Nov 052014
 

(See also:  2014-10-20  Lockheed Martin Participation in Solar Energy Project in Swift Current, SK)

From Tamara Lorincz:

Lockheed Martin is the premium, platinum sponsor of the NYC Climate Week and this greenwash must be exposed and condemned. Lockheed Martin’s products are contributing to severe environmental degradation (perchlorates from missiles & rockets) and climate change (F-18, F-22, F-35 fighter jets & Stratocaster bombers etc…). William Hartung, director at the Center for International Policy wrote a book about Lockheed “Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military Industrial Complex.” I told him about this and he is going to speak on my panel in NY. Lockheed & the other weapons manufacturers are the problem to the climate crisis and energy insecurity, NOT the solution. Look here: http://www.climateweeknyc.org/partners-sponsors/

Worse, this NYC Climate Week is being linked to the UN Climate Summit and it is so important that we protest against this.

So far nothing is organized against this: http://peoplesclimate.org/march/

I want to organize a rally (stand with a banner and pass out leaflets) outside the NYC Climate Week event opening (that is by invitation only) on Monday, Sept. 22 at 10am: http://www.climateweeknyc.org/events/climate-week-nyc-2014-opening-day

I am hoping that I can say that Tamara Lorincz, member of the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace is the organizer of this rally and please join me. I know I have the support of Alyn Ware, winner of the Right Livelihood for his work on peace education & nuclear abolition. He and I have talked about releasing a statement together.

I might be the only person that shows up to protest but I have done that many times and don’t mind doing it again. I think VOW allowing me to protest as an “organization” shows the courage of women’s voices, helps raise awareness of the links between militarism & climate change and is bold leadership about trying to tackle this problem.

I hope you will allow me to do this.

Thank you,

Tamara

Tamara Lorincz

International Peace Bureau, Senior Researcher

Rotary International World Peace Fellow 2013-2014

University of Bradford, UK

 

DEMILITARIZE: http://www.demilitarize.ca

BLOG “Wednesdays against Warships”: http://demilitarize.ca/wp/

TWITTER: @TamaraLorincz

Flikr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tamaralorincz/

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.” – Former US President D. Eisenhower, 1953

 Posted by at 10:08 am
Oct 222014
 

 

Dostoyevsky (1821 – 1881).    Spared last minute from beheading because of what he wrote.   Incarcerated and then confined to Siberia (10 years in all).

Knows of what he writes!  Had an extraordinary capacity to interpret and then explain human behaviour.

His understanding is very helpful today.

EXCERPTS

From  Penguin Classics,  Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 

Notes From Underground and The Double, 2009

 

Introduction:  Vision in Darkness  (by Robert Louis Jackson)

(p. xi - xiii)

…  In the most basic sense the underground behaviour and outlook . . . is the consequence of a radical denial of man’s organic need for self-expression, of his natural drive to be himself and to occupy his own space and place in the world. 

The suppression of the basic drives of human nature, however, signifies not their death, but their disfiguration.  (my emphasis)

…  ‘happiness lies … in eternal indefatigable activity and in the practical employment of all our proclivities and capacities’, but that ‘if man is dissatisfied, if he has no means to express himself and bring out what is best in him (not out of vanity, but as a result of the most natural human need to know, express, embody his “I” in real life)’, he undergoes some kind of extraordinary breakdown – …

 … the ‘need to affirm oneself, to distinguish oneself, to stand out, is a law of nature for every individual;  it is his right, his essence, the law of his being’.  He went on to note that this need ‘in the crude, unstructured state of society manifests itself in the individual quite crudely and even savagely.’.

…  The underground emerges, finally, as a consequence of a profound moral and spiritual crisis of … educated classes.

(p. xxv – xxvi)

…  As a social type, Golyadkin is a casualty of a system whose values he shares.  Man is his own environment.

(Dostoyevsky was 9 years imprisoned in Siberia – state censorship, hence reference to convicts)

Freedom as a basic psychological and spiritual need, and the tragic consequences of its suppression, is at the centre of his great artistic memoir,  Notes from House of the Dead (1860-62).   ‘What is more important than money for the convict?  … ‘Freedom or at least some dream of freedom.’  ‘Through gambling, spending money on vodka, carousing, risk, seeking forbidden pleasures, smuggling, attempts at escape, or just speaking, acting, dressing in flamboyant or bizarre ways the convict seeks to act ‘according to his own free will’, to experience at least the ‘illusion’ of freedom.  His longing for freedom, his hopes, however, are ‘so utterly without foundation as almost to border on delirium’.  Thus, the narrator remarks that sometimes even the ordinarily peaceable and model convict will suddenly and unaccountably burst out in a frenzy.  Yet this is

the anguished, hysterical manifestation of personality, an instinctive yearning to be oneself, the desire to express one’s humiliated personality;  a desire which suddenly takes shape and reaches the pitch of malice, of madness, of the eclipse of reason, of fits and convulsions.  Thus, perhaps a person buried alive in a coffin and awakening in it, would thrust at the cover and try to throw it off, although, of course, reason might convince him that all his efforts were in vain.  But the whole point here is that it is not a question of reason:  it’s a question of convulsions. . . .

Where the life impulse is suppressed, reason becomes irrational or . . . scrambles into (convulsion).        Such a phenomenon, in one form or another, is paradigmatic for the ‘dead house’ where, … ‘almost every independent manifestation of personality in the convict is considered a crime.

…  The convict’s almost insane defence of his personality echoes Dostoyevsky’s use of madness as a social metaphor … psychology of underground protest, one in which man is extreme cases will go mad in order to insist on his own free will.   Dostoyevsky’s sympathies, to be sure, are with the convicts in their plight.  At the same time, he views their rebellion, their excesses, as a tragic inversion of man’s legitimate quest for self-expression, self-mastery and self-determination.

(p. xxvii – xxx)
 
… broadly condemns Western individualism and social relations in general, …  He insists that the ‘sign of the highest development of personality, of its supreme power, its absolute self-mastery, and its most complete freedom of its own will’ is to be found in ‘sacrifice of one’s whole self for the benefit of all’.  Society must recognize the rights of the individual, but the ‘demanding rebellious individual ought first of all to sacrifice to society his whole “I”, his whole self’.
 
Dostoyevsky regards both capitalist and socialist ideology and practice as providing deeply flawed and counterproductive models for social development.  …
 
… Dostoyevsky gives special attention to the much-hailed Crystal Palace that was the centrepiece of London’s Great Exposition in Hyde Park in 1851, and which both symbolized and embodied for many the victory of Progress and the mastery of technology   … Dostoyevsky’s response to this wonder was profoundly negative. 
 
… However independent you may be, yet something begins to frighten you.  ‘Now really isn’t all this in very fact the attainment of the ideal?’ – you think.  ‘Isn’t this really the ultimate?  Is this not in fact the “one fold”?  And won`t one have to accept this as truth in its entirety, and then fall mute  …  You feel that here something final has been accomplished, accomplished and finished.   This is some kind of Biblical scene …  You feel that it would take a great deal of spiritual resistance and negation not to succumb, not to surrender to the impression, not to bow to the fact and not to deify this Baal, that is, not to accept the existing for one`s ideal.
 
