McFee's Musings

July 22, 2012

MITT ROMNEY: Sincere Ignorance

Filed under: Politics — dwightmcfee @ 1:19 am

Sometimes history burps up revelatory moments or people that upon reflection in the moment or in time crystallize the epoch. George W. Bush’s “Mission Accomplished”, G. H. W. Bush’s “Read My Lips”, Dick Cheney’s “Ronald Reagan proved debt doesn’t matter”, Marie Antoinette’s, “let them eat cake” are examples of what Doctor Martin Luther King describes as, ” nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”.

Which brings us, dear readers, to the latest scion of the plutocracy: Willard Mitt Romney, Republican Presidential Candidate.
The Mittster is the embodiment of American Capitalism as well as North America Calvinist morality.
Mitt and Anne “you people” Romney, are courtier characters in the American play, Business is Business: how God Forgives me on Sunday. The American Psychic triumph of religious fundamentalism and market fundamentalism has been fused in the Mittster.

Mitt Romney believes, sincerely, though a bright man, that the last 30 years of unregulated American plantation capitalism (making the illegal legal, privatizing profits and socializing the costs) continues to be the answer in 2012 irrespective of a list of banking, corporate and investment bank scandals that have devastated the economy. The latest is the LIBOR or London InterBank Offered Rate that was being ‘fixed’ throughout the economic crisis. The LIBOR is the interest rate set voluntarily every day by a small consortium of banks that set the rate on 700 trillion dollars of debt around the world around 11:30 am. Now, after the last five years of shenanigans, how can you not see the rot and corruption. But the Mittster can’t and that sure sounds to me like sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. The Mittster believes Americans of a certain class, job creators (vs wealth creators commonly known as the workers) deserve no estate taxes, corporations should not have to pay taxes on foreign profit, corporate taxes should be lower than the real effective rate which is 7% not 35%, tax holidays for off shore tax havens, the continuing privatization of the commons, and on and on from the Book of Market Fundamentalism.

The Book of Religious Evangelical Fundamentalism gives absolution on Sunday (reboot) for our deeds during the week. How many VIP hypocrites have you seen in the pews on Sunday after a week of turning your community into hell. Think mine workers the last century or now in West Virginia where a coal magnate can kill 25 people and walk away with millions. The magnate goes to church every week and smiles. See Kentucky.

There is a mental feverishness that seems to have taken the soul of America. It is as if an overwhelming urge to be good is subsumed to the reptile brain. Atavistic rather than enlightened. Utilitarian vs visionary. Private rather than communal. Predatory rather than nurturing.

I am very aware that this is harsh. Mitt and Anne think their nurturing, and they are to their tribe and family. Mitt is a devout Mormon and he tithes, gives 10% to the church. Mitt gives sparingly to charities.
But Mitt has confused American Exceptionalism as Business Divine right. As most Americans do. Religious commitment as a dispensation from the obligation of human community and dignity. As a leveraged buy out king and off shoring job specialist it is difficult to reconcile a devout Mormon (or any other religious devotee) with the predatory practices of Bain Capital and the Masters of the Universe.
But Mitt is able to do it. I mean “corporations are people, my friend”, says it all.

When history shows and reveals to us the stupidity of our elites; Iraq, Vietnam, de-regulation, To Big to Fail Banks etc. remember decisions were made by the people who most benefit, and it won’t be in your interests. People like Mitt Romney remind me of Don Draper in Mad Men. Bereft of compassion, unable to understand his own needs. Emotionally incapable, a 12 year old telling us what to buy in the great American myth making market of advertising. Two men, Don and Mitt, who know but choose to be conscientiously stupid about what is really happening. Only intelligent people can be conscientiously stupid. They are not stupid and that is what makes them dangerous.

I guess if you believe that life is a competition of the fittest, you will never understand the concept of Western Civilization. After all my name is Mitt Romney and I’m a Businessman. Corporations are people and people are a commodity, my friend.

History revealed in a sentence. Will we do anything about it?

Good Luck
DCM

July 16, 2012

LIBOR Scandal

Filed under: Politics — dwightmcfee @ 5:27 am

LIBOR is the London InterBank Offered Rate. In other words everyday
Most of the banks tell each other what their interest rate would be to lend to each other, Cross my Heart and hope to die. Seven hundred trillion dollars in debt interest is based on This number.
SEVEN HUNDRED TRILLION $. And the Banks and The New York Fed and London and, and, and…the Internet bubble, the two financial bubbles, the real estate and mortgage collapse and Enron and the 2008 collapse and multi trillion bailout that continues and the wars and…

LIBOR: LONDON INTERBANK ORGANIZED RACKET!

