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Showing posts from 2015

Free writing: First Nations and Canada

Some notes, and free writing, (please excuse the free flowing nature of the following writing). Some musings on First Nations, and Canada, without much structure or cohesiveness. Simply ideas.

Let us put to rest misconceptions and lies about the residential school system.
First of all, it didn't work. Whether there were deliberate flaws in its design, or the flaws were placed within unknowingly we cannot state with any sort of certainty. The men behind the residential school system are all long dead. We can probably gleam some motives from what they'd left behind, but we cannot be certain, at all. Let us put this in the past, finally.
We First Nations probably couldn't let it rest, just yet, however. Canada had never acknowledged the residential school system. Never deliberated. Never investigated. Never self-reflected on what had happened. And had allowed its history to fade and become terminal.
And worse, there are those who would try to convince Canadians the …

Truth and Reconciliation final report charts path to 'true reconciliation'

CBC News
Suddenly, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has released its findings.
Well, I shouldn't say suddenly. It was a lengthy process, with little help from the previous federal government.
Over 6000 people were interviewed by the commission.
The official number of deaths is about 3200, but the commission believes this to be a conservative estimate.
The testimony itself illustrates how the residential school system, to this day, weighs heavily upon Canadian First Nations peoples, influencing even the most recent generation, deeply, in ways not easily described.
And please remember, the Harper government had done its best to neuter this commission, to restrain it from investigation into criminal matters.
That the commission itself had survived the worst of the Harper government's tendencies toward introspection is testament to the resolution of those involved to shed even a bit more light onto this past.
Symbolism is important. This commission was important. Let us tha…

Highway of Tears gets $3M for transportation safety plan

CBC News
Realistically, there's only so much can be done
The long term goal should be to be helping these remote communities become more and more self-sufficient so there's less need for a community member to have to travel to and fro their home to a neighbouring town for particular needs, or to strengthen the presence of civilization along side those roads and highways.
However, three million dollars? Honestly, it seems quite a bit low. This is over 700 kms, altogether, with many communities, in-between. And the winter conditions alone are harsh and demanding. Three million dollars will be used up, very quickly.
The most helpful part of this would probably be the $1.6 million allocated toward BC Transit. An extra bus per community with an extra diver should help, although it's a question if the funding will stretch to cover all the communities, in-between.
Considering this is the provincial government, they can only do so much, and only indirectly. Now it's up to the…

Bill Morneau tightens mortgage rules on homes over $500K

CBC News
Ah, this is possibly good news. It might be painful, but hopefully, only for a short time. Then again, it might not be enough. Some short term pain to correct one of the Harper governments worst excesses would only help Canada, but we probably don't want to suffer. It should be like wart removal rather than cancer treatment.

Vancouver Canucks at Anaheim Ducks: L0-4

The Canucks were dominated in the first period of the game. They didn't dig themselves out of the hole they'd dug for themselves, and lost the game by a sizable difference. Ah, well. It happens.
No Canucks players really distinguished themselves, this game.
The rookie, Jake Virtanen was injured, and didn't play the whole game.
I'll note Bieksa looked fine playing for the Ducks. Seems to be skating smoothly and comfortably. Shame he was run out of Vancouver, but at least he's playing for a contender, now. The Canucks do miss his ability to get shots on the net from the point, though. No one's really replaced that in this lineup.
The Canucks are in severe need of one more penalty killing forward. Their PK is killing them one blown PK at a time.
As a team, the Canucks have probably shown everything they're capable of this season. They can get hot, and string off a few wins, but it'll probably be win one, lose one for the most part.
In terms of advanced sta…

Vancouver Canucks at Dallas Stars, Final Score: Vancouver 2 - Dallas 3 SO, November 27, 2015

Good game for the 'Nucks. They lost in a shootout, but they could've won. Should've won, if not for noted Canucks killer, Antti Niemi. No Canucks' players had a bad game, tonight. Everyone was at their best. What beat the Canucks was their inability to finish on the power play early in the game, and their inability to kill penalties early in the game.
Don't let anyone tell you different. The best Canucks players played at their best, and the role players did their jobs. Can't ask for much more, except possibly for the second Dallas goal back. Then again, Miller just couldn't react to that blistering slapshot. He was beaten cleanly. Stretched out, and treated like a drum, then.
Some notes,
The Sedins impressed, once again. Sometimes they score against the flow of play, sometimes they dominate play. Tonight, they cleanly beat their matchups.
Alex Edler, he can dominate a hockey game, but he's very reserved on the ice. I'd like to see him demand the pu…

1 officer, 2 civilians dead in Colorado Planned Parenthood shooting

CBC News
This is, simply put, a terrorist attack. It won't be treated as such, however. The suspect probably won't face terrorism charges. His crimes will be whitewashed as being an isolated incident. You know, much like the other dozens upon dozens of isolated incidents resulting in hundreds and hundreds of murders that've occurred over the years.

Erdoğan's goose is cooked

Fittingly, a day after the US' Thanksgiving holiday, we're starting to smell roasted bird. That would probably be Erdoğan. He's well done, as of now. Cooked to perfection.
Now, it's a matter of time. Waiting for him to be finished, entirely.
For the time being, NATO's hung him out to dry. They've denounced Russia's retaliations, but have actually done nothing else. Article 5's not even in play. It's been skirted around, and all but dismissed entirely.
At this point in time, Turkey's only a member of NATO in name only.
This is especially important, knowing Russia's not interested in attacking Turkey, but has made it known they'll retaliate to any attack on their forces, going all out. They've basically triple-dog-dared Turkey to attack them, too, brushing aggressively close to Turkey's border, and doubling down on attacks on the people Turkey had demanded Russia not attack, the Turkmen. And now Syria finally has access to Russia&#…

