The Veritas Morgue
Some Essays on the General Situation
other 'outside the box' readings
"Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth." - Henry David Thoreau
It's every man for himself, the elephant said as he danced among the chickens.
- Tommy Douglas
In this world, we are all butterflies and we need to be mindful of what can happen when we flap our wings
- David Suzuki
Case study: Canada - a managed democracy
Nov 6 CBC (Island Morning, Ch'town)
Dear Island Morning,
I just listened to the interview (Monday morning, Nov 6) with the lady who thought some department of education brochures were too advanced for average parents to read. She read the introductory sentence as an example, and I was left shaking my head - the sentence was fine, perfectly clear and understandable. She complained that it had 30 words or something - but adults are supposed to be able to deal with more complex ideas than 'see jane run. see spot run too.' etc, aren't they?
It seems to me that by presenting the story in the way you did, you are supporting the 'dumbing down' of society which has been going on for far too many years - as evidenced by both your interviewee and your decision to present this story with no balancing commentary. It may well be that the brochure the parents received about helping with math was a bit over some of their heads in terms of comprehension (although it was interesting that you had no examples of anyone who said this, just a complaint from one person who felt that it might be) - but even if it is, that should not be an excuse to write it down, it should be a headsup that maybe the education system is not only malfunctioning now - it has been malfunctioning for quite a long time, and we are seeing the results in adult members of our society who cannot readily understand a clear and straightforward English sentence with a couple of clauses and more than ten words (this isn't a new problem - I entered UPEI (biology) in 1981, and even then every incoming student was forced to take a remedial English course). Maybe it's time to turn off the televisions everyone watches several hours each day, which do NOT improve one's mental abilities, and get back to a bit more reading.
And maybe, in an equally important sense, it is time for the media to start working on this as well.
I was astounded at the 'journalism' instructor you interviewed as part of the same story - and it added some light to the picture, as if this kind of person is teaching in our colleges, it is no wonder people are getting stupider. This person really ought to be fired. Any teacher who tells his students to never open a dictionary or thesaurus has no business in a real classroom influencing any young people at all, let alone journalism students! - and I guess, to judge from a number of the reporters I hear on the radio, and the interview with one of their victims, the lady with the brochure, we are seeing the results - a herd of lowest-common-denominator citizens being told about their society by another herd of lowest-common-denominator reporters - and all proud of it, as the lady's imprecations to get that brochure down to her level of understanding demonstrate clearly, and the journalism teacher's defence of her right to have what she desires, and his right to turn out semi-literate 'reporters'.
It should not be the job of the reporter to suss out the lowest common denominator in society and write to that level - a good journalist should be trying to educate his or her readers - that's what the job is all about, actually, isn't it? And if their readers, or listeners, cannot deal with a brochure written with the assumption that it was to be read by reasonably intelligent and literate adults - not rocket scientists, just reasonably educated normal citizens - then I would suggest that it is time to have a look at a lot of things.
Well, I could go on at length but won't, as I don't really remember many of the particulars of the story beyond what I have noted above - but the Canadian media in general has been doing a somewhat less than stellar job these last few years in many respects. If you want a bit more on this in general, you could check out Green Island Veritas, where I try to do some of the things the journalism instructor ought to be doing in terms of media criticism, but quite evidently is not.
Nov 3 -
Let It Be by the Beatles - or, more accurately, Paul McCartney.
I haven't been moved by anything this much in a long time. I was around 20 when the Beatles broke up - I was completely devastated. They were like gods or something - I was young and stupid still, a state I retained for many years after that, but that is a story for another time. I understand much more now about how the Beatles were used by the propaganda people who run our society to give people like myself and many others a distraction to keep us away from doing more useful things with our rebellious inclinations, a role for most 'pop' music that has become even more refined these days, and more powerful - but still, they were incredible as musicians, and they did do a great deal to at least open some doors, if not actually leading the way through them. Some things we have to do for ourselves.
But that is stuff for another day - the vid moved me so much because you can see so well the pain in Paul's eyes and face and, when you understand things better, the true meaning behind the words of the song - I see now what I had never understood before, that with this song he was writing about the breakup of the Beatles, the ending of his amazing friendship and musical collaboration with John that had brought both of them, and so many others, so far.
When I find myself in times of trouble - facing the breakup. Look at the look on his face as the tape begins - like a person who has just received a terrible blow, been told some terrible news.
Mother Mary comes to me - entirely symbolic, we all have something we turn to 'in times of trouble'
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be .. - what else can you do after the fights are over and you see your life falling away in front of you? Beg for a return to the way things were - let it be ... I now know this feeling from some very hard times in my own life, a feeling I did not really know at the time the song first came out, teenage 'heartbreaks' being nothing more than a pale shadow of real sorrow -
- and then we have the first shots of George and John - sitting apart, in dark settings, a bit of oo-ing in the background (Ringo never does make an appearance in this vid, except for being seen in one background shot behind Paul, very dimly, which is sad but not unfitting, as he was never one of the real 'talents' of the Beatles magic - George too was in the background, but more involved as a writer and a central part of the magic of the music overall with his guitar work, and it was obvious he had a lot of soul and would feel the breakup deeply as well - )
When all the broken hearted people living in the world agree, there will be an answer, let it be - it is obvious that Paul is the broken-hearted one here, it shows so much in his eyes, on his face, in his words - I feel like I met the guy for the first time today, never seeing him before as a real human being with feelings and the rest of it -
But though they may be parted, there is still a chance that they will see - what could be more obvious - there is still some hope that the parted friends will somehow get back together
- but then the shot switches again to John - and this time we see Yoko sitting nearby - still in the dark, very sombre appearance, basically their faces are lighted in heavy shadow with nothing else, John looking down at his guitar, reflective, nobody looking at the camera, John's only vocal contribution a very soft 'ooo'-ing, pursed lips, looking downwards - this is Paul's show all the way, today, although John was always the heart of the band -
And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me - Pauls' affirmation of himself, something all survivors do no matter the tragedy - something we all have to do as life throws us all who survive some pretty hard blows - but boy, the hurt is showing in his eyes -
Shine until tomorrow, let it be - there will be no sorrow, let it be - - he tries to give a little scream at the end, perhaps a last attempt to rejuvenate old memories, but it goes nowhere and he turns to the piano and ends it - it ends -
- but there was a lot of sorrow when it ended, Paul, and much more to come - but the light you guys lit still shines on too, in the lives of the many of us who went through some of those doors you opened, and went on down the path - believe it. believe it.
Nov 3 CNEWS
In the box: - - Global health study rates Canada low -
Out of the box: - and not a single WORD about 20+ years of slashed funding for health care and every other so-called social program, about Paul Martin bragging that spending on social programs (as % of GDP) was at its lowest in 50 years under his excellent management (read cuts, cuts and more cuts), about 20 years of slashing corporate taxes, about Big Business STILL complaining about 'too much taxes!!' - and virtually every party promising more tax cuts - and etc and etc.
Life in the Box - full frontal lobotomy. And lovin it.
Oct 29 - CNEWS
In the box: - - Softwood legal fees tops $40 million - and that's not all - ...According to numerous government sources, once the expenses of the federal government, the provinces, individual forest companies and Canadian forestry lobby groups are all added up, the legal tab rises to more than $300 million..."
Out of the box: - - after the bankers, these people are the next ones who really need to be reigned in, and quickly. There's a big difference between a society based on laws, and a society run by lawyers, who create the laws that they say only they can interpret etc etc - it's deeper than just a gang of lawyers looking out for themselves, of course, with the entire 'justice' system acting as a buffer between We the People and the elite who run the country - we are well indoctrinated with the 'fact' that we must live in a system of laws, and we do, and the judge gang are all really smart people who do no wrong, so if the legal system and judges find against us, then we must be wrong (notice how all your friends will say the same thing, no matter how badly you've been screwed around, they have been well trained to respond that, heck, you're just chewing sour grapes because the great Canadian justice system is always fair and impartial, etc and etc). Lies and lawyers. The second arm of the great trimumvirate ruling the country and world. An evil bunch altogether.
Oct 28 - CBC 'in-depth' article on inflation etc Part II
(if this is your first look here, you might want to check out the first part of this first)
Oh golly, but if the gov printed money we'd just all wind up with really rampant inflation - everyone knows that!!!!
- mmmhmmm, like everyone knows Canada is a great democracy or something. Like kids know there is a Santa Claus who is watching to see if they're naughty or nice. Like George and half of America knew Saddam had WMD. Like - well, you get the idea. And this inflation mythology is one of those things that 'everybody knows' that needs a closer look - which is what 'in-depth' stuff is supposed to do, at least in places where outfits like the CBC don't control the standards. Onward macdurf.
(From the horse's mouth or whatever, the Bank of Canada webiste, FAQ page: ...4. Why doesn't the Bank of Canada just print enough money to pay off the national debt? - (A) Because doing so would reduce the value of our money, raise interest rates, and undermine the growth of the economy — the exact opposite of our goals. .... If the Bank were to print money to repay the national debt or to finance government programs, it would be adding greatly to the amount of money in circulation...
- actually, nobody is suggesting the BofC print up 500 billion dollars and pay off the national debt in one fell swoop, at least that I've ever heard or read, and I've been cruising this hood for awhile trying to suss out what is actually happening with all this money-economics stuff in Canada. That notion is just something the people who like things the way they are toss out as a red herring sort of idea, a straw dog they can ridicule while ignoring the real questions, the difficult questions, and thus attempt to quash the whole "national debt truth movement', if I might borrow a phrase sort of from another place. (it appears to be a movement of one at the moment, but heck, so was Christianity at one point, and look where it got to - imagine if 'the truth' ever got such a following!!))
