Monday, September 11, 2017

Yes. I know I have said twice that I am taking a break for two weeks. But the Saturday edition of the irving press was infuriating for its disregard of humanity and its lying fear-mongering. But this really is a two week or so break starting today.

The Canadian government, lacking the wisdom of the writers for the irving press, foresees a Canada hit my storms like the ones we are reading about in Cuba, Puerto Rico and Florida. These are storms created my climate change. And climate change has been created by, among other things, our massive use of oil.
Yes, we are almost certain to suffer and to suffer far worse than anything that has ever been seen.

And Mr. irving wants a pipeline so we can burn even more of the stuff. (duh, it will create jobs.)

Actually, it won't create all that many jobs, and they will not be lifetime jobs. What it will create is bigger profits for irving. Then there's the hidden price. For that pipeline to be fully profitable, it will have to be pumping oil for at least 40 years or so. So we are being told to do even more climate damage for all those years.

This is pure greed without the slightest consideration for human life. It is the short term thinking common in the corporation world which cannot think ahead more than three months at a time.

But, according to the news and editorial of yesterday's irving press, the real crisis facing us that confederation is dead. Yes! Canada is over because it has betrayed the wants of Irving Oil. And those who don't agree with Irving Oil are traitors.

Saturday's irving press reached the lowest depths of hysteria and dishonest reporting I have ever seen. Is it ignorant of reality? No. We have the examples of Hurricane Harvery and Hurricane Irma unfolding on TV. We have the research climate scientists all over the world. It is not possible to be so stupid as not to have heard of all that. This is callous disregard for even basic survival.
And this is just a modest taste of storms to come - and to come here, too.
And here is a reminder that our wars never end for the people we attack.
There is some news the irving press never carries. I wonder why.
Many of us humans are unspeakably cruel. We always have been. The children's home below is not an unusual story. Such homes were common across Canada. And they became common across the western world with the advent of industrialization. The papers of the time  seldom reported it. And the wealthy really didn't care...
There was a brief period just after World War 2 when it seemed as though the wealth really would trickle down to us. But that's history - and a brief history at that.
It's a deadly world for people who try to protect the environment.  (and guess who pays the killers.)
_________________________________________________________________Currently, the attention is all on flooding and wind. We don't read much about the terrifying growth of forest fires. This is very noticeable in western Canada and the U.S. And that's a result of climate change. And so is the spread of drought.
But, duh, we need an oil pipeline. It'll create jobs, duh.
And here's a story you'll never find in the irving press.

Aljazeera is not as reliable as, say, Haaretz. But it still beats most North American journalism by a big margin. And it has wider coverage than Haaretz does.
Now, hats off to Norbert Cunningham of the irving press. (Never thought I'd say that.) Today, Monday, he has a column that defies the owner's official line that fossil fuels are good for us. He points out that we are suffering the effects of climate change now with massive forest fires and rising water levels. And we're seeing, in the Caribbean, the even worse events that are coming.

For decades, the oil industry and others have derided the experts who say that climate change is coming - and with disastrous consequences. That is the real message of recent hurricanes. The day of fossil fuels is over, and we have wasted valuable decades by not preparing for that, and that  waste has been encouraged by the oil industry. Indeed, we are now killing millions in the middle east to get even greater control of oil for our oil barons.

Oh, how we mourn this day for the three thousand Americans killed on 9/11 by terrorists. So how come we don't mourn the millions of innocent people killed or refugeed or impoverished by the American terrorists in retaliation? What hypocrites we are!

(And for those who point to Muslim terrorism, a few words. Islam, like Christianity, is very, very divided. The extremist Muslims - who are relatively few - can be compared to our Christian fundamentalists who are obsessed with getting into heaven  and with the thought that we are now in the 'end days'. In other words, they are a lot like those Christians who parade against abortion, but who have no objection to bombing babies on the other side. What draws recruits to these 'terrorists' is our attacks on the whole Muslim world. Our attacks are the cause, not the result, of Islamic militancy.

Islam and Christianity - and Judaism - are all much alike. Get used to it.)

So what's the bottom line for now? My guess would be that the U.S. empire is going the way of the British Empire. The Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria wars have all been disasters from an imperial point of view - and a black mark for the world in its acceptance of the horror inflicted on those countries. It will be tempting for the industry to make a last giant run for power - and any such run would be disastrous for all of us.

What we badly need is to get back to what we founded the UN to do.
On immediate issues, the biggest problem we face is capitalism - from the U.S. to Britain to China to Russia - and to Canada. Capitalism can work.  But it needs to be under control, and preferably under control by democratic nations.

But in several centuries, it has not been under control. It has been allowed to run wild, setting up wars to benefit itself, killing millions, taking us away from issues we have to deal with (like climate change), corrupting governments, creating massive poverty and suffering, effectively destroying democracy.....  All of this was evident in this weekend's dreadful edition of the irving press. In the end, the leading capitalists will suffer as badly as the rest of us for what they are doing. But Intelligence, community welfare and compassion are not their strong points.
(Well, in fairness, most of us humans are like that. It's natural for us not to see what we don't want to see.)

If the NDP and the Greens are going to do anything, they have to recognize that their  first task is to make the wealthy behave as citizens like the rest of us, live under the rule of law that we establish through our governments. That means much tougher programmes than we have yet seen from either of those.  Failing that, those parties have become simply Liberals with good intentions.

And then we need to do something about all the propaganda news media that big capitalists own. To have a democracy, we need to know what is happening.