Deeply painful to watch this psychopathic Plantation Capitalism’s effect on civilized culture and men and women and their children as they contemplate no future and more debt.
And no JUSTICE!

Bankers: Going to Hell if there is a God and He has been accurately quoted.
J. R. Saul

Good Luck
Dwight McFee

July 15, 2012

John Baird: hypocrite or whore

Filed under: Politics — dwightmcfee @ 12:25 am

Wow! Love it! Norman Bethune’s Revenge! Sounds messy and it is!

Our dear leader delegated and dispatched the Minister Of Foreign Everything, Johnny ‘mad dog’ Baird, to the press galleries to fulminate and finesse Our Dear Leader’s decision to spend million’s in China on a monument to the Canadian medicare and Communist Hero Doctor Norman Bethune!

The Dogs of Sun TV, Sun papers; everywhere ignorant gladiators and phony populists are berating Our Dear Leader. Where is the fealty to orthodoxy. Communists Bad: Capitalists God.

The Boys at The Petroleum Club in “The Greatest Canadian City”, as Our Dear Leader opined this week while attending the myth inducing Calgary Stampede, have a plan and if a few millions and eatin’ crow is what it takes to get our resources over there so we can buy cheap and make big, well then, a commie monument is well worth the price.

The Oil & Gas Boys have told their Chief Courtier, Our Dear Leader, China Good! Drop the Human Rights thingy and get with the global Canadian resource gang(sters). There’s gold in them there board of director chairs!

That simple. I’m sorry to say it. A kind of institutional corruption. Elected Public service is now a vehicle to considerable wealth or privilege. Look at Mike Harris, Mulroney. Guarantee the PM doesn’t run again. Suncor, Trans-Alta, here I come! Why is John Manley the president of the Canadian Conference of Chief Executives after being Finance Minister. Irrespective of these men’s perceived trustworthiness, Baird, Manly, Harper are all looking (with considerable pensions) to feather later. “Business is Business” as Teach says to Donny while discussing loyalty in David Mamet’s brilliant play, American Buffalo.

In any event the Prime Minister’s focus is consolidating the Free Enterprize/plantation capitalism of the southern states stirred with tribal family religions. A firm hand on the Satellite Kingdom to America.

If Johnny “mad dog” Baird has to lie and twist, well he’s the best at it!

War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength

George Orwell

July 1, 2012

Canada: Lost Village

Filed under: Politics — dwightmcfee @ 3:40 am

I’m a Canadian. Expanse envelopes my soul. The lands, skies so differentiated across time and space asks the human inhabitants to integrate and envision more than one. The awe of the possibility to contain and express this deep oneness of earth and space with the commonality of all.
That was my Canada. The Commons as one! The Rockies, the plains, the oceans, the people’s.

What a inspirational opportunity 1982 was, the re-partition of the Canadian Constitution. A founding Aboriginal Culture symbolically is acknowledged by two conquering culture’s, French and English.
We shall move forward in peace and comity, gifted with three fecund culture’s to learn and respect.
Three, that in the modern world has a continuing legacy, good or negative: Environmentalism, Capitalism, and Social Democracy. I leave it to the reader to decide which culture carries which ism in which provinces.

The Canadian Constitution is the second oldest constitution in the world.
It’s the only nation where major civil wars have not taken place. Canada is blessed with every conceivable advantage, minus a large population. Most modern historical/economic tomes use the term ‘competing’ cultures. But that, unconsciously is the coup’. Canadians have historically had to survive in a sometimes harsh but bountiful land by understanding common issues, such as surviving, and working with each other, community. But all consuming competition sends the discourse to a transactional, soulless utilitarianism, robbing, stealing away the ability to form renewed vision for the nation. Oh! For a vision again, for my nation.

There was a time when Canada was creating a fresh vision of multi-lingual-cultural bridges around the globe. Some think this was soft, squishy, yet placed Canada as trustworthy. We were not seeking domination and power. We were here to hold it in check so sober minds could speak truth to power. Then came Lying’ Brian and stealth FREE trade for money.

