All posts by Tia Everitt

Tia is a mystery, wrapped in an enigma and covered in a crunchy candy coating of genuine British Columbian snark. She is currently exiled to Winnipeg for an unknown duration of time.

Will Today Be the Day You Die at Work?

 

 

Do you feel lucky, punk?
Well… do you?

Every day, four Canadians will die as a result of a workplace accident, injury or industrial disease.  If you make it home from work today, you are one of the lucky ones.

Statistically speaking, 1000 Canadian workers die annually as a result of workplace fatalities. This number is unacceptably high, despite Canada having some of the best health and safety laws in the world.

Employers continue to fail to ensure:

  • That their workers are safe on the job-site, with the right tools for the right job in the right place;
  • That workers have received adequate training and resources to equip them for the jobs they are being asked to do;
  • Advise workers  that they have the right to refuse to work in conditions that they (or others) perceive to be unsafe;
  • That accidents are reported, investigated and prevented from re-occurring.

In many Canadian jurisdictions, the ongoing monitoring of labour and safety standards continues to be cut back. So called “voluntary” industry compliance programs increasingly take their place.  Canada can, and should do much better to ensure the enforcement of  occupational and environmental health and safety regulations.

DayofMourning2005_AWCBC-194x300

 

April 28th is the National Day of Morning (Jour National De Deuil).  On this day, take pause from your workday to remember those who have lost their lives on the job, or as a result of occupational disease. It is a designated day to honour the families left behind, and contemplate action to demand safer work environments.  It is a daunting task in the wake of the ongoing growth of industry and construction in our nation.

Enough is enough.

It is time to enforce the law and bring employers who are negligent and dangerous to justice.

What can be done to reverse this trend?

  • Provinces and territories can appoint special prosecutors to lay charges against employers when their actions cause serious death, disease or injury.
  • Implement and enact new regulations that deal with known dangers in the workplace (violence, exposure to toxins/carcinogens, repetitive stress injuries, poor ergonomics, workplace harassment, stress) to ensure their prevention.
  • Hire more inspectors to ensure compliance.

All accidents are preventable.  Don’t become a statistic.  Come home safely.

2012Statisticsinfographic2

(source: AWCBC/ACATC)

 

Corporate Hypocrites Gone Wild: Syncrude Edition

Let’s say that you’re one of the world’s largest producers of synthetic crude and also Canada’s largest single-source producer of crude derived from oil sands.

Imagine that you are also  the biggest greenhouse gas emitter in Alberta!  (“Psst, we’re working on being the biggest in all of the nation, baby. Don’t count us out yet!”)

Your tailing ponds are a great place for suicidal waterfowl to go to die, and those outstanding environmentalists at Sinopec  are one of your major share-holders.

How do you convey your misunderstood love and respect of Mother Earth to the public?

You go out and sponsor an “environmental gallery” at your local children’s museum, that’s how.

The newly coined Syncrude Environment Gallery, which opened last October, features interactive displays on a variety of environmental topics aimed at children, including shrinking sea ice, recycling, and a display on oilsands development in Alberta entitled, “history of a hot topic.”

At a price tag of $500K over 5 years? A pittance to don the veneer of a good corporate citizen.

 

Telus World of Science, Edmonton

 

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Syncrude

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“Why be an ordinary hypocrite, when you can be the best hypocrite?” – Syncrude


Syncrude is the latest in the line of corporate hypocrites to sponsor philanthropic/scientific venues that prove that irony is either entirely lost on corporate polluters, or is fully embraced.
Two other notable examples of blurring the line between utter branding psychopathy and altruism spring to mind:

  • Monsanto Insectarium (…which will probably be the only place you’ll ever get to see some of these insects after Monsanto is done eradicating them for good.)
  • Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer (“I know! Let’s sponsor a fundraiser for all of the people out there who mysteriously contract cancer after living next to our infrastructure! Genius!”)

Time to sit and wait for Nestle to sponsor a water park or two in a developing nation.

 

Profits Before People: Richmond Ikea Lockout Enters Day 17

 

Boycott Ikea

Generating enough media spin to rival a jet engine at take off, the management and PR folks at Ikea Canada want you to believe that their poor little corporation is being held hostage by greedy, soulless union workers in Richmond.

