Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March 3: Greece, Portugal, Ireland, and New Brunswick...

...and Spain and Portugal have something in common. All were subject to wild speculation by banks and investors. As well, the banks and investors were using questionable and perhaps illegal  practices to increase their profits. Then the recession hit, and the bottom dropped out.

No problem. The rich just used their control of governments to get bailed out. Result- the taxpayers had to take the hit. One way to do that was to cut social spending in order to be able to give more money to the people who had caused the recession. The blame on social spending and government programmes was planted in news media like the Irving press. Heavily funded "think tanks" got into the show, too, with guarantees that their propaganda would be swallowed whole by the Norbert Cunninghams of this world.
That's why the Irving press has been beating the drums of cutting social spending, and treating the book "Over the Edge" as if it were a new gospel.

There's nothing new about any of this. It's been a characteristic behaviour of uncontrolled capitalism for centuries.

The rich did the same thing in the 1930s, messing the economy - and blaming the poor and ripping them off to make the rich ever richer. That's why the rich have been getting massively richer since the start of the recession. And I guess that's why the TandT never mentions it.

And the result of cutting government spending is producing the same result that it did in the 1930s - increasing unemployment, increasing poverty, making cuts in education, cuts in health.

Business does not exist to create jobs or fund services or create prosperity (or to be philanthropic).
It exists solely to make money for itself. To so so, it murders, loots, dehumanizes people by the millions. Making money for the rich was what the British Empire was about It's what Russia is about. It's what China is about. It's what the American wars, hundreds of them since 1776 have been about. It's what the "War on Terror" is really about. It's what Vietnam was about.

For a good look at how this works, check out a web site sent to me by a reader.

http://fpif.org/turning-european-debt-myth- upside
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Another site sent by a reader is http://russia-insider.com/en/2015/03/01/3960

This is the kind of site I treat with caution - just as I would treat, say, Voice of Liberty, But both often tell the truth (if it's to their advantage); and this story rings true.

Western governments and bankers have promised very large loans to Kyiv. The is the capital of a country that is flat broke, and with no prospect of ever being anything but flat broke. Now, governments and bankers are not Santa Claus. If the US, for example, wanted to help a country sunk in poverty and misery, it could extend help to Haiti - just offshore, and the country with the worst malnutrition in the world despite a century of US control.

So, hoe come all the concern about  Kyiv and none about Haiti?

According to this story - and it would make sense with any government or banking system in the world, To get the loans, Kyiv has to turn over all its fertile land to Ukrainian Oligarchs (uncontrolled capitalists) and to international seed companies. And it is not a coincidence that those oligarchs are well represented in the government that the US has foisted on Ukraine.

Could it happen here? You bet it could. It wouldn't happen in a real democracy because in a real democracy we would control out governments. But we don't control ours. In New Brunswick, for example, it would take a prime fool to believe that the Liberals or the Conservatives represent us in any way. And, yes, across this country we  have oligarchs, just like Ukraine and Russsia and China and the US.

If New Brunswickers ever want to be free and in a democracy, we have to stop listening to political speeches and "programmes". The first requirement of any party in this province has to be to restore democracy. The money of the wealthy cannot be permitted to buy elections. Governments have to become answerable to us. Without that, nothing else will change except to get worse.
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SWN, a company which specializes in drilling deep, deep holes and forcing down huge quantities of water laced with poisons. is threatening to sue us because of the moratorium in drilling. I can see  its point. I mean, sure, it could kill people and poison land and waters. But a contract is a contract. (I'm sure that's in The Bible somewhere.)

Not surprisingly, the editorial writer for the TandT agrees with SWN. But it does get tough at the end. It says the industry has to do more to explain the potential risks to us, without PR. Yeah. Up front and honest. The shale gas industry has been good at that. If fact, I've often thought it should be writing the sermonettes on the Faith Page.

