Thursday, November 5, 2015

Nov. 5: Dominic Leblanc named House Leader! says Irving news.

Gee! Who woulda guessed. And what does Dominic Leblanc stand for? Who knows? But this almost certainly will make him the bagman for New Brunswick, the boy who picks up donations from you-know-who. I feel so reassured.

The series on the salmon crisis continues. And, of course, the daily heart-pounder on the Oland trial. And bi-lingual busing of students remains a burning issue. ( In high school, I travelled every day on buses in which almost everybody else spoke French. It left no permanent scars.)
Norbert tells us that some people make business deals under the table, and so avoid taxation. He points the finger for this quite firmly at the "average joe" (thereby ignoring the right of women to be equal.) He also makes it quite clear he blames the working class for much of this. He even manages to blame the education and health systems for unfairly demanding more money.

Norbert, when are you going to have the integrity to name the big cheaters? You could start in a small way with the bargain sale of our forests.

Rod Allen's romance with the words I, me, and my continues. As does his ponderous, high school wit. Alec Bruce, as so often, is the only columnist worth reading.
Canada&World consists largely of speculation and trivia about the federal cabinet. There's not a word about anything outside North America. This is the world as the Irving press sees it.
In the real world, the TransPacific Trade deal has been released. The appraisal of it below has more that a touch of hysteria about it. And I don't see how anybody could have so quickly read all two thousand pages of it, and reached a conclusion. But the general tone of concern is valid.

I have read a bit of the deal, and look forward to reading more. From the bit I have read, this is a business deal designed by large corporations to benefit themselves. The worst part is that if gives corporations the right to challenge laws (like environmental restrictions) if are changed after this trade deal  is signed. In other words, if we discover that a certain corporation is carrying out work in Canada that we discover to be hazardous to Canadian life, it can sue us for unlimited billions - and the suit would be heard not in a Canadian court but in an international one controlled by corporations. In short, we lose control of our own country.
Then there's this account from The Guardian, which speaks in more measured - and more frightening - tones. (There is also a fuller version of this in the Nov. 4 copy of The Guardian. But I can't yet access it.

The story has appeared on CBC news as well, but with no analysis yet.
  Speaking of CBC it has another story (in fact, lots of stories) not mentioned by the Irving press.   One concerns how Bombardier, a fearless defender of risk-taking capitalism has nicked the Quebec government for a billion, and is now hitting Ottawa for another billion. It's just amazing how risk-taking capitalists can build up an economy.

The follow item drew my attention because it's by a professor from the U.S. who is now at St. Mary's University in Halifax. It's a pretty good account of how most of our news media operate.    

If you're a Harper lover, you just can't disagree with the writer of the next site. I mean, he was a senior official of the CIA, and he writes for  "The American Conservative". 
There's a story in the Guardian  (and many other papers but not in the Irving press) that George Bush Sr. has written a book that his son, George Jr. was not responsible for the disaster of the Iran war - and Afghanistan.

Of course not. George had no power as president. He was a puppet for Dick Cheney who was a front for the oil industry and other corporations. That was always obvious - except in the news media. In fact, the Bush's have done well for several generations out of being fronts, themselves, for large corporations. Bush senior, as head of the CIA was a killer on a grand scale to benefit big oil and big mining. So the interesting question is why did daddy write this book?

It might have something to do with the possibility that George Jr. could be facing war crimes charges, particularly for the war in Iran. And ditto for Tony Blair.
Think you've seen it all with the 800,000 or so refugees who have fled to Europe?  Hold your hat. The EU is expecting 3 million more in the coming year.
(Their landing point on the island of Lesbos  (Greece) is so overwhelmed with them now, it has no space left to bury the dead.  They're putting them in freezer cars.

Can Europe handle them? No. It can't handle what it's getting now. There's already been a great deal of violence and racism. In fact, the strain of this could dissolve much of the European Union. Can Canada and the U.S. give significant help?

Yes. But they won't.

But don't even think about it. Just read the Irving press.  There, now.

There are lots of other issues. Why is the U.S. sending major warships to the middle east?  Is it to create another crisis with Russian forces? Is it to enforce the starvation of Yemen?

I don't know. I only read the Irving press.

Then there are our aircraft that are coming back from Iran. When are we going to  hear what they've been doing?

Oh, and Russia is sending warships to drill in the South China Sea with the Chinese fleet. And this while the Americans are still asserting the right of their fleet to operate in those waters.

 (The U.S. is also contesting Canada's claim to the Northwest Passage. It's done it  for decades by ignoring us, and sending its ships through. How is this different from what it says China is doing in the South China Sea?)

The reality is there are issues that cannot be solved by flexing muscles or killing people either ourselves or through  proxies. Among those issues are the South China Sea, the many wars in the middle east, Ukraine....  Shoving each other and threatening has created this mess. More shoving and threatening will create a nuclear war. There won't be a winner.

As well, the U.S. has no right to be the world's policeman. These are all issues that can be settled only by diplomacy among the nations directly involved or, perhaps, through the U.N.

The U.S., by committing intself to violent solutions,  is laying the ground for its own collapse. Among other mistakes, it has committed itself to a level of defence spending which is steeped in corruption, and which is placing impossible strains on the American economy.

So much ground to cover - New Brunswick schools....the series I was doing on our current imperialism...  but the sun is setting... For now, just  a few words about capitalism for tomorrow's episode of imperialism.

Capitalism is a system in which people can, if they wish, risk their own money in economic ventures. Small businessmen can be safely called capitalists.

Big business likes to kid small business that they're all really capitalists together (entrepreneurs if it sounds better). One of the functions of Chambers of Commerce is to convince small business of that.

Big business and small business owners are also, like the rest of us, subject to the law and to regulations.   But big business doesn't like that. It prefers Mussolini's fascism that made big business a partner of government - and that's a term one often reads in the New Brunswick press.

Big business has, at best, only a slight resemblance to capitalism. It commonly acts outside the law - sometimes legally if only in a technical sense, sometimes illegally.  And it's leaders prefer to think of themselves  not  as citizens, but as "partners" with government. This has had a profound effect on the rise of empires since Columbus.

And that's where I'll start, tomorrow.                  

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