Woe. 
Pity poor Ikea.

It’s tough being a multi-national corporation with a reputation for  union busting, still more union busting and sundry  human rights violations. It is also expensive to flog the entire planet with particle board, Allen Keys and horsemeat tainted foodstuffs. You can’t expect them to provide “coworkers” with a safe, fair and equitable place to work. After all, you can’t have your faecal contaminated Tarta Chokladkrokant and eat it too.

Bottom lines, people. Bottom. Lines.

Meanwhile, back in Lotusland, 300+ workers of the mega-Ikea store in Richmond are embroiled in a rapidly degenerating labor dispute. Members of the Teamsters Local #213 are locked out, and the store continues to skeleton crew it, while management utters threats in the news about further reducing the contract on the table if their slaves picketing staff doesn’t roll over and take the pounding.

(Source: CKNW)

It looks like some assembly may be required as things get tense in a labour dispute between some 300 union workers and management at the Richmond Ikea.

Manager Janet McGowan says the store has been operating on limited hours as Teamsters take job action.

But McGowan says they will now play hardball by gradually reducing the contract on the table if the union doesn’t sign soon, “So, on June 3rd, our co-workers would have a phase one offer that they could, in fact, be accepting and then we would give co-workers an additional five days before implementation of phase two and then an additional five days before the implementation of the phase three.”

Phase one would see a 500-dollar signing bonus go bye-bye, by phase three paid sick days would be cut in half.

If Ikea is so moral and fair, as their media relations people would have you think, why have the staff overwhelmingly rejected not one, not two, but THREE different offers by the company to date?

Simple.

Ikea is attempting to drag workers back into the dark ages. Not just because they’re cheap, but because, according to their  track record, they also enjoy it.

(Never mind that Richmond-area retail workers reside in one of the most expensive cities in the world. It’s not like they have homes or families, right? Who needs to eat?)

Ikea is not about ensuring fair living wages. It’s about profit. Not people.

Primary contract issues, per Teamsters Local 213′s Facebook page:

  • re-introduction of multi-tiered wage systems
  • removal of hour guarantees
  • benefit reductions
  • contract work out schemes
  • many other concessions

I stand in solidarity with these men and women on the picket line.

Having been locked out by my employer  for over a month in the summer of 2000, I understand what these people are going through.
Spending your nights and days on a picket line, in all kinds of weather, all times of day, and not knowing what comes next is scary.

Here is what happens:

The first few days are adrenaline-fueled and high-energy. There is solidarity. There is power in numbers. Everyone is prepared to stick it to the man.

As time slithers on, and the rhetoric from the employer grows increasingly hostile, infighting starts. Division.

People start to blame each other. Blame the union. Question whether they made the right choice.  Side with the employer. Discomfort and unknowns don’t bring out the best in people.

When weeks near months, people become afraid. Union stipends/wage replacements are not enough in Vancouver. People start looking for other jobs.

The ones who hang in there start to feel guilt, and become compelled to accept whatever comes down the pipe from corporate, just to end the sustained duress.

The media portrays the workers as lazy, ignorant and willfully spiteful. Goodwill diminishes. There is a lack of public support.

The union organizers work hard to rally, but the morale just isn’t there, and their job grows increasingly difficult.

They need support. Your support. Our support. These are families and community members, not a faceless corporate entity.

Ways in which we can help boost the cause of the locked out Ikea workers in Richmond/Teamsters Local 213:

  • Boycott  Richmond Ikea. Don’t shop there. Don’t give them your money.
  • Boycott ALL Ikea locations. Don’t go running down the road to Coquitlam. (The breakfast is cheap for a reason.)
  • Don’t cross their picket lines. Ever.
  • Walk the picket line WITH them.
  • Bring by some food and beverage, especially if it is really hot or really cold.
  • If the weather becomes inclement, pop by with some shelter or weather related implements like umbrellas, ponchos or sunblock.
  • Respond to online editorials, radio talk shows, newspaper articles that spin in favour of Ikea and demonize labor unions/workers.
  • Use social media to counter the spin.
  • Write to them and let them know you support the workers.

Keep fighting the good fight, folks. Remind them that people need to come BEFORE profit.

