Quotable: Mark Critch on Gord Downie

Gordie, you were ahead by a century. Here’s hoping Ry Cooder is willing to show up and sing your eulogy, like the song says:

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Thank you, Tarana Burke.

So lately, there’s been this “Me Too” thing happening all over the Internets, wherein women briefly state that they, too, have been sexually assaulted. Some have even hashtagged it. The popular assumption is that it was started by Alyssa Milano, in response to Rose McGowan and her denunciations of Harvey Weinstein’s numerous instances of sexual misconduct. But that assumption is wrong. Here’s who’s really behind it, and no, she never crossed paths with Harvey Weinstein. Meet Tarana Burke:

This photo was taken at a March Against Rape Culture in 2014, in Philadelphia. Tarana’s project began as a community initiative to help poor (and disproportionately non-white) women, who are also frequently sexually assaulted due to a combination of racism and misogyny. She launched a website, where you simply give your e-mail address to receive information and support.

So, what does she think of this #MeToo phenomenon? Well, here are some tweets:

It has been amazing watching all of the pushback against Harvey Weinstein and in support of his accusers over the last week in particular, today I have watched women on social media disclose their stories using the hashtag #metoo.

It made my heart swell to see women using this idea – one that we call “empowerment through empathy” to not only show the world how widespread and pervasive sexual violence is, but also to let other survivors know they are not alone.

The point of the work we’ve done over the last decade with the “me too movement” is to let women, particularly young women of colour know that they are not alone – it’s a movement.

Yes, it is indeed a movement. And it’s going forward, unstoppably. Even without disclosing any other details of our rapes and assaults, women (and men too) are letting each other know that it happens, and happens a lot.

Thank you, Tarana Burke, for starting this movement.

And yes, me too.

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Music for a Sunday: One for Harvey Weinstein (and all his victims)

When I first heard this song (at 14), I didn’t like it. AT ALL. Because even at that age, I knew what icky sexual manipulation sounded like the moment I heard it.

Years later, I found out that Phil Oakey (the male singer) hated the lyrics, too…and for that very reason. He didn’t even want it released as a single (it became the fourth one off their début album, Dare!), and stuck it dead last on the LP, but it was the first one of theirs I heard, because it was the first song of theirs to take off in a major way on this side of the Atlantic. Other, better ones soon followed, and I found myself enjoying this innovative and soulful New Wave band’s sound immensely. Thankfully, I didn’t judge the band by the unfortunate first impression. And it was good to know, however belatedly, that Phil was well aware of the icky implications of the lyrics he’d written based on a girls’ magazine story, and disliked them as much as I did.

The placating feminine counterpart in the verses sung by Susan Ann Sulley is especially cringey…does she really “still love” him, and did she ever, or did she simply stay with him out of necessity? Given the way things work in the Hollywood and New York scenes, I think the question is probably moot. While the song itself is rooted in a fiction, the fiction itself springs from an awful, disgusting fact. One that no doubt predates motion pictures entirely, because women have had to contend with the demands of manipulative moneybags since time out of mind.

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Wankers of the Week: Donnie’s Adult Daycare Centre

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Crappy weekend, everyone! And a very crappy one to all the unhappy souls trying desperately to hold Donnie Drumpf’s Adult Daycare, a.k.a. the White House, together in the face of that tantrumming toddler in the middle of it all. Nobody envies you your jobs right now. And even less do we envy THESE overgrown babies, in no particular order:

1. Courtland Fucking Sykes. You want women to be WHAT? Uh, dude, you’re in the wrong century. Hope you’re prepared for a thrashing at the polls, because that’s what you’re about to get. And if you’re going to call black Detroiters illiterate and uneducated, you’d better learn to spell Gloria Steinem’s name, because that’s what any future daughters you may have will be doing when they get sick of your “traditional family” bullshit.

2. Dan Fucking Bilzerian. Last week, it turned out that the Vegas shooter completely missed his chance to rid the world of this idiotic machista parasite. This week, it turns out that the cops weren’t keen to let the idiotic machista parasite “help” them do their job. I wonder why!

3. Mike Fucking Pence. So pathetic that a Canadian reporter had to call him and Donnie out for staging a walk-out at a football game where he just KNEW someone would be taking a knee. And while Mikey had to tweet up a stormy string, Bruce Arthur nailed him in one. PS: Hey Mikey! Are you and Donnie EVER gonna say anything about the tiki-torch Nazis who keep buzzing around Charlottesville, or are you just gonna let us go on seeing you as being in cahoots? Tick tock. PPS: Hey Mikey, care to explain this?

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4. Chris Fucking Foerster. Way to blow your career, coach…literally. By sending a Nevada model a video of you snorting coke and asking if she’d like to do some with you? Yeah, that gives “offensive line” a whole new meaning.

5. Ed Fucking Gillespie. How the hell does one ever need 24 hours to come out in condemnation of a Nazi tiki-torch march? Because anyone who dawdles that long in speaking out against it, is as much as endorsing it. But then again, it’s easy to see how that “mistake” might happen. This is, after all, the same Repug candidate who tries to make out like every Spanish-speaking undocumented immigrant is a member of a Salvadoran gang.

6. Laura Fucking Loomer. Oh dear. Looks like someone just got TOLD. Ha, ha.

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7. Donna Fucking Karan. No, idiot, Harvey Fucking Weinstein’s perviness is NOT the fault of the women, their sexuality, or how they “presented themselves”. Was it the fault of the potted plant he whacked off in, presenting itself in a fucking pot?

