Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Nov. 18:I don't know where to start.....

Aha! I'm not the only crazy one. So is Pope Francis. Read his statement below.

I could wish that the clowns who write sermonettes for the Irving press Faith Page had the intelligence and courage to say what Pope Francis has said.

And, below, is an article I copied because it deals with Canadian-owned mining operations in Africa. (About a week or more ago, a mining engineer I knew as a student at Acadia wrote to the blog about how good and generous Canadian mining companies are around the world. In fact, they are among the worst for health conditions, pollution, and low, low pay. ( Women get $5.00 a day in Congo.)  The Canadian mine bosses are also notoriously racist. The site below is a sample of reality.

By the way, there's also a good book on the mining lobby in Canada - how it is very powerful in the government, how it uses the Canadian government to help it get away with pollution in Canada and in foreign countries, how it makes deals  to avoid taxes and to pay starvation wages in places like Africa and Latin America.  The book is ....

Paula Butler, "Colonial Extractions:Race and Canadian Mining in Contemporary Africa", UofT Press.

One of Trudeau's first jobs will be to schmooze with the mining lobby to see what it wants - and how much it's willing to give to the Liberal party in order to get it.

Then there's the stuff we are hearing about the civilization and general goodness of France. It reminds me of my childhood days. When I was a kid in Montreal, kids weren't  allowed in movie theaters. So we went down the street to the local French, Catholic church that showed movies for just ten cents. One day, the movie was Beau Geste. It was about the French Foreign Legion in North Africa, and we were all excited by the square bits of cloth that hung from the backs of their heads to protect them from the sun. After, we poured into the street, handerchiefs hanging from our caps - and pointing our fingers and saying, "Pow. Pow."  (Because that's the way French kids said it.) Oh, we loved the Foreign Legion.

 Actually, most of it isn't French. It has always been foreigners who are hired killers for the French Empire.  They murdered lavishly in the middle east and Africa - a history of slaughter that they carried to Indo-China after 1945, and then to Algeria where they tortured and killed a people who wanted to be free.

On the side, they commonly beheaded prisoners - both men and women. There was also a thriving business in dead women because Legionnaires cut off their breasts to make tobacco pouches.
A couple of things got me started on this rage. The first was a dancer on TV who opened his act to cheers with a shout of "kill 'em all", then danced a waltz to the tune of God Bless America - a neat trick, since God Bless America was not written in waltz time.

Then there was Norbert's column. I agreed with the point that he eventually made. This province should accept all the refugees it can get. We need them as much as they need us. And I grew up with refugees just like them. It was good for all of us.

But, oh, the tortured bigotry, racism, and ignorance of history that Norbert left in his track. He says New Brunswick has a long history with France going back to Champlain. Actually, New Brunswick native peoples have a much longer history with New Brunswick. But I've never seen us get all sentimental about that. Nor does he mention that a prime effect of the French connection was the theft of the land of those native peoples who lived here.

Then he fails to mention how the American English settlers drove the Acadians off their land. Kinda hard to get sentimental about that.

And our roots with France and Scotland and Ireland and England remain strong?
Oh? Most people have not the slightest idea how their 'roots' lived. Yes, we get all weepy and sentimental about something like a Robert Burns night. But such nights are pure invention and romanticizing. As for the Acadians, most left France when it was a kingdom, and their ancestors, like mine, were peasants. I can't even imagine that world, much less feel attached to it.

Anway, the French, English, Scottish and Irish were long ago mixed and blended so they are all mostly the same people. William the Conqueror was French (of Viking descent). The English aristocracy he appointed was almost all French. Much of northern France is or was Celtic. (They still play the bagpipes there.) Richard Lion Heart was French. He was rarely in England, and he couldn't speak English. The Irish and Scots have almost identical bloodlines - and these extend into England, France, and western Germany.

Our talk about sentiment and roots is just that - sentiment, and it's pure blather.

He says France was hit hard by jihadist terrorism, and it hit home for many New Brunswickers. Really? Anyone who was hit hard by that must be a prize bigot.
Where was there sorrow when French terrorists murdered and tortured and looted in Africa and the middle east? Where were they when they slaughtered the people of French Indo-China? Does one have to be white to deserve tears?

It shocked the civilized world? Oh? Norbert, could you please name the countries of the civilized world? And are the other countries just savages? Are Muslims savages? And have you never heard of the Muslims who developed mathematics and philosophy and the arts that spread to create the enlightement among us 'civilized' westerners?

