Friday, November 30, 2012

Harper Regime is Now Disqualified

'Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that Canadian threats of reprisals and Mr. Baird’s decision to personally campaign against the Palestinian resolution at the UN have ruled Ottawa out of a future role.

“I believe this government is more Israeli than the Israelis, more settler than the settlers,” he said in an interview with The Globe and Mail. “I think they have disqualified themselves from playing any role in the Middle East peace process.”

In particular, he said, Canada is no longer fit for its long-standing role as the so-called “gavel-holder” of the Refugee Working Group – a post that makes Canada the chair of international discussions on Palestinian refugee issues.'
- Harper Regime is Now Disqualified 

Given how many countries it has alienated through this ridiculous demonstration of bad judgement, Canada is really the one risking retaliation, not Palestine

"Baird’s intervention [student union schoolboy bullying] is notable. . . because only two other foreign ministers — those of Indonesia and Turkey [both supported Palestine] — spoke on the issue before the vote." (Primer on Canada's UN vote on Palestine ). Given how many countries it has alienated through this ridiculous demonstration of bad judgement, Canada is really the one risking retaliation, not Palestine.

#HarperRegime is delusional - reeking with Luciferian pride

#HarperRegime is delusional - reeking with Luciferian pride - in thinking it can practice Israeli-American style "exceptionalism." The reality is that none is exceptional, and, like children, they lack respect for the #UN because they don't get their sandbox way.  All three continue to lose power and prestige in the world, and their immoral stance on this issue is a deeply symbolic diplomatic failure.

  "Canada has fired its first warning shot as it prepares to retaliate against the upgrading of Palestinian status at the United Nations, temporarily recalling its envoys to the Middle East and the UN."

welcome Palestine

Thursday, November 29, 2012

OECD warns of lower growth, increased unemployment

OECD warns of lower growth, increased unemployment

"The current forecast points to a continued slump in the world economy, and the potential for a global recession on par with what began with the housing market crisis in 2007. It predicts that the gross domestic product of its member states, all of which are considered “developed” countries, would expand only 1.4 percent in 2013, revised downward from 2.2 percent from the OECD report issued six months ago."

Caveat about Palestinian Negotiations a Cover

Why should a symbolic recognition of #Palestine as a state by the #UN General Assembly - a gesture that conveys no direct political power - prevent negotiations between Palestine and Israel from resuming? Claims by Israel, the U.S., and Canada that such a recognition will prevent negotiations from resuming is just a cover in effect to obviate any solution that does not leave Israel in control in some capacity or other. But there is also the fear that symbolic recognition as a state might lead eventually to full recognition as a nation state if enough states confirm statehood through bilateral recognition. Were that to develop, as Britain’s anxiety has made clear, the very real fear that Palestine would bring Israel’s unequivocal war crimes against humanity to the Hague  - as indeed Palestine should if given the opportunity - might emerge. But its not likely Palestine would pursue this option as long as it believes there is a real chance for some sort of two-state agreement.

This is an outcome hard to imagine, for, it would seem, there will never be a two-state solution no matter how much lip-service is paid to the concept. Israel remains in the eyes of the world an aggressor, occupier, and oppressor despite all those in Israel itself who wish it were not so.

On Israel's aggression and occupation:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Warrior Nation: Rebranding Canada

Warrior Nation: Rebranding Canada in an Age of Anxiety [Book Trailer] (by BTLbooks) And you thought things were a bit frightening in Canada. Take a good look if you really want to be traumatized with fear as we continue our descent into a potentially full-fledged fascist regime - we already have corporatocracy - with skilfully tempered support for one of its essential institutions, the military. Remember, the Canadian military may be acquiring weapons capable drones soon, and you might want to recall too that we have set up a series - seven so far, I think - of military bases around the world. I won't even mention the F-35s.

Fourteen Defining Characteristics Of Fascism (This would be a good elementary English assignment in a first-year expository writing class in college or university. Compare the Harper Regime to...)

