Saturday, August 25, 2018

August 25: The Twilight of the Goofs.

This blog may be a little short since I am being coerced into going to the shore to sinfully frolic in the surf.

If Trump is impeached, disposed of as president, will this make a difference to American policies?  Very, very little. American government is hopelessly corrupt and controlled by the very, very wealthy. The U.S invaded some  70 countries since 1945 BEFORE Trump became president. It killed millions of people to boost profits for American corporations. Dropping Trump will have little effect on all that.

The only hope for a real change would be the election of a Bernie Sanders. But I can't imagine the wealthy will allow that to happen.

The answer is no. Nobody cares. The proper name for this is murder. But American news media call it fighting 'bad guys'.

The targetting of civilians and children in war is not new. It has been standard practice since it was introduced by Winston Churchill in 1920. The U.S. has specialized in it since 1944, at least. Indeed, it was common practice by all the European empires of the last 500 years and more - though without ever saying so.

In a related example, our forefathers happily included women and children in their millions of slave captures. Our Canadian ancestors, incidentally, also experimented with the enslaving of our native peoples. But it didn't work. It was too easy for the slaves to escape into the wilderness. (Funny how most Canadian history books don't mention that.)

Wouldn't it be nice if Canada did this to our tax-dodging billionaires?

Mining companies, including Canadian ones, have a long history of brutal and murderous treatment of people, especially in their operations in countries that can't fight back. (And even if they do fight back, their owners in the U.S., Canada, China, Britain, etc. can always call on troops to be sent in.)
A story that will never appear in the irving press.

The U.S. loves to accuse others of using chemical poisons in war. In fact, far the world leader in using them is the U.S.
Everybody deliberately kills civilians. Everybody. Yes, even Canada. In the Boer War Canadians troops were directly involved in the mass murder of some 15,000 Boer civilians - women, children,  the elderly. In 1942, Canadians joined in the bombing of Dresden, a deliberate killing of civilians in a city of no military value. When our NFB made a film about that, the usual suspects roused all the Conservative senators to denounce the film. The Canadian Legion, to its shame, joined in. I was in Ottawa that day to appear before all those Conservative senators who really had no idea what they were talking about. It was Nov. 11, and the hearing room wall was decorated with hundreds of poppies in what I can only call the bastardization of the Senate, of true patriotism, and of Nov. 11.

On that day, I had a talk with a Canadian general who had served in France. He told me of an incident in which Canadian soldiers murdered some 200 German prisoners. The senators denied that, too.

That's what happens in war. It's not just the other side that is evil.

Bernie Sanders is almost never mentioned in the irving press.

These wars are all fought to benefit American billionaires.  And they were all paid for by everybody except the billionaires. The Americans (and us) are being bled dry to make our wealthy super wealthy.
This is what we have to do if we are to survive. But it's what we aren't doing.
Our out-to-lunch provincial election campaign in New Brunswick hasn't begun to consider this. The Liberals and Conservatives, in particular, have nothing that could, in any sense, have anything to do with the needs of this province.
The U.S. is a nation in decline. For  years now, it has been pushing for a war against China and Russia. It is looking as though it might get one. There is no possibility that anyone could win such a war. And of all the losers, the one to lose most heavily would almost certainly be the U.S.

There must be something to say about the New Brunswick provincial election. But I can't imagine what it might be. The Liberals and Conservatives are coasting along. Neither of them has anything that could be called a platform. But what the hell. Neither party has had much that could be called a platform for 150 years. And the robot voters still vote for them.

Let's Get Real

Thousands of world scientists agree that the world is  undergoing climate change that, left as it is, will destroy all of us. And this summer has provided plenty of evidence of that. The estimate of climate scientists is that we have, perhaps, ten years to get control of this. And at that, we shall not return to the climates we have known. We shall still have massive climate failures all over the world, climate failures that will mean crop failures; failures that will mean millions of refugees. It will also mean wars to kill the refugees. (This is already happening.)
It will mean aggression by powerful neighbours seeking to steal the resources - farmlands, waterways - from nations not so seriously destroyed. (Think of the massive destruction of farmlands in the mid-west and western U.S. Think of how U.S. billionaires might become interested in making Canada a part of the U.S., by force.)

Most of all think of what we cannot do.

We cannot go on spending massive sums on weapons. U.S. budgets per year are almost a trillion dollars - for what is already the most heavily armed nation in the world. And we are all getting prepared for a war that nobody can win. To even think of war with all sides heavily armed with such massive weapons is insane. So why do we maintain such monstrous war industries?

We maintain such massive war industries, especially in the U.S., because they make massive profits for the billionaires who own them - and who own our governments.

The U.S. heavily campaigns the whole world - all sides - for weapons sales. Even the people the U.S. calls Muslim terrorists are largely armed with U.S. weapons.

No. War is no longer feasible or even sane. The American military, for all its size and cost and power, has been ineffective in most of the 70+ wars it has fought since 1945. Its destruction of property and life has been massive - but usually without anything that could be called victory. We can no longer afford to waste time serving the greed of weapons makers and oil barons.

We can no longer afford this massive theft of national income from the poor and the middle class. This comes as a result of a capitalist class that we have allowed to hide its crushing wealth in unregistered bank accounts - so that most of the wealthy, with their billions, pay not a cent in taxes. A major result of this absurd distribution of wealth, of this absurd theft of what should be public money from all the rest of us, will be economic collapse.

Through most of history, this has been a world dominated by greed. That has long been reflected in the brutal wars and mass murder and massive killing and torture and slavery inflicted by imperial powers like Britain, France, Spain, and now the U.S.

Sorry. We just cannot survive even ten more years of that.

Our problem is not that our very, very rich need more money to feel good. That's their problem.  But if we let it go,  it's our problem, too. Did you know  that American life expectancy has been dropping in recent years as a direct result of the greed of the wealthy? That's because the wealthy in the U.S. see health as something to make money out of - nothing more. The result is a rapidly rising poverty in that 'wealthy' nation, and it is one of the few in the developed world which fails to provide health care except at impossible prices for most people. Indeed, recent studies show that a major of young Americans live in homes dependent on welfare. How's that for making America great?

We live in a world horribly scarred by greed. The greedy want wars. There's money for them in wars. That, alone, is enough to tell we have to bring them under control. But there's worse. The greedy are also stupid because their greed blinds them to the consequences that will, inevitably, affect them. (That has been repeated throughout history.) And that combination of greed and stupidity is probably why they have no sense of the world of climate change that is crashing in on us.

In my province, New Brunswick, there is an election going on. The Conservative leader is campaigning to develop fossil fuels in this province. They are both dangerous and destructive - and the last thing we should be talking about is developing them. But the Conservative leader - not by coincidence - is a former executive officer of our local oil baron's corporations. The oil baron is also the owner of all the newspapers in this province. Guess who those newspapers are supporting.

Thousands of the world's leading scientists have warned us. But our oil barons, though noted for being born rich,  are not noted for for scientific scholarship or for brains of any sort. But they insist on plunging ahead with a world order based on greed.

We have, maybe, ten years to deal with climate change. We cannot waste another day on the greedy. Yes, it's going to require massive change. But we are on the edge of extinction. We need all the energy and money and work we can possibly raise to save this planet. We've done nothing for a good thirty years but waste money on wars that, frankly, were nothing but the killing of millions of innocent people and theft of their land to make our oil barons richer.

With concentration and hard work, we can possibly save this planet. Going on as we are, we can only destroy it. And it looks as though we will.

Take your pick.