Who should pay taxes — and for what?

By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

A few years ago, celebrated hotel billion-heiress, the late Leona Helmsley, famously asserted “only the little people pay taxes.”
Being an Amerikkkan, she was, of course, free to say that. But the simple reality is that for years she totally and illegally evaded paying taxes on her massive wealth and income, and, for that, she spent a short time in a government-financed vacation-resort-cum-jail-for-high-level-white-collar-criminals.
Few of her ilk in either Canada or the U.S. – the Top One Percent – the millionaires, mega-millionaires, billionaires and mega-billionaires – the gangster banksters and the corporate robber barons and the degenerate heirs and heiresses of past gangster banksters, corporate robber barons and Southern slave plantation owners – are quite as successful even today at paying almost no taxes.
But there’s no need to even bother trying. The nominal tax rates for the Top One Percent and the criminally-corrupt banks and corporations that they control have fallen so low and the number of tax loopholes has grown so high that their real total contribution is now almost negligible. Continue reading “Who should pay taxes — and for what?”

Amerikkkan bigotry: Nature or Nurture?

By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

There is a school of intellectual thought that has it that racism and other forms of bigotry – perhaps all rooted in genetic xenophobia – is Natural, even instinctual to humankind.
While there may be some logical substance to this position, the vicious, violent and virulent racism, misogynny (hatred of women), homophobia and bigotry that are so prevalent in Amerikkka can only be the product of systemic Nurture, rooted in a malignant and malevolent soil.
I am a Canadian and a Quebecer of predominantly Irish and English lineage. But I have lived and worked in five Amerikkkan cities – spread across the continental U.S. I have spent time in more than 100 Amerikkkan cities in 36 states. And I have interacted with Amerikkkans and Americans of both genders, a variety of races, numerous ethnic origins, all ages and all sexual orientations, all levels of education, all levels of income and all religious and political proclivities.
Although I have always chosen to live in mixed, downtown neighbourhoods, I have also slept in my car in shopping strip parking lots in Harlem and the South Bronx and I have frequented – numerous times – the Union Pacific railyards in downtown Las Vegas, where a large number of homeless people – mostly African-Americans, Hispanics and American Indians – secured shelter on the ledges of the concrete abutments that supported Interstate highway overpasses where cars whizzed by just six feet overhead.
And I have never experienced any of the violence, the popular paranoia of which has turned much of Amerikkka into an armed cesspool. Continue reading “Amerikkkan bigotry: Nature or Nurture?”

The kangaroo kkkonviction of Victor Bout

By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

Russian international arms dealer Victor Bout was sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment today – by an Amerikkkan court
– for a crime alleged to have been committed halfway around the world.
That the United States of Amerikkka can seize it upon itself to kidnap a citizen of a foreign country – who may have never stepped foot in Amerikkka – who never committed a crime in Amerikkka – who never committed a crime that had any impact on Amerikkkan national security – and put that foreigner on trial in Amerikkka is a sad testament to the near-total dysfunctionality of international law.
Amerikkka – proving that might and only might is right – has appointed itself the policeman of the world, usurped for Amerikkkan law and Amerikkkan law alone primacy over international law or the laws of any other country and determined that it and it alone should be prosecutor, judge and jury, if it so chooses, of offences committed by foreign citizens in foreign countries.
The first problem with that, however, is that if Amerikkka is a policeman, then it is demonstrably the crookedest cop in history. Continue reading “The kangaroo kkkonviction of Victor Bout”

Ontario NDP betrays the Other 99 Percent

By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

The minority Liberal government of Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty (Ontario is Canada’s largest province with more than 40% of the country’s population) laid out its putrid budget proposals last week and Andrea Horwath, the leader of Ontario’s supposedly social democratic NDP, immediately signalled that she would be McGuinty’s Michael Ignatieff.
Michael Ignatieff, “Iggy The Enabler”, was Conservative Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s useful idiot during the last two years of minority Harper government. Ignatieff would huff and puff about blowing the minority Tories’ house down but whenever an issue finally came to a vote in the House of Commons, there were Ignatieff and his Liberal trained seals all lined up to rubber stamp the right-wing legislation.
Horwath now appears ready to have her third-place party play the same role of useful supportive idiot for the supposedly “centrist” Ontario Liberal government.
In recent days, Horwath has begun releasing an extremely modest list of extremely tepid demands in return for her party’s support for the budget. Continue reading “Ontario NDP betrays the Other 99 Percent”

Canada should now bail out on the F-35s

By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

The auditor-general of Canada realeased a scathing report this morning on the extreme right-wing Conservative federal government’s plans to join the U.S. in the massive F-35 fighter jet purchase program.
Although auditor-general Michael Ferguson made hurculean efforts to avoid pointing the finger of blame directly at the Harper government or any of its cabinet ministers, the inferrence is clear both that the Department of National Defence – i.e., the generals – lied flagrantly to Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Associate Defence Minister Julian Fantino and that those two ministers lied flagrantly to Parliament and to the people of Canada.
While the Conservatives have spun the lie for several years now that the purchase of the jets would not cost more than $9 billion and that maintenance of the planes over the term of their lifespans would not exceed $6 billion, they clearly knew and ought to have known that their public story was a massive lie. Continue reading “Canada should now bail out on the F-35s”