8. Steve Fucking Bannon. Bob Corker is a disgrace, says a man who is so much an embodiment of the word that he really ought to be silent if he had any semblance of decency or dignity or even irony, which of course he does NOT.

9. Sheila Fucking Zilinski. The Vegas shooting was WHAT? Oh hell no, lady. We Pagan Occult Illuminati don’t do blood sacrifices. Closest I’ve ever come to one was pouring out a goblet of red wine at the foot of a tree, fergawdsakes.

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10. Mike Fucking Ditka. If you haven’t seen any oppression lately, Mikey, better get your eyes checked. That is, if you can still locate an optometrist after all the hits you’ve obviously taken during tackling practice.

11. David Fucking Meade. Oh look, the world’s still spinning. What a Great Disappointment! So, let’s just reset the date for the End of It All. Yeah, that’ll work!

12. William Fucking Johnson. Pro tip: If you’re planning to stick up a bank, don’t google for how-tos. Remember, the Internets never forget!

13. Sebastian Fucking Gorka. Why?

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That’s why. Gee, do we have to send Mother Pence along with Harvey Fucking Weinstein, as well as her morally bankrupt husband, to stop them before they can rape a woman?

14. Ted Fucking Cruz. Honest to Bog…how the hell does this chronic, pathological liar have any pants left? Because at the rate that he’s burning them, his ass and genitalia should be charcoal by now.

15. Lindsay Fucking Lohan. Oh, for fucksakes. She supports one of the biggest sexual molesters in Hollywood, and thinks his soon-to-be ex-wife should “be there” for him? What’s next…a stirring rendition of “Stand By Your Man”?

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16. Sandy Fucking Rios. “The left doesn’t want you to have air conditioning”? No, idiot, we don’t want to have the global warming that makes air conditioning more necessary than it should be. We don’t want less electricity, we want RENEWABLE electricity. I guess now we can go around saying that the imbeciles of the Religious Reich just want more air pollution and the Greenhouse Effect, eh?

17. Ken Fucking Ham. And speaking of the imbeciles of the Religious Reich, how about HIM? He wants to make kids “earn” candy by parroting back his superstitious nonsense. Trick or treat? Oh, most definitely trick. Egg his door, soap his windows, and TP his trees, kiddies.

18. Roy Fucking Moore. Dude, face it — your son’s arrest (the ninth, for those keeping score) isn’t a “cheap political stunt”. It’s a sign that you have a problem child on your hands. You obviously did NOTHING to raise him right, because you were too busy trying to preserve racist segregation in Alabama. Now try being a true Christian for a change, and get that boy into rehab!

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19. Ben Fucking Affleck. Well, well, WELL, well, well. Look who got his sanctimonious ass handed to him as he was trying to be one of the Good Guys in the whole Weinstein kerfuffle. He even apologized for groping someone! Unfortunately, it was only someONE. And lots of others, it turns out, have suffered similar fates at his ever-wandering hands.

20. Greg Fucking Gianforte. If you think he had any right to refuse to be fingerprinted and mugshotted because he’s a politician (who assaulted a journalist), just imagine if some random black dude off the street had insisted on anything similar. Fair’s fair, y’all.

21. Jeffrey Fucking Lord. Who does Donnie think is a great guy? THIS guy. Who tweeted a Nazi salute. This must be what Donnie meant when he said there were “fine people on both sides” — meaning both Nazis and KKK, I presume.

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22. Andrew Fucking Douglas. Wow, talk about a man who just doesn’t get it. Racist caricatures have been around for over a hundred years, and he still doesn’t recognize one when it “graces” (or DISgraces) the pages of the already shady-as-hell Frank rag, let alone see the need to apologize to the woman it insulted? Call yourself a managing editor? Then you’d better learn to manage…AND edit. PS: “Nice” shirt. (Note the quotes, there for a reason.)

23. Michael Fucking Mostyn. Meanwhile, in OTHER Men Who Just Don’t Get It, we have THIS guy. Who thinks that the BDS movement against Israeli apartheid is somehow “antisemitic”, despite the fact that much of it is composed of or even spearheaded by Jews. And who seems to think that Roger Waters is evil just because he’s in it.

24. Scott Fucking Perry. Well, if Puerto Rico ever needed a pretext to seek independence from the US, I think sheer embarrassment at having to share a nation with idiots like this one really ought to do it.

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25. Sean Fucking Hannity. Where’s your respect for the fucking flag, Baby Jesus? Oh yeah…it went out the window at the football game where a bunch of black guys knelt, and now you’re left to joke with Donnie during what is supposed to be a solemn military ceremony. All you FUX Snooze hypocrites can officially eat your own shit.

26. Matt Fucking Bevin. One really has to wonder what drugs HE’s on to believe that there is any such thing as a lethal marijuana overdose. Oh wait, he’s on right-wing ideology, which is the gateway drug to a surefire overdose of utter shitheadedness. A pity it’s only lethal to other people. Like the people of his own state of Kentucky, which has the highest opioid overdose fatality rates in the country. And about which he’s doing sweet bugger-all.

27. Roy Fucking Price. Wow, a douchey-looking dude actually turns out to be a grade-A douchebag. One with all the subtle charm and seductive finesse of a pile of freshly-laid baboon shit. What were the odds?

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28. Richard Fucking Preston. Yeehaw! Another KKK ground-stander stands his ground…and gets denied bail on those grounds. Well, it does kind of help that he admitted to doing what a video unambiguously SHOWS him doing, which is shooting at black people who were doing him no harm.

