Saturday, June 2, 2018

June 2: Surprise of the day.

Chinese now live longer than Americans.

Of course they do.  American governments are not interested in maintaining the health of Americans. The very wealthy can afford private health care. But for the rest? Who cares?

Neither country has a wonderful record. (China ranks 37th and the U.S. 40th in the world.)  China is not spectacularly better: But it is the one that is spectacularly improving. The U.S. is the one that is in decline. We're watching the same process in education as U.S. public schooling falls into chaos so that billionaires can make profits out of operating private schools for rich kids. (The dominance of greed in the U.S. is quite astonishing - even worse than Canada.)

In all that counts, China is the one that is advancing; the U.S. is the one that's falling behind. We may be looking at a quite different world.

Britain, by the way, beats both of them. Britain has a universal health care system. Coincidence.

Oh, Canadians eat and drink and exercise much like Americans. But Canadians rank no. 12 in the world for life expectancy. Gee. I wonder if medicare has something to do with that?

The Palestinians demonstrating on the 'border' with Israel are, in fact, demonstrating against Israeli snipers who are lying in what was (and legally still is) Palestinian land. Israel has been stealing Palestinians' land  for almost 70 years, kicking Palestinians out of their homes and off their land. (I have known a few Israelis active in this plundering. They regard Palestinians - as Naziis regarded Jews - as sub-humans.)

The U.S., always babbling about it's concern for justice, has blocked the UN from investigating the situation. (Palestinians are, by the way, are a semitic people, just like the traditional Jews of Israel. So that makes most Jews and the U.S. anti-semitic.)

I was suspicious about the photo that came with the above story. It claims to be of the medic. But she is very, very attractive. Is it possible this is a fake photo to garner sympathy? Is this a case of fake news? So I checked Haaretz.

Same picture. Same story.  But don't waste your time looking for either in the irving press.

Here's a story from Miami News, a typical fake news outlet. Notice the loaded language, the reference to the Venezuela election as being illegal. This is all the official Trump line based on no evidence whatever. And notice that our prime minister is kissing up to Trump. There is a great risk that Trudeau will take us into American wars.  ---No. Not American wars, really, but wars of American billionaires who want control of Venezuela oil
In this story,  the writer paints Canadians and Americans as being friends. Maybe. But neither country is controlled by average Canadians and Americans. Both are controlled by very greedy capitalists.  That's why our 'good friends' in the U.S. invaded Canada in the American revolution, in 1812, and in the 'Fenian Raids' after the U.S. civil war. That's why they threatened us in 1904, and designed an invasion plan in the 1920s.

As to our participating in the Afghanistan war, it's a bit much to see that as being in defence of the U.S. After all, it wasn't Afghanistan that attacked the U.S.  And Canada's role? It was really a Canadian prime minister kissing up to an American president in a quite illegal war.

The UN has spoken strongly for the Palestinians in their conflict with Israel. So the U.S. vetoed the UN resolution. Democracy in action. The irving press didn't even carry the story.

For an example of very, very fake news, check the irving press for today "Here's why Canada sanctioned Venezuela's first lady this week." This is real, gutter journalism, full of lies and vicious propaganda. Among other things, it completely ignores the report of some very honest and capable Canadians who followed that election in Venezuela, and who reported it was well-conducted. And those Canadians were joined by experts from 40 countries who investigated the election.

This story is full of slurs and outright lies. It's a good example of how contemptible the irving press is.

So watch out. There is every possibility the U.S. will invade Venezuela. And it   might well ask Canada to commit troops to murder nobly for the benefit of oil barons.
Another story that won't make the irving press.

Billionaires create jobs? Like hell they do. The take far, far more than they give. That's why Canadians and Americans have been getting poorer for over fifty years while the very rich get obscenely rich.

Here's a more realistic report than any you'll find in the irving press.

The wealth of the rich trickles down to all of us?

Spraying New Brunswick forests is good for us. Yes.

This should be required reading for everybody at the irving press.

The mindless greed of big capitalism. And it happens in Canada, too.

It is not possible to understand the condition of the world today without an understanding of capitalism. The irving press bombards us almost every day with stories about the glory of capitalism. It has hacks to write columns telling us that the super wealthy benefit all of us. That's a crock. They don't benefit us. In fact, they make us poor.

