Tuesday, April 5, 2016

April 5: The Greatest Story Never Told

https://www.icij.org/#_ga=1.162088828.1749684605.1459878751

Above is the website of the organization that broke the story of the Panama Papers. It's a branch of the Center for Public Integrity whose home page is below.

https://www.publicintegrity.org/

I am a little concerned at the list of donors for these organizations. It includes, for example, the Rockefeller Foundation and similar types from families of questionable backgrounds. On the good side, it is a pretty full list of the donors. And some of its work has been pretty good.

I am still a little suspicious about the material released.  It seems odd that there are no American names, though Americans still lead the world in billionaires. It's possible that the papers they got just happened to include Russia. It's also questionable.

None of this is to suggest that Putin is innocent, and that he had no knowledge of what people associated with him were doing. In fact, it's  hard to believe that there is any leader of any industrial country in the world has not known of this from the start. And in this I would include the prime minister of Canada and the president of the U.S.

It's likely that the story is quite true. But the focus is largely on Putin and, certainly, our news media are playing it that way. This could be a  deliberate attempt to discredit Putin. This doesn't make it untrue. But it would make it a propaganda scheme rather than the whole truth.

To my surprise, the Irving press did run the story. Admittedly, it was a pretty low key presentaion. It didn't internew people in our provincial government - like the minister of finance. It didn't give Mr. Irving a ding on the phone. It simply bought the story from The Asssociated Press (one of the less honest of the new services). As well, the story, quite possibly the biggest story, of the year took a poor, second place in the Canada&World section.

Neither the editorial nor the commentaries touched it. In fact, the whole story was slightly shorter than "Man gets 10 years for attempted murder of kids".
Look, if this story is true - and I think it is true - this is only one of many such tax havens around the world. That means that all over the world, maybe even in New Brunswick,  the wealthy are hiding trillions of dollars from taxation. That means a very tiny group is getting enormous wealth and power by impoverishing, even starving, the rest of us. In this way, combined with trade treaties that make it impossible for us to run our own countries, make it possible for them to move industries wherever labour  is cheapest, and possible to destroy jobs and lower incomes here, we are watching a revolution by the wealthy that far greater than  the age of kings and aristrocrats - and us peasantry.

Understanding this and dealing with it are fundamental to our survival.
 Funny how professor Savoie and Norbert Cunningham have never noticed that. Funny how the press is playing this as though Putin were the major player. Funny how we have not yet heard a word about this from the likes of Justin Trudeau. If a group of reporters could reveal a corner of this, then surely governments could find out who their own cheats are.

This is not just another "tut-tut" story. We are living in the middle of the biggest revolution in history. It's a revolution that has already caused wars with millions of dead and tens of millions of refugees, of crippled and orphaned and starving and hundreds of millions of poor - just in the last fifty years. And there's worse to come.

But you aren't ever going to find that out through the Irving press.
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Section A is the usual easy and cheap stuff. "Lotto ticket thief gets six months". Even the photos are easy and cheap. Front page has a photo of city hall that adds nothing to the story of councillors getting a pay raise. They didn't even bother to take a new picture. Instead, it has an old one of the city hall deep in snow. It's probably a year or more old.

The editorial is stunningly ignorant. It praises former premier Frank McKenna who wanted the universities to work closely with the private sector, and badmouths professors for opposing this. Of course. The editorial writer does not realize that what he/she and McKenna mean by "working closely" is that universities become cheap research centres and propaganda agencies for corporations rather than being educational institutions.

The editorial writer also believes that university is essentially job-training. It's not. And weathy families should not get tuition help? Got news for you, kid. Most university students are not from wealthy homes. The wealthy of New Brunswick commonly send their children out of province.

And we can't afford free tuition?  Maybe. But first we should check whether we are getting all the tax money we should from the wealthy.

The commentaries are decent. But all are very local. The Irving press should learn their is a world beyond Main St., Moncton.
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Canada&World is its usual, sloppy self. The middle east, which has us on the brink of World War Three, isn't mentioned. There are three stories on the Panama Papers. Two of them tell us nothing about it. The one that tell us a bit gives of no sense of what this means. As usual, a whole page is given to people holding big cheques.

This is a great section for the terminally lonely and bored. There is no sense that the section editor has given the slightest thought to what news is important and what isn't.
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After a slow start, U.S. police are hitting their stride in killings.  Once again, American are under far, far greater danger from their police than they are from terrorists. Especially if they are black Americans.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/series/counted-us-police-killings
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While the Irving press has just bland reports and no commentary on the Panama Papers, The Guardian is filled with reports, interviews, opinions. The British prime minister has been forced to announce he'll take action.

Of course, he probably won't. And any action taken by any country will be pretty bland stuff. We are dealing here with vast sums billions - and trillions - of dollars. I note, in the Irving press, that a man who stole a lottery ticket got six months in the prison. Just for a lottery ticket. How much time do you think our billionaires will get for their massive thefts?

http://www.theguardian.com/news/commentisfree/2016/apr/05/panama-papers-britain-house-order-cameron
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In Israel, racism still rules. It's the heritage from Adolf Hitler.We lie to ourselves constantly about that war. Canada, for example, did not oppose either fascism or Naziism. France, despite all the talk of the resistance, warmly embraced Naziism. Much of the Catholic church, especially in Quebec, openly supported Naziism. Large numbers from all over Europe volunteered to join the German armed forces. France willingly fought on the German side in North Africa. There were anti-Jewish demonstrations across Canada. I  often think of my Jewish friends in Montreal, and the atmosphere of terror they had to grow up in. That was true throughout the war, and for years after it.

There's a good book on this - about French Catholic Quebec - by Esther Delisle, 'Myths, Memories&Lies".  English Protestants were not very different.

It's not surprising, then, that Israel, itself, has become so racist.

http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.712314?utm_content=%24sections%2F1.712314&utm_medium=EMAIL&utm_source=SMARTFOCUS&utm_campaign=1339605&utm_term=20160403-02%3A04
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And here's another look at the real world.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/04/palestinians-changed-israeli-torture-160402074043912.html
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And to catch up on Paul Craig Roberts and our financial system......

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/03/08/the-financial-system-is-a-larger-threat-than-terrorism-paul-craig-roberts/

Our financial system is based on pure greed. Nothing else. It has created a parasitic class that lives off the rest of us while naives like Norbert babble about how it creates jobs.

The biggest threat, perhaps the final one, is tax havens -  the nuclear bombs of capitalism. Our governments have to put a stop to this. And that will happen only if we wake up.
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