Category Archives: Uncategorized
While most of the time Warren Kinsella is a scheming, puerile, self-aggrandizing hypocrite (the list of examples is far too long but suffice it to bring up his recent outrage at Mulcair’s questioning of the impact of the Petro dollar on the rest of Canada when his man, Dalton McGuinty has previously done the exact same thing while Kinsella sat idly by) today he unwittingly revealed the truth of Liberal ideology.
You see historically Liberals have defended themselves against the charge of arrogance, entitlement, opportunism by arguing that the Liberal big tent, I mean crawl space, is a non-ideological, pragmatic, centrist space where dissent is welcome and the best of the left and of the right come together.
Of course, anyone who has studied the concept of “ideology’ knows that the reason why ideology is often associated with extremism is because the centre is the most chauvinistically protected and ideologically invested political position. Can there be a better illustration of this than Kinsella’s words today?
So, Dipper folk, we are therefore enemies. As with Conservatives, I will do my level best to step on your throat. I will hit you, over and over. I will rip your face off, if you give me half a chance.
Next time a Liberal tries to convince you into thinking the LPC is a progressive, centrist, non-ideological party, remember that applies only as long as you share his arrogant, self-entitled right to govern at all costs and without any principles.
Otherwise he will do his level best to step on your throat and rip your face off.
Kinsella, classy to the end. I particularly liked when he publicly posted my full email address on his blog comments section because he didn’t like what I had to say.
Progressives, by which I mean those concerned with issues of a thriving democracy, the environment, and social and economic justice, are once again not being well served in the coming election. Indeed, the middle of political discourse has shifted so far to the right that Rob Ford appears “reasonable” rather than bat shit crazy.
Owing to an outdated and profoundly flawed electoral system, “strategic voting” has reared its ugly head once more. Considering that one of the few strengths of First Past The Post (FPTP) system (i.e. electing a local candidate) is already continually undermined by voters who scarcely consider the merits of their local candidates in their choices, “strategic voting” only contributes further to the dysfunction in our electoral system. Thus, all progressives should at the very least demand electoral and democratic reform from our political parties.
Ah yes, “strategic voting” the last bastion of desperate Liberals. Strategic voting is a Liberal ploy to steal progressive votes. Don’t let them frighten you into abandoning democracy. I found it very interesting that as the NDP overtook the Liberals in the polls in the last federal election, Liberals went silent on their pleas for strategic voting. Not one Liberal suggested sacrificing a Liberal vote to help an NDP candidate win over a Conservative one. It’s fine to ask Dippers to sacrifice their votes, but not to ask it of those who see themselves as having a natural right to govern. It should be noted that Harper’s majority came precisely on the backs of Liberals in Ontario who rather than opting for the greener pastures of the NDP ran into the waiting arms of Stephen Harper.
Strategic voting is stupid and worse not at all strategic. Don’t take it from this hack, read it from one of Canada’s most knowledgeable and respected political pundits: Alice Funke from a Pundit’s Guide to Canadian Federal Elections. The following piece is essential reading on the topic of strategic voting: Ask yourselves why aren’t Conservatives enraged when they see strategic voting websites and such ganging up on them? Conservatives benefit from strategic voting, usually because strategic voting is deployed unstrategically.
Here’s Alice’s wonderful summary:
“A vote “against” someone or something is a vote in favour of nothing. It gives no mandate to elected officials, creates all the wrong incentives for the politicians who are elected that way, and guarantees that Parliament will descend even further into the partisan barking we see there now. Indeed the perverse problems with the methodology itself have led respected website Democratic Space author Greg Morrow to stop publishing his “strategic voting guide” from previous elections.
In this election, read the platforms, watch the debates, take a measure of the leaders and the candidates, and vote your heart. If everyone did that, who knows what we might come up with together.”
A vote for the ONDP is a vote for “progressive” government, or McGuinty is not “progressive” (updated)
The Ontario Liberals are so desperate. They are running one of the most disingenuous smear filled campaigns I’ve ever seen from Liberals.
