Thursday, December 28, 2017

Dec. 29: Modern War

Muslim terrorists are not the only ones who use terror as a method of warfare. The western world  has a long history of terrorism. Names that spring to mind are Winston Churchill for his deliberate bombing of Kurd civilians and his bombing of Dresden, Christopher Columbus for his use of trained killer dogs to hunt and kill native peoples who were late with their gifts of gold for him, George Washington for his massacres of native peoples, George Bush Sr. for his massive murder of the Mayas in Guatemala, all U.S. presidents who have used drones and killer special ops, Truman for the almost incredible scale of his killing in North Vietnam....


https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/28/un-agency-decries-shocking-scale-attacks-children-conflict-zones
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The deliberate killing of civilians, including children, has become a feature of western warfare.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/28/68-die-one-day-airstrikes-un-denounces-us-backed-war-yemen
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The next one is a long read. But stick with it. It's a real shocker.  Funny how most of our news media missed it. Think about this the next time you read that bilge in the irving press about how enriching the wealthy makes us all richer.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22533&LangID=E

This same process of corrupting and looting by the wealthy is going on in Canada. And it, as in the U.S., is going to get worse so long as we are limp-headed enough to keep voting Conservative and Liberal. (Those two parties have been playing that game since 1867 and earlier.)
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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/28/saudi-led-airstrikes-yemen-war-united-nations

This story is not, of course, in the irving press. No. It's big foreign news story for the day is that Obama says leaders should not use social media to divide people. The big news on the front page of the paper is that it's cold out. (Talk about tough reporters digging for the facts.)

Then, on the front page, there's a sad story about  a little girl who misses her daddy. (He disappeared five years ago.) Yes, It is sad. But it's not news because there is nothing we can do about it. This is what is called sensationalism.

Then there's the commentary page with a typical irving opinion. We should cut taxes for the rich like that nice Mr. Trump did. Well, why not? Of course, if it's true that our very rich are not paying taxes at all, doesn't that mean we should give them refunds on all those taxes they don't pay?
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Our news media commonly blame Trump for everything that is going wrong in the U.S. That's a big mistake because 1. Trump's policies are very similar to those of other presidents, often similar even to those of the blessed Obama. 2. Donald Trump is very much the representative of what white America wants.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/28/donald-trump-white-america-republican-party
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This next one may seem rather foreign to many readers.  It reminds me of the incredible expense the British have in supporting a royal family of limited usefulness and to the detriment of helping the millions of British who need basic food, housing, health care, education. But it might spark through in those many of our citizens who go all gaga over Prince Charles and Prince Harry, and who devour all the magazines that drool over them.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/29/royal-yacht-lottery-brittania-monarchy-queen-timeshare
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I'm not sure I'm as optimistic as this next commentary is about Trudeau's decision to abstain from the UN vote that condemned Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. I hope the writer is correct, and that I am wrong, and that this signals a Canadian move to get out from under U.S. control.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/yves-englers-blog/2017/12/canadas-abstention-un-vote-marks-turning-point-israel
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This is what modern war is. This is what terrorism is.

The U.S. has assassination squads (special ops) that operate like this all over the world every day. And Canada has been involved in similar acts. And these are the people that are praised as patriotic heroes. But don't waste your time looking for stories on this in the irving press.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48502.htm
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Though we forget it every Remembrance day, we told Canadians serving in World War Two that we were fighting to put an end to war. The U.S. immediately broke that promise. And we went along with the U.S.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48503.htm
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Another story that would never make the irving press. The cause of much of this is that much of the money the U.S. paid to rebuild Iraq actually went into the pockets of the friends of a very corrupt American government. American 'contractors' made billions out of such projects as rebuilding a hospital simply by painting whatever walls were left.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48498.htm
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The big story in world news today for the irving press is that Obama says Trump should not publicly insult people. Well, no. But...it's possible there's another big issue in world news. The U.S. is flirting with wars that could go nuclear. North Korea is one. Iran is another, not because Iran has nuclear weapons but because an attack on it might tempt China. Syria is another possibility as the U.S. insists on staying where it isn't wanted, and where it's staying might provoke a response by Russia.

And that doesn't begin to count the danger posed by the U.S. in placing nuclear weapons in Europe, and right up to the Russian border.

But doesn't all this make us safer?

No. It makes everything a whole lot more dangerous.

We know now that the U.S. has had   (and probably still has) plans to strike first if nuclear war seems likely. That's known. And it's a safe bet every other nuclear power has the same thought (except North Korea which could only lose by striking first.)

Imagine the tensions as such a situation develops. If Trump hits North Korea, is it possible China and Russia would decide they had to hit western targets NOW?
Of course, it's possible. And the U.S., knowing that, would certainly feel it has to go NOW.

Our world nuclear confrontations are not anything any of us can control. Nor can we change our minds part way through. We have to be the first to do or to die. So does the other side. And that means there's no time on either side to think it over.

But the big, world   concern of the irving press is that Obama says Trump shouldn't use his tweets to insult people.
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I don't believe the irving press has ever even mentioned the next developing event.

http://thesaker.is/the-petro-yuan-bombshell/
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We may be watching the beginning of the end for NATO as Europe begins to distance itself from a U.S. it has no confidence in. And such distancing is something Canada should be looking at - but Canada's wealthy would never allow the news media they own to mention such a thing.

http://theantimedia.org/european-union-building-army/
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It is, or should be, a scandal that while many countries, rich and poor, can afford to educate their children all the way through university, Canada and the US cannot. I remember my own student debt well. It took me so long to repay it that I would have been wiser to stay in my low-paying job that I  had before going back to school.

Of course, we can't possibly pay for that when the wealthy stuff away billions that we can't tax. (How come our governments have never told who are these wealthy people who are stealing from us and our children?)

https://www.globalresearch.ca/student-debt-slavery-bankrolling-financiers-on-the-backs-of-the-young/5624195
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And another story that won't make the irving press.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/21/intel-vets-tell-trump-iran-is-not-top-terror-sponsor/
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This item is from the Jerusalem Post. But it also appeared in the Israeli paper, Haaretz. And the two versions of this story are exactly the same, even though it is about Israeli government officials who want to imprison an 18 year old Muslim girl for slapping an Israeli soldier who had just shot her cousin with a rubber bullet. Haaretz always goes out of its way to tell the truth.

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Palestinian-teen-who-slapped-Israeli-soldier-to-face-charges-520289
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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Dec. 27: Halleluja for the irving press!

Well, the local and world news were the usual, brainless trash. And the commentary from The Fraser Institute was disgusting even by the standards of The Fraser Institute. (The propaganda in this one is that Canada should copy the U.S.   and give a huge tax break to the wealthy, poor sufferers that they are. Then, it says, they will invest the extra money in Canada and make us all rich.

Like hell it will. The rich can invest money anywhere they like - and where they like is in places that are poverty stricken, under dictatorships, and where people who ask for more pay are murdered - places like Latin America and Africa.)

But - and oh, it's a big but... Norbert Cunningham has a commentary that is brilliant - and one I have not seen anywhere else. It's about Trump but, unlike most commentaries on this subject, he sees Trump in a broader perspective.

In short, Cunningham does not see Trump as the cause of all U.S. ills. Trump, he sees as not the cause but the product of a United States floundering in corruption and disillusion and divisive hatreds and racism. Getting rid of Trump would solve nothing because the U.S. is a society and an empire in collapse. It was in collapse long before Trump.  Nor is there any sign that either the Democrats or the Republicans have any thoughts of changing things   (with the exception of Bernie Sanders.)

That, says Cunningham, is the reality. I think it goes back much, much further than Cunningham says it does. But collapse, civil disorder, possibly civil war are in the making. (And the The Fraser Institute thinks we must become closer to the  U.S.! And we must model ourselves on it!)
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As readers know, we are good and kind in all the wars we fight. In fact, we have no choice because it's always the other side that forces us into war.  And the other side is always evil relying on terror and the killing of innocent people. And, of course, the other side never has any reason for picking on us.

So that would explain why the U.S. is forced into starving civilians and even babies in Yemen to death and killing them by cholera in a racial slaughter that could exceed Hitler's death camps (And the Americans doing the dirty work are, of course, good people and heroes and patriots who are 'fighting for their country' - whatever that means.) Canada is involved in the game, too. We sent troops to Afghanistan, and sold weapons to help Saudis murder the families of Yemen. And Canada killed Libyans (without bothering to declare war), trained terrorists in Syria and, count on it, will be involved if Trump is foolish enough to go to war against North Korea.

