Thursday, April 5, 2012

Random Thoughts

Here's Glenn Greenwald talking about Rachel Maddow's new book Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power. It's about how successive US Presidents have chipped away at their Constitution's explicit limitations on a president's right to wage war.

Sounds like a good read. My thing is that, as some of you may know, I've been doing a lot of thinking and reading about World War II. It seems to me that one of the often neglected tragedies of that conflict was the way it so effectively transformed the USA's culture into the militaristic one we have today.

Here's Elections Canada's page on the Elections Act, Part 20: "Contested Elections." Please note:

524. (1) Any elector who was eligible to vote in an electoral district, and any candidate in an electoral district, may, by application to a competent court, contest the election in that electoral district on the grounds that

  • (a) under section 65 the elected candidate was not eligible to be a candidate; or

  • (b) there were irregularities, fraud or corrupt or illegal practices that affected the result of the election.
Emphasis mine. Technically speaking, "affected the result of the election" doesn't have to mean that the cheater won because of the cheating. Any effect of the cheating could be held to mean that the cheating "affected the election." Use your creativity accordingly! Dispute each and every election in any of the 200 identified by Elections Canada!

Finally, back to for "The powerless American worker" (originally from Alternet):
According to Donna Ballman, the labor lawyer six of the Wellborn employees have retained, the workers had no idea their jobs could be imperiled by their choice of clothing color. “Who would?” Ballman responded in an email message. “Most Americans think your employer must have a good reason to fire you.”

But for the most part, American workers labor under the auspices of employment-at-will, a doctrine that allows employers near total control to hire, fire and promote, for good reasons, bad reasons or no reason at all. Employment-at-will is a principle that dates back to British common law, which early settlers brought with them from the Old World during the Colonial era. It is a relic of that time and has long since been overturned in Britain, along with the rest of the world’s wealthy nations.

Canada is among the aforementioned "rest of the world's wealthy nations" where employers cannot fire employees at will. Obviously we know that Canadian workers are still threatened by unemployment and arbitrary dismissals. There's a very low hurdle for employers to have to jump. But the existence of not even this bare minimum in the USA is testimony where capitalism wants to take all of us, and they're using the economic crisis to do so, especially in Europe.

This short-term, profit-driven behaviour will destroy us unless we destroy it. There is a way to democratically destroy the power of capitalism. Once again: Rally the people to elect a government that believes in and will amend the Constitution to provide a guarantee for the human rights of workers within their workplaces.

Democratize production!


Owen Gray said...

While you're reading about American militarism, thwap, you might consider a thin little book by Andrew Bacevich called The Limits of Power.

Bacevich is a West Point grad, Vietnam vet and professor -- of International History -- at Boston University.

He's observed the machine from the ground up. And, a couple of years ago, his son was killed in Iraq.

thwap said...


Always happy to get a reading recommendation from someone I respect.