Goodbye, Harper. Good riddance.
How do you sum up the career of a PM who betrayed every ideal he claimed to cherish?

Like fame and drugs, politics consumes its own.

Stephen Harper is no exception. Marketed as the archetypal Strong Leader, he ends as a rickety Wizard of Oz. Out of office, he was left wriggling and exposed when the curtain of power was drawn back. It revealed a very small man in a very big office. He didn’t so much leave public life as skulk away.

He gave not a single interview after getting waxed in the 2015 election by Justin Trudeau. Las Vegas proved more attractive to the MP from Calgary Heritage than the House of Commons, where, post-defeat, he lurked rather than sat. And while he was doing little for his constituents other than cashing his paycheck, he did find time to set up his political consulting company in Calgary after a few visits to U.S. casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson. Adelson is the man who has promised, but not yet delivered, $100 million to support Donald Trump’s presidential bid.

Even Harper’s resignation was an in-house Harper job, controlling — and distorting — the message until the very end. Steve writing his own report card, as he did while in office. (Did Ray Novak shoot that cheesy video?)

In other words, Harper ends like a lot of politicians — all shipwrecks of their former selves. As a newly minted Reformer, he started out full of energy, ideas and promise. He ends the political phase of his life having become one of the people he used to rail against. He has a lot of company. Think of Deborah Grey and her pension two-step, or Dingwall the Entitled. Harper is now elbows-out at the same trough.

Item: When Prime Minister Jean Chrétien called an election for June 2, 1997, Stephen Harper and the National Citizen’s Coalition targeted MP’s “gold-plated pensions.” Liberal MPs Anne McLellan and Judy Bethel were targeted in degrading attack ads. Both women had their heads placed on pigs’ bodies while wallowing in a cash-filled trough. Harper christened them “pension porkers.”

It took 20 years for Stephen Harper to become a pension porker himself. But his head could as easily be placed on the body of an alpha wild boar, given that the man who once pilloried McLellan and Bethel for their pensions is set to collect $5.5 million in taxpayer’s money. All he has to do is live to the age of 90.

Maybe that’s what Harper meant when he said in his farewell that “the best is yet to come.” As it is, the defeated PM will immediately receive an annual “pension” of $120,000 from Canadians. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation calls that “generous”.

There is a prize for euphemism somewhere in that. A better description? Oink, oink, oink.

The usual response from the media when a prime minister “retires” is a spate of sonorous encomiums that have the same effect on readers as a plate of bad clams. That’s because they have as much sincerity and truth in them as the obituary of a small town’s richest citizen. So there will be pieces praising Harper’s discipline, his electoral victories, his iron adherence to message.

Sucking toes for votes with a crack-smoking mayor while touting family values. Trying to drive a wedge between majority and minority Canadians by exploiting the politics of bigotry. Stephen Harper was Donald Trump before Trump was Trump.

A disciplined politician? No. A dictatorial megalomaniac. Those electoral victories? Only admirable if you applaud gross mendacity, the politics of personal destruction and no small amount of cheating.

And adherence to message? What did that mean in Harper’s case, apart from bending reality out of shape to suit his warped view of the world, and what Canada is all about?

How strange it is that a man who closed embassies rather than practice the fine art of diplomacy, and never saw a war he didn’t want to join, now wants to advise others on foreign affairs.

Can Canadian politics get much more warped than what Harper pulled during the 2015 election? Sucking toes for votes with a crack-smoking mayor while touting family values. Trying to drive a wedge between majority and minority Canadians by exploiting the politics of bigotry over issues like the niqab — despite the court rulings against the Conservative position. Vowing to set up a rat line to expose “barbaric practices”, using the unforgettable sales team of Kellie Leitch and Chris Alexander.

Stephen Harper was Donald Trump before Trump was Trump, right down to the bigotry, fear-mongering, divisiveness, scapegoating, and profound anti-democratic impulses that had Canada’s entire parliamentary structure tottering, according to experts like Peter Milliken and Robert Marleau.

While others will remember amusing episodes involving personal encounters with Harper, I will remember the look on the face of Canada’s former nuclear safety commissioner, Linda Keen, while she recounted her personal destruction at the hands of his government because she wouldn’t sell out her mandate.

