Thursday, March 29, 2018

March 29: The terrible, terrible Russia Times.........

........ has this story of Russian aircraft flying to the edge of our north.

The irving press doesn't have it. It's big, news-you-need-to-know, front page headline and story - a story filling a whole page - is about a young woman in Moncton who at 17 posted 'intimate' pictures of herself on the web. Now, she is shocked, shocked I tell you, to find that people are looking at them.

So she shyly gave a huge photo of herself - with her name on it - to the irving press which made that it's biggest story of the day.

I mean who gives a damn about wealthy New Brunswickers who don't pay taxes, and so leave us deeper in debt every year, and who deprive our public schools and universities of the funds they need? Who cares about aircraft that we pay for to spray poisons on our forests - and us. Who cares about the homeless? Who cares about the masses of substandard housing in this city? Who cares about the large number of elderly who have to survive in poverty? Who cares about the low, minimum wage?

And it's not as if information is  hard to find. Try the following quite reliable sources.

Then there's the interesting story of our 'not-for-profit' Medavie under the care of our very own Bernard Lord, the darling boy of the super wealthy.

There are lots of these sites showing how Canada's wealthy are stealing from all of us. But I guess the irving editors are trained to deal only with 'intimate' sites.
One of the most famous cases of Sherlock Holmes was his investigation of the theft of a race horse called Silver Blaze. He mused to Holmes about the dog at the stable on the night of the theft, calling it 'the curious incident of the dog in the night."

"But the dog did nothing in the night," said his friend, Doctor Watson.

"That," said Holmes, "is the curious incident."

Now, history repeats itself.

While the UN is plunging plunging closer than we  have ever been toward nuclear war with Russia over British prime minister Theresa May's claim that the Russian government ordered the killing of a former Russian spy (and traitor to both Britain and Russia), while our Trudeau adds his voice to the hounds, while John Bolton screams for the nuclear obliteration of Russia, China and North Korea in what would be the greatest (and last) mass murder in history, Trump has been remarkably silent. Indeed, his latest statements are kind words for both Putin and Kim Jong un.

This is surely the curious incident of Trump as the dog in the night.

Why on earth would Trump choose as his most important advisor a man who openly and radically disagrees with him? (And that's putting it gently.)

I don't know. This is pure guess. Is it possible that the really big money in the U.S., the ones with  far, far more money than Trump, have forced Bolton on him? Are they the ones who want a war that would kill a billion and more, and that would risk the survival of the whole planet?

It's possible. Their greed has forced the U.S. into 70 wars since 1945. Their greed has murdered at least 20 million people, has caused massive poverty in the U.S., and has created nearly a hundred million refugees.

They want absolute world domination, something they have not been able to achieve in over 70 years. Now, time is running out as the relative power of the U.S. is in serious and rapid decline.  Is that why Trump has said so little? And even that little what they don't want to hear?______________________________________________________

This is amazing news. But will John Bolton accept it? There are very powerful people in the U.S. who don't want peace with North Korea.

This opinion is, if anything, kind in its descriptions of U.S. policy since the Iraq war. And, in fact, that sort of U.S. policy has been going on since 1776, at least.

I have a great deal of respect for Pope Francis. But this is surely a strange statement from  him. It sorely needs an explanation.

And on a chilling note....

You would never know it from reading of listening to Canadian news media, but Canadian mining companies are simply bastards in much of the world.
Our latest hero from Canada's most notorious druggy family. Do you seriously think Canadians are not as dumb as Americans in their voting?

Canada is not going to come close to meet its global emissions standards for the next twenty years and more. So let's clap hands for our non tax paying oil industry leaders for their wise guidance.

And don't waste time looking for this story in the irving press.
And this article by David Suzuki? Ignore it. Suzuki ain't nearly so smart as our oil heroes.

Most countries claim that they try to avoid killing civilians with bombers..
Like hell they do.
Civilians have been THE MAJOR targets for bombers at least since 1920 when Winston Churchill used them to bomb Kurd civilians. In the Korean war,    in Laos and Cambodia and Vietnam and Iraq, civilians were far the major sufferers from American bombing. It was quite deliberate.

Over the years, I have known a fair number of Israeli 'settlers' who stole Palestinian land at the point of gun. They all had a profound contempt for Palestinians to justify their thefts and murders. (it was rather like the Nazi contempt for Jews.) As a rule the Israeli government encourages them. Here is a rare case of it punishing the 'settlers'.\

Britain has tumbled a long, long way since 1945. The U.S. made sure of that. It effectively broke up much of the British and other Empires, and tried to take them for itself - but with mixed results. Today, the rule is that American presidents drop their trousers and bend over - and British prime ministers kiss their rear ends (a process that Trudeau is also going through.)

That's why prime minister Tony Blair was on board all the way with lies about Iraq. That's why Britain (and Canada) sent troops to Afghanistan. And that's why p.m. Theresa May is screaming to the world that Russia tried to kill a former spy. That's why the American puppet states in the UN and NATO (including Canada)  are taking up the cry.
This is about the man who is now probably the most powerful man in Washington. And it's not a story you are likely ever to find in the irving press.

I don't know how accurate this is. Parts of it, though, do suggest a more accurate picture of Putin than we are getting in our news media. And he has certainly played Trump into the ground.

A charming look at Trump.

I've been having a sometimes strongly worded debate with some clergy and lay people about the wimpy approach of the Christian churches to what is happening in the world. For a start, I don't understand how Christians can tolerate the behaviour of the U.S. in supplying weapons to Saudia Arabia to kill and or starve Yemeni civilians to death.

Yep. Jesus wants me for a sunbeam.

The U.S. condemned the U.S. for its criminal attack on Pearl Harbour. Americans were aroused, patriotic, angry, enraptured by love of country. They forgot the U.S. has been launching criminal attacks on others since it was born (including Canada - twice). The US and Britain hanged people for such war crimes - even though Britain had centuries of war crimes behind it. And the U.S. has criminally invaded and killed in 70 countries in just seventy years - but no trials.