This was my Canada. I became an actor because I loved the story. The history. Undiscovered, This PLACE made me feel humble and proud that we were the oldest and youngest culture’s of the world. We had this patrimony: people with a vision of a whole, a system that balanced power roughly, and as a result of the pragmatism and imagination of the experience of the land, humility at the fragility of life in the north.

This was my Canada. Tommy Douglas and Health Care. Perhaps other than the lost vision above, this issue binds us together now. How sad we can’t move on. It will be the last national program to be whittled away and eventually drowned after the CBC which was created by Conservative’s in a deal with the US in 1947: we get the CBC radio (communist) and the US gets our domestic film exhibition rights. Forever. The CBC is close to death as we know it.

WHAT HAPPENED.

The acerbic and accurate Canadian author John Ralston Saul says in The Doubter’s Companion that a word that has outlived it’s usefulness and become not it’s original meaning should be retired until the word comes to it’s senses. The word in this instance is FREE ENTERPRISE.

After the Commons rejected naked capitalism post-depression and two world wars, the citizenry demanded government respond to the needs of the nation, it’s welfare.
Let us not forget that the original Canadian phrase was not peace, order and good government but Peace, Order and Welfare of the Canadian People’s.

So, in the seventies our moneyed elites, no slouches at copying economic trends that serve their purpose wholly, began as followers of the stockholder is god, business is business, I’m a global player, essential services are a monopoly that no government should control, everything is a commodity, this is the way it’s always been, competition is wonderful until I have the monopoly on an essential service, I would like to be a good citizen of whatever country but I am only responsible to my bottom line, investor rights, capital mobility, right to work, I’ll donate to the Cancer Wing cause my mom died of it, I’m job creating in China-lifting them to the middle class but I can’t make profit if I don’t get tax breaks and be released from regulation, self regulation is the way to go, and on and on, and of course Money in politics to buy the policies on the oligarchic airwaves provided FREE to the three integrated media corporations to rail against the people that provide the FREE air waves.

We live in an immense country with no industrial policy, no environment policy, no transportation policy, a foreign and military policy totally integrated with a plundering and powerful American Hegemony, a cultural policy that provides the least per capita support in the OECD other than the US, the acceptance that we can do nothing about anything unless a business person is in charge.
I am not against business, small business. That’s where the jobs are created, 80%, Large corporations do not create that many jobs, 20%, excluding public workers. For instance the XL Pipeline from Alberta to the Texas coast will create two thousand construction jobs for two years and require as few as a one hundred jobs to run. Yet this project is being pushed through with attendant tax write offs and amortizations. This is all wrapped in the glow of free enterprise. Socialize the cost’s and privatize the profits.
When a retiring executive like Patrick Lane from Enbridge ( the Canadian de-regulation natural gas behemoth ) speaks of the great contribution to ‘nation building’ Enbride does with it’s pipelines, I want to have a good talking to with this man. The lack of humility is stunning. This is a technocrat telling us that, as Robert MacNamara said when General Motors CEO, what’s good for GM is good for the country. What’s good for Enbridge may not necessarily be good for the country.
However this is the prevailing psychosis. Profit unattached to consequences. Profit unaccountable. Profit without responsibility. Profit without creating anything tangible, cloud profit in financial services and banking. Commodities speculation, Thin air profits. Too few with to much money. A Financial Services Tax, the Tobin Tax, a 0.003% levy on all stock, commodity and derivatives trading would be a good start to bring out of control speculation to hand. France, Britain and Germany advocate this levy. Fat chance in Harperland and Plantation America.

This is my Canada. We have our cheques processed in America, our foreign policy lead by America. We send our oil to America for processing, haven’t added a new refinery since the 70’s, same with wood and most natural resources. Human resources, other than financial (spend a day as a cleaner on Bay Street to feel the arrogance of the Masters of the universe), are denigrated and undeserving of basic dignity: in a utilitarian culture the artist is a freak who keeps getting asked why he’s still here.

This is my Canada: Profit is not a dirty word. It could use re-defining to re-discover it’s responsible meaning. If corporations are people in the States now, and we have FREE trade agreements with the United States of America, are corporations people here as well? Just asking. Steven Harper led the National Citizen’s Coalition in the early 90’s (really a forerunner of a corporate Astro Turf front) in the Alberta Courts and won a case that essentially bestows those rights of FREE speech to non- humans. Did you read about that in the Plantation Press. Incidentally, before Mr. Harper became Prime Minister, this was the only job he’s ever had other than going to University, MS Economics, taught there and his public service as an MP. Which leads me to J. S. Saul and his definition of Business Schools: acting schools that teach people abstract management methods so they can pretend their capitalists.
Exponents of Free Enterprize.

