Posts filed under ‘The Americas – Canada to Chile’
Americans think of Mexico and Mexicans as a nation of wannabe braceros, itching to cross the border to suck the tit of the American welfare state.
Think again Americans! They’re movin’ on up and getting things done:
Barring an unlikely court upset, the new year in Mexico will bring a national tax of one peso per liter — roughly 10 percent — on sugar-sweetened beverages and 8 percent on junk food. The legislation came about through a strong push by the Nutritional Health Alliance of 22 NGOs and networks representing some 650 nonprofits and grass-roots organizations, and an alignment of interests among President Enrique Peña Nieto, advisers in the Hacienda y Crédito Público (the rough equivalent of the I.R.S.), and members of the opposition parties.
The powerful Mexican soda and junk food industries were hardly asleep at the wheel this fall, and fear of losing their advertisers appears to have led major TV stations to refuse to run commercials advocating the tax. But several factors motivated Mexico’s president and legislature, including the fact that among populous nations, Mexico recently passed the United States to become the world’s most obese. Beyond that, there’s an increasing awareness that Mexico’s accelerating public health crisis could hurt its economy, and that only prevention would make practical the universal, single-payer health care system instituted last year.
Also critical to the new law was an agreement reached by the three major political parties, called “Pact for Mexico,” which essentially committed them all to not blocking anything that a majority wanted; specifically, if the party in office and one of the other two major parties wanted to pass one of 95 reforms necessary for the country to progress the third party would not resist. In other words, the nation’s future trumped partisan interests.
This would be the hard-hitting reporting going on over at the New York Times (the supposedly repulsively “liberal” paper that conservatives hold their nose when quoting) about Paul Ryan. Yes siree, their sleuthy reporters are tearing through Paul Ryan’s life like a pack of hyenas.
In the Fashion and Style section we have this number titled, Embracing the Right Fit: “My editor asked me to write a critique of” Mitt Romney’s and Paul Ryan’s “attire on the day of the announcement in Virginia, thinking there might be something in their casual look.” And this, in the same section: A Beach Body Built in Wisconsin. Need I say more about that one?
So, never mind what’s in his budget plan or how he feels about women’s issues or global warming or wars, let’s vote for Ryan because he’s a good dresser, he works out and oh yeah, he’s “adorable.”
Geezus. Dumbed down nation.
The end could be better but calling all Obamacare haters — here’s your ticket to ride:
This is our Tweet of the Day and yes, it’s gross alright:
First of all, pardon me for referring to the United States as “America” and I mean that every time I use that word.
I know “America” means more than the United States:
That said, take a look at this map from the WeatherChannel:
The weather stops at our border?
Geezus. They want us to believe we are the universe.
Google the word “flooding.” You’ll be amazed at what’s going on out there — in Ireland, Italy and Thailand — and the thing is, we never hear about it because we’re made to believe that the only thing happening weather-wise is in “America.”
They think we’re total idiots. I.e., I don’t believe this for a second (i.e., filed under Dumbed Down and They Think We’re Idiots):
A Canadian company that hopes to pipe oil from western Canada to Texas is working with U.S. officials to develop safety standards beyond those required by law, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday.
The new standards should ensure that if a permit for the 1,900-mile pipeline is issued, “the project will be as safe as it could possibly be,” Clinton said.
“We’ve been clear from the beginning that the safety of the pipeline is one of our highest priorities,” said Clinton, who is expected to decide on the project by the end of the year.
The State Department has authority over the pipeline because it crosses an international boundary.
Among other changes, the company has agreed to build the pipeline 4 feet below ground, instead of 3 feet…
Email this to your grandkids and ask them to bookmark it and read it again in 10 years. By then, advanced countries (those who are, today, weaning themselves of oil) will be living off of renewable energy and the U.S. will be creaking along, tearing up its national parks and wildlands for any shred of oil it can find. And, sadly, it will be dealing with oil spills because, as is true today, the people who are in charge of monitoring this shit are in bed with the oil companies.
So, hey Hillary, sounds good but I know better.
News Corp., the parent company of Fox News, was hoping to open a propaganda branch in Canada — called “Sun News TV” (or “Fox North”). It was hoping its crony in Ottawa, winger Prime Minister Stephen Harper, would be successful in overturning a law prohibiting lying on broadcast news. (Imagine that. There is a law in Canada prohibiting lying during newscasts. How civilized.) But, thank goodness there is still some sanity in the world; they were wrong:
As America’s middle class battles for its survival on the Wisconsin barricades – against various Koch Oil surrogates and the corporate toadies at Fox News – fans of enlightenment, democracy and justice can take comfort from a significant victory north of the Wisconsin border. Fox News will not be moving into Canada after all! The reason: Canadian regulators announced last week they would reject efforts by Canada’s right-wing Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, to repeal a law that forbids lying on broadcast news.
