Thursday, August 27, 2015

On turning 87

Feeling the Ages

Please click on the video above to view my birthday message.

First, I want to thank everyone who sent cards and took to the internet to wish me happy birthday.  I enjoyed them all, especially the songs and music. I turned 87 this month.  I feel my age, as most people in their 80s do, but I also have become increasing aware of how technology has profoundly separated the old from the young and it’s  kind of weird to be in a big room with a lot of other people and know you’re the oldest person in the room.  Because that also means that you have the earliest time memories that happened way before these other people were born.

For instance, I personally remember the depression of the thirties (I was a child but I remember) that was relieved only by the build up to the Second World War. I remember the Chinese and Cuban revolutions as they occurred (1949 and 1959) and while I wasn’t around for the Russian revolution itself (1917) I remember the buildup of hostility toward the Russian revolution by the US which of course continues to this day and is accelerating.  Because I remember the struggles of these three countries which started from abject poverty of their people to try to build economic equality and justice for all, and what they went through to try to achieve this, I could never consider them enemies no matter how much my own countries (US, Canada) insisted I must.  How could I hate and fear Russia? They lost over twenty million people fighting off the Nazis, and have struggled to build their country back up several different times and are still doing so and never give up.  They are a very strong, resilient people and worthy of our respect. Cuba?

How could I hate the Cubans as I was advised to by the US government who said they were terrorists? I didn’t believe it. I remembered that the extreme poverty and illiteracy of Cuba stemmed from US corporate ownership of the island.  Before their revolution an estimated half of Cuba’s women were working as prostitutes to feed their families; most were illiterate, and now Cuba sends their doctors and medical staff, many of whom are women, all around the world to help others.

China?  I remember reports of Mao Zedong’s long march through the Chinese provinces talking to hungry poverty stricken people suffering from food scarcity in the wake of the aftermath of World War Two and the horrific Japanese occupation of China and somehow Mao Zedong and his group of marchers gave the people hope with a different vision.

We are being taught today to hate and fear both Russia and China (Cuba has been temporarily  excused) who are not threatening anybody while US led forces are accelerating the building of new air force bases on Russia’s borders. I believe from all of the trash talk directed at Russia, and the demeaning of China, that the US and the NATO countries, including Harper’s government, are preparing to invade Russia.  I believe they are so self-deluded that they may think Russia won’t fight back, or that China will allow the invasion.  But China will never allow an invasion to go unanswered. She knows that if Russia is attacked and especially if defeated, that she will be next.

On the economic level I think the future is going to bring more trouble than falling stock markets.  Because in an effort to drive up the lagging economies of both the US and Canada, the capitalist thinking may very well turn to war as a solution, given the enormous amounts of money that can be made out of a really massive prolonged  war.  The same international bankers that are squeezing and threatening debt bedevilled countries already, will happily loan billions to both sides of such a war, just as they did in World War Two.  I think now this is the biggest danger facing us; an invasion of Russia by US led NATO forces. Both China and Russia have sophisticated atomic weapons just as we do. We should be afraid.  And super careful who and what we vote for.  I am not absolutely sure about the NDP or the Liberals, if they are strong enough to avoid being dragged into the plans of the US Pentagon, but I feel absolutely confident that a vote for Stephen Harper is a vote for war.  Thanks again for the birthday wishes.  Till next time.

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