By now, we're probably all sick of hearing about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and everything to do with him. However, it's worth considering just how he got elected in the first place, how things got so bad, and what its larger implications are for Canada.
December 8, 2013
December 6, 2013
November 29, 2013
November 22, 2013
November 15, 2013
November 14, 2013
This will be a big-ish essay, and take a while to get to the stinger. For those who might not feel like reading to the end but who might accept my unsupported word:
Go look at www.loomio.org. It's very cool and I think it could be strategically important and should be adopted as widely as possible.
On the other hand, if you maybe wonder what that could be grounded in, please read on:
When Richard Stallman first invented Free Software, that is software revolving around the concept of freedom (and indeed, looked at from a leftist perspective, solidarity) I believe he actually did have a decent idea what an important concept it was, although not how much success it would have. At the moment, Free Software and the related concept of Open Source, despite some dilutions and contradictions, represent the only area in which a basically noncommercial, emancipatory model is winning serious victories against capitalism. From tiny beginnings, it's spread widely enough that it dominates some areas of software (webservers, supercomputers, working on smartphones) and I don't think there is any software field that can afford to ignore it. The idea is beginning to spread beyond software as well.
One argument against wind and solar that I've seen over and over again is the notion that they're just incapable of meeting our energy needs--that if you installed as much solar and wind as is practical, it still wouldn't be an adequate energy supply. Therefore, the argument goes, we shouldn't bother ramping up wind or solar and just stick with tried and true fossil fuels or go nuclear or something.
This is incredibly stupid.
November 11, 2013
We've always suspected it, but it's one of those ideas like "Yasser Arafat was poisoned"--it seems kind of crackpot when you say it even though we know there's a track record of that kind of thing. Sure, they did it to Chile before they toppled Salvador Allende, but that was surely a more lurid time. They wouldn't do it now, would they?
They would and they are.
A strategy document has been leaked which describes the use of direct sabotage of the electrical system and the withholding of key foods and consumer goods to create the impression of crisis while blaming the government. These things are already happening. Future plans apparently involve violence, though; a couple of quotes:
"Create situations of crisis in the streets that will facilitate US intervention, as well as NATO forces, with the support of the Colombian government. Whenever possible, the violence should result in deaths or injuries".
"contacting active military groups and those in retirement to amplify the campaign to discredit the government inside the Armed Forces...It's vital to prepare military forces so that during a scenario of crisis and social conflict, they lead an insurrection against the government, or at least support a foreign intervention or civil uprising"
The document came from a meeting between Colombian organizations headed by ex-president Alvaro Uribe, some key leaders of the Venezuelan opposition, and USAID.
I believe, and I hope, they will have less luck than they did with Chile.