Monday, September 28, 2015

Sept. 28: Not in a good mood today.

In the U.S., millions are cheering Donald Trump for his asinine platform that would build the world's biggest wall between the U.S. and Mexico. This is in a United States where, like Canada, little has been done to tackle climate change, and almost a quarter of all of the children in the U.S. are living below the poverty line. And Canada's record, while better, lags behind more civilized countries.

(Oh, and on page B1, read how Obama is going to lead the UN in a plan to eliminate poverty and hunger around the world. Perhaps he could start with poverty in the U.S.. You know, set an example.)

As an aside, Americans in poverty who are lucky enough to get food stamps commonly have to cash them, by law, at automatic tellers - thereby paying a fee each time for the little money they get. Why do they have to use an ATM? Well, that's the way the banks like it.

Who can take these politicians seriously? But a great many voters do.

In the Quebec debate, it seems Quebeckers, both French and English, are terribly, terribly concerned that a Muslim woman might be allowed to take the oath of citizenship while wearing a niqab. Of course, Quebec is and always has been a province of bigots – both French and English. That means it's much like the rest of Canada.

But I can be as bigoted as the rest of them. Orthodox Jewish men have huge beards that cover as much as a niqab does. Their religion also requires them to wear hats all the time. I might run for prime minister on a charge that all this shows disrespect; so all Orthodox Jewish men should be forced to shave and to take their hats off when taking the oath of citizenship – or any other formal oath.

This is Canada where we might not be all equal, but we'll damn well all be the same.

In this election, we have some very serious problems. We are in a war in Iraq without the consent of parliament. We have troops in Ukraine. In both cases, we are in great danger of finding ourselves in a world war because of those commitments. But our military has been neglected so Harper can 'balance the budget'. In short, we are talking big – but our military is what will pay the price for Harper's tough talk.

Mulcair is the only one who has announced he would take action on climate change. And he could well lose votes on it.

Alas! The reality is that a high proportion of voters is ignorant of what's happening in this country or anywhere else – thanks largely to our news media. And, in fairness, thanks to bigotries that don't show when we look in mirrors.

I read a comment in today's paper that if we didn't have democracy, then the only people who would be sitting at the table to govern us would be the big corporations. Hey! That's the way it works now. It's worked that way for years – and it has always worked that way in New Brunswick.

We're in for quite a time. As it is, nobody is going to win a majority in this election. If Harper calls the House of Commons to meet, he'll lose the first vote. Then he'll have to go to the Governor-General to present his resignation – and the governor-general will have to go to Mulcair and Trudeau to see if either of them is prepared to become p.m. That can happen only if the two form a coalition of their parties.

But Trudeau will be under tremendous pressure from the wealthy of Canada who finance his party to refuse any coalition except with Harper. I know Trudeau has already said he won't – but who knows?
So, what does Harper do if Trudeau refuses a coalition with him? Simple. He doesn't call the House to meet for several months. Then he calls it, gets defeated in a House vote-----and advises the governor-general to call a new election. Governor-General can refuse – but precedent shows that refusing is dangerous – and this is not a governor-general who is going to do anything dangerous. He's Harper's kinda guy.

He'll call the election – and the only person with piles of money to fight it will be Harper. The Liberals will have much less, and the NDP none at all because corporations don't give money to the NDP.
Recently, the story of how Volkswagen has deliberately lied in reporting its diesels reduce emissions has been big stuff. But there's a much bigger story developing. It's not in the Irving press, of course. But CBC had it. Audi has also been caught cheating with over 2,000,000 of its cars. And they aren't the only ones. And it's not just emissions. Auto companies are cheating. And governments have been pretty slack.


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The big news of the day concerns Syria – and the whole world. It didn't make the Irving news, of course. The site below is a source I'm not familiar with. But what it says makes sense.

The U.S. has bungled terribly in the middle east. It's been fighting “terrorism” for almost fifteen years. And it has failed miserably. The “terrorists” are more active and numerous than ever. In fact, the U.S. has paid for, trained and equipped a great many of them. It has created the terrorism it is supposedly fighting.

Result? That whole region and maybe the whole world could be in for a huge change. The U.S. has staked out a claim to rule the world. And it has dug a huge whole for itself. It is now hated and feared in most of the world. And its military, though far the most expensive in the world, has not performed well. It has lost in Vietnam. It has, everywhere except in the news, lost in Iraq. It is losing in Afghanistan and, at best, it's in a stalemate with ISIS.

(I don't understand how such a huge country with such a massive defence budget cannot win against nations that are smaller and much poorer. I suspect it has a good deal to do with tremedous amounts of the defence budget being lost to corruption.)

Putin has consistently outplayed Obama (Nor will a new U.S. government change that.) His entry into the war against ISIS will guarantee a Russian permanent presence in the economics of the middle east.

Now, it seems that China, too, will be playing a role. And Iraq, which has no reason to love the U.S. has signed a shared of intelligence deal with Russia. So we have Russia and China establishing themselves in what has been a playground for American oil billionaires. And we have Iraq and Iran both making nice with Russia.

There's really nothing the U.S. can do about it. We decided way back in the 1940s to create a world government that actually would be powerless. The U.S. decided its foreign policy would be dictated by big business long before that – in fact, way back in 1775.

Now, there are lots of pigeons coming home to roost. What is happening now might change the whole face of the world. (Perhaps that's why the Irving press didn't mention it.)

This could lead to even Israel and Saudi Arabia rethinking their alliance with the U.S. There are no such things as friends between nations.


There's another interestinig story which didn't make the Irving press. It's about the president of Venezuela who was addressing the UN. Living in Venezuela can be dangerous. U.S. special ops are active in cooperating with 'special' troops from Colombia to murder and destabilize in Venezuela. American big business and Venezuelan big business are not happy with the government of Venezuela. It wants to use money to help the poor instead of sensibly giving it to the rich. Latin America is another corner of the American empire that's getting shaky.

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Venezuelas-Maduro-Capitalism-is-Behind-World-Inequality-20150927-0006.html


That reminds me. I wonder why Harper is so eager to develop 'special ops' in the Canadian military.
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As you might guess, there really isn't much to talk about in the Irving press. There's nothing at all in Section A news.

The editorial seems incapable of dealing with any topic unless it's very, very local and, of course, has something to do with making a quick buck. Norbert claims his column is about the Mactaquac Dam. Actually, it's an attack by an obnoxious and grouchy old man on environmentalists.

Steve Malloy and Alec Bruce write decent columns, but both expressing the same point of view and on the same topic. Hello? Hello? Editor? Are you (all) there?

Craig Babstock tells us we shouldn't drive our cars into road workers.

I mentioned a few days ago that a number of European countries face the possibility of break-ups. On B2, there's a story about it. In Spain, secessionist parties have won a majority in a general election in the Catalonia region.

B3 reports that Hilary Clinton has taken a stand against the US drug industry for its gross over-pricing of medication. (Recently, a pill essential to the lives of many people, was raised from $13.50 per pill to $750.00 per pill. It sells in Canada for $5.28.) The whole American health system is riddled with corruption and greed in the privately-owned health system. Remember that when Harper and Gallant propose more privatization of health services “to save “ money. And Norbert will write a column saying it's a great idea.

On the same page, there's the story on Iraq making a deal to share intelligence co-operation with Russia, Iran, and Syria. The world is reshaping itself.


Finally, on B4, there's the story of how Harper pushing Revenue Canada to impose taxes on think-tanks that are left or centrist, but no taxes for those think-tanks that are pimps for big business. The Atlantic Institute for Market Studies springs to mind as being in the latter category.

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