Friday, August 18, 2017

August 18: What a terrible day!

The lead story in Canada&World News for August 16 was 'N.B. cabinet minister condemns U.S, violence'.

Actually,  racist hatred was what I first noticed about the maritimes when I came here as a student at Acadia University. In that whole, Baptist school, there was only one person who was not white. And he was the first non white in the history of the school. And I well remember the day I turned off into a country road near Halifax. Isolated in that wilderness, I saw a brick building that had the stench of Dickensian England about it. The sign said Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children. It might as well have read Abandon Hope all Ye Who Enter Here.
Nova Scotia was (and in   some respects still is) a racist province.  So were all the others. I grew up in a Montreal in which African Canadians could not get work except at the most menial level, and were forced to live in a run-down district. So were Chinese.  In fact, even Irish-Catholics were regarded with suspicion and disapproval and, until the 1950s, and many of them had to live in their own run-down ghetto.

And an African-Canadian playing in the NHL? Forget about it. A friend of mine in Montreal was a pro quality  player but who knew he was the wrong colour to hope for the NHL. So he tried, instead, to get accepted to play at a Canadian university. He couldn't. Like Acadia, most of them accepted white folks only. Finally, it was an American university, Princeton, that accepted him. Yes,  An African-Canadian had to go to the U.S. to escape Canadian racism.

And New Brunswick? A superb poet said it well.

So it's nice to hear a New Brunswick cabinet minister speaking out fearlessly against racism -(though he was careful to refer to it somewhere else). But I don't believe he knows what he is talking about.

The recent Swastika-waving and racial violence in the U.S. is not simply the result of Trump's bizarre behaviour and his recent interviews. It has been standard behaviour for every imperial power I have ever heard of. Britain did it. All the major European powers did it. The U.S. was founded as a racist society. The only recent change is the addition of the Swastika. But even that isn't really a change.

Hitler's Naziism used racial hatred to sell his party to the German people. (After all, he couldn't tell people to vote for him because he was going to create massive profits for capitalist business.) And he used racial hatreds to get support for many of his invasions. (Most of the occupied countries provided troops for Hitler's armies.)

And racial hatred is what the U.S. has always played on.  So has Canada. The enemies we fight against are always evil. All of them. The Boer farmers of South Africa were evil. The North Koreans were evil.  The Afghanistanis were evil. The Libyans were evil. To brand a whole society as having such a quality is a racist statement.  Well, if they're all like that, it must be racial.) And so the native peoples of North America were all evil.   (But they're over it now, so long as they keep quiet.)

The native peoples of Latin America are genetically evil, too.  That's why we have to kill them as we did in Guatemala and so many other countries. Evil can even affect Christian countries - like Germany and Italy. But they're better now.
Really, Naziism and Fascism have been standard forms of government forever. Both distracted people by directing their frustrations at a disliked group. It sill works to distract people from their real problems.

Capitalism can work. Of course it can. It's not working now, though. We are seeing a decline in living standards, and a massive concentration of wealth in the hands of the already wealthy. Almost all of our wars are dictated by the wants of the very wealthy (though they carefully avoid service themselves - and also leave it up to us to pay for those wars because most of them refuse to pay taxes. )
Capitalism, like any system, will work. But it has to work under controls that we set. Instead, we are sitting with our thumbs in our mouths as major capitalists own most of our governments. We don't control them. They control us. That's a system that can only lead to disaster.

The world of 2050 - and maybe much earlier - will be very different from today's. By then, climate change will be forcing millions of refugees in our direction. It will certainly cause more wars. Automation will have replaced most jobs. (Will that automation be used to give us shorter work hours while keeping a decent wage? Not if Mr. irving has anything to say about it.  And he will have something to say - to whichever Liberal or Conservative leader that people are foolish enough to elect. And if automation results in massive unemployment, what are our plans to deal with that? Do you seriously think the major capitalists will give a damn?)

There is every possibility that the greed of the wealthy may create another Great Depression. And what was notable about the depression of the 1930s is that the wealthy really didn't give much of a damn. Despite the tales of them jumping from windows, they did not suffer. Of course not. The depression gave them a chance to reduce wages, increase work hours, cut staff, cancel holidays with pay, cancel pension plans...... The rich did well in the depression. And almost all Canadian governments did nothing whatever to help. Of course not, almost all were bought by the wealthy.

Prime Minister Mackenzie King used 'work camps' to 'help' the unemployed and homeless. Actually, they were prison camps in remote areas. And their purpose was to prevent the unemployed from demonstrating where the rich people lived.
Government did nothing to help because the rich had no intention of paying taxes to help the poor. But, surprise, when war was declared, it suddenly found the money to create war industries and military forces.

I was a very young child in the depression. But I can remember my father walking many, many blocks every day to get free milk for me. His pay was cut to three or four dollars a week. But our rent was eleven dollars. So I remember him putting on pair of battered boots, and going out to shovel snow for the city in the late afternoon to earn fifty cents in a couple of hours. Breakfast was chunks of stale  bread with milk in a bowl. As a child, I watched people die because they couldn't afford food or medical care.

But big business did well in those years. Very few millionaires, I suspect, had stale bread chunks for breakfast. Very few watched friends and relatives dying of malnutrition or curable disease.

The Canadian people were as thick then as they still are. Most voted Liberal or Conservative, just like New Brunswickers today. That gave us nothing in the past. Expect nothing in the future.

Naziism, fascism, uncontrolled capitalism, Trump, swastikas, bought politicians - they're all part of the same bundle, with the racism used so we won't think of what should be done.

We're so lucky to have a cabinet minister who can spot it when it happens in a different country. Now, if he would only look around him and into a mirror....

Notice the language of this story. Notice 'terrorist', 'atrocity'. Those words are quite true. The killers were using terror, and their act was an atrocity.

Now, try to think of a news story which has referred to American mass murder of civilians right down to babies, deliberate starvation of millions as in Yemen, saturation bombing, agent orange bombing,  cluster bombing which goes on killing for years, saturation bombing as in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Can you think of any news report that referred to those as 'terrorist' or 'atrocity'? I can't.
Again, it's not Trump who's the problem.  For example, every American government for the last century and more has interfered in Latin America to destroy governments and install dictatorships. It's hard to think of any country that has been better off as a result of American intervention.
Here's a story about the climate change that the irving press doesn't talk much about.

Hey! build more pipelines. It'll create jobs.
I was very sorry to read the following story. I worked in Hong Kong for some time. It was an exciting city, and I liked its people. What is now happening in Hong Kong is terrible, and I agree we should help all we can.

But how come we never read stories about dictatorship in Hong Kong when the British were the dictators?

In a century of rule, the British permitted a limited democracy only in the closing days of their rule. For almost the whole history of British rule in Hong Kong, it was a dictatorship by a British governor  (with wide powers to his arrogant and racist secretary.) Most Hong Kongers lived in dreadful housing. Social services were few. I can remember seeing people who lived in wire dog cages that were stacked three deep. And they had NO weather protection. But it never made our news.

If Hong Kongers were to come  here, I would be delighted to see them. They're good people who have been terribly abused by both Britain and China.
Here's something that is quite true - which is why it never made it into most of our news media.

Trump is certainly a wretched and vile person. But he is not the cause of the 'American' problem. That problem goes back a long, long way.
Writing history - and hiding it. Onward Christian torturers.....
Here's one that may come as a surprise. Funny how our news media missed this.
No. We never learn.

When the National Film Board made a film that mentioned the Canadian airforce bombing of Dresden in World War Two -a bombing deliberately aimed at civilians - The Canadian Legion was furious. But the film was quite right. Everybody in that war deliberately killed large numbers of civilians. Since the war, reliance on massive bombing of civilians has become the American normalcy in war.

And Americans wonder why some countries don't like them. But not to worry about it. Our news media will prevent us ever from hearing about it.
As I was writing all the above, a memory came back to me. I was runninig a camp for the Young Men's Hebrew Association. One of my counsellors was a man who, in 1945 at age 8 or so, survived a Nazi death camp. He was discovered by his sister who took him to Italy, then to a kibbutz in Israel in its early days. He was a very, very lucky guy. I came to know him well. But there was an oddity I have just remembered.

