#145: Oh, He’s So Hot…Pity He has a Cedar Plank for a Brain

Day One of the Justocalypse. The child stands about in Montreal’s metro system collecting selfies and handshakes while “thanking the Canadian people” (perhaps not the ones in Alberta who didn’t return a single Liberal after Daddy fucked Alberta over so hard that the West built its own Party, Reform, to get the fuck away from the fool, but hey) for being inept. Then he told us that Canada is pulling out of the ISIS mission, taking our antiquated rusty shit-ball CF-18 jets from 1983 and going home. This would be more amusing or interesting if he could do that, because as of that point Justin has as much control over the military as I do.

*Psst. Justin. You need to be invited to form government first, kid*

And how has Canada’s slop-bucket, the Moan and Wail, reacted? By telling us that the world thinks Justin Trudeau is sexually attractive. Seriously? First off, no – the world doesn’t care who the Prime Minister of Canada is for the same reason that it doesn’t care who the Prime Minister of Malta is (fun fact – Malta is a republic). How many Canadians can name the Italian Prime Minister, or the leadership in South Korea? Both of those are more important, larger, and more productive than Canada – shocking that cakers can’t name ’em. Sorry, my Cheeto-dust laden cakeramigo; if you can’t name the leader of South Korea, it can’t name yours. Anecdotally, my time in Malta was punctuated by hilarious questions about Barack Obama (4.1/5, would watch again) because the Maltese thought Canada was run by Obama.

So no, Globe. The world is not salivating over a middle-aged man just because cakers got their panties wet over Daddy 50 years ago. The world cared as much about Justin as it does about my morning shit. What you meant to say was that a few people, quite possibly Canadians abroad, commented on Justin and you blew it out of proportion to try to convince a public that is while impossibly stupid eventually going to realize that they elected the equivalent of a tire fire wearing a toupee. And what better way to raise caker spirits without doing anything than pretending that the others are noticing Canada and care about it? The post-colonial separation anxiety is real.

Then we heard from the still-living Margaret Trudeau, a former flower-child on par with Yoko Ono who just five years ago was depicted as a strung-out wash-out is back to make face-noises. Canada’s first lady went about in the 70s sleeping with anyone who would take her rich and decadent ass; now that her ass isn’t as perky, she’s been reduced to smoking the family trust fund. Funny that the Globe didn’t mention Marge’s extravagance when they ran the “Mommy’s proud of you” story as if Justin is grabbing his Transformers-themed lunch box to hop the bus to school.

So that was day 1 of the Justocalypse. The media continued to shine his knob and make up half-truths to support their chosen limp-dick puppet. Canada had a wank-session over pretending that the world matter, and Mommy got to write her love letter to Justin before school.

No sympathy – you voted for this.

#144: Louis St. Laurent and the Patchwork Canada

Fuck Louis St. Laurent.

This guy is a double-dinger of sloppy bullshittery. In a way, he’s the prototype for future Liberal fuckery throughout the rest of Canada’s history – manage the economy to the benefit of business interests that eventually get too cozy with Ottawa for the polity’s comfort. He was also an anti-Semite – Diefenbaker recalls his posting the first Jew to run the Bank of Canada, Louis Rasminsky, in part to spite St. Laurent. The fact that St. Laurent like King before him could barely contain his disdain for Western Canada probably didn’t help affairs much.

St. Laurent also oversaw Newfoundland. Holy shit, Newfoundland. See, here’s the thing – the Rock wasn’t too keen on joining Canada. In the first referendum of 1948 Newfoundland wisely voted to steer clear of the foul-smelling dumpster fire that is Canada but failed to hit 50%, triggering a run-off that managed to pull Newfoundland into the Vortex of Suck by a whopping 52.3%. There are of course folk allegations of fuckery in the ballot boxes, and there were movements calling for annexation by the United States expressly to avoid Canada’s Francophones.

Joey Smallwood’s role is obviously paramount to the whole thing. But, see, St. Laurent’s annexation of Newfoundland was definitely assisted by British/Canadian propaganda efforts and those folktales about fraud are a testament to the lack of legitimacy Canada suffers on the Rock. Danny Williams ordered the Canadian flags taken down over Newfoundland’s government buildings over fiscal disputes. Clearly, Newfoundland has some (likely pickled – the place has a drunken reputation) national sentiment. Which St. Laurent ignores because 52% close enough. Can’t leave with 52%, but you can join with it. Hotel California much?