The U.S.invented and is, so far, the only 'civilization' to use the nuclear bomb. It murdered millions in Vietnam, over a million more in Iraq, and more in Latin America and Afghanistan and the middle east. It murdered men, women and children. It created the civil war in Syria.

Is this our definition of civilized?

Of course, all those other people looked different from us. So I guess that makes them savages. Norbert, your column is soaked in racism and bigotry. And if the people of this province like it, then we have to consider that we are racists and bigots.

"Hundreds of New Brunswick men landed on the beaches of Normandy to begin the liberation of France"?


The purpose of landing in France was to get to Germany - and that was the only way to get there. In fact, half of France didn't particularly want to be liberated. The Germans left southern France under Marshall Petain who ruled what was called Vichy France. Vichy France also had troops along most of the North African coast.

French officials in both occupied and Vichy France were ardent helpers in ferreting out Jews. Much was said of the French "resistance" to Germany. In fact, it was never all that strong - except in movies. After the terrible bloodbath of World War One, a great many French were happy when the fighting ended. (We can't even imagine the heavy French losses in that war.)

Many French - like many, many Europeans were enthusiastic Naziis - as were a lot of Canadians and Americans. Funny how we forget these things.

Hitler even left the French fleet under French command. The British fleet attacked it in harbour because the British knew it would fight for Germany. When they Americans landed in North Africa, they  had to face heavy fighting against - the French army.

Forget that scene in the film "Casablanca" in which German soldiers sing a Nazi song in a bar and the French customers rise with tears in their eyes to sing "La Marseillaise". Except for Humphrey Bogart, just about everybody in Casablanca was pro-Nazi.

(Later, of course, President deGaulle would thank Canada for D-Day when, at the height of separatist fever, he shouted to a crowd, "Vive Quebec Libre".)

And France gave the world democracy? Come on, Norbert. France was a good 1500 years to late for that. The Vikings beat France to it. In fact, France was a late-comer to democracy. The U.S. beat it. Britain beat it. Even Canada beat it. France didn't establish a democratic government until 1870 at the earliest.

Norbert gets to his point (a good one) only for the last seven paragraphs.

His point is we should cool it on our reaction to the Paris shootings. We should think rationally and realistically. And we really must accept all the refugees we can. All other reasons aside, we need them.

To think, we should remember that almost all the news we get is propaganda and, often, outright lies to make us think emotionally rather than rationally. Ditto for movies.

We are not good. And most of the people we have killed were not evil. We are, all of us, just people.

In a century of killing and looting and impoverishing in the middle east, we have created an enormous hatred for us. That's surely understandable. We have murdered quite innocent civilians in that region. We have killed babies. We have destroyed cities. We have deliberately starved whole nations. We have driven millions of terror-stricken people out of their homelands. We have created perhaps the world's most vicious government in the form of the royal family of Saudi Arabia.

Why are we doing this? Well, despite what the Faith Page of the Irving press might say, it's not for Jesus. And it's not to defend ourselves. We were killing them long, long before they shot back at us.

We are killing innocent people to make the oil industry even richer.

It doesn't even make economic sense except, of course, for the oil billionaires. To get mercenary about it, we in the west throw trillions of dollars into these wars, and thousands of our people are thrown in to die. The financial cost to us taxpayers doesn't come close to being worth it. And for our people who die, saying thank you next Remembrance Day won't make up for what we did in sending them.

And risking a nuclear war, as we are doing now, is simply insane.

Canada is going to be under tremendous pressure to take part in what will blow up to be a war against the whole, Muslim world and quite possibly Russia and China. There will be one hell of price to pay for  no return at all. And I am not confident that the Canadian government will have the courage to say no to a neighbour which has been the most murderous country of the last fifty years.

So let's skip all the sentiment. Most of that sentiment is just fiction, anyway.

We have to settle this peaceably, and we have to come to some terms with ISIS on the way. No. I don't like ISIS. But, then, I don't much like Britain or France or Saudi Arabia or the U.S. Fighting ISIS will simply lead to worse confrontations.
And if we don't like ISIS, tough; we shouldn't have created it in the first place.
ISIS is simply a reaction to a century of killing and looting by us.
There's really not much in the paper worth reading. Alec Bruce has a good column. But, in the sixth to last paragraph, he seems to blame social media for all our problems.

The reason people read social media, young Alec, is because most of the professional news meda either lie to us or drivel out trivia. The Irving press manages to do both.

The public needs to know what is happening. It needs full stories and analysis. The professional news media are supposed to be our major source of education.
Now,  tell me with a straight face that the Irving press is doing that.

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