29. Jim Fucking Lucas. Hey, I have a better idea: Instead of making journalists register with police, how about right-wing politicians and other Second Amendment fetishists?

30. Howard Fucking Stern. Emma Bunton couldn’t say it, but I will: Dude, you are totally fucking GROSS. Why do you even have a show at all? Oh yeah, I forgot: We live in a super-sexist, casting-couch culture. Didn’t Harvey Fucking Weinstein prove as much?

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And finally, to Paul Fucking Elam. Paulie’s kind of bitter and testy, you see, because nobody wants to sex him. So now he’s reduced to spewing venom at all the women Harvey Fucking Weinstein has raped or tried to rape or just generally been all molesty and gross towards over the years. Because apparently, in Paulie’s sickly little world, assaulting women is the true way to Make Friends and Influence People. And any woman who says otherwise is clearly a victim of evil, wicked feminism. Just like all the men like Paulie, who aren’t getting their knobs polished on a regular basis…or at all, if Paulie’s angry whining is anything to go by.

Good night, and get fucked!

(Except for you, Paulie, because UGH.)

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Quotable: Samantha Bee on sexual harassment in Hollywood (and Washington)

How depressing is it when even Antarctica isn’t a safe place to be female?

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Shame on you, Neil Macdonald…AGAIN.

As someone who lives in what’s so quaintly called a “bedroom community”, I get to see my fair share and then some of what happens when people flee the unaffordable real estate market of Toronto. Good things, occasionally; bad things, CONSTANTLY. Things like our own housing prices jumping insanely high for what are essentially suburban crackerbox developments, while storefronts and apartments in our historic downtown core sit empty and deteriorating for lack of maintenance. Or our once-fun local theatre companies getting semi-professionalized, meaning an infusion of cash (mostly government subsidies), which then goes to pay high salaries for glossy, imported directors with Big Names, rather than the friendly, clued-in local volunteers who used to run them for the love of the art.

My town is “growing”. Or rather, it’s metastasizing. It’s popping out suburbs — or sub-suburbs, rather — on two of its three sides. The fourth side is Lake Ontario, so that doesn’t count, unless you look at the ugly but absurdly priced condos that now squat by our lovely “heritage” harbor. That’s where a toxic old tank farm used to be, back when this town still had decent-paying factory jobs. (Rumor has it that Sir Elton John and his Canadian hubby bought one.)

Oh sure, it all looks fine from a distance, like when you’re speeding past our north-end metastases on the 401, en route to bigger and better places. Affluent Suburbia, hip hip hooray. Just free-market capitalism just doing its free, free thing. But inwardly, it’s a hot mess. It’s a dozen layers of wallpaper and ten coats of glossy paint over a cobweb of structural cracks in cardboard walls. It’s bound to collapse at some point, like the Twin Towers, in a morass of carcinogenic ashes. It’s not a question of if, but when.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. This isn’t about my town. It’s about what made such a hot mess of my town. And it’s also about the opinion-shapers who, in true laissez-faire (often pronounced, wrongly but also rightly, as “lazy-fare”) capitalist fashion, think there’s nothing wrong with small towns losing their souls, or most of us living in cardboard boxes full of structural cracks held together by paint, wallpaper, and devout prayers. As long as The Market, the holy, sacrosanct Market, gets its pound of flesh, eh.

Folks, today’s the day we spank the CBC’s own Neil Macdonald. Again.

Now Neil, for those who don’t know who he is, used to be a journalist, dealing in the CBC’s humble brand of intelligent, yet accessible reporting. But now he’s become that most insufferable of journalism’s plagues — a Pundit. Neil is probably just waiting to snag the prime Pundit spot that will open when Rex Murphy finally takes the hint and retires. And like all Pundits, he’s patronizing and hectoring us, insulting our collective intelligence, and just generally pissing on our heads and telling us not to worry about the acid rain corroding that metal roof that we spent so much money on. I’ve fisked him for that (twice!) before, and I’m about to do so again. Because Neil has pooped out a Punditry about the problems with our urban housing markets, and it’s high time he got his nose rubbed in it. So gird your loins, folks, it’s going to be a long one, and it’s bound to get awfully angry out. Ready? Here we go:

My job includes an indulgently luxurious morning news tour, skipping for hours around some of the best English-language websites in the world.

The British have the most literate, catholic tastes; the BBC alone maintains about 50 bureaux worldwide, and nearly 250 correspondents abroad and generally, the tone of British reporting is the calmest.

The American product is dynamic, provocative and utterly solipsistic. The primary focus, understandably, is their loopy president. (This morning’s Trump headline is his dubious proposal to compare his IQ to that of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson: “And I can tell you who is going to win.”)

When U.S. news organizations cover foreign news, it’s through the prism of American power, or American interests. The tone is seldom calm.

Four paragraphs of self-indulgence, ego-masturbation, irrelevant generalizations and shit. Yawwwwwwn. What the hell kind of lede is this?

Oh yeah, it’s Neil trying to impress us with his Encyclopedic Knowledge, which of course is the fundament of all Punditry. Or maybe he’s trying to intimidate us in advance into believing he’s right, before he’s even within spitting distance of the point. Which, knowing him, is bound to be even more irrelevant, seemingly-in-touch-but-really-not rubbish.

And Canadians, I’m afraid, live up to our own clichés; a vast swath of our journalism is about how we relate to America. We obsess over defining and protecting our identity, particularly in a globalized world, and how, or whether, we matter. That, and our real estate prices.

