Saturday, July 30, 2016

July 30: Sorry for the missed days

For the last few days, I have been living in a chaos of crashing computer, non-functioning printer, and dead cell phone.

I have not watched much of the convention debates in the US. I have not watched because, frankly, I don't care that Chelsea thinks (or reads from  a prepared speech by a speechwriter) that her mommy is a wonderful person. Ditto for the offspring and the partner of Trump.

Nor do I care to waste time listening to the two candidates exchange insults and witticisms to the cheers of obviously dim-witted audiences. I heard no reference to any of the major crises facing the U.S. The levels of poverty and homelesness and hunger are rising. The health system is one of the most backward in the developed world. Defence spending is not only corrupt but has forced levels of borrowing that can never be repaid.

Trump is going to build an absurd wall along the Mexican border. Clinton is going to defeat ISIS, something she couldn't do in her eight years in the cabinet. She's going to create jobs. How? She doesn't say how - and she certainly didn't show how in her eight years.

If either of them has any set of values, any sense of human needs, it didn't show in the debates. This has all been beneath childish. So how do they get away with it?

A major reason they can get away with it is because of the fabric of lies that is the beliefs Americans have about themselves and their history.

From its first days, the U.S. has been, just like the rest of the western nations, a world murderer and looter.  It began with the displacement, starvation and killing of native peoples. Then it was the turn of Canada in 1812. (Even Canadians got sucked into the 'God bless America'  myth when they celebrated the War of 1812 as though it were something joyful. They invaded us, murdered a great many of us, with the purpose of taking over our land and resources. And we treated it as a joyful  occasion, inviting our "good friends" from the U.S. to the party. That's like holding a reunion for Jews and Naziis at Auschwitz.

Americans are taught the War of 1812 was fought because Britain was going to invade the U.S. And that is mindless drivel. Britain had its hands quite full with France and the time.

Then there were the 'heroes' of the Alamo, those gallant Americans who died at the hands of the evil Mexicans. In fact, those gallant Americans were in Mexican territory. They were land speculators eager to take over Mexico. And they were slave-owners and slave traders. Slavery was against Mexican law. That's why the Mexican army attacked them.

Just twenty years later, gallant Americans would take up arms to free the slaves in the U.S. Right. Except that Abraham Lincoln had no intention of freeing the slaves, and did not change his mind until well after the war began.

At the turn of the century, the U.S. began its assaults on South America and the Caribbean to loot resources, murdering along the way. It was the U.S. that planted dictatorships in Haiti, Cuba, all over the region. Then it annexed Hawaii, and conquered The Phillipines - torturing and killing large numbers in the latter. And why did it do that? To take the Phillipines as steps on the way to more killing so it could join in the European looting of Asia.

Almost every word of U.S. history as it is taught is a lie. In reality, the U.S. is the final act of the murdering, brutalizing, plundering carried out by Britain, France, Spain, Porturgal - a horrible period of history made possible by the the development of the ocean-going sailing ship and the publicity of Christopher Columbus.

In the process, the western plundering destroyed every society it touched. It destroyed the structure of the society. It destroyed the unity of its people. It destroyed its capacity to function as a society at all. That's what happened to our native people, to Latin Americans, to Africans, to Asians.

Well, Donald will fix that. He'll build a wall. Hillary will fix that. She'll kill more Muslims.  And God will bless America just as he once blessed the British and the French and the Spanish and the Portuguese.

We live in a world that we and our ancestors have created - a world of refugees, a world of mass starvation, a world of state-approved murder - and we blame the victims for it all. So we plan to kill more of them, and that, say the candidates, will solve the problem.

Why didn't the audiences at the convention raise these issues?  How could they? They don't  have any news media to tell them the truth about what's going on. How can they ask questions when they don't know anything? They've had a century of brainwashing by schools and news media. Any New Brunswicker should understand that. After all, that explains almost every election in the history of this province.

So I didn't pay much attention to the conventions.  It's not fun to watch a nation in its moral and intellectual collapse.
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There hasn't been much in the last few days of the irving press. John Williamson, a former Conservative MP and now VP (kiss-up) of Atlantic Institute of Market Studies says we need to cut taxes in New Brunswick. You know, spending is too high, taxes are forcing people to leave.....
It's pretty comtemptible stuff.

1. How much of our deficit is due to our failure to tax the wealthy? How much of our money is now in sombody else's tax haven?

2. How much is  due to the low taxes on    corporations even when we do tax them?

3. How much is due to the wide range of gifts and favours we do for friends of the right people? - like the ones who put up the money for propaganda outfits like AIMS?

4. If we cut taxes, was have to cut spending. And it we cut spending, the kind of politicians we elect will cut hardest on the middle class and the poor. ( I have no doubt how a person of the sort to become a VP of AIMS would cut.)

This is an old game. When the rich take so much out of a society and give so little back, we get rising poverty and a need for more social services. And the response of the rich is always the same. 'Hammer the poor". That was true in the depression of the 1930s, and in every recession since then.

We are living through one of the great periods of social theft as the very wealthy around the world are wealthier than they have ever been at the cost of the rest of us. And the kind of people who would do "research" for AIMS all scream, "Make the poor pay."

Saturday's paper had a headline of a sort I have never seen before. "Events centre comes together like a gigantic puzzle of steel".

It looks like the the opening line of a very bad poem. But it's worse. It's chatter about how the events centre building is on schedule. This isn't headline story. It's not even a news story.

The Saturday edition has a hilarious commentary saying that the oil industry can build trust by telling its story. The oil industry have been telling its story for many years. That's why the irving press is all about. That's why we get dopey commentaries like the one in the Saturday edition - written by the president of an energy group.

But enough of the Irving press.
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The next site is about the Pope as reported in The New York Times. Compare this to the childish drivel we almost always get on the Faith page of the irving press.

It's an important topic. Morality is important for the survival of humanity.  Your religion, if any, is far less important than the morality part. Jesus spoke mostly of morality. But, according to the usual Faith page, he mostly ran around screaming, "Believe in me or you'll go to  hell." So we can murder half  the world and pillage all of it. And that's okay so long as you believe in Jesus. That was the 'morality' that screamed out of the Republican and Democrat conventions.
I react in a similar way to the ad for the Irving Memorial Chapel.  Nothing but the best money can buy. The preacher is a Dr. (presumably of theology). One of the SPECIAL MUSIC peformers is a Dr.  (Jesus never had the qualifications that the preachers at the Irving Memorial Chapel have.)

Or you could just skip it and stroll over to the Catholic cemetery in Buctouche. Look for  the grave of Raoul Leger, a lay missionary murdered (along with many other clergy) in the course of a Guatemala government/US government massacre of several hundred thousand people - men, women, children, anything that moved. The National Film Board has a film about it. But not a single newspaper in North America has ever mentioned the massacre. And you can bet the irving press won't ever mention it. Nor will there be a prayer for Raoul Leger at the Irving Chapel.

The learned Drs. who preach there are well trained to confine the level of their Christianity to chorusses of "Jesus wants me for a sunbeam".

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/28/world/europe/pope-francis-poland-world-youth-day.html?action=click&contentCollection=Europe&module=RelatedCoverage&region=EndOfArticle&pgtyparticlee=
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The next one, sent to me by a reader, sounds extreme. It's not. This is really what has been happening. Paul Craig Roberts, the writer, is a superbly qualified authority on the workings of the American government.

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/07/29/the-democratic-party-no-longer-exists/
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I am not a Roman Catholic. But I greatly admire Pope Francis as a clergyman who sees the role of his faith in this world, and not just as a comforter blanket.

https://zenit.org/articles/popes-address-after-way-of-cross-in-krakow/
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Here's another one from Paul Craig Roberts. You won't know about any of this from our press - but much of Europe is broke. Geece is only one of the basket cases. They have been looted by the private banks which, in turn, have bought the U.S. politicians who created the European Union. The EU is completely under U.S. control. Europe is a part of the U.S. empire.

The same looting, by the way, has happened in Ukraine since its 'liberation'. But you won't see a word about this in any private, news medium.

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/07/27/is-europe-doomed-by-vassalage-to-washington-paul-craig-roberts/
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Here's an old story about how the European Union was formed. But it never made the irving press - or most other news media.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/1356047/Euro-federalists-financed-by-US-spy-chiefs.html
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Here are some comments about the Rio Olympics that you're not likely to see in the local press. (helpful tip for irving editors. Rio is in Brazil which is in the Northeast of South America.)

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/jul/29/students-speak-the-rio-olympics-come-at-a-cost-to-brazils-poorest
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//www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/jul/29/women-south-sudan-raped-un-compound-juba-kill-me-instead

Who did  this? We did. From the start, the western interventions in Africa have been to loot the people (as slaves),  then to loot the resources. Western business people destroyed the societies of Africa, and plundered them. They're still doing it. That's what the British meant when they sang "God bless our gracious queen........send her victorious, happy and glorious..." That's what Americans mean when they speak of American greatness, and sing 'God bless America'.
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Funny  this story never made the irving press. And it's really just a tiny example of how private banks have been looting countries in the EU   (and in Ukraine.)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ireland-banking-court-idUSKCN10912E?il=0

The wealthy of this world, especially in the western world, are in a hysteria in their scramble for ever more money.
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I agree with this one completely. This really is where we are standing.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45196.htm      
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I am not convinced by all of the arguments in the item below - particularly  in the early part. Bu the general idea of it makes sense. In fact, it is hard to imagine an espionage and dirty tricks force NOT reacting as the article suggests.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45202.htm          
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http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/07/30/mainstream-media-are-betraying-humanity/  
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This is a story about Australia. As you read it, remember that the dominant part of the Australian population is of European descent, and the dominant religion is Christianity. Just like us.

