Thursday, July 10, 2014

July 10: What a jackass! it has

I'm beginning this on the evening of July 9 so that tomorrow I can write, "I told you so".

The federal justice committee is interviewing social workers, people in the sex trade, etc. to work on legislation to cut down on the sex trade,and to help people caught in it. Today, a quite dreadful incident in the questioning was reported by news media across Canada - but not in the Irving press. Tonight, I'm gambling to say the Irving press won't have it tomorrow, either. It involves Conservative MP Robert Goguen of Moncton (the city that is strong, and will recover.)

My impression when he was elected was that he was a person of no discernible intelligence or principles. His one, notable act was to distribute party pamphlets with a distinct racist slant aimed at native peoples. Obviously, the Conservative party doesn't think highly of him, either. I mean, if the best appointment a man can get to to be secretary to Justice Minister MacKay, he must be low on the list of the gifted.

The news reports were that Goguen, a member of the justice committee was questioning a witness who had been caught up in the sex trade. An immigrant, she was gang-raped by three thugs, who then put her to work as a prostitute.The committee's job was to find ways to protect women in her position. Then Goguen made his contribution to the effort.

"If the police had broken in and stopped the rape, would you feel that the police were violating your civil rights..."

He seemed to find that question both valuable and amusing. The correct answer to him should have been, "Gee, I don't know Mr. Goguen. Would you be annoyed if police broke in to stop three men from having an anal sex rape of you?"

In the two or three days since that incident, neither the prime minister nor the justice minister has apologized. Neither has Goguen. Some political hack told the press it's okay because the witness said it was okay.

But that's not the point.

The point is that Goguen made a stupid, coarse, immature, and insensitive comment - and one that really had nothing to do with the issue. In the news media I checked, I found nothing but outrage at Goguen. And from the Irving press, only silence.

So far, there is no reason to believe the Harper government has any intention of helping victims of the sex trade. They're too busy giggling over Goguen's wit.
There's really nothing in Wednesday's paper at all. Well, for the third or fourth edition in a row, there's a story about the great RibFest which, like the earlier stories, tells us nothing. It also has a nice picture of the event. To bad it seems exactly the same as the picture they had on, I think, Monday.

NewsToday has a propaganda story on the Israeli bombing of Palestinians in retaliation for rocket attacks from a Palestinian group. I call it a propaganda story because the wording of the story strongly implies that a Palestinian group called Hamas is the cause of the problem, all of it. Poor little Israel is just defending itself.

This is a farce that has been going on for too long. Israel has treated the Palestinians like animals from the start. They have killed them - even children - and, during "peace talks" - have shown their contempt by purposely expelling Palestinians from their own land, annexing it, and building Israel settlements Israel doesn't want peace. It has made that very clear.

It has also become intensely racist even within Israel. Palestinians who are citizens of Israel are routinely kicked out of their homes, discriminated against, threatened.. And God help the black African refugees who look for safety in Israel. It deliberately keeps Palestine poor and restricts the flow of medicine to that country. It jails and tortures Palestinians on thin to no charges.

The news reports don't mention the brutality and  violence inflicted on Palestinans when Israel sent in troops to look for three Israeli teenagers kidnapped by Hamas. They had the full cooperation of the Palestinian Authority in their search - something most of our news outlets don't mention. In the course of the search, Israelis killed ten Palestinians,beat up many more, arrested and jailed 500 "on suspicion" (undoubtedly to be beaten and tortured.) And now, as punishment, they are bombing Palestinian civilians who had nothing to do with the kidnappings - or with rocket attacks.

Israel plays at being poor little Israel. In fact, it is well armed free of charge by the US, and it has a massive, nuclear arsenal. (which, incidentally, is an illegal arsenal). Israel gets US support because it is a major ally to help the US control the region. It gets Harper support so Harper can win the next election.

Yes, what Hitler did to the Jews was horrible beyond words. And what WE didn't do for the Jews when they needed us was horrible. But that's no reason why Palestinians - who did nothing to the Jews - should now face all the suffering.  Israeli hatred and anger at the world has itself become hateful and quite racist..

