An excerpt from the above linked-to article, by Carol Goar, follows:
Paul Martin knew a thing or two about retrenching. When he became finance minister in 1993 he faced a much bigger challenge than today’s cost-cutters. Canada’s chronic deficit had hit a record $42 billion. Two international agencies, Standard and Poors and Moody’s, had lowered Canada’s credit rating. The Wall Street Journal branded Canada a “Third World banana republic.” Economists were speculating on when — not whether — Canada would hit the debt wall…
Rather than sneering, his successors would be smart to see what they can learn from his approach.
Following are my two online responses to the above linked-to article:
Save It Carol
I stopped reading Carol Goar long ago after reading her pro free trade propaganda. (The disturbing reference to rightwinger Paul Martin got my attention.) I should quit reading Haroon Siddiqui as well, seeing how he wants us to believe that the system doesn’t need changing. (See his most recent propaganda piece.) We just need to make it work for us – by electing democrats, like Obama. Lol! Has the 1% been harping on it’s media to get busy and out-shout the 99%? / “But members of the investment community, who profit enormously from the war on inflation… rarely miss an opportunity to flog the deficit horse. Since developments in the market are difficult to decipher at the best of times, financial analysts are more or less free to give whatever spin they want – especially since no one questions them.” -pg 119 of “Shooting The Hippo,” by Linda McQuaig.
Speaking Of Archives…
I’d love the Star to unearth the disappeared CBC expose of tax evader Paul Martin titled Anchors Away. Are you familiar with it, Carol? Nothing to say?
It’s stunning how shameless and bold the 1 percent’s media assets can be. It’s one thing when a Rush Limbaugh or Terence Corcoran spouts rightwing propaganda, but when journos who ‘those’ ones denounce as socialists (for propaganda purposes) bundle rightwing propaganda with a handful of pro civil society statements, then you can be forgiven for being angered, frightened, confused, frustrated and even discouraged. Be any or all of the above, but stay focussed. Stay focussed on right and wrong, on principles and base your decisions and actions on evidence, just like scientists would. Liars have mothers, fathers, sons and daughters and friends and neighbors. None of those connections made the lies of the liars truths. When your allies do and say things that you know that they know are wrong, Don’t go off the deep end. They must spiritually fail on their own. Don’t join them.
Mysterious lawlessness, which I have not blogged about (that I recall) but which I’ve wrote about (in my unpublished two-volume book), obtains when our political and other leaders, namely people who are educated and professional and who know right from wrong, publicly do and say evil things. Why mysterious? It’s mysterious from the standpoint of those observers (neither good nor bad) who lack a moral foundation. They observe the lawlessness of their betters and note that they are consciously and deliberately rule-breaking and they conclude from watching that behavior that “Bad must sometimes be good.” That’s the logical conclusion for morally immature observers of such lawlessness to reach. And once they do embrace that darkness, What does that do for civilization? It certainly doesn’t bring God’s blessing.
Carol’s opening sentences are disturbing for a number of reasons. Linda McQuaig is a freelance writer who often has articles in this daily that rightwingers view (for propaganda purposes) as a socialist rag. Linda’s pieces are, however, very good. She’s with the people rather than with the elites. So, It’s as if Goar is telling this sometime colleague to go f**k herself! “Really?,” you ask. Really, I answer.
Have you read “Shooting The Hippo”? The first chapter of Linda’s book is taken up with an explanation of the title, which serves in itself to tell the whole story of the self-serving propaganda surrounding the subject of deficits. Canada was in the grip of deficit hysteria in 1993, whipped up by the business community and it’s media allies. Eric Malling was the host of a television show called W5 and he was responsible for an episode which incorrectly compared New Zeland’s fiscal situation with Canada’s in order to make a case (we are hitting a debt wall) that, if bought by the public, would help the net lenders (Malling’s class) in society reap rewards from. With the public convinced that we were in a desperate situation in which only cuts to social spending (what makes society civilized) could rescue us, then a regime of tight money, extremely low inflation and high real interest rates – resulting in price stability and guaranteed good returns on investments as well as favorable conditions for privatization – could be put in place by rightwing governments.
