ubaka ogbogu

While talking with the Conservative Party of Canada candidate in his riding, University of Alberta law professor Ubaka Ogbogu expressed his concerns about Bill C-24, the new law that allows the Canadian government to strip to revoke the citizenship of anyone born outside Canada or anyone born in Canada who has or is eligible for citizenship in another country. Ogbogu was concerned about his daughters, who, while Canadian-born, can have their citizenship stripped — and by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration or a delegate, not a real judge. Cumming’s advice was that if Bill C-24 was such a concern, Ogbogu should “renounce his heritage”.

Bill C-24 (and yes, full disclosure, it affects me) is supposed to be used to punish the following classes of offender:

  • Obtained citizenship by false representation or fraud
  • Served as a member of an armed force or organized armed group engaged in an armed conflict with Canada
  • Was convicted of treason, high treason, spying offences and sentenced to imprisonment for life
  • The person was convicted of a terrorism offence or an equivalent foreign terrorism conviction and sentenced to five years of imprisonment or more

The problem is that “Old Stock Canadians”, to use Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s phrase, are capable of committing three out of four of the offenses listed above, but can’t have their Canadian citizenship taken from them. It’s all based on a very arbitrary guess of the offender’s loyalty to Canada. The Canadian Bar Association has pointed out that there’s no reason to question the loyalty of dual citizens any more than an “Old Stock Canadian”, or why their loyalty should determine their worthiness to be a citizen (otherwise, you’d have to deport the Canadian conservative blogosphere, who not-so-secretly wish they lived in Texas).

The “loyalty to another country” concern is silly when you consider whose face is on a lot of our money…

canadian 20 bill

…and the “my ancestors built this country” is equally ridiculous as it suggests that:

  1. You’re riding in on your great-grandparents coattails, you lazy toolbag, and
  2. The country is 100% finished, and can’t be built any more. Really, it’s done. No possible improvements, additions, or innovations. Cease all work immediately.

Monia Mazigh sums it up quite well at the end of her article in iPolitics.ca:

Terrorism is an ongoing threat, here and around the world. The current Canadian government is using the excuse of the terrorist threat to create two classes of citizens under the law, divided on the basis of their origins. But in treating terrorism as a special class of crime — and dual citizens as a special class of criminal — the federal government is perverting our laws, our citizenship and of our democracy … dividing our society, making it weaker in the process.

Also worth reading is the Globe and Mail article, Fifty Years in Canada, and now I feel like a second-class citizen. An excerpt:

December will mark 50 years since I arrived from India as a toddler. In Montreal, I experienced the fear of terrorism during the 1970 FLQ crisis and horror after the massacre of 14 women one dark December evening in 1989. My first voting experience was momentous, for I helped to keep the country together in the 1980 Quebec referendum. I did the same during the nail-biter of 1995. Along the way, I never felt any discrimination, any sense of being second-class.

Quebec and Canada allowed me to thrive. I remember the pride I felt when my Harvard University professors told me that Canadian graduate students were the best-prepared – a testament to our excellent undergraduate institutions. And the love I felt for my compatriots during the massive 1995 pro-Canada rally in Montreal. It reminded me of the hajj – a sea of individuals from near and far, united in their love for a noble ideal. Differences melted into a shared vision of the future.

However, the mood changed in Quebec after then-premier Jacques Parizeau’s “money and ethnic votes” comment the night of the 1995 referendum. For the first time, I was told to “go back home,” while walking my eight-month-old daughter in a stroller. When I moved to Ottawa, a man, proudly brandishing his Canadian Legion jacket, told me the same. Then came the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Although there were a few more incidents, I never feared for myself or my children. On the contrary – friends, neighbours and complete strangers renewed my faith in the basic decency of Canadians.

Now, things feel different. I never imagined that the federal government would use its hefty weight to vilify Muslims. Never in 50 years have I felt so vulnerable. For the first time, I wonder if my children will have the opportunity to thrive as I did. One is a budding environmental scientist; one has entrepreneurial goals; the youngest dreams of playing soccer alongside Kadeisha Buchanan. But the Conservative message is: You are Muslim, you are the “other,” you can’t be trusted and you will never belong.

I’ll close with this excerpt from the Globe and Mail’s recent editorial on Bill C-24:

In one respect, Bill C-24 is commendable. It strengthens Canadian citizenship by making it more difficult to acquire. The new law lengthens the residency requirement and asks for a statement of intent from would-be Canadians, to make sure they actually plan to live in this country. These are good moves that will undoubtedly reduce the number of “Canadians of convenience” – people holding Canadian passports for travel or consular assistance, but having little connection to Canada.

But the law has a flip side that is much darker. It gives the government the discretion to strip the citizenship of any dual citizen convicted of terrorism, treason or spying abroad. The consequences are disturbing and unfair for Canada’s 863,000 dual nationals. They run the risk of being treated as somehow less Canadian. There is an ugly, xenophobic side to this law, which may play well with some voters, but has no place in a modern, multicultural Canada.

