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Joe Shlabotnik

Joe Shlabotnik's Journal
Joe Shlabotnik's Journal
September 27, 2012

Come Nov 7th

Obama will be in the white house, and hopefully more Dems in congress. But the religious right, purveyors of war, Wall street elite and the army of corporate lobbyists aren't about to give up. Casting a ballot is an essential first step in prevent a Republican catastrophe, but thats only the beginning.

Come November 7th, push left. Push HARD left, and keep pushing, so that maybe if we're lucky we'll see something that resembles what used to be the center. On Nov 7 2016, it might be Jeb smiling and waving, so a lot of work must be done before then.

The president and congress (and likely a supreme court pick) must be pushed leftward to address:
the environmental crisis that we are in.
They must be pushed left to restore civil liberties that have been eroded over the last 11 years.
They must be pushed left to create jobs that are sustainable and meaningful.
They must be pushed left to accept that 'market based solutions' and trade agreements are creating an extreme amount of wealth for the very few, and are simply a re-branding of "trickle down" economics.
They must be pushed left to accept that capitalism as we know it is deeply flawed and getting worse, and band aids aren't enough anymore.

As individuals it is incumbent upon each one of us to hold elected representatives feet to the fire. It is also incumbent upon every person to reevaluate whether their worth is calculated by the contents of their wallets, or the contents of their hearts. Every person who has a stake in the future should start realizing the status quo is crashing, and its up to us to decide whether we want to crash and burn, or manage a soft landing.

September 5, 2012

The game is much bigger now.

The stakes are higher, and the whole world is involved. Never before have so many people been able to communicate and organize, and never before has the right to communicate and organize been more important and at risk. If a free and open Internet ever falls to corporate control, then the 1% gain our greatest tool. If civil liberties continue to be curtailed in the guise of 'security', than the 1% will never fear retribution for their corruption.

These rights are bigger than political parties, as are the just grievances of an educated and connected generation that can now discuss corruption, examine propaganda and question the entire system that previous generations were resigned to accept as intrinsically unchangeable. What scares the PTB the most is not that people will temporarily snub the sugar coating, but that they'll realize that what their eating is economic,social and environmental soylent green.

August 28, 2012

without politicizing it, I think you bring up some good points.

We don't have a scarcity problem, we have a distribution problem on this planet. The concept of job was relevant when each person had to contribute mostly physical labour to scrape from the earth a basic existence. We're 100 years past that, but are conditioned to believe that not working = laziness.

And when you stop to consider that many of our jobs are derived from immoral endeavors such as militarism, spying on one another, imprisoning others, swindling, producing junk that uses up natural resources, and trading imaginary numbers through financial markets; most of our jobs are quite unnecessary.

However, I can't imagine what it would take for people to seriously reassess their values and the system as a whole.

August 27, 2012

Classic conservative modus operandi.

Take something that works. Break it. Impose market based "solutions".

step 1 Throw some red meat to your authoritarian base: Pass tougher sentences, and mandatory minimums.
step 2 Be 'fiscally conservative' and close prisons, only to have over crowding in remaining prisons.
step 3 Invite Geo Group to build private for-profit prisons.



June 21, 2012

Some reassuring words from Shlabotnik's Inner Voice

I want you to know you're getting better.
I don't care what everyone's been saying, you're getting better.

They’re the ones who've been getting worse!

And they don't like what you've been doing; understandably.
You think they can watch you strip yourself of one unnecessary thing after another?
Day by day becoming more, so to speak, naked, more free, and not feel the way they do?
- Of course not.

Its painful to get rid of things you don’t need, and they know it.
They wouldn't be saying what they have been saying, if they didn’t want you to stop!
They want you to be the way they are, and to stay that way!
You think they can stand to see you not doing what they’re doing?

Why do you think you are being investigated right now? Hm?
Why do you think you are under maximum security? You know the answer; I don’t have to tell you.

They’re afraid of you.
Its that simple. They’re afraid of you because you’re becoming less and less like them.
I’ll tell you what’s happening to you. You’re becoming closer and closer to the ‘Far Away’, closer to the unknown. Do you think they like that? Not on your life!

So don't get nervous and start asking for help,
that's Exactly what they want you to do.

Make it on your own, the way you've been doing!

And Remember, You’re Getting Better!

Excuse me now, I have to go. I’ll just dissolve right here in front of you. See ya.

ahhhhhhhh, much better now
April 30, 2012

You are correct in that the failure is all around.

I believe it is systemic. We have a had a failure of leadership since the 1980's in both the Conservatives (egregiously) and Liberal (more sublime). And I agree that the NDP failed by not speaking out about the bailout at the time also, because to do so would not have been politically expedient (ie further casting them as the dreaded socialists and weakening their drive towards the centre.)

In the past when great national challenges arose, Canada had the leadership to confront those tasks. Whether through linking the country by rail, and later by the Trans-Canada highway, being early players in nuclear energy and aviation or by confronting the fuel crisis in the 1970's, by creating Petro-Canada. They were bold, risky and visionary steps taken, and were not handouts to the banking industry that we are now beholden to. They were investments to our infrastructure and future generations, not a band-aid solution used to stabilize one bubble only to create a debt nightmare down the road.

