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Bush’s Third Close Call:Desmond Tutu calls for Bush, Blair to face war crimes charges at the Hague.

September 7, 2012 6 comments

Number of state parties to the International C...

Number of state parties to the International Criminal Court from its creation to 2006-11-19 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The International Criminal Court in The Hague ...

The International Criminal Court in The Hague (ICC/CPI), Netherlands. Nederlands: Het Internationaal Strafhof (ICC/CPI), Den Haag. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bush should answer. US forces committed grievous war crime violations of the Hague and Geneva Conventions, UN Charter, Nuremberg Principles, and US Army Field Manual 27-10.

English: International Criminal Court (ICC) logo

English: International Criminal Court (ICC) logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Desmond Tutu calls for war crimes charges for Blair, Bush – World – CBC News.

Sep 2, 2012 Associated Press

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu, on Sunday Sep 2 called for George Bush  and Tony Blair to face prosecution at the International Criminal Court for their role in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Tutu, the retired Anglican Church’s archbishop of South Africa, wrote in an op-ed piece for The Observer newspaper that the ex-leaders of Britain and the United States should be made to “answer for their actions.”

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This  blogger writes: Good ol’ boy,  former U.S. president George Bush  (aka “Shrub”must be sweating it by now. Yet another of his international  nemeses has publicly called for his arrest and indictment at the International Criminal Court at The Hague, (ICC) where he would face charges of War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity (torture, mainly).

Archbishop Tutu also tapped Bush’s primary ally in the Iraq misadventure,  former British prime minister Tony Blair, as equally complicit in war crimes perpetrated by their countries’ troops in Iraq.

This incident is the third serious threat against Bush’s liberty by the authorities that we know of. Swizterland in February 2011 nearly collared Bush for arrest;  Bush was again nearly nabbed by an international coalition of lawyers out to arrest him when he visited Surrey, British Columbia, Canada in October 2011. Veiled political interference in the B.C. Courts got Bush off in this instance. It’s good to have friends in high places.

Archbishop and Nobel Peace Laureate wants Bush behind bars

This time retired South African Anglican Church archbishop  Desmtond Tutu slammed home an op-ed piece for The Observer newspaper that was guaranteed to terrorize Bush. The former U.S. president should be “made to answer” for offences against international laws that protect civilians and prisoners in times of war.

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Various international bodies since the end of World War II have enacted wide-ranging laws checking particularly odious behaviours of combatants in war.

The Nuremberg Charter was the decree issued on August 8, 1945 to include not only traditional War Crimes but also Crimes against Peace in its deliberations against Nazi offendersThe United Nations takes general responsibility for the prosecution of Crimes Against Humanity. The International Criminal Court (ICC) situated at the Hague in the Netherlands prosecutes Crimes Against Humanity sent its way from the UN, and this court follows definitions set out  by the ‘Rome Statute.‘ The Rome Statute says Crimes Against Humanity are defined as systematic, serious attacks on human dignity, including acts of grave humiliation or degradation of persons, and practised as government policy.

Persons in Canada suspected of violating Human Rights must face arrest. Why not Bush?

Numerous national governments around the world have also passed their own laws falling under the aegis of  war crimes and crimes against humanity. Both Canada and the U. S. in modern times have passed laws against torture and war crimes. Canada’s Immigration Act demands that any person suspected of crimes of violation against human rights be arrested and either expelled from Canada, or tried criminally in Canada. Why not George W. Bush?

This is the tangled web that a man in Bush’s situation must face as he moves about the world. He could fall into jeopardy  anywhere along the complex strands of  human rights laws extant around the globe. If not snared by an international law, he could as easily find himself  indicted under a domestic law.

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Reality Check: Accepted wisdom in most parts of the world  agrees that nobody would dare to actually arrest and indict a former president of the United States. It just couldn’t happen!

This blogger asks: Why not? What exact exemption from the law is it that protects certain – always First World – offenders from facing their crimes? Offending individuals from Developing World countries have been, and presently are being tried at the ICC for War Crimes. The first person ever to be brought before the ICC since it’s inception in 2006 was Congolese Thomas Lubanga, leader of the Union of Congolese Patriots, for child recruitment into the army. The list goes on ( But How Peculiar! Please note that all of the faces attached to the following names are brown-skinned!): Liberian Charles Taylor, Congolese Germain Katanga, Congolese Mathieu Ngudiolo Chui; Rwandan Jean-Pierre Bemba, Rwandan Callixte Mbarushimana and last-but-not-least, Cote D’Ivorian Laurent Gbagbo, the darling man who took to bombing citizens who failed to vote for the right party in elections .

Think about Mr. Gbagbo. Hmmm……Electoral fixing you say?…

“Our boy, George”!

….Remember the American presidential election of 2000? Didn’t Our Boy George appear to have his hand in a few Floridian ballot boxes? With a big assist from his powerful ex-president daddy, that is. And further assist  from daddy’s good friend whom he had happily placed on the Supreme Court of Florida himself!?

Something smells bad.

The bizarre thing is, it’s no secret now. The invading armies of the U.S and its allies in the Iraq war rained down terror and death upon hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians – de-humanizing the unfortunate meat targets as mere “collateral damage.”  Further, the whole world now knows beyond any doubt that U.S. troops routinely tortured their prisoners in hell-holes like Abu Ghraib prison. Bush himself confesses proudly in his memoirs published in 2011 to sponsoring torture. “Hell yes!” he responds to a questioner about the alleged use of torture.

By this blogger’s clock, Time is a’Wastin.’ There’s a Hard Rain Gonna Fall’ over Georgey Porridgey’s house one day. The disgraced ex-pres ( and his double-down disgraced ex-vice pres, FAT MAN Cheney)  are afraid. They may just be the most fraidy persons on the planet! 

And THAT would be a peck o’ Justice!


