Monday, March 24, 2014

March 24: It's enough to make you cry.....

According to today's New York Times, Japan has enough enriched uranium to build a large number of nuclear weapons. They've had it, and the US has known about it, "for decades".

Let's just whoa back a minute. According the the peace treaty at the end of World War 2, Japan was not permitted to build military forces or weapons except for those designed strictly for defense.

Iran has been hounded by the US for years with threats of war, not because it has enriched uranium but  because the US says it is working on it. The US has no evidence. UN inspectors have routinely said that no such thing is happening. But the US is still hammering at it. with war a distinct possibility at any time. Meanwhile, Iran has suffered years of US sanctions affecting not only its financial position, but cutting it off from things like essential medications for children.

The US was also the country, along with Britain and the US that destroyed Iranian democracy because the democratically elected government actually wanted to control its own oil resources.

And Japan was happily enriching uranium for "decades" without a peep? And, it seems there were eight or more other countries doing the same.

Japan has now agreed to give its stockpile to the US for "safekeeping". Very nice - after all these decades. (Though I'm not sure I'll sleep a lot better at night knowing the US now has that uranium.)

Meanwhile, the US has slaughtered one and a half million in Iraq for having 'WMDs' which, in fact, it never had, overthrown democracy in Guatemala, following it up with the mass murder of 300,000 Guatemala civilians, murdered the president of Colombia and installed a dictator, overthrown democracy in Haiti and exiled the president, promoted and supported a hell of slaughter and starvation in Syria  (without even bothering to accuse it of  anything), destroyed Libya as a state for no given reason, engineered a coup in Ukraine, overthrowing the democratically elected government, killed people daily in illegal drone and assassin attacks - and may be working us up for an attack on those awful Russians.

Oh, yes. And the US now accuses Russia of aggression when it was the US that funded an uprising in Ukraine to overthrow the government. Notice how our news media never mention that. They always start with the Russian occupation of Ukraine - though what made that occupation happen was the American overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine.

Can you imagine our reaction if one and a  half million Iraqis had been murdered by Cubans?

Can you imagine our lack of reaction if those Iraqis had been murdered, as they were, by Americans and British?

I really must find time for a blog on the profound racism that runs through all of us.


Another, if smaller, gem I found - Fifty years ago the biggest employer in the US was GM, and the typical GM worker got (in today's dollars) $35 an hour. Today, the biggest employer in the US is Walmart. And the typical Walmart worker gets $8.80 and hour.
A1 has an ominous story "Province boosts support  to N.B. universities." Translation - the provincial government is cutting its payments to universities, wants more control over curriculum, and wants them to emphasize the teaching of job skills.

Further translation - big business now has full control of the universities, and their job will now be to serve the profit drives of big business. In other words, they become trade schools.

They always have been,of course; but they have not always been JUST trade schools. They also existed for the training of minds to understand, to analyze, to make judgements. They did not train people to be high-grade flunkeys. They trained them to see a broader world than they had known. They trained them to see truth rather than just business convenience. They trained them to lead. They trained them to open the eyes of all of us.

They didn't always do it well because they never did learn how to teach. But to the degree we did have openings to broader and more intelligent understanding of the world, they were the openings.

But that's over. Now, they will be controlled by those intellectual giants like the Irvings of this world.

Again, this is an Irving press report. That means the reporter did not ask questions, probably doesn't know any to ask, so most of the story is quotations of mindless gobbledegook.
A9 has the story "shale gas protests don't bother minister". There reference is to the energy minister, Craig Leonard. It is accompanied by a photo of him looking not bothered - and suitable for framing.

Though he gets a lion's share of the story, Mr. Leonard has very little to do with it. The real story is that a group called The Voice of the People Tour is planning the go around the province, discussing the problems with shale gas.

However, most of the story is an unbothered energy minister saying they're all wrong - and the government has done a thorough job of distributing information.

