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"But remember that if the struggle were to resort to violence, it will lose vision, beauty and imagination. Most dangerous of all, it will marginalize and eventually victimize women. And a political struggle that does not have women at the heart of it, above it, below it, and within it is no struggle at all."

 Arundhati Roy

Hope for Europe? Canada's lost lesson -

posted May 16, 2012, 4:09 PM by S L

Why was the election of François Hollande as France's new President on May 6th experienced by many as a breath of fresh air in a stale and musty room? Because he ushers in the kind of socialism that appears to be the only ray of hope for Europe's floundering social cohesion. Mr. Hollande has clearly identified the problematic of so called 'austerity' measures which are as fake and irresponsible as the problems these measures pretend to solve. Like a pharmaceutical company that creates the disease it plans to cure!

Canadians are collectively duped by the appearance of solutions to problems our leaders have created. And not just our current and past political leaders: taxpayers who slumber, shareholders who live in golden ghettos, and activists who are divided and unable to unite federally.

Canada has much to learn from the French. Our socially responsible parties can gain courage and strength from watching what is going on in Europe. Angela Merkle and other corporate-owned European politicians are on their way out, and so should our own home-grown stooges. The sooner the better.

The Canadian Conservative party could also learn from the French election campaign: that an ultra-right party led by a woman (France's Marine Le Pen) can be a balancing force and gain momentum in a society that wants to experience the reality of diversity and choice.  But you cannot have a dictatorial type at the helm for this to be of any good for the citizens, because such men are self-serving. Quite the contrary to a Mr. Hollande.

Rob-O-Calls: LeadNow asks WAP to share in citizens' disgust!

posted Mar 8, 2012, 8:51 AM by Esther Matharu

Dear Women's Alliance Party,

The robocall election fraud scandal just keeps growing. It seems that every day new evidence of systemic election fruad and shadowy connections comes to light. Right now, Prime Minister Harper's strategy is to claim the illegal calls were insignificant - just a few isolated "dirty tricks" by some rogue staff.

Today, I need your help to share two important articles that were just published that show deep and troubling connections to the Conservative Party centrally. The media is close to latching onto this important part of the unfolding scandal, and if enough of us share these first two pieces there's a good chance many more journalists will pick up on it.

Note: If you share both, please wait an hour between posts.


1. Robo-call scandal origins: inside the Conservatives’ voter suppression school

http://www.vancouverobserver.com/politics/2012/03/07/robo-call-scandal-origins-inside-conservatives%E2%80%99-voter-suppression-school

The first piece is by Leadnow's research director Emma in the Vancouver Observer, exposing a deeply troubling training on voter identification given to Conservative campaign managers - including a discussion of using voter databases and robocalls to intentionally mislead voters by pretending to be from another political party.

Share on facebook: http://on.fb.me/ADpms2
Share on twitter: http://bit.ly/zQgIJe


2. Robocalls: Elections Canada expands probe into fraudulent messages in 2011 vote

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1142109--robocalls-elections-canada-expands-probe-into-fraudulent-messages-in-2011-vote

The second piece, in the Toronto star, highlights how the national Conservative Party campaign quarterbacked local voter identification efforts all over Canada using "Responsive Marketing Group", one of the companies being investigated for fraudulent calls by Elections Canada in Thunder Bay. These are exactly the databases that would have made voter suppression possible.

(Note, the default facebook share doesn't make it clear why this article is so important, so please add some commentary.)

Share on facebook: http://on.fb.me/y6tNRs
Share on twitter: http://bit.ly/xK41xt


Thanks for your help,
Matthew

Partyism and Monarchorporations

posted Mar 4, 2012, 5:31 PM by Esther Matharu   [ updated Mar 4, 2012, 7:04 PM ]

Is monarchorporatism taking over[1]? Benito and Adolf both agreed that this was the shortest way to absolute power. Why would things be different? Benito said: “Fascism should rightly be called corporatism, as it is the merger of state and corporate power". His buddy Adolf wrote in 'Mein Kampf':  "The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than a small one". The great masses (we the 99%) thought this stuff was a thing of the past, as were empirical world wars! Instead, we observe with incredulity how monarchorporatism is working hand in hand with partyism to confabulate us.                                         

Partyism is (a) adherence to a political party  or organization, and (b) the organization of political affairs into parties. Its opposite is called “Non-party” Or “Non-partyism”. One definition slightly outdated but interesting nevertheless is: “Non-partyism may well be the protoplasmic stage of the future political opposition of the peasants.”[2]

Monarchorporations is a term that brings together monarchy (or single head of state, usually hereditary and for life, often called a King/Queen, Emperor/Empress, or, in some cases a Prime Minister/President), and corporations[3], which is a form of business organization. Monarchorporations is the elite of the elites, the cream of the pie, the top of the pyramid, in other words the 1%.

Immersing financial power (corporations) with political power (partyism) and marrying Industry with government is simply magically, fabulously bamboozling! It is nothing new. With the mesmerizing power of his magic wand, the magician can make everything look like anything. Debts are changed to profits; losses to gains; profits to more profits; lies to truth; truth to lies; flaws to virtues, and media blackouts to system glitches[4].

For this to become effective, monarchorporations encourage governments to adopt some form of democratic system in order to be seen as ‘legit’ and be admitted in the Monarchorporate Club. Non-western monarchies such as those of Emirate countries, Saudi Arabia or other autocracies, dictatorships and oligarchies around the world adopt various elements and forms of democratic governance. 

For the rest of the democratized western people, the partyism model, which uses the strategy of political parties, is a suitable substitute for the loss of the visible power that monarchs and emperors of the good ole’ days used to wield. The new monarchorporations manage to manipulate[5] the system using periodic elections and the voting system. They make us believe that we are free since we have a choice between A and B. The fact that X,Y,Z exist does not come into the picture.

The illusion of choice[6] is one of the main purposes of partyism.

Imagine if citizens were to vote for issues instead of a political party or a ‘Dear Leader’? Imagine if we the people would be able to decide on a motion through referendum? This would change the face of our neighborhoods, municipalities, provinces and even the direction of our federal government. Its penchant to interference and dictates would be restrained. We would not be in the predicament we are today, with a Harper government bent on taking us to war. The fact that the majority of Canadians are against militarism[7] would ensure that.

Thanks to the information revolution, we are now able to do this. But we the people need to OCCUPY the electronic spaces too. Imagine how a non-partisan government body would inform the populace of the pros and cons of an issue of national import and invite the people to cast their vote on the basis of one person, one vote, and one issue. The government, as the executive body, would be there to implement the law, report progress, and evaluate the impacts on the people, using a set of criteria based on values and principles enshrined in the constitution (like neutrality, or ownership of common resources).

Imagine how that would affect day care, or education, or foreign policies? Would a Harper Government[8] even exist?

One country that has done the above successfully is Switzerland[9]. Of all the modern democracies, the Swiss people are well served because their democracy[10] bridges the gap between the executive and the citizen's collective will. Swiss direct democracy is: one person one vote, and the ability to have referendum[11] to change the constitution at any time.

