Saturday, September 29, 2018

Sept. 29: Disgusting

Almost all 'think tanks' are propaganda organizations financed by very wealthy people who produce their propaganda as if it were the result of scholarly study. Some of its 'research fellows' are actually professors who would sell their mothers as sex slaves for the right price. The local think tank in my province is Atlantic Institute of Market Studies.

These think tanks then offer their 'studies' to newspapers, often newspapers owned by the same people who own the think tanks. These newspapers then run their 'studies' as if they were legitimate scholarship. Our local Brunswick News, which has a monopoly on all print news in the province, almost daily will run this propaganda.

However, I didn't know until today that these think tanks are also used as vehicles to finance the operations of far right think tanks - not just in their own countries, but in other countries as well.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/sep/28/us-groups-raise-millions-to-support-rightwing-uk-thinktanks
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What's the fuss over Kavanaugh really all about?

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/29/republicans-brett-kavanaugh-supreme-court-dr-christine-blasey-ford
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https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/aug/01/insult-to-injury-trump-global-gag-will-hit-women-traumatised-by-war
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https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/29/brett-kavanaugh-insidious-force-global-politics-toxic-masculinity
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For over fifty years, Israel has been stealing Palestinian land. And for some months now, Palestinians have been demonstrating, on the land that is still theirs, for a return of what  was stolen. And Israeli snipers have been killing them. Not surprisingly, the Irving press of New Brunswick hasn't noticed it.

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/great-return-march-months-protests-gaza-strip-180926122828814.html
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Al Jazeera has changed its format. And it's still the most honest newspaper in the world.

https://interactive.aljazeera.com/aje/2017/50-years-illegal-settlements/index.html
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This next one is long - but probably accurate on what is happening to the world.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/09/27/heart-dying-empire
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The case our hero Trudeau will NOT the taking to the International Court that deals with war crimes.........

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/09/29/us-isnt-just-backing-yemen-war-its-helping-trap-those-forced-flee
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http://rabble.ca/columnists/2018/09/bombs-not-homes-defines-trudeaus-feminist-foreign-policy
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An important story that the irving press long ago forgot about.

https://countercurrents.org/2018/09/29/bloody-friday-as-gaza-marks-six-months-of-protests/
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https://www.globalresearch.ca/27th-straight-bloody-friday-in-gaza-israeli-forces-kill-children/5655498
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https://www.globalresearch.ca/scientific-reviews-of-glyphosates-cancer-risk-fail-to-fully-disclose-monsantos-role/5655446

In the recent provincial election, New Brunswickers voted in a large majority for the two parties in this province that are committed to forest spraying that involves exposing the wild life and the people of this province to poisons.  (The People's Alliance Party was silent on the issue, so one has to assume it, too, likes to see us get poisoned.)

The province's chief medical officer warned us against it. So she was disposed of.

Talk about a passive province! Poison us. We don't mind.
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http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50327.htm
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https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/climate-change-trump/

Not to worry. In New Brunswick's recent elections, the two leading parties and a rising newcomer had nothing to say about it. Nor have we seen anything about this issue in our newspapers - not surprising since all our newspapers are owned by a man who makes money by encouraging climate change.
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Here's a story we will never see in the irving newspapers of this province. And we certainly won't hear about it from the irving puppets in the Conservative Party.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/09/fracking-industrys-water-nightmare.html
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It is not always a good idea to believe Netanyahu.

https://theantimedia.com/their-news/168891/
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Here's a very different analysis of Trump's provocation of laughter at his UN speech.

https://truthout.org/articles/the-proper-response-to-trumps-un-speech-isnt-laughter-its-terror/
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Sometimes I profoundly regret having committed myself to this blog. Reading the world's news every day become a terrifying, then deadening, reminder of all we have failed to do.

Capitalism has become a wild beast of greed that knows no limits, that has power beyond and over all governments. I suppose it   has been for the last 500 years or so. But it's power now is greater than ever. To follow American politics, in particular, is to be reminded constantly of the destruction of democracy.

Here, in New Brunswick, we have just had an election in which the only parties which had anything that could be called a policy on climate change were the Greens with only 3 seats, and the NDP with no seats at all.

This is crashing down on us very, very rapidly. We need the fastest possible action and, at that, it may be too late. But only a tiny percentage of voters voted for any action at all.  Of course.

They get their news from a newspaper chain whose owner makes his living out of destroying our climate. As that happens, it will destroy him, too. But  his papers routinely ignore the issue of climate change, and the rate at which it is crashing in on us. Greed and self-interest will trump brains every time.

Our fearless federal prime minister is on a crusade now to declare Venezuela a place of  criminal behaviour in its resistance to U.S. interference and aggression. Yes. The evil one is Venezuela which has never invaded anyone; and we're doing this for the U.S. which has done nothing but invade, starve, mass murder millions of people for the last 70 years.

And that U.S. is probably crashing even now as I write this. But it's real rulers still have massive killing power, and all the signs are that they intend to use it - soon.

As the curtain falls on the American empire and as climate change begins to really hurt it, watch for an American insistence that Canada be joined to it.

This is arguably the most brutal, most vicious period in history. And that is saying a lot after the horrible centuries of the British, French and Spanish empires.

For all the posturing we'll see on Nov. 11, we have betrayed everything we told our soldiers, sailors and airmen they were fighting for in World War 2 - and Afghanistan and Libya. They were really dying to make our billionaires richer.

Think of all this when you're sitting in the Irving Chapel for the sermon by a real, top class clergyman - an expensively rented Dr. of Theology no less. And think of the Christianity we all lost a long, long time ago.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Sept. 27:The Shame of Being Canadian

Sorry to be late with this. I have just learned the hard way that the old computer protection is not enough. We also need protection against something called malware which makes it easy to hack into our computers.
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https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-joins-effort-sanction-venezuela-1.4838359

Sounds reasonable? That's because, like all bad reporting, it does not tell the whole story.

Is Venezuela a dictatorship? I don't know. But, certainly, Canadians are scarcely the ones to criticize dictatorships. Canada happily supported the US when it (twice) overthrew Guatemalan governments to install dictators.   Then Canada supported the U.S. when it overthrew the elected government of Haiti, and reinstalled a dictatorship. We even sent what we called peacekeepers to help the new dictatorship.  We had no complaints when the U.S. ruled Cuba with decades of dictatorship. We were silent when an American-backed general destroyed the democratic government of Chile. In the Korean war, we supported the brutal dictatorship (of that time) of South Korea.

But Trump now says the government of Venezuela is truly evil. It's socialist.

Hey, Donald, baby, a country is allowed to have whatever kind of economy it chooses. And remember, it was capitalists, not socialists, who  murdered way over a million people, mostly children and civilians, in  Iraq, who have invaded, murdered and plundered over seventy nations and killed tens of millions of people, mostly civilians since 1945. And whatever evil the government of Venezuela may be doing, it is not the country deliberately starving millions,  mainly children, to death in Yemen. Nor is it Venezuela that has been torturing hundreds of thousands all over the world. So, if Venezuela should face the International Criminal Court, why isn't the U.S. facing it?

Well, that's awkward because the U.S. doesn't recognize the ICC. Why not?

If you had murdered and tortured and napalmed and agent oranged and concentrated on the bombing and starvation of civilians all over the world killing tens of millions,  you might not want to recognize the ICC, either. And that's not even mentioning over 70 illegal U.S. wars in the last 70 years.

No. The U.S. which, in fact, is what created the chaos and poverty and panic in Venezuela through it's illegal sanctions. No way it wants to recognize the ICC. No. It needs a bum boy for that. Enter Justin Trudeau.

And will the virtuous Justin ask the ICC to investigate the American mass starvation of Yemen children? No. Justin is loyal to only one bum.

And just wait for act two. Will Canada commit troops to Venezuela for the U.S? Is there a deal, in that case, for the U.S. to welcome Canada in NAFTA?

Note that none of the recent newspaper reports on Venezuela have mentioned that it is the U.S., not the Venezuela government, which has created the economic crisis in Venezuela by (illegally) forbidding  trade.

Note - I am not particularly arguing this in favour of the government of Venezuela. I am pointing out the absurdity of pointing fingers at Venezuela when the U.S. is the world leader in mass murder and plundering. In that context, Trudeau's offer is cringing and gutless - and an embarrassment to all of us.

A search of the web is even worse.  It's flooded with hate-Venezuela articles. And very, very little mention of years of U.S. efforts to destroy the Venezuela economy.

Oh, and the ICC is no collection of legal angels. It has long been the court of choice for western capitalists who want to attack poor nations.

Amazingly, the irving press seems not to have covered this story at all. I don't think they have anybody who knows how to spell Venezuela.

