This movie about the evolution of capitalism is a must-see. It puts into context the 2008 « financial crisis », which was in reality only a trick to defraud public treasuries and pension funds in the U.S. and around the world to benefit corporate finance. It was a plain and simple theft. And it has been used as a pretext to steal even more from the poor and the middle class by imposing on them « austerity » measures to compensate for the losses. Austerity measures don’t solve any problems but, on the contrary, exacerbate them by creating unemployment, a slowdown in consumption, decrease in investments, etc, which in turn creates even more umeployment. Among other things, the documentary takes a look at social protests held during the G20 meeting in Toronto, in Greece and Europe, and in Wisconsin.
On June 13th 2011, the National Post published the first in a five-part series on the future of the Great Lakes region in advance of a North American summit on the subject. The Mowat Centre and Brookings Institution will hold the « Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Region Summit » on June 21st-22nd in Windsor and in Detroit. Many speakers will be heard from all over the areas concerned, i.e. two provinces, Quebec and Ontario, and 8 American states. The point of holding this conference is that there is a growing awareness in the business and political communities that regions are becoming more and more important around the world because of geographical « clustering » of populations, capital, talent, education centers, private research centers, culture centers, etc, that go beyond official borders. Since a couple of years, new industries have come to replace traditional heavy industry in the region of the Great Lakes, which is a sign that it can only grow up again after a certain period of decrease in the last decades. Canadians and Americans share the area of the Great Lakes and St-Lawrence as a land mass to live on, to prosper, to do business, and basically to be happy and enjoy freedom and democracy. The authors of the article, Matthew Mendelsohn and John Austin, recall that in 2050, 1/3 of the world’s population will live with a short supply of water, which makes the Great Lakes and St-Lawrence region a little treasure to be cherished for the future of our children, and even for us. Skipping down in the article, they mention that apparently, we have « an inability to imagine our shared future » on both sides of the border. It is probably true.
I knew it was coming. In George Orwell’s 1984, whole continents are considered regions and the world is united in a totalitarian fascist-socialist regime. After the marriage of a bunch of european countries to form the European Union, now we can already see certain movements beginning the same process in North America. The summit that will be held this week is a good idea but I think it is the symptom of something else. A political event drew my attention recently. In three U.S. states that are concerned with the Great Lakes issue, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, moves have been made to attack the middle class and the unions, among other things. For example, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has made some questionable manoeuvres in the last weeks concerning the future of his state. The next paragraph is an extract of an earlier post, on the seastedding movement:
Well, well, well… Look at what we got here… These days, in Wisconsin, there is literally a vendetta against unions to finish off any capacity from the poorest segment of the population of our so-called « democratic » countries to organize and defend themselves against the sharks and wolves of the ultra-rich. Many Republicans perceive unions as being « socialist ». Really? But… haven’t they read the Gospel, where Jesus is presented as somebody who shares with, gives and help his brothers? How this sacred Jihad against unions is in any way compatible with the most basic principles of social-democracy, liberalism, which is based on the Gospel? It is not. And you know why? Because it is just another deception, a mascarade to hide the pro-fascist agenda of the Republican Party. Republicans want to destroy the middle class and with it, social-democracy itself. That‘s what they are trying to do.
You want another example? Take this story about Ron Schiller, Foundation President at the National Public Radio network. It appears that he has been set up by a right-wing activist, James O’Keefe, a specialist of these matters apparently who, among other targets, helped to destroy the credibility of ACORN. O’Keefe sent two of his accomplices, Shaughn Adeleye and Simon Templar (we can bet that is not his real name either…) to pose as members of a phony Muslim Brotherhood front group, the Muslim Education Action Center. During this highly edited interview, we can hear and see Schiller, among other things, making negative comments on the Tea Party and the Republican Party. O’Keefe then posted the hidden-camera video on Youtube, which led to a media scandal and the firing of chief executive Vivian Schiller, no relation with the other. Evidently, taken out of context, the different comments Schiller made sound rather unacceptable for an executive. But O’Keefe hasn’t provided us yet with the unedited version of the interview, which I guess would be revealing. But I think we can assume that we will never have the chance to see the integral of the recording…
NPR is getting accustomed to conservative harassment. In the 1990s and in 2005, similar attempts were made on them. These recent attacks are part of a global strategy from the Republicans to cut off on « federal spending », which is only a pretext to cease all kinds of social measures and programs that help the poor and the middle class in the U.S. Last month, a bill was passed in the House of Representatives that would end funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which supports NPR. Frankly, this O’Keefe is a manipulator and a right-wing biggot. I provide you here with an article and the videos that O’Keefe made available on Youtube on this story. In the first one, you will be able to judge for yourself how edited it is and how it cannot have any credibility whatsoever for that reason. Not knowing the general context in which these comments were made, one cannot induce an interpretation like O’Keefe does. But it doesn’t matter for the Republican Party. They are after the poor and the middle class and they are ready to crush everyone on their path.