Friday, February 5, 2016

Feb. 5: Another gem of Irving reporting on page 1.

 A big story tells us that provincial health minister, Mr Boudreau has revealed more on his health plan. Actually, he doesn't reveal anything that we haven't already heard. And he offers no evidence whatever that his plan will save money and make service more efficient. This isn't a front page story. In fact, it isn't a story at all.

There is an important story on A4 in which doctors at the Dumont Hospital say they have heard or seen nothing to suggest that government changes in the health system are anything but destructive. (So I can understand why this didn't make page 1.)

The reality is that the people who own the government want to clock to be turned back to 1939 or earlier, the good, old days when when hospitals were privately-run for profit. And those who couldn't afford it – tough luck. (This could be New Brunswick's answer to the population boom of post-world war two which is giving us a surplus of elderly people.)

Ace reporter Brent Mazerolle has another big story on A7. “Dog lost after car crash reunited with family.” The news YOU need to know. And it even has a big photo of a dog so we'll know what a dog looks like.
The editorial takes on a burning question of the day. Should there be just one zoo for the whole, maritime region? It's probably a good idea. It's not one of the burning questions of the day. But it's a bold stride for an editorial writer who has never before acknowledged there is a world outside New Brunswick. It must be tough to write an editorial every day when you have nothing to talk about – and are scared so say anything that might annoy the boss.

Good column by Norbert on the need for better gun control in New Brunswick. There are guns for sale in this city that are designed only for mass murder. I could wish Norbert had thought of this column way back when three police in this city were killed by such a gun. (And I have seen full page ads for such guns in the Irving press.)

Cole Hobson's commentary is a useful one on a scam that's going around. But it's not a commentary. It's a news story – and, as a news story, it could have been told in a few paragraphs. Really, somebody should explain to the editors of this paper what a commentary is.

Murphy's Law is, like the sermonettes on the faith page, designed to show Mr. Murphy as everybody's friend, and to say nothing that would offend man or beast. Today, I t tells us we should always be kind to people, say 'hello', and never hog the shared armrest on an airplane. Oh, this would be a better world if people didn't hog armrests.

Alec Bruce is doubtful about the new, Liberal budget. I quite agree. But it's all that can be done in an economic system controlled by the very rich, and a society that let's the very rich get away with it. Alec Bruce does not examine the alternatives. Of course not. Mr. Irving wouldn't like that.

Canada and world? Sigh.

A big story is that the New Brunswick Liberals dishonestly inflated the deficit so they could justify increasing taxes. This comes from a Conservative party which has been a partner in running up deficits to satisfy the rich and other friends of two, thoroughly corrupt and lying political parties.

The one story worth reading is on A7 “Drug exec takes the Fifth on Capitol Hill, angers lawmakers”.
The drug industry is one of this world's most corrupt and greedy industries. And big business in general is a tough category in which to earn the title of “most corrupt and greedy”. I have a further story on this case further down.

Here is the further story on the Shkreli case. You will also see below the story, as well as other leads that relate to fraud charges against him. His case is not unusual in the pharmaceutical business. In the U.S., such companies get huge contracts from the American government to supply aid to countries struck by disaster. They ship it by the ton. And they charge full price that each box or bottle would be in an American pharmacy.

Sometimes, it's possible to disagree with an editorial in The Guardian. Currently, it is running an editorial saying that Julian Assange, the man who released the Wikkileaks papers, should surrender himself to British police, and be turned over to the Swedish justice system. I thought the editorial pompous, arrogant – and lying. See what you think.

For openers, the question of rape has nothing to do with it. The instant Assange steps out of the Ecuador embassy in London, he will be arrested by British police, and delivered to Sweden to answer to a charge of rape. But there will never be a Swedish trial. That's because an American jet is waiting in Sweden to take him to the US to be charged with Wikkileaks. (If you look at the right side of the editorial, you will see a list of stories. One of them is the story about the American jet.) The U.S. government wants him – but not for rape.

Though, in Wikkileaks, Assange revealed the names of leading American figures in mass torture, mass murder, illegal wars and many, many other abuses, not a single person has ever been charged. And not one ever will be. For that matter, Obama and Bush and Tony Blair have all been guilty of mass murder and mass torture. But I don't see any of them facing charges (Canadians were involved, too. And not one of them has been charged – including Stephen Harper.) But a young woman who helped in releasing Wikkileaks is now serving some 40 years in prison. Clap hands for her, Mr. Editor.

Assange, says the editorial, has broken the law. And, if he truly believes the law should be upheld, writes the editor, then he should surrender to it. Damn right, Mr. Editor. And the people who disobeyed Joseph Stalin should have surrendered themselves to him to face his courts. And all of those Jews who illegally fled Germany to face Hitler's laws should have been jailed. And all those middle easterners who are illegally landing their sinking boats on European shores should be towed back out to sea. (Actually this is already happening.)

This would also mean a historical re-evaluation of law-breakers like George Washington and Benjamin Franklin – not to mention the men who forced poor King John to sign Magna Carta.

I thought this was a remarkably arrogant, self-righteous and illogical editorial. For a minute, I thought I was reading the Irving press.

Well, anyway, what does a UN court know about the law? It's just a bunch of ignorant foreigners.
And here's an important notice for all New Brunswickers. (It might not make the Irving press.)

Wolastoq Grand Council will release Statement on Non-Ceded Territory and Statement on Energy East Pipeline 
Press Conference – Crown Plaza Fredericton Monday, February 8, 2016 at 10:30am

Grand Chief Ron Tremblay, Clanmothers, and other members of the Wolastoq Grand Council will issue a statement to confirm their responsibility to protect their non-ceded homeland.  The Wolastoq Grand Council will also issue a statement on their position on the Energy East pipeline. 

We invite you to our press conference on Monday, February 8th at 10:30am at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Fredericton.

Ron Tremblay, Wolastoq Grand Chief
Fredericton New Brunswick
Phone:  506-455-1577
E-mail: ron.tremblay2@

The following post was sent to me by a reader.

Last night, Bernie Sanders hurt Hilary Clinton's feelings by suggesting she had close contact with Goldman Sachs, the company most responsible for the economic meltdown created by the bailing out of crooked companies. Bernie's quite right. Hillary is, speaking metaphorically, very much in bed with Goldman Sachs.

American politics, business, and even the courts have reached stunning levels of corruption. And this, says the editor of The Guardian, is the kind of law Julian Assange should obey.

We are in very big trouble. We usually have been in trouble throughout history – but this phase is worse.

This phase began with a document prepared in the 1990s by the most right wing – no- that's not fair – they aren't really right wing – they are, like Jeb Bush, just people of immense greed and indifferent to the needs of anybody but themselves, and they have nothing but utter contempt for anybody who isn't rich. I once met a young woman of that type. She's now Senator Frum. Her brother has been a speech writer for George Bush and others of his type.