He had no bitterness toward Germans. All his bitterness and  hatreds were spent on arabs. And that has reflected the general tendency of Israeli thinking. That's why a normally compassionate and caring people are now treating Palestinians as they had been treated by the Naziis. We're all vulnerable to irrational and murderous hatreds. It seems to be a part of being human. And leading politicians of this world know how to capitalize on that.
Here's story you're not like to see in your daily paper.
Is the U.S. deliberately (and with cooperation from other countries) encouraging climate change as a means of genocide? That, quite likely, is true. You think Hitler was bad? We're heading into worse. We're  heading into unprecedented numbers of refugees, wars..... The oil companies encourage this out of sheer greed. But there are others who see it as a good way to reduce this world's overpopulation.

Rising temperatures and drought will produce starvation and death. It's happening now.

Will capitalism prevent this? Not a chance. It exists only to make money. That's why we have to bring capitalism under control. Certainly, capitalists will never bring themselves under control.
Here's a reminder that you won't learn nuthin' if you just read commercial media.
Christian churches have some thinking to do. They, especially the evangelical ones,  have always been willing to support some very questionable leaders. Hitler had strong support from German Christians. Billy Graham touted for Richard Nixon. Now Trump has a religious following.

Most churches prefer to stay away from political issues, and to tip-toe through the tulips. I guess that's why most of our churches prefer to be boring and irrelevant.
1. We are living in a time when most power is in the hands of a very small group of capitalists in the U.S., Canada, China, Russia, Britain. And they exercise that power with no sense of responibility to the rest of humanity.

2. They play on our racist attitudes. Thus the rise of a Trump - and a Bush and an Obama.

3. They have no sense of long term goals.

4. In the long term, we face spreading droughts, crop losses - and we are  using these to kill off the poorest people on this earth.

5. We are facing many wars as a result of this process. We are also facing the high possibility of our own destruction.

6. Our leading political parties are part of the problem. Indeed, I don't know of any party that is prepared to deal with the whole problem. The Charlottesville riot is just a taste of what's coming - and not just for the U.S. There's a worldwide rage of frustration with our leaders.

7. To add to the load, we are facing an employment crisis as automation spreads.
It's really time, more than time, to wake up and do some serious thinking and discussion about what is happening, and what is likely to happen.

Luckily, we have the Irving Chapel to encourage our thoughts with special music,  and the offer of fellowship in  the barn. That'll fix everything.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Words, Words, Words...

We use them every day without understanding them. Take the words Nazi and Fascist. We all agree they're bad. But I've never met anyone who understands what they mean. That's why I've known journalaists who, with straight faces, say that Hitler was a socialist. That's nonsense. The word socialist was in the name of his party - National Socialist Party. But Hitler was fiercely anti-socialist and procapitalist. Hitler was the leader of a fervently pro-capitalist party. Funny how our news media miss that. And western capitalists just loved him until 1939 - and some for several years after.
And Facism? Even scholars can't give that word a clear meaning. Mussolini and HItler were both capitalist dictators. Both served the interests of the leading capitalists of their countries. Both gave high status to the wealthy.
Oh, but Hitler's Naziism was the first to attempt to destroy a whole, social group in the Nazi holocaust of Jews......
Uh, no, actually. In that category, you will find France, Britain, Spain, Portugal  (and the United States) in their days of racist slaughter. (That are still going on). What do you think happened to the native peoples of Canada, the U.S. and Latin America? A major reason why George Washington led Americans in revolution was so he could expand the annihilation of native peoples in order to steal their land. Washington had a big stake in it. He was the largest slave owner in the U.S. He wanted more land. And he was also a land speculator - big time.
The killing of native people in Latin America, usually by  the U.S. or its allies, goes on to this day. (Our news media just don't pay much attention.)
Other western powers, notably Britain, did the same to  Africa, the middle east, and Asia. Actually, those western holocausts killed more people, far more, than Hitler's death camps.
In fact, if you look at the behaviours of Britain, the U.S., Spain, Canada, Portugal, The Netherlands, you will find everyone of them guilty of racist holocausts.  How would we react to a story of a Hitler or a Mussolini  starving a whole nation to death?
That's what the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are doing now in Yemen. And that one, alone, could exceed the Nazi Holocaust. Forty years ago, 200,000 of the Maya people of Guatemela, men,  women and children,   were murdered by the Guatemalan and American governments. It never even made the news. One of the dead was a lay missionary from New Brunswick. The Canadian government knew - and never said a word. Nor did the irving press, not even on the obituary page. That should tell you something about the integrity of the irving press.
This is the result of uncontrolled capitalism. We talk about fighting wars on the racist claim those 'other' people are evil. I'm sure some are. So are we. Now, count the dead, and tell me who's the most evil.
We are duplicating all the empires of the past. A key to justifying all those empires was racial contempt for the colonials. That contempt was carried on to a massive contempt for the British and American and other people by their own leaders. It was most notable, perhaps, in the attitudes of the British upper classes. The British people understood that. That's why, in the final election of the war, they voted Churchill out.
Our dukes and earls and lords are our major capitalists. (Not surprisingly, the old-time dukes and earls and lords weren't very bright, either. Just greedy.) They have interfered in every election in the western world for centuries. Now, they demand freedom from government controls. That's it. But not freedom for us peasantry.
They want freedom to pollute - and to demand billions of us if we ask them please to stop it. They want freedom to skip taxes - and to demand that we pay them That's what's payihg for American wars. Billionaires get richer. But the wars maket rest of us poorer because we have to pay for them. They demand the right to take over public services like health and education. And, in the U.S., the billionaires are winning.
It's not surprising that the U.S. is seeing far-right, even Nazi rallies. We're going to see them in Canada. Americans are lost because they're afraid to see the truth about who their enemies are. It's not the Jews, Muslims, Africans or Mexicans. But those are the targets. Of course.
The behaviour of Hitler and Mussolini was not unusual in history. it's been duplicated many times for centuries all over the world. Britain did it. Spain did it. France did it. And now the U.S. is doing it - both Democrats and Republicans.
So, in its feeble way, is that wimpy collection in New Brunswick that we call Liberals and Conservatives.
And they are are courtiers to the wealthy exactly as their spiritual fathers were to Hitler and Mussolini.
(In fact, not all that long ago, we had a brief period of fascist rule in New Brunswick. But that's another story.)
Hitler and Mussolini are still with us. They just changed their names to - well - Trump, Clinton, Bush, and others.
The Korea crisis is stilll very real. The big question is - why has the U.S. maintained such a powerful presence in South Korea, and in the air and on the seas of North Korea? In anybody's language those are provocative acts.  Why has China shown so much interest? (Because it's a 'friend' of North Korea? No. There are no friends between nations.)
No. The American interest is because South Korea would be a great launching pad for a nuclear war or a conventional one against China. And China knows that.
And why didn't the U.S. come to terms with a badly battered North Korea 60 years ago? Because it was still obsessed with conquering China.
With their agendas set by the very wealthy, governments are paying no attention to the major problems that face us. This planet is trunning out of food. Not in the distant future - now. And, yes, this world means us, too. But governments' only answer so far is to poison what productive land we have left with pesticides.
Nor do I see any significant progress on other climate problems. We haven't because the big money is in oil and other forms of destroying the planet. Look at what we are allowing big business to do all over the world. We have allowed the greediest and least public spirited people in the world dictate to our governments. And we repeatedly elect politicians who are, at best,  pimps for the wealthy.
Still happy you voted for Justin Trudeau?
I include this one because it will be getting a lot of attention - Trump as the racist. And I do this as a warning. Trump is not the problem. Let's not get hooked on that miserable wretch. He is not the problem. The Problem is a U.S. that is raised in admiration of the myth of what a wonderful people Americans are.
They aren't worse that others. But they certainly aren't better. They're a nation that abuses the world - and abuses itself quite dreadfully.
Its behaviour in the world is exactly like that of Hitler and Mussolini. And for the same greedy reasons as Hitler and Mussolini - to enrich the already rich.
Trump did not create that United States. It's a U.S. that has existed to serve the rich from its earliest days - mass murder, theft, and greed. And that makes it a lot like other countries. Trump did create that. He's a product of it. And voting for somebody else is not likely to help. There is, I think, much, much worse to come.
And keep an eye out for the same disease in Canada.
This is the reality of why the U.S. supports Europe.
The problem is not Trump. It's the American people. It's a capitalism (like ours) that thinks always of the greed it must have satisfied, and nothing of the population it must serve.
The irving press thought the reaction of Trump to Charlottesville was worth only a short glance. Here's what a more intelligent news service thought.
And here's a list of countries invaded by the U.S. since 1945  in its efforts to bring peace to the world.
Wake up and smell the roses.
Canada has, very foolishly and unthinkingly taken part in some of these wars. Canadians have died so that American billionaires could plunder. Watch for more, and possibly for many more.
And here are a couple of stories that tell a lot about our lying news media.
Well, this is a story I never knew about. The U.S. was prepared to nuke North Korea during the Korean war. North Korea had already lost a third of its population. And there was a Chinese army in it, so the bombing would have triggered a war with China. Indeed, it's hard to see how nukes could have been used without harming the South Koreans we were supposedly there to protect - and our own troops.
Even for his time, Truman was an enhusiastic killer of civilians. He was/is also the most popular president since Roosevelt.,
We are  in very, very dangerous times. Trump is a new Hitler, yes. But so was Reagan and both Bushes and others. And Canada has its own Hitlers and Mussolinis and their wealthy friends to worry about.

