Tuesday, November 17, 2015


by H. W. Honeycutt
Discusses the need for a Universal Basic Income (what is also called the Guaranteed Annual Income) in the United States. Special emphasis on how the Universal Basic Income would positively effect people with disabilities.
UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME AND DISABILITY is available at  amzn.to/1NokwzL  
Quotes from the book:
    While UBI likely would not discourage labor on the whole, turning us into a nation of slugabeds, it would almost certainly allow individuals of all abilities to recognize and embrace different types of non-income generating labor. Labor conditions with UBI would provide a significant change from our current system, which primarily reflects the views of market-ideologues who only see value in labor which generates income.
    We thus need to recognize disability as a much more ingrained feature of human existence, and account for it accordingly, not with a continuance of market discipline for people who, through no fault of their own, cannot generate income. We should instead stabilize the living situations of all Americans via a UBI.
    With UBI, disabled workers would be in a better position to remain selective about when they would chose to work, and the income from any part-time employment would be an addition to, not a reduction of, their UBI benefits. And because UBI puts more power in the hands of workers to negotiate not only wages, but also labor conditions, people with disabilities would experience greater leverage in shaping their work environments; if they experience the unwelcoming

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Big Surprise - Canadian Federal Election 2015

The vast majority of us are breathing a sigh of relief that the Harpercons are no longer in power. The Liberals out-foxed the NDP by moving to the left of that party on economic issues. The NDP talked of balanced budgets while the Libs talked of the need to get things running again. Big mistake for the NDP.  The Greens never made their break through as the voters stampeded to the Libs to get rid of the Conservatives. The Liberals are promising much - getting serious about climate change and the First Nations, building coop and affordable housing, democratizing our political system, restore protection to the waterways, legalizing pot,  building public transit, funding the CBC, maintaining Canada Post home delivery and many other progressive - and needed - things. The question is, will they act on this or just waffle? Only time will tell, but the Libs have an overwhelming majority, plus for any progressive actions ought have the backing of the three relatively  left parties, (by today's standards)  the NDP, Greens and Bloc Quebecois. The Libs plus the other three parties have 239 seats compared with the Cons 99 so they could do whatever they want. The only thing needed is the will to do so.

Friday, October 02, 2015

The 2015 Canadian Federal election

After a summer of being behind in the polls, the Harpercons are now ahead, after playing the “fear of Muslims” card. Of course, 32% isn't any kind of ringing victory, but our bizarre and undemocratic “first-past-the-post” electoral system would convert that figure into a minority government. If the Harpercrit and his minions are able to bump that figure anywhere past 36% they would be in majority territory, and if that happens you can kiss your arse good bye as far as what remains of humanity, democracy and decency in this country. What a system that allows 36% of the voters to bully the other 64%!

This election may well be a cross roads. If we can't vote out the most retrogressive government in modern Canadian history what can we do? The inability to change course, even though the vast majority of the population desires this, indicates that the system is broken. And with another Harpercon regime, it will become even more broken.

The only alternative is revolution! Yeah, right... If people can't get it together to eliminate their worst tormentors electorally, you think they are going to grow a spine and overthrow the system? Of course, as the Cons wreck society, attack First Nations and generally maintain a plunder-based economy, there will be a rise in protest and civil disobedience. But will it be enough to make the changes we need? There is little time left, given the pace of global warming. If we had another 50 years, fine, no problem, but we don't. We need to make those changes now.

The only “alternative” is collapse. Capitalism and the state are too boxed in by their own contradictions to make revolutionary change possible. The environment, the social, political and economic systems continue to degrade until the point of no return. Like the Mayans, the survivors, if there are any,  abandon the “temples” and return to a simpler, human scale and environmentally saner reality.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

50 years an activist/Comox Project 1965

Just celebrated my 50th anniversary as an activist. August 28 was the 50th anniversary of the Comox Project mass civil disobedience at the Comox Air Base, I was there sitting down blocking a gate for 32 hours. This event completely transformed my life, making me the person I am today.

This week end Aug28-31 we had a reunion of Comox Project veterans and about a dozen of us showed up to have a great time reconnecting, reminiscing, discussing the import of the project, drinking wine and beer and eating. Many thanks to Peter Light who did so much – including building an octagon shelter and stone fire circle.

Picture below, Ch'an, myself and Eryk Martin at the CP65 Anniversary gathering.  See newspaper article as well -

Monday, August 10, 2015

NO REGRETS - Counter-culture and anarchism in Vancouver

What was it like running wild in the streets with the Yippies? Or invading the USA at Blaine Washington? Imagine civil disobedience against The Bomb in the days when peace was a dirty word! How and why did one become a Beatnik? What were the "hippies" really about? Why anarchism in Vancouver, of all places? No Regrets will answer those questions and many others about the 1960s and 70s. And while striding quickly through international counter cultural hotspots such as Toronto, Mexico, San Francisco, Berkeley, London and the inevitable Kootenays, this memoir never loses its Vancouver focus.

