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Top Of The List!
NEW!!Ammo - selection of very good commentary from other writers on important stuff; - FAAAAARRRRR BETTER THAN TV!!!
Canadians for Canada Coalition (CCC) - United Left, if you will - but bottom of the line - Get Rid of Corporate Government in Canada - 2004 Federal Election may be your last chance - act NOW PLEASE!!
The Debt Conspiracy Theory Fact - do you believe people who email you from Africa wanting to give you 10 million bucks? No? Well WHY DO YOU BELIEVE THE NATIONAL DEBT IS LEGITIMATE?!?!? (Sorry - I get excited about this...)
911 - as important as the debt scam - ask yourself why you are so afraid to admit the truth here, even when it's been kicking you in the face almost since it happened? When the world you live in is operating under a lie this big and obvious and monstrous, you have no security whatsoever.
(just a reminder - we know you're busy. And lazy. And overworked.
Jack Nicholson (attributed)"... faced with a basic question, following the money usually brings you closer to the truth."
RM 030624 Deconstructing Neville|
We often talk about, or hear referred to, that someone or some group is operating under some 'agenda', which somehow explains at least some of the reasons for a lot of what they are doing or saying - an 'agenda' being some sort of program, one that is understood and thus not articulated every time the person or group speaks or is referred to - this may be good, in that it saves time - or it may be less good, if it serves to conceal things like true motives - insofar as it saves time it's fine, insofar as it serves to conceal things, or mislead people, it is less so - and that, of course, is what we want to touch on today - to explicate a bit the "Agenda" of the Neocons in Canada, and how a great deal of what they say conceals a great deal of what they actually mean, of what their actual Agenda is.
It just so happens (goshdarn coincidence theory stuff again) that we have a very good vehicle to use to examine the Neocon Agenda, or at least significant parts of it, in the form of a commentary from the Financial Post, one of the major Neocon propaganda organs in Canada - a subsidiary-co-publication of the
First a word or two of introduction, for the politically innocent (I would hope to god there wouldn't be many of those finding their way to these pages, but on the other hand we have set ourselves up as an educational institution, in a manner of speaking, so when touching on new topics for the first time, it is good policy to set the situation, lay the background, that sort of thing - the very last thing we would want to be is condescending, since we do hate that so in others (especially those who have so little to be condescending about), but on the other hand it has occasionally come to our attention here that things that have been illuminated for moi (at least in the opinion of moi) are often somewhat less clear for others. If you know all this already, just skip a few lines (HAHAHA - as Amadeus said (sort of) - And just which few lines would those be exactly, Sire?!). Or not, if the prose amuses you. If it really amuses you and you want to encourage me, send money. Or girls. (oh you sexist fucker - there goes half the readers) (well send boys then I'll trade em for girls hahaha) (there goes the alliance guy) (money's easier) (this is going on too long) (where was I?) (serious commentary when you get the fuck around to it) (oh yea)
So first - what actually do we mean when we say "The Neocon Agenda", with quotation marks around it like that and everything? Who are the Neocons, for that matter? What is it that Neocons want?
Well, break it up - we have 'neo' who is the guy in the Matrix (we all know he's Canadian, right?), but that's another story. Neo here just means 'new' (from the Latin or Greek or some other dead language for those who care (ohoh there go the greeks and romans to get their spears or chariots or something, probably to be soon joined by the geeks to get their deathray cyber hunt-n-kill programs)), and 'con' is short for Conservative (not to mention fool, as in fool somebody, which they do a lot of, and probably fool on the hill too, which there are a lot of). There are lots of meanings for Conservative, many of them contradictory (i.e. the "Liberal" party in Australia and New Zealand actually carries the Neocon flag, and the entire movement, if you will, is often called "NeoLiberal" - but as we talk about very soon, either one is something of a con job in this context, and for that reason we prefer neo-con, as it touches on the truth there, probably quite unintentionally, not unlike the original alliance party calling themselves CRAP, very truthfully, probably driven subliminally), and after some thought I have decided not to get into that here - it would just be a headache and meaningless distraction, since, in the end, it doesn't have a whole lot to do with what we are talking about, since in both the US and Canada and probably elsewhere the "Neocons" basically stole an existing political party and used that party to confer some sense of legitimacy upon what they were doing - had they been honest, they would have just started a new political party called the NeoNazi NewFeudalist Reverse Renaissance Elitist Money Party or something short and pithy like that, with a head office in the US and branches in Canada and Great Britain and Australia, and a number of other countries - they didn't though - although they aren't all that intelligent individually (clever, cunning, sneaky liars with no morals or ethics, generally speaking, yes, but not intelligent), they do have the money to buy good lawyers and a few fairly intelligent people who have no ethics whatso-fucking-ever (the main thing you learn in all of these modern MBA schools where they teach the Mammon religion), and they were advised that telling the truth in this case (or basically in any other case concerning what they really wanted and planned) just wouldn't wash in any society where people still got a chance to vote in elections that had even a bit of honesty in them (Diogenes?? did you run across any of those on your last walkaround? .... no, can't say as I did, son...), so chose this other route of purloining existing political parties that