Even if examples such as the Swiss model exist, Partyism in general has failed the 99% and privileged the 1%. Some attribute this to the failure to include all geopolitical areas of the world in the Socialist dream.

“It failed in the 20th century. Because it was unable to structure itself in such a way as to afford the working class power across a unitary region of the globe capable of granting the conditions for winning a socialist revolution. The second international has much to be blamed for, but so does the partyism that followed it with the comintern. The left in general had not been pursuing the right tack, long prior to the Russian revolution, just as it did not after it.”[12]

Fast Food and Mass Entertainment (Bread and Circuses)

Partyism divides us as a people and moves our focus away from issues towards and by means of mass entertainment.

The world is crumbling around us and we are glued to our TV sets, computers and iPods.  What’s on now? What’s new? The Oscars? Elections? Oh how we love news of a good fight! What has changed is that we have an unprecedented ability to involve,trans-nationally, the masses in an on-going couch-potato sporting event or thumb-twiddling video games. We are spectators participating in virtual reality shows. War itself has become part of the entertainment industry. Because we are inter-connected as never before our minds have become addicted to electronic devices. One day soon we’ll have to shut everything up in order to decontaminate our brains.

Mass entertainment has always worked well as a mind-control strategy. Today, the entertainment industry complex has gone global. It is mass-produced and draws politics into an arena where we all enjoy watching political blood being shed. Seriously, does it matter which leader takes the seat, or which party ‘wins the race’! We suspect that it is all just the same. Bilderberg[13] conspiracy theorists[14] and analysts[15] more often than not point to this group as being the real global power brokers. Whether it is this one or another one, we imagine a cabal of the worlds oligarchs sitting around a table in secret meetings designed to suss out potential players for their game, a sort of ‘Dîner de Cons [16] for the 0.1%. They decide who will serve in what capacity on their global chess board. The game of Kings, no doubt, is the entertainment of the 1%. This could be a conspiracy in itself, since conspiracies are entertainment.

For us, the 99%ers, we continue to be spectators of the chess game. We do not even exist in the eyes of the 1%. We are disposable, dispensable, and expandable. Partyism provides us with three grotesques: a winner, an underdog and a comic relief.  Like horse races, we are seduced to go to the voting ballots to bet on a winner. It is not the issues that we vote for, but the horses. At the end of the day, fickleness only wants entertainment and easy gain, certainly not any other sort of political engagement.

This is nothing new. Back in 140BC, Roman politicians got together and devised a plan to win the votes of the new citizens: giving out cheap food and entertainment, "bread and circuses". This would prove to be the most effective way to rise to power. Still is. Check out what Juvenal had to say about entertainment: Nam qui dabat olim imperium, fasces, legiones, omnia, nunc se continet atque duas antum res anxius optat, panem et circenses. (The people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions, and all else, now meddles no more and longs eagerly for just two things — bread and circuses[17]!

No wonder young people in Canada don’t vote!


[1] Bow Down Canadians, Corporations Are King, http://xraymagazine.ca/39/3/

[3] A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members, http://www.investorwords.com/1140/corporation.html

[6] Title of a book we should all read: The Illusion of Choice: How the Market Economy Shapes Our Destiny (1992) by Andrew Bard Schmookler , published with SUNY series in Environmental Public Policy

[12] http://www.libertyandsolidarity.org/node/78, in Partyism versus Syndicalism, submitted by Nick Durie on Wed, 2009-11-18 21:50

"There is no honour in this sh*t!"

posted Feb 27, 2012, 11:52 AM by Esther Matharu   [ updated Feb 27, 2012, 11:53 AM ]

Watch and hear these last spoken words in the powerful 12-min production titled " Let Your Life Be a Friction to Stop the Machine" (link below). It is visually powerful, fast-paced, furious, and shocking. It rushes the viewer through the history of the American empire, then and now, using cartoons and footage of past and current events.

Nothing new here. Just that we are now seeing more of this. It rises an interesting question: how does a mystified and indoctrinated nation become unbrainwashed?

In 1967, Timothy Leary called young people to  "Turn on, tune in, drop out". It is time to decolonize the mind.

WAP says "Turn off, tune out, drop in". Refuse the tools corporations use to trap our minds. If it is not too late.

From Class War Films: Kensky
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=N2Xh5eN2fXY

The Dialectics of Entitlement

posted Feb 17, 2012, 2:36 PM by Esther Matharu   [ updated Feb 18, 2012, 7:12 AM ]

Synonyms for entitlement: privilege; right; power; claim; prerogative.

I come from the third world. I have lived and worked in various countries and continents, where the sense of entitlement was expressed in very elementary terms. For example, if there was any money, the first born male was entitled to receive an education. The girl child was entitled to receive some support from the family for marriage purposes. Old parents were entitled to receive care from the grown children. Beyond that, very little was truly ‘owed’ a person. Certainly, before the emergence of the nation-state, community was where entitlement contracts usually happened. They were upheld through a certain sense of morality (and its nemesis, shame). So, not surprisingly, coming to the first world was like entering a huge entitlement fair -a real bonanza of privileges that had one reeling with a sense of autonomy!

From a purely western paradigm populist[1] perspective, entitlement has come to mean what is owed the individual or the collective by right. In Canada, the idea that we ‘pay’ for services though our taxes gives weight to the sense of entitlement. However, there is a more global aspect of entitlement which arose, partially, from the indoctrination of the superpowers - most recently the USA - which flooded our ‘developing nations’ with the notion that we, citizens of a poor country, were ‘entitled’ to something they called ‘democracy’. We found out to the detriment of our societal cohesion, that this ‘entitlement’ actually made us neo-slaves of the IMF and the World Bank. As a result, over time, we are being re-enslaved and our communities disempowered. On the less negative note, women have been given more voices in the prevailing chaos of ‘free markets’ and the ‘democracy’ branding of our nations. WAP recognizes this and celebrates the hope that in the developing nations as in Canada, women can and will change the way the world works.

While the economic colonization of our developing countries was relentlessly taking place under the watchful eye of the IMF and World Bank, the expectations of the peoples of the western world, particularly in North America, were being pumped up. One result was that the ‘pursuit of happiness’ was gradually given a make-over to mean the ‘freedom to consume endlessly’. Now, suddenly but not surprisingly, the word ‘austerity’ is taking over. For example: Greece. Fair enough. They (who?) had it coming! First, they (who?) cooked the books to enter the EU. Then they went on to borrow extravagantly and inflate their partisan bureaucratic apparatus. Finally, citizens were encouraged to feel ‘entitled’ to the same living conditions as the other, older and richer, members of the club.

The market-predator’s strategy does not change: “Bait ‘em with loans and catch ‘em downstream.” Who knows how extravagant some of the projects in the PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain) countries were, and to what extent they were implemented without public prioritization, accountability and long-term planning and impact analysis? Can we blame the outrage of the populace when we realize to what extent they have been bamboozled?