Neil, Neil, Neil. Really? Clichés? Didn’t your high-school English teacher ever tell you not to fall back on them, because they’re lazy and stupid and a mark of bad writing? Do I have to give you a schooling about that here? You’re supposed to be a wordsmith, for fuck’s sake. Do you not know how to do your damn job?

And how many times do I have to tell you that the dogpile to the immediate south of us isn’t America, it’s just the United States of Amnesia? Oh sure, it THINKS it’s America, with a God-given Manifest Destiny to rule the entire continent that is actually America — or Turtle Island, if you will. But it’s not. And we would be fools to do things the way that dogpile does things. Even if that way seems “dynamic”, it’s actually stagnant to the point of brackishness. We’ll be getting into that shortly.

And just how “vast” is this “swath” of journalism obsessing over how we relate to the Big Dogpile To Our Collective South, anyway? Neil doesn’t say. He assumes he doesn’t have to. It just IS, okay? More inane, irrelevant generalizations to prove Neil’s Encyclopedic Knowledge of what the Chattering Classes are on and on and on about. Booooooring!

Canadian news organizations seem to have a permanent daily space reserved for the cost of lodging in Vancouver or Toronto. Prices in those cities have been remarkably steep for decades, and yet the subject remains hot news.

Oh, FINALLY something vaguely resembling a nut graf. We only had to wade through half a dozen paragraphs of eye-numbing, mind-glazing drivel to get to it!

And, whaddya know. It’s just more of the same. Eye-numbing, mind-glazing drivel, that is.

So…IS the “cost of lodging in Vancouver or Toronto” REALLY “hot news”, with “a permanent daily space reserved” for it? Or is that just another of Neil’s inane generalizations that are meant to be taken as truisms, because he is A Pundit? From where I sit, that kind of “hot news” is no news at all, much less hot. It’s a boring, dreary, mundane reality that everyone grumbles about over their coffee and Timbits. And in terms of news coverage, it’s mostly shoved off to the middle or back pages, which no one reads because no one needs to. They KNOW. Toronto and Vancouver ARE prohibitively expensive. And sadly, this meme is still all too relevant if you’re stuck there:

Anyhow. Let’s keep wading into this swamp, shall we?

I suppose I can see why they’re clickbait: they inspire hopelessness in the multitudes of renters hoping to somehow lever their way onto the real estate train, and smuggy happiness in those who have owned homes for years, and who love doing the mental calculation of how much money they’ve made, at least on paper (reality, because all boats rise with the tide, is another matter. To realize that wealth they have to sell and leave the city).

Anyway, the tone of the coverage is always puzzlement or outrage, as if such a thing shouldn’t be happening in Canada, and the stories are formulaic: the picture of some crappy little fixer-upper shot from the curb upwards to distort the size of the “sold” sign, with a headline proclaiming YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE WHAT THIS WENT FOR, or the despair of a tenant of ordinary means coping with greedy landlords (often meaning other ordinary people acting in their own economic self-interest), or an exhausted young couple who’s been outbid for the hundredth time on an ordinary little house somewhere (usually meaning a house they wanted but couldn’t afford), or where Vancouver ranks in the list of the world’s most unaffordable cities (#3) or where Toronto ranks on the same list (#13, in cities of more than a million people).

Toronto, a recent headline proclaimed, has just hit a new record of unaffordability.

No shit? Neil, you could at least have supplied us with a hotlink, so we could see for ourselves what that headline said, and if indeed it IS at the top of the news hour. This is the Internet, you know. I assume you have it in your cushy CBC office. Or do you have a butler bring you the papers in dead-tree form, freshly ironed for your delectation? Either way, failing to show your work just reeks of laziness.

And how nice of you to dismiss a decades-old social problem (because the root of this problem arose well before the internet, you know) as mere “clickbait”. How very clever you are, Neil. So clever that I see you’re falling back on economic as well as linguistic clichés about rising tides and boats and shit. Only you’ve left that last bit out. Tsk, tsk. Shit rises with the tide too, Neil, but you’re not going to get into that, are you?

Oh, and before I forget, Neil: It’s even worse in Calgary than it is in TO and Vancouver. Your own network has said as much.

(See what I mean by coats of glossy paint over deep structural cracks? Don’t worry, you soon will.)

No, the problem of crappy houses being sold for millions isn’t “formulaic clickbait”, Neil. It’s a real thing that’s leaving hard-working, cash-strapped people fighting like rats over substandard real estate of every kind, but how nice of you, again, to say that money-grubbing absentee landlords are just “ordinary people acting in their own economic self-interest”. As though they weren’t criminals (and often organized criminals, at that). As though those all-too-commonplace flippers and speculators expecting sky-high returns on their “investments” weren’t a real problem for people who aren’t being paid enough to afford what those greedheads are demanding of them. People are being thrown out in the name of “renovations” that aren’t really happening, just so rent can be raised. Housing is now being bid on, rather than simply bought. And meanwhile, the Chinese oligarchs are all rubbing their hands, or would be if they didn’t have to put all that cash down first. Chairman Mao is both gone AND forgotten, as far as the princelings are concerned. All that matters is having a place to launder all that looted money, and maybe turn a quick Canadian buck while they’re at it. Who’s clickbaiting whom, again?

Oh yes, of course. It’s Neil, trying lamely to forestall an actual, reasoned argument:

In the background is the shadowy, anonymous Chinese buyer, who flies in and pays cash, far above asking, driving prices forever beyond the reach of ordinary Canadians.

