Professional Scam Artists – part 21

“Canada’s trade unions deepen corporatist alliance with government during NAFTA talks” by Roger Jordan (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

As Canada and the United States enter the final stages of bitter negotiations over a revised North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the role of Canada’s union bureaucracy as a key partner of Canada’s big business Liberal government is becoming ever clearer. While stoking reactionary Canadian nationalism and boasting of their role as official government advisers during the NAFTA talks, leading union bureaucrats are pulling out all the stops to prevent an eruption of the class struggle.

“I can’t think of any (previous) trade agreement, ever, where labour has played any sort of an active role,” blustered Unifor President Jerry Dias in a CBC interview last week in which he boasted about the unions’ high-level access to government officials, including Liberal ministers. “NAFTA has been a game-changer for the labour movement and how working class people are treated as it relates to trade.”

Apart from Dias’ thoroughly cynical invocation of the working class, upon whom he and his fellow union bureaucrats have for decades been imposing wage cuts and other givebacks at the behest of corporate management, the Unifor president’s comment contains a grain of truth. The “game changer” has been that the union bureaucracy’s long-standing corporatist alliance with the government and big business has dramatically expanded over the past year, with Dias and Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) head Hassan Yussuff accompanying the Liberal government’s negotiating team to Washington and Mexico City…

The unions in the United States are playing an equally reactionary role.

Jordan notes that Dias expressed hope that Trump et al would produce a more progressive deal for Canadians. That’s like sending your children to an ISIS camp for them to be babysat and expecting a good outcome. Incredibly, there were a few gains that came about from this re-negotiation (and I don’t know whether Dias and his union leadership colleagues can claim credit for those), but the deal is still awful and couldn’t possibly be anything else.

related: “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly on NAFTA 2.0” by Sujata Dey (The Council of Canadians)

“Cameco ruling shows need to outlaw tax haven use” by Dennis Howlett (Canadians For Tax Fairness)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

=== == =
Like many Canadian companies, Cameco uses subsidiaries and related companies in known tax-haven countries to lower their taxes in Canada. This often-used strategy by large corporations is costing Canadians over $10 billion per year.

The September 26, 2018 Tax Court of Canada ruling on the Cameco case deals with the company’s practice of selling uranium at a low below-market price to its subsidiary in Switzerland, which in turn sells at a much higher price to their ultimate customers. The company challenged the CRA tax assessments that they owed back taxes.

The Tax Court ruling sided with Cameco. Though the ruling only covers the company’s 2003, 2005 and 2006 tax years including about $11 million in taxes, it will have implications for the approximately $2 billion in taxes plus interest and penalties CRA has assessed as owing in subsequent years.

To add insult to injury, in addition to the millions taxpayers are already out from the suit, Cameco will be making an application to the court to recover their court costs – a total about $57 million.
= == ===

“New job numbers in, still no credible evidence against minimum wage raise” by Ricardo Tranjan (Behind The Numbers / Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

During an announcement last week, Labour Minister Laurie Scott confirmed plans to freeze the minimum wage at $14. This measure would prevent more than 1 million Ontarians from getting the legislated $1/hour raise next January.

The minister provided two pieces of “evidence” as justification.

First, she said business owners have told her they find it hard to adjust to the raise; some of them apparently told her they are even working longer days to make up for employee hours that have been cut back…

The minimum wage increased in January. Scott’s party assumed office in June and proceeded to break campaign promises, cancel contracts with international companies and pick legal fights with other levels of government. Could August’s job numbers perhaps be related to the uncertainty a change in government has created? Could it possibly related to the potential for auto tariffs to be applied at the U.S. border by the Trump administration? We don’t know.

Today, Statistics Canada released the following statement regarding the August job loss:

The level of part-time employment observed in September 2018 is consistent with typical seasonal patterns. On a seasonally unadjusted basis, declines in part-time employment usually observed in July occurred this year in August…Further analysis will be undertaken to identify the labour market conditions contributing to these trends.

