An excerpt from the above linked-to Al Jazeera/ AP article follows:
Villagers in an area of Nigeria where Boko Haram operates have killed and detained scores of fighters who were suspected of planning a fresh attack, the residents and a security official said.
Locals in Nigeria’s northern states have been forming vigilante groups in various areas to resist the armed group which has held more than 270 schoolgirls captive since last month.
In Kalabalge, a village about 250km from the Borno state capital of Maiduguri, residents said they were taking matters into their own hands because the Nigerian military was perceived as not doing enough to stem Boko Haram attacks.
UN rapporteur calls for inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women
An excerpt from the above linked-to report from the Council Of Canadians follows:
Today, James Anaya, the United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous peoples, recommended in his report The situation of indigenous peoples in Canada that, “the federal Government should undertake a comprehensive, nation-wide inquiry into the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal woman and girls, organized in consultation with indigenous peoples.”
The Harper government continues to say that a national inquiry is unnecessary.
Notes Scott Gordon in his (very, very powerful, detailed and important) book titled “Imperialist Canada”:
“The Canadian state’s relationship with indigenous people provides a sharp example of the policy of accumulation by disposition, and serves as a potent reminder of Canada’s imperialist history. Any discussion of Canadian imperialism really must begin at home. Indigenous nations are Canada’s very own Third World colonies, created and managed as part of an intensive, ongoing colonial project, and they bear the scars of that history. First Nation communities – an archipelago of Bantustan-like territories carved out of much larger traditional territories that were taken by the imperial power – have rates of poverty, illness and suicide several times higher than the rest of Canada, while they have no meaningful right to self-determination. In many First Nation communities in recent years people have lived under boil water alerts because of E. coli outbreaks and a lack of clean water; tuberculosis has made a comeback; poverty reaches levels found in the Global South; and extended families live in overcrowded substandard houses that would be condemned if they were found anywhere else in the country. These are living conditions which belie the image of a tolerant, pacific and caring Canada…
“In the eyes of the Canadian state and capital, investment and profit considerations trump human rights. Here again, Canada really is not any different from other imperial countries. A key goal of its foreign policy is making the Third World a good place for Canadians to do business, and anything that could interfere with this, including concern for human rights, is perceived as a threat to Canadian interests. In the bluntly honest words of one Canadian business leader, responding to demands that Canada should address human rights abuses in the South: “punitive bilateral action… In the case of trade, it may hurt Canada more than it will change the behavior of offending governments.” That is the sentiment underlying the Stephen Harper Tories’ position on China: despite Harper’s public criticism of China’s human rights record, his International Trade minister and officials in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade have sought to restore stronger economic relations with it. This is the cold calculus informing Canada’s human rights policy: if it undermines corporate opportunities for profit, or gives our international competitors [who nevertheless rally with all corporatocracy governments to fight and defend against the people who they’ve abused] an edge over us, then the best option – the business option – is to disregard it.” -pages 66 & 172. – my words in the square parentheses
Stephen Harper’s challenge isn’t how to govern or solve Canadians’ problems. Corporations do the steering of the ship of state, even when that involves plowing through life rafts that regular Canadians are floating on in desperation. Harper isn’t part of the solution. He’s part of the problem. His might be a law & order government. But make no mistake about it; Stephen Harper is an agent of chaos. And he sees chaos as a positive that can help him to do his job of helping to make the world safe for psychopathic corporations, for when the people have to contend with chaos, they are far less likely to effectively work together to fight back against the powerful special interests that attack and exploit them.
