Friday, March 8, 2013

March 8: A very pleasant surprise... It wasn't section A. Unless you get sexually aroused by a photo of a balding man pouring himself a beer, the only only thing worth looking at in Section a is a p. 2 story about the abysmal, discriminatory and even racist treatment of native peoples in our prisons. So says a special report prepared by a special investigator for Canada's prisons.

PM Harper's reply? "People are in prison for a reason." Duh.
A big headline at the top of C1, NewsToday. The US has captured a man who was a propagandist for bin Laden. It is being hailed as a significant victory. Why is it being hailed as a significant victory? Because there are no victories to hail. Not even that one.

Moslem resistance to NATO attacks has, if anything, increased since 9/11. Afghanistan is lost. Iraq is about to fall apart. Libya is a mess, and by no means under control. Syria could well end up a jihadist state. But, after a dozen years of disastrous interference in foreign policy, the big boys of big business have to tart something up as a 'significant' victory.

There's also a major article on North Korean threats against the US and South Korea. The story does nothing to explain why this is happening - and I certainly have nothing to offer. I suppose that either North Korea is bargaining to get a payoff for being good - or the new leader is quite crazy. Here's where a news story is useless. What we need is analysis by some really good foreign affairs writers.

And that's all we know about what's happening in the world. There's not a word about the very dangerous destabilization of Africa, the Middle East, and even parts of Asia by our constant interference, and our encouragement of violence. Nor is there any mention of the meltdown in Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal or, quite possibly, Britain. And nothing, of course, of what the US has planned for Venezuela.
Norbert is raving again, and again with not a particle of evidence to support his point  - that dangerous health habits (obesity, smoking, for example) - are entirely  the responsibility of individuals, and have nothing to do with society as a whole. Right.

I don't know whether Norbert has noticed it but obesity that causes illness and early death in on a dramatic rise. If he is going to argue this is happening only because of personal decisions, then he has to explain why such personal decisions are on the rise. But he won't. Logic is not Norbert's strong point.

Oh, he also says that any government attempt to control obesity is fascism. Ah, so that's what Hitler and Mussolini and Franco were all about. They wanted to control obesity.

Norbert, do us all a favour. Get a good dictionary. I recommend the Oxford. Look up the word fascism. I mean, it's okay to rant. But make some attempt to rant with words you understand.

And now the good part. When, just over a month ago, the TandT put a new writer, Steve Malloy, on the op ed page every Friday, my heart sank. With rare exceptions, the op ed page has been the burial ground for every twit with nothing to say on the TandT staff.

But as I read that first column of Malloy's, my heart settled back to its usual, pre-coronary position. That first column wasn't a great one. But it wasn't trivial. It wasn't just a lame attempt at humour. It was a simply-expressed and quite reasonable column. And, as I looked at it, thought this writer deserved following to see how he developed.

Since then, I have been increasingly impressed by the unpretentious writing, the reasonable tone, and the ability to see the implications of what might seem to be a very ordinary happening. Every column was good, and every one better than the one before.

Today, he blew my socks off.

Private business in New Brunswick has made huge inroads into education. Corporation bigwigs who know nothing about education have been muscling in with the intention of privatizing education as much as possible - not for the children's benefit, but to satisfy their own greed.

The Tand T has cooperated by publishing propaganda "studies" from the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies, notably those advocating standardized testing to "evaluate" schools and teachers. In fact, standardized testing does nothing to evaluate teaching or schools. It's a gimmick so that big business can wiggle its way into our schools and, eventually, make money out of our children.

The Tand T also made no mention that the new "volunteer tutor" system is just another stunt by big business to interfere with our children. It was also shy about telling us that our government had given two and a half million dollars to Jamie Irving and the boys to play with. In other words, big business is not only interfering in our schools, but is doing damage (for profit).

It's a movement that has had disastrous effects in the US and in Britain. Our interfering corporations know that. But they don't give a damn as long as they can make money out of it.

But don't waste time reading me. Read Steve Malloy's excellent column for today.

The other op ed column, by a Camille Johnson, is "New Pope will have a tremendous responsibility." But that is not what the column is about. In fact, I have no idea what it is but a loose collection of tired, old catchphrases. Looks like something for the Saturday Faith page.

There are three, good letters worth reading. "Lapierre created a job for himself", "Energy institute won't be credible" and "Why is Mike Duffy a Senator anyway?" And you might add to that "Ambulance fees need to be fixed."

And today's story that our eagle-eyed editors missed - the US Attorney-general issued a statement yesterday that Obama has the right to use drones to kill Americans on American soil.  ( Again, without charge or trial.)

No,Norbert, that's not fascism, either. It's despicable: but it's not fascism. Please get a dictionary.

Incidentally,and also not in the TandT, there is great concern over the spread of serious mental stress and  illness over those parts of Pakistan exposed to Obama's drone attacks. Every step outdoors is dangerous, every walk to school or to play for every child is a terror. The drones appear suddenly, too suddenly to hide, and they kill indiscriminately. Thus the sudden and wide spread of mental illness.

The use of drones is terrorism. It is quite possibly the worst form of terrorism we have ever seen. And it's all being done by nice, Christian boys sitting in front of computers in comfortable offices half a world away. And they get medals for it.

r encouragement of violence in those regions. Nor is there any mention of the meltdown in Greece, I


  1. Yet Malloy's column goes unnoticed by the great unwashed masses while they fight over the CFL game.

  2. I listened to CBC radio this afternoon parrot the son-in-law connection of the Bin Laden story.

    But I laughed when I read how BBC quoted the FBI who said, "Sulaiman Abu Ghaith held a key position in al-Qaeda, comparable to the consigliere in a mob family or propaganda minister in a totalitarian regime."

    Note how insidious and extremely purposeful the FBI is in their language;(propaganda, totalitarian regime). They're throwing this directly in the faces of their 9/11 critics as if it was a joke.

    When will the CBC ever develop the courage to admit 9/11 was an inside job? (Available evidence is so damning) And Canada has spent $15 billion to be in Afghanistan for pipelines, opium, and minerals.

    Oh, I know when they'll develop the courage...Much like the assassination of JFK who attempted to warn us of secret societies. ...when anyone who's ever had anything to do with 9/11 are all dead. That's when.

    I also heard Rex Murphy on 'Cross Country Check-Up', and thought he and his panelists missed a great opportunity to shed real light on the question of separation of church and state.

    In the same vein you're always writing there's nothing of any importance or anything of true relevancy in the Faith pages, or delivered from church sermons, etc.

    If the Church is not already speaking out against all the evils that are being perpetrated , why then should it have its position further validated?

    If it's not speaking out now, do we think it would speak out afterward from a more comfortable position? Of course not.

    But one thing it's state appointment would do is lend credibility to any state that wishes to be seen as something other than its not.

    Much like the 'Office of Religious Freedom', right?