In other words, Statistics Canada experts are not completely sure of what happened to part-time employment in August. They will do due diligence before providing a definitive answer…

Table 1 and Table 2 present overall employment figures and employment growth rates in minimum wage–heavy industries. The conclusion is clear: Ontario’s labour market is doing well, and in some areas it is doing better than the Canadian average.

Tables 1 & 2 can be seen at the top of the entry.

Rightwinger J.K. Rowling

“J.K. Rowling Rolls Out Tired Anti-Semitism Trope” by Warren Beale (The Libertarian Institute via American Herald Tribune)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

I wasn’t entirely sure how to begin writing the following words. I felt that I was walking on egg shells, and had to be careful to not say anything that might be interpreted in a way I did not mean. Then it hit me. This was the very problem I am attempting to address. You see, I came across a Haaretz article recently about anti Semitism. J.K Rowling, the well known author of the popular “Harry Potter” book series, had written a new novel where the villain is critical of Israel, thus being labeled an anti Semite. Immediately I realized the absurdity and danger of this characterization. For a while now there has been an attempt to paint anyone critical of Israel as an anti Semite, but this is a new level, now making its way into children’s literature. Rowling’s justification for the characterization is due to what she believes to be rising anti Semitism in Europe. Replying to a comment that states Arabs cannot be anti Semitic because Arabs are Semites too, Rowling shared a dictionary definition of anti-Semitism that states it’s “hostility to or prejudice against Jews.” I wonder, when did we shift definitions to fit our narrative? Then I realized this is a type of Orwellian newspeak, wherein the very people who call themselves peacemakers that drone strike civilians, change labels to suit themselves.

J.K. Rowling also added her star power to the propaganda operation that centered in a little girl named Bana Alabed. Rowling is therefore no stranger to using kids to further the war aims of the US-led Corporatocracy. See my previous blog post titled “The Ruination Of Bana Alabed.” Elliot Aronson, a social psychologist, long ago wrote (in “The Social Animal”) about something called social reality. When everyone around you asserts that a thing is so, even if you know that it isn’t, then after some time has passed and no one else speaks up to tell you that you are right and the crowd is wrong, you may lose the strength of your convictions – unless you’re solid. Something similar could be at work here. That and simple gatekeeping, in which unprincipled people (the opposite of solid), who don’t care how they survive but only that they do, make the determination that those who claim that antisemitism means criticism of Israel, instead of racism against Semites, who also happen to be those with power, should be supported and their victims should be hindered, attacked, anything but left in peace.

As for the Libertarian Institute website, I have zero use for it. Without even looking for anything, my eyes fell on a statement asserting that socialism is no good because it relies on force. That implies that capitalism is good because it doesn’t rely on force. Good grief!

The “Adir” jets first flight in Israel.Pictured: “Adir” jet and F-16I “Sufa”.Photo by: Maj. Ofer. .הטיסה הראשונה של מטוסי ה”אדיר” בשמי ישראל.בתמונה: מטוס ה”אדיר” ומטוס ה”ספוה”.צילום: רס”ן עופר

“The US Military-Industrial Complex’s Worst Nightmare: The S-300 May Destroy and Expose the F-35” by Federico Pieraccini (Strategic Culture Foundation)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The tragic episode that caused the death of 15 Russian air force personnel has had immediate repercussions on the situation in Syria and the Middle East…

In one sense, the delivery of S-300 batteries to Syria is cause for concern more for Washington than for Tel Aviv. Israel has several F-35 and has claimed to have used them in Syria to strike alleged Iranian weapons transfers to Hezbollah. With the S-300 systems deployed in an updated version and incorporated into the Russian command, control and communications (C3) system, there is a serious risk (for Washington) that Israel, now incapable of changing the course of events in Syria, could attempt a desperate maneuver…

If the Israelis will follow through with their reckless attempts to eliminate the S-300 (if they can find them in the first place, given that they are mobile), they will risk their F-35s being brought down. The US military-industrial complex would suffer irreparable damage. This would also explain why Israel (and probably the US) has for more than five years put enormous pressure on Moscow not to deliver the S-300 to Syria and Iran…

