Sunday, May 25, 2014

May: 25:The biggest blunder in history?

First -  a brief announcement. Much as I enjoy writing this blog, it takes hours out of every day, leaving almost no time for anything else The other things I have to do combine with the blog to  keep me up every night until ten or so - and dead tired most of the time I'm working.

A second surprise for me is that this blog which deals with a shabby Canadian newspaper chain has over half its audience in the US, and another large part in Russia, Ukraine. even China. (Haven't quite figured that part out, yet.)

So I have decided to get a life. The blog will appear in future on Tuesday. Thursday and Saturday That cycle begins on May 27.

Now to business.
Our North American private media won't say so. But the US has committed what may well be the greatest diplomatic blunder in history.

For centuries, Russia and China have been enemies. But US threatening, sanctions, all repeated by our own yelping lapdog, Stephen Harper, have now made them the closest of friends. If the North American press hasn't figured out what the foofaraw in Ukraine is about, the Chinese government has.

The US is attempting to destroy the two most powerful countries that stand in its way of world domination.

So, old enemies China and Russia signed one of the biggest energy agreements in history. The agreement includes each becoming the other's most important trade partner. Linked with it are agreements to be military allies, and to share military research programmes.

Other partners, like Iran, are sure to added. Leery as these potential partners are of Russian and Chinese power, they also have the reality of American bullying and exploitation to deal with.

Most of our news media crowed that Russia had been diplomatically isolated. That's some isolation. The reality is that the US is close to isolation in South America, very vulnerable to it in Africa, divided on it in Asia. Only in sagging Europe (and Canada) does the US enjoy wide support.

This could reverse the seeming direction of world history. I don't know who to blame. There are so many power sources in the US, some of them legal, some of them illegal. Was American policy shaped by those businessmen who follow Dick Cheney's aggressive world domination banner? Was it shaped by a government apparatus so vast and  so steeped in greed and the lust for power that it had no judgement at all? Or was it Obama?

My guess is it wasn't Obama. He has never shown any depth or conviction on anything, good or bad. I would guess the others - the Dick Cheney gang, big business and a government apparatus both huge and out of control.

Much of the takeover of Ukraine had to do Ukraine's debt, and the interests of those who hold that debt.

At the end of World War Two, the International  Monetary Fund was established. It seemed a good idea.Money would be made available, especially to poor countries to carry out projects essential for development.

The trouble was that the fund was dominated by big business which saw the whole thing only in terms of making profits Consequently, it forced economic policies on borrowing countries that guaranteed big business even bigger profits even as the borrowers got lesser benefits.

A common example is borrowing to supply clean water to a country. Poorer countries needed pipelines, filtration plants.....but couldn't afford them. So the IMF   would lend them the money - with just a few conditions.
1. The system would have be built by private contractors - commonly American.
2.Ownership of the system would have to be private - commonly American.
3.ALL fresh water in the country would belong to the company - even that which fell as rain. (Anyone who put out as much as a water barrel could be in real trouble.)
4. People would have to pay for every drop of water they used.
In some countries, the price of water became so high that it exceeded the cost of food. Profits for the American owners were good. But it reduced the poor to lives of animals with access only to tainted water.

This has also happened in the drug industry where prices are kept artificially high. And if any agency wants to buy millions of dollars of drugs to send to people in Africa dying of, say, AIDS, it has to pay the full RETAIL price for every pill hat is sent. Result, hundreds of thousands, at least, suffer and die from a sickness that could have been cured.  Real sweethearts, those people in the drug industry.

Another drug company is in the courts. There is a common weed in Asia that grows wild - and has been used for centuries as a medicine for a variety of ailments. The drug company is claiming patent rights for ownership of the wild weed so that any person using it must buy it from the company. How's that for entrepreneurship?

The new president of Ukraine was chosen for cases like the above. Ukraine is heavily in debt. His job is to set an economic policy which will make sure the IMF and its friends get their money back. And that means Ukraine is in for one hell of a time - because the IMF people seem to have learned their economics from Norbert Cunningham and Bill Belliveau. Austerity's the word.

Hammer the poor with taxes and cut social services to the needy. Reduce the income taxes of the super rich.

It won't work for the society. It never has. But it works for the rich.

All of the above is about to be intensified around the world, including New Brunswick.

I hear that the big target for he immediate future is the privatization of water. Others, already well under way are creeping privatization of schools (a crashing failure in the US and Britain), privatization of police and of prisons (stunningly expensive and ineffective) and, of course, privatization of medical care.

None of this makes any economic or social sense. But pure greed is running wild in big business. And pure greed softens brains that never were impressive even in their best days..

I mean, pure greed is the way we end up with newspapers like the Irving press.


  1. Good blog that explains what happens when the IMF, the EU and the European Central Bank get involved..

  2. Uh this doesn't sound like anything I want any part of but being alive there doesn't seem to b much choice.

  3. Thats too bad dude, it was always nice to read whats going on in Irvings rag, but I supposed there's only so many times you can write "theres nothing in the paper". Just wanted to point out the China thing, for the past twenty years any NBer in liberal arts has pretty much had to go to China to teach english to find work, which would explain why you get a lot from China. Ex pats like me liked seeing a voice from home that we don't have to pay for!
    Thats why I find Alward so hypocritical. Before the shale gas and pipeline thing, he never even MENTIONED all the NBers leaving to the province to find work. So its clear its just talking points to him. He didnt' give a rats ass about all the young nbers who had to go to china for a job that didn't pay half as well as jobs in Alberta which are four times closer and pay extremely well.

    Rural people whose sons and husbands go five hours away is a tragedy, but college kids leaving home for YEARS at a time wasn't even worth discussing.

    Glad your getting a life.

  4. I miss China. A beautiful country. Of course, that was a while ago. Shanghai was decidedly low rise - as was most of Beijing. Traffic was mostly bicycles and carts, and the air was clean.