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Mark McCaw ~ twitter's @bigpicguy

Author of "Insights Inside a Mind" ~ blogging the big picture

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

I've Accepted the Fascism Challenge

Here we go.

Yesterday I caused quite a stir. As one can imagine, I'm used to that.

My suggestion that ordinary citizens must demand answers from their government drew the considerable ire of government supporters. Amidst the hundreds of childish names I was called (yes, I shot back, because you dickwads can't bully me, two can play that sandbox game), among the many times these fools posted tweets saying absolutely stupid things and trying to make it appear as though I had said them (this is a normal tactic of Harpertrolls), were a few challenges. Actually, a single challenge, repeated by a few of them.

Anyone who knows me will also know I don't back down from anyone. On any level. If you can actually prove me wrong on something I say, I am big enough to acknowledge if I'm wrong and if the situation calls for it, I'll actually apologize. Unfamiliar concepts for a lot of internet folks, but I have my own standards.

Back to the challenge. Since I am fond of referring to the tactics of the Harper government as exhibiting fascist leanings, some of his fanboys & fangirls thought I should be the one to prove it.

With the help of a good research background, here ya go fuckers. By the way, you'll have to do a little work on your own, because I'm going to link to examples, not rewrite everything for you.

First, how is fascism defined?

In very long form, and of course, subject to discussion, here is the Wikipedia version

This, in shorter form, is the definition from the Merriam-Webster dictionary

For the purposes of this blog, I intend to compare the Harper government to the fourteen defining characteristics of fascism as assembled by Lawrence Britt. There is much debate as to the validity of such definitions, and interesting discussion of which you could read here and if you are a fan of reading, history, political science, or just plain expanding your mind, this is a pretty decent starter list of reading materials.

Now let me say this before I continue. Don't be an idiot I am not saying Stephen Harper is Adolph Hiltler so don't even go there.

I am comparing the actions of our current government to a list of characteristics shared by numerous governments in several countries at various points of history.

The importance of what I am writing is not because I think the conservative party of Canada is about to start rounding people up and slaughtering them en masse, because that is patently ridiculous. I don't think that, even though I am sure some people will scan this blog and accuse me of that. Wrong.

The importance is I do fear many conditions are being put in place by our current government that can be used in more dangerous manners than any of us care to believe.

I don't think Harper has evil intentions, more personal ambitions. By fulfilling his own personal ambitions, he is setting the table for someone who really does have evil intentions to use and abuse the system that is being put in place right now. In Canada (and other western nations I will add).

If you think I am going to give you exact matches to every characteristic on the list, stop reading. This isn't my doctoral thesis, it's a blog post. An opinion you can consider or discard. I am, however, going to provide examples for each of the fourteen characteristics and you can freely look for others on your own. I'm not your mommy, you either do your homework or stay as uninformed as you wish. You have the right to agree, disagree, or not care. Just because I believe you should care doesn't mean you will. I pose this post only as a cautionary tale for those who think I am not wrong.

To be 100% clear, NO I do not believe we currently live in a fascist country. YES I do believe more and more laws are being put in place that are sending us down that road. Not a road I have any desire to go down, but we still have personal choice.

One last thing before I do this. If you want to argue some other government at some other time behaved in similar fashion, feel free to write your own blog post about it, more power to you, hope you get a billion reads, honestly. But don't expect me to do your research for you.

Let us take it from the top.

#1 (Powerful & Continuing) NATIONALISM

The government of Stephen Harper continually sends messages about the superiority of Canada. Some of these are delivered to a national audience. The idea we are somehow superior because we don't appear to be in as desperate shape as some of the world's other economies. The government wants to portray Canada as an energy superpower, somehow extrapolating this into giving Canada status as a world superpower. For some people, this may play well, seeing their Prime Minister Lecturing those "socialist" Europeans about how they must fix their economies and how he expects them to do it. While this may play well to a domestic audience, the recipients of such lectures don't intend to bow to Stephen Harper or any foreign know-it-all. This government has an agenda of building a nationalism based not on actual fact, but public relations twisting of events to try to create a Canada of their own making. While many Canadians hoped to celebrate the 30th anniversary of our own Charter of Rights and Freedoms, this government snubbed the occasion in favour of spending big dollars celebrating the war of 1812, essentially a war between British Troops, Aboriginals, and Americans, fought and over with 55 years before Canada became a country. In fact, the attempt to elevate this odd border skirmish into some kind of revisionist beginning of the nation of Canada, extended to this year's Canada Day celebrations on parliament hill, even according to the conservative leaning National Post, was not well received. 

