Thursday, August 16, 2018

August 16: Let's get real. It's happening.

Look. It's real. We have been lied to by the irving press. We have had years of commentaries telling us fossil fuels are perfectly safe if properly controlled. But there is no proper control. And there can't be any.

It's real. We have, maybe, ten years of serious world-wide effort to deal with this.  And at best, we face years of massive starvation, crop loss, millions of refugees.

That means there's a new reality. We cannot possibly afford wars. We cannot spend our time and money on feeding those billionaires who produce and sell weapons to anybody will pay for them - as Canada supplied armoured cars to Saudi Arabia so it could murder starving children.

For decades, our leading capitalists have told us there is no global warming. And those decades have set us up for one hell of a challenge in the next ten years. For decades, they have paid off politicians to ignore all the warnings. Trump, in particular, has exposed this whole continent to profound danger and suffering. And he's had Trudeau on his side.

And let's not forget our very own irvings and our brain-dead conservatives in New Brunswick. These are the people who want us to press ahead even more with fossil fuels. All they can see is the short term profits for themselves - and to hell with the rest of the world. And surprise, surprise. The conservatives are led by an irving puppet.

New Brunswick has to develop some morality and some intelligence - and some guts. And it doesn't have much time to do it.

Let's forget the chatter about nice little things in this election. Let's get real. There is a monstrous threat hanging over us all. But we live in a province that has almost no truthful information at all. And we have a population which has rarely,  very rarely shown any political courage or originality at all.

This issue is something to be angry about. We have been lied to for decades about climate change. And now it's  happening, and happening suddenly and viciously. And our politicians and our news media are talking (and lying) about cutesie issues.

Get real. Get angry. Develop some courage. Climate change is happening. We have no time to babble about minor issues, about wars. The greatest war humanity will ever see is happening now - it's happening here and it's happening to us.

To the people of New Brunswick and their churches, I would say, For Christ's sake, wake up and show some courage.

Can we handle this? I don't know. It's hard to know how the stupidity of other nations on this issue will harm us beyond hope (Trump and the American oil barons come to mind.)

But don't kid yourself. A whole world has become obsolete. Its wars cannot be won. The massive corruption invoked by capitalism, the greed, the abuse, can no longer be tolerated. The climate change that our scientists warned us of twenty years ago and more is here. So who do we trust? Thousands of highly trained scientists? Or a handful of greed-dripping capitalists of very, very limited intelligence?

Since 1945, we have been watching the collapse of democracy all over the world, the mass murder of nations that our billionaires want to plunder, the growing poverty of the rest of us while the billionaires bleed us dry and run up the greatest profits in history.

All this is heading for a terrible crash unless we act now..

Wake up, New Brunswick.l

Let's drop all the phony sorrow. The deliberate mass murder of civilians and children has been a feature of war since it was developed by Winston Churchill in 1920 when he ordered the RAF to bomb undefended Kurd towns. Hitler picked up the idea at Guernica. Britain and the U.S. revived it in World War Two with the bombing of Dresden. The U.S. did it in its bombing of Japan. And the U.S. has deliberately killed millions of civilians and children since then in every war it has fought.

Let's not kid ourselves about 'heroism' in war. Let's not kid ourselves that wars are fought to defend "Queen and country". That's the myth we pump into those we sent to fight and die in war. Almost all wars - on one side and, often, on both - are fought to make the wealthy even wealthier. That's what Yemen is about - and Iran - and Syria - and Korea - and Afghanistan-----

And smaller nations, like Canada, have to kiss up to the bigger ones - as when Canada sent it soldiers to die in Afghanistan. Even Britain, the empire that we once thought we have to fight for, is now just a puppet colony that fights American wars.

Am I being unpatriotic in what I'm writing above? I'm sure that members of The Canadian Legion would say so. But this suggests no disrespect for veterans. My point is that we have abused many of our veterans - and our sending them off to kill and to die for billionaires is something The Canadian Legion should be protesting. Not supporting. (And the clergy who officiate at Nov. 11 ceremonies might be wise to remember that, too.) Yes. Our veterans served, and served damn well. We owe them for that. But we also owe it to remember that we often lied to them about what they were fighting for.

Below is the result of a study conducted by Army Times in the U.S. Note all the American legion branches that support it. The Canadian Legion, too, should be supporting those who served, not those who lied to them.

(Some readers may have noticed there are TWO web magazines named countercurrents. They are quite separate. The other one is an American site, and quite different from the other. The American site is edited by a white racist of extreme right-wing opinions.)

News about most of  us.

The REAL news that you'll never see in the irving press - or any other commercial press in North America.

We happily allow billionaires to avoid paying taxes, to buy our governments, and to hold down the minimum wage to us peasants  (because too much money would spoil us.) That's why whenever there's a dollar rise in the basic income, we get a rant in the irving press about how it spoils the poor. And that's a sentiment that's often picked up by all of us who should know better.
Another story you'll never see in the irving press. It's about how our billionaires feed our military with lies about how they need to fight "for Canada" when, in fact, they are only fighting for billionaires.

Damn. Why isn't the Canadian Legion protecting our own military? Why is it forever kissing up to the wealthy?
For all their talk, Canadian governments have done close to nothing about indigenous peoples in this country.

Apart from the Liberals and Conservatives, the worst enemy the poor have is all those middle class twits who say that giving the poor decent living conditions would just spoil them.

Keystone XL is the oil pipeline for which Trudeau is using our money to help out those nice billionaires who just want to create jobs for the poor. (And New Brunswick's Conservatives have a similar plan for this province.)
This one came as a shocker to me.

Israel also can and does interfere in Canadian affairs. I've seen a good deal of this up close. The dirty work is done by Canadians forming what is called "The Israeli Lobby". Their job is to make sure that any public criticism of Israel is squashed, and that only praise gets through.

For many years, U.S. multi-billionaires of the arms industry have been supplying weapons for all sides in the world's wars. And, no, it doesn't mean great employment for Americans. What it means is an immense loss of tax money to feed to arms makers who then, of course, hide their money from taxation.

The U.S. is even the major supplier to its enemies. It's all in the name of profits.

Onward Christian soldiers.

This next story is not a coincidence. Children and civilians in general are now and long have been the deliberately chosen major targets in war.

Sort of makes you wonder where the hell our Christian clergy are. And I suspect hell might be the best place to look for them.

Gee. Funny this didn't make the irving press.

You have to pay to get Haaretz. But, oh, it's one, great paper.

This is in a class with Israel's action in cutting power every day even to hospitals in Palestine, and illegally preventing ships getting to or leaving Palestine, kicking Palestinians out of their homes, stealing their land.......

New Brunswickers, you have to wake up. The current provincial election is the dreariest, drabbest, most boring one I have ever seen. Look. Despite all the crises we face, despite the risk of world annihilation, Mr. irving and the Conservatives with their irving flunky leader and their well-meaning but politically moronic candidates seem determined to unleash the hell of fracking on us again.

And the Liberals intend to continue the irving spraying of poisonous glysophates over us. (I can find nothing else of any significance in either of those parties.)

The Greens and NDP would certainly be an improvement - though both are more timid than we need.

New Brunswickers have been political sleep-walkers all the way back to the earliest days of elections. They have routinely elected the friends of the wealthy, and they have routinely been bled dry as a result. The only province so willing to commit suicide every four years has been Prince Edward Island.

The stakes this time are the biggest ever. They include not only the conditions of living here, but the very survival of all life. The adjustment to public meetings, open discussion, debate will be a difficult one. But we owe it to our children - and maybe to ourselves in just ten years.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

August 14:The Lunatics are in charge of the asylum.......

Of course, all them there thousands of scientists ain't real smart like our irvings and the editors of the irving press is.

Our local newspapers in New Brunswick, owned by Mr. irving, today ran an editorial demanding an oil pipeline be built across Canada to this province for the benefit of Mr. Irving. At the same time, very highly skilled scientists all over the world are telling us that we have - maybe - ten years to get our reliance on fossil fuels under control.

Of course, these scientists are people with long years of training and research in this field. So they aren't real smart like mr. irving who has almost two, whole years of university.

And, of course, our local newspapers say what mr. irving wants them to say. Thus today's kiss-up for mr. irving. And here's an item from an intelligent newspaper on the subject.

When I first heard of Canada sending peacekeeping troops to Niger, I thought this was what Canada should be doing. Now I'm not so sure. The U.S. has a habit of calling for "peacekeepers" in situations that have more to do with protecting brutal governments (as with our 'peacekeepers' in Haiti.)

