Sunday, March 24, 2013

The best way not to start a war with China?  The best way not to start a war with China would be if a country had to borrow the money from China in order to start the war with China.   And that’s why, in my opinion, all the conjecture about the US invading Syria and Iran is just that, conjecture.  Why am I so sure of this? 
I recognize that the US would dearly love to go into Syria and clean that country up first and then move on to Iran.  Clean it up? Yes, like in Iraq, kill as many people as needed to make way for US demolition and construction crews, new US military bases, air bases, private armies to capture the oil and other resource productions, train a new, sufficiently rugged police force (one willing to use torture and murder) and in general confiscate billions of dollars of US tax money in personal enrichment of US public and private personae.
 You remember the regular “shock and awe” procedure.  The kind that Bush loved to sink his teeth into, along with Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, Condi Rice, etc.  But “shock and awe” takes money, besides the usual propaganda that has to be churned out: (regime change, chemical weapons, weapons of mass destruction, Al Qaeda, etc.) to start the enterprise going.  But the US debt is gorged already.  And the American people in general are getting wise to “shock and awe” as well as getting tired of it.
And there are more complications. China and Russia will not allow the US to invade Syria or Iran.  These countries are in their backyards.  But how would China actually react to a serious threat of a Syrian and/or Iranian invasion by the US and Israel, with or without UN approval? First, I think, monetarily. China owns most of US debt already and buys heavily when US bonds are auctioned.  In fact, China is keeping the US afloat by buying US debt. 
If China stopped buying US bonds and called in all the ones they already own, the US dollar would spiral downward to an unworkable point.  Or the other scenario…if the US tried to sell war bonds to private money, or just simply started printing whatever money was needed to go to war,  this would cause spiraling in the other direction…into hyperinflation. Yes, both of these scenarios would also impact China’s financial world. But China is an intelligent country and certainly not into bankrolling a rival country that appears to have lost its sense of direction as well as its marbles.    I think China and Russia are reasonably sure of Obama’s decision making in the matter, while Netanyahu of Israel is more problematic.  Netanyahu seems more inclined toward the World War Three option even if it should destroy the world.
Obama is not exactly into World War Three and he seems to have conveyed this message to Netanyahu on his recent visit. Obama said (more or less) look, man, we have to be cool about this. Turkey is right there beside Syria; instead of invading Syria which will rile up Russia and China, we ought to consider courting Turkey.  You pick up that telephone and call Turkey and tell them you’re sorry for killing those Turkish young people  (eight Turkish nationals on the Turkish boat with the Gaza Freedom Flotilla)  who were just trying to do good and tell them you will compensate their families (give’em some money, that’ll fix it).  And Netanyahu picked up the phone, called Turkey, apologized and said there would be compensation.  Turkey accepted the apology and presumably the money.
So the US and Israel will now concentrate on trying to convince Turkey to invade Syria for them.  And maybe China and Russia won’t even notice. But Obama’s big job is to convince the right wingers in US congress and the US military that World War Three really would not be a good idea, so forget about attacking Syria and Iran.  Obama needs to make the US congress and the US military understand that the good ole days of “shock and awe” may have just hit an impenetrable wall… The Great Wall of China.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


The Pope and CBC
Did Canada somehow become a Catholic state when I wasn’t looking?  And how did Peter Mansbridge (CBC) become Canada’s main ambassador for the Vatican, recounting every detail and nuance of the Vatican government’s selection of a new Vatican government leader with breathless enthusiasm and admiration?
  The Vatican City State (that’s what it’s called) is just that, a state completely separate from the rest of the Italian State, or the Country of Italy.   Vatican City State is a complete government unto itself and operates as a separate country from the rest of Italy.  This Vatican City state has its own supreme legislature, with executive and judicial power.  This sovereign government writes its own laws, has its own police force and containment facility (lock-up).  
 The top Vatican City state government officials, together with the Pope compose what is called the Holy See.   The Holy See is the official governmental arm of Vatican City State.  The Holy See has a legal personality.  This allows it to enter into treaties with the juridical equal of a state and to send and receive diplomatic representatives.  The Holy See of the Vatican City State has official diplomatic relations with 179 nations and the state of Vatican City is recognized under international law as a sovereign territory.  
Following the usual rules of sovereign countries and territories, Pope Francis as president of Vatican City State is the chief political negotiator for the Holy See.  Which makes Pope Frances, in my opinion, the chief politician of a foreign territory that gets to try to impose the right wing views of that country, or territory, on the rest of of the world under the overarching banner of religion.
