Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July 8: Wow! Big story! Nothing happened....

There's a big picture on the front page of police in bullet-proof vests, and one of the them carrying a rifle. The big story? Nothing. There had been a false alarm about a robbery in Moncton.

Wow! Nothing happened. Get a reporter and a photographer on this fast.

So page A 3 has a whole page of six, big colour photos and a news story about something that never happened. That's what's called sensationalism. A real newspaper would have given it one, brief  paragraph with no pictures.

But, to look on the good side, it's the most important story in all of Section A.

NewsToday has more than the usual news - three and a half pages, substantially less and later than you can get on Google. And, again, those pages have lots of non-news. There is, for example, the story that the defence in the trial of Pistorius winds up today. That's it. You don't really need a story for that. The headline is the whole story.

Then there's the big story that the experience of our December ice storm helped NB Power crews deal with tropical storm Arthur. Yeah. So? In fact, it's not even a story. It's the usual, self-serving PR statement from an official. The "reporter" just copied down his statements, and wrote "he said" before them.

The best news I saw was on C3, "Orphanage survivors in Halifax celebrate legal win". It brought back a day many years ago when I  was a student at Acadia driving along the shore highway out of Halifax. Out of curiosity, I turned off onto a side road running through forest. There, in a clearing, I saw a grim building with a big sign on it - Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children. There was no sign of life.

You could feel  the evil of the place. I remember thinking the sign could have read "Abandon hope all ye who enter here."

At that time, Montreal was noted for its racism, but the Nova Scotia of those days carried me back to the viciousness I had seen from Washington and south of it in the US. I had also seen intense racism in Nova Scotia - and that "Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children"  summed up all the vileness of it

But the story, from Canadian Press, captures none of that. The word racism, in fact, appears only once, and then in quoting a lawyer for the victims. This is bad reporting. The story means nothing without setting it in the context of Nova Scotia racism.

Another important story made pointless is on C10 "Lac Megantic remembers rail disaster one year later".
There is not a word about the failure of the federal government to take any corrective action in a whole year. Nor has there been any open investigation. I don't expect the Irving press to have a reporter named Clark Kent who can fix everything. But it must surely have someone with the wit to know what kinds of questions should have been asked - and what should have been a lot more open than it has been.

So far, the investigation into a accident that killed 47 people has been kept a secret from us. Get a reporter who can, at least, tell us what the blank spots are, and can alert us to the kind of investigation we are not getting.

There is little foreign news, and that little gives no hint of the turmoil in this world, and how uncertain and dangerous it makes our lives. Most of the world is preparing for wars foreign and civil. We will be expected to support decisions for insanities which have been growing for the last 70 years. And, relying on most of our media has left us ignorant of what has been happening in the world, and even here in New Brunswick.

There is the usual nothing much in editorial or op eds. Norbert has a useful topic about Facebook allowing scientists to manipulate posts of members without telling them. Quite so. And our spy agencies have been doing the same and worse for years. So how come Norbert has never attacked our spy agencies?
Monday's  paper wasn't as good. It had yet another feature story on the Rotary Ribfest. And yet again, more pictures for those who don't know what people who eat ribs look like. There was even a big photo of a plastic pig for those who don't know where ribs come from.

The only other thing in Tuesday's paper worth reading is Norbert's column. It is easily one of the most thoroughly disgusting columns I have ever seen. And it shows the utter contempt of this toadie for almost all of us.

Norbert's world-vision is that of liveried and snobbish doorman in one of the great homes of an aristocrat in Victorian England. Servile to his master, he has the pride of feeling he is at least attached to the better sort of people - the aristocracy. Though really only a commoner himself, he has contempt for all those other commoners.

My mother was born into a Scottish working class family a decade after the death of Queen Victoria. It was then still the world of commoners and aristocrats. We were very much commoners. I remember she would sometimes refer to someone as coming from "...a very good family." By the time I was six or so, I knew that meant rich (by our standards). A bad family was invariably a poor one (which left us pretty much in the cellar.)

The rich had every right to demand whatever they wanted. Us commoners didn't. That meant the rich had a right to 'entitlement'. We didn't.

Norbert's column is about "our culture of entitlement". He uses the term that is condescending, even sneering, in reference to  health care, education, pensions..... (He also shows his ignorance of the meaning of entitlement by suggesting that shale gas opponents are not entitled to oppose anything.)

Norbert is the ultimate Victorian butler.