My, we have selective perceptions of good and evil. When Naziis killed innocent people, they were hanged. When Americans kill innocent people,  they get medals - and even church blessings.

Ah, our good friends in Saudi Arabia are making kiss-kiss with Russia to encourage more oil sales.

Hey, here in New Brunswick, we know it's good to let the rich off paying taxes because then they make us rich. Yes. I know that's true because the irving press says so.

Monday, March 26, 2018

March 27: March Madness

Countries send killers into other countries to kill all the time. It's illegal. But it's seen as heroic when it's done by our side through a James Bond, or by American drones, or by the American agents in Pakistan who killed Osama Bin Laden. It's a common occurrence on all sides.

So why the fuss when British p.m. Theresa May accused Russia of trying kill a former Russian spy in Britain? Why has the western part of the UN risen in fury (Canada among them) and is hauling its diplomats out of Russia? Why have Trump and the U.S. jumped into leadership in this - after Trump had been lukewarm about it for some days? 

There's another oddity in this. Why is most of the western press accepting Prime Minister's May's version of the story? Why aren't we being told that there are authoritative people, including senior British chemists, who say that May was lying, that the chemical used is not only Russian, but available in many countries?

That information has appeared in the few, honest news media left in this world. May's only evidence is, she says, that the chemical agent used is one that is made only in Russia. Therefore, she accuses the Russian government.

But senior British government officials in the chemical industry and working for the government say it is NOT made only in Russia.

As well, there was no reason for the Russians to kill that agent. He was a low level Russian agent who had been found guilty by a Russian court of being a double agent, spying against both Britain and Russia, and was sentenced to 13 years. But the Russians let him go to settle in Britain.

If he was a  threat, why on earth would they let him go? And why on earth would the British accept him? And why would Russia be so dumb as to use a chemical that was made only in Russia? Why is the west being all stirred up about the sort of killing that it does every day?

And why are Trump and much of the UN buying this?

Well, consider this.  Since 1945, the U.S. has been openly trying to conquer the whole world. This is largely at the insistence of U.S. big business. That is the whole purpose of a high level group called 'Project For the New American Century.' That is the group that backed the illegal war on Iraq and the wars in Syria and Yemen. It has, in fact, directed American foreign policy since the presidency of George Bush jr.

But the project has not been going well. China, in particular, has been growing rapidly. The performance of the American military  has not been impressive since 1945. American big business, and western big business in general, needs a world war soon, probably within ten years at most.

That's why John Bolton was invited into the cabinet as a war lover - if a quite crazy one. That's why Trump, after a slow start, climbed on the bandwagon. That's why he did this just before scheduled talks with Russia and North Korea. (And that's almost certainly why Kim Jong un is now  holding secret meetings with Chinese leaders. And that's why the Chinese army is now conducting war manoeuvers). 

Our news media are spending a lot of time on Trump's sexual exploits. This sells papers and TV space. But it really doesn't matter much of a damn. This is a man who rules to please the billionaires, who has taken the U.S. to the brink of world war, who has done virtually nothing for the poor, who is squandering billions to please the rich.

For those who get a thrill out of sexual gossip, we have the mags at the supermarket checkout. And for a real thrill, we could have got it about the much-loved (in every sense) John F. Kennedy who would have made Trump look shy. This is intellectual garbage.

And, anyway, it hasn't hurt his Bible belt support.

That's very nice, Justin. But when are you actually going to do something to help the still living native peoples?

Here's a story that's two years old. But the eagle-eyed editors at irving press must have missed it.
Here's an analysis of Ukraine you won't find in most of the western news media.

Yes. The U.S. is arming Naziis.

It was almost fifty years ago that the CCF party, the party that brought medicare to Canada and that was aimed at providing essential services that Canadians were not getting, became the NDP, a party determined to be like the other ones that the CCF had been a rebellion against.

In doing so, most of the principles of the CCF were thrown aside, replaced by a (very) vague goodness of the NDP. The results have not been impressive. Indeed, in exchange for abandoning its principles, the party that used to be the CCF gained nothing whatever. Here's the latest sample.

If you want to be a party of change, you have to sell people on change. And you don't sell people on change by acting like liberals or conservatives.

We, all the world, is going to pay a very heavy price for the appointment of John Bolton to Trump's cabinet.

This one sounds extreme. It isn't. This is the reality.

And, for the people of New Brunswick (and for Christians all over the world), I would strongly recommend this section of the site.......

 "The worst thing is the deafening silence, the way everybody just looks away, pretends like “ain’t my business” or, worse, actually takes all this grotesque spectacle seriously.  What the fuck is wrong with you people?!  Have you all been turned into zombies?!  WAKE UP!!!!!!!"

In my daily experience, Jews have been the most socially involved, compassionate, intellectually involved people I have met.  (In all that, they were quite different from the Christian circles I had grown up with.) The first shock to this came as I met Israelis, survivors of the holocaust.  That experience had destroyed in them all the qualities I  had associated with Judaism. They were intensely self-interested, without compassion, scornful of arabs as being merely donkeys, brutal in their theft of arab land...  In his dreadful treatment of those Jews, Hitler had done enormous damage to all that was best in Judaism. It's important to understand that to understand the behaviour of Israeli governments. Their behaviour is no reflection of Judaism. It is the horror of the reaction to the horror of the holocaust.

Private companies are more efficient than government.  Yeah. That's why poor Americans die early for lack of medicine.

And that reminds me, could we get some news on what our own privatization of medicare costs us? The whole thing is run by a company that calls itself non--profit. Yeah. Rich people just love running non-profit businesses. And don't look for annual reports. The whole thing is run by twelve board members who don't have to report to anybody but themselves.


American treatment of Latin Americans has, for well over a century, been brutal and exploitive ---- and profitable for American (and Canadian) big business.