Do some research on your own. Tell me you can't find instances of this government beating a drum of Canadian pride, which unfortunately, is not matched by the actions and legislation of this government.

#2 Disdain for Human Rights

Where this one begins and ends is hard to measure. I don't mind beginning with the Harper Government's apparent total disdain for its own citizens the moment they go outside our own borders. It's difficult to ignore the case of Maher Arar who our government allowed to be taken off a plane in the United States, taken to Syria, tortured, was completely innocent of any crime and the taxpayers had to pick up the 10.5 million dollars in damages rightly awarded to him. How about this gem. Remember the woman stranded in Kenya because the Canadian government accused her of not being who she said she was? Is this how we defend the rights of Canadians? Having them wrongfully imprisoned in a foreign country and actually leaving them there until a DNA test proved she was exactly who she said she was. I don't remember an apology and I'm unsure how much we will pay for the Harper Government's disdain for human rights in this case. Locally, we've had the Harper government actively fighting to get Potato Farmer Henk Tepper sent to Algeria to be tried there. Add stories like this to fiascoes like the G20 which has spawned thousands of stories of disdain for human rights, including this one, or this one, or even this one. 

Again, do some of your own research on the Harper human rights record, including endorsement of using information obtained by torture, ignoring a plea bargain with the US over the Omer Khadr situation, even the treatment of our own Aboriginal Nations.

#3 Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats (as a unifying cause)

I don't even need links for this one. Muslims. We must always be in fear of Muslim terrorists, Islamists, criminal refugees, criminal illegal immigrants and anyone who looks different. There are also the domestic terrorists like environmentalists, and of course, the most evil, worst enemy Canadians could ever have, Liberals, lefties, dippers, commies, socialists and the like. Count women in there too, in a subtle way. In fact, this government would have ordinary Canadians believe that anyone who disagrees with anything this government says or does is an enemy of the state.

Don't try to tell me you haven't noticed.

#4 Supremacy of the Military

Canada was once a respected nation of peacekeepers. Other countries didn't hate us. Then came the Harper government, who beat the drums or war wherever and whenever they can. They don't really care much for veterans or taking care of them, unless they are useful for a photo op. Canada is frequently seen as sabre rattling, Lybia, Iran, denouncing Palestinians, who knows who could be next, so this government plans to spend a lot of money on military projects, many of which I hadn't even heard of before reading them. We all know about the F35 fiasco. Nobody can really seem to explain how we need stealth and first-strike capability fighter bombers to defend Canada. Who are we attacking? Do we defend ourselves by bombing our own cities? Meanwhile the lies roll on, and on, and on! This doesn't even get into why the Harper government has kept silent about a deal signed that allows the US military to operate inside Canada. In a country that has never been directly attacked by anyone, why such a sudden requirement for a military that looks far more offensive than defensive.

Again, you can find many instances of this government having no coherent plan other than beefing up the military without explanation as to why the taxpaying citizens need it. Doesn't look like the "peace dividend" ever pays in a Harper Canada.

#5 Rampant Sexism

I'm the first to admit I'm not a woman. It's hard to speak for women when you aren't one, but this government appears to have taken dead aim at women. They've taken a samurai sword to women's programs especially, as noted in this posting, as well as women's health cuts revealed in the omnibus bill C38. This doesn't get to a discussion of M312 which is really nothing more than a trial balloon to see if they can take away women's rights over their own reproductive choices. This is clearly a government who believe women should be shut up, knocked up, and in the kitchen where they belong. It's interesting to note the now internationally famous Slutwalk woman's rights protests began in Canada, because a police officer said women who dressed a certain way were "asking for it", a central sexist theme used to excuse men for rape.

#6 Controlled Mass Media

The greatest threat to free society is a biased media. It is much easier to manage media bias when you have a greater degree of concentration of ownership.  When you allow ownership of mass media into fewer hands, those fewer hands are grateful and easier to manipulate. Then we have the CBC, favorite target of the Harper government and their rabid fans, yet, you either didn't know, or like me, cannot explain or come to terms with this fact: CBC/Radio-Canada adopted a new code of ethics on April 2, 2012 to introduce guidelines for standards of integrity and professional conduct for its staff. This new code is a serious threat to the independence of the public broadcaster and its staff. Section 1.2 of the code states that CBC/Radio-Canada staff must loyally carry out the decisions of their leaders and support ministers in their accountability to Parliament and Canadians. There is no exception for the opposition. 

