Friday, June 23, 2017

June 23: The curse of living in interesting times.

In my last blog, I mentioned that the wealthiest 1% of the U.S. population now holds 71% of all the wealth in the country. There is a similar pattern in other capitalist countries. In other words, everbody else - 99% of the population - is getting poorer. And, since that wealthiest group,  for the most part, doesn't pay income tax, then government income is going to be seriously reduced at a time of great need. And it gets much worse.

If 99% of the people are poorer, who is going to be able to buy the products produced by the wealthy? Capitalism, very soon, will have impoverished the world and destroyed its own markets.

The result will be  (and already is) vast suffering - and violence - on both sides.
It should require no great thought to realize that people who would do this are not simply evil. They are stupid; and they are driven by an irrational greed. They are so greedy that they have set up a system that will destroy them as well as everybody else.

These are not geniuses. Nor are they clever handlers of money. These are just people so twisted by their greed that they are a threat to themselves as well as to the rest of the world.

A favourite theme of the Irving press is that the wealthy create jobs. They should. But they don't. Centuries of experience show that the wealthy create poverty. And they create it in a stunningly useless way by destroying their  source of wealth - the rest of us. A capitalism controlled only by the greediest and most foolish of us is the greatest threat facing us except, perhaps, a capitalism that creates wars without end.
My Friday newspaper has arrived. It has a news story from an "independent, non-profit " think-tank, The Montreal Economic Institute. In fact, most of these think-tanks are neither independent nor non-profit. Most of them peddle propaganda for billionaires. And they are funded by billionaires like the Koch brothers. A New Brunswick think-tank, The Atlantic Institute of Market Studies is the same sort of scum-bag outfit that is frequently cited in the Irving press.
In this report, the institute has conducted a study to 'prove' we should continue burning fossil fuels to power motor cars and trucks. And that fits in nicely with the thinking of Trudeau, Canada's  equivalent of a washroom attendant for billionaires.

Nothing  can better illustrate the  lying that has been normal in our private news media from the start.

Also in the news is the story that the Republican party in the U.S. is pushing a bill to effectively destroy health care for most Americans. I can remember such days from my childhood when neighbours and relatives suffered and died in their homes because they couldn't afford medical care. At the same time, the Republicans are cutting income taxes for the very wealthy (though this doesn't matter because the wealthy don't pay income taxes, anyway.)

The pressure is on for this in Canada.  ( Watch for news in your favourite think-tank.) There are no limits to the greeds of the very wealthy - or to their indifference to human  suffering.


The Moncton Times and Transcript, as usual, has no news about anything. That's quite a comparison to the coverage it first gave to the apartment fire in London, England, that killed more British civilians than terrorists have. Nobody yet knows how many died - probably over sixty - maybe much over.

And - guess what - the cause of the fire was the dangerous and illegal use of some building materials that are highly flammable, and that create fast-spreading fires.  And who chose those building materials? No. It wasn't terrorists. It was - you  know - entrepreneurs, members of the chamber of commerce, capitalists.
And they broke the law because it was cheaper to build that way.

Worse. There are hundreds of highrise apartments in Britain built of that same illegal material. It's a common practice of the heroes of - tah -dah - free enterprise.

Isn't it just terrible the way governments sometimes get in the way of these entrepreneurs?

Boy. Ya gotta watch them terrorists.

Meanwhile, the people of Moncton can rest secure in the fire resistance of their wooden houses.
There's a strong sense among the people of Britain that the wealthy and their Conservative party don't care about the fire of Grenfell Tower. And they're right.
While the New Brunswick Chamber of Commerce was spending big money on a dinner honouring Mr. Irving for a donation he made, this was happening in Africa.

Capitalism has created the hell that Africa has become. Clap, clap, clap says the chamber of commerce.
Here's another one on Grenfell apartments in London. It's very true that in our western societies  (and others) to be born poor is to be born without opportunity, to be powerless for life, to suffer far more physical and mental illness, and to die younger.

But, hey, why worry? Go to the Irving chapel not far from Moncton. Enjoy the exquisite gardens and sculptured trees. It's like the Garden of Eden, but better. Visit the Irving gravestones. They're so much nicer than that of the missionary murdered by billionaires in Guatemala, and buried in churchyard near to the Irving chapel, but not nearly so nice.

And, anyway, Raoul Leger's grave isn't set in a beautiful landscape with "special music".
It seems that Canada's prime minister has been colluding with President Trump to water down the Paris environmental accord. He denies it, course. But German sources insist he has. It would not be surprising. Trudeau has been weak on climate change, and strong on kissiing up to Trump.

The is no easy choice facing us. Consider this.

1. We are not friends with the U.S. We certainly are on friendly terms with a great many Americans. But the U.S. is not run by a great many Americans. It is run by a small number of very wealthy people. They deprive Americans; the use force against Americans who complain; they spy on Americans. It is not possible to be friends with people like that. They have invaded Canada on two occasions. If there were to be any profit for them, they would invade Canada again.

2. The U.S. is a power in severe decline. It thought, back in 1945, that it would, at last rule the world. It hasn't worked out.  It's not going to work out. As that lesson sinks in, American leaders will become more desperate, more ruthless.

3.Canada, long a colony of Britain, made only a lateral move in 1945 when it became a colony of the U.S. This is a status quite acceptable to Canadian big business which profits by integration with the U.S. But there is a price - and that price is in fighting the wars of American business. We did it in Korea, in Afghanistan, in Libya and (more than we've been told) in the middle east. We also have troops postings to the middle east, in Latvia, In Ukraine that are there not for any Canadian interest but to ensure that we we be sucked into more wars for the U.S.

There is nothing for most of us Canadians in this relationship.  But Canada's business leaders are committed to it.

Trudeau, instead of developing a course that is best for Canada ( a difficult process at any time) is committing us to being a northern puppet of the U.S.
Yes, I know the following article was published in Russia Times. But it was written by a U.S. Senator.

Our wars have not been wars against terrorists. They are wars that have CREATED terrorists.

All our wars are wars for billionaires because billionaires are the only ones who gain from them. The wars of the middle east are wars for the control of oil - no other reason. We're fighting 'bad guys'? Hey, if you want bad guys, you don't have to go beyond some of the 'very best    families' of North America.

Donald Trump, a  man of no great education in anything, a man who's greatest concern seems to be covering his bald spot,  has decided the world's leading scientists are wrong . There is no climate change. The Irvings, of similar scholarly capacities agree. I guess they don't know what damage climate change will do to their oh-so-sweet gardens at the Irving Chapel.

And, like Trump, they have the right to impose their selfish thinking on the whole, rest of the world.
No surprise here.
This story must be false because, as we know, Americans would never torture prisoners.
And here's some good news.
This is another story the irving press has had no space for.
The following is an interesting list of wars the US has fought from 1945 to  1989. Most were against much, much smaller and poorer countries. The number of this list is 47, but it does not seem to count acts of war in which the U.S. hired thugs to do the invading as 'liberators".

Nor is there anything beyond 1989. Nor does it mention wars that the U.S. described as humanitarian (as the destruction of Haiti.) Nor does it mention wars that were unofficial - such as attacks by drones. Nor does it mention U.S. training and equipping of terrorist groups such as ISIL.   Nor is there any nasty talk about trained killers (Seals) who have been sent out to assassinate the enemies of big, American business.  An up to date count would probably get us well  over a hundred.

God bless America, I suppose...but can we blame all this on God?
Someday, I shall have to write one of these blogs on a history of US wars since 1945, and the reasons for them. It's not at all what our news media told us it was.

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