REPLY FROM STATSCAN
Thank you for your note. I hope that you will understand that I cannot comment on the matters described in your note.
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QUESTION TO STATSCAN & MINISTER RESPONSIBLE:
HOW DO YOU JUSTIFY LOCKHEED MARTIN CONTRACTS?
From: Sandra Finley
Sent: July-23-10 5:03 PM
To: Marc.Hamel@ AT tatcan.gc.ca
Cc: minister.industry AT ic.gc.ca
Subject: Census: how do you justify the provision of contracts to Lockheed Martin Corporation?
Your predecessors have stalwartly refused to even attempt to respond to the central question of awarding census contracts to Lockheed Martin Corporation.
I realize that you didn’t make the decision to give census contracts to Lockheed Martin Corporation; you are placed in a job that requires you to answer the questions.
I understand that Public Works Canada awarded the contracts. But StatsCan implemented them.
I have appended excerpts from Lockheed Martin’s record.
I will appreciate a response to the question: how does StatsCan justify the implementation of contracts awarded to Lockheed Martin Corporation, in the face of their public record for acts that are in contravention of Canadian and International Law?
– – – – – – – – – – – – – —
THE PUBLIC RECORD ON LOCKHEED MARTIN CORPORATION
The original census contracts were awarded to Lockheed Martin Corporation 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. Then-Prime Minister Jean Chretien kept Canada out of the Iraq War.
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 seven years later with many more than a million Iraqis dead, I don’t know how many permanently injured. 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. … ”
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 mountains of debt, tax-payers harnessed for generations to paying principal with interest (to the banks) – there is no money for social programmes that can stabilize the country. 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.
All the good work done by hundreds of thousands of aid workers, religious groups, and others around the world are undone a thousand times over by Lockheed Martin.
. . . What if those bombs had been dropped on us, from the unmanned aerial vehicles (“UAV’s”, 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 and moral issues, and as a significant step of the American military into Canada.
The Government’s announcement of “no longer mandatory” may have brought its actions within the boundaries permitted by Constitutional law, so the legal issue MAY have been addressed regarding the census long form (I haven’t looked at the short form); the MORAL ISSUE has definitely not been addressed.
Nor has the question of the legality or appropriateness of the Government providing more than a billion dollars to Lockheed Martin Corporation that is well-known for a lengthy record of court convictions and fines, procurement fraud, the manufacturing of weapons that are in contravention of Canadian and International Law, and its specialization in international surveillance. Bribery. On top of all this, they sell their illegal weapons to anyone with money. According to POGO (the Project on Government Oversight in the U.S.) in 2000 alone, “Lockheed Martin was charged with 30 violations of the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. The violations were regarding the transfer of space launch assistance technologies to China. Lockheed Martin paid a civil penalty of $13 million.” There’s more, including the money it spends to purchase Government officials.
The iron irony (as mentioned):
• Lockheed Martin has moved into Saskatoon (my home) with its unmanned drone agenda.
As long as these psychopaths continue to make their billion-dollar profits from the production of machinery for war, the security of the world is in jeopardy. (Democracy is badly corrupted by them, too.) How anyone can think that security will increase by dropping bombs on other people from unmanned aerial vehicles is a new stretch of “rational”. But it is utilitarian – – a good way for investors to make money. Just remember that Lockheed Martin feeds at the public trough; there wouldn’t be all the war if American tax-payers weren’t willing to go in hock up to their eyeballs on behalf of Lockheed Martin – – another good way to push money uphill from tax-payers to the already-wealthy investors in Lockheed Martin.
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.
• 2003 fall: it becomes known that Public Works Canada and Statistics Canada out-sourced census work to Lockheed Martin of the American military-industrial-congressional complex. Lockheed Martin is a key player and profiteer from American and other wars. http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?list=type&type=9
“Lockheed has also been able to exercise its influence in a larger way – in support of the invasion of Iraq. The company’s former vice-president Bruce Jackson chaired the Coalition for the Liberation of Iraq, a bipartisan group formed to promote Bush’s plan for war in Iraq. Bruce Jackson was also involved in corralling the support for the war from Eastern European countries, going so far as helping to write their letter of endorsement for military intervention. Not surprisingly, Lockheed also has business relations with these countries. In 2003 Poland shelled out $3.5 billion for 48 F-16 fighter planes, which it was able to buy with a $3.8 billion loan from the US.”
