Monday, July 31, 2017

July 31:Hitler and aristocracies

Please note that there is also a new blog just before this one. It's dated July 30 and is intended for New Brunswick readers - but it may have points of interest for others, too.
Hitler was nothing new in human history. That may sound strange. But it's true.
He invaded countries. He killed on a ruthless scale. He enslaved people. He was profoundly racist. He regarded the German people as a superior race. And, of course, even most Germans were inferior to the business leaders of Germany.
It's certainly dreadful enough. But one could spend a whole day of listing countries that did the same.

It was characteristic of Ancient Rome. The empire killed and plundered for no reason but the greed of the wealthy. Within the Empire, there was an upper class born to wealth and power. They were superior to all other people, including other Romans. Most of the people of Rome lived in poverty, and were so low in social standing that their burials consisted simply of being dumped en masse  into great pits.

The later empires - Britain, Spain, Portugal, France, The Netherlands, Belgium,  the U.S. - were quite similar with the mass killing of native peoples in the Americas, with slavery of American native peoples and Africans.

The sense of superiority often showed up in patriotic songs.

"Land of hope and glory,
Mother of the free,
How can we extol them,
Who are born of thee."

In this song, the British are a superior people simply by virtue of being born in Britain. That has strong echoes of racism.

"Wider still and wider
Shall thy bounds be set.
God who made thee mighty
Make thee mighier yet."

Yes, British are superior to others. And God backs them up on that.  That's why it's okay for Britain to conquer other peoples and to plunder their resources. (For similar reasons, that's why American (and Canadian) corporations are free to use slave labour or close to it in those countries that are racially inferior - Congo, Guatemala, Haiti.....

 The British killed on a massive scale in Africa, India, China.. They forced the people to live on starvation wages, and often in slavery. They created massive waves of starvation   (as in India and China). We will never know how many millions were murdered by the British Empire.

And a variant of racism extended into Britain, itself. There was a superior class that was entitled to be rich, This was the aristocracy. (It mixed in with - and was often intechangeable with - the capitalists getting wealthy on the empire.) So, in a variation on racism, they looked down on the common people as an inferior race.

That justified the wealthy keeping the rewards of empire for themselves, with the majority of the British population living in poverty. Even the army and navy that did all the killing for the upper class got little out of it. Soldiers got a few pennies a day - but were commonly fined for minor offences, with their money going to the colonel. Some colonels also charged the men for the cost of their muskets - a cost it could take years to pay.

Marriage was usually an impossibility. However, a thoughtful general staff often sent a large number or prostitutes to accompany the soldiers on expeditions. (And there went another penny.) When their service time was up, soldiers were simply dumped in the street.

The navy was similar.

Oh, those aristocrats and the sons of the wealthy were automatically officers, no matter how incompetent they might be. The result of that was the rise of some of the wackiest generals in military history.

This was very similar to the social structure of Hitler's Germany. It was true all over Europe. Indeed, it still is. The U.S. is no different. And, alas, there is a great deal of this in Canada.

Why did Canada send its armed forces to attack Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria? None of those countries was a threat to Canada or to the U.S.  (And no, Afghanistan did not set up 9/11). That war was illegal under international law.
We sent them because we have an aristocracy  of wealth that leans heavily on American good willl. Of course, none of that aristocracy went to the war. They are above that sort of thing.

There was, I'm afraid, nothing unusual about Hitler. Trump is an obvious Hitler - but there are other presidents who were very similar to Hitler. You'll find our Hitlers among business leaders who see themselves as a national elite, and you'll find them among the leaders of the Liberal and Conservative parties.

And that is what has us on the edge of the final war that nobody can win.
Today's local paper had a letter to the editor attacking the provincial government for having a deficit. It never occured to the writer that the refusal of our upper class to pay income tax, and a government that routinely gives them breaks for other taxes and also hands out grants to them might have something to do with that.

But no sweat.  We can always cut back on schools, and we can privatize health care.
The one thing Trump did right was to ease relations with Russia. But he's now thrown that away - and for a very trivial reason. I don't know whether Russia tried to influence the American election. But the reality is that is is common for nations to spy on each other, to hack computers,  to interfere with elections. In 1954, the U.S. happily invaded Guatemala to throw out an elected government. When Haiti kicked out an American dictator and elected a president the U.S. sent "peacekeepers" to kick out the elected president.

It's a little late to get righteous.

Oh, if you want to know who really interferes with U.S. elections, check out the Israeli lobby.

And now, at a time when we desperately need talking, we're back to snarling.Trump has placed sanctions on Russia; Putin has responded in a hostile way. North Korea test-fired a rocket; Trump is flying bombers over Korea. None of this is going to work. And we don't have much time to come up with something that will work.
After all its apologies for the way it has treated the people of its First Nations,
Canada  still hasn't done a damn thing to help them recover. So much for Trudeau.
Here is a stunninig sample of what scientists have to say about climate change.
But what do scientists know? I put faith in the premier of New Brunswick and Mr. Irving who say it's okay to build another oil pipeline.
The video here is pretty appalling.  But to get a fuller appreciation of the problem, look also at the sites below the video.

Slavery is very widespread all over the world. And, yes, it happens in Canada. And it's a huge industry around the world. And the number of slaves is going to grow as the number of refugees grow.
A shock for me. Glen Murray has resigned as minister of the environment for Ontario. There's a picture of him on the web - an aging gentleman with thinning and grey hair. "My God,'' I thought. "I taught him at Concordia University."
Our Hitlers are on the march.
A war with North Korea will not "make America great again."  (In fact, what does Trump mean when he says "make America great again?" Is that great as in murdering 200,000 Maya, a million and a half Iraqis, cutting off medicare, cutting taxes for the very rich and so on?)
This has been coming for a while. And it's insane. There is no reason to believe Iran has nuclear weapons. And an attack on Iran almost certainly could not be ignored by China and Russia.

(And if the U.S. is so keen on preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, why did it allow Israel to built such a huge arsenal of them?)
Send this next one to  your local billionaire - if he can read....
For some time now, the European Union has been made uneasy by U.S. aggressiveness. And it's about to get worse.
I think t his article is right - that gossip has replaced news. We're encouraged to focus on the trivial. Trump is certainly fun to gossip about. But the real problems we face go much deeper than Trump. The problems are the who social and economic structure of the U.S.
Like the U.S., Canada has done almost nothing for the problems of the poor. Why not? Well, there's the problem that governments don't have the money. And that's a result of the fact, still unkown to the irving press, that the very wealthy of these countries dont pay taxes. Nobody knows how many billions are lost to Canada every year. That's why we have seen increases in poverty.

The U.S. and Canada are run on pure greed with the wealth of these countries increasingly pocketed by the very wealthy.

Do the wealthy, as the irving press tells us, use that money to create jobs?  The obvious answer is no. Think hard. If the rich were creating jobs,we wouldn't be getting poorer, would we?

This is going to get uglier as we go along. Don't wait for the wealthy or the politicians they own to fix it.
And, for a change, here's what could be good news from the Middle East. And it is something favourable to Trump.It's counter to other news I've seen.  I don't know whether it's true. ( It contradicts all other reports I've read.  But I certainly hope it is true.   The best thing we can do now is to leave the middle east alone, and let those people govern their own countries.

Bit I can't see the oil bosses allowing a peaceful solution to  happen. Trump may be straying onto dangerous ground if he is planning this.
Here's the reality of how American and Canadian national governments operate.
And, yes, we have a variety of Hitlers and aristocrats  in our countries. And they behave just like the aristocrats of ancient Rome.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

July 30: A Sunday Sermon for New Brunswick.

To begin this post, go to images on your computer. Type in Raoul Leger Bouctouche. There, probably in the first picture to come up, you will see a handsome and determined young man. That is a picture of Raoul Leger of Bouctouche, New Brunswick, who committed his life to serving others as a lay missionary in Guatemala.

That was a dangerous place to choose. Guatemala - and all of South America - was seen by American and Canadian corporations as a place wide open for plunder Notable were United Fruit and several mining corporations.

They established brutal working conditions, starvation wages, and were hugely destructive of the environment. Anyone who complained got beaten and/or murdered. The corporations intensely disliked elected governments. Silly governments like that might charge taxes to create schools and hospitals for their people.  And the corporations didn't want anything silly like taxes.

In 1954. Guatemala had an elected government. That was naughty. So, one day. an army of uncertain origins suddenly invaded Guatemala. It was a pushover. The Guatemalan government had been spending money on its people. It really had no army to speak of.