So lets get away from our 'good guys,  bad guys' news media. Let's pretend that these are just real people we are dealing with on both sides.

Let's go back to the Korean War of 1950. The U.S. convinced its puppet states, like Canada, to invade North Korea. (North Koreans were 'evil'. South Koreans were 'good'.)

In fact, the government of South Korea was a thoroughly corrupt one; and it was a dictatorship of monstrous cruelty. It was made up largely of those who had been Japanese collaborators in World War 2. And it would remain a dictatorship for years AFTER the Korean war. So those are the 'freedom lovers' we fought to defend.

In reality, the U.S. lost that war when China intervened. But it pretended it won. If you look at old newspapers in Canada and the U.S., you will notice that all veterans of that war were routinely referred to as 'Korean war heroes' as in
"Korean War Hero visits local school."

North Korea had suffered the heaviest proportion of civilians ever killed in a war as the U.S. relied heavily on deliberate bombing of civilians (by Korean War Heroes). If the U.S. had wanted to establish peace in the region, it would have assisted North Korea in rebuilding. But it didn't want to establish peace.

The U.S. had failed in its (undeclared) reason for fighting that war. It fought the war not to defend South Korea but to give the U.S. bases for nuclear rockets aimed at China - rather like the ones it is establishing against Russia in Europe.
So, instead of helping a shattered and impoverished people to recover, the U.S. has, for almost seventy years, placed severe restrictions on foreign trade for South Korea - driving an already battered and impoverished people into even deeper poverty. And it is now making those restrictions even worse. At the same time, it heavily armed the much larger South Korean army, maintained a large American army in South Korea, and has constantly carried out provocative exercises on the border with North Korea.

It's not Kim Jong that wants a war. It's the U.S. And the reason it wants a war is the same reason it had in 1950 - for its assault on China.

Meanwhile, what have those evil North Koreans been doing? Well, they are still kept in poverty, thanks to the U.S. But they have rebuilt much of their country. And they have a public education system that seems to outclass both the U.S. and Canada.

And Kim Jung is evil for developing a nuclear arsenal which is, perhaps, 0.001% of that of the U.S.? I don't like it. But if you're a small country under constant harassment from a U.S. which has a massive army and 4,000 nuclear weapons, it's surely obvious that Kim Jung is not looking for a war with the U.S., but looking to stop the U.S. from starting one.

Putin has offered to share in peace talks between the U.S. and North Korea.  (And that is a sign of the rise of Russia and the decline of the U.S. in world stature.) I suspect Trump will turn that down because he wants to continue his war of poverty on North Korea.

I know very little about Kim Jong. But I am aware of the tremendous difficulty of holding together a country devastated by war and by a U.S. bullying that has lasted for almost seventy years.

Yes. He looks funny. And he acts funny. Is he evil? Like all of us, I'm sure he has some evil in him.  But it's an evil a lot less than that which the U.S. has inflicted on the millions it has killed and abused and starved and refugeed since 1945.

What to watch for? Trudeau squirming when Trump asks for Canada to do its share in killing North Koreans all over again, and  contributing Canadian 'heroes' to the cause.

Oh, and forget about Canada standing up for any principles. Canada is driven by the same forces that are destroying the U.S. - economic greed, corruption, evil, and the stupidity that inevitably breeds more of the same.
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Greed, corruption and stupidity...   And evil.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/26/us-to-make-at-least-285m-cut-to-un-budget-after-vote-on-jerusalem
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Trump's bullying of the UN is not just bad for the UN. It's bad for all of us, and bad for the things we claim we fought for in World War Two.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/21/trumps-bullying-and-bluster-on-jerusalem-is-bad-news-for-the-un
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Mayanmar has been carrying out a horrible campaign of attacks on its Muslim citizens. Babies have their throats cut in front of their parents. Men are killed with hatchets in front of their families. Women ( a category that includes very young girls) are gang-raped, then crammed into huts to be burned alive.

But our news media have shown little interest in this. (I've never seen it even mentioned in the irving press. And, certainly, nobody in the U.S. government is showing the least interest. The country that talks of nuking North Korea for its 'evil' has never even thought of publicly criticizing Myanmar.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/27/aung-san-suu-kyi-avoided-discussion-of-rohingya-during-un-meeting
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If you want evidence of the history of evil, greed and stupidity, they didn't begin with the American empire. They have been characteristic of all empires. That may explain why the British keep losing colonial records.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/27/archive-files-britain-colonial-past-government
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For the forgetful among us, here's a reminder of what happens when we hand  over health services to the private sector.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/27/simply-price-gouging-cost-cancer-drug-hiked-1400-2013
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The oil industry has, from the start of our realization of how dangerous it is to all of us billions on this earth, been consistent in ignoring the consequences of our reliance on it. It will, in fact, kill them, even the mightiest among them, just as much as it will us peasantry. But what can we expect? Greed will beat brains every time.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/26/oil-giants-invest-180b-plastics-propelling-oceans-toward-near-permanent-pollution
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You think there are evils we need to fight? There are. And they aren't necessarily evil foreigners.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/27/wealthiest-amass-another-1-trillion-2017-calls-strike-back-against-oligarchy

As you read this, think of today's half-wit commentary in the irving press from The Fraser Institute with its message that if we make the wealth even richer, it will trickle down to us. That's a regular theme of the irving press. And it has never in history been true.
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Rule by the greedy and stupid.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/26/bid-save-big-oil-900m-trump-moves-scrap-offshore-drilling-safety-rules
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Hey! Ya can't take chances. A country like Yemen could invade the U.S. at any moment.

http://theantimedia.org/saudi-christmas-yemen-bombing/
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For well over a century, the U.S. has been a land of enormous wealth for a few, and of dreadful poverty for many.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48501.htm

Nor has Canada been much different. Canada has become far, far the superior one in its medicare service. But note that it did not originate with either the Liberals or the Conservatives.
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Here's a sobering article that you won't find in the New Brunswick press. The wealthy and stupid are not fans of sobering articles.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/12/21/let-it-go-the-arctic-will-never-be-frozen-again/
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Isn't it just awful how some of those Latin American countries are so corrupt and violent? Yes, it is. And the reason they are so corrupt and violent is because of the greedy in Canada and the U.S. who control them......

https://theintercept.com/2017/12/23/honduras-election-fraud-drugs-jose-orlando-hernandez/

.... just like they control the rest of us.
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This commentary is not a good explanation of why Russia and China did not veto the UN's condemnation of Trump's threats to North Korea.  (Well,  in fact, it's damned unsatisfactory on that point.) But it does give a pretty good picture of the confrontation between the U.S. and North Korea.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/north-korea-un-security-councils-killer-resolution15-to-0-choking-a-country-into-submission/5623891
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It's just terrible how little countries (including Canada) have picked on the God-fearing, Christian U.S.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/america-has-been-at-war-93-of-the-time-222-out-of-239-years-since-1776/5565946

(Even worse is the way that the Christian churches have wimped out of any criticism of the way corrupt politicians and greedy capitalists have murdered people in the millions.)  (Oh, Incidentally, nobody has any idea of how many millions have been murdered since 1945. A recent study, for example, shows that while one and a half million, mostly civilians, were killed in the Iraq war (a war that the U.S. justified by lies about weapons of mass destruction that did not exist), It is likely that a million more have died as a result of that war.)
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Here's a look at a North Korea that we don't find in our mainstream news media.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/north-korea-a-threat-or-a-victim-some-facts/5615502
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I always end my day's reading of the news with the Israeli paper, Haaretz. It's such a good experience to read an intelligent and honest newspaper. I wish I could send out copies of its stories.

It's a good idea to get it. And it's not expensive.
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We are now in the most serious danger this planet has ever seen. Wars have become an impossible way of dealing with any situation. But we are under the leadership of corrupt politicians, and corporation bosses who don't pay taxes but happily use our money to fight wars that nobody can win. Our leadership is not insane. It's worse. It's leadership composed of the wealthiest, the most arrogant, and the least competent people on this earth, people who also corrupt our political system.

We have very little time to deal with this, particularly since almost all our news media have long since been corrupted by these same people.

In this country, Canadians have to wake up. Anyone who thinks the Liberals or Conservatives are the answer to our problems is hopelessly naive. Is their hope in the NDP and the Greens? Maybe. But only if they unite. And only if they become a lot more creative and militant than they are. They have to wake Canadians up. But first, they have to wake themselves up.

(And I keep thinking of the scandal it was that the Christian churches of Germany and Italy gave Hitler and Mussolini free passes. And our Christian churches are doing the same thing now for our Hitlers and Mussolinis.)

