Thursday, October 30, 2014

Oct. 30: You made me what I am today---

---I hope you're satisfied.
You dragged and dragged me down until
The soul within me died.
You shattered every hope and dream.
You fooled me from the start.
And though you're not through
May God bless you.
That's the curse of an aching heart.

That's an old, old song from the days music halls and melodrama. (I was planning on singing it for the opening concert at the new events centre, the one we're building on polluted land.) It's a lovely melody; and it came to mind as I was preparing for this blog, partly because I like to sing while I type, and partly because that song is a key to  understanding current events.

We have all, all of us in this world, been made what we are today. Those people who hate us often feel that hate because we have behaved in hateful ways to them. Most criminals I've known - and I've known more than a few - have been the products of vile mistreatment not only by parents but by our whole society as we neglect the effects of poverty and opportunity.

The dictators and racists and bigots and mass murderers do not create themselves. We create them. And we don't even notice them if we're on our side. Just think of it. How many George Bushes (father and son) have you known to be jailed or executed? Both were mass murderers (Remember Guatemala? That was George Bush the first. As head of the CIA he also has unrecorded kills all over the world.) Then there's George the second, and Tony Blair. Both were mass murderers. Both have retired as extremely wealthy men, and must sought after as speakers at dinners of the very wealthy. And now we have Obama.

Many criticize the behaviour of Israel. That many includes me. What made Israel such a racist and murderous nation? Well, that would be us Christians. Starting about  fifteen hundred years ago, Jews were routinely slaughtered by the Catholic church, then by Protestants. It happened on the Crusades: it happened on religious days like Easter. Persecution, in fact, happened every day. Hitler was nothing new for the Jews. Russia and our good friends, the Ukrainians, happily joined in the killing of Jews in World War Two and much earlier. Indeed, young men in Ukraine in their thousands joined the Nazi armies, many of them used to round up and kill Jews.

Meanwhile, the western world (including us) didn't lift a finger to give refuge to the Jews - not before the war, not during it, and not after it. The only Jews able to live in relative peace throughout that whole 15 centuries were the ones who lived in the Moslem middle east - especially the ones in what is now Israel.

Israeli leadership today is as intolerant and cruel as any we have seen. Of course. They didn't simply move to Israel. They fled to it - from Canada and the US and Britain and Germany, and every country in Europe.It wasn't just Hitler. They fled from 1500 years of unending horror. That is what created Netanyahu, a racist, bigoted, murderous man - and a major  cause of bloodshed in the middle east.

To understand current events, don't look at just the bad guys on the other side. Take a hard look at the good guys on our side.

....that's the curse of an aching heart.
For the Oct. 28 paper, I'll concentrate on two columns because there really is nothing else to look at.

Alec Bruce wrote a column which is ---bad, stinking, deceptive. I cannot believe that a man of his intelligence and background did all that simply in error. He must have known what he was doing.

Essentially, he argues for shale gas and pipelines to save our economy. He says we have listless and fearful political classes (true enough), but then salvation rests with our entrepreneurs  (a word that has become a code in this province for letting big business run everything.)

For a start, it's true that our political parties are listless. But, as Bruce must know, that is not where it starts because government doesn't decide our economic policies in the first place. Just after Allward was elected, Irving announced to the world that he was a member of the government - without getting elected. There was a column in the TandT about it - by Irving. The minister of finance was a former employee of Irving, and Irving told Allward who to appoint as his advisers.

There is no evidence either Allward or his predecessor as PM made any important decisions about the economy. They did what they were told to do. The truth is that there is no point in blaming politicians for the power we have allowed Irving and others of the wealthy to amass. We have allowed them to destroy democracy, and to rule with only their own greed as a purpose.  Come on, Bruce. You know that.

Then there's something called the wage gap. In Canada, and around the world, the very, very wealthy have been getting wealthier while the poor and the middle class get poorer.

Then there's the fact that we are (really) part of the world. According to Credit Suisse, in the last three years 99% if us have have seen our money  disappear into the pockets of the very rich. In 1911, the top one percent of the world had an estimated 100 trillion dollars. It is now 127 trillion, and rising. We are suffering. Around the world, many millions are starving and dying.

Certainly, some short-term, labour jobs laying oil pipelines is not going to help New Brunswick much. We have allowed our society to be taken over by people of insatiable greed, of little if any morality (for all the churches they might sponsor), and no capacity whatever for government.

All this is made worse by the arrogance so common to people who have no great talents but who believe that in being born rich they are, by God's will, above us scum. Like all aristocracies, economic ones inevitably produce arrogant, incompetent, and even dangerous asses. (One thinks of Charles II of England who, as Dutch ships sailed up a British river to destroy his fleet, was busy chasing a moth in his mistress' bedroom.)

If New Brunswick ever hopes to get out from under, they first has to destroy the power of big business in this province, and restore democracy.

It is not possible that Bruce doesn't know all this.

Then there's Gwynne Dyer. He praises the recent election in Ukraine as a sign of a healthy democracy. He didn't pay much heed to several facts. He neatly ignored the reality that three million people (virtually all who would have voted the other way) couldn't vote because they were fighting a civil war against the government. But, even at that, the pro-Russia supporters in eastern Ukraine got 13% of the vote - and this in a region where voting against the government can be a very dangerous thing to do. As well, there is no information on how free the voting was. Nor are we likely to get any.

Nor did he mention the substantial neo-Nazi vote which went to the leading parties. (And Naziis don't usually look kindly on democracy.)

He also talks about the democratic (and close) victory in Bolivia for a government that had remarkably reduced poverty. He suggests that it now should join forces with its opposition to make Bolivia more attractive to big business.

Uh, Gwynne, there was a time when Bolivia was very, very attractive to big business. That's what created the poverty.

There's a news story about new rules for rail transport as a result of Megantic. It's odd to put out new rules when we don't know the whole story about how it happened. Who signed the false affidavit of the oil cargo? Did the shippers specify they wanted the old and dangerous oil cars? Were they cheaper? Did the shipper understand that the train would have only one crew member? Did all those people die to save a few bucks?
So far, there is no info on that; and the news media haven't been asking any questions.

If you want some real information, skip the TandT, and go to Karl Nerenberg (at for Oct. 29. He has a good article on the government's security plans. There's also a good one (same day) by Brent Patterson on what our gestapo is already doing to protect us. Anyone who attends a native healing service is on the list. Ditto for social movements that are at all critical of Harper policies. (I think you might get away with giving turkeys away at Christmas - but that's pushing the limits). There is no evidence they have ever investigated anybody who's rich. And now, Harper's bringing down even tougher legislation. The police state is here. Big time.

Heil Harper.

This is so long,  that I'm now going to start a second one for Friday. It will be called Oct. 30, part 2.

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