Saturday, December 27, 2014

Dec. 27: Reverend Harper leads in a Christmas prayer...

(foreign news at the bottom just below the line ###################################)

Sorry to be late with this one. I spent much of the day  at the worship services for Boxing Day at Walmart's cathedral.
Now back to Canada's spiritual leaders, Stephen Harper.

He asks us to pray for our military in Iraq. Now, I'm not big on praying for anybody or anything.  However, if one is going to be doing it, it should be done in accordance with one's religion. Pray for our side? Most religions, if they believe in prayer at all,  believe in loving  one's neighbour. So they don't just pray for one side because that's praying to help to kill people on the other side. They pray for both sides, and not for killing at all..

Both Christianity and Islam have become more than a little debased in that respect. Hitler's Chaplains led prayer - "for their side".  British churches led prayers for the men  who were killing, starving and exploiting people all over the world for the glory of the British Empire.

And for Harper, a man who lives only for his own power, and who advocates a system in which the economic leaders think only of themselves and how they can get more money - and they call it an economic philosophy - tt's obscene.  It almost makes me wish I could believe in hell for some people.

That's the only thing worth talking about in the Irving press for Dec. 24 and 26.

For example, the big story for Monday is that MP Robert Goguen said, in a vague sort of way, that the provincial Liberals should do more good things - though he was a little vague on what they were.

As I read about our local MP, I wonder. Why did the people of this province elect such a substanceless lower organism to parliament? He is a man of no accomplishment and, seemingly, of few if any principles. His only noticeable talent is smirking. So how come the Irving press never hired him as a columnist?
In the absence of any news in the  Irving press, let's take a look at local news it didn't cover - and never will.

1. I checked my files. I did contact the provincial government a year or so ago about the soil contamination at Highfield Square. And the provincial government did confirm that it was contaminated and, by law,  that soil would have to be dug up.

So what happened? We're not touching the soil. In fact since that time two buildings on the property have been so extensively rebuilt they are really new construction. And not a teaspoon of soil was removed, And removal of soil is clearly not in the plan for the new "events" centre.

So - when did the government decide it was okay to build on contaminated soil? And who had the muscle to make the government change its mind?  .This one really stinks.

2. As I looked over the fracking report for New York state, I noticed that New York had to do relatively little research. It has all been done, some of it many years ago - and it came from excellent sources.. So why did Allward insist on starting from scratch? And why does Gallant give the impression he's starting from scratch (though even in his announcement it's clear he isn't going to do much research at all.)

The material is all there. It's been in the public domain for years. How come no columnist, editor or reporter at Irving press has even noticed that? After all, these reports  confirm that almost all they have written about fracking being safe is not true.  Has the Irving press lied? Or is it just incompetent?

It's so hard to tell which. This is such a flagrant abuse of a news medium's role that it should be publicly reported on by the Irving press ombudsperson. But, no, that won't happen.

For Dec. 27. the Irving press produces another big loser of a newspaper. In section A, the only items worth reading are Bill Beliveau's column and an op ed piece on prescription drug insurance  (though I disagree with both.)

Beliveau advocates a single, bilingual, heath care system. We have such a system with the Dumont hospital in Moncton, and I find it excellent for this anglophone. The chances of the Moncton hospital reaching such a level of bilingualism, though, are poor. The reality is that levels of bilingualism are very  high among Acadians, and low among anglos in the province. Staffing a system largely with New Brunswickers, then, would be quite a challenge. It would also encourage those paranoid anglos who write letters to the editor saying that Acadians have an unfair advanage in getting jobs.

As to medicinal drugs, I would agree to government operation of such an insurance system. But that would leave us with the fundamental problem that the prescription drug industry has a long history of excessive profiteering.

As for the NewsToday section, the first page of it has an uninteresting story about the origins of the New Brunswick flag, one about a St. John man being admitted to the Order of Canada, and one about rememberances in Asia of a great tsunami ten years ago. All of these fast-breaking stories are continued to fill p. 2, as well.

The Faith page seems permanently to have shrunk to one. The sermonette, as usual, takes a meaty topic (forgiveness) and chops it into hamburger. We live in a world in which we are urged to hate each other and to kill each other. Forgiveness, and the understanding it brings, would be a nice change of attitude. But leave it to the sermonette to reduce it to forgiving a restaurant waiter who gives poor service.

As often happens, the student columnists (C13) are the class acts of the Saturday paper. Aurelie Pare is excellent on the issue of school dress codes. And to Isabelle Agnew, don't worry about finding a major for your BA. It will find you.


