Monday, April 4, 2016

April 4: Wow!

The story below is told largely with its focus on Israel, China and Russia. But it's a story that covers the whole world. Yes, even Canada and, who would guess it? -even New Brunswick. And, toward the end there's reference to a book on the subject that looks worth reading.

This is about a revolution that is happening to all of us. It's about an economic system which has always been corrupt but is now so sophisticated in its corruption it is a threat to all of us. We're living through a period in which democracy is being destroyed, and in which the nation itself is becoming just a word. With tax havens and 'trade' deals and bought elections, our nations are becoming simply corrals that hold us for the slaughterhouse.

I don't think that has yet been grasped by the distinguished professors who advise our governments. Professor Savoie, who wrote his highly praised book about our economy going off a cliff should read this. So should Norbert Cunningham.

http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/1.712456?utm_content=%24sections%2F1.712456&utm_medium=EMAIL&utm_source=SMARTFOCUS&utm_campaign=1390167&utm_term=20160403-21%3A04

What's going on is the biggest theft in world history. And the time to stop it is running short.

Unfortunately, the Irving press had no room for the story. It needed much of page 1 for a big  photo of the announcer for the cat show  (with his cat). This is continued on A4 with a half-page story on the Moncton Cat Show. And that's pretty much the high point for section A news.

Oh, there is a story that the government will be helping smaller communities to welcome Syrian refugees. Not a good idea. These are people who have had to leave the surroundings they had lived in all their lives. The now have to live in a diffferent language and in a society that is culturally and religiously different from what they have always known.

They will, of course, adjust to that, just as Japanese and Chinese and Ukrainians, Hindus and Poles and Czechs and Italians and Jews have been adjusting for well over a century. (Even English and Scots and Irish and French had adjustments to make). But....

....while they're adjusting they need some familiarity about them. A  church or a  mosque is a religious connection. It's also a social centre, and a place of familiarity. I grew up in a city in which each immigrant group was concentrated so that, in this strange land,  they kept in touch with what was familiar to them. I played with them in their nearby communities where each group was concentrated - Syrians, Italians, poles, Jews...

Within a generation, they moved away to blend into mixed communities. But they had needed that decade or two to adjust to Canada, and to feel at home here
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There's a big, gushing editorial about a burning issue of the day - the opening of a  farmers' market in Boutouche. (Incidentally, for the editorial writer, notice I put the apostrophe for farmers' AFTER the s. That's because the apostrophe before the s would indicate the whole market belongs to one farmer.) The editor thinks this market will be good for tourism.

But we have yet to see the Irving press editorial (or story or even casual mention) of another Buctouche story.  It's about Raoul Leger, the lay missionary from Bouctouche who was murdered by American-supported troops in Guatemala in 1981.

But therre's a good reason for not mentioning it. It wouldn't do any good for our tourist business. So tell us more about the market.

Both Norbert Cunningham and Alec Bruce are critical  of Premier Gallant's failure to develop any economic growth plan. And they're critical with good reason. Putting forward any plan to do anything about anything does not seem to be Mr. Gallant's strong point.

Steve Malloy and Craig Bastock have reasonable comments to make but, like must of this newspaper, they are not great issues of the day.
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And what's happening in Canada&World? Well, a car went off a cliff in Newfoundland; but the driver survived. Two people were killed in Pennsylvania when a train hit a backhoe.  Lots of people went to see Trudeau at a market in Halifax. A Halifax school needs more money to deal witht he refugee children is receiving. Nova Scotia wants federal funding for a hospital. Yep. Lots happening in the world, too much to cram into 4 pages; so the editors need to  choose what's really important.

Again,  then, they leave out Yemen. But who gives a damn? And there's a certain amount of friction going on with China, the U.S., the two Koreas and Japan in the Pacific.  Africa and South America are both undergoing terrible environmental damage, exploitation, social violence... But, well, you couldn't get all that into four pages, anyway.

The most exciting part of this section in the statement in red letters at the top of the page.

