Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Oct. 5: the news we weren't told about.

 Just a brief review of the irving press, and what a newspaper should not be.
1. There's nothing in it worth reading. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

2. The front page headline is trivial - and it's grammar is below high school level. ("Fewer seats at events centre won't impact prices...") A  headline writer should know that impact is NOT a verb. In any case, we have never been told that the centre would have fewer seats than promised. Should we start with a story that there will be fewer seats - and not start with the excuse for why it doesn't matter?

3. Canada&World has no world. In fact, it never gets out of New Brunswick, though it does include a big, front page  story that will rock you, "Former Miramichi travel agent to stand trial next spring." Talk about staring at our own bellybuttons....

4. The Commentary page has the most digusting commentary I have ever seen. It's a plea for our very wealthy to be spared from the terrible burden of taxes they have to pay. It's by "The Fraser Institute", of course. And it's theme is we should shed a tear for the very wealthy who don't know where their next billion is coming from.

It's data is dreadful lying - and they must know it. First, it uses percentages not dollar figures. That's more than a little misleading since (you've heard of tax havens?) nobody knows how much money our wealthy have. And, says this propaganda column, high taxes discourage them from making money. Yeah. I've noticed that. Our streets are full of Irvings and Ganongs  who are fed up with struggling and have taken up panhandling.

Meanwhile,  those lazy louts on minimum wage just lie around collecting freebies like medical care. Oh - a great idea...if high wages make people more industrious and saving and investing as this article says, why not raise the minimum wage to hundred dollars an hour?
I've watched little of the U.S. presidential debates, partly because neither of them shows any sense of what American society needs or what the world needs for survival. Both are there largely because they are wealthy and well-connected, and both serve the wealthy and well-connected. We are at a turning point in history that I would rather not watch.

American democracy has ended - partly because it never really got started.  Americans, even more than most others, are raised on propaganda and on an ignorance of what the U.S. is really about. As a consquence they have little sense of political options. All they have to rely on is a false history, and the propaganda of some of the world's most lying news media. It's a rot  that goes down through every level of government.

The same is true through much of the western world. That's why, for centuries now, power has generally been in the hands of few, and it comes to them by birth. For a long time, the powers of position were held by aristocrats who were aristocrats by birth. They could be, and often were, village idiots. But they ruled.
Over the last couple of centuries, they have been displaced by an aristocracy of those, largely, born to wealth. (Guess what the last name will be of the next irving ltd. president. ) The new aristocracy  has a close similarity to the old one. That's why the U.S. has had two presidents named Bush, and will now almost certainly have a second one name Clinton. (It's surely remarkable that a nation of hundreds of millions should just happen to produce such closely related presidents.) Similarly, we have a prime minister in Canada named Trudeau - and it's largely because he is named Trudeau.

We have not achieved equality of opportunity. We're nowhere close to it. Our opinions are not all treated equally. We do not all have equal  power and influence.

We need to start all over again on building democracy. That's more than thinking just politically. It means, somehow, creating honest news media. It means rethinking our notions of patriotism to take out the hysteria parts of it. It means an education system that is allowed to teach students to think, and not just to conform.

And it means a population that has the guts not to conform.
For many, many years, I was involved in the struggle against Quebec separatism. So I was well aware of the separatist claim that separation from Canada was essential to preserve the French culture of the province.  And, as I watched, I was amazed to see that they were destroying the culture.

One of the characteristics of Quebec was its attachment to the Roman Catholic church.  But one of the results of the movement was that the church was reduced almost to irrelevance. Another characteristic was that the wealthier Frence sent their children to expensive private schools. And those children tended to become most of the political and business leaders of the province. Ordinary French kids had to attend very, very inferior public schools. Now, that was a cultural trait that could well have been lost. But it was preserved. And, though the public schools have been  improved, the general pattern remains. The rich get superb private schools and grow up to lead. The private ones are much inferior.

What was also  noticeable was that nobody, including separatist scholars, had any idea what the French Quebec culture was.  That was driven home to me at a meeting of French scholars to discuss their culture. Nobody knew what it was. The Chair snapped him pencil in frustration, "We must define our culture." But it has never happened.

