Monday, April 24, 2017

April 24: Praise the Lord - and pass the ammunition....

Tomorrow (Tuesday), I am off for a week in Montreal. There are at least a couple of stories to watch. One is the national election in France. This has some similarity to the recent U.S. election in that large numbers of voters in both countries are fed up with the political establishment. They are prepared to do something rash - though France doesn't seem to have a Donald Trump to fully tap into that. And that has implications for all of us.

At the end of World War Two, the U.S. effectively made western Europe and Canada a part of the American empire. One of the major devices for that was NATO. That, with trade treaties, tied Canada and western Europe to U.S. leadership. That's why, to this day, a Trump can tell a Trudeau that Canada MUST spend more on its military. After all, the purpose of its military is to help fight U.S. wars. As well, NATO spending is an important source of profits for the U.S. war industries. If there were no wars, the American war capitalists would have to invent them - and they do.

There is a possibility that the French election  (like the British vote for Brexit) may weaken that. And, if that happens, it could lead to a general European questioning of European ties to the U.S_____________________________________________________________
The other story to watch is the situation with North Korea. Think of how the U.S. would react if China decided to invade Mexico.

However much China might have doubts about North Korea, it cannot possibly permit a U.S. invasion on its own border. Yes, I know North Korea has nuclear weapons. So, one might notice, does the U.S. - and Israel and China and Russia and Britain and France and India and Pakistan. A nuclear war started by any of them could very well tip the balance to a general, nuclear war. If the U.S. wanted to avoid that, it shoud have begun nuclear disarmament negotiations in 1945. But it didn't. Instead, it chose to use the nuclear threat as a device to conquer the world. If you want a villain in all this, start with President Truman.

You think demolishing North Korea would solve the problem? Sixty years ago, North Korea was demolished as no nation before had ever been demolished. There was nothing left to bomb, and very few left to kill.

That's what gave us Kim Jong Un.

It also gave us a Chinese intervention which made the war, at best, a draw. And this time, three nations with nuclear arsenals would be involved.

North Korea needs a solution, not another war. (Oh, I know. I know. Kim Jong Un is a terrible man. He's not a reasonable and thoughtful man who gives his heart to his people -  like Donald Trump.)
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16 years into the longest war in American history......

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/23/afghanistan-reels-from-talibans-deadliest-attack-on-army-since-2001
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food for thought.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/24/north-korea-wont-bow-donald-trumps-threats-needs-assurances

But it depends on what Trump is thinking about. If he really wants peace with North Korea, it makes sense to talk. But - if he wants North Korea as an American military base on the border of China? Just like the U.S. now has Ukraine as a military base on the border of Russia?
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This story is attracting a lot of attention because tourists are flooding a Newfoundland town to see the  icebergs off its coast. You have to read the last line to get the important point. There is a tremember rise in the number of icebergs breaking off and drifting south - and it may have something to do with climate change.

My goodness. Who would have guessed?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/19/ferryland-iceberg-newfoundland-canada
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There is nothing to learn from this one. It is just Trump at his most unintelligible.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/24/trumps-ap-interview-unhinged-bombastic-and-unintelligible

Now - think.  Trump  is a  very, very successful businessman. But, except for a faithful few, he is an utterly incompetent political leader. Then read the Brunswick News. In it, politicians are terrible political leaders But businessmen are routinely quoted for their wisdom in how to run the world.
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This next one doesn't have much in the way of answers. But it  has questions most of our news media haven't asked. How could a president make a public statement about a powerful fleet heading to North Korea when, in fact, it was a long way off and going in a different direction.

How could a president, in such a delicate situation, not have been informed about where his fleet was, and where it was going?

And - who is really running the show?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46931.htm
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Quelle surprise!

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-dangerous-mental-illness-yale-psychiatrist-conference-us-president-unfit-james-gartner-a7694316.html
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Let me digress here for a moment. We are routinely assured by our news media here in New Brunswick that the wealthy are a superior lot - characterized by a skill for competition. That competition is what gives us a rising standard of living. By contrast, government controlled services, since they don't have the competition element, are inefficient.

Well... actually, the standard of living has been dropping for almost fifty years. (The U.S. middle class, for example, has gone from 61% of the population to 51% in that time.  And that just happens to correspond with the financial rise of the 1%.
And efficiency? There's no evidence whatever that private business is efficient. If it were, we wouldn't have to serve out tax rebates to the Irvings, would we? And, in the case of medical care, the private system has routinely been unaffordable.
No. The success of the wealthy  (like Trump) is not due to any skills. It's more commonly, as in the case of Trump, the result of inheriting wealth, being greedy for more, and being indifferent to the needs of the whole population, and all of that  justified by a sense of social superiority - something common to every scoundrel I have ever met. If there's a skill, it's the skill of the shoplifter, the thief, the thug.

Recently, our local chamber of commerce had a dinner in celebration and honour of a leading businessman for a donation he had made to charity. What were they thinking of?

This is a man who lives well off our forgiveness of taxes and our outright gifts - far more than he gives to charity. Why would the chamber of commerce honour such piddling 'philanthropy'.

And why would a person of any integrity accept being 'honoured' for that?
And why wouldn't the local papers mention that?

I am not an admirer of our Christian churches. But I do read The Bible from time to time. Funny thing. I cannot find a passage in which Jesus speaks of the value of competition. He speaks of cooperation and caring. Not of competition.

Nor does he speak of the glories of making money. Or of the superior powers of the wealthy.

I wonder if our chamber of commerce had a clergyman at its celebrity dinner. I'll bet it did.

As nearly as I can tell, Jesus never speaks of the glory of wealth. In fact, the Christianity of The Bible seems to be a full rejection of modern capitalism, and of most of the behaviours embraced by our political leaders.

I'm still checking to find a section that says we should hate Muslims and kill them -men, women, and children. Hallelujah!

But don't blame Trump for all this. He, like Hillary Clinton and George Bush and Obama, is the corrupt product of a thoroughly corrupting political/economic system. That U.S. has been going down this road almost from the start. And a population steeped in propaganda and historical myth voted for all of them.
These are the last days of Rome. It's not just pride that goeth for a fall. It's also greed.
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The Christian world at work.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/04/22/climate-change-as-genocide/
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Things don't look better for Canada. Trudeau's Liberals are wimps and servants of Trump. The Conservatives, like the U.S. Republicans, should have been stuffed and mounted long ago. And Canada doesn't even have a Bernie Sanders.
We have an NDP and a Green Party. But both have spent too much time sleeping in front of the fireplace.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/canada-chooses-the-wrong-path-contempt-for-peace-de-facto-support-for-terrorism-in-syria/5586652
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And the struggle for peace goes on.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article196052.html

For some reason, I remember  Sunday School hymn,   "God sees the little sparrow fall..." If God likes little sparrown,  He must just love big, nuclear bombs. I mean, if He didn't, our churches would mention it...right?
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What can I say?

http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/1.785405
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This picture reminded me of a terrible truth about modern  war. It became standard practice in World War 2, on both sides, to kill civilians. Jews, or course, became the group for intense and complete slaughter. We've now gone further. We don't really see it from here, but in countries where the U.S.  (and others) have troops, the whole country  becomes one, great death camp.

http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/1.785411

Friday, April 21, 2017

April 21: It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world.

Oh, it's an exciting day in the Brunswick News. In the world section, throbbing with excitement, there's a big story on the outbreak of whooping cough at a local school. And on the front page is a story that the FBI in Philadelphia has arrested a bank robber. And sure, enough, there's a picture of a man who looks like a bank robber if ever I saw one.

There is no mention of Yemen or Libya or Syria or North Korea. I mean, why get people all upset?

On the lead story on p. 1 of world news is the shooting of a policeman in Paris. He was shot by a foreigner, of course. And that will anger many people because France has never killed anybody - well, except one of two million or so Vietnamese and Chinese, and Morrocans. But there were all foreigners.

The editorial cartoon is another knee-slapper about how only one person is running for the New Brunswick NDP leadership. (I don't believe the paper has ever run a cartoon about anybody named Irving.)

That cartoon is probably the only coverage the NDP will get. There will be lots of coverage for the Liberals and the Conservatives,  but almost nothing for the NDP or the Greens. (The Brunswick Press doesn't think it's good for New Brunswick to know too much. Too much information just confuses people.)

The only item worth reading in the whole paper is a column by Ammar Al Asmi, one of New Brunswick's refugees from Syria. (He is kind enough - or knowledgable enough about Brunswick News - not to mention that the U.S. is the major cause of the suffering in Syria.)

But, of course, none of us humans ever sees suffering when we are the cause of it. As a grade five student in Montreal, I was taught of the heroism of Dollard des Ormeaux who valiantly set out to intercept hordes of Mohawk native people who were on their way to destroy Montreal.

His force paddled up the Ottawa River, encountering a small band of Mohawk - which they attacked. Then they realized this small band of Mohawk was really the advance party of a large band of Mohawk. All the French were killed, martyrs to save Montreal.

So why didn't the Mohawk go on to destroy Montreal?

Because they weren't going there in the first place.  That whole story was made up years later by a priest/historian, and is widely believed to this day.