The document was 'Project for the New American Century'. It is a blueprint for the economic conquest of the world by American big business. That led directly to the invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya – and the support for an army of terrorists and hired killers whom it pleased the American press to call 'rebels' against the Syrian government. The failure of the 'rebels' is why the U.S. and Saudi Arabia encouraged ISIS in its attack on Syria. And that explains why the U.S. allowed ISIS to finance its invasion of Syria by stealing oil, and selling it through Turkey. And that's why Canadians have bombed Syrians, but have never attempted to bomb those oil convoys.

That madness for money and power is what has driven Arabic people out of their homelands to risk their lives in reaching Europe.

Europe cannot handle this influx of refugees. That's why we are watching the beginnings of the political breakdown of Europe, and also a renewed rise of Naziism.

The U.S. is an imperialist nation. It has been imperialist since its earliest days. But it has become worse, much worse, over the past 15 years. The invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya and now Syria were based on lies. And U.S. foreign policy under both Bush and Obama has been hopelessly ineffective and well as murderous. (Yes, Obama is every bit the miserable wretch that Bush was.)
So far, this phase has killed at least three million – but the real number will never be known. It has destabilized the whole world, and has created such hatred of the U.S. that the hatred has opened doors for ISIS, the Taliban, al Quaeda and others on at least two continents. It has also created the millions of refugees that no country or combination of countries can or will even consider helping.

A corrupt government and a corrupt war industry have stolen so much money that the U.S. can no longer afford to feed its own people.

And lying news media have convinced the American people that THEY are the victims. (In a way, they are. But they aren't victims of Muslims. They're victims of very wealthy Americans who have whipped them into a frenzy that resembles insanity.)

That's why Americans have so unquestioningly accepted the destruction of their freedom, and have accepted the police state while still believing they are a democracy.

It's all quite insane.

And that insanity explains the low quality of the people running for leadership in the U.S., and the low quality of their debates.

The world must have been like this when a man called Moses heard a voice that told him to build an ark.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Feb. 3: When I was a very young child.....

– and  a sweet, young lad I was – among the first words I childishly prattled were the common slang of my neighbourhood. I can still remember my father's smile of joy as I uttered my first sentence, “You a brown-nose.”

I don't know whether the term is still in use among today's young citizens. But it came to mind as I read the headline in today's Irving press. Now, a headline should be about news, that is, something that has happened. But this one is really an opinion piece. “Partnerships could put province at forefront of health-care delivery.”

Yes, it's clap hands with joy for Mr. Irving and his friends. It would be a brand new public/private/partnership to put money into the pockets of those people who are so much better than us.

Of course, the Irving press, always mindful of its role, did briefly mention two people who questioned the plan. But they get only a few lines and, anyway, they're so far down in the story, few readers will get that far.

That's what's called brown-nosing, spelled with a capital BROWN. (I don't 'know what it actually means. Hey. I'm just a kid.)

The other big story in section A news is that the Time Horton's Roll up the Rim contest is now entering its fifth season in Canada. Obviously, this kind of story calls for a real expert in mass communication. So it was covered by Brent Mazerolle.

The editorial is another case of advanced brown-nosing, this time for the pipeline.

It tell us the safety record of oil pipelines in Canada is good. Oh? What is good? Exactly what is the record? And how come this paper still has not mentioned the California pipeline disaster? Are Canadian pipelines different from American ones?

And it will create jobs for New Brunswickers? Duh, Yeah. So it's worth taking risks. Duh. And there won't be any risks at all for Mr. Irving, will there?

Justin Ryan has an interesting read. Rod Allen's is sometimes interesting but, my, his desire to be witty can get him into trouble. His final words are, “….even our landlords, the Mi'Kmag. were once refugees.”

When we steal land from people, we do not make them our landlords. This line is insult after injury. And they were once refugees? Mr. Allen, they are refugees. They are refugees in their own land.

Alec Bruce doesn't think much of the Gallant budget. But, at that, he is too kind in saying that the budget is simply the point of the spear, to be followed by creating a more productive economy. I don't think it is. Such a budget has never been productive of anything but suffering for most, and higher profits for the rich.

And to say the taxes are just the head of t he spear, with cures to follow, is bunk. Mr. Gallant, as a servant of Mr. Irving, has no cures. Nor, it seems, does Alec Bruce.

I'm so relieved that Mr. Irving will not suffer under this budget.
Canada and World is mostly village gossip.

The Syrians peace talks are stalled. Of course. The U.S. isn't interested in peace talks. It wants Syria split into at least three. It wants Assad out, and its own puppet in. And it wants Russia to go away. And peace talks would destroy all those nice things.

Oh, and Yemen still doesn't make the news.

The only foreign news story worth reading is about a 10 year old boy in Afghanistan who was killed by insurgents. Terrible? Yes. But this is a news report that tells the whole story. The boy was recruited by his father, a government military officer, who then used media to make him a hero. Of course, that also made him an easy target for the Taliban who who killed him on his way to school.

The story also reports that both the government and the Taliban are recruiting large numbers of children to send into combat.

Yesterday, much of Ontario hit record high temperatures for this time of year. There was lots of time for the Irving press to print that. It didn't. Well, it would just give people silly ideas that we're experiencing climate change. And we all know that is all just a big lie, and we all know that oil isn't doing it And, if the climate were changing, Mr. Irving would tell it to stop.

In CBC news, the U.S. Senate has demanded that Canada reassure it we are adequately screening refugees.

Can you imagine the squeals of indignation if Canada demanded to know whether the U.S has adequate screening? After all, the U.S. appears to have let in far, far more terrorists than Canada has. I understand the U.S. has also let in millions of illegal Mexicans. Shouldn't we question them about that? I mean, all those Mexicans and terrorists could be heading for Canada.

Take this seriously. Americans actually believe that they have a right to tell other countries what to do. Even now, they're trying to tell Canada what to do in the middle east. Watch for much more of this in the future.

And here's an opinion on it from The Guardian. I especially like the last few paragraphs.

Another story is that about half of Canadians don't know anything about the Trans-Pacific-Trade-Partnership. The greatest support is from Conservatives at 49% in favour. It is much lower in other parties. How to explain this of a deal that's been cooking for a couple of years?

1. Our news media, mostly owned by the people who stand to get rich out of this deal, aren't telling us anything. We are particularly ignorant of the part that says foreign corporations can effectively block any environmental laws, even if they are proven necessary to save lives. And the court which decides that will not be a Canadian court. It will be a private court, owned by billionaires, and it will make its decisions in secret.

2. Conservatives favour it because the old Conservative government favoured it. And conservatives will vote for anything with a conservative label on it because their daddies and grandaddies always voted conservative.
We're getting remarkably little news on what Canada will do in Syria. This is trickier than it looks.

For Canada to take ANY part in the war in Syria, even babysitting for 'rebel' soldiers who are off to do the fighting, is illegal under international law and under the constitution of the United Nations. The U.S. is there illegally, too, and is, therefore, committing war crimes.

