Scotland gets its own PSUV

scotland-flag

A united left party for Scotland? Och aye:

The new electoral pact, anchored around the Scottish Socialist Party and the grassroots Scottish Left Project, will meet representatives of Greece’s ruling party Syriza in Edinburgh today, as well as members of Spain’s left-wing Podemos movement.

The gathering is expected to discuss tactics for the 2016 election, when the new Scottish anti-austerity coalition hopes to return Socialist MSPs through the regional list system.

The development comes just days after Quebec Solidaire, the radical coalition in Quebec’s National Assembly, agreed to give its support to the Scottish alliance.

Delegates unanimously backed the move at their conference in Montreal last week, at which Scottish trade union activist Cat Boyd spoke on the Left’s post-referendum revival.

And yes, that IS a Canadian connection there. We have at least as many Scots here as there are in Scotland, it seems.

And this unite-the-left move gives a boost to those on this side of the pond, as well:

Amir Khadir, a Quebec Solidaire National Assembly member, said: “Austerity, whether British or Canadian, has left the vulnerable behind and impoverished ordinary people.

“But there is hope, as Cat Boyd reminded us about the struggle of ordinary people in Scotland and how Yes voters said Yes to a new and different country.

“The rising momentum behind the Scottish Left Project gives us hope and courage to fight for justice at home and solidarity abroad.”

Having a united left party puts Scotland not only on a par with Greece and Spain, but also Venezuela, whose ruling party, the PSUV, is the example to follow. When Chavecito first became president in late 1998, he was backed by Venezuela’s many small leftist parties, as well as his own, called the MVR (Fifth Republic Movement). This coalition broke the four-decade-old Fourth Republic duopoly of the “liberal” AD and the religious-conservative COPEI, which was put in place by the Punto Fijo pact after the ouster of Venezuela’s last military dictator, Marcos Pérez Jiménez. Prior to that, there were many leftist parties and splinter movements breaking off of each from time to time, but with no single presidential candidate to back, they lost to the corruptos of the ruling class every time. No matter how unpopular an AD or COPEI candidate was, he could still roll right over the leftists, even though their combined numbers were greater. It took an outstanding candidate — Hugo Chávez, already a national hero since his failed uprising in 1992 — to change all that. He later united all but a few of his leftist supporters in one party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), while in office. (The Venezuelan Communist Party, the PCV, supported him and still supports his successor, Nicolás Maduro, but would not come under the PSUV umbrella, preferring to retain a separate party identity. Splinter factions of various other pre-existing left parties also chose to go their own way; their lack of power and conviction speaks for itself.)

If the yet-to-be named Scottish left party manages to follow Venezuela’s example and get behind a candidate who is intelligent, brave, and serious about unity, like Chavecito, it should have nowhere to go but up. In spite of wankers like this:

Scottish Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone said: “It’s no surprise to see this group modelling itself on a party currently presiding over the most chaotic economy in Europe.

“I’m sure they can come up with enough of their own crazily damaging ideas without getting input from other radical left-wingers.”

That’s right, Alex, sneer while you can. You won’t be able to work up the energy once one of them has taken your seat!

Posted in Canadian Counterpunch, Greek Salad, Huguito Chavecito, True Scotsmen (and WOMEN!), Under the Name of Spain. Comments Off on Scotland gets its own PSUV »

Nudity blamed for earthquake, AGAIN…

mount-kinabalu-tourists-stripping

Tourists on Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia, stripping down…very much against local law.

Hey! Remember the Boobquake of a few years back, when some silly mullah in Iran blamed women’s “immodest dress” for causing earthquakes in that land (which happens to be located on a number of major geological faultlines, and therefore, is prone to earthquakes no matter what)? Well, something happened in Malaysia recently that is kinda-sorta like that, and this time, it’s immodest foreigners being blamed:

Rescuers recovered the bodies of 11 more climbers from Malaysia’s highest peak on Saturday, a day after it was struck by a strong earthquake, bringing the total number of dead to 13.

Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan blamed the tragedy on a group of 10 foreigners who “showed disrespect to the sacred mountain” by posing naked at the peak last week. He said a special ritual would be conducted later to “appease the mountain spirit.”

According to a police report, the two Canadian tourists involved in the incident are Lindsey Petersen and Danielle Petersen. Along with two Dutch and a German national, they broke away from their entourage and stripped naked before taking photos at the mountain peak on May 30, officials have said.

Five of the tourists are believed to still be in Malaysia and will be barred from leaving on the offence of gross indecency, police have said.