Ten years.  We have ten years - maybe - to deal with climate change. If we don't, we face a death spiral for the whole planet. What we are doing instead is allowing very wealthy people of monstrous greed but without either brains or social morality to set the rules of the game.

The greed of the wealthy is pushing the rest of us into a world depression far worse than the last one.

Here is an article that explains how propaganda news agencies create a population in which all people think the same, and are brainwashed to agree with everything said by their ruling, political class. This has a meaning for the people of New Brunswick.
The U.S. will spend $717 billion dollars on producing weapons in the coming year. Much of this will go to government friends who own defence industries, and who sell to any world killers who want them. And that 717 billion is money that cannot be spent of health care, education, the relief of poverty.....

Much of it will be directed to weapons for Saudi Arabia so that with American help it can got on starving Yemen children to death, and spreading cholera.  (We really get no sense from our news media about the extraordinary starvation, mass murder, horror we (Britain, France, Spain, U.S., Canada) have helped to inflict on many millions of people for the last 500 years. We make Stalin look like a sweetheart.

This is a big story which involves glyphosates, a killing item that New Brunswickers pay over $2 million dollars a year to spray on their forests, their farms, their wildlife - and New Brunswickers in general. (It's so nice to have a chance to make Mr. irving happy.)

Western brutality, savagery and murder are old stories to the rest of the world. But we westerners don't hear about them much in our history classes or in our news. The irving press only rarely even mentions Yemen. And it never mentions the greed that drives us.

Maybe the rented reverend DD of the week at the irving chapel will preach a sermon on the evil of this. The wealthy of the western world have long ago made Jesus an accomplice in their greed.

Nah. He'll just tell folks to love Jesus.

Incidentally, in the minds of many Christians, only Christians can go to heaven. All the rest burn in hell forever. And that's one hell of a racist  belief.

Of course. And.....

Our news media always tell us that our wars are against 'evil' people. The reality is that they are usually about people just like us. (That doesn't necessarily mean the other side is good. Very often, we're as evil as they come. But our schools don't teach that, either.)
Another story that will never make the irving press.

The section focusses on New Brunswick - but it's true of the whole western world, at least.

Capitalism may or may not have useful qualities. But that doesn't matter because it's a system that has run wildly out of control. Any system, religious, economic, political, that runs out of control is monstrously destructive. And we're at the detonation point.

Always prone to war and mass murder for the joys of plunder and slavery, capitalism has driven us into wars of increasing brutality and greed for the last  500 years, from the slaughters of Christopher Columbus to the mass murders and slavery of Britain, Spain, France and the U.S. to the present threat of the U.S. to destroy us all.

We're at the end point.

The general population has little sense of this because its major information comes from commercial news media, owned by the mass murderers and plunderers. All over the world we find lying, propagandistic and insulting news media to shape the way we see the world.  Here in New Brunswick, we have the monopoly of the irving press - lying, trivial, ignorant, one of the lowest in the gutter of this world's news media, but not, in purpose, different from - oh - the Toronto Globe or the Washington Post or,   God help us, the New York Times.

Thanks to all of this, we are inches from the final conflict. But there are two things, at least, that might destroy us first.

One is the stunning greed of this world's wealthy who have been driving others, including their fellow citizens into such a massive poverty that we are within spitting distance of the greatest economic collapse in history. The world's richest country, the U.S., is the leader in impoverishing its own people - but Canada and most of the west are right up there. And that collapse could be very close indeed.

The other is that we are faced with a climate change so severe that we may have no more than ten years to deal with it. At best, we are facing food destruction, starvation, wars, refugees on a scale never before seen in history.

And what are we doing about all this? Nothing whatever. This is not stupidity. This is insanity.

Our wealthy (yes, Canadians, too) are plundering nations all over the world, plundering crops and minerals for profit while forcing the local people into poverty and starvation - and death for those who complain. That explains the horror of life in Latin America, in Africa. They are poisoning and destroying the forests we need to sustain an environment we can survive in. In North America, including Canada and New Brunswick, we are poisoning our lands, our wild life, and our people with poison chemicals in forests we handed over as almost a gift. And we, our taxes, pay for the spraying of those poison chemicals that will kill us as surely as they kill the forests themselves - just as we, with our taxes, pay for mass murder by western armies.

People like you and me are paying for all of this - for the killings of war, for the spraying of poisons on us, for the debasement of human life all over the world.

And it is all of it the product of capitalism. That's not an ideological rant.  I'm quite sure capitalism can work. I'm quite sure it can work along with socialism. But that's not happening. What's happening is a bloated, out of control, capitalism that has, in effect, become the real government of much of the world - including New Brunswick.

And we can see its effect every day - mass murder even (or especially) of children, the killing of millions, the deliberate spread of starvation and fatal disease, the increasing use of our tax money to give out contracts for weapons that make this all worse...

And the very wealthy who sit atop this mess of lies and murder and greed, who feed on our taxes to pay for these, don't pay a cent in taxes. That's why New Brunswick has to run up government deficits to make even a pretence of doing anything to meet the needs of the people of this province. And all over the western world, these vultures of greed are creating a massive spread of poverty, homelessness, lack of education, lack of adequate medical care.

The wealthy (names like Irving and McCain spring to mind) have stolen billions of dollars from the rest of us for over fifty years. (Nobody knows how many billions it is. And in the US, it's trillions.) And if people complain, then these billionaires take more of our tax money, using it to pay for more police surveillance and spying.)

The reality is that we are facing several forms of mass destruction - and soon.

The other reality is that none of these are issues in the New Brunswick election.

I listened to a Liberal candidate today, talking about neat little things to be done to improve the schools. But those little things don't amount to poop. We don't have the money to do them. We don't have it because the Irvings and McCains are hiding it for themselves.

We don't have any  method of dealing with climate because Mr. Irving seems determined that the world needs more fossil fuels. Indeed, the Conservative party is with him on that, arguing we need fracking in this province. Coincidence -- the Conservative leader is an Irving flunky. Another coincidence, the irving press has routinely attacked the Liberals for a good year now. It's big complaint has been the Liberals don't balance the budget. Well, of course, they don't. How can they balance a budget when they have Irvings and McCains who don't pay taxes. and who constantly hold their hands out for gifts. Anyway, it would not matter if the Liberals did balance the budget. The irving press would still be backing the Conservatives because the Conservatives would open us up to fracking.

Neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives has a platform of any significance or intelligence.

But in this province, bending the knee to the irvings and mcCains and their like is normal. The people of New Brunswick have been sheep in this province for over a hundred and fifty years of bleeding them by the local wealthy. And that might explain why the NDP and the Greens are a little wimpy. Both have good intentions. Both operate on decent principles. But ---damn it---wake up New Brunswick. Let's put some muscle and some thought into  this.

We are limited in what we can do for this province and its people because we are robbed - plundered - by the wealthy of this province. We should be angry. We should be learning about what it is going to mean for us to throw away Canadian lives in fighting wars for American billionaires, what it is going to mean when the constant theft by the wealthy of our little money is going to drive us into economic chaos, a chaos that is already running wild in the U.S.

New Brunswickers need to be angry - but not just angry. They need to be discussing how grossly they are being abused, plundered, exploited by people with large wallets but a weak sense of morality. We don't need political parties to mutter sweet nothings to us. We need them to inform us, to involve us, to get us for the first time to engage in real, political debate about the kind of future we want for ourselves and our children. Dammit - in a democracy, we are the ones who should be choosing the government, not the irvings.

And the clock is running down very, very quickly.

Or you can put your lives and you children's lives into the hands of people whose only exceptionalism has been in their greed.

Oh, yeah. There's the Irving Chapel. How typical of the irvings to build a Christian church - and then name it after themselves. And how typical it is for them to commonly rent an upper class sort of preacher - a Doctor of Divinity no less - and almost certainly one of the higher priced ones.

We are on the edge of many more wars, of crashing incomes, of very insecure jobs, of a crashing economy, and the final touch of climate change. We are in the final scene of a play that began with the creation of a capitalism unchecked by any restraints. It's time for New Brunswickers to get real, to get angry, to recognize what happening, to talk about it, to pinpoint what we can do about this in the current provincial election. We need to stop being sheep.
Alas! Any reading of the irving press gives no hope that it can be of any help.
Its August 13 issue had an attack on workers' rights in this province; and it wanted them cut. Of course. This comes from the CEO of a chamber of commerce, the same nitwits who toasted mr. Irving for throwing a crust of bread to the poor while he robbed them of the taxes he should have paid.

Then there was a column on those terrible government unions which negotiate working conditions with governments. This one comes from the Fraser Institute, a propaganda house for billionaires that the irving press just loves.

