Saturday, April 18, 2015

April 18: 500 years in one post.

It was yesterday's editorial that put me in a bad mood - that smug, patronizing, asinine comment about how we mustn't tax the rich because if we do, they might go away. And it says they are very talented people. These are people who are here to get money, our money and our resources. In short, they are here for the same reason a bank robber goes to a bank. And the twit who wrote that editorial thinks we should keep them here?

And, for that matter, what talent? Who measures their talent? In fact, what measurement system is there? And how do you judge the worth of their talent compared to others? One and a half billion people on this earth survive, sort of, on $1.25 a day. How do we decide that some people on this earth are so hugely talented that deserve to earn far more than that in just a split second?

And what, precisely, talent does it take to buy governments, skip taxes, get handouts of public forests, and all sorts of goodies from government? What talent does it take to be greedy, to take everything, to leave nothing, and to give not a damn for what happens to the people of this province?

  And how come so many people born with the name Irving are so talented? In fact, precisely what talent has any Irving shown? Is it something in the genes? Do we have a super race here? We must. I mean, they all zoom to be senior officers in no time at all.

Even by Irving press standards, that was a disgusting editorial. And condescending. Up yours, Mr. editorial writer.
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And I really can't talk yet again about how stinking and incompetent this newspaper is. Today's section A has nothing worth reading. And Canada&World is really village news with only one story about the World - and even that one tells us nothing. It's simply about a memorial service for the Germanwings crash victims.There is not a word about the murder going on with American support and bombs Yemen - nothing about the severe crisis in Ukraine -or about the severe disorder in Kyiv - nothing about the attempts of American big business to overthrow the government Veneuela because its wasting money on feeding the hungry - nothing about the horror, poverty, and misery that the US has inflicted on Haiti (with the help of Canada) - nothing  about the stunning rise of hatred of the US around the world because it acts so much like the Irvings...

So, instead, lets talk about the last 500 years or so, and how they turned out to be such a disaster.
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A good start is a book by Pankaj Mishra, "From the Ruins of Empire", Anchor Canada. It's about the western conquests of China, India, the Middle East, and  how the conquered were utterly destroyed but then rose from what he had inflicted on them. This is where Mao's communism came from, Ghandi's Indian nationalism, and Al Quaeda and ISIL.  All of these were created by us.

This is one of the most intellectually exciting and most thought-provoking books I have ever read.

By Columbus' time, the western sailing ship made it possible for western powers to reach all over the world with ease. And it was a world with wonderful promises of exotic foods and gold and diamonds and cheap labour. The reaching out came eagerly from Kings and then capitalists.

What followed were centuries of greed, destruction, slavery, mass starvation, murder - all to create uncountable profits. The British and French and Dutch and Spanish and Portuguese killed by the millions to enforce their looting.  The British added an extra touch by stealing land from the people of India, then enslaving them to grow poppies on it and make opium. Then they fought a war against China to force the Chinese to buy a large quantity of that opium every year - or to make up the deficit in buying with a cash payment to Britain.

That is where the great homes of Britain  (like Blenheim Palace where Churchill was born, and Buckingham Palace) came from. Of course, most British never saw that money. While most British lived in filth and poverty often without clean water or even basic sanitation, and while the common soldiers and sailors who built the empire lived in wretched conditions and, with other, ordinary citizens, died young, the capitalists and aristocrats lived in the greatest spendour ever known.

And no doubt The Times had editors who wrote about how lucky Britain was to have such talented leaders, and how important it was not to tax them.

Despite the mythology we call Canadian history, it happened here, too. There was a genocide of native peoples that rivaled Hitler's holocaust - and even greater ones in the US and Latin America. Then, in both Canada and the US, we treated most European immigrants brutally - and most Canadians. Forget the stories of happy pioneers. Read a book by Terry Copp, "The Anatomy of Poverty" which deals with Montreal from 1879 to 1929. In fact, in North America generally, we had a move to good  times only from 1939 when the war started until sometime in the 1960s when big business resumed its control.