Monday, August 14, 2017

August 14: Retardation as a product of wealth...

I have often seen letters in the irving press suggesting that we should elect more private business leaders to run out governments. The argument is that they have more understanding that politicians because they are accustomed to run large corporations.

Well, their dream has come true with the election of Donald Trump.

The reality, of course, is that it doesn't take brains to run a large corporation. What it takes is being born into families that own large corporations, or into a social milieu which is obsessive about piling up wealth.  Offhand, it is hard to think of any billionaire who has shown a superior intellect. (They are not notable for their writing of great books or for their thoughts on the world and its people. In fact, they tend to have educations below the level one would expect from people who have all academic doors open to them.)
It also helps to be devoid of any caring about the needs of  the general public - and to be willing to murder innocent people in the millions.

Africa has been  under the control of western corporation bosses for well over a  hundred years. And in that time, Africa has been a hell of starvation, mass murder, torture, slavery. Corporations destroyed whole societies, redrew the maps to create new countries which had nothing to so with native needs, but only a savage looting of those new countries. Today, Africa is a chaos - and there is not the slightest reason to believe it's going to get better. Greed rules. And millions die.

The same hell is being visited on Latin America, with enthusiastic support of the Canadian and American governments - all to keep up the profits of the very, very wealthy. And it's going to get much worse.

Both Africa and Latin America are starting to suffer from climate change. Tens of millions will have to flee - only to be blocked by our navies, or held in death camps like the ones we don't get much news about in France and Greece.

Yes, climate change is happening. Just about every scientist of any stature recognizes it's happening. But, to the best of my knowledge, all the oil barons are playing it down. That does not suggest to me that they are highly intelligent. And it's not an accident that a billionaire U.S. president should be encouraging more and worse climate change. Can you name for me any oil billionaire anywhere in the world who has become a leader in dealing with climate change?

No? Of course not. They are, all too commonly, marked by low intelligence and insatiable greed. And are all served by those politicians with no sense whatever of what humanity requires. (Yes, that includes both federal and provincial levels.)
And that takes us to nuclear weapons and North Korea.

I still remember that day when I was a very young child, and saw the newspaper headline with a photo of a mushroom-shaped cloud. It was Hiroshima. And we were all assured that this terrible power would be a deterrent to war.

Well, it hasn't been. If it were a deterrent, then everybody should have it - and we'd never have a war. In fact, we've  had nothing but war since Hiroshima. And every one of those wars has been caused by commercial ambition, almost all of them caused by American  (and Canadian and British) commercial ambition. In fact, when North Korea just recently used it as a deterrent, the U.S. promptly jumped to a threat of nuclear war. Apparently, you are allowed to used it as a deterrent, but only if you're an American government.

We are close to that final war. And the most aggressive people on his earth are billionaires of the U.S., Canada, Britain, Russia, China...

We cannot afford to allow that aggression to run loose. For the same reason, we cannot allow capitalism to run loose. Uncontrolled, capitalism is a terminally destructive force which will destroy us as it has Africa, the middle east, and Latin America. And climate change is the final force that will destroy us - as well as it will the capitalists.

Even now, the tragedy of the U.S. is not due to Trump. He is a product of a society that has lost all sense of direction, and is now fracturing itelf. Capitalism has effectively overrun American democracy and overrun any sense of social order.

We are watching the crash of American society, a crash induced by greed and corruption, and lack of consideration for the needs of the American people. Replacing Trump won't change anything. This is a process that has been going on for many, many years under both Republicans and Democrats.

The root of it is a capitalism that controls us instead of us controlling it. And New Brunswick is well down the same road. Such a capitalism will destroy us. The fact that it will also destroy the capitalists is pretty slim consolation.

In World War Two, we told our armed forces that we were fighting to create a more secure and peaceful world. With the United Nations, we seemed on the way to that. But the major powers, all of them, have crippled the UN so they can carry on war and plunder as usual. And we have done nothing about that.

In short, we have betrayed all that our veterans were told they were fighting for.
It's decision time. And well past decision time.
Even a good paper could be carrying propaganda. Here's an example of a blatant case in The Guardian.

The "White helmets" of Syria are essentially a propaganda organization for the Syrian rebels (most of them from ISIS and many not Syrian at all) who pretend to be rescuers for the wounded. From the start, their only function has been as anti-Assad propagandists. The American government also helped them with a very unusual and questionable academy award.

Here, The Guardian treats them as honest rescuers, and  hints at the reality only late in the story.

Americans, of course, would never, never kill rescue workers. Americans are famous for bombs that kill only enemy soldiers..
And climate change, as we know from our oil bosses, isn't happening. So there's no need to read this next story.

Trump has said me might use the military to "restore democracy" in Venezuela. Yes, the U.S. is famous for spreading democracy all over the world, especially in Latin America.

Come off it! The U.S. has supported and created dictatorships all over Latin America.
And here's a chilling reminder of the past.
I'm an historian who specializes in the history of Canada. And I can assure you that much (most) of what Canadians think they know about our history is bunk. It happens all over the world, not just in dictatorships. Perhaps the most spectacular offender is the United States which has lied to itself about its history from the start. That ignorance of their own history is an important factor in building support for Trump. (He was also hugely helped by evangelical Christians. His cabinet now meets for prayer every week with an evangelical preacher - though I see no sign of Christian impulse in anything its has done.)
This article gives a pretty balanced view of what is causing fear of a nuclear war in the Koreas. It's proposed solution, however (supplying the south with nuclear weapons), does not seem to be a very useful one.
I am finding contradictory statements about China's stance on the Tump-Kim Jong-un confrontation. The one that I hope is true is that China has notified North Korea that it will intervene if the U.S. attack North Korea first. It will not intervene if the North Korea. attacks  first.

This is an intelligent and helpful position in a world which doesn't see many intelligent and helpful positions. It puts a lid on any foolish war started by North Korea. Alas! it will not stop foolish war started by Trump.
And a sobering reminder that the rise of a small number to great wealth in hands of people who keep it all for themselves has been a great destroyer of societies in the past. And we're now in the late stages of it.

The wealthy accumulate (and hide) their wealth. That progressively impoverishes everyone else. And the society collapses. That's the history and future of, for example, New Brunswick.
This comment is about the Canadian government's habit of throwing billions of dollars as gifts to the wealthy - no matter how incompetent they are - while withholding money from people who need it.