This helps to explain the American lust for torture and imprisonment. And it warns us to  look at the direction we're going in.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/07/30/australias-horrendous-abuse-of-aboriginal-children-the-tip-of-massive-australian-child-abuse/
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This is very old news. But not many in Canada and the U.S. have ever heard it. It's the story of the American conquest of an island called Haiti just over a hundred years ago. It was a conquest that forced misery, poverty, dictatorship and random murder on a helpless people for the benefit of (Christian) billionaires. Funny how such a story, which continues to t his day, has never made the irving press.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/07/29/haiti-101-years-after-us-invasion-still-resisting-domination/
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http://www.alternet.org/world/turkish-authorities-are-committing-mass-torture-crackdown-amnesty-international

Where was amnesty international when the good, church-going people of the U.S. were using mass torture on Muslims? And where were the God-fearing Barak Obama and Praise the Lord Hilary Clinton while all this was happening?
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Capitalism isn't evil. But greed is the most destructive of sins. We have allowed our leading capitalists to become the greediest people, and the most dangerous people, who have ever lived.

Gee! Maybe I could get invited to the  Chamber of Commerce to give a talk on this.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

July 27: Not a good day.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/07/don-fooled-justin-trudeau-boy-heart-canada-160713071303349.html?utm_source=

Justin Trudeau looks good on camera. See that, and you've seen all there is to see. He resembles his father in no way. He has no set of principles that I can determine. That makes him an easy stooge for big money.

The article above has a tone that is more strident than I like. But, in its basic message, it is the best one I have seen on Trudeau.
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Today or tomorrow, this blog will receive its hit number 500,000. Far its biggest audiences are American and then Russian. Canada is third, and just ahead of Germany. What mystifies me is why a blog on a dreadful newspaper chain in New Brunswick attracts, for the most part, readers from outside New Brunswick.
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The front page headline on today's irving press is that Moncton's city manager has resigned to take up another job offer. Wow! Then there's 'breaking news' that the local hockey team is looking for a new team song.

Then it gets worse. The editorial is a propaganda piece for the new 'events centre'. And the headline is an old and corny term  developed in politics. It began as  'we must build; but we must build surely."

Growth is good, but let it be well  guided." Yep. Nothing worse than a badly guided plan.

Norbert Cunningham begins his comment as a reasonable, if trite, criticism of politicians for blocking freer trade between provinces. Then it becomes a rant against all politicians. And, by doing so, becomes something resembling racism. (It must be something in the genes that makes all politicians evil and incompetent.)

Norbert, you don't even know who most of the politicians in Canada are. Tell you what, kid, I'll take you seriously when you have the integrity to call the Chamber of Commerce and Mr. Irving the things you call all politicians.

The Commentary page has another piece of propaganda from the Atlantic  Institutute of Market Studies, one of the blessings bestowed on the people of New Brunswick. This one is a bit on fracking, and more on how to make everybody but the rich pay more taxes. For illustration, it has a big photo of a car on fire at Rexton, and somebody running away. There are better photos available. For example, it could have been a photo of Lac Megantic in flames, bodies on the streets, and billionaires running away.

Brian Cormier tells yet another pointless story about himself.

But Alec Bruce comes through with the only item worth reading in the whole paper - a column about how a couple of lawyers are suing the government to make sure poor families don't get excessive breaks over university fees.
Lawyers like that should be in a big cage in a zoo with a sign on the cage  saying "hyenas".

Canada&World has whatever the editor chose at random while eating lunch. One of the stories is about a body found in a cornfield in Omaha. The news YOU need to know.

Again, there's nothing on the suffering in South America. Nothing on Syria. Nothing on Yemen. And there's no commentary on foreign news because nobody at irving press is capable of writing one - and Gwynne Dyer has obviously displeased the people who count at irving press.

Oh, they also missed a big story about the Democrat convention. American oil billionaires  have rented a   very expensive  hotel near the convention site. its purpose is to  allow the oil elite and their hired hands to mingle with delegates and with Democrat leaders to make sure they understand there is no such thing as global warning. So there is no such thing as any need for environmental controls.
Is Irving oil represented there? The irving press doesn't mention it. I should think, though, that it is.

Oh, the last page has a story that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said that North Korea is the only country in the world that is defying the international movement to nuclear responsibility.

Some fools will believe that obvious nonsense. But the U.S. has been hyping up and expanding its nuclear arsenal without a break   since 1945. Anyway, there is not such thing as a responsible use of nuclear weapons.
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Ever wonder how countries in the middle east can fight wars that go on for years? Whole cities and businesses can be destroyed. But the various sides can still feed and supply the weapons and the ammunition to fight on forever. The article below explains how much of that weaponry comes from our good friends in eastern Europe. You know, those countries that we're sending hundreds of troops to so they can scare off the vicious Russians.

Other suppliers, on an even bigger scale, are Britain and the U.S. who both supply the much-admired cluster bombs that are dropped on some of the poorest people in the world.

And even Canada has been authorized by Justin to get a share in the murder business.

Killing has become the most profitable business in the world. Wars are fought - and even bigger ones risked - purely to make profit for the world's most corrupt and dangerous businesses.

//www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/27/weapons-flowing-eastern-europe-middle-east-revealed-arms-trade-syria

Much of this expensive murdering is financed by American tax payers. That's why the U.S. has no money for homeless or hungry Americans,  none for education, none for health. The US has been at war almost non-stop ever since 1945. And it's not as if the poor, little U.S. has been getting pushed around by those awful Guatemalans and Vietnanese and Syrians....It's not even entirely to get control of oil. It's because war, itself, has become a very prosperous business. That's why the war industries give so much money to Hillary.

In comparison to the war industry, the oil industry looks (almost) moral.
The world has never known such evil times and such dangerous ones as we now live in. Our only comfort is to go to church where the preacher can avoid the whole problem simply by never mentioning it.

Can you imagine he moral decadence of those who are making billions by encouraging war?

We're also losing. In fifteen years and trillions of dollars spent by our side, extremist Islam is growing. Of course. The U.S., Britain, France (and Canada) have declared themselves to be anti-Muslim. In fact, that is what created ISIS. And doing more of the same is not going to solve anything.

There is no intelligent choice but to negotiate, and to allow Islamic countries to govern themselves. You think Muslims are extreme when they kill at random? George Bush (Christian) murdered a  hell of a lot more. So did Obama. So will Hillary.

What we are doing is not working. In fact, it is steering us toward the final disaster. But, oh,  there's money in it. Just the financial cost and corruption of it costs all of us heavily. But the war industry doesn't care about that any more than the oil industry does.
    
These people lack not only moral principles. They also lack brains. There is no outcome of this   greed that can do any good for us - or for them.
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The only Christian leader I have seen to treat this crisis from a Christian point of view is the pope. He's not as pretty as Justin Trudeau. But he seems to a man of greater intellect than the Liberal leader.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/27/pope-calls-for-solidarity-with-refugees-during-speech-in-krakow      
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This comment is from a writer who is not pro-ISIS, but one who sees that dropping cluster bombs on children is not going to make this a better world.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/27/defeat-isis-young-arabs-hope          
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Obviously, Putin is not as authoritative as Trump or Clinton. But he does make a good point.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45193.htm
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And here's a story of China and the South China Sea that you'll never find in the irving press. We so easily forget that the China of today is the product of what we have been doing to China for over 200 years.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45189.htm
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The irving press hasn't said much about the attempted coup in Turkey. So here's something it wouldn't have published even if it knew about it. (There's a good deal of confirmation of this interpretation.)

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45183.htm

As an aside, I'll add we should expect much more serious violence to come in Turkey, partly because of Erdogan's extreme response - and possibly because of more U.S. interference to come.
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       Now, here's a commentary that can't be true. If it were, irving press would have had a big story on it.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/07/27/kuwait-experiences-the-highest-temperature-with-world-under-heat-waves/  

Many readers will dismiss this by noting that there have been higher temperatures as long ago as a hundred years. Very true. But what's happening now is that we are getting massive heat waves all over the world, coupled with a steady rise in average temperatures.

But, gee, there's money in fracking. We could all die rich on our irving salaries. Maybe the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies will explain all this to us.
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Finally, it's important to understand that it is now more important to fight wars than it is to win them. We once fought wars for plunder. That's what the British, French, Spanish, Portuguese wars were about. We still fight them for plunder - as in Iraq and Syria. But a change has been creeping in. We are, increasinly, fighting wars simply because the wealthy find it an easy way to make profits - by selling weapons and renting out 'heroes'.

