Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

No One Leaves Home

December 1, 2015


This poem is dedicated to the  USA Republican governors, fearmongers totally oblivious to human suffering and their nation’s role in it.

No One Leaves Home” by Warsan Shire

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well
your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.
no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.
you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough
go home blacks
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off
or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
be hunger
forget pride
your survival is more important
no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here

Warsan Shire is a Kenyan born Somali poet who resides in London

Rabbi Michael Lerner’s commentary follows:
The poem below presents the most authentic understanding of the situation of the world’s refugees in the contemporary world. They are momentarily in the consciousness of the world’s humanity, but will too soon fade. People have momentarily been moved by the great suffering of these refugees, and particularly their children, but politely ignore the role that the US and other “advanced” industrial societies have played in creating the economic and political conditions which have led to the vast increase of refugees in the past twenty years.

For the U.S., that responsibility includes both the economic devastation wrought in South and Central America, Africa and Asia by the trade agreements (championed by the Clintons and more recently by Obama) that destroyed subsistence farming and forced millions of people into the barrios and slums of the big cities where they were often forced to choose between armed opposition to ruling elites or selling their children into slavery or sexual exploitation rather than see them starve to death; and also the devastation created by the U.S. wars against Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and drone strikes in Yemen all of which gave rise to the Islamic State of Iraq & Syris (ISIS) with its brutality now spreading through populations driven crazy by the violence that the US and its allies intensified in the Middle East. So while Americans sit around looking in shock at this situation, deploring the growing xenophobia that not only is growing in Europe but which is being played to by the Trump candidacy and other candidates for the Republic Presidential nomination, many wilfully ignore the role of our own country in creating the preconditions for this growing horror show. It makes me want to cry, to yell, and to mourn.

Sorry! from Lebanon

November 27, 2015


What happened in Paris last night was awful. I stayed up late following the news in disbelief and I am so sorry to anyone who has been affected by these horrible attacks. The international community has responded, as predicted, by showing their unwavering solidarity with Paris.

The night before that, a bomb went off in my country, Lebanon, killing 43 people. No one prayed for us. No one kept us in their thoughts. No world leaders made late-night statements about us. No one changed their profile pictures. There was no hashtag. No option to be “marked as safe” by Facebook. Just silence.

Syria has suffered more than can be quantified in words and distilled into a Facebook status. They get nothing. Just more silence. 73 Palestinians were killed by Israel in October alone. Silence.

Nearly 100 people were killed by explosions at a peace rally in Ankara last month. Just silence. At least 3,500 people have been killed in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger in conflict this year. Silence.


I’m not even angry at this point, just tired. Exhausted. Exhausted that an assault on an open air prison like Gaza which leaves 2300 people dead gets little to no attention but the minute something happens in Europe, something happens to white people, everyone is so (I think quite genuinely) broken up about it.
I’m not saying don’t be. I’m not saying that the people who lost their lives last night do not deserve to be mourned because of course they do.
They were innocent and now they are dead. As an Arab, we know better than anyone how it hurts and we should all continue to keep them in our thoughts.
But what about us? Don’t we deserve to be mourned? Are we not human enough? Are we too Arab for you? Too black for you? Too Other for you? Do you find it impossible to empathise with us because of the colour of our skin? There’s a word for that.

And then, after all of this, after all is said and done. After it hits us, just how little we matter. Just how insignificant and inferior we are as human beings. That’s when the best part comes. My favourite part.

Apologise. We are told to apologise. It is demanded of us. WE need to apologise for the actions of barbarians who have been doing their worst to us for so long now. We are the victims. What you experience at the hands of these extremists is a fraction of what Syria experiences. Of what Lebanon experiences. We put up with it every single day. And now, in some kind of sick, twisted joke, we are asked to apologise. We are to be held accountable. The main victims and refugees of this tragedy must pay. As if we have not yet paid enough in blood and land and dignity.

