Arrby on 2013 in review captnmike on 2013 in review Arrby on Oookaaayy! Kayode George on Oookaaayy! Arrby on Unsafe At Any Speed
Click on a word and all posts tagged dealing with that subject will show.Al Jazeera Amy Goodman Barack Obama beans betrayal Bill Clinton Canada capitalism Carol Goar CBC censored CETA Chicago School China Chomsky Chris Hedges Common Dreams corporate-owned media corporatocracy Dalton McGuinty darkness deficit terrorism democracy Democracy Now disaster capitalism Edward Snowden Egyptian Revolution eros fascism gatekeepers Gaza Glenn Greenwald God Google Haiti Honduras imperialism Israel Jason Kenney Julian Assange law & order government Libyan Revolution Linda McQuaig mafia capitalism Maude Barlow media Medicare mining Naomi Klein NDP neoliberal neoliberal capitalism Noam Chomsky NSA Obama Occupy Wall Street Oshawa propaganda R2P riches for the strongest Rob Ford special interests status quo Stephen Harper tax havens terrorism Toronto Toronto Star torture TPP Ukraine UN WikiLeaks William Greider Zelaya
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
The heart of Canada’s democracy came under attack Wednesday in a brazen shooting that left a soldier dead, a parliamentary security guard wounded, and Canadians reeling at images of violence in the national capital.
In an unprecedented morning assault, a single gunman fired on a ceremonial soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial before storming onto Parliament Hill, where he burst through the main doors of Centre Block, ran past rooms where NDP and Conservative MPs, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, were meeting.
Behind him in chase was a cluster of security officials and police officers, their guns drawn.
A volley of shots rang out, with Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, a long-time veteran of the RCMP, reportedly shooting the gunman, later identified by a Canadian security source as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau…
In a televised address to the nation Wednesday evening, Harper’s voice shook as he paid tribute to Cirillo, slain at a “sacred place that pays tribute to those who gave their lives so that we can live in a free, democratic and safe society.”
My online response to the above linked-to article follows:
I’m going to try hard to not read or listen to Harper’s words. He’s in the James Madison camp. Harper deals with democracy by reducing it so that the poor (including security ‘officers’ like myself) can’t use it to bring fairness into the picture. I cringe when I hear tools like him and Obama conflate the interests of their violent class with the interests of the 99%, especially those within it who are desperately poor. “Part of the doctrinal system,” here as in the US, “is the pretense that we’re all a happy family, there are no class divisions, and everybody is working together in harmony,” wrote Noam Chomsky in “Power Systems.” Tax evading corporations ferreted away a record $185 billion in 2013, while the Can fed gov, contrary to what Jim Flaherty may have indicated would happen, laid off hundreds of CRA auditors. My security co. has NEVER given me a raise in the 8 years I’ve worked for it. But I did get a thank you for my work from Norm Kelly here in TO. Can I cash that in somewhere?
The auto lovefest for all things military and police, if not objectivity and honesty, will now activate. For example, they are calling this event unprecedented. As Thomas Walkom (who is still tolerated at the Star) noted in his October 22 article, “Ottawa Attack Threatens To Panic Canadians,” this attack is not unprecedented.
Thoughts expressed in my online response reflect information I’m getting from Noam Chomsky’s “Power Systems,” which I’m reading right now. I picked it up a couple weeks ago because it fits nicely in a small case I carry around with me. Otherwise, I have plenty of books yet to read, including another by Chomsky. I just happened to run out of smallish books for carrying around in this case.
Here’s the passage in “Power Systems” I was thinking of when I spoke about the conflation of the 1%’s interests with the 99%’s interests that tools like Obama and Harper do regularly:
We’re taught to talk about the world as a world of states conceived as unified, coherent entities. If you study international relations (IR) theory, there’s what’s called “realist” IR theory, which says there is an anarchic world states and states pursue their “national interest.” It’s in large part mythology. There are a few common interests, like we don’t want to be destroyed. But, for the most part, people within a nation have very different interests. The interests of the CEO of General Electric and the janitor who cleans his floor are not the same. Part of the doctrinal system in the United States is the pretense that we’re all a happy family, there are no class divisions, and everybody is working together in harmony. But that’s radically false.” -pg 8
Here’s the passage in “Power Systems” I referred to when talking about James Madison:
In his book Politics, which is the foundation of the study of political systems, and very interesting, Aristotle talked mainly about Athens… He said democracy is probably the best system, but it has problems. One problem that he was concerned with is striking because it runs right up to the present. He pointed out that in a democracy, if the people – people didn’t mean people, it meant freeman, not slaves, not women – had the right to vote, the poor would be the majority, and they would use their voting power to take away property from the rich, which wouldn’t be fair, so we have to prevent this.
