Saturday, June 14, 2014

June 14: Please, Mr. Mayor....

On page A1, Mayor George Leblanc says "...police killings will not define Moncton."

Mr. Mayor, talk a walk to Victoria Part.There is a monument there with the many, many names of people from this city who were killed in two world wars. So many names - but their deaths did not define or crush Moncton. The very idea that the recent police killings might do what two world wars did not is absurd.

But you and the TandT have consistently repeated that story. The result of that sort of repetition does NOT reassure people.  What it does is to make them feel more vulnerable, more anxious.

There were tragic killings. The police acted promptly, and did their work well. It's time now for the news media and the politicians to do their work well. This constant harping on denying that Moncton has been crushed simply makes people more anxious.

And it's untrue. The people of Moncton are saddened; they mourn those who died. They are not crushed, and never were. To politicians - think of the effect of what you are saying. To the TandT, cut out the cheap sensationalism.

A3 has an ad for services at the Irving Memorial Chapel, a reminder of a name that has exemplified Christian principles as it does the Lord's work across the province. And it will have a Rev. Dr. to preach and to offer a real, high class Holy Communion.

And that's pretty much all there is in A1.
The biggest item in A2 is two pages of ads for some new place called Big League Burgers and Wings.
And there's pictures and everything.

There's also a brief story on Iraq. But I'll come to that later.
The edtiorial page    has a pointless cartoon to remind us that Danny the dog will continue to serve with the RCMP. Belliveau returns to the resurgence schtick, the sensationalism of the TandT for the past week. (Schtick, by the way, is yiddish meaning a return to one's usual behaviour, his strong point, his angle. It is pronounced sh-tick. Later, perhaps, we'll look at schlemiel, goy, shiksa, maybe schmuck, but probably not putz.)

Norbert, to his credit, breaks out of the sensationalism of how Moncton is crushed but will revive to discuss the future - and how we might prevent such shootings.

The Op Ed page begins with exaggerated prose of Mayor Leblanc - but recovers with two, excellent notes of thanks from the RCMP.
The Faith Page sermonette is a reminder of how our clergy are selective in who they mourn. Today's mourning is for the three RCMP killed in Moncton. I must have missed the one for the one and a half million, mostly innocent civilians, women and children who were murdered by the Americans and British in Iraq. And the 300,000 innocents murdered in Guatemala to please the mining companies.

I believe the sermonizer's church is the one that had a sign saying "Pray for our soldiers in Iraq". OUR soldiers.
 And please, God, kill all those bastards on the other side.
Jana Giles, a student columnist and Whatever editor, has an excellent column on the importance of study.
It's particularly important for those who are going to university. So here's the big clue - absolutely free of charge.

My BA grades were terrible. I never studied until the last minute. I missed classes. Luckily, I memorize quickly, so I got by.  Barely. But I knew I would never survive an MA like that. So:

1. I made it a point to study every day, weekends included. And, as much as possible, at the same time every day.

2. The study time was limited to a half hour. After that, I would do assignments. (that left me with plenty of free time.)

Now - how to study.

1. For each course, I had a notebook. And at the beginning of each lecture I would write the date.
2.I also had a set of index cards
   At the top of the first card were the numbers - 1, 3, 7, 30, final review. That meant the general rule was to study notes the day I got them, then on the 3rd day, the seventh day, and the 30th. (in the two weeks or so before exams I would read over all notes for all courses every day - just once each day was enough.
3, All the other index cards were dated, starting with the day of the first class.
4. in the first class, (say, history) I would write on a card the date (say Sept 10). And I would do the same for any other class on that first day.
5. I would also write Sept. 11 on the next card, Sept 12, an so on to the end of the term.
6. So once I had written Sept. 10 History (and any other courses) on card one, I would write the same on the card for Sept 13, then on the card for Sept. 20, then on the card for Oct. 20.
7.Then, in the two weeks or so before exams, ,reading the whole term's notes just once a day will be easy because you have never really lost touch with them.

The idea is that each time you review, you remember better - so you can stretch out the between study times.

Do it every day - including weekends. It will take only fifteen minutes to a half hour. But it's every day and, preferably, at the same time every day.

This is good only for rote learning. But rote learning, unfortunately, is mostly what university is about.

I had lots of Ds in my BA. But my MA was straight As. And it was done without the horrors of cramming.
Yesterday, I was reading CCPA Monitor   (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives), an excellent monthly.
One of its reports is that that cost of our new Canadian fighter jets was estimated at $16 billion in 1910. The government estimate is now $45 billion. A deeper study of the sale suggests that the real cost will be $126 billion. That's quite a jump.

It would also give the rest of our military one hell of a kick in the teeth.

It also has an excellent article on the handling of the Lac Megantic disaster. Charges have been laid only against low level employees of the railway. And they face possible life sentences.

No senior exec or owner facing that possibility. (the railway owner faces, at worst, a fine.).The shippers  (Irving), who loaded a highly volatile oil onto dangerously antiquated tank cars didn't get even a slap on the wrist. Whoever mislabelled the shipment as being of low-volatility oil hasn't even been named.

The Department of Transport has been warned for years that most of Canada's tank cars are antiquated and dangerous.. It did nothing. Now, it promises to replace those cars - in another three or four years. Whoopee for western oil coming to New Brunswick to make us all rich.

Incidentally, some of the problem is almost certainly due to the fact that Harper's budget cuts in the field of rail safety have been very high since 1910. Yeah. Gotta cut them civil servants and balance the budget so we can spend $126 billion on fighter jets.

There were also some interesting points about life in general. Only 11 percent of Canadians in the private sector are covered by pension plans. That's down from 28% in 1982.

