Category Archives: BASH

Stephen Harper, Fascist?

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Canadian Dimensions has an excellent review of the classic 14 traits of a fascist and the winner seems to be Stephen Harper.

While Nick Fillmore, the author of the article, is much more kind to Canada’s current Prime Minister, the comments seem to indicate that many of the categories under question crystallize the point of view that Stephen Harper’s idea of Canada just doesn’t match what the rest of us think it should be.

Do you own survey and post your own scale.  Let me know how it turns out.

Here’s mine:

  1. Nationalism: (Excited Delirium: 8).  During the elections and other events, Stephen Harper has put everything and anything he could into Canada winning and winning again.  His constant leveraging of the military and defense spending increases all point to fervent nationalism.
  2. Human Rights: (Excited Delirium: 6).  The G8/G20 fiasco was just a start. Watch what happens under Steve’s watch when the crime bill starts putting Canadians in jail by the thousands.  The main reason this isn’t higher is that Stephen Harper actually did initiate the Truth and Reconciliation process Canada’s First Nations People.
  3. Enemies as scapegoats: (Excited Delirium: 10).  As he climbed the ladder, it was on the backs of Liberals, Socialists and everyone else that he could turn into a scapegoat.  Harper is an expert at blaming others while failing to take accountability for anything except his own aggrandizement.  Look at the low-level hack with the robo-call scandal as a perfect example of failure to take responsibility.
  4. Supremacy of the Military: (Excited Delirium: 10).  Canada is becoming a ‘one-trick’ pony, with defense spending going through the roof.
  5. Rampant Sexism: (Excited Delirium: 7).  While he’s not overt about sexist views, the policies of the Conservatives reflect a ‘women should be in the kitchen’ attitude. Read the fine print on a lot of their platform.  You’ll be surprised.
  6. Controlled Mass Media: (Excited Delirium: 10).  Harper has the mainstream media locked under his thumb, through the combination of subsidies, advertising close personal connections.  Even the CBC has become a wash-out under his leadership.
  7. Obsession with National Security: (Excited Delirium: 10).  Four words:  Vic Toews Surveillance State.
  8. Religion and Ruling Elite tied together: (Excited Delirium: 10).  It’s been common knowledge that Harper and his crew get considerable backing from the religious right not only in Canada, but from the US as well.  I’m surprised that Fillmore suggests there isn’t a connection.  I suggest you read Armageddon Factor to kick-start your research.
  9. Power of Corporations protected: (Excited Delirium: 10).  The power of corporations in Canada is now an absolute.  Harper would sooner have our parents eating Alpo than retire in dignity while corporate tax cuts continue.
  10. Power of Labour supressed/eliminated: (Excited Delirium: 10).  The death of labour in Canada is a done deal.
  11. Disdain/suppression of Intellectuals: (Excited Delirium: 10).  Two words:  Stockwell Day.
  12. Obsession with crime/punishment: (Excited Delirium: 10).  Three words:  Omnibus Crime Bill.  We are either with them or we are pedophiles (or environmental ‘terrorists’).
  13. Rampant cronyism/corruption: (Excited Delirium: 8).   Eight words:  Tony Clement’s Gazebo and the Economic Action Plan.
  14. Fraudulent Elections: (Excited Delirium: 10).  While Canadian elections have not been fraudulent per se, Harper’s cynicism towards democracy is more than abundant when we look at the leveraging of vote-splitting, pocket-book politics and other schemes to shift the attention of voters from the real issues.  I originally had this as an 8, but along came the robo-call scandal to remind us that there should be no confidence in this government because they stole the election.

Total score:  129 out of 140.

May 2011 Federal Election Cheaters? I Want A Re-Call.

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This is BIG. This is possibly the biggest case of corruption and political scandal that Canada will ever see and yet I heard nothing of it on the news this morning.

What gives?

The CBC outlines the 12 ridings that benefited from the robo calls that went out during the May 2011 Federal election in Canada.

I have copied the results of a preliminary investigation by Elections Canada from the CBC web site, just in case they happen to got washed out during the upcoming (and necessary) controversy surrounding this issue.