I  haven't lost my respect for the Christian message. But, oh, I don't see how it's possible to respect our churches.
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Sorry to be late with this. It's been an extremely upsetting day to read the news.

Damn. How can the churches possibly fail to see something dreadfully wrong in deliberately starving and spreading fatal disease to millions of innocent people in Yemen?






Saturday, December 23, 2017

Dec. 23: Just a short blog before Xmas....

...because I'm not likely to have time for one on Christmas day.

This began with my reading of Saturday's paper. Ghastly at the best of times, this edition isn't even worth burning. All the newspapers of this province are owned by one man - who thinks it is just better all round if we are in complete ignorance of what is happening.

If  you have a computer, see if you can call up Moncton Times And Transcript or Brunswick News. It's hard to find editorial drivel of this contemptible quality.

It opens with a slogan that it offers up to the minute, breaking news. What a moronic statement! How can a newspaper - which is set up a day before it appears - possible have up to the minute (or even up to the hour) news.

Several stories have the word EXCLUSIVE emblazoned over them. Big deal. All that means is that nobody else wanted it.

And the front page stories? The ones YOU need to know?

Well, an American visitor was fined a thousand dollars for killing a policeman in a traffic accident. And a prisoner is back in prison after his parole was revoked. And a couple is getting married before one of them has brain surgery.

What do all these stories have in common? 1. They add nothing to our knowledge of anything we need to know. 2. They all have elements of sensationalism. 3. All are written to stress that sensationalism with emotional and evocative passages. In short, this is brainless gossip. There is nothing we need to know, nothing  we can do anything about. It's like those idiot supermarket mags about the royal family (be still, my heart) and the gossip ones about how Sandra left Bill to run off with a Siamese taxi driver.

The only real story in the first section of the paper is that another vessel has been fined for dangerous actions in the whale protection zone. (In fairness, the two pages of obituaries are also above the paper's usual standard.)

The opinion and commentary pages don't (and never will) touch on the biggest issue facing this province. Is it true that the wealthy of New Brunswick don't pay taxes? We know, of course, that they frequently get monstrous favours from our 'for sale' politicians. Those come in the shape of relief from property taxes, for example, outright gifts of our money, sweetheart contracts and a forest on cut rate terms. We also allow them to spray our forest (and us) with poisons. We also put minimum pressure on them to play a role in cutting our use of fossil fuels. (I mean, who cares if that destroys the planet?)

The information is available on whether they also escape paying those taxes we need to provide education, health care, housing, relief for the large numbers of poor...

But our newspapers don't give us that information. But if the wealthy are not paying taxes, those are billions of dollars we don't have.

Of course, the Moncton Times and Transcript goes into ecstasies just short of orgasms when anybody of wealth flips a few coins to some organization that would never criticize them.

The best part of this Saturday's paper is that it doesn't have a sermonette on the Faith Page. These are almost invariably about how we gotta be good Christians by going to church so we get to heaven while all them Hindus, Shintos, Muslims, etc. will spend eternity roasting in  hell. There is never a word about how us Christians have been plundering the world, murdering millions and enslaving millions, and worshipping big money; though we could use a Bible passage explaining how this gets us into heaven.

And world news? Forget it. There's not a word about how we are cooperating in killing children in Yemen by starvation and disease. Are there important topics to cover? Well, yeah. I can think of a couple.

1. Trump has threatened nuclear war on North Korea. If he does attack, China and Russia have to respond.

2. If he makes a conventional attack, China and Russia have to respond. And how long do you think it would take before that went nuclear?

3. Though badly outplayed and outclassed by Putin in the middle east, the U.S. is still determined to keep troops in Syria where it has no right to be. And Trump, like all Presidents since 1950, is determined to destroy the elected government of Iran - and to destroy Iran, itself.

And by naming Jerusalem the capital of Israel,Trump has destroyed whatever support he had in the very, very large Islamic world.

4. We now know that the U.S nuclear plan was - and probably still is - to attack first. That makes sense. After all, if we let the other side attack first, then the war is already lost.  Yes, yes, we have to attack first. But.....

     ....The other side isn't stupid. It knows it has to attack first In other words, both sides are pointing loaded guns at each other, and with fingers on the triggers.

      Not that it matters. After all, over 10,000 nuclear bombs exploding would probably destroy the whole planet, anyway. We are living in the most dangerous period in human history. But be happy. Read the Moncton TandT.

5. Then there's the problem that Canada is falling behind on its controls over the use of fossil fuels. So, of course, is the U.S. That might take longer to destroy the planet - but once well under way, it would be impossible to reverse.

However, The Moncton Times and Transcript has no time for alarmist news. No.
It's lead story is that "Cheese-making monk finds a pupil for his 300-year-old recipe."

Then there's a big story that Donald Trump is taking his Christmas break at a Florida club. In Texas, a woman stabbed a mother and stole her baby. In Ottawa, a church burned down so it doesn't know where it's Christmas service will be held.

And that's about it. Yemen? Middle East? starvation in Africa? Homelessness in Canada? War in North Korea? Corruption in government? Trudeau's UN vote on Jerusalem that destroyed Canada's world stature? Canada's almost complete submission to U.S. rule?
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We live in an atmosphere that bears a frightening resemblance to Nazi Germany. (But don't worry. Read the irving press and you'll never know about it.)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/23/europe-sends-people-home-to-afghanistan-where-they-have-never-been
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The Ukrainian revolution was staged by the U.S. (though the Moncton T and T doesn't seem to know that.) The country is still in chaos - and the U.S. plans to make it worse.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/23/us-provision-of-weapons-to-ukraine-could-fuel-conflict-russia-says

Think of the potential of this one.
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The UN is rallying to support trade sanctions on North Korea, thus driving an already poor country into even more poverty and suffering. (Yes, I know Kim Jung has been a bad boy. So has Trump.)

The reason North Korea has plunged into nuclear development is because the U.S. has been threatening it for almost seventy years, and has held it down in poverty though trade sanctions.  Murderous threats and extreme poverty are what created a Kim Jung in the first place. More threats and more poverty are not the cure.

Having a world with over 10,000 nuclear weapons punish a nation with just a few, while ignoring a nation with 4,000 weapons that is threatening it is not going to solve anything.

If we want to solve the problem, we should stop threatening North Korea and we should help it. Any other 'solution' opens the door to a world nuclear war.

Of course, that would be a Christian response. So we shouldn't expect it from a western world dominated by churches that are only theoretically Christian.

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Iran's great crime was that shortly after world war 2, Iranians wanted to elect their own government and to control their own country. Until then, Iran was something like a slave-state for Britain. It was controlled by British oil companies. In fact, it was owned by British oil companies.

Among the terms it forced on Iran was that it had to supply its oil FREE to provide the whole oil needs of the Royal Navy. Then the Iranians had the heathen nerve to elect their own government, and to charge the British for their oil.

Britain rose in Christian anger. So did the U.S. because this was its big chance to get a chunk of the British-controlled oil fields. The elected government was overthrown, and replaced by a murderous dictator called the Shah.

But, after some years of brutal treatment by the Shah, Iranians rose against him, and elected their own government again. The freedom loving democracy of the U.S. has never forgiven them for it. And it has been working to destroy the elected government ever since.

But now China and Russia are supporting Iran. Will the U.S. oil industry now at last back off, and leave Iran alone?

Not likely.

But you can be sure that if the U.S. does launch a war over this (with its potential to create a nuclear war), the Moncton T and T.....well, who knows? It might need the space for a big story about somebody who says he's proud to live in Moncton.

http://theantimedia.org/iran-china-military-ties/
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Hey! don't pay attention to those climate freaks. Burning oil is good for us. And it creates jobs!

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/12/23/analysis/californias-thomas-fire-torches-record-books-normal-climate-burns-away
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The following story is one that did appear in Israel's Haaretz. But it has been less noticed by North American journalists.

One cannot trust any news about Israel that appears in North American news media. They are profoundly controlled by an Israeli lobby that is well-funded, superbly organized, and will not allow any news story that is critical of Israel. I have seen them at work up close.

For fourteen years, I gave current events talks to Jewish audiences of 300 or so at a Jewish library in Montreal. On my last day before retirement, I was about to start my talk when the librarian interrupted to say she wanted to speak first. I thought, 'of course. she wants to thank me for fourteen years of talks."

She took the mike and said, "Wait till I tell you who your next speaker is going to be. You're going to forget all about Graeme Decarie."

The next speaker, I would later learn, was the leader of Montreal's Israeli lobby.

