So, it turns out that Orwell, author of the futuristic dystopic novel “1984” about a government which spies on its citizens, was himself spied upon for long periods of time by his own government’s MI5 division.
Irony, thy name is politics.
Paul’s Socialist Investigations
As of 10pm tonight, I’m going to be heading off for a much needed and long overdue vacation with my girlfriend and family. We’re going to be heading to the Florida Keys, and apparently there’s extremely limited internet access in the Keys, so the blog is going to slow down for a bit while I’m gone for two weeks. However, I do plan on updating the polling resource at least once while I’m down there as well as doing a post when I get my 100,000th hit which should be any day now.
If I don’t return to blogging by early January, please let somebody know because that probably means that I’ve been ‘disappeared’ or become an “unperson” by homeland security. :)
And, just as a precaution, if any of the good, kind folks from Homeland Security are reading this blog and know who I am (I can’t imagine how they would know, because it’s not like the government has had any shady dealings with telecommunications companies), I would like to take this opportunity to point out that, while I am a Marxist who seeks the abolition of capital and the state, I do oppose individual expressions of political violence and thus am completely and totally harmless.
A Decima poll has just been released to the press which, for the first time in a very long while, shows the Liberals regaining the lead over the Conservatives.
However, in their reporting of the poll, the authors of the Globe and Mail piece falsely claim that the Conservatives have been leading in the polls in Atlantic Canada. The article states that:
“In Atlantic Canada, where the Conservatives had been leading for most of the year…”
This is so far from the truth that it even stretches the imagination as to how the Globe and Mail could be so completely and demonstrably off in its research.
To illustrate how the Conservatives have actually not in fact been, as the Globe suggests, leading in Atlantic Canada for the past year, consider this rolling average of all polls conducted in the region by all polling firms.
So, not only have the Tories not been leading in Atlantic Canada for most of the year (or any portion of the year for that matter) but the Tories are actually down from their 2006 election results by a statistically significant margin (and indeed have been down from said showing for quite some time). (see also Polling Report’s stats for Atlantic Canada which confirm what my stats are showing above, albeit in a much more messy fashion).
A pro-Israeli lobby group, has begun a program to pay Canadian and American university and college students to agree with Israeli policy and to voice pro-Israeli sentiment in classroom discussion, and in grassroots organization with other campus groups.
The program, organized by the pro-Israel lobby group Stand With Us Campus, offers $1000 per year to pro-Israeli students or to students who may be enticed to go along in order to receive the prize of $1000 (source). In exchange for this money, students are to, in Stand With Us Campus‘s own words, “build relationships with their campus groups and individuals” to influence discourse in favour of Israel and then (again, in their words) “report back to SWU campus staff to evaluate program effectiveness and network among themselves to ensure consistency.” (source)
So the next time you hear an undergraduate student in class claiming that Israel is only defending itself when the Palestinian/Israeli death toll is more than 14-to-1 in Israel’s favour, just think: he or she might actually be getting paid to say (and believe) such arguments.
According to Stand With Us Campus‘s literature, so far, the following Canadian and American universities and colleges have a student or students (or “Fellows”, as they call them) who are being paid to advocate Israeli policy in their discussions and in their extra-curricular campus activity.
(Canadian schools listed in bold)
Florida Atlantic University
Florida International University
Johns Hopkins University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Miami Dade College
Northern Illinois University
Queens College (CUNY)
San Diego State University
San Francisco State University
San Jose State University
Santa Monica College
State University of New York at New Paltz
The George Washington University
The University of Texas at Austin
University of Arizona
University of California, Irvine
University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, Riverside
University of California, San Diego
University of Florida
University of Michigan
University of New Mexico
University of North Texas
University of Oregon
University of Pennsylvania
University of Southern California
University of Vermont
University of Victoria
University of Windsor
Wayne State University
Note: The images used in this piece are curtosy of Information Clearing House‘s photographic archive of images of the most recent Israeli incursion into Lebannon (the one that was planned months before to await provocation). WARNING: If you click the above link to Information Clearing House, the images you will see are much more graphic than the images included in this post. The images selected for inclusion above were selected because they were generally much less gruesome than the worst of the images of Israeli attacks.