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https://lfpress.com/opinion/columnists/dyer-attack-in-ahvaz-prelude-to-coming-war-with-iran

Count on it. A war with Iran is pretty much a sure thing. And the cause of it is not Iran. It's American oil bosses and Saudi Arabia who are both looking for plunder.
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Capitalism has always been exploitive and destructive. But, since 1970 or so, we've watched it run out of control. No Canadian or American political party has addressed that in some fifty years. Capitalists are people. Like all people, they cannot be allowed to run free. But that's what they're doing. And, our faces hanging out, we are letting it happen. That greed we allow to run wild will, in the short run, make us increasingly poor. And, probably in the short run, will destroy economies all over the world.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/26/fight-climate-threat-and-greed-good-capitalism-corbyn-offers-radical-plan-rebuild

Trump is not a one-shot wonder. He is a product of the natural greed of capitalism.
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https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/09/26/one-global-finances-biggest-doctors-warns-world-economy-about-get-very-sick
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http://rabble.ca/news/2018/09/doug-ford-rolls-back-climate-policies-while-unprecedented-tornadoes-ravage-his-province

The world has quite a run of irresponsible politicians who serve the greed of the wealthy. Think Ford of Ontario, Trump of the U.S., Blaine Higgs of New Brunswick....
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New Brunswick is heavily forested. New Brunswick has suffered from global warming, exposing us to forest fires. The cities and towns and villages of New Brunswick are wooden.
Connect the dots.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/views-expressed/2018/09/climate-change-and-corporate-greed-combine-destroy-forests
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https://countercurrents.org/2018/09/27/criminals-on-the-international-criminal-court/
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https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/27/illegal-us-nuclear-weapons-handouts/
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A demoralizing but accurate look at Canada's NDP and it's left in general.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/26/a-wake-up-call-to-the-canadian-left/
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This is one reason why we don't have have much time. And why even New Brunswick can't just go on  to be dozy.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/26/an-unforeseen-climate-beast-awakens/
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https://www.globalresearch.ca/glyphosate-linked-to-bee-deaths/5655254

Hey. If glyophosates were a problem, Mr. irving would have told us. I mean, he loves  us. Doesn't he?
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 http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50319.htm 
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 http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50315.htm  
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 http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50322.htm
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 https://truthout.org/articles/brace-for-impact-as-the-climate-end-game-has-arrived/ 
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Capitalism, despite the hack columnists of the irving press, has never eased poverty. And it never will.

 https://truthout.org/articles/census-39-7-million-americans-are-poor/
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Just a quick reading of  the news is not alarming.  Lots of countries, lots of people are doing things they shouldn't be doing. But that's always been true.

So it's no big deal. Right?  Wrong.

We are in the greatest danger we have ever known.

The U.S. is a fading power. It's happening quite suddenly. For all its boasting, the U.S. mililtary performance since 1945 has been abysmal.  U.S. power is dying. As it dies, enthusiasm turns to using what power it has before it's too late. And before it's too late now means very, very soon. In fact, it could be any day now.

Will that save it?  No. At the present state of weapons development, no country on this earth would survive a world war. And that means the drift to using that weaponry is insane. (Insane is not an exaggeration. It is a reality we have to deal with in a world controlled by people who actually believe that a world war makes sense and who are actively encouraging it.)

It is an insanity combined with greed. One sign of that is the willingness to combine wars against civilians and children with world climate destruction. Very few powers - none of the major ones - have made any attempt to deal with climate threat. It is not possible that the billionaires of this world are  unaware of climate change and what it means. It is not possible they could be unaware - and if it is not possible, then it can only be that their greed has driven them insane, and beyond giving a damn for this planet and those who live on it.

(The recent election in New Brunswick shows that the insanity spreads down through all social levels. No party made any significant attempt to raise the crucial issues.)

And the young are encouraged to sign up for the military as a mark of their patriotism. What the hell is patriotic about murdering and starving millions of children to death? Indeed, what is this word 'patriotism' that we use so glibly?

If patriotism is, by definition, good, then all those who signed up to fight for Hitler's Germany - and Italy and Japan - were patriots to be highly admired. So shouldn't we have praised them? The Spaniards who murdered and looted their way through Latin America were patriots. So were the British who killed several hundred million to build their empire. Bless them. They killed out of love for their kings and queens.  So did the Canadians who killed aboriginal people in Canada, and Dutch farmers in South Africa. Then there were all those heroes who almost wiped out the native peoples, men, women and children, of the U.S.
I really wonder how the Spanish and British and Canadians and Americans could be patriotic and, at the same time, Christians.

Trump is now loudmouthing his people to show their patriotism by murdering Syrians and Venezuelans and Afghanis and Yemenis and Russians and Chinese to please American billionaires. And Justin Trudeau is showing his patriotism by offering to help Trump and his billionaires.

We are in the darkening stages of the worst crisis in known history. We need to save the planet, to save ourselves, to make life worthwhile for all of us in all countries....and we're preparing for a world war which, like all wars, will be one to benefit the very, very rich - nobody else.

No. I'm not a patriot. I don't think it's noble to kill people to make billionaires richer.

                                                                                        

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Sept.25: A bad, bad, bad, bad day.

Not a good blog today. I guess I'm out of sorts because of our Mickey Mouse provincial election here in New Brunswick.
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http://www.voltairenet.org/article202998.html

This is a much bigger story than it might seem. As China's exports move into the developing world, Chinese world influence grows. It far outclasses U.S. investment even in Brazil, on the U.S. doorstep.

What we're watching is a world that has a rapidly decreasing interest in U.S. trade, particularly as it is so often accompanied by American violence. Most of Latin America can tell you about that.

In short, we are watching a rapid decline in U.S. influence and power. And how will Canada play this? And how will the U.S. react to our choice?
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And there's this closely related story. It's more than a little misleading, though. Like all recent CBC reports on Venezuela, it has not mentioned that a) the Venezuelan government was elected in a vote certified by the UN as legitimate. b) Venezuela is suffering chaos because the U.S. (illegitimately) has been imposing severe  trade sanctions on it.

What will the U.S. do next? There is every possibility it will invade Venezuela - and that it will in a show of unanimity call on countries like Canada to join it in the killing and plundering of the Venezuelan people. And I wouldn't be surprised if Trudeau were to call it a 'peacekeeping' mission  - just like the time Canada helped the U.S. to overthrow the elected government of Haiti and impose a U.S. puppet government.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/chinese-navy-medical-vessel-arrives-venezuela-1.4835206

Would Trudeau kiss up?  Very likely. For a start, it might mean getting a NAFTA deal with the U.S.

And there's a much bigger meaning to this Venezuela crisis. China is now routinely intervening in the affairs of the American empire - just as the U.S. has been intervening in nations all over the world since 1945. But it now has a rival in China. Already, Brazil's major trading partner is China, not the U.S.

In short, we are watching the decline of the American empire. The U.S. can destroy the world. But it can't conquer it.

And don't worry about those poor American and Canadian oil billionaires. They don't have to worry about paying for all this killing because they don't pay any taxes in the first place.

So bless us for filling in for them.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/yves-englers-blog/2018/09/does-canada-support-invasion-venezuela
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We are, increasingly, getting more vicious storms. Ontario now has had three tornados in just a few days - and the damage is very severe. It's more than time to think very seriously about our weather patterns.
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https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/25/world-audibly-laughs-after-trump-claims-his-administration-among-most-accomplished
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It was ten years ago that (mostly) American bankers created a world crisis by their illegal crash of the U.S. economy. Nobody went to jail. None of them made up that loss. It was taxpayers who had to cover for them with trillions of dollars. And their board members, instead of jail,  got  multi-million dollar bonuses.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/24/ten-years-after-not-one-high-level-banker-sent-jail-tanking-global-economy-man-gets
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https://countercurrents.org/2018/09/25/understanding-1-5c-the-ipccs-forthcoming-special-report/

Don't worry about this. The important thing to remember is that the irving press of New Brunswick hasn't mentioned this. Nor have most of the politicians. So it must be perfectly safe.
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https://countercurrents.org/2018/09/25/this-is-a-global-problem/

Add to that the neat stunt that our billionaires don't have to pay a cent to fight their wars. They don't pay taxes. No. They take the cost of the wars out of  our taxes - and then they get all the profits out of the war.

The outstanding feature of our age is the massive greed of a small group of people. Funny nobody mentioned that in the recent New Brunswick election.
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https://countercurrents.org/2018/09/24/a-world-on-borrowed-time/

Don't worry. If this were true, our oil billionaires would tell us.
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https://www.globalresearch.ca/climate-projections-a-world-on-borrowed-time/5655053
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A product of climate change is destruction to water sources for agriculture. It's happening in the U.S. midwest and in parts of California. Indeed, it's happening all over the world. That means starvation. It means mass migration beyond even the levels we're seeing for the middle east. But who cares? Right?

https://www.atimes.com/article/as-indias-ganga-runs-out-of-water-a-potential-food-shortage-looms
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The news seems slow today. Actually, it may be the most dangerous we have seen since World War 2. The U.S. threatens continued interventions in the middle east - especially Syria and Iran - and in Venezuela. In the cases of Syria and Iran, Russia has committed itself not to back off. And China is showing interest in Venezuela as well as parts of the middle east.