NO REGRETS has been just published by Edmonton's  Black Cat Press for $20.00 info@blackcatpress.ca

Excerpt from Chapter 4 Beatnik Days
Jack, Ingrid and I spent a lot of time together walking around the lower Spadina area. We loved wandering in the night, grooving and digging everything. Sometimes we would head to Kensington Market, or other times take the subway to Yorkville and go to Websters for coffee. One time the group of us were standing on the street corner talking when a bus pulled up. The people on the bus pointed and started laughing, "Look at the crazy beatniks!" you could imagine them saying. Not missing a beat, so to speak, Ingrid ran up to the bus gesticulating wildly, long red hair in every direction, yelling "Look at the crazy straight people!" who now started to look alarmed and were undoubtedly thankful when the bus pulled away seconds later. Keep in mind, not one of us would turn a head today, indeed we would look like Mormons compared to the tattooed, head shaved, jogging-suited freak show walking around the shopping malls today.

We lived not far from the Toronto Art Gallery and Ingrid being an art student took me there on occasion. The Gallery was free in those days. (Government services, remember them?) We turned on before going. Now I knew that paintings were important and they ought to be appreciated, but I had never gotten into art before this. Ingrid guided me over to a painting and it came alive for me, I could see what it was all about. "Wow! Man, this is so cool – I see it", and the two of us started laughing. We traipsed around the Gallery like this, thankfully a week day and almost no one else in sight. From this moment on paintings were important to me. Thank you Ingrid, crazy laughing girl, wherever you are...

A couple of times we went to see Peter Light, who was living in a bed sit some distance away. But it seemed like our group was going in different directions. Peter was still a convinced peace activist (as was I ) but the others seemed more into being full time Beats. I also got to meet some of the "older" Beats, those in their mid 20s to early 30s. We visited poet, and LEMAR (Legalize Marijuana, founded by Ed Sanders and Allen Ginsburg in January 1965) Canada founder, Cecilie Kwait. She was twenty-six, and had hitchhiked all over the place. With reverence that we listened to her stories. ( Today, she is a world- renowned Buddhist teacher) We sometimes ran into Andy Mikolasch, selling his "Yorkville Yawn", Canada's first "underground" newspaper. One evening we had just turned on and there was a loud pounding on the front door. Thinking it was the horsemen, we panicked. After hiding the joints, we gingerly unlocked the door, but it was only poet Jack Martin who had dropped over for a visit. We all got a lot of laughs about that one. All these Beats were interviewed in the November 1965 Macleans, but the author called them "hippies". This is the first time I heard that term. Up till that time, and for the next year we were called, and self-identified, as beatniks.

Excerpt from chapter 15 Revolution In the Streets

Hot on the heels of the Bay Sip-in came the Blaine invasion. This was not a lone Yippie action, but a coalition between us and our friends the VLF. Nixon sent troops twenty miles into Cambodia, (precipitating a chain of events that would led to the genocidal Khymer Rouge taking power) so we decided to invade the United States in retaliation. On a beautiful summer morning we met at the Peace Arch at the US-Canadian border. We were some twenty miles from Vancouver and few people had vehicles, so the arrival of 600 people showed a high level of commitment. Not to mention, what we were about to do was foolhardy and highly illegal.

We made a lot of noise and had a big celebration. I helped close the gates of the Peace Arch, symbolically closing the border with the US. In order to get an idea of the numbers and to see what might await us down the road from the border post, I stood on a low hill at the back of the park. All of a sudden the entire crowd surged forward, pushing the border guards aside and ran down the road toward Blaine. The guards were dumbfounded and did nothing – today they would have shot. My friends Jim and Elizabeth were near the border post, but on the Canadian side. Jim was a war resistor and it was unwise for him to enter the States. There was no point in being a straggler running after the invaders, so I stayed with Jim and Elizabeth and waited for our "army" to return, if indeed they would return.

Half an hour or so later, our little army appeared, and ran back into Canada. Mission accomplished! They told of fist-fights that broke out with the locals, of the American flag being torn down and windows broken. Miraculously, no one got busted and no one got hurt. This was undoubtedly Canada's all-time easiest victory against an enemy. Best of all, a group of Vietnam War resistors were waiting in Blaine and joined the "army" on its return to Canada, getting though the border without fear of being turned back.
Right from the beginning of the action, a group of US Nazis wearing "white power" tee shirts hovered on the edge of the crowd. We ignored them. Then they decided to go into attack mode, but made the bad mistake of picking on Skookum Jim. Now Skookum Jim was built like a fire plug and had recently been a member of an East Van motor cycle gang called the "Catwalkers" before he started hanging around with the Yippies. He was also a bit of a country and western singer and used to go everywhere with his guitar, doing Hank Williams and Johnny Cash. Typically, he had his guitar with him. Less typically, he broke it over the head of the lead Nazi, then used the neck to thrash the next one. By this time the seig-heil boys were scuttling away and Jim threw the remains of his git box at them.