#7 Obsession with National Security

How much more evidence does one require? This government intends to pass legislation allowing itself to spy, warrantlessly, upon anyone, anytime, anywhere and never have to tell you about it. Have you tried taking a flight in the last decade? They pretty much want to rape you to let you on board, and don't carry nail clippers or you could end up on a no fly list. It's undisputed we are living under the most secretive government in our history, and we are so obsessed with security, we have agreed to let America operate within and around our borders with impunity. What could we possibly be so frightened of we cannot take care of ourselves? Why, in Canada, am I reading more and more news stories containing the phrase "heavily armoured police"? Police. Not military. Not reserves. Heavily. Armoured. Police. What, exactly, are they so afraid of? Environmentalists? I don't get it, if you do, please explain.

#8 Religion & Government are Intertwined

I don't think it's much of a secret the Conservative Party of Canada has more than a small share of MP's who come carrying ties to rather fundamental religious groups/organizations and churches. I have always been a firm believer there should always bee a clear separation of church and state. I really need someone to explain what governmental purpose an Office of Religious Freedoms would serve. Religions belong in their churches, and politics belongs in our parliament. Why have the twain met under the Harper government.

#9 Corporate Power is Protected

It has become exceedingly difficult to quickly find stories of how corporations call the shots. What we do know is secretive "trade" talks are going on over several fronts. CETA, deals with China, Latin America, the TPP, it's difficult to keep up and I don't really like to link to other blogs if I can help it. These many trade deals are immensely complex and require a really advanced understanding of how trade rules and changes thereto affect everyday citizens. While citizens are told they have to live with less and less, work harder and longer, corporate taxes are being reduced more and more, even when we already have exceedingly low corporate taxes. With all the benefits afforded corporations at our expense, you would think our standard of living should be going up and unemployment going down but it's exactly the opposite, even though the biggest corporations are earning record profits, CEO and executive pay has accelerated at a record pace while wages for works stay stagnant or move downward while costs continue to increase. To me that says corporations are protected a lot more than citizens are. Even as they bragged Canada didn't "bail out our banks" they quietly used the CMHC to purchase over a hundred billion dollars in questionable mortgages from the banks, you can find stories about it all over your local search engine. Almost every media outlet reported on it.

#10 Labour Power is Suppressed

Air Canada. Canada Post. CP Rail. Back to work legislation when there hasn't even been a labour disruption. Big taxpayer gift of over 19 million to Caterpiller Inc to buy Electromotive in Ontario but no penalty when they tried to bust the union and closed up shop to move to a non-union state in the US. Why should we not have our taxpayer dollars back and a penalty for this company? Constant vilification of labour as some kind of evil force. Muzzling of government employees under threat of elimination. If anyone thinks the Harper government wants to cooperate with the working class in this country they must pay absolutely no attention to reality. Go search news sites. Labour Minister Lisa Raitt has no record of fairness in the exercise of her office. She isn't doing the bidding of Canadian workers, she does the bidding of those who would profit from lowering the standard of living for Canadian workers.

#11 Disdain for Intellectuals & the Arts

If you want to talk disdain for intellectuals, lets talk about muzzling of federal scientists. The key right there is those last 4 highlighted words are separate stories of the Harper Government muzzling federal scientists lest they say something in public that contains facts that don't agree with policy. Doctors are begging this government not to let refugees to this country fall fatally ill by cutting off funding to their care, the government has responded by mean spirited cuts and a Minister (Jason Kenney) who allegedly called refugees "criminal illegal immigrants" (even though he is minister of a department that knows refugees and immigrants are totally separate entities) and attempted to convince provinces to cut health care funding for them as well. Is he telling doctors they are stupid and refugees are better off dead? Don't physicians understand health care better than an ideologue politicial minister who is supposed to be overseeing the integration of all new Canadians? Anything artistic that rubbed the Harper government the wrong way was quickly defunded. The recent budget made major funding cuts to the arts including their favorite target, the CBC/Radio-Canada. if you need any more proof, you need only learn more about environmental artist Franke James, a courageous Canadian who won't be silenced.

