Saturday, May 24, 2014

May 24: IRock closes.

That's big news for the Irving press. Front page news. It seems nightclub attendance has been dropping in Moncton, so a number of clubs have closed. Let's see now. Nightclubs are closing because people aren't interested in them as they used to be. But if people aren't interested as they used to be in nightclubs, who wants to read a front page story about it - especially one that says almost nothing?

Why don't people go to clubs as much? Does this signal some kind of a change in society? What does it mean? Really, you don't have a story if you have nothing to say. And you certainly don't have a front page story.

The only interesting story in Section A is on A7, "Postal workers want answers from MP'. It seems that Moncton area postal workers collected thousands of petitions signed by people in Moncton to be tabled in the House of Commons. The MP they gave it to was Robert Goguen. Big mistake.

Collecting such petitions for delivery to parliament is not an unusual practice. After all, citizens surely have a right to present their views to their elected members. Certainly, when Harper has something to present to the people, MPs like Goguen run their  little tootsies off to get the information out. But, no, not the other way around.

Mr. Goguen is probably the least newsworthy politician I have ever seen. As a politician, he seems to be strictly an errand boy. So it's nice to see him in the news for something.The one is probably the high point of his political career.
NewsToday begins with "Pipelines could mean lower gas prices: expert".

First, why call him an 'expert'? In fact, he's an economist for the Bank of Montreal. He has a job as an economist. I was once employed by Bell as the person who took stacks of phone bills to be mailed, put them in a machine that shoved them into envelopes and sealed them. then  dumped them into mail bags.  But nobody ever labelled me an expert on taking stacks of phone bills to be mailed, put into a machine that shoved them into envelopes and sealed them, then  dumped them into mail bags.

So he's an economist. Canada has tens of thousands of economists of varying quality. Who decided this one was an expert? Well, we know - it was the editor who almost certainly has no qualifications to make such a judgement. But why bother to make such a judgement?

Because this is a propaganda story. It's as always, pushing for whatever the oil industry wants. And right now, it wants a pipeline to the east coast.

Note, too, the use of the word COULD. It could mean lower gas prices. Could is not a confident word. It could mean lower gas prices. Or it might not. And by the time we find out, our money will be long gone in profits for the pipeline builders.

There's another "nothing" story on Ukraine. "Putin vows to respect results of election." As always, the latter half of the story is full of hints and suggestions that Russia caused this whole crisis. No evidence is presented. There is far more evidence the US caused it all. But that is never even mentioned.

And the US continues, as it  has for years, to penalize Iran for working to build a nuclear bomb - with Israel claiming, as it has for years, that Iran could launch a bomb at any time - and so Israel has been putting pressure on the US to attack Iran - or to support an Israeli attack.

For many years now, this farce has been going on with the US threatening war, imposing sanctions, and making ever wilder charges. For the same years, UN inspectors have said that Iran is not working on a bomb. On a few occasions, even American intelligence has admitted that.

On D5, the UN nuclear agency has announced that there ain't no bomb, and there isn't nearly enough material to make even one.

But it won't matter. American and British oil companies want Iran - the way it was in the good old days, the days when Iran was required to fuel the whole British navy without charge, the days when an elected Iranian government tried to break free of that, only to be crushed by the American and British who imposed a dictator on it. So the Iranians kicked out the dictators, insisted on running their own country - and earned the ever lasting hatred of  American governments.

And why does Israel want a war? Simply because it intends to be the dominant power in the region. That's part of the reason why Syrians are being slaughtered right now.

Bill Beliveau has a column on New Brunswick's financial crisis. It is based entirely on the  report by Atlantic Institute of Market Studies.  Nowhere does he mention that AIMS is a big business propaganda outfit. Then he tell us us about the "eminent" nature of the study group -a vice-president of J.D. Irving Ltd., a McCain who is president of an agribusiness outfit, other worthies from big business - and their usual toadies from the academic world.

And you know what?  They don't blame big business at all for this crisis. Wow! Talk about impartial.

And their cures are designed to make you pay for the price of their greed. And it's all based on economic theory that should have died a natural death over eighty years ago.

Bill, you have not the faintest knowledge of economics. But you should at least have the common sense to know what AIMS is and who it really represents.

And if you do know that - and you write a column on an AIMS report without once telling us what AIMS really is, then you are dishonest.

Norbert does exactly the same thing.

Both columnists are either amazingly naive, or they are doing the dirty work of the very wealthy of this province by pushing an economic cure that will benefit the rich while making everyone else suffer.