It was the same look I saw in Richard Colvin’s eyes when the former diplomat was smeared by Harper and Peter MacKay for the high crime of telling what he knew about the as-yet-unresolved Afghan detainee affair.

I saw the misery in Munir Sheikh’s face as he recalled how he was run out of the public service because he wouldn’t let his minister publicly lie about him.

Finally, there was Kevin Page — fired by liars for telling the truth.

There’s not much here to feel good about. Harper confabulated his way through a decade of political parlour tricks. He presented himself as a fiscal conservative who balanced the books. He dealt from the bottom of the deck to get there: selling GM shares at a discount and helping himself to the EI surplus and the Contingency Fund. And, oh yes, he took a chainsaw to the budget of Canada’s veterans to pull off his oleaginous accounting, no matter how badly they needed their service centres.

Here’s the real story. This ersatz economist delivered seven consecutive fiscal deficits and ran through the $13.8 billion surplus handed to him by the outgoing Liberal government of Paul Martin in a single year. The country’s economy grew at a snail’s pace, wages stagnated — and then the Great Navigator denied that the Great Recession of 2008 was happening during the federal election of the same year.

Throughout most of that time — while he was smothering critics, stifling information flow, practising vigilante justice on people like Mike Duffy and Helena Guergis without facts, attacking the Supreme Court, promoting unconstitutional legislation and surrounding himself with people even Trump might not feel comfortable with — nobody called him out for what he was. They were too afraid, because this guy took down numbers.

So instead of describing him as a fascist — as Libertarian leader Gary Johnson has publicly tagged Donald Trump in the United States — the media and political class in Canada called Harper “controlling”.

When you read all those airbrushed pieces today, aimed more at the office than the man, remember how much rubble must be cleared away from the Harper years before this country will recognize itself again.

And don’t look for a Harper nostalgia wave any time soon.

Fanfiction Master Post ~ rashaka

works at tumblr

  • tag: my fanfiction (drabbles & inbox fic, should all be posted to AO3)

works at AO3

  • The 100 (Bellarke)
  • Arrow (Olicity)
  • Teen Wolf (Dallison, general, group)
  • Community (Jeff/Annie) - only a couple
  • Sleepy Hollow (Ichabbie)
  • Supernatural (Megstiel)

works at

  • Community (Jeff/Annie) - all
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender (Zutara, general, group)
  • The Vampire Diaries (Elejah)
  • The Big Bang Thoery (Sheldon/Penny)
  • How I Met Your Mother (Barney/Robin)
  • Doctor Who (Doctor/Rose)
  • Harry Potter (Harry/Luna, Luna general)
  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Spuffy, Buffy general, Spike general)
  • a whole shit ton of anime fandoms from the 2000s

works at Livejournal

  • all of the above
  • Spock/Uhura
  • probably other random stuff
Misery: Annie Wilkes [ISFJ]


Introverted Sensing (Si): Annie lives by herself, secluded in the Colorado countryside and goes about her daily routines and simple life, essentially embodying the total opposite of “big city dreams”. Her hobbies and interests are few and far in between but she follows them relentlessly and is extremely knowledgeable in everything she takes a liking to. Especially with literature, which she is absolutely obsessed with, able to quote any reference and line at will, she also knows everything about Paul Sheldon from all the information she has gathered from him, even things that surprise him. She has an extremely keen eye for detail, noticing every minor discrepancies and misplaced objects during her absences, therefore accurately reading what Paul has been up to while her back was turned.

Extroverted Feeling (Fe): She presents herself as a very cheery person, eager to take care of anyone in need and this is true to some extent. But she is extremely emotionally volatile, shifting to bling anger when things don’t go her way. She acts as if her saving Paul was a classic case of selflessness, then feeling like he owes her everything, no matter how unreasonable. She even thinks that him trying to save his own life is a sign of ungratefulness. Her emotional attachment to people even crosses over to fiction as evidenced by her completely losing her sanity when Misery Chastain is “killed off”.