Well, back to where we were.
Now, if you gave the money printing press to a bunch of kids and told em to run the country's money supply, you'd expect problems of the 'too much money suddenly in circulation!!' variety, at least with Canadian kids who aren't taught very well about a lot of things. But why would any sensible bunch of people do that? Actually, when you turn control of the money supply over to a bunch of people whose primary goal is maxing their own profits and ROI of their 'investors', and their business is based on loaning money, now THAT seems like a pretty bad idea to me - kind of like putting a gang of hopeless alcoholics in charge of the brewery or something. But, assuming 'we the people' had control of our government in some meaningful way, and were supervising our EMPLOYEES (do remember the theoretical relationship between the voters and the politicians-bureaucrats in a 'democracy', just assuming for the moment that Canadaland actually was one) at the Bank of Canada (which would be looking after the money supply), there's no good reason at all to assume the collective wisdom of the people of Canada would do something so stupid as start printing scads of money for everyone to go buy their favorite candy whatever it was (another red herring-cum-strawdog idea from the people fighting for the status quo).
I mean really - would you do that if you were suddenly given the responsibility of helping to formulate the money supply policy of Canada - just turn on the old printing press and start cranking er out? Would most of the people you consider to be sane and sensible citizens do that? All joking aside, of course not. So there you go. And to get back to where we started, or got to after a bit - if you were given the choice (or even a vote - isn't THAT a rad idea??!!!!) of (a) having the citizens of Canada oversee the nation's money supply in a publically transparent way, or (b) through secret meetings, a gang of bankers and their investors with known very high expectations of personal profits, and known to carry a variety of defective genes involved with greed (17% ROI etc), a proclivity to maxing corporate profits rather than the public weal, and a frequently demonstrated lack of honesty and integrity and things like that (but who do have a lot of experience in manipulating figures of all sorts) - which would you choose? Really. (if anyone ever asked you which, of course, they never, never, never will in Canadaland 'democracy' as it exists at this time - see Canada - A Managed Democracy for more on this, if you haven't already and don't have enough to read already)
We the people, or our Bank of Canada (at times our elected politicians did exercise their control somewhat more in the interests of we the people, a duty they have completely, and traitorously, adbicated over the last 30 years or so) have NEVER caused any inflation by goosing the money supply into 'rampant inflation' territory - but have we ever had inflation in Canada during the many years the banks have been controlling the money supply? (they got to the top of the (unofficial but real) decision-making process about 1980 or so, maybe a bit sooner; you can check out more about this at the COMER site - although this period of the early 80s, with its 20% interest rates, has a longer story to tell, to do with 'our' government financial people conspiring to push the national debt to desired levels in a short period of time - this whole story is quite complicated, even more in-depth than we are getting into here - but at least I'm showing you doors through which lie incredible things you can suss out for yourself until I get around to it rather than telling you all is well go back to your tv set....) Mmmmhmmm - of course we have, and sometimes pretty bad as we all know - so who has caused that inflation if not we the people? Actually, the banks have behaved so foolishly, so incompetently, with the money entrusted to them that there have been at least two major bank bailouts by the Canadian government just in the last 30 years, one in the early 80s and one in the early 90s (read around the COMER site for more info on this and much else). Maybe - just maybe - the banks are not such great people to be trusting to create our money supply, if they can't control themselves, or be controlled by whoever is supposed to be overseeing them in the government?
Maybe this has something to do with the reason we never see this discussed in the mainstream media, or on the Bank of Canada website, but we get these 'in-depth' stories on the CBC and elsewhere that inflation is just some mysterious thing that nobody really knows where it comes from golly gee, but has, you know, something to do with too much money, or too much demand for too few goods, stuff like that you know - but it's nothing you people really ought to be worrying about, leave it to the people in charge of things. Or something.
So there we have point A, in response to the CBC's apparent inability (or let's just be honest here, 'disinclination' might be the correct word, or we could even go on to 'no f***ing way jose!!!' if you want to get even closer to the truth) to provide an answer to a central question - when inflationary pressures are felt because there is too much money in the country - we know where to point the accusatory finger.
(And one might point out as well that when we do have some sort of 'hot economy', with too much money driving up prices everywhere - it is NOT the average sort of person doing all this crazy spending, although that is certainly the impression the writers of the mainstream 'analyses' try to present - you damned ordinary peasants bidding up the price of bread and kraft dinner and hamburger with all that extra money you have causing all this terrible inflation!!!!! - no, it is the banks and their rich 'investors' driving up stock prices primarily that heats things up in the global casino they have turned our various economies into, and as all of their craziness trickles down and interest rates climb and prices rise, it is the average person who pays for it all, while deriving no benefits whatsoever as their wages or salaries continually lag behind the inflation. Think, now - a generation or two ago, in the post-war years through the early 70s at least, one person working at a half-decent job could support a family comfortably, including owning their own home - now, 30 years later after the things I have talked about above and others, only the very few people with a pretty top-level job can do that, and your 'average' family now has to have two people working to provide the same standard of living as one person working could do only a few years ago - and THAT is what 'inflation' is really all about. We'll revisit this shortly.)
And what about their second possibility, that maybe this darned old inflation is caused by a great demand by we darn old greedy robot-like consumers with too much money to spend trotting around from mall to mall looking for products which are not available in sufficient supply, and thus bidding them up to some unnatural price or something, causing prices to rise overall? I'm just trying to think of one single example (outside of the foolish one-time things like the run on cabbage patch dolls at xmas one year), and can't get there, let alone the whole bunch of things that would have to be unavailable over a certain minimum period of time to create any serious inflationary pressure.
I can never, in Canada, recall going to a grocery store and not finding the shelves full of food, or the local department store for some clothes or the Canadian Tire for some houseware or any other store for any other gadget and finding nothing to buy that day - not once, not ever (sure they might be out of stock temporarily sometimes, but you can either go across the stree to the competition and get whatever it is, or wait until it comes in next week - but never, never, never NEVER has somebody said, 'Oh well, Customer B wants that item too and our supplies are limited - would you care to make me an offer?" - which is the supposed scenario, in many, many products, the CBC et al want us to suppose causes 'inflation' in Canada - very obvious nonsense, when looked at in any sort of detail (beyond a CBC 'in-depth' analysis, at any rate - their 'in-depth' is beginning to look decidedly shallow)).
I suppose a possible exception would be a house, but there seems to be a lot of for sale signs around everywhere I have been, and the 'real estate available' tabs seem to be available on every street corner of every town or city as well, something for almost every budget it seems, with the possible exception of 'I sleep over subway grates', but poor people (the major victims of inflation, as the most unprotected) can hardly be accused of engaging in a bidding war of some sort over anything at all and driving up prices and causing inflation, so I don't think there's really a housing 'shortage' in any actual inflationary sense (that's not to say that sellers won't attempt to create some demand for something and get people bidding a price up in something like a house, but that does not mean there is some sort of house shortage - this would be more in the nature of the previous point, perhaps to whatever extent the dealers can do this, it simply means there's a bit too much money around (at least in certain income brackets) leading people to behave like this (both sellers and buyers) - but no shortage).
So what generalized sort of shortage of stuff in Canada, anytime, can you tell me, ever caused inflation, at least in Canada? We do see things like gasoline prices regularly spiking, but there's never any shortage - you can have all you want, but you just pay more for it - which may be involved with inflation, but from a somewhat different perspective than people with too much money chasing some product in short supply - people who control some sort of monopoly of an important product deciding to inflate their profits by hiking prices as high as they can get away with when there is no competition which, if involving a widely used and necessary product such as gasoline or heating oil in Canada, maintained and even increased over time, might well create some sort of ripple effect leading to inflation - sort of odd the CBC 'in-depth' report would overlook something so obvious (and if you really believe the major oil companies do not act in collusion with some form of price fixing, you really have no business reading what you're reading here - begone to your 'See Dick and Jane Play!! how happy they are in honest, totally incorruptible (including the various parliamentary committees which regularly find there is no price collusion among our good friends the oil people) Canadaland!!' books).
Actually, about the only thing people are regularly unable to acquire enough of, it seems, is money - and there's no actual shortage of that around, as the supply keeps increasing every year, it's just being accumulated elsewhere. (which we'll look at a bit more in a bit - it is of some importance (which you can tell, actually, because the MSM NEVER talk about this)).
So that notion of 'insufficient goods/services to fill demand' seems like pure fantasy to a true 'in-depth' analysis concerning the causes of inflation and the attendent problems - something apparently taken (as with the previous 'too much money in circulation' notion) from an 'economics' text book based on models and theories and having nothing much to do with the real world.
So if it isn't too much money, or too few goods - what does cause inflation? - for it surely is a factor in the economy, with prices rising regularly, leading to all kinds of not very good things for we the people over the years as the amount of money the average person has, in relation to the amount of money that person (with family usually) needs to simply maintain the once normal lifestyle continues to decrease, so it would help if we understood all this a bit better, as a first step to perhaps doing something about it.
Well - one rather very obvious thing is not mentioned in the 'causes of inflation' in the CBC 'in-depth' report on 'inflation' - and that is simply what we touched on in a different way a while back - bank interest charged on the money those banks create.
Just think about that for a second - how can that process - creating most (90+%) of the nation's money supply, and then LOANING it to the nation and the people therein at profitable rates of interest - NOT be inflationary, and often very much so? How, indeed, can this practice not be the single central cause of all inflation?