And I don't think anyone can be that naive. This is just contemptible journalism.
Brent Mazerolle has a column defending Prince Charles for his remark that Putin was just like Hitler. "Right on', says our Brent. Of course. He and Charles have similar IQs.

Brent - you have no idea what you are talking about. Your knowledge of history is partieularly appalling.
1. Stalin was never on our side in the first place in WW2? No. Neither were we on his side. Nations don't usually go to war because they're on somebody's side. They do it for their own interest. That's why it took the US so long to decide it was on our side.
For example, the US bombed a Free French destroyer, killing many of the crew, when it tried to "liberate" a French colony. That's because the US wanted it for itself. For the same reason, they ordered the British not to liberate Hong Kong. However, they backed off when the British went in anyway because, unlike the French, the British had a substantial fleet in the Pacific..

For another example, the US bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki not to end the war. They did it as a display to warn their Russian allies of the new weapon they had.

2. Jews in Russia and Ukraine were worried about Hitler? Hell, Russia and Ukraine were world leaders in anti-semitism long before Hitler was born. Ukrainians rounded up their Jews and killed them without waiting for German help in World War 2. They also volunteered in very large and enthusiastic numbers to join the Nazi armies. In fact, Ukraine still has a very large Nazi party - and it is in the cabinet of the new government.

Hitler murdered Jews by the millions. And now, says professor Brent, Putin is doing about the same. Brent, do you have the slightest evidence for that statement?

3. Stalin and Hitler invaded other countries? What a flash! And can you name one, major country in all of human history that has not invaded and looted and murdered?
What on earth do you think the British Empire was? Do you think it was okay to murder, to loot resources (as in South Africa), to force countries to buy opium (as in China)? Do you have the faintest idea how murderous the British Empire was?
And what do you think the US has been doing since 1775 if not invading and looting other countries. The world is in turmoil now largely because of American aggression, killing of uncounted millions, imposed starvation. the biggest torture network in history, and the destruction of whole nations like Libya, Syria, Iraq.....
Would you have defended Charles if he had said Bush and Obama (and Tony Blair) are just like Hitler. There's a strong case that they are. And maybe worse.

Your comment that Putin staged an invasion of Ukraine just as Hitler had done to Austria is pure drivel. The Ukraine affair did not begin with the Russia occupation of Crimea. It began when somebody set up a government coup in Ukraine. The occupation of Crimea was a reaction, not an action.

I'm sure Charles is a nice guy - really. But he is slow. It runs in the family.

Oh, I don't know where you got the story about Edward marrying Wallie Simpson in order to cover his enthusiasm for Hitler That would make no sense since he was in a stronger position to play games with Hitler when he had the crown.  Besides, Edward never had the brains to plan any such thing. He makes Charles look like Einstein.

Brent Mazerolle also fails to mention other big admirers of Hitler - Henry Ford, a great many major figures in business in the US and Canada, Prime Minister Mackenzie King, the whole immigration departments of Canada and the US which refused to allow escaped Jews to enter our countries - even after the war.

General Patton of the US army was a typical member of the American upper class. He despised Jews, and rather admired Hitler.  Oh, and Jewish owners of Hollywood film companies cooperated closely with Hitler - and against Jews in Europe. Test me on that one, Brent. I dare you.

Gwynne Dyer has the only column worth reading in the whole paper.
The sermonette on the Faith Page is "Prayer is about talking to God". Yep. Yep. Yep.
I think I begin to understand why so many Christians put all the emphasis on believing and praying and stuff like that. It leaves little room, usually no room, for consideration of those many things that faith supposedly requires us to do.

We live in a world that is really in contradiction of  most principles of every religion I ever heard of. A small incident that reminded me of that is the chaplain at Harper's tribute to Afghanistan vets. He said, "They died to protect our democracy". What an inane statement! But the reverent bowed their heads for it.

The thinking seems to be this. To be saved and to walk on the golden streets, all you have to do is to believe  in Jesus - and have the occasional chat with God.  Do that, and you're covered.
You don't really need to do messy things like love your neighbour, help others, challenge behaviour of your political and business leaders that is obviously anti-Christian.

In fact, in a pinch you can make heaven just by believing in Jesus. Do that, and you don't have to behave like a Christian at all.

That's why the sermonettes never touch on the real world. It would just upset people.

And a word of appreciation for the student columnists in the Whatever section. With all the world of a school year, it's a job and a half to get out a column every week. And these columns are always well-written. And that is surely remarkable. It suggests to me not only good students, but some pretty good teaching going on in the schools.

Well done. Whenever I get glum about the world, this student columnists section reminds me there's hope.


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