Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hitler - and Mussolini - and us....

Well, the Irving press DID cover Mulcair's speech on the boardwalk yesterday morning – and a very chilly morning it was. For some reason, though, the photo of it was taken at such an angle that over half of the audience was left out.

The last sentence of the story is intriguing. Conservative M.P. Goguen was asked to make a statement to the press about it. And he didn't reply.

Well, of course not. Harper will not allow any of his candidates to take part in debate. Harper has to be in absolute control. Mind you, in the case of Goguen, that's probably a wise decision.

B3 has a story about anti-shale gas people who say that it's getting harder to find unbiased information in the fracking debate. Well, it's always been hard, especially in a province dominated by Irving news media. As well, we have a new industry lobby group that's targeting us in New Brunswick; and it can count on friendly press coverage. One of the cuter pieces of 'information' from the lobby is that seismic disturbance is not caused by fracking. No. It's caused by wastewater from the fracking – and that's separate process altogether. ….duh...if wastewater is a product of fracking, how can it be a separate process altogether?

Both sides pay amazingly little attention to the greater problem. We cannot go on using fossil fuels. We can't. We're seeing some of the damage now. It's going to get worse And building new facilities to produce these fuels guarantees that we are going to be using them for enough years to be sure they destroy us all.

There are things we cannot have. But fuel billionaires, like the spoiled brats they are, won't see that. Watch next summer for pipelines and fracking. And watch for the boys in camouflage with combat rifles.

A8 has a story about a professor at UNB who says academics are biased against white history. And he says letting in Asian immigrants will change our traditional culture. The university and the department have responded very properly to such an assinine statement.

There is some truth that immigrants will change a culture. There was a time, for example, when British and French immigrants had one hell of an effect on North American cultures. Professor Duchesne should demand we send all them there British and French back where they came from.

Anyway, never listen to anyone who babbles about preserving a culture. For a start, nobody has ever been able to define any culture. Quebec has been trying to define Quebecois culture for fifty years, and is no closer now that it was at start. Anyway, cultures are supposed to change. Culture, partly, is the way we react to a world which is always changing. We have cultural differences with our ancestors, and even with our parents, our neighbours, and in us in the course of our own lives as we grow up.

And there are parts of our 'New Brunswick' culture that could use changing.
The editorial is about the crucial importance of more statues and stuff to beautify Moncton.

Norbert has a column worth reading. Brian Cormier still thinks a commentary is something like a bedtime story. This story tell us that soon the big, ugly winter fairy will come back again. The guest commentary is by Jake Stewart, energy critic for the Conservative opposition. It's a typical political rant of no great intelligence. Even Alec Bruce is pretty vague.
Page 3 of Canada&World has a long, but uninformative story about the arrival of Pope Francis in the U.S.   Republicans are upset that he appears to be 'left leaning”. The pope's response to that is that he is simply repeating church doctrine. It's a point the reporters should pay more attention to.

The pope is not leaning left so much as he is stating what should be obvious to every Christian who is capable of thinking at all. Capitalism is based on self-interest and greed. It is not just unChristian. It is profoundly anti-Christian. And I should think we're well past the time when our churches should be noticing that.

The Bible says 'Love thy neighbour”. Help others. Make sacrifices for others. At no point does it say pay employees as cheap as you can. It does not say fight wars, murder millions, and create tens of millions of refugees so you can get their oil. It does not say condemn countries to generations of poverty so international bankers who are already rich can get richer. I don't recall any passage in which Peter or Paul asked for a quarter million dollar to give a sermon (as "Christian George Bush jr. does. It does not say set up a philanthropy hall of fame so you can hang your picture in it. It does not say build churches so you can name them after yourself. It does not say put your money in a tax haven to avoid paying your share. It does not say buy politicians so they will set a minimum wage that people can't live on.

If I'm wrong...if capitalism is a caring and sharing economic system, then perhaps Reverend Dr. what's-his-name at the Irving chapel can explain how the virtues of capitalism make it Christian.

The pope is one of the few people in this world to have the brains and the courage to state what surely is obvious. Capitalism is based on greed, exploitation, imposed suffering and mass murder.

Nor am I putting this forward as simply religious principle. It's a very practical view that no society can survive the scale of greed and killing and exploitation we are watching with, alas, the blessing of some of our more dim-witted clergy. Nor can we survive what greed and stupidity are doing to the land and waters of our Earth.

As the pope says, capitalism has created mass poverty, especially in South America, Africa, much of Asia. And it has generally imposed poverty in the western world with the returns going only to those at the top. We have, as he says, turned the Earth into an immense pile of filth – including nuclear waste, and discarded materials that are destroying life even in the oceans.

And, of course, capitalists are angry at his claim that we are experiencing climate change. But who are you going to believe – the pope and most of the world's scientists? Or Donald Trump and Jeb Bush?

Capitalism is the most destructive force we have ever seen. I won't even pretend to have a neat answer. But I do know that whatever will work will call for us to focus on all the people, not on just the greedy. Government should not be about putting up statues or building hockey rinks for the few who have plenty of money to pay for their own.

Nor can we just focus on the nation-state because that's a gone goose, too. Most of modern history has been shaped by the wealthy having enormous influence on governments. That influence weakened a little during and after World War Two. So there was a whole generation that grew up in relative prosperity (in North America and western Europe). But that ended with the rise of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher who began what was called deregulation. That was one of the great turning points of history.

