O Canada – A 2017 Re-post

O Canada, terre si belle, si grande We pledge our love from cliffs to surging sand Car nos bras saient porter l’épée, nous savons protéger la paix Notre sagesse dès milliers d’années donne à tout ce qui vit respect Pure prairie skies, tundra and tree O Canada we stand on guard for Thee O Canada […]

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Note today: As the 150th Anniversary of Canada’s Confederation approaches, a re-post of the 2012 blog entry seems worthwhile. Canada’s House of Commons has approved a rather awkward-sounding tinkering with the English version to change “True patriot love in all our sons command” to “True patriot love in all of us command” but the senate hasn’t yet confirmed the change. Time we stopped tinkering… This version has been in my head and written down for almost a decade now. I think it deals with several genuine issues, including the above one about gender, but may be a little controversial. My vision is of a version such as this being sung everywhere, in verbal unison, by all people in Canada – including our First Nations.

We must remember, with respect and sensitivity, that this beautiful, shared land did not suddenly rise from the sea in the 16th century.

So here goes the original 2012 post:

O Canada, terre si belle, si grande

We pledge our love from cliffs to surging sand

Car nos bras saient porter l’épée, nous savons protéger la paix

Notre sagesse dès milliers d’années donne à tout ce qui vit respect

Pure prairie skies, tundra and tree

O Canada we stand on guard for Thee

O Canada we stand on guard for Thee.

 This single version, using both official languages, has been floating around in my mind  for a few years. For me it expresses my dream for a Canada that we can work towards building.

A Canada that believes in peace keeping and not in gratuitous wars that make the world less stable.

A Canada that respects, because of the influence of our native peoples, all forms of sentient life with whom we share the richness of our air, water and earth.

Your input is welcome.

Happy Canada Day!

Joyeuse Fête du Canada!

The Autumn Leaves

As a three-year-old, I can remember sitting on the floor in the living room near my dad’s old Montreal-made Willis upright piano, while he played one of his very favourites, Autumn Leaves.

Here is Eric Clapton doing a sweet, sweet version. The photos were taken this morning before I raked the back yard to give our overseeded lawn a little more sunlight. The maple, shown here, will produce more. I’ll mulch them later.

President John F. Kennedy’s Bravery Well Remembered

Another great Kennedy speech remembered in the Berlin Marriott Hotel, where we stayed for two nights this May
Another great Kennedy speech remembered in the Berlin Marriott Hotel, where we stayed for two nights this May. This one was made in Berlin on June 26, 1963, 16 days after his Peace Speech.

This article honours Jack Kennedy for his brave initiative to seek common human ground with Russia. Going against the powers that preferred war got him killed. It is written by a former CIA agent, Ray McGovern. It laments, by comparison, where we are today. It quotes key parts of Kennedy’s surprise Peace Speech of June 10, 1963.  It is beautifully written and valuable also for the links that thoughtful commentators have provided.

MH17, A Teaser…

Bullet Holes? photo credit: anderweltonline.com
Bullet Holes?
photo credit: anderweltonline.com

February 8, 2015: This post, begun almost seven months ago on August 13, 2014, has recently expanded because MH17 didn’t happen in a vacuum. Over the past 6-7 months since MH17 went down a mystery story has evolved for me. To properly illuminate and present this story, it was necessary to examine the events that led up to MH17 and ultimately spawned its horror.

Good Stuff’s Been Added:

  • At the top: this new. zippy outline
  • At the very bottom: A brief timeline listing the dramatic and violent events of the Euromaidan protests that culminated with, essentially, a coup d’état, forcing the elected government of Ukraine to resign, President Viktor Yanukovich to flee on February 21, Crimea to accede to Russia after a 90% referendum vote in March, and Donetsk and Lugansk to proclaim themselves independent peoples republics on April 7, 2014. I will build more data on these events as my seven-month study evolves.

For the complete post with what’s here and all the detailed links with which I’ve constructed my mystery story, go back to where this all started on August 13th. Or keep reading and decide to dive in later… Or go to my other shorter posts on MH17 here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Aware of the tragedy of MH17 and curious about the narrow, one-note Blame Russia Chorus my once-precious CBC and all Western media were singing, I first turned my focused and serious attention to the Ukraine in early August. My attention grew into this “research project.” I check social media daily and post a brief, descriptive comment that describes the gist of the article or event discussed in the embedded link. I try to limit new additions to new stuff that sheds more light.

The post’s scope has broadened from being mainly about MH17 to include the whole Ukraine-USA -EU-Russia situation that has been going on for over 15 months. MH17 would not have happened if the Ukraine hadn’t been destabilized eight months previously and, soon after, “blown up” politically by the USA and Europe in concert and competition with/against each other. It was a slam dunk that Russia would never allow its one warm water port in Crimea to be put in jeopardy by the creeping expansion of NATO and possible absorption of Ukraine into the E.U.