Under law, you can invade a country only if it poses a direct threat to you. Or – if it's government invites you to send troops. Russia was invited to send troops. The U.S. was not. And Canada will not be asked. What the U.S. has been doing is pulling its 'allies' (puppets) into an illegal war. We very righteously hanged people for doing that after World War Two.

Then there's another problem.

Canada cannot to to war unless parliament votes in favour of it. That's in our constitution. (It's in the U.S. constitution, too, but the U.S. has been ignoring its own constitution for years.)

Every Nov. 11, we are told how our soldiers died to win us the right to vote on whether Canada should go to war. That's never been true, really. But it is the law in this country. Parliament must vote. And Trudeau cannot weasel out of this by saying the Canadians would just help to train the 'rebels', or even just to distribute maple syrup in Tim Horton roll-up-the-rim cups.

And even if parliament were to approve, it would still be an illegal war.

Any movement into a country without the permission of its government is an act of war, and it's illegal. That's why almost all the 'drone' raids are illegal. That's why most attacks by 'special ops' are illegal. That's why most American interference in Latin America (as in Panama and Guatemala and other countries) is illegal.

What we have watched since World War Two has been the deliberate destruction of international law, of the UN, of national constitutions. This has been quite deliberate, with private business playing a major role in destroying any hope of international order. This is what is called, in the U.S., American Exceptionalism. And it's exactly like Nazi exceptionalism. And like British exceptionalism and French exceptionalism in their imperial days. (For that matter, it's much like the French, British, and then Canadian exceptionalism that stole this whole country.)

This has thrown the whole world into its present chaos, with much worse to come.

However, I would be willing to offer a compromise.

We could equip and train our billionaires, and send all of them over.

I find it amazing that no commentator for the Irving press has had to wit to point all this out. The information is so easily available that even Norbert could understand it. And it would be a nice change from his loutish and crashingly ignorant attacks on education and the civil service.
Today's The Guardian has many stories about the UN court's decision that Julian Assange, the man who leaked state secrets to tell Americans about the torture and murder their country was carrying out, should not have to remain in hiding at the Ecuador embassy in London. British police have no right for force him to stay there. And the Swedish courts have no right to interfere. (All of this has been going on at the demand of the U.S. government.

Will Assange now be allowed to go free? I doubt that very much. The U.S., Britain and Sweden don't give a damn about the law or the UN. That's why nobody involved in massive torture was ever been charged. The police go after you only if you tell the truth.

I wonder if the Irving press will carry this story tomorrow.
Here's a suggestion of why oil prices are low. As well, a reader sent me a comment that also suggests credible reasons for why the Saudis are being so generous to us. It's at the end of the blog for Sept. 2.

And there's a very big story about what's happening to the American dollar. Russia is using and accepting China's Yuan for international trade. It has also become Russia's major customer for oil. I don't have enough information yet on this to post anything I've seen. But I'll be watching for it.

There there's video of how the US knew about the ISIS convoys of trucks to Turkey from the start – and did nothing. This is a video – which means you can see the sources and hear them.

Paul Craig Roberts is one of my favourite journalists. He's very well informed, well-experienced, and honest.

And this last site is one I used only with care. But I'm pretty confident about the truth of this one because I've been following it in other media.

Mercenary soldiers are in wide use in every war you hear about in the world, and also in the ones you don't hear about. These are, to put it plainly, simply hired killers. It's a career that does not attract charitable workers. It's more for the kind of person who just loves killing – killing anybody – just killing. And rape. And theft. They are the bullies and thieves you always hated in school. One of the biggest employers of mercenaries is the U.S. However, the world champ in murder-for-pay circles is Britain. God bless the Queen.

They can be, and are, sent to countries all over the world – to anybody who can pay the price And they can do anything they like. Mercenaries were commonly used in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Latin America. They've fought for Britain, the U.S., whoever wants them to kill whoever it is they want killed. And almost nobody reports on them or controls them. Nobody mentions their war crimes. And their numbers are huge.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Feb. 2: Welcome to 1929

Our premier is going to make us rich by making us poorer. And by making the rich richer.  Welcome to the economics of 1929.   Lots of us will get poorer. Some of us will get fired. And the rich will get tax cuts. Yes, Yes, I can see how
that would make us all richer.  Just like 1929.

Actually, what we're seeing is the creation of an ever bigger wage gap between the majority of us and the rich minority. Just like 1929.

I note, too, the Gallant government makes no mention of examining the offshore bank accounts of the  wealthy to see how much taxable income they aren't reporting and don't pay taxes on at all.  Well, of course not. If we taxed them, they might go away. And we wouldn't want that. That's just common sense. I mean, sensible people make sure their doors are always unlocked. If we locked them, burglars just woud go away.

So life will go on as it always has in New Brunswick, with the very rich looting everybody else. And with a series of lawyer politicians doing the dirty work for them, helped by the Irving press - despite being based on economics almost 90 years out of date.

People will suffer for this?  Don't worry about it. The Irving press will look after that with morale-raising photos of goofs smiling and holding up big cheques. (It's very soothing for the rich to see those photos.)
Now, I've just looked over Section A. It's exactly what I expected it to be. The Chamber of Commerce is concerned that higher sales tax could hurt business. It will, of course, but mostly for small business. Small business people like to consider themselves as being 'entrepreneurs' just like the Irvings. They are enterpreneurs. But they have nothing in common with the big kids.

The sense of economics displayed in the editorial is, like that of the front page, quite ignorant of the damage we have done  every time we favoured the rich and hammered the rest to balance the budget.

The reality of this world is that the wealthy are more wealthy than they have been in modern history - and possibly in all history. The wage gap is huge, and getting bigger. Obvious conclusion? The wealthy do NOT create jobs. Prosperity does NOT trickle down. It never has.

That's why the Gallant budget is a farce. That's why the economic thinking of a Richard Saillant is decades behind serious economic thinking.

When I read people like Saillant, it think of my days as a Boy Scout, when some of us were at a conference on poverty. One of the boys said that the answer to poverty is that, in an analogy, we should sweep the leavings off our table, and leave the fallout for the poor. (It's a modified form of the 'trickle down' theory.) Not surprisingly, he later became a clergyman. The poor of Britain were never more miserably poor than they were at the height of the British empire when the rich were rolling in the stuff. We're seeing the U.S. repeat the same pattern.
Hey, I have a great idea. Send me money to make the rich richer. And if we raise, maybe five bucks, I could get one of the big cheques. A group of us could call ourselves, say, Friends of the Irvings.  could pose with the cheque, and the Irving press would put it on their smiling goof page.

Norbert has a solid and sensible column. Brian Cormier has a column about our need for a partnership between private business and government. Been there, Brian. Done that. Benito Mussolini created it, and called it fascism.

Anyway, there already is a partnership between big business and government. That's why the whole world is in trouble.

