Last May, the OECD put out figures comparing infant mortality rates in countries around the world. Perhaps the biggest story of all the figures were those attributed to Canada. This country has always boasted of its social stats — life expectancy, infant mortality, university graduates, and other measures of our success as a nation.
But not this time.
The numbers were “shocking” — a word used by half a dozen prominent commentators, including the Conference Board of Canada. We had slipped from sixth place in the world to 24, a virtually unprecedented fall for any country. We are now just above Poland and Hungary, with 5.1 deaths per 1,000 live births of infants less than one year of age. The actual tragedy beyond the percentages: 1,181 infant deaths in 2007.
Increasingly credible press reports say that you are going to join with the Republican minority in the Congress and support the two year extension of the Bush tax cut for the Rich, along with the cuts for the $200,000 individual and $250,000 couples that the Democrats were favoring.
It has become a widely-noticed habit of yours to concede or to adopt both the Republican terms of policymaking and Republican policies and programs. Enclosed is a recent column where I wrote an imaginary private letter from former President George W. Bush to you, by way of providing examples of this recurrent practice.
The recent release of the 250,000 Wikileaks documents has provoked unparalleled global interest, both positive, negative, and everywhere in between. One thing that can be said with certainty: Wikileaks is changing things.
There are those who accept what the Wikileaks releases say at face value, largely due to the misrepresentation of the documents by the corporate-controlled news.
“The Middle Class Proletariat — The middle classes could become a revolutionary class, taking the role envisaged for the proletariat by Marx. The globalization of labour markets and reducing levels of national welfare provision and employment could reduce peoples’ attachment to particular states. The growing gap between themselves and a small number of highly visible super-rich individuals might fuel disillusion with meritocracy, while the growing urban under-classes are likely to pose an increasing threat to social order and stability, as the burden of acquired debt and the failure of pension provision begins to bite. Faced by these twin challenges, the world’s middle-classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest.” — ‘UK Ministry of Defence report, The DCDC Global Strategic Trends Programme 2007-2036’ (Third Edition) p.96, March 2007