Saturday, July 5, 2014

July 5: Bad taste? Ignorance?

Page G8 of Saturday's TandT  has a full page titled "Five free things to see and do in Detroit".I'm sure that will attract the full attention of those many New Brunswickers who plan to go to Detroit for their summer vacations.

At it's best, some twenty or more years ago, Detroit was not an attractive place. Just crossing the street from a white folks' district to a black ghetto was like crossing a border between heaven and hell. Now, much more of Detroit is hell as free trade has allowed billionaires to get away from all those auto workers and their unions who had the silly idea they should be paid enough to live on. Effectively, the billionaires closed Detroit down to rot.

Though the TandT didn't notice, the city of Detroit has been cutting off water and sewage to tens of thousands of families who can no longer afford it. (Clap hands, Norbert. None of this silly, entitlement crap for those people.) The number of people without water to drink, to wash the dishes or clothes, to wash themselves, and to flush their toilets is expected to rise, and soon, to 300,000.

Imagine the stench of all those unwashed bodies in their unwashed clothes. Imagine the stench of human waste in dumped in halls, alleys, behind bushes, in fields... Imagine the health risks of that and of food served on plates that are never really clean

Remember how hot it's been here? It gets hot in Detroit, too. Imagine all the above on hot days and nights. When you live in those cheap apartments and flats, the most terrible times are those nights you cannot sleep for the heat and the stuffiness. I remember them well with people hanging out their  windows for air at 3 a.m. I still remember the cockroaches crawling down the wall, so well that I still have nightmares about them. And that was in the small, two-storey flats in Montreal. The huge and overfilled cheap apartments in Detroit must be even worse.

But, if you visit, take care not to get sick. Americans are too proud to accept entitlements like health care so, it they can't afford it, they proudly get sick and die.

By the way, when you look at the pictures in the TandT, you'll notice a distinct absence of black faces - this in a city with a huge black population.  Guess who most of the very poor in Detroit are.

Note, too, the almost obscene picture of the lavish use of clear, cold water for a fountain in this city that cannot afford water for it's people to drink, to wash with, or to flush their human waste.

Enjoy your Detroit holiday.
___________________________________________________________________________
On July 3, we were blessed with a story headed "Poll suggests support for forest strategy".

For a start, the use of the word 'strategy' is a lying, propaganda word. What it refers to is a deal which J.D.Irving forced on Chief Wimp Alward. A strategy would mean a plan for preserving the forest. This is simply a plan for exploiting it for the profit of Irving. The use of the word strategy here is deliberately misleading.

A polling firm commissioned by forestry and environmental professors at UNB showed New Brunswickers were 60% opposed to the deal, and only 20% in support of it. So, hall of fame philanthropist J.D.Irving,. always anxious to be sure NBers are fully informed, conducted his own poll.

Quelle surprise! His poll, through a polling firm he has relied on before - Corporate Associates Inc. -, shows a majority in support of the 'strategy'. Some of the questions were a little odd, though.

Apparently,people were asked whether the new "strategy" would protect the sustainability of our forests. Now, why would they ask such a question? Even if they knew what the 'strategy' is, how many would have the expertise to know what effect it would have?

The story does not mention how many people didn't respond to some questions. That can be, and usually is, important in judging poll results. So we have a question. Is is possible the "I don't knows" were simply disregarded in concluding majority support?

Then the pollster launched into a speech about  how we can trust J.D.Irving to protect our forests because, well, he's just that kind of a guy. I have never seen such a kiss-up from a pollster - and it surely raises doubts about his credibility.

When you have two polling companies coming to such contradictory conclusions, something dishonest is going on.

The reporter does not seem to have asked a single question about all this. He just took notes and wrote the story as Mr. Irving would want it. This isn't reporting. This isn't journalism. This isn't a news story of any sort. This is pure propaganda.
_____________________________________________________________________________
Saturday's headline story is yet another free ad for the Rotary Ribfest. Is this, at last, the end? No. My guess would be one more story on Monday. This one actually takes two pages, complete  with pictures for those who don't know what a rib roast looks like.

