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Showing posts from 2016

What are the neo-liberals doing?

In the USA, in regards to the election. The neo-liberals are painting the election as stolen by the Russians, as though somehow they swung the electoral college for Trump.
Except, as Ian Welsh points out, even if the leaks and the FBI did ultimately cost H. Clinton the election, both were own-goals. This cannot be stated enough. H. Clinton's email scandal was of her own design. The Russians never forced her to utilize her unsecured private email server. (That's not even getting into stating how the proof showing it was Russians who did it isn't good enough.)
What's especially concerning is how commentators are chasing this lede down a very dangerous rabbit hole. It's unsettling to hear how people would be absolutely fine with the electoral college overturning their decision, because of these accusations.
Well, that's called a coup. And if you're fine with the electoral college overturning result of an election, then you're fine with a coup, and all of i…

KRS-One - MC's Act Like They Don't Know

Guess I needed to stop being lazy, and resume blogging. Thought it was important, because people are just so gods-be-damned wrong about what's going on in the world.

First Nations leaders leery of government measures on child welfare

CBC News
Well, yes. Of course it would make First Nations somewhat cautious. The number seems arbitrary. Arrived at because it was the freed money from another budget.
First and foremost, the government needs to consult First Nations leaders. There are organizations set up, mainly by First Nations, which can lead to an overarching dialogue, even with dozens of disparate and widely varied First Nation cultures throughout Canada.
I'm sure a face to face meeting between Trudeau and Bellegarde would've helped this process along quite nicely.
But at the moment, it seems like Canadian leaders are hiding away, avoiding First Nations leadership, and this announcement was meant to placate white voters with a conscience, rather than about working with First Nations. Listen to First Nations concerns and criticisms. That shouldn't be difficult to do.

Nigel Farage, and the right wing

Nigel Farage has stepped down from the UKIP leadership.
This is one complaint I have about the right wing, in general. They know how to break things down, but don't have a clue to when it comes to building things up.
Anyway, this will probably muddy up the waters. There are calls for another referendum, but if the vote remains the same, then what? Has anything really changed, other than Johnson and Farage vacating their positions? Has the sentiment within the UK as a whole changed entirely, or are news reporters simply parroting Remain talking points?
We'll see, I suppose.

Sihota says reluctance to go for jugular in last election deep-sixed Dix, NDP

Vaughn Palmer - The Vancouver Sun
The campaign as a whole was weak, not just the positive message Dix wanted to run with. Top to bottom, weak. In all honesty, I don't even remember what the BC NDP had actually campaigned on. It wasn't as though they managed to get their message out, and I'd attended a few gatherings.
Even now, perusing the BC NDP's current platform, I'm struck at how... bland it all is. Nothing exciting. Nothing new. Just the same old safe promises. Raise the minimum wage. Solve the housing crisis. Oppose Kinder Morgan. I agree with all that, but I'm having a hard time getting up for it all.
The BC NDP does understand we're facing a world-wide crisis, right now, as pertaining to climate change, right? Were the BC NDP to promise we would begin work, as of right now, yesterday even, on bringing BC to the forefront of green technology, world-wide, I'd jump onto their platform in a heartbeat.
Were the BC NDP to pick a fight with the federal…

Sports salaries, and then real life

A draft, archived, and forgotten. It's released, months late and unfinished. Never mind the now obsolete claims, throughout.

This is merely a thought. Some light consideration of sports salaries. Nothing in-depth. Merely guesswork and supposition. No evidence. No proof. No editing. No expansion. I'm just going to write out some vague ideas that are lurking below the surface of my thoughts. A free writing exercise.
I enjoy sports. Always have. Probably always will. Can no longer play sports. Injuries and accidents have robbed me of mobility, especially in the past five years. I'm done with anything involving running. Or heavy lifting.
Was intrigued to see David Price, formerly (and shortly) of the Toronto Blue Jays had signed with the Boston Red Sox for $217 million dollars. Wow. That's a lot more money than I could earn in my entire lifetime. I'd have to win the lottery. Just wow.
Seems obscene, but then again, I also subscribe to the old maxim, "Everything i…

Brexit: a disaster decades in the making

Gary Younge - The Guardian 
Just started reading this article. Will take time over the next day or two to really digest it in full, but so far, it's been excellent. One point made, that simply astonished me, I'll share:
Neglect, both benign and malign, and indulgence, both covert and overt, left those prejudices open for opportunists to exploit for their own ends. Now that needs repetition, for our friends in power. Over and over, again and again: "Neglect, both benign and malign, and indulgence, both covert and overt, (leave) prejudices open for opportunists to exploit for their own ends."