And now I'm off for a couple of weeks. Honest.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Sept. 8: News Is (should be) Fact

I know. I said I wouldn't do another blog for a couple of weeks. And I am still going away on Monday. But I could not ignore the contempt that the irving press  feels for us unrich slobs who live in New Brunswick. And this Saturday's paper is a prime example.
The front page headline is not a piece of news at all. News tells us what has happened. News is not the same as commentary which is supposed to provide an informed and impartial analysis of the news. (But not so in the irving press. It is all propaganda for Mr. Irving.)
Today's front page headline is "Why the fate of Energy East matters to N.B." This is in reference to a move by the federal government that threatens a proposed oil pipeline which (it says) would benefit the province. (Translation - it would mostly benefit the pocket of the owner of  the newspaper.)
It is not possible that the reporter who wrote this is unaware that this is pure propaganda and comtemptible journalism. It is not possible that the editors don't know that. And it is surely impossible that the editor-in-chief does not know that.
Oh, it mourns, the glory and wealth this would bring to New Brunswick. Like hell it would! As always, most of the glory and wealth with go to a tiny minority of the wealthy - who will certainly demand a tax relief for their good works as well as sifting much of that money to their tax havens.
The 'story' moans about how this will hurt our budgets for education and health.  Ah, yes. The owners of this paper think of nothing but our education and health. That's why they've  been sneaking in private ownership of both education and health.
The story has not the slightest mention of why the federal government has put this on delay.
This is the most blatant piece of ass-kissing and propaganda I have ever seen in any newspaper. And to do it as we're watching the climate-changing signalled by Hurricanes Harvey and Irving suggests a monstrous lack of concern for the survival of the readers of this newspaper.
The editorial (which we at least know is written by servant of the owner) also foams at the mouth. It uses inflated language to make this to make the federal government an evil force striking down the wishes of ALL New Brunswickers.
Come off it. Plenty of us don't support such a pipeline, not now as we have spent some forty years staring at climate change while seeing nothing significant done.
And why did Ottawa postpone a decision to allow the pipeline to go ahead?  Well, says the editor, the opponents were 'noisy'. But how could that be? Earlier, the editor writes that most new Brunswickers favour the pipeline. What happened? Were people like the irvings to shy to state their case? Oh. those poor irvings who only want to make us all rich. And nobody listens to them.
It is an editorial or pure foaming at the mouth hatred, hatred of all who opposed the pipeline. And it's full of worship for right-minded New Brunswickers who were 'betrayed' by the rest of us scum.  The final sentence is a gem of rabble-rousing.
"Do not forgive those who saw a tremendous chance for local wealth and irresponsibly said, "No thanks."
Damn right. Never forgive. Crucify them! Crucify them!
The News&World Section has much the same, dramatic story on the same topic. "Federalism is dead:..."  Doom! Doom!  Those interviews to comment on this dire topic are, for the most part, people who know nothing about it  For example, one interviewee is quoted, "I understand the environemntal side, but I think what is more important is the economic impact and the money."
She understands the environmental side? So that means its okay if people die in the long run so that a few others can make big money in the short run? (For Pete's sake, this quoted expert on enironment and finance runs an art gallery.)
But fearlessly the reporter did go to the trouble of quoting another authority right at the end of the article, and the only one who opposes the pipeline. "I don't see how it's going to help anybody."
That authority is a retired mechanic. The irving press spares no expense in bringing you the news.
In other breaking news, nothing is happening in Yemen, Syria, South America or most of the world.
P.S. New Brunswick has been ruled by its wealthy from the start. So how come we weren't all rich a long time ago?
People who really ARE authorities on the problem of climate change tell us it is happening. Nobody knows how quickly it's happening. Nobody knows how much time we have.But it may not be much at all. Yes. Making essential changes is not going to be easy or pleasant. But the alternative....
I'm sorry, Mr. Irving, but I have to choose between your need for even more money, and the need of our children to survive.
And now a note to the NDP and the Greens.
money and power.  You have to go to the root of that money and power. And, in this province of highly conformist people, you cannot do anything useful unless you challenge that conformity itself.
Democracy has to be about the will of the people - and the control of the people over their whole society. That means we need a society that gets full information, a society that does not settle for conformity, and that is not simply a playground for the wealthy.
New Brunswick doesn't need fresh make-up. It needs an overhaul.
__________________________________________________________________________________Wake up. Our society needs fundamental changes to survive. We cannot do that if the Greens and the NDP are simply more thoughtful variations on the Liberal party. After all, if voters are going to vote for the status quo flunkies, they'll just vote for the real ones.
Nope. You need to recognize that you are in one hell of a fight with people who have lots of 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Sept 8: A big week for news - and lies.


Meanwhile, yesterday's irving press had an excellent column  by Alec Bruce on the reality of climate change.

Alas! It also had its usual 'commentary'  by a politician. (If a politician has something to say, that's a news story, not a commentary. There's a big difference between a news story and a commentary. A news story tells us what is happening. A commentary offers independent analysis to help us understand the meaning of what is happening. But most of what the irving press gives us as commentary is simply propaganda.)

For an example of bad reporting, check out today's front page headline. "TransCanada puts Energy East pipeline on hold". That's an important story, something we need full information about. (It's a setback for the owner of the newspaper who was looking forward to the building of that pipeline. And its good news for all those who recognize that we cannot go on playing with oil.)
But almost all of this 'news' story is about the views of the pipeline builders and their friends. ("Almost all" means all but a couple of sentences towards the end which really say nothing.) And few readers read more than the opening paragraph, anyway. This is bad journalism. We need to know the whole story.
World news means, for the most part, Hurricane Irma. Like most North American news, that means it's about how terrible hurricanes are and how everybody is rushing to help. But that's not the story we need. We need to know WHY this is happening, and implications this has for future planning. But there are some very powerful people who prefer us not to think about that.

