Thursday, March 15, 2018

March 15: Getcher Ticket to Heaven - Now!

Very dangerous news...

A Russian who was a British spy against Russia – oh, he was a double agent ...he got paid by both Russia and Britain, each to spy on the other. A real sweetheart. He seems to have settled in Britain, probably because Russia would have hanged him if he had returned. But, in Britain, he and his daughters were attacked and severely injured with a chemical poison. And, guess what, it was a chemical poison made in Russia.

The British P.M., Theresa May, immediately said this was proof the Russian had done it, expelled many
Russian diplomats in Britain, loudly threatened reprisals that amounted to warlike acts. Trump immediately supported her with his own threats.

(Just hours earlier, the Palestinian premier narrowly escaped death when his car was blown up – but nobody seems to give a damn about that.)

So let’s think about a few facts. Just about every country in the world has spies. Spies routinely kill each other. I have read of many cases of American agents killing spies in other countries, and I’m quite sure Britain has done the same. Indeed, when Britain does it, it’s heroic. (Think of all the James Bond flics you’ve seen.) And here is a spy whose usefulness is probably long gone for either side.

So why would the Russians kill him? Oh, I know. Because Russians are evil, unlike Brits and Americans who never spy and never, ever kill anybody. No, they don’t.

And the poison was one that could only be made in Russia??? How very specialized. So the Russians who could have shot the guy or used a British poison decided it would be more fun to use a Russian poison so the British would immediately know who did it?

Donne-moi un break.

This looks very much like a set-up. And that may explain why the British opposition leader, while expressing the required indignation, did NOT support the prime minister’s retaliations.

This has a strong smell. We may be being set up for a war which would be the final one.

This is closely related to another dangerous problem. Historically, international diplomacy has relied heavily, almost entirely on threats and bluster and war. Historically, the role of most of the population has been to kill and/or die in order for the authorities (usually members of an aristocracy) to take land and other forms of wealth. To this day, threats and bluster and war are still the basis for most diplomacy. (Listen to any speech by Trump.) The ones who give the orders now are not those of the old aristocracy. But today’s major capitalists maintain exactly the same power. And the rest of us retain our old role – to kill, to die, to pay for it all.

There appears to be no understanding that the world has changed so that threats and bluster and war are no longer feasible. It’s not the advent of democracy that has changed anything. Indeed, democracy lies in ruins in most of the world. Real power in the world does not rest in the hands of the people. It rests in the hands of any aristocracy of wealthy. And the rest of us still have to fight their wars and pay for them. But there’s a bigger change.
The destructive power in this world has become monstrous. Much, perhaps most, perhaps all of the planet can now be destroyed in minutes. Some day, the threats and bluster will be challenged. That is inevitable if we continue this course.

After World War 2, we were told this would never happen again, that there would be a form of world government in which issues would be discussed. We have never done that or even shown any interest in it. It was the crowning betrayal of all those who fought in that war. In the years since, the only change has been to spread nuclear weapons, and to make them much, much more powerful.

We simply cannot afford any more bluster and threats. We have, since 1945, been fighting constant wars. Almost all of them have been fought to please the wealthy and make them wealthier. And every year that has brought us closer to the ultimate and final war. Now, in 2018, we are inches from the real war to end all wars. While we have time, if we have time, we have to force our leaders to forget the threats and to talk to each other.

Haaretz has a good headline on this story of the murder of a double agent. And it’s quite true. Britain has no power whatever to threaten Russia. But the P.M. immediately contacted Trump, and he at first seemed (see below) gave her his full support. And that makes me wonder this was all planned some time ago.


The story gets curiouser and curiouser. Members of the Trump cabinet have strongly supported the British P.M.

But now, Trump, of all people, is waffling.

Russia Times takes a fairly neutral position on the controversy.

Meanwhile, the president has first ridiculed the British claim, but now changed to become a real hawk on the issue.

And all of this still leaves the big question. With the simple job of killing a man, something governments all over the world (notably the U.S.) do every day, why on earth would the British choose such an exotic way to do such a simple job – and why oh why oh why would it choose a method of killing that would point the finger straight at Russia?
Here’s another look at troubling elements in the nerve agent story.

