Thursday, July 24, 2014

July 24:"Metro's first Tim's to be rebuilt"

Yes. it's on the front page. I mean, this is big. After all, the site is the same one as the first Tim's ever built outside Ontario. A couple of days ago, there was a first page story on how the restaurant just got closed. And there was a picture so you could see it was closed. And there is a picture in the new story, too, for those who still don't know what a Tim's looks like.

There's an interesting story on A4, "Francophone women's group sets out demands before vote." But it goes downhill from there. P. A3, for example, has a story on provincial liquor sales. This is the only newspaper I  have ever seen that regularly has stories about liquor sales.

April 22 had a memorable quotation by Norbert. It was in The Last Words section of his column. He quotes UK Labour Party leader Ed Milliband, "A company is not accountable just to its owner, but to its workers and customers."

That's important because it's a statement of the general principles that should lie behind actions. In this election time, we should not be arguing about specific policies so much as we should be learning about the moral principles on which they are based. I really have no interest in what a party policy is on spending more or spending less.  The real question is - what principles is the budget based on?

What view does a party have of  society? What responsibility do various groups have? What is their view of how people should treat each other? What is the purpose of government?

Yes, yes. We can hear later on the specifics of the party's programme. But first, I would like to know what social principles ( morality, if you like) that programme is based on. What are the moral and social principals behind maintaining a low, minimum wage? What are the moral and social principles behind fracking for shale gas? What are the moral and social principles behind leaving it up to volunteers to feed the hungry?

Forget all the babble about policies. Ask what the moral and social principles behind those policies are.
I wish Norbert  would follow the advice of his own quotations. His column for July 24 is a loutish, ignorant, name-calling rant. He attacks Elizabeth May of the Green Party for being a ideologue. He accuses her of being unfair, lacking knowledge, and he raves about how big corporations really, really care about us, and are always looking for ways to help us, and make our lives fuller.

Norbert, you don't know what the word ideologue means. Elizabeth May is not an ideologue, You, on the other hand, are. You have made your living as an ideologue for big business, and a toady.

She has a "paranoid" belief that politicians who disagree with her "bow dutifully" to the wealthy? What's paranoid about that? Your stinking paper bows dutifully to the rich every day. And, oh, you are crashingly ignorant of how it all works - or you're lying. The latter might be the reason why you offer no evidence for your opinons. You just rant and call names.

The wealthy (read Irvings) give generously to our universities? Norbert, I taught in universities for forty years. I was well acquainted with the members of the boards and their motives. They don't give money to universities. They buy universities. Remember the recent case of the UdeM prof who had to resign because he had faked his credentials? Remember who  his connections were?

Remember when Irving illegally announced he was in coalition with the government, and then called a conference to plan the economic future of New Brunswick? We had elected a government to do that, not Mr. Irving. Nor do we have any reason to believe he has a clue about how to run a provincial budget.

And the university presidents? We didn't elect them, either. But they all turned out at Mr. Irving's call to plan the future - a  subject of which they knew nothing, either. And then Irving appointed his toadies to be "advisors" to the Minister of Finance. Democracy in action.

And neither you nor your stinking rag of a newspaper said a word. And then Norbert combines insulting with ignorance and lying.

He says everybody pursues self-interest. Really? When our service men and women died in war, were they just pursuing self-interest? Boy, they'll have to get you to speak on Nov. 11. When Tommy Douglas introduced medicare, what self-interest was he pursuing? And what possible self-interest is ms. May pursuing in her politics?

Then, contradicting himself and common sense, he says that corporation leaders do not pursue their self-interests. No. They do things just for us.

This column is the most contemptible, slurring, ass-kissing and ignorant I have ever seen in any newspaper.

There are excellent columns by Alec Bruce and Jody Dallaire. Both are high recommended for reading. They're well-informed, fair-minded, and well-written.
In NewsToday, there is nothing on Ukraine. Now, that's kind of strange because it's only a few days ago that Obama captured headlines by saying Russia shot down the Malaysian airliner. But on July 22, US intelligence  held a news conference for most major US news media to say they have no evidence whatever that Russia shot it down. Then it got worse.

