Friday, December 19, 2008

Poor deeply troubled elite (and their help)

By Deb Riechmann, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Citing danger to American economy, the Bush administration came to the rescue of the U.S. auto industry Friday, offering US$17.4 billion in emergency loans in exchange for concessions from the deeply troubled carmakers and their workers.

"Carmakers" don't MAKE cars. They exploit the labour of those who DO. THEIR workers = enough said. BOSSES don't make "concessions": WORKERS DO, in great part because the class collaborationist union bureaucracy sells workers out daily, always identifying with the poor bosses. Way past time for more sit-down strikes and ignoring house slave "representatives."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

white poppies for peace November 11, 2008

The Ottawa White Poppy Collective will lay a wreath decorated with white poppies at the War Memorial on November 11 at 12:30 P.M.

We have chosen not to lay our wreath during the public wreath laying time near the end of the official ceremony to avoid any appearance of competition with or distraction from that ceremony. We will be conducting our own small ceremony as an alternative to the socially-sanctioned one. Meeting each year for a ceremony in which the trappings and nostalgia of war are clearly prominent will not end war. We remember all those who died and are dying in war, soldier and civilian alike, by working to prevent war. The white poppy is a symbol, a pledge that war must not happen again. It is also a challenge to the worn-out belief in violence as a means of conflict resolution.

History of the white poppy: in 1933 the Co-operative Women's Guild produced the first white poppies to be worn on Armistice Day (later called Remembrance Day). The idea for a white poppy arose from the concerns of the wives, mothers, sisters and lovers of the men who had died and been injured in World War One. Increasingly aware of the likelihood of another war, they chose this symbol “as a pledge to Peace that war must not happen again.” See the Peace Pledge Union website:

For more info about the Ottawa event, contact Brenda Vellino at 613 730-0446/ or Ian Harvey at 613 868-7630/

Monday, October 27, 2008

"A vote for either John McCain or Barack Obama is—at best—an act of criminal negligence" (Mickey Z.)

Glad to see I'm not the only one disappointed in Noam's and Howard's take on electoral politics. I still don't get why they are taking this position, these men who used to say that voting is only bread and circuses, spectacle, distraction. It's so much worse than that.

Monday, October 6, 2008

voting is a a sham, a spectacle, a circus to distract the people

If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal

Emma Goldman

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ditto on the "gas shortage"

But if you watch TV or read newspapers intended for the masses (every paper/publication not dedicated to the business classes), every day you will hear the alarms meant to scare us into submission and fatalism.


Funny how publications written for the elite tell the truth a lot of the time because their readers are the people running the world while the masses get all the propaganda to keep us confused and powerless.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Rescuing Mothers' Day

Mother's Day was originally started after the Civil War, as a protest to
the carnage of that war, by women who had lost their sons. Here is the
original Mother's Day Proclamation from 1870, followed by a bit of
history (or should I say "herstory"):


Mothers' Day Proclamation: Julia Ward Howe, Boston, 1870

Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether
our baptism be that of water or of fears!

Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant
agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for
caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.

We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country
to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the
devastated earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says "Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of

Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war,
let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest
day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate
the dead.

Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after
their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general
congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held
at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period
consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different
nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the
great and general interests of peace.

Julia Ward Howe

Mother's Day for Peace - by Ruth Rosen.
Honor Mother with Rallies in the Streets.The holiday began in activism;
it needs rescuing from commercialism and platitudes.

Every year, people snipe at the shallow commercialism of Mother's Day.
But to ignore your mother on this holy holiday is unthinkable. And if
you are a mother, you'll be devastated if your ingrates fail to honor
you at least one day of the year.

Mother's Day wasn't always like this. The women who conceived Mother's
Day would be bewildered by the ubiquitous ads that hound us to find that
"perfect gift for Mom." They would expect women to be marching in the
streets, not eating with their families in restaurants. This is because
Mother's Day began as a holiday that commemorated women's public
activism, not as a celebration of a mother's devotion to her family.

