Miles Report No. 34
A variety of notes: 5th Estate; Paul Calandra; readings and reviews; Harper and Israel.
Last night (Friday, January 10, 2014) the 5th Estate (CBC) showed a documentary discussing the Harper conservatives attack on science. Several scientists were highlighted, and demonstrated that the Harper government is not interested in having an informed scientific basis for its narrowly focussed corporate agenda. The corporate agenda of course does not want any interference from people concerned about the environment, whether it be the oceans, rivers, and lakes that are polluted or the areas of northern Alberta that are polluted, plus all the global atmospheric impact the tar sands development creates.
It is not just that. By changing the Museum of Civilization to the Museum of History, once again the Harper conservative government is changing the story of Canada for the betterment of corporate development. By trying to demonstrate the Britishness of northern exploration he would be more able to deny rights to the indigenous populations and to deny the effects of corporate and climatic change to the cultures of the Arctic region.
All this ties in with Harper’s so called “free trade” agenda, where foreign corporations are able to sue the government for perceived losses against some environmental or social regulation that disturbs their desire to maximize profit above all else. It is not about jobs - it is about corporate funding and political power retention. “Free trade” eliminates the government being able to sue the corporations for violations against the environment and human cultures. The only thing free about it is the right of the corporations to be free to dominate our political and cultural systems.
I found the recent item on Paul Calandra’s family quite amusing - not the actual incident but the action and amount of air time it achieved. As was noted in several reports, Calandra has used his family as a dodge against criticism from the opposition, whether it was relevant or not.
It is no surprise then that some journalist looked into some public documents (uh-oh, next on the Harper agenda, no more public court documents) and found allegations and accusations of familial discord, and aired them even more publicly.
Man up Mr. Calandra. What you sow you reap.
Readings and reviews on Israel
As you well know from my previous reports, I am against the racism and apartheid as applied by the Israeli government against the Palestinian people. Concurrently I am against the racist and apartheid methodology of the Canadian government against its indigenous people as well, a plan effective enough that South Africa looked at it as a model for their apartheid.
Over the past several months I have read three works which support the anti-apartheid BDS movement that is currently operative and increasingly more successful against Israeli corporate, academic, and cultural connections. For anyone really interested in these positions - pro or con - they should read the following (among other sources):
1) Goliath - Life and loathing in Greater Israel. Max Blumenthal, Nation Books, 2013
2) Generation Palestine - Voices from the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions movement. Ed. Rich WIles. Pluto Press, 2013.
3) Why Israel? The Anatomy of Zionist Apartheid - A South African Perspective. Suraya Dadoo and Firoz Osman. Porcupine Press, Melville, South Africa. 2013.
The latter work in particular is very comprehensive and provides a large overview of the Palestinian/Israeli situation, combining historical information with information on the laws and policies that create the apartheid state. It ends with its assessment of the BDS movement.
The two state solution is no longer a real option. The two solutions now available are a racist apartheid militarized state of Israel, or a democratic and free Israel with equal rights for all its citizens.
Harper’s comments on Sharon’ death.
Harper passed on his condolences to Israel noting our “shared values, common interests.” While that may be true for Harper and his conservative minions, it does not represent my sentiments nor those of an increasing number of citizens who examine Israel critically and find it lacking in basic human rights.
As for Sharon, he was a militarist through and through, the composer of the Sabra and Shatila massacres in Lebanon against Palestinian refugees. His dismantling of the Gaza settlements served two purposes: first, a smokescreen for the ongoing settlement of the occupied West Bank, where the Gaza settlers were repositioned; and secondly a smokescreen for the ongoing incarceration of the entire Gaza population, the destruction of its civil infrastructures, and the control of all air, water, and land such that Gaza is essentially the world’s largest concentration camp.