The guest column is another one from the Fraser Institute.

Alec Bruce suggests a union of the Atlantic provinces. Well, this is an idea that goes back at least to the 1860s. It's not a magic problem solver; but it does make sense. That's why it's not going to happen.
Section B, Canada and World, has four stories on the budget. That, with the front page story, makes five - all of them repetitious.       And Canda and the world has almost nothing on the world, and nothing worth reading on Canada - unless you're very, very lonely. The world is on the edge of nuclear war in the middle east. The U.S. is planning to destroy Syria by cutting it up into tiny, helpless nations. Turkey is probably considering an invasion of Syria to take over a part of it. Israel is busily stealing chunks of Palestine. The U.S. is sending troops and aircraft to Syria - which is not only illegal, but will have Russian and American troops fighting in the same country - but for different reasons. doh-di-doh.  Saudis and British and Americans    are still cutting off food and medicine and are still killing some of the poorest people in the world in Yemen - and we still don't even know why. The U.S., Britain, France,  Holland, just like ISIS, are fighting illegal wars with massive numbers of war crimes. If Canada in any way joins the Syria war, it will be committing a war crime. (In fact, it already has committed a war crime with its bombing of Syria). ISIS and the Taliban are spreading into Asia. The great creator of refugees in this world is the U.S. It also does the least to help them. And anyone who thinks that Europe will simply absorb these people is in dreamland. We are going to see even more brutal treatment handed out to the refugees - and a notable rise in Naziism which has already happened in Ukraine  - and in the U.S.

None of this is known to the editors of Irving press.

The world we supposedly fought World War Two for, is  gone. Its major creation, the U.N., is mostly in ashes.   Capitalism is running wild in all the major nations. (Gee. If capitalism is running wild, that means the whole world will now be creating jobs and enjoying prosperity - just like New Brunswick.)
But don't worry about it. Just read the Irving press. Why, just raising the sales tax and firing civil servants will solve all these problems.   General Tony Gallant, lead the world to peace and prosperity.
Oh, the Irving press did have its usual story about gas prices, and what they will be for this week. What it never has told us is why they are low.

They are low because Saudi Arabia (often with U.S. cooperation) is overproducing oil to keep the prices low. But this is not an act of charity. Prices are low to destroy economies (like Russia's and China's - partiularly Russia's) that can't  produce cheap oil.

This ain't no gift to us. Once cheap gas completes its purpose, watch for prices to soar. Does New Brunswick or   city council have any plans for that? Have they even thought about the problems that will create? Perhaps Norbert could write a column on how we shall have to compensate for the hike in gas prices by firing more civil servants and, maybe, teachers. And, of course, by privatizing medicare and education.
Miraculously, the Irving press missed a story that the CBC had yesterday, and has been carrying for months. Gee. You'ld think they would jump at this because it's all about fracking and methane gas and pipelines, and how safe they are.
The story began some 15 months ago when a pipeline of fracked methane (perfectly safe and up to government standards, of course)  sprung a massive leak. That was fifteen months ago, and the engineers still can't stop it. Some experts rate it the worst environmental disaster of its type in history.  Now, the California government is laying criminal charges against the company.
Unfortunately, that won't undo the damage. (The story might make helpful reading for Alec Bruce who has been very kind to frackers.)

We might all remember the great protest at Rexton in this context. Native peoples didn't want fracking anywhere near their territory. Thye have to live there. They believe they have some right to live in safety.

The fracking company didn't want to know what the native people thought or wanted. It was there to make profits, no other reason.

So, the province sent riot police, and the fancy police with camouflage suits and combat rifles. And guess which side they were on. And guess  which side the government was on.

Government of the people by lawyers, for big business.
Come on, the editors of the Irving press can't have missed the California story. Even they aren't that dumb. Becoming  editors at the Irving press demands people with long, slobbering tongues to lick some very dirty boots.
They also missed a CBC story with even more local implications. It's about the MacDonald's chain of fast food outlets - you know, the chain that is to dining what the Irving press is to journalism.
It has a new health food for diet-concious people. It's called a Kale Salad. Yes, it is.
And it seems it has more calories than a Double Big Mac.
It also missed the story that Trudeau feels Canada should have a national debate on whether to build Harper's memorial to victims of communism. It would share its  site with the Supreme Court in Ottawa.

I was embarassed to be a Canadian when Harper first announced this $5.5 million dollar dream. So were a great many Canadians. It was an extremely ignorant and outrageous idea. Why can't Trudeau just dump this? Why do we need a national debate that will cost at least as much as this idiot memorial?

Consider these points.
1.  Very few people even know what the word communism means.
2. Despite saying they were communists, neither Stalin nor Mao ever was. So far as meaning goes, communist was never more than a swear word to most people.
3.The capitalist record of U.S. imperialism, alone, killed and is killing more people than Stalin or Mao did. For that matter, Chiang Kai shek, the puppet ruler of China for western capitalists, including the U.S. killed at least as many people as Mao.
4.U.S. capitalism killed more African slaves just in transit than   any 'communist' slaughter I ever heard of.  Estimates are that 100 million Africans were killed in the slave trade, most of them by captitalist countries like the U.S. and Britain. This exceeds Hitler's holocaust by a magnitude of almost twenty times.
5. Nobody knows how many native people of the Americas were killed or died of European diseases. It could have been ten million. It could have been 50 million. It could have been more. They were killed by capitalists. Of course. Starting with Christopher  Columbus, these were capitalists looking to steal valuable resources, then to steal land to sell to settlers or to set up vast cotton plantations. Canadian capitalists always killed native people for profits. That's what the fur trade was all about. In New France, the French routinely attacked the Iroquois who were taking furs to the British market. And the American-British retaliated in the same way. We killed native peoples in the maritimes to take their lands. And we paid bounties to native peoples of New Brunswick for any native scalps they could get in Newfoundland. Canada and the U.S. killed most of the buffalo to starve native peoples to death.  This helped to clear the west so capitalists could run railway lines through it. And so real estate dealers could sell land.
U.S imperialism killed Canadians in 1812, then Mexicans, then it killed people all over Latin America, and is still killing them because it's good for profits.
Nobody will ever know the total of dead to serve capitalism. There are the empires of Britain, France, Holland, Germany, the U.S., Spain and Portugal, just for starters.
Capitalism has murdered, enslaved, tortured, worked to death more millions than can ever be counted. And it's still doing this all over the world.

Perhaps there should be a monument to victims of 'communism' - whatever that means. But we are scarcely the ones who should be doing it. Harper was always the sort of person who farts, then frowns at other people as though they did it.
What interested me in this topic is what it tells us about - us. We readily see the evil done by others. But we don't see the evil when it it's done by us. That may explain the lack of any sense of reality in the U.S. leadership contests. And in the pages of the Irving press.