The story begins in 1858 when a community activist named Anna Reeves
Jarvis organized Mothers' Works Days in West Virginia. Her immediate
goal was to improve sanitation in Appalachian communities. During the
Civil War, Jarvis pried women from their families to care for the
wounded on both sides.
Afterward she convened meetings to persuale men to lay aside their

In 1872, Juulia Ward Howe, author of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic",
proposed an annual Mother's Day for Peace. Committed to abolishing war,
wrote: "Our husbands shall not come to us reeking with carnage... Our
sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to
teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will
be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be
trained to injure theirs".

For the next 30 years, Americans celebrated Mothers' Day for Peace on
June 2.

Many middle-class women in the 19th century believed that they bore a
special responsibility as actual or potential mothers to care for the
casualties of society and to turn America into a more civilized nation.
They played a leading role in the abolitionist movement to end slavery.
In the following decades, they launched successful campaigns against
lynching and consumer fraud and battled for improved working conditions
for women and protection for children, public health services and social
welfare assistance to the poor.
To the activists, the connection between motherhood and the fight for
social and economic justice seemed self-evident.

In 1913, Congress declared the second Sunday in May to be Mother's Day.
By then, the growing consumer culture had successfully redefined women
as consumers for their families. Politicians and businessmen eagerly
enbraced the idea of celebrating the private sacrifices made by
individual mothers. As the Florists' Review, the industry's trade
jounal, bluntly put it, "This was a holiday that could be exploited."

The new advertising industry quickly taught Americans how to honor their
mothers - by buying flowers. Outraged by florists who were seling
carnations for the exorbitant price of $1 apeice, Anna Jarvis' duaghter
undertook a campaging against those who "would undermine Mother's Day
with their greed."
But she fought a losing battle. Within a few years, the Florists'
Review triumphantly announced that it was "Miss Jarvis who was
completely squelched."

Since then, Mother's Day has ballooned into a billion-dollar industry.

Americans may revere the idea of motherhood and love their own mothers,
but not all mothers. Poor, unemployed rmothers may enjoy flowers, but
they also need child care, job training, health care, a higher minimum
wage and paid parental leave. Working mothers may enjoy breakfast in
bed, but they also need the kind of governmental assistance provided by
every other industrialized society.

With a little imagination, we could restore Mother's Day as a holiday
that celebrates women's political engagement in society. During the
1980's, some peace groups gathered at nuclear test sites on Mother's Day
to protest the arms race. Today, our greatest threat is not from
missilies but from our indifference toward human welfare and the health
of our planet. Imagine, if you can, an annual Million Mother March in
the nation's capital. Imagine a Mother's Day filled with voices
demanding social and economic justice and a sustainable future, rather
than speeches studded with syrupy platitudes.

Some will think it insulting to alter our current way of celebrating
Mother's Day. But public activism does not preclude private expressions
of love and gratitude. (Nor does it prevent people from expressing their
appreciation all year round.)

Nineteenth century women dared to dream of a day that honored women's
civil activism. We can do no less. We should honor their vision with
civic activism.

Ruth Rosen is a professor of history at UC Davis.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

That's what I'm talkin' about!

Bolivian President Evo Morales' 10 commandments to save the planet, life and humanity

1-Acabar con el sistema capitalista

1-Stopping the capitalist system

2-Renunciar a las guerras

2-Renouncing wars

3-Un mundo sin imperialismo ni colonialismo

3-A world without imperialism or colonialism

4-Derecho al agua

4-Right to water

5-Desarrollo de energías limpias

5-Development of clean energies

6-Respeto a la madre tierra

6-Respect for Mother Earth

7-Servicios básicos como derechos humanos

7-Basic services as human rights

8-Combatir las desigualdades

8-Fighting inequalities

9-Promover la diversidad de culturas y economías

9-Promoting diversity of cultures and economies

10-Vivir bien, no vivir mejor a costa del otro

10-Living well, not living better at the expense of others

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Being the change we want to see in the world

