Monday, February 8, 2016

Feb 8: insanity

The part  on the Irving press will be  (blessedly) short.

Section A barely qualifies as village gossip.

The editorial still has nothing in particular to say. All the other columns are at least passable. But there's a bit of a problem with Alec Bruce's. Bruce has a superb vocabulary. But he too often tries to pack all of it into one sentence. That makes tough reading for anybody, and especially for those with the lowest literacy rate in Canada. He also writes in sentences that are long and complex. It is common to see sentences that  are a paragraph long – and a long paragraph long. Not many people will read those.

Canada and World section is just a waste of time, with almost nothing about the world, and nothing  very important about Canada. There is, however, one story that is odd – and one that is a lie.

On A3, “Duchess of Cambridge supports children's mental health for son.” Well, that sounds reasonable. Mental illness and retardation has been very prominent in the British royal family for centuries. Sorry it  has been passed on to her son----but wait a minute----the story doesn't mention her son. What's going on here?

You'll have to give a call to the news editor. That's the one who writes the headlines.

B4 has a story about the president of Haiti stepping down. The lying part is that Haiti had to form an interim government in 2004 when  rebellion forced President Aristide to step down, and a UN peacekeeping force was sent to stabilize the country. That's the lie.

President Aristide was the first  democratically elected president of Haiti after decades of rule by the U.S. military, then more by American supported dictators who held power by murder, torture, and terror. Their purpose was to keep labour cheap (less that two dollars a day) for the benefit of American and other 'investors'. To keep it cheap there was virtually no  public education or medical care, no housing standards, and generally vile living conditions for people who,  fortunately, wouldn't be able to live long.

It was exactly what the U.S. did in Cuba, Guatemala, and many other countries.

Former president Aristide is a priest who was the first democratically elected president in Haiti. He introduced public education, and worked to improve living conditions. American big business was not pleased. So American presidents were not pleased. I know very little about how successful he was as president. (Our news media never mentioned that.) I do know that the thugs who had been the dictator's killers fled to the nearby Dominican Republic.  They fled when Aristide dissolved the army because it was made up entirely of the hired killers and torturers of the dictators (and, really, of US big business and the US government.

I also know that Aristide had won a second election, and was still far the most popular leader the country had ever known.

Suddenly, these hired killers in the Dominican Republic received fresh supplies of weapons and money from ---guess who? That enabled them to invade Haiti, whose police force was too small and lightly armed to stop them. These hired thugs are the ones the story describes as 'rebels'. Yeah. Just like the Syrian 'rebels'.

The U.S. used this as an excuse to send to invade Haiti, arrest President Aristide, and send him into exile. Then, to make it look legitimate, it called for UN 'peacekeepers' to take over for a new election.

Canada, to its eternal shame, sent 'peacekeepers' whose real job was to oversee rigged elections that brought friends of the old regime  into power.

The voting turnout was very, very low. Haitians wanted Aristide. And they knew they were getting another dictator.

The peacekeeping force stabilized Haiti in the same sense that torturers 'stabilize' prisoners.

In the same period, there was a devastating earthquake in Haiti. The U.S. promised billions in aid. That was big news in our news media.  Much of the aid was not, in fact, ever sent at all. And of that which was sent, almost all ended up in the pockets of American 'contractors'.  

Now, compare that to the lying story the Irving press bought from the esteemed Associated Press.   That's the quality of almost all the news we're getting.

A news editor should have known all this.

Oh, and all of this is a good example of how billionaires use our tax money to do their killing on the cheap.
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On a more general note, I've just read Trudeau's decision on our role in Iraq and against ISIS. We're still not facing reality.

The world, all of it, cannot afford the time and money for wars. Let's try to get a little bit real.

Climate change is happening. We don't know how quickly it will go on happening. We don't know exactly what the point of no return is. But there is every indication it is happening quickly. Think of the consequences. Let's suppose that Canada suffers no ill effects. In fact, let's suppose we remain virtually unaffected by it. There is still a massive problem.

Climate change will create (is creating) the greatest mass movement of people the world has ever seen as many parts of the world become more difficult for human life – and even impossible. We are already  watching Europe crumble politically and socially under a relatively small number of refugees. (Yes, it is happening; but our news media don't tell us much about it. It doesn't tell us much about how this is reviving Naziism, for example.)

We're going to see a lot more of this strain very, very soon; and it's going to get worse, much worse.

Personally, I don't give a damn which billionaires own the oil of various parts of the world. Nor do I see any reason to waste time or money to fight their wars for them. We need all the time and money we can get to deal with climate change and a high rate of environmental damage in addition to climate that of climate change. The use of pesticides on our forests springs to mind.

There's another reason we cannot afford wars. We are as close to nuclear war as we can get while still living. But the wars we are fighting are wars to decide which billionaires get control of which oil They are being fought by nations like the U.S., China, Russia and their flunkies, wars paid for and died for by all of us as if these were, somehow, in the interest of all of us. They are not in our interest. It doesn't matter to us who wins. Western billionaires will be no kinder to us than Eastern ones.

Add to that the fact that such wars make nuclear war almost inevitable. We are very, very close to it with Syria. And nobody can win that. But here we are, flirting with nuclear war in order to protect  the owners of an industry that we have to destroy as soon as possible if we're going to survive. This is insane.

The world, led by the U.S., is going mad with spending on weapons and wars. That's just wonderful for the billionaires who own the weapons industries. But it also means that's money that cannot be spent on feeding and housing and educating our own people And the money and the time spent on war means we cannot do any significant research or spending to slow climate change.