James Madison made the same point, but his model was England. He said if freemen had democracy, the the poor farmers would insist on taking property from the rich. They would carry out what we these days call land reform. And that’s unacceptable. Aristotle and Madison faced the same problem but made the opposite decisions. Aristotle concluded that we should reduce inequality so the poor wouldn’t take property from the rich… Madison’s decision was the opposite. We should reduce democracy so the poor won’t be able to get together to do this. – pgs 84,85
My figure for the Canadian money ferreted away in tax havens in 2013 came from the most recent newsletter from Canadians For Tax Fairness, which newsletters I get via email. Here’s a bit more. For your convenience, I activated one of the links that were in the original:
Taking It to the Premiers:
At the end of August I took our message to Charlottetown where Premiers and territorial leaders held their annual Council of the Federation meeting.
Most provincial and territorial governments rely on the Canada Revenue Agency to raise their revenue. Under the CRA’s watch, Canadian money in tax havens has ballooned to an all-time high – an estimated $185 billion in 2013. Almost $63 billion of that is in the popular tax haven of Barbados – an island paradise that is one-tenth the size of PEI, where the premiers held their late summer gathering.
In this editorial published in The Charlottetown Guardian, I explain why premiers need to lean on the federal government and the Canada Revenue Agency to stem the flow of Canadian money offshore. Retrieving that money could prevent cuts to provincial services and avoid harmful austerity measures that have negative impacts on everything from transportation and environmental safety to education.
Are premiers ready to admit that tackling tax havens and loopholes might be a better path than slashing services? We’ve received letters from some provincial leaders acknowledging the issue – and we are hoping to continue that conversation from St. John’s to Victoria in the coming year.
Voters certainly see the connection. They packed the room at a Town Hall on Tax Havens and Loopholes where I was a featured speaker along with PEI Senator Percy Downe. He has been raising a ruckus about the government’s inaction on secret bank accounts that thousands of Canadians have set up in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
Staunching the Flow
Canada has the lowest corporate tax rate in the G7. Has that created corporate loyalty here? Has it boosted job creation? In a word – no. It seems this is still not good enough for many Canadian corporations.
It isn’t just Google, Starbucks and Amazon playing tax games. Canadian corporations like Cameco and Gildan use complex, opaque practices to shift profits into low or no-tax jurisdictions. This results in many publicly traded Canadian companies paying an effective tax rate well below the already low corporate tax rate.
According to data from KPMG, big Canadian corporations lead the international pack when it comes to the difference in paying stated corporate tax rates and effective rates.
So how do you stop Canadian multi-nationals from setting up subsidiaries in offshore tax havens so that they can avoid paying Canadian taxes? NDP Revenue Critic Murray Rankin has proposed legislation (Bill C-621) that would make it easier for government and the courts to crack down on those who are playing the system. The changes focus on “economic substance”. Corporations must be able to prove a transaction has economic purpose aside from reducing the amount of tax owed. Setting up a storefront office in Cayman Islands or Switzerland and then sending large invoices back to the Canadian head office charging “management” or “licensing fees” would no longer be acceptable.
It is one step towards fixing a broken system. You can encourage your MP to support this bill here.
About James Madison, Wikipedia will give you some facts but not the truth (as is the case often for Wikipedia). Here’s the Third World Traveler’s website search page. Type in “James Madison” and get informed: http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/htdig/search.html
Canadians May Not Want To Be Americans, Let Alone Chinese, A Problem For Uncle Sam If He Needs Us To See Things Differently
An excerpt from the above linked-to article (by Elizabeth May?) follows:
Ever since September 2012, when news of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Hu Jintao of China witnessing the signing of the Canada-China Investment Agreement in Vladivostok Russia, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has been raising the alarm about the threat to our sovereignty, implicit in any such agreement.