In a more general way, the U.S. acts as though it has the right to interfere in any country - to tell them what they are allowed to buy and sell, to threaten countries when those countries buy weapons to defend themselves; in short, as though the U.S. has the power to rule the world.

We are very, very close to wars that could go nuclear, wars that nobody could win. And while this happens, we are ignoring all the danger signs of climate change. This is not just acting tough on our part. This is insane. Follow the speeches of American figures like Pompeo and Bolton. They are living models of insanity.

And as this happens, the U.S. - whose military record since 1945 is not impressive - is in serious decline, largely because of its monstrous and corrupt defence industries, and its abuse of its own people. Serious disorder in the U.S. is a sure thing. Nor is it likely to take any intelligent stance.

And Canada is next door.
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Meanwhile, my home province of New Brunswick has had a provincial election of absurdities. The Conservative party, led by a former executive for the richest man in the province, had nothing that could be called a platform except a vague statement about permitting fracking. Just what we need. And it just happens that this would exactly meet the wishes of his former boss (who, like most of the super-wealthy of this world, doesn't pay income tax, and who expects the government to had him millions more every year.)

And the won a plurality of seats. I have no idea why.

The Liberal party lost by a hair but, with the support of another party, may be able to form a government. The Liberals didn't have much in the way of a platform.  ( But the Conservatives had even less.)

So balance of power - whether for Conservatives or Liberals - will be in two parties which each scored 3 winning candidates.

The Greens party, which ran on almost nothing, cannot possibly support the Conservatives. Well, maybe. Any party that ran on nothing in the first place could, I guess, support anybody.

Then there's the People's Alliance Party. This is a painful one. I grew up and lived in a Quebec ridden with hatreds based on language  Indeed, the hatreds became a variety of racism which led to an election that put the French racists into power so they could destroy the English community.  (That's why I now live in New Brunswick instead of Quebec. I find even my occasional visits to Quebec very painful. The face of racism is always there.)

The People's Alliance Party of New Brunswick is the English equivalent of  Quebec's racism. New Brunswick had worked out a dual official language policy which is working well. The PAP will destroy that. I loathed French racists in Quebec. English racists in New Brunswick are no more attractive,

My guess is that the PAP will find it easiest to join the Conservatives who, after all, have no principles at all.

Oh, yeah. The PAP also think it's terribly important to be nice to our billionaires, and make sure they don't have to pay any nasty taxes.  (This is the line also followed by the New Brunswick newspapers who insist that making the rich richer will make us all rich. It hasn't worked for over 150 years but, what the hell,....)

No matter how this turns out, this has been a disastrous election for New Brunswick. It has no political party of any substance whatever. It has a population that votes like robots. It has dreadful news sources so it is hopelessly ignorant of what is going on. And its voters line up like sheep.

The good part?  New Brunswick elections can't get worse.

The bad part?  New Brunswick elections can't get better.
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Oh, yes. On this momentous day, our irving press has four commentaries. Three of them are from 'think-tanks', propaganda houses owned by billionaires.

Then it has a commentary on the election by Chris Morris who sees hope in the rise of two parties that elected three each. Come off it! The Greens had, at best, one point to offer. And PAP was our equivalent of Donald Trump.

The people of New Brunswick will never  have a decent government until they learn to think for themselves.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Sept. 22: Decision time - sort of......

The following column is about universities in England - but it applies with at least equal force in North America. In addition to what is listed below, university professors are the only teachers in any education system that have no training whatever in how to teach. And, oh, it shows in the classrooms.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/20/university-factory-failed-tony-blair-social-mobility-jobs
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http://rabble.ca/podcasts/shows/rabble-radio/2018/09/domino-effect-and-climate-change

We have very little time. And the Conservative party of New Brunswick thinks we need to encourage climate change with fracking. (He softens it by saying he would allow it only on property owned by people who agree to it. Cute. But it doesn't affect just those people. It affects all of us. Leader Blaine Higgs must think we're all pretty dumb. And if we vote for him, that will prove he's right.)
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http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/indigenous-nationhood/2018/09/its-indigenous-and-environmental-groups-protect-public

But Blaine Higgs is the servant of another god.
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For a century, Canadian and American mining companies have been making life hell for the people of Latin America. But our news media never report on that. In the 1970s, the American-imposed government of Guatemala with the cooperation of George Bush sr. murdered some 200, 000 men, women and children native people in that country.

But it never made most of the news media, not even here in New Brunswick where one of the murdered was a lay missionary from this province. Luckily, the CBC has been better than most of our news media.

https://miningwatch.ca/blog/2018/8/15/guatemalan-communities-deliver-message-resistance-new-ceo-tah
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I include this book review not because I know it to be true but because it is plausible in a story that otherwise is not.

https://countercurrents.org/2018/09/11/the-fakest-fake-news-the-u-s-governments-9-11-conspiracy-theory/

The U.S., almost immediately, used the 9/11 attack as an excuse for the war on Afghanistan - though that excuse is not believable. There is not, and never has been, any evidence that the government of Afghanistan had anything to do with 9/11. Indeed, it had offered to hand over bin Laden and others to the international court at The Hague. Why didn't the U.S. accept that?

Because it had already planned its invasion as the start of a series of invasions that would include Iraq.

Most of the 9/11 attackers had no connection with Afghanistan - but with Saudi Arabia.

And when U.S. undercover agents captured  bin Laden, why did they kill him? This was the man, we were told, who had planned the whole thing. What a source of information he would have been! What a trophy! What was the point of killing him?
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https://countercurrents.org/2018/09/21/palestine-the-testbed-for-trumps-plan-to-tear-up-the-rules-based-international-order/
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Are Moslems bigots, oppressors and murderers? Well, some of them are. And in that respect, so are most Christians. But us Christians only see evil and abuse of the scriptures when it's practiced by non-Christians. That's why we can  feel free to starve children to death in Yemen.

https://countercurrents.org/2018/09/21/the-myth-of-an-intolerant-islam/
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Yes. This next source is prejudiced. Think of it as a counter to the massive prejudice of the regular news media.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/hurricane-flooding-exposes-mass-poverty-class-oppression-in-america/5654710
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http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50308.htm
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http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50302.htm
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George Orwell was a man of generations ago. But he's still way ahead of our news media.

https://off-guardian.org/2018/09/22/why-i-join-the-ilp/
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https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-09-22/china-threatens-us-consequences-if-it-does-not-immediately-revoke-sanctions-over

The U.S. can't win a war against Afghanistan peasantry  - or against starving children in Yemen. So it might want to pause before considering one with China.
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http://www.voltairenet.org/article202998.html
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The news has been a little slow today. But the general situation has not changed.

We are deep into warlike postures with the U.S. leading the way. It is far the most aggressive nation in the world. And it's Russia, in particular, which has been trying to ease the tensions.

Big money has taken over the western world - and parts of the rest of the world. At a time when we desperately need food for the starving, shelter for the displaced, action on climate change....we are producing greater tragedies every day. The craze for killing and conquest at the expense of all other issues is what rules our world. And, yes, all the shots are called by those people we call our leading capitalists. The own us. They own our politicians. They own our news sources. Their greed has no limits. Their intelligence, alas, does have limits. And that puts the whole world in danger of an economic crash if we don't first wipe out our civilization with nuclear war.

As it is, Americans are weathering declining living standards so they can divert spending  from education and health into the pockets of the rich in the form of, say, billions of dollars spent to pay the arms industry to supply the weapons to murder children and starve them to death - and to produce handsome profits for weapons capitalists who then hide their profits from taxation.

The is all quite insane.
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Nor is the New Brunswick election likely to bring any sanity back.

Worse is the Conservative Party which seems to have no social values whatever. Blaine Higgs, the leader of the party, summed up his campaign with assurances that we should vote for him - and you know how he will reward us?

He actually said this.  If we elect him, he will answer the phone and politely answer any questions we have. This must be the most moronic political party in Canadian history. And it is quite possible that it might win.

Abandon hope all ye who vote Conservative.

The Liberals have clearer policies. But most of their suggestions do not deal with the real issues of our time. They have what they probably call neat ideas - rather like a barber who snips here and there but, having no clue what a haircut looks like, simply snips in weird patterns.