However, this political nature of the Vatican, anchored in law, is on the whole overlooked by the main media.  It  certainly is overlooked by CBC’s Peter Mansbridge who seems dazzled by the spectacle of all the white and red robes, the Sistine Chapel, the smoking chimneys, the works.  He just can’t seem to get enough of it.  And I think this is disgusting.   Because the Vatican City State and the Holy See are not elected by the people of any country to govern them. Yet these men seek to impose their own political agenda on the world as a whole.  And the Vatican is rich.  It pays no taxes. It has many resources, and like most governments in the western world today, these resources are primarily sucked out of the wages of the working poor and the working class. 
Like any capitalist government, the Vatican City State has corruption issues. There is an unresolved banking scandal at the Vatican Bank (Financial Times 3/14/13).  One Vatican bank manger hung himself, and the next was dismissed for dereliction of duty.  The present Vatican Bank managers have been informed that the Italian Central Bank has suspended all bank card payments in the Vatican, citing its failure to implement fully anti-money laundering legislation.  These bank accounts are held by bishops, cardinals and priests to the tune of eight point two billion dollars ($8.2bn).
  And of course most of us know by now that the government of the Vatican City State and the Holy See continue to try to minimize the harm their sexual deviant priests have done to Catholic children. The Vatican City State covered up these crimes until so many of the wounded children grew up and started talking and then these heinous crimes could no longer be denied by anybody, including the Holy See.  And all the while their pedophile priests ruin the lives of children and their families, the Vatican City State and the Holy See continues to sternly instruct women about how to conduct their sex lives for the glory of god. What ignoble hypocrisy!
While Pope Frances is primarily praised by the capitalist world as a humble man of God, when he was Cardinal Bergoglio during the long “dirty war” in Argentina there is evidence he had sympathy with the right-wing dictator who had tens of thousands of people killed or disappeared. In 2005 a civil rights lawyer filed a criminal complaint against the Cardinal, now Pope, accusing him of conspiring with the military government in 1976 to kidnap two Jesuit priests for preaching Liberation Theology that sought to combine religion with social activism around the people’s extreme poverty (Globe and Mail, 3/16/13 and Democracy Now, 3/15/13).
 The Pope has refused to answer questions about his part, if any, in the priests’ kidnapping, torture and drugging.  Will the new Pope ever be forced to answer the questions that he was implicated because he disapproved of the two priests’ leftist leanings?   I personally doubt he will ever be brought to account, but as a head of state facing many allegations he should come forward and prove he has clean hands.  Given the accumulating evidence I personally don’t think he does, but we do know that Pope Francis’s hands will be kissed and fawned over by western governments and his words praised and duly reported by all main media.
     And what were the new Pope’s first words as head of the City of the Vatican government?   Did we hear him say the word “austerity”?  I think we did.  And I think that by using this word Pope Frances is telling us where he will jump in the future on the issue of the economies of the world.  Pope Francis will preach austerity as a private virtue while the private banking system goes about its work of cutting out programs that contribute to easing people’s increasing poverty. He will preach public austerity while the central banks of the world are demanding austerity programs that are already making poor people poorer unto death.   If Pope Frances puts on this humble face while surrounded by the luxurious pomp of Vatican City State as head politician, then should we wait for him to oppose the western world’s central banks that are sucking up the last of workers’ wages and causing the poverty? Like, should we wait for The Rapture?
     Aside from covering up child rape and molestation, another issue Vatican City is well known for, and that is contempt for women.  With the power to lobby as a sovereign nation the Holy See extends its influence deep into other countries.  Women who are not Catholic, women who are not even religious, find themselves also under the heel of a foreign country’a views (the Vatican)  by their ability to lobby against women’s rights.   Which they do non-stop.  They fear women.  Should women get completely out of their control their entire edifice would topple.  And in truth, enough women are running that the edifice is already crumbling.  CBC, for whatever reason, feels the Catholic edifice should be firmly propped up with lots of TV time and presented repeatedly as the most important thing happening in the world.
     In my opinion, we should all stop being queasy about calling a spade a space concerning religious originzations.  Yes, everybody has the right to their own beliefs.  However, when these beliefs become so organized, when they occupy a certain large territory, when they assume the character and legal entityofs a separate nation, then these separate legal entities should be treated primarily as a state or territory that has a state religion.  The world treats the Vatican City State and the Holy See as the opposite…that the Vatican City State is primarily a religion with an attached state that serves only as a wagging tail to the main body.  In reality that wagging tail is the body and substance of the Vatican City State and the Holy See and not just an appendage hung onto a religion.  