Isn't it wonderful the way Britain and the U.S. and France and Germany are coming together against Russia for (maybe) trying to kill a Russian spy in Britain. I mean, they would never, ever kill innocent people.

Think a Baptist minister in New Brunswick might write something like the following?  Dream on.

Can you imagine the western reaction if China were to send warships very provocatively to the edge of American, British or Australian waters?

The situation in Syria is a very complex (and dangerous one). The U.S. seems to be determined to renew the war. But that has some very serious implications for Russia, Iran, Israel and Turkey. The U.S. interventions in the middle east, especially since the invasion of Iraq, have created such a confusion that a world war based on that is possible and even likely. And nobody would win that one.

Oh, why has Trudeau brought Canada into the fray against Russia for its alleged attack on a Russian spy in Britain? Well, that goes way back. World War Two destroyed the British Empire. From the Boer War to World War Two, colonial Canada fought British wars. (Yes. I know Hitler was evil. I know he murdered millions of Jews. But neither of those is why Canada fought him. It fought in obedience to its British masters.) 

We now fight (from  Korea on) in obedience to our American masters. That's why Canada bombed Libya. That's why it sent aircraft and trainers to Syria. That's why it has troops near the Russian border. That's why we sent troops to Afghanistan.

And that's why we will declare war on Russia if Mr. Trump tells us to.
If any of the above items bother you, get a subscription to the irving press. It's stories are guaranteed not to waken or in any disturb the nervous reader. There's a heartening story about the people at Medavie who are giving 360 K to a mental healthy group. Isn't that sweet of them?

Medavie is a 'non-profit' private group. Oh, yes, it says so itself. And we know it must be true because it's run by a board of businessmen who say it is. (Actually, they don't issue any real reports. But if you can't believe businessmen, who can you believe? And, I believe, they have a tax haven. Gee! Why would they have a tax haven if they have no profits to tax?

Then there's a news commentary by Andrew Coyne, a man with a long record as a hack. (He used to write for National Post, a disgraceful propaganda front.) This time, he has a long attack on social media which he says creates fake news. Yes, Some of it does. So do the commercial media that Coyne writes for. They always have. They're owned by the wealthy, and they spread propaganda for the wealthy.

All of Coyne's column is a generalized attack with no specific examples. As well, he uses his attack to include people who say anything at all on their computers, even people who just write to a circle of friends on Facebook.  In short, he doesn't think anybody who isn't a paid reporter for the commercial media should be allowed to express an opinion. Mr. Coyne should open a dictionary at 'democracy'.

Canada and World news get six stories. A Montreal baby-sitter who abandoned a baby in a burning building was found guilty. Police in Washington arrested parents of a teen age girl for trying to force her into a marriage. A man's Canadian citizenship is in danger.

There. That should keep you informed. (There's no mention that Canada is supporting British premier May in her accusations against Russia. But who gives a damn?  Right?)

It's insane?  Y

Saturday, March 24, 2018

March 24: The Worst News I Have Ever Seen.

Today, I am suicidal. I have just spent hours writing half of the blog - and it suddenly has disappeared. Lately, this has been a problem at all three of my sites for the blog. Today's was just the worst of many. Now,  I can't even remember most of what I wrote about.  Damn, damn, damn.

Ah, well.... giddy up ol' hoss.

Two federal members of parliament and the national leader of the Green party have been arrested at an anti-pipeline demonstration in BC. (The ‘news as it happens and up to the minute’ of the irving press doesn’t have the story.)

The evidence that British P.M. May is lying in blaming Russia for the attempted murder of a former Russian spy now living in Britain is very, very strong. Her critics include former chiefs of Britain’s chemical weapons system. Scientists all over the world have said her charge is absurd. And even Trump has been surprisingly unwilling to jump on her bandwagon (though John Bolton will soon change that.)

But the European Union immediately accepted her version, and began anti-Russian actions. And Trudeau, kiss-kiss, has joined the lynch mob.

This has all the appearance of setting up a nuclear war. (The irving press, of course, hasn’t bothered to mention most of this.)

Here’s another story that wasn’t important enough for the irving press.

Gee. Who woulda guessed? We’ve been on a mad rush since 1945 to create an unequal word, madly throwing money at the super-wealthy, and paying for starving, abusing, plundering and murdering millions all over the world. We are living through one of the greediest periods in human history. And we are all paying for the greed of a very small part of our population. Where will this take us? To a financial crash, of course. And, just as in the dirty thirties, the very wealthy will lift only a teeny-tiny finger to help us – just enough to get praised in the news media they own for their Christian philanthropy.

This warning is very serious one. We are, every year, siphoning money from the middle class and the poor to feed the very, very, very rich. Use common sense. They are economically destroying their own market – the rest of us. And that can only lead to a crash.

The appointment of John Bolton to the Trump White House can mean only one thing. Trump has decided on war with either North Korea or Iran – possibly both. Either of these would almost certainly become a war with China and Russia – and it would be nuclear.

I wonder – Russia recently announced the development of a nuclear programme that would far outclass anything we have. Has Trump decided to start the war while Russia is still developing its stockpile of the new ones?

Not that it will matter in the end.

You don’t believe that the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are deliberately starving Yemeni civilians, including children, to death?

To relieve any doubts you still have, watch this next site while humming God Bless America.

Can you even imagine the greed and savagery of people who would inflict this on humans? And can you seriously believe they wouldn’t do it to you?

Oh, and say a prayer of thanks to our Justin Trudeau for allowing a Canadian company to supply armoured cars to kill the few who don’t starve. It makes me proud to be a Canadian.

No. It’s not communists or socialists who are exceeding even the worst of Hitler’s behaviour. It’s all our Christian capitalists.

And here’s a story about one of the biggest liars and killers of them all, British prime minister May.

The Guardian is still one of the best commercial news sources in the world. And it is the best in world of ghastly liars. But as an intelligent and honest source, it ranks well below Haaretz.