We stood by and observed this Europeanized version of the IMF/WB that led to the indebtedness and eventual pauperization of the local populace. It is always easy to criticize after the fact. But having witnessed the same neo-colonial tactics in the developing world, it was pretty straightforward to foresee the same schemes unfolding in Europe as in the rest of the world.

We are increasingly feeling the pinch in Canada. Here as elsewhere, the problem felt by the Ninety-nine Percenters is tentatively leading to a redefinition of the basic concepts of ‘entitlement’. We have barely started to examine what ‘entitlement means. For now, we question the fact that the rules of the game are being changed by our elites, the One Percenters.

Undoubtedly, there is a deepening malaise in Canadian as in all societies. But until we agree collectively to stop giving answers and start asking questions, we will continue in this downward spiral of blame, shame and name-change. The Indignadas and Occupy movements have started shaking the boat. They are also injecting our morbid naval-gazing ‘sorry’ psychosis with new impetus, a new urgency to face our problems and find solutions together. Let’s face it: our politicians have clear advantages. They are irked by our proposal to by-pass them. They are tickled by the ‘gall’ our Occupiers have to question the 1% - those chosen ones who ostensibly lined each others’ pockets for years and years and secured their own survival means. Occupy et al ask: “On what grounds do you have the power to determine what, who and how much the 99% are ‘entitled’ to have (or to not have)? What proportion of ‘your’ pie are ‘we the people’ entitled to? Naturally, the question in itself is flawed. After all, we, the 99% had something to do (or did we?) with allocating that power. We can as easily take it back. That’s my point. It is imperative that we re-examine our paradigm and move beyond a simple changing of the guards. WAP says no more "Le Capital is dead. Vive le Capital!"

Before going any further, recognition needs to be given to a select few (by no means exhaustive) who have examined the question of entitlement. These are Charles Hugh Smith who wrote in his “Our Many Layers of Entitlement” that "The entitlement mindset atrophies self-reliance, adaptability and flexibility, all key survival traits. If the government will "fix" our health, we no longer feel responsible in the way one does if there is limited government/employer-provided healthcare. If we expect our Social Security retirement regardless of what other conditions may be affecting the global economy or our nation, then we stop being responsible for managing our financial affairs in the same way as one does when there is no "guaranteed" retirement entitlement."[2].

Also to Paul Michael Romer[3] who uses the term in his work; or the (more than one) David Brooks[4] who write: “The word "entitlement" means something granted, not specifically earned, which can be taken to mean or imply that it is something optional”[5]. The Brooks go on to ask the question we should be asking ourselves: “What happens when there is no money to give to the people who have no money? That is the moral question”.

Ultimately it is not a question of morality but about which percentage holds the financial and military power. The ‘people’ don’t, that is for sure. We are not ‘entitled’ to it (power). We need to take it away from the 1%. Our actions are determined not by morality or the illusionary ‘entitlement’, but by where on the steps of the great pyramid we belong. And then again which face of the pyramid we stand, blind and deaf to the other faces and voices.

The word entitlement was used as recently as last week, when Mitt Romney[6] declared that he will not have Muslims in his cabinet and that Obama is trying to turn the US into a "European-style entitlement society", or, a "European-style welfare state". There is no need to take this rhetoric seriously. It is just campaign babble from Babylon’s contenders.

What WAP looks at is the paradigm in which such overtly racist and religious discriminatory language are mediatised and even allowed to exist at the political level. The implications are that in the pyramidal structure of the top-down hierarchy, Muslim’s are not able to rise, ever, to the top (used to apply to women, people of color, or Catholics pre-Kennedy, now Muslims…which group next?).

It is way beyond the scope of an unpretentious piece as this to try to resolve the irresolvable. It’s all we can do to simply enunciate some of the examples of the many layers of ‘entitlement’ that exist today.

Hegemonic entitlement:

For example, the US’s entitlement to ‘own’ the world. Simply by calling China’s independence as a “loss” reveals the repugnance of this hegemonic perspective. To quote Noam Chomsky: “You cannot loose what was never yours, but the US has this idea that the world is his”. Also see Noam Chomsky on the US’s long-term policy agenda[7] of hegemonic power bases.

National Entitlement:

Do Canadians still have a deep-seated conviction that all land belongs to the ‘them’ (white man), as opposed to the peoples it was somehow got from? One wonders more than ever in view of the Harper government’s practice to sell/grab lands and resources they feel ‘entitled’ to. Tar sands, anyone? Asbestos?

Personal Entitlement:

This is being aggressively and industrially promoted with marketing tactics that have only one goal in mind: profits. This ferments the attitude that citizens have specific privileges but few responsibilities. For example our young are being wooed to believe that they are ‘entitled’ to beauty, success, approval and passing grades! Families are ‘entitled’ to warmth, jobs, food…..hey wait a minute, where are we going with this? Isn’t that what Canadian society is all about? I thought so. Failure to meet expectations will further plunge our people into the chaos of ‘collapsed entitlements’. We would do well to better understand what is going on and work towards a new system because this one has caved in. We all live in a golden micro-myth but our macro-myths are in the red. Changing our politicians, our parties, our leaders won’t do the magic trick. We need to change our paradigm - the way we think and live. Nothing less than a life-style change will do that. Thank you, David Suzuki, for warning us again and again. You’re the Man!

Moral or Religious Entitlement:

This is a distinctive ingredient of the many groups stirring the ‘moral imperative’ pot. We have been observing in Canada the crest of a wave of religious fundamentalism (moral imperialism) that gives the adherents the ‘entitlement’ to lobby, fund, influence and coerce our politicians with their particular brand of rights, such as the right to use reckless hate language (John Baird[8]) to defame and even fire those who threaten their entitlements. Michael Harris[9]’s firing by Bell Inc was a clear sign of things to come.

Brueggemann[10] writes that “What masks those ‘sins’ is “a totalizing ideology of exceptionalism that precludes critique of our entitlements and self-regard.” Exceptionalism fuels such phenomena as all those ‘reality’ shows and **Idol shows. Young kids lured to believe that they are ‘entitled’ to their moment of fame fall en masse for this artificially inflated self-interest or egocentricity. Ultimately this results in a serous collective identity crisis and often traumatic disappointments when self-regard is muddled with self-esteem. Our young often experience failure, not for who they are, but who they believe they are entitled to be.

Brueggemann’s prophetic imagination unmasks our hypocrisy. We are all to blame for waiting till these ‘sins’ affect our individual lives before acting. It is when we start feeling the repercussions of the failed entitlements that we start to groan and agitate. We allow our outraged senses to vent, often pushed by game-players such as unions and political parties; we take to the streets and clamor for ‘justice’. But the cynics have no illusions. It is not justice people want; otherwise they would have opposed the trade wars, military wars and social service wars that are being waged against the poor of the world. No, what we want is to regain the illusion of our entitlements.

