Thursday, March 7, 2013

March 7: Wow! a Men's Probus Club...

I just love it when headlines talk dirty. If seems the mayor of Riverview gave a speech to the Men's Probus Club. I've never seen a man's probus. But, then, I never kissed a girl until I was 36, so there's a lot about sex I don't know.

Anyway, the mayor gave them the speech that mayors always give about how great things are going Riverview. So it's important to have it up there on p.1 for anybody who missed the several thousand times it's been given before.

Actually, there are only two stories in Section A  worth reading.

Page 2 has the sad news of the death of Stompin' Tom Connors Though generations out of style by this time, Stompin' Tom was always welcome for his down home honesty and energy. And, unlike many, many current stars, Stompin' Tom could actually sing.

Page 6 has a story about NDP leader Dominic Cardy who wants to end the practice of corporations and unions giving donations to political parties. The lesson is obvious from the US experience in which the financing power of big business has effectively destroyed democracy. I'm not convinced his proposal is the whole answer - but it is a opening to begin discussing the issue.

B2 is headed by the story of a million Syrians who are refugees, having fled to neighbouring countries. It would be a good story - if only it told the truth. Instead, it (Associated Press) gives the impression that this is a case of freedom fighters that the west is not helping enough.

First, the west is sending help and  has been sending help from day 1. Indeed, the war was almost certainly provoked by the western powers, working through the freedom-loving king of Saudi Arabia (the world's most complete and anti-democratic dictator). The west has supplied money for mercenaries, weapons, intelligence and training for the so-called rebels - most of whom are not rebels but hired invaders (there's a difference.)

The US certainly doesn't give a damn about democracy in Syria. (Some of its best friends are dicators like the king of Saudi Arabia). And democracy is not what the war is about. It's about the restoring the western empires in Africa that were lost after 1945 - but this time with the US taking the lead.

It's about breaking up any countries that won't follow the US lead.

Then, at the end, we'll go through the old farce of the US pretending to spend billions on a ruined country -the same game we played with Iraq. You haven't read much about the "rebuilding" of Iraq because few North American newspapers aren't saying much - so here's the scoop -

The Inspector -General of American spending has just announced that the US has spent 60 billion dollars to rebuild Iraq. There is almost nothing to show for it. Some of the money was simply wasted on useless projects, much of it went into the pockets of American contractors  for work that, in fact, was never done. And 1.7 billion can't be found at all. Like American aid to Haiti, this is just the old story of greed and corruption and absolute indifference to the suffering of people.

But you'll never read about it in the TandT. So try Agence France-Presse, Marcy 6, 2013.

B1 has a story on Venezuela which really says nothing. You'll know when the real story develops with things like, oh, the story of civil war being whipped up by the CIA, of "freedom fighters" suddenly appearing on the border of Venezuela. The US has been waiting for its chance to get control again of Venezuela - and Cuba. This could be the chance. We don't have nearly enough wars going on.

On, for collectors of dumb mistakes, go to "Karzai asks for end to abuses" on B1. In the sub-head, it refers to Karzai's "normal tact of blaming NATO alone". Boy, nothing worse that a leader who tries to pull some fancy 'tact".

Alec Bruce writes today with a tone of bitterness - and understandably so. We are facing the worst economic crisis in recent history. And our federal finance minister, Mr. Flaherty is ignoring all we have learned about dealing with such crises. Instead, he's going to the old, ideological route of making most of us pay for the blunders of a  very few of the wealthiest of us. It won't work this time any more than it has worked in the past - which is not at all. And, modelled as it is on practice in the US and western Europe, it is sending us into a world that will be a very bad one, indeed.

I think I'll talk about that on Sunday when I discuss the arrival of the police state.

Norbert Cunningham spits contempt at people who get welfare. They should, he says, use their unemployed time to upgrade their educations, get another job....etc. Damn right. That's what Jim and Jamie Irving did. Pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps, they did.

Obviously, Norbert has never experienced the reality of being broke, out of a job and, perhaps, with family to look after.

For it is written in the Gospel according to Norbert, We're responsible for ourselves. Forget this crap about caring about other people. I know. I know. Some guy in sandals in the middle east talked about caring for other people. Damn lot of good it did him.
On the op ed page of serious comment, Rod Allen tells us a juvenile story about two cats. And he's an assistant managing editor. Maybe we could fire Rod, and hire the cats as managing editors.

Jody Dallaire is a welcome break.

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