You don't see the ridiculous irony of your video (and your tactics?) against CANSEC? You say out of one side of your mouths that you are against their bombs and their wars while simultaneously saying you want to make war on them and throwing your version of a bomb at them! How are you any different? Because your bombs are smaller and cheaper? Because you don't have the power of the corporate state? Why would any person for peace, love and solidarity look forward to a world in which the new bosses are the same as the old ones? BTW, I'm an anarchist, too, and some of the Black Bloc is becoming its own corporate media caricature. Talk about stepping right into the cops'/propagandists' trap and alienating yourselves from working people.

Who needs to be educated??

Oppression anywhere, resistance everywhere!

Vandals deface peacekeeping monument
Saturday, April 05, 2008

OTTAWA - The curator of Ottawa's peacekeeping monument, defaced with anti-war graffiti this week, says the vandals chose altogether the wrong target.

Sometime Thursday or Friday, the eastern stone wall of the monument facing Sussex Drive was spraypainted with messages apparently [sic] objecting to Canada's involvement in Afghanistan. As of yesterday, the graffiti on the wall still read "Afghan civilians dead," "oppression anywhere resistance everywhere[,]" and included an anarchy symbol.

The monument, however, predates Canada's combat mission in Afghanistan.

"It's a monument to the very act of carrying out Canada's foreign policy by the military[,] and going wherever we're sent to hopefully convince the warring factions to stop fighting and start talking," curator John Gardam said.

"If only these people could be educated as to what the monument really means, then maybe they would show a little more respect."

Friday, April 4, 2008

Industrial war on "odour" and germs

Febreze is everywhere on TV leading the charge against the nasty smell of fish, for example, the man cooking the fish while covering his nose, as if a person would cook and eat something that so disgusted him! It is unconscionable for us to have breaths even hinting of such noxious scents as garlic and onions (racism is at the root of that prejudice, I'm sure) and coffee, one gum commercial showing a "friend" and a co-worker telling the offending party in an utterly scornful and repulsed way that he needs a particular piece of chemical gum to "freshen" his offensive breath the second he speaks from a foot away. And germs, so scary and ubiquitous! There is the Lysol ad with the colourful swarming representations of germs all over the phone before the kid picks it up. We need antiseptic wipes just to take the bus or go grocery shopping. Febreze again must be sprayed and even huffed in the air by the crazily Febreze-dedicated mom. Odours stay locked in soft surfaces, duh, so we hafta spray Febreze all over our furniture, carpets and curtains to magically "remove" those noxious stenches because, of course, the petrochemical industry cares about our environment. We must trust them when they tell us that germs and odours are to be feared and that we need their products. We hafta have disposal toilet brushes and dusters with Febreze, too. Febreze is taking over! And that is normal while worrying about environmental pollution and cancer is only for tree-hugging fruitcakes.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Yuppies and their new puppies

Enough about your babies, their births or purchases from China or Africa, the new meaning of life you've supposedly found while the rest of us, especially working class mothers, get nothing but accusations of how poorly we raise ours. The yups, including their celebrity members, are like kids with new puppies to which they attach metaphysical importance because these puppies sprang out of their own wise, svelte and benevolent bodies. Makes me wanna hurl how they expect the rest of us to be enthralled by them reproducing themselves. A couple of moments from now, these kids will be writing books about how their parents didn't even raise 'em.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The only political perspective worse than fascism and reactionary conservatism

is neo-liberalism, Marxism-Leninism and saddest of all, the Anarchist Federation of France's.
Usually the conservatives and fascists will let you know directly how much they hate you if you disagree with them, but the "progressives" say they love everyone until you say something that implies their feet are made of clay, and then they will cut out your heart and sign off with "regards" or have a "nice day."