He also oversaw the creation of the Trans-Canada Highway, a road which is so useful that it doesn’t go to the most populous part of the country it’s claiming to be ‘trans’-ing. His other brilliant mega-projects, the now obsolete Saint Lawrence Seaway (which is due for expansion in 2030) and the Trans-Canada Pipeline both continued to demonstrate Canadian planning skills by being entirely obsolete and in the latter case prone to leaking and exploding because why the fuck not.

Louis ran a fairly tight ship save for the typical Canadian patronages, but there’s no real way to praise a guy whose legacy is useless to a sizeable portion of the population, in her mega-projectiness rendered moot by global trade patterns, and prone to egg-farting your house to oblivion. When you build shit, you should also build in protocols to maintain the thing you just built.

Or you can be a Liberal and promise a brave new world in just a few megaprojects that happen to assist their business and dynastic interests. Just as how building huge highways with no funds to repair them was a solid idea to the Canadian mind, the caker is blinded by the prospect of someone noticing it for some kind of feat only to discover that said feat is indistinguishable in modernity from the pipelines built by Khrushchev.

Oh, and taking in a province willy-nilly without addressing seriously the protocols for entry and exit from Canada. That would have been helpful.

#121 – Crime Ministers: Richard Bedford Bennett

R. B. Bennett made it law that publically speaking in favor of communism or socialism would be punished criminally with up to 20 years in jail. Because mimicking Stalin is the best way to beat him, right? Iron Heel Bennett’s policy of extending a middle finger to basic rights of association and free speech are truly hallmarks of a Great Canadian Leader. He also allegedly took part in funding the anti-Semitic Adrien Arcand’s newspaper le Goglu. Nothing is more Canadian than funding a guy who called himself Canada’s fuhrer! He presided over the arrest of senior members of Canada’s Communist Party, provoking a riot and a Toronto performance that was itself beaten down by Toronto police.

Meanwhile, Bennett’s means to fix the troubles of the Great Depression was to support and protect Canadian businessmen from external competition. The work relief camps were described as appalling and horrifiic, but they were Canadian so they worked amazingly. From failing to create a common plan in the British Empire at a conference that Bennett hosted and dominated (how novel – a Canadian failing to create consensus) to slapping a New Deal onto Canada without any of the planning that FDR put into it, Bennett was one of Canada’s worst Crime Ministers. And that’s saying something on a list that contains Bowell Mackenzie and Charles Tupper.

Oh, and Bennett was rich as fuck. And he loved showing it off. During the Depression. Apparently political savvy hadn’t been invented yet. Shockingly, his mindless belief in the British and in a common Imperial market failed to start the economy again. That was really the only arrow in Bennett’s quiver and the fucker only made it one term before getting the stuffing kicked out of him from within his own Party. Yes, the man gave from his own millions to help the struggling – but that’s not the job of a Prime Minister. The job of a Prime Minister is to get the state’s policies and ideas in line to ensure that people actually have money, not handing it out yourself.

Indeed, Bennett has little to write about save for that – his failures to make the state work for struggling Canadians, his pompous displays of wealth in a context of poverty, and a completely inept response to the Depression. Oh, and creating Section 98 of the Criminal Code, which might as well have come from Soviet lawbooks. The bad law was part of how the Canadian left came together in the first place, although Canada’s solution was, of course, to use it in another law (the War Measures Act), which Trudeau would use before finally putting the bad idea to bed. Only 40 years from bad law to final abolition? That’s fast by Canadian standards.

#116 – AMERIKKKA, Part Eight: Literally Hitler

English Canada tried to avoid fighting Hitler. Yes, that Hitler. The Hitler of Literally Hitler fame.

The narrative we get looks like this. Literally:

King’s primary concerns were to maintain national unity and to assert Canada’s position as an independent country. After Britain declared war on Germany, King announced that the Canadian Parliament would decide on what Canada should do. Parliament was recalled, and, on September 9, gave its approval for entering the war. (source)

This is a very sneaky wording that manages to completely ignore the fact that King wanted nothing to do with declaring war. Stories of panicked special meetings and emergency sessions of Parliament are nice and all, but Mackenzie’s goals as stated happen to strongly pull him towards preferring the option of leaving Hitler alone. The Quebecois certainly pulled hard for a neutral Canada – even in 1942, 80% of them said no to expanding the war efforts through conscription.