Harper’s biggest challenge would lie in how he might, when he’s inclined, translate the wishes of his political partners into language he can use in public. So, When, in the course of devising yet another political power-transferring (from the people to corporations) ‘free trade’ deal, a leader like Harper is told by his private sector partners to ignore the people and environmentalists, he has to translate that or put it into ambiguous terms that will allow those who are willing (mostly dumb citizens who uncritically trust all that authorities do and say in their name) to fool themselves into thinking that the statement means the opposite of what it actually means. Or he just lies and hopes that he will be believed. See “Transatlantic trade benefits called a ‘fairy tale’ on German television as opposition to CETA, TTIP grows,” by Stuart Trew. Other corporatist politicians and another time… Remember the (defeated) MAI (multilateral agreement on investment)? Murray Dobbin, in his fine book titled “The Myth Of The Good Corporate Citizen – Democracy Under The Rule Of Big Business,” offers up this gem: “As for the willingness of corporations to entertain even these toothless “protections,” the heavy hitters behind the MAI have drawn a line in the sand. The U.S. Council for International Business, the most powerful lobby speaking for U.S. TNCs, wrote to senior U.S. officials in 1997. “The MAI is an agreement by [captured] governments to protect international investors and their investments and to liberalize investment regimes. We will oppose any and all measures to create or even imply binding obligations for governments or business related to environment or labor.”” -page 119. – my words within the square parentheses
See also the Rabble article titled “Harper seizes Crimean crisis to sell tar sands and fracked gas to Europe” by Stuart Trew. See also Matthew Behrens’s Rabble article titled “Canada’s coup-supporting corporate cowboy diplomacy.”
They steal countries, shamelessly, for the resources that their capitalists want to take, spilling whatever amount of blood is required to accomplish their theft. And they call it democracy. Of course. They cause trouble, committing murder and other atrocities in the process, and tell people – through the blood-guilty corporate owned media – that they are responding to trouble. This is what’s going on right now in Ukraine. Can Ukrainian citizens truly want to swap freedom, however imperfect, for austerity, if they know that that’s what’s on offer? So, What does the media in Ukraine tell it’s citizens about the struggle between the putsch government and citizens who don’t accept it? To the extent that that media conveys Western media reports, those people will be getting unmitigated lies, including the big one that Putin has invaded Ukraine. It’s so obscene and perverse that when neo-Nazis and fascists trap anti-putsch protesters inside government buildings that they’ve taken over, they then burn those buildings to the ground with the protesters inside and Western media calls the victims terrorists! See “Burning Ukraine’s Protesters Alive,” by Robert Parry. The site (Consortium News) which Robert Parry helps to operate carries a great deal of useful Ukraine info.
Is anyone honest going to deny it when I suggest that corporatocracy governments view a level of chaos as desirable? They need to sidetrack, not pay heed to, the people. That’s because they are abusing the people. The people want them to, Oh I don’t know, STOP ABUSING THEM. And it isn’t going to happen. Peace isn’t profitable. Class war is the only thing on the menu. It’s not only the slave labor and stolen resources that capitalists desire. But the chaos and desperation that the people acquire as a result of imperialism and colonialism and capitalist expansion in the neoliberal era itself is a source of profitable investment to private security companies and the military industrial complex.
Corporatist, or fascist, politicians just don’t want to hear from the people who they and their partners in the private sector abuse. (Which isn’t to say that they mind it if the people notice them when they abuse them. Indeed, Elites and their tools get a thrill out of being seen exercising the power of life and death over others, like God. Glory that is unseen isn’t glory.) They aren’t about to stop the abuse, which in this era of peak oil and water, has only ramped up. But they are conscious of the practical consequences. They anticipated the squawking and fightback that the people would do as a result of the constant, increasing squeezing that they planned to do to the people. The private sector component of the ruling class responds to the forecast (of social conditions that will obtain once their redesign of governments has been accomplished) by planning to profit from it. Naomi Klein addresses that reality quite nicely in her book “The Shock Doctrine.” Where the capitalist component of the corporatocracy goes, the political component follows. It’s not a politocracy. It’s a corporatocracy.
