Saturday, May 19, 2018

May 19:not a day of optimism

The purpose of a commentary page in a newspaper is to offer informed analysis of the news. What does all this news really mean? You really can't tell just from the bare story.  But any such analysis raises the risk of bias. So a good commentary page editor will keep out commentaries that are unduly influenced by bias - and look for commentaries by people who are well-informed, and are not obvious propagandists.

And that takes us to today's commentary page in the irving press. As a stinker, it's the usual collector's item for these newspaper.

The lead commentary is by the premier of New Brunswick. It's an ad for himself in the election that is approaching. And such an ad has nothing to do with informed and impartial analysis of anything.

Then there's a real gem by somebody named Jason Limongelll who is impartial in the eyes of irving editors because he's vice-president of Woodlands for J.D. Irving Ltd.  And this little gem of analysis concerns a CBC report that his forestry buddies may have been a factor in the recent flooding of the Saint John River Valley.

He tells us at length that his company follows all the rules, so no blame can rest on it. Unfortunately, this overlooks a major point in the analysis. Are the rules adequate? I'm sure that the irvings follow all the rules in spraying glyphosates on our forests (and wildlife and us); but New Brunswick has a pretty limp history of setting rules the irvings don't want.

This column is a stinker. It's not an analysis of anything. This is simply, like the rest of the irving press, company propaganda. But the closing sentence is a collector's item.

It comes after a paragraph about all the wonderful things that JDIrving is doing for the people who are suffering from the flooding. It concludes,

"We do this because this is home and these are our neighbours."

A-a-a-a-w, isn't that sweet? I really must drop in for a neighbourly coffee with the Irvings.

Well, at least this time we aren't hit with another 'commentary' from the usual  irving propaganda houses like Atlantic Institute of Market Studies or the Fraser Insistute.


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The following story cannot be true. It it were, Mr. Irving would have told us. Once again, he has a keener insight than all of the world's scientists put together.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/17/climate-change-on-track-to-cause-major-insect-wipeout-scientists-warn
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American Christians rally for Israel.

https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/what-happens-when-pro-trump-christians-weaponize-the-bible-1.6097388

Well, in fairness, most Canadian Christians probably don't really give a damn one way or the other.
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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/19/china-says-air-force-lands-bombers-on-south-china-sea-islands

This story, like most world news, wasn't important enough to make the irving press. But it is important. The U.S. has been increasing interference with North Korea and with waters claimed by China.  (The U.S. is allowed to  have bases wherever it like all over the world. China isn't.) This is a warning from China to back off.

We are very, very close.....
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Here's a story the irving press did carry. But that, I suspect, was because the victim grew up in New Brunswick.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/17/canadian-doctor-wounded-gaza-israel-palestinians-gaza
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For Canada to send troops to Afghanistan at the request of the U.S. was morally and legally wrong. Under international law, we had no right to send those troops. And it was immoral because we sent Canadians to kill and to die in a war that had nothing to do with Canada.

The Canadian Legion should have been the first and loudest to condemn this. Alas, The Canadian Legion, which should see itself as the defenders of those in our armed forces, usually sees itself as the providers of killers  (and victims) for billionaires.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/18/britain-young-afghanistan-trump-demands-defence-policy
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Much of the world is heading into fascism - and much of it is already there. And the answer is not in giving the rich even more free passes from paying taxes.

http://lfpress.com/opinion/columnists/dyer-universal-income-can-fix-our-broken-democracy
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Contrary according to the gospel of the editors and 'commentators' at Irving press, the rich do not create jobs and wealth for us all. The purpose, the only purpose, of the big capitalist is to create wealth for himself. It's we, the purchasers, who create those jobs by buying what they produce. Capitalism does not exist to put money into a society. It exists to take it out in profits. 

People know they're being abused in this process. But they don't know the cause of it. Result? We get puppet rulers like the Liberals and Conservatives. We get frustrated. We get angry. But we don't see the cause of our problem.

That's what lies behind the rise of what are called populists - like Donald Trump, like Doug Ford in Ontario, like the government of France,..... And what those populists ultimately do is to take us back to fascism and naziism.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/05/18/sanders-slams-us-inequality-report-finds-nearly-half-americans-cant-afford-basic

Most Canadians would be lost without medicare, without free and public education, without at least a minimum wage, without at least a basic pension. And note that none of those was brought to us by big business. Indeed, big capitalists are more noted for trying to put an end to all those.

Anyway, put aside your 'populist' vote. Instead, put heat on the third parties to get tougher.
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Here's a statement by The Pope that the irving press will never report. Alas! The leaders of our Christian churches aren't likely to report it either.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/05/18/pope-bashes-global-financial-system-blasting-ticking-time-bomb-derivatives-rampant
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The U.S. has imposed trade sanctions on both Russia and Iran because...well, because... The U.S. is the only country in the world that is allowed to do that. And if they break the trade sanctions, the U.S. assumes the right to bomb, sink freighters and do other, Christian things. The U.S. has assumed the right to rule the world.

