Thursday, July 12, 2018

July 12: Lots of news. Little sense of its meaning.

I hurried back from the shore to find the irving press its usual self. It had a big story of course on the 12 boys in Thailand who were saved from a cave. Okay. It's an emotional story.

But there is still no reporting of the hundreds of thousands (at least) of civilians including many, many thousands of children who are being deliberately starved to death by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. So who gives a damn? Right?

I was also struck by a typical irving press commentary from a propaganda house for billionaires - The Frontier Centre for Public Policy. It's a pitch for us to get all excited about natural gas obtained by fracking. This, it says, is cheap, and 'not as bad' as oil. Maybe so. But it still produces carbon dioxide emissions - and there is no evidence this reduction can come anywhere close to dealing with our climate change problems.

Of course, the irving press has told us nothing at all about what the climate change problems are. It's not just a matter of it getting a little bit warmer. It's a problem of mass declines in water for food production, for the grazing of  herds, for drought that destroys cities and countryside of whole regions. (The U.S. is already scrambling hard to deal with drought in much of the country, in forest fires that now threaten whole cities (like Los Angeles), in droughts that already threaten food supply and human survival and create millions of refugees (in addition to the many millions created by western greed) with horrible results as desperate people flee their lands to find some place where they can survive - and finding themselves almost always unwanted.

Expect many, many more millions of refugees as a result of climate change and wars for greed. And expect monstrous chaos from the reaction.

This is putting pressure on Canadian water resources as Americans demand more access to them. We are also likely to face military pressure from the Trumps of this world.

Then there's the disappearance of much plant and animal life as a result of even a small climate change. That's why scientists are now filling massive warehouses with the DNA and other reproductive factors of plants and animals we cannot afford to loose.

Climate change is the biggest and most complex threat this world has ever seen.  And no. Switching to shale gas is not going to help a whole lot. However, it is the largely silent issue of the current election in New Brunswick. Most parties have said they won't permit shale gas development. The Conservatives will.

So guess which party will get the most financial help from the wealthy of this province. It is not a coincidence that the irving press is critical of the Liberals on matters like government spending; but has never bothered to tell us that the Irvings and other very wealthies don't pay income tax and do get sweetheart deals on property tax as well as lavish handouts. It is not a coincidence that the irving press cartoonist lately always makes fun of the Liberals but not any other party.  It is not a coincidence it runs half-wit propaganda columns from billionaire-financed think tanks like 'Frontier Centre for Public Policy'.

(I see no reason to admire the Liberal party, either. It has only rarely attacked this province's fundamental problems. If you owed a couple of hundred dollars in taxes, for example, you would get nasty phone calls from Ottawa. But if you're rich it's okay to hide tens of millions of dollars every year.)
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http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/greenland-glacier-calving-1.4742691

Of course, we know that climate change isn't really happening. It's all just those
ignorant scientists. But I'm smart. I get all my opinions from the irving press. Irvings are real smart.
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http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/trump-nato-1.4743670

Why is Trump so eager to spend more money on 'defence' when the world can already destroy itself with just its nuclear arsenals? That's because the world's biggest manufacturer of weapons is the U.S. And it's a stunningly corrupt and profitable business.
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https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/12/trump-administration-eligible-small-children-reunited

How generous. Only 2,000 more to go.
In fairness, Trump is continuing the mass murder of the children of Yemen.
(I wonder if the hired minister for the week at the Irving Chapel will mention this.  Nah.)
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Another huge problem our governments aren't even thinking about. And it's going to happen here, too.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jul/12/robot-workers-will-lead-to-surge-in-slavery-in-south-east-asia-report-finds
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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/12/how-did-quebecs-nationalist-movement-become-so-white

In fairness, I have to say that Quebec, whether French or English, has always been racist. (Just like the rest of Canada.)
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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/06/syrian-seeds-could-save-us-wheat-from-climate-menace
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https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/11/pietro-bartolo-lampedusa-doctor-migrant-deaths-mediterranean-slaughter-innocents

Yes. This will happen in Canada, too. The western powers have created these refugees, and now abuses them for the mess the west has created.
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The big children story is of the Thais saved from a cave. Let's get real.

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2018/07/world-rallies-around-thailand-children-yemen-and-us-also-deserve-help
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I'm not convinced communism is possible. But I am quite convinced that capitalism, uncontrolled, is quite impossible and ultimately destructive. Socialism may be the best ground.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/gengler/2014/08/ten-reasons-to-smash-capitalism#at_pco=smlrebv-1.0&at_si=5b478f4502265d05&at_ab=per-2&at_pos=1&at_tot=5
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http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/views-expressed/2016/10/justin-trudeau-continuing-proud-liberal-tradition-betraying-i#at_pco=smlrebv-1.0&at_si=5b4790a61c96b18f&at_ab=per-2&at_pos=4&at_tot=5
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https://countercurrents.org/2018/07/12/on-the-flooded-thai-cave-and-the-hiroshima-deluge/

Don't worry about a thing. Our oil billionaires tell us climate change isn't happening. And they'd know.
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https://countercurrents.org/2018/07/12/vladimir-putins-basic-disagreement-with-the-west/

Well, Russians have been guilty of imperialism, too - if not nearly so much as Britain and the U.S.  I'm afraid people are like that. That's why capitalism has to operate under much more serious controls - and with far, far less political power.
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The future that big business is planning. And it's not something for us to cheer about.

https://countercurrents.org/2018/07/09/agrarian-crisis-and-climate-catastrophe-forged-in-india-made-in-washington
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The Saudis and United Arab Emirates have always tortured. So it's no surprise they're U.S. allies.