When all you have is a hammer...

Canada’s government spending is now on unsustainable path, warns PBO
Financial Post's reporting is a bit, what's the word? alarmist?
Things really aren't so dire.
Canada’s sub-national governments need a combination of new revenue or spending cuts totalling 1.5 per cent of GDP to put themselves on a sustainable path, up from 1.4 per cent last year — what the PBO called a “modest deterioration.” That would require a combined $30.2 billion in spending cuts or tax increases from provinces, territories, local and indigenous governments. You know, the major, important thing is, that no one ever really mentions, is Canada will always have a modest to wealthy tax base. And also, Canada prints its own money. That's a major strength. It means Canada can always repay its dept, even if the value of its currency falls.
$30 billion? It shouldn't be an impossible amount for the government to raise.
It should be a multi-pronged approached. Modestly raise taxes, starting from the…

Another post on Brexit

Pulled out my copy of A Tale of Two Cities, just to read the opening.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. A rather cynical assessment, I suppose. Yes, the Brexit vote was profound, but it was neither the start nor end of anything.
The real story should be austerity. It's crushing the UK, and dragging it ever downward.

Brexit is self-determination, at its core

It's chaotic, confusing, frustrating, fascinating. It's superlative after superlative.
How long will it be before it settles itself? Not soon, I suppose.
Some want it settled, now. Like just a moment ago, before I even wrote this sentence.
But it's complicated. It needs to be hammered out.
And while all that's happening, the hammer's dropping down hard on ordinary people. They're reaching out, trying to blame others for this, when it fact, it's simply the fault of history.
No one told them the European Union would hammer them hard with austerity. It's basically killing the UK, dead. Its industry, six feet under. Its trade, mainly imports. Finances, in the red.
Not much hope there, for them. And there's the nostalgia, remembering the time after World War II, after their economy had recovered, and they were second in the world, just after the United States for progress.
Some where along the way, it was lost. They became purposeless, rudderless.
They e…

Brexit is Only the Latest Proof of the Insularity and Failure of Western Establishment Institutions

 Glenn Greenwald - The Intercept
Corrupt elites always try to persuade people to continue to submit to their dominance in exchange for protection from forces that are even worse. That’s their game. But at some point, they themselves, and their prevailing order, become so destructive, so deceitful, so toxic, that their victims are willing to gamble that the alternatives will not be worse, or at least, they decide to embrace the satisfaction of spitting in the faces of those who have displayed nothing but contempt and condescension for them. Just another way of saying, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
The dream of the EU was beautiful, but the way it was implemented has become a nightmare for millions of people.

Mark Carney, wizard

CTV News
The Bank of England said it had made contingency plans for a "leave" vote and promised to take action to maintain stability. It noted that it has 250 billion pounds ($342 billion) in liquidity available for banks. "We are well prepared for this," the bank's governor, Mark Carney, said in a televised statement. When people state, no one could have foreseen this, remind them Mark Carney did. And not only that, had prepared in advance. It won't stop the worst from happening, but it should mitigate it.
It should give the UK government time to plan, which apparently it didn't.
Sink or swim time, now. Those who find the surface when you're twenty feet under water and disorientated, survive.

British Exit

Decided to sleep on the results. Woke up, and Britain voted to leave the EU.
Wow, sometimes the world changes without you knowing.
Admittedly, it's probably not that easy to leave the EU. There's much to worry about, and plan over.
One can't simply just stop following signed agreements without consequence. And the consequences will probably be severe for the British people.
Granted, if they follow through on this vote, then they could become much better off, in the long run, but there'll be suffering in the short term. But the British people are already suffering from austerity, so what's the difference, in the end?

Bernie Sanders has laid the groundwork for a strong progressive movement

The numbers don't lie: a nearly 70 to 30 ratio of support among voters less than 30 years old could be quite indicative of the future of the Democratic Party. The elderly won out this time, but their numbers are likely to shrink rather then grown in the coming years, whereas Sanders' supporters are likely to move onto the next worthy candidate who proclaims their interests to also be their own. And such supporters numbers are only likely to grow.
Bernie Sanders has charted a path. Perhaps it was only an accident, but it can be followed, but this time with vigour and confidence rather then caution. There's no need for big money in politics, now.
Power can be won without compromising.
Well, actually, let us hope that's what Sanders campaign has shown us.

