Monday, August 7, 2017

August 4: End Days in the U.S.

I never miss the irving press. It's always a world class stinker. The Saturday editorial, for example,  suggested we reduce the cost of university education in New Brunswick.

Rubbish! We're already in the hole because the wealthy don't pay taxes. And the irving press wouldn't dare suggest that they pay.  More advanced countries, like Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic,  Greece, Italy, Cuba, Mauritius and Argentina do offer free university education.

But here, in New Brunswick, we have corporation bosses who need to live in style. That's why we can't afford free university. It's also why our public school teachers are among the lowest paid in Canada. Hell, we can't even afford shelter for the homeless or a living wage.

And that's why our children in university carry heavy, heavy debt loads that will plague them for decades. So much for Norbert Cunningham's constant message that the wealthy make us wealthy. too.

Norbert Cunningham has a column criticizing the Trump presidency. Too bad he doesn't understand anything about the subject. His thesis is that Trump has destroyed respect for the U.S. all over the world.

Glad you noticed, Norbie. But respect for the U.S. died long before Trump. It was flagrantly destroyed by Bush and Obama - but it was already dead even before that. The greed of American corporations all over the world utterly destroyed any respect the U.S. had as early as the 1970s. And even that is being kind.

So let's look at what's happening, using the word populism. It's a word very big among journalists - though few of them know what it means. It's meaning is best understood  by starting with why populism happens.

It happens when large numbers of people lose faith in their ruling elite. So they turn to leaders who seem to offer an alternative.

Sometimes, not often, but sometimes they turn to a politician who does have something different to offer. In the U.S., Bernie Sanders is such a politician. He argues that governments have ignored human needs - like health, education, housing, a living wage - in order to serve the greed of the wealthy. That would called a populism of the left.

More often, a politician will invent a threat, meanwhile protecting the privileged status of the elite. Thus Hitler who, instead of addressing the real problem of the very wealthy in Germany, took advantage of the nation's racism and its fear of the Soviet Union. And that's called the populism of the right.

Trump is following Hitler's route. He capitalized on a great anger in the U.S. to build his popularity. But his supporters have not shown any understanding at what they should be anger at. Instead of demanding action against the billionaires and the politicians the the billionaire's own, they settle for racial hatreds buttered over with a primitive idea of what Christianity is.

So Trump has emphasized things like destruction of medicare, reduction of taxes for the wealthy.... and this is a right wing populism.

But Trump is not very good at the game. The elite are not pleased with him -as the German elite had been with Hitler. That's why Republicans who hated Obamacare voted to save it - to humiliate Trump. (I suspect the elite are displeased because they want war with Russia and China -and Trump seemed to be avoiding it.)

Result? The US will continue into a worsening chaos. Unless Bernie Sanders gets the next nomination. But, even then,  I've seen no signs of Democrats becoming anything but their old, corrupt selves. Americans hate. But they don't know yet what it is they hate. And that means severe disorder.

The U.S. (like New Brunswick) is behind most of the civilized world in social services, as in public educaton through to university, the constant attempts to dilute medicare, a living wage... This is the setting for a rise of populism, the overthrow of an elite. But it's not likely to happen. New Brunswickers, and maritimers in general, are terrified of having an opinion on anything. And they don't even want to hear that they have an elite that runs their province.
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There's not much in the irving press. Brian Murphy writes his  usual column, guaranteed to say nothing and offend nobody.

