Friday, November 4, 2016

Nov. 4: The Last Empire

In Wednesday's editorial for the irving press, the writer praised the Canada Europe Trade Deal on the argument that free trade creates prosperity for all. That is pure rubbish. The very existence of Canada was made possible by a protective tariff. And Canada ran on a protective tariff for generations. Free trade always creates a loser. Often if makes losers of everyone but the very wealthy as it moves jobs to the cheapest possible countries as the wealthy bleed those countries financially and socially. That's what made a ghost town out of Detroit; and it  creates poverty and misery on the other side, too, with low pay, no social services, no education, and environmental destruction.

In the case of CETA, I wonder where the editor got a copy of the deal. We certainly haven't seen it in the pages of the irving press. What this editorial really tells us is that the owner of the newspaper wants this deal to go through. And the newspaper, as it always does, is telling us what the boss wants us to hear.

Norbert Cunnigham's column, just beneath the editorial is an ignorant rant damning the schools for poor reading results. Norbert knows nothing about education - and it shows  in his column.  That's why this is pure rant with no evidence whatever.

The learning of reading is affected by many things - the indifference of parents, the popularity of TV and of  computer games, the social class of the students, the size of rural enrolment.... It's also profoundly affected by the intellectual atmosphere that runs through the whole society. And there is no intellectual atmosphere in New Brunswick. This is a province which has always lived in fear of those who own it and control access to jobs. That creates a society which is highly conformist, and fearful  of seeming different in any way. There is very little in the intellectual atmosphere of this province to encourage reading. And as long as that is true, we can piddle around all we like with the reading curriculum - and nothing will happen.

But, what the hell, Norbie, it's always fun to blame the teachers. isn't it? People who liked Norbert's commentary for Thursday will love the one for Friday. It's essentially the same rant.

Again, there is almost no world news. Canada's military role in Iraq must be the most unreported one in Canadian history. Nor is there a word about Yemen, except for some unbelievable figures about civilian casualties. We now live in a world in which civilians are the major targets in war. The people of Yemen are being starved and bombed by Saudi Arabia  (with air guidance by the U.S.). But the death counts we are getting (when we get any at all) are absurdly low.)
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CBC has a story that is less than it appears to be. An organization called PSAC  (a lobby front for the oil industry) is  widening its activity to include clean energy industries. This comes after decades of denying that climate change is happening at all. Sounds good?

Not really.  It isn't admitting that climate change is happening. It will still represents big oil in its cozy meetings with politicians. It will still support pipelines and fracking. This is really a non-story. And, significantly, it didn't make the irving press in New Brunswick.

In a similar story, there's great concern that Trump as president would abandon clean energy policies. That's terrible, of course. But it's little different from the policies we've seen from Bush, Harper, Obama, Trudeau and Clinton.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/psac-oilfield-renewables-salkeld-1.3834715
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Here's a story that hasn't attracted as much attention as it should.  It's the case of Quebec police spying on journalists. In fact, this - like all the coverage I've seen on this case - is pretty naive. Canadian police forces have been spying on Canadian citizens for a century and more. They spied on Montreal's Jewish community in the 1930s and 40s when  it had communist leanings. The RCMP  routinely spied on a Baptist clergyman and MP, Tommy Douglas, because  he advocated terrible things like medicare. Anyone who  doesn't think that CSIS  would routinely spy on all Canadians is dreadfully naive.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/03/edward-snowden-canada-police-spying-radical-attack-journalists
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And here's a story about the climate change that isn't happening.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/01/rio-de-janerio-beaches-climate-change-storms
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We don't hear much about the Koch brothers, a pair of mutibillionaires who lobby for "libertarianism" - a word which sounds nice but which really  means allowing billionaires to evade taxes, environmental law  and, generally, to do whatever they want to make more money regardless of the effect on the rest of the society.  (Anyone who lives in New Brunswick knows the type.) They're big fans of Hillary Clinton, of course.

https://theintercept.com/2016/11/04/koch-senate-hawks/
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Anybody feeling smug about the health of Canadian democracy (and American and British and many others) -should read this story. This was all forecast by Edward Snowden - which is why American police would like to get him and hang him.

https://theintercept.com/2016/11/04/three-new-scandals-show-how-pervasive-and-dangerous-mass-surveillance-is-in-the-west-vindicating-snowden/
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You really have to trust our fossil fuel industry because the good people who own it   would never risk climate change just to make themselves richer.  Would they?