For August 14, the day we learned that we probably have only ten years to deal with climate change, there was a brainless and tasteless editorial on how we must extend the energy east pipeline to produce even more of the fossil fuels that are killing us.

Interestingly, the irving press so far has not mentioned the warning by thousands of international climate scientists. But that may be because irving editors can't read big words.

For some 500 years, uncontrolled capitalism has been an impoverishing and murderous force in the world. We have - maybe - ten years to get it under control - and to get it out of fields that it should not be in - like journalism and like our endless string of capitalist wars. And out of our governments because as long as capitalism owns our governments, we cannot have democracy.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

August 11:The things we cannot have - the things we must not have...

Today's issue of the irving press was stunning. This is a news chain that has ignored the evidence of climate change from the start, and has ignored this summer's record heat all over the world.

Just a week ago, the editorial page column by Norbert Cunningham ridiculed the idea of climate change as the phantasy of leftists - and leftists, as we all know, are all crackpots.

But his column today was a supremely intelligent and courageous one, admitting that this all is for real, and that we have ( maybe) ten to twenty years to deal with it. Maybe not.

This is a stunning break with the propaganda that has characterized the irving press from the start. I should not be surprised if Mr. Cunningham were to be removed from his position as a columnist. If so, crowds should be there in the streets to cheer him.

For the sake of the survival of all of us on this planet, we cannot waste time and money on wars. We can no longer afford the interference of billionaires in our governments. The final disaster is staring us in the face.

And the Conservative party of New Brunswick is actually campaigning to restore fracking in this province. That should tell us something about the greed of its financial backer, the servility of its leader, and the hopeless ignorance of its candidates.


And this is only one small sample of what is now happening in the world - and which is going to get worse.

Funny this story has not appeared in the irving press. Monsanto weed killer is what New Brunswick spreads on its forests - and us. It's the reason that our government got rid of our chief medical officer for raising this issue.

The irving papers are not just stinking papers. They are actively destructive.

And New Brunswickers just sit there and stare into space.

There is no hope in either the Liberals or the Conservatives. And the other parties, with better intentions, still have a distance to go in grasping reality.

This item below is reality. It explains why the wealthy like us to hate refugees and the poor. (You know, all those people who are too lazy to be rich.) In our world of political madness, the wealthy use their news media and bought politicians to put all the blame on those people they teach us to hate. Thus the election of a Donald Trump, of a Doug Ford, --of a Hitler.

So much for rule by democracy.

Thank you, Mr. irving. Thank you, all you ass-kissing Liberals and Conservatives.

CANADA IS COMPLICIT IN CHILD SLAUGHTER IN YEMEN. We supply weapons to Saudi Arabia. We have not said a word about massive child slaughter by the U.S. or the Saudis. And for those who go to church, you're not likely to hear about this satanism from a preacher whose great message is that Jesus loves us. (We don't want any nasty news at church. And certainly you won't get any at the Irving Chapel.) No. Jesus might love us. But apparently He has utter contempt for the starving and murdered children of Yemen.

As I learn about this (though not from the irving papers), I wonder where the hell are the Christians of our western world? What a farce they make of Christianity!

The most important factor in creating our modern age is the public school - open to all, and the source of most of the world's scientists, thinkers and, yes, even lawyers. The world we know, the good parts of it, would not exist without our public schools.

But capitalists don't see it that way. In their 'thinking', the purpose of schools is to make profits for the wealthy by privatizing education. The result in the U.S. is tens of millions of children who can't afford 'charter' schools, and so have to attend a public system seriously weakened by the diversion of taxes from education to profits for billionaire weapons makers.

Are private schools better? I've spent a lifetime in education. And I know of no evidence that they are better. The irvings all attended private school. I see no evidence of high intelligence in the family. Their university dropout rate is high.
And their lack of academic accomplishment unimpressive.

But the attack on public schools is on. And it's coming from people whose world view is that all that God created is here only to make profits for them.

Long ago, long, long ago, we should have made universities public. We didn't. And successive new generations are going to pay one hell of a price for that.

The lesson of World War 1 was that its human cost was far to great to have justified the war in the first place. The lesson of World War 2 was that World War 3 would be the last world war.

Despite the obvious fact that a World War 3 would destroy all life, the world immediately (particularly the U.S.) began preparing for the final war even as World War Two ended. It has been doing that ever since, partly to create an empire of the whole world controlled by American billionaires, partly to create immense profits for weapons corporations.

The  item below shows how we are in the late stages of that process.

More evidence of tomorrow's news.

Does the U.S. need its hugely expensive defence spending and aggression all over the world? No. In all of its history, the U.S. has been attacked by only one country - Japan. And even that was a setup created by the U.S. when it cut off Japanese oil supplies. (Yes. Canada did attack the U.S. in the war of 1812. But that began with an American invasion of Canada.)

In fact, ever since 1945, the U.S. has been far the most aggressive and murderous country in the world. (How dare those football players not stand up in pride at the playing of (God's) national anthem?)

There is no democracy in any government owned by the very wealthy.

Racism is common all over the world. It seems natural. If other people are different from us, they must be inferior to us because we are perfection. Like all countries, Canada has a long history of racism. Even Israel, of all nations, is profoundly racist in its treatment of arabs who are Israeli citizens, and of Africans who are converts to Judaism but, well ---black. And that's too different to be acceptable in Israel.

A general thought on it all.

Capitalism appeared gradually, beginning about five hundred years ago according to most authorities. The purpose of it was simple. It was to produce profits for private investors. It placed no obligation on the capitalists to serve any public good. It's only purpose was profit.

Anything for the public good was a matter to be handled by governments which, then as now, had no great record for interest in the public good.

Columbus' discovery of the wealth of North America touched off a frenzy of exploration, murder and plunder by western Europe - notably by Spain, Portugal, Britain and France with later help from The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. How many were murdered, starved to death, enslaved we shall never know. But the total may well have exceeded a billion.

At first, this was managed by the kings and nobles. But private capitalists came to be the majority. Their wealth enabled them to buy aristocratic rulers and even to replace them with what they called democracies. In reality, real power came under the ownership of the major capitalists.

They used that power to control national armed forces that the politicians then would send off to wars - but only to wars that would benefit the capitalists. Almost every war since then has been fought to benefit our capitalists. Canada sent troops to the Boer War not because South America threatened Canada. And Britain, which started that war, was certainly not threatened by South Africa.  Canadians died in that war - no, not for King and country. They died to make British mining speculators rich.

World War 1 happened not because countries were threatening each other. It happened because the European countries were all dominated by capitalists. And all were competing - with each other - and so all the capitalists of any country feared the capitalists of the other countries. That's why the assassination of an aristocrat was enough to trigger the greatest war to that time in history.

Immediately after that war, Canada, Britain, the U.S. and others sent troops to Russia. No. Russia was not a military threat to us. The Russian people had risen to overthrow a brutal, murderous and thieving aristocracy. In fact, that rebellion had nothing to do with us. But it was a threat to capitalism because the rebels were going to establish communism. It was capitalists, not the rest of us, who felt threatened. Eventually, under Stalin, the system did become a brutal  (and quite uncommunist) one. But our capitalists were guilty of such brutal regimes all over the world - as in their support of Chiang kai-Shek in China, of apartheid in South Africa, of dictatorships all over Latin America and in The Philippines.

Our news media taught us to hate the "evil communists" - but not the equally evil capitalists. (This is not a defence of communism. I don't know whether it would work. But even the debased form of communism under Stalin was no worse than the murderous and degrading behaviour of capitalism.)

Can capitalism work? Maybe. With some very serious controls. With an educated public. With honest and intelligent news media. With a democracy that is not controlled by billionaires. But as it is, we are dangerously close to being what the Soviet Union was under Stalin.  And that closeness is accompanied by the most destructive weapons in history.

The decisions that are important to us have fallen into the hands of people whose moral and intellectual abilities are not strong. The only thing they understand is their own greed. Greed defines all of their decisions. That's why in the U.S. and Britain, for example, they are destroying public education by privatizing it. That's why the U.S., the world's richest nation, has monstrous poverty levels and cannot provide most of its people with health care. That is why Cuba has to be punished for governing its own people. That's why American troops are poised to invade an Iran whose government has the nerve to govern its own country.

That's why Canada's Conservative party  (and, too often, the Liberals) has been eager to suck up to the rich by privatizing elements of health care and education.

That's why, from the start, the common people of countries like Canada and Britain got nothing out of industrialization and economic growth. Wages remained at starvation levels until the war and its immediate aftermath. To this day, Canadians have no idea of the horrors their ancestors had to suffer in order the pay for the 'mansions on the hill'. As a child, when I skipped school (which was frequent), I would often wander among the 19th and twentieth century splendour of the great houses in Montreal - and then go home to drink in the squalor of the homes of me and my friends.