A few weeks earlier, I was fired by a radio station I had been on for fifteen years or so. My replacement? That same leader of the Israeli lobby.

Anything we see or hear about Israel comes from what is really a propaganda group.  That's why, if you want to understand Israel, you have to read the Israeli paper, Haaretz.
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This is the most dangerous Christmas season we have ever seen. But not to worry. Neither Justin Trudeau's Liberals nor what's-his-name's Conservatives will allow anything bad to happen. (and if something bad happens, we won't know because the irving press won't tell us.)

However, just in case the wealthy of this world continue to be greedy and powerful, and the Liberals and Conservatives continue to be puppets for the wealthy, it might be wise for Canada to find an alternative to our reliance on the U.S., to be part of a model for improving the world rather than destroying it - and us with it.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Dec. 22: The Shame of being Canadian.

So - Canada has wimped out on the UN vote to condemn the US for designating Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Why do you think Canada backed out on an issue that united most of the world in opposition to what Trump had done? Canada, like the other states that abstained from voting, chickened out. Poor states did so because they feared that if they voted to condemn the U.S. they would get economically hurt by the U.S. But Canada is not a poor state. So why the abstention from a measure that most of the world favoured?

Let's start with the 1870s, when Germany united. That scared the wits out of British capitalists. A united Germany could outclass Britain as an industrial power and even threaten its empire. The wealthy of Britain stood to take a big hit. So Britain became anxious to dump Canada. (Bear with me. This does make sense.)

Britain, quite correctly, feared the U.S. would attack Canada; and that was a real possibility.  But Britain could not possibly handle a war with both Germany and the U.S. So it began planning to get rid of Canada, and so to keep its hands free to fight Germany.

But then, as the century closed, it realized that it would need the help of Canada and the other colonies to fight a Germany that was rapidly becoming tough competition for British capitalists. So that was when Britain switched its policy. realizing it would probably need a Canada - and other colonies - to beat Germany, to cozy up to Britain for such a war that it set a precedent for colonies to fight on Britain's command. The wooing consisted of strong appeals to loyalty to the monarchy and love of Britain. This was supported by Canadian capitalists who depended heavily on imperial trade.  So they and their newspapers played the imperial card and royal emotions to lure Canadians into joining Britain in the Boer War. All of a sudden, Britain just loved Canada.

And it worked. In 1914, Canada was under no obligation to fight British wars; but the kissing up of the empire, supported by Canadian capitalists, induced Canadians to enter World War 1. And it worked again for World War 2.

(Don't get your patriotism all frazzled. I'm not suggesting Canada should have stayed out of both world wars. What I am saying is that Capitalist Canada desperately needed Canadians to fight British wars so that large corporations could continue to benefit from imperial trade.) 

The U.S., despite its large population of British descent, was very, very slow to enter either war - not until 1917 in world war 1, and until almost 2 and  1/2 years into world war 2. It was slow because there were no advantages for American capitalists in fighting British wars. It was better, far better, to make money by selling the British weapons, and maybe picking up chunks of the British Empire if Britain lost. (And, in fact, the U.S. did do well in snatching pieces of the British Empire in the middle east, but rather poorly in getting the main prize - China.)

But, after world war 2, British capitalists were a humbled lot who now needed to be on good terms with American capitalists. So did Canadian capitalists.  And, so it was that Canada and Britain had to court American capitalists by fighting their wars. Thus North Korea, Afghanistan, Libya for Canadian troops - as well as peacekeeping 'errands' like the troops to Haiti and Latvia.

Ordinary Canadians might have fought those wars out of patriotism. But the major capitalists have patriotic feelings only for their pocket books.

Trudeau had a difficult choice on the UN vote. He could not have supported the U.S. position on Jerusalem without destroying a great deal of his party's vote. But he could not oppose it without seriously hurting his party financing that comes from the wealthy.

So he chose the course of the very, very weak. Watch for him to try to make it up by volunteering to fight another American war. It is extremely foolish for Canadians to tie themselves to the American empire, especially as it seems to be following the course of nazi Germany, and is very close to collapse. But that is almost certainly the course that our leading capitalists insist we follow.

And getting rid of Trump wouldn't matter a damn. His policies are very, very similar to most of the presidents before him. He's ignorant, coarse, emotionally immature, yes. But he is  doing nothing that a Clinton or a Bush or an Obama didn't do.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-jerusalem-un-1.4460257
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The most alarming part of the US reaction to the UN vote is the speech below by the U.S. delegate to the UN. The messages are that nobody is allowed to vote against the U.S., there will be punishments, and the UN itself may be destroyed.

Translation - the U.S. rules the world. All must obey it. The U.S. is never wrong. It needs to follow no rules. And it may punish the UN by destroying it.

On Remembrance Day, we remembered those who gave their lives in world wars  one and two. One of the things they were told they died for was a world order of law governed by a United Nations and by international courts.

Trump's attitude is nothing new. From the start, the U.S. has refused to show any respect for the UN or for international law. It has illegally invaded over seventy countries, murdering millions. It has repeatedly defied the UN. Let's remember that next November 11.

The U.S. has behaved in that way because its governments, all of them, have been controlled by the wealthiest and greediest people in the world. And our Canadian wealthy and greedy like it that way. And so it is that we turn out for  superficial mourning on November 11 even as we help the U.S. to trash what so  many died for.

Even Britain, which has been, with Canada, among the wimpiest of US kiss-ups since 1945 voted against Trump's action in recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. But Canada, taking the least intelligent and least honourable course of action, abstained from voting.

Most of the world today is rethinking its relationship with the U.S. as it so openly shows that it considers itself the emperor of the world. But not Canada. No. Our capitalists like this arrangement just fine.

But the U.S., thanks to Trump's arrogance and stupidity, has turned a corner with this one. Much of the world will now turn to alternative alliances. But not Canada. And the chances of American wars and aggressive moves have increased enormously - with the full participation of Canadians who will be called on to be "patriotic" and to die for American billionaires.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2017/dec/21/us-slams-un-jerusalem-vote-we-will-remember-this-video

No. This UN vote is NOT just an incident.
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This province's irving press has not noticed the new leader of Canada's NDP party. (In fairness, it has never noticed anything about the NDP.)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/20/jagmeet-singh-canadas-pioneering-party-leader-on-building-unity-amid-division

I wish him well. But I think both the Greens and the NDP have to recognize the need for much, much stronger stands to save this country.
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Oh, yes. We have Donald Trumps in our business world, too - notably in the oil business.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/council-canadians-blog/2017/12/bps-dirty-huge-nova-scotian-secret
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Why the U.S. is heading for a crash.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/21/predicted-trump-and-his-billionaire-cabinet-poised-save-many-millions-thanks

The U.S. is behaving in a way very similar to that of Germany after 1918. And, like Germany after 1918, the U.S. is doing it by playing on racial hatreds and fears.
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The U.S. has 'special forces' that are constantly at war in countries all over the world. It's a safe bet that such assassination squads and other highly trained troops are killing in dozens of countries at any time. But we rarely hear of them.

God bless these special forces fighting for God and country as they murder bad people.

http://www.newsweek.com/yemen-pentagon-confirms-boots-ground-against-isis-and-al-qaeda-754960
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The U.S. is doing what just about every imperial power in history has done. It is constantly moving wealth into the hands of a small group who control the empire, and constantly impoverishing everybody else. You can see that in the Roman Empire, the British Empire (which enriched a small, ruling class while putting the rest of the population into poverty.)

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48465.htm
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The UN condemnation of the U.S. has made Trump's position on just about everything more precarious. Here's an example.

http://theantimedia.org/russia-tells-us-military-syria/
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Climate change denial in New Brunswick? No, not at all. In fact, the wealthy people of this province have led the way in demanding action. Well, for example, there's ---uh--- lots of things, like---duh---

http://www.countercurrents.org/
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Canadians should not feel smug about the next item. Canada's spending on social needs is severely cramped as money increasingly flows to the already wealthy (who don't pay taxes and who, on the contrary, frequently demand that we give our tax money to them.) This country has many thousands of homeless and of dreadfully housed. It has badly underfunded education. It has a medicare system in trouble. It has absurdly low minimum wages. It has all those because the wealthy, most of them, don't pay taxes, and so the rest of us lose billions.

(Gee. You haven't  seen all the stories in the irving press about this? Well, no. And you won't. But we get glowing reports of 'philanthropy'. Thanks, but the philanthropic can take their philanthropy and shove it. I'll settle for them paying taxes.)