Click

☞ See Google Trends report on “Arrest Bush.”

“More and more in our times Canadians have wondered  just what kind of continental neighbour America, is, exactly.  Where will it all end?”

That’s what this blog is all about.

Canada’s ‘Three Monkeys’ Attorney General’s Office on Bush’s War Crimes: “Not appropriate” to pursue confessed Torturer. “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil.” Lawyer TALKS BACK!

January 8, 2012 1 comment

Canada Lets ‘W’ Escape Justice when we had the PERFECT chance to ARREST BUSH!

(Here’s how the “1%” get away with Murder)

Dateline: Surrey, BC, Canada. October 24, 2011.

After successfully lodging a private torture prosecution with the British Columbia Provincial Court in the City of Surrey against former U.S. president George W. Bush as he visited Surrey for a paid speaking engagement, four torture victims  had their pursuit of justice blocked by then Attorney General of B.C., Shirley Bond.

Click: the case details.

The four men, Hassan bin Attash, Sami el-Hajj, Muhammed Khan Tumani and Murat Kurnaz, each endured years of inhumane treatment including beatings, chaining to cell walls, being hung from walls or ceilings while handcuffed, lack of access to toilets, sleep, food and water-deprivation, exposure to extreme temperatures, sensory overload and deprivation, and other horrific and illegal treatment while in U.S. custody at military bases in Afghanistan and/or at the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay.  While three of the men have since been released without ever facing charges, Hassan Bin Attash still remains in detention at Guantánamo Bay, though he too has not been formally charged with any wrongdoing.

One man currently detained at Guantánamo  has been imprisoned there without charge for more than nine years.

Matt Eisenbrandt, legal director of the Canadian Centre for International Justice (CCIJ), who submitted the case on behalf of the torture victims remarked: “Mere hours after a justice of the peace received the criminal information and the court set a hearing date for January, we received notice by phone that the Attorney General of Briti sh Columbia had already intervened in the case and stayed the proceedings against former President Bush, effectively ending the case…[and he stressed that: “the legal basis for the case is exceptionally strong under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Eisenbrandt, of CCIJ: “A slap in the face to men tortured by Mr. Bush’s government”

This is a slap in the face to the four men who were brutally tortured by Mr. Bush’s government who have a right to have a court of law examine the evidence and hear the legal arguments,wrote Eisenbrandt.

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This blogger wrote to the office of the Attorney General for British Columbia, Hon. Shirley Bond, requesting an explanation for the shocking summary dismissal of the 69+ page criminal indictment against Bush for war crimes (torture) presented to her office by the CCIJ. My request was stonewalled for several weeks. In the interim this blogger filed a Freedom of Information Request in search of  possible dark politics at play protecting Bush from Justice in Canada.  After a three week delay, Bond’s Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Robert W. G. Gillen,  replied by email to my inquiry. The high irony did not escape this blogger that, while a serious criminal indictment presented to the court was dispensed with in a mere matter of hours in October, three weeks was the AG’s fastest turnaround time to respond to a citizen’s inquiry on the same matter!

Robert W.G. Gillen. ass’t deputy attorney general for B.C.: “It was not appropriate to prolong the matter.”

The Assistant Deputy AG ‘s reply hardly comprised a reasonable explanation of why the Province of British Columbia was disinterested, when presented with a perfect opportunity to fulfill Canada’s sworn duties under the Convention Against Torture and the Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act. The former is an international law, the latter a Canadian statute with application only in Canada. Both laws set out similar sanctions to detain and investigate a person suspected to be guilty of, among other things, torture, war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. Bush, himself, admits in his own recent memoirs that he OK’d torture from the Oval Office and thoroughly approves of torture. That admission alone surely must comprise “appropriate” grounds to engage the machinery of criminal justice against a suspected offender! Still, “Not appropriate,” says Gillen. It appears the Office of the Attorney General for B.C. is populated by the three monkeys,right-quoteSee No Evil, Hear No Evil, and Speak No Evil!leftquote

“Not apprpriate” to arrest a self-confessed torturer in B.C.

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LET’S TALK TORTURE, Mr. Assist!ant Deputy Attorney General:

Assistant Deputy Attorney General Contact Info

Robert W.G. Gillen

Assistant Deputy Attorney General
Criminal Justice Branch, Ministry of Attorney General

Telephone: 250 387-3840 Email: Not Available
Facsimile: 250 387-0090 URL: http://www.ag.gov.bc.ca/prosecution-service/
Mailing Address: PO BOX 9276

STN PROV GOVT

Victoria BC

V8W9J7

CANADA

Click: Homepage.

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Assistant Deputy Attorney General Gillen’s letter to me: better late than never, at least !

Mr. Gillen wrote:

Dear _____:

I am responding on behalf of the Attorney General to your email of October 26, 2011.  As Assistant Deputy Attorney General, I am responsible for the Criminal Justice Branch within the Ministry of Attorney General, including the conduct and supervision of criminal prosecutions in British Columbia.

In your email you express concerns about the staying of charges against former United States president George Bush, charges which were laid in a private prosecution filed by the Canadian Centre for International Justice.

In British Columbia the Criminal Justice Branch is given the authority to conduct prosecutions.  It is the policy of the Branch to assume the conduct of all privately initiated prosecutions.  The case is brought to court when the charge assessment standard of the Branch is met.  This standard requires both a substantial likelihood of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest. If the charges do not meet these standards, the case is terminated.

This policy is in place to ensure an equal application of justice throughout the province.  That is, the same standard is used against all accused persons in all prosecutions.  The policy also recognizes that both apparent and actual impartiality and objectivity with respect to every prosecution require that prosecutions be conducted by an independent prosecutor rather than on behalf of an interested party.

Under the provisions of the Criminal Code, the consent of the Attorney General of Canada is required to continue a proceeding of the nature of that which was privately commenced against Mr. Bush, and which involved allegations against an individual who is not a Canadian citizen in relation to events which took place outside of this country.