Indeed, Mackenzie’s only move in this was to say that Parliament would decide – the “autonomy” bit. This allowed him to play the Liberals’ favorite card – the Janus. From one mouth he told pro-British Canadians that Parliament was sure to throw down on Hitler. From the other he was able to tell the French that the Parliament would surely act in the national best interest. And in his mind the issue was already settled because Parliament was almost certainly going to declare war anyways. Canada declared war a week later than Britain, which has retroactively become a testament to independence because look, you fucks, we’re desperate here!

Canadians like to chide Americans for not wanting to go to war with Germany – in both wars, Canada was out of the gate before the United States. Lend-lease and other vital American aid aside, the United States obviously didn’t want to save the world as much as Canada did. But Canada forgets that it entered the war by sleight of hand rather than by national courage and that the contribution that Canada most wanted to make was in the form of loaning and selling supplies to the Allies. As a united body, Canada was dislocated about the whole thing and effectively muddled its way to war. The Americans, by contrast, joined very deliberately in both cases and in any case were involved in production before. The Zimmerman Dispatch and Pearl Harbor were pretty good reasons for Americans to step up their game.

What’s astonishing about this is how Canada’s foot-dragging, a symptom of the French-English schism and other divisions in the country is recast as heroic and sage of King. Yeah – indecisiveness and delaying the inevitable so you can personally stand clear of the possible eruption of one of Canada’s many cleavages is a sure mark of a heroic, valiant, and noble leader. Meanwhile, AMERIKKKA only joined years later. Canada for the win!

#102 – Johnny Macdingus’ all-Canadian Legacy, Part Three: Mackenzie King’s Wild Corruption Time!

Here’s another all-Canadian with their ugly mug on the money. Mackenzie King was right crazy in so many ways, but we’ll start with the wild and crazy corruption that Mackleman brought with his rule.

First off, Mackie knows that merely equalling Johnny Macdingus’ corruption isn’t enough. So he threw his massive, gluttonous corruption at a company called Beauharnois Light, Heat and Power Company. A whole $700,000 was offered to the Liberal warchest in exchange for the right to divert the St. Lawrence River for a hydroelectric project. Never mind the shipping industry! Who navigates the water of the St. Lawrence anyways? Just change that shit!

Mackenzie King was treated to an all-expenses-paid vacation to Bermuda courtesy of Beauharnois. Remember that this is a man who “graces” Canadian money to this day. Open bribery was nevertheless too much for King, whose disgrace almost but didn’t quite convince him to retire from politics. He didn’t, though, and he also didn’t bother changing the laws surrounding bribery for almost three decades. Clearly this free vacation affected him deeply and encouraged him to take meaningful steps towards stopping this brutal failure of government.

What other failures of King do we have? Well, he was a racist fuck and refused Jews access to freedom from Nazi oppression. He rather famously said that he would “not give a five-cent piece” of unemployment relief for anyone living in a Conservative-run province. He called the Prairies a desert, saying that he doubted that it would ever be economically useful again. Writing off entire provinces is the sign of a true leader, especially those provinces which happen not to support his political reign.

He also founded the precursor to Air Canada. Remember, this man is on the money. People like Abe Okpik, John Diefenbaker, Alexander Mackenzie, Banting and Best don’t get on the money, but this Turd-dragoon gets to squat his load on the $50. The sheer extent of corruption that happened under Mackenzie King’s watch, and that so many people love him despite this, baffles me. Why do you heil a guy who thought that Hitler was a Wagnerian hero? What in the ever-giggling fuck is so worthy about this dingus? Oh, is it that he was Prime Minister for a long time and in a time in Canadian history that is utterly full of Canadiana bullshit? Is that it? Are we willing to overlook that this guy basically allowed the St. Lawrence to be diverted in exchange for stacks of coin to defeat bitter rival and fellow shit-biscuit Arthur Meighen with?

