February 19, 2009
from People's Voice (column written by a YCLer)
FOSTER KIDS NOT WELCOME IN RESTAURANT
Children in the care of Child and Family services were kicked
out of a restaurant in a Winnipeg Howard Johnson hotel back in
December.A CFS worker was told by the manager that it
was policy that children in CFS care are not allowed to
eat in the restaurant.The worker said that “I guess they looked
at our room number and knew these kids were in care ”.
INJURED AT WORK,MAN NOW DEPORTED
British born Chris Mason was a trucker when he came to Canada
in 2001 to fill the need for cheap labour.After hurting his
back as a truck driver, he became a dispatcher. He was
injured further when his wheelchair was hit by a taxi at
a crosswalk outside a hospital in Winnipeg. Now, the
Harper Tory government has deported the 36 year old
paraplegic back to relatives in Manchester, England,
even though Mason had lived with his father in Greece
from the age of eight until his arrival in Canada at 28.
Mason's mother said that the Canadian government treated
her son like a terrorist. Chris Mason says, “I'm homeless,
I have no money and I've got nowhere to live.”
Being disabled,he now stays in a seniors nursing home.
You can read the rest of the column in the February 15-28th People's Voice (Vol.17 #3), buy a copy today or read the PDF online March 1st.
[Note: another deportee, this time in Calgary, Alberta set himself on fire
on Thursday February 12th "Witnesses said the man appeared to be upset and said something about being deported before he set himself alight, according to a local report...The man suffered second-degree burns to 40 per cent of his body, including his back, face, hands and legs".]
Wikileaks releases NATO report on civilian deaths
February 16, 2009
A confidential NATO report from January reveals that civilian deaths from the war in Afghanistan have increased by 46% over the past year.
The 12 page report was authenticated and released in full today by Wikileaks.
(click on link to see map)
ISAF Security Summary 2008
The report shows a dramatic escalation of the war and civil disorder. Coalition deaths increased by 35%, assassinations and kidnappings by 50% and attacks on the Kabul based Government of Hamid Karzai also more than doubled, rising a massive 119%.
The report highlights huge increases on attacks aimed at Coalition forces, including a 27 % increase in IED attacks, a 40%. rise in rifle and rocket fire and an increase in surface to air fire of 67%.
According to the report, outside of the capital Kabul only one in two families had access to even the most basic health care, and only one in two children had access to a school.
The disclosure follows the unrelated arrest of Colonel Owen McNally earlier this month for passing older civilian death toll figures to Human Rights Watch analyst and former BBC radio reporter Rachel Reid. Human Rights Watch published a report based around that data, which covered 2006-2007, last September.
The London Times, stated that American military officials were "seething" over the leaks.
A UK Ministry of Defence source reportedly told the Daily Mail:
"What McNally passed on will not cost lives in the sense that it doesn't give specific military details. But the whole point of defeating the Taliban is winning hearts and minds and stopping the population joining their cause. If they think we're lying to them, it could become a very dangerous place. This has caused a diplomatic row and the Americans are not happy at all."
Wikileaks legal spokesperson Jay Lim stated "We deplore the arrest of Colonel McNally for revealing civilian death figures. It is clear that Col. McNally's actions are of the highest moral calibre. His example has encouraged others to step forward."
NATO is not likely to find Wikileaks' source so readily. The site uses state of the art anonymization technologies, and the identity of its sources are protected under the Swedish Press Freedom Act.
by Liisa Schofield
Socialist Project, Bullet 188
The last few months have seen a global surge in support for the movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israeli Apartheid. Important solidarity actions have occurred across the globe, including: a wave of student occupations across the UK; union resolutions in Europe, New Zealand and Australia; and, most recently, the historic action of South African dockworkers refusing to unload Israeli ships.
These actions register important steps forward in building solidarity with the Palestinian people and show that popular opinion is beginning to shift toward an understanding of Israel as an apartheid state that must be isolated in the manner of the struggle that was waged against South African Apartheid.
At the same time, pro-Israel organizations have responded to the strength of the BDS movement with the familiar tactics of repression, stifling of dissent and bureaucratic harassment. This article details a remarkable case of repression against student organizing at the University of Toronto (UofT).
