Monday, October 30, 2017

Oct. 30: Our Fading Chances.

Early in my teaching days, back when I thought history books told the truth, I used to teach that Canada became a commonweath nation in 1930, and so had the right (and duty) to decide for itself whether it would go to war. In fact, we made quite a show of it, delaying our declaration in 1939 to demonstrate our independence.  But our recent behaviour has been questionable.

Chretien sent troops secretly to Afghanistan BEFORE consulting parliament. And nobody said a word.  We've  had troops training Iraqis - and that's legal (if questionable) because the Iraqi government approved it. However, we also assigned troops as trainers to the rebels in Syria.

And that was illegal.

If you send troops without the consent of the government of the nation they are going to, that is war. You can do it. But you need to declare war. We didn't.   (The excuse of the government has been that they weren't engaged in fighting. But that doesn't matter. You cannot legally send troops into a foreign country without its consent. That's an act of war. And we didn't declare war.

Worse, Canadian aircraft bombed Syrian targets without the Canadian people or their  parliament having any say in it. Still worse, we bombed Libya, again without the consent of parliament or the Canadian people.

We are now threatening action against Venezuela. Has Venezuela threatened Canada? No. But it is disliked by major U.S. and Canadian oil bosses. So it is quite possible that Canada will commit troops. Will it declare war? I doubt it. In any case, we have no legal right to declare war on Venezuela. It is, in no way a threat to Canada.  And, despite American delusions on this subject, we have no right to change a government because the U.S. oil kings (and ours) don't like it.

Most wars are decided not by nations but by the giants of the oil industry. They decide who will be killed and who will do the killing. That's what all the fighting the Middle East is about. That's what the fuss over Venezuela is about. We have joined in the killing of millions so the oil industry can build profits (without paying taxes.)

I remember visiting Canadian war graves in Europe. I saw the graves of Bertie, a sixteen year old who died screaming for his mother. And there were Clifford and Jack who had dropped by our house when I was six or seven to say goodbye.

I don't know why they risked their lives. But I don't think it was to boost the profits of oil companies. Today, that is all we fight for. And, far from exercising our right to decide when we shall go to war, the U.S. tells us what to do.

Nov. 11 walks a very fine line. It honours, as it should, those Canadians who served. But too often, it also glorifies war. And our new media help that process by telling us stories of how other people are evil. And those evil people are usually the ones who had the misfortune of being born in land that has oil that western oil companies are plundering.

In reality, the biggest killers of the last 500 years have been western Christians.

So, by all means, remember those who served. But play down the glory. And be a hell of a lot more careful when we next decide to go to war.

Yes. The holocaust of Jews, Romas and others by Hitler was one of the most dreadful events in history.   (And we should remember we had a hand in it because we refused to help the Jews when we could have saved many of them.)

But what was done to the Jews scarcely justifies what Israelis are doing to Palestinians. And our news media lie to us by not telling us about this.

We're pulling our special forces out of Iraq? Good to hear it. Next, it would be nice to hear why they are there in the first place.

Iraq was run by a dictator who was brutal. He was supported and armed by - wait for it - the U.S. It was the U.S. who equipped him to fight a dreadful war for it against Iran. The U.S. wanted that because the people of Iran had been foolish enough to overthrew a brutal dictator the U.S. had imposed on them. The U.S. wanted control of Iran's oil. Gee. Who would have guessed?

Their Iraqi puppet lost the war. Worse, he began acting independently of the oil interests. So George Bush decided to invade. Saddam Hussein was captured and tried - not by a real court, and not by an international one. He was tried by a military court so they could quickly hang him.

So why did Canada send any troops at all? Because the oil companies wanted Canada to send them. Canadians were there to help mop-up a blood bath created to make oil companies richer.
And here's the truth our news media never told us about the Syrian War. The reality is that, like him or not, Assad is the legitimate president of Syria. The 'rebels' who rose against him are a small minority who were financed by the U.S.   (again from tax dollars - to help out billionaires who don't pay taxes.)

Not only are the rebels a tiny minority; many of the them were connected to ISIS. And, in fact, the U.S. supplied ISIS  (the terrorists, we were told) with lavish supplies of weapons to invade Syria. That whole war with its half a million dead has been set up to benefit oil barons.

Incidentally, ALL wars are terrorism on BOTH sides. The Christian west has been waging terrorist wars aimed at civilian killing and torture for over a century. Extreme Muslims have caught on to it only lately.

A nice gesture for this Nov. 11 would be for our news media to tell us the truth about who we are fighting wars for and why.

Let's skip the tunes of glory. And beware of overenthusiastic patriots.

On Nov. 11, remember those who served. And give a thought of remembrance to those who get rich out of wars. Almost all wars have been wars to steal on at least one side - and often on both.

Fighting wars takes piles of money. It also takes thousands of trucks. It takes billions of rounds of ammunition. It takes money for the troops. It takes huge supplies of oil.  ISIS and other terrorist organization fight big wars. And that means lots of money and supplies.

So where is ISIS getting all this? Does it have huge factories building trucks? Monster munitions factories? Huge, international banks with tons of money?


It has us - and other friends. Much of the money and equipment comes from - yes - the U.S. - and from allies like Turkey and Britain and Saudi Arabia (all on our side.)  Funny how our news media never mention that.

The U.S. was financing and supplying outfits like Taliban back in the 1970s when it was fighting  Russia. And, in general, WE are big supporters of Muslim terrorists.

The game is simple. Western ig business, especially oil,   creates wars like the one in Syria. It supplies the terrorists    because we don't want to do the fighting. Then it says we have to fight those Muslim terrorists because they're evil.

But you won't find much about that in our news media. (you won't find anything about it in the irving press.) We create wars. We turn loose barbarism. Then we accuse the other side of being evil.

Once the terrorists accomplish what big oil wants - or once  they don't - then we are told they're evil and we have to kill them.

The derailment of an oil train in Lac Megantic killed 47 people. No big deal. The only people facing trial are a few small fries. The government isn't really touching anybody else.

Our levels of political and business immorality are pretty astonishing.

The greed of the very wealthy has always hurt all of us. There was a short period after World War 2 when government did make some effort to share the wealth of this country. But the greedy have long since taken charge - and it's going to get worse.

Sears is a prime example of greed run wild. The senior execs who ran the company into the ground got goodbye kisses of  five million and more each. But thousands of workers were just dumped.  And pensioners lost their pensions.

We've been here before. We seen this greed before, and we've seen the suffering it causes. Give most of the very wealthy an inch, and they'll leave us in the gutter. They did it in 1929. And it's shaping up again.   

Oh, yeah. a footnote to the day's news. There's a new scheme to build a pipeline from Alberta to New Brunswick, this time through Maine. Well, that will be just in time to celebrate our record year for  carbon dioxide poisoning in our atmosphere.

It will kill the wealthy, too, of course. But the wealthy have never been intelligent enough to realize that. It's an old pattern throughout history. - a wealthy class that goes from generation to generation, convinced of its superiority to commoners and of its right to govern. But, generation after generation, it gets progressively more bird-brained until the whole system comes crashing down.

As I looked at the following story, if occured to me I had never seen this side of North Korea in our press. What we have seen is a tiny North Korea that intends to destroy the U.S.  Yes, it does. And the poor U.S. has only 7,000 nuclear missiles to defend itself. And we have seen a North Korea that the U.S. wants to plunge into ever deeper poverty with trade sanctions.

Actually, it would be quite easy for arrange a peace between the U.S. and North Korea. North Korea is not looking for a war. A U.S. pledge to cut back on its constant military provocation of North Korea, and to relieve its trade sanctions  (and mind its own business) would probably do the job.

But the U.S. doesn't want that. No. American big business wants to control the world, including China. And North Korea is the key to China.

And, okay, it's  true that kim Jung has a silly hairdo.  Not at all like the elegance and grace one sees in Donald Trump.

The U.S. has never recognized that, until the Castro revolt, Cuba was a place of horror - a source of desperate poverty as American companies relied on a dictatorship of thugs to terrify Cubans into accepting starvation wages. American corporations were free to plunder, rape, murder and were, thanks to U.S. military power, masters of a slave state - as they were are still are in much of Latin America. We get little to no sense in our news media of what horrors American (and some Canadian) corporations inflict on those countries.

As you read the following, don't kid yourself that it's much better in Canada. And childhood poverty often means poverty forever.  It's destructive of education. It's destructive of adult behaviour. It's destructive of self-esteem.