 Steve Malloy was kind of neat,  though, in a column saying goodbye to the Boy Scout movement. My father was a  scoutmaster whose boys went off to war coming to our home one at a time to say thanks and goodbye). I was a Wolf Cub  (did, dib, dib dib..we'll dob, dob, dob, dob,) a Scout and a Senior Scout. As an historian, I came to reaize what a flake Baden-Powell was. But it was still all a good experience.
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Let's start looking at the press with that class act, Haaretz.

http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.805322?utm_content=%2Fisrael-news%2F.premium-1.805322&utm_medium=email&utm_source=smartfocus&utm_campaign=newsletter-breaking-news
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Then there's the story about what country accepted and even welcomed Jewish refugees in World War 2. No. It wasn't Canada or Britain or the U.S. or Spain. After all, they were Christian countries. (Think about that.)

http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/asia-and-australia/1.805093
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I'm running this next story though even the irving press should have enough wit to carry it. But we'll see on Monday.  I believe in miracles.

http://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/1.805402

(note - the irving press did miss this story in its Monday edition.  It needed the space for the big, world news that Oland's lawyers want more time to set a trial date for him.)
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Trump's sanctions on North Korea are almost guaranteed to make the situation worse. The U.S. is following its favouite policy of threats and aggression - which has rarely worked. Our hopes should be on the more initelligent course taken by China.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2017/aug/06/korean-peninsula-critical-phase-china-foreign-minister-wang-yi
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And this Canadian story made the British press - but not the irving press.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/07/canada-international-aid-feminist-women-afghanistan
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And here's a look at the behaviour of Canada's mining companies overseas. And don't assume they become good citizens and sweethearts when they operate in Canada.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/yves-englers-blog/2017/08/despite-abuse-canada-shows-unconditional-love-mining
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Here's a story that has been known since the 1960s, at least - but has never been mentioned in our news media. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had nothing to do with ending the war or saving American lives. It was an experiment in the mass murder of civilians, something which has since become the preferred method of war for major powers. (That's why the U.S. is starving millions to death in Yemen.)

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/08/07/key-myths-and-facts-about-the-atomic-bombings-of-japan/

Wasn't it just terrible how those  terrorists killed 3,000 innocent Americans on 9/11?
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And here's a story that hasn't received nearly as much attention in our news as it should. And it's much worse than this story suggests. Rising levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere mean less rain, and less rain means severely limited food production - this in a world that seems to have reached its limit in food production. Already, tens of millions are starving and homeless.

Add to that a rapidly growing world population. All  those will give us refugee problems on a huge scale - past tens of million to hundreds of millions and possibly a billion or more. They would come, largely, from Africa, the Middle East, China, India, Pakistan, South America, southern Europe, the American southwest.....Such massive migrations would flood many countries (like Canada), create wars whose major targets would be starving civilians.... And since the U.S. is already showing symptoms of climate change, it would be one of those countries looking for countries to invade for their water and arable land. (Canada springs to mind.)

Now, think of the mentalities (and morality)  of, say, oil barons who insist on relying on fossil fuels. And think of a president like Donald Trump.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/07/31/trumps-fossil-fueled-foreign-policy/
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In brief, Trump is pretty much destroyed as a president. He has become a comic figure,  an emperor with no clothes. That was the meaning of the defeat of his bill to end obamacare. It wasn't that Republicans voted for the right of Americans to get medical care. In fact, the Republicans have NEVER favoured medicare. And they couldn't care less about the needs of any American people except billionaires. The vote was to humiliate Trump, to destroy him as president. And it worked. He'll still be fodder for headlines - but those will just be gossip items.
His one chance to survive is to go to war against somebody - say, North Korea.
Other than that, he's simply gossip for people who have nothing better to talk about. The U.S. is now completely in the hands of the wealthiest, greediest, and most destructive people in the world.

But it almost certainly does not have the power for their intent to conquer the world. They can destroy it, all of it. But they can't conquer it.

We are being destroyed by the power of big business that operates far above our elected leaders. Their idea of the future is no regulation of business at all, just absolute power. So much for Norbert Cunningham's idiot belief that the rich create wealth for all of us.

As for American democracy, it never was entirely what it claimed to be. And we are now  almost certainly watching its end days.
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Oh, big story on CBC news about Moncton. But the Moncton Times and Transcript missed it.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/seniors-told-to-ration-toilet-paper-at-n-b-nursing-home-a-lack-of-respect-dignity-1.4237831

I don't see the problem. Those seniors could at last have a use for their Moncton Times and Transcript.

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