Category Archives: Turtle Island

Mask Wearing: Compelled and Unquestioning Obedience to the Chair

Mask-wearing mandates are now easing in many jurisdictions. Seeing the plethora of unmasked visages speaks to the preference for unrestricted access to air.

Yet, writer Max Fawcett asks, “Why were so many people so opposed to wearing face masks?”

There are plenty of reasons. How about that masks interfere with normal breathing; that speech is muffled, making conversation difficult; that the masks are uncomfortable; that the masks might even be harmful to the wearer? Saliently: other than causing a stir among the fearful people who don masks in public, why should one wear a mask if there is no hard scientific evidence that they are preventative against contracting respiratory viral infections?

A more important question the writer ought to have broached is: given the absence of rigorous scientific data in support, why were so many people compelled to wear masks and why was it that so few people uttered a peep against it? They merely complied. This is true throughout society. In education circles, teachers masked up. Granted, if they wanted to work and get along, they had little choice. A stated goal of education is developing critical-thinking skills. Health care workers masked up. Medicine is a field, like education, supposedly driven by evidence-based results, upon which one can apply critical thinking skills.

There is a crucial omission in the opinion piece by Fawcett. Was there any evidence presented in the article as to the effectiveness of mask-wearing prophylaxis? Indeed, Fawcett even admitted, “There’s also the impact that masking had on last year’s flu season, which was about as non-existent as it’s ever been.” Thus, he purports that mask wearing had a negligible effect on preventing infection with COVID-19. Fawcett deserves credit for pointing this out, especially since few had ostensibly noticed that despite all the mask wearing and social distancing enforced, COVID-19 cases continued seemingly unabated. So did mask wearing and social distancing work? Did these measures diminish the proliferation of COVID-19?

Despite acknowledging the non-existent impact of mask wearing, Fawcett takes aim at people resistant to mask wearing:

For those who fetishize freedom and worship at the altar of liberty, the removal of mask restrictions is probably worth celebrating. But for the rest of us, it marks the beginning of an uncomfortable experiment — one that will test the resilience of a dangerous and deadly pandemic and our willingness to put the well-being of others above our own temporary discomfort.

There are plenty of take-aways from this statement. Fawcett calls this the “beginning of an uncomfortable experiment.” If this is an experiment, then members of the public are the unwitting subjects (others might say “guinea pigs”) in the experiment, subjects who have not knowingly consented to partake in this experiment — usually considered a flagrant breach of ethics. And, since this is a beginning experiment, obviously the evidence is not all in.

Moreover, the writer disparages those opposed to mask wearing as fetishizers of freedom and lumps them into one homogeneous class: pro-freedom, anti-mask. Fawcett apparently did not contemplate that there are people who have researched the science and came to oppose mask wearing based on the conclusion that the masks don’t work. These people looked at the evidence and critically appraised the mandates/recommendations put forward by governments. Had they found evidence that supported mask wearing, they would have willingly worn masks.

Randomized control trials are the gold standard of science. Yet, no RCT indicates a statistically significant difference between the mask-wearing and the control groups; this refutes the hypothesis that protection is conferred by mask wearing — including cloth masks, surgical masks, even N95 respirators.

How about common sense? Is the mesh density of the masks tiny enough to prevent the SARS-CoV-2 virion from entering? No. Even if the mesh were dense enough to prevent entry through the mask, is the mask sealed around the face of the wearer? No. In other words the virions can enter the respiratory orifices of a mask wearer.

Next, the writer criticizes the people opposed to mask wearing — the fetishizers of freedom — of being selfish and insouciant to their fellow citizens. He opines,

But it’s that second test — the one that will reveal just how much we actually care about our fellow citizens — that should worry us most here. Wearing a face mask into a mall, grocery store or other shared public space isn’t exactly a hardship — and our relatives who had to deal with actual hardships in the past would probably laugh at us for making so much of it.

For people with claustrophobia or compromised health circumstances, mask wearing can be exactly that: a hardship. Even worse, it can pose a health risk. Again, Fawcett has not considered that there might be a dissenting group, people who otherwise would agree with and support mask wearing given hard scientific evidence for protecting against viral infection.

Finally, Fawcett concludes,

Canada is the country of “peace, order and good government,” and we don’t see acts of caring for each other, whether through our publicly funded health-care system or any number of other supports and services, as the kind of creeping socialism many Americans seem to fear. We’d all do well to remember that the next time we think about whether or not we want to put on a mask in public — and what it really says about us.

First, who are “we”? Are Canadians a monolith as alluded to by Fawcett’s “we”? Second, what does it mean to assert that Canada is a country of “peace, order and good government,” especially so soon after a thousand bodies of Indigenous children in unmarked graves have, so far, been revealed by ground-penetrating radar? It is an undeniable fact of public record that Canadian history is blighted by the abduction of Indigenous children from their families through the connivance of government, churches, and the RCMP. Nevertheless, of course, there are “acts of caring for each other” that happen in Canada. But past and current history reveals Indigenous peoples to be the Other, the Other less or uncared for by much of settler society. This is clearly evidenced by, among others, the numerous unsolved cases of disappeared and murdered Indigenous women in Canada, the disproportionate incarceration of First peoples relative to settler Canadians, the higher rates of poverty and the long-term lack of clean drinking water in Indigenous communities, and the lack of respect for First people’s input about how to steward the environment. Third, what does Fawcett mean by “creeping socialism”? Is socialism to be likened to an icky insect? Fourth, do Americans still “fear” socialism? Favorable views toward socialism seem to be ascendant in the United States, with capitalism on the decline. Fifth, the majority of Americans in recent years have indicated support for medicare for all. Ergo, Fawcett’s conclusion appears to be fallacious.

To conclude, whether one wants to wear a mask or not is inconsequential. People’s attitudes toward wearing a mask ought to be analyzed beyond superficial prejudices. Opposition to mask wearing may well indicate critical thinkers who are conversant with the scientific evidence. One might better ask what unquestioning obedience to mask-wearing dictates from authorities, in the absence of proffered evidence, really says about such people. The dangers of unquestioning obedience are real. Perhaps the most horrific examples are the willingness of soldiers to follow orders and commit atrocities against fellow humans.

Mandates for mask wearing and orders to kill are exceedingly different animals. Nonetheless, epistemology demands that people free themselves from uncritically bending to directives from authority figures. Every thinking person should consider the morality and the evidence that underlie directives.

Image credit: Chip Bok’s Editorial Cartoons

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Canada’s NDP Votes for Palestine

On Saturday New Democratic Party members delivered a victory for Palestinian rights and a blow to the Israel lobby in Canada.

Over 80% of convention delegates voted for a resolution calling for “Ending all trade and economic cooperation with illegal settlements in Israel-Palestine” and “Suspending the bilateral trade of all arms and related materials with the State of Israel until Palestinian rights are upheld.”

A few hours after the vote CBC News Network’s ticker said NDP members “voted to sanction Israel over settlements” and a subsequent clip on their site was titled “Would Singh make delegate resolution on sanctioning Israel an NDP position?”. Numerous outlets also picked up The Canadian Press’ report that “a resolution that demands Canada suspend arms dealing with Israel and halt trade with Israeli settlements passed with 80 per cent support.”

In response, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) put out a churlish release titled “NDP resolution highlights an ongoing toxic obsession with Israel”. If anyone missed the point in the headline, the release condemned the party’s “toxic obsession with Israel”, “pathological preoccupation with Israel” and “obsessive concern with Israel”, which they labeled “shameful”. On Twitter Rabbi David Mivasair derided CIJA’s release as the “definition of hypocrisy”, adding that the “Israel lobby in Canada, whose entire raison d’etre is to push Israel on us, says NDP is ‘obsessed with Israel’.”

CIJA’s post-resolution release and reaction to the NDP convention more broadly highlights how Israel has lost progressives and its lobby is ever more reliant on intimidating those who support Palestinian rights by calling them anti-Semitic. More than a month before the NDP convention CIJA began publicly pressuring the party leadership to suppress a resolution critical of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) anti-Palestinian definition of antisemitism. The ferocious campaign to suppress NDP members’ ability to debate a document designed to suppress discussion of Palestinian rights succeeded in scaring the NDP leader into erasing the long-oppressed Palestinians (the IHRA resolution never made it to the debate stage). A week ago Jagmeet Singh was asked on CBC’s The House about resolutions submitted to the NDP convention regarding “Canada’s relationship to Israel and the Palestinian territory”. Instead of responding to the question, he mentioned “anti-Semitism” four times. Asked again about “resolutions that in a sense condemn Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians”, Singh again failed to mention Palestine or Palestinians. Instead, he talked about “increased hate crimes also against people of the Jewish faith”.

The disastrous interview generated a burst of criticism regarding the party leadership’s anti-Palestinianism and gave momentum to pro-Palestinian forces within the party prior to the convention. In a significant reversal, the morning after the convention vote Singh defended the resolution that CBC’s chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton described as “your party voted overwhelmingly to slap sanctions on settlements and to ban arms sales to Israel.” Marshaling the legitimacy of “human rights groups”, Singh said it was important to “apply pressure on Israel to respect the rights of Palestinians.” While he equivocated somewhat in fully endorsing the Palestine Resolution, Singh repeated the importance of applying “pressure” on Israel three times.

An empty vessel on this issue, Singh goes wherever pushed. That’s the case for most of the NDP caucus. Two days before the convention MP Charlie Angus tweeted, “I keep getting mentioned by some who want the NDP to oppose the international definition of anti-semitism. This is not the way to go. I support motions calling for justice for the Palestinian people. But I also remain deeply concerned about the growing threat of anti-semitism.”

As far as I can tell no one said Angus backed the anti-IHRA definition resolution. Rather they pointed out that in January a Conservative member of the Ontario Legislature and a top Israeli diplomat both used the IHRA definition to attack Angus for sharing a Guardian article critical of Israel’s failure to vaccinate Palestinians for Covid 19. Angus’ name was raised as a concrete example of how the IHRA definition tramples on Palestinian rights. But, Angus cowardly threw those who defended him from smears under the Israel lobby bus.

Still, Angus’ formulation is worth reflecting on. With most of the backlash focused against the anti-IHRA definition resolution the Palestine Resolution seemed reasonable. Multi-pronged campaigns can be effective.

It took immense effort by a broad array of activists to get more than 30 (Palestine Resolution) and 40 (IHRA resolution) riding associations, as well as numerous other groups, to endorse these resolutions but it was worth it. The NDP convention confirms there is significant popular support for Palestinian rights. Polls have shown that Canadians are widely sympathetic to bringing pressure to bear on Israel for its colonization. My bet is that most of the 15% of NDP delegates who voted against the Palestine Resolution did so out of concern for the backlash, not the substance of the resolution.

While the Palestine resolution was a win for Palestinian rights and blow to the Israel lobby, it was also a small victory for grassroots democracy and proof that people can be mobilized by calls for justice in international affairs.

  • Image credit: Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
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    The Windigo Disease of Resource Capitalism and Global Dispossession of Indigenous Peoples

    This is a version of a speech given outside the headquarters of ReconAfrica in Vancouver BC on Water Day — March 22, 2021.

    We are on stolen CSḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) land and what is happening here today, the assault of Indigenous peoples and the invasion of their territories by Canada, its corporations and economic elites is also happening to the San people in Southern Africa. In a recent petition by activists we have learned that: “ReconAfrica has been given permission to drill for fossil fuels in the Kavango basin between Namibia and Botswana and the Kalahari Desert extending to the south eastern banks of the Okavango River and Delta. This area includes numerous areas of international significance, but for the San indigenous people who live there this is their sacred and ancestral ‘homeland’. The San people are the rightful current inhabitants and have been the custodians of this land for thousands of years. They have never been consulted, nor have they given their consent to any entities to prospect for oil and gas in their lands. By pursuing oil and gas development in the are the governments of Botswana and Namibia, and the Southern African region contravene their commitments to various international declarations an agreements as well as their own national laws. The oil and gas drilling operations will ruin roads, damage Indigenous livelihoods, deplete water resources and negatively impact biodiversity within the precious region. The Kavango Basin, which includes the Okavango Delta, lies beneath one of Africa’s most biodiverse habitats. It is home to a myriad of bird and megafauna species—including the largest herd of African elephants and African wild do populations—as well as many other threatened and endangered species. Potential impacts to local people and ecosystems include: massive water resource depletion, human induced earthquakes, disruption of avian species communication, breeding and nesting.”

    Sounds familiar? This is because it is.

    San hunter-gatherers walking across the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. (Courtesy of L.K. Marshall and L.J. Marshall. Copyright President and Fellows of Harvard College, Peabody Museum #2001.29.390.)

    The struggles of the San people connect with the struggles of Indigenous peoples here in settler Canada. We should remember that despite the fact that we are separated by different colonial contexts and most importantly by continents and oceans the history of colonization in the two continents is very similar even though the trajectories are different; and what happens here also happens there. Because in a globalized world we are all interconnected and what we do here has a violent impact there. As Ina-Maria Shikongo, a climate activist from Namibia states: “The problem with this whole deal is we can really see what is happening all around the globe, it is a total take over of the oil industries of the last reserves of the green spaces that we have. They don’t care about the people, the animals, nothing! They just care about the money. We can all see that the weather patterns are changing drastically and we are still talking about digging up fossil fuels when we should stop.”

    ReconAfrica is a Canadian-US corporation whose headquarters are based here in so-called Vancouver, that is on stolen land. And I can’t help it but notice the irony that this Canadian company on stolen land is set to seize the land of the San people in Southern Africa. The theft might affect different peoples but bears the same racist and colonial violence. The theft follows the same patterns of white supremacy and environmental racism that has devastated First Peoples and their sacred territories around the globe.

