Saturday, January 13, 2018

Jan. 13: Time is running out.

Thanks to a reader for this item I had not known about.

http://russia-insider.com/en/stephen-f-cohen-us-betrayed-russia-it-not-news-thats-fit-print-podcast/ri22163
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One of the most important developments of our time has been the move of big capitalists to have no real nationality whatever. In much of the western world, capitalists hide their money in overseas bank accounts so they won't have to pay taxes. And it goes beyond that.

It's something most of our news media don't talk about - though it's the reason why governments are forced to run up big debts. The U.S. national debt is so high that it will never be paid. And , some day, there is going to be one hell of a crash. However, don't worry about the wealthy. It won't hurt them.

Unlike the rest of us, the wealthy no longer have any obligation to their home countries. Indeed, many have no home countries in any real sense. Here's a story about how Russian billionaires are becoming  'citizens' of Malta.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/russians-malta-oligarchs-rich-citizenship-1.4483144

Expect similar rushes coming from the billionaires of China. All over the world, the wealthy are reshaping conditions so they have no obligations to anybody but themselves. That helps to explain the phenomenal, seemingly endless,wars we have  had since 1945. It explains the the killing of millions, the starving of millions more, and the brutality of so many of our governments. All sides are seriously planning for a nuclear war that nobody can win.

That greed and irresponsibility explains the inroads on Canadian medicare and the near-destruction of U.S. medicare. It explains why the U.S. has so many privately-owned prisons. It has nothing to do with improving the effectiveness of the prisons - but everything to do with the profits that can be made out of abusing prisoners. It explains a U.S. that encourages the sale of weapons all over the world, including to the people it calls terrorists - and it explains why Canada is moving in that direction (with its sale of armoured cars to the Saudis.)

We are heading to the ultimate war simply because it's profitable in the short term. Meanwhile we have created a world crisis in refugees that is the worst the world has ever seen - and it's going to get much, much worse.

We have allowed ourselves to be ruled by greed, irresponsibility and ignorance. (Don't blame the politicians. These, the hired flunkies of the wealthy, are, after all, the ones WE elected.)

No. The real problem lies in how we have allowed the wealthy to run loose with no responsibilities whatever to the rest of us.

Capitalism is profoundly unChristian. Indeed, it is alien to just about every religion I have ever heard of. It does not focus on helping one's neighbour. (It claims that comes as an after-effect. But even that claim is very, very doubtful.)

As to 'thou shalt not kill', please. Almost all wars are started by those who do it for profit. All the invasions of empires are in that category. For the U.S., that means most of the invasions of Latin America. World War 1 was fought because capitalists of major western countries feared the growing competitiveness of Germany. World War Two was fought for the same reason.  (No. It was not fought because of Hitler's treatment of Jews.  In fact, Hitler had the support of major capitalist countries right up to 1939.) North Korea was fought and then threatened for almost seventy years because a victory there would give the U.S. a base for its capitalists to get control of the China trade.

I'm not touting for Christianity here. After all, helping one's neighbour and not killing are surely rather good ideas for any society and, indeed, feature in many religions. This is simply good, common sense.

Capitalism is a system based on competition and self-interest. Okay. We can live with that. But if we allow that to operate without controls, we are destroying ourselves.

The world, since 1945, has abandoned all the principles we were told we fought for.  And the principle destroyer has been a capitalism allowed to run wild.

Now, we are very close to the final act.

Will capitalists lead us to a safe shore?

Not likely.

One (just one) of the major forces that could destroy us is the side effects of the oil industry. But far from dealing with those effects is the oil industry. It is doing everything it can to continue its destructive behaviour.

No. That's not very bright.  And it's not humane. But it's good capitalism - for the capitalists and only for a little while.

It's simple, really. Either we control capitalism. Or capitalism destroys us, and itself.
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Yes, Trump is a crude lout. But he's not the problem.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/12/unkind-divisive-elitist-international-outcry-over-trumps-shithole-countries-remark

For centuries, most leaders of the major powers have had nothing but contempt for the societies they invaded.  That contempt is why British, French, Dutch, Spanish leaders had no problem with destroying those societies and looting their lands. The U.S. has been the same all over the world - in Latin America, Asia, Africa, the middle east....  Trump is simply following in the footsteps of Christopher Columbus, Winston Churchill, Bush, Obama....

Trump is crude and coarse compared to them, but no different in his attitudes and policies. No. Dumping Trump will change nothing - unless he gets dumped in favour of very different policies, and unless the U.S. can somehow establish itself as a real democracy.
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It's a fact of political life that smaller countries must suck up to bigger ones. That is why Canada fought in two world wars. (No. I'm not saying Canada should not have fought those wars. I'm saying that the reason we fought are not the ones we are told. Canadian big business HAD to fight for the UK because the UK was economically important to it.

We HAD to fight for it even though we had known before 1900 that if the U.S. invaded us (as was quite possible), the UK would NOT defend us.

But after 1945, it was the U.S. that Canadian big business depended on. So we have had to fight American wars ever since.

In that context, the following story is important - though it's early to draw any conclusions.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/13/us-canada-trump-trudeau-trade
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We may well find that our future lies more with Asia than with the U.S.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/13/india-600-million-young-people-world-cities-internet
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Here's a commentary not likely to find its way in the pages of irving press.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/alberta-diary/2018/01/tim-hortons-brew-haha-shows-fast-food-industry-doesnt-get-pr
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Here is the thin edge of a crisis that is going to affect all religious groups. We haven't begun to see the impact of the refugeeism that is coming. Or the impact of our bigots.

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2018/01/islamophobia-continues-fester-wake-quebec-city-mosque-shooting
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A shithole story that's a little different from the others.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/01/12/us-role-turning-countries-shitholes-and-provoking-immigration

A reminder, though. It's not just Trump. A great many American presidents, British prime ministers, and other leaders have had exactly the same, racist views.

We are going to need a change in our thinking which is often racist.
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"Land of hope and glory..."

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/man-captures-video-of-patient-dumping-outside-baltimore-hospital/
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A useful reminder of reality.

https://theintercept.com/2018/01/12/haiti-donald-trump-shithole-america-history/
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Again, it's not just Trump. It's the whole military-industrial complex and all its puppet-politicians.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48569.htm
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Of course, the irving press hasn't mentioned this.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48576.htm
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And as usual, the oil industry leads the way in indifference to human needs, and in destructive greed.

https://www.alternet.org/environment/chevron-has-secretive-drilling-site-arctic-national-wildlife-refuge?akid=16602.1132352.Xsernw&rd=1&src=newsletter1087509&t=4
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An important read. It's interesting to see how our news media get all indignant - but don't have a word to say about how we created these 'shitholes'. And which of our distinguished citizens helped to make them so awful.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2018/01/13/who-created-these-shitholes/
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We don't have much time to deal with enormous challenges that face us. And we aren't getting any leadership from most of our politicians or business gods. We have to find a way to return to the principles of the world's religions. But we certainly won't find them by relying on our religious leaders since most of them prefer to keep their heads down.

Some people think those principles are dictated by a god or gods. Maybe. Maybe not. The important point is that these are eminently common sense principles. And they are what we need to survive the huge challenges that face us.

The alternative would be insane.

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2018/01/reassuring-children-when-future-is-terrifying/
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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Jan. 11: Oprah Winfrey! Wow!Wow! ---Wow?

Television talk show star Oprah Winfrey has announced that she is thinking of running for president. The U.S. has plunged into an ecstasy of hope.

Gosh, We haven't had an exciting candidate like her - you know - a popular TV star - since...uh....Donald Trump.

And what are her principles? Well, she's against war. That's nice. But it's not the only major issue facing the American people. Where does she stand on the military budget? Any serious cut in that would be a serious blow to the American economy - and would quite likely lead to a presidential assassination as many an American billionaire is wealthy because of that inflated military budget.

The forces against an honest and intelligent president are large, well-placed - and ruthless. To think that one person is going to change this is absurd. She would need a whole party that simply does not exist at this point.

