Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sept. 27: A turning point in Canadian history - I hope.

In the United States today, 22% of all children live in poverty. And that's a very grudging figure for an even worse situation because poverty is defined as having less than half of what is required to reach basic living standards.

Think that's overstated? Just google  U.S. child poverty rate. Pick a site. Pick any site. 22% is the official figure. Compared to the figures for all of Europe, the U.S. is at the bottom along with Lithuania. Those children and their children for generations will never have a chance.

Canada is somewhat better - but nothing to brag about with 13% of children living below the poverty line.

Then of course there are the even greater numbers of children we have forced below the poverty line with our mining industry and other jolly folks who use the parents and even the children as unspeakably cheap labour in Haiti, Central America, Africa and who ensure that no money is wasted on education or health care for those children.

Dare I suggest, with the pope, that capitalism is anti-Christian? Think of those children. Think of the millions of them. Think of the litter and filth they have to live and breathe in. Think of their homes. Try   to smell them. Think of what it feels like to be ten, and working in a hateful job, knowing you will never have enough to eat or to take a holiday, or to see a doctor or dentist and knowing that this is what the rest of life is going to be. (I remember to this day such a realization that I had when I was sixteen.)

Think of the greed and immorality of people who could create such a situation while treating themselves to fortunes so vast they can never spend all of them. Compare the children of those below the poverty line with those way above them - the ones who, no matter how slow they might be, get   nursed through expensive private schools, are given a job at high pay in one of daddy's companies with guarantees of promotion  in no time at all. And, oh, lots of time and money for nice holidays.

The U.S. spends over 600 billion dollars a year on defence. That's more than China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, Britain, India and Germany put together. This is for a military that has killed millions, but whose only decisive victory in the last 60 years was over a holiday resort island in the Caribbean. It hasn't been able to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan and, in fact, has said it intends to keep thousands of troops in that country beyond 2016. (Only a fool would count Iraq as a victory. For all its slaughter of  civilians and children, we've never been given a reason for that war. And it left a ruined country that will never recover. Indeed, Iraqis have become a major group in the refugee panic.)

In fairness, not all the blame should rest on the military. Much of the reason for that 600 billion dollar defence budget is because the war industry and the government are. both of them, profoundly corrupt.
(Which reminds me - Harper has been saying that he intends to go ahead with buying the very expensive F-18 fighter jet. That seems odd, considering it has been having serious and  unsolved problems. And there are excellent aircraft available on the world market. But I'm sure there's no corruption involved here. I mean, you know, no real corruption. like - nothing one could prove.)

He also wants to expand our special ops. What are special ops? They began as highly trained troops like World War 2 commandos who carried out quick raids. But they have changed over the years. They are now hired killers, very useful in peacetime to be  secretly sent to foreign countries in which capitalism is not respected as much as it should be. The U.S. now has them operating in over a hundred countries all over the world.

Capitalism has always been brutal, self-serving, and murderous.  The great returns from it have always gone to a handful of the very rich. And it's now turning on us. That's why millions in Canada and the U.S. will never have a chance.

I think that's a pretty good description of moral rot as a result of anti-Christian  (and anti any morality) behaviour. I'm just disappointed it took a visit from the pope to hear that. Why haven't we been hearing it from those spongy clerics who write for the faith page - or from the reverend drs. who preach at the Irving Chapel?

And I notice that Harper plans to privatize Canada Post. That's surely odd because we automatically lose money on that deal. As a crown corporation, Canada Post has pretty consistently shown a profit. (The one, recent exception was 2011 when Harper locked out employees.)

Will a privatized Canada Post cost us more? Of course. But, like much of the U.S. Congress, Harper sees capitalism as a religious faith. And anything else is  heresy. That's why he's determined to shut down CBC - and that's why he'll have his eye on medicare - and on public education.

The following, sent to me by a reader, is a good description of what his closure of mail delivert is all about.

Harper is a religious fanatic - and his religion is the Americanism of the Tea Party variety. That is almost certainly why he wants to develop   special ops in our military. Like sending six fighter-bombers to Iraq, special ops would be a good way to kiss up to the White House, and to go to whatever wars it wants us to go to - but to do it on the cheap, and without the need to get parliamentary approval.
I was writing yesterday that what we should look for in a party is not building a local bridge or scrambling for whatever goodie the leader tosses to the crowd. No, and it's not his budget promises.

What we should look for is a sense of what our society is, of what people need to be fully a part of society. There is not a trace of that in Harper or in the federal Conservative party. He's not just a bad choice for Canada. He's a very dangerous one.

The U.S. is heading for a social crash - and sooner rather than later. It's really not a very good model     to imitate.
Finally, the site below, also sent to me by a reader, is about a lesson we should have learned in the 1930s. (In fact, at the time, we did learn it. But newspapers like the Irving press made  sure we forgot it.) Now, as in the 1930s, hard economic times are being used as an excuse to make the richer much richer at the expense of the rest of us.

Today, just as in the 1930s, cutting taxes for the rich will not create prosperity for anybody but the rich. Cutting social services to others will just make life harder for the rest of us. The best book on the subject is a report prepared for the government and published in the depression years. It's called Report of the Royal Commission on Price Spreads and Mass Buying.  Hint - I'm quite sure that neither Harper nor Trudeau has ever read this book.


  1. You're right. The numbers change so quickly I can't keep up. In fact, the pace of change in warfare is so rapid that it's like 1914 again. The whole of the first world war was so distinguished by change that neither side ever did catch up. It took them the whole war to realize that cavalry just wasn't in it any more. In world war 2, France was well supplied with good tanks - but got blown off the map because it hadn't figured out how to use them.

  2. When the masses become hungry enough they will turn on the hands that withhold their food. Louis the XVI didn't have the firepower that's available now, weapons that can be wielded by comparably small armies. If he had, that revolution may have ended quite differently. People are beginning to get hungry on a global scale now, and this is but the onset of a climate change that will certainly affect food supplies everywhere.(what % of the usual crop is being harvested in California this year?) When the pangs really set in, what restraint will be shown by those holding the gates to the storehouses?