 

 

Live-Blogging the Next BC Government

Here we are: only hours to go until the polls close.

What will be the next BC government?

What are your hopes, fears, dreams, goals?

This page will refresh every 15 seconds, or you can manually reload it.

Please add in your comments below

  1. What are your seat predictions?
  2. What do you think will be the final popular vote results?
  3. Will Christy Clark lose her seat?
  4. If the Liberals lose, will Christy Clark (a) resign tonight, (b) vow to rebuild the party, or (c) take time to reflect on her future?

You can read our liveblog after the jump – it starts with cautious optimism, anxiety, and some cynicism, and ends with crying.

Continue reading

Cunt: Never An Appropriate Descriptor for a 9 Year Old Child

When I close my eyes, and imagine all the terms that one could come up with to describe a 9 year old girl, the very last one on my list would be “cunt.”
In general, I would assume that most reasonable people would agree. There are fewer words as genderized, vulgar and riddled with hate.
While some feminists have strove to reclaim the label, it remains an extremely derogatory term.

Apparently, there is someone handling the social media for The Onion tonight that either:
a) doesn’t care
b) didn’t get the memo or
c)is willing to push the envelope for spin/media traction.

No. Bad. Fail.
Before it disappears off the face of the earth, take a gander at that. “Quvenzhane Wallis is kind of a cunt, right?”

I get that The Onion is satire. I understand that they exist only to push the limits of good taste and freedom of expression.
I am generally a fan of their ability to mock convention and the sacred cows of society just enough to elicit a hearty laugh.
This? Not okay.

This is Quvenzhane Wallis:

She is a child.
A  nine year-old child, who happens to have been nominated for a “Best Actress” Oscar this year.

…and according to The Onion, a “cunt.”

If, for any reason, you have the cognitively chosen to defend The Onion on this I’d love to hear the justification.

(Be prepared for me to eviscerate you if your reasoning is “First Amendment” based. I call bullshit.)

Points to ponder:

  • An adult, with a job, who broadcasts outside of a vacuum, decided it was acceptable to use this specific epithet in reference to a pre-pubescent child.
  • A  female child, who also happens to be black! (Imagine the media frenzy if a little blonde caucasian child were called this.)
  • It wouldn’t have been okay to call any woman a “cunt”, for what it is worth. It’s sexist and worthless as far as words go, and it is just that much more disgusting when aimed at a little kid.
  • By the time I got to this point in writing the article, the Tweet was removed. Someone over there in Onionland pulled it.
  • If you want to let it fly, you can ping The Onion on Twitter – @TheOnion

Tapping Into Prairie Roots: An Engagement Challenge for the Federal NDP

 

lethbridge_declaration_main

 

The New Democratic Party of Canada was born on the prairies.  Spun from soil, grain and sweat, the party we call the NDP came into being as a Western Canadian populist-party, steeped in social-democratic ideology. Despite proud roots and prairie pedigree (not to mention the staggering 103 seats in present Parliament) the federal NDP party only holds a total of three seats in their wellspring.

Nikki Ashton (Churchill, MB), Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, MB) and Linda Duncan (Edmonton – Strathcona, AB) are presently the only NDP MPs from the prairies planted in Ottawa.  Despite Saskatchewan being the source of political primordial ooze that the CCF evolved from, the NDP has a grand total of zero seats federally in that province. British Columbia has always been an NDP hotbed. Ontario experiences love for the NDP in waves. Quebec recently went for a ride on the Orange Wave that swept the country in 2011. Manitoba? Saskatchewan? Alberta? A giant voter desert, with several pockets of Tang colored voter oases.

Realizing that there is a persistent voter engagement problem in the prairies, the NDP is now on a grassroots mission to fortify their flock in the flat-lands, dig ideological wells and fill them with clean water for the faithful to sip from, and bring the stray sheep back into the fold. Behold: http://prairiebreakthrough.ca

As a part of that initiative, Tom Mulcair, Megan Leslie, Pat Martin and Rebecca Blaikie were out and about in Winnipeg yesterday, rallying the ground troops and preparing to map out the terrain for the 2015 battle.