… the Underground Man, precisely in a spirit of unremitting resistance and negation, will dismiss it as a sorry ideal, and one flawed not only by its wholly utilitarian and materialist essence, but by its deadly embodiment of stasis and finality.
 
 
 Finally, in lines and imagery both uncanny and prophetic, Dostoyevsky counterposes to the triumphalism of London with its worldwide trade, its Crystal Palace, and world fair, a dark and forboding, indeed frightening image of mass underground resistance or rebellion, passive and for a moment undirected, … (Dickens) but `a matter enough for real dread`.  The wild, dissolute behaviour at night of (the) poor and dispossessed … represent to him
 
a separation from our social formula, a stubborn, unconscious separation, an instinctive separation at any cost for the sake of salvation, a separation from us with disgust and horror.  These millions of people, abandoned, banished from the human feast, shoving and crushing each other in the underground darkness into which they have been thrown by their elder brothers, grope about and knock at any gate, and seek a way out so as not to suffocate in the dark cellar.  Here is a final, despairing effort to form their own group, their own mass, and to break with everything, even with the human image, just so as to be themselves, just so as not to be together with us.
 
…  The Underground Man emerges, finally, as a man without faith and foundations who has been caught up in a treadmill of consciousness.  `Where are my primary causes on which I can take a stand,  where are my foundations?  Where shall I take them from?
 
(p. xxxiv)
 
Finally, the Underground Man equates his own personal drama, his own tragedy – and endless series of psychological actions and experiments to affirm his lost sense of dignity and integrity – with the fate of mankind.
 
(p. xxxviii)
 
The movement toward catastrophe is precipitous.  every wilful and proud attempt of the Underground Man to affirm his independence and self-mastery, every act of spite, every effort of his to introduce the irrational into the status quo of his existence only deepens his sense of dependence and humiliation, only locks him ever more firmly into the movement towards catastrophe.  . . . His every desperate and irrational act to affirm his personality and individuality parodies his notion that irrational behaviour preserves what is `what is most precious and important, namely, our personality and our individuality`.
 
NOTES, p. xiv -

… the `dissatisfied` man – one who is denied the possibility of actively employing his abilities and talents in life.

if frustrated or suppressed,  can turn into self-will, arbitrary action, or a feeling that `all is permissible`.

… (15.)   `life is a whole art, that to live means to make an artistic work out of oneself, but that only in accord with the communal interests, in sympathy with the mass of society, with its direct, immediate requirements, and not in drowsiness, not in indifference from which follows the disintegration of the mass, and not in solitude` can the individual find genuine fulfillment.

 
THE UNDERGROUND
(P. 7)
 
 Tell me this:  why did it invariably happen, as if deliberately, that at those very moments when I was most capable of appreciating all the subtleties of the ‘sublime and beautiful’ … I not only would fail to comprehend but would perform the most contemptible actions . . .  well . . . the kind of which everyone is guilty, but which I happened to perform precisely when I was most conscious that I should not be performing them at all?  The more I recognized goodness and the whole question of  the ‘sublime and beautiful’ , the deeper I sank into the mire and the more capable I became of completely immersing myself in it.  But the main feature of all this was that it wasn’t within me by accident, but as if it were bound to be there.  It was as if this were my normal condition and far from being an illness or the fruits of corruption, so that finally I lost the desire to combat that corruption.  It all ended by my almost coming to believe (or perhaps I really did believe) that this was probably my normal condition.  But at the very outset how much agony I was forced to endure in that struggle!  I didn’t believe the same could happen to others and so all my life I have kept it to myself, like a secret.  I was ashamed (and perhaps I’m ashamed now).  It reach the point where I felt an abnormal, secret, base thrill of pleasure when returning to my corner on some positively foul St Petersburg night and I would feel intensely aware that once again I had done something vile that day, that what’s done cannot be undone, and inwardly, secretly, I would keep gnawing, gnawing, nibbling and eating away at myself until the bitterness finally turned into some shameful, damnable sweetness and finally into serious, definite pleasure.  Yes, pleasure, pleasure!  I stand by that.  I broached the subject because I’d like to find out for certain:  do others experience the same kind of pleasure?  Let me explain:  the pleasure I experience came directly from being too vividly aware of my own degradation, from the feeling of having gone too far;  that it was foul but that it couldn’t be otherwise;  that there’s no way out for you, that you’d never make yourself a different person;  that even if there remained enough time and faith to change yourself into something different you most probably wouldn’t want to change yourself.  And that even if you did want to, you’d end up by doing nothing because there might in fact be nothing to change yourself into.  But finally, and more importantly, all this proceeds from the normal, fundamental laws of heightened consciousness and from the inertia which is the direct result of those laws and therefore not only could you not change your self, you’d simply do nothing at all.  For instance, as a result of this intensified awareness you are justified in being a scoundrel, as if it’s of any comfort to a scoundrel that he himself feels that he’s in fact a scoundrel.  But that’s enough . . . Good Lord, I’ve been waffling away, and what have I explained?  How can one explain this feeling of pleasure?  But I shall explain it!  I shall pursue it to the bitter end!  That’s why I picked up my pen . . .
    I, for example, am extremely touchy.  I’m as suspicious and as quick to take offence as a hunchback or a dwarf, but in fact there have been moments when, if someone had slapped my face, I might have been glad even of that.  I mean this in all seriousness:  very likely I would have managed to derive pleasure of a kind even from that – I mean of course the pleasure of despair;  but it’s in despair that you discover the mose intense pleasure, especially when you are acutely conscious of the hopelessness of your predicament.  And here too, after that slap in the face, you are crushed by the realization of what filth you’re being smeared with.  The main thing is that, whichever way I look at it, it invariably turns out that I’m the first to be blamed for everything and, what hurts most of all, that I’m blamed when innocent, according to the laws of nature, so to speak.  First of all I’m to blame, as I’m cleverer than anyone else around me.  (I’ve always considered myself cleverer than everyone else around me and sometimes, would you believe, even felt ashamed of it.  At all events, all my life I’ve somehow always looked away and could never look people straight in the face.)  And finally, I’m guilty, since even if I’d had the magnanimity within me, my awareness of its utter futility would have caused me greater torments, I should probably have been unable to do anything because of my magnanimity:  neither forgive, since the offender might have slapped me according to the laws of nature and you can’t forgive the laws of nature;  nor forget, since even if these are laws of nature it still hurts.  Finally, even had I not wanted to be magnanimous at all but, on the contrary, if I’d wanted to take revenge on the offender, more probably I wouldn’t even have been able to avenge myself on anyone for anything, since I probably would never have had the determination to do anything even if I could.  Why shouldn’t I have had the determination?  I’d like to say a few words about that in particular.
 
