McFee's Musings

May 31, 2010

G-8 & G-20 BILLION DOLAR PRESS CONFERENCE

Filed under: Politics — dwightmcfee @ 9:35 am

We all know by now that Canada, lead by our Dear Leader, will be hosting ‘the world’ for the G-8 and G-20 gabfest to be held in Huntsville and Toronto June 22 to 27. It has been revealed that the gathering is estimated to cost 938 million dollars. That’s an estimate but we all know that it will be at least 20 to 100 million more. At least.

The Privy Council’s security co-ordinator and guru Ward Elcock, who “turned the Canadian Security Intelligence Service ( CSIS ) from a lean spy service to a flush post Cold War counter terrorism agency after 9/11” and is heading up the security for the photo op says “nobody has written a blank cheque…but protecting world leaders requires a lot of people and people are expensive”. No kidding. 10,000 Mounties, 5,000 military, countless private security personnel, and who knows how many spies hiding behind plants or dressed as provocateurs. And let’s not forget the little stuff for the Toronto Police Services like sound ‘bombs’ mounted on South African District 9 hummers.

Is all this necessary? Did this contretemps have to be held at such extreme expense in the middle of Toronto? It almost seems, given the Prime Minister’s penchant and apparent need to provoke, that he is daring anyone to disagree, oppose or take action against the summit, peaceful or violent. Scary Stevey, it appears to this citizen, is waving a red flag in front of the small population of the world who have given up on jaw jaw and demand confrontation.

While not condoning violence, is it any wonder some people throw up there hands at spectacles like the one we are going to witness. The excess, the manipulation, the bald faced hypocrisy. For proof recall the big time G-8 event at Kananaskis hosted by Prime Minister Chretien that gave us the Millennium Goals. Worthy but few of which have been met. At least it was held at a location that could be secure without spending gazillions, even if the motive was to hold it in a secluded place to hide from protesters.

Civil disobedience, peaceful protests, you can bet on it, will now be upgraded and prosecuted as terrorism. How shameful. Bush 2 fine tuned the practice: fenced in ‘Democracy areas’ miles away from the site of whatever hypocrisy-fest so none of the Masters of the Universe have to deal with legitimate civil discontent. This has become the norm.

This is all strong man stuff from our Dear Leader that is courting disaster. The only people who support this kind of narcissism are Harperites, fatherless conservatives and the corporate media.

Is it worth it? Jeffery Simpson in the Globe and Mail, ( Glib and Pale to it’s detractors ), makes some excellent points in his column of Saturday, May 29, 2010. He points out that these sit downs were a chance for leaders of the G-7 at the time, the 70’s, to get to know each other and discuss the issues of the day. A small coterie of officials accompanied the first among equals. Understanding was fostered.

These meetings were in the days before the acendency of the Imperial Presidency of Reagan and the Presidential Prime Minister-ships of Mulroney and Thatcher who turned these worthwhile exchange of views into ideological decrees from Mount Olympus…
“Government is the problem not the solution”, said Teflon Ronny. ‘Free’ trade, privatization, deregulation. This last few years the piper came to be paid.

As a resident of Toronto and yes, a detractor of our Great Leader, I’m not yelling NIMBY. I am saying that post 9/11 as Canada has followed the United States into the paranoid world of ‘everyone is out to get us’, turning North America into an authoritarian corporate security state, scaring the be Jesus out of the citizen’s, these confabs have become absurd. It has to stop somewhere. Hopefully not tragically.

Before the event happens we all know or should know that the communique has been written, the deals made. If there is actual understanding fostered it can be done in a much less risky and less expensive manner. How about Skype! Yes there are security concern’s, no one is ignoring that, but a billion dollars plus?