What Moncton needs, for example, is planning for a future that may require mass transportation. And that would mean, probably, a more compact city with a replacement for oil-fuelled busses. But that planning has not happened, and time may be short.
Yes, Kim Jong-un can be ruthless and eminently dislikable. But that isn't the whole story.   (American presidents have been ruthless and murderous, too, and so far more ruthless and murderous than Kim jong-un). And Donald Trump...?  The U.S. government is now deliberately starving millions to death in Yemen. And that began under Obama.
This is the kind of problem we need to concentrate on.
Isis may be facing destruction in Syria. So does this solve all the problems?

No.For a start, the groups we commonly label as 'terrorist' are quite numerous and varied. They range from ultra-Muslim to very secular indeed. They are not so much the products of fanaticism as they are a reaction to western destruction, particularly of the arab part of the Muslim world, going back to the late nineteenthy century.

The arab world was once the successor to the inellectual model that had been the Roman empire. The great thinkers and leader of those days were arabs. Now, they have been smashed into artificial 'nations' by westerners interested only in getting their oil.

'Terrorism' has been their means of drawing attention to what the west has done to their world, and drawing recruits to fight against the west. And some are, as Christians always have done, rallying around religion, usually in an extreme form, of drawing in people for their armies.

The defeat of ISIS - or of all terrorist groups - will not end the friction. The way to end it is to help rebuild a civilization that can be called arab.  But the oil companies are most unlikely to allow that.
This is the kind of news we need (but are rarely getting) about hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

And this is where our energies have to go - not into wars. And that's why we have to get control of capitalism. Capitalism is based on competition.
Competition leads to exploitation and wars and, ultimately, our own destruction. We have to bring capitalism under control. Our failure to do that has caused us far more damage that ISIS or Kim Jong-un.
Here is another complexity in a war in which you cannot tell your partners without a programme. Syria's Assad is close to defeating ISIS.  But isn't ISIS an enemy of Israel, too? So why, at this time, is Israel bombing Syria?

Answer, to help ISIS. The U.S. and Israel have both, at times, supported arab "terrorist" groups. Neither wants any arab country to be a winner in this. The U.S. and Israel have both attacked Syria, and the U.S. has given financial and weapons support to ISIS. Like Saddam or not, he is obviously the one with the support of the Syrian people.

Similarly, Ghadaffi was obviously the person with popular support in Libya. And Canada helped to destroy him. And in the process, it has destroyed Libya as a livable country.

The issue in wars and confrontations rarely has to do with anything but money. And American big money needs wars.
This next analysis is rather more sophisticated than anything I have seen in the irving press (or any other commercial news medium. is a particularly useful site because it attracts top-level journalists.
This next one reminds me of another story our commercial news media are largely ignoring. The Sears stores are going into bankruptcy. Senior executives and directors are getting dismissal notices - but those don't hurt because they come with bonuses or six million dollars plus.

Meanwhile, the peasantry who work in those stores are just getting fired without a penny. (It was exactly like this in the 1930s.)
The next seems a terrible thing to say. I mean - I'm sure that the presidents of big oil companies are all great philanthopists who make themselves rich only so they can serve the poor.

David Suzuki no longer appears in the irving press. It needs the space for the wise words of hack politicians and propaganda  houses. This one is about the sinking of Mexico City - which hasn't yet caught the attention of irving editors.

And did you vote for Trudeau because he looks neat in a suit?
The irving press has pretty much ignored the flood of refugees from the U.S. to Canada. Montreal is particularly being hit. And that's just the beginning for a world that hasn't begun to understand the consequences of climate change.
For over a century, we in the west   (or at least our big businesses) have plundered and impoverished the people of Congo - and other parts of Africa. What drives us is pure greed. An old friend was a missionary there for thirty years. But the first need of those people was not to find Christ. Their first need was to meet Christians acting like Christians. If we had some of those in our big business world, Congo would soon be much better off. And then the people of Congo might want to be saved.

Global Press, in general, is a pretty good source to read and see what's happening all over the world.
I can see why people in other countries might not be impressed by the Christian world.

Now, think hard. The irving press has not had a story on Yemen for weeks, at least. What does that tell  you about the irving press?
The U.S. and the West have not defeated Muslim rebels in Syria and Lebanon. Inded, the U.S. and the West have often supported them. The defeat is being inflicted by Syria, Lebanon and Russia.
Here is a story I did not see in the irving press.
This is a very brief report - and there may be more to it.  But it seems likely to be true. The U.S. main targets in the middle east were never the 'terrorsts'. The main targets were Syria and Lebanon.
Funny how most of our news media haven't noticed the sins of Israel's president and his wife.

My experience of Jewish communities is that they don't just sit down and believe propaganda. Their are always many who demand the truth. And many of them don't buy the idea that Israel should abuse Palestinians, treat their land with constant threats, steal large parts of it, kick Palestinians out of their homes, discriminate against arabs who are legally Israeli citizens, and breed a Netanyahu who robs his own people.

I wish I could say the same of Christian communities I have known.
I shall be away on business for a couple of weeks. And I may not have access to a computer in that time.  we'll see.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Sept. 06: Hey! What's Yer Values...?

Values? They're a crock.  Most of us humans don't have any values. We just have prejudices that we call values. Canadians have gone from murdering native peoples to holding slaves, to discriminating against Africans, Chinese, Jews, to hating whoever is the enemy of the moment.

No. It's not nice. But that's what humans are like. And we, alas, are humans. So let's try to get past being humans as we look at the North Korea crisis.

Isn't that Kim Jong-un just terrible? I mean he killed his brother to get power. And he has a really yucky hairdo. Got that? Now let's look at the U.S.