Where did the army come from? That would  be the American Central Intelligence Agency, an American government agency widely used to murder, to torture, and to dispose of governments that American corporations don't like. It finances itself with money from the U.S. government,   (for intelligence services) and, substantially, from the illegal drug trade in South America. It operates all over the world, but especially in South America.

In 1954, it overran Guatemala, and established what billionaires like - a dictatorship. (They would later be involved in the murder of the President of South Vietnam, the country the U.S. army was supposedly defending. In this case, too, they established a series of dictators.)

One of the notable chiefs of the CIA in those years was George Bush Sr., one of this world's thoroughly evil men.

Our eagle-eyed press promptly printed the official line from the CIA. It was that communists had delivered guns to Guatemala by submarine. Yes. But the guns were all rusted. Haw. Haw. Stupid communists. (Gee! Guatemalans could have used those guns to invade the U.S.)

That was the Guatemala that Raoul Leger would go to some 25 years later. It was a country ravaged by environmental damage, by extreme poverty, and by lack of schools and of social services in general. (But United Fruit and the mining companies were happy.)

The people of Guatemala were not happy. They wanted their democracy back. They wanted a share of wealth of their country.  This was particularly true of the native people, the Maya.

And that was a case for the CIA, again. It organized the Guatemalan army to massacre protesters. Before it was over 200,000 Maya. men, women and children would be murdered.

The Catholic church in Guatemala, long horrified by the treatment of its people,
gave moral and spiritual support to them. But the CIA had an answer to that. It organized a large scale murder of priests and nuns In 1981, Raoul Leger was killed.

ALL commercial North American news media ignored the story of Guatemala.
All of them. The Canadian government knew what was going on. It knew about the killing of Raoul Leger. It didn't lift a finger or say a word.

And the irving press of New Brunswick? Not a word while this was going on. Not a word when activists managed to have his body brought to Montreal for an autopsy. Not a word when his body was brought home to Bouctouche for burial in the Roman Catholic cemetery.

Just a few days ago, a woman in New Brunswick was killed in a traffic accident.
The fact that she was well liked became the lead  headline on page one of the irving press. To this day, if you want to know about the murders of 200,000 people so that billionaires could make even higher profits, you have to go through entries in the web.

I thought of this as I remembered that this is the day when the faithful flock to the Irving Chapel to hear an expensive preacher and special music, and to enjoy coffee and socializing in the barn. However, I think it unlikely that the expensive sermon would include any mention of Raoul Leger. But not to worry -

-  as people leave the chapel, they can turn left and go to the end of the street. There, they will find the Roman Catholic cemetery and the grave of Raoul Leger.

And there, I suspect, they are more likely find Jesus.

Friday, July 28, 2017

July 28: Extra - and just for New Brunswick.

This is an extra and  unusual edition of my blog.It does not quote any press. And it deals strictly with the press in this province of New Brunswick.

The good news is that the letters to the editor section of today's irving press has an intelligent one. It's about water pollution at Parlee Beach in Shediac This letter points out flagrant violations of the law that that extended over years, that denied us information about how dangerous conditions are. We're talking here of illnesses that could already have affected thousands.

There's a smell not only of pollution but of gross corruption that  allowed the pollution to get out of control. But so far, Moncton Times and Tribune reporting on it has been pretty wimpy. And that's through years of corruption and poisoning. It is not possible that that a newspaper editor, even one with the intelligence of mosquito, could have failed to realize that.

We still don't hear of any serious investigation into this. And we are not likely to.
The irving press no longer carries the commentary columns of David Suzuki or Gwynne Dyer. David Suzuki is Canada's outstanding writer on climate change. (But the Irvings would rather we not think about nasty things like that.) Gwynne Dyer, also a Canadian, is probably the best military analyst in the world. But ALL Canadian newspaper owners, beginning with Conrad Black, fired him.
All daily newspapers are, of course, owned by wealthy people. And all of them are used to spread propaganda for the wealthy. The wealthy don't like us to read what Suzuki and Dyer have to say.

(As it happens, I had some acquaintance with with both Conrad Black and Gwynne Dyer in my early radio  days when the three of us (at different times) were on the same show. I liked Dyer. Black was a man who closed his eyes when he spoke to you because he liked to concentrate on listening to his own voice. He made Donald Trump  look humble.)

What the irving press does carry regularly is The Atlantic Institute of Market Studies. It's billed as an independent think tank. Like bloody hell it is. In fact, it's not independent. And it doesn't think.

Most of these 'think tanks" owe their existence to an extremely wealthy, American foundation called The Donner Institute. And that means most are dedicated to spreading propaganda for the very, very wealthy. Not surprisingly the Irvings have been very prominent in The Atlantic Institute of Market Studies. (Hey! If you can't trust an Irving, who can you trust?)

Today's topic is "Higher Minimum Wage Is Bad Policy for Atlantic Canada". Damn right. We don't want all those ordinary people sucking up money that the wealthy want for their secret, overseas bank accounts. These think tanks are, most of them, fronts for the most greedy and disgusting people in our society. And The Atlantic Institute of Market Studies is one of the worst of them. So count on the irving press to carry it forever.

Incidentally, AIMS has also supported the movement to united the maritime provinces. What a coincidence! Professor Savoie just a couple of week ago wrote a  column advocating such a union. Birds of a feather....

Norbert Cunningham writes a column attacking governments for their management of tax assessment. I have never seen a column by Norbie or anybody else at this paper that criticized anything named Irving. For example, Irving worked out a deal with the government to cut the appraised value of over 200 million dollars worth of property in St.  John. So now, and for years to come, it will pay only 5 million a year in taxes. (At the same time it is collecting close to 10 million for rental of that property.)  The irving press missed that story. But it did run the story that a chamber of commerce hailed Mr. Irving for giving a much smaller sum to a charity. Clap, clap, clap.

The Irving official report is that it gives to education, the environment, and the needy. Gee, golly, whiz, if they would pay their taxes, we could look after all that and more. (And Irving protects the environment?  really? So the Irving press must have dropped the David Suzuki column because he was to soft on the issue.)

The major purpose of commentary columns is to give us a broader understanding than a news column can. But the irving press has nobody competent to do that.

The big, front page stories? A driver was yelled at. Wow! A decision is coming on former Moncton High school. This is news? It's been coming for years. A golfer got a hole in one. Well, that certainly changes my plans for today.
A women stole from her employer to buy drugs.

Man accused of five sex offences. (What the hell. The story fills space.) Homeless man pleads guilty to panhandling? (How could a modern society have so many desperate people? How could we allow that to happen?)

Then there's fearless editorial that we should do better in posting swimming advisories. No doubt. But there's a much bigger story here we aren't getting.
Then there's world news. The big, world story is that our elected members of the provincial government did not get a pay raise. The news YOU need to know.
Then there's a story that our air force has been flying surveillance planes and jets to fight ISIS in Syrian. Um -that's nice. But it's also illegal.

1. To fly anything over Syria without the permission of the Syrian government is illegal. In fact, it's an act of war.

2. I do not recall our government declaring war on Syria. But we're a democracy. Our mps are supposed to approve of wars before we move in.

3. Even at that, we're still in the wrong because a)Syria has not threatened us and b)the Syrian government didn't ask us. It was the U.S. which (illegally) gave us the orders.

I guess nobody at Irving  press knows that.

One of the t hings our military fought for was the right to declare war for ourselves. But since 1945, we have consistently fought wars as American pet poodles. We have thrown away our independence. And that is going to cost us heavily.

It is quite possible the U.S. will nuke Russia and China. They are pushing up to Russian and Chinese borders to equip them with anti-nuclear rockets. The theory is that these rockets would destroy Russian and Chinese missiles but allow American nuclear missiles through.

And we have committed Canadian troops to be in the border area. That's called preventing a Russian invasion. More accurately, it's called helping the US to provoke a war. But the irving paper don't tell us about that.

But the big, world news story is that a St. John boy says he was born here and wants to work here. This is a news story? In fact, there's nothing in the whole section. This is a newspaper quite deliberately designed to keep readers in the dark, to keep them passive and ignorant of what is happening
We are involved in the dreadful slaughter in Yemen. (We illegally sold armoured cars to Saudi Arabia for that war.) Saudi Arabia are fighting a war for reasons we have never been told about. They are deliberately starving millions of innocent men, women and children to death. And they are saturation bombing towns and cities - the best way to kill civilians in large numbers - and to leave a heritage of millions of unexploded mines and cluster bombs and depleted uranium.

