Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

We want Canada to recognize the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders now

Join this Facebook group HERE.


We want Canada to join Argentina, Brazil, Cuba and approximately 130 other countries and recognize the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders now.

This will be a constructive national step towards stopping Israel's illegal occupation and continued ongoing stealing of Palestine.

We also want Canada, given its special relationship with Israel, to recognize the historic fact that 1948 was an ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and to commit to actuating just reparation from those responsible.

We would also welcome a national referendum on these questions, in the interest of democracy.

In addition, we ask that the Canadian parliament pass a unanimous motion in the House of Commons stating "We vow to uphold individual and collective rights to criticize the state of Israel without being attacked as anti-Semitic."

On the hypocrisy of climate change threat advocates

By Denis G. Rancourt

Those who argue that climate change driven by fossil fuel burning is a dominant threat to the environment and to humankind should act according to their beliefs. With knowledge comes responsibility.

If it is true that scientific consensus leads one to the undeniable conclusion that unchecked global warming or climate change will likely lead to humankind’s greatest threat in its short history on Earth then two things follow:

(1) Powerful interests which oppose climate change mitigation or which do not sufficiently endeavour to mitigate climate change and which obviously have access to science experts and their published reports must knowingly desire the destruction of the biosphere as we know it, and

(2) Citizens who become aware of the scientific consensus have a moral responsibility to do everything they can in self-defence to avert the eminent destruction of the planet.

Each individual citizen who becomes informed that increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration from the burning of fossil fuel will lead to world catastrophe on the scale of the planet has a duty to do everything he/she can to stop as much fossil fuel burning as possible.

The time for discussion, organizing and lobbying is over. The planet is on the edge.

Simply reducing one’s carbon footprint rather than actively participating to reduce fossil fuel burning by multiplicative actions is a cowardly escape from responsibility. By this false logic why not kill yourself and reduce your footprint to zero?

The slashing of automobile tires can no longer be seen as a crime but must be understood as a service to humanity.

Likewise water in gasoline tanks, derailing coal-bearing trains, bombing pipelines, forcibly shutting down extraction operations, and destroying home furnaces must all be understood as noble emergency service to humanity rather than seen as property and economic damage.

Poisonous CO2 must be brought under control without further delay. Those who cannot fight should stop breathing and kill themselves for the greater good.

Surely climate change threat advocates do not realistically expect the same technocratic government-NGO-corporate-finance enterprise that created the problem and that refuses to expediently fix it before it is too late to act as needed to avert the impending catastrophe?

That would be like asking investors to prevent stock value bubbles and market crashes because of the harm to ordinary people and the devastating impacts on communities.

No, responsible citizens must take immediate individual direct and effective action to stop as much fossil fuel burning as possible.

A single teenager slashing five or so tires per minute on a parking lot (church or Wal-Mart say), counting internal combustion engine down time, is equivalent to shutting down one coal-fired power plant every two years.

Live according to your beliefs.

Anything else is pure hypocrisy and selfish escapism.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

This is Canada::: This is Israel?

This video gives the present status of Canadian government support for Israel.

In this video Canada's dramatic policy alignment and domestic transformation is tentatively explained as "ideological alignment" (even though it most significantly started with the Liberal Martin government).

Let's call this explanation the "we completely determine national priorities and reshape Canadian society (laws, funding, diplomacy, etc.) without regard for majority public opinion or consultation because 'we think the same' theory", or "ideology rules" for short.

Does the filmmaker take us for morons?

Here's an idea for an alternative to this mush that would involve some investigation beyond describing the obvious: Follow the money, trace the influence, dig up the roots, find the pay offs. Hello mister journalistic filmmaker: Is anybody home?

Ideology does not exist unsupported. It is supported by a true material and social advantage arising from adopting and practicing the ideology. Symptom versus cause: What truly motivates politicians? How "principled" are they?

There is no such thing as spontaneously generated and self-maintained ideology. That is a myth, up there with the bible's explanation (Genesis) of creation. There are underlying causes (determining forces) of ideology and beliefs and perceptions.

So, investigate and report something useful rather than contribute to masking the underlying socio-psychological workings of power.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

This is Canada::: Flat-out call for murder on national television - no one bats an eye

This is truly disgusting - authentically revolting.

Here is smug elite media service intellectual scum nonchalantly calling for murder and political assassination. The other commentators find it amusing.

Tom Flanagan: "The man behind Stephen Harper"

In today's Canada this opinion and influence trader will not be reprimanded in the Canadian media, be disciplined, be fired, or be criminally investigated. Although he may not be re-invited to a CBC panel in the immediate future?

A rare (local) critical media report HERE.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Police photos needed in Ottawa, Canada


Vern White
Chief of Police
Ottawa Police
(by email, sent November 24, 2010)

Re: Request for police officer pictures

Dear Police Chief Vern White,

I write to ask you to increase public safety and improve the accountability of the Ottawa police force by posting the names and pictures of all Ottawa Police officers on the Ottawa Police web site.