http://theantimedia.com/amnesty-calls-for-probe-of-uae-forces-torturing-detainees-at-secret-prisons-in-yemen/
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https://lfpress.com/opinion/columnists/dyer-trumps-confrontation-unlikely-to-change-china
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A Kennedy assassination theory that makes sense.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49828.htm
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It hasn't been noted in our news media but the U.S. has become a country with a very high rate of poverty and with a very few super-wealthy.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49817.htm
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Here's an interesting summary of what  has happened to capitalism, and what that  is doing to us.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49820.htm
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Trump just loves tweeting about how much he's done for the working class. In fact, he is making them worse off than ever.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/11/rigged-new-report-details-how-combined-51-trillion-tax-cuts-bush-obama-and-trump
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The U.S. spends more on weapons than any nation in history. And it is very generous in distributing them to the people they call terrorists.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/even-more-us-made-anti-tank-weapons-are-turning-up-in-isis-hands/5647173
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And here's an alarming story about Canada - a story that never has and never will make most Canadian newspapers.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/hassan-diab-nothing-less-than-a-public-inquiry-will-do-canadas-complicity/5647155
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The denial of climate change is strongest among those of conservative leanings - like American Republicans - and those who have a big stake in  the oil industry. (seemingly, greed and ignorance go  hand in hand.). Here's a long but interesting discussion of the issue.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/07/12/the-sinister-underbelly-of-climate-change-denial/

It's real. And we don't know how quickly we need to address this problem. But instead, the oil barons whose greed limits them to short term planning have determined that instead of coping with the profound and numerous issues facing us we need to fight more wars and sell more weapons at high profits.

In 1945, we were told we were embarking on a new world of democracy, brotherhood.... Instead, our billionaires have placed us on a treadmill of war and plunder. We have done virtually nothing that we told our soldiers, sailors and airmen they were fighting and dying for. And, at this rate, there is no way we can deal with the monstrous issues of climate change in time.

Thank, among others, your local oil billionaires.
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Dr. Roberts is one of the world's more intelligent news analysts.

https://off-guardian.org/2018/07/12/the-view-of-russia-in-the-west/
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Here is some useful background reading.

https://off-guardian.org/2018/07/09/how-the-u-s-government-lies-about-syria-ukraine/
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An evil target of our western 'heroes'. And it's all for the good work of feeding billionaires.

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/syrian-baby-malnutrition-crisis/
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https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/humans-destroyed-83-of-wildlife-report/

I'm sure that if we all pitch in we can destroy a hundred percent in no time.
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Another story not important enough to make our irving press.

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/tiny-house-warriors-pipeline-indigenous-protest/
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When the irving press published its gushing commentary about the joys of fracking for natural gas, it didn't mention this story.

https://theintercept.com/2018/07/07/eliza-griswold-book-excerpt/
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Given the existence of so many nuclear stockpiles, I doubt that it makes very little difference whether any army is better than others. American news media speak of nothing but the magnificent record of American armies though, in fact, the American performance, for all its weaponry, has not been impressive over the past seventy years.  And in World War 2, it was mostly the Russians who defeated Hitler.

https://thesaker.is/book-review-losing-military-supremacy-the-myopia-of-american-strategic-planning-by-andrei-martyanov/
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It has not been a good day for me in reading the press. Much, like Trump's ultimatum to Europe and his sudden interest in meeting Putin, isn't really understandable yet. Indeed, I often found myself at a loss to determine what the news was really all about.
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...the oldest and earliest empires.

Many thousands of years ago, the first of the societies we call civilizations needed some form of government. But they didn't get to choose it. No. That power was seized by the strongest fighters who made themselves kings and emperors, and made the next down the line aristocrats.

From start, the kings, emperors and aristocrats followed the same track. They assumed that they were a superior breed. The rest? They were good only for cheap labour and paying taxes.

Rome was typical. As the empire grew, profits flew into the pockets of emperors and aristocrats. Their feasts were magnificent. But the people of Rome came to live in the most terrible poverty, begging for scraps of food and, when dead, dumped in huge, mass pits with a stench that can still be detected.

And the power was eternal. Even the most stupid of sons could become an emperor or an aristocrat - and usually did.The same was true of the kings and aristocrats of the medieval age and later. 

And 'democracy' changed nothing.

Its kings and aristocrats were the products of a new age whose wealth was based on commerce and industry. It was called capitalism. The rules were simple. Capitalists made - and kept - as much as they could. That was their only purpose.

Samples of such wars?  Iraq. Syria.World War 1. World War 2. Korea. Afghanistan. Throughout history, almost all wars have been fought to benefit kings and aristocrats. Our news media tell us they're fought because the other side is evil. But that's because our news media are mostly owned by our kings and aristocracy of capitalism.

Wars have always been fought to satisfy greed.The added danger today is that the wealthy don't pay taxes. (In the U.S. that's a loss of over a trillion dollars every year.)

(And no, World War 2 was not fought because Hitler was evil - though he certainly was but, in fact, big business in the western world had largely supported Hitler until the end of the 1930s when he became a threat to their profits. 

Like the aristocracy of Rome, the aristocracy of big business see themselves as superior to the rest of us, though a high proportion are billionaires simply because they were born that way. Think Trump.The Rockefellers have been super wealthy for well over a century. And no family produces uniform babies of intelligence over that span.

This arrogance and self-interest is the greatest danger facing our world. Capitalism can work for the benefit of all of us if, like all systems should be, it is controlled by us through law and democracy. But it's not.  And without that popular control it is mindlessly greedy, murderous and destructive.

This is not something that might happen. It has happened. And it's the outstanding social  challenge of our time.

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