Actually, silly naked tourists did NOT cause this disaster. Malaysia, like Iran, is situated on top of a VERY geologically active bit of the Earth’s crust, where several tectonic plates are in conflict with one another. This particular hotspot is one of the most volcanically active areas on Earth.

So it’s not too surprising that local natives, who probably don’t have a whole lot of modern geophysical knowledge at their disposal, would have evolved a set of beliefs and superstitions about the frequent earthquakes and volcanic activity that rock their homeland, causing death and destruction. And if the spirits and deities of the mountains aren’t appeased, so the logic goes, bad things happen. Or if uppity foreigners come in, all ignorant of local customs, and offend them — same thing.

Of course, nudity and immodesty don’t cause earthquakes. The ground under our feet doesn’t care what we wear. We could all go starkers anytime we wanted and it wouldn’t make a difference. The only thing that does make a difference is whether your particular patch of dirt is located on or near a massive subduction zone.

But try telling that to the local authorities of Malaysia, who are already none too keen on foreigners coming in and doing idiotic stunts on sacred ground just for the sake of some forgettable postings on Instagram or Facebook. These bozos came with the intent of creating some transgressive memories for life, and got a LOT more than they bargained for, thanks to the worst timing ever. But even if their timing didn’t suck, they still would have landed in deep shit. Why tempt a government that is already itching to prosecute foreigners for the slightest infraction? YOLO is the philosophy of the Hardcore Stupid.

Meanwhile, Mark Morford has the sanest take on the whole loopy tragedy. Read it, and if you take anything at all away from this incident, let it be that you, as a visitor in another country, should still be mindful and respectful of local customs…whether you agree with the beliefs behind them or not.

Aside from local customs, you should also be aware of the dangers if you’re travelling in a region known for its geological hazards, as Malaysia is. Scaling the highest mountain in the region on a lark, only to get blamed for an earthquake, is a seriously stupid way to round out your bucket list.

If you don’t end up kicking the bucket prematurely, that is.

The Harper Legacy: empty monuments, nothing for native women

mother-canada

Meet “Mother Canada”. If you’ve never heard of her, you’re not alone. She’s a figment of Harpocratic imagination, with no real basis in Canadian culture or history. And she’s supposedly meant to honor the veterans and the dead of World War II. But those whom she’s meant to please aren’t so impressed:

“It’s vulgar and ostentatious. It doesn’t do anything for veterans or definitely not for the people who are dead,” says Valerie Bird, a 93-year-old Second World War veteran.

And environmental experts are even less enthused:

“It will be a huge scientific loss to the whole Canadian scientific community if this project goes ahead.”

The statue by the Never Forgotten National Memorial Foundation, dubbed Mother Canada, would be 30 metres high and feature a woman with her arms outstretched toward Europe. The plan also includes parking for 300 vehicles, a restaurant, souvenir shop and an interpretive centre.

Howard said the complex isn’t compatible with Parks Canada’s mandate to preserve and protect the land for future generations. He believes it will deter visitors who are attracted to the region and the Cabot Trail for its geography and natural beauty.

“It will go right over the most precious part of the geological formation,” he says. “There’s nothing like it in national parks before. They’ll do a lot of damage by Christmas, unless we stand up now.”

But hey, guess who loves it? Yup, Cons with a fetish for war…and European immigration:

Lewis MacKenzie, a retired major-general, is one of the prominent backers of the project. He said the location is ideal because it may have been one of the last parts of Canada seen by people leaving for the First World War and the Second World War, and one of the first seen upon their return.

“The design, when you see it, is extremely attractive,” he said. “It’s extremely welcoming not only to the souls of those interred abroad, but also for new Canadians. If it’s a spot for reflection, I can’t think of a better one.”

And what about new Canadians coming from Africa, Asia, Oceania, the US, Latin America and the Caribbean? What monuments do they get to see, beyond the arrivals centre of whatever airport they flew in through? Will there be a replica of this statue on every baggage carousel, or what? Somehow, I just can’t see any Mother Canada figures facing west or south. Apparently, people from those directions are less likely to be white, and since we didn’t fight on their behalf during the world wars, but only for England, well…sorry, folks, you just don’t count.

But don’t feel too bad. You’re not the only ones who don’t count for Harpo & Co.:

Federal Conservatives have suggested they will reject calls from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) for both a public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women and Canada’s implementation of a landmark United Nations document on First Nations’ rights.

On Tuesday, the TRC released a long-awaited report on the shameful legacy of the residential school system. The push for a national inquiry and adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People were both included among 94 wide-ranging recommendations.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has previously ruled out taking both actions and, in question period, hinted its position was unlikely to change.

