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An excerpt from the above linked-to, very short article by J. Baglow follows:
Victor Toews lives in a charmed world, it seems. He may have fallen afoul of the law once upon a time, but that’s hardly uncommon in Stephen Harper’s circle, and it didn’t stop him from becoming this country’s Minister of Justice…
In that office Toews distinguished himself with petty acts of cruelty and an ill-concealed liking for torture and mass surveillance, which may have endeared him even more to the PMO.
Toews railed against same-sex marriage, honking on about the “sanctity” of traditional boy-girl wedlock, then seduced his babysitter, whose age the mainstream media have seemed strangely reluctant to search out. (He was her employer: under the Criminal Code, the age of consent in such circumstances is 18.) He proceeded to have another affair, and father a child with this mistress, which, oddly enough, led to his wife pulling the plug. Toews also objected strenuously to adding sexual orientation to the Criminal Code, claiming this would put “the jackboot of fascism on the necks of our people.” Really, one would expect Toews, of all people, to know what fascism is…
A seasoned bigot and devotee of sado-politics at its least refined, Toews has now gone to his Conservative reward—a coveted seat on the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench. The fix was in.
My online response to the above linked-to article follows:
The taunting continues: “Bring it!” The lawless ones need to know that the God who they are replacing, along with standards of right and wrong, isn’t there. They get this strange, but temporary, satisfaction when they don’t see him reacting to their immorality and violence. Temporary. For now.
J. Baglow’s article links to the following articles:
“Prison Pizza Party Ban Hurts Charities, Local Restaurants” – CBC via Huffington Post
Canada’s Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is being painted as a grinch after he put an end to inmates occasionally spending their own money to order food from outside prisons.
With a warden’s approval, inmate groups over the years have received permission to use their own money to order outside food such as pizza and fried chicken. These food drive nights also doubled as fundraisers for local charities and relief efforts such as Doctors Without Borders and victims of hurricanes and earthquakes.
“Vic Toews and the slippery torture downslope” – from J. Baglow’s blog (Dawg’s Blog)
Our Minister of Torture and Surveillance, Vic Toews, has been a busy bee.
Readers will recall the brief controversy a few months ago, in which it was revealed that a new directive issued by Toews would permit the use of information extracted by torture if that amorphous substance known as “national security” were threatened.
The issue flared and died, as these things do, and the media moved on to the latest on the Kardashians. But now it has been discovered that Toews has authorized extensions of his pro-torture policy.
Briefly, the RCMP and Canadian Border Security will be given the same latitude as has already been extended to CSIS, namely, to use information that may have been extracted by torture:
The Conservative government has quietly given Canada’s national police force and the federal border agency the authority to use and share information that was likely extracted through torture.
…The government directives state that protection of life and property are the chief considerations when deciding on the use of information that may have been derived from torture.
It is but a small ethical leap at this point from being an accomplice to torture to actively carrying it out. I’ll leave it to the international law experts to determine whether we are already in breach of the UN Convention Against Torture…
“Transparency, surveillance, and the vile Vic Toews” – from J. Baglow’s blog (Dawg’s Blog)
A filibuster is presently under way in the Official Languages Committee to prevent the Cons from closing the door in perpetuity.
But, just as the government is moving to hide parliamentary work from its citizens, it is pressing ahead with a bill to give police unlimited, warrantless authority to spy on every Canadian with a computer or a cell phone…
Here are some of the powers the police are about to acquire:
Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa and an outspoken critic of the law, said he’s worried about all the information police will be able to obtain without a warrant. “The ability to use that kind of information in a highly sensitive way without any real oversight is very real,” Geist said.
As an example of the new powers, Geist said authorities would be able to use equipment to find the cellphone numbers of people attending a protest, and then be able to ask a cellphone company to disclose personal information on the people linked to those phones. Police could then track their web behaviours and monitor their movements by tracking their cellphones.
Geist said Canadians should also be concerned that the information obtained by police here could be shared with their counterparts around the world.
Yet this same government claims that the long form census is too intrusive.
And here is what our wretched Minister of Public Safety has to say in response to Geist and the rest of us:
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said the law will give the tools to police to adequately deal with 21st-century technology, and said anyone opposing the laws favours “the rights of child pornographers and organized crime ahead of the rights of lawabiding citizens.” [emphasis added]
In the House of Commons, he was even less subtle:
“He can either stand with us or with the child pornographers,” Vic Toews said of Liberal public safety critic Francis Scarpaleggia during question period on Monday, after Scarpaleggia asked about a bill expected to be tabled Tuesday. [emphasis added]
“A jackboot for Vic Toews” – by Paul Gallant
Toews’ political life has been so focussed on sex, you have to wonder what private wound he’s trying to balm with his public pronouncements…
It was no surprise that one of Toews’ first statements as federal justice minister was his intention to raise the age of consent to 16 from 14. It’s long been a fantasy of his to criminalize sexually active youth. “We’re becoming a sex tourism destination for Americans because of our low age-of-consent laws,” Toews said in 2005. Uh, what about our new exploitation law that’s worded with such vagueness that any relationship with a minor could be considered by a judge to be exploitative?