The truth is the Mohawk were never headed for Montreal. They were carrying a load of furs from the west to British traders at New York. Dollard des Ormeaux knew that. That's why he intercepted them - to steal their furs.

Luckily, Jean Decarie could not join des Ormeaux and the boys. He had to water the ducks that day.

The news of our time carries lies like the story of Dollard Des Ormeaux every day.
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The big story today is that a policeman in Paris was killed.  Yes. It's a sad story. But we have been killing innocent people by the millions for many years now. Just in the last 50 years, the U.S. has killed millions of innocent South Americans, Vietnamese, Afghanis, Yemenis, Libyans, Iraqis and others. France has been a big killer of innocent people in North Africa. Britain has killed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places.How come we don't get indignant news stories about those?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/21/paris-shooting-police-search-property-as-isis-claims-responsibility
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Here's a stor that has been little noticed in Canada - demonstrations, violence, and death in Venezuela.

For over a century, most of South America has been, in effect, under American control. More accurately, it has been under the control of American billionaires who have used that control to get richer by making South Americans poorer.
We may be approaching a breaking point.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/20/venezuela-protests-nicolas-maduro-deaths
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Meanwhile, Texas continues to display the lowest IQs ever achieved by humans.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/21/texas-kelcy-warren-environment-dakota-access-pipeline-ceo
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And here's a reminder we should never confuse indignation with intelligent thought.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/21/overreact-paris-attack-terrorism-just-never-end

Incidentally, what are all the illegal invasions, bombings, starvations and refugees created by  by the U.S? Aren't they terrorism?
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The U.S. no longer even pretends to stand for what it used to call "American values".  Just since World War 2, it has gone to war illegally at least 70 times. So much for the values it says its soldiers fought for. The American government is openly for sale. The helping hand for starving nations was always overstated. Now, it doesn't exist. In fact, The U.S. more commonly makes the starvation worse. The U.N.? That was long since destroyed by the U.S. rejection of any international body for peace and cooperation.

Nor has any of that done the U.S. much good. What he are watching is the breath-gasping of a dying empire and, probably, of a dying nation.

https://theintercept.com/2017/04/20/staff-for-sale/
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The killing of a policeman in Paris made headlines all over the western world. This story didn't even make the back pages.

https://theintercept.com/2017/04/19/u-s-bombed-mosque-syria-killing-dozens-civilians-investigators-conclude/
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We're not getting much information on this. But it has the potential be not only a Venezuelan crisis but, possibly, a latin-American one.

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/US-Has-Given-Green-Light-to-Coup-in-Venezuela-Maduro-20170418-0042.html
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I was shocked to learn U.S. police killings for 2017 have already reached almost 1100. So far, that's a doubling of the older rate. If you're in the U.S., don't worry about terrorists. You are far more likely to be killed by police.

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

For years, we have been watching the steady decline of the U.S. as a democracy and as a land for the future. It's not just Trump. He is a product, not a cause, of the fall of the U.S. empire. It is being brought down by a corrupting capitalism led by the greediest and least useful of the American people.
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Americans got all excited about the dropping of the Mother Of All Bombs in Afghanistan. 70% approve it. But they have no information about it. So - what really happened?

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/20/whats-worse-trump-dropping-mother-all-bombs-or-70-americans-approve
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I can't guarantee the accuracy of the following story. By it's nature, we shall never know the truth because the perpetrators are most unlikely to tell us the truth - or to tell us anyhing. And, certainly, our news media aren't going to tell us.

https://off-guardian.org/2017/04/21/google-now-threatening-alt-news-sites/
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And for all those dear (if deluded) souls who think our climate isn't changing...

https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-crystal-serenity-northwest-passage-cruise/

But don't worry. I'm sure Justin Trudeau has a secret plan he's worked out, and that scientists are too slow to figure out. I mean, If you can't believe a man who chooses suits with taste and has curly hair, who can you believe?
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This is one of the news sources that the Washington Post says is 'fake news'. Well, you'ld think a paper that lies as much as the Washington Post would be an expert on the subject. But I don't see any lying in here. I did, though, see a story the Washington Post never mentioned.

To justify the Iraqi war, both Tony Blair of Britain and George Bush Jr. of the U.S. lied. They announced that had impeccable evidence that Iraq had "weapons of mass destruction".  (We'll pass lightly over that as a piece of idiocy. Almost all weapons are weapons of mass destruction. But Blair and Bush had to give the impression these were particularly evil.)

At the end of the war, no weapons to match that were found. In fact, nobody ever even said what a "weapons of mass destruction" was. And nobody in our brainwashed part of the world even asked what a weapon of mass destruction was.

Those two, very evil, men murdered over a million people, mostly civilians, and destroyed a nation. And nobody said boo. I can't help wondering where the hell our massive Christian population and its churches were through all that. (I can't help wondering where it's been for the last 2,000 years.) The leading figures in our world are greedy and murderous. But this doesn't come up in church or in our faith pages. And it seldom has in 2,000 years.

What a pack of hypocrites!
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It's encouraging to see that some Jews, if not many Christians, believe in the principles of their faith.

http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.784892
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The U.S. has been attacked only once in its history - by Japan in 1941. But it has found it necessary to attack other countries hundreds of times - usually picking very small countries that cannot possibly attack the U.S.

It has routinely been treacherous to its friends. In 1940, the British had lost the war to Hitler. Churchill, despite his "we will fight them on the beaches" speech, knew the war was lost. Its great friend, the U.S., refused to lift a finger to help Britain. And, at the end of World War Two, it made every attempt to steal the colonies of Britain and France - especially in China, Vietnam, and North Africa. It did steal much of the British power in the Middle East.

This stunningly overarmed and aggressive country now tells the world it feels threatened by Syrria, Libya, Cuba, Guatemala, probably Venezuela - and North Korea which(maybe) has a missile that might reach California - maybe. And the poor, little US has only a few thousand missiles to defend itself - and that can reach all of North Korea with ease.

The U.S. fears attack from a China which has never attacked the U.S.  (but has been attacked by U.S. troops back in the good,  old days.) It fears attack from Russia because Putin is evil - unlike Trump and Bush and Obama who follow the loving ways of Jesus.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is spending billions to track down terrorists in the U.S. who don't seen much to be there - while it allows its police to murder Americans at a record rate.

And them there native savages better watch out the next time they upset another God-fearing oil pipeline. Trump will go right to the brave mercenaries of the U.S. army. And Justin Trudeau will blow him kisses all the way.

This, all of this, is insane. American leadership is insane. The American people, wrapped in an absurd phantasy about their own history and fed a steady stream of lies by their own news media, are acting insanely.

If you think this is sane, please write in and tell me the happy outcome you expect to see from all this. And, if  you're a Christian who thinks this is all very Christian, please write in and share that wisdom.

We aren't dealing with argument here. Or debate. This is all an insanity bred by greed and stupidity, both of which drool richly from the lips of our political and business leaders. In Canada, it's a betrayal of all that thousands of Canadians died to protect.

(Had to let that off. I'll be away for a week or so visiting relatives, and seeking something in this racist, greedy and stupid world to feel good about. Alas! I shall not have access to the Brunswick News to guide me.)
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Oh - could Trump settle his dispute with North Korea easily? He probably could. A peaceful approach with an offer of help for North Korea would probably do it.
(Yes. I know Kim Jun is evil and crazy while Trump is good and Christian. It could still be done peacefully.

But Trump doesn't want a peaceful settlement. He wants North Korea as a base to attack China. (In fairness, I'm not sure Trump wants it. It may be that the Pentagon wants it - and Trump is showing a profound weakness in dealing with power groups like the Pentagon.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

April 19: Let's Get Real

Let's Get Real

Empires, like people, are born- and then they die. The British Empire of World War One was the biggest empire in history. Then a quick death came in World War Two and just after it. The United States is a huge empire. It began as a piece of the British empire, then set out on its own imperial path to conquer native nations and Mexico, to illegally annex Hawaii, to attack most of the Spanish empire in the Carribean and South America - often setting up dictatorships or puppet governments.  (That still goes on.) Then it conquered The Philipines, setting up an American dictator as the ruler. American dominance of the middle east oil fields was  (and is)  an act of imperialism.

Imperialism also works by setting up regional alliances that are dominated by the Imperial power. NATO is an example. Beneath all the idealistic oratory that surrounds these alliances, they exist to provide the imperial power with markets for its weapons, and allies for its wars. That is Canada's colonial role as a member of NATO. That's why Canada made military contributions in Latvia, AFghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Syria, to naval patrols off places we never hear of.... That's why Canada sent UN  "peacekeepers" to what was really the American overthrow of the government of Haiti.

That's why Trump is demanding Canada raise its military spending - to feed the American war industries. (And Trudeau will obey.)

Today, the U.S. is the biggest empire in the world. It's also far, far the most expensive.

What Eisenhower called "the military-industrial complex" has become far the greatest cost of the American empire. Part of that is because the military is always expensive.  Part of it is because the system is so corrupt and corrupting. Part of it is because most of the American wealthy don't pay any significant income tax.

Average American citizens are left to pay a bill they cannot ever pay. They pay for it in lack of such things as education and social services. The pay for it in ever deeper poverty. They never can pay the monstrous national debt of trillions of dollars. (After all, if the rich don't pay, and the rest can't, national borrowing is the only route to go.)