could be twisted to their ends - and normally such parties were the parties designated as "conservative' in the countries they were working in - that would be your Progressive Conservatives in Canada, for instance, a party which had a long and very noble history prior to the Neocon takeover, with great leaders like Sir John A MacDonald, who actually pretty much started the country, and John Diefenbaker, and would have been horrified at what has happened. But in 1983 the Neocons spent great wads of money at an opportune opening for the leadership of the PC party here in Canada, and installed Brian Mulroney as the leader, a Neocon puppet with a big grin (wonderful old Margaret Thatcher quote about Brian (no honour among thieves) - big chin, small brain HAHAHA - it's true!!) and big capacity for lying to the Canadians about what he and they were up to. And we have never recovered, and if a lot of people don't start waking up soon, never may, at least within the lifetimes of most of us living now. (and even the Bush-Reagan Republicans in the US - I mean, as they say, Thomas Jefferson, one of the GREAT fucking democrats (small-d there!) of all time, was a Republican, and I am sure he would be spinning as fast in his grave, if such things ever really happened, as either of the great Canadian Johns would be in theirs, at the antics of the Neocons of the current era - the differences here are not PC-Liberal (in Canada) or Republican-Democrat (US) - but Elitism vs "the common people" - the very things that our forefathers were fighting for - they were trying to get rid of the Elitism of the day, and establish some form of democracy - and for decades, they and their descendants were succeeding, until one generation got too complacent (or too fucking stoned, sorry my old buds! - but it has been our watch on which this has happened), and the Great Elitist Reactionary Revolution took place, beginning in the 1970s, and today it is almost complete.
Geezus. I get into a short aside and the next thing you know it's two pages later and I have no fucking idea what I was talking about. Does this happen to everyone? Or only us people who don't watch enough television or take enough Ritalin to keep our brains from working in anything longer than 15-second totally-devoid-of-meaning soundbites (and thus never try this sort of thing)? Yeayea laying off the liberating beverages might help - and it might not too - and then for sure I wouldn't have any fun or liberating visions or run across these amazing interesting questions and POVs and wander down seldom-followed roads and might even probably start watching tv out of boredom, which would be a fate worse than death. Not a chance I want to take, anyway. (huhuuh??? - "disciplined" writers editing for the market? isn't that another way to say self-censorship to make it sound like everyone else? fuck if I wanted to be like everyone else I ..... Honeyyyyy!!?!??)
Anyway, I think I was going here - the next thing to know is that at least some people with an agenda have no interest whatsoever in the Truth - they want you to support them (that is to say, either they want your votes for their candidate at the next election, or they want you to come to work peacefully for them without complaining that you do all the work while they get all the money... and most of what you do get you give back to them through one confidence game scheme or another...), and in order to obtain your support they play fast and loose with the actual facts or truth, at best, and often either outright lie about things, or put a very misleading interpretation on whatever statistics they do use, or arrange polls or statistics that are very loaded to deceive people. They also often attack those who disagree with what they want you to believe, using the same tactics (lies and deception of various sorts) to discredit such people (note, for example, the Pispot attack on Michelle Landsberg a few weeks ago (check the archives)).
And, since such lies and deception are quite vulnerable to being proved wrong when people have good access to information and the desire to use that access, they require control of the flow of information in society, meaning they want the freedom to buy up all the media and minimal government regulation so they can fill it with mind-numbing crap in the first place, and if that isn't totally successful they want to discourage any type of government support for media that would have some mandate to be fair and impartial and (above all) more or less honest in its presentation of the facts of any given situation (yes indeed, this would be something like the CBC, which these people have been trying to destroy ever since they started their drive to take over the government - the CBC is very dangerous to them and their control of the information flow - note the attack on Patrick Watson by the same Pispot recently as well who dared to propose such a thing.)
Usually people and groups on "the left" of the political spectrum do not engage in this kind of thing - people on 'the left' are usually talking about democracy and freedom and participation, and honesty is a central part of everything they do (there are exceptions - but usually from people who are not really "leftist" but trying to use those people and causes to advance their own personal agendas - and do a little sabotage at the same time (one problem "lefties" have is too much trust - something the "righties" would never have a problem with - honest people (lefties) tend to trust others - people whose lives are based on deceit of one type or another (righties) never trust anyone else, because they assume everyone else is operating with their own dishonest motivations)). And be careful about the Elitist "analysis" here - be careful of ANYTHING coming out of Elitist writings (yes, be careful of EVERYTHING!!) - but the Elite so-called analysis often - hell, invariably - refers to things like the Stalinist Communist system, or the Chinese Maoist system, as "leftist" - but that's an outright lie, or bloody nonsense at best - such systems may have been begun or gathered support under such an idea or ideal, but they quickly were taken over by dictators of one type or another, and became simply very totalitarian systems - the complete opposite of "leftist" ideals.