Toews has also been a big advocate of sex offender registries, some of which are open-ended enough to include gay men who are charged for committing indecent acts while having consensual adult sex.
When Parliament passed Bill C-250 in 2004, adding sexual orientation to the list of characteristics protected from hate speech, Toews was the most vocal opponent, the one who railed about how religious speech would be targeted.
“Non-Christian prison chaplains chopped by Ottawa” – by CBC
The federal government is cancelling the contracts of non-Christian chaplains at federal prisons, CBC News has learned.
Inmates of other faiths, such as Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jews, will be expected to turn to Christian prison chaplains for religious counsel and guidance, according to the office of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, who is also responsible for Canada’s penitentiaries.
Toews made headlines in September when he ordered the cancellation of a tender issued for a Wiccan priest for federal prisons in B.C.
Toews said he wasn’t convinced part-time chaplains from other religions were an appropriate use of taxpayer money and that he would review the policy.
In an email to CBC News, Toews’ office says that as a result of the review, the part-time non-Christian chaplains will be let go and the remaining full-time chaplains in prisons will now provide interfaith services and counselling to all inmates.
“The minister strongly supports the freedom of religion for all Canadians, including prisoners,” the email states.
“A patronage critic on Queen’s Bench” – by Mary Agnes Welch
He was once a relentless critic of patronage appointments to the bench, pummelling the Liberals for choosing Grit-friendly judges.
Now, after nearly six years of speculation, former Conservative cabinet minister Vic Toews has been named to Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench, thanks to a vetting system he helped create and a committee stacked with his supporters…
Many at Winnipeg’s Law Courts reacted to the appointment with raised eyebrows Friday, with some questioning the optics of it, given Toews’ well-established views. None would go on record, most loath to criticize a judge they will likely appear before.
“”Look! I am coming quickly and the reward I give is with me, to render to each one according to his work… Happy are those who wash their robes, that the authority to go to the trees of life may be theirs and that they may gain entrance into the city by it’s gates. Outside are the dogs and those who practice spiritism and the fornicators and the murderers and the idolators and everyone liking and carrying on a lie.”" -Revelation 22:12-15
An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Peter Hart follows:
It’s fair to say that the complex anti-government protest movements in both Venezuela and Ukraine were boiled down by US corporate media to send a clear message to their domestic audience: These are the good guys.
In Ukraine, the takeaway was that there are two sides, and the people seeking to topple the government (successfully, as it turned out) wanted to be more like us…
This casting of the conflict is obviously simplistic. There is a case to be made that now-deposed Yanukovych spurned an economic deal with the European Union–one that he seemed inclined to accept weeks earlier–because it was insufficient to deal with the scale of the country’s economic problems (Reuters, 12/19/13), which made Putin’s offer more attractive.
That is not to suggest that anti-government protesters do not have serious grievances with the state of their country. Likewise, it has to be said that, for all the portraits of a movement that wants US-style freedoms, a substantial minority of the protest movement is drawn from fascist and neo-Nazi factions (Guardian, 1/29/14; Slate, 2/20/14).
If you are learning ‘passively’ (which is not learning in a positive sense), then you are getting your knowledge of the world, and your reports on trouble in it, and your knowledge of God, from corporate owned media. That media is everywhere because those who run the world can afford to have so much of it and they will use it to get you to think what benefits their class. You have to make an effort to avoid it. So, You flop in your chair or on your couch, tired from work, or tired from looking for work, turn on the tv and stare blankly. Ego plays a role. When those who learn actively, going to many sources for information, reading books, and thinking about the things going on around them, tell you things about the events you see on tv, those things will sound strange to your ears. Without humility, you will negatively and automatically reject the strange, non conformist things you’re hearing. You have to. The alternative is for you to admit to yourself that you’re clueless and mentally lazy, which your false pride disallows. The engaged, caring observer is a cow. You’re informed and wise. And elites are delighted.
Additionally, No one wants to be left out. Elliot Aronson wrote a great book titled “The Social Animal,” in which he described a phenomenon called “social reality.” That also plays a role. People just find it easier to go with the flow and follow the crowd, even if they pretend, like Bono, that they don’t. To buy truth (Proverbs 23:23) and refrain from selling it can be scary when those who you rub shoulders with, including your family, friends, employer and neighbors expect you to support a lie they’ve embraced. And, when the rich and powerful, who are worshipped by millions, believe The Lie, then the temptation is to believe what they believe because your neighbors, friends and so on do and you want their approval and friendship. Additionally, When those ‘believers’ are celebs who have entertained you for much of your life in this miserable world, giving you happiness, To be faced with the moral imperative to reject evil when you learn that they have sold their souls and aid and abet destruction feels too much like committing suicide, like you’re killing your own happiness. How can you do that?
How? The principled will choose to do so. And they will get by fine.
