Monday, August 2, 2010

broke my wrist - no posts for awhile - and no caps

i'm sitting at home again after fracturing my wrist and breaking my arm just below the shoulder. a very good and wonderful friend took me to emerg and stayed with me into the nexy day while they x=rayed and re-set the joint. i'm in a cast, and a sling and under heavy sedation. the pain was/is intense. i go back to the fracture clinic for more x-rays on thurs and my friend will be taking me. thank you so much dear shirley, for everything! hopefully i will be back blogging in a few weeks.
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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer is Blockbluster time!

I admit I have turned away from the tragedy of the gulf oil spill and the mediocrity of our politicians to enjoy a little of this fleeting summer. No, I'm not relaxing outside, I'm indoors obsessing on Go Animate, the cool online cartoon creator that was used to make the famous Officer Bubbles vid. But, because it is summer, it's time for the blockbuster movie. Here'a a trailer for the fictional Avatar II - Revenge of the Bun'i Avatar II by Fillibluster

Like it? Create your own at It's free and fun!

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Sunday, July 18, 2010


My first foray into animation. Please enjoy responsibly.
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Friday, July 16, 2010

Fighter jets good - health care, not so much

Are Canadians beginning to get the message? Today it was announced that "Ottawa", ie Harper and his government of thugs and scoundrels, will spend $16 billion on an untendered contract with Lockheed Martin for 65 new fighter jets, after recently spending $2.6 billion upgrading existing jets. Does anyone still think we're going to be getting out of Afghanistan, as promised, in 2011?

At the same time, mini-minister of finance, Flim-Flam Jim scolded the provinces for their "rampant" spending on health care. "This is an issue that needs to be grappled with," he told New Brunswick's Telegraph Journal. You know what really needs to be grappled with? His boss's bullshit priorities.

All the relief I felt when the Repuglicans were defeated south of the border has been replaced by dismay over the continued presence of Harper and his goon squad of recycled Mike Harris incompetents, used car dealers, ambulance chasers, xenophobes and religious wing-nuts.

Harper's "hidden agenda" is becoming less hidden by the day. When are Canadians going to awaken from their collective stupor and bring this government down?

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cons try to block G20 hearings - it's deja vu all over again

So much so that I can barely summon the energy to write about it. But then, that would play right into their hands wouldn't it? A scenario in which people become so disgusted with politics that they simply disengage, when what we need to do is engage fully, and vote these conniving slime balls out on their collective asses at the earliest opportunity.

So, yeah, here we go again with another attempt by the Cons to block a hearing, this one into their G20 malfeasance, that saw the largest sum ever spent on security at any summit in the history of the world and the largest mass arrests in the history of Canada. Over $1 billion spent, over 1000 arrests made = $1 million per arrest. Priceless!

And wouldn't you know it, the now-standard "you must support the bad guys" canard was trotted out by former used car salesman Dean Del Maestro thusly: “I don’t agree with the NDP and the fact it seems to be lining itself up with anarchist groups that went to Toronto and caused damage.” I mean really, how do these guys manage to keep a straight face? And who are the poor benighted fools that believe this tripe?

Tory committee chairman Garry Breitkreuz allowed MPs to fill the time with incoherent ranting and refused a Liberal request for unanimous consent to move to the vote. In the end, the filibuster ran out the clock and no vote on whether to launch a probe was held.

“I think the government doesn’t want to have an inquiry, they’re hoping the summer is going to wash this all away,” said Liberal MP Mark Holland. “Their refusal to have a vote, their filibustering I think is evidence that they’ve got a lot to hide.” reports the Montreal Gazette. He added that they have already drafted the request to call a second meeting, which would then have to take place within 5 days.

The good news in all of this? Politicians unable to get away to their cottages. That calls for another beer!

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fascism in 10 easy steps

This was originally written by Naomi Wolf about the US, but I think in light of recent events we can see how well our glorious leader has been taking notes and rolling out the program. The original article appeared in the Guardian in April 2007. We're a lot closer to the endgame now.