Think about it - when Truth is brought into any equation at all, the definition will be of what IS, not what somebody from either side SAYS it is - any number of allegories could be brought into play - if I say, for instance, I am a Chinese person, but you look at me and can see quite obviously I am Caucasian - do you believe me or your eyes? If I say I am a teetotaler, while looking you right in the eye and sipping on a beer - what do you believe? If you have been following the news about some country in the world where there has been a violent, bloody battle between two armies for control of a country, and army A wins, and the leader of that army comes to your country and says he is a democratically elected leader - what do you believe? If George Bush and the American media all say he was a fairly elected President, but you KNOW he did not win the election but was appointed by the Supreme Court - what do you say? And if you KNOW that Stalinist Russia was a brutal dictatorship, but the American Enterprise Institute says it was a "failed leftist-socialist experiment" - what do you say? If George Bush says that he invaded Iraq because they were about to unleash Armageddon on the world, but you KNOW that Iraq had no Weapons of Mass Destruction but the US has huge amounts of them and is threatening everyone with them and invaded Iraq for other reasons - what do you say? When your parents tell your 5-year old little sister that Santa is coming on Christmas, but you found out last year there is no Santa - what do you say?
Oh well - if you haven't got the idea by now you ain't gonna. But you have to understand the difference between Left and Right, or the Neocons will lie to you once again, in order to make you more susceptible to doing what they want you to do. Quite successfully, too, it must be said, given the beliefs of average Canadians about Left and Right.
The Truth of the situation is, that Human Freedom, and the societies humans live in, can be placed on a linear scale, more or less - it is a fiction that left and right meet at the other side of some circle - and the further you go on this imaginary scale to the right, the less freedom the average individual has - in truth, it is a finite sort of line, and the further you go on the left - the more freedom. There are a lot of permutations, but that's the basic idea. The Right is the playground of the Elite - and when they talk about freedom, they don't mean everyone's freedom, they mean **their freedom, and as we talked about the last time, the MORE freedom THEY have, the LESS freedom WE/YOU have. Think of freedom as money - an apt comparison in the modern world. Think of the modern world as a Monopoly game - another apt comparison. Assume (theoretical!) we all started out even - a hundred buck apiece or any amount you want. But as you lose more and more of your money, and Rich Capitalist or whoever somehow winds up with that money, their degrees of freedom multiply with their wealth - as yours diminish. It ain't rocket science - but since it makes the relative political agendas of the left and right fairly evident, they don't want you thinking about it in those terms, and, when they own the papers, of course, and control the debate, they help you think about things the way they want you thinking about them.
Summary: Rightist governments believe in maximum control of the people by the government, or state, and a government of, by and for the elite, enforced by whatever laws are necessary to keep the serfs in check - DO AS YOU'RE FUCKING TOLD OR WE'LL SHOOT YOU!!! This is often known as Fascism - when you regularly see heavily armed police forces beating back citizens who are protesting about something, you can generally assume fascism of some sort. Leftist governments, on the other hand, believe that power resides with ALL of the people, through some sort of democracy, and democratically elected representatives who actually carry out the wishes of the people who elected them (yes, I know, I can hear you saying where exactly is this happening in the world today - well, it's like Gandhi said when asked about western democracy (I'm sure you've heard this before) - "Nice idea - someone should try it some time...") - but it is, of course, what the Elites tell you from the day you are born - you are living in the greatest and free-est democracy ever seen on the planet (a Big Lie there!!) - they know that any truly "leftist" or socialist system would be far, far, far better for all of the citizens (but not the elite, of course), which is why they spend so much time demonizing it, making it into one of those motherhood-applepie things that you wouldn't even dare question for fear of the rednecks taking you out behind the pickup for a little talkin to. In truth, Democracy and Socialism have a great deal in common - it is Capitalism that is the enemy, Capitalism that requires the amassing of huge fortunes for the few by stealing the labour of the many - and don't start yapping about Marxist analysis - he saw things very clearly, which is one of the reasons he is so constantly mocked by the Capitalists - they fear his words would cast a bright light on the many dark evil corners on which their system is built, light which they can ill afford light which would make a lot of otherwise complacent people even get up from in front of the tv sets, and start asking questions - the spectre the capitalists fear the most.
