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Sunday, 27 February 2022

Volunteer brigades would negate Putin's nuclear bluff

 Thanks, Patrick -  good to hear from you  :  )

(sent as letter-to-the-editor Toronto Star)

I see a modern version of the International Brigades as an excellent way to 'outsneak Putin'. The reason the Western powers (e.g. NATO) don't want to commit to armed support is they're afraid of Putin's nuclear bluff. I never remotely considered the U.S. would involve their military - they got too shot up in Vietnam and then Afghanistan, too many body bags! Usually they are the imperialist aggressors, not the saviours anyway.

There is a shitload at stake with the invasion, but the NATO nations are far too self-concerned and cowardly to take action until it's too late. But . . . and it's a major but . . . if there are enough idealistic individuals who truly believe that this invasion is unconscionable and actually go to FIGHT in Ukraine, that would give so much desperately needed morale to the Ukrainians. Their President Zelenskyy sounds increasingly desperate for some REAL measure of international support.   

The Canadian Ukrainian community, the largest outside Ukraine and Russia I believe, could be the organizers of a renewed Canadian international brigade like the MacPaps were in fascist Spain pre-WW2. They could raise money, train recruits and sponsor their passage to Ukraine. Just the symbolism of this would be incredibly powerful on the world stage and to the Ukrainian fighters. As individuals not authorized by the Canadian government, Putin would have no reason to threaten nuclear disaster on Canada. Outsneak the sneak! Of course if major financial donations and support are back channelled to the Ukrainian/Canadian brigades, well, that's our dirty little secret   :  )

If nothing happens in the way of true international support, no revival of the International brigades or something similar, and the NATO powers continue to cower before Putin's bluffing, then civilization has gone backwards, not forward, in the 70 or 80 years since WW2 and the brave souls of the International brigades will just be a forgotten legacy, tossed aside in a fucked up selfish and cowardly world.

peace, but true action when required -

p.s. Your reply gave me the chance to write out what I've been thinking about all day re Ukraine and the history of the International Brigades - I'll add them to the blog later

                                                     ~    ~    ~    ~    

On 2022-02-27, at 4:07 PM, patrick connors wrote:

Sadly, the U.S. won't get involved until they decide it's time.

14 minutes ago on Twitter, a convoy of Russian tanks were headed toward Kyiv.

The "peace talks" have failed.

Great letter, cricket.

Pat Connors

Saturday, 26 February 2022

International Brigades for Ukraine

Dear Toronto Star Editors,

We are hearing this is the first major land invasion in Europe since the Second World War, and there are many parallels to the lead-up to WW2. Among these was the lack of leadership by world leaders in opposing Hitler and fascism. The British Prime Minister was stalling with hopes of appeasement when the truly anti-fascist people of the world didn't wait for dithering "leaders" and formed ragtag international brigades who went off to fight against Hitler in his training ground of Franco's  Spain.

The survivors of the brave souls who went to the front lines to fight fascism became leaders in many fields. Think Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell and so many other poets, artists and writers. Think of Canuck Dr. Norman Bethune, who went on afterwards  to align with Mao on the long march and invent field blood transfusions. I wonder how many of the brave and manly souls of the Ottawa Freedom caravan actually have the guts to fight real oppression, not loll about in hot tubs on Parliament Hill, misguidedly "fighting" our narcissistic boy PM and necessary pandemic measures.

I was listening to CBC radio this morning, hearing the pleas from Ukrainians for real help, not just more talks and ineffective half measures. History is truly repeating itself. Dictators are only stopped when they are opposed by force, not rhetoric or sanctions. I wonder if the world has gone forward or backwards ethically since the dark days of WW2, and if there are any courageous international souls who will come forward, despite their leaders' objections, to take up arms in Ukraine?

Chris Faiers

See original image 

Dr. Norman Bethune

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Financial Post article exposing Marmora pumped energy boondoggle in 2013

 I heard through the grapevine today that this boondoggle from almost a decade ago has arisen like a zombie for the people of Marmora to oppose once again. Following is an excerpt from an old Financial Post article as a reminder of this dangerous proposal. Have we lost our minds and now want a lake-in-the-sky dangerously looming above our village??? 

Ontario's latest electricity scheme: Pumped energy storage

As the Ontario government’s $1-billion gas plant relocation scandal slips into history, the province’s electricity ratepayers should not assume that the era of big-ticket rate-boosting power projects of questionable value is a thing of the past

Author of the article:
Special to Financial Post
Publishing date:

Oct 10, 2013  •  October 10, 2013  •  4

Article content

But a new pumped storage proposal is under active deliberation around the eastern Ontario village of Marmora. The proposal comes from Northland Power for a stand-alone, 400-megawatt pumped storage facility at the abandoned Marmoraton Mine, on property owned by Aecon Construction. Project cost: Somewhere between $660-million and $700-million.

The Marmora project was endorsed by local council members without public notice. With local people in the dark, Northland Power announced it was “very excited to have the support of the people of Marmora.”

The design envisions the former iron ore mine pit becoming the lower reservoir, once most of its existing, spring-fed lake is pumped into an adjacent upper reservoir. The elevated man-made lake would loom above substantial portions of urban Marmora. When Ontario’s grid has excess power, the operator would pump water up from the lower reservoir. During high demand periods, if the upper reservoir is full and water had not filled the lower reservoir, the elevated water could be dropped through reversible turbines.