American capitalists have not learned (and will not learn) that it is none of their business who any foreign nation chooses to be governed by. It routinely invades other countries to force them to serve the interests of American business. Like every vicious, degrading and murderous empire in history, the U.S. empire believes it has a right to tell others how to run their own countries. In the American view, this is often seen as an American right - and only an American right. It has connections with the common view that Americans are God's chosen people.

For Syria, however, it is obvious to the whole world that Assad, like him or not, is the one with far the most popular support.

It's been depressing to write this one today.

A century ago, our rates of poverty were high. The wealthy owned our governments. Wars were fought, nations were destroyed, millions were killed, millions more were enslaved are pressed into cheap labour to satisfy the greed of an old world. The leader then was Britain, with all the benefits of conquest going to a ruling class of aristocratic twits and a rising class of wealthy capitalists whose daughters the aristocratic twits married to maintain their airs.  (Winston Churchill's parents were prime examples of the breed. His father marred a very wealthy American woman to sustain his expensive palace. Then the two set off into spectacular sex lives away from each. And neither paid the slightest attention to their son.)

World War Two was fought, we assured our serving people, to put an end to that. But now,   with remembrance day near, we are back in a very similar hole. U.S. capitalists have been telling American governments what to do  (to make the wealthy even wealthier.)

Our capitalists of today are as greedy, as immoral, as cruel as any of our aristocratic rulers.

Since World War Two, with its promise to end wars, we have fought constant wars, all of them wars of pure greed. That's what the middle east wars are about. Greed and nothing else. (So we kill Muslims,  men, women and children, and refugee tens of millions of them, - and then say they're the ones who are evil.)

We have made little of the progress we should have made in education for all, health care for all, basic living standards. And we have made no progress at all in the horrors we inflict on other countries.

After centuries of experience of their intellectual and moral corruption, New Brunswick continues to vote for Liberals or Conservatives, as Canada does. And Canada continues to run like a dog, sniffing at the rear ends of its Republican and Democrat masters.

We have, indeed,  given big business more anti-democratic powers than it has ever had before.  And where will that take us?

Either to a world nuclear war or one hell of an economic crash - probably both.

And our Christian churches? They are the rear-end kissers they have been throughout history. Americans, and many others in the western world, are trained by the churches as much as any agency to hate people who are different. As a result, most American Christians have no sense of their own evil, though they are well-schooled in seeing evil of other religions. And this is exactly what Christian Britain was like in the days of its empire. Christianity, historically,  has been used to justify the brutal treatment of most of the world.

Worse, we kill ourselves with fossil fuels and chemically soaked forests and fields - all at the wish of the wealthy bastards who have destroyed whatever democracy we had built.

The difference, as we come to this crunch, is that there will not be a second chance this time.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Oct. 27: Why the 'other side' is always evil.

Would Canada torture people?  You bet. The Canadian government cooperated fully with the U.S. forces in torturing Afghanistan prisoners.

Big oil companies get a free ride in Canada. Gee! Who woulda guessed. And this doesn't  even count the ones who hide their profits in secret bank accounts.

The next one is a gem. Four years ago, an oil train being shipped to New Brunswick exploded in the town of lac Megantic, killing 47 people and causing billions of dollars in damage. Here is the CBC report on Irving's guilty plea, and the fine of 4 million dollars. It also very clearly states that Irving oil was entirely responsible for that tragedy. It ignored normal safety practices -  either because it was cheaper to do so or because nobody gave a damn. And so 47 were killed.

If you had killed 47 people by neglect of the laws, do you think you would get off with a fine?

But this CBC report was too damning for the irving press. No. This called for a report from the journalists at irving press. It appeared today on the first page----AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE, and in one of the shortest stories of the whole, first section.

It touched very lightly on the major points - that 47 people had been killed, and  that Irving Oil had got off with a four million dollar fine for breaking the law and killing those people. No. Half the story is devoted to  an irving statement that it really didn't do anything wrong, and that it really, really, truly believes in oil safety.

Following this is a much more important and bigger story on page 3 - a local high school student is going to Ottawa for the national Remembrance Day ceremonies.
The following section may be a bit long.

Here are my own thoughts on the future of Canada. To see that future, go back in history to what might have been the greatest event of the 19th century - the unification of Germany in 1871.

That unification plunged terror into the hearts of British capitalists. With their empire, Britain was the world leader of capitalism. Of course, most of the British population got nothing out of that but poverty, slums and short lives. But the wealthy British lived in palaces paid for with plunder all over the world from the empire. That's why a Winston Churchill  could spend his childhood running through the magnificent halls of his family home - Blenheim Palace.

But a united Germany would soon be a major industrial power in its own right. That would challenge British capitalists - much as a rising China now challenges American capitalists. From that day of the unification of Germany, plans were set for World War One.

There was also another worry for British capitalists -  U.S. capitalists didn't just want their 13 colonies. They wanted everything to the Pacific coast and the Arctic ice cap. Thus the invasion of Canada in 1812, followed by a Mexican war to steal what is now Texas, Arizona, southern California, etc....  Thus the 'Indian wars'.

Well, of course. For all their warring against Britain, the Americans of the time were British. Its capitalists, just like the British ones, wanted their own empire. And they were every bit as brutal, murderous and racist as their British counterparts were.

And that worried the British Empire. British capitalists, while making some money out of Canada, also knew the U.S. was a far, bigger market. And it was afraid of another U.S invasion  (especially after the Fenian Raids). If it did invade, Britain would have to defend Canada - and, Canada, alas, wasn't worth the cost of defending it.

Another matter of concern to Britain was the U.S. annexation of Hawaii very late in the nineteenth century. Why would the U.S. annex Hawaii? And why would it build it major naval base way out there in the Pacific. (I know of no other country that has had its major naval base so far from home.) But there was a reason for it.

Hawaii would give the U.S. a base for invasions of China, French Indo-China (Vietnam), The Phillipines. In other words, the U.S. was building a commercial empire to surpass that of Britain.

All of this is why,  in the late nineteenth century, Britain was seriously thinking of how to get rid of Canada. But then another truth hit home.

A war with Germany was coming. A united Germany was becoming a competitor for British markets. And Britain by itself - and even with French allies - was in no shape for a war with Germany.

It needed Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India on its side to provide troops. But Imperial practice was that the colonies, while officially at war when Britain was, did not have to take part in any war - unless the colony itself was invaded.

So Britain needed a precedent for colonial troops going to war. That precedent was the British declaration of war against the Boers of South Africa. Britain, with the full cooperation of the colonial news media, turned on the propaganda taps for the colonies to help with the invasion of South Africa. Appeals were made to share in the glories of empire.

And it worked. Colonies all over the world sent troops to fight a war that had nothing to do with them. And so the groundwork was laid for a war to destroy Germany before it could become a major, market competitor.

The U.S. did not join that war until very late - 1917. Of course not. Why should it? I'm not even sure why it did join in the end.   (There was an official reason, of course. But official reasons are usually propaganda.) I suspect it had more than a little to do with the strides Britain was making in getting control of Middle East oil. The U.S. was already moving in on the middle east as early as 1912.

It also had to do with a large U.S. war debt to American capitalists. A defeat for Britain would have been a heavy blow for them.

In our newspapers, World War One was a war against evil.  In fact, one side was as evil as the other.  Almost all wars in history have been caused by greed. World War One was no exception.

When the war ended, Britain began losing interest in Canada. That's why, in 1931, Canada was given independent status as a Commonwealth country. But that soon changed as a renewed Germany appeared.

I guess that's why,  on my first day of school, I learned to salute the Union Jack, and recite "I promise allegiance to this flag, and to the Empire for which it stands."  Britain needed us to fight another war for it.

But it took a while for that to sink in. At first, many western leaders were very happy at the rise of Hitler. Indeed, they helped finance his rise. Hitler was going to be the barrier against those evil Soviets, and stop communism from sneaking in.

(Oh, yes. Canadian, American and British capitalists knew that Hitler was abusing and murdering Jews. But that didn't matter. Most of them were as anti-semitic as the Naziis were.)

The decision to go to war was, therefore, made late. Again, the U.S. did not enter. Of course not. A British defeat would suit the U.S. fine. Then its capitalists could move in and take over the British Empire. Meanwhile, American manfacturers would get lots of British military contracts. (Much of this was overseen by the U.S. ambassador to Britain who used his position for personal profit. He was an ex-bootlegger whose son became President John F. Kennedy.)

The U.S. would later enter the war. But the major reason it did was because it wanted China - and Japan seemed likely to take it.  (Yes, I know there was an attack on Pearl Harbour. But the U.S wanted a war because it wanted China. That's why it had embargoed oil for Japan, and that's why Japan attacked Pearl  Harbour. It knew it could not defeat the U.S. unless it took out the American aircraft carriers - but the carriers weren't home that day.)