Canada’s Radio Act requires that “a licenser may not broadcast … any false or misleading news.” The provision has kept Fox News and right-wing talk radio out of Canada and helped make Canada a model for liberal democracy and freedom. As a result of that law, Canadians enjoy high quality news coverage, including the kind of foreign affairs and investigative journalism that flourished in this country before Ronald Reagan abolished the “Fairness Doctrine” in 1987.
Political dialogue in Canada is marked by civility, modesty, honesty, collegiality, and idealism that have pretty much disappeared on the US airwaves. When Stephen Harper moved to abolish the anti-lying provision of the Radio Act, Canadians rose up to oppose him fearing that their tradition of honest non-partisan news would be replaced by the toxic, overtly partisan, biased and dishonest news coverage familiar to American citizens who listen to Fox News and talk radio. Harper’s proposal was timed to facilitate the launch of a new right-wing network, “Sun TV News” which Canadians call “Fox News North.”
Something like this would never happen in the US because the people in Washington work for the corporations, not for the good of the country but, again, it’s nice to know sanity still exists somewhere in the world.
Now we wait to see if “Sun News TV” agrees not to lie, something I think it’s incapable of. Telling the truth isn’t part of its consciousness or its business model.
UPDATED 1-12-12 @6:47 p.m. ET: Thanks to all for the lively, well-informed and thought-provoking comments. I would like to say a few things: The person who put this post up is no longer with me. After reading some of what has been said here, I followed the links through and I believe this is where the (inaccurate) assertion that News Corp. owns Sun News came from:
The run-up to the licensing of Sun TV News spurred passionate debate about whether Canadians will embrace a news channel modelled on the successful Fox News Channel in the U.S.
Quebecor Media¹s chances of landing a license for the upstart cable channel were dealt a blow when it was revealed that Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper and representatives of Quebecor Media had secretly lunched in New York City with Rupert Murdoch and Fox News president Roger Ailes.
That forced Peladeau to disavow any links between Sun TV News and Fox News, as critics claimed, or that Harper¹s conservative government had conspired to bring a Fox-style news channel to Canada.
A link to that article is contained in the post one goes to when one clicks on “they were wrong” in the first paragraph above. I apologize for not having noticed this error at the time this post went up and though, again, I did not compose it or post it, since this is my blog, it is my responsibility.
Second, there is this about Fox broadcasting in Canada now:
In 2003, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) rejected a Canadian Cable Telecommunications Association (CCTA) application to bring Fox News to Canada because Fox News U.S. and Global Television were planning to create Fox News Canada, a combination of U.S. and Canadian news. However in 2004, after a Fox U.S. executive said there were no plans to create the combined channel, the CRTC approved an application to bring Fox News to Canada.
Fox News Channel is currently offered by Access Communications, Bell TV, Cogeco, Eastlink, Manitoba Telecom Services, Rogers, SaskTel, Shaw Cable, Shaw Direct and Telus TV. A notable exception is Vidéotron, Canada’s third largest cable company, which has not added Fox News Channel to its lineup.
I don’t know if the individual who put up this post was aware of the above information — I would say not — but though the article says an application was approved to bring Fox News to Canada, despite some quick research, I do not get the impression that Fox News has a channel broadcast from Canada, staffed with Canadians, aimed at Canadians. Far as I can tell, the Fox News seen in Canada is the Fox News produced out of New York City, and it is the same version we see here in the states. So, again, far as I can tell, Fox still hasn’t been granted permission to produce a separate, Canadian-centered news show in Canada.
So, I hope this addresses some of the very good points made on the comment thread. Again, this is my blog and I take full responsibility for the post but prior to today I had no idea it contained such major flaws, primarily the clear implication that News Corp. owns Sun News.
I am the only one posting here as of roughly seven months ago and I insofar as I believe propaganda spread by Fox and the U.S. corporate media is literally a threat to our democracy, I take facts and accuracy dead seriously and I apologize that the flaws in this post weren’t corrected immediately.
The trans-Alaska pipeline has shut down due to a leak at a pump station (fish and animals — run for your lives!):
The 800-mile trans-Alaska oil pipeline is shut down due to a leak at Pump Station 1 on the North Slope.
North Slope oil producers have been asked to cut their production to 5 percent of normal.