same old conversation with a liberal

I still have a long way to go in my life and thought to be non-violent, and the "anti-war" movement has a long way to go before it becomes a peace movement, but even my hopes that at least it was an anti-war movement are dashed because those leading it are not even really anti-war (UFPJ et al), let alone really pro-peace. Of course, many are not really against capitalism and/or cannot see any alternatives, like this one here below

Yesterday at the “anti-war” rally in Ottawa, you (a speaker) called Canada's war in Afghanistan "unwinnable," as some also call the US war in Iraq. So is your organization in favour of wars that can be won? They can always nuke 'em to "win," you know. Would you like that? Are you anti-war or not? The peace movement has a long history of unclarity about this. All war is immoral, period. Using qualifying adjectives with the word "war" implies you are not really against war but only against particular wars, as many in the US are against the current war in Iraq, calling it an "illegal" war. In my opinion, that is just some sort of political adventurism because I guess you are against some people who wage war, like the Conservatives or Republicans, but not the other warmongers. Five minutes ago, the same people were also calling both "illegal" and "unwinnable" wars "Bush's war" and "Harper's war," confused about the fact that all presidents and prime ministers have always waged war. As long as the people speaking publicly as if they are anti-war are confused, we will not create a real peace movement.


Dear Ian,

I cannot agree more that all wars are bad wars, however. You would agree that wars are sometimes imposed on people and states, such was the case in the first and second world wars.

This is a "reality" that makes pacifism irrelevant. I do not view the peace movement as pacifist. Indeed, I view it as the movement that expresses the democratic will of people for a just world that is free of man's inhumanity to man.

In the case of Afghanistan, I oppose our role there even if the war is winnable. I oppose it, simply because we accepted the role of aggressors, when we clearly have the choice not to, just like we did in Iraq. The Afghan people did not attack us, neither did they declare war against us. We are imposing the war on them and that is wrong.

But I agree with you that there are no "good" wars for anyone, and when I said that this war is not winnable, I did not imply my agreement with winnable wars. I said so merely to show the barbarism and cronyism of our warmongering political leaders, who voted for the extension to 2011.


No, I do NOT agree that pacifism is "irrelevant" or that there were/are no there options to any war, even the sacred World Wars. The "Allies" loved the fascists until there own economic interests were threatened, despite all the hype to the contrary (see They watched Hitler take Poland, turned a blind eye to the Holocaust, refused to allow Jews to immigrate to their countries, profited from their slave labour, etc., etc., ad nauseum. Saying that there are no options but war without even trying any is reprehensible. We always have choices. There are many options besides war, such as non-cooperation, embargo, etc. The Danes successfully fought the Nazi occupation without weapons. Study the history of non-violent resistance before believing that war is ever an alternative. If you are familiar with this history and still say that war is an option, then you are not against all wars, period. If you are unaware of it, please do some research. Look up the War Resisters' League and what they can tell you about that history. You reject pacifism as "irrelevant," but I'm not sure how much you know of its history/current practice.



Are you saying that the French resistance was wrong? Are you saying that Cuban resistance to the Bay of Pigs invasion was wrong? How about the Vietnamese, would pacifism have won the Vietnamese their war for liberation and independence?

I disagree with you when you mix up between pacifism as an option and war as a consequence. It is agreed that war, historically is a consequence of economic greed, whereas pacifism is the option to allow monsters of the world to rule the day.

I would not adopt a pacifist option if and when I know that I am being attacked for profit. You may choose that option and that's your prerogative.

Finally, of course there is an alternative to war. I did not say there are none. However, reality shows that Imperialism and powerful corporate interests have null interest in pursuing such alternative.


