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99% of my comments, in the last few days, in the Toronto Star’s readers’ comments sections have been disappeared by gatekeepers with the rightwing Star. Judge for yourself whether they are somehow unacceptable. Then you can visit the site and view the articles I commented on and examine the vile, ignorant, racist commentary that the Star’s gatekeepers have no problem with and draw your own conclusions. The above linked-to article by Thomas Walkom was the most recent article I read and commented on. I offered 3 or 4 comments. One, so far, was accepted. I just now tried to repost a couple of others. That worked once.
An excerpt from the top of post linked-to article by Thomas Walkom follows:
Canadians have long been split on the question of whether to admit 25,000 Syrian refugees by year’s end.
Those in favour say that helping refugees from Syria’s brutal civil war is a simple matter of humanity.
Those opposed fear that doing so could allow Islamic terrorists into Canada.
Last week’s terror attacks in Paris didn’t appear to affect this divide. Angus Reid polls conducted before and after the Paris attacks came up with much the same result: about 50 per cent of Canadians oppose the Liberal plan; roughly 40 per cent support it.
As for Trudeau’s decision to pull Canadian fighter planes from the war against Islamic State militants, critics may not fully appreciate the subtlety of the Liberal position.
The Liberals have never been hesitant to send Canadian troops into battle. It was Jean Chrétien’s Liberal government that sent Canadian soldiers into the Afghan War. It was Harper’s Conservative government that withdrew them.
During the election campaign, and again last week, Trudeau made it clear that he plans to beef up Canada’s role in the ground war in Iraq, even as he brings home the RCAF’s six fighter planes.
If you actually look at the facts, Trudeau will support the American empire, right or wrong. He will continue to feed Canada’s own, extremely profitable military/intelligence industrial complex and he will certainly continue with the neoliberalism that hurts the economy, all the while allowing Canada’s sovereignty to continue to be eroded (including via free trade deals like the TPP) until the Howe’s (Bill Morneau’s old stomping grounds) vision of a North American currency, controlled by the US, and dissolution of Canada as a nation, is realized. Bright or not, Trudeau no doubt knows what trajectory this country has been on since the formation of the Trilateral Commission, and similar business groups, and their efforts to bring about their goal of an irresistible corporatocracy (embracing neoliberal, or mafia, capitalism), and he’s okay with it. He wants to be a player too, just like his predecessors who also helped to oversee the democracy-destruction and class warfare program of the powerful 1%, infected with neoconservatism (the open embrace of evil), who rule and ruin the world. There’s no socialist Trudeau. Only howlers – who might make such claims when Trudeau makes some small gesture to the Left – who howl because they’ve been encouraged to by fascist leaders who know better would suggest it. Or stupid people.
This show, hosted by Peter Lavelle, featured the following panelists: Vladimir Golstein, Gilbert Doctorow, and Peter Kuznick.
My online, disappeared, post in response to the above linked-to episode of RT’s Crosstalk follows:
Peter Kuznick stated that the US has 100 bases spread around the world, which common sense would tell us can’t be the case. I had a quick look, because I just read a book that gives a figure for that. Natylie Baldwin and Kermit Heartsong are the authors of “Ukraine – Zbig’s Grand Chessboard & How The West Was Checkmated.” It’s not a perfect book. The authors toss out stuff like the ‘fact’ that there was no massacre at Tiananmen Square (page 152; the index in this book gets pages wrong). I have never heard anyone suggest that. I have never read anything that suggests that is the case. I’m not saying the authors are wrong. But, If you’re going to toss out super controversial statements like that, I would think you should 1. note that your position is controversial and 2. back up your position solidly. There is a reference to a Wikileaks cable. Still… Also, the authors, in making the case (well) that Putin is a victim of US machinations related to it’s ongoing zeal for the great game, fall into the trap of painting Putin and Russia and China as the good guys versus the bad guys. That’s not the world I know. In regard to Ukraine, yes, Putin is on much higher moral ground than the West and it’s compliant media.
“…President Putin was quick to point out that not only was the US’s military budget 10 times that of Russia’s (Russia at $50 billion versus the US’s at $575 billion), but that while Russia only had two military bases outside of its borders (Kyrgystan, Tajikistan), the US had as many as 1,000 military bases spread throughout the world (Hitchens 2014).”
The book, by the way, is a great update on the status of the great game that uncle Sam forces the world to play – at the expense of the people everywhere.