As soon as he heard that Sony had been hacked to get its film, "The Interview", and that a pro-North Korea terrorist group had vowed to bomb theatres that showed it, Obama publicly blamed North Korea for the attack. (He's in the habit of being quick to publicly lay blame when he doesn't yet have any information. That's what he did with the downed Malaysian airliner  in Ukraine.) The Canadian and American news media have called it a shocking and dangerous development.

For a more intelligent report, go to El Haaretz for Dec. 26 - an Israeli paper I have found to be reliable.
1. The hacking attack was not a big one. In fact, it was both small and amateurish. It succeeded only because the Sony site was poorly protected.  As well, the US and Israel have for  years mounted much bigger computer attacks on Iran. Check

2. I see no reason to believe the attack came from North Korea. The only evidence for that is a message from some group claiming to be a North Korean terrorist group. We don't know where it came from, and we have no reason to believe they were either North Korean or terrorists. As well, even a North Korean dictator does things for a reason. And North Korea has nothing to gain from this.

Indeed, if I were the suspicious type, my guess would be it was all staged by Sony to save a very bad movie. And, frankly, I think that is the real story.


For those who still think that believing in climate change is only for the simple-minded, it may come as a surprise that both the US and Britain have for some years commissioned studies on the military consequences of climate change. And since some of these studies have been available to the public for years, it is reasonable to assume that Russia and China have been carrying out their own studies.

It all makes for pretty chilling reading in a book by Gwynne Dyer who is the best military columnist I have ever read. (He was a regular feature as an op ed columnist in the Irving press. We haven't seen much of him recently - and a book like this might explain why we haven't. This is a man with an opinion that J.D.Irving would not find acceptable.) The book is Gwynne Dyer, Climate Wars.

In brief, the assumption of military and major government leaders is that climate change is on us - and is already evident in declining food production in much of the world. Even slight rises in temperature are already killing crops, just as shifting rain patterns and subsequent disappearance of water have done heavy damage through the grain belt of the U.S.

In addition, rising ocean levels have exposed huge areas to storm flooding and, soon, to permanent flooding. That particularly applies to the great river deltas like the Nile that have fed humanity for millenia. And to lowlands such as New York city.

The consequence of this will be hundreds of millions of people displaced, either to starve in the wilderness or to become a human flood to countries, like Canada, that can't feed them. It will lead to wars of survival. China, alone will have hundred of millions of displaced people to find a place for. The solution, already happening, is for China to renew its claim to Siberia and much of eastern Russia. And that will give us a war between two, nuclear powers.

Watch for a similar struggle, also between nuclear powers, between India and Pakistan.

Europe, already angry at its growing numbers of Africans and Muslims and already with a long history of murderous racism, will turn into a huge battleground. So will the US as it becomes not only a victim of climate change, itself,  but also a desperate refuge for the millions who will flee South America.

And the US will be eyeing Canada for the water it needs, particularly the Great Lakes on which a majority of Canadians depend. Would the US invade Canada? You bet. There are no such things as friends between nations.

In most countries, organized societies and government systems will simply collapse.

These aren't my conclusions or Dyer's. And they aren't the conclusions of some phony think tank that plugs itself into a university to give itself status. They're the conclusions of the world's top scientists and military planners.

This is all publicly available information. But somehow, it escaped the attention of all the editors and the obedient reporters for Irving press.

And when does the action start happening? Well, it already has. But it will start getting really bad about 2040. It's too late to just stop it. What's left is to slow it down - and to prepare for it.

What has been done to slow it down or to prepare for it? Virtually nothing. In Canada, absolutely nothing. And our fuel companies, bless their thieving hearts and rabbit-sized brains, plan to expand our fuel supply systems with more pipelines and shale gas, plans which imply many decades more of pumping out greenhouse gasses. . And perhaps to lie to us some more about how climate change isn't happening.

Of course they lie to us. Our fuel suppliers exist for no reason but to make money for themselves at whatever the cost in money and lives to the rest of us. And our newspapers print whatever their oil bosses tell them to print.

That's the trouble with an economic system based on the absence of any morals at all. For at least the last five centuries, us civilized humans have murdered and debased people by the billiion to satisfy the greed of our economic leaders who have, in their turn, acted with an utter lack of any morality.

Dyer's book is profoundly disturbing. And what's most disturbing is that it is all based on studies by people who actually know what they're talking about, and who are not acting as fronts for corporation bosses.

There is a need for morality here from journaliists. So far, most of what they have said has varied from ignorant and/or blind obedience; and some has been deliberately lied about. At some point, journalism has to develop morality. Perhaps the Faith Page would be a good place to start. Surely their must be clergy in this city who can write about more important moral issues than forgiving waiters.

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