Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Justin Trudeau, Naomi Kline on CBC

Justin Trudeau, Naomi Kline on CBC

On last Sunday’s CBC Sunday Edition, Michael Enright interviewed both Justin Trudeau and Naomi Kline, well known writer and activist.  Trudeau was interviewed first.  He was strong on preserving Canadian women’s right to safe, legal abortions.   Abortion is still a contentious subject and Trudeau didn’t flinch in his decision that Federal Liberal MP’s, should they form the government, must not vote against a women’s right to choose. I admire him for this.  Especially at a time when the US is losing ground on the issue, and even imploding in some states.   But Trudeau is weak when it comes to raising taxes on the wealthy (he won’t).  He isn’t that strong either, in my opinion, on the environment (he promotes the Keystone XL pipeline).  Naomi Kline certainly has my vote on the environment as she points out that it is the capitalist system that is killing the planet.  But that leaves me with disquiet.  While Kline sees the redistribution of wealth as a must before we can progress as humans, a socialist thinking I share, she doesn’t see women as being pivotal in this transformation.  At least she doesn’t say so.
In her interview, Naomi Kline was careful to emphasize that she didn’t consider motherhood as being the impetus for her own worry about the environments as she was three years into her latest book “This Changes Everything” before her first child was born.  I agree that women don’t have to be mothers to be worried about the environment.  Women don’t have to be mothers to be feminists.  But there is a difference between women and men.  Women’s brains and nervous systems are wired differently from men’s brains in order to accommodate the necessary reproductive work of building and nourishing infants’ bodies. This biological difference influences the thinking and feelings of women whether they ever actually have a baby or not.  Because of this, I believe we will never have the transformation into a higher human consciousness that encompasses a “deep ecology” unless and until women demand it.  So back to Justin Trudeau.

Why does Trudeau’s polices of insisting that Liberal MP’s always vote to protect women’s right to safe legal abortions strike such a deep cord with me?  Two reasons.  Now at eighty-six years old, I was having children back in an era when many desperate women died from bungled amateur abortions.  My own cousin bled to death from one of these attempts. While Canada is not, at the moment, actively trying to bring back the days of what I consider state maternal murder, it is certainly happening in the US.  Many states are losing women’s health centers where abortions are provided, and the provider physicians are being threatened or killed by religious fanatics. 

The second reason that women’s right to safe, legal abortions is so important not only to me, but to human evolution everywhere, is that unless women can control the time and place when they will become mothers, their very ability to control many other aspects of their environment is threatened.  Any concept of human freedom, of individual decision making, of human evolution, depends on the recognition that our bodies belong to us.  It is only when our bodies are recognized as sacrosanct to ourselves and to others, that we, as women, have the self-confidence to say to the men that are tearing up our universe and the women who support them for whatever reasons, “Listen, you guys, stop it!  Just stop it. We will hound you every day, we will shame you, we will not rest nor let you rest until this disgusting destruction of all we hold dear is halted.” Justin Trudeau and Naomi Kline, please get on the same page.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Christy Clark and "Breach of Trust by a Public Officxer

Christy Clark and “Breach of Trust by a Public Officer”

I think there is a slight softening of Christy Clark’s push to break the school teacher’s union because she realizes she may be skating on some thin ice patches.  Legal ones.  In R. v. Boulanger, the Supreme Court of Canada gave a definition of “Breach of trust by a public officer” (Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, s.122) as follows:

“The offence of breach of trust by a public officer is established where the Crown proves eyoung a reasonable doubt that: (1) the accused is an official; (2) the accused was acting in connection with the duties of his or her office; (3) the accused acted with the intention to use his or her public office for a purpose other than the public good, for example, a dishonest, partial, corrupt, or oppressive purpose (58)

I do believe that parents of children in the public school system might have a case in bringing a case of acting dishonestly and oppressively in refusing to accept the teacher’s union offer of binding arbitration.  Binding arbitration is fair and just and to refuse this offer is a corrupt attempt to break the teacher’s union.  Christy Clark is allowing her hatred of the teacher’s union to cause undue suffering to the children and parents of this province.  Legal minds, where are you on this?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

See What You Made Me Do?

See What You Made Me Do?

It has been fifty years since Canadian psychiatrist Dr. Eric Burne wrote his famous  book on Transactional analysis entitled “Games People Play”.  This book made a huge impression on me as it did millions of other people.  Especially the games people play in human interactions around the world that Dr. Burne called “See what you made me do”.
This game of shifting the blame from one’s own actions to the fault of another person is not only played by individual persons, it can be played by entire nation states.  I am struck by the crude and murderous version of the game “See what you made me do” currently being played by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.  He denies any blame for Israel’s part for his obvious decision to kill every man, woman and child in Gaza rather than lift the siege that has been killing them slowly for the last seven years. 

 Unable to leave the territory, to import or sell their goods, to have their very food measured out in how many calories per person they would be allowed, what medicines if any they may be allowed to have, always surveyed by planes and drones,  the people of Gaza have indeed been confined to prison for seven years.  And when prisoners revolt from time to time as prisoners are wont to do, Netanyahu’s solution is simply to kill them.   As the median age of the population of Gaza is just a tad over eighteen years, with forty per cent of the population under fifteen, and as 77 per cent of the population being killed are civilians, this means an awful lot of kids in one small country are being piteously murdered.

 See what they (Hamas) is making  me do, Netanyahu screams to the rest of  the world as he orders more bombs, more rockets, more gun boat fire into Gaza.  A small territory that he has fenced in so that the Palestinians  can’t flee, where the kids can’t get out; the hospitals themselves are bombed, there is no place to hide inside the prison,  the Israelis are pushing them toward the center, toward a kind of mass killing center.  Making him do all this?  Hamas is making him do all this?

  All Netanyahu needs to do to stop this mass murder of children is to lift the damm siege.  He had made Gaza a nightmare for the people by depriving them of the fundamentals of life and dignity.   I say to Netanyahu “Lift the siege, you swine of a man, you traitor to the human race, you are a murdering hypocrite.  Yes, you, Netanyahu.  You are a disgrace to your own race.  It was Jewish thinkers and writers who helped educate me through the years, to whom I looked for knowledge and understanding of the world; writers like Freud, Eric Fromm, Karl Marx, Rosa Luxemburg, Wilhelm Reich along with numerous others who left behind a rich, keenly intelligent and wonderfully humanistic vision of equally and peace that linger still.  Oh, and I almost forgot… Eric Burne , the founder of Transactional analysis was also a Jew.  I refute the accusation that anyone who criticizes Israel is anti-Semitic.  Jews who kill unnecessarily are the same as non-Jews who kill unnecessarily.  Lift the siege, Benjamin Netanyahu.  Or else the angry grandmothers of all races of the world will “swarm” you in your dreams.