What follows is the documentation of a deliberate attempt by the UofT administration to prevent a Palestine solidarity conference from being held, the direct involvement of pro-Israel organizations in determining the use of student space and collusion between a number of Ontario universities to prevent the annual Israeli Apartheid Week – a student led week of events about Israeli Apartheid – from taking place. All of the emails referred to in the article are available online.
The Standing Against Apartheid Conference
Restrictions and harassment are experienced by pro-Palestinian activists on most Canadian campuses; this can take many different forms. At York University, for example, the latest tool of repression is the “Student Code of Conduct,” a draconian document that could potentially be used to ban any form of protest. At McMaster, it was in the form of a blanket ban on the use of the term "Israeli apartheid." The University of Toronto (UofT) has seen a broad range of tactics being used against student organizers, but it seems that the administration has decided to focus its effort on combating pro-Palestinian activism through an old-new tool: denial of space for meeting and holding events.
Securing space for student activists at UofT has always been a hard task for student organizations. But it seems that the University has shifted its tactics from mounting bureaucratic obstacles and technical hurdles, to outright denial of the right to book space. UofT seems to have declared a full fledged war against its Palestinian and pro-Palestinian students. Most recently, this came in the form of denying room bookings for a conference planned by Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA), a student group and action group of the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG), in October 2008.
SAIA, along with student groups at York University and other campuses, had planned a student conference, entitled "Standing Against Apartheid: Building Cross-Campus Solidarity with Palestine," for the first weekend of October 2008. The conference was meant to strengthen the student movement against Israeli apartheid, and to share strategies for the future, including planning the annual Israeli Apartheid Week.
Initially planned to take place in Hamilton, the conference was moved for logistical reasons to UofT. At the last minute, UofT decided to deny SAIA their room bookings, forcing them to look for an alternative venue for the conference in less than two days. In the end the conference did take place in Toronto but, instead of taking place at the university, the students ended up meeting in the basement of a church.
The following paragraphs will describe in detail the sequence of events leading up to the denial of these room bookings and the motivations behind the denial of space on campus. The information was obtained through a Freedom of Information (FIPPA) request regarding the week preceding the cancellation of the room booking. Over 250 pages of documents containing references to SAIA were generated by the UofT administration within that one week alone.
How does an Administration deny a legitimate student group
space on their own campus?
The UofT administration learned about the 'Standing Against Apartheid' conference before SAIA had even booked the rooms for it. The information came from Zac Kaye, Executive Director of Hillel of Greater Toronto, the primary pro-Israel group on campuses in Toronto. In most cases, Hillel has acted as Israel's mouthpiece on campuses. Kaye found out about the conference being moved to Toronto, and knowing that it was going to be a strategy conference to co-ordinate pro-Palestine activism on campus, he was quick to act.
On Sept. 29, before the room booking forms were even submitted, Kaye sent a casual sounding email to Jim Delaney, the director of the Office of the Vice-Provost, Students. Delaney is the person at UofT who deals with the issues of student clubs, and who also has a say in the approval of space for those groups. In the email, Kaye inquired about the conference, and whether the event had "been booked according to procedures." Kaye also raised some concerns about openness and accessibility.
After receiving Kaye's email, Delaney alerted some key people at UofT about the conference. Sheree Drummond, Assistant Provost, who is part of the senior advisory group within the Office of the Vice President and Provost, got word of the conference. Apparently Drummond decided that the right to book space on campus by a student group for a student activity is an important issue, so important in fact, that the Interim-Vice President & Provost, Cheryl Misak, should be alerted. It was then that President David Naylor himself got involved.
Somewhere between appointing professors, setting up policies, fundraising and running the affairs of the 61,000 students at UofT, President Naylor made time to deal with the urgent and serious issue of room bookings. In an email he sent to Misak and Jill Matus, Vice-Provost for Students, Naylor characterized the issue as "urgent," and wanted to discuss it and check the room bookings. In his haste he also included some factually incorrect information, specifically that McMaster had refused the initial booking. He then emailed Matus and Misak again, bringing to their attention the fact that the conference was only open to Palestine solidarity activists. This, in his view, was a problem.
Delaney did not waste any time and he quickly started collecting information or, as he called it, “digging.” One of the first things that he did was to contact the administration at McMaster to see if they had any information pertaining to the conference. Dr. Phil Wood, Associate Vice President of McMaster University replied and provided some information. He said that Delaney was lucky because "Our local Jewish community made us aware of the planned event for Oct. 4-5 about 3 weeks ago," and McMaster was looking for room bookings for the event (presumably to cancel them). He also informed Delaney that McMaster's 'Crisis Management Group' is also planning for the upcoming Israeli Apartheid Week in March. McMaster's Director of Security was copied on this email, since according to Wood's assessment, Delaney might have "intel" (i.e. intelligence) about Israeli Apartheid Week.
