Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Dec. 16: Ignorance, Hysteria, and a propaganda press.

Last night, I watched the Republican presidential “debate”. It began with a properous-looking crowd in a theatre listening to a gawdawful rendition of “God Bless America”. And then it went downhill.

At first the candidates were a dreary lot, all of them speaking as though Islam was the only matter to be concerned about. They ran something like, “If I were president, I would protect American from jihadists.” (clap, clap, clap). Applauses were almost identical in length and tone – as thought someone were turning it on and off with a button.

One candidate had nothing to say except that if she were president, she would work hard. (clap, clap, clap.) Another said he was very concerned about jihadism. But, beyond that, he seemed to have no policy to deal with it. Another said, “One Jihadist could destroy the whole world.” (clap, clap, clap). It sounded like an applause for the jihadist. One speaker briefly mentioned that unemployment was too high. (clap, clap, clap). But he said nothing about how he would deal with it.

All the speeches were vapid, almost brainless Almost all could be summed up with “gunna kill every jihadist” - but with no idea of how that was to be done.

Nobody had a social policy on anything. U.S. poverty has reached levels that  are frightening. Homelessness is at record levels. The official figure for the rate of poverty in the U.S. is 15%. But, according to government guidelines, one can live above the poverty line on $12000 a year. The wage gap passed being a gap years ago. It's a canyon, one deliberately created by the super wealthy whose greed is destroying millions of Americans.

14,250 people in the U.S. were murdered in 2015. In that one year, that's more than three times all the Americans killed by Jihadists in this century, including 9/11. If Americans are so damned scared of Muslims, they should be utterly terrified of their Christian neighbours.

Medical care remains the most ruinously expensive in the world. Drug companies commonly inflate prices over a thousand percent. The education system is a shambles, especially (but not only) for African Americans. The very wealthy aren't paying any taxes at all.

If prison population is any indicator, the U.S. must have the highest crime rate in the world.

The U.S. has widespread racism so severe that it has the potential to tear the U.S. apart.

And I don't remember even hearing the word environment.

There was no content to the debate. There were tough statements like “I will work hard” and “I will keep out Muslims.” That was it. There was a bit of childish name-calling among Trump and his opponents, but that was the extent of anything that could be called 'debate'.

The reporters' questions were stuck at the same, low level. It was a shabby, ignorant, inflammatory, hate and fear-building evening. It was narrow in its ignorance and shameful in its statements. It would have been embarassing to watch as a high school debate. And, as I watched, I felt something growing within me. 

I was scared. I was scared for myself and my family.

I had long ago seen the collapse of democracy in the U.S. Now, I was watching the rise of Naziism. The unbridled power of capitalism has done to the U.S. what it did the Germany of the 1930s.

And I have no reason to think that Hilary Clinton is any different.

In comparison, the Irving press looks good. Sort of. Section A news is, at least, no worse than usual.

The editorial writer doesn't seem able to write about people and what they need. It's all about money, and really has nothing to say even about that.

Loved the cartoon by de Adder.

There's another rant by Norbert. Usually, these rants are about civil servants or teachers. This time it's about politicians. Civil servants are bad. Teachers are bad. Politicians are bad. It's really a form of racism. 

But business leaders are never bad. No. I mean, if they were, the Brunswick press would tell us.

Wouldn't it?

The guest column is by Brad Walters, a professor of geography and environment at Mount A. It's well worth a read (though I'm not so confident as he is that New Brunswick will do much to cut down on fossil fuels. After all, we have to look after the well-being of the rich.)

Brian Cormier gives us another high school essay of the “What I did last summer” variety.

Alec Bruce, as always, is worth a read.
Canada&World is up to six pages. But one of them is a page of self-advertising grinners handing over giant cheques. Not until the last page do we get stories from outside Canada.  Two of them. That's it.

One of othe stories is that Saudi Arabia has formed a coalition of 34 Muslim states to fight terrorism. That would be a good story if only the editors knew enough about foreign affairs to tell the whole story. Saudi Arabia is forming an alliance to fight terrorism? If has been public knowledge for years (but obviously not for the editors of the Irving press) that Saudi Arabia has been a major supporter and supplier for terrorists. It gives them money, weapons and training. In that effort, it has had the full (if secret) support of the U.S. government which has been using ISIS to destroy Syria.

So what are the Saudis really doing here? My guess is that they're forming a coalition to destroy Iran – and probably with American consent. And it may be combined with an attempt to destroy Syria now that the Syrian “rebel” movement is almost dead. (Though the Irving press hasn't noticed that, either.) 

Here's a story on it from a better source.

Then, there's some very, very good news, indeed. John Kerry, meeting with Putin, has accepted the Russian insistence that Syrians must have the right to elect their own government. So the U.S. will agree to a deal that allows Assad to run in an election, and to remain in power until the election.

This may be related to the story of the new, Saudi-led coalition. Now that Russia is destroying ISIS, the new coalition maybe used in place of ISIS to destroy Syria.

Then there's the criticism of the U.S. for it's arms sales to Saudi Arabia – largely some 2.9 billion dollars worth of bombs. Amnesty International U.S.A. has made the same complaint. Most of these bombs are being used to bomb Yemen; and civilians are commonly the targets.

Incidentally, Saudi Arabia, despite it massive use of force, its starvation of Yemenis, and its absolute control of the airspace and the coastline of Yemen, is doing badly in the war. That may be another reason for the “anti-terrorist” coalition the Saudis have formed.

World War Three is on. The editors of the Irving press just haven't noticed it yet.

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