G-20 meeting a true test of democracy

Will G-20 leaders again bow to the socioeconomic elite?
Will G-20 leaders again bow to the socioeconomic elite?
By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

Most of the 20 nations whose leaders are meeting in London, England, this week to address the worsening global economic recession profess to be “democracies.”
But will the democratic will of the majorities in those countries prevail or will their leaders continue to genuflect before the socioeconomic elite and doom the world to a dire depression?
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What the G-20 must agree to do — now!

The leaders meet in London to decide the world's short-term future.
The leaders meet in London to decide the world's short-term future.
By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

This Thursday, leaders from the G-20 – the world’s 20 most powerful national economies – will assemble for a negotiation that could well determine whether the worsening current global recession will be stopped almost short or turned into a global depression that could drag on for many years.
The G-20 represent 85 percent of all economic activity worldwide and stretch to the far reaches of the earth. What they choose to do will determine, as well, what virtually every other country in the world does as well.
The crux of the current global economic chaos is that so much wealth has been concentrated in the hands of the top two percent of the world’s population that the “mass” market has been strangled into submission.
Continue reading “What the G-20 must agree to do — now!”

The changing face of the media

Internet media will need user support to survive and thrive.
Internet media will need user support to survive and thrive.
By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

Since the beginning of 2009, Canadians and Americans have been bombarded almost daily with bad news about the mass media.
In particular, daily newspapers and, to a lesser extent, conventional television are being threatened by the proliferation of Internet-based, independent media.
WRISEUP.COM is just one among many serious attempts to develop an Internet media model that can become both highly credible and economically viable.
Almost a century ago, it was radio that was supposed to kill the daily newspaper. Then it was television that was supposed to kill both radio and the daily newspaper. Then it was cable TV that was supposed to kill conventional TV, radio and daily newspapers. And now it is the Internet that is predicted to kill cable TV, conventional TV, radio and daily newspapers.
Thus far, none of the pre-existing media forms has actually been slain by the burgeoning of an upstart medium. Each established medium was capable of adapting and occupying a very different niche.
Sure, many of the individual media outlets died but still every city and sizeable town in Canada and the U.S. has managed to retain a mixture of local media outlets, if only a local monopoly in each particular medium.
Now, however, for the first real time, this is all about to change. All conventional mass media really are seriously threatened for the first time ever.
To some extent, Internet outlets such as this blog/magazine/eventual-podcaster will be able to fill the void left by demise of the conventional mass media.
This will be both a good thing and a bad thing. Certainly, there will be much more choice and diversity. But there is also a real risk that much less real news will actually get covered.
Most Internet publisher/podcasters will be small. They will not have the resources to cover everything that is now getting covered.
And it will be much harder for Internet users to find accurate, authoritative and reliable sources of information.
WRISEUP.COM is striving to provide accurate, authoritative and reliable coverage of current affairs – from a progressive/leftist perspective.
After a few weeks of publishing, we have hundreds of readers across Canada and in at least three other countries. But we have very few subscribers and are generating even less advertising revenue.
If you like the kind of material you are finding in WRISEUP.COM, then please consider doing five things that will help us enormously.
1. Read WRISEUP.COM more often.
2. Comment on the articles you read.
3. Tell your friends about WRISEUP.COM.
4. Patronize our advertisers.
5. Subscribe to WRISEUP.COM – if you can afford it (It’s just five bucks a year).
If you could just do one or more of those five things, you will help ensure WRISEUP.COM’s long-term viability and ensure that there is a strong leftist presence in the Canadian marketplace of ideas.

Slue-footing the working poor

Soon the working poor will have to toil for loose change.
Soon the working poor will have to toil for loose change.
By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has let it slip that his government may renege on its promise to raise the province’s minimum wage to $10.25 an hour by April, 2010.
That’s sad news for all working-class Canadians and sad news for the Canadian economy as a whole.
But it should not be too surprising that another Liberal provincial government is asking the lowest-paid of all workers to shoulder an enormous burden in this worsening recession-cum-depression.
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Drug prohibition fuels rampant carnage

Like alcohol prohibition, drug prohibition merely fuels violence and crime.
Like alcohol prohibition, drug prohibition merely fuels violence and crime.
By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