An oil line encased in concrete leaked an unknown quantity of crude oil just outside a booster pump building, according to Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. spokeswoman Michelle Egan. Alyeska operates the line and its pump stations.
A crew doing a routine inspection noticed the leak this morning and Alyeska shut down the pipeline at about 9 a.m., Egan said.
I think we’re all experiencing heartbreak overload. I know I am, what with so much suffering going on in what seems like every nook and cranny of the planet. But in case you’re interested, and can take it, here’s a slide show of early pictures from the earthquake in Chile.
Hard as it is, and as much as we might want to, we can’t shut down IMHO.
Hugo Chavez has some good ideas and he has done some good things but this is crazy.
Food for thought:
– January 17: Hugo Chavez says U.S. occupying Haiti in name of aid.
Check out this video from CBS News. It shows U.N. troops in Haiti shooting rubber bullets at people who are walking in front of them. From what I can tell, it’s totally unjustified. There is no mob and nobody is threatening them.
The poor Haitians. As if they don’t have enough to deal with, now they have to contend with hot-headed, macho 20-somethings with guns.
I read somewhere last week that it was possible that Blackwater, now known as Ze, had been hired to protect the reporters and crew of a major television news outlet while they were in Haiti. Whether or not Blackwater is involved, the likes of ABC, NBC, FOX and CNN undoubtedly hire (or bring their own) security personnel when they go to a place like that.
Meanwhile, there’s the other media: Over the weekend, Amy Goodman of DemocracyNow! traveled to Haiti with at least one other person, Sharif Kouddous. Here is a picture of their, ahem, “hotel” room which Kouddous posted earlier today. Not exactly high-security, Blackwater-esque.
(But DemocracyNow!’s reporting beats the big boys any day.)
I have a terrible cold and I am depressed — about Obama (change you can’t believe in), the endless propaganda in the media, Massachusetts, and the unbelievably slow response to Haiti.
Was it intentional? Destroy the society so corporations can — in essence — use the Haitians as slaves? (It’s been done before.)
On top of that, my computer’s &^%$#ing up.
Don’t expect much of me in the next few days.
Again, I don’t know what Obama was thinking when he tapped George W. to help with the Haiti relief efforts. Are we ready to see that guy’s mug on the teevee again? Already? I don’t think anybody is — including Republicans.
Why, oh why Obama, are you dragging him out? Errrrrrh.
Anyway, this from Andy Borowitz pretty much says it all:
We Americans are, of course, supposed to hate Cuba. It’s governed by old, insane men who flail their arms around while giving 8-hour speeches during which they criticize the pure-of-heart U.S. It’s a dark, menacing place where bad people live.
So when Cuba does something that might run counter to what we’re supposed to believe, we just don’t hear about it:
Like the fact that,
completely unmentioned is the reality that Cuba already had over 340 doctors, EMTs and other medical personnel posted to Haiti to help with the day-to-day health needs of this poorest nation in the Americas, and that those medical professionals were the first to respond to the disaster, setting up a hospital right next to the main hospital in Port-au-Prince which collapsed in the earthquake.
Or if we do hear about it, it’s propagandized as was the case (shocking, I know) with Faux News, which claimed, “that the Cubans were absent from the list of neighboring Caribbean countries providing aid.”
Propaganda isn’t always limited to misinformation or lies. Propaganda can be the omission of information as well, which is pretty much what we get around here when it comes to Cuba.
U.S. journalist extraordinaire — one of the few true journalists left in this country — Amy Goodman, of DemocracyNow! was detained and questioned by Canadian authorities on Wednesday for 90 minutes because they were concerned “she was coming to Canada to speak against the Olympics.”
“I am deeply concerned that as a journalist I would be flagged and that the concern — the major concern — was the content of my speech,” said Goodman.
I thought Canada was better than this.
Yesterday the House of Representatives passed a “sweeping energy and climate bill” which would,
for the first time usher in widespread government restrictions on greenhouse gases and help renewable energy become cost competitive with fossil fuels.
The “folks” at Fox are on your side? Think again. It’s about: Money. Power. Corporations. Money. Lobbyist. Crushing We the People. Money. Union? Health care? No! Money. You and me = “industrial base” = dumb fucks. Powerless = good. Money. They want us to feel hopeless. Power. Money. We should be happy breathing soot! Money. Power: Not! Sit down. Shut up.
From what I understand, the book, Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, by Eduardo Galeano, explores the struggles Latin Americans have had with the oppression wrought on it (primarily by) the U.S.
I could stand to learn more about that myself.
(More on Obama and Chavez (from Fox “News”) here.)