Friday, October 6, 2017

Oct. 6: An Ugly World.

On Thursday, our local papers went wild with indignation when it was officially revealed that a company called Atcon some  years ago had hit the government (and the taxpayers) for 60 million dollars. Much of it was wasted and it was, in any case, obviously an extremely bad investment as all that money was lost.

Well, New Brunswick governments have a long history of gifts to the wealthy. But most of them don't get mentioned in the irving press.   Here's one of them. And it makes Atcon look like a piker.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/tax-breaks-irving-oil-1.3889095
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Friday's headline is about the cancellation of Energy East, a project to pump oil through a line to the Irving refineries in New Brunswick. Well, it's not so much a news story as it is a eulogy for the poor workers who now won't get temporary jobs building the pipeline.  (Yes, yes. providing jobs for ordinary people is the greatest concern of our wealthy. And these references in the paper are dominated by a phony concern for the workers who, in fact, would never see more than a tiny part of any spending that would  have been be done.)

The whole story seems to have been written to comfort those few, very wealthy who wanted only to create jobs for workers. Yes. (Maybe they should pay taxes. Then we would have the money to create jobs.)

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Surprise! Norbert Cunningham had a column on the editorial page in which he warned that the U.S. is a failing state.  He concludes "Failing states are bad news. It's time Canadians begin vigorously looking elsewhere, for their own good."

His opening and his closing sentences are, I think, quite correct. It's in the middle that he loses  his grip of the topic when he blames it all on government encouragement of violence and the high rates of gun violence in the U.S. But, I'm afraid, it's very much worse than that.

Gun violence, bitterness, racial hatreds, dissatisfaction are the results of a failed state - not the cause of it. Americans are angry because.....well, because they know they're angry and they suspect they're abused by the leaders. They're disillusioned. But, having been raised on a mythology of what Americans are supposed to believe in, most cannot imagine any alternative to what they have - a government that is hopelessly corrupt, private business leaders who are criminally corrupt but rarely face courts. They have a sense of anger and frustration - which the Trumps of this world have exploited by encouraging Americans to see the problem in foreign people who are 'evil'.

U.S. presidents almost from the start, have played on fears and hatreds to justify wars and massive conquests. They are very much like other failed imperial powers such as Britain, France, Spain. Most of their people gained nothing from their conquests. But they were kept quiet by propaganda about how evil and backward were the people that the wealthy sent them to war against - to make huge profits for the already wealthy.

Briefly, the U.S. state is collapsing largely because the American people are not benefitting from it as they should. In brief, they are, like the British and French and the other imperial powers, paying for the wars, but not benefitting from them. The empire, as it always does, benefits only the very wealthy. But few people understand that.  All most know is that they are angry as hell about....something....

In short, the U.S. is a failing state because it is a typical product of greed - this time in the form of the uncontrolled capitalist state. And so it is that a Donald Trump can live in imperial splendour while millions have to endure filth and hunger - and many, many more millions can't afford the basic medical care to stay alive.

The kind of person who rises to power in this is not commonly the one who has a solution. Instead, we more commonly get a Hitler who channels their frustrations into racial hatreds. And in Germany, as in the U.S., religious leaders commonly bought into this. Thus the enthusiasm for Trump in the Bible belt.

The answer, most likely, would be to make the corporations serve the nation. But the U.S. (and Canada) are going in the other direction.

Since 1945, the first priority of the U.S. has not been the happiness of its people. It has been an obsessive drive for the ultimate empire - the whole world - all at the feet of the leading corporations. But it can't be done.

The European nations are already looking for alternatives to a U.S. dominated world. Canada isn't. But it should be because there is every possibility that Canada will soon be an American target instead of being just an American stooge.

Climate change is already having a serious impact on American regions. Serious water problems have been felt in Texas, Arizona, California...forest fires have become a major threat to Oregon and north California as they are to BC. The midwest heartland of American agriculture has almost exhausted its groundwater resources.  The obvious solution for American corporations will be to look north to Canada, a land that seems to offer a brighter future as the climate warms. And which has lots of fresh water. And they will demand that Canada become a part of the U.S.

American corporations wouldn't do that to us Canadians? Get real. Look at what they happily do to Americans.

