Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Jan.3: Laughing so I won't cry.

In an idle moment, I called up 'Trump twitter' .  It's worth a read because these are the thoughts of a president who has no political philosophy whatever.  To him, a nation (and, for that matter, the world) is just a giant business to be run like a business.

Today's deep thought was a shot at China. Trump wants to get tough with North Korea. And if he's going to get tough, he expects China to get tough along with him. Why? Because China exports a lot to the U.S., but imports relatively little. And if it won't get tough with North Korea, Trump will cut off trade with China.
That's a philosophy of sorts, I guess. But it's business philosophy, and so it reflects that business philosophy that what is good for American business is good for the whole world. And that's rubbish.

This is a neo-liberal reflection of the theory that if you make the rich ever richer, then everybody benefits as the wealth trickles down. But that has never happened. What happens is the the rich just keep on getting richer, usually with no benfit for anybody but the rich. The British Empire developed enourmous wealth - for the rich - so much wealth that the rich could sneer at the miners and factory workers as scum of the earth. The (neglected) history of the U.S. (and Canada)  is a history of sweatshops, insecure jobs, extreme violence, including killing,  against strikers, a lack of health care, pensions, basic services...

There was a small bump of shared prosperity for the generation born right after the war. But the business world managed to cure it. For the last forty years an more, we've watched a decline in services, a wonderful growth in wealth - but only for the wealthy - gained through self-promotion and tax avoidance. The rest of us have watched our share of the national wealth steadily dropping.
The weatlh taken out of the middle east, Africa, South America and parts of Asia continues to flow; but not to the people of those regions. Most of it goes to the same people who take our money.

So Trump has decided the logical thing to do is to pick a quarrel with China, and to make threats to North Korea. It's all simply a matter of profits. And if some people or even millions of people get killed, the important thing is maintaining profits for wealthy Americans.  That's the beginning and the end of Trump's political philosophy. (In fact, that's pretty much been the philosophy of every American president - and more than a few Canadian prime ministers.)

That is what the mass killings of the Korean War, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Guatemala, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen... have been about. As even businessmen are fond of saying, such competition is the law of the jungle.
But we don't live in a jungle, and our planet will not survive if it is turned into a jungle.

Politics isn't about business. It's about people, and about the needs of people. It's about the needs of a whole society. But neither Trump nor Clinton have ever shown any understanding of that. That's why we have been watching a deterioration of life over most of the world, a rise in war and in the destruction it causes, but fatter wallets in the pockets of the rich.

In the view of the Trump business mind, we are in competition with the rest of the world. The reality is that a world of nations in competition cannot survive. You can get away with this in the business world, for a little while, because the  boss can fire anybody who objects. In the real world, you have to go to war - which we have been doing with a notable lack of success for 70 years. (actually - for thousands of years.)
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(Some day, I would love to be able to insert here a story from the irving press. But today's page 1 has the story that New Brunswickers googled "Maple Syrup" more than people in any other part of Canada last year. It's continued on page 2. Page 3 has a whole page how to stop theft from your car. Page 4 has a half page on fun things to do outdoors in Moncton. Then there's a powerful column reminding us that we have not found any aliens in space.

As it says at the top of page 1, "Up-to-the-minute breaking news every day. timestranscript .com)
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The issues of the native/police s tandoff at Standing Rock is now history. But it will be coming back and, perhaps, on a wider scale. Big business doesn't have a vote in U.S. elections. But it doesn't need one. It controls the government, anyway. And we are very likely to see more -Standing Rocks in the U.S. and in Canada. In fact, such resistance could well be the start of resistance over a wide range of issues.

When American and Canadian governments make promises to the electorate about the environment, they are usually playing "just pretend". This could well become a major issue of 2017. With luck, we might see here some cautious peeks at what has to be done.

The environmental issue is not just a matter of fossil fuels. It's a matter of using less to live on. It's a problem of diminishing supplies of minerals, for example, of diminishing supplies of overstrained farm produce - a problem that cannot be solved simply by throwing chemicals at it. We haven't even begun to consider the whole range of issues.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/01/03/the-standing-rock-dapl-protest-2016s-arduous-journey-back-to-the-future/
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I used to think the irving press was the worst newspaper chain I have ever seen. It's certainly one  of the most boring and most biased and most trivial I have ever seen. But there are others that are worse because of the scale of their outright lies. The irving press isn't so much a liar as it a sleeping pill.  Indeed, this is reality for almost all North American news media. Looking at it that way, almost all North American news media are worse than irving press.

One problems with this is that we don't get information on alternatives to the governing system we have. New Brunswickers have no idea of the alternatives to Liberals and Conservatives. Result? They've also voted for the same, two losers. The U.S. is even worse. That's why a revolt against the Democrats turned into a victory for Republicans who are the same or even worse.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/01/03/what-should-parents-do/
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Here's an old story. But it's a sort of story one rarely sees. For almost 20 years, the U.S. has relied heavily on 'private contractors", the ones usually called mercenaries. These are hired to do the work of soldiers. But it's scarcely done out of patriotism. It's done for wages that can run  (recently) to $600,000 a year. In fact, these are hired killers.

Some are American. Many are not.  Anyone who wants to kill for a living is welcome. Nor does there  have to be a war on. These are also used for small missions in support of U.S.-friendly dictators, for assassinations..... At the present time, almost every country in Africa has American mercenaries operating in it. And nobody knows (or is telling) how many around the world. .100,000 would probably be a conservative estimate. (Just a few years ago, there were over a hundred thousand mercenaries - most of them NOT American - in Afghanistan.

They are, in fact, hired thugs.  And they are frequently known to kill, rob and rape as thugs do. And they can do so safely because enforcement of military rules is almost non-existent.

Coming soon, to a neighbourhood near you.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2007/aug/01/military.usa

here's a more recent and more gruesome account.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-privatization-of-war-mercenaries-private-military-and-security-companies-pmsc/21826

And another - this one including U.S. mercenaries in Yemen - you know, one of the poorest countries in the world that is being destroyed by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-privatization-of-war-mercenaries-private-military-and-security-companies-pmsc/21826

And another.

http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/05/18/private-contractors-are-the-silent-majority-of-obamas-military-mercenaries-iraq-afghanistan/

The U.S. is not only constantly at war. In almost all cases, it is illegally at war. The world  now has more wars going on than the world has ever seen at one time. And, no, they aren't to bring democracy. This is a crude attempt at world conquest - and nobody knows how many it has killed under Bush, Obama, and now Trump.

And who would this world conquest benefit?

Corporation bosses.
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But U.S. leaders have their own form of 'democracy'.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/01/01/the-war-against-alternative-information/
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The U.S. is well along on a self-destructive path which will also destroy many of us. Trump didn't begin it. But he's following it. We're going to see much more state control and muzzling, not only of the American people but of their 'allies'. We are also likely to see a new war or two. And if so, Trump will certainly demand that Canada join in.

Last night, I watched the most disgraced and disgraceful prime minister in Canadian history, Brian Mulroney, praising Trump as a 'great guy'. So keep an eye on Trudeau.

There is no advantage to Canada in being a puppet to Trump. There is every danger of Canada suffering the same crash that is coming to the U.S. It's going to be a tough decision. But Canada, for the first time in its history, has to make its own decision.

(It takes a long time - that I don't  have - to go through all my sources. (There are,  so far, some thirty of them.) Soon, I shall  type a list of them on this blog.

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