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Canadian Politics – Health and Security

Culture, Heroes of the Living Myth, Projects, The Truth

September 30, 2015

Health and security? What am I doing, covering two seemingly different topics? Am I following the lead of the Cons and cheating? No. We try not to play dirty politics, but these two things are strangely related to one another as the concept of security can be applied both internally and externally. With that in mind, we want to take a look at what’s been happening in our own country, what we’re doing outside of it, and how the rest of the world looks at us because of it. This is also going to deviate slightly from our previous looks as to who the political parties in Canada are and their views on the economy, environment, and education, because much of what’s happened to our security and health as a country is a direct result of the people in charge.

For those of you that maybe aren’t paying attention, some of this might come as a shock.

Canadians like to think that their socialized healthcare is among the best in the world, and while it is better than most it ranks poorly when compared to other countries that have adopted similar systems.  This isn’t to say it’s bad – it’s certainly better than most places in the world, and the regulations put in place keep things like this from happening while the system itself keeps things like this from happening. The trick of it is, the Harper Government has been cutting funding for and regulations of healthcare for a long while now, preferring the free market system that has worked so many wonders in the United States. This policy has been met with widespread objections from medical professionals and widespread approval from foreign powers that have no interest in Canada or the people that live there.  The Harper Government has long claimed that they are not a Canadian Government, however, so this can hardly be surprising.

What is surprising, however, is how these policies look when combined with other agendas put forward by the Harper Government. First among these is Harper’s commitment to war and his friendly relationships with war criminals, and his support of their actions. Harper has also overseen Canada’s continued involvement in the Middle-Eastern war crimes to the benefit of nothing and no one, and has committed to a larger Canadian incursion to come. Keep in mind that he’s doing this while cutting funding for veteran services, including the counseling that many soldiers need to re-integrate after being overseas in the thick of the fighting.

All of this fits with the Harper Con’s racist policies, which have drawn worldwide criticism for their almost guaranteed consequence of causing more war. This, once again, is perfectly inline with the Cons of the United States and one of the reasons we spend so much time discussing their policies. Con policies both domestically and at large have demoralized both our own troops and the view the world has of Canada, to the point where the good will we once possessed has turned into almost universal scorn. As Canada becomes less and less tolerant and more prone to violating human rights, Canada’s citizens find themselves less and less welcome out in the world.

Our Government tells us that the  human rights that they’re violating and the war crimes they want to commit are necessary to protect us from terrorism, blaming ISIS when that group was created by and originally supported by the United States’ war crimes in Iraq in response to the attacks on September 11th, 2001, which had nothing to do with Iraq at all but which the Cons both in the United States and Canada have lied about. The Cons both here and down south believe that through these acts of terrorism they can stop those acts of terrorism, all the while perpetuating the myth that the region has always been more violent than, say, Europe

Speaking of violence, Harper’s Cons are big on being tough on crime, the traditional policies of which have been shown to create more crime. Harper’s Cons would have you believe that violent crime is on the rise in Canada when the inverse is true – the total number of violent crimes in Canada are comparable to the murders committed by police officers against minorities in the United States, for example. Despite this, Harper’s Cons would like to follow the United States use of for-profit prison systems, a system which has been proven to cause more crime and cost taxpayers more than state-run prisons, while also being more prone to violate human rights and turn prisoners into literal slaves in the name of profit.

Meanwhile, Harper’s Cons continue to be lenient in their prosecution of white collar crime among their own members and among those corporations that support them. Harper’s Cons have been proven to fix elections, participate in widespread corruption, blackmailing their enemies, and lying to the Canadian people, in addition to the various ecological and economic crimes that the Cons are never punished for. All this, while ignoring the real crime of missing women and children that have been vanishing from aboriginal communities.

We are all, as Canadians – meaning Harper’s Cons – currently instigating violence against Muslims and stripping away gender equality because that’s in vogue with the Cons in the United States, while also butchering our independence and the essential rights and freedoms that make us who we are as a nation. Bill C-51 stripped away our privacy while taking away our right to protest and made it legal for Harper’s Cons to fabricate evidence and basically do whatever they want to anyone that would stand against their fascism. They also passed Bill C-23, a that will, in effect, corrupt every election going forward.

