Archive for the Canada Category

Free Trade, CETA, TPP, and the US and Canadian Federal Elections: Some Critical Perspective

Posted in activism, Canada, economics, politics, trade, US with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2015 by jtoddring

The following is critical to understand – for the people of Canada, the US, Europe and the world: “free trade” deals such those already signed (NAFTA), and those being pushed through with great secrecy now (CETA, TTIP and TPP), are agreements which grant supra-national powers to transnational corporations, powers over and above democratically elected governments, and therefore, they are agreements which are disastrous to everyone but the few – the global corporate elite.

In both Canada and the US, the major parties all support “free trade,” aka, neoliberalism, and the wrongly labelled “trade deals” which are in fact corporate rights agreements.

Both the Liberals and Conservatives in Canada are in open support of such democracy-destroying, sovereignty annihilating, economically, socially and environmentally devastating “trade agreements,” making them the Tweedledee and Tweedledum of political prostitution to corporate rule.

In the US, the Republicans and Democrats are both staunch supporters of neoliberal policies of “free trade” – not surprisingly, since Wall Street pays for their elections, and Wall Street gains from such policies, while the middle class is wiped out, poverty and inequality soar, and the nation is eviscerated, and eaten live.

The one exception in the US seems to be Senator Bernie Sanders: a rare, sane and honest voice in US federal politics. I wish there was such a one, and such a one with such fast-rising prominence and popular support, in the Canadian federal election – but that does not appear to be the case so far.

In Canada, the Greens show promise, but require two things now to be relevant: much greater boldness and focus – for example, in terms of a strong stand on core, critical issues such as the quite monumentally significant and potentially disastrous trade deals, including CETA; and much stronger and broader popular support. So far, both seem to be sadly lacking. I beg to be proven wrong, however, and would be thrilled to see it.

Nevertheless, the Greens have shown more courage and integrity on the critical subject of trade than any of the three major Canadian political parties, and that alone places them head and shoulders above the old-guard parties of the past which still, sadly, dominate the Canadian political landscape – or have to date.

Greens in Canada and Europe have made a clear stand on CETA – a trade deal which would allow corporations to overrule the sovereignty and democracy of member nations by allowing corporations to sue governments for passing legislation which impinge upon their profits.

The Council of Canadians, a leading citizens’ action group in Canada, sums up CETA in a few stark and lucid words:

“CETA is a “next generation” free trade and investment pact that Canada and the EU have been negotiating since May 2009. But it is better understood as a corporate power grab. The Harper government clearly sees CETA as a way to further deregulate and privatize the Canadian economy while increasing corporate power and undermining Canadian and European efforts to address the climate crisis.”

And the Liberals under Justin Trudeau have also declared their support for CETA.

The Greens have said no to CETA. The Liberals and Conservatives are pro “free trade” and openly support CETA. And the NDP policy under Muclair on CETA and other similar “trade deals” – which have to date universally been corporate rights agreements? That’s anyone’s guess, since Mulcair’s NDP have been notoriously vague, ambivalent, and decidedly wish-washy, at best: or worryingly soft, to be more honest and blunt.

The Greens appear to be the only party in Canada which at present to have any resolve, conviction, clarity or vision on the matter of such disastrous “trade” deals which are in truth corporate rights agreements. The position which the big three parties have taken, it seems clear, is effectively, to roll over for corporate interests – at the expense of the Canadian people, the economy, the environment and democracy.

We must understand this:

More “free trade” = more corporate rights agreements = corporate rule and the death of democracy.

This is not the way to conduct trade – by handing over supra-national, anti-democratic powers to large corporations, over and above democratic governments. The major parties don’t agree – because they have either lost their courage, or their integrity, or both, and have become wholly subservient to the ruling oligarchy of global neo-feudal corporate rule and the billionaire class. This is where the wheat is separated from the chaff: on this key issue, and others like it of similar gravity.

The policies of political parties and political candidates on such “trade” agreements – which, again, must be understood to be corporate rights agreements – such as CETA, the TTIP and the TPP, FIPA, the SPP and the FTA, are the litmus test for whether these parties and candidates are in service to the ruling corporate powers, or whether they stand with the other 99% of the people. And, unsurprisingly, most parties and most candidates fail that test.

In Canada, I would say, vote Green, since they are the only party now worthy of support.

In the US there is similarly only one choice, and one candidate who in any way, or by any stretch, merits support – and that is Bernie Sanders.

There are a great many well-meaning people out there – both Democrats and Republicans, and also, Liberals, Conservatives and New Democrat supporters – who frequently fall for pretty words and hollow promises. And there are many more people yet, who can and do fall for parties and candidates with some genuinely good policies on this or that issue, while the voters miss the bigger picture entirely, and do themselves severe injustice as a result. If we do not understand what is going on with these giant, nation-dissolving, sovereignty-eviscerating, and democracy-destroying “trade agreements”, then we do not understand what is happening at all.

This is critical to understand. This is central. This is, as I say, the litmus test of a party’s or a candidate’s legitimacy in this hour. If we fail to understand this, then we understand nothing of what is happening in the world at this time.

We need to be clear, and we need to vote with clear minds. Our choices have narrowed: we can vote for the parties and the candidates of the super-rich and the ruling corporate powers, or we can vote for the rare ones who still stand with the people. The time to decide is here. Let us use it wisely.

Political parties and political candidates can have the prettiest, loftiest speeches and policy platforms on earth, but if they are not firmly and unequivocally opposed to the corporate rights agreements which are being pushed through now, then they are either deeply confused and misinformed – in which case, their words and promises will come to nothing – or they are effectively owned by the corporate elite, and are in service to them. These are the simple facts. We should vote accordingly.

J. Todd Ring,

September 29, 2015

Please see:

Picking apart one of the greatest lies in American politics: “Free Trade” – Thom Hartmann, Alternet

http://www.alternet.org/economy/picking-apart-one-biggest-lies-american-politics-free-trade

Here is an excellent analysis of the three major political parties in Canada, by Toronto Star journalist Thomas Walkom, PhD in Economics from University of Toronto. (In a nutshell, they are all shills.)

Stephen Harper, Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau Offer Little On Economy

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/08/04/stephen-harper-tom-mulcair-and-justin-trudeau-offer-little-on-economy-walkom.html

And one more brilliantly clear-headed analysis of Justin Trudeau and the Liberals:

With Justin Trudeau, Canada Now Has Two Conservative Parties, by Will Dubitsky

http://commonsensecanadian.ca/with-justin-trudeau-canada-now-has-two-conservative-parties/

And another excellent article by Walkom, on the gleeful embrace of the failed policies of neoliberalism and “free trade” by the three major Canadian political parties:

Justin Trudeau, Stephen Harper, Thomas Mulcair buy into free-trade theory that doesn’t work: Walkom

Other countries ditch free-trade orthodoxy to protect jobs. But not Canada.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/04/19/justin_trudeau_stephen_harper_thomas_mulcair_buy_into_freetrade_theory_that_doesnt_work_walkom.html

What do you get the corporation that has everything? CETA. – Council of Canadians

http://canadians.org/ceta

Liberal Party Statement by Justin Trudeau on CETA

http://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0LEVrhbx8lVmXgAR9MPxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTByOHZyb21tBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg–/RV=2/RE=1439315932/RO=10/RU=https%3a%2f%2fwww.liberal.ca%2fstatement-liberal-party-canada-leader-justin-trudeau-ceta-2%2f/RK=0/RS=quEeYwXf8HagopNPlS7zn2QTnqs-

Fact Sheet: No More NAFTAs! No to CETA-TPP-FIPA-FTA… – Council of Canadians

http://canadians.org/publications/factsheet-no-more-naftas-no-ceta-tpp-fipa-fta%E2%80%A6

One Million To Stop The Corporate Death Star – Avaaz

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_the_corporate_death_star/

BUSTED! What corporations are hiding about TPP

NAFTA, “Free Trade” and the TPP: Fast-Track To Full Corporate Rule

Posted in activism, analysis, Canada, capitalism, Chomsky, civil liberties, class, collapse, consciousness, constitution, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, coup, crisis of democracy, deep integration, democracy, democratic deficit, disaster, ecological crisis, ecology, economics, economy, elite, empire, empowerment, end-game, environment, fascism, fascist, Feudalism, FTAA, geopolitics, globalism, globalization, imperialism, jobs, labour, Mexico, money, Mussolini, must-read, NAFTA, nation state, national democracies, NAU, peace, people's movements, police state, policy, political economy, politics, Security and Prosperity Partnership, sociology, sovereignty, SPP, sustainability, tipping point, trade, truth, U.S., war on democracy, WEF, World Economic Forum, WTO with tags , , , , on November 6, 2013 by jtoddring

The TPP In A Nutshell: Growing corporate power and the death of freedom

The FTA, NAFTA, the WTO, the WEF, the SPP, and now, the TPP – it is all a further drive for increasing global corporate power, and we should be very concerned. This should not need to be spelled out. The situation is becoming critical. Here is some background and context.