That, of course, is not the whole story - nothing exists in two dimensions like that little left-right line, and there are endless confabulating factors circling around it. But don't let the Neocons fool you anymore with this talk about "socialism bad capitalism good" - it ain't true, and it ain't even the case today - the struggle is NOT between them damned tax-and-spend socialists and the fiscally responsible capitalists (actually anybody who really believes that line after Reagan and now Bush, and after examining the Canadian debt scam, has their head so far in the sand they probably ain't ever gonna see the sweet light of day again) - the battle is, as it has ever been, between those who have seized power and will by god do what they can to keep it, and the average people - our fall from grace may indeed, as Ishmael-Quinn said, date to the advent of agriculture on this planet, when the beginnings of stored value made an opening for certain people to confiscate that stored value as their own, justifying it any way they could, from violence to religious games, and beginning the class struggle which has reached such obscene heights today (the richest ten Americans have more money than the poorest half of the countries in the world combined, and even more than half the citizens - 150 million - in their own country). The people in the rice paddies in vietnam and the sweatshops in indonesia and china and the starving peasants in africa are not "the enemy" - they are your peers, your comrades in the struggle. And you will by god NOT read that in the Pispot. But it is nonetheless a true thing, and we will make no progress in our struggle until you see that and understand it to be so.
man I did it again
One thing the people on the right do, of course, is accuse people on the left of all the bad things they are doing or want to do (see last issue) - and this makes for something of a dilemma for ordinary people - how do you figure out who is lying?!?!?! A says B lies, B says A lies, and around and around we go. RM says the Pispot lies - if the Pispot acknowledged us at all, they would probably call us crazed conspiracy theorists or worse (yes, and probably not for dinner at all) - how does the neophyte to all of these things figure out what the hell is going on?
This is where "agenda analysis" and "deconstructionism" can come in handy. (If I'm stepping on someone's toes here, that is to say this has already been done, please let me know - but I haven't read about this anywhere else in quite this way (and I do consume a lot of words in this general area), so am spending an hour or two on it. Also, as anyone who's been here before will know, I do not pretend to impartiality, we do assuredly have our own agenda here - but the leading line on that agenda reads TRUTH, so there will be no intentional lies or misdirection (I do plead guilty to getting the odd fact or statistic wrong - geez, who's perfect without a research staff, after a long day and a Liberating Beverage or three?!?!), although what we favor and what does not please us will undoubtedly be evident. If not, ask.
To work on the Agenda of the Neocons in Canada (which is, of course, a subset of the Neocon Agenda of the Americans, which is the current dominant ideology in that country), we should briefly define it - the neocons are out to destroy any kind of cooperative society, in which people work together and look after each other and live more or less equally, and re-assert a society of Rule by Strength that saw its very first shackles, mild and ineffective though they were, 500 years ago on the fields of Runymede - 500 years ago strength meant having lots of gold and the castles and men-at-arms that gold could buy to beat the peasants into submission - today strength means having lots of gold and the castles and men-at-arms that gold can buy to beat the citizens into submission when they dare to take to the streets to say they disagree with something. It means keeping the servant class struggling for their daily bread and to keep a roof over their heads - fighting with their fellow servants over the leavings of the ruling class, as such conflict tends to keep them from seeing who their true enemy is and working together to create a better society. The Elitists faced some setbacks after the huge wars of the first half of the century, and people all over the western world, in shock at the carnage arranged by their brutal system, demanded their politicians make arrangements to stop this craziness, and managed to work together and institute some fairly strong social-democratic governments, which began, over the next 30 years, to rather seriously threaten the powers of the Elite (check out the Trilateral Commission and the "crisis of democracy" (too MUCH democracy, indeed!), who, by the early 1970s, were banding together in their common interests to fight this democratic movement.
Social democracy, to be successful, requires the pooling of money in a common kitty through the democratic government to institute programs to enable a strongly functioning democracy which looks after the people - good healthcare and education for all makes the whole country stronger. Recognising that this democratic strength was based in a pool of commonly shared wealth to serve and protect ALL the citizens, while still allowing maximum freedom to live free and prosper, the neocons attacked this democratic shared wealth in various ways - first the tax revolt, in which the corporations, the main vehicle of modern economic power, used their great wealth to bribe and buy politicians to reduce as much as possible the taxes paid on their wealth which went into the common pool; once the government had started a pattern of borrowing from the banks and others who were not paying taxes, and began to accumulate potentially significant debt, they instigated an inflationary movement in the early 1980s during which interest rates were sent to usurious rates for a few years; they instigated a policy of government borrowing from commercial lenders rather than creating the money themselves (a policy defying every tenet of fiduciary responsibility of the governments for their constituents), and, in a brilliant stroke (ok, they are clever sometimes) had the governments create huge national debts owing to the wealthy "investor" class - and using these debts as an excuse, and their control of the national media to harangue the people day after day after day after month after year after fucking year (it got pretty sickening for awhile), they managed to roll back all or most of the social security programs through which citizens had been gaining such freedom, and at the same time managed to take huge amounts of the citizens' money through taxes and have it transferred to them in a quasi-legal scheme called "debt service" - thus further enriching themselves and impoverishing the government of the people in one stroke.