Since all the major powers have been carrying out intensive chemical research for war purposes for over a century, it seems odd that Russia would be the only one on this one. Indeed, several powers have chemical weapons stocks – and the U.S. is a leader. Remember Agent Orange in Vietnam. As well, the U.S. does have a record of lying about such things to justify a war. Remember how Iraq was supposed to have terrible weapons of mass destruction, etc.? Amazing how nobody has ever found those weapons. And even if it’s proven that the chemical came from Russia, that’s scarcely proof that the order to kill that spy was given by the Russian government. Canadians, like Americans, are usually killed by American guns. That is not proof the American government ordered it.

The British P.M. blamed Russia immediately – certainly without the time to check all these points. And she did it without even proof that the chemical came from Russia at all.

We are being placed in the position of creating a nuclear war with very, very weak evidence. This one smells. Most of the UN will fall in behind the U.S. on this. It usually does.

Every year the very wealthy of this world hide trillions of dollars in tax havens. This is our money. The story that the rich create wealth in a country is pure rubbish. The create it only for themselves. Trillions of dollars that should be returned to us are taxes lost. And what happens when you take that money out of our world economies? It impoverishes all of us (except the very wealthy), creates monstrous suffering and, eventually, brings our economies down in a terrible crash – like 1929 or worse.

Too bad the editors and columnists at irving press can’t figure that out.

The irving press, of course, hasn’t carried this story.

The U.S. trains children to kill. It’s like Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, but with an edge.

This is a surprising one. Apparently, the oil industry knew about global warning and the dangers of it before anyone else. And it didn’t tell anybody; and it didn’t do anything. Our heroes!

Like Einstein, Stephen Hawking was one of those people we all have admired enormously – without understanding him, a man who stood out among all the billions of this world.

As a footnote, pay attention to the section of this in which he rated as rather a poor student in elementary school and high school – and quite ordinary in university, though finally getting accepted for a PhD. That’s not unusual. There’s great deal we don’t understand about learning.

I have known or read many military historians. And many of them are not really historians at all. They are propagandists for the military. When some military people objected loudly to a film series which was something critical of the army or which raised serious questions, they used their influence to set up a phony Senate investigation at which I testified defending the films. But I know that my testimony would get nowhere. (One of the films was about Canada’s role in the deliberate bombing of civilians in Dresden. They said it wasn’t true. I testified it was true (a truth now generally accepted). In fact, civilians today are the major targets of most military campaigns. This is particularly true of the U.S. air force. That does not reflect on our air force. They were simply following orders at Dresden. And the orders came right from the top – from Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt. And our bomber crews were very, very young. Another of the films was about Canadian soldiers killing large numbers of German prisoners. The Senate clucked that this was not true. I later met a Canadian soldier who saw it. I rather trust him on this because he was a general who had no reason to lie about it.

Usually, the Canadian military has done a good job. Indeed, in the last two years of World War 1, it was arguably the best-led military in the field. But there have been horrible periods, usually the result of higher command or of political bosses. There was the horrible decision to send unready Canadian troops to defend Hong Kong in World War 2, and the chaos of Dunkirk which was directly the fault of military planners in Canada and Britain – but which a recent military historian has portrayed as a great success.

Most of the military historians I have known or read have turned out to be puppets for the military. And instead of writing what war is about, they glorify it.

We are entering very, very dangerous times.

Once again, the U.S. is forcing itself on a South American nation. And Canada is kissing up, partly to be a good servant of the U.S. and partly to please our capitalists who are ripping off the people of South America.
From 1945, instead of dealing with the planetary disaster that nuclear weapons are and instead of recognizing this means we have to change our whole system of diplomacy, we have happily strolled along making bigger bombs and selling them to more countries.

On the good side, this could mean that we are leading the way to a happy, happy day for many Christians who have tickets to heaven.

Canada is a colony of the U.S. As such, it is tied to the American economy and its bosses and it will fight American wars (as it has done in Afghanistan, Libya and (quietly) in Syria. We are also deliberately being positioned to fight in eastern Europe – in all cases in wars that have nothing to do with us.)