(Japan has approved the dumping of massive quantities of nuclear waste into the Pacific Ocean. The irving press has not thought that worth mentioning.
It seems likely that the U.S. has lost any hope of making Syria and American oil colony. Putin has bluntly told the U.S. to back off. That whole string of wars beginning with Afghanistan has been a strategic disaster. Every one of them has been lost. And, as a side effect, stability in both the middle east and Africa is collapsing.

But not a word in the irving press.

We are facing food shortages - NOW - in much of the world. They are going to get much worse as climate change destroys farmland. (It's already happening in places like Somalia. but who gives a damn? Right?

But it's also happening in the western and central U.S. Droughts are becoming regular. The great, underground reservoirs of water that farmers depended on (that's why they have those little windmills) are almost exhausted. And they're too deep to be refilled in any lifetime. What will the U.S. do for food? What will its cities do for water?

Think Great Lakes. Think annexing Canada to the U.S. And that is not by any means just in a distant future.

Thinks of the tens of millions of refugees becoming hundreds of millions.  Does Canada, New Brunswick, Moncton have any plans for that? Any thoughts from the irving press or the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies?

Think of the rapid increase in the population of a world that is already dangerously overcrowded.

No. Our newspapers and politicians and the billionaires who own them are not interested in planning for anything. They live in a world they want to go on exactly as it is now except, of course, for lower pay for the poor, and the privatization of medicine.

We have enormous problems facing us. You think billionaires can solve them? The you'll just love Donald Trump.  (There's no reason for believing that billionaires have any special talent  for running anything. Most, like Trump, are billionaires because they were born that way. (My father was a mechanic and a welder. I have no talent as either of those. One of my ancestors was world weightlifting champion. I need help to open a can. The Rockefellers and the Rothschilds have been born as billionaires for well over a century.) What it takes to become super wealthy is to have an obsession fuelled by greed that makes everything else irrelevant. Take a good look at Trump. That's what he's about.
The purpose of the irving press is not to inform.  It is not even to make money - and I suspect it doesn't make much. The purpose, almost the only purpose, of the Irving press is to keep people in ignorance, to keep them as willing puppets controlled by the owner of the province.

Earlier, I suggest that decisions of the very wealthy are commonly based on greed. I'm not sure that's entirely true. Something more important might be status and recognition. Take Donald Trump, for example. Here's a man who screams for status and recognition.
He ran for president without having anything that could be called a political philosophy or a programme. He was born rich, so rich that he had not need to left a finger for anything. Now, look at his personal obsessions.

He had to have a beautiful wife. Not just good-looking. Not even just beautiful but a beauty queen. There is no reason to suspect any affection between them. It's a deal. She gets money. He gets status.
And note that she does not seem to have permission to get older.
He not only likes to fondle women and makes passes at them. He likes to talk about it. That's not greed. That's status-seeking - though admittedly of a crude sort.
He loves to bully people in public. Status again.
Thought already wealthy, he took on a job on a popular TV show. That's status.

If he made a 100 billion dollars, ,he would still be seeking status. his drive for the presidency was not based on a political philosophy. He has no political philosophy. But, oh, he needs status.

This, I suspect, is a common denominator in the drive of the very wealthy. Put another way, they are too immature to be greedy.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

July 27: this time, it's a mad, mad, mad, mad me.

Today (July 26) there was an infuriating letter in Letters to the Editor for the Moncton Times and Transcript. It was especially irritating because it reflects the views of over 75% of the Canadian population.

It attacked the Canadian Supreme Court for awarding 10 million dollars in damages to Omar Khadr. It's a vicious letter written in ignorance of Canadian law, international law, and in ignorance of the principle we told our veterans they were fighting for in World War 2. (Remember that when some twit of a politician says on Nov. 11 that we remember their sacrifice and the principles they fought for.)

We don't. We never have.

1. Omar Khadr, whatever you think of him, was a Canadian citizen. Canada is a free country. He's allowed to have whatever politics he has.

2. He was legally in Afghanistan.

3. The U.S. military was NOT legally in Pakistan. a. There is no evidence that Afghanistan had anything to do with 9/11. Indeed, all the signs are that our good friends in Saudi Arabia were behind it.   In any case, the American invasion had nothing to do with 9/11. The decision to attack Afghanistan was made some four years BEFORE 9/11. (Check Project for the New American Century.) The early plan to attack Afghanistan was no secret - except, perhaps, to the ace commentators of the irving press.

Afghanistan was no possible threat to the U.S. That means the invasion was illegal under international law. Also remember this on Nov. 11 - The US did not seek UN approval. In fact, it ignored the UN as it has in most of its invasions. Think of that when you remember what our veterans died for.

The official figure for Afghan civilians killed in the illegal American invasion is about 30,000. The reality is almost certainly over a hundred thousand.

So there was Khadr, like him or not, who was legally in the country with a building full of people who were attacked and murdered by U.S. troops. (Yes. Murdered. That's what it's called in an illegal war.) Khadr, badly wounded (and only fifteen years old) was captured.

Did he kill an American? I don't' know. The US made him confess to it, but only by extended torture. (Also illegal.) He was also (illegally) imprisoned for years. I don't know whether he killed anybody. But what would you do if you were illegally attacked by U.S. soldiers as everybody around you was killed?
Stand up and sing God Bless America?

And he was kept in prison for years after though he was never found guilty of anything. (Torture doesn't count in a democratic legal system.)

The Canadian government knew all about this from the start. It had a legal obligation to protect a Canadian citizen. And it didn't lift a finger for years.  That's why a court in a democratic Canada ruled in favour of Khadr. And democracy, by the way, is one of those little things our veterans fought for.

Instead, a majority of Canadians are reacting to the illegal American mass murders in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen as cheerleaders. Incidentally, all those wars were fought without UN approval. On Nov. 11, remember that. A UN to prevent war is one of the things our veterans fought for. But instead of standing up for what they fought for, most Canadians are wagging their little tails like the colonial poodles they  have become.

And there is going to be one hell of a price for that. The British still kiss up to a U.S. that deliberately impoverished Britain after World War 2.  But the rest of Europe is getting restless. The U.S. has effectively destroyed the UN. It sees itself not as a leader of the world, but as the ruler of the world.

And it can't do it. For a start, the U.S, for all its wealth,  has only 4% of the world's population. And the American people don't want these wars. That's why the U.S. army relies on mercenaries (hired killers). In any case, any world war this time would almost certainly go nuclear.

If you want to remember our war dead of 1945, do it by demanding that our government preserve what those soldiers, sailors and airmen were told they were fighting for.

A footnote to this is the American approved and assisted mass murder of 200,000 Maya people by the Guatemala army. When the Catholic Church in Guatemala tried to defend the Maya people, priests, nuns and  missionaries were murdered, too.

One of those killed was a lay missionary from New Brunswick. The Canadian government knew all about it; but it made no attempt to protest on the behalf of a murdered Canadian citizen. The news media of North America never mentioned that mass murder. (with the exception of a brief reference in the New York Times almost 30 years later.)

To this day, the irving press has never had the integrity to tell us about that lay missionary, not even when his body came back to New Brunswick for burial.
And why were all those people murdered? It was because they were becoming angry at the brutal treatment and the environmental damage they were suffering at the hands of Canadian and American mining companies.

But why bother with a murdered missionary where the Irving Chapel is just down the street with coffee and fellowship in the barn, the best preacher money can rent, and "special music".  (After all, that's what Christianity is about.)
But we probably won't change our thinking. Us humans are like that. We think in pure emotion, in prejudice, in bigotry. We all do.  In 2,000 years,  the message of Christ has never been able to get past our prejudice and bigotry. (And our churches have rarely tried very hard to get it past those.)

When we think of bigotry, prejudice, greed, mass murder, illegal aggression, the use of armies to help the wealthy loot the world, we automatically think of Hitler. Loosen up. Most of us are like that. Thus the British Empire, the Spanish Empire, the Portuguese Empire, the Dutch Empire, the French Empire - and the American Empire. They were all Nazi. And yes, they all carried the stain of Nazi racism.l

Yes, I quite  understand that the rulers of China and Russia are very similar in that respect. That's why we cannot afford to go on allowing  the destruction of the UN and of the principles that so many Canadians died for.
A footnote. Today's Moncton Times and Transcript has one of its ass-kissing editorials. It tells us we must not tighten taxes on the rich because they create wealth for all of us.