The slow decapitation of Canadian democracy: unions, guilds, mobility, health, hope, imagination, a certain security, dialogue, accommodation, community, wisdom of our history are abandoned for ‘sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity’ as Martin Luther King said. The ideological strategy, FREE Trade, where investor rights, capital mobility, Intellectual Property Rights can discipline a Sovereign Nation is anti-democratic. The Prime Minister has chosen to pimp for the US and Corporate Inc. After all, this may lead to him being the GM of an American hockey team.

I love this land. I’ve lived in almost every province, certainly toured every province at least once, went to University in Alberta, dad in the air force, ended up in Sault Ste Marie, born on the west coast, married a Cape Britoner. I love this land. But as Pierre Burton explains in the War of 1812, Canadians weren’t fighting necessarily the Americans, but the elites of the day. The history of Canada, once you get past the Victors bravado, is the history of giving birth to a democracy in spite of our elites who think they live somewhere between New York and Florida.

Democracy is a space that has to be re-inhabited everyday. The only thing that is historically the same is the constant struggle against elite sociopathy and hubris.

Happy Canada Day!

“I’m sculpting now
Mostly landscapes”
Yogi Berra

Dwight. McFee

June 17, 2012

HARPANADA

Filed under: Culture & Entertainment,Politics — dwightmcfee @ 5:22 am

MM press: The former Canadian now Harpadian government has announced the formal change through a cabinet order press release.

The press release goes on to say the Prime Minister, while at his retail mall dominionist church service on Sunday received a ‘communication’ via God from Bondholders implying they had more confidence in Prime Minister Harper than the country of Canada and thusly for confidence sake and the economy the PM should change the name of Canada to Harpanada or suffer the consequences.

Foreign Minister Big John ‘the hammerhead’ Baird and Defense Minister Peter ‘loser’ McKay immediately announced the IPO for Alberta on the New York Stock exchange as an investment in America’s future and the stability of Harpanada.

CORPORATISM-defined

Filed under: Politics — dwightmcfee @ 1:51 am

As I watched the President of the United States deliver his State of the Union address as well as waited for the Prime Minister of Canada to deliver his obescient speech to the annual gathering of the financial elites and their courtiers at the DAVOS Conference ( revealing the new old age pension regime to the financial thugs), I’m constantly amazed that the word CORPORATISM is never uttered.
Their are corporations represented there by their C.E.O.’s, C.F.O.’s etc. There are individual corporate entities, NGO corporate entities, everything is a corporate entity. As John Ralston Saul defines corporatism in the Doubter’s Companion:
” Among the most important yet most rarely used words. Better than any other it describes the organization of Modern Society.”
Mr. Saul goes on, “Corporatism is the persistent rival school of representitive government.”

Then why is it that we never hear, use or utter that word? We’re idiots!

October 18, 2010

In Praise of LEWIS LAPHAM

Filed under: Culture & Entertainment,Politics — dwightmcfee @ 10:19 am

LEWIS LAPHAM, the former editor for 25 years of the 160 year old Harper’s Magazine, now editor of Lapham’s Quarterly and a national correspondent of Harper’s informed his avid readership in the November issue, 2010 that the Notebook section that leads off every issue, “departs this month from the table of contents, it’s purpose served and it’s license expired after a term of twenty-six years in office.”

My heart and head sank. But then, after a pause, I remembered the hundreds of wonderful moments that the notebook provided. The brilliant half column one sentence paragraph to be read over and over for it’s sheer resonance, craft, meaning and perspicacity. I have marveled for years at the vast knowledge and readings of this teacher. Mr.Lapham is a motivation, a dynamo of words. As well as the Notebook, Lapham’s Harper’s has been a leading magazine for the investigation of the issues of the day, criticism, essay’s, photo journalism, literature, review’s, the Harper’s Index and the Findings. A treat to find in the mailbox every month and a template for magazines such as The Walrus.

