Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Rebirth of Marxism?

I woke up this morning and, as usual, I grabbed my coffee and went online to check the day's news stories. My first stop is always the Globe and Mail, don't know why, it's not really that great of a paper but it's just out of habit I guess.

At the top of the page there was a Globe Essay which I sometimes like to read, so I clicked and this one was by Ian Brown called "The 18th Brumaire of Barack Obama". All in all not one of the Globe's best essays, but kind interesting nonetheless.

The article starts with the quote below:
"When I announce that I am a socialist, I guess it is no surprise because we are all socialists now. We just bought General Motors … The fact is that we now have Marxism realized. We own the means of production and we did not have to fire a single shot. It is really quite phenomenal what went on today."
– Pat Martin, NDP MP for Winnipeg Centre, in the House of Commons, Monday, June 1, 2009

In it Mr Brown speaks to some of the worlds most prominent Marxist thinkers who believe that the current global economic crisis is exactly what Marx predicted would happen when he wrote The Capital. The same thinkers also say that countries are now being forced into Marxism by owning companies such as GM and bailing out the banks. That because of the crisis government are now being forced to take radical action to nationalize things and make it work, for the people.

I'd just like to take a few lines and pick that apart... I'm not an economist, but clearly just because something is nationalized it does not mean it is owned by the people. Last time I checked GM will still release its own figures quarterly, sure the government will have some kind of say on big spending decisions, but the day to day operations will still be run by GM, not by the Federal Reserve. Same here in Canada. As for bailing out the banks? That in no way shape or form makes them owned by the people.

The governments like to say that they bailed out GM and the Banks for the good of the people. As far as I'm concerned they didn't do it for the people, they did it for themselves and maybe a little bit for the people. Imagine, GM goes under hundreds of thousands of people throughout north-america lose their jobs... it's bad right? Of course it is, that's hundreds of thousands of people not paying income tax anymore and that will drain the federal coffers faster than I drink a pint of beer on St-Patrick's day. Don't think there was anything socially just about it, they were covering their own asses. They didn't do it for the people, they did it for re-election.

Maybe this Globe Essay is on to something and I missed the boat here (or maybe I'm just Canadian where we've always been a little left of center with our free healthcare and cheap education) but I don't see this current crisis as an invitation for global Marxism. It's an opportunity to tweak our system and figure out what works and what doesn't, it's an opportunity to maybe realize that we need to improve our existing social programs, it's a time for governments to roll up their sleeves. It's not a time to spark revolutions that will most-likely bring further instability to an already volatile global economy.

Anyways, it's early and I might be wrong, but that's just my two cents.

Muchacho Enfermo

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hate Crime in DC

Watching the news last night and reading about it on half a dozen websites today, I decided that I'm going to post about James von Brunn, the white-supremacist who walked into the Holocaust museum in DC yesterday and killed a security guard...

First off though, I'd like to offer my condolences to the family of Stephen T. Johns the security guard who lost his life to take down von Brunn.

When you go to von Brunn's website you can see the ignorance and hatred of this WWII veteran. He promotes his book called: "Kill the Best Gentiles!" that he claims is "A new, hard-hitting exposé of the JEW CONSPIRACY to destroy the White gene-pool". This guy is a total nut-job. He's tried in the past to kidnap board members of the federal reserve and he's been to jail for his "cause".

Yesterday I was writing about causes and those I didn't understand, this in one of the ones I don't understand. How does one deny the Holocaust? Why is white-supremacy so important? Why walk into a museum to kill people? What pushes a man to do this? And more importantly why does he have supporters?

I have family members who were in those death camps and I have family members who were POWs in concentration camps.

No one can make me believe it didn't happen and no one can make believe that being white gives you the divine right to rule the world. How can a person have so much hate in their hearts as to want a whole race wiped off the face of the earth? How can a person born and raised in a free country like the US, born with the privilege of a good education system, born with the right to choose his destiny decide one day that all of his failures and shortcomings be caused by the people his fellow soldiers died to save in WWII?

On second thought... I don't even want to know. I think the answers would be even more mysterious and frustrating than the questions.

Muchacho Enfermo

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

We're Just Doing it for the Cause

I woke up this morning and had my coffee and for some reason I got to thinking of causes and of people who rally behind them. There are a million worthy causes in the world such as Aids Research, Amnesty International, Doctors and Reporters Without Borders, everyone who fights for their freedom against oppressive governments and the list goes on and on and on.

I don't want to judge people and their respective causes because that's not what this post is about. What this post is about is just me trying to figure out what makes people tick, what drives some of them to follow these causes with their lives. Whether it's Jihadists blowing themselves up or animal rights activists that risk jail time for rescuing lab rats, or people who chain themselves to trees to save the rain forest.