And, unlike Iran, it has a nuclear arsenal. We are playing political games in a region that could well explode into nuclear war - and with no-one able to predict the consequences. Funny how our news media fret about an Iranian nuclear arsenal that doesn't exist - but never mention the very large, Israeli one.
With all this, the most important thing the editor can find to write about is the Shediac Lobster Festival. Eric Lewis and Brian Cormier still don't know anything worth writing about. And I have to disagree strongly with Alec Bruce on his vision of Canada as a resource extraction country. It's not as simple or as good as it sounds.

Indeed, countries  that live on resources extraction are among the most miserable in the world. And there is one hell of a problem with the spread of free trade agreements. Increasingly, they favour the super-rich, destroy any hope of democracy or even the idea of the existence of a nation, and destroy the future.

I'll have to write on this sometime soon.
Now, it's Thursday; and I was wrong. The TandT did carry the Goguen story. It's very, very short and hidden on A6. But it is there.Oh - a strange thing. The story has a note at the end that it comes from the Canadian Press. but the byline (the source listed under the heading) says its from Times and Transcript. Why wouldn't it say The Canadian Press?

Probably - because Irving press dumped the full Canadian Press story, and doctored it into a very short report with much of the nasty part taken out. All other reports I've seen on this were much  tougher on Goguen.

Anyway, in most papers, the big news is on the first page.Page 6 is a bit late. So - front page is given to something really important. Today, it's a photo of the biggest lobster roll in the world being assembled in Shediac. We saw the roll in a photo yesterday, too. But, hey, you can't get enough news about a big story.

Below it is another big story. Some women like cars. Wow! Who would have guessed?

Another big, front pagge story is that closing Main Street for a party needs planning. Another big story is on A11. Apparently, people often leave things behind in taxicabs - you know, combs, cell phones......The news YOU need to know.

In Afghanistan, there is a rise in civil disorder leading to a high rate of civilian murders - another triumph for the trillion dollar wars of American big business.

Though the world is in very serious trouble, it's not noticed in the editorial and opinion columns. The hot item for the editor is that tax payers should not pay the bill for a lawsuit against the government. Way to speak out fearlessly, ed.

Rod Allen tells another pointless story about his uninteresting self. Alec Bruce has an uneven column about the need for a better education system. He starts by claiming that the quality of Canadian education is a national discgrace - and everybody knows it.

Nonsense. It's true that a few countries rate as the best in the world. - and Canada has never been best. But it has consistently been among the top two or three percent in the world. If you want to see an education system that's a national disgrace, take the US. It consistently ranks at the bottom of the developed world - much of that due to the interference and greed of big business. Britain is going down the same tube and for the same reason.

That interference of big business is important but Alec Bruce is writing his column as a defence of the Canadian Council of Executives because it wants our system to produce more skilled workers to make billionaires richer.

"Everybody knows about it,...", says Bruce.

Nonsense. Everybody 'knows" no such thing. All they know is what they see in our news media which, across Canada don't have enough journalists with even a passing knowledge of education to make a decent poker game.

And even Bruce seems ill-informed. His column is written as though education is only about skills training. In fact, it's not. It's about developing minds. Imagine that? Education is really about brains. It's not just about learning the skills of reading, for example. It's also about learning to understand what is read. It's about organizing in your mind what you have read. It's about making judgements about the value of what you have read. It's about organizing and expressing your own ideas. It's about logic.

History is not about producing patriots. History is, or should be, learning to be crtical of many of the things we believe to be true. It's not about learning that MacDonald and Tupper were "great men". It's about learning how to judge for yourself what they were. (And I wouldn't apply "great" to either of them - particularly Tupper.

Yes, it's important to learn skills. It's also important to learn how to think and to make judgements. And the trouble with looking to the Canadian Council of Chief Executives is that they aren't big on thinking. Thinking people could be a nuisance to them. In any case, they aren't thinkers themselves. They are skilled workers, largely lacking any capacity for thought - and even hostile to it - who have conned us into believing their limited skills are worth far more money than every else.

Jody Dallaire's column was the only oasis in a vast desert of lies, propaganda and trivialities.