What's her view on medicare? (The US version is absurdly expense, and of only limited help to those who need it.) On private schools and 'charter' schools? On the human and environmental destruction of American companies all over the world, especially in mining?

Where does she stand on dissolving a very brutal and murderous American empire as in Latin America and the Middle East?

Where does she stand on the massive corruption that characterises the American government?

Would she be willing to lead the U.S. in getting rid of nuclear weapons? Would she withdraw those weapons that are placed on the border of Russia?

Would she be willing to heavily tax people like herself to ease the massive poverty in the U.S.?

Would she be willing to let the UN be the world body it was supposed to be - instead of it being U.S.. puppet - and whipping boy when it doesn't behave?

What does she think of 'moral' values like manifest destiny and American exceptionalism?

If Americans want to see a more intelligent and compassionate presidential candidate, they already have one in Bernie Sanders. he has a far broader view than Winfrey does, and far, far more experience of government. And most of the above could not be accomplished by Bernie Sanders.

In reality, the election of an Oprah would almost certainly have no effect whatever. Sadly, I doubt very much that the U.S. can be saved. It's people are filled with absurd notions of what their values are, of their role in the world....

The U.S. needs much, much more than a president who is honest and opposed to war. It needs a nation of people who are prepared to stand against racism, imposed poverty, greed, international slaughter (which Trump calls 'making American great again), corruption - and the US has no such nation in sight.

As well, (and like Canada), Americans are stuck with commercial news media controlled by billionaires who like things just the way they are. So, like Canadians, most American have no sense of what the real problems are or what the possible solutions are. That's why New Brunswickers vote only Liberal or Conservative, and Americans vote only Republican or Democrat.

You can't have an intelligent and informed population when their only news comes from propaganda media.

And the whole nation is not just a president. The problem is a whole nation caught up in hatreds, delusions, self-interest, greed, and almost complete lack of compassion even for its own people, and a Christianity twisted into racism and hatreds.

The only serious change we are likely to see in the U.S. is its collapse. That would be good compared to the alternative - a U.S. ready to set off a world nuclear war.

And let's not kid ourselves. Canada is not nearly so different from the U.S. as we like to think.
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In today's irving press, which has five news stories  (count them, five) to cover the whole world - and none of them important, there is also a contemptible commentary by a professor, no less.

He fumes at Ontario for raising its minimum wage from fourteen dollars to  fifteen dollars an hour. This column was written for the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies, a propaganda house founded by and for the very wealthy. That's why you have never seen a report from it that is critical of the very wealthy - and you never will.

Imagine, the writer slams into those who get an extra buck an hour. But he has never said a word about the wealthy who don't pay any taxes at all, who get all kinds of free services from the government (like spraying our forests with poison). And if he did say anything about the millions the wealthy steal from us, you can bet the irving press would never publish it.

People who front for these bogus 'think-tanks' are given grand titles - in this case, "Senior Fellow", just like the real scholars they aren't.  And, alas, the writer of this commentary is a professor and a dean of business. That sort of input from the universities is becoming common After all, they're pressed to the wall for money, so they have to kiss up.

In my own view, any professor who would write for a propaganda house is beneath contempt.
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Here's a story the scrambling editors of the irving press must have missed.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/10/new-york-city-plans-to-divest-5bn-from-fossil-fuels-and-sue-oil-companies

Of course, as we know from the distinguished scholars who write for outfits like the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies,  there is no such thing as climate change.
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And, just to show I am not the only one who has noticed the prostitution of our universities...

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/mar/13/the-fossil-fuel-industrys-invisible-colonization-of-academia
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This is the future as big business sees it.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/11/trump-medicaid-work-requirements
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The following story has 8 related stories listed below it. What's happening to the people of Rohingya is vile beyond description. But the rest of the world doesn't give a damn.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jan/10/rohingya-children-left-stranded-garbage-muck-myanmar
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Think of all those western movies of cowboys, all of them white and American, walking down streets with each wearing a pair of guns. Think of the quick draw shoot-outs.  Most of that never happened.

The murder rate in cow country towns was lower than in most eastern cities. Gun control was tight. No guns were allowed in town. And that was enforced. The current wearing of guns in public in Arizona is exactly the opposite of what Arizona was like in those days.

Many of the cowboys were  were not Americans. Of course course not. They were Mexicans born into a Texas and an Arizona, and they stayed after the U.S. invaded and stole their land. Americans learned how to be cowboys from Mexicans.  And many were African-Americans. Of course. Texas had been a slave state. And many were immigrants from Europe. Again, of course. Cowboying was low pay work.

Oh, and the pay was low and irregular. So marriage was usually out of the question. The result was that many, many cowboys had to settle for, you know, male relationships.

Movies and TV commonly create a history and traditions that never existed. The big "history" film now making the rounds is about Churchill. But there's lots the film doesn't say. Churchill was a typical upper-class Englishman of his time. He couldn't care less about the working class.  He had only contempt for foreigners,especially those who couldn't speak English or were a different colour.  He had no qualms about murdering such people in the millions - as he murdered people of India and Africa. He pioneered the deliberate bombing of civilians.

But don't worry. You won't see any of that mentioned in this film.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/11/hollywood-history-churchill-getty-trust-fiction
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The fast food industry in Ontario is really cracking down on those thirteen dollar an hour workers who want fourteen dollars an hour. (Thus today's hokey column by a real, live professor in today's irving press - who probably makes more than fourteen dollars an hour.)

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/alberta-diary/2018/01/tim-hortons-brew-haha-shows-fast-food-industry-doesnt-get-pr

So NO, dear reader, raising the minimum wage by a dollar will not drive us all into the streets, cold and hungry.
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The U.S. has been at war almost constantly and illegally since 1945. Africa and the Middle East have probably suffered the biggest hit, especially since the imposition of the policies of Bush, Obama and Trump. (Yes. The three are much alike.)

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48561.htm

Ever wonder what Trump means when he says 'make America great again?'  Well, he doesn't mean feeding the hungry or housing the homeless or healing the sick. And he doesn't mean education available to all,  rich and poor. He means bullying and bashing small countries as the U.S. has done for over a century in Latin America. (U.S. policy in this respect has been constant, without a change, since 1776. Don't  believe what the movies tell you.)

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Israel has turned into a non-Judaic country. Oh, as in our Christian churches, the ritual is there - but nothing else. It has already stolen much of the land of Palestine. It penalizes Palestine, often quite brutally, to keep it poor, isolated from the world, lacking electricity (so that its hospitals, for example, can't function). You won't read anything about this in the irving press. But Israel's treatment of Palestinians is remarkably similar to Hitler's treatment of Jews. And the object of Israel, quite obviously, is to conquer Palestine and exile its people.

This has nothing to do with Judaism just as most of our western activities have nothing to do with Christianity.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48566.htm
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Here's an important story of a type that the irving press never carries. For a century, Haiti was controlled by the U.S. And it was controlled with extreme brutality, working its people to death at wages nobody could live on, and beating and murdering those who complained.

Haiti finally broke out of American control when it dumped the American-appointed dictator to elect a president. But the U.S. disliked that so it responded sending troops on what it said was a UN mission to restore order in Haiti. Wimpy Canada joined in this exercise.  The U.S. hasn't stopped using the UN for its dirty work.

https://theintercept.com/2018/01/10/haiti-raid-united-nations-police-grand-ravine/
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Another story not important enough to be covered by the irving press.

http://theantimedia.org/israel-keeps-bombing-syria/
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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Jan. 09: Have you done your bit to starve a child in Yemen?

There are days when writing a blog makes me feel ill. This is one of them.

https://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1142&bih=891&ei=BLtTWtHcLYeXmwH90qrQDA&q=yemen+starvation&oq=yemen+starvation&gs_l=img.1.0.0l3j0i24k1l3.6098.9580.0.16718.19.14.0.5.5.0.108.1117.3j8.11.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..3.16.1127.0..0i30k1j0i8i30k1.0.OX_KaIubJN0

Children in Yemen are dying at the rate of hundreds a day of starvation and cholera. Add the dying adults and it comes to thousands a day. In the end, the count will be millions.