[…]

Canada was the only country to flag objections about the declaration at a special UN General Assembly meeting in September. Ottawa expressed concern at the time over legal wording that could be construed as giving a possible “veto for aboriginal groups.”

Last month, Conservatives also voted down a private member’s bill from Cree NDP MP Romeo Saganash — a residential school survivor — that sought to align Canadian law with the declaration.

So there you go. Native Canadians, especially missing and murdered women (who were often sold in human trafficking and prostitution) get nothing. No monument, no public inquiry, and certainly no say in what gets done about the injustices done to them over many decades. Nothing. Nada. Bupkus. Zippo. Zilch. Nothing but empty words of “apology” from Harpo, and an even emptier “I already said it, what more do you want?”

And this even though an indigenous child’s chances of dying horribly in residential school were roughly equal to a Canadian servicemember’s odds of dying in World War II, which “Mother Canada” is meant to commemorate.

So, there’s the Harper Legacy in a nutshell. You’ll get hideous monuments to war and Europeanism, and even to the “victims of Communism”. But if you don’t fit Harpo’s narrow, racist definition of a “real Canadian”, you get bugger-all. And a tanked economy, too.

Mother Canada really ought to turn Harpo over her knee and spank him. Too bad she’s not his real mom, eh?

Posted in Canadian Counterpunch, Environmentally Ill, Isn't It Ironic?, Isn't That Racist?, Not So Compassionate Conservatism, Teh Injunz, Uppity Wimmin. Comments Off on The Harper Legacy: empty monuments, nothing for native women »

Cops Behaving Badly: A foretaste of C-51?

Via Canadaland, a little whiff of what the cops have already got cooking for us lowly, democracy-loving peons:

What an interesting* statement from the Mountie! “Attacking the Canadian economy”, just by PROTESTING the Harper government’s piss-poor handling of it? Shades of the 2010 G20 demos in Toronto, when a cop told protesters that “this ain’t Canada right now”.

Meanwhile, here’s what constitutional legal expert Rocco Galati has to say about all that:

Note that Mr. Galati is Italian. No doubt he knows a thing or two about Fascism, just as I, being German, know a thing or two about Nazism.

Of course, only bad Germans complained about Nazism when it became the law of the land. Bad Germans like my grandpa Becker, who was absolutely no leftist. But he was a mouthy man, and he had the audacity to complain about how you could no longer buy decent shoes thanks to that shitty Austrian usurper. And got called up on the carpet by the Gestapo, and received oblique death threats to his four children, of whom my father was the oldest, just for those casual remarks.

The “good Germans”, as we have so often been told, sat on their hands and let it happen. Just as we good Canadians, with nothing to hide, are now being expected to do with C-51…which is not law just yet.

*”Interesting” in the sense of the old Chinese curse, of course.

Good one!

Posted in Canadian Counterpunch, Fascism Without Swastikas. Comments Off on Good one! »

Mike-jacking moron gets a mike check…and a pink slip

Warning: This video is infuriating.

Yeah, that’s right…even under the watchful eyes of the security guy, these bozos tried to spring a “Fuck her right in the pussy!” on CityTV’s Shauna Hunt as she tried to report from outside a Toronto FC soccer game Sunday night.

Contrary to what the one wank-stain says, though, this is neither “substantial” (nice choice of words, dudebro) nor “fuckin’ hilarious”. It’s old, it’s tired, it’s based on a bullshit hoax, and nobody over the age of 12 with more than two brain cells to rub together finds it funny. Least of all a reporter who has to hear it about a dozen times daily, as Shauna Hunt says she does.

And of course, it invariably gets sprung on female reporters. Because “weaker sex”, and blahblah.

Well, looks like the laugh’s on the wankers, because Shauna not only talked back, she made sure this story went viral:

shauna-hunt-tweet

And everyone from the Kingston Police to the Premier of Ontario got to boosting that signal.

And now, one of the unfunny jokesters has reaped some substantial consequences:

Ontario’s largest electricity provider, Hydro One, issued a statement today saying it has fired one of its employees in connection with the lewd disruption.

A Hydro One official identified the employee as Shawn Simoes, but spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to name him for privacy reasons.

Simoes is shown in the video using an expletive and calling his friend’s remark hilarious before telling the reporter she is lucky they didn’t have a vibrator.

[…]

The men also face a one year-ban from all games of the soccer club and other teams owned by Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, which include the NHL Maple Leafs and NBA Toronto Raptors.

