(BTW: I can tag “white trash” and “poor white trash” because that’s my own background, understand? Same with the others down there. It’s just that my background isn’t small-town.)
According to the Wall Street Journal of all sources! This link will probably break soon unless you give them money (figures…), but they did a feature this weekend in and around the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in the runup to the PA Democratic Primary on Tuesday – not exactly small-town, but alot smaller than Philly, Pittsburgh, etc. Front page headline, above the fold, full-color photo: “Trapped in the Middle: The incomes of most Americans have stalled; Tackling voter angst in Pennsylvania.” (“Angst” is just philosophical-German for “bitter” worry!) And this is just the middle-middle-class; as we know, most Americans’ wages haven’t just “stalled,” they’ve been falling in constant dollars for decades!
Sociologists Andrew Greeley and Michael Hout uncovered this (slightly-) indirectly two years ago in their book The Truth about Conservative Christians. As it happens, Obama has a rural/farm plan along with his general economic plan.
Yes, those words will be meaningless to most Americans, but Canada’s highest civilian honour, the Order of Canada – similar to a knighthood – has been given to, among several dozen honorees this month on the occasion of Dominion Day (as it used to be called more meaningfully), July 1, the Auschwitz survivor who got abortion legalized in Canada by performing tons of them illegally, even in front of documentary cameras, and even going to jail for it, before getting the Supreme Court of Canada to outlaw outlawing it in 1988: Dr. Henry Morgentaler.
Whatever one thinks about abortion, it’s inappropriate to give a national honour in Canada to someone who is not only politically controversial – lots of good people are politically controversial – but considered by millions of good, sincere, law-abiding, even progressive,* Canadians – leaving to one side the hate-spewing anti-abortion extremists – to be a butcher of innocent, viable human beings, and at their most defenceless: in the womb, by their own mothers. Morgentaler is officially cited “For his commitment to increased health care options for women” and for his services to humanism and civil liberties. I’m not aware of what he may have done for the latter two areas, but throughout Canada his name means one thing, legalized abortion – just like “Jane Roe” in the States. Can you imagine “Roe” (of Roe v. Wade fame, the appellant being kept officially anonymous at the time) getting the Presidential Medal of Freedom – again, whatever you think of abortion? Not even the most “liberal” US President would think of doing so, even if s/he wanted to; it’d tear the country apart.
Furthermore, using the Order of Canada to enshrine the abortion euphemism “health care options for women” in the national Honours system is not only offensive, it just demeans Honours; it sounds Nazi or Bolshevik, like something out of 1984. OK, that opinion may depend on what you make of abortion in the first place. And clearly I oppose the liberalization of abortion since the 1960s in the US and Canada and elsewhere. But drawing back to the matter of the honour itself, millions of good, sincere, law-abiding, even progressive, Canadians – leaving to one side the hate-spewing anti-abortion extremists – might consider instead that he worked for decreased health care options for children! Should someone get an award for that?!
As the newspaper article describes, Canadian Honours are supposed to be apolitical, non-ideological. (So anti-abortion activists lamenting that it happened under a “Conservative” Party government don’t get it.) Her Majesty’s Canadian Ministry, aka the government of the day, is supposedly not involved, and neither is The Queen herself AFAIK. I don’t even know how much discretion the Governor General herself has in the face of the recommendations of the Advisory Committee, before the fact anyway. Honours are supposed to reflect Canada as a diverse yet unified nation. This kind of thing just divides. George W. Bush is ‘a divider, not a uniter;’ and so is this honour, for Canada.
That said, I’m not sure that, bestowed, it can or should be revoked just on account of the firestorm of criticism – for the very same, apolitical, reasons. But it does raise a question, for good or for ill, about the people and/or the process that chooses honorees. Britain’s recent cash-for-honours scandal was nothing new there,** and Canadians designed their Honours system in the 1960s explicitly to try to avoid scandal and the taint of politics, corruption, etc. Furthermore, not only are honours in a Monarchy a national feel-good exercise; the Sovereign is fons honorum, the Fount of Honours, so in theory they reflect on her. Scandal in honours dishonors The Crown itself, and thus symbolically the whole nation.
However you feel about abortion, this bestowal of an honour is dishonorable.
(*–I don’t know what George Parkin Grant thought of Dr. Morgentaler personally, but he bitterly opposed the idea of legalizing abortion, as a signal turn from ‘progressive conservative’ ideals.)
(**–It’s not frequent there, but not exceedingly rare either.)
Maybe I’m missing something. MSM keep saying the Democratic race between Rodham Clinton and Obama is “mudslinging” and bitterness, etc. I don’t see it or hear it. I think they’re still mad at having to even follow primaries this “late,” that there really is a race rather than some foreordained outcome.
Look. Just the facts, man, alright?
I even just heard Obama’s middle name for the first time. I predicted it. To say the Muslim world will be dancing in the streets because of his middle name is plainly stupid and ignorant. He’s a liberal Protestant, OK? What about his first name, Barack? It’s an Arabic form of the Proto-Semitic for some principle part of “blessing,” the same as Egyptian President Mubarak and Israeli politician Ehud Barak. Big woop. There was Saddam Hussein, but there was also King Hussein of Jordan, OK? It’s a common Arabic name; his father was a secular Muslim from Kenya. Ironic, but no big deal.
is like copyrighting something you found. Patent and copyright laws exist to encourage creativity, not piracy or fraud.
Patenting a process someone else taught you for free, and making a profit off it you don’t share with them, doesn’t encourage economic development, it just builds walls between cultures and encourages bitterness. It’s morally wrong, and ought to be legally wrong. But this is another way Rationalized Capitalism poisons even non-RatCap cultures, even threatens their continued existence.
But I will be surprised if they get justice from the WTO. The WTO is run by corporations and their wholly-owned governments, just like NAFTA/FTAA/NAU.
Indigenous Knowledge belongs to the Indigenous Peoples, even if they share it with others without making them sign something first, or pay for it. Indigenous cultures are often very different from RatCap culture, but they are not without “law” or “principles,” even if they’re oral and traditional and not written down (until White anthropologists arrive anyway…). Freely-shared knowledge doesn’t cease belonging to the Indigenous Community it came from. The most you may do is share it freely yourself, though make sure before doing so that you’re allowed to even do that, because some IK is not to be widely distributed among people who don’t encounter the IC personally. Yes, when an IC extends you hospitality, you become subject to their “law,” just like when you visit a family, you follow the rules of their house. If you take advantage of them, you’ve betrayed them: Yes, it’s TREASON, not just theft or violation of “intellectual property rights.” Depending on the culture, they might have every right to kill you and your family, even declare war on your “tribe.”
The use of patent laws to grant ill-gotten monopolies is misuse, it’s abuse. It’s legally incorrect. In the U.S. Republic, legal monopolies (e.g., sports leagues) are granted on a case-by-case basis by Act of Congress, usually only for very good, exceptional reasons. In any case, they’re not patents or copyrights, they’re a completely different category.
Of course, we can’t expect the Corporate/Slavemaster Republic to do anything but twist the law for the benefit of its corporate slavemasters and the detriment of everybody else.