Saturday, April 30, 2016

April 30: Why count killings by U.S. police?

It's not an attack on the U.S. police in particular or on police in general though, sometimes, I think The Guardian leans a bit to placing all the blame on the U.S. police. It's important to keep a record of the killings and to know why they happened. U.S. police kill more people in a few days than most western democracies kill in a year and more than a year. When that happens, it's a signal of social breakdown - and where that can take us is anybody's guess. That's why it's important to know how many are dying, to seek out imbalances in the numbers, and to find out the conditions under which they are dying.

I don't think the U.S. police are the whole problem. American social structure is, itself, a major part of the problem.
I won't spend much time on the Irving press because today is even worse than usual. Section A news is trivial. The editorial and the Norbert Cunningham column are adolescent gush about the events centre, the city council elections, vision and a "city for the future".

Two of the commentaries are free ads for two people running for city council. And they feature all the usual vague and trite terms - "Leadership is about inspiring people". "troubled waters need a steady hand.."

Did it not occur to any of the editors that offering campaign space for just two of the candidates is unethical and even dishonest journalism?

And Alec Bruce's column? More gush about the events centre.  He notes that "some" estimates say it will return three dollars for every one dollar spent on it. But he's silent on who it is that made these estimates. No matter, though, because he also put himself into the impossible prediction mode, and says it will do even better.

His next column should go a step further. Isn't it wonderful that the wealthy of this province, the ones who ripped off our forests, who seem to avoid taxes, and who constantly look to government for charity for the rich are going to let us pay for the centre and to get all that profit. That means they are giving up, by Alec Bruce's estimate, some four million dollars just so us workies can have it all.
God bless them. They're saints. That's what they are.
Canada&World news seldom gets out of Canada - or even out of New Brunswick. Only a few items are worth reading.

1. Bombardier aircraft, though it has just signed a two billion dollar contract with an American airline, wants us taxpayers to give it another billion. Capitalism in action.
2. A Canadian-backed health centre in Syria was destroyed in a bombing. Nobody knows who did the bombing. But the story, as always in such cases, gives strong hints it was the Russian or Syrian government who did it. I have never seen such journalistic hints that pointed to our side.  And it's really not good journalism to include such speculation in a news story.  In any case, the bombing of schools and hospitals has long been a common practice of all sides. Think of the recent story of Americans who delberately bombed a hospital repeatedly, killing doctors, nurses, patients ... And they were let off with a slap on the wrist.
3. And Ottawa is back to playing games over the problem-plagued and very expensive F-35. What we need first is some definition of what it is our military is supposed to be for. Is it to fight U.S. wars as we used to fight British ones? If so, we should simply become a branch of the U.S. military, and use the same equipment it does.

If not, what does the defence of Canada mean?  Once you decide,  then that meaning defines what the military needs.

Too bad that discussion is never going to happen.
As for the Faith Page, all is forgiven. It's a well-written one on some of the things that various religious denominations are about. I think that there are other, less pleasant things they are about as well  - but this is a a good start to a needed discussion of those things they aren't, but should be about.

I note, too, that almost half of the Faith page is now ads. And if you examine the bottom ad closely, the one about J.D.Irving Ltd., you'll note, I think, that it involves toilet paper, a devout reminder that we have to cleanse the body as well as the soul.

And, oh, I do with that paper would recognize that we have people of faith who are not Christian.
And here's a story that one would have expected to find in the Irving press. After all, a great deal of Canada is in the north.

Tell us again about those deluded people who think that climate and environmental changes represent some sort of crisis.
And, gee, here's a story about Canada that one would think the Irving press would have noticed. It's about the Leap Forward proposal put forward at the recent NDP convention.

I can't wait to read Mr. Cardy's response to this. Wouldn't he be happier with a party that is closer to his thinking like, say, the Conservatives?
And here's what climate change looks like.
So why don't we do more about climate change? Here's a hint.

Aren't we lucky JDIrvingLtd. would never dream of interfering with government like that? No, sir. It's one person, one vote in New Bruswick. We're all equal.
The story below is actually from The Intercept, which looks like a source worth following.
This is an important story, and Seymour Hersh is a top-level journalist. But, oh, it's a tough read because he's a  terribly breathless talker. The bottom line is that Obama always had ground troops in Syria, and is now increasing their number. Hersh  does not explain - as fully as he should - why this is so terrible.

It's terrible because this is exactly what ISIS wants Obama to do. Almost the whole, Muslim world hates the U.S. ( with good reason.) But most Muslims do not want war. ISIS does. But it needs more supporters. That's why it wants more attacks and killing by the U.S. to change the minds of Muslims all over the world, to make them want to fight the U.S. And the way to do that is to increase American assaults on the Muslim world. This is what terrorism is all about. it's a means for the weaker side to gather support against the stronger one. The best recruiters for terrorism are people like Donald Trump, George Bush, Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton....
The source for this story is, admittedly, a source that has a bias against the U.S. But, it also appeared on CBS news, and it quotes the US military chief of staff. The U.S. has thousands of troops in Iraq.  Their role is supposedly non-combat. But they have frequently been in combat and have suffered casualties.

What a coincidence! Canada is sending non-combat troops to Syria. And, like the Americans in Iraq, they are armed.

We have joined the U.S. in walking into a swamp that it will be very difficult to get out of. And one that has no value worth the price of being there. The U.S., the world's most expensive military, now finds itself bogged down in three wars  ( Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria). Two of them are the longest wars the U.S. has ever fought. As well, the only opponent it has defeated in the last fifty years is the island of Genada. And there's a new war with Libya. We are putting our troops in an impossible situation.

You want peace in the middle east? You'll never get it by killing people. But it could be achieved by spending the money on the help they need to rebuild their countries, and leave them alone to settle their own political systems.
And that would defeat ISIS far sooner than our military will.
I am not familiar with this writer; but John Craig Roberts vouches for her - and his word is pretty good.

The bottom line is that for fifteen years, the U.S. has been killing Muslims by the millions. That's what created ISIS. That's what draws support and recruits to ISIS. Militarily and in terms of foreign policy this makes no sense at all.
But the U.S. government doesn't make military or foreign policy. Those are set by the billionaires who own American governments.
Finally, there's the site that the author above writes for -

It's one of those sites that, even if you disagree with it, provokes thought. I'm going to add it to my list  of sites to watch.


  1. Many thanks for pointing out I find it superb.

  2. Take that site with a grain of salt, I found an article form a climate change denier. He claims climate change was made up to quote "supports the carbon globalization schemes engineered by the US regime to attempt to constrain their emerging competitors and extort a development tax."

    Investigate his sources if you want to know more. It has a conspiracy theory circle written all over it.