The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Happy Canada Day

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Sure as heck not a perfect country, but one of the better places you can be born in the world today.


One Deep Reason Why the US Does Not Have a Sane Way to Pay for Health Care for All


Happy Independence Day


  1. So close to Trump, and yet so far to laugh at his antics.

  2. bruce wilder


  3. Carla

    Canada is a great country. Canadians are wonderful people. Happy Birthday!

  4. realitychecker

    I’ve always loved Canada, had some great wilderness adventures there, love the reasonable people that are so much more common there than here.

    Off-topic, with apologies:

    Some time back, wendyedavis was pretty derisive in attacking me for wanting to have a grown-up discussion about revolution, and she made it very clear that she thinks I am too radical in my views. (FWIW, I’m, not as radical as she thinks I am. I want that discussion so that I and others can sharpen and refine our views re that topic.)

    I challenged her to share her own view, which I consider to be just silly, and she declined to answer.

    But, here, from her current post as cafe babylon, in her own words, is the reason why I dismiss her thinking as mere wish fulfillment fantasy, or hope for a magic solution that will never come:

    “Yes, yes, the next revolution of spirit that’s being predicted by so many Indigenous peoples; an evolutionary leap of higher consciousness in which we rediscover our natural heritage, heal the earth and learn to live sustainably and cooperatively. A time of horizontal democracy where all might have a voice; each citizen is valued just for…being. The albino mammals being predicted as harbingers of the great change are being born, and the Indigenous Women are ascendant, organizing resistance and teaching their youth. From Saskatchewan to Pine Ridge, from the Maori in New Zealand, to the global Rising Up! the women are bringing their wisdom and vision to bear for the good of the earth and the people. Perhaps the men who are allied with them realize that the time is right for a bit more yin than yang.

    The Indigenous cry: One Tribe, One World!…and understand that it must be that way if we are to heal the world, and create a better one.

    If the time is upon us for a nonviolent global revolution, a time that we peasants throw off the yokes of our servitude and sense of powerlessness before the oppressive Behemoth of Doom, there will be hard days ahead. Behind the scenes, many are experimenting with new models, rediscovering older and simpler ways, working outside the machine as much as possible.

    But the clearest reason (at least to me) that it must be driven by a wildfire of opening the of doors of consciousness is that without that inspired newness and even ecstasy…nothing that comes next will flourish. No new economic models, democracy models, business models, agricultural or energy models will take hold if we are not changed into more enlightened human beings who understand that we all must be honored, we all must be considered in any just models. We can be, we must be; it’s all that’s left, and it has been foretold. A spiritual insurrection . . . ”

    Enough said? Is that a practical enough strategy for you guys?

  5. Willy

    Maybe Celsius 233 is a mountie?

  6. Canada is a fine country. Growing up in Michigan I often visited our next door neighbors, took vacations there, or drove through Ontario to get to New York. Everyone is very nice there, although Tim Horton’s stopped selling my favorite sandwich of theirs, doggonit.

    I wonder how many Americans know that Canadian troops stormed Normandy with us on D-Day, meeting fearsome resistance but fighting through it with decisive effect. Maybe now they can storm our country and give us a real healthcare system!

  7. bruce wilder

    realitychecker off-topic

    Are you asking for a post taking up for analysis the phenomenon of advocating for chasing after consciousness transformation as a defining political agenda of the left?

    Seeking after consciousness transformation is pretty common as a lodestone for some of those soi disant leftists whose political views are commonly labeled “identity politics” in other contexts. It is sometimes associated with post-modern academic theorizing and student activists protesting symbols. In the hands of wendyedavis, it seems to me about as efficacious a politics as crystals and anti-vaxxer paranoia are as alternative medicine.

    It seems like something worth understanding as a political phenomenon, but I doubt carrying on a feud — if that is your goal — would be enlightening.

  8. Willy

    Speaking of feuds, Canadians are better than you:
    So fuck you, eh?

  9. Ian Welsh

    Do prefer not to carry conversations over to threads where they are completely off-topic.

    Deleted some ad-homs.

    I may discuss the mass enlightenment project at some point. It’s a lovely idea, but very serious people who have tried, like Krishnamurti and Yogananda made basically zero progress.

  10. realitychecker

    Sorry, Ian, leftover from an earlier thread here, just defending myself from someone who attacked me here for having ideas she deemed absurd. Thought it was fair to show what she considered to be best way forward since she declined to respond on that thread.

    @ Willy, and for everybody else

    I clicked on that link you gave just above, Willy, and immediately got a virus attack. Thanks.

  11. Keep Mandos around, (s)he speaks from the heart.

  12. S Brennan

    I love BC and have met many good Canadians there; with a special shout out to the west coast of Vancouver Is commercial trolling fishermen/women based in Victoria. Best Wishes to Canada.

  13. Patricia

    Day late, but yes, Happy Canada Day, Ian. Spent my happiest childhood years on the Alberta prairies and a brother and sister are Canadian. Your country is like a rock wall on the north end of my mind, something I lean on. May you become ever more independent of your southern neighbor.