Of course, that's tough on millions of innocent people - men, women, children. But most of the weatlhy don't give a damn about them. And in at least two thousand years of history it's hard to find a time when they did give a damn.
Right now, the wealthy are busy cornering all the world's money. The pace has been remarkable since the 1970s. The more wars,  the better because the more wars we fight, the more money goes into the pockets of the war industries. Nor do they have to pay taxes of their own  to pay for those wars. The Panama papers have shown how easy it is to hide money. And the news media owned by the wealthy have shown no great interest in exploring that story.

The wealthy have, historically, been quite immoral in their search for more money. But they are now reaching for ultimate heights. The end of their greed will be as destructive to them as to the rest of us. But greed isn't very good at thinking.

The path we're on is taking us straight into violence. I don't advocate it because it rarely leads to improvement. But it's going to happen. Violence is what greed and stupidity ultimately create. Moral values in political life have almost vanished. Trump and Clinton are extreme forms of lack of morals; but there are lots of signs in Canadian public life, even here in New Brunswick.

We really have very little time left to simply watch the world in ignorance. But the function of news chains like the irving press is to make sure that watching in ignorance is all that we do.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

July 26: a new record for trivial news.

http://web.archive.org/web/20150805164144/http:/www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-zuesse/jimmy-carter-is-correct-t_b_7922788.html

This article is correct, though Jimmy Carter said it a year ago. In fact, it would still have been correct if he had said it in 1776. The U.S. has never been a democracy. It has always been ruled by the wealthy and for the wealthy, starting with George Washington.

Native people were murdered and Mexico  (and Canada) were invaded to steal the land for land speculators. Invasions of the Caribbean and South America and Hawaii and The Phillipines happened for the same reason - and for their resources and cheap labour. The civil war was not fought to free slaves. It was fought to protect the business interests of the industrial north over those of the agricultural south. The U.S. has been warring and stirring up war in the middle east to benefit the oil industry. The  hostilitiy to Russia and China comes from the desire of US big business to control the world economy.

Why did American American 'heroes' die in Vietnam and Iraq? Were the people of those countries preparing to attack the helpless U.S.? Were Haiti and Cuba and Guatemala threats to the American nation? What was the heroism in murdering and impoverishing millions in these countries? if that's what heroism means, we should have been pinning medals on Hitler and Stalin.

Forget the history books. Forget the lies told by newspapers and politicians, both owned by billionaires. Look at the reality.  (And we Canadians don't really have to look so far as the U.S. to see an oligarchic government.)
_________________________________________________________________ The big, page 1 headline is that  university graduates in New Brunswick would be more likely to stay here if they could get good jobs in this province. But they can't. So they're going.

We needed a poll to tell us that? This is a flash that nobody expected?

The second big story is that a group  is studying the history of hooked rugs in New Brunswick.

Then there's a whole page of pictures of lifeguards splashing in the water - useless as news, but a cheap way to fill a page.

Then there's a breaking story that a woman in Moncton is keen on studying her family history.  The news YOU need to know.
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Norbert Cunningham has a true enough article on the dismal record of employment in New Brunswick. The minimum wage, he says, is not enough to live on. Very true.  So he says that smart firms would do something about that without waiting for government to push them.

Think about that.
He is obviously saying  that business in New Brunswick is NOT run by smart people. Care to give us a few names, Norbert? Anyway, we don't elect business people to run this province. We elect political parties. And if they aren't doing anything, we should get off our asses and elect somebody else.

Then he says too many New Brunswickers refuse to help themselves by moving to where there are bettter paying jobs. Norbert, they are moving. That's surely the point of your column. Simply moving into Moncton to get minimum wage is scarcely going to solve any problem.

Get real, Norbert. Much of the problem exists because this province is actually run by the oligarchy of the wealthy. And your job is to make sure they never get blamed for anything. Your job is to keep people voting for their puppets who cause the problem.

Amazing how columnists at the irving press can so often be critical of the economy without once mentioning the word 'Irving'.
Oh, on the last page - the Miramichi airport manager has switched to another job. We get a  half-page on this - with photo. Who could possibly care?
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Canada&World. (sigh!)

Yemen, where a Canadian company (with the blessing of the Canadian government) is helping to murder some of the poorest people in the world, especially children, didn't make the Irving press.

Nor did China, though the U.S. is edging closer to war with it. It's getting closer since The Hague ruled that China had no right to the artifical islands (and their waters) it had built in the South China Sea. It's now a very dangerous flash point.
The U.S.  (and Japan) have taken a very prominent role in this affair - which is more than a little unusual since such disputes would normally be settled among the neighbouring nations  (the ASEAN nations). Particularly galling is the U.S. role since it has been invading, bombing and murdering all over the world for decades  (make that over 300 years) without regard for any law.

What China sees, quite rightly, is a U.S. determined to surround it and, eventually, to attack it.

But the irving press had no room for the story. It had a more important one on how a Fredericton animal and fish food company is moving into feeding sled dogs. I was spellbound.

There is also no mention of  the artificial crisis in Latvia - though Canada is sending troops there. Nor is there any mention of the chaos in Latin America. Or of U.S. special ops murderers at work there. However, there is ia big story that the New York police chief is retiring at age 68. (I needed to know that.) And a big story on outhouses in a Nova Scotia museum.

Mr. Irving should visit his chapel to ask forgiveness for his newspapers.
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https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/26/black-men-minorities-killed-police-encounters-study

This study does not affect the role of racism in police shootings. The racism simply gets into gear earlier with the choice of who to stop and question.
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Those who wring their hands at the terror inflicted by some muslims on France have obviously forgotten the years of terror inflicted by France and its empire on Muslims. It's hard to find a western nation with a virtuous past (or present).

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/22/attacks-france-colonial-past-war-terror
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There's a strong push on for Sanders to become a prominent supporter of Hillary Clinton, even to nominating her as the leader. If Sanders does so, that will be one hell of a betrayal. Sanders and Clinton have no values in common. She's a tool of the very wealthy. Sanders is the only hope of the average Amercian voter. (The Republicans certainly don't care about them.)

Nor does it make sense to support Clinton in order to defeat Trump. Trump is undoubtedly a wacko. But Clinton is as vicious as the servants of the very rich can be. The chances of either of them leading the U.S. into (world) disaster are equally great ---no - they are probably greater with Clinton.

The voters that Sanders represented are those who have not been represented at all for at least 60 years - and really much more than that. To abandon them to two, equally dangerous leaders is a  betrayal of all Sanders claimed to stand for. Those people need a voice. Sanders would be wiser to quit the democrats and run on his own.

Trump is an obvious fool. But Hillary is genuinely evil, a servant of the callously rich, and interested only in becoming one of them. No-one knows what Trump will do. But a vote for Hillary is virtually a guarantee of the final war.

http://usuncut.com/politics/jill-stein-blasts-dnc-email-leak/
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This one speaks for itself.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/07/26/theres-no-business-like-the-arms-business/
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The following is from the Vatican newspaper - which I find has more to say about the church in the real world than the irving press Faith page does.
South Sudan: ‘The Worst Is Still to Come’

Posted by ZENIT Staff on 25 July, 2016

South Sudan
By Clare Creegan

A project partner of Aid to the Church in Need has warned that the upsurge of fighting in South Sudan will see the humanitarian crisis affecting millions of civilians worsening.

One of the Catholic charity’s South Sudanese project partners, who cannot be named for security reasons, described how renewed violence in Juba has caused immense suffering and increased insecurity amongst its people.

Referring to calls from the governments of neighbouring countries Uganda and Kenya for their citizens to leave South Sudan, he said: “The way the various governments all over the world are panicking and acting shows that they fear that something terrible is still to happen. One can even hear that ‘the worst is still to come!’”

The religious Brother also described how the South Sudanese people were prohibited from leaving the country and were suffering from food shortages – but thanked ACN for their solidarity.

He said: “Let’s pray that the nightmare in Juba and all around the country is soon coming to an end.

“People just cannot stand this hell any longer. I am seeing people leaving Juba in big numbers, mostly to Uganda, whenever they find a possibility and when they can afford it.”

Through the church, 1,385 registered families – which numbered 7,183 displaced people – were able to receive support at St Paul’s Seminary campus in Juba.

The renewed fighting is a major setback for South Sudan’s peace process which had been troubled by ceasefire violations and localised outbreaks of violence since the peace agreement signed by rival leaders President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar in August 2015.

Tensions came to a head on July 7, following an attack in Juba close to where the President and Vice President were meeting.

Continued fighting is reported to have left more than 300 dead and the death toll is expected to rise as fears of a return to civil war increase.

Aid to the Church in Need is supporting ongoing projects in South Sudan including aid to help build a presbytery for the newly established parish in Barsherki in the Diocese of Wau.

