Thursday, June 16, 2016

June 16: A mad, mad, mad, mad world.

Britain is approaching a referendum to leave the European Union, a vote often referred to as Brexit. I can't even pretend to know all the ins and outs of this proposition. But I  do know it could lead to the separation of Scotland, the breakup of most of the rest of the European Union, and an unforeseeable chaos in all of Europe.

And polls show that a majority in Britain want to get out.

For centuries, Europe dominated the world. The final blow to that was World War Two. The European Union was a desperate attempt to recapture Europe's role. And now, it looks almost certain to fail. This is likely to be one of the great turning points of world history.

There seem to be two, major factors influencing the vote to get out. An important one is the refugee issue. The U.S. has created millions of refugees in the middle east. Most of these are quite ordinary and innocent people   whose homes and lives have been destro yed to please oil billionaires, most of whom are U.S. citizens. And the destruction has been carried out  by U.S. invasions ordered by the billionaires who control U.S. governments and, to a lesser degree, by ISIS which was created by U.S. interference on behalf of the oil industry.

But even as refugee bodies wash up on European shores, and as the 'lucky' ones suffer in filthy tent cities, the U.S. has refused to take any responsiblity whatever. It's all Europe's problem. And there's worse, much worse, to come.

Read much about it in the irving press? Any interesting commentaries on it by Norbert or the Fraser Insitute or (gush) the editor? No, of course not. If  you want to follow it, you'll have to go to The Guardian - or, to a lesser degree, to CBC.
Section a news has TWO, big stories. One is the headline  that New Brunswick will add hundreds of jobs to its SEED summer job programme - good news to a father who has two sons in university.

The other big one is that that Irving Chapel will open this Sunday. And with coffee fellowship in the barn. Yes. And the minister won't be one of those cheap ones. No. This one has  a Ph.D. in preaching. Nothing but the best. And there will be, not your usual crapola music, but Special Music.

That's a lot better than listening to Jesus while sittiing on a mountain slope with some lousy bread and fish.

The editorial is sensible. Norbert makes a quite valid point about the gibberish in the provincial government report on literacy. Now, can we get a comment on the gibberish put out by big business to justify its wants? Gibberish is a human failing. It's not limited to civil servants.

"Heed the rational voices, not the angriest and loudest ones" is the commentary topic for the ombudswoman. It's an interesting read on an interestiing topic. But I'm not sure the distinction is between rational on one side, and angry and loud on the other. I have known many rational people who were also angry and loud. Florence Nightingale (not one of the ones I knew) was one, tough babe who could tear a strip off anybody who got in her way.

Anger and loudness are, of course, sommonly associated with people who disagree with us. Sometimes they are angry and loud to shout us down.  But, quite often, they are simply frustrated at the ignorance, conformity and cruelty of the rest of us.

If you had met Hitler, would you have had a nice, quiet, reasonable discussion with him?

And sometimes, anger and loudness come from two forces that act on us. One is the power of those who mistreat us. We want something done. But we're also scared because we want to conform, so we don't want to offend those who mistreat us. That's what leads to the going nowhere anger of the Trump campaign.

Contrary to what the ombudsman writes, Bernis Sanders is not in that category. He is angry, certainly, at the powers that mistreat the American people. but,  to some degree  (not enough) has has no intention of conforming. He wants to make real change. And that's what distinguishes him from Trump and Clinton.
Alas, she ends with "As journalists we cannot censor the news...." Pu-leeze.

There are very very few journalists in the world who do not censor the news. And the irving press lies at one of the lower parts of that gutter.
it's happened. Trudeau says he will support sending Canadian troops to defend Eastern Europe against a Russian attack. Like it or not, we are into a defence that is not a defence at all.  Despite all we are told, this is a provocation. Even worse, it is an extremely foolish move that could easily and quite accidentally trigger nuclear world war.

Putin is not a nice guy. But he's not a damn fool, either.  He knows that Russia would not survive a day. He knows the west would use nuclear bombs almost immediately. He knows he would have to, as well.

And sending Canadian troops and patrol ships would not be a provocation?
Goodness, no. And if Russia moved troops to Cuba,set up missile bases, and established a naval base there to patrol the US coast, I'm sure the U.S. wouldn't mind.

This is a move so foolhardy, so dangerous, so unpredictable that it suggests to me U.S. big business must have a sense that U.S. power is on the wane, so they must act now or never to establish "American exceptionalism" in order to rule the world.