What an ignorant and servile statement!

Throughout history the rich have created wealthy for themselves  by impoverishing the rest of us. We had a break after World War 2, but it lasted less than a generation. Since then the wealthy have reverted to the old game of avoiding taxes, and paying salaries as low as possible. And the result is there has been a rapid drift of all wealth into the pockets of the rich. Even an irving press editor should have enough brains to check the figures on that. We're watching it now as Sears get ready to dump employees into the streets while, at the same time, giving lavish bonuses to senior executives who drove the company into bankruptcy.
And the rich pay "huge land taxes"??? Did the editor miss the recent story that our provincial government has recently agreed to allow the irvings to skip millions in land taxes?

The wealthy do NOT create wealth for us. They never have in all of human history. WE create the wealth. They suck it up. That's why our schools and hospitals don't have enough money.   That's why a university education is such a crashing expense.

Gee! I wonder who pays the salary for that editorial writer. And who pays for the Liberal and Conervative governments who make that possible?
Hypocrisy in action. The man who blows up babies in Syria and starves them to death in Yemen takes a stand against birth control and abortion. (So it's okay if you kill them after they're born.)
And here's some good reading for the editorial writer of the Moncton Times and Transcript.
Britain is sending its newest aircraft carriers to the South China Sea to counter Chinese claims to sovereignty over those waters. Sounds reasonable?

Would it sound reasonable for China to send a fleet contesting the right of the U.S. to claim Hawaii? Would it sound reasonable for China and Russia to send fleets to Venezuela to prevent American interference in that country's turmoil?
And if China is in the wrong, is it reasonable to use warships to deal with it? Considering the possibilities of warlike actions going out of control and and even causing nuclear war?

Isn't this the sort of thing the UN was intended to deal with?

And why is Britain taking the lead? (Because the U.S. told it to. and Britain, the country whose empire was effectively destroyed by the U.S., and which now survives as a colony of the American Empire.)
I don't disagree with the item below. But it seems to  fall way short of a mark that Canada implied when it at last apologized for its treatment of native peoples. We were going to do something about the years of abuse and neglect of native peoples. Okay. We got  the message.

So where is the plan?
Not far from where I'm writing this, eight, gigantic Right Whales have been found, dead, this year. It is quite possible that another species is about to become extinct. And we shall all pay a price for that.
The rich will make all of you rich says the Moncton Times Transcript. That's a crock says the article below.
Gee! Here's a story that even the irving press missed.
Now, here's a story about chemical poisons, especially those affecting our forests. The government of New Brunswick, though, has already settled the problem in this province by firing the health officer who raised these issues.

This province is almost unbelievably corrupt (and timid).
I have rarely seen a news commentary as honest as this one.
While we are working full time at killing each other and finding new ways for the wealthy to rip off everybody else, there are really some bigger problems that we should be dealing with.
It's been known for a long, long time that the Syrian rebellion against the government of Assad was created by the U.S. - just as its been known that the "news" agency often quoted by our press for reports on Syria is a creation of the 'rebels'. None of this has made our news, but the information has long been available. And so hundreds of thousands have been murdered, and millions made refugees.

Think a bit about it. Who stood to gain from the war in Syria? And in Libya? And in Iraq? Big oil. That's who. Who stood to gain by murdering 200,000 Maya? Big mining.

I don't suggest that the super-wealthy are evil. (I leave the name-calling and bigotry to them.) But it is surely obvious that we cannot survive if we continue to permit the power of big money to control our governments and almost all of our news services.
I was going to criticize this one at first. But it convinced me. I don't agree that the wealthy are born deranged. But they do become so. And I'm afraid that mechanism is built into all of us - that sense of privilege, of superiority....  And it's triggered by being born into wealth and power. That explains the behaviour of the many, many arrogant twits who ruled the European empires and who now rule the American empire.
Here, I enter a whole copy of a newspaper because it gives a sense of the chaos in the U.S.

Yes, Trump is a disaster. But there has been no presidential choice for decades who was NOT a disaster. The problem is not one man. The problem is a nation that is so brainwashed that it has almost no sense of alternative choices.

(New Brunswick has been governed by it's own boring Trumps since Louis Robichaud stepped down.)
Another story that never made the irving press.
The U.S. has, for over fifty years, been deliberately impoverishing Cuba as punishment for kicking out the murderous dictator the U.S. had given it.
Despite that, Cubans still have things that Americans cannot afford - like health care for all, and free education to the end of university.

Gee! It makes me wonder about that editorial about how the wealthy make us all rich.
And it looks as though the U.S. has lost another war.
Watch for three major problems that are shaping up in Israel.

1. Israel has been carrying out a military occuption of Palestine for over 50 years. It  has used that occupation to impoverish Palestine. It has also used it to kick Palestinians off their own land, and annexing it to Israel.

2. The U.S. has poured money into Israel (because it needs Israel for a foothold in the region.) It has given nothing to Palestine (the people whose land that west happily confiscated to create Israel.)

3. As a result, the Palestine is in a severe economic recession. And violence is the only option that has been left open to the Palestinians.

I can't think of a better way for the U.S. to produce more recruits for ISIS.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

July 25: A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

Sorry for the long intro below. It's a sort of history of the world since 1914. It's necessary because the news media never mentioned most of this.

For those who have netflix, there's a wonderful propaganda film of World War Two called Why We Fight (the battle of Russia).

In 1930s and even into the forties, Russians were evil, vicious people. Then Hitler invaded Russia. Thus this propaganda film from the U.S. showing Russians to be a gentle, smiling people, much given to charming folk dancing. They were 'folks', just like Americans.

That image lasted until the war ended. Then Russia was evil again.  Film and the news media are used to manipulate our thinking. and they're very good at if. So let's take a quick look at the reality of the last hundred years.

World War 1 broke out in 1914. Why?  The official line is that all those countries that went to war had no choice. When Archduke Ferdinand was killed, they all depended on railway schedules to mobilize their troops. So when one side mobilized the others had to follow.

Well, yeah. But they had been preparing for that war for decades. It could scarcely have been a war over railway schedules. And it wasn't. Germany had united some 50 years earlier. It quickly became a major industrial power. That made it an economic threat to the factory bosses of countries like France and Britain. If could even cut into the British Empire. That's what caused the war.
So why did it take the U.S. so long to got to war against the evil Germans? That's because the U.S. didn't care - until it saw the need to get in on the action to get some share of the wealth that Europeans were moving in on in places like the Middle East.

(Oh, I know. The U.S. said it went to war because a German submarine sank an American ship. It's true. It did. But countries need an excuse to get people to go to war. And no country tells its real reasons for going to war.)

1939 was 1914 all over again. It had nothing to do with Hitler's treatment of the Jews.  The rise of the Naziis, in fact, was watched with happiness by big businesses because a strong Germany would be a barrier against Russian 'communism'. Henry Ford was a big supporter of Hitler for that reason, and because Ford was a rabid anti-semite.

But, in the long run, Britain and France could not allow further German expansion. it threatened their own industries, and even their empires. Thus their declaration of war.

The U.S. happily sold weapons to Britain. It was good for profits. But, more important, if Britain and France fell, their empires would be wide open to American take-overs. So the U.S. stayed out of the war.

But it could not stay out of the Pacific war. For many decades, American companies had wanted control of the China market, the market that had made Britain so wealthy. That's why  they took over Hawaii as a naval base way out in the Pacific. I wasn't to defend the U.S., not way out in the ocean. It was to attack China when the time was ripe. The U.S., of course, was quite aware that Japanese business leaders had the same idea. That's why, in 1919, the U.S. began building a navy designed to fight Japan. It built aircraft carriers. It built ships with very long range for Pacific duties. It built a large number of fuelling and other supply ships.

Sure enough, the Japanese invaded China. The American empire felt China slipping away. That's why, in late July of 1942, the U.S. put an embargo on oil sales to Japan. The Japanese had to respond because they could not conquer China and  most of the rest of Asia without that oil. Their response was Pearl Harbour.

The American leadership had not expected that response. But there were those who were pleased because this was the excuse they needed for a war with Japan to be followed by an  American conquest of China. Accordingly, when, late in the war, the British returned to the Pacific, president Roosevelt told them not to liberate Hong Kong, the treasure pot that gave the British the enormous wealth of China. The U.S. empire was going to move in and take over that part of the British Empire.  (But Churchill ignored the order. The British, led by a Canadian ship, moved in to take Hong Kong.)