On this day, one of the most critical days we have ever seen, the day Netanyahu has addressed the US Congress with a message that could change the whole world -  Norbert has a column on how to prevent a cup of coffee from sloshing.  However, there is an interesting letter to the editor, "Do Trudeau Liberals hide political time bomb". It's actually much more important than that title makes it sound.

Alec Bruce has a very solid column on education. It begins with university education, but actually has more to say about education before university; so I'll take the opportunity of adding a bit about the problems of university education.

The most important things a university student can learn are how to read with understanding and with critical judgement, and how to organize and present ideas. Essentially, it's about learning how to think. Some of the best fields of study for that are (are should be) sociology, political science, history.... And these are precisely the fields that are losing students.

That's because they're boring. And the professors make them boring. Very few professor have any training at all in teaching. All they understand is lecturing (usually with no gift for lecturing). And the lecturing is almost entirely information (facts, they say) to be memorized. So you cram the stuff, recite it in the exam, and forget it within a few months.

My experience is that a large number of professors aren't interested in teaching, don't like it, know nothing about it, and don't want to learn about it. Their proudest boast is that their information is "up to date".  Who bloody  cares when it's going to be forgotten, anyway?

Worse, I remember the horror of sitting in first year classes of hundreds of  students, The only thing I remember from that is that if you mate a black rabbit with a white rabbit, and you get four baby rabbits,  one will be white; one black, and two both black and white. (I think). No wonder I never get invited to parties.

The field that is booming is business administration studies. Not only does that have all of the faults of the humanities, but it's even worse because it's essentially just job training - and most of that training has little to do with thinking. We've now had generations of graduates of graduate with no special ability to think beyond their own subject - or even within it.  Perhaps that might explain why so many business leaders are utterly without conscience or understanding when they interfere in public affairs.

These are problems the universities have to face. But they won't.
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Page B3 has the story of our own John Baird speaking to AIPAC, the richly endowed Israeli lobby for Canada and the US. Netanyahu was there. of course.  And Baird was there to support Netanyahu in order to score electoral points for Harper.

Mummy, teach me how to lie like John Baird does.

He says he's leery about Iran's human rights abuses. What a liar. If he were worried about human rights abuses, he would surely have mentioned the unjustified mass murders and mass tortures by Blair, Bush, and Obama. He'd be worried about Israel's abuse of Palestinians which most of the UN is against. But Israel is protected from criminal proceedings only by the US veto.

Nor does Baird mention the human abuses by our good friends, the rulers of Saudi Arabia who are daily guilty of the worst human rights abuses in the world.

And, oh, he's so worried about Iran's development of a nuclear bomb. He's lying. And he knows he's lying. Both American and Israeli intelligence have many times reported that Iran is not developing a nuclear bomb. It is impossible that a man at his level of government did not know about those intelligence reports.

Oh, and Iran is friendly to Syria. So? Aren't countries allow to be friendly to whoever they want to be friendly with?

And he sat down to thunderous applause from Netanyahu and his wealthy buddies.

I feel so proud to be a Canadian.

There was a time, years ago, when a Canadian Press report would have added the information I have written  above.  But those days are long gone.The result is a news story that is simply propaganda.

Netanyahu wants a war. He wants Iran destroyed. Netanyahu has wanted this for at least ten years. It's been that long and more since Netanyahu has been saying that  Iran is just six months from having a bomb. And there's still no bomb. Obviously, reporters need a quick course on how many months there are in a year.

Poor little Israel. It  has only 200 or so nuclear bombs - all obtained illegally and with US help.

This is one hell of a dangerous time. Nethanyahu has made it clear he wants a war. The US Congress wants a war. And Netanyahu is quite possibly the most dangerous man in the world..

As a Canadian, I want to thank Mr. Baird for kissing Ntanyahu's rear end (somebody has to do it, and making the crisis even worse. Oh, and thanks to Canadian press for not giving the whole story. And thanks for Norbert Cunningham for his insightful column on how to stop coffee from sloshing.


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