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The Disaffected Lib: Pontifical Council to World Hindus – Globalization Sucks!

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has issued a heads up to world Hindus for Diwali, the Hindu Autumn festival of lights. In the message, released October 20 and entitled “Christians and Hindus: Together to Foster a Culture of ‘Inclusion,’” the Pontifical Council stated that “globalization has not achieved its primary objective of integrating local peoples into the global community. Rather, globalization has contributed significantly to many peoples losing their sociocultural, economic and political identities.” Globalization, the message continued, has contributed to relativism, syncretism, “a privatization of religion,” and “religious fundamentalism and ethnic, tribal and sectarian violence in (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Calling the bluff on "we must compete in the global marketplace"

The soul-numbing mantra “we must compete in the global marketplace” is much heard these days. Conservative politicians and business groups toss it out tirelessly as an argument to reduce taxes, and weaken labour and environmental laws. Unfortunately, their argument is valid. Trade agreements have so reduced the ability of national governments to tax and to provide legislative protection for

PostArctica: Citizen’s Party Growing In Spain – Podemos (We Can)

“It’s citizens doing politics. If the citizens don’t get involved in politics, others will. And that opens the door to them robbing you of democracy, your rights and your wallet.”

Pablo Iglesias, Podemos

Podemos hopes to cement rise of citizen politics in Spain after election success

 

PostArctica: Citizen’s Party Growing In Spain – Podemos (We Can)

“It’s citizens doing politics. If the citizens don’t get involved in politics, others will. And that opens the door to them robbing you of democracy, your rights and your wallet.”

Pablo Iglesias, Podemos

Podemos hopes to cement rise of citizen politics in Spain after election success

 

Bill Longstaff: Support the tax gap motion

That governments are robbed of billions of dollars by the rich and by corporations exploiting tax havens is a well-known national and international scandal. It is now standard practice for corporations to exploit a variety of often opaque schemes to shift profits into low or no-tax jurisdictions.

The corporate tax rate in Canada, including federal and provincial taxes, averages 25 per cent. This

The Progressive Economics Forum: Surely lighthouses are simply a good thing?

“From a conventional view of progress, there were few projects more useful and less problematic than building lighthhouses to save life and cargo. From the shore, however, this was not so obvious. Among the local population were wreckers, who waited for storms to drive vessels ashore which they looted for cargo and parts – or who even lured vesssels to shipwreck by posting false beacons….From their perspective, lighthouse beams projected the military power of the state and the economic power of global trade at the expense of the livelihood of local populations. What the engineer [who built the lighthouses] (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Flaherty bribes automakers—globalization at work

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s $500-million handout to the auto industry has engendered a bit of controversy. Dino Chiodo, president of the union representing hourly workers at Chrysler’s Windsor assembly plant, says it isn’t enough. Mark Milke of the Fraser Institute says it’s way too much, claiming corporate welfare is a bad idea and the money would be better spent on social welfare programs

Bill Longstaff: Capitalism—an irrational system in an age of climate change

Capitalism is generally recognized as having one great strength. That, of course, is as a creator of wealth. Aided by the remarkable advance of technology (some would say inspired and facilitated by capitalism) it has created wealth unknown before in human history.

Capitalism is also generally recognized as having one great weakness. It is a lousy distributor of wealth. Indeed, that goes against

Writings of J. Todd Ring: The rise of Bitcoin: and the challenge to the global domination of big money

The following article was written on October 25. I wanted to read it over once more before publishing it, then got busy with other things and forgot about it. In the roughly six weeks that have passed since the writing of this article, the Bitcoin prices have gone from roughly $200 to over $700. There […]

Writings of J. Todd Ring: NAFTA, “Free Trade” and the TPP: Fast-Track To Full Corporate Rule

“Twenty years ago, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed into law. At the time, advocates painted a rosy picture of booming U.S. exports creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and economic development in Mexico, which would bring the struggling country in line with its wealthier northern neighbors. Two decades later, those […]

The Ranting Canadian: Diane Francis is an imbecile and a traitor. The Chicago-born…

Diane Francis is an imbecile and a traitor. The Chicago-born conservative immigrant to Canada should be deported to her homeland, as should all foreign-born right-wing elitists who want to give away Canadians’ sovereignty as if it’s no big deal. Canadian-born traitors like Stephen J. Harper and his spineless sycophants will require another kind of treatment.