• 2004 – health records of the Canadian military are contracted out to Lockheed Martin Corp. Now there’s a nice conflict-of-interest! I think of the American Iraqi war veterans whose health and reproductive capacity has been seriously harmed by weapons that use depleted uranium. And the Viet Nam war veterans whose lives were ruined by exposure to the chemical weapon called Agent Orange. They have been decades in the battle for compensation while the military hospitals deny, deny, deny. . . . You’re giving the health records of Canadian military personnel over to Lockheed Martin that makes the weapons?
• 2004 November 28: New York Times, Lockheed and the Future of Warfare
LOCKHEED MARTIN doesn’t run the United States. But it does help run a breathtakingly big part of it.
‘ . . . ‘It’s impossible to tell where the government ends and Lockheed begins,” said Danielle Brian of the Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit group in Washington that monitors government contracts. ”The fox isn’t guarding the henhouse. He lives there.”
No contractor is in a better position than Lockheed to do business in Washington. Nearly 80 percent of its revenue comes from the United States government. Most of the rest comes from foreign military sales, many financed with tax dollars. And former Lockheed executives, lobbyists and lawyers hold crucial posts at the White House and the Pentagon, picking weapons and setting policies.
Obviously, war and crisis have been good for business. The Pentagon’s budget for buying new weapons rose by about a third over the last three years, . . . “
• 2005 March: The SPP (Security and Prosperity Partnership Agreement) is signed by Martin (Canada), Bush (US) and Fox (Mexico). Lockheed Martin plays a large role in the SPP (see 2006 September). Harper replaced Martin as Prime Minister and in 2006 March: The SPP is confirmed by Harper, Bush, and Fox.
• 2005 October: Washington Post, Lockheed gets (American) census job http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/02/AR2005100201032.html
• 2005 November: Ivan P. Fellegi, Chief Statistician of Canada, “I would like to emphasize that only 20% of the work for the 2006 Census will be contracted out while the remaining 80% is being done by Statistics Canada. The distribution, collection, follow-up and storage of questionnaires will be done strictly by Statistics Canada … ” . . “ Under the North American Free Trade Agreement and World Trade Organization Agreement regulations that governed this procurement, non-Canadian based firms were eligible to submit a bid… “
• 2006 spring: emerging conflict in priorities. Research organizations support the census because they regularly use StatsCan data. From Don Roger’s letter to CCPA: “ the privacy question is a sidebar. The Monitor has remained deafeningly silent on the moral contradiction of having Census taxpayers’ money going to the subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, one of the world’s biggest armaments manufacturers. The same edition of the Monitor contains an article about the 10 Worst Corporations in the World. There is Lockheed Martin, rubbing shoulders with the worlds’s worst. …”
• 2006 April re Smart Border Plan: Connie Fogal (then leader of the Canadian Action Party) publishes http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=2242
“The Smart Border Plan between the USA and Canada signed by John Manley December 2001 as Deputy Prime Minister of Canada and Tom Ridge, the U.S. Homeland Security Director which requires the sharing of citizen data, meaning the US Homeland Security gets what it wants to know about Canadians. The terms of this agreement are being implemented incrementally but quickly without the knowledge or consent of Canadians. It is not just covert sharing that is to happen, but overt as well. Start with the stealth and then whammy with the fait accompli.(John Manley currently is a leading light in the North American Task Force of CEO’s commanding the creation of the North American Union.) Our census data will be shared one way or the other so long as this agenda is permitted.
The Security and Prosperity Partnership Agreement signed by Martin (Canada), Bush (US) and Fox (Mexico) in March 2005 confirmed by Harper, Bush, and Fox in March 2006. By this agreement the three leaders agreed to implement the grand design of the most influential corporations of North America to create a common unit of North America sharing data and merging the three countries into one union without an overall democratically accountable representative political structure. They agreed to expand the Smart Border Plan melding the three countries into one corporate/ military union, focusing initially on Canada /US unity. This means changing Canadian laws and legal structures to mimic those created by the US Congress removing civil liberties (like the security of our census information.)
