Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sept. 13: The destructiveness of greed.

My it's hard to get back into form for writing a blog after being off for a week. it's especially hard because I now have such a backlog of material. So let's start with a very brief look at today's irving press.
The headline story is that a former premier of New Brunswick is in favour of the Energy East pipeline to be built across Canada and into New Brunswick. Is he an expert on pipelines? No. But he's a former premier who got along well with Mr. Irving. So that's better than an expert.
This isn't a news story. This is propaganda.
Inside, there's a story that Moncton is one of the ten most business friendly places in Canada. What makes it friendly? Well, that's because it has legislation that is gentle to business, and because it doles out money to business, and offers cheap labour. Being named business friendly is somehing like telling chickens that they are among the top ten birds for tastiness.
The commentary page has a couple of items worth a read. Steve Malloy is critical of the province's new    education plan for being sketchy.  That's a fair criticism - though it's not the schools that are to blame - and not entirely the government, either.
New Brunswick, in general, simply doesn't care about education.   It's related to a general lack of interest - even a hostility to - learning and thought. New Brunswickers are conformists - 'n' thinkin' and readin' and discussin' just get in the way of conformin'. This is not an atmosphere that encourages intellectual development.
And very interesting is an article by Carmel Higgins on religion. She challenges common forms of religious belief. This is far more intelligent than anything I have seen on the Faith Page.
There are six pages of Canada&World News. The first three are set in New Brunswick. A  fast-breaking story is that a suspect has been named in a piano vandalism case. Over a half page is photos of smiling people holding up cheques.
The only news from outside Canada and the U.S. is that there is a ceasefire in Syria. There is no mention of the slaughter and starvation going on in Yemen, no mention of the U.S. helping the slaughter with its blockade of food and medical supplies, no mention of the Saudi use of cluster bombs on civilian targets, no mention that the U.S. is supplying those bombs, no menion of what cluster bombs do, no mention that they are illegal under international law.  (I have more on this further down.)
There's not a word about the chaos and instability South America is falling into - largely because of constant U.S. interference and imperialism. There is only the usual gossipy stuff about Clinton and Trump. There is nothing about the problems  facing the U.S.  (growing poverty, homelessness, social violence, vile prisons), and no analysis of the failure of either Clinton or Trump to deal with these problems.
And behind that is another problem. The newspaper as a news medium has had its day. For most news, radio and TV are far superior - and timelier. All over the western world, newspapers are having to cut costs. The irving press has always been run on the cheap. But we're seeing big cuts in newspapers all over the western world. After a little more than a century, an age has ended.
TV? No. Not only are private TV networks as bad as newspapers for their propaganda. But TV is pictures. It does not engage the mind. That's why we know exactly how Trudeau looks in a suit - but nothing of what his policies - if any - are. And that's why we get an American election that's a vaudeville act.
Probably the best choice would be talk radio with both news and discussion of it. But most private stations find it cheaper and more profitable just to play the top fifty on the charts - over and over. And over.
The Brief, a news sheet by nbmediacoop.com has an excellent - and frightening - story of what people with names like irving doing to our forest in New Brunswick.
Our forests are now undergoing a destruction that was forecast 25 years ago. Thanks to overcutting and to sprays like glyphosate, the forest is shrinking, and wildlife is disappearing with it.  Hunters got over 31, 000 deer in 1985. In 2015, they got just over 4,300.
Clear cutting and sprays have largely destroyed our wildlife. And we humans are just as vulnerable as the deer are.    (But it does not seem to be a matter that is causing Mr.  Irving to lose any sleep.)
And not only did our government sell the right to cut wood  for an outrageously low price;  but the added cost to taxpayers for (mis)managing the forests has been seven to ten million dollars per year.
Get used to it. The wealthy and influential are not here to create jobs. They're here, and have been throughout history , to loot us. That is pretty much the history of the world. The capitalists of Britain murdered and plundered all over the world. None of them gave a damn about the suffering they were causing. The capitalists of today don't give a damn, either. They have happily murdered millions; they have tortured; as I write this, they are droppinig cluster bombs on some of the poorest people in the world, bombs that will go on killing for decades.
This is the nature of human greed. It is a brutality that goes beyond the Hitlers of this world. And the Frank Mckennas of this world will always kiss up to babble about how it creates jobs. And no part of this story has ever appeared in the irving press, and no part ever will.
If we stand still, they'll just keep ploughing us. And there's not place to run because that's the way things work all over the world.  We have to learn to stand up to these pillagers and killers.
