Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May 31: How to say nothing - and charge money for it.

Today was really a zero day for the The Moncton Times&Tribune - unless you really, really care that an actor named Colin Farrell turns 35 today. Only a couple of pages are worth even negative comments.

The biggest story in NewsToday begins with a picture of Harper shaking hands with a soldier in Afghanistan. Another big one is a pointless stream of gush that somebody named Williamson is ready to go to Ottawa. I'm glad to hear it. I was worried that after getting elected he wouldn't go.

They do mention Libya where our air force is busy killing people. There is no mention of why. The UN gave them permission to patrol Libyan skies to enforce a no-fly zone for humanitarian reasons. (So why don't we have no-fly zones over Bahrain, Gaza and Pakistan? - Also Yemen where the US has used drone bombers.) The reality is we are are not simply enforcing a no-fly zone.

We are fighting for one side. This almost certainly will lead to a commitment to send in ground troops. (In fact, they are already there as British, French and US  "advisors" and "technicians".) We are in another war. We are, without any national or parliamentary debate, at war. The right to decide when and where we would go to war is what our soldiers died for in two world wars. At least, that's what we say every November 11. And forget every November 12.

Apparently, either nobody at the T&T knows that - or nobody gives a damn about the over a hundred thousand Canadians who were killed.

Most of Libya news in the T&T comes from Reuters. The T&T has to pay for it. Here's a money-saving tip for T&T. Hire an office boy for minimum wage. Have him go to google, and type in Hifter Libya Washington Post.

The Washington Post has an interview in its issue of May 26 with Colonel Hifter, formerly of the Libyan army. He defected to the US and took a job as a CIA "asset". He was then smuggled back to Libya where he stirred up and became the major leader of the current rebellion. What a conincidence!

So why are we killing people in Libya?

The business page, always dreadful, has today respelled dreadful as dreary.The major story is about CEOs in the Atlantic region holding a gala to give each other awards and congratulate each other for their brilliance. There were 50 awards. To get that many CEOs, they must have included mom and pop convenience stores.

The editorial and op ed pages include the usual neo-conservative "think tank" propaganda. This time there there are two commentaries, both from The Frontier Insitute. And both unsually silly, even for The Frontier Institute.

Ben Eisen attacks environmentalists as radicals who have been proven wrong. His first proof is a book by David Frum. Young David is a far right crackpot bordering on fascism (even by the standards of The Frontier Institute) who knows nothing about environment - or any other subject he writes about.

Then Eisen tells us that predictions of economic and social collapse have proven wrong as living standards have gone up all over the world.

Hasn't anybody told Mr. Eisen about the millions in the US unemployed,, and those who have lost their homes? Anybody slip him a word about conditions in Europe with at least Spain and Greece close to rebellion? Then there's Africa which has so much economic and social collapse that even the T&T has noticed it. (Some of it.)

China has one fifth of  the world's population.  Has its living standards risen?  They have if you're one of the small number of very rich. They're rich because they make piles of money out of a billion people working cheaply for long hours, and often in dangerous conditions.

The average gross per capita income in China is eight hundred and sixty five dollars per year. That would translate for the average family of three to something like $2400 a year. But that figure includes an upper class who count their incomes in the billions.  China is hugely prosperous as a nation, hugely prosperous for its business leaders.  But not so hot if you're an ordinary Chinese.

To that we can add India, almost a populous as China but with an average income of five hundred dollars a year. In both countries, as in the US and Canada, the bulk of the wealth has been pouring into the pockets of a very few. And the proportion going to the very rich has been growing for years.

Mr. Eisen also dismisses warnings of food shortages. I guess  he never heard of the disaster of Russian wheat production last year, or of the expected disaster for this year. Nor has he heard of the crisis of rice production and of food prices in Asia.

It's not Mr. Eisen's politics that bother me here. It's his ignorance and/or lyng. No decent paper would print this. He is accompanied as a commentator by David Seymour, whose comments on the taxi industry are, to say the least, lightweight.

Cute picture of Alec Bruce, though.

No comments:

Post a Comment