Saturday, October 11, 2014

Oct. 11: rock bottom

The Friday and Saturday edition of the TandT for this week are the worst I have yet seen in that whole, wretched Irving press.

For Wednesday, the section A news is not just trivial; some is downright bizarre. On A2, there is a story that there's no need for an Ebola panic in NB. Okay. That's a reasonable story to report on. But the big picture to illustrate the story is of parking lot construction at the Dumont hospital. A photo, like a story, should tell us something. What the hell does this photo tell us about Ebola?

Below it is a story about roadwork in Moncton wrapping up. And there's a picture which shows even less that the one above it does, nothing but a couple of roadwork signs. What does that tell us?

By the way, the intrepid editors and reporters for the TandT don't seem to have heard of a suspected Ebola victim in Quebec (Temiskaming), even though the story is at least two days old. And all they had to do was to look at google.

Then, Friday has that silly (and large section) called A Better New Brunswick which features interviews with people telling us how to make this, well, a better New Brunswick. All of these features so far have been pretty silly and trivial. Today's  edition has an interview with a man who takes silly and trivial  to new depths with his opening headline statement, "People are province's biggest asset".  This gem comes from the mouth of a man, Brian Murphy, who had his time as MLA to make this a better province, and didn't do it. His statement reminds me of the Faith Page at its goopiest - all warm and cuddly, and quite meaningless.

Though Murhpy's "thoughts" are largely about economics, he does it without mentioning the phenomenal wage gap in this province - and without mentioning those people in this province who have the real power.

If I recall correctly, it was Brian Murphy, as education minister,  who refused to support a school principal who was under attack by parents for not playing 'O Canada" every morning. To Mr. Murphy and all those self-righteous, fist-shaking parents, it is NOT the job of the school to teach patriotism. It is the job of the school to teach thinking and understanding. And sometimes that makes one patriotic; and some times it doesn't. But in no case should the school be a propaganda centre. That's how Hitler used it. Do you stand up every morning and sing "O Canada" Mr. Murphy? If so, you should see tickets.

On the same page, there is also bad news. The Irving Chapel will close for the winter after Oct. 12. So you will have to find another church to worship the Irvings. Alas, the other church will be unlikely to have "special music".

For Friday, the editorial and op ed pages are much as usual.  The editorial and Norbert really have nothing to say.

Cole Hobson has a good topic in the problem of PTSD - though he doesn't do much with it. It's a very serious problem, indeed. And we inflict it on our military whenever we send them into action - and then Harper is notably slow to do anything about it.

Justin Ryan's column on foreign cooking seems light stuff- but it has a lot of truth to it. It's about how people of different parts of the world can come together through cooking. I developed a love for China in restaurants and homes and mealtime. I especially remember a restaurant called The Pepper Pot. On the first, few bites, my nose was running and there were tears in my eyes. And then we began the really hot part. It was heaven. Later, Chinese friends taught me how to boil lettuce without getting it wet - as a sort of balance to all the peppers.

There is also an excellent letter to the editor on a topic the paper never covers, "Better wages needed for working people".

Editorial and op eds for Friday are mostly the regular trivial trash. Norbert is deep into a series, telling us about books he has been reading which are intended to advanced students of the art and science of reading.
Norbert, you are writing for an audience of the most illiterate people in Canada. The books you are quoting are aimed at those who are not just literate, but highly literate. But what your audience needs encouragement to read at all. You might start by raising the point that we have the worst funded libraries in Canada.

The one column worth reading is Gwynne Dyer on Ebola. It's the most concise and the most informative column I have seen on the subject. And it's damned frightening.
Both Friday and Saturday have very little world news - and most of the news they do have is trivial. "Cop who watched women have sex in jail not guilty". Alas, there is no photo. I was hoping for at least another picture of road repairs.

Friday's B6 has the news item I expected to see about now - that is, soon after the election. "Mike Wilson named chair of New Brunswick Business Council." But that's not the important part. Who could care less who the chairman of the business council is?

