Tuesday, August 28, 2018

August 28: The lies we believed in 1945.


In both wars, Canada was slow to accept Blacks. Or orientals. Or native peoples.


Hey! Don't worry, New Brunswick. Who are you going to believe? A hick scientist like David Suzuki? Or a real Christian gentleman like Blaine Higgs who used to work for another outstanding Christian named Irving?


Hey! New Brunswick needs fracking. Let's plan for the future and all the bottles of sun tan lotion we'll need.

And now a change of pace with the view from Russia.



Can you trust Russia Times?  It's a hell of a lot more intelligent and honest than the irving press of New Brunswick.



Of course all sides are responsible for war crimes in Yemen. All sides are responsible for war crimes in all wars. They always have been. War, itself, is a crime.  Torture is a war crime. Deliberate killing of civilians is a war crime.  The use of poison gas is a war crime. Throughout history, war crimes have been natural products of war. The only change is the increased importance of killing civilians and children.
Incidentally, there has been quite a rise in military displays, march pasts, etc. in the U.S. in recent years. Trump daily heaps praise on  the glories of the American military and how  young Americans are fighting to defend their country. Now....

Since 1945, those brave young American have killed millions of people in 70 countries. Can we seriously believe that  70 countries were a threat to the U.S.? How did Guatemala threaten it? Venezuela? Cuba? Haiti? Pakistan? Iraq? Syria?......... How did all those wars defend Americans?

The British Empire was the biggest in the world. Was India a threat to Britain? China? Africa? Of course not. Throughout history the imperial powers have been greedy, plundering murderers.


If you criticize Israelis, you're an anti-semite. I guess Trump doesn't know that Palestinians are semites, too.


The U.S. has imposed brutal sanctions on dozens of countries. These are a form of war and, like war, they cause suffering and death - and hatreds. And they are a major factor in the spread of hatred and distrust of the U.S.

Though the present pope seems a much more effective and popular one than most, he inherits a church with a dreadful reputation for child abuse - and the solution to this seems far beyond his grasp.

(The irving press has yet to notice any of this.)


The American press is full of stories about evil Syrians who are using chemical poisons in warfare. I have no idea whether this is true. But I do know who has been the world's largest user of chemical poisons - by far. And that is God Bless America

Funny how the western press hasn't noticed that.


We have a long history of hating immigrants. Commonly, people will claim that these immigrants threaten our culture.

What culture? I really don't know. When I was a child we were taught to look down on Irish Catholics because their culture was different from ours. It was the same with Jews. Funny thing, though. I grew up with and played with, went to school with, became life friends with Italians, Chinese, Syrians, African Canadians, Jews, Japanese, - and even Irish Catholics. As a professor, I taught students from Palestine, Israel, India, Britain, - you name it. The only difference I ever saw was that my Chinese students were the hardest workers.

And cultural differences? Canada was born as a nation of culturally diverse people. And all Canadians are themselves culturally diverse - even the purest of English and French. I have no idea what the Canadian culture is. You can find huge cultural differences between peoples of the same language and religion. The culture of poverty is not at all the same as the culture of wealth.  The cultures of rural and urban Canada are quite different.

People  who talk about preserving a culture don't have a clue what they're talking about. Quebec separatists talked about preserving Quebec culture. In fact, the separatists pretty much killed the culture of the Quebec they had been born into -  notably the religious culture.

Never listen to people who talk about 'preserving' a culture. All cultures naturally change as the world around them changes.


Now, here's a real piece of Canadian political culture.

The story you won't find in the irving press. Canadians are big boosters of the war industries. These are wars that are  hugely expensive and the world has extremely corrupt war industries. To a very large degree, our news media are used to encourage the idea that we are surrounded by terrible enemies. The whole defence industry is based on a contrived fear of threats that don't exist.

It's bad to let immigrants into a country. Any of our indigenous people can tell you that.


Mr. Bernier should know that. Think his ancestors were French? No way. France had centuries of Romans, various European tribes. My own French ancestors were, back about 1200, Spanish (and one west Asian 'savage').

If anything saves us from climate change, it won't be Mr. Irving or Mr. Higgs. It'll more likely be like those native people fighting a western pipeline.


It might be worth thinking about that at the Irving Chapel.

John McCain, American hero, was tortured by the Vietnamese. Wasn't that terrible of them? So John McCain hated his torturers. But in all his years as a senator, he never once criticized American government for using torture. In fact, Americans had used torture in Vietnam - and they had been using torture routinely from at least 1900 in the Philippines. Indeed, the U.S. has probably been the world's leading torturer for the last century.

John McCain was not that the goody-goody that he's now being depicted as.