The G20 was merely a test.

1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy.
"After we were hit on September 11 2001, we were in a state of national shock. Less than six weeks later, on October 26 2001, the USA Patriot Act was passed by a Congress that had little chance to debate it; many said that they scarcely had time to read it. We were told we were now on a 'war footing''. 

The US Patriot Act was a massive attack on civil rights, especially the right to privacy. In Canada, the response to 9/11 was not nearly as extreme as in the US. Here, the general consensus seemed to be that America was overreacting, that it couldn't happen here, and that we didn't need any special build-up of security forces. Of course, Chretien was PM then, and he had a certain disdain for Republican fear-mongering in general, and Bush in particular.

Harper, however is quite happy to follow the Republican playbook. So, enter the so-called Black Bloc, who if they didn't exist would have to be invented as I argued in this post. Naturally they were given free rein to demonstrate how dangerous they are. Otherwise there is nothing to be afraid of is there?

2. Create a gulag
"Once you have got everyone scared, the next step is to create a prison system outside the rule of law (as Bush put it, he wanted the American detention centre at Guantánamo Bay to be situated in legal "outer space") - where torture takes place."

The temporary detention center was built to house arrestee's from the G20. It was put in a large warehouse type building that lacked running water. It also lacked medical facilities, adequate food, and was kept very cold, while detainees were stripped of all but a single layer of clothing. While detained in the cages, people were deprived of basic human rights, taunted by police, threatened with rape, deprived of water for up to 12 hours, phone calls, and the reason for their detention. Yes, this was a facility outside the rule of law. Inmates in maximum security have it better than those who were detained in Torontonamo.

We also know that Stephen Harper is building prisons. Why, you ask when crime is at a 30-year low?

3. Develop a thug caste
"When leaders who seek what I call a "fascist shift" want to close down an open society, they send paramilitary groups of scary young men out to terrorise citizens. The Blackshirts roamed the Italian countryside beating up communists; the Brownshirts staged violent rallies throughout Germany. This paramilitary force is especially important in a democracy: you need citizens to fear thug violence and so you need thugs who are free from prosecution."

Like riot cops operating outside the law, or under a law which turns out never existed.

4. Set up an internal surveillance system
"In Mussolini's Italy, in Nazi Germany, in communist East Germany, in communist China - in every closed society - secret police spy on ordinary people and encourage neighbours to spy on neighbours. The Stasi needed to keep only a minority of East Germans under surveillance to convince a majority that they themselves were being watched."

We know that police were monitoring Facebook and other social media before and during the G20. It's no secret, they even bragged about it. Thus, our ease of communication is a double edged sword. Both the US and Chinese governments have an internet "kill switch." I've often thought of late that an alternative net of some sort is needed to circumvent government surveillance, but what do you bet that anyone who tried to start one would find themselves in contravention of "national security"?

5. Harass citizen's groups
"...the American Civil Liberties Union reports that thousands of ordinary American anti-war, environmental and other groups have been infiltrated by agents: a secret Pentagon database includes more than four dozen peaceful anti-war meetings, rallies or marches by American citizens"

Sadly, this is nothing new. During the 70's I shared a house with 3 other women, one of whom belonged to a feminist group called Wages for Housework. There were perhaps 10 members, and they were pretty harmless and ineffectual. The house was in a kind of rough neighbourhood and our neighbour's place was broken into twice, each time stealing his stereo and tv. Our house was broken into once, but the only thing taken was the Wages for Housework files.

Before the G20 there were numerous reports from activists of harassment from police at their homes and workplaces. Additionally there were arrests just prior to the summit of leaders of several groups.

6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release
No explanation needed here I think, we've all seen it for ourselves by now.

