Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Jan. 17: re Trump - a promise

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I shall try to avoid mentioning Donald Trump as much as I can.

It's going to be tough. The news media all over the world are obsessed with him. But the reality is that Donald Trump is not the issue.

Yes, he's an egoist. Yes, he makes big promises, then changes his mind. Yes, what he stands for is vague. Yes, much of what he says will not work. And, yes, he has a funny wig. But he doesn't matter.

Donald Trump doesn't matter. The problems of the U.S. are profound. There is high unemployment - and taxing cars from Mexico will not make much of a dent in that. There is a high rate of poverty. We are in great danger of a nuclear war. The U.S. government is owned and controlled by a handful of billionaires. Military spending is highly corrupt. Police are killing citizens at the highest rate of any country in the world. The prison system is the biggest in the world, is ineffective, and privatization has made it far, far worse. The country is dangerously divided by 'race' and religion. Public education is a disaster scene. University education is out of reach economically for most. The U.S. is the most aggressive and murderous nation in the world. Health care, even with an overpriced Obamacare system, is still out of reach of millions. Trump has no policies to deal with most of this - just one-liners.

Nor did Clinton give any sign of policies to deal with these problems. In fact, she was a leading member in government who played a major role in bringing the U.S. so low. With Clinton or with Trump, the U.S. is a social and political disaster area.

The head of the U.S. spy service (and secret war organizer), the CIA, has recently publicly criticized Trump for not having an understanding of the "Russian threat". Well, for openers, there's something seriously wrong when a when a public employee of the government can get away with publicly criticizing the president. If he gets away with that, the U.S. system of government begins (or, rather, continues) to collapse.

(Not to worry, though. If the head of the CIA gets fired for this, I'm sure he'll be looked after by the billionaires who put him up to it.)

And it gets worse. Parayzed by a lack of any serious political thought or awareness, the American people are unaware of any alternative to the whirlpool of corruption and of rule by oligarchy that they live in   - and further handicapped by an excessive and wildly exaggerated sense of patriotism - they have almost no sense of what the options are.

We are watching the collapse of the political and social system of the  United States - and we have been watching it for many years under every government since the 1970s, at least. For all his ego and bluster, Trump is just one more of a long series of disasters.

Will it lead to violence? It already has for some time with high levels of violence in the U.S., and very high ones indeed in places like Vietnam, AFghanistan, Iraq... And, at present, it is impossible to see that getting anything but worse.
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In a bizarre story, Obama is moving troops  (perhaps four thousand) to Ukraine to contain Russian aggression.

What Russian aggression? Against whom?

Ukraine had a legally elected government. It was overthrown in a U.S.-sponsored coup. Russia got involved because the new Ukraine cut Russia off from its only major naval base. And because that part of Ukraine had a largely Russian population that did not support the coup. Otherwise, Russia has not threatened or intervened in Ukraine at all.

The Russian government is not made up of angels. But it's not the Russian government that has been building nuclear bases around Russia and China. And the Russian government is not patrolling American coasts as the U.S. is doing to  Russia and China. And when it comes to aggression, the world champ for over seventy years has been the U.S.

And the U.S. is going to "deter" Russia from aggression by sending in four thousand troops?

That would not deter anything. Hitler invaded Russia with the biggest invasion force in history  - some three million troops -   and got creamed. By the end, they had lost five million, just counting those Germans who were made prisoners. No. I don't think a few thousand troops would be a deterrent. And Obama must know that.

As well, the U.S. public would never accept the massive casualties of a conventional war with Russia. No. Those troops are not a deterrent. They're an irritant. Like the Canadian troops in the region, they are lambs for the slaughter.
Any such war would have to be nuclear.