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/11/04/despite-paris-climate-pledge-planet-on-track-to-surpass-3c-temperature-rise/
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I don't know how seriously to take this one. I had earlier thought that such insanity was unlikely. Now, I'm not so confident. I don't see how the 'militias' could possibly win such a confrontation. But I  do think the damage could be very great, and contribute to the growth of a U.S. police state that is already beyond control.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-militia-idUSKBN12X11R
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The hopelessness of war. Note, in particular,  how civilian casualties are much, much higher than military ones. That's a reality of war that began when Churchill, in 1920, fought a war against the Kurds by bombing villages of  unarmed and undefended people. Building on that experience, World War 2 intensified the killing of civilians by both sides as the main targets in war. Historically, wars - even big wars - killed 1 percent or so of a nation.  Now, they can kill 30 thirty percent or more - and most of the dead are civilians.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syria-civil-war-latest-conflict-isis-hama-jabhat-al-nusra-assad-a7394391.html
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American foreign policy has been a disaster for sixteen years, at least.     It has destabilized much of the world, and created the real possiblity of nuclear war. The return on that has been  high, high profits for war industries, an impossible debt for the American people. And we will see at least four more years of this no matter who wins the U.S. election.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iraq-ready-for-war-with-turkey-over-who-should-control-mosul-a7394071.html

Oh - nor is it guaranteed that Turkey will remain a friend of the west.
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I can't vouch for the  truth of this next item. I do know that voting  fraud  has long been a feature of U.S. elections (and I remember well seeing it in Montreal, too.) I do know that it's possible with electronic voting in the U.S. - and I would find it hard to believe that the Clintons and Trumps of this world would not use it.

https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2016/10/31/biggest-election-fraud-in-history-discovered-in-the-united-states/
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This one most certainly tells its own story.

http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2016/830-yemen-vote-the-responsibility-to-protect-profits.html
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The next item is essentially a gimmick. It can certainly be criticized for lack of precision. But the basic principle of it is valid.

http://thesaker.is/feudalism-medieval-and-modern/
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I have often mentioned Canada's deplorable and even murderous record in mining all over the world. Our mine owners are a vicious as they come.  Here's a reminder. (You won't hear this at  one of the expensive dinners of the chamber of commerce.)

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/karl-nerenberg/2016/11/labour-human-rights-groups-want-trudeau-to-respect-promise-min

Will Trudeau do anything? Amost certainly not.
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The U.S. planned the overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine. The reason it gave was that it was corrupt. Of course, that wasn't the reason. In reality, the U.S. has proven that it just loves corrupt governments.

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/11/02/phony-corruption-excuse-for-ukraine-coup/
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And here is a story from Russia Today for those who get all indignant that it's Russian propaganda. Check it out. Is this full of insane appeals to nuke the U.S.?

https://www.rt.com/news/365299-assange-pilger-saudi-clinton/

In fact, read the whole edition. There's nothing in this you couldn't find in a half-decent western newspaper.  (Though it is too bad we don't have half-decent newspapers in this part of the world.)

Is this really a propaganda site? It is - in the sense that it is meant to give a good impression of Russia. But it doesn't do it by lying.
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This story about the FB! and Clinton makes sense - though it stops short of being convincing about the feelings of the FBI's Comey toward the Clintons.

http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/u-s-election-2016/1.751016
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But Haaretz isn't afraid to disagree with itself. Here's another version of the above story - and it makes more sense.

http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/u-s-election-2016/chemi-shalev/1.751108\
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The American election is a disaster because both candidates for the presidency are disasters. One candidate is almost openly the candidate of corruption and world conquest with more than a hint of nuclear war. The other is a man who works on fears and hatreds, but who has no altrenative except more fear and hate. Nor do the American people have any sense of an alternative to the hatred, greed, and even insanity that they have come to represent. Their mythical view of the nature of the U.S. and of themselves, a view peddled by history books and by news and entertainment media, makes it impossible to even understand that there could be an alternative.

The reality is that Hillary Clinton represents the corruption and greed that has destroyed the U.S. Trump represents hatred as though hatred were a solution. This election can only be a disaster for the U.S. - and a   disaster to the world.
Who will win? My guess is that Trump will because his voters are more committed than Hillary's. But the announcement will be that it was a win for Hillary - because the polls will be rigged.

And, in that case, there's a danger that I had dismissed until recently. The anger on Trump's side is so strong that violence by 'militias' and others is quite possible.

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