The death rate is no accident. This has been staged by Saudi Arabia, Britain, the U.S. - with Canada in the wings. (Canada's major contribution has been to sell
 armoured cars with machine guns to the Saudis to help out in their indiscriminate slaughter -even though Canada is a co-signer of an international agreement NOT to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia. The reason other countries don't sell weapons to the Saudis is that Saudi Arabia has one of the worst human rights records in the world. But what the hell, Canada can be flexible for a good cause to make this a better world for Saudi billionaires.)

Can you imagine the stir there would be if a Kim Jun Nu were to do this? Can you imagine the indignation in the U.S. Senate, the threats to nuke North Korea?

The U.S. played a major role in  helping the government of Guatemala to murder 200,000 of its native Maya, not to mention assorted priests and nuns. There wasn't even  a whimper in the irving press - or most of the other North American news media.

In fact, these mass murders have long been a characteristic of capitalism. A Winston Churchill, for example, had nothing by contempt for foreign peoples or for poor ones. So he thought nothing of killing them, including the quite innocent, to please  his wealthy ( and white) friends. Thus his bombing of helpless Kurd villagers in 1920 and his deliberate killing by starvation of over a million people in India late in World War Two.

This behaviour has been typical of  capitalism for centuries as in the slaughter of native peoples all over the Americas, the enslavement of tens of millions of Africans and millions of more deaths by neglect on their voyage into slavery. Remember the American story of how, over a 100 years ago, the American Admiral Peary convinced the Japanese to open themselves to trade? Well, he didn't just appear. He fired his guns at the people in the coastal cities.

Millions on every continent have been killed to satisfy the greed of capitalists. That's what the tensions in the middle east are about.  That's what the brutality of life in much of Latin America is about. That's what Trump's threats to North Korea are about.  That's why millions, men, women and children, died in Vietnam and Laos and Cambodia.

This brutality certainly wasn't invented by capitalists. It was common among all the aristocracies of empire going back to ancient times.  Almost all of the millions killed in all wars that were ever fought were killed to please the greed of the very wealthy. The reality is that all systems require controls. But we are actually removing controls from capitalism.

The game is simple. Either we control the capitalists or they destroy us. Yes, it would be stupid of them to destroy us. But greed will beat brains every time. The wealthy in Canada and the U.S. have been engaged  in looting the rest of us for a long time. Through devices like tax avoidance, secret bank accounts, bribed governments, they have been making the rest of us poorer.

And their newspapers have been covering it up with propaganda. I noticed a fair bit of that in today's irving press.  Today's commentary page has two (count them, two) commentaries that are really from propaganda houses for big business.  Then, of course, it has yet another editorial on the government spending too much money. The real questions are 1. why don't we take a realistic look at what we need? and 2. Why don't we raise hell about the issue that the wealthy are hiding the money they owe us?

Uncontrolled greed is one hell of a destructive force. It will, as it always has in the past, destroy itself as well as the rest of  us. It's a foolish course for all of us. But the very greedy are very, very foolish people.

Since 1945, we have abandoned all that we said we were fighting for in world war 2. And we have thrown most of the world open to the greediest and most foolish people among us.

That's why children are starving to death in Yemen. And that's why those children and millions more around the world, including Canada and the U.S.,  cannot get food or adequate education or, in many countries, any medical help.

And that's why we're getting close to the wall of darkness that has come over every civilization in the past.

Look at those children in Yemen. We have done that. It wasn't Hitler or Mao or Joseph Stalin. It was us. For seventy years, the U.S. has been galloping along leaving a horrible trail of destruction and suffering and death while most of our news media have blamed everybody else but billionaires and their friends.

Oh, I know what would be a good idea. The rented preacher-of-the-week at the Irving Chapel could take the congregation down the road to the grave of Raoul Leger to hear why he was murdered while a missionary in Guatemala. (and why our New Brunswick news media have never mentioned it.)
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The Netanyahu family of Israel has become wildly corrupt as well as malicious and murderous. Haaretz has this story. So has The Guardian. But most North American news media don't seem to have it. Ever heard of the Israeli lobby? It's a very powerful group who have a powerful  influence on what news we're allowed to have.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/08/netanyahu-son-bragged-about-gas-deal-outside-strip-club-tape-reveals
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The story below is much, much worse than it might appear. It seems, for example, to concern itself mostly with British killings of civilians. In fact, including ISIS and the U.S. would greatly increase the count. (As well, any official figures of civilian deaths are, to say the least, unreliable.)

The fact is that civilians have become the major targets of war, especially aerial war.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jan/08/civilian-deaths-from-airstrikes-almost-double-year
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I occasionally get angry e mails from a retired Canadian mining engineer who says I lie about the brutality of Canadian mining companies. So here's another story to get him in a stew about. (Don't expect to find this story in the irving press.)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/13/guatemala-canada-indigenous-right-canadian-mining-company
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Recently, I watched an American football game on TV. It featured, of course, the usual hysteria of fans, and the heavy play to patriotism with a U.S. flag that covered the WHOLE field. And the usual and quite dreadful singing of "Oh, say can you see..." accompanied by flare rockets. And lots of marching soldiers. I mean, you know, football is all about patriotism and killing and stuff.

We have just seen Santa Claus get the same military and patriotic treatment.

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2017/12/canadas-explosive-christmas-gift-world#at_pco=smlrebv-1.0&at_si=5a54e327c718e669&at_ab=per-2&at_pos=0&at_tot=5
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I don't think the writer of the column below understands the terrible trials that employers face when a minimum wage is cruelly imposed on them. I mean, a couple of dollars an hour may no seem much; but it adds up. And the companies need all they can get to pay millions of dollars to their boards and executives.

Just recently, Sears has had to lay off thousands of workers who worked there at low pay and now have been dumped with no compensation, no pensions, no nothing. But there's a reason. Sears needs that money to pay millions in severance pay to its hard-working directors and execs.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/david-bushs-blog/2018/01/workers-are-under-attack-where-ondp

And the warning to the NDP is a serious one. Yes, I know that moving to the right means more votes. But it also means making it impossible to accomplish what the NDP should be accomplishing.  In a democracy, politics should not be a game to play simply for the winning. It should be a dedication to bettering the lot of the whole society.
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Yes, climate change is happening. And it has already begun to have a far wider impact than we realize. That impact will include the severe dislocations of whole nations, the destruction of social structures, wars....  It is happening. And, yes, the world's thousands of scientists know more about it even than billionaire oil kings.

And this is not in the distant future. It is now.

And the biggest threats we face to human survival in this are the refusal of the oil industry to recognize what is happening - and it's economic power to buy off the politicians who should be protecting us.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/01/08/climate-crisis-intensifies-300-billion-damages-makes-2017-costliest-year-ever
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What a surprise!  Not.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/01/08/kushner-under-fire-receiving-30m-israeli-firm-while-shaping-middle-east-policy
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Haiti has been brutalized by American governments and capitalists for a century. And it's going to get worse.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/11/22/naomi-klein-trumps-treatment-haitians-portends-brutal-future-worlds-climate-refugees

Think hard. Thanks to climate change and wars, the world has tens of millions of refugees now. What will happen in the not-too-distant future when it has a billion and more?

Yes. It's going to get much, much worse. What will we do then? Oh. I know. Look me teacher. Look at my hand waving...We'll all build walls.
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In all the fuss over Trump, one thing has not been noticed. For all his wackiness, the reality is that his policies have been much the same as those of Bush and Obama.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48545.htm
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Funny how our news media and our churches have never noticed that capitalism is a direct attack on Christianity. (Tell me where Jesus said the drive to get rich is good. Tell me where He demanded higher pay and other rewards for Himself.)

That is why capitalism should not be allowed to run wild. When it does so, it attacks the fundamental values that most of us claim to believe in.

