Neil Young’s mini-tour rocks Canada’s hardcore Conservative con-artist thugs

Neil YoungBy Henry McRandall
Canadian global rock superstar Neil Young began a four-city Canadian mini-tour yesterday to generate funding for a First Nations (Canadian “Indians”) legal battle against rampant government treaty violations and the comments he has made both before and after his first performance have so rocked extreme-right-wing Conservative Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper that Harper has now gone lunatic in his public war against Neil Young.
Unlike Harper, who has never been anything but a slick, extremely-well-coiffed poseur and opportunist and whose majority government has begun to disintegrate under the pressure of a litany of still-raging scandals, Young has a record of contributing to the public good and promoting social justice that goes back decades.
While Stephen Harper has never sought anything other than his own financial and political benefit and that of his political and corporate cronies, Neil Young’s tremendously successful and conscientious musical career has gone hand-in-hand with his avocation – an unshakeable commitment to social justice and the well-being of others.
Yes, Neil Young has probably made a lot of money over the course of his 47-year (so far) musical career. But he has also generously not only shared his personal resources – both financial and professional – in support of a wide variety of worthy causes, he has also used his celebrity and his vocal and musical talent to promote a wide variety of worthy causes and to denounce situations that were not conducive to social justice. Continue reading “Neil Young’s mini-tour rocks Canada’s hardcore Conservative con-artist thugs”

Recovery? What friggin’ economic recovery?

Economic CrisisBy Henry McRandall

As a veteran international journalist and publishing consultant – university-educated in sociology, history and economics, and having done very well in all of them – and even much more educated in economics through self-education – I was aghast but not shocked by the outright lies contained in the U.S. and Canadian unemployment figures that were released this morning.
The U.S. is claiming that its unemployment rate fell from 7.1% to 6.7% after only 74,000 jobs were created last month – far, far fewer than economists had expected and far, far, far fewer than the job creation required to keep pace with the growing population and workforce. CNN, of all possible sources, was kind enough to point out that the participation rate – the number of persons of working age who are either employed or actively seeking employment – has now fallen to its lowest level since 1978 – just 63%, meaning that there are no jobs available for almost two in every five American workers. Uncle Sam blamed the discrepancy on so-called “discouraged workers withdrawing from the workforce.” I cannot for the life of me figure out how Uncle Sam figures out how many workers have become too “discouraged” to even look for work or how Uncle Sam believes this massive number of jobless Americans are surviving – it’s certainly not from any savings from the massive number of U.S. jobs that don’t even pay a living wage; nor is it from the $1.30 per meal that they get in food stamps.
In Canada, the official unemployment rate jumped from 6.9% to 7.2%, meaning that for the first time since the global economic collapse of 2007-08, Canada’s official unemployment rate is now higher than that in the U.S. despite the oft-repeated lies of extreme-right-wing Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has been claiming for the past eight years that Canada has not even had a recession.
The official unemployment rates in both countries, of course, do not differentiate between people working full-time and those only able to find a few hours a week of very-low-wage, part-time or casual employment with no employee benefits whatsoever. Even if you’re only working two hours a week for $7.25 an hour, you’re counted as employed. And, conned by the corporate mainstream media and the Satanic Teabaggers, far too many Amerikkkans and Canadians are quick to point the finger at the jobless victims of corporate capitalism rather than the psychopathic billionaires and mega-millionaires who are hot-to-trot for the downsizing, outsourcing and offshoring of as many quality, decent-wage jobs as possible.
The massive fraud known as “free trade” has served no other purpose than to kill as many quality North American jobs so that decent working-class and middle-class wages can be cynically converted into mega-profits for the already-immorally-wealthy. Continue reading “Recovery? What friggin’ economic recovery?”