Archive for November 2011

Made in the USA

November 24, 2011

Power hardly ever leaves gently. Entrenched and arrogant it will hold on until it is absolutely forced out or forced to change.The clerical caste in Cathollicism is the classic example.Convinced that it alone can ‘run” the Catholic church it continues to alienate loyal members of the faithful.

On the global stage, we see the despicable remnant of the Mubarak regime turn its guns on peaceful protesters who seek a vibrant democracy where the military serves at the behest of the far about 30 protesters have been shot dead.

Here the hypocritical hegemon, the United States continues to fund the army to the tune of $1.3 billion per year.Late to the party, very late in its putative defence of democracy the US continues to waffle.They want a stable defender of its interests in the Middle East, read Israel.

The Egyptians are not stupid.They pick up the tear gas canisters lobbed at defenceless people and see Continental Systems of Jamestown, Pa.—Made in the USA

IDIOT AMERICA by Charles Pierce

November 22, 2011

Charles Pierce’s evisceration of the growing boobocracy in America. A book on the rising anti-intellectualism in a ‘dumbing-down’ of the nation which used to honour science as a cardinal discipline. Now it is aa country where certifiable dopes like Glenn Beck and Anne Coulter can command an audience and Sarah Palin can be on a presidential ticket. And we might add a phony war hero like John McCain can be taken seriously as a future president.

War hero, no? A guy who rained death on innocent Vietnamese, came home and dumped his wife who stood by him but was mangled in an auto accident. Then was caught up in the Savings and Loans scandal.

What’s that?

Oh yeah it was ancient history—1991 and because of TV and Football we can’t remember that far back.

Pierce is hilarious in documenting the CREATION museum where the dinosaurs wear saddles but is deadly serious when unpacking the Schiavo case where the BUSH Evangelicals almost prevented a husband from advising a Do NOT Resuscitate for his brain dead wife.

Here the book gets scary as the Catholic pizza king Tom Monaghan with its untold millions and fundamentalist law school AVE MAria in Naples, Florida sends in a team of right wing lawyers to Dover,Pennsylvania to try and convince the Republican appointed judge that Intelligent design is science and not a faith statement. He loses and a pastor named Ray Mummertthe delivers line that sense, sums the book up.”We’ve been attacked by the educated segment of the population.” Presumably those who who would rather share a veer with GW Bush

Maybe the best part of the book is the evisceration of the C student who got into Yale on Daddy’s coat tails and became a ” 
War President” even though he bailed in the Vietnam years.His description of Bush is the best I have ever read: He is the frat boy who goes to the pub with you, ducks out to the washroom to avoid the next round then starts a fight with the tackle on the football team —which you have to finish.

This is a terribly sad indictment of a country where the best selling religious book is a phantasm called Late Great Planet Earth—50 million sold on the end times!Pure illiterate biblical bunkum.


IDIOT AMERICA which also contains some of the smartest people in the world.

The Israeli who learned nothing

November 17, 2011

PBS recently ran a fascinating 2 hour documentary on the HUNT for NAZIS in the postwar era.

It was as per usual excellent documentary fare from the American public broadcaster. It included the voices of those I was long acquainted with in my long work on the Holocaust—Allan Ryan, the Klarsfelds, Wiesenthal etc.

And then came the haunting face of Rafi Eitan.

Now I realize most people would not know about this odious man but I knew him right away.

First the context.

Eitan was a longtime Israeli Mossad agent who was instrumental in the capture of “I was only taking orders”, the scurrilous Adolf Eichmann, executed by the Jewish state in 1961.

The latter was dumb enough to keep the family name after he was spirited out of war-torn Europe by the disgusting Croatian priest Draganovic. This is another story but it was the priest who using clerical safe houses aided the escape of many monsters to that other fascist Republic, Argentina.

Eitan nabbed Eichmann as he was returning to The House on Garibaldi House, (a great book by prosecutor Gideon Hausner) in Buenos Aires. Well worth a read.

I despised these Nazis and devoted much of my teaching life to a study of the was an act of reparation for the long Catholic “Teaching of Contempt” for Judaism which paved the way for the Holocaust.

So here’s Eitan, justifiably glowing, recounting the tale of capturing Eichmann.
“I has his face on my knee in the back seat of the car and I spoke German to him. Well Mt Eichmann, you thought you would kill all of us but we are here and you are on my knees.”

It was a sentiment I could relish and appreciate—if I did not know Rafi Eitan, the Arab racistm who obviously learned little about racism in the Hitler years.The latter was long associated with the ultimate Rab racist,ariel sharon.He had long been active in anti-arab activity supporting the obnoxious settlers who are destroying peace prosoects in Israel.

Eitan is famous among Palestinians for referring to them as “cockroaches.”

What an irony! here’s that Mossad man age 90 still with people on his knees, this time Palestinians.

He has learned nothing.

Remembrance Day–to end all wars

November 11, 2011

Where is FRANK Magazine when we really need it?

The cheeky satirical rag always ran a necessary send up on Remembrance Day.They called it Poppy Watch. see who could spot the firs uber-Canadian to sport it in Parliament. Usually Preston Manning would win.