Spoilers: that’s totally not the end of King’s Reign of Bullshit. He’s going to be getting at least another pride of place here.

#101 – Crime Ministers: Arthur Meighen

Arthur Meighen was a shitty Prime Minister.

First off, he was the one who bought the extreme stupidity behind the Citizens’ Committee of One-Thousand and their argument that the Bolsheviks were planning to paint Winnipeg red. He also created the Canadian National Railway, an amazing institution that is now owned mostly by Bill Gates and which continues to create endless delay in creating acceptable mass public interurban transit in Canada. He came to power after Borden resigned in 1920 only to lose power only a year and a half in. Somehow, pissing off Quebec (with mandatory conscription during the War), pissing off labor (see: Winnipeg), and pissing off farmers (tariffs) doesn’t get you elected. Who knew?

Meighen continued to fail after the Chanak Crisis, when he stood accused of blindly supporting British interests despite the whole institution of Parliament and the idea that maybe Canada would want to have some input into a crisis nowhere near Canada and which had no impact on Canada. The accusation of slavish loyalty to Britain comes from his being quoted as saying “ready, aye ready, we stand by you” as his ideal response to Britain offhandedly suggesting that it may want to use Canadian troops. Taking a small note and having it blow up in your face is something special.

Yet this veritable Wile E. Coyote of a Prime Minister had a hard-on for hating Mackenzie King, and so despite being drubbed so hard that he lost his own seat, he won a byelection and came back to Parliament. From there we have little to say about him – he was the immediate beneficiary in the King-Byng Affair when antiquated British tradition was allowed to override democratic principles and put Meighen back in the PM’s chair. Which he then lost immediately, because this is Arthur fucking Meighen son. He then quit the game, bitter and spiteful towards Mackenzie King.

Being the head of two radically unstable governments and being the man responsible for setting up the pins that Jean Chretien would knock down is not the best legacy. The bonus part with the Winnipeg General Strike isn’t good either, even if he didn’t actually issue the go-orders to crush the strike. A forgettable two reigns, the latter installed by the flaccid Governor-General’s office through slavish loyalty to British norms and customs despite being a totally different group of people, for a forgettable person. His rule was not only inconsequential; it was a slapstick comedy of errors.

#92 – Crime Ministers, Part Six: Borden’s Other Crime

There are going to be three posts about Robbie-B: the one you (hopefully) already read, this one about his response to the Winnipeg General Strike, and a final begrudging acknowledgement of the positives that Borden brought with him. This is not the happy post.

Right. So, Borden put down the Winnipeg General Strike after World War One with brutal force. In order to understand why this action made Borden an all-Canadian, plan-free idiot, we need to dive into the history of the thing. At the time, two important events were transpiring: labor in the Western World was growing more and more discontent with the fact that they were building shitty tools so that neighbors and relatives could go die because reasons, and troops were coming home after World War One with their shitty equipment and finding that Canada had moved on without them. Well, that and the whole shitty living conditions thing too.That probably didn’t help.

So the troops came home only to find social dissent, disease, and misery that the Canadian government and by extension Borden did diggery-doodle nothing about. Perhaps the large influx of people returning from the War and the jaded Canadian proletariat were not the best things to simply slam into one another without any thought, especially in a context where inflation had made costs of living higher and factory bankruptcies made earning money harder. The collective shit-ness that was post-war Canada saw Western Canada organize itself into something called The Great Fist, or One Big Union. Tired of “blanket fees” and other nickle-and-diming scams that factories ran, they went on strike. By 9 June 1919, the police had joined them and Special Constables, paid for by the wealthy of Winnipeg, started their “rounds”. Said wealth formed the “Citizens’ Committee of One-Thousand” and from there called for federal help, which was provided seemingly without question.

This is typically regarded as a problem. The rest is history – Borden’s minister, Arthur Meighen, ordered the strike leaders arrested on 10 June, a few weeks after he blindly declared that the strikes were caused by foreign subversives rather than anything wrong with labor conditions in Western Canada. The evidence that compelled Meighen to this view is the evidence that has been sacrosanct ever since – the opinions of English-Canadian business owners. At any rate, federal troops and Northwest Mounted Police (who were pushed out of the city by strikers by 10 June) came to kill the strike. Several died and dozens were wounded in the largest anti-strike action in Canadian history. Despite the English-Canadian business community’s assertion that “aliens” were behind the strike, it was found by Royal Commission that the strikers were not in fact secret Red Army troops but were in fact a titch upset about their wretched, diseased lives.