“At the same time, there are many situations in which we conform to the behavior of others because their behavior is our only guide to appropriate action. In short, we often rely on other people as a means of determining reality… According to Leon Festinger, when physical reality becomes increasingly uncertain, people rely more on “social reality” – that is, they are more likely to conform to what other people are doing, not because they fear punishment from the group but because the group’s behavior supplies them with valuable information about what is expected of them.” – page 25 of (the third edition of) “The Social Animal” by Elliot Aronson
Elliot also looks at other reasons why people conform to the behavior and expectations of others. As for the above example, You certainly will need some sort of guidance if you have consented to have your own intellectual lights turned out by those who only value you to the extent that you buy their stuff, vote for them, support their views, etc.. And then bovine parents reproduce and the bovine population increases greatly. And we are deep into Idiocracy. But it isn’t funny, unlike the movie of the same name.
My online response to the top of post FAIR blog post follows:
To the very sharp point. Well done!
It occurs to me that this says a lot about the corporatists’ own assessment on it’s war on light. Whistleblowers are treated like terrorists and under attack. Here in Canada the war on science rages, with books being written about by people like (scientist) Shiva Chopra and author Chris Turner. Generally, Education, along with all other institutions, has been captured by powerful, special capitalist (of the neoliberal sort) interests and cranks out poorly educated ‘citizens’, specialized into stupidity and therefore of use to CEOs and the military. Chomsky has talked and written tons about the sophisticated propaganda system that elites in developed ‘democracies’ depend on to turn people into cattle and keep them that way. When thinkers like the late Walter Lippman writes about the bewildered herd, we can reasonably conclude that it’s wishful thinking. Noting that people – regular people and, to a lesser extent, well off people – have succumbed to propaganda isn’t the same as hating people and desiring that outcome. 99% of the 99% in some ways joins with the 1% in attacking the 1% of the 99%. Boy are we outgunned. Boy is this dawn before the sunrise dark! Boy are elites and their tools – who, clearly, are observing the same mass dimming as I am – loving it!
*edit, March 9, 2014 – The Toronto Star is slimy, a few good journos there notwithstanding. They allow readers to have five free writers in a handy widget who you can quickly access. I had five. Now I can only have three. Just me. I experimented. I can’t add ‘anyone’ other than the three writers who I’m left with. Also, ‘All’ of my comments, about all sorts of things, including those that were approved and have been there for some time, have been removed. That’s not moderating in any positive sense. That’s malice from people who are too free. They are too free – when they can break written and unwritten rules with impunity – because they have the ‘right’ political views. Correspondingly, I’m not free enough – because I have the ‘wrong’ political views. And that’s elite democracy. That’s not what regular people would call democracy. The elimination of all my comments came a short while after my having posted, to a couple of articles (where I could), comments on Ukraine. I touched a nerve I guess. The soul is gone, but the body hasn’t completely disintegrated. Let’s see what’s next?
An excerpt from the above linked to article by Tim Harper follows:
Governments don’t have to make room for opposition MPs as part of international delegations, and the history of high-mindedness and bipartisanship in this place was already a thin read before Stephen Harper arrived.
But Harper’s Conservatives are increasingly looking like denizens of a daycare protecting their turf in the sandbox…
The Conservatives have been similarly using a crisis in Ukraine to further their own domestic political fortunes.
[Ian] Cotler would not discuss the Israeli events. But he did say missions such as that one, as well as this week’s Ukrainian mission, are trips on behalf of Canada. There can be a preponderance of government MPs, but not exclusively government MPs, he says.
“You are representing a country, you are not representing a party,’’ he said. “We are all here to represent the people of Canada.’’
Mitch Potter has been high volume talking ‘at’ Star readers about events in Ukraine. But the Star isn’t allowing readers to comment, at least not about his rants. I’ve therefore taken advantage of the commenting feature in regard to Tim’s above article in which he makes the barest mention of Ukraine. The intention of the editorial board of the Star is to preserve the purity of the line/lie that the compliant, corporatocracy media, is putting out. That’s the intention of editorial boards of major media everywhere and not only in regard to Ukraine, but also in regard to Syria and Venezuela, where Obama’s crowd is similarly causing trouble, not democracy. It’s indeed chaotic and violent in Ukraine, but to ignore the scariness of the neo-nazis and other fascists on the loose over there and to imply that it’s only Russian sympathizers in the Ukraine (an evil thing according to the corporatists’ propaganda) who are scary and threatening reveals much about the journos who are screaming ‘at’ us with ‘their’ facts.
The Bible refers to nation states as wild beasts. (The Bible book of Daniel goes into some detail about that.) In the Bible book of Revelation (“Apocalypse” in Greek) it refers to them collectively as a single wild beast with 7 heads and 10 horns. There are actually 3 wild beast mentioned in Revelation with the basic form of 7 heads and 10 horns, with each beast having unique characteristics. The first, called a dragon, is identified as Satan. The second 7 headed beast is created by the first, and it in turn creates a third beast. Chapter 12 introduces the first seven headed beast, namely Satan. (The first dragon is, to us, an image of the wild beast he creates. That’s the only reason he has 7 heads. In the second wild beast, those seven heads represent dominant world powers in succession, from the Bible’s standpoint, since the first one, namely Egypt. Then there were: 2. Assyria 3. Babylon 4. Medo-Persia 5. Greece 6. Rome and 7. Anglo-America.) Chapter 13 continues:
“And it stood still upon the sand of the sea. And I saw a wild beast ascending out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, and upon its horns ten diadems, but upon its heads blasphemous names.” -R 13:1
There’s the ruler of this world (by God’s permission, for a purpose) standing before the turbulent, roiling sea of the growing population of humankind, scheming and influencing and watching the nation states come and go. From that “sea” arises a configuration of nation states, still fluid but firming up and becoming more durable with time, including those that are the most powerful. The most powerful states are the beast’s heads. Interestingly (and overlooked by Jehovah’s Witnesses who taught me all this stuff), the diadems/crowns worn by the second wild beast are worn on it’s ‘horns’ and not touching the beasts’ collective body, for a reason. The 3rd beast (symbolizing the League of Nations/ United Nations) has no crowns, which are symbols of authority, but it is said to receive authority for “one hour” from the second (and by extension the first) wild beast, confirming this interpretation. The first beast is said to give it’s authority to the second, which means that it is the ‘source’ of that authority. That’s why it’s crowns are on it’s heads, ‘touching’ it’s body. The authority and the source are one. That isn’t the case in the case of the second wild beast. It gets it’s authority, clearly, from a higher, invisible power, namely the person symbolized by the first wild beast.
