Friday, November 17, 2017

Nov. 17: Paradise Papers Released to Public!

Yes, the names of those who hid their money in tax havens has been released. It's available. The story below has the site to look up. The list includes 3,100 Canadians. Anyone who wants to know who they are just has to look up this site.

Will the irving press tell us that? Will the irving press have a commentary about it? This must be a squirmy day at the offices of the irving press.

Oh! Brian Mulroney made the list. What a surprise. Plus 3,100 others who have stolen uncounted billions of dollars from all the rest of us. 3,100 Canadians who have, by skipping taxes, driven our deficits through the roof, crippled our hospitals and schools, made our universities almost unreachable for all the but the wealthy.....

I look forward to a commentary by Professor de Savoie of UdeMoncton on this.

To follow the irving press every day has become, for me, a dreadfully depressing experience. And it has been getting worse.

Note that even the managing editor is an irving. And he got the job when he was just 27. My, what a talented young man he must be. And big changes are showing in the papers.

The Canada&World section is now down to  I page. And half of that (on Nov. 16) is an ad. So the whole world has room for only one story. It's that Justin Trudeau says Canada will offer aircraft and trainers to the UN. But who gives a damn. Right? As the middle east becomes less stable, and as Trump still breathes nuclear war on North Korea, as American and Canadian companies continue to abuse (and kill) people in Latin America, as the U.S. and Saudi Arabia reach the 50,000 mark in starving Yemen children to death, as every possibility looms of a nuclear attack by Israel on Iran, as most of Africa collapses into poverty and abuse, the only world story in the irving press is that we will be giving aircraft and trainers to the UN.

And local news for that day? Well, a man got arrested for break and entry. And the editorial tackles the burning question of whether a family should be allowed to keep two horses on its farm.

Hint to the editor - how about asking questions about how much income tax the irvings do or do not pay? Or questions about why our politicians made it legally possibly to escape taxation by using secret bank accounts? And who were those politicians?  How much do we hand out to corporations in property tax forgiveness? In freebies like cash handouts? Apparently, we are being robbed of billions of dollars a year - and most of our news media don't care.

In a world of trashy newspapers, Brunswick News really stands out.  It is a lid of silence clamped over the whole province.
There's something else I really have to talk about.

World War One and World War Two were essentially the same war. And that same war continues to the present day.

Do you think Germany, in both wars, was evil and oppressive? Do you seriously think that is why we went to war?

Please. When it comes to evil and oppression, nobody beat the British Empire. It killed millions before a Germany even existed. It starved millions. It held down millions in poverty and servitude.  If this world cared about evil and oppression, it would have gone to war against Britain long, long before 1914.

As well, nobody beat the British as racists. In their view, anybody who was not white and English-speaking was inferior, and deserving of whatever he got hit with.

The same is true of the U.S. It has spent most of its history at war, and always out of greed. That's why it murdered its native peoples, then Latin Americans, (yes, and Canadians in 1812).  That's why it invaded The Phillipines and, since 1945, has been obsessed with world conquest.

There was nothing unusual about Germany in the first half of the twentieth century. It was behaving exactly as Britain, the U.S. and France had. In fact, that was the problem.

By the twentieth century, Britain and France business leaders were worried about the growth of German industry. It was going to beat them in world markets. So World War One was about destroying German competition.

In the newspapers, of course, the Germans were evil. They were 'huns'. The reality is that they were exactly like the British, French and, later, the Americans who fought with them. The British and French, in particular, used the 'peace' to rip off more of the world's wealth - notably in the middle east. The winners  also used the peace treaty to cripple German industry.  Big mistake.

The use of the peace treaty to humiliate Germany is what produced Hitler.  (Forget the babble about Naziism and fascism. Very few people who use those terms know what they mean. And, in fact, they were and are very similar to business and political corruption in today's world.)

At first, western business supported Hitler. He would be the barrier against Soviet communism. But Hitler had his own agenda, and western business soon realized that it was facing an enemy just as greedy as it was.

That's why Britain and France went to war. It had nothing to do with anything else but the usual greed.

And note that the U.S. stayed out until it was attacked by Japan. Of course. The U.S. didn't care what happened to Britain and France. No. U.S. big business watched for a chance to pick up the casualties of war as, for example, the British and French empires. In particular, it had its eyes on China and on what later became Vietnam.

Since 1945, the U.S. has fought over seventy wars as its business leaders seem convinced they can conquer the whole world.  In that time, the humbled British have become American servants.  Nobody knows how many people have been killed by the U.S. since 1945. Something in the area of seven million would be a safe bet. And there are many more to come.

But the progress has been disappointing. It began with the loss of the Korean War. Then came Vietnam. Oh, and Cuba, the only U.S. loss in a well-shackled Latin America. U.S. performance in Afghanistan is not impressive. The main result of Iraq and Syria has been to make the U.S.  hated throughout the Muslim world. It has also shown itself, despite its military spending, to be vastly overrated as a conventional power.

Thus Donald Trump's noises about nuking North Korea. Meanwhile, Russia and China have seriously cut into U.S. power, especially in the middle east.

Donald Trump, bless his little pig head, is not the cause of all this. He is the product, not the cause, of a U.S. that is rapidly collapsing both socially and economically.

Where do we go from here?

I don't know.

The great chance was the victories of 1945. We needed then to create a world order. We needed to place serious controls on capitalists. We needed a world-wide plan of social justice and order. We needed serious rethinking of what democracy has to be about.

But instead of that, we just turned the greedy loose. Governments and big business now act in absolute contempt of us.

And that's why New Brunswick has the worst newspapers in a world which has had almost nothing but corrupt and lying news media from the start.

No. I can't end there.For a start, the people of New Brunswick can't just lie in the dirt as their wealthy roll over them. They can't simply throw their children away as they are doing.

For a start, they need to start local groups that meet to replace the news they aren't getting. Each group could also share access to the computer of a member at which they could gather to read real news papers like The Guardian and Haaretz. They could could invite speakers on what  is happening. Somehow,  the people of New Brunswick have to learn that it is not a sin to  have an opinion that is different from that of others.

They could use their churches for discussion groups.  Certainly, the Christian churches have not distinguished themselves so far in a century of mass murder and social and economic abuse. It would be nice if they could switch from standing around with their faces hanging out as we deliberately starve and bomb children to death. (They might even ask whether it is possible to be a Christian in our economic system.)

There has to be a beginning of awareness of what is happening to us. And the irving press is not going to do that.

Here's another story that so far hasn't made the irving press.  This is a dangerous one. It's a call to a new war in the middle east, a war of Israel and assorted friends like Saudi Arabia against Iran.

One danger of such a war is that it could involve both China and Russia who now have a stake in the middle east. And that would involve the U.S. which is trying to hold on to what is left of its middle east empire. So such a war could go nuclear.

In fact, it might go nuclear even without the Russians and Chinese. Israel has a nuclear arsenal.

This could be the war that nobody wins.

This opinion is about the greed encouraged by big business deals with the situation in Britain. But, gee, who knows? It might apply to us, too.

Another story the irving press 'missed'.
And the Canadian angle on that spill - also missed by the irving press.

For all  the recent chatter about Canada moving into a spot on the world stage, the reality is that Trudeau is a lapdog for Trump. We are committing ourselves to help fight American wars - which means committing ourselves to much higher military spending.

Yes, Trudeau is on the world stage. And if you look closely, you can see the strings.


American heroes are working hard to starve the people of Yemen to death. This year, the toll of just the children starved to death will be 50,000, at least. God bless America.

No. Canada hasn't  said anything.  More to the point, the gutless Christian churches of the western world haven't said or done anything. Sorry, revs, I can't take you or your sermons seriously. No, I can't even take the Irving Chapel seriously, not even when it rents a rev DD for the service, has special music, and coffee in the barn. (I keep thinking of Raoul Leger who lies in a grave in sight of the Irving Chapel, but out of sight and out of mind for the chapel goers.)

I know that the looming confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Iran is a very dangerous one. I also know it has the potential to turn nuclear. I know the U.S. could well be caught in it. But it's hard to get a full understanding of what it's about.

This might help.

This is for naval buffs (of whom I am one.) Each war changes opinions about what sorts of ships are needed for the next one.  After World War One's reliance on the battleship, the British and Americans began the shift to the aircraft carrier - though both maintained a heavy reliance on the big gun battleship, a reliance that proved to be wrong. Russia is now shifting to smaller ships - a  recognition that firepower has advanced so much that even a small ship can be a powerful one.

