Monday, June 15, 2015

June 15: The revolution is almost over.

It began in 1952 with US Senator Joseph McCarthy who waved a paper in front of audiences to say it  was a list of over 200 communist spies who were working in the US state department. So he was made Chairman of the House Committee on unAmerican activities.

For two years, he grilled the victims of his communist witch hunt, destroying careers and reputations like an elephant on the loose. He especially hit at movie stars, scaring the pants off a very popular star named Ronald Reagan. (Reagan had been president of the first union for movie actors - obviously, then, he must have been a close buddy to Stalin.) Reagan promptly dumped the union, and moved as far to the right as his little feet could carry him. And he wasn't the only one.

Tough guy and real man  cowboy star Gary Cooper not only freely praised himself as a true, non-communist and real American by denouncing communism. He named friends and acquaintances as (possible) communists.

Fear converted virtually the whole of the US  (and Canada) to anti-communism. And what did that word communist mean? They didn't know. They still don't know. They associated it with the mass murders by Stalin. But Stalin was never a communist. Russia was never a communist country.

It was unAmerican. That was it. Communists killed people, said McCarthy. Commnists tortured people. Communists invaded countries.  Americans would never do any of those things. That's why communism was unAmerican. And that means that capitalism WAS American. And anybody who wanted to regulate big business or make it pay taxes or give livable wages was unAmerican and a comsymp (communist sympathizer).

It was the opening gun of  the war on all of us by big business. It's why millions were killed in Vietnam and millions maimed. It's why a couple of million or more people  have been killed in the Middle East. McCarthy was what began our long move to fear, hatred and insanity.

McCarthy NEVER, in all his hearings, uncovered a single communist. His list ("I have here the names of over 200 communists in the state department") was a fraud.

But McCarthy set the stage for the revolution of big business, the revolution that has largely destroyed prosperity of the world. A big force in the turning point was a now thoroughly Americanized Ronald Reagan (with the help of a lifetime, self-serving bootlicker, Brian Mulroney). The revolution was free trade which allowed big business to move jobs to countries where labour was super cheap, where union organizers got shot, where the rich could avoid taxes without even hiding their profits - places where they could get away with exploiting poverty in new countries, while creating poverty in the homelands they left behind.

It just happened again. What's left of the automobile business in Canada is moving to Mexico. CBC had the story. But the editors at  Irving don't watch TV news, just world wrestling and, possibly, dart-throwing.

Thousands of Candian jobs are lost to Mexico with thousands more to follow because you can hire people in Mexico for ten percent of a Canadian wage. They actually can't live on that. But who cares? Besides, you can pollute to your heart's content. That's why so many wealthy Canadians take their hidden taxes that they don't pay, and invest them in Latin America.

And there are three, much bigger and more dangerous trade deals coming our way. These will not only destroy Canadian and American jobs. They will also give corporations the right to largely ignore Canadian regulations and laws. Both Harper and Trudeau think this is a great idea. But it means a real threat to those Canadians who aren't super rich. That's why you haven't read much about it.

Make no mistake.  When  Senator McCarthy invented the word unAmerican, he started a revolution. And we've been paying the price ever since.

By the way, if America has freedom of thought and speech, how can there possibly be such a thing as "unAmerican"?  It reminds me of Harper and his babbling about "Canadian values" - another term that nobody knows the meaning of. And, certainly, there are no values I share with a sleaze like Harper.

We are very deep into rule by the apes.
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As you might guess, today's Irving press is not exciting. Big  front page story?  "FIFA doubleheader sells out". Big story beside it?  Brazil, Cost Rica teams land in Moncton".  On A7, a restaurant in Moncton has closed, but might reopen if we build an events centre. And we know it's true because there's a photo of the sign saying it's closed. So there. I think the city and the province should give the restaurant a grant to stay in business. Then people will come  here  from all over the world to go to the restaurant - and, while they're here - some of them might go to the events centre.
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The editorial is about university funding. Unfortunately, the editorial writer  has no understanding of education at any level - and his suggestions are  useless. Also a problem is that top university management and boards of governors usually don't have a clue about education, either.