When the war ended, most of  the British empire was exhausted. That was when the U.S. really moved in on Middle East oil. It had also warned Britain not to retake its headquarters for the China trade (Hong  Kong). But Churchill ignored the order. And so the U.S. lost out on its bid to conquer China, a loss underscored when mainland China eventually kicked the British out, too.

But the world had changed for Canada, too. When the British fought colonial wars after 1945 to regain lost colonies, Canadians did not join them. The days of fighting British wars were over because, for Canadian big business, we needed to fight American wars.

And so it is that Canada sent troops to die in Korea, Afghanistan, Libya. And so we have them posted in Latvia. That's why Canada is making noises about how evil the government of Venezuela is. The loyalty to the crown of the first half of the twentieth century has replaced by 'doing our bit' to help the U.S. bring peace and joy to the world.

The 'enemy' is, of course, evil. The 'enemy' always is. That hasn't changed.

For the same reason, Britain now has to fight American wars. Thus its large commitments to Afghanistan and Iraq.

And the other side in our wars, any other side, is, as it always has been, evil.

So what will happen to Canada?

We are on a treadmill that can lead only to destruction. We threw away the chance and the real possibility of creating a world of peace after 1945. Instead, we have just replaced murderous old empires with murderous new ones.

And there is no future for Canada in fighting the wars of a dying American empire. For a start, we need to detach ourselves from American control. And we desperately need to diminish the power held over us and our lives by big business.

Well, I said it was long.
Remember how the Ukraine had a rebellion - and we were told that this was the people rising against the evil, elected government?  Well, it turns out that the the rebellion was set up and financed by the U.S.,  that the elected government was replaced by one with lots of naziis onside.

And Canada has troops in Latvia - not enough to change anything, but enough to get killed.

Life in Yemen - as created by the world's most rigidly Islamic government and by it's most ardently Christian government - with a little help from Canada.

Canadians would never use torture? Actually, we've been using it for years.

For the last seventy years, the U.S. has been the world's most aggressive nation. It has killed about 25 million people - and that's a conservative estimate. The money spent on war goes largely to a small number of multi-billionaires (most of whom don't pay taxes) , and it also means there is little money for education or  health care.

Is that what you think World War Two was fought for?
Our news media haven't told us much of what China's President Jin Ping is about. Here is a pretty thorough outline of it. (I don't yet have an opinion on it. And least some of it seems self-contradictory.)

Trump's spiritual adviser has advised him that God has given the okay to nuke North Korea. That's really an old theme in American history. God wanted the U.S. to have slaves. God wanted the U.S. to kill native peoples. God approved the murder of 200,000 Maya Guatemalans.

The U.S. really needs an updated version of the Bible so its hypocrisy won't be so obvious.
The reality of our society is that we do not have equal opportunity. We do not have equal rights. Education, for example, is not equally available to all. Nor does it necessarily matter if one has an education. The wealthy can be morons - but get to attend private schools from which they can go to universities, then drop out half-way through to take over one of daddy's businesses. It happens all the time.

It's an economic and social system that has always broken down in the end. But we keep repeating it.

New Brunswick is not, of course, the only place where the rich are pampered and poor arrested. But it is a notable place for half-wit writers of opinion columns to feed us the bilge that when the rich get really, really rich, we all benefit.

Like hell we do.

Remember the fundamentals. Almost every war in human history has been fought for the economic benefit of a small, upper class. That upper class, typically born wealthy, usually believes itself to be superior to other humans. And the rest of us commonly accept that. And that's why wars are fought.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Oct. 25: Let's Think About Nov. 11 and Our War Dead.

Readers of this column who do not have access to the Brunswick News chain are missing a daily diet of pure idiocy. The latest star of this phenomenon is an oil CEO named Bill Whitelaw.

His first column, about a week ago, showed promise of his powers of inanity. And today's established him as a master. He says that he would like to see the oil/environment issue settled by family discussions. Yes. We all get together across this great land for family reunions at Christmas. Why not use this to have family discussions over the turkey about oil and the environment? Then we could all agree on a common ground.

Uh, Bill baby... Has it occurred to you there is no common ground. Sometimes - often - one side is right and the other is wrong. You've heard of World War 2, Billy?  You think maybe we should have reached a compromise on how many people Hitler would have been allowed to kill?

And how are all those people going to have a compromise discussion when all the news media are owned by the same people who own the oil industry and keep them in ignorance of what the issues are?

In summary, he says, "Take ten family reunions across Canada next year and ask people, over beer and barbecue, to formulate an energy strategy to serve the country's economic and environmental aspirations for the next 20 years."

This guy must be a gem at board meetings.

P.S. Most families don't have reunions across this great land. They can't afford the travel costs. Unlike oil executives, they don't get free travel grants.

Quebec has passed a law requiring Muslim women wearing the nigab to remove it when dealing with the public service. That's interesting.

In the whole world, I believe Quebec is the only jurisdiction to have such a law. (For a very orthodox Islamic woman, to remove her veil is rather like asking a Christian woman to take off her dress and underwear for identification.)

But the most interesting part of this law is that no other province in Canada, no state in the U.S., and no country in the world that I know of has such a law. So why Quebec?

I lived most of my life in Quebec. I have never heard of any law in the Province that placed any restrictions on the Catholic church. I can remember that some (very few, but some) nuns wore veils. There was never a law against that. I can remember that Jewish students were forced to attend Protestant public schools and were not permitted in Catholic ones. I can remember that African students, with very few exceptions, were not permitted in most public schools, and could not teach in the public schools until 1960.

So what's the real cause of the fuss about Islamic women and the nigab? The real fuss is that Quebeckers, both French and English, have a strong tendency to racism. And, indeed, the strain runs right through Canada. Almost every immigration into Canada has given rise to bigotry because we don't like people who are - different.

Canadian bigotry toward Jews dates back to the early 1900s. Canadians refused to accept Jewish refugees until well AFTER World War Two. We even refused to accept those who escaped the death camps.

Canadian universities, until well after World War Two, had a quota - a very low one - in accepting African Canadians. Nor were they allowed to play in the NHL until quite recently. And so we have treated many waves of immigrants - Italians, Hindus, Chinese,...Muslims. But,  though it was unofficial, even us kids knew that priests travelled for free on public transit. We saw it. Even the separatist movement was strongly characterized by racism.

All that is what the new Quebec law is about - bigotry and racism.

George H.W. Bush didn't just prod women in the rear and tell them dirty jokes. He also was a major figure in the massacre of 200,000 Maya in Guatemala. But George Jr. beat him with his massacre of over a million Iraqis.
Here's a problem of capitalism in Britain. But it applies equally to Canada, the U.S., most of the world and, probably, to both China and Russia. We have permitted the growth of a capitalist class that is greedy, murderous - and not very bright.

But don't expect any action from the Liberals or the Conservatives.

The Syrian war was created NOT by Assad. It was created by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. They financed, armed and trained the 'rebel' forces. Soon, those forces included jihadist terrorists. IS was largely a creation of the U.S.

Your oil companies at work.

Whatever our feelings about it might be, China is quite likely to be THE major world power within twenty years, especially as the U.S. falls into disarray. And this poses more than a few questions for us.

The first one is based on the fact that the U.S. has wanted control of China for a century. British control of China had been the major profit maker of the British empire. And US capitalists wanted that. That's why the Japanese invasion of China sparked nervousness in US business circles. They wanted it for the U.S. That's why the U.S. supported Chiang Kai shek in the Chinese civil war. That's why it fought the Korean War - to use North Korea as the stepping stone to China. That's why Trump is even now making noises about attacking North Korea.

There is no guarantee that China will become the major world power. Lots of things could interfere - like climate change. But it is also likely that U.S. capitalists will demand war with China within, at most, a decade.

But the U.S. is probably not capable of a conventional war against China. (After all, it can't handle Afghanistan....) So that would mean a nuclear war.

Much of Canada's energy has been spent in fighting other people's wars. Beginning in 1900, we fought Britain's wars. (Yes, I know there was a need to fight World War Two. But the U.S. didn't fight that war until 1942. Why the delay? Because the U.S. had no intention of fighting wars for Britain.) It joined the war only when there was a U.S. stake in it. Canada entered from the start because it's wealthy were heavily dependent on the British Empire.

But, after the war, Canada's wealthy depended on the U.S. market. So, starting with Korea, we fought wars for the U.S. That's what Afghanistan was all about. And Libya. That's why we have troops in Latvia. That's why we have 'trainers' in Syria. And that's why we're now encouraging revolution in Venezuela.

God bless Donald Trump says Trudeau.

