Wednesday, July 18, 2018

July 19:Do you know what a bagman is?

Now think for a moment. What can be the mentality be of billionaires who insist we must keep producing and using fossil fuels? (Yes, I know Trump is on their side. But he's only one of many billionaires who feel that way.) What can be the mentality of newspaper editors who don't think these stories are worth publishing? What can the mentality be of a Conservative party in New Brunswick that doesn't talk about it - but plans to develop fracking? What can the mentality be of voters who think that this destruction of the planet is good  because it 'creates jobs'.

And no. We can't put this off. The reality is we don't know how much (or little) time we have to deal with this.

But no; the irving press doesn't think it worth mentioning.


Here is an example of what is called social principle in a political party. You would never find this in Canada's Liberals or Conservatives or in the U.S. Republicans and Democrats. And,  certainly, you would never find this story in the pages of the irving press. (It sets a bad example.)

Many, many years ago when we were both on radio at CBC, I used to see Conrad Black every week at the studio. I thought him an unspeakably arrogant and foolishly opinionated man with no ethics at all. Apparently, he hasn't changed.

The American people are financially better off because of Trump? That's what Trump says, too. But the figures show a steady increase in poverty. The only ones better off are the Trumps of this world.

This kind of censorship forbidding students from learning freedom of speech is nothing new. It's been a big factor in Canadian education from the start.

One Israeli in five is an Arab - and Muslim. They, like Jews, have lived there for thousands of years. But they have never had equal rights since Israel was created in  1948. They weren't even allowed to live in certain areas and streets, and had to sit apart from Israelis on busses. They are citizens of Israel, but inferior ones as were blacks in South Africa's apartheid regime.

Now their second-class status is official. It reminds me painfully of separatism in Quebec - and of certain English groups in New Brunswick. Oh, and of the history of enforced inferiority of Jews in Europe, Canada, and the U.S. until very recently. And, yes, this is racism.
Something to think about.....
Here's an article in support of Trump's behaviour in his meeting with Trump. It makes a lot of sense  - sense that I haven't seen in our news media.

In short, the U.S. is just one more exponent of several centuries of mass murder, enslaving and plundering of nations all over the world. We are trained to hate Russia - while far outdoing it in conquest and plunder. Does Putin have something on Trump? Quite possibly.

Certainly, and despite its relatively small economy and very limited military power, Russia's Putin has completely outplayed the far wealthier U.S. on the world stage.

Nor is there any reason to see hope in the Democrats. Despite some rebels like Bernie Sanders, the Democrats are still not much different from the Republicans.

Trump's visit to Russia might make sense. Accounts of it still come to us only in broken and confused pieces, and Trump himself has been more than a little erratic in his announcements.

Watch for more confusion from our news media.
Here's an opinion sympathetic to the one above.

Capitalism needs an enemy. Fear and hatred are what make the American people  willing to live in poverty so that more money - and more - can be spent on the 'defence' industry.  I never thought that Trump would be the one to challenge this idiocy. But he's done it - and this is going to hurt his party in election funding.
Trump undoubtedly has problems with ego and a lack of intellectual depth. But few American presidents deserve reputations for  wisdom and social conscience.
What is happening now seems to be collapse of American morality, a collapse of any political wisdom,  and a rise of (wealthy) American greed that has been going on with scarcely a break since President Truman.

Whatever Trump's faults might be, his has been the first attempt to rebuild the peace we thought we had won in 1945. It has been an erratic attempt, to say the least. But there has been an attempt. So expect a Republican/Democrat attempt to unseat him.

Mind you, Trump is no president of 'the people'. He has taken a big step to avoid the most destructive war ever.  But he has done - and will do - nothing of social value for 99% of the American people.

I don't think Trump is anywhere close to being all that a president should be. But he comes closer than Bush Jr., Obama - or Hillary Clinton - ever would. I never thought I'd have a kind word for him. But I do in this case.

Can it be sustained? Probably not. Americans have been saturated in hatred and fear and in a sense of their God-ordained right to rule the world. This event could turn into a violent, domestic chaos. Certainly the military and the war industries must be furious at what Trump has done. Nor can we expect that  prominent Republicans (like John Bolton) will support what he has done.

I'm very much in favour of refugees coming to Canada - but I do draw a line at fanatical and murderous terrorists. How could our irving press miss a story like this?