I'm saying that the French resistance shooting back was not the only way, as the Danes and many others have shown. Organized mass non-violence worked in Denmark, so who's to say it wouldn't have worked in France? Other people in France were using non-violent methods, such as the Rosenstrasse women mentioned in the wikipedia link I sent you. How could either or us know whether it would have worked in Vietnam or anywhere else? The issue isn't so much winning or not ("winning" is one of THEIR values) but trying not to become like them, like the Vietnamese National Liberation Front did and all other Maoists/Stalinists/Leninists/Trotskyists have become. FARC's a great example of that. As far as Cuba is concerned, again, I don't know, but 1200 unpopular guys coming ashore--what would they have done against 10 million Cubans who didn't agree with them? Probably not much. Your argument is that some violence and some wars are okay, right? Just admit that. You don't have to be a pacifist. Non-violence is not something I expect the imperialists to practice, LOL. When you say they don't have any interest in pacifism, it sounds as if you support electoral means, getting the elite to change their ways. Of course, they never will. We have to be the change we want to see in the world, and I for one, want no violence against other people and the planet, period.


It very much looks like you and I share the same vision Ian;"want no violence against other people and the planet, period."

Where we differ is how to achieve this vision. Although I advocate organization and education, in order to yes..elect..true democratic representatives, you advocate pacifism.

You can't have it both ways. Be a pacifist and at the same time one for regime change. Pacifism cannot lead to "regime change" - a must in my opinion - if we are to rid the world of imperialist systems.

Capitalism must evolve in order for it to implode and it is evolving fast. You and I are are proof of that, but so are all the liberation and resistance movements in Asia, Africa and Latin America that oppose imperialist hegemony and occupations.


Let me see if I have this straight: you want no violence, period, BUT you want “regime change,” which you believe cannot be done with pacifism but only by 1) electing more leaders of some kind to replace the present ones and by 2) believing that capitalism is evolving and will implode.

We don’t share the same vision at all. I don’t want any regime changes because I don’t believe in regimes, i.e., states and governments and leaders, and I certainly don’t believe that replacing particular capitalists or greenwashing capitalism, etc., can change it. It can’t be reformed because profit is what drives it, not human need, no matter who’s running it. So I can have it both ways. I want no states, and I want to use no violence to achieve that. Black South Africans might not have all wanted to end the state, but they certainly threw out the apartheid regime without violence, so even people who aren’t anarchists, as I am, are often for regime change via non-violent means. They couldn’t vote, so they had no liberal illusions to overcome about that false choice. I think you are probably a liberal (lower-case “l”) who is not in touch with the fact that he is not really against all violence but only some violence. I’m not trying to get you to agree with me about non-violent resistance but only to admit that you are not against all violence against human beings. I have had this same conversation with others many, many times, and its very rare that someone will admit that he/she believes that some violence is justified, a belief which to me is the root of the whole problem.


Thanks for your intervention Mr. Harvey. "Resistance" can accommodate both of us. Let's leave it at that.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday, February 1, 2008

upon recently hearing one more friend has fallen for them, thought i'd post this

Our Derelict Illusions (for Fed)

“To call on the people to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions” (Marx on religion, 1844).

When I first saw our brother Jack,
He was nodding at the kitchen table,
The phone in hand loudly signaling
No one at the other end,
A cigarette burning down between his fingers,
And he became my hero in that instant
Because he didn’t give a fuck about a thing—
Three decades later, I see him there
And still want what he had just then,
Abcesses, burns and bruises airbrushed out,
No desperate joneses or humiliation,
Deleting scenes of him pulling out
His eyelashes in frustration
When he couldn’t find a vein—
Still I think of living somewhere like Tehran
Or better, having a boxcar load of liquid morphine,
So I’d have the perfect junkie life for sure
Because there’d be no problem with supply,
Though I’d have to find ingenious methods
Of ingestion undiscovered yet,
Protect my stash from thievery,
Myself from overdose and murderous attempts
To rob me, and then my liver would quit
At 90 just before the dope ran out.