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/12/22/us-tax-cut-bill-will-kill-12000-americans-through-health-cover-loss-over-2-trump-terms/
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The trouble with all them there Puerto Ricans is that they aren't billionaires. If they were, tax money would be pouring in to save them.

https://theintercept.com/2017/12/22/puerto-rico-foreclosures-hurricane-maria/
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Gee, it's good to know that Trudeau is at the helm in Canada.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/12/21/news/ottawa-plans-declare-deadly-gas-non-toxic

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/12/21/news/toxic-gas-nearly-killed-oil-worker-his-employer-never-told-province

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/12/19/news/unrestrained-oil-production-threatens-canadas-climate-change-goals-oecd
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Haaretz reports that Israel's Netanyahu is losing support from his very right wing party base. That's not surprising. He has not only been wildly corrupt, but he has had his government pass a law that police cannot press graft charges against him.
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Trump is looking for wars. That should not cause surprise. Every president in the history of the U.S. has gone looking for wars. Trump is less different than most people think he is. The problem now is that any war could spill over into a world nuclear war - and the temptation is to do that early rather than waiting for an attack.

A ground war, unless it were a very small and easy one, would not be attractive to the American public. And a big one would almost certainly provoke a nuclear response.

The problem, I'm afraid, isn't really Trump. It's the greed, callousness and corruption of the whole, U.S. political and economic system.
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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Dec. 20: On the Brink...

One of the ways journalists create fake
 news is by using prejudicial language in reporting it. There was the case of western news media referring to a North Korean soldier who deserted to South Korea, in the process abandoning his wife an family. Our news media described him as courageous. (I doubt whether they would have called an American soldier courageous for such an action.)

Even the CBC can fall into that trap on occasion. Yesterday,  the word was Canadian and American leaders would meet in Vancouver to discuss the 'erratic' behaviour of Kim Jong Un.  How did the word erratic slip in there?

For almost seventy years, the U.S.  has been provoking North Korea with air, land and sea operations on its borders. (How do you think the U.S. would react to North Korea doing that with operations based in Mexico?) The U.S. has also deepened poverty in North Korea for all those years by putting trade sanctions on North Korea. The U.S. also has over 4,000 nuclear missiles, and has threatened to blow North Korea off the map.  So Kim Jung has reacted by developing a relatively modest deterrent. He can't really attack the U.S. with it But it's the best a small North Korea can do to make a large and wealthy U.S. back off.

What's erratic about that?
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While on the subject of nuclear weapons, there's a new book out that everyone should read. It's by Daniel Ellsberg who, as a Pentagon 'wunderkind' of more than 60 years ago, was a major designer of U.S. strategy for a nuclear war. He was so horrified by it that he refused to complete it, and released much of the plan to the public in the 'Pentagon papers' - making himself a target for all the warhawks. He has now revealed the whole plan in a book, "The Doomsday Machine".

And doomsday puts it mildly.

The plan calls for the U.S. to strike first with a massive assault that would destroy every city and town in Russia and China (Remember - the current bombs are far, far more powerful than the one that hit Hiroshima.)

That's why the U.S.  has been moving much of its bomb stockpile to Europe, and has great interest in getting them right on the Chinese and Russian borders. That would make possible a first-strike that would kill over a billion people. Actually, it would be a far greater kill than that because such a massive strike would kill many, many millions more by starvation and radiation.

And the power to initiate such a strike was not limited to the president. It was distributed downward to a variety of military leaders.

Would this give world victory to the U.S.? Probably not. Even if there were no response by nations like Russia and China the release of radiation would infect the whole planet.

And, even with American missiles right on the Russian and Chinese borders, there would certainly be some response targeted on the U.S.  ( and Canada). And it would almost certainly trigger hits by other nuclear powers like India, Pakistan, Israel so that even the 'winners' would be shattered by starvation and, radiation.  Such would be a nuclear 'victory'.

But there is no other way to fight one. The only hope for anything that could be called a win would be to strike first. That's why every nuclear button in the world has a finger on it. In short, nobody can win a nuclear war. But the only possible plan is to be the one who starts it. And it would destroy us all. This is the ultimate doomsday machine.

And there are some 12,000 nuclear rockets in the world. Kim Jong Un is the least of our worries.

Will the presence of a Canadian cabinet minister meeting with a member of Trump's cabinet make a difference on this issue? No. Canada is nothing more than a U.S. puppet.

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http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/rohingya-villages-human-rights-watch-1.4453798

Our news world has played little attention to the horrors being carried out by Bangladesh against Muslims. There are accounts of whole villages being killed, the men first killed in front of their families, then the throats of babies publicly slit, then women and girls gang raped by dozens of soldiers before being hacked to death.

Boy! If it were Kim Jung doing that, we'd be nuking North Korea now. So why this lack of any action? Isn't this what the UN was created to deal with?    And didn't we fight World War 2 to stop this sort of thing?
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I once taught with a man who was an ardent communist and admirer of China. After I  had been there, I told him what I had seen, and he was close to tears. "This is not what the struggle was for."

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/19/public-death-sentences-people-china-desperation
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The Trump government is pushing through a tax bill that will "reduce taxes for all."  Well actually, it won't reduce them for the very wealthy because the very wealthy in the U.S. and in Canada don't pay taxes. Will it reduce taxes for the rest of the population? Yes, at least for the upper middle class. The poor will get  hammered because cutting taxes means there will be no money for those things they really need - like education, housing subsidies. health care....

I'm surprised the irving press hasn't had a columnist praising this, and demanding the same be done for New Brunswick. And perhaps it can have its pet economist do a commentary on how making the rich even richer trickles down to benefit all of us. Yes, it does. That's why New Brunswickers are so rich.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/19/donald-trump-tax-bill-plan-house-approves-senate
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America rules the world. That has been the theme of  every president since 1945. The American empire has the right to ignore international law. It has the right to kill anywhere in the world for any reason, and without any need for approval. It has the right to invade, even against the rulings of international courts. The UN, that institution we said our veterans fought and died for, has long been dismissed by the U.S.  The world is the American Empire. And that's what Trump meant when he said he would make America great again. It really meant what the U.S. has been doing for seventy years, and killing innocent people while doing it.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/20/donald-trump-threat-cut-aid-un-jerusalem-vote
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Here's another story that didn't make the irving press. Of course not. In the view of the irving press, it's okay for politicians to have conflicts of interest and to kiss up to the wealthy. (That's the history of New Brunswick in one sentence.)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/20/justin-trudeau-broke-conflict-of-interest-rules-with-stay-at-aga-khans-island
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Jagmeet Singh, the first man of colour to lead a Canadian political party  (the NDP) has been largely ignored by the irving press. A good paper like The Guardian pays more attention.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/20/jagmeet-singh-canadas-pioneering-party-leader-on-building-unity-amid-division

(My own feeling is that the NDP and the Greens have to move a good deal to the left. But both parties, in contrast to the Liberals and Conservatives, seem to be honest - and that's a start.)
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This next opinion is an attack on the British government. It could as well be an attack on the Canadian government and the Canadian news media. The deliberate murder of civilians by starvation and disease in Yemen is as horrid as anything Hitler devised. But there it is supported by Britain, the U.S. and, clap-clap, Canada.  Is this really why Canadians died in World War Two? Is this what we hold parades for?

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/19/yemeni-children-starve-britons-saudi-onslaught-government
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Many years ago, when the NDP was created out of the more radical CCF, I was one of the mourners in that opposition group called 'the waffle'. I still am.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/views-expressed/2017/12/no-insight-bc-ndp-they-approve-site-c-dam
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This next item resembles Canada's legislation that allows the very wealthy to avoid taxes (so the rest of us have to pay more and/or lose services as well.)

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/19/here-are-227-gop-house-members-who-just-voted-raise-taxes-90-million-working
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Bernie Sanders is America's only elected politician who hasn't been bought. (So that puts the U.S. ahead of New Brunswick by one man.)

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/19/sanders-passage-gop-tax-bill-great-victory-koch-brothers-looting-federal-treasury
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While the US media scream about those 'evil terrorists' like ISIS, the reality is that that U.S. created those groups. They did it decades ago in Afghanistan to defeat Russian attempts to conquer it.  And the U.S., while preaching hatred of Muslims, is the one that has been financing, equipping and training them.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48468.htm
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This commentary rings true.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48462.htm

I don't suggest here that Putin is a 'nice guy'. But as a statesman, he has a lot more stature than Trump.
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Contrary to the view of our ghastly irving press, capitalism does not create wealth for us all. Worse, we are living through another period in which in which the wealthy become ever more wealthy while everyone else becomes poorer.