"Liar, liar, pants on fi-re", Mr Leonard. Yours is the government and this is the newspaper that withheld information and that lied about it. Remember you deep-sixing of the report of the chief medical officer? You still haven't answered it. Remember the mess you made with Professor Lapierre?"

Cutely, the reporter ends the story with the "good news" that the energy institute intends to research well water quality levels in places where there will be drilling. Duh! They have all the information but they haven't researched well water quality first?

And why should we research it? Mr. Leonard has just told us it's all perfectly safe.

Is this guy a dozey as he looks?

On C10, The Canadian Press does its usual village idiot job on reporting Harper and his demand for "tough action" against Putin. Yeah. I remember his demand for tough action when the US invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, and paid for war in Syria. And, lest we forget, paid for the riots that overthrew the elected government of the Ukraine.

Oh, and The Canadian Press does it again. In painting a picture of Harper as an admired figure at the G8, CP again quotes a propagandist from a far-right wing think tank and, get this, the head of the Canadian Ukrainian Congress who, I think, is funded by the tax-payer on this trip to Ukraine.

In fact, most G8 members are like to see Harper as stupid and/or self- serving.

The stupidity is to look for punishment and isolating Russia when a)it probably can't be done and b) it will make tensions worse.
a) most of the world does not think as highly as Canadian Press does of the United States or its buddies of the G8. Much of the G8 are the countries that have killed and looted all over the world for the last several centuries. It's a big world out there. And most of it has no love for the US or its friends.
b) Isolating Russia is that last thing you want to do if you're looking for world peace. You have to draw people in. Diplomacy is not something like giving a spanking. It is lessening tensions, encouraging, coopering.

And that's why anybody who says Harper is highly respected in world diplomatic circles is a fool.We have had prime ministers, though not many, who impressed other world leaders. Lester Pearson did. But he was one of the few. Harper may well be the least impressive one we have produced.

Besides, we have watched Harper for years. We should know why he's taking a tough stance without regard for the consequences.
1. He's toadying to the US.
2. He wants the Ukrainian-Canadian vote in the next federal election. And so, promising his support to both,  he creates an unlikely partnership between Israel and Ukraine - the latter of which has a long record of anti-semitism, which enthusiastically rounded up Jews for the Gestapo, and which happily killed Jews itself by unknown tens of thousands or more - and which today has a Nazi party in its government.
On op ed, I don't understand why we have a weekly column by Craig Babstock on the courts. I have never  before seen a newspaper that had a column on such a narrow topic every, damn week. Nor is it information that most of us have a whole lot of need for. Today, it was on how juries can be unpredictable. I know that Craig. I watch television, too.

Occasionally, we could have a column on some aspect of the court as it relates to a major case that is on. Otherwise, it's just irrelevant.

Steve Malloy gives us his weekly dose of common sense that is also well-written.

I would urge you to read Alec Bruce's column, then compare it to a letter in Letters to the Editor ("Story on gas was misleading")

Alec Bruce does a very upbeat column on the "economic summit" of 2014 that, from its own reports,  I don't agree with at all. In his letter, Marc Chouinard of Miramichi, who was at the economic summit, offers a more convincing account in his letter.

Oh, my nephew, Doug, who works in Alberta (of course), turned 52 yesterday. And nobody noticed. Now, I know he reads this blog. And I just want to assure him that I remembered, but couldn't contact him because a massive storm closed down all electricity across New Brunswick yesterday for some 30 hours, and the gold wristwatch I had bought him was snatched by a shark that leaped out of a tidal wave on the river that swept over the whole of Moncton just as I got to the post office.

However, I did remember. And I do wish you a happy birthday.


  1. quick question drip-drain, whose bright idea was it to build 13 nuclear reactors in the ocean. on a fault-line. it doesn't add up, to me and happy birthday to your nephew.

  2. I have never heard of this. So I did some checking. It's true. It's even worse than you say. and it is frightening.