. . .    (I think I have typed up enough!  At least for now.)  
 Posted by at 1:26 pm
Oct 222014
 

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) made important contributions to the understanding of human psychology.   Please see  Notes from  Underground,   the consequences of alienating people from their society (Dostoyevsky).    I will email the link to Matthew Behrens, he may be interested in its relationship to his own work (below).

 

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2014/10/demonizing-those-canada-calls-radicalized

Scare headlines about young people becoming “radicalized,” going overseas, being transformed into robotic Super Muslims, graduating from Beheading School, and being returned to Canada ready to strike at the heart of our values, freedoms, and traditions have filled the media in the past few months, leading to an upcoming Canadian campaign of bombing Iraq and repressive new legislation to be introduced this week in Parliament.

Given the Fourth Estate’s role as stenographer to power, it is unsurprising that the many articles asking “why” young people are attracted to overseas adventures are all playing into the same “blame Islam” game that results in horrible “jihad” headlines, increased fear, and suspicion of anyone who does not look like the CBC’s Peter Whitemansbridge.

Like similar moral panics that have framed particular groups as the new internal enemy, young people both idealist and alienated now fit the focus of terror suspect, especially if they are Muslim and plan to travel overseas to visit relatives, learn Arabic, or just backpack around. Yet despite all the hyped-up chatter, no one has produced any evidence to show a threat exists to Canada and Canadians from the small number who have joined up in battling the Assad regime in Syria or worked with ISIS. We are told that some 80-130 individuals have gone overseas to be associated with terrorism, but this is always qualified by telling us not everyone is picking up a gun: some are fundraising, some are doing propaganda, some are just helping out with who knows what, from taking out the trash to helping the elderly cross the street. Regardless of what they are doing, Canada’s terrorism laws are so broad that anyone associated in any way with a particular group will be tarred as a national security threat.

CSIS, Canada’s spy agency, says it knows who has gone overseas and is monitoring them upon their return. RCMP head Bob Paulson was pretty clear when he told Parliament earlier this month: “It’s nothing that I think Canadians need to be alarmed about.” Sir Richard Dearlove, former M16 head, said the returning rebel threat was “exaggerated” and former M16 officer Richard Barrett said “the threat of the returning fighter is a small one.” Chief Canadian Forces warlord Tom Lawson told the media that there was “no indication of direct threats” to members of his military.

The disconnect between rhetoric and reality creates a void that gets filled by the “radicalization” experts, many of whom contribute to the demonization of young people who may, with the best of idealistic intentions, feel great sadness at seeing war, mass murder, and utter despair, and want to do something about it. This doesn’t justify the violent actions some may allegedly take part in, nor the rhetoric of fear they may spout while overseas. But Harper and company have done a good job making them out to be the worst possible incarnations of human flesh imaginable.

Halal foods to blame

The solutions to “radicalization” have long been studied and discussed at a variety of gatherings. In 2009, the Canadian War Department’s Adversarial Intent Section held a workshop titled “Radicalization in the National Economic Climate,” trying to determine possible links between the global recession and extremist responses. Invited to the Toronto gathering were Canadian spy agency CSIS, the Mounties, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and assorted academics from the terrorism industry who weighed in on the possibilities, but most attendees found no direct link between extremism and the global recession.

However, the University of Toronto’s Robert Brym, among others, chimed in that immigrant groups are most likely to radicalize and concluded that one solution was stepped-up monitoring of “groups and places that may pose a threat,” including “locations where Halal products are sold.” Notably, most national grocery chains now sell Halal products, and one can purchase hummus (which sounds disturbingly like a group the Canadian government has listed as terrorist, Hamas) pretty much everywhere.

Brym also recommended increased surveillance of “friendship groups formed around retail facilities frequented by Muslims” (though the equation between Muslims and immigrants is often a false one, given the faith has been practiced in this country for a century).

In the same way one or more black youth standing on a street corner is viewed as a riot in the making by many police forces, Muslims going shopping (and those “inspired” by Muslims at the retail level) may now pose the greatest threat to Canadians’ national security since the CSIS theory that Muslim dreams could provoke radicalization.

Historically, the RCMP Security Service (SS) focused on certain cultural and religious attributes as signs of disloyalty, subversion, and traitorous intent: hence, their long-standing surveillance of groups like the Prairies-based, all-female Ukrainian Mandolin Orchestra. The RCMP SS legacy group, CSIS, frequently begin their national security investigations with such wholly irrelevant details as how often someone prays, if they know women who wear hijab, and what their imam thinks of drone strikes that kill children in Pakistan.

So will Loblaws and Metro stores soon be home to CSIS secret shoppers, monitoring who is picking up Sufra Halal chicken nuggets in the frozen section, or tossing The Queen’s Khorasan bread into their recycled grocery bags? (Such bread MAY be suspect since it shares the same name as the non-existent “Khorasan group” that the U.S. created as an excuse to begin its bombing campaign of Syria and Iraq. This correspondent, for one, regularly buys Khorasan and recommends it as a healthy, hearty way to breakfast, despite the possibility it may be viewed, upon heating, as terrorism toast.)

The real ongoing danger

The idiocy of CSIS, the RCMP, and their friends in the press would be laughable if it were not so dangerous: as documented by a number of judicial inquiries and court decisions, their uninformed, lazy, and biased worldview leads to vicious campaigns of racial and religious profiling, community harassment, fear, perpetuation of an informant culture, and complicity in torture, all of which will increase given the current media-hyped scare over “extremist travellers” and “jihadi brides,” among other turns of phrase that continue to demonize and put at risk all adherents of Islam.

A conference looking at the decade that has passed since the launch of the inquiry into Canada’s role in the torture of Maher Arar (taking place in Ottawa October 29) will no doubt lament not only the lack of human rights progress over this period of time, but the uncertain future that lies ahead. Indeed, the federal government’s proposed legislation to provide blanket class privilege to CSIS agents and informers (meaning they would never have to be questioned and cross-examined by lawyers and judges, even in secret hearings) opens the door to legalizing what CSIS has been doing all along: trading information with torturers.

In the same way the Harper government will politely ask the brutal Assad regime for permission to bomb targets in Syria, it is a no-brainer to conclude that CSIS will continue to maintain its similarly cozy relationship with the torturers of Syrian Military Intelligence, in the hopes of producing “actionable intelligence” from some confused Canadian teenager who went overseas with the notion of helping out, fell into the wrong hands, and perhaps got picked up by Syrian authorities. Alternatively, ANY Muslim, particularly of Arabic and/or South Asian heritage, is likely to be suspect if they plan on booking an airline ticket, so whether in the Toronto airport or during a journey to Mecca or dozens of other places in between, the chances of being pulled aside for interrogation or rendered to a place like Syria or Egypt (what is the REAL reason for your travel?) will skyrocket.