Tabled in the House of Commons on September 26, 2012, quietly and without any briefings or news release, the treaty was never subjected to study in any committee, other than one hour before the trade committee. Ratification involves a vote of Cabinet, not Parliament…
Elisabeth May went on to say, “Once ratified, the Canada-China Investment Agreement will bind Canada, including future governments, for a minimum of 31 years. Unlike NAFTA, with an exit clause of 6 months’ notice, this agreement, also called a FIPA (Foreign Investor Protection Agreement) cannot be exited for the first 15 years. After 15 years, either country can exit on one year’s notice, but any existing investments are further protected for another 15 years. Despite some claims by other politicians that the treaty could be voided by a future government, that is not the case.”
“The only way to exit the treaty would be through negotiations with China in which the government in Beijing agrees. Unilateral withdrawal would trigger a multi-billion dollar claim by the Peoples Republic of China against Canada, with damages open to collection in one hundred countries around the world.”
“Cabinet’s signing of this deal behind closed doors, instead of giving Parliament a say, is not just undemocratic in itself,” added Deputy Leader Bruce Hyer. “It is also a profound attack of Canada’s sovereignty as a nation, and an erosion of the rights of all Canadians to make democratic decisions about our economy, environment, and energy. The Conservatives have now allowed for secret tribunals that will work to re-write our laws in order to protect Chinese interests.”
Green Party Elizabeth May concluded by saying, “This agreement will permit state-owned enterprises (SOEs) of the Peoples Republic of China to bring claims for damages against Canada for decisions taken at municipal, provincial or federal levels if those SOEs believe the decisions will harm their profits.”
My (typo-corrected) online response to the above linked-to article follows:
My view of the matter is that there could be more to this than the clear insanity on display. There may be in this move, a method by which the US can bolster any argument for invading Canada in order to protect it’s own national security. (The US is exceptional and above all laws and can do this sort of thing. Russia can’t.) The invasion I’m envisioning will [be] along the lines of assistance to the Canadian military in dealing with ‘terrorists’ and radicals who are sabotaging tar sands operations and pipelines and fracking operations. If oil is at the core of the US’s national security doctrine, then so is Canada, which is providing a lot of it, free of – it is to be desired – the kind of trouble that attends taking oil from ‘hostile’ people elsewhere.
It probably won’t be Harper who invites the US in (and Will the US depend on such an invitation?), but that doesn’t matter. Harper is setting things up. And China may be getting set up. As for it’s egregious hacking of a Canadian agency, That could just be that state’s bad behavior on display. But we don’t know. How did it happen? Were they tricked into doing it so that one day, the US could point to it as an example of how it’s presence, through Canada as a proxy, is an unacceptable threat, along with the terrorists (First Nations, enviros, landowners, concerned citizens, etc) sabotaging tar sands operations and pipelines, to it’s national security?
An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Robert Benzie follows:
In the fight of her political life, embattled NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is banking on her left hook.
A fiery Horwath came out swinging Saturday, touting a new left-wing approach for a party still reeling from a disappointing June election defeat to Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals.
“I have some things to learn,” she admitted to 250 partisans at the party’s provincial council meeting, the last major NDP gathering before her November leadership review.
“There are some important, important lessons that we have to take out of our recent experience,” the New Democrat chief said at the downtown Courtyard Marriott Hotel where she received several standing ovations from the crowd for a 25-minute confessional address.
For one thing, If she didn’t actually address the problem of a lack of progressive issues – not issue – then what were those audience members applauding? Was it her ability to speechify and say the opposite of what she means?
If ‘leftwing’ is good, Benzie wants us to understand, then it is good when it represents… the Right.
My online response to the above linked-to article follows:
The present ONDP is hopeless. Hopeless! It’s fundamental principles, to which Horwath wants to return, are those that this party hasn’t abandoned, which progressives should not expect to see abandoned. The corporatocracy is alive and very well and people’s parties are nowhere to be seen and people’s champions are few and far between. And sometimes the odd champion you think you’ve detected only ‘resembles’ one.
You can’t, in any way, shape or form, support a party that is connected to the rightwing federal NDP. How can any normal human being support parties that shrug in the face of the kind of slaughters we see occur in Gaza regularly? For one thing.
Any provincial people’s party that doesn’t address the issue of the interfering, destructive OMB is fake as hell. You don’t have to look further. That would be a good litmus test. But the ONDP’s failure to back a movement that pushes for a minimum wage of $15 leaves me speechless. And where’s the support for small businesses in big cities? Regularly, their streets get torn up for all manner of reasons, including dealing with rail replacement for streetcars (for our coddled – by unions, vote-seeking politicians – Bombardier) and what do we do for them? Not a damn thing. There needs to be a dedicated fund to enable affected small businesses (which are revenue generators) to ride out such events.