From verse 11 of chapter 13 to the end of that chapter, the Bible focusses on a nation state component of that second wild beast, which, unlike the rest of the composite beast, ascends out of the “earth.” That component/ beast, ascending out of the earth, is the United States, which is also referred to as the “false prophet.” The Bible here focusses on that nation state’s role in compelling people to embrace darkness, the paradigm of ‘riches for the strongest’ and the gift of mysterious lawlessness which allows it’s owners to sin and survive. The lawlessness goes hand in hand with the ‘riches for the strongest’ paradigm, which is the opposite of what has come to be called the ‘golden rule’, given to us by God’s Son – Matthew 7:12 – which tells us to treat others the way we would like to be treated. Jesus simplifies matters by saying, in effect, that that rule is one of the main take-aways from the entirety of the inspired writings – the Law and the Prophets – that went before. If ‘riches for the strongest’ is the dark mirror image of Jesus’s golden rule, which (golden rule) is a prominent feature of God’s message, then one can reasonably view ‘riches for the strongest’ as the main take-away from the words (such as found in the Bible book of Job) and actions of that great deceiver, Satan.
The wild beast/ false prophet, which arises in later (less ‘formative’, more ‘formed’ or firm) times in mankind’s history – the United States is relatively young – has two horns like a lamb but a mouth like a dragon. It is happy to report to those willing to delude themselves and ignore evidence that it is godly, democratic and good, like an inoffensive lamb. In reality, other components of the wild beast are instructed by this 7th head of the wild beast (which has become the corporatocracy) how to behave and only disobey at their own peril. (With the octopus of corporatocracy, single nation states – Venezuela, Egypt, Haiti for example – are not allowed independence. They – their people and leaders together – can choose independence but the corporatocracy doesn’t accept that choice and will pressure/ attack that nation state until it complies or is changed, favorably. The people’s wishes are ignored. Those among the people who embrace corporatocracy, whose ruling classes and elites conveniently view the people as the enemy, while exploiting them, pay for their ‘vote’ for dependence, while a handful of the soulless among them might enjoy some material benefits as they actively assist the corporatocracy in devouring their society.) And often, if they are weak but possess resources (or a door to resources) that the false prophet component of the beast wants, they don’t have to disobey. They will simply be swallowed down suddenly and violently the way the former Yugoslavia was (after which it was fed to bankers, investors, etc), the way Haiti was (making it a sweatshop paradise), and the way countless other nation states have been.
The striking image of that wild beast/ false prophet presented in Revelation includes a mouth like a dragon below the two horns of a lamb. The dragon-like mouth represents the imperialistic nature of the United States. Imperialism means aggression by a nation state (or group of nation states), not in self-defense, but for improper gain. Haitians, Hondurans, Chileans, Argentinians, inhabitants of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq and Afghanistan have certainly learned all about imperialism. And not from books.
“However, There also arose a dispute among them over which one of them seemed to be greatest. But he said to them: “The kings of the nations lord it over them and those having authority over them are called Benefactors. You though are not to be that way. But let him who is the greatest among you become as the youngest and the one acting as chief as the one ministering. For which one is greater: The one reclining at the table or the one ministering? Is it not the one reclining at the table? But I am in your midst as the one ministering.” -Luke 22:24-27
What the wild beast of corporatocracy ‘does’ includes the propaganda that it does in conjunction with it’s devouring of the people. The mouth of the dragon is ferocious and backed up by it’s power and habit of destroying, especially when it comes to individuals and groups that are weak. The corporate-owned media is the mouth of the wild beast. Mitch Potter’s shameless, pro imperialism rants – allowing no distracting comments from the rabble – in the Toronto Star are an example of the dragon’s mouth in action. (The Toronto Star is a joke. You can read 10 free articles a month. I hit ten on March 1st. One thing that helped hasten my allotment was the crap build of the site. When I resize the text on the page, the page disappears on the third resize. When I go to retrieve the page, the Star counts that as an additional article viewed.)