Francis, the American/Canadian dual citizen, recently wrote a shitty book (and an opinion piece in the money-losing Conservative Party propaganda rag National Post) arguing that Canada and the United States should merge into one country. In her Harper-like column full of inaccuracies and of (Read more…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: The deeper reasons for the “war on drugs”

There is a deeper reason for the war on drugs, which is the central reason for the policy, even outweighing profits from private prisons and seizure of property by law enforcement officers, both of which no doubt are also significant and strong motivations for keeping the “war on drugs” going. Nearly thirty years ago, Chomsky […]

Bill Longstaff: Will the tax man catch up to the corporate slackers?

Globalization as we have come to know and love it is misnamed. As it advantages corporations while disadvantaging workers and governments, it might more appropriately be called corporatization or some such thing.

Among its sins, it allows corporations to escape the democratic confines of the nation state and it allows corporations to blackmail nations into providing cheap labour. Manufacturing

Canadian Dimension | Articles: Pensions and the Detroit Bankruptcy

Municipal workers across the United States — and especially those already retired — were dealt a warning shot in mid-July when the city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy. Municipal bankruptcies, which have particularly set their sights on cutting the pensions of public-sector retirees, might become a more favoured tool in imposing austerity and deepening neoliberal attacks on the working class, particularly in what had once been the labourfriendly industrial heartland of the US.

The governor of Michigan appointed Kevyn Orr “emergency manager” with the power to force dramatic restructuring of the former Motor City. Emergency managers can impose cuts and (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: It Worked for Capone, Now Let’s Use It on Multi-Nationals

Tax evasion is a crime.   Multi-national corporations are criminals.  In fact, the G20 is warning that advanced countries are facing “global tax chaos” as multi-nationals evade taxes by laundering their revenues through low-tax or no-tax havens.

The buggers really do think they’re above the law, a clear impression they’ve received from our politicians for thirty years or more.

On Friday, the [British] chancellor, George Osborne, will hail a two-year action plan drawn up by the OECD thinktank to clamp down on questionable international corporate tax practices.The long-awaited report, prepared for a meeting of the G20 (Read more…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Top Priorities of the 21st Century

If I were asked what I felt were the top priorities facing human beings today, in the 21st century, I would have to say there are four that top the list, in my mind. 1. Halt the global corporate coup. Defeat the corporate war on democracy, which is now escalating daily, and take democracy back. […]

The Disaffected Lib: Robert Reich on Bringing MultiNationals to Heel

Robert Reich argues there’s just one way remaining to wrest domination from global capitalism.   We need multinational tax policy to halt the excesses of multinational corporatism.

As global capital becomes ever more powerful, giant corporations are holding governments and citizens up for ransom — eliciting subsidies and tax breaks from countries concerned about their nation’s “competitiveness” — while sheltering their profits in the lowest-tax jurisdictions they can find.  Major advanced countries — and their citizens — need a comprehensive tax agreement that won’t allow global corporations to get away with this.

Google, Amazon, Starbucks, every other major corporation, (Read more…)

Walking Turcot Yards: Only art can save us now

The world needs creative interpretations of global issues, not better descriptions of things people are accustomed to. by Santiago Zabala Perhaps rather than God, as Martin Heidegger once said, it is art that can save us. After all, artistic creations have always had political, religious and social meanings that also aimed in some way to save us. Certainly, they also express beauty, but this depends very much on the public’s aesthetic taste, which varies according to the cultural environment of each society.But when the political meaning is manifest, aesthetics (our sensations and taste) lose ground in favour of . . . → Read More: Walking Turcot Yards: Only art can save us now

The Ranting Canadian: Faces of Evil This one isn’t a music video; it is chilling…

Faces of Evil

This one isn’t a music video; it is chilling old footage of Margaret Thatcher having afternoon tea with her close personal friend and political ally Augusto Pinochet, the murderous quasi-fascist dictator of Chile who overthrew a democratically elected government in a bloody coup.