The integration is proceeding in Canada by subtle but massive bureaucratic restructuring of our skin and skeleton, fleshed out by the dismantling of our constitutional rights without due process and by deceit. David Emerson has crossed to the Conservatives to continue that restructuring that he was spearheading under the Liberals. Take note of recently changed names of government agencies that reflect this transformation. …”
• 2006: I am back-and-forth in correspondence with Ivan Felligi, Chief Statistician, repeating that my objection expressed in 2004 is to Lockheed Martin’s involvement. He does not address Lockheed Martin’s public record of court convictions, fines, etc. in his responses other than to say that through NAFTA American corporations can submit bids.
• 2006 September: The President of the Americas for Lockheed Martin, Ron Covais, active on the SPP with Stephen Harper, tells Macleans Magazine in an article entitled “Meet NAFTA 2.0” “We’ve decided not to recommend any things that would require legislative changes, because we won’t get anywhere.” The main avenue for changes would be through executive agencies, bureaucrats and regulations, he said, adding: “The guidance from the ministers was, ‘Tell us what we need to do and we’ll make it happen.'”
• 2007 August: SPP (Security and Prosperity Partnership) Summit (Corporate CEO’s including Lockheed Martin, and Government officials). Citizen protests at Montebello, Quebec against decision-making by unelected corporate interests in secret. Police disguised as protestors are trained and deployed to turn peaceful protests violent. http://youtube.com/watch?v=DCRsj06wT64
Demands for a public inquiry . . . I don’t know where it stands. The Government stone-walled. More than a year later there was word that an inquiry would be held. I have not seen news that an inquiry ever took place. Watch the video, it’s an outrage that the Government should get away with this – that no one has been held to account.
• 2007 June: (The StatsCan mantra when you ask them about the morality of contracting-out to Lockheed Martin is “Not our responsibility. The contracts were negotiated by Public Works.”) Francois Guimont who is well-known to us as head of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (Ag Canada, GMO’s, Monsanto’s bioteched crops) is moved over to become Deputy Minister of Public Works and Government Services. See 2008 July. Lockheed Martin is awarded contracts for the 2011 Census, in spite of all the opposition from Canadians to date.
• 2008 February 14: Canada and the U.S. sign the “Troop Exchange Agreement”. Reported in the U.S. Picked up by Canadian journalist David Pugliese February 22. http://www.canada.com/topics/news/story.html?id=403d90d6-7a61-41ac-8cef-902a1d14879d “ … He (Stuart Trew, Council of Canadians) noted that work is also underway for the two nations to put in place a joint plan to protect common infrastructure such as roadways and oil pipelines.”
“Are we going to see (U.S.) troops on our soil for minor potential threats to a pipeline or a road?” he asked.
Trew also noted the U.S. military does not allow its soldiers to operate under foreign command so there are questions about who controls American forces if they are requested for service in Canada. “We don’t know the answers because the government doesn’t want to even announce the plan,” he said.
But Canada Command spokesman Commander David Scanlon said it will be up to civilian authorities in both countries on whether military assistance is requested or even used.
He said the agreement is “benign” and simply sets the stage for military-to-military co-operation if the governments approve. (INSERT: puppet governments will approve.) . . .
If U.S. forces were to come into Canada they would be under tactical control of the Canadian Forces but still under the command of the U.S. military, Scanlon added.”
• 2008 March: THE AMERICAN MILITARY FUNCTION IS MORE-AND-MORE “OUT-SOURCED” TO CORPORATIONS LIKE HALLIBURTON. THERE IS LESS AND LESS ABILITY TO HOLD IT ACCOUNTABLE. IT BYPASSES DEMOCRATIC PROCESS. REFERENCE GUANTANAMO BAY, ABU GHRAIB AND DIAMONDBACK. American prisons are also being privatized. See 2008 June, Canada now has “compatible doctrine” and “interoperability”.
You will know about the contracting-out of military functions through the information coming out of Iraq. That means the soldiers are not necessarily Americans. American tax-payors are paying for a growing army of mercenaries that come from poor countries. Information about the operation of “the troops” and accountability are lost when the security function is no longer carried out by the Government.
Similar “partnerships” are occurring in the American prison system. I’ve circulated an email regarding access to information. It contains the example of the prison in Oaklahoma: Diamondback Correctional Facility in Watonga, OK, a CCA prison that in 2004 held over 1,000 prisoners under a contract with the Arizona Department of Corrections, and another 800 prisoners under a contract with the Hawaii Department of Public Safety, but had no contract with the State of Oklahoma itself. How can family from Hawaii visit prisoners, or even know how the prisoners are being treated? There is NO access to information through the State of Oaklahoma because they aren’t using the prison.