As Michel Chossudovsky points out in his above linked-to article explaining the background to the destruction of neutral (not aligned with the US or the old Soviet Union) Yugoslavia, the compliant media was careful to convey and not contradict the imperialists’ lie that the fighting there was solely about old, simmering, ethnic rivalries. The corporate owned media isn’t about to direct the people’s attention to the (capitalist) predators scheming and carrying out their schemes and that’s because they are allies. We see a similar thing happening now in regard to major media reportage on Ukraine.
As Tony Clarke notes on page 9 of “Tar Sands Showdown”: ** The US-led invasion of Iraq, which arguably had more to do with securing control over Middle East oil deposits than fighting the war on terror, highlighted the need to focus more attention on how the US military is geared to policing the world in order to control oil sources and supply routes to serve it energy needs.” ** That’s putting it mildly. The problem with this self-appointed global (evil) policeman is that in his world, he has to be sure to stay powerful or else one of his powerful corporatocracy colleagues will replace him as top dog. The picture that Mitch Potter frantically paints of Ukraine carefully ignores all of that background, which I’ll try to provide a little of below. The Russian ruling class is slime. No question. But that, and ethnic rivalry, isn’t the sole answer to the question: What’s going on in Ukraine?
There are many interconnected issues here. This wild beast, telling people – the way an inoffensive lamb would – that it believes in freedom, while making it clear that freedom, as far as it’s concerned, only means the freedom to agree with it and all of the lawlessness and terror that it does, Or else. Those who actually believe in law and order are horrified. Then there are those cogs – We are all cogs in the machinery of corporatocracy – who have no desire to resist assimilation, like the Toronto Star’s editorial board and many of it’s journos (Mitch Potter) who want those with power in this world to know that they have their backs. They will sin in the hope that they can continue to survive. When will they know that they’ve lost? What is life? What is survival?
To help you understand the above the BBC’s Jonathan Marcus provides a great breakdown/ transcript here: “Ukraine crisis: Transcript of leaked Nuland-Pyatt call”
To a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To the vicious, unprincipled, blasphemous wild beast of corporatocracy, every problem will be met with force. That’s the game. Riches – survival, resources, domination, glory – for the strongest is what this beast knows. Consider Michael Klare’s thoughts on this. He wrote “Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet.”
“The sudden arrival of aggressive new contenders on the global resource playing field with the emergence of powerful energy brokers like Russia, was bound to alarm the United States, Japan, and major European energy-consuming nations, prompting them to accelerate their own efforts to secure abundant reserves of critical materials. The global resource race is, however, being propelled by something else, no less powerful: a perception that the world’s stockpiles of essential commodities – oil in particular – are shrinking.” -pg 32
Couple that with the nature of the players, as I indicated above, and the obstacle of entrenched special interests (owners of fossil fuel companies and the soldiers, government and private, needed to assist them), and the following fact, also included in “Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet”:
“But the wheels of industry are not the only ones to slow without an abundant supply of energy; military forces are equally dependent on a copious infusion of critical fuels. For major powers like the United States that rely on airpower [sic] and mechanized ground forces to prevail in conflict, the need for petroleum products multiplies with each new advance in weapons technology.” -pg 11
“Government officials speak of their desire to develop novel sources of energy – biofuels, hydrogen, tidal power, and so on – but their actions suggest a deeply ingrained preference for more familiar fuels.” -page 49
“The Europeans are also interested in the construction of additional pipelines to transport Caspian oil to their doorstep, preferably without crossing Russia. At present, oil from the Tengiz field in Kazakhstan, for example, is carried by the CPC [Caspian Pipeline Consortium] pipeline to the Russian port of Novorossiysk and then shipped by tanker across the Black Sea and through the narrow, congested Bosporous (dividing European Istanbul from its Asian side) before reaching the Mediterranean. To avoid this, several European consortia are developing plans for pipelines that would originate on the western coast of the Black Sea and traverse southeastern Europe to ports on the Aegean or Adriatic. A consortium of eastern European and Baltic nations has also been formed to extend an existing pipeline through Ukraine (the Odessa-Brody line) to Gdansk in Poland and eventually onward to Lithuania in order to carry oil supplied by Azerbaijan.
“Even more ambitious plans are being developed for the eventual shipment of Caspian natural gas to Europe without traversing Russia.” -page 140
*It’s beyond my power to offer, right now, the fullest analysis of this pipeline background material. And it’s possibly beyond me to do it at all. I just do a lot of reading and I can see what I’m pointing at here. These factors pertain to ‘one’ world, namely the world in which events described by the media tool, Mitch Potter, happened in. If I can’t say ‘exactly’ how all these dots connect, I can at least say that it’s reasonable to conclude that they do.