It was a photo of the crew at the rocket battery that it says did the shooting.'s like this....
they're wearing Ukrainian army uniforms. Yeah, mean....if you think about it, said the experts.... could be they were Ukrainian army soldiers who had deserted to the rebels...

Never  mind the obvious. Defectors who were still wearing their Ukrainians army uniforms while fighting on the rebel side? They would have to be insane.

In fact, it makes sense that it was Ukrainian soldiers. Russia gains nothing from shooting down an airliner. The Ukraine government gains everything.

But not to worry. Thanks to Obama's speech, most North Americans will go on believing it was Putin himself who ordered it.

How could editors miss such an important story? Well, it's partly because they're pretty lazy. They buy news from only a few news sources - and then they print them at random. So they miss a lot. As well, most of them seem to understand very little about news - and what is important and what is not. You'll notice that the staff writers drawn from editors and reporters almost never comment on foreign affairs. That's probably because they just don't have a clue about them.

There's quite a bit of reporting on the fighting in Gaza - and the reporting is better and fairer than usual.

Then there's the story about the Canadian who has been charged with going overseas to fight with a terrorist group. - uh - yeah... But - all armies---ALL----are terrorist groups. All of them use terror as a weapon. In World War Two, All sides used bombers deliberately to spread terror. That's why the first nuclear bombs were dropped on two Japanese cities that had no significant military targets. The purpose was to spread terror, and that's best done on civilians.

The US has been using drones for years for terror bombing. They won't say how many they've killed; and they won't say how many are innocent civilians and children. Torture is certainly terrorism.

Now, if a Canadian were to volunteer in the US military to work with drones or to be a torturer, would the government be charging him with terrorism? You know they wouldn't. And there's another legal problem.

How can a Canadian be charged with a crime that a)was not committed in Canada and b) is not a crime in the country where it was committed?

And, oh yeah, law and order Harper has announced that, unlike us mortals, he doesn't have to obey a court order to testify in the case concerning Mike Duffy.


  1. Nice post, but I still can't find the quote where Obama said Russia shot down the airliner. I've seen plenty where he's said they were 'responsible' for it, but thats two different things.

    You'll notice that the coverage on Israel is shifting a bit, and thats because for years Israel really had no fear of palestinian rockets, so they really never took them seriously. Now they can actually reach Israeli targets, even though apparantly they are 'home made'. Like the US, Israel is fine with the propaganda line so long as gazans had no way to strike back. Also like the US, Israel has little stomach for its own civilian casualties. I like Roger Waters phrasing of its being "the bravery of being out of range". Now that they are IN range, its a bit of a different story , although it almost seems the Israeli government sees this and is looking to simply eradicate what is left of palestinian society.

    As for the New Brunswick stuff, I was so hoping to see "You have made your living as an ideologue for big business, and a norbert":)

  2. Every politician knows that "Russia shot it down" and "Putin is responsible" have the same meaning to almost all listeners. And Obama has media-savvy advisors who check every word before he makes a public statement.

    I can't for the life of me remember where I saw it. It must have been an American paper.

    As to eradicating Palestinian sociey, that is quite possibly what this is about, I'm afraid. Israel can push the boundaries pretty hard because no American president is going to be in a rush to stop it. They stop this now, simply by cutting off Israel's aid. But any party that did it would lose the next election. Netanyahu may well figure that with Ukraine on a boil, this is his best chance to destroy Palestine.
    Harper, too, cannot afford to lose the Canadian-Jewish vote. However, he might have trouble I haven't yet seen any figures; but I doubt whether Canadians are eager to take part in a war whether Israel is right or wrong.

  3. A footnote to the news from
    A state department official says Putin is responsible for downing the jetliner, and for every incident in the crisis.

