Friday, November 30, 2018

Sunday, November 25, 2018

There Really Is Life After Hate Part V

ARC continues the series from our regular contributor. Other articles in the series can be found here:

White Pride: When You Feel You Have Nothing Else
I was a disaffected teenager when I got sucked into the far-right. Often feeling isolated, I was looking for significance. I was emotionally attracted to this secret club which my recruiter told me about. It became an addiction in the sense that I felt I needed a world I could escape to where I felt important in my own head. 
When I first met other members in this group, they would often mention the white pride idea; they said it was a place where we could be proud of our heritage. In retrospect, we never talked about our heritage. The conversation was more often about what other races were allegedly doing. For a bunch of people who claimed to be proud of their family tree, we knew very little real facts about our own backgrounds. 
For instance, some of my family heritage is British and I have ancestors who fought against National Socialism. By being involved in a neo-fascist group once upon a time, was I really proud of my ancestry? Or was I ignoring this small part of myself to feel like I belonged to this toxic clique? 
I was estranged from my family at this time too, as they were very opposed to the ideology fabricated by these groups. I gave them nothing to be proud of me for; all I gave them was grief and anxiety. Years later I had to sit down with them and have a brutally honest discussion in order for us to be a family again. 
Unfortunately I was careless enough to get a hate symbol tattooed on the side of my neck shortly after I joined the racist right. I did this to prove a point to myself of how committed I was. I lost count of the many times people would approach me on the streets, asking what it meant. I'd often tell them some made up meaning, as opposed to telling them the truth. I did not have the best social skills in the world back then and probably couldn't have kept the conversation very civilized. I have re-visited those memories before during recovery and when I took a close look at my responses to others, it's obvious that under the surface I was ashamed and scared of who I had become. 
I was secretly bi-sexual when I was subscribing to hateful ideology. Ironically, I remember the movements blatant homophobia as well. All this did was create more internalized anger in me; I kept trying to push this part of myself away and I was never successful in doing so. If I had to try to push part of myself aside, how could I have rightfully said that I was proud of myself back then?  
Many adherents of the far-right claim that the movement is not about hate. It was about hatred for me though; I hated myself. I couldn't live a life of false pride anymore by the time I chose to walk away from the movement. 
One question which always crossed my mind in the first few years of leaving was "how did I lose myself to hate?" I know the answer to that: I felt I needed to wear a mask in order to feel better about myself. 
In this present moment, I do not use a false sense of pride as a mask anymore. I choose to live an honest life where I can be the real me; I learn new things about myself every day.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Faith Goldy and ID Canada Protest United Nations Migrant Pact In Toronto

I know ARC is running the risk of becoming the "all Goldy, all the time" station on this series of tubes, but damn it if she just doesn't keep providing the fodder on which the blog is currently dining on:

The Global Compact on Migration has become one of the latest hobby-horse of far-right nationalists who tout the intergovernmental agreement as a conspiracy (George Soros' name often being invoked) to diminish the sovereignty of the nation-state. Some nationalist governments have since reject the pact though given that most of these regimes govern countries that (a) owe their existence to migration and (b) are either composed of or (as during the cold war) were leading nations from which refugees originated, one can't help note both the irony and hypocrisy of their stance. In this country Maxime Bernier has spoken out against the agreement which isn't of particular surprise.

Today Goldy and other far-right nationalist held their own protest against the agreement in Toronto. They were countered by what looked to be at least an equal (if not slightly greater) number of individuals who support the agreement or support the rights of migrants and refugees:


So, that's the facial expression you decided to go with, eh Goldy?

A bold choice. Not one that I would have gone with myself, but you do you.

Along with Goldy were members of ID Canada (formerly Generation Identity Canada), a racist "identitarian" group that she has willingly aligned herself with and who heeded her call to bring their particular nationalist flag:

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Goldy's Gotta Goldy

So it has been a while since ARC checked up on failed mayoral candidate Faith Goldy since her.... well.... failed mayoral campaign. Last I checked she was calling for a boycott of Bell Canada which I'm sure was a totally principled stance and not at all self-serving:

I thought I'd take a look to see what she was up to lately and found that despite her very brief and transparent (and, I stress, failed) attempt to appeal to a diverse Toronto electorate, she has re-embraced ethnic nationalism. One of her most recent screeds was to complain about honoring Viola Desmond on the ten dollar bill:

Uhm, she ultimately DID fight it but her conviction was upheld based on a bit of a loophole. Also, Borden isn't on the $10 bill. He's on the 100% bill.

Goldy appears to be trying to get back into the good books of the "alt-right" identitarian crowd who she alienated during her campaign, retweeting a Students For Western Civilization post also complaining that about Viola Desmond and a Generation Identity tweet complaining about something else:

Sunday, November 18, 2018

More Members and Associates of Calgary University and College Conservative Clubs Linked to "Alt-Right" Racist Ideology

Almost the entirety of this article is the result of the hard work of a source who asked to remain anonymous. I would like to thank this individual their hard work over the past several months

Well, I've done an especially lousy job of taking a break.