Canucks at Wild, Nov. 25, 2015, Final Score, 3-2

Good game for the Canucks. They pulled out a win by the skin of their teeth. They had some fortuitous luck, too.
Some notes,
Sedins were outshot whilst on the ice, this game, but their line scored two points. It doesn't seem like the Sedins were outshot, though.
Vrbata scored two goals. Finally had some production to go along with his great play. Vancouver really need to assess if they wish to keep him for next season. If not, they should consider finding another team for him in exchange for picks or prospects.
Edler and Tanev have been playing well lately. Makes me wonder what the hell other observers are seeing to be calling Edler a terrible player. His play is solid, and his Corsi stats back this statement up. He's at the same level this year as he was last year. And he was near incredible, last year.
Same goes for Hamhuis and Weber. They've been solid, if not spectacular. The Canucks should consider resigning both for next season, if possible. If not, then they should…

Reason is probably out the door in Turkey

Turkey's been pissed with Russia for some time. Ostensibly over Russian bombing of Turkmen settlements in Syria. Others claim it may have to do with Russian bombing of illegal oil smuggling chains, or possibly illegal arms trade.
Who knows the reason? I don't. What I can say, though, is the reason probably doesn't even matter, anymore. It left, long ago, out the front door, possibly to Europe with the flow of refugees.
Turkey downed a Russian jet. They say in defense. Others state in retaliation. Some believe it was a warning. Russia has claimed it to be a stab in the back.
Now, Russia's pissed off with Turkey. Overnight, they've halted trade with Turkey. They've pressed their nation's agencies to suspend trips to Turkey. They recalled their minister. And there are rumblings Russia might shut off the gas to Turkey.
And possibly as a warning or threat or retaliation, Russia's stepped up their bombing campaign on the Turkey-Syrian border, today. Border cr…

Mulcair, you loser, get the hell out of Dodge

Tom Mulcair vows he will stay on as leader of NDP
It's probably fair to call Mulcair out as possibly the second worst leader in the NDP's history. And there's been some pretty bad leaders since McLaughlin, arguably the NDP's worst.
To be fair, the NDP's probably dead. The ideals of yesterday are buried, and the leadership group is filled with career pols and exiled neo-libs.
It's time to kick these fuckers out of the party. Start with Mulcair, and work our way down the list. Get some backbone into the party. Get some real heart.
Neo-liberalism is dead. It's a failed idealogy. It's ruined lives, worldwide, and enriches none but those already rich and powerful.
And of the two dead entities, I trust the NDP could rise again. But it's time to stop buying the snake oil hucksters like Mulcair have been selling.
Power is only important if you have heart. Power for its own sake is corrupting. This has been known for millennia, and still we allowed ourselves…

Turkey, Russia, Syria

We've reached a new tipping point. Whether this will be localized to merely Turkey, or if it will involve numerous states (i.e., WWIII), is probably up to NATO's response to whatever Russia decides to do about Turkey.
The nation of Turkey's been acting as a spoiler these past few years. A dangerous, and stupid, wildcard. It's been flooding Europe with refugees, and continually allowing radical Syrian militants safe haven within their borders.
Russia probably won't attack Turkey, militarily, but instead economically. A not insignificant amount of Turkey's energy needs are met by Russian suppliers.
NATO needs to find a way of appearing to have Turkey's back, while also burning Turkey's fingertips. If NATO backs Turkey unconditionally, then we're probably in for a cold and dark winter.

How the cult of shareholder value is cannibalizing corporate North America

Financial Post
As I read through this article, I couldn't help thinking, as I read some of the defenses of the proponents of this sort of business practice, of that W.C. Fields quote, "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit."
And it's a whole lot of bullshit. These companies have been overheating their own stocks, and calling it profit. They've been raiding their own savings to placate demanding and aggressive shareholders. And in the end, it's all make-believe. They're rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
It's an ages old scam, Three-card Monte, but it's played using banks instead of cards.
Feel safe and secure with our financial leadership?

Syria, France

My opinion, let's stay the hell out of Syria. It's Russia's business what happens there, and the less we have to do with it, the better. Let's take care of our selves before we adventure off to some quagmire, and lose many lives in some fruitless search for peace.
France, please refrain from a war-like response. However terrible the attacks on your populace were, remember the masterminds behind the attacks should be pursued as criminals. True justice would begin by sending in police investigators to arrest the suspects after gathering strong evidence, rather than soldiers who aren't at all trained for this sort of thing.

The NDP's defeat

I'm happy the NDP lost the election. Very happy.
It first lost its values and principles, and now, it's lost the election. Thankfully.
I'm marginally happy the Liberals won. They've done alright toward First Nations in the past, but I have major concerns regarding their policies concerning the environment and corporate crime.

I knew something stunk about the Conservative's surplus

Where's the bodies?
In this case, where's the expected deficit?
The Ottawa Citizen has the answer.
$8.7 billion went unspent by the government, this year, which clawed back this money from programs and services across Canada after it had already been allocated for spending.
That's bad. That's actually incredibly irresponsible. It's damn near criminal.
I know my own family had work relying on federal monies this past summer, and then the money simply vanished, and the bottom fell out of our plans. We really had to scramble about these past few months after we had expected to be working.
And if my family was hit by this, then I can imagine hundreds more families like mine were also affected by this, and hundreds of businesses, too. That's thousands and thousands of workers. That's real money that's disappearing from the economy. That's work that disappears, and jobs that are lost.
What's worse is the government clawed back $8.7 billion from the rea…