All of this has destroyed how the rest of world sees Canada. Harper’s Cons have turned us from a well-regarded progressive beacon to a myopic monster, the ones that were good but are now not to be trusted.

So, given all of this, what are the various parties planning on doing about it?

 

Canada Politics 001 - 005The Grits

Justin Trudeau has a lot to say for himself on the topic of security. First and foremost, he wants to scrap Bill C-23, a Cons-led law that makes it more difficult for people to vote. No word on the law that actually murders Canada, Bill C-51, which he and his party helped vote into law despite the protests of Canadians everywhere. It calls into question everything else he has on tap, including his promise to look into missing aboriginal women and children, restored and improved care of our veterans and sick, a ban on partisan advertisements in favor of informational adverts, and a non-racist plan to help clean up the mess we helped make in Syria and to aid Syrian refugees. The problem, again, isn’t that Trudeau lacks experience – he’s been groomed for this position and the responsibility that comes with it for the entirety of his life – it’s that, when push came to shove, he supported Harper’s Cons in gutting the country. Do we trust him? No. Is he better than Harper’s Cons? Yes, but that doesn’t set the bar especially high.

 

Canada Politics 001 - 002The Tories / Harper’s Cons 

Harper doesn’t want us calling his government a Canadian one, and we’ve decided to acknowledge that desire. All hail Emperor Harper and his Conservatives, or Harper’s Cons for short. Harper’s Cons have created civil unrest in Canada and helped create some of the worst political nightmares currently facing our world with their policies, and their plan is to double down on those policies. This will likely make those situations worse. Harper’s Cons have also promised to continue stripping away the rights and freedoms of Canadians for their own benefit, while also blaming the victims of their policies for being angry about what’s been done to them. They also want to commit troops to wars they helped start, while keeping those who go to fight from getting the help they will need after they come home from the fighting. Harper also has plans to attack our healthcare and justice systems. He is the threat to Canada he’d have us believe ISIS is.

 

Canada Politics 001 - 006The NDP

Tom wants to fix the damage that Harper has done to our healthcare systems and veteran aid, which is pretty great. He also wants to improve on that healthcare, truly making it the world class system that we’ve always believed it was. He’s got plans to repeal Bill C-23, making certain that we have fair elections in the future, and destroy Bill C-51, thus giving Canada a chance to actually be Canada instead of the nightmarish Harper’s Cons hellscape from which there is no escape. Tom would also immediately end Canada’s presence in Iraq and Syria while giving a home to more refugees looking to escape the mess that we helped cause, which is all to the good. Better still, while Harper’s Cons have been ignoring actual crime to go after imaginary ones, the NDP has pledged to do the reverse, including looking into the missing women and children of our aboriginal peoples.

 

Canada Politics 001 - 004The Greens

Elizabeth would see the end of Bills C-23 and C-51, which is a good place to start making Canada, well, Canada again. Beyond that, she’d like to help return Canada to its peacekeeping duties, putting us back on track to making the world a better place by helping clean up the mess Harper’s Cons helped make in the Middle-East and lending aid to Syrian Refugees. She’s spoken on the specifics of healthcare and how to improve it on a realistic level, tackling everything from surgery to asthma to obesity. The Greens believe in prevention more than cure, and have ideas on how to improve both that are well worth listening to. Part of that plan includes buying medicines in bulk to drive prices down for the medications and prescriptions that Canadians need, in addition to looking at the minds of Canadians veterans and citizens alike – and all this is before we talk about their justice platform, which would see a greater emphasis placed on rehabilitation rather than punishment, so that our society can grow as a whole and we can push forward with stronger economic, educational, and ecological strategies. Again, all of this is workable and thoroughly planned out, and would go a long way towards making truly making Canada one of the best places in the world to be.