Similarly there is great failure of Canadian citizens by being gullible, disinterested and self serving and not demanding both visionary and transparent leadership and also a vibrant antagonistic press. It is deeply disturbing that as you state, "Despite Access to Information requests for the data, the Bank of Canada refuses to release it,". However the Globe and Mail did run a small article about this a few years back, and alternative media did cover the story. The initial $76 billion was not a secret. The established media in this country decided on behalf of Canadians that it was either not important enough, or that Canadians wouldn't/shouldn't care.

As much as I like to skewer the Conservatives, it is true that there is enough blame to go around.

April 30, 2012

If we were forced collectively to have an AA style confrontation/intervention

about what our values really are, then it would become apparent that our concept of having a job, is outdated and destructive. That confrontation is coming whether we like it or not, via financial collapse and serfdom or environmental degradation and/or catastrophe.

No one expects something for nothing. We praise ourselves, and place a high value on hard work. But having a 'job' is so 20th century. We have the ability and technology to live well in a world that invests in equality, but rather chooses to marginalize many. If we asked ourselves, do we need 2 cars? so we need a nebulous banking system? do we need the MIC? do we need to be spying on each other? do we need to manufacture something overseas and ship it all around the world, so some underpaid person can pay $2 less for it? We are caught up in catch 22 of servility to the PTB for both our jobs and the continued justification for our jobs to exist. We perform a lot jobs that are both unnecessary and destructive.

Our greatest collective failing is our own inability to accept that the world with which we've been conditioned to believe is unchangeable, is in fact changeable. Change is inevitable, but are we willing to remain ignorant, divided and silent and let it change for the worse? We have the resources, education, science and technology but lack the imagination and will.

April 30, 2012

There is much work to be done before the next election.

9 out of 10 people on the street did not know this. While the bailout is greater than I though (I was aware of the 2 initial bailouts totaling 76 billion), most people fell hook line and sinker for the notion that Canada's banking system was solid, robust, and admired throughout the world. Some Serious questions need to be asked.

Why didn't the official opposition (Liberal party) make this known? Did they not read the legislation, are we to believe that they were unaware? My guess is that they were equally complicit in protecting the banks, and could be equally blamed (and rightly so) in creating the banking industry friendly environment.

The Conservatives campaigned on the notion that our banking system and economy are strong, and that our banks did not need a bailout. When confronted with the CMHC asset buy-up, their brief explanation was that it was a preventative move. So what was then? The banks didn't need the money but took the generous offer, or the banks were in deep shit? You can't have it both ways.

As the article states "It would have been cheaper to buy every single share in these companies,": indeed, except that the Conservatives would never consider the thought (Gasp! thats something some Commie like Chavez would do!). In fact if the Conservatives were that concerned about Canada's debt, it would have been an opportune time to renegotiate its obligations. But they are not interested in long term sustainability let alone public ownership. They'd rather feed money to banks, and big oil, and pray that China doesn't have a recession while they're still in power causing oil prices to drop, and completely deflating Canada's already gutted cardboard economy.

Why did this major piece of news get such small mention when it happened. Is the press stupid, or complicit?

Will this be brought up during the next elections? Will this vanish from the news, and from the conversations of everyday Canadians?

Lastly when will Canadians stop drinking the Tim Hortens cool-aid and wake up to the fact that we've been lied to, sold out, ripped off and used since the the 1980's by condescending politicians, neo-liberal economists, and a neutered press thats in bed with them.

April 24, 2012

Completely agree with this article.

But would add that the environment MUST be central to our thinking, or else we are just re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. A few wind turbines here and solar park there, and buying a Chevy volt aren't going to cut it. Even the well intentioned desire to help out someone struggling is window dressing as long as most people (middle class and poor people included) have the "I get mine first" attitude. A financial system based upon the notion of ever expanding growth is an unsustainable dream. What is needed is: A) for people to finally wake up and realize that the dream is just that, and B) the realization and hard decisions need to be made immediately to create a sustainable sphere of existence within a planet of limited capabilities. In short, our Values must change from what we'd Like to have or do, or believe, to what we Must do.

Such a collective cultural shift has never been attempted or accomplished on a global scale through out all mankind's history, but If we don't make these choices, the earth will make them for us. Judging by our history, I'm not optimistic (and glad that I don't have any kids), but if there is any single bright light, its that for the first time in history mankind has the ability to communicate and coordinate globally. Part of the question will be however, will that ability to communicate be tolerated by the PTB, or those that seek to exploit it as well.

As much as I'd love to see us return to a New-deal type of manufacturing society with high middle class wages, one must realize that that system is also based upon endless production and consumption, and therefore unsustainable too. Perhaps the best bet is to try and return to that type of society for the short term (say 20 years), in order to ease the pain of transitioning the global economy to the next and more intelligent level. Clearly Globalism was the wrong turn, its time to back up to the mid 70's and make the right turn this time. The pipe dreams of some, through the exploitation of others, and the phony paperwork and ideologies that legitimatize our present day world are a disaster.

April 22, 2012

The system is broken

The bar keeps getting raised, and the goal posts keeps moving. This is an obscured form of Austerity.

I can't believe sometimes that my 2 grandfathers got good paying jobs at GM when they could barely speak or write English, that my dad and father in law got good paying jobs at GM when they were high school drop outs. At 40 I'm a college grad and unemployed. I can't even fathom what my nieces and nephews are in for. The only thing that seems likely is to expect less and less, all for more effort and expense, and at the cost of actually being able to live deliberately, independently and blossom as well adjusted individuals.

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Home country: Canada
Current location: Rust Belt Ontario
Member since: Fri Sep 23, 2011, 09:36 PM
Number of posts: 5,604
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