#12 Obsession with Crime & Punishment

If you don't know anything about the omnibus crime bill you'd better read a lot, real fast. Here are just some of the mass media stories on this bill. The one Vic Toews said either we support or we're with the child pornographers. you can choose from The Toronto Star, or The National Post and even The Canadian Civil Liberties Association, along  with dozens of other stories. We're told we have to spend billions on new prisons because of high rates of supposed unreported crime and when even TEXAS, the rootinest, tootinest, crimebustinest law and order society on the planet tell your country their plan was exactly the same and was a dismal failure which ended up almost bankrupting them, you would think the Harper government would pay attention. but no.

#13 Rampant Cronyism & Corruption

In all honesty, who can't name how often we've heard of commissions and offices set up under Harper who have produced no work for millions of dollars. We have two sitting senators, appointed by Harper, who plead guilty to election fraud. How about Bruce Carson. How is it the RCMP could approve this man, convicted 5 times for fraud, for the top job in the PMO and we have never been told who approved him and no discipline for whoever made this major error. Dean Del Mastro is under investigation for breaking election laws in 2008 and refuses to give a statement after his rights have been read to him. Then there's Pierre Poutine, the many irregularities surrounding the Guelph campaign. Complaints elections Canada considers valid in 200 ridings. 80 million dollars in funds to speed up border crossings diverted to gazebos and signs and outdoor toilets and street beautification in Tony Clement's far from the border riding, rumoured to be spent in a shady method without a paper trail. This is just scratching the surface.

#14 Fraudulent Elections

Convictions in the in and out scandal in the 2006 election. Dean Del Mastro having very questionable paperwork regarding his 2008 expenses and serious concerns alleging his cousin is heavily involved in fraudulently enticing employees and others to make 1000 dollar donations to the campaign of someone in a riding hundreds of miles away in order to be reimbursed an extra 50 dollars and a receipt for a big fat tax deduction. Currently it is alleged some of these peoples are offing copies of the reimbursement cheques in return for immunity from prosecution. Then there's Pierre Poutine. Then there's Etobicoke-Centre. Face call to constituents about Irwin Cotler. Fake calls from elections Canada that match a conservative database. Employees of a call centre filing affadavits they directed people to wrong polling stations. Suddenly replacing the key man in Elections Canada, the man responsible for the robocalls investigation, a man with considerable justice background and experience with a career civil servant who has no such experience.

I could write for a long time about what I feel is the tendency of this particular government to lead us down a legislative road that if it isn't fascism, is a huge step toward clearing the way for worse, more draconian, more frightening legislation.

That's my answer to all of those who said I couldn't provide a single example how this government exhibited any fascist tendencies. There are plenty more. Find them yourself, it's easy.


  1. For Point 9: Corporate Influence: Several news articles about how Enbridge lobbied Harper Government about two key things: habitat protection and waterways for pipelines, and Tides funding and protection of oceans as tanker free zones. Could provide evidence for corporatism in govt.

  2. Nice article.
    I think though that if you were to add everything to the list it would turn into a book.

    1. That's why I invite people to think about it and look it up. I was told I couldn't provide a single example. I think I've debunked that theory.

      I'm already under relentless troll attack on twitter for #DisruptACon and #13Heroes but I can't see how it helps them to call me stupid names and send all their friends to call me stupid names, then post a lot of dumbass crap and put my name on it to make it look like I said it.

      If they would ever show up with a fact, I'd debate them. Otherwise, I don't expect to change their tiny little closed minds.

  3. How frightening is it that Harper (who micro-manages absolutely everything) continues to claim to know nothing about a lot of this shit until it's already happened.

    Transparent government? I certainly can see right through them.

  4. [1of3]

    Thank you so very much for your excellent work!

    It is a pleasure and relief to see such simple, serious, sparkling sanity stating the obvious to those who refuse to see.
    With a laudable ethic for research and openness to debate, this post truly is worthy of all the attention it can get, more hopefully from those, real or fictitious, who claim to disagree.

    If any such people stumble here, and read this, please pay close attention.
    If you still have the proverbial pillar in your eye as you come here to pick at straws, do take a moment to think, and read, and think, before you comment on a typo, or something you clearly misunderstood.