“Twenty years ago, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed into law. At the time, advocates painted a rosy picture of booming U.S. exports creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and economic development in Mexico, which would bring the struggling country in line with its wealthier northern neighbors. Two decades later, those promises have failed to materialize. U.S. trade deficits with both Canada and Mexico have surged, crippling domestic industries, prompting massive job displacement and the replacement of living wage union jobs with jobs in sectors with low pay, minimal benefits and no job security.”

– Expose the TPP

 

What have been called “free trade” agreements are more accurately called corporate rights agreements, as Chomsky and others have said. And these agreements have helped to de-industrialize the US and Canada while shifting production to Mexico and other cheap labour offshore locations, such as India and China, wiping out the bulk of the middle class at home in the process, while leaving the great majority around the world in poverty as well, and generally benefiting only a small elite. Continuing in this course would clearly be disastrous for the vast majority of the people world-wide.

NAFTA, CAFTA, the FTAA, the WTO, the WEF, the SPP, the ECB and the Fed, and now, the TPP – all of these are treaties and organizational structures which represent the enthronement of the global corporate elite as the de facto rulers of the world, as the London Financial Times itself has said. They represent, in essence, a set of treaties between big business and governments, in which governments yield and cede their power to the trans-national corporate elite who already dominate the global economy, the major media and the political process and governments of most nations in the world today.

What this represents is the merger of business and the state, which as Mussolini himself said, is the very definition of fascism. What we are seeing is the destruction of both democracy and freedom, as well as human rights, constitutional law and civil liberties, under a global corporatist rule of increasingly stark neo-feudalism.

And if that were not already bad enough, we should also recognize that the people do not even benefit economically. Such moves benefit the few at the top, while the middle class is eliminated, the sea of poverty grows as the great majority of the people are driven into a growing underclass, inequality skyrockets, and a police state is constructed to keep the increasingly discontent masses silent and obedient, suppressed, subjugated, and neutralized – meaning effectively, neutered.

This is not even mentioning the utterly disastrous effects that our new global empire of corporate feudalism is having on the environment and the prospects for any kind of future for human life on earth.

Say no to the TPP and corporate rule, or say hello to a new and hellish form of Babylon, and an accelerating race towards a collective suicide.

J. Todd Ring,
November 6, 2013

American and Canadian Politics – A brief comparison and lay of the land

Posted in alternative, alternatives, American politics, analysis, Barack Obama, Canada, Canadian, Canadian politics, civil liberties, class, climate change, common ground, consciousness, conservative, Conservative Party, constitution, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, coup, crisis of democracy, crisis of legitimacy, deep integration, democracy, Democrat, democratic deficit, Democratic Party, ecological crisis, ecology with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2013 by jtoddring

Canada and the US have the largest trading relationship in the world between any two countries, as well as the longest undefended border in the world, and share a great deal in common as friends and neighbours. The public opinion polls have shown repeatedly and for decades that, like most of the world, the values of the great majority of the people in both countries are centre-left, and frankly, democratic socialist – although most people, especially in the United States, are unaware of this fact; mainly because they get their “news and analysis” from the corporate and state-run media, and have been brainwashed and indoctrinated to believe, at least in the US, that socialism is the equivalent of Stalinism – which of course could not be further from the truth.

(Since the collapse of the Soviet Bloc, when Leninism was finally thoroughly discredited, most socialists around the world have been highly wary of state power, and highly opposed to authoritarianism or tyranny of any kind. And for the far larger number of people world-wide who hold socialist values – the values of compassion, cooperation, solidarity, freedom and equality – but would not call themselves socialist, the same is true: there is a healthy skepticism and wariness toward government and the state, and a strong aversion and opposition to any form of tyranny, authoritarianism or abuse of power of any kind. This is what I mean by socialism being fundamentally at odds with such tyranny as we saw in the former Soviet Union.

Yes, the Soviet rulers called themselves socialists, and they called their gulag empire socialist – and they did that because they wanted to enhance their credibility with the people. And the Western powers, being pro-corporate, liked to call the Soviet tyranny by the name of socialism, in order to discredit socialism by associating it with tyranny. Both the Kremlin and the Western corporatists were lying however. Soviet style totalitarianism has nothing to do with genuine socialism. It was simply another form of neo-feudal elite rule, and the tyranny of the few over the many. Socialism is about freedom and the emancipation and empowerment of the people, or it is about nothing at all, and does not deserve the name.

Prior to the collapse of the Soviet empire and the final discrediting of Leninism, there were two camps of socialism, from its inception, which came out of the Enlightenment. There were those who followed Marx and later Lenin, and who were definite statists with a strong authoritarian, if not totalitarian streak; and there were the libertarian socialists, following in the tradition of Bakunin, Kropotkin, Rocker, Bookchin and Chomsky, who were and are adamantly opposed to the statists and to authoritarianism or tyranny of any kind. After the fall of the Soviet Bloc and the final, thorough discrediting of Leninism, outside of a few small pockets, such as North Korea, only the latter kind of socialists remain, by and large, and the vast majority of socialists now are passionately opposed any form of excess or abuse of state power.

But let’s stick to specifics, and skip over the labels and isms, which tend only to cause schisms, and lead to further misunderstanding.)

The great majority of the people in both Canada and the United States, as with the majority of the people in most nations today, are in favour of strong social programs to help the poor and the working class; a fair and equitable distribution of both wealth and also power; authentic, participatory democracy; rule by constitutional law, with respect for freedom, civil liberties and minority rights; strong environmental programs and regulations; peace, and an end to war and militarism; universal public health care; jobs for all, and other centre-left policies.

But despite what the people want, the corporate powers have taken over, and they rule the two countries to their pleasing, compromising with the people only when they feel they have no other choice, and only for as long and to the extent that they feel they must.

Still, there are, of course, major differences between Canada and the US, as well as commonalities, and these do not end with the very differing views and culture with regards to guns.

Here is a rough translation of Canadian political culture for Americans and others who may be unfamiliar with the political landscape of the second largest country on earth, the holder of the largest oil and mineral resources on earth, the pantry to the American empire, one of the richest nations on the planet, and a member of the G7 group of nations.

Generally speaking, a conservative Canadian = a very “progressive” Democrat. A liberal Canadian today – after the major slide of all of the major North American political parties to the right over the past thirty years – is to the left of that, but still centrist and pro-corporate, wittingly, or more often, unwittingly. A New Democratic Party supporter in Canada is minimally left of centre, on average – when viewed by world standards of course, and not the extreme right wing politics that now dominate both parties of the US – though NDPers are typically wishy-washy and passive, and by and large are content to moan from the sidelines, and let the two major parties of corporate rule, rule.

Far right Republicans seem to most Canadians to be straight out of Dr. Strangelove – there really aren’t many people in this country that would even call them sane. We kind of look at them as something akin to Frankenstein’s monster – surreal, almost a comic book fiction, but frightening and disturbing nonetheless.

Not that anyone in Canada with half a wit of political savvy is any fan of Obama now, if they ever were, with his incessant and ever-expanding wars, his murderous drone campaign, his shredding of civil liberties and the Constitution, his support for a global surveillance state and also fracking, the Keystone pipeline and generally ecological holocaust-inducing policies, or his on-going massive bail-outs and protection for the Wall Street elite and big banks who funded his election and put him in power, but that is an aside.

We must note also, at least in passing, though it is beyond the scope of this short article, that with the signing of the SPP, the “Security and Prosperity Partnership”, Canada and Mexico agreed to a “deep integration” with the United States in a new “Fortress North America”, as the elite who thought up and pushed through the agreement called it: a deep integration in the realms of economics, law and regulations, military, security and intelligence services – meaning, an essential union of the three nations, without calling it a union – the fate of Canada is now tied to the sinking ship of the United States, and worse, to the corporate powers which rule over it: at least until and unless the people decide to assert and to actively reclaim their sovereignty, and say no to the dissolution of national democracies and their submergence into larger power blocks under corporate rule. I have written on this extremely important subject elsewhere, so I will say no more about it here for the moment. I would urge all Americans, Canadians and Mexicans to look into the subject for themselves, however.

All that being said, and with the acknowledgment that US politics are far to the right of Canadian politics, to say nothing of Europe, it must be understood that neoliberalism, or the ideology of the super-rich who dominate and rule the country – which means, corporate globalization and corporate rule, or more simply, freedom for the ruling corporate elite to do as they please, and subjugation, soup lines and sweat shops for the rest – this corporatist ideology has, for the moment at least, conquered Canada, just as it has conquered the United States and most of the world.