The only other important story is that Atlantic Canada has had hurricanes in the past. Who would have guessed?
_________________________________________________________________________________
Section D has a long story on Lac Megantic. It tells of the severe suffering and  fears that still exist a year after the rail crash. It talks about how governments have done virtually nothing to help, and have taken no action to do anything - even as much of the town lies in ruins with many buildings still standing, but still  too heavily contaminated to allow people to enter them.

Harper, incidentally, has had no money to spare to help Lac Megantic. But he did recently have at least a couple of million out of the budget to take 200 of his closest friends for a free holiday in Israel.

The story says nothing whatever about why the whole blame is being laid on three people -with no mention of who made the decision to keep using such dangerous tank cars, who decided to hire a company with such dangerous tank cars, who mislabeled the cargo as being much less flammable than it was, who decided to send such a long train such a long distance with only one engineer, who decided to hire a rail company that used only one engineer.

How much money was saved by the above arrangements? Who got the profits?

Watch your TandT for the answers.
_____________________________________________________________________________
With the world undergoing what are probably the greatest changes in history, Friday's TandT has almost no world news, and none at all worth reading.
___________________________________________________________________________
And Norbert - well today is a Norbert rant against people who consider themselves entitled - especially those who get a very tiny share of this world's wealth. Norbert's good at name-calling. Tell you what, Norbert. About three years ago, J.D.Irving wrote a column in your paper announcing he had declared himself a member of the government.

Other people have get elected. But Mr. Irving is entitled to call himself a member of the government. He doesn't need your votes.  He's entitled because he was born rich. So how about a column on Mr. Irving's sense of entitlement?

Give him hell, Norbert.
________________________________________________________________________
After the first paragraph, I looked forward to the rest of Brent Mazerolle's op ed column on R.B. Bennett.

Like Mazerolle, I  have a lot of admiration for  Bennett, Canada's prime  minister for the first half of the great depression. He was by no stretch a great prime minister. In fact, he became hated for his arrogance and his brutality A very wealthy man, he was the popular symbol of greed and of contempt for the poor- and most of his time in office reflected that.

But Bennett was a far better man than his image. He was rich. But he wasn't born that way. He knew well what suffering meant, what it was to be hungry. to seemingly have no hope. As prime minister, he seemed to be  uncaring and arrogant. And he was certainly arrogant. But he never forgot his New Brunswick childhood.

As prime minister, has almost daily got letters of appeal from parents who needed financial help for their children - for an operation, for a boy scout uniform, for a Christmas present.... He replied to almost all of them, and usually with a gift of his own money. And he didn't even make his toadies nominate him to a place in the philanthropy hall of fame for New Brunswick.

When he visited a factory (Eddy Match in Ottawa), he met a girl of 14 or so who worked at a menial job there. On invitation, he visited her home, and met her family. And he was appalled at the dreadful conditions he saw.

Very gradually, the compassion he had learned in his own youth told him that all the handling of the depression - cutting services, cutting the taxes of the rich, allowing the rich to run up high profits and open a tremendous wage gap between rich and poor simply didn't work. (And yet, that is exactly what we are doing all over the world right now - and with the same result, making the rich richer and the poor poorer.)

Unlike Harper, Bennett could learn. In the closing year of his term, he laid the foundations for a real economic recovery. It was too late. He lost to Mackenzie King, a man who always whined about his concern for the poor - and always served the rich.

But the spirit of Bennett's reforms lived on to become a major factor in the success of reviving the Canadian economy in World War Two - and for some years after.

Alas! New Brunswick has not produced any Bennett's since. Just Irvings.

So I read Mazerolle's column. There is nothing in it. It was full of babble that he's giving a speech on Bennett - and then line after line about how his notes are dusty, and how they were written with an old-fashioned typewriter. Couldn't someone at that paper sit down with Mazerolle and tell him what an opinion column is?


Gwynne Dyer has an excellent column on the fighting in Iraq, and the blame for it that lies on the heads of two war criminals, George Bush and Tony Blair. The consequences of this we can only guess at - but they will almost certainly be quite horrible.

