Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Nov. 29: The Crash of an Empire

I just had an interesting letter from a reader who once voted for a Conservative prime minister - because he was an economist, and so, she wrote, someone capable of  handling money.

But that's not a good idea because that isn't the way it works. We might as well talk about electing a city mayor because he knows how to drive a snow plow, and could save us money.

It's not the person elected who plans the economy. Of course not. Planning a national economy is a job that requires far more education and experience than most politicians, including economists, have. It's also a job that requires many people. That's why we have a civil service. (Despite the jokes that business loves to tell about the civil service, those services in developed countries have been pretty good from at least 1939 on. The Canadian one is so good that for years big business sent its top executives to the federal civil service to study and copy its methods.)

In fact, the greater problem we face today in Canada and the U.S. is that the very wealthy do their best to cripple civil servants. In Canada and the U.S., it has become unusual to see legal agencies within government prosecute crimes by the very wealthy - and very, very rare to see any senior executive penalized. Think Lac Megantic. Think the crippling of U.S. government pursuit of illegalities by wealthy investors.  (The government agency that is supposed to keep an eye on big business was effectively shut down over a year ago.)

The reality is that sound government does not require electing economists (or lawyers). It requires electing people with a feeling for the needs of the whole society. (Instead, we often elect economists or lawyers who then sell us out to the wealthy.)

Long ago, when the world and I were both young, it was common to watch people die - often taking months and even years about it. I can remember at five or so visiting a woman who was wasting with a slow death by tuberculosis. A year later, I was watching a 20 year-old uncle die. And there were other cases. It was common because medical care was privately owned, and the people in our end of town couldn't afford it.

Many years later, that changed. A provincial premier introduced  medicare for all. And all of us now live longer because of him. The plan was so successful, the federal government had to copy it.  And it operated more effectively - and more cheaply - that private medicine had. And, no, the provincial premier who did this was not a lawyer or an economist. (He had those in his civil service.) The provincial premier also had no training in medicine. In fact, he was a clergyman. He was Reverend Tommy Douglas.

Choosing who to elect has nothing to do with law or economics or any other scholarly field. It has to do with looking for a person who cares about the whole society and its needs.

It's not about the budget. It's not about the law. It's about the needs of a society, all of a society, rich and poor, especially the poor. It's about compassion. It's about equal opportunity for everyone. It's about a decent life for everyone.             
Elect a person who understands that. Leave the details for those lawyers and economists employed in the civil service.
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From today's paper, it looks as though the irving press is being gradually swallowed by canwest. That does not mean any improvement in quality. It does mean even worse coverage of New Brunswick. Canwest is just the usual journalism for profit propaganda outfit. In any case, this means cheaper operating costs for irving press, but no improvement in news quality.

Canada and World News is now less than two pages. The most bizarre story is the lead one that the recent North Korean missile test has re-ignited tensions with the U.S. Oh? When were they de-ignited? To the best of my knowledge the tensions, mostly created by the U.S., have been there since 1950.

This could have been settled long ago by the U.S. But it chose not to settle. Now? Well, watch for the possibility that China may move in on North Korea. But that will no please the U.S. because what it really wants is conquest for North Korea all for itself.

The only readable story is that the North American Free Trade Agreement, far from benefiting Mexico, has created even worse poverty.  The deal has created a small number of Mexican billionaires but, despite the economic theories of New Brunswick's professor de Savoie that billionaires create wealth, over half the population of Mexico lives in severe poverty. Thus its high rates of crime and violence. (and those who do have jobs, as in the auto industry, suffer severely low pay.)

The news in the New Brunswick section is the usual trivia. "Moncton man to represent himself during robbery/sexual assault trial". "Child molester imprisoned." There's a whole page of the story of the search for a man who is missing. Over half of the page is pictures that tell us nothing.

Norbert Cunningham has a column on the need for greater 'inclusion' in our schools. (NB is the second to worst of Canadian provinces for literacy.) Here's a thought on it.

Schools alone cannot solve that problem. I grew up in a district in which illiteracy was common. My best friend couldn't read comic books. It was no big deal. Most of the parents never expected us to have any brains. That's why most of my classmates had dropped out of school by grade 9.

I was lucky. My father encouraged me to read. But even he had limited expectations for me. When I failed grade ten, and then was kicked out in grade 11, it was no big deal. Getting to grade eleven was good enough. And I got a job as a mail clerk - the first person in my family to come home from work with clean hands. I was a success.

From my elementary school days, I knew of only one student who went to university. It wasn't the schools or the teachers that made us dumb drop-outs. It was the community we grew up in. It was the lack of expectations. It was the lack of any encouragement to think.

Nor are the universities much help. After a few years of evening high school classes, I took a university level course in Canadian history. I got a D minus. Years later, my whole BA record was a mess.

At the end of it, I got control of myself, talked my way into doing two more years of BA work (today,  I probably would not have been allowed to try it.) But I did it, and got straight As. With more luck, I completed an MA and ( still with doubts on all sides) completed a PhD - in Canadian History, the subject I had scored a D minus on at the start. (I suppose it could have been made easier if I'd had university professors from the start who knew how to teach. Alas! A university teacher who knows how to teach is a rare bird. They seem to feel that teaching is 'yuckie-poo'.)

My parents were not pleased about this whole process. I was trying to 'rise above my station'.

Problem kids like me were not created by teachers. They were and are created by communities. That's why New Brunswick ranks so low in literacy. In New Brunswick, expectations are low. In New Brunswick, there is very little open discussion of anything. It is a tight and fearful see-nothing, say-nothing, do-nothing society.

It's the whole society we have to start with, not just the children.
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Most of the commentators in the paper seem to have been dumped in favour of National Post Writers. I guess they're cheaper. Alas! They seem to have no idea of how to connect with readers. In fact, they're really, really boring.
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Sorry about spending so much time on New Brunswick. But that's the world I see up close.
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So North Korea has a longer range missile - and Trump says he will retaliate with force. Duh! The reason North Korea has developed such a missile is BECAUSE the U.S. has been treating North Korea with force since 1950. It puts heavy sanctions on North Korean trade. It holds provocative (to say the least) military exercises on the border of North Korea.