    ReconAfrica does not come out of the blue. It continues the early legacies of racist colonialism and racial capitalism, systems that are 500 years old but have now mutated into resource capitalism spurred by oil and gas corporations and new forms of land grabs. The very country this company operates from, (Canada), is itself a petro-state, that often behaves as a corporation and has a violent and non-consensual relationship with its own Indigenous peoples. Canada consistently props up the mining and fossil fuel industries and together state and industry break treaties, invade Indigenous territories without their consent and often with the help of militarized police and the criminal justice system, pillage their lands, criminalize land defenders and throw them in prisons. By displacing them from their land, Canada and its corporations systematically destroy their cultural and food systems and subject Indigenous communities into abject poverty, homelessness, and food and water insecurity, all in the name of profit. Canadian companies either wreck the homes of Indigenous peoples here domestically or the homes of First Peoples there, internationally. The game and the pattern are the same: there is no corner of the earth and no people that resource capitalism will not ravage.

    Let there be no mistake: ReconAfrica is an extension of the colonial project that began in Europe 500 years ago and has morphed today into local and global extractivism. Since the emergence of capitalism in the 16th century European extractivism intensified and ran rampant during colonialism through the extraction of materials such as minerals, gold, silver, timber, furs, fish an so on. Naomi Klein tells us that before Canada became a nation it was an extractivist company, the Hudson Bay Company trafficking in furs, and pelts. Recon’s greed for oil follows in the footsteps of the Hudson Bay Company. Through Recon the Canadian model of unbridled extraction and devastation of ancestral Indigenous land and livelihoods is being now exported from this continent to the African continent and the ransacking of its First Peoples, the San people.

    And like the Hudson Bay Company, ReconAfrica is genocidal: it is a symptom of toxic colonial land grabs that some commentators link to the industrial genocide of Indigenous peoples. Original peoples across the globe have experienced genocide since the moment the European colonizers arrived uninvited on their territories. By pillaging their land, reducing it to commodities whose goal was to flow into and eventually industrialize Europe, the violent eviction and systematic extermination of Indigenous peoples became the very foundation of the wealth of Europe and settler states such as Canada. Indigenous peoples not only lost their land and thus their sustenance, and their livelihoods, they impoverished, relocated into reserves, starved, and their children were abducted, abused and experimented upon in residential schools to be assimilated in settler society and their cultures to be ethnically cleansed. Their communities are still experiencing profound poverty, higher rates of incarceration, addiction and suicide, and lack of fundamental human rights such as access to health, education and clean drinking water. As Jason Hickel has forcefully claimed in The Divide the Western world including Canada are the developed and industrialized First World that they are today because they have methodically and brutally de-industrialized and underdevelop the rest of the world.

    In other words, their industry and wealth are not some sign of good luck or ingenuity or innovation owed to European and Western superior genes of civilization; rather it was built on the violence of colonialism and stolen from Indigenous peoples. Western industrial “progress” has been made on the backs of First peoples and what is happening today to the San people is an iteration of that earlier colonial and genocidal project. It is fair to say that the economic prosperity of Canada and its corporations depends on the racist violence that is about to be inflicted onto the San people. And it is also fair to say that ReconAfrica’s money is nothing but blood money. And it is also fair to say that some prosper on the death of others and the destruction of their homes. And it is also fair to say that our energy greed is built on the devastation of people, lives, homes, ecosystems, the planet. I don’t know what you call Recon but to me they sound like parasites and scavengers of lives in pursuit of profit.

    In fact, ReconAfrica is guilty of environmental injustice that is racist, white supremacist and colonial. In “Let Them Drown: The Violence of Othering in a Warming World,” Naomi Klein argues that environmental injustice is also directly connected to environmental racism through the process of othering of sacrificial and disposable people. For ReconAfrica and the political and local elites of Namibia and Botswana the San people are not people but just obstacles to their drilling goals and so called economic development of these countries. Their land and entire rich ecosystems are simply impediments and the groundwater, the aquifiers, the endangered species are nothing but hindrance to the oil and gas that lie beneath.

    Recon and economic elites have so dehumanized and othered the San people and their land that they do not count and therefore they can be removed or poisoned, or pillaged or destroyed. Who cares if the groundwater is contaminated through the drilling and mining operations? Who cares if this impacts the health and food security of the San people? Economic development and profit matter more than Indigenous peoples’ lives. As Klein further reminds us othering is also directly connected to notions of racial and civilizational superiority because in order to have other and disposable people you need to have people and cultures that they count so little for their exploiters that they deserve sacrifice for the ever expanding energy needs of the Global North. And in contrast, you need to have people that see themselves as superior, as uniquely human and thus deserving of having it all, excessive lifestyles at the expense of those other thought of as subhuman.

    Our economic elites think of our culture as superior because we are developed; we arrogantly call ourselves the “developed world,” and we call the cultures we ravage and dehumanize “underdeveloped,” “not yet advanced,” “primitive savages” that just sit on oil and precious metals used for our laptops and electronic devices. And we arrogantly think that all we need to do is remove them to get to that black gold. In the early colonization of the so-called Americas, Indigenous peoples often were completely shocked to see the deranged behaviour of the Spaniards lusting after gold. And there is an urban legend that tells the story of how some Original peoples of this continent thought of gold as the “excrement of the devil.” Who would have thought that Recon continues the legacy of the Spanish conquistadores in its frenzied greed after the excrement of the devil we now call black gold, oil.

    Klein also cautions us that toxic colonialism justifies the sacrifice of people and dispossession of land through virulent intellectual theories that Western culture has harnessed to legitimize their destruction. Colonialism has always been aided by scientific racism and its cousin, Social Darwinism, theories that are fraught with racist ideas about the superiority of Northern races destined to rule weak Southern races economically, politically, culturally. Again we might want to remember that we call Northern cultures “developed” and Southern cultures “under- or un- developed.” And we keep saying to ourselves the patronizing and self-serving myth: “They do not know their own good, they can’t understand the wealth they sit on and if only they let us develop them. This is also called the “White man’s burden” that the Northern nations have to bring civilization in the form of economic prosperity to Southern peoples living in the dark ages. We are the advance and they are the barbaric.

    But my friends, I know of no other barbarism than the one Western economic elites inflict in devastating the home of First peoples, driving the climate crisis and destroying the planet. The eviction of the San people is a barbarity and those who do it are the barbarians and the savages. The climate crisis is a barbarity, not progress, and certainly not civilization. The collapse of the planet is a barbarity and those who are responsible for it are criminal and genocidal. Our economic institutions, our corporations and our economic elites are driving us all to destruction; not development. They are a threat to all Indigenous peoples across the globe and the existential annihilation of all life on this planet. I call them profiteers of death.

    As Bay Street depicts the Kavango Basin (green patch)


    What is happening in the Kavango basin is not just outright racism. It is also the story of commodity frontiers and capitalist expansion and is an extension of the colonial principle of the “doctrine of discovery” or in the words of some commentators “the doctrine of Native genocide.” You may know that when Europeans arrived here they thought of it as empty land that they had just discovered. Of course, what is really arrogant and foolish about it is that “you can’t discover something that is already the home of Indigenous peoples living here.” For Europeans the doctrine of “Discovery” served to remove the Original people to settle on their land, commodify it, exploit it and eventually degrade it, cut down its forests, toxify its watersheds, poison the soil, overfish it, kill its buffalo, endanger and eclipse multiple species. Here in so-called British Columbia, settler culture is wiping out the salmon along with countless plant and non-human animals. But I’m digressing. The doctrine of discovery serves the capitalist desire for a never ending expansion and growth. As land is being exhausted in one place and its peoples are driven out, “new” land needs to be “discovered and thus occupied.”

    Today the global capitalist economy and financial markets of which Recon is a symptom continue to “discover new land” to grab. They might not call these “discovered territories” but they have invented highly elaborate euphemisms that mean exactly the same thing. They now call “discovered land” “new market opportunities” or “land investments” or “economic development.” We must see these new terms for what they are: “the emperor has no clothes” because the naked truth is that the global empire we call capitalism continues to treat the entire world as a frontier of conquest and terra nullius, or empty land to satisfy larger economic interests that are specifically located in the Global North. And that entails genocide of traditional peoples that live on those lands.

    The truth of the matter is that African countries since colonization were “discovered” by European powers only to be harnessed to the global economy and serve as the economic satellites of the Global North. African countries have always been used as exporters of raw materials including human enslaved labour to Europe and later its colonies and even later what we call the Global North. In parallel, African nations have been importers of manufactured products from the North. This condensed history of unequal economic relationships mired in brutal exploitation must not also omit the violent legacy of the slave trade in which millions of Africans were abducted from their ancestral homelands to work in what is euphemistically called plantations—but were actual death camps—in the American continent and industrialize its economy. And there we have it again: the enslavement of humans that gave rise to the economic prosperity of this continent is not separate from the enslavement of land and nature through the extraction of energy and raw materials for the enrichment of corporate elites in the Global North.

    African American scholar, Cedric Robinson calls this phenomenon racial capitalism. This is an economic system that on the one hand was built on the exploitation of the free labour of African people who were once Indigenous to the African continent; and on the other racial capitalism thrives on the genocide of First peoples in the American continent that are displaced from their ancestral homelands. Racial capitalism is also a system that treats the world as a storehouse of endless commodities or commodity frontier ever expanding to amass more land. As Robinson suggests, capitalism “emerged within the European feudal order and flowered in the cultural soil of a Western civilization already thoroughly infused with racialism and racial hierarchies about superior people and inferior others whose land and labour can therefore be exploited. Capitalism and racism, in other words, did not break from the old order but rather evolved from it to produce a modern world system of racial capitalism dependent on slavery, violence, imperialism, and Indigenous genocide.” Within this context, we can clearly see how ReconAfrica is a symptom of a larger disease: that of racial capitalism.

    Let there be no mistake: when you treat the world and its Original Peoples as a frontier of conquest you establish with the earth an exploitative relationship based on ever expanding places to commodify and people to remove or enslave. And when that place is exhausted and its populations ethically cleansed the search begins again for another place, another frontier and another people to dispossess so long that your degradation of the “new” land and your crimes against the communities you displace remain invisible to energy consumers in the Global North. Out of sight, out of mind, none of us need to worry where did this energy or coltan for our electronic devices came from.

    We see the logic of the frontier of conquest not just in the Kavango basin but here closer to home and the way domestic companies including the Crown corporation of TMX and foreign corporations have been stealing Indigenous land, breaking their treaties, dispossessing them from their territories, and fuelling the climate crisis, we are all subjected to today.

    Windigo by Norval Morrisseau

    Ojibwe activist and scholar Winona LaDuke calls this form of greed the Windigo disease: In Anishinaabe tradition understanding the need to avoid a culture of commodification, domination, exploitation, greed, consumption, and destruction of the planet is guided by the Windigo teachings. The Windigo is a cannibalistic being that is cursed with an overwhelming hunger that can never be satisfied, no matter how much it consumes. The Windigo wanders the Earth, destroys whatever it finds in its path, in an agonizing and unending quest for satisfaction, an unending quest for more land to pillage and more people to destroy in the name of profit and greed. ReconAfrica is Windigo. TMX is Windigo. Coastal Gas Link is Windigo. Line 3 is Windigo. Barrick Gold is Windigo. Enbridge is Windigo. Imperial Metals is Windigo. Anvil Mining Limited is Windigo. Suncor is Windigo. Teck Resources is Windigo. Canada and its extractivist economy are Windigo.

    While Indigenous peoples across the globe have been treating the land as our sacred home corporations such as Recon have been treating it as a frontier of conquest. Unfortunately, we are running against severe ecological limits: this is called climate crisis and the collapse of living ecosystems as well as the extermination of Indigenous peoples across the world.

    We denounce ReconAfrica and its crimes against the San people and the land. We denounce Recon’s environmental racism. We denounce the Canadian government’s complicity in allowing this company to exploit and potentially destroy million acres of the Kalahari Desert. We will resist along the San people who are the rightful custodians of their land against the Windigo disease called ReconAfrica. We will remain unwaveringly committed to Indigenous peoples in Turtle Island and their fierce resistance that began 500 years ago and still continues strong till they slain all the snakes of pipelines, and the Windigo of corporate greed in this continent and defend their land.

    The post The Windigo Disease of Resource Capitalism and Global Dispossession of Indigenous Peoples first appeared on Dissident Voice.

    Shifty Shifters: Movers and Shapers like a Trillion Locusts

    The final report on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) concludes that the project has been ‘the most successful anti-poverty movement in history’. Two key claims underpin this narrative: that global poverty has been cut in half, and global hunger nearly in half, since 1990. This good-news narrative has been touted by the United Nations and has been widely repeated by the media. But closer inspection reveals that the UN’s claims about poverty and hunger are misleading, and even intentionally inaccurate. The MDGs have used targeted statistical manipulation to make it seem as though the poverty and hunger trends have been improving when in fact they have worsened. In addition, the MDGs use definitions of poverty and hunger that dramatically underestimate the scale likely of these problems. In reality, around four billion people remain in poverty today, and around two billion remain hungry – more than ever before in history, and between two and four times what the UN would have us believe. The implications of this reality are profound. Worsening poverty and hunger trends indicate that our present model of development is not working and needs to be fundamentally rethought.

