Chronicling community action, revolutionary and revealing thought

Friday, July 29, 2005

More cold from the South... Blizzard warning

The American Congress managed to get a majority vote and passed CAFTA, the Central American Free Trade Agreement, of which they managed to snag the Dominican Republic as a member.

They're hailing it as a major step in countering leftist forces on the rise, naming Venezuela's Hugo Chavez as a major problem; he's supposed to be using Venezuela's oil money to undermine democracy, (only a clueless ignorant North American would buy THAT), free markets, and American interests throught the hemisphere. And to make him seem like the second coming of the Devil, they're pitting him in as bedfellows with Ortega.

To think. One head-of-state in a teeny country hanging off a massive continent 2000 miles south of them is giving them the shits. Either that or they want control of the country, and/or their oil.

I'm starting to see a region of influence surrounding the Caribbean region, and it looks like a closing fist. Guess who's next.

I'll do something I abhor doing, and therefore avoid it. I'll add a personal note.
The intuitive gut part of me's feeling upset today, as if it were a stomach, and something bad to the system was ingested. Only it's not physical, and I can't barf.

I also seemed to engage in sporadic fits of frantic pacing. This is a busy weekend for me, for sure, but this new development certainly contributed to my general sense of unease. My system's been difficult to me whenever I eat.

Monday, July 25, 2005

And yet another cold wind from the South...

U.S. Senate Democrats call for documents related to Supreme Court Nominee John Roberts -- but the White House says "No".

Newly released documents indicate that Supreme Court nominee John Roberts was an influential member of the Reagan administration in arguing that the Supreme Court be stripped of its jurisdiction over cases involving abortion, busing and school prayer, among his other activities.

He met with Moderate Republican Olympia Snow of Maine, who is Pro-Choice, who said she did discuss Roe vs. Wade with him. She SAYS he respects the precedent, and how the "rule of law weighs decisively in his decisions". She spoke well of him, hasn't made a decision on him yet, etc.

'Course he'll meet with her, and expects HER to speak to the public on his behalf i.e. presenting him by way of second-hand account.

Among his (dubious) feats:

  • He argued as Deputy Solicitor-General that Roe v Wade should be overturned.
  • He did things in a similar vein back then during his stint with the Justice Department during the Reagan Administration, promoting bills in Congress to eliminate the Supreme Court's jurisdiction on abortion, school busing and school prayer; considering he's still a Republican now, this guy seems dyed-in-the-wool;
  • He also argued to limit the interpretation of the Anti Gender Discrimination Law in College Sports, known as Title 9;
  • In memos to the Justice Department, he argued for restrictions on a suspect's right to have an attorney present while being questioned by authorities;
    ('K. Take a sec. Just in case Mr.John Roberts' swiping at Roe vs. Wade with an axe didn't (at the very least START to) scare the living shit out of you... see what you just saw there? That's Mr.Roberts swiping away at your habeas corpus.)
  • He also called a lower court's ruling that a hearing-impaired student should be given a Sign-Language interpreter "judicial activism".
    ('K. So now basic human decency's being flamebroiled, exacerbated, distorted and thrown in with something that's obviouly a pet peeve of his, Activism. And, activism's BAD...??)

Assuming these feats are as they are when read in context... quite a heap o' feats to have when you're still in your twenties, eh?

Tiny little gems like this are the sort of things you find when people like The National Archives releases like oh, say, 15,000 pages detailing his stint with the Justice Department under the Reagan Administration.

'K. On getting technical, and the details of Roe v Wade: no matter what your opinions on the effiacy of (the present state of?) Roe vs Wade, the legal system may be a mechanism, or a living, breathing thing; but its lifeblood is still the human being. And I do not have so steadfast a faith in human nature that something that took centuries, and blood and tears, to get in, would be replaced, with something better even, when taken out.

I mean. Are YOU?

Senate Democrats are demanding that documents detailing his stint as Deputy Solicitor-General,including Robert's tax returns, be released as well (...Ya THINK...?!?!)

And this is the track record of a "Moderate" Republican.(quotes for those like me who find that an oxymoron). The person Miss Snow spoke so highly of. For me her Moderate Republican status seems to be a matter of perspective, even if right now she's pro-choice.

Oh yeah, by the way. Seems the White House said no to the seeing of documents detailing his stint as Solicitor-General. They claimed client-attorney priveleges. Which, considering that the client was the American people, is sort of a bit thin.

Okay. Try to con the American public into thinking you're not trying to fast-track someone into a key position of power who will strong-arm your agenda into law, dismantling basic human rights...

Someone in a position like this, I would consider his personal, judicial and legal background. You can't go say "Yo, ta da-da da-da. And no, the fact he put a flaming cross on someone's backyard when he was 18 has no bearing on the fact he's a judge in Mississipi." This guy can exercise his personal discretion, and manifest it into concrete law. You're gonna hire a dodgy contractor who'll make a contorted shambles of your placee, only to have to go out and hire yet ANOTHER contractor to fix up yer delapidated house? While you're living IN it? I'd take the time to find a good contractor, who won't screw you, in the first place.

This ain't the local lottery or Las Vegas gambling. This is serious shit. Stuff this guy can do to the foundation of the functioning of society, not to mention the rule of law, is exponentially way worse than anything George Bush can represent.