And the subtext is the unfairness of it all, usually summed up by some househunter asserting something like: “I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect to afford a home in my own city,” or some reference to affordable housing as a natural right.

Which of course it isn’t, at least not in a capitalist system. Prices are even higher in New York and London and Hong Kong, but news outlets in those cities don’t dote on the subject, and residents seem to have long ago accepted market realities.

O RLY, Neil? I’m pretty sure that New Yorkers, Londoners, and the denizens of Hong Kong ARE all complaining about the cost of living there, too. Last I looked, all three were loud and fractious about how their rent was too damn high, and how speculators are ruining their cities. So it’s not just Toronto and Vancouver complaining about the too-high cost of housing. Everyone is doing it, and no wonder: Everyone has speculators fucking it up for everyone else.

They’ve been seething about it for years, too. London, as I recall, had a major apartment fire just recently that brought all the anger boiling up to the point where it actually bubbled into the headlines. So it’s not like the news media there aren’t “doting” on it. No, they’re actually fucking REPORTING it, because it is A FUCKING STORY.

But then, I know about these things because I pay fucking attention. And I do it in ways that Neil, who is A Pundit and thus paid to pacify rather than inform us, does not, even though he claims he has the luxury of perusing all manner of news at his CBC desk every day. Know why I pay attention? Because I’m a socialist, and I happen to think that yes, having a reliable, affordable roof over one’s head SHOULD be a natural right.

Frankly, it’s criminal that we are forced to haggle and scrabble over every scrap and crumb and droplet that falls off the gilded table of Trickle-Down Economics. What the hell kind of existence is THAT?

And no, Neil, I don’t accept ANY of the absurd “market realities” that have houses standing empty while people are living on street grates, or out of cars in mall parking lots. Nobody should accept that, and nobody should HAVE to. There are more peopleless homes in the US of Amnesia now than there are homeless people to occupy them, and STILL the speculators are gobbling up land and vomiting butt-ugly condos all over it, and then charging extortionate rates just to live there. There are apartment buildings with one door for the rich residents, and another for the not-so. If that’s not fucked up and classist as all hell, then tell me, Neil…what the hell is it???

Oh yeah. I forgot. It’s just Economic Reality! This I know, for Neil the Pundit tells us so.

In any event, government power to contain market forces is limited in the extreme, despite efforts like Toronto’s highly aspirational “Open Door Affordable Housing Program,” or even provincial surtaxes on foreign buyers, which the market seems to inevitably absorb in its upward march.

Rent control, recently imposed province-wide by Ontario, instantly creates two classes of renters, the lucky and unlucky, and instantly discourages potential new landlords, capping their income but not their expenses. What small investor would now buy a rental property in Ontario?

Oh noes, those evil, evil rent controls! Won’t somebody think of the poor “small investors”? Oh, thank heaven, Neil Macdonald, Crusading Pundit and voice of the voiceful, is right on it!

The only real right you have is to seek cheaper accommodation, which can mean moving to a cheaper city, of which there are many in Canada.

Yes, and none of them are where the decent-paying jobs are. Neil doesn’t want to mention this. (And there goes yet another coat of paint over yet another structural crack!)

I lived in Toronto and Vancouver in the ’80s, and fled both after six months or so of hemorrhaging money. I realized I simply didn’t make enough to live in any degree of what I considered comfort. I had a particularly hard time understanding the cost of Toronto; perhaps I’m missing something, but to me, it doesn’t even compare to the other cities on the nosebleed-affordability list. I mean, over the years I’ve flown to New York or Chicago for a weekend of splurge-fun. Hard to imagine jumping excitedly on a flight to Pearson.

I know, I know, TIFF, but still….

I couldn’t afford Toronto in 1988 and I certainly can’t now. Vancouver might as well be on another planet. I’d far sooner consider moving to Halifax. Or Calgary. Or Montreal. But Ottawa is a fine compromise. I can be cycling in a national park within 15 minutes of leaving my doorstep. There are excellent restaurants here, decent city services and I can always find on-street parking downtown for about three dollars an hour.

Gee, Neil, you sound awfully smug. Is that a note of “Fuck you, jack, I’ve got mine” I hear creeping into your drivel there?

Nahhhh…couldn’t be!

I realize not everyone is mobile. Some people are stuck in Toronto and Vancouver for family or job reasons, and simply cannot uproot. And Montreal has punitively high taxes and a language wall built around it that is insuperable for most Canadians.

Fucking duh, Neil. Fucking DUH. So what are you proposing they DO, anyway? If they all moved to Ottawa, not only would they be too far from the jobs they need to afford the housing, they’d also crowd you right the fuck off your precious bike trail. Not to mention that they’d soon overheat the local housing market, thus doing YOU out of an investment…eh?

We live in Canada, but we also live in the world. Supply and demand in free markets trumps vague notions of social justice almost absolutely. Our three biggest cities are for financial and social reasons now out of reach for millions of Canadians.

That’s not going to change, at least in my lifetime. And by now, it should no longer be news to anyone.

Oh, I see. Just more of the same old “suck it up, buttercup” shit that any student of high-school economics gets to hear a thousand times over before they tune out and fall asleep at their desk. Very helpful, Neil.

See what I mean, kiddies, by Pundits being paid to pacify rather than inform us? Neil has told us not one thing that we haven’t already heard a million times before. And he wasn’t even original in the telling, either, so we can’t say that he at least entertained us. He has bored us stiff, and if he’s done what he was paid to do, he has distracted us from reading up on all the things WE could be doing. Like organizing. And agitating. And protesting. And blockading. You know, SOCIALIST stuff.