The hippo? New Zealand’s rightwingers successfully attacked and dismantled New Zealand’s progressive, successful welfare state and in the process had people there believing that their government couldn’t even afford to house and feed the hippo in the zoo. Ergo…
“Malling, the consummate TV host, makes it all sound necessary, even reasonable. What choice is there but to shoot the baby hippo? The government is in debt…
“The show is about debt, about what happens when a country hits the “debt wall.” Ostensibly, it is a story about New Zealand, but Malling makes clear it is really about what lies ahead for Canada…
“…Malling traces the dramatic cuts New Zealand has made in government spending over the last decade, slashing social programs, introducing user fees, removing government regulations and privatizing just about everything the government owned, including the post office and the national airline.
“All this has been done, not by choice, but because debt left New Zealanders with no other options, Malling explains. The health minister tells Malling this had to happen because New Zealand was “at the edge of a cliff.” Malling quickly tells his audience, “Well now, a lot of Canadians, I think, are getting a view of the cliff too.”
“The show is a masterpiece of TV journalism…
“Its only shortcoming – which went largely unnoticed – was that it distorted what actually happened in New Zealand… The real story is about how New Zealand’s politicians embarked on a huge experiment in which they transformed their country from an advanced social democracy into a free-market jungle with massive unemployment, growing inequality and a damaged manufacturing base…
“…What Malling was referring to was not the bankruptcy of the country, which never happened, but a very short-term currency crisis. “It is simply not true that we reached the limits of our borrowing capacity,” said Jonathan Boston, associate professor of public policy at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, after reading the transcript of Malling’s New Zealand program.” – from chapter 1 of “Shooting The Hippo – Death By Deficit And Other Canadian Myths,” by Linda McQuaig
Again, Carol Goar wrote: “Paul Martin knew a thing or two about retrenching… The Wall Street Journal branded Canada a “Third World banana republic.” Economists were speculating on when — not whether — Canada would hit the debt wall.”
As for the sad Haroon Siddiqui, the following is an excerpt from his article, “Arab Spring Passes Canada By”:
Monarchs in Morocco, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and elsewhere have made legislative concessions or bribed their citizens to buy temporary peace.
The Islamists have turned out not to have horns. Some have sounded scary but most have been pragmatic…
The Obama administration is talking to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. It has warned the military regime against delaying transferring real power to the elected government…
As the decrepit old order is being replaced by a healthier one, the U.S. and others are trying to be on the right side of history. But not Canada.
Siddiqui is trying hard to preserve the myth of Camelot (originally created in order to make the US system seem okay by presenting the murderous JFK as a shining knight in white armor who died at the hands of powerful enemies because he attempted to stop the killing in Vietnam, showing that the system ‘could’ produce good presidents), which has utility for all corporatocracy governments, and to help make that easier by encouraging us to lower our standards. He notes that the U.S. is complicit in the past repression of Arabs by their murderous leaders and then he goes on to prop up Obama, who has out-Bushed Bush, which would suggest that Siddiqui thinks we are not to be bothered ‘too’ much by all that evil.
In an effort to frame the debate, he mentions that Obama is talking to the Brotherhood, as though that is a virtuous thing and there’s nothing else to say about it when, we saw, The Brotherhood isn’t democratic in any positive sense, caring about itself (and the potential for it to survive the then current upheavel and later maneuver for power) and it’s followers only, as demonstrated during the initial uprising when not a single brotherhood member risked displeasing the Egytpian government by being out in the street with the young people who were stepping up. Any way you slice that, The Brotherhood has no proper interest in democracy. Where was the concern for those bringing badly needed democracy to Egypt? And if you buy the idea that members were instructed by their leaders to stay put, then you have to ask yourself, What does that say about members that they ‘agreed’ to let those who were fighting for democracy face soldiers and thugs alone?
I wrote about this before. I suspected that the Americans would try somehow to rescue their Egytpian asset, namely the military, that being the one sure, powerful force capable of preventing the revolution from succeeding.
Some on the Right might call the Star a socialist newspaper, but clearly it serves their class well. Don’t be fooled. As for myself, I’ll take Christopher Simpson’s, and John Stauber’s, advice (in the documentary called “Psywar”). Simpson says that you can’t, and shouldn’t, stop propaganda, for that would mean you are against free speech. There is no mind control happening or perhaps the situation would be hopeless. But people need to know that there is propaganda and they need to know how it works, which is how you take away it’s power. You should force the players to the surface so that where you have campaigns (like deficit terrorism), you can show what faction of society that propaganda comes from by explaining how it would benefit from acceptance of the propaganda.
Here’s my effort to do that. I don’t know who Carol and Haroon hang with… physically.