Sunday, November 1, 2015

Nov.1: Try, try again.

Justin Trudeau has just chatted with Japan's prime minister Abe. both have agreed that the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership is essential. That's Justin's first stamp of approval on a major Harper programme. Among other things, it means we can't deal with environmental threats. Any company that invests in an industry in Canada will be permitted, under the TPTD, to sue Canada for hypothetical losses in the billions if we change any law which affects it. And it will probably NOT be tried in a Canadian court.

Thank you, Justin and Stephen, for destroying our control over our own country and our own lives. And thank you all you Canadians who helped Justin and Stephen to play musical chairs.
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Yesterday's disaster of a blog was mostly NOT about the Irving press. The emphasis was on news from around the world - none of which appeared in the Irving press. I'll write first about that. Then I'll finishing looking at the house of horrors that is the Irving press.
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The Huffington Post now also contains The World Post. Together, they offer an astonishing range and number of stories and opinions from all over the world. There's even a special Canadian section. This looks like a winner.

In the site below, it suggests the U.S. is either creating a world crisis over the Chinese claim to additional terrorital waters in the South China Sea. Or it is riding for a humiliating defeat in trying to bluff China by sending warships into those waters.

My uninformed guess is that China is at least partly in the wrong. But this should be decided by a court, not by the U.S. playing the Lone Ranger. In fact, the case will be heard ( no thanks to the U.S. or China) by the international court at The Hague.

And only in an insane leadership - of there is evidence on both sides - could believe this is worth risking a nuclear war.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hugh-white/us-china-island-dispute-price_b_8401570.html?utm_hp_ref=world
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The site above, like many of those that follow, was sent to me by readers. And, oh, that makes life easier. This story is from a reporter for The Guardian where it appeared on Oct. 30.

Indonesia is being destroyed by a forest fire that is 5,000 kilometres long. People are choking and dying on the city streets. It's killing so many animals that whole species are disappearing.

The cause? Generations of western companies who have developed factory farms that have drained the soil, killed much of the original vegetation, and spurred production along with regular brush fires. This fire, in just three weeks,  has pumped more pollution into the air than Germany does in a year.

There are similar horror stories from the forests of South America. But they don't make our news, either.

http://www.monbiot.com/
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The Japanese government has told its universities to close down its Humanities and Social Science faculties. These would include Sociology, History, Literature,  Political Science....the ones that train people how to use their brains, how to understand the world they will live in, how to make judgements....  Instead, the government wants all students to concentrate only on useful subjects, the ones that tell you how to do things  without thinking. Like - you know - accounting, organizing an office, that sort of thing.

The university was originally about thinking - thinking feely and doing it based on a capacity to understand, to organize understanding and organize analysis.  But, in Japan, thinking is not a social need. Accounting is.

North American is going the same way, and at an accelerating pace. Much of this is due to the prominence of the very wealthy in university boards of governors. Their only qualification is an ability make money (or inherit it). I've known very, very few with intellectual credentials to do much of anything. And in their world, only business methods exist - for hospitals, for schools. And so in education, in politics, in health care, as in journalism they assume control of things they know nothing about.

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/social-sciences-and-humanities-faculties-close-japan-after-ministerial-decree
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The Middle East is being destroyed. It is not being destroyed to bring democracy. Millions have not been made refugees and are suffering terribly not so the world can be free. Millions have been killed, and the greater part of the murdered are civilians.

American taxpayers have paid well over a trillion dollars to bring misery and horror to the region, to kill children, to starve everybody in Yemen, to hire, equip and train thugs we call 'rebels'. Among our allies is the least democratic and cruelest country in the world - Saudi Arabia.

And the U.S. supports whoever it's convenient to support - the Syrian 'rebels', al Quaeda, Turkey and its genocide of Kurds, Iraq (which doesn't trust the U.S., and has asked Russia for help.)

It's monstrously expensive. It has produced no results in over a dozen years of tumult. It destroys whole nations - like Libya which, notably, is not a better place since the murder of Ghadaffi. Indeed, it is becoming possible that no country in that region will survive. And that's good -

-for American oil kings. The destruction of viable governments will put the whole region in their control. And that's all that it's all about. We are well into an age of profound greed. (But don't worry. If you go to most churches, you'll never even hear about it.)

As a product of this greed and savagery, Europe gives strong signs of coming unglued. But that doesn't matter any more. We don't need civil governments. International banking houses and free trade deals mean we don't need countries at all (except for things to be patriotic for so common folk can be counted on to do the killing for the very wealthy.)