May I suggest they take a look at other countries which operate cheaply, even free, for the students? And which do at least as good a job as ours? The whole structure of university education is in serious need of rethinking. But God forbid we introduce a new idea to them.

Page 1 has a related story - about public schools putting more emphasis on job training as in science, technology, engineering, and math.  And that's okay. But what about understanding and thinking? We badly need that in this world. And, as the Irving press shows, we don't have much of it. School is not just training dogs to jump through hoops. It's about real children who need to learn how to use their brains. They need that. And we all need them to have that.

And you get that through History, Language, Geography---but most of all through discussion, debate, exposure to a wide range of opinion, freedom to explore and freedom to think. We aren't getting that because chicken school boards won't allow creative thinking, and the Irvings of this world have no use for people who think. They want dogs who can jump through hoops.

Excellent column by Norbert. It's on a programme to help women to protect themselves against sexual assaults. This is well reasoned, and well worth a read.

Craig Babcock and Steve Malloy are both worth a read.

Alec Bruce is not.  His column is a long one (or it seemed long) on the problems facing Canada's oil industry, and how Harper can't help it as much as he might like to because of world-wide concern about climate change. And you know what's causing all of this trouble for all of our world civilization?

Well, last sentence. we are part of a world civilization "....that is growing sick of all the fine-feathered friends of the earth it must endure."

If he had room for another sentence, it might have been, "I have a list here, a list of over 200 environmentalists...."

Alex, don't just take cheap shots. Show how and why most of our world's scientists don't agree with him. Or, get Harper to set  up a committee .of unCanadian activities to get those ignorant (or evil) scientists on the stand.
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In all of Canada&World, there is only one story worth reading. So read all of it. It's on B4. "Human Rights Watch raises concern over B.C. terrorism trial".

It's happening in BC.where federal agents entrapped a very vulnerable couple into a plot to set a bomb in the B.C. legislature. The federal agents urged the couple to do it, helped to build the bomb, supplied them with money, egged them on when they didn't want to do it.... And that's exactly what federal agents in the US do, too.

They create terrorist plots. They find vulnerable people like drug derelicts, give them money and instruction and very sophisticated urgings to do the job. Then, they arrest them just in time - and we are saved  from another attack by those terrible terrorists.

The closest Canada has come to a terrorist attack is two cases, both involving mentally ill Canadians. But we are spending uncounted millions on an anti-terror bill that takes away the constitutional rights that made us a free people, to  give to secret police to spy  on all of us, and to set up phony terrorist plots to justify their existence.  Why is this happening?

Well, it's something like Senator McCarthy. It's to set up fear and hatred, to protect our "Canadianism" - whatever that means. Don't want to be unCanadian.

It's also (and has been for years) to spy on us, and report any of us who might be those "fine feathered friends of the earth". And on leaders of the NDP. (That kind of spying goes way back fifty years and more to the days when the NDP was the CCF, and the RCMP spied on that vicious radical,, Tommy Douglas, the Baptist clergyman who introduced medicare. (No connection to any Baptist clergyman who writes for the Faith page. More's the pity.)

The spies give reports to Harper, of course, and also to all the business leaders we're so proud of.

That is what's called a police state. We're there.
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Today is a notable birthday. Magna Carta, signed by King John at Runnymede is  800 years old today. It is widely regarded in both Britain and the US as the first recognition of human rights and freedoms, making it the basis of modern democracy.

(I'm not sure that "basis of modern democracy" part is true. Almost three hundred years earlier, Iceland had a form of parliament called 'Althing". As well, we are almost completely ignorant of events in the rest of the world, so such concepts may have existed in many other places. The Iroquois, for example, had a very modern and democratic government about the time  our ancestors  arrived here - and we have no idea what existed before that among all the millions of people in the Americas.  We have a sort of history of making racial superiority  judgements which see western Europe as first in just about everything.)

