Tuesday, July 19, 2016

July 19: Not a happy day

Last night, I watched the Republican convention - on and off. It was boring because Donald Trump is a man whose only interesting features are his severe personality discorders. On matters of government, he is hopelessly ignorant.  I could have tolerated that  part of it. After all, watching an ignorant man with  personality disorders is no worse than  most TV shows.

But both he and his audience scared the hell out of me.

As I watched, I realized I was watching a Nazi  rally, and the speaker was Adolf Hitler. Trump's policies are Hitler's policies. And his major appeal is to the racism that runs as strongly through the US as it did through Hitler's Germany.
Nor is there any comfort to be found in the Democrat party. Though less overtly racist, it is thoroughly committed to world conquest -and conquest, throughout history, has its roots in a sense of racial superiority.  The US is in severe disorder, riddled with hatreds. No significant party has answers. And it is whipped on by a defence industry that wants wars, and an oil industry that wants conquest.
And, at the root of it, are news media that have brain-washed the American people into a rage that has no realistic target.
But don't look to the irving press for enlightenment.

The front page headline is that a company has decided it cannot come to New Brunswick because New Brunswick workers lack physical skill sets. Examples given were driving forklifts and giving first aid.

Is it a practice generally in North America that schools  train students in driving forklifts and giving first aid? Wouldn't it be simple and cheap for the company to train them? I have no training in operating printing machines or doing sheet metal work. But as a teenager, I did both - learning on the job.

And from there, section A news just goes downhill.
Cartoonist de Adder has an all too true cartoon of Trump choosing his runing mate from the horsemen of the apocalypse. (and one could do a similar one for Clinton.)

The other star on the page is a letter to the editor from a retired teacher. Education has to cover more than job skills. We daily need to make decisions about political life - and we have to make them not just about Canada. The world does  not end at Amherst or even at Halifax. We need to undertand what is happening. We need a much stronger  sense of how much we are a part of the rest of the world. We need to learn how to think logically about what is happening in this world because it does - it really does - have an effect on us. That is surely  one of the things to remember every November 11.

As the letter says, our schools need to teach how to think. We need to understand what has happened - and why. That is learned through courses in history, politics....

But such courses are being cut back. And when they are taught, they are interfered with by people who don't approve of thinking - people like newspaper owners. And, oh, this is one hell of a time to produce a generation that doesn't think.

Norbert Cunningham, a leading opponent of thinking, brings us back to earth with yet another column about beer prices.

Then there is a  windy and boring  commentary   by a somebody who is president of some company and therefore, presumably, has something insightful to say. Except he doesn't. All that he has to say is trite, vague and impossibly pompous. He and his 'economic development partners' are passionately and determinedly engaged in our future.

Right on, baby. So are pimps, bank robbers and con artists.

The bottom of the commentary page is the usual - a propaganda piece from the pompous windbags of The Fraser Institute.

And Alec Bruce is disappointing with  yet another one that draws on the price of beer in New Brunswick and the barriers to interprovincial trade.

With the exception of de Adder's cartoon and the teacher's letter to the editor, this is pretty trivial stuff.

What's lacking? Well, we mignt take a look at who pays taxes and who doesn't. We might have a column on how much it costs us to give companies 'concessions' to come here. Then we might have some discussion about whether this really makes sense for us - or whether it's legal robbery. We might have some information on whether it makes sense to go on building this city as if it were a 1950s suburb. We could have some discussion of what kind of housing and layout we are going to need - and very soon.

Or we could have some commentaries that actually go beyond Main Street. How about the rapidly collapsing political system we call democracy. In the U.S., it`s completely gone. In Britain, the new prime minister is the angel of death in a democracy. In New Brunswick, much of what we are allowed to know and think is controlled by a handful of people. And that makes democracy impossible.
Then there is the question of nuclear war. We are very, very close. There is every sign that the billionaires who rule the U.S. are willing to risk it.
Canada&World is, well, there`s a big story of a horse being reunited with its owners in Truro. And an even bigger one about Pokémon players.
The biggest story is that Iran may be able to build a nuclear bomb starting it in 11 years. (It is now under a 15 year pact to limit its nuclear activity.) Oooh, exciting. Tension. treachery.

Well, the fact is that it was the U.S. and six allies signed that pact with Iran. They wrote the terms.  But the story makes Iran seem like the villain. One has to wonder, as well, why Israel was allow to build a nuclear bomb, in fact to build over 200 of them - and nobody said boo. This has been a phony issue from the start - and this story looks very much like the beginning of a campaign to provoke a confrontation with Iran.