Addendum: Take a look too at the revealing reactionary comments on the Youtube page. I can only imagine what Canadian military historians might have said already or will say. You can pretty well be assured it will be hair-splitting if not dismissive.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Obama administration pushes ahead with drone killings

The Not so Subtle Militarization of Canada

With the exception of Israel and probably Canada, every other nation considers the use of unmanned drones to be illegal. Who cares about their legality?  Their use is fundamentally immoral because they kill people - 2500 so far of which we are aware. It surprises me - but only a bit - that this repulsive policy, which turns so many of us against Obama,  wasn't a separate, emphasized item in Michael Moore’s letter of last week to the president, though he does articulate it in his item about ending all U.S. wars. (See my post of Moore’s letter elsewhere on my blog here.) 

Canada is also considering the use of drones for military purposes, though whom it wishes to attack we have no idea. The Regime and its military wing claim that they want the drones for Arctic "surveillance." If so, why does the procurement request specify "to be able to carry precision-guided munitions." That sounds clearly like a request for assault capabilities. Don't be surprised that  if the request is fulfilled, the proliferation of small Canadian military bases around the globe is connected. 

Mark Carney's 'shock' appointment means more of the same neoliberal policies for UK

One should remember that Carney sits firmly inside the neoliberal bubble and that he was bred by a #banksters’ culture at the Vampire Squid’s emporium. Support for the continuing financialization of the economy and a lack of support for the real productive economy will continue. The worry for Canadians should not be his departure since we weren't necessarily in good hands.  It should be what potentially disturbing appointment will now be made to this sensitive post by the #HarperRegime, who are of course the high priests of #neoliberalism in our country mediating between us and the economy.  There’s no way we will get someone from outside the #banksters’ club. That much  is certain.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

An Open Letter to President Obama By Michael Moore

Dear President Obama:

Good luck on your journeys overseas this week, and congratulations on
decisively winning your second term as our president! The first time
you won four years ago, most of us couldn’t contain our joy and found
ourselves literally in tears over your victory.

This time, it was more like breathing a huge sigh of relief. But, like
the smooth guy you are, you scored the highest percentage of the vote
of any Democrat since Lyndon Johnson, and you racked up the most votes
for a Democratic president in the history of the United States (the
only one to receive more votes than you was … you, in ‘08!). You are
the first Democrat to get more than 50% of the vote twice in a row
since Franklin D. Roosevelt.

This was truly another historic election and I would like to take a
few minutes of your time to respectfully ask that your second term not
resemble your first term.

It’s not that you didn’t get anything done. You got A LOT done. But
there are some very huge issues that have been left unresolved and,
dammit, we need you to get some fight in you. Wall Street and the
uber-rich have been conducting a bloody class war for over 30 years
and it’s about time they were stopped.

I know it is not in your nature to be aggressive or confrontational.
But, please, Barack - DO NOT listen to the pundits who are telling you
to make the “grand compromise” or move to the “center” (FYI - you’re
already there). Your fellow citizens have spoken and we have rejected
the crazed ideology of this Republican Party and we insist that you
forcefully proceed in bringing about profound change that will improve
the lives of the 99%. We’re done hoping. We want real change. And, if
we can’t get it in the second term of a great and good man like you,
then really - what’s the use? Why are we even bothering? Yes, we’re
that discouraged and disenchanted.

At your first post-election press conference last Wednesday you were
on fire. The way you went all “Taxi Driver” on McCain and company
(“You talkin’ to me?”) was so brilliant and breathtaking I had to play
it back a dozen times just to maintain the contact high. Jesus, that
look - for a second I thought laser beams would be shooting out of
your eyes! MORE OF THAT!! PLEASE!!

In the weeks after your first election you celebrated by hiring the
Goldman Sachs boys and Wall Street darlings to run our economy. Talk
about a buzzkill that I never fully recovered from. Please - not this
time. This time take a stand for all the rest of us - and if you do,
tens of millions of us will not only have your back, we will swoop
down on Congress in a force so large they won’t know what hit them
(that’s right, McConnell - you’re on the retirement list we’ve put
together for 2014).