In 2015 the charity also gave more than $950,000 to fund the Church’s pastoral work with refugees in South Sudan.
(You may notice that the story of South Sudan has never reached the ears of an irving press editor).
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And if you believe or trust anybody in the oil industry, you'll just love this.

https://theintercept.com/2016/07/22/oil-lobby-paid-washington-post-and-atlantic-to-host-climate-change-deniers-at-rnc/
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And this is why I think Bernie Sanders betrayed his followers.

https://theintercept.com/2016/07/26/bernie-sanders-left-delegates-with-no-way-to-fight-but-boo/

Incidentally, the plaform of Clinton is not very different from that of Trudeau. We'll be learning more about that in the coming year.
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Monday, July 25, 2016

July 25: We have met the enemy. And he is....

http://journal-neo.org/2015/01/26/mit-states-that-half-of-all-children-may-be-autistic-by-2025/

Since 1970, the rates of autism in children and of alzheimer's in seniors have risen spectacularly. Some scientists, working out of the very authoritative MIT, have concluded that autism will affect 50% of all children by 2025.
The cause? Chemicals, especially glysophate,  that is widely used as a weed killer domestically, and is used to on crops and - oh, yes - on us in New Brunswick to spray our forests (and anything else that's down there.)

The story hasn't appeared in the Irving press. Nor is it likely to. But perhaps it will be discussed over coffee an the barn by the Irving chapel. This is well worth reading. And you may note that, unlike most news that does appear in the Irving press, this one tells both sides of the story.
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In Saturday's section A, there's a big story about two lawyers who are challenging the provincial government's right to offer help to students at publicly funded universities if their families earn less that $60,000 a year. The legal team of Murphy and Lamrock says no. Private colleges should also get this benefit. Their argument appears to be that the law guarantees the right to equal protection and benefit of the law.

Like hell it does. There is no right to equal protection and benefit. If you think there is, try suing Mr. Irving. Or load up a plane with Roundup and spray his house.

This case has nothing to do,  in any case, with the legal rights of students. It's about the legal right of private institutions to get extra money - in the same way we throw money at private companies to build, say, warships. They're making a case for the institutions, not for the students and what they need.

The reality is that students from families with incomes below $60,000 have far, far lower chances of going to university. It's not just the cost. It's also a matter of social background that causes students not even to think of higher education. It's growing up in a society that has no intellectual interests, and no sense that those who live in it  should even think of   higher education. Put costs and background together - and that adds up to low-paid jobs for life.

I see no reason to have respect for lawyers who take up a cause of the privileged - and who seem to be unaware of social realities.

There is nothing worth reading on the Opinion and Commentary pages. Brian Murphys column is particularly vapid. "There's more than a building worth saving in the MHS story". Yes, yes. There's also memories. This is dreadfully bland and pointless stuff. It's not really a commentary of any sort. But it's guaranteed not to offend anybody.

Below Murphy is a propanda piece from the Fraser Institute.

Canada&World News is almost all trivial. And, again, most of the world doesn't exist.

And, in a world in which Christians are killing people by the million with absolute indifference to whether they are soldiers. civilians, men, women, children, babies. And Christians are deliberately starving millions to death (in Yemen for example) - not to mention that American and Canadian Christians are now confronting Russia Christians; and American special ops (Christian to a man) are assassinating South American Christians, we get to read an intellectually and spiritually drooling Mickey Mouse sermonette on the Faith page.

In Monday's section A, there's a big story about a teen who has been playing chess for fifteen years. Then there's more than a full page on ghosts. And a Dieppe pyschologist is opening a women's boutique. It's a full life.

The commentary page has not a single commentary on it. A commentary takes an important issue of the day, and offers a reasoned opinion about it. And there just ain't one.

Canada&World for Monday is, well, not as good as usual. The tone is set by the lead headline - that the Algonquin Hotel in St. Andrews, which received over 30,000,000 dollars in provincial government loans is "...finally starting to pay off".

What does that mean? Damaned if know. There is not a single word in that whole story to tell us what is being paid off or how much. In fact, the final paragraph says it's not making a profit yet. Aren't newspaper reporters supposed to ask questions? What has been paid back on the loan? It created 250 jobs. Sure. Most of them seasonal and low paid. That's now much of a return for over $30,000,000.

There is no story about Yemen, where the U.S. is helping Saudi Arabia,  one of the richest countries in the world, to bomb, starve, cut off medical supplies, destroy hospitals and to kill soldiers and   civilians with no distinction in one of the poorest countries in the world.

And Canada has a finger in that pie. We are supplying the Saudis with armoured cars - even though we signed an agreement that we would not. So why did Canada change its mind, and approve it? We never heard a word about the manufacturer or its ownership or its political connections.  And there's something else very odd about this.

There is  no armoured car that is fit to be on a battlefield. Their chassis cannot take the strain of adequate armour to fend off even the lightest tank gun.. Nor can they carry anything resembling an adequate gun. That's why most armies abandoned armoured cars by 1945 - even earlier.

Today, armoured cars are more likely to be found in police forces   (of the more violent sort) for crowd control. They're great for shooting up civilians who have only light weapons - if any. So what are the Saudis using them for? I've heard no mention of public uprisings in Saudi Arabia. That leaves just Yemen. It particularly leaves just the starving civilians of Yemen.

Why don't we know much, much more about what our government is doing? This is surely easy information for journalists to get.
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The irving press has said remarkably little about the Panama Papers. That's surely odd for what is the biggest act of thievery in world history. The papers also throw considerable doubt on Norbert Cunningham's fundamental belief - that billionaires create prosperity wherever they invest. In fact, history shows the reverse to be true. The very wealthy are usually thieves on a vast scale There's insight into this   (based on the Panama Papers) in a column about the workings of the wealthy in Africa - particularly in the mining industry. You'll find the same thing in Asia, South America - and Canada.

The site also lists a couple of others worth looking at.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/25/panama-papers-reveal-scale-of-offshore-firms-african-operations
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Then there's this one about Bangladesh where the billionaires who made you favourite cheap clothes flock to exploit  child  and adult labour (though child labour is supposedly illegal.) Hours are long, wages, extremely low, and working conditions very dangerous. But, oh, the profits are high. So much for all the journalistic crap about billionaires creating wealth for the society.

Odd - we've never had a sermonette about this on the Faith page. I guess Jesus must have been in favour of cheap labour and the degradation of humans
.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/25/bangladeshi-child-labourer-tortured-to-death-at-textile-mill
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Then there's a minor story that appealed to me only because I worked for some time in Hong Kong where I taught history and journalism. The major English language daiy in Hong Kong is the South China Morning Post. And the story is all about how the Chinese government is trying to control the paper.

I don't doubt that it is. But the reality is the South China Morning Post has always been controlled. It was controlled by the British and the British governor for almost a century. And it was operated by the most arrogant and least competent journalists I had seen until I read the irving press.

But I have never even heard of a newspaper that criticized the control of the SCMP by brits. Indeed, all around the world, most newspapers, by far, are controlled by governments and by billionaire owners.

Funny how The Guardian gets all excited when the Chinese government controls the press.  It's like the stories on our TV and newspapers that shed tears for the victims of Orlando. But have almost ignored the massive killing all over the world imposed by the U.S. and its allies.

It's all, really, a close relative of racism.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/25/bangladeshi-child-labourer-tortured-to-death-at-textile-mill
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The next article accuses Poland - and much of Europe - of moving toward fascism. That's rather a casual use of the word 'fascism'. I think it would be more accurate to say it's moving  back to a racism that has always been there.

All of us humans have a strong tendency to racism - to a sense that we belong to unique race, and that it it morally and intellectually superior to the races of all other people - especially ones that we are killing or exploiting.

There have been strong echoes of racism on both sides of the language debate in Canada.  Racism gave the British the arrogance to plunder, exploit and murder millions for the empire. There are echoes of racism in most national anthems that I have heard. Racism is what made it possible for the U.S. to condemn the Orlando shootings while giving no thought whatever to the millions of men, women, and children killed by American bombs. The Americans who died in Vietnam are remembered as heroes. But we don't use that word to describe the Vietnamese who were killed defending their country (when they weren't just civilians killed in the general slaughter)  against the most powerful nation in the world.

Hitler didn't invent racism. Racism  goes back thousands of years in human history. It particularly shows up in times of fear - as now in the U.S. and Europe. Poland is just a sample.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_new_european_fascists_20160724
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And the article above is a close relative to the one below. It's also a useful example of how the wealthy do NOT create prosperity.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45178.htm
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And here are two, good articles - one on nuclear war, the other on a reality our news sources never talk about. The US wants the world to live in a constant fear of war. That's why Canada is under pressure to dramatically raise its military spending. That's why some European countries are driven into a panic of military spending.

The military industries of the US have immense power over the government. They exist to sell weapons. Ever notice that once famous military brand names like Supermarine and Hawker have disappeared?  That's because the dominant suppliers of the US war industries have taken over - and the major purpose of NATO is to buy US weapons for 'standardization'.

Watch for Canada's war spending to go up - and soon.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45181.htm
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An excellent site, especially for readers interested in the middle east and India is countercurrents.org.

If like me, you were a child raised on the myth of Lawrence of Arabia, there's a  truer  version currently available in countercurrents. There is also an examination of the "special relationahip" between Britain and the U.S.  The reality is that no such relationship ever existed. Big business has no connection with special relationships and special friends. The two world wars were convenient for the U.S. That's the only reason it entered them.
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Perhaps the most thieving companies to found in this world are those in pharmaceutical business. (Not, not your local pharmacist. It's the companies that make the drugs.)_

http://www.alternet.org/drugs/big-pharma-bribes-doctors-sell-drugs
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Lots more. but it's supper time.