Similarly, Steve Paiken (TVO was the source of the top of post pic) calls Horwath a winner. Technically, narrowly, she had some wins. Overall, If Horwath wins in an election only because she sticks to her rightwing path, then that’s a loss for the people. Why does Steve think Andrea is a winner? Is it because she has the ‘right’ political views, whether the people (like those who care about human rights, everywhere, and like workers who don’t make a living wage) think so or not?
From Steve Paiken’s article titled “Why Isn’t Andrea Horwath Fighting Back?'” the following:
Somehow, the conventional wisdom about the June 2014 Ontario election campaign has become, Kathleen Wynne brilliantly overperformed, Tim Hudak dramatically blew it, and Andrea Horwath was no great shakes either.
In fact, because the Toronto media is so dominant in telling the province’s story, a narrative has developed that Horwath was as bad a loser as Hudak, because the NDP lost three seats in the city of Toronto.
That’s all true. But it also ignores the fact that that the NDP did well outside of the Greater Toronto Area, in some cases, astonishingly so…
Given all of that, my question is: why does Horwath continue to be so contrite in public? At a news conference yesterday, she continued her “mea culpa tour” by acknowledging there were problems with the Toronto campaign, and pointing out that those in her office who were responsible are all gone. Horwath has hired a new chief of staff and principal secretary who comes to the job with much praise and a long resume of NDP success in other provinces…
Two years ago, when Horwath was at the height of her popularity, she got only 76 per cent support from NDP delegates. With the upcoming convention in Toronto, and with plenty of ideological anger still in the air among more traditional New Democrats who don’t like Horwath’s more centrist, less socialist, more populist, less labour-dominated approach, it’s hard to see how she’ll top that number, or even get close to it.
Horwath is walking a difficult tight rope. On the one hand, she needs to show her cranky opponents she’s heard their concerns and will take them to heart. On the other hand, the “Steeltown Scrapper” in her no doubt wants to fight back and say, “Lookit you pie-in-the-sky socialists. I got 24 per cent of the total votes cast in the 2014 election. That’s the highest percentage since our victory in 1990. I’m making this party relevant again after a decade in the wilderness. Cut me some slack!”
The 3 posts (parts 1, 2 & 3) following this prologue will look at a critical situation involving Canada and America and America’s increasingly desperate need for oil. I will not assert that the US is going to invade and take over Canada (overtly). That’s only because that’s not something I know for a fact. What I, and any who care to notice, do know for a fact is that were the US to decide to do that, then the following factors would be relevant to that action.
Those factors are real and they include: 1. the American military’s unbelievably huge thirst for oil (which bears on water issues, which will be taken up, with urgency, by many, which will be seen by the US as interference in it’s pursuit of national security objectives), 2. the American military’s need to exist, in it’s present form, for there to be American national security (even stretching ‘American’ to mean the iconic 1% of the United States), and therefore the United States’s need for oil in order for it’s national security policies to have any possibility of being implemented and 3. the ongoing and increasing pushback of the people (from every segment of society), in the United States ‘and’ Canada, to the destruction that the American Empire (and by extension, the American-led corporatocracy) is causing in it’s fight to stay alive, which could force American leaders to take drastic action.
Indeed, They are prepared for the pushback and possess the capacity to respond to it (as Ferguson reveals), which is a capacity that increases steadily. And they certainly have the willingness to act in their, the 1%’s, interests, regardless the consequences.
From Glen Ford’s Black Agenda Report article titled “U.S. Funds “Terror Studies” to Dissect and Neutralize Social Movements,” the following:
“Since the meltdown of 2008, U.S. universities have collaborated with the Pentagon to study dynamics of social movements, worldwide. The goal of “terrorism studies” is “to find possible vectors of resistance, which are to be identified and eradicated, like a disease.” The Minerva Initiative, like NSA spying, sees the entire planet as “enemy territory.””