Political Entitlement:

The obvious gap between public opinion and public policy reveals deep problems that disclose the illegitimacy of our government. The Harper government has been allowed to show open contempt for our elected members and get away with it. This regime is leading Canada into a rapid escalation of wars, weapons development and socio-economic assessments and resolutions without due debates or consultative processes, leading to the implementation of unpopular ‘policies’ that have no real legal or binding basis. Corporate-owned media’s role is to fortify the lies and illusions of the power houses. This has reached unimaginable levels of dislocation with public aspirations. Yet we continue to buy these newspapers and support biased journalism!

Beyond Entitlement

We might as well come to terms with the fact that we need to reinvent the future and do away with the entitlement mentality that paralyzes us, that freezes us into becoming egoistical pod-like humanoids deprived of the sense of community and fellowship. To the 1%, we look like cold and hungry pets waiting in the rain for our ‘owners’ to come and feed and warm us! Pathetic!

Many suspect that our revolt is nothing but the barking of the 99% at the 1%. What entertainment! We actually fight among ourselves for what? Why? For the crumbs they throw us from the tables of the plenty? It is clear that time has come to move from being a reactive to an active social and political movement. For this we need to join our resources. We can.

How can we free ourselves from the dictates of the 1%?

To start, we can redefine what actions we mean by ‘free’. Move away from the ‘entitlement’ model to the ‘participatory action’ model, where we start by doing away with banks, banking and usury[11]? This is possible, and good people in Canada[12] are coming up with interesting alternative models that dare us to ‘imagine’ new ‘neighbourhood- and community-’ building through creating all manner of national and global networks. WAP joins these networks in seeking to implement a just and transparent political space where we can move forward. It means creating a new paradigm and, in the face of resistance, starting a parallel society.

How can you join in the adventure of building our common future?

Organize and mobilize against the threats to human rights abuse, the isolation of activists and the demonization of the dissenting voices by our press. People have the power to join movements that are active in battling the forces that seek to question our integrity and judgment about what is really happening in our society. Information sharing and collaboration are vital elements in uniting organizations with a common goal. Together we can debunk the lies, deceptions and dishonest tricks used to divide our communities. Leadnow, Conscience Canada, Fair Vote, the Council of Canadians, David Suzuki Foundation, the Social Creator, Progressive Muslim Voices, and many more, are such organizations that have new and innovative approaches to good governance for the 21st century and are trying to link us up, to bring us together. Emerging new parties, such as the Online Party, Canadian Action Party and others, have good ideas, good input too. These need to be included in the conversation for creating a blueprint for society. All our main political parties belong to the old dysfunctional hierarchic paradigm. They are trapped and cannot change, even if they want to, and even though they all have some good ideas to propose. As for us, we need to agree to move beyond the ‘Me-First’ entitlement mindset that undermines every attempt to work together. Finally, we need to support and understand our local Occupy movements and our labour movements that have been transfused with new life. We need to respond to their call to rise up and meet the challenges facing Canada. Get off the couch, join a list, come out and protest!

This is the first time that we have a cross-generational movement that reaches all people. From 14 (I met a 14-year-old occupier in Toronto in January 2012) to 90 (one of our Raging grannies is a revolution mover). If they can do it, so can you. Get ready, set. GO!

[1] As in emphasizing or promoting ordinary people, their lives, or their interests.

[2] http://www.financialsense.com/node/6499; Read more: http://technorati.com/politics/article/entitlement-america-fiscally-and-morally-bankrupt/#ixzz1kiJ0XJKM

[3] Preferences, Promises, and the Politics of Entitlement, in: Individual and Social Responsibility: Child Care, Education, Medical Care, and Long-Term Care in America, http://www.auburn.edu/~johnspm/gloss/entitlement_program

[4] The Politics of Entitlement: David Brooks Will Decide When It's Time for You to Die, By Tom Scocca Posted Tuesday, March 1, 2011, at 7:59 PM ET

[5]www.slate.com/blogs/scocca/2011/03/01/the_politics_of_entitlement_david_brooks_will_decide_when_it_s_time_for_you_to_die.html

[6] http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0112/71791.html

[7] http://wagingnonviolence.org/2011/12/noam-chomsky-the-u-s-afghanistan-strategic-partnership-agreement-is-part-of-a-global-program-of-world-militarization/

[8] http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2012/02/13/Zip_Bairds_Lips/

[9] http://www.canpalnet-ottawa.org/Michael_Harris.html

[10] Walter Brueggemann, The Practice of Prophetic Imagination: Preaching an Emancipatory Word (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2012).

[11] The lending of money at an exorbitant rate of interest.

[12] http://www.socialcreator.blogspot.com/

Shape up or ship out!

posted Feb 9, 2012, 9:58 PM by Esther Matharu   [ updated Feb 9, 2012, 10:01 PM ]

Women from coast to coast want to see a new vision for Canada that is both inclusive and synergistic. To those politicians who prefer the partisanship model over the partnership model, WAP says: Shape up or ship out! It is time to start the process of creating an environment that makes it possible for more women representation in politics, WAP invites Canadians to join in creating an ‘alliance’ that will reflect our unity and diversity. 

As a new – not-yet-registered - political party, WAP’s main focus is women and politics. But it is also a movement that has a vision about a new leadership model that will help us get over the current stalemate. Below are some of the reasons Council member Esther Matharu gives in a recent interview.

Why a new party?

We started the WAP in late 2010 because, very simply put, the big parties were not focusing on issues important to women, instead they were quarreling about who gets the most votes. Many women were saying: They don’t care about us!

And to a large extent, that is exactly true.  But it is not just women voices that are being ignored, but other parties that represent their voices too. Why are they being trashed as if they didn’t count?

WAP as a party calls for immediate election reforms, based on the recommendations of the Law Commission of 2004. It strongly calls for a closer look at this system and about debunking the myth that you have to have money to win. We, the 99%, have fallen for that lie. We need to take matters in our own hands.  Thankfully, LeadNow, Fair Vote and others, are seriously bringing this issue to the people. The First Past the Post has to be one of the most discriminatory and undemocratic systems we see in the developed world. It is based on a marketing model that sees society as essentially responding to the laws of advertisements and competition. It is created to be self-serving. It does not promote good governance. Women and many men do not feel comfortable in this vision of human beings competing aggressively for power and control, the hierarchical and militaristic paradigm. We are collectively trapped in the paradigm of domination and the divide to conquer methodology where control of our political space has been handed over to the highest bidder, a moneyed elite backed by transnational corporations.

I believe that this marketing model traps politicians into thinking that a country must be run as if it were a corporation, which relies heavily, if not exclusively on profits, with financial institutions acting as ‘managers’ of our national resources.

What about WAP as a movement?

WAP is also a movement towards deep structural changes in the way we think and do politics. WAP invites people, irrespective of what party they belong to, to move out of that old dysfunctional partisan mindset and demand that our representatives bring honest and transparent debates to Parliament. For this we need more of a movement than an actual political party. However, a political party for women is a great way to shake things up and say: let’s get together and challenge these parties by creating a parallel party that simply refuses to enter the old model. We can and will change things from the outside. But we need to change our selves first, the way we think and the way we speak. Only then will we, as a people, have the moral ground to demand changes in our institutions.

