Saturday 30 November 2013

A peace exhibition that highlights warmongers and some peace activism...

On Monday I posted this about the damage that Harper's CPC Con revisionists are about to wreak upon the Museum of Civilization now Canadian History.

On Thursday I toured Peace: the Exhibition at the War Museum.

It was Dr Lotta Hitschmanova's birthday - over 104 years ago; she had a small place in one of the vignettes that acknowledge her role as a post-WWII refugee to Canada, and her contributions to reconstruction work.

More about Lotta, whose voice and brilliant *branding* of the USC through her public service announcements on the CBC, is acutely remembered by people who grew up in the 1950s and 60s.

I found the exhibition to be superficial; the focus was on war and from my perspective, peace was presented as an occasional inconvenience to the all-important military industrial complex and weapons manufacture corporations.  The political machinations that enabled these business interests to thrive were given a shiny gloss and spin.

Since the perspective was Canadian, some of the politicians featured are: Diefenbaker, Pearson, Trudeau and astonishingly, Harper.  Or perhaps that was pathetically predictable.

Most of the graphic displays are modest in scale, reproductions of photographs, and documents, artifacts on display and so forth.  Not so for the two pictures of PMSHithead which are of course MASSIVE.

It was curiosity that drew me to this exhibition; I had heard much valid criticism of it, particularly with regard to the elements emphasized, and most relevant, all that was absent.  However, the curator for this exhibition surely deserves some recognition for her defense of the paltry statements in support of peace that survived what must have been grueling negociations with ideologically-driven, CON-staffed program committees.

Did I mention that the greatly admired participation by our Canadian troops in UN peace-keeping initiatives is given a minuscule place?  No surprise; that history doesn't jive with Harper's remake of Canada.

This review brings a thoughtful and positive perspective, reflecting upon the importance and the history of making peace instead of waging war.

Monday 25 November 2013

Coming soon: CON revisionist history, with a dump of tarsands on the side.

The stunning artifact above is featured in Vodou, a magnificent exhition that will close at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, on February 23, 2014.

I have seen it twice and I hope to see it again and again before it leaves town.  Ça vaut vraiment le déplacement. Here's one review.  Entrance to the CMC is free on Thursdays after 5pm, and that includes Vodou.

If CPC Harper government is dumbing down the Canadian Museum of Civilization, it might also turn its laser-like gaze to other cultural institutions that it can defile and degrade to please its political base.

New Democrat and Liberal critics are saying, however, that the museum’s renaming is part of a larger, very deliberate effort by the Harper government to put a Conservative stamp on every symbol of the country. Since Harper came to power, lavish attention and money have been splashed on everything to do with the monarchy and the military in particular.
NDP heritage critic Andrew Cash said the Conservatives are throwing money at the museum while they cutting federal library and archive budgets — “robbing Peter to pay Paul” — and paying more attention to displays of history than the preservation of it.
Cash also pointed out that Moore has not been reticent about his displeasure over cultural exhibits in Ottawa, such as last year’s sex education exhibit at the science museum. He said it is hard to believe that the minister wouldn’t actively try to shape this museum according to Conservatives’ likes and dislikes.

The source for the cash flow that will turn the crank of Reformatory Can-CON History has been revealed.

Canada's 150th birthday is being brought to you by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
The federal Museum of Civilization has announced it is teaming up with the oil industry lobby group as an official sponsor of its exhibits to mark 150 years since Confederation in 2015.
The $1-million, five-year sponsorship is the largest ever for the Museum of Civilization.
Dave Collyer, president of the petroleum producers' lobby group, says the goal of the exercise is to promote his industry by engaging and communicating with the public.
The president and CEO of the taxpayer-funded museum, Mark O'Neill, says such sponsorships are going to become more common in future as flat government funding fails to keep up with the rising costs of exhibitions.
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and Imperial Oil ran into controversy in 2011 when they sponsored exhibits at the federal Museum of Science and Technology and documents later showed they had exerted pressure to alter exhibit content they felt treated the industry too harshly.

The change of focus, from civilization to history is viewed with concern by some.  And now it's obvious why.

Saturday 23 November 2013

Time to Roast #PeterPeeper

Remember this from February this year?
The Conservative government has abandoned its controversial and much-maligned Internet surveillance bill, legislation it once claimed was crucial to stopping child pornographers.

Less than a year ago support for Bill C-30, the so-called Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act, was presented to Canadians by the government as a binary choice.

"He can either stand with us or stand with the child pornographers," Public Safety Minister Vic Toews scolded a Liberal critic in the House of Commons last February.

The comment set off a public fire storm concerning the Internet and personal privacy — a nasty fight that resulted in unsavoury details of Toews' divorce being splashed across the web by a Liberal party operative.

Toews, who introduced the legislation, did not attend Monday's news conference where Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said Bill C-30 is dead.
It's back.
When Justice Minister Peter MacKay unveiled the federal government's proposed cyberbullying law on Wednesday, he touted it as a necessary tool to combat the often hurtful spread of intimate images. To emphasize the underlying point, he made the announcement during national Bullying Awareness Week.

