Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dec. 23: Thank you, Mr. Irving. You're a nice man.

What excitement! It's on A 7 of today's Moncton Times and Transcript. New Brunswick's Forest Sector Supports Science-Based Study of Glyphosate Herbicide. It's in full colour, and it takes up a whole page. And Mr. Irving puts it straight to the government. He wants a full government study of the use of glysophate, the stuff he's been using to spray his (our?) forests and us. And he wants it fast - May 1, 1916 deadline for a report to the public.
The public? That's us. JDIrvingLtd. is leading the way for us. That means it loves us. And, you know, if you can't trust a New Brunswick government study, what can you trust?

Of course, a big government study like that costs a ton of money, so we'll have to cut the education budget some more. But wait, I have an idea.

 Instead of a big government study, why not just google 'glysophate'? JDIrvingLtd, after all, tells us in the ad what should be studied - and all the organizations he mentions are listed under glysophate. (And they've all said it's dangerous and, likely, carcinogenic. In the fact, The Netherlands has already banned it.)

The whole study, so simple that even a news editor should be able to do it in less than an hour, could be done with a report made public before New Year's Day. Instead,  we'll pay a large sum of money for a report that will be made unintelligible by an army of PR agents and corporation lawyers.

I wonder if,  possibly, this could have some connection with the firing of Dr. Cleary? Nah. JDIrvingLtd loves us.
Alec Bruce has a good column on the financial crises that have developed in Greece and Detroit. He might have added Ukraine, Greece, Spain, and others. It's a good read. But he doesn't take a look at what caused them. Detroit is easy. Free trade deals killed the auto industry and the trade, itself. It didn't hurt the Ford family, of course. They just moved their factories to poor countries with lots of cheap labour and no unions.

Ukraine  was plundered of its land and other resources by international bankers and investors. Ukraine (the 'free' part,  the one on our side) is now in hopeless poverty, and will quite likely drift into Naziism.

Then there's the drift of almost every nation's money into the pockets of the wealthy - that process we gently call 'the wage gap'. It's not social programmes that cause poverty. It's the wealthy who cause poverty.
There's nothing else worth reading in the paper.
Seymour Hersh is quite possibly the best and most honest foreign affairs journalist in the world. Below, he tells us that Russian and American military chiefs are on good terms, and routinely contact each other. Since the start of the Syrian war, the military chiefs, the CIA and American intelligence services have disagreed with the policy of the U.S. government. So they have cooperated with their Russian counterparts to operate their own foreign policy.

That may sound amusing. But it's not. In a democracy, we elect governments to make such decisions. If leaders in the military and intelligence agencies can freely act in opposition to elected leaders, it completes the end of democracy. I think the military and intelligence leaders, in this case, have pursued a wiser policy. But there will come a time when their assumption of power will put us all in trouble.
U.S. foreign policy  has been disastrous since (and somewhat before) 9/11. The invasion of Iraq for no clear reason except to please the oil barons is one of the causes of Muslim terrorism. (It actually began earlier when the U.S. trained Afghan's Taliban to be terrorist fighters. At the time, Russia had invaded Afghanistan, so it seemed like a good idea. Much of the origins of al Quaeda lie in that American training.)

All of this is associated with The Project for the New American Century, the plan for world conquest developed by Jeb Bush and friends, and brought to Washington by Vice-President Dick Cheney with President George Bush toddling behind him.

Even as wars, Iraq and Afghanistan were disasters - with Afghanistan already back to being a war zone. The disasters have   destablized the whole Middle East - and maybe the whole world.
Also linked to the The Project for the New American Century was the overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine - and its replacement with a puppet regime friendly to the U.S. and its big bankers. The result has been a Ukraine destroyed. Almost all the country used to own is now owned by foreign corporations. It is in hopeless debt, robbed blind by western capitalists. Always a country with a strong Nazi movement (the real thing), Naziism has been on the rise. Thanks to the American overthrow of its government, Ukraine is now one of the poorest countries in the world, with a government that is hopelessly corrupt and incompetent - and now, within weeks, facing enormous danger and suffering.

It hasn't made our press - not even the great video of a wild brawl that erupted among government and opposition members when one person grabbed a speaker at the podium, lifted him by his neck and crotch, and threw him to the floor.
I've been following this from a number of good sources - so I have confidence in the account below.
The Guardian offers a thoughtful column about the nature of the year's commentaries, and the reaction to them. It includes the story of the Russian trolls - people hired by the Russian government to write answers  to commentaries that criticize Russia.
And here's an interesting story. The oil industry has known about climate change  since the 1970s. it began research with the intention of seeking out renewable resources, but quickly shifted gears to run a propaganda campaign to spread the word that climate change was not happening. It has spent billions on propaganda to tell the world that oil is good for you. (Gee. Why does that make me think of the big JDIrvingLtd. ad in today's Moncton Times and Transcript?)
Almost fifty million Americans now depend on food stamps to stay alive. That's what terms like 'wage gap' and 'trade partnerships' really mean. Fifty million. Then there are the uncounted numbers of homeless, including children, even babies, that sleep on the streets - and worse.

And some cities, including Portland, Maine, are tidying things up by forcing them off the streets, out of parks, confiscating the little they own. (But they rarely put the homeless in prison. Too expensive.)
Then there's a story from 2014 about Canada selling arms, probably illegally, to a major human rights violator. This happened under Harper, and it's the biggest Canadian arms sale in history. Gee. Funny I never saw that in the Irving press. It looks as though we could be developing a military-industrial  complex like the American one.
After all the grim news, here's some good news. It's about the courage of Pope Francis that is a physical courage as well as it is an intellectual one. He makes me envy Catholics.

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