Booking pre-emptively denied
At this point, with the threat of room bookings looming, the highest level of administration at UofT entered into crisis mode. At some point on Monday, Sept. 29, the upper echelon of UofT decided to deny the booking. It is very important to note that this decision took place before a request for room bookings had even been made. It would seem that this decision was taken because of both the pressure from Hillel, and because of their own animosity to pro-Palestine activism.
Although it is not clear exactly who made this decision, it would appear, according to this email correspondence, that Delaney and Misak were involved and had the support of President Naylor. Delaney began immediately working on an email that would go out to the organizers of the conference informing them that the room bookings were being denied. It also seems that both Delaney and Misak took this so seriously that they put some overtime work on this; a number of emails were sent past midnight.
Delaney drafted an email to the organizers of the conference saying that the room booking was to be denied. He sent it for approval and editing to Misak and Matus who then "tinkered a bit with it" and approved it. Naylor also approved the email. Then this group of high-ranking UofT administrators discussed who should send this completed letter, whether it should be sent from a generic account without a name signing on to it, or whether it should be sent by Delaney himself. In the correspondence it is evident that they were worried about who the legitimate body should be, and how SAIA would react.
After the email was sent out, Delaney was informed by the Manager of Office of Space Management (Andy Allen) that the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG), had put in a request for room bookings for the conference on behalf of SAIA. Of course, the decision to deny the bookings had already been made, and already had the approval of the Provost and the President. The question now became, what should be the excuse for denying the room booking? In his email to Cheryl Misak and Jill Matus, Delaney suggested two reasons: that the five business days advance notice requirement was not met, or the second reason being that they had 'seen' advertising indicating that it is not an OPIRG event. At 10:34 p.m., Jill Matus replied that the room booking request should be declined because of the advance notice requirement (although the rooms were empty, and this would be contrary to past practice of the Office of Space Management). The question of who should send the email emerged again.
In the meantime, Delaney asked the Office of Space Management if they “have standard language for denying a request,” and who would normally send it. Surprisingly, the manager of the Office of Space Management answered that “[We] don't deny many so we don't have a standard language or procedure. I would to start [sic] with Rose sending it, but I know they will push back so I am inclined to start higher up the food chain, at least myself.”
Delaney decided to consult with his superiors. He sent another email to Misak and Matus, but this time he informed them that the advertisement for the event did mention Students Against Israeli Apartheid, which is an OPIRG working group. This means that he made the claim that the University had seen advertising that indicated that this was not an OPIRG event with the full knowledge that such a claim would be false. Presumably, that is why Matus suggested that they focus on the ‘5 business days notice' as an excuse instead. In the same email he also suggests that the email should come from the Director of the Office of Space Management. The reasoning behind this suggestion is that in case this decision is appealed, it would be appealed to the trio Delaney, Matus and Misak, and they can consider the appeal (on their own decision), and dismiss it. So much for transparency and due process at UofT.
Finally, they decided to go with a combination of the two reasons; the short notice, and the claim that the event is not an OPIRG event, even though Delaney, Matus and Misak knew that the second excuse was false. Canada's top academics, Interim Vice President and Provost, and the Vice Provost of the University of Toronto – people who are expected to be ardent defenders of freedom of expression – conspired, and knowingly used a false excuse, to shut down a simple conference for students about Palestine solidarity organizing.
Canadian Universities restricting freedom of speech:
In addition to the glaring restriction on freedom of speech, the documents that were obtained through the Freedom of Information (FIPPA) Request reveal how the UofT's top leadership treat their own students as suspected criminals who apparently should be under close surveillance. This seems to be a common theme throughout Ontario universities, especially when it comes to the issue of Palestine.
At McMaster, the Associate Vice-President was asking for “intelligence,” and at York the administration has already compiled hundreds of pages of legal advice about the activities of SAIA@York. Events on all campuses are consistently monitored and Campus Security often send personnel to attend Palestine related events.