Speaking of the plus side, it is a very good thing that a G-20 has come into existence. We owe a former undervalued Canadian Prime Minister thanks. The G-20 was encouraged and nurtured by former Prime Minister Paul Martin who worked on this file for a long time when he was Finance Minister as well as P.M. The G-20 hopefully will serve as a counter weight to the big 8, a tempering of the hubris of the major economies and particularly the U.S. now, and China in the future. The G-20 have mixed economies and are not all in the thrall or captured by American style corporatism as witnessed in the failure of the DOHA round of negotiations on world trade and intellectual property rights.

As for all the social, cultural, medical, educational issues this amount of money could have been spent on I leave that to you, the citizen to imagine, to write or call your Member of Parliament with choices that a billion dollars could have achieved.

When our Glorious Leader stands at press conference after press conference beating his breast about women’s health care without access to abortion, economic progress without regulation, and no taxation of international financial speculation, hopefully the absurdity of it all will come clear. I am certain that Canadian Comedians will eat him up and spit him out the other end of his tone deaf propaganda piano. CBC as well, if it can find it’s balls. But, will the corporate press, CTV/GLOBE media, Canwest, National Post et al cover this event for what it is?
The most expensive and least productive Prime Minister ego stroke off in Canadian history!
Or will the corporate propaganda gods give us the photo op of Slick Steve playing the piano at a G-20 cocktail party, wives in the background gardening, sponsored by the Canadian Petroleum Industry, unaware of the words irony, courtier, or panderer!

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BRITISH PETROLIUM ‘DEEPWATER HORIZON’ SCOURGE

Filed under: Politics — dwightmcfee @ 9:32 am

Through the incessant coverage and analysis of this environmental disaster by the corporate media in the United States and Canada, no one will acknowledge the elephant in the room: Big Oil is Zeus. Fear is his thunderbolt.

Oil and gas is the largest employer, oil and gas pays for the free market politicians, oil and gas is America and Alberta, oil and gas keep North American industry moving, oil and gas are responsible for prosperity in America are the cogitations and rationalizations, as well as billions of dollars in advertising, that make the citizen tremble in fear of calling the elephant in the room an elephant. Easier to blame it on the government.

It is a long and venerable tradition in the libertarian/free market ideology to privatize the profit and socialize the cost. The Deepwater Horizon will be an exemplary case. Already southern politicians like Rand Paul, Republican candidate for the Senate in Kentucky and the Oklahoma Senator Inhofe, are accusing anyone critical of the most profitable corporations in the history of the world of sedition and being un-American. Hell, these anti-government/pro corporate gangsters are criticizing the government, the very one they want out of the regulation of the oil business, for not ‘taking control of the situation’ sooner and doing more. Don’t want any government interference, but want government to clean up the messes that occur when there is no government interference! Boggles the mind!

With the ingrained deference to big business in the America blood, Obama’s White House has been trapped in the unenviable situation of having to take responsibility for years of de-regulation and malfeasance, have little power other than to pay for the cleanup and scold and take the flack for BP.

Meanwhile back on the reservation, livelihoods are destroyed, again. Demagogues are extolled and the psychopathic oil oligopoly bears little responsibility. You think I’m kidding? How many captains of Wall Street are headed for prison as a result of the Financial Meltdown?

As George Grant in “Lament for a Nation”: No country can depend for it’s existence on the loyalty of it’s capitalists.

May 17, 2010

THE CONTINUING FINANCIAL CRISIS: May 16, 2010

Filed under: Politics — dwightmcfee @ 7:29 pm

From article on Robin Hood by Ian Brown in Saturday’s Globe & Mail

How does it feel to be “living through a head-sucking recession created by irresponsible troughers on Wall Street.”
“I predict Mr. Scott’s movie will be a massive hit. I mean look at the world: A broken well is filling the ocean with oil and no one can stop it. The stock market bucks and rips 1,000 points in three minutes and no one knows why. A credit meltdown threatens to sink Europe, but the geniuses who caused it are still making millions. I won’t mention Iraq, Iran, Israel, Ottawa or the global warming thing.”
“Meanwhile, a woman reasonably nominated for a place on the U.S. Supreme Court is accused of being, horror of horrors, a lesbian.”
“Who better to address such injustices than a hero who will be whatever you want him to be? Too bad he’s a fantasy.”