President Trump's son is an avid trophy hunter. In particular, he likes to shoot elephants, and bring back their ivory tusks as trophies. (Elephants are a vanishing species.)

So daddy passed a law making it legal to bring hunting trophies back to the U.S.

Israel's Haaretz is, as always, excellent. The best part of it is an opinion column  , which I hope is correct, saying that and Israeli/Saudi war against Iran is a non-starter, partly because Russia controls that situation, and because the U.S. is backing away from deeper involvement.

I hope that's true.

Now, I look forward to reading the list of 3,100 respectable Canadians who have been stealing our money by hiding their bank accounts.

Maybe the irving press will have the list in its Oct. 18 edition. Or maybe not.


1. The Paradise Papers list is not an easy to use as I had hoped. It rarely mentions a name - and the money can be hidden is many and very tortuous categories.

2. I forgot to mention that I may miss the blog for Monday, Nov. 20. I have an operation that morning in which the doctor will punch a whole in one of my eyes.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Nov. 15: Thieving Billionaires.

The strike of teachers at Ontario community colleges is attracting surprisingly little attention from most Canadian news media - and what attention there is is largely superficial.

The basic stats are 12,000 teaching staff are on strike. That affects some 500,000 students. The basic problem is that  81% of that teaching staff is made up of part-timers.

What that means is an education system based on part-time teachers at very, very low pay, and with few benefits, if any. It's a cheap system, bad for the students and bad for the teachers, but cheap. And those teachers, in practice, have to work much the same hours as full-time teachers in order to get the job done. In other words, this is a giant scam of an Ontario government taking advantage of a vulnerable group. And why is the Ontario government doing that?

So far, I haven't seen any news medium asking that question. But the CBC (NOT privately owned) had a blockbuster story just days ago that helps to explain it.

The very wealthy of our society are robbing us blind. They've been doing it for years. The CBC story, Paradise Papers, tells how the very wealthy of at least the western world have been robbing the rest of us blind for decades. Most of them aren't paying income taxes. Get the whole brunt of that. They take money from us constantly for 'incentives', business handouts, special grants, kiss-kiss... AND they don't pay taxes.

This is more than just an annoyance. This robs the rest of us of tens of billions of dollars every year - hundreds of billions in the U.S. We deprive our children of education and ourselves of health care and other services to stuff money into the bulging cheeks of some of the greediest people in world history. Governments cannot serve their voters because so much of the money is gone without a burp.

This is one hell of a serious matter. Not only are we doing terrible damage to ourselves and our families now. We are actually forced to borrow even more money to give as gifts to the wealthy. In the U.S., for example, much of the federal budget is based on loans. And these loans are used to benefit the wealthy as, for example, in the scandalously corrupt defence industries. (And it's not just the U.S. on that one.)

Not only are we misplacing the money we need for our whole society, we are running up one hell of a debt that has to, some day, be paid.  In the U.S., that money will be in the trillions of dollars - and that's just for the interest.

The greed of the very wealthy is driving us into economic catastrophe. So where is our media coverage of this? The irving press gave it a brief notice and, take my word for it, we ain't going to hear any more.

A reporter asked Trudeau - and he said he'd have to look into it. Oh, really? This robbery has been going on for years. And Trudeau didn't know about it? Come on, baby. Canadian politicians have actually passed laws making this theft possible.

And where will it take us?

It will take us to the dirty thirties - and even worse, much worse. And the privately owned news media are going to be no help whatever in informing us about this.

This is a stunning abuse of us all by people who make millions of dollars a day out of stealing from the rest of us. Worse, we are not only the ones who are losing vital services because of their greed. We are also the ones who will have to pay for the tremendous deficits they have run up.

New Brunswickers need to be prodded to wake up. The Liberal and Conservative parties have to be put out to pasture. And the Greens and the NDP are going to have to get a whole lot tougher. And that means New Brunswickers are going to have to get a whole lot tougher.

Otherwise, this can only  get worse - and it will quite likely break down into the mess the U.S. is becoming - the mess caused when people realize their governments have been cheating them, but when the people have given no thought to an alternative form of government - and simply wander off into bigotries and hatreds.

We are very close to that point. Wake up New Brunswick. Wake up Canada.

For a start, let's demand to know how much money we lose every year to billionaires who don't pay taxes. And let's also demand to know how much we give in gifts every year to the very wealthy - and do it while inflicting punishment on our own children and the ill. (Education, at all levels, is seriously underfunded in this province.)

Or  you can just read the irving press. The big, big Canada and World story, the front page headline for Nov. 14, was that the first woman mayor in New Brunswick was elected in 1959.  Wow! That changes my plans for the day.

This is a newspaper, like too many newspapers (and radio and TV newsrooms), designed to keep people in dazed ignorance of anything that matters. And, in particular, they keep us in dazed ignorance of those corporation vultures who steal from us, our children, and our families.

(Oh, and forget the bilge about how business knows better than the civil service how to run and economy. Read some Canadian history. In World War One, the Canadian economy was pretty much run by business. And it was a disaster. Prices went out of control. There were terrible shortages. There was suffering.

In World War Two, the federal government took control. We got rationing, for example, to ensure adequate supplies of food without prices that went out of control. The government also encouraged buying war stamps and bonds to take money out of the economy - money that would have driven prices wild.

The Canadian civil service did a brilliant job with its planning and controls. In fact, it was so effective that for some  years after the war, big business sent its executives to study Ottawa's methods.

However, big business is now in it's old mode or grabbing, grabbing, grabbing. And we're facing one hell of a price for it.

Contrary to what a reading of the irving press might suggest, 79% of Canadians think that climate change is for real. And that 79% has the backing of scientists who know what they're talking about. But the irving press is above all that. It has, for some weeks, been featuring the worst bozo of all its commentators on the subject. His name is Bill Whitelaw, and he's a top exec of an energy company.

His general feeling is that most politicians don't understand energy policy - and they should be required to show expertise in it before running. Duh, well, one could wish Mr. Whitelaw could show some expertise before writing about it.

His commentaries are utterly without clarity, without point, without understanding of anything. They are simply ignorant rants with no clear point at all.

Here's something better.

For something far superior to the irving press, try the site below. While you're at it, take a look at the whole site.

There's also an excellent article on North Korea by a scholar at St. Thomas University. There are plenty of people of intelligence in New Brunswick. They just aren't allowed to appear in the irving press.

You think the U.S. and British have been fighting against the Islamic State in the middle east?  Think again.

Why is the U.S. is such a mad rush to build weapons? Nobody else comes even close.  The answer...

Companies can make huge profits out of weapons. The U.S., in particular, is neglecting its schools, health care, nutrition, living standards to pour trillions into weapons.

Most of our news media have done a terrible job of covering the Ontario college strike. Maybe the irving press should ask questions about the treatment of teachers in this province's college system. (hint to irving reporters - Don't waste your time asking the administrators or the politicians.)

A world ruled by and for the greediest.
The world has entered the most dangerous phase we have ever seen. It's this phase of the wealthy running out of control, ruling only for themselves. It is the wealthy who own the American government and the Canadian government and most governments.

One reason, so we are told, that the U.S. must limit refugees is that it is a nation of Christian values. Oh, really?

I have read one estimate which says that at least 50,000 Yemen children will die of starvation in 2017, a starvation which is imposed largely by American force.

Indeed, the dominant principles of almost the whole world today are those established by Hitler in World War Two.  And where are most of the Christian churches on this? They are exactly where the German churches were under Hitler.

My, it's depressing to write these blogs on current events. A century after the wars to end wars, and more than seventy years after the war to bring world peace, we are up to our ears in war. And we are being led, for the most part, by people of staggering greed - and unimpressive intelligence.

We are going to have to solve these problems for ourselves because, obviously, our traditional leaders won't solve them.

So next time I'll take a look at the nature of war, at who benefits from it, and at how an age is ending.

New Brunswick needs a starting point, too. That starting point is learning how to choose a government that governs for you - and not just for the greedy.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Nov. 13: a slow news day

I began with this one because this is just one, small sample about the horror of refugees. The number in the news usually runs to a couple of thousand a year drowning at sea. But that's nowhere close to the total when one of thinks of those who die and are forgotten before they even get to the sea. Nor does it count those taken for sex slaves and other forms of slavery.

