Monday, June 6, 2016

June 6: The things we cannot have....

There are things we cannot do. There are things we cannot have. Most of us heard that from our parents. And our parents were right. There's no point whining about it. There's no point making up fancy arguments for why we should have these things we want. We  cannot have them. And it doesn't matter whether a majority wants these things - or whether it's a wealthy and influential minority. We cannot have them. And any attempt to have them means certain disaster.
We cannot have fracking. And it really doesn't matter if every village idiot votes for it, and even if the Chamber of Commerce votes for it. No, not even if Norbert says it's a good idea. Not even if it 'creates jobs'

The world is going through a climate change that, at best,    will kill hundreds of millions - and make refugees of the rest. We don't know how soon that will happen. We only know it will happen. To embark on a long term investment in fossil fuels would be an insane investment in greed and stupidity at a time when we need all the time and money we can raise to develop alternate forms of energy.

As well, is the fracking process an environmental threat? Goodness, no. You can pump all the toxic chemicals you like into the earth, and you can disturb all the rock structures you like for kilometers down, and you can dump the toxic waste anywhere that's handy. I'm sure the oil industry wouldn't dream of taking risks with our land and our lives. The oil industry has always been considerate and has played a leading role in fighting climate change. Ask any chamber of commerce. It will tell you.

And  this is not a matter of consulting the public or of finding middle ground.There is no middle ground. Either fossil fuels are a threat to human survival or they aren't. Either fracking needs toxic chemicals or it doesn't.
The fact is that in a sane world, we cannot have it.

In the same fashion, there's a frightening issue which the irving press completely ignored.

The U.S. has been whipping eastern Europe into a frenzy of fear that Russia will attack it. Now Russia, like any nation, is quite capable of attacking out of motives of pure greed and desire for power. But the country that doing all the aggression in the region isn't Russia. It's the U.S.

The overthrow of the Ukrainian government was financed and organized by the U.S. That's in the Congressional record    (though not much reported over here.). The U.S.(with NATO, including Canada) is the one that's sending ships and troops and setting up missile sites near Russian borders. The U.S. is the one that has published a manifesto of world conquest, publicly endorsed by Obama as 'American exceptionalism' and appearing on the web as Project for the New American Century. And the U.S. is the one that has been at war since 1945 for, to put it kindly, questionable reasons. And it includes wars we never hear about with special ops killer squads and drones and 'sanctions' all over the world.
There's nothing new about this. The U.S. has been almost constantly at war to steal land (as from native peoples) or governments  (all over South America and Texas.) After World War Two, the game was to seize as much of the British and French Empires as possible. ( The big  failure was China.) That stage is still on in the fighting in the middle east. Now, it is either looking for a war with Russia or is playing a terminally dangerous game of bluff with it.

Whatever the case, a war with Russia is something we cannot have. It would undoubtedly go nuclear. Indeed, in the craze that such a war would create, it would vey likely cause nuclear reactions in Pakistan, India, Britain, and Israel - at least.

 Pakistan and India would likely attack each other. Israel might well take the opportunity to attack Iran. Whatever the case, and even if not a single bomb hit the Americas, the result would be a destruction as absolute as the final stages of climate change.

Now, more than 70 years after the war to end all wars and to bring some harmony to the world, we are locked into a situation far, far more dangerous than 1939.

But don't worry. Just read the irving press, and you won't even know about it.
Oh, and who is behind these wars? Forget all the stories you ever heard about the causes of war in history books.The war of 1914 was not caused by the killing of an archduke. It was caused by the rise of German industrial power - and the fears of competition that created. World War Two was not caused by Hitler's invasion of Poland - and it most certainly was not  because of his treatment of Jews.   (We couldn't have cared less about either.) It was, essentially, the same cause as World War  One.

Most wars are fought for economic reasons - and for the interests, depending on the period, of the nobility or the wealthy. In the past century, we've added to that the panic-building power of the news media (owned by the wealthy).

But the fact remains. There are things we cannot do. There are things we cannot have.
Forgive me for not talking much about today's irving press. There's not much to say.

Note the cartoon on the editorial page. It's of Justin (son of Pierre) Trudeau and Dominic (son of Romeo) Leblanc, a leader in Pierre's government. It's worth thinking of the meaning of that. The U.S. was ruled for 16 years by a Clinton and then a Bush whose father had ruled before him for four years. Another Clinton was eight years in a senior position in the cabinet, and  could well be president for another eight. And yet another Bush, an author of The New American Century, was in the race for Republican leadership.

Gee. What a coincidence - out of all those hundreds of millions of people, just two families have ruled for 28 years - and it could be 36 . And, I fear, this is a situation that is coming our way.