(Oh, beware of a confusing point. The writer says that Brian Mulroney was the last Progressive Conservative prime minister of Canada. Well, there have been Conservative prime ministers since Mulroney – and the term progressive conservative really means nothing. They’re both the same party.)
Despite his popular reputation, Winston Churchill was not a nice guy. He was the son of an aristocrat who care only for the aristocracy and who couldn’t have cared less for the general population. He was the pioneer of the deliberate murder of civilians in war. As for foreigners, he had even less respect for them than he had for the British working class and middle class.

Oh, the photo in this story gives you an idea of what the U.S. is now doing in Yemen. Funny this hasn’t made our news much.

Brief, but pointed.

The killing of a Russian double agent in Britain may be far more complex than the knee jerk reaction we are getting from our politicians and news media.

And a story you will not find among the propaganda journalists and trivialists of the irving press.

Well, who cares what Stephen Hawking thought? I mean, we have the word of irving press editors that there ain’t nothing happening.

Oh, today’s irving press didn’t have the story of his death. I guess it needed the space for ads.

And here is something not likely to make commercial news sources.

The people who make these nerve agents, by the way, are those folk, the White Helmets, praised by Hollywood for their goodness, and the subject of propaganda films that automatically get academy awards.

We are drifting...

This next is a long one. But it’s a look at American aggressions over the years that haven’t received the attention in history books that they should have.

I’m sorry that today’s blog is a little long. When it’s finished I have to take in my computer for emergency surgery. I’m hoping to have it back in time for Saturday’s blog. Failing that, I shall cry.

The summary for today is that we are living in an extremely dangerous time. Part of the reason is an uncontrolled capitalism. That has always been a destructive force; and it is getting much more dangerous. The NDP and the Greens have yet to understand that.

Added to that, we have a U.S. dedicated to world conquest. At a time when Americans cannot govern their own country with any intelligence, their capitalists and puppet politicians insist on ruling the world. At the same time, their capitalists are spending big money on nuclear shelters for themselves and their families. Presuming they survive a nuclear attack, what on earth can they think they will be coming out to?

We are living at a time when, if we hope to survive, we have to rethink our ideas about government, about diplomacy, about essential controls on capitalism. We aren’t doing it. And we don’t have much time.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

March 13: a very depressing news day

The fearless newshounds at the irving press today carried a front page story. The New Brunswick government has released a list corporations that looked for favours from it this year. Not a single New Brunswick based corporation was on the list. I’m so proud. New Brunswick corporations would never dream of looking for favours from the government.

Israel has become a flashpoint for major world war. It’s worth understanding how that happened.

The idea of a state of Israel actually came from British political leaders just after World War One. It had nothing to do with helping Jews. In fact, the purpose of it was to get rid of Jews from the western world. It reflected the common prejudice of western Christians against Jews, and a general desire to get rid of them.

It didn’t happen, but the idea was picked up by Jewish leaders to create the Zionist movement – a movement to settle all Jews in their own land – Israel. This created a wave of support in Jewish schools which, up to the present day, have created generations of children eager to move to Israel. Many of my friends were caught up in that ambition.

Then came the war – and the Nazi murder of over 6 million European Jews. And, as the excerpt above suggests, they had lots of help from European Christians. I remember a comment when I was visiting Europe. A woman said, “They had no right to take OUR Jews.” Exactly, there was nothing wrong with murdering Jews – but not HERS. In most European countries the locals joined happily in betraying Jews who were hiding.

Canada, the U.S. and Britain, starting before the war, throughout it and for a time after, refused to accept Jews fleeing the horror that was Europe. I knew one family that got out in the late 1930s only by paying monstrous bribes to Canadian officials.

The start of the holocaust changed nothing. Any who escaped arrest and tried to flee to safety were refused by almost all western countries. Instead, they were sent back to the death camps. Canada, the U.S. and Britain knew quite well what was going on in the camps. It was never reported to the public, and we made no attempt to help. At the end of the war, we hanged Nazi war criminals. We could, with as much justice, have hanged Churchill, MacKenzie King and Roosevelt.

When the war ended, those European Jews who could fled to Palestine, determined to create their own nation. British warships blockaded them, but it was futile. Jews flooded in, forming terrorist groups to chase Muslims out of their homes and take them over. (Jews already living in a Palestine which had been their home for thousands of years, did not welcome the European Jews. These Jews had centuries earlier merged with their arab neighbours, had lived in peace, and were not admirers of Zionism. These are called Mizrah. Some have moved to North America, and even here their relations with other Jews have been awkward. There is even some physical distinction between the two groups with the Mizrahs being darker complexioned. Some argue that the European Jews are not of the original stock but are descended of European converts to Judaism.)