What are we going to do when, as we have been warned, the number of refugees may reach a billion within the lifetimes of most readers? Climate change with drought and flooding and savage weather will do that. (Yes. I know the very wealthy say that isn't happening. The reality is that they are not, for the most part, very bright.)

As it is, with only tens of millions to deal with, huge numbers are starving, living in miserable concentration camps in Europe.... We are producing millions of people who will never be able to fit in anywhere.

What will we do when that number reaches a billion - and at a time when we have made no preparation for it?

I think I know what will happen - the greatest mass murder in history.  Nothing to it.  All the very wealthy have to do is to raise the hatred level - just as Hitler did - and Trump.

The great gift to the world of what was once a poor and backward Scotland was public education.  That education, available to everyone, created an explosion of learning and scholarship and writing and scientific advance in Scotland.

It was one of the greatest innovations ever, and we've all, every one of us, benefited from it. But the wealthy don't usually see it that way.

After all, they can afford to send their children to private schools. And for other children? Who gives a damn?

No. All the wealthy can see is money. And a great way to muscle in on money by privatizing education (and medicare). The U.S. wealthy have been moving big-time in this direction for some years. And public education in the U.S. is now so neglected and  bad that it ranks below that of the Koreas, both south and north.

And American parents in increasing numbers have to get their children into private schools if they are to have any chance at all. Are private schools better? No. Not unless you starve the public schools. And starving the public schools is exactly what our wealthy are doing.

The world cannot afford nuclear stockpiles. If we have them, then some day they will be used. And when that happens, there will be no winner.

This Protestant boy has been very happy to see Pope Francis venturing to raise the issue. Other Christian churches have been avoiding this topic by praying to their own bellybuttons. The Christian churches have never been good at challenging secular authority. But most are really licking the bottom now. It's good to read about Pope Francis.

Why are we fighting wars that kill millions? Why are we starving children to death in Yemen? Why have we murdered over two million in the Middle East? Why is the U.S. now thinking of a war with Iran? And possibly one with Venezuela?

O-o-o-o, they're bad people. Well, maybe so. But they aren't so bad that they're attacking us. It's our side attacking them.

And why? Is there some risk that Syria or Venezuela will invade us?

No. What's happening is that our billionaires want to make big money out of oil. And no, it's not us they're doing it for. They are murdering millions all over the world - and it's all for themselves. They want to control the profits of the oil, of the minerals.... Who actually controls all that stuff makes no difference to the rest of us. These are wars fought for the pure personal greed of the already wealthy.

And they don't even have to pay a cent for these wars because they can avoid taxes, and use our tax money instead.

Maybe it would help if our wealthy went to public schools where they could learn something about compassion and morality and, you know, hang out with a better class of kids than the ones they associate with now.

We are at a extremely dangerous point. Our wealthy are committing us to fight wars we cannot afford to fight and, in the long run, cannot win. They are doing it with no sign of moral purpose, no sign of anything but personal greed.

We face monstrous problems with population growth, climate change, food shortage. And we aren't dealing with those problems because we are following people who are, quite seriously, immoral and deranged. No. I'm not exaggerating.
Who else could kill millions of people over the last 70 years? Who else would build the worst refugee crisis this world has ever known?

These are people obsessed with money in sums way beyond what they can ever use. And they see only their own need - and nothing of the misery they cause even in Canada and the U.S. These are people who see the world only four months into the future - the time needed for their quarterly reports. They are greedy, and short-sightedly greedy.

Based on their performance as human beings, there is no need to see them nearly so intelligent as they seem to believe they are. And there is no chance of finding any compassion in them.  In the end, they will destroy themselves by their own greed. And they will destroy us.

We don't have much time. Climate change, population growth, food shortage is on us now. To waste our money and time on killing people to make big business richer means that we cannot deal with the real problems that are facing us.

Don't pay any attention to the above story. I'm sure the irving press will find a kissup to write about how 15,000 scientists mean nothing compared to the wisdom of Mr. Irving.

Selling weapons is more profitable than feeding the starving.

There's a story behind this, I'm sure. Canada  (Trudeau) approved a huge sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia of some $15 billion. Though our news media rarely mention it, that was an illegal sale under Canadian law - illegal due to Saudi Arabia's record of violence.

So how come Trudeau approved it?
And, yes, there are bad guys on both sides.

This opinion piece about universities 'selling' themselves is about Britain - but it applies as well in Canada and the U.S. In Canada, the device is MacLean's magazine which has an annual edition advising which Canadian universities are best. In the U.S., as in Canada and Britain, there has also long been a snobbery among schools about which is best. It's a natural phenomenon because, after 40 years of university teaching, I can safely say that universities are bloated with snobbery.

The reality is that it is rare to find university teachers who know anything about education. Almost all have no training in it. (They have training in their own discipline, but none in how to teach it.) At the undergraduate level, I don't know of any university in Canada that is superior to the others.

And at the graduate level? That's where students learn to be snobs.

Yes, climate change is happening. Yes, something can be done.

The following account of Polish anti-semitism as revealed in a recent mass demonstration against Jews should be a reminder that Hitler was not the only Jew-hater in the western world. Almost all European countries of the time hated Jews. That includes Britain.

And North Americans and Canadians shared that hatred. The longing of Jews for a homeland in Israel had nothing to do with religion. It has to do with escaping the horror of - us.

And when Israel was given to the Jews, that did not show sympathy for them. It was a way for Europe and North America to get rid of them.

Often, I get angry at the racism of Jews since 1948, and their abuse of Palestinians. Then I remember where it comes from. It comes from us Christians in the western world, and our brutal treatment of Jews.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Nov. 11: Our Lies to those Who Served

Our modern newspaper, cheap enough to be available to almost everyone, appeared about 1880. The industry had developed so far by then, it could produce a newspaper for one cent a copy.

But, however cheap each copy might be, it still required an ownership by the very wealthy. And that means that almost all newspapers were propaganda sheets from the start. The news was what the owners said it was.

And it was powerful propaganda. Two incidents of very late in the nineteenth century showed that.

In the Boer War, a British colonel got himself and his regiment trapped in a town called Mafeking. He wasn't supposed to be there. He was supposed to be roaming through the country to keep the Boers off guard. But for months, nothing much else was happening in that war, so the papers focussed on the gallant Colonel Baden-Powell and his valiant defence in the most splendid British fashion.

But the British high command was not impressed by Baden-Powell. He wasn't supposed to be in Mafeking at all. And the high command had to scramble to form a large force to get him out. What it then wanted to do was to fire Baden-Powell. But it could't. The press had made him a national hero. So the British army had to promote him to general.

About the same time, an American warship visiting a Cuban harbour blew up. A major, American newspaper owner named Hearst printed the story that this had been done by the Spanish who then controlled Cuba.

Hearst was lying. There was no evidence whatever of a Spanish attack. But Hearst and other wealthy Americans wanted that story to get out. They were promoting a  canal to be built in Panama. They needed a naval base in Cuba (Guantanamo Bay) to control who could use Panama. They also wanted to get control of Cuba as a source of VERY cheap labour for wealthy Americans like themselves.

So Hearst's story became the excuse for declaring war on Spain. As a result, Cuba became a very brutal, American dictatorship that would control Cuba for the next fifty years of extraordinary hardship and suffering. And the U.S. still controls Guantanamo.

The modern news media are for the most part propaganda sheets for the wealthy who own them. And that tradition has carried into radio and TV news.

I don't know of a commercial news medium in North America that is honest. Britain has The Guardian and National observer. Israel has Haaretz. Al Jazeera, due to early leadership by people from Canada's CBC, can be quite decent. And the CBC, in general, despite tremendous pressure from politicians to lie, is (usually) quite honest.

Almost all other news media I know of in North America are made up of propaganda written by liars. For Canada, the worst, perhaps, of the major ones is The Post. (I occasionally talked with Conrad Black in his early days before the founding of The Post. He obviously had an ego problem that suggested brain damage. And he was a consummate liar.)

As for the U.S. there's nothing I would trust. And that, I'm afraid, includes The New York Times. It's failure, for example, to cover the American massacre of the Maya people in Guatemala is unforgivable.

Radio news, with the exception of CBC radio, is pretty useless. Most radio stations have only one or two reporters. Even the best can't do much with those numbers.