    — Jason Hickel, Third World Quarterly , Volume 37, 2016 – Issue 5

    *–*

    How could these two cohorts, the 85 richest and 3.5 billion poorest, have the same amount of wealth? The great majority of the 3.5 billion have no net wealth at all. Hundreds of millions of them have jobs that hardly pay enough to feed their families. Millions of them rely on supplements from private charity and public assistance when they can. Hundreds of millions are undernourished, suffer food insecurity, or go hungry each month, including many among the very poorest in the United States.

    Most of the 3.5 billion earn an average of $2.50 a day. The poorest 40 percent of the world population accounts for just 5 percent of all global income. About 80 percent of all humanity live on less than $10 a day. And the poorest 50 percent maintain only 7.2 percent of the world’s private consumption. How exactly could they have accumulated an amount of surplus wealth comparable to the 85 filthy richest?

    Michael Parenti

    Genocide Phnom Penh

    Staggering, no,  the memory hole shoveling going on and perpetrated by elites in commerce, weapons, media, education, a la industrial complexes in the second decade of the 21st Century? Like plagues of locusts. Leeches two hundred worth per hominid, and the tapeworm eats the last, next and current generation like a desiccating alien of our nightmares.

    The more light shining on the criminals, spotlights onto the military war lords, floodlights on the entire punishment cabal in governments, in corporations, in policing and uniformed military agencies, the more that bearing witness just peters out. It flags the average Yankee, and the doodle dandy is football, flicks and frolicking with furious caloric intent.

    Welcome to the West. Then, the mind-numbing retorts to the initiation of discourse, of legitimate discussion about the ails of the world, largely set loose by the captains of industries — the military-media-legal-medical-penal-computing-financial-education-energy-AI-real estate-poison-agriculture COMPLEX. And, boy, is it never really “complex” — it’s about the art of the steal, the art of the scam, the art of the grift, the art of the toll-fine-fee-garnishment-penalty-tax-attachment set forth by the lobbies of the lords of death with the Eichmann’s of Bureaucracy greasing the skids and oiling the wheels. Keep those hedge funds going, the trains running, the profits heaping.

    • “We can only take so much trauma.”
    • “The human brain can’t take so much truth.”
    • “Trigger Warning; The Following Stories About Wealth for the Rich and Poverty for the rest of Us Might Cause Spasms of Collective Amnesia, Anxiety, Animosity.”
    • “There is no meek shall inherit the earth. We are talking about the meek and the poor inheriting the toxins, pollutants, the penury, the profound suffering inflicted upon them generation after generation by the rich and their enablers, the ultimate evil — those turning a blind eye to suffering, raping, razing, murdering.”

    I’m getting it from all angles, really, the tired, the over-educated (in terms of college but not in terms of smarts). The tired middle class. Retired and one-trick phony environmentalist ponies. All those huffing and puffing and blowing down the Trump Towers, folk who are self-blinding themselves, as if bearing the truth of Biden et al, as well as bearing the weight of protecting Everything/Anything Empire, while the chorus of War Mongering Democrats a la LGBTQA-+ sing ‘Hallelujah, No More Trump’ puts them right smack where Oedipus was, exposed to the truth and overcome with shame, grief, and remorse. Poking eyes out is the least the people who follow the perverse leaders should do.

    Except, their blinding is symbolic, life-long, from womb to cradle to grave, as in turning a blind eye to the roots, the very radical cause of all the suffering, the police no-knocks, the cesium floating in lungs and bellies, and a dozen other micro-particles from this or that nuclear fallout incident. Symbolic and demonstrative of the kill-for-profits Capitalism.

    It is too too much for the masses — The Truth —  so we all have to gather round the Zoom screen, tune into Amazon Prime, and sing, Give Peace a Chance while the world is fleeced by the billionaires, but also those millionaires (we tend to give millionaires, multi-millionaires a get-out-of-jail pass, when they too are the culprits helping spread that poisonous fallout).

    Professor Bernd Grambow (co-author from IMT Atlantique) added “the present work, using cutting-edge analytical tools, gives only a very small insight in the very large diversity of particles released during the [Fukushima] nuclear accident, much more work is necessary to get a realistic picture of the highly heterogeneous environmental and health impact.”

    Lockdowns for a flu virus, lockdowns for free thought, lockups for free speech, lock and loaded for the Empire, shackled to bills-mortgages-policies-ballooning debt…. BUT  for fuck’s sake, we can’t lock-down the fossil fuel monsters, lock-up the Fukushima shills, shutdown the Olympics, punish and quell the military saber rattlers (read: purveyors of nuclear- chemical-bacterial-viral-digital-intergalactic weaponry).

    Business as usual is a trillion easy dollars in Pandemic Profits, and a cool several trillion more with mandatory masking, Zooming, SARS-CoV2,3,4,5,6 annual vaccinations and semi-annual boosters.

    Passports to their hell. Yet, when you talk to a Kamala Harris floozy, well, they get teary eyed, sing the All Spangled Banner of Buffoonery, and then tell you to hit the road, no more Haeder in their House.

    Literally, people want nothing of politics, or the reveal — showing how their own colonized and kettled thinking under the guise of “liberal” looting under the Democrat Vote has always been part of the problem, not any solution to the world thievery or a pathway to  world peace.

    So What is The Answer?

    It is not a $64,000 question, for sure, since the answer is collectively simple, easily repeated, easily understood, Yet, that is the jig, always looking for the messiah, or having their cake (capitalism) and eating it (profits-profits-profits) too. They are limited and limiting, and they gladly take the Kool-Aide and mix in a shot of Jack Daniels and a jigger of high fructose fizz.

    Resisting for them is not an option. If they can’t converse, frame, contextualize, harmonize, recount, go back in history, recall the scene of the crime(s), then how the hell can these same folk who ask, Well, you sure know how to criticize and go on and on about the ills of Capitalism, but show me any other system that works. Humanity is humanity, whether in the center of Wall Street or out on the Rez?

    This is their thinking, their great retort, and so, how do we get to that point where we just get to the basics, the Cornel West basics– Watch his rumble in the jungle: At Harvard, the worst kind of man-eating institution, along with a few hundred elite schools on this side and that side of the pond:

    Listen to him, watch him, feel his presence of soul, Dr. West. Not a perfect man, thank god!

    So, what is the answer? Justice. Social-spiritual-ecological-cultural-gender-age-racial-ethnic-ecnonmic-educational-food-energy JUSTICE? Using the inverse, the answer is the whole human-whole earth, toward holism, embedded in systems thinking, what it means to have the commons, what it is to be a society among other societies that is ecologically-based, agrarian-centered, humanistic-thriving, environmentally-aware, is, well, the opposite formulation of these Gandhian sins:

    Wealth Without Work
    Pleasure Without Conscience
    Knowledge Without Character
    Commerce (Business) Without Morality (Ethics)
    Science Without Humanity
    Religion Without Sacrifice
    Politics Without Principle

    It doesn’t take much K12 education and applied learning to understand that reversing these sins and following the antithesis would illuminate the bearable weight of being a human in the world, triggering change at a global and galactical level. Prometheus steals the fire from the gods and gives it to people. Bound to the mountain. Prometheus grows weary. The future, oh, the future, swallowed up by that lack of hope. Let us all be Prometheus, and help each other take from the thieves, the rich, and give warmth and fire to the world. Unbound us together. Break the chains of the illicit gods and their devils.

    Really, though, one person’s hope is another person’s oppression. In capitalism, there is the king of the dung heap, the winner being the one who dies with the most toys. Dog-eat-dog, and survival of the most unfit (using the Seven Sins of Humanity above as illustrative of what makes capitalism really zip along).

    In Western culture, it all might seem like a Greek Tragedy of Trailer Park or Mar-a-lago proportions. It might all seem like a hardscrabble blues tribute to American stick-to-it-ness. That hardened soul, as DH Lawrence ascribed —

    The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.

    We know that Western soul is a killer from the womb — those royals and despicable ones from the Old World, those Belgium in the Congo, those Romans, those hard, soldiering, religious zealots, hand in hand with silver chalice and golden rosary, those kings and queens, launching the deplorable ones, the rabble into crusades of raping-ravaging-razing. There is no “American soul” without the British slave traders-merchants-purchasers; no American soul without the French and Spanish interlopers. The American soul is part and parcel those former Nazis and the money-changers, the globalists looking for a micro-penny for every human corpuscle exploited in their gaming humanity. This is Turtle Island, not some chunk of land named for an Italian map maker for the king.

    Now that’s a dark dark killer that never melts — Capitalism.  It is now cleaned up, a la Madison Avenue and slick green-blue-pink-white washing, no longer presented as cold, stoic, but happy, illustrious, coopting, brainwashing, gleeful, the ice cream truck coming to serve all the children with gooey goodies. Shifty, slick, liberal, slippery, hip. It is now a virus inside a thousand viruses —

    A democratic society shapes itself – by means of the participation of its citizens in discussing and deciding how things should be organised and to what ends.

    But, as even their name reveals, the Global Shapers want to “shape” society from above and in their own interests.

    This is not the solution to global problems, and, the rockets and payloads of Bezos and Musk and DoD and the rest of the capitalists looking for lucre and gold on Mars and the Moon. Reset is not rebounding. Reset is not reconvening the true holistic way of life. Reset is not returning to a point in time in our civilizations where we come together in mutual aid, live a biodynamic present and future, hold onto sacred tribal principles, understand the soil-air-water. The reset is not a return to sanity, actualization for woman, man, child, ecosystem. This reset is the rich’s bargain basement theft of our agency, our independence, our collective will to strike at them as the felons of our time. Their reset is tracking our every movement, each blink of the eye, each snore and defecation. This reset is about pulling strings, forcing the Faustian Bargain each moment. They will fine-garnish-withhold-penalize-criminalize our unborn, and our dying parents. You get a universal income, but not to be spent on what they do not want you/us to spend it on.

    The foregone conclusion is what the teachers teach the children. It is what the media paint around us. Each narrative directed and shot for Netflix or Amazon or Hulu or Vudu, they are set to propagandize for the rich, the resetters, the titans who want mars colonized, who want the moon for their private resort. Orbiting Club Meds in the ionosphere.

    Yet, the Lesson is Dead Wolves, Manatees and Turtles

    The very place of Trump and Spring Break, Florida, is emblematic of the fall, the disgusting imbalance of the world, of sanity, of thinking. Manatees dying off in unfathomable numbers. Turtles washing up sick and dead. The expansion of the ocean, wiping out much of Florida by 2100. The bastion of Spring Break and lust and speedboats and dream hoarding.

    Florida has seen an alarming rise in manatee deaths in 2021.

    Something not to be proud of, and to lend pause for humanity, but not more than once, and give it to me once in that 24-hour news cycle, please. At least 432 Florida manatees have already died in 2021, well over double the state’s 5-year average for the same time period.

    Hundreds of sea turtles washing up on Southwest Florida beaches this year in a mass mortality event that researchers say will impact the recovery of the protected species is not a good sign of HUMAN health. The Great Reset has nothing to say about the reality of our own commons.

    Gray wolves in the North American wilderness.

    Then you have Wisconsin, gun-toting AR15-loving murderers taking on a record 216 wolves killed in 60 hours. What does this say about this society, this blood sport society of high powered weapons, radar trackers, dually pick-ups, $340,000 campers, TV, booze, and a quick trip in the woods to murder wolves?

    Migrants rescued by Save the Children’s Vos Hestia

    Or, the hard cold soul of the European, Italians, putting 20-year sentences on people working with charities to help stranded and sinking and drowning refugees from African countries. Imagine that world of the cold Great Resetters.  Save the Children and MSF among dozens facing sentences of up to 20 years over humanitarian work

    Humanitarian organizations are rejecting what they say is an attempt to criminalize lifesaving aid to migrants and refugees at sea after Italian prosecutors charged three groups with aiding and abetting illegal immigration through their rescue operations in the Mediterranean.

    Over 20 people are facing up to 20 years in prison. — Source.

    rescue operation

    Each story of injustice is the tip of the proverbial iceberg, demonstrating the insanity of systems — legal systems of punishment-abandonment-unruly laws against the suffering, laws meant to pay the rich, pay off the rotting bureaucrats, the Eichmann’s, big and small, who keep the wheels and the gears of death grinding, whether those wheels are those of the Empire, or the Capitalists, or the Economic Hitmen-Frontmen-Debasers, or all the pigs who make money off the penury and punishment unleashed by Capitalism.

    Not me. Not I. Over my dead body.

    The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall. We cannot be sure of having something to live for unless we are willing to die for it.

    Che Guevara Photo

    The post Shifty Shifters: Movers and Shapers like a Trillion Locusts first appeared on Dissident Voice.

    History Shows Privatized Space Colonization Will Be Disastrous

    Elon Musk and his company SpaceX have become a regular feature in news cycles. SpaceX succeeded in landing a team of astronauts on the International Space Station in November 2020, in partnership with NASA. The next month, the company lost a rocket in an explosion while attempting to land after a test flight. Another rocket exploded during landing in early February. In mid-February, SpaceX launched sixty satellites as part of the Starlink program to provide broadband internet access to the globe, and is now working to double the speed of this internet service and extend it to most of the planet by the end of 2021. Additional crewed missions to the International Space Station are planned for the coming months, as is a four-person civilian-only space voyage.

    These accomplishments and setbacks from SpaceX and the world’s richest man are the most recent in a long series of launches by the first private company to engage in spaceflight. SpaceX is pushing many new boundaries to popular acclaim, but they are also simply the most recent continuation of a decades-long effort to privatize space travel, albeit an effort that is accelerating in recent years.

    Yet, while SpaceX may be developing beneficial new technologies and finding ways to lower the costs of space travel, their free-market perspective on space exploration will not provide the benefits they claim. Such privatization will only reproduce the Earth’s current exploitative economy and environmental destruction in outer space.