First they’ve tried to dissuade progressive voters by suggesting that the ONDP and the PCPO are the same. Thus, don’t vote for the ONDP. I mean after all the ONDP and the PCPO both voted against the OLP over 180 times. What the OLP fails to mention is that opposition parties are there to hold the government to account and to oppose bad legislation. That two ideologically opposed parties vote so often against OLP legislation for completely opposite reasons is, if anything, an indictment of how horribly bad the OLP is at implementing policy
Today I read this piece of drivel. Basically, it argues that the OLP is the same as the ONDP, thus don’t vote for the ONDP.Two points. Adding this to the previous contention that ONDP and the PCPO are the same, the necessary conclusion is that all parties are the same, thus vote for none of them. Greens might be happy with that. Second, this is a vain attempt to capitalize on one of the revelations of the May election. Only two parties are really different from each other and in May the LPC was seen as too close to the CPC to be worth fighting for. And it’s still that way.
The OLP has an integral ideological affinity with the PCPO. The parties share a history, share ideological commitment to economic liberalism. They share a commitment to trickle down neoliberal economics where greed and big business are rewarded. The ONDP owes its existence to an ideologies whose point of departure is a critical relation to the other two parties.
Next, I’m sure the OLP will be shouting that ONDP are closet communists, don’t vote for them.
How about recommending voting for something rather than against something? A vote against something is a vote for nothing, and worse it rewards the negative campaigns, the smears, and the attacks of the OLP and the PCPO
To answer your question why vote for the ONDP. It’s a vote for the ONDP is a vote FOR real progressive practical government and a different way of doing politics. I’m tired of cynical, disingenuous negative politics where you win by getting voters to vote against.
McGuinty was elected with huge majorities and unfettered power to reverse the regressive policies of Harris/Eves. Sadly, in many ways Ontarians are worse off than under Harris.
McGuinty has co-opted (i.e. bought off ) some of the labour movement but has also continued the neoliberal tactic of weakening unions by not bringing in anti-scab and card certification legislation and by undermining the basic right to collectively bargain by legislating workers back to work.
Vulnerable citizens not only lost dietary supplement under McGuinty, but also in relative terms it sucks more to be poor under McGuinty than under Harris. Poverty is worse under McGuinty, worst of all, child poverty is worse under McGuinty.
Students, especially postsecondary students, are way worse off under McGuinty. Tuition is much higher and debt burdens much higher.
One major problem is that McGuinty is a kind of autocrat, like Harper, holding very firm control over messaging and issues, which makes them successful politicians but also leaders who don’t listen to their caucus. Where was the progressive Liberal MPP voice at the table when McGuinty barged ahead with a plan to run over 400 dirty diesel trains through Toronto neighbourhoods? Nowhere and if it spoke up it was completely ignored by McGuinty.
Most crucially for me. Human Rights and civil liberties have suffered greatly under McGuinty. McGuinty’s expansion of police powers during the G20 summit was the worst civil rights abuse in Canada in my lifetime. Moreover, McGuinty refused to include gender identity in the Human Rights Code- a simple gesture that would have meant so much to our trans community. Where was the “progressive” Liberal MPP during these egregious moments of the McGuinty government?
Electing Liberal MPP’s does not help advance the progressive agenda and strategic voting makes it worse.
The McGuinty Liberals needed to change the channel (redirect focus away from their dismal record) and to shore up the progressives they’ve conned into voting for them in the past if they were going to stop their free fall and get back into the election race.
So not surprising they’re all over the latest CTV/Globe/CP24 Nanos Poll and especially giddy at the thought that Ontario women, particularly progressive women, fear and hate Tim Hudak. You’ll likely see a lot of Liberals referencing this article, but I doubt you’ll see any of them citing these lines (since it would be very interesting to see what progressive women think about character assassinations in politics):
Nevertheless, the lack of trust for Mr. Hudak indicates that Liberal attacks on him are causing voters to question his character, said pollster Nik Nanos.
“The Liberal attack ads have been a little more of a character assassination,” Mr. Nanos said.
Some other observations about the said poll on voters’ views on trustworthy leadership.