From Murray Dobbin’s The Tyee article titled “This Is The Security State That Steve Built,” the following:
“For those considering issue triage — picking five or six issues to focus on — in the fight to rid the country of the current government, one area that is critical to the outcome is exposing the Harper government’s construction of the national security state…
“The national security state is a term that has been long connected with corporate globalization and the Washington consensus — the set of policies established in the mid-1970s to replace the old post-war social contract. Its most familiar elements are privatization, deregulation, so called “free trade,” tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations and massive cuts to social spending. All of these have been visited upon Canada over the past 20 years.
“But the sixth element of that elite consensus was always there in the background, and was in effect the ruling elites’ anticipation of a popular reaction to the devastating effects of other five: as conditions worsen, as wages and living standards fall, as personal insecurity increases, and as the social safety net frays, the threat of a radical response becomes real.
“The national security state is intended to protect the gains made through free market policies, and at the same time, gradually redefine what government means to the citizenry…”
“President [Gerald] Ford warned oil-producing states that nations have often gone to war to obtain vital natural resources (a pronouncement that was, incidentally, made in Detroit close to the Canadian border); [Henry] Kissinger stated that force could not be ruled out if the industrial states were being strangled; and the CIA revealed past plans to assassinate heads of state. All these things suggest that irresponsibility within the American system of govern, or a ruthless president, might cause the engulfment of Canada in some future crisis.” – Richard A. Preston, “The Defense Of The Undefended Border – Planning For War In North American 1867-1939″ (published by McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1977)
“…[G.W.] Bush reinforced the Cheney energy plan with his own doctrine on national security in September 2002. Issued one year after the events of 9/11, the Bush Doctrine built on the national security proclamations of previous US administrations and went further to declare the US had a right to (a) make use of pre-emptive strikes against potential aggressors; (b) act unilaterally, if necessary, to protect its interests; and (c) ensure its trade policies and practices serve US national security interests. In effect, the Bush Doctrine provided the justification for the US invasion of Iraq, in 2003. Although Bush’s own national security doctrine was ostensibly crafted to fight the war on terror after 9/11, it basically serves US interests of enhancing energy security by protecting the US’s oil supply chains in the Persian Gulf and elsewhere around the world. Under the Bush Doctrine, energy policy, as a matter of national security, also became more deeply interwoven with US trade and foreign policies…
“As we saw… the Bush-Cheney administration was building on the foundations laid by previous US governments when it declared energy, and oil in particular, to be a top issue of national security. Under this doctrine of national security, the US can use its military might to secure control over energy supplies around the world, including Canada if necessary. In times of peak oil, when worldwide demand for oil is increasing while supplies of conventional oil are diminishing, pubic anxieties about energy security are bound to intensify. In turn, these anxieties can also be exploited by a politics of fear to make people believe that military action is necessary to ensure that energy security.” – Tony Clarke, pages 128 & 258 of “Tar Sands Showdown – Canada And The New Politics Of Oil In An Age Of Climate Change”
The wild beast of corporatocracy seeks to exist at the expense of the 99%, in the short term, and at the expense of everyone in the long term. The corporatocracy, and it’s invisible ruler, seek to destroy all life on earth. What is Satan’s goal? He’s lost his life and he’s angry, as Revelation chapter 12 clearly states. God is using Satan to settle an issue, which Satan can do nothing about but which his actions forced into being. Satan’s wild beasts are animated by his agents and they have their own pathologies and motivations. But Satan just wants to hurt God, hopefully, by forcing him – through the torture and murder (both physical and spiritual) of kidnapped mankind – to change his mind about things. But Jehovah is perfect and always has been. And the universe, which he created, depends on him. And it depends on him to remain ‘who’ he is. He ‘could’ change his mind about things, if he wished. But then, in a sense, there’d be no God. If the meaning of ‘God’ includes perfection, then God’s changing of his mind automatically eliminates that perfection. Then what?
“For I am Jehovah. I do not change.” – Malachi 3:6a (The New World Translation Of The Holy Scriptures, revised version, 2013) The previous version said: “For I am Jehovah. I have not changed.” Personally, I like the previous version of this verse better, but I am not a Bible scholar. Therefore, I will defer to the Watchtower Society on this. What I don’t defer to however, is their punctuation. I will adjust it as I see fit whenever I quote from their Bible. Which doesn’t mean that I think that their Bible is poor. I think it’s the best translation out there or I wouldn’t use it. I’m also very familiar with it. Incidentally, I am not a Jehovah’s Witness. A final point: “have not changed” to “do not change” is not a small change. )
Nations all over the globe have discovered the American-led corporatocracy, the hard way, unlike Canada. So far. But the present era of peak oil and water that we are in changes everything. The legal violence, via lawfare and free trade deals and dictats from leaders that out and out give carte blanche to banksters or polluters and the violence done to isolated communities by mining companies and oil and gas companies, especially indigenous communities, may very well give way to something more general and overt as the abused people vigorously protest the continuing predations of too free corporations. Canada isn’t safe.
