Posts Tagged ‘ blog ’

The Toronto Star wants totalitarian government

Posted on May 19th, 2017 Be the first to comment

The Toronto Star’s editorial board has broached a horrific new viewpoint: that entrenched, tyrannical, absolute, unaccountable state power is the answer to Donald Trump’s “runaway train” presidency. It’s a great solution, they say, and it’ll do wonders for Canada!

Being the norm for modern mass media, this is not called totalitarianism, state tyranny, fascism, communism, etc. but instead euphemistically named the “deep state”. This is merely a renaming of a frightening and ghoulish ideology in order to make it more palatable.

Consider what something like fascism actually entails:

  • … dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and control of industry and commerce

There are variations surrounding this definition but this is a good midpoint for comparison.

Of course, this could easily describe communism and socialism too and that is perhaps one of the fundamental reasons why Germany’s flavour of “right-wing” ideology was called National Socialism.

All of these collectivist ideals, from communism/socialism to fascism to monarchism to so-called “moderate” examples like democracies, are all fundamentally the same: absolute, total, unquestionable government control of everything.

Some forms of government are more overt about these aspirations than others but they are, and must necessarily be, all undeniably alike.

After all, if a government doesn’t wield coercive (i.e. violent/threatening) control over it’s citizens, how can it rule … by leading through example? Through the presentation of popular voluntary ideas? Don’t be silly! people must be forced into abiding by the will of the omniscient bureaucrats and demiurgic politicians. That’s why the world’s problems are almost all solved!

Of course, the past is littered with examples of how wonderful this type of thinking is.

The Star is essentially trying to warm people to the institution of yet another round of mass horror, destruction, and suffering and they believe that you’re daft enough not to notice any parallels between what they’re pushing and what history has demonstrated time and again.

Since they won’t do so, let us compare.

Fascism’s “dictatorial power”, or rule by one entrenched person or entity (especially un-elected), is described lovingly by The Star as:

…elements of Washington’s established power class…Career officials…the bureaucracies that carry on the day-to-day business of governing, operating with long-established norms of behaviour…

These groups are described in heroic terms as the “non-partisan civil service, whose mission is to serve whichever government is in office”, but are then praised for not supporting whoever’s in power in order to maintain “well-established ways of doing things.”

In other words, the virtue of un-elected and entrenched interests is that they serve whoever’s in power while refusing to serve whoever’s in power when “well-established ways of doing things” are threatened.

To put it more briefly, they serve whoever’s in power unless it goes against what they do.

Makes perfect sense! Much logic! Wow!

The “forcible suppression of opposition” part of a fascist/communist/socialist/democratic system is touched on peripherally in the above paragraph, though The Star never explicitly states this. They do repeatedly mention the FBI though which, as everyone knows, does their job through gentle persuasion and kind words in order to protect the establishment.

No…wait…they use guns, violence and threats.

My mistake!

So, yeah, “forcible suppression of opposition” to the established order that The Star droolingly idolizes.

Regarding “control of industry and commerce”, that pretty much describes government to a “T”. Between the Federal Reserve’s fiddling with interest rates, to the numerous licensing and legislative hoops that any business owner must jump through, to taxation and government fees, to the numerous ways that governments grant monopolies — it’s actually much easier and shorter to ask how government doesn’t control industry and commerce.

The topic of overt government control of the economy is quite extensive. Here in Canada it’s estimated that the government has direct control over roughly 60% of the economy and there are many indirect ways that are not immediately obvious. This isn’t a major departure from classical fascist economic models or those of communists/socialists, as I’ve maintained since the beginning.

The Star paints the opposition to Trump as a dichotomy between “left” and “right” political viewpoints but these are ultimately nothing more than minuscule iterations within a myopic, totalitarian, government-above-all mindset. The opposite of absolute state authority isn’t more absolute state authority, and giving it a different name doesn’t make it so. The solution to the problems of government isn’t more government.

Only the dangerously blind, naive, or stupid would propose that the powers of un-elected officials (not that elected ones are necessarily better), or unchecked authority of Übermensch bureaucrats are the way to establish freedom, justice, and a modicum of equality. It requires an abject refusal to examine the reality of history to make the claim that this time, totalitarian government will definitely work!

This is the ominous age that humanity has once again entered, one in which national publications like the Toronto Star openly espouse the wisdom and benevolence of the state, a violent, bureaucratic, coercive, unaccountable entity which has almost without exception always lead to some of the most horrific chapters in human history.

