Friday, March 14, 2014

March 14: Yet ANOTHER front page headline on Irving goodness

We're still still dealing with Alward's massive (and foolish) gift of our forests to Mr. Irving. Front page. Banner headline. Again.

The key sentence (and perhaps a trifle too obvious to be sophisticated boot-licking) is in the final paragraph of p. 1.  The key sentence ("using only private money") appears in the final paragraph at the top of p. 1. It makes for an awkward sentence - but that's because writing propaganda is a very skilled trade, and the reporter doesn't have it down yet.

(And, wow, just imagine. A private company is using its own money. Whoever heard of such a thing? God bless their little hearts.)

In fact, it is NOT using its own money. What's making all this possible is us giving them our forest. And we also pick up the tab for all the damage that will cause.

This is a sample of New Brunswick's backward way of handling finances. The province is obsessed with raising money, so obsessed it never decides first what it is we need it for.

The first responsibility of a society is to make sure all of its citizens have adequate food, living accomodation, adequate health care, education.....  Then you decide how much money you need. But New Brunswick governments and its press never think that way.

Their first impulse is to look for money. The result is that when they find it, basic needs are ignored, and the money ends up pretty largely in the pockets of the rich. ( The 'events' centre  is a gem of this style of thinking.)

And the basic needs? Those are left up to volunteer charities which, no matter how hard they work, can never catch up. And then we get pictures in the TandT of happy volunteers handing out two-metre long cheques. That helps us to kid ourselves that we really give a damn about food, living accomodation, adequate health care,, education, etc......

Tell you what, Mr. Alward, the next time your corporate  bosses come around to tell you to give them a stack of money, tell them to have a fudge sale - or a pancake breakfast at the Irving Chapel.

Apart for that, the only big story in Section A is that some fast food outlet in Moncton might expand.
Hold me back.

In NewsToday, p. 1, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced that Canada will donate $220 million to help Ukraine.  I have no objection to helping Ukraine which is virtually a bankrupt country. But the reality is that Ukrainians are not going to get even a sniff of that money.

One of the main causes of all this foofaraw is that as Ukraine was going broke, it was obvious that western banks would never be able get repaid the money it borrowed from them. That's one reason why the American government spent $5 billion to get a mob into the streets for a government coup. That's one reason why the new (and illegal) president is a banker. They want power so they can drive people into poverty to make sure the bankers get paid.

And, yes, staging a coup, and then filling the government with people who were never elected, is illegal. It is even, as Mr. Harper is sometimes fond of saying  (in a different context) , even flagrantly illegal.

Harper and Baird have also said it is illegal (flagrantly illegal) under the UN charter for any part of a nation to vote to separate. The reference here is to Crimea.

It was a little unsettling to realize that two men who might have to deal with a separation movement in Canada don't know that the UN charter says it IS legal for part of a nation to vote to separate. Where did we get thee two twits?

They also recognize as democratic a government which was formed by a coup that kicked out the democratically elected leaders, and appointed the leaders from a mob in the streets. And they refuse to recognize the leaders of Crimea who were elected in a democratic process.

They can't be that dumb. They have to be liars.
Meanwhile, one-third of the Syrian population is on the run, in constant danger, without housing or food or medical care. It is one of the greatest humanitarian crises in history. Too bad Harper gave that spare $220 million to European bankers.

Syrians are dying in hunger and filth and ruins because the US, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel want it destroyed - the whole nation - destroyed to help along the ambitions of the US, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Israel. These countries are training, equipping and paying the thugs that we turned loose in Syria.

But at least, as I read on our faith page, we can let the light of Jesus shine in our hearts.

The great mystery in all this is the silence of Obama. We're heard more from Putin, and even from a dolt like Baird, than we  have from the "leader of the free world."

The problem, I think, is that Obama is no longer leading. He has become the weakest president in many a year - and it's not entirely his fault.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, the US seemed to have triumphed over every power in the world. It was nwt a world in which the US was the only country capable of projecting power. It was this opportunity that gave birth to the Project for the New American Century, the greatest empire ever, the empire that would rule the world forever.