BUT - first you have to do the job we elected you to do. You have to
take your massive 126-electoral vote margin and just go for it.

Here are my suggestions:

a ruse, an invention by the Right and the rich, to try and keep their
huge tax breaks. On December 31, let ALL the tax cuts expire. Then, on
January 1, put forth a bill that restores the tax cuts for 98% of the
public. I dare the Republicans to vote against that! They can’t and
they won’t. As for the spending cuts, the 2011 agreement states that,
for every domestic program dollar the Republicans want to cut, a
Pentagon dollar must also be cut. See, you are a genius! No way will
the Right vote against the masters of war. And if by some chance they
do, you can immediately put forth legislation to restore all the
programs we, the majority, approve of. And for God’s sake, man -
declare Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid untouchable. They’re not
bankrupt or anywhere near it. If the rich paid the same percentage of
Social Security tax on their entire income - the same exact rate
everyone else pays - then there will suddenly be enough money in
Social Security to last til at least the year 2080!

2. END ALL THE WARS NOW. Do not continue the war in Afghanistan (a
thoroughly losing proposition if ever there was one) for two full more
years! Why should one single more person have to die FOR NO REASON?
Stop it. You know it’s wrong. Bin Laden’s dead, al Qaeda is decimated
and the Afghans have to work out their own problems. Also, end the
drone strikes and other covert military activities you are conducting
in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Colombia and God knows where else. You
think history is going to remember the United States as a great
democracy? No, they’re going to think of us as a nation that became
addicted to war. They’ll call us warlords. They’ll say that in the
21st century America was so in need of oil that we’d kill anyone to
get it. You know that’s where this is going. This has to stop. Now.

3. END THE DRUG WAR. It is not only an abysmal failure, it has
returned us to the days of slavery. We have locked up millions of
African-Americans and Latinos and now fund a private prison-industrial
complex that makes billions for a few lucky rich people. There are
other ways to deal with the drugs that do cause harm - ways built
around a sense of decency and compassion. We look like a bunch of
sadistic racists. Stop it.

of people are facing homelessness because of a crooked system enacted
by the major banks and Wall Street firms. Put a pause on this and take
12 months to work out a different way (like, restructuring families’
mortgages to reflect the true worth of their homes).

5. GET MONEY OUT OF POLITICS. You already know this one. The public is
sick of it. Now’s the time to act.

6. EXPAND OBAMACARE. Your health care law doesn’t cover everyone. It
is a cash cow for the insurance industry. Push for a single-payer
system - Medicare for All - and include dentistry and mental health.
This is the single biggest thing you could do to reduce the country’s

7. RESTORE GLASS-STEAGALL. You must put back all the rigid controls on
Wall Street that Reagan, Clinton and the Bushes removed - or else we
face the possibility of another, much worse, crash. If they break the
law, prosecute them the way you currently go after whistleblowers and
medical marijuana dispensaries.

8. REDUCE STUDENT LOAN DEBT. No 22-year-old should have to enter the
real world already in a virtual debtors’ prison. This is cruel and no
other democracy does this like we do. You were right to eliminate the
banks as the profit-gouging lenders, but now you have to bring us back
to the days when you and I were of college age and a good education
cost us little or next to nothing. A few less wars would go a long to
way to being able to afford this.

9. FREE BRADLEY MANNING. End the persecution and prosecution of an
American hero. Bush and Cheney lied to a nation to convince us to go
to war. Manning allegedly hacked the war criminals’ files and then
shared them with the American public (and the world) so that we could
learn the truth about Iraq and Afghanistan. Our history is full of
such people who “break the law” for the greater good of humanity. Army
Specialist Bradley Manning deserves a medal, not prison.