I'm embarassed we had a prime minister who would suggest it. I'm surprised we now have one who thinks this requires a national debate.  Justin, like Gallant you don't seem to understand the general idea of democracy. We don't elect leaders so that they can ask us what to do. We elect them to lead.  We elect them to lead on the basis of principles they advocated during election campaigns. The thinking part for us is doing a little bit of thinking about what the various leaders are proposing to do. (sigh - we don't do that, either.)
I don't know much about the next source, or the author. But I have been following this situation for some weeks. I think he's bang on. And I think developments in Syria are even more dangerous than he says. And I think Canada will be sucked into it.

This is not a war against ISIS. This is the U.S. risking a war with Russia. In fact, it IS a war with Russia. And it's being done by an American government that, we can safely say, is a partnership of government and business in the U.S. And its purpose is to be obedient to the greed of a handful of oil barons. Forget the idea that Canadians died in World War 2 to stop fascism. They were told that. And they were lied to. The war was fought to bring fascism to us - under the name of private/public partnership.

(It gives me no pleasure to say this. I still remember the boys from my father's scout troop coming by the house to show off their uniforms and say goodbye. And I still remember the ones who never came back.)
The Irving press doesn't read Haaretz, either. This story is one of many about frauds that are carried out by Israeli capitalists and steal land from Palestinians for what are called "settlements". The objective is Israel is, of course, to destroy Palestine as an independent state - and as a state of any sort. It will all become Israel.
The next item is one that I don't entirely agree with. However, I include it because it's worth thinking about.  I certainly agree  that religious ideologies can be dreadfully destructive. And I don't know of any religious ideology that hasn't been murderous at some time.

ISIS is certainly represents a religion taken to an extreme that effectively destroys the religion. But you can find the same sort of extremes in Christianity, notably in the Christian fundamentalists who flock to Donald Trump to  hear his hatred of all Muslims and Mexicans.

But I don't think that's a reason for religions to express their religious values simply with cookie sales and gospel jam sessions.

And I think what really happens is that some (many) religious people really don't think about their religion. And they don't  understand that the religious values they have should affect how they treat all people, not just the ones who belong to their church.- or mosque or synagogue or temple. Too many people - and I guess social acceptance has something to do with this - treat their religion as an excuse to abuse people of other religions.

I'm not sure exactly how the line should be drawn. I think this article begins well, but then develops an extremism of its own. Christianity and Judaism have, to my knowledge, sometimes served great causes like like the Red Cross (and its Muslim counterpart), socialism, medicare, the anti-nuclear movement - all well beyond cookies and gospel music.

So I can't agree that religions should confine themselves to local good works.
I  have much more. But this is already long. And I'm hungry.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Feb:2 No Irving press

I   won't discuss the Irving press for today. It's just propaganda, ignorance and trivia. The one exception is the column by student  columnist, Jana Giles. She's critical of online courses. I quite agree with her. Learning how to teach, and improving teaching, can only be done by face to face classes with discussion and reaction on both sides. And not just teachers and students, but teachers and students and other students.

Teaching into a camera and learning from a screen destroy that essential contact for both sides.
But we'll open with a topic the Irving press has refused to look at - the firing of Dr. Cleary as Chief Medical Officer of New Brunswicks. This item came to me from a reader. It's what the Irving press could easily  have learned - but didn't want to. And it's a stunning example of how manipulative and self-serving the real government of this province is.

'The Council of Canadians, Kent County, has confirmed that in her presentation to the N.B. Commission on Hydraulic Fracking,  Dr. Cleary emphasized four points:
1- she described the shortfalls of the N.B. version of an Environmental Assessment (EIA)
2- she clarified that the office of the CMOH is not regularly privy to the EIA reviews, such as they are.
3- she advocates for an alternative assessment process the Health Impact Assessment (HIA), something that has been adopted by some of the more enlightened jurisdictions world-wide.
4- A HIA is based on a full range of health determinants endorsed by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the WHO.
She also requested a tour of the shale gas industry in the province, but she was fired instead. Now we know why. You have a large readership, perhaps you might mention these interesting details some time.'

So, what do you think of Tony Gallant and the Liberals now? And we still have the pesticide issue to look at as well.

How do you explain the nature of people who would put us all at risk? Easy. It's called greed. It's also called indifference to human life.
This is the reality of the world we live in. For a sample on a world scale,  try this. It's photos of women in the 1960s in - well, in some of the pictures they could be women in New York or London - or Moncton, New Brunswick. These are women who lived in a society in which democracy was developing; women had wide measures of equality, commonly attended universities, and routinely entered the professions. But these women weren't in New York or London - or even Moncton. They lived in Afghanistan.

It was then a society that was rapidly modernizing and democratizing.
Then the Russians interfered with a long and bloody invasion. Then the U.S. (with Canadian help) interfered - and the U.S., 15 years later, is still interfering and killing.

The reaction was the usual one. A people in terror fled back to their old institutions - family, tribe, and religion. The latter, as it commonly does in these situations, became an extreme form of itself, taking shape in the Taliban.
Those women were destroyed by Russia, the U.S. - and Canada. And the Taliban is now gaining ground in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Brilliant move, Messrs. Bush and Obama.

Always notice. Groups like the Taliban, ISIS, al Queda did not exist until we interfered.
The opinion column below is frightening enough - but there's so much more and so much worse to come.

It is going to get worse, much worse. The numbers fleeing are going to rise dramatically. People are going to be pushed back to sea in their sinking rafts and boats. In fact, it's already happening. Asian countries, for example, have their own refugees, and it's common  practice to push them back to sea. Australia has admitted doing it. And so they're sent out to die of exposure.

Europe is not standing the strain, and many countries aren't even trying to. Britain is very reluctant to accept any. Germany expects most of them to go back home in the not-too-distant future. Home to what?

Poverty stricken Greece is being forced to hold on to huge numbers of them because its neighbours  won't allow them in. In Denmark, the government takes all valuables from them. In Sweden, large gangs of masked men patrol the streets, looking for refugees to beat up.

In almost any country they go to, they're likely to find themselves facing the winter, hundreds of thousands, many of them children on their own, living in tents crammed together on muddy fields. There is virtually no sanitation, no education for children who have already missed years of education, very little food, very, very little medical care.

And there are many, many more to come because we have to make our oil billionaires happy by getting control of the oil fields. Yes, even as we can see our climate changing, we are going to burn more and more oil.

Europeans have all the bigotry and hatred that other people  (like us) have. Despite Europe's pretence of being Christian, it is not. And I could not help noting that most of the Irving press reports about refugees coming to New Brunswick emphasize that they will be good for the economy. As Jesus might have said if he were an Irving press editor "Love your neighbour: there's money in it."

In the context of this disaster, Canada's help has been relatively small and self-centred. And the proudly Judaic/Christian U.S is doing virtually nothing. (In fairness, much of its money is tied up in making the bombs that kill those people who can't afford the cruise to Greece.)

