Wednesday, April 8, 2015

It's official...

...the US is no longer a democracy. Big business, especially the banks, are in control of social policy, foreign policy, everything. It's been that way, except for blips almost since the start - and most certainly since World War 1. Real power has been in the hands of the big banks have been in charge for a very long time. Much the same is true in Canada. They are the ones to create money, to decide who can borrow it, and on what terms.

Increasingly, they share their power with big business all over the world. With free trade deals, like the one Canada is completing with the Pacific nations,  no longer have the power to set terms of taxation, environmental controls...and if they try, they can get hit for billions in "compensation" to big business. A mine's pollution is killing people? Tough luck. We have a deal.

As well, the very rich are no longer really citizens of any country. The free trade deals are 'free' largely in the sense that the very rich have no obligation to any country. But they control the governments of almost all of them.

Elected governments, where they exist at all, are the bought and paid for servants of big business. In the US, for example, Senator Orrin Hatch belongs to the drug industry which supplies him with money to kill any legislation the drug industry doesn't like. As a bonus, his son has a big-paying job as a lobbyist for the drug industry. For that part of the story - and other stories, check out a fascinating site www.vox.com.

The bigger story, the collapse of democracy in the US, is in a study recently completed at Princeton University - but unreported in the Irving press. Partly because of the size of the US, it is not possible for any party to get elected without the massive funding that can come only from the bankers and others of the very rich. That's why a third party can't even get a nose in.  The US government has no power on its own. The US is now (and for many years has been) run by a handful of very, very wealthy people. That's not called a democracy. It's called an oligarchy. There are similar oligarchies in Russia, China, Britain....

That's largely true of Canada. We still have other parties besides the Liberals and Conservatives. But they can't even come close to the big campaign money available only from the very rich. And, of course, the very rich own virtually all of the news media in Canada and the US.

The maritimes are probably the worst example of government by oligarchy in Canada. Every New Brunswicker must know that. But they go on years after year voting for either the Irving Liberals or the Irving Conservatives. It's also the worst example of oligarchic news media in Canada - lord knows, the rest of Canada is bad enough.

That's why the NDP and Greens are doing nobody any favours by moving the to the centre. The crushing problem of New Brunswick, the one that will destroy it, is the power of a tiny oligarchy of the very rich and very arrogant and very selfish and very uncaring - and, in the long run, very stupid. Nobody is going to make a dent on that by piddling around with environmental and/or social programmes. The problem of New Brunswick is its oligarchy. That is what has to be the main concern of any party that hopes to save this province. And voters have to be told that.

For a full report on the Princeton study, see    www.informationclearinghouse.info/article41471.htm

(The might be a colouring book edition for Irving editors.)

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Despite desperate levels of poverty, the US is cutting welfare money.Why can't the rich US afford welfare for its hungry? Well, it has to maintain more military spending than the whole rest of the world. You know, to protect itself from threats like Venezuela, Guatemala, Yemen... And that's super-expensive because of the wildly overpaid contracts that go to owners of the corrupt military industries. And that's necessary because a)the war industries need wars to keep their profits up and b)the oil industry needs armies to help them steal oil. (Sorry - fight terrorism. But the reality is we are not fighting terrorism because we ARE the terrorists. The people we call extremists and terrorists are people who are so rude as to fight back against us, and they're extreme because we have pushed them to extremes. That fact is that we cannot win a fight against terrorism. There are actually far more "terrorists" in the world now than there were when this started. And we are daily creating more of them.

Then there's the trouble with poor people.  They expect government to do everything for them. And that's very unlike the very rich who bribe government to do everything for them. So American legislators are getting tough on those greedy poor. They're making it illegal for them to spend money on frivolous thing like a movie. Meanwhile, "You want us to spend trillions to kill a million people in Iraq so you can get their oil? Hey, no sweat."

We Canadians are in this game, and we're going to be in it a lot more. And, like the US, the poor of Canada - and almost all the rest - will be making financial and human sacrifices to make the rich richer, just as we are paying extra taxes and suffering cuts now in this recession caused by the rich, and while the rich are making their biggest profits ever.