What we've lived through from, perhaps, the late sixties, is the return to the monstrous income gaps between rich and poor as the rich use their power to plunder and impoverish us. The ignorance and reactions we're seeing in the election of Trumps and Fords is the confusion of so very much of the general population at why this is happening. They're being fed to blame immigrants, to blame nations like China (which we murdered and plundered for centuries), or nations like Iran which have done nothing whatever to us. We're taught to hate refugees whose horror and starvation are what we have created.

Public education, the greatest force to develop our understanding of our world, has been put on hold for the last hundred years. That, in addition to the irving press, is why New Brunswickers have no idea what is going on. New Brunwickers do not discuss. They do not debate. They are conditioned to believe it is bad form to have anything resembling opinion that is  different from the official ones. (I have attended a few Conservative and Liberal candidate sessions in the current election campaign. They were painful. They were really a dreadful collection of commonplace half-wits. They weren't even evil, just painfully ignorant and, so far as I could tell, with no sense even of what an election is really about. 

Well - there might have been one exception. The Conservative leader might be evil.)

Here's the picture.

Capitalist greed is spreading poverty, starvation and death all over the world. In its uncontrollable greed, it is destroying itself as we near economic collapse and a final, needless war which will kill the capitalists as well as the rest of us.

We have a population in Canada and the U.S. brought up on myths about our past and present.   (Some day, if we are to survive, our schools should be permitted to tell the truth about our histories.)

We are a very short distance from a starvation and immigration crisis. Most of the refugees will die because we won't lift a finger for them. And, eventually, if we survive that long, we will become refugees. Climate change is destroying our food supply. And, yes, it can and will happen here. And before it happens, there is a strong possibility the U.S. will invade Canada.

We have, if we're very, very lucky, ten years and maybe a bit to bring capitalism under control, to realize that socialism is not a dirty word but simply one that means we - the whole society and not capitalists -  should be controlling our own lives and governments.

We have to make it easier for education to reach all people. We cannot possibly survive in a world as illiterate as this one.  We need easy access all the way through university to those who qualify for it. We need far, far more public learning and public discussion than we are getting.

We have permitted a world in which a small number of people of no significant intelligence or sense of morality control our lives and our futures. In the present election here in New Brunswick, we have two parties that represent change to that. Neither has had the courage (?) to go deeply enough into the problem we face. But it's a start.

The centuries of conquest are over.

We now face the decades of salvation. But we first have to wake up. Please WAKE UP!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

August 9: At the turning point?

Here's a story  you will never see in the Canadian news media - and certainly never in the irving press.
And another story that won't make the irving press.

Think about that. The daily newspapers of this province of New Brunswick are actively engaged in keeping essential information from us. What does this tell you about the journalism ethics of the editors, owners, and most of the columnists of those newspapers? And what does it tell us about the owner ship? And what does it tell us about the Liberals and Conservatives who won't mention this?

This sort of thing happens every day in Yemen. The mass murder of civilians and children is now what all war is about. Yes. It's no longer about heroes marching with medals jingling. The reality is that it's about the deliberate mass murder of children by bombing, starvation and disease. Yemen is just one example of this type of 'warfare', along with North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia,Afghanistan, Iraq, Guatemala, Syria, and some 70 other countries the U.S. has attacked since 1945. Oh, and the U.S. also plans the airstrikes for the Saudis. So it is almost certainly not a coincidence that the victims were school children.

But if you prefer not to know these nasty things, subscribe to New Brunswick's irving press. It's big, world news story for August 8 was that Hollywood wants to remove Trump's Hollywood walk of fame star. Wow! That will certainly change the world! (This 'news flash' was also several days old. But that's what you get with a newspaper chain whose task is to keep people in ignorance of what is happening.)
This next one is just for the hell of it. I was once at the Circus Maximus in Rome, and ancient place of chariot races and gladitorial fights. And this Protestant boy has to admit that the current pope has class...

Never believe early reports of a big news story.

And will the U.S. move to help its colony?  Not likely.

Watch for Canadian governments (under instruction from their owners) to a)demand that Canada apologize to Saudi Arabia or b) demand that Canada build a pipeline from Alberta to the East Coast, thus committing us not only to environmental damage but  to decades more of severe climate damage. And, if New Brunswick votes Conservative in its provincial election, watch for it to lead the way  in this genocidal idiocy.

But Ontario (and New Brunswick papers) devote themselves to the great question of our time - cheaper beer.

Are we all really that stupid?

Hey. Don't worry about climate change. If it were happening, mr. irving would tell us right away.

No. Read the irving press and don't worry. Don't even think about next summer..and the ones after....

And even if we survive the summers, we won't survive the human pollution of fossil fuels.

Let's get used to it. Fossil fuels are killing us. And, as it is, they can only get worse. Why are we not dealing with this? Because billionaires and multibillionaires don't want us to. And they don't want us to because they're insanely greedy - and because they're foolish enough to believe none of this will affect them.

Tell us that story again, mr. irving, about how your rapidly growing and untaxed wealth makes us all richer...

Glyphosate, eh?  New Brunswickers, enjoy your summer spray. I really don't know how New Brunswickers can vote either Liberal or Conservative when both parties have openly betrayed them and their families on this issue.

We are perilously close to a world, nuclear war and, yes, that would affect even New Brunswick.

Seymour Hersh may be the most intelligent and honest journalist in world history. That's why most commercial news media (including The New York Times) won't touch him.

We are approaching a very dangerous time.  U.S. power is in decline, serious decline. It has been set back severely in the middle east. It has created more enemies than it can deal with all over the world - with even its allies in Europe getting restive. It, quite illegally, has placed trade restrictions on many, many countries. It's greed has made enemies of most of Latin America.

The U.S. cannot fight a conventional war against Russia or China. For all its military spending and proud boasts and parades, the U.S. could not defeat North Korea or Vietnam or Afghanistan or Syria. It's not going to win one against Russia or China.  It's been obvious since 1945 that U.S. capitalists intend to rule the world. But that's not going to happen; nor would a world nuclear war do anything except to destroy all humanity.

Meanwhile, U.S. democracy has long since ended. The U.S. is owned by a very small group of billionaires whose intelligence is less than remarkable. Most American people have ceased to be thinking people at all. They vote not for what they need. No. Increasingly they vote only against those they hate - blacks, Mexicans, refugees of all sorts......... And they blame their growing poverty not on the billionaires and their politicians but on all those hated people who had nothing to do with causing it.

This,  with all its linkages, is taking us straight into a world war, and that's a war that nobody can win.

Canada is in great danger from this because we are dealing with unlimited greed and mass hysteria. And we also have our own billionaires taking us down the path to our own hysteria and to their greed.

Russians interfere in American elections? Let's get real. Most countries interfere in elections in other countries. Probably the biggest interferer in American elections is Israel. But our news media don't tell us that. For that matter, I have also known of heavy Israeli interference in Canadian elections.

Major powers, like the U.S., are usually the major interferers. And they commonly go beyond supporting the side they want to win. They go so far as killing candidates they don't want to win. It is quite possible, even likely, that American agents were behind the recent attempted killing of President Maduro of Venezuela. And they certainly made several attempts on Fidel Castro, not to mention the mass murders in Guatemala that our news media never mentioned.

And, for a change, some good news.
..and an item that wasn't important enough for the irving press.

In a century of plundering and abuse, the major western powers have made a hopeless mess of Africa and the Middle East. If there is one region likely to take us all into nuclear war, Africa and the Middle East is it.

...And now the American bluff is being called...

Burning fossil fuels is good for us. Yes, it is. I mean, that's what organizations funded by oil billionaires are telling us.

And if you can't trust an oil billionaire, who can you trust?

Some months ago, a retired Russian spy who was a double agent who spied on both Britain and Russia, and his daughter, were hospitalized after unknowingly consuming a poison. Both recovered. Britain immediately announced the Russians had done it. But then and now, nobody has ever produced evidence that the Russians did it. And now, Trump has taken it on himself to punish Russia for something there is no proof for.

And why has Trump taken this stand when even the British really don't know what happened? Well, it could be that Congress is leaning on him. Congress did not approve of Trump's meeting with Putin. Congress wants a war with Russia. And Trump is caving in to Congress.

Neither Trump nor Congress calls the shots in the U.S. That's done by super-billionaires. Canada lives next door to what is, in effect, a monster dictatorship.

Well, what did Canadians fight for in World War 2  if not for the right to protect high profits for drug companies selling in poor countries?