This was not done in any vacuum of course - during this time the people were well educated to accept the nonsensical, perverse things that were being done to them in the name of the great god Mammon (whose name was not yet being spoken, except in couched terms "the Market is speaking!" - "the Investors will be unhappy if you do this..." - the high priests and their acolytes worked in secrecy, knowing their numbers were not yet enough to subdue the people, who would surely have risen in violent and bloody revolution had they suspected the truth, the great deception and theft that was being perpetrated upon them - truthfully, they do not yet to this day understand, but the deed has been underway for so long that few even think to question it anymore - when you hear the great laughter coming from the towers of Mordor and Isengard (that'd be Bay St. in Canada, the Bank Towers - think about it), it is the Elite celebrating their cleverness and the gullibility of the masses - laughing like all (neo)-con-men laugh when the show is over, mocking the marks who have gone home with less silver in their pockets, not a care for the hardship and death and suffering and wasted lives they bring to the masses) - the media and business leaders and politicians acting en masse to tell the people that the things that were being done to them were right and proper, albeit unfortunate.
Well - that's the short version, but let it roll around a bit, it all adds up to a lot more sense than the BS the Neoconmen feed you every day - the main thing you need to get out of all that, is that the key, the main Neocon weapon for subduing democracy, has always been - LOWER TAXES. (The Debt Scam is important, in the sense of the body blow that brings you to your knees - but we can rise up and deal with that if we truly want to - but not if we let them talk us into low taxes for those with the most money - if we let huge amounts of our wealth "trickle up" to the "investors" and banks, and then refuse to tax it at the same rate as average people get taxed, then we can not generate enough wealth to look after ourselves - if we let the thieves and elite take a huge cut of it right off the top, then we have no hope. And they know it well, And so that, even after all these years, is still what they preach. As we shall see, finally, following.....
The exemplar we shall be using today is Surpluses built on taxpayers' backs from some guy named Neville Nankivell of (where else!) the National
But I stray. Back to the Pispot and Agenda Analysis. You'll have to be patient with us here at RM - having never conducted a deconstructionist agenda analysis of this type before, things may get a little hectic. But we'll try not to keep you late. And don't worry about the news - you'll learn more here - you don't really want to see another clip of George saying "Does our children know how to read...?" or Ernie telling you how GREAT deregulation is and he'll do even more great stuff for education too if you elect him again - do you? Really???
We are going to pick and choose a bit from Neville's piece - although pretty much every statement in the thing could be challenged one way or another, that might involve a bit more time or tolerance than we have, and anyway why bother to challenge the most obvious idiocies? We'll just have a look at some of the more insidious things.
Just to set the stage, our Neville starts off: Prime Minister Jean Chretien brags that under his government Canada has shown the world the way to prosperity. That's the message he pitched to this year's G8 summit, telling world leaders Canada's federal budget deficits had been slain, interest rates are low, employment growth strong, the economy robust. But hold the applause. .... We have not been performing as well as some other major economies in other key yardsticks such as relative tax burdens, unemployment, labour productivity, public debt loads and attracting foreign business investment. We'll need to make a lot more progress in these areas to ensure higher living standards in the years ahead....
RM: just for starters, we ought to note that we, neither, care much for what Canada's own JC has been doing the last few years, but for completely different reasons than the Pispot Neocons, but we'll just leave all that for another day, since we're doing Agenda Deconstructionism here; as for the article of the day in question, it would be really useful if our Neville would indicate where he is getting his stats from, as there seem to be at least a few discrepancies between what they are saying and what we are reading lately - it is our understanding here in MacedonLand (not to be confused with WonderLand), for instance, that if looked at fairly, our effective Canadian tax rates have actually been lower than the US for some time, and lower than most of the G7 countries - for a good detailed roundup of **our sources, check out Mel Hurtig's The Vanishing Country (in general, anything Mel says will have considerably more reliability and verifiability than anything you read in the Pispot - Mel's agenda is Canada for Canadians, and he tends to use StatsCan, and as a non-rightist he tends to stick to the truth anyway, while that of the Pispot is turning over Canada's resources to the American Elite and some crumbs for their Canadian shills who work in places like the Pispot and Fraser Institute, and fuck everybody else in the country - and being well aware that most Canadians wouldn't rush to endorse that agenda, they lie a lot and pretend to be doing something else, and use pretty questionable stats to try to back up what they say, usually); we'll be touching on the others soon, so won't get into them here - but any unsourced stats should be treated like somebody giving you a strange floppy to stick in your computer, if you know what I mean.... it's a real irritant, if you'll allow a short personal comment, that we can't believe what we read in the papers anymore - this is what most Canadians depend on for information about what is happening in the world, but when you constantly get fed one-sided opinion and half-assed or inaccurate stats, it's very difficult to come to a good decision - and that, of course, is exactly the point of what they are doing - they don't want you to come to a 'good" decisions for you and most Canadians, because that would be contrary to maintaining their position as the elite - so they feed you all these lies and bullshit to try to make you believe things that are good for them but bad for you - and as people slowly start to become aware of this, they get cynical about everything, and that does not make for a good or happy society, and when your society is not good or happy, it is hard for you to be happy, or to do things to make your family happy, without a great deal of stress - so very, very unnecessary - the selfishness and greed and short-sightedness and stupidity of a few, fucking things up for so many. But as a good friend often says - they will keep doing it as long as they can get away with it, as long as the rewards of such behaviour outweigh the consequences, there is no incentive for them to desist.
