Search This Blog

CCE in brief

My photo
Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Saturday 17 January 2015

Harper's Enemy

Enemy.  The person you want to defeat in battle, or at the very least, not be defeated by.
Harper has a pat approach to his enemies - silence them, attack them hard, face them with as little profile as possible.
You don't need to know who they are - just what roles they fill.  You certainly don't want them knowing you.  And that, truly, is the only thing they want - to take you down and replace you or see you replaced with one of their own.
Which works well for Harper, since he believes he's smarter than all his foes anyway.
They do a lot of strategy in political war rooms, but at the end of day, those rooms are overflowing with men of peace.  Every decision has a partisan motive; the end goal is narrowly tied to their fortunes and, as such, their scope remains equally limited.
As we face an increasingly conflicted world and become drawn into these conflicts - and draw them into ourselves - it is unfortunate that there are so few men of war among our leaders.
As Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper has played the game, nudged and broken rules and done a decent job of reshaping the country into one he's more comfortable facing each morning.  Those who would seize his throne from him have each been in defeated in turn.  
It's long since been about more than just the ideology.
Harper has shorted his country in countless ways, leaving us ill-equipped, unprepared by resource or collective conscience for what is to come.  Our democracy is sick at a time when it will face it's greatest challenge.
Yet the PM doesn't see this - he can't see this. 
Because Stephen Harper has never once in his life truly understood, nor loved, his greatest enemy.

Thursday 15 January 2015

Andrew Coyne Rings True

Whether it's Charlie Hebdo and their irreverent humour or ISIL-type folk and their efforts to frighten the world into ignoring their barbarism; whether it's Big Oil lobbying the world into silence about their practices or Big Government and their lack of reverence for the principles of democracy, none of it lasts.
A hundred years from now, no one will be talking about any of them.  A thousand years from now, they will all be forgotten.  A million years from now, we will be forgotten.
Our petty egoism want to make us the punchline, but we're not.
Nobody laughs last. 
So you might as well laugh now.

Harpernian Irony

Let's be clear, folks, there are only two things that matter - the economy and security.  We can easily secure the economy by reducing taxation and therefore government services (and making sure people understand this through massively expensive marketing campaigns) on the one hand while focusing all our attention the extraction and export of natural resources, especially oil.  What can go wrong with that?
The next issue, those perilious troubles lapping at our shores and scurrilous rabble-rousers and sociology-commiters on our own soil.  They must be stopped by extreme security measures, increased monitoring of private engagement and of course, tougher penalties.  And if we happen to get some information that may prove useful (at least politically) through torture, oh well, eh?  It's like those missing aboriginal women; it's their own fault for getting mixed up in such things as being a native woman or being a man with a name like Maher Arar. 
The Harper government has curtailed the free flow of information, the basis of intellectual thought.  They have provoked strong emotions with their rhetoric and actions for political convenience.  They have increased security that by the very nature of the system they're strengthening targets minorities unfairly, resulting in an imbalance in civil liberties.
Oh yeah, and the putting of all eggs in the oil basket isn't working out quite the way they'd planned, is it?  So much for being history's actors.
This is master strategist Stephen Harper at his best; his approach to government is fostering a disruption of social cohesion that fosters the very kind of internal risks he wants to fight against.  All that may be intentional, depending on how cynical he is.  But to tout oil as the only economic solution that matters when all evidence has pointed to the contrary, and now the reality is proving the point?
They say Harper is a man with a sense of humour.  Hopefully, he appreciates the humour in all of this.

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Orson Scott Card, Clairvoyant

Yup.  The author of Ender in Exile pretty much predicted the reality of budget lock-ups in the days of social media pre-leaks.

What does the Ness of Brodgar have in common with Gobleki Tepe?

 They suspect that the freshly uncovered ruins may be a key piece to a larger puzzle no one dreamed existed.

I'm not going to tell you what I think it means.  I have faith you'll figure it out.  

Look! I'm making fun of the Prophet of Islam!