Universities not neutral
In 2007, UofT has even had the audacity to try to charge OPIRG for security personnel that OPIRG did not ask for. OPIRG refused to pay, and the administration backed down. The fact that Hillel and other pro-Israel organizations were involved in denying the room booking at UofT exposes the myth that universities are neutral and somehow give equal treatment to both pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel groups.
In fact, the impression from the course of action that the UofT chose in this case, the language they used and the close coordination with Hillel shows that when it comes to the matter of the ‘Middle East conflict,' the administration unequivocally sides with Israel, even at the expense of freedom of speech – the very principle without which universities could not exist. The personal involvement of the President and the Interim Vice President and Provost is especially alarming. This is evidence of the unfettered access that the pro-Israel lobby has to the administrations at Canadian universities, and to the fact that the top administrators of the Canadian universities are amenable to pressure from these groups.
The implications are even more severe than the denial of room booking. The fact that for the sake of pro-Israel groups, top academics who are in charge of Canada's largest university are willing to make false excuses and use repressive tactics in order to silence a group of students should cast doubt on the overall commitment to principles such as the autonomy of the university and academic freedom.
Ontario-Wide Campaign Against Pro-Palestine Activism
The denial of space for the October conference seems to be just one part of a concerted campaign by universities all across Ontario against pro-Palestine activism. A body that is called "Ontario Committee on Student Affairs," which includes in its membership the Associate Vice President of McMaster University, Philip Woods, Delaney from the University of Toronto and Frank Cappadoccia from York University, met last October in order to discuss the threat of Israeli Apartheid Week on campuses. It was in this Ontario Committee on Student Affairs meeting that they were planning to use the "intimate knowledge," or "intel," as Philip Wood put it, that Delaney would provide. It is clear that the people in charge of security in various universities are putting together “plans and strategies” for Israeli Apartheid Week.
Double standards at UofT
One has to wonder if the pro-Israel groups would get the same treatment from UofT. It seems that not only does UofT help pro-Israel groups in suppressing Palestinian activism, but it also directly sponsors pro-Israel activities. UofT is one of the sponsors of a conference titled "Emerging Trends in Anti-Semitism and Campus Discourse," which is scheduled to take place in March 2009. The conference is the launching conference for an organization called "The Canadian Academic Friends of Israel," or CAFI.
According to CAFI's website, CAFI is “an organization of individuals from Canadian post-secondary institutions who support Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, and who wish to protect civil and scholarly discourse as it pertains to the state of Israel on university and college campuses across Canada.”
CAFI also shares offices with the Canada Israel Committee and the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocay (CIJA). It even shares the same phone number and staff person with the latter. Essentially, it is an organization whose sole purpose is to further support the Israeli state and its apartheid policies, and UofT is one of the sponsors of its launching conference. Although this conference is supposedly an academic conference and its organizers claim that it is an inclusive, interdisciplinary event, it is doubtful whether it will include the voices of academics who challenge the policies of the state of Israel. In fact, the organizers of the academic conference were so "inclusive," that they did not issue a call for papers. UofT's sponsorship of this conference, as well as their continued repression of Pro-Palestinian activism on campus, shows the mode of thinking prevailing at Canadian universities: if it is pro-Israel, embrace it, if it is pro-Palestinian, silence it.
We know that university Presidents across Canada have jumped on the opportunity to unilaterally condemn the debate of the merits of an Academic Boycott against Israeli Institutions that support apartheid policies (as called for by over 171 Palestinian Civil Society organizations in the 2005 Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions appeal to the International community). This past summer, UofT's President David Naylor, along with many other Canadian University Presidents, visited Israel, touring Israeli Universities, to further show their direct support for Israel. Yet these same Presidents have been strikingly silent about the denial of the basic right to education for Palestinian students who are living under Israeli occupation.
Moving forward, the following questions still remain: will Canadian universities conspire with pro-Israel groups to shut down Israeli Apartheid Week in 2009? Are they going to continue silence any voice of support for the Palestinian people on campus?
Or, are university administrations finally going to listen to the voices of Palestinian and Pro-Palestine students who are demanding an end to the unequivocal support of Israeli apartheid on Canadian campuses? •
Liisa Schofield is a documentary filmmaker, an anti-poverty activist and an activist for Palestinian rights. She is also the Volunteer and Programming Coordinator at OPIRG Toronto.
