Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Dec. 30:

Well, there's some good news about the Irving press. Today, Gwynne Dyer is back. He's more optimistic than I am, and this column is his usual, very sound and sensible stuff. But, in the Irving press, it really is a petunia in a field of onions. Note in particular what he says about the Syrian rebel army (the ones on our side, and against Assad). Our news media constantly tells us that these rebels are “moderate” Muslims. In fact, they are exactly the same as ISIS. And the U.S. has been supplying ISIS and the rebels from the start.

Dyer thinks the danger of nuclear war is small. I don't think it is. Not at all. We are very close to one by accident – and perhaps even not by accident.

Apart from Dyer, there's no news and no opinion worth reading in the whole paper. Norbert is back to ranting, though always in a vague sort of way. One rant he repeats is that the education system needs to be revised. If he would take the trouble to read the student columns in his own newspaper, he'll find they're quite a bit better than his – and that's evidence that the schools have improved enormously since his days.

And both Norbert and Alec Bruce have a habit of talking at length about the problem of our public finances without once ever mentioning the name Irving, or Ganong, or Oland. And the news never has a mention of Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the world, where the U.S. is supplying the Saudis with bombs to murder thousands of helpless people who are already starving to death.

There are days when one can only get angry. Today, in the supermarket, I noticed the magazine Hello, Canada which is full of gush about Harry and Kate and the Queen and Charles. Prince Charles, an obvious inheritor of the royal family's lack of brains (a lack that goes back for centuries), lives in a palace, and has over a hundred and fifty personal servants. Harry's stunningly brainless brother who lives for nude parties with expensive hookers, will routinely fly half way around the world for a round of golf. The Duke of and Duchess of Windsor (with the Duke holding the record as probably the most brainless and useless one of the bunch), lived for decades, travelling around the world, and living in the most expensive hotel suites – and all on the taxpayers' shillings.

Meanwhile, thousands of British children live on the streets, and the rate of poverty in Britain is rising.

(Oh, doesn't baby George look sweet?)

In other news, The Guardian has resumed its count of Americans killed by their own police. With another day to go, U.S. police have killed 1126 people. This is not a tsk! Tsk! Story. This is a story about a nation with profound and very dangerous social problems. And these, combined with rising poverty and hysteria, are getting close to a flashpoint. But not a single Republican candidate has even mentioned this. They all just want to kill Muslims. The fabric of an American society is being shredded. Most of the rights supposedly won in 1776 have been lost. The U.S. has become a secret police state in which freedom is history, and the constitution barely exists. Its only remaining purpose is to make its super rich even richer.

On the climate change front, we're heard hints about action from governments – though only hints. And we've heard nothing at all from the oil industry. In fact, it is pushing wars, investing money in exploration and processing and this can only mean it plans to keep selling oil forever. There really isn't much that came out of the Paris conference. I think the greed and arrogance of big oil won the day.

Notably, I haven't seen a big, colour ad from Irving. You know, like the one he had for protecting our forests. But no. I haven't seen such an ad dealing with oil. The oil companies don't care about climate change. They are not going to do anything unless forced to. And our governments have drifted so far from democracy that they don't force billionaires to do anything.

This brings us to climate change, again. And the big question that hasn't even been asked. Climate change is going to make the Syria refugee crisis seem pretty minor compared to the many millions who will be forced to flee their homes because of climate change. Is anyone even thinking of how we're going to deal with that? I've seen no sign of forward thinking on this (or anything else) from the U.S. Republican candidates. Indeed, the only country which has responded well to the Syrian refugee crisis is Germany, while Britain remains its old, racist self.
In good news, of a sort, one half of all weapons in the whole word now come from the American weapons industry. This is what President Eisenhower warned against – a military-industrial complex so wealthy and powerful ( and corrupt and corrupting) that it has displaced democracy, and has so shifted government policy that government has no power or to do anything about the spread of poverty in the U.S., the crumbling of education, and the social collapse of the United States. It's a complex that encourages war because it makes its money out of war.  
And our news media helps the defence industry, stirring up fears and publishing outright lies to justify defence contracts that commonly go way over promised cost. The example below is The New York Times. The writer of this report, Eric Margolis, in one of the best and most honest journalists in the business.

We don't hear much about Bernie Sanders in the Democrat leadership race. But he's probably the only one on either side who isn't driven by hatred or greed. He actually sees a political responsibility we have to each other. Here's a sample of his thinking.

Oh, I should mention that the war in Afghanistan is still on after 14 years. And the U.S. is losing as the Taliban gains strength. The means the U.S. will have to beef up its forces there, and that it will be looking for patsies to join it. I would hope Canada would show more brains this time, and more concern for its own people so that it won't send more Canadians to die for a war that is a disaster masterpiece of purely American construction.

More locally, our provincial government in New Brunswick is studying fracking to determine whether it is perfectly safe. And we all know that they'll find it is perfectly safe “with regulations that will be the strictest in the world”. By the way, Oklahoma and Texas are conducting studies to see whether fracking is the cause of many earthquakes those states are having. But I'm sure Premier Gallant will be able to tell us it is perfectly safe.

Then there's the firing of our chief medical officer, Dr. Cleary, for no known reason. This is more than a little strange. Dr. Cleary is highly regarded and publicly defended by virtually every medical association in Canada. She was fired by a member of the government with no medical expertise apart from knowing he should always, after a shower, use the towel to dry between his toes. And the government refuses to tell us why she was fired. What kind of democracy is this if some twit in the government can fire a highly regarded professional without telling us why? This is something we all have a right to know. We should go right to the top to demand an answer. And here's what we should ask. Mr. Irving, why was Dr. Cleary fired?

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