The editorial makes the reasonable point that New Brunswick needs an economic plan - not just immigrants - if it is to grow. But it's not as simple as that. This province is run for the financial benefit of a wealthy few. Whether it attracts more population is a matter of indifference to them. They're not in the business of building up New Brunswick. We need of government whose commitment is to us - not to the rich.  It would also be a nice change to see one based on principles.
Norbert's mad at premier Gallant for his moratorium on fracking. Don't sweat it, Norbert. The Liberals are not dragging their tails because of any principles. They just don't want to lose the next election. Relax. I have never seen any sign of principles in either the Liberals or the Conservatives.

Good columns by Alec Bruce and Steve Malloy. The problem is that all of the columns are pretty local. There's a big world out there. And what happens in it affects all of us. We can't afford to spend our lives staring at our own bellybuttons.

Section B, Canada&World, is a dead loss. Among the didn't make its are the American game of provocations on the Russian border, the condemnation by the UN of Saudi Arabia for its war in Yemen - the one that is supplied with weapons from the U.S., Britain - and Canada. Then there is the strong possibility that Russia will send ground troops into Syria. It wants to destroy ISIS. And that's tricky because the US doesn't want ISIS destroyed. It wants Assad destroyed so, for a time at least, it needs ISIS. This is just what we need with U.S. troops on the Russian border.
Here's the story of what's happening in Eastern Europe, the one that the irving press didn't think it important enough to mention.
Here's one on the American economy - which might be a clue to why the U.S. has been stepping up the war fever. If it's going to conquer the world, it's going to have to do so soon.

Also note that the wealthy Saudis are selling off their investments in oil to invest, among other things, in renewable resources. That would put Saudi Arabia ahead of Canada in responding to the fossil fuels crisis. Imagine that. The Saudi royal family is showing more intelligence and leadership in this than western oil billionaires are.

Of course, the defence industry does well out of war. The U.S. has long ago convinced its allies (or colonies) to arm with American weapons. The reason given, as in the case of NATO, is to standardize all weapons. It just also happens this makes huge profits for the U.S. defence industry.
I don' t know what to think of this one. It's the announcement of a book that is highly critical of Hillary Clinton. But the announcement doesn't tell us much.
Neither the U.S. nor Turkey want to see ISIS defeated. That's been obvious for some years. They need ISIS to destroy Assad (no, he's not a nice guy, either). And both Turkey and the U.S. have been supplying ISIS.
The governor of New York has announced a law that any person in the state who campaigns to boycott Israel (in defence of Palestinians) will be punished. So much for the land of free speech.
I have always been doubtful of stories that the U.S. government lied about 9/11. But this article is by Paul Craig Roberts - and he's both intelligent and honest. As well, he makes a very strong case.
CBC and Toronto Star  conducted an investigation of an offshore-banking Canadian billionaire named Victor DahDaleh.  He first came to their attention as a tax dodger in the Panama Papers. Apparently, he has quite a record for bribery and other questionable practices as well as tax-dodging.

But our universities are broad-minded. When he gave them money, they gave him honorary doctorates, seats on various boards. Notable were McGill, York, and St. FX.  After all, he was a PHILANTHROPIST. Clap, clap, clap. Almost all universities have questionable characters like this who sit on boards, and who come to have considerable power in the operation of the university.   (McGill, in particular, has a long record of the  type.) In some cases, they effectively control the universities.

Doesn't he just make you proud to be a Canadian? And wouldn't it be nice if reporters for the irving press occasionally did some investigative reporting like this?
I admit I've had a dislike of Israeli prime minister Netanyahu ever since I watched the riot he deliberately caused at Concordia University in Montreal. Therefore, I was not displeased to see him named as accepting illegal money from a wealthy businessman. The sum was relatively small - but it's obvious there was a payoff for it. There have been rumours of his business dealings for some time, and the sidebar of this article has a story on his many expensive holiday trips at public expense, even when he was out of office -and his generally lavish style of living.
Ukraine (the good guys in our press) have named a Nazi who took part in the holocaust as a man to be  honoured. Of course. The Ukraine has been far-right for close to a century, and it never met a Nazi it didn't like. It's also in a revival of anti-semitism.
On government-subsized Flag Day in Israel, thousands will march waving Israeli flags. The government has insisted the parade will go through the streets of the Arab section of Jerusalem. (Arabs are segregated in Jerusalem, and forced to live in a walled-off section of the city.) Oh, and it's on the first day of Ramadan, the most sacred period of the Muslim year.

For a parallel, imagine the U.S. government reaction if Muslims wanted to stage a parade through a Bible belt city on Christmas day.
And here, perhaps, is a piece of good news from China. It's not sparkling and exciting - but it suggests that change can happen.

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