 

Canada Politics 001 - 003The Bloc

We normally joke a little about the Bloc, but they did one fantastic thing: they stopped fast food and candy companies from targeting children in advertisements, which has scene a dramatic decrease in obesity across the age spectrum and an equally dramatic increase in health. Aside from that, they’re in favor of protecting Quebec, but would really like to repeal the damage Harper’s Cons did to Canada with C-23 and C-51, which you know are bad because even a political party dedicated to the destruction of Canada recognizes that these bills are too extreme to be allowed to exist.

 

Canada Politics 001 - 007Scott Wyatt

When not destroying giant robots with his laser eyes or defending Canada from dragons, Scott has pledged to defend the aboriginal peoples of Canada and make sure that they are under his protection. It should be noted that protection is fairly mighty, as Scott is also more than capable of defending Canada single-handed with those laser eyes, super strength, and ability to fall from great heights without damage. Is Scott Wyatt a superhero? Possibly. Why wouldn’t we want a superhero in parliament?

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1252

Bad Blood as Cultural Zeitgeist

Heroes of the Living Myth, Opinion, Reviews, Why Aren't You Watching This?

May 25, 2015

Watching anything after Mad Max – Fury Road makes that thing seem, well, muted. Everything feels quieter, less colorful. Or, it did. At about the same time Mad Max was unleashed, this came out:

As of this writing, Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood has been released for eight days and has 70, 853, 170 views. Taylor Swift has broken every record the internet has when it comes to music videos, and really videos in general. This is a milestone, a complete slap in the face to old school producers of media. And it has similarities to Mad Max, in that it features female action stars taking center stage and becoming dominant characters in and of themselves.

This music video is an action movie writ large, the sort of revenge story that was popularized in the eighties and nineties. One secret agent betrayed by another, awoken into a world changed by that betrayal, collecting allies and skills to go and confront the person that betrayed her. It’s a story we’ve seen again and again in male-led movies and television shows and books and comics, but to see it done here, and done so well? Why isn’t there more of this?

Well, the reason is simple. For decades the train of thought on this sort of storytelling has been that it doesn’t work.

The recent leaks from Disney and Marvel about why we’re not getting a Black Widow movie, and a drought of Black Widow merchandise, is the latest in a long line of proofs of a tainted belief among the primary decision makers of media: that women aren’t interested in watching or being a part of anything that isn’t a romance, romantic-comedy, or period piece.

Common excuses cited to support this error are the failures of movies like Catwoman, Elektra, or the Next Karate Kid. These films are used as proof that female-led action movies are doomed to failure, as opposed to looking at the idea that bad movies with terrible storytelling are doomed to failure.

Elektra failed as badly as Daredevil. Catwoman failed as badly as Batman and Robin. The Next Karate Kid failed as badly as any of the dozens of half-assed qualitatively bankrupt martial arts coming-of-age stories that came out around that time and continue to come out now. They don’t fail because they have female leads; they fail because they are, objectively speaking, bad.

And yet the illusion of female-led narratives being doomed to fail persists, outside of the prescribed roles of damsel-in-distress, arm candy, or romantic lead.

This, despite the widespread success of Kill Bill, the world-wide profits of Lucy, the popular demand for a Black Widow movie, the excitement that followed the Supergirl trailer and subsequent leak. This, despite the sales-figures of female-led comics like Spider-Gwen and Thor and Batgirl. This, despite the fanaticism surrounding books like the Hunger Games. This, despite the violent beauty of anything the Soska Sisters work on.

With this video, Taylor Swift has slammed the coffin shut on an out-dated, ancient, and erroneous way of thinking.

Taylor Swift herself is a controversial figure who picks up a lot of flack because double standards and patriarchy. Her latest album, 1989, makes it clear that she’s had enough. From Blank Space‘s  deconstruction of public perception to Out of the Woods‘ quiet reflective philosophy, the entire album feels like a diatribe from a person who has claimed her identity and her power and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. She knows who she is.

And Bad Blood?

It’s intoxicating. In four minutes we’re given a host of characters and the world they inhabit, we’re given enough nuance that we want to see more of that world, and a large enough conflict that we want to see how it ends. There’s a reason that people are watching this video again and again and again, and with any luck some of decision makers will develop the skill of basic pattern recognition and start giving us the stories that we want, the stories that the current shift in zeitgeist is demanding.