Sorry. We’re sorry that you have occupied our lands, pillaged them, divvied them up between you like gold. We’re sorry that you’ve robbed us of our wealth, dignity and freedom. We’re sorry that you’ve left nothing in your wake except rubble and anger. We’re sorry that those disillusioned and disenfranchised people you left in your wake hurtle into extremism.

We’re sorry that you benefit from their barbarity. We’re sorry that you allow them to do these things to us, that you encourage them and provide them with the resources they need to do us harm. We’re sorry they turn against you in the end. We’re sorry they came back for you. We’re sorry.
We hope you can find it in you to forgive us.

O Hilary! O the times!

November 20, 2015

Hilary Clinton continues to embarrass me—and I am sure millions of others. The Clinton power couple aerned in speaking fees from 2008 to 2012 $53 million. and Harry Truman used to pay for his  stamps while in the White House.O tempora, o mores!

Then there is her sickening grovel for Jewish money in the letter to billionaire Haim Saban was pathetic—almost as bad as her views on Israel.

Well, this made my day.

A Palestinian Feminist’s Response to Hilary Clinton
Dear Secretary Clinton:


As a young Palestinian girl growing up in a patriarchal society, your speeches about women’s rights inspired me to imagine a world where gender equality could exist. As first lady, you famously declared, “Women’s rights are human rights.” That’s something I strongly believe, too.

That’s why I was surprised to read your article in The Forward. I was surprised because when you chose to speak about my homeland, not once did you mention Israel’s human rights violations against Palestinian women and children. Even worse, you described us as lurking terrorists motivated only by “incitement,” as if the Israeli military occupation does not exist.

I am not a terrorist. I do not believe in the use of violence. I am a young Palestinian woman who grew up under occupation and is trying to better my life through education. It has not been easy. Starting at the age of five, I had to pass through Israeli military checkpoints to go to school. I was searched and humiliated on a daily basis, along with my parents and sisters. One day soldiers released dogs to chase after us. They shot their guns at us. I could have been killed, as many Palestinians are, for no reason. I could have been Hadeel Salah al-Hashlamun, the 18-year-old woman and college student who Israeli soldiers killed at a checkpoint in September.

There are millions of women and girls like me. What about us? According to your article, we do not exist. We are invisible, like women have been treated throughout history.

Did you know that half  of Palestinians are women and girls? Did you know that like our brothers, we also live under military occupation, and that Israeli settlers steal our land? Did you know that pregnant women rushing to the hospital have been stopped at checkpoints  and have given birth there? Did you know about Isra’ Abed, the young Palestinian mother who posed no threat but was gunned down by Israeli police in Afula? Did you know about Mohammed Abu Khdeir, the Palestinian child who was kidnapped and burned alive last year by Israeli settlers? Did you know that the Israeli army killed 17 Palestinian children  in the last month just for throwing stones, or for nothing at all?

You did not mention any of these things in your article. But I’m sure you know these things. You were the secretary of state and talk about getting the cease-fire in Gaza. I’m sure you know these things, but you chose to remain silent about them. Maybe that’s good politics here in America, but it means pretending that people like me do not exist.

Secretary Clinton, you have been an inspiration for women and girls around the world. My own dream is to become a human rights and peace activist, but your article left me deeply frustrated. I know you can be better. Please do not forget us again.


Layali Awwad

Tory robots come to life

November 18, 2015

Do Conservatives take voters for fools?:
Apparently they do. Bob Hepburn of the The Star made the following statement in his Nov.15 column
When they were in power, Conservative cabinet ministers were the loudest cheerleaders for Stephen Harper’s nastiest and most controversial decisions and policies.

Harper’s ugly Republican policies were widely scorned by Canadians and as we know all the true believers signed on as the sheep they were.

None of them dared stand up to the Commissar who ruled by diktak making all the decisions. What a pathetic crew.

Imagine agreeing never to attend an all candidates meeting in a democratic country.

