Month: May 2007

Canada: Home to a Dangerous Industry

Canada: Home to a Dangerous Industry Fred A. Reed and Robin Philpot Excerpt from Alain Deneault and William Sacher, Imperial Canada Inc.: Legal Haven of Choice for the World’s Mining Companies (Talonbooks, 2012) Canada has acquired a new reputation as the home of home to oil, gas, and mining companies that benefit from our permissive mining regulations and preferential tax structure while perpetuating environmental damage overseas. Three out of four of the world’s mining companies operate out of Canada while often conducting exploration and extraction projects located elsewhere. Ontario alone accommodates more than fourteen hundred of these companies, even though only forty-three mines are in operation in the province. The damage these companies inflict is experienced generally not by Canadians, but by citizens of other countries. As a result, a troubling number of farmers, indigenous people, and other citizens of countries around the world are angry about the actions of Canadian-based mining companies. It is no longer unusual to see the Canadian flag torched or disfigured during public demonstrations in South Asia, Africa, or Latin America … For example, in El Salvador, the Episcopal Conference in May 2007 denounced the environmental destruction and public-health problems caused by the use of cyanide by gold-mining corporations, many of them Canadian [Fernando Cabrera Diaz, “El Salvador Government Considers Ban on Mining as Permit Freeze Leads to CAFTA Arbitration,” September 2, 2009]. In...

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Naomi Wolf: The End of America (1)

Naomi Wolf: The End of America By Shel Horowitz “Speaking to booksellers, publishers, and librarians—I’m at Ground Zero” in the fight to preserve democracy in the United States of America. The speaker is Naomi Wolf, author of the new book The End of America, published by the always-interesting Chelsea Green. Her venue is Book Expo America, the largest book-industry gathering in the U.S., in May 2007. The U.S., she says, is undergoing a “fascist shift.” And she says she’s not being metaphorical. “This is not simple totalitarianism. Fascism is the technical term. Authoritarianism can be quite cozy compared to fascism.” She sees a lot of “historical fingerprints, echoes”–parallels between Germany of the 1930s and the U.S. in the 2000s: The use of terms like “homeland” and “war footing” (a direct translation of Goering’s “krieg foos”)…embedding reporters in the armed forces…prison techniques at Guantanamo pioneered in Stalin’s gulags…burning cultural artifacts, whether books in the 1930s or CDs today…young thugs in identical shirts harassing vote counters in 2000, echoing those of Hitler’s time. Apologizing several times for being the bearer of bad news, she exhorted her listeners to defend liberty. “It doesn’t honor the victims of history to be unwilling to learn the lessons. Italy and Germany in the ’30s, Chile in the ’70s were open, pluralistic democracies” before the dictators took over. Her chilling message: not only could it happen...

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Naomi Wolf: The End of America

Naomi Wolf: The End of America By Shel Horowitz “Speaking to booksellers, publishers, and librarians—I’m at Ground Zero” in the fight to preserve democracy in the United States of America. The speaker is Naomi Wolf, author of the new book The End of America, published by the always-interesting Chelsea Green. Her venue is Book Expo America, the largest book-industry gathering in the U.S., in May 2007. The U.S., she says, is undergoing a “fascist shift.” And she says she’s not being metaphorical. “This is not simple totalitarianism. Fascism is the technical term. Authoritarianism can be quite cozy compared to fascism.” She sees a lot of “historical fingerprints, echoes”–parallels between Germany of the 1930s and the U.S. in the 2000s: The use of terms like “homeland” and “war footing” (a direct translation of Goering’s “krieg foos”)…embedding reporters in the armed forces…prison techniques at Guantanamo pioneered in Stalin’s gulags…burning cultural artifacts, whether books in the 1930s or CDs today…young thugs in identical shirts harassing vote counters in 2000, echoing those of Hitler’s time. Apologizing several times for being the bearer of bad news, she exhorted her listeners to defend liberty. “It doesn’t honor the victims of history to be unwilling to learn the lessons. Italy and Germany in the ’30s, Chile in the ’70s were open, pluralistic democracies” before the dictators took over. Her chilling message: not only could it happen...

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