Police officers are public servants with power disproportionate to that of a regular citizen. They are also integral members of the community and must be accountable to the public which they serve.

Posting the pictures of police officers on the Ottawa Police web site would increase public safety and would help to protect the public from now rampant police violence against citizens and police abuse of power and irregular behaviour in Ottawa.

It is often difficult, as you know, for victims of illegitimate police aggression to obtain or record and retain the names or badge numbers of offending officers while being subjected to improper treatments and aggressive arrests. I have direct experience with this and can only imagine what it must be like in even more violent situations than the ones I have witnessed on the campus at the University of Ottawa in recent years.

In addition it is important for citizens to be able to protect themselves by avoiding police officers who have been shown or reprimanded by the court or disciplined by their employer for improper behaviour. The web pictures would aid in this regard. As you know, the first defence of a person is to avoid dangerous or volatile situations.

For example, it is presently difficult to find pictures of your officers Const. Shyldon Safruk, Special Const. Glenmore Clarke, Sgt. Steve Desjourdy [photo], Special Constable (Melanie) Morris, and Const. John Flores despite the brutal attacks in which they participated and which have been reported in the media.

Unfortunately, the “few bad apples” theory does not hold water here because these officers would not have undertaken such breaches of the public trust if there was not a broad culture of thuggish disrespect for citizens’ rights within the force. I have repeatedly witnessed this culture and confrontational mentality on the University of Ottawa campus with student arrests, community member arrests, and my own false arrest while I was a tenured professor.

Changing this culture will be a massive undertaking that will take many years in which we will all need to participate. I will do my part. The pictures are an essential easy first step that you can implement immediately.

We need proud officers who uphold the law not delinquent thugs who serve special interests and hide their faces.

As a question of public safety and in the interest of accountability in a democratic society, therefore, will you post the names and pictures of your officers on the Ottawa Police web site? If not, why not?

Please indicate when you will be able to respond.

Denis Rancourt
Former physics professor, University of Ottawa

Cc: Civil society, City Hall, the media


Chief Vern White called me at home.

He said no. He said some other police forces in Canada don't follow the law by not even having name tags. He said pictures would put officers at risk from criminals. He said he had 2000 officers "the vast majority of who have a right to their privacy", that 700 of them were civilians, not sworn officers, and that 250 work special units and are in and out of under cover positions and that he wouldn't even recognize them all.

Chief White said the sworn officer photos "are available if necessary but we wouldn't put them up". He did not know that all regular university professors had their pictures posted. He said that he teaches at both universities (in Ottawa) but that he would not allow them to post his picture if they wanted and he stated that he had no fears from any of his students showing up at his home.

I stated my opinion that more citizens are harmed by police than police harmed by citizens. He asked me my motivation in making the request in my letter and asked me what my goal was. I re-expressed my letter and he disagreed.

His main point was "not everybody wants every criminal to know who you are and what you look like." A main point in my letter is that we need to know what the criminals look like.

He committed to providing me a written answer.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Editor in Chief resigned over the Harrit et al. nanothermite paper

[See latest (January 10, 2011) on Harrit et al. paper HERE.]

A Second Editor in Chief Resigned: "in no way do I agree with its conclusions"

by Denis G. Rancourt

I was asked by 911 Truth movement researcher and radio host Kevin Barrett to debate Niels Harrit about nanothermite in WTC dust. I agreed and a two-hour live debate was held on November 9th, HERE.

In preparation I read the 2009 paper of Harrit et al. (Open Chemical Physics Journal, 2, 2009, 7-31). I found many scientific errors and concluded that the editorial and/or peer review had been done very poorly. I tried to address some of my concerns with Harrit during the radio interview. Those concerns which I had time to express were mostly confirmed rather than alleviated.

Many members of the 911 Truth movement use an "appeal to authority" argument in advancing Harrit's paper as "peer reviewed" and Harrit himself as a scientific authority with relevant expertise. Anyone using "appeal to authority" arguments must expect that the authority in question can be questioned.

Even more boldly, some 911 Truthers, including Kevin Barrett, advance that since the Harrit paper has not formally been contested in any peer reviewed scientific article then its methods and conclusions must be valid. I don't know the name for this particular sophistry but I know that many papers on important topics are wrong, believed to be wrong, and are never contested. This relates more to the social careerism of science than anything else.

I accept that the 911 Truth movement is an important societal movement and for that reason I decided to help clean up some of this crap.

I wrote an expert critical peer review of the Harrit paper HERE.

Harrit was immediately informed and has not yet provided any substantive response.

There are a lot of very bad peer reviewed articles out there but it is so unusual for an editor of a peer review scientific journal to allow tenuous and extreme claims and elaborate suggestions that do not follow from the data that I decide next to contact the Editor in Chief of the journal.

Here is what I sent the Editor in Chief on November 10th:
Professor Lucio Frydman
Department of Chemical Physics,
The Weizmann Institute of Sciences

Editor in Chief,
Open Chemical Physics Journal

Re: Peer review concerns, Harrit et al., OCPJ 2, 2009, 7-31, "nanothermite in WTC dust"

Dear Editor Frydman,

As an expert in the relevant areas, I have written a criticism of the above-cited paper that was printed in your journal.