If it all amounts to a “deep state,” then we won’t apologize for that.

P.S. There are some points in this post that may seem contentious, such as the lumping together of fascism, communism/socialism, and democratic government. To the casual observer who has spent up to 12 of their most formative years in government indoctrination (public schools), this may seem like nonsense, but upon closer examination it becomes exceedingly clear that various forms of governments are, by far and large, mostly the same thing. That some happen to result in more mass abuses of human rights than others is partially luck and partially illusion, an inability to see what is clearly and starkly in front of one’s face every day. These are, however, topics for another day.

P.P.S. The Star Editorial Board must not even read their own editorials!

Filed under: B Sides, Patrick Bay, Pictures

Rebuttal: Heather Mallick’s “I love taxes” crap

Posted on May 4th, 2017 Be the first to comment

Looks like I’m being forced out of retirement!

Well, okay, not really retirement per se, just the excessively long pauses between posts on TCL due to my deep nasal entombment in the CypherPoker project. (BTW, I recommend that you check it out — it’s gotten almost universally positive and enthusiastic feedback and I think it’ll be a literal game changer, despite the cliché)

However, Heather Mallick’s op-ed piece in the Toronto Star earlier this week about why she loves taxes (and so should you), really got me riled up. This is not her first op-ed extolling the virtues of going down on the taxman within the last year, no even her second.

The collection of Mallick’s statist* bullshit, hypocrisy, and blathering gibberish is liberally smeared with idiotic catchphrases, insidious moral relativism, and a litany of self-contradictions. I’m going to break it down piece by piece to demonstrate not only how deeply deluded Mallick is on the topic of taxes but also to expose the hypocrisy and immorality of her brand of vile authoritarianism-by-proxy.

First, let’s get something straight: taxation is theft

This is really quite simple. If someone takes something of yours without your consent it’s theft. I didn’t consent to have taxes seized from every paycheque and from everything I buy, and neither did a great many people in this country. The fact that government seizes this money using threats makes it extortion, and it’s practiced even on children. Give your kid a buck to go buy a $0.99 snack and then explain why it’s not enough.

In fact, explain to them why it’s so wrong to mislead customers on advertised prices and then why it’s perfectly fine for government to demand exactly this along with threats against store owners who would dare to include taxes on advertised prices. Explain to your kids why customers absolutely and under any circumstance shouldn’t be allowed to know exactly what they’ll be paying at the cash register because a bureaucrat said so.

Continuing on, statist “logic” dictates that if I don’t check that voting box it means that I haven’t granted the rights to government that it universally claims. Right? Isn’t that how government is granted rights — because we grant them those rights by voting?

So can I exercise the right to tax others if I don’t vote, or did I never have that right which I ostensibly granted the government through elections? And if I never had that right to begin with, how exactly did I grant it to government by voting? And how is this all considered a legally binding contract for an entire nation of people when the very same courts who so brazenly defend it would laugh at it if you or I attempted it?

Probably because we don’t have sufficient weapons, threats, and violence to back our “authority”. Possibly because we don’t own the court house, pay the judges and opposition lawyers, write the laws, and seize money from our challengers to use against them in the “fair and unbiased” court system.

Taxes are simply immoral and wrong and are considered criminal if anyone but government collected them. So why is this magical entity called government excluded from morality and justice?

I can hear the retorts now:

But aren’t taxes necessary to build and maintain infrastructure? Aren’t people who are against taxes just being greedy and selfish? Wouldn’t society simply crumble if we didn’t pay up?

Nope, nope, and nope. Utter and absolute hogwash.

I won’t get into a broad dissertation on the topic since Mallick’s own, near-sighted writing will do just fine so let’s peel open this rotten onion and get at the full, eye-watering stench of these arguments.

She bolts out of the gate with this stinker:

What Revenue Canada wants, Revenue Canada gets. Good for them.

Mallick displays a zealously servile ignorance of the fact that 100 years ago the government imposed a 4% income tax on Canadians which was apparently not only enough to carry the entire bureaucracy but enough to fund the war effort. And wars are expensive. Even 50 years ago the average income tax rate was around 14% to 16%, something I personally gleaned by looking through historical records.

Now the state is seizing more than 50% of Canadians’ money and is barely able to fix the pothole in front of your house let alone provide any decent — and necessary — services like mass transportation. Despite pouring ridiculous sums of money into transit there’s little to show for it, yet government somehow manages to find the money for things like Kafkaesque mass surveillance programs that instill fear and obedience into Canadians.

Good for them.