Section 7(7) of the Criminal Code states: “No proceedings …shall be continued unless the consent of the Attorney General of Canada is obtained not later than eight days after the proceedings are commenced.”

The parties seeking to bring the proceeding against Mr. Bush had not obtained the consent of the Attorney General of Canada and there was no realistic prospect that such a consent would be obtained.   In the circumstances the Criminal Justice Branch concluded that there was no realistic prospect of that consent being provided in future and it was not appropriate to prolong the matter further.

Decisions to prosecute, stay proceedings or launch an appeal are made solely in accordance with legal criteria in a manner that, generally speaking, is independent of government.

You ask about written records related to this matter.  The provision of access to court records in accordance with established policies is the responsibility of court registries.  You may wish to contact the Surrey Provincial Court registry in this regard.

Thank you for writing about your concerns.

Yours truly,

Robert W. G. Gillen, Q.C.

Assistant Deputy Attorney General

Criminal Justice Branch

          _____________________________________________

Matt Eisenbrandt,  of the CCIJ was kind enough to critique Gillen’s reply. Click: read Eisenbrandt’s “123 People” profile.

                                                      “What happened here? Who covered whose ass?

Lets slice and dice British Columbia’s  Top Reasons Why George W. Bush is Above The Law:

Matt Eisenbrandt critiques Mr. Gillen’s defence of  confessed war criminal George W. Bush:

Mr. Gillen says:  “Three different standards [must be met ] for the continuation of a private prosecution.

Mr. Gillen says:The case is brought to court when the charge assessment standard of the Branch is met.  This standard requires both a substantial likelihood of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest.”

CCIJ REPLIES: We (CCIJ)  received no information that the Attorney General analyzed either of these factors in deciding to terminate our case, and Mr. Gillen provides no evidence that the factors could not be met.  (THE CCIJ) presented extensive evidence, including admissions by Mr. Bush himself, showing his involvement in torture.  This does not guarantee conviction but it is a very sound case both factually and legally.

United Nations ‘Convention Against Torture’ – Canada and U.S. both signatories.

CCIJ REPLIES: As for the public interest, the Government of Canada has committed itself, in domestic and international law, to the prevention and punishment of torture.  The Criminal Code explicitly permits prosecution in Canadian courts for torture committed abroad.  This provision was implemented when Canada ratified the Convention against Torture, which obligates parties to investigate any suspected torturer in their territory and submit a case for prosecution if the suspect is not extradited for prosecution abroad.  Canada has repeatedly condemned other countries for torture and done so because the government clearly believes such a stance is in the public interest.

CCIJ REPLIESThe proper option available to the Attorney General’s office was to wait the 8 days and then, if consent was not obtained, intervene in the case.

yellow-pushbuttonMORE CCIJ Mr. Gillen says the parties seeking to bring the proceeding against Mr. Bush had not obtained the consent of the Attorney General of Canada and there was no realistic prospect that such a consent would be obtained.   In the circumstances the Criminal Justice Branch concluded that there was no realistic prospect of that consent being provided in future and it was not appropriate to prolong the matter further.”  While Mr. Gillen is correct that section 7(7) of the Criminal Code requires the consent of the Attorney General of Canada, that provision says that consent must be obtained within 8 daysOur case was stayed only hours after the Justice of the Peace received the criminal information.  Though the BC Attorney General’s office may have believed that we had no realistic prospect of obtaining consent, we were not given the chance to do so in accordance with the Criminal Code.

redpushbutton CCIJ REPLIES no evidence was provided to support the AG’s assertion that we could not have obtained consent.  I would like to know what evidence the Attorney General has to support that notion and what conversations she or others had with the federal government.  The Vancouver Observer reported that the BC Attorney General’s office did not even consult with the Attorney General of Canada before intervening and staying the case.

Finally, Mr. Gillen says:  “Decisions to prosecute, stay proceedings or launch an appeal are made solely in accordance with legal criteria in a manner that, generally speaking, is independent of government.”  This is certainly the standard that should be followed.  To say that the decision was done independent of government does not seem entirely correct.  The Deputy Regional Crown Counsel who stayed the case did so at the direction and under the authority of the Attorney General of BC.  The Attorney General’s office (or the Criminal Justice Branch operating independently) could not possibly have reviewed the substantial evidence in our case before intervening and staying the prosecution.  As a result, the only evidence we have that “legal criteria” were followed is that the Attorney General relied on section 7(7) of the Criminal Code.

CCIJ REPLIESHowever, the BC Attorney General’s immediate intervention denied us the opportunity to obtain the necessary consent from the Attorney General of Canada within the time permitted under the Criminal Code.
green-pushbuttonCCIJ REPLIESI would also like the Attorney General of Canada to state why he did not initiate a prosecution or provide his consent for our private prosecution to continue.

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This blogger writes: Could it be any more clear that corruption and sycophancy are at work in dark corners of the government(s) of Canada (and likely in other countries too) to save the  hide of the disgraced Mr. Bush from the criminal prosecution he so richly deserves for his self-confessed war crimes?

“We do not torture.” November 7, 2005. “Bush describes waterboarding as ‘highly effective’ ” Quoted in The Guardian, Nov. 9, 2010

It’s an outrage that the Attorney General of British Columbia obstructed the due process of  justice in October, blatantly waving away the indictment brought by the CCIJ against Bush in mere hours – a time frame that, as Matt Eisenbrandt points out, could not possibly have offered sufficient opportunity for the AG and her minions to read, research and fully consider the full 69+ pages of evidence, plus some 4,000 extra background pages made available for the asking. Bond may have given the indictment a cursory reading, or perhaps no reading at all, judging from the outcome.

