Archive for October 2010

New class war

October 18, 2010

Get ready in America for the new class war aided and abetted by those Catholics on the Supreme Court, For those not paying attention to politics south of the border, the Citizens United decision destroyed decades of restrictions on corporate spending to influence elections.

Now the deep and corrupt pockets of groups like the US Chamber of Commerce which even accepts offshore money are pouring millions into the confused Tea Party and Republican cofffers.And nobody knows where the money is coming from.

In an incomprehensible, naive decision the court decided 5-3 that  independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption. That speakers may have influence over or access to elected officials does not mean that those officials are corrupt. And the appearance of influence or access will not cause the electorate to lose faith in this democracy.”

Oh no?

Now the battle will be fought not in church basements, street corners and union halls but on TV screens, billboards and ads which can turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse.

Big money corrupts everything. These largely Catholic justices are living in a parallel universe.

Canada blows it at the UN

October 13, 2010

 

So  Canada failed to win its bid for a seat on the UN Security Council.  After having placed last in the first two rounds of voting, and wanting to save face, Canada withdrew its bid, leaving Portugal to be named to the fifth and final seat.  It is the first time in the UN’s history that Canada has failed to earn a Security Council seat when it has been on the ballot.  Many believe the loss is a reflection of diminished international standing as the result of the current government’s foreign policy.There can be no doubt that the Harperites have enbarrassed Canada on the national stage again and agin—from the failure to support and repatriate Omar Khadr, to its turning its back on war resisters , its miserable footdragging on climate change.and the list goes on.

In his Star article Tom Walkom detailed the number of embarrassing gaffes by the Harper government, in particular its consistent support of Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestinian lands.This surely was a key factor in the UN’s rejection of the present government. We cringed in embarrassment when the Harperites suggestted  that Israel’s destruction of Lebanon in 2006 was a measured response.One IDF commander stated that over a million cluster bombs were lobbed into Lebanon killing civilians long after this debacle ended.These American made bombs killed at least 14 civilians after the cease fire.

And then there was the iDF murder of Major Paeta Hess-von Kruedener , a Canadian UN worker targetted and killed by Israeli forces. The Harper government said nothing. And then the silence over the shocking overkill in Gaza.

What a come down on the international stage. All this capital squandered by the likes of Hillier and Harper.

Democracy is dying

October 9, 2010

“Taxes are the price we pay for civilization.”

US Justice Louis B. Brandeis

A beautiful fall day.The leaves were changing color in my neighbourhood while democracy was dying.

Not a political sign on the street or the surrounding streets as a municipal election looks in Canada’s largest city where a political neanderhal is leading in the polls.

In my youth, church and union halls were jammed to hear what the candidates had to say. Today deep pockets are corroding democracy. Instead of well reasoned debate and platforms which make fiscal and communal sense, we get robocalls, simplistic bromides and dumb “anti-tax” screeds. We get massive, hopelessly biased flyers, TV ads and oh yeah, reality shows and 11 pages of hockey coverage in the Sun for our Leafs. And a quiescent, distracted electorate.  As Paul Craig Roberts said on my last blog “Wherever one looks, truth has fallen to money. Wherever money is insufficient to bury the truth, ignorance, propaganda, and short memories finish the job.”

Again the current leader is an independently wealthy Tory who rants about councillor’s office expenses as his main plank. Also he is supoported by one of Mike Harris’ s wrecking balls, Jim Flaherty and probably Republican advisors

In my riding on the Toronto/Scarborough border I have not heard of an all candidates meeting being called. The front runner, a Mike Harris clone has inundated our mail boxes and plotted his career carefully.He has a good chance of winning because under advanced capitalism with its infinite capacity to distract, democracy is dying. To the economically well heeled goes the spoils. Again as Justice Brandeis warned: “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

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Advanced capitalism

October 7, 2010

“Wherever one looks, truth has

fallen to money.

Wherever money is insufficient to

bury the truth, ignorance,

propaganda, and short memories

finish the job.”

Paul Craig Roberts

Life under advanced  capitalism

corrodes our values, breaks our

solidarity and destroys our

memory.

Ignatieff runs for cover on C-440

October 4, 2010

All we need to know about the dreadful poltical stasis in Canada is the failure of Bill C-440. This was the private members bill of Gerard Kennedy which would allow war resisters to stay…alll those who refused to fight in the illegal and immoral war, cobbled by the lies of GW Bush and supported by Tony Blair.

This nonbinding bill which relected the will of Parliament had already been passed twice before but on the third reading, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff turtled and ran for cover. That’s right he did not even show and took a number of Liberals with him. This of course caused the bill to fail.

Ironically this craven move coincided with the 10th anniversary of Pierre Trudeau’s death. The media predictably showed many of the famous pictures of PET.The most striking one I saw was one never before seen—Trudeau on top of a rock just about to dive off.

And here’s poor Ignatieff,disappearing, refusing to dive in, giving Canadians little reason to see Liberals as a party different from Harper’s Tories.

More IDF thuggery on boat: Jew vs Jew

October 1, 2010

The boat called Eirene ( peace) was manned and womanned by Jews of conscience. It was bordered by IDF thugs and as per usual, Jews or non Jews the passengers were treated like bacteria. More “Purity of arms” hasbbarah (propaganda) for Western consumption.

Former Israel Air Force pilot Yonatan Shapira saying that there were “no words to describe what we went through during the takeover.”

Shapira said the activists, who he said displayed no violence, were met with extreme IDF brutality, adding that the soldiers “just jumped us, and hit us. I was hit with a taser gun.”

82 year old Lillian Rosengarten of New York, a former refugee from Nazi Germany was one of the passengers:

For me the deportation process was humiliating. Jew against Jew is totally against the dreams of so long ago, what we imagined how our beloved Israel would evolve. That dream was for me a safe haven, a country of compassion. Tolerance for all, and a completely open society. I can imagine that Israel would have become a beacon of light for the world to follow. In this dream there would be tolerance for political difference. Now sadly, Jews have become divided against one another and it is no longer a safe haven. We from the Jewish boat were treated as traitors and people to get rid of. We were not “good Jews,” but “bad Jews to deport without being allowed to enter Israel again.” Only in Fascist regimes are people forced to think the same. I experienced humiliation when arrested. I was not physically mistreated but suffered emotionally. I suffered when the immigration person asked me if I was Jewish after I told him I was a refugee from the Nazis, the last generation to be able to tell the heinous story. He wanted me to prove that I was Jewish. How was I to do that and yes, how deeply humiliating. When I witness the Israel of today, I feel enormous pain. I was deported because of my human rights beliefs and non violent actions. In detention I no longer felt safe or cared about. I don’t even think it mattered that I am Jewish. Now I will not be allowed to return to Israel as the cycle of hate and fear goes on and on. Those of us who dreamed of a different kind of Israel can only weep.

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