“The Trilateralists were initially brought together in 1973 by David Rockefeller, then chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank, and Columbia University professor Zbigniew Brzeninski, who later became national security advisor under U.S. President Jimmy Carter…
“Throughout the 1970s, the Trilateralists developed a common agenda for restructuring the global economy and nation states. This agenda, says UBC [University of British Columbia] sociologist Patricia Marchak, was based on two strategic objectives. First, in order to create conditions required for the restructuring of national economies in the global marketplace, the internal relationships between governments and peoples had to be completely reorganized. For the Trilateralists, this meant strengthening the hand of governments relative to citizen’ movements and public interest groups. Second, in order to ensure greater freedom for the movement of transnational capital, changes were required in the international structures of nation states. In particular, the international monetary and trading system needed to be restructured to accommodate global capital. On both fronts, the common obstacle that had to be dismantled was the Keynesian model of the nation state and the international economy.” – pages 44 & 45 of “Silent Coup – Confronting The Big Business Takeover Of Canada” by Tony Clarke.
In other words, the people were in the way of profits. Or, they would be once the world was redesigned to give complete freedom (political power backed by police and other state organs of repression) to corporations. Murray Dobbin’s Tyee article, “This Is The Security State Steve Built,” nicely states the case. And so, Clarke writes, “One of the first major studies commissioned by the Trilateralists had to do with the crisis of democratic governance which had become a major problem for global corporations.” Indeed. Democracy is a crisis for psychopathic corporations! And those who object to and talk about and call for discussion of their bogus (power-transferring) ‘free trade’ deals are regarded by corporatists as trade barriers.
The squawking of the masses who are abused in so many ways, directly and indirectly, is simply ignored by elites and their political tools. Then there are activists and people’s champions who respond to corporate-inspired abuse not only with squawking (which it’s natural to do when you’re being harmed) but also with fightback. Fightback, in the class war, can only be accomplished – whether effective or not – when those fighting back are informed. And one doesn’t become informed via passive learning, in which the victim sits in front of his or her television set and lets corporate owned media propagandize him. Fighting back that is more than squawking involves active learning. One must consult the alternative (not corporate owned, not pro corporatocracy) media. You have to lift a little finger, as they say. You have to seek out info on whatever subject you’re looking at, not settling for one or two sources. And filters are indispensable.
By ‘filter’ I simply mean that you must rely on trusted sources. Get your info from them and from sources they point to. Take their attitude toward sources they point you to into consideration. “Here’s where I got this information from. But these are not nice people.” Or “Here’s where I got this information from. And these are trustworthy, caring people.” How do you know where to start? I don’t know how to answer that question other than to suggest to you to not do nothing. Start somewhere. Pay attention. Start there. And then keep paying attention and learn who your allies are in the class war and rely on them, but not uncritically. Always be skeptical. Always question authority, even when it’s authority you trust. Besides, We are all imperfect. We can have good intentions but get things wrong. But as the old saying goes, Two heads are better than one. By extension, a community – namely a democratic community – is better than solo victims being taught about reality and God by corporate owned media. Sitting there in your living room watching a few minutes of CNN is easily more of a problem than a solution, if, when those who have taken the trouble to know something about what the media reports tells you something that you haven’t heard (from major media journos), you react, automatically and out of false pride, by rejecting it just because it isn’t what you ‘know’.
Gatekeepers are those who have the ‘right’ political views and act in such a way as to protect elites, which they do mainly by getting in between trouble-making CEOs and trouble-making politicians and the people who seek accountability from them. Gatekeepers have the right political views when they support power or, at a minimum, don’t care about what powerful people do. They can be appointed or they can be self-appointed. And when they are self-appointed, they may not even fully appreciate their role in this dark world. Relatively speaking, they come into being naturally, without any outside agency or internal awareness of their roles. And elites depend on them, and the chaos that their unprincipled, inhuman behavior creates in society. The people are constantly in a state of anger, fear, distraction and frustration as a result of decisions by powerful political decision-makers (whose constituencies are powerful special interests, rather than the people, whatever those politicians say when they seek votes, which they have to do as long as the corporatocracy’s various states must seek ‘legitimacy’) and as a result of the trouble-making of gatekeepers who then get in the way of the people who naturally try to get official decision-makers to do the right thing.
