Friday, June 19, 2015

June 19: Before you read this...

...read the site below.

http://business.financialpost.com/diane-francis/tax-avoidance-becoming-bigger-than-the-u-s-economy

Many, many years ago, I often spoke with Diane Francis at CBC radio in Montreal as we both waited our turn to go on air. She was a tax expert, then working for E.P, Taylor and K.C. Irving, showing them how to avoid taxes. She has since been editor of Financial Post, and then a writer for it. She is the best in the business. And, when I knew her, she was certainly no left-winger.

But this article is a stunning attack on the very rich, and how they steal our money. And that is probably the biggest danger to the whole world today. In New Brunswick, it is past the danger point. The Irvings and others like them have been looting this province for generations. That is why we face a debt crisis. It is not, as professor Saillant claims, as Norbert claims, as Alec Bruce claims, and as the whole Irving press exclaims because we are living above our means. It is because the Irvings and others like them   are living above our means.

The same thing is true in the US, and in most of the world. The race of the rich to get every penny in the world has become a stampede, much encouraged by free trade deals that make everybody poorer except the very, very rich.

So, take your philanthropy and stuff it.

The very rich own the Liberal and the Conservative parties as they own the Republicans and Democrats in the US. In the end, it's bad economics and it's destructive. It's destructive of life because that greed and theft is the usual cause of war. Wars don't happen because people different from us are evil. Wars happen because the greedy  want wars. And, in the end, it's destructive because this continuous taking means there will soon be nothing left to take.

But don't worry. Before that happens, we'll all kill each other. Or we'll complete the social breakdown that is already happening all over the world.

This is - by far - the biggest crisis facing New Brunswick. Through all the years this has been happening, the Liberals and the Conservatives, both provincial and federal, have obviously been on the side of the very rich - and both have been financed by the very rich.

The NDP and the Greens are probably the only honest parties we have. But I have little sense that either of them  is prepared for the changes that have to come. New Brunswickers, as a group, are even worse. There is no significant public discussion of any of these issues. And there must be discussion if we are ever to save ourselves.

We have to learn. Big business does NOT create jobs. Jobs are created by the resources we have, intellectual and physical. Big business hires the minimum number of people it can, and for the least money it can give them. It does not give. It takes. That's why we have a wage gap. That's why the wage gap is getting bigger.

In tone with a brainless editorial that recently appeared in the Irving press, most New Brunswickers  seem to have a faith in 21st century capitalism. In fact, it is a dangerous and vicious animal that we have allowed to run wild. It is going to take a determined and informed effort on the part of the people of New Brunswick to deal with that. And the time is very, very short.
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Meanwhile, in this city of Moncton where food banks are running short of food to feed the poor, the headline is that tax-payers' money is closer to going to build a hockey rink to please the wealthy owner of a hockey team. (Oh, yes, it will also be a world centre for, oh, all sorts of things.)

Even if it does make money (which I doubt), most people will see very little of it. Like others of these big projects, most of the money will go to the already rich - the ones who don't pay taxes.

A6 has stories of three graduations - all pretty much the same. And all characterized by pretty much the same, mindless speeches I have heard at dozens of graduations. It's all stuff like "follow your dream..." I guess they hire these speakers to get the kids dumbed down right from the start.

The editorial is the usual one about soccer making money for us. Actually, it makes money for some of us more than for others. And it makes much less than we would get if the rich were to pay their taxes - and were to stop asking for welfare for themselves.

Norbert Cunningham has a column which builds huge theories on a very minor case. A woman who was president of a chapter of National Association for the Advancement of  Coloured People had to resign when someone noticed she was white. It's caused a lot of debate, which leads Norbert to hypothesize that this reveasl a serious problem about what he calls 'identity politics'.

Actually, this is a very minor and isolated incident. The great public debate about it simply shows that Americans, like Canadians, have been  taught to discuss nothing unless it's trivial.

Cole Hobson has a commentary on the 'events' centre that says nothing in particular, and, certainly will offend nobody named Irving.