The Greens and the NDP have a few decent ideas,  here and there. But there is no sense in either of them of a general social philosophy. Nor does either of them have anything to say about the  power of the wealthy families of this province to steal fortunes from us by hiding their wealth from taxation - and by routinely plundering the provincial treasury for handouts. There's no sense of an anger that should be there, and no sense of a general policy. We are being poisoned by chemical sprays these people use on our forest - and us. That gets, maybe, a mention.

Then there's the People's Action Party.... donne moi un break.

New Brunswickers are sheep led to the slaughter. There is no tradition of open, political debate in this province. There's no tradition of an anger that should be there. The only (fairly) honest news medium is CBC. But I notice it rarely tackles the big issues in New Brunswick.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Sept. 20: The provincial election? Forget it.

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/FMfcgxvzKkmXccmbPBszHRxCGKvJcRXv

This first item is a  long extract from a new book about journalism in Britain. It's a long read, but an important one in understanding our own journalism.
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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/18/surprise-truce-brokered-by-turkey-and-russia-spares-idlib-for-now

The news out of Idlib, the Syrian city that is held by 'rebels' - mostly Moslem fighters of the same  groups who staged 9/11 but are now best friends of the U.S. - has been confusing - but looking better for the civilians of the region.

The 'rebels' are being allowed to leave the city. Syria and Russia will hold back until they do so. As a result, civilians will be spared mass murder that would result from an assault by Syria and Russia.

There's more than a little cynicism on all sides in this. The idea that the Americans or Russians or Syrians or Turks or Israelis or Syrian rebels give a damn about killing civilians is absurd. Indeed, the U.S. is now starving to death a whole generation of babies and children in Yemen. Estimates say the death toll will be in the millions.

The sparing of civilians lives in Idlib, has more, far more, to do with national images than with compassion. But it's better than the alternative - which might well have been a U.S.-Russia war.

This is probably far the most important news of the day - but not in the irving press. For Sept. 19, this story rated last place in a series of very brief items on the last page. It needed the space for the big story of the day, "Cyclists peddle removal  of roadblocks to infrastructure".
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This story wasn't important enough for our irving press.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/sep/10/starvation-a-weapon-of-war-that-could-kill-590000-children-by-the-end-of-2018
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I hesitated in including this next item about Canada and racism. This incident, terrible though it is, is pretty tame stuff about  racism in Canada that was very widespread indeed not just a hundred years ago but well into the 1980s. And it went far beyond African Canadians to include Chinese, Japanese,    Hindus, Jews... And it still goes on. McGill University had a quota that excluded large numbers of Jews and Africans. Some years ago, I was the advisor for a National Film Board Film called Show Girls. In the days when Montreal was the nightclub capital of North America,  African girls and even a child like Sammy Davis Jr. were permitted to perform in White Montreal clubs - but African Canadians were not permitted to be customers or to talk to  customers. When my uncle travelled with his boxers, the Africans were not permitted to stay in most "White" hotels.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/20/canada-racism-past-civil-rights-charles-daniels-bashir-mohamed

https://www.nfb.ca/film/show-girls/
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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/18/venezuela-nicolas-maduro-salt-bae-istanbul

Most of our news media have not reported on why Venezuelans are being starved - by the U.S. government. The man who has ordered their starvation is Donald Trump. So where's the story about Trump enjoying a big meal? Where's the story about Trump lying in a comfortable bed while millions of Americans, including children, have to live in foul conditions - and even on the streets? Or about him dining in style while the children of Yemen starve to death?

Where's the story about the Queen's fine dining while thousands of children in Britain live in  the streets?
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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/19/yemen-famine-million-more-children-at-risk-

The irving press has largely ignored this. Can you imagine its coverage if it were North Korea causing the famine?
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Too true.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/indigenous-nationhood/2018/09/its-indigenous-and-environmental-groups-protect-public
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A corrupt and dying society.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/20/how-does-trump-even-sleep-night-cuts-cancer-research-head-start-and-womens-shelters
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https://countercurrents.org/2018/09/20/hurricane-flooding-exposes-mass-poverty-class-oppression-in-america/
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https://countercurrents.org/2018/09/20/florence-voter-apathy-in-the-american-carolinas/

Hey,  there ain't no climate change. Ain't happenin'. Ask Mr. Irving. He'll tell you. And he knows.  He studied at university for two years. Wow!
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https://countercurrents.org/2018/09/17/plastic-pollution-the-age-of-unsolvable-problems/
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https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/20/hold-the-front-page-the-reporters-are-missing/
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...and, just as in Canada...

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50298.htm
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http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50296.htm
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Well, I believed the recent reports of Chinese brutality toward Muslims. But this report raises some very serious questions. The charge of Chinese brutality did NOT come from the UN. It came from just one member of the committee investigating it - and it was the American member. Funny our media reports never mentioned that.

https://off-guardian.org/2018/09/19/no-the-un-did-not-report-china-has-massive-internment-camps-for-uighur-muslims/
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https://theantimedia.com/epa-9-11/

Here, in New Brunswick, we don't need a Donald Trump. We have the Conservative Party led by Blaine Higgs.
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https://truthout.org/articles/industrial-firms-are-using-trade-associations-to-oppose-climate-policy/
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And now, what's happening here in New Brunswick.

In recent weeks, I've been following a new, regular columnist. He's a university professor who is, we are told, an authority on regional economic planning. As he has done before, his Sept. 19 column is an attack on  the provincial government for deficit spending. And, as he has not done before, he still does not mention that the very wealthy of this province don't pay income tax, underpay property tax, and live happily off massive gifts of our money from the government.

Of course, we have to overspend to offer the basic services of our society. But columnist Rob Emery doesn't seem to understand that. Nor does he seem to know how much it costs us every day to stuff the pockets of our already wealthy. And he's a specialist in finance?

Sorry. I can't take this guy seriously.

Then there's the New Brunswick provincial election.  (Sigh!)

The Liberal governing party is unimpressive with very little sense of the challenges facing us. But it gets one thing right in opposing fracking.

The Conservative  Party, which is actually the only serious contender to beat the Liberals, has no intelligent or coherent policy on anything, no sense of any social philosophy or purpose.  It's leader is obviously the lead sled dog for the man who owns this province.  And his bow-wow means he intends, in this world that has the greatest climate crisis in known history, to restore fracking.

The Greens, though way short of dealing with our very serious climate problems, at least have a sense of them - if only a vague one.  The NDP?

Many years ago, I  had a long supper with Stephen Lewis. He was a brilliant man, and the leader (and creator) of the NDP.

Earlier, he had been leader of the CCF (Cooperative Commonwealth Federation). This was a party that actually had a social philosophy behind its politics. It had been a party founded on Judaeo/Christian values that were broadly acceptable to other major religions, too. It was a party unique to its time (and our time, too) in that its concern was to serve the needs of the people  rather than to be fronts for the wealthy. That was the party that brought medicare to Canada. That meant it has a strong thread of socialist principle - which, if  you read The Bible - you will also find in that book.

In 1939, the then leader of the CCF was a clergyman, Rev. J.S. Woodsworth. Relying on his Christian principles, he was the only MP to vote against going to war. (Actually, and I say this as thousands of members of The Canadian Legion bang their beer bottles on the table in anger, there was a good deal of truth and sense in his position.)

 And Stephen Lewis had been the major figure in breaking up the CCF to become the NDP.  The major part of the change was dropping the socialist principles. So that's what I asked Stephen Lewis about at that supper.

The problem, he said, was that the party had no money. You need big money to fight elections. The Liberals and Conservatives get their's from billionaires. Nobody could win elections without that kind of money.  He could not possibly get such money from billionaires. So he had to turn to unions.

But the unions, alas, had a good deal in common with the bosses. And they weren't interested in Judaeo/Christian principles any more than the bosses were.  So the new party, the NDP, came out as a pretty wimpy compromise. Which it still is.   

The other parties in this year's election aren't to be taken seriously.

Well, let's not kid ourselves. None of the parties is to be taken seriously. The Conservatives are actively destructive. The Liberals drift. And the other parties aren't really in the game, anyway.

The population of New Brunswick, thanks to the irving press, are almost entirely ignorant of the issues. So this election, like most,  will consist of voters lining up at the polls and saying Baa-aaa, baa-aa.

Meanwhile, climate change IS happening - and quickly. The wealthy, who take bows for creating jobs, are robbing this province blind, moving wealth from all of us to themselves. Their greed and political power are setting us up for one hell of a financial crisis. Maybe even the 1930s all over.