Either the RT News organization is anti-social – unless you’re actually contributing to it’s operation – or it’s very riddled with gatekeepers and the person who responded to an email I sent is a gatekeeper. I emailed them about not being able to change my password (and discovered that you can’t!) and received a curt response that told me much. That was my second email. A couple weeks previously, I emailed them about my first disappeared comment and received no reply. After someone did reply to me when I emailed RT again, two weeks later, and told me to read their rules for posting, I then sent them my post and asked what was wrong with it. I received no reply of course.
There’s no transcript for the above linked-to video in which Thom Hartmann interviews Max Blumenthal. At some future time, when I have the time and energy, I’ll possibly review the video and take notes so that I can offer you something here. In the meantime, I’ll just note that the interview is largely about the situation in Gaza and focusses mainly on the recent 2014 assault on Gaza by Israel. (And I’ll present my online, disappeared, comment below.) The Israelis named that latest mass murder “Operation Protective Edge” (which Max says is also called “Strong Cliff”). The interview was essentially a review of Max’s book, titled “The 51 Day War – Ruin And Resistance In Gaza.” Anyone who cares about Palestinians and human rights needs to read Max’s book. Max is actually there for some time during the assault. He, and his friend Dan Cohen, bravely set out to see for themselves what was going on and to interview the besieged Gazans. If you don’t choke up reading this account, then you’re not human.
I commented about the show, once I figured out how to register, but the comment never appeared. The following is my online comment, in it’s original typo-ridden form, in response to the above linked-to post:
Well, I’ve read Max from time to time. His reportage on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is important. I just did a blog post that used material from books I have, two which I’m still reading, by Noam Chomsky, Illan Pappé and Max. The book I’m reading by Max is his recent book, “The 51 Day War.” We can learn much from all of those people.
But when Max, who clearly is aware of the great game, suggests that Israel doesn’t have the same degree of support in the US as it had, I am not sure he’s on the right track. As Chomsky and others note, Israel is the US’s stationary aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean (along with Saudi Arabian, Turkey and Egypt). When Western journos talk about Israel as being a Western democratic outpost in the Middle East, they are right about the outpost part of it. Of course, the West, including the compliant, corporate owned, media are going to call Israel democratic, even while the Knesset passes a law (2010) that requires (‘future’ citizens, unlike the original form of this law which would have included present and future citizens of Israel) to swear an oath of loyalty to the ‘Jewish’ state. But if you had democracy in the Middle East and in the wider region, then the US would be asked to get the hell out, which we can’t have. That’s why we can’t have democracy there, not even within Israel’s grand jail called Gaza, where Hamas won an election that the Congressional Research Service called “free and fair,” as Max recounts in his book. Of course, Western journos all report that Arabs see Iran as the big threat in the region. But they shamelessly ignored the Arab main street and reported what the Arab people’s traitorous leaders want.
The US, playing it’s great game – of domination of the planet, which requires it to be vigilant to prevent the rise of any bloc, such as a Eurasian bloc that includes, naturally, Russia – that might have the power to go it’s own way (outside of the Washington Consensus), has encircled Russian and China. Recklessly. Ukraine could go very wrong, and hasn’t gone entirely right for the US. It’s pushed Russian to accelerate positive programs within it’s borders, including re-industrialization, while it grows closer to China. Readers here can check out Natylie Baldwin’s and Kermit Heartsong’s “Ukraine – Zbig’s Grand Chessboard & How The West Was Checkmated,” to get much good information about all of this. (I have some issues with the book, but it’s an awesome resource.)
Israel is essentially a base. As others have noted, Israeli leaders long ago decided to embrace alliance with the US and the West rather than pursue peace with it’s Arab neighbors and rather than treat it’s Palestinian charges with fairness and compassion. It’s only gone downhill since then. Illan Pappé bemoans the way leaders in Israel (like elsewhere, including the Ukraine, where Jews would not be welcome) have poisoned the minds of the youth of Israel. They’ve become bloodthirsty, racist monsters who see ‘all’ Palestinians as combatants worthy of destruction.
Max misses the fact that the Israel, however disrespected it’s leaders may be in some circles in Washington, is an important component in it’s great game. That won’t change until a higher power puts an end to that game and the greater game that it’s part of, namely the godless game of ‘riches for the strongest’.
I’m also not keen on Max’s characterization of the recent slaughter of Gazans as a war. Is it bravado? Is it Max’s attempt to honor Gazans, Hamas and the Qassam Brigade’s principled, brave approach to resistance? That wouldn’t be too bad, but I think Max needs to be clear about it because there’s a downside to employing that characterization. It’s precisely the characterization that Israel and it’s supporters use to evade the charge of having committed crimes in it’s slaughters of Palestinians. However brave and principled the Qassam Brigages are, they are still part of a people who are occupied. Israel actually has, legally, responsibilities toward the Gazans, as an occupied people. And that’s what makes it’s assaults major crimes. Take that context away and you have a weaker narrative.