The European Jews, in effect, conquered that part of Palestine that they would call Israel. In 1948, the western powers would reluctantly recognize the state of Israel. But the new, Israeli Jews were very different from their European ancestors. The holocaust left a bitterness and anger and hatred in them. They saw themselves, correctly, as victims of world neglect, trusted no-one, and saw arab Palestinians (including those who remained in Israel) as scum of the earth – just as western powers had seen Europeans Jews. Arabs with Israeli citizenship were segregated (most of them now walled in), forbidden even to walk on the streets of some districts, and with few of the normal rights of citizens.

The U.S. didn’t get much involved until after 1948 – and that had nothing to do with affection for Judaism. It saw in Israel as a useful partner for its moving into control of the middle east for the benefit, of course, of its capitalists. Thus the enormous generosity in supplying weapons to Israel.

Thus the chaos in the middle east, the result of everybody acting with nobody thinking of the consequences. And now, it could well be the opening bell for World War 3.

There are no heroes in this record.
___________________________________________________________________________________The Chinese government has, I fear, made an extremely unwise decision. Besides being absurdly anti-democratic, it opens great danger in what would happen if Xi and the legislature disagreed on a major issue.

The most interesting part of this comes at the end where it mentions that the new head of the FBI is, for the first time, a woman. But this is not a woman you want to meet. Much of her career has been spent running a torture prison in Europe. (Yes, the U.S. still tortures people all over the world. One man at her prison was water-boarded over 80 times, and European human rights groups are seeking an arrest warrant on her.)

The U.S. government, the greatest murderer of children in our time, and the one that is starving millions of children to death in Yemen, has demanded that the UN resolve to force a cease fire in Syria because American hearts bleed for the child casualties. And if the UN does not vote for it, the U.S. proposes to take its own (illegal) action.

Trump is concerned about the poor, little children who get killed in wars? Please. The U.S. wants to destroy the Syrian government for reasons that have nothing to do with loving children. And the U.S., in worship of its Christian God says it will launch on its own killing spree – something to add to the 70 countries it has (with Christian concern) invaded since 1945.

I very much fear that we are watching a collapsing empire. (American Christianity collapsed a long time ago.)

When the U.S. overthrew the elected government of Ukraine, and installed a replacement government, it turned on a powerful wave of Naziism in the country.

Hope for the future. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

The choice of Doug Ford as leader of the Ontario ‘Progressive’ Conservatives made news all over the western world. We should take warning from that. And it is certainly dismaying to see this happening in a Canadian province. Are we slipping into the American tragedy?

(Incidentally, the word ‘progressive’ has no meaning whatever in Canadian politics. The Conservative party tacked ‘progressive’ onto its name to draw in a leader from the so-called Progressive Party. But there was nothing progressive about the Progressive party.)

The world’s super-rich have been building nuclear-proof bunkers for some years now. I’m so happy for them. And I’m sure they’ll invite us to share.

There are lots of ways to read history. Here’s something different.

During the separatist movement in Quebec, separatists damned the English for acting as if they had an equal right to live in Quebec with the French they had stolen it from. I guess Quebec history books neatly forgot that the French had stolen it earlier from the native peoples.

Even Palestine’s best educated people find life close to impossible under the conditions imposed by Israel. What I like about Haaretz is its commitment to giving such people a voice. I can’t imagine the irving press of New Brunswick ever doing that.

Our commercial news media are heavily slanted in their reporting. That’s been very noticeable in its treatment of the war in Syria in which the Syrian government is always wrong and the rebels always right.

Britain is very, very angry at Russia. A Russian spy who defected to Britain was poisoned. Britain blames Russia. Quite right, too. Britain has the copyright, and only James Bond is allowed to kill agents who defect.

We’re getting very close to decision time. Where’s the political debate on how to react?

One of the most destructive forces of our time has been patriotism. Patriotism is what justified the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Patriotism is what justified the deaths of Canadians in Afghanistan. Patriotism is what justified Canadians murdering Libyans. Patriotism is what justified the U.S. in murdering millions in its seventy undeclared wars since 1945.