The people of Canada, as in the US and most nations today, do not believe in the ideology of corporate globalization, neoliberalism, corporatism or corporate rule – which are essentially different ways of saying the same thing. This ideology has lost the battle in the propaganda wars, the battle for the hearts and minds of the people. The ideology of the ruling elite has been thoroughly defeated. But, and this is the big “but” – the corporate elite have seized power, and have put their ideology and their agenda into practice, the people be damned, and they are advancing it further every day. And they continue to rule, which means their failed and failing ideology continues to rule, despite the deep and growing crisis of legitimacy which they face; simply because the people have not yet embraced their power, but instead, passively acquiesce and do not challenge the illegitimate and unjust, frankly suicidal and ecocidal rule of the global corporate and banking elite. 

The corporate coup has taken over democracy here in Canada, and it is actively tearing it to shreds and devouring it, just as it has done and is actively doing in the US and most nations in the world today. The major difference between Canada and the US is that the drive towards full corporatization of the society is less brutal here than in the United States, primarily because Canada has a long tradition of tolerant, freedom-loving, constitutional social democracy, and the valuing of compassion and mutual aid; and the people would not stand for a gloves-off, rapid fire destruction of all social programs and safety nets, or a more rapid move towards stark neo-feudal corporate rule. But make no mistake: we are heading down the same road – and will continue to do so, until the Canadian people find their cajones, and stand up.

The same is true in America and Europe, and most nations world-wide.

Stand up people. It is time.

J. Todd Ring,
October 10, 2013

US government shutdown, and other fairy tales and examples of political theatre

Posted in American politics, analysis, banks, Barack Obama, Canada, Canadian politics, Chomsky, collapse, consciousness, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, crash, crisis of democracy, debt, deficit, democracy, democratic deficit, Democratic Party, economics, economy, elite, empire, empowerment, far right, fascism, fascist, fiscal conservative, freedom, geopolitics, health care, imperialism, money, neo-feudalism, neocon, neoconservatism, neoliberalism, Obama, police state, policy, political economy, politics, propaganda, psychology, Republican, Republican Party, right, right wing, sociology, the right, truth, U.S., war, war on democracy, wellness with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2013 by jtoddring

I’m not sure what to make of the hoopla going on in the US right now. I’m inclined to think it’s all just political theatre, as Gerald Celente calls it, designed to distract the people from the real issues – the central one being, who controls the government and the nation? Wall Street, the big banks and largest corporations, or the people? After all, both of the major parties are controlled by the same six big banks, the private banking cartel which is the Fed, the military-industrial-security complex, Wall Street and the biggest 500 corporations on the planet, so what is this charade really about? As Celente said, it’s WWF – the World Wrestling Federation: it’s all scripted; it’s all political theatre. They all work for the same people.

Some Americans, mainly on the right, and mainly the rich, want to shrink government and abolish social programs that help and protect the poor, as well as the middle class – and half of Americans are now living below, at, or just above the poverty line, so that means 50% of the American people would get badly shafted, and far more would be badly hurt.

Some Americans – the overwhelming majority, well over 70% – favour public, universal health care, such as Canada, Britain, Europe and most of the civilized world has. But Obamacare is nothing of the sort. Obamacare is Romneycare – Obama simply took Romney’s package and made it his own. Obamacare, like Obama’s entire presidency, is designed to appease and sooth the masses and post-pone real political action, popular uprising or social unrest, while continuing the facilitation of the rape and pillage of the nation and the world by the largest corporations and the wealthiest 0.01%. What is amazing is that more people do not yet recognize these facts, although a great many, and a growing number do. The Obamacare package averts public, universal health care, which the people want, props up a crumbling private, massively subsidized for-profit health care system, and will put even more money into private, for-profit health insurance and health industry corporations, with dubious benefit to the people, if any. So the entire debate is dishonest to begin with, and radically out of joint with reality.

Furthermore, for those who want to cut government debt and spending, it should be noted, and made clear, that one of the best ways to do that, along with ending war and de-funding the massive military-industrial-security complex, the imperial storm troopers, the goon squads and the surveillance state, is to switch to a public health care system. (See Chomsky for a clear-headed and honest analysis of these points.)

The for-profit private health care system of the US has been shown repeatedly to cost far more than the public, not-for-profit health care systems of Canada, Britain and Europe. So once again, the debate is a farce; is filled with deceit; and again, radically out of sync with reality.

In the face of all of this, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I tend to worry greatly for the American people, as I do for human beings and all life on earth generally; but I trust they will resolve these problems. In the meantime, I pray, and will do all I can to seek out and share the best information and ideas I can find – from the left, right, centre, and anywhere I can find them.

Will the government shut down? Hardly likely, it seems to me. If it does, it will be disastrous for millions of people – even though the US government is the biggest criminal syndicate on the planet, next to the billionaire oligarchs who control it, along with virtually every other nation and government on earth. But a shutdown of the US government probably would not last long in any case, and the big bureaucratic machine of the state will restart again, if for no other reason, than because the people who control it – the super-rich, the corporate and banking elite, rely on it as a cash cow, a welfare state for the rich, a constant source of dizzying subsidies, bail-outs and forced wealth transfers from the people to the ruling plutocrats (they call it a “stimulus” package); and as a protective hired thug which can be, and is being used to keep an increasingly unruly rabble and frustrated populace subdued and under control, so that the great global looting spree can continue unabated.

The US government has handed the biggest banks and the global banking elite $14 trillion since the economic crisis of 2007-2008 erupted – enough to pay off the mortgages of every American, and every student debt and credit card debt, and all personal debts in the US, with approximately $13 trillion left to spare: which is enough to eliminate global poverty many times over, or, enough to eliminate global poverty, and create the global infrastructure for a truly sustainable society. Other corporate sectors are receiving smaller sums, in the range of a mere few tens or hundreds of billions of dollars a year, in regular subsidies, bail-outs and props. The six biggest banks now control a huge swath of the US economy, yet they are now fully dependent on on-going government subsidies just to survive. Their profits now are roughly equal to what they are receiving in regular government “stimulus” moneys, meaning, they would be forced out of business if they had to go without massive public funding from the government. This is to say nothing of the giant military-industrial-security and surveillance complex and its over $1 trillion annual cash flood coming from Washington and the Federal budget. Do we really believe that the same people who fund and control both of the two major parties want this gravy train to end? Think again. Not on your life.

No, the true rulers, the global business elite, need the US government, and will not let it be shutdown for long, if at all. So again, I am inclined to view all of this melodrama and hyperbole as so much theatre: bread and circuses, my friends, bread and circuses.

Keep the people divided – divide and conquer being rule number one for any good power-monger; and feed them bread and circuses to keep them distracted while their pockets are picked, and to keep their eyes diverted from the shackles and chains around their necks, wrists and legs. And sometimes, soap operas, sit-coms, “reality tv,” sports and celebrity gossip are not enough – political theatre is also needed; and so, it is provided.

The reality is, there are far too many pigs that are neck deep with their heads in the trough for the government to shut down for long. The ruling oligarchs simply won’t allow it, so let’s be real here, and keep such facts in mind while the hysteria mounts.

If the US government, or either of the major parties was truly interested in reducing the debt and deficit, then the on-going wars of empire would be ceased immediately and sworn off, all foreign US military bases would be closed, the military-industrial-security complex would be radically de-funded and the global surveillance and police state apparatus shut down, with savings of close to $1 trillion a year – which would mean that were is no more fiscal crisis.

If, in addition to this, universally accessible, publicly funded not-for-profit health care was brought in, further enormous cost savings would be made, and there would be a windfall of money available for real economic recovery, job creation, infrastructure and urgently needed environmental programs.

But none of this is on the agenda, none of this is even open to discussion, for the simple reason that the ruling class of plutocrats and corporate tsars and robber barons don’t want this, because that wouldn’t benefit them.

This is the real story; the rest, a mere charade.

J. Todd Ring,
September 30, 2013

The Greatest Canadians Ever, Eh!

Posted in Canada, Canadian, Canadian politics, civil liberties, common ground, consciousness, corporatism, corporatocracy, crisis of democracy, deep integration, democracy, democratic deficit, empowerment, freedom, geopolitics, globalization, human rights, humor, humour, nation state, national democracies, nationalism, NAU, North American Union, political economy, political philosophy, political satire, political theory, politics, Security and Prosperity Partnership, social theory, SPP, Uncategorized, war on democracy on July 1, 2009 by jtoddring

Reflections on Canadian Nationalism

While I am not a fan of nationalism in the narrow sense of “us versus them” thinking, there is definitely something constructive and life-affirming about having a certain pride or basic dignity when it comes to one’s cultural heritage. If we can take pride in our own cultural heritage, while respecting the cultural heritage of others, then this seems to be something very positive, very helpful, and very empowering – mutually empowering in fact. Our errors and present challenges should be honestly acknowledged, and so too our strengths, talents, and true shining moments. Dignity, confidence and mutual respect are helpful attitudes to be cultivated and cherished. There are also other, equally important considerations on this day, Canada Day, and democracy is one of them.