Yes. It would be very wise for Canadians to look at taking back control of our country before it's too late.
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As things have been, they will NOT remain. Since its invasion of Iraq, American influence in the Middle East has been sinking.

http://news.antiwar.com/2017/10/05/russia-signs-3-billion-arms-deal-with-saudi-arabia/

The irving press seems not to have thought this story worth mentioning. But it is one we had better pay attention to.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/05/saudi-russia-visit-putin-oil-middle-east


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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/06/protect-lives-indigenous-people-can-limit-climate-change-says-un

Canadians have not been impressive in protecting indigenous people anywhere in the world, including in Canada. When Guatemala's people protested the environmental damage caused by mining companies (American and Canadian) to their land, Canada happily cooperated in the murder of 200,000 of them.
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Justin Trudeau is one of the least active prime ministers Canada has had.

http://rabble.ca/news/2017/10/environment-commissioner-tells-trudeau-get-cracking-climate-change
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The only American politician who seems to be taking on Trump  - and offering a better future - is Bernie Sanders. I guess that's why most of the news media don't pay much attention to him.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/10/05/sanders-trump-end-insulting-tweets-and-start-rebuilding-puerto-rico
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UNZ Review is a site I choose with caution. While much of its material is good, I detect a streak of anti-semitism in its treatment of Israel. I have no doubt that the current government of Israel has many faults. But I find that it is ONLY faults that get mentioned in this review. However, the current issue has a column that has nothing to do with Israel. But it raises some interesting points about billionaires, and how they get rich.

One striking thing, though not mentioned in this article, is that our very wealthy are not a particularly well-educated lot. That is surprising since most have every educational advantage imaginable - from pampered private schooling to ease of entry to any university. But relatively few of them get far into advanced studies. (In fact, offhand, I can't think of one.) I can think of two at Acadia university who didn't even complete their bachelor's degrees.

The myth is that the wealthy should run governments because they "know how to operate a business." But a society is not a business. The result is we have massive influence in our government from people who seem not, as a group, to be above average in intelligence.

http://www.unz.com/jpetras/how-billionaires-become-billionaires/

The writer of the above missed one, important point. A very high proportion of billionaires (like Trump) were born that way.
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An intriguing item.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/10/06/why-are-washingtons-allies-getting-cozy-to-moscow/
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The U.S. governments have hated Iran for generations. Why? Because, after World War Two and years of looting by Britain, Iran wanted to control its own oil. To prevent that, the U.S. and Britain attacked Iran, and set up a dictatorship. But the Iranians resisted, and took back their own country. The U.S. and British oil industries have never forgiven Iran for that.

Now, Trump wants to  get hostile because, he says, Iran is breaking an agreement not to develop nuclear weapons. He has no evidence for this. And almost all of the European Union agree that Iran has NOT developed nuclear weapons. But Trump, like his predecessors wants a war. And he's going to be looking for patsies to die for U.S. oil billionaires.

Watch Trudeau closely on this one. We could be in repeat of the days when Canadians died in Afghanistan 'for their country'.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/trump-and-his-generals-on-collision-course-over-iran/5612273
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http://theduran.com/saudi-fm-offers-thinly-veiled-criticism-of-us-during-press-conference-with-sergey-lavrov/

Here's another report on what should be a huge story about Russia and the Middle East. The U.S. has made a hopeless mess of the middle east. Watch for its European allies to seek to detach themselves from the U.S. lead.
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And here's a light but interesting piece from Haaretz about two world leaders whose behaviour and beliefs might shock you. One is Nethanyahu of Israel. The other is Winston Churchill.

https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/1.815879
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As Nov. 11 approaches, we should reflect on WHY Canadians served - and why so many died. They were promised - we were promised - a very different kind of world after the war. There would be an end to empires. The UN would become a sort of world government. Any aggression would be dealt with immediately.

And we have broken every promise we made. Instead, we allowed big money to rule the world. And we have put our lives and our children's lives at the service of big money.

And now after more than seventy wars since 1945, after an economy devoted entirely to serving the wealthy either through wars or through denying basic needs to its citizens, the U.S. is a failing state.

Duh. I know. In the next New Brunswick election, I'll vote for the Conservatives. And in the Canadian one, I'll vote for the Conservatives, too. Then everything will be okay.





3 comments:

  1. These guys r extreme:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8UBk8f7Bgj0

    Or the Japanese women https://m.youtube.com/watch?t=17s&v=9kWV2XsxzHk

    Also, very troubling news on the political polarization. Its happening so fast: https://mobile.twitter.com/conradhackett/status/915980236399005696

    Also google etc continues its censorship apace; I wouldn't be so concerned if google wasn't so ubiquitous

    We're living in crazy times indeed

    ReplyDelete
  2. Btw
    What do u think of the website antiwar.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Generally, I like it. I feel uneasy about two things.

    One is that I found its emphasis on the faults of Israel, while quite true, should be balanced by stories that take a more generous look at it.

    The other is that, like all blogs including mine, it concentrates on sins rather than also giving some attention to what should be done. (I've been guilty of that, too. and you jolted me into going a bit further to remedying that in the Sept9 report.)

    ReplyDelete