Friday, October 24, 2014

Terrorism in Canada; Islamic radicals or nutters with guns?

What is the logical outcome when government policies make it harder to find psychiatric care and easier to get guns?

It is more than obvious when you read the back stories of the perpetrators of the two "terrorist" attacks in Canada this past week, that these individuals fell through the cracks of Canada's health care system. They desperately needed intervention on addiction and mental health issues.

Unfortunately, when the government of the day is totally focussed on a "tough-on-crime" agenda, such help is unlikely to be forthcoming.

The more you look at the past week, the less likely you are to see any link to Islam, radical or otherwise. In both cases you had marginalized men with mental health issues. We're not going to solve the marginalized Canadian men with mental health issues problem by dropping more bombs in the Middle East.

It's not a gun issue either; the guy in Quebec used his car as a weapon to run down that soldier in the parking lot. We could ban cars and guns and mental illness will still be mental illness.

The root problem is that we've become a winner-take-all culture in which the guys who perceive themselves as losers see going out in a blaze of glory as their final chance to regain their dignity, and our media happily obliges them in that quest.

What the Harper government has in common with the Taliban and Islamic State

Quick quiz; on what policy initiatives does the Harper gang rip a page out of the Taliban playbook?

Oddly enough, the fundamentalist Christian sensibilities that drive Harper are not that far removed from the fundamentalist sensibilities of our biggest, baddest, worstest enemies in the Taliban and ISIS.

It's a fact not given much attention these days, but the Taliban had come close to eliminating the poppy trade before the Nations of Virtue invaded in 2001. Thereafter, poppy production increased year after year, with 2014 now being proclaimed the best year ever.

Big Steve shares with the Talibs the absolutist approach to drug prohibition. The Islamic State crew is even more extreme; they don't even permit tobacco use!

That's a policy that would have some resonance with Big Steve's fundamentalist Christian base; ban tobacco, ban drugs, ban alcohol... I think Mr. Harper would feel right at home in the Islamic State!

There's other stuff of course... like the deficits in democracy, the questionable commitment to woman's rights etc... but on the big issues, like the War on Drugs, it looks like Big Steve and his Islamic adversaries are on the same page in the hymnal.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

BBC refers to Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers as "security guard"

That's a bit of a blooper for the Beeb.

After all, we got our parliamentary traditions from Mother England.

We normally know Mr. Vickers as the guy who opens every session of parliament with this silly hat and a ceremonial mace over his shoulder.

Turns out the dude also keeps a very un-ceremonial Glock in one of those pockets!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The terror threat in Canada

Canada PM Stephen Harper just spent five minutes on TV telling us Canada was under attack by terrorists.

Today's Ottawa incident could be nothing more than a suicide-by-cop event. We don't know, nor does Harper. However, he's quick on the draw in invoking the tragedy of innocent lives lost.

That's the same PM who glories in Canada's role in the destruction of Libya. If you recall, Canada "punched above its weight" in that glorious bloodbath. Any innocent lives lost in the bombs we dropped?

And look at Libya now. What a success story!

Let's not forget that Canada was one of the first of the Me-Too nations who are all aboard for dropping more bombs in the Middle East to combat this "Islamic State" we've been hearing so much about. While Canada's "terror" episodes are more likely than not about disgruntled individuals, our ever-eager kow-towing to the Obama agenda will sooner or later attract real terror.

Canada should stay home and mind Canada's business; after all, there's more than enough to do here.

FLASHBACK: US training Kurds for operations in Syria and Iraq in 2005

Yup, they're definitely the sort of folks we can work with... 'cause we've been working with them forever!

We can work with them, Israel can work with them... hell they're just like us!

Except for that little issue of female genital mutilation that never ever gets so much as a passing mention in our Kurd-loving mainstream media.

Here at the Falling Downs think tank we don't take sides. There are a thousand and one shades of discrimination and exploitation afoot around the world. The point is, it's their business, not our business.

It is no longer a curious coincidence that the Nations of Virtue take exception to discrimination and exploitation only in countries where we have "strategic interests," also known as oil. The whole world despises us for our brazen hypocrisy.

Well, not the whole world... we still have the "community of nations" on our side.

You know as well as I do what a fraud that is.

Was Malala the intended target of Ottawa terror attack?

Today was the day youthful human rights phenom and Nobel winner Malala was to get her honorary Canadian citizenship.

You'd pretty much have to scour the fine print to know that said ceremony was going to happen in Toronto, not in Ottawa.

Honorary Canadian citizenship? You can forgive an aspiring martyr for assuming that would happen in Ottawa. So maybe Malala dodged another bullet.

While you can bet that the warmongers in the government of Canada can be counted on to milk today's events to the the max, it might be wise to bear in mind that it's not an unprecedented occurrence. In 1984 a gunman barged into the Quebec Legislature and shot down three people.

That was a more innocent age, however. That attack didn't result in an abrogation of civil liberties or a vilification of certain minorities.

Times have changed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Earth to Harper - 815 internationally renowned scientists gang up on Big Steve

In the Harper world, politics trumps science every time.

Big Steve has done his level best to stifle criticism on every front, but when it comes to federally funded science, he's got a really effective lever at his finger-tips.

Federal funding!

And Big Steve is not afraid to push the lever, which is why today you found an open letter, signed by 815 internationally renowned scientists, pleading with Big Steve to un-muzzle and re-fund Canada's scientists.

Ha! Are they ever barking up the wrong tree!

Harper's Alliance Church brain trust already know science is bullshit, so save your signatures, international scientists!

Stephen Harper is not one to be bullied by public opinion. Especially if those opinions belong to internationally renowned scientists who don't even vote in Canada.