But don't worry. Their greed is setting us up for a war that will, in its own way solve all our problems.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Sept. 18: The Lies We Are Told....

https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/charts-climate-change-bar-codes-1.4802293

Well,  not to worry. This story hasn't been important enough to make the irving press. Anyway, in this election time the politicians have more urgent issues to discuss - like developing fracking......
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https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/jobs-of-future-technology-davos-1.4826623

This should be a major issue in the New Brunswick provincial election. Nobody's even mentioning it.
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This has  the seeds of World War Three.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/18/russia-military-aircraft-syria-jet-lost-contact

NB - Notice that one of the reports quoted in this article from The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. As editors at The Guardian know, this is a propaganda outfit based in Britain, operated by the Syrian opposition, a propaganda house aimed at the Syria government, and subsidized by the U.S.
Shouldn't The Guardian editors have mentioned that?
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You will never see this story in the irving press.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/sep/18/preventing-palestine-review-israel-pyrrhic-victories
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Most countries use torture. As it happens, I once taught with a man from the French army who happily showed photos of prisoners he had tortured. The U.S. is almost certainly the world's biggest torturer. But almost all armies have used it.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/17/how-the-french-state-was-corrupted-by-its-use-of-torture-in-algeria-conflict

Funny thing. I've often seen patriotic war movies. But I've never seen one showing our side using torture.
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https://lfpress.com/opinion/columnists/dyer-palestinians-may-suffer-but-wont-surrender
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https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/18/unconscionable-and-appalling-affront-those-fleeing-us-backed-wars-and-persecution

We are barely beginning to see the hordes of refugees being created by the wars of American capitalism
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https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/17/melting-permafrost-projections-reveal-paris-climate-goals-risk-study

No need for New Brunswickers to worry about climate change. The Liberals and Conservatives won't even mention it.
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https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/17/dumbest-policy-world-report-details-how-canadas-massive-fossil-fuel-subsidies

Gee!  Here's a story that hasn't much made the news in Canada. (And not at all in the irving press. But here we are - handing out at least many, many millions to oil companies - you know, those companies that don't pay taxes. Oh, I forgot - they create jobs.....
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https://www.commondreams.org/further/2018/09/16/we-can-all-be-accused-something
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https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/09/18/capitalist-manifesto-let-poor-people-die
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http://rabble.ca/columnists/2018/09/corporate-canada-wants-trudeau-adopt-trump-style-tax-reform

Isn't it terrible the way we tax rich people? I mean, the really rich don't pay any tax anyway but, you know, it's the idea...like...sort of.... But I'm sure Mr. Higgs and his compassionate Conservatives will fix that.
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The irving press wouldn't dare to run this story.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/independent-jewish-voices-canada/2018/09/jdl-supporters-do-not-represent-my-judaism
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https://countercurrents.org/2018/09/18/wiping-palestine-off-the-map/
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I cannot recall seeing this story in our local press. It's quite astonishing.

https://countercurrents.org/2018/09/18/trial-of-cop-who-killed-laquan-mcdonald-begins-with-only-one-black-person-on-jury/
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This is not as clear a read as it should be. I include because it mentions - if unclearly - something that I think is true. There is no 'left' in Canada. And that may explain the blandness of the current New Brunswick election.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/what-is-the-left-in-canada/5654192

Blaine Higgs of the Conservatives is, of course, very far right, though even that seems to have nothing to do with principal. He is simply an obedient, unthinking servant.
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Of course, American bombs never kill babies.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50285.htm
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http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50282.htm
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We kid ourselves about what  nice guy Obama was compared to Trump. The reality is that Obama, like most presidents of the last couple of centuries was as brutal and murderous as they come. Trump is bad. But Obama, despite appearances, was not good.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50263.htm
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http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50269.htm
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The "victory" of the Iraq war was no victory. The war still goes on.

https://theintercept.com/2018/09/16/isis-has-not-vanished-it-is-fighting-a-guerrilla-war-against-the-iraqi-state/
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A reader wrote at the foot of my previous blog (Sept.15) that our news media, including even the CBC, are lying about the news. The reader cites the example of the CBC in its reporting of the news from Venezuela. Now, CBC journalists are among the best in the world when it comes to reporting. But, alas, it has lied about the news from Venezuela.

In reporting on the chaos in Venezuela, it has avoided telling the truth about the cause of it. The cause is not a socialist government in Venezuela. And it's not evil people - at least - not evil Venezuelans. It's been caused by the U.S. which has imposed crippling and impoverishing conditions on the country. It has no legal or moral right to do that. But it's doing it savagely, creating dreadful poverty and even starvation - just as it has to Cuba for almost seventy years, and for North Korea and many other countries.  Why?

U.S. oil bosses want absolute control of Venezuela's oil production - perhaps the largest in the world. What they don't want is for Venezuelans to control it for the benefit of the people of Venezuela. More broadly, the don't want any Latin American country to control its own resources. So far as American billionaires are concerned, everything in Latin America - mines, agriculture, oil - everything belongs to them.

There is every possibility that the U.S. is setting up Venezuela for an invasion- perhaps with Canadian help. I believe I can think of a Canadian oil player who would encourage that.

The CBC has assigned a very experienced reporter to cover this story from Venezuela.  The reporter is an intelligent one - but......well, it appears certain that the Trudeau government has leaned on the CBC to make sure it doesn't tell the whole truth.  And so far there's been not a mention of what this is really all about - the greed of the oil bosses, and the brutality of the U.S. in imposing starvation conditions.

I still think the CBC journalists are far the best that Canada has. But I also know from my broadcasting experience that even CBC sometimes lies. But think of where this lie can be leading.

When the current government of Venezuela got elected, the UN team sent to monitor the election reported it was a all honest and commendable. The American news media  (and some Canadian ones) reported it was wildly illegal. The 'wildly illegal' version became the standard verdict of the American news media. Of course. American big business wanted it that way.

So why is the Trudeau government ordering the CBC to give this false version?

  Consider this possibility.

Trump intends to invade Venezuela. But he needs a touch respectability in this. Trudeau needs a trade deal. Would Trudeau commit Canadian troops to make the American attack seems legitimate? And to make Trump grateful? You bet he would.

Canada wouldn't even have to be part of the original attack. It could play the role of a peacekeeping force once the elected leaders of Venezuela had been disposed of. We played that game before when the U.S. overthrew the elected government of Haiti, and Canada sent 'peacekeepers' to help impose an American puppet government on Haiti.
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We, led by our news media, call Muslim militants terrorists. (I've done it myself.) You think they should? Okay.

 So how come western armies aren't called terrorists?

 Seriously. Ever since 1945 - and earlier - western military forces have repeatedly and deliberately murdered civilians by the millions. That was particularly notable in the bombing of North Korea, in the war in Iraq in which Britain and the U.S. killed something like a  half million children, and the war in Yemen where the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have been starving at least hundreds of thousands to death - and it could hit the millions. There was the war in Vietnam in which children were shot, gassed, burned alive in numbers we have never been told. The killing of children and adult civilians is not something the West avoids. Indeed, it has always been a feature of imperial wars. Columbus introduced trained killer dogs to hunt down an kill the indigenous people of South America. Estimates are the British killed, starved or murdered some 350 million people, mostly civilians and children in building their empire. As late as the 1945 they deliberately starved way over a million innocent people to death in India.

All war is terrorism. So how come we only use the word for Muslims?

Oh, I know. It was those terrible people of 9/11.  Because they killed 3,000 Americans. Terrible. Actually the U.S. has killed thousands of times that, starting many, many years before 9/11. Israel has been sniping, firing into Palestinian territory to kill children and medics. Most of that doesn't even make the news.

News lies. Part of that is quite deliberate. Part of that is because us humans see the evil in others - but rarely in ourselves.

Very, very few of the news media rise above that. It's almost unheard of for a commercial news medium to be honest - and, like CBC, even the non-commercial ones occasionally lie. (The BBC is a good deal worse.)

The other side is always evil. Our side are - as the British would say - splendid chaps.

Fighting for their country. So if we start killing Venezuelans to make our oil barons richer, be proud. Onward, Christian soldiers!

And don't forget to go to the irving chapel this Sunday. - with the best preacher money can buy.
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As I finished today's blog,  I was reminded of a man I once taught with, a veteran of World War 2. His regiment had just liberated a village in France. It was on Sunday and they celebrated with a church service at which the clergyman said they would win this war because God was on their side.

A local citizen, seated beside my friend, grinned. He said, "The German priest gave the same sermon just before they left this morning."

The first casualty - perhaps - is the Christian churches. In almost every 'Christian' war I have ever heard of, the clergy supported their country. British churches supported the horrible slaughter of Imperial days. American churches prayed for the soldiers who went out to slaughter native peoples. The mass murderer, Christopher Columbus, always had the blessing of the church.

There is surely something unChristian about starving children to death in Yemen, about building the most expensive war machine in world history, about targeting civilians by Christian bomber pilots, about endless warfare all over the world....