In the early 1950s, the U.S. imposed the heaviest bombing in history on North Korea. It destroyed virtually every building in that country - and massively killed civilians. One-third of the whole population was killed. (In World War Two, Canada and Britain each suffered the loss of about 1% of their populations.)
Then the U.S. imposed sanctions on North Korea to keep it in poverty and ruin.
And what has North Korea done? In the midst of all that poverty, it has managed to rebuild its cities. It also has national healthcare for all (which the rich U.S. does not have.) It's true that North Korea's health plan is not working well. That happens when the world's richest country imposes sanctions that keep you in poverty.

And in education? That fat little guy with the funny haircut runs a North Korea which now has the highest literacy rate in the world (along with South Korea). It's ahead of both Canada and the U.S.

But, oh, isn't Kim evil for threatening the poor little U.S.  with a nuclear bomb? And the U.S. has only 7,000 nuclear bombs to respond with.
Have your news media mentioned that for over 50 years the the U.S. have been carrying out invasion exercises on the North Korean border? And patrolling the seas off the North Korean coast? And even flying bombers over North Korean cities?   This is what's called provocation. Can you imagine the U.S. reaction if North Korea were to send its military to Mexico to practice invading the U.S.?
Yes, it's true that Kim is not a nice guy, and Korea is not a nice place to live. But he has quite a record of achievement in a country that's desperately poor. And, unlike U.S. presidents, Kim has not murdered over 20,000,000 people in the last 50 years. And he is not deliberately starving the whole population of Yemen to death as the U.S. is.

No. The country looking for war is not North Korea. (Kim may be fat and have a terrible haircut, but he's smart enough to know that a war with the U.S. would be suicidal.)  It is the U.S. that wants a war. And it wants it for the same reason it wanted one back in 1950. It wants a war because North Korea is the doorway for invasions of Russia and China.  

But we're just people. So we all think North Korea is the villain. I mean, those North Koreans look different, don't they? And they don't have our Christian values.      
Wars are a luxury we can no longer afford. That's particularly true if, like most wars,  they are wars of pure greed. Those days are over. That's the message from Houston. And, though our news media aren't telling us, the message from Asia is even worse, much worse than Hurrican Harvey, and with many times the number of dead.

We are facing a climate change that is bigger than any war we have ever seen. It needs every penny of our money, and every concentration of our effort. There's not a choice. We cannot fight wars - and survive.

But fighting wars is how we usually try to solve problems. There is every possibility this world is going to see a billion refugees within the next twenty or thirty years. They will come from Africa, Asia, Latin America and, quite likely, from the southern and western U.S. What will we do? In our current mood, it is quite likely we shall kill most of them. (But not the Americans. That's because the U.S. will annex Canada to provide space for its refugees.)

Even the irving press is starting to notice climate change. As I write this on Tuesday, it carries several stories on climate change - including the destruction of much of New Brunswick's wild life.

Our problem is not North Korea. Nor is it Russia or China. And obliterating all of  them will solve nothng. Our problem is a wealthy class that can think only of its profits, and that owns the politicians who govern us. It's a wealthy class that now has risen to real power in North America, Russia and Chna. And, so far, it has shown no concern about the destruction it is creating for us - and itself.
Here's the next one to watch - along with the North American epidemic of forest fires which can only get worse.

But don't expect the irving press to tell us anything. All the news for all of Canada and the whole world for today is on one page. (two sides).
On those two sides (Wow! talk about a newspaper getting cheap...) only one story is worth reading. "Canada faces risk over U.N. treaty". The thrust of the story is that Canada is no longer trusted by most of the world. For a couple of decades after World War 2, Canada was highly regarded around the world as a nation dedicated to peace.  That's why it was highly desirable as a member of the U.N. Security Council.

But no more.

It has long since been obvious that Canada is now a puppet for the U.S. And the U.S. is one of the most highly distrusted countries in the world. Trudeau has made it worse, far worse, by his call for action against North Korea. And worse still by his refusal to support work toward nuclear disarmament.

And do the Canadian people benefit from this? Not at all. The beneficiaries are Canadian corporations that depend on American support for...well, for example....operating mines under near-slavery conditions in South America. That's why the private news media in Canada have never bothered to mention the slaughter of 200,000 Maya in Guatemala.
Oh, Norbert Cunningham has his usual half-wit, kiss-up column in which he attacks the government for its inadequate operation of medicare. Come on, Norbert. You also attack it for running a deficit. So how can you also attack it for not spending more on medicare? And how can your paper support the slow murder of medicare by privatization?

We don't have the money for medicare because some people don't pay taxes. And worse. Those people constantly expect gifts from the government. (You never criticize that, do you Norbert?)
The following article is about universities in Britain. But it also applies in Canada and the U.S. I was once offered a university preidency - and the terms and 'benefits' were staggering.  But I realized the businessmen who controlled the hiring weren't offering to hire me so much as to buy me.

And that's a strong reason why, as I have three children in university, the costs are staggering. And that's why many families can't even think of it.

And this is why, when Mr. irving quite improperly called on university presidents to help him plan the economy of New Brunswick, they all scrambled to get in line.
Why we can't afford to waste our time, money and energy on wars to make the very wealthy happy.

We have very little time to cope with climate change. And killing North Koreans and starving the people of Yemen to death are no longer viable alternatives.
These climate change fires and floods and hurricanes are not just happening on the west coast of North America. They are happening all over the world. Dozens have died in Houston? Nobody knows how many thousands have died in Asia. And we can expect very bad news from Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Florida...

I'm sorry, Mr. Trump. This really isn't a good time to spend money and energy on killing North Koreans or building a wall along the Mexican border. And it's not a good time for Mr. Trudeau to be kissing up to Mr. Trump.

