After killing three policemen and wounding two, a gunman escaped into heavy woods that press into Moncton, often almost into the downtown area. And those woods are connected to the even heavier forest beyond the city. But the police seem to have done a very good job of containing him.
I have no doubt the city should and will organize memorial service for the victims of the shooting. I would urge it also to go to great lengths to offer comfort and practical help to the families of the victims.
I don't have much to say about today's Times and Transcript because there was no delivery (presumably because of the danger of exposure.) The only news item I know of - besides the shootings - is that selected New Brunswick teachers will be going to China this summer to establish contacts with education professionals in China. They're in for some big surprises.
I taught university in China for three summers. In that time, no student missed a class. Not one. Nobody was ever late. No assignment was ever late. If I mentioned an article was interesting, everyone would have read it by the next day - even though I had not required reading it.
Many of them followed me back to Montreal to complete their degrees. There, they studied as hard as they had in China. One boy was even took pills to stay awake all night so he could study. I got him to stop only by threatening to hospitalize him if it continued. (He is now an extremely wealthy man - so what do I know.)
It's not the school system that does that to the children. It's the society. There is enormous respect for parents and relatives in China. To do badly in school would be to disgrace the whole family.
There is also enormous respect for books and learning. When I told the class they had to write a criticism of a certain article, they were aghast. "Oh, no, sir. This is an article by a wise man. We must read it carefully and memorize it. We cannot criticize it."
It was all quite a lesson in how the attitudes of a society shape learning. And no amount of business methods or statistical analysis will change that. It's also a lesson in why our occasional bursts of activity have produced virtually no improvements in literacy.
It's not the fault of the schools we have to change. It's us. All of us.
Finally, I'll add a little to what I said about war with Russia and China.
1. It's not the American people who are looking for a war. Most wars are economic. This one would be exception - a war to make the very rich even richer. (Yes, that was a motive on both sides in World Wars One and Two.)
2. The rest of the people can be propagandized to favour war - with propaganda heavily loaded to produce hatred. Ever notice that Moselms became hateful only AFTER they began to resist western intrusions into their societies. That's when we began to see newpaper columns about how Islam was hate-filled and backward and how murder was built into the faith.
(There was no mention of how, if Islam was so murderous, that the biggest killers on the world stage were commonly Christians. Nor was their mention of how, if Islam was so terrible, our greatest friend was the strictest Islamic state in the world - Saudi Arabia.)
Is their a campaign to spread hatred of Russians? Just read the speeches by Kerry or Obama or, by the king of Russia haters, Stephen Harper. In the US, especially over the last 40 years, virtually all news media have become controlled by a handful of billionaires. That even includes the "quality" press.
For a sample of this at its worst, try Fox or CNN TV.
Much the same has happened in Canada.That's why we have propaganda papers like the Irving press.
Americans have shown signs of having enough of hate and propaganda as their "news". But the big money boys, their bought politicians, and their propaganda sheets will probably run over them. Ditto in Canada.
3. The US strategy for years has been to surround Russia and China and anti-missile sites - thousands of rockets designed to shoot down Russian and Chinese nuclear missiles aimed at the US. These have been set up progressively closer to Russian and Chinese borders They have now been moved into Poland - and you can expect Ukraine to be on the list. (I'm not sure I'd care to live in any of those countries. It might not be a really good idea to have nuclear missiles getting hit and exploding over your country.)
These anti-missile missiles are what now make it possible (if insane) for the nuclear missiles of American billionaires (let's not kid ourselves about who owns them) to attack Russia and China, and then to (mostly) block any Russian-Chinese response.
What would be the effect of all these nuclear explosions in mid-air? Nobody knows. But, hey, I'm sure we can invent something to fix it.
4. Why would American big business want to do such a risky thing?
Because it's earlier moves, like free trade and deregulation, have put the US in a serious decline that is not going to get better.
But big business wants to dominate world trade. (That's where this "American exceptionalism" comes from - the belief that the US has the power and the right to ignore international law - but other countries don't.)
But it doesn't have much time to do it. The US, like Britain and France and Spain, is about to become a failed empire. It has to make its move now or never.
The move is extremely dangerous (in addition to being vastly murderous).
It doesn't matter. The people behind this are at least as immoral as any in history,and greedier than any in
history. This is where the system we wrongly call capitalism has taken us.
If this works, it will make some hundreds of super-rich even richer. It will kill Russians and Chinese by the millions. It will make the rest of us poorer.
But it probably won't work. And nobody knows what the effect of that will be.