Thursday, January 12, 2017

Jan.12: A long one. Sorry.

Get used to it.

Last night, I watched interviews with U.S. senators and other notables. The (unintentional) message was clear. Get used to it. American democracy is over; and it's not likely to come back. Trump is a part of this collapse. But he isn't the cause of it.  The cause happened decades ago. Trump (and Clinton) are products of a collapsed democracy. But neither of them is the cause of it. This final stage of collapse began with George Bush jr., though he was really no more than a puppet for American big business. Obama, for all his image, followed the Bush path. So will Trump.

The U.S. congress is terminally corrupt. The country is really ruled by an oligarchy of billionaires, among whom Trump is a minor player. Rest assured that he will do what he is told to do - or he will end up a bankrupt.

Nor is there any sign that the American public has any useful way to deal with this. There seem to be two reasons for this.

First, most politicians encourage Americans to take out their anger in hatred - hatred of Russia, hatred of Muslims. I listened to a good deal of that last night.
And why do they hate Russians? Well, said a senator, they invaded Ukraine, and they killed civilians in bombing Aleppo. Whoops!

1. Ukraine had a elected government that was on good terms with Russia. The U.S. fixed that by staging riots that overthrew the government. (This is according to a woman named Nuland who testified to Congress that she had been assigned and supplied by the American government to achieve this.)

In doing so, the U.S. cut off Russia from its only, major naval base, and installed a hostile government in Ukraine.

As for the bombing of Aleppo, I know of no country that would not bomb civilians in a war. The U.S. was a pioneer in the bombing of civilians. In the Korean war, it killed a full third of the whole population.  We don't know the civilian kill in Laos and Cambodia; but General Curtis  Lemay of the U.S. air force said, "We'll bomb them back into the stone age."

Civilian deaths in Iraq, mostly by bombing, were a million or more. And that was an illegal war in the first place.  The U.S. has been supplying and directing bombing in Yemen - which our news media don't bother to report.  Obama dropped 26,000 bombs just in his last year in office.

Nobody can even guess how many millions of Vietnamese were killed by American bombing - including chemical bombing to destroy vegetation - and anything else that was in the way. In fact, the U.S. is the world's leading killer of civilians by bombing. Nor do they recognize that Americans were killing Muslims long before the appearance of Jihadists. In 1948, for example, they overthrew (with British help)  the elected government Iran, and imposed a dictator to rule for the benefit of the oil companies.

The reality is that the U.S. has been attacking others since 1776 (and earlier). Just like the Britain it rebelled against, the U.S. has always been an agressor, the centre of empire and now, like the Britain it rebelled against, ruled by an aristocracy.

But that makes not a dent on American thinking. It's them there Russians and Muslims whut's evil. That was the position of one of the senators who accused Russia or war crimes. Oh, please... Torture is a war crime. The invasion of Iraq was a car crime excused by lies. The mass murder in Guatemala was a war crime. The overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine was a war crime. The American role in Yemen is a war crime. The use of agent orange in Vietnam was a war crime. The use of drones is a war crime. But, somehow, none of that sinks in to the American consciousness.

The final damper is that  there is no room in American thinking for alternatives. Anyone who thinks differently from the propaganda line is almost certain to be labelled 'unAmerican'. That's why the U.S. is one of the most backward countries in the developed world in its social legislation. There is very little concern for the average person. Everything is for the wealthy - in the belief that their wealth will trickle down - though that trickling has never happened. (You can find the same sort of nonsense in the irving press.)

This lack of any alternative in American thinking means that any reaction to the way things are is more likely to produce violence than to produce a useful response.

And this means trouble for Canada as it is just one more nation to be looted by the rulers of the American empire.
U.S. big business wants a war with China. Trump wants a war with China. They want a war because they want to rule the world - and, China, within a short time, will be an obstacle to that. So U.S. politicians are getting all indignant that China is building bases outside waters the U.S. says are not Chinese. (Apparently, though, it was okay for the U.S. to take over Hawaii though it is nowhere close to American waters.)

And why do they want to rule the world? Money. Big profits can be made by looting other countries - but guess where looting the whole world takes you and me. Hint. We are part of the world that's being looted..
And here is an example of VERY bad reporting.

The only news the reporter had is that we do not have evidence that Russia interfered in the American election. But the reporter adds this lack of evidence puts us in great danger because we are ignoring this Russian threat. Think about that. We have no evidence that there was hacking, and no evidence it influenced the election. So we are ignoring a Russian threat that, by definition, is not there.
About twenty years ago, a student came to my office to say goodbye. He was  graduating, and would have to return to Palestine. There, he could expect nothing by poverty, and a high risk of death. The story below explains that, and how we in the west have created a dreadful mess from the start.

Especially, note the maps that show how Israel has been taking Palestinian land.

I have known many Israelis. All had utter contempt for Palestinians as an inferior, sub-human species.  Indeed, it has become a Jewish equivalent of Naziism.  (These are originally European and North American Jews. (I have also known a few Israelis whose families have lived among the Palestinians in friendship for centuries.)

The reacion of Euopean background Jews toward Palestinans, given what the Jews suffered in Europe, is understandable. But we should not be encouraging it.
Warning! This next one is very long. But it's worth the time.