But human civilization, since Adam and Eve, hasn’t been safe. It’s been kidnapped. The destruction – corruption – of our souls has been Satan’s weapon in his fight with the Creator. The destruction of human ‘civilization’ necessarily means the destruction of the liveable earth, or “terracide,” in the words of Tom Engelhardt. But the liveable earth, and mankind on it and in dominion over it, is God’s project. Which is why that destruction, despite the best efforts of soulless, godless leaders – who have foolishly sought to replace God by taking his place – and their entire horde, will fail. (Ezekiel chapters 38 & 39; Isaiah 55:9-11)
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways. And my thoughts than your thoughts. For just as the rain and the snow pour down from heaven and do not return there until they saturate the earth, making it produce and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so my word that goes out of my mouth will be. It will not return to me without results, but it will certainly accomplish whatever is my delight. And it will have sure success in what I send it to do. – Jehovah’s words, through the pen of the Bible writer Isaiah
Lives will be lost in this pushback. No one need doubt it. No one should forget Rachel Corrie and Gaza, which no one could ignore. Some choose to not acknowledge the politicide and genocide happening over the course of many years in occupied Palestine, peaking in the years of operation Cast Lead (2008 – 2009) and operation Pillar of Defense (2012) and operation Protective Edge (July 8, 2014 – August 26, 2014), but that moral and spiritual failure to acknowledge widespread human rights abuses and big baskets of war crimes doesn’t equal not noticing.
“…we are quietly observing a rare event in history, what the late Israeli sociologist Baruch Kimmerling called “politicide,” the murder of a nation – at hour hands.” – Noam Chomsky, from the chapter titled “Exterminate All The Brutes: Gaza 2009″ from “Gaza in Crisis – Reflections On Israel’s War Against The Palestinians” by Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappé
Which isn’t to say that some Western societies (certainly America and Canada) don’t have in place very serviceable propaganda systems and don’t have in place societal features that can make people dumb as hell. Floyd Rudmin, author of “Bordering On Aggression,” reminds readers of something that Noam Chomsky said about the American propaganda system probably drumming up something like 90% support for invading Canada should the American government (consisting of political and corporate components) decide to do that! Some will indeed not notice what’s going on in the world. We all experience it; How many of our friends, family and workmates are happily oblivious to the destruction of Canada (and the Amazon and forests and rivers everywhere where capitalists want to graze cattle for hamburgers – adding to the problem of global warming – dig for minerals, dam up the precious waters, etc.), the destruction of the Palestinians, the destruction of societies where American-backed coups remove relatively democratic regimes and replace them with client regimes presided over by individual or composite ‘strong man’ leaders? In fact, Only 1% (not literally; I wouldn’t know numbers) carries the entire 99%. That’s why man alone can’t win against this darkness.
The 1% fighting for all of humanity is absolutely outgunned. Just because you’re a victim of unrighteousness, that doesn’t make you righteous. That doesn’t mean that you’ll care. That doesn’t mean that you’ll pay enough attention to what’s being done to you and your world that you’ll then see that clearly and want to expose the exploiters and destroyers and support their victims. You might squawk when you lose your job or get cancer living near the tar sands or get sick from breathing depleted uranium in Iraq or lose your clean drinking water because of fracking, but squawking isn’t fightback. It’s just noise. (Squawking that’s informed and intelligible is more than just noise.) Elites are not troubled by the wailing of their victims. In fact, they get a thrill from hearing it, as long as they are far enough away from the source that they can ignore it when they wish to.
The American military cannot be altered in order to forestall the above nightmare scenario. The oil-fed form that it now has will be the form it has on the day it is destroyed (by God, or “not by hand,” if you’re wondering). If there’s any nation that is, more than others, greatly in danger from other armed and dangerous countries, it’s the one that has attacked, in so many ways, so many others. It is the one that has been instrumental in maintaining the vicious, monstrous character of the system of things that has developed over the course of millennia on this bleeding planet. It is utterly perverted. It claims to enlightened and a champion of democracy and peace (or inoffensive, like a lamb) but, as the Christian Bible notes, it speaks like a dragon (Revelation 13:11). It goes around the world spreading terror and destroying and enabling other destroyers and claims to be democratic. It preaches democracy, a deed so sickening, considering it’s actual record, it prompted Noam Chomsky to write “Deterring Democracy,” about the United States and it’s non stop deterrence of democracy.