Finally, WAP is about inspiring women, especially young women, to get into politics as the way to respond effectively to the discrimination we, as women, continue to face.

Where is the evidence that women are being discriminated against?

First, economically. For example, recently, government cuts to the many services that were set up to assist women affect the lives of families, especially the poor, the sick, the homeless, the small business owners, the farmers, the health-care workers, the elderly, the new immigrants and unemployed. It this was truly an ‘austerity’ measure affecting all levels of society, it would be acceptable. But these cuts affect the most vulnerable. Juxtapose the huge military spending, prisons complexes and hidden banking, corporate taxation and oil scandals, and you start to see that the current system is meant to favour the 1% at the expense of the 99%. 

Second, politically. Here too women are being discriminated against. For example, why on earth does it matter whom a woman dates or what she wears? Besides, how many women can dedicate the thousands of hours campaigning in the toxic atmosphere of media controlled hate ads and slander attacks, only to find that her ideas are being slammed down because she will not ‘fight back’? So if she is a gentle woman and she does not feel comfortable in the blood arena of politics, she has no place in Parliament? Most women do not see themselves happily entering this arena of fighting cocks - no pun intended – and yet the presence and voices of our daughters, mothers and grandmothers are essential to bring balance and sobriety in the decision-making institutions of our nation.

Very practically, WAP wants 50% seats in Parliament be reserved for women. I can assure you that we will see a change for the better in wealth distribution and environmental protection in Canada when this happens. Looking at the evidence in those countries where women are highly represented in governing institutions, such as the Nordic countries, we see that citizens of these countries enjoy higher living standards than those in all other countries. So what are we Canadian women waiting for?

But in order for this to happen, we need to re-imagine what it would entail for women to take their place in politics. For example, imagine two or three women sharing the same seat, giving our country the benefit of their knowledge and experience while also being mums and wives with a family life that builds our communities instead of fragmenting them. Women want to show the example that this is possible.

Third, the toxic atmosphere in Parliament. There is something very disturbing when you observe or experience the lack of dignity, decorum and focus among many of our politicians. It shames and pains us.  The fact that political leaders get away with treating Canadians with contempt is a clear indication that we have lost our moral compass.   Imagine the kind of debates we will have when we focus on issues and not on shooting each other down? Finally, imagine how far our tax dollars will go to creating a society that cares for its 99% instead of pandering to the 1%? Imagine investing more on health, education and sustainable ‘green’ industries and less on planes, weapons and prisons? It’s a matter of re-envisioning what we want our society to look like in 10, 20, 50 years. The Canada we want our children to inherit. Women and men can and will do this and the Women’s Alliance Party exists to help get to that place.

Who is in this Alliance?

As said earlier, what we observe is that there are many good people, many good groups and great ideas for building community, staring here in Ottawa, yet each one seems to live in a bubble, as if they were alone. An alliance is an invitation to like-minded people to join forces, to come together to envision a just and fair future for all Canadians. This can realistically happen only if we the people move beyond the partisanship model that divides us arbitrarily. An alliance needs to be based on some fundamental principles or values instead of on party loyalty and personality cults. Non-violence, honesty, respect, these are some values that come to mind. Most importantly, we need to place the environment at the core of our political actions.

Why women? Does this not concern men too?

Yes, it does. But let’s face the facts: men have dominated women for thousands of years and look where we are now? We asked the question in 2010, why are there so few women engaged in politics? Women are stakeholders in community building. They give masses of their time volunteering, caring for the elderly, children and grandchildren, providing care for the homeless and the marginalized. They are the majority graduating from universities. We have in Canada admirable women academics and thinkers; we have gifted artists and performers, writers and film-makers. We have numerous women who are activists in the struggle for social justice. So why are they not present where it counts the most, in governing this country?  How come women, who constitute 52% of the population, are as few as 22.5% in politics?

There was a time when society of men, collectively agreed that they were better at governing than women. If they are really better, then why are we in such a mess today? One look at our growing military and prison industrial complexes and the failure of our government to protect our common natural resources, and we can ask ourselves: Can those 22.5% women make a difference? Do women start wars? Do they go to war?   

Having said that, WAP absolutely welcomes men to join in building the party. We are very aware that there are many gentle and kind men who feel trapped in the old hierarchical paradigm.  They have been pushed  into feeling that in order to be ‘a man’ they have to be competitive and fight other men, and women, to get to the top, when all they want to do is get out of the rat race and be friends with others, enjoy their work and participate in family life. Our young men, especially, don’t feel they fit in this aggressive image of a macho man. They are not attracted to dominance and would much prefer partnerships with women and other men.

How can that happen?

Well, we need to recognize a number of things.

First, we need to recognize that the problem we are facing is systemic and structural. When we blame the 1% for where we are at today, we are right but we also need to see that we are part of the problem too, because we are part of that system, that paradigm.

For example, we vote in one party and out another but nothing really changes because it is the same mindset behind all parties. Or we blame capitalism or religions or what ever we feel is infringing on our liberties and our entitlements, but what guarantee do we have that a change in leadership will bring in the changes we want, knowing what we know today, that anyone can come in and reverse all the decisions previous governments made? Look at the number of military interventions our so-called peace keeping Canada is in today? Look at how Medicare is being threatened?  How scientists are being silenced and academics being muzzled!  It is much easier to change a government than to change the structure or paradigm we live in. There is a lot of resistance to change, and that change starts with and in us.

Second, we need to recognize that women are at the fore in many organizations that seek to inform, support and build awareness within the community. They are the bridgers, the doers, the fixers. They are the activist I meet, the raging grannies, those who join the picket lines at 5:30am in support of workers, who stand up in Parliament with a Stop Harper sign, the occupiers who sleep in tents in the cold and brave ridicule and contempt from many citizens as they strive to awaken us from our deep complacency and join in shouting: something is wrong here! They are the unsung women who help new immigrants settle, who organize fundraisers for those who have no other resources. They are the students who live in fear of coming out of school with huge debts and no jobs. They are the journalists and authors, union workers and academics who raise their voices and push against the silence that meets them because they speak out against injustice. They are the women who expected more from the feminist movements that they participated in 30 years ago. These are the women who need to step into the political arena, say “enough is enough” and simply take over.

What are the greatest challenges for WAP?

The greatest challenge is coming to terms with the fact that people don’t really want change or are not prepared to pay the price of moving out of their comfort zones. Also, our leaders all exhibit the “Cesar syndrome”, which says that it is better be first in Gaul than second in Rome! Most leaders prefer to be leaders of their own small organizations or parties, instead of coming together and loosing part of their sacrosanct identity or power! Online Party Canada, for example, is futuristic in nature as it is based on electronic voting of issues and not parties or people. Few people grasp the vision or want to join them. Why not?