The numbers amount to a minimum 14 ridings where voters were called, told to go to incorrect locations, or where they received conflicting information about the election and issues.  My suspicion is that the company mentioned in the CBC article is not the only company that was recruited for these kind of tactics.

The company involved – Rack Nine – has denied any knowledge of what had happened, opening up the requirement for a full Elections Canada and RCMP investigation.

Also, the evidence of US involvement with the campaign, particularly with the use of an American robo-call company called Tele-Town, based in Arlington, Virginia should also come into this investigation.  Why were they calling Canadians?  What information do they have on Canadian households?  What information did Canadians share with an American firm?  How much extra money was spent on these calling services?  What ridings did they call and how often?  What information did they disseminate to Canadian voters that may have altered election results, particularly in swing ridings.

This much is clear:  Canadians need to wake up that a new reality of politics and media manipulation is upon us and yet the Liberals, NDPers and Green Party are pretending it’s not happening.  Canadians, too, need to be better informed about what’s being taken from them by these crooks.

Here are the CBC details:

From candidate electoral reports available through the Elections Canada website:
(Note: The second line refers to the expense category under which the amount was listed.  Also, I’ve indicated the number of votes difference between the candidate listed and the candidate that came in second.)

Rona Ambrose (Edmonton Spruce Grove)
Miscellaneous expenses
Apr. 11, 2011    Racknine Inc    1,175.43
May 9, 2011    Racknine Inc    367.54
May 1, 2011    Racknine Inc    5,575.36

Ryan Hastman (Edmonton Strathcona)
Advertising – other
Apr. 27, 2011    RackNine Inc.    4,252.50
May 6, 2011    RackNine Inc.    1,683.16
Surveys – other research
May 5, 2011    RackNine Inc.    816.19

Laurie Hawn (Edmonton Centre)
Advertising – other
May 9, 2011    RACKNINE INC    1,550.43

Cathy McLeod (Kamloops – Thompson – Cariboo)
Advertising – radio/TV
May 24, 2011    RackNine Inc.     328.52

Lee Richardson (Calgary Centre)
Election surveys – other research
May 9, 2011    Racknine Inc.    501.87

Devinder Shory (Caglary Northeast)
Office expenses – other
May 13, 2011    RACK NINE INC    580.30

Tim Uppal (Edmonton – Sherwood Park)
Office expenses – other
May 3, 2011    Rack Nine Inc.    1,199.45

According to invoices submitted to Elections Canada posted by the NDP research office,  there were also several payments to RackNine that do not show up in the list of direct campaign expenses:

Stephen Harper (Calgary Southwest)
May 4, 2011 – $117.75 (GOTV campaign)

Lavar Payne (Medicine Hat)
May 4, 2011 – $26.01 .

According to the correspondence that the Harper campaign included with this invoice, this was related to a final GOTV phone blitz in “swing” ridings  the weekend before the election. It appears that RackNine initially billed the full cost, which remains unknown, to the Conservative Party of Canada, which passed the cost onto participating campaigns — including, in this case, that of the party leader.

It’s worth noting that, in the attached emails, the Harper team member charged with handling the invoice initially seems unsure why the campaign is being asked to pay for the calls. Eventually, he decides to pay it, as they were apparently planning to charge the national campaign for a portion of “phone bank” costs, and didn’t want to get into a “dispute” over $118.

Meanwhile, Payne, whose agent filed the same invoice in support of its expense claim, albeit with a different amount listed at the bottom, apparently paid just $26.01 for a personalized phone blast in his riding of Medicine Hat, which, as with Harper’s claim, was charged to his campaign on behalf of the Conservative Fund.

Leon Benoit (Vegreville-Wainwright)
Apr. 31, 2011 –  $4,830.00 (teletown hall)
Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast)
April 19, 2011 – $4,231.50 (teletown hall)

RackNine billed both the Benoit and Kenney campaigns in US funds, and according to the credit card records included with the Kenney filing, the money was actually paid to Tele-Town Hall LLC 2022378051 DC, an Arlington, VA-based firm that specializes in tele-town halls, which suggests that RackNine may have been simply asking as a middleman or reseller.