The Church of England has refused to bless the U.S. of nuclear bombs. What is it thinking of? Our churches have always blessed wars and mass murder.

(Perhaps the irving chapel could be approached for its blessing.)

Few Canadians know it, but Canada was once part of a western invasion of Russia. It was there to defend a corrupt and incompetent monarchy and its aristocracy that was being a attacked by communists. We, quite improperly, intervened in a war that was none of our business. Was it to help the Russian people?  No. Western big business feared that a successful revolution might benefit the people of Russia - and set a bad example for all the rest of us who suffered from a very brutal capitalism.

For all the talk, recent Canadian governments have done virtually nothing about their treatment of Canadian native peoples. A basic thing that should have been done a long time ago was to give them control of their own lands. If respect for people means anything, that control is essential. Instead, whenever there's an issue of rights being infringed by big money, Canada sends riot police and snipers to protect big money. New Brunswick should remember that in connection with an invasive mining company some years ago.
This next one is simply an item that brings a memory to me. Adding it here is just a self-indulgence.

When I was working in China, I once passed a high rise building that included a Christian church. The sign puzzled me as it suggested a unique sort of holy place. The sign said, "Heap Gay Church".

I wonder.  Was that the one in this article?

In the irving press of July 17, there was a rarity - an excellent political commentary. It was written by Jennifer MacKenzie, leader of the NDP. Most such commentaries just tell us about what the party is going to do. There's no sense of the social values of the party, in fact just a list of 'neat' things that, individually, don't tell as much at all. But this commentary is different.

It's what the NDP would do in the context of its social values and its priorities. And it's well done.

The only reservation I have is about its failure to address a problem that New Brunswick MUST solve. The wealthy of this province steal huge sums of money from us every year by not paying taxes. As well, the wealthy, as we all know, buy the Liberals and Conservatives. If voters ever hope to see this province prosper, it has to tackle the greed and illegitimate power of the wealthy.

The NDP platform isn't perfect. But it's the best I've seen since moving to this province.

There's also, today, a commentary by David Coon of the Green Party which speaks of having a social policy, but provides much weaker evidence of it.

There's also a good commentary by Hebry Srebrnic of University of PEI.  It's an important one. Events in the Middle East show the U.S. in decline as an imperial power. Now, we're seeing a rise of Russia and China in that region. And Israel seems to be moving to new friendships with Russia and China.

Tod Hill of UNB has an excellent commentary responding to an earlier one by a professor Herb Emery. (I have found Emery's columns to be heavily biased and, in the case of this one, almost unintelligible.  Three cheers for professor Tod Hill.)

The rest of the irving press is its usual, ghastly self. They had the start of good story about local boy Dominic Leblanc moving within the federal cabinet. However, it doesn't mention  the big  job for a federal Liberal from this province. Who is the one who gets the job of being bagman for the Liberals in New Brunswick? Who is the one who visits irving and other wealthies to get election funding? And who is that then takes back to Ottawa the orders for what irving and others tell the government to do for them? I  have a strong suspicion I know who it is. Do you?

And this is properly called corruption of the government.
Then there's this piece sent to me by a reader. It's not really a news  item, I guess. It should have been when the story broke a good sixty years ago. But it was smothered.

It's important to read this for an understanding of what humans are like and what wars are really like.

Almost all of our news media have never reported this. But can you imagine what would have happened if a German general had murdered a million allied prisoners? The news media would have been aflame with rage and with editorials declaring Germans were genetically evil; the German general would have been tried at hanged at Nuremberg.

But our media ignored the story. And General Eisenhower went on to be president of the  U.S. (admittedly one of the more intelligent ones.)

Wars are always presented to us as good on our side and evil on the other. In fact, there's usually plenty of evil on all sides. In my student days, one of my friends was an African American who had served in the American army in the Pacific. He told a lot of stories of American troops murdering  prisoners - including by dropping them over the Pacific from aircraft.

Finally, another word about Trump.  I was slow to understand Trump's visit with Putin. It was clumsy - and even more clumsy as he spluttered through his responses to criticism.

And, in his other roles as president he has been the destructive agent serving America's billionaire class, and largely a dead loss for the American people.

But he was right to do what American presidents should have done a century ago - mind their own business in dealing with other countries. Too bad it's not likely to happen.


  1. Herez a chilling real life instance of how some of these super rich think

  2. herez an interesting idea for you to ponder: