Saturday, May 20, 2017

May 20: Fomat?

Many years ago when the world and I were young, I was an elementary school teacher. I was with my school principal, who had devoted his life to looking dignified and holding his hands behind his back. (He was the son of a clergyman.)  We were listening to the daily news of bank-hold-ups, rapes, human trafficking, and mass murder by bombing. The principal sighed,

"Wouldn't this be a better world', he said, "if people were just nice to each other?"

This came back to me as I read the commentary page in today's Brunswick News. There was a column by a lawyer who is a master of saying nothing at all. His item on the royal family is pure gush, the sort one usually finds only in supermarket magazine racks. This is typical of the contempt that many New Brunswick politicians seem to have for the people of this province.

There is, however, some relief in the religion column on the Faith Page. It recognizes that religions have been a major cause of world hatreds - and he suggests churches should clean up their mess. That's a huge step ahead of "Wouldn't this be a better world if people were just nice to each other?"
And, in fairness, that would involve being nice to each other. But the news stories and news columns in Brunswick News - and other news media - rarely reflect that. Our news on surviving the world we have created rarely has anything to do with realities and human needs.

We are deliberately starving large parts of the world - especially in Afria and the Middle East. We have the food to save them. But we would rather spend the money on high priced weapons and multi-million dollar hand-outs to billionaires.  Thousands of Canadians live in wretchedness; millions live in hardship. But we rarely see that even discussed in our news media.

Instead, we get commentary columns like today's hack piece from the chamber of commerce. The remedy to all problems is to support business; and then wealth will come to all of us just as "...the rain falleth from Heaven upon the place beneath."

In fact, that is not true; and it never has been.

In the last couple of centuries, for example, the best periods of growth for average North Americans was from the outbreak of war in 1939, a growth which lived on for 25 years or so after the war. That period occured because governments needed their nations to experience relative prosperity during the war and, for many years after it, had to  respond to public expectations of continuance of that prosperity. That's where Canada's health care system came from. It certainly would not have happened without the expectations raised by the war.

The war also made government controls over business essential. Business, left to itself, has only one purpose - to make as much profit as possible. Whether that is destructive of people or environment couldn't matter less. Big business is also the force that decides who we will go to war with. No war since 1945 has had anything to do with protecting the U.S. or Canada. They have all been fought to  give American big business control of world markets - with Canadian big business trotting behind to pick up the scraps.

Most of us, Americans and Canadians, are getting poorer. The wealthy are getting much wealthier. That can lead only to disaster for all of us - including the wealthy.

But our news media, almost all of them owned by the wealthy, refuse to look at the damage that is being done - or at the results that are certain. Instead, they cheer for measures that increasingly allow big business to ignore government and people. That's why we are now governed, really, by an aristocracy of the wealthy who, like every dynasty shaped by inheritance, are increasinly arrogant with each generation, and increasingly indifferent to the needs of the society and, commonly, increasingly dim-witted.

That might be a good topic for discussion during coffee in the barn at the Irving Chapel.

Who is the first world leader for Trump to visit? The one with one of the world's worst records on human rights, who is also the one who wants to buy more American weapons,  and who almost certainly wants the U.S. to join him for a war against Iraq.

Saudi Arabia was created largely by a British agent of World War 1 who led the Saudis in an attacks on Turkish troops. He was also a major figure in making the current rulers members of a royal family. The British agent was commonly known as Lawrence of Arabia, and he became an outstanding hero of the war. This child  (in the days when he was a child) thrilled to reading "Lawrence of Arabia" (sometimes to a flashlight under the blankets amd past my bed time.)
The reality is that Lawrence was a thorough bastard. He set up a royal family that has an utter indifference to the needs of the people it rules, and  that is one of the most brutal regimes in history. The U.S. is now their handmaiden in starving the people of Yemen to death.

But, even at that, Lawrence did not do it for the royal family or for Saudis in general. He did it for British oil companies which wanted control of Saudia Arabia's major resource. Western oil companies are now behind the drive to steal Iran oil, too. That's why Britain and the U.S overthrew the elected government of Iran after World War 2 to establish their favourite type of ruler, a dictator who just loved torture and murder.

But those treacherous iranians overthrew the dictator, and elected their own government. Obviously, that was unAmerican - so the US has been hostile ever since.

And the King of Saudi Arabia (who is also a major supporter of Jihandists) is Trump's first choice for a foreign visit. And it will probably be a friendly visit because Saudi Arabia wants to make a huge purchase of weapons from the U.S. to starve more Yemenis, and to fight a war - with U.S. help - against Iran.
This, at best, will mean one hell of a destablization of the whole Middle East. It may also mean that Canada will be expected to play a role with troops sent to "die for their country".
As I wrote the above, it reminded me of an important point to remember. Every empire I have ever heard of has been dominated by a nation that feels morally, intellectually, in every way, superior to all others. That's what justified killing and looting so many people.

