Archive for the ‘Doublespeak’ Category

Living in a Glass House type economy   Leave a comment

There is a saying that those who live in glass houses ought not to throw stones. Mea culpa.

I have had an opportunity to complete reading a book by Brian Alexander called; “Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town”. It is an excellent book that gets into some of the nuances of what is happening to “ordinary people” and civic life in the U.S.A.

If you have some Anchor Hocking cookware in your kitchen, you have a connection to Lancaster Ohio, the town that is being destroyed by the current economic system. Of course, it isn’t just Lancaster Ohio.

A review of “Glass House” by Laura Miller can be found at: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2017/02/brian_alexander_s_glass_house_about_lancaster_ohio_reviewed.html

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This book has helped me to understand a bit about what it is like to live in the U.S.A. at this time in history.

 

Canada does Trump’s bidding with massive new defence spending.   Leave a comment

This material is copied from www.Ceasefire.ca and it relates to the announcement on June 7, 2017 that Canada will increase its spending on the military.

Sajjan

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan released Canada’s new defence policy today and here are the highlights:

–          A 70% increase in defence spending over the next 10 years

–          A staggering 62 billion dollar increase over the next 20 years

–          An increase in the number of fighter jets to be purchased from 65 (under Harper) to 88

–          An increase in personnel in both the regular and reserve forces

The Trudeau Liberals did not campaign on, and have no mandate for, significant increases in the defence budget. There has been no change in the international security environment since their election to justify such astronomical increases. The only change has been the election of Donald Trump.

While there are positive elements of the new policy – particularly Canada’s engagement in support of UN peace operations – the new funding envelope is nothing short of a total capitulation to the American bully, President Trump.

See tomorrow’s blog (at www.ceasefire.ca )for more detailed analysis of the policy and its implications for Canada.

 

Meanwhile, in Toronto, 1,000 families will have their homes taken away from them in 2017 and 2018 because of the lack of government assistance for repairs to affordable housing; an untold number of First Nations people all across Canada will not have potable drinking water; etc, etc.

Climate Depression   Leave a comment

Naomi Klein counsels all of us NOT to succumb to “climate depression”, but to continue to act to reduce carbon emissions, AND to speak up. In her book, This Changes Everything, she says that little has happened to reduce carbon emissions because the actions that would do so, and benefit the vast majority of humankind, “are extremely threatening to an elite minority”.

IMG_1697

Winter 2014 on Lake Ontario

She also writes that, “during the same years that our governments failed to enact a tough and binding legal architecture requiring carbon emissions, supposedly because cooperation was too complex, they managed to create the World Trade Organization – an intricate global system that regulates the flow of goods and services around the planet, under which the rules are clear and violations are harshly penalized.”

Is it any wonder that the agreement reached in Paris in December 2015 did not have legally binding provisions?

Addressing climate change cannot be relegated to governments, and the political elite. It is what all of us can do, both as individuals and as a part of grassroots communities that demonstrate that the power to do the right thing will not be taken away from us.

 

70th Anniversary   Leave a comment

The Day the World Changed
by Jim Rice

Pick any day on the calendar, and it most likely will mark the anniversary of significant events, from the profound to the puerile.

Aug. 6 is no exception. On that day in 1965, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, intended to guarantee African Americans the right to vote (a right that, unfortunately, is still under attack). The day also marked the debut of cultural phenomena and figures from George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones (in 1996) to the births of Andy Warhol and Lucille Ball.

But it’s also the day the world changed. Seventy years ago, the city of Hiroshima, Japan, was obliterated by a single bomb. It was not only the first use of atomic weapons in warfare, but the beginning of the Nuclear Age — on which the world has spent, by some estimates, well over $6 trillion — that’s trillion with a “t.” And plans to “modernize” the U.S. nuclear arsenal (which is a euphemism for continuing to build state-of-the-art weaponry for the next 30 years) will likely cost another trillion or so.

The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, by any civilized standards, represented one of the moral low-points in human history. After all, by very conservative estimates, 135,000 people died from the atomic blasts — most of them civilians, the victims of the intentional targeting of cities. Think about that — these weren’t military targets, but cities full of men, women, and children, going about their lives, destroyed in seconds by the most destructive weapons ever invented.