Fudge it rhymes with budget

CBC News
Somehow, I really don't trust these fellows in government, right now. They've done nothing to impress upon me they in any way understand taxation. Or even representation. They don't understand governing, whatsoever, to be honest.
A $1.9 billion surplus when they'd forecast a $2 billion deficit? Seems shady. Something stinks of a lie.
The most likely reason is the government is excluding something from the budget. Some thing or things totaling $3 billion in spending, not being accounted for by this Conservative government. It'd be nice if we had a budget officer who'd have already looked into the numbers to announce whether the government was being honest or not. However, the current one's a lame duck. Nothing at all like his predecessor, who was a terrier who nipped at the heels of the government.
News organizations seem to be announcing this news without any sense of skepticism. They're acting as government press agents. Should we have expecte…

Vancouver's Downtown Eastside residents dying at eight times the national average

CBC News
Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, which is often associated with despair, poverty and addiction, now has a grim new claim to fame. I lived in the Downtown Eastside for a short spell. Yes, the latter two do exist in prevailing amounts, but despair? Dunno.
I lived in poverty, too, there. The hardest thing to get was a good meal. Oh, food itself was plentiful, but good healthy food, not so much.
There's dozens, if not hundreds, of incredible volunteers, each working to make life even a little easier for the residents there.
As for the mortality rate, I'm not surprised. Vancouver's on a slope, and the drain is in the Downtown Eastside. Everything washes up there.
As for the study, good on UBC for undertaking it.


It's important to remember, Syria's civil war was probably caused by climate change.
There were a myriad of internal factors, that had laid the timber for the flames of war, such as corruption, torture, poverty, and external aggression, but the spark setting it all ablaze was caused by the drought impacting the nation's ability to feed itself.
Generally, that's the case. People can put up with all sorts of abuse. An abuse victim will continually return to the abuser. Right up until they've had enough. Usually, that's after the food has run out.
What's dismaying is the West's solution to the civil war was to bomb the shit out of Syria. Thank god for Kerry squarely placing his foot in his mouth giving Russia the opportunity to, in a sense, save Syria.
Can you imagine the magnitude of the humanitarian disaster that would be playing out, now, had Syria been reduced to complete rubble, as the US had originally wanted?
Actually, can you imagine what we should…

The First Nations Financial Transparency Act

I was angry, yesterday. Said some harsh words.
I'm calmer, today.
Still thinking on the First Nations Financial Transparency Act.
Such a racist act. It's not an act which does what it purports to do. Rather, it's meant to open up First Nations governments like a tin can, so that the government can do as it wants to First Nations people, and more importantly, do as it will with the lands First Nations people live upon. Scoop out resources and title as one would sardines.
It's designed to shame and ridicule our First Nations leaders.
Mistakes, and deficits are the same as crimes, according to this act. And the government can spin any audit into any shape it wants, if it pays the right company the right price. Remember that sham audit of Attawapiskat? Imagine that, but across the nation of Canada.
And when it does its job of marginalizing our First Nations leaders, the government then has full authority to replace our leadership with third party management.
Which is bulls…

This is why running to the left of the ruling class is important

Hillary Clinton Just Picked Sides With the Democrats’ Warren Wing Against the Rubin Wing
Now, I'm not saying Clinton is to be trusted, but she was forced to pick against her own interest here, in this one instance. It's a small ripple. Possibly, more will occur as the campaign continues, and she worries of losing more ground than she already has to the insurgent, Bernie Sanders.
Now, is he going to win the Democratic Primary? I don't know. I hope so, but I worry he will not.
I worry Sanders will act as sheepdog, sheparding Democratic fence sitters and undecided into the voting ranks, and convince them to vote for whoever's the Democratic choice, no matter how bad that choice may be.
But he is a choice, even if for only a short time. His presence has forced a change in Clinton's campaign, and forced her to make a promise she probably had no interest in making.
This is why it's important to continue putting pressure on the Democratic candidates, even if it's …

Conservative shaming of First Nations, continues

Dozens of B.C. First Nations failed to file financial statements by deadline 
Unabated. Unopposed.
Shameful. Hateful. Unjustifiable.
This shaming treatment of First Nations leaders must stop.
I hate Harper for this. I hate the Canadian government for this. I hate Canada for this.
The Harper government gives to First Nations communities all the pennies it had discontinued, and then demands absolute accountability upon each and every god damned cent. Every cent must be tracked, three times signed for.
First Nations bands are paralyzed with fear for any misstep invites in third party management, which is more often than not, utterly worse at managing First Nations communities than the supposed corrupt leaders it displaced. Third party management is the new age Indian Agent.
Cities are not subject to this humiliation. Provinces are not subject to this dishonor. Harper himself stonewalled his own Parliamentary Budget Officer when he was being asked difficult questions about his own spent m…

Canada's 2015 federal election

Harper's scum. I'll grant that.
However, so is Mulcair. He's stabbed more old-guard Dippers in the back than Harper's ever managed to do in from the political battlefront.
Do I wish and hope for Harper to lose this election? Yes. But I don't trust either the NDP or the Liberals to do right for Canadians, either. Both leadership groups have thrown their lot in with  neo-liberal ideology. Ostensibly free trade, although who it's free for is a roulette wheel guess. Further development of the tar sands. Half-measures somehow designed to magically halt Canada's further slide into recession.
Neo-liberalism is a failed ideology. It destroys nations. Even massive states like Russia can be brought down low by it. Even rich ones like Japan are forced into decades long recession.
And in this election, we have a choice between two neo-liberal parties, and one neo-conservative party. Not much of a choice, is there?
Harper offers nothing. He's a spiteful, hateful man…