I am not just saying what we are doing is wrong. I'm saying it's crazy.

Wars are bad enough under any circumstances. But they are terminally bad when they are fought under conditions which will cause the extermination of all life.

Anyone (with all due respect for oil billionaires) who would support the course we are following has to be criminally insane. And anyone who would support such behaviour would have be to a devoted reader of the Irving press.
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In the latest news as I write this, Trudeau has announced we will withdraw our  aircraft
from Iraq. But - we will increase our training role in Syria. Big deal.

For a start, it is illegal under our constitution to make such a statement without submitting it to parliament for approval. Remember? This is what our veterans supposedly fought for.

And if parliament does approve it, it will still be illegal under international law.   You cannot send troops to a nation, even as trainers or babysitters, without the invitation of its government. And the Syrian government has not invited us.

As well, we have no legal reason under international law for war with Syria. (Though I suspect parliament will simply ignore that.)

And forget the crap that we going to fight ISIS. The whole reason there is a war in Syria in the first place is because the U.S. fired up and supplied a phony rebellion. And that's because the whole U.S. purpose in Syria from the start has been to get rid of Assad and put in an American puppet so American billionaires can control its oil.

There is no other reason. And nobody has ever even tried to show one.

As for ISIS,  the U.S. and its buddies have been supporting and  supplying it. ISIS is the US proxy in its fight against Assad. But the Russians have made ISIS a loser. So now the U.S. has to get Assad itself, even at the risk of setting off a nuclear war.

So why the eagerness to get Canada involved.? I mean, they have the massive armed forces of the U.S.: they have help from Britain, France and the Netherlands? Why all the pressure to get Canada on board? After all, some hundred of trainers isn't going to make any difference.

The reason is because the Syrian war is not a war against Syria. It is a war against Russia. The U.S. wants to show Russia that, in the language of my childhood, "you fight me, you fight my  gang."

It's illegal. It does nothing to defend Americans or Canadians. In fact, it's illegal for Americans and Canadians and British and French and Dutch. It's a deliberate policy of using Canadians as pawns. And it's desperate because Russia (and China) are not likely to be bluffed.

This isn't a decision by Trudeau. It's a compromise by Trudeau because most Canadians think the U.S. government (which means U.S billionaires) is our friend. No country is a friend of any other country. They all act out of their own interests ( or the interests of who owns them.)

And it's a very bad and very dangerous compromise. So that makes it a decision for God, Queen, and Country.
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This is Black History Month in Canada. That seems to have escaped the attention of the Irving press, so I checked the web site for Veterans' Affairs. It has a charming story about how Blacks served in our military from the start.

That made me think of the word, 'glib'.

In Canada, Blacks were, on occasion, permitted to serve, but in very limited numbers, and  usually segregated, though with white officers. World War 1 was the first in which Canadian Blacks were allowed to serve - but only as labourers, usually in forestry. Similarly, Chinese Canadians were allowed to serve, but only to do construction.

This improved, somewhat, in World War 2 - but, if you check group photos of the Canadian navy and air force, you will notice very few Blacks. Even in the army, there were regiments which refused to accept Blacks. The prestigious "Black Watch" refused them on the grounds that Blacks would look silly in kilts. (Well, yeah. So do Scots.)

The same was true in the U.S. army. General Patton, in particular, was a noted racist.

Shouldn't the Irving press be carrying stories about the history of Blacks in New Brunswick? Perhaps they could start with this poem by an outstanding New Brunswicker named Fred Cogswell. (It was written not all that long ago.)

https://cogswell.lib.unb.ca/odetofredericton
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I see I've used up a lot of time without getting to most of the news media. So I'll settle for a few from The Guardian.

This one  caught my eye in a world that thinks we should spent most of our time and money making oil billionaires richer.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/feb/08/millions-could-die-as-world-unprepared-for-pandemics-says-un
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Then there's this note about a town in Canada which is deliberately gettiing poisoned without anybody caring. But, hey, who cares about that? We have wars to fight.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/08/water-crisis-us-canada-democracy-accountability-environmental-sustainability

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As Britain pursues privatization, capitalists,  including a major American player, are moving in, all in the name of 'greater efficiency'.  You know - to get back to what it was like in the good old days of, oh, the 19th century.  Watch for similar moves in New Brunswick.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/feb/08/us-firms-look-to-capitalise-as-nhs-becomes-increasingly-privatised

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Oh, will Canada's intervention in Syria help defeat ISIS? No.

Take a lesson from Afghanistan. The Taliban, just a part of the population of a relatively small country, has tied up the powerful U.S. military for  15 years, and is actually growing. And this is after a long, long war in which in not only tied up but defeated the Russians.

The Taliban and ISIS and al Quaeda are not nations. They're ideas. They're reactions to the barbarity of capitalism as represented by the U.S. and Russia. Ideas and reactions can't be defeated by armies. That's why the phony 'rebels' of Syria who are really proxies for U.S. capitalism can't win in Syria despite massive US and Saudi support.

You can't defeat ideas with guns.  And you can't bomb reactions into submission. The more we kill, the more we spread their ideas and reactions. Capitalism has created a world crisis that cannot be settled by force. Canadian troops in Syria, will simply help in the spread of ISIS and al Quaeda and the Taliban over much of the world.

Only we have the power to stop wars that can only end in the final catastrophe. We have to get our capitalists under control.

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