Kim Jung may well be a fool - and a dangerous one - but he's not such a fool as to dispose of the only weapon he has against an aggressive U.S. And all North Koreans remember the last, extremely vicious, assault on North Korea that killed a quarter to a third of all the people in that country.

In almost 70 years, the U.S. has NEVER tried to come to a peaceful settlement with North Korea. It seems to be trying to now - though Chinese cooperation. I hope that works. The big question is whether American capitalism will allow it to work. It has long wanted North Korea as the door to the conquest of China.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/nov/29/north-korea-trump-threatens-major-sanctions-after-latest-missile-test
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Here's a story that is not likely to make the irving press (and probably not Canwest). It's a story of the murderous record of big oil. It's like mining, but maybe even worse.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/nov/28/amnesty-seeks-criminal-inquiry-into-shell-over-alleged-complicity-in-murder-and-torture-in-nigeria
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Here's an opinion that gives some  credibility to the stories of a relationship between Trump and Putin.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/28/us-sanctions-bill-timebomb-donald-trump-vladimir-putin
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Here's a news source operated by the Russian government. No. It's not just cheap propaganda. It's really not very different from most western news media, just a little more honest. Well, of course. The Russians aren't stupid enough to turn out a news medium that blatantly lies.

https://www.rt.com/news/
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Here's David Suzuki, an eminent scientist and an authority on climate change. That's why so many newspapers won't run his columns.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/david-suzuki/2017/11/renewable-energy-isnt-perfect-its-far-better-fossil-fuels
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For all its popularity, Time Magazine has always been a lying, propaganda mag. It has now been purchased by big oil's Koch brothers. Expect it to get worse, much worse.
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In a U.S. being plundered by its own billionaires, Bernie Sanders stands as the last intelligent and honest voice in American political life. I guess that's why the news media don't pay much attention to him.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/11/28/sanders-intros-146-billion-transformation-blueprint-puerto-rico-and-virgin-islands
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Not to worry about this story. Borneo is far away. And if similar disaster were to strike this province through, say, forest spraying or oil pollution, the irving press would never tell us. So why worry?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48303.htm
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As any American history book will tell you, it was America that brought freedom and democracy to the world. Yes, it was. Well, okay. It wasn't.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48298.htm
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I have sometimes found Paul Craig Roberts to be over the top in his columns. I wish I could think so about this one. But I'm afraid he might be right on.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48298.htm
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Trump says North Korea is a sponsor of terrorism in other countries. Oh? So how come the U.S. media has never mentioned it? (Are they all secretly owned by Kim Jung? Has Trump secretly being protecting North Korea from criticism?)

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48295.htm
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The US has always used Christianity as an excuse for what it does. Native people were murdered with the blessing of Jesus. Prayers were said over the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And the Christian churches have always played the game. And they still do.

But it does get contradictory. If Jesus had tried to visit the U.S. in 1942, he would have been denied entry. (The same in Canada). He would have been denied because he was a Jew.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/11/27/the-right-returns-to-the-religion-well/
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Here's a pretty good summary of the U.S. view of the world.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/americas-enemies-whos-on-the-list/5619763

The reality is that the U.S. is an empire in serious and rapid decline. Its military, for all the expense of it, has not performed well for many, many years. Its  democracy has long since been crushed by its billionaires. The danger, the very great danger, is that these people are greedy and stupid enough to go for a nuclear solution.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/americas-enemies-whos-on-the-list/5619763

I keep remembering Nov. 11, and the promise we made to our veterans that we would now work for a world at peace.

We lied to them. We didn't do anything about world peace. We simply continued the same war but with different dancing partners. Remember that next November 11.
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This next one is essentially true. The really bitter truth is that the U.S. has been in bed with the Islamic terrorists from the start. And Canada is in bed with the U.S.
It's unfortunate this writer didn't go into more detail.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/canadas-unraveling-web-of-deceit-terrorism-and-war-propaganda/5620419
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Despite the lavish used of glyphosate in New Brunswick, this province is not likely mount such a large campaign against it as Americans are. New Brunswickers are terrified of having an opinion unless it's the same one as everybody else.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/massive-citizen-initiative-demands-ban-of-monsantos-glyphosate-in-all-50-states/5620267
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Are mainstream media a threat to democracy? Most of them always have been from the start. In New Brunswick, the only function of the newspapers is to keep people in ignorance of what's happening here and all over the world.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/11/29/is-mainstream-media-becoming-a-threa-to-democracy/
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There is a very strong possibility of a Saudi Arabia and Israeli attack on Iran. No, Iranians are not evil, though our news media will tell us they are. Iran's sin is that it kicked out American and British oil companies that had been robbing it, and it had the nerve to kick out the brutal dictator the U.S. had imposed on it and, gasp, to elect their own government.
This could be very dangerous. The Saudi military has not been impressive, not since Lawrence of Arabia led it in world war 1 to push out the Turks. Yes - a weak Saudi military. A strong Iran. - and Israel has a nuclear arsenal.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/11/29/does-the-israeli-saudi-alliance-plans-a-war-against-iran/
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The whole middle east is becoming unraveled. and it's most likely to become even more dangerous and unstable than it has been. The U.S. empire is crashing.
It's not Trump - though he's bad enough. It's the whole economic and social system of the U.S., the mythology about America's leadership role in the world, the lack of a leadership (with the sole exception of Bernie Sanders) to lead the U.S. into reality..... The U.S. empire is crashing. And we're next door. (and with a leadership by billionaires which painfully resembles that of the U.S.)