    Our climate and economic crises today are not inevitable outcomes of human existence, or of human population growth as other space-obsessed technocrats like Jeff Bezos have argued. They are instead the result of a particular set of social and economic forces, mostly arising during the last five centuries, which constitute capitalism. Capitalism requires the exploitation of both nature and people, leads to outward expansion and colonization, and is really the root cause of climate change.

    Yet instead of working to develop new social and economic structures here on Earth, Elon Musk is planning the colonization of Mars explicitly as a backup plan for Earth. He is not alone, as Jeff Bezos’ own aerospace company, Blue Origin, operates with the long-term goal of outsourcing destructive manufacturing to space in order to save Earth by shifting the exploitation of nature and people into orbit. With plans such as these, SpaceX and related companies are advocating escapism instead of dealing with the reality of deteriorating conditions on our own planet. By failing to acknowledge that privatizing industry and taking advantage of workers and the environment are the true causes of these Earthly crises, SpaceX will inadvertently reproduce the same conditions that are destroying the Earth in space.

    We need not engage in speculation informed by science-fiction to know this, either. History is full of examples of privatized, for-profit exploration and colonization that have caused more harm than good. For some of the clearest lessons, we can look to the colonization of what is now the United States, just a few hundred years ago.

    *****

    This past autumn marked the four hundredth anniversary of the Mayflower landing on the shores of what is now Massachusetts. Stories of this ship and its Pilgrim passengers are familiar to many people who were educated in the American school system. As the common narrative goes, these Puritan settlers sought freedom from religious persecution in England, and thus set sail to the “New World.” The Mayflower arrived in North America, and finding the land beautiful and productive, the Pilgrims “fell upon their knees and blessed the God of Heaven” for delivering them to safety and freedom.

    Yet key details of this story were not emphasized in our elementary school educations, such as the motivations behind the actual owners of the Mayflower. The Pilgrims did not own the ship they sailed upon, nor could they have afforded the voyage on their own. They needed investors, and the financial backers of this journey were not religious separatists seeking freedom, but some of the modern world’s first international venture capitalists. They funded the Pilgrims in the hope that they could reap the rewards of a profitable colony in North America capable of yielding cheap goods for European markets: largely fish, timber, and furs. The Pilgrims who established a colony at Plymouth may have been seeking liberty, but the financiers who backed them hardly cared. They were just in it for the money, and there was a lot to be made.

    There was also a lot of damage to be done. Within fifteen years of the Mayflower making landfall, epidemic disease had decimated the Indigenous population of New England. Wars and genocide followed, with Indigenous peoples being killed and enslaved across the continent, before largely being forced onto reservations which still experience shockingly poor conditions today.

    All the while, the land of New England was gradually being divided into privately owned parcels of land in a process known as enclosure. When European colonists arrived in New England, they entered into a variety of agreements with Native peoples pertaining to land rights. European settlers often paid Indigenous tribes or leaders for the right to limited use of tribal land, but the colonists often interpreted these transactions as wholesale, permanent purchase of land. These lands which were often communally owned by the tribe and managed as a “commons” – land or resources collectively owned by a community – were slowly carved up into privately owned parcels over the course of the 17th and 18th centuries.

    This privatization of land ownership and the incorporation of colonial New England into a globalized market economy led to profound environmental destruction nearly immediately. Settlers cleared forests for timber and farmland, nearly deforesting much of New England by the early 20th century. Beaver and deer were all but exterminated in the region by the 19th century, hunted for their pelts which were sold for profit in European markets. As early as 1646, Portsmouth, Rhode Island established the first prohibitions on hunting deer out of season, recognizing that the species’ population was dwindling. All of this local extirpation and deforestation occurred within a few decades of European arrival in New England, while the Indigenous peoples of the region had hunted deer and beaver and managed their forests sustainably for millennia prior.

    Exploitation of labor arose alongside this exploitation of nature. European settlers in 17th century New England exploited Indigenous hunters to acquire beaver furs, obtaining these pelts at little cost to themselves through the exchange of cheap cloth, metal trinkets, and shell beads. Merchants then in turn exploited these European settlers, paying only a small fraction of what these furs would be worth, and manufacturers back in Europe exploited their workers, paying them less than their labor was worth to produce products like fashionable felt hats for sale to the high-society aristocrats of the time.

    This exploitation of nature and labor is not a bug, but a feature of privatized, for-profit capitalist ventures. It is inherent in a capitalist economic model, as history has shown time and again. If profit maximization for the benefit of investors and owners is the goal, as it was for the owners of the Mayflower and as it is for SpaceX, the necessary materials and labor must be cheaply obtained. If they are not cheap, earnings will suffer.

    Colonization is a short-sighted solution to this problem. Colonialist companies and nations incorporate peripheral locations into their global economic system, where resources and labor can be cheaply obtained. The mercantile capitalism of the 17th century Atlantic world reflected this economic structure, with abundant timber, furs, and fish being obtained at low costs in New England and returned to European markets where they had greater value. Whether in the form of colonialist extraction of raw materials or the contemporary outsourcing of jobs, this search for cheap labor and resources is necessary for the perpetuation of capitalism, and remains the structuring force behind the global economy to this day.

    This same outward expansion in search of cheap raw materials and labor is exactly what will end up driving the colonization of space. The Moon, Mars, and even asteroids may all become the peripheral, privatized, and exploited locations that permit corporations on Earth to profit. Similar to Indigenous understandings of certain land rights in precolonial New England, space is currently viewed as a global commons. This means that all people have rights to it and none should be able to claim exclusive rights over it. The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 prevents any nation from claiming territory in space, although the treaty is known to be vague concerning the power of corporations in space and will certainly be challenged legally in the coming years. The enclosure and privatization of space may therefore lead not only to the direct and immediate exploitation of the environment and of people, but may also lay the groundwork for long-term systems of exploitation and dispossession.

    *****

    Elon Musk intends to colonize Mars as soon as possible. Thankfully, there is no potential for genocide of indigenous Martians as there was for Indigenous “Americans” and other Indigenous peoples around the world under European colonialism. Yet because the endeavor is privatized and operating under centuries-old colonialist mindsets, exploitation and destruction will assuredly manifest in other ways.

    Mining and resource extraction is one avenue for profit, although Musk acknowledges that it is unclear if the natural resources on Mars could be extracted for the profit of companies on Earth. Even if the costs of transporting raw materials back to Earth are too great, natural resources extracted in space could be manufactured in space and shipped to Earth. Colonization of Mars may therefore differ slightly from cases of colonization on Earth, but the fundamental exploitative relationship remains.

    Plus, there are other ways to profit besides the extraction of raw materials. Space tourism by wealthy thrill-seekers is poised to be a cash cow for companies, and a relatively autonomous SpaceX colony on Mars could also have a potentially great degree of freedom to profit from all sorts of business ventures, especially if they are legally independent of the United States government as has been hinted. Musk has also alluded to other “extraordinary entrepreneurial opportunity” on Mars, ranging from manufacturing to restaurants to tourism. However, it remains to be seen just how the financing, ownership, and taxation of these enterprises will be handled in what may be a semi-autonomous colony. In the case of English colonists arriving in North America, it was often the case that the company financing the colony claimed ownership over all property and all economic products of the settlers for a set number of years. Any colonists on a settled Mars will certainly be exploited as well, in one form or another, for the profit of shareholders and company executives. More than a colony of Earth, Mars may become a colony of SpaceX, and this is a troubling thought.

    Resisting exploitation is exceedingly difficult in a privately funded, owned, and operated colony because such a colony is, by its very nature, undemocratic. Private companies like SpaceX are not democracies. CEOs are not elected representatives of the employees and business decisions are not voted upon by all workers. Thus, with a corporation calling the shots, settlers on Mars may have disturbingly little input in decision-making processes concerning their businesses and lives.

    Fundamentally, the privatization of space exploration is not the beneficial solution that many think it is. It will simply result in a continuation of the colonial exploitation of nature and people as our capitalist global economy transcends our own atmosphere. Exploitation is an inherent part of such for-profit ventures in a capitalist system, and this will carry over into space. Privatized exploration of our solar system will be biased towards profitable ventures instead of those with public benefits and will certainly have numerous detrimental environmental impacts.

    As private corporations begin to stake claims and enclose the commons of space, the rest of us lose our rights to it. We must avoid this outcome at all costs. Studying the repercussions of historical and contemporary colonialism on Earth permits us to engage with questions of space exploration from a decolonial and democratic perspective. Space cannot be privatized or exploited for profit, but must remain a commons for the benefit of all humanity.

  • Image credit: Memory-alpha
  • The post History Shows Privatized Space Colonization Will Be Disastrous first appeared on Dissident Voice.

    The Eye of the Wolf: Measuring Myself through Death

    If I were asked what I want to accomplish as a writer, I would say it’s to contribute to the literature of hope.

    — Barry Lopez, About This Life

    A passing. A death. Moving on. Back to earth. A new journey.

    Image result for Barry Lopez Oregon

    He filled the air with lyrical words and ideas grafted to our role as writers and people living inside and with our natural world. He was steadfast in his role as a naturalist of sorts, but through and through he was a word conjurer.

    He came to me when I was young, inside his book about wolves. I was in Arizona jumping the skeletons of saguaros with my 360cc Bultaco and learning the art of passage: working with ministers and laypersons helping Central Americans cross that political line between USA and Mexico.

    Barry Lopez’s written words were in my heart.

    The wolf exerts a powerful influence on the human imagination. It takes your stare and turns it back on you. … from Of Wolves and Men

    Luckily for me, I heard wolves in 2002 along the Clearwater in Idaho, being let free on Nez Perce land.  Now, 42 years later, the tributes to his life, his writing, and how he touched soil and words come trickling in.  But the Lopez I also know is the young man who went to Norte Dame and considered being a Trappist monk, while a deep scar from his youth galvanized into his very being and turned him away from much man’s ways.

    He is a writer who helped humanity understand their stories are valuable. I remember the television interview of him years ago, with Bill Moyers. Again, Lopez stressed he may be considered a nature writer but, in reality, he is writing about humanity.

    Every story is an act of trust between a writer and a reader; each story, in the end, is social. Whatever a writer sets down can harm or help the community of which he or she is a part.

    He was a gifted wordsmith. And like Winona LaDuke, he wanted to “recover the sacred.” The land shapes us all, and for Lopez, he spent time in that land – five years in the arctic as a biologist. His own biography is compelling in that odd American way.

    Barry with his wife, Debra Gwartney, and his daughters Amanda, Stephanie, Mary and Mollie. Finn Rock Oregon, 2016
    RIP — 1945-2020

    Nascent Dreams

    He was born Barry Holstun Brennan in Port Chester, New York. His family moved to Reseda, California, after the birth of his brother, Dennis. He was raised in a low-income single-parent family for a while, and his mother married Adrian Lopez, a businessman, in 1955. Adrian adopted Barry and his brother, and they both took his surname.

    He died with laurels, awards, and 20 books to his name. Years fighting prostate cancer didn’t lessen his ferocity for wanting to be a “writer of help.”

    For me, Walt Whitman says it in a nutshell, what it was to be Barry Lopez: “Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.”

    Part of Barry’s call to duty is acting as a bridge, a translator, an intermediary for humanity (Western Civilization) which has in general lost that language of animals. We have forgotten to talk to our brothers and sisters.

    He stated in an interview with Nick O’Connell.  “I’ve always been deeply interested in animals, in what they were doing and where they lived. They are for me parallel cultures. I think about them a lot and spend a certain amount of time with them. Natural history is the metaphor I feel most comfortable with as a writer—a kind of natural history that includes geography.”

    When Lopez was 11, his family relocated to Manhattan, where he attended the Loyola School, graduating in 1962. He attended the University of Notre Dame, earning undergraduate and graduate degrees there in 1966 and 1968.

    He also attended the University of Oregon in Eugene.

    Conquest’s Lesson

    He ended up planting his field of muses to grow into an Oregonian. In this process of tending his writing and spirituality in this adopted land, he always spoke of this amazing place that for thousands of years was home of people with a real land ethic. People who planned to live here generations into the future. Who planned their lives, habits and culture around the fact they would not be leaving, or engaging in some Diaspora.

    That manifest destiny, that interloper mentality of settlers, Lopez also discussed with me and my students, since I had spent much of my life in land conquered by Spain – Mexico and Central America. And others who knew Barry personally also write about this root in his own intellectual life.

    An amazing journey in time, space, and history, “The Passing Wisdom of Birds,” from Crossing Open Ground still drills into my core.  Lopez writes about Hernan Cortez’s destruction of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec Capital known today as Mexico City. Not surprisingly, Charles V called this Aztec jewel “the most beautiful city in the world.”

    We know the story – after being driven out of the city a year earlier by Montezuma, Cortez then returns with a larger army and with vengeance in his heart and vindictive violence as his tool of domination. Lopez writes, Cortez’s army “laid siege to the city. Canal by canal, garden by garden, home by home.”

    This is the barbarity of the Old World launching its systematic destruction of a people, culture and their own praxis by gestating in a new land as conquistadores with guns, the holy cross and racism. Cortez set fire to the great aviaries and nests of wild birds found throughout the city. Lopez writes,

    The image I carry of Cortez setting fire to the aviaries in Mexico City that June day in 1521 is an image I cannot rid myself of. It stands, in my mind, for a fundamental lapse of wisdom … an underlying trouble in which political conquest, personal greed, revenge, and national pride outweigh what is innocent, beautiful, serene and defenseless — the birds. … Indeed, one could argue, the same oblivious irreverence is still with us, among those who would ravage and poison the earth to sustain the economic growth of Western societies.