Mr. Lapham in the final notebook reveals to us how the notebook came about, how he had to learn to write an essay, the resources at his disposal. Using the “ notion of the essay borrowed from Michel de Montaigne, the sixteen century French auto biographer, a contemporary of Shakespeare and Cervantes, derived the approach to his topics from the meaning of the word essai from essayer ( to try, to embark upon, to attempt ), asking himself at the outset of his reflections, whether on cannibals or the custom of wearing clothes, “ What do I know?” The question distinguishes the essay from the less adventurous forms of expository prose– the dissertation, the polemic, the article, the campaign speech, the tract, the op-ed, the arrest warrant, the hotel bill.” What a card!

Mr. Lapham goes on to tell us that the essay seemed appropriate for the American experience and that the essayist becomes as the poet Archbald MacLeish stated, “ the dissenter [who] is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.”

“ The monthly Notebook called for remarks somehow related to something visible in the news…”

Mr. Lapham is the author of several books as well, including, 30 Satires, Money and Class in America, Imperial Masquerade, The Wish of Kings, Hotel America, Waiting for the Barbarians and Theatre of War.

The following are excerpts from the last Notebook entitled ‘Figures of Speech’. The Notebook always lead off with a quote:

“Our ignorance of history causes us to slander our own times.” Gustave Flaubert

Mr. Lapham writes: “ My object was to learn, not preach, which prevented my induction into the national college of pundits but encouraged my reading of history.”

“ The reading of history damps down the impulse to slander the trend and tenor of the times, instills a sense of humour, lessens our fear about what might happen tomorrow.”

“ On being informed by the propaganda ministries of the Republican right that money is a synonym for peace on earth and good will toward men, that the capitalist free market is virtue incarnate, I resist the call for a standing ovation by remembering that Hugo Boss dressed Hitler’s troops, that the Ford Motor Company in the 30’s outfitted the Wehrmacht with it’s armoured trucks, that the Rockefeller Foundation financed the prewar medical research meant to confirm Nazi theories of racial degeneration.”

“ What preserves the voices of the great authors from one century to the next is not the recording device ( the clay tablet, the scroll, the codex, the book, the computer, the iPad ) but the force of imagination and the power of expression. It is the strength of the words themselves, not their product placement, that invites the play of mind and induces a change of heart. Acknowledgment of the fact lightens the burden of mournful prophecy currently making the rounds of the media trade fairs.”

“ The questions in hand have to do with where the profit, not the meaning, is to be found, who collects what tolls from which streams of revenue or consciousness. The same questions accompanied the loss of the typewriter and the linotype machine, underwrote the digging of the Erie Canal and the building of Commodore Vanderbuilt’s railroads, the rigging of the nation’s television networks and telephone poles, and I expect them to be answered by one or more corporate facilitators with both wit and the bankroll to float the pretense that monopoly is an upgraded synonym for a free press, “prioritized” and “context-sensitive,” offering “quicker access to valued customers.””
“How do we know what we think we know? Why is it that the more information we collect the less likely we are to grasp what it means? Possibly because a montage is not a narrative, the ear is not the eye, a pattern recognition is not a figure or a form of speech. The surfeit of new and newer news comes so quickly to hand that within the wind tunnels of the “innovative delivery strategies” the data blow away and shred. The time is always now, and what gets lost is all thought of what happened yesterday, last week, three months or three years ago. Unlike moths and fruit flies, human beings bereft of memory, even as poor a memory as Montaigne’s, or my own, tend to become disoriented and confused. I know no other way out of what is both the maze of eternal present and the prison of the self except with a string of words.”

I remember several years ago, on a crisp early winter late morning, hastily running out the door for some engagement or other and there in the mailbox was my Harper’s. Stepping onto the Gerard streetcar, sliding into a sun drenched single seat and expectantly opening my Harper’s to the Notebook like a child at Christmas. The words trilling off the page, my heart bright as the snowy sun, images of words searing my soul.

I wrote Mr. Lapham about that day on the streetcar, the joy it had brought me in an early winter funk and how I had been compiling his articles and reading his books in hope of some day mounting a one man show in the tradition of Will Rogers or Mark Twain.
Weeks later I received a personal reply, humbly thanking me for the encouragement and that if I wished to embark on such a project then he would be amenable.

I have never achieved the goal. The essay is a difficult form to translate to the stage. Reading Laphams words resonate in the skull as an intimate cathartic experience. It’s Action of the Mind. And laziness wins the day.

