Thursday, November 8, 2018

Nov. 8: It's not just Trump

The problem is not Donald Trump. The problem is about half of the American population. That's roughly the number who supported Trump in the mid-terms.

The problem originated, I suspect,as a patriotism gone mad. Americans have it drummed into them as children that they are a god-fearing people - and also that they are God's chosen people. When, in the 1830s, American land speculators and slave dealers flooded into what was then northern Mexico, Mexico reacted against them. Of course. They were taking Mexican land. They were bringing in slaves to a Mexico that didn't accept slavery.

These Americans were thorough scoundrels who had no right to be there. But in American schools children learned they were the heroes of the Alamo. So the U.S. invaded to revenge its heroes. And that is how it stole Texas, Arizona, California....(There's a reason why so many cities in those states have Spanish names.)

When American slaughtered native peoples to steal their lands, the heroes were the Custers and other mass murderers.

They attacked Canada for no good reason but to steal it in 1812. But their schools teach them it was to protect their independence in the face of Canadian aggression.

American schools then and now taught and teach history as if it were the same as patriotism. Inevitably,  this blended with a belief that Americans were God's chosen people, and it was God's will they should rule over others. This is essentially what Trump''s policy is. And it reflects the wishes of American capitalists.

It wasn't just Americans who felt that way. The British Empire was very similar, a murderous and thieving institution that saw itself as God's agent. And this showed up in the popular anthems of both countries

For the U.S. "God Bless America. Land of the Free. Stand beside her and guide her...."

And in Britain, "God who made thee mighty make thee mightier yet." (Yeah. God wanted Brits to murder Asians and Africans and Chinese by the millions. God wants Americans to starve children to death in Yemen.)

Both nations used God to justify their murder and plunder. And both nations, while clapping hands for Jesus, have killed uncountable millions and tortured them, and plundered their lands.

Trump is a man of God? You bet. That's why the Bible Belt praises him.

Patriotism can be admirable. But it can also be used to twist our minds and to make them useful to the rulers of this world. Trump knows that. That's why he was angry at football players who kneeled during the national anthem.

This week's vote suggests this union of God and America has the support of at least half of all Americans. And that makes it useless for the rest of us to plead "God help us."

Trump lost some ground in the House. But, in the most racist campaign ever seen in an American election, he did well in the Senate. Add to that the reality that the Democrats have their own history of racism and wars of mass murder.

No. I'll wait for a while before cheering.


Our apology needs to come a lot further than Trudeau took it.

It wasn't just that shipload of Jewish refugees we refused. I knew some of the German Jews who had managed to get into Canada in the 1930s - and it was common that they had to pay bribes. Nor is that the whole story.

Over a hundred Jewish children managed to escape the death camps and get to Spain - but they weren't allowed to stay. This was, of course, during the  war when the death camps were in full use. They asked for permission to come to Canada or the U.S. But both  countries, fully realizing what they were doing, refused to accept them. And they were sent back to the camps.

Indeed, for several years after the war, Canada still refused to accept the Jewish survivors. To this day there is discrimination against Jews in Canada and the U.S. I have seen it up close, especially among our "upper" classes.

As a high school student, I was in a class that had a high proportion of Jews in it. And I could daily see teachers who discriminated against them. And I shall never forget the discrimination I met from a group of eminently respectable people who assumed I was a Jew.

This don't worry new Brunswickers none. Ain't no sperm whales in New Brunswick. So it's okay for us to go frackin......

Canada is nowhere close to meeting its requirements to stop climate change. And that's the old target of 2050, let alone the more realistic one of 2020.. Indeed, our oil industry in the west is running wild. And New Brunswick is right in the stampede under the leadership of Brian Higgs. This man is a disaster.

New Brunswick's recent election was fought largely on non-issues. And New Brunswick is going to pay one  hell of a price for  that.

This is a long read. But it's worth the time. Capitalism has no nation, no moral values. It exists only to gorge itself.


God bless America.

Relax. The Trump government says he's a great democrat.

Yes. The cost of cleanup of oil operations is extremely expensive. And the oil companies commonly dump that expense on the tax payers. That also, incidentally, applies to the clean up for fracking. Didn't NB's premier mention that when he promised to introduce fracking?

I guess the minister at your church has been talking to you about this.


Well, I guess Jesus wouldn't have given a damn either.

No need to be concerned. New Brunswick's new premier says we need more oil development. And he'd know because he talks with Mr. irving.

There is a great difference between American/Canadian Jews and Israeli Jews. American and Canadian Jews are becoming increasingly critical of Israel.

You think 6,000 migrants from Latin America is stunning? Try millions.

For over a century Latin America has been dominated by American corporations, a domination made possible by the interference of the American military. Together, the corporations and the military have bled Latin America dry. Funny how that has never made the New Brunswick press.

And now, a look at the news in New Brunswick. Sigh!

Their really isn't any unless you really really care that a local dental clinic has a dog to calm patients. Then there's a whole page on how the local hockey team has a great-looking dressing room.

Then there's the regular column by Dr. Herb Emery who holds the Vaughan Chair in regional economics at the University of New Brunswick. And I
am afraid I cannot take his columns seriously. Or respectfully.

This time,  the great need he sees is for New Brunswick to develop it's shale gas potential. Right. I mean, we have twelve years to play with before climate change becomes unstoppable. And I guess it's just a coincidence that premier Higgs wants this, and that his former boss, Mr. irving. also wants this.

But, says Dr. Emery, there are people blocking it because they are willful political opportunists. How does he know that? Well, it's because Dr. Emery can read people's thoughts.

Will this create jobs? Yes, indeed - in the usual way. (Mr. irving will demand a government grant as an incentive to pay wages, and Dr. Emery will cheer him on.)

I seem to recall an earlier column in which Dr. Emery was critical of the provincial government for deficit spending. Funny thing, though. He didn't mention that it had to do that because the wealthy of New Brunswick don't pay any income tax, often don't pay property tax, and expect regular handouts from us. Funny how his eagle eye has never noticed that.

Nor does Dr. Emery have any understanding of what a democracy is. It would suggest he sit in for a term of Political Science 101.He should learn what a government is, and what an opposition is. This would help him to understand while some people  in the other parties don't support the government party.

You see, in a democracy, we are all entitled to have a set of values that is reflected in our politics. In the  values of Mr. Higgs, that means given Mr. irving whatever he wants -  such as fracking. But supporters of Greens certainly don't see that as a value. And I would wonder just how much the supporters of the People's Alliance would.

In a democracy, the opposition is there to ensure  that those opposed to the government party have a voice. If a Hitler were to appear as the leader of a minority government, would Dr. Emery suggest that the opposition parties have an obligation to be Nazi?

Given his criticism of those who oppose fracking as being feeble minded or even traitorous, it follows he would expect the other parties to turn Nazi, too.

As a professor with 40 years of experience, I have developed a certain distrust of university chair holders.

Any world news in the local paper? Oh, for sure. The big, world story is that a woman age 106  became an American citizen on election day. In other world news, a local mother has been forbidden to bring her baby to her university classes.

Then there's the comics page.

It is not possible to read this newspaper and know anything about what is happening in the world or even next door.

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