Up-to-the-minute-breaking-news-each-day.  Wow! Ex-cite-ment!
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The Royal Bank of Canada is mentioned in the news story I started with, the one about the Panama Papers and tax evasion. But it has officially denied the story. So it's okay. Anyway, here in Canada, we don't call them tax evaders. We call them philanthropists.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/panama-papers-business-reaction-1.3519525

Anyway, it's a quite natural product of capitalism. That's why capitalism doesn't work unless it's tightly controlled.   It's also interesting in that it might shed light on how Russia and China, both late entrants into the game of capitalism, already have so many multi-billionaires. China, especially, has at least 320.Apparently, it doesn't take years of toil and blood and sweat to become a billionaire. What it takes is pure greed.

What do you figure the chances of an editorial on this subject are for the Irving press?
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The Irving press had too many really big stories to cover to pay any attention to the Panama Papers. But the Guardian had time for it. And it's worth noting part of The Guardian story. These Panama Papers are just a glimpse of a world of kleptocracy by the very rich.
http://www.theguardian.com/news/commentisfree/2016/apr/04/tax-havens-reformed-outlawed-panama-papers
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The Irving press does have the story of refugees that Europe is deporting to Turkey. But it tells nothing of the horror Europe is sending them to. This is one of those dreadful moments in history that the world prefers to pretend isn't really happening. And all of this so that a small group of billionaires can keep their grip on the profits of middle east oil.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/01/turkey-safe-haven-refugees-shoots-border-illegal-deportations-syrians
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The next one is --- different. Giles Fraser is a regular columnist for The Guardian. He's also an Anglican priest in a notoriously poor and decaying part of London. I am not an anglican and not, in any sense, a conventional believer, not in any church. But it was warming to see a clergyman whose faith is firmly connected to the world of daily life.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2016/mar/31/the-resurrection-isnt-an-argument-its-the-christian-word-for-defiance
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And again, another look at the Panama Papers and tax havens, this one by a writer who is quite expert on the subject. In fact, just about every government in the world has known about this for many, many years. They know that we have been robbed on a massive scale. They know that scale of theft has had a major impact through causing starvation and death. They know it has caused poverty and suffering all over the world. But not one has lifted a finger to do anything about it. Estimates are that more than thirty TRILLION dollars  could be hidden from taxation.

And let's not kid ourselves that its being done just by bad guys in Russia and China. It was being done before - long before - Russia and China went capitalist.. And it was being done by our side.

As other newspapers have noted, this could be the story that defines the immense damage to the world by a capitalism that has been allowed to run wild. And there is worse being planned. Capitalism has been allowed to become a raging, thrashing beast that will destroy all of us - and itself by its pure greed.

And guess who own most of the news media that should be warning us about this.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/04/panama-papers-care-160404093556156.html
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Over the years, I have found the columns, articles and books by Paul Craig Roberts to be consistently intelligent and honest. And now I have found his site. Here's an article from it. (you may have to scroll down a bit to see it.)

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/03/30/how-they-brainwash-us-paul-craig-roberts/

There are quite a few articles at this site - all worth reading. just go to  'articles' and scroll down. It's good reading all the way.
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And here's an article about the Latin America we never read about in the Irving press. This is about the routine arrest, beatings, murders of farmers in Colombia. It all starts with so much of Latin America becoming a part of the American empire over the last 150 years or so. Ever since then, it has been terrorized  by American, Canadian and other 'inestors' who are attracted by the natural resources,the lack of social services(it keeps government cheap) and the cheap labour.

The environmental destruction has been massive since the rigged elections usually produce political leaders who are in bed with the investors.
Free trade deals have enormously worsened this situation. Cuba tried to get out, but was crippled by trade sanctions. Haiti tried to get out after years of American corporate dictators; but the U.S. broke that with a "peacekeeping" invasion.
Generally, Latin America is the American/Canadian version of the social and economic destruction created by the British, French, Belgian, and Dutch empires in Asia and Africa.

Thus, farmers in Colombia live under the threat of arrest, torture, beatings, murder. But don't be jealous. If the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership goes through, life in the U.S. and Canada will come to resemble Latin America. (In fact, if  you read Canadian and American history, All of this was happening in the U.S. and Canada at least from the 1850s through the 1920s and 30s.

http://rabble.ca/news/2016/04/criminalizing-farmers-activism-colombia
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None of this by the way, is to suggest that anybody - capitalist, socialist, communist, rich, poor, Asian, African - is born either good or bad. No. The problem is that we are all born human. So we can't afford to let any of us to run wild. No. Not even the rich ones.

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