What's iimportant is his very arrogant attitude in saying he looks forward to working with the new Liberal government to bring prosperity to the province. Hey, Mr. Wilson. The people of New Brunswick didn't elect  you. And you have no special right to claim a role in government. This is a shadow, admittedly a pale one, of Mr. Irving's announcement at the start of Alward's government that he was a member of the government - without getting elected.

Mr.Wilson wants to bring prosperity to the province? Like hell he does. He wants to bring prosperity to big business and, the thinking of big business is to make the rest of the people bear the burden of bringing down the debt. He wants to make sure big business does not pay the cost for the damage it has done to our economy and our services.

New Brunswick, Canada, and the United States ARE prosperous. There's lots and lots of money. The problem for the last twenty years and more is that most of that prosperity is going into the pockets of the very rich who don't pay anywhere near the taxes they should, and who are now so liberated by deregulation and free trade they don't have to give a damn what we people or our governments think. Free trade has also made possible the near-destruction of unions and fair wages.

In addition, the "terrorist" scare has been used in Canada and the US (and other countries) to justify domestic spying on all of us. The government and big business are in bed together in this one, and information about us that has nothing to do with "terrorism" is routinely reported to big business - but not to us. Under Hitler, people who did that sort of spying were called Gestapo.
I read the Faith Page; but now I can't find it.  It doesn't matter. It's just the usual pie sales in a region whose only places of worship are Christian (and Protestant), and whose perpetual sermonette is "Jesus wants you for a sunbeam."

Has it never occurred to these would-be John the Baptists that the moral code of big business is the opposite of any religion I have ever  heard of? All religions I know of emphasize our obligations to each other, are critical of greed and are opposed to killing.

Unregulated capitalism works on a moral code which exalts greed, recognizes no obligation except to the business, and kills people by the millions to get control of resources and markets.  Any thoughts from our clergy?

No. I thought not.
As always, the Irving press has big gaps in its news.

Remember how its editorials have supported shale gas as our big hope for the future, and how the certainly of big profits and good jobs is worth the risk? That's probably why it hasn't told us that the world price of oil is dropping like a rock. Beware of impossible predictions and big promises. That advice would work, too, for the new hockey rink (also called civic centre).

Then there is the big, world conference about the World Health Organization. Well, the whole world except Canada. Harper has refused to go because it's being held in Moscow. Does Harper have higher ideals than all the rest of the leaders in this world? If so,shouldn't he criticize the US, Britain, France, etc. for their lack of moral standards?  Well, actually......

....Harper is doing this because Ukrainian Canadians hate Russians - and he wants that Ukrainian- Canadian vote to be all wrapped up for him just as the Zionist vote is.  This is the Harper we know too well - talk tough and do as little as possible. If the conference were going to be in Israel, he'd charter a couple of jets, and offer free trips to every Zionist in the country. And in Israel he would talk tough and do nothing - just like the last time. This time, again, he talks tough without actually doing anything.

I'm sorry I had to waste so much space and time talking about nothing. But nothing is close to what these two editions were about. I really do want to talk about the Atlantic Charter (of 1941, and do it before Nov. 11). It can be quite a shocker to learn what they charter was really all about.

I think that one day soon, I'll do an extra blog just on the charter.

My sons are home from university for Thanksgiving Day. Did you know that children grow up? I shall have to adjust.


  1. I don't know if the Gwynne Dyer column I read online regarding ebola is exactly the same as in the paper, but if it is, Dyer fails to mention one important fact;

    Just 2 years ago, GlaxoSmithKline was fined $3 billion for fraud and bribery.

    Obviously, GSK now stands to make $billions and $billions more in national, or global vaccine production.

    The CDC executive branch is also not to be trusted.

    Former CDC director Dr. Richard Besser is currently ABC's News Chief Health and Medical editor.