Some causes are easier to understand and relate to: people who genuinely fight for their own right to exist, people who speak out against atrocities committed by their governments, people who risk it all so that the lives of future generations are spent in the same hell that they live in. No problem, I get that. I understand why they do what they do, in fact in their situations I'd probably do it too.

But the tree huggers? Really? I understand that the environment is important, really important, and they should keep lobbying to have their voices and concerns heard. But eco activists who burn down museums and damage property to get a point across is beyond me. What makes you wake up one morning and say: "You know, I really like that birch tree in the yard... I'm going to blow some stuff up to make sure no one ever cuts it down..." That's what I want to understand, how you go from everyday person to captain planet.

People against animal cruelty... again I understand. I have two dogs and I hate to think that people (such as the makers of IAMs) mistreat animals in their testing labs. So you stop buying IAMs and write a letter to your parliament asking them to pass a law against animal cruelty. But when that doesn't work, what is it that sets something off in your head and makes you break into laboratories and vandalize things? Why risk your freedom for the cause?

Instead of chaining yourself to a tree or making a human chain around a makeup testing lab, why not chain yourselves around the Chinese Embassy and demand freedom for Tibet? Why not travel to Cuba and perform a sit-in in front of Canaleta prison and demand freedom for political prisoners and free thinkers? Why not go to Burma and march peacefully on the streets with the monks during the Saffron Revolution? Why not go to Darfur and burn down the military installations of those committing atrocities over there? If I were to risk jail time I would do it for a cause like that: the right to think, the right to speak, the right to exist.

But as far as the rest is concerned, I'm going to need someone to explain this to me...

Muchacho Enfermo

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

In Your Face Separatists!

I'm sitting on my laptop tonight and I came across a story in the Montreal Gazette about a poll that was conducted over the weekend in Quebec and the title just made me smile: "Hopes for Sovereignty Dim: Poll".

Here are some of the highlights:
- 32 per cent said Quebec has enough autonomy and should remain in Canada.
- 30 per cent said Quebec needs more autonomy, but should remain in Canada.
- 28 per cent said Quebec should become a separate and independent country.
- Should Quebec Separate from Canada? : 54 per cent said no while 34 per cent said yes.

While these results are hardly a resounding victory for me and others who wish to remain in Canada, at least it gives us some things to build on and might just (hopefully) some of that racist hateful intolerant wind from Pauline Marois' sails.

On the other hand when the same poll asked the respondents "which province understands best Quebec culture and Society?" they answered this:
-42% New-Brunswick
-9% Ontario
-4% BC
-3% Alberta
-2% PEI
-1% (Newfoundland-Lab, Manitoba, Nova-Scotia)
-0% Saskatchewan

Why is it that Quebeckers feel that New-Brunswick best understands us? I mean really... I used to live there and while it's a beautiful place in its own right it is nowhere near the cosmopolitan multi-ethnic metropolis of Montreal, how could they possibly understand us when the entire province only has 750,000 inhabitants? Is it because of the Acadians? Because Acadians don't give a crap about separation. I don't know what it is but I'd really like to find out... If anyone knows, please let me know.

In conclusion I can go to bed tonight a little safer in knowing that I still have a country and that I might not have to move away just yet. Although with Canada day and St-Jean Baptiste around the corner, emotions here tend to run high from the separatist side; so I'm expecting, as usual, my neighbors to ignore me and call the police to be my house at 3pm to tell me to stop my annual Canada barbecue, again.

Muchacho Enfermo

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Che Part 2

So today I was going to review Che Part 2 with Benicio Del Toro... But instead what I've chosen to do is publish some of the comments that were on The Pirate Bay's comment thread in regards to this movie. Because in all fairness, the comments were much more interesting than the movie and much more insightful... Here is the thread... now sit back, enjoy and please remember that some of this language might be offensive to some readers.

Best comment ever:
-thecash907 at 2009-05-31 22:50 CET:
So... when does the Hitler-as-hero movie come out in this Time Life series of murderous dictator fuckheads? Are Pol Pot and Stalin featured in volumes 3 and 4?

Second best comment on this movie:
-thecash907 at 2009-06-03 08:52 CET:
I'm sure all the people who disagreed with Che during the great revolution would have something to say about the subject.
Oh wait, he fucking murdered them all, along with their families. No wonder their point of view didn't make it into the film. I wonder if that interview where the guy from the Times pissed off Del Toro by asking him about all the people Che slaughtered will make it into the DVD extras? Probably not... can't have the truth dirtying up their revisionist history flick, now can they?

Rebuttals from Che fans:
-0-LSD-0 at 2009-06-04 23:46 CET:
thecash907 PLEASE try not to make assumptions and do your fucking homework.
You don't know shit, so shut the fuck up and get the fuck out.