Greed, arrogance and ignorance do that.       

Here's a sort of map of wealth in the U.S. Perhaps we could get a similar one of Canada in the irving press. It's important because Wealth, greed, and ignorance, are taking us straight into an economic crisis - and possibly, very possibly, a nuclear one.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48462.htm

American capitalists are running hard to make the whole world their empire. They have been since 1945. (And Canadian capitalists have made sure that they trot hard after them like the puppies they are.)
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The U.S. is our friend? Individual Americans might be. But corporation bosses aren't friends to anybody. That's why the U.S. has attacked Canada in the past and has threatened to attack more often than you might think. As the U.S. begins to feel the impact of climate change, there will be a move to take over Canada.  (and Canadian big time capitalists will trip over themselves to show what good Americans they will be.)

https://www.globalresearch.ca/reflecting-on-canadas-sovereignty-americas-plan-to-annex-and-invade-canada/5341097
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Why wasting our time fighting wars is insane.... The planet is being destroyed. We are being destroyed. Only the greediest of fools would be planning wars now.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/12/20/welcome-to-the-new-arctic-the-region-as-we-once-knew-it-is-no-more/

And the greediest of fools are planning wars now.
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The next item is one that would never appear in a North American newspaper. It's a criticism of Israel - and I think it's a valid one.  No. I am not an anti-semite. In fact, most of my adult life was spent among friends who are Jewish.  And, anyway, Palestinians are semites, too. But much as I like Jews rather more than I like Christians, I don't care much for Zionists - and Zionism and Judaism are not the same thing. Here's an article on that topic.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/12/20/on-hanukkah-2017-light-a-candle-for-palestine/
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"Netanyahu cites Trump as his role model". That's the headline of a Haaretz story. Alas, one has to get a subscription to read the whole story - and even then it can't be transmitted in a blog.
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I have more material to look at but - well, I've been travelling and I'm really, really tired. So I'm going to pack it in now.
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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Dec. 13: We need big changes ( that aren't happening)

Dear voters,

Voting Liberals or Conservative is not going to change anything for the better. Both of those parties, for example, are  the ones who approved laws that made it possible for the wealthy to hide their profits - and sneer at the rest of us for not working harder.

Both are the ones who never liked the biggest social legislation ever in Canada's history - the legislation that made it possible for the first time for Canadians who are ill to get medical attention. The man who backed them into a corner on that was not a Liberal pr a Conservative. It was Tommy Douglas of the CCF.

Now, ever mindful of their profit-seeking owners, both the Liberals and Conservatives have been making moves to give more and more of medicare over to business for private profit - and out of the reach of millions of Canadians.

We need very serious change. But there's a problem - well, several problems. Canadians are dreadfully misinformed by most of their news media.  Many, many Canadians also don't care. They don't know what's happening. And they don't care. And, finally, the parties that should be stirring up the Canadian people, parties like the NDP and the Greens, are so wimpy it can be hard to tell them from the Liberals and Conservatives.  Those parties that should be telling us about the very serious problems facing us are too busy trying to look like Conservatives and Liberals so an unthinking and passive public will vote for them. And to make it a bit worse, the Greens are a single issue party when it's not just one issue that it is vital for us to face.

There is no possibility that the NDP or the Greens as presently constituted will accomplish anything. The problems that we face are enormous - and the policies of those are not enormous. There is little sense of the scale of problems we have to overcome if we are to restore democracy, to create adequate social programmes, to make the very rich pay their taxes, to avoid getting sucked into wars that please American billionaires....

The NDP and the Greens have face the scale of those problems, to demand the very severe changes we need, to make the very rich members of our society and not owners of it. The two parties also need to merge. They are the only possible opposition groups we have - and it makes no sense to split their efforts.

Most of all, they have to make Canadian understand the scale of disaster we face if we continue government by pure greed. Without that understanding, we don't have a chance.



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Below is a small taste, a very small taste, of what happens when the wealthy hide their money from taxation. The rest of us lose billions. So it gets hard to pay for needs like medicare. Most students and their families can't afford to even think about university education which, in a land of equal opportunity, should be free.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/private-health-care-donations-1.4444679
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Here's a story I feel sure the irving press will not print. The time to deal with this is shrinking. But there are very wealthy people who can only think of their profits. And they control our politicians.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/paris-climate-change-summit-1.4444149
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Here's an interesting study of the voting in Tuesday's senate election.

This is a report that can't be very important. If it were the irving press would have told us about it. Besides, our oil barons, if this were true, would be taking immediate and dramatic steps to reduce oil consumption. Yeah .

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/12/arctic-permafrost-sea-ice-thaw-climate-change-report
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Is the U.S. still torturing prisoners? Of course. (But that just means that the prisoners are evil.) I wonder how many (or few) of our commercial news media will report this?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/un-claim-guantanamo-1.4446186
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And this must be another false story. I can't imagine the oil industry interfering with our politicians. Can you?

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/12/big-oil-white-house-century-of-influence

Well, of course there are all those wars we have fought to improve the profits of our oil barons - a hundred or more wars we have fought since British military interference in the middle east in World War 1.

Gee. It's a good thing those oil barons can hide their profits so they don't have to pay any taxes for those wars.
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I have mentioned before the appalling record of Canadian mining companies around the world and, especially, in Guatemala. Strangely, news of this has never reached most of our news media.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/13/guatemala-canada-indigenous-right-canadian-mining-company

Maybe the irving press could do a big story on this - with a list of names of prominent New Brunswickers who own shares in these mines.
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Monstrous corporations have become THE governments in the U.S., Canada, Britain and in much of the world. Most of them don't pay taxes, but they demand we pay for their wars. They won't support social needs like education or medicare, but they insist on billions of dollars in gifts from the rest of us.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/12/leaked-documents-expose-how-corporations-use-spies-subvert-peoples-movements
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It's been a trend for over a century, one really picking up steam at this time. It's the steady shift of money from the everybody else to the super wealthy. Yes, I know most people are afraid to complain about that for fear of losing their jobs. But the reality is that most of us are being plunged into an ever-deepening poverty to supply the greed of the very wealthy. And we - and they - are heading for one hell of a crash.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-davos-blind-eye-how-the-rich-eat-the-poor-and-the-world/5503273
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When was the last time the U.S. officially declared war? Actually, it was quite a long time ago - 1941 to be exact. Since then the U.S. has fought over 70 undeclared wars. It has troops in countries all over the world, thousands of whom are engaged in fighting.  Where is this happening? Well, you'll never know from our news media.

And in addition to all these, there are another 44,000 troops that the  American government has refused to account for.

In 1945, the U.S. did not help to end a war against imperialist nations. What it did was to claim the whole world as the American empire. The U.S., and only the U.S., has the right to invade countries, to overthrow elected governments, to kill millions, to create almost a hundred million refugees (and refuse to help them), and to starve who nations - as in Yemen. That's why the UN failed to achieve most of what it was supposed to do.

This is the biggest and most  vicious empire in world history - and it wins that title from a western history of vicious empires - Britain, France, Spain, Portugal... Think about that. How is that different from Hitler's empire?

And Canadians should not kid themselves. At the present pace of climate change, the U.S. will promote Canada from being a part of the American empire to being a collection of American states to give the U.S. more agricultural land and more water.

Canadian big business would probably like that. For other Canadians, it would be a social disaster.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/washingtons-secret-wars/5622631
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I remember the early days of the anti nuclear bomb period when I belonged to
the anti-nuclear movement. We were dismissed then as naive idealists. We were told 'the bomb' would never be used.

So here we are talking about using it - and also learning   (though not from most of our news media) that the U.S. has, since the late 1940s, had a plan for destruction of almost half the world's population with nuclear weapons.

And we are now flirting with nuclear war breaking out in North Korea  (almost certainly setting of a Chinese reaction and, possibly, a Russian one), a very possible one, too, in the middle east (Israel is a very serious nuclear power). As well, a confrontation with Russia over Syria could well lead to nuclear war.

So long as we have nuclear weapons we will have the increasingly strong possibility of using them. And that would mean the end of the world.

You trust Trump to be reasonable? That's cute. And do you trust  Russia and China to quietly cave in to American threats?

No. As long as nuclear arms exist, there will be a rise of the destruction of the whole planet. And, some day, it will happen. We have chosen to rely on the defence weapon which will kill all of us and which, someday, will be used.

Does that sound intelligent?