And our very own Brunswick News? It's hard to find an adequate description of what is wrong, dishonest, and even vile with Brunswick News. Of the dozens of newspapers I read every day, Brunswick News ones are the worst.

In today's paper (Nov. 10) the editorial writer rants at government spending on what the editor seems to think are frills like health and education. It is not possible for the editor who wrote this to be ignorant of the fact that some wealthy people,including  the owner of this paper, avoid taxes. So to hell with health and education.

We don't know the extent of that tax avoidance  because Brunswick Press employees make it a point not to know.

The Commentary page has a column, a type that appears frequently, of brainless crap submitted by Atlantic Institute of Market Studies, a propaganda house with a certain closeness to the Irvings. These propaganda, far-right columns are standard fare in Brunswick News.

In this case, it is an attack on government for not letting those nice people in the oil business run an oil pipeline through the province.

Well, yes. But such an oil pipeline would take many decades to make a profit - and there is some concern about those additional years of burning oil and the damage they would cause.

In fact, that's only a tiny part of the story. We have been warned by most world-class scientists that the burning of fossil fuels is almost certain to destroy the planet. But,  hey! What do those scientists know? I mean, our billionaires surely know more. (The actually don't have much in the way of education but they're - you know - billionaires.)

Below, I shall list just a few, frightening stories about climate change. There's much more.  Canada's permafrost is breaking up. You can even hear the constant crashing of debris as parts are becoming uninhabitable. As regions go into drought, the world's food supplies drop, and we can expect as many as a billion refugees within present lifetimes. Imagine a billion displaced people roaming the world - and being turned back everywhere.

Of course, we can improve some of our plant life by spraying it with glyphosate. Our provincial health officer said this was dangerous to human life. So she was transferred right away. (I wonder whose idea that was.) Brunswick News never pursued that story.

World News, as usual, has almost no news of any value. In particular, it almost never mentions the extraordinarily brutal war of Saudi Arabia and the U.S.   (with Canadian help) on one of the poorest nations on earth - a war in which they are deliberately starving millions, including children, to death.

In general, the Brunswick News treats the slaughter in the Middle East as though it were all about evil terrorists. It's not. It's all about evil oil billionaires who want the right to plunder oil all for themselves. That's why way over a million were killed in Iraq. That's why the score in Syria is a  half million and rising.

Why do the Irvings run such a lying and trivial newspaper? I suspect this is a pattern that runs through history. Those who acquire wealth assume that this indicates exceptional intellectual powers that they have. In fact, that is rarely true. More often it reflects greed. And it breeds an economic ruling class which sees itself as superior to other humans. It is destructive of democracy and of social order of any sort. And every such social structure from the time of Rome and, I presume earlier, has come crashing down leaving nothing but ruin behind it.

And we live in an age in which almost all news media are owned by such people.

Are there problems of how we (aren't) dealing with climate change?  Try these samples.

As climate change grows, how will we act to deal with this swarm of refugees? Simple. We'll kill them, and we'll call it patriotism.

There's much more like this, most of it much grimmer. Severe climate change in the U.S. would almost certainly lead to an American takeover of Canada, for example. It would expand the wars all over the world.

However, as long as Brunswick News says its okay, I'm sure its perfectly safe. I also believe in Tinkerbell.

There is a massive strike of  community college teachers across the province of Ontario. News coverage has not been strong. So here's what it's about.

Large numbers of the teaching staff (most) have to live on part-time contracts with no job security. And with very, very low pay.  In fact, their 'part-time' jobs commonly require full time hours. This is because the Ontario government is seriously over-budget.

The reason it is seriously overbudget is that in Canada, the very wealthy don't pay taxes. This amounts to the loss of many billions of dollars every year. (In the U.S., it can run to over a trillion.) Result?  Essential programmes in health and education have to suffer but cutting salaries. Luckily, this is not problem for the very rich since they can afford to send their children to private schools. Tough for everybody else, though. Thus the savage cuts in education for the peasantry.

This is just one example of the greed of the rich destroying our society. I mean, they're so superior to us slobs. You're worried about climate change? Well, relax. It's quite possible we'll destroy ourselves first thanks to greed.

The official word in the irving press is that capitalism is being strangled by government regulations. I could wish that were true. The reality is that capitalism is running wild all over the world. That's why we don't have enough money for government programmes like education and health. That's why we have been killing people all over the world since 1945.

That's why the American political, economic and social system is crashing. (And Canada's, too.)

Wake up, folks! The greedy are leading us into disaster.

Remember the film "Lawrence of Arabia"? When I was a kid I read a book about him, and was fascinated by this daring Englishman who rallied the desert arab tribes against the evil Turks. Only later, much later, did I realize he was really the servant of British oil barons who intended to make many billions out of Saudi Arabia by establishing a medieval monarchy under their control.

That monarchy is now looking, with Israeli help, to bring hell to Iranians (and their elected democracy) so that Saudi aristocrats and American oil barons can plunder that country.

The whole of the middle east has been plundered for a century by British and American oil barons who have killed several million people over those years. Stable government has been made impossible. Millions are refugees.  (And we wonder why ISIS attacks us.)

Why is this war important to us ordinary people? It isn't. It's being fought to produce profits for our oil barons. But the rest of us will never see those profits because the oil barons will hide them - as they've been doing for the last century.

This new war is the most dangerous one ever - for all of us. However, New Brunswickers don't need to worry about it. The irving press won't tell them what's happening.
The only good news out of the middle east is that ISIS has been defeated. But the U.S. did little in that respect. On the contrary, it has been supplying ISIS with weapons, money and training support to launch wars throughout the region. ISIS was broken largely by those "evil" people in Syria, Russia and Iran.

The decision to go to war now against Iran is a desperate attempt to destroy the people who really beat ISIS. And it's a very dangerous one.
Our side is about to murder millions, especially children, in Yemen.  But, as my Scottish mother would have said, "dinna fash your'sel".  It won't affect New Brunswickers because they won't know about it. Their newspapers have rarely even glanced at this horror by our side.

The U.S. has the largest military budgets in history, now running at half a trillion dollars a year. But the system is wildly corrupt, so  that price doesn't guarantee a superior military. It also has deep problems in the structure of its military. That's why it has not really won a significant war since 1945.

The U.S. has, effectively, declared war on Venezuela by placing sanctions that limit its ability to export oil, its main industry. This is being done to cut off Venezuela's attempts to operate a more democratic economy and, instead, to put more control over Venezuela into the hands of American oil companies.

Is it overstating to call this an act of war? No. It is part of the definition of sanctions that they are acts of war. And Trudeau has committed Canada to support the U.S. in this act of war.
The item below is about Remembrance Day. It's a very sympathetic view of the day but, unlike most Remembrance Day columns, it doesn't romanticize the war.

As I read it I thought of Mr. Bright, a World War One survivor who spoke with an eerily raspy voice. He had been gassed at Passchendaele, and could speak and eat only through a metal tube in his throat. And Mr. Kelly, whom I never met. He spent the rest of his life in an English hospital, no longer able to function in the world. His wife, who lived close to us, raised their two sons. one of whom was wounded at Dieppe. And there was Leslie Bibewell who died when a torpedo struck his ancient destroyer. And Bertie who, at 16, died when he jumped up screaming for his mother, and a  machine-gun cut him in half.

The problem - and I shrink here as I write this - is that we elevate patriotism on Nov. 11 to a noble quality. In fact, patriotism is a terrible reason for going to war.
(Also in fact, very few people have the fainest idea was  the word patriotism means.)

The Naziis who went to war were patriotic. So were the Japanese. But I don't mourn for either of them. Canadians died in the Boer War, a war that had nothing whatever to do with Canada. Whenever I think of that, I remember, in grade one, learning to stand each morning "I promise loyalty to this flag (pointing dramatically at a Union Jack) and to the Empire for which it stands." That's patriotism, I guess, and it's brainless. That sort of brainlessness is what has been sending us to fight wars in Afghanistan and Libya and to train Syrian rebels, and now to support the U.S. mining barons in their assault on Venezuela.

Sorry. My patriotism does not extend to killing Iranians to satisfy the oil industry.


Bernie Sanders is the only political leader in the U.S. with any idea of how to salvage that country that is controlled by billionaires and fed lies by its news media.

Alas! I fear it's too late.

The U.S. is peace-loving?  Try this.