Since September, I and others have become increasingly aware of a rot in some of the conservative student clubs in Calgary universities and colleges. The start of this revelation learning more about Jake Findell who (along with another individual) was caught in the act of flyering for ID Canada which was formerly known as Generation Identity Canada:

He was also one of the participants in the Worldwide Coalition Against Islam rally on June 3, 2017:

It soon turned out that he also connected to UofC campus conservative politics. Findell, along with Keean Bexte, supported the hate group FireForce Ventures which was presented as an online military surplus store specializing in items from the former state of Rhodesia but which seemed also to serve as a front for the dissemination of racist ideologies. The news site "Ricochet" initially broke the story focusing on active members of the military, however it also became apparent that one member also had links to the current leader of Alberta's Official Opposition:

Adam Strashok (who also posted online as "Alexei Kuznetsov") ran Jason Kenney's call center during his campaign to become leader of the United Conservative Party. Strashok was also active in UofC campus conservative groups, including the Wild Rose and the Conservative Club. Strashok was also one of the founders of the University of Calgary Firearms Association along with Henry Lung (Lung was also a partner in FireForce Ventures):

Well it turns out that Findell, Bexte, and Strashok were not the only people associated with Calgary campus conservatives, past and current, who are involved in far-right politics:

The image above is of the WCAI anti-Muslim event from June 3, 2017. I published it in a few articles already (I'm assuming Findell might have been the one to conceal the face of the individual on the right). However I later learned the identities of the other three members whose faces can be seen:

Full disclosure. The bulk of the research for this article (and I mean 90% to 95%) was done by an individual who wishes to remain anonymous but to whom I and others owe a great deal of gratitude.

Word of warning. This is a very long post with a lot of screen shots to back up the statements made.

With that, let's take a closer look at these gentlemen, shall we?

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Antisemitic, Racist, Misogynistic, and Islamophobic Rag STILL Barred From Using Canada Post

Congratulations to the Kinsellas who spearheaded this.

Now let's wait and see how the criminal case pans out, though after this I'm feeling mighty optimistic.

Also, this:

Monday, November 12, 2018

University of Calgary Conservative Club Members Linked To FireForce Ventures

UPDATE 2: Just learned that there is currently a warrant for the arrest of Gabriel Sohier Chaput (aka "Zeiger":

More will be posted in another article as more information becomes available.

So, about that break I said I was taking.... it seems that there have been some updates on the FireForce Ventures front:

Earlier, we learned that former executive on the UofC Conservative Club Adam Strashok was also identified as having been associated with FireForce Ventures. Strashok participated in the racist Worldwide Coalition Against Islam rally on June 3, 2017 and ran Jason Kenney's call center during his UCP leadership campaign had joined Bernier's PPC, though he appears to have been a member for a very short time before being kicked out of that party as well.

It turns out though that Strashok isn't the only person associated with the University of Calgary Conservative Club who had some association with FireForce Ventures:

ARC first learned about Jake Findell when he and another man were caught in the act of flyering for the hate group ID Canada (formerly Generation Identity Canada) on the main campus of the University of Calgary. 

He also was somewhat active on the ID Canada Facebook page:

Like Strashok, Findell also participated in the WCAI rally (along with three other individuals who may very well be making an appearance on this blog in a short time):

Before shutting down his Facebook page (or perhaps just making it difficult to find) Findell had "liked" FireForce Ventures along with a number of hate groups:

This however is FAR from the most interesting connection to conservative politics on the University of Calgary campus:

A number of people had been trying to figure out who this is. Sure, the face was mostly whited-out, but I figured there were a number of identifying features that could still lead to a definitive identification; the hair (color and cut), glasses, and especially the ear which is very distinctive in it's shape. As the photo was taken on the subject's laptop, it would likely be a flipped image.

Yesterday I received an email from someone who provided a picture of who this person is:


Thursday, November 08, 2018

Taking A Short Break

That last post was made prior to the midterm elections in the United States. I watched the results and initially was pleased, though not ecstatic. The Democrats did a little better in the House races and the Republicans took a seat more than I had anticipated (Florida) in the Senate. At the state level, I had thought the Democrats would pick up six governorship and they ended up with seven, though not Florida where I thought it was a near certainty until I realized that is the state where hope goes to die.

In the days since though, the numbers continue to improve. As absentee and mail-in votes continue to be counted, more House seats are going to the Democrats. In Arizona the Democratic candidate has just leap frogged over the Republican and is now in the lead. I learned of a number of applet courts in Texas that were flipped. And even Florida MIGHT reverse itself as more votes are counted but as it is Florida I'm going to wait and see.

Watching the Canadian far-right Trump fans has been interesting. Some are claiming the vote was rigged and that Soros stole the election (because of course). Others who have no concept of the American political system -- not a surprise since they don't understand the Canadian system either -- believe that the Senate has veto power over the House so this was really a "red wave" despite.... you know.... reality. And, of course, there are predictions of a civil war where Canadian militia-loving gun nuts will help the American right kill off all the nasty lefties before coming up to Canada and doing the same thing thus ushering in an right-wing Age of Aquarius where the ammunition is unlimited, the Pilsner flows like water, and people can burn tires in their front yards with impunity.