I am confronted daily by emails in my inbox from all the petition sites (OpenMedia Avaaz, SumOfUs, Change.org, Sierra Club, Council of Canadians, you name it) asking me to help (with donations) push back against crap that politicians do at the behest of powerful special interests who have deep pockets and who can count on media allies to say the right things about them. Unless you have very deliberately withdrawn from society (by which I do not mean the bread and circuses aspect of it), you would be familiar with this daily routine. Is this democracy? Why do we have to go to battle with ‘our’ leaders? Constantly? And it is battle. The things that corporatist politicians want to do do not fall into the category of ‘taste’ or ‘style’. They don’t make decisions that we disagree with but can live with. They make decisions affecting us that we can’t live with. Right now, for example, one of the alerts I’m looking at in my inbox has to do with the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) proposal to allow two lanes of internet. One will be faster, for those willing to pay (more). That’s bad enough. Add that bit of nastiness to the proposals consisting in the Trans Pacific Partnership, which would see rules adopted that allow internet service providers to ban families from the internet for life for going someplace online that elites and their political partners decide is off limits and you get a serious problem for the people and a serious blow to democracy, which democracy elites and their tools have no use for. That kind of crap is happening all the time, everywhere. You wouldn’t know, of course, if you don’t care. If all you do is work every day, sit in front of the television after work and nothing else, you can go a long way – maybe your whole life – before noticing that the world is hell. ‘Noticing’ should be defined. Because you can be affected by a lot of bad, anti-people, decision making and, because it comes in drabs and dribbles and from authorities who you just ‘accept’, even if you grumble about them, and it will never motivate you to care and fight back. No one can make another care. I can try to encourage you to care. But I can’t make you care. That’s something you will either do or not.
One of the things we love the most about the Internet is the way it gives us the freedom to read and watch what we want, and express ourselves when we want, without anything getting in the way.
But that freedom is under grave threat – giant U.S. telecom conglomerates are about to force every web service that can’t pay expensive new fees into an Internet Slow Lane1.
This Slow Lane plan will affect us all2 – especially here in Canada, where so much of our Internet traffic travels through U.S. servers. The plan will cripple your favourite websites and content, while making it more expensive for you to use the Internet.
We only have 48 hours to tell the FCC to back off before they start putting this Internet Slow Lane plan into effect. Send your message now →
Big Telecom wants to make your Internet look a lot more like cable TV, where they can pick and choose what you can watch. They’re trying to force you to watch the content they own, by slowing everything else to a standstill.
Big Telecom’s army of lobbyists have been pushing for these gatekeeper powers for years, and U.S. FCC Chair Tom Wheeler is about to give in.
From Thanh Lam’s Alternet article titled “There’s an International Plan to Censor the Internet in the Works — Let’s Stop It in Its Tracks,” the following:
Described by experts Lori Wallach and Ben Beachy of Public Citizen as “one of the most significant international commercial agreements since the creation of WTO”, the TPP is more than a trade agreement – it’s an underhanded attempt by old industry interests to censor the Internet.
The lack of general awareness about the TPP is exactly what unelected trade officials and lobbyists hope for; the more covert the negotiations, the easier it is to usher in extreme new Internet censorship rules.
The TPP’s extreme Internet censorship plan
The changes proposed by the TPP could seriously undermine citizens’ rights to participate in a free and open Internet. We know from leaked drafts that these draconian measures could criminalize your everyday use of the Internet, force service providers to collect and hand over your private data, and give old industry conglomerates more power to fine you for Internet use. As opposed to fostering a global forum in which citizens can engage with one another, the TPP would stifle any kind of innovation within the Internet community.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation underlines the dangers of the TPP:
“The copyright provisions in the TPP will carve a highly restrictive copyright regime into stone and prevent countries from enacting laws that best address and promote users’ interests. In this final stage, it’s time for us to demand that our lawmakers join those who are already denouncing this agreement. We must drag this out into the light and reject international laws that uphold corporate interests at the expense of users’ rights.”
Obama fast tracks the TPP, bypasses democracy
If it isn’t bad enough that these talks have occurred behind closed doors, President Obama is now taking this secrecy even further by attempting to “fast track” the deal through Congress.