I have posted my report publicly on the web here:

My report is also critical of your journal in this matter.

On the face of it, it appears that the peer review process for this article was significantly flawed, to the point of professional irresponsibility or worse. This, in a matter of vital public and political interest.

Please clarify your journal's peer review of this article, the number of reviewers, their relevant expertizes, whether any changes were requested, etc. You will understand that the article is of such substandard quality as to give rise to serious questions about its review. What was your own involvement in accepting this article it its final form?

Please indicate when you will be able to respond.

Denis G. Rancourt
Former professor, University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Canada

This was the former editor's immediate response:

From: Lucio Frydman
Date: Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 12:46 AM
Subject: Editorial concern, Open Chemical Physics Journal, possible fraudulent peer review
To: Denis Rancourt <>
Cc: The Open Chemical Physics Journal , Shehzad , Editorial

Dear Prof. Rancourt

What you describe is indeed very worrisome indeed. To be frank, however, I should clarify to you two points that will probably derive this discussion through alternative channels

1) I was not editor of the journal at the time the manuscript you refer to was received and processed. I was not involved in its handling, and in no way do i agree with its conclusions. In fact i do not even know how the paper's peer reviewing was handled - or if it was reviewed at all. The journal never wanted to disclosed this matter to me

2) What may be even worse - noone seems to be at the helm of this Journal. Months ago -simply after becoming acquainted with the article you mention, its possible misshandling, etc- i submitted my immediate resignation as editor to the open chemical physics journal. As you can see from the email below, my letter of resignation was received and acknowledged. However, i still appear as the journal's editor - in fact i'm still receiving manuscripts to handle (which i naturally ignore).

To be frank, noone seems to be at the helm of this floundering ship...

I am hereby using the opportunity to copy the journal managers and publishers both of your concerns, as well as my renewed request that they officially and finally relieve me from any duties and/or relationship in connection to this journal

I hope this clarifies your concerns - at least in what they relate to my role in this sad story

Lucio Frydman

Dear Dr. Frydman,

Thank you for your email. Your resignation will be forwarded to the higher management for consideration.

Maryam L. Shaikh
Ms. Maryam Legasto Shaikh
Asst. Manager Publication
The Open Chemical Physics Journal
Bentham OPEN
Email: maryamshaikh@benthamscience.org



From: Lucio Frydman
Date: Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 11:14 PM
Subject: Re: Editorial concern, Open Chemical Physics Journal, possible fraudulent peer review
To: Denis Rancourt

I appreciate the copying of the correspondence.
While i sympathize with your arguments, I have noticed with worry, however, that you have posted in an open web site my email response of yesterday to you and to the journal. While i stand behind what i wrote, i sent that email under the reasonable assumption that i was corresponding with you in privacy. A privacy that i see violated by your posting of my message in a blog without asking for my prior consent. Please remove it from your blog site -together with any comments you have associated with that message
Thanks in advance and please confirm these actions have been taken
> Dear Prof. Frydman,
> Thank you for this prompt and informative reply.
> I have followed up with the Publisher and put you in cc.
> Denis Rancourt

My Reply:

Dear Prof. Frydman,

I wrote to you in your official capacity as a university scientist and as an editor on a matter that I explicitly stated was of "vital public and political interest".

Your response therefore is also of public interest.

I deny your request to remove your email message "together with any comments you have associated with that message".

I am also surprised by your request and I will make it public on the same blog post.

Denis Rancourt

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

911 Movement Needs Clean Up and Focus on Activism

by Denis G. Rancourt

I have argued that the 911 Movement is an important and valuable societal movement populated by citizens seeking truth, justice, and democracy: LINK.

I have also argued that it is wrong to assume that information and majority public opinion on their own produce societal change. I have argued that without an effective activism column the 911 Movement will simply be a curious cultural phenomenon with no political impact.

Activism cannot be only “getting the message out” and making videos and web sites. It must include direct interactions in the public sphere at political venues (hearings, conferences, government propaganda events, etc.), legal activism, classic political organizing, and anti-establishment activism at work and at school.

In this regard, in my opinion, the 911 Movement division between “researchers” and “activists” is counter productive. “Researchers” who focus their interests on tenuous theories of events rather than supporting the activists harm the movement. To operate a division between inquiry and social reform always serves concentrated and undemocratic power.

This is a fundamental divide and conquer strategy that has lead to our modern concept of “academic freedom”, thereby effectively making virtually all university professors into service intellectuals. (EXAMPLE)

The 911 Movement needs to rout out and isolate this destructive tendency to go off and “research” rather than concentrate one’s energies on effective activist tactics and strategies. Useful research must be part of a praxis of social reform or it is harmful research. There is no lack of historic evidence of research as a neutralizing force.

And the Movement needs to stop spinning its wheels with extreme theories such as: directed energy weapons, all the video is fake and there were no planes, and the two towers necessarily came down in controlled explosives-assisted demolitions with or without the help of tonnes of nanothermite.