Oh - you'll notice there's no news about Ukraine. But, gee, what's happening might be kind of important. The government of Ukraine is carrying on a fierce offensive against Russian speaking Ukrainians. It  has shown very little interest in talks.

Ukrainian speaking Ukrainians have a profound hatred of Russian-speaking Ukrainians. Many approve of killing as many Russian-speakers as possible. This puts tremendous pressure on Putin to intervene on behalf of the Russian speakers.

Putin quite obviously does not want to do that because such an intervention would almost certainly be a disaster for Russia. It would give the US the excuse it wants for a nuclear attack on Russia. But as the killing goes on, Russia faces an enormous loss of prestige and, more important, influence in the world.

This is one hell of a dangerous situation. But don't worry about it. The day after it happens Rod Allen will have a hilarious column about his wife no. 1 and other, great jokes.


  1. We can only hope by now, many must at least be subconsciously aware something is wrong with this picture.

    That being - Obama's continued support for the Ukraine governments bombardment of its own people in an attempt to draw Putin in to defend their very lives.

    Pretty evil of Obama once again.

    Looked at graphic video on YouTube of civilian carnage from the attacks.

    CBC radio mothership is cheering FIFA scores.

    Meanwhile, in its own backyard, the Trans Pacific Partnership conference announced at the last minute it was moving to Ottawa.

    Council of Canadians is accusing the government of doing this to thwart organized protest plans in Vancouver.

    Of course... the Harper Regime denies this.

    Looking at UNICEF's profile on Cambodia, one of the TPP signatories, Gross National Income per capita (average income) is $880. per year.

    Canada and the US when signed onto the TPP will compete against incomes such as this!

  2. I appreciated the comments above, its a very important story, but important for recent discussions to note that the TPP story was in the Globe and Mail AND the Huffington Post. Two 'mainstream media' sources. Youtube video's, of course, can be of anything, anywhere, or even just plain fabricated (not saying they are, just a reminder that a few months ago there was a 'video' which was claimed to 'prove' that american soldiers were on the ground in the Ukraine because of a video which showed unidentified men NOT wearing uniforms (this was claimed to be 'added' proof). Not that 'carnage' during an almost civil war should be surprising. But Obama, it seems, gets criticized no matter what he does, for most of the 'hawks' in the administration he has been notoriously light fingered. A recent Economist had a cover that said "America Surrenders" and how the world has to pay the price of US INACTION.

  3. You're too trusting mikel.

    Of course mainstream media has to publicize something of value once in a while. It's in their interest to give their viewership, or readers something that appears to be made of meat, rather than fluff.

    Too much fluff, and people begin to starve. They'll catch on and turn elsewhere.

    The important fact to remember - just as this blogger of this site has pointed out numerous times, large business interests, and media have seen their mutual interests overlap. Scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.

    In other words, especially in recent decades, the two have silently joined forces, and have created an unholy alliance.

    The mixing of the truth with agenda-driven propaganda is a combination that has worked well so far.

    It keeps a portion of the public in the dark.

    It keeps another portion engaged in superficial thought processes.

    And it sells Prozac to another so they can fake being happy in an insane, western world.

    9/11 is a perfect example. If people wish to be blind...I guess its their prerogative.

    As I've said, the world has had13 years since 2001 to see and understand the mountain of evidence available on the Internet regarding false-flag attacks, or government orchestrated hoaxes for agenda-driven manipulations of public opinion.

    And yes, there's a lot of garbage on the Net. We already know this. However, there is much solid, and pertinent information available as well.

    BTW, I'm a house builder among a few other skills. Many years ago, I was on a crew erecting steel-frame, commercial warehouses.

    Steel framed buildings, especially the intricate, structurally- reinforced design of the World Trade Towers simply don't fall down completely, if they are going to fall down, and they sure as hell don't turn into ten thousand tons of dust on the way down!

    But, this is old news.

    As for Obama...well, I'll leave that for another time. Got to get back to work....

  4. Dude, it says it all that you think there is mountains of evidence 'on the internet'. Yeah, we hear about criminals being put away ALL the time by that route: "No, your honour, nobody saw the defendant commit the crime and there is nothing that links him, but if you'll go to this particular website, you'll see that Charlie Whatsisname of Long Beach has a website where he says conclusively that the defendant is guilty, there's no other explanation we can finde, therefore I rest my case".