Forget about Palestine ever becoming a real state. There is no coherent Palestine in the region assigned to it in 1948s. There’s just a sprinkling of separated dots. All of the rest of that land was illegally stolen (with American support) by Israel. And you can be sure that Israel intends to round up the rest of the dots.


__________________________________________________________________________________This is just the lead of a story in Haaretz, but it gives an idea of the nazi treatment handed out by Israel to a people it regards as an inferior race.

A story you’ll (never) find in the irving press. No. But it gave over a half page to the opinions of our local oil baron who knows nothing about the subject.

The founders of the NDP destroyed a far, far better party – the CCF – in order to do it.

Despite rising poverty in the U.S., despite a lack of anything close to adequate social programmes, despite the starvation to collapse of public schooling, despite universities that only the wealthy can afford to attend, despite the lack of medical care for all but the richest Americans, and despite the fact that the American wealthy are allowed to go free every year with trillions of dollars that should be taxable – but aren’t – despite hunger and homelessness, Trump has announced a record 1.3 billion dollar budget that deals with none of these.

Half of it will go to billionaire weapons dealers so that Americans will be safe from vicious enemies like Venezuela and Yemen and Mexico - maybe even Puerto Rico. ( Well, the system is so crooked that much of it won’t even go for the weapons. It will simply slide into the pockets of the contractors and their political friends.)

Canadians can trust their politicians to do the right thing? Get real.

Mind you, the good side is that no journalist with the irving press will ever get into trouble for telling the truth.

The number of deaths in any war is usually under reported The American government commonly sets the deaths of Iraqis in Bush’s invasion at some hundred of thousands. Journalists commonly push that to a million. The author below sets it at 2.4 million. That kind of margin suggests that the real war deaths created by our side since 1945 are something like 40 million.

That should not be surprising. Millions, especially children, will die off the battlefield – and they don’t count. Huge numbers will die as refugees. And they don’t count. Some will take longer to die – and they don’t count.

And all of the wars of our time have been wars to enrich the already wealthy. Maybe capitalism doesn’t have to be murderous and savage and hate-driven. But those are the only qualities it has shown us.

Trump’s 1.3 billion dollar budget will allow him to provide billions for weapons for Israel, but not even a candy cane to relieve the misery of Palestine. In fact, it will be punishing Palestine for trying to help its own people.

In the war on Iraq, British and American leaders lied about Iraq’s ‘weapons of mass destruction’. They were quite deliberate lies. As a result, perhaps over 2 million men, women and children were murdered. Britain and the U.S. hanged Saddam Hussein for his evil. Nothing happened to our liars and killers

Bernie Sanders is the only credible, if tiny, voice of reason in American political life. It guess that’s why the irving press never mentions him.

The evidence, from very credible sources is piling up. British P.M. May was lying about the Russian role in an attack on a former Russian spy. And this is one hell of a lie, one that could lead to a nuclear war.

I guess that’s why the irving press has largely ignored the story.

And a whole month the irving press missed.

The final death blow to democracy.

And some not so cheery news for this blogger.

And some good news.

This has been a difficult day with the loss of several hours I had put into this blog only to see all I had written disappear. I still haven’t found it. I remember only one issue I had written about in that section. It’s about how greed and interference are destroying our universities.
About this time of year or a bit earlier, MacLean’s magazine presents its annual ratings of Canadian universities from the best to the worst. Like a good deal that appears in MacLean’s, it’s a crock. There is no significant difference in teaching at Canadian universities. They’re all bad.

The reality is that most professors in Canadian (and American and British, etc.) universities have no training whatever in teaching. Before I could teach grade seven, I had to do a year of teacher training at McGill. It wasn’t very good. But I did learn that there was a great deal to learn in order to teach. There’s a lot to know about how one deals with students, how one lays out a course, what one should emphasize. After six years of teaching elementary and high school, I learned to understand a great deal about what should be taught at various levels, precisely what it is that is important to learn, and what is the most effective way to teach it......

And in my years as an undergrad, MA and then PhD student, I found I had only professor who knew something about the levels, emphases, worthwhile aspects of teaching. Of all he professors I ever had over those years, he was the only one whose teaching I stilll remember. The other had no training at all in education and no interest in it – which is why I went through a BA, MA and PhD without learning much on the way.

I still remember a time of horror when I had a class on the poetry of Chaucer which we were supposed to learn by reading around the room in every class, just like grade one. The only thing I learned from that class is that ‘If yow leste’ means ‘If it is pleasing to you.’ You would be amazed at how little I have had any use for that insight.

Almost all my professors taught by rote learning. That is – they recited endless pages of notes covering huge areas; we memorized it for the exam. And we learned? Close to nothing. Most of the information learned that way is forgotten soon after the exam.

For history, a far better approach than memorizing everything from way back to now would have been to concentrate on narrow periods and issueswith the emphasis on learning how to understand and criticize what is read how to write about it in a logical manner.....

Many students fail university for the sheer boredom of it all.

So why don’t professor learn how to teach?

They don’t want to. What I learned in graduate school, much of it, was the arrogance of professors. They aren’t there to teach. They’re there to be admired, looked up to, idolized. The whole thrust of academia is to seek admiration as a superior person.

And many of them really don’t want to teach. There’s no prestige in it. When I was a department chair, and had to assign teaching loads, I had a professor who said, “Two courses? I can’t teach two courses.” (six hours a week.) “Why, if I had to do that, I’d have to live in Montreal.”

“Oh, where were you planning to live?”


Now, we’re seeing university education becoming punitively expensive Very few families have the spare 40,000 dollars or more (plus lodgings and food) it can take to go to university. And many families have two or three children in university. The cost is rising out of control. That’s what happens when your billionaires hide their tax money in foreign accounts.

The last great advance in education was the public school – a long, long time ago. But we live in a world that requires much more education. The university should now be an essential addition to public schooling. Indeed, the survival of a democracy depends on that.

