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

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