The European parliament has voted to ban glyphosate. Nobody in the New Brunswick news media or the Liberal or the Conservative party has demonstrated either the intelligence or the integrity to question its use in the province. No. New Brunswickers accepted the firing of their Chief Medical Officer, and decided to accept the judgement of a greedy, university dropout.

Climate change is already having drastic effects on where and how people can live in the U.S. And it's going to get much, much worse. So where will millions of refugees from Texas and California and Oregon and the midwest move to?

They will go north to a land where climate change is not so marked. And so we will see a joyful union of North America as the U.S. insists that Canada become part of the U.S.

We might remember this next item about Canada's involvement in the attack on Libya. We might remember it on Nov. 11.  Our soldiers, we often say, fight for Canada. But what did Libya  (or Afghanistan or Latvia) have to do with Canada?

The reality is we murdered people to kiss up to the U.S. government and its oil barons.

(And the Halifax Chronicle-Herald is by no means a radical paper.)
South Africa, until the 1980s, was an apartheid state. That is - whites had all democratic rights, occupied all positions of power, and  had complete freedom of movement.  Blacks had no rights, political or social, at all.

Israel today is an apartheid state.  Palestinian-Israelis, who are citizens of Israel - have almost no rights. Only Jewish Israelis have rights. As well, Israel routinely steals lands that belong to Palestines, kicking Palestinians out of their homes, and giving their land to Jewish Israelis.

But you can't say that in our news media. The Israeli government maintains a spy outfit throughout the western world to bully Jews and others into never, ever criticizing anything Israel does. It's called the Israeli lobby. (It got me fired after some 20 years as a radio commentator for mentioning this.)

Mind you, Israeli behaviour becomes understandable when one realizes that European, Canadian and American Christians all treated them with contempt, and were very, very slow in helping them even when they knew about the death camps, and even after the war was over.

Worried about getting attacked by a terrorist which visiting the U.S.? Relax. There are very, very few terrorist attacks. You are far, far more likely to be killed by police.

And they are most unlikely to get charged with anything.

Do you think what the U.S. has done to the middle east is terrible. Well, just remember the Americans learned from expert teachers - the British who were inflicting terror, murder and starvation decades before the U.S. took over.

We have little sense of how evil us Christians have been - and are still being.

Hey! If you can't trust your big capitalists, who can you trust? Right?

We are being robbed blind by our wealthy. The majority of our very wealthy all over the western world, at least, pay no taxes. None. Nada. And they collect billions in gifts and concessions from us tax payers.

That's why most people just can't afford a university education. And that's why the wealthy happily donate money especially for business training to turn out puppets for them.

That's why we can't balance government budgets. That's why medicare has become expensive. That's why we tolerate minimum wages that leave millions in poverty and insecurity.

I thought of all this recently in Ottawa as I watched a young man going through little boxes to pick out cups from a local eatery, and to drink any drops that were left in them.

Think about that, Chamber of Commerce.

Every society that has ever operated like ours as a feeding trough for economic gluttons has collapsed.
And here's a story on the climate change that 'isn't happening'. Hey! Who am I to disagree with the great minds of the oil industry?

Stories like the one below can also be found in the excellent, Israeli newpaper Haaretz. However, it is not longer possible to get Harretz without a subscription - and that still cannot be sent to an audience. However, an Haaretz subscription is quite reasonble. And it really is a superb newspaper.

Why include this?

In a few weeks, we shall pay homage to those who served in, among other wars, World War Two. We will, without doubt, praise their sacrifice - as we should.

But we will, again, forget all the promises we made them about what they were risking their lives for.  They did not serve so that we could murder and rob for oil profits. They did not serve so that New Brunswick's home care for the elderly could be privatized for private profit. They did not serve so the the wealthy could avoid income taxes. They did not serve so we could have dangerous chemicals sprayed on our lands and foods. They did not serve so we could have a minimum wage that is degrading to human life. They did not serve so that we could fight wars to please American billionaires. They did not serve so that refugees could live in misery in tent prisons in France, or so the U.S. could starve civilians to death by the millions. And they certainly did not serve so that billionaires could buy governments - and so destroy democracy.

There was a grander purpose to World War Two. It was not just about beating Hitler. It was about creating a better world for everyone.

And we have not honoured that promise.

On Nov. 11, we will hear the usual speeches glorifying war. But our soldiers, sailors and airmen didn't fight for glory. They fought for a better world.

That should be a major theme on November 11, our pledge to achieve what they died for.

Instead, we'll hear a lot of crap about glory. What a pack of hypocrites we are!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Oct. 23: Hallelujah!

The above item is the one President Trump's spiritual advisor was referring to when he said God is telling the president that he has the go-ahead to   kill Kim Jung - and to obliterate North Korea.

I thought of this story as I read the faith column in Saturday's paper.  It's the usual one that is guaranteed not to offend  (or inform) either man or beast - something about controlling your temper and being nice to everybody.   It is surely possible to think of other, more important, issues the churches should be directing us to.

For the last five hundred years at least - ever since Columbus began torturing, murdering, enslaving and plundering the peoples of Latin America - western Christians have been the most murderous people on this planet.

Of course, they never called it that.

When the British Empire was murdering, plundering and enslaving peoples around the world, they called it bringing civilization and being the 'world's policeman' to make the world's non-Christians behave. And when the Americans took over, they, too, called their murdering and plundering as 'policing' the world. Thus the tremendous slaughters in North Korea and Vietnam and Iraq.

All of these wars have been fought, of course, for reasons that have nothing to do with policing. They were fought for exactly the same reason that Hitler's Christians fought in World War Two - to cater to the greed of the already wealthy.

And the Christian churches have been there every step of the way. When we invaded and murdered and tortured and starved and enslaved (as in Congo, all over Africa, Latin America and Asia), our Christian churches sent missionaries not to the evil murderers but to their victims. When Africans were rounded up in their millions to be shipped as slaves  (with many dying in the horrible conditions of their passage), our churches tripped over themselves to Christianize them. (I should have thought the people who needed Christianizing were the slave owners.)

Nothing has changed. Christians are still killing all over the world. The killing is still to fuel the greed of the very, very rich, most of whom are 'Christians'. And we're still sending missionaries to their victims. What a waste!

Shouldn't we be sending missionaries to the chambers of commerce? To the propaganda 'think tanks' like Atlantic Institute of Market Studies and The Fraser Institute? To those who attend groups of the wealthy grabbing for power - like the Bilderberg Group - that a former premier of New Brunswick has given his support to?

We live in a society founded on unChristian principles. Our economic system, quite apart from its greed, is founded on the unChristian principle of competition while the message of Christianity is based on sharing. Remember? But when was the last time your heard a sermon on that? In fact, how many of our Christian wealthy give so little of a damn about their neighbours that they won't even pay taxes to help them?

Jesus chased the money-changers out of the temple. We name temples after the money changers.

Jesus said thou shalt not kill.  We kill millions to steal their resources. That's what all the fighting in the Middle East is about.

The Christian U.S. economic leaders, far from caring for their neighbours deny most of them adequate health care. And our Canadian economic leaders just love making noises about doing the same thing to us.

We are faced with a dreadful threat of climate change. We have known about it for decades. But our wealthy controllers of the oil industry have blocked or stalled every effort to deal with it. Check out the Moncton Times and Transcript for Saturday, Oct. 21. The cartoon for the day is a portrayal of the government as sheep for allowing the Pipeline East to be blocked. Sometimes, cartoonists like this are so wimpy that it's hard to know whether they are cartoonists or  clergymen.

Have you ever heard of the national churches opposing any war that Canada or the U.S. or Britain (or Germany or Spain or Portugal or France) has ever fought?  Certainly, our clergy (and the editors of the irving press) have no reason to fear crucifixion by the authorities of western society.

The U.S., with British help and, sometimes, with Canadian help has been fighting wars almost non-stop since 1950. Almost all of them have been fought for the benefit of major world corporations. That's what the middle east wars are about. That's what Guatemala was about (twice). That's what the repression of Cuba was about. That's what Libya was about. As for Afghanistan, the plan to invade was set and was public knowledge BEFORE 9/11. (It was outlined in a web site run by very prominent Republicans with a reputation for kissing up to big business. The web site is called Project for the New American Century.)

And you can expect Venezuela to be hit in the not too distant future. Trump has already threatened it.

Mass murder by nominally Christian business leaders for higher profits has been a feature of western wars for some 500 years. And, as a part of that, we pay the human and financial prices for these wars. (Rather than paying taxes, the very rich prefer to hand out philanthropy. It's much cheaper than taxes, and it's a great ego booster.)

