Sunday, December 6, 2015

Dec. 6: The news is very bad.

But before we get into that, let's start with some lesser part.

The Irving press has greeted news of Syrian  refugees coming to New Brunswick with joy that they will help our economy. It's almost certainly true they will. But when a newspaper talks of nothing but the financial angle, what does that tell us about our newspaper - and what it thinks of us? Is making money out of these people the only thing that counts? (If so, I can understand why the Faith Page makes such dismal reading every Saturday.)

We could, at least, acknowledge that we need a more cosmopolitan population in this province - a variety of ways of thinking, an enriched cultural and intellectual life. By any standard I know of, New Brunswick is, to put it kindly, parochial. That is why the Irving press can get away with telling us that a restaurant getting renovated is a big,  news story. That's why it can get away with international news that is pure trivia.

I grew up with immigrants - Syrians, Italians, Poles, Jews. I liked them, and I learned more from them than I did from school.

But that's still a selfish way of looking at this.

These people are coming here to escape the horror of streets full of bodies, of rubble that was houses, of babies killed by bombs, of death by starvation. Among them are children clinging to their parents with a horror of what they have seen, and parents clinging to their children who are all that they have left to cling to. Relatives, friends, communities have all vanished.

Isn't that enough reason to accept them and to offer help?

If it isn't, think of what that says about us.

The rich and three-cheers-for-God United States, with its huge population, will accept less than half the refugees that Canada will. And leading presidential candidates would deport any who do get in. (Hint to the U.S. If you're afraid of mass shootings, the record of killings shows that what you really need to deport is all white, Christian males.)
If you miss Gwynne Dyer, check the site below. As I read through the list of Dyer columns, I realized that the Irving press had made a practice of publishing only the tamest ones. Now, it seems to have decided not to publish them at all.

The following two sites, sent to me by readers, make grim reading, and they're a bit long. But I think both are right and, even in their grimness, a little more cheerful than they should be.

Both columns are about greed and insanity. And I think they understate the case.
And they certainly give little to understand the possibilities such as .....

1. How will China react?

2. China is very close to  having the power to destroy the American dollar. Will it use it?

3. How long can the U.S. go on as it is without very serious civil violence? Virtually the whole population is armed, many with submachine guns and even more dangerous weapons. The U.S. is torn by racial hatreds, fear , hysteria, homelessness, poverty that is worsening, collapsing education opportunity....

4.It is politically and economically one of the most corrupt societies in the world.
That's why so little money ever reaches those who deserve it and need it.

5. The war against even a small and easy target like Iraq cost a trillion dollars.
The means that once you pay the billionaires, there is nothing for the growing numbers of poor and suffering.

6. America's wars over the last fifty years have been failures. Very expensive failures. It is now looking for a war that, as the U.S. military realizes, would be a very, very long one, generations long. The cost would be so great as to cause the collapse of the U.S. dollar. Now, think of all those hysterical, hating, fearing people with guns.

7. Meanwhile, we face imminent disasters as a result of climate change. But in the midst of generations of war, we will have no time or money for climate change issues. A war would mean we can forget all about the Paris climate change talks.

8. And that's not even considering that such a long and large-scale war would almost certainly send up the nuclear missiles.

9. Canada was extremely foolish to get involved in this with its jet fighters. Why is Trudeau taking so long to pull them out? It will soon be too late to get out. Then, as in Afghanistan, we will become the bumboy for American political and military posturing. Some day, Canadians will have to stop thinking of themselves as colonials in the British or American empires.

In short, solving our problems by war won't solve anything. What it has done, even in these small-scale war days is to create growing poverty in the western world, fear, hatred - and to seriously jeopardize the economic survival of the U.S.

Capitalism under control could work. But it has become a system that is running out of control and, in fact, is controlling us. The Irving press is a small-time example of how that control is used to keep us in ignorance of what's happening in the world. Much of the world is fully under the ownership of a small number of super-billionaires possessed of unlimited greed, and no significant intelligence.

The U.S. is kept submissive by propaganda that it is a democracy of free and equal people. The reality is that it is not, and never has been. Nor has Canada. We are both, like France and Britain, police states.

Former Vice-President Dick Cheney - you remember him? Under Bush. He was the prime backer of the illegal war on Iraq that killed over a million people and created a massive destabilization that has created more killing, and millions of refugees. We hanged Naziis for doing less than that. Cheney did it to please the oil billionaires who made him rich.

He's a criminal. He's a criminal for illegal invasion, mass murder, mass torture...   Other people go to prison just for telling the American people what their government is doing in their name. But not a single mass murderer or mass torturer of the U.S. has even slapped on the wrist.

On the contrary, Dick Cheney's statue has recently been placed in the White House as a symbol of gratitude for his good works.

(You may remember Dick Cheney as the man who shot a hunting partner in the face. Apparently, it took some hours to get around to calling medics. I mean, some things had to be fixed first. For the whole story, google Dick Cheney shotgun.)

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