A couple of general comments. Nearly 20% (21.5% women, 15.9% men) polled didn’t find any of the leaders trustworthy and 14% were undecided, meaning that one-third of the electorate are thoroughly uninspired by the political leadership available to them.That’s a sad statement in itself.
Some specific comments on the results for women.
The obvious starting point is why are Andrea Horwath’s numbers not higher. True that both McGuinty and Hudak saw a drop in trust from women when compared to men and that Andrea saw a rise in trust from women, Andrea’s overall numbers are still lower than the boys. An interesting question.
I don’t think it’s as much Andrea Horwath (she’s done well in approval and leadership ratings in other polls), it’s more that Liberal fear mongering and character assassinations have had a two-pronged effect. They have hurt Hudak and have unsettled the swing and progressive voter to run into the arms of the devil they know.
It will be interesting to see if this blip holds and whether progressives voters will overlook gutter politics out of fear.
It’s still early, and we saw in May how positive politics can become infectious among progressives, but for now I’d say negative politics 1 positive politics 0.
Perhaps, I’m an anomaly. Perhaps I’m just too naive and insist on clinging to fundamental ideals of democracy (e.g. the electorate should be as well and truly informed in its political engagements, such as during elections). Perhaps it’s just unrealistic to expect to be able to vote for something, rather than against something, and thereby reinforcing and rewarding cynical, negative politics.
Two things I’ve seen in the last couple of days have spurred (pardon the pun) this.
First, the wanton name calling, and personal insults directed at Tim Hudak, complete with a puerile photo of Hudak posing next to the weasel that he apparently is. For the record, I’m as anti-Conservative as it gets, but I need to look no further than Conservative policy to know that such a platform is not the vision I have for Ontario. Period.
Second, as a constituent of what must be one of Ontario’s most progressive ridings, Parkdale High Park, I was dismayed and disappointed by the first piece of Liberal campaign literature that showed up in my mailbox. In a riding where the Conservative candidate, by all accounts very worthy, is an extreme long shot to get elected, I get that the Liberals will be attacking the NDP. It will be interesting to see if the Liberals will once again engage in the same personal smears on NDP incumbent, Cheri DiNovo- one of the strongest and most outspoken MPP’s at Queens Park. It devastatingly backfired before, I don’t think they’ll do it again.
For some inexplicable reason the Liberals have decided to attack the NDP on its environmental platform . Personally, I think it’s a big mistake. The NDP is now rolling out very solid environmental policy. The NDP has long been recognized for its strong advocacy of the environment. And the NDP has in its caucus one of the strongest minds and advocates for the environment, former Greenpeace Canada Director, Peter Tabuns.
Regardless, in my mailbox arrives a dead tree -I mean a glossy multi-ink cardboard card- with a picture of a baby on one side and on the other side “Fact: Doctors agree, harmful pesticides pose serious health risks”. Below we are told that PCs and the NDP both voted against the pesticide ban. This must mean that PCs and the NDP hate babies.
But there’s more. Apparently the “PCs side with pesticide lobby” while “NDP sides with PC’s”- perhaps they mean personal computers and not progressive conservatives. Of course the only reason why someone would vote against the proposed legislation would be because one hates babies, and in the case of the NDP because Andrea Horwath is the second coming of Mike Harris and therefore the NDP simply do what the PCs do.
First, this is reminiscent of Harper’s attacks during the recent federal election; one that particularly irked my was the federal Conservatives insinuation that because Ignatieff and the Liberals voted against the budget, Ignatieff must be against seniors and students. I guess the Ontario Liberals figure that if it worked for Harper, it might work for McGuinty. Thus, if the ONDP voted against the provincial pesticide ban, it must be because its against babies.
Second, as is patently obvious this attack is founded on faulty logic. Just because pesticides may be harmful and pose serious health risks doesn’t mean any proposed legislation around a pesticide ban must be supported. Moreover, Just because the ONDP voted against the pesticide ban, doesn’t mean they did so for the same reasons as the PCs.
Anyway, should anyone want to confirm that Andrea Horwath is not Mike Harris, or that the ONDP does not in fact hate babies, nor hopes to foreclose our future by destroying our environment, go to Stop the Smears.
