Sunday, February 28, 2016

February 28: Catching up.

There's a great deal I've had to leave out over the past week. (In fact, I'm still leaving some out. Too much is going on in the world.) But here's a start.

First - I've been taking a look at the site UNZ.  It has a wealth of material. And what I've read of it is pretty good. There's far too much   in it for me to cover in a single blog - and maybe not even in a year of blogs.

Now, we'll start with some pictures from The Guardian. I was particularly struck by the photo of two refugee children, alone and living on the street.  They're among the thousands who live like that so that billionaires can get richer.

Then there's the one of children in South America, playing on the muddy edge of a pit filled with water, the result of illegal gold mining. How long, do you think, it will take for one of them to slide in? Mining remains like that are common in South America. Destroying the environment is good for profits.

This reminded me of me as a kid. One of my favourite playgrounds was the city dump, a monster pit that had been a stone  quarry. I can remember, at the age of seven or eight, standing at the edge and looking straight down some 50 metres of  rock cliff to water and heaps of garbage, and the body of a dog floating in the water. In winter, I would go there at night with a piece of cardboard to slide down the snow-covered slopes, and glide along the edge of the quarry pit.

Such a place would never have existed, course, in any of the better parts of Montreal. As I looked at the photo, I was amazed that I had survived, and I wondered how many of those children would.

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2016/feb/27/the-20-photographs-of-the-week
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I include the next story of a man who murdered three people in the U.S. There are a couple of points worth thinking about in this.

The first is the caring and gentle response by the people of the town  (they're Mennonites).

The second is that the story will probably not make much appearance in most of the North American press. In part, that's because this sort of killing occurs at least every day in the U.S. But, if the killer had been a Muslim, there would be massive coverage, thunderings from Trump, and millions of dollars added to the billions spent on domestic spying - not to mention how American leaders and news media would use it to justify mass murders by Americans in the middle east, and Europeans would use it as an excuse to take no more refugees.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/28/hesston-kansas-small-town-america-mass-shooting
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Then there's another one on the refugee crisis, this time in Greece as this country,  coping with its own, severe economic problems, is getting no help from other countries on its very Christian continent.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/27/greece-refugees-warehouse-of-souls-athens-eu-afghanistan
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Donald Trump has been endorsed by David Duke,  former leader of the Ku Klux Klan. Bush has refused to reject the endorsement, saying he was never heard of David Duke, and he knows nothing about white supremacist groups.

Well, gee, I'm just an ignorant Canadian, but I know lots about white supremacist groups in the U.S., and I have known about Duke most of my life because he had lots of press. Trump is either a liar ( and he's courting the racist vote), or he's so hopelessly out of touch with American affairs as to be an absurd choice for president of a local Parent-Teacher's Association.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/28/donald-trump-former-kkk-leader-david-duke
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For many years, Canadian groups have taken part in an international campaign to change Israel's brutal disregard of basic rights for the people of Palestine. The campaign is to get companies and institutions to divest themselves of investments in Israel, and to boycott imports from Israel. Leaders in this movement have been major churches and universities.

Whichever side you may be on, there is nothing violent or coercive or illegal about this.  The BDM, as the movement is called, is simply an example of our freedom of speech.

The Canadian government, led by Justin Trudeau, has condemned the movement. The man who has never condemned Israeli theft of Palestinian land, the Israeli blockade of all Palestinian borders, the denial of medical supplies to Palestine, the murder of Europeans who attempted to approach Palestine with things like medical supplies, has denounced those Canadians who dared suggesting perfectly legal actions to make Israel treat Palestinians more humanely.
This is the man who, before gaining power, supported BDM. Why has he changed his mind?

He changed it because extremist Jews in Canda have, for many years, been a very powerful lobby in support of Israel. There are also Jews in Canada who support Israel - but do NOT support what is is doing to Palestine but we don't hear about them.

There are also extremist Jews in the U.S. who constitute the Israel lobby which has strong connections with its Canadian equivalents. And it has piles of money. Here, in Canada, they have taken over what were Jewish community groups like B'Nai Brith, and have converted them into political pressure groups. The influence of pro-Israel extremism is very great, even though large (and growing) numbers of Canadian and American Jews are critical of Israel.

As well, the American government gives uncritical support to the government of Israel. That's why Trudeau backed away from his original position, and caved. Expect more, much more, of that from him. ( Canada also can, and does, put pressure on groups that support BDS by revoking their charitable status and other little jabs.)

All of the above I know from personal friendships ( and enemyships) in the Canadian Jewish community. Today's Israel has little to do with Judaic faith or teaching. If fact, it is a denial of both.

Happily, the extremist Jews no longer talk to me.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/02/canada-jumps-anti-bds-bandwagon-160225090716458.html
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Here's a story that seems not to have made the news in the U.S. or Canada. It's about a triple murder in Fort Wayne - though, if you read the letters following it, it seems that even people in Fort Wayne never heard much about it.

The dead are Muslims. Were the killers, possibly, 'Christian'? Nobody seems to care. Now, just imagine the hysteria if that were reversed.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/02/muslim-american-men-murders-barely-ripple-160228003914813.html
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And now, thanks to a reader, here is a story you will never see in the Irving press. It hits on a major cause of New Brunswick economic weakness. Too bad professor Saillant didn't read it. (But, hey, how could a professor not know about this?)

Write a column about it, Norbert. I dare you. And talk tough. You know, the way you courageously attack teachers and civil servants.

http://ipolitics.ca/2016/02/24/whos-got-guts-enough-to-go-after-canadas-tax-dodging-corporations/
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This last story begins with how the Liberals lied to us when they said they would not reconsider buying the disaster-plagued F-35 fighter from the U.S.  But they now say they will reconsider it, and there are a lot of other promises they are reconsidering. The world of arms purchasing is perhaps the most corrupt field we have ever seen. This an article that tells us a great deal about what we can expect out of Trudeau.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/andrew+coyne+liberals+thing+another+blame+cognitive+dissonance/11731874/story.html
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