But they happily drank the Koolaid.

but that was then…and this is now

Hepburn writes:

Suddenly, though, these same ministers today are backpedalling as fast as they can from the very policies and practices that they championed during the Harper era
Some of them are so pathetic in their efforts to distance themselves from disgraced Harper policies that they are verging on the excuse uttered by junior military officers of “just following orders.”

Where were these ministers over the last nine years? Were they that afraid of Harper, who ruled with an iron fist?


And now they have elected the Ayn Rand devotee Rona Ambrose, a disaster as environment minister as their leader and happy to relate, she is now all for a public inquiry into the missing aboriginal women

Wow,what a conversion!

Female prophet Haneen Zoabi

November 11, 2015


Israeli Palestinian MK Haneen Zoabi is a female prophet in Israel. Like the biblical prophets, she dares to speak truth to power and Israelis deep in their bubble of denial. totally severed by that ugly wall from Palestinian life, can not bear to hear her. Death threats abide for this courageous woman. They include a Facebook group which put a bull’s-eye right above her forehead.
Speaking to a progressive Dutch Jewish group on the anniversary of Kristilnacht, Zoabi dove right in:
“I am not an immigrant in my homeland, I am “one of 120,000 of her people who were not expelled by Israel in 1948,” Zoabi — born in Nazareth in 1969 — lashed the Jewish state for creating “more than 80 laws” that discriminate against Palestinians.

The Israeli rules, said Zoabi, are similar to the conditions under which Jews lived at the time of the 1938 Kristallnacht pogrom in Germany.

Standing just meters from the former site of a centuries-old Jewish orphanage decimated during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, she drew parallels between Hitler’s genocide against the Jews and current Israeli policy against Palestinians and Israeli-Arabs.


“I share their struggle,” said Zoabi of Jewish victims of the Kristallnacht, or “Night of Broken Glass” pogrom, now seen as a turning point leading up to the Shoah.

“The central lesson of the Crystal Night has not been learned,” said Zoabi during her 15-minute speech, delivered in English. Accusing Israel of “ethnic cleansing” modeled on Nazism, she denounced half a dozen Israeli officials by name for what she referred to as recent efforts to “justify the use of violence toward Palestinians.
“It is okay to kill Arabs, I have actually done so several times,” Zoabi quoted Minister of Education Naftali Bennett as one example of the Jewish state perpetrating Nazi-like policies against Palestinians.

Event organizers who invited Zoabi have been commemorating Kristallnacht in Amsterdam since the early 1990s, but the fringe group, largely Jewish, only began equating the Nazi genocide with Israeli policy in 2010.

Zoabi told the Times of Israel:

“It is very important to commemorate Kristallnacht. I stand up for freedom, dignity and human rights. Kristallnacht was an important stage on the way to the demonization of Jews. If the majority of the Germans and the rest of the Europeans had not demonized the Jews, there would have been no Holocaust. For me, the silence of the majority an important role. Not everyone agreed, but they kept their mouths shut in the face of demonization of the Jews.

What is Zoabi’s crime? She does not shut up. She simply rejects Israeli’s monopoly of suffering; she dared to link racial hatred of 1938 to the prevalent racism in Israel today. This act of imagination drives the israelis crazy. She dares to point out the similarities of Israeli legislation to laws promulgated by the Nazis.