Some countries have risen to the challenge. When I taught for a year at a university in The Netherlands, education was free. As well, students were paid a monthly allowance for food and lodgings. It’s free in Germany. Even a very poor country like Cuba offers free university education. That’s why today you can find Cuban doctors all over Latin America and Africa.

As well, for so long as we do not have free education for all we cannot be a society of equal opportunity. Nor can we produce an adequately informed voting public.

But our relatively rich country refuses to do what a poor Cuba does. And much of the reason they can’t is because our wealthy refuse to pay taxes. And now, another monster has raised its head.....

Universities are increasingly using students to teach. They’re called Tas or teaching assistants and, oh, they’re really really cheap at about $20 a lecture. And, increasingly, they are coming from students who don’t even have a first degree yet. That can work in some fields – like computer science, perhaps – but not many. They have no idea how to teach; they don’t know enough about a subject to teach it; and their immaturity can be bad news for everybody.

It gets worse. Because the universities can’t get enough money, they have to kiss up to the very wealthy in the hope of getting grants. And, oh my, they do grovel. (To read the Acadia University web page on this is embarassing for this alumnus.) The result is that the very wealthy, who know nothing whatever about education, have enormous power in the universities, and commonly use that power to promote their own interests, to plant a propaganda professor or two who will write nice things about the wealthy, etc.

(In the US, this is even worse.)

The result is universities that are extremely inefficient schools, and very much under the thumbs of the very wealthy.

This is one I’ve wanted to write for a long time.

Who were the best teachers I ever saw? Oh, kindergarten. Hands down.

And an end to this day of literary disaster.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

March 22: God and Plundering Empires.

Just before writing this, I was watching some political commentators and politicians discussing the world in general. One of them raised the issue that Trump has announced he is going to have talks, friendly ones, with Putin. Both the commentators and the politicians (Republican and Democrats) were dismayed by this.

I thought it was rather sensible, and the only route to go that will preserve us and our planet.  But what I listened to was journalists and politicians alarmed that Trump would talk to communists. "You can't trust them."  "They're evil."

Duh, well, actually, Russia isn't communist. In fact, it never was communist. Nor is China or North Korea. If fact, I don't know of any country in the world that has ever been communist.

Karl Marx's communism arose from a blend of traditional Christian and Judaic values. His intent was to create a society in which people would care for each other -  without dictators, without bosses, they would cooperate and they would share. And cooperating and sharing don't sound evil to me. Indeed, it sounds a whole lot better than capitalism.

Whether communism could ever work, I have no idea. With the possible exception, to some degree, of isolated groups like monks and nuns, its principles have never been tried. And I suspect we humans will have to become much , much more mature  (and much more knowledgeable about our own religious values) before it happens.

So I see no problem in Trump going to talk to Putin. That's the only way we shall ever survive this very non-communist world we have created.

Then the TV set had a lot of chatter about American exceptionalism and it's role in the world. Again, this is a concept that journalists and politicians talk about all the time without knowing what it means.

Roughly, it means that Americans have a special role in the world, and it was given to them by God. The British Empire was based on the same conceit. The British even have a song for it...

Land of Hope and Glory
Mother of the free,
How can we extol them
Who are born of thee?

Wider still and wider
Shall thy bounds be set.
God who made thee mighty
Make thee mightier yet...

Yes, it was God who ordained the British mass murder of Africans and Asians to plunder their land.

Yes, before there was an American exceptionalism, there was a British exceptionalism, and before that a Spanish one - and no doubt, way back, a Roman one. And all these exceptionalisms came from God, and gave those lucky people the right to murder millions and to plunder all over the world. For Americans, it provided the justification for the slaughter of native peoples to get their land,and for all the invasions, starting with Canada, since then.

At some point, probably a century and more ago, the U.S. increased its sense of working under God's will. The notion developed that Americans were God's Chosen People. (Tough luck for the Jews.) With that and with American exceptionalism, the U.S. has a right to ignore international law, to invade, to plunder, to nuke if necessary. That began with Latin America, Hawaii, and The Phillipines - and now spreads to the whole world.

Don't expect our journalists and politicians to catch on to this. They stuff us with nonsense like all the above, and that causes us to think in terms of images and prejudices and ignorances with little sense of reality - just like so many journalists and politicians think.

So Trump is going to talk to Putin? Good. I don't have a whole lot of hope for it. But it's much, much better than not talking.

On the climate change that we are told isn't happening.....

This is already happening in the U.S. As it gets worse, expect the U.S. to demand that Canada be a good neighbour and 'share' its water.

Paul Ehrlich is one of this world's most respected scientists. But what does he know? I'll put my faith in the editors of the irving press.


Here's a story with a history of years. But the 'up-to-the-minute breaking news' of the irving press has yet to mention it. Canada is selling weapons to Saudi Arabia though, by international agreement,  its human rights record requires us not to.
In another story the irving press hasn't noticed, Israel has stolen most of the land that the UN had assigned to Palestine in 1948. Palestinians have been kicked off the land, their houses stolen or destroyed. But, hey, that's what neighbours are for in the eyes of Israeli governments.
Canada needs a Bernie Sanders. Canada used to have a great many of him. But that was before the CCF became the NDP.

Now, we are governed by a   tiny aristocracy of the very, very wealthy who have no thought for anything but their own greed.

Here's an old story (1914) but it's still with us. Across Canada, 5 provinces subsidize private schools - though New Brunswick is not one of them: but the NB private schools want some of our tax money.

Think of that. In a province of much deep poverty, of homelessness, of hunger we should be handing out money  to parents who can afford public schools.
This is a minor story (though it intrigues me as a reformed smoker.) Movies used to, perhaps still do, feature people lighting up as part of a normal day. That was no accident. Tobacco companies paid them to do it to show that smoking was the normal thing to do. Fred Astaire films commonly showed him living in an apartment with a bar loaded with bottles. This was the comeback of breweries and distilleries after the age of prohibition. The same thing could also show up in the comics. About 1950, detective hero Dick Tracy bought a car - the most luxurious of the pricey Cadillac line. That tells me he was the best paid detective in history.
It is likely that most North Americans, on the basis of news we received, that it was quite right to invade Iraq and hang Saddam Hussein. And, certainly, nothing in the news we were given would disagree with that. And I have no doubt that Hussein was evil. But...