    Remember, you have every right to disagree on every single point, taken one by one.
    But the whole is too serious, too evil, too obscene to be tolerated any longer, and it must be stopped.

    Beyond the important but ultimately pointless discussion regarding "fascism-or-not-fascism", you must understand that the current situation is very, very serious.
    And it needs serious people to address it.

    When we get back to something that isn't a shameful, tragic rape of sanity, common sense and decency, and an insult to every dead and living Canadian there ever was and ever will be, THEN we'll be able to get into details, like what to do with all that money that banksters and their ilk have unjustly kept from us, or which putrid radioactive toxic waste dump to name after our current prime loon.

    You probably all have opinions on whether Québec should finally get it's independance before Alberta does, or exactly how much corporate welfare for criminals we want to keep on blindly funding (I, for one, would like to hear more of Pierre Poutine's opinions on these matters).
    But as crucial and huge as these questions are, for the very pressing time being, they are but mere details to be worked out in time.

    Before we can discuss our differing opinions on economics, and what kind of Canada we want, we must halt and arrest the dangerous criminals who claim to be it's legitimate government.
    You see, if a surgeon in a hospital faked his way in, abused his authority to switch and steal organs, replace them with used auto parts and loot the medicine cabinets for his friends and family, I doubt many people would oppose his dismissal, regardless of the engagement he took or the contract he signed as he accepted his position.
    This is, however, not a very good example, as Harper in Canada and Charest in Québec have been doing much, much worse, on a much, much grander scale...

    Granted, it is your right to be delusional and hang on to the belief that we are in a democracy, and must passively wait until our current masters pretend to win the next election, but that does not solve any problems.
    And more importantly, it does not stop those who have had more than enough and refuse to go back to pretending everything is fine.

    You might not really be aware of it yet, as even a lot of them aren't, but they are out there.

    They are your neighbours, your friends, your families, your elders, your children.
    They are furious but they are serious.
    And in case you haven't noticed, they are ALL OVER THE PLANET.


  5. *******

    More and more, one by one if need be, sane, sensible people like the author of this post realize that THEY ARE NOT ALONE.

    That they have a right to stand up and say that they are not at all represented by those who pretend to speak for them, to decide for them, and apparently have no clue how far they are from reality.

    That the only "silent majority" is a repressed, censored majority, as everyone who isn't hopelessly braindead usually has something to say about being ruled by heartless thieves or by themselves (spoiler alert : it turns out most of them are sick and tired of this disgusting farce).

    That when they finally dare to speak out, only those who live in fear are hurt and annoyed by the very truth that elicits cheers of joy from those who can recognize its healthy glow.

    That they only need to open their eyes and ears to see and hear all those others just like them, who are tired of waiting in vain for a better world that could have been a long time ago already, yet is ever postponed for an insulting scam that only gets more cruel and unjust as it gets more obviously perverted and blatant.

    That they only need to open their mouths and hands to not only speak out how rightfully but helplessly mad they are at their alleged "leaders", and those they really work for, but to start building something real, honest and decent, as everyone claims to want.

    If you have seen news of mass protests, in cities and countries all over the world, facing very similar challenges to reclaim their right to sanity, and you still don't think there might be something to all of this, please ask people around you what is going on.

    I am very serious : if you have been reading this and still do not understand just what all those people are complaining about, please ask for help.
    It might not be easy to do at first, but i'm confident you will find someone willing to kindly explain.

    If you would only let them, most anyone will explain why you should be a little more weary of your officials striking poses as they play a part, and a little less of those they despise, diminish and demonize as they ask them to live up to their own lies.

    Let me try :

    If you are in currently in Canada, you are being fraudulently (and quite spectacularly incompetently, at that) ruled by an utterly incomprehensible self-infatuated monster who is less and less likely every day to even be human, or at the very least have a soul.
    He and his henchmen must be dealt with as soon as possible by responsible authorities.

    Very unfortunately, it seems that the only available responsible authority right now is the people.

    That is why we need you, however convinced you are right now by the prefabricated myths and thoughts who've taken you over.

    That is why all those people trying to #DenounceHarper and call on #13Heroes to give purpose and meaning to our dysfunctional parliamentary system are trying to break through the severe denial wich prevents you from even considering the possibility that you might just, somehow, somewhere, be a little bit wrong (rest assured we all can be, and often are. It's not that bad, you'll see, it's ok).