 When Karl Marx wrote Das Kapital, he based it on Christian principles. (Unfortunately, those who adopted it as communism made it as bad as capitalism had become. It seems to be a very human fault.)

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48546.htm
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Here's an old story. But it's one the irving press has never run, and never will.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/us-has-killed-more-than-20-million-people-in-37-victim-nations-since-world-war-ii/5492051

Gosh, It was a thrill last night to see all those football fans standing up while four men sang "O say can you see..." on a football field covered with a giant American flag, and soldiers standing heroically at attention.
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Here is an article on the situation with the two Koreas. It's an optimistic one - which is a nice change. It's also an intelligent one - in sharp contrast to an opinion column in today's irving press which I shall discuss toward the end of this blog.

http://thesaker.is/finding-the-answer-to-a-riddle-shrouded-in-a-mystery/
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Picasso's painting of the Nazi attack on Guernica is history's greatest example of an artist's attack on war. That Nazi attack has become the standard model for most war as fought by us even since. (In fairness, though, Churchill  beat Hitler to that sort of an attack over fifteen years earlier. Hey. Credit where  credit is due.)

http://www.countercurrents.org/2018/01/09/expose-our-guernicas/
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Unless you subscribe to it, you cannot read Israel's Haaretz. Luckily, though, you can look at the story heads and at the first few lines of each story. And that is well worth the time taken.
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This last part is largely for a New Brunswick audience. It's about the quality of the irving press, and about the implications of that.

Today's horror story is on the commentary page. It's called The future of the two Koreas. It's by a political science professor at university of Prince Edward Island. And it's a typical piece of irving rubbish.

It's a simple-minded good guys/bad guys effort. By the author's choice of words, South Korea is always good, and North Korea always bad. This is typical of what's called fake news.

It does NOT mention the central issue in this quarrel. Why is the U.S. so determined to crush the North? Why does China defend the north? It's kind of important to know that. But no, not a word.

It's not hard to explain. The U.S. wants to defeat North Korea because the U.S. would then have a base from which to attack China. And China, which doesn't want to be attacked by the U.S. doesn't want the U.S. to get control of that base.

That has been the story of the Koreas for almost 70 years. To get its way, the U.S., for decades, had nuclear missiles in South Korea aimed at the North. The good professor also neglects to mention that the U.S. and its allies pursued the most savage war in modern history (by population size) killing at least 3 or 4 million North Koreans, over half of them civilians.

He does mention that North Korea is impoverished. He doesn't mention that this had a lot to do with the deliberate destruction of the North Korean economy by the US, a destruction that is still going on. Nor does he mention that for almost seventy years, the U.S. has maintained a policy of provocation and threats against the North.

He does mention that the UN approved the U.S. economic sanctions. But I guess his teachers never mentioned to him that that U.S. was then (as it usually is now) an errand boy for the U.S. (It's recent refusal of a U.S. action was very, very unusual.)

And he does mention, briefly, that South Korea was a dictatorship when the Korean war broke out - and for years after.  So why were the U.S. so eager to help a dictatorship, and a brutal one at that? And how come it took so long for the South to become democratic? The reality, not apparent in this commentary, is that the U.S. was quite happy to deal with a brutal dictatorship.

"The north treats the U.S. as its existential enemy and threatens to attack it with
nuclear weapons..."  o-o-o-h,  how evil. And how twittish this account of it.

Of course the North treats the U.S. as its enemy. The U.S. has been threatening it with troops and nuclear weapons for almost seventy years. What on earth does this professor think it takes to become an existential enemy? And it has threatened the U.S. with nuclear attack?

Come off it. The U.S. has been threatening nuclear war on North Korea since the 1950s, and threatening it with a huge arsenal of nuclear weapons. North Korea has threatened to respond IF ATTACKED. The professor's summary of all this is more than a little misleading.

The prof then concludes that nobody wants a war in that region. Lord love a duck. The U.S. has maintained a powerful army, navy and air force in the region. It has routinely carried out provocative military exercises on the border. It has maintained Korea's economy in a state of hopeless poverty. It  has threatened nuclear attack.  It wants North Korea for the same reason it has wanted it since 1950 - the conquest of China.

This whole commentary is garbage. And I guess there was no editor at the irving press with brains enough to realize what trash this is. UPEI really should set up a committee to examine such articles by its staff before they are sent.

Norbert Cunningham has his usual column about the incompetence and worse of our governments. Quite so. But, Norbert, if you want to get serious, how about a column on the wealthy people who support those clowns and put them into power? And how about your role in pushing us to vote for them?

And Canada and World News? Well, people are living longer (unless, of course, we are starving them to death as in Yemen). A bird in Ottawa is still in Ottawa though it's a type that is supposed to fly south. A man with no coat has gone missing. Calgary is featuring a nudist swim period at a city pool.

And that's pretty much it for the world.

It's a worrying time. The western world, especially countries like Ukraine and Germany and the U.S., are showing strong signs of a return to the fascism and naziism of the 1930s. But dinna fash yoursel'. You can always escape reality by signing up for a course in political science at UPEI.
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There is a late, late story. China now has a nuclear bomb that can hit any target in the U.S. WITHOUT BEING DETECTED OR INTERCEPTED.

We live in a world in which many people think we can fight wars as if this here still 1944. We can''t. And it's no longer possible to win wars. But that will be slow to sink in.




















Saturday, January 6, 2018

Jan. 6: A late but superb Christmas message...

A reader sent me this item.  It's magnificent. And, oh, I thank him for it.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/what-christmas-means/
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The irving press continues to splash in its journalistic gutter. It's latest contribution to the world of madness is Terrence Corcoran, a columnist for Financial Post who single-handedly dismisses all the warning of world scientists to say we can keep doing whatever we like the this planet. Yes, says Mr. Corcoran, the world is getting better every day; poverty  and hunger are vanishing.

Oh. Really?

Actually, the information we have says poverty and hunger are worsening - including in big economies like the U.S.

Then there's a commentary by a Conservative political candidate. (Hint - commentators are supposed to be people who add understanding to what is happening in the news. They aren't supposed to be free ads for political hacks.)

The editorial is another rant about keeping taxes down. (That can be tough - and heartless - to do when it comes to compensating by cutting down on essential services.) It would be useful if the editorialist would at least give us some idea of how much tax money we DON'T have because the wealthy won't pay it.
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I'm reading a massive Christmas book. It's about Hitler from his birth to 1939 and, at nearly 800 pages it is not for the faint hearted. I was particularly struck by the author's sketch of Germany's political and social mood in the years after 1918. It has a lot of relevance today.

What the author, Volker Ullrich, points out is that Germany did NOT start World War 1. Now, historians have know that for a long time. But world war one's victorious leaders and  news media didn't say that. They blamed Germany for starting that war.

(In fact, all the major powers of that war had been preparing for it for decades. In all cases, Germany, Britain, France, Turkey..., their capitalists feared, each of them, that they were in danger of losing ground to capitalists in other countries. It was not the people of any one country that started that war. It was not the common people at all. It was the major capitalists, all of them, who started it at the same time.

However, when the victorious powers drew up the peace treaty, they charged Germany with having started the war.  And they penalized Germany with massive payments intended to last for decades after the war.

And that's is what created Hitler and Naziism.

Those payments caused real and widespread suffering in Germany. And they created powerful resentments and hatreds. Hitler played heavily on those resentments and hatreds.

In a related issue, Germans looked for people to blame for losing the war. Now, Germany - like eastern Europe and Britain and the U.S. and Canada - have a history of anti-semitism.  But German politicians, like Hitler, played the blame game with Jews, the game that led to massive abuse and mass murder of Jews.

In fact, Hitler had not been anti-semitic before or during world war 1. Indeed, he had a close friendship with and respect for the Jewish doctor of 1912 or so who had saved his mother's life. Many years later, when Hitler came to power, his police and his private army were ordered not to bother that doctor or his family. In fact, during World War 2, Hitler arranged for the doctor and  his family to escape to South America.