Failing that, we’re going to have to make those stories ourselves… and if this is what we have to look forward to, well, we’re off to a good start.

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1526

Interview with Michael Alan Nelson

Culture, God Of Comics, Heroes of the Living Myth, Interviews

April 14, 2015

Anyone that’s been reading the God of Comics twitter feed or reviews knows how much we love Hexed. It’s one of the best comics being told today, the comic equivalent of the Dresden Files. This week, Hexed is entering a whole new sort of story – but before that happens, why not listen to what writer Michael Alan Nelson has to say about his creation, the state of the comics industry, and writing in general? We got to sit down for an interview with the man, myth, and legend and found him to be just as awesome as we had hoped he’d be.

(more…)

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849

Book Review – Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

Books & Writing, Culture, Heroes of the Living Myth, Reviews, The Truth

April 14, 2015

It’s taken me more than a month to write this review.

That’s not for lack of trying. The terror of the blank page is something I’ve come to terms with – crafting words is one of those things I do. It’s an action I define myself by, and I like to think I’m pretty good at it. Every now and then, though, I read something that resonates deeply enough to humble me, to reconsider how good I am at this thing by which I define myself.

Alif the Unseen is one of those somethings.

(more…)

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4443

Interview with Peter S. Beagle – Author of the Last Unicorn

Books & Writing, Heroes of the Living Myth, Interviews, Short Fictions, Showcase

March 10, 2015

Interview with Peter S. Beagle

Date: April 21, 2014

(Back in April of 2014, Aaron Golden and Gregory Milne were lucky enough to get a chance to sit down with legendary writer, Peter S. Beagle, and his agent, Conner Cochran. They sat down and talked for a couple of hours about everything surrounding the creation, loss, and claiming of the Last Unicorn, but, sadly, the sound file of the interview was damaged. A lot of effort was put into saving that file, and we finally managed to get it transcribed a couple of months ago. At the time, we sat down and wondered about when the best time to release it was, now that we’d had to delay the interview so long, and considering what a gift we thought this interview was, it made sense to us, for us to release it as a gift to you. So, without further ado…)   

(more…)

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3058

Islamaphobia, Comics, and Kamala Khan

Heroes of the Living Myth, Opinion, Showcase

January 28, 2015

This is why we talk a lot about comics.

Stories are important, and comics do as much to inform our culture as anything else – maybe more, given how much pop culture draws from comics these days. Certain characters are important, and we keep saying that Ms. Marvel is important. Don’t understand why?

(more…)

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1483

Bill Nye the Science Guy Live in Vancouver

Heroes of the Living Myth, Lifestyle, Opinion, Reviews, The Truth

December 24, 2014

Growing up in the 90s, there were a fair amount of influences in my life, though, to be honest, most of them were animated. There was just one, however, that crossed over from my spare time into my high school curriculum: the works of Billy Nye the Science Guy. Our science teacher used to put his videos on nearly every day in science, chemistry, and physics, not because he was a lazy teacher, but because Bill Nye shared his enthusiasm for science and could display it in a more entertaining fashion. (more…)

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1216

The Young Turks

Heroes of the Living Myth

April 5, 2013

Everyone complains about the news media. Hell, I did that very thing with my very first article on this site. There’s an understanding, especially among the young, that the official news media has been bought and paid for and isn’t giving us news so much as propaganda meant to serve whichever person is footing the bill. This Gallups Poll shows that the number of people that trust such news sources are shrinking, and the news media is doing nothing to combat the perception that they are now engaged in yellow journalism. With the mainstream media seemingly bought and paid for, there did not seem to be any place for those of us seeking actual news to turn to in order to get the information we need. (more…)

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995

Aaron Swartz – Hacktivist Hero

Heroes of the Living Myth, Lifestyle

January 30, 2013

Aaron Swartz (1986-2013)

This man is the inspiration for this column. Everyone to be honored under this title is being done so in his name, and that needs to be said. Our sincere condolences to his family, first and foremost, for his loss. And our condolences to this world, which is a lesser place without him. 

Aaron Swartz, you will be missed. Thank you for everything.  (more…)

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