However, the U.S. was still determined to make China a part of the American empire. So it financed and equipped a Chinese dictator named Chiang Kai Shek, a murderous drug dealer on a huge scale, to defeat Mao's communist army, and to deliver China into the American empire. But Chiang lost. It was a loss that broke hearts all over Wall St. which had been waiting to loot China as the British had.

The U.S. also entered the European war at the end of 1942. But it was not to save Britain. It was to add much of the middle east and of Africa to the American empire. In fact, while the U.S. gave huge gifts to help Europe recover from the war, it gave almost nothing to Britain. American leaders joined the European war largely to cash in on the decline of the British Empire.

The British empire largely collapsed. And Britain, itself, became a handmaiden to fight American wars (as in Afghanistan and Iraq.)

Another reason American big business wanted to enter the war in Europe was to stop the expansion of Soviet Russia. It was Russia that did the greater part of the fighting against Germany. There was every danger it would occupy Europe as part of a Russian empire to compete with the American economy. And that would not please Wall St. because Wall St. in the U.S. leaped to the conclusion that this was the time to make the U.S. the leader of an empire of the whole world.

NATO immediately became, in effect, the European/Canadian section of the American Empire. The wars in Korea and Vietnam were fought because they would give the U.S. bases for an invasion of China. The U.S. is now attempting a similar arrangement with Ukraine and eastern Europe.

In the late 1990s, very far right wing Americans stepped up the wars for world conquest with their "Project for the New American Century". That is what led to the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria.

In other words all the wars since 1914 were fought to make very wealthy capitlists into very very wealthy capitalists.

And the whole plan is in real trouble. Americans have had enough of war. That's why slightly over half of the American army is made up of mercenaries. (hired thugs, very expensive ones). And the favourite method of fighting is by saturation bombing which kills mostly civilians. But it's acceptable back  home because it's just the other side that gets killed.

Our great hope in 1945 was the creation of the United Nations to end wars. At best, it would have taken a good fifty years and more to get it working. But that's what our soldiers, sailors and airmen were told they had fought for in world war 2.
But the U.S. quest for world domination has seriously crippled the UN as it is helpless to stop the wave of American wars.  To top it off, the U.S. itself is a fading power, largely because of the very foolish policies it has followed, especially since 9/11. Trump is not the cause of the collapse of American democracy. No. He (and Clinton) are products of that collapse.

And it could well be  the collapse of the last western empire. And that would be tragic because the Chinas of this world are as badly governed as we are.
Canada in recent years, though full of promises to native peoples, has done almost nothing to repair the damage it has done to them. (You'll note this story was not in my local paper, the irving press. Though the NY Times has been known to have large gaps in its coverage, it is still far the best of the American mainstream dailies.)

Yes. It's happening. And it means human suffering, millions more of refugees, and wars. It means serious reduction of food supply. And,  yes, it will effectively destroy much of Europe and Afria and the U.S. and Latin America.

But the New Brunswick government has things under control. It favours more pipelines and oil development. Makes sense. I mean, it creates jobs.

When do our governments plan to get serious about this?  When do we start to take this seriously? When do we take back control of our own countries?
Capitalists create jobs and bring prosperity.. Like hell they do. Capitalists are blood-suckers That's the reaction of a leading British businessman as he expresses fears of American takeovers of British businesses. However, it's hard to feel sorry for British capitalists when they have been ripping off the world for several hundred years while doing nothing for their own people.
It is probably better to get old in Cuba than in the U.S.
Canadians are so nice.
One of the greatest threats facing Canada is the power of Canadian and foreign companies to penalize Canada for protecting its environment. But we don't' see much about that in our news media.
This one didn't make my local paper.

What we are watching in the U.S. is the destruction of all that makes a functioning society possible. All that exists is greed and plunder. We're seeing increased destruction of the environment, medicine acting as a source of wealth rather than of healing, massive redistribution of wealth from almost all the population to a tiny number of very, very wealthy..... And the Democrats are not significantly different.

The politics of greed are destroying the U.S. - and Canada and most of the world.
You might want to read all of this issue of Common Dreams. And, no, the New Brunswick  Liberals and Conservatives are not going to be any help-.
And the NDP and the Greens are both going to have to get much more tough-minded than they are.

I'm not talking here simply about making improvements. I'm talking of survival.
It's hard to tell when oil executives are evil or just made stupid by greed.
Israel's Netanyahu abuses Palestinians much as Germans abused Jews in the 1930s. It's understandable. Jews have passed through centuries of hatred - and they know the only reason the U.S. supports Israel is to use it help sustain an American position for control of the Middle East. They also know the west did nothing to help them in the 1930s and 40s. Israelis have become a hating and distrustful people - and we made them that way.
It's a secret, but only from us. The US has been arming, training and paying the Sytrian terrorists fighting against the Syrian government from the start. It is also arming and paying the ISIS fighters. That's been known for a long time - but our news media have ignored it.

The American wars in Afghanistan and the middle east which began in 2001 have been a series of disasters for the U.S. It has killed, certainly, over two million people. and it has gained nothing at all.
In a democracy, whether we like or dislike another country, we have a right to criticize it But the U.S. government is closing in on that with a law imposing heavy fines on anyone who conforms to a UN proposal to cut off trade to land which israel has stolen from Palestine.
Another war is on the horizon, the U.S. against Iran. Is Iran a threat to the U.S. No. It's a relatively small country. Who would benefit from such a war? ISIS would. ISIS gets its recruits and its money from all those Muslims who resent the American slaughters of Muslims. Without that, ISIS would pretty soon fade.
As well, the U.S. has a problem it does not seem to have recognized. It has only 4% - that's all - of the world's population. For all its air power, it almost certainly could not beat China or Russia in a conventional war - and they might well feel they would have to intervene if the U.S. invaded  Iran.. Such a war would become nuclear. And nobody would win it.
Meanwhile, chaos in the Middle East continues as Israel, most recently, has bombed school buildings in Palestine that were designed to also serve as civilian bomb shelters. Israel knew that because it had inspected and approved them. But it bombed them anyway.

Whose bright idea was it to plant Israel in Palestine where , after all these years, war still threatens? If we wanted Jews to have a homeland, couldn's we give them part of a big country like Canada or the U.S.? After all, the Jews of Europe had little connection with the middle east. There were Jews in Palestine, But these were Jews who had lived there for several lthousand years, and who lived in peace and even friendship with their arab neighbours. Giving that land to European Jews to control was bound to result in the hatreds and brutality we see today.

There were two reason for creating  a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

1. ALL western Christian nations were Jew-haters. That includes Britain, Canada, and the U.S. None of them would accept  Jews. I commonly saw that anti-semitism every day in Montreal. It was especially strong among the wealthy. That's why Lord Balfour proposed a Jewish homeland back in 1917. It was not to help the Jews. It was to get rid of them.  (Hitler, though we like to forget it, had many friends and admirers in the west.)

2. As a secondary benefit, Balfour felt that Britain, if it created a separate Israel,  would provide an ally for Britain as it moved in on middle east oil. Britain was in no position to do all that that after World War 1. So the U.S. stepped in and did it after World War 2.

As a result, we have what should have been obvious, a constant trouble spot - and a spark constantly ready for a major war.
Oh, something I've been thinking about. Whenever the The Canadian Legion goes public, it's always to take a self-righteous stand - as in the case of Omar Khadr. They should think more about what we owe to those who fought for Canada.

They did not fight to capture a 15 year old boy. They certainly did not fight so he could be tortured. They did not fight so that he could be jailed for years with no trial. Those who fought and died for Canada did not do it so that billionaires could destroy our environment. They did not do it so that billionaires could become increasingly rich at the expense of the rest of us.

This Nov. 11, let's get past the shallow sentimentality. Let's get serious about what we told them they were fighting for. Let''s really honour them.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

July 12: One runs out of titles....

Today's front page story for Irving press was a about a woman from Britain who just flew all the way to Moncton so she could see her favourite band. Ther rest of section 1 goes down from there.

In world news, a big story is that police in Indiana have released a sketch of a suspect in the killing of 2 girls in that state. And Mrs. Trudeau gave a speech urging girls to have confidence. The news YOU need to know. And, apparently,  there are  no wars in the world, nobody starving, and no refugees.

