Tag Archives: Michael Harris

Snow squalls, snow fences and the privatization of highways: ‘It is time to draw a line in the snow’

A lake effect snow squall (snowsquall) drops heavy snow over Sudbury on Feb. 27. Lake effect squalls are noted for their persistence and linear banding, producing blinding visibility on Highway 400 yesteday.

An awesome lake effect snow squall (snowsquall) drops heavy snow over Sudbury on February 27, 2014. Lake effect squalls from Georgian Bay are noted for their persistence and linear banding, producing blinding visibility on Highway 400.

The following reflection was written on February 28, 2014 but for some reasons was not published at the time. I am posting it now in the midst of the extreme cold weather front that is gripping Canada and the United States.

The view from Blantyre

By TONY SEED

WHEN extreme weather event strikes, the reporting of the media proceeds from the premise of the insurance companies: it is a supernatural “act of God,” a natural disaster divorced from the social conditions made by man. It has become a genre and given a name – disaster journalism. It was all so “unexpected.” Hurricane Katrina? Just blew in suddenly from the Gulf. That ice storm in Atlanta? The weather suddenly shifted upstate in the morning. That tsunami in the Indian Ocean? No-one at the U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii had the phone number of the Sri Lanka president and hence the island received no warning. Thousands of people, mainly poor fishers, along the eastern and southern coastline were engulfed by the deep blue sea, as if an act of Buddha. Due to the large number of victims, that far-off disaster did make the evening news. These were not “accidents”; natural disasters became crimes. Continue reading

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Filed under Canada, Media, Journalism & Disinformation

The hypocrisy of Harper’s freedom of speech knows no bounds

Freedom of speech of the reactionary ruling classes

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By PAULINE EASTON
Millions of people in France and around the world have declared their opposition to terrorism and defended the people’s right to speak since the shooting in Paris on January 7 and the violence and chaos that followed.[1]

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Flaherty should be held responsible for economic damage, wrecking Canada, criminalizing Canadian workers and repeated war budgets

He was a political representative of the financial elite and a neo-liberal champion of its anti-union, anti-worker, anti-social and anti-national offensive. The media and political parties of the establishment are politicizing and manipulating the death of Jim Flaherty, giving the battle-cry “Glory to the Harper agenda – to its heroes glory!” | TONY SEED

Workers demonstrate outside of Flaherty’s campaign office in Whitby-Oshawa during 2008 election.

(Apr. 11, revised Apr. 13, 15) – THE MEDIA is going non-stop in its eulogizing of Jim Flaherty, who passed away suddenly on April 10. Until his retirement recently, Flaherty had been federal finance minister since the 2006 electoral coup that brought the Harper government to power and one its most powerful and prominent figures. On the basis of a motion by NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, the House of Commons immediately suspended its regular business on the afternoon of April 10 and devoted a session to tributes from all parties before adjourning. Opposition MPs reportedly hugged Conservative MPs. Media accounts highlighted plaudits from the major banks, which they called “the business community.” “I will miss working with Jim,” TD Bank president Ed Clark gushed. “I greatly admired his passion for improving the lives of Canadians.” The media created online books of condolences.

The dominant media and political discourse advances the view that regardless of one’s individual views on Flaherty’s policies and budgets, he had human qualities; he “put partisanship aside” in the common pursuit of “growing the Canadian economy,” and hence “politicians of all stripes are mourning him.” The illusion is spun that capitalism can be reformed and saved from its basic contradictions through fiscal and budgetary policies such as those implemented by Flaherty that generally reduce state investments in social programs and increase the amount given directly to finance capital.

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Filed under Canada, Working Class

‘Baby steps’: The operation of US military and 
security agents in Canada

070819-CalgarySPPprotest-03-crop2TML Weekly Information  Project (Sept. 28 ) – FOLLOWING the September 11, 2001 attacks, successive Canadian governments have been systematically placing Canadian forces and security agencies under U.S. command in various ways. Although these are presented as “joint” operations, more and more aspects of Canada’s military and civilian emergency responders and services such as the Coast Guard are being placed under NORAD/U.S. command. Under the Harper government, this trend has reached a climax, with new permanent arrangements that put U.S. security forces on Canadian soil and place all of Canadian land, sea and waterways shared with the U.S., such as the Great Lakes, and aerospace under U.S. military command. Continue reading

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Filed under No Harbour for War (Halifax)