And, for all its spending, the military performance of the U.S. in the last seventy years - always against small and poor countries - has been dismal.  Partly, that's because the American people don't want to fight. That was the great lesson of Vietnam.  That is why the greater part of the American army is NOT made up of valiant sons and daughters of liberty, but of foreign mercenaries - at extremely high cost - and all this is in a nation where the wealthy don't pay taxes.

In 16 years and with massive air superiority and with help from Canada and Britain, the U.S. has not been able to defeat the rebels who are only a faction of the Afghanistan population. It's not doing brilliantly against poor and starving Yemen, not even with the help of Sauri Arabia and others. What do you think are its chances of defeating large countries like China and Russia?

In fact, any such war would become nuclear. And nobody would win that.
But greed is in the saddle. And that greed is what has made the U.S. a dying empire -- a death that will be sooner rather than later. And it's not just the fault of Trump. The U.S. empire has been in decline for decades.

Canada would be very wise to distance itself from the U.S. But it won't. After all, Canada's own capitalists can't see beyond the effect this would have on their American sales.  Other nations will distance themselves - especially in Europe. And all this will do is to speed up aggressions that are already way too late to succeed.

Even the greediest of Americans must know the time is short. They must know the U.S. has to come to terms with the rest of the world. But it won't come to terms. Greed will beat brains every time. Right now, Trump is considering using force against North Korea. But North Korea is a lot tougher than Afghanistan. And, in any case - and despite China's dislike of North Korea - it cannot possibly afford to allow the U.S. to attack a country on China's border.
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War is glorious. Here's good example of the glory.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/apr/18/child-refugees-in-europe-forced-to-sell-bodies-to-pay-smugglers

And what did our leaders think would happen when they made refugees of millions of children, and then refused to look after them?
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War. It's so glorious. I mean, there have been Americans in Afghanistan fighting for their country for 16 years in a war that cost trillions of dollars. (But don't worry. The billionaires who wanted that war aren't paying for it. They leave that up to the taxpayers.) And, in fact, the (also non tax-paying) war industry billionaires are doing well out of sales.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/04/19/americas-longest-war-drags-on-in-afghanistan/
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Big business worships an economy that is always growing - especially when the big business part is the part that's doing all the growing. But there may be good reason to get away from that worship.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/04/19/life-in-a-degrowth-economy-and-why-you-might-actually-enjoy-it/
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The U.S. seems to be stepping up its war on the starving people of Yemen. God bless America. It needs all the blessing it can get.

How can the clergy who write the faith page columns in Brunswick News be unaware of all this?

Oh, of course. They get all their news from our local papers.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/04/18/usa-moves-toward-major-intervention-in-yemen/
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The following item is American. But this sort of thing has been known to happen in Canada. Yes! It has!

https://theintercept.com/2017/04/17/happy-tax-day-heres-how-corporations-plan-to-screw-you-over/
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This article is full of interesting items. And it's actually kind to Winston Churchill on the subject of war crimes. (It doesn't mention he was a pioneer of targetting civilians in war. As Colonial Secretary in 1920, he authorized such bombing of Kurdish villages.)

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/17/through-the-war-on-terror-looking-glass/
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There's a popular myth that we didn't know what was happening to German Jews in World War Two. And that's a lie.Our governments knew of the death camps in 1942. They had long known about them when some Jewish children escaped to a Spain which wouldn't let them stay. The U.S., Canada, and Britain all refused to accept them, even thought they knew what would happen to them.And it did happen. We sent them back to the camps to die.

In fact, we knew of murders of Jews even before the war started.

We were war criminals.  (Yes, our news media knew as well. And they didn't say a damn word. Not that it would have mattered. Neither Canadians nor Americans would have accepted Jews under any circumstances. We were every bit as criminal as the Naziis were.)

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/US-UK-Knew-of-Nazi-War-Crimes-in-1942-Did-Nothing-Archive-20170418-0035.html
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If you want to see cruelty and hypocrisy, there is no need to travel to distant countries. Just read our news media. Just talk to the millions of Canadians and Americans propagandized by them. Who are the evil killers of this world? Well, for start, there's us.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46893.htm
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The following report can't be true. I mean, if it were true, we would have read it in Brunswick News. I mean, if you can't trust Brunswick News, who can you trust?

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/mit-expert-claims-latest-chemical-weapons-attack-syria-was-staged-1617267?utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=rss-inner&utm_content=/rss/yahoous/news
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Remember how Canada sent 'peacekeepers' to Haiti? Weren't we good? Ever notice any stories about exactly what this was all about? Here's a chance to catch up.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/yves-englers-blog/2017/04/un-occupation-haiti-ends-abuses-remain

Haiti has now been under U.S. control for a total of some 90 years. And Isn't it just wonderful what that has done for the people of Haiti?
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This article about U.S. senator Bernie Sanders should be required reading  for the wimp wing of Canadan's NDP.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/19/no-active-us-politician-more-popular-independent-socialist-senator
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Sadly, there's a lot of truth to this one.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/17/dont-be-fooled-mckibben-says-climate-trudeaus-no-better-trump

Canadians elected a prime minister whose work experience consisted of a very few years of teaching in a private school - and a slightly longer period teaching snowboarding at a resort. I know nothing of anything in his history that suggests any set of values except on how to wear a casual suit well.
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This may help to explain the astonishing changes that Trump makes in foreign policy almost from day to day.

http://thesaker.is/the-double-triple-quadruple-crossing-trump/
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Erdogan of Turkey just made himself, effectively, a dictator. Trump thought that was wonderful.

http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/turkey/1.783894
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Governments of Israel have killed, starved, deprived of medical care, robbed, ground into poverty the people of Palestine for over 70 years. No American government has ever done anything useful to end that. Obviously, Trump won't, either.

http://www.haaretz.com/us-news/1.784322
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In other Haaretz news (which my computer refuses to download), Netanyahu has refused to give shelter to 100 Syrian children who have fled their country. I guess he's forgotten all about how the world ignored Jews in the holocaust.
  
Or maybe Muslims don't count - just like them there Palestinians.

And Ivanka Trump is learning that her political status is useful in opening up the China market for her clothing line.  I'm so happy for her!

Monday, April 17, 2017

April 17:Bow, Bow, ye lower middle classes!...


.....
Bow, bow, ye tradesmen, bow, ye masses,
Blow the trumpets, bang the brasses,
Tantantara! Tzing, boom!

http://metro.co.uk/2017/04/16/donald-trump-insists-on-gold-plated-carriage-procession-for-uk-state-visit-in-october-6577689/

The words are from Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera Iolanthe. But they aren't comic any more.

In six months, Trump will visit Britain. He demands (not asks, demands) that he be taken to visit Buckingham Palace in a triumphant procession with him riding in the Queen's golden carriage, the one used for only the highest purposes - like a coronation. (I've never even heard of such a demand before.)

Yes, it's childish but,  unfortunately, it's much more than that. Yes, it's a sign of dreadful ego. But it's much more than that, too.

Trump is insisting he be welcomed to Britain as a conquering hero. The day of the British Empire is over (true enough). The day of the American empire has arrived. And Donald Trump is the ruler of the American Empire. it's deliberately insulting to the British people, to the queen. (And that's okay.)

But it's also a terrifying insight into the profoundly disordered ego of Donald Trump. It's a childish, kicking cry of "I wannit. I wannit. I wannit." from the man whose word can destory us all.

(The story hasn't made Brunswick News. Of course not. Nobody there ever heard of Gilbert and Sullivan.)
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Read this carefully, Israeli troops  routinely enter Palestine to carry out assassinations. That's what's called an act of war. And it's not at all different from assassinations that the U.S. routinely carries out in South America, and in its drone raids in various countries.

And it's illegal (except when our side does it.)

http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.783660?utm_content=%2Fisrael-news%2F1.783660&utm_medium=email&utm_source=smartfocus&utm_campaign=newsletter-breaking-news
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And don't read this if you are a Baptist.

http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.783321

Okay, if you're a Baptist and  you read this, go immediately to Exodus to restore  your faith. By the way, the faithful rejoice that Joshua led the Israelites in the annihilation of Canaanites. Tell me how that is different from Hitler's annihilation of European Jews.
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It's been a tense weeked with the U.S. and North Korea sticking out their tongues at each other. As well, China has moved 160,000 troops to its border with North Korea. What's that all about?

Forget the story about North Korea as a nuclear threat. Bigger ones, far, far bigger ones are China, Russia, Britain, India, Pakistan, Israel, and the U.S. So why does the the U.S. spend so much time getting excited  about a very minor nuclear power like North Korea and an nonexistant one like Iran?   (And why is China moving troops to its border?)

It all really has  little to do with the government of North Korea.

Over a  hundred and fifteen years ago, the U.S. invaded The Phillipines. Why? The Philliipines were no military threat to anybody. A little earlier, the U.S. had illegally annexed the Hawaiian Islands. Why did it want it's major naval base to be in the middle of the Pacific? After World War Two, it convinced the UN to go to war against North Korea. Did it do that to protect the South? Uh -no. After all, if the U.S. were in the protection business, it would not have invaded some 70 countries in the last seventy years.

And why is China moving its troops to the North Korean border?