Jesus, after all, was a prophet of Islam.  So were Adam, Noah, Moses, David, John - there's a whole list of 'em. 
The message conveyed by Mohammed is supposed to be the same conveyed by each prophet that proceeded him.  They don't matter; the vehicle doesn't matter.  Only the message does.
The cult of Mohammed (peace be upon him) that's risen up stands in direct contrast to the message he himself tried to convey, tried to correct after the boondoggle that was Christianity. 
What happened there?  People started to idolize Jesus as more than just a man, as an actual manifestation of God.
Well, we're all manifestations of God (peace be upon us).  And I'm pretty sure God did not intend for us to go about murdering each other for suggesting our moms wear army boots. 
Because that's essentially what this argument is about.  Mohammed has been placed above all other human beings, essentially making him an extension of God.  God, of course, cannot be offended by the meagre likes of us. 
This business of taking offense and seeking retribution supersedes Islam; you see it in the schoolyard with teams of taunting children as much as you see it in gang warfare.  Unfortunately, Islam has the dubious honour of being the standard-bearer for our human predilection to idolize and outsource responsibility.  This is something we do so that we might be as selfish and arrogant and violent as we please without thinking about the human consequences for our action or inaction.
Mohammed was a messenger, period.  We don't shoot messengers; we shouldn't idolize them either.
If you find it offensive that Mohammed, or Jesus for that matter get lampooned in cartoons, you should be equally offended and actively seeking retribution for every other instance of individuals being lampooned - including every politician from Barack Obama to Kim Jong-un.  But nobody's going around killing every satirist in the world, are they?
As they should not.  Because that's not the answer.  And it's definitely not what any of the prophets wanted.
Every single person on this earth is sacred; every life should be celebrated as a manifestation of that to which we all belong.  You can refer to a God or Gods, to the biosphere, to Tao, whatever you want, but the fact is that we are more than bodies, more than images.
To take offense at a cartoon and commit murder in the name of a man, much less a diety, offends everything the Abrahamic faiths and all major world faiths hold dear.
Such is not the will of Allah. 
Such is not the will of Ar-Rahman, Ar-Rahim, As-Salam, Al-Ghaffar, Al-Latif, Ash-Shakur or Al-Hakam.
Be wary; the compulsion to commit murder among the people God created is not God's will at all.  It comes from elsewhere.


Tuesday 13 January 2015

Goldstein's Voice

You can spend a lot of time picking apart Goldstein's article.  If you look at the comments thread, you'll see that many already have. 
That's what we tend to do - to oppose, to nitpick, to focus on hypocrisies real or imagined, from the given article for from decades past.
We're not interested in solving problems.  We're interested in picking fights.  And that's the problem.
It's been six days and we're all still waiting. Waiting for someone to come. But what if they don't? We have to stop waiting. We need to start figuring things out.
Everyman for himself is not going to work. It's time to start organizing. We need to figure out how we're going to survive here.
 Last week most of us were strangers, but we're all here now. And god knows how long we're going to be here.
But if we can't live together, we're going to die alone.


Monday 12 January 2015

The Descent of Man: If God is Love, Who Stokes Anger and Fear?

That's ISIL, by the way.  Nowhere in the Koran does it say to go about killing police, who may have about as much to do with foreign policy as any local Imam. 
The point is, there is a group of men calling the shots, issuing edicts and essentially positioning themselves as the voice of God.  ISIL is a false prophet that peddles in anger and bloodshed for power.
But hey, 9/11 did happen, so torture is totally acceptable now.  Sends a strong message, doesn't it?
It serves the purpose of ISIL when Western leaders declare wars on radical Islam (though I'd argue the new faith of Jihadism is no more Islam than David Koresh was a good Christian).  It shows they're having an impact and raises the stakes.
By the same token, ISIL serves the purposes of Western governments who use fear as a way to diminish democracy and shore up their power.  They may not say so - they may not even think so, in clear terms - but it's true none-the-less.
Who would you trust more to lay the smack-down on terrorist seas lapping at our shores - Justin Trudeau, Thomas Mulcair or Stephen Harper?
What about this one - who would you trust to protect Canada's democracy?
Well, that's hardly relevant when our lives are on the line, is it?
Terrorists want their people to be angry and us to be afraid.  Our governments all-too-often want us to be angry and afraid.
In both cases, we are being encouraged to react, not to think, so that we may dehumanize our neighbours and do unto them or let tough leaders do unto them before they can do unto us.
We can wash our hands and seal our fate but who then do we blame for our fall?

 "I shouted out 'Who killed the Kennedys?' / When after all it was you and me"