This commentary is only two days old. Is it possible that all that progress has already been blown away?

A note for New Brunswickers. For this provincial election ---THINK.

I have seen nothing in the platforms of the Liberals and Conservatives that they give a damn about what would be good for New Brunswickers. Nor do they care. Both parties are owned, as always, by a few of the very, wealthy who have held this province back for over a  hundred and fifty years.

And we are at a critical moment in the history of this province. Very soon, it will be too late to make the changes that need to be made for our survival.

I'm quite sure that the Greens and the NDP, for all their shortcomings, are the only chance that New Brunswick has.

Alas! This is an unthinking and obedient province, marching along in single file, hand on the shoulder of the person ahead, and obediently trudging into the grinder of the people who really own and operate this province for their own greed.

The people of this province have to start thinking of all the people in this province, not just a couple of rich ones. And they need at least a symbolic victory because time is very, very short.

As a warning of where the old parties and our provincial news media might take us, I read today's editorial on Saudi Arabia refusing to sell oil to us. It was written, as most editorials in these papers are, by the local village idiot who feels we must now build the east coast pipeline.  (Of course. We couldn't buy it from Venezuela. American billionaires wouldn't like that.)

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

August 7:Good News....seems to be history.

Trump has now declared war on the world - including long-time allies like Canada and the European Union. At this stage, it's an economic war. But it could have greater meaning for the future.

Trump's motive? He wants to bring 'world peace'. Sure. That's why he's declaring war on everybody. What he really wants - and what the U.S. has wanted ever since 1945 is domination of an American empire that will rule the world.

Like it or not, Canada and Europe are going to have to choose.

The world's richest country can allow billionaires to hide a trillion dollars a year. It can spend hundreds of billions every year on selling weapons to the world. But it doesn't really give a damn about Americans who are not, you know, REAL Americans.

The Irving press couldn't care less about them, either. That's why it has never bothered to carry the story about them.

Several days ago, columnist Norbert Cunningham wrote that climate change isn't happening. He wrote the only people talking about it were  left-wingers. And they, of course, have no brains at all.

Then a little later he wrote a second column on the subject. This time he notices we're having a most unusual heat wave, forest fires, crop failures all over the world, millions of refugees... But not to worry. A right-thinking person like Norbert knows all this could be good for us. And in final dismissal of any problems, he writes, "But enough of that." And 'enough of that' sums up the attitude of the whole paper which has carried almost no news of the chaos and problems this is causing all over the world.  No. The rest of his columns is devoted to the platitude "N.B. belongs to citizens, not to politicians we elect."

Get real Norbert. We all know you love attacking politicians. (It takes attention away from the billionaires who own them. And that's why Norbert prefers not to talk about climate. His boss (and owner) is an oil billionaire who makes money out of destroying the environment.

That's why Norbert never criticizes big money, but takes all his hatreds out on politicians. But get real Norbert. You know very well that the politicians of the Liberals and Conservatives are, just like you, owned by big money. And you know very well that the newspaper you write for is designed to keep the people of New Brunswick in profound ignorance of what is really happening in the world. You know that you have spent  your professional life as a kiss-up for the wealthy.

But next time  you write a column on this, Norbert, use every foot-pound of brain-power you have. How are we going to replace the billions of dollars of food we've been importing from all over the world for centuries? How are we going to deal with the millions of starving refugees - or even with those millions who already exist, not to mention the tens of millions that are to come? How do we cope with the profound shrinkage of our fisheries?  And, oh, how do we deal with American demands for our fresh water? And how do we deal with American demands for our land as large sections of the mid-west to the Pacific suffer from drought and massive wildfires?

I notice, Norbert, you don't use your  head to grow hair. Could you use it to think with?

Another story not important enough for the irving press.

Modern war is not carried out by heroes. It's carried out by murders of civilians and children.

The crime of Julian Assange is that he told the world the truth. He did not break any laws in doing so. But in our world, it is a crime to tell the truth. I note that I haven't seen much (if anything) about this case on the pages of our irving press.
Wouldn't you think they'd be eager to print this story about freedom of the press?


This story can't be true. If it were, a really great scholar - like Mr. Irving - would tell us.

Yet another story that wasn't important enough for the irving press. Trump's man, John Bolton, says that the U.S. had nothing to do with this assassination attempt. Of course not. Americans never murder people.

Before becoming a university teacher, I spent six years of real teaching - grades  7 to 11 in public schools. I was slow to learn that universities are not about teaching. They are about egos, status, and management by the very wealthy whose only interest is in producing employees useful to their narrow interests.

The irving press didn't run this story. In the New Brunswick election, the Conservative party supports fracking in New Brunswick. The leader of the Conservative party is a former executive for Irving industries.

A story that definitely will NOT make the irving press.

Our leaders are the naziis and fascists of the 21st century. And we are their followers.

Get stuffed, Norbert.

The price of greed.

And the greedy are the people  who own almost all of our commercial news media.

And just think of what it will be like in the very near future as robots replace human workers. Where is the preparation for this? How are we planning to use robots? How are we planning to ensure that ordinary people like us are not impoverished by this?

Answer - we aren't. And not a word about about any of this in the irving press.

Greed knows no limits.

As a university student I came to meet a number of a asbestos workers, all of them dying from its effects. But what the hell---who gives a damn?

Well, after all, the U.S. has been a close buddy of Muslim terrorism going all the way back to the 1970s, at least. And it has been supplying the terrorists with money, weapons and training. (And Canada, too, has played that game).

I'm so happy for American billionaires - and so proud that Canadian billionaires are joining them.

This is arrogance, greed, indifference to human suffering....but, you know, all the billionaires have to do is to give a tiny, tiny part of their loot to the (respectable) poor and they become "philanthopists", yes, they do. And the chambers of commerce will kneel at their feet.

Where the hell are all our Christians in this? Is Christianity as dead as it seems?
So it must be.

This has been a sad day for news. I know it sounds wild but Canada, if it's going to survive at all, has to abandon its subservience to U.S. big money, and look for new partners in the world. It sounds extreme. But it's not. It's bare survival. The European Union is already thinking in those terms. An American alliance is not an alliance at all. It's subservience. It's to be a small player in the American world empire - an empire that is almost certain never to mature.

Corruption of American democracy has long ago been completed. There is no place for Canada in an alliance with the U.S.  (Nor is Canadian democracy all that healthy.)

The middle east is on the edge of a stunning collapse thanks to American and British interference for the benefit of capitalism. That means it is quite possible that an Iran war would be unwinnable (the U.S. military record since 1945 for all its monstrous expense has not been impressive)  And any war with Iran could well be the cause of a world, nuclear war.

Friday, August 3, 2018

August 4: Losing the Future.

I write this just before I leave for the shore for a few days. It's not so much about the news as it is about the general picture. But I will start with some news items.

(the irving press usually doesn't mention poverty in New Brunswick - unless it's a touching story about somebody rich tossing a few bucks at poor people -instead of paying taxes - and getting lavishly praised by the chamber of commerce.)

(Though Gwynne Dyer is an internationally recognized authority on world affairs, the irving press dropped his column. That's because 1. he knows what he's talking about and 2. he tells the truth. And that just doesn't fit irving press policy.)

Modern warfare, as it was in the old days of 'Mongol hordes' and 'savages' is war against civilians. What made that possible was the bomber. And the pioneer murderer of civilians by bombers was Winston Churchill who ordered the RAF to bomb civilian Kurd villages in 1920. It was picked up by Nazi Germany in Spain - and it became the standard method of war with the allied bombing of Dresden in World War 2. We deliberately killed mostly civilians in the Korean War - and that has been the practice of the U.S. ever since -bombing schools, hospitals, defenceless villages....

New Brunswickers trust the Conservative party view that fracking is harmless?
And my local, irving press has a magnificent commentary about our provincial election. The writer is running as a candidate for the Conservative Party. The great issue, he writes, the one that New Brunswick must deal with now, is repairing our rural roads. Why is this is so urgent?

Because it will attract tourists from China.

Damn right. Forget schools. Dump hospitals. Ignore miserably low wages. Don't worry about illiteracy. Forget poverty. Forget feeding school children who don't get enough to eat at home. And, certainly, don't get after the super wealthy to pay taxes like everybody else. Just fix them there rural roads and wait for them hordes of visitors from China.

Actually, the biggest problem we face is a runaway economic system that will destroy us. Funny how the Liberals and Conservatives never mention that. A tiny number of people in Canada and the U.S. (and other countries) now control our lives. They decide who will acquire the wealth of this nation. And a result is the steady collapse of income for the other 99% of the population.

