Monday, August 8, 2016

August 8: Eden Must Have Been a Lot Nicer Than This.

Let's begin today with some items sent by readers. The first two are the horror that international bankers have made of Greece through their usual assassination team called the  International Monetay Fund. Greece has been driven into massive poverty and unemployment - with no end to it in sight.

It's not the only one. Spain and Ireland and Ukraine, to give just a few examples are going a similar route. it has nothing to do with economics, everything to do with greed.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/07/28/imf-admits-disastrous-love-affair-with-euro-apologises-for-the-i/

https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/yanis-varoufakis/imf-confesses-it-immolated-greece-on-behalf-of-eurogroup?utm_source=Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=ad7257b308-DAILY_NEWSLETTER_MAILCHIMP&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_717bc5d86d-ad7257b308-407396303
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This one, from Halifax,  Nova Scotia, is not news. But it seems a wonderful idea in a world that does not usually encourage thinking.

http://www.halifaxthinks.ca/
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Like many people, I get lots of requests to sign petitions. I have never passed one on in this blog. I now make an exception because a husband and wife and their adopted child are being put through hell by an uncaring Canadian government.

https://www.change.org/p/the-honorable-john-mccallum-bring-mansi-rana-home/share?card=message&tk=oe9rYx71Zr2BfXVV_qbfig-tZle_mWChnhyUbrQcMZU&utm_medium=email&utm_source=signature_receipt&utm_campaign=new_signature
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And here's Ralph Nader on the waste, corruption and great danger of investing in nuclear power.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ralph-nader/wake-up-these-unneeded-in_b_11356684.html?utm_source=Alert-blogger&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Em
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And here's one that I don't think I've run before.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/07/david-harvey-neoliberalism-capitalism-labor-crisis-resistance/
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Then there's the irving press (sigh!)

For section A, the big story and, really, the only story is that lots of illegal tobacco goes through Moncton.

The editorial and the Cunningham column are both about the economy. They talk of our economic problems, of taxes, of government policies.... And they do it without writing the word irving.  That's like talking about winter without mentioning snow and the dangers of walking on ice.

The commentary page has a column about the energy east hearings to be held by the National Energy Board. The commentary was written by the vice-president of Strategic Communications (chief propagandist) for the NEB.

Somewhere - I can't find it right now - I have a dismaying article about the close relationship between our (independent) NEB and the oil industry. I shall try to find it. I have no trust in the board, no trust in the oil industry, no trust in the New Brunswick government or the federal one, no trust in the reporting we're going to see in the irving press. This has all the smell of a scam to please the oil bosses. Significantly, the hearings will begin in the irving idea of heaven, St. John, New Brunswick.

Incidentally, the Liberals and Conservatives across Canada are enjoying a boom in donations - largely from the wealthy. (The parties have collectors for this. They're called bagmen. They go to visit the wealthy. Requests are made. Demands are made. Deals are made. Money for the party is handed over.) The bagman is usually a very senior member of the government. So let's play a game.
Guess who the bagman for New Brunswick is. Guess who he deals with. Guess what the NEB will decide. Guess what Trudeau will decide.
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For Canada and world, the big, opening story is that the provincial Conservative party is arguing over rules for its convention.( Be still, my heart.) Actually, that was also the lead story on Saturday.

Another story that has the world in a dither is that passenger-carrying balloons need stricter rules.

There have been numerous sightings of sharks in Nova Scotia waters. Many feel that this is a result of climate change. That's obviously silly because, as oil leaders have assured us, climate change isn't happening.

The biggest story, by far, in words is that the Amish people of Intercourse, Pennsylvania, will vote for Trump. (Why would Amish  live in a town called Intercourse?) And, anyway, who could possible care how they will vote?
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The next, from The Guardian, is not really a news story at all. But it's a very touching story, and well-written. It's about Leonard Cohen, and it brought  back a vivid image as I last saw him,sitting on the steps of Montreal's downtown YMCA, chatting with anybody who wanted to chat.

(Why didn't he sit on the steps of the YMHA? After all, he is Jewish. Alas. the YMHA is on a street with few passersby.)

://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/08/leonard-cohen-letter-to-marianne-ihlen-was-poetic-and-candid
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There are estimated to be 46 million slaves in the world today; a high proportion or them are women. And this is nowhere more noticeable than in the streets of Christian Europe where African women are lured into the control of sex trade "enterpreneurs'.

The next page has several articles about it.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/video/2016/aug/08/freeing-girls-trafficked-to-italy-for-sex-from-nigeria-you-will-not-be-a-slave-for-ever-video
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Incidentally, a story that I did not see in the irving press is that a shot was fired into the Olympic stadium in Rio. It seemed to come from the neighbouring favela (a   slum neighbourhood), I expect this is an Olympics to be long-remembered - and not just for doping scandals. Rio, and all of Brazil, is a scandal. And its government is a scandal. And its wealthy are a scandal.
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Here is a comment on a touch of good news - but it is happening in the context of terrible news.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45248.htm
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The failure of the coup in Turkey may be a turning point in world history. The coup was almost certainly planned by the U.S. And that could shake up the whole middle east - and the rest of the world.

The irving press has fed us a sort of pabulum as its account of what happened. It made to no attempt to go beyond the superficial.

So here's more about it.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45250.htm

And here's similar view, but more cautioius and more willing to recognize that Erdogan has his own faults.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45254.htm
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On a similar but broader theme, here is a story that includes a danger spot that Canada is sendiing troops to. They are there to kill and to die for-----what?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44496.htm
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And here's another you won't find in the irving press.

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/08/05/losing-to-russia-in-syria-washington-bombs-libya.html
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Here's a story about Israel and a Christian aid organization called World Vision. The story has appeared in the mainstream western press -   but in a heavily loaded fashion - and only briefly at that. Israel's treatment of Palestinians has gone far beyond shameful. Nor can it be justified by pointing fingers at the Naziis of World War Two.

And, in fairness, one should also not blame the native Jews of Israel. They are quite different, even in appearance, from the European Jews who dominate Israel. It's the European Jews in Israel who have taken the lead in killing, impoverishing, imprisoning Palestinians. It's the European Jews who, in effect, invaded what is now Israel,  invaded a land that had belonged not only to Palestinians but to native Jews who had lived there for thousands of years, and who were quite happy to live with Palestinians.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/08/israel-and-the-world-vision-crime-sham/
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People of all countries have their currents events views shaped by a notion of their history that that is largely false. (New Bruswickers seem to think their province was a major factor in creating the confederation that is Canada. Bunk.) Americans are caught up in a history of their goodness and kindness (and Christianity). Here's a corrective.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/07/hiroshima-nagasaki-and-u-s-mythology/
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Rabble.ca is a pretty good source of material on Canada. It also has a great deal, very professionally done, on the rest of the world. This one, on Canadian myths is true and, if anthing, kind to Canada.

http://rabble.ca/news/2016/08/six-pervasive-myths-about-canada-we-must-stop-believing

The feature writer is a retired CBC journalist, Karl Nerenberg,  who is superb - particularly on Canadian politics.
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And, oh, there's so much more.

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