Thursday, July 31, 2014

July 31: Thoughts of childhood....

I grew up in the North End of Montreal, not far from where Little Italy was, and where the community's church still serves. Mafia leader Rizutto recently put it in the news when his funeral was held there. Just to the east of it was the Syrian district.My school friends were largely Italians and Syrians. I remember them well, especially the Syrians.

There was Junior Aboud, a quiet kid who still lives in the north end flat he was born in. The Ayoub boys were great friends of mine. So was "Zarbie" Zarbatani, the son on the Bishop of the Syrian Orthodox church.  (The Bishop's 'palace' was a second storey flat over a dime store.)

Zarbie was short and severely crippled from polio. But he had an upper body, even in elementary school, that Tarzan would have envied. And he needed it. A small,  crippled boy in our district wasn't an object of sympathy. He was a target.

They were all abysmally poor. But they did well. Zarbie became a lawyer. The father of one of the boys had a small, convenience store which became a chain of general stores - which became the first of the dollar stores.

Now, the Zarbatanis and the Ayoubs and the Bosadas who were left behind in Syria are being slaughtered in their tens of thousands by very extreme Arab movements that are trained, equipped and paid for by Saudi Arabia and - Obama. That's the same Obama who preached to Russia that he shouldn't invade a country which (in fact) Russia had not invaded, that invasion was bad and illegal (neatly ignoring the many US invasions and mass killings of the past sixty years.

At the same time, Obama and Stephen Harper rigidly defend an Israel that has killed a thousand or so innocent civilians, that targets UN relief workers and ambulances and medical facilities, and that deliberately attacked a UN school, knowing what it was, and knowing it was full of children.

Their pretence is that Hamas started it with rocket fire on Israel. Both know this started over sixty years ago, and has been sustained by Israel's refusal to accept any peaceful solution, and by its constant abuse (and killing) of Palestinians.

And I read recent statements by Obama and Harper giving full support to Israel. And I can only think, "YOU MURDEROUS BASTARDS."

Neither, of course, cares about Syrians or Jews or Moslems. Obama wants, through Israel, a strategic foothold in the middle   east. Harper, thinking only of himself, wants the Jewish-Canadian vote. And he's quite happy  to let people die for that.

Just beyond the Little Italy of my childhood was what was then the Jewish ghetto. It was full of the most wonderful people I had ever known - compassionate, charitable, loving, involved, intellectually active, they also had a very effective community service called B'Nai Brith. They were all that Christians claim to be but rarely are.

Now, B'Nai Brith just pushes hate propaganda as an agent of the Israeli lobby that spends billions in Canada and the US. The Jewish community I knew is just about gone.

Allied with this is the "war on terror". It's a cute title that nicely ignores the fact that the biggest terrorist in the world is the American government. And the war on terror has been a failure. Of course. All it has done is to create far bigger and more extremist movements. Hatred works like that.

We also daily read or hear of something we can call "the war on the poor". You'll see a good deal of it in the TandT. The very wealthy, out of greed, often made worse by their criminal behaviour, have created enormous poverty to enrich themselves. The result is that not much money is left for the rest of us.

The answer? Well, an obvious one is to tax the rich and withdraw their many privileges. But we won't do that. That's why you daily read hatred for the poor in the TandT. It's the poor, they say, that caused the recession with all those frills like heath care and education. So now it's the poor who have to erase the debt by paying higher taxes, and handing over health care and, maybe, education to private business.

That's why countries like Greece and Ireland and Spain have sunken deep in poverty. That's one of the reasons the new Ukraine government broke up. The leader was a billionaire and a friend of the world's bankers. The others weren't, and walked out on him.

Now, the creation of poverty in the US is so severe (and the corruption of government contracts, especially military ones) so scandalous that the US police forces are being retrained to fight the American people.

There is such a thing as morality. And it's not just being goody-goody. There are practical reasons for having moral codes. We are watching a world collapse because our leaders have completely detached themselves from any morality. And so have our churches. And so have we.

That's quite a prologue - because there isn't much in the papers for yesterday and today.

Unless you really care about a story of a cat who lost weight, the only, real news story in Section A for Wednesday is that two shale gas protesters were sentenced to jail terms. Understandable. They broke the law.

Shale gas companies never get jail time for what they do. Nor bankers who make it possible for the very wealthy to steal billions. Of course not. Why would they break the law? After all, the law is written to protect them, not to protect those who suffer from their behaviour.