But legal experts were left wondering why a piece of legislation that is meant to rein in online tormentors is also taking on terror suspects and people who steal cable TV signals.

"There is a much larger agenda at play here," says Rob Currie, director of the Law and Technology Institute at Dalhousie University.

Under the banner of anti-cyberbullying measures, the government is "trying to push through a number of things that have to do with law enforcement but nothing to do with cyberbullying."
Like its predecessor, it is deceptively named. They're calling it "Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act'.

It is simply and literally ghoulish, feasting on the corpses of dead girls.

Or as Canadian Cynic put it:

Go read Michael Geist on the details. He winds up with this:

Law enforcement have been asking for some of these provisions for many years and there could be a good debate on the merits of many of the proposed reforms. As this post suggests, some of the provisions raise some serious concerns. Yet the government is signalling that it would prefer to avoid such debates, wrapping up the provisions in the cyber-bullying flag and backtracking on a commitment made earlier this year to not bring forward Criminal Code amendments that were contained in Bill C-30.

We need to put on another protest like #TellVicEverything.

Stephen Lautens has come up with the hashtag #PeterPeeper and a poster.

Let's get to it.

Friday 22 November 2013

So prophetic, so appropriate.

"Once the toothpaste is out of the tube it's going to be very hard to get it back in." - H.R."Bob" Haldeman

That is a Watergate reference.

Stephen Harper - ever the opportunist and at times, plagiarizer - deployed that quote when describing the political situation in Egypt during the Arab Spring when Mubarak stepped down, throwing his authoritarian regime into a tailspin.

We are reminded these days by the spectacle unfolding in the Senate and in the House of Commons, with regard to allegations of criminal fraud, corruption, collusion and subversion of the Parliamentary process, how perfectly appropriate that analogy is.

And we salute Corporal Greg Horton, one brave individual RCMP officer who has rigorously pursued this criminal investigation, interviewing many hostile or fearful people, and finally, sifting through hundreds of documents and an ocean-sized cesspool of obfuscations to shine the light of justice upon some very ugly CPC machinations.

At this point, some in the media are playing it coy, aware that the teflon-coated Harper may yet walk away unbesmirched by the volcanic eruption of shit his Con government has produced.

Thursday 21 November 2013

Woody's Wank Redux

To no-one's surprise, attention-whore Stephen Woodworth is back with another non-abortion abortion gambit.
Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth is out with another motion that could re-ignite the abortion debate in Ottawa, although he says it's merely about respect for human dignity in law.

Yaaaa. Just like Woody's Wank I was *not* about abortion either.

So why are all the usual suspects applauding the move then?

Here's LifeShite:
Tuesday’s media advisory was titled ‘Motion 312 – Next Steps’, suggesting Woodworth intends to piggyback on his previous efforts.
Great idea, Woody. Because M312 was such a resounding success. NOT.

Little problem, though. Woody is not on the list for private members' bills and motions.

But fellow fetus fetishists Liberal John McKay and Conservative Brad Trost are. Might they give up their chance to push their hobby horses for another kick at the abortion can?

I doubt it. But hey, anything to distract from current scandals, eh?

We at DAMMIT JANET! are ready to gear up again if we have to, so go ahead, Woody, bring it.

In particular, we are breathlessly awaiting Part D'uh of his genius ballooning 'allegory'. We wondered at the time why he titled it 'Part I'. Now we know and are holding our sides in anticipation of the sequel.

(No. I haven't been abducted by aliens. Just very very busy.)

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Just so you know

It turns out that -- surprise! -- George Zimmermann really does use 911 calls as a deliberate tactic to obfuscate his violent tendencies.

It just shocked me at the time, thoroughly shocked me, at how openly a huge segment of the Internet commentariat was willing to indulge even the barest whisper that Trayvon Martin might match some kind of template of the "young buck" for whose existence and loss thereof, we naturally should have no sympathy.

I know, I've been on the intertoobz for a long time and should know better. But there you are. In this case, what we saw is what we got.

iSlamming Rob Ford!

Unintended outcome ... for the win!

Cue the shrieeeking from Ford Nation and other rightwing nut jobs.

Has Ezra Levant seen this?

The above is probably a consequence of Rob's incoherent rant at Toronto City council on Monday.

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Bigger fish...

Through all the mind-numbing histrionics of the Rob Ford saga, the large pachyderm in the room is not the Mayor himself but THE question: what could be the target of Toronto police investigations?

It was StunTV Ezra Levant who indirectly raised the edge of the rug, with his habitual shrieeking excesses on the Ford Nation premiere* yesterday. His flamboyant misdirection might have backfired, in this case.

At DJ! we started wondering about the Fords' agenda, back when Rob tried so desperately to bring a casino to Toronto.

Gambling and organized crime are long-time associates. It's worth noting that Sheldon Adelson is a huge supporter of the Republican party, and is currently under investigation.

And now, the Fords have retained the counsel of George Rust-d'Eye** to defend Rob's interests. Some say he's an over-rated, over-priced, way past his best-before-date shill. Will taxpayers have to pay for Crack Mayor's legal bills?