    You may think you are safe and sound and living the best possible life, but you are sadly and gravely mistaken.
    Even if you are yourself quite rich and currently undisturbed in your daily musings.
    All is not well in this country, and things are not always what they seem in this world.

    But do not fear, there are many, many good people out there and they wish to help.

    Most of all, they wish you would also help yourself a little, because whatever you think of Harper, or Canada, you are just as concerned by what worries them as they are.
    You may think they are wrong, and inevitably a lot of them will be sometimes, but it is too late to stop and silence them now.


  6. *******

    This has gone too far to forget, this has gone too far to let go.
    We are sorry if this disturbs you, but we are infinitely more disturbed and enraged, and will not rest until we put an end to this shameful reign of malevolent idiocy.

    It's not your fault you've been lied to, and grew into a cruel and unjust world we are taught is inevitable.
    It's not your fault if you've haven't done anything to prevent this sordid situation to happen, none of us have been able to, until now.

    It's really not your fault if you've been duped or unaware of how bad things really are, below the lies.
    But you are just as much a victim as anyone else, regardless if you're willing to admit it or not.

    Some, however, might say that maybe it starts to be your fault when everyone around you is trying to wake you up and you do everything you can not to hear what they have to say.
    But that is quite a complex moral question that's probably better kept for later, so for now, if you truly want to keep on being a mindless slave to hypocritical sociopaths, fine.
    Just keep on doing whatever it is you're doing, but please do not impose your destiny upon others who merely wish the greater good, and so respectfully get out of their way as their ever-growing numbers get louder and louder.

    You may think you are helping protesters by shouting "get a job", and saving the world by insulting bloggers, but no, you are not.
    You are being an irritating nuisance, to those who would give their lives for you and for yourselves, and will continue to be until you realize that your outrage at people "talking politics" on CanadaDay pales in comparison to the outrage that motivates such needed alarms.
    If you love your Canada you should have no problem understanding that others do as well, and will fight as much as they'll have to keep it from being the shoddy, polluted, embarrassing, insulting orwellian Harperland nightmare it's turning into.

    Sure it's bothering your peace, just as you might be startled somehow to see firefighters barge in your house to put out a blaze you never noticed was raging.
    Just a wild guess, but I think most people faced with such a situation, once past the initial shock, would be grateful... So how about you?

    How bad does it have to get before you notice the flames, or lie only in ashes?

    How much more obvious does it have to be before you see your abusers for what they really are?

    How much longer will you spit scorn in the hands of those who lend you theirs?

    How long will it be before you stand for yourself with those who already stand for you?


    If anything i've said here offends you (and/or you are Ben Mulroney or any other irresponsible ignorant spewing false wisdom about fascism), please accept my apologies for being too blunt for your tastes, then please calm down, grow up, and read the post again, preferably a few of its links as well (not all of them, that's ok).
    THEN join the debate if you wish, but above and before that, please, please, please help every living human being in Canada get back to a sane and lawful path, whichever that turns out to be.

    Hey, maybe when we finally get on there we can get back to being something like Canada and help the rest of the world, too, before they have to be the ones to come over and save us...


    [ It pains me to say and realize but I posted a very, very long comment through my iphone, that did not go through and post. I could destroy it right now, or myself for not taking at least screenshots, as I had time to fear something would happen. ]
    [ Ok. This isn't quite what I'd written originally, but I think I've ended up adding a little more than I lost, so there we go. ]
    [ Hmmm. Awfully sorry, but I had to cut it up in pieces of less than 4096 characters! ]

  7. OMG The blue font is buuuuuurning my eyes... Very good post btw. BUT THAT blue.....

  8. Outstanding work to get this across in plain language. Unfortunately, I doubt many blue kool-aid drinkers will stray from doctrine to actually investigate your evidence. Followers hate finding the Emperor has no brains/class/depth/clothes. Especially self-evident for me are points 3, 6, 9, 10 and 14. As the famous statement goes, in (North America) fascism will arrive carrying a cross draped in the flag.

  9. A good blog and it looks as if you do a bit of research. I agree with some of your points and disagree with others. At least here in Canada we still have the right to express ourselves. How long that will continue, I haven't the foggiest but live in hope. Best of luck to you and keep up the good work...M.