Ukraine is a big prize that American neocons and oligarchs from several nations have had in their sights for some years. For the USA, running the Ukraine is a way to encroach upon and destabilize Russia. Ukraine does also possess some natural gas and much prime farmland. The USA maneuvers have forced Russia’s hand in Crimea and caused, some say, as many as 50000 deaths.

Why Russia?

Russia is a major key to the success of the combined nations of Eurasia. Look at a globe for just a moment and see the huge, contiguous, East-West land mass that is Eurasia. Then compare it to the Americas – a much smaller, climatically diverse, North-South land mass with a very long skinny part in the middle – and a relatively small fraction of the world’s population.

Europe’s Gambit Excites Affluent, Educated Western Ukrainians:

In 2013 Europe started to woo the incredibly corrupt, economic mess of Ukraine into economic association. A small amount of money was offered that President Viktor Yanukovich (no doubt with some mathematical coaching from Vladimir Putin) eventually figured out was not enough to be much help. Then the spectre of IMF austerity measures must have occurred to Yanukovich and he decided (15 months ago on November 21, 2013) to postpone signing the EU offer. At this point many well-to-do, pro-Europe Ukrainians in the western cities of Lvov and Kiev started peaceful protests, marching pleasantly behind huge, starry, EU flags. Babies, children and fashionable outfits were welcome.

Dissent in the East and Increasingly Violent Protests in Kiev’s “Euromaidan Square”:

Soon those humbler Ukrainians who did not like the rapprochement with Europe started turning out. Clashes occurred that eventually became extremely violent. The low point in Kiev was February 18, 2014, following three months of large protests that involved frequent violence upon protesters and some upon the police. The violence came at times from police, hotheads from both sides, Right Sector thugs, Svoboda Party Nazis and foreign “specialists,” the latter financed by powerful interests that include the USA and Ukrainian oligarchs. On February 18 over 100 people died. Snipers shot at and killed protestors and police. It is suspected by many that the snipers were foreign “specialists” hired to escalate the violence to such depths that Viktor Yanukovich would have to step down. On March 5 the Guardian wrote that a telephone conversation had been leaked in which EU High Commissioner, Catharine Ashton, was informed by the pro-West Estonian Foreign Minister that bullets found in police and in anti-Yanukovich protesters came from the same guns. This lends credibility to the above suspicion that the snipers, who quickly vanished, were indeed foreign “specialists.”

American Involvement – Opportunism or Deliberate “Mischief?”

Yanukovich declared February 22 and 23 as days of mourning – and fled. Was the USA foxily waiting for the stingy Europe-Ukraine deal to sour?  Was the CIA criminally involved in the ousting of Yanukovich? In early February, two weeks or more before the one hundred died, Hillary Clinton had already begun pulling strings to handpick the Ukraine’s new president and cabinet. Clinton used the poetic Victoria Nuland. You will remember Nuland’s “Fuck the EU!” comment on the telephone to Geoffrey Pyatt, the US ambassador to the Ukraine. That gem was uploaded onto YouTube on Feb. 6. Nuland even went across the pond to hand out cookies to the Euromaidan revellers, whose pyrrhic victory has led to enormous financial woes, the loss of Crimea and horrific violence in Donetsk and Lugansk. The USA has spent billions preparing the Ukraine for this historic moment.

Cui Bono?

When one looks to attribute responsibility in a political crisis, the question, “Who benefits?” often provides clues. From the list of beneficiaries, Europe and the Ukraine can quickly be removed. Russia has been victimized without proof. The media have tried to humiliate Vladimir Putin using fiery headlines and put Russia under severe, crippling sanctions. Putin is a formidable leader of a large nuclear power. No, the spoils (good word for this), as of February 8, 2015, go to the USA. The neocons and oligarchs who control Obama want Putin gone.  Their aim has been to put a weak puppet in charge of a shamed Russia, allow the oligarchs back in, and own, or neuter, Russia.

Then they will turn their eyes on, or “pivot to” Asia.

The Nuclear Clock Is Ticking; Experienced Hawks Are Critical:

The dangerous, high-stakes, neocon Ukraine/Russia plan could start WW III. The nuclear clock has recently been advanced to 3 minutes before midnight. We are back in the 1980’s, folks. Henry Kissinger has recently called the destabilization of the Ukraine “foolish.” Back in 1997, when Clinton started expanding NATO into former USSR satellites, George F. Kennan wrote in the New York Times that

expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American Policy in the entire post-cold war era.

MH17 Tragedy, some short questions with long answers:

  • On Purpose? Is it a false flag attempt, possibly with CIA help,  involving a Ukrainian Buk missile, Ukrainian Air Traffic Control and/or Ukrainian fighter jets with the intent of enabling lethal sanctions to discredit, humble and remove a demonized Putin?
  • An accident? Is it a Buk missile error by the pro-Russia rebels, by a careless Ukrainian Buk unit or by a renegade, billionaire-financed unofficial army, such as the Nazi-oriented Azov Battalion?