Only unaccountable monopolies with the ability to seize ever more money in order to continue operating could possibly exist when repeated failure is piled on failure. If it had to compete in the real world, government would have shriveled up and died long ago; it is inefficient, bloated, and full of promises it can’t keep.

At this rate, in another hundred years the state will be seizing 100% of everyone’s income while neo-Mallick propagandists will proclaim how wonderful and efficient government is and how it’s keeping us all safe.

Mallick goes on to provide an example of “a service Torontonians never dreamed was needed but now are cheering.”

At 4 on Wednesday morning, a young woman was seen downtown clinging to a block hanging by wires from a tall crane. It was not clear if she was suicidal, drugged, a rooftopper, or a crime victim. But 12 storeys up, one slip of her arm would have had her broken, bloody and pasted to the ground.

Firefighters and police arrived. Rob Wonfor, a cheerful 52-year-old firefighter who describes himself as “a bit of a monkey,” climbed the crane, along with a police negotiator who talks people down — Wonfor said the negotiator was so calming he sounded like Perry Como, who basically slept through his songs — and reached the woman.

She wrapped herself around him and he held her to him like a baby in a carrier. It was found to be unsafe to lower the block so they both rappelled down.

As it turns out, the woman had been a fierce climber since childhood and rooftopped for the joy of it. “You overlook the city. It’s really amazing, like a deep breath of euphoria,” as one rooftopping photographer has described it to the Star.

Here Mallick describes how we need the pricey services provided exclusively by the city while at the same time describing how people such as “crane girl” Marisa Lazo happily do this sort of thing for free and would most likely volunteer to help out in similar situations in exchange for a few selfies.

Your intellectual prowess is truly dizzying, Mallick … do go on!

But charming as the story is, the real story is that in Toronto, if someone’s at risk, the city can immediately deploy trained teams to make them safe and take them to hospital for free health care. That is one well-designed system.

I supposed that in government speak, waiting 2 to 3 hours for assistance is considered “immediate”. I, however, call it a sad fucking joke that imperils lives. And that “free” part is a little bit of mental fromage I’ve heard from many a rabid statist. Apparently in Mallick’s world the hospital runs on rainbows and unicorn farts — doctors get paid nothing, electricity simply appears, equipment is all generously donated, cleaning staff do it for the kicks, and the buildings rise up out of the ground by themselves.

Oh…wait…you mean all these things do need to be paid for? Through taxes? Taken from you and processed by a bloated and wasteful bureaucracy before getting to the intended target? Ah, so actually not free at all?

And people are being forced to pay for the privilege of being sidelined in all sorts of horrific ways when needing often vital medical care. Mallick herself complains that abortion pills are out of reach of most women because of government, takes umbrage with government for not dealing with “foul” doctors, and berates government for allowing for-profit blood donation centers.

What the fuck, Mallick? Don’t you even read your own pieces?

Apparently not because she regularly complains about things like how governments failed to address wholesale banking fraud, how government fails in providing basic education because “chump” parents don’t want to pay more taxes and instead want choices for their children’s schooling, how government privatization is destroying the Canadian economy — but thankfully the systemic caging of humans which, when locked up become “homemade revenue-generators”, is still government-owned — and how governments terrorize and divide citizens using the migrant crisis while conveniently neglecting to mention that these same governments rank among some of the top taxers in the world.

I’d bookmarked a bunch of Mallick’s other op-eds to show how profoundly self-contradictory she is but that’d be beating a dead horse.

The important point here is that Mallick has viewpoints on what she thinks is important and what she wants to see happen, as we all do, but she steadfastly believes in using the violent monopoly of the state to impose her views on everyone else. That’s authoritarianism veiled in a thin lie of humanitarianism.

Because she’s greedy and selfish she believes everyone else is too and so the only solution is to threaten and beat people into submission. But she doesn’t want to do the dirty work and wants the state to do it for her.

She simply can’t imagine people working together to solve profound problems or that people would help their neighbours when they’re in need and instead projects her vitriolic “me me me!” attitude onto the world around her. I doubt she’s ever experienced poverty or deprivation.

She bizarrely believes that funneling money through a middleman, even if done voluntarily, is somehow cheaper or more efficient than procuring products and services directly on a free and competitive market.

Mallick thinks that — despite the fact that the government grants monopoly powers to select healthcare providers and even goes so far as to penalize people for not buying healthcare from their rich buddies — this is somehow a free, open, and competitive market in which …

… being injured means medical bankruptcy

Here she again conveniently ignores the fact that most state tax levels are comparable to Canada’s while looking the other way on all of the unfortunate accompanying facts.

