The state of justice in the USA

And a little now in Canada

Well, Friday 31st January 2020 confirmed what most of us think about the state of justice in the USA.

If you are black person specially or for that matter any person of colour (other than orange that is) and you are lucky enough not to be shot by the police simply because you are black and they feel it their duty to gun you down, you cannot expect a fair trial.  Your colour will always be a prejudice against you and you will most likely go to jail whether or not you are guilty of even a simple perceived traffic violation.

If on the other hand you are what comedian talk show host Bill Maher described as an angry orangutan you will not even receive a proper trial; because in your case there will be no witnesses called at your trial and your obedient republican members of the senate – minus one  (in spite of their oaths which clearly meant nothing) will render a partisan verdict of not guilty.  The interest and support of the US constitution has been abandoned in favour of a man of prejudice, bigotry and white supremacist beliefs who delighted in ordering and boasted about the killing of a man on a peace mission bringing us to the very brink of WW3. Peace in the middle east is not in the interest of either the USA (money) or Israel (lust for power and land), and so any real peace maker had to be gunned down.

Justice demands a fair trial because no man/woman should be above the law, and a fair trial must include witnesses from both sides. Since this was refused then one has to assume that the president of the USA is above the law (so much for their vaunted constitution), or that a fair trial could not and would not be held in this case to prevent impeachment of someone whose desire for personal success is paramount and everyone else is just a utensil.

The not guilty verdict unleashed a barrage of ugly tweets from a somewhat deranged person, followed last week with the presidential pardon of some serious criminals just like him.  I think it is a fairly safe bet that Roger Stone will only serve a few days in jail if at all.

The home of “the brave and free” is now blessed by a devilish reality show host for a president, not some form of mythical god and unless the good people of the USA do something about it they will suffer for many years of agony.

Albert Einstein:

“The world is a dangerous place not because of evil people, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”

Now regretfully there is an unhealthy discussion here in Canada too, what else can you expect from Canada’s version of the republican party, concerning “whiteman’s law” and the original peoples’ law long preceding the Magna Carta.  Somehow we are arrogant enough to think our modern version is better.

What will it take to get us all to accept that we are all human beings regardless of our skin colour, religious beliefs, orientation, or desire to just live in peace; just let our national pride out when we play games against each other.  Would that be too much to ask?

Jeremy

The state of justice in the USA

And a little now in Canada

Well, Friday 31st January 2020 confirmed what most of us think about the state of justice in the USA.

If you are black person specially or for that matter any person of colour (other than orange that is) and you are lucky enough not to be shot by the police simply because you are black and they feel it their duty to gun you down, you cannot expect a fair trial.  Your colour will always be a prejudice against you and you will most likely go to jail whether or not you are guilty of even a simple perceived traffic violation.

If on the other hand you are what Bill Maher described as an angry orangutan you will not even receive a proper trial; because in your case there will be no witnesses called at your trial and your obedient republican members of the senate – minus one –  (in spite of their oaths, which clearly meant nothing, to conduct a fair trial) will render a partisan verdict of not guilty.  The interest and support of the US constitution has been abandoned in favour of a man of prejudice, bigotry and white supremist beliefs who delighted in ordering and boasted about the killing of a man on a peace mission bringing us to the very brink of WW3. Peace in the middle east is not in the interest of either the USA (money) or Israel (lust for power and land), and so any real peace maker had to be gunned down.

Justice demands a fair trial because no man/woman should be above the law, and a fair trial must include witnesses from both sides. Since this was refused then one has to assume that this president of the USA is above the law (so much for their vaunted constitution), or that a fair trial could not and would not be held in this case to prevent impeachment of someone whose desire for personal success is paramount and everyone else is just a utensil.

The not guilty verdict unleashed a barrage of ugly tweets from a somewhat deranged person, followed last week with the presidential pardon of some serious criminals just like him.  I think it is a fairly safe bet that Roger Stone will only serve a few days in jail if at all.

The home of “the brave and free” is now blessed by a devilish reality show host, not some form of mythical god and unless the good people of the USA do something about it they will suffer for many years of agony.

Albert Einstein:

“The world is a dangerous place not because of evil people, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”

Now regretfully there is an unhealthy discussion here in Canada too, what else can you expect from Canada’s version of the republican party, concerning “whiteman’s law” and the original peoples’ law long preceding the Magna Carta.  Some how we are arrogant enough to think our modern version is better.