The United States has succeeded in having it’s US-centered, global economic system entrenched, thereby helping to fashion the hell on earth that we in the modern era have all come to chafe under one way or another. The American military, and the world along with it, is caught in a rat’s wheel and, drugged up on oil, it will, left to it’s own devices, run until it dies. It – it’s military – can’t safely stand down while it quits it’s addiction to oil, for which reason the task of conflating the superior, evolved, enlightened American way of life with the American military is essential (for coopting the people) and taken up by soulless writers like Thomas Friedman.
Indeed, The war on the people is direct and physical and nasty where and when it must be, but it is also a war on minds and hearts where and when it must be. In fact, the psywar rages daily, everywhere and all the time. But that, in all Western lands, isn’t the whole fight. The propaganda system works in tandem with brutal work culture and consumerism to keep the people weak but not to weak to slave for the 1%. John Edgerton, the first president of the National Association of Manufacturers, and others in his class, were believers in “the gospel of consumerism” and capitalism and rightwing ideals including a notion of choice, which we’re all familiar with, that seen choice as existing when it was the choice to support power (industrialists and the political class that allied with them) but not existing when it was any other choice, euphemistically referred to as “radicalism.”
Now, You have to give me some time to deliver (additional “Crimson Nightmare” posts) here. I have been dealing with a lot and it may not come soon.
*edit – August 28, 2014 – WP has come around to undoing – so far as I can tell – the big ‘improvement’ it made to it’s editor. I’m talking about what everyone is calling ‘the internal scrollbar’. There’s a window with the editor page, where the post content is displayed. It had it’s own scrollbar, in addition to the page’s scrollbar, which meant that needed features, buttons, on the right, were always handy. The content field could be scrolled independently of the rest of the page and the controls to the right, a system that I would call normal and instinctive. Then they removed that internal scrollbar, leaving only the page’s scrollbar, and forcing the user to scroll the entire page, with all of it’s controls, to get to the bottom of a growing post. Quickly, Your control buttons disappear, above. I will attach a few screen shots of the WP forum discussion where a spokesperson for WP announced the reversal of the ‘improvement’.
I am thrilled to see Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill and other progressive figures together under one roof socking to it power. First Look Media is that roof. I’m not thrilled that for that to happen, it took a billionaire with questionable loyalties to become the funder. How’s that old saying go?: ‘Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies even closer’.
From “Revealed: Visitor logs show full extent of Pierre and Pamela Omidyar’s cozy White House ties,” by Paul Carr, the following:
Speaking to the Daily Beast, documentary maker Jeremy Scahill mentioned his boss explicitly when comparing the cozy relationship between other news organizations and the White House. First Look, he insisted, would be different…
I think that the White House, whether it is under Republican or Democrat, they pretty much now [sic] who they are dealing with. There are outlets like The Daily Beast, or The Huffington Post that have risen up in the past decade, but they are very quickly just becoming part of the broader mainstream media, and with people that have spent their careers working for magazines or newspapers or what have you, and the White House believes they all speak the language on these things. With us, because we want to be adversarial, they won’t know what bat phone to call. They know who to call at The Times, they know who to call at The Post. With us, who are they going to call? Pierre? Glenn?”
Scahill’s question is a good one — and it’s also very easy to answer: If the White House has a problem with First Look, it’s a pretty safe bet they’ll pick up the phone and call Pierre Omidyar.
After all, according to records made available under Obama’s 2009 transparency commitment, Omidyar has visited the Obama White House at least half a dozen times since 2009. During the same period, his wife, Pamela Omidyar, who heads Omidyar Network, has visited 1600 Pennsylvania Ave at least four times, while Omidyar Network’s managing partner, Matthew Bannick, has visited a further three. In all, senior Omidyar Network officials made at least 13 visits to the White House between 2009-2013. (In fact the logs indicate that, on several occasions, Omidyar visited the White House more than once in the same day. To avoid unfairly inflating the numbers, I’ve removed same-day duplicates from all the totals cited in this article.)