Monday, November 27, 2017

Nov. 27:

By chance, I came across the White Helmets (Syria) film on Netflix. It's called White Helmets. And any reporter who watched it should have known this was pure, staged propaganda. Indeed, they can't be so dumb as not to see it for what it is.

Let's go to how the war started.

A relatively small rebel group was formed to fight against the Assad government. And where did it get the money, weapons and training for an uprising? From the U.S. of course. The U.S. was terribly, terribly miffed that the Syrians wanted to take control of their own oil fields.

But the rebels did not do well in the fighting. So the US equipped and supplied them with terrorists from organizations like ISIS. The rebels also set up a 'news' agency in England. I was run by one man, a Syrian haberdasher who lived in England. And western newspapers like our very own irving press routinely published its stories as if they were true.

But for all this,  the rebels never did well in the field. Nor did it help when they were joined, again with US funding and weapons, by groups like ISIS. For all the billions spent by the U.S., and for all its weapons and training, the vast majority of Syrians stayed with Assad. And that remained true when the U.S. massively bombed Syrian cities. The addition of support for the Syrian government from Russia and Iran was the final touch. So the U.S. needed some credibility to justify the destruction it had sown in killing at least half a million people. Enter the White Helmets.

And, oh, they're so sweet and caring and selfless in this film. They just love their children and all little children. And they're very, very angry at Russia for killing civilians in its bombing. (I don't know of any modern nation that does not deliberately bomb civilians. And you can check that in Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Vietnam.  In fact, the U.S. is currently the world leader in killing civilians.)

But none of our press seem to have noticed that. And none of them noticed that the sentimental lines spouted by the film's subject were obviously written by pros. Yes, they tell us they are all just ordinary people caught up in their compassion for their fellow man and for children.

No. This is too pat and too syrupy to be for real. I do not see how this film could possibly have won an academy award - especially in a category that had just been created for it. And I do not believe that honest reporters would be so naive as to believe this film.

This is pure, lying propaganda. Amusingly, it's very reminiscent of World War Two examples of the genre, especially one that heaped praise on the Russians as real sweethearts, neatly ignoring the rule of Stalin, and ignoring the hatred they had been pouring on Russia for twenty years.

You can see this pro-Russian one on Netflix, too. It's called "Why we Fight: The
Battle of Russia".

For those who enjoy watching propaganda, netflix also has Winter of Fire: Ukraine Fights for Freedom.

In fact, the Ukrainian rebellion was organized and financed by the U.S. As for Ukraine winning its freedom, it already had it in the elected government that was overthrown. The film probably does not mention that the new government has been milking the country dry, and that it has a strong, nazi component. So much for winning freedom.

The propaganda never stops. And it's largely propaganda that our news media publish. Of course we don't get much of this in New Brunswick. The irving press keeps us so ignorant of world affairs that it doesn't even give us the propaganda. No, in the irving press, world news is the story that a woman in BC got lost while walking her dog, but has been found.
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It's okay to be scared. The U.S. has set the kindling for two wars that could go nuclear.
1. It has stepped  up its troops in Syria though it has long since lost that war. The Syrian 'rebels', armed and trained by the U.S., have been beaten. Terrorist groups, armed and trained by the U.S. have been beaten.

The U.S. has lost yet another war, though at terrible price to the people of Syria. Putin has played the U.S. off the stage. What was a huge area to be looted by American oil billionaires has been lost to Russia and Iran and to the people of Syria.

But the U.S. is keeping troops in Syria (which, incidentally, is against international law, and has been from the start). Those troops in Syria are in a middle east already in chaos after decades of U.S. interference. So we could see an explosion of disorder involving Israel, the U.S., Britain - all three as nuclear powers - as well as Israel (nuclear), Saudi Arabia, Russia (nuclear), Iran, Turkey, just about everybody.

All of this is so a handful of American oil billionaires can continue looting in an orgy killing that has caused at least two million deaths in the region, and has created tens of millions of refugees.

2. The U.S. is also heating up the violence in the Koreas.  And it's not just because the north has a few nuclear weapons. It has been heating up the violence for 60 years, ever since the Korean war. It has armed a South Korea that is already bigger and better armed than the north. To that, it has added a large American army in South Korea, and it has maintained the cost of that for 60 years. The cost must by now amount to trillions of dollars (mostly borrowed.)

In addition, it  has regularly held provocative military exercises on the North Korean border. And that is deliberate provocation. Any one of those could trigger a war.

And why is this happening? To discourage a North Korean attack on the south? Nonsense. For decades the south has been much too strong to need such extra protection. No. The  The purpose of those exercises, for sixty years, has been to provoke the north. (And it worked, sort of. That's why the north developed nuclear weapons. But North Koreans aren't allowed to provoke.  Only Americans are.)

Why has there been so much expense and military presence for a full sixty years?
It's because U.S. big business wants control of the world, a great American empire to produce more profits for billionaires. And the biggest profit to be made is in China. Trump wants a war with China (as did sixty years of presidents before him). And North Vietnam is the gateway to a land invasion of China.

In other words, the U.S. (not just Trump), is after the glory of empire. This idiocy goes back to when Trump was a child - and even earlier. And it's an extremely dangerous idiocy. It would be idiocy even if the U.S. were as powerful as it thinks it is. But check its record since World War 2. It has killed millions of people, especially civilians and children. But it has been a disaster in almost every war it has attempted.

It is possible, even likely, that American billionaires have guessed that time is running out on their ambition to conquer and plunder the whole world. If they are going to move, it has to be soon.

This is going to be one, scary Christmas.

Oh, also keep an eye on the American drift to something that looks very much like Hitler's naziism.  And I don't say that lightly. His supporters, especially those in the fundamentalist, Christian churches are behaving very much as Hitler's naziis did. A key for their enthusiasm, and one exploited by a Trump who is much like Hitler is racism - racism directed at anyone who's different - like Muslims and Latin Americans.