What will it take to get us all to accept that we are all human beings regardless of our skin colour, religious beliefs, orientation, or desire to just live in peace; just let our national pride out when we play games against each other.  Would that be too much to ask?

Jeremy

NAFTA Nonsense

It was with some pleasure that I learned on Friday 31st August Canada had not succumbed to the bombastic, belligerent President of the USA and agreed in haste to the bilateral agreement between Mexico and the US.  IT is not clear to me that a bilateral agreement between the USA and Mexico within the borders of NAFTA is entirely legal, not that that would worry President Trump at all.   The fact that he would play one country against another has a familiar ring of a reality show to it and really has no place in the real world where actual peoples’ lives and wellbeing are the stakes.  Typical of him I think.

 

The complaint is that Canada has not treated the US in a fair way due to softwood lumber and our supply management system.  From my reading and understanding of NAFTA there should be no tariffs between the three countries and of course, we already know that this has been broken not only in the case of the softwood lumber but also in the steel and aluminium trade.  Clearly, this man has no idea what an agreement is and perhaps that is why I hear so often that he has defaulted on more business contracts than he has fulfilled.

 

While the USA complains that our softwood lumber is subsidized by some form of stumpage, let us also remember that the agricultural sector of the USA is heavily subsidized by their Federal government. It seems that there is an equal amount of wrongdoing here and the pot is calling the kettle black.  Concerning the supply management system, this could be amended perhaps provided that the products coming into Canada meet with Health Canada and our agriculture standards.  Health Canada, of course, will bend over backwards to the US on most issues and really needs to grow a backbone and remember that the health of the Canadian people is their priority not the health of American corporations.   For the dairy sector, it still amazes me that we are the only species on earth to drink the milk of another species and expect after it has been treated and reduced in any beneficial way that it is good for us.   Cows eat grass – we do not.  Cows’ milk is basically a bovine growth hormone designed by the creator to make calves grow faster.  Some small wonder then that we have too much obesity in our population.   There are alternatives available such as hemp milk, coconut milk and for a while before it became GMO contaminated soy milk etc., and yet these are largely ignored because the dairy lobby is too powerful and like most corporate ventures is interested in protecting their toxic products and the profits derived from them.  Real milk is, of course, illegal and those who produce it are prosecuted, while those selling pasteurized and then artificially fortified again stuff are protected.   Makes no sense to me.   When I was young we were drinking real milk with cream still within it and my immune system is fine thanks.

 

As for the lumber, we should not be exporting any lumber which is hit by a tariff and indeed here we can and should be exporting to other markets.  We send a vast amount of raw logs overseas when we should be sending finished lumber instead.  A byproduct of this would be the return of sawmills and employment that go with them. If we stopped sending lumber to the states how long would it be before their construction business came to a huge slowdown?  The idea is not to hurt the ordinary American but to send the message that a product is sold at a certain price and if that is not agreed upon then it will not be sold.  The basic rule of commerce – there must be a market and a buyer who is willing to pay the price asked for that product.

 

There were many things built into the original FTA and then accepted into NAFTA that were not good for Canada, and yet Trump in his self-righteousness forgets that we cannot reduce the percentage of any petroleum products we produce and send to the US even if we run short ourselves, nor can we increase the price of electricity across the border without both our PM and the US president agreeing to such a price increase.  This means that BC is exporting hydropower to the seven western states at the same price which was in effect when WAC Bennet was premier of BC prior to the FTA came into being.  Now, who do those two alone benefit? Certainly not Canadians.

“NAFTA

Article 605: Other Export Measures

Subject to Annex 605, a Party may adopt or maintain a restriction otherwise justified under Articles XI:2(a) or XX(g), (i) or (j) of the GATT with respect to the export of an energy or basic petrochemical good to the territory of another Party, only if:

 

  1. a) the restriction does not reduce the proportion of the total export shipments of the specific energy or basic petrochemical good made available to that other Party relative to the total supply of that good of the Party maintaining the restriction as compared to the proportion prevailing in the most recent 36month period for which data are available prior to the imposition of the measure, or in such other representative period on which the Parties may agree;

 

The Americans want to do away with the dispute mechanism and so does any Canadian who is tired of paying huge sums of their tax dollars to America corporations which see perceived profits lost because of our environment or health standard laws. This also includes Canadian companies which incorporate in Delaware because it is cheaper and gives them access to the dispute review panel – Lone Pine Power of Calgary is a perfect example of that to the tune of $250 million.  There is never an amount allotted in any budget for these tribunal awards probably because all governments want to hide them.  This government wants to keep on paying them it appears.