But Neil Macdonald, unlike your average Canadian, clearly has no use for that. As long as he has bike trails in the city and the riffraff (that’s you and me, kids) aren’t crowding him out of them with our damn demands on his damn supply, he’ll be all right.

And the rest of us, as usual, can just go suck rocks.

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Posted in All the Tea in China, Canadian Counterpunch, Crapagandarati, Economics for Dummies, Environmentally Ill, Filthy Stinking Rich, If You REALLY Care, Isn't It Ironic?, Isn't That Illegal?, Mobsters, Socialism is Good for Capitalism!, The "Well, DUH!" Files, The United States of Amnesia | Comments Off on Shame on you, Neil Macdonald…AGAIN.

Nazis terrorize Charlottesville AGAIN. Police do worse than nothing…AGAIN.

Dowdy Dickie Spencer’s latest charm offensive in Charlottesville was a cowardly flop. They had what — three, four dozen people, max? — and were so scared of backlash that they required a police escort. Which they got.

Now, you can ignore the Young Turks’ commentary (which is mostly just sideways comedic riffing anyhow), and focus on what the Fashy Haircut in the Rumpled Suit actually said. I strongly advise that, because it’s mind-boggling. He seriously thinks that white people are being “replaced” in a land that they “built”.

Fash, PLEASE.

You did not build that country. Your filthy rich cotton-pickin’ ancestors didn’t build it either. They stole the land from its indigenous peoples, and then the lazy bums imported a bunch of slaves from Africa, as well as indentured servants from the British Isles, to do all the grunt-work for them. The latter stood a chance of gaining freedom once their indentures expired, and being white, were regarded and treated somewhat better than the former. You know who really built that country whose shitty monuments you’re turning out to “defend” from imaginary communists now? BLACK AFRICAN SLAVES. And to a lesser extent, but still worth mentioning, POOR WHITE BRITONS. And later on, IMMIGRANTS. They did it with overseers cracking the whip and bosses bossing them. Every brick and stone of it was laid under duress by oppressed and dispossessed people who had to scrape and struggle for their very existence in ways that you and your polo-shirted prep-school bozos can’t even begin to imagine.

Even more ludicrous, though, is Dowdy Dickie’s claim that “we came in peace” on a couple of occasions. Notice how he studiously omitted the events of August 12, when the fash-brigade and their hooded-sheet brethren most definitely did NOT come in peace. Remember this?

Yeah, that happened. And so did this:

DeAndre Harris was brutally beaten, and Heather Heyer run over and dragged to her death. All by RACIST WHITE FASCIST THUGS.

But while Dickie and his Dick Brigade are out there claiming to be just trying to “take back their country” from some imaginary Jewish Bolshevist mob trying to “replace” them (with WHOM?), here’s the truth, courtesy of Shaun King, who was there to report on it all as it went down:

I want to be clear on something. I’ve watched every single video, and have seen every single photo, taken that day from Charlottesville. I’ve spent hundreds of hours researching it, moment by moment, block by block, person by person. DeAndre Harris and Heather Heyer were actually from Charlottesville. They showed up that Saturday in their hometown to stand up for their city and to show the hundreds of bigots who traveled there from all over the country to terrorize Charlottesville that it was not OK with them.

Did you get that? DeAndre and Heather were both from Charlottesville. They were locals. How ironic is that? They were defending their town from the “alt-right” thugs, who most certainly did NOT come in peace, but who came to take it over and force their white-supremacist ideology down everyone else’s throat.

And yet, the thugs are casting them and others like them as villains. So are the media. And so, most disgracefully, is Jeff Beauregard Sessions, and his Justice Department. The FBI have decided that Antifa (which is simply short for “antifascists”, something every decent person should be anyhow) and “black identity extremists”, whatever those are, are the real threats.

It’s getting harder to tell the cops from the robbers these days, especially since the two are so often in cahoots. But then again, what else does one expect in the US of Amnesia, where the police forces all started out as slave patrols? That’s right, their original job was making sure that the biggest, richest, thuggiest land-thieves didn’t lose any of the human assets they had spent so much money to drag all the way across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa, and spent so much time trying to domesticate like draft-animals. If you’re wondering why so many cops are Klukers and neo-Nazis and “alt”-righturds, wonder no more. The police were lousy with them from the very outset. Don’t expect that to change anytime soon, especially not under Donnie Drumpf, who has emboldened the worst…and the disgraceful Charlottesville police, who are aiding and abetting them. And that’s not to say they aren’t actual members of the same detestable mob.

This is why Heather Heyer had to die undefended, while DeAndre Harris is now being wrongly charged, in retaliation, for raising a hand to stop some white supremacist thugs who were trying to stab his friend. The real defenders of Charlottesville — and those who accurately understand its history — are being dragged under the wheels yet again.

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Posted in Bullies, Cops Behaving Badly, Crapagandarati, Deepest Darkest Africa, Der Drumpf, Fascism WITH Swastikas, Fascism Without Swastikas, Filthy Stinking Rich, Fine Young Cannibals, Human Rights FAIL, Isn't It Ironic?, Isn't That Illegal?, Isn't That Racist?, Isn't That Terrorism?, Law-Law Land, Merry Old England, Not So Compassionate Conservatism, The United States of Amnesia | Comments Off on Nazis terrorize Charlottesville AGAIN. Police do worse than nothing…AGAIN.

Music for a Sunday: A necessary repost

Yes, I’m reposting this. Because the US of Amnesia hasn’t gotten the message yet.