The shocking wave of drug-cartel-related mayhem and the revelation that the Mexican cartels control violent street gangs in 230 American cities should be a wake-up call to the proponents of drug prohibition in both Canada and the U.S.
And the estimate that drug exports provide $13 billion U.S. a year in revenues to Mexican drug cartels alone should be a wake-up call to all concerned by violent crime. It is the equivalent of providing a $182-billion-a-year source of revenue to organized crime in the U.S. and $20 billion a year to organized crime in Canada.
Drug prohibition has become not only the biggest source of revenue for organized crime across North America but also the primary cause of most violent crime on the continent.
Continue reading “Drug prohibition fuels rampant carnage”

Why only the rich should pay for the worsening economic downturn

It's time for the rich and super-rich to push away from the banquet table.
It's time for the rich and super-rich to push away from the banquet table.
By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

The worst global economic downturn since the Great Depression of the Dirty Thirties is exacting a mighty financial and emotional toll on the masses in both Canada and the U.S.
But the wrong people are paying the price: Only the rich and the super-rich should be paying the price of the current global recession/depression.
That would only be both basic fairness and economic sanity.
No profit-making corporation of any size should be closing plants, laying off workers, imposing wage cuts or reducing working hours to “spread the work around.”
No wealthy or super-wealthy household should be maintaining their current levels of income.
There are several reasons why these two proposals are an essential part of solving the current worldwide economic chaos. And any politician, economist or corporate mass-media pundit who denies this reality is either incompetent or dishonest or both.
The masses – the middle class should not be sharing in the suffering at all. After all, they have done all the suffering – and increasingly so – for the past 30 years.
The rich and the super-rich (the top five percent of the Canadian and American populations) should be shouldering the entire burden on the economic downturn because they are the only ones who can make do with a lot less without really hurting.
The rich and the super-rich should be shouldering the entire burden because it is their turn to suffer. The masses have suffered for far too long,
while the rich and the super-rich have enjoyed soaring incomes and plummeting taxloads for the past generation.
The rich and the super-rich should be shouldering the enitre burden because they caused the global recession/depression. It is their greed, incompetence, corruption and criminality that has bankrupted the global economy.
And, finally, the rich and the super-rich should now shoulder the entire burden for the economic malaise infecting the entire world because it is only by restoring the erstwhile spending capacity of the masses – the western middle class and poor – that the crucial mass market can be revived.
But that is not what is on the social menu for the foreseeable future. It is not on the menu because the rich and the super-rich are in denial and their political lackeys are too cowed to confront the crux of the problem.
And as long as that remains so, the whole global economy will only continue to shrink and there will be no real, sustainable recovery.

Will the middle class finally wake up?

The consumer nirvana of Fifties TV may soon be a thing of the past.
The consumer nirvana of Fifties TV may soon be a thing of the past.
By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

Over the past generation, more than a million well-paying, middle-class jobs have been permanently lost in Canada and replaced by low-wage McJobs offering no real benefits and no job security.
And hundreds of thousands of other quality jobs will be permanently lost before the current global economic crisis is resolved.
Continue reading “Will the middle class finally wake up?”

The Liberal-Tory assault on free speech

British MP George Galloway is not allowed to speak in Canada.
British MP George Galloway is not allowed to speak in Canada.
By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

A wide-ranging array of progressive organizations across Canada have come together to challenge the Harper-Ignatieff coalition’s latest assault on free speech.
Just a couple of months after banning University of Illinois Professor Bill Ayers from speaking in Canada, the coalition’s Immigration Minister, Conservative Jason Kenney, refused to intervene after his minions at Citizenship and Immigration Canada last week banned British MP and peace activist George Galloway from entering the country.
In both cases, government officials cited “security” as the official reason for the bans and both times, the parliamentary Liberal-Tory coalition has refused to lift the bans.
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Exec contracts sacred, workers’ pacts not

Corporate executives seem to think even their incompetence and criminality should be rewarded.
Corporate executives seem to think even their incompetence and criminality should be rewarded.
By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

Grand revelation: Wealthy corporate executives’ contracts are sacred, even when they are dismal failures; wage workers’ contracts can be scrapped at any time.
That appears to be the philosophy of both the Democratic and Republican parties in the U.S. and of both the Liberal and Conservative parties in Canada. No other interpretation is possible.
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An open letter to corporate executives

WRISEUP.COM pleads for a measure of corporate restraint
WRISEUP.COM pleads for a measure of corporate restraint
By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

Gentlemen (and you are almost all white males):
I am writing to you today to express my utter disgust with your behaviour in general, and especially your corruption and greed.
You are a class of people who evidently think that not only does their shit not stink, it doesn’t even taste bad.
Well I have news for you, gentlemen: Your shit reeks.
Continue reading “An open letter to corporate executives”