Even if you personally happen to be one of the few (that would be something under 10%) who have their financial affairs well in hand and are not being directly impacted with a lot of interest payments, still, most of the people you are doing business with, buying products or services, are being so impacted, and they are going to be passing on their interest charges to you in the form of increased prices. Tell me you haven't seen increased prices in everything over the years.
So - taking the whole economy together, with an average sort of interest rate for the 95% of the money in circulation that is borrowed money and thus carries an interest charge, it is obvious that every year the overall economy loses (approx) at least 5% of its value because it has to pay that 5% of its worth to the people who create the money supply (and no, you cannot say the banks are just another business in the loop so it is simply transferring money around the circle but the total remains the same - that notion works for the rest of us 'normal' people and businesses, but NOT for the people who create the money in the first place - the 'real' bucks that go into the bank do NOT come back out again except to create further interest-demanding obligations on the rest of us - truly the prime exemplar of the 'vicious circle'). Which then means that everyone's average net worth is reduced by the same 5% in terms of the buying power of your money - that is, you need 5% more money just to stay where you were. Each year.
Think about it.
This gets obfusticated, of course, by various things - the fact that the banks are busy lending more and more money each year so the GDP appears to be growing rather than diminishing - but don't forget about the interest attached to all the new money as well, and if you just close your eyes and let this whole thing sort itself out as the pieces start to fall into place, you can soon see that it is nothing more than the mother of all pyramid-Ponzi-bubble schemes, and there can be only one outcome in the end. To put it in terms we used when I was younger, it is a long walk off a short pier. But by the time We the People fall off the end, as all lemmings eventually do, the bankers will be on their great yachts sailing off into the sunset, and all we'll hear is the mocking laughter of every successful Ponzi artist - 'Haha so long sucker'.
It is also obfuscated by the fact that the MSM, as evidenced by the CBC 'in-depth' article that started all of this, not only refuses to talk about any of this, but is quite actively involved in trying to hide the real situation from everyone, as can be seen at almost every step of the process I have talked about above.
Well, growing late again. Time to sign off for this installment.
But that's just the basics - figure out the REAL fun stuff that is coming next time, if you can (we encourage thinking for yourself on Green Island - but also provide some help for those who haven't managed to step out of the cave yet).
Oct 28/06 - VID ALERT
Stop!! Don't go to the TV!!!! - - here is an excellent vid available on Google Vid, which is turning out to be a prime repository of Out of the Box stuff we need (as well as a lot of garbage, of course, but that is good camoflage I suppose) - Arundhati Roy in her evidently famous Come September speech. Funny world - people like her are called rebels and radicals and other worse stuff, and people like Bush and Harper and the like get to run the place. Doesn't say much for the human race as a whole. Or something.
Oct 24/06 - CBC
In the box: - - INDEPTH: ECONOMY - Inflation FAQs (!!!!!!!!)
Out of the box (GI Economics Part I): - Hmmmmmm.... This might qualify as 'in-depth' for box people, but it would get nothing better than a D- from any Green Islander with more than, say, a 4th grade education (in GI, 'education' actually means that, rather than 'indoctrination first, second and always', as in Canadaland and most capitalist 'democracies'). Anyone, that is to say, old enough to understand there is no Santa Claus, and tales suitable for children don't really have much to do with the way the real world works. Believe it, the kid who, with a puzzled sort of look on his face, turned and said, "But Mamma, the man has no clothes at all, let alone a magnificent new ensemble ..?!?!?" - was a GISlander (yea, our kids know words like that - we take them magnificent young sponge brains and turn em loose in the great and beautiful garden of knowledge, rather than trying to stuff them into a dark Pavlovian box reacting to certain stimuli so that certain people can be as kings, which means that many people must be as peasants...).
Anyway, back to the CBC 'in-depth' story. From the beginning. The best they can come up with for the causes of inflation is that 'experts disagree - it might be too much money in circulation, or it might be rising prices...'. Brilliant, Holmes, just brilliant.
But then what we really need to know is why there is either too much money floating around, or why prices are rising. And these are discussions the CorpCan managers apparently don't really want people thinking about much - which is somewhat understandable to those of us out of the forest and looking at it all with some perspective, as such questions could lead to some pretty bad places for said managers, as the thinking people started to understand some things about their country - sort of like Toto pulling back a curtain and revealing - AHHHH!!!!!
Re your 'in-depth: economy' series. Might I suggest an upgrade to a new dictionary perhaps, or something? That is to say, 'in-depth' generally means something more than your opening salvo suggesting that inflation is caused by rising prices and/or too much money floating around - this is actually about as useful as telling someone that floods are caused by rising water. What we really need to deal with - and what one might expect when reading an 'in-depth' piece - is why the water is rising - why, that is to say, in relation to inflation, there is too much money in circulation and/or those prices are rising?
And from this somewhat deeper (more 'depth', that is to say) perspective, with a little additional information the student of such things brings to the discussion, our high school students from here on Green Island might pen a slightly different article than you have managed so far.
For instance, to begin with, the 'too much money in circulation leads to inflation' idea is fine - but the questioning mind (as noted above) immediately wonders - but where does that money come from, then? It's a bit odd the article says nothing at all about this. We all well know it is against the law for your average citizen to get one of the new printers that print anything at all and start running off some bills, so the new money isn't coming from We the Normal Citizen types - so from where? Raining from the sky like manna during the night while we the people sleep in our comfortable beds? maybe from our generous neighbour, the USofA, to the south, we hear constantly from their current president how they only want really good stuff for all the people in the world and since they are so rich maybe they're helping us out or something? charitable donations from rich people here in Canada to help their loyal workers who make such prosperity for them? Santa Claus?
We are, I suspect, supposed to just assume somehow that our money supply is brought to us courtesy of our government, like all other good things. This, however, turns out to be not the case.
With a bit of searching around, one finds that most of the Canadian money supply is essentially created from thin air by - drum roll - nononono!!!! - not the government of Canada - but by private banks!!!! (confirmation from the Bank of Canada website - about half way through, in the 'Interest rates control money supply' bit). The origination of most of the Canadian money supply is actually in the form of loans of various sorts - loans to people, businesses - or governments. Loan application, loan approval, tap tap tap on the computer, and that deposit of XX $$ is there in a bank account. This is not money the banks have on deposit from other people and are sort of recycling, which is the story the readers of your 'in-depth' report have been told in the minimalist economics lessons at the minimalist schools of Canada (that fantasy actually went out the window a long, long, long time ago although the schools keep sort of recycling it for the simple-minded folk encouraged by Canadian schools - simple-minded enough to believe that an 'in depth' CBC report is actually anything remotely so - in reality, though, now and for quite some years, the banks just essentially create money as they desire from nothing. Since the early 1990s, there have not even been any of the 'reserve' requirements to keep a sort of control on how much they create. But more on that later).
The Canadian money supply is in the neighborhood of one trillion dollars (I am forced to resort to 'ballpark' figures here, as getting accurate information on this in some simple, straightforward form seems to be harder than getting a comment from some government official who appears to have done something reprehensible but whose case is before the courts, but there are considerable indirect clues to it all one can suss out through some diligent research and reading (I'll provide a few references at the end of this short letter), and I am sure I am quite within a smallish ballpark with them), and the ratio is something like 5% of the Cdn money supply ($50 billion, give or take) is banknotes and coins provided by the Cdn gov, and all the rest is private bank-created figures in bank ledgers and computers shuffling around between people and businesses and those banks through various non-banknote transactions such as cheques and debit cards and bonds - and at pretty much every shuffle, the banks are taking a cut somehow, between their 'service charges' and outright 'interest'.
And at this point the questioning mind goes for a coffee refill. Or something, pondering some ramifications and stuff like that.
A good in-depth article might, somewhere around this point, attempt to explain why private banks have been granted this amazing priviledge in Canada, the creation of the bulk of the Canadian money supply, for anyone can see it is surely a great business opportunity for whoever gets the franchise - perhaps the greatest business opportunity in all of history, actually, with the possible exception of getting significant control of one of the major God Franchises.
But the questioning mind goes beyond this again (as in-depth things are expected to do), and wonders why such a very, very important part of the Canadian economy - surely the equivalent of the very blood flowing through the veins of a person's body in importance, affecting the smallest nooks and crannies of one's life as well as the major things - should be entrusted to private companies, making private profits, substantial private profits, via the 'interest' charges on the money they create and loan out to people - and it's not just a one-time shot, it keeps rolling around again and again, a golden goose if ever there was one, egg after egg after egg, never ending. And private corporations, that is to say, which are not being run for the common weal, but for private profit. Corporations whose very charters are known by law to put profit ahead of the common weal - corporate managers are quickly replaced if they put the interests of employees or citizens above their 'investors'. Given this licence, quite literally, to create money. In Canada. Hmmmm.