And for those who say “You can’t ban evil, killers gonna kill”: When’s the last time you saw a guy stab 60 people to death and injure 500-odd more with a knife? Even Tim Fucking McVeigh and his fertilizer bomb truck under the Murrah Building didn’t do what Stephen Fucking Paddock managed to do by sneaking guns into a hotel. Every country that brought in gun controls after a mass shooting has managed a remarkable drop in the murder rate in general and the mass-shooting rate in particular.

If you’re going to get your arguments off bumper stickers, you might want to start reading ones that don’t confirm your biases.

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Posted in Guns, Guns, Guns, Music for a Sunday, The Hardcore Stupid, The United States of Amnesia | Comments Off on Music for a Sunday: A necessary repost

Wankers of the Week: How do you solve a problem like Maria?

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Crappy weekend, everyone! And a very crappy one to Donnie the Dotard, who decided that the best way to solve the problems caused by Hurricane Maria would be a massive crapaganda offensive, including touting the non-existent “miracle” of Las Vegas. Where over 50 people got killed and over 500 were injured by a gun nut run amuck. Yeah, some fuckin’ miracle. And here come all the other s’ain’ts, marching in no particular order:

1. Geraldo Fucking Rivera. Can’t see the Puerto Ricans dying for lack of aid? Well, Gerry, better put on yer glasses, then. And stick your head out the window. Because they’re all around you! PS: And this isn’t making you look better either, Gerry.

2. Victor Fucking Salva. Don’t believe the hype. He’s not a reformed child abuser; he’s a child abuser, full stop. Once a creep, ALWAYS a creep. And his latest casting call is proof.

3. Franklin Fucking Graham. Why?

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That’s why. He just own-goaled himself with that dumb, sexist tweet. PS: This isn’t helping him, either.

4. Rush Fucking Limbaugh. The media don’t want to tie the Vegas shooter to Daesh because he has no such fucking ties, Rusty, you idiot. And if you want to know who the biggest terror group on US soil is, brace yourself: It’s white men just like YOU.

5. Bill O’Fucking Reilly. It’s been a hot minute since I’ve had Billo on the list, but what the hell. His gas-emitting ass has earned a place here right now, don’t you think?

6. Pat Fucking Robertson. And BAM! Straight out of the gate comes Patwa, with his own cockamamie theory about why the Las Vegas shooting happened. And no, it bears no resemblance, not even a casual one, to actual logic or reason. Much less the real reason the whole horror happened. Why the hell is this old coot not dead yet?

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7. Sarah Fucking Huckabee Fucking Sanders. Why the double Fucking? Because that’s how dumb she is to think that mentioning the high gun-crime rates in Chicago (and its ostensibly stricter gun laws) will somehow distract anyone from the fact that Donnie and his Repug congresscronies are doing sweet fuck-all about gun crime themselves. And that they are, in fact, enabling more of it when they allow mentally ill people to own guns.

8. Kellyanne Fucking Conway. Hey, you know who else controlled the press so it would only report in his favor? Yeah. THIS guy.

9. Tim Fucking Murphy. Funny, innit, about those “pro-life” dudes? They’re all in favor of abortion when it’s their own personal embarrassments, i.e. their MISTRESSES, who have to get one! But not for you, missy. Nuh-unh. YOU have to carry the fruit of your slutty sin all nine months!

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10. John Fucking Thune. Shorter: What, ME do something about gun crime? No way, man, I’m just a lowly legislator in the NRA’s pocket! Oh, and have you tried ducking and covering? FREEDUMB!!!

11. Alex Fucking Jones. Aaaaand here he is, right on cue with the “scripted” and “crisis actors” bullshit. Where have we heard that before? Oh yeah: Right here.

12. Kevin Fucking Ward. Meanwhile, in Canada, we have a cop who busted gays for cruising in public parks…when he wasn’t too busy getting sexually inappropriate with teenagers.

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13. Sean Fucking Hannity. Is that a threat I hear coming out of your tweeter, Baby Jesus? Wow. Some “unity” you and Donnie are all about! And if you wanna really see despicable, just look in your own fuckin’ mirror.

14. Mick Fucking Mulvaney. No, you know who needs to fix their debt problem? YOUR FUCKING BOSS. He OWES Puerto Rico $30 million for the bailout for his failed golf resort there. And he also owes Washington for all the golf he’s been playing and all the bullshit he’s been tweeting on the taxpayer dime.

15. Steve Fucking Scalise. Why won’t the media report the good news about guns, he asks? BECAUSE THERE FUCKING ISN’T ANY, YOU NRA-BOUGHT TURD. Sorry for the ALL FUCKING CAPS shouting, but DAMN this guy is dumb. And dumber still if he thinks we can’t see that he is peddling an ideology and a political line, NOT a lack thereof. He was paid to say that, people.

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16. Dana Fucking Loesch. And speaking of paid to say stupid shit, can we talk for a moment about her? She was paid by the NRA to spout that sewage. They should have paid her to dummy the fuck up, because DAMN, that dame is dumb, too. If you REALLY don’t want to “politicize” a tragedy, then STOP USING IT TO SELL YOUR FUCKING GUN NUT AGENDA!

17. Rachel Fucking Harder. If you seriously believed that Andrew Fucking Scheer was anything other than Harpo with slightly nicer hair and a bigger smile, here’s your evidence that he isn’t. And since she’s now out as a candidate for Status of Women committee chair, there’s your evidence that Canadians are STILL rejecting the HarpoCon agenda.