It looks as though Saudi Arabia is trying to push Israel into a war that it doesn't want with Iran. The pressure is coming from the U.S., too. And Israel stands to lose heavily from it.

This has been a long and depressing blog. The bottom line is that we made promises to those who served in our military, especially in World War Two. And we have betrayed just about every one of those promises.

Certainly, nobody told them there were fighting for a world in which billionaires could hide their money from taxation, in which we would cooperate with the U.S.  in its eternal wars fought to make rich Americans richer. We never told them they were fighting so Canadian and American mining companies could brutalize, exploit, and kill Latin Americans - as in Guatemala. They didn't die so that the wealthy could buy governments at every level.  My childhood friend Bertie didn't get killed, when he was 16, in order to send Canadians to fight an American war in Afghanistan. Ever since 1945, the most vicious, murderous  and greedy country in the world has been the United States. And the Canadian government has kissed up to it every step of the way.

We should remember that on Remembrance Day. But we never do. We gloss over the reality with that meaningless word - patriotism. (Next time you hear that, remember that the naziis were patriots, too.)

Remember, on this day of remembrance, that we have shattered just about every promise we made to those who served.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Novermber 9: Remembrance Day

I really don't want to write this one. Nov. 11, Remembrance Day, approaches, and I  know that some people will take this as a criticism of our veterans of foreign wars.

It is no such thing.

It is a criticism of us.

What was World War One about? It was about Germany's rise as an industrial power, a rise that threatened the profits of British corporations. But we couldn't say that. No. For the war effort to succeed, we needed a reason to make people support the war.

So Germany was declared to be evil. (Ever notice that everybody we've ever fought has been branded as evil? But our side never is.)

World War Two was much the same. This time, Hitler WAS evil. But that's not what caused the war. We knew about the horror he was inflicting on Jews. But we didn't give a damn because Canada was as anti-semitic as they come. (So were Britain and the U.S.) Indeed, far from opposing Hitler, Britain and the U.S. and France had supported him throughout his rise. He was the great hope of western big business. He would block the spread of communism which was evil. (Mind you, when Hitler invaded the Soviets in 1942, communists immediately became good, just like us. They were so good, they were the subjects of an American documentary film, "Why We Fight: The Russian War", a film that portrayed them as being just like Americans. However, when the war ended in 1945, they were declared evil again. Luckily, you can still see the film on Netflix.)

The Canadian generation that fought that war is almost gone now. And why did they volunteer to fight it? This history books tell us it was because they were patriotic. Well, okay. But that doesn't get us far. The volunteers who have fought in just about every war in history have been fighting out of patriotism. Canadians were patriotic. So were the Germans and the Japanese and the Italians.

All people have always killed each other out of patriotism -- without anybody really knowing what it means.

Up closer, as a child, I knew some of the volunteers. The boys from my father's boy scout troop of some years earlier, came by one at a time to say goodbye. There was Jack in his sailor uniform who thrilled me by showing me his jack knife. There was my uncle who joined to get away from his wife and family and enjoy parties. There was Bertie, a severely retarded kid of 16 who used to play with me - because he was severely retarded. He left school in grade three to join up, lying about his age. He was killed one day when he jumped up screaming for  his mother, and a machine gun cut him in half. It was his first action. Then there was the day my father went.

Most of them had one reason in common for joining. They were the generation of the great depression when  most families lived on next to nothing. It was hopeless. And government and big business did nothing whatever to help them. (That's why my father joined. He had a family to feed, and he couldn't do it on five dollars a week.) Those who had  jobs suffered horrible working conditions, and no security at all. The wealthy did well through those horrible years. They did it my cutting salaries, overworking staff, erasing benefits....Everybody else suffered in hopelessness.

Money, enough money to live on, was a prime motive from joining up. And, from my conversations with 'the boys' as they signed up and left, I realized it was also adventure.

Government realized it had better promise Canadians a better life. So, from the start, we got a constant flow of slogans and promises and plans for what a better world this would be. And this, we were told, was what we were fighting for - a world of decency and respect for human life, a world of care for basic necessities like pensions and job security, a world at peace through a sort of world government that would be called the UN.

In short, our veterans did not fight to create the Canada we have now. They did not fight so American corporations could conquer the world, keeping it in a constant state of war.. They did not fight so Canada could open up health care profits to wealthy corporations. The did not fight so North Korea  could be bombed almost out of existence so that American corporations would be able to invade China. They did not fight to help the U.S. fight Afghanistan for the benefit of those corporations. And they certainly did not fight so we could bomb Libya at the wish of American oil companies, or train Syrian rebels - also for American oil companies. Nor did they fight so Canadian corporations could sell weapons to Saudi Arabia to massacre some of the poorest people on earth. They did not fight so that Canadian mining companies could starve and kill their workers in Guatemala.

They fought for a UN that would put an end to war.

Instead, we have a UN controlled by US big money that encourages US troops in most countries of the whole world while the U.S. itself ignores international law to murder people by the millions, and to refugee them by the tens of millions.

We did get medicare after the war.But our veterans certainly did not fight so that Canadian  big business could muscle in on it so that Canadian big business could skim the profits   And, certainly, none of the guys I knew who signed up did it so that billionaires could hide their money (and avoid taxes) with secret bank accounts.

In short, we have betrayed just about every, damn thing we told our veterans they were fighting for. And it is disappointing, I must say,  that The Canadian Legion leadership does not seem to have noticed any of this.

We should most certainly observe Nov. 11 and the contribution to Canada of those who served. But even more, we should observe one more year of our betrayal of what we told them they were fighting for.

Canada is now bum boy for one of the the greediest and most brutal nations in history. And that is doing wonders for the profits of Canada's wealthy, even as it damages the future for all the rest of us. And even as it kills more Canadians as we rush to serve our new imperial master.

By all means, remember our veterans on Nov. 11. But let's can the dewy-eyed hypocrisy that is so common on that day. Let's remember our veterans who served. Let's also remember the promises we made to them.

And, no, remembering them does not mean we should privatize health care or education or run an oil pipeline to St. John.

The irving press of my province hasn't paid much attention to the scandal about how the very wealthy avoid paying taxes. No, not even as we hand out money and land to them. They take. But they never give  (unless is a relatively small gift, and they get praise for it as phil-an-thro-py. (God bless the rich for their generosity. They're SUCH Christians.)

I'm not at all sure I can get excited about this next opinion piece on the victories of U.S. Democrats in the recent elections After all, if Trump's excesses have turned off voters, it's not at all clear what Democrats stand for. (Except what they have always stood for - kissing up to the very wealthy with all the corruption that brings.)

The one Democrat who has some idea of what the future should be is Bernie Sanders. But he's very much a lone figure.

The unfair distribution of wealth in this world is not just unspeakably immoral; it is a also fatally destructive of our society. It is greed turned loose - and that is well on the way to destroying us.

Locally, we can see it in the giveaways and tax breaks to our local wealthy. And we can see it in the neglect and suffering of everybody else. Indeed, it would surely make a good sermon for the Irving Chapel.

Nobody in a position of power in this province is going to help us. We have to do it ourselves. And, certainly, our newspapers and our Liberals and Conservatives aren't going to be any help. (Neither will the NDP and the Greens be much help until they recognize the nature of the challenge and the nature of the response that's needed.)

The people of Yemen are among the poorest on earth. They are deliberately being starved to death by a pair of the richest nations on earth, Saudi Arabia and the U.S.

Children, in particular, are starving, and now falling to the diseases of poverty as well as to the starvation. It is quite possible, even likely, that they will die in their millions.

God Bless America.

And where the hell are our Christian churches on this? (And where are our news media? Seen anything in the irving press?)
The greed of capitalism. Yes. There is such a thing. We're seeing it in a small  way here in New Brunswick as private capital moves in on our medical services.
We're also seeing it, but not noticing, as some New Brunswickers (mentioning no names) threaten all of us by avoiding paying taxes.

In a war marked by a brutality we haven't seen since the naziis, the U.S. is playing a leading role in murdering innocent people, including children. This is the the war against Yemen and, yes, the U.S. has become the Naziis of our time.

Interestingly , this is not the first time that the American government, urged on by its leading capitalists, has supported the Naziis.  It supported Hitler through most of the 1930s. But you won't find the story in the irving press.

The central figure was actor Charlie Chaplin who detested Hitler and all he stood for. On the eve of the outbreak of World War Two, he made a film called "The Great Dictator". It was a call to rally against Hitler and all he stood for.