Because China knows what the U.S. has been up to all these years. American capitalists have a passion to get control of China and its economy. The British triumph in plundering China was perhaps the greatest economic coup in history. For a century, Chinese were murdered and beggared and brutalized. It was easy. It was cheap. And the profits were immense. (The common British people got nothing from it. But British capitalists became the world's wealthiest.) And, oh, American capitalists wanted a piece of that action.

That's why the U.S. supported Chiang Kai-shek as dictator of China. That's why Roosevelt ordered the British NOT to retake Hong Kong from the Japanese. (Churchill defied Roosevelt.)

For the U.S., Hawaii and The Phillipines were to open the gate to Asia. The Korean War and the Vietnam war were to put the U.S. on the border of China. There they would assemble an invasion army. There they would put missiles along the Chinese border as they have along parts of the Russian border.

And that's why China has moved 160,000 troops to its border with North Korea. (It's not an invasion by North Korea that worries China.)

The world's capitalists recognize no borders, no nations, no peoples, no obligations. (That's why they don't pay taxes.) They recognize only their own greed. Forget Americans, Russians, Chinese, British, Canadians........ The big capitalists have no homelands, just greed.
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The following story is typical from Syria - sixty eight children killed in an attack. It sounds like the one of a week ago that our news media went ballistic over - the one obout Sarin gas. But the treatement of this one is very different. Where are the photos of 'White Helmets" caring for the children? Where is the hyper-excited language denouncing the attack and its cruelty. When will Donald Trump announce his disgust at the mass killing of children"

No. This time it ain't going to happen. That's because there seems no doubt this time that the killers were from our side.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/16/sixty-eight-children-dead-suicide-bombing-syria
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Here's another story about climate change - you know, the change that isn't happening.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/apr/17/receding-glacier-causes-immense-canadian-river-to-vanish-in-four-days-climate-change
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And this one is much too kind to Justin Trudeau.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/17/stop-swooning-justin-trudeau-man-disaster-planet
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Here's a 'Round-Up' of  glyphosates and other chemicals that the government of New Brunswick says are good for us.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/04/17/dont-poison-yourself-a-warning-as-its-too-late-for-us/
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Trump and Trudeau make the news again together.  (It makes me so proud to be a Canadian!)

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/04/05/trump-america-trudeau-canada-turnbull-australia-doom-world-with-unlimited-greenhouse-gas-pollution/

Moncton city council has decided we should all think about what kind of city we want for the future. Nice, but...  Has anybody given the slightest thought to what the future, itself, will be like?
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This story is American. But most of it applies to Canada as well. And that way lies disaster for all of us. If the wealthy don't pay taxes - and it seems likely most of them don't - we lose billions of dollars every year. Governments can and do make some of that up by taxing the rest of us more heavily. (That helps to explain your tax bill, and it helps to explain why provincial governments can't afford the services they should provide.) Eventually, that leads to a complete social breakdown. But that's in the future. And the wealthy are not good at thinking about the future. After all, if you have enough money to live anywhere in the world, who gives a damn what happens  to Canada?

Think of the recent scandale which Brunswick news only half-reported. The province wildly overcharged home-owners for taxes. At the same time, It gave the largest property tax break in New Brunswick history to the starving Irvings.

https://theintercept.com/2017/04/17/happy-tax-day-heres-how-corporations-plan-to-screw-you-over/
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The followiing story is obviously false. As we all know, Trump would never allow American bombs to kill children.

At a time like this, we might pause to ask why there is a war in Syria, and why the U.S. cares enough to bomb it. There is a war and the U.S. cares because the war is about oil, and U.S. companies want to control it.

Okay. So you gotta kill some kids. It's worth it. American leaders are almost all Christians. Trump is popular in the 'Bible Belt'. Get them to tell you some stories about Jesus on this Easter Monday.

https://theintercept.com/2017/04/16/a-father-describes-saving-his-daughter-from-u-s-bombardment-of-mosul/
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I don't know how true this next story might be. But It's as credible as anything we've heard from Washington. So why didn't it make our commercial news?

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/40222-new-revelations-belie-trump-claims-on-syria-chemical-attack
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This is an alarming report. And The Nation is a pretty good source.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46874.htm
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This next is a very important article, partly because the American war industry wants Canada to step up its spending on war - a lot. It's a path that has led the U.S. to disaster - quite possibly to collapse of the whole nation.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46875.htm

(Watch for an editorial in Brunswick News telling us that cutting back on education and health and other frills, and spending on arms, will make the rich even richer so it will trickle down to us. Actually, the rich have NEVER been very good at letting wealth trickle down, If they were good at it, they'd pay taxes.
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I expect that most readers admired obama. I didn't. So here's somebody on my side.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/16/obamatrump-contrasting-deceivers/
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Credit where credit is due. Today's copy of Brunswick News carried the story of U.S. rallies demaning that Trump make his tax returns public. (I thought it possible that Brunswick News might feel a certain delicacy about the issue.)
On the other hand, columnist Norbert Cunningham has a drooling editorial about how the $4.3 million dollar concrete plaza, combined with the new "entertainment centre', will give downtown a new look, and will attract people.

Yep. Yep. Yep. I can see it all now - a cold and windy winter day or a raining summer day and people from all around the world will come to Moncton to stand on a 4 million dollar piece on concrete and say, "This is some good, eh?"

Oh, another commentary says we should not give money to panhandlers. Right. Let's save it for deserving billionaires.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

April 15: Who? Me? Evil? Yeah.

This is the one I don't want to write. Essentially, what I shall say is that all of us (or virtually all of us) have a natural tendency to take a Hitlerian view of the world, to be wide open to racism. All that's needed is a leader who consciously or unconsciously  knows how to tap into that.

I can't approach this as a pyschologist because I know nothing about psychology. But the evidence of history is very strong.

In the Canada of 1939, anti-semitism was pronounced. In Montreal, for example, Jews had been acceptable to high society in the nineteenth century. A Montreal Jew even became prominent in the sporting world of the time which was largely the preserve of the wealthy. (He would become the world's first figure skating champion.)

That acceptance was because 1. Jews in Canada were very, very few. 2.Most were financially well off. 3. They were very, very British.

However, that changed. In the late 1960s, twenty years after the defeat of Naziism, I was invited to a summer cottage at a lake well known as THE summer vacation spot of the wealthiest English in Montreal. While there, I was invited to take part in a community game of softball.

That evening there was a meeting of the leaders of Montreal's wealthiest to find out who had invited the Jew up to the lake.

(I'm not Jewish. But I was the director of a Jewish camp that summer, and I was wearing a camp T shirt with the Star of David on it.)

Canadians became profoundly anti-Jewish after 1900 as the very few,  very British and wealthy Jews in Canada were augmented by very, very many Jewish immigrants who were NOT British and NOT wealthy.

I learned a lot wearing my YMHA Tshirt that summer.

I was a child in  a Montreal in which Jews were pretty much confined to the shabbiest districts. Into the 1960s at least, it was common for apartments for rent to have signs that read 'Select Clientele Only'. That meant no Jews, no orientals, no African Canadians. The same attitudes in the business world forced them into low wage jobs in, for example, a brutal clothing industry.

In the  1930s, as Jews tried to flee the horror that was Germany, many countries (including Canada and the U.S.) refused to accept them. We knew what was happening in Germany. We didn't care. In fact, a great many Canadians and Americans, especially in the business world, thought highly of Hitler.

Late in World War 2, large numbers of German children were spirited away from the death camps to find safety in Spain. Spain refused to keep them. They would have to leave Spain for another country - or go back to Germany.

Britain, the U.S. and Canada refused to accept them, even though those countries knew what would happen to them. And it did happen. Canada and the U.S. even refused to accept Jewish refugees for several years after the war. By then, all Canadians knew about the death camps. They still didn't care.

Alas! Jews are a human as the rest of us. That's why Israelis have treated Palestinians with much the same racism that was inflicted on Jews.
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Some  years ago, British film studios came out with a rash of films about heroic British soldiers valiantly defeating hordes of Africans. One of those films was about the glory of Rorke's Drift where a small British force valiantly held off a much larger force of Zulus. How glorious!

Hang on, though.

Why were the British there? Weren't they murdering Zulus and stealing their land? Why do we applaud murderers and thieves?

Surely, it's because the murderers and thieves were white. And the people defending their land were not white. Have you ever seen a film about heroic, black Africans beating off white invaders?

Imperialism is the child of racism. It's okay to murder and plunder and exploit "the others" because they are a race inferior to us. The Empires of Britain, France, Spain and Portugal - and the U.S. - were all built on racism, on the belief that the attackers - thieves and murderers - were racially superior.

That explains why Christians were responsible for what was possibly the greatest holocaust in all of history. No, it wasn't Hitler's holocaust of Jews. It was our holocaust of the native peoples of the Americas. Nobody knows, nobody ever will know, how many of our native people were murdered. But it must have been tens of millions.

And George Washington, who spoke of fighting to bring democracy and freedom, did not bring either of those to Africans in the U.S.  (He also didn't bring it to native peoples, women, or to the poor.) George Washington was a racist.

To build their empire, the British had to kill millions They had to steal their land.  They had to use the survivors as cheap labour. They created vast poverty and death in countries like China and India.  That was obvious throughout the empire. It was obvious, but it was never seen.