Freedom requires self-determination, and self-determination requires some form of authentic participatory democracy, at the very least. If we value freedom or self-determination, as we should, then we should value democracy, and seek to preserve it at the least, if not to preserve it in order to evolve it further. Celebration, dignity, confidence and mutual respect are in order: so too is vigilance and awareness. We should dance, and we should also increase our awareness daily, and not only on this day.

More important perhaps than cultural pride within a spirit of tolerance and mutual respect, is this consideration: despite its faults, the nation-state is the primary vehicle of democracy at this time, and therefore, we would be very unwise to attack, undermine or dismantle it, at least until we have something with which to replace it: and that something had better be at least as democratic, if not more so, than the nation-state, or we will be selling ourselves into slavery. What has been happening for some four decades is that the nation-state has been under attack, and it has been under attack for one primary reason, which is to destroy national democracies. We should have no illusions about this. The trend is real, and the trend is not accidental. It is highly conscious, and it is highly deliberate.

Who would wish for such a thing? Who has the greatest vested interest in destroying national democracies? The answer should be clear: the trans-national corporate elite wish to destroy democracy, which means they must destroy the nation-state, which is still the principle forum and bastion of democracy, so that they can do as they wish without having to worry about anyone getting in their way, without that nuisance of the democratic process, and so that they can effectively rule the earth, as the business press has itself said, as the “de facto world government.”

The trend toward the dissolution of the nation-state and national democracies began in earnest in the early 1970’s, with the unilateral cancellation of the Gold Standard by the US, the beginnings of the digital revolution in information and communications technologies, and the unparalleled global hegemony of the by then trans-national corporate elite. The trend can be called by many names: globalization, neoliberalism, neoconservatism, corporatism, globalism, corporatocracy, oligarchy, plutocracy, corporate neo-feudalism, corporate fascism, or most plainly, global corporate rule. Whatever we wish to call it, it is happening, has been happening for some four decades, is deliberate and highly conscious, and it amounts to the destruction of both freedom and democracy.

It would be wise for us to realize what is going on, that democracy is under attack, and that whatever more idealistic dreams we may hold, the nation-state still remains the principle vehicle or vessel of democracy at this time. Before we allow the nation-state to be dissolved, therefore, we should at least have something better in its place, or waiting in the wings, and this is not a world government of megalomanical elites and financial barons.

Democracy is, of course, power of the people, power to the people, and rule by the people. Democracy therefore becomes meaningless when the government is too far removed from the people; for when the government is far above and removed from the people, what we get is elite rule, or oligarchy, which in essence is a return to feudalism and the caste systems of the past, and not democracy in any meaningful sense of the word.

If democracy and therefore self-determination and freedom are to be presevered, then the minimum that must be done is to prevent the further concentration of powers at the trans-national or global level. This means that while we may further democratize the nation-state, we must not let this minimum of democracy as represented by national democracies be destroyed by allowing it to be castrated or effectively folded into unaccountable continental or global powers.

Democracy requires that power be closely connected to the people, as well as representative of the people. This means that power cannot be too centralized without democracy being destroyed. If we dissolve the nation state, or allow it to be dissolved, and do so without having or creating another forum of government that is closer to the people and the grassroots, then what we shall have is the evisceration of democracy, and the rule by an international elite.

What we will have is a kind of global corporate neo-feudalism unless we stand up to the assault on democracy; and we must begin by re-establishing the value and the functioning integrity of national democracies. Missing this point is living in a dream world.

It is important that we realize the value of national democracies now, and realize that where we are heading is not toward some kind of rosey world order, but toward a kind of Orwellian neo-feudal corporatism, in which democracy is no more, and freedom, human rights and dignity are destroyed, all under the guise of inevitability or the common good, to be sure. We must re-establish the integrity and independence of national democracies now. This is critical, and it is urgent. And of course, we should start at home.

So long as we avoid the “us versus them” thinking that often plagues nationalism, and realize that we are in fact interdependent, a certain pride or dignity is a very good thing. So too, are democracy and freedom worth preserving. For these reasons, we should generate confidence and a spirit of independence. In that spirit, let us celebrate the diverse cultural heritage that makes up this land we call Canada, and celebrtate the land as well, which is our home.

*

Before celebrating the rich heritage, and the present lands and cultures which make up this place we call Canada, a note on the ideology of greatness may be in order as well. Greatness has nothing to do with fame, power or wealth. Hitler was famous, powerful and commanded great economic resources, but he was not a great man – he was, of course, a madman. Wealth, power and fame cannot measure greatness, nor even virtue or talent. Many of the greatest of Canadians or individuals from any country have been and will remain unknown to all but a few friends, family and community members. This does not reduce their status. We tend to worship those who have fame, as if being known meant something in itself. Paris Hilton is famous, but is she any greater than anyone you would meet on the street? It is unlikely. King Midas was wealthy in the extreme, but that did not give him character, virtue, wisdom or even happiness, let alone greatness. Stalin had great power, but he was a paranoid egomaniac, and a mass murderer. Let us cease to worship fame, wealth and power, and instead, respect that which is worthy of respect, which is talent, character, and above all, the qualities of the heart. And from a deeper persepctive, we can say this: if you want greatness, look in the mirror: realize your true nature. This is the secret of all the world, the perennial wisdom that all the sages have discovered.

If we can find our own dignity and empowerment by recognizing the good qualities and the true successes or victories of others, then let us do that; but let us always remember that the greatness we see in others merely reflects that which we have yet to uncover in ourselves. Just as the errors or stumbling of others reflects our own potential to err and to stumble, the true successes, virtues and victories of others reflect the potential within us to realize our own greatness. Dignity, mutual respect, and mutual empowerment are worth pursuing, and are also worthy of celebration. This Canada Day, let us celebrate with a new awareness, and sow the seeds for a beautiful future for all. In fact, let this be our celebration daily, and everywhere, no matter where we live or where what country we call home.

*

On a lighter note, as the title indicates, I would nominate Bob and Doug MacKenzie as the greatest Canadians ever. Bring on the beer and back-bacon eh! A sense of humour is one of our finest assets here in the great white North. Bring it on. I recommend the film Strange Brew for all new and old, young and young-at-heart Canadians. A mixture of Hamlet, Star Wars, 1984, and hockey – with beer, naturally – it is a very funny movie, and very perceptive to boot: the Canadian version of Doctor Strangelove. Along with this low-brow/high-brow humour, the film Canadian Bacon, with Canadian funny man par excellence John Candy, would be a perfect combination.

What else do we have to be proud of here in this land called Canada today? The list is as long. Recently Canadians voted Tommy Douglas as the greatest Canadian in our – relatively short and still unfolding – history. I for one, would not disagree. Look him up, if you are not familiar with this truly great man. One other brave heart from this land I would like to mention only: Louis Joseph Papineau – a democrat before his time. There are of course many, many others worthy of great honour, both past and present, and there will be more in the future. As to a further list of names and accomplishments in the on-going history of this country, I will leave that to others.

The lands and the peoples of Canada deserve to be celebrated. And the famous are not the only ones we should remember, take note of, or respect. Mutual respect will help us all. After all, it is only enlightened self-interest, as well as a matter of virtue and basic kindness. Let us celebrate the good in all peoples, everywhere. Today, the focus happens to be on Canada, and that is not a bad thing at all, and very well deserved.

There is no country. Any country is a name only. A country is a mental concept, lines drawn on a map. What is real is the people and the land. Real also is our democracy – or so it is if we preserve it. Let us celebrate the land, the peoples, and the freedom and democracy of Canada. Imperfect as these may be, they are precious, and worthy of both respect and preservation.