Laws are sometimes passed for the good of the people.  And they are sometimes passed to benefit the wealthy and influential. When Edward Snowden released government doctuments on state spying in the U.S., he did it because a free people needed to know what their government was doing to them. And they certainly wouldn't find out from the news media. (I think we could use an Edward Snowden in Canada.)
Here's another story about the climate change that we've been told isn't happening. And, of course, it's a story that didn't make the irvingn press.
Remember that photo of the five year old boy in Syria - the photo that made the news around the world? Here's some more information about it.
Exciting news for Europe. The U.S. is placing more nuclear missiles in various parts of Europe. These would force Russia to use part its nuclear force against European targets. What an honour for Europe!
The full American effort appears to be on war, and a war so destructive it really wouldn't matter who got bombed the most. The U.S. has, for  years, ignored the UN and its intended role to prevent wars. The U.S. isn't looking for peace. It wants war. Greed does that.
When, on November 11, we thank those who served in our wars, we might think for a moment about how we have abandoned all we told them they were fighting for.
Here's a story about how 50 groups have demanded Trudeau postpone the Energy East pipline hearings until it deals with the very questionable and probably corrupt dealings of the investigating body.
(The Irving press didn't carry the story because it has a much more important one about how Frank McKenna thinks the deal should go ahead.
I think I can explain why Trudeau has backed away from limiting nuclear weapons. It's because he has no political philosophy. He has been elected the leader of an American colony. And he is the friend of the wealthy. Expect nothing from him.
Ralph Nader provides an interesting account of the indifference of big business to human life in matters where profits are involved. This is not just a wild accusation. We have centuries of proof of it. That's why, contrary to the views of the Norbert Cunninghams of this world, we need close regulation of business - especially of big business.
Israeli leader Netanyahu insists that land taken by force from Palestine and made into Israeli settlements will never be returned. He adds that Palestinians who want their own land back are guilty of ethnic cleansing.
Haaretz refers to Netanyahu's position as 'chutzpah' - a good yiddish word meaning that Netanyahu. who stole that land in the first place and ethnically cleansed it by kicking  Palestinians off it, has one hell of a nerve..
Only a fool could think that Obama is a 'nice man'.   In fact, his policies have been as brutal and bloodthirsty as those of George Bush Jr. As a sample, here's a story that you won't find in our press.
Well, it's getting late - and we should give a little thought to where the the U.S. goes after the election.
Where the leadership wants to go is obvious. It wants to go for world conquest - and the sooner the better because its strength as opposed to China's goes down every year.
The usual method for American governments has been to stoke American fears of foreigners. To listen to American politicians, one would think that the U.S. is daily under attack from foreign countries.   (In fact, U.S. soil has been attacked only twice since 1776. The British - and Canadians - attacked Vermont and Wahington and bits of the north in the War of 1812. But they were responding to an American invasion of Canada. Japan attacked Pearl Harbour in 1941. That's it.) The innocent little USA that everybody picks on has invaded almost every country in the Americas, some many times - and it has imiposed brural dictators. The same pattern holds in much of Asia and the Middle East.
But American governments will work on that old, reliable fear that Americans believe others are always picking on them.  That will be used to justify wars with Russia and China. Clinton will certainly follow that pattern. And, if Trump gets elected and doesn't do that, he'll be assassinated.
But whoever gets elected will have to move fast because the U.S. is one desparately unhappy country. That's why we're getting a baggy pants vaudevil act and calling it an election. Neither candidate has given any suggestion of a domestic policy to deal with some very serious problems. The electorate, while angry, don't really know what they're angry at or what it is they need. Nor is there anything in their understanding of their own propaganda-saturated history and present to help them find a direction.
The result of all that anger but no sense of direction is likely to be violence on an increasing scale. The U.S. is already the most violent of developed countries in the world. Police killings, for example, should reach 1200 or so this year. Forget whether this is caused by the police or by the people. The important fact is that the violence is happening.
The U.S. also has the biggest prison population in the world - and some of the vilest prisons.
It's social services are below the standards of most of the developed world. There is a steep rise in the amount of deep poverty - with no sign of any improvement  or of any intention of dealing with it.
It's torn by racism.
It has the most heavily armed population in the world.
And that sets the stage for high levels of violence that have no purpose except to express disiullusion and anger and hatred - and hopelessness.
Will the big business that controls U.S. government be able to deal with this? Probably not. It is, as always, too greedy to care about any suffering and too self-obsessed with itself to do  anything to relieve it.

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