Watch for more nazi movements in Europe, too (though they'll probably use a different name.). The western world has been moving to naziism just as Germany did in the 1930s.
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Violence against women and children, especially sexual violence, has been a feature of every war ever fought. And it's been characteristic of every army. And our leaders (on all sides) are still very, very reluctant to deal with it.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/nov/26/rohingya-rape-sexual-violence-un-women
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Our clergy seem to have little to say about our wars - unless it's to lead the cheers for our side. The Pope is a remarkable exception. He's even willing to put himself in danger.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/27/pope-lands-in-myanmar-for-difficult-visit-amid-rohingya-crisis
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Then there's the dreadful war that has attracted little attention - and none whatever in the irving press. That's because our side is starving children to death - and our side doesn't want to talk about it.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/26/yemen-daily-struggle-for-survival-behind-divided-lines
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As we, in New Brunswick, all know from reading the irving press, giving a free hand to billionaires makes us all rich. Here's a sample of the formula at work.

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/nov/27/resistance-sao-paulo-homeless-reclaim-city-occupations
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The irving press has a routine line that it's bad to regulate big business, that it superbly regulates itself. Well, that's the irving press. The reality is that capitalism is in crisis, and the crisis has been caused by big business which is too greedy (and too ignorant)  to fix itself. Here's a British view. But it applies at least equally to North America.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/23/greedy-bosses-broken-capitalism-who-fix
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Housing cost is an out of control problem in much of the western world. That has affected the border line for poverty, and it has increased homelessness. (Even the irving press has noticed, and today has a commentary on the subject. Alas, the irving press on this and other subjects has been turning to commentators from The National Post, one of the leading contenders for the irving title in bad journalism and propaganda.)

http://rabble.ca/news/2017/11/housing-crisis-requires-attacking-several-fronts
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Like Trudeau? Think about it.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/11/26/morneau-and-trudeau-are-looking-out-rich
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Read the horror about what the western world is doing to refugees. Then think.  This is just a tiny foretaste of the horror that is to come.

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/we-dont-see-human-rights-here-families-flee-brutal-wars-prison-greek-islands-819951391

Any why have we inflicted this horror on much of the world? Does it benefit us? No. But it makes our billionaires happy.
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The language and emphases in this account are a little overdone. The article is biased.  But, essentially, it's true. The U.S., without help, created an illegal war in Syria, financed the terrorist groups to fight it, and supplied them with weapons. It also bombed lavishly though it had no legal right to go to war against Syria in the first place. Naziis who did this sort of thing were hanged by the U.S.

But, in the end, the U.S. lost the war. And our news media still haven't noticed that it lost. But now, the U.S. which has already killed at least half a million people in Syria and created millions of refugees is actually stepping up its forces in Syria - the illegal ones that are still illegal. In doing so, it is also setting us up for a monster war in the Middle East and, quite possibly, for a world, nuclear war.

And who is this for? It's certainly not for the Syrians. And no, it's not for us. It's a war to please the world's oil barons so they can continue their plunder of Syria. Think about the risk we're putting the whole world to. Think of the misery we want to extend to the people of Syria.

So what do you think now about the intelligence of the oil barons?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48290.htm
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For the last century, in particular, propaganda has been a major factor in war. Indeed, almost all our war coverage is really propaganda, and for much of our news media that IS the news.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48292.htm
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The American economy lives on mass murder.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/11/21/trump-merchant-of-death/
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Here's another story you won't find in most of our news media.

https://theintercept.com/2017/11/25/libya-coast-guard-europe-refugees/
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Hitler roused Germans to war playing on racial hatreds - mostly, but not entirely, aimed at Jews. There was nothing new about that. Any war I have ever heard of played on racial and quasi-racial hatreds to build support. Racism was the justification of the British empire's murder and looting of people all over the world. It was the Canadian (and, even more so the U.S. and Spanish) justification for the murder of aboriginal peoples.

And, just to make sure, our governments have always picked the people we are expected to hate. Britain, Spain, the U.S. - they have all been the Naziis of their times.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/11/23/how-us-ties-to-link-iran-to-al-qaeda/

Iran's real crime is that it has oil. Worse, it thinks it has a right to control its own oil.
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Most of our news media never liked Fidel Castro. In fact, he overthrew an American-appointed dictatorship that tortured and murdered the Cuban people, that forced them in low, low paying jobs, that denied education or health care, that robbed or raped people at will - all with the blessing in the U.S. government, a government that still inflicts similar horror all over Latin America.

But most of our news media, even after fifty years, have never looked at that side of it. Nor do our news media mention that to this day, Castro's Cuba has offered free education for all its people, all the way through university.  Something that neither the rich Canada and the U.S. can afford. And medical care (something that Americans don't have at all.)

https://www.globalresearch.ca/fidel-castro-ruz-his-legacy-will-live-forever/5559030
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In almost all of our news media, Ukraine is just a 'wunnerful, wunnerful' country. Our news media never mention that the revolution which led the to current government was organized and financed by the U.S. They never mention the powerful influence of naziis in the current government. So here's a fuller account.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-hidden-truth-about-ukraine-italian-documentary-bombshell-evidence-kiev-euromaidan-snipers-kill-demonstrators/5619684
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Here is a fuller account than our news media are giving us about what is happening in Syria. It looks promising - but the situation is still a very dangerous one. And there's still the problem about the general chaos that our greed has created throughout the Middle East.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article198896.html

The suggestion that the U.S. empire is in decline is certainly true. And we can expect that to hit Latin America soon. But so far, the only talent the U.S. has shown for dealing with the decline is killing people.
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Most of the North American press has ignored this story for months. And I doubt whether most of them ever will tell it. But Netanyahu and his wife are both up to their ears in huge, corruption charges.

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.825264

Oh, Haaretz is a real newspaper.
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Anti-semitism in Europe did not die with Hitler.  It's strong, for example, in Ukraine. But we don't hear that from most of our news media because the they are committed to the Ukrainians-as-good-guys myth.

https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/1.825295
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And here's one for the 'climate change isn't happening'  crowd (if any of them can read.)