The Canadian Bar Association has written to the Bush Administration, requesting that Guantanamo Bay (American Military Prison in Cuba) be shut down because of its complete disregard for international agreements on the treatment of prisoners.
• 2008 June 19: the “Canada First Defence Strategy” comes into being. We now have “interoperability” with the American Military and “compatible doctrine”. The decades-long Canadian dedication to alternatives to “killing wars” is gone. Had this Strategy been in place in 2003, Canada would have directly participated in the killing and destruction that is on-going in Iraq, for no reason other than American imperialism. And we would have been saddled with the debt that goes along with war.
The language of the strategy leads one to believe that Canadian industries will be the beneficiaries:
“A Military in Partnership with Canadian Industry
The Canada First Defence Strategy will also have significant benefits for Canadian industry. The infusion of long-term stable funding it provides will enable industry to reach for global excellence and to be better positioned to compete for defence contracts at home and abroad, thus enabling a pro-active investment in research and development and opportunities for domestic and international spin-offs as well as potential commercial applications.”
Minister responsible, Peter Mackay: “… reveals details of $490-billion defence strategy to modernize military“.
But WHO REALLY gets the money? (Tax-payors pay it.) The billion-dollar contracts are awarded to Lockheed Martin. Lockheed then works with Canadian industries (Lockheed Martin distributes the goodies.): “Under the in-service support portion, the contractor (Lockheed Martin) will be required to spend in Canada 75 per cent of the total cost in direct industrial regional benefits – well above the 60-per-cent ratio negotiated by the previous government for purchases of this magnitude.” (Source: Michael M Fortier, Minister of Public Works, Government press release, January 2008.)
Canadian defence strategy is to become “compatible” in “doctrine” with the U.S.. The problem with the “doctrine” of the Bush Administration is that killing creates hatred. Hatred breeds violence. Violence becomes terrorism. It is known that dropping bombs on people is counter-productive. But lucrative for Lockheed Martin.
The killing-combat model (doctrine) only escalates problems. It does not mobilize the tremendous power of people, as Gandhi did. A crowd of thousands, eventually millions, will overcome the various forms of violence, given time. It is the fastest road to peace. The killing ways of “combat” add to the hatred, prolong the conflict, is transferred from one generation to the next and will destroy the earth. In its long history, the killing ways have never accomplished peace, only destruction. This planet is and has been our one and only home, folks.
Becoming compatible with “the doctrine” of the Bush Administration, its buddies in Halliburton Corporation, Lockheed Martin, the contracting-out to mercenaries, etc., Canada too is setting up to cash in on “combat”. Is that what we want for “defence” strategy – – opportunities to make money? (Really, it is a transfer of money out of the public purse to the military industry that has record profits because of illegal and immoral war. Those record profits then go into the pockets of the already-wealthy who have money to invest, and do so with no conscience.)
The Canada First Defence Strategy states: “It will also allow the Government to develop a stronger, mutually beneficial relationship with industry.” The role of Governments is the relationship with human beings and other species, not corporations (“industry”).
The contracting-out of Census work and other purchases have nothing to do with the efficiency of Lockheed Martin because it is the private sector. It has everything to do with transnational corporate access to the public purse through Government contracts and contacts. How is that accomplished? In the U.S., “Lockheed Martin spent more on lobbying Congress than any of its competitors, spending $9.7 million in 2002. Only General Electric and Philip Morris reported more lobbying expenses. In the 2004 election cycle, Lockheed contributed more than $1.9 million”.
80% of Lockheed’s money comes from the Government of the USA. The biggest chunk of the 80% is from military contracts. (It should be noted that Lockheed is diversifying into other Government service areas. The Canadian census is one example. Lockheed is also set to perform “data capture” and other services for the 2011 Census in the United Kingdom. It does the US census work. The medical records of Canadian soldiers have already been mentioned.)
Lockheed Martin is an obvious vehicle through which to become interoperable with the U.S. military. See 2010 June below where Lockheed Martin is moving into Saskatoon with its unmanned drone technology.