  14. Mel

    Attacked, huh? The web is a big place. Lots of things happen. I’m reading James Stephens’ retelling of some Irish Fairy Tales. In one, a hero, before setting forth, is warned about the dangers of his quest:
    “There is a wild dark ocean to be crossed. There is a dense wood where every thorn on every tree is sharp as a spear-point and is curved and clutching. There is a deep gulf to be gone through,” she said, “a place of silence and terror, full of dumb, venomous monsters. There is an immense oak forest—dark, dense, thorny, a place to be strayed in, a place to be utterly bewildered and lost in. There is a vast dark wilderness, and therein is a dark house, lonely and full of echoes, and in it there are seven gloomy hags, who are warned already of your coming and are waiting to plunge you in a bath of molten lead.[ … ], you must meet Ailill of the Black Teeth, the son of Mongan Tender Blossom, and who could pass that gigantic and terrible fighter? [ … ] There are two girls, sisters of my own, in Morgan’s palace. They will come to you with a cup in either hand; one cup will be filled with wine and one with poison. Drink from the right-hand cup, O my dear. [ … ] a palisade of copper spikes, and on the top of each spike the head of a man grins [ … ] Beware of Delvcaem’s mother, Dog Head, daughter of the King of the Dog Heads. Beware of her.”
    “Indeed,” said Art to himself, “there is so much to beware of that I will beware of nothing. I will go about my business,” he said to the waves, “and I will let those beings and monsters and the people of the Dog Heads go about their business.”

  15. Willy

    Bummer. The revolution wasn’t supposed to start with a virus attack on the leader. Still some bugs to work out. isn’t some garage outfit, but a news/opinion place with 100+ employees. I checked with two different devices which never talk to each other, and no problems.

    Still maybe it’s best to play it safe for this place by deleting that comment and link?

  16. marku52

    It won’t be long til the US attacks because being an island of some sanity will be regarded as Supporting Terror.

    Better build a wall. /S

  17. wendy davis

    @ reality checker: you are so full of it in so many ways. please note that my current diary is noted as a reprise from 2013 at My.fdl. and i had actually *asked* for ian to give his okey-dokey to a discussion of ‘revolution’, and label it academic, theoretical; remember?

    i’m relatively positive that you neither asked for my take on the subject, nor did i provide any. you did give me some sort of test that i’d ‘failed’ earlier, but it was about ‘timing’ or some such re: how long you’d been advocating for (i guess you’d meant) armed revolution at FDL. and i wasn’t even involved with FDL in the time frame you’d named.

    when you’d note how you’d ‘so outgrown’ me, i do get it in spades, but i wish you didn’t show such vitriol toward me in demonstrating it. it only harms you, RC, not i.

    sorry for answering him, ian, but i didn’t wish this to stand unchallenged.

  18. Hugh

    My best to all Canadians, but housing bubbles, rampant neoliberalism, and family political dynasties are not things that happen just south of the border.

  19. wendy davis

    @ Hugh: thanks for reminding me as to what i’d come for…before getting rudely interrupted.

    now this is on FP and war, but she’d certainly reminded us about trudeau’s approval of count ’em three major pipelines and other domestic craptastic policies. but here’s yves engler, July 2, 2017, ‘Trudeau’s foreign policy a lot like Harper’s’

  20. capelin

    a belated and happy northern land theft day to all.

  21. realitychecker

    Wendy, you are one of the Internet’s greatest obfuscators when it comes to evaluating your own behavior.

    Let’s just ignore each other, as I’ve asked you previously to do, and as you have ignored by coming after me here repeatedly.

  22. Willy

    In America they’re beanies, but in Canada they’re toques. Some may think I’m suggesting that Canadians are better at making mundane things sound fancy. I am not. I’m trying to nip in the bud the inevitable bickering over what to call our revolutionary headwear.

    But there are a few amongst us who would prefer balaclavas.

  23. realitychecker

    @wendy davis

    “sorry for answering him, ian, but i didn’t wish this to stand unchallenged.”

    Yes, Wendy, sorry is exactly what you are. How can you stand to be so dishonest?

    You know that I tried to have a scholarly discussion about revolution issues for many years at Firedoglake, years when we were the very best of friends, now you say you weren’t there in that “time frame,” so you don’t know nothing? GFY

    But the real point is this: A few months ago, you called me a “murderer” on your own pathetic little website, for simply wanting to have that discussion. Today, you comment there that you can’t imagine why I’ve “turned so venomous” against you. Well, that’s the reason, bitch, and also the reason why you are dead to me now.

    Hope I’ve cleared that up for you.

  24. Future Insurgent

    As a person who is very well acquainted with Canada I think it is a mediocre and over-rated place with an apathetic and happily ignorant population that is so completely dominated by American news and entertainment culture that its people have no sense of themselves as an independent entity. (French-speaking Quebec, not surprisingly, is an exception but is insufferable in its own way.)

    There is also the matter of that selfie snapping neoliberal huckster – and darling of the Anglo-American liberal media establishment – Justin Trudeau. Truly a repugnant and spineless character but a fitting symbol of Canadian mediocrity.

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