Sorta reminds me of New Brunswick.
When New Brunswick's chief medical officer raised concerns about the use of pesticides in the province, she was fired on the spot. No reason was given. And the people of this province said not a damn word. Chemical sprayers are now free to poison us and our children and our grandchildren as long as they like. This is not a province marked by people of intellectual and moral courage.
I should write a column about how the wealthy really suffer from being overtaxed. I could probably sell it to the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies. Or, alternately, I could start a philanthropic society for starving billionaires, and so win a lifetime of free, honorary dinners at the chamber of commerce.
This is an interesting site. Essentially about medical issues, it puts them into a context with social issues.
Now, here's an interesting story from New York Times via Russia insider.
Here, I include a whole issue of Haarretz because it has far more coverage of the Charlottesville riot Than any other paper I have seen. In particular, Haaretz    picks ups on the role of neo-Naziis in the affair.

And open, Nazi role in this was prominent, so much so that Jews in Charlottesville hired private security firms to  protect their homes. Chalottesville was largely a product of the rise of Naziism in the U.S. - and notably so among supporters of Trump. Our press largely missed that. The Israeli press, understandably saw that immediately.
The purpose of government is to serve the people. It is almost unheard of for a government in Canada to do that. Almost of them, since 1867, have been in the service of the wealthy. Even confederation was accomplished to serve the interests of the wealthy in Canada and Britain. The concept of serving the people is quite absent in both the Liberal and Conservative parties. It still survives with the Greens and the NDP, but in both in quite inadequate form.

The wealthy have only one interest -making money for themselves. They have no interest whatever in the spread of poverty, the decreasing value of salaries, the looming chaos of climate change  - and no interest whatever in human life except, perhaps, in their own social circle.

For the rest of us, one reaction is to blame foreigners and to approve of killing them - a reaction which suits the wealthy just fine since it can be used to knock off their foreign competitors. That reaction includes "foreigners" who are treated as if they were foreigners though they have been in North Ameica for centuries. Thus the recent violence, largely against African-Americans, in the U.S. Watch for much more of this as American society melts down.

There is no industrial country that has treated its poor as shabbily as the United States has - though there are Canadians who would like to do so.  Watch for more from them, too, as they chip away at health care and education.

The Christian churches are no longer of much relevance in this world. Surveys in the U.S. show that observant Christians, especially the evangelical ones who support Trump, blame the poor for being poor. (They have no understanding, Christian or otherwise, of the impact of physical or mental illness or simply of childhood social environment in the creation of poverty.) And, certainly, they have shown almost no interest the issue of mass murder all over the world.

Christianity has become pretty much a dead letter except for those who think that getting dunked into a pool will guarantee them a spot in heaven.

Those political leaders who make a show of their Christian devotion (Trump and Bush spring to mind) are not heartening examples.

But Trump is not the cause of it all. We've been going in this direction long before Trump was even born. He is not the cause of social rot in the U.S. He's the product of it.

There are things we cannot do - and still survive. We cannot fight more wars That will inevitably lead to total destruction. We cannot create even more poverty without creating massive violence. We have to deal with climate change (and these isn't much time to deal with it.) We have to deal with world overpopulation - not to mention its companions - masses of refugees, and severe food shortage.

We are ignoring the things we must do. We are embracing the things we cannot do without destroying the world.

The answer should be obvious. But we don't look for the answer. We follow the lead of our billionaires who have never shown much intelligence.
Norbert Cunningham's commentary for today puts all the blame for the current crisis on the 'deranged' Trump and Jong-un. Nonsense. It would make far more sense to the put the blame 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Sermonette

A friend of my high school days was very, very religious. He belonged to the Pentecostal church and, after getting a degree he entered the Penecostal clergy to become a missionary in Congo where he would bring the savages to God.
Congo. That's the subject of a novel by Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness. It's not considered one of the hundred best novels in the English language.

Conrad spent some time there in the late 19th century after the European powers that had been conquering Africa generously gave Congo to the King of Belgium. And Conrad wrote of what he saw.

Congo was and is a land of magnificent resources. Many a billionaire was created by Congo. But none of them was ever a native of Congo. The Belgians proved to be perhaps the most vicious imperialists in the age of vicious imperialists that we still live in.

Conrad writes of the millions who were killed, tortured, or enslaved while digging up their own resources as gifts for the Europeans who, in return, sent them Bible stories. Heart of Darkness is the story of one of the most brutal periods of history.

And nothing has changed.

Though the Belgian influence has lessened, the brutality still goes on, and not just in Congo. I've been reading a sort of up to date version of Heart of Darkness. Conrad's novel was about Congo.  The new book is about mining in Latin America. It's by Todd Gordon and Jeffery R. Webber; and it's titled "The Blood of Extraction: Canadian Imperialism in Latin America". And it's all about Canadian big capitalism on that continent, companies like HudBay, Goldcorp, Barrick Gold, Nevsun,  and Tahoe Resources. All of them are owned, I'm sure, by respectable church goers.

And the Canadian governments have not been innocent onlookers. They have worked hard to discredit local protest against dreadfully low wages, highly destructive environmental damages, violence against protestors - and a discreet silence about the killing of protesters. No Canadian government has lifted a finger in the case of the murder of Raoul Leger - though they have all known about it. Indeed, the Canadian government has been a very active player in destroying democracies, and being a full partner of the mining companies. (That's why it never announced the murder of Raoul Leger of New Brunswick.
This book would a great gift to the special preachers at the Irving Chapel, and a fascinating topic for coffee and fellowship in 'the barn'.

And these Canadian mining companies operate all over the world. We are a major player in creating "Hearts of Darkness".

Makes ya wonder, don't it? Wouldn't it make more sense to send missionaries to the people who really need them?  You know,  the mining company executives. I think that's what Jesus would have done.

Friday, August 11, 2017

August 11: Thinking....

Nobert Cunningham, in his daily commentary for the irving press, says on Thursday that our schools should be teaching children to think. That was a brave thing to suggest because, if they did think, nobody would buy his paper. (One of Thursday's big, world news stories in his paper is that a truck in Arkansas spilled it's load of frozen pizzas all over the road. Wow! Gotta think about that.)

In all my life in  education as student and teacher, I cannot think of any level at which I was taught to think.  To memorize, yes. But think - very rarely. And, when I tried to teach students to think, I could expect fireworks from angry parents and educational authorities. Many parents - most - wanted their children to think as they did - which was not thinking at all.

As a university professor, I tried to build learning to think into my courses. But it's not as easy as it might seem. Inevitably, I was often teaching students to think as I thought - but, like other people, what I thought was affected by my social outlook and values. It was by no means the truth carved in stone.)

We are not computers. What we think is shaped profoundly by our religious, political, economic views - and by our natural  wish to fit in with everybody else.
All of us are shaped by daily propaganda from our news media, by hatreds of other peoples for various reasons, and by a forgetfulness about our own, thoroughly unChristian greed and brutality in Canada and all over the world. And what comes out of reading and hearing all this is not thinking, but reaction.  The result is that we react with fears and hatreds. (Wasn't it terrible how those Muslims killed 3,000 Americans on 911. But when the Americans killed millions of innocent Muslims and refugeed tens of millions? Dum de dum.)

Some Christians will line up in front of hospitals to denounce abortion. Those same Christians really don't care our modern warfare deliberately targets civilians, including babies and pregnant mothers. (Certainly, I've never seen them protest about it.)  Today, for example, the U.S. is deliberately starving millions of civilians, including babies - especially babies - to death in Yemen. So how come the anti-abortion crowd doesn't protest that? How come Norbert Cunningham doesn't write a column on how Canadians should send food for the starving in Yemen?