And make no mistake about it: When the US-led corporatocracy devours another nation state, really, It’s that country’s regular people who are being devoured. What is the West offering to Ukrainians for rejecting Russia? Austerity is the answer. Austerity for gosh sakes!!! If the neo-nazi and fascist opposition in the streets in Kiev think that they are all going to get cushy jobs and security in the new, devastated Ukraine, they are dreaming. Are they that stupid?! Russia has already materially aided the Ukrainians and promises to give them natural gas at a discount. (As we’ve so often seen recently, The exploited and abused people finally rise up and protest because they just can’t take it any more. Then the more violent elements in society, used by outsiders to carry out an agenda, step in and hijack the people’s revolution, which just happened in Egypt and Syria and is now happening in Ukraine. They succeed because they and their powerful backers are willing to break all kinds of rules in order to gain control and dominate. Regular people who desire law and order, who have been deprived of it, who can’t take it any more and have arrived at the point where they are willing to die for it, end up with lawless, monstrous law & order governments instead. Which is to say, They end up with what they started with. Meet the new boss who’s the same as the old boss.) Often the destruction is aided and abetted by those ‘failed’ states’ leaders, as we saw in Chile and Greece. John Perkins enlightens us about how that can happen. Leaders, good and bad, who don’t comply with the Don in the corporatocracy, can be replaced, one way or another. The people are to be led by ‘strong man’ leaders who the corporatocracy will proclaim to be Benefactors bringing ‘stability’. The people may have no voice to object, but they will know better, sooner or later, because they will have to endure the corporatocracy’s ‘beneficence’. They will know directly.
If the US is setting out to spread democracy and freedom around the world, as it claims when wearing those lamb’s horns, then why does it have to plot coups and do things in secret and employ terrorism? If the US and other elites helping to run the corporatocracy care so much about Ukrainians, then why are they so eager put into positions of power there anti-democratic believers in inequality whose only offer to the people is punishment in the form of austerity, namely the “unpopular social measures” Ray McGovern, below, refers to. The US’s chosen strong man leader for Ukraine, namely Arseniy Yatsenyuk, assures us that he’s not afraid to commit “political suicide” by implementing those banker-dictated policies. But it’s an Escher-like suicide in which a 1 percenter jumps and the people, who don’t have the backing of power, hit bottom. Hard. From Ray McGovern’s Consortium News article titled “Ukraine: One ‘Regime Change’ Too Many?,” the following:
Past is not always prologue. But it is easy for me to imagine the Russian Army cartographic agency busily preparing maps of the best routes for tanks into Independence Square in Kiev, and that before too many months have gone by, Russian tank commanders may be given orders to invade, if those stoking the fires of violent dissent in the western parts of Ukraine keep pushing too far.
That said, Putin has many other cards to play and time to play them. These include sitting back and doing nothing, cutting off Russia’s subsidies to Ukraine, making it ever more difficult for Yanukovich’s successors to cope with the harsh realities. And Moscow has ways to remind the rest of Europe of its dependence on Russian oil and gas.
There is one huge difference between Prague in 1968 and Kiev 2014. The “Prague Spring” revolution led by Dubcek enjoyed such widespread spontaneous popular support that it was difficult for Russian leaders Leonid Brezhnev and Aleksey Kosygin to argue plausibly that it was spurred by subversion from the West.
Not so 45-plus years later. In early February, as violent protests raged in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev and the White House professed neutrality, U.S. State Department officials were, in the words of NYU professor emeritus of Russian studies Stephen Cohen, “plotting a coup d’état against the elected president of Ukraine.”
We know that thanks to neocon prima donna Victoria Nuland, now Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, who seemed intent on giving new dimension to the “cookie-pushing” role of U.S. diplomats. Recall the photo showing Nuland in a metaphor of over-reach, as she reached deep into a large plastic bag to give each anti-government demonstrator on the square a cookie before the putsch.
More important, recall her amateurish, boorish use of an open telephone to plot regime change in Ukraine with a fellow neocon, U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt. Crass U.S. interference in Ukrainian affairs can be seen (actually, better, heard) in an intercepted conversation posted on YouTube on Feb. 4.
Yikes! It’s Yats!
Nuland was recorded as saying: “Yats is the guy. He’s got the economic experience, the governing experience. He’s the guy you know. … Yats will need all the help he can get to stave off collapse in the ex-Soviet state. He has warned there is an urgent need for unpopular cutting of subsidies and social payments before Ukraine can improve.”
And guess what. The stopgap government formed after the coup designated Nuland’s guy Yats, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, prime minister! What luck! Yats is 39 and has served as head of the central bank, foreign minister and economic minister. And, as designated pinch-hitter-prime-minister, he has already talked about the overriding need for “responsible government,” one willing to commit “political suicide,” as he put it, by taking unpopular social measures.
I just finished reading Michael Klare's “Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet,” about the corporatocracy states’ mad scramble for fast disappearing energy. A big reason why powerful nations (political/ corporate leadership) won’t pull back from destroying the liveable earth, which burning fossil fuels is leading to, is that they now can’t. Remember, These are destructive beasts. They are armed to the teeth and any state that shows weakness runs the risk of suddenly being swallowed by the US or by some component of the US-led corporatocracy. And armies depend on oil. Their foot is on the accelerator, because macho, unprincipled, reckless deciders, over time, have unwisely created a situation in which slowing down, being thoughtful and caring can get you devoured. That’s the beast that they have created, worshipped and fed and which we all must contend with. And it’s ‘natural’, with this state of affairs, for the bigger states to take a very aggressive stance toward each other. The top dog is always threatened by other big dogs, even if they are brothers.