Furthermore, in her haste to be done with the Bush file, the AG absolutely offended the CCIJ’s right to have up to eight days to convince the federal AG of the merits of the case. Eisenbrandt offers strong evidence suggesting that the AG for British Columbia didn’t bother to consult the federal AG before deep-sixing the Bush file. Dark politics are at work here.

And CAN WE TALK? Gillen: “[ Prosecution] requires both a substantial likelihood of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest.” What? How much more evidence does the AG NEED? Everybody in and around the Bush administration, and the cretinous creep HIMSELF says that he sponsored torture! And, Robo, wouldn’t slapping down the creeping fascist practice of  TORTURE be very, very much in the PUBLIC INTEREST!!???

Bush describes waterboarding as “highly effective” – The Guardian, Nov, 2010

Good gawd.

Further light may soon be brought to bear upon this little corner of darkness, via my pending Freedom of Information request. Still, Marlane MorenoInformation Access and Privacy Analyst, Criminal Justice Branch Headquarters advises me that the FOI department will respond to only one of my three queries! (The least revealing of my questions). It’s a  truism that information held by governments in these days of  Homeland Security, Dixie-style - even in the most free democracies such as our Canadian version –  is never really “free” anymore. The very act of this blogger requesting a peek through the AG’s credenza has doubtless sent more data flowing freely  TO government about me than will be merrily flowing  FROM government to me about the AG. That’s the chance we take, thanks to the very man we are so desirous to syncretise, the ‘Decider Hiz-Self,’  the ne’er-do-well former frat boy, George W. Bush! It’s a risk I’m willing to take. I will have the Truth.

George Bush’s luck will run out one day. And that will be a Good Day.

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“More and more in our times Canadians have wondered  just what kind of continental neighbour America, is, exactly.  Where will it all end?”

That’s what this blog is all about.


NO MORE BUSH ECONOMICS! Who Needs Yankee ‘DECIDER’-of-DESTRUCTION? Surrey Summit

December 5, 2011 2 comments

Anti-Bush Signs on streets weeks after Bush addressed Regional Economic Development Summit in Surrey, B.C.

 WEEKS AFTER W’s Speech in Canada on “Economic Development” Protest Signs Still Seen on City streets

This blogger writes: The most perverse political joke of  the season came on October 20, 2011 in The City of Surrey, British Columbia. And it just won’t go away! Weeks have passed since Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts introduced George W. Bush as keynote speaker  at the city’s annual Summit on Regional Economic Development, yet fresh anti-Bush protest signs continue to populate Surrey boulevards declaiming “NO MORE BUSH ECONOMICS.”

Surrey Mayor Watts and Bush – Dim son and Low watts.

 

Her Worship‘s courting of  Bush at the summit  set loose howls of protest in the streets the day of the summit and, as evidenced by the protest signs still poking the city mother in the eye, reverberations of anti-Bush sentiment  persist in the Vancouver suburb.

No more Bush economics. 

Indeed.

Even as the City of Surrey’s sober captains of trade and commerce sat playing footsies under the table with the disgraced ex-president, economics analysts from sources as diverse  as The Economist and Vanity Fair  publish devastating condemnations of Mr. Bush’s disastrous botch up of the U.S. economy that led to the near-death financial crash of 2008. Should the man who nearly broke the world’s largest economy REALLY be lecturing Canadian Chamber of Commerce types on “economic development“? What could Watts have been thinking?

Economic development? George W. Bush? WHAT?! 

The growing City of Surrey  enjoys exceptional prosperity. Its 2010 Financial Statistics reports indicate a city always in the black. For more than three years Surrey’s annual budgets have produced significant cash surpluses accompanied by positive net growth, with level incurred debt. The city’s credit rating is ever-positive as well. Who needs the Yankee ‘Decider’-of-Destruction in town advising us on how to manage our money?

What could Watts have been thinking?

◊(Aside from the bad joke on October 20 of giving an audience to Bush’s ersatz economic advice, the worldwide Arrest Bush initiative  the same day tussled with B.C. Provincial Court to act on a criminal indictment of Bush for alleged war crimes. This blogger is awaiting results of a Freedom of  Information request to reveal how dark politics in the office of the Attorney General for B.C. may be protecting Bush from Justice in Canada.)

The ‘Decider’-of-Destruction

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The Economist writes in its online article: George Bush’s Legacy“:He inherited a projected ten-year surplus of $5.6 trillion and bequeaths a ten-year deficit of $6 trillion, assuming his tax cuts remain in place…[Bush's] policy of cutting taxes while increasing spending—of simultaneously pursuing big government and small government—dramatically swelled the deficit. Hardly the makings of a positive judgment from future historians.

“The most important legislation of his first year in office was a $1.35 trillion tax cut that handed an extra $53,000 to the top 1% of earners. At his farewell press conference on January 12th Mr Bush called his tax cuts the “right course of action”, as if they were an unpopular but heroic decision. They weren’t.

 “George Bush has presided over the most catastrophic collapse in America’s reputation since the second world war. The American economy is in deep recession, brought on by a crisis that forced Mr Bush to preside over huge and unpopular bail-outs.The Bush family name, once among the most illustrious in American political life, is now so tainted that Jeb, George’s younger brother, recently decided not to run for the Senate from Florida. A Bush relative describes family gatherings as “funeral wakes”.

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Joseph E. Stiglitz in Vanity Fair magazine wrote: “The Economic Consequences of Mr. Bush“…”the conventional wisdom has been that Herbert Hoover, whose policies aggravated the Great Depression, is the odds-on claimant for the mantle “worst president” when it comes to stewardship of the American economy. Once Franklin Roosevelt assumed office and reversed Hoover’s policies, the country began to recover. The economic effects of Bush’s presidency are more insidious than those of Hoover, harder to reverse, and likely to be longer-lasting…our grandchildren will still be living with, and struggling with, the economic consequences of Mr. Bush.