None of these theories need to be true or proven for the motives driving an “inside job” to hold. In addition these proposals about the twin tower collapses can easily be contested, displace the debate away from more important issues, and appear to most opponents as ridiculous and therefore non-threatening.

To illustrate how easy it is to contest arguments for the “controlled demolition” of the twin towers, I offer two discussions below; in the hope of drawing the Movement away from severed “research” and towards political activism.

Evidence for nanothermite - Not

As a scientist with relevant expertise, I have reviewed the paper by Harrit et al. reporting to have found synthetic nanothermite in WTC dust samples (Open Chemical Physics Journal, 2, 2009, 7-31).

My report is posted HERE.

Harrit et al. did not make conclusions or proposals that followed from their data and made basic errors in data interpretation. Harrit himself admits to never having used the central method of energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDXA) in his research before his 2009 paper (LINK).

My REPORT explains a natural origin for the grey-red bi-layer flakes found by Harrit et al.

Explosives were required - Not

There is a widespread narrative among Truthers that the nature of the collapses and the degree of destruction imply that large amounts (tonnes) of explosives must have been used.

I see no evidence for this.

A standing building is a bomb waiting to be ignited (by an earthquake or anything capable of taking out structural elements). The gravitational potential energy that is released when a tall structure collapses is enormous. The higher and more massive the structure, the greater the energy release.

Indeed, this is the basis of controlled demolition in which gravitational energy not explosives does virtually all the destructive work. The explosives are only used to take out key structural elements and gravity does the rest.
The gravitational energy liberated (and used for destruction) in the collapse of one WTC tower is approximately 100 tonnes of TNT equivalent, a massive amount equal to approximately 1% of the Hiroshima atomic explosion.
The US war crime that was the Hiroshima explosion caused total destruction on an area of 12 square kilometres and killed 200,000 people. The US war crime that was the 911 twin tower attack caused destruction that is indeed equivalent to approximately 1% of the Hiroshima blast damage, although more concentrated on the point of the towers.

100 tonnes of TNT equivalent is enough to cause all the destruction seen as the result.

Those who insist that explosives were needed to produce the observed degree of pulverization would have us believe that every piece of office equipment and every human body had been loaded with explosives. That’s not how it works when you liberate 100 tonnes of TNT equivalent in seconds.

The following simple scenario of a twin tower collapse does not violate any physical principle.

I have already reported on the important work of Jim Malott (HERE) who exposed the corrupt politics of how the core-structure steel was allowed to be installed virtually unprotected during construction of the towers.

The core-structure is hit from one side, blowing away some of the fire protection material. The steel in the core-structure first fails on the side it was hit causing the top segment of the tower to start rotating. The heated steel in the rest of the core then also fails under the combination of heat and bending strain. The top segment now crushes against the bottom segment as it also continues to rotate but with lessening angular acceleration under a significant counter torque from the asymmetric crushing.

The top segment crushes itself into the bottom segment as it simultaneously (action-reaction) crushes the bottom segment. A cascade follows in which every newly crushed layer adds to the mass being accelerated downwards to continue the destruction.

In other words, I believe that if the conditions were created for key structural elements to fail at the point of impact then the rest would follow from gravity. Of course in such a NON-CONTROLLED demolition it would be messy and pieces would be flung in all directions, as was observed.

Sorry but I don’t see the need for an explosives assisted collapse.

And it matters because…?

What is most unfortunate is that many Truthers will now spend much energy refuting my proposal rather than moving on to the important task of activism.

We should be figuring out how to make the bastards accountable rather than posturing on questions of high school physics.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

University Student for Sale

by Denis Rancourt

You are wretched.

In the history of humanity puberty was the passage to adulthood and responsibility of self yet you accept prolonged subservience. You even sell your future life to bankers for the privilege of slavery and sustained stupidity.

You choose to be a house slave rather than risk freedom.

You are pathetic to watch. Racing from assignment to assignment, from essay to essay, from test to test, from lab to lab; racing to regurgitate on demand, to satisfy a master, to be graded for compliance, to be moulded into an obedient servant without ever having the time to think or understand.

You are even more pathetic when you justify your subservience with the master’s catch phrases: this is how we learn from true experts, basic knowledge first then thinking and application, practice leads to skill… as though human development, perception and learning were like tying a shoe or any other technical skill.

You are most pathetic when you devise a world view to justify your own negation and indoctrination; when you bring the master within yourself in this way. You are most sad, most deeply wounded and most distanced from yourself when your oppressor resides in you.

You were broken and institutionalized as a mostly defenceless child but now you are an adult and it is time for you to stand up – or take the path of life-long crawling.

You are now responsible for you.

Are you going to let these moronic ass kissers we call professors – who have jumped through ALL the hoops – impress you with their canned and well delivered spiels (or if not well delivered at least imposed by their illegitimate authority)?

The ones that deliver badly and grade unfairly only better illustrate the madness of it all. But you make a pact with every one of them to obey in exchange for grades and credits. And those that fool you with their smiles from privilege and their empathy entice you to imitate rather than rebel.