American capitalists were not pleased. They like Hitler and his Naziis as barriers against the communist Soviet Union. So Chaplin was attacked viciously by the press. (And, yes,  the press did lie in those days just as it does today.)  The attacks continued even after the U.S. entered the war. He was accused of being a "pre-mature anti-Nazi".

It was so bad, he had to flee the U.S. He would not return until the late 1950s when he was asked to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show. And at that, he still wasn't welcome. Big business (and its news media - as servile then as they are now) still accused him of being "a pre-mature anti-Nazi".

Is it possible a war with Iran is coming?  It's very possible. But I can't find any stories on it - though it's potentially a real, horror story.

After World War One, Britain got control of Iran's oil fields. Like all good capitalists, the British did a brutal job of pillaging the place.  Iranians got almost nothing. Indeed, Iran was forced to supply all the oil for the Royal Navy for no charge at all.

Soon after World War Two, the Iranians kicked out the British, and took back control of their own oil. Britain, no longer in shape to force its plundering on the world, called on the U.S. to help out. The U.S. did so happily, not to please the British but so that American oil billionaires could do the pillaging. It destroyed the elected government, and installed a brutal dictator - the Shah of Iran.

For some years, the news media were happy. But then those terrible Iranians did something evil. They kicked out the Shah, and set up their own, elected government. Ever since then, Iran has been evil in the American news media.

The U.S., working through good guy Saddam Hussein of Iraq (before he became bad guy Hussein) fought a horribly brutal war against Iran. But it lost. And that made Iran even more evil in the western news media.

Now, Israel and Saudi Arabia are being set up to do the dirty. This one may be very ugly. (Israel is a nuclear power.)

Don't waste your time on our news media reports about this war. It's not about good and evil. It's about greed. And it's not nice to report greed.

This story isn't getting much coverage in our news media. But it could be a very big one.

This is a short, much too short, account of the impact of climate change in northern Canada. But it's an account I couldn't find in any Canadian news medium. I found it in Al Jazeera.

Israel has done enormous damage to the principles of Judaism. This may turn out to be Hitler's most lasting triumph.

Israel's Haaretz has a story which, unfortunately, I cannot send on - though  I've been following this one for some time.

In its early days, Israel set up up the so-called "Israeli lobby", an organization particularly strong in the U.S. and Canada. Its job was to police any news about Israel, and so to ensure it always reflected well on Israel. It became very powerful in giving us a one-sided view of Israel.

It worked very effectively in Canada. In fact, it got me fired from a radio station for being critical of something Israel did to Palestinians. But it has been declining in success among American Jews. They are becoming critical of Israel's racist treatment of Palestinians and other non-Jews.

The situation is becoming critical as Israel seems now to have given up on its Jewish audience in the U.S.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Nov. 7: How to get depressed.

Sorry to be late with this. Writing this blog can be profoundly depressing. And it rather hit me on Monday. I hope I'm over it.

Here is  a story we've been waiting on for a long time.

It's not a surprise. Large numbers of the wealthy all over the world don't pay taxes. All the wars we have fought since 1945  (and most earlier ones) have been fought to benefit the very wealthy - as in oil companies. But many, probably most, of those companies don't pay taxes. It's up to us to fight their wars - and to pay for them.

That's why poorer countries than us can offer free university education; but we can't. That's why our hospitals are understaffed and underfinanced. That's why our public schools are understaffed. That's why the poor in this country so often go unfed and unhoused. That's why so many of the poor   don't have any realistic pensions.

That's why the wealthy in this country have contempt for all but themselves.

For fifty years, we have have been watching a massive shift of our national wealth into the pockets of the very wealthy. And what has made all this possible is our governments, both Liberal and Conservative. Yes, it wouldn't happen without the collusion of those, two parties.

Nobody knows how many billions of dollars this annual theft amounts to. And it happens every year from the greediest people this world has known.

Will this harm us? You can bet it will. This is monstrously destructive of whole nations. And we, I'm afraid,  sit there with our faces hanging out.

As the years go by, we will suffer from this. And our children will suffer from this. And so, all you super greedy out there. Take your 'philanthropy' and stuff it. It's only a tiny fraction of the billions that you steal from us.

And to the NDP and the Greens of New Brunswick, wake up. You won't do anything with the wimpy stances you now take.

And to the Christian churches, for Christ's sake, will you people arise from your stupor long enough to recognize how anti-Christian this is?

All over the world, we are facing a massive greed that will also destroy even the greediest ones among us. Our governments are very much a part of this.  And we probably don't have much time to deal with it.

Oh, the newspapers of New Brunswick just tell us that Prime Minister Trudeau is going to look into this. Gee. This has been going on for decades. And the prime minister didn't' know?

Oh, yeah, one of the people named in this scandal is the chief fund raiser for the Liberal party. He has a lot of money to hide.  (His grand daddy made his fortune in prohibition days as a smuggler.)

Just noticed by our Irving-owned press in New Brunswick is the story that a local railway is facing charges in the oil-train accident that killed 47 people in Lac Megantic. It's a small story about how the railway, also owned by Irving, is charged with negligent handling of the oil shipment, and with unqualified personnel dealing with dangerous goods. It's a pretty brief story that tells us little - and half of that is about what cooperative sweethearts Irving Oil has been.

Irving Oil already has been fined 4 million dollars on related charges. But before you weep for Irving Oil, consider.

1. If you were driving a truckload of oil that you had improperly loaded, and if that resulted in an accident that killed 47 people, would you get off with a fine?

2. And do you think that a company with a history of scrounging from our governments is actually going to pay a fine - without insisting on some financial favours from us?

Here is the anger I couldn't find in the irving press about tax avoidance by the wealthy.

Wake up, New Brunswick.

Duh, say New Brunswick voters. We'll show those Liberals. Next time, we'll vote for the Conservatives. Duh.

The story of offshore tax havens is a huge one. It's a warning signal of the rise of a new aristocracy that rules us. It a warning signal of a tiny group of people of extreme greed but low intelligence who are effectively destroying democracy to make themselves a new, international government, one with no obligation to anybody except its greedy self, and one so greedy it actively works at destroying the planet to satisfy its short-term greeds.

Although making loud noises about fighting terrorism, American governments have been funding and supplying weapons to terrorist groups for years. Syria is the current hot spot.

So why is the U.S. so determined to topple Assad in Syria? That's because American billionaires want to control Syrian oil. Cute, isn't it? And those billionaires don't pay anything to fight the war because most of them don't pay taxes. The American people are the ones getting hit to satisfy the greed of their capitalists.

But I'm sure the Christian clergyman who  prays with the Trump cabinet will find a Bible passage to justify all that. (He has already announced that God wants Trump to 'take out' Kim Jung.)

A story that tells itself.

And that sort of greed and stupidity has led to the decline and fall of just about every empire that ever there was.

Ever since 1945, American big business has been pressing for the biggest empire in history, The American World Empire. It seemed a sure thing at first. But the clock is running down - and things have not been going well. China is showing unexpected growth. Latin America seethes with hatred of the U.S. American interference in the Middle East has pulled us into chaos.

As an aside, social services like education, medical care, housing and many others are threatened as puppet governments hand them over to private business - a process that hurts most of us because we have to pay for those excessive profits. Big business, most of which doesn't pay taxes, doesn't care what all this costs us in taxation. Why should it?

American big business (with all its Canadian sucks) has - maybe - twenty years to achieve its ambition. It almost certainly can't do it. But it's quite possibly crazy and greedy enough to try. And Canada will be expected to join. Indeed, it has already joined in places like Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Latvia.

There is no future for Canada in playing this game. Even if we won it, we would gain nothing as all the profits would go to the greedy. And we are most unlikely to win it.

Yes. It is possible for a government of Israel to be as greedy and brutal as any other government. Right now, it is determined to keep Palestine in misery and poverty as it steals Palestinian territory. Meanwhile, it looks forward to what could well be a war with Iran - possibly a nuclear war.

American Jews are  becoming critical of Israel. It may take Canadian Jews longer to catch on. (The propaganda group called 'The Israeli Lobby', is more effective in Canada than in the U.S.)

There has been a coup in Saudi Arabia with a royal prince having taken control of the government, and imprisoning hundreds of now-discredited members of the royal family, government ministers, and military leaders.

