Wednesday, August 21, 2013

August 21: Exciting development for future of downtown...

....small house in downtown is moved to lot next door. "House move is seen as good for downtown." The word 'trivia' hardly seems adequate for this sort of mindless bilge.

And the police have seized evidence in the deaths of two boys in Campbellton. Have they seized evidence in the Megantic disaster that killed 47? Who knows?  Who cares?

But the Campbellton case was, at worst, an accident. The 47 killed in Megantic were quite likely more than that. They were quite likely victims of a risk taken quite deliberately to raise profits - and 47 people paid the price of that risk.. But ain't nobody in our news media going to ask that question.

Apart from several good letters, today's TandT is the usual bilge, trivia, half-truths and propaganda it always is. Let's talk about that. Let's talk about how most newspapers in Canada - and in the world - hide more news than they publish.

For example, I believe it was yesterday's editorial that babbled about how the capitalist system is based on competition which then produces the best goods at the cheapest price. Right. What you didn't get to read was how Barclay's bank and J.P. Morgan Chase have recently been find a total of a billion dollars for cheating customers by manipulating power charges. How's that for competition producing the best goods at the cheapest price?

Goldman Sachs is currently under investigation for manipulating aluminum prices.

Major banks in the US, Britain, and Europe have been caught laundering money for the criminal gangs that control Mexico's largest export - drugs. At most, they got slap on the wrist fines.

How many reports on that have you read in any newspaper - or heard on any private radio station?
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In Guatemala, the army supplied, trained and led byCIA officers, and supported by US special ops, murdered some 250,000 native peoples - men, women, children, elderly.They wiped out whole villages, then bulldozed the bodies into mass graves.

Priests who supported the Mayans were tortured and murdered. Nuns were raped, tortured and murdered. Why? The native Mayans objected to mining companies kicking them off their farms and out of their homes. They objected the these mining companies using thugs to beat them or kill them if they complained about the abuses and starvation wages they were paid. (Prominent among those mining companies were Canadian ones led by people whose names you might well recognize.) And when it got so bad the company thugs couldn't handle it, that is when the mass slaughter began. It was led for a time  by George Bush I in his days as head of the CIA. A real sweetheart.

In 1998, President Clinton publicly apologized for what had been done. It appeared in the New York Times. It appeared ONLY in the New York Times. No other paper mentioned it. One of the victims was a young Acadian, a lay missionary who now lies buried near Moncton. The Irving Press has never mentioned him. There wasn't even a twitch of Norbert's hideous moustache.
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There is probably no country in Latin American which the US has not invaded (many of them several times) so that North American billionaires can make huge profits out of their mineral and agricultural wealth. (Think of the Dole company which played a major role in the Guatemala horror.)

The US has, for 54 years, supported government forces against rebels in a civil war in Colombia which has lasted for 54 years, and killed at least 220,000 people -most of them, by far, civilians. Who is on the side of the US besides the Colombia government? There are two groups that stand out. The very big ranchers who want cheap labour, and the cocaine dealers. They're on our side. Read much about that in any newspaper?
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Just weeks ago, former president Jimmy Carter said that democracy in the US was dead. Okay. You don't like him. That's still a pretty startling statement to come from a former president. Did you read about it in the Irving press? Did Rod Allean write a column about it? (Well, in fairness, Rod Allen probably doesn't know who Jimmy Carter is.)

Carter made his statement because of the effective destruction of the fourth amendment to the US constitution. "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probably cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized."

The Fourth Amendment goes to the heart of the meaning of democracy. And Bush and Obama have utterly destroyed it. Any American can now be seized and imprisoned with no charge or trial - ever. Obama has publicly announced his right to order the assassination of Americans (and anybody else) with no due process at all. An army of government spies with the world biggest information storage freely examines private mail, phone calls, computer use, etc. of every American and most of the rest of us. So much for the constitution.

And if you   seriously believe that Harper is not doing at least some of this to us, you are in la-la land. Environment movements, for example, are routinely spied on by the RCMP as "terrorists". and reports on them are delivered twice a  year to representatives of the very, very rich. The RCMP has also spied for decades on amybody that the very rich don't like. A prime example was Tommy Douglas, the Baptist clergyman who introduced medicare. (Dangerous radicalism, that. Probably took orders from Stalin.)

Ever read anythinig about any of the above in the Irving press or any other paper?)
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Lots about Iran in the news. But never any mention of why Iran seems to dislike the West.  Well...

Britain got control of Iran in World War I. It promptly gave monopolgy control over Iranian oilfields to British capitalists. (You know. The sort of people who create wealth and who compete to bring us the best at the cheapest price.) They also forced Iran to supply the Royal Navy with fuel oil - free - in a deal that outlasted World War II. Ever wonder what it cost to tank up a 40,000 ton battleship?

The oil capitalists looted Iran pretty thoroughly, giving back virtually nothing. But after 1945, the dying British Empire had to accept a demand from Iran for democracy. And so Iran elected a man named Mossadegh whose first move was to take over control of the oil fields for Iranians. Britain was too weak to respond. So if made a deal with the US to use the CIA to help overthrow Mossadegh, and to establish a dictator in the person of the Shah. In return, the US would get a cut of the Iranian oil fields.

There followed 25 years of extraordinarily brutal rule with big money for every body except the people of Iran. That's why Iran turned ultra Moslem and anti-American.

I mention this because on Monday, the CIA was forced through the freedom of information act to open its files on this affair; and for the first time it admitted what it had done. That information was released on Monday, August 19, 1013. Today is Wednesday, August 21, 1913. Noticed any big story on it in the Irving press? Or any other paper?
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Virtually all of the North American (and world) press hides information. The little it prints is heavily shaped by a bias that comes close to lying. The only real distinction of the Irving press is that it appears to be more brainless than any other in Canada. Often, they don't have to hide news because none of their editors know it's there in the first place.
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Let's hope that tomorrow this wretched paper will have something worth talking about in it.
If not, there are a couple of things they haven't covered that are worth taking a look at.
One is an article in Yale Journal of International Affairs on US plans for a nuclear attack on China. (yes, it's quite likely).

The other looks at the question of why the US is supporting a Syrian "rebellion" which is dominated by groups that the US itself has branded as terrorist. And the question of why the whole middle east and much of Africa is in chaos.

The chaos might be a deliberate policy - a result of the fact that for the last seventy years the US military has shown itself to be incapable even against very small and poor countries. (A rare exception was Grenada with its tiny army of some hundreds of reservists with virtually no equipment and no air force. They US was victorious, with a huge aircraft carrier and some ten thousand troops. With that triumph of the world's leading power over a tiny, tourist island, Ronald Reagan made his fatuous statement, "America walks tall again". And Clint Eastwood starred in an even more fatuous movie about it.
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The general rule is that news is never to be trusted. Journalists have always been biased. Journalists have always hidden information. And that has always been true of even the best news services like BBC, CBC, New York Times, The Guardian... But even on their really, really, bad days the best services tower over all the rest. And all the rest, even on their relatively bad days, tower over the Irving press.

Tell us more, Mr. Editor, about how capitalism exists to compete and how, in doing so, it gives us the best product at the cheapest price. Use the Irving press as your example.


 

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