The worst election in modern US history

It is upon us! We are not worthy!
Hilary Clinton, whose moral scruples are somehow less then her popularity, which is as low as it can get in the modern era, versus Donald Trump, as nasty a piece of work as has been seen in some time in US politics.
It'll be bare knuckle brawling from here on out, and I get the feeling the Drumpf will have the advantage in a pure mud slinging dirty campaign. Then again, I could be wrong.
But I'm not wrong when I predict this will be a low voter turnout. At this point, who cares who wins?
Hilary Clinton is More of the Same! Whereas Trump is Power to the One Percent!
You know, it'll be shit sandwiches, as Ian Welsh calls it, for everyone, regardless of who wins. The difference between the two, is while Hilary will force you all to buy the shit sandwich, she won't force you to eat it, whereas Trump will force you to eat it, but you won't have to buy it.
Well, there's nuances, and everything to consider. What kind of bread, and wha…

In the coming US election

There's talk of Mitt Romney running as an independent. Wonderful, a third party to split the vote between people who probably are going to stay home on election day, regardless.
Hilary Clinton, probably the most hated Democrat since Jimmy Carter, but he had at least has managed to restore his image over the past few decades. Policies? Position? We all know what she is. A neo-liberal snake oil salesman. And a poor campaigner.
Donald Trump, a sea change in the Republican Party, but he's been campaigning as a racist douche. He's been moving leftward in his campaigning, lately threatening to skive off Clinton's support on her right flank. A libertarian.
Green Party. Probably still too soon for a concerted effort at the presidency, but they should work toward growing their support.
Mitt Romney. Voters stayed home the last time he ran for president. What's changed that he should challenge again? And the old guard Republicans are hoping he'll split the vote with Trump…

A post on depression. A personal perspective.

For the past year, I'd been struggling within. For a long time, I'd been telling myself, "I'm such an idiot. I'm a loser."
I realized, one day, last year sometime, I can't be telling myself this.
If there's a truth in the world, it's an insult always hurts.
I can't be hurting myself, any longer. Even with words. And I was hurting myself, daily. Hourly, even.
I had to change my thinking. Bit by bit, every day, keeping constant attention upon my own thoughts. Every time I thought a self-degrading thought such as, "I'm a loser", I had to instantly think, "I can't think like this. I’m not an idiot. I'm not a loser."
It took time.
And then eventually, I realized, I'd gone for months without thinking a self-harming thought.
And from this, I've changed a little for the better.
I'm less afraid of going out. And insults from others hurt much less.
I'm still a long ways away from healthy, but for the first…

We're witnessing the hints of an oncoming sea change in politics

Trump will probably win the Republican nomination.
What's hilarious is how neo-liberals and neo-conservatives have paved his path toward this still small success. They'd created this opening for such a man to enter into the halls of power. And now, they're panicking.
And even if he doesn't win the presidential election, there probably are others watching and observing Trump's political success.
If Trumps wins more success in the US political system, then his currently radical policies will quickly become normalized.
For the past thirty-ish years, we've been living in the age of Reagan. Now, his influence, and the influence of his peers and students is waning. The age of Reagan is coming to an end.
It is times like this when radical ideas begin to normalize, and become adopted by the powerful, seeking different avenues into ever greater power when the old bottlenecks are thoroughly controlled by the old guard.
However, liberals and progressives have been caught …

Bernie Sanders Just Changed the Democratic Party

The New Yorker
That history explains why Sanders emerged as the big winner of the night on the Democratic side. Not only has he pulled off a rags-to-riches story, he has done it on the basis of a message that is more radical than anything Presidential politics has seen in decades—a message that he repeats with such regularity and relentlessness that his stump speech has become familiar to many Americans. Sanders' message isn't that radical. His message is fairly pedestrian. I suppose, in comparison, to the conservatives that've captured Washington for the past thirty years, he is quite a bit to the left, but he's probably no further left of Carter.

Bank of Japan stuns with surprise move to negative rates

Um, I dunno what to make of this. Sounds like a farce, really. Let's give more money to people who already aren't spending enough. I'm sure the last people on Earth who need more money are the ones who already have all of it, and letting it rot in bank vaults.
Governments world-wide have this utter desperation to avoid actual, real-world policy, clinging to monetary-only policies to try kick-starting their economies. What the hell are they counting on? They keep repeating the same old nonsense, again and again.
Let's be cynical about this. World leaders have no interest in making this world a better place. They're happy enough with how the joint already is for themselves. They're content so long as they can make this world better for themselves, and their peers, only. Every body else can go fuck themselves.