    I spoke with Barry when he addressed classes at Eastern Washington University and the two Spokane community colleges where I taught. I brought up the chaos of the country when we spoke. That was  in 2006. It was easy to rebuke much of America then as it was clear to pundits, academicians and writers this country was adrift (some déjà vu now, uh?). Easy to blame media, computers, celebrity culture and political impotence, for sure, but Lopez stressed to me and the students that we were widening the cultural disconnect with the land.

    He actually posed this very question in the end of that essay, “The Passing Wisdom of Birds.” Is it possible to move beyond a moment in the Valley of Mexico when we behaved as though we were insane? Lopez’s answer can be found in Arctic Dreams:

    Staring down pecatta mundi that day on the tundra, my image of God was this effort to love in spite of everything that contradicts that impulse. When I think of the phrase ‘the love of God,’ I think of this great and beautiful complexity we hold within us, this pattern of light and emotion we call God, and that the rare, pure ferocity of our love sent anywhere in that direction is worth all the mistakes we endure to practice it.

    Think Like a Mountain

    He hitched his entire life to the land, and the mental manifestation of what land language and biotic ethics mean to people who hold land as more than “just” sacred.

    The land is the very essence of our own DNA, as many of us attempt to mine lost narratives in order to understand people who know the land and its inhabitants and geological prominence like the backs of their hands.

    Sure, I met Barry Lopez several times – in bookstores and classrooms: Missoula, Seattle, Spokane, Portland. His Arctic Dreams and Of Wolves and Men I read early in my own writing career.

    I am part of the geology connected to Lopez. I live on the Central Oregon Coast, and the fires we had in 2020 tore through his and his wife Deborah’s property. The land will heal, but his 50-year personal archive of all his writings went up in flames.

    Here on the Alsea River along the Pacific, I smelled the drifting ashes of those fires for weeks.

    During the fires, Debra and Barry ended up in Eugene, and many have stated Lopez repeated these universal healing words we know from nature when asked what was next: “rebuilding, repairing, and replanting.”

    I remember another appearance, at Spokane’s Auntie’s Bookstore, 15 years ago when he was reading from a new collection for which he choreographed, along with his wife, Debra Gwartney – Home Ground.

    More than 45 writers, including Barbara Kingsolver, Charles Frazier, William Kittredge and Terry Tempest Williams, riffing with words found at the intersection of human culture and physical geography:  examples include just these — “portage” and “outcrop,” “windbreak” and “dry fall.”

    What distinguishes American literature — especially from European literature — is this deep attachment to place [Lopez told Ann Colford of the Pacific Northwest Inlander].  And it’s not just in the usual suspects, like Cather and Steinbeck and Melville and Thoreau; it’s there in everybody’s work. Truman Capote. Updike. One of the impetuses in choosing the marginalia was this sense of, ‘Look at all these people and how they think about the landscape.’

    ACE – Adverse Childhood Experiences

    I have to end this remembrance of Barry Lopez with another path he crossed in his life, at a very young age, an adverse childhood experience for which I ended up also intersecting as a social worker for homeless, veterans, youth and those living with a developmental disability.

    Lopez and I talked about the precarity of my own work as a part-time adjunct, part-time journalist, failed novelist with a New York agent and other gigs tied to social services. When I last spoke with him, I had not yet launched into working with the disenfranchised:  substance addicted humans, or the just-released prisoners, homeless and those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    The impact of Lopez’s childhood trauma and repressed PTSD hit me hard. I read his 2013 article in Harpers because someone who had remembered my reviews of two of his books when I was a reporter and Sunday book editor for the El Paso Times contacted me on Facebook.

    “Did you see that amazingly open, truthful and sad article he wrote about his own abuse? Wow?”

    Lopez was nearing seventy when he wrote this piece in Harper’s Magazine – “Sliver of Sky — Confronting the trauma of sexual abuse” (January 2013).

    He was seven when his family was introduced to this man, who ran a sanatorium and was known in California for his ability to help alcoholics kick the habit. Lopez’s story of shame, packing away trauma, sublimating that five years of abuse he experienced into a life — on the surface and deeper within through his own passages with nature, writing and teaching (he visited over 80 countries) – wallops any empathetic reader hard. While Lopez is compared to Henry David Thoreau and William Faulkner, he was in one sense carrying a shattered child inside.

    Here, one of the less graphic passages from the Harper’s memoir –

    From what I have read over the years in newspapers and magazines about scandals involving serial pedophiles, I have gathered that people seem to think that what victims most desire in the way of retribution is money and justice, apparently in that order. My own guess would be that what they most want is something quite different: they want to be believed, to have a foundation on which they can rebuild a sense of dignity. Reclaiming self-respect is more important than winning money, more important than exacting vengeance.

    Victims do not want someone else’s public wrath, the umbrage of an attorney or an editorial writer or a politician, to stand in for the articulation of their own anger. When a pedophile is exposed by a grand-jury indictment today, the tenor of public indignation often seems ephemeral to me, a response generated by ‘civic’ emotion. Considering the number of children who continue to be abused in America — something like one in seven boys and one in three girls — these expressions of condemnation seem naïve. Without a deeper commitment to vigilance, society’s outrage begins to take on the look of another broken promise.

    Sitting at the Table of Greats

    Sure, my own life in the wild, inside nature, communing with manatees, hornbills, hammerheads or what-have-you has also been tied to not just the “land ethic” that Aldo Leopold wrote about, but also to recovering the sacred, which to me are the people who are in, by, because and for the land.

    There is no climate change mitigation for vanishing forests, coral reefs and rivers unless there are holistic and deep green relationships we build within the biotic community as we work with the community of Homo Sapiens.

    Interestingly, the work I have done with sexually-abused veterans, people living as homeless, and even those who are deemed “people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” as well as the work as a community college and K12 teacher, all tied into the threads that Barry Lopez gifted me to understand that connection – or in most cases, disconnection – we as a society have lost to the land.

    Image result for Arctic Dreams

    Yet Barry Lopez’s message, even among all the dire calls to action to stop the polluting, the razing, the clearcutting, the harvesting, the burning, the damming, the killing, comes to me in one of the last things he published – a forward to a biography of Richard K. Nelson,  Raven’s Witness: The Alaska Life of Richard K. Nelson by Hank Lentfer (July 2020, Mountaineers Books).

    This is an elegant and amazing connection to his own life writing in an old chair that Lopez had to mess with to keep viable as the place he found the fortitude and the ferocity of spirit from which to write and keep connected to Nelson man who was a real person of the people and land.

    It seems appropriate for me to reflect first on the undistinguished chair I’m sitting in as I try to put together a few words to introduce you to this biography of Richard Nelson. I bought the chair long ago in a second-hand store, in Springfield, Oregon. I’ve had to repair it occasionally, to ensure its sturdiness. Two worn-out seat cushions, one atop the other, make it easier to occupy for hours at a time. Two newel posts brace a tapered backrest of wooden spindles. The caps of the newel posts gleam from the rub of human hands over the decades.

    I’ve written seventeen books sitting in this chair, and I hope to complete a couple more in the years ahead. In the early 1980s, because I sensed that resting my back against a pair of cured blacktail deer hides from Richard’s hunts would put me in a more respectful frame of mind when I wrote, and that they might induce in me the proper perspectives about life, I wrote him and asked for his help. Would he honor our friendship by sending me a couple of blacktail deer hides? These were from deer he’d been given as a subsistence hunter (as he understood that relationship with them) in the woods near his home.

    In my experience, no other non-native hunter’s ethical approach to this archetypal form of fatal encounter was as honorable as Richard’s. He hunted to feed his family, imitating the way his Iñupiaq, Koyukon, and Kwich’in teachers had taught him to, through the example of their own behavior in engagements with wild animals—humble, grateful, respectful. I felt the hides might care for me as I stumbled my way through life, in the same way that our friendship with each other would take care of both of us in the years ahead.

    Even without the deer hides stitched to my own office chair, or the close camaraderie and corresponding with Lopez, I too feel the words of poets and writers like Lopez will “take care of me in the years ahead, wherever that passage way Mother Earth leads me.”

    Image result for Raven’s Witness: The Alaska Life of Richard K. Nelson

    I am reminded that Lopez believed a writer’s job is “to be of service.” Again, Lopez stated many times that we as writers are not placed in this role to tell people what to think. Our job is to help people frame their own thoughts. And to know their own stories and be able to tell those stories to themselves, their circle of family, or in the case of Lopez, to the world.

    cover of Of Wolves and Men by Barry lopez

    See Thank you, Barry Lopez from Orion Magazine Staff!

    Barry, forty years ago you taught me that all stories are about relationship: who I am to all creatures where I am . . . who I am to who you are . . . who we are to who we will become. So goes, now and always, my story with you.

    — Kim Stafford, Oregon Poet Laurette

    The post The Eye of the Wolf: Measuring Myself through Death first appeared on Dissident Voice.

    Active Shooter in the Brain

    Oh, the act of deactivating, the process of disconnecting, the very process of uncluttering the brain — bye-bye Facebook — Emancipation!

    Pin on Funny Bone

    Some might say we are caught in a fun-house . . . or caught in a psych ward. I have more and more people in my sphere — work, friends, email world, Facebook world, family — who are not only showing signs of insanity, but also lobotomy, or massive electro-shock therapy (sic-sick). They actually buy into that Matrix shit, that we are part of a sophisticated code god, a program that creates the “reality” we are in. A Super Duper Mario Brothers Hollywood style. Really, and then the ancient astronauts and those aliens that had to help build Chichén Itzá and the great Pyramids of Gaza.

    Conversations about this new normal sort of circle the drain, and in so many instance, the putrid politics of “never Trump” come spewing from the mouths of these people, unsolicited. And as a frame of reference, this “Trump is Gone Now — Hurray for Harris and Biden” (sigh of relief, smiles, giddy chortles) — I am back in the back of the back of the intellectual and political bus. You see, many of us know, through study, travel, experience, rebuff — that the system both Biden and Trump adore is the shooter in the brain. Active Shooter in the House. Active Shooter in the Books they Read (not many). Active Shooter in their Consumer Choices. Active Shooter in the Work Places. Active Shooter in the State Capitals. These Active Shooters are everywhere, and have been since the founding of the Active Shooter Society that is called United (hahaha) States (really?) of America (a map maker, man!).

    Pin on Greeting Cards and Party Supply. Home and Garden

    Just the way the Kingdom of Puritans and Kingdom of Capital laid the groundwork for this sick-in-the-head, sick-in-the-heart, sick-in-the-spirit, sick-in-the-body, sick-in-the-spirit, sick-in-the-commercial-culture has galvanized all those parts to the Active Shooter scenario and Active Shooter response to everything.

    A Good Indian is a Dead Indian. There Will be Blood. Atonement for their Savagery. Beat the Dickens Out of their Native Soil/Soil/Spiritual Being. It’s that Collective Psychological Response to the Active Shooter White Patriarchal Rapist/Land Stealer/Murderer Government working out of the White House vis-à-vis all those houses of ill repute, from the CIA, to Pentagon, from NASA, to Every University, from the New York Times to Netflix, from Bank of America to BlackRock, from Jerusalem, to Geneva. Here a few other things these presidents said —

    In 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt promoted putting “dangerous or undesirable aliens or citizens” in “concentration camps.” During World War II, Roosevelt signed an executive order that led hundreds of thousands of people of Japanese descent––including 80,000 U.S. citizens––to be incarcerated in concentration camps on the West Coast of the U.S. The U.S. was in a war against Japan at the time. It was also fighting Italy and Germany, but did not broadly incarcerate people in the U.S. of Italian and German descent.

    • In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower told Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren white Southerners “are not bad people. All they are concerned about is to see that their sweet little girls are not required to sit in school alongside some big overgrown Negroes” while discussing the desegregation of schools.
    • Johnson is often credited as one of the most consequential presidents with respect to civil rights, having signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. But for much of his political career, Johnson opposed civil rights legislation. According to a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography on Johnson, during the two decades he served in the U.S. Senate he would use the phrase “nigger bill.” Johnson also reportedly defended appointing Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court––the court’s first black justice in U.S. history––by stating, “Son, when I appoint a nigger to the court, I want everyone to know he’s a nigger.”
    • Recorded conversations of Nixon’s time in the Oval Office reveal extremely bigoted views of black people, among other groups. In one conversation, Nixon said, “We’re going to [put] more of these little Negro bastards on the welfare rolls at $2,400 a family—let people like [New York Sen.] Pat Moynihan … believe in all that crap. But I don’t believe in it. Work, work—throw ’em off the rolls. That’s the key.”
    • Nixon added, “I have the greatest affection for [blacks], but I know they’re not going to make it for 500 years. They aren’t. You know it, too. The Mexicans are a different cup of tea. They have a heritage. At the present time they steal, they’re dishonest, but they do have some concept of family life. They don’t live like a bunch of dogs, which the Negroes do live like.” On Jewish people, Nixon said, “The Jews are just a very aggressive and abrasive and obnoxious personality.”

    And then, butter-for-brains Vice President Joe Biden, with more and more of his racist toes and feet in his mouth — “The way Trump deals with people based on the color of their skin, their national origin, where they’re from, is absolutely sickening,” Biden said. “No sitting president has ever done this, never, never, never. No Republican president has done this, this no Democratic president,” he continued. “We’ve had racists and they’ve existed, they’ve tried to get elected president but he’s the first one that has. And the way he pits people against one another is all designed to divide the country, divide people, not pull them together.”