Unless you thought ahead and realised that this sort of guy getting into office IS what having someone like George Bush represents. But that's like crying over spilt milk at this point. The milk's done on the ground, and done spoiled.

Sop it up and make sure you don't spill the life-giving mother's milk you got left.

Considering how people seemed to have bought the reason for the "Iraq occupation", perhaps they're right into thinking they'll succeed...

Here's a possibly even worse thought, presented by my pal, Cameron..."I'm scared that he is a tactical move. Where by Bush can say, "Look I gave you a moderate. Now give me Gonzalas." He's not happy with the fact the "abortion people backed off" because they "felt that Gonzalas was not right enough".

I almost agreed with him... almost.

Then I got over the frothing-at-the-mouth Pavlov's response triggered by the name. The abortion people were right, Gonzalas *is* smoke & mirrors, a distraction. Don't think in mouse-height terms, think in human-height terms. In the heirarchy of things, Gonzalas is the thug. Someone like Roberts, however, could be the sort of right-hand man the second in command might have lurking behind him, and when he needs something done, only has to turn around slightly and utter one word, so in tune the lurker is. Don't think of Roberts in terms of a person; in my opinion, his role is way beyond that. Think of him as a cog, a key piece of machinery, a means to an end. Roberts is the quiet, under-reported, but far and away, exponentially more damaging, white-collar crook, to Gonzalas' over-exposed, two-timing thug's ass in COPS. He's the sound and the fury. Roberts is the lightning.

(Assuming Gonzalas'own record doesn't rival, or dwarf, his.)

Or in even simpler terms. If Gonzalas is The Thing, Roberts is a being in the same vein as Dr. Doom. Or worse yet, that second-in-command, standing right outside the crate of his master, knowing, when the unsuspecting boatman's panel flickers, his master, and his master's bidding, lies alive and waiting within.

'K. Shutting up.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Next Parkdale Tenants Association Meeting

Tuesday June 5th, 6:30 pm.

Friday, July 01, 2005

your Canada Day Reality Check(tm)

"How can G8 commitments to end poverty be taken seriously when the very same governments are undermining stability by approving arms transfers to repressive regimes?"

-Amnesty International secretary general Irene Khan asks the awkward question on the eve of the G8 meet in Edinburgh.

The link

your Canada Day Reality Check(tm)

"How can G8 commitments to end poverty be taken seriously when the very same governments are undermining stability by approving arms transfers to repressive regimes?"

-Amnesty International secretary general Irene Khan asks the awkward question on the eve of the G8 meet in Edinburgh.

The link

Canada Day Primer

Happy Canada Day.

Asad Ismi was talking on CKLN's radio about the G8 summit and the Colossal African Debt Thing.

And offered up some interesting factoids.

Like how the collosal debt started.

The debts started getting obscene around the 1980's. Western countries got a lot of money from the flowing petroleum and forced countries to borrow money at what seemed to be ok rates, then skyrocketed the interest rates to... 20%.

Hence the debt.

They've already paid the original debt multiple times over.

Back to the G8 Live 8 thing (Or as it's also called, "Jive-Aid, Part Deux").

African musicians have come right out and said it's a collossal waste of time. (There's that "Collosal" thing popping up again.)

And, uh... it seems some people are trying to tie the elimination of the debt with the reparations that should be done for current descendants of black slaves in North America, as in:- The Debt Elimination = Reparations paid + done (issue over).

Sorry, what...?!?!

Reparations is not a one-stop, financial issue, solved with throwing money at it. If that's the reasoning behind the absolute resolution of the issue, then you might as well throw about $50,000 at an incest survivor victim, who's had the abuse start at the tender age of two, and is currently on the street, 18 years of age; put a feather in your hat and call it macaroni, declare it done, and simply walk away. Sounds insane? Well, what makes anyone think an endemic issue, hundreds of years in the making, and then in the addressing, as easily resolved?

O.K. Think about it this way. How in the living f*ck did Live8 not manage to snag YOUSS OU N'DOUR? An old high school pal would hoot and cheer whenever she saw him appear on TV, saying he's a friend of the family (or uncle...)

(He and other major African musicians were at a lesser-known event for the same cause, at a place called High Park in London)

And not one of the African radio hosts at CKLN had anything positive nor encouraging to say about the current or past "Live Aid" events/efforts/image upgrade-slash-publicity-stunts for musicians.

I mean, it's nice that Madonna can grin for the public and hold with a death-like grip onto the healthy, adult version of some chick who was caught on television during the original Live-Aid stint, when she was barely conscious from the effects of malnutiriton, trying to cop-off on some of the publicity so it could revive her own career...

But as someone posed to one of the African hosts on CKLN, did the original Live-Aid do anything to get rid of the famine, etc., it was supposed to, back then?

"Uh ..., no, not really," was the reply. "I mean there still is famine and poverty now, isn't there?"

Not to mention the tons of comments on where the bulk of that money actually ended up.

So, now. Go watch the fireworks.

And know that you've kept reality in balance.

And check out this Asad Ismi guy, will you?

As someone who grew up in Trinidad, I found his East Indian accent extremely comforting; it reminds you that there are people out there with their HEADS, not to mention hearts, in the right place who are keen and passionate in the issue... (and you'd better take what I just said the right way, or else...!)

The link