The United States, wealthiest country in the world (for now), has a poverty level probably approaching 40% - and a hardship level that is even higher, much higher. And it is steadily getting worse.

(When the Sears stores across Canada closed, the employees were simply dumped. But the senior shareholders are still getting payoffs that are more than most people can earn in a lifetime.)

And, even as a write this, we are well into the age of robotization - of replacing human workers with robots. Within ten years, we may well have disposed of the need for huge numbers of workers. And the plans to find employment for these people? The plans to deal with their massive loss?  There are none. And not even talk of any. Corporation bosses will get even higher profits. But millions, many millions all over the world, will be dumped into poverty.

Then there's a side-effect. The super-wealthy of our world don't pay taxes. It's the rest of us, including the low-paid, who do pay the taxes that support our schools, and medical care and fight our wars ..... As it is we who suffer seriously for the refusal of the wealthy to pay taxes. What will happen on that day coming very soon when the poor can't pay taxes?

Add to that the collapse of democracy as the wealthy use some of their money to take control over our governments. This has always been true to some degree. But it's now gone wild.

The result in the U.S. is that government has become a madhouse of corruption and daylight robbery. The biggest factor in U.S. government spending is not health or or education or the alleviation of poverty.  It's the massive spending on the military, the creation of artificial markets all over the world for weapons. Even the enemies of the U.S. - like ISIS - rely heavily on American sources for their supply of weapons.

That spending is massively corrupt, much of it ending up in the pockets of billionaires who sell grossly overpriced weaponry and who also use the profits to buy ever more politicians. As well, the politicians are paid off to insist that American "allies"  like Canada and all the NATO countries buy far more weapons than they need.

We need massive defence? Come off it. No country has attacked the U.S. since the Japanese weak effort against Alaska. No country has attacked Canada since the U.S. did after its civil war over a  hundred and fifty years ago. The U.S., though, has attacked some 75 countries all over the world since 1945. The 911 attack was terrible because it killed 3,000 Americans? The U.S. has killed millions, most of them civilians, since 1945. It's now openly starving millions of children to death in Yemen.

In fact, all American wars since 1941 have targeted civilians - by bombing, by starvation, by mines. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were chosen precisely because they were essentially civilian cities with almost no military presence.

And Canada has supported all this because of something else we aren't told. Canada, like Latin America, like Britain, like much of Africa and the middle east, like  NATO (that is getting very nervous about it) is an American colony.  We buy weapons to make American billionaires ever richer. We have already sent our military to fight   (illegal) American wars. And it's going to happen more.

War is an essential byproduct of capitalism. (Yes. Some countries that aren't capitalist also fight wars. The difference in capitalism is that it MUST  have wars. Capitalism exists only to make profit. Nothing else. That's why it must dominate ALL countries.)

It does not exist to ease poverty. If it did, we wouldn't have so much poverty in this world. Its doesn't exist to give charity. (That's done only as a PR stunt. And capitalism creates far more poverty than it eases with charity.)

Capitalism exists for no reason but to make capitalists wealthy without end. It's greatest 'virtue' is greed. And there is no limit to greed. It is greed that has killed millions since 1945. It is a greed that has forced Canadians to kill others. Korea was about greed. So was Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Guatemala, and so will be Iran.

I am not convinced that any economic system is the answer. The problem, alas, is that all systems have to be operated by people. So it was that the highly idealistic and even Christian system of Marx's communism produced the murderous Joseph Stalin.

Capitalism is the system that has caused centuries of extraordinarily murderous empires (like the British and Spanish conquest of America, the American conquest of Latin America, the British Empire all over the world).

Capitalism caused centuries of slavery that still continue. It has brought the world to the insane extreme of building nuclear arsenals that CANNOT protect, only destroy.

We have to control any system if this planet is to survive. And the biggest threat, by far today, is the threat posed by capitalism. And in that context, I have to lean to a heavily controlled capitalism sharing a high degree of socialism.

How much time do we have?  I don't know. I would be surprised if it's more than twenty years. I would not be surprised if it ended tomorrow.

(That's one of the serious failings of capitalism. It refuses to see the consequences of its actions. Trump is ignoring the well-documented warnings of the world's leading scientists about climate change. He has destroyed the few steps that were taken to deal with it. And in this, he has had the full support of the billionaire world. These people have no sense whatever of any world beyond the date of their next quarterly report. They operate on a greed that has no place for common sense. They have happily killed millions out of greed.  There is no room for humanity in their thought processes.)

The reality is that we are facing the breakdown of the U.S. That breakdown is what produced a Trump. The American people are aware that something is wrong, desperately wrong. But they don't know what it is.

Like most nations, American are raised on some very false notions of what their national history is all about. And that falseness is encouraged by the privately-owned news media. There is, for example, a common belief that God wants the U.S. to rule the world (Manifest Destiny). And that became the major thrust of ambition for American capitalists - not to bring freedom to the world, but to take over all the empires of the world.

Americans are frustrated, angry at the real world they are forced to live in. They don't want it. But they are caught up in the myth of what they think the world is about - the myth that Americans are good (whatever that means) and that those in their way (like Syrians) are evil. They have no sense of any alternative way of looking at the world. Lacking that sense, who can they vote for?

Hitler found the answer. He worked not on any solutions, but on popular anger and frustration. He worked on their hatreds - and especially their hatred of Jews.

Trump worked on their  hatred of immigrants, especially (but not only) Latins. Similar governments are popping up in Europe. And we're going to see much more of this in Canada - from Doug Ford in Ontario to the Conservative party of Canada.

Instead of dealing with our problems, we're pretending they don't exist - and the only real problem is keeping out them foreigners (neatly forgetting that our native people might have some views on this subject of unwelcome immigrants.)

Meanwhile -

We're ignoring the real issues of climate change, of increasing poverty, of the destruction of democracy, of the impact of our behaviour on the developing world.

We're also ignoring a very, very important factor. The U.S. is a nation in serious decline. It's democracy and government are in shambles. Americans are profoundly divided, but without much sense of any alternatives. It's economy resembles a desert, a sea of waste water  - take your pick. It has the biggest national debt in history, almost all of it created by overfeeding the billionaires in its social zoo. That debt is now held by foreign countries that are in a position to destroy the American economy by disposing of their American dollars. And the U.S. is now, quite possibly, the most hated nation in history.

(In our news media, enemies or rivals of the U.S. are always evil. Muslims are 'terrorists' we are taught. Um, well, if Muslims are terrorists what are we western Christians who have been killing and exploiting muslims for a century? who have been spreading disease and starvation in Muslim countries?)

Greed has been allowed to run wild - in the U.S., in Canada, in Europe....

And the Chinese economy is very likely to outclass the American one within twenty years. What will American capitalists do? Quite probably, they will launch a nuclear war on China and a few others to 'erase' their debt. That is they will launch such a war if there still is a U.S. twenty years from now. (It is quite possible the U.S will simply dissolve into social disorder over its internal conflicts.)

We have very little time to respond to all this. And we don't yet have a political party anywhere near to being ready for this challenge. And we are desperately weak in honest news media.

Oh! Here's a social history of New Brunswick.

I read a letter to the editor in my local paper about how we should remember  those who have served Canada in its wars. And so we should. We, after all, are the ones who send them to war. We owe it to them to send them to risk their lives only when it is necessary for our own survival.

As November 11 approaches, I always think of the boys from my father's scout troop who came by to say goodbye to our family. I think of Leslie, so proud of his navy uniform, who went down when his destroyer was torpedoed. I think of Jack who was blown off the bridge of  his ship, a corvette, just off the beaches of D-Day. I think of Bertie, a severely retarded kid who used to play with me. He left school in grade four. At sixteen, he stole his older brothers draft papers and joined the army. He just loved marching and the click of his boots on the pavement. He was cut in half by a German machine gun in his first action. "He was cryin' " said a soldier who was with him, " and he jumped up. Funniest thing...he was screamin' for his mother..."

Yes. We should certainly remember. And we should think - about those Canadians that we should never have sent to war - the many who died in the Boer War for the sole purpose of making British gold speculators even wealthier - for those who died in an illegal and unnecessary American war in Afghanistan - for those dedicated pilots we sent to illegally bomb Libya to please American billionaires, to the 'peacekeepers' we sent to help the U.S. destroy Haitian democracy, and for the other wars we will be urged to fight for the U.S. We might, too, remember all those wonderful things we said we were fighting for in World War 2, all the promises we broke about how we were going to help create a world of peace and democracy....

Yes. We must remember those who served us. And we must remember how we have betrayed them.