February 15, 2009
Office of the Prime Minister / Cabinet du Premier ministre
Executive Correspondence Officer
Agent de correspondance de la haute direction
Dear Mr. L.A. Lavell
Thank you for your response below to my request that Mr. Harper raise the issue of the Cuban Five during the upcoming visit of President Obama to Ottawa.
Today all three opposition parties in the Canadian Parliament have called on Prime Minister Harper to request of President Obama during his February 19th visit to Ottawa the repatriation of Canadian citizen Omar Khadr from Guantanamo . It is increasingly evident that broad sections of the Canadian people and elected deputies are interested in important political issues being raised by the Prime Minister during the February 19th visit.
The following deputies in today’s news conference in Ottawa , speaking on behalf of their respective parties together forming the majority in the Canadian Parliament, declared that Khadr should be considered a child soldier because he was recruited at 13 and captured at 15: Liberal Party’s Bob Rae, Bloc Québécois party’s Paul Crête and New Democratic Party’s Paul Dewar.
The U.S. and Canadian governments are signatories to a United Nations protocol stating that fighters under age18 are to be considered child soldiers and must be released and helped to reintegrate into society.
Khadr was captured following a battle in Afghanistan in 2002. He has been held at the Guantanamo Bay military prison, accused of throwing a hand grenade that killed U.S. Sgt. Christopher Speer during that battle. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has so far refused to get involved and has rejected suggestions that Khadr should be considered a child soldier.
However, there have been many reports in Canada and Quebec , including from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the official state television network. These well-documented reports indicate that the chances are very high that Mr. Khadr had been framed and viciously tortured in Guantanamo in order to try and force a confession out of him to satisfy the needs of the US military and intelligence forces.
A group of interested Canadian citizens, which included Khadr’s lawyer Dennis Edney, Islamic Society Toronto region president Zafar Bangash and Canadian Arab Federation head Mohamed Boudjenane, urged PM Harper to meet with them before Obama's visit so he can pass along a formal request.
"Call us, meet with us. Your obligation, Mr. Harper, is to bring Omar home," said lawyer Dennis Edney.
"Omar has no objection to a trial," Dennis Edney, said in an interview. "We're not running, we're not hiding."
Firstly, allow me to add my voice to all those who are demanding that this Canadian citizen be immediately repatriated.
The case of the Cuban Five is of course completely different. One thing stands out in common, however, is that the Cuban Five never had a fair trial. It was held in Miami despite the normal and legal objections by their lawyers that this south Florida city is not an appropriate venue for a fair trial given the existence of the wealthy, influential, violent “anti-Castro government” colony there. The Cuban Five have been held in unbearable conditions for more than ten years now, including more than 17 months in the hole (solitary confinement) as soon as they were arrested in Miami , and on many occasions since then. Two of the Cuban prisoners have not been allowed to see their wives at all for more than 10 years, while the other three face constant obstacles placed in the path of their families’ visitation rights according to all international and American laws protecting family visits. This is called double punishment and is a kind of mental and
moral torture. Like the case of Omar Khadr, the Cuban Five have nothing to hide, and as a result any fair trial will release them. On January 30th, 2009 the legal team of the Cuban Five filed a writ of certiorari with the US Supreme Court, asking the Court to examine the case, one of the main arguments being the violation of the right to an impartial trial in an appropriate venue. This case of the Cubans is highly political and is hopefully to be heard in the US Supreme Court.
Taking into account the concerns shown by many people and mass organizations in Canada and Quebec, including the fact that fifty-six members of the Canadian parliament have demanded the release of the Cuban Five and respect for family visitation rights until their freedom is achieved, I am asking you once again to relay my message to PM Harper and the appropriate ministers: this violation of human rights in the USA should be sharply criticized on February 19th. The Cuban Five should be given a fair trial. The US Supreme Court must hear this case as petitioned by their lawyers and/or be released immediately seeing that they have already spent more than ten years in US penitentiaries, far from their country and their families. Canada cannot stand idly by while the US practices a double standard: known and self-avowed terrorists such as Posada Carriles are free in the US , but those who dared to oppose terrorism against Cuba with the potential collaboration
of the US authorities, are in jail!
Even though I am writing this letter on my own personal behalf, just to let you know that I am a member of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5 as well as the Comité Fabio Di Celmo pour les 5 of the Table de Concertation de Solidarité Québec-Cuba.