This is a newspaper designed to create a population of the living dead.
But let's take a look at what Canadians have been fighting for. We'll start with Korea. Why did the U.S. want a war with Korea. Was it because the North was a cruel and aggessive dictatorship? No, thatt wouldn't make sense because the South was a cruel and aggressive                                                                                                                                                                                             dictatorship, too. ( And the south remained a cruel dictatorship for many years after that war. The U.S. also cooperated in the murder of the elected president of Viietnam, and helped to establish a military dictatorship. How come our news media never mentioned any of this?)

Canadians died in Korea for reasons that had nothing to do with democracy.     (And, for The Canadian Legion, I am not criticizing those who died. They went because they had been pumped full of silly propaganda about how they were fighting for country.)

The Canadian Legion, if it really respected our veterans and those who died should be criticizing those who sent Canadians to fight an American war. The Legion should be defending the veterans. But, almost invariably, it defends the people who abused the veterans.

The U.S fought the Korean War because it wanted a foothold suited to being a staging point for a war on China. And it lost.

And Canadians fought because....we had become a colony to fight American wars as we had once been a colony to fight British wars.

On Nov. 11, we must remember those who died in Korea because of our careless entry into that war. And we must apologize to them and to those who died in two world wars because fighting American wars was not the future they had fought for.

Now let's take a look at Afghanistan and Iraq. Were they a threat to Canada? Were they a threat to the U.S.? Iraq obviously was not. President Bush lied when he said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. And he knew he was lying. (Does anybody even know what that vague (weapon of mass destruction  term means? Just about every army in the world has weapons of mass destruction. A machine-gun is a weapon of mass destruction.) A lie.  And that lie was used to murder one and a half million people.

And why did the U.S. invade Afghanistan? Because of the attack on the world trade centre?  Well, actually it  had nothing to do with that. And there is no evidence that Afghanistan had anything to do with it. And here's the interesting thing about those two wars.

They were planned as early as 1998, three years BEFORE the attack on the world trade centre.   (Gee. You'ld think the irving papers would know all about that.)

They were planned by a group of very far right wing Republicans (including George Bush's brother) who wanted world conquest. Almost all of them would end up dominating George Bush's cabinet. All that was needed was an excuse. And 9/11 was a gift from Heaven so far as the plotters were concerned.

The called themselves Project for the New American Century. You can find lots about them on the web, most of it from excellent sources.   (I guess they don't have computers at the irving offices.)    

The New American Century was the beginning of, so far, almost twenty years of attempted world conquest, mass murder and mass starvation. It has brought us to the edge of world war. It has killed millions as it extended to Syria, Libya - and provocation along Russian and Chinese borders. It has also, as foreign policy, proved a disaster.

In short, according to the international law our veterans were told they have been fighting for, the attacks on Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen are illegal. None of those was a threat to Canada or the U.S. This was a power play by the greedy and blatantly immoral. And Canadians bought into it. That's why Canadians have killed in Afghanistan and Libya, and are now playing roles Iraq and Syria and Latvia.

We told our young people they were risking their lives "to fight for their country".  That's the trouble with propaganda slogans.

You think it's automatically good to fight for one's country? So on Nov. 11, you'll pay honour to the Naziis and the Japanese, too? And to the people who ran the death camps? And you'll honour Hitler for his leadership and patriotism?
(Incidentally, I wonder why, on Nov. 11, we don't honour those Hurons and Iroquois and Cree and Metis who fought to defend their country and their lands from our European ancestors.  That's a serious suggestion. In fact, they, the French at Quebec, and the Canadians of 1812 are the only ones who have actually defended Canada from attack. )  

We should certainly remember our veterans on Nov. 11. In particular, we should remember that we told them they were fighting for a better world. Becoming a puppet for the American empire has nothing to do with a better world. We have abandoned what we said they fought for. And the first organization that should recognize that is the Canadian Legion.

We have now, by the way, created refugees by the tens of millions all over the world. Europe dumps them in the vile sinkholes it calls 'camps'. Canada accepts a small number. The U.S. accepts very, very few of those people whose lives have been destroyed the greed of the American wealthy.

We are already starving millions to death in Africa and the middle east. I  wonder what it will be like there as climate change takes  hold, agriculture in the region is destroyed. We will soon be talking of hundreds of millions of refugees.
Heard of any big business leaders who are taking action on this?
The death of a political prisoner in China is a reminder that China is not the success story and model that some people think it. The communist state it claimed to be never was. And it has never even tried to be a democracy.
Western big business just loves it, though. And a large part of the Chinese economy is based on western businesses which have transferred their operations to China. Hey, with workers available at a dollar a day and less, China is even better than Guatemala.
Universities often have professors who spend their careers kissing up to the very, very wealthy. And there are university presidents who help them because it can bring grants to the university.

There may not be a solution to this problem. Americans are so heavily propagandized from birth about their destiny to rule the world, and an imagined partnership between capitalism and freedom that they don't really any idea of what an alternative should be.
It's riding for a heavy fall. And, possibly, a very violent one.
Our news media haven't told us much about the American siege of Mosul. Or about its use of 'weapons of mass destruction'. Wasn't that the evil act that the U.S. claimed to attack Iraq for back in the Bush days?
The U.S. has by far the largest military budget in the world.It's part of an old game. The 'defence' industry have been buying American politicians since 1945. That hasn't done much for the success of the U.S. in wars. But, oh, it's great for profits by the defence industry, and payoffs for politicians. And that's why Canada is being pushed onto the defence spending wagon. Trump wants it for Canada to spend on the American defence industry - and with some for the Canadian defence industry. It costs a lot to conquer the world, and to keep it conquered.

But that's no problem for the very wealthy. Most of them don't pay taxes.
This should come as no suprise. Hillary Clinton was on the take, too.

note: I am available for speeches at a special discount - just $300,000. (autographs extra)
There have been lots of apologies to our native peoples for harm done to them over the last five centuries - the murder,  the starvation, the theft of land. But, after the apologies, we still haven't defined any way to make up for that.
The reality is that we destroyed the world they lived in, and we stole their land. There is no easy cure for that -  but we  haven't even begun to realize there is no easy cure.

And it seems most unlikely that Trudeau will do much of anything.
Canadians should not get smug about this next story. It's happening in Canada, too. We are watching the greatest plundering and greed in history. (But don't expect the irving press to notice it.)
We all know that those evil Germans caused both world wars. But the truth is that they certainly did not cause World War 1. I think the following story rather oversimplifies the case. I certainly think it's wrong in claiming that historians have lied about this. I am an historian - and I have read historical work that would support this article.  In broad terms, there's not much doubt that Germany's industrialization of the years leading up to 1914 was offensive to capitalists in Britain, France, and Belgium. And offending capitalists has long been a motive for war.

Now I wait for the book on why the U.S. waited until 1917 to join the war.
For change of pace, here's an item from a right-wing  medium.

Of course. American soldiers illegally attacked Afghanistan. They attacked a building Omar Khadr was in, killing every body but Khadr - but severely wounding him.

It was okay for Americans to illegally attack Afghanistan and to mass murder people  because, as we know, God blesses America. But Omar Khadr had the nerve (maybe - we don't know this) to shoot back!!! And shooting Americans is like shooting God.

The U.S. has been fighting ISIS (and often supplying with with money and weapons) for almost twenty years. Bombing Muslims may seem attractive to Americans because it doesn't create many U.S. casualties.  (The folks back home don't what to hear about casualties. That was the lesson of Vietnam.) But ISIS exists and attracts support BECAUSE of mass killing by the U.S. The U.S. is the chief recruiter for ISIS.

Of course, it's okay if the dead are shot by American police whose total kill for 2017 is 671, perhaps heading for a new record.

Here's the story about the most recent killing by American police. Obviously, this was a dangerous and vicious woman.
Haaretz remains one of the very few papers which are willing to print article critical of their financial/political  overlords.  

The ambition of president Netanyahu has been to impose a 'group-think' on Israel. To some degree,  he's been successful. But I've long known and admired an openess to flexible thinking in Judaism. I suspect it's built into the Judaic tradition.
Netanyahu is a dangerous man. It's been obvious for a long time he has wanted to destroy Palestine, and make it a part of Israel. He has already occupied a large part of Palestinian territory. And he's looking at other targets - Syria, Iran, Lebanon. He wants a Jewish state that will be the major power of the region. And the people of his target nations? That's their problem. Netanyahu wants to be bigger, much bigger.