Just like with slave-driver tactics, there is a prof for your every student vulnerability. The hard ass offers superiority of the top-level exploiter with a promise of club entry, or the comforting illusion that you are needed for good in the crushing machine. The radical prof denies his/her role in managing the killing machine and offers enticing radical (to the root) analysis severed from all practice beyond writing, communicating, and more analysis – as the ultimate neutralizing stratagem for potential agents (students) who might not otherwise distinguish between inquiry and theorizing as acceptable and social reform as unacceptable.

You confuse your trainer, the master’s tool, for a mentor or a parent. Wake up. As an adult, no one is the boss of you. Your first responsibility is to yourself, to your own dignity. Only you can discover who you are and your rightful place. These scams are soul poison and make you into an oppressor that is oppressed.

Yes you are pathetic, with all your escapes and justifications. And just as pathetic with your drive to dominate and climb the ladder by stepping on heads. It will be a deservedly empty life until you stand straight up.

You deserve to be treated like a number, to be used and manipulated, because you take it. Why would the master respect you? Is reward for obedience respect? Are simulated pleasantness and an offer to take a place on your knees respect?

You have no say in what, how much, when, or where. You simply are told and only ask that the directions be more detailed: When is it due? Can it be double spaced? Can I have an example? And you ask for regurgitation aids: Can you give us copies of your Power Point slides before class…? Good fucking Jesus. You are pathetic.

Neither does your cynicism shield you. Obedience against your nature is harmful obedience no matter how you cast it. It dehumanizes you like it would denaturalize any caged animal.

You can free yourself.

You can fight back to defend yourself, to define yourself.

You must discover personal authentic rebellion and express it with your voice and your body.

Do not repress your emotions. Without anger and hate of your oppressor there is no passion or love. Feel what you feel and use it to drive your liberation.

Each act of rebellion is a step towards self-worth and freedom. Each act of rebellion informs you about you and about the world like nothing else can.

This is how to connect with comrades. You can only connect if you are yourself and know yourself. This is how to discover your place, a real place. It’s also the only known way to create justice.

You don’t need a better model or argument. Just reject pacification and co-optation. Take your place and your influence – in the classroom to start! – And wherever you are, always. Join your comrades and hold together with those who see the chains. The others are acting out the internalized master and only need to be stirred or challenged. Don’t let them mob you. Stand your ground.

You will find the way if you keep true and never lie down or kneel. Each time you comply you will feel the hurt again and this will remind you to step back into the battle for you.

Get out of the trap and up the ante for your life. It will be worth every moment.

Cowardice, stupidity and depravity are the other option.

It is that simple. You are always in charge of you.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

In Place of Death

Canadian university students are enslaved children

by Joseph Hickey
In Place of Death (blog)

In loco parentis was a Latin phrase used on campuses in the 1960’s. It means “in the place of parents”, and it meant the power to establish curfews over students, to impose academic sanctions for any kind of non-academic misbehaviour, and to wreak other elements of control over student lives. The in loco parentis concept was overthrown in the student movements of the time, like the Berkely Free Speech Movement and the Anti-War Movement, wherein students took first steps toward ownership of their education and the glimmering vision of an authentic learning experience that springs from one’s inside-out.

Over the past decades, universities have clawed back the power to determine many aspects of student life: where we can gather in number, which students are “accepted” by the administration as appointees to governance committees, when profs (even the tenured ones) can be sacked for political reasons with no regard to protest from the student body, and even which posters we can’t put up on streetlamps around campus. Meanwhile, non-democratic marketing campaigns and whole administrative offices and even foreign campuses are created to spread the university’s brand of ideology across the world. All against a background of incessant tuition fee increases, increased workload for students, and the continual massacring of small classes.

But our campus patriarchs are upping the ante even further: student codes of conduct are now the norm at Ontario universities and prohibit such dangerous and clearly learning-detrimental activity as criticizing the reputation of the university and sleeping on campus, among many other things. One student at the University of Ottawa – which does not even have a student code of non-academic conduct – was barred from registering last year with no reason given, without any formal procedure being followed, receiving only the unilateral assurance of the Vice-President Governance, Diane Davidson, that it was in “everyone’s best interest” that he pursue his studies at another institution. The student, Marc Kelly, is three courses away from graduating and has devoted seven years of his life as a student at the University of Ottawa. President Allan Rock’s Ms. Davidson has taken on the role of institutional wicked step-mother to a disturbingly accurate degree.

The resistance of the 60’s has long ago softened back into the spineless stance of the career-obsessed or self-ignorant student. Police come onto campus like brutal baby-sitters to handcuff and muscle away the few free-thinkers. The creepy uncles that are Crown attorneys are coming around more and more frequently to get-off on pressing bogus charges against student activists and watching them squirm. The rest of the student population keep their heads down, consume the shit they are forced to and regurgitate it on command, either cursing the entire process with each painful word or descending into a masochistic frenzy, gunning for the blue-ribbon vomit prize to show Daddy at the end of the semester. Students are weak and battered children, cowering in the corner until they are big enough to pick up the whip and start beating their siblings into an even darker submission.

