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Miles Report No.58 - Niqab or not - Harper’s wider agenda
Once again the sound bites are coming fast and furious from the House of Parliament. Recently the wearing of the niqab during the citizenship ceremony has been the hot topic du jour. This is associated with Bill C-51, the Conservative’s effort to institutionalize surveillance of all citizens without proper safeguards for privacy, freedom of speech, and freedom of association among other limits.
These two items work well together: the fight over the niqab is an effective way to instil more fear of the ‘other’ within the generally ignorant Canadian public, that ‘other’ being the racist Harper neoCon contrived fear of “Islamicism”; that fear can then be used to reinforce the supposed need for tougher police and security surveillance and actions. For the latter, from what I can gather on the MSM, the so-called committee meetings are simply a necessity for public consumption and not for intelligent second thoughts as many who wish to address the committee are not allowed to do so, and those that are questioning the bill are being denied sufficient time allotments to do so.
All this takes place in a wider context. Harper’s dream is similar to that essentially already established in the U.S. - the corporate militarized control of the economy and the citizens of the country. Oh sure that sounds pretty draconian, but it is being applied in a ‘nice’ way, a little bit here, a little bit there - a corporate designed trade agreement here, another one there - a nice little instigated war here, another one there - a piece of security legislation here, another one there - to enable the drum beating chest thumping chicken hawks in the Harper government to “‘permanently change” Canada. So far so good - for them.
There are other advantages to all these security diversions even though our current laws are apparently perfectly adequate for the purpose (if not their application). For one, it is a good distraction from Canada’s economic woes as the Canadian petro-dollar takes a beating as the price of oil in Canada’s “superstar energy economy” based on the tar sands is being eviscerated by Saudi Arabia (our dear beloved tribal misogynist monarchist ally - or did I mention that already?). As the well paying jobs drop from the tar sands, they are not being rebalanced by industrial production elsewhere, but are being (somewhat) replaced by much lower paying service sector jobs.
The Canadian economy is weak. As long as the economy is on the ropes, the feint towards security and the fear of Islam will continue to stay in the media’s eyes. With a budget coming sometime soon, the Harper government will need all the distractions it can muster - or hope for another ‘other’ incident to allow even more concentration on an unnecessary corporate surveillance state.
Fully related to these economic woes, the tar sands contribution to climate change can also be ignored and evaded, along with the associated factors of indigenous rights and land title. The current status of global warming is well founded in scientific research, something the Harper government is loath to work with. The year 2014 is expected to be the hottest on record, mainly due to high global sea surface temperatures, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Along with that report, is one concerning the White Sea (northern Russia adjacent to Norway) which is ice free two months early due to strong southern winds up to ten degrees above normal.
The two cold snowy winters in the east of Canada are also related to changes in the global climate. Western Canada and the northern Pacific region are warmer than usual, with some areas experiencing temperatures seven or eight degrees above normal regularly (as is the case here in the B.C. interior). When the jet stream is pushed further north in the west, it drops back down in the east, bringing the “polar vortex” with it. The Bering Strait region is four to six degrees above seasonal average, while eastern Canada, Baffin Island and parts of Greenland are over six degrees below normal (National Snow and Ice Data Center, U. of Colorado).
So while the climate changes, due in part to our carbon energy consumptive lifestyle, and while the economy collapses due to Saudi intransigency and Canada's reliance on a fiat petro-dollar, the Harper neoCons deflect and avoid these issues by creating a fear of some ‘other’. That fear of the ‘other’ is in turn used to assist with the implementation of a corporate controlled surveillance state mindset.
While we retain our creature comforts, and retain our diversions supplied by the mainstream media, it will remain a mindset and very few will really care. Not until the climate imposes more severe hardships and not until the economy is in full recession will Canadians worry about their future prosperity - at that point dominated by corporate designs to harvest Canada’s wealth for the benefit of the few. Through a combination of a natural resource based economy and a financialized rentier economy the rich will get richer while the poor will remain so.
Oh, by the way, did I mention the F-35? Not recently? Another article from the U.S. says,
The Pentagon’s embattled F-35 Joint Strike Fighter continues to be plagued with so many problems that it can’t even pass the most basic requirements needed to fly in combat, despite soaring roughly $170 billion over budget. (from: "How to Build a $400 Billion F-35 That Doesn’t Fly", Yahoo News, March 15, 2015).