The questioning mind might well quest on here briefly to some immediately apparent tangents, some things like, oh, the great amazing Canadian National Debt. Those questioning minds with some grey overtop might recall the days of yore, when the Mulroney-Wilson team spent so much time telling Canadians that 'we' had just gotten like totally crazy with our spending on government programs during the days of that devil called Trudeau, and had run up this huge debt that was going to be like a great cannonball around our wee baby's necks for ever and ever and ever and ever, because the government just did not have enough money to do the things 'we' were demanding of it, and thus had had to borrow money (primarily, directly or indirectly) from the banks to cover their/our expenses (we note there was no mention during these days of a number of years of substantial corporate tax cuts which just MAY have contributed to that shortage of gov income, but that is a different sort of tangent for a different sort of essay - perhaps this one...). Mmmm-hmmmm - and during these great expositions of our shortsighted greed from our leaders of the day, one was sort of left with the impression that even though the government had no money, somehow the banks had enough money, somehow somewhere, to lend the government, and they would borrow it, but by golly, we darn Cdn spendthrifts were going to pay for it! - and we have, of course, we have, $30, 40, 50 billion dollars++ in 'interest' charges every year we've been paying over the last couple of decades for that money the government had borrowed and kept borrowing (so we were told), most of it to pay interest on the interest, actually, that old debt trap. If you add it all up over the last couple of decades, really we've paid far more in interest payments - around twice as much!!! - than the whole total amount of the money we still owe!! - loan sharks would be proud of this one.
But the problem is, the thinking, questioning mind carries on - if the banks just basically created that money out of thin air that the gov wanted/needed to 'borrow', and then played around with some computer ledgers and created the government accounts with it, and then started hauling in the (BIG!!!!) interest year after year after year after year etcetcetc - why didn't the government somehow just create that money itself, for We the People of Canada?
That is to say - who does the money supply of Canada belong to?
If Canada is a sovereign country, which we are certainly led to believe it is - then why aren't we creating our own money? How sovereign can we be, if we are letting some privately owned banks create almost our entire money supply, and then borrowing OUR money supply from those private banks? And then having our feet held to the fire, as it were, year after year after year, paying huge amounts of our tax money to those banks for what one would think would be OUR money?
This is hardly a theoretical or trivial question - over the last 20-odd years, we have paid well over a trillion dollars to private banks for the priviledge of using 'their' money (via the national 'debt') in OUR country - money that has not been spent on infrastructure, or education, or our health care system, and many other things - all of which have been deteriorating significantly during this period as the government claims to have no money for these and many other programs - while the banks, and their 'investors', of course, have been basically rolling in the money - they seem to be quite upset at anything under 17% or so ROI. As we all well know. But is that our job, as Canadians, as a 'sovereign' country, to subsidize wealthy bankers via our money supply?!?
Something odd here, it seems to me. That is to say, we all know from our life experiences that the person who controls the purse strings controls pretty much anything of importance in whatever field they have that control - and if We the People of Canada do not actually control our own purse strings - then - ?????
And there's quite a bit more I haven't even started on yet. maybe I should change my name to Pandora - there'a a lot of pretty grim-looking stuff in this money box I've opened - hopefully there'll be some hope somewhere at the end of this story ....
I gotta go and think on this for awhile.
Oct 23 Toronto Star
In the box: - - Canada should lead in Darfur - `Responsibility to protect' more than a slogan
Out of the box: - these guys talk a good story, but you really gotta wonder if it isn't just crocodile tears of some sort - or just maybe they are actually stuck in the box, and think this is the best they can do - with some people it's hard to figure - the modern indoctrination program is very powerful. Still, the 'solutions' they offer are partly sameold-sameold, and partly bandaid stuff - big bandaids, but still bandaids, as they are either ignoring or unaware of what really needs to be done. If you don't understand root causes of problems, you cannot get to real solutions.
For instance - here in Green Island, our solution to this problem (insofar as our small government had any influence on things in the big world and might get involved in a situation like this) would be thus.
First - tackle some of the main causes of the illness. Basic stuff, for those who think things through properly rather than making decisions based on extraneous factors (such as, as most CCIC-led Cdn govs have been doing the last 22 years since Mulroney was appointed CEO of CorpCanada and put er all up for sale, sucking up to the Imperial Power but not ever, of course, admitting you are doing so) and then trying to sell that decision to the public through a massive propaganda movement in the MSM, using whatever arguments seem most persuasive, with no reguard whatsoever to the 'truth' of such arguments ('truth' to capitalists being just another marketing tool to push the marks in the direction you want em to go). But looking at things realistically from outside the shadowy box-full-o-lies where perspective lives, in this case, dealing with some warlike situation, as in most other similar things around the world, we have to get a grip on one thing first - armaments.
The people doing the fighting in this conflict are NOT producing their own guns and bullets and bombs and explosives and RPGs etc etc. And if the perps here have no guns or bullets or bombs or tanks or humvees or uniforms and stuff that make some men feel 'manly' or something and other things that facilitate the mass killing of innocent, largely defenceless people (the bully types who like guns and bombs etc as weapons of aggression (and dick-substitutes) are basically cowards and don't much care for going after people who can defend themselves), they are going to do a whole lot less damage, and intervention when they start going after people with their wooden spears or blowguns or whatever weapons they can actually manage to invent and make by themselves will be a lot easier to manage. Of course, cutting back on arms sales is going to be a highly, highly unattractive solution to a few quite powerful people in Canada (and elsewhere, in places that have some fairly serious influence with the Cdn gov), for various reasons (peace in general is not a desirable outcome goal for people who have gotten rich from selling arms and fomenting violence anywhere and everywhere and who like to be rich and want to be richer), which may be why we never hear this discussed by the Cdn gov or in the Canadian MSM, which, as we all well know, is controlled by some powerful people. Politicians need money. Arms dealers have lots of it to spread around. And 'Lies 'R' Us' is the overriding slogan of all capitalistic politics, Canadaland no exception in the New World Order. (there's quite an interesting vid to be found here - Spin, by a guy called Brian Springer - it's about the American 92 election (Bush-Clinton) - and focuses on the behind-the-scenes stuff, all the makeup, the off-camera conversations - and at some point it sort of hits you - they're all just actors! - we knew the bit about them saying lines that had no particular attachment to reality, but here you get to see quite clearly what a show it all is. (the recent YouTube phenom, the Dove Evolution clip, is also well done - lots of good stuff around, you just miss it all if you rely on the MSM) - anyway, we understand dealing with this problem won't be easy - but there will be no solutions to this kind of violence in the world until it IS dealt with - so the sooner we start, as the wise man said ..... and the first step to any solution is simply acknowledging it, right out loud, and asking - so ok then, what are we going to do about this, now that we have our heads out of our - ah - the sand and see that it is indeed a problem?
After that we're going to have a little talking about the general capitalistic mindset that is ruling almost the entire world today - the mindset that accepts it as the desirable social structure that we have a few very powerful people running things (big scale or small) and a whole lot of unpowerful people working to provide the money for these powerful people - the ways to that power, for those who desire it, are through violence or money, and most of the areas of unrest we see in the world today are simply the outer signs of these struggles, which never end. The rewards of being rich and powerful are worth fighting and killing for - to some people. This is the way the modern world is - this is the way the world has been for millennia. But does it really need to be this way? We need to at least talk about this. Those who believe in democracy (that is to say, Green Island Democracy, not 'Bushian' or capitalistic 'democracy', which are somewhat oxymoronic terms) do not believe this is the way it has to be.
(and of course somewhere around here we are going to have to have a serious look at the whole culture of lies that pervades countries like Canadaland and refuses to talk about those two first fundamental truths, since you can't solve anything at all if you haven't got your feet on some solid ground of truth rather than the constantly shifting quicksands of lies...)
After that sort of thing is done for awhile and we think we have some basic understanding of the actual problems we face, we're going to probably come to the idea of some kind of strong but peaceful intervention - it is not our desire to take over somebody else's country or anything, all we want to do is give democracy ('true' rather than 'capitalistic' democracy, see above) a chance to start happening, and do what we can to put a stop to some unacceptable violence that, if left unchallenged, diminishes us all as 'human' beings. To do this, we would set up some sort of beachhead, a largish sort of place, depending on our military strength and what sort of local place had a receptive population overall, something we could maintain confidently and indefinitely timewise in a defensive way, good supply lines, all that military stuff. Inside of this area peace would be the order of the day, and the people would have a chance to start working together to form some sort of local, provisional government. Violent intrusion from whatever violent forces were trying to rule the country we were trying to liberate (again, note difference between true meaning of that word and the way it is currently used by the American 'we rule everything asshole and words mean what we want em to mean' types) would not be allowed (assuming of course we are strong enough to do this, but that is a given in the scenario - if we don't have this, then we sit at home and hope somebody else can do something - but that is not a very good solution to anything). Our goal is simply to provide the people of the country, or at least that area of it which we control, a safe place from which to get on their feet and become established and strong and democratic, without being taken over by any factions which try to impose rule by violence and fear. And into this safe area the border is open to all people who wish to have such a safe and secure and peaceful democracy in their country. We believe that this 'free area' would quickly expand in size, as people from all over the country in question joined us, and quickly become strong and independent, once the iron boot was removed from their necks.
Yes there will be problems, certainly the wannabe-kings will oppose this and attack, but a strong defensive position is always easier to maintain than trying to run around catching a bunch of 'unconventional fighters' in their own country, yes there is a danger the Americans will join the warlords and try to destroy the freedom area, as if one thing really pisses off the Americans it's someone else being free to tell them to go f*** themselves, yes there will be those who try to suck around the leaders of our intervention force and try to get themselves installed as 'our friendly gov' - but we do not listen to them nor (most importantly) do they get any arms to repress others with from us - our only goal is letting the people of that place get back on their feet, free from those who have oppressed them, and decide for themselves, openly and fairly, upon their own government, free from violence and coercion. And no, we are not a coercive force as we do this - we are preventing coercion from others which is sometimes necessary in this world, or in life in general - have you never pulled a bully and his gang off some kid to give him a chance? It happens. And if you give that kid a couple of boxing lessons, he'll likely flatten the bully the next time they meet - bullies have big swagger and small balls, once you call em.