Canada's wars since 1945 have been wars to make capitalists richer - nothing else. That's what Korea, Afghanistan, Libya, our trainers in Syria were all about. Capitalists have killed millions in that time simply for their own profit. Nothing else. As a rule they don't send their own sons and daughters to fight. (Check the career of George Bush Jr.) They send our sons and daughters.

And they don't even pay for the wars because they don't pay taxes. We have to supply the money as well as the bodies. Watch for Canada to be pressured to send troops to Iran to make American billionaires happy and fat. This one, like all the others, will be both unnecessary and illegal. This one, if it happens  (and it very well might) could lead to a world, nuclear war.

None of this is what we told our military they were fighting for in 1939. That is our betrayal.

And The Canadian Legion, of all groups, should remember that betrayal. It is shameful that we commonly use November 11 simply as a day to glorify war when we should be using it to remember why they fought.

As to the long run, there is no future for Canada in a relationship dominated by the U.S. and run to serve the interests and greed of American billionaires. We have to involve ourselves much more closely with, possibly, Europe and (gasp) China.

The alternative? There is a very strong possibility of an American takeover of Canada within the next twenty years.

Oh! Here's a social history of New Brunswick.

We start with two birth notices say, oh, 20 years ago.

1. Mary Nobody. High intelligence. Poor family. Born in New Brunswick.

2. Plentiful Irving. So-so intelligence. Born in New Brunswick.

Mary has to leave school after high school graduation. Family needs her to get a job.  Finds minimum wage as waitress in a fast food place. Rest of life is blah, blah,  blah....

Plentiful goes to expensive private school. With much tutoring barely manages to finish high school. Is then sent to expensive American university which accepts rich kids with low grades, supplies them with tutors, and makes sure they graduate (as was done for George Bush Jr.)  Gets job as senior executive in daddy's company. Rest of life is buying politicians....
And now, I'm off to the sea and the sand and the sky for a few days.

ps  - readers with access to the New Brunswick News will notice it has paid almost no attention to this summer's heat wave. It rarely, if ever, mentions the horror of Yemen. It pays no attention to the routine interference with chaotic results of the U.S. in Latin America. It's been very quiet about the current New Brunswick election campaign - though it is routinely taking shots at the Liberal party. It is, though, very heavy on trivia, writers for propaganda houses, and sob stories.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

August 2:The New Brunswick Disaster

Okay. Change of plans. It looks as though Saturday is the day I'll be frolicking in the waves. So I'm likely to have no blog that day.

None of this has appeared in the pages of our irving press.

This is a theme I shall return to in the second half of today's blog. To be blunt, the police are trained to see protesters as evil and dangerous - and so the police almost always act in favour of big money and, indeed, in close cooperation with big money 'security' companies.

Gee! how terrible of them! The U.S. killed 30 percent of the population of North Korea - mostly civilians. I wonder how many dog tags the U.S. preserved from them.

And I wonder how many dog tags are being preserved of the 20 million Yemeni who are being starved to death by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. (And let's remember Canada's share in this. A Canadian company illegally built and sold armoured cars to Saudi Arabia though Canadian companies are not supposed to sell weapons to countries like Saudi Arabia.)

This news report admits that the U.S. sanctions and other intrusions are what destroyed the Venezuelan economy. It was a deliberate act by the U.S. But that essential truth gets lost in just one line close to the end of the story.
Another story that didn't - and won't reach the pages of the irving press.

Trudeau, like his predecessors has done nothing to deal with the indignities and plundering we have forced on native peoples. And this is despite promise after promise for a couple of centuries and a recent, but dead letter, national apology to native peoples for all these years of theft and plundering.

When the native people of Rexton in New Brunswick protested the intrusion of a fracking company, the irving press ran to hysteria with a report that a few of the demonstrators had guns. Well, they did. But so did the many, many police there have rifles and pistols - and many more of them. And, with the help of an irving 'security' company, they attacked the demonstrators. However, the irving press never mentioned that.

Very late in my professor days, I was offered the job of president of my university. (The offer came from the chairman of our board of governors, a guy named Molson.) It was tempting. The pay was big, and was mine for life even if they fired me after the first day. Yes, I was tempted.

But, after thinking it over, I said no. As I thought about it, I realized this job was really being a front man, a gofer, under the control of the very big business men who made up the board of governors. They - who know nothing about education or scholarship - they are really the ones who control our universities though they know nothing and care nothing about about the search for knowledge and understanding.

Yes, these are the people who run our universities today. And their main interest is in ensuring that the universities help their profits. Thus the tremendous spread of commerce business programmes in the universities. Thus, in New Brunswick, the rush of university presidents to respond to the irving call to assist him in his self-appointed (and very inappropriate) role of planning the provincial budget some years ago.

Boy. I coulda used that money.

A problem to add to the one discussed above is the problem of the ineffectiveness of the world's most expensive military - that of the U.S. It has been remarkably ineffective except against the smallest and most feeble states since 1945.
This next one looks interesting. But I'd like to know more before cheering.

News in the irving press?

Well, the lead story is almost a repeat of yesterday's lead story - a boy died while playing a game of choking. The difference is that this one tells us  that his mother feels terrible about it.

I have no doubt she does. And I feel every sympathy for her. But this is not a news story. This is simply an exploitation of grief of the sort called a 'sob-story', a cheap abuse of a news story.

There is also a story that the Liberals are rolling in election money and the Conservatives are almost broke. (An easily missed sentence tells us this is a misleading statistic.) As well, it doesn't mention that the Conservatives have a full (and free) coverage from the irving press.

Almost all of section 1 is trivia. And there is not a single story about what, if anything, our provincial and municipal governments are going to do in dealing with climate change. What plans do they have for dealing with the problems this will create? (Indeed - what  have they defined as the problems they will face?)

Norbert Cunningham has his usual, highly prejudiced column favouring private business operation for our water supply over public operation. Why?  Well, he says that people who favour public operation are left-leaning and therefore stupid, unlike right-leaning bigots like him.  That, instead of any attempt at analysis, is the total of his thinking.

And he says the only people favouring public operation are the Labour Council, the New Brunswick Federation of Labour, CUPE, the Common Front for Social Justice, and the Council of Canadians. All of these people, he points out, are self interested (unlike those nice, private interest capitalists),  and therefore stupid.

This is an ignorant, smearing commentary. On the good side, it's better than Norbert's usual work.

David Coon, leader of the Green Party has a commentary on the facing page that is a real commentary and a real party platform. tI lays out the moral principles on which Green Party is running. The Liberals and the Conservatives have yet to produce anything like that.

Canada and World section? Brief - only some 2 pages. No mention of the horror of the war in Yemen. No mention of the American defeat in Syria. No mention of the Iran crisis that could lead to a world war.  Two big,  but unimportant stories about Trump.

There's another big story from The Washington Post that a restaurant is angry at a customer for posting a video of a worm wriggling on one of their fish dinners. And another Washington story that a man suffered an infection from dog saliva that made it necessary to amputate his hands and legs.

The news YOU need to know.

This is a newspaper designed to keep people under control by keeping them ignorant of all that is happening. I guess that's why it  hasn't run this story....



Stop Spraying NB releases report card to members of 58th NB legislature

Stop Spraying NB (SSNB) has released a “report card” on the performance of the three political parties in the 58th NB legislature on their record on the issue of herbicide spraying on public land to mark beginning of the annual herbicide spray season in the province.

SSNB, which is calling for a ban on herbicide spraying on crown land in New Brunswick,   has given all three political parties in the Legislature a failing grade when it comes to bringing about such a ban, although the Progressive Conservatives and Greens did make some efforts on the issue.

Clearly the New Brunswick Liberal party, under leadership of Brian Gallant, has shown no interest to act on 35,000-signature petition from constituents, which has been submitted to the legislature. Restigouche West (Liberal) MLA Gilles Lepage and Fredericton South (Green) MLA David Coon tabled 6000 petition signatures each in May, 2016. David Coon tabled and verified the remainder of the 35,000 signatures between December 2015 and November 2017. The PC Party proposed a motion late 2017 that would have stopped spraying for a period of review for 9 months while a working group made of government departments and outside stakeholders was formed and drafted a report on the effects of spraying, However, that came after the annual spray program.

The Liberal Party successfully reduced the motion to nothing by amending this to only request an update from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer on its Glyphosate Report (released early August 2016), which never considered the impact of glyphosate in forestry in NB.

Even though Green Party MLA David Coon has always been a supporter of SSNB's mandate, his vision was a little blurry on the day of the PC motion debate; he left the legislature after commenting, and MISSED the vote on the motion to attend an appointment with his optometrist.