Windstorm shakes the foundation of BC Hydro’s weather prediction system

Vancouver Sun
It shouldn't have done, though.
This is probably something PIEVC would've discerned, had they the resources.
As it is, now, we can only guess as to what will happen.
Our current scientists and engineers have done their best, but without the full support and backing of both provincial and federal governments, the best we can do is probably just not good enough.
Is this storm a one-off? Or will there be more in the future? Should we expect this sort of pattern every year, now? Or is this a fifty year event, and we can take our time in bolstering our power lines throughout the province?
What about roads? What about the buildings being built, now? How about guidelines for trees on properties near buildings?
What of snowfall? What of storm water in the spring? How about our soil? Our lakes? Our rivers? Our trees? BC's at risk for forest fires. Will they increase, not only in frequency, but also in size and ferocity?
Listen, if the federal government won't kic…

Donald Trump Just Stopped Being Funny

Matt Tabbi - Rolling Stone
Tabbi probably oversimplifies too much, here.
I can understand. I wouldn't want to give much credit to Trump, either, but that's dangerous.
Trump's campaign is dangerous. I'd even state it's proto-fascist in nature. It's what fascism looks like, before it's institutionalized.
Trump isn't an idiot, though, as Tabbi tries to illustrate. I'd even consider Trump to be especially crafty, when it comes to understanding how to appeal to the Republican base. And it's that appeal that makes his campaign deadly.
Trump has calculated how he can win the Republican primary. And so far, it seems as though he's guessed right. He says what he himself probably wants to hear.
What's worse, is if he wins the Republican primary, he may even have a chance of winning the Presidential election. Especially if the Democrats elect Clinton as their choice for president. Thus far, Trump has run as the anti-Clinton. He's genuine as opp…

The human 'superpredator' is unique -- and unsustainable, study says

Los Angeles Times
I can't imagine the world in ten years time. Twenty years. It'll be different. As different as the world was even in my own childhood. As different as the world was from my parents' childhoods.
My elders speak of our role on this Earth as caretakers. However, we've abandoned this role in favor of materialistic pursuits. Of finite beliefs that will quickly degrade into ash when stressed, as heated glass touching cold water.
All cultures historically warn us away from over-indulgence, and yet our own modern society celebrates this behavior as exemplary. This self-interest is our fatal flaw.
We take what we want, and we give nothing. This cannot last.
There are limits on this Earth we cannot comprehend in full. It is simply too vast. However, what little we do know should terrify us into acting more responsibly, even if only marginally. However we do not even do that. Our leaders urge us on to continue on as we have done. This cannot last.
Eventually, so…

You know what? I'm not even angry with Mulcair's NDP, anymore.

I'm done with them. I don't even care about them. They wanna continue purging candidates, as Dr Dawg describes it, then all the power to them. They wanna adopt neo-liberal policies, then fine. I'm done.
The NDP wants to take the neo-liberal route to power, then fine. I don't.
When, in the end, the only difference between Harper and Mulcair is facial hair, then I don't even want to bother. Fuck 'em.
I don't care enough about defeating Harper if the only option is to insert Mulcair into that very same seat to pursue the same goddamn policies.
What I want is complete and utter repudiation of the Israel first policy. I want the Tar Sands wound down, and the land eventually returned to farming and grazing, if at all still possible.
At the very least, I want an NDP leader who will brook disagreement on these issues within his own goddamn party.
If Mulcair can't handle dissent within his own ranks, then he can have my rebellion, instead.
Fuck Mulcair. Fuck the…

The NDP's Morgan Wheeldon mess

I'm angry about this.
Wheeldon's comments were certainly provocative, but they shouldn't have gotten him expelled from the party.
The NDP has betrayed this candidate, those who support Wheeldon, and those who think as Wheeldon does. There's simply no other way to put this. It's absolute betrayal.
I'm voting left of the NDP, this year, albeit that won't be too difficult to do. The NDP's moved so far right, it's no longer recognizable.
In all honesty, when the NDP does as they do, that's simply alarming to me. I'm First Nations. I find more in common with the Palestinians than the Israelis. A small indigenous population subjugated and displaced by colonialists from Europe.
I had been thinking of supporting the NDP, this election, but this has seriously chased me away. I want nothing to do with them, now. Support your members, right or wrong, NDP. Show some god damned loyalty!

Big Internet providers must open fibre networks to competitors; CRTC

The Canadian Press, via The Star Phoenix
Well, it's about time. What else is there to say? Hopefully, this drives prices down, if even only a little.
Now, the CRTC needs to find a way to force these big companies to actually invest in developing, and maintaining their networks. These big ass companies have been sitting on what they've already got for too long, without actually improving on it very much.
Fifteen, twenty years ago, under Chrétien's leadership, it seemed as though Canada were poised to take a lead on internet technology, but today, Canada's fallen behind Europe and Asia. At least we're still ahead of the USA, but that's not much to be proud of.

This lake is about to fall off a cliff in the Northwest Territories as permafrost melts

Vancouver Sun
The Earth changes in ways we can fathom. It's not quantum physics. Us lay people should be able to understand this much.
The Earth changes. So too should we change.
Even speaking out can help. Raise your voice, even if only a little, in favour of the change which must come.
Otherwise, we place ourselves into a position untenable.
Do not let pessimism erode your heart, as misfortune has brought to the edge this lonely lake.
In your heart beats the blood of your antecedents. Their wisdom and strength, along with your own, can empower you to do what you are able.

