Don’t be fooled by rosy economic stats

All those credit cards could still pose a grave risk.
All those credit cards could still pose a grave risk.
By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

The mainstream politicians and economists and the corporate mass media in both Canada and the U.S. are attempting to hoodwink the public once again about the real state and direction of the economy.
The NeoLiberal/NeoConservative horde is attempting to peddle the notion that the recession is now bottoming out. But let the buyer beware!
The putrid potion they are pushing is, at one and the same time, both an effort to deceive the masses – the poor and the middle class – and an effort to lure them into more mindless consumption – usually on credit – than they can afford.
But let’s examine the facts:
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Murder, and other high strangeness, knows no border or boundaries

Newsomers to Canada need to leave "honour killings" in their repressive past.By Mike Bodrogkozi
WRISEUP.COM

What a relief I felt this week as I scoured the news for one of the latest news stories to write about. I say that because the U.S. has given me much fodder to write and talk about.
Take the case of prominent Pensacola, Fla., couple Melanie and Byrd Billings which has been featured in the news. This couple were murdered in their home, in front of their children, in cold blood, in a botched robbery attempt. This was a senseless crime that left 16 children without parents and most of these mostly-adopted children are handicapped and have special needs. This twisted, screwed-up story involves all the makings of a movie.
Eight suspects have been arrested so far. At least two are related, a father and son who had been estranged, only to reunite in prison and hatch the robbery plot. Another had bought a car off the couple, only to have it repo-ed after payments stopped coming. Another had received a loan of about $1,000 to start a self-defense school. Another was a local real-estate agent.
The robbery went loosely like this: Continue reading “Murder, and other high strangeness, knows no border or boundaries”

How to keep your head above water in these trying times

If we think long and hard, we can all find ways to trim the fat.
If we think long and hard, we can all find ways to trim the fat.
By Mike Bodrogkozi
WRISEUP.COM

In the present state of things, whether you are rich or poor, it becomes increasingly important to trim waste where possible and re-examine our fatcat ways to try to save a buck here and there. I mean, let’s face it, the economy sucks and depending on which camp you’re in and follow, ( “The economy has hit bottom, now we will start to see employment go up real soon,” as in before the end of the summer, or “The economy continues to tumble, sell your wife and kids, shoot yourself in the head ‘cuz we’re all going to hell!” We could be seeing relief soon, or buckle down it’s going to be a wild ride.
I personally began to look at my own fat lately and had a few ideas that may be helpful for those needing ideas and a little breathing room. Keeping in mind that anywhere from 10-14% of Canadian households are below the poverty line, depending on the source,
start with cutting back the fat — any really ridiculous unnecessary spending you do that can never be justified.
Mine was the 5 lbs. of beef jerky I eat a month. I’ve saved about $30 right there. Continue reading “How to keep your head above water in these trying times”

Why politicians lie about the economy

The right-wing politicians think a magic mirror may distort the ugly reality.
The right-wing politicians think a magic mirror may distort the ugly reality.
By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

For several months now, NeoLiberal and NeoConservative politicians in most industrialized nations have been grasping at straws, citing each irrelevant minor uptick in economic statistics as evidence that “the worst” of the global recession-cum-depression “is over.”
Unfortunately, most of these rosy predictions are either outright lies or desperate, deluded wishes.
Since the collapse of Soviet Communism 20 years ago, almost every country in the world – including both Russia and China (which still calls itself a Communist country) —
have bought into the tawdry philosophy of corporate capitalism.
The supposed capitalist victory in the half-century-long Cold War was supposed to be “the end of history.” The whole world would now be capitalist and the rising tide of capitalist triumphalism was supposed to raise all boats as “trickle-down economics” began to deliver the goods to all.
But that has not happened. Instead, what we are now seeing is the ultimate collapse of corporate capitalism as the extreme and growing gaps between rich and poor have crippled the global mass market.
Continue reading “Why politicians lie about the economy”

U.S. govt. has lots for the rich, little for the poor

The bailout bucket's always full for the rich, empty for the poor.
The bailout bucket's always full for the rich, empty for the poor.
By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

Events of the past couple of weeks have proven once again that under its corporate capitalist system, the United States government has plenty to give the rich but very little to give to the poor.
The overseer of the U.S. bailout revealed a couple of days ago that in just one year Uncle Sam has found almost $24 TRILLION to bail out the banks, the corporations and their super-rich controllers.
But now America’s favourite uncle is balking at the very thought of spending one trillion over ten years to provide health care for almost 50 million Americans who cannot afford private health insurance.
Let’s see if we can get this straight: America’s bankers, corporate CEOs, billionaires and mega-millionaires brought the entire global economy to its knees through their sheer greed, incompetence, corruption and criminality.
But not one of the grievous offenders has gone to prison or even been charged. Instead they have been bailed out of a dilemma of their own making at a cost of $80,000 to every man, woman and child in the country.
Continue reading “U.S. govt. has lots for the rich, little for the poor”

