Monday, October 2, 2017

October 2: 58 people killed at Las Vegas...

Oh, that means Muslim terrorists will never catch up to the rate at which Americans kill each other. 9/11 was the ultimate Muslim terrorist attack, killing some 3,000 Americans. But in just over two years, the U.S. police put that attack in the shade by killing more Americans than the terrorists did. And they continue their frantic pace of killing to this day.

The U.S. now puts enormous public effort into hunting down Muslim terrorists, but virtually none into hunting down American police terrorists. There's something wrong with this picture.

The good news is that the New Brunswick premier says that the Energy East Pipeline deal is in real trouble - mostly due to market conditions - and will probably not go through. Gee. That's too bad. Now we won't have oil coming across the country  to pollute the air at our refinery city, and we won't be able to encourage climate warming by putting more oil into foreign markets. (Shouldn't we be passing around the hat to help out the Irving family?)

Also good news is the story that New Brunswick continues to be a leader in illiteracy with half its population, at least, suffering functional illiteracy. (That's way below the level of the Koreas, both North and South.)

That's good because we don't want none of them there crazy ideas about thinkin' comin' into our province. Way over half of our ancestors was illiterate, and what's good enough for them is good enough for us. That's why we like newspapers that don't tell us nothin' except which Hollywood stars we never heard of have birthdays today. Them folks who pretend to read and to discuss are just puttin' on airs and causin' trouble.

No. Better not to think. Try the Irving Chapel instead.

And, the exciting Jarmeet Singh has become leader of the NDP.

Big deal.

The NDP began as a party called the CCF (Cooperative Commonwealth Federation). The CCF was founded in 1932 just as the great depression was swallowing Canada. It was a party based on Christian principles of compassion, caring, sharing... at a time when capitalists were using the depression to make themselves richer by forcing low pay and massive unemployment with no help on everybody else. Clergy, like Baptist Tommy Douglas, were prominent in it.  And he was the one who set up the party's greatest achievement, medicare.

It had much bigger plans for education and for putting some controls on big business and making the wealthy pay taxes so the rest of us could get at least minimal help to stay alive. But the poor had no money to support the party and to help it win election. And the rich used their money only to help the Liberals and Conservatives. So, about 1970, the CCF reached out for support to the union movement. And it was willing to respond but.....the unions turned out to be much like the corporations they claimed to be fighting. When the CCF became the NDP, the unions insisted it had to look just like the Liberals or Conservatives - only more honest. And so it has.

(For a time, New Brunswick had the ultimate, gutless party - an NDP that wooed the support of the Irvings!)

If we are going to survive, we need change. So far, I see little sign that the NDP is going to change. What they offer us now is a variation of the Liberals and Conservatives, different in that it is honest. But that is not enough. It needs to be a party that responds to  human needs, that actually governs for the benefit of all the people. It has to make fundamental changes in a society controlled by its very greedy and brutal 1 percent.

And in New Brunswick, it has to do it with a society of whom half cannot read, and most are too frightened to challenge the powers that keep them that way.

Despite angry letters I get from mining engineers, Canadian, American and British mining companies have a vicious record all over the world. These are people whose corporate owners urge governments into wars so they can steal resources. Then, having stolen them (as in South Africa, Congo, Guatemala, etc.), they horribly abuse the workers with low pay, long hours, child labour, torture, and mass murder of any who complain.

Of course, none of this ever makes our news. That's why so few New Brunswickers have ever heard of the death of Raoul Leger, murdered in Guatemala as a lay missionary, and now buried just down the road from the Irving Chapel - but probably has not been mentioned at any of the services.

These huge corporations are monstrously destructive and murderous.

Some years ago, I stood in a room in Amsterdam. In World War 2, a young, Jewish girl, Anne Frank, lived hidden from the world in that room. Then someone betrayed her to the Naziis - and she would die in the horror of one of the Nazi death camps. An FBI agent is now trying to find out who betrayed her hiding place to the Naziis.

It wasn't just Germans who turned Jews over to the camps. All the conquered countries of the time were anti-Jewish (as were Canada and the U.S.), In any case, after conquest most countries flocked to serve the Naziis. They quite happily reported Jews in hiding. Nor have their attitudes changed much to this day.

And here's a hard truth about the Alberta oil industry. It  has to go. There is no point in babbling about how it can create jobs. The reality is that unless it does go, we shall all be in deep, deep trouble.