Have  you heard anything from the pulpit about it? If it was aborted babies, you would. That would be unChristian. But, apparently, by Christian standards it's okay to bomb, starve, napalm, spray agent orange children  and adult civilians by the millions. Why, here in New Brunswick, it's even okay to spray us locals with murderous chemicals. Figure you'll hear a sermon on that subject at the Irving Chapel?

No. I don't think so, either.

At the age of 16, I was going to train for the United Church ministry. At seventeen I was responsible for a mission church in Montreal's red light district. (The hookers and pimps would come, and I'd tell them all about life.)

Alas, I got kicked out of high school. So the ministry was out of the question. However, I still spoke many times in churches and synagogues, and led services.

But I no longer do. I look at the gutless and brainless posters advertising coming topics for the services. Will you get into  heaven? Does Jesus love you? Perhaps the world's greatest failure of the last two thousand years has been Christianity. Far from leading us to a more Christian world, it has led to mass murder, mass theft, mass greed.....

No. That's not what Christ was about. Nor was Christ about standing around and watching this silently. But now? Christian churches seem mostly about getting into heaven. And and going to them makes  you more respectable in your social circle.

There are some good ideas in the Bible. Too bad our Christians and their churches don't care about  them.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Sept. 15: The failure of politics.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/14/paul-manafort-trumps-ex-campaign-chair-strikes-plea-deal-with-special-counse

This could be dangerous for all of us.

Yes. Trump is blustering liar, an international bully with both friends and foes, an egomaniac...and the list goes on. In consequence, his popularity rating is sinking - fast. But he had begun three projects that were sensible. One was getting out of Syria. Two was paving the way to peace with North Korea. Three was doing the same with Russia.

Now, all three are back on the table - and two of them have the potential to take us into the horror of a world war - Syria and Russia, and both of those threats are being led by Trump. Why?

It's probably happening because his popularity is in free fall as his government falls into collapse in approaching mid-term elections. And the question is who it will fall to. Yes, it will most likely fall to  Democrats. But many, many Democrats are as dangerous as Trump. Obama has a nice image, but his enthusiasm for war and mass murder has been as strong as any Republican's.

The bizarre reality is that weakening Trump may make things even worse.
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https://www.theguardian.com/weather/ng-interactive/2018/sep/11/atlantic-hurricanes-are-storms-getting-worse

Yes. Climate change is happening. But climate change is not an issue in the New Brunswick election. That tells us something about New Brunswick.
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https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/15/europe-meat-dairy-production-2050-expert-warns
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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/12/venezuela-trump-nicolas-maduro-military-option

Venezuela may be the richest oil country in the world. But it's economy is wildly out of control due to sanctions imposed on it by the U.S. government. Notice that the news report didn't mention that? That's a form of what's called fake news.

My paper didn't mention that Venezuela is in meetings with China - almost certainly economic ones. If so, this would be the second Latin American country to attack itself to China. (The other is Brazil). The U.S. empire is not healthy.
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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/15/china-pitiless-war-on-muslim-uighurs-poses-dilemma-for-the-west

China's behaviour in this is indefensible. But note the tone of this story. Us western democracies, it says, find this reprehensible. Oh? Just how democratic is a country like the U.S. in which governments are bought by the wealthy?  And are we concerned at the mass killing of Muslims in China? How come nobody notices our mass killing of Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria...?

Yes. It is terrible what China is doing. It is acting just like us. And that is not what the revolution was supposed to be about.
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http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/views-expressed/2018/09/fuck-antisemitism-lets-be-clear-criticism-israel-not
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Canadian mining companies are as ruthless as anybody in the business.

https://miningwatch.ca/blog/2018/8/15/guatemalan-communities-deliver-message-resistance-new-ceo-tahoe-resources
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https://consortiumnews.com/2018/09/14/freedom-flotilla-missions-will-continue-until-palestine-is-free/
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https://countercurrents.org/2018/09/15/our-planet-is-angry/
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https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-us-the-century-of-lost-wars/5653844
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http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50260.htm
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There's a great deal of feeling that Obama was a better president than Trump, and that he represented a return to moderation. Alas! It's not true. The evils that afflict the U.S. have been characteristic of almost all  US governments since 1945 at least. And Obama is right up there with the worst.

And a Democrat victory, by itself, will mean nothing at all.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50263.htm
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Long - but an excellent survey of the great, American myth that God has chosen America to rule.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50257.htm
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Britain has accused to Russians as having been agents  to carry out chemical murders in Britain. Critics claim that the British government is lying. I have no idea what the truth is. I include the next piece not because I think it's true but because it's a version of the story we aren't getting from our news media. (Whether it's true I have no idea.)

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50264.htm
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Trump has no right, legal or moral, to get involved in the war in Syria. Indeed, he was recently close to pulling out. But, suddenly,  he seems to be changing his mind. Why? It could be because he has lately suffered large drops in popularity, drops so great that it puts him in trouble for the mid-term election of congress. It also has turned off key members of his own party - and American economic imperialists - who want a greater war in Syria.

And that war has every possibility of being the greatest - and last - war in history. With no winner.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50250.htm
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https://off-guardian.org/2018/09/14/conspiracies-are-not-all-theoretical/

Again, I have no idea whether these charges are true. But, most certainly, 9/11 became the excuse for American wars against Afghanistan and Iraq - with a spillover for Syria. So why has there not been a more believable study of it?
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https://off-guardian.org/2018/09/15/p-is-for-phosphorus-and-for-projection/
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https://www.rt.com/news/438420-austria-schools-german-language/

I don't find this alarming. I attended an elementary school in which a  large proportion of the students were Syrian, Italian, Polish - and so on. They spoke those languages at home. Why not? These were the ones they were accustomed to. But they all spoke English at school and, later in life, at home.

This reminds me of Canada's new political party founded by Maxime Bernier, once a contender for the Conservative leadership and easily far enough to the far, far right to attract the support of the National Post is concerned about a related 'problem'. He feels all immigrants should be required to share Canadian values.

Oh?  And what are Canadian values? Christianity? Actually, it's on  the decline. Conservatism? That's not what the polls are showing. Education for all? Then why do we make it impossible for most children to go to university? Language tolerance? That's hardly been a feature of Canadian life. Caring for the homeless? Hell, no. The greatest value of caring in Canada is making sure that billionaires don't have to pay taxes.

American values? Well, yes. I guess that might include the value of starving babies to death the Yemen - the murder of half a million children in Iraq...yeah! Let's hear it for American and Canadian values.
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https://truthout.org/articles/trumps-economy-is-on-a-path-to-a-bust/

The movement of money from all the rest of us to the 1% is far advanced. 99% of us are getting poorer. That, by itself, means we are heading for disaster. But there's more.

The robot worker period is rapidly taking over. Thousands are being fired from their jobs to be replaced by robots. It will soon be hundreds of thousands. And the worst of it will fall on minimum wage workers. But don't be smug if you're a medium wage person.

The loss of hundreds of thousands of low wage workers means a huge loss in tax revenues and in spending - billions of dollars lost for all of us - except for the very wealthy who pocket all that lost wealth as a product of their greed. We are  heading into an economic and social disaster. (I'll return to this at the end.)
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In 1945, we had the chance to put an end to war - and to greed and to exploitation. We formed the United Nations to create a new world. Then we allowed the super-wealthy and their cohorts to ruin it. We remember, on Nov. 11, those who served and died. But we forget everything we promised they had died for.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article202751.html

No. I will not be standing at attention on Nov. 11 with my hand on my heart and saluting the flag. I have more respect for those who served than that.
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The New Brunswick election drones on, dreary and dismal.  Most candidates offer trivial ideas - as if an election were something like tidying up a room.

It's not like that at all. It's not about twitching some programme and improving it a bit. It's about going to the people with a clear statement of basic principles essential to the operation of a democracy. It's not about touching things up, rather like repainting scratches. It's about the basic values of what a candidate stands for - and then where that takes us in what has to be done.

I have seen no sign of that in any party.

This is a province being robbed blind by its wealthy. Hear any speeches about that? This is a province that some are planning to bring back fracking in defiance of all the danger this poses. Hear anything about that?

We live in a world that faces the biggest survival crisis ever known. (Experts tell us that. But we believe the wealthy whose intelligence ranks a great deal lower than their greed.)

We face an economic crash, soon, as a result of that greed, But I have heard of no plan to prevent that.

Listening to the speeches, I have no idea what the various parties stand for beyond tidying up our hospitals. I have no idea what their social values, if any, might be.

The Greens and the NDP seem to have some, vague idea about the problems facing us. But they don't want to upset the voters by mentioning them.

This is a socially and intellectually flaccid province with political parties to match. We live in a world that is crashing. And they want to fix it up with a dust cloth.