Zoabi links the victimization of European Jews by the Nazis to the suffering of Palestinians under Occupation.  Zionists insist they have a monopoly on suffering and the world’s sympathy and exploit the Holocaust regularly for this purpose.  Having a Palestinian probe the issue and point out both the flaws in the argument and the implications racial hatred may have in today’s Israel-Palestine conflict is simply maddening.
“I’m used to it, that I am accused of being anti-Semite or Hamas supporter. The fact is that I stand up for the Palestinian people. This makes many Israelis, and apparently others angry. That is the real reason for the sedition against my person. For Israelis, the Palestinians have no right to resist. After all, they find that there is no occupation of Palestinian territory. In their eyes, the Palestinians do not suffer humiliation, arrests, land grabbing and so on. Israel is in total denial of the occupation, the harassment of Palestinians, of crimes against humanity. If you demonstrate against it, you’re supposedly agitating. They even have a problem with Europeans supporting the Palestinians, who they seek to prevent entering the country. Israel is the one who incites against the truth.  Every critical European voice it silences by calling it anti-Semitic. ”

Hilary Clinton disastrous on Israel

November 8, 2015


Donning the prophet’s robe(one which he would run from) haaretz  writer Gideon levy  tells israelis and Americans an unwanted truth. Hilary Clinton is no friend  of israel. Her emvarrassing suck up to Jewish billionaire Haim Saban  was so cringe-inducing that most observers of cynical American politics simply had to turn away.

Here  is Gideon Levy, secular prophet in today’s Haaretz. iIwonder if any American paper would print this.

Hillary Clinton’s election as U.S. president would ensure Israel’s continued decline and degeneration. And so she is not a friend, but an enemy. She must not be allowed to deceive and present herself as a friend of Israel, as she tried so ingratiatingly to do in an article published in The Forward (“How I would reaffirm unbreakable bond with Israel — and Benjamin Netanyahu”) last week. The tear ducts were targeted as she wrote of how she assisted Magen David Adom in being accepted to the International Red Cross. But she and those like her – false friends of Israel – have been one of the curses on this country for years. Because of them, Israel can continue to act as wildly as it likes, thumbing its nose at the world and paying no price. Because of them, it can destroy itself unhindered.
Whether Clinton believes what she wrote or simply wanted once again to sell her soul for a fistful of dollars from Haim Saban and other Jewish donors, the result is extremely embarrassing. A love letter to Israel, the likes of which no U.S. statesman would ever write to another country. Americans believe “Israel is more than a country – it’s a dream,” she states. Most of the world calls it a nightmare, yet Clinton says a dream. What dream exactly? The dream of tyrannical control over another people? Racism? Nationalism? The killing of women and children in Gaza?
What happened to the Hillary Rodham Clinton who in her youth fought for civil rights and against the Vietnam War, and as a lawyer specialized in children’s rights? Did she not hear what her dream state is doing to Palestinian children? What happened to the glorious career woman who was considered liberal and justice-seeking on her way up? Did she forget it all? Does money buy everything? Or, when it comes to Israel, do all principles suddenly change?

“We will gas you until you die” Aida Camp Palestine

November 4, 2015


The arrogant Israeli Defense Forces are not very smart. They have not understood that the electronic revolution has come in judgment on their barbaric and sadistic practices. With their thinly disguised racist attitudes towards Palestinians, they openly broadcast their disturbing messages now caught on film and tape recorder. I guess in their arrogance they figure Palestinians are in the stone age and nobody will hear or see their crude daily activities.

AIDA camp is 2 ks north of Bethlehem in the West Bank. It was established in1950 as a refugee camp for the expelled Palestinians. I came here one year ago to taste Palestinian life under occupation. So I immediately related to the the story printed on the al Jazeera website on October 31,2015.


Written on the Separation Wall outside Aida

It turns out that a 17 year old resident of the camp captured on his cell phone a stunning warning from an Israeli officer riding in his car. Speaking in Arabic, the pride of Israel responding to the stone-throwing youth who were firing rocks at the nearby separation Wall. said the following:

Inhabitants of Aida, we are the Israeli occupation forces, if you throw stones we will hit you with gas until you die. The children, the youth, and the old people, all of you – we won’t spare any of you”.
We have arrested one of you. He is with us now. We took him from his home, and we will slaughter and kill him while you watch if you keep throwing stones, Go home or we will gas you until you die. Your families, your children, everyone – we will kill you.”