JTR,
Canada Day,
2009

Global Geopolitics: 2008 Update

Posted in 2008, 9/11, American politics, analysis, Brzezinski, Canada, Canadian politics, civil liberties, class, collapse, constitution, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, coup, crash, crisis of democracy, crisis of legitimacy, currency, debt, deep integration, democracy, dollar crisis, economic collapse, economics, economy, elite, empire, empowerment, end-game, fascism, freedom, geopolitics, Global War on Terrorism, globalism, globalization, Gulf of Tonkin, human rights, imperialism, Iran, Martial Law, Middle East, money, NACC, NAU, North American Union, nuclear war, nuclear weapons, oil, Operation Northwoods, peak oil, Pearl Harbor, pentagon, police state, political economy, politics, politics of oil, propaganda, Reichstag, Security and Prosperity Partnership, Sinking of the Maine, sovereignty, SPP, the world's other superpower, tipping point, Trilateral Commission, truth, U.S., Uncategorized, war, war crimes, war on democracy, War on Terror, WEF, World Economic Forum with tags , , , , on February 22, 2008 by jtoddring

“The future holds ominous portent, and signs of great hope. Which result ensues depends largely upon what we make of the opportunities.” – Noam Chomsky


A number of long-term trends are coming to a head in 2008, particularly within the United States, but also more broadly, affecting North America, the Western nations and the world as a whole. Among them are, to name a few of the most pivotal, in brief: a global crisis of legitimacy, stemming primarily from broad and deep popular opposition to the emerging framework of world order, which is most accurately described as global corporatism, or more starkly but appropriately, global feudal fascism; the unfolding and escalating war on democracy and attempted consolidation of domestic and global dominance by Western elites; rapidly deepening economic crisis; peak oil repercussions; escalating ecological fallout; escalating geopolitical maneuvers for maintaining imperial hegemony; the stealth coup of continental corporatism under the Security and Prosperity Partnership; and pretexts for fortification of existing powers in the heartland of the Western empire, with rapid and highly conscious movement from corporate dominated liberal democracy to full corporatist fascism, under an orchestrated state of emergency. These trends continue to unfold with increasing speed, while at the same time, there are also signs of great hope, as “the other superpower” – the people of the world – begin to awake.

While China, India, Russia and other powers rise rapidly as economic giants, and these BRIC alliance economies in particular, the global hegemony of the Western business elite is threatened, both from these rising external powers, along with rising popular opposition to neocolonial dominance abroad, and from within, by a growing and deep crisis of legitimacy, very much as former right hand man to French President Jacques Chirac, Jacques Attalie had predicted in his candid analysis, Millennium. Western elites believe the barbarians are at the gates, and worse, are in their midst – the masses becoming restless. In response, they grow increasingly desperate. A wounded predator is in its death throws, but as Chomsky has noted, a wounded predator is a dangerous animal. The following is an extremely concise overview of where we stand in light of global geopolitics, as of early 2008.

The Western political and business elite – particularly and most imminently with regard to the United States – face a severe and highly volatile crisis of legitimacy which is set to explode; in response, the elites want to lock-down their power while they have it. (See World Economic Forum global poll, 2002.) As international financier George Soros said recently, “We have to make major compromises now, or we will lose everything.” Clearly, the business elite do not wish to compromise, nor do they want to “lose everything”. The only alternative to these two options, therefore, is a power-grab: lock-down and consolidate while it is still possible. This is end-game. As Maude Barlow put it, it has come to a “global showdown” between the corporate elite and their empire of greed, and the people of the earth and democracy. The business elite may see a temporary victory, even though power lies ultimately with the vast majority, who in reality can only be ruled so long as we concede power and submit. In the not too distant future, the cooperation of the many with this unfolding corporate-fascist order will fall to critical levels, and the order will collapse. In the short term, a heightened and very ugly struggle between the forces of empire and those of democracy is likely – and is in fact, unfolding now at escalating speed.

Internal documents as well as public statements by the Western business and political elite show (corroborated by historical evidence of their actions, patterns, motives and methods) that a) they want global dominance secured in their hands; b) that this will require control over world oil supplies – primarily in the Middle-East and Canada; c) that imperial war, particularly for control over oil, will be necessary; d) that “catalyzing events” – aka false flag operations, such as the Gulf of Tonkin incident and others, as the Pentagon’s Operation Northwoods set out – will be necessary in order to provide a pretext for the imperial wars; e) that maintaining control over the homeland and heart of the empire during the present time of propaganda failure will require resort to force – ie: fascism; and f) that these considerations have been well thought out, and have been found acceptable to these same elites.

Western business elites seek control of world oil reserves as means of securing global dominance; are escalating and broadening the military and paramilitary operations across the oil rich Middle East for this purpose, along with others; are preparing for an attack on Iran sometime in the very near future; need, as Brzezinski also pointed out, another “Pearl Harbor type event” to provide cover for such operations; and will likely launch a “catalyzing event” to provide the justification and cover for their planned action – another 9/11.

The next 9/11 will provide a pretext for a) the attack on Iran to secure mid-east oil reserves, and b) the lock-down on power in the homeland, the heart of the empire – North America and Europe – via martial law and the full emergence of a police state.

The U.S.-led NATO forces that have been deployed to the Persian Gulf and eastern Mediterranean since late August 2006 indicate a military build-up of a scale that can only mean two things: war is planned for the near future; the scale of the planned war is much greater than Iran alone. It could be said that the size of the build up is a precaution, due to the foreknowledge that this is an extremely dangerous gambit: China and Russia are almost certain adversaries if the U.S. and NATO attack Iran. In either case, the time-frame is clear: such a massive deployment of military force – on the part of the U.S., with the involvement of French, German and British forces – is for a clear and imminent purpose. Military build-up as well as the usual preliminary saber rattling, statements by political officials, spin and PR deluge indicates a Western attack on Iran is not far off.

With Western elites set to attack Iran, the question is whether another false flag operation will be conducted to provide cover for the operation: ie: the “war on terrorism” propaganda stepped up by the artificial creation of another terrorist attack on “the Homeland” in order to squeak through one more imperial war before the lock-down on power is complete. And the indications are, yes. It is highly unlikely that the U.S. and Western powers would dare launch an extremely unpopular attack on Iran when the population of the world, including in Europe and the U.S., are deeply opposed to such an act, unless they first create a very strong pretext and justification for invasion. This is the need for another 9/11.

The next “terrorist attack” will destroy the constitutions of the Western world, and democracy, once and for all – or so it is hoped by the business and political elite who wish to rule unencumbered by “the masses.” As General Tommy Franks declared, the next attack will be the end of democracy. (It is hoped.) As 2008 unfolds, the war on democracy and the move toward fascism is becoming increasingly undeniable, particularly within the United States. What was unthinkable only a short time ago is now rapidly becoming a reality. It is furthermore becoming obvious that the attack on democracy is highly conscious. This is a power grab, a stealth coup. Another major terrorist attack would provide the rationalization for the full implementation of emergency powers and the suspension of all remaining civil liberties and democracy.

With the Western elites preparing for imminent attack on Iran, a pretext needed, and the “war on terror” fears needing to be stirred up to fever-pitch to allow for such an arrogant and extraordinarily dangerous, reckless and brazen move, the next “Pearl Harbor-type event” will likely be soon; and that event will usher in the fascist state: for all of the “North American Homeland” – as the Pentagon has declared the continent, echoing Nazi terminology – commencing with the United States, and soon after, for as much of the world as the Western elite can control, including, of course, Europe.

Also planned for 2007-2008 is the completion and implementation by stealth of the “regulatory framework” for the SPP/NAU: that is, the new government of North America is to be in place and fully functioning as a shadow government by 2007-2008. This is the unfolding of the “Security and Prosperity Partnership”, whereby Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are merged into one continental body, with one continent-wide corporatist regime, in what is being called the North American Union. That government is called the NACC: the North American Council on Competitiveness; and it is composed of 10 representatives from each of the three nations. This council of 30 which is the NACC, the new North American government, is already appointed – appointed by the business elite of North America; and it is composed of representatives from the biggest corporations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. (We already know their names, and which corporations they come from.) 30 CEO’s will govern the entire continent. “The Homeland” becomes a full-fledged corporate-fascist state.

At the same time, also to be expected from an attack on Iran – in fact, a guaranteed result, which is why the attack was likely delayed for some time until the financial elite had prepared their positions securely – is a huge spike in global oil prices. The effects on the destabilization of the U.S. and also the global economy will be very great.

Also at the same time, the U.S. dollar is already falling. Central banks the world over are pulling out. A run is about to commence. Capital flight will bring down the dollar, and the U.S. economy with it. Already the head of China’s central bank has said “We have enough [U.S. currency and Treasury Bonds].” The U.S. relies on $2.8 billion a day in foreign money coming into the U.S. system via the purchase of U.S. currency and Treasury Bonds, in order to off-set its $70 billion per month trade deficit. The main prop holding up the U.S. economy and U.S. dollar is the enormous inflow of money from China. Now China has said “We have enough.” The U.S. dollar is about to sink, and with it, the U.S. economy. In January of 2008 the S&P index of stocks of the 500 biggest corporations traded on Wall Street showed a 14.5% drop in value over the previous three months, showing a deepening of these trends.

