Monday, November 13, 2017

Nov. 13: a slow news day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Selling weapons is more profitable than feeding the starving.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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