    His recent coverage of an alleged ebola outbreak in Monrovia, Liberia, in Africa is very suspect to say the least.

    In the news clip Besser purposely misleads an unwitting TV audience down the path of contemporary popular culture fiction and Hollywood programming; the dead can come back to life!

    Go to YouTube and type in Richard Besser ABC Zombie.

    I might mention tongue-in-cheek here; Prepare yourselves! Get your ebola vaccination when they become available and before they're all gone!

    The truth of the matter is; the vaccine will likely do us more harm than good.

    Remember, the CDC is also a US government dept.

    This alone should inform us that it's executive branch is under the same control as FEMA, Homeland Security, USAID, etc. We would be naive to simply trust its wider intentions.
    Such is the true nature of the world we live in.

    1. As if to follow on the heels of one of your last paragraphs; I can finally recommend an article in the T&T that is worth reading. Page B4 in the Thanksgiving paper "Lax climate policy hasn't resulted in 'energy superpower' status for Canada". I know it's from The Canadian Press, but how often does the T&T choose good articles from other sources? For a moment I thought I was reading the Globe and Mail.

  2. Point well taken on "Lax climate policy..." I should have given credit where credit was due. i notice the news media are becoming more critical of Harper. Is it possible that the big money is drifting to Trudeau - knowing that he be as malleable as Harper? And has a better chance of winning?

  3. Two truths of the matter-first, there IS no vaccine for ebola. It was a fairly rare disease that was impossible to get investment funds for. Again, you want to rant on the west, don't wait until they are helping, look at how they created the system where such things happen and how they aren't helping enough.

    Glaxo is hardly the only one now trying to created a vaccine, even the canadian government now has one in Phase 1 clinical trials as well as numerous other companies and governments all over the world.

    And stating that the CDC is run by the federal government isn't some kind of argument, its simply a statement of fact. Conspiracists now seem to think just stating an association with the american government proves a point.

    As for 'intent', Dyer says it best "Even without a vaccine, they are confident that their health services can find and isolate any infected people quickly and prevent Ebola from becoming an epidemic in their countries. They are probably right, and so they see the limited help they are sending to West Africa as charity rather than a vital self-interest."

    So yeah, it plays well at home for the domestic audience so that the President isn't constantly talking about drone kills and unjustifiable wars-he can talk about just how nice the US is, 'look how we help those ungrateful savages'.

    On the CBC this morning they talked with front line organizations who point out that only 1 third of the money promised has been forthcoming. As she stated, the US has been building isolation units, but they won't provide the staff to operate them. So the crazy ass conspiracy theory fails right at the outset. If the 'intent' was what is suggested, they'd be providing tons of money and manpower, but the reverse is happening, meaning that the case is what Dyer is suggesting, not the crazy one.

    Point two, not sure what 'big money' means, the conservatives still raise more money than the liberals. The liberals have ALWAYS been as malleable, probably even moreso, than the conservatives. But I've noticed a bit of that in media as well, but if you look at media ownership and who owns/advertises on them, then its not so clear cut as that.

    First, its a year out of an election, so thats when media usually likes to bank its criticism so that during an election people can say they are 'trustworthy' because they did give SOME criticism way back when.

    I picked up mail for a friend who gets MacLeans, and they had yet another article that pretty much mirrored what you've been saying for months, and were specific on their criticism of Harper: that he wasn't ENOUGH of a war monger. He dropped defense spending, which is true, but thats because we no longer have troops in Afghanistan, or hardly anywhere doing anything.

    But since most canadians (I'd argue) see Harper as being TOO militaristic, this is actually not a criticism of him, because the media is pointing out that he's 'not militant enough'. So the final conclusion a person who is only halfway paying attention would come to is that the truth is probably somewhere in between, which is that he's just the right amount.

    And of course the other side of that is that canadian business LIKES military spending, its free government money for them, which is one of the reasons big business is usually pretty gung ho for warfare-but not TOO much warfare that the government takes over industry.