The maxim may be true after all: “Conservatism is the dread fear that somewhere, somehow, someone you think is your inferior is being treated as an equal.”



You can probably put this costume together with stuff you have at home right now.

Don’t get the joke? You must be new on the internet. Welcome! Here’s the context you need


guy nantel street interview in toronto

Quebecois comedian Guy Nantel has a routine where he conducts street interviews asking ordinary Quebecers with questions they should know the answers to. Wanting to see if English-speaking Canadians were as ill-informed as their French-speaking counterparts, he hit the streets of Toronto and asked some pretty simple civics questions. It went as well as as you may have already guessed…

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simpsons canadian election stickers

Found via Srsly Wrong. Click the photo to see the source.


i should sacrifice a goat

Encountering the words “Florida” and “political candidate” in the same sentence usually means “prepare for hilarity”, and this is no exception — especially because the phrase “goat sacrifice” is also involved in this particular case.

adrian wyllie

Pictured above is Adrian Wyllie, who until recently was the chair of Florida’s Libertarian Party. He recently resigned in protest over refusal to reject their sole candidate for U.S. senate in their bid to fill the small shoes of outgoing senator Marco Rubio.

That sole candidate is a man who goes by the name Augustus Sol Invictus:

augustus sol invictus

As anyone who’s played Fallout: New Vegas knows, any dude with more than a modicum of charisma who’s adopted a buzz-cut and a self-aggrandizing old Roman name and is aiming for a leadership position is bad news:

fallout new vegas caesar

Like the Caesar of Fallout: New Vegas, Invictus wandered about the desert, and did some weird, blood-spattered things. In Invictus’ case, he sacrificed a goat as part of a Hindu-inspired “renounce the world” self-purification ritual. “I did sacrifice a goat,” he said according to one report, “I know that’s probably a quibble in the mind of most Americans. I sacrificed an animal to the god of the wilderness… Yes, I drank the goat’s blood.”

He does say that the way in which Wyllie says he killed the goat is a lie: “I have never dismembered a goat in my life. I have performed animal sacrifices as part of my religion.”

aleister crowley

Yes, kids, this is sexy sex magician Aleister Crowley, who taught us the great rule:
The people you see at an orgy are never the people you want to see at an orgy.

Invictus practices Thelema, the religion/philosophy established in the early 1900s by Aleister Crowley, sex-magic occultist and fun guy to quote when you’re at the goth club. He does it independently, as he’s been kicked out of the religion’s fraternal organization, Ordo Templi Orientis, for what he says are “political reasons”. What does it take to get kicked out of a group whose central tenet is “Do what thou wilt”?

On the whole, becoming a pagan, taking on a vainglorious name and sacrificing goats are probably among his less wacky ideas. The stuff he posts online is a far richer vein to mine. It starts off like a lot of libertarian writing: it starts off with some pretty reasonable stuff, but soon careens all higgledy-piggledy into Batshit Insane Land soon after…

Consider this posting on the Invictus for Senate site, A Declaration of the Failings of the Federal Government. It starts off sensibly…

1. The Federal Government has abdicated its power over the creation & implementation of legislation, having handed it to special interest groups.

2. It has allowed Money to usurp the role of Law.

3. It has waged wars on foreign lands to the great detriment of the American people and to the people of the World. What is distant to the American public was not so distant to Serbia, to Iraq, or to Pakistan.

But go ahead, keep reading:

19. It has allowed the degradation of our ancestral Holy Days in the name of Tolerance, demeaning Christian Rites for fear of the Jews. Where Nativity scenes are allowed, there must stand a menorah of equal visibility.

24. It has promoted with great vehemence the doctrines of mass democracy, blind tolerance, and mandatory guilt for decades upon decades, such that the individual Citizen is expected to worship the lowest of humanity and abandon any inclinations he may have toward elitism.

25. It has abandoned its eugenics programs & elitist mindset in favor of a decadent ideology that rejects the beauty of strength and demands the exponential growth of the weakest, the least intelligent, and the most diseased.


If you believe what he says in his interview on the Comcastro “geek culture podcast”, he’s no longer into eugenics (start at the 22:33 mark).