In no case does he mention any limit on the entitlements of the very rich - to lower taxes, to government grants, to  private meetings with their head  waiter Mr. Alward. Yet, they are the ones primarily responsible for our economic problems. They, not Mr. Alward, determine our budget. They, not Mr. Alward, set taxation breaks.

There's a reason we don't have as much money as we should in circulation. For a good twenty years,    the rich have been getting richer much, much faster than us. They have funneled the money into their own pockets.  That, apparently, is their entitlement. Say it with a sneer, Norbert. See if you dare.

All over the western world most people are getting poorer while the rich are soaring to levels never before reached. That is what has caused an economic crisis all over the world. (Yes, Norbert, there is a world beyond New Brunswick.) The very rich have, by their greed, created a disaster - and they intend the rest of us to pay for it.

And, as I can guess from the readings you supply us with, you read books on economics only if they were written by people anxious to please the Irvings - and all those other butlers, footmen, carriage drivers. waiters and personal dressers who work for our "good' families.

I don't suggest we spend money wildly. We're doing that now by throwing it at the rich. What we need are honest politicians with some brains, and fewer journalists who spend their lives asking the rich to bend over so they can kiss them better.

Norbert ends by saying we have refused to face economic reality. In fact, Norbert, you have refused to look at it. You see only what you want to see - and you don't want to see anything that would displease t he rich. Your approach to our economic problems is to make them even worse. And that will take us straight to a real disaster.

Around the world the rich are creating profound suffering and hardships. That is going to lead to severe internal violence. That is why many police forces, especially in the US, are being armed with military weaponry. That is why we have massive and secret spy agencies here and in other countries. The US, in particular, is getting close to a breaking point.

Look, as you say, at reality, Norbert. And be a mensch.

Are we entitled? You're damn right we are. We are all of us entitled to respect as human beings. We are all of us as a society entitled to build a society which can ensure we can meet basic needs. There was a long time ago a world that Norbert still lives in. It was a world of aristocracy and commoners in which only the wealthy were entitled to education, medical care, basic needs, equal opportunity. It was a world that created nothing but  massive suffering and rage.

I'll bet Norbert thinks the Russian revolution was caused by communists. Not at all. Communists had been trying to create revolutions for over half a century - without luck. What caused the Russian revolution was an arrogant, brutal, greedy aristocracy. What emerged as the communist government was, not surprisingly, an arrogant, brutal and greedy communist government.

To change anything through violence is one hell of dangerous exercise - and usually a failure.

So if our western world is to survive, people like Norbert have to stop acting as if they were servants to the Tsar and his aristocracy. As it is, our Norberts and the Irving press cater to the most dangerous revolutionaries of our time, people who lack a good deal of brain, and who have no moral principles whatever. You know, the "good families".

Like you said, Norbert, align your expectations with reality.

We commoners are entitled. We're entitled to our opinion even when we criticize shale gas. We're entitled to a fair share of the opportunities and a fair share of the wealth our society produces. We're entitled to expect that our politicians represent us; we're entitled to news media that tell the truth. Tell your master that, Norbert. You'll be doing him a favour.

And he'll fire you.

And that will be doing us a favour.

There is an important letter to the editor in the Monday, July 7 edition. It's from a retired RCMP officer; and it demands that the inquiry into our recent killings should be public, not simply internal. If you really have sympathy for those who died and respect for those who lived, you will loudly demand that it be public. This is far more important than crying of pictures of a dog that has lost it's mater.  It's far more important than putting up signs saying Moncton is Strong. Our police (and us voters) deserve an open and public inquiry into what happened, and why it happened as it did.
As always, there were important stories that did not appear in the Irving press - and probably won't.

The Globe had two, interesting stories about Alberta oilsands.
1. Oilsands is not crucial to the Canadian economy. It is only 2% of our gross national product.
2, A major study carried out by university scientists and the Canadian government has produced an alarming report about the pollution resulting - not just in the oil region itself, but carried downstream all the way to the sea. And it seems the estimates of the damage have been way off.

What the study showed is high levels of arsenic, mercury and heavy metals that are destroying plant, animal, and human life. The major human victims are native peoples who traditionally depend on hunting. They, too, are being sickened by the poisons, and are generally showing poor health.

Lord know how bad it must be in the oil field, itself. Or how many centuries it will last. And when you think of the profits, think of the centuries of losses.

Funny how the oil companies never noticed that pollution.


  1. I'd like a public inquiry into the Moncton RCMP shooting!

    Such as, what a statistical coincidence it must be to have had an EMO fire/shooter drill 5 days prior in Sackville, NB at Mount A.