And herein is Bobby’s big whoopsie. Rather than trusting the obvious signals that something was going wrong, Borden instead opted to follow the advice of Winnipeg’s elite – an elite that turned out to be dead-wrong in its claims about what happened. While I recognize that social democracy was not in Canada’s wont at the time, Canada nevertheless failed to see the obvious coming and Borden’s reaction to it was knee-jerk. Ottawa, rather than looking at the problem either as it was happening or during the problem, opted instead to trust a gaggle of self-interested buffoons who – shockingly – turned out to be a big part of why the strikes happened in the first place.

And this is a tradition that continues in Canada to this day. Why listen to people who are actually there and dealing with an issue when people who aren’t there can justify whatever short-term stupidity the government comes up with?

#91 – The Myth of the Military, Part Five: Robert Borden dun Goofed

Last time, we talked about how Laurier failed to reform the civil service, which is the backbone of a modern state. The government was still run by corruption and nepotism at the highest levels and the short-term interests of a few were far more important in the House than long-term national improvements. This is still the country that allowed the head of a Crown corporation responsible for the collapse of a bridge and the deaths of dozens to go without a prison term, after all. We talked about how Laurier’s moves towards Canadian sovereignty over itself should have come with a similar impulse towards reforming the government such that it could handle those responsibilities – which includes ways to screen for the all-powerful voice of wealth in the Canadian state.

So, what happens when a guy decides to plunge into a war “for Canada!” without thinking? Well, you get people like Sam Hughes, the corrupt, ill-tempered, anti-French, foul poopstank of a Minister in charge of the militia. His legendary leadership saw Canadian troops equipped with boots made for South Africa (whose only similiarity to Vlaanderen is a distant linguistic hookup, which has little to do with footwear), the Ross Rifle (legendarily useless and prone to jamming), the MacAdam shovel-shield that was good at neither task, and the obsolete Colt-Browning machine gun with the awesome inability to aim. Errant potatoes in Flemish fields cowered at the sight of the ill-equipped Canadians.

Of course, Sam Hughes only promoted Canadian WASPs to the Officer Corps, ensuring that Canadian leadership was totally useless at the individual level. Hughes was so incredible that King George V took time out of his busy day doing whatever he was doing to personally order Borden to rein Hughes in. Which he did…after the war was half-over. Amazing! While Borden was busy making Canada’s all-Canadian contribution to the Canadian war effort as Canadian as possible, the industries supplying Canada demonstrated that they were utterly useless at their jobs and the government proved that it consequently was unable to supply troops with anything that worked.

And how does Canada feel about a man who basically failed to control an element in his own Cabinet who directly and negatively affected the Canadian war effort for years? Why, they stuffed him on the $100 bill, of course! Who doesn’t love Canadian-kwality goods on kids going to the meat-grinder that was the First World War? Such amazing guidance as that which alienated Quebec during the Conscription Crisis of 1917 when it wasn’t making the Quebecois feel unwelcome in the first place with the army being used supposedly as a way to unify Canadian interests with an abusive fuckstick at the helm?

Then again, as we’ll see, Borden had little use for those pesky Canadian citizens in his plan to create an amazing Canada. Thus begins that ignoble Canadian tradition!

#88 – Crime Ministers, Part Five: Happy Charles Tupper Day!

Today is the 119th anniversary of the beginning of the shortest tenure in a Prime Minister’s career. Like the flaccid cock-badgers before him (save for Mackenzie, who must be remembered for his solid tenure at the helm), Tupper was a Macdonald patron, but Tupper was special because he lost favor with Johnny Mac and requested to be sent away to England as a diplomat. Of course – the guy who wants to flee the country is a genius choice to have as PM. Tupper lasted 68 days in the PM’s seat before resigning.

It’s important to note that Tupper was a doctor and also the first president of the Canadian Medical Association. I’m pretty cool with doctors because I like not-dying as much as the next guy, and Tupper was by what few accounts I could find on the matter good at that. He was also a Bible scholar, which I suppose is also cool. Maybe Tupper wasn’t a useless sack of sentient lard-flesh, but his try at the Prime Ministerial bat was a solid strikeout.

