My apologies for being late with this. The last two days in my home have been days of computer chaos - now, I hope, behind me.
The story above did NOT appear in the irving press - or in most of the western press. (I know. I know, it comes from the evil Russian press. But British scientists have been saying the same thing for quite a while - and even the British government now admits it's original charge was, to say the least, overdone.)
The reactions to the attempted killing of a former Russian spy living in Britain remain strange - even without the story above.
There is nothing unusual about any country killing somebody in another country, and doing it illegally. It happens every day. Britain and the U.S., for example, illegally invaded Iraq and killed what is now estimated at over 2 million people. They also illegally invaded Afghanistan, killing a number of people we will never know. (Afghanistan had been quite willing to hand over people to an international court - which was the proper, legal thing to do. But Britain and the U.S. refused that. For their own reasons, they wanted an invasion.) The American attack that killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan was illegal. (Yes, I know Osama was not nice. It's still illegal to invade a country to kill anybody. The correct procedure is to demand that the country hand him to an international court.) The U.S. has used other attacks to kill presidents in Latin America - one thinks of the case of Chile, for example. It also made many attempts to kill Fidel Castro. Those were all illegal. It uses drones every day to murder people all over the world. That's illegal.
So why the excitement over a very minor Russian spy in Britain? Why the drama of cutting diplomatic relations? Why are the news media in such a flutter over a very minor affair? And why are they pushing the British version of the affair?
The moral outrage of the British government is obviously fake. (And the moral outrage of a U.S. that has illegally killed tens of millions since 1945, and is now starving millions to death (largely unreported) in Yemen makes no sense at all.
And the outrage of Justin Trudeau? Canada has illegally bombed Libya. It has illegally sent troops to Syria. It was involved in the illegal killing of Afghanis.
Canada cooperated in the torture of prisoners taken by the U.S. Canada knew all about the U.S. and Guatemalan mass murder of the Maya people and the death of a Canadian missionary. And we didn't lift a finger.
It'a little late for Canadians (or Justin) to flaunt their virginity.
So why all this fuss about the (very unproven) story that Russia attempted to kill a very minor Russian spy in Britain.
There seems only one possibility. The British government, with encouragement from elements in the U.S. but not necessarily from Trump, wants a war with Russia. And western Europe is willing to fall into line.
Well, for a start, Britain is a much, much faded world power, both militarily and economically. There are those who would see such a war as a possible solution.
There are those in the U.S. who fear the same fate for their country. And we're looking here at a time frame of only a decade or so.
The Asians are now the class act for economic growth with North America substantially lower and western Europe lower still. Trump does not seem to be willing counter this with force - which may explain why John Bolton suddenly appeared as a major and warlike figure in the Trump cabinet. (He may not have been a Trump choice. Trump has been notably silent about the attempt to kill a spy in Britain, has recently been friendly to Putin, and, perhaps, to Kim Jong un.
It may well be that the bigger billionaires are the ones calling the shots in the U.S.)
And another factor may be in play. The U.S. western Europe, and Canada have for many years been encouraging the plundering of their own countries - especially the U.S.
They have been permitting the very wealthy to avoid paying taxes. The cost of that to the world is trillions of dollars. And we shall never see that money again. This has been the greatest plundering of nations in history. The effect of that is very noticeable in the U.S.
Annual deficits in government spending are forced on the American people every year. Lacking the taxes they should be getting, American governments are borrowing at a tremendous rate. It is, therefore, not possible in the U.S. to provide anything more than a third rate public education. It is not possible to provide anything close to fundamental health care. It is not possible provide even the most basic help for the elderly, the poor, the homeless.
And almost all the borrowed money ends up in the pockets of the very wealthy who own the stunningly corrupt field of military spending. They need wars to justify their contracts. (And, as always in history, poor and the middle class also have to fight the wars. The wealthy, like George Bush Jr., do their 'service' in the home guard.)
In short, the very wealthy are looting countries, and at an increasing pace in the last 50 years. That is money we aren't going to see again. Not ever. And, inevitably, that will lead to a crash.
The wealthy don't give a damn about creating jobs. If it were possible, they would do away with employees altogether, except for their multi-million dollar executives. Capitalism is not a movement for social improvement or brotherly love. It exists only for personal greed. (That might be a good sermon for the Irving Chapel this summer.)