    I'd also like to know why the CBC appeared so scripted as they pushed the exact, same anti-authoritarian meme as US media has been doing to describe some of the shooters in what must be the most questionable rash of alleged 'shootings' in recent history.

  2. That was funny. I don't think there is a word for that, a guy who is condescending to his own class all because he works for a more elite class of people. I think we should call that a 'norbert' from now on, the name seems perfect. I'd call Alward and most politicians a 'norbert' as they seem to look down on voters just because they are paid by wealthy donors.

    As for the Moncton shooting, there were rumours flying around the internet that this guy knew the Moncton guy who was shot by police under what seem pretty suspicious circumstances. This rampage occurred just two weeks after the Fredericton Police, themselves no stranger to scandal, signed off on the investigation clearing the guy.

    THAT seems far more interesting than how the police handled it.

    As for the CBC, the 'anti authoritarian' theme (I hate that word meme) seems pretty appropriate for a guy who didn't even bother regular civilians but specifically shot at cops. If thats not 'anti authoritarian' then I don't know what is. But 'alleged shootings'? Dude, are you seriously saying that people have mistaken being shot??

  3. OK Mikel - no evidence for 9/11?

    OK - You win.

    You want to be a sheep? You be one.

    Otherwise, you're a paid troll, or both.

    Can't waste my time waking you up, and certainly don't appreciate your disinfo attempt, or self-delusion.

    Noam Chomsky himself informed us in a very bizarre use of language and reasoning that he knows different.

    He said (and I quote), 'Even if it were true....what would it matter?'


    9/11 is the key-pin our whole reality today with the war on terror fiction pivots on!

    This from a rational, mature mind accustomed to doing in-depth research?

    I'm sure he got his knuckles rapped for that one.

    Yeah...try again.

  4. By all means don't waste your time, don't even bring up 911 again, I'll be quite happy. Call me names all you want, but Chomsky is right, what DOES it matter? George Bush of course, can't even tie his own shoes.

    In fact, its the ultimate in elitism. As the blogger here reminds us, the US government is responsible for murders, killings, deaths, by the MILLIONS from Vietnam to the South Pacific to South America. The US government is responsible for deaths that FAR exceed the number that died during 911. What makes US civilian deaths more valuable than those worldwide, deaths we KNOW about, and that the US government has ADMITTED to.

    The US government even kills its own population, its the only advanced nation with the death penalty, and even those underage and developmentally challenged are executed, so why should we care so much about 911? All because these people were middle class financial workers? Like I said, almost half of the US believes there was some kind of coverup, thats a lot of sheep, and politically its had about zero impact.

    And actually, his knuckles weren't rapped at all, fortunately people stopped asking him about it, something he was quite happy about.

    So you don't need to delve into government conspiracy theories in order to find US government culpability, they murder ALL THE TIME. They are doing it right now with drones all over the world. Wasting time talking about whether they did it in the one case that they don't admit to is just that. Maybe you had relatives that died on 911, thats too bad, but for those of us who already know about US war crimes, the 3000, or 5000 people who died on 911 pales in comparison to those killed by the US government (that doesn't make it 'right' or 'good').

    But there's really no point in debating anymore, if you think that 911 is the 'key pin' of the war on terror, well, believe that if you want but don't expect people to listen. The war on terror was announced in 1983 by Ronald Reagan against those 'evil sandinista's' who were heading from the jungles of central america to wipe out america and it was used as rationale for the US to wreak havoc all over central and south america. If you think 911 triggered the war on terror, then you really know nothing about the war on terror, you might want to talk to this blogger about it, he recounts the history in pretty good detail fairly often. 911 was simply a convenient way to step up the warfare, but they don't really need it. What does Russia have to do with the 'war on terror'? Nothing. The blogger here keeps mentioning the US planning on going to war with China, what does CHina have to do with the war on terror? Zero. Cuba was supposed to be part of the 'red menace' of Russia which is the reason they SAID they had to have sanctions on Cuba, after there was no more russia, the intelligentsia never missed a beat-oh, sorry, it was the 'fight for democracy' which is why we have to make life miserable for cubans.

    911 is simply a distraction for people who like conspiracy theories, but talking about 911 accomplishes no more than talking about aliens landing in Nevada, or the coming apocolypse. In fact the only thing I've ever seen it accomplish is that certain people like to feel smug by calling other people 'sheep' just because they don't agree with them. Thats fine, but guess what, I've not seen you with any placards out there on the streets, so just because you claim to believe something that has no impact on how you act anyway, that makes you just as much a sheep as anybody else. Welcome to the club buddy.