And our Christian churches have been blind, silent, and - almost always - cooperative with the killers.

For a fuller understanding of today's blog, read John 11:35

Read this one with a little patience. It tells how Canada  (the whole country) cannot find a person necessary for measurement of the effects of climate change in the Arctic, though these measurements are essential for us to know what is happening.  On a more careful reading, it seems these are cuts due to government decisions.

Of course. We have to make cuts so the wealthy won't have to pay taxes.

Here's an opinion about capitalism in Britain. It's at least equally true of every capitalist system in the world. All are crashing, all  are causing immense suffering because all are characterized by insatiable greed and by the arrogance of a capitalist class which feels it is superior to all other humans.

This is a very old phenomenon which has been a characteristic of just about every imperial power in history - greed, lack of concern for the society as a whole, and intelligence that declined from each generation of 'the chosen' to the next.

Wouldn't it be nice if our governments were to tell us what taxes these people are not paying? And what gifts they demand from us every year?

Here's a story (with pictures) about our Alberta oilsands. It's one (of many) that the irving press hasn't had room for.  (But it did have room for a big story that a man in New Hampshire willed his ashes to a  Salvation Army Thrift Store.
All the news YOU need to know.

Oh, how we make those poor oil bosses suffer! Luckily, today's political cartoon in the irving press is another valiant defense of encouraging pollution.

Throughout Canadian history, it has been common for dominant groups to insist that all immigrants must adopt the behaviour  and values common to them - typically, that has meant being Christian and white. On those grounds we have historically discriminated against Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Africans, orientals  - oh, and Irish Catholics. Now, the targets are Muslims again.

The rest of us are just lucky our aboriginal peoples didn't do that to us.

In the case of Muslim women, this involves making them take off the nigab - supposedly to identify themselves. (Never mind that taking off the nigab in public is a form of enforced nudity.)

And why, of all sixty state and provincial jurisdictions, is Quebec leading the way? (After all, Quebec has a long, long history of giving unusual rights to certain groups - as, for example, the Roman Catholic church with massive grants of land, relief from taxes, and no demands that nuns be stripped for identification - hey, they could be men disguising themselves to get free bus passes.)

Quebec is leading the way because it is (in both French and English) a profoundly racist society.

We might remember that most of these people are not here by choice. They're here because the western countries, led by the U.S. and Britain, have, for a century, been murdering their people to steal their oil, and driving out tens of millions of them as refugees. They're here because our good friends in the U.S. see them as fit only to be killed.

Onward Christian soldiers!

Canada has a long history of supporting U.S. aggression in Latin America. And the U.S. aggression is always for a good reason - murdering native populations, establishing dictatorships, looting natural resources.... The next target on the horizon is Venezuela. It's sin? It has oil.

So this has echoes of the Canadian role in murdering 200,000 Guatemalans as a sort of Christian gesture toward our mining companies there.

American oil billionaires (and Canadian ones?) are eager to open oil drilling in the Arctic. No doubt the cartoonist for the irving papers will have a cartoon in praise of it all.


As a footnote to the above, a cub scout in the U.S. was kicked out of his group. A senator was speaking to the boys, and one of them asked questions about gun control that the senator didn't want to answer.

Our news media are hailing the defeat of IS in the city of Ragga. The story is not quite so simple as it's being presented.

Western news media are also telling about the many civilians who were killed in Ragga, giving the impression they were murdered by IS. Now, IS certainly did kill civilians. But so did the U.S., and it did so deliberately because civilians have been the the major targets of bombing ever since Dresden in 1943.

To suggest that only IS does it - which is the version that appears in most western news media - is what's called fake news.

The next item explains itself.

Yes, the U.S. does deliberately kill civilians. And it designs its bombs to kill people for a  hundred years and more after they are dropped.   (Isn't it just terrible the way those people just don't seem to like the U.S.?)

Here's an article about climate change that will never make the pages of the irving press.

A recent documentary on the Vietnam War has been hailed as a masterpiece of explaining that war. In fact, it is a masterpiece only as a cover-up.

Boy. In New Brunswick we know how to deal with people who criticize what billionaires want. We fire them.

Yemen is the victim of one of the most savage - and evil - wars in history. It's a war involving starvation, murder, disease that has the full cooperation of the 'Christian' west. And Canada is right in there (illegally under Canadian law) selling weapons to the killers.

(Hey. It creates  jobs.)
The Rohingya people are suffering a dreadful persecution.

But who gives a damn? Not the irving press.

It's a depressing day to write about the news when the wealthy are permitted to run wild, robbing everybody, polluting everything, when the White House is led and staffed by irresponsible mass murderers,  when the American and British wealthy seem willing to rush to destroy the planet before the Russians or Chinese can do it. when the people of this province are too timid to have an opinion unless it's the same one everybody else has - and so will undoubtedly continue to vote for the same political scoundrels they've been voting for in the last couple of centuries. And they continue to read the same newspapers that have utter contempt for them.

But at least we have the soothing weekly sermonette which is almost as good as a sleeping pill.

And read the American news carefully. Yes. Trump is an idiot, and he's a very dangerous idiot. But so is almost everybody else in American politics.

The only person with any sense of social responsibility is Democrat Bernie Sanders. But he'll be running as an independent next time because there's no hope either party would accept a candidate with a sense of social responsibility.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Oct. 20: The irving press as a blindfold.

The irving press of New Brunswick is great reading for the brain dead. The lead story for today is that a man who killed a girl thirty years ago is now eligible for parole. I read it. And I thought. So what should I do?

The killer is now 62. He's been on day paroles for some time. He has not been put on full parole yet.

Yes, what happened is terribly sad. But at this point we have no say in it. So this information is quite useless to us.

Another page one flash is that the police are going to charge drunk drivers. Wow! Who woulda thought it?

Moving right along, another front page story is that a house in Moncton has mannequins on its front lawn for Halloween. Gosh. What'll they think of next?

Then there's a flash that records of the Tragically Hip will sell forever.  Yeah. Forever. Just like Al Jolson and Caruso.

The opinion and commentary pages are severely local and, as always, have no mention of the province's wealthiest and most powerful family. There are a couple of items which mention the importance of paying taxes - but don't mention whether the wealthiest of New Brunswickers and Canadians pay any at all. And there is no mention of the lavish handouts that the rest of us are required to give to them.

Canada@World News is almost entirely local and national. Somebody stole an item outside a store in a local city. A car being chased by police in New Brunswick ran into a river.  The only thing happening in the rest of the world is that a boy is  being charged with starting a wildfire  in Oregon. Seriously. That's it for world news.

There is no story about how the U.S. is deliberately starving millions, especially children, to death in Yemen.

Then we're into the likes of Dear Abby, and the gawdawful comics page - and the exciting news of which celebrities we never heard of are having a birthday today.

This is a newspaper designed to keep readers in ignorance of what is  happening. And that's been true of the modern newspaper from the start.

The modern paper appeared in the late 1800s. Until then, the only newspapers had been those subsidized by churches, political parties and the merchant class. But they were too expensive for the average person. Then there were sudden and great improvements in paper and printing that made it possible to produce a newspaper that could be sold for one cent a copy. (It was still as cheap as three cents to five cents in World War 2.)

However, despite the low price of each copy, the size of the mass market still meant that only the very wealthy could afford to own a newspaper. And what happened from the start is that the very wealthy used newspapers as their very own propaganda sheets.

In Canada, early newspapers roused imperial sentiment so Canada would send troops to fight in the Boer War. The wealthy of Canada wanted that because they depended on the British market for their profits (just as they now want Canadians to fight American wars because they depend now on American capitalists.)

The Boer War had nothing to do with Canada. It was a British war fought to plunder South Africa's gold for very wealthy British capitalists. And they wanted Canada to join  in to set a precedent so that in future, Canada would fight British wars. (At the time, what really interested them in Canada was its use for a war against Germany. And the Boer War was to be the precedent.)

American newspapers followed the same route - but for the wealthy Americans who owned them. They wanted a war with Spain to take Cuba. They could then set up a dictatorship with which they could plunder Cuba. (It's an ambition they still cherish. That's why American news on Cuba is commonly lying to this day.)

They also wanted the large harbour called Guantanamo because they were also sparking a civil war so they could steal a piece of land called Panama  to build a canal (where they also established a string of dictatorships). Guantanamo would be the naval base to control the approaches to the canal.

Enter newspaper owner William Randolph Hearst. He carried newspapers pressing for a war on Cuba. His great chance came when an American ship, tied up in Havana harbour, blew up. Hearst created a panic in the U.S. when he said the Spanish were responsible. And that gave the wealthy their excuse for a war.