China, Asia, Latin America, Africa and, from the First World War, the Middle East knew nothing but poverty, shattered societies, starvation, slavery, intense and widespread brutality. We left nothing to eat, no sense of community, no sense of purpose. They had to struggle for a century and more to figure out a society to replace the one what was destroyed. That is what produced Mao's communism, and Muslim "terrorism".

Nobody can ever know how many we murdered to satisfy the greed of our "talented" CEOs.

When the European powers drove themselves broke in two world wars, then the US stepped in to replace them. That's why the US took its time to enter both wars.It promised in World War One to make all people equal and free. But it didn't free anybody. Nor did any of the Imperial powers. Roosevelt fought Japan - not because of Pearl Harbour. He needed an excuse for war. He knew Japan desperately need oil to fight in Asia. So he cut the oil off, knowing Japan would have to retaliate. He wasn't expecting a Pearl Harbour - but it served the purpose. The US really entered that war to get China for itself, and pick up all he pieces of the European empire he could.

The purpose was the same as that of the European empires -  to steal resources, to get cheap labour, and to dominate most of the world's economies - all for the benefit of fat corporations and their 'talented' CEOs.

Churchill and Roosevelt both announced that the purpose of that war was to bring freedom and equality to all nations. We'll hear all about that every Nov. 11. In fact, as soon as the war was over, they went right back to business as usual.

The change over the last 40 years or so has been the destruction of whatever democracy there was in the western world, to put corporations in real charge of government.That's as true here as it is in Chna. New Brunswickers should know all about that. The corporate bosses have also taken almost complete control of all news and entertainment media in the western world. Thus the Irving press (one of whose top execs is a very talented guy who worked his way up from being a cub reporter to being a top dog for the whole chain in a remarkably short time. His name is Irving.)

It's going to get worse. Big business has freed itself from any pressure to behave. Free trade did it. And they're using their ownership of governments to make trade deals that are going to hurt us as we have hurt other countries in the imperial past.  Big business no longer needs even to pretend that it has any concern for us.

So the editorial writer of the TandT tells us not to tax the rich. They are such talented dears. And they might leave us if we're not really, really nice to them. That's why we have to close schools and fire teachers. That's why we have to stuff our children in oversized classes. That's why we have to cut social services just when they're most needed. That's why we have (some) professors willing to write books about the "fiscal cliff". That's why the newspaper columnists beat the drum for more cuts - and never, never give a hint of what the Irvings and other corporations cost us, and how much of that deficit is theirs.

Significantly, the Irving press almost never talks about people - their needs, the role of government in our lives.... All it talks about is money, the need to develop fossil fuels whatever the risks might be, the need to build an events centre (it would be convenient for the owner of a hockey team). The same is true of the Liberals and the Conservatives.

Where does that take us? Almost certainly to violence. That's why the US is militarizing its police forces with armoured cars, tanks, machine guns....  That's why the US army now carries out exercises on how to control cities in an uprising.  That's why Canada has special RCMP groups wearing military camouflage outfits and carrying combat rifles. That's why the RCMP keeps tabs on native peoples who attend protests about resource extraction, for example, and gives full reports to the capitalists who are doing the extracting.  That's what CSIS is about, too.

I was, long ago,  pistol instructor for a police force; so I got to know many of the police quite well. Those were days of protests against nuclear weapons. My police friends talked to me eagerly about getting a change to swat anybody wearing a beard or carrying a sign. Yeah. They'd straighten them out, make em get in line. These police weren't bad guys. They also weren't stupid. They well understood that their bosses wanted people who protested to be 'disciplined'.

That's why you can bet the RCMP and CSIS will never, never spy on Irving Ltd.

And that's what Bill C-51 is about. It's only marginally about terrorists. It's the final stroke against democracy, the one to be used against all of us to keep us in line for the talented CEOs to exploit us.Like Asians and people of the Middle East, we, too, now live in the ruins of empire..................and, in that, we will be creating our own 'extremists'.

Well, the editorial writer thinks the CEOs who have been behind five centuries of mass murder and impoverishing of peoples are very talented.

Odd. I grew up being taught that people like that were scum of the earth.
















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