Rust-D'Eye is known for spectacular invoices that he believes reflect every penny's worth of his *expertise*, and his overbearing manner of delivery.

A carefully cultivated façade of punctilious and unctuous civility... The man has a history of advancing semi-truth, under the cover of legal advice and 'integrity'... though eventually facts do surface.

But back to Levant. The overweening excuse for his trademark trashy and flashy infotainment glurge: that he has a civic duty to speculate about the underbelly of his ideological and political opponents.

So, let's speculate about the Fords, shall we?  Are investigations also probing the possible existence of organized crime schemes? 

Is the family business involved with wise guys?  Did the illegal adolescent antics of Doug, Kathy and Rob provide leverage to pressure Doug Senior into mutually beneficial business arrangements?

There are historical precedents.  The Kennedy dynasty and wealth was founded on criminal entrepreneurship.  And the stench never left that cursed, tragic family, in spite of patriarch Joe's obssessive drive for respectability and political power.

Consider the range of resources dedicated to Ford surveillance.  It only makes sense to use a plane and that level of staff deployment if there's much, much more involved than only Rob scoring dope. Are there many Canadian and US law-enforcement agencies conducting forensic analysis to follow financial transactions and shipment of goods? 

Project Traveller looked at guns and gangs. Project Brazen dealt with drug dealers.

What else could there be... Money-laundering? Drug-smuggling? Contracted murders?

What other factual dots remain to be connected?

Here's a link to a brilliant compilation of Ford Bros shenanigans from Alison at Creekside. The picture at the top is her work.

My co-blogger fern hill has done much heavy lifting to date, in blogposts after blogposts about dodgy and bizarre Ford clan machinations, as well as documents linking them to criminal elements.

If TPS investigators have diligently and scrupulously gathered evidence required so that charges can be filed, and prosecutors can make their case, it will be an EPIC take-down.  No wonder Police Chief Blair was so circumspect during his media conference.

Unfortunately, the Fords (and their silent business partners?) have deep, deep pockets.  

As with Michael Bryant, lawyers will use all the legal tactics and loopholes available to get their clients off the hook, if the TPS investigation even gets to trial.

It was clearly said here, you can bully and bluff your way out of anything, when you're a wealthy, christian, well-CONnected, privileged, heterosexual and cis white man.

*Just when I was about to publish this blogpost, we heard that StunTV has aborted Ford Nation.  Darn.  And I was about to launch the hashtag #FORdNicATION, too!

** Thanks to our Vaughn insiders who steered me towards more info about Rust-D'Eye.

Sunday 17 November 2013

Pop Icons, Part D'oh.

In reply to dBO's blogiversary post, I was going to add this:

You could say that keeping up with the right-wing horror show in Canada at the moment is like trying to stuff ten pounds of horseshit into a five-pound bag.

Here's where we take some of our inspiration from at DJ!

But in trying to add it, I rofo-ed her coding. And now I'm skert. *hides*

Pop icons...

Five hilarious years, blogging with my virtual roomie fern hill. Time flies when you're having fun deriding venal right wing nut jobs, fundamentalist religious zealots, and vapid political ideologues of all stripe. The video above captures something of the flavour of our dynamic interaction, I think. Happy Birthday to DAMMIT JANET!

The November Seventeenth Gang

It's our birthday here at DJ!!

Co-blogger deBeauxOs yesterday introduced me to this nifty shared birthday site.

DJ! shares this auspicious day with a cool gang.

August Ferdinand Mobius

Field Marshall Montgomery

Rock Hudson

Canadian icon Gordon Lightfoot

Martin Scorsese

Danny Devito

And the fabulous RuPaul.

Happy Birthday to all of us.

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Holy Trademark Infringement!

So, today our Crack Mayor signed bobbleheads for idiots people who waited in line for hours. He signed and schmoozed for four hours.

It's all good. It's for charity.

But then the bobbleheads ran out, but the line-up didn't, so he started signing t-shirts.

Ruh-roh. Wonder what the Ford Motor Company thinks of being connected to a crack-smoking, criminal-associating moron.

Not to mention trademark infringement.

Stay tuned. And if you're on the Twitter, retweet this.

Photo via Don Peat

UPDATE: Ah. It is revealed.

She was ejected from City Hall. Selling stuff not allowed.


Thursday 7 November 2013

Dear Liberal Party of Canada: the 1990s are over.

Justin Trudeau's campaign organizers seem to be surprisingly unaware that we are now in the 21st century.  The worst excesses of the Clinton years, as exemplified by the _Sex in the City_ TV series and atrocious movies are sooo over.

Perhaps someone on his team thought this was deliciously ironic and oh-so-vintage coy?

I'm being generous here.

I have yet to read one tweet from a woman of any generation or any political stripe who doesn't find the above regressive, patronizing and offensive.

It's not the worst recent display of oblivious hipster arrogance ever but it comes close. 

I could *storify* the varied clever responses and legitimate criticism to this MASSIVE marketing failure but I would invariably leave out some excellent contributions.  So I encourage you to seek out those winning pithy and witty tweets.  And you may certainly add links to your favourite ones in our comments thread!