She claims that …

Canadians can have everything they want, as long as they’re willing to pay for it.

In reality it’s “Canadians will take what they’re given and they’ll pay what they’re told to pay for it.

This is why Mallick complains that …

My Main St. bus route in Toronto is a road of rubble. Canada is short of judges. Victoria still pumps raw sewage into the ocean. We need more English classes for refugees, more hospital beds, more help for indigenous people.

If government is doing such a good job why do these problems continue to fester and grow with each year? Clearly, according to Mallick, the people who haven’t been able to solve these problems just need more money!

In Canada, tax is the price we pay for civilization.

If I had a nickel for every time I heard this bullshit I’d have less than half of the total … because taxes. No, Heather Mallick, Tax is the price civilization pays to be repressed.

If we could just move past the myopic, authoritarian ramblings of fools like Mallick, humanity would expand to the stars in the blink of an eye. I’d be more than willing to voluntarily contribute to that!

* A statist is a supporter of the state, a.k.a. government & friends

Filed under: B Sides, Patrick Bay

Sigil: Invaders

Posted on April 13th, 2017 Be the first to comment

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Ascent

Posted on March 15th, 2017 Be the first to comment

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Small mercies

Posted on February 13th, 2017 Be the first to comment

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The colour of street slush

Posted on November 19th, 2016 3 Comments

I suppose it the headlines wouldn’t have had quite the same ring to them if they’d read:

“American nature magazine’s drab choice for Canada’s national bird”

Yet, in some ways the  bureaucratically-coloured “Gray Jay” seems like the perfect choice to represent Canada and its government: few people will ever get the chance to interact directly with the elusive bird, known to the Cree and Algonquin tribes as a trickster that destroyed the world, and despite the fact that it was (by a long shot) neither the first or even second popular choice of birds to represent Canada it has nevertheless been chosen by a select committee as the top finalist, being a “poster child … for climate change“.

Don’t get me wrong, it seems like a nice bird but it’s about as inspiring as the slush on the streets of Toronto come February. Couldn’t have a kick-ass bird like the snowy owl; no sir, that might send the wrong message.

By Cephas (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Cephas (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Filed under: Dispatches, Patrick Bay, Pictures

Serve & protect

Posted on October 31st, 2016 Be the first to comment

I ran across a thinly veiled op-ed in this Sunday’s Star about the changes to Toronto police vehicles, specifically that they’re being rebranded to an indistinct grey and black, ostensibly in the name of efficacy and safety.

There were a couple of things in the article that stood out like dark grey vehicles against a grey cityscape on a rainy day.

First there was a comment about police uniform changes by former Toronto police chief, OPP commissioner, and aspiring poli-tyrant Julian Fantino:

“We got that with the black shirts, this flurry of rhetoric about stormtroopers and back to the Nazi era, and on and on. In a way it was comical if not ridiculous”

It’s a far stretch to say that nazi uniforms and those of Toronto/Canadian cops are the same but drawing comparisons between their obvious similarities is neither comical, ridiculous, or unwarranted.

Uniforms

Perhaps these similarities are simply the result of any sufficiently demagogic and militaristic mindset. Still, if projecting a certain outward appearance isn’t so important, as Fantino insists, why not allow cops to run around in t-shirts and sweat pants?

There was another comment that Fantino made that really put the whole thing into perspective. When asked about switching OPP cruisers to their current black and white colour scheme Fantino replied:

… what inspired me was the good men and women of the OPP who wanted them back.”

The article clarifies that “He listened to what they — not the experts — said on what made them more visible and safer.”

Because that’s policing is all about: appeasing cops and keeping them safe.

This around the same time that it was revealed that the Montreal police conspired with a judge to secretly spy on a journalist to discover who his sources were. It wasn’t that the writer was suspected of breaking any laws, as if that’d be a tough thing to do, it was that he’d revealed information about two cops who were accused of fabricating evidence, lying, obstructing justice, and soliciting sexual services.

There were no charges laid. No trial was compromised. Turns out that the public just needed to be protected from discovering such damning news about their beloved police.

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The Encounter

Posted on October 29th, 2016 3 Comments

ManhogKnocking, I stared intently at the porcine face behind the glass at it stuffed a sandwich into its slobbering maw. The dull eyes evoked the imagery of a certain humanoid Jim Woodring character, telling me immediately that I would not be dealing with a great deal of intelligence or subtlety. Indeed, the bright safety jacket enveloping the rotund body suggested that this creature was suitable only for uncomplicated manual labour. I’d had close encounters with his kind before during an uncomfortable cohabitation with my ex and her brother, someone who lent clarity to the term meathead.