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/12/13/ican-nobel-peace-prize-acceptance-speech-nuclear-weapons-ban-now/
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I can't even begin to understand what the fuss about the 'bitcoin' is. But here's an article that might help.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/could-central-banks-dump-gold-favor-bitcoin
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Us Christians are working hard to starve millions to death,  with an added kick for more to die from disease. Onward Christian soldiers. The civilians and children of Yemen are, of course, evil. (I'm not sure why they're evil. But anybody we kill is evil. And those Yemen babies are the worst. Like North Koreans and Syrians Afghanis and Guatemalans, it must be in their genes.)

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/8-million-step-famine-yemen-171211185321446.html
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Footnote - I shall be away from my computer from December 14. I expect to return to this blog on Dec. 20.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Dec. 11: Who would have thought it possible?

This past weekend, the  irving press of New Brunswick dropped even lower into its gutter.

The front page headline was pure sensationalism. "We never thought it would come to this." As has been happening lately, this is non-news, the exploitation of a family's sorrow for a  brainless and useless headline. Ten years ago, a young woman was murdered by her common law husband. The family still feels badly about it. That's the big story of the day. And it's not a news story at all. It's a cheap and tasteless piece of sensationalism.

The other big, front page story is that ugly tree with shoes hanging on it fell down. Well, that makes my day.

On page 2, a motorist got stuck while fleeing a police car.

Then it's the third of fourth day in a row for a case of vital importance for New Brunswickers. Will they be able to buy a few beers in Quebec - and bring them over the border to New Brunswick?

Another big story YOU need to know is about a woman accused of giving police false information about a park assault. The big news? Hold your hat. There is still no trial date set for her. (Arrange your calenday accordingly).

The editorial is a rant that the public service is too big. The editorialist is big on rant. Pretty small on evidence. But irving press editors always know they can rant about government - but had better keep their mouths shut on issues like the annual theft of billions of dollars by the   super-wealthy of this province. (The editorial quotes the paper's favourite eminent authority on the issue of an oversized public service, Professor de Savoie. I note that he, too, never mentions the scandal of how the wealthy avoid paying taxes.)

Then, for even greater insight into the news, there's a commentary column which takes a humorous look at how we need to exercise after our Christmas feasting.

One of the really big stories in Canada and World News is that two cats in Ontario who were trained to catch mice are going to lose their jobs. And two women in Toronto were killed. But they were not both killed by the same man. I needed to know that.

The war in Yemen? Never heard of it. The strong possibility of a renewed and much bigger war in Syria? Who cares? It is quite possible that Canadians will be sent to kill and die there - as they were in Afghanistan. And the irving press will tell us they died for their country when, in reality, we will have sent them without a hint of how killing starving people in Yemen and Syria is serving anybody's country.

It is not possible to get one's news from the irving press and have any idea of how to vote or decide anything intelligently.  There is very little real news in them; the editorials are ignorant rants; and most of the commentaries are trivial. These are newspapers designed to keep people in ignorance.

Worse. We are at the edge of a world nuclear war. It will be a war designed entirely to enrich those already very wealthy who don't don't pay taxes. The irving press has a weak sense of any of that.
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Forms of life on this planet are disappearing. But not to worry. Oil profits are doing fine.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/08/starving-polar-bear-arctic-climate-change-video
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The American government which lavished health on hurricane remedies for Florida and Texas has been close to indifferent to the suffering in Puerto Rico - which is American territory. The official (yawn) death toll is 64. However, it now seems that it is really over a thousand.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/12/nyt-puerto-rico-hurricane-death-toll-off-by-about-1-000.html
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A combination of climate change and population growth is driving the earth out of its food supply. A region hard hit is the central and western U.S. That means the U.S. will be desperately looking for more agricultural land. Guess where it will look.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/11/mass-starvation-humanity-flogging-land-death-earth-food
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We are stepping very close to a nuclear war that would kill billions. We are doing it in North Korea and we are doing it in the middle east. And the bombs used at Hiroshima and Nagasaki are small compared to the ones currently waiting for someone, anyone to push the button.

We have the capacity to destroy the planet. We can do it with nuclear bombs, with drought, with famine, with all the elements of climate change.

But the reality is we cannot continue to waste our time on wars, most especially not on wars fought to enrich our wealthy who don't pay taxes, and so leave it up to us to pay for their wars.

The most dangerous people in the world today are the very wealthy who have enormous power combined with no sense whatever of responsibility.  (When was the last time you heard even one of them taking a leadership role in dealing with climate change, or with the butcher's bill for making the rich richer.)

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/10/anti-nuclear-coalition-accepts-nobel-peace-prize-calls-disarmament-grow

And, yes, all of these disasters will happen even here in New Brunswick.
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For years, the U.S. has been bombing Pakistan on almost a daily basis. The bombing is by drones, and  the 'pilots' guide the planes while seated in mock aircraft in a comfortable office somewhere. A high proportion, perhaps most, of those killed are innocent people.

And, as in many parts of the world, this is driving governments to closer relations with Russia and China.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48385.htm

Meanwhile, the remote pilots who live in comfort while they kill get medals their bravery (they really do) and are, of course, just 'wunnerful, wunnerful' patriots.
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I realize, of course, that anyone who criticizes capitalism is,  by definition, a crazed, bomb-throwing radical. However, anyone who studies the history of empires in the last, several centuries knows that capitalism has been a force of dreadful and destructive brutality.

Can it be controlled? Perhaps. But the wealth that can be piled up by major capitalists makes if difficult to control - and most of our bought and paid for politicians have never made the slightest attempt to control it.

Minimally, it has to be controlled, and very seriously controlled very, very soon.
(I wonder if I could get a job as a commentary columnist for the irving press?)

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48383.htm
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Here is an item that was sent to me by a reader. It's a very long read about North Korea. You won't agree with every word of it. (I didn't.) But the major thrust of it is bang on.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/what-you-need-to-know-about-north-korea-and-the-dangers-of-nuclear-war/5615328

And it's very important to understand what is happening in North Korea - even if the irving press doesn't think it worth reporting on.
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The U.S., which was never invited to Syria and whose presence there has always been illegal, insists on staying there now. Russia, which was invited and which, with Syria, is the one that defeated ISIS in the country, is leaving now that its job is done. Obviously, Putin has the intelligence that a remaining Russia force could well be a trigger for war with the U.S., a war that could well go nuclear.

Of course, if the U.S. were now to attack Syrians, Putin might feel Russia has to return.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-11/putin-orders-withdrawal-russian-troops-syria-during-surprise-visit
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For decades, the Pentagon has been a money tree for American capitalists. But Americans know little about its spending. It seems, now, that over 6 trillion dollars has gone missing.

It's no secret that much of the money spent by the Pentagon goes to capitalist buddies, many of whom offer executive positions to retired generals and admirals. That's why money for relief programmes and war rebuilding simply disappears - and never provides relief or rebuilding to anybody except favoured billionaires. The graft is well known. What's not well known is that it may be counted in trillions of dollars.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-10/pentagon-undergo-first-ever-audit-after-decades-sloppy-accounting-and-missing-trilli
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The problem of American politics is not just Donald Trump. The problem runs very deep, and it has characterized the behaviour of most presidents, both Democrat and Republican.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/11/national-democrats-resist-reforms/

It's handy for Canadian big business now to be friendly to the U.S., just as it once handy for Canadian big business to be friendly to Britain.  (That's why Canadians died in Afghanistan. That's why they're now stationed in Latvia. That's why Canadians bombed Libya.) But the British empire fell after World War 2, so that's when the affection of Canadian big business drifted to the U.S. But now the U.S. empire is in collapse. And our government seem to have no plans to deal with that.
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Canadian news media haven't told us much about Canada's sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia - though Canada is a leading supplier of weapons to that country, and though such a sale is contrary to Canadian law.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/10/uncertainty-shrouds-canadian-arms-sales-saudi-arabia-171025203839543.html
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Here's an insight into how brutal war has become. There once was a time when wars were not deliberately aimed at civilians and children as major targets. The change began back in 1920 when Churchill ordered the deliberate bombing of helpless civilians in Iraq. It's now standard practice, especially by the U.S.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/12/francesco-rocca-prepare-nuclear-war-171205132112294.html
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From the Middle East, here's a poll of the region reflecting how residents feel about their own leadership, and also about the leadership of other countries in the region.

There are some surprises in here.

https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/1.828409
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It has been known for almost 70 years that the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had nothing to do with ending the war against Japan. The word came from some pretty eminent American leaders, especially in the military. But the news media have never mentioned what they said. The result is that most Americans, in particular, have no idea of what it was really about.