And where are those consequences, or the removal of the rewards, going to come from, Grasshopper? Think long and carefully on that question, and when you have the answer, it will be time for you to leave the temple and test your wisdom in the world of the Capitalist.
Neville soon carries on: With a string of budgetary surpluses since 1997, Canada has done better in remaining free of deficits than major economies such as the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain or Italy. But as Canadian economist Dale Orr points out in a recent report, this is mostly because our taxes have remained comparatively high.... says Mr. Orr, managing director of Canadian Macro Services for Global Insight (Canada), Toronto. He notes that if Canada's tax burden were reduced to the U.S. level, we would have a relatively much larger budgetary deficit than our neighbour to the south.
RM: Up until very recently keeping free of budgetary deficits was one of the Neocon guiding lights, and in the name of this god they demanded, and got, huge cutbacks to many government expenditures, most notably things like healthcare and education (for some reason it wasn't felt appropriate to cut back on the salaries of the MPs who had got us into the mess in the first place - but in good corporate tradition, the managers who do the most damage get the biggest raises and bonuses (could we call them rewards for services rendered, esp with the MPs, do you suppose, o truth seeker?), and so the corporate philosophy has spread to the corporate sub-branch government) - but now, damn, they say, following along faithfully in the footsteps of the certifiable neocon economists of the US, balanced budgets are a thing of the past, HAHAHAHA BE FREE AND SPEND SPEND SPEND!!! - big deficits are just great, especially if they arise from tax cuts - a hundred fucking BILLION in cuts is NOT ENOUGH!!!. Lower our taxes MORE, and let somebody else worry about the friggin deficit, seems to be the cry (somewhat different than the debt and deficit chains we were shackling our children and grandchildren with unto the 10th generation cry of a few years ago!!!). Although, of course, they don't phrase it quite like that, nor do they care to try to justify this sudden switch in policy - counting, I suppose, on the fact that the average taxpayer has a rather short memory in the first place, and if they aren't told to think about something on tv they probably won't get around to it - and even if some irate readers do write in asking about this, the MPs can just ignore them or send them some gobbledegook from the Fraser Institute like it was the very word of God (or perhaps Thomas Freidman) himself, and the Pispot certainly isn't going to print any letters from malcontents and terrorists yapping about irrelevancies like consistency!
All based, of course, on more selective and unsourced stats from our Mr. Neville - and I just don't have time to get into, for instance, who the hell is Mr. Orr and Canadian Macro Services for Global Insight and why the hell should we believe anything he says?? If the Pispot is quoting them favourably, they're probably some other neocon front group like the Fraser institute, whose credibility in real life is pretty small to anyone without the requisite tv-indoctrination hours - but that's how these people work - typical con man stuff, the hand is faster than the eye, and the belief that they can sell the most outrageous BS to the Canadian public is founded on long years of success.
And on we go -
In some areas last year, there were some particularly sharp spending increases. .... Health care transfers rose 7.5% ... Payments to the CBC increased 7%.
RM: One must wonder here - is this the new philosophy of the Pispot? - "History starts very recently! - pick a date that will help us show what we want to show, and never mind everything else!" - it's an old trick of people who manipulate stats to make some dishonest point - I mean that is to say, dear Neville - if health care transfers did indeed rise 7.5%, that can only be measured from their level **after several years of program slashing, and they still have a loooong way to go to get back to anything resembling sufficient funding (remember Martin's big brag last year - as a percent of GDP, social spending is now, in Canada under the Libs, at its lowest point in about 40 friggin years!! - what a thing to brag about!! - and the Neocons do most assuredly NOT want any increases in that low low percentage, but to slash it ever and ever more!)
(and it is more than of passing interest that "debt service charges" are still eating up about 25% of the budget, have been for 20 years, over a fucking TRILLION DOLLARS transferred from Canadian taxpayers to wealthy investors through this odious, usurious theft if there ever was such a thing, yet NOBODY in the rightwing media says even a fucking whisper about it and that is the Neocon Agenda, in short, in huge letters for everyone to see who has eyes to see with...). Likewise the CBC, which has been totally gutted over the last decade or so - they need a hell of a lot more than 7% to even get back to where they used to be when they had sufficient funding to give Canadians a decent alternative to the Izzys and Suns and Citizens in this country - but again the very last thing the neocons want, any sort of decent journalism in this country - the CBC is almost on its last legs, and they want it BURIED, not resurrected! But again, this is the kind of statistical shit that the Pispot is famous for - when they aren't outright lying, they are selectively choosing bits and pieces that seem to support their Elitist agenda.
Just a few more - you're probably as tired of being exposed to such nonsense as I am: Measured by the usual yardstick of income per capita, our standard of living remains about 20% below that of the United States. The productivity performance of several European countries and Australia has also been outpacing ours.... Canada has also been trailing many other economies in attracting inflows of foreign business investment. These were down about 20% last year, while in Australia they tripled. Our share of global foreign business investment has been slipping now for more than a decade. This should be a major policy concern. Cross-border business investment often brings with it state-of-the- art technology, research-and-development commitments, managerial expertise and important trade-expansion linkages. This helps improve productivity.