In place of parents we have pathological masters of our minds and bodies. In this family, Mom and Pop’s main concerns are image production, globalization and political influence, and engineering the next crop of intellectually modified servants of the Canadian class hierarchy (that’s us). We don’t need parents at school and we don’t need professors excising our power to think and administrators bashing us for acting according to the principles of the University. We need honesty, growth from within ourselves, and control over our lives in place of domination and death.

Related articles can be found at:

1. (2010) Free Speech Movement Digital Archive.
2. (2010) U of O Watch Blog.
3. (2009) New York University Disorientation Guide.

Joseph Hickey is a physics graduate student and a member of university senate at the University of Ottawa, Canada.

The Torturer’s Apprentice

T.A. doesn’t stand for what you think it does…

by Joseph Hickey
In Place of Death

Teaching assistants at the University of Ottawa are apprentice slave drivers. We are torturers in training, and this training involves doing the dirty work of rewarding or punishing students for their reproduction of the professor’s ideology. This is achieved by grading papers, policing students at exams and incriminating “cheaters”, and patrolling lab courses to ensure that students don’t escape from the holding cells outlined in their instruction manuals. All as part of an arduous quest to have ourselves certified as “masters” or “doctors” of the process we’ve put ourselves and our students through. Will somebody sound the alarm?

You know that school is oppression and your undergrad students know it too. There’s physical pain: knotted-up shoulders from marathon marking sessions, binge-eating of baneful food, sleep deprivation. There’s the nagging frustration that the students aren’t interested in the material, and the papers keep showing that they “just don’t get it.” Ever wonder why the students who demonstrate the most persistent creativity and curiosity in the material are the ones who sink toward the poor end of your grade profile? In the first year physics lab course, students have a demanding set of instructions to follow for each experiment and a detailed marking scheme outlining where and in what quantity the marks will be awarded. If the students finish all the steps by the end of the three-hour session and have a report written up according to the strict course standard, then they will earn a high grade. They will also be stripped of an opportunity to experiment in the physics laboratory or to even think about what they are doing, except to ask the demonstrator questions like: “is this working right?” or “is this the right answer?” Whatever that might mean.

We, as teaching assistants, are needed to enforce this madness that takes free spirits and spits out brainless young professionals and intellectually castrated graduate students who will fill our jobs once we’ve moved on to the master torturer position. That’s what we’re paid for. But that’s not what our job is: the teacher’s role is to provide the best educational experience possible. The Instructions and Advice for Demonstrators document, which is given to all first year physics lab T.A.’s at the beginning of term, explains that due to the large size of first-year courses, the demonstrator will be in a position to interact personally with a small group of students while the professor cannot, and therefore he “has a much larger influence over these few students.” Demonstrators are thus entrusted with the bulk of the responsibility in helping new students “develop a liking for the subject”, according to the document. It goes on to state that “your only objective should be to remove obstacles to the students’ learning.”

As honest T.A.’s we need to identify and eliminate the obstacles that interfere with creative and authentic learning: remove the needles and the electric clamps. Drop the red hot iron and cut through the wires. Act out against the grading system that is shredding your own mind and the minds of your students. Transform from torturer into teacher.

For reference:

(1969) The Student as Nigger: Essays and Stories, by Jerry Farber. (Original essay available here).

The University of Ottawa Department of Physics document Instructions and Advice for Demonstrators can be found under Joseph Hickey’s section at the AcademicFreedom.ca website here.

Joseph Hickey is a physics graduate student and a member of university senate at the University of Ottawa, Canada.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

This is Canada::: Labour union works against student employee dignity and rights at "Canada's university"

Suggested marketing slogan for the University of Ottawa:
U of O, Canada's university, where the information we gather on you will never end up in your employee file, in fact, you'll probably never know why you lose your grant, or scholarship, or get expelled!

Unfortunately, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) which represents student employees (Local 2626) at the University of Ottawa (which brands itself "Canada's university") has worked to thus help degrade civil and worker rights in Canadian society.

Friday, October 22, 2010

This is Canada::: University professors deny a student's freedom of thought and beliefs

The University of Ottawa (Ottawa, Canada) likes to brand itself "Canada's university".

It's officials believe it to be notably representative of Canadian society. This may well be true.

Recently, the great institution had to be ordered to comply with Ontario access to information (ATI) law (IPC Order PO-2852-I).

The obtained records exposed a nasty campaign against an applicant for graduate studies to the physics department in which the student's personal information about his beliefs and about his academic record were illegally used and disclosed.

In particular, one record shows physics professor Andre Longtin reversing his acceptance of graduate student applicant Joseph Hickey based on the student's "newly acquired activism beliefs".

Thursday, October 21, 2010

This is Canada::: Adrenaline-pumped cop sues Youtube and users for cartoons

In the latest G20-Toronto fallout, Toronto Police Constable Adam Josephs has sued Youtube and Youtube users for $1.2-million.