Climate change

The climate is changing.
We, too, should be changing. Our hearts, our minds. It should all change.
The world tomorrow will not be the same as the world today. Today's world has little similarity with yesterday's.
We can look to the past, and see what has all happened, but to see the future, we need to turn ourselves around.
All we do is watch the past. We know nothing but the past. Since we know the past so intimately, shouldn't we then know the future?
We do know it, though. Its form, its voice. We know it. We should know it.
We know the world is going to be a difficult place to survive as today's events continually pile upon one another to give the future world its shape. We know.
What the hell do we do, then?
We are faced with dire prospects. We are in danger.
Extinction is probably not merely a prospect any longer, but something more definite.
For nearly a century, the human world faced annihilation from nuclear war. We are in the same danger, again, from mismanage…

Burning Cars and Fleeing Drivers on Interstate 15

New York Times
Sobering pictures of cars, burned on a freeway. Climate change exists, in a myriad of small ways, affecting us all in ways we can only comprehend if we pay attention. When we avert our gaze, of course we won't see it, but sometimes we will have no choice.
This should be a wake-up call, just like the past dozen or so events in the past few years that should alert us we're participating in world-wide climate change. Will we act? Probably not. It's not as though there haven't been brush fires, before. It's not as though cars and freeways are actually important in the grand scheme of things.
Only money is. Money making money is important. Not the people, without whose hands earn that money, probably not even for themselves, but for some rich bastard trust fund baby. They're not important. The earth is not important. Selfishness is. Self gratification is.
This is the sort of shit that burns me out, really.

GORILLA - Supaman

Nexen pipeline leak in Alberta spills 5 million litres

CBC News
Wow, Nexen really bent itself over backwards trying to lower the impact of the headline, pipeline spill.
Emulsion? That's new. It was, er, emulsion that spilled, which is an entirely different thing than diluted tar. No siree Bob, we don't have a single thing to worry about if it was emulsion that spilled.
And what is emulsion? Had to look that word up. It's a mixture of two liquids that are normally unmixable. In this case, tar, sand, and water. And probably something in it that makes it all mixable, too, but no one's reported what that is, yet.
What's worse are these news organizations giving cover for Nexen, running with a headline probably thought up in Nexen's PR department. Whatever. Hopefully, the new Alberta NDP government dings this company, good and hard.
Incidentally, isn't this the same company bought by one of China's state owned companies?

A Tribe Called Red - Electric Pow Wow Drum

The problem of Greece is not only a tragedy. It is a lie.
An historic betrayal has consumed Greece. Having set aside the mandate of the Greek electorate, the Syriza government has willfully ignored last week's landslide "No" vote and secretly agreed a raft of repressive, impoverishing measures in return for a "bailout" that means sinister foreign control and a warning to the world. Greece. Either its people do what needs doing, or they suffer longer than they need to.
They can exit the EU, suffer for a few years, and rebuild their economy through currency controls. Or they can stay in the EU, and suffer, indefinitely.
It should be a stark, simple choice, but human nature, eh?

Supaman "Too Far" HD feat. emcee one aka Marcus Anthony Guinn

“Greece Brought a Latte to a Gunfight”

naked capitalism
Germany has folded Greece up like a lawn chair, and is now ready to shunt it aside, preferably under some stairway, far out of sight, where it won't have to take it out until the weather's clear, again.
Greece's exit from the EU seems to be inching closer, inevitably. And Greece has not prepared. There were no contingency plans for this (more than likely) possibility, which almost seems criminally negligent.
What will happen in Greece in the coming days?

RedCloud - When Kenpo Strikes

Some more RedCloud.

Euro zone demands more from Greece, delays decision on aid

Cyprus Mail
I'm not sure what the demands were, but I think some of the EU demands might've included the rights to works of Homer, the title of the birthplace of democracy, and all profits from the value of π.
Syriza is considering it, I believe.
But seriously, Greek has absolutely no money, right now. This is simply the EU twisting a knife in Syriza's gut, and telling Syriza to straighten out their body so it's not so uncomfortable for the EU to continue holding the knife.
Can Syriza continue like this? There's gotta be a whole lot of anger in the Greek nation.
Can they hold out?

RedCloud - "Krylon Teardrops"

How an enviro minister spent her day not attending a climate summit

National Observer
Canada's federal environment minister’s decision not to represent the country at The Climate Summit of the Americas this week in Toronto raised the question: how did she spend her time instead?
(H)er Facebook page shows, just as the 300 international dignitaries were arriving Tuesday at the summit to map out urgent solutions for a global low-carbon economy, Minister Aglukkaq went boating, among other pleasurable activities, 2,500 km away. Self-serving. Completely indifferent. Are these traits valued in Harpers' Conservative Party, or does it attract these sorts of assholes, naturally?
The Liberals, NDP, and Green parties really need to bust their humps and win this riding away from Aglukkaq. The district's voting numbers are so small, that there's always going to be wild swings in the results. The only parties, though, that ever seem to go for this riding are the Liberals and Conservatives.
Had the NDP not shit the bed in the previous ele…

Eric Holder, Wall Street Double Agent, Comes in From the Cold

Matt Tabbi, Rolling Stone
Absolutely scathing.
The office thing might have been improper, but at this point, who cares? More at issue is the extraordinary run Holder just completed as one of history's great double agents. For six years, while brilliantly disguised as the attorney general of the United States, he was actually working deep undercover, DiCaprio in The Departed-style, as the best defense lawyer Wall Street ever had.

Supaman - 'Prayer Loop Song'

Enjoy the rest of the day, people.

Design History of Super Mario Maker, E3 2015

Shigeru Miyamoto is simply put, a genius. His influence on video games, on popular culture is indisputable. Thus, a short video like this is absolutely interesting in the extreme.
A video game is first and foremost a toy. But it needs to be engineered. And then crafted. Miyamoto is a master of this craft.

Canada sheds 6,400 jobs in June

CBC News
Isn't this a bit soon in the fiscal year for net losses in employment numbers? I can see this happening in January or February of next year, but now, in July? In the middle of tourist season?
Canada's troubling job numbers are still trending downwards.
At this point, the government should be pumping money into employment, trying to get people to work, doing even useless, meaningless things. I suppose they needed to balance their budget to try and look good for the election, but that's all moot if people are going into the polls, broke.
Especially when people are drawing a connection to the balanced budget, and cutbacks in services such as EI.