There was, and is, no reason to believe the Spanish had anything to do with it. But it gave American capitalists their excuse to abuse and plunder Cuba for fifty years until Castro kicked out their last dictator.

The British press was similar, though sometimes it was comic opera.

In the Boer War, a British commander got stuck in a town called Mafeking, defending it from a Boer force. The press feasted on this in a war that wasn't producing much interesting material. Now, it had "Heroic British officer holds off Boers at Mafeking." This went on for months with stories about how this heroic officer smiled and whistled ever day. Eventually, the British army had to send a large and expensive force to get him out. Street crowds in Britain went wild with joy at the news. To this day, some people still call a wild celebration "Mafeking".

But the generals were not rejoicing. Baden-Powell had been sent out with orders NOT to get stuck defending any place. His was to be a roving force to keep the enemy off balance. Instead, the first thing he did was to get  himself stuck in a town which there was no point in defending.  They wanted to fire him.

But they couldn't. The press had made him a hero. They had to promote  him. In 1914, Baden-Powell offered his service to the king, again. But the king wisely refused, saying his work with the boy scouts was too important.

The modern, commercial news media have, from the start, been the propaganda tools of their wealthy owners. Almost all of them still are. The irving papers are just particularly shabby examples of the type.

Exceptions are few. Among them are The Guardian (Britain), Haaretz (Israel), and - often, if not always, al-Jazeera. 

Most of the rest are papers that don't tell us the U.S. is deliberately starving civilians to death in Yemen, that it directed the slaughter of 200,000 of the Maya people in Guatemala to please western companies, that we have been killing, torturing, abusing people of the Congo for almost a hundred and fifty years, that we are deliberately starving people in Somalia, that we have so destroyed nations in Africa and the middle east that they may never recover.

But why fuss? Just relax and enjoy the front page story of today's Moncton Times and Transcript about  how police are going to crack down on drunk drivers.

New Brunswickers should not worry about the opinion below. We look after our insects with forest sprays. I mean, if you're worried about the future, who are you going to pay attention to?  Bees?  Or Irvings?

I don't doubt the accuracy of the following story. I don't doubt that the ISIS jihadists are monstrously cruel. I think this story illustrates the point well. But when have you seen stories and pictures of the horrible scale of slaughter of civilians by Christian armies? Where are the pictures of the masses of dead, the highest proportion of dead civilians in any war I know of - the dead of North Korea? Where are the pictures of the misshapen bodies of Vietnam's Agent Orange babies?

Yes. The Jihadists are murderous and cruel.  And we Christians are...?
Here's a story about Canada that wasn't important enough for the irving press to carry. But The Guardian had it.

Too bad The Guardian has it all wrong. I mean, if we were to get free medication, our very wealthy would have to pay  taxes. But as we know from columnists in the irving press, if we make the rich pay taxes, they won't have any left to shower down on us, thus making us all wealthy. I mean - aren't you wealthy?

It's not likely that any North American newspaper would carry this story. But Haaretz is honest.
The U.S. is an empire in decline.  Europe and much of the rest of the world is getting nervous. Many Europeans are looking for a new world order to escape the American collapse.

Canada should be looking, too.

Mining companies are among the worst abusers of human rights (and murderers) in the world. - And some of our most celebrated citizens are  holders of shares in those companies.  Their record of environmental destruction (poisoning), starvation pay, abuse and killing is stunning. But it doesn't make our news media, does it?

(I have a reader who's a mining engineer, and who has written the occasional abusive note to the site  - which I have been happy to publish. I look forward to more contributions from him.)

Here's an attack on the tax breaks we give the wealthy. It includes only the relatively small stuff in the greater looting of this nation by the wealthy. But you'll never find even this much in the wimpy irving press.

Note how the wealthy have recently been sucking in small business to fight its battles of greed. It's an old game. The very wealthy suck in small business people through organizations like the Chamber of Commerce where they can kid themselves that they have everything in common with the biggies. (Thus the farcical dinner of a local chamber of commerce to heap praise  on a very wealthy man for giving a donation - much smaller than the one he should have been paying taxes for - it's called phil-an-thro-py. I wonder if that dinner had a rent-a-reverend to say grace. I expect it did.)

In my years of university teaching, I learned that many of our wars were wrong. We should not have fought out metis - or our native peoples. We should not have fought the Boer War. It is arguable whether we should have fought World War 1  (remember,  the U.S. didn't join it  until 1917. There's a warning in that.) We should not have fought in Korea or Afghanistan or Libya. We should not have sent troops to Latvia.

But we routinely build monuments to those wars.

A caution to our super-patriots who get angry at what I wrote above. I am not criticizing those who served. They were often lied to about what it was all about.   They often didn't realize what they were doing because they were young. We owe every respect to them. And, sometimes, we owe every apology.

In my teaching days, though, I also discovered that our war historians tend to be overcharged patriots who see nothing but good and glory in our wars. And the result is that Nov. 11 always turns out to be a day of glorification of war rather than a tribute to those who sacrificed for----they often knew not what. Yves Engler explores this.

I dunno. Bin thinkin' about this new law in Quebec that Muslim women have to take off their veils for any public service. Like, you know, they could be cheating and be somebody else behind that veil and, like, sneaking onto public busses without paying the fare.  If y' think about it...

Like - a woman could dress like a man to slip into the men's washroom and peek around. Or a nun could easily be a man sneaking into the women's loo. Should people be required to prove their gender before entering a washroom?

I mean, this veil business could be a big plot. Muslim women have been wearing veils for centuries, planning for the day when they would migrate to Quebec, and use the veil to disguise themselves so they wouldn't have to pay bus fares.

Or it could be that Quebeckers are outstanding racists and bigots - in both French and English.

New Brunswick believes in glyphosates. That's why they happily spray them all over the province. That's why they got rid of the province's chief medical officer. I mean, who needs a chief medical officer when we have billionaires to tell us what's okay?

Gee. I wonder if I should vote Conservative or Liberal next time.
In the U.S., as in Canada, the very rich pay almost no taxes at all. And to the very rich, almost no taxes is still too much. As others live in poverty and suffering, the very rich want even more.

It's not the first time we've seen this festival of greed and ignorance. You can find it in just about every empire in history as it was collapsing. In our own time, the British empire served the gluttons at the top while the rest of the British people suffered in vile conditions - and the most of the colonies of the empire (China,  India, Africa)  suffered slavery and starvation.  We're now watching the same thing in the U.S. - to which we are firmly attached.

And in all cases, you see a pattern. The wealthy become a permanent class based on inherited wealth. Thus the dukes and earls and counts. They saw themselves as a superior class by inheritance. They kept that vision even as they, generation after generation, decayed intellectually and morally.

Here's a big surprise for editors at the irving press. Many of those Ukrainian heroes who rebelled against their pro-Russian government were Naziis. Nazi sympathies are strong in the 'democratic' Ukraine and in its government. Funny how our papers have missed that.
We're getting lots of wails of grief but not much information about the NAFTA talks. Part of the problem is our habit of looking at almost everything from a business point of view. We even see letters to the editor about how our politicians should act more like business people. And that's dead wrong.

The reality is that most of our politician DO act as if governing people were like running a business. But it's not. And Donald Trump is the prefect example of what happens when you allow a businessman to run a government.

Government, contrary to the view of the irving press, is not primarily to make conditions good for business. And doing good things for business does not necessarily doing any good for the whole society.

The first concern of the politician should be the needs of the society. (Moncton doesn't do that.  It is building an entertainment centre on the argument it will be good for investors and, therefore, benefit all of us. But there is no reason to believe that is true.)

A government's first business should  not be the welfare of billionaires. It should be the welfare of the whole society. I have seen no trace of that in either the Liberals or the Conservatives. This issue is not what the wealthy want. It is was the society needs.

Texas - the land of the free...

Still, Texas is far, far better off than the hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. Why are the people of the poorest part of U.S. territory getting almost no help? Why are they still dying?  Why don't they have electricity or housing or food?

Well, it's because they're poor. So who gives a damn?

And here's a couple of items from al Jazeera that seem like pretty good reporting.
And certainly better than anything you're likely to find in the Moncton Times and Transcript.  It's a paper very much shaped by an outstanding journalist from Canada's own CBC. (The CBC tries to do a good job. But it's constantly crippled by governments that don't want to see a good job.)

Not a bad paper, al Jazeera. It's usually worth reading the whole thing. Of course, you'll still need the Moncton Times and Transcript to find out what hollywood hero has a birthday today, and Ann Landers.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Oct. 18: An Angry Day

Today's Moncton Times and Transcript had a columnist. today, who is the new champion of ignorance, pomposity, arrogance and self-importance. He's Bill Whitelaw, president and CEO at JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group.

