Creekside: North America Next

March 7, 2009

The terminology keeps changing. Deep integration is now ‘plug and play interoperability’. But changing the words will not change the odious Security and Prosperity Partnership.

Alison over at Creekside has an excellent post about this:

A year ago the U.S. Department of Homeland Security gave Arizona State University $15 million to establish a Center of Excellence for Border Security and Immigration. The border security research centre is led by Rick Van Schoik, director of ASU’s North American Center for Transborder Studies.
Arizona State U presser, Feb. 2008 :
“The establishment of the center by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security follows more than two years of work assembling a team of U.S. universities, Mexican and Canadian institutions, government agencies, technology companies and national laboratories.

[…]

Read rest of Alison’s post here.

Also linked: CathiefromCanada: “Plug and play interoperability”

For SPP watch  articles, visit the Council of Canadians Integrate This! website:

September 26, 2008
Posted by Andrea Harden

President Bush met with leaders and officials from 11 countries in the Western Hemisphere on Wednesday, September 24th in New York to launch the ‘Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas’ initiative. Canada is joined by the U.S., Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Peru in this initiative. All have free trade agreements with the U.S., or one pending before Congress. In a Washington Post article, Bush hails the initiative as, “a forum where leaders can work to ensure that the benefits of trade are broadly shared.” (more…)

Council of Canadians

CIP Americas Program: Armoring NAFTA: The Battleground for Mexico’s Future

Excerpt:

In April 2007, on the eve of the North American Trilateral Summit, Thomas Shannon, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for western hemisphere affairs, described the SPP’s purpose with remarkable candor: The SPP, he declared, “understands North America as a shared economic space,” one that “we need to protect,” not only on the border but “more broadly throughout North America” through improved “security cooperation.” He added: “To a certain extent, we’re armoring NAFTA.”2

Mexicans and other Latin Americans have learned that adopting the U.S.-promoted neoliberal economic model—with its economic displacement and social cutbacks—comes with a necessary degree of force, but this was the first time that a U.S. official had stated outright that regional security was no longer focused on keeping the citizens of the United States, Canada, and Mexico safe from harm, but was now about protecting a regional economic model. Of course, Shannon didn’t list political opposition as one of the threats to be countered; he simply argued that the new “economic space” needed to be protected against “the threat of terrorism and against a threat of natural disasters and environmental and ecological disasters.” But the counter-terrorism/drug-war model elaborated in the SPP and embodied later in Plan Mexico (known officially as the Merida Initiative) encourages a crackdown on grassroots dissent to assure that no force, domestic or foreign, effectively questions the future of the system.

[… Read more]

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Letter to confused Canadian voters

September 23, 2008

This impassioned letter to Canadian voters is from my best friend, Klara Palotay. Klara had lived through the horrors of Nazi fascism and Stalinist communism, so she knows the evils perpetrated upon citizens by these regimes. Canadians who care about our country must not be complacent and think this cannot happen here. It can, and it will! Remember, the good people of Germany did not believe it could happen to them either until it was too late. This has nothing to do with ‘left’ or ‘right’, liberals or conservatives. It has to do with the fate of our country. I urge my fellow bloggers to post Klara’s letter on your blogs to get the truth out about Stephen Harper’s insidious agenda. We cannot count on the mainstream media, even those that are purported to be ‘unbiased’. Our last bastion of objectivity, CBC, has joined the ranks of those who are aiding/abetting Harper in his smear campaign against Stephane Dion  — and their reporting is greatly slanted in Harper’s favour. The media have abandoned all objectivity, fairness and accuracy. They have become willing partners in Harper’s neocon machinations to turn our country into a US-style oligarchy.  We must not let this happen!!

Hello confused voter:

I am so sorry that you still think it is unfair of our venerable CBC to thrash Dion and tow the Harper line. I can see you need a bit of background info on this. When Harper cheated his way into office with the collusion of the RCMP and unfortunately Jack Layton, the whole dynamics of politics changed. Harper is a US lobbyist sent to us and financed by the republicans and big business to open Canada for the US style unregulated casino like financial system. Chretien was ousted by Martin for not cozying up to big business and Bay St. enough. Martin tried to behave as if his agenda was the usual Liberal semi socialist program even though he too was in agreement with selling out Canada to corporate interests. After all, he was the one who put us in the Afghanistan combat role under US command, Enduring Freedom. We are not under the Nato umbrella, we are already embedded in the US army. That is why Dion had to agree to the mission extension; there is no way the Americans will let us go. The Americans also blackmail and unfairly interfere with other countries internal politics. Harper win was engineered by them, because Martin was not as compliant as this current puppet proved to be. Martin was the one who put us on the road with deep integration and the SPP where the goal is to merge us into the US. As it is, we have too many laws and safeguards preventing that from happening as yet. Harper for the past 2 and a half years was furiously working behind the scenes to harmonize whatever he can with US laws and regulations, at the expense of the public. Since that time when Harper sneaked his way into office, Canada the decent, tolerant, just country ceased to exist. Witness the relentless attacks and bullying that have been going on for the past two years. Is this the country you grew up in? When Dion was chosen as leader of the party, all the pro business people went ballistic. Their lovely plan of selling us to the US developed a major snag. Here was a man who is honest, principled, just and not in politics for personal gain, thus he became their chief nemesis. In other words, he is a mortal enemy to the crooks on the right, both of big oil and big business. A man you cannot bribe or intimidate is their worst enemy. We, who attended that famous convention chose him precisely for those qualities. We did not want a Martin clone in Ignatieff or a pro Israel, and by extension another American supporter to be the new leader. We wanted a man who would stand up for Canada and we knew Dion could do it. We wanted to change the party and return it to local control for the citizen’s benefit. Two weeks after the convention the attacks started from the Cons. Have you ever wondered why they spent millions in the past years to assassinate Dion’s character? Isn’t it strange that they did not succeed in destroying him and like an energizing bunny he keeps on going because he knows HE IS RIGHT? He has a fully developed plan for the well-being of Canada and the other side is furious that nothing seems to faze him, not his own party’s lack of faith or the whole negative press he gets, he just pushes on because HE IS RIGHT! You must learn that two-thirds of our media are in conservative hands and they do not want him to win. Harper offered them unregulated markets where they can fleece the public with impunity. You think they will be fair and just? All the polls paid by them is fabricated to sound that way, to discourage the voters and have them stay home. If the Liberals lose heart as a lot of them are, the feeling forced on them already is: “what is the use, Harper will win anyway.” But why should they? The cons have no platform, no plan for Canada except to let the market destroy its safety net. The CBC is a government funded organization that is gutted from the inside, and the long time anchors like Peter Mansbridge and Don Newman gave up their objectivity long ago against being fired. Don’t think Harper would not do it, he has a string of wrongful dismissals under his belt.

