Sunday, January 31, 2016

Jan. 30: It really doesn't matter....

…...who wins the U.S. party leaderships. It really doesn't matter who wins the presidency. We should have learned that with Obama. I remember the enthusiasm for Obama at the time of his first run at the presidency. I remember the cheers when he said to America, “We can do it.”

Few, very few, noticed that he never said what it was that they could do. Just “it” was enough of a platform to win the presidency. Once he won the presidency, the followed exactly the same policies Bush had – wars of aggression to put the world at the feet of American billionaires. He kept the torture camp at Guantanamo. (closing it was one of the few coherent promises he had made.) He has refused to prosecute torturers – while at the same time prosecuting the whistle blowers who revealed the torture. He has created a war in Syria. He has continued to lose one in Afghanistan. He has continued the process of allowing the war industries to run wild. Following the leadership of Bush and his invasion of Iraq, Obama has created the horror that is the middle east – a horror that now threatens the stability of Europe and is creating a showdown with Russia and, maybe, China.

The wage gap has worsened under Obama. Poverty is rising steeply. The wealthy continue, sometimes openly, to buy politicians. Race relations are as dreadful as they were back in the 1960s. The police state in the U.S. has never been so powerful and intrusive (and murderous) as it has been under Obama.

He promised a watered down form of medicare. But, at that, what he delivered was a huge profit bonus for private medical insurance companies.

And now, it is Donald Trump who is profiting from the fears and hatreds (and hysteria) that developed under Obama.

Nor is there any reason to expect better from any of the other candidates. The only difference between them and Trump is that Trump knows how to use TV. All of them are are long since bought by the very wealthy. Nor would Trump be able to dictate to the very wealthy. As billionaires go, he's at the penny ante level.

On the Democrat side, Hilary (and Bill) Clinton have long since been bought. Wall St. has no bigger friend than Hilary.

Bernie Sanders seems to be a ray of hope, the one person who understands this is about people and the society they live in. Unfortunately, his thinking is stuck in 1935. Anyway, no congress would ever approve his programmes.

American democracy is history. If there is to be any serious change in U.S. domestic or foreign policy, it will have to come as a result of severe and widespread violence because the very wealthy will not permit peaceful change. That's why American police forces are being equipped with armoured cars, and even tanks. That's why Canada now has special police in camouflage outfits and carrying combat rifles.

Listen carefully to the debates on both sides. All of them (except Sanders) are built on fear and the hatreds that come from fear. Trump does it more than the others but, again, that's just because he understands TV. He knows TV is not for thinking. TV is moving colours, changing camera angles, extreme behaviour, fast pace. And those words define what Trump is. And they're all that Trump is.
Almost all of the candidates refer to restoring American greatness. Almost all avoid any reference to the wage gap or to controls on business. Without saying so, almost all see big business as enjoying a special relationship with government. Just like New Brunswick, big business has become a “partner” with government. (That's why Trudeau recently scampered to Davos to schmooze with the very wealthy.)

All of them see the U.S. as a land of greatness whose greatness is threatened by the influx of people who don't have “American values” (whatever that may mean.) That attitude, with has been common throughout the western world for centuries, and is really a form of racial superiority which is why Canada and the U.S. both have had bitter debates over immigrants from the coming of the Irish, to the Jews, to Ukrainians, to Chinese, to Japanese and more. That's why so much of Europe, like Britain, is dragging its heels on accepting refugees.

We've seen all this before. This is what Hitler was all about and, to a lesser degree, Mussolini. Hitler's major purpose was to restore German 'greatness', to form partnerships with the world's very wealthy, to to protect the wealthy by blocking the expansion of the Soviet Union. That's why the same kind of people (sometimes the same families) who supported Hitler and Mussolini now support Hilary Clinton, and all the Republican candidates – and the Liberals and Conservatives in Canada. (Several years ago, Mr. Irving wrote a column for his newspapers in which he announced that he was “in coalition” with the government. “Coalition” means in full partnership with it (even without getting elected.) He was no longer just a voter like the rest of us slobs. No. He had a right to be in government because he was –-Mr. Irving. This is precisely what Mussolini's Fascism meant.