In this case, certainly, Trump is showing more intelligence than Obama - or the chief of the CIA.
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This one is about Canada.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/oxfam-davos-report-canadians-wealth-1.3937073

These are the kind of people who now run the U.S. They are the oligarchy that rule - and that own almost all the news media. It's time for Canadians, too, to do some thinking about who really governs this country.
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A reader sent me the following item.  It's a very moderate statement to the effect that capitalism as it is now practiced is leading us  into a world crisis.

https://theconversation.com/a-new-deal-with-capitalism-requires-a-revolution-in-politics-and-markets-71180?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20January%2016%202017&utm_content=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20January%2016%202017+CID_9397933c29adfd2e8c3c0795ba88aeac&utm_source=campaign_monitor_us&utm_term=A%20new%20deal%20with%20capitalism%20requires%20a%20revolution%20in%20politics%20and%20markets
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This next one, from the same reader, takes a broad look at the Davos Economic Forum - planning for the economic future. The members who speak in this are often highly biased, and some are not people who I would think of as authorities. But what is interesting is their views of the economic directions are are (or might be) going in.

https://www.weforum.org/about/leadership-and-governance
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And the next two are from the same reader. (My, some people make life easy for me.)

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-scheme-to-take-down-trump/5568558
http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/01/15/can-trump-take-back-the-presidency-from-the-cia-paul-craig-roberts/
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Canada is not the only country in which a couple of people have most of the wealth. It's a pattern we're seeing all over the world. Nor should it be a surprise. This is a natural product of the greed that capitalism is based on. And, in this, we are living through one of the great changes of history - and one with terrifying consequences if we don't get control of it.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/16/eight-people-earn-more-billion-economics-broken

(While there is no doubt The Guardian is weakening. It still has some of the best opinion columnists in commercial journalism.)
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This next item is true about Obama - but too kind. To an important degree, the rise of Trump was a reaction to sixteen years of Bush - and Obama.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/16/how-barack-obama-paved-way-donald-trump-racism
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http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/01/17/global-sea-ice-hits-lowest-levels-probably-in-millenia/

But don't worry.  Our oil billionaires say that none of this is happening. And, I mean, they would know.
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I don't usually agree with articles by Marxists because they see marxism as a political system - and that's not quite what it's about. Nor has there ever been a marxist country - no, not even Russia or China. But this writer's focus is on the failures of Obama - and I think those are far, far too often ignored.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/01/17/thanking-obama-or-the-best-slaves-are-the-ones-who-thank-their-masters/
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More on those U.S. troops being sent up to the Russian border. The story is that they are there to deter Russian aggression in Crimea. In fact - and as this article says - there has been no Russian aggression in Crimea.  All this began with blatant American interference in Ukraine.

Some thousands of U.S. troops are not going to deter anything. What they can do is act as a provocation that would trigger a nuclear war. And that's why they're there - along with Canadians.

Heroes serving their countries.  Right.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/01/16/first-permanent-deployment-of-us-troops-on-russian-border-since-cold-war/
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When it comes to brutality, exploitation and destruction, Canadian companies, especially mining companies, take a back seat to nobody. Funny how it never makes Canadian news media.

http://rabble.ca/whatsup/book-launch-blood-extraction-canadian-imperialism-latin-america
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We hear a lot of talk about which Candian universities are the best as teachinig institutions. In fact, there is no best. Most university professors have no training whatever in teaching - and it shows in the courses and programmes they design. Now, the business world is moving in to make it worse. They want universities to be run as if they were commercial corporations.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/campus-notes/2017/01/canadian-universities-shifting-to-top-down-corporate-governance-
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And now, a kind word for Donald Trump. And a big reason why the warhawks hate him.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/01/16/trumps-remaking-of-us-foreign-policy/
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The U.S. official figure for deaths in Yemen is 10,000. Considering the thousands of American bombs dropped on that country, the blockade of all food and medicine, the starvation that existed before the war began, I'm quite sure that figure is a lie. - like the lies we get for the numbers killed by drones.

https://www.rt.com/news/373712-yemen-starvation-fishing-houthis/
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Israeli government leader, Netanyahu is in serious trouble - though most of our news media haven't bothered to mention it.

http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.765439
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And a side of Jewish life in Israel we don't normally see.

http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.765332

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