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.825276
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Friday, November 24, 2017

Nov. 24:Very Dangerous Times in the Middle East and the Koreas.



http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/north-korea-crossing-video-1.4413846

You'll notice that in this story, the North Korean soldier is courageous. Okay.

Now let's suppose he was an American soldier posted on the border (or a South Korean) who abandoned his post to flee to the other side. Would the press still have called him 'courageous'? (We don't have to guess. That has happened in the Middle East, and the adjective used was not 'courageous'.)

He also abandoned his wife and children, knowing that placed them in danger. But there's no adjective in the story about that.

This biased treatment of a story is quite common in our news media. (Interestingly, this one is from the CBC which usually does a better job. But I guess it's just natural to see things from a home town perspective.)

For a similar case, do you remember the story of the rebel 'White Helmets' in Syria who 'saved' a boy from a savage attack by Syrian bombers? And, what a coincidence, there was seat nearby with a camera crew who just happened to be available to photograph the boy. (It never occurred to reporters to wonder why a boy supposedly savagely treated by the Syrian forces would be taken for a camera show rather than for medical treatment.) Then, with great speed, the photo shoot was made into a film, and sent to the academy awards people. It didn't fit any category they had, so they immediately invented a new category just in time for it to win the award. But no news medium thought this at all strange.

Doubly mystifying is why our news media have so little noticed the American killing of children. And where are the videos of children in Yemen who are starving to death? (And don't expect a special Academy Awards winner out of that.)

Most of the commercial news media have lied since there origins in the late nineteenth century.  They lied to satisfy the wants of their wealthy owners - thus the lying about the sinking of the Maine in a Cuba port; they lied to justify the British war against the Boers. They lied about the cause of the Korean war, about the Vietnam War. (In the case of Vietnam, it took an honest reporter months to get out the story of an American officer who led his troops in the mass murder of a whole village of unarmed people. The commercial news ignored the mass killing of German and Japanese prisoners in World War Two.

Then there's the soft core lying I began with - seeing a deserting soldier as courageous when he's deserting from the other side when they would see him as a coward if he deserted from our side.                                                                                                                                       
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Mining companies, with Canadian ones as major players, are world leaders in demanding wars, in destroying environments, in brutalizing workers in third world countries. It was mining companies that led the charge into Congo, torturing and murdering millions. It was gold mining companies that created the Boer War in which Canadians died, thinking it was for king and country. And it was mining companies that were recently behind the slaughter of 200,000 Maya in Guatemala.

Here's a Canadian one we might catch. (But don't hold your breath waiting for the big story on it in the irving press.)

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/nov/23/canadian-mining-firm-historic-legal-case-alleged-labour-abuses-eritrea-nevsun-resources
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Much of the news is that food will be getting through to the starving people of Yemen. The reality is it won't.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/24/saudi-arabia-continues-to-block-humanitarian-aid-to-yemen
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Beginning about 1920, the killing of civilians has become the major form of war. And the way to that was led by the western powers, especially by that nice Mr. Winston Churchill.

Wasn't it terrible how terrorists killed civilians at the World Trade Centre? The U.S.bombers killed that many civilians in North Korea every day.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/nov/24/rules-of-war-urgent-review-civilian-deaths-record-high

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David Suzuki is one of the best and most knowledgeable columnists on issues of the environment. That's why the irving press dumped him.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/david-suzuki/2017/11/corporate-influence-inflames-political-cynicism
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The U.S. is mounting a giant air exercise to scare North Korea. Well, that should certainly bring peace and joy to the region. He's also stepping up the US presence in Syria. And he's doing it just when he has already lost that war.

Syria, Iran, and Russia have won. That's the reality. Trump should be looking to make peace in Syria and North Korea. Making war against them   could trigger wars with Russia and China. And, at best, these would be wars of millions of deaths - most of them civilians. And they could quickly become wars of many, many millions of deaths.

This is insane. But anything to please oil billionaires in the Middle East, and the oriental empire  builders of the U.S.

Will Canada send troops? Almost certainly.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/11/24/us-and-south-korea-announce-plans-massive-air-force-exercise-aimed-north-korea
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Funny this next story never made the irving press.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/pentagon-trained-syrias-al-qaeda-rebels-in-the-use-of-chemical-weapons/5583784

In fairness, I should say the irving press is down to one page for world news. That's just three stories for the whole world. And one of them is about a woman in BC who got lost walking her dog. None of the world news gets past Canada and the U.S. This is typical of the irving press on the edge of crises that could see Canada at war within days.

Then it will have a big story about brave, young Canadians rallying for the country when, in reality, few young Canadians - or old ones - have the faintest idea what it's all about.
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This world is going to see unprecedented waves of refugees seeking shelter. They're fleeing crisis that we created - climate change, war, starvation. And will we accept them?

Canada will accept some---emphasize some. The U.S. probably won't. And the reason given will be offering shelter and food and life to these people would destroy the Christian principles of the U.S. Yes, It would.

https://theintercept.com/2017/11/22/canada-prepares-for-a-new-wave-of-refugees-as-haitians-flee-trumps-america/

And there is little sign that any country is seriously preparing the tens of millions of refugees to come out of the hells we have made.
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This is a very long item. It has to be to cover a lot of ground. In all the history of wars, the usual belief is that we were 'good' and they were 'evil'. (and both sides thought that.) But it's rarely that simple. Usually, most people have no idea what a war is about. All they know is the propaganda spewed by their news media. Americans, for example, are taught in their schools that the war of 1812 was a second war of independence (as if Canada threatened the U.S.).