  5. And PS, the final point I'll make on that, is that the other function that emphasis on 911 conspiracy theories have is to take focus away from the outright illegality of the subsequent war on Afghanistan. The only 'crime' of Afghani's was that a guy who probably didn't have anything to do with it, but was a spokesman for anti american sentiment (and was funded by the CIA) may have lived there.

    Afghanistan had no real government really, it was in the midst of a civil war, and what it requested was evidence before it surrendered Bin Laden.

    Under international law such a war is only justified IF a nation is under threat. There was no evidence Afghanistan even could, let alone desired, to attack the US. This made Canada as well as the United States war criminals, responsible for all the violence in that country since.

    This is once again a form of elitism. Its well known that the US was a war criminal in engaging in such a war, so whether 911 was a coverup, perpetrated by americans, the government, or whomever, is moot. In fact I seem to recall there was more evidence against Saudi Arabia than anywhere else, but of course their fascist theocracy is propped up by the US, so none of this gets much mention at all anymore.

  6. No power again for another day. Trees on lines.

    OK mikel – dude don't give yourself an aneurism!

    But, did anyone never inform you on the finer practices of not confusing what you intend to say?

    Some of your single statements are seriously illogical.

    But, nice to see you agreeing our western nations are a murderous lot.

    And perhaps you're right about 9/11 being an irrelevant event from an ancient bygone era.

    I mean who cares now right?

    Who cares that it was an inside job.

    Who cares Noam Chomsky is lying about it.

    I mean, it was such a long, long time ago, that in my present state, in my GMO, fluoridated, chem-trail, geo-engineered-intellectually-impaired-capacity, I can barely remember that far back!

    It was after all a dozen years ago. Like I can barely remember last week!

    2001 might as well been like a thousand years ago when the dinosaurs roamed the earth!

    You're right. It probably has absolutely no bearing on contemporary politics today.

    We might as well all drink the Kool-Aid and carry on the theme of misidentifying recent, world changing events as if they aren't relevant to our contemporary politics.

    Thanks for setting me straight.

  7. No problem, though its far more effective to actually SAY where statements are illogical, otherwise, gee, we might just think you are making it up and not backing it up. You also don't actually state where Chomsky was 'lying'.

    And for the record, I didn't say 911 wasn't important because of the time frame, that has nothing to do with it, since you got that wrong, maybe my statements weren't so illogical after all, maybe it was what you were reading into them.

    It MAY actually be important someday, like if some person who was involved actually came forward or if some actual evidence were found, and not just talk of 'ok here's the melting point of structural steel'. But right now, all it is is hearsay.

    Its also not important because of the reasons I mentioned-its not our country, you can't do anything about it, the US has admitted to far greater war crimes, and more importantly, even a badly documented piece like Fahrenheit 911 shows that the government didn't even NEED to plan such a thing. We have evidence that there was a very high probability they knew of an attack, and that those high up in the administration KNEW this, we know that numerous safeguards in the american security apparatus were closed down.

    When you know people hate you, you don't NEED to attack your own country and blame it on somebody, all you have to do is turn your back and WAIT. Condoleeza Rice stated that her team had known airlines were going to be used about a month before this happened.

    So the last reason is that the conspiracy theories really don't even make sense.

    If what you got from my schpeel was that you think I thought it wasn't important because 'it was a long time ago', then you weren't paying attention and shouldn't be talking about where my statements were 'illogical', because clearly you didn't read them. Actually, I reread my comments and I didn't even MENTION anything about a timeline or the fact it was 'a long time ago'. I would NEVER say that, there are americans who will say that about Iraq, even though the americans owe that country billions in reparations. So that argument doesn't even make sense. Actually, the LONGER ago these events are usually the better, because I think its 28 years as the standard time frame and then classified documents become declassified. So we get a VERY good picture of historical events, but recent ones, not so much.

    One of my favourites is the fact that the US sent pollsters to the arab region back in the fifties and stated back that "the people of the region distrust the US because it backs dictators", and that this was hard to dispel because it was essentially true. So as you see, the people of the arab countries have been living under a 'war on terror' for quite some time, they certainly didn't need 911 to set it off.

    PS, so I don't hog up on another thread, I liked the newest blog as well as the comment. That's really useful news items in the comments section, and thats the kind of thing that is a far more useful use of time than 911 theories. Just sayin...