“As many as 1.7 million Americans are expected to lose their homes in the months ahead. For many, this will mean the beginning of a downward spiral into poverty.

“Between March 2006 and March 2007 personal-bankruptcy rates soared more than 60 percent. As families went into bankruptcy, more and more of them came to understand who had won and who had lost as a result of the president’s 2005 bankruptcy bill, which made it harder for individuals to discharge their debts in a reasonable way. The lenders that had pressed for “reform” had been the clear winners, gaining added leverage and protections for themselves; people facing financial distress got the shaft.

“Decades hence we should take stock, and revisit the conventional wisdom. Will Herbert Hoover still deserve his dubious mantle? I’m guessing that George W. Bush will have earned one more grim superlative.”

This blogger can only say: “Who Needs the Yankee ‘DECIDER’-of-DESTRUCTION in our city?”

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“More and more in our times Canadians have wondered  just what kind of continental neighbour America, is, exactly.  Where will it all end?” 

That’s what this blog is all about.


My American Neighbours: Still Good Friends? It takes a lot of “moral imagination”

April 26, 2011 3 comments

patriotic10

❝America makes prodigious mistakes, America has colossal faults, but one thing cannot be denied: America is always on the move. She may be going to Hell, of course, but at least she isn’t standing still.

Poet  e. e. cummings

❝The American republic began with physical and economic assets as well as a rich intellectual legacy of enlightened ideas. It could afford to make mistakes, as it inevitably would, because the sheer potential of the continent would rescue and redeem blunders that would have proved fatal in a more constricted…contest.❞

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I confess, I’m more than a tad discomfited by my old neighbours to the south, the USA. I’ve always taken for granted that certain values were common to both of our great societies: justice, peace, fairness, common-sense thinking; civility, rule of law – a “Just Society,” as envisioned by our country’s greatest prime minister, Pierre Elliot Trudeau. These things seem messed up in America lately. Can we still be friends? Can I find the “moral imagination” called for by President Barack Obama on 12 January 2011 in Tucson, Arizona, to embrace this strangely morphed nation? I wonder.

How did America get from its original state of grace and plenty to today, where she is almost always engaged in vitriol and incivility at home, and in perrenial bootless military struggle abroad? Edward Teller – the man who invented “The Super,” the hydrogen bomb – (hard on the heels of Robert Oppenheimer’s creation of the first atomic bombs) wrote dolefully in a personal correspondence in 1945, ” The things we are working on today are so terrible that no amount of protesting and fiddling with politics will save our souls.

Though the traumatic birth of the atomic age   is now 65 years behind us [yet still just as frightening, at one remove away from the immediate moment], today the soul of America still seems traumatized by its realization of its own destructive power in the world. It’s as if  echoes of  the awful bang of  atomic bombs exploding reverberates in the soul of America all the time – never-ending. Danger is always near. In this post-9/11 era, America sees deadly foreign-sponsored terror hiding behind every tree and in every piece of carry-on luggage. On Capitol Hill, meanwhile, citizens pick viciously at their own skins, always finding that no administration - so far – is up to the vital task of nurturing a just and fair society while producing The Good Life that most Americans feel they deserve.

The national economy stumbles and sways, shedding jobs every way it turns. An unemployment rate that never falls below ten per cent is somehow tolerable! Insane fiscal policy continues to shower treasure upon the richest citizens  while continually thumping the working and vanishing middle classes with staggering consumer debt, patchy health care [House votes to repeal health care law - click here], and entirely frightening futures. ←Privatized “Medicare”- solution? The federal government is going broke, while trying to go for broke!

What gives? Where is Ellis “rich legacy” and “redemption” ? What about e. e. cummings forward movement to a better tommorow? To return for a moment to the atomic metaphor, consider Robert Oppenheimer’s reported grim vision he experienced at Almagordo, N.M. upon witnessing the first awful fruits of his patriotic labours, the successful test detonation of the first atomic bomb. In horror, he took pen to paper and jotted down this passage from the the Bhagavad Gītā, the Hindu scripture, :I am become Death. The Destroyer of Worlds”  [click: to see first a- bomb & Robert  Oppenheimer's tears].”

If viewed through that all-seeing eye of modern life – the TV screen – the American tableau of mayhem, murder, soul-deadening gratuitous sex, violent video games aimed at youth, gunfire and fear in the streets, casualities everywhere – a pervasive psychopathy all around – you must ask yourself whether this country, this United States of America,  isn’t some kind of Death Culture?

Has Americabecome deathto herself and the rest of the world? How do we reconcile the promise of the American Dream with the imponderable accusation that the USA has become a terrorist state?

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Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky

About.com. Teerrorism The website About.com says: “The United States is routinely accused of terrorism...” applying that accusation specifically to America’s providing armaments to Israel – weapons that Israel in turn uses in its terroristic attacks against Palestinians. Israel’s ceaseless rounds of deliberate slaughter of civilians in unprovoked, surprise bombing raids comprise real terrorism, says About.com. But even more harsh words have entered the public discourse in casting the USA as a terrorist state. For example, activist Noam Chomsky said to interviewer David Barsamian in Monthly Review : “The USA has become a terrorist state itself…the Reagan Administration set off a terrorist bombing [in Beirut] in 1985 that was very much like [the] Oklahoma City [bombing], a truck bombing outside a mosque timed to kill the maximum number of people as they left. Further on the topic of “American Terrorism, Chomsky continued:I don’t know what name you give to the attack that’s killed maybe a million civilians in Iraq and maybe a half a million children, which is the price the Secretary of State says we’re willing to pay. Is there a name for that? Supporting Israeli atrocities is another one. Where has all the promise and wonder of the Republic gone? What about Peace? Whence prosperity?

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I’m critical of of the Pilgirms’ progess down south. Highly critical. America was a noble experiment. But a failed noble experiment, I say. It’s very complicated, having a lot to do with some obvious issues, but just as much to do with many subtle, socio-political issues. Very complicated.