I encourage all to read Lewis Lapham. His essays compiled in book form are in the library. I encourage all to get subscriptions to Harper’s and to Lapham’s Quarterly. The Quarterly takes on single issues per quarterly with essays and articles from different approaches.

Lewis Lapham has been of great public service to America. Would that there were more of his integrity, honesty, humility and intelligence. Long Live Lapham!

October 7, 2010

Governor General: Nice Man, Wrong Time

Filed under: Politics — dwightmcfee @ 12:47 am

The new Governor General of Canada is a very nice man as witnessed at his investiture on Friday, Oct. 1, 2010.

His Excellency David Johnston comes to the office with a civic spirited family of four daughters and a supportive and independent spouse.

David Johnston has spent a goodly portion of his life in academe as either a professor and later administration. He is a constitutional expert. He has left good will wherever he has worked.

Mr. Johnston, a university president has also been appointed to several commissions and informal investigations. The latest was for Prime Minister Harper setting the parameter’s for the Ostrey commission into former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s dealing with the Karl Heinz-Shrieber Affair. Undoubtedly at the Prime Minister’s wink, the parameter’s of the inquiry were limited to the three hundred thousand dollar undocumented payout to Mulroney but not the what for, meaning the Air Canada/Air Bus quid pro quo.

I don’t wish to imply that Mr. Johnston did anything untoward. Mr. Johnston travels in the circles where these kind of situations are understood. Mr. Johnston is held in high regard not only for his good character but also Mr. Johnston knows what a nod and a wink is in the establishment.

The above event set off an alarm bell when I heard the announcement last month.

What would Mr. Johnston bring to the Governor General’s office?
The first thing that came to mind was that if Our Great Leader ever wanted to Pro Rogue Parliament again, he wouldn’t get much fight out of Mr. Johnston. Although versed in the constitution, I would make a large wager that deference to the Prime Minister would be the over riding principle irrespective of the Governor General’s obligation to the Queen to protect the integrity of the democratic process.
As my nephew said, just another connected old white man from the fifties. Harsh but valid ?

What did Mr. Johnston say in his speech to the people of Canada?
His three pillars were; family, education and philanthropy/volunteerism. Sounds like Grande Mere and Tortierre. But let’s examine the pillars for meaning in 2010 Canada.

Family: Code for the right and anti-gay marriage, anti-abortion minority religious right or just old fashioned communal sensibility. We all want the family, the basic social unit, to love and thrive. You have to ask the question? Which families? No mention of how families struggle to survive in an inequitable economic climate that leaves a quarter of the ‘families’ in this country in poverty. Not to mention the disgrace that our native population lives in.

We owe a great deal to our families and they should be honoured. But, come on….

Education: honouring teachers is a worthy and an about time pillar. Teachers are thought of as elitist and have to much time off. Hogwash! In the public elementary and high school systems it is a profession that needs all the help it can get. With the pace of change and the problems of the young to integrate and understand, learn how to learn, a great teacher is a life long asset to have had. I thank mine. J.J. Casey, Tom Peacocke, Jim De Felice, Bernard Hopkins to name a few.

For the last two decades higher education has been turned into a utilitarian processing school for the needs of the unspoken truth of our age, finishing schools for the corporate agenda. What are business schools doing in Universities. University professors become pimps for the justification of ideologies. Particularly economics departments, which is called the dismal science for a reason.

People go to university to meet the expectations of the corporate job search like we used to in the sixties take trades in high school to feed the industrial machine. We go to university, not to learn how to learn and think, but to be smart (self interested) and utilitarian.

Mr. Johnston has spent his life in this environment, becoming the bright light of one of these institutions while raising tuition’s exorbitantly and redefining the purpose of a university.

Which brings us to the third pillar, philanthropy/volunteerism. I have no doubt the good intentions of Mr. Johnston. As funding for universities has declined to levels that leave Canada at the bottom of the OECD, through no fault of Mr. Johnston, he had to find funding somewhere. The great American Universities have endowments and of course whatever happens in America can only be good for us as well.