Google Magna Carta USA Today legacy.  It has an interesting story about how Churchill tried to give an ancient copy of the document to Roosevelt early in World War Two. He was desperate to get the US into the war because he knew that, with Dunkirk,  Britain had lost the war. But he knew that Americans had a reverence for Magna Carta, seeing it as the origin of their Declaration of Rights. And he thought  this gift might draw Americans to the British side.

But Roosevelt was not a sentimental man (except with regard to his secretary).. And American enthusiasm for Britain was limited. If Britain lost, that was fine. The US and its big business could pick up the British and French empires in Asia - free. The only war that Roosevelt cared about was the Japanese invasion of China. Big business in the US desperately wanted China. So the only war Roosevelt wanted was a war with Japan.

There are no such things as friends between nations.
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Oh - one little quarrel with Steve Malloy's column.He says Canadians are in danger of losing their identity by catering to the wishes of newcomers.

Quite so. I think native peoples to this day must regret they did not have stricter immigration laws.

And what are Canadian values? When my first ancestors got here, they were French and Catholic, presumably making them different from native peoples - and from me. My highland Scottish ancestors were rigidly Calvinist and Presbyterian, spoke Gaelic, And became English. Are those all now Canadian values?

Some kids I grew up with were descendants of the Irish Catholics who came here to escape "the great hunger". My Scots Protestant mother didn't like them. And my French neighbours didn't, either. My friends in school were Italians, Syrians, Jews from Europe, Japanese. I helped my father when he was scoutmaster for a Chinese troop. When did all their values become Canadian values?

A majority of Canadians now do not attend church regularly. Is religion no longer a Canadian value?

Values, like cultures, don't mean a damn thing because because they're constantly changing. And we could sure use some more changes.
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Finally - the meaning of the word 'communism'. It refers to a society in which all people are equal and in which all people share equally - and they do it largely without government. Essentially, it means "love thy neighbour". The basic concept is a profoundly Christian one.  Many people turned to it because capitalism had become so greedy and murderous and cruel - and unChristian and unJudaic.

Nobody ever achieved communism because, well, because we're human. On that experience, communism doesn't work. The problem is, for those who are slow learners, capitalism doesn't work, either. It has created a world of violence,, mass murder, exploitation, mass poverty - and it's getting worse, much worse.

In university, I came to meet some communists - almost  all of them pompous, preachy, and self-righteous asses - just  like the capitalists I met.

Luckily for me, I came to know many of the former communists from Montreal's Jewish ghetto. They had all resigned from the party when Russian premier Kruschev revealed what a killer Stalin had been. They mourned for the old party they had believed in. But they knew it was over. They remained, though, the finest, most selfless and loving people I have ever met. They changed my life. And I'm forever grateful to them.

There's a very touching history of them by Merrily Weisbord, "The Strangest Dream". Merrily is the daughter of one of the leading Jewish communists of those old days in Montreal -and she was my date for my BA graduation.


3 comments:

  1. I don't believe that Senator Joseph McCarthy was ever the chairman or a member of the Committee on Un-American Activities. HUAC was a committee of the US Congress However he was for a time the chairman of the Senate Committee on Government Operations, and it was from control over its sub-committees that he conducted his most notorious anti-Communist "investigations".

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're right, and I was wrong. Sources say "Though many people think he was a member of HUAC, he was not." This misunderstanding arose because McCarthy's committee was very similar to HUAC which was formed in 1938 to uncover Naziis in the US. And, obviously, I am one of those who misunderstood.
    Interestingly the HUAC did nothing much either. The important Nazi supporters in the US were billionaires like Henry Ford. Nothing ever happened to them.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You're right, and I was wrong. Sources say "Though many people think he was a member of HUAC, he was not." This misunderstanding arose because McCarthy's committee was very similar to HUAC which was formed in 1938 to uncover Naziis in the US. And, obviously, I am one of those who misunderstood.
    Interestingly the HUAC did nothing much either. The important Nazi supporters in the US were billionaires like Henry Ford. Nothing ever happened to them.

    ReplyDelete