    You seriously think building a house is the same as building skyscrapers?? I mowed my lawn today, I guess that means I can make comments on forestry. As for falling, in short, yeah they do, and yeah they did, certainly as far as anybody knows, and if you want to believe 'reverse evidence' go ahead, join the club with all the guys who think the moon landing was fake, Elvis is still alive, and there are aliens walking among us, and who think everybody else is crazy because they don't believe their 'lack of evidence'.

    As for the media stuff, it really didn't make much sense. You call me trusting right after posting a comment to the blog with information which was pretty much taken verbatim from a Globe and Mail article. So just because it was IN the Globe and Mail, you reported it as 'fact'. And your calling ME trusting?? I didn't post that story.

    As for the schpeel, it pretty much sounds like you are saying that mainstream media mixes the truth with propaganda, yet here you were posting that story. How do you know that wasn't propaganda? In short, you are looking at the media and deciding for yourself which you think is 'true' and which you think is 'propaganda'. The question you have to ask yourself is how it is you KNOW which is which. So you might want to stop with the condescension that seems to make you think that just because you pick certain things to be true, and other things to be false, that somehow that keeps you more 'out of the dark' than others. If you SERIOUSLY think that everybody out there believes everything they read, you don't know many people.

    If you haven't watched it, you may want to actually watch "Manufacturing Consent", starring, shudder, Noam Chomsky! (or better yet read the book), or at least just look at the wikipedia entry.

  5. Do not trust any government official- they say and do stupid things - Robert Goguen is a prime example. Don't trust big business - they take our tax money and pay very little or none ; and lead our province to financial ruins. Don't trust the media - they lie, twist the truth, hide the truth, and spread propaganda - the Times Transcript is a prime example.

  6. Well, thats where people need to develop critical thinking. Otherwise, there is this weird idea that the ONLY people you can trust are crazy individuals (or collections of individuals) with websites. That organizations can be biased but not individuals seems a pretty wrong idea. That comment about the TPP 'seems' like its probably true, it comes from the Globe and Mail, and has a government official commenting on it. That the official is telling the truth about WHY they moved the meetings seems pretty suspect, but people have to be careful of not falling into the trap of ONLY believing bad things about a government they don't like.

    You simply have to recognize that you are only getting part of the story from either side, and probably missing much more.

    Irving of course you can 'trust', to do exactly what they say. They said if you give them wood, then they will create X amount of investment. Notice they DIDN"T say 'jobs'. They even released details of what they were going to invest in, and if you read them, it was clear that it was investment which in the long term would COST jobs because of the new more efficient machinery and most of the jobs would be the short term construction jobs. They say this is 'sustainable', but that word can mean just about anything.

    So Irving is pretty up front about that. Even government is actually pretty straightforward, because they 'usually' tote the line that "we're screwed, we need to do ANYTHING for SOME jobs". Thats actually pretty honest. Even the crap about NBers coming home to work on the pipeline is 'true', no doubt some will, but its temporary work, something the government DOESN"T talk about. Sometimes its even creepily missing the big picture, for example, the government keeps touting that they have the 'toughest rules for shale gas companies on the continent', which isn't quite true (and its true they don't say this as much any more). What they DON"T say is that the rules are essentially meaningless because they are permit conditions which aren't legally enforceable and have no financial penalties for anything. You need 'regulations' which are part of legislation for that, and this is not even close. So technically they aren't 'lying', they are simply missing so much of the story that its almost the same thing (and any politician who slips up and says they are 'regulations' IS lying).

    Usually most sources of news and information are pretty good at 'telling the truth', the problem is that its rarely the whole truth, and its rarely in context. Thats not the same as 'twisting the truth', which sometimes is done as well, depending on the issue.

    But as this blogger may tell you, the Times Transcript often, even usually, DOES 'tell the truth', but its usually about completely inconsequential things, or else their stories are so biased that they miss most of the picture. But thats not the same as 'lying', meaning you 'can't believe anything they say' (although sometimes its that).