And so the same patterns of complicity that led to the torture of Arar, Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad El Maati, Muayyed Nureddin, and Abousfian Abdelrazik, among others, is sure-fire guaranteed to continue into the future. Those who trade in torture certainly took great comfort from last week’s Supreme Court of Canada decision that shielded Iran from any accountability in the torture-murder of Canadian photographer Zahra Kazemi. Iran, the court concluded, should be immune from any court action under the State Immunity Act.

Equally certain is that those picked up by the authorities will have been the targets of a legally sanctioned racial profiling regime that will continue to be standard operating procedure, bolstered in part by last week’s Federal Court of Appeal ruling (authored by the recently declined Supreme Court nominee, Judge Marc Nadon) that supported racial profiling. In that case, a 72-year-old Chinese woman was fined $800 for having in her purse two $5 pork roll snacks on a return flight to Canada. The Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal found that she was the victim of racial profiling, since the border officer said he believed Chinese people were more likely to smuggle food into the country. Nadon supported the officer.

The root problem of radicalization

Meanwhile, the “what do we do with the kids who are becoming radicalized” question thus becomes the focus of academic study, anti-terrorism funding, and media misinformation.

Perhaps we can start by stating that young people going overseas are not necessarily radicalized. Most standard dictionaries define radical as “arising from or going to a root or source” of a problem. Suppose some young people are excited about going to join ISIS or fight Assad because they can pick up guns and live out real-life adventures by blowing away the bad guys. Is that not in fact a sign that they are ideologically obedient to the violent society they come from, one that invests $1.3 trillion annually on different ways of killing one another and uses war games like paintball as a means of building company morale? If their goal is to shoot down some enemy, regardless of the cost, are they not aping the work of the masters and power brokers for whom the taking of human life is “collateral damage,” an inconvenience on the road to their goals? The morality of the groups they seek to join is no different than that of their own countries’ violence-based organizations. Indeed, last week Chief Canadian Forces warlord Tom Lawson conceded that his bombers WILL be killing civilians in Iraq and Syria, just not at an “unreasonable” level. Needless to say, no one asked Lawson what was a “reasonable” level of civilian slaughter.

No, in reflecting the very mainstream ideas of their society, some of these travellers are not radicalized. They have not gotten to the roots of the world’s problems; instead, they are exhibiting the very symptoms of what is acceptable behavior. They are in this sense “conservatized.” Some of them are indoctrinated in the fun of killing through first-person shooter video games like Call of Duty, the combat simulation sensation that is played around the globe and which seems to show up increasingly on the Facebook pages of those joining the likes of ISIS. One threat management company spokesperson told Maclean’s that some recruits are “17-year-old boy[s] whose only experience in this field is from playing Call of Duty on an Xbox.” Indeed, the Ottawa Citizen reported the late Mohamud Mohamed Mohamud of Hamilton was “more concerned with video games than world events. He chatted about Call of Duty, a series of first-person shooter games praised for their realistic and intense combat simulation.”

What this says is these young recruits are not necessarily interested in ideology or spirituality; rather, they may instead be seeking the thrill and adventure of being in a war zone, a real-life version of what Call of Duty offers them on their basement Xbox.

Firing guns is a blast

In that respect, the conservatized travellers are no different than the child soldiers who are recruited in Canadian high school military co-op programs. In St. Catharines, high school kids can join a day-long co-op program that, in the lingo of the age, is pretty cool shit, including the use of exciting YouTube videos aimed at impressionable young minds (Yes, Virginia, ISIS is not the only group ever to target young people with videos). Indeed, child soldiers in St. Catharines will learn to “use weapons such as rifles, grenades and machine guns; Learn to operate with support elements such as logistics, artillery and armored vehicles; Learn to employ field craft and procedures including camouflage and concealment, internal security, patrol, escape and evasion tactics.” In the promo videos encouraging young kids to join up and learn how to use machine guns, we learn from the mouths of babes that it’s “a great career choice for anyone who wants to be part of the action. Obviously, firing the gun is a blast, you know, getting to pull that lanyard and feeling that howitzer underneath you, feel the concussion, getting to see the rounds land…” Another exclaims, “It’s not everybody who gets to go out and have all this fun in the field…. There’s not one of us that would ever give up the opportunity to reload and fire a big triple 7 or an LG1, that’s for sure.”

And in a statement that perhaps sums up that spirit of camaraderie that young overseas ISIS recruits may be missing at home, the young soldier chimes in:

“Honestly, my best experience so far in the army has been my deployment to Afghanistan. Your existence in the military is to train for war, you know, that’s our job, and when you finally get to put everything into play and all your training comes into play there’s no better feeling than being over there with everybody that you’ve worked so hard with.”

Nothing about freedom or ideals, or democracy, or helping oppressed women or any of the other propaganda coming from the mouths of those in Ottawa who send the orders but never see the action: just the sense of being part of a team doing stuff together. The fact that things go boom makes it more exciting.

Preventing radicalization

Unsurprisingly, most media have failed to look deeper into the roots of those who are interested in travelling overseas with what would appear at first blush to be the entirely justifiable response to seeing mass murder, torture, and other atrocities committed by the likes of the Assad regime in Syria as well as NATO forces throughout the region: wanting to do something about it. One young Canadian who was killed in Syria actually told his mother “he was in Syria because women and children were being tortured and he wanted to do something productive.” They also fail to look at the characteristics of young people wanting to join something that will give them a sense of identity, purpose, and community, something often in short supply in their lives at home.

Unfortunately, it is easier to fall back on the old canards used by the security “specialists.” “The signs [of radicalization] could be they’re not going to school, they’re feeling isolated, their understanding of geopolitics is not what we would say is the standard,” says RCMP Sgt. Renu Dash, acting director of the Mounties’ “public engagement team.” What, exactly, is a standard view of geopolitics, other than Harper’s view of the world? In other words, think like we do, or face the consequences.

Ms. Dash says there is no one-size-fits all symptom, and refuses to say what criteria the RCMP actually use, though a British early intervention model called Channel referred young people for intervention if they wore clothes that were deemed too “radical” (and not in the sense of ripped Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd garb; rather, a hijab). It is no a stretch to say the RCMP’s worldview must be adhered to in order to avoid scrutiny as a potential radicalization suspect.

This extension of thought control pervades the world of “cross-cultural” roundtables convened by the likes of CSIS and the Mounties: they are set up as a “dialogue” but the real goal is community control and enforcement of a standard geopolitical view, as Ms. Dash asserts. This was made abundantly clear when the Islamic Social Services Association and the National Council of Canadian Muslims partnered recently with the RCMP on a “United Against Terrorism” handbook. The Mounties pulled away from the final product, calling it unnecessarily “adversarial” because it had the audacity to advise people of their rights if approached by an RCMP or CSIS member.

Is there a threat?

How much of a threat do these young people pose, especially if they return to Canada?