We said we’d be old men in rocking chairs,
With hashish pipes in hand and grandkids gathered
‘Round our knees to marvel at our wisdom,
Like how the world would be a better place
If everyone would shoot narcotics—
We’d laugh and say, “We are omnipotent,”
But at twenty-four you nodded out for good
While I was tucked away in rehab,
And how I wish that you were here with me—
I’ve learned a lot I’d love to share with you
About solidarity and vulnerability
Since we stumbled loaded miles together.
I’ve often wondered why you died
And I’ve lived on for thirty years since then,
When you’d have done as well as I
Or anyone at living on—
Old-timers in AA tried to console me
With platitudes about some “plan”
That God must have for me (and not for you,
I guess), which was no help at all,
And NA saved my life, for sure,
But never answered questions more complex
Than how to live drug-free: that’s huge
But not much of a “plan” or road to take.

The mind is such a mystery to me—
It turns to anything to avoid
Our present condition, even addiction,
Its romantic rituals,
Tragic searching for solace,
Surreal, euphoric memories,
Bullshit ‘bout the “good old days”
Or some imagined angle to escape
Inevitable jail, institutions or death
(It’ll be different this time, I know it will)—
Even though (or maybe because) I miss
My young dead friends, especially you,
Even though a daughter’s following
In my footsteps and I see the victims
Everywhere, I sometimes envy those
At it still with bigger habits,
Their exciting lives, their fortune at the game—
One plan is to struggle now somehow
To destroy our condition that requires such illusions,
Our dog-eat-dog, shit-flows-downhill condition,
Our sacrificial slaughter on the altar of Power and Profit,
By creating a new reality
So fair and clean that no one needs escape,
No one seeks an accidental suicide.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Naples Daily Noose defending Burger King's "right" to exploit farmworkers/my response

Editorial: Burger King
Chain’s hint of tomato ban is volley back at coalition

Daily News staff
Friday, January 25, 2008

Burger King has announced it may stop buying tomatoes from Southwest Florida packing houses if the Coalition of Immokalee Workers continues pressuring the fast-food giant to pay a penny more per pound for one of customers’ favorite toppings.

Burger King’s announcement comes amid word that prior commitments from other fast-food chains such as Taco Bell and McDonald’s to help migrant workers get a better break — approximately doubling their pay per 40-pound bucket picked — may be falling apart as growers now back away.

We understand there has been resistance in the past to coalition initiatives out of concern for the organization becoming a union and agribusiness losing control. Still, we wonder whether Burger King’s bold move may simply be an overdue acknowledgement that what the coalition proposes turns fundamental economics upside down. It asks that buyers in the free marketplace pay more than they have to for a raw material. The coalition asks companies to take less of a profit or pass the added expense on to consumers in the form of higher prices.

As a result, Immokalee agribusiness and migrant workers themselves may lose jobs.

The logic, leveraged by street demonstrations outside targeted firms’ corporate headquarters, has been ripe for someone to blow the whistle, and now Burger King has.


I see that Lytle and the other lapdogs of corporate power at the Naples Daily Noose still know on which side their Milkbone is buttered, and as usual, the growers/bosses/those in power are still breaking treaties.

“[T] here has been resistance in the past to [C]oalition [of Immokalee Worker] initiatives out of concern for the organization becoming a union and agribusiness losing control.” Well, of course, heaven forbid there should be any working-class organization because those poverty-stricken agribiz bosses like Collier Enterprises et al won’t make quite as many millions, pobrecitos.

Notice Burger King makes “bold moves.” Talking about turning logic and decency upside down! A powerful corporation using its muscle to extort more sweat for less pay from the workers producing its wealth is a brave thing to the Noose, while those same workers trying to make a tiny bit better living are threatening to turn the Noose’s beloved capitalism “upside down.” Somebody has to “blow the whistle” on these workers trying to survive? Holy Orwellian twisting of what whistleblowing means!

However, there is some truth in this editorial: it is anathema to capitalism that the people actually producing the wealth (workers) have some decent share of it. (The lower the wages, the higher the profits).

The good news, though, is that there is an alternative to higher prices for those consumers (also working people) the Noose says it’s worried about, an alternative that never gets mentioned in the discourse of those defending the “right” of corporations to make more and more money no matter what: BK could choose to make a little less money while still paying a little more for tomatoes without charging more for their crappy food.

