Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Jan. 6: A very ugly world

“Grandmother in poverty lives with no heat, power or water.” That's the front page, lead headline in the Irving press. And so it should be. The provincial government hasn't answered her requests. The local MLA will contact the government department on this—um-- when he has time in a few days.

I wonder how long premier Gallant would wait to return a call from JDIrving?

The story is an important one. In this province, a senior executive with a large corporation already had almost $50,000, the average yearly salary in this province – and got it by working from nine to noon hour just yesterday, the first day of work for the year. In this province, we can afford a hundred million dollar hockey rink – but we dither about serious problems of malnutrition and homelessness – and we leave most of these problems to charities (which are supported, mostly, by private companies for advertising by getting their pictures and company names into the paper while smiling and holding up big cheques.)

Of course, times are tight, so we don't want to tax our rich (who are already some of the most lightly taxed people in the world.) We gotta fire teachers, and invent new taxes for the common slobs, and cut services for them.

The story doesn't say all this. Nor should it. It's a news story, not a commentary. It's a good news story and, in fact, the only one worth reading in section A. But, damn, there should be a commentary on this.

However, the big lesson preached in the editorial is we should not let our homes burn down. Brian Cormier's column says much the same. A woman has to live with virtually no money in a shack that has no heat or electricity or water? Yawn.

Norbert has a quite decent column on converting the old Moncton High into a museum – though I hope it would be a better one than the Resurgo museum.

Alec Bruce has a thoughtful and thought-provoking column on attracting refugee families to New Brunswick. For a start, I know that refugees who speak a different language, and who are fleeing horrors are not going to cheer for a school system that has oversized classes and is firing teachers.
These are children who have missed years of school and years of any sort of normal life. This is not a time for the government of New Brunswick to do its usual half-assed job of dealing with a challenge.

What I fear will be the major story of the year gets only a brief mention in the four-page Canada and World section – and it really tells us very little. I'm not surprised. I don't think that this casual treatment of an important event is trivial. No. I've come to the conclusion that the responsible news editor simply doesn't know enough about the news to know which stories are important.

The king of Saudi Arabia executed a leader of a religious group which is the minority religious group in Saudi. But it is the majority group in Iran. Nor does there seem to have been much reason to execute him or even to imprison him. (Saudi Arabia quite possibly has the worst human rights record in the world.) Infuriated Iranis stormed Saudi embassies in Iran. The Iranian government immediately acted to break up the rioting. And it immediately apologized to Saudi Arabia.

Result? The king ignored the apologies, and severed relations with Iran. The U.S, Britain and France (I don't have a complete list) immediately followed to sever their relations with Iran, an act which threatens retaliation, possibly even invasion. Our press will show the Iranians as evil.

There is a reason why Saudi Arabia executed that, particular cleric. It wanted a reaction from Iran. The execution (or murder) of a religious leader highly regarded by a large majority of Iranians who shared his religious views was intended to get a reaction from Iran that would give the Saudis an excuse for war.

Even more disturbing is the fact that the U.S., Britain, and France reacted so quickly. That suggests they knew, even before the execution, what this is all about. And it suggests they, too, want a war against Iran.

That's nothing new. Britain and the U.S. joined hands to destroy the democratically elected government of Iran about fifty years ago. They then installed a brutal (and stupid) dictator, The Shah. And they did it all satisfy the desire of American big oil to control Iran. After years of suffering, of poverty, of torture, the people of Iran kicked out the Shah, and re-established an elected government, this time, not surprisingly, with much of the leadership coming from Muslim clerics.

Ever since, big oil has wanted another dictatorship in Iran. They especially want it now as Russia is showing signs of being competitive in the middle east. The U.S. government works for big oil. And Britain and France work to kiss up to the U.S. This is a war, if it comes, that will pit capitalists around the world against each other; it probably will pit the U.S. and NATO against Russia (and China), and it could create the bitterest of wars within Islam, itself – and that bitterness would run all the way through Africa, much of Asia, and into Russia.

And there is really only one motive – to make oil billionaires richer.

This is kind of an important piece of news. Too bad there's nobody at the Irving press who understands that. And there's another implication in all this. Big oil has no interest whatever in encouraging renewable energy. That means, for New Brunswick, that premier Gallant is going to approve fracking.

Oh, yes, there's also a story worth reading on B3. “At least 2,250 (Canadian) veterans are homeless, report says”. You remember veterans? These are the ones everybody claps for on Nov. 11, and everybody says we must never forget them. In fact, the forgetting begins every Nov. 12, and it's been characteristic of any Canadian government I have ever heard of. (Ditto the the U.S. and Britain.) And it's always been that way. Try this poem by Kipling.

I think we should remember on Nov. 11. But I think we should remember the truth and the whole truth. Soldiers may well believe they are going to war for God and country. But the reality is that God and country rarely have anything to do with war. Almost all wars are fought to satisfy somebody's greed. That's what caused the Boer War, World Wars 1 and 2, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria.

You think we had to fight Hitler because of his murder of Jews? I can agree with that. But that's not why we went to war. The reality is that Canada, in 1939 and later, much later, was as anti-semitic as Germany was. So was Britain.

What was the glorious, patriotic and noble cause ordained by God in Afghanistan? The cause was for Canadians to die in order to make the American government seem to be on a righteous cause in that war. Righteousness, patriotism and God had nothing to do with it. The American government invaded Afghanistant because that's whatAmerican big money wanted. And Canadian big money had to be on good terms with American big money if it wanted big profits. That's why Canadians died in Afghanistan.