When the U.S. dollar crashes, not only the U.S. economy follows with a crash, but the global economy as well. 66% of world currency reserves held by the central banks of the world’s nations are in U.S. dollars. With the crash of the U.S. dollar comes a global economic depression, if not system collapse. This is expected anytime over the near future by anyone who is paying attention.

As if all of that were not already enough crisis and turmoil for one very short period of time, to this we can add the reality of peak oil. In the fall of 2006 I predicted that, according to the best evidence available, and some of the best analysts on the subject, peak oil would hit between 2006 and 2008. When it does, oil prices will spike dramatically, and will continue to climb, likely quadrupling or more. As of February 2008, at the time of this writing, it is now being admited, not only that peak oil is a geolocial and economic reality, but that it occurred in 2007: peak oil is here. Oil prices did rise dramatically, going from US$50/barrel to US$100 a barrel in just over a year, following a slightly longer trend from $20 a barrel in 2004 to $100 a barrel at present, and rising – a five-fold increase in three years. As oil prices skyrocket, the cost of all shipping and transport becomes far more expensive. Virtually all consumer goods rise dramatically in price, including basics such as food. Costs for all businesses relying on transport or inputs or goods over long distances – most businesses now – go through the roof, and widespread bankruptcies, layoffs and unemployment ensues. In short, peak oil means global economic depression, and mass unemployment, poverty, homelessness and hunger. And this is hitting at approximately the same time as we are dealing with the new unfolding of a North American corporate-fascist state under the SPP and NAU/NACC, led by the business elite and their lobby groups, such as the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, the Business Round Table and the Council on Foreign Relations.

To add further complexity, the U.S. government under Bush has snuck through a law that makes mandatory the holding of a “REAL ID” national identity card for all Americans by May 2008. Since by May 2008 Canada, the U.S. and Mexico will have ceased to exist as nations in any meaningful sense – having been stripped of both sovereignty and democracy, the NAU/SPP being in place in operation if not public announcement, and “regulatory harmonization” under the NACC also having been quietly implemented by accommodating executive branches and high level bureaucrats – the “smart card” micro-chip-based REAL ID will become continent-wide. “Papers please.” The stage is then set for the introduction of electronic currency, via the universal smart card, which will be offered as a solution to both security issues and currency crashes. No card, no food. And since all personal data is stored on central databanks, accessed by a swipe of the card, being dubbed an “enemy combatant” without notice or trial can mean having all means of sustenance cut, with a few strokes on a remote keyboard, or one mouse-click, somewhere in the netherworld of the surveillance state. Any who hold the wrong opinions – that is, opinions that do not correspond to those the corporate rulers want us to have – can be silenced without even having to dispose of them to the detention centres (which are also under construction).

All of this is within the context of the greatest challenge humanity has faced in recorded history: the ecological crisis which we have set in motion, and which is now bearing fruit in the form of increasing and compounding disasters, leading towards systems breakdown and collapse, as Jared Diamond, David Suzuki, Ronald Wright and many others have warned.

It would seem that it is critical for anyone who does not wish to become a slave, or simply to be submerged in the deepening and interwoven crises of the time, to start to come together, and quickly, to build alternative means of sustaining ourselves and one another during the present time of rapidly unfolding troubles. Most will be swept into poverty by the global depression, compounded by the effects of energy shortage and growing ecological disaster. The middle class will be essentially vaporized across the Western world. Government services will be gutted – far beyond the mere cut-backs of the past twenty years – as corporate rule takes hold in full. Hunger and homelessness will be widespread and epidemic as poverty becomes the norm, as Jacques Attalie and others predicted some time ago. Meanwhile, those who can buy or sell in the new economy will be able to do so only insofar as they are willing to be silent and obedient slaves: dissidents will be shut down electronically, via the symbiosis of the electronic currency system, the universal smart card/ID, and the global surveillance state which serves corporate rule.

To be free in the new economy will mean being economically independent – and that does not mean being an employee, or relying on the monetary system. It means we need to establish parallel economies, whereby human needs and human freedom come first, not service to giant corporate feudal lords. We will need to establish sustainable cooperative local economies based in creative problem solving and mutual aid and common sense, and which operate parallel to and largely outside of the new economy: an economy which will leave only poverty under fascism for the majority, and slavery with perks for the “lucky” few.

There is not much time to prepare for such an unthinkable, but unfortunately real unfolding of events. The time to act is now, both to resist, to prepare to survive this ordeal, and to build alternatives for this ugly feudal fascist system’s inevitable demise.

The popular opposition to global corporatism has already reached great breadth and depth – as the World Economic Forum’s 2002 global poll showed, as well as the collapse of the WTO talks, as further noted by Canadian philosopher and former Governor General John Ralston Saul – and continues to grow, despite the unsuprising lack of coverage of this phenomenon in the corporate dominated network media. It is precisely because of this crisis of legitimacy and failure of the propaganda system that the Western elite are now seeking to consolidate power while they still can: through the resort to increasing use of fear as a means of public control, and more directly, through the use of force and state terror. But the crisis of legitimacy indicates the end of their reign approaches, just as it did for the regime of the former Soviet Union, less than twenty years ago.

Along with opposition to the present corporatist form of globalization, popular movements have for decades been busy experimenting with and developing working models of alternatives, in everything from green energy and transportation, organic farming and fair trade, to tools and models for authentic democracy and sustainable, just and peaceful communities. Everything we need to build a better world is here. We need only to act. And the time is ripe. Furthermore, there is no time to lose.

“In the long run, global politics are bound to become increasingly uncongenial to the concentration of hegemonic power in the hands of a single state. Hence, America is not only the first, as well as the only, truly global superpower, but it is also likely to be the very last.”
– U.S. long-term strategic planner and Trilateral Commission founder Zbigniew Brzezinksi,
The Grand Chessboard

Not only will the U.S. be the last nation state superpower, the last of the nation state empires: the end of empires more broadly – including the present trans-national corporatist empire – is about to be witnessed by a thankful and newly empowered humanity. Sadly, it seems we must first live through a period of darkness before the age of empires can be closed.

Do not forget that the sun also rises. Let us work together now for a better world for all. A new dawn is already on the horizon. I can see it clearly. It’s birth may be painful, but its splendour will be magnificent.

J. Todd Ring,

February, 22, 2008

Links and references:

The death of democracy in America: Time for a re-awakening

Smedley Butler and the Business Plot

Powder Keg USA: US heading toward fascism and civil war

HR 1955: The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act

Fast-Track to Fascism: The SPP in a Nutshell

HEY YOU! Lefties, liberals and progressives – Listen up

My Buddy Obama

Money, Banks and Democracy

America: A Fork In the Road

On Libertarianism: Right & Left

Earth 101: Essential Reading

Preparations for an Attack on Iran:

The Next War: Public in the Dark about Government’s Plans for War in Iran – Daniel Ellsberg

* “Cold War Shivers”: War Preparations in the Middle East and Central Asia

Debating World Domination: Bilderberg Meets in Canada’s Capital

ZNet |Foreign Policy | We Had a Democracy Once, But You Crushed It


9/11:

False Flag: A “Pearl Harbor Type Event”

Bush Directive for a “Catastrophic Emergency” in America: Building a Justification for Waging War on Iran?

Brzezinski warns of Pearl Harbor type event, a pretext for war on Iran

Ron Paul – Gulf of Tonkin

9/11: The “Perfect Opportunity” for North American Integration

Ex-Italian Prime Minister – ‘9/11 Carried Out By CIA and Mossad’ // Current

Former German Minister Says Building 7 Used To Run 9/11 Attack

9-11 Research: Insider Trading

More evidence of Pre-9/11 Inside Trading: Follow the Money? God forbid

911 Proof

911 Aftermath: Unanswered Question from 9/11 (pt.1) – video

911 Aftermath: Unanswered Questions from 9/11 (pt.2) – video

911 Aftermath: Unanswered Questions from 9/11 (pt.3) – video

THE TRUTH & LIES OF 9/11 – Michael Ruppert – video

War and Globalization – The Truth Behind September 11 – Google Video

American Scholars Symposium

** Senior Military, Intelligence, and Government Officials Question 9/11 Commission Report

9/11 Statement Signed by Prominent Americans

Scholars for 9/11 Truth

ONE IN 3 AMERICANS SAY U.S. AIDED 9/11 By THOMAS HARGROVE and GUIDO H. STEMPEL III – New York Post Online Edition: News

* Scientific Poll: 84% Reject Official 9/11 Story

* Radio Poll: 85% Of Canadians Believe 9/11 Inside Job

* Over 80% supported the stance of Charlie Sheen

9/11: Why the Official Theory Has Collapsed (opinion)