What I am trying to say is use your head and use the internet wisely. You can find the truth easily, it is out there. The site to watch daily is The Turner Report, there you will get daily updates about the lies and shenanigans the conservatives are engaged in. Liblogs is another one, where you will read about all the outrages and happenings immediately as they occur. By the way, the only honest polling company belongs to Nick Nanos and he polls for CPAC. He was bang on with the last election results and he is the only one who does not manipulate the undecided numbers. Currently, the cons among decided voters lead at 36 per cent, the same as when they were elected in 2006, the Liberals are at 31 per cent despite the constant media barrage against Dion. Do you think there is not a concentrated effort to defeat Dion by the media? The NDP are at 22 per cent. Do you know what is the most important part of this poll? There are 20 per cent undecided voters!! Those people are waiting for the debates, they are waiting to see if anything happens like a major financial meltdown in the US or a new scandal, or Julie Couillard’s book on Bernier released before the election date. There are too many unknown factors still to call this election won by the cons. Harper as a dictator may sound good to his blind followers, but this is a huge country with regional interests that cannot be run by one rigid ideology. So I will ask you to accept the fact that big business, big oil, the media and Harper are conspiring against the Canadian people. Knowing this, your duty for your and your children’s sake is to go and help out with your local campaign and help however you are able. We need money and volunteers. This is the last chance for Canada to remain free; if we blow it this time will be an exploited poor region of a failing fascist empire. The slogan is WE WANT OUR CANADA BACK!! If you know any young people convert them to the cause, it is their future that is being given away. Allow Dion to return the country to its guiding principles: Peace, Order and Good Government. Let him fulfill his vision, Canada will be the richer for it.

Klara Palotay


Council of Canadians Election 08

September 23, 2008

Council of Canadians has a new section on their site called Election 08. It shows some of the important issues to Canadians by percentages, such as: water, energy, trade and integration, health care, peace, and has a daily question to ask your candidates during debates. There is also an Election Blog and other pertinent information. You can also sign up to receive Election Action Alerts. Be sure to check out this site.


Progressives for Stéphane Dion

September 13, 2008

Canadian progressives should check out this new website: Progressives for Stéphane Dion. It was recently launched by a grass roots group of non-partisan women who are sick of Harper’s tactics and the direction where he is taking our country: militarization, dismantling of our institutions, gutting social programs, privatizations, etc. and deeper integration and harmonization with the U.S.

See Harper Horrors on the Progressives for Dion Alerts page: a list they are compiling on things that Harper has done to damage our society. Then feel free to contact the site with your own list of Harper Horrors.

Related Links:
Scandalpedia
Privatization and the election
Harper’s secret review of Canada Post
ViveLeCanada.ca
Questions for the Leaders during this Election
Council of Canadians
The Harper Index
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)


Harper’s secret review of Canada Post

September 12, 2008

This latest insidious move by the Harper government should be of grave concern to Canadians who care about the egalitarian system of our mail delivery by Canada Post. Harper has been secretly trying to dismantle our mail delivery system and put it into private, corporate hands, where profit is the bottom line. Rural and remote areas would be especially hard hit and left without uniform, affordable postal service. To find out more, read this info from ViveleCanada.ca.

This is another example of how much effort Stephen Harper is putting into the dismantling and privatization of our Canadian institutions in order to further his goal of full integration with the U.S.

Over the next few months, our Conservative federal government is conducting a review that will determine the future of universal, public postal service. This review is pretty much a secret review and it could be very bad news for rural communities.

The government’s review will look at three very basic and important questions: What postal services should people receive? Who should provide them? And should Canada Post continue to have an exclusive privilege to handle addressed letters or should the letter market be open for competition?

Anyone who thinks that a little competition never hurt anyone might want to take a closer look at how our postal system actually works. Canada Post has an exclusive privilege to handle letters so that it is able to generate enough money to provide affordable postal service to everyone, no matter where they live.

While the exclusive privilege isn’t often discussed, most people seem to like what it does. In fact, ninety-one percent of respondents to an Angus Reid poll said universal postal service at a uniform rate is one of the really great things about Canada Post.

Unfortunately, our popular and egalitarian one-price goes anywhere service could disappear. If the government decides to eliminate our post office’s exclusive privileges as a result of its review, Canada Post would almost certainly face a downward spiral. Private sector competitors would focus on profitable areas and services, leaving unprofitable parts to our public post office. With fewer profits, Canada Post would find it increasingly difficult – and eventually impossible – to provide uniform and affordable service, especially in rural and remote parts of the country.

[…]

Read rest of the article here.