I thought for a while that I might post some of these comments. I still might eventually. However, I decided instead that I was going to take a break for a week or two. I realize that I've been sort of focused on the blog for two straight years with the rise of far-right populism and that this might be a good time to take a bit of a breather.

Now, I am somewhat notorious for ignoring my own good sense and may very well, should something significant occur, start posting and researching tomorrow. And I'll likely still be active on Twitter. Still, I decided that I've earned some "me" time.

See ya'll in a week or two.... or tomorrow. Suffice it to say I'll be back eventually.

Monday, November 05, 2018

Election Eve in United States: What Will Not Happen Immediately If Democratic Party Wins

To write that I was gutted as a result of the November 8, 2016 presidential election really undersells how I felt about it. Then again I suppose there were a lot of like minded people in North America and the world who felt the same way. I knew that the ugly, authoritarian, populism of Donald Trump would infect every aspect of political discourse throughout the world but as bad as I thought it would be, the reality turned out to be even worse. Other authoritarian regimes, the most recent being Brazil, have followed the Trump model of fear, scapegoating, overt racism, and division to political success. In Canada we had a candidate for a major political party propose a "Canadian values test" to screen new immigrants despite herself not being able to articulate what those "Canadian values" were. She was defeated, though the current leader of the Conservative Party has adopted the same anti-migrant rhetoric and the new governments of Ontario and especially Quebec have embraced ethnic nationalism.

Then there have been the killings. Alexandre Bissonnette, James Jackson, Sean Urbanski, Jeremy Christian, Lane Davis, James Fields, William Atchison, Matthew Riehl, Samuel Woodward, and most recently Robert Bowers. All partly products of a toxic political environment of dehumanization and perceived victimization by "the Other" which in many cases echoed Trump's own rhetoric:

On November 6, 2018, midterm elections are being held in the United States. At this point it looks good for the Democrats who look like they may retake the House of Representatives and do very well at the state level in the governor races, though the Republicans seem likely to retain the Senate.

While I am cautiously optimistic, it would be wrong to be over confident. Over confidence resulted in November 6, 2016.

But should the Democratic Party retake even part of the legislative branch, it will not be an end to the toxicity that pervades political discourse. In fact I expect things to get a lot worse before things start to improve. 

To "fix" this will not occur as a result of one election, or two, or five, or more. I think this will take at least a generation and it will be a long, hard, slog every step of the way.

The hatred the likes of Trump has unleashed was always there. It wasn't anything new he discovered. Unlike others though he had no shame in nakedly and constantly stoking resentment for his own purposes. Others have done this as well, but in most cases there were lines they didn't cross even if they toed right up. Trump never had similar moral restraints and neither will those who decide to follow his example because there is a subset within the population that craves authoritarian control.

And don't for a moment think that Canada is immune to this kind of authoritarianism:

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Failed Mayoral Candidate Faith Goldy Returns To Her Default Position

Last week one of the big stories I was following involved the removal of the Proud Boys on Facebook, both group pages and personal profiles. Now one can still find a few there still, but of those that have been removed Proud Boys Canada and Ontario member Tim Kelly are among those that had been removed:

There was the usual histrionics from the usual suspects. For example, the Alberta III% militia started anticipating their own deplatforming:

The award for most over the top reaction to a private company making the decision to remove groups and individuals violating the terms of service though goes to Faith Goldy:

Ms. Goldy has been on a bit of a roll lately when it comes to hyperbole. For example she seems genuinely angry that she didn't win the mayoral election in Toronto and has decided to blame both the media and Toronto voters for not being sufficiently "red pilled":

Then again she might be a bit angry because she could very well be on the hook for close to $100,000:

Aside from the rather breathtaking arrogance of her post, coming so soon after the tragedy in Pittsburgh it is especially interesting that she has decided to continue to parrot the talking points of the current American president who has used the murders to sow more fear and mine grievances for political purposes:

I suppose this really marks Goldy's return to the white nationalist, conspiracy promoting, fold after a brief and superficial flirtation with "civic nationalism" in her effort to win votes in perhaps the most ethnically diverse city on the planet. For example, while she made a point to hype Meir Weinstein's and the Jewish Defence League's endorsement of her, the only things she had to say about the murder of 11 men and women in a synagogue by a white supremacist was to suggest it might have been a conspiracy to make Trump and the Republicans look bad, complain about her (and ally's) own victimization, and use the opportunity to promote her own political views:

To put this comment in perspective, I suggest readers
take look at this article
concerning homicides in Canada.
And despite her efforts to ingratiate herself to, among other communities, the Toronto Chinese-Canadian community, Goldy has once again started to express the ethnic nationalist views that have become her calling card since at least August 2017, echoing both the synagogue shooter and Trump in promoting dehumanization of migrants and refugees:

Finally she has started once again to promote overtly fascist political figures and "alt-right" AstroTurf efforts including the recent flyering campaign that took place in some Canadian cities:

So as Goldy attempts to reassert her white nationalist bona fides one has to wonder if she'll be accepted back into the fold. Time will tell I suppose.