I’m a Canadian, and so a North American. Just like every American is too. We all live on the same block here, so to speak.

But you know how, sometimes, a neighbour family on your block starts out being such an ideal bunch – they have shiny new cars, are well-dressed; they’re sociable, family-loving and proud… but over the years sometimes an ideal neighbour can mysteriously morph into something you don’t quite recognize as “desirable” in the neighbourhood anymore? You’ve felt surprisingly bothered by them after too many incidents involving them being loud, aggressive, untrustworthy, violent; police-incident-inducing, drug-addicted, paranoiac, or possibly so deeply buried in personal debt that, finally, one day they file bankruptcy and fly the coop. Whew!

But then their cold, empty, foreclosed vacant house remains behind, sitting indolently on your street, spoiling property values ? Well, that’s approximately what I feel has happened with my formerly EXCELLENT American neighbours just across the border. Except, of course, they haven’t gone away. They’re still there.

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º Two questions come forward: “What is Wrong With America Today?” and “How Can We Fix A Broken America? “

braying donkeySince I’ve been writing critically from Canada about my neighbour , the USA, I’ve had  every kind of invective flung at me. According to my detractors I am : a Hater,Stupid“, Jealous of Americans; “a Liar,” “an Idiot“, “a Vicious Totalatarian{!!!**!!!}…the list goes on… Clearly, I’ve hit a nerve. It’s a hard thing for a person of any nationality to hear the name of his country disparaged – especially for that particularly clamorous Proud Eagle Patriot whose LOUD singsong is always U.S.A # 1 ! And for whom, no matter what the matter at hand might be – America is ALWAYS right. Period. The end

.

Some readers will accuse me of pushing my arguments about American transgressions far beyond what might be relatively inoffensive “disparagement.” They will say I amattacking” America.

Please! Every Canadian knows: we are like a mouse sleeping in bed with an elephant.

c.a.n.a.d.a    U.S.A.

When the elephant rolls over…well...!

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What is Wrong With America Today?

Hiroshima

(1) America has been, since 8:15 A.M. on August 6, 1945, the world’s most terrific terrorist state. America is the only state in human history to have used the atomic bomb – on civilians, no less – and celebrated the mass-murder. President Harry Truman was at seaon the day the first a-bomb reduced 75,000+ Japanese civilians to radioactive ashes at Hiroshima. Upon getting the “success” report from the Enola Gay, Truman reportedly almost levitated his way along the decks, humming a joyous tune in celebration of the mass incineration . [see "Bomb Power : The Modern Presidency and the National Security State" / by Garry Wills.] And shortly after that (a little-reported gem), with WWII finally wrapped up, Truman pulled out his big atomic tomato again! This time Truman threatened Russiawith another a-bomb, demanding that Russia back away from a certain East European country that the U..S. had its own eye on for occupation. Russia complied. [ibid]

Fat Man & Little Boy: World’s first atomic bombs vaporized 150,000 Japanese civilians

From that fateful moment in 1945, when America unleashed her horrific weapon – WWII being “won & done” and thus rendered an irrelevancy on the spectrum of worldwide, historical terror – human civilization would never be the same again. The nuclear peril will be with us forever. It’s horror is unimaginable. [click: see recreation of Hiroshima nuclear bomb ]  The estimated two-year death toll from the Hiroshima bomb, after counting deaths from “atom bomb disease” – nuclear radiation – is 500,000. This illustrates the essential American character: imperialist, aggressive and over-eager to use force and preemption to advance American power.

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(2) America since Bush Jr., and, perplexingly, the same under the Obama administration,  has become a Rogue State. The USA defies International Law, she stirs up fear and hatred both at home and abroad.

In his infamous WAR blurt: If you’re not with us, then you’re against us,George W. Bush implied  that MY country, Canada, was somehow an evil outsider. But Mr. Bush’s war in Iraq was illegal. And immoral. Bush foisted lie, after lie, after lie about Iraq upon U.S. citizens, egging along Americans’ patriotic fervor to attack. Ultimately, American citizens in uniform went off to kill or be killed in Iraq for NO VALID REASON.  [see: What We've lost : Bush's War on Democracy and Freedom / Graydon Carter] America lies and steals to take what she wants, from whomever she wants it, whenever she wants it! (In Iraq and Iran, oil; on the American western frontier, the Indian Wars, to steal the traditional homelands of the First Nations peoples.) The USA can not be trusted. [see"Imperial America : Reflections on the United States of Amnesia"/ by Gore Vidal.]

Graydon Carter - What We've Lost


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(3) The USA is forever stained by the shame of black slavery and genocide of the Native Nations.
To this point, contemporary Americans will argue vehemently that they can not be held responsible for the “sins of the fathers.” But there are two unshakable arguments for generational guilt. The first and most obvious – though not quite universal in this putatively secular age – is found in Scriptures: Exodus 20:5: “God will visit the iniquities of the fathers upon the descendants because the fathers have failed to be covenantally faithful.” Americans of Faith must accept that God punishes the children for the sins of the fathers to the third and the fourth generation.

Madoff Jr. pays for Sins of his Father

But not every American today subscribes to biblical precepts.

Sons Pay for Sins of The Fathers?

Still, neither can secular thinkers escape the sins of the fathers. Consider Mark Madoff’s suicide: Wasn’t it the sins of the father that drove Mark to his own self-destruction? What else could it have been but the sins of Bernie Madoff ? Can anyone reasonably believe that Madoff fils had been a total innocent in the outrageous embezzling of $65 billion from investors? In this particular parable of American greed, generational guilt drills even deeper : Mark’s three children have been sued by the trustee assigned to pay back the investors. No, America can not just walk away from the unspeakable sins of its Fathers. There is no Free Pass Out of Jail for old sins. The one unceasing, unforgivable transgression shot through and through the history of America – racism – forever clouds the nation’s conscience, past and present.