Hitler's own passionate hatred of Jews ( whether real or political) didn't happen until the 1920s.

In short, the victors' treatment of Germany as the cause of World War 2 caused the poverty and racial hatreds of Germany that created a Hitler.

And, yes. This is going somewhere.

At the end of the Korean War, the western powers did to North Korea what penalizing Germany had done to create anger and hatred. We had no business interfering in North Korea. South Korea was not an innocent maiden being raped by her neighbour. It was, in fact, a brutal dictatorship supported largely by their wealthier citizens  who had collaborated with Japan in World War 2.

The American motive in that war had nothing to do with democracy. It had to do with breaking open the door for an invasion of China. And when we lost that war  (yes, we did lose it), the U.S. did what the western allies had done to Germany in 1918. It imposed heavy costs on North Korea in the shape of trade sanctions. 

The result was a North Korea that had suffered the greatest damage, by far, of any country for centuries, was left to rebuild in the worst imaginable poverty. Worse, the U.S, until recently, set up nuclear weapons in the south aimed at North Korea, and carried out constant and provocative military exercises.

Now, the U.S. has made it worse with even heavier sanctions. North Korea has made greater progress than anyone could have dreamed possible, but it remains mired in desperate poverty.

In short, the U.S. has inflicted on North Korea penalties exactly like those that created Hitler and World War Two.

It's an unhumanly treatment of, well, of humans. And, as we should have learned after two world wars, it doesn't work.  As matters stand, Kim Jong Un would be a fool to give up his nuclear weapons. His arsenal is much too small to be a serious threat to the U.S. But it's the only counter he has to the immense military and economic power of the U.S.

Yes, I'm quite sure that Kim Jong Un is a vicious and controlling person. Of course he is. We created him by fifty years of punishments and threats on North Korea,  just as we created Hitler.

And, as a final touch, any use of force in North Korea could well trigger a world nuclear war that would destroy all of us.

Incidentally, the rise of Donald Trump has been markedly similar to the rise of Adolph Hitler.
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The book about Hitler is "Hitler Ascent 1889-1939". It's a long and heavy read, but worth it. Particularly powerful is the chapter "Prelude to Genocide". It deals with 1938 when Hitler turned his thugs loose on the Jews, beating them in the streets and putting them into concentration camps where they were horribly abused. Particularly memorable is the the section dealing with Krystallnacht, the night Hitler's SA burned synagogues, and publicly humiliated, beat and murdered Jews in an orgy of horror.

And yes, Britain, the U.S. and Canada knew all about it. And they really didn't care. They didn't lift a finger to help those Jews who tried to escape because they were almost as antisemitic as Germany was. And that may help to explain the often extreme behaviour of Israel.
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For a change of pace, here are reviews of three books about Guatemala  where U.S. capitalism, with the full support of American politicians, created a hell, and where New Brunswicker Raoul Leger was murdered (without a word about it ever appearing in the irving press.) Note the third review in particular.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jan/06/the-best-books-on-guatemala-start-your-reading-here

The record of American capitalism in plundering, slavery, semi-slavery, mass murder is at least as vicious as that of the British Empire. And both empires made it a point to tell the world and themselves that God blessed them.
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And here, again, is the story that has gripped much of the western world - but not the irving press.

 http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/independent-jewish-voices-canada/2018/01/slap-was-heard-around-world
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After years of elaborate apologies and vague promises, what has Canada done for its indigenous peoples? The answer is nothing.

Despite the glib talk of our politicians it is no easy task to rebuild societies after centuries of destroying them. The world these societies were shaped in has been destroyed. They can't go back to the old life in a world that no longer exists. Somehow, we have to create a society (actually, several societies) based on their old values but adapted to the world they now have to live in.

I won't pretend that I have an answer to that problem. But I see no sign that our big-talking politicians have given any thought at all to an answer. So our aboriginal peoples have to continue in the cultural vacuum left to them.

 http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/activist-communiqu%C3%A9/2018/01/access-clean-water-luxury-some-first-nations-reserves
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The U.S. seems determined to use the demonstrations against the government of Iran as an excuse for intervention - as though 'the people' were rising against a cruel and corrupt government. But that is not at all what the demonstrations are about.

http://original.antiwar.com/feffer/2018/01/05/trump-neocons-exploiting-iran-protest-movement-know-nothing/
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While the media report unusual weather, they often don't connect it with climate change. In fact, the irving press has happily run 'commentaries' by writers who routinely denounce those who do make the connection with climate change as fuss-bodies and fear mongers.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/01/05/corporate-media-failed-connect-2017s-extreme-weather-climate-crisis-study
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Then we have the latest scandal from our scandal-ridden pharmaceutical industry.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/second-opinion-january-6-2018-1.4475921
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You think we can safely handle the radioactive fallout from a nuclear war? The reality is we can't even handle the fallout we have been getting for years from a nuclear power station. And we'll be getting it for thousands of years to come.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-fukushima-nuclear-meltdown-continues-unabated/5624458
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One of the greatest costs of war is the cost of rebuilding. In Syria, that is estimated to amount to 250 billion dollars. The destruction of the Korean War was even worse. Then there have been the many, many billion dollars to rebuild Iraq. And one can only wonder who will pay for the rebuilding of Yemen, the arab world's poorest country.

Oh, yes. The U.S. (very occasionally,) pays to rebuild the damage. It helped western Europe after World War Two. But there was a catch.  Most of that money had to go to U.S. contractors. And Britain got nothing. Of course not. The U.S. wanted the British Empire broken so it could take over.

As well, U.S. contractors have been notorious for pocketing most of the aid money. In Iraq, rebuilding a school meant simply repainting the ruin at a very high price. The same sort of thing happened with the Haiti earthquake.

The American empire has killed some seven or eight million people  since the 1950s. And almost as bad are the shattered ruins it has left behind.

God bless America? I doubt it.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2018/01/06/will-pay-250-billion-reconstruction-cost-syria/
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The U.S defeated ISIS in Syria? No, it didn't. It created ISIS in Syria.

https://www.unz.com/article/who-really-defeated-isis/
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The future looks dangerous. Like Nazi Germany, the U.S. has a political leadership that has risen by exploiting racial hatreds and fears. It has an economic leadership similar to that of Nazi Germany as it embraced Hitler when it saw he was going to win power. And we are now fighting wars for exactly the same reason the world fought world war one - wars to decide which national gang of capitalists would dominate.

And Canada will be sucked in because our capitalists want us to be sucked in.

And, in Yemen, we have exceeded the brutality of Hitler's death camps with the deliberate starvation of civilians, including children and babies. Millions are likely to die.  (And yes, both Canada and the U.S. have played a role in this.) Astonishingly, our news media have largely ignored this.

The German churches offered at least some resistance to Hitler. Ours haven't even whimpered.



             

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Jan. 4: Ah, this 'Christian' world...

I am beginning this on the morning of Jan. 3. Note that the irving press papers always have a notice on the front page.

" Up-to-the-minute breaking news every day"

So I checked for the weather forecast in the Jan. 3 paper because I've been reading frantic storm warnings of dangerous weather from the federal government and from American sources for two days. But, to be really sure, I wanted to check the irving press.

Duh - mainly sunny, possible snowfall, yawn...

Talk about up-to-the-minute breaking news.
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Now, it's Jan 4, and the fearless editors at last have the storm in its news. Wow!
That's just two days after the rest of the world has known it. Up-to-the-minute. Fast breaking.
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I cite the following news item not because it's important but because it isn't. This is about a book attacking Trump by a man who's as slimy as Trump is. We make a big mistake in focusing on the the behaviour of Trump. (One could have written with equal force about the slime associated with Kennedy, Nixon. both  of the Bushes, both Clintons, and, yes, about Obama.