But the point of memorializing isn’t about the past. It’s about ensuring such things happen “never again.”

Which brings us to Iran.

Read all of what Jim Rice wrote in Sojourners athttps://sojo.net/articles/day-world-changed

   

David Cameron and Jim Flaherty prove fatalism is back: Salutin   Leave a comment

Sunrise at Cape Spear

Sunrise at Cape Spear

Rick Salutin muses on the topic of those who are fatalistic about climate change.

Read his Toronto Star column at:

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2014/02/13/david_cameron_and_jim_flaherty_prove_fatalism_is_back_salutin.html

Nuclear disarmament ?   Leave a comment

 

Matthew Behrens

Canada aids and abets the spectre of nuclear terrorism

BY

MATTHEW BEHRENS – published by Rabble.ca
Photo: Peace activists Rev. Carl Kabot, Greg Obed, and Michael Walli. Credit: Sc

Earlier this year, Michael Walli made a blunt confession in a Tennessee court. “I was employed as a terrorist for the United States Government,” he told the judge hearing his case. And sure enough, Walli is facing down a potential 35 years in prison for what his prosecutors successfully argued was an action that fit the “federal crime of terrorism.”

Walli is an army combat veteran of the U.S. invasion of Vietnam, and is certainly not the first to take some personal responsibility for America’s genocidal occupation and relentless bombing of Southeast Asia (with at least 3 million murdered). Indeed, as the recent book Kill Anything that Moves reminds us, American military units were committing so many atrocities that the Pentagon opened up its own, secretive war crimes investigation unit.

But his participation in such crimes is not what led Walli to that Tennessee court. Rather, it was a peaceful protest against nuclear terrorism and the U.S. construction — in clear violation of the nonproliferation treaty — of a new generation of nuclear weapons. Unlike Iran, the U.S. has used — and threatened to use — nuclear weapons for almost 70 years, in the form of atomic bombs as well as depleted uranium-coated ammunition that has left a cancerous wasteland behind in Iraq, among other countries where it has been used by U.S. and NATO forces.

Walli, joined by Sister Megan Rice (aged 82) and Greg Boertje-Obed, all veteran peacemakers, entered the Y12 nuclear weapons site in Oak Ridge, Tennessee on July 28, 2012, cutting through four fences and making their way right to the Enriched Uranium Materials Facility which, as the venerable magazine Nuclear Resister notes, is “the largest storehouse of bomb-grade uranium in the world. They marked the building with blood, painted disarmament messages on the wall and hung banners. Symbolic of beginning to transform swords into plowshares, they also hammered a few chips of concrete from the building’s foundation before being seen by security guards and arrested.”

To read the entire column by Matthew Bherens, go to: http://rabble.ca/columnists/2013/07/canada-aids-and-abets-spectre-nuclear-terrorism

Powerless minister in Ontario cabinet   Leave a comment

By: Melissa Addison-Webster

Published by the Toronto Star on Wed Jul 17 2013

Anti-poverty protesters unfurl a banner and chant "Raise the rates!" from the public gallery at Queen's Park last year. (April 24, 2012)

ROBERT BENZIE / TORONTO STAR

Anti-poverty protesters unfurl a banner and chant “Raise the rates!” from the public gallery at Queen’s Park last year. (April 24, 2012)

Ted McMeekin, Ontario’s minister for community and social services, is responsible for improving social assistance. At a community consultation in Peterborough on July 3, he made two notable statements:

  • “If it were up to me, I would raise social assistance rates by a lot more than $100 a month. But it’s not up to me.”

  • “I have to tell the story in a way that will marshal the resources. And you and I have to tell our story in a better way.”

This minister seems to deny that he has the power to improve living conditions for the people of Ontario who live on the margins. If he cannot, who can?

To read the whole commentary on how helpless this cabinet minister claims to be, go to:

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2013/07/17/ted_mcmeekin_talks_but_who_can_act_on_social_assistance_rates.html