Monthly Archives: August 2014

Deconstructing the Narrative: Spot the Difference

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Let’s deconstruct some recent news that we should all be concerned about.

An innocent American journalist is executed by a defense-funded militant organization (that may have been staged) that no longer seems to represent the people that started it.

An innocent young black man is shot several times point-blank in ‘Anywhere, North America’ by a defense-funded militant organization that no longer represents the people that funded it.

What’s the difference?

Nothing.

We’re flies caught in the web spun by the military industrial complex and our own protectors are now fighting against us.

Public audits, people.  We need public audits of the military and police forces that are absorbing so much of our financial resources.

Or, we can be like Vermont and choose to end the war on drugs by ending their budgets.

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Superman Returns to His Fortress of Solitude

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Rather than face political opponents and actually talk with people, Stephen Harper has returned to the north in his never-ending quest for his Fortress of Solitude.

Like Superman, Stephen Harper is an alien in his own land.  Nobody gets him anymore and his powers are wasted on mere mortals like us Canadian voters.

But let’s take a slightly unique, albeit esoteric look at this analogy.  In DC’s Superman and related series, the Fortress of Solitude is similar to a Doll’s House.  I’m reading The Annotated Sandman, Book 1 right now and the author and editor remind us that Book 11:  The Doll’s House is a representation of Desire, one of the Endless.

Desire lives in the Doll’s House, a shell of a structure that reminds us that dolls do not choose their fate.  Their fate can only be chosen by others.  This was the theme of the Doll’s House, a children’s story written by Rumer Godden in 1947.

Where am I going with this?

Stephen Harper can look all he wants for solitude and serenity from a growing wave of critics and attackers, but he cannot hide because in politics, your fate is determined by those who choose you.

Let’s hope we choose wisely in the future and pick someone who’s less like an alien and more like a Canadian.

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Silencing the Masses

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The Harper use of the Canada Revenue Agency to bully environmental and activist organizations that may or may not have expressed opposition to the Harper Regime is something that should concern all Canadians.

This is another blatant abuse of power that is designed to intimidate all of us.

If organizations can be attacked and bullied in this fashion, under the guise of ensuring proper fiscal management, then ANY Canadian can be attacked as well under the same authority and rationale.

My greatest fear is that we’ll soon experience the subjective nature of these audits as members of unions, activists, writers, politicians and political volunteers and other Canadians who are vocally opposed to the Harper Regime and their corporate cronies fall under the microscope and face fines and possibly even prison sentences for errors in judgement (or basic unintentional human error) when it comes to their personal taxes and financial affairs.

Harper has opened up a vicious can of worms by using respected government institutions to bully Canadians.

This is fascism:  use of government institutions for intimidation of the masses by ‘making examples of those who get out of line’.

McCarthy played the same tricks in the 1940s and 1950s, so much so that it alienated an entire generation from folks who might be right of centre, but at least right of mind as well.

Why we stand for this in Canada today, I do not know.

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The Con Approach to Cutting Taxes

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The Conservatives has created a myth that we pay too much as far as taxes go.  They’ve already slashed some of out more vital taxes.

The GST / HST tax was cut by a third, even though it’s been proven that a tax on consumption is something all civilized countries should have because it can be structured as a progressive tax for all, especially when it comes to collecting revenue from the rich.

Corporate income taxes have been slashed to a point where they’re some of the lowest in the world.  Despite this event under the Cons and previous Liberals, we haven’t seen the job or income growth that we were promised.  In fact, it’s been the opposite, hasn’t it?

And as corporations in Canada fail to take any burden of paying for all of their benefits, it should be obvious that personal taxes as a percent of the total would rise, other things being equal.

The failure of the Fraser Institute to understand and appreciate this basic math is mind bogglingly ridiculous.

In fact, the Fraser Institute repeatedly pounds us with poorly written reports designed for press release tidbits that we pay too much as far as taxes go and their latest is a coup in maximum idiocy.

Once the word is created by Con think tanks, regardless of whether r not the information is true or even makes sense, Conservative and Libertarian types go around every level of government doing their best to convince us that taxes are too high and that there are ‘gravy trains’ running rampant through City Halls and legislatures across the country.

Governments are simply too big.  We need to slash them, cut back on spending (unless its our buddies in the pharma business, oil barrons or defense contractors) and reduce public services to anemic levels, to the point where they have no option but to fail.

Research from Baylor University proves that this is all wrong.  They show that the countries with the biggest governments that are focused on economic justice for its citizens, income redistribution, progressive taxes and yes, efficient spending on services for people instead of supporting pseudo-corporate mouth pieces also result in populations of people who are the most happy.

It’s really no surprise, I suppose.

When people pay taxes, services should come in the form of public benefit.  Our current model is that people are paying taxes and the benefits come in the form of bigger dividends and contracts for private companies.

Alas, we continue with the pattern of the Cons waging war against wages and they have a simple answer and trite campaign promises to solve these mythical problems:  we pay too much in taxes so we will cut what the average citizen pays in taxes.

What the average citizen doesn’t realize is that when your income, salary and benefits get gutted by Conservatives, yes, you’re paying less in taxes, but only because you’re making a fraction of what you used to make.

Summary:

  • People want lower taxes because we told you that you do
  • We kill jobs
  • We make you scramble for lower paying jobs
  • You pay less in taxes as a result

Problem solved.

One day, someone with balls will remind all of us that it’s OK to pay taxes and demand services, so long as those services are for the good of the public.

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Canada’s Watergate?

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The home of Justin Trudeau has been invaded.  Documents have been stolen.  A warning was left on the back porch.

All while Trudeau’s wife and children were sleeping upstairs.

An act of political terrorism has been committed.

THEY are trying to intimidate Justin Trudeau and his family.

But who would have done such a thing?

Surely not our depraved and egomaniac, ‘do no wrong’ leader Stephen Harper or his merry band of Conservatives.

I shudder at the thought that anyone in political office would even consider doing such a thing to a family in a country that pretends to live by the law of the land and democratic institutions.

But if those in charge are so desperate to cling to power, they will do anything.

Or their mindless minions will.

Be warned.  This is not Canada anymore.

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