Laurie Hawn (Edmonton Centre)
Apr. 23, 2011 – 165.13 (advance poll message)

This is actually one of two RackNine-related expenses listed in the Hawn’s filing — the other appeared as a direct payment in the expense report, as noted above. This smaller amount was actually paid by a Hawn staffer, Peter Watson, who subsequently invoiced the campaign as part of a separate expense claim.

Michelle Rempel (Calgary Centre – North)
March 16/29, 2011(?) – $2,500 (unknown)

According to the invoice, the money was paid — in two installments, a $500 retainer before the writs dropped, and the remaining amount after the campaign had begun — by a “Jason Rempel”, who was the recipient of multiple unrelated payments throughout the election.

Lee Richardson (Calgary Centre)
April 25, 2011 – $5,735.00 (teletown hall)

This invoice — which is over and above the amounts listed earlier — was paid to RackNine “c/o Glenn Solomon”, with an entry for the same amount appearing under Solomon’s name for “elections and other surveys”. It is unclear what relationship, if any, Solomon, a longtime local Tory supporter, had/has with either the Richardson campaign or RackNine.

Canadian Press Sucks Up to Harper as ‘2011 Story of Year’

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Canadian Press has issued a blatant round of sucking up by declaring that Stephen Harper and his majority win in the federal election in May 2011 was ‘the story of the year’ (sadly reported by the CBC).

Yes, it was an important story as a record number of Canadians declined to exercise their most important right – the right to vote – and allowed the Harper cons to take over Canadian politics in an absolute way.

However, what was more important to Canadian Press – a ‘news’ agency that is privately owned by three of Canada’s largest media companies (Bell, TorStar and Square Victoria Corporation (SVC)) – is that the Harper regime spent hundreds of millions of Canadian taxpayer dollars on propoghanda campaigns including the ‘Action Plan’, Department of Defense recruiting and other federal advertising.

Of course, 2011 got even better for them because Harper cajoled the opposition parties into an election and turned around and blamed them for being power hungry.  Really?  No irony in that statement?

The resulting election was another pile of cash thrown at all of the major media companies by ALL of the major political parties (including the NDP).

Net impact for Bell, TorStar and SVC:  mega profits at the expense of Canadians.

No wonder they were quick to trip over themselves to declare that 2011 was the Year of Harper.  In fact, I’d suggest it’s all part of the plan.

When is our fricking independent media going to get organized and call BS on this kind of crap?

MayDay 2011: Yer Blues, Orange Crush and RIP LPC

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Oy … where to start.

I feel like I have the worst hangover, but that’s really because my body can’t handle staying up past double-digits any more.  A 12:30AM bed time will leave me feeling it for days.

Continuing with this sentiment, my mind is still foggy from the nightmare that I witnessed last night along with millions of other Canadians that were hoping for real change in this country.

Of course, this is what we got.  And not.

I was hopeful that the NDP and Liberals would win enough seat to form a majority.

But here we are.

The Conservatives have their majority.  I have Yer Blues, along with the 30 million other Canadians who didn’t vote for the Conservatives.

The NDP have won more than 100 seats, 15-20 more than even many insiders could have hoped for.  Let’s hope for PR.

The Greens have a seat.  Let’s hope for PR.

The Bloc is dead.  Let’s hope it doesn’t come back.

It’s the Liberals that I take issue with.  These people still pretend that they couldn’t see it coming.  Well, we all did, so why couldn’t you?

The LPC is on the table, barely breathing.  With the death of the Liberals, Stephen Harper will finally get his second wish, which is the complete annihilation of his longest competitor.  Those Liberals who don’t think you’re dead, take a long, hard look in the mirror and tell me that again and let’s see how you feel after the election in Ontario, where you’ll also get pounded.