* Alex Jones warns about attacks before 911

ABC News: U.S. Military Wanted to Provoke War With Cuba

National Security Archive – Pentagon Proposed Pretexts for Cuba Invasion in 1962

Venezuela’s Chavez says Bush planned 9/11 attacks – video

Reichstag Fire, Hitlers 9/11 Fake terror to grab control! : SF Indymedia – video

TerrorStorm Delxue High Quality (Alex Jones) – Google Video

The Pentagon’s “Second 911”

Dynasty of Death: Historical perspective on the Bush family

***Amazon.com: 9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out: Books: David Ray Griffin,Peter Dale Scott

book – Day Of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor: Books: Robert Stinnett

9/11: Press for Truth – DVD Documentary

Celcius 9/11 – World Takeover and the War of Terror – CRG

9/11 Key Articles – Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG)


The emergence of fascism in the West:

*** Habeas Corpus Your words are lies Sir – YouTube – olbermann 10-18-06

***Bush Moves Toward Martial Law

Habeas Corpus, R.I.P. (12/15 – 2006)

Demolishing Democracy At Home and Abroad – Noam Chomsky video

The Return of Total Information Awareness – Bush Asserts Dictatorial “Inherent” Powers

Examples of the president’s signing statements – The Boston Globe

***The Secret Government – PBS – Google Video

Eisenhower warns us of the military industrial complex. – Video: 1961 Farewell Address

Power of Nightmares – BBC Documentary

Mind Control: America’s Secret War – History Channel Documentary

***Commission Finds President George W. Bush and His Administration Guilty of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

Bush’s 9/11 Reichstag Fire

9/11 – the American Reichstag Fire and the Fourth Reich

The Pentagon Declares War on America

The limits of liberty: We’re all suspects now

Are YOU the Enemy?

Maher Arar: The Horrors of ‘Extraordinary Rendition’

*** Torture Inc. – America’s Brutal Prisons – BBC Documentary

* National Yawn as Our Rights Evaporate | bushcommission.org

* A Constitutional Shredding — Rounding Up U.S. Citizens | bushcommission.org

The End of Habeas Corpus and the Belligerent Despot-in-Chief – Ralph Nader

Ambassador to Death Squads – Who is John Negroponte?

On the Rise of Fascism – “The Great Transformation” Revisited

LIBERTY V.S. SECURITY

Harsh law set to live on, unexplained

*CRG – Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Laws – Rocco Galati

FSTV video – Noble lies and perpetual war: Leo Strauss, the neocons, and Iraq

Amazon.com: Blowback: America’s Recruitment of Nazis and Its Effects on the Cold War: Books: Christopher Simpson

Amazon.com: The CIA’s Greatest Hits (The Real Story Series): Books: Mark Zepezauer

Amazon.com: Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press: Books: Alexander Cockburn, Jeffrey St. Clair

Amazon.com: Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion: Books: Gary Webb

Amazon.com: Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency: Books: James Bamford

* Amazon.com: Police State America: US Military ‘Civil Disturbance’ Planning: Books: Tom Burghardt, Tom (ed) Burghardt

Necessary Illusions; Thought Control in Democratic Societies – Chomsky, online text

Year 501: The Conquest Continues – Chomsky, online text

Amazon.com: Open Society and Its Enemies (Volume 1): Books: Karl Raimund Popper

Noam Chomsky on the Trilateral Commission – from The Carter Administration: Myth and Reality

Amazon.com: Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management: Books: Holly Sklar

Amazon.com: Trilaterals Over America: Books: Antony C. Sutton

TC’s own manifesto – Amazon.com: The Crisis of Democracy: Report on the Governability of Democracies to the Trilateral Commission: Books: Michel Crozier,Samuel P. Huntington,Joji Watanuki

Amazon.com: Tragedy & Hope: A History of the World in Our Time: Explore similar items

Skull and Bones K.O.’d – video

Zbigniew Brzezinski – The Grand Chessboard

***American Prison Camps Are on the Way

Rex 84: FEMA’s Blueprint for Martial Law in America

Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps

10-Year U.S. Strategic Plan For Detention Camps Revives Proposals From Oliver North

Fatal Vision: The Deeper Evil Behind the Detainee Bill

Top 10 Signs of the Impending U.S. Police State

Notes on the Progress of the Counterrevolution

America: The Fourth Reich

How the Nazis Won the War – Chomsky Nazis Odonian

The Nazi Parallel – NSS & Fascism – NSS Churches US Fascism Herman

Trading with the Enemy The Nazi – American Money Plot 1933-1949

General Tommy Franks calls for Repeal of US Constitution

Air Force chief : Test weapons on testy US mobs – Sep 12 …

Noam Chomsky on Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest For Global Dominance – audio

War on Terrorism Watch: CAUT Resource Website – Home Page

The State of Democracy – counterSpin final edition

* Demolishing Democracy At Home and Abroad – Noam Chomsky, Freespeech TV

A Marxist Threat to Cola Sales?

Who are the Global Terrorists, by Noam Chomsky

On the Long and Bloody History of U.S.-Sponsored Terrorism – Chomsky – audio

Amazon.com: Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II-Updated Through 2003: Books: William Blum

America’s “War on Terrorism” – Chossudovsky

Amazon.com: The COINTELPRO Papers : Documents from the FBI’s Secret …

Ten Minutes to Midnight: The Emerging Police State – Z Store

Fascism watch


SPP/NAU/NACC: The new corporate fascist government of North America, 2007

* Secret Banff Meeting of CEOs and the Defense Establishment : Militarization and the Deconstruction of North America

CBC – Top secret: Banff security meeting attracted U.S., Mexico officials

* CNN Video: Lou Dobbs Slams CFR & North American Union

*** De Facto North American Government in the Making: “Canadians must take back Canada”

Deep Integration – The Council of Canadians

**CFR Task Force Report – Building a North American Community

* CRG – Continental Integration of Military Command Structures: A Threat to Canada’s Sovereignty

* Documenting the rush to globalism – The August Review

* North American Union/Testimony, Publications and Reports – SourceWatch

*** Paul Martin’s Big Texas Adventure


Politics of Oil:

Video – Robert Newman History of oil – Google Video

The Oil Factor: Behind the War on Terror – Google Video

“It’s the Crude, Dude” Linda McQuaig book launch


Peak Oil:

AlterNet: Will the End of Oil Be the End Of Food?

AlterNet: WireTap: Has the Long Peak – Oil Emergency Begun?

BBC NEWS | Business | ‘Peak oil’ enters mainstream debate

CNN – We Were Warned: Tomorrow’s Oil Crisis

Peak Oil alert – Houston Business Journal:

Peak Oil: The Energy Crisis of Oil Supply Depletion – full video

Re-Energizing America: Rescuing America from its Costly Fossil Fuel Addiction – Google Video

Mike Ruppert on Peak Oil – video

www.oilempire.us

The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century: Books: James Howard Kunstler


U.S. Faces “Economic Armageddon”:

* The Dollar’s Full-System Meltdown

Economic ” Armageddon ” Predicted

Dollar Catching Asian Flu – Asia Times

Arab central banks sell dollar

As Dollar Plunges, Watch for US Government Bonds Sell -off – DEBKAfile –

The War To Save The U.S. Dollar – Trinicenter.com –

Fears for dollar as central banks sell US assets

BBC NEWS | Business | Is the global economy set for trouble?

Collapse of the Petrodollar Looming

Iranian Oil Bourse Opens for Business: A Final Step Toward US Dollar Collapse & Preemptive Nuclear Strike

An empire at twilight:

Superpower’s global dominance in question

50 Years After Suez, US Hegemony Ebbing Fast

“The United States is Terrified” – Noam Chomsky on Latin America’s Move Towards “Independence and Integration”

The Crumbling Empire: Latin America and Asia Breaking Free of Washington’s Grip – Noam Chomsky


The crisis of legitimacy:

Global corporate rule is now fragile

Confronting the Empire – Chomsky at the World Social Forum

The Global Crisis of Legitimacy of Liberal Democracy – Social and Economic Policy – Global Policy Forum


REAL ID: Universal ID Cards

US National ID Cards by May 2008

National nightmare – ACLU of Southern California Campaign: Stop The Abuse of Power

Globalization and the rise of corporate power:

The Corporation – video

Iraq for Sale

On Globalization – Noam Chomsky

On the New World Order – Chomsky

Rollback – Chomsky

* Thirdworldization of America

Chomsky: Global Economy – excerpts from The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many

Profit Over People – excerpts – Noam Chomsky

Emerging Framework of World Power – Chomsky – audio/video

Institutions vs. People: Will the Species Self-Destruct? – Chomsky – MIT video

150 CEOs rule Canada: Time to tame corporate power – Murray Dobbin

No Nonsense Guide to Globalization – book

Book Review – All You Can Eat: Greed, Lust, and the New Capitalism by Linda McQuaig – Alternative News Media on Democracy, Politics, Trade, Environment, Military and Money in Canada