Why don't they save their own money for retirement?  Well, it's partly because of the tremendous rise  (by 59%) of those working are working for minimum wage.

However, the good news is the the very, very rich have gained 39% in income between 1997 and 2007 - and it's getting even better.

Maybe we should shake up all those lazy unemployed, and send them to services at the Irving Chapel.

No, no.

I'm sure nobody wants a bunch of low class bums mixing with the high class bums at the chapel.

Iraq - I just don't know. We don't have nearly enough information.

It is being overwhelmed in attacks by well equipped and trained Sunni Moslems  These people, a breakaway group from Al Quaeda, want to create the severest of    Sunni states, with their interpretation of Qu'ran strongly enforced. Women for example, would not only have to be completely hidden in clothing, but would be required to remain indoors at all times as a sign of modesty.

Yes, the writings of  Islam, Judaism and Christianity all have something in common. They all blame women for the being the cause of sin in the world - as Eve misled Adam or, as the apostle Paul said (speaking of why women should wear hats in church but men shouldn't), Women should have hats in church because woman's hair is a snare and a delusion. Men shouldn't wear hats in church because  man's hair is a glory unto God.

On the surface, this is simply an invasion by one Moslem sect  on an Iraq that varies from following a difference sect to having strong elements of secularism in it.

And Obama has said he will not send troops to help Iraq - not even though militant Islam is supposed to be the major enemy of the US and the reason for its creation of a police state in the US. (Incidentally, in his speech, Obama referred to the invaders only as 'terrorists'. The US killed over a million, innocent people in that country. But Americans aren't terrorists. Not ever.)

He added that it is up to Iraqis to get their act together. Did nobody find that odd?

The US killed a million and a  half Iraqis. It bombed and shelled hospitals, schools, power stations. (Power is still unavailable most of the time.) It flooded the country with the injured and the orphaned and the widowed.

Then it approved of billions of dollars in aid to get the country functioning again. Contracts went out (to American contractors) but very, very little of that aid ever reached Iraq. Shattered schools and hospitals were simply repainted - with a bill presented for massive rebuilding that never happened. Power stations still aren't fixed. In many cases, nothing was done at all as contractors simply handed in astronomic bills for "conducting studies". (I don't think we begin to understand the level of corruption in the US).

The oil fields were handed over to American and British companies.

And Obama's only help is to tell them to get their act together.

There was an even sillier comment in a British paper, The Telegraph. It says that if the US army had stayed in Iraq, there wouldn't be any problem now. The truth is there wouldn't be any problem now if the US had stayed out of Iraq in the first place.

But why is Obama doing so little? The loss of Iraqi oil would be a serious blow to the West. And if it was worthwhile for the US and Britain to kill a million and a half people just a short time ago, why isn't it worth lifting a finger now?

These contradictions are a tremendous blow to American prestige all over the world - and a huge boost to those Moslems who detest the US.

Is Obama, reasonably enough, afraid of getting ensnared in another Iraq war?

Is Obama reserving all his military strength for a war with Russia and China?  If so, what do you think will happen to the US in the middle east and Africa if it does tie itself up in that war?

Then there's another possibility. That invading force seems remarkably well trained and well armed.  There's big money behind this. (I know they've looted banks in Iraq. But that was after the invasion. And there must have been big money spent some years before this invasion.) Where did it come from?

Our great friend in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, is  very rich. It is also very Sunni. And it strictly enforces Moslem law. It has a lot in common with the invaders. And it has been a major bankroller for the so-called "Syrian" rebels. Is it possible  Saudi Arabia is playing its own game? Is it looking to establish itself as the superpower of the region?

Or is it following the US/Russia-China poker game just in case it has to re-decide who its friends are?

How  is Israel going to feel about having a very large, Moslem superpower on its doorstep? Will it be possible to restrain Israel? (Israel has nukes. It might well decide it's now or never to use them.)

We really don't know enough about that war.It could be a serious blow to our oil prices - and the price of everything (like food) dependent on transport. Or it could be much, much worse.

We really don't know nearly enough.

And we're not likely to find out from the Times and Transcript.


  1. An article on the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), another al Qaeda (CIA) offshoot, provides a most likely perspective.

    Find it here at: LandDestroyer....

    CBC has been pushing the meme of the sudden appearance of ISIS.

    It's sort of pathetic how readily transparent CBC has become.

    Of course the concept of ISIS will most likely be used by the west to kill more innocent people in Syria, and further destabilize the nation, as well as Iraq.

  2. Just wondering how much media attention these shootings would be getting if it had been a black man who shot another black man in a poor neighbourhood...

  3. I haven't seen much racism in Moncton. I don't doubt that it's there - but not nearly so bad as in Halifax, Montreal, and other cities.
    However, if two, poor people in a poor neighbourhood, both the same colour, had such a shoot-out, Not much would be said or written about it.

  4. There is TONS of racism in Moncton, its just against the french. And of course New Brunswick is pretty white all over. I went to school with many black people who constantly complained about police attention in Fredericton.

    I think the better analogy in Moncton would be the question, what if this crazy nut had killed a civilian as well? Well, we know that the police shot Danny Levesque and the Prime Minister never showed up, certainly no cops did-at the funeral I mean.
    It was quite a show for the police, a similar thing happened here when a police woman died while driving her vehicle. The media played the funeral live and then spent a week afterward analyzing whether it 'overdid' the event.
    I have no problem with the amount of energy involved, I think every human life deserves it. I think its just criminal that if its a civilian or a homeless person, there is no interest at all. This guy was clearly gunning for police, he may just as well have been gunning for women, minorities, the disabled, or who knows what.