It wasn't seen because the British believed themselves to be racially superior to their victims. That was still obvious when I was teaching in Hong Kong. (You can see hints of this in the film, The World of Suzie Wong.)

Chinese were not permitted to enter most of the clubs of their conquerors - except as servants. The British governors had absolute power, and could not care less about the living conditions of the Chinese in Hong Kong. (I can still remember the thousands of Chinese, whole families even with babies) who slept on bits of cardboard on the streets, beneath underpasses, under stairways...)

I came to know the governor's secretary. He was an Englishman of no great intelligence who had utter contempt for the Chinese. In his view, all were inferior to him. I taught British and Chinese journalists in Hong Kong. The British ones, no matter how badly they did in the class, expected to become editors in no time at the South China Morning Post or The Express. (And, at that time, they did.)
The buzz word for those who realize that racism is not a nice word is "evil".

Assad of Syria is evil. Hussein of Iraq is evil. In fact, neither of them comes close to any recent American president in evil. The rebels of Afghanistan are evil. Why? Because they defend their country against an invasion by the U.S. Several decades ago, they defended it against the Russians. Then they were good. But now, they're evil.

The U.S. can murder Guatemalans by the tens of thousands. Who cares? Our news media don't even report it. They aren't like us. They're inferior. Investors in South American mining (and other places), treat their workers like animals. They also destroy the environment to a degree unimaginable to Canadians. Anybody who complains is likely to get shot. Some of the worst offenders in this are prominent Canadian businessmen.

But it's okay. Those South Americans and Africans aren't real people like us. They're an inferior race.

If real Americans had to flee the U.S. for some reason, Canadians would welcome them - as they welcomed those who came to avoid Vietnam. If people from the middle east who fled their homelands try now to flee a racist U.S, we arrest them at the border.

Europe, admittedly, has a challenge in  caring for refugees. Take a look some day at conditions in the refugee camps. Do you think Christian refugees would be treated in that way?

The notion that some people are just born superior to others - and that the difference is connected to differences in skin colour or religion (and sometimes not even connected to those) is almost universal. The Irish and English certainly look alike. But the English had no problem with letting them starve to death in the potato famine - even though the English had lots of food available. And when the starving Irish arrived in Canada, they were widely seen by Canadians for a century after as an inferior people.

This sort of racism even extends to our perception of social classes. Descendants of the British royal family, even the most moronic ones, are treated with awe by those whose shopping for reading is confined to the magazine stall at the supermarket. They are superior - by birth. And that sounds like a pretty good definition of racism.

(Doesn't Prince Harry have a wonderful forehead? Isn't young Prince George precious?)

The wealthy, including all those who are wealthy because they inherited it, have a vision that they are superior to those who are not wealthy.   (That shows up very strongly in the ego problems of Donald Trump.) Any big businessman who thinks he was a right to intervene in government (and most of them do think that) is a racist.

We, probably all of us, have a tendency to racism. We seem to be born with it. All it takes is a leader who knows how to turn it on. And such leaders have always been available. Hitler knew how to do it. More than a few of this world's business and political leaders know how to do it. Donald Trump knows how to do it.

And once it's done, the rest of us will line up for privilege of killing people just like us for the profit of the kings and prime ministers and presidents and billionaires of this world.
And a propagandizing press
knows how to turn up the fear and hatred. That's why the biggest threat to the world today is not Russia or China. And it's certainly not Syria or Afghanistan or North Korea.

It's us.

And that's why, as I write this, we are so very close to a nuclear war.
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footnote, after I finished the above, I read the faith page of Burnswick News for today. It is, of course, the usual milk toast. In fact, throughout history the Christian churches have almost always been on the side of the racists.

The core of Trump's support comes from the most religious (Christian) part of the U.S., the so-called Bible Belt. These are the people who demonstrate with signs saying abortion is wrong because it kills babies. Apparently, though, it's not wrong when the U.S. kills babies by the million. (And Trump, the man they voted for, is now busy starving babies to death in Yemen.) Presumably, that's because they're foreign babies and so, by definition, of an inferior race.

I look forward to some day writing the faith column for the Brunswick News. I even have the title for it. "Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition."
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Finally, here's an opinion, largely from China's point of view, on the North Korean crisis.

Yes. North Korea is wrong. The U.S. is wrong, too. And if this goes a step further, it won't matter who was wrong.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/north-korea-ballistic-missile-miltary-parade-1.4071810

Friday, April 14, 2017

April 14: Time to wake up.

I have been having some very disturbing  thoughts about Naziism, mass murder - and us. All of us. I'm confident of - if terribly disturbed at -  what I have to say. But I'll save it for a day I have free - perhaps Saturday or Sunday.
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Meanwhile, Norbert Cunningham, who writes a daily column for the Irvng press has written a very disturbing column. It  doesn't mention corruption are harm to people. If offers no evidence on anything and, on the basis of having nothing to say, he leaves with the impression that a certain situation is just fine. And, Norbert, I have never distrusted you or your newspaper more.

It's many weeks now since we heard of dangerous pollution at some of our beaches.  So far, the government has done nothing that we have been told of.
Recently, some university students volunteered to check the water. Nothing wrong with that.They learned in more detail what the nature of the pollution  was. That's useful. But Norbert writes in high glee that this solves the problem.

 Like hell it does.

 It gives us a little more detail on the nature of the pollution. But that's all it gives us. I have never been more distrustful of Norbert Cunningham and his newspaper and the Liberal and Conservative parties. That column has the stench of rat about it.

Our government has known about that pollution for years and through two or three governments . Both parties must have known. Why didn't they do anything?

Why did government workers fail to put up signs when the beaches were very dangerous?

Whey didn't government inspectors for septic lines and such know it? Or did they know it? Did money pass throught hands? Or did the governments simply ignore them?

Is there a possibility that campground and trailer park owners had friends or contacts of other sorts in government? Were any politicians involved in creating this situation?

Is there any record of disease among swimmers? Some of that pollution can cause very wide outbreaks.

I don't know the truth or falsity of any of the above. That's because the Brunswick News has treated this issue with kid gloves from the start. It seems to have made no investigation whatever. And it has, as Norbert did, downplayed the whole thing.

The government says it will do a better job in future, I see no reason to believe that.

I smell a lot of rats.
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The bomb dicussed below is designed, of course, not to harm babies.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/u-s-drops-bomb-afghanistan-1.4069637
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Canadian senators have announced that we will annoy Trump unless we spend more on the military. Well, that's the kind of senators you get when you're a colony. I long ago learned that Canadian senators are not the shiniest apples in the barrel.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-defence-spending-1.4069872

But not to worry. Trudeau is probably the weakest prime minister this country has ever had. I'm sure he'll do his best to make Trump happy.
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http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/cfia-report-glyphosate-1.4070275

Companies having a problem should ship all their  products to New Brunswick. This province just loves glysophates.
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Today, Norbert Cunningham writes a colum on a subject of which he knows nothing. His main point is that universities are struggling financially, partly because governments are so deep in debt they can't afford to support the universities. But he doesn't tell why governments are so deep in debt.

They're in debt because so many of the wealthy don't pay taxes. And that's a crisis that is going to get much, much worse. Just recently the city of St. John gave a property tax rebate of over 200 million dollars to Irving oil. Yes, it's just terrible how Irving oil has no money at all to pay its property taxes. So that 200 million (plus other goodies) have to come from us. That's one reason why universities are in trouble. That's why social services are in trouble.

Yesterday, Moncton put a street panhandler in jail. But nobody touches the panhandlers of big business.

Norbert also babble about how universities are well-versed in the skills of teaching. Norbert, I taught forty years in universities. I was a dapartment chair for many of those years. Before that, I taught in public schools - whose teachers were trained.

Universities don't have a clue about teaching. Many professors, in fact, have contempt for it. Norbert's suggestion?  Make our universities institutions for the elite (rich kids.) Norbert, that's what they were75 years ago. And what they graduated then were rich bozos.
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The item below is too kind. Trump certainly is murderous and irresponsible. But so was Bush. So was Obama.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/09/liberals-donald-trump-syria-missile-strikes

Since 1945, almost all American wars have been failures. The exception, perhaps is the invasion of Grenada. Men, women, chldren have been murdered in their millions. Tens of millions have been made refugees and simply abandoned - very young children on their own. It has been unspeakably cruel. And in almost every case it has destroyed any trace of  national existence or purpose. We now have dozens of highly unstable, chaotic nations.

Afghanistan is a classic example. After World War Two, Afghanistan was moving on its own to democracy. That was wrecked by the interference of Russia. The U.S. intervened to help Afghanistan - then took over exactly what Russia had been doing.

Now, after 15 years of fighting the U.S. still cannot win in Afghanistan. And we have never been told what that war is about. Every nation the U.S. has touched has been reduced to chaos and horrible suffering. The U.S. has become a victim of its own, unspeakably corrupt arms industry. Expect that in Canada, too.

The only possible future in this is the destruction of all of us. And Trudeau seems eager to drag us into this in order to make nice with Mr. Trump.