What has caused all this fighting? Was Syria preparing to mount an invasion of the U.S.? Or was it because the U.S. wanted to bring democracy to Syria?
Actually, the U.S. has NEVER fought a war to bring democracy to anybody. (And even the story of the U.S. revolution as a democratic one is an overstatement.) It's about oil and it's about profits. Nothing else. These wars are no more moral than Hitler's war. Our slaughter of Muslims is no more moral than Hitler's holocaust inflicted on Jews.

In fact, there are many similarities between us and the German-Italian axis of the 1930s and 40s. For a start, our economic system is not capitalism. It is, essentially, fascist in its 'partnership' between government and business.

Hitler and Mussolini were not aberrations. They were the way the world was going, and has been going ever since 1945.

And will Canada be involved in this war? It already is. Justin might change the pawns on the board to make it all seem nicer. But he won't refuse to play the game.

And there is much worse to come.
And a final thought. I went to a school that was mostly immigrants and refugees. They were different from me in lots of ways - first language, family customs, skin colour, religion. But the differences were no obstacle to friendship. And then, working most of my life in Montreal, I could actually feel the vibrancy and excitement they brought to the city.

I taught students of many religions and of  no religion from all over the world. There were really no great differences between them and as groups, they added to the cultural life of the city.

So refugees, if we get enough, might change Moncton as they changed Montreal.  Lord knows, this is a city that could use some change.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Feb. 1: The things I cannot have.

I learned very early in childhoood that my family could not have a car. We could not have heat in our home after supper. We could not go for a summer holiday any further than the outskirts of Montreal. We could not eat in a restaurant. And, on balance, it's useful to know what we cannot have.

But our news media avoid the subject – so as not to offend their owners.

The U.S. cannot afford the cost of its race for world dominance. It creates big profits for the owners of defence industries. It provides trillions of dollars worth of killers free of charge for the oil industry.

But it has created a national debt which is unpayable. It has created rising poverty and turmoil in the U.S. It has made it impossible for the U.S. government to provide enough food or housing or adequate education for its rising numbers of poor. It may well be a major factor in police shootings in the U.S. The poor are driven to desperation. Almost all have guns. Even children have guns. If I were an American policeman, I'd be damned scared in most parts of the U.S. And I might do something extremely foolish.

Lacking any plan for the development of American society, the nation it is torn by fear and hatred- and the politicians, most of them running on more of the same, only worse, are feasting on that fear and hatred.

Capitalism, at least in the form we have permitted it and as it is praised in the Irving press, does not work. It has a been a political failure, a social failure and an economic failure. But, since it runs on pure greed, those who run it and who own most of our news media, will not recognize what it is doing. Like alcoholics, they cannot recognize what their greed is doing to society, and what it will do to them.

And our politicians are prepared to deliver the final blow to democracy and to us with Pacific and European free trade deals. Sorry, all you rich folks, but in a world as low and as greedy as this one, you set a new mark for evil.


We cannot fight a nuclear war. There's no doubt about this. With all the nuclear missiles in this world, such a war, even with only a small number of them, would destroy all of us. And even if we had a way to defend ourselves by shooting down nuclear missiles, the fallout would still destroy all of us.

So why do we keep building them?

1. The very wealthy see them as the way to beat their competitors in other countries.

And how do we justify it?

1. We say that nuclear missiles are a deterrent to war. Some deterrent. We've been at war constantly since the invention of nuclear weapons.
2. We ignore the fact that we were within minutes of nuclear war when a false alarm went off. We are here now only because an alert Russian officer did not believe the alarm, and did not push the button for a response.

Result, both the U.S. and Russia are now using the nuclear threat to bluff each other in the middle east. The U.S. is determined 'to be great again', a term that means controlling the economy of the whole world. That is why it has been building missile sites and anti-missile sites as close as possible to Russian and Chinese borders. ( If simply having nuclear missiles were already a deterrent, why would they bother doing this?)

I'm not at all sure either Russia or China will be bluffed. And bear in mind that both Russia and China are controlled by capitalists who are just a greedy and murderous and foolish as our capitalists. (Our private news media are fond of implying that Russian and Chinese leadership is evil. That's a variety of racism, of course. But it is evil – exactly as ours is evil.)

Those 'Christian' twits of fundamentalists who demonstrate against abortion because The Bible says we shall not kill might drop their self-righteousness to note that we Canadians have been involved in the killing of people, including babies, in recent years. And the fundamentalists have been right up there with the cheerleaders. Christian is not spelled h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e.

We also have to actually do something about climate change. Yes, I know it will be difficult. The consequences of not doing will be a a lot more difficult than doing it.
The front page is a warning about tax hikes – a warning with comes from “analysts” who just happened to represent the business point of view. Well, I can think of warnings about anything we might do. So let's just lie back and let it happen. Right?

The big story is on A4. “New Moncton Canadian Tire Store to include a Tim Horton's”. Wow! Talk about Resurgo. And that's it for section A news.

The editorial is a “ something must be done” one about the old Moncton High School.

Norbert writes yet another trivia column. This one is about common errors in spelling, grammar and good usage which he says are showing up in even our media once noted for high standards. Of course, he says it all the fault of our schools. Yep. The implication is there once was a time when all New Brunswickers were were leading grammarians. By the way, Norbert, check your last paragraph.
You write, '...assist refugees as they settle into their new home...”

Won't they be terribly crowded if they move into one home?

Andy our last sentence should have a semi-colon rather than a comma. That's because it's really two sentences. So it should have either semi-colon (;) or a period (.).

Oh, defensible and indefensible are not metaphors for 'claims'. In fact, they aren't metaphors of any sort.

I understand your dislike of the education system. You must have had some really stinking teachers.

Steve Malloy is justifiably angry at the way the Gallant government is dropping hints on its budget. And he has good reason to be angry at it. And he's angry at the way New Brunswickers are sitting back and doing nothing. But he has to understand. Sitting back and doing nothing is the national sport of New Brunswick.

Craig Babstock has a commentary that is, sort of, a commentary. But it really doesn't tell us much about anything.

Alec Bruce says we're going to get hit by a raise in taxes. But don't worry about it. We'll get over it just like we get over snowstorms. (You can save a lot of time just by reading my three sentences on it.)

The only page in section A worth reading is the back page. It's a big ad posted by our civil servants. It's a very solid attack on a myth promoted by Irving and all his little press hacks.

Basically, the idea of small government is absurd. It is not cheaper to privatize. It is not more efficient to privatize. Firing civil servants will not make things better. It will make them worse, especially for those (almost all of us) who need the public service. Canada's most efficient and most effective economic years were the 1940s to the 1960s when we had a superb (and large) civil service.

The Irving papers will support cuts to the civil service because their owner doesn't need it. In fact, civil servants and democracy get in the way of the Irvings of this world. And what happens to us is not something people like that care a hell of a lot about.