In an unusual stroke of fate, my schedule allowed for me to participate in the Prairie Breakthrough event held in Winnipeg.  It was a fantastic opportunity to engage in discussion with other social democrats from around the city, listen to key leaders within the party, participate in in-depth discussions about hot topic issues/policy/future planning in the region. (Tom Mulcair even gave my eldest daughter a pat on the head, which she thought was pretty cool. )
Breakout discussions were focused on four major themes:

  1. Rural & Ag
  2. Urban
  3. Indigenous Rights
  4. National

The second half of the day was campaign skills training, and there was a significantly smaller group of participants on-hand for this portion of the event. The discussion targeted two major areas of concern: engagement and fundraising.
Despite being energized by the event, enjoying the networking and hands-on participation in the group discussions, by the end of the event, I was feeling frustrated, and even a little bit angry.  Why? The goals and desires being espoused were not matching up with the methodology.

  • The NDP has voiced a desire to engage and involve greater numbers of FNMI people, women, and new Canadians.
  • The NDP wants to raise funds and drive membership.

When I looked around the room, I was able to see a microcosm of the Party. The bulk of the participants were male. Nearly all were Caucasian and predominantly in the Baby Boomer demographic. There were a handful of Baby Boomer women, a smattering of Millennials (mostly male, several female) and several male GenXers. There were two individuals in the group that identified as Aboriginal (one a male Boomer, one a female Millennial) and then there was me.  I was the sole GenX female attending. Beyond the two people who identified as Aboriginal, there were no other visible minorities.

  • Where were the GenX women?
  • Where were the new Canadians?
  • Where were people of color, especially women?
  • Why were they not coming out to these events?

It comes back to the issue of how the NDP is going about targeting these demographics.

I had spent my afternoon listening to the youthful, bright and energetic facilitators discussing traditional methods of canvassing: phone, mail, door-knocking, email, forums.

Which is peachy…if you want to draw elderly white people.

I’m not an elderly white person. This does not engage me. This does not engage my peers.

a) I screen my phone calls

b) I don’t read bulk mail

c) I don’t answer my door to strangers/solicitations

d) I can rarely go out to a forum, especially on a week-night

e) I suffer from massive fundraising fatigue.
I’m not alone in this.
So I asked myself:

If the NDP were a corporate brand, and not a political party, how would they go to market, to reach out to these key groups, and drive loyalty?

I offered some solutions. Start with moving beyond the status quo forms of canvassing and recruitment on order to move beyond the tired “think outside the box” mantra.

Forget the box. Get rid of the box. Smash the box.

1 – Eliminate barriers to event access/training/information. Offer webcasts that people can tune into from the comfort of their homes, when they have time. Facilitate online training. Utilize tools like Skype & YouTube.

2 – Hold “tool box lunch” events in coffee shops and restaurants all over town, regularly. Offer quick snippets of training to people who want it, in a neutral atmosphere, and keep enthusiasm and commitment by making it a regular event, not just something to ramp up to an election.

3 – Offer childcare at events. Why were there so few 30 to 40 year old women (and men) in the crowd? Maybe it’s because they’re parents. Which is probably why the number of college students and grandparents are significantly higher than those of us in the middle of Breederland. This may also allow new Canadian women a chance to get out of the house and attend an event, without having to ask their husbands for his support.

4 – Social media can trump traditional canvassing/fundraising methods and jump over the spin of right wing media. Host Twitter parties like corporate brands do. Hold live interactive discussions with leaders.

5 – Everyone has their hands in our wallets, and if you want us to contribute to the NDP coffer, you need to make sure we can see a tangible ROI, or at least how handing over our money becomes a value-added benefit in our lives. Why should I sign up to give my $20/mo. to a political party that serves old white guys, when I could sock it away for braces for my kid or tithe it at church? Two reasons that are compelling – it can now go directly to your specific riding association rather than Big Fed and it’s a much needed tax deduction.

When I sat back down – head spinning, heart racing and palms sweating – I was met with a room full of table thumping, whistles, cheering and applause that rang in my ears.