Much of the world is been driven into chaos, made ungovernable, and useful only for the greed of big business. It is quite possible we wil soon be looking at chaos in the U.S. I know it would be very, very difficult to detach Canada from its role as a colony in the American empire. But the fact is that continuing in that role is fatal.
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Success in school is often determined - not by your school. It's determined by your social background. In the first day of kindergarten, the children of  the  rich are really entering their first year of university. The children of the poor are entering, maybe, grade 9. Norbert should read this before he writes again about our "elite".

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/14/children-hard-work-social-mobility-estate-background
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The U.S. government is closely attached to the savage dictators of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. That's why Trump is so busy starving babies to death in Yemen. He even gives medals to the dictators for for their contributions to democracy.

 Here's why.

https://theintercept.com/2017/04/14/trumps-deepening-embrace-of-bahrains-repressive-monarchy-may-lead-to-more-instability/
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Canada makes the news! (except in Canada).

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/04/13/keystone-xl-and-americas-psychopathic-government/
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The good news is that the United Nations wants to help the starving millions in Yemen. The bad news is that the U.S. probably won't allow it.

http://www.reuters.com/article/yemen-hunger-un-idUSL8N1HK4B2
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Well, it seems ISIS has sarin, the poison gas Trump claims Syria dropped on its own people. In fact, the U.S. has been supporting ISIS from the start in Syria. Gee. I wonder where ISIS got that sarin?

Trump has also refused to give his evidence that Syria dropped that gas on the civilians.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article195940.html
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Canada's Trudeau is weak. And its Conservative party is worse than weak.

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2017/04/breaking-tradition-championed-his-father-trudeau-boycotts-key-un-disarmament
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https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/12/trump-withholds-syria-sarin-evidence/
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Alistair Cooke is a pretty outstanding authority on world news. (But Brunswick News has probably never heard of him.)

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/14/trump-lurches-into-chaos-and-conflict/
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http://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-1.783391
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A bad day. Under our "elite". we began with greed, which soon moved to stupidity, and now has reached psychopathy.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

April 12: Be Very Worried.

I can only hope this makes sense. My computer has been acting oddly all day. Perhaps a hacking attack by the Moncton Chamber of Commerce.
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The western press makes a big noise about Assad not being democratically elected. It's certainly true that his first election in 1906 was rigged - because that was the way the Syrian constitution was rigged. Syria was not a democracy. Big deal. Our good friends in Saudi Arabia aren't democratic, either. So when do we invade them? Guatemala is not a democracy either. Ooooh -that's because the U.S. overthrew the democracy and extablished a dictator. So when to do we invade the U.S.?

Actually, it's none of our business whether a nation is a democracy. It becomes our business when one country invades another. And the biggest invader over the last 70 years has been the U.S. Actually, Syria has been becoming more democratic than most 'democracies', something our press has refused to notice.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-elections-2016-us-natos-failed-attempt-to-deny-the-will-of-the-syrian-

One should also remember that democracy is a farce in any country in which the news media are propaganda fronts - like the U.S. - like Canada.
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The BBC, alas, continues to babble about Vimy Ridge. The latest essay tells us that Vimy Ridge was not the turning point in our history. The real turning point was just after World War 1 when Canada refused to help Britain in a war with Turkey. It says that for the first time, Canadians refused to participate in a British war.

#inbox/15b5d5778ba6205ehttp://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/chanak-affair-canada-britain-vimy-independence-1.4061740

In fact, Canada was NEVER required to fight in a British war unless Canada itself was invaded. That happened only three times, when the U.S. invaded (American Revolution, War of 1812, Fenian raids). Othewise, Canada was technically at war but was not required to participate. Our participation in the Boer War, World War 1 and World War two was voluntary.

So, no. Our refusal to take part in the Chanak crisis had nothing to do with Canada becoming a nation. We are now much more under the thumb of the U.S. that we ever were of Britain.
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I had intended to write on how Hitler's Naziism was not uniquely German It's a form of leadership that goes back thousands of years, and that still continues to this day. And it's very common. It's a system in which the leader serves the wealthy and influential, coverinig his tracks by leading the mob to fasten on racial prejudices. Trump played that old game to get elected. That's why he targetted Mexicans and Muslims. Trudeau, in a quiet way, is doing the same thing with regard to refugees from US racism. Racism was the basis of the British, French and Spanish empires.

Hitler didn't create racism. He took advantage of the racial prejudice that lies in most of us. That racism had everything to do with the destruction of native people in the Americas - perhaps the greatest holocaust in world history.
But if I get into this now, I'll never get into the news. So -- another day.
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Our local Brunswick News has a series of stunning Canada and world news items. A woman in Quebec will need surgery after being mauled by her pet dog. In another flash, some people in New Brunswick are fishing with improper licences. A local senior has been sentenced for spying on and harrassment of his daughter-in -law. Canadian man accused of computer hacking has been denied bail. A local farmer has been found guilty of not looking after his animals. A candidate for leadership of the Conservative Party in Canada wants to stop the legalization of pot. The big story, just under the one about fishing, is that Canada's foreign minister has warned Putin to get rid of Assad.

The opinion and commentary columns which give us insight into the news have gripping tales of how universities need more money, and a commentary that spring is here - for those who haven't noticed. Above it is a very large photo of somebody jogging. I have no idea why.

Meanwhile, in the real world,....
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https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/apr/11/tiny-newspaper-in-us-wins-pulitzer-prize-for-taking-on-big-business

But relax. Brunswick News is never going to upset us by criticizing big business. Besides, it needs all its space for stories about seniors who spy on their daughters-in-law
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And there's this story about the wonderfully Christian help we have given to refugees of our wars. Note that large numbers of unaccompanied children seem to have disappeared. That will upset Trump. He's very concerned about children.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/11/hundreds-of-refugees-missing-after-dunkirk-camp-firetheir
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This is serious. I mean, North Korea now has a few, short-range missiles. And its leader is crazy - not at all like the level-headed Trump who has thousands of long range, nuclear missiles. Anyway, China has no love for North Korea. And ti's right on the border with that country. Shouldn't it be up to China to handle this?

No.

The whole purpose American actions in that region is to establish a country neighbouring China as a huge, U.S. military base to attack China.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/12/japanese-warships-join-us-fleet-north-korea
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And this is the forgotten tragedy. Britain was the first to set up a plan to create a Jewish state in Palestine.  it was done not to help Jews, but to get rid of them. So, in 1948, the world officially gave the lands and homes of Palestinans to Jews. Since then Israel has received billions in aid every year. The Palestinians got nothing. They still don't. And more of their land is being stolen every day. How thoughtul of us!

And this is the hundredth anniversary of the British proposal to give away somebody else's land.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/12/palestinian-britain-balfour-declaration-theresa-may
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All U.S. and British //killing in the middle east is about oil.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46846.htm
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This story is from Russia Times. But it won't hurt one to read it. After all, it quotes a prominent British figure.

www.rt.com/uk/384214-trump-north-korea-mi6/
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As soon as newspapers released (unproven)  reports of the use of sarin in Syria, I thought this is the Cuban Missile Crisis of the 1960s all over again. The difference is that in the 60s, it was true that Russia was sending missiles to Cuba. I have seen no evidence that Syria used Sarin in Syria. In any case, the U.S. is scarcely the one to go to the world's rescue. Over the past 70 years, it has been far the world's largest user of chemical weapons.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46838.htm
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The analysis is, I suspect, bang on. And the outcomes it lists are very probable indeed. We are watching collapse of American society and of the American political system. It was not caused by Trump. It's a gradual collapse that has been happening for a long time. Trump is a product of the collapse, not a cause. Hillary Clinton is equally a product.

https://thesaker.is/a-multi-level-analysis-of-the-us-cruise-missile-attack-on-syria-and-its-consequences/
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The U.S. has long been a murderer of civilians. In fact, every imperial power I have ever heard of was a murderer of civilians. An American president also has the power to imprison (or to murder) any American with no charge and no trial. And they have used it.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46843.htm
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http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/04/12/proven-us-alliance-lying-over-chemical-weapons-attack-trump-pretext-for-destruction-of-syria/
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Pope Francis remains almost the only world leader who is intelligent, honest, and compassionate.

http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground
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Here's another story Brunswick News didn't have.  It needed the space for a really huge picture of Canada's Foreign Minister. I have no idea why..

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/12/trump-withholds-syria-sarin-evidence/
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Here's a condemnation of Trump's attack on Syria by a man who is obviously NOT an admirer of Assad.

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2017/04/its-bombs-away-us-again
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I was not able to send a copy of a story largely missed by most of our news media. Trump has stepped up the war against Yemen. This is the war in which he's killing uncountable numbers of civilians by starvation. Those civilians include babies.

Does anybody know what this war is about?
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As I wrote all this, I thought - should we be  worried?

Bloody right we should. Worried like never before. And I would not write off the possibility of a severe U.S. breakdown within the next few years.

Oh, it's not in the news yet. But China has moved 160,000 troops to its border with North Korea. And, no, they probably are not there to help the U.S.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

April 11: apologies. This is an extra, and it's just me talking.