Still, the world's most dangerous trouble spot is Ukraine. It is the one that opens the prospect of world nuclear war. In our news media, the Russians have been aggressive, though for reasons for claiming that are unclear. In reality, it is the US that has created this situation, and it is the west which has been heavy on issuing threats. Putin is no sweetheart. But he's the one who's been the moderate looking for a peaceful solution. All the signs are that Obama is the one who's looking for a war.

Why has Dyer not written on this?
______________________________________________________________________________
The religion today sermonette is.......  Well,we live in a world in which our leaders murder, starve, exploit, brutalize whole nations in all their millions. The sermonette doesn't mention any nasty things. But it fearlessly states we should share things with each other - a beer, a meal, a conversation.

I was taken back to my childhood when, I sat through a sermon in which the minister was preaching about being nice. He referred to the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with a rallying cry to all Christians. "Wouldn't it be better if people were just nice to each other?"

10 comments:

  1. Good blog, I like the part about RB Bennett, some of that was in 'the people's history', but I didn't hear of any of the 'policies' that you mention, can you expand?

    As for the poll, thats pretty hysterical, I'm amazed Irving would even release such a poll. On the simple question of how satisfied people are that Irving will 'follow through' on its promise to hire more people IF they get access to more wood, 30% of the population doesn't even think Irving is going to keep up its end of the deal! They only asked five questions, so that question is really weird, its almost like Irving is thinking "well, if lots of people don't think we'll fulfill our end, maybe we shouldn't bother".

    They don't actually say how many people told them to go to he**, but some of the questions had between 2 and 6% that had 'no answer' or 'didn't know'.

    But a sample size of 400 people who would answer the phone and actually answer those questions tells you just how unrepresentative this poll is, but the previous poll may have suffered the same problems.

    Either way, only 52% of respondents think this deal will 'protect the long term sustainability of the forest', which is just strange. But of course Irving hired these guys, and its quite possible that they also supplied them with some phone numbers from their own subscription base. So if anything this will just cheese off people even more.

    ReplyDelete
  2. In 1935, Bennett decided to follow the lead of US president Roosevelt with a 'new deal' as a remedy for the depression. Large employers in particular were forcing workers to work long hours with no overtime and at very, very low wages (In the district where I grew up, a salary of $10 a week was pretty good. I doubt whether my father made that much when I was born - and he often had to work at two jobs just to survive.)

    Bennett enacted legislation for minimum wage, maximum working hours, at least one day of rest a week, employment insurance, health insurance, accident insurance, a much improved old age pension, and progressive taxation (Meaning that the rich would pay higher taxes on their earnings as their salaries rose. It is not generally known that the rich through the depression made their biggest profits in History -out of the abuses they imposed on workers.)

    But then Mackenzie King's Liberals won the election of 1935.

    King was a Christian to an almost maudlin decree, and he constantly talked about his love for the poor. But he always served the rich. He took the legislation to the then highest court of appeal - the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in Britain.

    The Judicial Committee disallowed most of it. All that survived was assistance for farmers and criminalization of some unfair trade practices. However, much of the spirit of Bennett's legislation returned because it was essential in a war economy.

    Since then, big business all over the world has been working to kill all of it, to privatize virtually all social services and to permit wide abuses in the work place.

    The Detroit water crisis, for example, is partly the result of a drive by big business in the US to privatize water supply to homes.

    ReplyDelete
  3. No access to Internet, phone, and without power for 3 days in Fredericton due to Arthur.

    Just wanted to respond to a previous commenter in last post.

    Obviously, the the case of Zundel is a political bombshell.

    In the current climate of the western world, one would probably find it prudent for their career, future travel plans,, or even long-term health not to discuss it in a public forum.

    But, this reality alone is very telling.

    How is it, in a supposedly democratic, and open society as Canada, are there sacred cows which we are to never question?

    This is not openness, nor democracy.

    It is totalitarianism.

    Especially when the courts of the nation rule against an individual's rights to simply question the official party line.

    China does this.

    It's equally telling in a supposedly democratic society as Canada, when citizens who ought to know better, actually believe the incessant propaganda their media, government, and court systems conspire together to form.

    'Free speech' is not free speech when there is no free speech without the threat of going to jail.

    Or, mislabeled a 'hater' when it should not apply, but is only applied for political reasons.

    As many of us understand, free speech does not exist. It's simply an illusion.