Thursday, September 13, 2018

Sept. 13:The fall of New Brunswick

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/pope-bishops-february-abuse-prevention-summit-1.4819974
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American governments had decided there would be a World War Three even as World War Two ended in 1945. That's what the Korean war was supposed to be - the launching point of a war on China. But that and other wars to that end did not go well. Vietnam, for example, was a disaster.

Then came 9/11. That seemed a golden door to opening the way to the U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria.....  But this time, China and Russia are ready to block the way, and even to replace American influence in the region.

The British claim that Russian agents attempted to murder a Russian agent who lived in Britain, using a chemical poison, has been the opening act of creating an 'evil enemy' as justification for western wars.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50231.htm

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50225.htm

Now follows the main theme - the evil of people who would use chemicals - and using that theme as the excuse for a war that has nothing to do with virtue and everything to do with greed. (In reality, it is the U.S., not all those 'evil' people, which has been quite lavish in its use of chemical weapons for 70 years and more.)

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50240.htm

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50239.htm

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50233.htm

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50234.htm

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50238.htm

And all of this will promote the destruction of American freedoms that were lost on 9/11.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50236.htm

We are watching what could well be the start of World War Three. It's quite possible that Canada will be asked to 'do it's share' - though why we should share in a war that is only to benefit American capitalists is not clear to me.

Everything above has been known for at least twenty years. But most of it has never made our news media. And, for sure, it has not been in the irving press of this province.

It might also be telling us something about Trump. Perhaps the only successes of his rule have been the improvement of relations with Russia and North Korea. Now he's done a u-turn that could lead to a war unwinnable for anybody. Why has he done that?

Is it possible that the recent scandals in the government have made it possible for his enemies - many big business leaders and much of the Republican party - to force him under their control?
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The leader of the Labour Party in Britain is being hounded by a campaign to paint him as an anti-semite. He isn't an anti-semite at all. But he has criticized the Israeli government - and that's a no-no. I have a lot of sympathy for Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour Party.

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/FMfcgxvzKbNnncPmXHNSMNGdFjcfCPTm

Many years ago, the government of Israel created an Israeli Lobby in the U.S., Canada, and other western countries. It's job was to destroy anyone in those countries who ever criticized anything Israel did. It did so by infiltrating Jewish groups like B'Nai Brith to ensure than none of them every criticized anything done by the Israeli government. That's why North American newspapers have never reported on the incident when Israeli aircraft carried out hours of bombing an American navy ship, killing large numbers of the crew. It lasted for hours. It was deliberate. But our news media were silent.

For many years in Montreal, I gave dozens of talks every year, largely to Jewish groups. Indeed, I spoke at almost every synagogue in the city as well as the Jewish library. For that matter, my social circle as largely Jewish.

But I was sometimes critical of Israel for its abuse of arabs, even those many arabs who were Israeli citizens, it's humiliations of them, and it's frequent thefts of Palestinian land. That didn't bother my Jewish audiences. But, oh, it annoyed the Montreal chapter of the Jewish lobby.

In one week, it got me fired from a radio station I had been broadcasting from for 30 years or so. It also got me fired from a Jewish library where I had been a monthly speaker for some fifteen years. In both cases, I was replaced by the leader of the Israeli lobby in Montreal - though he lasted only a few months in those jobs.
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Trump's obvious lies have him crashing in the polls. Does this mean a crash in the midterm elections that will put the Democrats into effective power? Probably.

Does that mean an improvement? That depends on which Democrats get elected. Both parties are mired in profound corruption. Both parties are controlled  by very wealthy people who want wars for their own profit. There is, however, a movement within the Democrat party to change that. Fingers crossed.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/13/donald-trump-says-hurricane-maria-death-toll-number-was-made-up-by-democrats
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The Chinese government practices bigotry against its own people.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/13/uighur-xinjiang-family-missing-china-kazakhstan

That makes China a lot like us.
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https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/13/palestinians-still-face-apartheid-israel-25-years-after-oslo-accord

I vividly remember the Palestinian who had just completed his BA, and now had to return home. As he sat in my office, he was close to tears as he talked of the horror and hopelessness he was returning to.
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I remember, in my high school teaching days, a teacher from France who enjoyed showing students photos of himself torturing Algerians. Most countries torture.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/13/france-state-responsible-for-1957-death-of-dissident-maurice-audin-in-algeria-says-macron
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The mighty U.S. is going to rule the world?

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/11/seventeen-years-after-911-pentagon-report-ignores-trillions-dollars-spent-endless
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https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/12/nuclear-plants-toxic-waste-sites-under-threat-florence-readies-mike-tyson-punch

As well, the hurricane threatens an oil pipeline. But I wouldn't worry. The leader of our peovincial Conservative party tells us that oil pipelines are the safest way to move oil. Right.
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https://countercurrents.org/2018/09/13/why-america-is-a-dictatorship/

So, to a considerable degree, is Canada. Both are dictatorships by the very wealthy who also control almost all the news we are allowed to get.
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http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/brent-patterson/2018/09/confronting-climate-change-means-challenging-capitalism
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https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/12/climate-change-supercharges-hurricane-florence/
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https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/13/todays-college-students-are-paying-more-for-less/

The situation in Canada is not so bad as that in the U.S. But it's bad enough to keep a huge social class out of any chance for advanced education.  I grew up in a district in which going to university (or even finishing high school) scarcely existed. The people I grew up with weren't stupid. They were simply raised to believe that higher education was not for them. Indeed, the bare necessities of life for their families commonly depended on them leaving school to look for jobs in grade 9.

Add to that another serious problem in just about any university I have ever heard of. The professors, almost all of them, have no training whatever in how to teach. The very idea they should have such training doesn't exist. The result is many, many courses in which students merely memorize for the exam day - and then forget all of it.  Professors don't know how to design courses, how to deal with student difficulties..... Indeed, I knew many who saw teaching as an interference with their time to think great thoughts about  - whatever.

If you want to teach kindergarten, you need at least a year of training - probably more. In my experience, kindergarten teachers were the best teachers I ever saw. Professors were the worst.

We have a  university system that serves, largely, the already privileged, depriving huge numbers of our  young people of education. In  the more civilized world of The Netherlands, where I taught for a time,  university education was free - and with spending money added. Poor Cuba can offer free university education. Germany does. But the U.S. and Canada are back in the middle ages. We have billions of dollars in handouts for billionaires. But nothing for the young people who are our future.

Our young people have to learn how to think, how to analyze, how to make judgements. But most of what they get is how to memorize - and forget once the exam is over.
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https://www.globalresearch.ca/donald-trump-to-the-rescue-of-the-same-al-qaeda-freedom-fighters-who-attacked-america-on-911/565338
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https://www.globalresearch.ca/extreme-weather-events-and-the-seventh-mass-extinction-of-species/5653974

There's no need to believe this article. It's only by a scientist. If it were true, Mr. Irving would  have told us. (And he knows things because he had two years at Acadia University. Wow!)
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The things we prefer to forget.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/september-11-1973-remembering-canadas-support-for-the-right-wing-coup-in-chile/5653858
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https://www.globalresearch.ca/climate-refugees-will-vastly-outweigh-recent-migrant-numbers/5653683
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https://www.globalresearch.ca/albert-einsteins-1948-letter-to-the-new-york-times-comparing-israeli-politicians-to-nazis/5653561

We, all of us, created the disaster that is Israel. Hitler did the killing. But we helped him every step of the way. We did nothing to help Europe's Jews. We sent them back to the death camps. Then we created Israel so the survivors wouldn't come here.

Israel is the product of the horror of the death camps - and of our willingness to let it all happen.

In my experience, Jews are the most charitable and social conscious people I have ever known. But those who survived the unspeakable horror of the Nazi period - and of our indifference to it - were refugees of a Judaism and a Christianity that allowed it to happen.

Israel has behaved with gross cruelty towards Palestinians. But I don't blame Israeli Jews for that. Their behaviour is not a product of Judaism. It is a product of Nazi Christianity - and ours.
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https://theantimedia.com/israeli-jews-chosen-people/

Well, in fairness, a great many people on this earth think they are God's chosen people. Americans have, by and large, believed this for well over a century. And almost every religious denomination believes that it has the only true faith. I have known many a Christian who thought so.

The proportion of Jews who think so is not high - if you consider that this is supposedly the central belief of Judaism.  This world is full of true believers of every faith who chant - "I'm going to Heaven and you aren't."
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https://truthout.org/articles/trump-lights-the-fuse-on-a-deadly-methane-bomb/
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http://www.voltairenet.org/article202934.html
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The New Brunswick provincial election drones on; but the local newpapers don't have much to say about it. What can one say when Blaine Higgs,  the Conservative leader says he would do what the voters tell him to do?

For a start, there is no mechanism in place to enable the voters to tell him anything. And it wouldn't matter if there were because New Brunswickers voters are hopelessly uninformed to tell anybody anything.