Now the state is master of propaganda for the goyim, the rest of the non-Jewish world who usually shrugs its shoulders at Israel’s ongoing brutality. So they suspended the officer. You can bet his career is over in the IDF. He made apparent what the state tries daily to hide from the rest of the world. It reminds me of Rabin’s scolding of Netanyahu for being blatant about occupying the West Bank. He basically told him to do it slowly like he did so the goyim would not notice.

The Zionist modus operandi always was a “slow motion genocide” (Pappé) as the saying went “dunam by dunam, goat by goat.” in this they have been successful, keeping their cruelty below the radar of the world population.All this before the electronic revolution.


The Key od Return : many Palestinians  have the keys to their stolen property. This  key is in the Aida camp.
A year ago almost to the day I got a taste of the tear gas as the army chased 10 year old kids running past me after throwing rocks and effing up the soldiers. I chuckled at the kids who play this game regularly. I did not laugh when I raced inside with my eyes burning.

The Badil Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights which iI visited the same day as the AIDA camp has condemned the latest developments, calling the officer’s announcement from the jeep “a clear and grave threat to collectively punish the population of Aida camp by way of lethal force”.

“Such an announcement is remarkable in its stated contempt for human life, as well as raising a multitude of grave concerns as to the adherence of Israeli forces to central tenets of international law,” Badil noted in a statement, citing a clear threat to kill Palestinians by way of extrajudicial executions, which would breach the Geneva Conventions.

Badil has called for an independent investigation into the incident, which comes amid escalating violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

Earlier in October the IDF shot and killed 13 year old Abdel Rahman Abdullah in the same camp. According to the Red crescent(Palestinian Red Cross) 760 Palestinians were shot with live rounds across the occupied Palestinian territory in October while another 1,857 were hit with rubber-coated steel bullets. He said that a further 5,399 Palestinians were treated for excessive tear gas inhalation during the period, while another 246 were injured in other ways, including assault by Israeli soldiers and burns from tear gas canisters. The spokesperson said that it brought the total injured during October to 8,262 Palestinians.

As for the disgraced soldier, you wonder what kind of Jew would be so stupid to speak about gassing other people given the history of the Nazi genocide.


Hebron the heart of Israeli darkness

October 30, 2015

Hebron is the largest city in the West Bank and a visit there will be enough to show anybody how sick Israel has become. 45 years ago a true believer, a putative rabbi Moshe Levinger decamped in this Arab area and was allowed to get away with this provocation. It was the beginning of the settler movement, Jews from New York and many American cities exercised their right of return and came to castle  on land ceded to the Arab population in 1949. The craven Labour government did nothing to stop this illegal activity and continued to deny the right of return to Palestinians ethnically cleansed in 1948.

Now today in this powder keg there are about 500 settlers provocatively living here surrounded by 140,000 Palestinians. Get the picture? It gets worse. In 1994, the once main market street of Hebron, Al-Shuhada street was closed by military order for Palestinian vehicles and pedestrians. Protocols were signed in from 1997, to re-open the street to the locals,. This was partially implemented in 1997 and 1998. However, since the outbreak of the Second Intifada in 2000, the street has again been closed for Palestinians.

Israel sends 18 and 19 year old kids in the IDF, 4,000 of them to basically protect the settlers who regularly harrass the locals, burn their crops, rip apart the olive groves and generally think they have a free pass to do what they want. These people are religious nuts, fundamentalists of the worse stripe with a history of violence against the indigenous people—all in the name of Torah and “God gave us this land.”
In 1994 the Brooklyn born soldier, Baruch Goldstein. the devotee of Meir Kahane, a rabbi banned in Israel for his racist hatred gunned down 29 Palestinians in the Ibrahim mosque.Over 100 were injured before the mob turned on this crank and murdered him.