Arnold August, Writer\Lecturer, Montreal
cc: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lawrence Cannon, Fax: (613) 996-9709
Minister of State Affairs ( Americas ), Peter Kent, Fax: (613) 996-9709
Subject: Office of the Prime Minister / Cabinet du Premier ministre
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 12:27:38 -0500
Dear Mr. August:
On behalf of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, I would like to thank you for your recent e-mail.
Please be assured that your comments have been noted and that they will receive due consideration from the Minister, who has already received a copy of your correspondence.
Executive Correspondence Officer
Agent de correspondance
de la haute direction
There are two related films in this post for a combined running time of 32min 96 sec.
RIGHT: Entrance to a headquarters of the
United Fruit Company [photo: wikimedia]
Journey to Banana Land
Boring Boring Boring...hey! Bananas!...and child labour!
This film was produced by United Fruit Company to show in elementary school geography classes about bananas. One who watches "the Simpsons" TV show will see where the recurring character Troy McLure is used to make social commentary on film such as the one above.
Indoctrinating children and other viewers to eat bananas toward the end of the film, by showing many versatile uses, is obviously a motive beyond just education to make the film. The film is shows a paternalistic attitude towards the Central American region as the sole domain of the corporation. It shows how in its view it civilized the area all by itself, and developed modern infrastructure. It presents the workers and inhabitants of the area as primitive and backwards. Watch for the child labourers!
Loose similarities and differences can be made between the Hudson's Bay Company and the United Fruit Company:
-time-HBC was dominant from 1670 to around 1870 and the transfer of Rupert's Land to the Dominion of Canada. The United Fruit Company was active through most of the 20th century and lives on as Chiquita Brands.
-space- HBC was dominant in British North America/Canada in the fur trade. It owned Rupert's Land.
United Fruit was dominant in Central and South America in the fruit trade. It owned vast plantations and effectively controlled key industries and government policy in "banana republics".
political sphere of influence- HBC was part of the British Empire. United Fruit was a part of the American Empire. In fact the film below shows the government more direct role in imperialism.
According to wikipedia, in 1954, the democratically elected Guatemalan government of Colonel Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán was toppled by U.S.- backed forces lead by Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas who invaded from Honduras. The CIA accomplished this through operation PBSUCCESS when Arbenz pushed for land reforms to redistribute United Fruit lands to poor farmers.
United Fruit is mentioned when Colonel Smedly Butler wrote of his career: "I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."
Psychological Operations in Support of Internal Defense and Development Assistance Programs (Part I)
As mentioned in the film above, it shows a government's more direct role in imperialism. It intervenes on behalf of trans national corporate interests. All under the name of preventing Communism from taking hold in a country. Inviting in the United States to help, or another power for that matter, is more common than we think given today's Bush doctrine. Canada's agreement to let U.S troops on to Canadian soil it proof, along with the proliferation of U.S. bases around the world. This film is not as dated as we may think.
A battle of ideas
A common thread of these films is they present a view and try to make the audience see the world their way. Consumer advertising, Newspaper editorials, the spin on Fox TV news, a radio call in show "moderator/host."
In fact when you look at it as such, this very blog post can be viewed as propaganda (But we don't lie!). Really, objectivity is simply non existent as we all have differing opinions and it shows in some capacity.
The psych-ops approach is a battle of ideas and goes beyond nation to nation but among various groups and consumers. The recent Gaza tragedy is a good example with controlled media outlets, press releases, and web brigades such as the Jewish Internet Defense Force, an ultra right wing group that lobbies for removable of truly anti-Semitic sites. However, it's also overzealous in its intimidation of service providers thereby removing any web site mildly critical of, or opposing its views. Harper's Conservatives and the anti-coalition talking points are another example of a media brigade. And advertisements and Horatio Alger stories, and Hollywood movies like "Pursuit of Happiness" saturate our culture with neo-liberal ideas, but it is a neo-liberal system after all.
Speaking of bananas, here is an very strange advertisement that is unintentionally funny. It is among the Get rich quick ideas peddled in the back of popular magazines. Horaitio Algeiers indeed. The ad promotes a product, promotes free enterprise. It may be a legitimate small business, but ads for snake oil and cutco knives are very dubious. I can hear Billy Mays now.
Please note that the blog the ad is from will be reviewed next month when I lay off the films for awhile and review web pages, blogs, and wikis in March. From a socialist perspective.
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