Friday, July 22, 2016

July 22: Us Very Imperfect Humans.

Again, I shall be off to sea and sand for this weekend.
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Man murders   50 in Orlando nightclub.  News media go wild for days, even weeks, in covering it.

Two men murder over a million people, including thousands of their own nationals. They also create millions of refugees of whom thousands die of exposure, starvation, drowning as they attempt to flee. It makes some  headlines - for a day. Now, it's forgotten.

As a result of the Chilcot report, there cannot be the slightest doubt that Tony Blair and George Bush, jr. (a big fan of Jesus) invaded Iraq with no cause and no mandate. There is no doubt they lied about 'weapons of mass destruction'. That act has plunged the world into a chaos of destruction and suffering which will last as far into the future as we can see. The heaps of dead now are only a down payment.

Believe it or not, this is far, far bigger than nightclub murders in Orlando.                                
And there is not the slightest doubt that Blair and Bush lied about their reasons for the war. We have the evidence investigators. We have recorded conversations between the two.

But you'll notice none of this has been mentioned in the U.S. leadership races. And, at the political level, it has received little, if any, attention in Britain.
Nobody has even asked why they did it. If I were arrested for urinating behind a tree in Centennial Park, it would get more news coverage in the irving press than the mass murder of Iraqis, Americans, and British did.

The can be said for the war in Afghanistan where the murder included natives of Afghanistan as well of American, British and Canadian troops. Why did we send them?  Why did some half-wit think that Canadians should die in a war that had nothing to do with Canada against a country that was no threat to Canada. And why did Canadian line the streets waving flags as the caskets rolled by as if there were something glorious about it all? Is this why Canadians died in World War Two? To help U.S. billionaires to conquer the world? And why have the members of The Legion sat on their thumbs as all this happened?

What a sodden, stupified lot we have become! And, concerning a world that goes beyond horror, have you heard a single word from our Christian leaders? Or even prayers for all those murdered people? Or, perhaps, something from the British Legion about this wilful abuse of British soldiers?

And, amazingly, nobody has even asked why these wars are fought - though I think we can all guess why if we close our eyes and think really hard about it.
Iraq, for example, has only one thing worth fighting a war for. Its oil. Now, think about that aspect of it. Did Bush and Blair  do this as a sort of surprise party for British and American oil barons?

Not likely.

No. More likely, the oil barons told them that they wanted that oil. Over a million people died and millions were made refugees to make the already wealthy even wealthier. And, in the process, they have plunged us into war without end.
But have you seen an editorial in the Irving press about this? A commentary by Norbert Cunningham? Perhaps even something from Rod Allen written in a style of adolescent humour?

Almost nothing has been said. Nothing has been done. Nothing is likely to be done because this case is not just about two mass murderers. It's about the whole, ruthless and murderous world of  the 1%. Perhaps you might want to discuss this on Sunday while having coffee in the barn at the Irving Chapel.
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There are two items worth reading in section A news. One is about the food bank. Its stocks are way down. There's also an interesting - and thoughtful - story about two Moncton photographers who are raising money to build a wheelchair accessible school for Haiti. A key fearure of this is to pay Haitians to build it. That's huge improvement over the more common practice of putting the job into the hands of contractors with government connections - who then pocket most of the money.
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The editorial is on NB Power's debt. And its advice is typical  irving press advice. Make the poor pay.  And don't even mention Irving.
Similarly, Norbert talks about the province's shortage of money  without mentioning the wealthy and their tax privileges.

The three columns on the commentary page are more useful. But they share one weakness with the opinion page. They are all about local affairs. But the world does not end at the borders of metro Moncton. We are far more affected by decisions taken in Ottawa and Washington and even more distant cities. We need to understand this.

We get (some) news about these places. But we also need commentary to stir our thinking, to deepen our understanding. We are now sending troops into danger in Syria and in Latvia. We need informed columnists to understand what we are doing, and if we should do it. We need informed columnists to assure the    timid people of this province that they are allowed to discuss these things.  We cannot act intelligently if we don't understand what's going on.

That is particularly important in a war-prone world. For at least hundreds of years,  countries have gone to war without knowing why they were going to war. Why, for example,  did Canada go to war in Afghanistan? And please don't say it was patriotism. (If so, we're no different from those Germans who went to war in 1914 and 1939).
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Canada&World? One of the big items is that elevators seem to be breaking down more often. Another one is about a local man who has interesting jobs. Yemen? South America? Africa? Never heard of them.
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I began today's blog with an account of how killings in Orlanda or Nice or Paris get enormous play in our news media. But our killings of millions are matters of indifference to us. Here's a commentary on that phenomenon.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/22/syria-airstrikes-civilian-deaths-war-isis

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Here's another mass murder, this one comitted by Indonesia, Australia and Britain. They tortured and killed a half million people. But who cares? It's not as if it happened in a nightclub in Orlando.

God save the Queen.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-21/1965-indonesian-mass-killings-were-'crimes-against-humanity'/7647274
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Here's another example of the same kind of thinking.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45159.htm
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I remember 9/11 well. I was on air as the news came through. The host of the show, Gord Sinclair Jr., and I stared at each other. Each of us knew what the other was thinking. The world would never be the same again. Aghanistan, Iraq, Syria were all products of  9/11. Indeed, one might say that World War Three for the conquest of the world by American billionaires began with 9/11.
People say they don't believe in conspiracy theories. In fact, most people believe in them every day. The  war on Iraq was 'justified' by a conspiracy theory. Ditto for the war on Syria. And here, Paul Craig Roberts makes an interesting case about a 9/11 conspiracy.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45154.htm

Get real. We are not led by truthful people.
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The Koch brothers, the American oil billionaires who have spent a large fortune (though smaller than their personal fortune) to convince us that climate change isn't happening, have dropped their support of Donald Trump to switch to Hillary Clinton. Final proof, if proof were needed, that Hillary Clinton is just as dangerous as Donald Trump. People like the Koch brothers  don't want just  to peddle even more oil. They want war to steal more oil. And the beauty of  the war part is that it they don't have to pay a cent for the war. The hundreds of billions - even more with some over a trillion - that wars cost are paid for by us suckers. Noor is it common for the wealthy to serve in these wars. The swaggering George Bush Jr. is more an example of the type.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/07/22/koch-brothers-now-supporting-hillary-clinton/

(Countercurrents, by the way, is an excellent source of information about parts of the world the irving press has never heard of - like southeast Asia and Africa and, in fact, most of the world.)
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The insanity of greed.

https://theintercept.com/2016/07/21/republicans-in-cleveland-deny-climate-change-as-arctic-snow-turns-pink/

Thursday, July 21, 2016

July 21: Not a pretty world

I knew I shouldn't have. But last night I watched a little more of the Republican convention. It was a look into the insanity of hell. There was the raving of a man with a mental age of a 12 year old with severe personality disorders. There was a racism so thick it could be tasted. There was the very dangerous cry of declaring the U.S. a Christian state.

Yes, the country that kills more people (including its own) than any other country - the country whose economic policies are based on greed and exploitation - the country with an uncontrollable rate of murder by its citizens and by its police - the country with the biggest prison population in the world is going to declare itself officially Christian.

Actually, that has nothing to do with religion. Like Hitler's Christianity, it's all about racism. If either party in the U.S. gave a damn about Christianity, the U.S. would not now be the world's leading murderer; and oil billionaires wouldn 't be running around saying that climate change isn't happening.

The Republican party, like Hitler's Naziis, isn't really about religion at all. It's about conformity. Be white. Be straight. If you're male, drink beer and look for easy scores. Call yourself Christian.  (And don't kid yourself that New Brunswickers would never dream of such a society. This is such a society.)
Trump is appealing to the lowest of human instincts. And Hillary? She is pure greed. In her own way, she is worse than Trump.

And we are sending Canadian troops, at the request  (demand) of the U.S. on a military mission that makes no sense, that could, in fact, spark the final war for no reason but to give American billionaires control of the world economy - which would mean control of something that no longer existed.

The pressures for Canada to conform are strong. Canadians, like most people, love to conform.  (That's why we get those Mickey Mouse sermonettes on the faith page. That's why so many robots vote either liberal or conservative. That's why some 'Christians' demonstrate against abortion while saying not a word about the millions of babies killed by bombs, napalm, agent orange, exposure, refugee flights, and deliberate starvation.)

Jesus was not a conformist. That's why he got crucified by the religiously self-righteous. There is, however, no danger that a Trump or a Clinton will ever be crucified.

However impossible it may sound, Canada is going to have to break its support of U.S. policy. There will be a price for it. There will be trade sanctions, at least. And the Irvings of this Canada would never support such a move. (They're very Christian. They even have their own church with all the Christian trimmings - like coffee in the barn.)