Paul Martin accuses Harper government of underfunding aboriginal schools

CTV News
I am still left feeling betrayed by Canada, even after all this time since the deep sixing of the Kelowna Accord. My anger hasn't abated, since then. It's grown, within. How can we ever trust the Canadian government, again? How can we trust the opposition parties, after year upon year of lily livered mere disapproval of Harper's policies?
The Conservative government's native education policy is immoral, Martin said in a speech during the Assembly of First Nations' annual meeting. Damn right, it is! Harper's set back Canadian-First Nations relations by generations.
He represents old Canada to us First Nations. The Canada of yesteryear.  The Canada that thought nothing more of us than that we were little more than animals, and at best savages.
We have no place in Harper's Canada.
And if Canada returns Harper to power in this coming election, we will know Canada has no place for us, either, except where we already are. In purgatory.

Greece crisis: PM Tsipras pitches €53.5B bailout deal to party

CBC News
Oh, wow. Complete capitulation by Syriza to German demands. I can't say this wasn't unforeseen, however.
This might spell the end of Syriza in governance, though. Who knows if they keep their tenuous hold on power, after this:
"The choices we have are tough ... but the worst, the most humiliating and unbearable choice is an agreement that will surrender, loot and subjugate our people and this country," he (Panagiotis Lafazanis) told a business conference.

Election debates take on different lustre, as NDP gain momentum in polls

The Squamish Chief
Er, yay. I think.
The federal NDP's betrayed core principles to get to this point in the polls. At this point, today's NDP would be unrecognizable to the parties of yesteryear.
Mulcair. He'd make a good Liberal Party member, but he's really nothing more than an environmentally concerned neo-liberal. Let's be honest, here. The Dippers are no longer Dippers if they've elected such man to be their party leader. The NDP as a party of principle is dead. And long buried.
And even if he's concerned with the environment, his solution is to transform Canada in to a hybrid economy. At this point, that's probably simply too much of a half measure. A worthless intention.
To protect Canada, and to lead and inspire other first world nations toward a greener future, now, probably requires far more radical measures than anything Mulcair's ever even considered.
I honestly don't even know who I'll vote for in my riding this coming election.…

Easier bailout terms for Greece could open a can of worms

CTV News
Er, no. I fail to see what worms have to do with economics, myself. I suppose it has to do with this line of thought:
Ceding too much ground to Athens could ignite a broader political crisis by infuriating people in other bailed-out countries in the currency bloc which, unlike Greece, have obediently complied with the demands of creditors and largely restored their financial health through painful -- and politically costly -- austerity measures. Although I'm gonna have to take issue with the claim 'largely restored their financial health' in 'Spain, Portugal, and Ireland'.
All the EU did for these countries was kick this solvency crisis further down the road for those three countries.
Greece's solvency crisis is right before us, however. It's staring us all right in the face.
Honestly, Greece defaulting probably won't affect us Canadians too much, as we're not too exposed to the EU, but what with globalization all the rage nowadays, we…

B.C. fires: Christy Clark pledges to spend beyond budget on wildfires

CBC News

"We will spend what we need," said Clark. "If more resources are required we will get them." Wonderful!
But just a quick question. Where's she going to get the manpower from?
Most of the fire fighting crews I know have disbanded with the members finding employment elsewhere. Actually, that's a lie. All the crews I know of are disbanded.
Fires in the prairies are already employing almost all the big union crews.
Will BC need to call in the military, too?
Listen, Premier Clark! It takes time to train people to fight fires. You need experienced, grizzled veterans who know and understand how fires act and react, especially in uncontrollable conditions. You can't have all-rookie crews running around in the damn woods fighting these fires. They're too uncontrollable, both the fires and the rookies!
Accidents and injuries will happen, and even deaths. You need the right people in the right places.
Most of the small crews are gone, and many probabl…

Greece crisis: Greeks dismiss report on preparing IOUs to pay state wages, pensions
Well, this will be interesting if the original report about Greece prepping to issue these I.O.U.s is true.
All money is ultimately worthless, really. It's just a dream that it has actual value.
Money is merely an extension of the social contract.
When one starts trying to attach actual to money, such as the price of gold, then society ends up in odd places, where what should be valued is dismissed, and what should be dismissed is venerated.

Trying to find a job

Been looking for work. Not super hard, though. Just meandering, really, in my efforts.
It's my pessimistic, attitude, I suppose. Lost my last two jobs, one due to the economy, and the other due to my bad back. What's the point in looking for work now, I wonder?
Ah well, I suppose I could try harder. But who'd wanna hire a thrice time loser like me, who has a bad attitude to boot? Not me, that's for sure. Can't stand people like me, always making excuses not to work.
I've been using WorkBC's services. But it's all a big joke to me. Seems like a poor second cousin to the agency it'd replaced, some few years back.
But that's how it is, right now. Social conditions have utterly gutted the employment market.
And what's worse, the job market is so terrible right now, I'm reduced to having to use meaningless buzz terms such as employment market and job market.
And almost as bad as all that, is the depressed job market has gutted employment agen…

I love me some Windows Update

And by love, I mean hate, of course. That should be obvious, right? When I say I love something, of course I could actually mean the opposite, in a counter-intuitive sort of way.
Spent yesterday, and the previous day, working on a computer that had failed, spectacularly.
Lemme say something. I hate Windows Update. It's slow, and it's painful.
But gods be damning, it's necessary. You gotta run it, once a week, at least.
But using the program after you've just installed Windows onto a PC. It's a drawn out, frustrating process. It's hateful. It's wrong. It leaves you questioning yourself, wondering if this is a sort of BDSM sort of play, but only with you and the computer in front of you: "Is this wrong? Am I wrong? But why does this feel so right?"
And the time you've got to spend on this could be used for so much else in life. You could write a resume, submit it to employers, interview, start the job, and then quit it, all the while screaming b…