Good Day and Good Luck

NHL CONFERENCE FINALS

Filed under: Culture & Entertainment — dwightmcfee @ 7:26 pm

I Love Hockey! The fastest game in the world. As you may know I have been a goaltender (goalie) all my life, have even had a few shutouts. When your sitting or laying in the net after a big save and you watch the defenceman make a pretty pass up to the forwards flying off the wings and down the ice the beauty, grace and sheer exuberance of the motion is as the appreciation of great ballet or dance. Exhilarating.
The Canadiens vs The Flyers:
This will be a brutal series as the Bullies of Broad Street take on the Flying Smurfs of St. Catherine St.
The Flyers will try to slow down the Le Blu. If the Canadiens can keep the cycle going around the boards and Camlleri can find the slot then away the Habitant go. But the defense has to continue the shot blocking and Gill has to be able to rough up Hartnell in front of the net. Of course the key is the hero of the first two series Halak. If Halak can continue his stellar goaltending bordering on the magnificent then goaltending wins you cups.
The Flyers are a rough and tumble bunch. After all they are only the third team in history to back back and win a series after being down 0-3. They have faith! They need to be crushed, starting in goal. Leighton will have only played 3 playoff games. He lacks lateral movement. But Philly is good at stopping the cross ice pass. A test for the Habs.
Philly are big and bangers. They hurt. If they can bang up the Habs then sionara.
Look forward to a great series.
Habs in seven.

CANADIAN EVANGELICALS ON PARLIAMENT HILL

Filed under: Culture & Entertainment — dwightmcfee @ 7:24 pm

Evangelical and Catholics in Canada have the right to protest at Parliament Hill. It is their right as citizens. It is my right to take them to task for their narrow minded self-righteousness.
The protest/rally was to support the Prime Minister’s policy of no abortion in Canada’s foreign aid and to encourage the conservative government to make the same policy nationwide.
The Prime Minister has iterated many times that the abortion issue is not on the table. That is for our general consumption. Meanwhile he allows private member’s bills on the issue and again allows member’s of his caucus to talk up the issue in their constituencies. For a Prime Minister famous for keeping a tight reign on his caucus, the only conclusion a normal person can deduce is that it is the policy of the Prime Minister to turn back the clock with the old “I’m only responding to what the people want” routine.
The Prime Minister has also been attacking progressive womens groups by DE-funding their project’s worldwide and diverting those money’s to christian charities. Attack dogs like James McVity of the Canadian version of the late James Dobson’s Family Research Council, a hard christian right institute in the United States that advocates women in the kitchen, no government, men are the head and such nonsense, lead the charge along with MP’s like Jason Kenny and Stockwell Day who still believes that the world is only five thousand years old.
Amazingly the corp. press treated the rally with relatively kid gloves. Editorials only lightly scolded the Prime Minister for instigation. But holy cow! The Evangelical/Catholic leadership howled that anyone would criticize them. They pleaded victim hood. You just hate Christians! They particularly went after that great Satan, the CBC.
So, finally, they have come out of the woodwork. The christian right, which the Prime Minister is part of, after all he does attend a small mall christian Dominionist sect in Ottawa that believes all the worst of the Calvinist dogma, had their coming out party.
A faith that believes it is the true interpretation of their Bible and rejects all others unless of course in furtherance of Armageddon: therefore the courting of the Jews as all this will happen on the temple mount….Dada, yada, Dada.
What scares me about all this is the certainty with which it is espoused. There is no doubt. No doubt what so ever. Doubt is the door to your humanity.
Having no doubt gives permission for unethical and devious elites to play to the worst.
Immigrants are taking your jobs, liberals are immoral and have ruined your daughters, guns are a right, bureaucrats are bad but corporations are our lifeblood, Muslims are terrorists, Jews run the banks, feminists are hedonists, gays are a sin against God and on and on. If you think I am being petty and generalized-look south and see what their politics have turned into. Intrenched polarities.
If a religion has no doubt then I have proof were that will lead. Hate, murder, bloodshed.
Look outside to see God’s work. All three great religion’s are about justice. Not rape and pillage of humanity and the earth. Christo-fascism!