RM: Standard of living as measured by per capita income - only the neocons use this "standard" anymore - modern countries (i.e European) are changing to various types of quality-of-life measures, and by almost any of these Canada leads the world, or is in the top few countries - we have been losing ground lately, of course, by leaps and bounds, actually, as we turn more and more to American style policies which measure money first, and the effects of the slashing of every program to promote citizen well-being starts to be felt (i.e. Walkerton, SARS, more and more young people from poorer families unable to go to university, etc). The money-per-capita measurement is really not very indicative, when you think of it - I mean, as they say, if Bill Gates moved to Canada, the per capita income would go up by something like $3,000 per head - but not a single person in the country would have more money!! - so take Gates, the Walmart people, and a few more like that, get them to come to Canada, and overnight our per capita income would double!!!!!! - but would we be better off? Well, I suppose in Neville's rather blinkered view, of course!!! - as old airbrain said, a mind is a terrible thing to waste, if you had one in the first place. But aside from simple money (we shouldn't get too far from this - there is a huge difference between people like the Elitists who measure everything by how much money they have, and most other people, who have a lot of indicators that are much more important quality-of-life indicators - we could, one supposes, feel some pity for those who are so fucked up they think only of money - but not until we get them under control), Neville overlooks such things as the number of Americans without health insurance of any sort, the number (scores of thousands at least) who lose their homes each year, forced into bankruptcy through medical bills; or the horrendous poverty-based violence in that country, the number of children carrying guns to school - and using them! - these things DO matter to most Canadians, when assessing their standard of living, and it is why poll after poll after poll indicates that Canadians LIKE things the way they are in Canada, and do NOT want to be more like Neville's masters in the land down south. I don't have any poll results, but it might be interesting to do someday - I would strongly expect that a solid majority of Canadians, if asked, would be willing to let Neville and his other pro-American buds on the Pispot and at the Fraser and other hotbeds of wannabe-Americanism just pack up and leave, little office party, fergit the watch we can't afford it, byebye. Measure your per capita income in the US, there, Neville, with Gates and the Walmart guys and all the corporate crooks who have gotten fabulously rich by looting the US treasury and American pension funds, and see how it all stacks up - but we really don't want you and your retro ideas here.
And THEN he goes on about declining foreign investment (these people have either no shame or no brains, or maybe it's that history thing again), again using unsourced stats with no context, for good reason - foreign investment has been declining because THERE'S HARDLY ANYTHING LEFT OF ANY FUCKING VALUE TO BUY!!! - all the major stuff has been bought up since Mulroney opened the auction block 15 fucking years ago Neville!!! (something like 95% of this foreign investment has been just buying up stuff, not creating new stuff - so add the profits to the southward flow - that's sure great for us too baby!!) - and let's get serious with the crap about ...Cross-border business investment often brings with it state-of-the- art technology, research-and-development commitments, managerial expertise and important trade-expansion linkages. This helps improve productivity... - this is Grade A BS that somebody writing for the Pispot ought to be well aware of - if a US company buys up a Canadian company, head office jobs, R&D, managerial expertise, and etc are going to LEAVE Canada!, not come here!! Americans do business to make America and Americans richer - not other people!!! - this ain't rocket science, Neville, are you really that thick? I know writing for the Pispot doesn't engender creative thinking or anything, but still.... (that was sarcasm, actually - Neville and his editors know damn well they're preaching crap, and they do quite a bit of creative (if shallow) thinking - but it ain't for their consumption... neoCONmen - right??)
Ok - last outrageous bit in this Agenda Deconstruction of the day, before we all lose our milk and cookies:
It's true that our government finances are in much better shape now than 10 years ago, but a major chunk of our tax dollars still gets eaten up by public debt charges. While these have been declining, our public debt burden remains relatively higher than the United States. Many economists also think that as the recent big U.S. tax-cut package starts to kick in, its economy will outperform us again in terms of GDP growth.... Further tax cuts in Canada for individuals and businesses would encourage greater economic activity and faster job growth. They would also force our governments to be more prudent about their expenditures....