Just some of the things that make this look really fishy:

  • the only proper evidence yet presented (Rostov radar evidence) points to the presence of Ukrainian fighter planes near MH17 when it went down. This evidence has not yet been proven false.
  • the USA reacted with immediate, categorical statements that Russia was guilty. Very quickly this changed to mere word-tricks and innuendo for the last six months.
  • the USA has never provided the satellite evidence it claims it has. If It pointed at Russia, they would be burying us repeatedly in it. So it probably points at the Ukraine.
  • Russia’s statement that an experimental satellite operated by the USA was in place over the area at the time when MH17 went down has not been denied by the USA
  • The Ukraine, early on, interfered with the ability of experts to view the site, forbidding people to go (“too dangerous”) and shelling the area with 2-metre deep holes for good measure
  • the Western media have presented none of the many alternatives to the “pro-Russian rebel” story
  • the Dutch investigations appear to be designed to prolong the crisis and thereby the sanctions
  • the Ukraine, admitted by the Dutch JIT to be possibly involved, has a veto over what the investigation(s) eventually publish. Ludicrous!
  • the Western media are stepping up the attacks on Putin – at least three CBC stories in the past week: Feb. 1 to 6, 2015!
  • the West has relied on websites like bellingcat.com and correct!v.org that collect suspect social media posts and weave very tangled webs of so-called proof whose stories keep changing. Correct!v.org is financed by millions of Euros that came from a fund started by a German billionaire. Both these investigative sites started in July 2014. Coincidence?
  • Ukraine security immediately confiscated all air traffic control recordings and has not released them.
  • Pro-Russia rebels properly presented, intact, the black boxes to Malaysian officials, who hastily handed them over to the “trustworthy” Brits. Still secret almost 7 months later!
  • Ukraine videos attempting to show pro-Rebel soldiers stealing from and disrespecting the victims were proven later to be falsely presented when the whole videos found were presented in context by Russian media. Damage to public opinion conveniently done, Western MSM ignored this.
  • The hawkish US Council on Foreign Relations considers the USA and EU responsible for the coup in the Ukraine.
  • Comments on signs of “very strong machine gun fire” and “no missile evidence noticed by me” made by Canadian-Ukrainian OSCE spokesperson, Michael Bociurkiw, a first responder. It was a precious minute and a half when aired on a CBC interview with Susan Ormiston in late July. I guess the kaka hit the fan at some point; to my knowledge, though parts of that program have been aired again, I have not seen this tiny, important segment.

There is intense competition between:

  • the current geopolitical primate, the United States (with Israel, Europe, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Australia (the “West”) and
  • the emerging power base: the huge and geographically contiguous supercontinent of Eurasia that has been recently flexing its muscles in the areas of finance and in how oil will be traded. Eurasia has developed an increasing politico-economic involvement in resource-rich Africa. As scarcities appear, Africa will be something to war over. Again, the poor will suffer. In places like Nigeria there is already desperation over the stuff that comes with the ‘Black gold.”

For my detailed list of findings and links simply, as I said before, go HERE.

Conflict Near and Far

Cai Be floating market - Mekong Delta - 2008
From my heart to yours… Cai Bé floating market – 2008

I can’t let this lie.

Two tragedies (out of the myriad people on our planet suffer regularly) stand out in my mind and grieve my heart:

Gaza and Malaysia Flight MH17.

Many others exist, but these two are the worst for me because they involve unimaginable grief and they fuel the fires of long-standing hatreds. An earthquake or flood can bring people together. These two drive people apart.

Both involve bad political decisions made in the 20th century and both are being used in the 21st century to fan the flames across these two centuries.

I cannot bear to watch coverage of these events because I am acutely aware of the way all mainstream media, including my once-preciously-impartial-and-fairly accurate CBC, are being used and/or intimidated to further the goals of the new set of global conflicts in which Our Side are always the good guys and Their Side are invariably wearing the feathered headdresses or black cowboy hats.

So I write what I consider to be the brutal, unvarnished “truth.” After five decades of travel (In September 1965 at 20 I began a two-year volunteer teaching assignment in the West Indies),  observing world politics  and studying alternative and mainstream news sources I can fool myself into fervently believing that I “get it” – not all of it, but the “broad strokes” at least.

The process of writing my “truth” is cathartic for me. I’m a mess after simply glancing at the present media circus.

Then I reconsider what effect my blunt, certain-to-be-misunderstood-by-many “truth-telling” will have on my ability to continue to do the other things I love that make a real differences to a limited number of very important people.

And I take the post down and pick up the guitar.