My greatest personal challenge is changing my own vocabulary to reflect the new paradigm. For example, I get angry at injustice and those committing crimes against the earth and its people. That is why I am a raging granny, and an activist. I like to rant. It helps me vent my frustration. But in the new paradigm, we move into the positive and see how people are trapped in the old paradigm and try to draw them into seeing how negativity feeds the negative in us and in the world. My book Man on Trial: the ABC of his Folly is a rant and I am not ashamed to say that it helped me to voice some of my frustrations at how men have had their chance and bungled big time.

What are the priorities of WAP?

Our short-term goal is to strengthen the Council of 13 and to invite women to start WAP councils in urban and rural areas throughout Canada. Our long-term goal is to participate in the political education of our young people.  Voting as a civic duty is crucial if we want to ensure that citizens have control over our future. Many of our young people are disenchanted and even disenfranchised, because they see their concerns for quality and affordable education leading to meaningful occupation as being sidelined for  maximum profits and a purely market-viewpoint of a world in which they have no security. They will not vote unless they see results.

What is the future of WAP?

Well, we want to get registered as a federal party with elections Canada as soon as we can. We have as a governing body a Council of women that provides direction and motivation, following the transformative leadership model to the party.

We invite women and men to consider joining, to help build a party that is not going to compete with the other parties by trying to discredit or ridicule them, but to focus on issues and on our vision for Canada. We want to build a popular movement to create awareness and promote new ideas initiated by women for sharing and building our common future.

What if someone has questions about WAP?

We are planning to review our website to make it more interactive and up-to-date. For any questions, send an e-mail to: womensallianceparty@gmail.com

 

IRAN & Occupy War

posted Jan 13, 2012, 11:38 AM by Esther Matharu   [ updated Jan 13, 2012, 11:39 AM ]

WAP looks on in horror at the current escalation of sabre-rattling and war-mongering taking place in our media and from our irresponsible politicians. The current target? Iran. But what do we know about Iran? What can we believe? Who can we trust? Here is a piece by David Swanson that gives us some much needed background. This long but informative piece is a must-read, as we anticipate a war in the Middle-East with a real possibility of our sons (and daughters) being sent to 'fight'. Our main parties have all compromised themselves as far as the cause of peace is concerned. That is why we need to occupy the war machine!


http://www.straightgoods.ca/Ref=23
The push to attack Iran
History repeats itself with claims Iran has nuclear weapons.
Dateline: Monday, January 09, 2012
by David Swanson, DontAttackIran.org

The push to attack Iran has been on for so long that entire categories of arguments for it (such as that the Iranians are fueling the Iraqi resistance) have come and gone. At DontAttackIran.org we've been collecting the arguments for and against attacking Iran for years. We've campaigned against an attack, but never been able to claim a success, because decisions not to launch wars are never announced, because those pushing for wars never give up, and because those believing what their government tells them think the Pentagon never campaigns for wars but is forced into them defensively on short notice by attacks from evildoers.

While Iran has not attacked any other country in centuries, the United States has not done so well by Iran. Remember (or, like most US citizens, learn for the first time): the United States overthrew Iran's democracy in 1953 and installed a dictator. Then the United States aided Iraq in the 1980s in attacking Iran, providing Iraq with some of the weapons (including chemical weapons) that were used on Iranians and that would be used in 2002-2003 (when they no longer existed) as an excuse for attacking Iraq. For the past decade, the United States has labeled Iran an evil nation, attacked and destroyed the other non-nuclear nation on the list of evil nations, designated part of Iran's military a terrorist organization, falsely accused Iran of crimes including the attacks of 9-11, murdered Iranian scientists, funded opposition groups in Iran (including some the US also designates as terrorist), flown drones over Iran, openly and illegally threatened to attack Iran, and built up military forces all around Iran's borders, while imposing cruel sanctions on the country.

The roots of a Washington push for a new war on Iran can be found in the 1992 Defense Planning Guidance, the 1996 paper called A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm, the 2000 Rebuilding America's Defenses, and in a 2001 Pentagon memo described by Wesley Clark as listing these nations for attack: Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. In 2010, Tony Blair included Iran on a similar list of countries that he said Dick Cheney had aimed to overthrow. The line among the powerful in Washington in 2003 was that Iraq would be a cakewalk but that real men go to Tehran. The arguments in these old forgotten memos were not what the war makers tell the public, but much closer to what they tell each other. The concerns here are those of dominating regions rich in resources, intimidating others, and establishing bases from which to maintain control of puppet governments. Of course the reason that "real men go to Tehran" is that Iran is not the impoverished disarmed nation that one might find in, say, Afghanistan or Iraq, or even the disarmed nation recently found in Libya. Iran is much bigger and much better armed. Whether the United States launches a major assault on Iran or Israel does, Iran will retaliate against US troops and probably Israel and possibly the United States itself as well.

The United States will without any doubt re-retaliate for that. Iran cannot be unaware that the US government's pressure on the Israeli government not to attack Iran consists of reassuring the Israelis that the United States will attack when needed, and does not include even threatening to stop funding Israel's military or to stop vetoing measures of accountability for Israeli crimes at the United Nations. In other words, any US pretense of having seriously wanted to prevent an attack is not credible. Of course, many in the US government and military oppose attacking Iran, although key figures like Admiral William Fallon have been moved out of the way. Much of the Israeli military is opposed as well, not to mention the Israeli and US people. But war is not clean or precise. If the people we allow to run our nations attack another, we are all put at risk. Most at risk, of course, are the people of Iran, people as peaceful as any other, or perhaps more so. As in any country, no matter what its government, the people of Iran are fundamentally good, decent, peaceful, just, and fundamentally like you and me. I've met people from Iran. You may have met people from Iran. They look like this. They're not a different species. They're not evil. A "surgical strike" against a "facility" in their country would cause a great many of them to die very painful and horrible deaths.

Even if you imagine that Iran would not retaliate for such attacks, this is what the attacks would in themselves consist of: mass murder. And what would that accomplish? It would unite the people of Iran and much of the world against the United States. It would justify in the eyes of much of the world an underground Iranian program to develop nuclear weapons, a program that probably does not exist at present, except to the extent that legal nuclear energy programs move a country closer to weapons development. The environmental damage would be tremendous, the precedent set incredibly dangerous, all talk of cutting the US military budget would be buried in a wave of war frenzy, civil liberties and representative government would be flushed down the Potomac, a nuclear arms race would spread to additional countries, and any momentary sadistic glee would be outweighed by accelerating home foreclosures, mounting student debt, and accumulating layers of cultural stupidity.