A Tribe Called Red Ft. Northern Voice - Suplex

Some more A Tribe Called Red

Now let's speak of something important

The Vancouver Canucks.
I'm a sports geek.
Spent some time, recently, learning about these new fangled stats economists are gleaming from hockey games. They're amazing, these numbers. Simply fascinating. It's really opened up the game for me, allowed me to watch the games in a whole new way.
And my joy at these new stats are tempered by the Canucks. The Can'tnucks. The Goddamn Fucking Canucks.
This has really been a summer of discontent for me, watching the off-season roster moves the Canucks have made.
I suppose one could count last season's extensions of Dorsett and Sbisa as off-season moves. But when I do that, it makes this summer seem a great deal worse.
My goodness. This Canucks team is going to be filled with question marks throughout the line up. So many rookies will have to take roster spots throughout the year. And the questions arise from the fact these rooks have never actually outplayed the outgoing veterans for these positions.
And the veterans t…

The state of the world, this morning

Two major world events are now happening.
China's stock market is crashing, and Greece is heading toward exit from the EU.
Both have a been long time coming, and both were clearly inevitable from an observer's viewpoint a long way back.
Both contrast each other rather nicely. China's crashing down from an unsustainable high, whereas Greece has been bottomed out for so long, it's a wonder the peninsula hasn't yet sunk into the Mediterranean. China's a superpower, and Greece is the black-sheep relative the EU doesn't want to acknowledge but loves to kick (and then blames for dirtying the EU's shoes with blood).
And yet, both these events each separately have the potential to send the world into another major recession. That they're both happening right now is some crazy mixed up coincidence that only Murphy could have predicted with his usual non-specific understating self.
It'll be bumpy road ahead for the next little while. Make sure to buckle u…

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: Tsipras Never Wanted to Win Referendum, is “Trapped” and “Depressed,” Syriza in “Turmoil”

naked capitalism
This is a bombshell. Syriza had better plan for Greece's exit, and fast. They'll need to hit the ground running, like jumping off a freight train.
Events can happen whether you want them to or not. That they never planned for this is shocking, though. Isn't planning for the worst that could happen fundamental in governance?

Aboriginal leaders want to turn anger into votes in fall election
Despite historically low rates of election participation, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde says there are 51 ridings across the country where aboriginal voters could play a key role. Nearly half of them are held by the ruling Conservatives, according to a list produced by the national aboriginal group. “Fifty-one ridings can make a difference between a majority and a minority government. People are starting to see that,” Bellegarde told a general assembly of the AFN in Montreal. I hope people heed these words. We First Nations are criminally marginalized, and we need to use whatever means are available to us to better our lives. Otherwise, we will continually face difficulties in this society. We have nothing to lose by voting.


What is happening in Greece? For now, it's the centre of the world, with all attention on every move it makes. It is volatile, there.
Will Greece exit the EU? Probably not on its own. But the hardliners in the EU will probably force Greece out if its demands are not met. And every hour since the No vote has passed has illustrated how unlikely it is Greece has any intention of meeting those demands.
A Greek exit would be disastrous, although not for Greece, itself. It's already waded through the aftermath of a disaster forced upon it by the EU. Things can't much worse for Greece, at all. All that would happen to it would be prolonged suffering.
The disaster will happen to the EU, and the USA. Neither of those two powers seem to be aligned, here. The USA does not want a Greek exit. The EU seems willing to force Greece out if Greece doesn't comply.
Greece doesn't seem to want to exit the EU, but its only sane options now to save itself would enrage the EU if  Greece c…

A Tribe Called Red Ft. Buffy Sainte-Marie - Working For The Government 2015 mix

Please, enjoy your day, everybody.
Edit: what did the share button on YouTube do to this post? I'm never using that function again.

Updating the blog

I've been away from writing for perhaps too long.
I've been burned out. Events in my own life, combined with my pessimistic attitude regarding events ongoing in the real world have dampened my inner fire.
Alas, I've had no idea what to do with this blog, so I've been letting it sit, inactive. However, such is wasteful.
I want to write on everything, but I've been hesitant to do so with this blog. Therefore, I haven't been writing about anything. I suppose I'm terrible like that.
So, I'll change my mind, and do something new. I'll write on anything that passes fancy, whatever that colloquialism means. Which is what the former byline of this blog used to say, but I never heeded my own theme for this blog. Whatever. This time I mean it. I'll write about anything, now.

6,000 aboriginal children died in residential school system, report finds

CBC News
A number. A concrete number. 6000.
Of tens of thousands of students, 6000 or more, didn't return home.
Y'know, I can't even imagine the first generation of students, what they thought, experienced. Perhaps they had some hope, some trepidation of this new institution. They, at least, had some genuine curiosity.
It was an entrance to the white man's world. Well, it was supposed to have been.
Instead, it was a meat grinder for the mind. And a bloodstain on the soul.
6000 stories, untold.

Valcourt unsure about details when questioned by MPs on First Nations children, youth

APTN National News
This is a government that just doesn't care about First Nations.
When it came to detailed questions about First Nations children and youth, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt drew blanks. When it came to detailed questions, Valcourt demonstrated he didn't care, at all, to learn about the people he's supposedly responsible for, to act as a representative for. He's supposed to be a conduit, a liaison between two nations.
I don't know an awful lot of these answers offhand, but I'd sure as hell learn them good if need be.
And Valcourt needs to learn this, doubly fast.