The problem is not any one person. The problem is about the greed and aggression of almost all American political and economic leaders. Democracy in the U.S. has long since collapsed. And we are now watching its moral and social collapse. And that is what we need more understanding of.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/03/donald-trump-russia-steve-bannon-michael-wolff
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Even the best of newspapers can, in all innocence, twist the news. Here is a report on the middle east that gives a pretty good sense of the chaos that region faces in 2018. But note the last sentence which refers to ISIS as the world's most brutal terrorist  organization.

Oh? The U.S. and Saudi Arabia have both supplied help, weapons and training to ISIS. The U.S. and Arabia are both deliberately starving the people of Yemen to death. Isn't that terrorism? The U.S. killed one and a half million in Iraq - half of them, at least, civilians. Isn't that terrorism? The U.S. and Guatemala cooperated in the slaughter of 200,000 native Maya. Isn't that terrorism? The U.S. daily and randomly murders people with its drone attacks  (which we don't read about in our news.) In Laos, Cambodia and North Korea it has carried out the most intense bombing in history - and deliberately aimed it at civilians. And that is surely terrorism. And it is terrorist that killed more people than ISIS did.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/04/2018-saudi-arabia-iran-rivalry-key-middle-east-year-ahead
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Thanks to the greed of the oil industry, the following story is happening to millions of people all over the world. And if we don't really care about that, let's give a thought to what we'll do with all those refugees as they flee to us.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/04/the-ecological-catastrophe-that-turned-a-vast-bolivian-lake-to-a-salt-desert
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Here's a touch of reality for people who think that the homeless are homeless because they're lazy. They're probably the same people going all ga-ga over Prince Harry's engagement. Yes. Because he's a man who was smart enough to be born rich, not like those lazy, homeless people.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/04/ending-homelessness-royal-wedding-windsor-council-rough-sleepers-harry-meghan
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Here's a story most of our news media  have chosen to miss.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/independent-jewish-voices-canada/2018/01/slap-was-heard-around-world#at_pco=smlrebv-1.0&at_si=5a4e5e32b1ff589c&at_ab=per-2&at_pos=1&at_tot=5
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Haaretz has carried the above story in honesty and fullness, including one column that attacks the Palestinian woman. Not so most of the western press. It's sad for me to see this. I grew up largely mixing in a Jewish society in Montreal that was intellectually active, tough-minded and inspiring for this kid who had grown up in Christian 'blah'.

Alas, the Israeli Lobby which reaches into most western countries,  has effectively cracked down on anybody who doesn't follow the official line.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/independent-jewish-voices-canada/2018/01/slap-was-heard-around-world#at_pco=smlrebv-1.0&at_si=5a4e5
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The irving press might report the charge that Trump has made against Pakistan that it has helped terrorists. But it does not seem to have any people able (or willing?) to give us an analysis of the situation so that we can understand it.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2018/01/04/china-supports-pakistan-trumps-tweet/
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And here's another story you'll  never see in the irving press.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/12/31/trumps-troops-training-isis-terrorists/
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I know I've already given this story twice. But it's more important than a hundred tweets from Trump.

Israel's treatment of Palestine is as far from Judaism as one can get. For the start, it has crippled the Palestinian economy, stolen Palestinian land, mistreated Palestinians who are Israeli citizens, and has deliberately cut off Palestinian electricity for such long periods that hospital patients are dying from it.

And why does the U.S. allow this? Is it out of sympathy for Jews? Like hell it is. The U.S., like Canada, was profoundly anti-semitic in world war 2 - and long after it. It  helps Israel now only because Israel is useful to it in its middle east wars.

https://www.commondreams.org/further/2018/01/03/holding-mirror-shameful-occupation
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The next item is not very important in itself. It's important for the hidden lesson in it. Is Trump stupid? Is he mentally unbalanced? Of course he is. Anyone who can tie his or her own shoelaces knows that. But the important thing is the lesson in that.

Many, many people say we should follow our wealthiest business people because, you know, they're smart. I mean real smart. And the proof is that they've made themselves rich.

This sort of thinking is nonsense. Trump is super-rich. And it's obvious he is a person of low intelligence and poor judgement. That's not at all unusual. Hitler rose himself from poverty to considerable wealth. But his intelligence was limited to knowing how to manipulate people.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/01/03/top-advisor-and-friend-denies-he-said-president-trump-not-only-crazy-hes-stupid
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Wouldn't it be nice if somebody at irving press annoyed the boss by telling the truth?

https://theintercept.com/2018/01/03/all-the-news-unfit-to-print-james-risen-on-his-battles-with-bush-obama-and-the-new-york-times/
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The following is true. And it's going to get worse.

https://theintercept.com/2017/12/30/facebook-says-it-is-deleting-accounts-at-the-direction-of-the-u-s-and-israeli-governments/

Some readers will, I'm sure, agree that what people are allowed to say on facebook should be controlled. Okay. But would those people agree that, say, Trump's tweets which incite hatred and racism should be banned?
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So far, the government in Iran has not been wise in handling the massive protests in that country. It is not threatening to turn the army loose on the protesters. This is a country in which both Russia and China have a stake. So does the U.S. since Iran had the audacity to kick out the murderous dictator the U.S. imposed on it.

This is very, very dangerous, so dangerous it could be the trigger for a world, nuclear war.

http://theantimedia.org/us-promises-support-iranian-protesters-appropriate-time/
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Remember all those commentaries in the irving press about how billionaires make all of us wealthy? They're all a crock, of course. And here's a recent story to make that point.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/of-billionaires-fiscal-paradises-the-worlds-debt-and-the-victims/5624656

China now leads the world in billionaires.  (So much for the myth about 'communist China'.) About thirty years ago, I taught a student who became one of China's billionaires. I wonder if he'd lend me....nah...
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Here's a history of the horror that has been inflicted on Yemen - inflicted by Saudi Arabia and the U.S. - and Canada. I still cannot understand how nations professing to be Christian think nothing of inflicting starvation and horrible disease on the poorest people of the of the arab world.

How has Yemen threatened  us?

And where the hell are the Christian churches?

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/01/03/remaining-peaceful-was-their-choice/
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Our news media have almost entirely ignored the horrors of disease and death that are being inflicted on Muslims in Rohingya. (In fact, who even cares where Rohingya is?)

Indeed, the most notable death since 1945 has been the death of Christianity.

https://www.undispatch.com/deadly-bacteria-thought-eradicated-showing-rohingya-refugee-camps/
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The good news (which is really very bad news) is that Trump's policies are very similar to those of the presidents before him.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/04/show-me-something-new-in-trumps-foreign-policy/
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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Jan.2: Who is evil?

Fifty years ago, as protests against nuclear weapons spread across the world, the nuclear leaders calmed the storm with the assurance that the possession of nuclear weapons was the best guarantee we had  that no war would happen. Nuclear weapons were not really destructive. No. They were the guarantee that nobody would ever use them, that war would end.

Since then, the U.S. has fought 70 wars - all against non-nuclear countries. President Truman wanted to use them in the Korean War. But general MacArthur convinced him this would be a foolish thing to do.  So the U.S. stationed nuclear weapons in South Korea for fifty years instead, using them as a constant threat against North Korea. It has also planted them along the borders of Russia. So --

Do you feel safer now?

For the U.S., at least, nuclear weapons have always been not a deterrent, but a threat.

Isn't it just terrible the way North Korea has built a nuclear arsenal? Actually, no. It's quite reasonable.

North Korea cannot defeat the U.S. with its nuclear weapons. On the contrary, North Korea, while it might to some damage to the U.S., would be obliterated in return. Unlike the U.S., North Korea's nuclear weapons ARE a deterrent. But they probably won't deter.All the big powers have a stake in what is happening. Most of them have huge nuclear arsenals. The chances of a nuclear war starting in North Korea are now very strong. And no-one can predict any good outcome from that.

Oh, I know. Those North Koreans are evil.  Americans are good. They are defenders in the name of the Christian God - the ones who murdered millions in North Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, who set up dictatorships all over Latin America, who are now deliberately starving the children and civilians of Yemen to death, and encouraging a dreadful cholera in that country.