Strategically, legally, and morally weapons possession is not grounds for war, and neither is pursuit of weapons possession. And neither, I might add, with Iraq in mind, is theoretically possible pursuit of weapons never acted upon. Israel has nuclear weapons. The United States has more nuclear weapons than any other country. There can be no justification for attacking the United States, Israel, or any other country. The pretense that Iran has or will soon have nuclear weapons is, in any case, just a pretense, one that has been revived, debunked, and revived again like a zombie for years and years. But that's not the really absurd part of this false claim for something that amounts to no justification for war whatsoever. The really absurd part is that it was the United States in 1976 that pushed nuclear energy on Iran. In 2000 the CIA gave the Iranian government (slightly flawed) plans to build a nuclear bomb. In 2003, Iran proposed negotiations with the United States with everything on the table, including its nuclear technology, and the United States refused. Shortly thereafter, the United States started angling for a war. Meanwhile, US-led sanctions prevent Iran from developing wind energy, while the Koch brothers are allowed to trade with Iran without penalty.

Another area of ongoing lie debunking, one that almost exactly parallels the buildup to the 2003 attack on Iraq, is the relentless false claim, including, by candidates for US President, that Iran has not allowed inspectors into its country or given them access to its sites. Iran has, in fact, voluntarily accepted stricter standards than the IAEA requires. And of course a separate line of propaganda, albeit a contradictory one, holds that the IAEA has discovered a nuclear weapons program in Iran. Under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT), Iran was not required to declare all of its installations, and early last decade it chose not to, as the United States violated that same treaty by blocking Germany, China, and others from providing nuclear energy equipment to Iran. While Iran remains in compliance with the NPT, India and Pakistan and Israel have not signed it and North Korea has withdrawn from it, while the United States and other nuclear powers continuously violate it by failing to reduce arms, by providing arms to other countries such as India, and by developing new nuclear weapons.

This is what the empire of US military bases looks like to Iran. Try to imagine if you lived there, what you would think of this.




Who is threatening whom? Here are the sizes of national militaries:




Who is the greater danger to whom? The point is not that Iran should be free to attack the United States or anyone else because its military is smaller. The point is that doing so would be national suicide. It would also be something Iran has not done for centuries. But it would be typical US behavior. Are you ready for an even more absurd twist? This is on the same scale as Bush's comment about not really giving much thought to Osama bin Laden. Are you ready? The proponents of attacking Iran themselves admit that if Iran had nukes it would not use them. This is from the American Enterprise Institute:

The biggest problem for the United States is not Iran getting a nuclear weapon and testing it, it's Iran getting a nuclear weapon and not using it. Because the second that they have one and they don't do anything bad, all of the naysayers are going to come back and say, 'See, we told you Iran is a responsible power. We told you Iran wasn't getting nuclear weapons in order to use them immediately.' ...And they will eventually define Iran with nuclear weapons as not a problem.

Is that clear? Iran using a nuclear weapon would be bad: environmental damage, loss of human life, hideous pain and suffering, yada, yada, yada. But what would be really bad would be Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon and doing what every other nation with them has done since Nagasaki: nothing. That would be really bad because it would damage an argument for war and make war more difficult, thus allowing Iran to run its country as it, rather than the United States, sees fit. Of course it might run it very badly (although we're hardly establishing a model for the world over here either), but it would run it without US approval, and that would be worse than nuclear destruction.

Inspections were allowed in Iraq and they worked. They found no weapons and there were no weapons. Inspections are being allowed in Iran and they are working. However, the IAEA has come under the corrupting influence of the US government. And yet, the bluster from war proponents about recent IAEA claims is not backed up by any actual claims from the IAEA. And what little material the IAEA has provided for the cause of war has been widely rejected when not being laughed at.

Another year, another lie. No longer do we hear that North Korea is helping Iran build nukes. Lies about Iranian backing of Iraqi resisters have faded. (Didn't the United States back French resistance to Germans at one point?) The latest concoction is the "Iran did 911" lie. Revenge, like the rest of these attempted grounds for war, is actually not a legal or moral justification for war. But this latest fiction has already been put to rest by the indespensable Gareth Porter, among others. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, which did play a role in 911 as well as in the Iraqi resistance, is being sold record quantities of that good old leading US export of which we're all so proud: weapons of mass destruction. Oh, I almost forgot another lie that hasn't quite entirely faded yet. Iran did not try to blow up a Saudi ambassador in Washington, DC, an action which President Obama would consider perfectly praiseworthy if the roles were reversed, but a lie that even Fox News had a hard time stomaching. And that's saying something.

And then there's that old standby: Ahmadinejad said "Israel should be wiped off the map." While this does not, perhaps, rise to the level of John McCain singing about bombing Iran or Bush and Obama swearing that all options including nuclear attack are on the table (I'm really starting to despise that table, by the way). Yet, it sounds extremely disturbing: "wiped off the map"! However, the translation is a bad one. A more accurate translation was "the regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time". The government of Israel, not the nation of Israel. Not even the government of Israel, but the current regime. Hell, Americans say that about their own regimes all the time, alternating every four to eight years depending on political party (some of us even say it all the time, without immunity for either party). Iran has made clear it would approve of a two-state solution if Palestinians approved of it. If we launched missile strikes every time somebody said something stupid, even if accurately translated, how safe would it be to live near Newt Gingrich's or Joe Biden's house?

The real danger may not actually be the lies. The Iraq experience has built up quite a mental resistance to these sorts of lies in many US residents. The real danger may be the slow start of a war that gains momentum on its own without any formal announcement of its initiation. Israel and the United States have not just been talking tough or crazy. They've been murdering Iranians. And they seem to have no shame about it. The day after a Republican presidential primary debate at which candidates declared their desire to kill Iranians, the CIA apparently made certain the news was public that it was in fact already murdering Iranians, not to mention blowing up buildings. Some would say and have said that the war has already begun. Those who cannot see this because they do not want to see it will also miss the deadly humor in the United States asking Iran to return our brave drone to us.
Perhaps what's needed to snap war supporters out of their stupor is a bit of slapstick. Try this on for size. From Seymour Hersh describing a meeting held in Vice President Cheney's office:

There was a dozen ideas proffered about how to trigger a war. The one that interested me the most was why don't we build — we in our shipyard — build four or five boats that look like Iranian PT boats. Put Navy seals on them with a lot of arms. And next time one of our boats goes to the Straits of Hormuz, start a shoot-up. Might cost some lives. And it was rejected because you can't have Americans killing Americans. That's the kind of — that's the level of stuff we're talking about. Provocation. But that was rejected.

Now, Dick Cheney is not your typical American. Nobody in the US government is your typical American. Your typical American is struggling, disapproves of the US government, wishes billionaires were taxed, favors green energy and education and jobs over military boondoggles, thinks corporations should be barred from buying elections, and would not be inclined to apologize for getting shot in the face by the Vice President.

Back in the 1930s, the Ludlow Amendment nearly made it a Constitutional requirement that the public vote in a referendum before the United States could go to war. President Franklin Roosevelt blocked that proposal. Yet the Constitution already required and still requires that Congress declare war before a war is fought. That has not been done in over 70 years, while wars have raged on almost incessantly. In the past decade and right up through President Obama's signing of the outrageous National Defense Authorization Act on New Years Eve 2011-2012, the power to make war has been handed over to presidents. Here is one more reason to oppose a presidential war on Iran: once you allow presidents to make wars, you will never stop them. Another reason, in so far as anybody any longer gives a damn, is that war is a crime. Iran and the United States are parties to the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which bans war. One of those two nations is not complying.