Marks issued to members of the 58th legislature of NB:

- 'F' for all MLAs for failure to implement legislation for a ban on public land spraying (crown land, NB Power, CN Rail)
- Mixed marks for effort: 'F' for the Liberals, 'C' for the PC party, a blurry ' B-' for NB Green Party MLA David Coon.

Donald Bowser, SSNB Vice-Chair remarked, “SSNB is deeply disappointed in the performance of the current political parties to act to stop spraying in NB. Despite the tabling of the largest petition in the history of the legislature. It has failed to enact a ban and listen to these voices. None of the political parties has engaged in meaningful dialogue with SSNB and our coalition partners to develop draft legislation, and we can only hope the members of the 59th legislature will.”

On a positive note, SSNB has enjoyed support at a municipal level from Petitcodiac Mayor Gerald Gogan and Moncton Mayor Dawn Arnold. Also,Sackville, Cap-Pelée, Tide head, Paquetville, Tracadie, Miscou support this movement.

SSNB has the following questions to candidates running in NB's provincial general election, to be held on Monday September 24, 2018:
- Will you work to stop taxpayers' funding of the herbicide spray program?
- Will you work to ban herbicide spraying on public land?

SSNB's Chair, Dr. Caroline Lubbe-D'Arcy, and Vice Chair Donald Bowser both held up a large mock cheque issued by NB Tax Payers for $2.8 million and asked voters, "Do you want to sign an annual cheque for herbicide spraying to forestry corporations for another 4 years? If not, then vote for candidates and political parties that vow to stop this practice.”

Lubbe-D'Arcy states that SSNB has had commitments in writing from three of the five political parties in NB to stop spraying: NB Green Party, People's Alliance Party of NB (PANB) and NBNDP. No response has been received from the PC party and the Liberal Party.

SSNB will issue a tool kit to supporters, which will help voters evaluate candidates at the door and at candidate meetings. SSNB will continue to sell signs and bumper stickers, so that candidates and 

Donald Bowser, SSNB Vice-Chair remarked, “SSNB is deeply disappointed in the performance of the current political parties to act to stop spraying in NB. Despite the tabling of the largest petition in the history of the legislature. It has failed to enact a ban and listen to these voices. None of the political parties has engaged in meaningful dialogue with SSNB and our coalition partners to develop draft legislation, and we can only hope the members of the 59th legislature will.”

On a positive note, SSNB has enjoyed support at a municipal level from Petitcodiac Mayor Gerald Gogan and Moncton Mayor Dawn Arnold. Also,Sackville, Cap-Pelée, Tide head, Paquetville, Tracadie, Miscou support this movement.

SSNB has the following questions to candidates running in NB's provincial general election, to be held on Monday September 24, 2018:
- Will you work to stop taxpayers' funding of the herbicide spray program?
- Will you work to ban herbicide spraying on public land?

SSNB's Chair, Dr. Caroline Lubbe-D'Arcy, and Vice Chair Donald Bowser both held up a large mock cheque issued by NB Tax Payers for $2.8 million and asked voters, "Do you want to sign an annual cheque for herbicide spraying to forestry corporations for another 4 years? If not, then vote for candidates and political parties that vow to stop this practice.”

Lubbe-D'Arcy states that SSNB has had commitments in writing from three of the five political parties in NB to stop spraying: NB Green Party, People's Alliance Party of NB (PANB) and NBNDP. No response has been received from the PC party and the Liberal Party.

SSNB will issue a tool kit to supporters, which will help voters evaluate candidates at the door and at candidate meetings. SSNB will continue to sell signs and bumper stickers, so that candidates and voters are reminded to keep this issue in mind when they head to the voters’ booth on Sept. 24, 2018

Here is an important book. Its point is that police are trained to take the side of
big money and 'the establishment' when there are demonstrations.  I've seen many demonstrations. I've seen riot police in their busses parked in an alley, waiting for things to get wild enough to justify police violence. It surprised me to realize they wanted violence - and that's why they were waiting.

I've known police from my street-gang worker days who looked forward to moving in on quite peaceful demonstrations so they could  punch out those "anti-nuclear trouble-makers".

There is a bond between police and people with wealth and power. Police are indoctrinated to that early in the game. And when the wealthy meet to determine how they shall get even more out of the rest of us, it's not the wealthy the police  club. It's those of us who are on the receiving end of greed.

When the native peoples of Rexton protested against a fracking company that was moving in on their land, the police didn't come down on the fracking company. It came down on the people trying to defend their land.

The irving press, of course, never told this side of the story. No. When a couple of guns were discovered, the irving press branded the very large native peoples goup as "an armed camp".   I was there and looked around. Yes, there was an armed camp.  It was dozens of armed police with clubs and guns. It was a large group of soldiers with rifles facing the crowd. (That was really dangerous - placing riflemen in front of a large crowd with many, many women and children. Funny how the press never noticed how dangerous it was to place riflemen in front of a closely packed crowd.)

There was also another riot group that our news media never mentioned. It worked very, very closely with the police. It was a 'security company' called Industrial Security Company. And guess who owned the company. It was Mr. Irving who had his own thugs - which suggests something else the irving press never told us - that Mr. Irving had a big stake in the fracking company.

These security companies are quite common, and invariably work with the police. (In other words, big money can beat people up and threaten their lives. But people trying to save their land aren't allowed to.)

This is common over much of the world. Protesters trying to protect their lands and their homes face the risk of massive retaliation. Billionaires who are trying to steal those lands and homes get the police, their own thugs, and most of the news media on their side.

We've read or heard of violence in the U.S. as oil companies moved in to lands and waters important to indigenous people. We're seeing it shape up in western Canada where indigenous people are desperately trying to save their lands.

The use of police against the losers in society is an old story. Canada used the NWMP in the west  to starve indigenous peoples by preventing them from hunting. Similar police forces and private 'security companies' formed by, say, Canadian mining companies commonly work together all over Latin America to beat down the native population.

Are you a  super wealthy person who wants somebody's land to make money out of it? Bless you. You are guaranteed the support of the state. You are an ordinary person who wants to protect his land? You're on your own. You think the indigenous people of Rexton were wrong? Think hard. Who owned the news media that told you the story?

And that takes us, I think, to the present New Brunswick election campaign.

It's a strange campaign. Neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives has a platform of any substance. The irving press has had almost nothing to say about it - except to criticize the Liberals. ( They deserve criticism. But the stuff we're seeing is pretty trivial - mostly about the Liberals overspending though, of course, it doesn't mention the reason they have to overspend is because the irvings don't pay income tax -and very, very little property tax. And they also   expect frequent gifts.)

There is, as I've said, little of any substance in the Liberal campaign. But the Conservatives are even worse! That suggests the Conservatives are working on something they don't want to talk about.

Then there's the leader of the Conservatives. He's spent his working life as a senior executive for ---Mr. Irving. In other words, when he opens his mouth to speak or waves his arms to a crowd, the strings reach back from his mouth and his hands into the hands of Mr. Irving.

And why would he leave a big-paying job for Mr. Irving to become premier, almost certainly at a lower wage? That would be because Mr. irving wanted him to as his political stooge. And why would Mr. Irving want that?

That takes us back to the big demonstration of several years ago of indigenous people against fracking. Mr. Irving wanted the fracking to happen. That's why his 'security' thugs were there. And he still wants it.

So - a coincidence. The new Conservative leader is interested in re-opening the fracking issue. But he hasn't make a big point of it. After all, there are quite a number of people who know what fossil fuels are doing to our world; and they know the danger of that.

That's why both the Conservatives have been quiet about it. And that's why the irving press has scarcely even mentioned it.

Why have the Liberals been so quiet? I'm not sure- but it's possible that the people of New Brunswick, learning all they know of the world from the irving press, have no idea what dangers are being opened up. So the Liberals would just lose votes by being honest and intelligent.

This looks, again, like a New Brunswick election of pure sleaze and lying.

New Brunswick has some serious issues to face. The opposition NDP and Greens should be working on those more vigorously than they are but they have at least opened the door to issues that are even more important than Mr. Irving's greed.

Too bad the irving press isn't going to report most of what the NDP and Greens have to say. They're going to have to campaign hard to get any audience past the sleaze and silence of the irving press.

A world of fossil fuels has become an international crisis. Climate change is here. This summer has made it world news almost everywhere but in the irving press. It's real. It's deadly. And we don't know how much time we have to deal with it. It's even possible that we don't have any.

But the only political issue in New Brunswick is how to satisfy irving greed.

And the answer is - we can't ever satisfy it. And electing one of his flunkies for premier is going to send us into violence and crisis.

Sorry to be so heavy on New Brunswick today. It's made necessary because we are very possibly heading into a very, very dangerous time.