Sunday, June 27, 2004

Odds and Odds

Odds and odds:

  1. Americans whose knuckles don't drag on the ground should be deeply concerned about the upcoming Canadian election. If the Conservatives manage to form the government, they will quickly and systematically dismantle all those things in Canada that many progressive Americans look to as proof that common sense in politics is possible. Some almost certain changes:

    • no more abortion rights;

    • no more gay marriages;

    • reinstatement of the death penalty;

    • a great reduction in gun control;

    • total annihilation of the single-payer government-funded health care system (they plan to do it by opening a parallel private system of health care, to which all the best professionals will of course gravitate, and then so underfund the public system that everyone will be forced to either buy insurance, pay, or do without, just like the United States);

    • deficit financing used to fund huge tax cuts for the rich and for corporations, with the deficit then used as the excuse for underfunding of social programs;

    • removal of all the recent election finance reforms in Canada, so the rich can buy elections just like in the United States;

    • greatly increased use of the prison system to create an American-style prison-industrial complex and its accompanying opportunities for profit, all based an a draconian 'law and order' use of the police as a method of social control, with particular use of the 'war on drugs' as an excuse for imprisonment;

    • great, but subtle, restrictions on non-white immigration.

    To demonstrate how bad it is, Harper, the leader of the Conservatives, first came to prominence in Canada as the head of an extreme right-wing corporate-power lobby group originally set up to lobby against publicly-finded health care. He is following the George Bush script to a tee, managing to depict himself as a moderate, a 'compassionate conservative'. This is a lie. He is clearly a radical corporate shill, and his party is filled with radical religious fruitcakes. Even some left-wingers are arguing that Harper isn't as dangerous as he seems because he'll never be able to accomplish his agenda. Americans said the same thing about George Bush. Don't believe it! If Harper wins, Canada is over. If Canada goes completely evil, what will progressive Americans point to an an example of a possible alternative?

  2. Peter Dale Scott discusses the Mysterious Case of the Dog that Didn't Bark, the absence of Ali Mohamed from the 9-11 commission investigation. Anyone who has read this blog knows that I think that Ali Mohamed is a key to understanding 9-11, although he had absolutely nothing to do with it. He is in an American prison (or is he?), presumably available for questioning, and was clearly both a member of American military intelligence working with Islamic fundamentalists in Afghanistan, and a member of al Qaeda (and personally worked for ObL himself), not to mention some kind of FBI informant. He pretty much personifies the conspiracy. Yet the 9-11 commission seems to be afraid of his very name. Anyone who doesn't think the commission isn't just another cover-up should wonder why this particular dog isn't barking.

  3. Alexander Cockburn writes about the usual suspects meddling in Venezuela in order to prevent the poor from getting any kind of a break. His first three sentences are great:

    "You can set your watch by it. The minute some halfway decent government in Latin America begins to reverse the order of things and give the have-nots a break from the grind of poverty and wretchedness, the usual suspects in El Norte rouse themselves from the slumber of indifference and start barking furiously about democratic norms. It happened in 1973 in Chile; we saw it again in Nicaragua in the 1980s; and here's the same show on summer rerun in Venezuela, pending the August 15 recall referendum of President Hugo Chávez."

    As is often the case these days, much of the dirty work is done by groups which are nominally advocates for things like 'democracy' or 'human rights'. Human Rights Watch and Jimmy Carter are among the many villains here. I've often wondered about the odd positions sometimes taken by groups like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Do you think they do deals with the Powers That Be to support some of the schemes of the Powers That Be in order to save some people elsewhere? In any event, we all have to realize that these groups have to be watched as carefully as everybody else, lest they use their reputations to sneak in real acts of harm, as is happening in Venezuela.

  4. Lockheed Martin has put the kibosh on the proposed merger with Titan Corporation, ostensibly because of an ongoing federal bribery investigation. You have to wonder whether the recent torture allegations might also have had something to do with it. The shareholders of Titan ought to wonder if the directors and officers of Titan are fulfilling their duties when they can't even seem to rise to meet the feeble ethical standards of Lockheed Martin.

  5. When thinking about Pentagon military planning exercises, don't forget Amalgam Virgo, which "tested the defense and response capabilities to a cruise missile attack on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., June 1-4, 2001." A cruise missile attack on an American military installation? What a nutty idea!

  6. The United States is currently involved in repeated war crimes in attempts at targeted assassinations in the city of Falluja, killing many people with each bombing run. The vile direct influence of Israel, in torture techniques and now in pure Israeli-style targeted assassinations, is impossible to ignore. Israel continues to drag the United States down into the moral abyss.

  7. A while ago I suggested that it would be a good idea for Americans if they were to hive off a part of the country I call the 'axis of stupidity', and let all the fruitcakes who have been dragging the whole country down go live there. The new country in that band from Virginia to Texas would be called 'Evangelica', or 'Stupidia'. Well, the Lord be praised, Stupidia is coming soon to South Carolina (for "Sodomite marriage . . . is coming soon to a neighborhood near you").