You love me! You really love me! /inner Sally Field moment

—————————————–
You can engage with the folks working on the Prairie Breakthrough Campaign too, by following along via Twitter @PrairieNDP

 

1st Liberal Leadership Debate – Social Media Guide

This Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 1:00pm PT is the first Liberal Leadership debate.  Here are some ways you can take in the spectacle:

HOW TO WATCH LIVE


TWITTER

You can also follow the debate hashtags on Twitter, in order to see how others are responding:

Add these hashtags to your own tweets, so others can follow along, and will see what you are saying, too.
Nexalive

 

Solicitations From My Inbox: A January of Trudeau

Pity Justin Trudeau.

 

JustinTrudeau

It seems that nobody is willing to confront him and force him to deal with the fact  that the Liberal Party of Canada died two years ago.  In the meantime, his handlers and the media humor him while he runs around like the Norman Bates of Canadian politics,  dragging the taxidermied corpse of the Grits in a wheel chair, while screaming “Father! Please! They’re waiting for me Father!”

From my Inbox:

 

Friend — You are receiving this email because at one point you believed in the Liberal Party of Canada. Now, I am trying to build a party that you can believe in again. In the coming weeks, I hope you’ll get involved in the various leadership discussions surrounding the kind of party we want to build together and the leader you trust to represent you. I want to keep building a proud and prosperous country, but we need to build our Liberal Party first.

You don’t have to decide if I’m your candidate today, but you cannot vote if you do not register.

No fees, no membership. Just your vote.

So please keep your options open, register as a Supporter and follow me over the coming weeks at Justin.ca.

Thanks,

JT

 

Attawapiskat Audit is Merely a Distraction

Green Party leader Elizabeth May published a well-thought out and clear article on Wednesday, breaking down the reasons why the ongoing media banter about Attiwapiskat fund mismanagement and Chief Theresa Spence are merely distractions from an ongoing legacy of government failure to protect indigenous people and the environment. Twitter and Facebook have become virtual battlegrounds for both government supporters and those who are involved with the Idle No More uprising. Racism, sexism and classism are rampant, and tension arising from finger pointing and blame displacement are escalating. The crux of it all is that the Canadian government, and the majority of Canadians as a whole have been content to sweep First Nations issues under the rug, while sticking their fingers in their ears, and chanting “La, la, la! I can’t hear you! This isn’t my problem!”

Perhaps the most desperate and obnoxious contributions to the discussion in cyberspace is the delirious joy that right-wing carnival barkers like Ezra Levant derive from low-blow cat-calls: mocking Spence’s weight, questioning the intelligence of Idle No More supporters, and denial of third-world living conditions endemic to life on First Nations reserves. Their fear that this may gain traction beyond the frustrated residents of reserves is palpable. What are you afraid of, Canada?  That you might not like what the elephant in the room means to your current lifestyle?

The Attawapiskat audit: Distracting us from a legacy of failure

- Elizabeth May

The tensions surrounding First Nations and the federal government are, perhaps, at an all-time high.

I had hoped the Prime Minister’s decision to meet with First Nations leadership this Friday was a hopeful sign of a new beginning in building nation to nation respectful relationships. Perhaps it could finally be the beginning of implementing the 1996 Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.

Unfortunately, there is an ugly tone in the air as Conservative spokespeople, such as Senator Patrick Brazeau, line up in the media to take pot shots at Chief Theresa Spence. Although the Attawapiskat audit covers 2005-2011, Theresa Spence was only elected chief in 2010.

The release of the audit of Attawapiskat band finances is heralded by some as evidence of – what exactly? – that the housing crisis in First Nations communities is the fault of their leadership? The audit is not evidence of fraud, but shows an unacceptable level of expenditures for which proper documentation was not provided. It does not suggest the money was spent improperly. We simply do not know. Finger pointing and attacks will not help build a relationship based on respect for treaty and inherent indigenous rights.

So let’s just step back for a moment and admit what everyone knows. Millions of dollars in federal funding for indigenous peoples goes to non-indigenous consultants and lawyers and the bureaucracy supposedly at the service of First Nations communities. Many First Nations communities could benefit from better book keeping and financial controls, but so too could the federal government as the Auditor General has frequently reported. There is a reason that former Auditor General Sheila Fraser dedicated so much of her final report to the unacceptable multiple failures of the federal government in delivering on goals in meeting minimum obligations to First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples. In 2005 and again in 2011, the Auditor General set out a litany of abuse. In a report prepared by Sheila Fraser and released by her successor, she noted, “I am profoundly disappointed to note … that despite federal action in response to our recommendations over the years, a disproportionate number of First Nations people still lack the most basic services that other Canadians take for granted.” She did not point fingers at the individual communities, but rather at the Department of Aboriginal Affairs for relying on vague policy rather than the kind of clear legislation found at the provincial level to meet non-indigenous needs for health, housing, water and education.

