Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Harper Government's Job Creation Initiative

 HT: Mark Crispin Miller
and the good folks at reddit.

The top ad ad first appeared on Craigslist and disappeared suddenly;  only to reappear on the Telecommute Job list for various Canadian cities.
It has since been removed as well.

But "Questions Remain." according to Were these legitimate offers, or simply pranks?

The ad stated the purpose of hiring the writers was to "help balance the left-wing bias of the major media outlets."

The ad, complete with spelling errors, instructed interested applicants to submit a 100-word post, based on the headline "Ignatieff Promises No Coallitions (sic) after Election."
The posting appeared on the website in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Halifax.
Craigslist staff removed the advertisement during the day — but another one appeared soon after. Essentially the same ad, this time it sought writers to post left-wing comments. Applicants were asked to write a 100-word post, this one based on the headline "Harper Promises Everything."

Comments on Twitter quickly accused the Conservative party of being behind the right-wing ad, but others discounted the entire thing as an online joke.

"And I thought the Con trolls hated me on principle, but turns out it's just a well-paid job," wrote Justin Trudeau, federal Liberal candidate for Papineau.
Prank it may be, but if so, it's entirely credible, as earlier, well documented astroturfing and gaming efforts have demonstrated. Given Harper's idiological ties, it's not surprising that his government or some helpful "non profit" organization might consider this to be a "contribution" to "the cause."

And that's where the Neocons have a problem, because the tactic of poisoning and gaming social media toward an agenda is not at all new. So if it's a prank, it's one that could be even more effective than Andrew Brietbart's efforts in gaming media. People who are not immediately inclined to believe anything that's spewed from the current list of Right-Wing talking points are becoming more and more suspicious that the people spewing them are people like this.
As some of you may have noticed, OD is getting a lot of hits off “reddit” this evening, one of the most popular social news websites. Earlier this afternoon, a hysterical leftist called “Angela Motorman” posted a link to my post on White Nationalism and Social Media. Presumably, it was Motorman who came here threatening to report OD to the SPLC and the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department for speech she doesn’t like on the internet.
The thread has since made it to the first page of the “reddit” politics section. Lots of Jews and White liberals are flooding in here and taking a look around. If this breakthrough is big enough to get us noticed by the SPLC, I would be thrilled beyond words, as I have been trying so hard (unsuccessfully) to get their attention for months now.
Now of course I'm not stating that people who could be persuaded to support the Harper Government are racist skinheads. Goodness no. I'm just pointing out that if you go looking for such people, they are out there and are definitely down with suppressing left-of-fucktard-racist speech. They are probably cheaply available and are likely the first to respond to such a call. Since, well, they already do.

CBC Manitoba was singled out by the Southern Chiefs Organization (SCO), but similar comments are on media blogs across Manitoba.
Topics ranged from the Six Nations blockade in Caledonia, Ont., Quebec First Nations angered by development plans, Manitoba First Nations protesting for a share of pipeline profits, the stalled Peguis land deal and a fatal fire on a B.C. reserve.
SCO leaders say the blog comments denigrate aboriginal culture beliefs, slam aboriginal people with racist insults, and trot out outdated stereotypes and misinformation.

Hell, they might even be willing to do it from one of those Free Enterprise Prisons Mister Harper likes, speaking of jobs creation. Oh, and it's a social housing programme too! I'm reliably informed that various racist groups are alive and well in Canadian prisons, so if I were to be as mean spirited as the average paid astroturfing troll, I could say that he was pandering to a special interest group.

The problem for Mr. Harper and this little story is that the Neoconservatives have created a new playbook, one where it's ok to lie, to cheat, to misinform and to "shape the dialogue." Having done so with some success for many years, and as saturated by US passive and interactive media as Canadians are, we have become familiar with the tactic. And when properly motivated, and given an actual sense of humor and an ear for dialogue, it's not all that hard to take the Right Wing for a spin.

Hell, it happens often enough by accident...

So whether we are seeing an inept attempt by real conservatives to continue an established tactic, or an artful prank doesn't actually matter.

I refer you to Poe's Law and some examples of why such confusions might not be in the long term interests of Conservatives.

UPDATE: Yours Truly was just ironically bitten by Poe's Law...

How to To Succeed At Trolling Without Even Trying...'s so easy you can do it without thinking. Oh. Wait.
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Why I'm Not Voting for "Harper's Government."

