Saturday, September 27, 2014

Lord love a duck...

Where to start...

Thursday's Big Story in Section A  (p. 3) is literally big, taking up three-quarters of a page. It's made up largely of quotations from two cousins, Brian Murphy and Mike Murphy. telling us what gee-whiz sweethearts they both are. and how they are, God bless them, setting up their own law firm to "help the little guy".  And this, apparently, is why both went into politics as Liberals because that's the party that's well-known for having no contacts with big money.

The reporter asks no questions except to give us important information like - they sat in comfy chairs, Brian's office is the furthest down the hall, one of them has an antique desk. The reporter breaks from that important information only to slobber all over their shoes. Oh, yes, their offices are in the Hawk Building (which are, presumably, very reasonably priced because the   Hawk Building has no connection whatever with big business.)

As a news story, this is beneath contempt for both the reporter and the page editor.  And who bloody cares, anyway?

Section A has a big story, also by a reporter who doesn't ask questions or consult opposing views. This one tells us that the New Brunswick Business Council  is in favour of developing shale gas. Gee! I would never have guessed. I was sure the Business Council would be opposed to it because of its deep concern about environmental and human damage.

Oh, yes. And it feels that private business should be doing the research on whether it is safe. Right. That would be better because private business will give us honest answers. We'll always been able to trust them.----though---haven't we been assured that private business HAS been doing research for decades - and has concluded it's perfectly safe? So why bother doing more?

And that takes us to the editorial and op ed pages.
Friday's editorial seems a revolutionary one as it praises the NDP. But note their reason for praising the NDP. It has moved more to the centre. That's rather like our churches that have given up on what Christianity should mean in our daily lives so they can concentrate on bake sales. The basic problem of this province is its domination by big business. No party, including the NDP, touched that issue.  In New Brunswick, the centre is on the far right. We don't need more parties in that centre.

Cole Hobson has an opinion column deploring the increases given to firemen. and says we can't afford binding arbitration that forces an employer to raise salaries. Where does the Irving press find these columnists?

The arbitrators are not ideologues chosen from communist terrorists. These are skilled people chosen to find a reasonable solution to labour disputes, and to settle them in order to maintain essential services. You think we cannot afford to pay our firemen a  half-decent salary? Okay. Next time you have a fire, call Mr. Irving and ask what he charges.

Better still, next time corporation executives  vote themselves million dollar bonuses, demand binding arbitration. After all, just one of those bonuses is more than we are giving increases to all our firemen put together. And all that money comes from the same place - our pockets.

Go ahead Cole Hobson, write a tough piece about the huge increases given to our very rich every year. I dare you.

Of course, business executives are much more necessary to society than firemen are.

Justin Ryan, who is billed as a public education coordinator has his column on - I think it has something to do with multiculturalism. maybe.

Friday's editorial page is a real stinker. The editorial is about binding arbitration and, of course, the writer is against it. It suggests we should avoid it by contracting firefighting out to the private sector. Now, there's bozo idea. Not only would it cost more; it would destroy the prime purpose of firefighting. As it is, the prime purpose is fighting fires. But the prime purpose of private business is to make money for itself - and that would immediately become the prime purpose of the fire department - to make more money for the business.

Bill Belliveau is hilarious. Picture him as a love-sick pre-teen, singing this column under the stars of a summer evening while standing under the window of his heart-throb, Brian Gallant.

Norbert's column, a mish-mash of name-calling, bias and ignorance, says we cannot have groups in this province opposing each other - as in the case of shale gas companies and those who oppose them. Whose fault is it? Well, it's those lying,  insane, bullying, ignorant shale gas opponents. Yes. If only they would pay attention to the real truth as explained to them so patiently by the government, the Irving Press, the gas companies things would be so much nicer.

Norbert, not only is this coarse, crude, and disgusting journalism, it also suggests that you oppose democracy. You feel we should all accept the same views. I understand. Joseph Stalin felt exactly the same way.

Then there's his contempt for those who feel they are 'entitled'.  This, he feels, is a terrible thing for the poor and elderly who need help to survive. But it's okay for a businessman who 'earns' millions of dollars a year. Not did Norbert say a word when J.D. Irving told the world that he was entitled to be a member of the government even though he wasn't elected.

And, of course, bosses in business never goof off. And they work as hard as any employee, usually harder. Bull, Norbert. To which add excrement. I have known many, senior bosses in private business to goof off. As for working hard, when I was child, my father shovelled snow for the city for less than a dollar a day. he did it on the coldest of days with newspapers lining his boots because he couldn't afford socks, and the boots leaked. And then he walked over an hour each day to get free milk for me. I don't think many business bosses could do that - or would.

On my first three jobs, I had no chair like the business bosses have. In fact, I had no chair at all. I stood, I worked with metal, I lifted. There were no leisurely lunches or suppers at elegant restaurants; and not a minute off, morning or afternoon.

Most people in this province who have jobs work damned hard, Norbert, a lot harder than a columnists who has spent his life sitting down to write ass-kissing columns in praise of a billionaire. And many of those people - the ones you have contempt for - are, somehow, living on minimum wage or even less.