- sanvodka at 2009-06-03 11:05 CET:
Pelotudos ignorantes. Estaria muy bien q se informen lo q pasaba en cuba cuando estaba gobernado por el titere de EEUU... Lo mismo paso en varios paises de sudamerica con los gobiernos militares impuestos por EEUU.
El che no fue un santo, pero no era el malo de la pelicula.

The conclusion? I still haven't seen the movie! But if it's anything like part 1 it'll be some propaganda machine that makes Che look like the second coming of Christ and idiots around the world will continue to buy Che shirts and think he's great. But at least reading these comments on the download page was kind of entertaining. So maybe I'll get around to watching the movie eventually... I doubt it though, so don't hold your breath for an actual review because odds are I'm just never going to write one.

Muchacho Enfermo

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Monday, June 8, 2009

Landmark Win for the Pirate Party

The Pirate Party won a seat in the European elections. That’s right your eyes are working just fine, they actually won a seat. For those of you not familiar with the party it the Pirate Party was started in Sweden in 2006 to promote online privacy and to fight Sweden’s file-sharing laws.

This is indeed a historic victory for an independent party in Europe and certainly for web-based communities everywhere. While I applaud the effort that the Pirate Party has put into its membership and its elections I think that a 49,000 member organization such as this one could use its online presence for bigger and better things than file-sharing.

How about if they used their online influence to try and challenge people to find ways to help countries whose governments block websites or limit internet access or help find ways around government monitoring of online activities without having to use the traditional proxies. It seems to me that there are bigger issues online than file-sharing (not that I don’t appreciate the free movies) there are a million things that an online group that size could do.

I know that if I could get together an online group of 49,000 people I would try and do some good with it. Around the world people are being jailed for blogging, others are being arrested for reading certain websites and people have to connect themselves at their own risk to send email to families. File-sharing will happen; it’s been happening for years, copyright laws or no copyright laws. But freedom online and freedom of expression and thought seem like something the Pirate Party could have promoted very effectively and it might have actually made an impact on the global political scene and on the lives of thousands of netizens.

Muchacho Enfermo

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

D-Day Remembered.

I know that I'm a couple of days behind, but it's better late than never...

On June 6th 1944 over 160,000 young men of all the western allied nations landed on the beaches of France to mount the single largest landing campaign in history. The suffered massive losses but ultimately broke Hitler's Atlantic Wall.

The Canadians that landed on Juno beach that gray morning suffered a 50% casualty rate on the first wave, the second highest of the invasion.

This won't be a long drawn out post about logistics and opinions on military tactics. This is simply a post to salute our boys and the boys of all the other nations that participated.

French, English, Canadian, American, Polish, Norwegian all fought side by side regardless of race, color, origin or birthplace. Thanks to them and all others who fought in the Second World War we can all live the way we do.

I owe you all so much.

I will never forget.

Thank you.

Muchacho Enfermo

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Another Blow for Open Mindedness Québec

Yesterday I saw a very disturbing (at least to me) news story on one of the French news stations. Louise Harel, a former PQ MP and former leader of the separatist PQ is running for mayor of Montreal and she can’t speak English and doesn’t feel the need to learn.

So yesterday there was a rally organized Mouvement Montréal Français, an organization that is against the use of any other language in this city except French, they even tried to ban English telephone services from any business or government office in the city. The rally was attended by such illustrious guests as Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe and PQ leader Pauline Marois, who both showed their unconditional support of a unilingual mayor of Montreal. Marois even went as far as saying that Québec is not and will not be a bilingual state; it is and will remain a francophone state.

I am so tired of hearing this crap you guys have no idea. I am tired of feeling like an intruder in my own city, my own province. I am tired of my family being made to be traitors to the French language because we speak both English and French at home. I am tired of racism disguised as Nationalist sentiments. I am disgusted that Harel is the clear favorite to win this election. I am tired of this beautiful place being sullied by idiocy and the idiots who promote it. I am sick and tired of things like this being said. I am sick to my stomach whenever I turn on the television and see this kind of crap.

I am French and I have never EVER thought like they do and I know I’m not alone. When I see things like this I put myself in the shoes of someone who has worked their whole lives to immigrate here, to make a life for their children and for themselves. I put myself in their shoes and my anger just boils over. How dare they tell me that I am not welcome and that my culture is not welcome? They promised me that this place was different, that people were free and equal!

In Québec the sad truth is certain political parties and organizations use freedom of speech to promote hatred and remorse. They use the rights and freedoms that so many have died to protect or are imprisoned to obtain to promote intolerance, fear, lies and racism. This has to end.

Muchacho Enfermo

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