Atlantic all-time record storms, two in less than two weeks. But, hey, we gotta build more pipelines to sell more oil. Yeah. That'll create jobs.
And here's something you won't find in the irving press.

The only clear, military victory the U.S. has won since 1945 was over a small, Caribbean island. For a look at the record, see the next item.
The next one is long. But it's an interesting summary of  how the world's largest and most expensive military has done since 1945. For a start, it has created a shambles in the middle east and Afghanistan - and it has done so to the advantage of nobody except the various, extreme Muslim groups like ISIS and alQuaeda.
And remember to hit your library to get a copy of Gwynne Dyer, "Don't Panic". It's about the Muslim 'threat'. Dyer points out that extreme islamists are a very, very small part of the world's Muslim population. And those who practice terrorism were (and sometimes still are) organized and equipped by the U.S.
They are not a serious military threat on their  own. But they've learned that we panic over even small hits - so that's what they do. And, yes, we panic every time and, in doing so, make the situation worse.
Trump is now embarking on a mission to deport hundreds of thousands of immigrants who had lived and grown up in the U.S. Speaking of  this same group 7 years ago, he said how well they have adapted to being, and how they should be treasured.
It would be nice to see an intelligent commentary - like this one - in the irving press.
Here's an article highly critical of North Korea. I think it's largely true. It is a terrible place. And the writer is honest enough to see that we have had a large hand in making North Korea the terrible place that it is.
I'm sure it's quite true that North Koreans are kept in ignorance and are manipulated by its leaders.

Alas! So is the U.S. and much of the western world.
This is about the U.S. puppets that Canadian leaders have become.
Many journalists, probably most, make it a point to miss the point of most stories. The story of Hurricane Harvey is NOT about how people are helping out or how deep the water is in Houston. The real story is what this warns us about the future of the whole world.
This next item is by David Suzuki, Canada's leading authority on climate change. His work is brilliant.  I guess that's why the irving press doesn't carry his columns any more.
The first rule of North American journalism is 'never, never criticize Israel'. (Fortunately, Haaretz is more honest.)
Maybe we should rethink our priorities.
Back in the 1950s, we were assured that nuclear weapons would create a world of peace since nobody would ever use a weapon so terrible. And those of us who disagreed could expect police intervention to push us aside.

But it takes only one person to start a world, nuclear war.

Some years ago, a missile controller in Russia was told that American missiles were on the way. His orders were to retaliate immediately.  Luckily, the controller thought for himself, and he decided to wait before plunging the world into a nuclear war.

The number of nuclear weapons in the world now stands at close  20,000. The number of individuals who could order a strike is at least that many. And many more countries are on the edge of developing nuclear weapons.

The warning in that seems obvious. But Justin Trudeau is still living in the world of 1950 - and he refuses to support UN efforts to ban nuclear weapons.

We have come to an era in which we cannot possibly survive nuclear war - and with the power of climate change threatening us, we need all our money and energy to fight that.

So why do our business leaders and most of our governments believe that what we really must do now is to bomb and kill more people? Oh, and spray more glyphosate on our forests, and build more pipelines.
The rest is just some history by me that might help to understand our relationship to the U.S.

By the 1860s and 70s, Britain was anxious to get rid of Canada. The British were terrified of the prospect of defending Canada in the case of an American invasion - which then seemed quite likely. Then, late in the century, Britain changed its mind.

A war with Germany was obviously coming. Britain would need all the help it could get. But their colonial empire was not required to fight British wars. How could Britain change that tone?

It asked the colonies to provide troops for a war in South Africa, and it brandished the lure of loyalty to the Queen who, we were told, loved her subjects. Canadian big business immediately jumped on the bandwagon because it depended heavily on British trade.

And so Canadians died - and killed - in a war that had nothing to do with Canada, a war dictated entirely by the greed of British big business. Britain didn't need Canada for that war. But it set the precedent for what Britain really wanted - the help of its colonies in fighting World War 1. And that carried over to help Britain in World War Two.

After that, the British connection faded because Britain, itself, had become simply a pet poodle to the U.S - sending troops to help the U.S. in Afghanistan, Korea, Libya, Iran, Iraq.....

By then, Canadian big business was closely tied to the American market. So we clapped for the new Queen - but we didn't fight for her. No. We fought for the U.S. in Korea (as part of a UN force - but in what was really an American war.)
That had alarmed Prime Minister Lester Pearson - perhaps because he knew Canadian history better than our business leaders did. He tried to establish Canada as a peacekeeping nation, a move that built respect for Canada at the UN. But our business leaders soon put a stop to that notion. And so we sent troops to an illegal war in Afghanistan. Some are now in Latvia helping to surround Russia. Canadians bombed Libya - also an illegal war under international law. And Justin Trudeau has made it clear we will do whatever the U.S. tells us to do.
That's why we have troops in Haiti - supposedly to preserve Haitian democracy, but really to help maintain the control of American capitalists over Haiti.

Then there's, Latvia. And we have troops training the Ukainian army - you know, the army that Ukraine built up after the U.S. financed the overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine.

We also have troops in Congo to ensure that European and North American billionaires can continue to starve, murder, underpay, and generally abuse the people of Congo.

And we have troops in the middle east to help fight whoever the U.S. says is bad. That's how a Canadian sniper killed a bad guy at a world record 3,500 metres. According to official reports, his shot broke up an attack that was planned - though how anyone could tell that at a distance of 3,500 metres isn't clear.
Nor is it clear how we know the shot killed an insurgent. At that range, it's impossible to know who it was - or even whether man, woman, or child.
In any case, isn't Canada's parliament supposed to declare war before shooting anybody?