And Israel has a nuclear arsenal.
I shall be away for a few days at the shore. (The pollution there is a much higher class of pollution than I can get in the city.)

Monday, July 17, 2017

July 17: Disgusting stuff

This might be a  long and wordy one. Forgive me. It's because I'll be away at the shore at some point this week - and without a computer. As well, writing it got me thinking about  a lot of things - and I have added them.

This first item is not a repeat of that I have written before about the Khadr court settlement. This is about some very bad journalism by the CBC (which is usually better).

Read the above  carefully. This a prime example of bad, journalistic commentary. And from CBC, of all people.  It's full of emotional language and bad history. I think that The Legion has a right to be angry - but Khadr is not the one who cheated them. Our veterans have been cheated by their own governments - and by the Canadian people have haven't given a damn about the cheating - and by the wealthy   who don't pay their taxes.  (We can't afford the tax money we owe to our veterans? Ten million dollars would be a pittance to a wealthy family I can think of who get hundreds of millions in tax breaks every year.)

As to the commentary above...

1. The Canadian government has been slow (and cheap) in delivering benefits to veterans. Very true. But that is scarcely Khadr's fault. It is the fault of the government.  It is the fault of us for not caring enough to push the government.It is the fault of those very wealthy who won't pay any taxes to anybody for any purpose. It's the fault of a Journalist commentator who dispenses emotional propaganda instead of reasoned argument.

2. Canadian veterans are not allowed to sue the government for it's neglect. True. But that's not Khadr's fault. It's ours.

3. The Canadian government makes it hard for veterans to qualify for benefits. See above.

4. If veterans earn more money on their own, the government  deducts it from their benefits. See above.

By the way, if Mr. Irving makes more money on his own, do we deduct that from his benefits?

5. Veterans devoted their lives to defending Canada.

This is pure emotionalism. I have known many veterans from the the age of six when the boys from my father's scout troop came to our house to say goodbye. In them, as in veterans I met over the years, I can't think of one who had devoted his life to his country. And that was especially common early in the war.

In 1939, there were no jobs. My father's weekly pay, in a good week, was five dollars.  He would make another dollar or so after work by shovelling snow for the city. He didn't join the navy to serve his country. He joined to feed us.
My uncle joined to get away from his wife and two children. He was at Dieppe and D-Day. But all he ever talked about was the parties in England.

Bertie was a big kid who left school in grade four. He was an older kid who played with me because he was severely retarded. He joined the army while underage. (He stole the draft notice of his draft-dodging brother.) He joined because he loved the clicking sound his army boots made on the sidewalk. A man who was with him in his first action told me about it.

"We were lyin' on the ground with German machine-gun bullets cuttin' the air above us. Bertie was cryin'. Hell, he was only 16. Then, he jumped up screamin', and the machine gun cut him in half. Craziest thing, he was screamin' for his mother..."

Another, older friend joined the army to fight in Korea. He can scarcely be said to have been defending Canada, not  unless those Korean were building canoes to attack us. (In  fact, the only country to attack Canada in the last hundred and forty years has been the United States (the Fenian Raids).

Nor can I see what attacking Afghanistan or bombing Libya had to do with defending Canada. Nor can I see how provocatively posting Canadian troops very close to Russia has anything to do with defending Canada.

6. And our veterans devoted their lives to defending Canada?  That's an emotional term that has no connection with reality. Of all the veterans I met, there was only one who spent his whole, working life in the army. And he reason  had nothing to do with patriotism. He just liked the regularity of army life.
7.  O0000H! And Khadr fought against our ally.

Again, this is pure emotion. Anyone who studies wars knows that allies happily cut each other's throats. Canada was an adoring ally of Russia in WW2.  But the day the war ended, Russians became evil and hated by us.

In the last 70 years, the U.S. has slaughtered tens of millions all over the world. It has created some of the worst starvation the world has seen. It has destroyed the lives of tens of millions who are refugees. None of those countries it has attacked could possibly be a threat to the U.S. (has Guatemala ever invaded the U.S.? Has Cuba? Venezuela? Yemen? Libya? Iraq? Iran? Vietnam? Syria? Chile?)

And the people of Afghanistan shot back when Americans invaded them? How very unChristian of them!

And Canada has happily joined in the fun with its 'ally', especially when that could produce perks for Canadian corporations - as when the U.S. organized the murder of  200,000 innocent Maya in Guatemala. Among the murdered was a Canadian lay missionary from New Brunswick. He was murdered because he supported the Maya who were being annihilated by the US and the Guatemalan dictatorship. But our news media have never even told us about that.

Wasn't it just terrible that (or if)  Khadr killed one of those nice Americans who were just in AFghanistan to bring peace and joy?

That CBC column is all emotional crap, completely out of contact with reality. It reminds me of most of the North American news media.

Yes. Our veterans do deserve far better treatment than they have received from us. But that is not Omar Khadr's fault. That is the fault of us - all of us, including the wealthy who don't pay taxes.
Not long ago, I wrote about the possibility that the major capitalists of the world - notably the U.S., Russia and China  (with all their hangers-on) - might soon unite to rule the world as a supreme aristocracy. The article below suggests this might be underway.
The beauty of aerial bombing is that it saves the lives of soldiers. That's important to keep the folks at home pleased with the way things are going. U.S. enthusiasm for war drops when the body counts come home. But bombers can kill millions with small risk - especially in countries too poor to possess adequate air defences. That's why bombing has become THE major means of warfare for the U.S.

Of course, it indiscriminately kills huge numbers of civilians. But who gives a damn?

The writer of this article is an authority on the safest type of bombing (for the bombers) - the drone.

Oh, and watch for the Americanization of the Canadian armed forces as Trump puts the heat on Trudeau. Already, Canada is  training the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. seals, hired killers who (illegally) invade other countries to assassinate - and to kill a hell of a lot of innocent people (by mistake).

Or, as the Canadian Legion might put it, to devote their lives to serving Canada. Yes.
The irving press hasn't paid much attention to the chaos in Venezuela. That's understandable. It needs its whole staff to work full  time on the big stories - like people arrested for spitting on the street, and little boys flying kites.

But the Venezuela story is the story of Latin America, and how US corporations have, for more than a century looted, invaded, killed, done enormous destruction, created monstrous poverty all over the region.

And Canadians can be proud because Canadian corporations have been with the U.S. ones all the way. The want a continent in poverty, hunger, sickness and decay. It's good for profits. (Sometimes, I'm just so proud to be a Canadian!)
Ever wonder why the U.S. was so angry at Castro - and still is? After all, Castro overthrew a ruthless dictator who tortured and murdered his own people in very large numbers.   And Castro's first stop after winning power was to visit the U.S. for cooperation in rebuilding Cuba. Isn't it strange the U.S.  has been mad at him?


The ruthless dictator of Cuba had been appointed and financed by the U.S. because U.S. investors wanted a Cuba that was wretchedly poor, had no social services, and wages among the lowest in the world.

Castro was evil because he brought education, food, opportunities to the people of Cuba.

And the murderous dictator that Castro expelled? Well, I expect that, given a chance, the New Brunswick Chamber of Commerce would have given a dinner in his honour.

And we are getting sucked into wars that benefit only billionaires. And, much as some like to babble about it, and, much as we lie about it, the soldiers we send are not "Fighting for their country". They are fighting for a small number of the greediest and most ruthless people on this planet.
Here's a possibly important story that I must have missed in the probing pages of the irving press.
This is what our major news media do repeatedly.
At last,  one nation - South Korea - is taking an intelligent approach to North Korea. It is holding talks with North Korea to cool tensions between the two countries.

This is an important story. That's why it's front page news for The Guardian. Today's front page news in the irving press? An American woman vacations in New Brunswick every summer because she likes it. Wow! Stop the presses!

We desperately need current events classes in our schools. But the irving press would never allow them - not real ones. New Brunswickers grow up and live, like most Canadians, without any access to the information they need to cast an informed vote.
Here's an opinion that applies to Canada and the U.S. as well as to Britain. The difference is that The Guardian expressed this opinion. The irving press never would.
Another story the irving press would never cover....

These mining companies are common examples of brutality and murder. If the mining owners were Muslims, we would say they are evil. But they aren't Muslims. So we praise them.
Here is a sample of the price we pay for news media that keep us in ignorance.
Israel have been dangerously abusing Palestinians by cutting off their electricity to as little four hours a day. (Try running a hospital on that.) But you won't find that story in much of the western news media. No. If you want to understand Israel - the good and the bad - you have to go to an Israeli paper - Haaretz.
The US has the worst  (and the most expensive) health care system in the developed world.  (And Canada is no champ, either.)  In the U.S., it's because private health care is, by definition, a disaster, and it's hopelessly expensive for the average person.