The Washington Post correctly pointed out that “foreign fighters are often given menial jobs far from the front lines… many have been surprised that when they do fight, the battles are with fellow rebel groups,” and not against Assad. M16′s Barrett says the kids get trapped, as ISIS will not let them go and the British government will not allow them back. Indeed, London Mayor Boris Johnson has said suspected fighters should be stripped of citizenship and presumed guilty.

And the idea that a lone Canadian shouting into YouTube that “we are coming to destroy you” made the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) go on high alert a few weeks back is another sign of how little people are actually thinking through what is going on. That kid likely has as little capacity to produce destruction in Canada as the drunken hockey fan’s ability to propel the Maple Leafs into the playoffs when he proclaims, “This year we are taking the Stanley Cup.”

The idea that overseas fighters are brainwashed forever is also given the lie by folks like Hanif Qadir, who runs an “anti-extremist” foundation. As the Washington Post reported:

“Appalled by reports of U.S. airstrikes killing innocent civilians, he travelled to Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2002. He went with the intention of performing humanitarian work but said he was also attracted to the Taliban’s rhetoric of struggle against a foreign occupier and was prepared to fight alongside the insurgent group. Instead, he was repelled by what he found. ‘If American soldiers were being hostile toward innocent civilians, so were Al-Qaida and the Taliban…This was hypocrisy.’”

While the CSIS and Mounties have their knickers in a knot about overseas travellers to the Middle East, they are absolutely silent on those who join another organization that commits well-documented war crimes on a regular basis: the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF). During the summer of 2014, when Israeli war crimes were perpetrated against the people of Gaza, Canadian Netta Gelb of Richmond Hill was serving with the IDF. Her dad complained to Postmedia, “I just want her to get through this in one piece…There was really not much we could do to stop (her). It’s very difficult to explain it to people — how could she make that decision and go off and do it. At that age, you really can’t tell them anything.”

There are some 30 Canadian young people in the Israeli army from Ontario alone (part of the larger group of some 5,500 “lone soldiers”). During that summer bombardment, the Ottawa Citizen noted Palestinian children were traumatized by what was described by Al-Aqsa University professor Derdah al-Sha’er as “the violent and bloody scenes of war — the destruction of homes in airstrikes, body parts and corpses covered in blood and dust being pulled from the rubble, night bombings while there’s no electricity.” Yet if one were to have gone and fought against the IDF, they would now be a candidate for statelessness, their Canadian citizenship revoked.

Some 30,000 Canadians served in the U.S. military during the war against Vietnam, when U.S. forces committed mass atrocities including beheadings that left heads on sticks at the entrances to many villages. Canadians are now serving with Ukrainian paramilitaries (and associating with neo-Nazis). At the same time, anti-choice protesters cross the border to work with terrorist groups in the U.S. that bomb women’s reproductive health centres. But none of these have been cause for parliamentary hearings and scare headlines.

Life is hard on the young

That many young people are alienated and disconnected is unsurprising given they live in a country where, even by the Canadian Senate’s own reckoning (as documented in their 2008 report, “Children, The Silenced Citizens”), Canada and its institutions fail children when it comes to guaranteeing their most basic rights. It is clear to young people that our society has little use for them: they are exploited, ill-treated, terrorized, given little hope for the future, stressed out, threatened, bullied, blamed for government decisions because they see no point in voting, and then expected to perform well in school and be model citizens. Services for those with mental health issues are stretched to the max and, when utilized, often useless.

We invest in warfare, not child care. When they react with “bad behaviour,” zero tolerance legislation slaps them down and criminalizes them without asking WHY they are acting out. The helicopter-parent generation offers them little independence or association with friends of their own choosing. Hanging out with larger groups is seen as trouble in the making. “No more than three students in the store” signs proliferate throughout the land. Is it any wonder they might be looking for a sense of belonging, a purpose, a place where they feel they will be respected? Perhaps they might get that in drama club, perhaps in a gang, perhaps by taking the ultimate adventure in going overseas and fighting against agents of tyranny. We call them naïve when they do: don’t they know about the ideology of ISIS? Don’t they understand the politics of the region? Perhaps not, but the same question could equally be asked of their parents and the politicians they vote for.

The Harper government’s solution to these “problem kids” is to criminalize them, strip them of their citizenship. Because there is no such thing as a root cause in Harper’s world, there is no sense trying to delve into the issue: they are just evil, evil, evil, and the solution to our problems is more thought control and surveillance.

Indeed, at the conclusion of the 2009 radicalization conference in Toronto, plenary participants gathered up their flip-chart notes and shared fragments of ideas arising from workshops, including “maintain relationship with community while monitoring it,” and “Need Big brother watch (surveillance and intelligence).” Watch what happens in Parliament this week and see if their Big Brother dreams come true.

In the meantime, we need to reframe the radicalization narrative. The very least we can do when it comes to young people who have sadly gone abroad and met their deaths is refuse to demonize them or spit on their graves, and perhaps ask what we as adults are willing to do to help the lost and searching children of this generation.

This column was completed before the unfortunate event in Quebec that took the life of a Canadian soldier. The driver of the hit-and-run vehicle was killed by police — he was holding a knife — and so there will be no trial and no further first-hand information made available from the suspect. While the Prime Minister’s Office was quick to jump on the bandwagon, inflaming the situation by calling this a home-grown terrorist act (perfectly timed to help with the passage of new repressive legislation), the Sûreté du Québec spokesman at the scene said it was too early to tell whether the military was specifically targeted. Nevertheless, it is remarkably similar to the case of Pamela Mimnagh, an Arnprior woman killed October 3 by a truck driven by her husband, who has since been charged. Like many women whose lives are taken by men in Canada — often in calculated, well-planned attacks — it barely makes a headline, much less gets named for what it is: a home-grown terrorist act.

Matthew Behrens is a freelance writer and social justice advocate who co-ordinates the Homes not Bombs non-violent direct action network. He has worked closely with the targets of Canadian and U.S. ‘national security’ profiling for many years.

 Posted by at 11:03 am
Oct 222014
 

(See also 2014-09-01 Lockheed Martin green-washing. Platimun sponsor of NYC Climate Week )

 

NewsWatch Saskatchewan

520527     Missinipi Broadcasting, La Ronge.    October 20, 2014.

A FIRST NATIONS ENERGY COMPANY IS PART OF A NEW PROJECT THAT WILL BRING SOLAR ENERGY TO SOUTHWEST SASK

 

KELLY PROVOST [ANNOUNCER]

A First Nations energy company is part of a new project that will bring solar energy to Southwest Saskatchewan. The First Nations Power Authority has teamed up with Lockheed Martin in a demonstration project that will provide solar energy to Home Inn and Suites in Swift Current.

 

The project will provide about 26,000 kilowatt hours of renewable energy per year. It’s the first of its kind in Saskatchewan. Other partners in the solar power demonstration project include File Hills Qu’Appelle Developments, the City of Swift Current and the federal and provincial governments.