And if you think that is what the Canadian forces are doing in Afghanistan right now - well, far from it, regardless of the jingoism in the Canadian MSM (an absolutely amazing report on the morning show today, a feature from a 'reporter' bragging about how embedded he was, playing poker with the guys and all - we can sure expect some honest reporting from him now!). There are some substantial differences. The Canadians, no matter how you dress it up, are engaged in the basic American plan of 'We'll just go in there and kill anyone who opposes us, and set up some kind of government we like, and put some people in that gov we like, and all will be fine! And then we'll go home for Christmas and get our presents from Santa, and send him off to Afghanistan so the kids there can get their presents too! Isn't it a fine world!!' - sorry, did that get off into sarcasm? It happens. Anyway. The Green Island plan is much different - it's a ground up establishment of democracy, rather than a top down imposition - very, very different idea. In the current 'operation', the Canadian forces are very much part of the aggressive forces, and regularly killing civilians (and I don't really care what excuses you have about 'golly, we really thought there were terrorists in the house, you know!', that is NOT a good move in terms of winning friends and influencing people - i.e. here). And as we are seeing, the NATO-Canadian forces are very much inadequate for the job of subduing the entire country. (It's quite a measure, really, of the level of intelligence (in the normal sense of the word, not the 'spy' sense) of the Canadian 'strategic' leaders that they thought they had any chance of being successful in this endeavor, as Afghanis have been beating off much bigger and more powerful forces for their entire history.)
Of course, before we do any of that, we have to establish some kind of beachhead in Canadaland, and see if we can get some sort of democracy (real not capitalistic, of course, that is to say) established in that country. And given that the weapons that have been used to subdue the Canadalandians have been much, much, much more powerful than simple guns and bombs, we are facing a much, much more difficult mission.
But we always did love a challenge, here on Green Island.
Oct 22/06 Toronto Sun
In the box: the truth slips out!! - - Sheila Copps doesn't make any secret of the way things are in Ottawa - "...This is a PM who controls every media question. There is no way Harper would see Turner "unanimously" voted out of caucus without his personal approval. ... For starters, votes are never held in caucus. Caucus is a place where beefs can be aired and policies promoted, but the ultimate call is left to the prime minister and cabinet. In all the years I was in Parliament, we never voted at the provincial or national caucus. ... When Liberals made the decision not to participate in the invasion of Iraq, there were many spirited discussions where members on both sides of the issue made their case. Most Quebec MPs and almost all the women opposed the invasion. The majority of men outside Quebec actually supported the war. With the caucus split, the decision was left to the cabinet and then-PM Jean Chretien to adjudicate. No vote was ever taken... (yea yea I 'added the emphasis' as they say)
Out of the box: - well, none of that is any secret to some of us - but if there are any people browsing along who thought Canada was some sort of 'democracy' where the elected MPs actually represented their constituents in the national debate (that is to say, voted according to the wishes of those constituents in matters of interest), perhaps you can start asking some questions, or thinking, or something.
Oct 22 New York Times
Out of the box: -
Re Beyond Belief, the 'review' ('huffy pretentious argumentative trashing' might be a better description of the piece than 'review', which it hardly qualifies as - my first thought was that this might be somewhat how a precocious 10-year old might react to being told by someone there is no Santa....) by your Ben Holt of Richard Dawkins' latest book 'The God Delusion':
I shan't write at length of the several lesser inaccuracies in this piece (i.e. he says the group which breeds faster has an evolutionary advantage - has the man not heard of eating yourself out of a habitat and crashing the system followed by rapid population dieoff?? - not, in the longer term, a positive strategy - but then, of course, in the Capitalist world we do not consider 'long term' to be much beyond the next quarter's profits, which leads to such unsophisticated statements), - I'll just keep this short and carry on to the main question.
Holt says at one point, "... Why is it that all human cultures have religion if, as Dawkins believes he has proved, it rests on a delusion? Many thinkers — Marx, Freud, Durkheim — have produced natural histories of religion, arguing that it arose to serve some social or psychological function, such as, in Freud’s account, the fulfillment of repressed wishes toward a father-figure..."
- well, I haven't read Dawkins book yet, so do not know what he may have said about this, but the answer as to why people have religions is not that difficult to suss out, for one who has managed to extract him (or her) self from the Plato's cave-like box that most people live in in modern society, and have a good look around, sociologically speaking. Since ever man has existed on the planet in a form advanced enough to form societies, there have been those who felt they had some kind of right to rule those societies - and since most people did not (and do not) really want to be ruled, such wannabe-rulers have sought ways to justify their assumption of power. After simple bash-on-the-head violence, which tends to be self-defeating after a point, and is also hard to maintain among larger groups, religion is one of the oldest of such ways - "I personally have talked to God (or vice versa, as the case may be), and he says that all you people will go to HELL!!!!! if you do not do what He wants - and He has told ME these things, so you must obey me to save your souls!!!" - it takes a bit of doing, of course, to establish the speaker's 'right' to speak thusly as the rep of 'god', usually involving considerable bloodshed, but once that hurdle has been cleared and the wannabe-rulers involved get control of the education system, whatever it is, for a couple of generations, the game is about over (and the apparent inability of so many former (and current, for that matter) 'great thinkers' to understand this points directly to the power of the all-pervasive religious indoctrination system that has been ascendent in the western world for the last couple of thousand years, not any problem with the thesis - one might consider the days of Copernicus and Galileo, when the entire world 'knew' for a fact that the place they lived was flat, and the sun went around it - a belief told them by their religious masters, and defended quite vigorously by the same masters (who of course controlled what 'education' was available at the time) - and the (at the time) 'thesis' that the earth might be round and revolve around the sun and the whole system was a lot bigger than the leaders of the day were promoting was held to be heretical, much as the idea today that there is no god at all, and to be mocked by all who wished to be considered 'reasonable' men (or women)...)
Most people who are allowed to develop their senses and beliefs and understandings naturally (not a large number of people in today's indoctrinated capitalist societies which dominate most of the world (and the education systems)) do come to have a certain 'spiritualism', but it is more of an attunement with the natural world around them, an appreciation of its great wonder and beauty and a sense of thankfulness for life itself, than any sort of belief in an all-powerful 'creator' person who must be obeyed or worshipped - it is only the people seeking power who seek to turn this natural beautiful and always positive spiritualism to negative and evil ends.
Oct 19 CBC
The Capitalists - when they're not lying about something, they're figuring how to make a buck out of it: - - - one of the greats of the 'real' CBC (RIP to both) dies, and within days - "....Thank you, Mr. Sinclair has been attractively packaged as a three-CD box set, with a multi-page insert booklet, suitable for gift-giving. A set costs $34, including shipping and tax..." - sort of leaves a bad taste in the mouth. It would have been meaningful if they said something like "In rememberance of a great man, we are making this available for $10 only to help defray our costs.." or something like that. But that ain't the capitalist way, and it's pretty obvious the CBC has been taken over by these reptiles the last few years - like pretty much everything else that used to be good in Canadaland.
No matter - we remember ya, Lister, as you were and always will be, and the way the CBC used to be when it was a real radio station. Not to mention Canada when it was a real country.
(I'm sure there are a few good people left around the CBC who have not yet been weeded out, but they don't have much real influence any more, it is quite obvious. Sorta like the Canadaland gov in general.).
Oct 18/06 CBC
In the box: - - Chinese media silent on Nobel outrage
Out of the box: - - one shudders in awe at the brazen-ness of these people. Nono, not the Chinese, silly, the CBC. They don't actually say 'why' the story was 'largely unreported' in China, leaving it up to the reader's imagination which, one supposes, is supposed to fill in the blank with 'damned commies have no free press' or something like that. And walk away smugly thinking 'we sure are lucky to live in Canada with a just great free press, you know, like the CBC'. And one rereads the story to see if one has missed something. Not. This 'great free Canadian press including the head-of-the-pack CBC' would be the same people who did not mention in any way shape or form the recent meeting in Banff about the North American Union - or perhaps a more honest look at Canada in Haiti than they have been giving us - or anything besides booga-booga about the massively hyped 'terrorist' threat in Canada - or any sane and credible commentary about the Afghanistan situation ( or here) (beyond the usual snif snif our poor brave soldiers what fine lads they are let's get them damned evil terrorists bringing home the body bags stuff - or never, never, never, NEVER a single word about the trillion-dollar 'national debt scam' - and - oh, it just goes on.
- which makes stories like this one doubly, no triply, no really REALLY hypocritical-ironical (damn there just is not a strong enough word) - Secrets law ruled unconstitutional as judge quashes warrants - and this quote - "....David Paciocco, a lawyer for Ottawa Citizen reporter Juliet O'Neill, says the ruling underscores the media's role in protecting democracy... "It's a tremendous affirmation of the importance of freedom of the press and freedom of expression," Paciocco said after reading the judgment..." - well, he didn't actually quite lie there, did he? He said freedom of the press is very important in a democracy, and that is certainly true. But you need to go a step beyond that as well - Canada may well have a free press - but does it have what one might call a 'responsible' press - a press that is responsible to its democratic duty to the people, that is? And if that question is asked, in light of just a few of the rather important things pointed out in the first para there that they are NOT covering in any way at all for the average Canadalandian, the answer must become quite different - where is the 'great free press of Canada' in reporting on these very important stories? Not to be found. No man, nor press, can have two masters - and if the press is serving a higher master than the people, whoever that master might be, as it so obviously is considering the spin and concealment of various things of importance, it is NOT serving We the People.
