Tuesday, March 7, 2017

March 7: the crisis of greed.

http://www.haaretz.com/us-news/1.775820Lying,

a criticism of the news we get, is not just a malicious rumour that's floating around. Almost all the news we get from our commercial news media is heavily biased, and the bias is designed to strengthen what was a lie in the first place. There was a good example in my local paper today. The story  is about the Canadian government and it's  policy  toward Ukraine. The Canadian government has decided to maintain Canadian troops posted near Ukraine for at least two more years in order to defend eastern Europe from those terrible Russians.

That's a constant theme in our news media. Russia is a daily threat to eastern Europe, and has been an aggressor in Crimea. That neatly ignores a number of realities. One is that Russia was not the aggressor. The aggressor was the U.S. which helped to overthrow the legally elected government of Ukraine. It has since supported stunningly corrupt governments in Ukraine that steal tens of billions a year, and that have impoverished the people of Ukraine.  But that doesn't make our news.

Russia moved into the southern part of Ukraine (Crimea) because the people of Crimea asked it to. Crimea's population is largely Russian. Russia responded for that reason - and because a Crimea under Ukrainian control would expose Russia's major naval base to an American attack.

In other words, none of this was caused by a Russian threat. It was caused by an American threat to Russia.But you will never hear or read that through our "free press".

And why are Canadian troops in Latvia?  Well, say our news media, they are there to protect Latvia from attack. Right. A thousand or so troops will scare the Russians off.

Of course they won't. So why are they there? If the Russians did attack, such a tiny Canadian force wouldn't last a week. They are there to commit Canada to a larger war if the U.S.should decide it wants. And a large part of the U.S. wants one But it  has nothing to do with Latvia, and nothing to do with Canada. It has to do with the desire of U.S. billionaires to rule the world.

Ukraine and Crimea are the results of an American aggression, not a Russian one. And Canadians are being used as bait.

Here's an old item from The Guardian that told the truth as it was happening.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/30/russia-ukraine-war-kiev-conflict
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Here's a story that could only appear on CBC news because most commercial news media want to keep it a secret that Canadians are being robbed blind by the wealthy - like all those people who own the commercial news media.
This is not just an annoyance. This has had crippling effects on all Canadians (except for the very rich.) And it can only get worse, much worse. Here's an example of what we don't get, as a rule, in commercial news media

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/opposition-reacts-kpmg-tax-dodge-1.4012519
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Government health care  has never been popular among the wealthy. Luckily, it doesn't affect the taxes most of them pay since most don't pay anything.  But it interferes with the additional profits they could make.  A similar move in Canada would probably bring high praise from our commercial news media. In fact, my local paper has already run several commentaries on how we should extend privatization of health care - you know, to take us back to the good old days of the nineteenth century.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/07/trump-replacement-healthcare-plan-cost-older-poor
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Big business has moved in on food - with its usual objectives. Quality doesn't matter Safety doesn't matter. All that matters is profit.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/03/07/sweat-shops-gmos-and-neoliberal-fundamentalism-the-agroecological-alternative-to-global-capitalism/
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A good article. Very true. And it applies to Canada as well as the U.S. Indeed, its seems to apply to most of the world.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/03/07/trump-fake-news-and-the-press/
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Not sure - I may have run this commentary before. But it's still worth a read. There's a price to capitalism, a very high price.  Capitalism has only one objectiive - making a profit Famine, poverty, refugees, health, lives mean nothing to it. It's extremely narrow and destructive. And philanthropy does almost nothing to change that - however much it gives chambers of commerce a chance to clap,clap, clap.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/02/22/can-the-climate-survive-electoral-democracy-may-be-can-it-survive-capitalism-no/
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Through most of history we have lived in societies in which  a very small number took a huge share of the wealth, leaving very little   for the remaining 99%. Over the last forty years in the western world, that trend has turned into a stampede. Our society will not survive it.

It's not the cruelty of the wealthy that will destroy us. It's their stupidity.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46606.htm
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Okay . Quick. Why is there a war in Yemen? Why is the U.S. involved in it? Why is Britain involved? Why has Canada sold weapons to Saudi Arabia (which is fighting Yemen) when such sales are against our international promises? Wny is there a massive famine in Yemen? How is that country a threat to Saudi Arabia, the U.S., Britain, and Canada?

And why aren't our news media answering any of these questions?
What has happened to us that we take part in such murder without even demanding to know what it's all for?

http://fair.org/home/downplaying-us-contribution-to-potential-yemen-famine/
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Hatred of Muslims run deep in the U.S. And, despite the tone of our news, it runs almost as deep in Canada. As a sign of that, watch for Trudeau to start backing off on his promise to help refugees. The same is generally true of Europe and Britain. It's all the fault of the Muslims, of course.

Over a million have been foolish enough to stand under our bombs as they were dropped. They lolligagged in the path of our bullets. They foolishly fled into   wildernesses to escape us, only to die of exposure and starvation. They tried to escape by sea only to drown. Those who made it were stuffed into ghastly camps in which there was no future.

There was no reason for western Christians - American, British, Italian, French, Canadian ----to kill way over a million Muslims who were not attacking any of us. There was no reason to create the horror of tens of millions living as refugees, living with no hope, living with families broken by the flight....

The only reason our politicians turned loose that hell was to please leaders of the oil industry who wanted fuller control of oil-producing countries.
(And the Christian churches stood by with their faces hanging out as that happened.)