Introverted Thinking (Ti): Once we find out how deranged she is, we subsequently see just how cunning and calculating she can be. Nothing is off the table in keeping Paul captive in her home. She acts quick on her feet, eliminating every obstacle in her way and coming up with THE absolute most brutal way to reduce Paul’s mobility. While her emotions are very strong, she is more than capable of fooling people with her innocent persona. 

Extroverted Intuition (Ne): Annie is clearly delusional, melding the real world with the fictional one from Paul’s novels. She also sees her relationship with him as much more intimate than it is, suffice to say. Obviously she desires to escape her own reality and it sets her off when her pipe dreams come to a crashing halt. 

The groundbreaking and influential James Tiptree, Jr. was born 101 years ago

Alice B. Sheldon (James Tiptree, Jr.)

Born in Chicago, IL on August 24, 1915, Alice B. Sheldon (née Bradley) was the daughter of lawyer and naturalist Herbert Bradley and Mary Hastings Bradley, a popular and prolific writer of fiction and travel books. Young Alice traveled the world with her parents. Following 1921-22 trip to Africa, she enjoyed her first published credit when she contributed to her mother’s short story, “The Women Men Don’t See.” A graphic artist and a painter, Sheldon, under the name “Alice Bradley Davey” was an art critic for the CHICAGO SUN between 1941 and 1942.

Young Alice with the kikuyus, a native tribe from Africa

After her first marriage ended, Alice joined the United States Army Air Forces and worked in  photo-intelligence group. Near the end of the war, while stationed in Paris, she met her second husband Huntington (Ting) Sheldon, future Director of the Office of Current Intelligence for the CIA. Returning to the States, Alice, as “Alice Bradley,” published her first short story “The Lucky Ones” in THE NEW YORKER (November 16, 1946). In 1952 she joined the CIA, but resigned in 1955 to return to college. Alice Sheldon eventually got a Bachelor of Arts degree at American University (1957–59) and  a doctorate at George Washington University in Experimental Psychology in 1967. 

Alice adopted her “James Tiptree, Jr.” persona to protect her academic reputation. As Tiptree, she garnered immense praise for her numerous tales that often stretched the boundaries of the genre by challenging the perceptions of gender. Her many awards include two Hugo (1974 novella, “The Girl Who Was Plugged In”; 1977 novella, “Houston, Houston, Do You Read?”), three Nebula (1973 short story, “Love Is the Plan the Plan Is Death”; 1976 novella, “Houston, Houston, Do You Read?”; 1977 novelette, “The Screwfly Solution”), and a 1987 World Fantasy for the collection TALES OF THE QUINTANA ROO.

Alice with husband Ting

In 1977, her Tiptree identity was outed, which surprised many in the field. Sheldon continued writing as Tiptree until her tragic death in 1987. In 1991, Karen Joy Fowler and Pat Murphy established the James Tiptree, Jr. Award for works of science fiction or fantasy that expand or explore our understanding of gender. 

Tiptree eventually penned the two novels UP THE WALLS OF THE WORLD and BRIGHTNESS FALLS FROM THE AIR. Tiptree’s numerous stories have been collected in many volumes including TEN THOUSAND LIGHT-YEARS FROM HOME, WARM WORLDS AND OTHERWISE, OUT OF THE EVERYWHERE AND OTHER EXTRAORDINARY VISIONS, THE STARRY RIFT, TALES OF THE QUINTANA ROO, CROWN OF STARS, and HER SMOKE ROSE UP FOREVER. Her poetry form the late 1940s and early 1950s were collected in  NEAT SHEETS: THE POETRY OF JAMES TIPTREE, JR.

Keep reading

Preorders now open for Sheldon plushes!

Sheldon plushes are back in stock! I’m now accepting preorders for them on Storenvy, expected delivery date is Beginning of October! (Possibly last week of September if things go smoothly)

Can’t afford to buy one right now? I’m only putting part of my stock up for preorder initially, with the remainder becoming available for normal sale on October 1st.

Buy Here!

Why preorders? Last time I got a bit overwhelmed with the amount of orders off the bat and it slowed everything down, by using preorders I can better prepare all the products and deal with any shipping snafus well before it becomes a problem.