In the age of in-equality, excess and greed, the wealthy are wealthier than at any time in history. The Schulick this, the Munk that. What happened to naming buildings after inventors and humanitarians like Fredrick Banting. As our universities have become more exclusive, the rich have moved in for posterity (philanthropy) to create ideological centres of ‘excellence’. Toronto has a new Opera home (which is good) but has not had a new medium size theatre in fourty years. And the ones that do exist are falling apart. Elites recover a great deal of their philanthropy through tax breaks. So who is really paying for these Munk Centres for International Studies? Donate 19 million, get a tax break for 12 million and have the governments chip in 66 million for the operating funds. We do. So Philanthropy is a sometimes good but double edged sword.

Canadians, per capita, are one of the most volunteering societies in the world. But as a substitute for the strengthening of society while corporation’s and the wealthy absolve themselves from contributing to the tax base is no solution.

His Excellency Mr. Johnston from all appearances is a smart and caring man which is his slogan for the country: smart and caring. But the boys down on bay street are smart. And when they go home to their families I am sure they are caring. But do they have vision and creativity. Two words I don’t think I heard from Mr. Johnston. I heard no mention of the creative arts. Only the cliches to the cultural communities and to that sacred word, innovation.

I wish Mr. Johnston and his family the best. But as inspiration and vision, Mr. Johnston is just another member of the establishment being used by this Prime Minister, cleverly, to fall in in line with the paternalistic fifties regressive agenda in The Age of Inequality.

Dwight mcFee

September 26, 2010

The Armageddon Factor

Filed under: Politics — dwightmcfee @ 9:49 am

Marci MacDonald’s new book, The Armageddon Factor, is an investigative revelation and should be a wake up call for all those somnolent Canadian’s that insist that what happens in America can never happen in Canada.

The Armageddon Factor details the history in Canada of right wing Evangelicalism, and it’s marriage with politics, money and neo-liberal economics. It follows the threads of the evangelical nationalists, dominionists, dispensationalists sects, the prosperity doctrine, and the literalist theologies from America that interlace through the fabric of Canadian right wing evangelicalism right up to our born again Evangelical Prime Minister Steven Harper’s office where interns from Bible Colleges with degress in economics learn the political craft and spin of power in service to create a christian nation.

Canadian’s who think we live in a country that has a separation of church and state, need to know that there is no such separation in Canadian law, and that there is a faction of the populace that believes Canada has been chosen to be the promised christian ruled land. This fact came as an un-nerving revelation.

Ms. MacDonald chronicles the methods of the christian right to subvert the Canadian Radio and Television Commission in order to facilitate exclusive religious media in radio and television, particularly in the west.

Exceptionally revealing are the methods picked up from the religious right of America: methods used to take over school boards, city and town councils, federally elected officials as well as the promulgation of supposed citizen groups advocating sexist, racist, xenophobic and fascist ideologies couched in religious and economic freedom. One of the favoured tactics when using hate speech against gays and immigrants for example is to attack the Charter of Rights and Human Rights Tribunals as limiting freedom of religion and speech. Then if found in contravention, accusing the state of fascism. It’s an old political trick: accuse the victim of the very crime you commit.

Ms. MacDonald ties the book all together by pointing out how family values, law and order conservatives in deceit with neo-conservatives have been able to exploit the fundamentalist Evangelical, Orthodox Catholic and Orthodox Jewish citizens to become a significant part of the hard core of Harper’s 30% base. Thus the Harper foreign policy commitment to Israel where the supposed rapture will occur and all Evangelicals and 144 thousand converted former Jews to Jesus will be raptured to heaven while the rest of us are engaged in the blood bath of Armageddon. As a supporter of Israel, to watch Israel be used as a christian Crusade is deplorable and beneath contempt.

Ms. MacDonald gives us the history of how this false doctrine has been disseminated.
The who’s and how’s of the selective readings of biblical literalists have been turned into this apocalyptic take on humanity. Humanism, tolerance, common sense, compassion, love thy neighbor are thrown out the window. This is war, war not jaw, jaw. The theocracy must rule. Remind you of anywhere else in the world!

This creed of despair, except for the chosen, has politically been wrapped in the term Values Voters. Established social and civic values are attacked and spun: abortion, choice, womens rights, gun control, evolution, tolerance, education, science, nationalism, welfare, inequality, unions, immigration etc. are EVIL. The civic landscape is black and white with no room for compromise or tolerance. Multi-culturalism is anathema.

The Armageddon Factor’s ‘christian movement’ has total certainty, absolute certainty, no doubt of it’s efficacy. We are all to follow that certainty or we are banished to eternal damnation. There is no doubt, they are right, you are an unbeliever. They strive for a christian nation and militant nationalism. This is fascism or certainly far right authoritarianism. This is real, not a conspiracy.