The F-35 program has already cost hundreds of billions of dollars and will soon reach the exorbitant and surreal figure of over 1 trillion dollars. It has already been sold to dozens of countries bound by decades-long agreements. The F-35 has been developed as a multi-role fighter and is expected to be the future backbone of NATO and her allies. Its development began more than 10 years ago and, despite the countless problems that still exist, it is already airborne and combat-ready, as the Israelis insist. From the US point of view, its employment in operations is played down and otherwise concealed. The less data available to opponents, the better; though the real reason may lie in a strong fear of any revelation of potential weaknesses of the aircraft damaging future sales. At this time, the Pentagon’s marketing of the F-35 is based on the evaluations provided by Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer, and on the tests carried out by the military who commissioned it to Lockheed Martin. Obviously, both Lockheed Martin and the US Air Force have no interest in revealing any weaknesses or shortcomings, especially publicly. Corruption is a big thing in Washington, contrary to common assumptions.

“Former Prisoner of Conscience Condemns Amnesty International” by Camilo E. Mejia (teleSUR)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

=== == =
Through this letter I express my unequivocal condemnation of Amnesty International with regards to the destabilizing role it has played in Nicaragua, my country of birth.

I open this letter quoting Donatella Rovera, who at the time of speaking had been one of Amnesty International’s field investigators for more than 20 years:

“Conflict situations create highly politicized and polarized environments… Players and interested parties go to extraordinary lengths to manipulate or manufacture ‘evidence’ for both internal and external consumption. A recent – though by no means the only – example is provided by the Syrian conflict in what is often referred to as the ‘YouTube war,’ with a myriad techniques employed to manipulate video footage of incidents which occurred at other times in other places – including in other countries – and present them as ‘proof’ of atrocities committed by one or other parties to the conflict in Syria.”

Rovera’s remarks, made in 2014, properly describe the situation in Nicaragua today, where even the preamble of the crisis was manipulated to generate rejection of the Nicaraguan government. Amnesty International’s maliciously titled report – ‘Shoot to Kill: Nicaragua’s Strategy to Repress Protest’ – could be dismantled point by point, but doing so requires precious time that the Nicaraguan people don’t have, therefore I will concentrate on two main points:

1. The report completely lacks neutrality
2. Amnesty International’s role is contributing to the chaos in which the nation finds itself…
= == ===

Shadi Yousef Shehda showing Eva his murdered family

“Liberate Idlib and Syria: The Martyred of Mhardeh Speak Through the Ones They’ve Left Behind” by Eva Bartlett (In Gaza And Beyond)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

MHARDEH, SYRIA — (War Report) On September 7, Mhardeh, a small Christian town in northern Hama, was targeted with nine Grad missiles — six of which were fitted with internationally-prohibited cluster sub-munitions — by al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists roughly four kilometers away from the town center, occupying the northern Hama countryside areas of Ltamenah and surroundings.

Four days later, I went to Mhardeh and took the testimony of a man who lost everything to the terrorist attack: his wife, three young children, and mother were all killed in the initial bombardment…

According to Mhardeh’s National Defense Forces (NDF), the attackers were Jaysh al-Izza, a group that works directly with al-Qaeda in Syria…

Also, on September 7, the UN Security Council (UNSC) met to warn Syria’s government “against the use of chemical weapons” in Idlib — something the Syrian government had been repeatedly warning the UN about for weeks prior, specifying that terrorists within Idlib, and the White Helmets propaganda front, had been moving canisters of chlorine around in preparation for a new staged chemical attack. The Syrian and Russian governments warned that children who had been abducted from Idlib and the Aleppo countryside would be used in staged videos, surely to star [alongside] the fake-rescuers of the White Helmets.

But at the UNSC, the United States continued its hypocritical exceptionalism, again blaming Syria and Russia for alleged attacks not even yet faked by Washington’s terrorist allies in Syria.

That would be the same UN that ‘Christian’ leaders hailed as the political expression of the Kingdom of God on earth. See my previous blog post titled “Nazi America.”


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