Justin Ryan says nothing about the highland games. He also tells us nothing about Scotland - and does not appear to know that highlanders are quite different from lowlanders. So, just to add some information out of all this, I'll tell the world that highland Scots did not originally wear kilts. They wore something like a  shirt that went down to their knees. Okay. It was a dress. The kilt was invented by an English factory-owner as cheap clothing for his  Scottishworkers.

Alec Bruce pronounces that the Liberals and NDP are pretty much the same. Sure. So how come big money funds the Liberals, but not the NDP?  (I once knew the New Brunswick bagman for the federal Liberals. (That is, he was the party donation collector. He was a great admirer of the Irvings.)

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B2 has a story that more people should be aware of. Would-be immigrants to Canada are commonly put in maximum security prisons (which can be very awful places indeed) with no trial and no charges. They can be held for years in these conditions (one person spent 8 years in prison ) - which often results in severe mental problems. It's routine, and it's all done simply on the word of a border guard. We have done this to many thousands of people - at a cost of $50,000,000 in just one year - and the numbers are rising. Very few of these people have ever been charged with anything.

But that's Harper - a real, people person.
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Pope Francis makes the big time as the Irving press at last notices a story that other news media have been carrying for a week. "Pope urges 'bold cultural revolution' to save planet. He said we have a structurally perverse economic system in which the rich exploit the poor, turning earth into an immense pile of filth. Then, he went after climate change and fossil fuels.

I can't wait for the columns from Norbert and Alec Bruce that will tell us the Pope is all wrong, and maybe even a Muslim agent.  Oh, I could wish for  a sermonette on our Faith page as courageous and intelligent as this.
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Then there's a story on the same page, B9, that US Airforce personnel will be recognized for being in contact with aircraft  contaminated by Agent Orange. This is the chemical they sprayed over millions of Vietnamese - not just giving them contact with it but spraying grass, trees, food, and the people. It seems even the slight contact of pilots and mechanics with it causes cancer, diabetes, leukemia, etc.

It's still killing Vietnamese today. It also still causes horrible and even hideous birth defects in  Vietnamese babies. But that never makes the news.

Gee. Wasn't it terrible what those terrorists did on 9/1?. It's good that over a million Iraqis were killed for it. (I know they weren't the people who attacked the World Trade building. But they looked just like them.)

So, tell me about how these ISIS people are such awful terrorists.
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There's a new student columnist on C4, Mhairi Agnew. She's in grade 9 at Moncton High, and this is impressive writing for any grade. She should be another good one.
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The story below is the reaction of Jeb Bush and the coal industry to Pope Francis re climate change. Predictably, they tell the Pope that the church has no business commenting on economic policy.
1. The Pope was not commenting on economic policy. He was commenting on a threat  to all life.
2.In a free country, everyone is allowed to comment. Even clergy.
3. It's true that the church should not dictate our politics. (Neither should big business. But it does. And nobody knows that better than you, Jeb.) Anyway, the Pope wasn't dictating politics.He was expressing a Christian view of the issue.
4. Will the Irving press have a commentary on this? Probably not. If it does, it will raise Bush's point that the church should not dictate to the state. And that's a phony argument because it's not what the Pope was doing.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/17/jeb-bush-joins-republican-backlash-pope-climate-change

For a Protestant, I'm starting to like this Pope. He certainly beats most of the wimps who appear on the Faith page of the Irving press.
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Another story the Irving press missed is that another flotilla of small ships is heading to Palestine as a protest against Israel's total blockade of that country.  Such flotillas have always been unarmed and peaceful, but have been attacked by Israeli warships, often while still in International waters, and with loss of life.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/06/flotilla-gaza-set-sail-150618144302974.html

Is al jazeera biased? Sometimes it is - though not nearly so biased as almost all the western press. And, to the best of my knowledge, what bias there is seldom goes as far as  lying.
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Meanwhile, Greece, fed up with being hounded by international bankers who want debt payments so severe they would cause starvation, is holding discussions with Russia. This could well mean the beginning of the end for the European Union. - and that could have unpredictable results. The whole world is on the edge of massive realignment.  Unlike New Brunswick, there are many countries that do not suffer fools gladly.




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