    Shall I say more about the absurdity of the presidential election/selection? I’d end up in the poor house if I gave a reader a penny for each racist thought-or-statement written by or yammered by USA politicos, media mavens, Holly-Dirters, authors, celebrities, Fortune 1000-ers, et al!

    With the continual panic and lockdown mentality and genuflection to authority, this society pre-and post-Trump has been the bum’s rush for me and my ilk. When we put this society through the settler-colonial lens, we are lambasted on both sides of the political manure pile. “You know, the Indians were not all these noble savages. You know, they came here using the Land Bridge. You know, progress means adaptation.” These people have always believed in American exceptionalism, believed in the red and white and blue. Always believed those alabaster statues of Lincoln or Jefferson or even Martin Luther King. That Active Shooter in the House is what creates that Collective Stockholm Syndrome. It can be collective in rarified forms — the Stockholm Syndrome of Branch Davidians or MAGA or QAnon. The Stockholm Syndrome of Greta/350.org/David Attenborough. The Stockholm Syndrome of K-Street. Stockholm Syndrome of the Military Police State. Stockholm Syndrome of Techies and Bezos Types. That Syndrome is the result of the Active Shooter Mindset.

    Siberian eatery is ideal spot for a Putin fan | Reuters

    Until we end up here, in Lockdown, in a society where stores are boarded up. Streets are empty. Barricades of the mind and spirit erected from sea to shining sea. Incomes frozen. Assets Hacked. Lives Set Inside that Funhouse, or to use non-PC lingo, Madhouse. That Active Shooter rules of engagement also include not speaking out and not moving too quickly, or use anything in reach to subdue and escape, or to crawl and stop and hide. Lights out, doors locked, no sounds, no whispering, nothing, just crouch and hold still until, what? Whirling Blackhawks and Rumbling SWAT Armored Vehicles with Machine Gun Turrets?

    The perceptions from the individual and collective Stockholm Syndrome, and the intellectual actions and inactions in this Active Shooter Lockdown Abide by All Leaders’ Laws/Regulations/Rules/ Fines/Admonishments/ Recommendations/Edicts/Penalties/Crimes/Offenses/Dictates, well, that certainly has constructed a very mean and very ostrich like society, and the see-hear-speak no evil and head in the sand and the lashing out and the hyper propaganda and the hyper-knee jerking, and, well, with it all facilitated by unsocial media, we are in the super minority if we dare question the question and the responses and the answers. We dare to go up against any of the narratives, and alas, we then become the pariah and the Scarlet-ed Letter “A” for Anarchist or Anachronistic or Abnormal or Ambiguous or Antagonistic or Adversarial or Asymptomatic or Argumentative or even the letter “A” for Anticlockwise.

    “All forms of perception are “subjective” in the sense that they represent only those aspects and properties of the world that can be detected by an organism’s sensory transducers. Hence all perception is subjective in the sense of being partial. Moreover, once organisms reach a stage of cognitive complexity where they start to encode some sort of model of the surrounding world through their sensory contact with it, then the result is subjective in an even deeper sense. For what is represented will only comprise those aspects of the world that potentially matter to the organism (whether this is explicitly represented in the organism’s values, or implicit in the lifestyle that has been selected for it by evolution).”

    — Peter Carruthers, from Human and Animal Minds: The Consciousness Questions Laid to Rest ( Oxford University Press, Jan 5, 2020;  p. 68)

    Imagine that, the very act of just shutting it off, that Fuck You Book, that social ingratiation book, that rotting of the brain book. I was on it only because I had to set up an account for the nonprofit that was/is Gig Economizing me to work on their rather bombastic project of getting billionaires and millionaires and governments and philanthropies to put in “cash” transfers to poor people during, before and after (there will be no after) the Plan-demic Covid-19, SARS-CoV2, corona virus thing. Then, with the multitasking aplomb of wanting to take a break from this or that writing project, alas, I ended up messing with the Paul Haeder Facebook page, and then “befriending” a thousand or so, and then letting loose the philosophical and political tirades of our age. I did end up exposing folk to left of left stuff, to things that are pretty mainstream to me like Black Agenda Report, and groups like the Black Alliance for Peace. Discourse around why Trump or Trump-lite or Pence or GOP-lite, or DNC, or AOC or Biden-Obama-Hillary lite, and the hard stuff brewed by Empire of the Capitalists, that it’s all the same to revolutionaries or those with the Scarlet Letter “A” emblazoned on our t-shirts. Pure addictive and mind-blowing shit, this country is, and that is the unholy alliance of a country tis of me based on torture, raping, burning, immolating, murdering, beheading, pollution, animal slaughter, and air and soil and water destruction, all in the name of toilet paper for the masses, and kingdoms of jewels, banks, homes, mansions, castles for the Capitalists in Power. The ethanol brain rot of Capitalism a la North America.

    I would throw out bombs on why Biden and Trump come from the same patriarchal DNA, how the Democratic Party Machine is as Bad and Corrupt as the Republican Party Machine. How the Machine is greased with Capital, and the Machine is not of, for, by, with, entwinned to the People, US, but for the banks. The techno-fascists, and brothers and sister of the Military Industrial Complex of Another and Another and Another Mother/Mothership.

    United Snakes of America. United States of BlackRock. Un-united States of Capitalism, what have you, in variations on the theme, well, those stars on that other Banner, tell the story, and the story shifts with the logos, and those stores are indeed just banners, hiding the real sophisticated thugs of Transnational, Transhuman, Transcultural, Transhumane capital.

    Corporate Logo Flags (US Flag) from Reclaim Democracy

    In that abortion of Facebook just days ago, I find myself less distracted, though I have always worked as a writer, done my time in the world of nature, walks, paddles, bike riding, and now another gig for the 63-going-on-64-white (self-loathing, sort of)-communist-male-who-has-to-in-polite (mixed up)-company-call-himself-socialist. This one, well, full-time, with benefits, and back in the slog of things, working with adults with developmental and intellectual (and psychological and physical) disabilities. As a counselor, in this case all-around job-employment counselor, developers, what have you. Back to getting my expired certificates re-upped, and then all the vocational rehabilitation and department of human services and department of developmental disabilities courses and trainings. Deja vu, and well, in the beach life of the Central Oregon Coast, my spouse and I have to work, even though it feels fluttering around here that half the people are retired and enjoying high lifestyle, or at least solid retired middle class, and then, there are those who service this place, and many of them are struggling big time. In Oregon with the Nanny Governor and the schizophrenia of Red-Neck and Blue-Neck, the pain of businesses shuttering and main streets depopulating, well, this makes for a very hard time for the clientele I work with — how to get a job for someone who has to usually work 20 hours or less to keep the SSI under wraps. People who are not “normally” those we see in the workplace (the highest unemployment rate for any demographic is adults with developmental disabilities — think 83 percent). Getting creative in Plan-Demic times, well, I am up for the challenge, but alas, working that 40-hour a week schedule, and then doing my own thing as a journalist and novelist and such, well, I have to utilize as much brain-space and keyboard and mouse time as possible for MY work.

    Facebook was a kick for a while, then for many of those nanoseconds (they do add up to minutes and then an hour is wasted on Fucker-Berg’s Mind Manipulation Tool, I was put on 24 hour and then three-day and then one week suspension. Expelled from posting and commenting. Then, to make matters even more hilarious (sad, too) those dyed in the wool exceptionalists, those with the Democratic Party diarrhea dreams dream, I just had to call it quits. They are the worse of the worse, the same as Christian MAGA and Conservative MAGA and Military MAGA and Retiree MAGA and Female MAGA, and the like. Total cognitive dissonance, and the Active Shooter mind-scape, well, that got the best of me (not really). Endless stupid dead-end posts and mini-discussions about why Trump is in and why Biden is bad, and, then, just coming from this angle as a communist, err, in Active Shooter land, a “socialist,” the arguments are back on the table about how great it is to have that first person of color in as VP-soon-to-be-Prez . . . (1928-’32, Charles Curtis, Herbert Hoover’s Vice President, was a member of the Kaw Nation).

    Endless stupidity about the lesser of two evils, about the evils of two lessers, about how a Biden win will allow for pressure on the left side of things to move the party and the country leftier . . . . Right! Bankers, bombers, baggers, bottom-feeders, bombasts, buccaneers, bag men/women, broadcasters, botulism boys, and the like, already lined up for the Harris-Biden Kill Show. Active Shooters show. Then, the Trump All Encompassing Digital and Cable Network . . . . all the while the offense industrialists (elites in and out of the military industrial complex) will bilk the nation, the globe, the resources until a future is this below, the fighting orangutan’s, a la Homo Psychopithecus!

    Alternate text

    PETITION TARGETCambodian Ambassador to the United States Chum Sounry

    The Phnom Penh Safari zoo in Cambodia showcases disturbing orangutan boxing matches, forcing innocent apes to fight each other in a boxing ring. The animals are also made to ride bikes, hula-hoop, and wear degrading outfits, as shown in numerous TripAdvisor photos.

    Orangutans aren’t the only animals abused at this zoo: tigers jump through flaming hoops and cower in fear of trainers’ electric prods; crocodiles are hit with sticks and have their mouths taped shut for selfie opportunities; and elephants are controlled with bullhooks.

    The animals appear neglected, too. The tigers are declawed and extremely thinaccording to EARS Asia. And the drinking water is filthy, according to a Khmer Times article that has since been deleted.

    Animals do not exist for human amusement. They deserve natural habitats and loving caretakers, not cruel zoos where they’re forced to perform for park-goers.

    The abuse must stop. Sign this petition urging Cambodian Ambassador to the United States Chum Sounry to call for an end to all cruel animal performances at the zoo and push for a thorough investigation into the animals’ treatment.

    The abusive husband in this loveless marriage of capitalists ruling the roost, writing the narrative, spinning the malignant history, fears the loss of her/his master because that abusive system has turned him/her into a clinging hopey-dopey thing who believes all those decades of oppression will somehow be redefined to allow this shattered individual and collective to lose all self-esteem to the point that we are no longer capable of imagining a life without our parasitic master.

    We are collectively servants of those masters who have for centuries plotted and prodded populations into fearing agency, revolution and radical transformation. We are that Disney-fied and Disney-fed collective, and those elites especially, yammering and yammering about the LGBTQA+ minority’s play (Lin-Manuel Miranda), “Hamilton,” being so wonderous and so emblematic of the good of this nation, well, not a one would question the slaver’s role in America — a slaver, new documents do show that not only was Alexander Hamilton a slave trader for his in-law family, the Schuyler’s, his own account books demonstrate that Hamilton bought, sold and personally owned slaves. But try and have that conversation about Miranda and the elite’s bullshit love of this bullshit play on Fuck-You-Book, or in person (of course, masked up and at least six feet of separation, please, and no more than 8 gathered in an open space, please or else!!!).

    I would have expected a few of the people on Fuck-You-And-The-Horse-You-Rode-Into-Town-On BOOK, to nuance the Biden-Harris gig, the bullshit nature of GOP and DNC, and the trillions thrown at the sex addicts and money changers in the billionaire class, while mom and pop, sister and brother, downtrodden and almost-to-be-downtrodden, get shit from Pelosi and Mitch, but instead, the Collective Stockholm Syndrome of the liberal lite kind has just plummeted our 2021 into the new normal of following more anti-civil rights and anti-free speech and anti-freedom of movement laws backed by thousand-dollar fines, the fuzz with their assault rifles and, well, the GIANT Scarlet Letter A for, well, fill in the blank of anti- as prefix. You get expelled from Zoom Doom school, get cut from the team, get sacked, get ostracized, and get kicked to the curb if you dare question narratives of the ruling class. Dare to question this science (sic) versus that science. You know, that is the mob mentality of America, whether it is in the village square burning heretics, or on the greasy grass mowing down dancers and drummers. We are in a Little Bighorn, and the Big-Small-wannabe Eichmann’s are there, mostly, in places of “authority,” the elites, the nanny governors and their cadre of pencil neck followers, the compliant ones, the ones who follow order, those who say LGBTQA+, but are hope-dopey Stockholm Syndrome sufferers of the major kind, creating dictate after dictate.

    You can’t even talk about small businesses closing. Can’t talk about the renter and mortgage class (sic) sticking it and sticking it and resticking it to the masses. Imagine this fucked up Corona World, where stupidity and no-deep questioning rule. Can you imagine scum bucket governors from red and blue states, yammering and yammering.

    There is no plan for the resettling in and after Plan-demic. But there is that Fourth Industrial Revolution, the big plans by big tech, and the Google world and the economies of scale of the Amazon-kind variety and the satellites launched at sunset and the Elon Musks and the entire shit-show that is Forbes and Rockefeller and Council on Foreign Affairs, the Aspen Institute, the Federalist Society, the Family, the TED Talk crews, all of them, from QAnon to the Tweets, and everything in between, it is the world of the ACTIVE Shooter, and duck and cover, the name of one generation’s game, and now, the slave master will say, “All Money, All Movements, All Things” will and must be on a digital platform. Passports from Hell to Enter a New Hell. No Travel Unless Eyes Are Scanned and Vaccination Record Checked.

    Somehow, that has been the pathway of the elites, from Holly-Dirt, to the schools, to the drone programs at two-bit community colleges, to the food purveyors. We have colonized each generation, and the baselines of old hopes — agency, real food, real relationships with people-land-planet, real debate, real learning, real arguing, real water, real air, real art, real feelings, real history, real enfranchisement, real conversations — that too has been put on Red Flag Active Shooter hold. Deep Sixed.

    Conversations and philosophical constructions and deconstructions are put on hold as the majority of people in the United Snakes of BlackRock, well, they talk about “things” as bifurcated nonsense, politics, histrionics, heliographs, shit shows and PT Barnum One-Upping Scams of the Mind and of the Culture.