7. Target key individuals
"Threaten civil servants, artists and academics with job loss if they don't toe the line. Mussolini went after the rectors of state universities who did not conform to the fascist line; so did Joseph Goebbels, who purged academics who were not pro-Nazi; so did Chile's Augusto Pinochet; so does the Chinese communist Politburo in punishing pro-democracy students and professors."
Richard Colvin, Linda Keen, for just two examples.

8. Control the press
"The Committee to Protect Journalists says arrests of US journalists are at an all-time high: Josh Wolf, a blogger in San Francisco, has been put in jail for a year for refusing to turn over video of an anti-war demonstration; Homeland Security brought a criminal complaint against reporter Greg Palast, claiming he threatened "critical infrastructure" when he and a TV producer were filming victims of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. Palast had written a bestseller critical of the Bush administration."
So, we're not just talking about corporate ownership and control of the media, we're talking about the actual criminalization of journalists. I wondered why the police were targeting journalists during the G20.... now I get it.

9. Dissent equals treason
"...most Americans do not realise that since September of last year - when Congress wrongly, foolishly, passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 - the president has the power to call any US citizen an "enemy combatant". He has the power to define what "enemy combatant" means. The president can also delegate to anyone he chooses in the executive branch the right to define "enemy combatant" any way he or she wants and then seize Americans accordingly."

Thank god we're not there yet, but stay tuned. This has got to be on our glorious leader's agenda. And let's not forget all those comments in the HoC equating criticism of the handling of Afghan detainees with support for the Taliban. Yes, it seems like overblown rhetoric right now, but someday soon, it may be taken quite literally.

10. Suspend the rule of law
"...the United States is not vulnerable to the violent, total closing-down of the system that followed Mussolini's march on Rome or Hitler's roundup of political prisoners. Our democratic habits are too resilient, and our military and judiciary too independent, for any kind of scenario like that.

Rather, as other critics are noting, our experiment in democracy could be closed down by a process of erosion.

It is a mistake to think that early in a fascist shift you see the profile of barbed wire against the sky. [unless of course you were in Toronto in June 2010]

In the early days, things look normal on the surface; peasants were celebrating harvest festivals in Calabria in 1922; people were shopping and going to the movies in Berlin in 1931. Early on, as WH Auden put it, the horror is always elsewhere - while someone is being tortured, children are skating, ships are sailing..."
 ... Canada Day is being celebrated, people are watching the FIFA World Cup.

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Friday, July 9, 2010

July 10 Day of Action for Civil Liberties

For 48 hours on June 26 and 27 Toronto was turned into a police state. A place which, according to police was not part of Canada. A terrifying place called "G20 Land" where civil rights do not exist, a phantom state more like a South American dictatorship than the civilized democracy we have come to take for granted.

Under the pretext of stopping vandalism, (which they failed, utterly, to do) riot police attacked peaceful protesters and confused passers-by with disproportionate, arbitrary and excessive force, including raids, beatings, rubber bullets, tear gas and pre-emptive detentions. In total, 1,090 people were detained and denied basic human rights in the largest mass arrest in Canadian history.

Demonstrate your opposition to the excessive use of police force and the unprecedented curtailment of civil liberties. Demand an independent public inquiry. Join the Day of Action for Civil Liberties in towns and cities across Canada on July 10, 2010.

For more information see this Facebook Group. or email In Toronto the rally will be at Queens Park on July 10, 1 - 4 pm.

This Day of Action is called by:
Amnesty International
Canadians Advocating Political Participation (CAPP)
Canadian Arab Federation (CAF)
Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA)
Canadian Federation of Students (CFS)
Canadian Labour Congress (CLC)
Canadian Peace Alliance (CPA)
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
Canadian Union of Public Employees Ontario (CUPE Ontario)
Council of Canadians
Greenpeace Canada
Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL)
Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)
Steelworkers’ Toronto Area Council
Toronto and York Region Labour Council

We must not allow our rights to be taken away through complacency and apathy. Come out to your local rally!

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