• 2008, July 21: Lockheed Martin is awarded contracts for the 2011 Canadian census.
• 2008, August: Lockheed Martin is awarded census contracts in the UK.
The Office for National Statistics today announced the award of the first large contract to support the delivery of the 2011 Census for England and Wales. The contract has been won by Lockheed Martin UK Ltd.
• 2008, through “offset agreements” in the contracts, Lockheed Martin starts “gifting” tax-payer dollars. The only way that Lockheed Martin has excess money to dole out (e.g. to Dalhousie University or to the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology), is if the government contracts are exorbitant. Lockheed Martin has a long history of “procurement fraud” in the U.S.
Lockheed gets the credit for the largesse and dictates how the money will be spent. The public interest is lost to corporate interest.
“Dalhousie University is announcing a multi-million dollar research contract with Lockheed-Martin. This contract is the result of government policy, which requires a foreign company to invest in Canada before it can enter into a government contract.”
Offset agreements will in time duplicate the American military-industrial-congressional complex in Canada. Maybe that has already happened.
• 2008 November: OTTAWA CITIZEN, “CANADIAN OFFICIALS .. WILL MEET THE NEW STANDARD” FOR SUPPLYING DATA ON CANADIANS TO THE AMERICANS
(I believe “visa-free access” is a tactic of attempted intimidation to which Canadians should not bow.)
“… In exchange for continued visa-free access to the United States, American officials are pressuring the federal government to supply them with more information on Canadians, says an influential analyst on Canada-U.S. relations.
“Not only about (routine) individuals, but also about people that you may be looking at for reasons, but there’s no indictment and there’s no charge,” Christopher Sands of the Hudson Institute told a security intelligence conference in Ottawa yesterday. . Canadian officials have said this country will meet the new standard, “plus or minus a little,” by 2011, he said. “But there’ll be tremendous pressure (from the U.S.) to get there faster.”
What better vehicle for the American military to get information on all Canadians than through the Census with Lockheed Martin as the conduit?
• 2008 December: I read Edwin Black’s book, “IBM and the Holocaust”, 2001, http://www.ibmandtheholocaust.com
Detailed files on individual citizens is a characteristic of nazi/fascist/militaristic regimes. Mechanized census files were critical to Hitler’s extermination of people. Statistics Canada is moving more and more in this direction, with the help of Lockheed Martin and IBM as a sub-contractor. I recommend you read “IBM and the Holocaust”. It is dangerous to hand over detailed personal information to Government. Canadians have a Charter Right to privacy specifically because of the historical abuses by Governments that collect data files on citizens. It is prudent to learn the lessons of history.
• 2008, December 3: Canada signs international treaty banning cluster munitions.
“Today governments from around the world are signing the most significant disarmament and humanitarian treaty of the decade, banning the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions.”
Lockheed Martin manufacturers cluster munitions. The U.S. does not sign the treaty.
“Announcing at the last minute it would join the group was Afghanistan, which had earlier been seen as bowing to U.S. pressure to refrain.”
Lockheed Martin subsequently removes all information and most of the references from its web-site to its cluster munitions. They are replaced by a statement that says Lockheed does not manufacture cluster munitions.
• 2009 Early: the U.S. Census Bureau (Lockheed Martin with IBM a sub-contractor, same as in Canada and the UK) hires 100,000 people to start doing census work in preparation for the 2010 U.S. census. GPS locator information is being tied to individual census records. (2010: U.S. census documents are on the internet. They are almost the same as the Canadian ones.)
• 2009 January 23: Student protests at the University of New Brunswick, Lockheed Martin on campus.
Lockheed Martin Canada intends to return to the University of New Brunswick. http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/search/article/549077
The company, a subsidiary of the giant U.S. military-equipment maker, cancelled an employer information session planned for the campus on Wednesday after a UNB-based social activist group expressed opposition to its presence. . . .
• 2009 February 02.
LOCKHEED MARTIN HIKED U.S.LOBBYING BY WHOPPING 54% IN 2008
The trial raises the issue of our complicity in the enrichment of a corporation that has a long record of very serious court convictions. If I was Lockheed Martin Corporation I would be in jail for life.