Thatcher was an evil, evil, dirty politician, Hopefully her last few days on Earth were full of pain and suffering, as punishment for the pain and suffering she inflicted on millions of others.

Of the main 1980s proponents of Chicago School trickle-down capitalism — Milton Friedman, Pinochet, Ronald Reagan and Brian Mulroney —Thatcher is (Read more…)

The Ranting Canadian: In grade 9 or 10 French class, we had an assignment to write a…

In grade 9 or 10 French class, we had an assignment to write a page of text in French and accompany it with some graphics. I chose to write about the French Revolution, and for the picture, I cut out magazine photos of Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and Brian Mulroney and used them to represent the French aristocrats getting their heads cut off by guillotines. I learned much later that my teacher reported this to the vice-principal, concerned that I was disturbed and violent. She was way off base, and when the vice-principal contacted my parents, they told him so.

. . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: In grade 9 or 10 French class, we had an assignment to write a…

The Ranting Canadian: RBC declares war against Canadian workers

RBC declares war against Canadian workers:

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is firing dozens of its employees in Canada and replacing them with lower-paid temporary foreign workers. RBC is forcing their soon-to-be-unemployed Canadian employees to train their own replacements. RBC made $7.5 billion in profits in 2012. Also about a year ago, they increased their service fees.

The RBC website insanely claims that it is:

One of Canada’s “Best 50 Corporate Citizens” One of Canada’s “50 Most Socially Responsible Corporations” One of the “Best Workplaces in Canada” Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures

Don’t be confused into believing

. . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: RBC declares war against Canadian workers

The Ranting Canadian: Jim Flaherty, the most incompetent finance minister in Canadian…

Jim Flaherty, the most incompetent finance minister in Canadian history, released his pathetic 2013 budget on March 21 and almost immediately snuck off to Hong Kong, en route to Thailand. He only stopped in Vancouver along the way – to give a scripted speech to an exclusive audience of Conservative-friendly corporate insiders. He won’t be back in parliament until at least the middle of April.

Very suspicious.

Flaherty understood that his piece-of-crap budget of cooked-up dollar figures and phony economic projections was indefensible, so he did what any coward would do: run away. That was no surprise. What is

. . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: Jim Flaherty, the most incompetent finance minister in Canadian…

The Ranting Canadian: Interview with Glen “the Hamilton Kid” of the Steeltown Spoilers

Interview with Glen “the Hamilton Kid” of the Steeltown Spoilers:

The above link is to an interview with Glen “the Hamilton Kid” of the punk band Steeltown Spoilers.

Glen talks about his band of course, but he also discusses the economic decline and political destruction of the city he loves. The interview reveals some real insight into to the economic and cultural situation in Hamilton since the traitor Brian Mulroney started the ball rolling on globalization, and subsequent Liberal and Conservative governments incrementally continued the class war against Canada’s workers. He speaks in plain language and tells it like

. . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: Interview with Glen “the Hamilton Kid” of the Steeltown Spoilers

The Disaffected Lib: It’s Time that Canada Found a New/Old Economy

By the time you’re in your 60s you’ve developed a sense of a certain cadence to life, something like a master Circadien rhythm that regulates life on our planet.   Every now and then something happens and mankind skips a quarter or half a beat.   That’s what happened in the Great Depression and World War II.  But before long we get back into the beat and life goes on.  We have families, we make plans, we look to the future silently trusting in the metronome of life.

We don’t do well when our civilizational beat becomes erratic,

. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: It’s Time that Canada Found a New/Old Economy

Politics and its Discontents: The Precariously Employed

The other day I made reference in a post to a study showing that half of the workers in the GTA are precariously employed, meaning they have unstable and unreliable employment with no benefits, a reality sharply at odds with the triumphalism of the right over the putative unalloyed good achieved by free trade.

This morning’s Star editorial calls for changes in social assistance programs to ease the plight of these workers. Among the ideas being bandied about are more flexible child care, reforms to pensions, and new insurance models “that could create more economic certainty for people in precarious

. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: The Precariously Employed