    I love what John Steppling has to say in the front of his essay, The Mechanical Soul:

    One of the reasons I keep writing about AI is that the entire construct of an artificial intelligence has become both a symbol and metaphor for contemporary thought, and, is part of this ongoing reshaping of human consciousness.

    I admit I am surprised how many people believe in the entire project of AI. Clearly it holds something very appealing that people WANT to believe in. And a key element in this is the idea of predictability. And predicting means controlling. So, in one sense, there is nothing new in this desire to foretell the future.

    Now the first problem when discussing “consciousness” is that finding a definition for that word is nearly impossible.

    “Moreover, the explicit dualistic beliefs of children in Western cultures get less strong with age (Bering 2006). This suggests that dualism is the default setting of the folk-psychological system, which gets weakened by cultural input in scientific cultures—at least at the level of explicit verbal expression—rather than depending on such input (Riekki et al.2013;Willard & Norenzayan 2013; Forstmann & Burgmer 2015). Indeed, dualist intuitions are prevalent in both children and adults, even in cultures whose norms discourage overt attention to mental states, albeit becoming weaker as a function of exposure to Western education (Chudek et al.2018).” –Peter Carruthers (Human and Animal Minds)

    With Facebook and Twitter and even consumption of the low art of Netflix and everything on the Internet, that is, almost all of it on the Web, we are losing the race for dualistic beliefs, of holding many counter-arguments in our brains, and even just considering counter-intuitive things. But, the news, the real news, should send shudders down any human’s spine — Bend, Oregon, on the frigid east side of the Cascade Range, is currently without a warming shelter, largely due to complaints by rich residents about a location. Early Tuesday morning, the body of Dave Melvin Savory, 57, a homeless double amputee, was found slumped against a dumpster outside a Rite Aid pharmacy.

    Finally, of course, any real leftist would be cheering the defeat and dethroning of any ruler of the empire. Christ, just watching both sides of the sewer pond is what a revolutionary would hope for. Trump defeated and his slim-balls and himself slipping and sliding in their own shit, that is a good day to be a human being. And, the end of Biden and Harris and all the hit men he and she are hiring on for the Biden-Harris Empire Shit Show, that too will be a very good day for humanity.

    Something About Heads on Pikes and All Chained up in the Docks? Banned on Facebook.

    America’s Active Shooters!!!

    One-time rival Senator Kamala Harris backs Joe Biden for president | amNewYork
    Oh Say Can You See by the Dawn’s Early Covid Lockdown…
    Pope Francis offers prayers for President Trump - The Dialog
    … and Christian Bombs Bursting in Air while laughing all the way to the bank!

    Final Note — Imagine this shit show America, and this blog, and the few things I wrote in it, enough to toss me to the curb. Big Brother and Big Sister, they are all watching. Just this recent new job, I was told by a person in the nonprofit involved in hiring me that “I Googled you . . . I had to really get beyond that to think, ‘there is more to this guy than all that.'” Hmm. Is this the proverbial digital straw that broke the human being’s back?

    The post Active Shooter in the Brain first appeared on Dissident Voice.

    System Fail 4: Landback

    In this episode we take a look at the many Indigenous-led struggles currently taking place across Turtle Island.

    For more information on how you can follow and support these struggles:

    Indigenous People Day of Rage
    indigenouspeoplesdayofrage.org/
    indigenousaction.org

    O’odham Anti-Border Collective
    facebook.com/AntiBorderCollective/

    Justice for Joyce
    #JusticePourJoyce
    #JusticeForJoyce
    gofundme.com/f/justice-pour-joycejustice-for-joyce/

    Mi’kma’ki
    #AllEyesOnMikmaki

    Secwepemc
    #StopTMX
    #TinyHouseWarriors
    #Secwepemc
    tinyhousewarriors.com/

    Wet’suwet’en
    #WetsuwetenStrong
    YintahAccess.com/
    facebook.com/wetsuwetenstrong

    #1492LandBackLane
    facebook.com/1492LandBackLane/

    gofundme.com/f/legal-fund-1492-land-back-lane

    The post System Fail 4: Landback first appeared on Dissident Voice.

    #CancelCanadaDay

    July 1 is celebrated by many Canadians as Canada Day. Originally it was called Dominion Day to commemorate the establishment of the Dominion of Canada. But not every inhabitant of “Canada” will be celebrating. On that day, the Indigenous activist organization, Idle No More, is calling for “3 hours of Indigenous Resistance and Resurgence!”

    Resurgence indeed.

    Back in 2014, Gord Hill, Kwakwaka’wakw author of The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book (see review), when questioned about Idle No More, said:

    Flowing from [Idle No More’s] reformist strategy was an emphasis on “peaceful” protests, pacifism, and the “flash mob” round dances in malls. So while we took one step forward with the INM mobilizations, we also took two steps back in that pacifism and “peaceful rallies” was widely promoted on a national level. This is in contrast to decades of grassroots Indigenous resistance that has used militant actions such as blockades and even armed resistance. I’m glad that the INM mobilization occurred, but I’m also glad that it had a relatively short life and hopefully those that were mobilized will learn and grow from this experience.

    Black Lives Matter, whose activist credentials have also been called into question, has reemerged as a prominent protest movement following the videotaped police killing of George Floyd.

    The United States has a deplorable history of genocide.1 But Canada is no exemplar as far as the killing of Blacks and other ethnic groups. Genocide is also a historical fact in Canada. Racism is deeply embedded in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), especially against Indigenous peoples who also suffer high levels of incarceration.2

    A Small Sampling of Recent Cases of RCMP Racism against First Nations

    The above were just two video samples. With the ubiquity of cell phones, there is an abundance of police criminality captured on video available for viewing online.

    Thus Idle No More will oppose Canada Day:

    We will not celebrate stolen Indigenous land and stolen Indigenous lives. Instead we will gather to honour all of the lives lost to the Canadian state – Indigenous lives, Black lives, Migrant lives, Women and Trans and 2Spirit lives – all of the relatives that we have lost. We will use our voices for MMIWG2S, child welfare, birth alerts, forced sterilization, police/RCMP brutality and all of the injustices we face.  We will honour our connections to each other and to the water, land, and sky.

    Idle No More asks its supporters,

    Find or organize a #CancelCanadaDay action in your community and join Idle No More for a live #CancelCanadaDay broadcast on July 1.

    Celebrating Genocide

    Would anyone knowingly eat, dance, sing, play, and watch fireworks in celebration of the day that First Nation’s peoples were denationalized through genocide? Because that is the flip side of the colonialism. In order for the nation of Canada to come into being, on “home and native land” (as the lyrics of the Canadian anthem state), the other nations had to be subsumed, assimilated, and otherwise disappeared.3

    And this process of dispossession is not confined to the past. Witness the Canadian state wielding the RCMP to thwart the unrelenting resistance of the Wet’suwet’en traditional chiefs and people opposed to a pipeline being constructed through their unceded territory.

    Today’s email from the Unist’ot’en Solidarity Brigade of the Wet’suwet’en read: “Cancel Canada Day Rally tomorrow in Vancouver and many other cities!”

    “canada day” is a day of celebration for some. For those who know the history of so-called “canada”, it’s obvious this is not a day of celebration. It’s a day that represents an ongoing genocide of Indigenous peoples.

    “canada” was stolen at gunpoint. Any and all treaties made, have been broken. The colonial system has been imposed through attempts of forced assimilation.

    Suppression and oppression of Indigenous peoples came through land theft enforced by the #NorthwestMountedPolice (today known as the BC RCMP), weaponized starvation, #ResidentialSchools (the “kill the Indian in the child” method), medical testing without anaesthesia, beatings when people spoke our languages, the #SixtiesScoop, forced or coerced sterilization, inaction in regards to Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls #MMIW #MMIWG, mass incarceration, criminalization of culture #PotlatchBan, criminalization of #LandDefenders & #WaterProtectors, ongoing displacement to reserves, boil water advisories, enabled & encourage racially motivated violence (by elected officials), and no justice when attacks occur… and so much more.

    These are not part of a “proud past”. These are acts of genocide that continue today – via forced assimilation & colonization only through which the state can exist. These are the reasons we need to #CancelCanadaDay

    The hurtful, racist symbols and nomenclature of colonialism need to be dealt with promptly. The argument about preserving history does not supersede the commission of genocide and other crimes against humanity. It is past time that people of conscience join the resistance against colonialism, imperialism, oppression, and racism.

    It is well understood that for people to overthrow the systems of oppression that solidarity is a must, and a sustained solidarity it must be.

    1. See, e.g., Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States. Review.
    2. See Kim Petersen, “Land and Jail,” The Dominion, Part I, Part II, and Part III.
    3. See Bruce Clark, Ongoing Genocide caused by Judicial Suppression of the “Existing” Aboriginal Rights (2018). Review; Bruce Clark, Justice in Paradise (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1999); Splitting the Sky with She Keeps the Door, The Autobiography of Dacajeweiah, Splitting the Sky, John Boncore Hill: From Attica to Gustafsen Lake (John Pasquale Boncore, 2001). Tamara Starblanket, Suffer the Little Children: Genocide, Indigenous Nations and the Canadian State (Clarity Press, 2018). Review; Tom Swanky, The Great Darkening: The True Story of Canada’s “War” of Extermination on the Pacific plus The Tsilhqot’in and other First Nations Resistance (Burnaby, BC: Dragon Heart Enterprises, 2012). Review; James Daschuk, Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life (University of Regina Press, 2013); Robert Davis and Mark Zannis, The Genocide Machine in Canada (Black Rose, 1973).

    A Canada Day Surprise: How a “Synthetic Nationalism” Was Created to Break the US-Russia Alliance

    As a Canadian author associated with a Canadian geopolitical magazine and a book series rooted in the thesis that Canada is still under the dominance of the British Empire to this very day, the July 1st holiday known as “Canada Day” is a bit of a strange thing to celebrate.

    As I have recently written in my articles The Missed Chance of 1867 and the Truth of the Alaska Purchase, July 1st, 1867 was the day the British North America Act was established creating for the first time a confederacy in the Americas devoted to “maintaining the interests of the British Empire” (as our founding constitution makes explicit).

    As I outlined above, the motive for this 1867 confederation was driven by the British Empire’s burning fear of losing its valuable possessions in the Americas during the course of the Civil War when Britain’s “other confederacy” operation against Lincoln’s union was obviously going to fail. The fact that the U.S.-Russian alliance that saved the Union in 1863 and led into the sale of Alaska in 1867 would also usher in an inevitable growth of rail development through the Bering Strait connecting both civilizations was a prospect devoutly to be feared by the City of London.

    As Lincoln’s ally and father of the trans continental railway Governor William Gilpin laid out in his 1890 book The Cosmopolitan Railway, a new paradigm of win-win cooperation governed by national credit driven by rail construction and industry would soon replace the archaic system of empire forever. This project had vast support from the leadership of both the USA and Russia- including Sergei Witte, and Czar Nicholas II.

    Many republican movements were alive in Canada during the turbulent Civil War years and whether Britain’s American possession would become 1) independent, 2) join the USA or 3) remain an appendage of the Empire was still very much uncertain.

    Pro-Lincoln forces were found among Canada’s elite in the form of the great protectionist and nation builder Isaac Buchanan (President of Canada’s 1863 Executive Council) and a group of statesmen affiliated with Louis Joseph Papineau’s Canadian Institutes known as Les Rouges. A leading member of Les Rouges was a young Lincoln-loving lawyer named Wilfrid Laurier who later became Prime Minister from 1896-1911 where he often behaved as an uncooperative thorn in British colonial designs.

    Neither Buchanan nor Laurier approved of annexation but rather desired that Canada become an independent republic free of British intrigues and friend of a pro-development version of America then much more alive than the Anglo-American beast which has run roughshod over the world in recent decades.

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    While Buchanan fought for a North American Zollverein in 1863 against his enemies on the Grit “left” (George Brown) and Tory “right” (Sir John A. Macdonald), his efforts were sabotaged with his 1864 ouster. When his time finally came, Laurier fought hard to revive this Buchanan’s Zollverein plan years later. Unlike the perversion of NAFTA, the name Zollverein was derived from Frederick List’s 19th century program to unify Germany into a modern nation state under American System measures of protection, national credit, rail, industrial and infrastructure growth (not dissimilar in principle to the Belt and Road Initiative today). In Germany this program was supported most ardently by Lincoln ally Chancellor Otto von Bismarck.

    Without understanding this dynamic, or the British operation to get rid of Bismarck in 1890, there is no way to properly understand Britain’s obsession with manufacturing what later became known as World Wars one or two.

    Laurier’s Zollverein revival of 1911 (aka: ‘Reciprocity Treaty’) proposed to lower protective tariffs with the USA primarily on agriculture, but with the intention to electrify and industrialize Canada, a nation which Laurier saw as supporting 60 million people within two generations. With the collaboration of his close advisors, Adam Shortt, O.D. Skelton and later William Lyon Mackenzie King, Laurier navigated a complex mine field of British intrigue active throughout the Canadian landscape.

    The Round Table and Fabian Society

    During this post-Civil War period, three American presidents, one French President and two pro-American Czars were assassinated as the British Empire re-organized itself under the guiding influence of two new think tanks: 1) The Fabian Society and 2) The Round Table Movement.

    While one group shaped an agenda more attractive to the left, centered in the London School of Economics (LSE), the other group shaped a program more conservative right guided by a manifesto laid out by South African race patriot Cecil Rhodes in his 1877 will and centered in Oxford (the center of Rhodes Scholarship brainwashing activities for the next century).

