Monday, February 4, 2013

Isn't it wonderful about William and Kate....

.. and how Elizabeth and the Phillip didn't have to pay a cent of the cost of their wedding. No. the whole thirty-eight million dollars was picked up by the British taxpayers. Isn't it wonderful she's pregnant. (although - now I think of it, I'd happily get pregnant for $38 million dollars.)

Actually, the cost of the wedding has been estimated at $15 billion dollars counting the cost of official holidays for the event, special celebrations, etc. That's really very nice of the British people who are now living in depression era conditions with no hope of getting out.

Then there's the cost of maintaining Prince Charles in style with, among other things, paying for his personal staff of 150. Why such a huge and expensive staff? Well---well----I mean---you know.... Anyway, there's really no cost. You just cut services to all those poor people who have no gumption, anyway. Besides, if you keep the poor really poor, you give them incentive to work. In the same way, if you make the rich really, really rich, that gives the rich incentive to work. It's really all psychological.
When you have time, try to get the numbers of American and Canadian military suicides for last year. And good luck. In the US the number rises from one a day to much more. It all depends on who you read.

For Canada it's about two a month - maybe. The Canadian military's reputation in this area is a little suspect. Does military include veterans? Or just serving? Does it count suicides in a war zone? And how come the army has been caught hiding some figures? And why do they tell us that it is lower than the civilian suicide rate? Does that mean war helps to prevent suicide? (Actually, there is no accurate count of suicides in the general population in either Canada or the US, anyway.)
But there seems there is no doubt that  the military suicide rate has been rising steadily. 


Nobody in the news media has even asked that question. Okay. War is stressful. So we get suicides. But why is the rate rising even as the war of the moment winds down?

Could it possibly have anything to do with changes in military training since 1945 which are designed to sharply increase a soldier's desire to kill, to make them more contemptuous of human life?

No, these stories are not in the Moncton TandT. I mention them only because they aren't there, and because what is there is such contemptible drivel. In fairness, you won't find much about them in any North American newspaper. And you certainly won't find any questions being asked.

Oh, sorry, the big story for today's front page and an inner one is "Smelts remain a popular treat." I was so relieved to read that....

Oh, sorry.There is another, huge story. "Alward hoping for progress in Alberta." Of course he's hoping for progress, you TandT twits. Would he go there hoping for no progress? Besides, you have already run this story in an earlier edition.

And that's pretty much it for Section A.
NewsToday has an example of how journalists, themselves, get sucked in to the language of propaganda. The headline is "Turkey pledges continued support for Syria". Doesn't that sound nice?
Yes, Turkey is helping the Syrian people and their legitimate government. 

well, actually ---

Turkey (along with others) is financing an invasion of Syria, with  troops drawn largely from mercenaries, many of them Islamic Jihadists that few Syrians want to even see. (In the process, it is helping the deliberate slaughter of those Syrians who are Christian.)

The "government" Turkey is supporting was not elected, is almost certainly unwanted by the Syrian people and, in any case, doesn't exist even in shadow form.

Now, look at that headline again. Can you imagine any connection between it and reality?

Yes, Assad is not a nice person. Offhand, I'd be hard put to think of any national leader in the world who is a "nice' person. But whether Assad should go is a decision for the Syrians, not for Turkey, the emirates, Britain, France and the US - and their gang of hired thugs, heavily representative of people the US likes to call 'terrorists', unlike Americans who never, ever kill people.

BTW, the TandT has shown very little interest in the deliberate murder of Christians by the 'rebel' forces.
Good cartoon by de Adder. (I take editorial cartoons very, very seriously. They usually have greater impact than the news stories do.)

The editorial is predictable. The economy is weak? People are suffering? Well, give money to business and that will cure everything. Then, when times get do  the same thing.

Superb column by Gwynn Dyer - and a scary one if you think about its implications. The crisis between China and Japan will almost certainly draw the US into confrontation with China. Don't kid yourself. The new, cold war is on.

Norbert-- very few are going to read that column. It's bit complex. And it's boring. And it's highly theoretical. Something big might happen. Some day. Or nothing might happen. Any day. It's not a bad column for the few who will care about it. But it really leads the reader nowhere.

