Saturday, March 1, 2014


I can see it now, the publishers of the New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, China Daily storming into their offices, faces red with rage.

"Who let the Times & Transcript get an exclusive on that tiger story?"

Editors quake, and ask, "What's a Times & Transcript.?"

A TandT exclusive? Well, yeah. Who else would want it?

Still, there's a good picture of a tiger on page 1, and then a whole page of pictures on A6 that add nothing whatever.

Then there's the story of how bars are installing illegal video lottery terminals. "It's our only option", says one.

Right. They are forced to break the law. Unfortunately, the police are all busy arresting shale gas protesters for doing really vicious things like arguing with reporters. And that reminds me...

When will our usually zealous governments and police forces finally get around to telling us something about how 47 people got killed in Lac Megantic? And what did they learn at the search of the Irving offices?  I mean, now that they have arrested most of the Native population of New Brunswick for doing terrible things like kneeling on the road. when will they have time to look at 47 deaths?

A6 has a hot story about  how Assumption Life had a good year in 2013. Actually, it's a pretty blatant, free ad. It was written, of course, by Brent Mazerolle.

And that pretty well skims the cream for section A. I''ll hold NewsToday for the end.

The editorial writer is mad that city council has concerts set as priority no.11. Unfortunately,  he doesn't share with us his list of priorities. But that's okay. From this editorial, there is no reason to assume he or she has any intelligent priorities.

We will make, he or she says, a quarter of a billion dollars nest year out of soccer at the stade. Gee. I wish I could see into the future like that. And I really wonder what a quarter of a billion dollars means.

You see, we've heard this before. Huge sums have been put into our economy. But, in fact, they haven't. They've gone into very big pockets - and people with really big pockets don't do a whole lot of their spending in Moncton. It's like the hockey rink (events centre). Yes, lots of money will get spent. But we won't see a whole lot of it.

And, by the way, its not just the editorial writer's despised potholes that need money.    Has the writer ever bothered to look at the conditions tens of thousands have to live in?

Some people will find Norbert's column terribly, terribly witty. So I shall not disturb what must be one of their few pleaaures in life.

Bill Beliveau, like everyone at the TandT, talks about cures for the deficit without ever daring to look at the cause of it. Hint, Bill, the deficit was not caused by average people or even poor ones. Punishing them for what they didn't do is not only unfair, it was proven unworkable a long, long time ago.

Yes, I'm sure your owner thinks we should all be made poorer, and made to suffer for the recession. It takes the attention away from  him. But it's bad economics.

Brent Mazerolle still doesn't know what an opinion column is. Actually, he has written quite a few real opinion columns. But he calls them news stories. And, when he writes what is supposed to be an opinion column, he writes a cutesie but pointless little story about himself.

The US (Kerry) has deliberately wrecked the Syrian peace talks. Now, Obama will cry crocodile tears for the deaths of innocent people in the war he started, people killed by Islamic supremacists that he, Obama, helped to recruit and arm and train.

Watch for the next move. We''ll now be hearing how the US must intervene in the war "for humanitarian reasons". Right. Getting killed by American bombs doesn't hurt.

The objective is still what it always was - the destruction of Syria as a country.

The story  at the top of D1 is remarkable mainly for the hypocrisy of Obama.
"Any violation of Ukraine's sovereignty would be deeply destabilizing."

How true. But he doesn't mention that the person who violated Ukraine's sovereignty in the first place was him when he set the war rolling with five billion dollars for "rebels" we still know nothing about.

Indeed, the US has been, by far, the world's leading violator of national soveriegnty No-one knows the total of nations violated by the US in the last 60 years - but 100 would be a very conservative estimate.

Then he suggested that the Russian Olympics has been condemned by nations around the world. Oh?
Really?  Presumably, the reference was to Putin's treatment of gays. But the reality, sad as it is, is that most of the world did not condemn it - though Obama certainly tried to inspire condemnation.

In fact, Obama might well look at his own homeland where the very large, religious right is determined to persecute gays. At this moment, dozens of bills are being debated in state legislatures to allow retailers and service providers to refuse to deal with gays.

I have no idea how Ukraine will turn out. Much of that depends on which side is even stupider than the other. Americans have been trained over the years to believe that the US kills people only for their own good - and that others like Moslems, Chinese, Communists, Cubans are evil. Indeed, the concept of American goodness and foreign evil has become something close to a racist concept. (I'll return to that at the end.) The British  have suffered the same disease for most of modern history.

What we're watching is the ugliness of the collapse of an extraordinarily cruel several centuries in which the western world murdered, enslaved, debased, tortured, impoverished people all over the world. There was nothing admirable about the British Empire or any of the others. There is nothing admirable about the American empire.

We used to be taught to hate Russians because they were communists. We can't do that any more because Russia is a capitalist state, very similar to the US and Canada. In fact, it is even more similar than we might think it is. Like ours, the capitalism of Russia is corrupt and corrupting and exploitive.

Put in is certainly a cold and brutal bastard. So is Obama. So is Harper.

Russian democracy is largely a front hiding the reality of domestic spying and intrusion. So is ours.

Of course, we will always see the Russian variety of these evils, but we rarely see our own. Perhaps that's a hangover from the racist view we've been trained to  have of the world.

We bitterly opposed  Russia and China because they were communist - and that was evil. . Now, they are just like us - maybe even more so. But our news media still teach us to hate.

As I write this, I think of George Orwell's Animal Farm. For those who haven't read it, it's a novel of how the animals on a farm banded together under the leadership of the pigs to overthrow the farmer who treated them badly. They formed a communist state, run by the pigs. And it was bad. The farmer was gone. But now it was the pigs who abused the animals.

The pigs, meanwhile, used the positions to act like the people they had defeated. They learned to walk upright, to wear suits, to talk.

In the final chapter, pigs and people have a conference to work together on exploiting the animals.

The animals, in terror, creep up to the window of the farm house for the greatest shock of all.

They couldn't tell which were pigs, and which were people.

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