All this sounds extreme? It is. Now, think hard. If this were 1937, and we shared a border and trade with Hitler's Germany......what side would you choose?
Or, if you don't want to think, settle down with a copy of today's irving press.
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The big, front page headline is the the provincial Liberals'  plan to reform jobs training - and they called for meetings to discuss it. Translation? Nothing has happened. But they're thinking of thinking about it. And that's irving press idea of a big story.

And that's it for section A news unless you really, really care that an old fire station is for sale. Oh, and there's a Moncton cook who makes great doughnuts. Man, it's a full life.

The editorial tells us that nothing has happened with the N.B. registry of lobbyists. That's interesting. But I have a great idea to kickstart this. The editorial writer could write one suggesting that the owner of the newspaper voluntarily register himself as a lobbyist. There. That would set an example.

Norbert Cunningham praises a letter to the editor from a retired teacher on how young people cannot really participate in a democracy because of a failure of schools to teach history, civics, etc.

Quite so. There are just two points I would raise with Norbert.

1. I taught history at all levels from elementary school to university. In elementary and high school, I  could never tell the truth without being criticized by school board officials and assorted busybodies. The school boards wanted propaganda. The busybodies were ignorant of history but wanted conformity to the accepted version.

So I was expected to teach that the British Empire, one of the most murderous and rapacious in history was just, oh, glorious. To this day, any elementary or high school teacher who told the whole truth would be fired. The newest history curriculum in Quebec schools actually teaches that the native peoples and the French settlers got along just great - which is a complete reversal of what actually happened.

2. Then there are the news media who are even worse. We all need changing and broadening information about history, civics and politics all our lives. Our young people don't know history and politics? Does anybody seriously think our older population does?

That's where news media are supposed to come in with the information we need to make democracy work. But most of our news media, notably the Irving press, feed us propaganda (as from think tanks), lies and, most of all, irrelevant and ignorant 'news' stories about fire stations for sale and somebody who makes great doughnuts.

Before you dump all the blame on the schools, Norbert, look in a mirror.

Rod Allen gives us another piece of adolescent humour about something nobody cares about. How's that for his responsibility to keep people informed so they can function in a democracy?

There is a superb, intelligent and readable commentary on the relationship between children's health and their family incomes. This is the kind of commentary we need to vote intelligently.

Alec Bruce has a column on developing the tidal power of Fundy to supply electricity. This is based on thoughts expressed by Rick Doucet, NB's minister of energy and resources. I don't doubt Mr. Doucet's sincerity. But this is scarcely a new idea. It's been kicking around for at least 50 years that I know of.
So why no action? Hint - how long do you think it would take a government to do something if Mr. Irving wanted it? Our provincial governments have been bending themselves like pretzels to sell us on fracking and pipelines and forest spray. That's because Mr. Irving wants all of those. But tidal evergy......?
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Section B really has almost nothing.   Brazil has been in  political chaos for months as groups which seem to be backed by U.S. business have taken over the government. And the big story in the irving press?  A dog in Rio that was shot has recovered, and is now up for adoption.

A drug dealer in Virginia has been given 41 years for murder.

An 84 year old woman in Virginia is getting a new trial on a charge of poisoning her son's girlfriend.

This is how how the irving press keep you up to date on the things you need to know for our democracy to work. (But it's really all the fault of the schools. Right, Norbert?)  
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As I look at some real, world news, I'm reminded that way back I was a member of the Nuclear Disarmament Movement. But the news media of the time painted us as wackos. That attitude spread to police. I remember, after a demonstration, having a beer with a friend who was a policeman. He confided that he couldn't  wait to wade into a demonstration, wacking the the  freaks wearing beards and sandals with his baton.

Apart from sending police to watch us, governments did nothing but build more nuclear weapons, sell lthem to more countries...now, they refine them into different types with some small and handy for small groups like the soldiers we're sending to Latvia. From two nuclear weapons in 1945, we've gone to nobody knows how many - perhaps 20,000.

And we are seriously planning to use them.  Nuclear disarmament talks could have begun with the collapse of the Soviet Union.  But the U.S., in particular, kept building them. And, with so many of them, and with massive launches now possible from submarines, it's difficult to see how  they could all be intercepted.
And the U.S. media, the big backers of U.S. nuclear weapons, were shocked when North Korea had the nerve to develop one. (Though they said nothing when Israel got 200 of them.)

Now, the U.S. is setting them up on the Russian border. Well, I'm sure that will make the world a safer place.
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The world 'libertarian' sounds nice because it sounds as if it means more freedom for everyone. In fact, that's not what it means. It means all power for the very wealthiest. it means virtually no government at all to get in their way. New Brunswick is close to that. But some capitalists  feel it's necessary to completely destroy democratic politics - not just to buy them off, but to actually destroy them.

Big business has always disliked democracy.  (And don't tell me that George Washington,  a big businessman of his time, was a pioneer of democracy. Democracy in the American constitution's early days  (and later ones) was severely restricted.)

Here's an interesting column on the subject about a man who is supporting Trump. He's very wealthy, a libertarian, and he wants to utterly destroy democracy.)

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jul/21/peter-thiel-republican-convention-speech

You're not likely to learn this from the editorial or commentary pages of the irving press.

As a footnote to the above, I'll repeat what i started with. Canada has to detach itself from the U.S. I know that's difficult. I know the dangers. But to stay attached to it is fatal.
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The next item is from a source I would normally be wary of. But note that it originally appeared in another source  - which I would also normally be wary of, but for quite different reasons. Briefly, there's good reason to believe this story is true.

http://russia-insider.com/en/trump-guts-gops-anti-russia-stance-ukraine/ri15728
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The following piece is one I  have often though of, but have never had the courage to write.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45145.htm
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I am not a fan of conspiracy theories. But I take Paul Craig Roberts very seriously, indeed. And this one makes sense. American democracy is dead. The U.S., itself, is unravelling. Expect the unexpected.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45148.htm

Are there people in positions of power in the U.S. who would kill Donald Trump for cutting off arms to Ukraine? You can bet on it.
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The world has been in trouble for seventy years. We're now in trouble as deep as it gets. The tripping point was, above all, the invasion of Iraq. That is what created a powerful, anti-west Muslim movement. More killing by us will make it wider and stronger.

At the same time, American democracy, never very democratic, has completely collapsed.  Added to that, the U.S. is committed to world conquest to benefit its billionaires. Any leader who threatens to dull that drive is likely to be assassinated. As well, the  real rulers of the U.S. have demonstrated in 70 years of wars that they don't care how many people they kill or starve. Anything to boost profits.

At the same time, they are robbing the American people.  (And, with local help, the Canadian people.) We are heading into very unstable times. And they are not happening somewhere in the future. They have begun now. And expect no help from the private news media. They have been used for over a century to keep us in a stupor.
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Here is an excellent item on terrorism, and how the insatiable greed (and low intelligence)  of our big business leadership has created it.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/07/21/from-nice-to-the-middle-east-the-only-way-to-challenge-isis/

This is the kind of article we need to understand what's happening. And it's also what chains like irving press make sure we never even hear of. Why are young people and older ones hopelessly uninformed on local and world affairs? It's not the schools, Norbert. It's journalists like you.
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Enough for a day.

There is no possibility that any American government will change its aggressive and murderous policies in support of the very wealthy. There is no possibility those policies will result in anything but more death and destruction - and fear on both sides. At this time, the world's best hope is a social melt-down in the U.S. And that is quite possible.

The world cannot be run like a business, controlled by dictatorial bosses, and run solely for profits. It can be run only if it is for the people who live in it - and by people they want to run it. But the greedy will never understand that.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

July 20: A long day.

A reader sent me a post which I repeat here because you'll never find it in any North American newspaper. It's about the role Canada has taken on in Latvia. The language of this item is more strident and more loaded than the words I would have used. But the message is bang on.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/07/15/canadas-liberal-govt-joins-natos-war-escalation/

Almost all that has been given as reasons for Canadian intervention in eastern Europe is lies. Indeed, for the U.S. to even suggest it feels a responsibility to protect democracy and to stop aggression  would be laughable to any person with even a modest knowledge of history and current events.

The U.S. is without doubt the most  aggressive country in the world today - and perhaps the most aggressive in human history. The killing began well before 1776 with the destruction of native societies, the takeover of   Hawaii, the conquest of Latin American states, the Phillipines and, more recently, Vietnam, Barbados, Haiti, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria. It is now assisting Saudia Arabia in the slaughter and starvation in Yemen, one of the poorest nations on earth.

And almost everywhere it has gone, it has established either dictatorships or puppet governments. Some of its closest allies - as Saudi Arabia - are dictatorships. Its own government is a dictatorship of big money.
And Justin Trudeau has joined the puppets. Just as Obama has had the same foreign policy as Bush, Trudeau has the same foreign policy as Harper. Kiss the U.S. ass. And keep kissing.

Trudeau and the Conservatives and, to its eternal shame, the NDP have joined in putting Canadian soldiers in danger for a 'crisis' invented by the U.S. to cover another American act of aggression.

Justin Trudeau has shown no political principles whatever. His father did. But to Justin, being prime minister is just an extension of the high life he's used to. In the same way, Dominic is not what his father was. Romeo Leblanc had political beliefs and values. I didn't usually agree with them - but he did have them. I have seen no sign of either in Dominic. Like Trudeau, he seems to believe it's all about only one thing - winning elections.