This is reminiscent of our CF-18s in Syria. That presence was quite illegal under international law and under the terms of the Canadian constitution.
Canada has become a colony of the U.S. empire. The wealthy of Canada like it that way.

The real crisis we and the whole world face is the crisis of climate change. But our political and economic leaderships just don't give a damn about that.

Monday, September 4, 2017

A Bad News Day

A couple of days ago, some unqualified bootlicker (director of 5 corporations) wrote a column for the irving press in praise of privatizing some of our medical services. And - surprise! surprise! a couple of days later it happened. What an amazing coincidence!

Of course, we are told it won't cost more. (not right away). This is part of the steady creep to medical care for profit - not for people.

I often wonder what kind of braying ass one has to be to work as an editor for the irving press?

And, no, I don't think that commentary column in the irving press by the director of 5 corporations was a coincidence. I'm quite sure it was deliberately placed there by people who already knew that the provincial government was going to do that.

That commentary telling us that privatizaion of health is good for us was a piece of scumbag journalism.
It reminds me of a certain newspaper in Montreal which always sent a reporter to cover talks on current events that I gave at a library in Montreal. I did it every month for 14 years to an audience of some 300.  The newspaper served the Jewish community. And my audiences were almost entirely Jewish.

I was puzzled why the reporter was always there because, after several years of this, his paper still never had a report on any of my talks. Then it did carry a story. And it was a big one. In it was an account of a criticism I had made of the government of Israel; and it was  written in a style to make me appear as a wretched Jew-hater.

Of course. That is why the reporter had been sent to cover my talks. The newspaper editor was a front man for the Israeli lobby in Canada. His job was to make sure that nobody in Montreal ever heard any criticism of Israel. I was the evil one, the 'anti-semite' in their midst. He wanted me fired from those talks.

(The library  - a Jewish library - told him to get lost.)
Here's news that's a year old, but hasn't made the irving press, yet. And never shall.
Philanthropy very often isn't philanthropy at all. It's buying off  institutions like universities. It's people who feed off whole provinces and whole countries, people who don't pay taxes, who demand frequent gifts of our tax money. It's people who throw back a bone from all the chickens they take from us - and then seek praise for their generosity.

If we want to be a democracy, we should be the ones deciding where the money is needed - and why. And, for a start, that has to mean making the wealthy pay their share of taxes just like the rest of us have to.

We are developing a very dangerous gap between the very rich and the rest of us. The very rich have more than enough to buy governments  - and they do. The result is that we are allowing big business to run wild so that poverty is rising, higher education is becoming ruinously expensive, and the wealthy are pocketing the biggest fortunes in history.

The greed of the wealthy has led us to continuous wars since 1945. (They have really all been one war - the war for world control by the very greedy.) Those wars have killed millions, are starving millions, and run up such a monstrous debt that the people of the U.S. will never be able to pay it - and will see their backwardness in health and education and their poverty get worse.

And the Canadian wealthy have joined hands with their American brethren who have also joined hands with the wackier Christian preachers to publicly pray to God for a blessing on their greed.
In Saturday's paper, Professor Donald Savoie has yet another column about how making the rich richer will make us ALL rich.

Sure prof. That's why  Guaemala is rich (and almost all of Latin America) - and Haiti and Pakistan and Greece. That's why Canadians and Americans have so much money in recent  years we can afford to get rid of government boondoggles like health care and education.

Why, I can remember my early childhood in the depression years when the rich--- the rich we never saw in our end of town --- got even richer while my elementary school classmates got shabbier and hungrier.

Stuff it, prof.
Front page, irving press, - Canada&World section - Saturday - "Weekly wages drop in province". This is a case for prof. Savoie. Hurry! Let's give more money to the wealthy, and then we'll get rich too.

There's also a big, fast-breaking story from Paris. A car that was stolen 38 years ago has been found. Wow! Tell me more.

Yemen? Pakistan? North Korea? China? Russia? Syria? Iran? Venezuela? Who cares? I mean, if the U.S. asks us to send troops to them, we will. You know. Good neighbours.
While the irving press poured out stories on the ordeal of Texas, it has ignored the far, far greater tragedies - many caused by us in the west - in other countries.
The tragedy behind all of them is that we ignored all the opportunities of 1945 to make this a better world. Instead, we made a crippled UN; the U.S. (along with a whimpering Britain)  set off on the longest string of wars in history; we turned loose a vicious and unrestrained capitalism that ignores the great problems we now face - climate change with all its ramifications of agricultural loss, refugeeism - we have left hardly a stable government or social system anywhere in the world. No, the quarterly reports of profits are more important than anything else.

We know we must get control of climate change now. We know that. But, first it's more important to spend our money on more pipelines and more oil wells   and more wars.  This is insanity.
Then there's North Korea. The time to come to a settlement with North Korea was back in the    1950s. But we didn't. And we didn't because our leaders only were interested in North Korea as a base to attack China and Russia. You think Kim Jong is a wild man? We created him. We created him by destroying a third of the population of North Korea, and then putting it under sanctions to make recovery harder. And we make it worse by carrying out deliberately provocative war exercises on the North Korean border.

And now he has fired a nuclear missile into the sea off Japan. Gee! Who would do an evil thing like that?

Oh, yeah. The U.S. did it. Only it dropped its two bombs over cities and people. And it did it after it was clear that Japan wanted to surrender. Then it bombed Pacific islands in tests, making them uninhabitable. But the people on them still have to live there because they have nowhere else to go.

Luckily, it's not likely that even the North Korean leaders would launch a real nuclear attack. (For a start, the U.S. has 7,000 bombs to retaliate with.) But any attack on North Korea would almost certainly draw Chinese and Russian involvement.