We see this in our Prime Minister as he incrementally enables the agenda of ‘values voter’s’. The great service of Ms. MacDonald’s book is the naming of names and the exposure to light of how this Theocratic ideology has infiltrated all levels of government’s, particularly the Federal Government, and how this has come about through the nurturing and training at think tank’s like the libertarian Fraser Institute and the religious colleges like Trinity Western in B.C. and the further interning and employment of these acolytes in minister’s offices and the Privy Council of the Prime Minister.

The very disturbing aspect of this revolution has been the political marriage of right wing Evangelical, Orthodox Catholic, Orthodox Jewish fundamentalism with right wing Chicago School Libertarian Economics: anti government, no tax, individual vs. communal rights, corporatism. This marriage creates a volatile mix of gas on fire that has been beautifully manipulated by politician’s, media and big business.

This is wonderfully illustrated by the appointment on Friday, September 24, 2010 of the Prime Minister’s new Chief of Staff, Nigel Wright. Mr. Wright is an executive of Onex Corporation, a very large and influential investment firm and was the presumed heir to the chief of Onex. Mr. Wright specialized in buying supposedly underperforming companies and making them profitable. We may all remember that Onex ‘bought’ Air Canada, hived off the profitable parts into a fund that is very profitable and left the debt to the airline. It used to be called cannibalizing until Wall Street and Bay Street became invincible. Mr. Wright was involved in the stabbing of Joe Clark for Brian Mulroney who he later worked for in the policy end of the Privy Council, meaning lower taxes for corporations and the off shoring of 100 billion dollars, tax free, for the wealthiest families in Canada. Mr. Wright is also a director of The Manning Centre, a corporate funded think tank for former Reform Leader and ordained minister Preston Manning. There readers is an example of the confluence of the corporate, the religeous and the political. Even though there has been a silent ‘elite accommodation’ with Bay street by the conservatives, who never think they have enough, this appointment cements Mr. Harper’s hard right economic agenda with big cash and his incremental ‘religious accommodation’. And all without a whisper from the Main Street Media.

The Media in Canada refuse, are enabling or are asleep to this deadly threesome. This in itself is a book that needs to be written.

Don’t misunderstand me. No nation can survive without a moral base. Every human needs to nuture their soul. But to claim religeous exclusivity and condemn the ‘other’ while having control over the leavers of political and economic power spells disaster. There are numerous Historical examples of cultures disintegrating through war, genocide and revolution when religeon, economics and politics go to bed for a threesome.

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you! love thy Neighbour!

I highly recommend this absorbing and accurate investigation. Ms. McDonald is to be commended for this brave and revealing document.

Dwight McFee

August 1, 2010

MAKES CENSUS OR NO CENSUS

Filed under: Politics — dwightmcfee @ 6:58 pm

Makes Census:

According to the bright lights at right wing charity, The Fraser Institute, the Prime Minister’s long census degrading from compulsory to voluntary is exactly what is needed. But not for the obvious reasons of privacy and that government shouldn’t know how many bedroom’s are in your house.

No, the reason is that business that want these statistics should pay for them. Now on the surface that is appealing. Why shouldn’t business pay for them? Well let’s think about that! Firstly, if corporations provide statistics as opposed to polls or surveys that they are doing all the time in any event, that information will be specific to that corporation’s need. Secondly, that information becomes proprietary information. No one can see it except at a price. And thirdly, because no one can see it except for a price, the assertions of that information are and will be difficult to challenge. Therefore as an example, the Fraser Institute’s assertion in 2006 that 400 million dollars can be saved in the Health Care Industry by paying kitchen and cleaning staffs close to minimum wages will be difficult to challenge. Why? The Labour statistics portion of the census will be inaccurate. It then becomes my stats. vs. your stats. Which of course serves the purpose of the corporate agenda which fully funds the Fraser Institute. There will be no arbitrator like Stats.Can. That can be trusted that is.

No Census:

That Canadians should have access to where, how and what kind of country they are living in and who is in control of what. That Mel Hurtig or Stephen Clarkson or Maud Barlow or Naomi Klein or Linda McQuaig or Donald Gutstein or the Parliamentary Opposition or non-profits or university researchers et.al. should have access to information that isn’t provided by the corporation’s in charge.

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