My online response to the top of post linked-to article by Tim Harper follows:
Don’t you just hate being talked at, readers? Of course, Only readers who do serious reading (dailies and more) and think critically about what’s going in the world will be disturbed by that attack on the people. Thanks Star for letting us have ‘some’ say about what your contributors write. / I wouldn’t read too much into the (usual) pettiness of Harper et al in excluding his opposition colleagues at various fora. Whichever corporatocracy party represents Canada, it’ll make sure that it’s class interests, (which class is shared by the other major parties) are attended to. / As for the Ukraine, the compliant media is united in pushing the lie that the US/ European interference in Ukraine (which includes supporting extremists among fascist elements who have hijacked the coup, not named a coup) doesn’t exist, the Russians are evil for (naturally) responding to the coup on it’s border appropriately, with readiness, and Putin fears Russia will experience the same sort of unrest.
From Max Blumenthal’s article titled “Is the U.S. Backing Neo-Nazis in Ukraine?,” the following:
As the Euromaidan protests in the Ukrainian capitol of Kiev culminated this week, displays of open fascism and neo-Nazi extremism became too glaring to ignore. Since demonstrators filled the downtown square to battle Ukrainian riot police and demand the ouster of the corruption-stained, pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich, it has been filled with far-right streetfighting men pledging to defend their country’s ethnic purity.
White supremacist banners and Confederate flags were draped inside Kiev’s occupied City Hall, and demonstrators have hoisted Nazi SS and white power symbols over a toppled memorial to V.I. Lenin. After Yanukovich fled his palatial estate by helicopter, EuroMaidan protesters destroyed a memorial to Ukrainians who died battling German occupation during World War II. Sieg heil salutes and the Nazi Wolfsangel symbol have become an increasingly common site in Maidan Square, and neo-Nazi forces have established “autonomous zones” in and around Kiev.
From Robert Parry's Consortium News article titled “Cheering A ‘Democratic’ Coup In Ukraine,” the following:
There was always a measure of hypocrisy but Official Washington used to at least pretend to stand for “democracy,” rather than taking such obvious pleasure in destabilizing elected governments, encouraging riots, overturning constitutional systems and then praising violent putsches.
But events in Ukraine and Venezuela suggest that the idea of respecting the results of elections and working within legal, albeit flawed, political systems is no longer in vogue, unless the “U.S. side” happens to win, of course. If the “U.S. side” loses, then it’s time for some “shock doctrine.” And, of course, the usual demonizing of the “enemy” leader.
Ukraine’s ousted President Viktor Yanukovych was surely no one’s idea of a pristine politician, though it looks like there are few to none of those in Ukraine, a country essentially controlled by a collection of billionaire oligarchs who jockey for power and shift their allegiances among corrupt politicians…
But Yanukovych sought to maintain cordial relations with neighboring Russia, which apparently rubbed American neocons the wrong way. Official Washington’s still-influential neocons have been livid with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin because he cooperated with U.S. President Barack Obama in averting U.S. wars against Iran and Syria…
So, Putin found himself in the center of the neocons’ bulls-eye and – given some of his own unforced errors such as defending Russia’s intolerance toward gays and spending excessively on the Sochi Olympics – he became the latest “designated villain,” denounced and ridiculed across the neocon-dominated op-ed pages of the Washington Post and other major news outlets.
Robert Parry dramatizes Obama's upsetting of the neocons' (a term I find not too useful) plans, as though he were a different creature than they, but other than that, I think Parry's bringing some good analysis to the discussion.
From Margaret Kimberley’s Black Agenda Report/ Freedom Rider article titled “America vs The World,” the following:
The United States quite openly makes it clear that it wants to have its way in the world. If Russia attempts to use its influence then it is vilified and caricatured as a cruel dictatorship controlled by a tyrant. No matter how many elections Chavez and now Maduro won, they are called dictators by American talking heads.
A superpower can foment conflict anywhere it wants to at anytime it chooses. Venezuelans must knuckle under or face the prospect of more turmoil and violence. Ukraine must sign onto economic policies which have already proven disastrous. The United States leaves its fingerprints in these and many other places and that is the essence of imperialism. It is all about control with the rawest brute force available.
The United States hasn’t officially made Venezuela or any other a colony but it doesn’t have to do that. It just has to show that it is boss and the dominos will fall wherever it chooses.
Check out the ignorant, foreign-funded, violent tools of Right Sector. This video was attached to Max Blunmenthal’s above article:
An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Sam Pizzigati follows:
Americans currently pay much more for Internet than just about everybody else in the developed world. Other countries have established fast, cheap Internet access as a given of modern life. In the United States, we surf the Net at Model-T speeds — and tens of millions of Americans still have no broadband access at all.
This pitiful situation may soon get worse. Two corporate giants that share significant responsibility for our current digital state of affairs, Comcast and Time Warner, are now seeking regulatory approval for a $45 billion merger that would leave Comcast controlling the bulk of the nation’s broadband access.
In 19 of the nation’s 20 largest metro areas, the “only choice for a high-capacity wired connection will be Comcast,” points out Susan Crawford, the author of last year’s widely acclaimed Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age.
So how would thinking “superhighway” help us out of this mess? America’s only actual “superhighway” — our Interstate road network — demonstrates quite neatly the wonders we can realize once we start thinking about basic infrastructure as a public good, not a source of grand private fortune.