We are now attached to an insane confrontation, and we're doing it at the will of American billionaires insane with power who control a nation in hysteria.
Where is The Legion in all this? Why isn't it asking questions about why we are putting our troops in danger in eastern Europe? Why didn't it ask why we did the same in Afghanistan? Wasn't The Legion founded to serve our veterans and our current serving people?

Or is it really just there to serve American billionaires behind a facade of patriotism?

(One of the dumbest patriotic slogans ever is an American one - 'My country, right or wrong, but my country" Think about it.  Why, it could have been sung by Nazi soldiers as they killed Jews.)
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Then there's the idiocy that the rich make us all richer. If that were the true, the last 20 years would have been times of wild prosperity for all of us. If that were true, countries like Guatemala  and Haiti and Iraq would be up to their knees in hundred dollar bills.

In our history, there have been periods when there was a future.  But they were not so for most of us. The wealthy of Britain became monstrously wealthy out of the empire. But the rest of the British people got nothing - except pennies a day to die as soldiers and sailors.

Pay was low in the U.S. and Canada, and working conditions vile until about World War 1. After, things got somewhat better. But then came the crash of 1929. Oh, the rich did better than ever in the 1930s. It was the rest of us who had to suffer.

Things picked up again from 1940 or so. But it's been downhill since 1980 or so. Oh, again, it's still good times for the rich. But they are getting richer by making us  poorer.

Wealth does not usually work its way down from the rich to the poor. It goes the other way around, from the poor to the rich. It always has.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ralph-nader/vanishing-the-peoples-wea_b_10928616.html?utm_source=Alert-blogger&utm_me
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Section A news is really great if you want to know a)that children play outside in summer b)what restaurant just closed c)what restaurant just opened. This isn't a newspaper. This is a pacifier for adults.

Think maybe we could have a story on the effect of glosphates on trees, wildlife, and us? No. I didn't think so.
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The editorial deals with one of the great questions of our age. Should civil servants get free parking? I admire the editorial writer's insight and courage.  Could we now get one on whether Mr. Irving should get free parking? And millions of dollars of handouts? And a forest on the cheap? And the right to spray whatever the hell he feels like spraying on us? And low (if any) taxes?
The editorial takes a high, moral position. After all, it says, this is our tax money that pays for free parking for civil servants.  Yeah. It's also our tax money that pays for the  handouts, the gift of a forest, the tax breaks - and the price we will someday have to pay for our forest spraying.

This is an editorial with a self-righteous tone, a boot-licking attitude - and dreadfully weak thinking. Free parking is a part of the union's bargaining arrangement. In effect, it's there in place of a salary raise. Would the editor object to a better raise in salary instead? Yeah. probably.

Then there's the "it's our tax money line." Well, yes. All money that supports government is our tax money. So should we close down all government?
For that matter, all the handouts to the Irvings are our tax money, too. And their low taxes   (if any) have to be made up for with our tax money.

This is a despicable editorial. Still, an editor who writes this sort of slobbering nonsense could have a great future with one of the Conrad Black papers.

However, Norbert's column is worth a read.

There's a column by Britan Cormier, our communications specialist. Too bad he still has nothing to communicate.

Below him is a guest commentary dealing with poverty in respect to payday loans. In effect, he says the problem will look after itself. His educational qualifications to write such a column seem pretty slim. Nor is there any indication of his work experience. Moreover, his claim that just letting free enterprise work its magic to solve poverty seems pretty silly given than free enterprise is what has caused the problem. It's like saying the way to end war forever is to kill everybody.

Alec Bruce's column is okay. It's not on one of the great issues facing this world. But it's okay.
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And the big news, the hot story for Canada&World, is that a New Brunswicker is now Canada's envoy to Israel? Well, that certainly changes the way the world turns.  

At the bottom of the front page of section B is a big story that is pure propaganda handed out by a propaganda agency. It's propaganda in favour of building oil pipelines and it comes from a propaganda outfit paid for by the kinds of people who build oil pipelines. It's from The Franser Institute.

Then there's a wasted story on Pokemon Go.  And another on a silly idea of Trudeau's to set up a council of young people to advise him on what young people want. This is pure PR. In the first place, we elect a government to govern, not to ask us what to do.   (Of course, it should in the first place have won the election based on what its principles are. But the Liberal party really doesn't have any principles.) So why ask just young people? Why not ask everybody?

Because this is an old political game. Young people sounds good. It sounds as though they have exciting and new ideas. It also fits Trudeau's image as a young person with new ideas and identifies him with young people on the assumption they have new ideas.

Think this sounds good? Okay. And when you get operated on for cancer, are you going to insist on a young doctor who will be instructed by a committee of young people who know nothing about medicine but have new ideas?

This isn't news. And it's not democracy. This is cheap, political propaganda.

And Canada is going to donate $200 million to help Iraq's economy. Good luck, Iraq. The U.S. has given Iraq billions, almost none of which ever reached Iraq.

There's a big notice in section B that a  spraying outfit will be doing some spraying by a herbicide most of us have never heard of. Shouldn't this also appear as a news story, written by a 'communications specialist' so we could have a fuller understanding of what this herbicide is?

The notice has very soothing words. But it would be useful to have more information.

The major (and only) world story is that some  sedated elephants are being moved.
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BBC is not the reliable source it once was. But this story is one that has received wide coverage - except in the Irving press.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-36843990
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This report is one-sided. It tells the truth; but I think there is much, much more truth about Turkey that we have to learn.

http://sputniknews.com/columnists/20160718/1043230099/erdogan-whip-hand.html
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This is the clearest explanation - and the most plausible one - I have seen on why the US is encouraging a NATO-Russia confrontation.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45140.htm

The U.S. has made itself dependent on two industries - oil and weapons. The cost of the U.S. defence industry is simply unbearable. Neither Russia nor China could possibly match it. And the U.S. can't maintain it, either. That cost is a major cause of the confused  and still aimless thrashings of American   voters. They are suffering to enrich the defence billionaires - but they haven't figured that out yet.

But it is not possible that armies in major powers could possibly fight a conventional war against each other with those conventional weapons. Quite apart from the stunningly bad record of U.S. forces in conventional wars against small countries in the last, 70 years is the problem that any such war between nuclear powers would immediately lead to the use of nuclear weapons. And, by immediate, I mean within seconds.

We can't say 'We'll start with a conventional war and see how it goes." Neither side could possibly risk that the other would go nuclear first. Nuclear weapons don't deter war, not when one has a U.S. which spends so much on conventional weaponry as to make it a risk that cannot be accepted.

That's why I have no respect for a Trudeau (or any of the others) who sent Canadians to Latvia. Russia could not possibly risk a first strike by American nuclear bombs, especially as those bombs become so close to Russian borders. It would have to go nuclear immediately.  (And the same logic would apply to the U.S.)

The reality is that nuclear war is now the ONLY kind of war that can be fought between major powers.

But the U.S. defence industry, which owns people like Hillary Clinton, wants high military spending on conventional weapons because it is so profitable for the industry. And that means the U.S. needs NATO to spend big money on American conventional weapons. in fact, a major reason for NATO in the first place was to create a huge market for American, conventional weapons.
That means creating so much fear that Americans and others will maintain ruinous levels of weapons purchases that, in fact, don't protect them at all. That's why what we call the Republican and Democrat conventions are really carnivals of fear and hatred. Americans are being made afraid of everybody except the people they should fear - the owners of their own oil and defence industries.
That's why Canadian troops are being sent to Latvia. The idea that so few troops have any significant military value is laughable. They are being sent to  heighten our fears and hatreds, and either provoke a Russian response or make up an American excuse for a response. And the opening  price of that will be the lives of the soldiers we are sending.

President Eisenhower forecast all of this in a statement we often quoted, but never really took seriously, "Beware of the military-industrial complex".
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Killings by U.S. police this year now add up to almost 600. (It should reach  600 by morning.)

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45142.htm

This reminds me of the insanity I saw at Rexton with special police in camouflage with combat rifles, presumably ready to fire into a crowd.
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Among the interesting goals for the Republican party listed below is the making of Christianity into the official religion of the U.S. What a thrill that would be for Jesus! - the most aggressive, murderous and greedy country of our time would be Christian.

What does this remind me of the Faith page in the irving press?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45142.htm
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There's more. Much, much more. But I've been at this for seven hours. See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

July 19: Not a happy day

Last night, I watched the Republican convention - on and off. It was boring because Donald Trump is a man whose only interesting features are his severe personality discorders. On matters of government, he is hopelessly ignorant.  I could have tolerated that  part of it. After all, watching an ignorant man with  personality disorders is no worse than  most TV shows.

But both he and his audience scared the hell out of me.

As I watched, I realized I was watching a Nazi  rally, and the speaker was Adolf Hitler. Trump's policies are Hitler's policies. And his major appeal is to the racism that runs as strongly through the US as it did through Hitler's Germany.
Nor is there any comfort to be found in the Democrat party. Though less overtly racist, it is thoroughly committed to world conquest -and conquest, throughout history, has its roots in a sense of racial superiority.  The US is in severe disorder, riddled with hatreds. No significant party has answers. And it is whipped on by a defence industry that wants wars, and an oil industry that wants conquest.
And, at the root of it, are news media that have brain-washed the American people into a rage that has no realistic target.
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But don't look to the irving press for enlightenment.