It appears that Toronto cops don't discriminate between real persons and cartoon characters (just as their chief does not discriminate between real weapons and toys, as seen on national TV).

The lawsuit was a sure way to connect Adam Josephs to Officer Bubbles in the real life arena of the national and local media:

If it's true that Josephs' family members have received death threats because of these cartoons, then we are certain that the Toronto Police will investigate these death threats very thoroughly and lay charges soon, or at least make a public statement regarding these threats, in the interest of public safety.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

This is Canada::: We recycle... failed politicians

Allan Rock, president, University of Ottawa

QUESTION: Can a Canadian federal minister and Prime Ministerial hopeful ousted for ethical breaches and sent off to the United Nations come home to become president of one of the country's preeminent universities?

ANSWER: Meet Allan Rock.

This university president has a record of ethical breaches as long as the Saint Lawrence Seaway: HERE.

Only in Canada is memory so short and history so easy to erase. We know of no other such university president in North America.

This is Canada::: Civil rights officials ethically challenged

Nathalie Des Rosiers, head, CCLA

Michelle Flaherty, judge, HRTO

QUESTION: Can a Vice-President-Governance at a university have a tenured professor arrested, handcuffed, and dragged off campus in front of community members and students at the Cinema Politica weekly event that he created and has hosted for many years AND then become head of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association?

ANSWER: Meet Nathalie Des Rosiers.

See video report and documents HERE.

Nathalie Des Rosiers answered in letter to author Jeff Schmidt that she did it because it was her job to do so under president Allan Rock. See her letter HERE.

You can trust Nathalie Des Rosiers to do her job. It is now her job to protect civil liberties in Canada.

QUESTION: Can the Legal Counsel at a university coordinate an extensive covert information gathering campaign against a tenured professor and many students AND then become a judge at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario?

ANSWER: Meet Michelle Flaherty.

See video report and documents HERE.

Michelle Flaherty continues to occupy her post at the HRTO.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

This is Canada::: Unprecedented punitive bail conditions imposed by threat of harm

Here you have it: National Post article of yesterday.

It's not North Korea or apartheid South Africa or Israel. It's Canada.

Where is the Canada of my middle class mythology comfort blanket? Where has it gone?
  • Social justice activist preemptively arrested at gun point in a mid-night commando raid for organizing and "conspiring" for G20-Toronto,
  • then re-arrested while under bail for speaking at a university about social justice activism,
  • then given absolute-no-political-communication bail conditions,
  • returned to jail for refusing the illegitimate bail conditions, and finally
  • intimidated into accepting the bail conditions under a threat of sustained solitary confinement until and during his trial...
Who the fuck is Justice of the Peace Inderpaul Chandhoke? And where the fuck did he learn his trade?

Where the fuck is Attorney General Chris Bentley? Where is he hiding?

Bentley is a trained criminal lawyer. So he can recognize an egregious subversion of justice when one jumps out in his face from the pages of the national media. So where the fuck is he? And what does he stand for?

How can these clowns do this shit and have so many collaborators help them cover up the magnitude of their violations of fundamental principles without which we must declare the country a police state?

Why has there not yet even been talk or suggestions of investigating the police threats that obviously must have occurred (and that are known to be a common feature of arrests)? Alex Hundert was determined to go back to jail in refusing the bail conditions and did go back to jail, so something had to change his mind.

Stay tuned for the full cover up.

Friday, October 8, 2010

This is Canada::: Activist Alex Hundert jailed for speaking at a university

That's right.

Social justice organizer Alex Hundert was arrested at his home in the middle of the night by a SWAT team to prevent his participation at G20-Toronto.

Outrageous bail conditions were then imposed, including removal of his constitutional right to demonstrate.

He was invited by a professor at Ryerson University (Toronto) to participate in a panel discussion about social activism. He accepted and was arrested for breach of his conditions.

He's still in jail.

The judge ruled that the university presentation was a demonstration.

We shit you not.

This is Canada.

The level of corporate fascism is so advanced that this passes for normal around here with most folks.

This is Canada::: No lawyers allowed during police interrogations

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that an accused does not have a right to be accompanied by a lawyer during a police interrogation.

The latter right is well established in the US but the majority judges argued that Canada is not the US. They actually argued that Canadian police are not like US police so Canadian accused do not need the same protections.

What do police need to do during their interrogations that a lawyer cannot be present?

This is Canada.

The level of corporate fascism is so advanced that a majority of the judges don't see a problem here.

This is Canada::: Mayoral candidate expelled from mayoral candidate debate

Only the "leading" corporate-approved mayoral candidates were allowed at this select mayoral candidates' debate in Canada's capital Ottawa.

Well known poverty rights activist and returning mayoral candidate Jane Scharf was not allowed and was forcibly hauled off. None of the mayoral candidates present, defenders of democracy that they are, protested the police violation that occurred in public.

The media faithfully reported that Jane Scharf, the most qualified candidate on poverty issues, had attempted to "hijack the debate."

This is Canada.

