Let's go quickly through the Irving press.
Section A news is small town boosterism, and village gossip. As for editorial and commentary, only two of the columns have anything to say. Norbert raises questions about District Education Councils. He doesn't have answers – but at least he raises questions that should have been raised a long time ago.
There's also an excellent column by a Law professor at University of Ottawa arguing that Canada should hugely increase its health care spending for refugees. So it should. Quite apart from the obvious requirement of human compassion, we have helped the United States to create this horror so that oil billionaires can get richer.
Oh, I know, we could hold a special service at that temple to Christ, the Irving Chapel. And we could pass around the hat to all those enjoying coffee and fellowship in the barn. And then we could use the collection to send all those refugees subscriptions to the Irving press.
Canada&World has only one story worth reading. It's on B7. “Climate, evolution, shorten bumblebee's tongues”. It seems that climate change has destroyed certain types of flowers that require long tongues to get at the pollen. So the bees have evolved to shorten their tongues to adapt to the flowers that are replacing the old ones.
Of course, the story isn't true. We know that because the oil industry has assured us there is no climate change.
There's a long story on the Pope's visit to Washington. But it doesn't say much. In particular, it goes light on the pope's condemnation of capitalism as anti-Christian. Well, that just goes to show you, doesn't it? Obviously, he's never seen the Christian purity of Irving Oil Ltd.
Then there's the news that wasn't in the Irving press.
In Saudi Arabia, a boy of 17 (and so a minor) may or may not have taken part in a riot. We don't know because the trial was secret. And no defence lawyers was permitted. Under international law, a person cannot be executed if the killing was committed when he was a minor. (And, I've said, there's no evidence he killed anybody, anyway. His greatest offence may be that his father is a political critic of the King of Saudi Arabia.
But he has been sentenced to death by beheading, and then crucified for public display. This is in the country of our good friends of Saudi Arabia, the same ones the U.S. is supplying with bombs to drop on some of the poorest people in the world and is also helping to starve the others to death. Onward, Christian soldiers….
Even by the standards of capitalism, drug companies rank among the slimiest. Here are some recent cases. From the start, drug companies have claimed they face high costs in developing drugs. For the most part, though, drug companies are liars. They feed off the research done by university teachers – usually at minimal cost or no cost whatever to the drug companies. Lately, we're seeing jumps to price increases like the one of 5,000% in one day – and that for a drug that has no research costs at all because it was developed over sixty years ago.
Often these are drugs essential to save lives, which means some people will have to pay tens of millions of dollars just to stay alive.
The whole industry is a corrupt and corrupting racket. When U.S. drug companies sell drugs as medical aid to suffering countries and it is paid for by the government, they normally demand full retail price for every pill sent.
This is capitalism at its finest. This is what it's all about. Pope Francis is not just talking from a cloud. Capitalism is vicious, selfish and, despite the stories, it does not create jobs. Instead, it imposes poverty all over the world.
Note that all the stories above come from CBC news which has the best and most honest news coverage in North America. That's the one that Harper is eager to destroy.
Note that one of the above companies is suing Canada for trying to lower the cost of a wildly overpriced drug. If you think that's bad, just wait till you see the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership Harper is working on. That will enable any capitalist to sue the government for anything – such as environmental protection, minimum wage laws..... They will be permitted to forever destroy lands and waters as much as they like – just as they are doing in Central America and Africa.
We often think of the past century as being one in which evil forces arose (Naziism, fascism, communism, etc.); and that we fought off those evil forces. That's not really what happened at all.
The two world wars were the products of the collapse of the west European empires, and the maneuvering of U.S. capitalists to replace them. And they have succeeded with the westernized parts of those European empires, parts such as Canada and Australia. Britain, itself, is now a part of the American empire.
Communism was never a factor in all this because it never really existed, anywhere. Both Russia and China tried to establish states in which governments ruled (though without democracy). Both failed. Now, both are capitalist states which are as cruel and greedy as all capitalist states.
The techniques of Hitler in torture, domestic espionage, propaganda and thought control are thriving in Canada and the U.S. today. And, in the same way, our political, business, and journalism leaders win our support by drawing on our bigotry. In reality, there is no difference between Hitler killing Jews and us killing Muslims.
And, if Hitler's Germany had citizenship ceremonies, you can bet that no man would be allowed to wear a yarmulka (skull cap) while reciting the oath.
Freedom and democracy? They're long since gone in the U.S. And they are threatened species in Canada.
Hitler, Mussolini and Emperor Hirohito were not interruptions in what we thought was a rise in democracy and freedom. They were a part of the same process we are living through today. Fascism, Naziism and imperialism with their mass murder, social destruction and gross cruelties are very alive today. The difference is that we call it capitalism. That is why the pope says capitalism is unChristian.
That's why I think he's right.
And that's why I avoid unChristian places like the Irving chapel no matter what its special music might be – even if it's the Irvings playing the service's special music in four-part harmony by farting.