Public health care trumps private every time

No health care system -- public or private -- can overcome underfunding.
No health care system -- public or private -- can overcome underfunding.
By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

The debate over health care is heating up in the U.S. and – as expected – the private health care profiteers are running a slew of television ads deceptively slagging the public, universal, single-payer systems in Canada and almost every other advanced country.
One such ad features an allegedly Canadian woman claiming that delays in treatment in Canada forced her to seek “world-class” care in the U.S., supposedly saving her life. The ad ends with the woman imploring Americans to “protect your rights” by rejecting single-payer universal health care.
True, there are problems within Canada’s health-care system. But none of those problems stem from Canada’s being a public rather than a private system.
Simply put, Canada’s health-care system is grossly underfunded. But that’s not because it’s a universal, single-payer system.
It’s because for the past thirty years, NeoLiberal and NeoConservative federal and provincial governments have starved health care and other social programs to finance tax cut after tax cut after tax cut for corporations and the wealthy.
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Car-insurance costs look more and more like a hit-and-run

You may never have an accident, but you'll never stop paying either.
You may never have an accident, but you'll never stop paying either.
By Mike Bodrogkozi
WRISEUP.COM

By now, I’m sure many have heard of the impending rise in auto insurance rates. Some are set to rise by as much as 30% in the coming months.
I’d like to start off by saying that car insurance, as a whole, is a huge scam akin to just spinning a giant wheel to determine the price you are to pay. There appears to be no rhyme or reason in the inflated rates they charge.
Their reasons for raising rates are as follows: (They showed great creativity coming up with these…) 1.Investment Losses. While it is true that markets have tanked in the last little while and continue to be volatile, I’d need someone to explain to me why their shitty, misguided investing is my problem. I would just say: too bad.
2.Higher costs for medical claims. While it is true that certain procedures have increased in cost, other procedures have fallen in price so these should even out. The shortage of isotopes have caused the prices of diagnostic tests to jump, but diseases such as cancer, are not caused by car crash.
3.Increased demand. Wow, so now that this industry is successful and they have millions of customers, they feel the need to jack up the price. How does that make sense?
Continue reading “Car-insurance costs look more and more like a hit-and-run”

CSIS must be whipped into line — or abolished

The last thing Canada needs is a branch plant of the CIA.
The last thing Canada needs is a branch plant of the CIA.
By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

It came as no great surprise when the oversight panel of Canada’s Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) revealed this week that the spy agency had been guilty of gross misconduct in its handling of the Omar Khadr matter.
The spy group’s watchdogs reported tjhat CSIS had violated Khadr’s most basic human rights and ignored the fact he had been a child soldier at the time of his alleged offence.
But the most damning allegation was about the way CSIS shared top-secret information with the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and handed Khadr over to the Americans.
CSIS has long acted in ways reminiscent of the worst wrongdoings of the CIA.
Even before it was CSIS, Canada’s spy agency, as a part of the RCMP, had established a lengthy record of criminality and civil rights abuses.
Continue reading “CSIS must be whipped into line — or abolished”

The myth of a ‘classless’ society

Admission to the upper classes is highly restricted in North America.
Admission to the upper classes is highly restricted in North America.
By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

North Americans are fond of thinking of themselves as citizens of “classless” societies – countries with no class structure, where all are members of society are truly equal.
While the ideal may be great, the simple reality is that both Canada and the U.S. remain, as ever, countries with rigid class structures, limited mobility among classes and even less social equality.
But it does look good to the rest of the world if we portray ourselves as “classless” societies.
And while most subscribe to the myth, it is really only the middle class that truly believes it.
Any of the 3.5 million homeless Americans and any of the 200,000 homeless Canadians can attest that neither Canada nor the U.S. is a “classless” society.
Any of the top five percent of Canadians and Americans – the ownership class – can also attest that neither country is a “classless” society.
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Why Sonia Sotomayor must be confirmed

How dare Judge Sotomayor empathize with minorities and the poor!
How dare Judge Sotomayor empathize with minorities and the poor!

By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

The bitter battle over the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court exposes the ugly underside of both the American and Canadian “justice” systems.
In the weeks since she was nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama and in the early hours of the actual confirmation proceedings, it has become clear that the overriding issue may actually be one of whether she might “empathize” with minorities, the poor and other members of the traditional underclasses.
It was Obama who first raised the issue when he groused, prior to settling on a nominee, that the eventual nominee should be capable of “empathy.”
And the right-wingers have seized upon not only Obama’s words but the words of Sotomayor herself in their effort to delegitimize – if not disqualify her – specifically becuase she may in fact empathize with society’s underdogs.
Empathy has always been an inescapable life-experience factor tainting the judgements of supreme court justices in both the U.S. and Canada.
But up until very recently, almost all supreme court justices in both countries have been white males drawn from the upper classes of society. Continue reading “Why Sonia Sotomayor must be confirmed”