By Henry McRandall
The corporate mass media and the pseudo-corporate CBC have been all aflutter in recent days over the disclosure that four persons have been arrested in Canada on suspicion of terrorism-related activities.
This latest attempt to sow the seeds of fear and xenophobia in the hearts and minds of Canadians would be laughable if its perpetrators were not guilty of making Canada a rational target for terrorism.
For decades, Canada enjoyed the respect of much of the world as a relatively even-handed participant in global affairs, even as a champion of some of the values most of mankind holds dearest.
But in recent years – and under successive Liberal and Conservative federal governments – our country has drifted away from those values most cherished by most Canadians and sought to become nothing more and nothing less than a lapdog for the perverted aspirations of unchallenged global hegemony of the United States of America. read more »
Monthly Archives: August 2010
By Henry McRandall
By Henry McRandall
After the (Montreal) Gazette’s first illegal attempt to fire me failed and I was reinstated in my job as a copy editor on the city desk, things really heated up.
Upon my return to work, I was summoned to the office of Managing Editor Mel Morris who sternly denounced me and vowed that he would “watch you like a hawk.”
He and City Editor Michael Cooke then started playing games with my work schedule and berating me for no reason in front of my editing colleagues, most of whom were members of the Brit-dominated Toronto media mafia clique.
I knew right away that I could expect no support from any of my colleagues, even if they weren’t members of the dominant clique. read more »
For those of you who are unaware, Julian Assange is the founder and editor of Wikileaks, an Internet website dedicated to exposing incriminating documents on governments around the world.
He is also a man publicly accused of rape by Swedish police this past weekend, only to see his arrest warrant and the charge rescinded a few hours later on the grounds that the alleged victims and the allegations themselves had zero credibility.
While this may well have been an isolated incident involving a couple of Assange’s acquaintances with an axe to grind, another – perhaps more likely – explanation is that Julian Assange has been targeted for death or destruction by one or more governments and its (or their) military and intelligence apparatus. read more »
The governments of Greece and South Africa are having to contend with mass uprisings these days in the wake of the harsh “austerity” budgets they have attempted to foist upon their countries’ poor and working classes. And so it should be.
In the case of South Africa, it is one million public-sector workers who have risen up and demanded a living wage. The South African government’s current austerity was caused by the $5 billion this poor country was forced to spend in order to host the World Cup of soccer.
In the case of Greece, it is a broad swath of poor and working-class citizens who have risen up in the face of a harsh austerity program foist upon their government by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.
It is bad enough that these two national governments are attempting to redress their fiscal imbalances on the backs of the poor and the working classes. read more »
The federal minority Conservative government’s decision not to renew the mandate of the Veterans’ Ombudsman – retired Colonel Pat Stogran – ranks as a classic example of shooting the messenger.
Throughout his three-year term as the defender of those Canadians who have fought for “our way of life,” Stogram has been a staunch advocate for those who have given, if not life, a mental or physical limb in the admirable belief that they were fighting to preserve the common heritage of all Canadians.
The problem was that Stogran’s commitment to the veterans he served was stronger than his commitment to the government under which he served. He had become an embarrassment to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Defence Minister Peter MacKay, Canada’s military leadership and the entire Conservative government. read more »
The Guantanamo Bay show trial of Canadian child soldier Omar Khadr faces another lengthy delay after the accused’s lawyer fell ill last week.
That there is even going to be a trial for this alleged child soldier is a travesty in and of itself. That Canada and the U.S. conspired in bringing this Canadian child to “justice” is a grievous shame on both countries.
Khadr’s “trial” will be Guantanamo Bay’s first under United States President Barack Obama and the first time in modern history that any country in the world has prosecuted a child who was younger than 18 when the alleged war crimes occurred.
In fact, trying an alleged combattant under the age of 18 is banned under international law and Canada and the U.S. are both signatories to the global treaties that banned the prosecution of child soldiers. read more »
By Henry McRandall
With the second convergence between future Toronto Star Editor Michael Cooke’s professional career and mine obviously drawing toward a conclusion, the tensity was ramped up a bit.
There had not been a single complaint about my work. But my probation was drawing to a close and I was certain that Cooke would only be able to get rid of me if he could get rid of me as a probationary employee. I was counting down the days to the end of my 65-working-day probation.
Apparently, however, Cooke lost count or hesitated for some unknown reason. He was so satisfied with my work that he had asked me to work an extra day a week in the last few weeks of my probation and when he finally pounced it was too late to carry out his plan as intended. read more »
August 8, 2010
In recent weeks Conservative Stephen Harper’s minority federal government has made a slew of extremely expensive procurement announcements – at a time when Harper himself is urging the governments of the world to impose harsh austerity measures on their masses.
But as if that wasn’t bad enough, it’s the type of procurements and the rationale behind them that is most galling.
Defence Minister Peter MacKay has announced lavish military procurements totalling about $60 billion. read more »
For decades sports fans have bemoaned the greed of “fat-cat athletes” who are “only in it for the money” and have lost touch with the “love of the game.” Many pine for those halcyon days of yore when pure-hearted ball players, gridiron gladiators and hockey heroes played for pride, for glory and for championships.
Clearly, the ability of talented sportsmen (and, to be sure, there is a glass ceiling in the sports world that few women break through) to earn hundreds or even thousands of times what their fans must survive on rankles with their followers. Everyone can plainly see that bouncing a ball, swinging a bat or stopping a puck is not as important as, say, performing life-saving operations and should not pay better by orders of magnitude. But it does. read more »
The massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which began with an explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling unit, owned by Transocean Ltd. and operated by BP under a flag of convenience of the Marshall islands, has everyone running around trying to lay blame for the disaster at the feet of their favourite target of abuse.
The most obvious case of this blame-laying is the concerted effort by right-wing American political commentators to place blame on the Obama administration, as though the president had personally conducted operations on the oil rig or had been responsible for permitting the drilling to go forward in the first place, all of which is pure bollix.
But the question remains, where does the blame lie? read more »