Saturday, January 13, 2018

Jan. 13: Time is running out.

Thanks to a reader for this item I had not known about.

http://russia-insider.com/en/stephen-f-cohen-us-betrayed-russia-it-not-news-thats-fit-print-podcast/ri22163
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One of the most important developments of our time has been the move of big capitalists to have no real nationality whatever. In much of the western world, capitalists hide their money in overseas bank accounts so they won't have to pay taxes. And it goes beyond that.

It's something most of our news media don't talk about - though it's the reason why governments are forced to run up big debts. The U.S. national debt is so high that it will never be paid. And , some day, there is going to be one hell of a crash. However, don't worry about the wealthy. It won't hurt them.

Unlike the rest of us, the wealthy no longer have any obligation to their home countries. Indeed, many have no home countries in any real sense. Here's a story about how Russian billionaires are becoming  'citizens' of Malta.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/russians-malta-oligarchs-rich-citizenship-1.4483144

Expect similar rushes coming from the billionaires of China. All over the world, the wealthy are reshaping conditions so they have no obligations to anybody but themselves. That helps to explain the phenomenal, seemingly endless,wars we have  had since 1945. It explains the the killing of millions, the starving of millions more, and the brutality of so many of our governments. All sides are seriously planning for a nuclear war that nobody can win.

That greed and irresponsibility explains the inroads on Canadian medicare and the near-destruction of U.S. medicare. It explains why the U.S. has so many privately-owned prisons. It has nothing to do with improving the effectiveness of the prisons - but everything to do with the profits that can be made out of abusing prisoners. It explains a U.S. that encourages the sale of weapons all over the world, including to the people it calls terrorists - and it explains why Canada is moving in that direction (with its sale of armoured cars to the Saudis.)

We are heading to the ultimate war simply because it's profitable in the short term. Meanwhile we have created a world crisis in refugees that is the worst the world has ever seen - and it's going to get much, much worse.

We have allowed ourselves to be ruled by greed, irresponsibility and ignorance. (Don't blame the politicians. These, the hired flunkies of the wealthy, are, after all, the ones WE elected.)

No. The real problem lies in how we have allowed the wealthy to run loose with no responsibilities whatever to the rest of us.

Capitalism is profoundly unChristian. Indeed, it is alien to just about every religion I have ever heard of. It does not focus on helping one's neighbour. (It claims that comes as an after-effect. But even that claim is very, very doubtful.)

As to 'thou shalt not kill', please. Almost all wars are started by those who do it for profit. All the invasions of empires are in that category. For the U.S., that means most of the invasions of Latin America. World War 1 was fought because capitalists of major western countries feared the growing competitiveness of Germany. World War Two was fought for the same reason.  (No. It was not fought because of Hitler's treatment of Jews.  In fact, Hitler had the support of major capitalist countries right up to 1939.) North Korea was fought and then threatened for almost seventy years because a victory there would give the U.S. a base for its capitalists to get control of the China trade.

I'm not touting for Christianity here. After all, helping one's neighbour and not killing are surely rather good ideas for any society and, indeed, feature in many religions. This is simply good, common sense.

Capitalism is a system based on competition and self-interest. Okay. We can live with that. But if we allow that to operate without controls, we are destroying ourselves.

The world, since 1945, has abandoned all the principles we were told we fought for.  And the principle destroyer has been a capitalism allowed to run wild.

Now, we are very close to the final act.

Will capitalists lead us to a safe shore?

Not likely.

One (just one) of the major forces that could destroy us is the side effects of the oil industry. But far from dealing with those effects is the oil industry. It is doing everything it can to continue its destructive behaviour.

No. That's not very bright.  And it's not humane. But it's good capitalism - for the capitalists and only for a little while.

It's simple, really. Either we control capitalism. Or capitalism destroys us, and itself.
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Yes, Trump is a crude lout. But he's not the problem.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/12/unkind-divisive-elitist-international-outcry-over-trumps-shithole-countries-remark

For centuries, most leaders of the major powers have had nothing but contempt for the societies they invaded.  That contempt is why British, French, Dutch, Spanish leaders had no problem with destroying those societies and looting their lands. The U.S. has been the same all over the world - in Latin America, Asia, Africa, the middle east....  Trump is simply following in the footsteps of Christopher Columbus, Winston Churchill, Bush, Obama....

Trump is crude and coarse compared to them, but no different in his attitudes and policies. No. Dumping Trump will change nothing - unless he gets dumped in favour of very different policies, and unless the U.S. can somehow establish itself as a real democracy.
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It's a fact of political life that smaller countries must suck up to bigger ones. That is why Canada fought in two world wars. (No. I'm not saying Canada should not have fought those wars. I'm saying that the reason we fought are not the ones we are told. Canadian big business HAD to fight for the UK because the UK was economically important to it.

We HAD to fight for it even though we had known before 1900 that if the U.S. invaded us (as was quite possible), the UK would NOT defend us.

But after 1945, it was the U.S. that Canadian big business depended on. So we have had to fight American wars ever since.

In that context, the following story is important - though it's early to draw any conclusions.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/13/us-canada-trump-trudeau-trade
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We may well find that our future lies more with Asia than with the U.S.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/13/india-600-million-young-people-world-cities-internet
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Here's a commentary not likely to find its way in the pages of irving press.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/alberta-diary/2018/01/tim-hortons-brew-haha-shows-fast-food-industry-doesnt-get-pr
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Here is the thin edge of a crisis that is going to affect all religious groups. We haven't begun to see the impact of the refugeeism that is coming. Or the impact of our bigots.

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2018/01/islamophobia-continues-fester-wake-quebec-city-mosque-shooting
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A shithole story that's a little different from the others.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/01/12/us-role-turning-countries-shitholes-and-provoking-immigration

A reminder, though. It's not just Trump. A great many American presidents, British prime ministers, and other leaders have had exactly the same, racist views.

We are going to need a change in our thinking which is often racist.
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"Land of hope and glory..."

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/man-captures-video-of-patient-dumping-outside-baltimore-hospital/
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A useful reminder of reality.

https://theintercept.com/2018/01/12/haiti-donald-trump-shithole-america-history/
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Again, it's not just Trump. It's the whole military-industrial complex and all its puppet-politicians.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48569.htm
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Of course, the irving press hasn't mentioned this.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48576.htm
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And as usual, the oil industry leads the way in indifference to human needs, and in destructive greed.

https://www.alternet.org/environment/chevron-has-secretive-drilling-site-arctic-national-wildlife-refuge?akid=16602.1132352.Xsernw&rd=1&src=newsletter1087509&t=4
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An important read. It's interesting to see how our news media get all indignant - but don't have a word to say about how we created these 'shitholes'. And which of our distinguished citizens helped to make them so awful.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2018/01/13/who-created-these-shitholes/
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We don't have much time to deal with enormous challenges that face us. And we aren't getting any leadership from most of our politicians or business gods. We have to find a way to return to the principles of the world's religions. But we certainly won't find them by relying on our religious leaders since most of them prefer to keep their heads down.

Some people think those principles are dictated by a god or gods. Maybe. Maybe not. The important point is that these are eminently common sense principles. And they are what we need to survive the huge challenges that face us.

The alternative would be insane.

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2018/01/reassuring-children-when-future-is-terrifying/
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