But let's not condemn all capitalists. All kinds of small to medium business are capitalist. That is, they are owned by people who risk their own money to make a living. Nothing wrong with that - though the people in that small to medium business category overdo it when they join the Chamber of Commerce and kid themselves they are just like big business. They aren't at all.

Big business rarely risks its own money. It's big enough and rich enough to buy governments. If an investment involves any risk at all, it demands big contributions from government - that is - our money is what is being put at risk. Not theirs. And that happens far, far more than we are told.

And, unlike the kiddy set of the Chamber of Commerce, Big business rarely pays taxes, either income tax or local property tax. It can do that because it has the money to buy politicians - and to own virtually all the news media so that it can keep the general population in ignorance.

Donald Trump, like most presidents of the U.S., is a patsy for big business. In fact, of course, he is a part of it. And his policies reflect that.

Trump is fond of talking about how he has created jobs (while he does nothing whatever to make the rich pay taxes). And Trump is a liar.

Almost every country lies about its employment figures. When Canada say unemployment is, say, 8%, you can bet it's really at least twice that. In most countries, those who are unemployed for more than a short time are simply drop-outs who don't count any more. (Yes, some give up because it's hopeless - not because they don't want work.)

Trump says American employment is the best its been for decades. Really? The number of Americans unemployed is - wait for it --- 95.9 million. Yes. In these 'days of Trump prosperity', American unemployment is back in the depression years of the 1930s.

But, as the irving press eagerly tells us, attracting big business will make us rich.

Sure. New Brunswick has relied on that for a century and more - and it hasn't worked yet. What really happens is that big business steals its taxes (our money) to keep for itself. It also begs for (demands) government payouts for various excuses. The result in much of the world is that, going back to the 1960s, the very, very rich have been becoming much, much wealthier. And the rest  have been become much, much poorer. That explains the rise of poverty in the U.S. to some 40%, and getting worse each day.

That's also why our governments - and especially the U.S. government and lately Justin Trudeau, are doing almost nothing about climate change. The oil and gas industry doesn't want anything done.  (Hey! I never said the big business leaders have brains.)

On an even more serious note, the very rich are increasingly murderous. They always have been. Almost every war for the last several hundred years has been fought to make the wealthy wealthier. That's what World War One was really about. And World War Two. And Korea. and Iraq. And Syria. That's why millions of children are being deliberately starved to death in Yemen. That's why nations are readying for the final, nuclear war.  It's easy, at a distance, for the very wealthy to smile at this horror while they bawl hymns at church.

And there's another trouble trend in big business. Ownership and management commonly belong in the family, generation after generation.

The Rockefellers go back almost 150 years to ownership of Standard Oil and Chase Manhattan Bank. The Molsons of Montreal go back some 250 years. Now, common sense warns us that such enormous power and wealth going back over so many generations cannot possible produce intelligent thought and leadership at each of those generations. In short, very often the leadership is lacking in swifts. But the super wealth goes on no matter how bad the leadership gets. And we have allowed this delivery of enormous power and responsibility to people who are quite inadequate for the challenge.

They are generally very good at looking after themselves. Even as most Americans live shorter lives, the very rich (who make those lives shorter) are living longer. Very often, too often, they have no sense of any obligation to the society as a whole. They become very similar to the medieval aristocracy which so often produced seriously deranged dukes and earls and, yes, kings and queens.

And, oh, like the dukes and earls and kings and queens, they become progressively more greedy.

In fact, this has happened in just about every empire in history. Rome, Egypt, all of them came crashing down because they had fallen into the hands of greedy morons. Now, they are effectively the real governments in Canada, the U.S., Britain and many other countries. They are inflicting horrors on Latin America, Africa, Asia... and now have us almost in sight of the final war.

We had a world to rebuild after World War 2. But we didn't do it. Instead, we tossed the ball to the most incompetent and irresponsible people in our society.

We have, maybe, a chance. But for a start, the parties that want to create a sane and fair New Brunswick have to face the reality of one hell of a struggle. We have to control the wealthy. We have to make them pay their way. We have to stop their whittling away at responsibilities that properly belong to government - like health care, education..... And the people of New Brunswick have to develop some spirit....and guts.

Oh, and  they really need and deserve something more honest and intelligent than the irving press.

I wouldn't care if these people were to want only to destroy themselves. But as it is, they are geared to take us with them.

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