I  taught high school history early in my career. One thing I taught was World War 2. Let's see now, suppose I had taught what I know to be true. 1. The U.S. did not join the war until 2 1/2 years after it started. Want to know why the delay?  2. The U.S., especially big business, supported Hitler in the 1930s and later, supplied him with money and equipment. Why? Two reasons. 1. It didn't give a damn about Britain or Canada. 2. It WANTED HITLER TO DEFEAT RUSSIA. It was afraid of Russian communism (or any form of socialism) spreading. 3.

The real interest of the U.S. in World War 2 was to add China to the American empire. This was a long-cherished dream of billionaires - the China market. It's interest in Europe didn't develop until the Soviets started beating the Naziis. Then the concern of the U.S. because limiting the Soviet expansion.

In fact, the whole American navy, from 1919 on, was designed for fighting in the Pacific. That's why it turned to aircraft carriers, to supply ships that could keep fighting ships at sea for longer periods, to fighting ships of very long  range.

After the war, the victorious powers did NOT spread democracy over the world. They all split up the nations of  Africa to loot them; and they usually established dictatorships. The U.S. also re-established dictatorship in The Phillipines.  And it maintained dictatorships in South America like Cuba and Haiti - and it also established them in what had been democracies like Guatemala.

Can you imagine the effect that would have on parents of high school children?
I did teach them that in university. But that wasn't teaching them to think. That was just teaching them what I thought. And I was always careful to make it clear that there was a difference between that and teaching them to think.

I tried to encourage them to think. I did it by getting them interested, and willing to look at issues with an open mind, by encouraging them to disagree with me. But even that falls short of teaching them how to think. I'm not at all sure there is any mechanism you can create to teach people to think.

We aren't computers. We can't be programmed to think. (We can programmed to react by, say, propaganda, or by our fear of thinking differently from everybody else.) We can only be encouraged to think by speaking about things openly, and by encouraging others to respond with their own ideas.

But to do that they need to be encouraged to think - encouraged by news media, encouraged by tolerance for their views, encouraged by teachers AND by parents.
And that will be tough in New Brunswick because this is a province dreadfully served by most of its news media,  and one in which people are afraid to have an opinion that is not exactly like everyone else's.

Tell you what Norbert, you wrote a fierce and angry column on how our provincial government is overspending on frills like education and health? How about writing one on how our governments HAVE to overspend because the very wealthy don't pay taxes. They hide their money in tax  havens. They also constantly whimper for tax forgiveness on things like millions of dollars worth land, and for handouts for various projects. They're allowed to buy crown land at bargain basement prices.

Who knows? That might start people thinking.

No. I guess not.  Much nicer to go the Irving Chapel where there is no danger one will ever have to think.
I'm not sure why the following story should be a story at all. Civilians have been the major targets in wars going back to World War Two, and rising spectacularly in the Korean War when 30% or North Korea's population was killed. That's the reality of modern war.
Most papers, but not the irving press, have noticed the sudden surge of Haitians crossing from the U.S. into Quebec. The federal government has had to create a    town to hold some 500 of them just inside the border. Similarly, Montreal's Olympic stadium has been turn into a huge camp for them.

Why are they fleeing the U.S.? Probably because of American racism. Why did they flee Haiti? Because it has been ruled by U.S. dictators most of the last hundred years. And the dictators have kept the Haitians in poverty, ignorance and wretchedness for the benefit of American capitalists. (Though I have not seen a news report that says that. Most of them blame the Haitian  earthquake of some years ago.

Reaching Quebec may not end their problems.  Quebec, like most of Canada, has an ugly record of racism.
The general response to the North Korean crisis is that the North Koreans are crazy.  Well, yeah, after all they're foreigners. But why are they crazy for wanting a nuclear bomb when the U.S. feels it quite proper to have the world's largest arsenal of them?

And consider another possibility. China cannot afford to allow the U.S. to conquer a country on the China border. How would Americans react if China sent an army of conquest to Mexico? This is no time to play power games.
And here's another story of the U.S. record

And why was all this killing done? It was for the usual reason - like the killing in the American revolution, the genocide of native peoples, the conquests in  Latin America, in The Philippines, even the U.S. civil war. These were all to benefit the wealthy of the time. (Yes. Even the civil war. It was NOT fought to free the slaves. Lincoln did not announce that until well after the war had started.)
Here's an interesting look at New Brunswick. (Sorry. I meant to say Borneo.)
The irving press is a big buddy to propaganda 'think-tanks" like Atlantic Institute of Market Studies. They also play a powerful role in U.S. politics spreading propaganda for their masters who pay them. I guess that's what Norbert Cunningham would call teaching people to think.
Unnoticed by most of our news media, the lavish apologies and promises of just a few years ago to our indigenous peoples have added up to ---nothing. What do the Liberal Party and Prime Minister Trudeau think about these issues? So far, they aren't thinking about them. It's more important to spread photos of Trudeau jogging.
Geegollywhiz. We should try to get this guy for pastor at the Irving Chapel.
The Duran is a  very, very extreme right-wing news site. It is often simply a propaganda house - something like the irving press, but much much higher in its range of coverage.   Anyway, this commentary in it makes a lot of sense.
The  western powers have been monstrously abusing Africa for centuries. That's what the slave trade was all about - and the British, French, Italian, Belgian, Spanish and German invasions killed many millions, enslaved millions, plundered the land, impovershed the people and that we hailed as glory of god's will, and the splendour of the European military who bravely murdered, tortured, and plundered Africa. "For Britons, never, never, never shall be slaves...."

No, indeed. The U.S. joined the parade early with the slave trade, and has now joined in the general plunder and killing. The benefits have all gone to the super-wealthy.  But be aware that they would just as happily kill, torture and rob you.
That's why today, Africa and the middle east are so unstable and in chaos. We created that. God bless America.
The greed of our upper business class has created a wildly unstable world that, if left under their control will destroy all of us - including the very wealthy.
If you want to learn what's going on in Israel, don't waste your time on any North American news medium. They are all very much under the thumb of the so-called "Israeli lobby", capable of putting enormous pressure to make sure that only the 'official' version of news comes out of Israel.

Though I was routinely a speaker for large, Jewish audiences in Montreal, I was singled out by the "Israeli lobby" to get cut off from speaking, and also fired from radio (to be replaced by an Ultra Israeli lobby supporter.)

No, if you want to know about Israel, read the Israeli "Haaretz".
When the arab country of Quatar wanted to found a newspaper that would move that country into the 21st century, it turned to a Canadian CBC journalist, Tony Burman. He led the building of a news system that was to be a model of intelligence, fairness, and honesty for the world.

And he succeeded. Of course, that automatically meant it would be looked down on by the western world.

All Jazeera has slipped somewhat since its founding. But, if not as strong as Haaretz, it's still far superior to the commercial press of most of the world.
And here's Al Jazeera's take on a film that has been praised all over the western world.

I haven't seen the film. But parts of this review sound reasonable to me. Dunkirk did not save Britain. Quite the contrary, it was at Dunkirk that Britain lost the war. Churchill's speech on carrying on the war from Canada or Australia was absurd. Dunkirk was the crash of Britain and of the British Empire.

It would be rescued by  no, not by the U.S. or Canada. It was rescued by Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union. (No. It was not saved by the U.S. In fact, when the U.S. did enter the war, it did its best to help destroy the British Empire and to destroy Britain as a major power. That's why, in 1945, Britain effectively became a colony of the American Empire.)

Still, it might be a good film. We'll see. At the worst, it could be a reminder of how various parts of the world will see historical events quite differently.
Estimates are there are some 13,000 slaves in Britain. (Canadian and American jounalists haven't bothered to look in their own countries.) These are household slaves, sex slaves (many of themm children). Around the world there are uncounted millions of slaves, many of them kidnapped in the turmoil of our wars.
And here's some common sense that no western news medium would dare to deliver.

The world can look very different depending on where you are standing. That's why it can help to read Al Jazeera.
And then there's the CBC which Norbert Cunningham from his lofty  perch in irving press thinks is dreadfully inferior.        