In the last month more terrible news. An 18 year old woman Hadil Salah Hashlamoun was shot dead at a checkpoint near Shahada street. The soldiers yelled at her in Hebrew—a language she did not understand. They told her not to pass through the crossing. She obeyed, yet was struck with at least six bullets. As per usual Israeli authorities lied about her carrying a weapon. None were found. She was opening her bag to show the young soldier there was nothing to fear and this nervous brainwashed soldier  shot her. Another beautiful life snuffed out by some kid with little human experience, historical awareness, a cog in the machine of the Israeli military.
On October 21 Hashem al-Azzeh died Wednesday after inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli forces. Al-Azzeh lived in a part of Hebron that was frequently attacked by Israeli settlers in the Tel Rumeida section of Hebron a settlement is illegal under international law. But this particular enclave, comprised of stacks of trailers flanked by Israeli army checkpoints, houses some of the most fanatical and iolent settlers in the West Bank.

According to local sources Al-Azzeh and his family endured sustained harassment from these extremists, including an attack in which settlers assaulted his nephew, then aged 9. The settlers forced a rock into the boy’s mouth to crush his teeth, In another incident, al-Azzeh’s own teeth were smashed when settlers attacked his home, ransacking it and destroying the furniture. Al-Azzeh’s wife was assaulted by settlers twice while she was pregnant in her first and second trimesters. She miscarried both times. Never reported in the American press.

Local spokesman Hisham Sharabati, coordinator of the Hebron Defense Committee spoke about the victim:

“Hashem had a big role in showing the world, showing the press, showing solidarity groups, showing any visitor the details of the harassment by the Israeli colonizers in the city of Hebron,” said Sharabati. “The settlers practice all these crimes in the presence of the Israeli army who do not do anything to stop them.”

October 26,the gun-happy Israelis murdered another teenager at a checkpoint in Hebron . Her name was Dania Arsheid, she was 17 and a student at Al-Rayyan Girls’ High School. A witness at the scene, standing in back of Arsheid in line at the checkpoint adjacent the Ibrahimi Mosque, said the teen raised her arms and stated “I don’t have a knife” before she was shot with “eight to 10 bullets” before she fell to the ground.

And this in from the United States of Amnesia:

Members of Congress Condemn Palestinian Wave of Terror on Israeli Citizens

Palestinians Killed The Dinosaurs says Netanyahu

October 23, 2015


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed today that Palestinians were responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs.

In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper this morning, the hardline conservative leader was asked to defend his recent comments, in which he claimed Palestinians were responsible for the Holocaust.

“Well it wouldn’t be the first time they tried to drive a group to extinction,” Netanyahu told the network. “The Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, Rwanda. Even the end of the Dinosaurs. Whenever a group is threatened with annihilation, you better believe the Palestinians are behind it.”

A puzzled Anderson Cooper pressed Netanyahu on his most outrageous claim, asking “I doubt Palestinians were involved in any of those things. But do you seriously believe they killed the Dinosaurs? Human beings didn’t even exist 65 million years ago. And most scientists believe the Dinosaurs were killed by an asteroid. I mean, how is that even possible?”

“Anderson I’m not saying the Palestinians actually hunted down each individual dinosaur to extinction,” Netanyahu replied, “Of course that didn’t happen. That’s ridiculous. That makes no sense at all.

“What I am saying is that Palestinian Hamas fighters traveled back in time to 65 million years ago and set off a large series of explosives that knocked the Earth off its orbit and straight into the path of an oncoming asteroid.
“This operation was intended to wipe out the Dinosaurs, so that humanity could rise and Islam could take over the planet. Reptiles don’t believe in God, Anderson. So if you want to create an Islamic Caliphate you have to get rid of the reptiles. That’s just logic 101.

“This was no laughing matter. It was a barbaric act that destroyed an entire civilization. Millions of innocent Dinosaur families perished as a result of Hamas’s disgusting actions. Women. Children. Even unborn eggs. All were burnt to a crisp when Islamic time travelers rammed Earth into that asteroid.