I emailed RT about my disappeared post. I received no reply. A couple weeks later, I emailed RT again, specifically about their commenting feature. I had popped into the site again to have a look around. I checked the comments attached to the Blumenthal interview. There was no change and only one comment. Hmmm. Anyway, Another show caught my attention. It was about Russia bashing. It was so so. I thought I’d add a comment and so I registered again, since I seemed to have lost my computer-generated password for the site. Again, I didn’t know whether it was me or RT, but I couldn’t figure out how to change my password and that’s when I decided to email RT again.
I asked whether I could change my password or not. To my dismay, I cannot. RT has attitude, like those who attack it and Russia. And that’s because Russia and RT are a part of the wild beast of corporatocracy and don’t have God’s blessing. That’s how it works. RT seems fine (relatively), but it’s not angelic. I’ll still visit it and I’ll still denounce those opportunists who attack RT because they want to curry favor with the US, which plays it’s great game and is ramping up Cold War II, which involves promoting, via lies and propaganda, hatred of Russia, which in turn involves rhetoric about evil communists and the Russian plot to expand and take over the world. Opportunists like Michael Weiss and Peter Pomerantsev are happy to trade in this Orwellian, provocative cold war thinking and language because they have surveyed the geopolitical landscape, know the score in that regard and they see an opportunity to get attention and make money by siding with uncle Sam in his contest with Russia (and China). They therefore act accordingly.
My email exchange with someone (whose first language isn’t English, I would wager) follows:
Unfortenately you can’t change the password, but you can get a new one https://www.rt.com/requestresetpass/
About comments, we don’t delete them for political, personal or any other reasons.
We have some rules for posting comments on our web site (http://rt.com/comment-posting-rules/), you should read them before you post your comment.
Your comment may be no offensive (it’s only one of the rules), but if it breaks other rules it will be delete.
От: Arrbyy . [my email address]
Отправлено: 9 ноября 2015 г. 14:59
I attempted to register with RT a few weeks ago. I was looking for info about Max Blumenthal, whose book “The 51 Day War” I had just read. I found an interview of him by Thom Hartmann. I then thought I’d toss in a comment. I had a hard time registering, partly because it’s not clear that a couple of separate emails will be sent, with a password only in the second email. Then I found that there is no way to change the password. Either that, or the participant’s settings is not easy to find. I can’t find it. I’ll keep my machine generated password until I can change it to something I’ll remember.
If you can clue me in here that would be great.
Also, I’ve already emailed you about my disappeared comment, in connection with the Hartmann interview of Max Blumenthal. I received no response and have decided to blog about it. I don’t know whether that’s RT or gatekeepers (http://bit.ly/1AyUpV0) within RT. It doesn’t change the fact that my polite, uncontroversial (I would think) comment was disappeared. I have a section on my blog dealing with disappeared posts. That’s what my first comment to RT now is, officially. I will publicize the fact that my comment (which I will include in my post) to RT was disappeared because that’s what I do. If you want to say something about it, that’s fine. I’m all ears. I only mention it to you, in this email, because I happen to be emailing you about my password problem.
Thanks in advance.
RT doesn’t, as my email correspondent notes, ‘delete comments for political, personal or any other reasons’, but that only means something if they don’t also have a long list of ‘do nots’ that they explain ‘can’ lead to the deletion of your post or posts. The list is so long that it would be the easiest thing in the world for someone to find a reason to disappear any post, no matter how polite or what the content is. Your post can be deleted for complaining about a deleted post! That’s attitude, plain and simple. Your post can also be disappeared for containing standalone links. That isn’t explained, but I assume that what is meant is standalone links that are not related to the comment you make. I sometimes throw in links, outside of the main body of my comment, when I post comments online. But they are always related to the comment or subject I’m commenting on.
You get the reputation you give yourself, in the long run. Here’s RT’s commenting rules, which my friend told me I should read:
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We expect you to do so in a civilized manner and respect the rights of others to views and beliefs that are not yours. RT retains the right to delete or edit any comments we deem detrimental to discussion or which violate site protocol.
Your post will be deleted if it is
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An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Dru Oja Jay follows:
..which leads to me to the fact that the two most important positions, Treasury Board and Finance — the folks that control what can get funded, when and with how much — are a former Tory and a Bay Street boys clubber, respectively.
