Americas

Wednesday, 26 August 2015 19:22 Amir Khadir Editorial Dept - Americas
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The longest election campaign in recent Canadian history is an opportunity to point to the contradictions of the major parties on the question of ecology. If there is one issue that touches simultaneously on economic development, the protection of ecosystems, public health, climate warming, transportation and the legitimacy of public institutions, it is the exploitation of the tar sands and the many pipeline projects for exporting the most polluting oil in the world.

Let's say it straightaway: No federal party at this time has a credible plan to get out of hydrocarbons. They have not said where they stand on controversial projects like Old Harry, Anticosti or shale gas.[1] As long as Quebec remains in the Canadian federation, the Québécois are entitled to demand more from the parties that hope to govern in Ottawa, and that they take decisions that measure up to the issues of the 21st century.

It is in good taste to say that economy and environment should not conflict. However, we often overlook the contradictions between the imperative of unlimited growth of tar sands operations and the fight against climate change.

 
Friday, 20 February 2015 17:55 J. F. Conway Editorial Dept - Americas
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“Only a fool would deny that millions have been the tragic victims of communism, but that number pales, surely, in comparison with the victims of capitalism.” - Roy MacGregor, Globe and Mail, 31 January 2015.

Roy MacGregor was commenting on Harper's latest ideological propaganda foray into keeping us safe by reminding us of all the bogeymen out there on the very big, broad left. (Harper's definition of communism is really quite loose, just look at some of his past comments on Pierre Trudeau.)

Harper is building a big ugly memorial to the victims of communism on a million dollar piece of public land right beside the Supreme Court. (Could this be revenge for their decisions dismantling key pieces of his agenda?) And it is ugly, really ugly – just look at the sketches of the proposed memorial. It is right up there with the ugliest of Stalinist politically correct statues and monuments imposed across the Soviet Union before its implosion in 1991.

Stephen Harper would be a rather sad and pathetic figure if he didn't hold the power of the Canadian state firmly in his grasp. This allows him to impose his folksy fanaticism on the rest of us. He is without doubt the most fierce right-wing ideologue to occupy the office of prime minister since R.B. Bennett, who in 1919 vowed to crush communism “under the iron heel of ruthlessness.” And he proceeded to do so. But Bennett had some real, tough class enemies to deal with in the days of the Winnipeg General Strike and the Great Depression.

 
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 15:43 David Mandel Editorial Dept - Americas
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Let's begin with Prime Minister Stephen Harper's version. One can think what one likes about deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, but his election in 2012 was recognized as legitimate by international observers and, after a certain hesitation, by the defeated candidate, Yulia Timoshenko. In fact, relatively honest elections were just about the only positive outcome for ordinary people of the last big mobilization on Maidan Square, the ‘Orange Revolution’ of December 2004.

Presidential elections were set for March 2015, and moved up to December 2014 by the abortive agreement signed on Februrary 21, signed by Yanukovich and the parliamentary opposition. Polls predicted defeat for Yanukovich. And despite the corruption that characterized his regime, it tolerated a good measure of political freedom. Among other things, much of the mass media was in the camp of the opposition.

As for the immediate issue, the Agreement of Association with the European Union, polls showed that the population was divided. From that point of view, it is the attempt to impose the Agreement “from the street” that appears as undemocratic. A democratic demand would have been for a free public discussion, followed by a referendum.

 
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 12:35 Greg Albo Editorial Dept - Americas
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 It has become commonplace to observe that the Conservative government of Stephen Harper has been re-making the symbols and practices of the Canadian state. Canada, in this view, was once the social democratic heartland of North America. But under Harper, Canada has been transformed into a hyper-regime of neoliberal market fundamentalism. Nowhere, it is argued, is this makeover more evident than in Canada's dealings with the rest of the world. Canada was once the pre-eminent middle-power, peace-keeping nation. But now Canada operates like a renegade state: abandoning peace-keeping; deploying troops in combat missions across several continents to discipline wayward states; attacking the United Nations (UN); money-wrenching climate change negotiations; and on it goes.

There is, indeed, something to these charges. Neoliberal regimes like Harper's have been strengthening their military and security apparatuses. They have been deploying their international economic policy to undergird the internationalization of capital. But the view of a pre-Harper internationalist and just Canada spins illusions about Canada's past. Canada has been long time engaged as an ally of British and American imperialism (going back to the era of the Atlantic slave trade triangle). More tellingly: it fails to situate Canada properly as an imperialist state in its own right advancing and protecting the international interests of Canadian and Western capital.

 
Friday, 28 June 2013 00:00 Ragina Johnson Editorial Dept - Americas
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Though you wouldn't know it from the mainstream media, the U.S. economy continues to suffer the aftershocks of the Great Recession of 2008. California is a special case in point, where the unemployment rate hovers at 10 per cent.

To resolve this crisis, money-grubbing corporations and the politicians that serve them are working together to restructure the economy and restore stronger growth by turning to resource extraction. This form of growth and development is already having a drastic impact on the environment, people's health – and also the sovereignty and rights of Native American tribes and nations.
 

The consequences for working people are stark. In California, child poverty is on the rise at 23 per cent, rental prices have skyrocketed, migration to the Golden State has slowed, and in a sure sign of an unfolding social crisis, some adults are deciding that having children is no longer an affordable option. The reports of a rise in suicide rates among adults shows how far the social crisis can deepen if people don't have access to economic stability and good jobs.

In the fall of last year, Native tribes declared a state of emergency. Reports revealed Native American teens and young adults are killing themselves at more than triple the rate of other young Americans. Coming after decades of racism, continued land theft and inequality, Native Americans, as a segment at the bottom of the ladder, are being hit the hardest.
 
Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00 J. D. Longstreet Editorial Dept - Americas
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Why the government won't seal the southern border- Recently, I heard more false claims that the US stole much of the land that is now the southwestern states from Mexico.  It’s TOTAL BUNK!

The mainstream media continues to publish those claims without counterbalancing them with the truth.  That does two things.  It emboldens those perpetrating those false claims against the US – and -- it is accepted as truth by our woefully undereducated citizenry. 

Over three years ago we attempted to bring truth to the discussion by explaining that the US did, in fact, purchase that land. It is a matter of historical fact.


As the months have gone by, I have seen no attempt to set the record straight.  This, dear reader, is how revisionist history becomes so successful.  No one refutes it.  It is the first rule of propaganda: tell the lie long enough and loud enough and it will eventually be accepted as truth.

It would seem that is what those groups in the United States, whose aim it is to push AMNESTY for Illegal Aliens legislation through the Congress and onto Obama’s desk for his signature, are endeavoring to do.  We refer, of course, to the new Immigration Reform Bill.   I mean, how can we insist that those people abide by the law and apply for citizenship in the US legally, because, after all, IT IS THEIR LAND.   

OK, let’s take another shot at setting the record straight and look at some facts.

 

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