As well, this all suggests that Mr. Higgs has no clue about what the role of the politician is. It is not to obey people. It is to put forward a view of what is necessary to bring maximum benefit to all the people. He is not an errand boy.
We could hire a real one for cheaper than Mr. Higgs and his Conservative flunkies. Of all the figures in this election, Mr. Higgs has established himself as the most clueless.

Not that the rest are much better. This is the shallowest election campaign I have ever seen. And the big issues of our day are not even being mentioned.

1. Our forest, and animals and us are being poisoned by glysophate spray. Our former medical officer warned us about this before getting kicked out. Now, it's just a billionaire who decides whether we're allowed to live.

2.  The wealthiest people in this province have been robbing us blind for fifty years and more. They don't pay income tax.  They pay little property tax. And they expect our government to 'help them out' with millions of dollars in handouts. We are daily getting poorer even as they get richer on our money.

3. We have a minimum wage (so we can keep our very rich happy with a source of really cheap labour), a wage so minimum that any normal life is impossible.

4. We face the biggest natural crisis in millions of years - the destruction of all life on the planet. We have, maybe, ten years to cope with it. Maybe not.

Most of the candidates have nothing to say on any of this.

We need the rich in this province to pay their taxes just as the rest of us do. There's no reason why people with only a tiny,  tiny percentage of the income should have should pay the bills for the very rich. We get no benefit whatever from that. And sooner rather than later, that is going to drive us into a financial crisis. The rich won't care any more than they cared when this happened in the 1930s. In fact, the 1930's enabled the rich to cut salaries, destroy unions....

Most of the parties want to improve literacy in our schools. Of course. That's easy and cheap to talk about. The reality is that this is a heavily illiterate province due to years of rule by the wealthy who don't like people to think. It's not just a school problem.

We have a crippling problem with most of our news media, especially our newspapers. As the organs of our wealthy, they combine to keep people in ignorance - and that makes it impossible to call New Brunswick a democracy. With few exceptions, New Brunswick governments have been patsies for the very rich. Democracy is a farce.

The treatment of the poor in this province is disgusting. They are treated as if they chose to be poor. They didn't. Poverty, as I learned in my childhood, is something you are born into - just as most of the very rich are not wealthy by ambition but, like Donald Trump, by birth.

Ever heard of a member of the irving family who had to work at minimum wage?

Frankly, given the wimpiness of what I have seen so far, I see no hope of this election benefiting anybody but the rich who are already living in clover.


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Sept. 11:The evil of our time.


https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/sep/10/starvation-a-weapon-of-war-that-could-kill-590000-children-by-the-end-of-2018

The war heroes of today kill children - and adult civilians. And it's not an accident. This is the new face of war. It's quite deliberate.
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https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/10/john-bolton-castigate-icc-washington-speech

In 1945 when I skipped school to join the crowds cheering that the European war was over, my attention was caught by a sign that said, "We've won the war. Now, we've got to win the peace." I was shocked. We'd won the war. Didn't that mean we'd won the peace?

No. It didn't. We threw all that away to destroy the structures we needed to win the peace. We betrayed all those who served and all those who died. And a leader in destroying it all has been the U.S.

This is the greatest evil the world faces. And it's not a racial evil. There is no nation whose population is evil - though our political leaders often say there is. No. The evil is greed. Pure greed.
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https://www.pri.org/stories/2014-09-16/us-now-involved-134-wars-or-none-depending-your-definition-war
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https://theantimedia.com/us-threatens-attack-syria/

This is the most dangerous moment the world has ever seen. The U.S. has staged a war in Syria on the side of what it calls 'rebels' and even 'freedom fighters'. Under international law, the U.S. has no right to be in Syria at all. And, anyway, the people it supports are the opposite of freedom fighters. Now, it is challenging Russia - which does have a right to be in Syria. This could be the  big - and final - war.
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https://theantimedia.com/al-qaeda-in-syria/

The 'freedom fighters' the U.S. is backing in Syria are Al Quaeda (who were responsible for 9/11) and a related group called ISIS. But in all these years of American interference and massive supplying and training of the people who killed some 3,000 Americans on 9/11, the Syrian people supported their government.  It's amazing how much our lying news media can cover up.
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https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/damien-reynolds-panama-papers-cra-1.4818326

Our irving press, of course, does not have this story.
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https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/sep/11/russias-scramble-for-influence-in-africa-catches-western-officials-off-guard

This is in the general category of fake news. Russia is doing in Africa exactly what the British and Americans have been doing for over a century. But notice that The Guardian story doesn't mention that part of it?
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Gwynne Dyer will be speaking at the University of Prince Edward Island. So, of course, our irving press  hasn't mentioned it.

http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/news/local/gwynne-dyer-to-give-lecture-at-upei-about-return-of-nationalis

A huge issue which is crashing down on us - now - is automation of the work force. Along with climate change, it is the greatest challenge facing us - which is why the Liberal and Conservative parties of New Brunswick, now in mid-election, aren't mentioning it.
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They aren't mentioning climate change, either.

https://www.commondreams.org/
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https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2018/09/10/350org-gov-brown-signing-bill-move-california-100-clean-energy

Nice. But it ain't happening in most of the U.S. - or in Canada.
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http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/activist-communiqu%C3%A9/2018/09/planned-minimum-wage-hike-risk-ontario

But our chambers of commerce will have no trouble putting hundreds of thousands - and more - out of work with automation.
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http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/gerry-caplans-blog/2018/09/free-speech-those-ford-agrees
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https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/heat-days-new-snow-days-thanks-to-climate-change/

Well, luckily, we don't have to believe this. After all, Mr. Irving , our oil billionaire, thinks its quite safe to run more pipelines and to restore fracking. And he'd know. I mean, he actually got almost half a BA at Acadia University. And our Conservative leader, Mr. Higgs, used to work for Mr. Irving. So there.
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https://off-guardian.org/2018/09/11/wheres-the-rest-of-our-country/
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https://www.mintpressnews.com/white-helmets-chemical-attack-idlib/249121/
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https://www.rt.com/news/438133-russia-vostok-biggest-drills/

Can the U.S. defeat Russia in a conventional war? Well, it can't defeat Afghanistan. It couldn't defeat Vietnam. And all its help is leading to a defeat of Yemen. And a war with Russia would certainly involve China as well.

And nobody can win a nuclear war.
Is this a case of Russia being an aggressor? Please. The U.S. and its allies have for years had troops in  countries neighbouring Russia. It has missiles along Russian borders. It was the U.S.  that planned and paid for the revolution in Ukraine.
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The wealthy of Canada have long been advocates of privatizing schools. Indeed, in many provinces, small parts of the systems have already been privatized. But the reality is that privatization of education has proved a disaster in the U.S. Yes. There are some things (many things) that privatization does not do well.

https://truthout.org/articles/study-teachers-leave-for-profit-charter-schools-at-alarming-rates/
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Private ownership is a common cause of climate change. And private ownership devotees like Trump want to keep it that way. But there may be a better way to save ourselves.

https://theintercept.com/2018/09/08/jeremy-corbyn-labour-climate-change/
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http://www.voltairenet.org/article202869.html
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And that, alas, brings us to the New Brunswick election.

The biggest problems facing New Brunswick are climate change, robotization of most of the work force which is going to  hit us very, very hard over the next twenty years, and the practice of the wealthy not paying taxes, either federally or locally. And that's without the urgent desire of the wealthy for government handouts to eke out their miserable multimllion dollar salaries that they don't pay taxes on. To that,  one could add  the lack of access to news since almost all news media in the province are owned by one person who is not anxious to share the news with anybody.

Alas! None of those problems is getting attention from either the Liberals or the Conservatives - and only rather timidly from the others.

And, certainly, none of those problems gets attention from the irving press. In fact,  the news pages of Section A don't even mention the election. No, the big stories are about a school site being selected, and two stories about chefs competing for jobs at Moncton's new concert hall/sports arena.

On the editorial page, the artist has his 20th or more cartoon about the Liberals overspending. Of course they are. How else can we operate schools and hospitals in a province milked dry by the wealthy? We are getting robbed blind.

Norbert Cunningham has a reasonable column that NB voters aren't crazy about any of the parties. Too bad he doesn't mention a big reason why. His newspapers keep the province in ignorance of all that is happening.

There is only one page of election news - all of it from politicians who have nothing to say. One party is going to restore a ferry service. Wow! Talk about reform. The Conservative leader says the Liberal premier is a friend of the carbon tax enforcer. Wow! Talk about evil!

Norbert - one reason that New Brunswickers don't know much about the election is that they don't get much news about it. The big news, ignored by the parties and the press, is that New Brunswickers have no clue about what the issues are.  Mix that with a population that has a long history of being sheep, and you get elections that mean nothing at all.