Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Oct. 14: Wow! A page and a half of people......

....picking apples. (Actually only one photo is of a person who is actually picking an apple.)  Also in the Monday edition, a big story that the Fundy lobster season is ready to start, and fishermen are hoping for good prices. Gee! Who would have guessed? And, in a world that is on the brink of the biggest war it has ever seen, the edition has not a single story about foreign news. In more exciting news, ace reporter Dale Hobson breaks the big news that a Pita Pit restaurant will be opening in  Riverview.- Page A1, and continued on P. A4.  (Paris will be so jealous.) I bet it took some real digging to get that story. But real digging is what ace reporter Dale Hobson was trained to do at journalism school.

The Monday edition has three and a half pages - AND an editorial - on volunteers in Moncton. In fact, there are stories about and photos of volunteers in just about every copy of the Irving press I have seen.It seems not to have occurred to anybody that there is something wrong with a society that leaves it up to volunteers to provide for basic needs - like food and shelter. All credit to the volunteers. But we should be ashamed of our ourselves for living in a society that does not care for basic, human needs.The Tuesday edition has two more stories on volunteers.

On the good side, volunteers keep taxes on the rich down.

For Tuesday, t he editorial writer must have wet his pants in excitement about the saving of Castle Manor. He writes, "Historic architecture is part of a community's culture and character." I don't even know what that means. What is the culture of Moncton? What is the character? How does it show itself in a pretentious but childish copy of a medieval castle with lots of windows? Does it show we are all pretentious and clumsy and have no taste?

For Tuesday, Norbert has his usual column attacking bureaucrats and technocrats. Actually, I don't get a sense that he knows what those words mean. He just uses them as swear words. The truth is that a modern society needs bureaucrats and technocrats. For an intelligent article on the subject - and why we're having problems in that area - go to www.cbc.ca/news/Canada new -brunswick/political-problems-plague-new-brunswick-s-public-service-1.2797638

It's written by Jeff Patch, a senior civil servant of some twenty years ago who says the politicians interfere with hiring to put incompetent friends into civil service jobs. It began with McKenna, and has gone wilder ever since. I guess Norbert doesn't listen to CBC.

The reality is we desperately need bureaucrats and technocrats - and we probably need more of them. But Norbert just loves to spit hatred and bigotry.

Alec Bruce has two, excellent columns.On Monday, he takes an informed look at the needs  of our education system. On Tuesday, He look at the federal government's self-congratulation on handling the economic crisis - but points out that our relatively easy time might have more to do with the structure and traditions of our financial institutions than with the government. But there's worse to come - and Harper is not prepared for it.

Ono Tuesday, Louise Gilbert offers a very useful column, well-written,   informed advice, and encouraging on adjusting to being a senior.

Alan Cochrane has a column on, God help us, volunteerism.

Monday's NewsToday has NO foreign news at all. There is, however, an excellent story on B4 "Lax climate policy hasn't resulted in 'energy superpower status' for Canada"'  The story is that Harper (and his Liberal predecessors) deliberately sacrificed the environment - and are still doing so - in order to make Canada a superpower in oil production. And that has created crises and distrust at home and abroad - and may well be topped off with a decline of our oil industry.

Tuesday's NewsToday has a silly story that Canada will not make raids in Iraq that might kill civilians. Come off it. I don't think any war has ever been fought without killing civilians. (The story admits we may have killed some in Libya.)

It's B4 has a story that John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Lincoln, met in Montreal with Confederate agents just before the assassination. I have no idea why they printed it. In the first place, it really tells us nothing of any significance. In the second place, it's an old story that was first published shortly after the assassination.

D4 also has a story on the life of Billy Bishop, our first air ace in World War One. It is by no means the full story, leaving out all the  unsavoury parts of his character. When an NFB film told the whole story, there was a political storm led by furious veterans who demanded the film be destroyed (for what it said about Bishop, and for other reasons - like telling the truth that we took part in bombing raids that were deliberately aimed at civilians in WW2. The government (of Mulroney, I think) appointed a committee made up entirely of Conservative senators to study the complaints. That committee is mentioned in this story

I remember the committee well because I attended it in order to give testimony. The senators were a rare collection of dolts who were obviously there under orders to condemn the film. They knew nothing about the two world wars, nothing about the military. My greatest shock came when a senator asked me what a Lancaster bomber was.

Billy Bishop was, indeed, a fine fighter pilot. He was also a liar and a cheat who got caught in military college.He is strongly suspected of lying about some of his fears in the war. In the second world war, he held a very high rank at the marshal level. But he had no role in commanding the air force. He couldn't. He was a chronic drunk, useful only to appear in public in his uniform to boost morale.