It's a system that's going to break. It may already be too late to save it. It certainly will never be saved here if the Greens and the NDP don't deal with the root of the problem - and SAY SO. And it will never be saved if New Brunswickers remain in their political coma.
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Yesterday, I joined New Brunswick's "The Rural Schools" coalition. It's not just for the schools. It's also because rural New Brunswick needs far, far more intellectual and social stimulation than it's getting. The schools are important for that. The churches should be, but their attitude in both rural and urban Moncton seems to be that they're already in heaven, clapping hands for Jesus, and really don't have time for us.

We need more, much more, to get people thinking. And TV certainly does not fill the gap. Nor do the universities in any tangible way. And any community radio I've heard of has been pretty feeble.
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What? I haven't mentioned the Times and Transcript? What's to mention?

The only story of note on the front page is that the Roman Catholic Church is raising  7 million to save its cathedral on St. George St. Get real. Such a church with a normal congregation of only 300 (and declining)
doesn't need a seven million dollar facelift. Three hundred people could be better served in a cheaper and new building for a fraction of that.

The building, though gifted with a pretentious tower, has no great value either architectural or historical. Nor do I recall any passage in The Bible in which Jesus frets at not having a big church with a high tower. It's time to think less about show and more about service.

Norbert discusses, yet again, the need to cut the budget and, again, without a word about the role of the very rich in causing this crisis or about their share in paying for it. Not does he consider the impact that such cuts would have on all of us.

He closes with a mention of the economic and social pain that Greece is experiencing because of deficits. He doesn't bother to mention the role of international banks in inflicting that economic and social pain.

He blames Gallant for it all. Norbert, Gallant is an Irving puppet, just like you.

Bent Mazerolle's "commentary" is about baking a cheesecake. I can't think of another newspaper that would even consider allowing something so trivial on a commentary page. Over half of his space is filled with a big picture of a cheesecake. And that's the best half.

Then there's a bizarre column by a Dr. Paul Kershaw of UBC. I don't know who this guy is, but his schtick (anybody out there read yiddish?) is that we spend more government money on senriors than on younger people. He seems to feel it should be 50/50 with the split line being at age 40.

As I read it, I thought it was silly. The fact that it comes from one of the Irving press favourites - Troy Media - did not reassure me. Look. Public spending should depend on need. It should be portioned according to need - not to 50/50 with a dividing line at 40, not to more for people who have brown hair because they are more numerous than blondes - the question is where is it needed. Then you decide, based on what you have, where the money should go. This thing looks to me like a thinly-disguised attack on social programmes.
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There's nothing worth reading in Canada&World unless you really care about Duffy's trial. The one, intriguing story is on B4, "Teams start exhuming bodies at Tikrit mass graves".

These are the graves of hundreds of Iraq soldiers killed by ISIS last year. The story is full of suggestions of the evil of ISIS for killing soldiers - and for the mass graves.

er - don't all armies bury the enemy dead in mass graves? And, now I think of it, have you ever seen a story of mass graves of the MILLIONS killed and buried in mass graves by the US?

What did the US do with the millions in killed in Vietnam? Take them to their village homes? Build memorial chapels? What did they do with the hundreds of thousands killed in Guatemala? (Actually, it have found the answer to that. But it sure wasn't in any North American newspaper. When whole villages in Guatemala were murdered, right down to babies. bulldozers dug great pits. then bulldozed the dead into them.
In Iraq? It was probably much the same as in Vietnam because so many were killed by bombing, napalm, and Agent Orange. They were just left there to rot in the sun. And it wasn't just (or even mostly) soldiers. It was men, women, and children.

Sorta makes ISIS look good in comparison. Funny that we have never seen a story about that in our news media.

Again, there is nothing about Ukraine, though that's the most dangerous spot in the world. Western Ukraine (our side) is getting restive as its political leaders ( bankers, etc.) are bleeding the country dry. As well, this is the country that Obama wants to fight a war over with Russia and China.

And there's very little about the Middle East where both Saudi Arabia and Israel are threatening violence to prevent the US from signing a peace agreement with Iran.
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By the way, if Catholics are raising 7 million to facelift a church for no good reason, wouldn't it be a nice gesture to use a little bit of that to provide shelter for the homeless? Isn't that what Jesus would do?

And maybe Brent Mazerolle could put his bakery career aside, and do some study on how many homeless there are in Moncton. And what they need.