(Of course, there's ALWAYS front-page room for this kind of stuff - "Hey look! The famous person did something baaaddddd!!!! Look there!! Look there!!!!! (and don't pay any attention at all to them damn conspiracy theories you read on that stupid old internet!)....). Yep, Canadalandians are sure lucky to have a free press - how else would you ever learn about important stuff like this?!?!?
Another of the great Canadians is gone. This happens - the problem is - who are we seeing as 'the new great ones'? - ummmmm -
Lister Sinclair dies
Lister Sinclair obit from CBC
Random thoughts before bed:
-- do you suppose the whole 'act as informed consumers' movement is a smokescreen of some sort??????? The people running the country from behind the scenes with their indoctrination and propaganda are very good at this sort of thing. The thing is - if we are thinking these things, and spending our time being 'good consumers', and making phone calls or writing emails or letters to producers to tell them we think they ought to be more responsible or whatever etc etc, and making ourselves feel good by doing this - we are NOT acting to change the system at the root - that is , we are NOT acting to retake control of OUR government - and it is, in the end, only the government which can actually pass the laws etc that ensure that OUR country is (re 'consumerism') encouraging environmentally-socially friendly policies, following Fair Trade practices of some sort, etc and etc. The guys running the show are very, very, very sophisticated in propaganda and indoctrination, and misdirection is as good a tool as divide and conquer - reminds me of all the 'lefty progressive' sites that bitch and whine and complain and write clever diatribes about all the stuff the neocons are doing and keep their readers thus occupied in some space they can feel sort of good - but never, never, never NEVER talk about organising some sort of political movement to actually get their readers thinking about how to get control of the government so we can actually make some real changes - I became suspicious about this a number of years ago, and have written a number of letters over the years to such websites wondering about this (i.e. this one at Swans - Canadian "Alternative" Media As Fifth Column?) - and you know, none of those letters ever got published (by any of the Canadian alt sites) - isn't that just the most curious thing now. And we might note there will be another election within a year in all probability, and not a single freaking word about how to organise the many Canadians who don't really like the Harper people and are not that happy with the Libs, and are still ingrained to automatically react 'NDP - hmm, some good ideas, but do we really want people who might be Commies when they go home at night running the country?' (it looks to me like the road is being paved by the propagandists of the MSM for a return to a Lib majority, which will then use it's 'We can do anything we want for 5 years and there's not a damn thing you 'voters' (hahahahaha) can do about it' 'mandate' to finish the country via the 'North American Prosperity Union' or whatever they are calling it. As the old poet said, this is the way it all ends, not with a bang but a whimper.)
Canadaland - the dream that was. Case study in what happens when people get apathetic. Case study in how propaganda is much, much, MUCH more effective than violence in controlling citizens. Case study in how to lose a good country to bad people.
Oct 16 CBC
In the box: - - Ontario moves to change seatbelt law after fatal crash - "...Brian Patterson of the Ontario Safety League applauded the proposed legislation. 'There's going to be less confusion in people's minds,"'he said. 'You're in a vehicle, you're in a seatbelt. No exemptions, no changes, no special features. This is clarity that some people need to get themselves moving forward in a safer way."
Out of the box: - Translation: The Good Canadalandian is an Obedient Canadalandian. The children have not been listening to Mother!! You children WILL do as Mother says, or Mother will become angry!
First, to me (after I get past the rather nauseating 'I am just such a perfect little person, and I have a right to make you do things that I know good people do' shit - rather pervasive in a certain segment of Canadaland society that has some good ideas, but a too-much, oh, 'See Dick and Jane play with Spot aren't they all just so lovely let's have a lovely cup of tea now and some ice cream lala lala' notion of how the world works sometimes...), it's just about that thing we are supposed to have called 'democracy', which means, as far as I understand it, that We the People make decisions about laws and things - that is to say, a MAJORITY of the people make decisions, not the God-Politicians. People getting killed in road accidents is tragic, as is any death, especially the unexpected ones to innocent people - but we're always going to have them, it's the nature of life. The question is, does the government - irregardless of the will of the people - have some kind of right to pass laws like this without any consulation with the people (rhetorical question of course, in Canadaland they do this all the time - but would they or could they if there was a real democracy in the country?)? Why not put this on the election platform for the next election, if the politicians think it is such a great idea, and let the people decide, as they ought to in a democracy?
I remember well the original seatbelt laws when they 'swept' the country around 1980 - most people were not in favor of them, but the government didn't much care. Somewhat tellingly, however, NO political party EVER ran an election campaign promising to pass seatbelt laws, every single one decided after getting elected they suddenly found seatbelt jesus or something - I strongly suspect that their 'secret' polls were showing that any party trying to get elected on the basis of promising seatbelt laws would have got a pretty firm 'thanks but no thanks, jack, take your mandatory seatbelt laws and shove em where the sun don't shine, we're grown ups and quite capable of deciding for ourselves whether or not to wear a seatbelt...' response - so it was one of those things that all parties agreed on for some reason against the better judgement of their masters (that is the theoretical relationship in a democracy, isn't it?), and had to sneak them in after the fact - with, of course, as usual, HUGE amounts of propaganda to get the people to accept the new laws, however grudgingly. They still have regular stories a few times a year about police 'crackdowns' on those damned people not wearing seatbelts that would indicate, rigged polls aside, that a whole lot of people still have at least a bit of defiance left in them to edicts from Big Mama and Big Papa - a defiance that should be encouraged, not stomped on, if we are ever to be a free and independent people - which is one thing the GIV is all about - one freaking small voice in a big dark forest of conformity and apathy ...)
The other thing is - look how fast these people can act when the WANT to do something! - practically the next day after the accident, and there's the 'oh look at me I am just SO indignant about this 'ludicrous' old law that actually lets some people ride in a car without being required to wear a seatbelt my god!!! lady saying 'NOW I ME THE QUEEN!!!! will MAKE you damned peasants get them seatbelts on by goddd!!!' - but then, look how they can avoid acting forever on such things as, oh, PR (Proportional Representation) - I have seen no groups whatsoever agitating for stricter seatbelt laws (outside of these gov people), not one, not once, not EVER, but there are a lot of people in the country who want the electoral system changed to PR, but the gov does nothing but ignore them as long and as much as possible (the media being on the same team helps a lot, of course), then talk about it, then set up committees with more or less a mandate to fail (the 60% threshold in BC, for instance), and all the gov and MSM propaganda is negative - I mean, do you think they could pass a new seatbelt law like this? No way, Jose, and they know it - so they don't ask, they just do it. Electoral reform is a big thing, sure - but didn't McGuinty, all by him little self, change Ontario to a 4-year election cycle, no citizen committee required, etc? Thing is, of course, a 4-year election fixed date makes approximately zero difference to the actual elections - but PR would probably make a considerable difference.
But I get off on a tangent - all this stuff is related, everything is politics as someone said, and nothing happens in a vacuum - but it's just trying to point out that democracy is not in evidence here, and I want these people to stop pretending about important stuff like that. And to stop lying - that is to say, if they were really interested in saving lives, they would be doing a lot of other stuff - the seatbelt law MIGHT save a few tens of people per year (and it might cause a few deaths and injuries too - if you got broadsided by some idiot running a stop sign, would you rather be strapped into place or free to try to jump to the other side of the car?, just for instance, or if your car slides off the road into the lake, how are you going to feel as the car fills up with water and you can't get the seatbelt of your kid undone? - you just can't predict stuff like this, you gotta leave it up to individuals to decide what risks they want to take and how - but I digress again) - if they really wanted to save lives, maybe they would do some things like funding emergency rooms properly, or providing enough social assistance so kids were not forced into lives of low education and poverty where they had to turn to gangs and crime, or maybe spending enough money to maintain infrastructure properly so things like Walkerton or the Quebec overpass falling didn't happen, or so women weren't forced to remain in relationships with violent husbands - now me, having cops chase down people on the highway for not wearing seatbelts is a monumental waste of money (it is good conditioning for getting the people to do what they're damned well told without asking questions, of course, we can't forget that - that big fine is a good incentive), but if we had those cops going into houses where there was spousal abuse and slapping the perps around a bit, now that would be a useful way for these people trained in violence and intimidation to spend their training - that would be dangerous, of course, while intimidating kids and old ladies who forgot to put on a seatbelt is pretty danger-free....
Are you pissed off yet (at me or the gov, doesn't matter)? or thinking?
damn. come back later I'll try something else.
Oct 16/06 The Tyee
Out of the box: - From The Tyee, Operation Backfire: ...While the media in Canada continues to soft-peddle the country's disastrous "mission" in Afghanistan, a cursory examination of the facts reveals that the two men most responsible for this continuing nightmare are simply not up to the task of developing a strategy worthy of the name. Stephen Harper and Lieutenant General Rick Hillier, his "butt-kicking" military chief, have demonstrated a level of ineptitude that should have Canadians extremely worried...
- now, if Canadaland was anything like a real 'democracy', this sort of thing would be in the mainstream media and not just a low visibility alternative internet site, and Canadians would be talking about it. There are other points of view, certainly - but the country is not well served by the media when they more or less en masse support Harper and the warmongers and the minority of Canadians who still believe their leaders are acting honorably and therefore support them, and try to hide all opposing views such as Dobbin's. Maybe if the people supporting the invasion had a chance to read stuff like this, or listen to people like Murray Dobbin debating any of the invasion-supporters on tv every night for awhile, they might start to understand better that while the situation in Afghanistan is not good, the presence of foreign, non-Muslim armies stomping around killing people is not doing any good, and never will. It's a bit hubristic, to say the least, to think that the Canadian army can accomplish something nobody has ever accomplished before, including the Soviet Red Army at the peak of its strength for almost 10 years in the 80s. Course, nobody ever hears about that stuff in the Canadian media. For some odd reason.