The G20 summit caused chaos in Canada’s largest city and accomplished nothing other than a $1-billion photo-op for Stephen Harper, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said Monday during a campaign stop in Toronto

"The Harper Government," illustrated above, is not Conservative, save in the depressingly Neoconservative (Neoliberal) sense. And that is to say, not at all. Ignatieff is wrong; that billion dollars was well spent, if you understand what Harper's Government was trying to achieve; what he was trying to communicate to ordinary citizens and the world.

[N]ot only is the Conservative vision of an executive based, uniform and militaristic nation-state a coherent and substantive vision, but the Harper government has taken concrete and bold steps during a short minority government to make this vision standard operating practice.  It is time this was broadly acknowledged. The orthodoxy that the Harper government is a government that doesn’t do much be less superficially circulated. And a consideration of all that exists inside the otherwise thin description of the Harper government brand be undertaken.   Perhaps it is time to recognize that in current practice the Harper government is the government of Canada and the government of Canada is the Harper government.  If people do not like that equation then they should respond to the substance of this equation rather than just questioning the act of rebranding itself.
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Who wins a cultural war? The one who gets there furstist with the mostest.

"Ruins in Richmond" Damage to Richmo...Image via WikipediaWhen the Wall Street Journal publishes a piece like this, you best stop whatever you are doing and pay attention. Because we are not speaking now of subtle indications of possible future unrest, we are talking about immediate, actionable intelligence.

Tax the Super Rich now or face a revolution Paul B. Farrell - MarketWatch
Yes, tax the Super Rich. Tax them now. Before the other 99% rise up, trigger a new American Revolution, a meltdown and the Great Depression 2.

Revolutions build over long periods — to critical mass, a flash point. Then they ignite suddenly, unpredictably. Like Egypt, started on a young Google executive’s Facebook page. Then it goes viral, raging uncontrollably. Can’t be stopped. Here in America the set-up is our nation’s pervasive “Super-Rich Delusion.”

The same thing, from a different perspective, to the parents of the potential revolutionaries.

COLUMN — American workers got what they deserved - Holland, MI - The Holland Sentinel
Remember the Reagan standard? Are you better off today than you were a decade ago? Two decades? Three? Unless you make more than $380,000 a year, the answer is no. In fact, your standard of living over the last quarter century has actually decreased while millionaires have added 30 percent to their net wealth. Why? Two reasons.

First, hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs went overseas while the politicians you elected did nothing to stop them. Yet you continue to elect leaders who offer nothing but tax cuts, as if that would stem the flow of disappearing jobs.

Did you demand your leaders address America’s trade imbalance or continuous outsourcing of jobs? Did you demand your leaders require foreign countries to buy a dollar’s worth of American goods for every dollar of goods they sell here?

No and no. You didn’t bother. You simply crossed your fingers and prayed, “I hope my job’s not next.” You made concessions to your employer and hoped that would stem the exodus of jobs, or at least yours. How’d that work for you?

I've spoken a lot about this potential over the last decade, and this is a recurring theme. Sane people do not govern or regulate like feudal barons, because, well, history tells us what happens in the historical short term to such barons. When authority abuse becomes pervasive and when those who complain of it are routinely targeted for reprisals, those people who are in authority and the institutions they control cease to be supported by those who pay for them. What happens next? If you are an American, I suggest you re-read the preamble to the Deceleration of Independence and the Second Amendment.

Graphictruth: Civil War
Unless it becomes quite clear that the danger to the administration from the left is just as grave as the danger from the right, and by "danger" I mean a very literal potential danger, there will be no progress. It's not about Left and right, it is about Lawful and Unlawful, a choice between the Rule of Law and the rule of unworthy, corrupt, unaccountable sociopaths. Such people will not simply admit defeat. The only "dirty bomb plot" EVER proven to be greatly advanced past the wishful thinking stage was by a Nazi-identified Maine Millionaire.

And it was apparently aimed at the Obama Inaugural.

It's not cynical to say that might makes right - for no right has ever been established in the face of superior might. So progressives should start thinking as to whether their convictions carry with them the courage to fight, at need. For that need may well come, and  weak Reids will not serve you well.

I expect that the next decade will be of great interest to future historians, and I publicly doubt there will be a recognizable United States for much longer than 50 years. I just hope that the changes will occur with only moderate loss of life.

History and human nature doesn't lead me to optimism on that score, but I still strive to hope.
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