But we won't have a referendum. The US House of Misrepresentatives won't step in. Only through widespread public pressure and nonviolent action will we intervene in this slow-motion catastrophe. Already the United States and the United Kingdom are preparing for war with Iran. This war, if it happens, will be fought by an institution called the United States Department of Defense, but it will endanger rather than defending us. As the war progresses, we will be told that the Iranian people want to be bombed for their own good, for freedom, for democracy. But nobody wants to be bombed for that.

Iran does not want US-style democracy. Even the United States does not want US-style democracy. We will be told that those noble goals are guiding the actions of our brave troops and our brave drones on the battlefield. Yet there will be no battlefield. There will be no front lines. There will be no trenches. There will simply be cities and towns where people live, and where people die. There will be no victory. There will be no progress accomplished through a "surge." On January 5, 2012, Secretary of "Defense" Leon Panetta was asked at a press conference about the failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he replied simply that those were successes. That is the kind of success that could be expected in Iran, were Iran a destitute and disarmed state. Now we begin to understand the importance of all the media suppression, blackouts, and lies about the damage done to Iraq and Afghanistan. Now we understand why Obama and Panetta have embraced the lies that launched the War on Iraq. The same lies must now be revived, as for every war ever fought, for a War on Iran. Here's a video explaining how this will work, even with some new twists and lots of variations. The US corporate media is part of the war machine. Planning war and funding war creates its own momentum. Sanctions become, as with Iraq, a stepping stone to war. Cutting off diplomacy leaves few options open. Electoral pissing contests take us all where most of us did not want to be.

These are the bombs most likely to launch this ugly and quite possibly terminal chapter of human history. This shows clearly what they would do. For an even better presentation, pair that with this audio of a misinformed caller trying hopelessly to persuade George Galloway that we should attack Iran. [Link@URL] On January 2, 2012, the New York Times reported concern that cuts to the US military budget raised doubts as to whether the United States would "be prepared for a grinding, lengthy ground war in Asia." At a Pentagon press conference on January 5, 2012, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff reassured the press corpse (sic) that major ground wars were very much an option and that wars of one sort or another were a certainty. President Obama's statement of military policy released at that press conference listed the missions of the US military. First was fighting terrorism, next deterring "aggression," then "projecting power despite anti-access/area denial challenges," then the good old WMDs, then conquering space and cyberspace, then nuclear weapons, and finally — after all that — there was mention of defending the Homeland Formerly Known As The United States. We're in bad straits.

The cases of Iraq and Iran are not identical in every detail, of course. But in both cases we are dealing with concerted efforts to get us into wars, wars based, as all wars are based, on lies. One thing you can do is to ask US and Israeli air, missile, and drone crews to refuse to attack Iran at DontAttackIran.org.

David Swanson is the author of When the World Outlawed War, War Is A Lie and Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union. He blogs at davidswanson.org and warisacrime.org and works for the online activist organization rootsaction.org

Start 2012 by reading "Censored 2011"!

posted Jan 2, 2012, 11:54 AM by Esther Matharu   [ updated Jan 2, 2012, 12:07 PM ]

Become aware of some of the top stories that never made it because they "disturbed".

Project Censored specializes in covering the top stories which were subjected to press censorship either by being ignored or downplayed by the mainstream media each year. Project Censored is a research team composed of more than 200 university faculty, students, and community experts who annually review between 700 and 1,000 news story submissions for coverage, content, reliability of sources, and national significance. The top 25 stories selected are submitted to a distinguished panel of judges who then rank them in order of importance. The results are published each year in an excellent book available for purchase at their website, amazon.com, and most major book stores.

A summary of the top 25 press censorship stories of 2011 provided below proves quite revealing and most informative.
Each summary has a link for those who want to read the entire article.

This message is available online at http://www.WantToKnow.info/mass_media/censored/press_censorship_11

Note: To find the top press censorship stories of any year from 2003 to present, click here.

Press Release - The Book "Man on Trial: the ABC of his Folly" is out!

posted Dec 23, 2011, 11:19 AM by Esther Matharu

December 19, 2011.  Ottawa, Ontario-Canada

 MAN ON TRIAL: the A B C of his Folly is a manifesto that calls on Man to be brought to justice for crimes against women and all the inhabitants of our shared ‘space’.

What this provocative book puts forth is that a major and deliberate shift in paradigm is the only way to unlock the current stalemate that pits the minute elite against the growing numbers of the dispossessed and disempowered. The power structures upon which traditional political forms of government are built are archaic, non-democratic, dysfunctional, and based on a militaristic and pyramidal mindset that is deeply injurious to Life.

This self-perpetuating feudal system of governance has stealthily ransomed people’s rights to good education, health and ownership of the world’s resources. Our current political models deprive the majority of the people - especially women - of their rights to fully participate in the decision-making bodies. The fact that on average only one woman out of five is actively engaged in politics in Canada is shocking. The infantilizing of our society, the lies of our media, the hypocrisy of our ‘democratic’ spaces, all contribute to divide and isolate communities, criminalize nonconformists and destroy our environment.

In a nutshell: this model was never designed to work for women.

For thousands of years, Man has had the opportunity to create a just society. In 2011, with the number of armed conflicts rising and the gap between rich and poor increasing day by day, Woman points to Man’s miserable failure to listen to her voice, to include her as an equally responsible stakeholder, to protect the environment, and to act justly. Using religion, the cult of military might, and the divide and conquer strategy, Man has perpetuated a political model that can only exist on the premises of his claim to dominate women and, as a consequence of this mindset, to exploit nature.

From A for Arrogance to Z for Zero, passing through C for Capitalism and R for Religion, the effects of the current paradigm on women is summarily looked at and commented on. What is the verdict? Readers make up their own minds, but for millions of women in the world, there is no doubt: Man stands condemned for having messed up the planet and for putting the future of our children at risk.

This is a call to Canadian women to move out of the old paradigm and unite to create a new leadership model that brings about the radical change we need - a revolution, an occupation, an uprising…..The young especially, our young women and young men, must be ready and prepared to create a vision based on Life, and reject the folly of the suicidal glorification of war that we see taking shape in the world today.

Esther Fueter-Matharu is a founding member of the Woman’s Alliance Party Canada and a member of its Council of Thirteen. She shares her time between Ottawa and Switzerland. She can be contacted at womensallianceparty@gmail.com.

Changes on the Way!

posted Nov 30, 2011, 6:04 AM by Esther Matharu   [ updated Nov 30, 2011, 6:09 AM ]

We are reaching our one year anniversary! In the new year, WAP will introduce two important changes: a new improved and interactive site that will reflect deeply what the Women's Alliance Party sands for, that is a movement of women who are determined to occupy political space in order to bring in the values that women believe in - peace, sustainable environments and community, and a new leadership model that reflects the new paradigm. Stay tuned!
 

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