If we fall for this 'attempted murder of a Russian spy in Britain' game, it may well be the biggest - and last - thing we ever fall for.
Isn't it nice that our oil industry bosses are so much smarter than all the world's leading scientists? That way we don't have pay any attention to these silly billy stories about climate change.
Just to make the point even clearer, maybe the irving press could give us a list of the academic credentials of all the world's oil billionaires. They must be real, real smart.
Here’s nice change to start the day – a prison that doesn’t need guards, one that actually de-criminalizes people and equips them to live in a new world. For some years, I visited prisoners in Canadian prisons – and I saw nothing like this at all. Very, very few criminals are made honest by their Canadian prison experience.
Commentators who write for the irving press are forever telling us how private business, capitalism, is better at doing things than government is. In fact, there’s a column by one of those twits in today’s paper, “Capitalism, not big government, improves the environment”.
Right. Just look at how our oil barons are working to improve the environment.
In fact, capitalism is and always has been a monstrously destructive force. A prime example is the mining industry which daily destroys lives all over the world. The ultimate horror show for that is Congo, where capitalists, including eminent Canadians, have been starving, torturing and murdering people for almost a hundred and fifty years. (Curiously, we send missionaries to convert the people of Congo, the victims of this horror. shouldn’t we be sending them to convert the capitalists?)
The horror still goes on in Congo. Take a good look at the man in this picture in the story.
The irving press, by the way, also has a big column on selling more fossil fuel from Canada. Yes. It’s good for us. (Actually, it takes more jobs than it gives. On balance it costs us money because the wealthy who own the fuel pipelines don’t pay taxes – and that money promptly goes out of Canada and into a hidden bank account.
The column on selling more fuel comes, of course, from one of the propaganda houses of the very rich – the Fraser Institute. People who work at the Irving press much have no shame at all.
The standard opinion of the irving press is that capitalism creates jobs and makes us prosperous. Oh? So how come after all these years of job creation, New Brunswick is still one of the poorest parts of Canada?
Oh, and in a world on the edge of nuclear war as well as terminal environmental destruction, the big, big story in in irving press World News is that a man, many years ago, brought a lot of pizzas to a Vancouver hotel, and spread them out to an open window to cool them. But that drew a horde of sea gulls who trashed the room. The man was ‘forever’ barred from the hotel. But it recently lifted the ban.
Because the oil industry likes Venezuela to be in economic crisis. It wants to return to the good old days when Venezuela was under the thumbs of American and Canadian billionaires who wanted put an end to the evil days in which Venezuelan governments tried to help all Venezuelans, not just the rich ones.
And now our Justin has joined in kissing the rear ends of the billionaires. Gee! You'd think the irving press would be proud of that, and have a big story about it.
You weren't impressed by the Russia Times story that the British government lied about having evidence that the Russians were the ones who poisoned a Russian spy in Britain? Well, The Guardian says so too.
But not to worry. You'll never see this in the irving press.
And so the insanity goes on. In all the wars the west has fought for many centuries, the cause has been the greed of the very, very wealthy. They are never reported in that way, of course.
But World War One was not started by Germany. Nor were Germans particularly evil - as our news media said from the start. The war happened because a rising German industry threatened to outclass British and French industries. That's why Canadians died.
World War Two? Well, Germany had become pretty evil. But Britain, France and the U.S. couldn't have cared less about that. Indeed, capitalists in the western world rather liked Hitler because he was the obstacle to a communist Soviet Union. Yes, he killed Jews. But the reality is that most western capitalists had no objection to killing Jews. So that had nothing to do with going to war. Nor did the west care about Hitler killing democracy. Western leaders had been killing democracy for centuries.
No. Wars were and are fought for private profit.
We just pay for them. And our sons and daughters do the dying.
And here's an American general who feels the same way.
In the U.S., as in Canada, the cost of university is a challenge for middle class families - and it's a horror for the working class. There are countries in which the poor are really equal and have a chance at education. But Canada and the U.S. feel that it's more important to let the wealthy hide their tax money in secret bank accounts.
I wouldn't worry about the following story. If there were any problem of climate change causing Antarctic ice to melt, I'm sure the irving press would tell us, and I'm sure Mr. Irving would stop selling gas.
I'm going to end today's blog here because I soon have to start another one for tomorrow - and between now and tomorrow, I'd really like to have a life. Accordingly, I have not corrected my spelling.