It's a confusing story - this version of it won't help much. And it's potentially a huge story because Saudi Arabia is in the middle of a war with Yemen - and has been looking for one against Iran with the help of Israel. But the irving press didn't have room for it. It needed the space for a big story that our governor-general will visit the province.
and here's a column I'll never see in my local paper.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Nov. 3: Okay. Get mad at me.

We'll begin with an old joke.  (Nothing that follows it is at all funny.)

It was about a newsflash that played over TV many years ago in Montreal. Terrible train crash in Turkey. 50 killed. Montreal man injured.

"Oh", say Montreal viewers. "The poor man."

Well, that's the way us humans think. A 'terrorist' kills a half dozen innocent people in New York. It makes the news several days in a row. President Trump expresses sorrow.

President Trump kills many, many more innocent people every day with bombing and starvation in, say, Yemen. He supplies ISIS to kill innocent Syrians every day.

It never makes the news at all. Oh, and nobody on our side expresses sorrow.

In Montreal, there is an Italian community centre called Casa d'Italia. During the war it became a regimental headquarters. I was often in it as a very young child because my father was based there. I visited it recently.

It now has a sign at the entrance in memory of patriotic fascists who died for their country. Isn't that bizarre? No.

They were patriots fighting for their country. In the same way, Germans volunteered to fight for their country in 1939. Weren't they patriots?

Then there were the Japanese who volunteered to fight for their country in China and India. Yes, the Japanese were brutal in those wars. Ever check out the murderous history of the British and French those countries? Ever check out the murderous history of the killing of masses of innocent people by Americans in Vietnam and North Korea? (And Iraq and Syria and Yemen?)

It was certainly terrible what Hitler did to Jews in Europe. It was also terrible that our leaders knew all about what they were doing. And so did we if we ever bothered to listen. And we refused to lift a finger to help the Jews. Even when a large number of children escaped and got to Spain and we knew what they had fled. And we refused to help them. Result? They had to go back to the death camps. And there they died of hunger and overwork.

We continued to refuse Jews for several years after the war. And when we did recognize Israel as a Jewish homeland, we did it only so that the Jews of Europe could be dumped there -rather than here. And we did even that only because the American oil companies wanted an Israel as a friendly base in the Middle East.

And Winston Churchill led the British to victory? No. He didn't. Britain went to war only when it was clear that Hitler would  not stop, and would become a threat to British control of the British Empire - especially the oil of the Middle East.

But in the end, the British did lose their empire - largely because of the American attempts to steal it. Most notable has been the American theft of the Middle East. (But the Americans failed to get their big prize - China.)

And what have we gained from World War Two? It certainly wasn't peace. In fact, we have been fighting wars almost non-stop since 1945.

World War Two had, I think, to be fought. But it wasn't always seen that way in the 1930s. In fact, leading capitalists in the West were great admirers of Hitler. And Western governments saw him as a counter to communism.

And that takes us to the poem, "In Flanders Fields". Think of these lines.

"Take up our quarrel with the foe.
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch.."

Take up what quarrel?

Study the history of that war. It did not start with a quarrel of any sort. In fact, what mostly started it was the invention of the steam engine.

Big business all over Europe was alarmed by the rise of a united Germany. It was perfectly legal for Germany to unite. But in uniting, it had become a major industrial power, and thus a competitor to, say, Britain and others.

British industry became alarmed at this industrial rise of Germany in the 1870s. (Capitalists talk about the glories of competition,  but they kill to prevent it.) And every nation with trade ambitions began preparing for war. In other words, this was the usual sort of war lusted after only by the wealthy for the sake of their profits.

The assassination of an archduke?  No big deal. - except that all the countries relied on the railways and their complex schedules for the massing of their armies. The assassination triggered that massing - and once one country had started, they all had to follow.

The 'quarrel' was over railway schedules. There were no great principles involved - unless you consider keeping the super wealthy really super wealthy as a great principle.

Nov. 11, armistice day, is a day to be remembered. We do owe a great debt to those who served.  But we need go beyond that. We make war something to be glorified when the reality is there is nothing glorious about it. And then it becomes a glorious thing to send people to fight more wars - and almost without exception these are wars to increase to profits of the very wealthy - like the wars in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Vietnam, North Korea.

In the U.S., these have been wars to increase the spending on weapons so that, with their monstrous profits, the war industries have become the largest and most corrupt industries in the U.S. And those who served, I'm quite sure, did not do so in order for the very wealthy to avoid taxes, increase profits, and debase all the rest of us.

We can do without the parades and tunes of glory on Nov. 11. What we need instead is to learn why we claimed to  have fought those wars, and to remind ourselves of the promises we made to those who served.

And we need to ask questions. Why do we have soldiers so close to Russia in Latvia? Why did we send military trainers to   Iraq and Syria? Why did we bomb Libya? Why did Canadians die in Afghanistan? Why is Canada threatening Venezuela over an issue that is none of our business? Why did Canada cooperate in the mass murder of the Maya people in Guatemala? How close are the ties between our "special forces" and those of the U.S.?

Don't let governments use Nov. 11 to make us puppets of billionaires.

Here's another report on the climate change that 'isn't' happening. Hey! Bring on the oil pipeline to St. John. Duh! It'll create jobs.

But don't worry about it. We'll be in trouble long before those sinking cities as other factors, like soil destruction, create a billion refugees.

Hey. Lotsa time. Lotsa time. Don't even think about it. In fact, just read the irving press and don't think about anything.

Major world governments are refusing to give Haiti money to deal with a very serious cholera epidemic. But, of course, the people of Haiti are poor. So who gives a damn.

The irving press is always happy to run columns about how business suffers too many regulations and laws. It needs to be freed!


In fact, we are approaching a crisis of capitalism because it doesn't have nearly enough regulations and controls. For the wealthy to claim they need fewer rules is like drunk drivers organizing to say they should have no driving controls at all.

The capitalist system already has crashed at least once out of pure greed. And that time,  the American government was foolish enough to pay off the bankers whose corruption had created the situation that threatened the economies of the whole world.
______________________________________________________________ is a pretty good source for intelligent commentary

Capitalists are the vultures of the human world. And they own our governments.
Wake up, New Brunswick!


There's warning in the next item. The very wealthy can be the greediest people you will ever encounter. And they have a long history of making life miserable for everybody else.

Greed is a sickness. That's why the very wealthy with more money than they can ever spend avoid taxes, insist on lavish handouts paid for the the rest of us. And there is no limit to what they want or to how much misery they are prepared to affect on everybody else.

For tomorrow, (Saturday), we can look forward to the weekly faith page. But don't get your hopes up. Christianity fell on its face centuries ago, and it's never stirred since.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Nov. 1: A fresh start?

As I ended the post of Oct. 30, I wrote of a sense of depression that writing these blogs has  placed on me. And I think I've clarified it a little in my own mind.

From as early as we have records, we have fought wars to enrich ourselves. And, typically, the rewards never filtered down to the rest of us, but stopped in the pockets of whatever wealthy aristocracy was ruling as at the time.

Almost all wars have been fought for that reason - to fatten whoever had power at the time. And all such systems have eventually broken down.

World War 1 was essentially a war to reduce any rise of German big business so that it would not compete with that of Britain and France. World War Two was similar, with the addition of the U.S. seeking to scoop up remnants of the failing European empires - notably in Asia and the Middle East.

Most wars have been avoidable. World War Two was probably not avoidable. The savagery of Nazi and Japanese methods demanded a response - though I regret to say that their savagery was not so different from that of recent American (plus allies) wars as we like to think. In fact, I would argue that just about all wars since 1945 have been crashingly immoral - as well as being pretty useless.

The greater point, though, is that we can no longer afford wars. The constant wars of the U.S. since 1945, for example, have not only diverted almost all money away from social needs, but have created a monstrously corrupt war machine that is not only destroying American society, but has proven incompetent to win anything.

As we were fond of saying in 1945  (while doing nothing about it), modern weaponry of which nuclear bombs are only one group have made warfare incapable of achieving anything but total destruction of the whole planet.

It has also led us away from dealing with the even greater crisis of our time. Climate change is happening. It  has the potential to destroy the whole planet and every living thing on it.

(In fairness, our local papers, Brunswick News, doesn't think it's all that serious. Today, it had another commentary by oil executive named Bill Whitelaw. He says we should all get together oil executives and the rest of the national politician to come to some reasonable solution. That's an old game - we're all buddies, and there surely is a middle path we can agree to. Yeah. But there is no middle path Either you destroy the planet or you don't. You can't half-destroy it.