 The Vatican City is a a state with a state religion and nothing more in its organization.   It follows that considering the political nature of the Vatican City with its global recognition as a sovereign state, and has  embassies in so many different   countries, then the priests , cardinals, and other Holy See representatives should be regarded  as lobbyists and made to register as lobbyists in Canada.  Because that’s what they really are.  Right wing lobbyists.
 Enough hypocrisy.  Peter Mansbridge, you ought to be ashamed of yourself to be such an enthusiastic propagandist for a foreign territory or country that Canadians didn’t elect or vote for and has no control over.  And you should understand that not everyone in Canada is Catholic.  I speak as an eco-feminist and I am offended by the enormous coverage given over to a man who has indicated that he will reinforce the Catholic Church’s historical mean spirited and outright contempt for women as equals in this world. Stop it, already.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

      Hugo Chavez is dead.  Long live Hugo Chavez!  May his policies that have lifted millions of Venezuelans out of poverty prevail into the future.  And let’s take a moment to contrast Hugo Chavez’s regard for his people with that of our own Prime Minister.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Prime Minister who actually loved the people of Canada, who worried about our welfare, especially the poor, the working poor, the children of the poor, the increasing poor as well as the business and middle class of Canada, as Chavez loved his people? But the message Stephen Harper sent to a grieving Venezuela along with many other South American peoples was a short, curt, unbelievably arrogant slap in the face. Harper’s  message in part read:
“At this key juncture, I hope the people of Venezuela can now build for themselves a better, brighter future based on the principals of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights.” 
     In the first place, this message is hypocritical beyond belief.  Hugo Chavez was elected with a 54 per cent majority in a democratic election.  And Chavez used the country’s oil money to lift millions of his people out of dire poverty.  Harper is striving to push as many of us in Canada into poverty as quickly as he can.   In spite of everything  the US and global finance did to crush him, Chavez stuck to his mandate to improve the lives of his people, from the bottom economic tier up, and to inspire all people to work to improve themselves. Who and what does Harper inspire?  The answer is so discouraging it makes one feel sick.
     Aside from rancid hypocrisy, Harper’s message carried clues to what he sees ahead for us.  Just more of the same. Harper is not urging us on to more workers’ councils and the creation of democratic community learning centers as Chavez did, but the opposite.   Harper is taking away our rights, along with First Nation’s rights, to be stewards of the lands and water of Canada. He is doing all he can to crowd  our overflowing jails with asinine pot charges against young people while cutting to the bone the people programs that help, protect, and prepare for the future.   Worker’s tax money that used to go into building a caring, modern, just nation has taken a sharp turn to the right that simply makes the rich richer while our life sustaining infrastructures  crumble.
      When I first came to Canada in 1966 I was thrilled to be in a county that recognized and practiced all of the concepts that Stephen Harper, in his message to the Venezuela people tries to pretend we Canadians still have…freedom, democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights.  But now?  For us? Not so much.  But where did all these concepts and programs to improve ordinary people’s lives go if they were still here when I immigrated in 1966?
     They didn’t go anywhere until 1974.  That was the year then Prime Minister Elliot Trudeau and Paul Martin made the decision to stop borrowing money from the Bank of Canada at no interest for public works and started borrowing from private banks at compound interest.  This set the stage for Canada’s thirty- nine year slide from a diverse, strong, just, sovereign country into one of an  internationalism so pervasive Canadians and First Nations can no longer independently manage our own soil and waters, much less the resources contained within. And jobs?
     Our job market has been internationalized, too. Manufacturing has largely been gutted out of Canada.  Oil and the search for oil and gas will be about all we have to depend on for big money makers, but even these are rife with problems such as First Nations claims, environmental protests and falling market demand.  But how did we lose control over work?  Over our environment?  Why did worker’s wages start going down as banks profits soared?  How did we as a people start getting poorer as private bank profits soared?  Did our deteriorating social and economic health of Canada have everything to do with the decision of Pierre Trudeau and Paul Martin to start borrowing needed public money from private banks?  And if so, did Pierre Trudeau and Paul Martin deliberately conspire to try to drag Canada down into the dust bin of failed states?