With casual indifference the driver of the minivan shooed me away with a sweeping motion reserved for pestering undesirables beneath one’s station.

“You’re blocking the sidewalk! Move your van!”, I shouted. “There are people trying to get by!”

I pointed to the frail old woman clutching precariously to her walker as she tried to navigate her way around the vehicle. I heard her mumble something about not being able to handle the curb as she stepped gingerly into the path of oncoming traffic. Compounding the problem, the dolt had managed to park his van directly in the middle of a laneway so that the old woman was facing jeopardy from multiple directions as others veered around him.

He rolled down his window and began to bellow.

“You fucking shout at me one more time and I’ll knock your teeth out, tough guy!”

I felt the adrenaline immediately.

Getting into verbal exchanges under such conditions usually worries me; my heart pounds and my throat constricts to the point where I’m incoherently sputtering words. I worry that my rage will be misconstrued as fear, an emotion that savages like him pounce on to assert their perceived superiority. Might makes right. Violent domination affirms his righteousness in threatening anyone who gives him an askew sideways glance, let alone the impudence of demanding that he exhibit what is otherwise common courtesy.

Plus, I’d rather not have to park the wheelchair, ask Sarah to sit tight, and call the doctor to let him know we’re going to be late for that appointment while I engage in fisticuffs.

Despite this, however, the words flowed freely.

“Fuck you, asshole! Move your fucking van! People are trying to get by!”

He responded loudly by promising to step out and punch me in the face the next time I shouted at him.

So I did, interlacing my response with a number of expletives. I’m by no means a tough guy but I do spend a good portion of most days lifting and transporting another human being which gave me confidence that I’d be able to hold my own against his pudgy countenance.

At that point, what I’m assuming was his woman came running from somewhere out of sight and, having completed whatever business they had been there to conduct, hopped into the passenger side. She somehow managed to take no notice of the situation unfolding in front of her.

Brief montages of their domestic life flashed through my mind. I imagined him wearing, and giving fuller meaning to, the sleeveless undershirt known as a wife-beater. I envisioned his voluminous body spilling over the edges of an inflatable kiddy pool, canned beer perched atop a bulbous gut, providing him with respite on hot summer days. Meat, and plenty of it, would be the only acceptable meal at the end of a long day spent leaning on a shovel at the construction site. Did he have children, I wondered. God help them.

He wasn’t getting out and we were running short on time so I swung the wheelchair around and continued down the street, middle finger extended and a “fuck you!” shouted over my shoulder.

He caught up to us at the next intersection where he rolled down the passenger window and screamed past his still-oblivious partner.

“Hey, tough guy! Why don’t you come over here and fight me?! I’ll kick your ass! I’ll beat your face in!”

For a moment I noticed the startled look on my fellow pedestrians’ faces at seeing a ruddy-faced, rotund ruffian hurling threats at a guy pushing a wheelchair.

“I’m not going over there to fight you, idiot!”, I responded. He’d already taken up enough of our time and besides, I was supposed to go over there to make good on his threats?

I loudly suggested one last time that he copulate with himself and returned back to our original route.

At this he drove in the opposite direction and we didn’t see him again, but obviously the episode stuck with me.

On the sometimes-mean streets of Toronto it’s not unheard of for me to get involved in exchanging unpleasantries but they don’t usually ramp up so quickly. It’s rare that I’m threatened with violence. Most people respond with indolence or bored indifference and they have to be engaged in excessive assholery for the exchange to begin in the first place.

Clearly, though, there are exceptions.

It would be out of place for me to draw comparisons between the driver of the van and manual labourers in general. There’s a certain nobility to breaking a sweat, working with one’s hands, and being involved in constructing something substantive. I would be committing a gross injustice by lumping everyone who operates a backhoe or mans a forklift with the man I encountered the other day but I’ve experienced enough foul-mouthed, mulletted jerks and inebriated pickup drivers with flaming decals down the sides of their trucks to know that sometimes the stereotypes are entirely accurate.

And this guy was just a dick.

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Balcony

Posted on September 12th, 2016 1 Comment

Balcony

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Uber5000

Posted on August 19th, 2016 Be the first to comment

Not the hire-a-car company, this guy.

Uber5000detaildetailUber5000 detail

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