Thursday, November 27, 2014

Nov. 27: The news and other bunk....

We'll start with the news.

A big story on A1 for Wednesday tells you all you need to know about the TandT. "Pup has dramatic recovery after being found abandoned".  And, sure enough, there's a huge photo of  a recovered puppy, with another photo inside. I can imagine the scene in the newsroom now. An editor calls for ace reporter Brent Mazerolle.

"Mazerolle, get on on your horse. We have a fast-breaking story. It's about a puppy. Front page stuff. Bring a photographer. Get all the facts."

An excited Brent Mazerolle rushes home, and opens his secret closet. What to wear? The  Superman suit? Too casual. The Batman suit? Too fussy. Ah! He sees a flash of pink. Perfect. He'll cover this one as -
Miley Cyrus Man.

And that pretty well sets the tone for Wednesday's Section A.

The editorial looks at the problems of daycare, and of emergency shelters for women and children. It's solution? Private business of course. And, in the case of children, a parents could just leave them with a trustworthy parent. And how would the parents know the neighbour is trustworthy? Well, they'd just know. And would the parent have any training is operating day care? Well, no. But, you know, they'd just know.

According to the editorial this is a low cost solution. Yeah, like private medical care in the US is a low cost solution. Private business solutions are almost never low cost.

The editorial also uses the word bureaucrat to scare us. Irving press editors always use it as a dirty word meaning inefficiency and lack of caring. That's partly because they don't understand what "bureaucrat" means - and they don't know that government bureaucracy was so effective in developing Canadian prosperity in the 1940s and 50s, that private business sent its senior executives to Ottawa to observe their methods - and to learn.

Alec Bruce has an odd column. He admits at length that fracking can be disastrous - using North Dakota as a horrible example. Then, toward the end, he says that this couldn't happen here because we have a strong, involved central government.  No. (Sorry. Change the period after "No" to !!!!!!!!!!)

In fact, we have a tradition in New Brunswick that governments are under the thumb of big business. Alec should know that. He writes under the thumb of big business. What's more,  he says, New Brunswick has a record of strong regulation of shale gas. Like hell, it has! We've had government that set up phony committees, often of unqualified and lying people, and a newspaper that has consistently lied to us. And so far, I've seen no reason to believe that Gallant is different.
NewsToday is - as usual. You can get more news, free, every day just be looking at google news. One story, though, raises lots of questions.

The federal auditor's report which has, so far, been highly critical of government spending and record-keeping, has come down hard on the bailouts we have given over the years to the auto industry. There is no clear record of what was spent, how it was spent,what it was for, what it was used for, or even of whether we got any return on that money at all. He could go further.

We are not told how much our governments give to big business, how much the very rich are hiding away in this age of the wage gap, how much they pay to political parties.... No wonder the very rich have such contempt for us suckers.

(The auditor story is on B1).

However, as a sign of alertness, (B5), "First nations told to follow financial rules." Damn right. Who do those native peoples think they are? Entrepreneurs?

By the way, the word entrepreneur means someone who invests money - and risks losing it. Big companies don't do that very much. They suck money, through government, out of us. And if they lose it, they expect us to give them more.

Small business people are entrepreneurs. If your small store goes broke, tough luck. Big business people usually are not entrepreneurs. They're more like bloodsuckers. So why does the Irving press use the word 'entrepreneur' for both groups? It's mug's game - to convince small business that it's in the same boat with big business.

World news is pretty much a blank.

Thursday's front page has a story that actually is a story. Premier Gallant intends to make it easier for women to get abortions in New Brunswick. This is closest I've seen to any real action by him. However, watch for a difficult ride in the legislature. Watch, too, for all the self-righteous anti-abortionists with signs. You know, the ones who have no objection whatever to the mass murder of men, women, and children all over the world. (The call it patriotism. So it's different.)

The only other item of interest is the return of a full-page ad from Transcanada pipeline for Energy East. It's the usual, heavy on blue, an attractive and young, blonde woman, who just happens to be a pipefitter. (She seems to be wearing a rather fancy dress for the job.)

Actually, we'll be seeing fewer of these. Check out B7 for the story "Transcanada cuts ties with U.S. public relations firm......" It was actually revealed a few days ago when the PR firm's advertising campaign strategy was leaked to Greenpeace. It planned to set up bogus groups to attack the statements of environmentalists. The idea was to make it seem as these were just , you know, folks, who were putting new ideas on the table for open discussion. The reality was it would be a strategy "with strong heritage in the more aggressive policy and political fights of  the U.S."---in order to secretly use bogus groups to add "layers of difficulty" for those opposed to the pipeline.

