by  RB Ham

I'm an ardent reader of your column. Although I'm Canadian, I live in Calgary, possibly the farthest right wing city in Canada. Very Conservative people, misled by the same far right wackos who's only incentive is to make piles of money with the least amount of gov't involvement possible. Both daily rags are right wing. The Herald carries one left of centrist writer, Catherine Ford. She's excellent. The Sun carries one also, poor Bill Kaufmann, but he's assigned to the local beat mostly. When they do let him do an op-ed he tears into the Right with fervor. Then he is quickly slapped down again. It may be months before he's allowed to even mention Pinochet and right wing death squads again. Conrad Black has done his worst here.
     Thankfully, most Canadians reject the extremes of either the left or the right. Alot of issues here like Health Care and our Progressive Tax rate are taken as a fair and proper thing. What country could watch it's poor and indigent suffer while the wealthiest citizens become richer and richer.

     Through the magic of the internet, I have learned many things, and confirmed my suspicions of the worst. I have found great books to read from info gleaned from the net. "Dark Alliance" by Gary Webb is an example. There are many others, "The Co-Conspirators" by Al Martin is a must read. I just know that you have. It's a great book and it amazes me that a few political payouts and pardons could stop the search for justice that the world had a right to know. Ronald Reagan was insulated by the plausible denial philosophy, but George Sr. was not. He murmured 'out of the sphere of influence'  or some such crap, and that was it. Off limits. Then on his way out, he pardoned his co-conspirators and dissapeared from view. The lack of any closure to the Iran-Contra Scheme will leave a festering boil just underneath the collar of the Body Politic.

           And then, after 8 years of peace and prosperity, the boil pops above the collar, threatening to burst Former Iran/Contra shakers and movers start getting cushy posts in the Bush II regime. I still shudder. Otto Reich Back? My God! Do Americans have short memories or what? John Negropante? For UN Ambassadorship? He covered up Right Wing Death Squads' crimes for political purposes. He should be in jail. My opinion, sorry. Ollie North running for office? Sheesh.

            So the boil has been exposed again to the light of  day and I watch fervently on CNN and MSNBC to catch some views on these appointments and proposed appointments and ... nada. At least, not much. The 'newsguy' mentions it down around the seventh story as a report. That's it. Maybe the media has forgotten, but I hope the American people don't. If the truth about that whole evil era - of propping up Fascist dictators and their wealthy bankers and money-laundeurers, of making deals with Drug lords and compromising and then turning on one of your own installed-CIA trained-( School Of The Americas, indeed)  goons. Poor Manuel, he should have looked into George the First's soul, maybe he was just too scared.
         Do the American people care that their most popular and successful ( as they are told ad nauseum )  President probably knew quite a bit of this Arms For Hostages deal. The October Surprise? Do any mainstream everyday kind of Joes get it?

          But those festering, oozing and leaking  boils are having competition lately for the title of "Things Not Seen". For they are now competing with the 6-ton Elephant sitting in the dinner room, studiously and ridiculously not noted. That nasty 'Stolen Election' scandal that is but isn't. Oh, but it is. Americans may be often seen as insular, arrogant and hypocritical to a lot of the world. But they have the world's longest running, uninterrupted democracy. Where all the votes ( ideally, of course ) were counted. I've often heard American commentators  state that the integrity of their vote, their right to cast it without fear of retribution, and their right to have it counted was the fundamental test of a democracy. That elephant could cause some damage if someone provokes it.
      Meanwhile, back at the ranch. George the First keeps worrying away at something just underneath his collar, while his son has some worrying to do himself.
                                       - RB Ham
                                         Calgary AB

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