And now, it's all going to be the fault of those helpless people we murdered and abused and effectively destroyed. After all, they're different from us. And that's bad. And they don't share our Christian  values.

What we have done, what we are doing is one of the horrors of all time. And we are doing it to make our very, very wealthy happy. There is no other reason.
Christianity looks very much like a failed experiment.
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Here's a look at socialism - one that won't appear in most of our news media.

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2017-03-07t000000/democratic-socialism-can-build-economy-works-everyone
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Hitler murdered over five million Jews. Yes. It was terrible.

No. It does not give Israel the right to murder Palestinians, to steal their land, and to control their lives.

Palestinians were not involved in the holocaust We were. We knew about it at the time. We knew about in the 1930s when it was still in its formative stages. And we didn't lift a finger. If we - Canadians, Americans, Britsh - were  (after a long delay) willing to help Jews by giving them land, we should have given them some of our land. Giving them somebody else's land was scarcely a sign of morality or character.

http://truepublica.org.uk/global/israeli-officials-warn-another-round-hostilities-gaza/
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 I don't agree with the next writer's premise that just a year ago the news media were honest. In fact, they weren't, for the most part, honest a century ago. But his general theme makes sense.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article195554.html
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After a major battle in the U.S. civil war, soldiers picking up the muskets of the dead found that most were loaded and, often, double loaded. That's odd.
A soldier fired his musket. One second.

He cleaned it out, reloaded with powder, then with a musket ball tamped down with a bit of cloth, raises the gun.....That took a minute or more.
Even in battle, a nusket should have been empty most of the time. So why were most of them loaded?

World War Two gave a hint of the answer as researchers discovered it took thousands, even tens of thousands, of shots for each enemy killed.

It was obvious. Most people don't like killing other people. Well, that would have to change. So armies around the world included "character-building" to make soldiers want to kill - and with no regard for age or gender. They were taught contempt for human life. And the results were gratifying. ( Though one has to wonder what it did to the minds that underwent this  training.)

Now, the good work goes on with video games.

https://theconversation.com/how-the-us-military-is-using-violent-chaotic-beautiful-video-games-to-train-soldiers-73826
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We so eagerly jump on whever Trump says that is different that we ignore how much he is like Bush and Obama. In the last 16 years, there  has not been single year in which the U.S. was not at war - and often in wars of which we get no news, such as drone bombings. In fact, there has hardly been a year of peace with the U.S. at any time since World War Two.

So, hey,  if you liked Obama, you'll love Trump.

http://www.alternet.org/right-wing/trumps-generals-have-disastrous-recipe-america-permanent-state-war
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Remember how, not many years ago, the very wealthy, especially in banking, went hopelessly broke - and had the gall to hit the American public for a gift of more than a trillion dollars. When they got the money, their boards went wild, giving each other multi-million dollar bonusses for their cleverness in ripping off the American people.  (and this gift was accepted from a government to which most of corporate bosses didn't - and still don't - pay taxes.)

Incidentally , the wealthy in both Canada and the U.S. pulled a similar rip-off in the depression of the 1930s, making everybody else suffer the crisis while themselves ripping off  eveybody else.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/06/trump-and-saving-capitalism/

For church-going readers, ask your clergy to deliver a sermon on whether capitalism is a Christian concept.
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This will seem a gloomy commentary; and, quite justifiably, it is. One factor is the combination of greed and stupidity that affects the economic leadership of the world. Another, possibly to be ranked with stupidity, is the war-making, especially of the West, in the last 40 years or so. And we're going to see a lot more of the latter. Our very foolish wars in the middle east have destroyed whole societies and nations. They aren't going to get any better for a very, very long time - if ever.

All those millions of refugees represent shattered nations and gross instability - in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria ... Watch now as Israel and Turkey dip their fingers into the cauldron.

Meanwhile, business leaders in the U.S. are putting on pressure for wars with China and Russia ASAP. The U.S. is falling behind China by a wide margin in economic development. The great war for American domination of the world has to happen soon - or never.

http://journal-neo.org/2017/02/23/who-is-responsible-for-the-economic-collapse-in-the-us/
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Children like the ones in this story, millions of them, will be with us for seventy years or so. - something we should have thought of before going to war.

http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/syria/1.775713
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Trump and other are talking about anti-hate laws - making it a crime to preach hatred of a group. In this case, the concern is recent attacks on synagogues. It sounds reasonable. But it's not.

Will they extend such anti-hate laws to people who preach hatred of Muslims? Not likely, considering that Trump is the world's leading preacher of hatred against Muslims. And  Mexicans. And Latin Americans in general.
Indeed, most of us have our group hates.

We should prosecute people who threaten others - but not because of their hatred. It should be for the crimes they commit as a result of that hatred. And we already have laws against that.

Anti-hate laws sound good. But they are really about justifying some hates that the government wants us to hate.

http://www.haaretz.com/us-news/1.775820
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The good news is that there is a movement among Jewish groups in the U.S. to forge links with Muslims, and to help them. Judaism has a long tradition of open discussion of political issues, and of applying Judaic principles to dealing with them. It's a profoundly humane way of dealing with social problems.

Too bad Christians are not big on it. I have given many, many talks in Christian churches and Jewish Synagogues. I learned early that I better have something plausible and useful to say in a synagogue. In the churches, I learned my talk should be pretty light weight - and have a few jokes in it.
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2 comments:

  1. Yessir, keep it up.

    BM

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mr. Decarie, would you consider writing an essay for Canada's 150th?
    John Watt

    ReplyDelete