Wednesday, May 4, 2016

May 4: Call me forgetful...

As I write this, I am preparing for a very busy week starting in an hour or so. That means this blog is not likely to appear again until May 11. I remembered only last night that this busy period was starting today.

Accordingly, today's blog is likely to be a short one. And we'll start by skipping the Irving press because it is always its same, miserable self.
An item to watch for in The Guardian will be any news about a proposed vote in Britain to leave the European Union. (It's referred to, in brief, as brexit.) If Britain were to do so it would be likely to have very serious consequences.
The European Union is a structure, along with NATO, that is essential to U.S. power, both economic and military, in Europe. President Obama is alarmed enough so that he has issued a rare, public statement while in Britain opposing the exit. This amounts to a public interference in British domestic politics, somethinig that is just not done to an ally.

Should the British vote to exit, that would almost certainly lead to Scotland declarinig its independence of Britain. It could also lead to more departures from the EU, especially as the refugee crisis grows.

As well, it is possible that some European nations will come to see good relations with Russia as more important that good relations with the U.S. After all, should the U.S. push for a war with Russia, Eastern Europe would be in the front line. In fact, all of Europe would be in the front line.

The place to follow this is in the UK edition of The Guardian.
It looks as though Trump has sewn up the Republican leadership. At this point, any attempt by party bosses to rig the vote would be even more damaging to it than letting Trump win. I think all the most terrible things said about him are true. But I think Hillary Clinton is even worse. And, in any case, I'm not at all sure she can defeat Trump in a national election. In fact, it's more likely that Sanders could beat him. But the big money is almost certain to block Sanders' bid for leadership.

The election will certainly be exciting with Trump against Clinton, with Trump erratic, shallow and irresponsible, and Clinton greedy and really, quite evil.
Here the story of the collapse of government in Iraq, the one the Irving press didn't bother to look at.
Here's  some outstanding common sense on the confrontations between Russia and the U.S. along the Russian borders. Europe may very well decide there is nothing in it from these U.S. pressures on Russia. And that may well lead to a breakdown of NATO and the European Union.
There are lots of stories about Detroit that don't make the news. This once-prosperous city became a victim of free trade when auto-makers pulled out to re-establish in regions without unions and with very, very low pay.

Much of the city is abandoned, much of it unemployed, and violent. The city has made it worse by cutting off even basic services like water. (Just recently, it cut off water for drinking, bathing, sewage, everything to another 20,000 places.) The country which is said to have spent, in recent years, a trillion dollars on nuclear weapons and trillions on 'defence', the country in which executives can make millions just in bonusses every year, and in which the wealthy can avoid taxes through the use of 'tax havens' cannot afford to feed or house the rising numbers of its poor or supply them with water.

Now, the state of Michigan has come very close to closing its schools in Detroit so it won't have to pay its teachers. It has now bent a little on that - for a price. Teachers will not get salary increases, and will not be permitted to strike.
The article doesn't mention privatized schools. But I'd be willing to bet they didn't get any cuts.
And now, time is knocking on my head. See ya.

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