But none of the above really had anything to do with patriotism.

Patriotism has become a buzzword which means anything that capitalists and their governments want us to do (for their benefit.)

For those who really want to serve their country’s needs, it’s a quite appropriate word. But we are moving into a world in which those who really want to serve their country in the true sense of patriotism could end up in jail.

We’re not getting much news about the Russian claim to have developed a new standard in nuclear weaponry. (Well, in fairness, the irving press hasn’t had room for the story. They needed the lead space for a fast-braking tale of how two, Canadian media giants are swapping newspapers.)

Here is a fuller account of the murder of a spy who was a double agent (working for both Britain and Russia.) It’s certainly better than any likely to appear in the irving press.

And here is a more careful and more intelligent examination of the murder by a person of considerable expertise.

For over a hundred years, U.S. capitalists have been abusing the people of Haiti, forcing them to accept poverty (as they also had in Cuba and still do in Guatemala and other countries. Not surprisingly, this poverty (with the helpful cooperation of American gangsters) drove many of the people into the drug trade.


In both Canada and the U.S. these are dangerous times politically. Neither country has a party significantly different from the other partys. Both countries, though called democracies, are essentially ruled by the wealthy who also control our supply of news. This has, predictably, taken us both to declining standards of living, savaging of what democracy is left, and to the edge of world nuclear war. And we are trapped in playing their losing game.

We are continuing a war that goes back several centuries, The Great War of the Capitalists. Ordinary people have never been winners in this war.

Assad certainly appears to have the support of the Syrian people. (He may be evil. He may collect pornography. He may be a secret conservative. But the reality is that he has the support, by far, of the majority of Syrians.) Tossing in assorted jihadists, armed and paid for by the U.S., has not changed that. Nor has the intervention of Israel, Turkey changed that. That’s why the opposition against him has pretty much collapsed. Let’s face fact. The Syrian people don’t want us in their country.

Now Trump has threatened to intervene on the side of the ‘rebels’. And Russia, which now has a stake in the survival of Assad, says – just try it.

This is insanity. It creates every possibility – almost every certainty - of world nuclear war. The great and final opportunity for us all to die in the service of our greedy billionaires.

These are very dangerous times. The people who have real power in our world are greedy, short-sighted, irresponsible, not very bright, and own almost all the news media. One consequence is that the general public has almost no idea of what is going on, and what the dangers are. Add to that a natural fear of disagreeing with the elite of our aristocracy. ( And so it is that we accept the economic gluttony of our wealthy elite, and a ranting editorial in today’s irving press about wasting money on the unemployed when we should be giving it to the wealthy.)

As we ignore the greatest danger to human existence (up to now), the enormous challenge of climate change, we dabble with the quick answer to all problems by threatening nuclear war.

And the Christian clergy? No doubt they will be lining up to bless the missiles as they are fired. (That is no exaggeration. When the U.S. bombed Cuba, Cardinal Newman blessed the bombs.)

The U.S. looks very much like a society in collapse. That’s as true of the Democrats as it is of the Republicans. Canada should be looking out for itself instead of scampering after the U.S. and shouting ‘me, too’.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

March 10: Pennies from Heaven?

I have just remembered the topic I had written about in my March 8 blog – and lost. It was about tax avoidance by the wealthy

We have the knowledge that the wealthy all over the world have for many, many years been hiding their money from taxes by putting it in secret bank accounts. I don’t know the cost of this for Canada except that it must run for many, many billions of dollars. And in the U.S. it runs to many, many trillions of dollars.

That’s why we have to cut back on education spending, on health (and in the U.S. cut down to almost no health at all). That’s why we can’t get free university education. That’s why we can’t house or feed the homeless except by charity. That’s one reason why we aren’t dealing anywhere close to adequately with climate change. That’s why New Brunswick, along with every other jurisdiction I know of has to run up its debt almost every year. That’s why there’s no money to feed the world’s millions who are hungry dying from starvation. (In fact, we encourage them to die by cutting off food.) That’s why we’re propagandized from youth to believe that the poor are that way because they’re just lazy. That’s why our children can’t have equal opportunity.

