Archive for December, 2011
News wires are reporting the death of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il at the age of 70.
The “Dear Leader” of the People’s Democratic Republic of Death Camps can count, among his accomplishments, mass starvation, imprisonment in horrific gulags, and systematic murder in gas chambers of his own people, bringing nuclear weapons to his country, and being ranked dead last in the freedom index year after year.
We do not rejoice at death. But for all of the nonsensical Godwin’s Law invocation out there, Kim Jong-Il is one of the few who can be aptly compared to Hitler or Stalin without it seeming the least bit like hyperbole. If anything, the horrors of his rule are under-reported, because of how sealed off North Korea is from the world.
And while Kim Jong-un, his successor and son, appears to be cut from the same cloth, and North Korea’s dark days show no sign of ending anytime soon, I don’t think there’s anyone who could possibly argue that the world has suffered a loss with his passing.
The first person who writes a flowery obituary for this despot will make me want to puke. May he rot in hell.
That’s the theory behind this site: We are the 1 percent. It contains manifestos of a bunch of people who claim to be part of the American super-rich, but who feel that it’s unfair that they aren’t taxed their fair share.
Now, admittedly, this concept might be better if more of the people in the blog’s photos actually said what they were doing to help the 99%, besides writing statements on paper. But the spirit ain’t bad.
The Occupy Wall Street movement has its share of problems, namely, the lack of any coherent demands, the lack of focus, and the general sense of a movement with lots of gripes but few answers. But they’re not wrong to point out the negative consequences of large income disparity in the US. And while the income gap isn’t nearly as dramatic in Canada, there’s a strong sense that we’re moving in that direction.
The fact is, while these people claim to be in the so-called 1% of Americans, and most of us aren’t, we’re pretty much ALL of us part of the luckiest 0.00001% in the world – we hit the mother of all jackpots just by being born here in Canada, having enough food to eat, a roof over our heads, security and safety and education and healthcare and the chance to grow to be an adult. It’s worth it for all of us to think about how we can do more to give something back.
(Not for nothing, but this goes back to my long-standing call for Quebec to raise university tuition for those who can afford it and increase bursaries and financial aid for those who can’t. More access to opportunity benefits everyone. Just sayin’.)