Of course this can't be true. If it were, mr.  Irving would insist that his newspapers carry the story.
As a very unhappy footnote, it is quite possible that the U.S. is now making its final turn into fascism. And it's not just because of Trump. It's because capitalism requires fascism. Remember, the economic system that gave rise to Hitler and that supported him was capitalism. Ditto for Mussolini.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

August 9: If you want to be socially acceptable - don't think.

Here's a story that's a year old - one I missed at the time. In fact, It also connects with several stories at the bottom of the reading. It's a story of the absolute contempt the Irving family has for the people of this province - with a few examples of the Irving rip-offs which explain why New Brunswick government's can't balance their budgets.

Monday's paper is a prime example Irving contempt. It has no news whatever. The lead story is about hospital overcrowding. It's a story that has little useful information, no sense of anything to be done, but is grandly labelled EXCLUSIVE - as if anybody else would want it.

Then there's a story in adoration of a wealthy father (and his son) who are buying an old high school for renovation. And so it goes for page after page of non-news. This isn't a newspaper; it's a sleeping pill. Where is the (intelligent and honest) story about mining development in this province? Where is the story about how Irving (and other) funding makes it impossible for any party but the Liberals and Conservatives to win an election in this province? Where is the big story that we cannoit properly operate our hospitals or schools or universities because the very wealthy skip paying taxes? Where is the story about the health hazards in St. John because of you-know-who's pollution?

Then there's a commentary that looks useful, but isn't. It calls for more education aimed at specific job training to meet the needs of business. There's nothing wrong with that. But we also need far more people with training to think and to understand. This world won't last long without that. But all the commentator can see is the needs of big business.  (The great lesson for me in some fifty years of teaching is that teaching people to think is discouraged at all levels. We prefer to train robots.)

The Canada and World section has no news worth reading about Canada or the world - unless you really, really care That the mayor of Nashville has returned to work after her son died. The whole paper is designed to put the province into a stupor. And, in that respect, it's a great success.

The U.S. is in very, very serious political and economic trouble. Some leaders are trying to solve that problem with a world war. Greece has been destroyed by international bankers. The government of Ukraine is an illegal one controlled by international bankers and die-hard Naziis who have pretty much destroyed that country's economy - and the U.S. created it - and Canada has sent troops to the neighbourhood to fend off an invasion by Russia which, almost certainly, Russia has never planned. The real purpose of the Canadians is to be a provocation in the service of the U.S.

Trump is seriously thinking of war with North Korea - and guess who will be expected to contribute troops.  (And how come it's only American wars we send troops for now?) Europe is getting quite frightened by American behaviour, and much of it is looking to get away from American "protection". American foreign policies have been disastrous  since 1945, and especially since 2000. The result is that most of the middle east and Africa is in a hopeless chaos. Noticed any wise words (or any words at all) in the irving press about that?

No. These are newspaper designed to keep New Brunswick in complete ignorance. And, what a coincidence, the editor-in-chief is an Irving.
New Brunswick makes China look like a land of free speech and lively discussion.
Thanks to a reader, here's a full story of fake news in our time.

The same reader also pointed out that my count of countries which offer free, university education was a little short. I should have added Russia (for the undergraduate years), Austria and Belgium. And, as I read his note I remember the year I taught at a Dutch university. ALL students received a living income for their university years.

But not Canada or the U.S. we have to feed our very wealthy, first.
The big story in the world today was the developing crisis between the U.S. and North Korea. (Any use of nuclear weapons by either nation could turn into a world, nuclear war.)

It was obvious in 1945 that the world could not survive more use of nuclear weapons. But there has been no attempt by any government to put an end to them. So long as they exist, someday they will be used.
I am still not finding any helpful news about the violence in Venezuela.  I'm finding lots of propaganda. But no news. So here's a rough possibility.

Venezuela, historically, has been run by a small but very wealthy upper class - much like New Brunswick. Most people were very poor, and were kept poor. However, in the years following the Cuban revolution, Venezuela voters turned to socialism.

Living conditions improved enormously as the people of Venezuela got the benefits of the nation's vast oil reserves. The wealthy of Venezuela were not pleased. Nor were American capitalists pleased at this intrusion of socialism. And when its capitalists are not pleased, the U.S. has a long record of interfering.
Then, the world price of oil dropped dramatically. (That world price is not affected by the market, but more commonly by the oil bosses who see an advantage in it.) In the case of Venezuela, it made the country poor in quick order. And the poverty turned quickly to anger against the government.

Has the socialist government handled the situation badly? Yes.

Did the U.S. and the wealthy capitalists of Venezuela fan the flames of that anger? Did they help to create the mobs?

Do butterflies have wings?

And that, I think, is what is happening in Venezuela.

What next? I don't know. A strong possibility is a US military intervention that will be called a "peacekeeping force" may invade Venezuela. Canada may be asked to play a role - as it did when it got suckered into sending 'peacekeepers' to Haiti whose real job was to destroy democracy in that country. And, if asked, Justin will trip all over himself in his wish to obey.

Venezuela needs help for its people, not just for its wealthy.
David Suzuki used to appear twice a month in the iving press. But that ended some years ago. After all, he's just one of those mouthy scientists who don't understand the world as well as, say, the Atlantic Insistute of Market Studies does.
Our news media don't seem to mention the fact that the NAFTA trade deal gives business the right to pollute to its heart's content. And if we try to pass laws to protect ourselves, It can sue us for millions of dollars on the claim that our laws will reduce its profits. And the case is heard not by a national court but by a court owned by business.
A libertarian is a person who believes in liberty for the very wealthy at the expense of everybody else. They use think tanks like the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies and newspapers like the irving press.

Incidentally, today's irving press has a gem from the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies. It claims that raising the minimum wage would hurt employment. That's close to the 'thinking' of Norbert Cunningham - if you make the rich even richer, then we'll all get rich. Yes.

Gee. That must mean than lowering the minimum wage would create more jobs, and make us all richer. We could try that out by cutting the wages of all staff at the irving press.
And yes, "think tanks" like the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies flourish all over the world.
And here's a look at what us loving Christians are doing for the suffering all over the world.

If you want a real show, just wait until the refugees from climate change and starvation start coming.
I don't think the great minds at the irving press have noticed this story yet.
Trump has almost been destroyed by the Washington establishment and big business. At this rate, he cannot possibly survive his term. There is only one person who would be a superior president - Bernie Sanders. But there is no way the Washington establishment or big business will accept Sanders. As for the American people, they have been so long soaked in a propaganda image of what they and America are all about that they are nowhere close to seeing the reality.
(And I can assure you that the American news media will never support a Bernie Sanders.)
Large corporations just love to pay off university professors who write phony reports about how safe their products are. In my experience, and luckily, there are very, very few professors that will sell themselves like this. But these, not suprisingly, are the ones who get media coverage. All the honest ones, like David Suzuki, are dropped from the pages of the irving press.

In my early teaching and broadcasting years, I was approached by oil company pimps to write nice things about them. (And if I had, I might be a rich man today. Damn!)
I won't vouch for this article's estimate of the numbers killed by capitalism in Congo in the last 20 years. But I do know of the record of over a hundred years of murder, torture and abuse of the people of Congo. And the figure of recent deaths in this article is not an impossible one.
Another article by Suzuki that the irving press protected us from.  (The Canada&World section needed the space  for a real, world shocker - a woman in Toronto hit a dog.)
British Columbia is under pressure from oil companies to give them subsidiies to develop more oil fields in Canada. Fascinating how fearless, enteriprising, independent, big money corporations always want subisidies from the rest of us. They hate social programmes for the poor. But they just love them for the rich.
This next is a long one. Please bear with it.

We commonly have a false understanding of wars and what we did and what causes them and why. That happens because news media give us a simplistic account, and sometimes a lying one. It also happens because we always assume that our side was a good one, and that it was forced into war - as was the case with the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria......

It also happens because us humans like to fit in with mainstream thinking. In fact, we're afraid NOT to fit into it. But the wars against Napoleon did not occur simply because of the aggression of France. They were also cause by the aggression of England.  World War 1 did NOT happen because an archduke was murdered. And World War Two was NOT caused simply because of a Hitler turning Germans evil.