George Bush Jr., regular church-goer and admired Christian, is one hell of a lot more evil than Hussein was. Hussein never murdered one and a half million Iraqis, destroyed their country and created millions of refugees, many of whom would die in their flight  (and still are dying), or being stuffed in miserable and unhealthy concentration camps in Europe, and being denied shelter in the U.S.

While I'm on this, I have to admit I have neglected off-guardian. To catch up on  its range of stories, google
The British prime minister has recently tried to push the world into what would almost certainly be a nuclear war over the attempted murder of a Russian agent in Britain. She says Russia did it. She said that within minutes of hearing about it. Most UN members leaped to their feet to applaud. So did U.S. politicians - with the curious reluctance of Donald Trump.

So here's a story that the irving press will never run.

Here's another one that hasn't made the "up-to-the-minute breaking news as it happens" irving press.

And another.

What follows is not an exaggeration. I wish it were.

One of the groups listed is Bilderberg, an organization dedicated to plundering the world to enrich a tiny number of billionaires. New Brunswickers may remember that a former and much loved premier of this province was invited to attended its conferences - and did so. Kiss. Kiss.

A story of heroes and medals.

Israel has a nuclear arsenal. It got it illegally. But, hey, live and let live. Right?

Another story that didn't make  the irving press.

In the eyes of our commercial news media,  people like me are enemies of the nation. Not quite true. We are enemies of the people who own our commercial news media, and of the flunkies who serve them.

The usual line in our news media is that Saddat of Syria is evil, cruel, etc. He may well be. I have no special information on this. But let's be real. A great many heads of state around the world are and always have been evil and cruel. For a start, one could list almost every U.S. president since 1945. (And quite a few before that.)

But the more important statistic is the obvious one that Saddat has the support of most of the Syrian people. That's how ISIS, despite lots of help and money and weapons from the U.S., has been defeated.

The U.S. economy has come to depend, as president Eisenhower warned, dependent on military spending. It has driven itself into unpayable debt, ever pushing for far the highest (and perhaps most corrupt) defence spending in the world. And it's made worse because most of that money goes to multi-millionaires who hide it to avoid paying any tax on it.

That is quite likely to lead to a crash. And the usual way out of a crash is to pick a war.

Western reporting on the British accusation that Russia had tried to kill a 'retired' Russian spy in Britain has been abysmal. What is very intriguing is that, though Tillerson wanted a war, Trump is the one who had the common sense to play it soft.

In sum, we are living in a world in which the wealthy control governments, and run them to benefit only themselves. The proportion of wealth they hold is rapidly increasing as, while they hide trillions, they force billions all over the world to live on minimum wage or, often, on nothing at all. Common sense should tell them this will create chaos all over the world and,  ultimately, economic collapse. It already is causing starvation, lack of health care, lack of education for a good 40% of the population in the U.S. - the worst record in the developed world. And it's getting worse.

Despite all the propaganda and groupthink that keeps the mob silent, we are very likely to see extreme discontent in the US, a discontent for which the only leader to emerge so far is Bernie Sanders - and for which there is not political structure whatever. And that could lead to extreme violence rather than any cures.

All over the world, capitalism is destroying itself and, as it falls, is preventing any peaceful change.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

March 20: Problems on my computer?

I am experiencing great and strange problems in preparing this blog. Neither of my word systems will allow me to write what I want to. (Of course, I know nobody would dream of interfering with my computer, not in New Brunswick.) I shall keep my fingers crossed, and hope I can get through this.

The following item is part of a series from the CBC. Huge areas of the world are running out of water.

The U.S. is already arguing that Canada, as a good neighbour, should be happy to divert its water to the U.S. Well, if we won’t be a good neighbour, the U.S. will attempt to annex us.

Meanwhile, Vancouver is the first Canadian city to be threatened by drought which is caused by climate change. (Of course, that’s not happening. We know that because if it were, the irving press would tell us.)

The British prime minister announced immediately after it happened that a Russian living in Britain had been the victim of an attempted assassination by the Russian government, and we could tell from the drug that was used. British authorities in that field say she was lying. We are being pushed to the edge of war, probably a nuclear war, based on lies circulated by the British and American governments. And the proof that these are lies is coming from leading British experts in the field.

It is no longer possible to conduct foreign affairs in the way we have done so for many thousands of years. The method we use is bullying and threatening. It’s not just Trump. It’s always been the method of the American, British, Spanish, French, Roman armies, and even of the savage hordes. It was never good because it produced losers on at least one side. It also distorts our thinking because we are duped into believing the people we are dealing with are evil and vicious. (And not like us who murder them by the millions.) It cannot be done any more.

We should have realized that a century ago after the slaughter of World War 1. We didn’t. And that’s what produced Hitler and World War 2. And it has produced the 70 years of mass murder we have lived through since then.

We could get away with it (accepting the horrors of slaughtering millions). But Hiroshima and Nagasaki changed that. From that time, bullying and threatening meant that someday we would all be destroyed. And we have made that horror even worse with the multiplication of nuclear weapons and with the tremendous increase in their destructiveness since. So long as they exist, it is certain that they will destroy us – all of us.

Governments realized that in 1945, and promised to create a new system of diplomacy, of which the UN was a starting device. But the promises were lies. From the start of the UN, the U.S. was able to use it as a device for its own bullying and threatening. In that, it had the regular support of a Britain, a declining state which now has to kiss up to the U.S. It’s now very, very late. But we must try – for our children and for theirs (if they are to have any.) There is no point in screaming that the other side is evil. (Anyway, when it comes to evil, nobody takes second place to us.)