 

It has been my contention that ALL corporations with Canadian subsidiaries doing business in Canada, such as Coca-Cola or Pepsi or MacDonald’s, should have accounts in Canadian banks in Canada and pay taxes on their gross income before their profits are sent to the US or the Cayman Islands. Also, Nestles should not be allowed to draw as much water as they can from Hope Lake without charge and bottle it and send it south of the border in plastic bottles for profit.  Arrowhead water for Walmart. How did that come about anyway?  Is it part of NAFTA that we should give away our water for free and have it sold for profit elsewhere?

 

America’s problems do not stem from NAFTA but from their inability to control their corporations allowing them to set up manufacturing in countries where the labour costs are cheap and bringing those cheaper products back to the homeland.  The constant demand for profit for their shareholders and the need to pay obscene bonuses to their CEOs etc. demand that they cheat as much as they can and they do.   That is not a NAFTA problem it is an American corporate greed problem.

 

Now I hear that that man is tweeting again that Canada is an enemy of the US and it would appear that we are a greater threat to the US than Mexico, China, Russia and Korea combined.  If this is the way you treat a friend then I do not want to be a friend to his administration and their twitter diplomacy.  It frankly stinks of the president’s bigotry, racial and religious hatred combined with the love of an apartheid State of Israel and a grandiose assumption that he can do no wrong and everyone else is at fault.   What a way to rule a country.

 

Do we really think that those Americans without a job, without a roof over their heads and no money for food for themselves or their family think he, a fat cat with no shortage of wealth, pomp and grandiosity is serving them well?

 

Bring on the peaceful revolution.

 

Cancel NAFTA too. 

 

Give him his wish and let’s charge what we need for our products.

 

Now I learn that this egotistical, racist, bigot is telling Canadians what is and is not of political importance to us.  Perhaps he should spend more time looking in the mirror instead of pouting at the cameras.  His efforts to create strife amongst his allies could just cause us to tell him where to go unless of course, the apartheid State of Israel tells us not to !!!!!

Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.

Mark Twain

 

 

I came across this quote the other day tattooed upon a young man’s leg at Operation Trackshoes at UVIC, and it struck me as rather pertinent to politics generally and particularly those in the Canadian House of Commons and Senate.

Let’s face it, the constant squabbling, backstabbing and partisan jabs that take place are indeed laughable.   The concept that debate, questions period and most members statements should be taken seriously are indeed laughable.  Debate in the House isn’t debating any more it is reading prepared statements in a restricted time frame and does not represent the opinions, desires or requests of the people of Canada which no longer matter, indeed they have not mattered for aeons.

These petty statements about the previous or current governments, their failings, shortcomings, or absurdity is laughable.  When a member of the previous government complains about something done numerous times by their government now being done against them it is not constructive but laughably petty.   Is this what we pay them for?   When the current government complains that the previous government didn’t do something that is also petty and indeed laughable. Again is that what we pay for and demand?  Do we demand anything from those who we pay so well to represent us?  Is democracy really alive and well in Canada? Again that concept of laughter shows what a mockery the Canadian Parliament has become, and we have lost that ability to laugh long and loud at their pathetic proceedings.  If we can rediscover that ability to laugh at and mock these overpaid caucus puppets just maybe they will feel as stupid as they appear and make some effort to change and actually represent us, but do not hold your breath, laugh instead!.

 

A perfect example of this is the so-called oral questions, or question period, held daily in the House of Commons.  This has become an exercise in open personal slandering under the guise of asking a question and then naturally being given a completely “non-answer” response.  If this sort of behaviour had occurred in the schools I attended as a youth I would have been disciplined immediately.  However, these “children” get away with it every day.  We have been conditioned to accept this as serious not as a joke and so we forget to laugh out loud at this behaviour by these adults.

 

Instead of taking them seriously we must start to laugh at them.   How long will they continue to act this way if they understand they are being treated as jokes?

 

Currently, we have a problem with the President of the USA and we take what he tweets or says seriously. Like any bully or a bad-tempered ignorant man he cannot stand to be laughed at, and yet no one does.  Witness the recent meeting of the G7 prior to which Trump complained that Russia should have been included when he is front and center in creating sanctions against that country and could he really want to face Putin across the table?  I doubt it. Yep, that is truly laughable to think about.  His blustering, lack of courage to say face to face what he thinks, to be stated later in some stupid tweet is indeed the sign of a bully.  Why are we simply not laughing in his face?  What can he do that he is not doing already?  He alone is causing chaos all around the world, not face to face but by caustic tweets and sanctions.  Those are the actions of a real man?  