The level of corporate fascism is so advanced that most of us don't even see a problem here.

(Non-North-American readers will understand.)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Breaking News - Ottawa, Canada - Terror suspect will hear bail decision on October 31st

An Ontario Superior Court judge will render his decision October 31st whether an Ottawa resident civil servant accused of enabling and financing international terrorism will be granted bail pending trial.

The accused is federal employee of 22 years Randall Shoemaker.

Shoemaker is accused of helping to finance racial terrorism against the people of Afghanistan, including women and children, by providing regular installments from his pay and by helping to cover up the thus financed and ideologically motivated war-like aggression.

He is believed to have associations with co-terrorists who also contribute to the financing and who conspire to maintain a reign of terror in Afghanistan by shielding others who manufacture and deliver the weapons, including helicopter machine guns and guided missiles used against civilian targets for the purpose of destabilizing that country's national politics.

The Crown's case against bail was strong but is subject to a non-publication ban. Before the ban was ordered the Crown presented some evidence that the accused also helped support an ideological and fanatical criminal regime in the Middle East which has illegally occupied an entire nation for decades under conditions in violation of the Geneva Conventions.

Ottawa Police chief Vernard Verywhite has called for all persons with information about any other members of this believed broad terrorist network to come forward. Verywhite said "It could be anyone, your neighbours, your employees, your parents, even your closest friends."

Investigators of CSIC Project Shitonthem were involved in the difficult and extensive undercover work that led to Shoemaker's arrest last month. CSIC believes that more similar plots are planned against other sovereign nations with brown people, including women and children, for many years to come if not uprooted soon.

(c) 2010 Activist Teacher All Rights Reserved

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Denis Rancourt on anti-hierarchy activism - Nine-part video mini-series

Here is a nine-part video commentary about anti-hierarchy activism.
#1 On the need to act across hierarchical strata; act up.
#2 When does our opinion matter to power?
#3 Is organizing activism? (When does it help?)
#4 Is community building activism?
#5 On the need to embrace hatred. (related essay)
#6 Fight your own oppression!
#7 Where do you fight?
#8 How do you fight?
#9 What is the payoff?
The underlying assumption is that of anarchism, that hierarchy by design and nature is violently oppressive. These videos are about activism aimed at flattening the hierarchical pyramid. (If you're not fighting hierarchy then you are helping to maintain it.)

Related essays HERE.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Real news from Barcelona - Students and workers prepare to challenge EU capitalism

"Un grupo de activistas 'okupa' la sede del banco Banesto de Barcelona" (LINK)

This Saturday, in Barcelona, a gigantic empty bank was squatted right in the main center of the city, and right now it's being used as a center of coordination for all people getting ready to the general strike of this Wednesday (September 29).

All those who live in the city and cannot take part in the strike for several reasons (precarious situation at work, minimum services obligation, etc), can pass by and ask for help; all those who are not aware of the different committees working on the strike can find the information there; groups who needed a meeting place, now found one; those who want to share the resources they have now have a place to do it.

We believe, that capitalism is not a destiny and that there are many ways of living outside of it and creating conflict. In moments like this we can, together, find answers and solutions for our questions and create links with the people who, as us, want to take back control of their own lives.

Here you have a collection of news about the occupation. Most of it will be in Catalan or Spanish, however if you have doubts or curiosities, write me!

Cheers to all,
(at the bank, Barcelona)

Happiness is rebellion-shaped



Sunday, September 26, 2010

On the pleasure of watching the corporate media crash and burn

It has been a great pleasure watching the Canadian agenda rag CanWest ship nose dive into bankruptcy and disappear. Not even a gift bailout from the Harper Government (under the guise of a stimulus package) was able to materialize.

It's also nice everyday watching the likes of the CBC, the Globe and Mail, and the National Post, play catch up so as to avoid the embarrassment of not covering the real news that is viral on the internet. There are now many prominent examples of such catch up: G20-Toronto police violence, Climategate, Israeli crimes in international waters, and US war crimes in Afghanistan...

It's gotten to the point where the corporate media get their news from twitter after the rest of us do, since they gave up bothersome investigative journalism long ago.

But it's not enough for these now exposed servants of powerful interests to just crash and burn. They are so committed to kissing ass that they insist on serving with ridiculously overdone editorial and commentary constructions in the face of what is obvious to anyone who can say "Google".

In this way they bravely raise improbable edifices of opinion generation that are bound for catastrophic failures.

A recent example is described in this video (below), where thousands of US-Canada media "pieces" have been generated to ridicule and condemn the September 23, 2010, statements of Ahmadinejad at the UN, in the face of majority public skepticism about the 911 official story and the apparent acts of cover up. (And in the face of the transcript of the actual speech!)

This baby is gonna crash, just like the H1N1 swindle and many more.

It all makes one wonder what the mechanism for return to sanity away from corporate mind engineering will be if the internet is completely saddled for profit. Will photocopied tracts become hot items? Will photocopy lock-downs be implemented? ...

Full unedited Ahmadinejad UN speech: HERE.