The oil industry,  including Irving oil, has refused to recognize that very clear truth. And the only leadership it has provided is to provide none, and to assume it can go on forever. But it's not a matter of discussion, really. The evidence screams at us. Unless we take action and take it soon, oil could well be the death of all of us. We are not in control in this.

This is a story that may have little meaning to New Brunswick readers since the irving press has rarely bothered to even mention that there is a war happening in Yemen.   (And pay no attention to those figures on deaths in the Yemen war. Given the intense and lengthy bombing of Yemen, those death figures are simply not believable.

The hundred or more surviving victims of the Las Vega shootings now face a survival problem. Nevada doesn't have any medicaid legislation. Get shot - and you're on you own. And the bills, thanks to the greed of the private businesses who own the hospitals and the doctors. the costs will be very, very high. And well over 500 people were wounded in Las Vegas. And it's a safe bet that many of them have nothing like the money to pay for privatized care.

Ah, yes. The joy of privatized medical care....
The proportion of wealthy in this world is getting higher - though still a very, very small proportion,and it's happening because the rest of us are being made poorer. No doubt professor deSavoie will produce a book on the subject telling us that this is good for us.
We all use words, and often, words that we don't understand. Mr. Irving once announced that he had declared himself to be 'in coalition with the provincial government'. Did he know what that meant? I doubt it. If he had known, he would have known that to declare himself unilaterally in coalition was illegal.

Similarly, we commonly use the term anti-semitic without knowing what it means. For a start, Jews are not semites. In fact, they are not a race or nationality of any sort. Hitler invented them as a race. It is surely unwise of us to follow Hitler's lead.

Actually, Jews are generally very much like Christians  (or Muslims or Taoists).

This article makes that point though with, I think, too much emphasis on differences the author perceives. While it's true there are Jews of extreme views, my experience is that they are a minority.

Recently, Donald Trump has referred to Russia, China, - and Venezuela - as threats to the U.S. I thought that was surely a bit much, and found it hard to imagine Venezuelan military hordes descending on Washington.

Venezuela is certainly a country in trouble partly by the falling price of its oil, and partly by constant U.S. interference in it for over a century. As it has all over South America, the U.S. has destroyed democracies and impoverished populations to provide big profits for American billionaires.
This next analysis comes from a very well-informed writer.

A recent film on the Vietnam war has commanded a wide and enthusiastic audience. But it's not the whole story - far from it.

Commonly, we celebrate war. Even November 11, our remembrance day, romanticizes war. We almost never face the reality of it - unless it's to criticize the brutality of the other side.

On, Nov. 11, we are sure to hear some speaker pick up the lines from Flanders' Fields. "In Flanders' Fields the poppies blow------Take up our quarrel with the foe, To you from failing hands we throw the torch.."

What quarrel with the foe? This was world war 1, remember. Exactly why did we kill, and send young men to be killed? I would be surprised if one Canadian in a thousand could tell why we sent Canadians to die in that war.

The Canadian Legion could be a big help in this. Unfortunately, the people who founded the Commonwealth legions after world war 1 formed them to serve the interests of the wealthy rather than those who served in the war. And much of that influence still lingers.

Nov. 11 should be a day of remembrance, and a day of critical examination of war and what it is commonly about. Too bad we so often make it a day of the glorification of war.
Gee! Here's story that didn't make the irving press.
The following is a look at poverty and starvation over the last couple of centuries. In all cases, the wealthy didn't give a damn. In many cases, they could have eased the suffering - but wouldn't lift a finger. This was true of the Irish potato famine, horrible suffering in Africa, China, South America - all ignored by the wealthy and powerful, though all could have easily been remedied. One of the villains in such a case was Winston Churchill who, as a crashing racist, allowed five million people of Bengal to die of starvation though he could easily have supplied the food.

ooh! I know. I could write a book about how the rich are philanthropists who are always helping the poor. Maybe I could even get wealthy people to pay me for it.

Hitler was a genocidal racist. So was Winston Churchill. So was George Bush. So is Donald Trump. In fact, Hitler was typical of people of many races and nationalities all over the world. So, to stick my neck out, is Netanyahu of Israel.
Just what we need -  another war. And this one is not as simple as it may appear. The Kurds, who want their own state, need the support of Israel to get it. And why would Israel support the Kurds? Because it wants a country that would help to threaten Iran. Sometimes, wars are not a good idea at all.

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