The way our government reacts is submissive.

NAFTA should be scrapped, we should refuse to export our lumber products there and put tariffs on everything from chewing gum to Boeing aircraft made in the USA.  The way to deal with a bully is not to surrender to his bluffing, but to respond in like manner. Turning the other cheek leads to a second bruised cheek.

 I hear the cry that we cannot survive by doing this and that our economy will collapse.  What nonsense.  Our economy has been recently created to revolve around oil, and now we have put ourselves in a position where we are dependent on the USA buying our oil – especially our bitumen -, refining it and sending it back to us as a finished product at a huge profit to them.  Yes, we have backed ourselves into a hole through FTA and NAFTA but that hole is our own doing as we continue to keep NAFTA on the basis that we need it to survive. 

Really? 

How well did we do prior to FTA?  How well did we do before we gave control of our resources and economy to foreign entities? How well did we do before we succumbed to the siren call of globalization?  How well did we do before we hamstrung our farmers or sold off our shares in CWB, CP or CN or Petro Canada?  We have the ability to trade with the world but we have tied ourselves to the scraps that the USA passes our way. 

That is economically sound?  Laughable indeed!

 We need to be able to laugh at ourselves too and understand that we are soo much more than we currently have become.  I learned early on that if I was not able to laugh at myself and my foibles then I could not expect others to laugh when I made fun of them.

 Laughter is very powerful and as Mark Twain said it conquers all.   We should remember to try it more often, and more importantly, teach our children to laugh too.

 When you stagger out of bed tomorrow look in the mirror and smile, and you will get an instant response from your image and I guarantee it will make you feel better and might even have you laughing out loud with your image if you let it.

 

It is OK to wake up laughing so why not laugh all day long at those who deserve it, including yourself?

 

Jeremy

For the last few months I have been kept away from this keyboard by events somewhat beyond my control.

Death in the family always takes up energy and time and saps the flow of creative thinking, not that I excel in that regard anyway, and when combined with extra time at work I have been stretched rather thin.

Why the heck am I still working at my age?  Well really with the help my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren need I have no choice.  I do not have millions stashed away in offshore accounts nor millions invested in stocks and shares – two ex-wives have helped in that regard – so I have no choice but to still work.  The alternative is to rely on CPP and OAS and live on the streets.

But I have kept up with most of what has been happening from pretty boy trying so hard to provide “sunny days and sunny ways” for international corporations and banks but not for the Canadian people, and removing any chance of sovereignty or democracy here in Canada; to President Trump and his reality show called the USA; to the wicked witch of the west (Clark) finally being kicked out of office in BC and resigning her provincial seat because if she can’t be in charge she doesn’t want to be there at all. After all she was only interested in the well-being of the corporate world not that of the people of Kamloops let alone BC.

 

Perhaps the biggest development of all is happening out of the state of Israel.  For those who do not know there is a bill being presented to the US Congress and Senate (S. 720) which will make it illegal for free speech about the choice of what goods Americans purchase and what companies they boycott.   http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/41454-this-anti-bds-bill-is-an-assault-on-free-speech

This will eventually affect us here in Canada as our pretty boy and all his fellow puppets in our House of Commons will do whatever The Zionist State of Israel tells them to.   The idea that a state which openly practices genocide and an apartheid system towards the Palestinian people should want to claim that the BDS movement is anti-semantic is akin to saying that the Himalaya mountains are in Australia.

I am not now nor have I ever been anti-semantic but what I really would like is for someone with the knowledge and resources to provide us a complete list of all those companies which produce on Israeli seized Palestinian land so that I can refuse to buy their products as well. I already do not buy anything which I know comes from Israel, and I object to that state telling me what I can or cannot buy.

Yes, I support the BDS movement and it is my choice to do so.

In the same way I will buy Deep Cove, Vancouver Island, BC packaged organic greens rather than those trucked in from California if that is OK with Herr Netanyahu and the Donald, and if it is not then that is their problem not mine.

Freedom of speech and selection is either guaranteed to Americans by constitution or not and when that is taken away by a foreign apartheid power then the US government has no sovereignty, no dignity nor any worth as a self-determining body.   Actually, I suppose nothing has changed in that regard, has it?

Here in Canada we are not far behind. Remember Bill C51 (Blaney’s free spying act) and how it was supposed to be rectified immediately in 2016? Does anyone still think it will be?

Peace

Jeremy