Monday, August 15, 2016

August 15: What a world!

I'll open today with some items that got lost in the confusion of Saturday.
First. there's an item on climate change that the oil industry assures us isn't happening.

Then there's the one about how the F-35. probably the most expensive fighter aircraft in world history, is now ready for sale. The maker wants to sell it to Canada, despite signs that its problems are not over, that it's aburdly over-priced, and despite the fact that Canada really has no need for it. (Any war that would require such a sophisticated aircraft would go nuclear before the first one took off.)

Watch Trudeau squirm on this one.
Then there's Hillary.

I don't entirely trust Sardi, the writer of this. He's a medical writer who has conflicts of interest in that field. But I know the sources and the information for the column. And    those are sound.
The irving press was bad on Saturday and much, much worse today.
A front page story for today is that a church has unveiled some time capsules that were hidden in it. It's a long story - but it says nothing beyond what I have just said in the sentence above. Why doesn't the paper tell us about the capsules and what's in them? I have no idea.

And forward-looking Riverview is going to go all out in keeping cats off the streets.

On the editorial and comment pages, the only item worth reading (maybe) is Alec Bruce's column.

Canada&World is a disgrace. The biggest story is that sharks are appearing in New Brunswick waters.  Then there's a silly story about Trump going in a rage after the news media. Now, Trump is a looney-tune. But he's quite right about the press in his country. It's all owned by a  handful of multi-billionaires who want Hillary. Trump certainly gives them opportunities. And they look for them. Interviews with him have been scrapped because they weren't silly enough. Not a critical word has been said about Hillary despite her record of corruption and lying. In fact, Hillary has been largely ignored to concentrate all attention on how unsuitable Trump is.

The rreally big news is that American democracy has fallen so far that it no longer exists; and neither Trump nor Hillary is suitable.

On this issue, at least, Trump is bang on.

In general, this is an awful, awful day, even by the standards of the irving press. Almost all of it is trivial, and with no sense of organization.
And just to show how people on all sides get wrapped up in corruption -----
I include this next one because the Cuban revolution is far, far from over.  In the 1950s, Cuba was  in the worse imaginable poverty, without educaton, without health care, and ruled by one of the world's most murderous dictators. And U.S. big business thought that was just dandy. Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy were furious at the impudence of Castro in overthrowing their dictator. They bombed. They sponsored an invasion. They placed crippling sanctions on Cuban trade to keep it poor. Over the years, they set off bombs in Cuban hotels, blew up a Cuban civil airliner, tried to kill Castro many times.

Worst of all in the eyes of U.S. big money, Cuba was, and is,  a bad example for countries still under U.S. dictators - Haiti, Central America in general.
And it's not over. The  U.S. sanctions are still in place. They are still doing enormous damage. Cuba, by its example, is still a threat to the American Empire.  U.S. (and Canadian) billionaires have not softened. They have simply changed their methods.
The U.S. has been hiring its killers for years from 'private contractors' who rent out soldiers. They're ideal. Nobody cares if they get killed or wounded - and the U.S. has no obligation to help them. And the press pays no attention to them. So they can be used for wars and murders the U.S. prefers to keep quiet. They're like the mobsters of the 1930s called Murder Inc. You pay. They kill.

This time they're being hired to kill ISIS.  Last time, they were being hired (and still are) to kill Syrians. They kill anybody. Just pay up front.
Patrick Buchanan is no political lighweight. He's a man of wide experience at the highest political levels. He implies an admiration for Trump that I can't share. (I think both Trump and Clinton are disasters.) But Buchanan is, otherwise, quite right about the danger the U.S. faces. This is the final illness of a democracy that never was very healthy.
And, again, Paul Craig Roberts is a pretty knowledgeable source.
The next is by Ray McGovern who's a retired analyist for the CIA.
Our news media tell us little about the destruction of humans in the middle east, and even less about the destruction of huge areas of the world's most treasured history.
And here's something from that you'll never see in the irving press. Actually, it's gentle. It could also have mentioned the brutal history of Canadian mining in Central America, Asia and, sometimes, in Canada.

"MYTH #6: Canada isn't complicit in global human rights abuse
We Welcome African Refugees. Statement by Facebook message".

"Canada has been one of the leading Western powers involved in mineral exploitation. Quantum Minerals, a Canadian-based mining company has had a significant role in fuelling the resource war in Congo, forcing a growing number of Congolese people to flee.

Quantum Minerals has also been involved in providing weapons to multiple rebel groups, in order to proliferate the unregulated market. Nevsun Resources, a Vancouver-based company, owns a mining site in Eritrea. There are allegations that hundreds of forced Eritrean labourers worked there.

The practice of forced labour is the key reason Eritreans are leaving the country, at a rate of about 5,000 a month, a higher proportion of refugees per capita than even Syria.

We Welcome African Refugees has been highlighting the refugee crisis from the perspective of African Refugees. Their stories have been silenced, and, when they are discussed, the root causes are hidden.

We see the African refugee crisis as strongly connected with Canadian mining in Africa. We cannot treat resource exploitation and the African refugee crisis as two separate issues."
Fifty years ago, Canada's former CCF party had an internal revolution. It began, as always, with a lack of money. (Major corporations don't give money to left wing parties, just to the Harpers and Justin Trudeaus of this world who do what the rich tell them to do.) The CCF turned to the unions. But they made it clear they would give any unless the CCF was moved way over to the centre.

It was one hell of a fight. I knew many of the principals in it. The unions won, and so the NDP was born.

Since then, it hasn't gained an inch. Fifty years which could have been used to help people understand what the party stood for were thrown away. And they were thrown away for no advantage at all. The New Brunswick NDP might think about that.

New Brunswick, in particular, remains mired in the puppet politics of the nineteenth century with government OF lawyers FOR the wealthy.

And the voters vote muttering, I've always been a Liberal or I've always been Conservative. In fact, not one voter in a thousand knows what those words mean. And that thousand who don't know includes all the candidates. The Liberals are not Liberal and the Conservatives are not Conservative. Probably the closest thing Canada has ever had to a liberal prime minister was Harper. MacKenzie-King (Liberal) was probably our closest to a conservative pm - though he was forced into it.

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