Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Nov. 18:

The Nov.7 Times and Transcript Section A has the usual trivia with occasional breaks for silliness. On page. 1, Justice Minister MacKay believes the life sentence with no parole for Justin Bourque was appropriate because it will deter other people from killing police officers.  That's pretty dumb even for MacKay.

Any person who is unbalanced enough to murder police officers simply because they represent something distasteful to him is not going to be deterred by anything. As for revenge-seekers in the public,  they're as disturbed as the killer is. The long sentence is appropriate - but only because we don't have anything else. In our wreck of a prison system, there is almost no treatment. And Bourque can't possibly be allowed on the street.

P. A6 has yet another "enterpreneur" award, this time for NB's top francophone businessman. Dinners to name top businessmen seem to be the fastest-growing industry in the province.

And leader of the opposition, Bruce Fitch, says we must forget the moratorium on shale gas drilling or risk being sued by the shale gas industry and risk it (gasp) moving out. You're so right, Bruce.  I mean, if it does have more serious consequences than we've been told, if the land and the people do suffer as a result, well - the important thing is it will create jobs. For a while.

Tell you what, Bruce baby, tell Gallant to set up a phony study group drawing on the usual professors, and have them study it for a weekend, then present a report saying it's perfectly safe.  You know - like your government did. But not to worry. I'm sure Gallant is already working on that.
The editorial is a slashing criticism of big corporations in this province, and of how they drain us of wealth, control our governments, and weaken social services. It is particularly hard on the Irvings. But you have to read it closely because it's cleverly disguised as a criticism of hospital emergency rooms.

Alec Bruce has an important column on early childhood education, and of great advances being made in New Brunswick. (These are not advances made by the interfering propagandists of Atlantic Institute of Market Studies and their big business bosses. They had been made by boards of education and teachers.)

But the advances cannot be extended as they should be because this is a poor province (except when it comes to building events centres). Ottawa should be leading the way on such educational improvements across Canada. But it won't.

Harper has been getting ready for the election by proving what a good economic manager he is. That's why we now have a military that's badly equipped, badly underfunded, and with no sense of purpose. Harper won't spend a nickel for anything that doesn't help him get re-elected. So expect nothing from  him for education.
There's an excellent letter to the editor - Is "Savoie" solution in our best interest?
NewsToday is the usual incomprehensible muddle. It has two, big stories about Harper on B3.

One is on climate change. He's going to give some money to help poor countries adapt to climate change. Hidden in this story is the bigger one - Canada is going to continue to be one of the world's worst polluters per capita - and Harper doesn't even pretend he cares.

Then, in a real "Johnny Canuck" style moment, he got tough with  Putin, and told him to get out of Ukraine. Putin must have been terrified, perhaps even fearing we might send Peter MacKay over. At the same meeting, Obama warned Putin against "bullying" small nations. Well, Obama would know. He and a long line of American presidents have been the worst bullies of small nations  around the world for the last 60 years.

No Canadian prime minister (and most certainly no Harper) has ever criticized the US for its bullying and mass slaughter. In fact, we've even been known to join them.

On the editorial and op ed pages, the only items worth looking at are de Adder's cartoon about Harper and greenhouse gas emissions- and, surprisingly,  a column on A9 about the severe problems of dependence on fossil fuels.
NewsToday has the usual muddle of trivia and sensationalim that tells us nothing. Charles Manson, a crazed killer now in jail forever (he's 81) is getting married to a 26 year old who will never be allowed to visit him. Well, it sounds to me like a marriage made in heaven. But is it possible anybody cares?
So, let's cut to the chase and talk about what's really happening.

We are in the late stages of western European imperialism.  The early imperial powers were Spain and Portugal, followed by France, then by Britain (the biggest one of them). Then came the US descendants of the west Europeans who conquered (stole) all the land that is now the US, large parts of Latin America, then the Pacific for Hawaii and The Phillipines. Since 1945, US imperialism has expanded to the whole world. Canadian descendants of the west Europeans did the same in creating Canada. (Since then, they have served primarily as hired hands for the big boys.) Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands were also into the empire game.

The growth of the empires was mostly at the wish ( and to the benefit) of the very rich. Nobody will ever know how many trillions of dollars of resources were stolen, how many millions of people were reduced to poverty in close to slave labour conditions, how many millions were killed, starved to death, mutilated, tortured..... It still goes on every day in Haiti, Guatemala, over much of South America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia....and is now coming to the US itself, to Britain, to most of Europe, to Canada - through the miracle of free trade.

The great threat to these "happy times" of empire was democracy. Luckily, democracy was slow taking hold in Europe and the US because the very rich effectively were in control until the late nineteenth century. (In the US civil war, for example, slavery was just the selling point for the war. The real struggle was between big, southern white money dependent on agriculture - and big, northern white money dependent on manufacturing.)