The British Empire was like that. The British saw themselves as a higher breed than other humans. Thus the derogatory labels they put on the people they murdered or looted. They also claimed a special relationship to God. "God, who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet".

You can find the same things in the French, Dutch, Spanish, American empires. Hitler was not unique. His empire was quite within a long series of empires. The U.S. has stepped up the ante with terms of superiority like "a people chosen of God", "American exceptionalism".

Within such nations, those who really control the power - aristocrats, billionaires - share the same delusions, and the same contempt for the people they exploit.
Around the world, that thinking has characterized the ruling classes in relation to their conquests and to their own people. And, frankly, the occasional gift of a relatively small sum does not make up for the damage they do and the suffering they cause. No. And that's true no matter what the New Brunswick chambers of commerce say.
Amazing how most of our news media have not mentioned that the U.S. has no right under international law to be in Syria for any reason. Syria is in no possible way a threat to the U.S. This is all illegal. Funny how the United Nations hasn't noticed that.
The US does claim to be fighting ISIS (though it can't even do that, under international law). Anyway, it isn't fighting ISIS. In fact, it is supplying ISIS with money and weapons.

The U.S. also  has to send at least 50,000 more  troops to Afghanistan - soon. Watch for Trump to ask Canada to help with that with, you know, Canadians who want to serve their country.

American foreign policy has created the worst mess this world has ever seen. And it's all a direct result of economic greed from, you know, people who are a higher class than us.
I don't  entirely agree with this article. But that may well have something to do with my own limitations.
Our privately-owned media have mentioned a little about Venezuela. But not much.
Unions have not been very effective some decades now. It was largely unions that destroyed the CCF party to create a wimply NDP. But there might be some signs of life still there.
If I had to name the dominant political ideology of the western world, including Canada, I would say 'fascism'.That's a word whose meanings can get tangled, and one whose meaning in the general public is quite unkown. But it's integration of government with big business very much describes our governments.
There are many people who should remember that on November 11.
This is a very useful review of a book on what the war in Syria is really all about
For the most part, Canada has never welcomed refugees - except as cheap labour (like the Chinese who were brought in to do the dangerous jobs in building our railways.) Trudeau has done little to change that.
This is probably more unusual than it is important. The only major , national party in Canadian history with prominent clergy in its ranks and in forming its policies was the old CCF. And much of that connection continued into the NDP years. in fact, it's safe to say that the major founder of the CCF was a Methodist clergyman.
Here's a kind word for Iran that you're not likely to find in your local news media.
Here's how our social superiors treat people who are honest.
American treatment of Latin America has been shameful for over a century with its imposition of poverty, frequent murder, invasions. It's now reaching a peak of artificial chaos.

What's it's like to live through that? Canadians can find out easily enough. All they have to do is to get up off their knees, and run their own country. The U.S. would never allow that.
Guess whose side Justin Trudeau is on when it comes to the climate change issue.

Trudeau is another Stephen Harper, but with better taste in clothes and hair styles.
Let's get real. ISIS and its allies are fighting very, very expensive wars. How are they getting all those advanced weapons? Who is supplying them? And who is giving ISIS the money to buy them, and to feed their armies?
Here's a very impartial look at what's happening in Venezuela. Venezuela's position looks hopeless. And it will not get help from the U.S. Instead, there is every chance of an uprising stimlated by a mysterious influx of money. And that will be followed by a government dominated the wealthy - who will immediately get American assistance.

The Venezuelan government has certainly failed. It will now be replaced by a government that is successful - as the word successful is used by American big business to mean obedience to  its wishes.

I don't see any happy ending in this one.

re title of "Format? - I find that sometimes a story does not tell enough to give a reader a sense of the situation. So I occasionally, as today, add some rather long paragraphs of my own. I'm not sure what to do about this. Somewhere, in an out of sight part of my head, I must be thinking of changing the format. But I have no idea of where to go.


  1. If watching the people of Yemen being murdered, raped and starved by Saudi Arabia,The US and their allies does not move people to rebel against their own governments involvment then nothing will.

    Our indifference to our western governments destruction of the countries like Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and africa, including the slaughter of its people, is without equal.

    First Nations know what this military power, wealth grab and slaughter means, for they have been victims of the same corruption and violence from these same governments.

    We need to start listening to them. How does anyone think this destruction and power pursuit is going to end?

    Graeme, I'm not sure what your format should be changed to, but what you have to say is a rare glimpse of the powers behind the MSM and the government lies.

  2. On Format:

    There is an invaluable resource in WC2. The guy who knows how to make money off of his blogging. You might want to ask him for tips?

  3. Ps the poster's handle is roberrific i believe