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(4) The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution, the “right to bear arms” is born of another age, and can not possibly rightly apply to modern America, where hideous mass gun shootings are a tragic fact of life. Need we bring up: Columbine, Tucson, Waco, Kent State, University of Texas at Austin, Virginia Tech, countless workplace killings and on and on? Any public “right to bear arms” in modern America is utterly unconscionable. It sends the message that violence is the answer to every problem.
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(5) The American president laughed-off global warming, sneeringly backed-out of the Kyoto Accord, then turned around and gave out huge tax credits to citizens purchasing gas-guzzling Hummers! WHAT WAS BUSH THINKING ?
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(6) The American military detonated more than 200testatomic bombs in the Nevada desert in the 50s and 60s. Were they all CRAZY??!! How long does nuclear radiation last in the atmosphere?[click here]. What effects can nuclear radiation have on human beings?
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(7) American-style all-out robber baron capitalism has bred the most unequal society in human history. In his paper, “Who Rules America? Wealth, Income and Power,” Professor G. William Domhoff, of the University of California at Santa Cruz, writes that wealth distribution has been extremely concentrated throughout American history, with the top 1% already owning 40-50% of the nation’s wealth.  Domhoff draws a direct relationship between money and power: “Just as wealth can lead to power, so too can power lead to wealth.” Hedge fund billionaires are earning more in one hour than most Americans earn in a lifetime! Hedge fund billionaire John Paulson earns $2.4 million per hour.
Huge corporations raking in $$ multi-billions in profits year after year, avoid paying ANY taxes whatsoever.
Microsoft  happens to base its corporate headquarters in a major tax haven, Luxembourg.
ExxonMobil paid  taxes in 2009!These Corporate Welfare Bums take, and take from American society, and PAY NO TAXES!
View the angry speech of Congressman Bernie Sanders about the greedy “Top 10 Worst Corporate Tax Avoiders“: 
This is surely an obscenity, when huge corporations contribute nothing to government coffers,  while tens of millions of American citizens can’t get basic health care, largely because, say detractors to health care reform, “We can’t AFFORD it !”
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(8) Americans elect Mickey Mouse  Hollywood actors to the presidency and other high political office. Americans so prefer Disney-fried Un-reality over reality! It’s scary. It’s goofy. It’s Just Plain Stupid! America has become a society so neurotically unable to face the truth that now it leans on the alluring, illusory artistry of Hollywood-style leaders to support its countless hypocrisies!
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(9) In domestic matters of trade, Americans are cheaters. Almost from the day The North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) was signed into law in the 1990s, America began to challenge every trade restriction not perfectly to its liking. America has never honored NAFTA, neither in letter nor in spirit. American business runs to its partisan, paid-off Supreme Court judges for the trade decisions that suit them. America robs Canada of “free trade” every single day. Just raise the topic of softwood lumber to any Canadian lumber merchant, you’ll get an earful on “Free Trade” American-style! There is no free-trade in softwood lumber with America.
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(10) Permissive-materialism weakens America. The permissive-materialistic childrearing philosophy has had a radical impact on the character of American youngsters. American children have progressively become more resistant to desiring to be adults. Enough is enough!

Madonna – Worth it?

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(11) American Hollywood worship is infantile and out of control!. Movie stars: They’re not exactly rocket scientists! The social value of people is determined by their monetary value. Athletes, business people and movie and music stars are more highly valued than teachers, religious and political leaders.
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Big Pig Banks!

(12) The US banking system nearly bankrupted the entire world! It may still finish the job. Time will tell. Read new book “MELTDOWN: The End

MeltDown – End of Age of Greed

of  the Age of Greed” by Paul Mason. The author describes how the banking system “wrecked the world…”

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(12) America seems unable to keep Religion separate from The State. Why should “God bless America” (over the other roughly 196 sovereign nations in this world?) Do Americans REALLY believe they are the Chosen People?
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(13) America has had several nasty patches of assassinating its brightest lights, then explaining each incident away with a convenient “crazed lone gunman” conclusion, to assuage its unspeakable common guilt and complicity.
Lee Harvey Oswald, we now know, was a witless toy-boy of the CIA – a “patsy“, exactly as he cried out.
It was JFK’s own government officials – The Joint Chiefs of Staff, CIA, FBI, & NSC – who conspired successfully to perform a coup d’etat. It worked so slick, they did it again (RFK) and again (King) and again (M.X ). [see: "JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters"/James W. Douglass]. Reviewing the book cited here, ["JFK & The Unspeakable"] about the events in Dallas in 1963, Amazon.com book customer Nick Anez summarizes Douglass’ thoughts about the ultimate meaning of the assassination to Americans and all citizens of the world : “If JFK had not been murdered, we would not have had the prolongation of the Cold War, the Vietnam War, Watergate, the purported War on Terror and the steady moral deterioration of America. Interestingly, one month after JFK’s assassination, President Truman wrote an article for The Washington Post cautioning about the threat of the CIA taking over America.”
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Secrets finally revealed: “JFK & The Unspeakable”

(14) The CIA has been the most long-lived, invidious, sinister terrorist organization in human history. More omnipresent and empowered than even the dreaded Russian KGB. The CIA is a virtual “black government,” operating independently under the radar of elected officials. ” Nick Anez continues in his excellent book review, outlining concisely the role Douglass says the CIA played in world affairs immediately after the assassination of Kennedy:Lyndon Johnson, the CIA’s ally, assumed the presidency. He canceled talks with Khrushchev and refused Castro’s pleas to continue dialogue. He reversed JFK’s withdrawal plan from Vietnam as well as his plan to neutralize Laos. The military industrial complex took control of the country. The policy of plausible deniability led the way to assassinations of foreign leaders, the overthrowing of foreign governments and horrors committed all over the globe.
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(15) America is  xenophobic.  America is not the Centre of the World!
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(16) The American political system is hopelessly broken and corrupt to the core. God is not going to save America. Nor will Palin {God Forbid!}. Or Limbaugh. or ‘The Donald‘, or FOX!