His theme, if he has one, is that he is a very wise and learned man, and that the world should worship the oil industry for its goodness and generosity in making our lives better. (He completely ignores the wars we  have fought and paid for and the millions we have killed; and that so many British and Canadians and Americans have died in so that the oil barons could plunder oil-producing countries.)

Quite the contrary, we feels we owe a profound debt to the oil barons. He sees them as fairy godmothers lightly tapping us with their wands   - a unique way of looking at those people who have made themselves obscenely wealthy at our expense, and have lied to  us for decades about the dangers of climate change.

I regret that I cannot send a copy of this disgusting rant in my blog. (There seems to be no way to do it.  But, obviously, it appealed to the tiny minds of irving editors.)

Below it is "Current state of U.S. Republic recalls ancient Rome". It compares the condition of the U.S. to that of ancient Rome. There is some truth to that.

He begins by saying that both, in their early days, sought peace and democracy. That part is, in fact, not true of the U.S. Far from seeking peace, the early U.S. immediately engaged in wars to destroy the native peoples, and then to invade both Canada and Mexico. Nor was it all that democratic. In fact, its politics were dominated by land speculators and slavers from the start. But it does recall the Rome of later years - of insane emperors, of greed, of unending aggression, of brutal treatment of its own citizens....

 And, like ancient Rome, the U.S. is now an empire in collapse. It is collapsing because of the greed of the very wealthy, and because of massive corruption. Don't waste time blaming Trump. He did not invent the unspeakable corruption of the war industry, the purchase of politicians..... Trump is not the cause of the U.S. collapse. He is the product of it.

As in ancient Rome, the American poor are becoming the largest part of the population, and they are treated with utter contempt.  Canada is not much better. Indeed, we are, in effect, partners in U.S. aggression, and partners in the corruption of our political system. And we, too, can collapse.

Oh, there are options. Even now, western Europe is looking around for some alternative to U.S. leadership. Canada should be doing that, too.

And if we don't? There is every possibility that the U.S. will annex Canada for its water and land. It is already demanding free access to our water.
Our news media are almost never critical of Israel. It has stolen much of the land that is legally the land of the Palestinians. It refuses to give equality to the very many Palestinians who are citizens of Israel. (Yes, there are many Palestinians who are legally Israelis.) But, in effect, they are profoundly abused by the Israeli government on the grounds that they are not Jewish. They are commonly forbidden to ride in public transport with Jewish Israelis.Think about it. Israel has made Jewishness a race. They are not allowed to live in Jewish districts. The last person who did that sort of thing was named Hitler. Israel is doing to its own Palestinian citizens what 'white' states used to do to blacks in the U.S.)

Europe and the U.S. - and Canada - supported the founding of Israel for two reasons. 1. They did not want to receive Jews in their own countries. Yes, we were anti-Jewish.  2. An Israel would give western oil companies a base to control the middle east and its oil.

Since then the west has unquestioningly supported Israel, including in its destructive and murderous and thieving treatment of Palestine. And Israel has responded by supporting western capitalism - as it did in supporting apartheid in South Africa and - you won't find this in the irving press - sending intelligence agents to help murder 200,000 of the Maya people in Guatemala.

If you want to know what Israel is doing, don't waste your time on most western newsmedia. Read the Israeli paper, Haaretz.

We, in cooperation with Israel, have made the middle east into a hell that is not likely to recover within any current lifetime. There is a reason why Muslim terrorists have been attacking us for forty years. (Forget our political babble about how they're all evil.) Terrorists attack us because we have been murdering Muslims for over a century. God bless the oil industry for that.

The new,  'great' power might well be China. And that has its own perils. So far, Chinese governments (and capitalists) are acting much like American ones.

Canadian news media have made much of the terror bombing (wasn't it awful?) in Somalia that killed some 300 people. Most haven't mentioned that this seems to have been in revenge for an American and Somalian attack on villages. 300? Evil and terrible? Yes. Not nearly so evil and terrible as the hundred and fifty million killed by the U.S. and British in Iraq - or the attacks in Afghanistan - or the interference in Syria.

Here's story about serious pollution in our oilfields. But don't worry about it. Just read more columns like that pompous one by Bill Whitelaw in today's Moncton Times and Transcript .... then close your eyes and lean back....z-z-z-z-

A new report suggests that wealthy Americans have - not billions, not tens of billions, not hundreds of billions ---but 2.6 TRILLION dollars hidden away from taxation. (Gee. I wonder if that happens in Canada, too. I wonder if the learned Bill Whitelaw will  write a column for the Moncton Times and Transcript about it.)

There are Canadians who hide billions  in profits, too. Would it be interesting to have a list of them? Wouldn't it be nice to know why it is we can't afford adequate social services? Or education? Or health?

Where is the Liberal party on this? The Conservative party? or, for that matter, the NDP and the Greens?

The irving press will condemn the government for going over budget. When will it tell us the truth about WHY it goes over budget? (So we can give monster tax breaks to the very wealthy.)

The following is rather a long, thought piece. It's about capitalism, and it touches on a point I have mentioned many times. We are approaching a point at which democracy is becoming no longer possible. Capitalists have, for a long time, been able to buy governments. Now, we are approaching a point at which capitalists ARE our governments, one at which they are no longer subject to any governments at all.

And that is a major part of the reason why the U.S. is now a society in collapse.

There is a site called  'national observer' which I can no longer send without  paying for it. But it's worth checking out. It currently has stories I'm not seeing in mainstream news media. For example, a French bank has refused to deal with loans or any other business with companies that operate in our oil sands. It cites their appalling indifference to the poisons they spread. The Ontario government, too, has been cited for its indifference to poisons created by the Ontario chemical industry.

Here's a story I have    come across in a number of very reliable sources - but never in our mainstream news media. The U.S. has been nuclear-happy for over seventy years. And it is quite likely it would have nuked North Korea  (and maybe China) in 1950. All that stood in the way was a disgusted General MacArthur.
Another topic avoided by our daily press. (I find this source, Global Resarch, quite good on the sins of the western powers - but less critical than it should be of China and Russia.)

Canadian mining companies, spread all over the world, have a very, very bad name - that Canadians never hear about.

This one MAY be good news.

Turkey was, a century ago and more, the ruler of a substantial empire. It plans now to return to those glory days before its empire was ripped to shreds by the British and then the Americans.

Generally, the western powers, notably Britain and the U.S. have made such a chaos of the middle east and Africa that we may never see them restored. Nor is Turkish intervention likely to help.

Trump's favourite evangelist rarely makes the western press. I guess it's because even they are embarassed by his 'religious' views.   (His latest gem is that he has word from God - right from the chief - that God wants Trump to 'take out' North Korea.  The Christian churches have, of course, a long history of supporting western racism, bullying, brutality and mass murder - not to mention kissing up to the wealthy and powerful. But this guy sets a new low.
Our media rarely mentions it. But the (largely) American war on Yemen, one of the world's poorest nations, is one of the most savage ever seen. It's major targets are innocent men, women, and children who,  in addition to our Christian bombing, are being treated to Christian starvation. To death. It's a quite deliberate policy. As a side effect, they are also dying of the black death of the middle ages.

Where the hell are our Christian churches?

Where the hell have they been for the last 2000 years?

And where are all those evangelical twits who turn out to protest against abortion but, seemingly, have no objection to starving babies to death or blowing them up, or suffering them to have terminal  birth defects from Agent Orange, and unexploded bombs that children will be digging up for a century and more?

When did Jesus say this was okay so long as they were Muslim babies?

And when did He pronounce his blessing on  western billionaire philanthropists who don't pay taxes but still expect constant gifts from us (as in getting our forests on the cheap and spraying  us with poisons)? And expect to be praised by all us peasants for giving back a tiny portion - calling it philanthropy - of the taxes they don't pay?

Why are the churches silent about the grave of Raoul Leger of Buctouche who was murdered along with 200,000 Maya at the wish of international billionaires? Will there be a sermon about him at the Irving chapel?

I'm in a bad mood today. When I was sixteen or so, a very persuasive clergyman had me talked into becoming a minister - and I would have become one if I had not been lucky and flunked high school.

I now see a forest of churches which offer little of Christian guidance in 'Christian' societies that have been murderous and thieving for centuries. And in all those  years, the common people got nothing out of it. All the money went to the wealthy. That is still what happens.

And as Nov. 11, the churches will all crank up for sermons on the valour of those who served in war. And they won't mention that we have betrayed the promises we made to all those who risked their lives.