Will the Gallant Liberals do us damage with budget cuts? You bet they will. Like every government I have known in this province, this one is a servant to the Irvings.
The only story in Canada and World worth reading is one about environment groups who want Canada to demand an end to the use of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic. It is commonly used by the growing number of merchant ships in those waters, and is particularly destructive since it is virtually impossible to clean up.

Don't depend on either the Irving press of the federal government to do anything.

B2 has what could have been an effective story. It's about how some 10% of Canadian homes rely on water that is tainted by lead (often from ancient, lead pipes.) This is no minor matter. In Flint, Michigan, many have already died, many more are ill and will die.

So why didn't any editor at Irving press have the wit to check how many homes (and schools and hospitals) in this province are in danger?

Here's an old story about the 1990 U.S. invasion of Panama to arrest its president, Noriega. No, Panama was not a threat to the U.S. They bombed a path to his refuge, a path through a massive slum district killing thousands of the poor and quite innocent. The American commander, by the way, was tht nice man, Colin Powell.

I knew all about this years ago because I long ago stopped taking the North American news media seriously. But now, Al Jazeera has broken the real story to the world.

You think they wouldn't do this to us because we're all such good friends? Dream on. This isn't about people. It's about power and money.

Al Jazeera also has the story about corruption and the waste of many millions (probably more than millions) of dollars that were assigned to help West Africa recover from ebola. In this caue, most of the corruption seems to have been in West African governments. But corruption like this is common in all foreign aid from all countries. Haiti saw little of the money 'given' to it by the U.S. Most went to American, capitalist 'entrepreneurs' and their corrupt, political friends.

I am reminded at this point of Dr. Cleary who risked her life to fight ebola. Mr. Irving didn't. Mr. Gallant didn't. But Dr. Cleary is the one, we are told, who lacks essential qualities for be chief medical officer.

I wonder what those essential qualities might be. (Actually, I think I know what they are.)
It will some day dawn on New Brunswickers that the present provincial government is a sleazy as all the others have been.

Remember the Guatemala massacre of civilians? The officers who did that were trained at School of the Americas, an institution in the U.S. that never appeared much in our news, but was used to train Latin-American military officers to kill their own people. Among the beneficiaries of this kindness were Canadians who were substantial holders of mining bonds in those countries.

30 years later, some of them of those officers are being tried for war crimes. The American presidents who authorized the massacre are not being tried – or even mentioned. Nor are the bond holders.

Then there's a topic we need to examine – and very, very soon. Robotization is already in the workplace. There's going to be a lot more – and very, very soon. Robots don't get paid. Robots replace human employees. Very, very soon, there's going to be a huge drop in employment.

You haven't thought about it? Too bad. Because just about ever billionaire in the world has been thinking about it. Lots of unemployment. That will make it easy to cut wages, kill pension plans, destroy lives, reduce the ability of government to do anything and to afford anything…...

Would they do such a thing? Well, they always have in the past.

We should have been thinking of this a long time ago. I'm quite sure that Mr. Irving and friends have been thinking about it. And, so far, the 'entrepreneurs' of this world have been lousy at thinking of anything but what's in it for them.

Do we use robotization to enrich a few by impoverishing billions? You might want to go to the sacred hush of the Irving chapel to seek divine guidance on that.

Or do we use it by employing many people at full salaries and benefits but shorter hours? For those who think the rich should get all the benefits, may I point out that the history of progress (where there has been progress) had been marked by shorter hours and rising income.

Then al Jazeera has an interview with Hans Blix on the subject of nuclear war. Blix was chief weapons inspector for the UN. So he's almost good enough to write a commentary for the Irvinig press.


The next item may seem trivial. It's not. Smoking is habit forming, and it kills.

Ever watch old movies (and more than a few recent ones) whose characters are always smoking. Recently, I watched a 50s flik in which someone in every scene was smoking. In some scenes, everybody was smoking. In once, the lovers were kissing while blowing smoke in each other's faces.

In films after the prohibition era and well into the 1960s, everybody had a drink. A standard set for any Fred Astaire film was him in his expensive apartment carrying his top hat and cane,– and getting a drink from his great bar. Drinking was not only good. It was sophisticated.

These scenes were paid for by tobacco and alcohol companies. They were propaganda for booze and cigs – to make them not only respectable, but classy.

I once knew the owner of Canada's largest cigarette company. (Can't even remember the name of it. It's in Montreal.) She hated non-smokers, liked me because, at the time, I was a smoker.)
The next commentary is by a man who is a world authority on financial affairs. It explains to us how banks drive countries into bankruptcy, then 'save' them by looting them.

And other tricks by 'entrepreneurs'.

And something to keep an eye on.

Russia's intervention in Syria has messed up the plans of the U.S. The U.S. intention was to get rid of Assad as president, then divide Syria into three, small states, each to weak to do anything, and each controlled by American oil 'entrepreneurs'. (I think that's a nicer word than capitalists, don't you? Anyway, it's the one the experts at the Irving press use.)

The so-called 'rebels' and ISIS were to be U.S. proxies to defeat Syria.

But now, that's messed up with both ISIS and rebels unable to do the job due to the Russian intervention. Now, the U.S. has to be its own proxy. The only interest in saving Syria and keeping Assad in power is from Russia. The only interest of the U.S. is destroying Syria and Assad.

The U.S. now has an airfield in Syria. Some U.S. 'boots on the ground' have moved into Syria. More will go. We are now past proxy wars. This is the real thing – the U.S. facing Russia, with a very strong possibility of nuclear weapons coming into play.

This is the result of the greedy and extremely foolish invasion of Iraq by the U.S. and Britain. That foolish and murderous act has all of in a deep hole. And the U.S. seems determined to dig it deeper, all so its oil barons can get richer.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Jan. 30: It really doesn't matter....

…...who wins the U.S. party leaderships. It really doesn't matter who wins the presidency. We should have learned that with Obama. I remember the enthusiasm for Obama at the time of his first run at the presidency. I remember the cheers when he said to America, “We can do it.”

Few, very few, noticed that he never said what it was that they could do. Just “it” was enough of a platform to win the presidency. Once he won the presidency, the followed exactly the same policies Bush had – wars of aggression to put the world at the feet of American billionaires. He kept the torture camp at Guantanamo. (closing it was one of the few coherent promises he had made.) He has refused to prosecute torturers – while at the same time prosecuting the whistle blowers who revealed the torture. He has created a war in Syria. He has continued to lose one in Afghanistan. He has continued the process of allowing the war industries to run wild. Following the leadership of Bush and his invasion of Iraq, Obama has created the horror that is the middle east – a horror that now threatens the stability of Europe and is creating a showdown with Russia and, maybe, China.

The wage gap has worsened under Obama. Poverty is rising steeply. The wealthy continue, sometimes openly, to buy politicians. Race relations are as dreadful as they were back in the 1960s. The police state in the U.S. has never been so powerful and intrusive (and murderous) as it has been under Obama.