Friday, June 12, 2015

“One Drop” politics – the racist origins of American right wing delusions about social reform.

One of the more troubling aspects of American right wing discourse to those living outside that country is the confusion between social reform and “communism.” (One can only presume, given the low intellectual level of these people, that by communism they mean Stalinism.) Thus, almost any level of social reform – say pensions, or a minimum wage – have been seen as out and out socialism, which is then equated with Stalinism. Social reformers, and especially those who detest Stalinism, are derided as communists. A social Catholic like Pierre Trudeau, none of whose policies would have contradicted Pope Leo 13's Rerum Novarum, is considered a communist. So too the moderate – very moderate – social democrat Tom Mulcair.

The source of this delusion bordering on psychosis long escaped me until I began reading the classic work of white supremacy and anti-Semitism, Madison Grant's, “The Passing of the Great Race.” He states “...the result of the mixture of two races... gives us a race reverting to the... lower type. The cross between a white man and an Indian is an Indian, a white man and a negro, a negro... between the three European races and a Jew, is a Jew"

The US right fears political miscegenation and has transferred the racial attitude over to the social.  Grant once again, ”Bringing half breeds into the world will be regarded as a social and racial crime of the first magnitude. The laws against miscegenation must be greatly extended..."

 This is just a more nuanced version of the long-held white supremacist idea that one drop of Black blood made you Black even though you had a white skin. Thus, any admixture of social reform into the capitalist body creates a socialist system, not an ever so slightly modified capitalist one. Thus, with this ultimately racist assumption, there can never be any such thing as a “mixed economy” and a country like Sweden where 75% of the economy is in private hands is deemed socialist.

Such a delusion has served wonders for the US corporate state as it has traveled around the world subverting and destroying moderate reformist governments, all in the name of combating "communism."

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Report on Life In France in 2015

Why haven't the French risen up as one and massacred their political and economic elites?” The first thought that comes to mind after spending just a couple of days in that once lovely country. (Well, hell, it is still lovely, but getting a little frayed around the edges)

People give me a number of answers; Good old fashioned French individualism has been perverted by consumerism into narcissism. The Red Zones that once surrounded the major cities composed of industrial workers, the back bone of the trade unions and the left parties have been devastated by neoliberalism. Millions of jobs lost and with it the loss of sociopolitical focus. (Some 7 million unemployed) The political parties – with the exception of the dreaded Front National – all suffer from the totalitarianism of the center – they have no answers for anything, no vision, no hope. They exist only for taking power for its own sake and pandering to the corporate oligarchs. Worst of all is the Socialist Party. Would you like a Sarko served up with Hollandaise sauce or prefer to be Marine-ated? And the parties of the real left – Front de Gauche and the Verts made the mistake of collaborating with the Socialist Party and got eaten alive for it.

The FN has kept its racist hard core by scapegoating immigrants, but at the same time stealing much of the left's platform. This is why it is doing so well in the polls. Hollandaise accuses the FN of being far right and Sarko claims it is far left. If the Socialist Party attacked austerity, challenged the bankers and sought to restore French industry, Marine Le Pen would be toast. But the SP has to do the bidding of its masters.

The country has definitely gone down hill since my last visit a decade ago. I was hardly here an hour and I saw a Starbucks. The country that invented the cafe imperialized by these swine! I felt like picking up a rock and hurling it through the window. Ten years ago it might have been molotoved.

France is being Americanized. The same criminality that destroyed every small city in North America is wrecking the villages. Big Box stores and shopping malls are built on the outskirts, the local commerce is destroyed and the villages hollow out. You can buy a 200 year old house in a village for E40,000. Agribusiness swallows the small farm and the official Peasant's Union supports chemicals and GMOs.

In Saint Denis, where we stayed in the Paris region, it is dangerous to go out at night. There are even streets where a woman or old person might get robbed during the day, as happened to a friend of ours. Think high unemployment and drug addiction.

Oh, and Charlie Hebdo. The French are being ground between two fascisms, that of the FN and that of the Islamist clerical fascists. They both play off of each other so nicely a paranoid would think they were working together. Many North American leftists have no idea of the reality of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, naively, but also understandably given US conditions, reducing the whole thing to racism and to hell with the victims.

The situation is more complicated than our Yanqui reductionists would have us believe. Charlie Hebdo is a left wing paper and three of those murdered were anarchists who also worked for the French Anarchist Federation's weekly, Monde Libertaire! Furthermore, some of the most vocal critics of Islamist extremism are themselves of Maghrebian or Middle Eastern origin.