Capitalism is based on greed.  It's not designed to help those who aren't serously greedy.
Much of the below is true in Canada as well.
We're suckers for all the above because we're taught to believe in terms that we really don't understand - but are designed to help the most exploitive among us.
Notice how the ugly word capitalism is commonly replaced by the happier term, free enterprise. Notice how the act of murdering civilians 10,000 miles away is called 'defending one's country'. Oh, and those who take part in the killing are 'patriots' who are 'serving their country'.

Nobody knows what most of those terms mean. But they sound good. And, while nations are happy to praise their veterans  (after all, praise doesn't cost anything), few are willing to treat them very well. Our news media lie to us and/or use loaded language.

All these cutesie expressions are used to manipulate us. The purpose of it? To make the rest of us do the real work for the wealthiest, and to get as little as possible in return.

I'll talk about this next time. But first - answer this question - who won the Korean War? And another. When did the U.S. decide to attack Afghanistan and Iraq?   (That's crucial because it raises another question. Why did Canada send troops to Afghanistan? Exactly how were they "fighting for Canada"?)

Friday, July 14, 2017

July 14: The World Tomorrow

Headline in the Irving papers - Killer gets life sentence with no chance of parole,  for a teen's murder. The killer is a twenty year old from a poor and severely dysfunctional family.

Just below it the story is the tale of a much more mature person in years, and a member of a wealthy family, who was found guilty a year ago of murdering his father apparently because daddy wouldn't give him enough money. However, he got bail almost immediately to appeal the case.
For five hundred years, the European powers (and now joined by the U.S. and Canada) have been murdering and plundering all over the world. Nobody will ever know how many people they murdered with guns and starvation and savage treatment. But they didn't go to jail. No, they became sirs and lords and 'philanthropists'.

At first it was the British and French and Spanish and Portuguese and Dutch and Belgians. Then it was the U.S. which has spent the last  70 in a murderous scramble to conquer the world. Like other empires, the American empire is designed to enrich capitalists. Thus, for the example, the mass murder of 200,000 of the Maya people in Guatemala - along with the murders of clergy who supported the Maya.

But the American empire seems to have stalled because of the growing strength of China, Russia and India. So what is the U.S. going to do?  Well, no-one can predict the future. However, there are signs.
For many years, capitalists have struggled to do two things.
1. To use the people and the money of the nation to fight their wars.
2. To avoid any obligation to serve the nation they belong to. This latter part explains why the propagandists for capitalism (like the irving press) constantly refer to the incompetence of public ownership and the marvelous efficiency of capitalism - and how allowing the rich to get even richer showers wealth on all of us. (creates jobs).

(In fact, that doesn't happen. As the rich avoid taxes, use us to finance there wars and constantly milk the national treasury for 'job creating' ventures, the rest of us are getting poorer, and have been getting poorer for many years.)

That's why the wealthy are so eager to get control of social services like medical care and, education and even police services.  It's all part of the massive shift of wealth from us to them. It's also why their political puppets have made it so easy for billionaires to avoid paying taxes. And it explains why recent trade deals have been designed to give massive profits to corporations for doing nothing at all.

It is becoming common for trade deals that touch on areas like the environment to include clauses that allow corporations to get massive payments for any new laws regarding environment which affect their profits. So - a mine is poisoning major waterways, killing fish and people - and the government passes a law to put an end to that?

Well, corporations are demanding a right to get payment for all the present and future profits that could, maybe, have been made. And the cases will be decided by an international court APPOINTED BY MAJOR CORPORATIONS. In short, the legislation becomes impossible.

This is not speculation. This is happening. Corporations are separating themselves from any responsibility for the societies they live in.

And now they can't conquer the world with  conquest?  No problem. They will conquer it by uniting  with the leading capitalists of China, Russia, and whoever else is coming along. While still controlling their governments, they will have no obligation whatever to their own countries.  (They've already achieved most of this. ) All that remains is to establish an aristocracy of billionaires, and they will, in effect, become the new rulers of the world.

Will it work?

No.  The eternal  problem of big business is that the only thing it knows how to do is to make a profit. It has, contrary to the babbling of professor Savoie, no capacity at all to govern. As well, big business is a prime cause of the great problems we face - over-population, destruction of the environment, exhaustion of forests, farmlands and other resources and, of course, climate change.

Corporations have never shown the brains to even recognize those problems. They are, in most issues of government, utterly brainless. They have done enormous damage as it is. There is no limit to the damage they will do  as the new rulers of the world.

In terms of governance, we have, for centuries, been going back to and even surpassing the greed and arrogance of the aristocracies of the middle ages. Democracy died a long, long time ago - if it ever existed.
If you have access to Netflix, I strongly recommend one of its films as a superb example of how we can be manipulated by propaganda. It's a wartime documentary called 'Why We Fight: The Battle of Russia'.

After the Russian revolution, we were all taught to hate the Soviet Union It was evil. Then Hitler invaded the Soviet Union and, suddenly, Russians were good. You'll see it all in this film. They're a happy, gentle people who wear folk costumes and who sing and dance. And always - at work, at play, they are smiling. (The word 'communist' never appears in the film.)

But the war ended. Within days, the Russians were evil again in our media. It's quite fascinating to see propaganda at work.
Think I was exaggerating about corporations suing governments who try to protect their environment? Then read this next one.
Canada once had vast flights of birds in our coastal area that one could see millions at a time. But they're long gone. In fact, most are now extinct. The same is true of wildlife and plant life. But the people who operate mines and oilfields don't have the brains  (or morality) to recognize what that means. And if the government interferes with them, they sue.
Chinese capitalism is a lot like western capitalism. The two  groups make natural buddies.
The irving press tells us that capitalism brings prosperity as the wealthy shower their profits on us. Like hell it does. For thousands of years, the people of Africa survived in their primitive lands. Then came c apitalism, first in the form of the slave trade, then in the form of rapacious capitalists on, perhaps, the greatest scale in history with uncounted millions killed to steal their lands (or just for the fun of it.) What the U.S. did to Iraq was barely an echo of the slaughter, starvations, brutalization inflicted by western capitalists - as in Congo.

And now, far from bringing prosperity, capitalism is bringing starvation.
And why don't we know about it? Because our news media represent the killers. So Canada and the U.S. will increase their corrupt defence budgets - and to hell with the starving people we have created.
The following photo is here just because it's fun. It's about a town in an American state where citizens are REQUIRED to carry guns. Notice the opening picture. All three guns in it date to the nineteenth century.  They're antiques. So why do people by antique guns for defence? Probably because people are caught up in the movie myth of a wild west in which people rode about shooting each other every day. (No such west ever existed.)

As in many other American perceptions of their history that shape their thinking to this day, the old west shoot 'em up was largely invented by the movies and TV.
Canadian mining companies have a brutal and murderous record in South America. You might want to think of that this Sunday while you are at the Irving chapel listening to the just lovely sermon by a reverend doctor (guaranteed not to offend man or beast)  and to special music.  And you might want to take a stroll to the Catholic graveyard down the street where Raoul Leger lies. And think about it.
It's important to understand that the American bombing of Mosul was not to help Iraq. We're already seen that the American government has no objection to killing innocent Iraqis all over the country. The bombing of Mosul was not to  help Iraq but to defeat ISIS. And if thousands of innocent Iraquis get killed in that -  tough.

Deliberate aerial bombing has been developing for almost a hundred years. It's become the major form of warfare, especially for wealth nations, because it produces few losses to upset the folks at home. Of course, it has also made wars the major killing fields for innocent civilians.

Discuss it over coffee at the barn of the Irving Chapel.
Feel confident that our governments are tackling the climate change problem? Then read  this.
Yes, armies torture prisoners. They all do. Yes. It's illegal under international law. Yes, the U.S. has officially been using torture on a grand scale at least since its war to conquer The Phillipines a hundred and twenty years ago. And Canada fully cooperated with U.S. torture in Afghanistan. Get used to it, Canadian Legion.
Not sure why I'm including this last one - except that it's a unique approach to the issue it discusses. But, in general, I don't see the difference between the U.S. and China. Neither is democratic. Both deny human rights. Both are dominated by a very upper capitalist class. What's the big dif?