PARLIAMENTARY AGREEMENT ON DETAINEE HANDOVERS

Filed under: Politics — dwightmcfee @ 7:21 pm

Friday an agreement was hammered out amongst the political parties on how to review documents relevant to the handing over of captured Afghanistan fighter’s/enemy combatant’s/terrorists/detainee’s to the infamous Afghan National Directorate of Security.
Harper’s conservative’s had been stonewalling the release of document’s for the past year leading to speculation that bad things had been afoot, later proved with testimony from in country diplomats and on site soldier’s.
It came to a head when the opposition passed a motion of parliamentary contempt by the Conservative’s and upheld by the Speaker of the House Peter Milliken giving the parties until this last Friday to find a solution or the motion would be upheld and inevitably leading to an election.
The Press have been extolling the agreement as a win for Parliamentary Supremacy over the Prime Minister’s Office decades long march to Executive Supremacy. The Corporate Press seem to think because a few MP’s will get to purview the documents, which number in the ten’s of thousands, and then send the chosen document’s on to an ’eminent’ panel of three to make the final arbitration as to what we can see is a blow for our democracy. If Only!
Any one of the three disagrees and we don’t see anything. This will go on for year’s as Harper secrets the good the bad and the ugly. Until the next election. Soon. As this will become an issue. The conservative government believes ideologically in the withholding of information. That all decision’s come from the head, Mr. Harper. They will feed it to you as national security imperative’s to protect the troops or strategy for in theatre.
The feeding of detainee’s to the bloody National Directorate of Security does not protect the troops, 144 who have died for the vanity of the United States of America. It further feeds the Taliban/Al Qaeda insurgency.
It was encouraging that Speaker Milliken and Parliament were able to reign in the Harperites. But it is naieve and disingenuous for the press to give false hope of democratic control when, given the vicious, arrogant nature of this government, that Parliament has won some great democratic Battle.

May 15, 2010

STEVEN HARPER AND THE POLITICS OF INTIMIDATION

Filed under: Politics — dwightmcfee @ 8:14 am

OR
SHUT THE FUCK UP

If you don’t ‘shut the fuck up’ all you abortion right’s advocates, gays, CBC lover’s, climate alarmist’s, Afgan Withdrawalist’s, Parliamentary Atheist’s and anybody else that doesn’t agree with me, don’t expect any funding or support or respect. This in a nutshell is the hidden and now overt policy of the current regime. Having given up on trying to appeal to a broader constituency and failed, Harper feels free to employ overt intimidation as the continuing strategy. After all the conservative/reform/Alliance/republican party only require 38% of the electorate for a majority! WEEEE!

And why should we care you might ask? I often ask the same question to myself! However, here are some recent issues that your Supreme Leader has been dividing us with.

Abortion:
Denying access to abortions in foreign aid (as in the Ronald Reagan and G.W. Bush days).
There are few issues that divide as much as a woman’s right to choose. There is a big difference between men allowing a woman to abort a child and the woman making the decision on her own or hiding that decision. Having been through this situation I was deeply hurt and carried the pain for a long time. But it was her decision none the less. And for various reasons it was the right decision. And I am adopted!
I may intellectually, ideologically and culturally think it is my decision or shared decision but to actually make the decision in the woman’s best interests, it is her decision.
Other spokes on the wheel of women’s health in the world: poverty, race, religion, rape, patriarchy, family planning, violence, war etc. have to be considered. The Canadian government’s choice to make women and families the focus of the G-8 and G-20 summits in Ontario, while laudable on the surface, is undermined if not cynical with it’s no abortion caveat on foreign aid. Seems hypocritical to have access in Canada , yet ban it in our Aid policy.
A difficult moral dilemma made simple by Harper’s surrogates: Shut the fuck up!
Not the vision of my Canada!

