Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Jan. 21: Stephen Harper: national embarrassment....and fool..

The only news story in Section A is that four people were wounded in a knife attack at Fredricton. The other, big story isn't a story at all. It's simply a (long )announcement that a report on rail service will soon be coming out. (Hint to news editor. When the report comes out, that's a story. When we are simply told it's going to come out, that's a one-liner.)

On C3, there's a big story that a Calgary airline is expanding its routes. It will have no effect whatever on New Brunswick. Next, no doubt, a big story on Walmart renovating its store in some town in Kentucky.
Harper has addressed the Israeli legislature in a speech that is lying, provocative, hypocritical, dismissive of Canadian freedoms, extremely damaging to Obama's attempts to head off a war that would kill hundreds of thousands and perhaps go our of control to murder millions, hate-mongering. This was the worst, most embarrassing and most dangerous speech ever for a Canadian prime minister.

Anyone who crticizes Israel, he said, is an anti-semite. As a minor point, Harper obviously does not know what a semite is. As a more important one, it means that we are not free to criticize Israel. What next? If we criticize Russia, are we anti-Russian? If we criticize the government of New Brunswick, are we anti-Brunswick? Is the government of Israel always right? Are those Israelis who voted against it anti-semites? Are those Canadian and American Jews who criticize the Israeli government anti-semites?

Then he said that Canada would always stand fully with Israel, no matter what.


That surely repeats an old vow of his - that Canada would support Israel in a war no matter who started it. That means he promises to declare war on any Israeli enemy whether Israel is right or wrong.

Think back to Nov. 11. That was the day we remembered those who died in war to defend our freedoms. One of those freedoms was that Canada could go to war only with the consent of their elected representatives in parliament. That, was are told, is what they died for.

Mr. Harper just gave away that right. By a promise in advance to go to war, he has given himself the right to declare war - and we are started down the road the US has chosen.

The last time the US declared war through congress was 1941. Since then, it has fought nobody knows how many wars, all without congressional authorization. So far as war is concerned, the US president has become a dictator.

How many wars have been fought by the US since 1941? Nobody knows. Reliable sources put the number over a hundred undeclared wars being fought just at this moment. These are the secret wars fought by special ops killers and drones. Then there have been the big ones. Even congress has not known about most of them, let alone approved them.  And that is one hell of a dangerous situation for a democracy.

And now Harper has put us in that same situation.

He also blamed Palestine for ruining all the peace initiatives. What an incredible statement! Even as he spoke, peace talks with Palestine were on - and Israel chose that very time to annex more Palistinian land, kicking Palestinians off their own property and out of their homes.

In fact, though, I have never met anyone who blames just Israel for the mess that is the middle east. After all, there's a lot of blame to go to Britain, France, the US who have been killing and pillaging in that region for over a century. They are the ones whose behaviour gave rise to the first, modern terrorist groups in the region who were, incidentally, European Jews. (check The Stern Gang, for example, in Google.)

His audience went wild over Harper's suggestions that only Canada is Israel's true friend, only Canada has helped it. This is wild.

Harper is being used - and even he must be intelligent enough to realize it. Canada has done close to nothing for Israel.   Israel owes almost everything, even its very existence, to American dollars and American diplomatic support. Now, our wildly irresponsible prime minister is allowing himself to be used by Netanyahu to humiliate the American president, and destroy his attempts to head off a war that will be dreadful at best, perhaps the most dreadful we  have ever seen, and certainly the most unjustifiable war.

And he wants Israel to be a Jewish state? Well, 20% of its population is not Jewish. And most of the non-Jewish are heavily discriminated against - including beatings, killings, and being kicked out of their homes. Besides, if Israel is to be a Jewish state, how is that different from Moslems we call extreme jihadists because they want their countries to be Moslem states?

Harper has become an embarrassing ass - and a dangerous one.
The editorial is called "teaching to think". But it doesn't say much about that.

What it does is to praise the minister of education's plans to "retool" the education system. The problem with that is that yesterday's news story about it didn't show that she had any plans.

Then there is a line about teaching students to think critically - which is one thing the schools just cannot do. It's not the schools' fault. It students were taught to think critically, parents, government and big business would be down on the schools like boulders.

That's why every school history book - or current events text - is packed with lies and bias. The reality is that most of us don't want children to learn how to think critically. No. We want them to think like us. Which means not thinking at all.

Oh, and they absolutely must teach everybody entrepreneurship every year from K to 12. Our prosperity depends on having lots and lots of entrepreneurs. Right.

New Brunswick will rise to prosperity with an economy based on coffee shops, pizza joints, donut shops, and populated entirely by people who take in each other's washing for a living.

This is one, stunningly ignorant editorial.
I missed whatever point Alec Bruce's column might have had. I think it had a point. I think it was a very silly one. But I don't want to blame him until I'm sure.

Then we have Norbert on the university situation. I'm sure university teachers will rejoice to read that their average salary is well over 100 thousand a year. (But it isn't.)

And would Norbert have the courage to cite and criticize the average salaries in executive circles at Irving industries? Or the average taxes paid by big business?

And many professors are political ideologues? Well, yeah. So are many newspaper editors and columnists.

And they complain about shale gas but they don't have an alternative? Well, the first thing you have to do is to get a pretty dozey population to realize there is a problem, and to convince a lying press owned by callous billionaires that there is a need to find a solution.

You start by recognizing a problem. That's the essential first step. Then you get the whole society to work on a solution.

Norbert knows nothing about education in general, less about universities. How little he knows is reflected by his closing admiration for Donald Savoie who has all the answers to these problems, one of the few professors our governments and big business feel safe in consulting. And that tells you worlds.

Allan Cochrane is worth reading on the worrisome issue of our obsession with hi-tech toys. (I'm a victim, myself).

Gwynne Dyer has a solid column on Syria.

Oh, and Sean Penn has a girlfriend.Read all about it on D1.

1 comment:

  1. "they complain about shale gas but they don't have an alternative?"

    I *think* (at least) we both know why the selling of OUR natural resources at "fire sale" prices requires "an alternative"...... the problem being that the general population in this province is finally waking up that we don't have to give our stuff away... though if the sales job (snow job?) had been any slicker it likely would be happening without a peep.