Some day, I wish Canadian military historians would tell the truth instead of kissing up to whoever is running The Legion at the time.

Gosh, it's already a long post – and I haven't even started on the material I've saved.

Yesterday, the CBC had a story that, I guess, the editors at Irving press didn't think was important. Greenland ice is melting far more quickly than was expected. That has created thousands of new rivers, carrying their waters to the sea, there to bring us higher tides. But, hey, it's only water. And it'll give us extra water to dump our fracking chemicals into.

A reader sent the following site to me. I haven't yet had time to read as much of it as I want to. But it looks promising. It certainly has a socialist bias, but that's not a sin. And we cheerfully, every day, read news that's so far right wing it's way beyond capitalism. It's just the gospel of greed.

Then, this one was sent to me by the same person. And I know this one is the truth. Empires, all of them, are not about glory. They're not about “….make her victorious, happy and glorious…). They're about greed, murder, torture, impoverishment to enrich a few… That was true of the Greek Empire, the Roman Empire, the British Empire, The French Empire, the Spanish and Portuguese Empires, Hitler's Empire, the Russian Empire, and now the American Empire.

And, from the same reader,

I also try to do some reading on my own. This one caught my eye. (Alas, I didn't write down the source.)

Canada has a contract to sell 15 billion dollars worth of armoured cars to Iran. These would be useful for killing Yemenis, of course, as well as for calming down any, you know, unfortunate situations in Saudi Arabia, itself. The deal was completed under Harper, of course, but---

Canada, with other countries has long pledged not to sell weaponry to nations with bad human rights records. Now, Egypt is at least a contender for the worst human rights record in the world. So the smiling and charming Justin Trudeau with his lovely wife said, “The sale must go ahead.” Well, yeah. I mean, there a lot of profit in their for some eager businessman. I think my first assessment of Justin was the right one.

And where is the story about the 150 or so armed 'militia' who have illegally taken over a government building in Oregon? Isn't that kind of serious? I mean, if I illegally took over a Tim Horton's, and waved my nail clipper, shouting that I would kill any cop or soldier who bothered me, I'd be knocked down immediately by the cashier girl. 150 heavily armed men have taken over a government building, have said they will shoot if police or the army intervene, and the Irving press editors sit around with their faces hanging out?

Gee. I wonder what would happen if they were Muslims? What would happen if they were African-Americans?

There are many and varied versions of a story about Michele Obama floating around. It's true, sort of. She does have a huge and very expensive staff as president's wife, bigger by far than any predecessor. (Most presidents have made to with one secretary for the president's wife.) She also just loves expensive hotels, government jets, flying to Paris to get her hair done. It's quite possible that she and her husband in the past year have spent over a billion dollars of tax payers' money on personal entertainment.

Something serious is going on. But many, far too many, of the sources are gossip mags. I've known for a while there is a story there. But a trustworthy one is hard to find.
Then there's The Guardian that has an excellent story on Donald Trump.

And add this one.

The Irving Press continues to think the wage gap is narrowing around the world. Duh… The reality is that the wealthy around the world are robbing the poor and giving themselves money at a rate never before seen. That's why premier Gallant is looking to cut costs and services in an 'austerity' budget. Of course. That takes money from everybody but the wealthy. It's robbing the poor to give to the rich. And it's a sure fire recipe for an economic depression.

If you want prosperity, you don't get it by hammering the poor, and kissing the rear ends of the rich. That's what caused the great depression. You can't build prosperity on the base of a low income population. You have to distribute money to the poor. They then spend it – and that how real entrepreneurs make money. You're not going to see any 'resurgo' in Moncton or New Brunswick when it has a minimum wage of 10 bucks an hour . The Kings, Queens and aristocrats of Imperial Britain had piles of money which they took from China and India and South Africa – but damn little ever found its way into the pockets of miners or factory workers. The slums of Imperial Britain were as vile as any in the world. And the lives of slum-dwellers and the homeless were just as short as they had always been.

But don't worry. If New Brunswick gets so poor it begins to smell bad, the wealthy will move somewhere else.

This is getting long – and I have a whole bunch of items from Information Clearing House to list.
This one appears in The Guardian, but was reprinted by ICH. Have you seen anything about Bernie Sanders in the Irving press.? Not likely. Read the item below, and compare Sanders to all the other leadership candidates for both parties.

The next source is by Paul Craig Roberts – and he's one of the best sources in the world.

And I have piles of others. But it's getting late. The reality is that New Brunswick and Canada have very serious problems that are not going to be solved by voting Liberal or Conservative or NDP (at least, not the NDP as it is now.) The reality is that the people of New Brunswick and of Canada have to start thinking now and they have to start talking to each other now. If we drift along in dreamland, next summer we may well be remembering those who died for God and Queen and country in Syria or Libya or Iraq or Afghanistan or even China.

Oh, there's another story that the eagle eye of the news editor at Irving press missed. North Korea has tested a hydrogen bomb.
And a thank you to columnist Louise Gilbert. On the advice of her column, I went walking at the Coliseum. I breathed a little heavily, but did a couple of kilometres as a starter. The only bad part of it was so often being passed and left in the dust by little, old ladies using canes, crutches and walkers.

Can they be asked to leave?

No comments:

Post a Comment