 

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

 Posted by at 10:38 am
Oct 062014
 

Note:   My request to Board of Governors to end the relationhip with Lockheed Martin went to the Board on August 20, 2014 in advance of:

  • board meeting    October 9, 2014
  • board meeting    December 16

= = = = = = = = = = = = =

Board members are listed at   http://www.usask.ca/secretariat/governing-bodies/board-of-governors/profiles/index.php.

Office of the University Secretary

University of Saskatchewan

212 College Building

107 Administration Place

Saskatoon, SK  S7N 5A2

Phone: (306) 966-4632     Fax: (306) 966-4530;     Emailuniversity.secretary@usask.ca

= = = = = = =

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RECEIPT

From: University Secretary Sent: August-20-14 3:01 PM   To: Sandra Finley; University Secretary Subject: RE: Submission to Board of Governors

Hello Sandra,

Thank you for your correspondence.  We have provided your letter to the Board of Governors, as per your request.

Respectfully,

Sheena Rowan

University Secretary’s Office

= = = = = = = = = =

LETTER TO UNIVERSITY BOARD OF GOVERNORS,
END THE RELATIONSHIP WITH LOCKHEED MARTIN

 

August 19, 2014

 

Sandra Finley

Qualicum Beach, BC

 

Board of Governors

University of Saskatchewan

 

Lee Ahenakew

Gordon Barnhart

David Dubé

Blaine Favel

Linda Ferguson

Max FineDay

Kathryn Ford

Grant Isaac

Grit McCreath

Susan Milburn

Greg Smith

 

Dear Members of the Board of Governors,

 

It will be prudent for the University to end its relationship with Lockheed Martin Corporation. I request you to consider the proposal.

Individually, you may not know about Lockheed Martin’s funding role at the University of Saskatchewan.

And you may not know about developments related to Lockheed Martin (details are appended):

  • An end to their contracts at Statistics Canada
  • The 20 minute Youtube documentary on SOFEX (the annual arms bazaar in Jordan, Lockheed Martin is visible)
  • The connection to Project Daniel that is using 3-D printer technology to give arms back to kids whose arms have been blown off
  • The strength and determination of the informed international movement to change the path we’re on

The world is rapidly evolving to a place different from the one I grew up in.  There are many good and great initiatives underway.  People from every country talk to each other, and help each other.   Shane Smith (the SOFEX documentary), Mick Ebeling (prosthetic arms from 3D printers) are two among thousands of examples.

Regarding the strength of the movement, citizens of all nations are empowered by the arts – - think of the impact of ONE BOOK and movie, alone – -  Lord of the Rings.  Frodo is every one of us.  We encounter allies amongst many peoples.  Together we exercise moral authority. The empowerment has been on-going for decades; you will know the newer versions of the Frodo story in our theatres.

There are many benefits for the U of S Board of Governors if they adjust University policies in alignment with the changes in the world.   You can project that “collaboration” with Lockheed Martin will have a detrimental effect on the University’s reputation at some point.

The propaganda of “communications consultants” is not a match for the proliferation of respected documentaries.   The role of Universities in the maintenance of an unacceptable status quo has been high-lighted by films like Inside Job, narrated by Matt Damon.

he asks tough questions and elicits squirms from several participants, notably former Treasury secretary David McCormick and Columbia dean Glenn Hubbard, . . .

Their reactions are understandable, since the borders between Wall Street, Washington, and the Ivy League dissolved years ago;

Large numbers of citizens understand that same relationship in different sectors of the economy, besides the financial.   The University of Sask is one example in the military-industrial-governmental-university complex.

The words of former General and President of the U.S., Dwight Eisenhower, are marshalled forth, you probably know them: President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 1961 farewell speech Plus Words of Wisdom from Eisenhower. 

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry . . .

There is sufficient awareness that a holding-to-account of universities will happen. Indeed, it is in the process of happening.

I will be appreciative if you will advise me of the outcome of your deliberations – - will the relationship between the University of Saskatchewan and Lockheed Martin Corporation enhance the reputation of the U of S?   Is it defensible?  If so, on what grounds?

To assist, some of the arguments that need to be refuted if the relationship continues, are contained in the appended.

Thank-you for your consideration.

 

Best wishes,

Sandra Finley

U of S Senator, Elected

 

APPENDED

The following  bit of elaboration makes the point of large mobilizations of people and money around moral authority.

 

  1. EJECTION FROM STATISTICS CANADA

Conscientious objection by Canadians to Lockheed Martin’s role at Statistics Canada has been sufficient to cause StatsCan to eliminate Lockheed’s role altogether by 2016.  (Source:  Transcript of the testimony by Yves Beland, Director of Census Operations, under oath.  at the October 2013 trial of Audrey Tobias,  they’re (Lockheed Martin) out of the picture totally.)

 

  1. The Business of War: SOFEX – YouTube  

Doing good in the world is profitable.  I think that Shane Smith became famous through his work to expose vice in the world.  Vice is now on HBO as a documentary TV-series hosted by Bill Maher, I am told. From the internet: Vice began as a magazine founded by Smith in Montreal in 1994, now a global company operating in 30 countries.  Today in his forties,Smith is worth an estimated $400 million, according to Forbes.

Smith hosted the 20 minute documentary on SOFEX.  Lockheed Martin comes in near the end of it.

Number of views, SOFEX:  

a million-and-a-quarter of the YouTube alone

42,000 more since July 22nd when I first noted the number.  I heard about the videoby word-of-mouth, not through advertising.

Number of views:

1,248,100 as at July 22

1,262,100 views 10 days later (Aug 1 AM)

1,268,197 views by August 5th

1,279,745 by August 12th

1, 290,765 as of Aug 19

(INSERT:   1,375,347 as at Oct 05)

 

I tweeted Smith to thank him, the video contributes to understanding the dynamics at play with the international manufacturers of munitions.

When making a decision about Lockheed Martin, I think the Board of Governors would want to know what is informing the public debate.

 

  1. NOT IMPOSSIBLE LABS  http://www.notimpossiblelabs.com/

Project Daniel: 

Just before Thanksgiving 2013, Mick Ebeling returned home from Sudan’s Nuba Mountains where he set up what is probably the world’s first 3D-printing prosthetic lab and training facility. More tothe point of the journey is that Mick managed to give hope and independence back to a kid who, at age 14, had both his arms blown off and considered his life not worth living.  

By the time the team returned to their homes in the U.S., the local trainees had successfully printed and fitted another two arms, proving the project will have lasting benefit beyond the team’s presence. 

That Project Daniel successfully unfolded in a region where a cease-fire had expired (and where

fighting has now escalated), and that the people taught to utilize the 3D printers were barely familiar with computers, let alone the idea of 3D printers, is a milestone achievement that bears the potential for global impact. “We’re hopeful that other children and adults in other regions of Africa, as well as other continents around the globe, will utilize the power of this new technology for similar beginnings,” said Not Impossible founder Mick Ebeling. “We believe Daniel’s story will ignite a global campaign. The sharing of the prostheses’ specifications, which Not Impossible will provide free and open-source, will enable any person in need, anywhere on the planet, to use technology for its best purpose: restoring humanity.”