Norbert ---You love reading. You say you are concerned about literacy in NB. Why not, once a week, review a book that you found interesting and enjoyable? Pick the books by age and education levels. Then write a column for the age level that book is aimed at. This would be something useful, and made for your talents.

Oh, and include an invitation for readers to attend my current events group at the library - Tuesday, February 5, at 7 p.m., Moncton Library.

Allen Abel contributes a story about an American who lost both arms and legs in Afghanistan. As it happens, I have a great admiration for that man - an admiraton that notes other qualities that Abel has missed. 

And, as Abel commonly does, he takes a story of some importance, a story about strength and character, and makes it into a happy tale for a Sunday School class. This is not what an opinion page is for.

Craig Babstock joins Abel in Sunday School.

There is an excellent letter in letters to the editor "Where's the restraint in the MHS affair? And a very attractive and heartening letter, "Young cellist is just a marvel."

Their is another news story I would like to address "Mounties snoop on Occupy protesters in Ottawa: documents. That fits in with the RCMP and CSIS spying on environmentalists, and passing the information on  to big business, especially the oil business.

Things are even worse in the US where the level of domestic spying against anybody who uses free expression in a way big business and government don't like.

Democracy is suffering the death of a thousand cuts. That's no exaggeration. The job is almost done in the US, and it has gone further in Canada than I had realized.

Coupled with that, I have the story on Harper pretty well formed in my head. And I suspect it has a connection with the real reason young people leave New Brunswick.

These two will take up a whole blog. It's hard for the idea that we are living in what are increasingly police states with strong fascist echoes to sink in. People don't want to believe it. It takes a bit of space to cover it properly. 

And  I also have some desire to have a life. 

The Irving press is such a stinkingly bad, lying, trivial and propaganda press that I begin to wonder if there's any value in following the same formula every day talking about what a morally and ethically corrupt newspaper this is.

I may take one day, skip the TandT, and just talk about police states,fascism, Harper, and why young people don't stay in this province.
Tuesday, February 5, Moncton Library, 7 pm. I shall get a haircut for the occasion.


  1. Speaking of police states and the like; In talking with other others here in NB I find its quite astonishing how few seem to realize we've already gone down that path.

    But, from those that are aware, I also here the same grumbling, "What am I suppose to do about it? There's only a handful of us people who care anyway...etc."

    So, I think this is also the same sticking point. Those people who are aware say they don't know what to do about it. They say the few things they've participated in hardly amount to a small dent.

    So they get uninspired and retire into their underground room and attempt to surround themselves with little luxuries so as to not have to think about the situation.

    An excellent case in point, is how far right CBC radio has moved, although I don't even know if you'd call it moving to the right.

    CBC radio's many show hosts consistently choose to ignore the overall important issues of our time and instead concentrate on trivial celebrity-worship. It's been a long time since that I've been able to listen to CBC radio without having to switch it off numerous times in the same sitting.

  2. I have a big story for some day. The RCMP spied and kept a file on Moncton's own Northrop Frye, the man on the bench outside the Moncton Library. He was a dangerous man. He was opposed to the Vietnam War.

    As to CBC, it has to scamper more softly than it wants to. People with big money and lots of influence would love to close it down. Harper, given time, will certainly close it down. Every word they say is examined for reasons to attack it. It remains far the best news service in North America. But it does often run scared.
    I can speak from personal experience on that point. I had been a dozen years of doing a weekly programme on CBC radio. It was at the height of separatist power in Quebec. The French side of CBC was rabidly and openly pro-separatist.

    I did one programme that was a criticism of separatism. My producer warned me never to do that again. it offended certain important people.

    A few weeks later, the Parti Quebecois passed legislation very harmful to the English education system in Quebec. I did a broadcast defending English schools. just after I finished, I heard the voice of my producer over the earphones. I was fired.
    I don't like what is happening to the CBC. But it's not the fault of the CBC. It's the fault of Stephen Harper, and it's the fault of corporate bosses who don't think there should be any public (or honest) news media.
    CBC has weakened - but it's still way above the moral and ethical gutter that is home to all the private news media.
    And I would write that in very big letter for ALL the private news media I have seen or heard in New Brunswick.