Revelations have shown us that there are hiding places for the money of the wealthy so that they don’t have to pay taxes on the millions and billions they take in every year. But our news media are slow (and brief) in reporting this. So we don’t know who these people are, and we don’t know how much they’re stealing from all of us. Our federal government has been promising for years to look at this. But it never does. And the New Brunswick government? You guessed it.

But here’s the good word for all those hustling, two-fisted, sharp-eyed reporters and editors at the irving press. It is possible to get some idea of the extent of this theft. For New Brunswick, for example, just go to google and type in

And, no, the Financial Post is not at all part of a communist conspiracy.

There are many, many more sites like this that cover most big business all over the world. I guess the irving press can’t afford to have a computer.

Oh, and here’s a New Brunswick and close to New Brunswick example....

Many years ago, I mentioned all the above to a New Brunswick cabinet minister. And he said, ‘Oh, this is all good for us. We need ten irvings and twenty McCains in the province.”

Yes. We all need rich people who don’t pay taxes. They create jobs, you know.

The hell they do.

What they really do, despite irving press editorials, is to create as few jobs as possible at the cheapest rates possible, and then pull billions of dollars out of the province and hide it. Yes, all those irving press columns and editorials are full of it. Big business in New Brunswick – as in most places – does not make us rich by job creation. It’s not in the business of making us rich. It’s in the business of making itself rich and, oh, that costs us dearly. And where does that massive theft take us?

Into a crash – just like 1929, and maybe worse.
One of the greediest industries in the world is the pharmaceutical industry. The story below is not an unusual one.

Here’s quite a remarkable story about Canada which did not appear in our irving press, but did appear in Britain.

Indeed, in every copy of The Guardian there is more news about Canada than there are in our Canada section of our local irving press.

Like almost all western news media, The Guardian gets much of its news on the Syrian attack on Ghouta from The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights which, despite its lofty title, is a propaganda house in Britain. It also notes the terrible effect of the war on civilians.

Where was all this morality when the U.S. was bombing and killing a million and a half people in Iraq? When it killed millions of civilians in North Korea with heaviest and most brutal bombings in history? Where is it when the U.S. is now starving over five million people in Yemen, and turning loose the biggest cholera epidemic in modern history?

The Americans killing in Iraq were “patriots fighting for their country” and, after the war, publicly celebrated as heroes. So how come the Syrians (who are really fighting for their country) are not hailed as patriots and heroes?

It’s much, much too early to make guesses about the coming talks between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump (better known as the two worst haircuts in the world.)

The pressure for these talks came, I suspect, from Russia, China and South Korea. Those who will not be pleased by them are those major American capitalists who have longed for an American imperial conquest of China for generations. It’s not likely the latter will permit the removal of American bases from South Korea. (The U.S. has, for almost seventy years, spent billions, perhaps trillions on occupying and militarizing South Korea. It’s going to be tough for Trump to end that.)
No. It’s way too early for predictions.

This is a long one, but worth your time. Why does this world (including the U.S.) have the greatest resources and capital in history – combined with rising poverty rates? Doesn’t the irving press daily tell us that all that super wealth flows down to all of us?

So who’s been the aggressor – Palestine or Israel?

Here’s a commentary worth thinking about.

Capitalism is necessarily a greed turned loose. Greed is the whole reason for its existence. That’s why it needs controls – or we all suffer, and suffer quite terribly. This is why New Brunswick is poor, but a few New Brunswickers are very, very rich.

Most of our commercial news media lie to us. Get used to it.

Just a few entries down this list of Trump twitters is a note that he hopes to get Australian cooperation in his wars so that he won’t have to impose tariffs on Australian goods. This is a point he has now made several times. Countries that aren’t willing to help fight American wars my suffer tariff restrictions.

That includes Canada. We are expected to fight wars for American billionaires. Canadians will kill and will die. And we’ll give out medals and remember them as patriots fighting for Canada.

We are on the edge of a multi-nation, nuclear and, perhaps, world war starting in the middle east. And even ‘our side’ is divided.

Wars make lots and lots of money for billionaires. But, since most of those billionaires don’t pay taxes, we have to pay for them.

I don’t know whether Assad of Syria is an evil monster as our news media assure us. I do know that throughout the years of war most of the Syrian people have supported him. His opposition has come from a small part of the Syrian population. Indeed, most of it has not been Syrian at all, but has been jihadist (translation – Muslim terrorists – as our news media have told us without making the connections.) Those jihadists have been helped with money and weapons by, of all nations, Israel. And by the U.S., of course, which is now looking at opening a whole new war in Syria.