In fact, Hitler had good friends - on our side.....

Of course, it would be difficult for a school teacher to tell the truth about these wars. A problem schools have to deal with is that parents don't want the schools to teach children how to think. They want the schools to teach them to conform.
I learned that in my first year of teaching grade 7. I had taught my class some history that was true, but....... the principal called me into his office.

"Now, Mr. Decarie, we don't want to cause any disturbance, do we?  Of course not."

Monday, August 7, 2017

August 4: End Days in the U.S.

I never miss the irving press. It's always a world class stinker. The Saturday editorial, for example,  suggested we reduce the cost of university education in New Brunswick.

Rubbish! We're already in the hole because the wealthy don't pay taxes. And the irving press wouldn't dare suggest that they pay.  More advanced countries, like Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic,  Greece, Italy, Cuba, Mauritius and Argentina do offer free university education.

But here, in New Brunswick, we have corporation bosses who need to live in style. That's why we can't afford free university. It's also why our public school teachers are among the lowest paid in Canada. Hell, we can't even afford shelter for the homeless or a living wage.

And that's why our children in university carry heavy, heavy debt loads that will plague them for decades. So much for Norbert Cunningham's constant message that the wealthy make us wealthy. too.

Norbert Cunningham has a column criticizing the Trump presidency. Too bad he doesn't understand anything about the subject. His thesis is that Trump has destroyed respect for the U.S. all over the world.

Glad you noticed, Norbie. But respect for the U.S. died long before Trump. It was flagrantly destroyed by Bush and Obama - but it was already dead even before that. The greed of American corporations all over the world utterly destroyed any respect the U.S. had as early as the 1970s. And even that is being kind.

So let's look at what's happening, using the word populism. It's a word very big among journalists - though few of them know what it means. It's meaning is best understood  by starting with why populism happens.

It happens when large numbers of people lose faith in their ruling elite. So they turn to leaders who seem to offer an alternative.

Sometimes, not often, but sometimes they turn to a politician who does have something different to offer. In the U.S., Bernie Sanders is such a politician. He argues that governments have ignored human needs - like health, education, housing, a living wage - in order to serve the greed of the wealthy. That would called a populism of the left.

More often, a politician will invent a threat, meanwhile protecting the privileged status of the elite. Thus Hitler who, instead of addressing the real problem of the very wealthy in Germany, took advantage of the nation's racism and its fear of the Soviet Union. And that's called the populism of the right.

Trump is following Hitler's route. He capitalized on a great anger in the U.S. to build his popularity. But his supporters have not shown any understanding at what they should be anger at. Instead of demanding action against the billionaires and the politicians the the billionaire's own, they settle for racial hatreds buttered over with a primitive idea of what Christianity is.

So Trump has emphasized things like destruction of medicare, reduction of taxes for the wealthy.... and this is a right wing populism.

But Trump is not very good at the game. The elite are not pleased with him -as the German elite had been with Hitler. That's why Republicans who hated Obamacare voted to save it - to humiliate Trump. (I suspect the elite are displeased because they want war with Russia and China -and Trump seemed to be avoiding it.)

Result? The US will continue into a worsening chaos. Unless Bernie Sanders gets the next nomination. But, even then,  I've seen no signs of Democrats becoming anything but their old, corrupt selves. Americans hate. But they don't know yet what it is they hate. And that means severe disorder.

The U.S. (like New Brunswick) is behind most of the civilized world in social services, as in public educaton through to university, the constant attempts to dilute medicare, a living wage... This is the setting for a rise of populism, the overthrow of an elite. But it's not likely to happen. New Brunswickers, and maritimers in general, are terrified of having an opinion on anything. And they don't even want to hear that they have an elite that runs their province.
There's not much in the irving press. Brian Murphy writes his  usual column, guaranteed to say nothing and offend nobody.

 Steve Malloy was kind of neat,  though, in a column saying goodbye to the Boy Scout movement. My father was a  scoutmaster whose boys went off to war coming to our home one at a time to say thanks and goodbye). I was a Wolf Cub  (did, dib, dib dib..we'll dob, dob, dob, dob,) a Scout and a Senior Scout. As an historian, I came to reaize what a flake Baden-Powell was. But it was still all a good experience.
Let's start looking at the press with that class act, Haaretz.
Then there's the story about what country accepted and even welcomed Jewish refugees in World War 2. No. It wasn't Canada or Britain or the U.S. or Spain. After all, they were Christian countries. (Think about that.)
I'm running this next story though even the irving press should have enough wit to carry it. But we'll see on Monday.  I believe in miracles.

(note - the irving press did miss this story in its Monday edition.  It needed the space for the big, world news that Oland's lawyers want more time to set a trial date for him.)
Trump's sanctions on North Korea are almost guaranteed to make the situation worse. The U.S. is following its favouite policy of threats and aggression - which has rarely worked. Our hopes should be on the more initelligent course taken by China.
And this Canadian story made the British press - but not the irving press.
And here's a look at the behaviour of Canada's mining companies overseas. And don't assume they become good citizens and sweethearts when they operate in Canada.
Here's a story that has been known since the 1960s, at least - but has never been mentioned in our news media. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had nothing to do with ending the war or saving American lives. It was an experiment in the mass murder of civilians, something which has since become the preferred method of war for major powers. (That's why the U.S. is starving millions to death in Yemen.)

Wasn't it just terrible how those  terrorists killed 3,000 innocent Americans on 9/11?
And here's a story that hasn't received nearly as much attention in our news as it should. And it's much worse than this story suggests. Rising levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere mean less rain, and less rain means severely limited food production - this in a world that seems to have reached its limit in food production. Already, tens of millions are starving and homeless.

Add to that a rapidly growing world population. All  those will give us refugee problems on a huge scale - past tens of million to hundreds of millions and possibly a billion or more. They would come, largely, from Africa, the Middle East, China, India, Pakistan, South America, southern Europe, the American southwest.....Such massive migrations would flood many countries (like Canada), create wars whose major targets would be starving civilians.... And since the U.S. is already showing symptoms of climate change, it would be one of those countries looking for countries to invade for their water and arable land. (Canada springs to mind.)

Now, think of the mentalities (and morality)  of, say, oil barons who insist on relying on fossil fuels. And think of a president like Donald Trump.
In brief, Trump is pretty much destroyed as a president. He has become a comic figure,  an emperor with no clothes. That was the meaning of the defeat of his bill to end obamacare. It wasn't that Republicans voted for the right of Americans to get medical care. In fact, the Republicans have NEVER favoured medicare. And they couldn't care less about the needs of any American people except billionaires. The vote was to humiliate Trump, to destroy him as president. And it worked. He'll still be fodder for headlines - but those will just be gossip items.
His one chance to survive is to go to war against somebody - say, North Korea.
Other than that, he's simply gossip for people who have nothing better to talk about. The U.S. is now completely in the hands of the wealthiest, greediest, and most destructive people in the world.

But it almost certainly does not have the power for their intent to conquer the world. They can destroy it, all of it. But they can't conquer it.

We are being destroyed by the power of big business that operates far above our elected leaders. Their idea of the future is no regulation of business at all, just absolute power. So much for Norbert Cunningham's idiot belief that the rich create wealth for all of us.

As for American democracy, it never was entirely what it claimed to be. And we are now  almost certainly watching its end days.
Oh, big story on CBC news about Moncton. But the Moncton Times and Transcript missed it.

I don't see the problem. Those seniors could at last have a use for their Moncton Times and Transcript.

Friday, August 4, 2017

August 4: Don't Hit Me.

This is going to be a very difficult blog for me to write. I know some readers will be angry - mostly because they will read into it things I never said. It's not their fault. It's a natural way us  humans think. Not our fault. Instead of understanding what we read, we tend to react to it - commonly without understanding what it was that was said.

So please bear with me.

On radio, I once had a great argument with a journalist who believed that Hitler was a socialist. His party was, after all, the National Socialist Party.