Improved conditions came largely from unions and from socialist parties. And they didn't really hit their stride until right after World War 2. Medicare and old age pensions, for example, were forced on Liberal and Conservtive PMs by the old CCF party.

Then, especially with Brian Mulroney, we got free trade. As it expanded to South America, then to other countries, the very rich could hire cheap employees, pay virtually no taxes, and kill anybody who got in the way. It was also a big help to hugely expand the wealth of the very rich who could then buy most politicians and most news media, and so effectively end the burden of democracy.

That's why Brian could move into a huge, stone mansion in Montreal; and Mila could host gourmet dinners for the rich to raise money for the poor, and to hear people say how lovely her newest thousand-dollar plus  dress was.

And we and most people in the US started to get poorer.

In the late 1990s, a group of politicians representing big money created The New American Century, a body dedicated to world conquest to benefit big business.  They weren't shy about it. It was, and is, on the web. That's where, several years BEFORE 2011, the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan were planned. Leaders of it were Dick Cheney (VP under Bush) and Bush's brother, the governor of Florida who gerrymandered the Florida vote to get George elected. Funny we never see anything about this in the papers. (And Tony Blair, the British PM who rode their coat tails, is now a many multied millionaire who gets forty thousand a day for giving advice to dictators. Meanwhile, the British who elected him as a socialist to improve social services  are now living in a society that is crashing to make the Tony Blairs of this world even richer.

Most recently, Obama told Russia and China they must stop bullying small countries. This comes from the world's biggest bully of small countries. He also warned China it must obey international law. This comes from the country that trashed international law decades ago, that routinely invades and kills in violation of international law, and that protects Israel from international law - or even investigation - of Israel for its killings. The US also breaks international law every day with what is probably world's greatest use of torture -none of it reported in our news media. As Obama has said, quite openly, he believes in American Exceptionalism. Though little reported, that mean he believes the US has the right to ignore all law and to control the world.

We are now moving close to the end game because US military strength probably cannot be maintained at its present level. The big move for world domination has to be soon. That means isolating Russia and China militarily, and keeping them out of foreign markets that the US wants to control (virtually all of them.)

That's what Ukraine is about. Obama wants a war with Russia. Putin has actually been the one who wants to talk about peace. He made a recent speech in which he talked about the need for a world government. I have no idea whether he was sincere, but it was an intelligent analysis of where we are headed, and how it can be avoided. I have never heard of such a speech from Obama.

All of this is linked to Iran, Iraq and Syria. The US is determined to keep Russia and China out of all markets the US business leaders want - and they want the middle east.  The fight against ISIL is one whose outcome is important to China and Russia and the US (as well as to the people who live there - but who gives a damn about them?)

This puts us within inches of World War 3. And it puts Canada into that war from the start; thank you Mr. Harper.  (Meanwhile, some sources on the Kurdish side) say that the growth of ISIL is astonishing - perhaps as high at 200,000 militants - and well armed and supplied with American weapons to make big profits for US war industries. It also seems to have attracted large numbers of trained soldiers, mechanics, pilots, etc. from many Muslim countries.)

Can the US win the massive wars it is creating? Take a look at the military record of the most expensive military in the the world for the last 60 years. The only clear win it obtained in that time was against a tiny, tourist island populated mostly by cocktail waiters - with only a tiny army, and no air force or navy. Every other military operation (and there have been a lot of them) has been a disaster from every point of view.

The very rich of the US know that, of course. But the also know that the US empire is built on a foundation that is shaky, indeed. It US billionaires want to rule the world, they probably have to strike now or never. And remember, like Canadian billionaires (and Russia's and China's), American billionaires are largely greedy, unscrupulous, and quite unthinking. They remind me of stories of shipwrecked sailors in lifeboats who, desperate for water, drank their own urine. And died from it.

Throughout history, either foreign or domestic policy controlled by the very rich has been a disaster - and usually so for both sides.

Obama says those who behead people on video are evil.

So they are.

So are people who murder helpless civilians by the millions, who bomb them indiscriminately with explosives and napalm, and tons of agent orange that kill people and the land, and that produce horribly mutilated childbirths - who fire radioactive shells into civilian settlements and who supply dictators with poison gas - who torture on a massive scale.

When I see the sense of horror we feel at a beheading (especially if it's a westerner), and the utter indifference to what our side has inflicted on millions - well, I often wonder just how it is we think.

Our side has been inflicting horrible suffering all over the world to everybody from the elderly to babies still in the womb. Obama has done that. And Bush, and Reagan and Johnson and, really, all of them.

Obama says ISIL is evil. And we nod our heads in agreement with this mass murderer and torturer. Yes. They must be killed.. They are evil. We are good.
Finally, Thomas Young was an American soldier wounded in Iraq who suffered terribly for years. Recently, he died, leaving a last letter to the US government. I strongly recommend this letter to you. It can be found at  www.information clearing house.info/article40249.htm

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