The U.S. has no right to be in Syria - as it had none to be in Iraq or to bomb Libya. Those are illegal acts  under international law. (They're also illegal under American law. When did congress vote for all this? In fact, one of the governments that has effectively disappeared is the United States where politicians are now just decorative.)

Actually, the only foreign country with a right to be in Syria is Russia. The legal government of Syria asked Russia to intervene. The U.S. military entry into a foreign country without such an invitation is illegal. Its killing of people are acts of war crimes.

Its so-called 'special ops' troops are hired killers who are used all over the world, every day in a hundred and more countries. Their jobs is to destabilize governments that American big business doesn't like - especially if they are governments that want to do evil things like build schools or improve living conditions. They operate every day in most countries of South America and a great many in Asia. Some people put the daily average at 100 to 150 countries.

Countries don't really go to war any more. Big business goes to war. The rest of us just pay the cost - both monetary and human. The power of governments - and our control of them - has largely disappeared.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-10-28/us-ground-troops-syria-illegal-big-mistake-russia-warns-obama-unpredictable-conseque
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The next site starts off slowly and gently. But stick with it. And don't let the title scare you. The "Archdruid" is not a nut case. It's a senior rank in the Masons.

It's now generally admitted that, yes, our climate is changing. But we'll invent something. Yeah. except 1. We haven't invented anything significant since this problem was revealed decades ago. 2. It's not a matter of simply inventing something. It's a matter of us making fundamental changes in the way we live. 3.Even people at the Irving press who admit climate change is happening haven't seriously looked at points 1 and 2.

Moncton's recent purchase of eight million dollars worth of   diesel buses suggests city council hasn't done much thinking. Nor has it done so in tying up a very large bundle of money in an 'events centre'.

What are the dangers, what are the likelyhoods, what are the plans for Moncton? for New Brunswick? for Canada? Piddling around about renewable and non-polluting resources isn't going to cut it. We need to rethink the whole way we live.

Too bad the very wealthy who run this world never learned how to think. They just studied bookkeeping.

http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.ca/2015/10/the-patience-of-sea.html
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For what we can expect, here's an excellent column from The Guardian.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/radical-conservation/2015/oct/20/the-four-horsemen-of-the-sixth-mass-extinction
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Now, I really must say something about the Irving press.

Page 1 of the October 31 edition of the Times and Transcript had a big story "Inaction no solution to fracking, oilman tells province." Yeah. Disregard all the above. Forget the scientists; forget the evidence we've seen in weather patterns; forget disappearing Arctic. I mean, if you can't trust the head of an Alberta gas company, who can you trust?

But there is a warning hidden in the fact that this story appeared in the Irving press. The oil people intend to frack. The provincial Conservatives support them. And I shall be very, very surprised if Gallant does not go along. All he needs is some misleading reports about the effect. And the repetition of this theme in the Irving press assures us that the boss is onside.

The frackers  will come. They will probably drill wherever they like, including private property. When people object, the police will be called out, including the ones in camouflage and carrying combat rifles. And the Irving press will defend all this as protecting democracy and freedom and law and order. We've been there, done that.

There's a good story on p.1 about the disappearance of salmon from our rivers.

A9 has a compelling tale that a women's active wear store has opened.  (I prefer my wear not to be active.)

The editorial is, as usual, about money. Norberts column is a rant about health care. But it's a vague sort of rant.The guest column is by a former mayor. It makes very little sense. Jo-Anne Moore has a useful column on how to represent yourself in court. Then there's Brent Mazerolle.

As usual, it's not really an opinion column. But, damn, this is one, fine piece of writing, and it's simple, and it's very touching. Only the worst of grouches would criticize it. And I'm not the worst. Not yet.  Loved it.
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Of eight pages of Canada and World news, only one and a half are about the rest of the world. And none of them is really news. However, I strongly suggest you look at the photo of a boatload of refugees on B6.

B2 has the story that a federal Liberal mp says that aboriginal affairs will be among our biggest political issues. I wish that were true. However, we have such a terrible situation that is not because of the aboriginals. It is a situation deliberately created to please big capitalists - like railways and land speculators. (Politicians like John A. and Sir Charles Tupper were as crooked as they come.  And today's Liberals are most unlikely to annoy big capitalists - like frackers.)

Justin will probably make a fuss over minor programmes, but avoid anything that would give native peoples real power and independence.
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By the way, Sir Charles Tupper liked women. I mean, he really liked them. It's not coincidence that  his nickname was "The Cumberland Ram".

See? That's why it's important to study history.

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