Oct 14 CBC morning radio news
In the box: the boogabooga never stops, the indoctrination reinforcement, the propaganda - in a story about the latest Cdn soldiers killed, the 'reporter' just casually quotes one soldier as saying, in a story about the Taliban attacking the Cdns while they were building a road '..the taliban only like to destroy...' - and that's the view we are supposed to share - we don't consider that the Taliban might be just attacking the invaders they want out of their country - that is to say, when the Canadians were bombing the shit out of Yugoslavia a few years ago as part of the American regime change operation there, did we ever hear that 'Canadians just love to destroy stuff with bombs...'???? - no, of course not. But the Bad Guys now - well, they couldn't possibly have any other motive, so we can just stick that little phrase into a 'news' report as if stating an accepted fact we all know.
And the same thing with the following story, about the UN Security Council passing a resolution about North Korea sanctions - they say, first, the 'whole world unites in passing these sanctions' - just obvious BS in so many ways it hardly needs further description, but then the reporter casually says something like '... one thing N Korea gets money from is selling missiles to the likes of Iran...' - catch that? - 'the likes of Iran' - 'the likes of' being a phrase that is only used in a derogatory sense, as if it is now accepted also by everyone that there is something wrong with Iran as well, which is far from the case. G Bush and the American gov have some sort of hard on about Iran, but the dislike of the US gov is NOT some sort of proof that those people are doing anything other than what any strong and independent government would do when threatened by the major global bully - stand tall and tell em to f*** off - one thing the Americans have never much liked. They like people like recent Canadian 'leaders' a lot more, who are much more inclined to roll over and beg for a little tummy rub.
Thing being - as commentary, this stuff is fine, people have different opinions about stuff, and everyone has a right to say what they think, and use rhetorical language as they do so. But as 'news'?!?!?! - as they say, who're ya tryin ta kid??
The Canadian media - all propaganda, all the time.
Oct 13 CBC
In the box: - - 2nd mole played key role in bomb plot probe - "....A young agricultural engineer became a mole for Canadian authorities during a sophisticated sting operation earlier this year..."
Out of the box: - ????????? - a "sophisticated sting operation" ??? - so here we see the CBC, working with the managers to rewrite history. One notes that they (all the MSM, really) have been a bit quiet for the last few weeks with the 'terrorist' booga-booga - one can only surmise that they realised they were really starting to look quite ridiculous, after the big 'sting' in Canada in June, with the CSIS and mounties and god knows who else using several hundred of their 'highly trained' personnel (and god knows how many millions of dollars) and like absolutely awesome man 'intelligence' service to round up a few kids playing paintball games and fantasizing over the net and pretending they had stopped some sort of great terrorist threat (BUT THEY WERE GOING TO BEHEAD THE PRIME MINISTER OH MY GOOOOODDDDD!!!!!!!!!) and making a major spectacle out of taking these kids to the courthouse as if they were expecting the entire Terrorist Evil Empire Brigade to try to rescue them or something (I think they're all watching waaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy too much of their own propaganda, not to mention everyone else in the country who didn't demand their immiediate firing, and then a serious investigation into just what the hell they thought they were doing, and just what the hell the media was doing going along with it all as if they were nothing more than a collective CSIS-RCMP press agent, and then that idiotic story from Britain about the guys who didn't even have passports or tickets planning mass murder by 'using ordinary household ingredients to fashion terrible bombs in airplane washrooms' how FREAKING stupid do they think we all are (quite, evidently, and it would appear, to judge from the complete lack of demands for some intelligent people to be hired to run the Canadian MSM, they have reason to think so) - but we know they were not finished with it all. And so here we go again. So that huge operation in June in Canada is now going to start hitting the books officially as a ' sophisticated' operation instead of being remembered as the juvenile farce it actually was.
There doesn't appear to be a lot of life left in Canadaland, that this sort of thing can pass unremarked. One of the central features of Orwell's 1984 was the continual rewriting of history. And now they're doing it, right in front of everyone's eyes.
F*** - it just gets embarrassing to be related to this entire planet sometimes.
Oct 11/06 - CNEWS
In the box: - one of the small handful of sane people speaking from the pages of the Sun, David Suzuki, in Ocean life makes waves - "...In this world, we are all butterflies and we need to be mindful of what can happen when we flap our wings. .."
Out of the box: - when Canada (and other countries) start electing people like Suzuki as Prime Ministers, the world will have become a safe place for We the People. Don't hold your breath. Or actually, since although Canadians themselves might like Suzuki, the people running the place would never allow it, perhaps you're going to be holding your breath for real pretty soon - corporate bottom lines are far, far, far, far more important to the people running Canadaland than breathable air for the workerbees producing the weath they steal.
Oct 11, EVERY media
In the box: - - BOOGA-BOOGA!!! BOOGA-BOOGA!!! BOOGA-BOOGA!!! BOOGA-BOOGA!!! WE HAVE A GREAT NEW BOOGA BOOGA!!!!!! LET'S MILK IT FOR ALL IT'S WORTH!!!!
Out of the box: - I mean, the North Koreans apparently detonated a primitive nuclear device, and George Bush and the crew are panicking (or pretending to, actually) (and Harper and the rest of the bit players feigning outrage as well, but they're just asslickers of no real consequence)? Has anybody got their feet on the ground or anywhere near it here, or their heads in some lighted place? What's the problem? Kim Jong or whatever his name is is going to nuke The Center of the Universe (that'd be somewhere between Washington and New York, depending on whether you're talking to American businessmen or politicians)?????? - first, he simply cannot - NOBODY is even suggesting he has any sort of delivery system that would get anywhere near America, not even Alaska, and is not even close to developing one. And second, the guy might be a megalomaniac of some kind, I don't know that much about him (but I do know that the western mainstream media lies about everything important, so I do NOT get my opinions of the guy from there) - but he is surely not totally out of touch with reality (he has ruled the country for quite awhile, which indicates some competence somehow), and he would surely be aware that if any sort of threatening missile was ever launched from his country in any direction that could even be remotely construed as heading for the US, his entire country would be a radioactive wasteland long before he even had the satisfaction of seeing his missile fall into the ocean far short of his target - so the chances of him trying that are somewhere between zero and pick a negative number, any one you like. Any sane person understands that - it's odd that noone in the mainstream media seems to. (which indicate they are either blindingly stupid or just lying and ramping the hype - and you don't get to run major western media by being blindingly stupid....)
All the headlines are interesting too, in their spin - negative, negative, negative (North Korea 'threatens' more tests, North Korean official warns U.S. actions could prompt missile attack, U.S. officials strike back at fresh attacks in wake of North Korea threats, etc and etc) - I haven't got time to go digging up headlines of stuff everyone knows, but think about the contrast with the great American plan to take over space with the 'Missile Defence' program - all positive spin in the Can news (even though most Canadians oppose this) - and yet in terms of actual threats to the entire planet, on a scale of 1-10, North Korea's 'nukular' progam would rate under zero and America's missile 'defence' etcetcetcetc right at the very top.
And you just KNOW that the media, once again, are lying to y'all there in Canadaland. Canadian democracy - sure is grand, eh? (If you're interested in something with a little more perspective on the situation, you might start here - Going Nuclear - Northern Korea’s Ace - stuff you will never, never, never, etc see in the Canadian mainstream media, who are operating under - ummm - other priorities than bringing 'the real news' to the people of Canadaland)
Oct 11 Globe and Mail
In the box: - - Cities struggling to keep up infrastructure - 'Our present system is design, build and forget,' McGill civil engineer laments - "...the Montreal-area overpass that collapsed less than two weeks ago was built in 1970 during Canada's Golden Age of infrastructure spending, when roads, sewers and bridges still enjoyed pride of place in government budgets... New investment on infrastructure grew at a rapid 4.8-per-cent clip annually between 1955 and 1977... "What is unfortunate is we built and built and built without thinking we're going to have to maintain it," said Saeed Mirza, a civil engineering expert at McGill University... But the postwar building boom tapered off in the late 1970s, matching a slowdown in economic growth that squeezed government budgets. .. Today, long-ignored demands to refurbish decades of bricks and mortar have piled up. Estimates of the infrastructure replacement backlog range from $60-billion for cities to $125-billion to fix everything that is not being fixed. " -
Out of the box: - mmmhmmm - and that's a great sounding fairy tale for the Box people. What about another interpretation, just for argument's sake? We here on Green Island, where the truth is what we get in our papers, sometimes feel a real pang of compassion for you folks there in make-believe Canadaland with your 'all propaganda all the time' media. What about - during the 50s and 60s and early 70s, Canada was being mostly run by people who actually cared about the people of Canada, and were doing good stuff for everyone, as best as they could, and that was pretty damned good. Then the corps decided that money spent like that was just being wasted on the peasants (you can get a bit of the flavor of this at The Corporate Reactionary Revolution if you haven't already), and got together to fix the situation. They couldn't tell the truth about it, of course, so they fabricated The Great Canadian National Debt Scam, and suddenly all the money we were spending on Canadians was being handed over to the banks, and 'investors' (three-piece suit thieves, to coin a somewhat more true term) - and the money that would have been used for maintenance of the social programs and infrastructure was suddenly not there anymore. The writer says $125 billion would be needed to fix the infrastructure, which sounds like a good chunk of change - until you stand it alongside the couple of TRillion bucks that was stolen from you folk there in Canadaland during the same time by these people.
