Sunday, November 6, 2016

Screeching like Goebbels

Donald Trump is the true face of America

A lot of noise has been heard about how crazy Trump is and how Hillary Clinton is the civilized person's only choice.

There is nothing civilized about Hillary Clinton, any more than there is about Barack Obama.  They make all the right noises and probably somewhere their hearts are in the right place.  But like Lyndon Johnson before them - a guy who wanted to be a genuinely healing American president on domestic reform - they crashed and burned on foreign policy.

There is a lot of evidence about this.

"These men, largely private, were functioning on a level different from the foreign policy of the United States, and years later when New York Times reporter Neil Sheehan read through the entire documentary history of the war, that history known as the Pentagon Papers, he would come away with one impression above all, which was that the government of the United States was not what he had thought it was; it was as if there were an inner U.S. government, what he called 'a centralized state, far more powerful than anything else, for whom the enemy is not simply the Communists but everything else, its own press, its own judiciary, its own Congress, foreign and friendly governments - all these are potentially antagonistic. It had survived and perpetuated itself,' Sheehan continued, 'often using the issue of anti-Communism as a weapon against the other branches of government and the press, and finally, it does not function necessarily for the benefit of the Republic but rather for its own ends, its own perpetuation; it has its own codes which are quite different from public codes. Secrecy was a way of protecting itself, not so much from threats by foreign governments but from detection from its own population on charges of its own competence and wisdom.' Each succeeding Administration, Sheehan noted, was careful, once in office, not to expose the weaknesses of its predecessor. After all, essentially the same people were running the governments, they had continuity to each other, and each succeeding Administration found itself faced with virtually the same enemies.  Thus the national security apparatus kept its continuity, and every outgoing President tended to rally to the side of the incumbent President.

"Out of this of course came a willingness to use covert operations; it was a necessity of the times, to match the Communists, and what your own population and your own Congress did not know was not particularly important; it was almost better if they did not know..."

David Halberstam

The fact is that as far as most of the rest of the world is concerned - particularly that world that was called the Third World and now euphemistically the Developing World - Trump is the accurate face of American foreign policy.

Clinton represents, as did Obama, Business As Usual.  The forces they represent are not reasonable, not civilized, and not interested in the Nuremberg Principles.  It is entirely possible that neither Clinton nor Obama has read the Nuremberg Principles. These forces are in fact unprincipled, lawless, selfish, and vicious.

Trump's face is the honest one.  Clinton's is a lie.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

On the refusal to quit

Dishonoured Legacy Part 2

Burying the Afghanistan Inquiry

Entire report is here.

“We can only hope that Somalia represents the nadir of the fortunes of the Canadian Forces. There seems to be little room to slide lower. One thing is certain, however: left uncorrected, the problems that surfaced in the desert in Somalia and in the boardrooms at National Defence Headquarters will continue to spawn military ignominy. The victim will be Canada and its international reputation.”
          - Preface, Dishonoured Legacy
            The Report of The Commission of Inquiry into the Deployment of Canadian forces in Afghanistan

"So I said, you know, the NDS tortures people, that is what they do, and if we don’t want to have detainees tortured, we shouldn’t give them to the NDS."
– Richard Colvin, testimony before the Canadian Military Police Complaints Commission, April 13, 2010

"Canada is proud of the honourable work of the men and women in uniform and civilian officials who served in Afghanistan. Canada remains the leading donor supporting the work of the AIHRC to strengthen its capacity to fulfill its constitutional mandate to monitor human rights in Afghanistan. Throughout Canada’s military operations in Afghanistan, the Government of Canada ensured individuals detained by the CAF were treated humanely and handled, transferred or released in accordance with our obligations under international law. Therefore the Government of Canada does not believe an independent judicial commission of inquiry is necessary."
          - Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, response to petition 421-00217 (for an inquiry) June 16, 2016

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Monday, February 15, 2016

NATO and The Incredible Stupidity of Being

A film playing 24/7 everywhere.

In the spirit of The Emperor Has No Clothes it's worth pointing out the obvious:  NATO doesn't have any either.

In the current hand wringing over gun violence in the world, it's worth pointing out that after all this hand wringing, NATO tries to solve all political problems with guns.  And there's bombing of course (including cluster bombs already forbidden by The Ottawa Treaty, except for the USA who didn't sign it), rocketing of hospitals clearly marked and identified (war crimes as identified in the Geneva Conventions of 1949, Geneva IV, Article 14) even if some were done by proxy.

And it's worth pointing out that NATO sees no obvious connection between violence it has perpetrated (I'm not saying started) in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia, and the "refugee crisis" now imposing its fully clothed (if occasionally dead) reality on...NATO that is earnestly guarding against it.

The fact that Russia does bad things is irrelevant.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is stupidity at its most elemental level:  the denial of a reality verifiable by a child, and a crime verifiable by anyone who can read.

And Canada is part of it.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentines for the Planet

Thursday, January 7, 2016

When you think the world's going to hell, this'll help

Tanguy de Lamotte, "Smoke on the Water" (extended version)

"Air guitar sur "Smoke on the water" de Deep Purple à 45 noeuds de vent ça fume pour Tanguy de Lamotte sur Initiatives Coeur durant son Vendée Globe 2012."

