*edit, July 14, 2019 – I guess I didn’t realize it at the time, but in the video below, in which Chris Hedges is interviewed by rightwing nutbar Kevin O’Leary, Chris says some positive things about Canadians banks during the 2008 (2006-2008) global financial meltdown. There’s a myth out there that Canadian banks were not bailed out. Just to be clear, they were bailed out.
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
In content, though, the Toronto demonstration seems curiously divorced from both the city and country in which it is taking place.
Maybe I missed it. But after a day at St. James Park, I didn’t find many talking about Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s decision to aid corporate interests by banning Air Canada strikes.
Nor did I find any talk about the radical moves coming from Toronto City Hall — such as contracting out city garbage collection in order to break the public sector unions, or selling off assets, or slashing library hours or cutting back transit services.
On the Ontario government’s ongoing moves to hand over public electrical generating capacity to big private corporations there was radio silence.
Ditto on the Bank of Canada’s decision to keep the dollar high at the expense of manufacturing jobs in Ontario.
My online response to the above linked-to article follows:
Thomas did his job. He reported what he knows he did ‘not’ hear. As fair or unfair as that may be – some suggest that Thomas missed the intelligent conversations – it serves to make the point that we need to care. When you care you pay attention and come to know. ‘Leaders’ making important decisions affecting us must be accountable, which they won’t be if we are ignoring their work. ‘Leaders’ want us knowing only enough to serve a parasitic minority. That’s why they want to murder Wikileak’s Julian Assange. We could start with that perspective and let it animate us. Thomas himself no doubts believes that he missed some informed talk, if only because it’s not logical to conclude that within such a large crowd there won’t be some educated (self or formally) people who have been following what’s going on and learning how to talk about it.
See John Pilger’s ZNet article titled “The ‘Getting’ of Assange and the Smearing of a Revolution.”
As for what’s typically Canadian, in regard to Thomas’s characterization of the crowd of protesters who he mingled with, I don’t know that I buy the myth that Canadians are more polite than Americans. I don’t buy it and I wonder what purpose propagating it might serve. People (too often) are pigs. Even good people (among those I see all the time) are pigs, talking like toilets (every other word is a swear word) and, yes, too often talking trash, by which I mean talking about anything but important matters and talking poorly to boot. People have let their minds go to mush. They can’t communicate. They can’t argue. They end up antagonizing each other needlessly. And I’m not even talking about people talking to others who they don’t like for some reason!
And how’s that degeneration of the citizen, of the human being, going to help the people to deal with the chaos and noise that elites help create for their own purposes? Chaos and noise produced by politicians who talk horizontally (getting us excited about superficial matters), rather than vertically (about deep or important matters that need addressing such as bailouts for capitalists who use us, bosses who don’t pull their weight and the rich not paying their taxes and forcing the 99% to pick up the slack), serves the minority which sees the people (who it exploits) as the enemy which needs to be kept distracted, divided, sidelined and off balance and anything but united, focussed and aware of their political surroundings.
Walkom is right that the government bailout of GM had good results. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t examine that so as to see just how and so as to see whether there isn’t some cost. (GM took the money and ran, if I recall. They didn’t change their ways and continued to build big gas guzzlers, focussing on the Chinese market and, by extension, cheap labor elsewhere. That might have changed with the price of gas and continuing pressure for this company to go green. But let’s know.) And we have a right to know. Capitalists who don’t like rules, who like freedom for themselves and no freedom for those who they exploit (rules putting us in our place), don’t feel the need to tell us anything and ‘their’ governments – the people have lost control of governments, whatever Walkom or Chantal Hébert may say about politics – back them up in that regard. We can disagree with those who say we have no right to know. We ‘do’ have a right to know – if it affects us.
But we do need to remember that, as much as they’d like us to remain frightened children, We can rebel against the legal framework established by corporatocracy, or fascist, governments who conveniently view the people as the enemy – by their deeds and often in their language. Some servants of power (Chantal Hébert?) perhaps being more than usually aware that not all is well and not appreciating having it pointed out to them, like those comfortable plugged in people in the Matrix, go apoplectic when they hear the message that we DO NOT HAVE DEMOCRACY!
Talk about politicians needing to keep us off balance and unfocussed! Talk about elites openly showing disdain for the people! Check out (below) this bit of viciousness by Kevin O’Leary, a tool unleashed by the compromised CBC on an unsuspecting journalist, Chris Hedges, who’s reputation for ethical journalism and service to society, as in ‘all’ of society, is firmly established. (OWS, in the video title, stands for Occupy Wall Street.) Elites disdain the people. And so do their servants. Mainstream journalists, talk show hosts and news reporters should be answering to the people for their crime of propping up a criminal, parasitic minority and must be conscious of that fact and instinctively feel that the best way to deal with the problem, as long as humility isn’t present and repentance isn’t on the menu, is to attack viciously anyone representing the exploited people.
This just goes to show, as well, that we need to be vigilant – caring, once again – when it comes to media and their members. Rightwingers foolishly refer to the Toronto Star as socialist. They know that the only socialism happening is in their camp, but that doesn’t stop them from babbling at us. They don’t want us to have what they have, namely security and prosperity, provided in a rational way, namely through a government and rules that help to make society work. The resource rich Right does not have to talk sensibly to us. It knows it has power and can babble at us and that we weak, mush for brains cattle, have no way to get accountability from it. Therefore, We need to take their measure and to watch all those who would claim to speak for the people, including Thomas Walkom and the Toronto Star which he works for and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which is supposed to be the people’s voice but was compromised some time ago. And when we discover fake friends, it’s very important that we out them.
While I was socializing at one of my indie coffee shops (Wunderland), Peter, the owner, showed me a video of a CBC interview of Christopher Hegdes by Kevin O’Leary. It was hard to believe. I don’t have tv and this was the first I heard of this. So I found the video online and mulled it over and decided to post something about it. I am reminded by this CBC interview of Hedges of an earlier interview with another decent man, a writer, linguist, political dissident and humanitarian, namely Noam Chomsky. The dark road leading to destruction has been with us since Adam and Eve. And so have evil people. Also have a look at this interview with a much greener, perhaps less confidant, but fully engaged, Noam Chomsky. It was conducted by a creepy, affected, comfy rightwinger named William F. Buckley, Jr.. The program was called “The Firing Line.” The video says the date was 1969:
While I’m at it, I’ll leave you with one last video, a trailer. It’s for John Pilger’s movie, “The War You Don’t See,” which is about just that. It has, like people’s representatives Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges and Julian Assange, outraged power and it’s servants. You, therefore, may want to know more:
“Last December, the Independent disclosed that the US and Sweden had already started talks on Assange’s extradition. At the same time, a secret grand jury – a relic of the 18th century long abandoned in this country — has convened just across the river from Washington, in a corner of Virginia that is home to the CIA and most of America’s national security establishment. The grand jury is a “fix”, a leading legal expert told me: reminiscent of the all-white juries in the South that convicted blacks by rote. A sealed indictment is believed to exist.
“Under the US Constitution, which guarantees free speech, Assange should be protected, in theory. When he was running for president, Obama, himself a constitutional lawyer, said, “Whistleblowers are part of a healthy democracy and must be protected from reprisal”. His embrace of George W. Bush’s “war on terror” has changed all that. Obama has pursued more whistleblowers than any US president.” – John Pilger, “The ‘Getting’ of Assange and the Smearing of a Revolution”