    Look around at the increasing police-state tactics being used to quash free speech.

    In order for free speech to truly exist, we need more critical thinkers, not less, to offer their alternative views to an obviously questionable part of 20th Century history.

    And, of course, we should be free to engage in public debates about it.

    As for the UFO stuff, well, I could say there's no accounting for things that cannot be proven, (as far as I'm aware), but at the same time, I simply don't dismiss someone all together, because they show curiosity in other fields of interest.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I didn't say I 'dismissed' him, I said I hope you have other sources apart from the one you referenced. I 'sort of' agree about Zundel, but in the first place, the number of 'zundels' deported from Canada is pretty low, in fact I don't know of any other. Second, he was deported, he wasn't imprisoned.

    Third, I sort of agree because i researched him years ago and its clear that the guy is NUTS. The guy had never even been to Antarctica, so even his claim is, well, NUTS. You can say 'well, we can't prove it one way or another'. Thats true, we also can't prove that at the centre of the earth there isn't a giant panda whose farts heat the earth. You can't prove or disprove it, but I won't be surprised when not only do people say 'we can't prove it' , but also that its NUTS.

    In either case, i'm not going to get into a whole thing on him, with the internet going full bloom Zundel is actually pretty moderate amongst 'hate speechers'. But in Canada you ARE correct, there ARE limits on ALL of our freedoms, it says so right in the constitution. I don't mind that at all. I have no problem talking about Zundel, in fact years ago I sent several articles to online publications stating exactly that. His claims were pretty minor, and the guy is clearly insane, and his 'hate speech' was almost impossible to even find ONLINE. And I don't particularly feel any fear that stormtroopers are going to beat down my door for saying that. There are certainly far scarier things in the world.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Zundel was imprisoned in the US for 2 yrs I believe.

    I have to admit I wasn't aware of his early UFO meanderings, and of course, he probably hasn't done himself any favors there.

    It's understood when we're younger, and less knowledgeable in the actual machinations of the world, we can easily be taken in by mainstream narratives, and therefore, think we have a handle on how the world operates.

    Such, is probably the case with Zundel in his earlier prose attempts. So, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    Especially in light of the fact, if he poses no real threat, and can be so easily discredited, why would the JDL in Canada work to deport him, and/or imprison him in the US?

    BTW, I wasn't overly concerned speaking about Zundel per se, but following up on this particular line of questioning as a constant source of misinformation, or international conspiracy and intrigue is another story.

    Obviously, anyone can easily find themselves in safer quarters if they publicly label these type of individuals 'nuts'.

    Ironic however, how the US government and current Canadian administrations have become the exact same NAZI-esque entities they say they are attempting to protect us against.

    But there are others out there speaking on this topic, and related issues. But it was only a side issue which as you said, I don't particularly care to follow up on, since there are larger issues facing us.

    There's are many excellent articles in globalresearch.ca explaining NATO's need to create Islamic boogeymen to further Western Imperialistic murderous expansions.

    The so-called ISIS Caliphate call is a planned play (much like PINAC) directly out of a National Intelligence Council 2004 report entitled 'Mapping the Global Future', available for download as a pdf.

    Speaking of literary freedoms, it's pretty bizarre when so-called US intelligence plans there future strategy based upon an imagined letter written in the 'future'.

    Look at pages 85 or so in the report to find the 'letter'.

    ReplyDelete
  6. As far as 'fascism' goes, we are pretty much on the light end of the spectrum. In South America, Africa, China, Asia, journalists are tortured, killed, and jailed. Here you can pretty much say what you want and nobody cares.

    I did some research on world war 1 where they talked about how people who just SPOKE german were jailed in canada. They immediately even changed the name of 'berlin' to 'kitchener' and most of the german towns around the germanic area did the same. There were gangs that roamed around beating germans and conscripting them. In world war 2 the japanese were thrown in prison.

    For native canadians its a far different story, but any normal citizen who is 'afraid' of saying something about 911 ( of which I think I've read about half of americans think there was SOME kind of coverup-thats a LOT of americans to keep an eye on). Its interesting that those who shout the most about fascism usually are the least politically engaged.