    In his will Rhodes stated:

    “Why should we not form a secret society with but one object the furtherance of the British Empire and the bringing of the whole uncivilised world under British rule, for the recovery of the United States, and for the making the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire…”

    The common denominators for both organizations were: 1) world government under the control of the City of London and Britain’s global shadow empire, 2) the abolishment of independent nation states and 3) a “scientifically managed population control agenda” run by a technocratic elite. While an air of ‘left’ and ‘right’ were projected for public consumption, their operations were always interwoven as we shall see with the example of Lord Milner and Lord Mackinder.

    Lords Milner and Mackinder Come to Canada

    A follower of Rhodes’ vision and leader of the Round Table Group founded in 1902 was named Lord Alfred Milner who devoted himself whole heartedly to the task of creating a new church of the British Empire. In 1908, Milner persuaded Lord Halford Mackinder to quit his job as director of the London School of Economics to help resolve the problems of North America (all paid for by the Rhodes Trust).

    During his dozens of public and private lectures across Canada, Mackinder laid out his clear understanding of the geopolitical importance of Canada within Britain’s ‘Great Game’ that few then or even now recognized sitting as it does as a wedge between Eurasian powers and the USA… and whose forces of attraction were still great. Czar Nicholas himself had only recently commissioned a study of the Bering Strait rail tunnel in 1906- supported by leading representatives of the Lincoln and Czar Alexander II in both countries.

    Upon his return to Britain, Mackinder delivered a report to Westminster in 1911 where he laid out the terms of this threat in stark reality:

    Ultimately we have to look to the question of power…and power rests upon economic development. If Canada is drawn into the orbit of Washington, then this Empire loses its great opportunity. The dismemberment of the Empire will not be limited to Canada. Australia will avail herself of the power of the American fleet in the Pacific, and she will not long depend on a decaying and breaking Empire. Then with the resources of this island country you will be left to maintain your position in India… That constitutes, in my opinion, the significance of the present crisis. We are at the turning of the tide.

    A devout race Patriot just like Rhodes and Mackinder, Lord Milner commented on the existential threat of losing economic control of Canada to an America which had still not been re-conquered. Writing to his partner Leo Amery in 1909, he said:

    As between the three possibilities of the future: 1. Closer Imperial Union, 2. Union with the U.S. and 3. Independence, I believe definitely that No. 2 is the real danger. I do not think the Canadians themselves are aware of it… they are wonderfully immature in political reflection on the big issues, and hardly realise how powerful the influences are… On the other hand, I see little danger to ultimate imperial unity in Canadian ‘nationalism’. On the contrary I think the very same sentiment makes a great many especially of the younger Canadians vigorously, and even bumptuously , assertive of their independence, proud and boastful of the greatness and future of their country, and so forth, would lend themselves, tactfully handled, to an enthusiastic acceptance of Imperial unity on the basis of ‘partner-states’. This tendency is, therefore, in my opinion rather to be encouraged, not only as safeguard against ‘Americanization’, but as actually making, in the long run, for a Union of ‘all the Britains’.

    Milner recognized that Britain’s best choice was to cultivate a special type of British-approved “nationalism” among the “wonderfully immature” minds of the Canadian descendants of United Empire Loyalists of 1776 who were ignorant to the powerful influences of history. This insight shaped the next 110 years of Canadian cultural engineering to a tee.

    A Very Canadian Coup and the League of Nations

    Despite these efforts, Laurier was able to finalize his long-sought for Reciprocity Treaty with the USA in 1911- Milner’s worst fear. Before it could be acted upon however, an orchestrated overthrow of his government was affected by the Masonic Orange Order and Round Table Group with Laurier saying ominously a few years later:

    Canada is now governed by a junta sitting at London, known as “The Round Table”, with ramifications in Toronto, in Winnipeg, in Victoria, with Tories and Grits receiving their ideas from London and insidiously forcing them on their respective parties.

    By 1916, the Milner Group effected a coup in Britain itself, in order to shape the terms of the post-WWI order at Versailles where the League of Nations was created to usher in a post-Nation State world. This was just another way of saying “New British Empire”.

    When American statesmen resisted this new imperial organization, Roundtable Groups were set up across Anglo-Saxon nations during the 1920s to coordinate a new more fascist solution to the “national problem”. This took the form of the Royal Institute for International Affairs (RIIA/Chatham House) created in 1919, with Canadian and Australian branches set up soon thereafter in the form of the Canadian and Australian Institutes for International Affairs. An American branch of this group was created in 1921 under the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and through these groups (later to be known as the Five Eyes), fascism was sold as a solution to the Great Depression triggered by the financial blowout of 1929.

    As Georgetown professor Caroll Quigley pointed out in his posthumously published Anglo-American Establishment, the Canadian leader of this group was a protégé of Milner named Vincent Massey who later became the nation’s first Canadian born Governor General and led the operation to create a new synthetic Canadian Nationalism in which peaked with the 1949 Massey Royal Commission on the National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences (heavily tied into a CIA/MI6 operation called the Congress for Cultural Freedom in Europe).

    The effect of Massey’s report relieved the Rockefeller Foundation of the financial burden of funding Canadian history, humanities, arts and music by creating the Canadian Council of the Arts which it held alongside the Carnegie Foundation since their founding in 1905 and 1913 respectively.

    Fascism or Freedom?

    During the dark years of the Great Depression, “fascism” was sold as the economic miracle solution to desperate citizens across the trans Atlantic, and a new, harsher effort was made for a global Bankers Dictatorship under the Bank of England and Bank of International Settlements (the Central bank of Central Banks). In Canada, the groundwork for a scientifically managed society was established by a team of 5 Rhodes Scholars and one Fabian Society agent who founded the League of Social Reconstruction (LSR) in 1931. This eugenics-loving organization dubbed itself “the Canadian Fabian Society” and its leading operatives were all tied to Canada’s Round Table (The Canadian Institute for International Affairs (CIIA)). Rhodes Scholar Escott Reid, whom I introduced in my last paper on the Rhodes Scholar Roots of NATO, was the CIIA’s first Permanent Secretary and one of the leading co-founders of the LSR.

    This group set up a political party known as the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation which changed its name to the National Democratic Party in 1961.

    While in Quebec, the fascist Nazi Adrian Arcand was set up to take power, on the Federal level the Canadian Fabian Society believed it could take charge.

    The trouble here was Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    By rejecting fascism, FDR thwarted a bankers dictatorship and forced through a revolutionary reform in banking that put a leash on the financial elite while forcing public credit to serve the Common Good through vast New Deal megaprojects. In a certain way, the America of Abraham Lincoln was consciously revived under FDR’s leadership. These positive effects were felt strongly in Canada and soon the “Laurier Liberals” took back power and in 1937, nationalized the Bank of Canada (previously modelled on the private Central Bank of England in 1934) with Prime Minister Mackenzie King stating:

    “Once a nation parts with the control of its currency and credit, it matters not who makes the nation’s laws. Usury, once in control, will wreck any nation. Until the control of the issue of currency and credit is restored to government and recognized as its most conspicuous and sacred responsibility, all talk of the sovereignty of Parliament and of democracy is idle and futile.”

    One can only imagine the stress felt by London as FDR’s Vice President Henry Wallace moved to revive the Bering Strait connection alongside Russian Foreign Minister Molotov in 1942. Describing this plan in 1944, Wallace said:

    “Siberia and China will furnish the greatest frontier of tomorrow… When Molotov was in Washington in the spring of 1942 I spoke to him about the combined highway and airway which I hope someday will link Chicago and Moscow via Canada, Alaska and Siberia. Molotov, after observing that no one nation could do this job by itself, said that he and I would live to see the day of its accomplishment. It would mean much to the peace of the future if there could be some tangible link of this sort between the pioneer spirit of our own West and the frontier spirit of the Russian East.”

    The Anti-Colonial Spirit Struggles in the Post-War Years

    Even though Rhodes Scholars flooded into the upper echelons of power with the untimely deaths of Skelton and Lapointe in 1941, C.D. Howe had created a strong machine committed to building large scale projects and continued to grow Canada’s scientific and technological potential in the post-war years with the Bank of Canada serving as a tool for this growth. Some of these projects included the AVRO Arrow supersonic jet program, Canada’s Atomic Energy Agency, the Trans Canada Highway and St. Laurence Seaway.

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    When the Liberals fell from power in 1957 and a new Conservative government took over, the commitment to scientific and technological progress continued with Prime Minister John Diefenbaker’s planned Northern Vision to industrialize the Arctic as a sort of “Canadian manifest destiny”. This commitment to anti-Malthusian “open system” economics did not please London.

    When the Diefenbaker administration fell in 1963 (after a Roundtable-steered coup), the Liberal Party that returned to power under Lester B. Pearson was a far cry from that which had fallen in 1957. During the 1957-63 period, the Liberal Party was re-organized directly by Walter Lockhart Gordon, the British Foreign Office’s leading agent working through the CIIA.

    Walter Gordon and the Rise of a New Nationalism

    During this period, Gordon proved to become the most powerful man in the Liberal Party and the controller of Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson.

    Gordon led the cleansing of C.D. Howe Liberals and transformed the Party from the pro-development machine it had been since WW II into a radically anti-American, anti-progress colony under British financial control[1].

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    This was done by essentially infusing the Fabians dominant in the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (aka: the Fabian Society of Canada) into a Liberal host body (the CCF’s open connection to Marxism made it a hard sell on post-war Canadians). The recommendations that Gordon had made in his 1957 Royal Commission Report on Economic Prospects for Canada, especially those regarding restricting American investments and ownership of Canadian industry, would now, for the most part, be fully supported by the new government. A new synthetic Canadian identity would be crafted around a stark fear of the USA (then suffering its own regime change takeover, via the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy), and a new Orwellian age of endless war, nuclear terror, sex, drugs, MK Ultra and COINTEL PRO became the new norm for a generation of young baby boomers.

    In his memoirs, John Diefenbaker noted the irony of Walter Gordon’s radical promotion of Canadian nationalism on the one side, yet hatred of the policies pushed by Diefenbaker which would provide the actual means of attaining those nationalist ends which Gordon apparently desired:

    “One of the ironies of recent Canadian history is that Walter Gordon, a man whom I only met for a few minutes when he delivered to me his Royal Commission Report, has stated that he decided to do everything in his power to make Mr. Pearson Prime Minister because he hated me and feared that my policies would wreck Canada!” [p. 202]

    Lester B. Pearson, an Oxford Massey Scholar and former assistant in London to Vincent Massey, became the vehicle Gordon selected to oversee the transformation of the Liberal Party and the purging of pro-development Liberals who would resist the isolationist monetary policies of Gordon. One of those who would suffer the purge was Henry Erskine Kidd, General Secretary for the Liberal Party who referred to the process led by Gordon as “a palace revolution”[2].

    With this Palace Revolution, the Liberals swept back to power but now governed by an anti-growth technocratic ethic premised around the “scientific management of society” and a new “British-approved” nationalism was created beginning with a shiny new maple leaf flag which unlike most national flags, featured symbolism that signified absolutely nothing whatsoever.

    When Pearson found himself too easily influenced by “American-styled” growth initiatives, Gordon broke with him, and as Privy Council President, worked alongside Canadian Privy Councillor Maurice Strong (then head of the Canadian International Development Agency) to promote a more effective replacement in the form of Pierre Elliot Trudeau. In Elaine Dewar’s 1995 book Cloak of Green, Maurice Strong exposed how both he and Gordon were on the selection committee in Mont Blanc that chose Fabian Society asset Pierre Trudeau as a new rising star of the reformed Liberal Party.

    Another co-founder of this new Nationalism whose name is worth mentioning included a Canadian Rhodes Scholar named George Grant (a descendant of , who as I wrote in my George Grant’s Delphic Subversion of Canadian Nationalism, was little more than a Straussian follower of Aldous Huxley who drooled over a Canadian-modelled world government. Upon returning from Oxford, Grant was hired as a researcher on Massey’s 1949 Royal Commission.

    Grant’s grandfather George Parkin was Milner’s inspiration as a lecturer at Oxford and co-founder of the Roundtable group in 1902.

    Canada’s Future: Colonial Tool or New Silk Road?

    As part of his 1908 Canada tour that led into the creation of the synthetic “new nationalism” outlined above, Halford Mackinder made a jarring forecast:

    “We may picture to ourselves that Canada will not merely be an important part of the British Empire, but the very centre of that empire. Those who ask if Canada is to be loyal to the empire are forgetful of the fact, which I believe Canadians are beginning to realize, that Canada is probably to be the centre of the Empire.”

    For those who want to raise a glass to Canada on July 1st, I’d recommend that in lieu of painting ridiculous maple leaves on your face, we instead celebrate those figures in Canada’s history that fought to correct the error of 1776 — when Quebec failed to accept Benjamin Franklin’s offer to become a 14th member of the revolution. Instead of worshiping Maple Leaves and hockey, I suggest we take the time to raise a glass to the lives of those great statesmen like Louis-Joseph Papineau, Isaac Buchanan, Wilfrid Laurier, O.D. Skelton, C.D. Howe, W.A.C. Bennett, John Diefenbaker and Daniel Johnson Sr, who sacrificed their comfort, reputations and sometimes even their lives to bring Canada even just a few steps closer to attaining true independence of the British Empire.

    As the spirit of Lincoln, Alexander II, FDR and Sun Yat-sen is revived in today’s Belt and Road Initiative and broader Multipolar Alliance led by Russia and China, Canada will again be forced to confront an existential choice: Will we make the right one?