Scott Brison and Bill Morneau are decidedly status quo choices, continuing the tradition that saw Obama bring in Timothy Geithner and Jean Chretien appoint Paul Martin as finance minister. We all remember how well those appointments went, right?
Finance Minister Bill Morneau went to the University of Western Ontario and the London School of Economics. He is the multi-millionaire founder of a company that provides “human resources services” and manages pension funds for companies and government agencies. (According to SEC filings, his net worth is north of $26 million; his annual salary before he left to run for the Liberals was $1 million.)
From 2010 to 2014, Morneau served as Chair of the C.D. Howe Institute, a nonpartisan, economically conservative think tank that credits itself with having an impact promoting continental “free trade,” lower corporate tax rates, and reducing inflation. As Finance Minister, we can expect him to wield nearly as much power as the Prime Minister — perhaps more…
There’s a lot of talk about what kind of message this diverse cabinet sends to Canadians about new eras and new ways of doing things.
There’s another message that is unspoken, but can also be heard quite clearly: talented young MPs, women and people of colour can be the face of a new Canadian government, but conservative white men will hold onto the purse strings, thank you very much.
My online response to the above linked-to article follows:
In this one area alone, namely the appointment of Bill Morneau as finance minister, Trudeau has put his name in stone on a monument to the success of anti-people and anti-livable earth and pro inequality neoliberalism. Bill Morneau (http://bit.ly/1PcwTVv) is the former Chairman of the C.D. Howe Institute. It’s bad enough that these anti-democratic rightwing think tanks have, through corporate owned media and Canada’s zombie Liberal class, poisoned the minds of Canadians. But here, residents of Cabbage Town in Toronto (Toronto Center) have, to a great extent, elected the bloody C.D. Howe! Way to go fellow Canadians!
From Donald Gutstein’s “Harperism,” the following:
“The combined firepower of neo-liberalism think tanks over forty years has reshaped the Canadian climate of ideas to such an extent that it will take years – perhaps decades – for those views to change again. On top of these ideological underpinnings, [Stephen] Harper has fundamentally modified the relationship between state and society. The theme is simple: we must remove obstacles to the attainment of a state governed not by duly elected officials but by market transactions, because economic freedom is more fundamental than political freedom.” -pg 16
Translation: The prosperity of the 1% (‘economic freedom’) is all that matters. And, taking into account the heavy influence of neoconservatism in Canada’s Conservative and Liberal Parties, that economic freedom ‘should’ come at the expense of the 99%. Class warfare is a positive. It makes the ‘warriors’, who are doing fine, feel alive. The paradigm is ‘riches for the strongest’, a contradiction in terms if we accept that we were not meant to live like dogs eating dogs, with winners and losers.
Continuing with Gutstein’s book…
“In 2006, a new foundation began funding neo-liberal infrastructure after Donner cut back its direct support. Peter Munk, who made a fortune as head of Barrick Gold, created the Aurea (“golden,” in Latin) Foundation. The foundation grabbed public attention as sponsor of the Munk Debates, which pits high profile liberals against conservatives to debate controversial topics such as: “I would rather get sick in the United States than Canada,” “Climate change is mankind’s defining crisis and demands a commensurate response,” and “Foreign aid does more harm than good.” The debates serve two purposes. They elevate conservative positions to parity with long-standing liberal viewpoints, crowding out progressive ones. They also mask the foundation’s more financially significant activities: doling out nearly two million dollars a year to Canadian neo-liberal organizations. Major recipients (20017-2012) include… the C.D. Howe Institute ($644,000)…” -pages 63 & 64
There can be no more powerful rightwing think tank in Canada than the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, who former Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien [when finance minister under Pierre Trudeau] was proud to tell everyone “I never prepare a budget without seeking out the opinions of the Business Council on National Issues..” Recall how Paul Martin was shilling for Trudeau in the recent election. The corporate owned press marvelled at how ironic it was that deficit fighter Paul was helping to sell deficit spender Justin. Even the (fake) Left kept (and keeps) yammering about how the Liberals outflanked the NDP by pledging to do deficit spending, completely ignoring the fact that, as Emma Lui with the Council of Canadians (suddenly silent on this subject, like Duncan Cameron, who also raised the alarm) pointed out, Trudeau plans to utilize Harper’s P3 fund to do his deficit spending, something that rightwingers like Paul Martin would actually have no problem with, since P3 are essentially privatization by stealth.