Transcanada, once the story broke, oh, it really, really just wanted to have open and honest discussion, and could not possibly support such a scheme. Sure. They signed a huge deal with the biggest PR firm in the world; but they never even saw what the plan was. I also believe that a baby is born whenever a fairy burps.

Edelman, the PR firm, said the tactic was ethical. Come off it. The word 'ethics' does not exist in the PR world.

There's an important story on B8. Gun sales in the US are expected to go wild on Black Friday - and the system that's supposed to be checking buyers to see if they are allowed to have guns isn't working. As a result there are nine guns for every ten people in the US  (counting children and babies). A person is shot and killed every 16 minutes. Mass murders happen every three weeks or so. This is the country which thinks that God wants it to govern the world.

There were, believe it or not, some major stories that didn't make the Irving press. Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, with his cabinet, has prepared a bill to make Israel a Jewish state with laws based on Jewish law. So, non-Jewish Israelis would not have rights. (Gee. Just like ISIL).

The president of Israel is much opposed because the Israeli declaration of independence in 1948 said it would be based on social and political equality for all its citizens regardless of race and gender. Now, it will be a theocratic state based on a racist concept of religious principals which excludes any possible equality.

Also missing was the story that the US is planning war games it will carry out in the near future - in Ukraine.
What a wonderful move to bring peace. Can you imagine the reaction if Russia planned war games to be held in Cuba?

Get used to it. Obama wants a war with Russia. Greed, stupidity, and maybe insanity rule.

Oh, and a Conservative MP advises all MPs to wear body cameras to guard against allegations of assault from .....well, usually from women (though he doesn't say so.) Let's see, now, in a house of commons ablaze in sexual harassment charges from women against men, an MP thinks the most important thing to do is to protect the men.....

The bunk I mentioned in my intro is not in the Irving press. It's a book review that appears in the December issue of Literary Review of Canada. The book is called "Canada in the Great War Game, 1914-2014". It's by Gwynne Dyer - the one who writes a column every weeks or so for the Times and Transcript. (I haven't read the book yet because Moncton  is not the hub city for new books.) However, I get a general idea of it from the review - and it sounds to me as though Dyer is dead on.

In all the wars of this century - and despite the fine speeches on Nov. 11 - Canada lost over a hundred thousand killed in wars that had nothing to do with Canada, and nothing to do with democracy or freedom or protecting the homeland. An invasion of Canada was neither threatened nor possible in any of those wars. We have been used by Britain and, now, by the US to fight wars that have nothing to do with us. And we're about to do it again.

We do those who died no favour when we perpetuate the lies, and urge others to give their lives, too, in favour of the current lies.

The reviewer doesn't like Dyer's book. Well, that's fair ball. Reviewers don't have to like the books they review. But, if it's about Canadian history, they do need to know something about Canadian history. The reviewer, Michael Cotey Morgan of the U of North Carolina  (for pete's sake)  seems to have only a shaky grasp of Canadian history - and his teaching field is not Canadian history at all).

For example, he says that our sixty thousand dead of World War 1 is what won Canada the right to go to war based on its own decision. Cotey, it's not that simple. In fact, it wasn't even like that.

In the first place, Canada never said in World War 1 that it was going to war for any such reason. In the second place, Canada had to demand the right to declare war on its own in order to keep Canada united after the conscription crisis of 1917. It had nothing to do with Canada's "proud march to independence". In the third place, Britain had to accept the demand because the war had (forever as it turned out) , destroyed Britain's ability to enforce such demands. In the fourth place, Canada was NEVER required to take part in any war in the first place unless Canada was attacked itself. Colonies in the British Empire were, technically, at war when Britain was. But they were not required to participate in any way. The only war that Canada ever fought because it was required to do so by imperial practice, was the War of 1812 - and it was required only because the United States attacked Canada itself. In the Boer War and World War 1, we were not required to send troops. Parliament could well have said no - just as the independent US did for several years in WW1 and WW2. A person who poses as an authority on Canada at war should know that.

The change that came between wars, the right for Canada to declare war entirely on its own made no practical difference at all. And it was certainly not, as the reviewer claims, worth 60,000 killed.

The review is full of errors like that and full of bias. Why on earth would an obscure historian with thin credentials in Canadian history be asked to write a review on this subject? Canada has plenty of military historians of far better credentials. It's true that many of them spend too much time in bed with our military. But it is surely possible to find an unbiased one.

The reality is that Gwynne Dyer is quite right. We have been used to fight British wars and, now, American ones - and usually in the interest of big business in those countries -and usually in the interest of  Canadian big business, too.

That reminds me of a few paragraphs I should write about the idea of patriotism, and what it really means. But that's another day.

1 comment:

  1. looks like OPEC is putting the frackers out of business