Monday, April 7, 2014

April 7: Of Malaysian flights.....

NewsToday has yet another nothing story on the disappearance of a Malaysian airliner. That's a major story  for the day in national and international affairs. Among the others - a teenage boy fell off a horse and was killed in rodeo training, the Quebec election is today, somebody won the East Cost Music Awards. amd fifteen reasons to visit Grande-Digue. And that was all that happened in the world over the weekend.

Okay, if they're going to keep hammering us with the airliner story, let's do some thinking about what they're not telling us.    (which is most of the story.)

I don't mean we should engage in wild speculation. I mean there are obvious questions we should be asking ourselves. There are obvious questions the press should be pointing out. That won't tell us who did this. But they might give us some reminders of how this world works.

For example, nobody has taken "credit" for this act. Isn't that strange? When one thinks of such events, one thinks of terrorists. But terrorists want us to know what they've done. They don't want it kept a secret. Such an act is a battle won for terrorists; and they want the world to know it.

But nobody has claimed this act. That's almost unheard of. And it suggests this is not a terrorist act.

Then there's the pilot and co-pilot. There is nothing to suggest they had anything to do with this. There is nothing to suggest anyone took over the plane. And, if anyone did, there is no sense whatever to taking the plane so far  off course before crashing it - unless the purpose was to forever hide it. But why do that?

There is a great deal of confusion in the reports from senior officials of the nations involved in the search. It could be real. Or it could be there are important people who want there to be lots of confusion.

Then there's the story that the relatives of Chinese passengers are furious at the lack of information.


I've often heard of families being sorrowful on such an occasion. But angry? That's less common, and usually limited to a few.

The indications are that this was not done by some rebel or terrorist group, but by an agency of some nation. And it was aimed, perhaps as a warning, to the government of China or of Malaysia.

How was it done? I read one account suggesting that experts can use computers to take control of an airplane (or even a car). That may explain why the pilot and co-pilot didn't contact home base when the plane turned off course.

And the official discounting of discoveries? The frequent dispersion of search forces to various regions? That could well be part of an effort to make sure the airliner is never found.

This is not like previous attacks on airliners. The great mystery here may be not be where the airliner is, but why the characteristics of this attack are so different from earlier ones.

That's all that's worth discussing in a world news section that is often trivial, and has only one, world news story.
For humour, check out Your Investments page for "Canada's big firms pay big taxes". And, gee whiz, we know that's true because it comes from the Canadian Council of Chief  Executives. I mean, it says they pay over 33% on their profits.

Gosh, that's even more than the official rate of 25%. We are stealing from those helpless corporations. So that means there really is no wage gap, the rich are not making their biggest profits in history - and we need to tax the unemployed more.

I'll bet those CEOs must have really, really long noses.
Section A is the usual trivia - except for two stories.

Page 3 features pictures of the Daffodill Ball, an evening of supper, dancing, music etc. that raised $100,000 to fight cancer. I have mixed feelings about this sort of thing, feelings that go back to my radio days in Montreal.

We often had interviews with the wife of a former prime minister. She just loved shopping for new dresses at the most expensive places; and she loved showing off her good taste in clothes - and her jewelry -and she moved in a circle of people just like her.

And, oh, she was always having exquisitely expensive dinners to help the poor. Yes, a real saint she is, and she just loved being a saint in expensive dresses and jewelry.

Look. A daffodil ball with a very expensive meals and wine, and women showing off their latest clothes and jewelry and husbands is surely one hell of an expensive way to raise money to fight cancer.

If they were taxed properly, it would be a far, far cheaper way to fund cancer research. And if they liked, they could wear fancy dresses and jewelry and smile for the cameras on tax collection day.

And I find it distasteful that in a modern society we leave this important funding to be done by social butterflies.

I've always wanted to say that. They wouldn't let me on radio. But now I've said it.

Page A7 has a good story about the takeover of universities by big business. But a university is not a business, and it's purpose is not to make a profit. As well, it is not simply a training ground for future corporate hacks, or a service centre to do only the sort of research that will make money for somebody already rich.

But that's what it has become. And university presidents have simply become tools for big business.

Mind you, there are serious problems with the way universities have failed to keep up to date  (or even up to the 12th century) in developing education methods. But big business is scarcely a good place to look for an answer to that.

The revolt against big business control of our universities has been slow in coming. But it's nice to see it starting.
The editorial is the usual,  heavily-biased stuff about shale gas. As usual, it's self-righteous. Enjoy.

Norbert Cunningham has a column about foreign affairs. I can readily agree with his general feelings- but he doesn't seen to know how foreign affairs work and so he draws simplistic conclusions about them.

Despite what Norbert seems to think, there are reasons for wars. There was, for example, a reason for Iraq - to steal Iraq's oil.

Not understanding that sort of thing, Norbert comes to simplistic conclusions. Of Israel and Palestine he says, "a pox on both their houses." Come now, Norbert, Israel and Palestine are not simply squabbling over nothing. For a start, Israel has been stealing Palestinian land for years, controls everything going in and out of Palestine, refuses to allow Palestine to be a nation, and has wrecked every negotiation ever attempted.

In general, Norbert is right. War is a crime. But there are people who want wars, who make money out of them, and to ignore them is to miss the whole issue.

Craig Babstock looks at court and Oct. 17 of the shale gas protest. Protesters bad, says Craig Babstock. They were protesting near where millions of dollars of shale gas equipment was stored. Oh, that was bad. He concludes that all must keep level heads. (He assumes that sending in armed police was a level-headed thing to do. He assumes that drilling for shale gas is a level-headed thing to do. He assumes that Oct. 17 had only one significance. And he's wrong on all points.)

The protest was not simply caused by protesters looking for some place to create a riot.

It was caused by years of lying, withholding of information, and propaganda by the newspaper chain Babcock works for. It was caused by Babcock.

It was caused by a lying government which ignored the advice of its chief public health officer, and which hired a phoney professor to cover it.

It was caused by a shale gas industry that ignores all public wishes - and that buys politicians.

The great difference between the two sides is that one had the power to call in police. They other didn't.

More than that, Oct. 17 was shaped by a conquest, by hundreds of years of abuse of native peoples, by ignoring their right to the land we assigned to them. A conquest, especially when affected by enormous differences in social structures, religion, economies is a devastating experience that we never have learned to deal with - and haven't tried.

To boil Oct. 17 down to one day in which big business, accompanied by government it controlled and owned called in the force only it had the money to muster is ---well---the word that occurs to me is simple-minded.

Oct. 17 was caused by the Irving press, bought government. by the greed of corporations and the willingness to risk lives, and by the centuries of abuse we have inflicted on a people.

State your case if you like, Craig, but I could live without the self-righteous and juvenile preaching.



  1. China Is Reaping Biggest Benefits of Iraq Oil Boom

  2. What a mindless pile of crap from a demented kook.

    What's the East Cost? Why all the white space at the end? Why no proof? Where are your links?

    I call bullshit on this crap.

  3. This is an opinion column, not a research paper. If you read newspapers, you will note that they rarely include links for their opinions Ditto for proof. I would end up with a column that was half footnotes - and it would be take me hours to get it done.
    Thanks for your courageous and outspoken views, anonymous.