And NATO and the Europeans in general are drawing the line against U.S. arrogance.

But cheer up. I think they'll back off this time.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/05/19/eu-and-iran-will-attempt-salvage-nuclear-deal-following-trumps-breach-agreement
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So the CIA, whose job consists largely of murdering people all over the world, destroying governments, slaughtering native peoples as it organized in Guatemala, has a torturer and a murderer for its new chief. And she's a real sweetheart. Here's the sort of thing she organized.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49458.htm

God Bless America.
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The U.S. many years ago gave itself the right to murder people in foreign countries. That's why, in countries all over the world, people look up at the skies in fear for the robot bombers that attack at random - critics of the U.S., children going to school, wedding parties...they're all fair game for the U.S. But don't ever expect to read about it in the irving press.

https://countercurrents.org/2018/05/19/26787/
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It is possible, even likely,  that Trump will ask Canada for troops to invade Venezuela.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article201159.html
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The great crisis for the world is getting close. Trump is trying to push China and Russia into a corner. Both Russia and China are avoiding any aggressiveness. But they aren't really backing off. However, don't blame Trump for this crisis.

Yes, Trump is an ass. But he's not the cause of the problem. The cause, and one that affects all of us, is greed. That has turned loose wars all over the world. That is what has created a hundred million or more refugees. It is the same sort of greed that marked the Spanish empire in Latin America, the French Empire in Africa and Indo-China, and the British Empire over much of the world. Now, it is the greed of big capitalism in the U.S. that demands the right to rule  (and impoverish and torture and kill ordinary people all over the world - including those in the U.S. and Canada.)

That's why the U.S. happily helped to break down the older empires after World War 2, while building its own. But don't blame Trump. This goes way back before him. It goes back in the history of a nation whose children are taught in school that they are a nation favoured by God (as British and French children were taught in their schools.)

It goes back in the history of a nation whose children have not been taught that the capitalists of their nation abused them terribly - with a period of slight relief from 1939 to  the1970s or so, but then a descent back to the old days of mass poverty. Since then, the nation's wealth has been pumped into the pockets of a very small number of capitalists. (The three wealthiest families in the U.S. now have at least as much money as 100 million American families at a lower level. And it's getting worse.)

Pure greed is running wild in the U.S. (and much more in Canada than we like to think). Big taxes are imposed on the leading capitalists. But they don't have to pay them. It's the minimum wage people who have to pay taxes. The very, very wealthy of Canada and the U.S. bleed us dry.

In the U.S., the return to savagery in the form of the selling off of the prison system to capitalists who do nothing for the prisoners but make them cheap labour. Medical care for most Americans is out of the question. Instead of putting money into the public schools, The U.S. gives schools to billionaires for their own profit, a system that is a serious drain on the whole middle class, and a colossal disaster for the public schools, most of whose students will be disadvantaged for life. (Canada does the same thing with its university system. We have to put university beyond the reach of most children so that billionaires won't have to pay taxes.)

Social aids have been cut drastically in the U.S., raising poverty levels for all except those who can afford to live in Trump Tower.

Canada is drifting into the same position. Here in New Brunswick, the very rich are eager to feed on the medical system and the school system - oh and on energy. Canadian and American billionaires are equal opportunity buzzards that soar over both countries.

Where will this take us? Well, if our leaders allow us to live long enough, it will take all of us to economic disaster. But cheer up. It is quite possible their greed will first take us into the final war. And their editors will tell us how happy we are.

The U.S., without quite understanding why, is a confused, directionless, valueless mass of people whose history is largely mythical, and who have lost any sense of right and wrong, and any sense of purpose. Thus the rise to power of a Donald Trump and a John Bolton who play to people's fears and ignorance.

In the face of this massive greed, the people are quite directionless and whose only senses are fear and hatred. It's not just because of guns that American school children are killed.  (And Americans in general.)

The United States is a place of fear, panic and hysteria - all created by the greed of a ruling class of the greediest.  And Canada is much closer to that than we like to think.

Really, we don't have time to play the games the very greedy want us to play. Even if we avoid a world, nuclear war, we have to deal with huge problems of climate change, of the mass starvation we have created in much of the world, of the millions, even billions of refugees who are coming, of more invasions by the greedy  (and in this latter case, Canada will be a prime target for the U.S. greedy.)

Meanwhile, watch for Canada to be asked to fight wars for American billionaires. Watch for European billionaires to begin moves to break out from the control of American ones.

And watch for a U.S. thrashing about in the terrors of its social, moral and economic structures.  Soon.
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Here's another person who isn't nearly as smart as Mr. Irving.

https://countercurrents.org/2018/05/22/an-orwellian-climate-and-the-faustian-bargain/
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