Thursday, July 25, 2013

July 25: Another drab day for the Tand T...

In section A, the only interesting thing is a line at the top - above the paper's name. ""Up-to -the- minute breaking news every time." But once you've read that - and the title of the paper - and the words Thursday/7a.m.. you've pretty well had all the excitement you're going to get. So let's move on to NewsToday.

The Moncton Times and Tribne has noticed that there is violence in Iraq.as 17 were killed yesterday. In fact, 17 killed was a quiet day. Scores have run higher almost every day for over a year as rival sects fight it out for power in that ruined country. The kurdish parts of Iraq have effectively broken away. Well over a million Iraqis, most of them quite innocent of anything, have been killed by the US/British invasion, and now by each other. Hospitals, schools, whole cities are still in ruins. Little has been rebuilt. In fact, all these years after the fighting, there are still long, power blackouts every day.

And the people of Iraq live in poverty because their greatest resource, their oil, is no longer theirs. It now belongs to American oil companies, the only people who gained from that dreadful war. In fact, it was the oil companies that planned the war in the first place.

We now know (though news media rarely mention it) that Bush and Blair lied when they said Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. They deliberately lied. They deliberately slaughtered over a million people. They drove it into disorder and poverty - to steal the oil for private, American oil companies.

Saddam was an angel compare to Bush and Blair. He he did fight a brutal  war using, among other things, poison gas, against Iran. But he fought that war at the urging of the US and Britain - who supplied him with weapons. (That might explain why they tried and hanged him so quickly.It might also explain why Iran feels a certain hostility to the US and Britain.)

None of this ever appeared in the Irving press. But at least they do occasionally mention, very occasionally, that there is a certain amount of unrest in Iraq. People often blame religion for wars when they should be looking at quite murderous industrial enterprises - notably, in these day, those enterprises called the oil industry.
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P. C3 carries news of another travelling fleashow coming our way. TransCanada has announced it will hold meetings across NB for open discussion of a proposed pipeline acorss the province. In the oil industry tradition, this is, of course, a modern version of the the old, travelliing medicine man show. But it could be worse. Just imagine the form it would take if we were Iraqis.
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There's a brief story on p. C5. It's about the death of a five-year-old aboriginal girl. "Inquiry told girl's death due to 'colonialism'." This is one to think about because understanding it is central to understanding what we have done to our native peoples, and why they are protesting.

Either we understand what we did, or we fall into Harper's racist game of spreading hatred of native peoples.
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The editorial enters its second day of being both simple-minded and boring. It's an appeal for the "government to get out of the way", and let Atlantic Lottery Corporation run like a business. Essentially, this is the old bilge that government is bad, and private business is more effecient. That's just simple-minded and, in this case, extremely vague.

Business is efficient? Government is useless? I wonder whether the intellecutally differently advantaged person who wrote that editorial has ever heard of Lac-Megantic. Following business practice of cutting costs is exactly what casued that - with the help of a federal government that "got out of the way."

Those are what also caused the massive crash of American banking that opened this world economic crisis.

Grow up, Mr. Editorial writer. Stop vomiting this feeble-minded propaganda at us.

Norbert writes one of his clever, but quite irrelevant, little columns. He proves, convincingly, that a maple tree which fell recently is not the one that inspired our song "The Maple Leaf Forever". Brillianly done, Norbert. But so bloody what?
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Rod Allen writes about the coming performances of Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale" for this year's Theatre-in-the-Park in Moncton.
1. This is not an opinion piece. It is an announcement of a theatrical event. In a real newspaper, such an item does not appear on the op ed page. It appears in Entertainment. Op Ed is for opinion and analysis, not for theatre ads no matter how worthy they may be.
2. In any case, three quarters of this column has nothing to do with the performance. Mostly, and like all of Rod Allen's columns, this one is a pretentionsly written anecdote about the great Rod Allen.
Mr. Allen cannot let even William Shakespeare upstage him.
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well worth reading on the editorial and op ed? Alec Bruce's is well written. It may seem a little light for an opinion column - but I don't hink it is; not if you think about it.

Jody Dallaire's column is surely one of the best she has written - and they've all been good.
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The last letter to the editor is a short and simple one, thanking our native people and other shale gas protestors who have done a magnificent job of standing up to SWN. It's a short letter, and an effective one. We all owe our thanks.

And we should all rememeber that the TandT has deliberately ignored this major news story.
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A few days aglo, a reader sent me a web site with an important, if terrifying message. If tomorrow's TandT is as boring and pointless as today's, I might spend some time on the message. Meanwhile, to get the little grey cells working - consider this possibility.

Governments are fond of announcing the names of those countries most likely to start a nuclear war.
In North America, the top threats are commonly seen as North Korea and Iran. However, I would consider those two very unlikely to start a war. Kim may be a butbar. I'm sure he is. But he knows that any launch of a nuclear attack would mean the obliteration of him and his country in minutes.

Ditto for Iran. In fact, most reliable sources say Iran does not have a bomb. But even if it did, any attack would have the same response as one from North Korea. So- what countries are really most likely to start a nuclear war?

My guesses (with reason) are the US and Israel.
1. Those two have the least need to fear retaliation.
2. Both seem be be reaching for goals that cannot be reached with conventional forces.
3. Yes, it would be quite crazy for either of them to do any such thing. But both have built substantial arsenals and delivery systems. And both have always refused to cooperate in any attempt to reduce nuclear arms.

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