the corner in Canada, several polls are showing the New Democratic Party as being either tied or ahead of the Liberal Party.

Jack Layton and his progressives are poised to see their representation in the Commons increase from 36 to 60 seats, much to the dismay of the Conservatives who were seeking a majority government.

How exciting! With the NDP as opposition party, perhaps the Canadian government will more accurately reflect Canadian values, where over 70% of us support medicare, affordable post-secondary education, generous social assistance, human rights, genuine EI, and eliminating poverty.

If nothing else, maybe the Conservatives won’t find it so easy to increase war spending and import America’s failed drug prohibition policies. Ah yes, a man can dream, right?


ColbertPAC Morphs Into SuperPAC

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

(Suck it, Federal Election Commission!)

Like a Phoenix from the ashes, Stephen Colbert’s newly founded ColbertPAC was axed by execs only to rise again from the sea of red tape.

Lawyers from The Colbert Report’s parent company Viacom were afraid that using resources from the popular fake-news show would be a violation of federal election law, which says corporations cannot donate to PACs. However, thanks to last year’s ‘Citizens United‘ ruling in the Supreme Court, corporations can now donate unlimited funds to political issues in the form of a SuperPAC.

Slap a new cover letter onto the old forms designed for actual people, and voila, a corporation is free to further any political agenda it may have. Sounds a bit sketchy, right? Surely this could easily benefit powerful business institutions at the expense of the population, so how could US lawmakers enable such an egregious affront to democracy?

Sadly, the answer is that they’re only doing what their predecessors have been doing for years. Legislation like Citizens United are just the latest in a century’s worth of incremental power grabs. Big business has been systematically buying more and more influence over the American political system for so long that they now have more control than ever before.

As frustrating and scary as it is to see corporations exert such tremendous influence over the electoral system, we cannot be too critical of regular Americans for allowing their political and economic institutions to run amok. Sure, the US people ultimately accountable for their government, but they’re up against some powerful and complex forces.

We can, however, remain hopeful that, as the dehumanized face of corporatism reveals itself to the American public, they will come together to enact revolutionary changes to their country. Until then, we can support boat-rockers like Colbert, and let the unfettered United States of Corporations serve as a example for us to try and avoid.