The oil industry has been obstructive from the start. It's built into all industrial thinking. They are concerned only about profits. Nothing else exists. They also have no significant scientific training. Ignorant and rapacious, discussing the issue with the oil industry is like discussing with a lion what would be a fair share of you to eat.

Climate change is here. It's moving quickly. Within twenty years, we're likely to see masses of refugees all over the world - not just the tens of millions we have now but hundreds of millions - and some of them may be us. They'll be spilling out of Africa,, China, Latin America, parts of the U.S.....

There are going to be food shortages, starvation, such as the world has never seen. There are no Bill Whitelaw compromises. We are either deal with it or we don't.  We need urgent work on the layout of our cities, of public transportation, of coping with exhausted farmlands (yes, even here.)  -  And spraying chemicals  will just make things worse. And so far, industrial leaders have been an anchor, holding us down as the waters rise.

The destruction of climate change is real. It's happening already, and it's going to get a lot worse. We've known about this for decades. But all our industrial leaders can think of is profits - and those for only three months at a time.

Because of our failure to act so far, we may well decide to murder refugees in their millions. (In fact, we are already doing that by denying them entry to our countries.)

We can't even begin to imagine the economic and human crises facing us. And major industries, especially oil, have stood in the way of any action.

The time for discussion is long past. We have some very tough decisions to make - right now. And it is downright insane to think we can do all this and fight wars and enrich billionaires at the same time. So we have essentially decided not to even think about it.

As a capper, we have allowed out democracies to collapse into rule by aristocracies of wealth, undistinguished by either brains or morality, indifferent to the suffering they cause, made ignorant by their own sense of social superiority...... (That might explain why Bill Whitelaw should think that oil executives should have a right to negotiate what it is that we need.)

So, yes. It gets damned depressing to think and write about current events every day.

This story about the murder of cyclists in New York dominated news all over the western world. Innocent American's killed. How Terrible!

Yes. It is terrible. But Americans, every day, starve more innocent Yemenis, men, women, and children, than the number of cyclists killed in New York. And it doesn't make the news. The U.S. with its own troops and with money and weapons and air support supplied to ISIS and related groups indiscriminately murdered (so far) at least 2 million people in Iraq and Syria. It killed 200,000 innocent men, women and children in Guatemala. And there are many more cases like that.

But notice that the American killings, if they are ever reported at all, are never called acts of  terrorism. That absence is a part of of what is called 'fake news'.

Of course, when U.S. heroes fly over to spread scatter bombs and napalm on children, they aren't called terrorists.  No. They're called patriotic heroes.
This is an interesting story that looks as if it's about praise for Canada's medicare system. I've seen it in many sources now. Supposedly, it's about Senator Bernie Sanders' praise for Canada's health system. But, in ever source I've come across, it's really about  the faults of the Canadian system.

Isn't that odd?

Yes. There are faults in Canada's medicare. But it's light years ahead of anything in the U.S. It's far, far superior. It reaches far more people. It's far cheaper to operate. And it's mostly free. So why, in a story of health care in the U.S. put a major focus on what is wrong with Canada?

Incidentally there are good reasons why Canadian medicare has problems. A big reason is that most of the very wealthy don't pay their taxes. Another is that Canadian Liberals and Conservatives aren't anxious to improve it because that would make their corporate friends angry.

This looks to me very much like a story that has been 'cooked'.

Here's story that says climate change, just through it's impact on pollution, kills well over 6 million people a year. And these are still early days. Perhaps Bill Whitelaw could write an column on how the oil industry and the dying could get together to work out a compromise.

Oh, the irving press also has a story today praising the wealthy for the money they give to universities. Yeah - well, there are a few problems.

1. It would be much better if the wealthy would pay their taxes, and let us decide through our governments who should get it, and on what terms.

2. Their tax money could then be used to deal with the greatest disgrace of our universities - the cost to students who take decades to pay for them. It took me twenty years to pay for my education - and I had lived as a student on very short rations.

3. My own experience has been that the rich don't so much give to the universities as they  buy them. It would be much better if the rich didn't have that power to interfere.

Here's a series of stories about Canada that deserve more attention than the none that they will get from the irving press.

As I read this next one, I thought of Bill Whitelaw and the irving press.

The irving press, of course, no longer carries David Suzuki. It needs the space for the great mind of Bill Whitelaw.

Justin Trudeau is kissing up to the Donald Trumps of this world as his father never would have.

It is one of the most disgusting wars ever fought, a war of two of the richest nations on earth (Saudi Arabia and the U.S.) against one of the poorest nations on earth. It is a war against children, and the weapons are starvation, the disease of Black Death  and, of course, the heroic patriots who are bombing them.

The moral rot in the U.S. runs deep. It wasn't created by Trump. It was there when Trump was a baby. He is simply a product of it. And there is no sign of any significant change on the way.

The United States is far the most dangerous country in the world. It is the only country that actually believes it has the right to invade any country for any reason, the right to kill by the millions. the right to starve whole nations to death.
It's even linked to Christianity in the belief that Americans are God's chosen people.

Canada has to get us out of this connection. But Justin Trudeau is  tying us more closely.

Read this. And think. Is this what our soldiers, sailors and airmen fought for in World War Two?

Who runs Syria is Syria's business. And please don't tell me it isn't a democracy. The U.S. has been the largest creator of dictatorships in the world since 1945. And if a country is a dictatorship, it's the business of nobody but that country.

The U.S. now has troops in almost 200 countries. Many of its interferences are edging us into world nuclear war. Canada has to get away from any connection with this insanity. Indeed, countries all over the world have to get away from this insanity.

Earlier, I mentioned the possibility of hundreds of millions of climate refugees to come. The Lancet, a pretty good source, estimates it will be a billion. We don't have a hell of a lot of time to deal with climate change.

Congo is a living reminder of the horror inflicted by western capitalists on the world. The people of Congo have suffered mass murder, torture, starvation, forced labour for almost a hundred and fifty years. It's still happening. And it's still happening all over Africa and Latin America - and all at the hands of our revered economic aristocracies, including the ones of Europe, the U.S. and Canada.

Oh, in a Haaretz story of some days ago (which I couldn't copy) it was revealed that African Jews, many of whom live in Israel - and always have - are shunned as Jews by the Israeli government.

Actually, these black Africans have been Jews for a very long time, all the way back, I understand, to King David. But White Jews  (most of them Europeans with no historical connection to Africa or the middle east, commonly have not accepted them.

Yes. Like the rest of us, Jews can be racist.

Yes. It's a very frightening world. What can New Brunswickers do about it?

First, recognize that the Liberal and Conservative parties have lied to you throughout history. Both of them are collections of puppets. And there is no hope of saving either of them.

Recognize that the wealthy of this province are robbing you blind. Many pay no taxes at all. Worse - they expect financial favours above that in the form of cheap forests, financial grants and other favours. And what that translates into is inadequate funding for essential services, for health, for education, for housing, for food...   And their money does not shower down to you in jobs.  They take more, far more than they give.

That has been going on for generations.

And you aren't going to change it by continuing to vote as your mummy and daddy did. Like it or not, if you want to survive you are going to have the find the courage to have an opinion, to talk and to say what you really think.

Without that, things are never going to change in this province. And you might as well decide to get out before you sink into its political stupor.

The NDP and the Greens are going to have to get a hell of a lot more realistic about what has to be done here, and have to reshape themselves if they hope ever to accomplish anything. Becoming more fluttery wings of the Liberals hasn't helped and isn't going to help.

The people who really own this province have no intention of playing nice. You have to toughen up to beat them.

And the Christians of this province should not assume that being Christian means being socially acceptable. In fact, any Christian in this province who is socially acceptable is almost certainly a hypocrite. Remember. Jesus was NOT socially acceptable.

And stop getting fooled by governments who say things like how they're balancing the budget or how they're giving away money to  create jobs. That's a crock.      Balancing the budget really means cutting at essential services while still allowing the wealthy to avoid taxes.

Make your political parties into organizations that are designed to serve YOU. That's they key. And anybody who tells you pipelines or gifts to corporations are good for you should be shown the door.

If you want to save this province, you need to make it clear that the people of the province are the real bosses of it. And you don't have much time to do it.