It allowed the wealthy to escape many government controls. (They called it freedom and individualism; but only very rich were allowed to be free and individual.) In the same period, free trade enabled the very rich to move their jobs to any place they liked where they could escape any regulation at all. Thus the collapse of Detroit. The rich could then abuse the people of Mexico and Guatemala with a free hand.

Harper is now in the last stages of wiping out democracy and the nation-state. The Trans-Pacific Trade deal, if completed, will destroy the power of any government that is signatory to it. The very wealthy are to get the freest possible hand to do whatever they like to anybody.

Funny how most of our news media don't talk about it much. But, in effect, this means the end of most of the power of governments, and replaces it with the power of major corporations to do whatever they like. In a related move, bankers have taken over Greece and Ukraine. And there are more to come.

Ask one of the Irving press sermonette writers if this is all compatible with Christianity.

B5 has a misleading headline “Satellite imagery suggests Russia may be stepping up their role in Syria”. That's bad grammar, of course. It's also not what the story says. In fact, there is no doubt that Russia is stepping up its role in Syria. What's going on?

The U.S. wants to “regime change” in Syria by getting rid of Assad. It wants it because Assad is not pro-American enough, and could encourage economic competition – in the shape of Russia - for the jackpot that is the Middle East. (The U.S. is the only country in the world that is allowed to attack other countries because it doesn't approve of their governments.)

But the U.S. has not been successful with its phony 'rebellion' against the Syrian government. Worse, it has now lost control of the various 'rebels' it supplied with money, weapons, and training. They and others have merged to form al quaeda and ISIS and others. So now, the U.S. (with the help of Canadian pilots and Canadian tax dollars) is trying to fight ISIS. But, in fighting ISIS, it is helping Assad to stay in power. Worse, the U.S. is stalemated in fighting ISIS. Its interference and its government-encouraged bigotry, have made it (and Canada) so hated all over the world that the old colonial wars no longer work.

Putin who, so far, has shown more brains that the whole U.S. foreign policy establishment, has actively joined the war on the side of Assad. Russian jets are already in action, and tanks are on the way.

When the war ends so far as ISIS is concerned, will Russia leave Syria? Hey! Putin isn't Santa Claus. Russia has a big stake in a friendly Syria. So these are dangerous times. As well, these are expensive times. The U.S. budget since 1901 has taken a tremendous beating in order to pay for wars that only oil billionaires want. That money comes largely from the lower 95% or so of the U.S. population because the billionaires aren't big on paying taxes. That means more cuts in social programmes, and at a time when social condition in the U.S. are worsening.

In many respect, this is the 1930s and 40s all over again. But this time, we have surpassed the fascists.

Hitler and Mussolini created fascist governments in that the wealthy had easy access to the government, and sometimes automatic membership in it. But we have passed that stage. We are very close to a new form of 'democracy' in which governments don't matter. Only big money matters. It should be easy for New Brunswickers to understand that.

I have just received the story below.  It is devastating. It means the end of the CBC as a news source, and the deliberate destruction of Canada's only radio and TV service  devoted to speak to the Canadian nation. (It was also largely the creation of a much under-appreciated prime minister of Canada who came from New Brunswick - and close to Moncton. But the Irving press probably doesn't know that.)

CBC announces plans to sell off all buildings in midst of election campaign
By  CMG  •  Posted on  September 22, 2015
CBC announced today at a town hall for staff that it is selling all its property across the country, including major production facilities in Montreal and Toronto. These buildings were paid for by Canadians to allow the public broadcaster to produce quality original Canadian programming purely in the public interest. The announcement confirms a trend to strip CBC of that ability.
“The decision to close down production centres is of great concern for our members as it should be for all Canadians, and seriously jeopardizes the CBC’s ability to do meaningful production in the future,” said Marc-Philippe Laurin, CBC Branch President for the Canadian Media Guild (CMG). ‘Our members believe the public broadcaster can’t only be a distributor, it has to also be a producer. This plan threatens the ongoing legacy of award- winning documentaries, drama and other quality production at CBC and Radio Canada.”
These decisions most likely stem from the continuing and tremendous financial difficulties facing our national public broadcaster, a fact CBC President Lacroix acknowledged earlier this month.
“It makes no sense to plan this now, when three of the four national parties are promising to restore or increase funding to CBC,” says CMG National President Carmel Smyth. “Just today
the Liberal Party committed to increasing CBC funding by $150 million. In recent months the Green Party committed to an increase of $285-million, while the NDP says it will reverse the $115-million budget cut.  Why rush into such an irreversible decision now?”
In the words of former CBC President and Canadian cultural icon, Pierre Juneau:
“Public television cannot merely be a programmer. The particular ethics of public broadcasting demand that programs be designed with particular care. This requirement implies that the public broadcaster should also become involved in audiovisual production. While public broadcasters may buy or commission some programs, in-house production not only guarantees that programs will adequately meet the purpose of the broadcaster, but also ensures the perenniality of expertise—some would say a “culture” of creativity—particular to the public broadcaster.”
And as the Parliamentary Budget Officer pointed out earlier this year, asset sales are only a temporary fix. “Proceeds from one-time asset sales give the CBC a temporary cash infusion, which allows it to defer part of the Government’s operating subsidy until later in the fiscal year.”
The CBC has also cut more than 2,800 jobs since 2008 and has plans to cut another 1,600 by 2020.

This is a part of Harper's deliberate destruction of a Canadian nation, and the destruction of honest and intelligent journalism.

To understand it better, read the site below.


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