Essentially, it comes to the point that capitalism does not work - and it's going to get much, much worse as it inflicts terminal damage on the planet's environment and resources. One would think that is obvious. But the word is slow in getting around. We need to do much, much more in changing the whole pattern of our lives. But there is not the slightest chance capialism will help in that. The capitalist understands only two words - profit - now.
Obama may not go down in history as a great or even good president. Here's a view of him we have not seen in most news media. A lot more could have been added.
Here's a side of Obama we haven't seen in our press. It was my impression of him when he first ran for president - and nothing I saw of him as president ever changed my mind.
I chose this one because it's one of the few interviews with Syria's Assad that I  have seen. I was a little suprised at it.
One of the greatest accomplishment of western history was the creation of the public school. There were public schools in Britain as earlyas  Shakespeare's time. These were subsidized by donors, a system that broke down  as costs rose. So those 'public' schools became private and for the children of the rich - But the British still refer to them as public schools - like Eton and Harrow.

There were also church schools, though these confined themselves largely to the scriptures.

The modern public school, free for every child, is generally credited to Scotland - and to the principles of the Presbyterian church. For most children, these schools would end at grade 6 or so. But they did produce a population whose education produced an explosion of invention, innovation, and writing. Indeed, a study of some 30 years ago cited Scotland as the leading producer of influential thinkers and innovators. (A point that many Scots will raise as early as the first drink.)

As recently as my school days in Montreal where school boards were either Protestant or Catholic, my Protestant board was dominated by Scottish names.
Equal access to education is important to eveyone - except to the wealthy who want to privatize everything and, in education, take us back to the 12th century or so. The U.S. has already gone back a long way - and is about to go further.
Lest we forget.
How do the rich get rich? I have seen, in this province at least, no sign that it's due to brains or high academic achievement.
Here's the difference between Haaretz and our news media. Can you even imagine any of  our major news media  being critical of the lies and propaganda in all the others?
For New Brunswickers - you desperate need for a political party different from any you have.

1. You need a party that understands capitalism cannot work except under very tight regulation.

2. You need a party whose first concern is the needs of the people - not getting slaps on the back from billionaires. I might add that lawyers have not proven to be very good at serving the needs of the people. That explains a lot about New Brunswick.

3. You need a party that will take action on money hidden in tax havens. And if the wealthy leave the province, so be it. The wealth of this province does not need brilliant minds to be developed. (Certainly, it has been developed so far with a sign of brilliant minds.) It can be done by us, by all of us. And if that makes the wealthy move away, good. Getting rid of them would save the rest of us a bundle.

4. We desperately need a party committed to take action on the environment, and to make long term plans for a future that is going to have to be different. For example, we have to drastically cut down on consumption. In effect, we have to make fundamental changes in the way we live.

5. And we need a law to prevent the wealthy from buying our politicians.
There is, at present, no party that meets all these requirements.  The Liberals and Conservatives certainly don't - and won't. The NDP has become too close to the Liberals and Conservatives. The Green Party, while doing excellent work on raising awareness of environmental issues, has not thought at all sufficiently about about the measures necessary to save the environment. One of them, is a tight control on the wealthy. And it's the wealthy who are doing much of the destruction of the environment.

6. New Brunswickers have no access  (except CBC - usually) to honest and accurate news. It needs to address that.

7.  It's not enough to win an election. You have to convince people first to break away from their traditional thinking. It was a big mistake for the NDP to abandon its principles in order to win because, if it had won, it would not have been able to do anything.  So what's the point?

Politics is not just about winning elections. It's about making people aware of what is wrong and what is needed. That, not an election, is the starting point.


  1. I read an interesting piece yesterday about Trump's belligerence with China. The writer pointed out that Trump is aligned with big oil and Russia, the second biggest oil exporter. China is the world's leading producer of solar panels. Too many solar panels in use would hurt oil companies, so China is evil

  2. Two comments:

    (1) Just a correction to your otherwise excellent comments: Mossadegh, who was a medical doctor and the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran, was overthrown in a coup engineered by the British and CIA in 1953 (not 1948). He was replaced by the Shah Reza Pahlavi who brutalized his own people but had the support of the U.S. and Britain to stay in power because he agreed to sell Iranian oil cheaply to Britain and America (Mossadegh had raised the price of oil upon his winning election, claiming that Iran oil was being virtually stolen at the low prices they were being sold at to Britain and U.S.), and

    (2) Dem. and liberal supporters castigate Trump for picking upon the Muslims but hypocritically had no problem about their side picking upon the Russians and blaming them for Hillary's shameful loss in an election Sanders would have won (the Russians are no angels and very likely are engaged in spying upon the U.S. just as the U.S. is spying on Russia; they all are spying on each other: U.S., Russia, China, Israel. Recall that the U.S. was caught spying on Angela Merkel's cell phone in Canada. And Germany is a strong ally too.But there is no evidence, at least presented by the intelligence agencies or the Democrats that Russia had hacked either the DNC or Podesta.

    As for Ukraine, it is galling how Dem. and liberal supporters perpetuate the lie that Russia had invaded Ukraine. Something like 38000 Russian troops were already in the Crimea by agreement with Ukraine (not invasion). And the Russians have been in Sevastopol since the time of their empress, Catherine the Great, in the 1700's. Sevastopol is a strategic port for their Black Sea fleet because Russia has limited access to the sea.

    President Kennedy nearly started a nuclear war with Russia over the missiles in Cuba. And Cuba is separated from its nearest point to the U.S. (Florida) by a sea. NATO had actually brought its missiles into Ukraine which is next door to Russia, without even any sea to separate them. But it is Russia they blame.