God bless America!

This could have been avoided by giving North Korea a chance to become a peaceful country. But the U.S. didn't do that. It established a threatening military and nuclear presence in South Korea; it ensured that North Korea would have to struggle in poverty when it hit it with trade sanctions. The U.S. made it clear that it intended to destroy North Korea.

China knows why it wants to destroy South Korea. It's to set up an invasion of China. And both it and Russia will now be deciding, day by day, what to do. Maybe they will think they should strike first because, it they don't, the U.S. might strike them first - and then it would be too late. Or the U.S. might decide it has to strike them first. As we now know, the plan for that is already in place - for the war nobody would win.

We had to decide in 1945 how to deal with nuclear weapons, how to get rid of them, how to establish a world order of government. But big business, especially in the U.S., didn't want to do that.  The corporation bosses wanted the victory of 1945 to open the door for them to world conquest. And the fever is still there.

The U.S. is also flirting with nuclear war in the middle east where its years of interference have created a chaos in the whole region. For example, it is trying to  bluff  Russia to force it out of Syria.

And would Israel go nuclear in a war with Iran? Quite possibly. And equally possible, Russia might decide this is where it has to take a stand.

Trump is part of the problem. But only part. The greater problem is that the U.S. is ruled by greed. (Of the most Christian type, I am sure.) This greed and aggression goes all the way back to 1776. It has twisted the meaning of all we said we fought for in two world wars. It now threatens the survival of the whole planet.

Oh, forget the idea the U.S. might decide to conquer the world with a conventional war. Any such war would go nuclear very early. And, anyway, the U.S. could not win such a huge conventional war. This, remember, is the country that could not defeat North Vietnam or even rebels in Afghanistan. As well, the American public has shown it has no patience for long wars.
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But don't let this bother you. Escape your troubles by reading the irving press. The Saturday editorial of the Moncton Times, for example, had a furious commentary attacking the Liberal Party for overspending. Damn right. Why, if we were to continue loosely throwing our money around on frills like education and hospitals, we'd  have to make the wealthy pay taxes.

No, forgive me. I have to intrude here with a rant about the irving press. If that doesn't interest you, skip to the section below which looks at the world press.

On Saturday, the irving press thrilled us with an editorial about how the provincial government is overspending. Of course it is. How else could it fund medical care, education, homelessness and other areas when the wealthy don't pay taxes.

Of course, the editorial writer lacked the guts and integrity to explain that. Instead, it laid all the blame on the government.  It might more usefully have laid the blame on the voters of this province who suffer from getting no truth out of their provincial newspapers.

Today's paper begins with a brainless headline. The province has come to a deal to privatize another part of our health system. We are told that the private company is non-profit.

Yeah. Sure. Lots of companies go into business NOT to make a profit. That is such a stupid statement that I wonder anyone could have the nerve to make it.

Then the commentary page has a brainless and uninformed commentary by an irving opinion editor. It's an attack on communism as an  evil force.

Now, I am NOT a communist. I don't think it's at all practical. However, contrary to what this commentary says, NO country - not the Soviet Union, not China, not North Korea has ever been communist.  But commentators can still write these idiot columns because they don't know what communism means. And, to make it worse, they seem to have to no idea of the misery and  hardship created by capitalism for centuries.

First communism. The fundamental characteristic of communism arises from Christianity. It is based on the principle that we should all work to benefit each other, and not for any selfish reason (and not imposing dictators on our people.) Whatever China and Russia may have said, I am not aware they ever worked on such principles.

I might add that capitalism has never worked on these principles, either. And if you want a system that is murderous and greedy and dictatorial and brutalizing and really, really evil, I suggest you take a look at the capitalism of the last few centuries.

Capitalist Saudi Arabia and the U.S. are now deliberately starving millions of civilians to death in Yemen.  How's that for brutality and evil? The U.S. tortured thousands in Afghanistan. And if you think it is not still torturing around the world, bless you for you childlike innocence.

 Spanish and Portuguese imperialist capitalists murdered and enslaved millions in Latin America. Then the U.S. took over the killing and enslaving in the late 1800s.

The British empire,  led by devout Christians, murdered millions and plundered all over the world - including North America. And neither the U.S. nor Canada has ever lifted a finger to repair the damage. Capitalism in both countries,  though, has virtually enslaved and its own people. (For a sample, you might go to the library for a book by Terry Copp, The Anatomy of Poverty- The Condition of the Working Class in Montreal: 1897-1929.) Employers in Canada and the U.S. have a long and rarely told story of intimidating, brutalizing, yes, and even murdering their workers - just as they now have a long history of avoiding the taxes we need to create conditions for decent lives. And just as they now exploit and murder workers in countries like Guatemala.

Nobody knows how many millions have been killed by largely Christian Americans since 1945. Conservative estimates are about 7 million, not to mention perhaps a hundred million refugees. You want to see real evil? Go to church and look around you at a community that hasn't so much as whimpered a criticism.

Actually, the teaching of Jesus and of the Israelites did much to shape Karl Marx's concept of communism.  But the Judaeo-Christian teaching has, alas, done little to shape our thinking.

You want real evil? Forget communism. Take a look at our endless wars, at our plundering of Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. One of the very few clergy to comment on that this Christmas was the Pope.

There's an excellent column in today's irving press about a man who survived Hitler's holocaust. Another such man was a friend of mine who was released from a death camp as a child only when Germany surrendered. But the fact is that the allied governments knew damn well all about the death camps and the horrible murders of more than five million Jews. And the allied governments, including Canada, didn't lift a finger to help them. They refused to help those who escaped. The refused to accept those who, like my friend, were released at the end of the war. ( He spent most of his childhood in Israel.)

Hitler built his 'final solution' by promoting a racial hatred of Jews, by making people scared of Jews. And that racial hatred is exactly what the  west, especially the U.S., has been using to murder men, women and children in countries like Yemen and, as it has been threatening, in North Korea.

We are not good people fighting evil. We are evil. We are fed by fear and propaganda to hate and to kill - all for the benefit of  capitalism. We did not, I'm afraid, defeat Hitler - we have copied his final solution. The civilian death toll in Yemen is likely to be greater than in Hitler's holocaust. (And the irving press never even mentions it.)

And our churches, just like the Christian churches of Nazi Germany, have been cheerleaders.

Sorry. But this has to be said.
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And the good news is..

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/ceo-income-pay-canadian-worker-1.4462496

There is going to be a price for this enriching of the already wealthy. And it's going to be one hell of a price.
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Big oil has done nothing whatever to recognize climate change.  All it has shown any interest in is itself. That explains much about US wars in the middle east.

Meanwhile, the climate crisis is getting much worse as drought is spreading far more quickly than expected - and that means less food for a world that doesn't have enough as it is. It also means  human resettlement on a scale never seen before. We haven't begun to deal with the problems of that. Millions, hundreds of millions, will be looking for arable lands. The challenge of that is being ignored. What the hell!  It will be easier just to kill them.

And Canada is going to be a prime target for the displaced and, therefore, quite possibly a target for the U.S. government which is likely to produce its own refugees, especially from the west and mid-west.

The changes coming are immense - and they will happen whether we want them to or not. But the oil industry just yawns.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/27/amazon-town-coral-reef-big-oil-a-catastrophe-waiting-to-happen
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I don't know enough about the Iran crisis to understand it. But I do know this is a region where American interests collide with those of Russia and China. The most dangerous thing to do would be use the tension to destroy the Iranian government - and that is exactly what Trump is likely to do.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/01/iran-silence-protests-learn-listen-young-people
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I think the following story is true enough. But I'm uneasy at it. We blame everything on Trump. And,  yes, he is a liar, a fool, irresponsible....But almost all American presidents since since 1945 have been murderous liars. The problem is not Trump. The problem is governments controlled by the very greedy and irresponsible, by the 'capitalism' that is as evil an murderous as 'communism' ever was.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/01/02/pakistan-says-16-years-us-failure-afghanistan-explains-latest-trump-outburst
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In fairness, it  has to be said that many Jews have been critical of Israeli treatment of a young woman in the incident below. Haaretz has been very critical of it. (The irving press hasn't even mentioned it.)