The news media are beating the drums for war. Even the trivial Brunswick News is running inflamatory stories about Syria. One, from Associated Press, is headed "Chemical weapons attack latest in litany of atrocities in Syria".
Would you believe it? Russians killed civilians in the bombing of Aleppo. Gee. Americans never kill civilians Well, except for close to a million in Iraq. and, okay, the ones they're killing in Mosul. and, picky, picky, the uncounted millions they killed in Vietnam
And the Syrians are using napalm-like weapons. Terrible. But guess who has used napalm lavishly. Or have we forgotten the little girl  in Vietnam, screaming with pain as her flesh burned. And remember Agent Orange? That's the chemical that the U.S. used in of Vietnam, a poison that still produces large numbers of horribly deformed babies.
The news story is, of course, packed with emotional adjective and adverbs.
And the message is - kill a Syrian for Christ.
Odd. Our news media said very little about the tremendous bombings of Laos and Cambodia that were specifically aimed at civilians - and were the heaviest bombings in history up to that point. In fact, the killing of civilians has been a major purpose of the military since the middle of World War Two.
In all my years of reading newpapers, i've never read a story about American - or Canadian, or British atrocities. But they've all been guilty.
One of the great mass murders of history was the U.S. near-extermination of native peoples by gunfire, swords and deliberate starvation. That's a holocaust. But we never call it that. The U.S. has murdered all over Latin America. It still does. And then there were the 300,000 murdered not that long ago in Guatemala. There was the mass murder of the conquest of the filipinos, a people who in no way threatened the U.S.
The news media also largely ignored the story that the U.S. and Britain lied about the reason for the Iraq war. They said Iraq had stockpiled weapons of mass destruction. (doesn't everybody?). Bush and Blair both said they had proof of it. Both lied. They never produced  such stockpiles. Over a million innocent people died because Bush and Blair are liars. Where are the angry editorials about that?
The U.S. has a rich history of torture, murder, starvation. But one would never know it from our news media. And Americans, like Canadians, are suckers.
And leading the charge of idiots is our own Justin Trudeau. Of course. He is going to be a cute little puppy for Trump. He says Russia and Iran were involved in the  sarin attack in Syria. He presents no evidence whatever for that. And, frankly, it's had to see what either would gain from such an action.
Trudeau also said, "There is no question that anyone who is guilty of the types of war crimes against innocents that Assad and his regime are needs to be held to account." Hey, Justin, I know of peoplel who are guilty of war crimes against innocents. For a start, there's Trump, Obama, Bush....and lots of others." And then there's the miserable little wretches like Justin who kiss up to them.
You want to kill    Syrians, Justin? Okay. You go. You dod it. Wear your nicest suit for the cameras.
In today's paper, U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson says the U.S. is dedicated to holding to account any and all crimes against the innocent anywhere in the world. That should have produced rounds of laughter. But it won't. People, as always, will fall for it.
Let's get real. Almost all nations that go to war kill innocents The kill them in the millions. They kill men, women, children, even the babies that Trump is so fond of.
To justify it, they feed of the kind of crap that today's newspapers carry.
And, to our eternal disgrace, very large numbers of us believe it.

Do the journalists believe it? I don't see how they can. An international reporter from Associated Press doesn't know this war is about oil? Doesn't know the American record of killing civilians? And the editors who approved it don't know? And the editors at Brunswick News didn't know? Not possible. They aren't fools. It would be more honorable if they were. But they aren't fools. They're liars.
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Let's look at what's really happening in the middle east.
Big, American oil wants to control the world's oil supply. (These people are quite crazy. They insist there is no climate change even as we watch it changing. Icebergs are flourishing this year due to the speeded up melting of our Arctic.) They are unspeakably greedy, a greed that has led them to make us fight over a hundred years of war in the middle east to maintain their control. Countries that want to control their own oil get attacked by the oil barons. The rest of us pay the bills in money and lives for these wars. (Oil barons aren't big on paying taxes. That's for peasants.)
Why is Russia in Syria?
Exactly the same reason. Its oil billionaires are just like American oil billionaires. They don't give a damn about Syrians or even about their own people. They want control of that oil to make money on the European market.
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To read our newspapers today is very much like reading the newspapers of Hitler's Germany. They smell of racism and manipulation. And that's not surprising. There was nothing new about Hitler's naziism. Racism, delusions of racial superiority, have been used for centuries. Religious hatreds have been used even longer.
As for information sources, when the crusaders rode off to conquer The Holy Land,, peasants and even children swarmed after them in the belief they were restoring the home of Christianity. There were no newspapers to tell them that - but the priests made up for that lack of a propganda system.  (In fact, the crusaders were going to kill and to steal.)
Us humans seem to just naturally have nazi tendencies. But that's another blog.

Monday, April 10, 2017

April 10: The Return of Naziism


April 8, front page of Canada&World news - big story - "Man gets jail for sunglasses smash and grab at vision clinic." Wow! That changes my day.
Today, almost half of all Canada&World News is stories about Vimy Ridge. This follows at least 5, earlier stories on Vimy Ridge, almost all of them having nothing to say but empty blather. ' For the first time', we are told,' Canadians stood together'. The Brunswick News never heard of the War of 1812 or the Fenian raids or the Boer War. It never heard that half of the Canadian troops at Vimy Ridge were, in fact,  British-born. It never heard of a Canadian army so disillusioned with Canada by the end of the war that there was serious disorder in Britain and Canada. It never heard of the thousands of Canadians not permitted to join the war because of their skin colour or other 'racial' marks.

And how could they churn out these stories without even noticing the Canadian who commanded our troops?  Arthur Currie was one of the outstanding military commanders of that war. But he was ignored in almost every report I have seen.
The Canadian troops most certainly did brilliantly at Vimy Ridge. But the News Media actually ignored that to babble about patriotic results of the battle that, in fact,  never happened.
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The big story of the day is the  crisis in Syria. Brunwick News has it at the bottom of Canada& World with the headline "Trump Advisers: U.S. Seekign to fight ISIS in Syria..." Apparently, Trump is 'feelign' that necessary. The story itself is simply White House propaganda. And the editor who wrote that headline really should go back to school - about grade 2.
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There's a paper out of Fredericton that is just one page, once a month. But it has more real information than Brunswick news has in a whole month of newspapers. It's called The Brief (nbmediacoop.org). It has an excellent story on how groups in Fredericton are fighting against Islamophobia, and against Trudeau's shameful refusal to help Muslims who flee across the U.S. border to come to Canada. ( So much for Canada's welcoming arms. After all, we don't want to offend Mr. Trump.)

Then there's the story about how the private health care business is working to destroy our public health care system - one step at a time. We've been there before. Health care was more expensive, by far, that way. A great many people died. a small number of rich got richer.

In heallth care, New Brunswick governments, both Liberal and Conservative, have been inching their way, as always, to kiss the feet of the rich.
And there's a heart-warming story  about Irving oil and its large, natural gas property in St. John. It seems that Irving has always been allowed to pay greatly reduced city taxes on that property. It was scheduled to pay full tax this year, but a big-hearted city cut the cost by $202 million. It's the biggest single-year reduction of a tax in New Brunswick history. But have a heart. There's a lot of hungry Irvings to feed.

Take this very seriously. A society dominated by the wishes of the rich and greedy will crash. That is what is happening in the U.S. And it's not just Trump. This has been happening in runaway style  in the U.S. for many decades. And Canada is on the same track.
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I was goinig to talk about Hitler's use of racial hatred.  In fact, that use of racial hatred to satisfy personal greed has been standard practice throughout history. The British empire was built on the conceit that the British were superior to other peoples. So is the American empire. Donald Trump IS Hitler. So is Hillary Clinton.
But I've alreay used too much time on what I have to say - so I'll try that on another day.
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Don't read the next story. It's about tremendous damage being done by climate change. But we have the word of our oil industry leaders that climate change isin't happening. And they'd know. And, anyway, the Brunswick News would certainly tell us. It has real smart editors - like the one who wrote the headline U.S. 'seekign' to fight ISIS.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/10/great-barrier-reef-terminal-stage-australia-scientists-despair-latest-coral-bleaching-data
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https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/apr/06/solving-hunger-famine-feeding-the-starving-simon-o-connell-mercy-corps
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The sharp eyes at Brunswick News have not yet noticed that we are supporting Trump in an action that is one of things we said we were fighting AGAINST in World War Two. He has invaded a country without having a legal reason to do so.

Under international law, you can invade ONLY if 1. the other country threatens you. or 2. if that country invites you.

Syria does not threaten the U.S. It has certainly never asked the U.S. to intervene.
Russia is there legally because it was invited by the Syrian government.
Funny how none of our news media have noticed that. It is not funny that Canadians have little idea of what we claimed we were fighting for.

And if the U.S. really wants to attack countries that do evil, it should attack Saudi Arabia - or itself.
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Here's a realistic look at what the U.S. achieved - and failed to achieve - in its attack on a Syrian airfield.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/04/10/syria-chemical-weapon-attack-truth-comes-at-a-cost/

U.S. foreign policy has been a disaster since 2001. As a result, much of the world has been destabilized. One result of that is the spread of starvation - and Trump intends to make big cuts in food aid. (In fact, much of that the U.S. calls food aid goes into the pockets of 'contractors'. And it stays there.)
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Thanks to a reader, I have this post on what the war in Syria is about. Hint - it ain't about saving babies.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-09-10/competing-gas-pipelines-are-fueling-syrian-war-migrant-crisis
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Here's the official story. The U.S. bombed Syria because it killed babies. A leading member of the U.S. government can say that with a straight face. And Americans and many Canadians will believe it, even as we all know - or should know - of the millions of babies killed by the US, often with chemical weapons like Agent Orange - and should know about the millions the U.S. is deliberately starving to death in Yemen.