Anyone with even a smattering of military knowedge would know that it would be close to insane for Russia to become aggressive in Eastern Europe. We are offered no evidence whatever that such aggression is being planned, only the vague word that CSIS has told us. The idea that a Canadian domestic spy service got this information is absurd. Nor is there any Nor do we even know what that information is.

Meanwhile, in the last fifty years, the U.S. has invaded or threatened to invade half the planet. It has troops and nuclear weapons on the Russian border.  If anybody is being provocative, it is the U.S. And Trudeau is buying the whole schmeer.
Obviously, the irving press has no person capable of writing a commentary about this that would be either intelligent or honest.

Can't the Irvings sell their chapel? And use the money to get columns from somebody like Gwynne Dyer?

The only other story in an otherwise stinking section is that the president of Irving Oil says the Bay of Fundy can easily handle traffic during the building of the oil pipeline. Hey, if  you can't believe the president of Irving Oil, who can you believe?

It's  like those people who live near the St. John refinery. They can handle cancer. Quite a few are still alive.
The US is well ahead of the rest of the world in the proportion of its citizens in prison. It's also been privatizing the prison system - though that does not seem in any way to be improving it.

Some day, we're going to have to take the violence of American life seriously. Mass murder (five plus dead) happens almost every day in the U.S. The police kill over a thousand ever year; and they're on track for another good harvest in 2016. (I would not entirely blame the police for that. They're working in a country in which almost everyone can and does carry a gun, a country in which anybody can get a submachine gun over the counter. If I were a policement down there, I'd get trigger-happy , too.)

Much of the violence has its roots in the mythologizing of American history, especially in the old west, and in gangsterland - and in warfare. The gun has become a symbol of American valour - as in the film 'American Sniper". (The film doesn't mention that the man that film is modelled on lied about the number of his kills, and the number of his medals. It also doesn't mention that women and children figured in his heroic kills.)

I'm sure there are many other reasons for the gun violence. But the scale of it suggests this is a very unstable society. And we live next door.

Oh, incidentally, the news media are still thrashing about trying to figure the reason for the Orlando shootings. Now, it seems that the killer, himself, might have been gay. Or might have been mentally ill. It seems possible the killing might have had nothing to do with Islam any more than American Sniper had anything to do with Christianity.

So how does one explain all this shooting in the U.S.?

Well, one might start with the capitalists (sorry, entrepreneurs) who own the weapons industry. That industry supplies killers all over the world - including groups like ISIS. In fact, it's the biggest supplier of weapons in the world.
If you want to buy it, they'll sell it - no matter who you are.

The people of the arms industry are the ones behind the National  Rifle Association. Their money has been used to make it virtually impossible to control arms sales in the U.S. (And they've had some influence in Canada, too.)
Capitalism has no morality, no obligations to anybody, no restraints. And it intends to keep things that way.
And this is a wake-up for those who think Democrats are different from
This is quite an old item - and it's a very long read. But it's a good one.
This one is an old story, too. We lied about it at the time. And then it was immediately forgotten.
No intro needed for this one.
Glyphosate herbicides. Luckily, it's not a problem here in New Brunswick because our master has put a lid on discussion of what they do. In fact, our master has pretty much put a lid on any discussion of anything.  I guess New Brunswickers like that that way. It means they have nothing to worry about.
Watch for news of Netanyahu. Apparently, he has been a big but careless receiver of money from the very rich - as well as being one who runs up staggering bills on government business. His New York haircut at $1,600 dollars was charged to the government. Expensive holidays for himself and his wife have been paid for by the government and also by wealthy individuals. Most recently, the Israeli attorney-general has ordered that he is not to be permitted to have any contact government committees dealing with Telecom, Israel's largest communications company. Apparently, he as received large gifts from the CEO of   Telecom.

All of the above has been reported in Haaretz. And a new story is bubbling.
France is investigating him in connection with a massive fraud in France.
Scroll all the way down on  this one. It's stunning.
For over five centuries the western world has made a tiny number of its people very rich by mass murder and by looting the world. And we called it glory. I've never seen a clear statement of exactly what we fought World War Two for. But I'm quite sure it was not just to launch an eternal round of mass murder to make the rich richer.

Hint to the Reverend Dr. who will preach at the Irving Chapel (with special music)  - Could  you use the sermon to explain what is Christian about what we are doing?

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