Another unkind but accurate in memorium.


The daily news is rarely as reliable as we think it is.


New Brunswick's chief medical officer got kicked out for raising concerns about glyphosate that was (and is)  being sprayed on this province. But Mr. Irving, who is an expert on fracking and, oh, just everything, knows better than any chief medical officer. Yep. Vote for  the Higgs Conservatives and the wonderful things they will do for Mr. Irving.


Wars are complicated.




Hey! don't you sorry. Fracking is good for you.

Hey! If you can't trust the U.S., who can you trust?

The reality for Canada is that we would probably be wiser to work on our trade with China.  Mind you, it's then quite possible the U.S. would invade us. It probably will invade us anyway - to get our water.

Could Trump win the next election? Yep. Lots of the Democrat politicians are no different from  the Republican ones. So it will likely be a very divided Democrat Party that goes to the polls.



I was only an elementary school child in 1945. But I remember the mood perfectly. We had won the war and, in winning it, we were told we had created a new and far, far better world. The remembrance, of this November 11 should be, of course, of those who died for us to create that better world. But that is meaningless unless we also remember how we allowed our leaders to betray all they had died for.

We now have, with luck, maybe, ten years to deal with climate change. But we have thrown away seventy-four years of building a world to deal with such a task.

Western capitalists had decided that the only new world they were interested in was one controlled by and for the very, very wealthy. The U.S was the leader in this. Britain, left  pretty naked by the loss of its empire, hung onto American coattails. So did Canada. And that has left us hangers-on to a U.S. driving into a frenzy of attempted conquest, mass murder, and plunder.

The U.S. has been stunningly unsuccessful in seventy-four years of war. The costs of war, the staggering corruption of war, have robbed Americans of all the benefits they should be getting. Instead, the major industry of the U.S. has become weapon making at high, high profit for a world constantly at war.

And most of that world has turned against the abuse, the murder and the greed of western capitalists.

They refuse to deal with climate change at all - though it's crashing down on us. Here in New Brunswick, neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives have an significant position on dealing with climate change. There is no discussion, for example, of what this means in terms of our housing, our food supply, our transportation. At it's best, Moncton is an (ugly) city of 1950 style, built around urban sprawl and all the complications of that. Much of the housing is reminiscent of the construction of 1900 or so. But there's not a word of discussion about that. And dealing with that will be one of the major issues of dealing with climate change.

Instead, Mr. Higgs is speaking the words he memorized from Mr. Iving - "fracking is good for you." The Liberals? They can be bought on the issue.Beyond that, neither party has much to say about anything. The Greens and the NDP? Nice folks. Some ideals. But they show little sense of the greed and, yes, the evil, of the people facing them.

Within ten years, we have to take action on the hell we have made of this planet, the creation of a billionaire ruling class that is as evil and grasping as all such classes in history. We have accepted poverty of the majority as a normal state. We have allowed ourselves to send our young people to die in the wars of greed - Korea, Afghanistan, Syria---and there are many more to come.

Can you seriously believe in the sanity of people who would commit vast sums of our money to weapons? Who would spend billions to starve and murder people all over the world? Who have made Africa and South America into hells of poverty, hunger, anger, hatred...of us.....

We have ten years, if we're lucky, to deal with climate change. And, at best, we can't go back. We can only make the change less damaging. We have ten years, maybe. And we're pretending the only things we need to spend money on are nuclear missiles, chemical poisons - and lots and lots of fossil fuels.

We have ten years, and we're embarked on wasting them as horribly as we have wasted the 78 years since world war 2 - and just as we've wasted the thirty years since Shell Oil scientists discovered the destructiveness of climate change - but didn't bother to tell us.

We are controlled by people who are worse than fools. They are greedy with a greed that blinds them to everything but their greed.  And we sit, and read the irving press, and vote blindly for people who represent the viciousness of greed.

And there, at the end of the ten-year road, is oblivion for us all.

As I wrote this, I thought of that day in 1945 I was caught up in the cheering crowds of Victory in Europe day. I thought of Leslie Bibewell who died when his ship was torpedoed, of Bertie Danielsohn  who was  cut in half by a German machine gun at the age of 16. (He had stolen his brother's draft papers to join up.)

I don't know what Leslie and Bertie thought they were dying for. But it certainly wasn't for a world in which billionaires wouldn't have to pay taxes. It wasn't so billionaires could buy political parties. And it wasn't so the U.S. could starve and bomb the children of Yemen to death.

We have, with luck, ten years. But as I look around the province of New Brunswick in this election year, the people of this province are so passive that they will re-elect the Liberal party or the Conservative party for all of those ten years.

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