 

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Or,  Listen in on  Not Impossible  founder Mick Ebeling’s conversation on CBC radio’s program “Q” right here:

http://www.cbc.ca/q/popupaudio.html?clipIds=2476780836

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Aug 1st Spoke with and emailed Not Impossible.  Theresa   info >@> notimpossiblelabs.com     310 667 9223    Venice, CA  to establish connection: 

There you are helping the kids whose arms have been blown off.

Here we are, working to stop Government money from going to Lockheed Martin Corporation, makers of cluster munitions that blow off kids’ limbs.

    

  1. There is hefty  mobilization around Gaza.  “if this isn’t an argument for the world to act in stopping this madness, I don’t know what is” – The children of Gaza – video (3.5 minutes):   http://www.channel4.com/news/the-children-of-gaza-jon-snow-video.    The broadcaster also mentions the foreign aid role. 

(I notified Jon Snow that his video is being used in this communication.

Sent: August-05-14 12:12 PM To: ‘news >@> channel4.com’ Subject: Jon Snow re Children of Gaza) 

 

  1. International Conventions, Cluster Munitions, Land Mines

 

  1. LOCKHEED MARTIN MANUFACTURES CLUSTER MUNITIONS, ILLEGAL UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW

 

  1. Re  THE ARGUMENT THAT “LOCKHEED MARTIN USA IS NOT THE SAME AS LOCKHEED MARTIN CANADA”, i.e.,  the subsidiary is independent of the parent:

In the Lockheed Martin – Census trials, the Justice Dept routinely claimed that Lockheed Martin Canada is a different company from Lockheed Martin USA. (Hence, the crimes committed by Lockheed Martin cannot be used at trial.)

In the last of the trials (Stegenga), the Prosecution did not pursue this line of argument after presentation to the Court of a screen capture of Lockheed Martin’s USA webpage that says:

Our Census Business Practice successes include . . . Canada’s 2011 and 2006 Census.

In the case of the University, the next item speaks.

 

  1. Lockheed Martin’s Collaboration Topics (CT’s), as presented to U of S in April 2012 are posted at Lockheed Martin Visit to Your Institution.    Excerpts:

to turn the sensed environment into information about the target (e.g., target recognition, speed, intent, etc. via Ladar, Radar, EO, and acoustic methods) 

Hardware, software, and architectures to enable uninhabited intelligent deployments of ground, sea, air or space capabilities (These are UAVs, unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones for military use)

Biometrics:

Architectures for detectors and associated hardware and software for personnel identification in a broad range of applications (e.g., authentication, surveillance, tracking)

to include methods to facilitate timely response (e.g., explosive vapor, biological agents)

more

At two meetings of Senate, Ernie Barber (then Acting Dean of Engineering) defended Lockheed Martin’s role at the University as one of “renewable technologies”.   Yes – Lockheed Martin is heavily dependent upon fossil fuels; supply lines are often targeted during invasions, renewable technologies are attractive – -  you have to spin Lockheed’s role someway.

I encourage Board Members to read the CT’s as presented by Lockheed Martin itself.   How you get to  “renewable technologies” is hard to fathom.

 

  1. RE the argument,   The University needs the funding from Lockheed Martin.

From your perspective of Citizens Who Pay Taxes:

There are offset agreements in the contracts Lockheed Martin has with the Government, that require them to spend a percentage of the value of the contracts in Canada.   The U of S receives Lockheed Martin money as a consequence.

However,  Lockheed has a history of over-charging on Government contracts.   If the Government money simply went directly to the University, omitting Lockheed Martin as the middle-man, you would get more money AND with no strings attached.    The argument does not stand up to scrutiny.

 

Robert Kennedy:

“Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change.”

” A revolution is coming — a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough; compassionate if we care enough; successful if we are fortunate enough — But a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can affect its character; we cannot alter its inevitability.”

WHY the (R)Evolution?

2010-07-16 CHRONOLOGY: the involvement of the American military in the Canadian census set in the larger CONTEXT of American military intrusion into Canadian affairs. (Sandra Finley)

Excerpt:

How much influence does Lockheed Martin have in the world? What kind of influence is it?   Those might be good questions to ask.

The original census contracts were awarded to Lockheed Martin at about the same time as the Bush Administration was dropping bombs on Iraq in an illegal war of aggression (2003). Which of course was hugely profitable for Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed was in a position to influence, and did influence the decision that led to the destruction of Iraqi schools, hospitals, museums, water infrastructure – – everything. It is a war that is on-going eight years later with death beyond imagination, and I don’t know how many permanently injured, see the current tally at http://www.antiwar.com/casualties/.

Millions of other Iraqis are either refugees or they are homeless:

“Refugees International has observed extreme vulnerabilities among the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees living in Syria, Jordan, and other parts of the region, as well as the millions of internally displaced persons within Iraq. Most refugees have not been granted legal status and thus live in limbo, often without access to basic services and work opportunities. Many persons displaced within the country have no access to assistance, basic levels of protection, or any hope of return to their original homes.” http://www.refugeesinternational.org/where-we-work/middle-east/iraq

It has cost the American public more than 733 billion dollars to wage the Iraq War (not counting Afghanistan) http://costofwar.com/, money they have needed for their own country. They sink further into debt. The international community is asked to step in to provide humanitarian aid to Iraq after the American military-industrial-congressional complex (#1 player, Lockheed Martin) has dropped the bombs; the devastation inflicted by the war is total.

The hatred and the terrorists that have been created by that illegal war are incalculable. Lockheed Martin’s profits and its share price go up.

. . .   What if those bombs had been dropped on us, from the unmanned aerial vehicles (drones, airplanes) that are Lockheed Martin’s more recent gift to humanity, following after land mines and cluster munitions which are both illegal under Canadian and International Law? Lockheed’s unmanned drone programme is now moving to Saskatoon; we sink deeper into the writhings of hell.

There are a number of issues regarding Lockheed Martin’s involvement in the Canadian census: large legal, rational and moral issues, and as a significant step of the American military into Canada. The chronology below provides the context which makes the growing military intrusion apparent.

You will see serial acts of treason by Canadian officials.

The chronology shows some of

• the military developments in Canada

• the growing “normalization” of military police presence in Canada

• Lockheed Martin’s role

• mixed in with the resistance in Canada.

I make the point in the chronology that with offset agreements in Lockheed Martin contracts, the Government is transitioning to an economy that makes money on war.   Many years ago I read that 45% of the American economy is dependent upon the waging of war.

The Canada First Defence Strategy enacted in June 2008 is very clearly about transforming the Canadian economy into a war economy. Is that what we want? Because that’s what you get with Lockheed Martin.

