Thursday, March 6, 2014

March 6: Questions

1. How many people have been killed in fighting in Congo in the past year?
2. Are any Canadian mining companies involved in the abuses that have led to the fighting in Congo?
3. How many innocent people have been killed by American drone bombers in the past five years? Tens? hundreds? thousands?
4. How many of those flights were over countries with which the US was at war?
(Hint - the US has not been at war with anybody since 1945. That's right. Though the constitution calls for a declaration of war before sending troops, no president has called on Congress for such a declaration since 1941/)
5. How many wars, declared or undeclared, is the US fighting right now?
6. How many illegal torture prisons does the US operate around the world?
7.How many democracies has the US created or supported in Central America? (name one).
8. How many dictators has it supported in the same region?
9. How many major banking firms have been convicted of the fraud in mortgage-dealing that created our recession?
10 How many bankers have gone to jail for fraud?

And so one could go on for a very, long list. Our newspapers have ignored all the above - and much, much more.

That occurred to me today as I read the reporting on Ukraine. There are many highly trained and honest Americans with expertise in international affairs. They are also very critical of the accounts we're getting on Ukraine.

So far, I have not found an interview with or even a comment from any of them in any major, North American news source.

That's why polls consistently show that most North Americans are hopelessly ignorant of what is going on around them.

They don't know that we deliberately impoverished Haiti and other Central American countries to use them for cheap labour, and to steal their resources. That's why we're in Africa, too.

One, intriguing item did slip through today, though. Harper said we sent hundreds of observers to the last Ukraine election to ensure it was conducted fairly. That was in 2012. And we will send them again, says our PM to ensure the will and courage of the Ukrainian people be respected.\

Uh, Steve baby, you sent hundreds of observers barely a year ago to see that the will and courage of the Ukrainian people would be respected. Then, gangs of unknowns overthrow that government that your assured us fairly represented the Ukrainian people.

That doesn't, you know, sound like a real good system Stevie.
And you made that complete turn in an instant, without asking your panel of experts what the hell was going on here.

And the US and all the NATO countries did the same. And they all decided instantly on exactly the same response. What a coincidence!

Stevie, this smells; and the whole press coverage smells.

We live under an economic and political system that slaughters people by the millions, that creates unspeakable poverty and suffering. Just take a look for answers to the ten question I began with. You won't find them in our daily press.

On the editorial and op ed pages, I found only two columns worth reading. On, on International Women's Day, was by Jody Dallaire - though I could have wished it had been tougher, and with some sense of priorities.

The other one is - Norbert Cunningham.

He talks about the seeming rise of the NDP, partly because of the approach of Dominic Cardy, partly because of that empty space we call a Liberal leader.I think he's right. But Norbert and I do have points of disagreement.

First, Norbert suggests that ideology is bad. I agree - depending on what it is based on. We have a government now which is heavily ideological. So are our newspapers. The ideology is a very simple-minded one that private ownership is always best, and government control and/or ownership always bad.

Thst, Norbert, is called quasi-capitalist ideology. It has nothing to do with the real meaning of capitalism.

Then he says Cardy would get government our of the business of business. Cute. But that's not the problem of New Brunswick. The problem of New Brunswick is to get business out of government, out of our schools, out of our budgets. This is the only province I know in which a business leader has publicly and formally declared himself a member of the government, though nobody elected him or asked him.

If we don't confront business and make it mind its own business, then we won't accomplish anything.
I know it's effective to go where the votes are, to ignore principle, to say what people want to hear.
The reality is that New Brunswick has to change It is poor and corrupt and uncaring and its people are stunningly passive. That has to change. Above all, the people have to become less passive.

The closer you move to the middle, the less you can do to help.

There are a couple, at least, of excellent letters to the editor - "Blood minerals not just about diamonds" , and ""Outraged by RCMP costs at protests"..


Sorry to be so late again. This cold has been quite a dreadful one. Indeed, you shouldn't kiss me unless  you absolutely have to.

On another point, I am astonished by the size of American readership of this blog. After all, it's about a small town (oops, rising metropolis) paper in a Canadian province.

American readers are very welcome, indeed. I'm just surprised there are so many of them..

Hey. Maybe city council is right. Maybe Moncton is a metropolis.

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