‘We’re appalled that this trend of disrespectful behavior would make its way to our city, let alone anywhere near our stadium,’ MLSE said in a statement.

‘We are working to identify the individuals, and when we do they will be banned from all of our facilities.’

Guess you shouldn’t have had so much to drink before the game, eh fellas?

And yeah…if you’re gonna yell stupid shit into a live TV mike, you should be aware that your boss could be watching. And that the security guy standing right next to the reporter will be remembering your faces and your names, too.

Posted in Canadian Counterpunch, Isn't It Ironic?, Men Who Just Don't Get It, Schadenfreude, Uppity Wimmin. Comments Off on Mike-jacking moron gets a mike check…and a pink slip »

Omar Khadr is free

…and here’s what he had to say today:

“I’m better than the person he thinks I am”, is what this scapegoated, tortured and war-wounded former child soldier has to say to Stephen Fucking Harper, his unrelenting would-be jailer. He also advocates for education over extremism. He sounds like he has a better head on his shoulders than his fanatical family members AND the warmongers who condemned him.

Now, let’s see when his conviction (which was wrongful) is overturned, and his name cleared, as it deserves to be.

Posted in Canadian Counterpunch, Law-Law Land, The United States of Amnesia, The War on Terra. Comments Off on Omar Khadr is free »

Good morning, Alberta!

Like my man Robin says, this is not a test. Last night, out West, THIS happened:

orange-new-blue

No, your eyes are not deceiving you, and you don’t need to adjust your monitor. Mordor has a new premier, and she’s a progressive. Rachel Notley is in the house!

Is that a bleat of fear in Harpo’s voice? Maybe the tiniest little oily black track of a bituminous tear down his cheek when he woke up seeing his “base” turned such an un-Albertan color? Maybe. But don’t forget, kiddies, his actual origins are in the very same Toronto elites he pretends he’s not from. He’s no more a real Albertan than Dubya was ever a real Texan. Any tears he sheds over this will be strictly the crocodile variety. But he should be afraid, VERY afraid, because if Alberta could throw his cronies out in such a big way, guess who might just get the bum’s rush next, come federal election day? (And on that note, don’t forget to send him a message on C-51 today. If THAT gets rammed through, he’s gonna damn well deserve all the bum-rushing he gets.)

Meanwhile, Jim Prentice, the former premier of Oilpatch Inc., has taken his ball and gone home in a snit. He won’t even be occupying his local seat in the legislature. Bitter, Party of One? Right this way to your table behind the door, sir. One silver platter of sour grapes, coming right up.

As for the rest of the arrogant, smug, old-line politicians, let this be a lesson to you. If you can’t coast on your establishment status even in Alberta, you can’t coast anywhere. Better start listening to the people and learn to lead by following the popular will. Otherwise, it’s the bum’s rush for YOU, too.

Posted in Canadian Counterpunch, Schadenfreude, Uppity Wimmin. Comments Off on Good morning, Alberta! »

Let them eat cheese ‘n’ crackers

nancy-ruth-cheese-n-crackers

Marie Antoinette, eat your heart out. Our unelected Conservative senator is miffed because she can’t even eat cheese and crackers without some pesky federal auditor poking his nose in and asking if she really needed to spend so much taxpayer money on fancy meals. Of course she does, you silly peon! Otherwise she’ll just have to make do with — shudder — cold Camembert and broken crackers while she flies first class on unspecified “feminist” missions. (This, mind you, in an economy where free airline snacks are harder and harder for us coach-class peasants to come by.)

I would offer her cake, but I’m all out. Perhaps some freshly laid cat poo will do?

Posted in Canadian Counterpunch, Economics for Dummies, Filthy Stinking Rich, Schadenfreude. Comments Off on Let them eat cheese ‘n’ crackers »

Bill C-51: Are you on Harpo’s enemies list yet?

If not, shame on you. Watch this and learn why it behooves you to become an enemy of PetroState Canada and Fortress North America:

Democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and political association, the indigenous peoples, the right to a clean and healthy environment…all these and more are now under fire. And if you believe in them, and take your belief in them to the streets, congratulations: You are An Enemy of the State. USA PATRIOT Act North, otherwise known as Bill C-51, is aiming to make YOU illegal.

And if you couldn’t make it to the streets, don’t worry. You can still put a fire under your Member of Parliament. Use this letter-writing tool and in a few minutes’ time, you too can be a proud member of the Enemies list.

Now go, and be the best fuckin’ subversive you can.