Indeed, most of our news media have said nothing about the extraordinary brutality of wars since 1945, and  nothing about how almost all wars are caused by economic greed. They were pretty silent, too, about the conquest of most of Latin America for the benefit of big business, about the poverty and mass murder in that, a scale of poverty and murder that only one Latin American state (Cuba) has escaped from.

The same lying was true in the European wars of empire. The reporting was all glory, glory, glory and "God who made thee mighty".

There was nothing glorious about killing one and a half million people in Iraq or killing Libyans or equipping and training ISIS to kill Syrians. And there was nothing glorious about killing tens of millions in North Korea and Vietnam. This has been very old-fashioned imperialism - only worse.

And it's not just the U.S. in this. In particular, Britain and Canada have happily joined the gang.

And now it's all unravelling. Rule by the greedy has never been a good idea. Nor  have the ordinary people of the U.S., Britain or Canada enjoyed any benefit from joining the imperial games.  But it's quite possible they will suffer dearly in the collapse of them. And that collapse looks very, very close - and very, very messy.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-real-reason-america-used-nuclear-weapons-against-japan-it-was-not-to-end-the-war-or-save-lives/530

And Trump is A villain, but not THE villain. The villains are our 'respected' capitalists, the very big ones, who think only of their profits, nothing of the rest of us, and nothing of suffering and destruction they impose on us by their greed.

(Sorry, it has not been cheerful to write this blog today.)








Friday, December 8, 2017

Dec. 8: The danger gets worse....

Think about this one. Think hard. Think very hard.

http://theantimedia.org/daniel-ellsberg-pentagon-nuclear-war/

This is a pretty good source. Ellsberg was well-placed to know what he's talking about. So  you can be sure the irving press won't carry this story. As well, we already know that President Truman wanted to conduct an extensive nuclear attack on North Korea, but was prevented by General MacArthur. As it was, the U.S. killed 20% to 30% of the whole North Korean population, mostly by conventional bombing - largely of civilians.

The idea that both sides will abstain from nuclear weapons if both sides have them is absurd. If the world has nuclear weapons then someday somebody will use them.   (And this book indicates that the U.S. would happily be that somebody even if it means murdering hundreds of millions of innocent civilians, and even if it means poisoning life on the whole planet.) So long as the weapons are there, it will happen some day, and well before climate change does the job for us.

Wonderful promises were made to us and to our service people in World War 2. We were going to create a new world at peace. But we didn't do it.

Today, U.S. politicians are talking of cutting back on Trump's power to order a nuclear attack. Hey, guys and gals, as Ellsberg demonstrates, that power has already been handed out to dozens of people down the line.

Big business didn't give a damn about peace. (There are big profits to be made out of war, big profits for that small group who don't pay any of the taxes that created those profits.) Nuclear weapons became simply a device to hold down the competition from other countries, and to create a world empire entirely controlled by the U.S. - which really meant controlled by U.S. big business with its hangers-on in countries like Britain and Canada.

Not surprisingly, any nation that could, joined the scramble for nuclear weapons, and the war that nobody could win.

If the U.S. is now threatening nuclear war with North Korea, it's a sure bet that the rest of the world is planning a nuclear response. The whole issue will become worse, much worse, over the next ten to twenty years as the U.S. military shows that for all its size and sophistication it cannot defeat even small countries. Certainly, it is unlikely to beat either Russia or China in a conventional war and, if it did beat them, the butcher's bill would be unacceptable.

Add to that the problem that the U.S. is running into serious trouble with its colonial empire in Latin America and the Middle East.

Like cliimate change, the use of war has to be ended if we are to survive. But, like climate change, the use of war is an essential factor in the wealth of the super wealthy. And the super-wealthy control most of our news media, and a majority of our politicians.

Unless we overthrow the power of our super-wealthy, and go back to the promises we made in 1945, the planet will not survive as a place of life. And the time is short.

Think of why we fought that war. Was it really so that the super-wealthy could control and plunder us?
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Canadian news media haven't paid much attention to the Paradise Papers. Nor have they been in any hurry to name the offenders - though it should be easy now that we know the names they use for the offshore banks that hold their hidden money.

That hidden money is a theft from all of us, a theft that makes our lives far, far more difficult.

But no, the irving papers have no room for it. A front page story today was about a mountie who died several months ago in a highway accident. As is so often the case, this one is not really a news story. It's a very late, very sentimental obituary of the sort that media call a 'sob story'.

Luckily, The Guardian has a useful story about the Paradise Papers. (But it's guaranteed the irving press won't publish that one, either.)

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/dec/08/jeremy-corbyn-to-take-aim-at-tax-avoidance-in-speech-at-un

Wake up, everybody, this is a world issue. If it were a foreign country plundering us this way, we'd go to war immediately.
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The U.S. has been holding prisoners at Guantanamo Bay for years without charge or trial. For that matter, they are also being held against what we (humorously?) refer to as the rules of war.

Recently, an American art display has been featuring the paintings of those prisoners. But now the American military has stepped in to prevent this brutal assault on freedom-loving Americans.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/08/guantanamo-bay-art-new-york-exhibition
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And here's an opinion you won't see in the commentaries by any of the hack commentators who appear in the irving press.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/06/russian-sport-corrupt-olympics
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Justin Trudeau is big on speeches, small on actions.

http://rabble.ca/news/2017/12/government-has-not-budgeted-enough-money-provide-safe-water-all-first-nations-pbo
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If we get saved from a war with North Korea (with its risk of nuclear war), we'll have Russia and China to thank for it. And their behaviour could set a model for the prevention of future wars - at least as a temporary measure.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/08/north-korea-ready-direct-talks-us-says-russian-foreign-minister
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The climate is changing much more quickly, according to a reputable research group, than we have realized.  (Of course, this will soon to proven false by one of our patsy 'Think-Tanks' like New Brunswick's very own Institute for Market Studies.)

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/07/most-dire-climate-change-predictions-warns-new-study-are-also-most-accurate

Don't worry, say our financial leaders. Lots of time, lots..... The editorialist of the irving press says we should relax....z-z-z-z-
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The following is from what is surely a respectable source.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48374.htm
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In my graduate school days, my landlord defined the history I was studying as 'lie stories'. Well, some of it was. But here's a sample of a real lie story that's been routinely told by our news media and political leaders for years.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48362.htm
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The following is all too true, and all too typical.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48376.htm
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And an expression of the terror we should all be feeling.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48358.htm
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And here is one worth thinking about.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/08/capitalisms-failure-of-the-flesh/
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Trouble, very big trouble, trouble of the sort that will involve all of us is coming to the middle east. And as the U.S. lurches into more wars, the pressure will be on Canada 'to do its share' of the insanity.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/12/08/ojo-more-disasters-are-ready-to-happen-in-the-middle-east/
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And here's proof that Canadian corporations can be just as corrupt (and maybe even more so) as American, British, etc. companies.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/canadas-corrupt-corporations-world-banks-corrupt-companies-blacklist-dominated-by-canada/5422924
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This is a long item, but worth a read for its insights into weaknesses in our education system. Few of those weaknesses are the teachers. I learned that in my first year of teaching grade seven when I taught some versions of Canadian history that did not fit with what parents had learned many years before.

"No, Mr. Decarie. It just upsets people to hear their children say our ancestors killed native peoples to steal their furs. And we don't want upset people, do we?"

The problem is governments, society in general, and often media who think the role of the school is to produce children who think just like the robots their parents are. And it's getting worse.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-dumbing-down-of-america-by-design/5395928

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There's pressure for peace talks between the U.S. and North Korea. But it's not likely they will happen. North Korea will not give up its nuclear capability. The U.S. (which also won't give up its nuclear capability but sees no problem with that), will not accept that condition.

Conventional war? Well, for all its spending, the U.S. has not been very good at conventional wars. In any case, China and, likely, Russia, could not tolerate an American attack of any sort in that region.

We are very, very close to disaster.

http://theantimedia.org/north-korea-ready-direct-talks-us/
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Haaretz, one of the world's best news mediums, is entirely opposed to Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It sees this as a move that will not benefit Israel or Netanyahu or the U.S. or anybody. More likely, it will provoke major conflict between the U.S. and Muslims all over the world - with profoundly destructive effects throughout the middle east. But let's look on the good side.

Those Christians we commonly call evangelicals or fundamentalists will be delighted. This could well be the time of prophecy that the world will end - and they and only they will be admitted to heaven while the rest of us - Catholics, Anglicans, Presbyterians, United Church,, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, really a whole pile of people, go down to the   burning, fiery furnace.

For myself, I hope they're right. I would hate to get stuck for eternity in a heaven packed with evangelicals.