The front page headline is that a company has decided it cannot come to New Brunswick because New Brunswick workers lack physical skill sets. Examples given were driving forklifts and giving first aid.

Is it a practice generally in North America that schools  train students in driving forklifts and giving first aid? Wouldn't it be simple and cheap for the company to train them? I have no training in operating printing machines or doing sheet metal work. But as a teenager, I did both - learning on the job.

And from there, section A news just goes downhill.
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Cartoonist de Adder has an all too true cartoon of Trump choosing his runing mate from the horsemen of the apocalypse. (and one could do a similar one for Clinton.)

The other star on the page is a letter to the editor from a retired teacher. Education has to cover more than job skills. We daily need to make decisions about political life - and we have to make them not just about Canada. The world does  not end at Amherst or even at Halifax. We need to undertand what is happening. We need a much stronger  sense of how much we are a part of the rest of the world. We need to learn how to think logically about what is happening in this world because it does - it really does - have an effect on us. That is surely  one of the things to remember every November 11.

As the letter says, our schools need to teach how to think. We need to understand what has happened - and why. That is learned through courses in history, politics....

But such courses are being cut back. And when they are taught, they are interfered with by people who don't approve of thinking - people like newspaper owners. And, oh, this is one hell of a time to produce a generation that doesn't think.

Norbert Cunningham, a leading opponent of thinking, brings us back to earth with yet another column about beer prices.

Then there is a  windy and boring  commentary   by a somebody who is president of some company and therefore, presumably, has something insightful to say. Except he doesn't. All that he has to say is trite, vague and impossibly pompous. He and his 'economic development partners' are passionately and determinedly engaged in our future.

Right on, baby. So are pimps, bank robbers and con artists.

The bottom of the commentary page is the usual - a propaganda piece from the pompous windbags of The Fraser Institute.

And Alec Bruce is disappointing with  yet another one that draws on the price of beer in New Brunswick and the barriers to interprovincial trade.

With the exception of de Adder's cartoon and the teacher's letter to the editor, this is pretty trivial stuff.

What's lacking? Well, we mignt take a look at who pays taxes and who doesn't. We might have a column on how much it costs us to give companies 'concessions' to come here. Then we might have some discussion about whether this really makes sense for us - or whether it's legal robbery. We might have some information on whether it makes sense to go on building this city as if it were a 1950s suburb. We could have some discussion of what kind of housing and layout we are going to need - and very soon.

Or we could have some commentaries that actually go beyond Main Street. How about the rapidly collapsing political system we call democracy. In the U.S., it`s completely gone. In Britain, the new prime minister is the angel of death in a democracy. In New Brunswick, much of what we are allowed to know and think is controlled by a handful of people. And that makes democracy impossible.
Then there is the question of nuclear war. We are very, very close. There is every sign that the billionaires who rule the U.S. are willing to risk it.
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Canada&World is, well, there`s a big story of a horse being reunited with its owners in Truro. And an even bigger one about Pokémon players.
The biggest story is that Iran may be able to build a nuclear bomb starting it in 11 years. (It is now under a 15 year pact to limit its nuclear activity.) Oooh, exciting. Tension. treachery.

Well, the fact is that it was the U.S. and six allies signed that pact with Iran. They wrote the terms.  But the story makes Iran seem like the villain. One has to wonder, as well, why Israel was allow to build a nuclear bomb, in fact to build over 200 of them - and nobody said boo. This has been a phony issue from the start - and this story looks very much like the beginning of a campaign to provoke a confrontation with Iran.

Generally, the whole section is heavy on trivia And it makes no mention of the most alarming development since 1945 -the movement of nuclear missiles and anti-missile missiles up to the border with Russia. The only reason we are given is that Russia is preparing for war. The reality - and it has been the reality for 70 years - is that everybody is preparinng for war. And far the most aggressive country in that period has been the U.S. It is also, as shown by its spending, preparing for war more than all the rest of the world put together.

The idea that a piddling NATO presence will frighten Russia off is such nonsense that even a cub reporter should see through it. Most of western Europe is very unhappy at this move. They know is make no sense. And they know that they would be the first casualties of any war.

Our Canadian troops are not going there to threaten Russia. They are there as a provocation to Russia - to make it do something to justify an American attack.
The U.S. has hinted its anti-missile missiles can shoot down Russia missiles almost as soon as they are fired. Maybe. It has hinted it can destroy the whole Russian arsenal. Maybe.

The history of warfare is that nobody ever knows how weapons will work out. And nobody ever knows how other countries will react. India and Pakistan could use such an attack to settle their own scores with each other. So could Israel.
And then there`s the question of the fallout, and how it might affect us.

And if you don`t think American economic bosses would be so cruel as to kill huge numbers of people in nuclear attacks just to make more money -try a count of the millions they have killed, starved, refugeed, mutiliated just to make more money in the last seventy years. And it`s quite possible they are being urged on by an impending collapse of their own huge but corrupt and ramshackle economy.

Not surprisingly, the irving press has yet to carry a significant story on this beyond the original announcement.
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This next is more than an unpleasant story. This is about a nation tearing itself to pieces in a rage that it doesn`t understand because it is so wrapped up in myths and propaganda about itself and its character and its history. U.S. police killings  could well set a new record for this year. This is the rage of a society destroying itself.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/series/counted-us-police-killings

This one is gentler than it should be - and not as clear as it should be. But it`s worth thinking about.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/19/revenge-against-elites-americas-wake-up

And this is an intriguing story - about Canada.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/19/earthships-canada-housing-crisis-first-nations
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As should be obvious by now, Turkey`s Erdogan knew well in advance that a coup would be attempted against him. Thus his ability to round up so many plotters so quickly. (No doubt, he has also rounded up many who weren`t in on the coup - but whom he doesn`t like.) It`s also likely, as the source below suggests, that the U.S. was behind the coup. Erdogan`s quick reaction naming the U.S. suggests that. And, if so, the U.S. could well be facing a considerable realignment against it - a realignment that could include Israel. Ater all, it`s hard to believe that Netanyahu did not know of this. And Netanyahu has been publicly unhappy with the U.S.

Remember - no nations are `friends`. NO nations.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45135.htm
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Netanyahu has problems that have not made most North American news outlets.  He has already been cited for accepting large sums of money from foreigners, some with criminal  connections. Now, he`s being investigated for giving much of that money to members of his family.

There`s also another story you won`t hear.  The chief  rabbi for the israeli armed forces recently made a statement that it was acceptable for soldiers to rape women in a time of war. Israel`s military chief has said this is a reasonable statement.

http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.731830?utm_content=%24sections%2F1.731830&utm_medium=email&utm_so
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I`m just back from a break to eat supper and watch the Republican convention. I found that I couldn`t stay with the convention. Almost everything said, including the numerous lies, was irrelevant. For great masses of Americans, there are no principles or issues. There are only slogans. `Make America Great Again`. Nor are things better on the democrat side. There has been virtually no debate on any major issue facing the country. There has been no mention of any issue facing the country.

For example,  the U.S. has the world`s most expensive and least efficient health care system. The rise in poverty and homelessness is not just a bump on the charts. This has been developing for decades with no sign of any change on the horizon. Nor is it a secret why this is happening.  The U.S. has had forty years of trade treaties designed to make billionaires richer and Americans poorer. Nor has there been any mention of tax havens. The nation is so stunned that it doesn`t care about hundreds of billion (at least) being stolen by the rich every year. And in the mythology that Americans call their national history, anyone who suggests any change in anything is unAmerican, and a threat to the most perfect society the world has ever known.

I hate political conventions. They are, almost as a rule, gatherings of morons to cheer for scoundrels.
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I have some interesting items sent to me by readers. The first is a crushing correction to something I wrote yesterday - that The Saker had Russian ties. He hasn`t. He is an American and he lives in the U.S.   (not Iceland). His blog is sited in Iceland because in its days in the U.S. it was freqently hacked. I thank the reader for correcting.

I forgive the reader for correcting me. I forgive. But I never forget.

  http://thesaker.is/submarines-in-the-desert-as-my-deepest-gratitude-to-you/
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The following is also from a reader. I don`t know how accurate his criticism of the quality of American weaponry is. Certainly, the U.S. has spent enough on weaponry to build the most effective military ever known. But much of that spending has been corrupt. And American performance in the field has been decidedly inferior for decades.

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/07/17/why-pentagon-and-nato-are-bluffing.html
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And his one.

http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/dangerous-military-industrial-petrochemical-political-financial-media-complex-silence-still

I can`t comment on this one because my computer seems reluctant to download it.
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Most dismaying is the U.S. leadership campaigning. There`s a message in there for us. When a country which calls itself the leader of the free world can produce only an ignorant and mentally disordered leader like Trump, and a bought and paid for (and murderous) Hillary Clinton, the world is in deep trouble.

And to counter this, Canada has Justin Trudeau.