In addition, Lockheed Martin has been (still is?) a major manufacturer of weapons of mass and indiscriminate destruction, land mines and cluster bombs both of which are outlawed by International Law. They are into unmanned drones which are also weapons of mass and indiscriminate destruction and immoral as far as I am concerned.
Lockheed Martin is a major contributor to American political campaigns and is well-positioned in the Pentagon. There is good reason why the U.S. will not sign onto the “Laws of War” (International Humanitarian Law).
Canada is signatory to the International Laws that prohibit these weapons, and we have our own laws that are even more stringent than the International Conventions.
So how is it that we are awarding Government contracts collectively worth way more than a billion dollars to these people? Canadian foreign policy dictates that we are to impose sanctions against entities that break International Laws.
The rule of law and morality must be enforced. If citizens do not insist upon the rule of law, I don’t know who will. Unfortunately, I cannot see how the Justice system can be used to address the morality of the Government’s actions. That’s what elections are for, I guess. And people inside Government have to stop being complicit collaborators with illegal and immoral corporations.
• 2009 December: (An excellent article.) U.S. WAR SPENDING EXCEEDS ALL STATE GOVERNMENT OUTLAYS http://www.atlanticfreepress.com/news/1/12560-us-war-spending-exceeds-all-state-government-outlays.html
• 2010, February 24: USING DEFENCE STOCKS TO BOLSTER YOUR INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO, SPOTLIGHT ON LOCKHEED MARTIN, Globe & Mail http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/e-zines/globe-investor-magazine/using-defence-stocks-to-bolster-your-portfolio/article1478990/?cmpid=1
For me, this newspaper article is a tragedy of epic proportions. Not a tragedy of a single person or family, but of our society. It is bizarre that this can be an article from a “normal” newspaper, on a normal day, written by a normal person. It’s not normal; it is insanity. Invest your money in Lockheed Martin; war is a sure bet when the rest of the stock market is plummeting. . . . (How different the world would be if “capital” was invested in enterprise that cared about the environment and people. That day is coming! See “Agenda for a New Economy, 2nd Edition” (2010) by David Korten. “From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth”, “A Declaration of Independence from Wall Street”.)
From John Ralston Saul’s “On Equilibrium”:
. . if utilitarianism (e.g. making money from war and illegal weapons) is given leadership in a given area, it will set about demeaning, marginalizing and unraveling the non-utilitarian elements (INSERT: like morals) at play. Why? Because utility is not thought. Nor is it argument. It does not, in and of itself, have a purpose or a direction. A toilet would just as happily dispose of fresh caviar or unwanted goldfish. It will indifferently send its cargo off through a system of pipes to be deposited in a sewage-treatment plant or directly into your drinking-water supply. That was the point about the IBM Hollerith punch-card machine, indifferently an organizer of death camps and of efficient workplace structures.
Utilitarianism can only lead us if it reduces all else to its own narrow truth of utility. The closest utility can come to a purpose is efficiency and, related to that, self-interest. (INSERT: invest in Lockheed Martin because it will make you money. Never mind about the moral issues.) This can be made into a seductive proposition, thanks to myriad fast, apparently clear, short-term answers and concrete illustrations of those answers.
But what makes a society a society or a civilization is precisely its more complex, less clear, more long-term, non-utilitarian aspects. And so it was a consensus around the ‘nature of the other’ which solidified the idea of responsible individualism and social inclusion, which drove the movement for egalitarian waste removal and clean-water supplies. This was an illustration of culture in its broadest sense. It included what we have always considered to be culture – ideas, literature, images, music, architecture, the sciences. Why do we think of these as culture? Because they are the repositories and the mechanisms of thought and argument.
… None of this is a comment on whether utility is good or bad. Or waste disposal. Or trade. (INSERT: or investment in Lockheed Martin) Nor is it a comment on the necessary function of self-interest. I’m simply pointing out that these characteristics and functions are not in and of themselves rational. They are not equipped to lead society.
Why then are we so obsessed by utilitarianism? We have always wanted the comfort of clarity and permanent systems. We remain uncomfortable with our own qualities and strengths – with complexity and uncertainty. …
… Rousseau: “As soon as public service ceases to be the main concern of the citizens and they come to prefer to serve the state with their purse rather than their person, the state is already close to ruin.”
Norway will not invest public money in Lockheed Martin Corporation. Morality enters into their investment decisions. You invest your money in the kind of economy that is beneficial to the Earth and its people. It’s a no-brainer. What has happened to us?