“And that’s why keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of Muslims is so important. They’ve destroyed life on Earth before, so we know they’ll do it again.”

Benjamin Netanyahu has served as Israel’s Prime Minister since 2009, after previously serving in the same post from 1996 to 1999. He was recently reelected in March. all this news courtesy of the Daily Currant.

Canadians finally tired of the politics of division

October 20, 2015

Harper Bye

The most divisive politician in my lifetime Stephen Harper has mercifully departed from politics. It turns out that Canadians generally were sick of the master of black arts and dog whistle politics like the Niqab. They were tired of thinly veiled Islamaphobia and embarrassed at being at our country being an ecological scofflaw. In general Harper shredded our long-cherished middle position on the world stage, particularly on his bizarre support for the shocking ongoing occupation of Palestine. All the world began scratching its head—whatever happened to Canada, our ray of hope north of the 49th parallel? Stephen Harper and his retrograde Republican values happened.

The master of cynicism outsmarted himself by running the longest campaign in Canadian history hoping that with the deep pockets of Canada’s 1 per cent he could bankrupt the other parties. It blew up in his face as the country watched Not Ready for Prime Time Justin Trudeau prove just the opposite. While not a huge fan of young Justin his obvious genuineness and ability to connect with people was a welcome contrast to the dour, tight-assed Harper.

While I hold no great hope for the next few years the Liberal win was a slap in the face to the absolutely appalling degradation of politics played by Harper. An old Liberal game was played out once again, campaign from the left and rule from the right. I hope I am wrong this time for the good of the country.

To the democracy deficit. It still boggles my mind that the sheep running under the Tory banner actually followed orders never to appear at an all candidates meeting. What an insult to our system of governance — forbidding a politician who hoped to represent you debate the issues of the day.But the diktat came down from the one man Politburo NYET. Do not show up. We’ll buy TV time and win the election this way. Absolutely unbelievable. People should have immediately parked their votes elsewhere.

Obviously the country grew very tired of Harper’s narrow vision which pit Canadians against Canadians. We knew we were a better country than the one he tried to destroy.Young Trudeau stealing a line from Abe Lincoln simply appealed to our “better angels.”

The people opted for the Liberals as agents of change. Justin Trudeau simply appealed more than Tom Mulcair a very good parliamentary debater but just too ambitious for the top job. Riding the “Orange Wave, really won by Jack Layton’s sunny disposition and hopeful politics, Mulcair steered disastrously to the right and opted for the mushy middle alienating the base of the NDP. When the NDP finds itself to the right of the Liberals on running a deficit you knew the end was in sight and many very good NDP members were victims of strategic voting. Mulcair’s market mania was a bad misstep. In politics you never know when a tidal wave is on the horizon .This tsunami had “the anti-Harper massive anti-Harper written all over it.

Politics under advanced capitalism is a very dicey affair. Given the tremendous power of capital to divert people’s attention and confuse them, it is often second raters with deep pockets who win the day. Americans fell incredibly for the simple nostrums of Ronald Reagan and then 2 terms of the appalling George Bush. Most shocking of all was the victory of the ultimate buffoon Toronto’s Rob Ford. Only people who have never done the spade work which democracy demands would fall for the above. posers. Yet many good people did. Often it was for economic reasons, the age old winner of tax cuts as if you can build a modern country without a generous graduated tax system. “More money in your pocket”—what a tired mantra,one which Mr.Harper actually used in his concession speech.

Mulcair gave an excellent concession speech focussing on the end of the cynical politics of fear and division. But nothing on his crushing defeat. The NDP will have to go back to its drawing board and ask some fundamental questions. Canada is always stronger for having a third party.

All in all Canadians rose to the fore and spurned the ugly politics which Stephen Harper embodied.

And who was the backroom boy that allowed Harper to appear with the Ford brothers?

Oh, that’s right, who else—Harper called all the shots.


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