Why have we stuck to this suicidal formula? Don’t waste your time on our politicians. Most of them are only flunkies. The real villains are the people who control the politicians – usually, but not always -the wealthiest of our capitalists.

We have to realize this. Capitalism is in no sense a cooperative system. It’s based on competition, and it flowers in a competition that leads the richest to destroy everybody else. Capitalism exists to satisfy only its own greed. Nothing else. In fact, it is not so much an economic system as it is an obsession, an unlimited obsession for wealth beyond the power of ever spending it. And that is its only goal.

It does not exist to shower wealth on us. Indeed, it hides its wealth so that we cannot collect the taxes from it. The Canadian people have not become wealthy because of the bounty of our capitalists. Indeed, they steal our national wealth and hide it, giving us as little as can be given. That’s why all over the world, major capitalists are keeping an ever increasing pile of the world’s gold while our share becomes miniscule. Their only concern is their own greed. That’s why we have a world in which uncountable millions suffer hunger, even starvation, and disease. And, even in the more prosperous world, we cannot provide all the services people need. That’s why the world has tens of millions of homeless. That’s why our hospitals are undersized, underequipped and understaffed. That’s why so many of our children cannot possibly afford to get a full education. That’s why whole nations are being starved to death. That’s why so much of our tax money has to go to producing weapons that make bosses wealthy but do no good for the rest of the world.

So you seriously think the U.S. killed over one and a half million Iraqis because Saddam was evil? Do you really think Trump and all the other western leaders are good and pure of heart? Do you really think we should nuke North Korea?

This cannot be continued without destroying all of us, including our super wealthy whose intelligence is exceeded by their greed. And the time could be as short as tomorrow. And it’s going to be difficult because so many voters have no sense of political alternatives. Instead, our politicians and news media lull them into a stupor of myths and delusions that they think the world is about. (In the U.S., the stupor is really appalling as neither the Democrats nor the Republicans should exist in a sober world. And in Canada, the limpness of the Greens and the NDP is not helping.)

We need a radical change from the old threatening and blustering. We need top level discussion and cooperation and we need them NOW. Capitalism has been a monstrously destructive force. As well, it is a force that is anti any religion I have ever heard of. It is an ultimate greed combined with an utter indifference to human suffering and needs. And, its certain consequence is ultimate stupidity. (You don’t think it exemplifies stupidity? Then consider all the wealthy who are scrambling to build nuclear shelters. After such a war, what on earth will they come up to? What will they eat? How will they survive?)

You don’t think so? Then tell me how a nuclear war with ten thousand nuclear bombs will make this a better world.

It’s not just Trump. In the U.S. and, in fact, all the world, most people have no sense whatever of what the choices are. Most people really don’t think, first because they are not encouraged to, and also because it’s so much easier to believe prejudice and slogans.

Capitalism can work, I am sure. But like all human plans it needs controls and supervision. We have thrown those controls away, and we have opened our lives and our homes and our families to the vultures..
(A note to New Brunswickers. Ever wonder why the children of this province don’t do well in their reading scores? It has a lot to do with why their parents don’t discuss, don’t think, don’t read.... I understand that well because I grew up in a Montreal district just like that. By any standard, this is a remarkably somnolent province. And every generation has paid a price for that. And the irving press encourages that.)
Despite the editorials and commentaries in the irving press, the wealthy of New Brunswick do NOT make us wealthy. They exist only to make themselves wealthy – and often at our cost. That’s why New Brunswick, which cannot staff its hospitals or house its homeless spends almost three million dollars a year to spray our forests, our animals, and us with poison chemicals. Here’s a fuller story....

Media release:

Taxpayers fork over $2.7 million for spraying program

New Brunswick residents are paying private forestry corporations more than ever to apply herbicides on public lands.
Documents obtained by Stop Spraying New Brunswick through the right to information process show that in 2015, the government spent $2.3 million to subsidize herbicide application on public land, with an additional $419,498 spent on spraying private lands.
In 2016 the costs were about the same, with $2.29 million spent to spray public land, with a program total of $2.77 million
Last year, the total subsidy increased to $2.86 million.
The increased costs make no sense, given the public demands to end the practice of herbicide spraying,” said Vern Faulkner, the communcations director for Stop Spraying New Brunswick. “This taxpayer subsidy is one of the many reasons more and more people each day call for an
end to herbicide spraying.”
In 2017, some 15,841 hectares of public land were sprayed with herbicides despite a petition from more than 35,000 residents calling for an end to this practice.
Glyphosate – the main ingredient in the herbicides applied to Crown land – has been scientifically linked to reproductive defects, liver issues, cancers and a wide array of other health concerns. Further, it has been shown to cause long-term damage to aquatic species and insects, including pollinators like bees. Many in the province also believe the spraying program is part of a larger mismanagement of forests that has led to diminished deer populations.
Herbicides are applied to Crown lands to eliminate hardwood species that forestry companies do not consider valuable, despite business cases showing that harvest of maple and birch products could take place with benefit to the economy.
The government is not only ignoring calls to end spraying, it is spending more each year to have a dangerous chemical applied to our forests. It’s a slap in the face to the thousands of citizens who have asked their government to do the right thing,” said Faulkner.
Representatives of SSNB will be on hand at the Moncton Sportsman’s Show at the Moncton Coliseum. Friday to Sunday

The president of the World Bank has warned the world that climate change is on us, and that we need to act fast. But I don't believe that for a minute. Mr. Irving who owns our newspapers and most of the rest of the province says it's no sweat . And he'd know. (Perhaps we could have a column about Mr. Irving's scientific studies.)

Stephen Hawking, perhaps the greatest scientist of our time, would not even have survived if he had been born in  the U.S. and under its health system. There, survival is only for rich - even the greediest, dumbest rich. And, if the wealthy of Canada had their way, we too would have the 'mostly for profit' U.S. system.