NDP takes aim at new Clerk Michael Wernick over aboriginal role

Ottawa Citizen
The Nurenberg Defense?
We First Nations value symbolism. Who's appointed by the government to work with us is important. That it's Charlie Angus criticizing this appointment is also important. This may be a case of 'hippie punching': the Liberal government not wanting to appear to consent toward leaning too far forward toward reconciliation with First Nations.
At the same time, who in the Liberal Party is well-known for working with First Nations, now? Bob Rae? But he's retired. It'd go a long way if he were to comment on this appointment. If he doesn't comment, that would also say much.

Steven Stamkos, ufa

I've been reading forum and twitter responses toward the news Stamkos was offered $8.5 million per year from the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Stamkos, in terms of hockey salary, is probably worth more than $8.5 million per year. I'd even consider him in the same tier as Malkin, Toews, and Kopitar. Crosby would be in a tier of his own, especially considering he has one of the few lifetime contracts in the NHL.
Anyway, Stamkos is getting eviscerated by Tampa Bay fans, for no reason at all, it seems. He's getting no love. Some people are even claiming he's not even worth that $8.5 million offer.
Which is insane.
Stamkos has a value to the Lightning that might not even be measurable.
He currently has 37 points in 48 games, which is down from seasons past. At first glance. He leads the Lightning in Even Strength points, though, with eighteen. And while his own shooting percentage remains largely the same as years past, his team's shooting percentage when he's on the ice is…

Let's pay attention to Bernie sanders for a moment or two

Let us observe what happens down in the US.
The Seven Stages of Establishment Backlash: Corbyn/Sanders Edition
I suggest paying attention. We in Canada will need to do so as what is being done in the US for our own left wing party, the NDP. What happens to Sanders, and to Corbyn in the UK, will be very instructive. Their successes, and their failings.

Lightning suspend Drouin without pay, agent says he won't play until traded

Puck Daddy
The NHL is a business, right? Therefore, the product... uh, the, players, probably should have a say in their own development. Of course, it's also the Lightning's own business how it handles the development of the players it has under contract.
It's about money, really. Drouin's probably going to miss out on his first real contract, stuck playing behind the top three lines in Tampa. Well, he's suspended for now.
Reminiscent of the Eric Lindros, Kyle Turris, and Nino Niederreiter situations. Drouin's somewhere in-between the talent of those three players. Perhaps elite, or perhaps simply good. At any rate, the players will be watching closely, probably even secretly cheering Drouin on. Doubtful the NHLPA takes a side in this position, until it has no other choice if this drags on too long. GMs will be throwing Yzerman anchors, for now. They have no interest in meeting his demands for Drouin for the time being.
It will be interesting to watch this dra…

Alberta NDP, federal Tories demand pipelines to help 'crippled' energy industry

There seems to be a disconnect here from reality. Not matter how many pipelines are laid, oil prices won't recover because of them. No matter how much oil is wrung from the tar sands, it won't be enough to offset the fact Canada's economy won't recover any faster because there's no infrastructure to do so. We squeeze oil out of the tar, but we don't refine it. Whatever profit there is, we don't tax it. We don't have any industry to speak of to make use of our oil, anyway.
Canada's a consumer nation. All our manufacturing, excepting what may even be less than the bare minimum to sustain a small workforce, has been off-shored. Canada can't react. Can't even act. Feet still. Pants around our ankles.
Pipleline profits are a pipe dream. All they'll do is off shore more profits for the energy industry.
One needs to question the motivations for Notley's government on this.

Just a quick post...

To announce, I'm still alive.
Slogging through the detritus of my own mind, lately. I'm mentally ill, and face difficulties getting out of bed, and after that, getting out of the home.
My pessimistic attitude regarding the direction the world is heading helps none, either.
But, I'll try. I'll try to make a habit of writing, this year. I'll try to keep up to date on what's happening, these days, and to inform myself of what might happen next.
For instance, there's rumblings out there in the world of a serious recession, this year. Are you all saving your money? I hope so. Times will get tough, this year, again. We're at a point, now, where there's a slight danger of entering into an uncontrolled deflationary cycle. Do you think Canada's prepared? The USA? Even if they were prepared to do something, what could they actually do? Not much. Manufacturing was heavily shipped over seas. Manufacturing is the backbone of any economy. And with the removal…