Russia’s Putin, some days ago, announced stunning developments in Russian warfare, especially in nuclear weapons. So far, the irving press has mentioned it once, briefly, and then gone on to it’s major stories of who died recently, and its commentaries from propaganda houses.

Below is on of those stories that ‘don’t matter nuthin’ in the view of irving editors. But seven years is not a long time.

Isn’t this sort of thing what we were fighting against in World War 2? Did Canadian die in World War Two so that American armies could murder millions?

If you want to know what’s happening in Canada, read The Guardian or Al Jazeera.

I seldom send on (or even read) newspaper editorials. Editorial writers are, after all, servants of the owner. But Israel’s Haaretz is an exception.

Here’s an American view of Russia’s world news system, Russia Times (RT). It is, of course, essentially a propaganda outfit (like almost all of our commercial news media). But it’s a clever propaganda outfit in that what it says (unlike the irving press) is usually quite true and worth reporting.

Here’s a page sample of RT. What will you not see in it? Well, for openers, you won’t see any criticism of Putin.


Thursday, March 8, 2018

March 8: A Bad, Bad day.

I am not a happy camper. I had been writing this blog for three hours. And it just disappeared for the third time this has happened in recent weeks. That includes a long prologue whose topic I have now forgotten. While I am in this bad mood, I shall return to a topic that always puts in a bad mood.

AIPAC (AMERICAN ISRAEL INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS) is not my favourite organization. It’s a lobby group founded to influence governments in the U.S. and Canada. Like all such lobby groups, it exists to spread the word that the Israeli government wants you to hear – and to buy the politicians. And it reaches down into communities with immense power. I can well remember its impact in Montreal.

With the rise of TV and computers, Jewish community groups (just like Christian ones) had been dying. AIPAC simply took them over, using them as tools to support whatever Israel wanted. It soon had a powerful influence on radio and TV. At the time, I was a regular speaker on radio and was a public speaker with a large, Jewish audience. And that did not please AIPAC because I sometimes criticized Israel as I criticized other governments.

That got me fired from a radio position I had held for 20 years, to be replaced by the local AIPAC leader. At the same time, it got me fired from a large, Jewish library where I had been a monthly speaker to consistently large audiences for 15 years – to be replaced by the local AIPAC leader.

He was a pure propagandist for Israel, nothing else. And AIPAC enjoyed enormous political clout for years in Canada and the U.S. But the support of American Jews for Israel and AIPAC has been dropping in recent years. They are particularly offended by its brutal treatment of Palestinians and of those many arabs who are citizens of Israel but treated like Blacks in the southern U.S. of forty years ago. (I’m out of touch, but I suspect this is happening in Canada, too.)

Here’s a commentary on it.

Yes. I know that this comes from a Palestinian. But it’s possible for Palestinians to tell the truth. Yes, it is.

The worst part is that I remember a Jewish community in Montreal that I hugely admired for its respect for generosity, learning and discussion. I lived so much of my life in it that it changed my life. I often spoke in synagogues for audiences of hundreds. I can’t even imagine such an audience of Christian New Brunswickers unless I were to wear a funny hat and sing songs.

And here’s a long but good read for today.

And a terrible reminder of how far we have to go.

Do we need a woman’s day? I guess so?


And, closer to home, Quebeckers eagerly support government talk of the opposite abuse – forcing religious Muslim women to take off the scarf.

We were warned about the profound dangers of climate change almost fifty years ago. We were warned about the profound changes we would have to deal with in population size, in food supply.... And what have we done? Mr. Trump says them eddicated scientists don’t know nuthin’. The irving press routinely publishes commentaries from propaganda houses who say what Trump says. And Mr. Irving met with his press to tell it that he is perfectly willing to cooperate to climate change measures – so long as he can still sell as much oil as he likes.

David Suzuki, an internationally recognized environmental scientist, used to write commentaries for the irving press until it decided he wasn’t nearly smart like their editors. It dropped him to give more space to real smart people – as in their propaganda house, Atlantic Institute of Market Studies.