18. Karyn Fucking Draper. And speaking of dumb candidates, how about this one? She went so far as to blame LGBT+ people for terror attacks. Yeah, that’ll work! And pay no attention to all those MUSLIMS who happen to be LGBT+, either!

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19. Dan Fucking Bilzerian. Pro tip: Don’t try to be a hero, or even LOOK like one, when you so plainly aren’t cut out to be one. I won’t even advise you to stick to your dumb selfies and jackass stunts. I will only advise that you delete your entire presence from social media, go out and get a real job, and try to live like a normal person for a change.

20. Dave Fucking Daubenmire. And of course, he has a cockamamie conspiracy theory blaming the Vegas shooting on God. Because of course he does.

21. Melania Fucking Drumpf. Nice to see that being married, and a so-called FLOTUS, hasn’t hurt her modelling career in the least. Nor, for that matter, have a couple of hurricanes. Of course, there’s still that pesky emoluments clause, which I’m pretty sure can be interpreted to mean that she’s not allowed to profit materially from her position in this manner.

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22. John Fucking Edgar Fucking Rust. Why the double Fucking? Because that’s how close he comes to my mental image of a typical 4chan user: Pizza face, stupidly angry at the world, Reddit racist, registered sex offender, and oh yeah…a death threat utterer. Which is a crime, of course. But since he only managed to utter the threat (from a chain restaurant!) and not carry it out (thanks in no small part to the “po po”, as well as his overall lack of smarts), he’s just a pud-pullin’ sad-sack wannabe badass who is himself every bit as dumb as he accuses black folks of being. Which is also my mental image of a 4chan user.

23. Marsha Fucking Blackburn. Well, here’s a refreshing twist: She actually BRAGS of being, and I quote, “a knuckle-dragging wingnut”. You forgot WANKER, dear!

24. The Fucking Chapniks of Forest Hill. A Tudor stone house? What a fresh and exciting concept! …said NO architect ever. Also, pretty sure that an unoriginal idea can’t be copyrighted, much less for the purpose of a frivolous vanity lawsuit over alleged drops in property value.

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25. Donald Fucking Drumpf, Jr. Dude, nobody created an “atmosphere of hate” towards your old man. He did that himself by farting up a storm, courting the “alt”-right, and stoking every fear and hatred there was in the populace. Did you sleep through his election campaign in your wet pants, or what?

26. Chris Fucking Mudgett. Never mind that 59 people got killed and over 500 injured when some motherfucker snuck two fucking dozen guns into the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Vegas and fired down on a country music concert from the 32nd floor. No sense being sensitive or tasteful when you’re the managing editor of Guns & Ammo, eh? And you have just that kind of shit to peddle to your loyal murderous idiot readership, EH???

27. Chuck Fucking Grassley. Is that an attempt at obfuscation I smell? Cleverly disguised as an attmept at clarification? Why yes, it is! And it smells just like a pee-soaked mattress in a fancy Russian hotel room, too!

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28. Tomi Fucking Lahren. Snowflake sez WHAT? She’s sick of people looking down on the right-wing gun nuts who make up her ever dwinding (and aging, and dying) audience? Well, ain’t that just special. Listen, White Grievance Cheerleader, I’m fucking sick of YOU. I’m sick of your entire idiotic ilk. And I’m sick of you supporting the kind of guy who fired from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, looking down on a bunch of innocent music fans who were doing nothing to him. A guy who, it turns out, was probably a member of YOUR viewing demographic. People are dead because of your precious Second Fucking Amendment. At long last, have the common decency to shut the fuck up and go the hell away.

29. The Fucking Pope. Yeah, that’s right, the usually wiser ol’ Frankie made the list this week. Because he still doesn’t get that transgender Catholics exist, and that their “rejection” of what sex they were designated at birth has nothing to do with God.

30. Gavin Fucking McInnes. Of COURSE he celebrates the Vegas Massacre. Because he’s the scum de la scum of all shitty people. So of COURSE he would!

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And finally, to the fucking NRA. Yes, all of it. Every last member who hasn’t yet cancelled their membership is complicit, and every last gun manufacturer who supplies it with money and influence to peddle in Washington, too. You all are MURDERERS. Stop screaming about rights, because it’s obvious that you don’t care about those at all. Just dry up and blow away with the fucking tumbleweeds, because I’m sick of ALL your shit.

Good night, and get fucked!

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Posted in Wankers of the Week | Comments Off on Wankers of the Week: How do you solve a problem like Maria?

Young Turks reporter and camera operator arrested in St. Louis

This happened last night. Jordan Chariton (reporter) and Ty Bayliss (videographer) were arrested by St. Louis police, apparently for filming them during a Black Lives Matter protest in the city. (For context, the protest is one of several following the acquittal of Jason Stockley, an officer who intentionally killed a black suspect, Anthony Lamar Smith, in 2011 during a police chase, in which a gun and drugs were planted in the victim’s car by the arresting officers.)

The video speaks for itself: Nobody protesting was the least bit violent. This was strictly a show of force by the cops, right in line with the cops shouting “Whose streets? OUR streets” when they kettled a group of demonstrators on September 18. The last minute or so is without sound, as the mikes were turned off, but the camera kept rolling.

Here’s a follow-up after the journalists’ release from jail today:

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Posted in Cops Behaving Badly, Drrrrruuuugs, Fascism Without Swastikas, Guns, Guns, Guns, Human Rights FAIL, Isn't That Illegal?, Isn't That Racist?, The United States of Amnesia | Comments Off on Young Turks reporter and camera operator arrested in St. Louis