In the states, Dick Cheney would run away with it. Darth Vader who so quickly dispatched blacks and Hispanics to die in Iraq had 5 deferments in Vietnam when Mr. Patriot had a chance “to fight for his country.”

Now it’s Stephen Harper who cavalierly will spend $20 billion on war making and the armed forces in the next 20 years.

Take off your poppy, sir. Read Wilfrid Owen once again:


Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares(2) we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest(3) began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots(4)
Of tired, outstripped(5) Five-Nines(6) that dropped behind.
Gas!(7) Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets(8) just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime(9) . . .
Dim, through the misty panes(10) and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering,(11) choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud(12)
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest(13)
To children ardent(14) for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.(15)

Wilfred Owen
8 October 1917 – March, 1918

One Canadian prof who is a real teacher

November 10, 2011

I long ago gave up hope for university presidents to show a modicum of courage on contemporary issues.

Most have become glorified fund raisers and will not do anything to jeopardize their funding.Even at the cost of intellectual truth, open ended dialogue and free speech. Geez, that is what a university should stand for—ever since Socrates walked in the agora.

A few years ago the president of my alma mater, the U of T, David Naylor took a free trip to Israel—pure propaganda.Then he came back and tried in 2008 to sabotage the growing anti-Israeli apartheid Week on his own campus.and he was not alobne the presidents of Carleton,Wilfrid Laurier and Carleton banned the 2009 poster.

Now would this have anything to do with donations to these universities?

Well, lately this got up the nose of Carleton University students. Read on:

Over two hundred students gathered at Carleton University on Monday to voice their outrage at the university administration’s sponsorship of the Jewish National Fund’s fundraising dinner in Ottawa.

The demonstration, which was organized by Students Against Israeli Apartheid, denounced the University president’s strong support for the JNF, which has openly worked to implement Zionist goals in Palestine.

The Jewish National Fund is a notorious organization that has assisted
in the ethnic cleansing, dispossession and colonization of Palestinian
land for over a century. One of JNF’s projects was the construction of
the ‘Canadian Park’ on Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.

Bill Skidmore is a professor of human rights at Carleton University.

Frustrated by the administration’s lack of response, the students
marched to the president’s office, however she refused to talk to
their representatives.

The JNF gala will be held in Ottawa on Tuesday November 15 and the Carleton
administration has yet to announce on whether it will withdraw its sponsorship or not.


Toronto’s race to the bottom

November 7, 2011

So the Fordists at Toronto City Hall want to accelerate the race to the bottom by contracting out about 1000 cleaning jobs to low-wage contractors.. These hard working people are looking at going from barely a living wage to a minimum age.

There always be piranhas taking advantage of new immigrants, undocumented workers and refugees.

But a great city will not allow this.

I gave a deputation to the Community Development and Recreation Committee n NOV 4 rejecting this.

Part of this committee’s mandate is “social cohesion.”

How will this attack on the se workers promote social cohesion?The right wing councillor whom Ford placed in charge of this committee george Mammoliti refused to chair the meeting and walked out and referred to those deputing and the committee itself as “a socialist dumping ground.” That is how out of it this guy is.

I gave my deputation to the largely progressive councillors. I represented the Roman Catholic tradition as it pertains to workers and the Living Wage.

As far back as Leo Xlll in 1891 we reminded the world
“Wealthy owners of the means of production and employers must never forget that both divine and human law forbid them to squeeze the poor and wretched for the sake of gain or to profit from the helplessness of others.” (#17)

and 40 years later Pius X1 stated:

Every effort must therefore be made that fathers of families receive a wage large enough to meet ordinary family needs adequately. But if this cannot always be done under existing circumstances, social justice demands that changes be introduced as soon as possible whereby such a wage will be assured to every adult workingman (No. 71).

The Church was just getting warmed up. In 1940 the US bishops weighed in:

The first claim of labor, which takes priority over any claim of the owners to profits, respects the right to a living wage. By the term living wage we understand a wage sufficient not merely for the decent support of the workingman himself but also of his family. A wage so low that it must be supplemented by the wage of wife and mother or by the children of the family before it can provide adequate food, clothing, and shelter together with essential spiritual and cultural needs cannot be regarded as a living wage. Furthermore, a living wage means sufficient income to meet not merely the present necessities of life but those of unemployment, sickness, death, and old age as well.

More on this later.


November 6, 2011

One of the funniest suggestions yet from the blogosphere was that American congressional reps wear jackets like those on the NASCAR loop. The colours would represent what corporate sponsors “own” these trolls.

Years ago the rabid Nixon attack dog and right wing Catholic Pat Buchanan did hit a homw run—usually everybody is right about something–when he described Congress as :Israeli Occupied Terriory. The cantankerous Buchanan pointed out the obvious—alone virtually in the world, American legislators, largely because of the lingering effects of the country’s deep evangelical and anti-intellectual history–Americans should support modern Israel,whatever it does.

Now it is well known that there are 5 lobbyists for every Congressman and they literally have bought and paid for a majority of these hacks. So why not identify them with bright coloured NASCAR-type vests.

A grand idea,