To put the numbers in perspective, Omidyar’s six visits compare to four visits during the same period by NBCUniversal chief Stephen Burke, two by Fox News boss Roger Ailes, two by MSNBC’s Phil Griffin, one by New York Times owner Arthur O Sulzberger, and one each by Dow Jones’ Robert Thompson, Gannett/USA Today’s Gracia Martore and Omidyar’s fellow tech billionaire turned media owner, Jeff Bezos.
Why do we not see much about this in major media? Imagine the following headline in either the New York Times or The Toronto Star: “Pierre Omidyar’s new ‘speak truth to power’ org, with progressive stars like Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald on board, may be undermined by Omidyar’s cozy White House connection” People would be going “Huh? What’s that about? Progressives have been tricked?” If they didn’t have the concept of ‘progressive’ even in their minds before, that would have planted it there, along with the idea that ‘progressives’ are good and ‘good progressives stand up to the bad White House’. Corporate-owned media isn’t in the business of attacking it’s class. It’s not in the business of attacking the system it’s a part of, in a positive sense.
I was trying to comment on one of the blog posts on The Intercept (part of the First Look organization), but don’t remember which one exactly, when I found myself being jettisoned to the top of the post after posting. At first, I was disoriented. It took me a minute to figure out what had happened. Who has time for this crap? It never fails to amaze me how poorly websites are designed. After all these years! And these are websites by people and organizations that have the money to pay for their construction. My free WordPress.com website is more useful and organized than many of them, although I have to qualify that since WP has recently done a nasty ‘improvement’, a la Microsoft (windows 8), that has made it less efficient to desktop users, who I didn’t think, collectively, were that ‘small’ in the grand scheme of things.
Then again, We are living under corporatocracy. Search as you may for the democracy in it, you won’t find it. If hardware makers make more money making smaller devices (less material, same or greater prices to consumers), and if they don’t give a crap about the zillions of desktop users out there who get left behind as software gets tweaked for the newer, smaller devices, So what? Why can’t there be more than one kind of market, in computers, for capitalists? I can only speculate that the owners just couldn’t be bothered. They are only prepared to work so hard at scamming us, as they evade taxes, and the democratic factor isn’t a factor. (And from the 1%’s standpoint, Anything that introduces into society manageable chaos is a plus. Keep the people weak – which we are when we can’t communicate effectively – and that will keep the corporatocracy strong.) And if orgs like WP don’t care about that, What can people like myself do about it? Yes, I use WP for free, but I’d be happy to cough up something for the old WP.com which was more amenable to my laptops. (I’d be happy to cough up for a lot that I don’t cough up for, but I don’t earn a living wage. Actually, As of yesterday, I don’t earn any wage. The site transfer that I asked for from my company, G4S, and which was granted, hasn’t come through, even though they’ve got my replacement doing my old job and I’m left without work and nervously twiddling my thumbs. They aren’t communicating with me! Corporations can do what they like. If they don’t like you, they can abuse you – more than they already do.) WP spokespersons don’t discuss it. They just bullcrap us about their new improvements that some (You’ll see them in the WP forums. Who are they?) say we’ll get used to.
Note the number of comments for the WP ‘improvement':
A screenshot of my email to Lynn Oberlander at First Look and her reply follows, to be followed by a clearer repeat of the content of those emails:
Lynn Oberlander to me:
Dear Arrbyy: Thank you for your email. You raise a good point about having a contact for website issues. I am going to forward your email to the relevant party and also raise the question of a webmaster.
My email to Lynn (which was a contact I just randomly selected from the few provided):
Hello. I am entirely supportive of all that The Intercept is doing. (I’m not sure about it’s owner however.)
Why, why, why doesn’t TI have a contact for webmasters in order to receive feedback on website issues? That’s why I’m bothering ‘you’. Who the hell am I supposed to contact out of that short list that you (whoever ‘you’ refers to) provides? I just want to note that, while I truly like the ‘function over form’ approach taken here, the functionality should look at all users of the site, creators and visitors. I replied to another reader’s comment and was unceremoniously jettisoned to the top of the page. WHO HAS TIME for that?!!!
I sent my email to Lynn on August 4, 2014. I just popped into First Look today, August 15, to see whether anything’s changed in their contact list. Everyone’s busy. I know that. Still…
and a little further down the page…