    As for Zundel, its been awhile but the last I heard it was Germany that he was being sent to. The US has no hate speech laws and freedom of expression is protected there even more than here, so I seriously doubt he did prison time in the US unless it was something else. In Germany its illegal to even question the holocaust, which is exactly what Zundel was doing, and why the JDL made the complaint.

    Globalresearch is another place I would put in the Zundel category. Some of it is 'interesting', but most everything I ever read there is unsubstatiated conspiracy theories, when headlines begin with rhetorical questions, then you know something is up. There is LOTS wrong with mainstream media, but the benefit of it is that it is BIG, and has a multitude of voices. Usually it is worst when news stories first break because everybody is in competition. I haven't time to footnote it now, but almost EVERYTHING that I've read at this blog I've now seen somewhere on mainstream media. It was a frontpage feature story at the Globe and Mail about what a mistake it was trying to get Ukraine into NATO and that OF COURSE Russia is going to react in some way (for one example).

    My plug is for democracynow.org, they have good coverage of issues that isn't 'out there' like global research. Anyway, thats another thing I'm not going to go into, people have their own sources of information, I'm not getting into a &&&&ing match over where somebody who listens to Zundel or Global Research tells me to get my information.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can say what you want here and nobody cares?
      Ever heard of our domestic spy agency which is really a branch of the American NSA?
      And certainly, New Brunswickers are very, very timid about what they say. obviously, they think there are dangers in having t he wrong opinions.

      Delete
  7. Who funds democracynow?

    I'd be careful about the mixing of correct information with disinfo from them.

    Same as 'The Young Turks'.

    Noam Chomsky also.

    He's brought much to light in the past about Washington's war crimes, but is a 9/11 denier.

    Chomsky is useful in keeping the bigger lies hidden from a more liberalized crowd.

    (Of course, both sides of the political spectrum, the right vs. the left have been duped into a divide-and-conquer strategy).

    So, be careful of any larger, news organization for being compromised.

    For myself, I simply look at a wide variety of small fry, independent researchers - mostly doing everything out of pocket, meaning on shoestring budgets, but individuals who are willing to take risks of sometimes discussing the more bizarre aspects of what's driving the 'elite' agenda, but at least, these individuals have intact B.S. detectors all the same.

    Usually, if mainstream media is reporting on an important issue, such as ISIS, then I find the truth is usually 180 degrees in the opposite direction.




    ReplyDelete
  8. Democracy now is funded by viewers, completely. I always laugh when I hear Noam Chomsky chastised because he is a 911 denier-so he 'can't be trusted'. Actually, what he's always said is the same as with numerous other issues, which is that there is no evidence, only theories, and one thing about Chomsky, if there is no evidence, he doesn't waste his time. That he has critics on all sides of the political spectrum tell me that he's usually on to something, and plus the fact that any time he gives a talk he encourages people to research the issue.

    The other good thing about Chomsky is that he sources almost all his stuff. So whenever you hear stuff about US aggression, he usually sources people in the state department who are quite open about these things. The media usually parrot politicians who go on about things like "advancing democracy" and such silliness, but government documents themselves are usually pretty honest about the fact the US runs the world and wants to continue to do so. Even during the Iraq war the US government was stating clearly that this was only the FIRST of such aggressions.

    As for that red herring of over a decade ago, I think he said it best when refuting a challenger-IF the US had organized 911 then the FIRST thing they would have done is blame it on Iraq, which they ultimately wanted to invade anyway.

    But that theory assumes that 'small' operations can't be 'compromised'. VERY few people can afford to go to various places in the world and report on them, and even fewer have the time to dig through all the information. And of course individual people can simply be NUTS. Thats the reality. Take something like this ISIS stuff, most of the mainstream media that I've ever heard has stated openly that they don't know what is going on. But we're supposed to believe that some people who have never even been to the area know what its ALL about and whats going on.

    To change the subject, Mr. Decarie could very well add CBC to his blog, particularly since there is even less to it than Irving. Even though the CBC says they are putting all their eggs on digital, their website has 11 stories, 8 of which are about the aftermath of the tropical storm, almost none of it instructive.

    The operative point of the last sentence being that you "find the truth", when

    ReplyDelete