By the way, those who insist on idolizing wars as evidence of virtue should be including those naziis who served in German armies. After all, they, too, were serving their country. And, as on our side, their Christian clergy told them they were doing it for Jesus.  (And we know from Trump's spiritual leader that God wants the U.S. to take out Kim Jong.)

Monday, October 16, 2017

Oct. 16: We are all just people. Sorry about that.

I discovered the document below on the web. And it struck me that one could change the word Allah to God, and the word Muhammad to Jesus, and it would be a suitable sermon for any Baptist church. (The clergymen who is the prayer leader and faith consultant for the U.S. government has already announced that  God  has told Trump to 'take out' Kim Jong un.


Speaking of Christianity  (or Islam), I came across this item on the closing of Sears stores.

12,000 employees were dumped with nothing - as were more retirees. But the senior executives of Sears, the ones who guided the company into its crash, got some 5 million dollars each. This is not at all unusual. It is common practice and, in the days of the great depression, in was typical behaviour of all the major capitalists.

The next item I could not avoid. It's a column that appeared in today's irving press - and one of the most disgusting I have seen in a newspaper that's a connoisseur   of the disgusting. It's an opinion piece by somebody named Barinder Rasode writing for something called the Canadians for affordable energy.

And it is unspeakable crap.

According to it, the drive for more controls on fossil fuels is being financed by - wait for it - them there evil Russians. Yessirree. And good, honest Canadian money just can't compete with that. No.

What we have here is a regular feature of the irving press - a propaganda house financed by, among others, the oil industry. It's a reminder of why the irving press is a sewer even by the lax standards of North American journalism in general.

Christianity has had no more impact on Christian capitalists than Islam has had on Saudi Arabian ones. In fact, to understand that is to understand world history for some thousands of years. In every era, a small number of people have come to power. Having done so, they have see themselves as a people superior to others. That was true of the rulers and aristocrats of Rome, of the kings and aristocrats of Europe. For the last several centuries is has been the characteristic of capitalists.

Typically, these people became increasingly deluded about their importance (and intelligence) as, generation after generation, they inherited positions of power. The Caesars of Rome became increasingly fuddle headed and and self-indulgent as did the the British kings and lords. But they never lost their fascination with their increasingly useless and decreasingly intelligent selves.

In Britain to this day, the British nobility are entitled by law to sit in the House of Lords, and to have a voice in public matters. And this is despite the fact that they have done nothing notable for over a century. And their record for doing anything useful for the people of Britain has been close to zero.

During the Second World War, the British realized the uselessness of their upper class. That's why,  when the war ended, the British voted Winston Churchill out of power as prime minister. This came at a time with the reputation of Churchill was at its  height in the western world. But the British understood their social system better than others did.

Churchill was a child of the British aristocracy. Though he didn't inherit a title, he was very much a product of aristocracy, born with a right to rule, and born with an indifference to the lower and middle classes. He served only those of his own social circle. And, if he had no interest in the lower classes, he had a crushing contempt for other races. He would, throughout his career, happily murder them in large numbers. He deliberately and unnecessarily allowed one and a half million Bengalis to starve to death. When criticized, he said it was their own fault because they were breeding like rabbits. He was very much a man who served only those of his own social circle.

During the war, while working class children went hungry, the British taxpayers spent today's equivalent of half a million dollars a year on Churchill's liquor and his very expensive cigars imported just for him through dangerous waters.

(For lovers of Churchill, I must say that when I was fifteen, I read his History of the English-speaking Peoples and was captivated by it. I loved his writing, and I was   caught up in the majesty of its history. Only many years later would I realize what a pack of racist lies this was.)

The British people, despite their appreciation of his speeches, realized he would do nothing to meet their need for health care, education, housing. They realized he was a man of the wealthy who served only the wealthy. And he worshipped the empire precisely because it served only the very wealthy.

Too bad Canadians have never figured that out about their own governments. Too bad that in our own time we have produced more generations of arrogant billionaires who just love mirrors, and politicians who just love to polish the mirrors for them.

This story, about the Kurds in Afghanistan, is just breaking. That whole region is made up of highly artificial countries created and controlled from World War 1 to the present day by western - most British and then American - oil billionaires. It's now been a century of murder, imposed dictatorships, and poverty for those people. We have murdered millions of them. And anyone who fights back is called a degenerate terrorist. Murder and theft by Christian westerners is called spreading civilization. Fighting back is called Muslim terrorism.

We have made a complete mess of the middle east. And we are not likely to see it revive in any lifetime.

Most news media have paid little  (no) attention to the murders all over the world of environmental defenders. Sometimes, the killers are freelance scoundrels. But, very often, as in parts of Africa and in South America, they are hired by major corporations such as mining and lumbering companies - and agricultural giants. That is, they are hired by the leading citizens of countries like Canada.

But, we don't hear about it. The most terrible one - and the one we have heard least about - is the murder of 200,000 Maya - men, women, children, Christian clergy  -  in Guatemala in the 1970s.  Wouldn't it be nice of the Irving Chapel to hold a service in memory of Raoul Leger who lies buried just down the road from it? It could even have special music.

Here's a story about millionaires in Britain who are getting honest about the taxes they  (don't) pay. It would be a big help over here to see billionaires doing that. The greatest challenge we face is that obvious threat of the social imbalance being caused by the failure of the the very wealthy to pay taxes and, thus, increasingly impoverish the rest of us. Combine that with the Churchillian arrogance of the very wealthy and they political control - and you quite possible have the collapse of a civilization.

This next one is just stunning.

These are those parts of the world which, despite the platitudes of the irving presses and the Dr. Savoie's of this world, have learned that capitalism does not shower wealth on us all.

Remember how those evil Cubans transmitted terrifying sound waves on innocent Americans at their embassy in Cuba? In fact, that may not be what happened at all.

Will the American government change its mind?


Could this affect your summer place on the north shore of New Brunswick?

No. Not all Canadians are nice.

I'm afraid Trudeau will be remembered as one of Canada's weakest prime minister. He's not, like Mulroney, greedy or corrupt. He's just a spoiled, rich kid. And Canadians are a pretty drab lot to have elected him. (But they were also  dumb enough to elect Stephen Harper.)

The U.S. is the country that will trip all over itself to forgive billionaires for non-payment of taxes, that will rush funds to the wealthiest part of the country to fight fires, that will rent soldiers for almost half a million dollars a year  (that's counting the cost for the rental agency) -   but won't lift a finger to help the poor.

Remember the old slogan - 'Bring me your poor, your downtrodden'? That was when US capitalists needed really, really cheap labour. But now they have lots of it.

So many news stories are about Trump. But Trump isn't the problem. American violence, mass murder and plundering all over the world was happening long before Trump. He is the product of a collapsing state. But he is not  the cause of the collapsing. He is a result of it.

He's been more incompetent than Obama, Bush, Reagan but, just like them, he has been the voice of the very wealthy. And he has been murderous. But dumping him won't help because he is only a product of an immoral and corrupt system, not the cause of it.

And Canada is very much a part of that same, corrupt system. (and don't put your hopes in a new world to be shaped by Russia and China. They are both remarkably similar to the U.S. and us.)
There are things to understand about capitalism. It can work - with controls. Without them, it is a poisonous and destructive force. And that poisonous and destructive force has become so uncontrolled that is a certain threat to our survival.

Both the NDP and the Greens are going to have to become a lot less wimpy to deal with this.
The story below is kind. The U.S. has killed at least half a million of some of the world's poorest people. It has blockaded the country  to starve the civilian population to death. Give that some serious thought as an illustration of how far we have fallen.  (Think of how flamingly self-righteous Americans would be if the people of Yemen were starving millions of American civilians to death.)
And why  aren't we questioning why this is happening? Where the hell are our churches as share in this mass murder of a helpless people. There the hell is the Canadian Legion? As Nov. 11 approaches, do the legionnaires believe that Canadians died in World War 2 so that billionaires could murder  helpless people? And how do we on Nov. 11 keep straight faces when we just  assume that so many died so that billionaires could loot so many more?

I'll stop here. It's been a long day.

I think of that day in April of 1945 when I was caught up in a mob ecstatic that the power of naziis had been broken. Since then, I have watched a mob of billionaires destroy all that war had been fought for. I have watched them plunder the world - including us.

I have watched our news media lie about what we are doing and why. And I have watched Canadians and Americans and their churches and their veterans' watch all this with their faces hanging out.

Can it get worse? Can it get even more immoral? Yes. We, all of us, are on the menu for the very wealthy. It can get worse. But no civilization can survive it. And it's not Trump. It's the whole social circle that all the Trumps of this world thrive on.