Generally, the whole section is heavy on trivia And it makes no mention of the most alarming development since 1945 -the movement of nuclear missiles and anti-missile missiles up to the border with Russia. The only reason we are given is that Russia is preparing for war. The reality - and it has been the reality for 70 years - is that everybody is preparinng for war. And far the most aggressive country in that period has been the U.S. It is also, as shown by its spending, preparing for war more than all the rest of the world put together.

The idea that a piddling NATO presence will frighten Russia off is such nonsense that even a cub reporter should see through it. Most of western Europe is very unhappy at this move. They know is make no sense. And they know that they would be the first casualties of any war.

Our Canadian troops are not going there to threaten Russia. They are there as a provocation to Russia - to make it do something to justify an American attack.
The U.S. has hinted its anti-missile missiles can shoot down Russia missiles almost as soon as they are fired. Maybe. It has hinted it can destroy the whole Russian arsenal. Maybe.

The history of warfare is that nobody ever knows how weapons will work out. And nobody ever knows how other countries will react. India and Pakistan could use such an attack to settle their own scores with each other. So could Israel.
And then there`s the question of the fallout, and how it might affect us.

And if you don`t think American economic bosses would be so cruel as to kill huge numbers of people in nuclear attacks just to make more money -try a count of the millions they have killed, starved, refugeed, mutiliated just to make more money in the last seventy years. And it`s quite possible they are being urged on by an impending collapse of their own huge but corrupt and ramshackle economy.

Not surprisingly, the irving press has yet to carry a significant story on this beyond the original announcement.
This next is more than an unpleasant story. This is about a nation tearing itself to pieces in a rage that it doesn`t understand because it is so wrapped up in myths and propaganda about itself and its character and its history. U.S. police killings  could well set a new record for this year. This is the rage of a society destroying itself.


This one is gentler than it should be - and not as clear as it should be. But it`s worth thinking about.


And this is an intriguing story - about Canada.

As should be obvious by now, Turkey`s Erdogan knew well in advance that a coup would be attempted against him. Thus his ability to round up so many plotters so quickly. (No doubt, he has also rounded up many who weren`t in on the coup - but whom he doesn`t like.) It`s also likely, as the source below suggests, that the U.S. was behind the coup. Erdogan`s quick reaction naming the U.S. suggests that. And, if so, the U.S. could well be facing a considerable realignment against it - a realignment that could include Israel. Ater all, it`s hard to believe that Netanyahu did not know of this. And Netanyahu has been publicly unhappy with the U.S.

Remember - no nations are `friends`. NO nations.

Netanyahu has problems that have not made most North American news outlets.  He has already been cited for accepting large sums of money from foreigners, some with criminal  connections. Now, he`s being investigated for giving much of that money to members of his family.

There`s also another story you won`t hear.  The chief  rabbi for the israeli armed forces recently made a statement that it was acceptable for soldiers to rape women in a time of war. Israel`s military chief has said this is a reasonable statement.

I`m just back from a break to eat supper and watch the Republican convention. I found that I couldn`t stay with the convention. Almost everything said, including the numerous lies, was irrelevant. For great masses of Americans, there are no principles or issues. There are only slogans. `Make America Great Again`. Nor are things better on the democrat side. There has been virtually no debate on any major issue facing the country. There has been no mention of any issue facing the country.

For example,  the U.S. has the world`s most expensive and least efficient health care system. The rise in poverty and homelessness is not just a bump on the charts. This has been developing for decades with no sign of any change on the horizon. Nor is it a secret why this is happening.  The U.S. has had forty years of trade treaties designed to make billionaires richer and Americans poorer. Nor has there been any mention of tax havens. The nation is so stunned that it doesn`t care about hundreds of billion (at least) being stolen by the rich every year. And in the mythology that Americans call their national history, anyone who suggests any change in anything is unAmerican, and a threat to the most perfect society the world has ever known.

I hate political conventions. They are, almost as a rule, gatherings of morons to cheer for scoundrels.
I have some interesting items sent to me by readers. The first is a crushing correction to something I wrote yesterday - that The Saker had Russian ties. He hasn`t. He is an American and he lives in the U.S.   (not Iceland). His blog is sited in Iceland because in its days in the U.S. it was freqently hacked. I thank the reader for correcting.

I forgive the reader for correcting me. I forgive. But I never forget.

The following is also from a reader. I don`t know how accurate his criticism of the quality of American weaponry is. Certainly, the U.S. has spent enough on weaponry to build the most effective military ever known. But much of that spending has been corrupt. And American performance in the field has been decidedly inferior for decades.

And his one.


I can`t comment on this one because my computer seems reluctant to download it.
Most dismaying is the U.S. leadership campaigning. There`s a message in there for us. When a country which calls itself the leader of the free world can produce only an ignorant and mentally disordered leader like Trump, and a bought and paid for (and murderous) Hillary Clinton, the world is in deep trouble.

And to counter this, Canada has Justin Trudeau.

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