RM: Well, if you've been here before, you know what we think of the Canadian so-called debt - but given that it has been pretty much THE main eater of Canadian tax dollars the last 20 years or so, it's interesting that Neville or his buds at the Pispot et al have never devoted some of their time to things we might do to reduce that huge, endless outflow he seems so concerned about here (we all do know the phrase "crocodile tears", right?) - things like getting the Bank of Canada, at the ORDER of the Federal government which has constitutional and legal control of the money supply in the country, to simply issue to the government the amount of cash that the national money supply is expected to increase by each year - there is no way this can be called inflationary, but it would prevent the banks themselves from just creating that money out of thin air (give that a bit of thought, if you will - and try to figure why the Federal government is allowing the banks to do this, and then borrowing the money they need from the banks, and paying them endlessly 25%+ of your tax dollars year after year after year, while crying budgetary deficit and slashing health care and so on) - if they had been doing this for the past 20 years, there would be NO FUCKING FEDERAL DEBT!!!!! NO FUCKING DEFICIT!!!! NO FUCKING FALLING APART HEALTH CARE SYSTEM!!!! - isn't it odd that you would never hear any of this stuff (even minus the "expletive deleted"s) in the Pispot, which cares so much about our fiscal health?!?!? Sure it is - about that
What crap these people feed us all the time. And his last bit, about the Canadian public debt being higher than the US, relatively speaking? Again, we must ask, where is he getting his info? From what year?!?! Since Bush started slashing the taxes for the rich in that country, their (+/-) $250 Billion surplus when Clinton left has done a complete about-face into a (+/-) $250 Billion DEFICIT this year under the Uber-Neocon Bush cabal - and their national debt is something over $5 TRILLION!! - and most economists (reputable ones, that is) are figuring with the drop in income of the US government over the next few years due to these tax cuts, and other fiscal problems caused by the looting of the treasury and pension funds and another few TRILLION bucks unaccounted for in the Pentagon, not to mention the billions lost by the Enron-etc shit (the Bush people, and Clinton before, have shifted a lot of their debt onto the states, not unlike Ernie in Ontario has shifted big amounts of Ontario debt down onto municipalities, half of which are basically bankrupt - hey, why aren't we hearing about that in the Pispot?!?!), their debt is heading for $40 (yes FOURTY!!) Trillion!!! in the next decade or so - on a relative basis, that would translate to something in the order of a $4 trillion debt for Canada!!! - anyways, that is speculation, the four trillion, but the Bush deficit caused by his tax cuts is real enough and the direction it's heading - and that's the kind of voodoo economics that Neville and the Pispot advocate - demand, really - for Canada.
And where does that fit into agenda analysis? Well, it's the history thing again, about those who refuse to learn from it being forced to repeat it - if Neville and his buds get their big tax cuts, and Canada then inevitably starts to amass big deficits and a once-again exploding debt (surely to god no-one is buying their "trickle-down" stuff this time around!!) - guess, just fucking guess, what the next step is 3-4-5 years down the road, as the national debt once again takes off? A new "panic" on the part of the Pispot about out-of-control debt, and how we have to slash whatever the fuck is left of the social infrastructure of this country to deal with it.
And you can take that to the fucking bank. Tell them some fucking Rude Macedon sent you, and he wants to know what the fuck you think you're doing now?!?!?!?!?!?!?
LATE - out for dinner last night, wound up sitting more or less under a television tuned to some game show - sounded like a bunch of chickens cackling in brainless-chicken panic at the face of a fox at the door to their abode or something - even though I have had little but despite for this thing for years, I still found it difficult to credit the utter stupidity, the utter brainlessness, of the whole procedure, an endless spectacle of mindless words and laughing and cackling, a band of loonies egging each other on - and undoubtedly being followed and mimicked by millions around the country, and similar spectacles in every country on earth!!! What an outcome, what a state, for what had or has the potential to be one of the great species in the universe! - the human brain, or at least such a thing in some individuals who seem to have had a working one, of which we are still using less than 50% according to most scientific estimates, has performed some of the most profound and subtle and amazing feats over the past few tens of thousands of years, produced any number of individuals who would be welcomed with pride in any civilised universe - and yet we are still balanced on the knife edge between survival and entrance into some galactic civilisation, and ignominious oblivion, with the great mass of humanity behaving like lobotomized chickens. Whatever the Dark Side is to the universe or our own corner of it, it must surely laugh in glee and revel in what most of humanity has allowed itself to become! It is, indeed, to weep, and despair. And resolve to keep clawing at the tall, dark wall of the cave, but with just a small amount less enthusiasm or hope. (I see a fade to black here, with a great cackling burst of laughter echoing from dark Satanic mills, evil face glimpsed through the filth spewing from the smokestacks, as a lonely figure, head bowed, trudges over a barren, deforested hill and disappears in the fading light... a straggling band is seen following the figure just before final fadeout, and a brief, muted flash of light from over the hill... we love ambiguity in this house...)
(no that figure ain't me - I'm back in the box in the corner trying to climb out of it, waving my arms and screaming WHAT THE FUCK ARE ALL YOU PEOPLE DOING??????????)
Write if ya want.
So much left to say, so little time to say it in - probably only a year or so to the next federal election - do you want to try to save Canada in that frantic four weeks when big Paul drops the writ and EVERY friggin advantage is his - or would you like to start now, when we have some sort of outside chance? Canada for Canadians Coalition - get involved.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: With thanks to the Editors of the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen, Ch'town Guardian, Vancouver Sun, and others I cannot think of at the moment, for their refusal to print my letters over the last few years on various issues of national import - had I even a hope of being printed occasionally in these fora and my voice acknowledged in the national debate, I would undoubtedly have not bothered putting all this together. Cheers!