That gives you a hint about our news media as propaganda. In most of our news media, Assad is evil. in fact, he's a saint compared to any American president  (with the exception of Jimmy Carter).

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46828.htm

We, including Canada, are a monstrously corrupt and immoral society.  And we are gong to pay one hell of a price for it.

Trump, incidentally, has said on over 40 occasions that a war with Syria would be a terrible idea, and could lead to a world war. Funny how our press hasn't mentioned that. (Watch now for Canada to volunteer to send troops.)
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We just love to romanticize war. That romanticizing is what Vimy Ridge has been about. "Canada was born at Vimy Ridge". What B.S. The soldiers who died from bullets, explosive shells poison gas, didn't die thinking, "How glorious to die for my country!" In fact, they had no idea what the war was about. (Nor do most Canadians to this day know what it was about.)

 Two of the veterans I met didn't think it was glorious. Once, gassed in action, spent the rest of his life with a metal tube for a throat. Another had spent his days since 1918 in a hospital outside Montreal. He had no arms or legs. Most of his time was spent in a hot tub because his savaged skin required it. Oh, and there was the victim of battle fatigue who could never again remember or recognize his wife and children.

The Newfoundland Regiment was wiped out in one day, and in not much more than a half hour. In villages all over Newfoundland, none of the fathers and sons who went to war would return. Did wives and children and parents say this was glorious? They made Newfoundland a nation?

Will our news media ever tell us why that war was fought? It's not at all what most people think.

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2017/04/kings-time-break-silence-speech-lesson-president
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I have not seen anything in our mainstream media that suggests there might be some game-playing going on in Syria. Though there had been no time for investigation, our news media immediaely reported there had been a poison gas attack, that it had been dropped by a Syrian aircraft. it is not possible that any government or news medium had to time to check the accuracy of that. And the only source our media have used are two organizations that are propaganda fronts for the "Syrian" rebels - most of whom are not Syrians.

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/07/remember-2003-bolivian-un-ambassador-blasts-us-another-illegal-attack

Trudeau is going to asked to send troops. If he had any integrity, he would demand evidence for the claims made.

But he has no integrity.
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Further attacks by the U.S. on any part of the world will not, as we're so fond of saying of Vimy Ridge, create a nation. They are far more likely to end a world.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/10/trump-plunges-toward-world-war-iii/
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The western press routinely, as in the Syria crisis, relies heavily on the so-called "White Helmets" for information. They don't tell us that the White Helmets are a jihadist propaganda outfit. Somebody even made a film documentary about what a grand bunch they are. And somebody made sure it got a special, Oscar Award.

https://off-guardian.org/2017/04/10/disturbing-images-white-helmets-busted-killing-babies-in-pr-stunt-to-start-war-in-syria/
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And here's a seasonal item. Actually, it's been known for a long time that the story of the Jewish nation in slavery in Egypt was not true. Many "Christians' will insist it is true. Oddly enough, these are the same Christians who pay little attention to the moral teaching of both Judaism and Christianity
.
http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/the-jewish-thinker/were-jews-ever-really-slaves-in-egypt-or-is-passover-a-myth-1.420844
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And this one is to annoy the true believers.

http://russia-insider.com/en

Sunday, April 9, 2017

April 9: Extra - and change of pace.

Canada is seeing a celebration of the battle of Vimy Ridge, and how it created a Canadian nation. The Brunswick News  has carried at least six, gushing stories about it - all of them pretty much the same story. And all of them pretty shallow.
In fact, Canada was a nation long before Vimy Ridge. Remember Confederation in 1867? Nor do nations, as a  rule, suddenly get created. They are the products of  centuries of immigration, conquest, mixing of peoples, centuries of evolution of political structures. World War 1 had nothing to do with creating a Canadian nation. Canadians are, as they should be, proud of the Canadian performance at Vimy Ridge. But it didn't create a nation.
On the contrary, the Canadian government did a great deal in that war to weaken us as a nation. African Canadians were routinely refused the right to join the army. So were French-speaking Canadians So were Chinese Canadians. So, for the most part, were Canada's native peoples.
For that matter, a very large part of the Canadian army was made up of British-born who had emigrated to Canada - and now needed jobs in a country with a high unemployment rate.
Far from rising as a proud nation after the war,  Canada edged toward civil war after 1918. Canadian troops in Britain had to be sent home quickly because they were organizing in favour of communism.  After the war, there were general strikes, especially massive and violent in Winnipeg and Vancouver. The experience of war had embittered people who were angry they had fought for millionaires, only to have the millionaires dump them when the war was over - and the millionaires could sit back and count their war profits.
Britain was having the same experience. That's why The Legion was formed. It was to keep in touch with veterans so they could shoot at strikers if necessary.
As well, and for reasons that baffle me, most media accounts don't even mention the brilliant Canadian officer who commanded at the battle of Vimy Ridge. He was Arthur Currie, a man whose only military experience had been as a colonel in the reserve. He had no significant military training, no experience.  But this colonial amateur would  come to be regarded by the British government as the best general on the British side. It even considered him for the top position commanding all British and imperial troops. (Unfortunately, they didn't do it. They left command to a British aristocrat, Earl Haig, who was a dolt.)
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And there's another unpleasant aspect to this story. Nations don't usually go to war out of affection for any other nations.  Usually, wars are fought for quite selfish reasons. We have wars in the middle east. That's not because of love of anybody. It's because our billionaires love oil. Wars are usually fought for markets, resources, for profits. That's what empires are for. That's why the U.S. killed over a million Iraqis.
(Incidentally, if wars are fought to create nations, why don't we count The War of 1812 as the  founding of the Canadian nation?) Our military did a pretty good job in that one, too.
Britain helped us in the war of 1812  because it had to in order to protect its own investments. But by the 1870s, the thrill had worn off. Britain could see a war with Germany coming. That called for a big friend. And Canada wasn't big. The British realized that they needed the U.S. - but -what if Canada got into another war with the U.S.? Then Britain would have to fight the U.S. As the Imperial power, it was obliged, for example, to defend Canada.
No. Canada would have to become independent. To survive, Britain would have to kiss up to the U.S. - and it's been doing that ever since. That's one reason Britain pushed for Canadian confederation. It was a step toward getting rid of Canada. This attempt at making up with the U.S. is why Churchill  called his history of Britain "History of the English-speaking Peoples". He knew the British Empire had nowhere to do but down. It could survive only by creating an English-speaking gang.
But the U.S. wasn't much interested in being friends with Britain. It was building its own empire. By the 1890s, Britain was worried.  The US wasn't buying the idea of "English-speaking peoples." And that created a crisis.
With a war with Germany looming, Britain needed allies. The only place it could get them was from the colonies. However, in time of war the Imperial agreement was that Britain would go to war for the colonies - but - they did not have to go to war for Britain.
Then came the golden opportunity to change that as Britain moved to war to steal the gold of South Africa in what would be called the Boer War. Canada would be asked to join.
It was a big help that Canadian big business wanted Canada to join a war that had nothing to do with Canada. After all, their market and their sources of capital were largely in Britain. And so Canadians died for the empire. This was the precedent Britain wanted. (Just as Canadians in Libya, Afghanistan, Latvia, Iraq today are the precedents for what the U.S. wants.)
That's why Canada just automatically went to war in 1914.
Once the war was over, though, Canada became a handicap for Britain again. What if Canada  were invaded by the U.S.?  Horrors! Britain would have to defend Canada.
In fact, there was a touchy period about 1904. The U.S. was claiming (on a very questionable basis) a piece of land that Canada claimed belonged to it. And it was the only Canadian route in those days to the gold fields of the Yukon. The American pesident threatened to send in troops if necessary. British politicians gulped.
So they set up a loaded commission to decide the issue - and Canada was outvoted by the British and Americans. But the warning was clear to Britain. It had to dump Canada. That's why, after World War 1, Britain was happy to move away a bit, and to let Canada decide for itself when it wanted to go to war.
On the issues of war and money there is no sentimentality on the part of government or big business.
And so, without it being much noticed, Canada is now a part of the American empire, and it fights wars for the U.S.
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The monument to the Canadians at Vimy Ridge is the most magnificent I have ever seen. To go up the tunnels to the German line at the top is an experience that defies words. And then, to stand at the top and look down at a vast stretch of farmland is so breathtaking it makes one forget there are still tons of high explosive buried under the ridge. And below  the ridge, one can see farms with live artillery shells stacked up like cordwood, all dug up from a soil that still breathes the horror of that battle. And behind the ridge are rows of the grey stones that mark German graves.
Was the battle a turning point in the war?  No.  For the rest of the war, the Canadian army would perform magnificently under Currie. But the battle of Vimy Ridge was one that led nowhere.
And have we made this world a better place as a result of that war?
And did all those who died in it even know what they were fighting for?
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Remember the thousands who died. Forget the "birth of a nation bilge".