And he's back.
Vendee Globe, 2016

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Hunting of the Snarf (système national pour un autre référendum franglais*)

They sought it with thimbles, they sought its great mission;
   They pursued it with forks and hope;
They threatened its life with a Royal Commission;
   They charmed it with smiles and soap.

"Just the place for a Snarf!" the Prime Minister cried,
    As he landed his crew with care;
And supported them all on the strength of his bride
   With her fingers that gripped his great hair.

"Just the place for a Snarf! I have said it twice:
   That alone should encourage the crew.
Just the place for a Snarf! I have said it thrice:
   What I tell you three times is true."

The crew was complete: it included a Sikh—
   A man who was expert on 'Hoods—
A Barrister, brought in to arrange their first nations—
   To make treaties and guilt understood.

A new-found Rainmaker, whose skill was immense,
   Might have influenced more than his share—
But a Banker, engaged at enormous expense,
   Had the whole of their cash in his care.

There was also a Beaver, who paced on the deck
   And gnawed parts of the wheel for a dam,
That installed on the prow, often saved them from wreck,
   Though none of the crew could say how.

There was one who was famed for the number of things
   She forgot when she entered the ship:
Her corporate history, her pipelines of mystery,
   And the ethics she’d bought for the trip.

She had forty two ethics, all carefully packed,
  With her name painted clearly on each:
But, since she omitted to mention the fact,
   They were all left behind on the beach.

There were more crew besides but the time and the tides
   Propelled Snarf-hunting right to the fore,
Which was trapped by the dam that the Beaver had planned
   So they left it and met on the shore.

The Prime Minister said as he stood in his bed:
   "Our Snarf-hunt must have a Commission,
To see promises kept and not furtively swept,
   Beneath carpets of Sins of Omission."

But none was too sure what the promises were,
   To their consternatèd  recollection,
Until they recalled Rideau Hall in the fall,
   'Twas to form a new means of election.

The Commissioners each formed a different view
   Well before terms of reference were read,
And they all spoke at once so that none of them knew
   One word that the others had said.

They considered the means, the whys, whens, and wherefores
   To be newly and fairly elected,
And the means of Australia, New Zealand, and France,
   And Great Britain among those selected.

Australia, some cried with particular pride,
   Has national mandatory voting.
And a Senate elected (thus appointments rejected),
   And gun control laws without gloating.

But New Zealand others said, Mixed Member Prop Rep!
   More than 90 per cent turnout also!
But unfortunately they had elected John Key,
   An NSA lick-spittle bozo.

"But what do we say of the U.S.of A?"
   The Barrister asked in confusion.
"They are neighbours of ours, they have very good bars
   And a famously good Constitution."

"Yes, the writing is grand" said the Beaver whose hands
   Were unrolling the said Constitution.
"But as George Carlin said, it's unfortunately dead,
   And embalmed in the Smithsoniootion"

"We can do no other than consider the Mother
   Of All Parliaments!" the PM declared.
"It used to be good," said the Sikh in the 'Hood,
   "But then it coughed up Tony Blair."

There were those who thought that a Snarf might be sought
   Through Proportional Representation.
But the example they gave  (it was Israel) so grave
  ‘Twas rejected without hesitation.

The discussion went on, and further and further
   Through one hundred and ninety-three nations,
And though each sometimes pleasey, could be just as sleazy
   So concluded in futiliation.

The French were too boozy, the Italians too floozy,
   The Dutch and the Germans too rigid,
The Indians too Chinese, the Chinese too Indian,
   And Scandinavians of course far too frigid.

They sought it with symbols, they sought through thin air;
   They pursued it with storks and dope;
They threatened its life with a Terrorist Scare;
   They charmed it with smiles and soap.

They shuddered to think that the chase might fail,
   And the Beaver, excited at last,
Went bounding along on the tip of its tail,
   For the daylight was nearly past.

"There's Wassername laughing!" the Prime Minister cried,
   "She was laughing like mad till she barfed!"
He looked all around then adjusted his gown,
   "She certainly has found a Snarf!"

They gazed in delight, while the Barrister exclaimed
   "She was always a doubtful appointment."
She was up to her neck—their Heroine unnamed—
    In Unethical Swamped Disappointment.

Erect and sublime, for one moment of time,
   In the next, that wild figure they saw
Sank more in the soup to submerge with a "floop"
   While they waited and listened in awe.

"It's a Snarf!" was the sound that first came to their ears,
   And seemed surely a relief that it be.
Then followed a torrent of laughter and cheers:
   Then the ominous words "It's a Key—"

Then, silence. Some fancied they heard in the air
   A weary and wandering sigh,
That sounded like "—stone!" but the others declared
   It was only a breeze that went by.

They hunted till darkness came on, but they found
   Not a button, or feather, or scarf,
By which they could tell that they stood on the ground
   Where Wassername met with the Snarf.

In the midst of the word she was trying to say,
   In the midst of her laughter and glee,
She had softly and suddenly vanished away—
   For the Snarf was a Keystone, you see.


Friday, January 1, 2016