There are things we cannot do. We cannot go on destroying our climate. We cannot risk nuclear war. But we have spent over 70 years doing those things we cannot do - because there's money in them.

But we have forgotten nothing. And we have learned nothing.

Back in the 1950s, the sweet talk was that nuclear weapons would deter war. And we've had nothing but war ever since then. Want to get really nervous? Israel is looking at Iran. Israel needs more land in a climate change that threatens its food supply. So it's looking at Iran, Palestine, possibly Syria and Lebanon.
Israel has a very large stockpile of nuclear weapons.

But, contrary to what our political masters think, we cannot solve our problems by blowing people up.
This one is a little too kind to Russia - but otherwise good.

Oh, a footnote. I'm  not sure we should blame Hitler for inventing the murderous Reich. All the major powers were doing that for centuries before Hitler was born. And they're still doing it. Only our history books call it building 'glorious empires'.
Another story that wasn't important enough for the irving press.
Yes, it's really, really true. Climate change is more important than the quarterly report on corporation finances. Yes, I know we just love oil and other fossil fuels. But we can't have them and still survive. Yes. There are things we cannot have.

Why aren't we dealing with this problem? Because we have governments controlled by people who can't see the future more than three months at a time.
Here's a story I recommend to the editors of the irving press and their dream world of how private business in, say, medecine, is more effective than government is. Prof. de Savoie might find this a stimulating read, too.

Cuba, a relatively poor country, and kept that way by the U.S. has a lower mortality rate than the wealthy U.S. In fact, it has one of the lowest mortality rates in the world. Gee! And that's with a government medical care system.
Norbert Cunningham of irving press fame often tells us that big business creates jobs and prosperity. In fact, it seldom does. Usually, as in Latin America and Africa, it creates deep and hopeless poverty. And in the U.S. it's even worse than I thought.
What our news media rarely tell us is that the 'other side' has reasons for what it does.

The U.S. has been looking for another reason for war with North Korea since the 1950s. And it's a very dangerous game.

Bernie Sanders, the 'socialist' Democrat, is doing well in recent polls. I don't think he can ever win, partly because he'll have a rough time getting election money from the wealthy, partly because we may be watching the public collapse of an American democracy which, privately, collapsed long ago.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Sept.1: Time is running short.

Today, I'll start with a commentary from this day's irving press. (Actually, I have to mention that today's paper has an excellent column on education by Alec Bruce. New Brunswickers really should read this one. It's far better than the other column on education beside it.)

Then there's the main column. It's about health care.  This one of by a man who has been a 'director of 5 (count them, five) global corporations.) In other words, he's been a hack for the big kids in the business world. So, obvously, he'd be an expert in medical care. And, of course, he thinks much of it should be privatized. Then those who could afford it would use the private system, and that would reduce waiting times in the public sector.

Like hell it would. It would increase the pressure as more doctors slid into the high priced private system. It would also, and this is what the writer is really after, gradually erode and even do away with public health care. And that's what this column is really all about. Big business wants to own health care as it now owns much of the rest of our society. And the interest of big business has nothing to do with the lives and health of ordinary people. It has to do with making profits for itself.

I was a child in a Canada that had only private medicine. I watched adults die because they couldn't afford a doctor or a hospital. And I watched the anger of the very greedy when medicare came into being.

So why did the irving press publish a big column on health care by a man who has no qualifications to write it? Because the irving press would just love to see the destruction of medicare - and most other social services. Big business thinks only of profits, it's own profits. This may come as a surprise to the chamber of commerce, but big business doesn't give a damn about how the rest of us live or even if we live. Talk about that over coffee in the barn at the Irving Chapel.
The writer was a director of 5 global companies? Sure. Sounds good. It really means he's a kissup for the biggies. The Irving press knows what his column is really all about. And it should know that directors of boards are not necessarily experts on medical care.

But it ran the column anyway. Of course. The irbing pess exists to serve the wealthy, and to keep the rest of us in ignorance.
In fairness, the front page of Canada&World has two, really important stories. one is about a local farmer who cuts his corn stalks to create a tribute picrture to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Then there's the big story about some guy in St. John who's famous for supporting the local hockey team.

And it doesn't get any better. This paper is an insult to everybody who gets it.
An, I'm afraid there an even bigger issue lurking in the wings.

Democracy in Canada and the U.S. (and other countries) has been staggering for a long time. Our founding prime minister was as crooked as a snake. And almost all of them have been servants of the wealthy, not of the rest of us. The same is true in the U.S. And Trump, even if he talked of changing things, won't. We are governed by people at the service of the very, very rich.

Actually, that's been a byproduct of capitalism over the last 300 years and more. General Wolfe and Admiral Nelson died in the service of the very rich - as did the men under them. They were building an empire so the wealthy could plunder it - at whatever cost to the soldiers and sailors and the conquered.

As the wealth of the very rich grew, they were named to the aristocracy, and so became the government. And, as voting spread to common people, they held onto the governments by buying them. The crowning touch came in the nineteenth century with the appearance of the cheap newspaper. It was cheap for the buyer, but only the very rich could own it. And they used it for propaganda from the start.

In the 1890s, the British papers used their influence as the only source of information to convince Englishmen that they should be happy to die in service of the monarch (so that the wealthy could loot the goldfields of South Africa.) They did the same in Canada.

American newspapers did the same, lying about the sinking of an American ship to drive the U.S. into a war with Spain in Cuba and then in The Phillipines.. The wealthy then stole part of Cuba (Guantanamo) to give them a base to threaten all of South America and to control approaches to Panama.