It’s time that the Liberal Party of Canada accepted its fate and find ways to work with either the Conservatives or the NDP.  This wishy-washy middle-of-the road distraction will pretty much guarantee that the Cons will lead this country as long as the fantasy of ‘centre-left’ continues.

Here’s some simple advice.  Take it or leave it.

  • Accept your fate.
  • Support PR.
  • Elect your leaders, don’t appoint them.
  • Crowd-source your platform.  Start with Wiki.

As for me, all of my efforts with this blog will be marginalized over the coming months because I’m feeling very low, but I know I’ll eventually feel rejuvenated by friends and peers around me who want to see a bright future for Canada.

Even though we will have to wait four years for this to happen, we’ll also have four years to organize ourselves into a formidable force that will knock the Cons flat on their asses in 2015.

In the interim, I’ll leave you with the words of Ron Sexsmith, All In Good Time:

It all seems so obvious now
When I look back over my life
There were times that I really felt down
To think it passed me by

But in these hours of serious doubt
Through the coal black lonely night
Something told me, “it’ll work out”
Something deep inside
Was comforting me

All in good time
All in good time
It said all in good time
The bad times will be gone

“Hold your horses”, a willow tree cried
While the sun called to me, “where’s the fire?”
“Run your course my feverish child,”
Came a voice from even higher
Inspiring me

All in good time
All in good time
It said all in good time

We rise and fall
We try and fail
And people may judge us
But angels know us darling
All in good time

It all seems so obvious now
When I look back over my life
There’s a need for sorrow and doubt
For darkness and for light
It’s how it must be

All in good time
All in good time
It said all in good time
All in good time
The bad time will be gone

Thanks Ron.

MayDay 2011: The Last 24 Hours

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I doubt I’ll be able to sleep tonight.

There’s still so much that I would love to expose about the lies Stephen Harper has been telling over the last 6 weeks (and decade or so as well), but I won’t.  There are so many projections, ideas, concepts and so on that I’d love to explore, but I’ve run out of time … and energy.

As the last 24 hours tick down, I’d like to thank all of the readers that have put up with my rants and who have contributed to the blog over the course of the election (and prior to this as well as those who might even continue to hang on).

I also want to beg everyone that has the slightest desire to push Canada into a sustainable future to VOTE.  Progressives outweigh conservatives in this country by a margin of at least 2 to 1, and it’s critical that you vote, vote strategically and vote early on because it’s going to be crowded!

Finally, I’d like to apologize to Stephen Harper for many direct and personal attacks and for insinuations that the Conservative Party of Canada is not a viable option in this election.  But hey … as long as you remain the lying politician that you are and members of your cabinet and other MPs remain suspect in their dealings with Canadian funds and the trust of voters, I’ll keep it up and completely retract anything I’ve said if I’m proven wrong.

Until then, I’ll remind all readers why we’re having this election:  YOU CAN’T BE TRUSTED.

In time, I’ll recover from this election and return to writing fiction and discussing my preferences, which are trashing mainstream media and crapping on poor economic policies that we take.

My expectation is that after tomorrow night, the latter will take a backseat because WE WILL WIN.

We will win this election.

We will win Canada back.

We will win the democracy and leadership that we expect from our politicians.

We will win back what we as citizens, taxpayers, children, grandparents, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, uncles, aunts and all other relations deserve to win.

We will win our future.

We will win our internationally credibility.

We will win a clean and safe environment.

WE WILL WIN.

P.S.  My prediction for the election outcome is that we will elect an NDP minority government that’s a coalition with the Liberal Party.  My guess is that we’ll have about 110 NDP seats with 40 Liberal seats.  The Conservatives will be left with about 120 seats, most of which will come from Ontario and Alberta.  30 or so seats will be up for grabs.  The Bloc will be devastated, but might squeak out 15-20 seats.

As the fallout from the election sinks in, Gilles Duceppe, Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff will announce their retirement from their parties.

Elizabeth May will retire if she doesn’t win, but I am confident that the good people in Saanich-Gulf Islands will make the right decision for all of Canada and elect someone that will push for Proportional Representation and democratic reform in Canada.