It’s a sad tendency for geeks to idolize cruelty and brutality, and confuse them for strength, cold rationality, free thought, and non-conformity. Unfortunately, the podcast hosts did just this. They seemed to be bigger fans of eugenics than Invictus, even in its watered-down social Darwinist form of cutting social programs to weed out the weak. They sounded almost disappointed when Invictus said he doesn’t support “positive eugenics” anymore.

stick it to the man

One of Wyllie’s issues with Invictus is that he’s calling for a second civil war. Wyllie says Invictus means violent uprising, Invictus claims that it’s more of a war for the mind. Here’s an excerpt from one of his articles posted on LinkedIn, titled A Call for Total Insurrection:

So this is what I propose: Disown your leaders who have advised you to sell out. Stop trying to sneak into the two-party system, and abandon your faith in it entirely. Stop playing their game and create your own. Stop trying to earn a comfortable spot in the System, and infiltrate it to turn it against itself. Because otherwise, you are fighting a war you cannot win. Without first engaging in social and cultural insurrection, there can be no true political change. If you think you are going to save the world by voting a Libertarian into the Senate, you are dreaming. And if that is your mindset when you go out posting my flyers and wearing my t-shirts, you might as well be polishing the brass on the Titanic.

I do not want you to vote, so much as I want you to wake up. I want you to drop out and tune in. I want you to take LSD and practice sorcery. I want you to listen to trap music and black metal, to learn the law and to break it deliberately, to find your own religion. I want you to learn the use of firearms and subject yourselves to rigorous physical training. I want you to treat your bodies as Holy Temples and to take your girlfriend to a strip club so you can seduce a dancer in the back room. I want you to worship Nature and dance naked in the moonlight ‘round the fire, screaming in ecstatic joy. I want you to revolt. Raise Hell. Break your limitations. Renounce your life and go into the Wilderness, that God may speak to you of things to come.

If you’re like me, the question you’re probably asking is: “Hang on a moment — does it have to be trap and black metal?

adrian wyllie 2

On his Facebook page, Wyllie explains why he resigned his position in the Libertarian Party:

By now, some of you have probably heard that I have resigned as Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Florida. I feel I owe many of you the courtesy of an explanation for my decision.

I have been extremely outspoken against Augustus Sol Invictus, who is currently the only candidate for the Libertarian U.S. Senate nomination. My strong opposition to him has put me in conflict with the LPF Executive Committee.

Mr. Invictus has repeatedly vowed that it is his destiny to start a second civil war in America. In a 2013 memo to his colleagues, he wrote, “I have prophesied for years that I was born for a Great War; that if I did not witness the coming of the Second American Civil War, I would begin it myself.”

He has described himself as an American Fascist, and even his campaign logo is nearly identical to that of Benito Mussolini. He has displayed swastikas in his published campaign materials.

He has expressed support for a eugenics program, which would sterilize, euthanize or forcibly abort “the weakest, the least intelligent, and the most diseased.”

Many of his supporters are known members of Neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups, such as American Front, Vinelanders, and Stormfront, and he has been recruiting them into the Libertarian Party.

In a private, face-to-face meeting with Mr. Invictus, I asked him directly, “Do you actually intend to kill millions of people and start a civil war?” His answer to me was, “It’s my religion.”

In response, Invictus says that both he and Mussolini took the logo from ancient Rome, and that while he has represented some hate groups as their lawyer, he’s no racist. “My four children [from a prior marriage] are Hispanic,” he says.

If you didn’t click on the Comcastro podcast link above, do it to hear the accent he uses in casual conversation. Then listen to the recording immediately above (another “Hey, man, I’m not a eugenics fan anymore!”), and the videos below and make a note of the decidedly different accent he uses when engaged in oratory:

Invictus says that nerves and the adrenaline rush of public speaking causes him to switch to the Dixiecrat accent. Here’s my guess for the accent he adopts when sacrificing goats:

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Sign of the day

by Joey deVilla on October 5, 2015

no shirt no shoes no service


We are approaching the pumpkin spice event horizon

by Joey deVilla on October 4, 2015

trader joes pumpkin spiced pumpkin seeds

Photo by Yours Truly.

It’s the season formerly known as “Fall” or “Autumn”, but it’s now called “Pumpkin Spice Season”, when everything gets blasted with pumpkin spice (or pumpkin pie spice), a vague designation that usually means some combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and sugar, with the less basic-bro/bitchy types throwing in a little ginger to give it some zing.

pumpkin salsa

Photo by Yours Truly.

With the release of the Pumpkin Spiced Pumpkin Seeds pictured at the top of this article, we’re getting pretty close to the event horizon. We’ll truly hit it only when someone finally comes up with pumpkin-spiced pumpkin spice. As for the seeds pictured above, I hate to admit it, but they’re so very dangerously addictively delicious.

pumpkin spiced salmon

Found via @ MargaretNrthwd. Click to see the source.

As much as I love to mock, I’m not ready to go as far as the Washington Post does in their recent article, titled Enough with the Pumpkin Spice, America. It’s Getting Embarrassing. It’s America’s very own thing, it’s still the early days in the culture, and hey — you don’t see anyone in India going “Cool it with the curry, guys, we’re turning into a stereotype”, or in my own native neck of the woods saying “Cut it out with the rice already!”