In fact, his major supporters were big business in Germany and the U.S. And Hitler  hated socialism with a passion. Hitler's National Socialist party far more closely resembled Trump's followers in the U.S. In fact, it has resembled that of many world leaders before and since - and most of us people.

But our press never reported that, and it still doesn't. As is so common, we got fed with myths that shape our thinking to this day.

Here's an excellent site on what Hitler was about - and it is certainly a challenge to our attitudes.
At the bottom of the page is a site about Assad of Syria. Again, this is  very different image from the man in our newspapers.
It's important to understand this. Why? It's because news media, propaganda, and the natural desire to see our  own actions as good, and to see to see those of other nations as evil. But that image is seldom true.

Hitler invaded countries partly so that German big business could loot them, partly for their strategic value for even greater wars of conquest. We spoke then of  'brave little Britain" - which actually had done the same thing to 20% of the world, killing more people than Hitler did.

The British certainly never thought of themselves as a brutal and murderous people who engaged in slavery, in plundering resources, in forcing people to work for slave wages, in deliberately allowing huge populations to starve. This was done for centuries by many European countries. Even little Belgium  joined in murder, plunder, torture, killing millions in Congo. And that's still going on - with Canadian companies, too, involved. We've seen t he same with the U.S. in South America,  the Middle East, Africa - and now with the imposition of starvation on all men, women and children in Yemen.

Why do we do this? Because big business wants the power to loot and exploit those countries. These are all the same things that Naziism stood for. Funny how our Christian churches haven't noticed that. Of course, the Naziis killed freely, too.

But we are good. And they were bad.

We deplored the genocide of Jews?

Come off it. From 1900 to well after the war, most Canadians detested and discriminated against Jews. We did nothing whatever to help them though we knew what was happening. We wouldn't even help those who escaped. In fact, Canada has a horrible record of racism. It has  heavily discriminated against Jews, Chinese, Indians (from India), African-Canadians and our first nations. We did not go to war to help the Jews. In fact, Canada and the U.S. waffled between hatred and contempt for Jews. That's why,  to this day, Israel distrusts us, and has taken such an aggressive stance in the middle east.

After the war, automotive giant Henry Ford got the Medal of Honour for his contribution to the war against Hitler. Very nice.  But we all forget that,  before the war, he got ...

And so we forget that Ford had been a major supporter of Hitler. And he wasn't the only one. Many business leaders in Canada and the U.S.  rushed to support Naziism. They still do. That's why, when the U.S. overthrew the elected government of Ukraine, it placed a substantial number of Naziis in the new government. (There are lots of photos, never seen on our TVs, of some regiments in the Ukrainian army that have large swastikas on their helmets.

And when the world war 2 ended, we righteously held courts that tried and hanged the obvious villains. But our news media didn't  notice those who were NOT tried, including the big businessmen in Germany - and the big businessmen in Germany and many countries, including the U.S., who helped Hitler to gain and hold power, commit war crimes,  and who even supplied the German army.

Hitler's National Socialist Party was not socialist at all. it was a product of capitalism.

And so the world continued after the war.

Oh, we're different because we have democracy? Um, not really.

The people who own our news media feed us propaganda and ignorance. Nations in which the people have no idea what is going on cannot possibly be democracies. The vote means nothing, especially when so many of the major parties are controlled by big business.

And the U.S., which preaches democracy, has been happily destroying democracies all over the world and setting iup dictatorships all over the world.
Hitler was nothing new for the world. Many, many rulers have been just like him. Take Trump. The friend of big business who wants to get rid of regulations that control them, wants to get rid of taxes for them, that happily invades countries to meet the wishes of big business. Like Hitler, he plays to a racism - this time Muslims and Mexicans -  that is already there. And it's not just Trump. He's the product of years of Naziism, not the cause of it.

The reality is we live in a state remarkably similar to that of Hitler.

Yes, yes, I know. This is an insult to our veterans. (and if you believe that, it's the old human problem of reacting rather than thinking.) I knew many of the veterans, including my father. There was nothing Nazi about them. They believed (because that's what we told them) they were fighting for a better world And we betrayed them. It's certainly not they who are at fault. It's us.

The Canadian Legion, alas, always jumps into these issues on the side of those who really run this country. And when it does that, it lets our veterans down.
Did they fight so we could send troops to Afghanistan? It was an illegal war. And, if it was worth the lives of those who died, why did we quit in the middle of it? And why do we illegally have troops in Iraq? And why did we illegally bomb Libya? This is not at all the world we said we were fighting for in the 1940s.

And why haven't our news media asked those questions? And why do we restrict our remberance of those who served to one day a year? Why don't we really think of what they died for? And what we should now do in their honour?
This is no climate change. We know that because if there were the irving press would tell us.
Nah. it's just ignorant gossip. Besides, we need more pipelines. They create jobs.
Nest is a modest statement of what's going on in the world. And, yes, Canadian companies have been involved. We still have lots of Hitlers in this world.
The tale of murder involves Guatemala where New Brunswick's Raoul Leger was murdered. The Canadian company involved is Tahoe Resources. Think of that the next time you're listening to the "special music" at the Irving Chapel next Sunday. Leger's grave is just down the street.

Go to google. Type Tahoe Resources board. See the nice, smiling board members. And be sure to check the section called 'social responsibility' with all its pictures of smiling workers. It makes me proud to be a Canadian.
Recently, a BC court agreed to hear a complaint against the Guatemala mine for human rights violations. Funny how it never made the irving press.
Black Lives Matter is aimed abuse of Blacks in the U.S. (Canada could use a version of it.) It can be difficult to find the articles you want. But it's the only good source of its type that I know.
The language in this next piece is a bit loaded, but the general message is quite right. The sanctions against Russia are extremely unwise. Europe is getting very worried about the seeming lust of the American government for war with Russia. Watch for Europe (but not Britain) to work its way out of the American embrace.
For Britain, alas, the glory days of empire are gone. It now has to kiss up to the U.S. to survive - which must be particularly galling to many British who know that the U.S. took a major role in destroying the empire.
I would take the article below on Venezuela with a grain of salt - but also with some respect. I can't pretend to have full understanding of what is going on in that country. According to our news media, the government of Venezuela is bad, bad, bad. Maybe it is. But remember that that  U.S. has been interfering in Venezuela in the way it has always interfered with South American governments that want to serve their people. It has routinely murdered, invaded - and the North American press has been obedient.

Certainly, the idea that the U.S. would intervene for the sake of the people of Venezuela is absurd. For over a century, it has murdered, starved, and plundered nations all over South America. And it has routinely set up dictatorships. And very murderous ones.

I really have no clear idea of what is happening. But this item is here the 'other side we are not hearing about."
This is a left-wing site. I confess to preferring left-wing sites to right-wing ones. For a start, the right is solidly in power across Canada and the U.S. All of our  commercial news media are right wing. So left-wing sites are the only ones we have to offer criticism.
The following report is a warning about Alberta oil pipeline spills that have happened, and which will contiue to happen for firty years of the news pipelines' life. But not to worry. If we go on using oil that long, there will probably be no life to worry about.
The Christian churches, particularly those that attack abortion, have been pretty silent on what's going on in the world - as silent as German churches were on the rule of Hitler. Luckily, Pope Francis has been a breath of fresh air.

How is it possible that Christian societies can be so greedy and murderous? And how come so few of the clergy have noticed it?
The following story should be food for thought for Canadians. Have you noticed how our own politicians (and news media) have been friendly to the wishes of the energy industry?
Here's one that's friendly to Trump. And I would agree that Trump was on the right track in seeking to be more cooperative with Russia and China. But I don't think big business is interested in cooperation.

So now we are measurably closer to the war that nobody can win.
The source of this one is a Russian leader. That doesn't mean he's automatically wrong.
The very wealthy are in full control of most of the world. The danger of war comes because they - all over the world - are the ones who see conquest as being good. The world has to re-establish control of its own governments.

And be assured the greedy will not do that for us.