10. ASK US TO DO SOMETHING. One thing is clear: none of the above is
going to happen if you don’t immediately mobilize the 63,500,000 who
voted for you (and the other 40 million who are for you but didn’t
vote). You can’t go this alone. You need an army of everyday Americans
who will fight alongside you to make this a more just and peaceful
nation. In your 2008 campaign, you were a pioneer in using social
media to win the election. Over 15 million of us gave you our cell
numbers or email addresses so you could send us texts and emails
telling us what needed to be done to win the election. Then, as soon
as you won, it was as if you hit the delete button. We never heard
from you again. (Until this past year when you kept texting us to send
you $25. Inspiring.) Whoever your internet and social media people
were should have been given their own office in the West Wing - and we
should have heard from you. Constantly. Need a bill passed? Text us
and we will mobilize! The Republicans are filibustering? We can stop
them! They won’t approve your choice for Secretary of State? We’ll see
about that! You say you were a community organizer. Please - start
acting like one.

The next four years can be one of those presidential terms that
changed the course of America. I’m sure you will want to be judged on
how you stood up for us, restored the middle class, ended the s***ting
on the poor and made us a friend to the rest of the world instead of a
threat. You can do this. We can do it with you. All that stands in the
way is your understandable desire to sing “Kumbaya” with the
Republicans. Don’t waste your breath. Their professed love of America
is negated by their profound hatred of you. Don’t waste a minute on
them. Fix the sad mess we’re in. Go back and read this month’s
election results. We’re with you.

P.S. President Obama - my cell number to text me at is  
and my email is I await my first assignment!

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Call for Direct Action: Is it Worthy of Consideration?


Although there are facets of this perspective that are highly debatable, as many of the comments on Tumblr  reveal, this is an intriguing argument not without some merit because aspects of it are increasingly applicable to Canada as we continue to live under the repressive yoke of the #HarperRegime. Today’s revelation about the enabling of a completely undisguised neoliberal foreign aid policy designed to benefit corporation - the exploitative mining industry in particular - #banksters, and of course the investor class indexes the fundamental moral bankruptcy of our government. We saw harbingers of this shift under Smoking Lady. Now we see the big picture under Law and Order Man. This is an outrageous moral breach, a complete distortion of what foreign aid should be - namely, a fundamentally charitable endeavour -  and what makes it even more culpable, more dangerous, is that this is no political game. These people are unequivocally true believers fervently worshipping at the altar of #neoliberalism, spreading their gospel of “the market,” austerity, and free trade agreements that undermine our sovereignty and weaken the real productive economy in the interests of profit for the 1%. They serve more than Mammon. 

We will soon need serious civil disobedience if not some sort of non-violent revolution. I'm willing to give the Council of Canadians' initiative to bring progressive groups together to create an aggregated power base for progressives a chance,  but  some form of civil disobedience ought to remain on the table for debate in that effort. These are increasingly desperate times.

Foreign Aid Shifts Radically To Benefit Investors

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Chris Hedges: Elites Will Make Gazans of Us All

Chris Hedges: Elites Will Make Gazans of Us All - Chris Hedges' Columns - Truthdig

We are well on our way to becoming Gazans under neoliberal rule as the 1%, the investor class and its corporate institutions, becomes more frightened of losing both their wealth and power. Look for subtle changes in military policy and increased presence domestically, especially in cities - a move Obama, for example, has been trying to authorize and one which, it would seem, the Harper Regime would approve given the G20 protests. The alibi will be either "domestic terrorism" or "security concerns" of some sort or other.
“Market forces and the military mechanisms that protect these forces are the sole ideology that governs industrial states and humans’ relationship to the natural world. It is an ideology that results in millions of dead and millions more displaced from their homes in the developing world. And the awful algebra of this ideology means that these forces will eventually be unleashed on us, too. Those who cannot be of use to market forces are considered expendable. They have no rights and legitimacy. Their existence, whether in Gaza or blighted postindustrial cities such as Camden, N.J., is considered a drain on efficiency and progress. They are viewed as refuse. And as refuse they not only have no voice and no freedom; they can be and are extinguished or imprisoned at will. This is a world where only corporate power and profit are sacred. It is a world of barbarism.”