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(17)Americans are the FATTEST people in the world. America invented JUNK FOOD, which is responsible for more unnatural deaths daily than any other cause of death.
fatties

Fat America

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(18) American miltarism will one day totally break the bank! Guns, Guns, Guns!
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How Can We Fix A Broken America?

To Fix America:
(a) travel back in time to the date of George W. Bush‘s birth, and have The Powers of Heaven  produce a miscarriage. Alright, yes, that was a cheap shot! But when you’re dealing with a Bush…everyone now knows…you’re dealing with cheap trash. George W. Bush is behind many of America’s toughest issues today. He is the man that wrecked America’s international reputation. He is the man that dumped billions – trillionsof dollars into the banking system to save banks he believed to be “Too big to fall.” What a BAD idea THAT was! He is the man that drug America into two more meaningless, useless wars, ending and maiming the lives of thousands of soldiers. If only that man had never come around!
OK, now I’ll get serious:
(1) First, the  two-party government system has to go. It only leads to endless deadlock and desperation in the legislature. With only two parties in Congress, it’s always a “showdown” on every single vote. Laws that actually do get passed often carry with them hidden stink-bombs that had to be embedded in them, otherwise “the other” party would have killed them dead.

gold

(2) On the economy scene: return to the Gold Standardof pre-Nixon years. The US dollar is no longer a viable world economic anchor. At the present time, especially, the government is printing money like mad and only cranking up inflation, or possibly deflation, or possibly “stagflation” – take your pick! Who knows which direction the American economy will go now? With each passing month the US dollar  comes nearer and nearer to becoming $Monopoly$  money.

(4) America needs to re-think the War on Terror. The Patriot Act and  its looting of important civil rights of citizens have been an insult to Liberty. Government has been spying on citizens – at home, on the Internet, at the local library, at  schools. It’s dreadful to see this happening. The Terror Alerts only served to terrorize citizens even more! [see above : "What We've lost"] The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have earned America only more enemies – secret, silent, creeping, vicious enemies. The War on Terror has made the world – and especially the USA – a more dangerous place.
(5) Related to (4) - Immediately slash the military budget by at least 50% by pulling troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan (as has been perennially promised!). For the fiscal year 2010,  the Department of Defense Base Budget ate up $533.7  billion, mainly  supporting troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. There’s almost 1/4 of your money for social security benefits like health care! That money could go a long way towards a new universal  health care program. (In 2010 Medicaid  spent $201 billion, while Medicare took  $386 billion. With other social spending, the grand total for Social Security came to $612 billion.) Maintaining a massive U.S. military presence around the world only wins America enemies. It’s counter-productive. It generates fear and paranoia.
(6) STOP! electing actors and other various charismatic buffoons to positions of power. Yes, actors can make themselves – and by reflection citizens – look and sound just GREAT! But they’re ACTORS! Professional pretenders! Their calling in life is to fool and trick their audiences!
Definition: Roget’s Dictionary: ACTOR: noun:  Hollywood actors and actresses: performer, player,  film star, star, starlet, matinee idol; informal ham; lead, leading man, leading lady, stand-in.

Then there’s this sweetie-cakes, wannabe-in-power, Sarah Palin, the ultimate Buffoon-ette! She’s charismatic, yes! Sassy, perky.  Andbrain-dead. She reads from crib notes scribbled in ink on her cutesy manicured little hands! She’s never been anywhere in the world. Do you believe she could actually find Iran or North Korea on a map? Palin’s latest “cross-hairs” caper associated with the most unfortunate shooting of US Congrresswoman Gabrielle Giffords reflects so evilly on the sway of charismatic snake charmers over American citizens.

(7)America must GET GREEN. You do NOT need that polluting Hummer, or that speedboat. Get a Smart Car, or a hybrid, and buy a rowboat. No more SUVs! Re-reverse Bush’s cuts to environmental protection. Your wild spaces need protection. Ban offshore oil rigs. Boycott McDonalds and Burger King.

(8) America needs restrictive gun laws. Congress should excise that execrable “arms” 2nd Amendment from the constitution:”A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. Teach your children that guns and violence are not good for children and other living things.

(9) AMERICANS! Educate yourselves!  That simple-minded parking space for incohate contrarians of  multiple  persuasions –  The Tea Party – is no place to seriously exercise your citizens’ duty to participate in the politics of  the nation. Writing recently about the American Debt Ceiling crisis, Canadian political commentator Mitchell Anderson said of  the “Ungovernable Ignorance” of  the American citizenry, in theTyee.ca : “It could be that democracy in America is working just fine. The problem is that the electorate has become so badly misinformed that GOP lawmakers trying to save their nation (and the world) from bankruptcy are hamstrung by the collective ignorance of their constituents they pledged to represent.

(10) Finally, America could revolutionize the world by banning all nuclear weapons.

Hoorah for Obama for the recent “START” accord with Russia! That’sthe spirit of change the whole world hungers for! America, herself, should dis-arm first to set an example (No one is going to attack! The cold war is over.) Make pacts with all other nations to destroy all existing nuclear weapons, and enforce global supervision preventing any nation from ever again refining weapons-grade uranium or plutonium. Make WORLD PEACE.

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“More and more in our times Canadians have wondered  just what kind of continental neighbour America, is, exactly.  Where will it all end?”

That’s what this blog is all about.

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“Look ahead into the past, and back into the future…” 

Canada’s Margaret Laurence (1926 – 1987)

Margaret Laurence, “The Diviners” McClelland & Stewart Ltd 1966

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