This is a general look at the whole picture.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/11/16/americas-renegade-warfare/

Always remember that the purpose of commercial news media is not to inform you. It is to propagandize you.
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Here's a history as it would rarely appear in any history book. And that arrogance and contempt for foreigners still marks us today. In 1945, Winston Churchill was begged by a region of India to send food for its starving people. He said there were no foodstocks and no shipping available.

He was lying.

When over a million people died as a result, he said, "It was their own fault. They breed like rabbits."

And that is an attitude that shares much in common with the attitudes of the wealthy and well-born all over the world.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/24/birth-of-a-nation/
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The U.S. has lost the war in Syria. This is a major step to kicking U.S. billionaires out of the region. The winners are Syria, Iran, Russia, Turkey - and they are planning the new direction that will affect the whole middle east.

And Trump is stepping up troops in Syria - a move that can only cause the final war.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/11/24/iran-russia-and-turkey-agree-to-hold-syrian-peoples-congress-to-bring-together-all-warring-sides/

The U.S., by clumsiness and greed is repeating the mistake it made in North Korea. It could easily have come to terms with North Korea sixty years ago. But that would not have pleased the American billionaires who want to conquer China. He could easily have come to terms with Syria. But that would not have pleased American oil billionaires.

Trump and his predecessors have built their policies on satisfying the pure greed of the wealthy. But those policies have created a hatred and distrust of the U.S. all over the world. The U.S. has created all its enemies. And it's now a dying empire.
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It's amazing that there's so little urgency in dealing with climate change. But our news media and our politicians are pretty cool about it.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/11/23/opinion/i-was-lone-canadian-reporter-inside-world-climate-summit.

Anyway, I'm sure Mr. Irving is keeping an eye on it. And we can depend on the Liberal and Conservative parties to be - you know - the Liberal and Conservative parties.
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Americans are proud of their Christian faith - especially in the Bible belt where they have nothing but contempt for Muslims - unless, of course, they are Saudi Muslims who spend big money buying American weapons to kill other Muslims. (I wonder if they  have prayer meetings to bless the bombs and bombers that are killing civilians in Yemen.)

Now, I do not attend any church. On the question of whether there is a God or heaven or hell, I have no opinion. However, I do take the teaching of Jesus quite seriously. And I wonder how the churches can fail to do so. Jesus did not come, I am sure, simply to tell us to clap hands and be self-righteous for him. He had a profound message. The Christian world doesn't even pretend to follow it.

For openers, capitalism is an economic system quite incompatible with Christianity. It's a system of competition and exploitation. It's designed to give earthly rewards to those who can be the most ruthless in the pursuit of material things. It's designed to create a vast pool of losers who can be looted and abused by the winners.

Can you seriously see Jesus as the CEO of, say, an oil company?

No. And if there is a hell, I expect to be caught in a lineup of Christians when I get to the gate.
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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Nov. 22: twas ever thus....

Opening reminders.

The U.S. plans to boot Haitians out of the U.S. Why are they there? The US took control of Haiti back about 1920. Since then it was ruled by U.S. dictators, then the U.S. appointed Haitian ones whose job was to destroy the people of Haiti so they could be really, really cheap and obedient labour for U.S. business. And that's still the game with Haiti. Haiti. That's where American billionaires feed on poverty and violence.

After a century of American control, Haiti has the highest infant mortality rates in the western hemisphere. There is almost no access to health care - I mean, why spoil them?) Average annual income is $350 dollars.

On the good side, American corporations make great profits out of Haiti.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/haiti-tps-u-s-canada-1.4413304
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My grandmother grew up in a Glasgow slum called 'The Gorbals.' In her day, it was one of the filthiest slums in the world, and was widely considered a most dangerous part of any city in Europe. Commonly, the only water available was from pipes in the street. Even some of the fancier buildings had only one bathroom for all tenants - and many had only outhouses.

Why is this worth mentioning? Because it explains thousands of years of  history and thousands of years of human behaviour that go up to this day.

Ancient Rome was ruled by a social class of the very wealthy. And they had unspeakable contempt for the rest of the population. Many years ago, digging about in parts of the city, archeologists were dismayed to uncover great pits drenched in a sort of syrupy and odious fluid. Each held the remains of thousands of the poor citizens of ancient Rome.

Of course. The city rulers had nothing but contempt for the poor - which meant most of the population. The upper classes who controlled the city and, indeed, the empire, were, for the most part born into the upper classes. They imagined this made them intellectually and morally superior to all the rest. There was, in fact, a divine air to their status.

The Britain of 1900 or so (like all the empires before it) took a similar form. There was an upper class, typically born into the class, which took it as part of the nature of things that they should enjoy power and luxury. They were superior to others, born superior to them. It's a theme that runs through British literature. you can find it reflected in the writing of P.G.Wodehouse, for example, and Agatha Christie.

The wealthy supported private schools for their children while the rest had to rely on underfunded state schools. The sons of the wealthy commonly were treated to time at Oxford and Cambridge at which they mostly got drunk - but which guaranteed them important positions in the business and military world. It was a system which produced remarkably incompetent leaders - such as Field Marshall Earl Haig in World War One, and Lord Cardigan who led his regiment into massacre, then left them trapped while he rode back for supper on his yacht.

Though the British built a hugely profitable empire on the cheap labour of British factory workers and soldiers and sailors. It completely ignored the most basic needs of those who made the empire possible. They were left to live in places like The Gorbals.

That same contempt extended over the whole empire in which the wealthy of Britain killed millions, starved millions, and plundered whole nations to make themselves wealthy. Winston Churchill was a creature of that upper class. He had nothing but contempt for foreigners. They were inferior and he was superior. That's why he originated the bombing of innocent civilians in war - his first attempts at it being the bombing of Kurd villages in 1920.  As miserable in his class view were the ordinary people of Britain. That's why, at no point in his career, was he associated with any legislation to benefit the mass of the British people. That's why, in his last election, the British people voted him out. For all their enthusiasm for him in the war, they knew he would never do anything for most of them.