Another Trump advisor Gary Cohn, has stepped down – not because he disagrees with Trump but because his mission is accomplished. He made the very wealthy even richer.

For sheer contempt of their own citizens, American politicians often remind me of Britain’s wealthy at the height of empire. The wealthy Brits, too, had an utter contempt for the poor and the middle class. It still shows up today in the British class system.

The tax havens just of the western world hold trillions of dollars of stolen money, stolen from all the rest of us. But the wealthy still insist we must give them even more. In the U.S., this means massive spending on ‘defence’, much of it highly corrupt and overpriced, to give them even more. That’s why we have government deficits that we will be left to pay for.

Uncontrolled capitalism is pure greed. So long as that is true, it is guaranteed to destroy itself – and us.

Well, this has not been a happy day. And there’s a time when it’s not profitable to spend hours looking at incidents as I’ve been doing above. There’s a time when one has to add all the incidents up to come to conclusions.

There are powerful threats to the survival of this world.

1. Climate change. The problem of this is enormous; but the efforts to deal with it have been few and trivial. And we have very, very little time.
2.Population growth. Even without the factor of climate change, we are in deep trouble with a population growth this Earth cannot feed. And we could have no more than a generation or so to deal with this.

3. The nation state. It is not possible to deal with these problems when powers of governance are so scattered as our are. We need some form of world government. That was realized a hundred years ago with the formation of the League of Nations and then of the United Nations. Neither organization was ever able to do what it was supposed to do because both were dominated by the larger nation states to serve their own interests.

4. Capitalism. This is not a philosophy of cooperation. It is one that praises competition. And it’s a competition that has accomplished almost nothing of what it was supposed to. For centuries, it has been used to promote slavery, to steal the resources of other countries, to debase the people of those countries. It’s also been used to create an aristocracy as uncaring (and as unintelligent) as any in history, with no pretense of equality for all. At its peak, the British Empire was an economic joy for the favoured small minority of Brits who drew its profits. The rest of the population was left in poverty for millions and, in the empire itself, poverty for hundreds of millions.

Contrary to myth, capitalism does not spread the wealth. It’s a competition, for pete’s sake. It operates on winners and losers – a few winners and billions of losers. Equality? Come now. The most successful capitalism in the world is in the U.S. where, as in Canada, the poor must pay high taxes because the rich capitalists won’t pay any. In the U.S., the public schools that anyone can attend are in ruins so that capitalists can take over to make money out of families who can’t afford it. Universities in Canada and the U.S. are so expensive that even a middle class student can expect to pay for ten years and more to pay off student debt. And in the U.S., people die because they cannot get medical aid.

What’s happening, of course, is a massive shift of national wealth from nations into the pockets of a small number of billionaires. And what will happen? We’re seeing it in the collapse of democracy as whole nations lose lose any sense of purpose and even identity. That’s the same failure of democracy that led to Hitler and Mussolini. It’s failure that causes voters to vote against rather than for any set of principals. Often called populism, it’s also what brought Trump to power – and you can expect to see more of these.

(New Brunswick has long had a form of this. New Brunswickers rarely vote FOR anything. With two, almost identical parties in the Liberals and Conservatives, many just vote every four years for the party they voted against last time.)

When a society destroys all hope in its future, there is an economic as well as a social collapse. That collapse is what we are now seeing in the U.S. - and, no, it didn’t just start with Trump.

And there’s a moral collapse All over the world we can see nations – Muslim, Jewish, Christian and others – that show no sign of having any religious values at all (unless they involve sending missionaries to preach to other religions about their own superiority.)

At a minimum, we have to place serious controls on nations and on capitalists.

Incidentally, we were all taught to hate the Soviet Union and China and others because they were ‘communist’. That was over seventy years ago. Now, Russia and China are capitalist. But we’re still taught to hate them. Why?

Few people will say why. But it’s because they are capitalist and so are fearsome competitors in the market place. Capitalism is a creator of hatreds and destruction because of it worship of ‘competition’. That competition has been the major cause of wars for centuries.

5. Destructive power.

For over seventy years we have had the power to destroy most, perhaps all life on this planet. At no point have we made any attempt to reduce that risk, and it is now at the highest point ever seen.

We have no workable system to deal with these problems. And we have to start dealing with them –yesterday. But few are even talking about it.