The wealthy also took over all the land in Cuba to create sugar fields using the cheap and brutal labour of Cubans to give the American wealthy close to a monopoly on sugar. Later, they would impose a dictatorship - and random murder, theft, and torture for the dictators became common. There's a reason why Cuba rebelled.

But our newspapers and most of our TV and rradio  never told that part of the story.

There is no reason to believe that these people would treat us any better. And we may soon find that out.

Big business is now so powerful, it is above most government. In short, Canadian big business is no longer Canadian, and American big business is not longer American. Trade agreements now routinely include clauses that relieve big business of any controls at all. For example, we are acceptiing deals on, say environmental protection, such that Government will have to pay many, many billions to big business to ask it, please, to stop killing people and the environment. And the cases are decided in courts owned by big business, and with judges paid by big business.

In short, big business is on a march to be the uncontrolled, unregulated ruler of the world. That's not an exaggeration

And what will happen? Expect violence, terrible and widespread violence with super nukes and robot warriors. That will do no good to anybody including big business itself. But big business has never shown a capacity to undestand that it will suffer as much of the rest of us from its uncontrolled greed.

It's happening now. The U.S, with Canadian support, has been invading and killing almost without stop since 1945. And, with ownership of almost all our means of gathering news, it murders millions and starves millions, and puts the blame on 'evil' people on the other side.

We are on a terribly slippery slope. And the Donald Trumps of this world don't realize that if we slide down, they will slide with us. Wealth breeds arrogance. And arrogance breeds stupidity.

The other question is when will our churches react to this behaviour (or even notice it?) I am reminded of the inaction of the churches of Italy and Germany in World War 2.  (There's a book on that, "Hitler and the Vatican". It's a tough read - but interesting.)
Here's a sample of what's happening in these trade agreements. But don't look for news about this in the irving press.

And, on Nov. 11, remember. This world today is not what we told those who fought and died for us in two world wars that they were fighting for.
Why have Trump an other U.S. presidents harped on the theme that Iran has an illegal nuclear weapons programme? They know it's not true. And the UN has repeatedly said it's not true. It's because the U.S. wants control over Iran oil. It has never forgiven Iran for kicking out the dictator that American oil billionaires imposed on it.
And, of course, we take some disasters more seriously than others.

The even bigger story is that we are going to face much, much bigger disasters as climate change takes hold. For a gentle start, some 8,500 refugees have drowned in the Mediterranean in recent years. This is all going to get much, much worse - and we are nowhere close to even thinking about it.
Haitians are trying to flee from the horror that is Haiti and, unwelcome in the U.S., are trying to get to Canada. And Trudeau, despite his smooth-talking image, is pulling out the welcome mat to cut them off. For a over a century, American capitalism has treated Haitians with animal savagery. What's not generally known is that Canadian capitalists have been murderous bastards, too, in Haiti.

Such a story as this always reminds me of Norbert Cunningham of the irving press who frequently credits the very wealthy with spreading wealth to all of us.   (He never calls them capitalists, though. That's a dirty word.) In fact, capitalists do not spread wealth except among themselves. For centuries, they have spread deep poverty and hunger and torture and death all over the world - especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

And even in the western world they have taken far, far more than they have given. That's why poverty is on the rise.
The U.S. has been just about played out of the game in Syria. And that may spread to Latin America. For over a century, American capitalism has bullied, beaten, impoverished and murdered the people of Latin America. (And, yes, with Canadian help.)

It's too early to make predictions. But the U.S. could soon find itself facing many Syrias in Latin America.
Even our wins can, and probably will, become losses.
The UN was to work toward a world without nuclear weapons. But Trudeau has been too busy kissing Trump's rear end to support the UN.
Here's an item that is (relatively) kind to the irvings and their newspapers.
There is much misunderstanding of what Israel is. Contrary to popular belief, most Jews of European origins are NOT the descendants of the ancient Jews of Israel. They are called Ahkenazi Jews, and they and the hereditary Jews of Israel don't like each other very much.

And the Palestinians, a people who did no harm to Jews, are getting punished - largely by the Ashkenazi - for what the Euopeans (and Canadians and Americans) did to the Jews.

Israel, with U.S. money, has taken a very aggressive stance not only against Palestinians but also against Iranians, Lebanese and Syrians. And Isael has a large nuclear arsenal.

Israel treats Judaism as a race.  And that is was Hitler did, too. But Judaism is a faith, not a race of any sort.

Most of our news media seem not to have noticed. But there are huge numbers of refugees in the world, some fleeing wars and some fleeing climate change  (and watch for the latter figure to rise in the U.S).

What are we going to do? Kill them? Let them drown? Make more refugees by building more pipelines? So far, our actions haven't helped at all. The U.S. kicks them out. Trudeau will soon follow suit.  (And, if he doesn't. expect serious riots in some Canadian cities - starting with Montreal.) Europe lets them drown in the Mediterannean; and if they don't, it sticks them in tents in vile camps, and leaves them there for the winter.
We live in a world that is changing, and changing very rapidly. We don't have the time to play footsie with oil barons and other forms of evil and greed. Indeed, it may be essential to do what we said we would do in 1945 - to create the beginnings of a world government with the UN.

We have, instead, torn off in a frenzy of making the rich unspeakably and unendingly richer. The result has been seventy years of wars, near-wars, rebellions, starvation, rising poverty ... and a steady increase in the number and types of weapons of mass destruction. We have effectively handed over control of the world not to the best qualified but to the greediest among us. Neither we nor they can survive that.

And I know of no political party in Canada or elsewhere that has anything resembling an adequate plan to deal with that.

And the Christian churches? They are reduced to the spectacle of the Irving Chapel with the best preachers that money can buy, with 'special' music, and coffee in the barn. Yep. Everybody's there.
Except Jesus.