Section A for Thursday is worse. there are at least two pages of story about a golf tournament to raise money for our police. And it is accompanied by some two pages of colour photos of the tournament, Most of them are of people doing nothing in particular. The rest are of people doing nothing of interest.

In NewsToday, there is actually some news - though the reporters don't seem to realize it. Israel's deliberate killing of civilians extended to a refugee camp which it shelled. Then there is the strength of Hamas' resolve in the face of overwhelming Israel military power. Why are they fighting so hard? It should be obvious.

They have  no choice. They have been living in miserable and hopeless circumstances for over sixty years. If they surrender now, it goes on forever. This is the last-ditch, suicide attempt of a desperate people.

Nor is Netanyahu going to offer  any reasonable terms. He wants Palestine, all of it. And he wants its people gone.

Libya is descending into utter chaos, another triumph of US foreign policy. And, take a bow, we did our share. We sent aircraft to bomb Libya, and create this suffering. Aren't you proud to be a Canadian?

Generally, though, the paper gives no hint of the number of wars going on or the savagery of them. And there's nothing about the US drones killing daily. Nor would most Canadians care if they did know. Our news media have taught us to hate whoever we're told to hate. We are dangerously close to being world racists. And maybe more than close.
Among the columnists, Alec Bruce has a kiss-up column for The New Brunswick Business Council in the July 30 edition. It supports all the council wants to make the poor rather than the rich pay for the financial problems that have been caused by the rich.

He praises the council as being made up of demonstrably successful men. Yes. They've been successful at milking our economy to make themselves rich.  Mr. Bruce, that does not qualify them to run a province any more than being a successful bank robber qualifies one to run a bank.

Oh, yeah,  he also thinks we just gotta develop shale gas. My,  it must be nice to be a business columnist who knows more about shale gas than most scientists and the medical   profession do. After reading Alec Bruce's column, turn to letter to the editor, "Shale gas won't save economy".

Brian Cormier again has nothing to say but, again, says it, anyway.

For the Friday edition, Alec Bruce is back in good form.

Norbert has a stunningly ignorant piece about the high professional codes of journalists. There are some media companies that have high professional codes - but very, very few. From the earliest days of the modern newspaper (1890s), newspaper have been used to spread the propaganda their owners wanted spread. There was an excellent movie about it - Citizen Kane. There's also a good book about the history of war reporting over the years, and how it has been used to lie. It's called "The First Casualty".

And it's far, far worse today as so much or our news media are owned by a very few and very wealthy people. You should know that, Norbert. You have spent much your life writing the propaganda the boss wants. I have known and worked with heads of journalism schools. All of them agreed that the Irving press has no professional standards whatever, and the rest are sliding downhill.

Worse, the news media have a large share in creating hatred in this world - whatever hatred is useful to their bosses. It makes us more willing to kill.

Norbert, you really should follow the invitation of the Irving Chapel. Go to it, Sit in its holy shelter, and contemplate. I'm sure the Irvings do it all the time. That's why they're such moral people.

Rod Allen is still writing acned high school essays. Good column by Beth Lyons. It may, at first, seem a trivial one. But it raises a penetrating question about our respect for others - and our often unconcious demonstrations of contempt for what those others are.

Ooh, Ooh, Ooh - big news. The Liberal party has released its OFFICIAL election slogan ----


Oh, I'm so excited. All it needs is a tune, and we'd have a solid hit.

Moving New Brunswick Forward.
That's what Lib'rals do.
No, not moving it backwards.
Like some cowfield poo.
    ya, ya, ya....

1 comment:

  1. It might be interesting to note once again for those who may not be aware of this yet...

    there is a provision in Obama's NDAA bill that allows propaganda, or psychological operations (PSYOPS) to be conducted against Americans on American soil.

    This is why we are seeing a large increase in shooting hoaxes (PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS) which are being passed off as real by in-bed government/corporate media.

    This is being done to condition, and manipulate public opinion.

    If the above provision of the NDAA isn't as well known, at least many are waking to the realization the 'WAR ON TERROR' is in actuality a WAR OF TERROR, and those who participate in it are engaged in criminal, and anti-social behaviour.

    Not to mention, are breaking their initial oath of office whether they are public official, or engaged in police activity.