So it was with the other empires. And what did Rome and France and Spain and Portugal and Britain and all those other states have in common?  They all collapsed.

We're watching that now in the U.S. - though it's worse now because the U.S. could be taking the whole world down with it.

Trump is the model of the arrogant and greedy upper class. (The U.S. has had other presidents who served that class - and some who were of that class.  And the same is true of Canadian prime ministers.)

The failing of every society for centuries has been the result of the arrogance, greed and stupidity of a class of people who see themselves as a superior class with a right to rule. And they are there, usually, as a result of the accident of birth.

Thir wisdom simply does not exist except in their own minds and, I suppose, the minds of those people who are foolish enough to believe them. And they own almost all governments in the western world.

That's why New Brunswick is never going to get better under the Liberals or Conservatives. And that's why the NDP and the Greens need a good kickstart. Or maybe just a good kick.

A good place to start would be the paradise papers. Exactly who are the people who are hiding their money from taxation. How much is hidden? This is money we need for health, education, serious work on poverty...  But we're not likely ever to get it under the Liberals or the Conservatives.

How greedy and self-serving (and unintelligent) are these people? Take a good look at Trump for a sample of the species.
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Trump, by the  way, has declared North Korea's ruler an 'international terrorist'. Millions of Americans and Canadians will nod their heads at that.  It's easy to fool people with the news media we have. The reality is that the biggest international terrorist in the world is the U.S. It drone bombs nations. It has invaded 70 countries since 1945. It has bombed millions to death. It maintains killer squads called special-ops to murder people who complain about the behaviour of American (and Canadian) mining companies.  That is why Raoul Leger now lies in the Catholic cemetery in Buctouche.  It is now starving the children of Yemen to death.

But a shocking number of Americans and Canadians - perhaps especially Bible-belt church goers - will nod their heads at the wisdom of Trump.
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And the other curse on journalism - the irving press for Today, Dec. 22, has a huge commentary column to warn us that we place excessive controls on corporations.  Oh, those poor corporations.

Sure.

The column comes from an outfit called Frontier Centre for Public Policy. And that is?  It's a propaganda house financed by billionaires - just like Atlantic Institute for Market Studies.

But almost all our commercial news media  happily carry this sort of propaganda as though it were an honest and scholarly opinion. And they never tell us what these outfits really are.
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The sugar industry knew decades ago that too much sugar was very damaging to health. But it kept it's mouth shut.  It was helped along by scientists paid off to lie. And, of course, their buddies in the news industry cooperated.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2017/nov/21/sugar-industry-withheld-research-effects-of-sucrose-50-years-ago-study-claims
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This next story is more important than it may seem. Donald Trump is appointing a large number of judges for federal courts. The ones he is appointing are overwhelmingly white and very, very conservative. In other words, the U.S which is already one of the most backward countries in social services is going to go even further back.

This isn't new. In this, as in so much else, Trump is the follower of Bush jr.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/nov/22/federal-court-judicial-nominations-donald-trump
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Here's a realistic account of what war is like. It skips the glory.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/21/after-the-liberation-of-mosul-an-orgy-of-killing.

Of course, it has to be done. It makes profits for the war industries; and it guarantees western profits from middle east oil.
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The irving press has carried almost no news about events in Saudi Arabia - and no news whatever that explains them. That's understandable. It's editors would have trouble finding Main St., let alone Saudi Arabia.

But we are facing an enormously dangerous situation in the middle east that could lead to a war involving Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Syria, the U.S. with every possibility of going out of control.

Trump, though he has lost the war in Syria, is stepping up the American presence in the country. Everyone involved has special motives. This one could go far out of control.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48257.htm

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48263.htm

And Canada has a long history of getting sucked into other people's wars. Afghanistan and Libya (and Latvia) are recent examples.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48262.htm

It should have been obvious at the end of World War Two that nobody stood to gain from any more wars. And we promised those who served in that war that we would work to prevent war.

But we didn't do it. Instead, we kissed up to fight American wars.
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And our news media have given us almost no idea of what the war in Yemen is about.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48262.htm
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Scroll this next one down, especially for the photos.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48255.htm

Onward, Christian soldiers. (As you know, the U.S. is based on Christian principles. That's why it - like Canada - did not accept Jews with any enthusiasm, and why it is now nervous about Muslims.)

I wonder if any Christian churches would hold up these pictures for their congregations.  Nah. It would just spoil the special music and the coffee.
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Lying is the rule for most of the world's commercial news media. It always has been. That's why nations go to war while ignorant of what the war is really about.

http://theantimedia.org/60-minutes-ignores-us-role-yemen/

(There was a similar big show on the US invasion of Vietnam. It, too, avoided the important parts.)
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Remember the news story that the Syrian government was using chemical weapons against its own people? Remember the heart-wrenching video of the cute little boy "rescued" by white hats (those nice anti-Assad Syrians). It was the video that was rushed in for a last-minute Academy Award.

Well, there's more to the story.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/pentagon-trained-syrias-al-qaeda-rebels-in-the-use-of-chemical-weapons/5583784

Gosh! If Hollywood was so eager for such a film, why didn't it get picture of the Yemen babies being starved to death by the U.S.?
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Reality and its cousin, Unreality.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article198896.html
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The irving press missed this story about Iran.

https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/syria/1.824414
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Here's a story we rarely hear - the Israeli theft of Palestinian land.

https://interactive.aljazeera.com/aje/2017/50-years-illegal-settlements/index.html
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If a doctor tells you  that you need an eye operation, and that a needle in your eye for a half hour won't hurt, don't believe it.
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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Nov. 18: The Deepest Corruption

This is an extra blog since there is more to say about the paradise papers. That 'more' is in contrast to the 'nothing' that the irving press of New Brunswick is saying.

Here is a report on the paradise papers that goes back to Nov 6 in the Toronto Globe. The irving press didn't print the story then - and it still hasn't though this is one of the biggest stories in years. The wealthy have been robbing the world of TRILLIONS of dollars. And those wealthy include prominent Canadians.