My online response to the above linked-to article follows:
That was a truly good read. I’m unhappy with the way the Left here in Canada isn’t talking about using government to force competition. I don’t know what that’s all about. Mind you, I can’t follow everything, 24/7, so maybe I’m being too hard on our Left. I’ll have to pop into Open Media and have a look. Maybe I’ll email someone there.
I have had this site in my blogroll for some time. I’ve collected/ bookmarked a huge pile of progressive websites over time, and added some to my own blog’s blogroll. For that reason, I’m hardly able to know all that those sites are doing. I certainly don’t come here often enough.
If Americans are at the top of countries whose citizenry are being screwed by ‘capitalists’, then Canada must be close enough to feel it’s body warmth.
I’m plowing through John Ralston Saul’s book, “The Collapse Of Globalism And The Reinvention Of The World,” and in it he talks about today’s type of capitalist. While I completely disagree with Saul on a few things (The US is a friend of Bosnia Herzogovina?! and globalism is dead?!!!), I always find him to be thought-provoking.
Managerial, or technocratic, capitalists eschew hard or aggressive thinking for easy scheming and force. And they certainly have no use for principles, let alone compassion.
“The modern obsession with size is managerial, not capitalistic. Technocrats, given a choice, will seek power through structure and the extension of structure rather than through the direct development or sale of goods. For a manager, success is measured by structural size and confirmed by bonuses.
“Their biggest problem as the structures grow larger is slowness, lack of creativity, risk aversion, stagnation at the top. The easiest way to energize such a structure is to buy another structure. This is managerial shock treatment. Bang two organizations together.
“The result has been a new world of mergers and acquisitions in which nothing is actually done, but large pieces are moved around, resulting in the effective printing of new sorts of money to finance it all…
“One fascinating aspect of gigantism is the marriage between the most superficial sort of financiers – looking for the ‘targets’ and ‘megadeals’ and ‘payoff bonanzas’ and ‘shooting for a big score’ – and the most serious of business managers, who don’t even like selling, because it is beneath them as working professionals. In their world, size replaces risk and innovation. What links the speculators and the managers is the shared assumption that size replaces the need to think.” (pages 80 & 81)
An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Matthew Behrens follows:
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A few years ago, Canada’s bird lovers came in for some well-deserved looks of bemusement when many wondered why their cute little budgies and canaries kept disappearing every time a cat was placed inside their birdcages. After all, it was argued, cats were subject to significant and robust oversight mechanisms such as the Feline Activities Review Committee, to ensure the birds would be safe from purring predators.
That refusal to recognize the nature of the beast also infects the ongoing discussions within the “national security industrial-academic-media complex” about what to do with the fact that Canada’s spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), along with its next-door neighbor, the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), continue invading the privacy rights of people at home and abroad and violating the law (not to mention committing perjury in front of Federal Court judges and aiding and abetting acts of torture).
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My online response to the above linked-to article follows:
Matthew’s report is scary and infuriating.
So much for our law and order government and it’s proclaimed desire to protect citizens from shadowy threats out there. The shadowy threats out there are other fascist governments, some less constrained than ours, who also view the people as the enemy, conveniently. Our government feeds the hated people to them and vice versa. Matthew is absolutely right to add an unjust society in which inequality and poverty are entrenched and deep, by design, to his proposal for reviewing our security orgs’ criminality. The political class and it’s judicial and other enablers are on board the neoliberal project that so fervently embraces the ‘riches for the strongest’ paradigm in which exploitation and repression feature prominently. The 1% has chosen to surive by taking the means of surival from others, which it grows more capable of doing daily as it’s instruments of repression get meaner and more militarily muscular in anticipation of the louder squawking of the people who the 1% keeps abusing. None of this is necessary. The 1% didn’t have to decide to do society building and problem solving in the loveless way it has, with a view to excluding most of society from that care. God has taken note.
A blurb/excerpt from the above page at the above link (linking to a podcast) follows. (Note: I don’t agree with Marjaleena’s boosting of our Senate at all):
The current Conservative Party has been racked with accusations of scandal and corruption. At least three Canadian Senators, hand-picked by the Prime Minister, are having their housing and living expenses reviewed, two Conservative Members of Parliament are being taken to task for improper accounting of their election expenses, and a court case recently determined that “there was an orchestrated effort to suppress votes during the 2011 election campaign by a person with access to the CIMS database” which is “maintained and controlled by the CPC (Conservative Party of Canada)”.
And notoriously, one of the Prime Minister’s staffers cut Senator Mike Duffy a personal cheque for $90,000 to make up for the funds the Senator owed.
This is astonishing behaviour for a political party which rose to power in 2006 promising accountability and integrity in office.
But David Orchard and his supporters questioned the ethics of the party a long time ago. Orchard contested the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party back in 2003. Orchard relied on the support of grass-roots people, myself among them, who were opposed to government policies on free trade, environmental neglect, and Canadian support for imperial wars abroad.
It was through Orchard’s support that Peter Mackay became leader of the party. Mackay then betrayed the condition of Orchard’s support by orchestrating a merger with the right-wing US-Republican style Canadian Alliance Party, which was then led by Stephen Harper.