  4. Yeah, thats a bit different than Obama, and the rest of the quote says "Harf said Putin was responsible not just for the downed commercial airliner, "but every incident we've seen” throughout the conflict. "Period."

    So thats a bit different than saying that Russia shot down the airliner, but its a pretty minor point to bring up.

  5. what makes it minor, is, as all journalists know, there is, for most readers, not difference between all those statements.

  6. I think your blog itself is plenty of evidence of why journalist's views of 'most readers' isn't something to put much stock in. I have a much higher opinion of 'most readers' than I do of most 'journalists'.

    For example, in this weeks Macleans magazine (I picked up the mail for a vacationing friend) there is a picture of Putin in sunglasses on the cover with the title to the effect "Getting Away with Murder....Putins ambitions have killed 200 people....why nobody will stop him". Being bored one time and wanting to do some media studies, I read the actual article to see what evidence they were going to present.

    Of course there was none, and I wondered just how many covers had featured Obama with 'getting away with murder' in drone strikes, of even George Bush 'getting away with murder', etc., and I suspect there were none.

    Anyway, while the article was bad, there was none of the stuff on the cover repeated, it actually wasn't a horrible story, so clearly the cover was meant to just send a signal to people who just saw the cover, or maybe get them to buy the magazine, which would be sure to disappoint them once they realized that the magazine actually made the point of differentiating between 'actually' shooting rockets, and somehow being responsible for them.

    I'm not convinced the public is that stupid, I'm convinced the government and media want to MAKE people that stupid by constant repetition, but I"m pretty sure most people know the difference between shooting somebody, and lending your hunting rifle to somebody who then goes on to shoot a person rather than a deer (for analogies sake).

    But actually it makes their argument weaker because its so preposterous. In fact they go ever further to point out that 'it was probably a mistake'. Soooo, that means that Putin provided rockets to a militant group, and they 'made a mistake', which is supposed to be Putins fault??

  7. The jounalists who write those articles have a very good idea of what people will believe And they have been using propaganda very skillfully for over a century. It's quite a science, now.

    MacLean's is routinely stuffed with crap. But it's still the biggest selling Canadian newsmagazine. Never underestimate what readers will believe.

    This Nov. 11, words will be spoken about the Canadians who died in Afghanistan. The words will tell us why they died - and it will be for something noble. Count on it. But nobody was ever told why they were being sent there in the first place. The chaplains will probably say they died to defend democracy. What democracy?

    The reality is they died so that Canadian business and government could kiss up to the US. But people will still believe whatever the machine tells them.

  8. Again, I'm not quite so cynical. Like I said, the only people who will believe the 'crap' about this particular Macleans article are those who don't actually read the story. If you do, then its a very different story which like I said, outlines the difference between being directly responsible for something, and actually DOING something.

    I also 'sort of' agree about the journalists, although I'd put it more on editors. That its a science I agree, that propaganda works now like it did a century ago I don't agree.

    For the last two paragraphs, you are simplifying and being too cynical. First, at the outset the Afghanistan mission was populated ONLY by military volunteers, I have several family members still in the military, and it was pretty easy to avoid rotation until late in the game.

    Those who DIED are those who did the fighting, and THEY fought for very different reasons than the people who SENT them there in the first place. But on November 11 we don't celebrate the politicians who sent them there, in fact we never do, fortunately.

    I'm not going to debate hypothetical speeches, but the reality is that those who went, DID go to defend democracy. That they were duped and lied to goes without saying, but that doesn't change the fact of 'what people fought for', whether what they fought for was the reality or not.

    But also your last paragraph is simply not factual. Afghanistan was fought to get a guy supposedly behind an attack on the United States. Under the NATO charter when one nation is attacked, all are. Which is why Afghanistan saw far more support than Iraq. It was also the 'heat of the moment' after a massive attack of which the west had barely seen. So that may be YOUR reality, but it certainly hasn't been proven to be THE reality.