And I'll bet you my entire share of that debt that you will never, never, never, never, never, never, never, NEVER see this comment (or one remotely like it) in the Globe. Or Star. Or Sun. Or on the CBC. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never.
Oct 6 Toronto Star
In the box: - - Cheap divorces threatened by bill - and the lies continue in the MSM - this is absolutely only for 'the protection of the public', and has nothing to do with lawyers getting rid of the competition and protecting their high-priced turf yearightreally - (one somewhat hilarious comment (undoubtedly unintentional, these guys are nowhere near as sharp as they want people to think) - someone from the Law Society of Ontario says that they have wanted to undertake a civil case against the paralegals, but could not afford it!!!! haha - I wish they made laughing smilies - you mean these guys making $600 per hour could not afford their own fees for a case but they are putting cheaper legal service providers out of business saying that normal citizens CAN afford their fees? ?!?!?! (actually that's the extent of a lot of their legal 'logic' - the problem is that these guys have had a monopoly for so long they don't really need to do much legal thinking most of the time, just have lunch with the 'opposing' lawyer, come to some agreement, go through some little charade in court (a lot of them are good actors, all that leaping to feet feigning outrage stuff while shouting 'OBJECTION!!!!!" looks good on tv, they must have some good laughs about it all in the lawyer bars after work where they all gather together planning their next games - the ones on the 87th floor of their Bay St offices where the 'normal people' aren't allowed), and send out bills to the marks. Justice in Canadaland. Just listen to one of the 'justifications' for this - made by no less a personage than the Attorney General of Ontario: "..The regulation of paralegals would increase access to justice by giving consumers a choice in qualified legal services while protecting people who get legal advice from non-lawyers.." - so by cutting access to the cheaper legal service, people will have greater access to 'justice' - it's Ontario, man, everyone can afford $600/hr lawyers!. Heck, if they don't have food, let them eat cake! That's how they think there, I guess. The guy's either lying through his teeth or incredibly stupid - either way, why would you people have someone like this as your highest legal officer in your government? If you had any say in it at all, would you want somebody with 'ideas' like this running your justice system?
Out of the box: - first one wonders how did this 'story' suddenly spring to the pages of the newspaper? There was certainly nothing about this in the last election, nor any public discussion since, so what is the impetus for it - that is to say, the democratic will of the people being expressed? The excuse from the gov is that Ontarians 'need protection' from people who call themselves lawyers without proper qualification - but where are the stories of people who have been screwed around by such people, indicating that the problem is widespread and worth passing such a new regulation? I could quickly locate a long list of people who have been screwed royally by 'legitimate' lawyers - that is what people need protection against, really - but shouldn't there be an actual reason this type of regulation is proposed? (verifiable stuff, that is, not smoke from a politician, who are not much higher in the credibility rankings than the people they are passing this law for). In GI, of course, this sort of stuff doesn't happen - if someone feels some other group needs regulation, they bring their proposal to local citizens' meetings and make their case, and if they are successful with their case, then regulations are passed - but this sort of surprise, with the citizens just being told one day this is a new law 'your' gov is forcing on you, your approval not required, never happens. It is, I think, quite unlikely this proposal would meet with success in Green Island. Of course, Green Islanders don't have a high opinion of the legal profession in general, considering the way it screwed everyone around for many years, and Green Islanders are more likely to agree with Shakespeare - "First, kill all the lawyers" - then we have a chance to have a real democracy. I guess they haven't learned that lesson yet in Canadaland.
Oct 5/06 Globe and Mail
In the box: - - RCMP mistake halts B.C. sex case - Mountie accused of buying sex from teens - and Mistakes plaguing RCMP - Errors made in several high-profile cases raise questions about force's competence
Out of the box: - we talk about this stuff on Green Island - we were like you not too long ago, you see, and it is important to remember where we came from, and as part of the education of those growing up right now that they see what can happen if they do not always guard THEIR democracy. They must understand well that this is what can all too easily happen in 'representative democracies', with both government and media controlled from the top, whose central purpose is to maintain their power whilst still maintaining the belief of 'democracy!!!!!' in the people (this includes, of course, protecting rulers or their helpers who have been screwing we the people in one way or another from punishment when they get caught in ways than cannot be generally covered up - if they were subject to the same laws and could be punished like the plebes, there wouldn't be much point in being a ruler, would there? - that might even be sort of 'democratic'...) . In Green Island, this kind of lawlessness by the police or politicians or anyone else would be unthinkable - but it's what happens when you have a system wherein the people have been conned into accepting a set of laws devised by 'experts' called lawyers, and administrated by another set of 'experts' called 'judges', all of whom are licenced by and/or appointed by, and work for the protection of, the people at the top - all in the name, of course, of being 'your representatives', and 'for the good of 'all' the people. The letter of the law becomes the purpose of the law, rather than anything we might call 'justice' - and 'the law' becomes accessible only by those who can hire the very expensive service of those 'experts' called 'lawyers', and is full of loopholes that those 'experts' can use to ensure that the little people remain under control whilst the rulers remain free to do as they wish.
On Green Island the only - that is, ONLY - purpose with a hearing such as the one noted in the first story would be to determine guilt or innocence, and mete out any punishment deemed appropriate, and would NOT be conducted by those accused of wrongdoing themselves, but by We the People. It does not matter how long ago the crime happened - if it is serious enough to be called a crime against the community in the first place, then there is no 'statute of limitations' of any sort, for any reason. (there might well be a few questions asked later as to why and/or how the system failed so that a guilty person was not brought to justice sooner, but that is another discussion). And the people who decide if a crime has been committed and if punishment is due are not 'representatives' of any sort - in any real democracy, real authority cannot be 'delegated', and is not - We the People decide such things, in a meeting of the whole. At all times.
And yes you can have as many of the people involved who want to be involved, it does not matter the size of the overall community - normally, in any particular case, it will be the people who have been wronged in some way, or who are affected directly from the alleged crime, who sit in judgement. If you have stolen a loaf of bread from a grocer, then the people of the community where the grocer does business will be interested to some extent, and examine the particulars of the case. If the conduct of the justice hearing and the punishment levied seem appropriate, the larger community will not likely be involved (most people in a real society with a real life have more important things to do than trying to interfere with other people's lives). If, however, that community decides the thief should be hung for stealing a loaf of bread, then the larger administrative area may well become involved as nearby communities executing their/our citizens for what appear to be very minor crimes represent a danger to everyone around, and surrounding communities will call a hearing to examine the conduct of the justice hearing and those involved, should they so desire. And etc. But at all times, We the People will control what happens, in whatever area We the People live - and controlling people who wish to rule others by violence is something We the People need to be concerned about.
There are always clear areas and fuzzy areas, and every situation needs to be dealt with on whatever its merits are. If I in my house decide that I will only feed my children vegetarian food, for instance, but otherwise feed and treat them well, that is something that most communities will not get see fit to get involved in, even though the kids might complain a bit outside that their rights are being horribly violated because I won't buy them a MacDonalds hamburger (they'll be free to do that once they leave my house and become 'free' citizens). If, however, I decide that I should feed my children nothing but bread and water and beat them every day and keep them in a small dark closet under the stairs making running shoes for me to sell in my shop because I have found some god that tells me to do so (so I say), it may well be that the larger community will decide that these children have a right to be protected from that sort of thing in order to develop properly and healthily in mind and body both, and take some kind of action. But it is always the democratic will of a majority of the people, after suitable discussion, that must prevail, and never the 'delegated authority' of someone else - that is the path to fascism, whether you call it a pretty name or not - especially once those controlling the delegated authority decide they need to control a police force such as the one in these stories, and that police force, or most members thereof, decides they are above the laws designed to control 'we the people' (as they invariably do, once they become separate from rather than a part of 'we the people').
And it's interesting to note the stories in the papers - they do not dare broach the idea that the problems with the police that have been uncovered might not be bad apples in a barrel, but systematic - of course, the whole idea is to steer people in other directions than this - they have 'experts' with various opinions of what the problems might be, or solutions - all inside the box stuff. Outside the box, of course, one realises that rulers need enforcers, and enforcers can only be controlled to a certain degree even if the rulers are somewhat benevolent - it's the very nature of humans who are willing to use violence to achieve their ends to be somewhat uncontrollable and to feel they are above any laws they are enforcing on those they control.
Just some stuff to think about from Green Island, where the GRIPPs (Green Island People's Police) are actually part of the community, and not above it - the sort of stuff the RCMP has been up to in Canadaland lately is completely unthinkable here, for every reason from we simply employ more intelligent people in the first place who are part of the community, to the fact that we do not allow OUR police service to keep secrets from us about what they are doing, and collaborate with other governments to send OUR citizens off to some other country to be tortured, as you may recall a certain happening of there in Canadaland, where the police rule and the people say "YES SIR HOW HIGH SIR!!!!!" if they know what's good for them when the police speak to them. You can have Democracy. Or you can have police running your lives unaccountably. You cannot have both.
Oct 2 2006
One of the few Canadian columnists (in the MSM at any rate) who sees clearly and speaks honestly: James Travers at the Star - Zaccardelli must resign — or be fired: "...Senior bureaucrats are now reassured that this government won't demand more from them than the last. Ethics, accountability and responsibility are just wispy concepts with no real-world application... If that's good enough for Conservatives, then Conservatives aren't good enough for Canada."