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Reporting on Israeli Assault on Gaza

Canadian Media reporting on the current conflict seems less than balanced - not that there really is such an animal - favouring an Israeli perspective on the matter and the damage being inflicted on Israeli civilians by Hamas' or Gaza militants' rockets. Little if any coverage of the damage suffered by civilians - many of them, because of demographics, children - by Israeli planes and bombs. To be charitable, the mainstream western press may not have the sort of access Harry Fear has to Gaza, but that would be to be charitable when cynicism seems much more appropriate. It would seem that the Israeli liberal press and Harry are our best sources of information, then, with intermittent internet and electricity in Gaza and Israeli boots on the ground coming - this latter an extremely risky proposition or colossal bluff that Egypt, Iran and Co. wont do something in retaliation. The UN seems increasingly disabled in such matters these days - not the least because of the failure of such western countries as Canada to respect it.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Why Bankers Rule the World: Your Continuing Debt is Their Business

It's the Interest, Stupid! Why Bankers Rule the World
A detailed reminder that debt fuels the economy and that, given the deep neoliberal muddy hole in which we dwell, it must continue on its neverending circular journey else the whole system will collapse: more debt, more interest, more debt, more interest. . . . 40% of GDP revenue is generated by interest - making money on money, not from real productive economic activity.
It's difficult to decide which sector to attack full tilt, the fossil fuel industry or the financial sector, since they're both destroying the world.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Youth Demographic Vital for 2015

118,296,5 502 votes. The 1/5 of the total vote for Obama coming from the youth demographic (18-29) - even if it might have been generated more by antipathy towards Romney than support for Obama - is encouraging. Let us hope a similiar dynamic emerges by 2015 here in Canada at the very least in terms of antipathy towards Harper. There are signs everywhere - such as Power Shift 2012 - but will it be enough to offset the suburban immigrant and rural voter demographics courted aggressively by the Harperites? Moot since first past the post and new seat distrbution favour the Harper Regime. A widespread coordinated effort is required.

Monday, November 5, 2012

America in 2012: Awe, Disgust, Sadness

Warning: this video compilation could make you ill. It might also make you weep uncontrollably. I'm serious - I had trouble getting through this I was so emotionally moved by a heady mixture of disgust and sadness. It's also - from various points of view - very frightening to know that there are so many people out there like this.  No more cross-border shopping without wearing a disguise, I guess. Suggestions?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Three depressing conversations I've had recently:

Three depressing conversations I've had recently:

1) With a entrepreneurial neighbour who's about to open a franchise restaurant. Unions are intolerable, crushing people's individualism and stifling business development, and the world's biggest problems is governance. How do "we" govern? He's got an MBA from a prestigious American university.

2) The real estate agent who sold me my house many years ago who's now making over $500,000 a year. She thinks that we should scrap the minimum wage and that people should not receive benefits from any level of government  After all she's never had any.

3) My local pharmacist who thinks we should scrap all welfare programs including unemployment insurance  to give people an incentive to work. Like the other two, she thinks people who "refuse" to work for slave wages are welfare bums. She's a well-educated hardworking landed immigrant.

Sorry, I didn't have the courage to ask any of them for whom they voted in the last federal or provincial election. But then perhaps I didn't have to.

Romneyism | Common Dreams: 10 Principles of Classic Neoliberal Capitalist Dictatorships

Romneyism | Common Dreams

A eloquent summary of ten classic neoliberal principles of a capitalist dictatorship. Each and every one of these principles, you will notice, applies to Harper in spades. Many Americans are fearful of such a dictatorship. We already have one.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

U.S. military is the single biggest oil user in the world.

 U.S. military is the single biggest oil user in the world. As both Obama and Romney continue to support this inherent institution of violence, reducing the use of fossil fuel and thus global warming would seem a moot prospect indeed. A focused political push against military spending is obviously required but is not likely to  bear fruit given that the only arena in which the U.S. remains dominant in the world is the military. Americans continue to believe they're "exceptional," let's not forget. Sad.

Oil "security" = "military" security = "US security" = corporate profit for military contractors and Big Oil - a vicious equation. (These terms are under Derridean erasure.)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Wakeup Call for Business Community?

From the very heart of the business community comes the magazine cover of the year. Get it, Big Oil?