And maybe another reporter could do a serious study of the quality of life in rural New Brunswick.

That, not writing down quotations is what is called 'reporting'.

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8 comments:

  1. As you say Graeme,""the NDP and the Greens don't deal with the root of the problem, that being that governments are bought and paid for servants of big business" Why don't they say anything? All parties know what's going on.The NDP and Greens know that Harper is impementing his Neo-Liberal agenda.I never hear that word from any politicians lips, yet it's being implemented, yes behind close doors, but still before our very eyes.So what stops them from naming it? What are they afraid of? If they did openly talk to Canadians about what's really going on and who is really in charge, Canadians would grasp what their saying. We're not idiots.It's not even the elephant in the room, I don't know what it is, but it's certainly there for at least politicians and the MSM to see. I'm curious Graeme, why do you think the NDP and the Greens are keeping MUM?

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  2. The reason the NDP moved to the centre back in the 1960s and the days of the waffle movement is because it needed money to fight elections. In particular, they wanted to get it from the unions. But unions are farther to the right than most people realize, and they would not give money until the NDP moved considerably closer to the centre.

    I can vouch for the accuracy of that because I had a long supper with David Lewis, then the leader of the NDP, in which he defended what they had done - and I attacked it.

    I knew Tom Mulcair a long, long time ago. I don't doubt his sincerity and ability. But he's stuck because you cannot fight an election in this country without big money. The Conservatives and the Liberals are staggering under the load of their money. The NDP, even with union support, has very little.

    It's even worse in the maritimes where voters (and candidates) tend to be pretty lethargic in their thinking.

    I don't know much about the Greens. My guess is that their only support financially comes from a dedicated group of environmentalists.who really don't have that much sense of how the political system works.

    That seems to be generally true in the maritimes. There seems to be very, very little undestanding of politics down here.

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  3. The reason the NDP moved to the centre back in the 1960s and the days of the waffle movement is because it needed money to fight elections. In particular, they wanted to get it from the unions. But unions are farther to the right than most people realize, and they would not give money until the NDP moved considerably closer to the centre.

    I can vouch for the accuracy of that because I had a long supper with David Lewis, then the leader of the NDP, in which he defended what they had done - and I attacked it.

    I knew Tom Mulcair a long, long time ago. I don't doubt his sincerity and ability. But he's stuck because you cannot fight an election in this country without big money. The Conservatives and the Liberals are staggering under the load of their money. The NDP, even with union support, has very little.

    It's even worse in the maritimes where voters (and candidates) tend to be pretty lethargic in their thinking.

    I don't know much about the Greens. My guess is that their only support financially comes from a dedicated group of environmentalists.who really don't have that much sense of how the political system works.

    That seems to be generally true in the maritimes. There seems to be very, very little undestanding of politics down here.

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  4. Maybe I'm naive Graeme, but what if The NDP or the Greens came out and told the truth about governments and who was really in charge. I'm not saying it would happen over night, but over a period of time until many Canadians grasped what was going on in their country. Then NDP or Greens appealed to Canadians for money.If Canadians understood they may be very inclined to support that party financially but. my guess is that it would take a particular kind of political leader, one with the guts to name what is happenig and I don't see anybody like that on the horizon.So maybe I've answerd my own question.Sometimes when I look at the political culture particularly in Canada, I think my God, what have we let happen. We seem to have let our country be sold to the highest bidder.

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  5. I don't see such a leader, either. The last one who came close was Tommy Douglas.

    Our country has long ago been sold to the Irvings of this world.And Canadians don't know it because most of our news media are owned by the irvings of this world.

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  6. I sometimes wonder about Naheed Nenshi,but he seems interested only in municipal politics

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  7. John Stachow is a politician and activist from Ontario, Canada. He was a fringe candidate in the 2000 leadership election of the Canadian Alliance party. His campaign was centred around a "social credit" ideology, advocating a message similar to the Canadian Action Party.

    Stachow called for the government of Canada to assume direct control over the nation's money supply, rather than leaving this responsibility in the hands of private banks. He had little to say on any other subject (on one occasion, he even responded to a question on abortion by referencing monetary theory).

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  8. Wow! I thought social credit was dead and buried a good fifty years ago. That was the child of a radio preacher in Alberta named "Bible Bill" Aberhart.

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