It’s sad that McGuinty would prefer to wage a negative campaign, forcing parties like the ONDP to expend great effort just to counteract these smears. It’s sad that this distracts from real debate and discussion on very serious and critical issues. It’s sad that McGuinty would rather have people vote against his opponents than vote for his vision and record.
I think Harper’s gone seriously off message! Can there possibly be any song that is more abhorrent to Stephen Harper than John Lennon’s “Imagine”? It is anti-religion, anti-war, anti-nationalist, anti-capitalist, anti-pragmatist, anti-greed.
Imagine there’s no heavenIt’s easy if you tryNo hell below usAbove us only skyImagine all the peopleLiving for today…
Imagine there’s no countriesIt isn’t hard to doNothing to kill or die forAnd no religion tooImagine all the peopleLiving life in peace…
You may say I’m a dreamerBut I’m not the only oneI hope someday you’ll join usAnd the world will be as one
Imagine no possessionsI wonder if you canNo need for greed or hungerA brotherhood of manImagine all the peopleSharing all the world…
You may say I’m a dreamerBut I’m not the only oneI hope someday you’ll join usAnd the world will live as one
Imagine the Rapture’s just around the corner
It’s easy if you try
Hell to the socialists and separatists
Above us God beckons us Creationists
Imagine all the people
Clinging nostalgically for an Eden that never was
Imagine only terrorists around us
It isn’t hard to do
Everything to kill and die for
And with God’s providence too
Imagine all the people
Living in perpetual war
You may say I’m an unrepentant autocrat
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join me
And I can lead the world as One
Imagine neoliberal deregulated paradise
I wonder if you can
Rapacious greed and unimaginable hunger
A self-regulating cesspool of man
Imagine all the people
Ripping the world to shreds
You may say I’m an unrepentant autocrat
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join me
And I can lead the world as One…
This is the third, and the last, in a series of awards for malicious misreading, willful distortion, wanton decontextualization, utter disingenuousness, contemptuous hypocrisy and basic intellectual dishonesty while purporting to be someone of the Left. Perhaps before we get to today’s recipient, I should confess that while much of this is facetious (and perhaps deserving of its own “Unionist’ award), there is something much more serious at stake. For me, the Left designates not only a political economy that stands in critical relation to capitalism, not only a socially progressive vision of a more voluntaristic and cooperative world where liberty and justice are enjoyed by all, but, and perhaps, most critically, that this is all grounded in an ethical relation to one another, to knowledge and to truth.
Of course, right wing discussion groups are full of ignorance, hate, and intolerance. Of course liberal discussion groups are disingenuous, dull, and hypocritical (and they certainly don’t have anyone as clever and intelligent as Unionist to do their bidding, otherwise we might be in serious trouble- imagine Kinsella with intelligence). But I expect the Left to speak ethically, humbly, openly, competently and self-reflexively. My Left dwells in nuance and distinction and it takes from Nietzsche, in Beyond Good and Evil, that the oath of the philosopher (“all is to be doubted” ) should begin with that most fundamentally unquestioned belief in the antitheses of values. Today we might summon this as a challenge to binarism.
In a rarefied world of pure binary antagonism, of fundamentalism, there is no nuance, there is no reverence, respect for alterity, and there is no forgiveness (a hospitable openness gifted in advance). In fact, in such a pure world, the enemy of one’s enemy becomes one’s friend, the friend of one’s enemy becomes one’s enemy, and ends justify means, regardless of how insidious those means. Sadly, the Left sometimes resembles its extreme right wing counterparts exhibits the nuance and emotional maturity of a two year old (I think here of the psychoanalytic term “ambivalence”) which often leads to deranged claptrap, personal attacks, abusive insults etc. And this leads to today’s Unionist award recipient: Stargazer
Essentially, Stargazer portrays herself as the often deranged embodiment of “ambivalence”, oscillating wildly between love and hate- usually the latter as attested to by her perpetual status as babbler which reads “is really pissed.” And her part in the feeding frenzy on DiNovo was exemplary. Just as the derangement to the perceived betrayal was about to launch into full force a babbler by the name of Prophit had the gall to post:
The Ontario leg voted on what in my view is a proper expression of the position of most Ontarians. I am pleaseantly surprised that it was unanimous and that it had the backing of my own party, the NDP.