So, just as the Idle No More movement was not an off-shoot of Chief Spence’s hunger strike, neither is the audit of Attawapiskat’s finances a relevant response to the litany of undeniable and shameful neglect of the treaty obligations of the nation of Canada to the people on whose land we live and whose resources make us wealthy.

Numerous Supreme Court decisions make it clear that the federal government, as well as private sector corporations with an eye of First Nations’ lands and resources, have a duty to consult. Yet, numerous legislative changes made by the Harper Conservatives over the last year had no advance consultation, despite significant impact on First Nations. Both Omnibus bills, C-38 and C-45, had significant impacts on First Nations, without consultation. The Canada-China Investment Treaty, signed by the Prime Minister in early September and not yet ratified, could also have huge impacts on First Nations, yet there was no consultation. From neglect, we seem to have moved seamlessly to an assault on First Nations, as though we could erase Constitutionally-enshrined rights should they stand in the way of mines, dams and pipelines. The issue of non-consultation should be addressed immediately.

The abandonment of the 2005 Kelowna Accord was the beginning of numerous blows, including cutting the following programmes aimed at redressing the scandalous disparity in health outcomes between indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians: health awareness programmes curbing tobacco addiction, Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative, the Aboriginal Health Human Resources Initiative, the Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy, the Aboriginal Health Transition Fund, the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Program, the Maternal and Child Health Program, and the Blood Borne Diseases and Sexually Transmitted Infections/HIV/AIDS Program. As well, institutions to assist in understanding the disparities, such as the National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO) and First Nations Statistical Institute (FNSI), have been axed. As well, the high cost of food and fuel in the North is a serious problem and remains unaddressed.

Despite all the evidence, we owe it to the embryonic potential of Idle No More to hope that all leaders present will rise to a new level of decency and respect – towards each other and towards the peoples and lands they represent. As the first indigenous leader of Bolivia has done, could we not begin to discuss the constitutional protection of nature itself? Could we not start designing a path to replace the Indian Act, establish a set of meaningful goals to ensure that all children on this piece of Turtle Island, indigenous and non-indigenous, have equal access to proper education, safe drinking water, decent health care and safe housing? Could we not live up to our promises of treaties past and lay the groundwork to a future premised on the respectful sharing of this land? I believe we can. In fact, we must.

 

America the Not-So-Beautiful: God Shat His Grace On Thee

Close your eyes, and conjure up a mental image of the stereotype of the Ugly American.

Loud.

Large.

Willfully ignorant of customs and countries that lie beyond the border of the US -of- A.

Rabidly proselytizing the gospel of liberty, freedom and patriotism bestowed unto their nation via God and gun.

A walking caricature of the values espoused by those who align themselves with political movements like the Tea Party, if you will.

By virtue of social media, internet and television, the world has the increased opportunity to observe Ugly Americans in captivity, under a microscope. One such opportunity arose tonight, when pasty CNN Television host (and UK citizen) Piers Morgan televised a “debate” with the forgettably named media mouthpiece, Alex Jones. Jones, who clearly spends his free time rolling in bat shit, has launched a petition to deport Morgan from the United States.

Why?

“British Citizen and CNN television host Piers Morgan is engaged in a hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution by targeting the Second Amendment. We demand that Mr. Morgan be deported immediately for his effort to undermine the Bill of Rights and for exploiting his position as a national network television host to stage attacks against the rights of American citizens.”

This petition then culminates in over 100, 000 online signatures, and sets the stage for Jones to detonate his home-grown kook bomb of crazy on CNN for all the world to gawk at.

Debate infers that the transaction between Morgan and Jones was an exchange of differing ideas, presented to articulate well-thought  talking-points. In this instance,  debate was a gross misnomer. Jones, frothing at the mouth, set off on an immediate spirit-quest to fling himself into a verbal black hole of tangental ranting about Second Amendment rights, gun control, patriotism and Xenophobia. Rigged to ensure that Jones let the leviathan of whackadoodle out, Piers Morgan may as well have donned a temporary halo and gilded wings.