The Globalization of Poverty – Chossudovsky


Alternatives:

Global Showdown: How the new activists are fighting global corporate rule – video

Confronting the Empire – Chomsky

Confronting the Empire – Chomsky – audio

Chomsky – Dismantling Empire, Building Democracy – audio – Chomsky

Taking Control of Our Lives: Freedom, Sovereignty, and Other Endangered Species, Noam Chomsky, 2/26/00

Another World: Alternative Ways to Globalization – audio/video

Noam Chomsky speaks at Binghamton University 3/4/06 – “Imminent Crises: Paths Toward Solutions” – on WSKG Radio

Dismantling empire – chomsky

Rise Up Against the Empire – Chavez speach to UN

International Project for a Participatory Society – Z net

Strategy/Vision – Z net

Peak Oil Primer/What Can Be Done? | EnergyBulletin.net | Peak Oil News Clearinghouse

The Relocalization Network

The Community Solution to Peak Oil

The Local Future Network

The Community Solution: The Solution to Peak Oil

Ruralisation: Integrating settlements and agriculture to provide sustainability – Dept. of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University

Cohousing Association of the United States

Global Ecovillage Network

Intentional Communities Web Site: Home Page

The Earth Charter

The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil – order video

Making Sweden an OIL-FREE Society

Nordic Countries Design Sustainable Communities: The Natural Step for Eco-Villages

How to pass a peak oil resolution | EnergyBulletin.net | Peak Oil News Clearinghouse

LETSystems home page – http–www.gmlets.u-net.com-

LETS Groups around the world – LETS-Linkup International LETS Directory

Hometown Money Starter Kit & Video

Toronto Dollars

Transaction Net – How Currency Systems Work (a Money Map)

Reinventing Money.com

ZNet Parecon – Life After Capitalism – And Now Too

Parecon – ZNet

Amazon.com: Roads to Freedom: Books: B. Russell

Powers and Prospects – Chomsky

Mutual Aid A Factor of Evolution – Kropotkin – libcom.org library

Civil Disobedience – Henry David Thoreau – full text

The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy: Books: Murray Bookchin

The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future: Books: Riane Eisler

Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh: Books: Helena Norberg-Hodge

Good News for a Change: How Everyday People are Helping the Planet: Books: David T. Suzuki,Holly Dressel

Insurrection: Citizen Challenges to Corporate Power

* Amazon.com: The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community (BK Currents): Books: David C. Korten

Amazon.ca: Another World Is Possible: Globalization and Anti-Capitalism: Books: David McNally

South End Press | Earth Democracy – Vandana Shiva

Looking Forward – Albert and Hahnel

No Nonsense Guide to Fair Trade – book

Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World: Books: Richard Heinberg

Amazon.ca: One Big Party: Books: Paul Hellyer

* Amazon.co.uk: Shambhala : The Sacred Path of the Warrior ( Shambhala …

Scientific American Mind: The Samaritan Paradox

Amazon.com: World as Lover , World as Self : Books: Joanna Macy


NAFTA with Guns – Defeating the SPP

Posted in Canada, civil liberties, corporate fascism, corporate rule, deep integration, democracy, freedom, globalization, Mexico, NAFTA, SPP, U.S. on August 18, 2007 by jtoddring

SPP Forum and Protest August 19-21

The SPP threatens our environment, social programs, civil liberties, sovereignty and the foundations of democracy. The MAI was killed, and full corporate rule averted. Now we must do the same with the SPP. Time to act! Get informed. Get involved. Send this to everyone you know.

The RCMP, Surete du Quebec and US Army, who are providing security for the SPP meeting between Bush, Harper and Calderone this Sunday to Tuesday (Aug.19-21), have prevented a public discussion forum from being held in the nearby town of Papineauville. This is a good indication of the anti-democratic nature of this “Security and Prosperity Partnership.” Fortunately, we still have freedom of speech. So speak up while you can. The internet is now the most powerful media and communications tool the public has. Let’s use it.

JTR

The best overview I’ve seen to date:

The SPP Meeting in August — and Preparations to oppose it

For further background search this blog for other SPP articles.

Integrate This!
Call to Action Against the SPP! August 19-21

http://www.canadians.org/integratethis/

Poster: Share, print and post this everywhere!

http://www.canadians.org/integratethis/summit/Forum_Aug07.pdf

Attention law students, lawyers and legal professionals:
BCCLA Call for Legal Witnesses

http://www.bccla.org/montebello.htm

Ride-Share to Ottawa & Montebello, Aug. 19

http://www.canadians.org/integratethis/summit/travel.html

An activist camp and gathering: Un Campement

http://www.uncampement.net/?q=en

Related article, reprinted from PEJ.org:

The RCMP, the rogue states, and the SPP Summit

Pej.org news – Joan Russow (PhD) Global Compliance Research Project. It is reported by the Council of Canadians (see below) that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and U.S. Army have blocked a public forum on the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) which was to take place during the SPP summit in Montebello, Quebec on August 20 and 21. If the RCMP is ever going to be credible in the eyes of the public, the RCMP must be perceived to be the enforcer not of the whims of the corporate sector but of fundamental peremptory norms to which most states in the world adhere.

www.PEJ.org

After months, if not years, of the RCMP engaged in range of questionable practices which culminated in the resignation of the Commissioner Zacardelli, the New RCMP Commissioner William Elliot is taking the RCMP to a new
level of ignominy. Before assuming the position of Commissioner of the RCMP, William Elliot, -a “terrorist expert” – in his various capacities, under Transport and Public Safety ministries has been playing a sycophantic role to his US counterparts. Now, with his first act as the RCMP Commissioner he demonstrates that, rather than enforcing the rule of law, he is willing, by denying the Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Association, to violate both the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and international human rights instruments, such as the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights to which Canada, US and Mexico are signatories. .

If the RCMP is ever going to be credible in the eyes of the public, the RCMP must be perceived to be the enforcer not of the whims of the corporate sector but of fundamental peremptory norms to which most states in the world adhere. . The RCMP should be concerned that the SPP summit that the RCMP is so intent on protecting is one with at least two leaders who have seriously violated fundamental norms expressed in Conventions such as the Convention against Torture, and the Geneva conventions.

If the RCMP is to be credible, the RCMP should refuse to be an instrument of the US army, and should act to oppose the Security and Prosperity Partnership which further entrenches the licence to violate not only the fundamental human rights of freedom expression and assembly , but also key legally biding environmental, labour, social justice obligations and commitments.

The RCMP should also be concerned that the three countries have either failed to sign and ratify international agreements related to preventing war and conflict, to guaranteeing human rights, to ensuring social justice, to preserving and protecting the environments, or failed to enact the necessary legislation to ensure the implementation and enforcement of these agreements.

But no, the role of the RCMP has become to protect leaders of states which conspire to undermine the rule of law, and to prevent citizens from acting to protect the commons and the common good.

Pej.org news – Joan Russow (PhD) Global Compliance Research Project

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RCMP and U.S. Army block public forum on Security and Prosperity Partnership

The Council of Canadians has been told it will not be allowed to rent a

municipal community centre for a public forum it had planned to coincide

with the next Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) summit in

Montebello, Quebec on August 20 and 21.

The Municipality of Papineauville, which is about six kilometres from

Montebello, has informed the Council of Canadians that the RCMP, the Sûreté

du Québec (SQ) and the U.S. Army will not allow the municipality to rent the

Centre Communautaire de Papineauville for a public forum on Sunday August

19, on the eve of the so-called Security and Prosperity Partnership Leaders

Summit.

“It is deplorable that we are being prevented from bringing together a panel

of writers, academics and parliamentarians to share their concerns about the

Security and Prosperity Partnership with Canadians,” said Brent Patterson,

director of organizing with the Council of Canadians. “Meanwhile, six

kilometres away, corporate leaders from the United States, Mexico and Canada

will have unimpeded access to our political leaders.”

As well as being shut out of Papineauville, the Council of Canadians has

been told that the RCMP and the SQ will be enforcing a 25-kilometre security

perimeter around the Chateau Montebello, where Stephen Harper will meet with

George W. Bush and Felipe Calderón on August 20 and 21. According to

officials in Montebello, there will be checkpoints at Thurso and Hawkesbury,

and vehicles carrying more than five people will be turned back.

Founded in 1985, the Council of Canadians is Canada’s largest citizens’

organization, with members and chapters across the country. The organization

works to protect Canadian independence by promoting progressive policies on

fair trade, clean water, safe food, public health care, and other issues of

social and economic concern to Canadians.

http://www.canadians.org/media/DI/2007/11-July-07.html