This column breathes contempt and even hatred for anybody who isn't rich. It reminds me of a popular Canadian television star I once had to take for dinner. It was the longest evening of my life. She spat hatred for the poor and unfailing love for the very rich. (though it never showed on TV.)  Her daughter is a print-out of the mother, and is now a Conservative senator.

I have known many of very rich who were like that who just loved anybody who was very rich - even if just born rich. And who hated anybody who wasn't rich. It's as though they have to justify their own, often worthless, existences.

They particularly, by the way, dislike small entrepreneurs as people who have no 'gumption'.

Of all the very rich I have known, I can think of only one exception to the rule - a gentlemen without pretensions or bigotry. Let's hear it for Eric Molson.

The only op ed column is by Brent Mazerolle. It and  youth columns on pages 14 and 15 of section C were the only ones for Thursday or Friday that were worth reading.  Mr. Mazerolle did what a real journalist does. He asked the tough questions about the recent election.

The problem with electronic counting of the ballots in the recent provincial election got little attention in the Irving Press. But it's a very serious issue - and maybe even a criminal one.

Voting electronically is usually provided by private business - and it has a history of profound corruption. In George Bush's second election to the presidency, it is almost certain that the company handling the voting machines tampered with the results - and that George Bush did not honestly win that election. The New Brunswick election has all the marks of being a repeat of that situation (close vote, gross  mishandling of the vote count.)     And Brian Gallant has not shown much interest in calling for an investigation. (neither did George Bush).                                                                                

The proposal of the electoral officer to have a partial recount is not good enough. We need a full investigation. Good on Brent Mazerolle for saying so.

New of the World is pretty useless. There's Harper's speech at the UN in which he said, "We cannot have a terrorist Caliphate controlling a large swath of territory and carrying out terrorist attacks against targets here and around the world." Bang on, Stevie baby.

We can, of course, have a terrorist USA controlling a large swatch of territory and carrying out terrorist attacks here and around the world. The US has something like a thousand military bases all over the world. Nobody knows how many innocent people it killed in Vietnam and Libya and Iraq and Afghanistan. Nobody knows how many terrorists it has hired to be "rebels' in Syria - or how many innocent people they killed. We do  know that the terrorist slaughter in Guatemala that killed 300,000 was directed by the US. We know that uncounted numbers of people are killed all over the world in terrorist attacks by US drones and special ops. And we know that many of the victims are quite innocent.

And, as Harper says, lack of freedom and democracy may be a cause of terrorism. Yeah. Could be. Too bad the US has been a major factor in killing democracy wherever it raises its head. Just recently - in Egypt, all over Central America, in Ukraine, in Syria; and earlier in Vietnam where it cooperated in the assassination of the president (the one on our side), in China where it maintained the dictatorship of the extraordinarily brutal Chiang Kai shek, in Haiti where it exiled the elected president because he wanted to help his country.....

Yes, Stevie, terrorism is terrible. Even worse, if you try to kill people, they will try to kill back. I don't know why. I guess they're just evil.

It's hard to figure out what's really going on from our newspapers.

Why, in the first place, is it the US taking the lead in all this? Wasn't that what the United Nations was supposed to do? Answer - yes. But the United Nations was deliberately designed, with the full co-operation of the US, to keep the UN ineffective by giving veto power to the major nations.

Nor do our papers tell us that ISIS was created, along with other terrorist groups, by the US and Saudi Arabia to destroy Syria. Why is the US so determined to destroy Syria? Because Syria, like Iran, is friendly with Russia and trades with it. But the US wants dominance (conquest and control), in the region as well as the whole world. Russia has been developing relations and trade with countries like Syria and Iran and China, as well as with some countries in South America. This could turn into a big and complicated war. Which leads us to the big question.

Why does the US want so many countries to join in this war? After all, it is facing an ISIS of only 20.000 to 30.000 troops. As armies go, that's barely enough for a respectable Santa Claus parade in a big city. As well, it  has no air force and, obviously, very little defence against air attack. So why is the US so anxious to draw in so many countries?

This is a guess. But it seems the most likely explanation. Obama expects this conflict to grow into a very much bigger one. And he wants as many countries as possible committed to that bigger war.

Don't leaders like Harper know that? Sure they do. But all of them are vulnerable to US pressure. Till now, Harper has been talking loudly and aggressively but doing as little as possible. Now, the heat is on him - and us - to step up to the plate in a very open-ended game. Harper's  first offer will be a very, very modest one. But that doesn't matter. Once we're in for the small part, we're in for the big part.
The youth columns are all good. I particularly enjoyed a hilarious one by Jerrica Naugler on C14

The Faith Page continues its intense interest pie sales and pancake breakfasts. The sermonette is the usual gobbledygook that sounds religious but seems designed the avoid any evaluation of the spiritual characters of the very rich and greedy,.or of the would-be conquerors among our governments. Come on, guys and gals, what would Jesus do about ISIS? Would He just bomb? Or would He put boots on the ground?

1 comment:

  1. Wellsir, I rarely if ever say this, but I agree with everything you said.