Thursday, April 11, 2013

April 11: I'm actually beginning this on April 10 because...

.....I'm quite sure that Brunswick News won't have the story even though it's  now well over a week old.

Remember that racist flyer from MP Williamson of St. John about cracking down on First Nations? I posted it, and speculated the federal Conservatives were targeting First Nations to appeal to the bigot vote in Canada.

I may have been too kind to the Conservatives.

There's a publication for native peoples across North America. You can find it by googling Indian Country Today. Any of our journalists could have found the story long ago if they weren't all fully occupied with giving each other awards for journalistic excellence.

The First Nations side of the story is that Harper is holding back the money which is really their money under the treaties they and we signed. He's holding it back to force them to endorse legislation which would, in effect, give him control over their reserves and, in the long run, destroy the treaty status of First Nations.

It's a potent threat because by holding back the money that is rightfully theirs, Harper would make the reservations unliveable, cutting off basic necessities like water, sewage, electricity..... Harper is destroying the agreements which were made in exchange for First Nations' loss of all the land and resources they were forced to hand over to us. People already poor and horribly disadvantaged are now being bullied out of what is righfully theirs.

The implication in Williamson's flyer that chiefs are pocketing huge sums is, in a word that even Williamson would understand, bullshit. Their average pay as chiefs is well below the average income for all Canadians.

And the very idea that Harper is really advocating openess and transparency in government is absurd. If he were, he'd be setting an example.

Some reserves may well cave in because cutting the funds would leave them in desperate condition. According to the report, the Mik'mag of New Brunswick may be in that position. But if they do agree, they're doomed, anyway, because Harper will use his power to open up their reserves to mineral exploitation and deadly pollution.

Check out the story at Indian Country Today. Certainly, you'll never hear about it from that gaggle of propagandists, puppets and trivialists who call themselves print journalists in this province. (I wonder what schools of journalism take the blame for all this. Some, at least, should really be offering public apologies.)

You don't care if Harper plays the sleaze with First Nations? Okay. And what makes you think you aren't on his list?
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Also as expected, there was not a word on the 450 Canadians who have their money stashed overseas to avoid paying taxes on it. Harper is making noises about going to court to get the names. But I'll believe that when I see it. If Harper had the names, he'd have to act against his dearest friends and contributors.

In any case, he must know the names. I know some of them. Children on the street know some. It's not a secret, and it hasn't been for a good fifty years and more. And Harper (and the TandT) have no intention of making any fuss about it.
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The biggest story on p. 1 is that oral piercing (lips and tongue) is bad for you. I've always thought body piercing (and tattooing) was something I would rather not look at - and something that takes me close to gagging when  I  see rings stuck through a lip or a tongue. So I'm not surprised to hear that something so ugly is also unhealthy.

But the only news story worth reading in the whole of section A is the Spring pickup of the year's big trash is coming in May. Oh, and a hot, insider tip that maybe, just maybe, a Starbucks might open on Main St.  Boy, you can't fool those hot, TandT reporters.
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The only story worth reading in NewsToday is the one about how Canadian ranked 17th out of 29 wealthy countries in the well-being of its children. Even lower, going from 25th down to 29th are Greece ( which is in economic collapse), the United States (which claims to lead the world in all things), Lithuania, Latvia, and Romania. ( When are people going to notice what a mess the US is - and how much of that mess is owing to the dominance of big business in that country's life?)

Top-ranked are The Netherlands, Norway, Iceland, Finland, and Sweden - all of which have managed to keep their Irvings under control - and none of which would ever elect a gibbering puppet like Alward to anything.
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The story on the Korean crisis on page B1 is worth reading only as an example of the use of loaded language in reporting. North Korea is being "provocative" for objecting that the US is openly practicing how it would drop nuclear bombs on it. But the US isn't being provocative. No. It's jes' funnin'.
And when North Korea calls Americans "imperialists", the word is put in quotation marks as I just did, implying, of course, that the US is no such thing. Well, over the last fifty years, the US has invaded every country it could, has killed at least five million people, maintained military dictatorships in Central America, has troops in every country in Africa, and has well over 500 military bases all over the world. I'm pretty sure that's what the word "imperialist" means.

And you know what? Young North Koreans play with toy guns. Well, my lands! I never heard of such a thing. And when they're teens, the often learn to shoot real guns. Merciful heavens. (I learned to shoot a rifle at the age of 12 as a Boy Scout.) Americans would never tolerate such use of guns.

The concluding parapgraph hints that what those scheming North Koreans are trying to do is to get the US to negotiate a peace to the Korean War of sixty years ago. They want to negotiate peace. Have you ever heard of anything so evil? or crazy?
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A strong spot on the editorial page today is the cartoon.

The editorial sounds almost sensible. But it bases itself on the assumption that the US economy is on the verge of recovery. Unfortunately, it is equally possible that it is on the verge of total collapse.

Norbert rants and relies heavily on loaded language. (Our health minister is "blunt-spoken". Sure. And bullies are just blunt-spoken.) He uses quotation marks to imply ridicule. For example, he says the doctors claim the spending cap on health was "imposed unilaterally". Do you know what words mean Norbert? It was imposed, and imposed by one group - the government. Do you know the meaning of "uni", Norbert?

Then he plays with words to claim the the doctors claimed a power they don't have to "categorically reject" the government ruling. In fact, we all have the power to reject anything we don't like. We may not have the power to disallow it. But we can reject.

Please learn to speak English, Norbert.

Then he implies the head of the medical association speaks without the support of the doctors. Of course, he supplies not the slightest evidence it is true. That's because there is no such evidence.

He says doctors have been known to protect their own turf and earnings. Wow! Protect their own turf and earnings? How evil can they get? Boy, the Irvings would never do that..(And if they did, you can bet Norbert wouldn't even whimper).

Norbert should also note that Jeffrey Simpson's book on health care is not universally praised - to say the least. This column is simply an ignorant rant, lacking any adequate understanding even of the English language, and heavily-biased. Irving will love it because it supports his imposition of Six Sigma business methods on government which Norbert never even mentions.

Norbert says, kiss, kiss, Mr. Irving.

Alec Bruce makes a good point in condemning government by referendum. We elect government to lead, not to ask us what to do. I don't think he points the way to any answer - but he does, at least, try to make us focus on what the questions are.

Rod Allen offers us his usual shallow piece of pretentious, high-school wit. I can't guess how others will react and, though I was never a fan of Annette Funicello, I thought it pretty distasteful to write a "humorous" piece about her death.

Beth Lyons' column on the rights of women is a good one. But she's going to  have to write in a snappier style to reach the audience she wants. I don't mean her writing is bad. It's not bad at all. But it's written for a smaller audience than she surely wants to reach.

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