Here’s what Maude Barlow and Bruce Campbell have to say about Paul Martin and the BCNI (now Canadian Council of Chief Executives), on page of “Straight Through The Heart – How The Liberals Abandoned The Just Society And What Canadians Can Do About It”:
Who wins in the total transformation of these Liberals? The business community, which has shown its appreciation to the Liberal Party (to “Welcome [it] back from the wilderness,” as Tom d’Aquino explains). At a recent Vancouver dinner featuring [Paul] Martin, businessmen showed their support of his budget by raising $85,000 (after expenses) for the party.”
From Tony Clarke’s “Silent Coup – Confronting The Big Business Takeover Of Canada,” pages 15 & 16, the following:
In Canada, the economic think tanks and advisory bodies provided the starting place for the infiltration of [Milton] Friedman’s theories in government bureaucracies. When the NDP under Dave Barret came to power in British Columbia, a small group of powerful B.C. corporate executives led by Pat Doyle of MacMillan Bloedel met in 1975 and discussed the formation of a propaganda think-tank to combat the “socialists.” As author Murray Dobbin explains, they brought in Michael Walker, a Newfoundlander working for the Bank of Canada, who told his backers: “If you really want to change the world, you have to change the ideological fabric of the world.”
Walker went on from there to establish the Fraser Institute, an agency explictly based on the free market theories of Milton Friedman. Focusing on the promotion of market values and cultural change, Walker and his associates at the Fraser developed a multi-faceted program that included writing anti-government and free market articles for weekly newspapers, engaging university students in discussions about free market philosophy, and distributing free market studies to legislators across the country.
However, it was the adoption of Friedmanite theories by established mainstream economic advisory bodies like the C.D. Howe Institute and the Economic Council of Canada that began to turn heads in the Ottawa bureaucracy, as well as several of the provincial capitals. During this period, the president of the C.D. Howe Institute, Carl Beige, emerged as one of the country’s chief economic gurus in the fight against increased government intervention in the economy. On almost a daily basis, Beigie made pronouncements in the business press, warning against rising budget deficits and the threats of increasing protectionism, and calling for free trade with the United States and a new role for government.
In effect, the C.D. Howe Institute became the staging ground for the resurgence of free market theories in official circles within Canada. To be sure, the Fraser Institute was known to be Canada’s No. 1 cheerleader for Friedmanite doctrines. But it was the Howe Institute, which had become recognized as Canada’s most prestigious economic think-tank under Beigie’s direction, that paved the way for legitimizing Friedman’s market theories in government circles and the mainstream press. Later, it would come as no surprise to discover that both the Howe and the Fraser Institutes were heavily funded by some of Canada’s major corporations and banks.”
Tony, in his above book, refers to the BCNI as a shadow cabinet. Indeed, It might be in that book (I’d have to closely check) or some other book or article I read many years ago, but I recall how researchers found that the papers (these orgs are hardcore pro active and have papers on everything, ready to present to legislators as ‘suggestions’) put out by the BCNI, as proposals or advice, ended up being adopted almost verbatim by the government. That’s bad enough. Today, members of the rightwing think tanks must be laughing their butts off and clanking wine glasses together at their good luck. We now just elect them, pretty much.
One more point. Just as it was never true that Stephen Harper was an economist or had a clue how to contribute to a healthy economy (from the standpoint of regular people), so too these think tanks aren’t primarily about the elevation of the economy over all else. (Harper ‘studied’ economics. Anyone, sane [http://bit.ly/1UwF5zL] or insane, can.) Talking about the importance of the economy, without qualification, is just their language but it’s also language that they must employ to hide the reality of their embrace of inequality. But, like Stephen Harper, it’s more accurate to say that they are all about elevating their ‘riches for the strongest’ paradigm above all else. (Individually, Leaders like Harper and Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, and most of them now, are simply in it for the power, the glory and the riches, in whatever proportion each prefers. To be a player with power, you please other players with power. That’s the game and the people, some who foolishly think they should play it too, pay dearly for their ‘leaders’ to play.) They’ve all been (or ‘chose’ to be) fervent believers in neoliberalism, which, as Donald Gutstein and others note, entrenches inequality. In other words, there ‘has to be losers’. There can’t be an economy that works for all. When neoliberals blather about the economy, while promoting free trade agreements that transfer political power to unaccountable corporations, killing the voice of the people (through political representation), you know that what’s in the works isn’t good for the people. That’s why you want to preempt their pushback against exploitation with things like free trade deals. Together with propaganda, and the apathy of the people (now extreme), induced by an element of propaganda called consumerism (capitalism is the true religion; Show your devotion by spending and if you don’t have money to spend, then work more), the business community, not a nice bunch, can’t lose.
Stephen Lendman on Milton Friedman: http://bit.ly/1NfzrfN