Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April 9: Lies and more lies....

     Yesterday, I opened with the report by Seymour Hersh, a superb journalist, that Obama had planned to go to war against Syria, a war set to begin on August 29.  Hersh showed the cause for war, the use of sarin gas by Syria, had been faked - and Obama knew it. It was the other side, the one supported by the US, that had used the gas.

      When the US military staff saw the Hersh report, it  revolted, pointing out that such an attack could lead to a disastrously wide war. So Obama backed off. To cover up, Obama had Kerry look like a peacemaker by carrying out talks with Syria to destroy the gas stocks it had never used in the first place.

      The story never appeared in the North American press. Then it appeared in the London Review of Books. And it still never appeared in the North American press.

Now, turn to page B5, "Missile strike not a game-changer, says Kerry"  Yesterday, it seems, Kerry told the Senate the war on Syria as called off because Obama decided to force negotiations on Syria which, it says, is considered the have one of the largest gas stockpiles in the world.

In other words, he lied. But the Associated Press didn't mention that in the story.

And, obviously, the news editors at Irving press didn't know any better, either. And, so far as I know, the true story is still blacked out in most if not all of the North American press.

These people are liars. And they're the only sources of information our democracies have. (I shall excuse the Irving press news editors of lying. They're just stunningly ignorant of the news.)


On page 1, we continue with the saga of how life-threatening the anti-shale gas protest was. There is still no mention of role played by newspapers, politicians, and business leaders who lied,
misrepresented, and withheld to create the fears and angers that led to the protest.

But newspapers, polticians and business leaders never have to lie for their contributions to creating violence and danger. They make sure that no law is ever passed to make it illegal for them to lie and misrepresent - and which make it certain that riot police can never be used against them for the violence they cause.

After that opening headline, section A walks off a cliff. For the fourth day in a row, we get a front page story about a bird being stolen. There's an even more exciting one about a dispute over a dog. Then there's a big story about consultants seeking advice on the future of the Coliseum. (I know. I know. Look at me, sir. I know. Let's make it a hockey rink That would save us over a hundred million plus on an events centre.)

A story on page 4 is less than reassuring. Just days ago, the city of Moncton was looking for advice on an emergency response plan. Yesterday, it approved one. That sounds like very fast work indeed. In fact, it sounds impossibly fast. That must be one vague and skimpy plan.

Now, here's where we need an investigative reporter who would look about such plans across Canada, who  would look for details about exactly what sort of disasters are covered (anything there on climate change?), who would check to see what resources we  have to meet the needs of such a plan.

But investigating is not a strong point of the Irving press.

Finally, for pothole fans, there's another big pothole story. And so it goes.

For the nth day running, "Newstoday" has a big story on the missing airliner to tell us, once again and at length, there is nothing to report.

Again, most of the world doesn't exist so far as "NewsToday" is concerned. The biggest and most important story is "Ukraine tries to quell uprisings".  Unfortunately, the whole story is told from the American government point of view, a point of view that is accepted uncritically.

We are told, for example, that Russian troops are "massed" (Ooh! ugly word. Our troops never 'mass'.)
along the border. Gee, mr. reporter, if you have rioting going on just over your border, where would you mass your troops? The North Pole?

Secretary of State Kerry is calling Russians names, and making threats. This is surely not the brightest thing to do in this situation. Nobody can afford a war over this. The two (or three or four or five) sides need to have realistic talks about a situation that is likely to get a lot more dangerous, especially as the austerity budget begins to bite into Ukraine.

But read this report. Kerry is blustering and accusing and threatening. Putin is, wisely, saying nothing - though some encouragement for discussion would be good to hear from him.

Obama is still invisible. Ever heard of a president who could be so quiet for so long in such a  series of crises?

Norbert has a talent for speaking confidently on topics he knows nothing about. I don't think he even understands the word 'corporization' as it is applied to universities. He certainly doesn't see, or pretends not to see, the extension of business power into the universities so they are less and less places of free exploration and research.

I will grant him that the universities also don't show much awareness of what it is they are supposed to be, and that too much of their effort is to satisfy self-aimed egos. The result is that the universities offer no clear direction - and Norbert offers a direction that would destroy  them.

Norbert is particularly annoying for tossing out strong-sounding statements that don't really mean a damn thing. Why, says, can't universities adapt to realities? Well, Norbert, exactly what are the realities? The reality you see is diminishing budgets. But the reality I see is more and more money going into the pockets of the rich, and more and more real power over education being handed over to the rich. And more opportunity for education going to the children of the rich.

Norbert - how can I put this? In the Germany of the 1930s, you would have been advising people to get  behind Hitler and adapt to realities.

Can't all the Irving press get together, and hire somebody who knows something about education?

Eric Lewis thrills us with a column about beer and where to get it.

Brian Cormier would like more people to be able to read. That's nice. But he has almost nothing useful to say about how that is to be done.
What wasn't in the news?
1. Just yesterday, the Irving press had the big report from the Canadian Council of CEOs on how corporations are being taxed to death in Canada. The language of the text is more than a little tortured - always a good sign that this is lying propaganda.  Common senses tells us that corporations making their biggest profits in history cannot possibly be suffering from heavy taxes.

A few papers have carried the story about how this report from the Canadian Council of CEOs is full of lies and misrepresentations. Indeed, it even counts taxes paid by employees as part of the tax load of the corporation, itself.

 Actually, it's even worse than that. It doesn't mention a word about the taxable money that gets safely removed (untaxed) into tax havens. It doesn't mention the goodies that corporations gets from our taxes.

But I notice no comment on all this in the Irving press.

2. Check google. In other words, google 'google'. The second entry is about George Bush's paintings of world leaders. It notes they bear a striking resemblance to photos of those people that appear in google. In other words, these paintings which are supposed to show George's insights into leaders he has met are almost certainly just copied from google,maybe even traced.  So maybe he did use crayons.

3. Russia is dropping payment for oil contracts with US dollars. It will use local currencies. This is a serious and dangerous hit for the American dollar and the American economy. And it makes any real progress on Ukraine even less likely.

4. And Archie is going to die. It will be in a coming edition of The Life of Archie. I'm not sure how I'll deal with this. It will be my first experience of a comic book hero dying.

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