It is not a natural law that the only choice is EITHER higher wages OR no jobs and higher prices. “Passing on the expense to consumers” is only an excuse to demonize workers.

Ian Harvey

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Even sadder than another senseless death is the propaganda that guarantees many more will follow

Dead soldier found his calling in Afghanistan, say mourners

Kathryn May

Ottawa Citizen

Saturday, January 12, 2008

OTTAWA - Gunner Jonathan Dion was something of a lost soul (WHATEVER THAT MEANS—BUT AT LEAST HE WAS ALIVE) until he joined the army and found his mission in Afghanistan to "make a difference," said friends as they mourned the soldier who was killed late last month.

Dion, who would have turned 28 years old last week, died Dec. 30 during his first NATO mission (THAT’S WHAT YOU CALL A SHORT “CALLING” IN LIFE! AND THESE SAME PEOPLE THINK SUICIDE BOMBERS ARE NUTS.) after his light-armored vehicle struck a roadside bomb about 20 kilometers west of Kandahar city.

As they loaded his wooden casket into the waiting gray hearse, the family released a white dove (FOR PEACE?!), which flew over the heads of a somber crowd that had gathered silently outside.

Dion was born in Val d'Or Que., but spent most of his life in Gatineau. Friends said he was a good athlete, was generous, selfless and "one of the gang" who was always willing to help his friends (AND HIS EARLY VIOLENT DEATH WAS HIS REWARD??)

Kevin Graham, who grew up with Dion and later followed him into the military, said his friend found his calling in the armed forces. He had dropped out of school, tried his hand at a few jobs (AS IF THAT WAS SUCH AN UNUSUAL THING THAT HE WAS BETTER OFF KILLING HIMSELF? HOW ABOUT CREATING A SOCIETY IN WHICH WORKING CLASS MEN DON'T SEE KILLING AND BEING KILLED FOR THEIR GOVERNMENT AS THEIR ONLY WAY TO MAKE A LIVING??? BUT THEN WHO WOULD FIGHT THEIR WARS FOR THEM???) - and then someone handed a pamphlet about the military and he was sold, said Mr. Graham.

He said his emails from Afghanistan revealed how much Dion loved his work and had found his niche (POOR GUYS DON'T KNOW THAT A "NICHE" MEANS SOMEWHERE SAFE AND SECURE). In fact, Graham said it was Dion who inspired him to join the military a year later.

"It was the best decision he made in his life," said Graham. "He wanted to make a difference in the world and that's what he did." (AND THIS POOR GUY MAY SOON FOLLOW IN HIS DECISION TO GIVE HIS LIFE FOR SOME "MISSION" FOR THE RICH.)

Dion's uncle Ronald Marcil said his nephew was a proud soldier who was determined to go back to Afghanistan even before he finished his first tour of duty. Despite his death, he said, the family supports the mission and distributed "Support Our Troops" pins and magnets during the funeral (SUPPORT THE TROOPS BY BRINGING THEM HOME!).

Saturday, January 12, 2008

great sick example of what advertising does

back-to-back commercials on canadian tv in winter:

commercial 1: ad for caribbean destination tickets showing depressed characters fed up with shoveling snow, how early it gets dark, etc., the characters actually crying and wailing.

commercial 2: a twinrix ad worrying northern travelers about that same vaunted, tempting caribbean rubbed in our faces in the previous commercial now suddenly dangerous because the pharmaceutical corporation needs us to be afraid in order to buy its product, a hepatitis vaccine.

we cannot be allowed to accept or enjoy the moment because then we wouldn't want to escape, wouldn't "need" their products, every momentary escape fraught with "danger" or "lack," too, so the cycle of dissatisfaction and yearning consumption never stops.

john berger's ways of seeing (1972) still the best book ever written on this carrot-and-stick of capitalism.