Grab a bowl of popcorn, pull up a chair and see for yourself:

For those listening at home, and want to reflect on some of the finer passages from the Gospel of Alex Jones, I present the following points and quotes:

  • On gun control: “The tyrants did it! Hitler took the guns! Stalin took the guns! Mao took the guns! Fidel Castro took the guns! Hugo Chavez took the guns!” Ah. Invoking Hitler. Original.
  • A real highlight, for me, was this screaming gem: “I’m here to tell you — 1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms!” 
  • On the recent rape and murder of the young, female Indian student on a transit bus: “Take the woman in India in your piece earlier on CNN. I was watching during Anderson Cooper’s show… didn’t tell you the women of India have signed giant petitions to get firearms because the police can’t and won’t protect them.” Proceeds to claim that if the folks on a bus had their guns handy, the situation wouldn’t have occurred.
  • Accuses Piers Morgan of being a “hatchet man of the New World Order”
  • Trots out the stand-by rhetoric of the USA being the ONLY free country in the world, thanks to guns. Well, fine. The US AND Switzerland. But ! Everyone else is living under tyrannical government oppression, thanks to draconian gun legislation. Proceeds to scream loudly about the current urgent state of affairs in the deadly, backwoods of the United Kingdom.  “I already said earlier that England had lower gun crime rate because you took all the guns. But you have hoards of people burning down cities and beating old women’s brains out out everyday. They arrest people in England if they defend themselves, that’s on record. My God, you have a total police state. Everybody is fleeing the country because — you’ve had to flee, bud. Yeah, you fled here. Why don’t you go back and face the charges for the hacking scandal?”
  • This was extra special, and not at all tangental and bizarre: “How many chimpanzees can dance on the head of a pin?” Indeed, Mr. Jones. Indeed.
  • Are you ready to rumble, Piers? Dude wants a boxing match with you. Please let it be bare knuckle. Please. “I’ll wear red, white and blue and you can wear your Jolly Roger.”

What saddens me is not that Alex Jones exists, has an opinion, and is given a gleaming soap box of radio/television/film to exercise his right to free speech.

Nor is it that both he and Morgan are capitalizing on the unwillingness of the great unwashed masses to think for themselves, and question what they are being fed by the media.

The deep, dark, depressing void that exchanges like this create become apparent when I circle back and read the commentary of the listeners/readers, and see that when Jones hawks his purple fear-monger flavoured Kool-Aid, people are lined up to drink it.  His supporters are legion. He is bidding them to suckle on his crusty, hairy moob of hate and hostility. They eagerly lap it up, and praise the quality and wisdom that dribbles from it.

@PacersTv  - “Piers Morgan has no right to offer opinion on American rights/laws/way of life He is English NOT American. He should not be there when it comes to this sort of topic.”

@iluvpurp354  – “How people defending this foreignor clown over a passionate american blows my mind….AJ will hand ANYBODY in the lamestream media there ass!!!”

@irkitters  - “Alex kicked Prissy Piers’s ads If it was a boxing matchAlex would have made a mess of Piers. Deport Piers”

@Adam Phosphor  “If there ever was an OWNED video, ever, this was it. People commenting, trying to call him a lunatic are all the same cointel group, because they’re using the same terminology “a step backward” to downplay the facts Alex made without analyzing them. Alex just made a deathblow to the NWO. It isn’t lunacy, it’s anger. They always try to associate feelings with something requiring medication, but the truth is, when anger comes out, so does the truth.”

@lsk464 “My take is that Piers Morgan is an asshole on many fronts not just this one. I say give’em hell Alex. You did us Americans just right. Piers was trying to twist the statistics as CNN would have him do but Alex set them straight. We have a tyranny out here right now and a 2nd amendment to allow us to take America back. It is the Legal DRUGS that is the bigger problem.”

Jones is not simply a solitary jack-ass braying into the night. He represents a vocal and growing segment of the American population, namely the keyboard happy masses who are giddily allowing the Court Jester an opportunity to sit on the throne. Excuse me while I try to find a way to get off this planet.