But the irving press has not said a word about this story. It's hard to think how it could more profoundly show its contempt for its readers. (And the subservience  of the journalists to their owners.)  This is one of the biggest stories of our time. And the irving press is ignoring it.


https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/paradise-papers-list-explainer/article36842496/

The wealthy have been stealing our money for decades. They have done it with the connivance of both the Liberal and Conservative parties. They have stolen money we need for education, health care.... And the irving press hasn't a word to say about it.

Today, for example, it actually carried a commentary by Jim Irving himself attacking the CBC for reporting on his lumber business. (This is not connected to the paradise papers scandal.) If Mr.  Irving really feels a need to make a statement about something, couldn't he make it about the paradise papers?

(Actually, most newspaper owners have enough judgement to know its just a trifle trashy to write opinion columns in their newspapers - though perhaps a Conrad Black would do it.)

But the paper has not a word about this huge story, not in news and not in commentary. That's surely a little strange since one of the offenders mentioned in the paradise papers is named Irving Holdings.  And its listed as being based in New Brunswick. That's almost certainly not the only one.

It's quite likely that large companies have many accounts, most without giving any hint of who the owners are. This is an orgy of greed such as the world has never before seen. And, left as it is, it's going to cause more suffering, severe political unrest, and economic destruction - yes - even for the wealthy.

And for this, Canadians can thank those Liberal and Conservative governments that made it all possible.

(In the news section, the paper has big stories - big - like "Sisters audition for Amazing Race to 'put N.B. on the map'.  And there's a big story that a Moncton motorcyclist in Mexico is finding it very dusty.  Then there's 'Pooch rescued from fire loves life as a show dog.')

New Brunswickers are treated by their governments and their business leaders and the irving press with utter contempt. Nobody deserves to be treated like that.
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And here's a Trudeau (non) reaction to the paradise papers. This case refers to his chief fundraiser who has his own money in a secret account.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/justin-trudeau-paradise-papers-analysis-wherry-1.4389126

This is a very discreet report. It doesn't mention the family background of the fund raiser. The founder of the family fortune was a man named Sam Bronfman. I occasionally drove by his huge mansion when I lived in Montreal. He was the owner of a huge distillery. But that's not where the family fortune came from. No. The fortune came from the barrel of gun. Sam Bronfman was a bootlegger - big time - a friend of J.F. Kennedy's bootlegger father and of Al Capone. The gap between big business and crime has never been a big one.
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And there's this very disturbing opinion piece about the middle east.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/war-middle-east-1.4407876

This one has the potential to spill over into a bigger war, possibly a nuclear one. It's a product of more than a century of brutal and greedy interference in the middle east by Britain, France, the U.S. And this one could draw in Russia and China.
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And now to the hospital to get a hole punched in my eye.
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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.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/paradise-papers-icij-database-public-search-1.4403479

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

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/07/06/news/irvings-media-monopoly-and-its-consequences

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.
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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.
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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.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/17/israeli-military-chief-wants-closer-saudi-ties-as-iran-tensions-rise
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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.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/23/greedy-bosses-broken-capitalism-who-fix
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http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48221.htm
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Another story the irving press 'missed'.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/11/16/predicted-because-pipelines-are-bound-spill-existing-keystone-gushes-200k-gallons
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And the Canadian angle on that spill - also missed by the irving press.

https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2017/11/16/statement-transcanada-oil-spill-keystone-pipeline
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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.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/07/29/canada-flexing-military-might-capitulation-trump-despite-liberal-spin

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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.

https://theintercept.com/2017/11/14/chris-murphy-accuses-u-s-of-complicity-in-war-crimes-from-the-floor-of-the-senate/

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.)
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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.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/11/17/trumps-saudi-scheme-unravels/
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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.

https://thesaker.is/part-2-towards-a-corvette-centric-russian-navy/
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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.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/11/trump-lifts-ban-ivory-trophies-171117121503206.html
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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.
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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.
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Addenda

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.
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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.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/11/13/opinion/trudeau-has-room-step-climate
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For something far superior to the irving press, try the site below. While you're at it, take a look at the whole site.

http://nbmediacoop.org/2017/10/21/comment-energy-east-is-dead-heres-the-real-reason-why/

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

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48193.htm
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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.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48205.htm
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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.)

http://rabble.ca/rabbletv/program-guide/2017/11/better-conditions-instructors-means-better-education
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A world ruled by and for the greediest.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/11/14/millennials-fall-far-behind-worlds-richest-1-hoard-half-global-wealth
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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.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/11/15/domination-power-and-control/
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One reason, so we are told, that the U.S. must limit refugees is that it is a nation of Christian values. Oh, really?

https://www.globalresearch.ca/americas-killing-fields-in-yemen-children-are-dying-engineered-starvation-us-enforced-blockade-on-food-and-medicine/5618351

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.
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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



http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/teenage-girls-migrants-dead-mediterranean-sea-women-found-italy-police-investigation-libya-europe-a8041856.html

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.
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https://theintercept.com/2017/11/08/puerto-rico-schools-system-with-post-katrina-new-orleans-as-the-model/

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.
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https://zenit.org/articles/pope-stresses-need-to-halt-nuclear-arms/

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.
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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.
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http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/15000-scientists-warning-to-humanity-1.4395767

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.
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Selling weapons is more profitable than feeding the starving.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/12/millions-on-brink-of-famine-in-yemen-as-saudi-arabia-tightens-blockade

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?
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And, yes, there are bad guys on both sides.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/13/assad-regimes-starve-or-surrender-strategy-is-a-war-says-amnesty
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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.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/12/uk-universities-misleading-claims-marketing
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Yes, climate change is happening. Yes, something can be done.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/11/13/people-act-where-us-fails-on-climate/
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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.

https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.822484
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