Stargazer quickly interceded with the following display of generosity:
You’re an idiot. Sorry, I can’t be nicer to you.
Proper expression of most Ontarians? Bull fucking shit. Proper expression of neo religious whackjobs and their lovely neighbours, the Zionists.
It’s censorship, freedom of expression and a whole host of issues at stake here and you think this represents what most Ontarians want? I don’t think so.
Isn’t there a policy you agree to when you sign up here? Like you know, Human rights are not up for debate? Clearly Babble allows for that debate. Frankly I’d rather see all these Israel right or wrong defenders banned. How would that be for censorship.
Then when another babbler Peech bravely shares a personal story, Stargazer simply calls Peech a fine hypocrite:
My cousin was a victim of a murder suicide (aka. “Palestinian resistance”) while she was having lunch in a restaurant . So I have a problem with anyone proclaiming that they have a right to call for the eradication of another nation state or murder it’s members. Especially when it is a double standard which was the whole point of my post which obviously anyone mired in ideology is blind to.
Why do we not see “Victims of Torture from the Fascist Islamic Republic of Iran week”? Why are you singularly obsessed with Israel whilst minimizing or ignoring atrocities of states much much worse? That is the point of the condemnation of IAW.
Hypocrisy at its finest.
Lastly, when it was reported that DiNovo had received threats of violence. Stargazer responded with this shining example of Leftist solidarity and compassion:
The thing is, we have no evidence she had received death threats. She never did give specifics and instead appeared to blame the death threats on anyone who disagreed with her…She has only herself to blame. Until she takes action on the so-called death threats, then I might believe they actually happened.
For Stargazer one moment you’re a brother/sister in arms (she gushes often at Unionist whom she praises for not only anticipating her comments, but saying things so much more wonderfully) the next you’re the enemy. Pure reactive, disproportionate, hate filled bile. Pure Ambivalence.
Today’s Unionist award for malicious misreading, willful distortion, wanton decontextualization, utter disingenuousness, contemptuous hypocrisy and basic intellectual dishonesty while posturing as someone of the Left goes to genstrike over @ babble.
In outrage and contempt for DiNovo, genstrike not only misses the point that the “condemnation”was not of the activists themselves, but a disagreement with their tactics. The condemnation was specifically of their use of the term apartheid. And genstrike’s stubborn unwillingness to recognize this is only aggravated in his comparing the “betrayal” to that of Brutus’ act of treachery.
But what really secures the award for genstrike was his scathing hypocrisy displayed in the ruthless piling on DiNovo and then having a complete meltdown on the babble forum where genstrike allows his/her rudeness to escalate to the point of telling another babbler to “go f*ck yourself”. This was very quickly edited, and I note in a such a way as to attempt still to disparage DiNovo. Where are all the screen captures of genstrike’s outrageous and incendiary remarks? Where was the twittering? Where are the negative sanctions for flagrantly violating babble policy?
Genstrike, stepping away from the keyboard after you have egregiously insulted a fellow babbler is no moral high ground. Your retaliation was far more severe and under far less provocation.
Now, mon frère, mon semblance, to celebrate your insult to public decency with Baudelaire’s opening to “The Flowers of Evil” [from the evening redness in the west]:
To The Reader
Stupidity, delusion, selfishness and lust
torment our bodies and possess our minds,
and we sustain our affable remorse
the way a beggar nourishes his lice.
Our sins are stubborn, our contrition lame;
we want our scruples to be worth our while—
how cheerfully we crawl back to the mire:
a few cheap tears will wash our stains away!
Satan Trismegistus subtly rocks
our ravished spirits on his wicked bed
until the precious metal of our will
is leached out by this cunning alchemist:
the Devil’s hand directs our every move—
the things we loathed become the things we love;
day by day we drop through stinking shades
quite undeterred on our descent to Hell.
Like a poor profligate who sucks and bites
the withered breast of some well-seasoned trull,
we snatch in passing at clandestine joys
and squeeze the oldest orange harder yet.