• 2010, March 3: “ . . . Secure Flight, the newest weapon in the U.S.’s war on terrorism, gives the United States unprecedented power over who can board planes that fly over U.S. airspace -even if the flights originate and land in Canada.
The program, set to take effect globally in December, was created as part of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, adopted by the U.S. Congress in 2004.
Canada’s Parliament never adopted or even discussed the Secure Flight program – even though Secure Flight transfers the authority to screen passengers, and their personal information, from domestic airlines to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The European Parliament, on the other hand, has consistently voiced objections to the Secure Flight plan. .. “
• 2010 March: The U.S. Census is starting up with a big ad campaign. There is large opposition because of the privacy issue. I contact numbers of websites: the Americans appear to be completely unaware that Lockheed Martin/IBM are essentially the U.S. Census Bureau.
• 2010 March 24: Armoured vehicles adopted by B.C. RCMP “The RCMP said the so-called “Cougars for cops” is a national program, and residents of other cities can expect to see the vehicles on their streets too. “
(This is part of the “normalization” of a military presence in Canadian communities. It is not normal at all and should be strenuously resisted.)
• 2010 April 10. Lockheed Martin sets up in First Nations (Whitecap) business park outside Saskatoon.
Business park in the works
You will see in the article that Whitecap Development Corp (First Nations) south of Saskatoon “is trying to obtaining licensing rights” for “an unmanned vehicle for military .. use”.
Drones that drop bombs come to mind. Lockheed Martin is in that business:
• 2010 June 26: Aerospace Giant Lockheed Martin Donating $3.5 Million Training Package to the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology (SIIT) in Saskatoon
we are talking about unmanned drones that drop bombs on real live people, but ones that live far away.
First Nations people should have training in the jobs of the future: energy conservation, retrofitting and renewable energy. They should not be held hostage by the likes of Lockheed Martin Corporation.
And so, the American military-industrial-congressional complex is imported by quislings who rely on ignorance, into Canada. We now have “inter-operability” with the Americans, “compatible doctrine” and other goodies like lots of money to expand the military-industrial economy that is dependent on the making of war.
And so we in Saskatchewan are now part of the unmanned drones launched by computer-game whiz kids from military installations in the desert in Nevada against targets in Yemen and elsewhere. We in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan will play a central role in the further development of this latest outrage against humanity. The tactics of the Nazis were marginally less immoral.
Infrequently I have been accused of undermining a “good” Canada by being critical. And of undermining our “good” neighbours, the Americans.
My response: If wrong is not challenged aggressively, the Americans (and we) live a myth of democracy, not reality. Failure to identify and address the wrong is the surest way for a good system to fail.
By tabling the problems I am fulfilling my responsibility as a member of the human species.
I have followed what Lockheed Martin is doing. From my perspective it is part of the growing police state. StatsCan’s reassurances about Lockheed Martin’s role in the Canadian census fall into the category of the reassurances given to Canadians in 1995 that CN would remain Canadian. They even passed legislation to ensure that CN’s headquarters would remain in Montreal. Today CN is American-owned. People are naïve if they think that Lockheed Martin and the Government are to be trusted. It is only a matter of time before Lockheed will have what it wants. This is not a good situation for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the American Patriot Act trumps all Canadian laws. Any American corporation and its subsidiaries that have access to data bases can be ordered to hand over the data base information to the American Government (the Pentagon). No notice is given to the owner of the data base.
This mess over the census arises because Public Works Canada and Statistics Canada out-sourced census work to Lockheed Martin Corporation which is essentially the American military/Pentagon.
Lockheed is responsible for death and destruction in untold numbers. Why would we allow Lockheed Martin into our country? Or the American military? Both should be on trial for murder, along with the Bush Administration.
In spite of all the protests over the Government contracts awarded to Lockheed Martin for the 2006 census, the Government went ahead and gave them contracts for the 2011 census, too. I don’t buy the argument that “NAFTA made me do it”, or that Lockheed Martin Canada is not the same as Lockheed Martin USA. In a democracy I am responsible for the actions of my Government. In life, you have to draw your line in the sand. Government contracts with corporations whose mission is to destroy life are not to be tolerated.
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Saskatoon SK S7N 0L1