Here's a story that New Brunswick papers didn't have - despite the fact that Nova Scotia is just next door.


The U.S. is starving millions of innocent people to death in Yemen. The story has yet to make the pages of the irving press.
Almost all of our news media lie. They do it deliberately.

The American empire and the U.S. itself is in serious decline. But don't blame it all on Trump. This has been developing for a century and more. The U.S. (and the rest of us) did nothing after 1945 to indicate we were going to make this a better world. Quite the contrary. For the U.S.,  the thrust was to create world dominance, the ultimate empire of the whole world.

And in more than seventy years, it hasn't been able to do it. For all the efforts of lying news media, for all its expenditure on weapons, it has not been able to conquer the world. It can't even make the U.S., itself, a place of equality and security.

Our news media sometimes tell the truth. It just doesn't happen often.
War is not just about heroes and glory and patriotism. (In fact, it usually isn't about any of those.)

We have utterly destroyed the middle east. It began with Lawrence of Arabia and greedy British capitalists, and has been carried on by American capitalists who stabbed the British ones in the back. (But the British capitalists, in no position to get tough, have had to smile and kiss the rear ends of their American brethren.)
After a century of killings, of poverty, of hunger, of producing millions of refugees,  the middle east may well be first in line for a nuclear war.

I had been using al jazeera as a source. With the influence of CBC on it, I thought it would be honest. But I'm lately disappointed with it. Of course, even a network founded on government ownership is vulnerable. Our own CBC has to watch out for government cuts if it tells too much truth.

Surprisingly, the evil Russian RT often tells truth we don't get in our papers. This story, of a young, Palestinian woman in an Israeli prison is being denied a public trial does make some of our papers but, usually with the sweetener that it's for  her own good. (and that's absurd.)

And do any readers find this offensive?
And for this next one, it's true. Hollwood has, from early days, worked as a propaganda front for the U.S. military. And the Canadian military have done the same with whatever Canadian agencies are available. Visit the Canadian War Museum - which give very little sense of what war is like or is about.

Ever since the destruction by last year's hurricanes,  most Puerto Ricans have lived in fear and hunger and misery as Trump has left it to the very wealthy and to American capitalists to get rich at the expense of most of the population of that American colony.

It's an excellent example of the indifference of the very wealthy and their capitalism to human suffering. All they see is a chance to enrich themselves.

The US is a country absolutely indifferent to human needs -   unless those humans are billionaires who want handouts from the government. And that's a big reason why it's a nation in decline.

The item below is typical of most of our news media, and how they bend over to kiss the rear ends of the wealthy and powerful.
I'm not sure I entirely agree with this next item - but it's quite possible.

We're going to hear lots more lies about chemical poisons. Those lies are a great way to spread hysteria and support war - a big one.
Warning to readers. This final section is a critical look at today's ghastly (like every day) edition of the irving press - a disgraceful sight even by this world's common 'standards' of journalism. - But the majority, by far, of readers of this blog, are to be found outside New Brunswick. So it many not interest all.

Pages one and two are reasonable. They are about a local veteran who wants better treatment of military victims of  mental illness. Page 3 is half about irrelevant stories from the courthouse. There's also a story that one of the irving papers has been nominated for two journalism awards. Big deal. Most papers get nominated. The trick is to win. Anyway, this was the only irving paper to get even nominated

Then there's a big story - get this -"Business groups join forces to set New Brunswick economic opportunities."

Actually, we already have people whose right it is to set economic priorities. They're called voters. The idea that business groups have a right to set them is an idea set by a president of Europe in the 1930s and 40s. His name was Benito Mussolini, and the concept that he developed of business role in government is called 'Fascism'.  And, indeed, it had similarities to what Hitler called 'Nazism'. How soon we forget!

This has happened before in New Brunswick. It was about ten years ago that Mr. Irving announced he was going to plan our economic future; And he set up province-wide groups of business leaders and university presidents and other kiss-ups to decide what, in a democracy, is the right of the voters to decide.

The business leaders have the expected recommendations - the debt load is too high, for example. Of course, it's high. But that's because the very wealthy don't pay taxes, and the wealthy also get lots of free handouts of our money. But the irving press never tells us that.

Another 'key' area was to 'help' our business leaders to improve their exports. How?  Give them even more money from our pockets.

The paper's commentators make no comment on this. Of course not. Check all the columns and cartoons in the history of these papers. You won't find a single example of it ever criticizing the wealthy or business.

This is a self-serving committee of the rich, and it's notable that they do not make a single mention of what should be done to benefit the rest of us.

Then we have two columnists who write for propaganda houses - The Frontier Centre for Public Policy, and the CEO of Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce who is, God help us, a regular commentator in this paper. (Gee? No regular column for a union leader? For Education? For social services?)

Norbert Cunningham is critical - as a columnist should be. But his eternal and only target is the government. Never, never, never big business or the wealthy. He says the government has no plan. In the years of reading this column, I can assure you that Norbert has no plan either. And I don't see any sign that the opposition conservatives have one.

Then we get to Canada and World news. And this section makes the rest of the paper look (almost) professional.

It has four news stories. (It also has four news briefs. But these are too short to tell us anything.) Of the four, real news stories, three are about New Brunswick ( and tell us little). The fourth is about marijuana sales - in Canada. None of them is worth reading. There is not a single story about a world that is teetering on the edge of nuclear war. Not a word about the wars currently on in this world.

And that, with a dreary comics page, is about it.

The irving papers are run on the cheap. They also reflect their role as propaganda sheets - mentioning the wealthy only in praise, and largely ignoring the obvious criticisms to be made of this province. It's designed to keep the people of this province in a stupor, unaware of the realities around them, and unable to make intelligent voting choices because they simply have no information.

Editors and columnists and reporters who work for such a paper should be ashamed for their betrayal of journalistic principle. But, alas, around the western world, at least, this is common in journalism. The irving press is probably the worse I have ever seen. But it is really just another of the hounds in a miserable pack.