The idea was always a cold, anti-democratic, greedy, and vicious one. But for a few years, it looked possible. Then came the spectacular rises of China, India, Argentina... And then came the wars of arrogance gone mad - the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan, particularly - the wars which cost the US some three trillion dollars,the biggest debt in history, and which produced no benefits whatever - but which drove the already phenomenal corruption of the American government through the roof.

Then there was free trade which destroyed the American domestic economy. And then there was the recession, triggered by the criminal greed of American banking houses.

Obama is standing in the middle of the ruin of an empire. He has no power left at all, no influence, not even within his own party. That's why he's keeping his head down.

But, for reasons I do not understand, he put people of the NEW AMERICAN CENTURY into key government roles. Their very extreme and even fanatical views are the opposites, I should think, of his own. But they have the power. The woman who gave Ukraine 5 billion dollars to stage a coup against the government is one of them. And there are lots of others.

I'm quite sure Obama doesn't want a war. I'm quite sure the American people don't want a war. They never wanted one in the first place - and they certainly don't want one that could go nuclear.

But the NEW AMERICAN CENTURY are the ones who have been making inflammatory statements. (well, with echoes bouncing off the stone heads of Harper and Baird.) One of their generals announced that the US army is prepared to intervene. What the hell is a general doing, making such a statement? Another genius sent an American missile-armed warship into waters off the Russian naval base in Crimea. That was not only provocative, but couldn't possibly achieve anything useful.

It is quite possible that there are elements in the US government that want a war -and a nuclear one.
Alec Bruce has the most thought-provoking column on Quebec separatism I have ever seen and, oh, I've seen a lot of them.

Norbert writes a column very, very doubtful about missions to Mars, and sending people to live there. Again, it's clear, simple, and makes eminent good sense.

There are three outstanding letters to the editor - and one that is cute and well-written. but nothing more than that.

The three good ones - "All gas investment should be domestic". "Editorial blasted for gas stance", Gas editorial deemed 'absolutely false'". The  cutesie one is the last one. But, alas, it's no more than cutesie.

I missed a story in yesterday's paper about a gun store owner who is furious the the RCMP is confiscating two rifles that have big and expensive sales - the Swiss Glassic Greenn and the CZ858.

I used to be a big, gun fan. I had a Webley .455 revolver that would blow a hole in a man's chest big enough to serve as a napkin ring. I had rifles. I had pistols. It took me years to decide
 this was both silly and dangerous - so I turned them in.

The Swiss and the CZ are both military rifles, designed to pump out lots of shots, and to do most damage at short range because few soldiers like the deliberate quality of accurate shooting at long range (or even at short range.) That's one reason why it has commonly cost armies thousands of shots for each enemy killed.

These also useless in bush because their small, light bullet can get knocked off target by even a twig.

More disturbing were the ads for the guns.They were designed to appeal to those with military phantasies, with the guns held by macho men in camouflage and netting. The guns, too, are elaborately camouflaged.

The store owner claimed his guns could not easily be altered for full automatic (machine-gun) fire. Okay.  But the CZ has what looks like a 20 round magazine that could be emptied in seconds, with another loaded magazine promptly slapped in. The Classic Green had a smaller magazine - but you can always buy more of those.

In any case, it is possible to convert to full automatic with the help of a skilled gunsmith. And you can always hire one of those.

The gun store owner said that guns are bought by people who love target shooting and sport. Well, do them a favour, and don't sell them a gun that is useless for both purposes.

The store owner also said that for the RCMP to confiscate guns is "communist". I can only suggest he look up communist in a dictionary.

In the US, he'd say people need guns to defend the constitution. Funny thing, though. In the last fifty years the US constitution has been ripped into shreds and stomped on. A US president can and does put people in jail without charge or trial. He can order torture. And he does. He can go to war without declaring war - and has done so many, many times. (The constitution says he needs the formal approval of Congress.) He can order people to be assassinated. And he does it every day.

Funny thing, though. I  haven't heard a peep from all those patriots in the National Rifle Association - or a single shot fired in defence of the constitution.

I'm on the side of the RCMP on this one.

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