He promised a watered down form of medicare. But, at that, what he delivered was a huge profit bonus for private medical insurance companies.

And now, it is Donald Trump who is profiting from the fears and hatreds (and hysteria) that developed under Obama.

Nor is there any reason to expect better from any of the other candidates. The only difference between them and Trump is that Trump knows how to use TV. All of them are are long since bought by the very wealthy. Nor would Trump be able to dictate to the very wealthy. As billionaires go, he's at the penny ante level.

On the Democrat side, Hilary (and Bill) Clinton have long since been bought. Wall St. has no bigger friend than Hilary.

Bernie Sanders seems to be a ray of hope, the one person who understands this is about people and the society they live in. Unfortunately, his thinking is stuck in 1935. Anyway, no congress would ever approve his programmes.

American democracy is history. If there is to be any serious change in U.S. domestic or foreign policy, it will have to come as a result of severe and widespread violence because the very wealthy will not permit peaceful change. That's why American police forces are being equipped with armoured cars, and even tanks. That's why Canada now has special police in camouflage outfits and carrying combat rifles.

Listen carefully to the debates on both sides. All of them (except Sanders) are built on fear and the hatreds that come from fear. Trump does it more than the others but, again, that's just because he understands TV. He knows TV is not for thinking. TV is moving colours, changing camera angles, extreme behaviour, fast pace. And those words define what Trump is. And they're all that Trump is.
Almost all of the candidates refer to restoring American greatness. Almost all avoid any reference to the wage gap or to controls on business. Without saying so, almost all see big business as enjoying a special relationship with government. Just like New Brunswick, big business has become a “partner” with government. (That's why Trudeau recently scampered to Davos to schmooze with the very wealthy.)

All of them see the U.S. as a land of greatness whose greatness is threatened by the influx of people who don't have “American values” (whatever that may mean.) That attitude, with has been common throughout the western world for centuries, and is really a form of racial superiority which is why Canada and the U.S. both have had bitter debates over immigrants from the coming of the Irish, to the Jews, to Ukrainians, to Chinese, to Japanese and more. That's why so much of Europe, like Britain, is dragging its heels on accepting refugees.

We've seen all this before. This is what Hitler was all about and, to a lesser degree, Mussolini. Hitler's major purpose was to restore German 'greatness', to form partnerships with the world's very wealthy, to to protect the wealthy by blocking the expansion of the Soviet Union. That's why the same kind of people (sometimes the same families) who supported Hitler and Mussolini now support Hilary Clinton, and all the Republican candidates – and the Liberals and Conservatives in Canada. (Several years ago, Mr. Irving wrote a column for his newspapers in which he announced that he was “in coalition” with the government. “Coalition” means in full partnership with it (even without getting elected.) He was no longer just a voter like the rest of us slobs. No. He had a right to be in government because he was –-Mr. Irving. This is precisely what Mussolini's Fascism meant.

Hitler and Mussolini lost the war. But their supporters didn't. Naziism and Fascism are still alive and healthy. In fact, as I watch the U.S. TV debates. I have to conclude that Naziism and Fascism are “American values”. And maybe Canadian ones, too.

If you disagree with me, please send in a list of values that are either Canadian or American. (Separatists tried to make a list for Quebec, and failed miserably.)
As I write this, American police have killed only 71 people for January. They'll have to pick up the pace to meet last year's success. Canada's rate of such killings in far lower, even allowing for population size. However, the rate has shown an alarming rise in recent years. This suggests we should be examining this to determine the cause – which may or may not be the police. There could be other factors in our society affecting this.
The Guardian notes that the Republican party has no policy on climate change. ( except for Jeb Bush who says he hopes that some guy working in a garage will invent something.) More commonly, Republicans deny there is any climate change.

The Democrats have something – but scarcely enough. Here in Canada, We're seriously discussing a pipeline that will have to serve a gas-guzzling world for thirty years and more just to break even.

What we need is to call on our oil billionaires to lead the way. I mean, they're real smart because they know how to get born to billionaires. And they make their Irving press lead the way in discussion of climate change.

Much as I admire Judaism and the Jewish community I used to know, I see no Judaic qualities at all in Israel. Its theft of Palestinian land, its unequal treatment of Palestinian Israelis, its destruction of communities, its maintenance of an economic blockade on Palestine, its mass murder of Palestinians, its imposition of poverty on them have no connection with any Judaic teachings I have ever heard of. In retaliation, some Palestinians have stabbed Israelis. That's big news in our press. Israel bombs indiscriminately, and kills thousands - and most of our news media don't even notice.

I often think that one of the most terrible things Hitler did was to destroy Judaism and to create the evil personified by Netanyahu. He is everything that Judaism did not stand for. And Israel, of all places, has become much of what Hitler stood for.

A similar theme is repeated below as Israel has refused a bill to made all Israeli citizens equal. Palestinians who are citizens of Israel will continue to be segregated and will not have the rights of Jewish Israelis.

And here's an opinion from a pretty good source about the relationship between the Clintons and big money.

Now, here's an idea, get an idea of who the big donors to the Liberals and Conservatives in New Brunswick are. ( I know who it was when Pierre Trudeau was in power. And I know who collected it. And I suspect things have changed very little.)
I don't know whether the next story will actually happen. It is almost certain to be opposed by the very wealthy – and by the people who read or listen to the wealthy's news media. But here's an approach to a desperate problem in our society that is likely to get much worse. Switzerland is having a free vote on a suggestion that everybody get a basic income from the government.

It may sound like a stretch. But we won't revive an economy by making everybody but the very rich poor. We tried that in the great recession of the 1930s. It doesn't work. What did work was making more money available to everybody. In 1939, that happened because of the war. The war, not big business, created jobs. And it was all controlled by a very big and well-qualified civil service. As long as people don't get enough money, we're going to be in the economic toilet. Business does NOT create jobs. If if did, the people of Congo would be rolling in money instead of dying of starvation. Jobs are created when people have money to spend.

We're doing the opposite – helping the very rich to constantly get richer while every body else gets poorer. Raising taxes won't help. Because the very rich will avoid them, and the extra taxing will just cut purchasing power for everybody else.

Firing civil servants won't help. You can't improve an economy by putting people out of jobs. And you can't control an economy without expert civil servants.

Our governments just love to do everything on the “business model”. It's a model that works for the wealthy and, occasionally, raises up somebody who wasn't wealthy. But generally, it destroys most people. Running a government is not the same as running a business. A government is about people. A business is about profits, and those only for the top dogs.

We should have learned that in the depression of the 1930s. We didn't because the very wealthy didn't want us to learn it. The depression years were a great time for big business. It could hire people dirt cheap. Then throw them away. It sold less – but the cheap salaries made profits still good. And, anyway, the very rich weren't the ones going hungry. So who could give damn?

Thank about that, Richard Saillant, as you lead us to the edge of the cliff.