Undoubtedly the people who love to hate will use Islamism as a means to rationalize their distaste for people with brown skins. But the libertarian left fights racism like no other force in society, and is very careful in keeping separate in word and deed, the immigrants from the clerical fascist minority.

Not all is bad news. The anarchist movement is growing and the revolutionary syndicalists while divided (as usual) may well be more influential than they have been in years. When I was in France in 2005, the French Anarchist Federation (FAF) had about 50 or so branches, it now has 68. It's only real “rival” federation, Alternative Libertaire, is also a great deal larger than it was then.

The revolutionary syndicalist union, the CNT-F, suffered a split last year losing close to half its membership to a new formation now called CNT-Solidaire. The latter broke away as its members wanted their officials to be paid a salary, while the CNT-F stuck with the time-honored revolutionary syndicalist policy of volunteerism. Solidaire still considers itself within the syndicalist camp, but as a somewhat more reformist variety. In spite of this split, the CNT-F still has several thousand dedicated militants. Separate from each other, the two former factions may both be in a better position to expand their influence.

There are probably as many syndicalists and anarchists in the more regular unions as in the revolutionary ones. The Comites Syndicalists Revolutionares (CSR) engages many if not most of these. Unlike in the USA, the history, political culture and labour laws in France make it possible for a revolutionary minority to have at least some influence within non-revolutionary unions. Anarchists and revolutionary syndicalists are found within the Communist CGT, the apolitical Force Ouvrier, and the base unions of SUD. (Indeed, operation within the revolutionary and non-revolutionary unions is a priority for both the FAF and Alternative Libertaire.) The weakness of the politics within the regular unions gives the hope that the anarchists and syndicalists will be able to expand their influence as they have with the social movements.

Some personal recollections – While the villages are dying, some are also being revitalized by anarchists and other radicals. Then there is the phenomenon of the Book Village. There are 9 of these in France, each with an area with a number of book shops attracting bibliophiles from all over. The Book Village of Cuisery even has an anarchist book shop, Les Chats Noirs, allied to the FAF. The book shops have definitely helped the villages survive.

In Dijon, there is a famous cafe operating since 1907 just off the market, (ideal location) It went out of business and was sold to some anarchists who will eventually turn it into a worker coop. It is also used as headquarters for a number of organizations (large space) such as the CNT and La Mistoufle, the group and eponymous publication of the Dijon FAF. I went there twice and the place was packed. Lots of cultural stuff happening in the evening. The food looked good, but didn't try it, just had my morning espresso. But hey, this is France right? The food HAD to be good, or else no one would be crowding around.

Along the canal was an enormous old canal barge called La Cancale. This has been converted into a combination resto-bar and night club. It is run as a cooperative. We went twice and had local craft beers, ate sausages and listened to 1920s German music, mixed with techno. The place was jammed, all ages and even families, but mainly 20 somethings. The land beside the canal is a park and at least 60 people were sitting on benches eating food and drinking beer from the resto-bar. (Something unthinkable in puritan North America) Some nights the local campus radio station broadcasts from the boat as well.

All ages and even families – something I noticed in Holland as well and within the anarchist movement. A healthy inter-generational mix, everyone having fun, no hassles and no authorities around.

I looked for the Hotel des Associations in Dijon, but found it had been taken over by the right-wing social democratic union, the CFTD. Seems a dispute broke out with the other members and the CFTD got control some how. Now the Hotel des Associations is a wonderful idea. You see in France small groups are respected, they aren't treated with contempt like they are in North America. Cities provide a building with small offices, mail boxes, and a large meeting room at minimal cost to groups like Theosophists, hiking clubs, anarchists, enviro groups etc. It is part of the rights of being a citizen, and of course, if you add up all those little groups nation-wide, you get millions of people, and why should they be ignored like in Canada?

Good news! When I got back to Canada I found the city had provided a new and larger building, now called the Maison des Associations.

While in the Paris Region we visited my old friend Penelope, who used to own a book shop in Paris – and were so involved in chatting while in her adorable little apartment, we forgot to take a photo. She then took us around the 5th, down past St. Germain de Pres – shades of Sartre and Beauvoir – on a tour we will never forget.

St Denis has a rue Proudhon and a rue Ferrer, undoubtedly the influence of the CGT when it was still revolutionary syndicalist.

Spent about two hours in the Librarie Publico, hdq and chief book shop of the FAF. Had a good talk with Laurent, the man running the shop, about the situation in France. Bought as much as I could carry in my luggage without crippling myself. He told us that if we wanted to do a good walking tour to follow the Canal St Martin, to metro station Jaures, which we did, and enjoyed very much.

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