Wriggling in our brains like a million worms,
a demon demos holds its revels there,
and when we breathe, the Lethe in our lungs
trickles sighing on its secret course.
If rape and arson, poison and the knife
have not yet stitched their ludicrous designs
onto the banal buckram of our fates,
it is because our souls lack enterprise!
But here among the scorpions and the hounds,
the jackals, apes and vultures, snakes and wolves,
monsters that howl and growl and squeal and crawl,
in all the squalid zoo of vices, one
is even uglier and fouler than the rest,
although the least flamboyant of the lot;
this beast would gladly undermine the earth
and swallow all creation in a yawn;
I speak of Boredom which with ready teats
dreams of hangings as it puffs its pipe.
Reader, you know this squeamish monster well,
—hypocrite reader, —my alias, —my twin!
— Charles Baudelaire, The Flowers of Evil (1857)
Update: Seems that genstrike just doesn’t seem to know when to stop. He’s pounced on another pile on, I mean, debate topic. Oh the gall… By the way, genstrike continues unabated and without reprimand from any moderators. How charming. babble leaking credibility with each disingenuous breath.
There is no paucity of malicious misreading, willful distortion, of wanton decontextualization, of utter disingenuousness, and basic intellectual dishonesty. Something I’m sure we’re all guilty of from time to time, but occasionally people elevate this to an art form. For years I used to call this “pullin’ a Cherniak”, but having recently come across Cherniak’s doppelgänger in the rabid Left wing of the blogoasylum known as babble, I now use the phrase “pullin’ a Unionist” to refer to such practice on the Left.
I’ve mentioned this a few times – but in her speech, DiNovo said that the Passover Seder begins with a prayer for the Egyptians, who were the enslavers of the Israelites. I pointed out that that is not only false, it is a loopy crazy invention – because the Haggadah (the booklet which is read and sang every Seder night) is filled with triumphalist rhetoric about God destroying our enemies, etc.
My point – how can a rational person stand up in public and make up nonsense like this? Did she just badly misinterpret something someone had told her?
So this becomes the foundation of Unionist’s public derision. DiNovo lies, she makes things up, badly misinterprets and this justifies his zealous and scornful attack on her character. Incidentally Unionist’s comments about her receiving death threats are truly special, but can also be seen as emanating from this foundational premise. In response I posted:
I am no Jew and have never assisted at a Seder supper, but in two seconds I was able to find a Passover Seder Haggadah, that begins essentially not only as DiNovo described in Hansard, but also are simply beautiful words:
So let’s now close our eyes. Can you see the universe and your place in it? Affirm now your role as partner with God in the healing and transformation of all that is. The Seder can also be a time to do “tikkun” (to heal and transform parts of ourselves and our society). To read the Seder please continue reading this piece.
“KIDDUSH We are gathered here tonight to affirm our continuity with the generations of Jews who kept alive the vision of freedom in the Passover story. For thousands of years, Jews (and our non-Jewish allies) have affirmed this vision by participating in the Passover Seder. We not only remember the Exodus but actually relive it, bringing its transformative power into our own lives. The Hebrew word for Egypt, mitzrayim, means “narrow straits.” Traditionally, mitzrayim has been understood to mean a spiritual state, the “narrow place” of confusion, fragmentation, and spiritual disconnection. Liberation requires us to embrace that which we have been taught to scorn within ourselves and others, including the split-off parts from our own consciousness that we find intolerable and that we project onto some “evil Other.” The Seder can also be a time to reflect on those parts of ourselves. Israel, according to the Torah, left Egypt with “a mixed multitude.” The Jewish people began as a multicultural mélange of people attracted to a vision of social transformation. What makes us Jews is not some biological fact, but our willingness to proclaim the message of those ancient slaves: (Say Together) The world can be changed, we can be healed.”
Unionist, of course, dodged this reply, “pullin’ a Unionist”, because his foundational premise for defaming a public figure would vanish. In the meantime, we might just revel in the beauty and hope of a prayer which I otherwise would never have stumbled upon. Hate can lead you to beauty, but only love will lead to peace and justice.