Friday, November 3, 2017

Nov. 3: Okay. Get mad at me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take up what quarrel?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don't let governments use Nov. 11 to make us puppets of billionaires.
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Here's another report on the climate change that 'isn't' happening. Hey! Bring on the oil pipeline to St. John. Duh! It'll create jobs.

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/ng-interactive/2017/nov/03/three-degree-world-cities-drowned-global-warming

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

Hey. Lotsa time. Lotsa time. Don't even think about it. In fact, just read the irving press and don't think about anything.
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Major world governments are refusing to give Haiti money to deal with a very serious cholera epidemic. But, of course, the people of Haiti are poor. So who gives a damn.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/nov/02/shameful-uk-us-blocked-funds-haiti-cholera-victims-un-donors-china-france-russia
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The irving press is always happy to run columns about how business suffers too many regulations and laws. It needs to be freed!

Right.

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

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

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/23/greedy-bosses-broken-capitalism-who-fix
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rabble.ca is a pretty good source for intelligent commentary

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2017/11/can-you-say-%E2%80%98conflict-interest%E2%80%99-not-un
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Capitalists are the vultures of the human world. And they own our governments.
Wake up, New Brunswick!

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2017/11/disaster-capitalists-are-lined-puerto-rico

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

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/11/02/instead-2-trillion-corporate-tax-cut-gop-could-give-average-american-families-17000
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Greed is a sickness. That's why the very wealthy with more money than they can ever spend avoid taxes, insist on lavish handouts paid for the the rest of us. And there is no limit to what they want or to how much misery they are prepared to affect on everybody else.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48137.htm
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For tomorrow, (Saturday), we can look forward to the weekly faith page. But don't get your hopes up. Christianity fell on its face centuries ago, and it's never stirred since.


1 comment:

  1. Irving has been fined for its part in the Lac Megantic tragedy. And now NB Southern, another Irving company is being investigated for bogus and or missing cargo manifests. Front page news in the Moncton paper, I bet. I'm sure it's bleating about US softwood lumber tariffs after the rest of Atlantic Canada got off scot-free. Still if you pretend that NB Crown lands are not exclusively the preserve of JD Irving, whaddya expect?

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