First off, he went to the polls almost immediately. His absolute loyalty to British imperialism in a context where Britain just basically Death-Starred the French language in Manitoba made it tough for Tupper to score in Quebec. He believed that Manitoba was a distraction against the real enemies of his time – farmers and laborers. Yeah, those evil farmers and laborers with their common grievances against big business are the real reason Canada isn’t working. So we see from the near-beginning Canada’s fear of questioning her industrial barons. Tupper was doomed to be additionally useless by not even being able to get the Party to rally around his “fuck the farmers” crusade.

So, naturally, Tupper got his ass handed to him. But, in a final move of cockery, he refused to admit to the results and started appointing his own people for Cabinet posts anyways. The Governor-General disagreed with Tupper’s amazing argument that 55% of the seats of the House of Commons weren’t enough to guarantee a government (which, if nothing else, ensures that they would simply to spite you). Tragically, Lord Aberdeen handed the election to the winner and ended the magical reign of Charles “Tupz-dizzle” Tupper.

The person Lord Aberdeen handed off to? Wilfred Laurier. Given Canada’s penchant so far with putting turds or foreigners on its money, Laurier is bound to be a saint. Right? Right?

Also, that string of shit at the beginning – do you think that there’s perhaps any reason to be a tad worried about what happens after 20 years of rudderless, reluctant, unsuitable jackweenies (and Alexander Mackenzie, who was pretty solid) wearing the special Prime Minister beanie? Golly, I wonder…

#86 – Crime Ministers, Part Four: Mackenzie Bowell

This stank ranky-dank Crime Minister hails from Belleville, Ontario.

…What, that doesn’t speak for itself? Ah, fine.

What’s wrong with Mackenzie “the Bowels”, Crime Minister at Large from 1894 to 1896? Well, for starters, he’s another Senator Prime-Minister. Because that worked brilliantly the first time we tried it! Oh, but this time it’s even better because Canada was engaged in a self-destructive meltdown over the Manitoba Schools Question. Who better to navigate these difficult times than a guy who can’t participate in the debate in the House of Commons, right?

To understand how useless Macbowels was, we need to delve into the wonderful world of the Manitoba Schools Question. The Manitoba Schools Question starts with the creation of Manitoba itself. The province is born of negotiations between Canada and the governing body of the territory at the time, which was led by a familiar chap named Louis Riel. One of the things that Riel made a particular point of demanding was funding for both Catholic and Protestant schools in the province. So it was that such a thing was written into the law that founded Manitoba, the uncreatively-named Manitoba Act.

Now, here’s the thing about Catholics in Canada at the time – they tended to be Francophones. And that means that English Canada (at the time Protestant; at current a mash of stuff) will reliably knee them in the ballsack as soon as it sees a chance. Recasting Catholics as Francophones, what happens next is the stuff Rene Levesque had nightmares about. A sea of English-speaking migrants from Ontario moved along the railway to Manitoba; with the French no longer migrating to Manitoba, a serious linguistic balance was aching to happen.

So, because English Canadians can be relied upon to maturely and sensibly approach potentially dangerous legal quandries, Manitoba decides in 1890 to both remove French as an official language for the province and to defund the denominational school system. Rationally enough, someone decided that this could well be against the Constitution of Manitoba, because another thing English Canadians are known for is foresight. Here begins the legal meltdown.

Manitoba’s Supreme Court says that the new school system is all gravy. Canada’s Supreme Court quashed that decision, thus allowing for an out. Here’s the vantage for a good Prime Minister to step in, recognize the disaster looming, Or…Britain can veto Canada. There’s just one more exit here – if Bowels can shit out some decent legislation and convince his caucus that maybe just maybe there was some merit in buying a bit of time to create a compromise.

Or he could just shit the bed and be forced to resign after his own Party revolted and squished Bowell out of government. That works too .The French were royally fucked until they practically vanished from Manitoba, which in English means that everything is hunky-dorry and for the French means a long, deep suspicion of Anglo-Canadian motives.

…Yeah. This guy was shit. Fuck Mackenzie Bowell.