      Yes and no.  I don’t think either Pierre Trudeau or Paul Martin had at the time any particular desire to see Canada go down the tube.   They were just privileged men, conceited in their supposed intellectual superiority, and dedicated first, to their own class.  So they listened to other privileged men (private bankers) who had an idea about of how to siphon huge chunks of money out of public tax dollars.
      Tax dollars, of course, pay for public programs and public debt.  At the time, the government was borrowing what money it needed from the Bank of Canada.  The Bank of Canada is our bank, the Canadian people’s bank.  The Constitution says so.  And it specifically mandates that our bank is there for us, for our government to borrow what it needs to run the government, and at no interest.
     Well, the private banks prevailed.  They persuaded Trudeau and Paul Martin to borrow the money that the government needed from them instead of from the Bank of Canada.  And the private banks not only charge interest, they charge compound interest.  This practice doubles and triples the amount of money to be paid back from the government (us) to the private banks.  And this is how our national debt has become so large.  Two thirds of the money Canadians pay on the National Debt each year is interest on interest (compound interest). 
     If we just remember that the government is us, and we are different from the politicians we elect.  Some of the politicians we elect will be okay, some will be terrible, but they are not the government.  We are the government.  We have the Canadian Constitution and the Bill of Rights and the Criminal Code. We also have Case Law (the history of Canadian judge’s decisions concerning specific cases that went to trial) First Nations legal agreements and we have the Bank of Canada.  All of these together constitute a major component, but of course not all, of the tools of government.  Our tools.
     It has only been 39 years since Trudeau and Paul Martin changed the banking rules.  These rules aren’t written in any stone that I know of.   But even if some vague documents are unearthed detailing the supposed reasons for plunging Canadians into massive debt somewhere, they wouldn’t stand up to the Canadian Constitution.  The Bank of Canada provisions are written in stone.  The rules and rights of the people to the Bank of Canada are anchored in the Constitution.  Can we go somewhere with this? 
     Stephen Harper knows he isn’t loved much by Canadians.  He doesn’t care, because in spite of his cruelties (or perhaps because of them) he thinks he is right with God and the Rapture is approaching. How did we get a crazy man for Prime minister?  Oh, for a sane, earnest man like Hugo Chavez, one who united people, fought injustice and believed profoundly in sharing.   Hugo Chavez was a comfort to me as are many others who are on the world stage including Vandana Shiva, Mohamed Nasheed (The Island President) Naomi Klein, Amy Goodman (Democracy now) and the entire government of Iceland.  But I will deeply miss you, Hugo.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

So much is happening, good, bad and totally outrageous.  It’s hard to stay focused.  It’s hard to continue with daily life as if things weren’t getting weirder all the time.  The US is beyond comprehension now, with the so called sequestration cuts that are guaranteed to make poor people poorer (President Obama says so), Italy baffled and befuddled over its latest election, and with Prime Minister Harper tormenting people on Unemployment Insurance about money that actually belongs to the workers as they paid into the system and Christy Clark doing what she does best…making a fool out of British Columbians. 
Harper thinks workers are crooks and intends to punish the entire bunch.  That’s all of us.   We are to be punished for cluttering up his landscape and demanding what is rightfully ours.  While over in the senate, wealthy senators (friends of Harper) are aghast they might have to pay money back they didn’t earn in the first place, but chiseled from the government (us) by falsifying documents. 

 But in the larger scheme of things it is the private banks who are hoarding billions that they have stolen from all of us by the most crooked of crooked schemes.  It is the private banks who, in cahoots with federal politicians (no longer us) who conspired to compel our government  (us ) to  borrow money from them at compound interest instead of  the government borrowing from the Bank of Canada  ( our bank) at no interest.  This is absolutely the biggest injury done to the people of Canada, ever. Nothing else the Canadian politicians and banks can do, short of mass murdering us, can come close to this kind of treason to the Canadian people.  Nothing will equal this kind of impoverishment of Canadians.  Pierre Trudeau and Paul Martin have made wage slaves of the Canadian people forever who, because of the bank’s compound interest, will never let us catch up.  Unless we do something about it.
A friend forwarded me this copy of a gentleman speaking who has researched the way our public banking system became private and cannibalistic.  Please watch this.
 The Crime of the Canadian Banking System - Canadian Action Party
Bill Abram, a retired high school teacher and activist on Vancouver Island, B.C., explains the trick of fractional reserve banking and compound interest.

I also received this copy of Vandana Shiva speaking on video and showing us the way they are saving seeds in India so they won’t be lost forever.  She will make you happy.  She does me.