What is the motivation behind the transformation of Canada into a puppet-state of U.S. corporate interests? We have circulated a lot of information on the situation in the U.S.. They are running out of resources (e.g. water, oil and electricity) and so they appropriate what does not belong to them.

It is like the German Nazis: their war machine ran them out of iron ore, hence the “Quisling” Government in Norway that allowed them a short run from the iron mines in northern Sweden across a narrow corridor that is Norway, to the sea for ocean transport down the Norwegian coast to German weapons factories.

The American Government dropped bombs on Iraq to secure oil. It’s a little hard for them to do that to Canada. The alternative and often-used weapon in the arsenal of the military-industrial-congressional complex in the U.S. is to set up puppet governments (petro-states), take what you want, destroy the local environment, poison the people and leave when you’re finished.

We are the creators of our own misfortunes, or not.   We need to get word to people now so they can start explaining to their friends the need to boycott the May 2011 Census, as another step in the resistance that will force Lockheed Martin Corporation, the war mongers, out of Canada.

UPDATE:   October 2013 trial of Audrey Tobias,  they’re (Lockheed Martin) out of the picture totally  at Statistics Canada, as of the 2016 Census.

 

 Posted by at 10:00 am
Sep 282014
 

The new President of Croplife Canada (lobbyist for chem-biotech companies) did not like what Larry Powell said.

Larry replied to Ted Menzies.   http://www.planetinperil.ca/2014/09/blogger-responds-to-accusations-from.html 

I added a Comment:

1.  Revolving door?  Ted Menzies was an MP until he resigned in Nov 2013.  CropLife is nothing more than a lobby machine for the chem-biotech corporations.  I wonder in what ways Menzies’ work as an MP prepared him to get the job as President of CropLife?

2.  Where did Lorne Hepworth go when Menzies took over as president? (Hepworth was one of Grant Devine’s cabinet ministers before going to CropLife.) …

Answer:  Hepworth is on the Board of Directors of the “Global Institute for Food Security” at the University of Saskatchewan.  Not only has the biotech/chemical industry run the College of Agriculture for three decades, this thinly-disguised agricultural “Institute” has been set up,  with Hepworth on the Board.

In the case of another new entity at the U of S, the CCNI (Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation), for example, it is claimed that the laws regarding access to information that apply to the University (transparency in public institutions) do not apply.

Hepworth is in an unconscionable conflict-of-interest that taints the reputation of the University.  (And if you know of CropLife’s tactics under Hepworth, integrity is an issue.  I recall when Toronto was working on a pesticide bylaw.  Hepworth set up the “in name only” Toronto Environmental Coalition to send out press releases about the benign nature of the chemicals. (The bona fide organization is the Toronto Environmental Alliance.)  The Chief Medical Officer for Toronto was angry, to say the least, when Hepworth’s under-handed ways became public knowledge.

 Posted by at 9:18 am
Sep 242014
 

Video of MP Calandra, House of Commons:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/09/23/paul-calandra-iraq-mulcair-scheer-neutrality_n_5870714.html

There is no reason to put up with this behaviour.

Small steps are important.  They empower all of us  … and then the tide turns.  So…

I expressed my displeasure directly to Calandra by forwarding an email thread:

 

From: Sandra Finley     Sent: September-24-14

To: ‘paul.calandra@parl.gc.ca’   (or 613 992 3640  or Fax: 613 992 3642)

Subject: FW: unreal exchange

How do we as citizens satirize this behaviour to the point that it becomes unacceptable?

MP Calandra needs to become a laughing stock of the nation.

 

I guess another alternative is to provide feedback to him – - in case he can’t figure out things for himself.

I appended contact information from his web page.  He represents Oak Ridges – Markham.

 

Even before she was elected Elizabeth May tackled the problem of conduct of parliamentarians.

She can’t bring about change by herself.

Citizens are the bosses.  Calandra can get away with this, only if “the bosses” allow him to do it.

- – - – - – –  – -

Subject: RE: unreal exchange

It’s bad enough that Calandra believes this is acceptable (and he appears to be right given the Speaker’s non-role).

But worse:  his fellow members of caucus don’t have the balls to refuse to applaud.

- – - – - – - -

Subject: unreal exchange

It really is unreal ! Paul Calandra, Conservative MP, should be taken out back. Despicable behaviour.

http://globalnews.ca/video/1578828/unreal-exchange-in-house-of-commons-over-canadas-involvement-in-iraq

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

PAUL CALANDRA

Political Affiliation:  Conservative Caucus

Constituency:  Oak Ridges—Markham Map – Elections Canada

Province / Territory:Ontario

Email:  paul.calandra   AT   parl.gc.ca

Web Site:  www.paulcalandra.com

Hill Office  House of Commons  Ottawa, Ontario Canada K1A 0A6   Telephone: 613-992-3640  Fax: 613-992-3642

Mail may be sent postage-free to any Member of Parliament.

Constituency Office(s)

  • 6060 Main Street Stouffville, Ontario  L4A 1B8   Telephone: 905-640-1125  Fax: 905-640-1184

© House of Commons

 

 Posted by at 10:28 am
Sep 232014
 

From: Sandra Finley

Sent: September-23-14

To: Gordon Barnhart, President of the University of Saskatchewan;  Vianne Timmons, President of the University of Regina

Cc: ‘Elizabeth Williamson, Secretary, U of S

Subject: A note re investments

 

Dear Gordon Barnhart and Vianne Timmins,

 

I sent the following information to investment people.   I would be remiss if I didn’t send it also to the Universities, at least in Saskatchewan.  JUST IN CASE you did not catch it through other channels.

 

Best wishes,

Sandra Finley

Elected Senator

U of S

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

From: Sandra Finley

Sent: September-23-14

Subject: A note re investments

 

Hi Tom and Marlis,

Just in case you have not seen it – I am sending these developments to you  because of significance for investments.

The full story includes a group of students who started “Divest/Invest” four years ago.   They made it difficult for the Ivy League Universities to hold onto fossil fuel investments in their endowment portfolios.  Down to the situation today:  Rockefeller heirs  have joined in a pledge to divest more than $56 billion of fossil fuel investments to reinvest in clean energy on the eve of a major climate change summit in New York.

There’s an excellent interview on the developments, by Amy Goodman, Democracy Now.   Click on   http://www.nationofchange.org/heirs-billionaire-oil-tycoon-john-d-rockefeller-join-growing-fossil-fuel-divestment-movement-1411401

(The ABC News Report is at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-23/rockefeller-family-to-sell-oil-investments-to-reinvest-in-renew/5761966)

 

This all comes at the same time as the 310,000 protesters in the streets of New York (Sept 21).  Joined by thousands more in various cities around the world.

The protests continued into yesterday, with people in NY arrested last night.   The Guardian newspaper report:

Dozens arrested as police face off with Flood Wall Street protesters  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/22/flood-wall-street-protest-arrest-police-climate-change-new-york

 Anyhow, thought you might like to know.

/Sandra

 

 Posted by at 1:48 pm