Friday, February 19, 2016


As a duel citizen (Canadian, US) I take a lively interest in the presidential debates going on in the US.  And I have been especially interested in the debates on the Democratic side.  Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed Socialist, seems to be gaining ground on Hilary Clinton.  As a result Clinton is desperately courting the women’s vote and has brought out some very important people to bolster her credentials on feminism.  Three of these important people are Madeleine Allbright, (former US Secretary of State) Gloria Steinem (renowned feminist writer, speaker) and most importantly, Clinton’s husband, Bill Clinton (former US President). 

I rather liked Gloria Steinem until she said that the reason young women were going to vote for Bernie Sanders in the US presidential primaries was because “that’s where the boys are”.   Meaning that young women are primarily interested in meeting men and were not into serious political activism or even political discussion.  What kind of a feminist statement is that? But Madeleine Allbright’s statements were not only irritating but disgusting.  She said that there “was a special place in hell for women who don’t support other women”.  Isn’t that sweet?  The very idea that women should support other women no matter what these other women do or say is perverted.  In my opinion, kind of like Madeleine Allbright herself.  

When asked on a TV interview if Madeleine Allbright thought that the deaths of five hundred thousand Iraqi children was worth it in the invasion of Iraq for the non-existent “weapons of mass destruction”. Madeline Allbright said yes,  a hard choice but it was “worth it”.   This is the woman Hillary Clinton brings out to attest to her own “feminism”?  One who thinks the deaths of five hundred thousand Iraq children is okay but reserves “a special place in hell” for women who won’t vote for Hillary Clinton, who is a warmonger in her own right? Hillary Clinton thinks like the banking masters she serves, that most women in general are ignorant and love to be flattered and duped.  But to bring out Bill Clinton to scold the public in general for not supporting Hillary as he thinks they should, takes the bloody cake.

Bill Clinton was a practicing womanizer while President.  Okay, so what?  So that’s not a good way to go for a President of the US no matter how “exceptional” the country or the man.  This kind of scenario can wind up with the man thinking he can do just about anything he likes,  like having oral sex with a young intern in the Oval Office of the White House while talking on the phone with Members of Congress. What might have been the next thrill?  Oral sex on the roof of the white house?  The Rose Garden? During the annual children’s Easter Egg Hunt? The man is disgusting to me, not just for degrading the White House, a symbol of American pride, but for his political ties to the banking and Military Industrial Complex.

No, Bernie Sanders may be scruffy looking (as described by some media) but by sticking to his socialist principals he has emerged as embodying most of the principals of not just socialism, but some important aspects of feminism, too.

What is more feminist than striving for women’s equality in work space, in maternity leave, in the right to education and health care for all, for the right to control one’s own body, the right for all to have decent jobs and incomes, the right not to be slaves of debt and poor paying jobs that leave women destitute and vulnerable to prostitution and/or to submitting to domestic violence for the lack of other options to feed oneself and one’s children? My vote is for Bernie Sanders.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Negative Interest

Is Canada next in line to enter That Bizzaro World?


Wondering why the stock market has gone through the roof this past week? Here on the west coast of BC all we have to do is look across the ocean to Japan. Japan has just announced they will join The European Central Bank, The Swiss National Bank, along with the central banks in Denmark and Sweden in slashing bank interest rates into negative interest territory. An article in the Financial Post entitled (Canada is flirting with a bizzaro world of negative interest rates) John Shmuel warns us that Canada could be next in line to embrace this banking anomaly.  He writes: “Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz discussed negative rates at a luncheon in Toronto last month, putting it on the radar here.”

Shmuel also cites Moshe A. Milevsky (Professor at the Schulich School of Business at York University). “What you might see happening is a negative interest rate masquerading as higher fees” Milevsky said.  “No bank in their right mind would tell a consumer, give us your hundred dollars and we’ll give you 95.  That will never happen”.  But whose idea was this, anyway, this negative interest rate business?

It seems to have come from European bankers, having indulged in many Quantitative Easings (QE’s) to no avail in quick-starting the entire Western economy (how could it, when printing presses run overtime to pour money into banks and the banks just sit on the money).  Something more needs to be done to get the larger banks to make more loans to businesses and customers.  So, the central banks will charge the other banks money for the privilege of parking their money instead of loaning it out.  In turn the regular banks that we know in our communities will pass on the fees to us, the consumers.  Instead of a miniscule amount of interest money being paid by the banks to people with banking accounts, we will be forced to pay the banks for keeping our deposits at all.  And that’s the big goal.  Then people will start spending their money instead of paying to have it stored in a bank and voila, the economy will bloom.  But will it?  More next time.

Monday, January 04, 2016

 Donald Trump and Canadian Fortunes

In the US, polls show that the main followers of Donald Trump are white, middle aged and under educated men. Working-class people. But I have enormous respect for working-class people.

Because it was working class people, both black and white, and immigrants from all over the world  who created the enormous capital wealth in the US and Canada. These men worked like beasts in the mines, in the forests, on railroads and fishing boats, on oil rigs and in the smokestacks.  And now a few generations later these men feel that while they and their ancestors built this wealth, the wealth holders have turned their backs on them. And they have.  The wealth holders, and most of their governments, are more concerned with keeping the wealth holders happy than the welfare of working people.

Donald Trump points his finger at Muslims, Hispanics and women.  And even the women in his 
audience applaud his disgusting sexist remarks.  It’s eerie.  But the women can be a threat, too, to their own men’s sense of identity, because the women are usually working, even if at some below poverty wage job.  But we have to try to understand the women’s fears. If their families are being threatened economically, or think they will be, and Trump promises to fix it, they don’t care about feminism.  What is political correctness to them if they see other foreign men who they think are taking (or will take) their husband’s and son’s jobs while they are trying to exist on their own measly below poverty wages?

I think Germany mainly turned to Hitler because he promised to put men to work and also convinced people that the Jews were stopping this.   If we will remember, Hitler rose to power when the country was desperately poverty stricken.  As the winners of World War One, the Allies demanded huge amounts of money from Germany in war reparations. There was hunger in Germany, and massive malnutrition.  Poverty, and fear of it, is always the main driver and breeder of racism. And if times get really tough now, many Canadians without jobs or worried about their jobs, may also sink into racism against any foreign group.  But I think Justin Trudeau, and the people with him, will do their very best to prevent this from happening.  Let’s give him our support.