For the third day, there is a front page story about people flying kites - along with one and a half pages of pictures of kites for those who don't know what one looks like. D1 has the big news that Rihanna still misses her ex-boyfriend. This is a newspaper that almost screams, "My readers are fools. My purpose is to feed them trivia so they will have no idea what is happening in the province or the world, and so they will think "corporation boss" means "philanthropist".
For more trivia, check out the editorial, and the op ed page.
There are only two sections worth reading. There is Alec Bruce's column, light but well written; and which really does have a point. Then there is a letters to the editor page that is the best I have ever seen in this paper. Obviously, New Brunswickers have more brains than the Times and Transcript gives them credit for.
Then there is the main headline, the inevitable bilge about the raid on Dieppe. It was indeed a tragic event, and we really should know a great deal more about who died there, and why they died. But I also think we should learn from history, not just babble platititudes about it.
The sacrifice did not preserve freedom of any sort in Canada. Freedom in North American was never threatened in World War Two (or One, or the Boer War, or by any other war since 1812.) There has been damage to our freedom over the years. But it's been caused by our governments, and by news media that withhold essential information from us.
And be careful about the story that we learned crucial German codes at Dieppe. Harper will play that tune for the kind of people who support him. But that's a story that needs a lot of testing and historical debate before being accepted.
What we do know about the causes of Dieppe are these.
1. Churchill needed some spectacular event for morale.
2. British troops were already stretched pretty thin.
3. Canadian troops were available, were well trained after two years in Britain, and had seen no action.
4. They had seen no action because Prime Minister Mackenzie King didn't want them to. He didn't care about lives. He was afraid that any losses would force him to introduce conscription - and he feared that would cost him the next election.
5. He was assured by Churchill that any losses at Dieppe would be small. So he agreed to release the Canadian troops.
6. Lord Louis Mountbatten, planner of the raid, had no experience or competence to plan such a raid. Already promoted way over his head because he was a Lord and was closely related to the Royal Family (he was Prince Phillip's uncle), he was a disastrous choice to plan a raid. (But this would not prevent him from getting even greater promotions later one.)
7. The raiding force was detected by the Germans before it got to Dieppe. There was a fire-fight, and the German garrison was alerted. When the Canadians landed on a narrow beach funneled by cliffs, every piece of that beach was already covered by machine guns and artillery. Planners should have realized that - and the raid should have been called off as soon as the force was spotted.
This is certainly an event we should remember and should mourn. But we could do without the babbling of the usual speakers at our remembrances. Those who died at Dieppe deserve, at the least, to be remembered for how and why they died.
In the absence of anything in the Times and Transcript to comment on, the following points are some jottings I made yesterday.
1. Probably the most honest newspaper available in the English language (and one of the most intelligent) is the Israeli paper, Haaretz. You can get it on Google.
According to Haaretz, polls show that a large majority of Israelis is opposed to any attack on Iran. Many don't believe that Iran is developing a nuclear bomb (it almost certainly isn't); and they believe the attack is planned for other reasons. (And they're right.) The Israel military leaders agree with the majority, some even of the opinion that Netanyahu is mentally unbalanced.
So why is this very minor leader able to lead Obama (and Harper) around by the nose? Because there is a very powerful and well-funded Israeli lobby in North America, that's why. Say a word against Israeli policy, and that lobby accuses you of being an anti-Semite. Many of my friends who are Jewish and Zionist have been accused of being anti-semites because they oppose Netanyahu.
Thanks to Netanyahu, the Middle East may, at any time, become chaos with the potential to touch off World War Three.
2. What is the western policy in Africa and the Middle East? To bring democracy? Get real.
Most countries in the middle east are bits of patchwork drawn onto maps by the western powers a hundred years and more ago. Syria, Libya, Lebanon, Iraq have all been, at best, fragile. The purpose of the West is to make sure they don't become real and united countries. If they did, they would have the strength to resists western intrusions and exploitation. Breaking them up keeps them weak. That's why Libya still doesn't have a functioning government - and it won't. That's why the west happily supports non-democratic groups in Syria and Lebanon.
3. Watch for an extremely low election turnout in the US. The possibility of a Romney/Ryan victory inspires terror - as it should. But Romney has immense funding from the corporate world. (With a hundred million Americans on some form of welfare, John Ryan says the answer is to further cut taxes for the rich who are already enjoying their greatest profits in history.)
But Obama has been a dreadful disappointment - and he's funded by much the same people as Romney. And there is no, realistic third choice.
A record low turnout would almost certainly have terrible consequences for the US. On the other hand, it's hard to see a turnout that would offer anything useful.
4. There has been a wave of murders of American trainers by Afghan troops and police. Some news sources say these are Taliban who join the training programmes to steal weapons. Those sources should listen to the American generals who said yesterday that they are not Taliban. They are from the tribes who are, supposedly, on our side. This is where multi-trillion dollars, over ten years of war, and tens of thousands of dead have taken us. And the people behind this disaster are still influential - and see nothing wrong with their policies.
And there is still no reason to believe that anybody in Afghanistan had anything to do with 9/11.
9/11 has led to at least eight wars, only two of them officially declared. It has killed well over a million people,and driven uncounted millions of Americans into hopeless debt for generation to come. So what's it all about?
Google- Project for the New American Century. They said it. Not me.
5. Harper promised a year of intense scientific study before approving the Northern Gateway Pipeline. Scientists said it would take more time. But Harper insisted on one year. Now, just to make sure, he has gutted the budget for research on the project.
6. Ever read Paul Craig Roberts? You really should.
No, he is not a terrorist front. In fact, his credentials are pretty good, and very much pro-American in the best sense of that term.
He's been a high official in the Department of Finance, and a very respected journalist for The Wall Street Journal (which is not a terrorist front, either.)
7. The Moncton Times and Transcript does not seem interested in the Quebec election. that's too bad, because this is one that could have a serious impact on all of us. This one is really dangerous.
But this post is too long already. I'll save it for tomorrow.
oh, some will read this post and say I'm anti-American. I suppose they might also say I'm anti-Canadian for criticizing Harper, or anti-New Brunswick for criticizing Alward.
But the fact is, it is not Americans or Canadians or Quebeckers or New Brunswickers who are doing wrong. It is American and Canadian and Quebec and New Brunswick corporations and politicians that are doing
And if you think that makes me anti some corporations and some politicians - you're damn right I am.