For Tuesday, p.4 has as its big, business page story the tale of a woman who likes sewing leather, and has a small business selling leather products. So that's what the business world is all about.
There were some stories the Irving press missed. Yes, it actually did.

There was the one I've already mentioned about Jeff Patch who took the lid off political interference in appointing civil servants.

Then there's Liberia and ebola. Now, Cuba is a poor country, largely because of US embargoes on Cuban trade. But Cuba has sent 120 doctors to fight ebola in Liberia. They have 120 doctors to spare because poor Cuba, unlike the rich United States and Canada, makes it possible for every citizens to have access to education to the highest levels. It also has a medicare system at least equal to Canada's, and one that leaves the US in the dark ages. So Cuba sent 120 doctors to fight ebola.

The US sent 7,000  - no, not doctors ----it sent soldiers. I guess they're going to shoot the germs.

Why on earth would the US send 7,000 soldiers? We have to guess. My guess is that Obama is taking advantage of the ebola crisis to establish an American military base in Liberia. He's all heart.

Then there was an interesting story in The Star (Toronto) on this Oct. 14 - and one that has a direct effect on New Brunswick. Perhaps the most corrupt and the most corrupting big business in the world is the pharmaceutical manufacturing business in the US. Certainly it is, according to most reports, the one that spends the most to buy politicians. That's why the US pays the full, retail price per pill even when it sends medical supplies as foreign aid.

Most developed countries keep prices for medicare down by requiring that the pharmaceutical companies compete in bidding to get prices down. But not Canada.

No, here in Canada (including New Brunswick) we pay a fixed price set by the provinces for medication. No competition. (Funny how capitalists always talk about the superiority of competition - but hate to engage in it themselves.)  The result is that New Brunswickers, like all Canadians, pay over twice as much as other developed countries for medications

Why do the provinces do such a crazy thing as to pay twice as much as necessary for a product? Gee - could it be they're paid off to do that? Nah....not our politicians.
de Adder is an excellent cartoonist. Sometimes he is an excellent political cartoonist. What gets in his way is that his thinking about political affairs simply follows that of the crowd. Tuesday's cartoon is a picture of the the earth, with Africa facing the reader. The word at the bottom is contagion. On the cartoon is the word ebola pointing to Liberia. There is also the word ISIS pointing to the middle east.

In fact, the only political contagion in that whole region for the last century has been us of the western world who have murdered. pillaged, exploited every country, a job the US has taken up with a vengeance ever since 1945. That contagion is what created ISIS. And ISIS spread because the US and allies like Saudi Arabia supplied it with money, weapons, and training so it could kill for the US.

And they behead people? How cruel. The western powers would never to do that - not on video. They're Christian. They kill by bombing civilians, burning people to death, starving them to death, torturing. The largely Christian western world now represents the most dangerous and irresponsible killing force of our time.

So why, after we have starved hundreds of thousands, tortured thousands,killed millions, do we now express horror at Muslims who kill people by beheading? Because our private news media tell us about the horrors of beheading; and they tell us to hate Muslims because they kill people in such a terrible way. But they say nothing about the children we starved to death in Iraq, the civilians we murdered in Afghanistan, the millions we made into refugees, many of them to die deaths that are never reported.

So why do we believe our news media when they blame it all on Muslims? We believe it because we, all of us, have within us the seeds of bigotism, hatred, and racism. The private news media and their billionaire owners have learned to water those seeds, to bring them to full blossom. Racism has always been widespread in the western world. Hitler was no exception to the rule. He was a very typical example of the western world: and a devout Christian to boot.

All of this is why de Adder misses the point of what is going on, and so misses the greatest contagion of them all - us.


  1. Since writing the above, I have read figures that show Cuba sent 162 doctors to Liberia - and that the US sent 7,000 soldiers. I didn't keep a record of my original source so I can't check it.

    Anyway, it doesn't matter. The story is still that tiny and poor Cuba sent a large number of doctors to fight ebola. The large and rich US sent a larger number - of soldiers, presumably to shoot ebola.

  2. And I assume you meant that Billy Bishop talked about his 'feats' during world war 2 and not his 'fears':)

  3. I'm not even sure they allowed him to talk.

  4. Watched it last eve on the NFB site. An eye-opening if nothing else. Not quite what our masters would have us to believe. (has Harper not cut the funding for this wasteful expenditure yet? ;-)