Hitler and Mussolini lost the war. But their supporters didn't. Naziism and Fascism are still alive and healthy. In fact, as I watch the U.S. TV debates. I have to conclude that Naziism and Fascism are “American values”. And maybe Canadian ones, too.

If you disagree with me, please send in a list of values that are either Canadian or American. (Separatists tried to make a list for Quebec, and failed miserably.)
As I write this, American police have killed only 71 people for January. They'll have to pick up the pace to meet last year's success. Canada's rate of such killings in far lower, even allowing for population size. However, the rate has shown an alarming rise in recent years. This suggests we should be examining this to determine the cause – which may or may not be the police. There could be other factors in our society affecting this.
The Guardian notes that the Republican party has no policy on climate change. ( except for Jeb Bush who says he hopes that some guy working in a garage will invent something.) More commonly, Republicans deny there is any climate change.

The Democrats have something – but scarcely enough. Here in Canada, We're seriously discussing a pipeline that will have to serve a gas-guzzling world for thirty years and more just to break even.

What we need is to call on our oil billionaires to lead the way. I mean, they're real smart because they know how to get born to billionaires. And they make their Irving press lead the way in discussion of climate change.

Much as I admire Judaism and the Jewish community I used to know, I see no Judaic qualities at all in Israel. Its theft of Palestinian land, its unequal treatment of Palestinian Israelis, its destruction of communities, its maintenance of an economic blockade on Palestine, its mass murder of Palestinians, its imposition of poverty on them have no connection with any Judaic teachings I have ever heard of. In retaliation, some Palestinians have stabbed Israelis. That's big news in our press. Israel bombs indiscriminately, and kills thousands - and most of our news media don't even notice.

I often think that one of the most terrible things Hitler did was to destroy Judaism and to create the evil personified by Netanyahu. He is everything that Judaism did not stand for. And Israel, of all places, has become much of what Hitler stood for.

A similar theme is repeated below as Israel has refused a bill to made all Israeli citizens equal. Palestinians who are citizens of Israel will continue to be segregated and will not have the rights of Jewish Israelis.

And here's an opinion from a pretty good source about the relationship between the Clintons and big money.

Now, here's an idea, get an idea of who the big donors to the Liberals and Conservatives in New Brunswick are. ( I know who it was when Pierre Trudeau was in power. And I know who collected it. And I suspect things have changed very little.)
I don't know whether the next story will actually happen. It is almost certain to be opposed by the very wealthy – and by the people who read or listen to the wealthy's news media. But here's an approach to a desperate problem in our society that is likely to get much worse. Switzerland is having a free vote on a suggestion that everybody get a basic income from the government.

It may sound like a stretch. But we won't revive an economy by making everybody but the very rich poor. We tried that in the great recession of the 1930s. It doesn't work. What did work was making more money available to everybody. In 1939, that happened because of the war. The war, not big business, created jobs. And it was all controlled by a very big and well-qualified civil service. As long as people don't get enough money, we're going to be in the economic toilet. Business does NOT create jobs. If if did, the people of Congo would be rolling in money instead of dying of starvation. Jobs are created when people have money to spend.

We're doing the opposite – helping the very rich to constantly get richer while every body else gets poorer. Raising taxes won't help. Because the very rich will avoid them, and the extra taxing will just cut purchasing power for everybody else.

Firing civil servants won't help. You can't improve an economy by putting people out of jobs. And you can't control an economy without expert civil servants.

Our governments just love to do everything on the “business model”. It's a model that works for the wealthy and, occasionally, raises up somebody who wasn't wealthy. But generally, it destroys most people. Running a government is not the same as running a business. A government is about people. A business is about profits, and those only for the top dogs.

We should have learned that in the depression of the 1930s. We didn't because the very wealthy didn't want us to learn it. The depression years were a great time for big business. It could hire people dirt cheap. Then throw them away. It sold less – but the cheap salaries made profits still good. And, anyway, the very rich weren't the ones going hungry. So who could give damn?

Thank about that, Richard Saillant, as you lead us to the edge of the cliff.

1 comment:

  1. of note today: