Good Neighbours?

Misdirection, disinformation and outright lies. Do these make good neighbours?

Here’s the latest from supposedly informed and reputable politicians in the USofA. If that isn’t an oxymoron.

Canada more lax than U.S. about whom it lets in, Napolitano says (Clarifies comments that implied 9/11 terrorists entered U.S. through Canada) "The fact of the matter is that Canada allows people into its country that we do not allow into ours," she said. "That's why you have to have a border, and you have to have border policies that make sense." Liberal MP John McKay, who was at the conference, said Napolitano's comments alarmed him. "If you are, in fact, negotiating a managed border, and your negotiating partner believes a set of mythology, then you have problems," he said "You try to work on the basis of fact, not on the basis of myth."

McCain defends Napolitano, insists 9/11 perpetrators came from Canada…”Arizona Senator John McCain is the latest high-profile politician to repeat the diehard American falsehood that the Sept. 11, 2001, attackers entered the United States through Canada. "Well, some of the 9/11 hijackers did come through Canada, as you know," McCain, last year's Republican presidential candidate, said on Fox News on Friday. Ambassador Michael Wilson, reminded Americans once again that none of the attackers came to the U.S. via Canada. As the 9/11 Commission reported in July 2004, all of the 9/11 terrorists arrived in the U.S. from outside North America. They flew to major U.S. airports. They entered the U.S. with documents issued to them by the U.S. government. No 9/11 terrorists came from Canada.”

(source, http://www.cbc.ca/, April 21/24)

It’s abhorrent that the current head of USAmerican “Homeland Security”, that wholly redundant sinecure established by the Dubya regime, should be mouthing these erroneous allegations, and on Canadian TV, no less. Equally appalling is that the supposedly honest and above-board McCain is spewing the same filth on Fox. Having just read in the Guardian (UK) that Fox is once again trouncing viewership of both CNN & MSNBC, is it any wonder that many USAmericans continue to believe the lies? If I didn't have numerous USAmerican friends who I know don't buy this garbage, I'd be truly concerned. As it is, I'm saddened & discouraged.

The whole sorry mess reminds me of a visit to our neighbouring country, some years ago, coincidentally to Oklahoma City on the day after the bombing of the federal building. I was a little apprehensive travelling just then, chiefly about whether intensive airport security would foul up my connections, but had important meetings to attend. The immediate response at the time was that the bombers “must be foreign terrorists”, so there was NO increase in internal security. At that time, airport security in the US was little more than a bad joke. They were much more concerned about training sniffer dogs to root out the odd joint than in scanning for possible weapons. I witnessed both the training, and the lack of scanning. How do I know? I have a prosthesis that triggers airport scanners, infallibly. It triggered the Canadian scanners, but none in the good old USofA. It would have been a cake-walk to take any number of weapons through security. And what do you know, it turned out to be a native terrorist after the fertilizer dust had cleared. Surprise, surprise. In fact, if Homeland Security was really doing their job, they’d be doing something about the millions of lethal weapons and nutbars in their own backyard, rather than accusing their neighbours first.

In all of this, I wonder how many Fox adherents understand that the bombings on September 11th, 2001, were carried out by former US-resident, US-trained, very probably US-funded or at least US-armed, and direct to US travelling bombers. I wonder how many of them have honestly examined their own culture, or travelled to experience the cultural similarities & differences of their neighbours. Probably not very many.


where do I start?

I honestly don't know where to start. I've contemplated posting several times in the past few days, but was too hot under the collar on several counts to make any sense.

The continued abuse of women in much of the Islamic world is obviously a sore spot, with recent events in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It's a kind of apartheid nobody seems anxious to deal with. Certainly not the UN, with their recent bizarre statements on religion. Nor the western corporate-military machine which has a vested interest in maintaining this region as a convenient "enemy". And most decidedly not the Afghan politicians who condone rape within marriage and restriction of women's rights of all kinds, nor the extremeist factions in northern Pakistan who take daily abuse of women going about their normal business as a matter of course.

If there was ever a call for separation of religion and politics, this is it. Of course, that ignores the fact that they're really just two sides of a grubby coin. Both rely on fear, guilt, greed and gullibility to maintain their adherents. Both gangs of thieves the world could do well without.

Speaking of thieves, another item that has my bile boiling is the move by the province of Ontario to implement a "harmonized sales/service tax". Right now there is a provincial sales tax of 8% on most consumables, plus a 5% federal goods & services tax on pretty much everything. The current clowns are trying to slip a fast one by us, since many things like books, new houses, children's clothing, meals under $4, funerals, investments, utilities such as heating, and much more, will be subject to this new tax, when they are not taxed under PST now. That's basically 8% more on pretty near everything. Estimates of the average household cost vary, but could be around $900 a year, or more. A pittance of a rebate ($300) will be offered to people below an income threshold, but the fact is that this represents a shift of taxation from business to consumers, in a way that is likely to negatively affect business as well - for example, the construction industry is likely to be hard hit by consumers not being able to afford their product.

I've signed a petition and written to my MPP, and encourage all Ontarians to do the same. I'm not tax-allergic but this is a bad tax and should be stopped. Who's likely to suffer most? Single parents, most of whom are women, many with lower paid jobs than most men.

Two different but related topics. I think this is a good place to stop.