The Pride week Festival brings in 100 million dollars to the city of Toronto and has a long tradition as a movement in the forefront of human rights. The Conservitive’s under a Federal Tourism grant provided the festival with 400.000 dollars last year. The Minister, Diane Ablonsky, was photographed with some drag queen’s. All hell broke loose and Ablonsky lost the portfolio. This year the grant was denied. The new minister responsible, Tony, never seen a corporation that doesn’t need a tax break, Clement said it was a matter of priorities. He means The Royal Agricultural Fair and Luminato. These are code words for the right. Elites and their horses get 2.4 million, Corporate backed propaganda festivals get 4.3 million. Men who are ‘sins against God’, nothing, not even a symbolic pittance. This government makes a choice to insite a homophobic backlash. Why this not so subtle intimidation? Easy Targets!

Not the vision of my Canada!

The CBC.
Harper’s hangmen throwing that old whorey saw out: the CBC has a liberal bias! God forbid that the CBC should report anything truthful about the conservative cutthroats their legislated to report on. Have the conservative’s been watching the CBC. The CBC is so timid after years of cutbacks as to now look like Global and CTV. Let’s cut another 125 million out of the Corpse budget this year. Harper must be ecstatic that American Tom Flanagan, professor at the U. of Calgary (The Calgary School of Economic Determinism and American integration) and campaign chairman of Harper’s 2006 victory is now a pundit on Power and Politics with Evan Solomon. Solomon is so intimidated that he gives the Cheneyesque Flanagan the first lobbed question every show. The CBC has been neutered, de-balled and left to wither.
Not the vision of my Canada!

The Senate:
Bills C-43 and C-20. Slippery Stevey wants to reform the Senate, not that it doesn’t need something to be done to it. I prefer the Australian Senate where a certain number are elected but the other half are filled with representatives of the arts, academe, immigrants, and yes business and law.
According to the constitution senators are to be appointed after consultation. They are not to be elected. For that to occur the constitution would have to be amended.
Of course amendments are difficult to attain in Canada. You need the approval of the Senate, the House of Commons and seven provinces constituting half the population of the provinces. That’s what you need if there are to be changes to “the powers of the Senate, and the method of selecting senators”.
Stevey’s round about? Elect your senator and he will be considered. In Alberta, where these faux elections have been exercised ( mind you in municipal elections where 20% of the citizens vote), the ‘elected’ senator has been ‘appointed’.
This is a direct intimidation of the democratic process. It is an appropriation of the American federal system. An elected senate in the American model would erode the power of Parliament, dilute the principle of Rep. by Pop., open the gates to vote trading, encourage delay and obstruction of legislation by factions with Senate seats (separatists, religious groups, corporations and obstreperous nuts etc.), and undermine accountability in national politics, obscuring responsibility for action or inaction by any government. Another words Mr. Harper wants to bring the American ‘transactional’ disease to our country in the hopes of continuing the right wing cause celebre’: destroy effective government in the service Corporations, moralistic Christian’s, social conservative’s, and vengeful libertarian’s using the cover of Liberty, Democracy and Western Canadian Alienation.
Not the vision of my Canada!

Why should we care?
Steven Harper represents radical American populism hiding behind rhetorical moderation. He exhibits a huge contempt for democracy while holding the most powerful position in the land. He is an evangelical christian who belongs to a church that believes the world is five thousand years old. He believes ‘special interests’ eg.: women’s groups, gay’s, artist’s, immigrants, natives, anti poverty organization’s etc., another words civil society have to much power while cleverly leaving out the most powerful, corporate power and corporate propaganda. Harper, after all, has spent his entire life representing the interests of big business.
I only ask my fellow citizen’s to be aware of the assault on the progressive values that built this nation. Ask the questions of yourself, or your local MP or MLA.
Participate in the next election!
Dwight McFee

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