All societies are like that. People fuss about their culture, their values, their traditions....but nobody knows what they are. So this Guardian item caught my eye.
And for those who think  that climate change is phony, here's what scientists have to say about climate change, - and hurricanes.

Incidentally, Haiti never did get all the promised help after its earthquake of six years ago. The U.S.,  in particular, preferred to give the money to contractor friends of the US government - who then spent most of it on 'reports'.
While we're on Haiti, I include this story about it - not for the text but for the pictures of what the people of Haiti have to live in after amost a century of direct, U.S. control.

The U.S. has actively supported corrupt and murderous governments. It destroyed the only democratcally elected government Haiti has had since American control was imposed a century ago. It has actually been robbing the poorest people in the western hemisphere for a century to produce bigger profits for families like those nice Doles, the descendants of missionaries who now carry their Christian mission further by selling canned pineapples.

I include this next one despite  (or maybe because of) its unusually spicy language. And, yes, I know the source is Russian and so we can't trust it. But we also can't trust it if it's American or Canadian. However, on the basis of this - and of statements and actions by the U.S. government, it's hard not to believe that the U.S. is preparing to make war on Russia.
Question. Is Russia legally at war in Syria?

Answer - yes. It was invited by the Syrian government. Under international law, Russia has a right to be there.

Question - Has the U.S. been legally at war in Syria?  In Iraq? In Libya? In Yemen? In its use of drones in many nations?

Answer - No. it has commonly gone to war without legal sanction. That's called American Exceptionalism.

Funny how most of our news media never mention that.
It was almost seventy years ago that the UN took a land in which Jews and Muslims had lived together for over a thousand years. It gave the Jews (mostly Europeans) the best part - with a lesser part for the Muslims. Not that it mattered who got what because  Israel has been allowed to take whatever land it wants, and to kick the Muslims off.

Israel also has the right to control the borders of Palestine - thereby controlling it's trade, and even basic necessities such a medical supplies.

Was this done out of love for Jews? No. The major countries involved - like the U.S., Britain, France, Canada - had a long history of passionate hatred of Jews. Creating Israel was simply an easy way to get rid of them. Then it also became a valuable ally to the U.S. (for a price).

Canadians and Americans have long since forgotten that they refused to help European Jews before the war, during it, and even after.So did most countries.  Many a prominent Canadian and American thought that Hitler had the right idea. And we have long since forgotten the rioting against Jews in the Toronto of the 1930s, and the marches of Nazi Brownshirts in the streets of Montreal. Jews in Canada were hated, as were blacks and orientals. And that lasted into the 1970s, at least.

Our virtue is recent. So I wonder whether we will see the following story in the irving press.
Don't worry. Be happy. The irving newspapers probably won't run this story, either.

Besides, duh, fossil fuels create jobs.
Another story that the irving press will have no room for.
Just in the last 15 years, the U.S. has spent trillions  (and killed millions) on war. Far from curing any problem, each war has made the problems worse as nations hit by those wars have not been able to recover and, indeed, whole regions are collapsing into disorder.

And what have all those wars had in common? Oil and/or pipelines. Even if one could claim mass murder and starvation as justifying the  chaos for the sake of oil, this would be insane. In financial terms, there have been no gains for us, and there aren't going to be any.

So why are we putting out all this money? Well, we have to. After all, we wouldn't want the oil billionaires to have to pay for their own wars.
President Obama says something sensible. But he's scarcely the one who should say it.
This definitely will NOT make the irving press. The TTP is a trade deal designed to please the greediest of corporations and to destroy our control over our own country. And what will Trudeau do?

I think he'll support it.
There's also a story that the U.S., particularly in the west, is in for many, many years of drought. So guess whose waters it will be looking for. And guess what it will do if Canada says no. The game has already started. with a demand for Great Lakes water.
I have lots more. But tomorrow.

It's hard to have to write every time about how the world has become dominated by the greediest, most immoral, and most stupid people in world history.

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