Daphne Bramham: B.C.’s child welfare system is broken, racist and in urgent need of change

Vacouver Sun
Damn straight. Nothing institutional has ever really changed for First Nations. Many departments that are ostensibly for First Nations are operating with the same spirit as they were for decades prior, which often times takes the form of colonial style management over First Nation lives. Even worse, many of these same departments also haven't really seen any sort of increase in funding for First Nations in those same decades.
These are departments that are operating under outdated rules, working on shoestring budgets, handling problems they can't overcome.
To solve these problems, First Nations have to be brought into the process, making the important decisions on how these problems should be tackled. First Nations should be allowed to take the lead on this issue.

Death of B.C. aboriginal teen Paige blamed on 'brutal and cruel' support services

CBC News
Reading this sort of story just gets me. Deep in the heart, it hurts me.
This girl. Hell. She looks just like any other girl on my reserve. Like any girl I've met in my community.
She was allowed to die. She was passed around, passed off, and then simply passed away. All while in the hands of a ministry that doesn't know what to do with this girl, and the hundreds of kids just like her.
Damn it!
The best way of dealing with these kids is to work with the families, the communities these kids are being taken from. Instead the BC government plucks them out of the parents' care, sometimes for frivolous reasons, and sends then into this machine-like bureaucracy, and sets it on the spin cycle.
Where the kid ends up, and how they end up, is of no concern to the province! Just so long as they can punt these kids further away.
Work with the kids' families! Work with the kids' communities! That's the best way.

U.S. Government Designated Prominent Al Jazeera Journalist as “Member of Al Qaeda”

The Intercept
I feel a sense of worry reading this sort of article. How long before the USA begins undertaking this sort of campaign within its borders? Labeling outspoken activists and overly-inquisitive journalists as enemies of the state on a list that marks them for either harassment or death?
The USA already has many of its own cities under near military control, with police rolling through the streets in military gear, using military vehicles to confront who knows what. Probably drunk naked party goers.
These lists, these watch lists. They're trouble. Not just for whatever enemy the USA has declared war upon, but for the USA, too. This sort of thing corrupts the soul. Because there's no way of contesting them. No court can rule on these lists. Once you're on one, then boom! You're dead.

We're a Friedman Unit away from better times, I suppose

Better times ahead even after Canada drops nearly 20,000 jobs: economists
Right. If we keep our chins up, and our boots strapped, happy times are just ahead. Maybe six months away, for sure! It'll be just around the corner, sunshine and rainbows.
Honestly, things right now are untenable. We can't count on the economy to rebound, and we can't count on our government to insulate us from the worst of the current instability. For the time being, save your money. Even if it's just a little bit.

Harper government uses rhetoric to ‘alarm the public’ against Indigenous rights, Bellegarde tells UN

APTN National News
Bellegarde said Ottawa’s favorite tactic is to use the word “veto” when describing why it continues to oppose the full implementation of the declaration in Canada. The Harper government has claimed, in its argument against supporting Saganash’s bill, that the declaration gives First Nations veto power over legislation and development impacting its rights and territories.
“The term veto is not used in the UN Declaration. Veto implies an absolute right or power to reject a law or development that concerns Indigenous peoples, regardless of the facts and law in any given situation,” said Bellegarde. “Canada then builds on this imagined frenzy of absolute power and declares: ‘It would be irresponsible to give any one group in Canada a veto.’” If only Canada's opposition party leaders were as tough on the Canadian government as Chief Perry Bellegarde. He's been doing yeoman's work since being elected, and mainly he's been doing the job he was ele…

First Nations aren't allowed to be successul!

Kwikwetlem Chief Ron Giesbrecht re-elected despite million dollar payday
Injuns aren't allowed the big bucks!
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt said at the time, the large payday was " not reasonable" and promised that government would look after the best interests of taxpayers if First Nations didn't. Even if that money wasn't actually paid by Canada, but by the earned profits of that First Nations community?
It's a small community with under a 100 residents, but the community somehow won the lottery, and are profiting through smart financial deals. And somehow it's wrong if that community is rewarding its leadership for having them break free of the poverty many Indian Reserves operate under?
Well, actually, I guess so. Injuns aren't allowed to be anything but poor, miserable, and outcast!

The way forward

I've been a in deep, deep depression these past couple years.
I'm naturally manic-depressive, but I've also been genuinely sad, without an inkling of what I've needed to do in my personal life. I've been lost, and I've lost some friends. Well, I'm still lost, but I'm emerging from my sadness.
I've taken a lot of time to think whilst in my funk. I'd been thinking, "How do we extricate ourselves out of this mess we've placed ourselves? What is the way forward?" I've found no answer. There's no clear path forward. There's no strategy, no long term plan that can really account for every possible setback that will occur.
I suppose that's true of all plans, though. "Plans are worthless, but planning is everything."
The solution then, I guess, is we need to wing it. Improvise. Get tough, and push forward. Suffer the pains from the blows we will receive, without flinching. Start moving forward to a place we want t…

Missing the damn point

Senator Nancy Ruth slams auditors over 'breakfast' claims
A Conservative senator today bristled at questions auditors have put to her about her expenses, saying she shouldn't be expected to eat airline breakfasts.
"If you want ice-cold camembert with broken crackers, have it!," said Senator Nancy Ruth. I don't care what she eats, but her charging the taxpayers to eat fine meals is way out of line. She gets paid enough she can afford her own damn food. How out of touch are Harper's cronies?
Sorry, rhetorical question, I know, but still. If we could measure it, how far out there is this?
Edit: Ms Ruth isn't one of  Harper's appointees, but one of Martin's. Therefore, I apologize for calling her one of Harper's cronies, when she's in fact one of Martin's.

Cracked is becoming one of my favorite sites

Or rather, it already has been for quite some time.
4 Iconic Parts of Suburbs That Are Going Away Forever
An interesting article on the drawbacks of suburban living. One thing I'd never considered is suburbs are expensive to live in, but also expensive to maintain. Very interesting. Of course, like most articles on Cracked, it's merely a primer. It could be so much more, though.