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48513.htm
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The U.S. did something intelligent in Syria. How come none of our news media mentioned it?

http://theantimedia.org/us-ceded-syria-to-russia-last-week/
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This is a newsman's message for the New Year. It's about the real news media world. And it's worth a read. (Not all news people are as sheepish and as obedient as those of irving press.)

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48517.htm
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A story that would never make the pages of the irving press. The U.S. has been imposing profound suffering on the people of North Korea for well over half a century. Funny how our news media have never noticed that.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/day-of-infamy-for-the-un-security-council-triggering-a-devastating-humanitarian-crisis-in-north-korea/5624185
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The real world.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/preparing-for-world-war-iii-targeting-iran/20403
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News that didn't make the irving press.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/29/lying-diplomacy/
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The real issue for 2018 us whether we will begin to deal seriously with the enormous challenges of climate change. The changes that are necessary - a sharp stop to fossil fuels, an unimaginable movement of a billion people and more, the development of new lands - are the greatest challenges ever faced by humanity. We cannot deal with these while coddling oil billionaires and fighting wars for them. We cannot pamper billionaires in general. We cannot sustain racial stereotypes and religious hatreds. We almost certainly have to rediscover the principles of our various religions and to  practice them for a change.

We have yet to face the reality that we have to deal with the greatest crisis that ever hit this planet. And we don't have much time left to get real.
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I'm switching blog days to Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Dec. 29: Modern War

Muslim terrorists are not the only ones who use terror as a method of warfare. The western world  has a long history of terrorism. Names that spring to mind are Winston Churchill for his deliberate bombing of Kurd civilians and his bombing of Dresden, Christopher Columbus for his use of trained killer dogs to hunt and kill native peoples who were late with their gifts of gold for him, George Washington for his massacres of native peoples, George Bush Sr. for his massive murder of the Mayas in Guatemala, all U.S. presidents who have used drones and killer special ops, Truman for the almost incredible scale of his killing in North Vietnam....


https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/28/un-agency-decries-shocking-scale-attacks-children-conflict-zones
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The deliberate killing of civilians, including children, has become a feature of western warfare.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/28/68-die-one-day-airstrikes-un-denounces-us-backed-war-yemen
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The next one is a long read. But stick with it. It's a real shocker.  Funny how most of our news media missed it. Think about this the next time you read that bilge in the irving press about how enriching the wealthy makes us all richer.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22533&LangID=E

This same process of corrupting and looting by the wealthy is going on in Canada. And it, as in the U.S., is going to get worse so long as we are limp-headed enough to keep voting Conservative and Liberal. (Those two parties have been playing that game since 1867 and earlier.)
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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/28/saudi-led-airstrikes-yemen-war-united-nations

This story is not, of course, in the irving press. No. It's big foreign news story for the day is that Obama says leaders should not use social media to divide people. The big news on the front page of the paper is that it's cold out. (Talk about tough reporters digging for the facts.)

Then, on the front page, there's a sad story about  a little girl who misses her daddy. (He disappeared five years ago.) Yes, It is sad. But it's not news because there is nothing we can do about it. This is what is called sensationalism.

Then there's the commentary page with a typical irving opinion. We should cut taxes for the rich like that nice Mr. Trump did. Well, why not? Of course, if it's true that our very rich are not paying taxes at all, doesn't that mean we should give them refunds on all those taxes they don't pay?
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Our news media commonly blame Trump for everything that is going wrong in the U.S. That's a big mistake because 1. Trump's policies are very similar to those of other presidents, often similar even to those of the blessed Obama. 2. Donald Trump is very much the representative of what white America wants.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/28/donald-trump-white-america-republican-party
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This next one may seem rather foreign to many readers.  It reminds me of the incredible expense the British have in supporting a royal family of limited usefulness and to the detriment of helping the millions of British who need basic food, housing, health care, education. But it might spark through in those many of our citizens who go all gaga over Prince Charles and Prince Harry, and who devour all the magazines that drool over them.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/29/royal-yacht-lottery-brittania-monarchy-queen-timeshare
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I'm not sure I'm as optimistic as this next commentary is about Trudeau's decision to abstain from the UN vote that condemned Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. I hope the writer is correct, and that I am wrong, and that this signals a Canadian move to get out from under U.S. control.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/yves-englers-blog/2017/12/canadas-abstention-un-vote-marks-turning-point-israel
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This is what modern war is. This is what terrorism is.

The U.S. has assassination squads (special ops) that operate like this all over the world every day. And Canada has been involved in similar acts. And these are the people that are praised as patriotic heroes. But don't waste your time looking for stories on this in the irving press.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48502.htm
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Though we forget it every Remembrance day, we told Canadians serving in World War Two that we were fighting to put an end to war. The U.S. immediately broke that promise. And we went along with the U.S.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48503.htm
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Another story that would never make the irving press. The cause of much of this is that much of the money the U.S. paid to rebuild Iraq actually went into the pockets of the friends of a very corrupt American government. American 'contractors' made billions out of such projects as rebuilding a hospital simply by painting whatever walls were left.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48498.htm
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The big story in world news today for the irving press is that Obama says Trump should not publicly insult people. Well, no. But...it's possible there's another big issue in world news. The U.S. is flirting with wars that could go nuclear. North Korea is one. Iran is another, not because Iran has nuclear weapons but because an attack on it might tempt China. Syria is another possibility as the U.S. insists on staying where it isn't wanted, and where it's staying might provoke a response by Russia.

And that doesn't begin to count the danger posed by the U.S. in placing nuclear weapons in Europe, and right up to the Russian border.

But doesn't all this make us safer?

No. It makes everything a whole lot more dangerous.

We know now that the U.S. has had   (and probably still has) plans to strike first if nuclear war seems likely. That's known. And it's a safe bet every other nuclear power has the same thought (except North Korea which could only lose by striking first.)

Imagine the tensions as such a situation develops. If Trump hits North Korea, is it possible China and Russia would decide they had to hit western targets NOW?
Of course, it's possible. And the U.S., knowing that, would certainly feel it has to go NOW.

Our world nuclear confrontations are not anything any of us can control. Nor can we change our minds part way through. We have to be the first to do or to die. So does the other side. And that means there's no time on either side to think it over.

But the big, world   concern of the irving press is that Obama says Trump shouldn't use his tweets to insult people.
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I don't believe the irving press has ever even mentioned the next developing event.

http://thesaker.is/the-petro-yuan-bombshell/
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We may be watching the beginning of the end for NATO as Europe begins to distance itself from a U.S. it has no confidence in. And such distancing is something Canada should be looking at - but Canada's wealthy would never allow the news media they own to mention such a thing.

http://theantimedia.org/european-union-building-army/
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It is, or should be, a scandal that while many countries, rich and poor, can afford to educate their children all the way through university, Canada and the US cannot. I remember my own student debt well. It took me so long to repay it that I would have been wiser to stay in my low-paying job that I  had before going back to school.

Of course, we can't possibly pay for that when the wealthy stuff away billions that we can't tax. (How come our governments have never told who are these wealthy people who are stealing from us and our children?)

https://www.globalresearch.ca/student-debt-slavery-bankrolling-financiers-on-the-backs-of-the-young/5624195
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And another story that won't make the irving press.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/21/intel-vets-tell-trump-iran-is-not-top-terror-sponsor/
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This item is from the Jerusalem Post. But it also appeared in the Israeli paper, Haaretz. And the two versions of this story are exactly the same, even though it is about Israeli government officials who want to imprison an 18 year old Muslim girl for slapping an Israeli soldier who had just shot her cousin with a rubber bullet. Haaretz always goes out of its way to tell the truth.

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Palestinian-teen-who-slapped-Israeli-soldier-to-face-charges-520289
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