Sunday, January 25, 2015

Jan. 24: The valiant struggle for democracy and the war on beheaders.....

(because there is so little foreign news in the Irving press, I have touched on some in the last part of this blog, under XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX)

Free-world leaders are united in their grief over the death of the King of Saudi Arabia. Britain has lowered flags to half-mast. Many, including Obama, will visit Saudi Arabia to express their condolences. Stephen Harper is torn by grief.

This is something from Alice in Wonderland.

All the world's blubbering hypocrites are joined in grief over the death of King Abdullah, ruler of the world's most savage dictatorship. the world's leader in denying human rights, and the one behind the world's worst treatment of women. Not only do women have no rights at all  in his kingdom; they aren't even allowed to drive cars. Oh, and when Abdullah died, he was the world leader in beheading which he used for even the most minor crimes.

Remember that the next time was are told we have to fight ISIL because it's evil.

As you read this, a Canadian is serving a ten-year sentence in Saudi Arabia, with a $300,000 fine plus 1,000 lashes for criticizing some Islamic clergy. And where is tough-talk Harper? He's not saying a word. He's too busy shedding tears for the loss of a dictator.

What a pack of hypocrites!

Western oil billionaires never met an evil ruler they didn't like.
In the Jan 23, edition, Alec Bruce has an important column that our economic leaders (who own our governments) will pay no attention to. He warns that balancing the budget is an admirable objective - but not at any cost, and certainly not at the cost of damaging the economy even further. I would have gone a giant step further.

We  should not balance the budget at the cost of damaging most of the people of Canada.

The severe attempts at balancing the budget in the 1930s depression did nothing to end the depression. Quite the contrary, and as is happening today, cost-cutting made the depression worse year by year, while at the same time making the rich even richer. Now, we have already made things worse, making most people suffer more while make the rich richer through free trade and deregulation. When Liberal and Conservative leaders today use the word freedom, they don't use it to mean freedom for all of us. They use it to mean freedom for the very wealthy. Thus all the tears for that hero, King Abdullah.

Norbert has a column on three topics - wood heat, smoking and violence, thereby demonstrating his ability to say nothing about three things at the same time. The big item is more efficient wood stoves which will, says Norbert, reduce greenhouse gases. Great. Now we can stop climate change and still burn all the oil we like.

Cole Hobson has an opinion column on how to treat a person who has a heart attack while walking along the street with you.  Unfortunately, he doesn't tell us how. Below Cole's column, but substantially above it in quality, is one by Dr. Warren Case who will surely raise controversy with his argument for treatment of the elderly. With this start, it could be an intelligent controversy.
NewsToday, B3, has a great story on how CBC on-air journalists are being nailed for accepting payment for speeches, etc. to outside parties. CBC haters will love it. That's because they don't know that private broadcasters do it all the time. The difference is that CBC cracks down on it. Private broadcasters don't.

The back page in NewsToday, has its usual full page of photos of people holding up cheques.
Section D back page has Your Business. The big story, complete with a big photo, is ""pet story owner loves animals and his work". Wonderful. Now we're up to date on the business world. The big photo of the owner seems to show he is a pleasant person - but it adds nothing whatever to the story.
Jan. 24 has MP Robert Goguen on the front page, giving a speech on "Victims' Bill of rights". The report is mostly of him talking but with remarkably little detail, except to say the other parties oppose the bill. Why do they oppose it? Goguen doesn't say. And the reporter didn't bother to ask anybody. There is also a photo of Goguen which, alas, looks just like him.

Speaking of rights, women might remember that Goguen was on a parliamentary committee dealing with the sex trade. He was the one who, when a sex trade worker talked about the horrors and humiliation of the work, used the opportunity to make a sexist joke.
Bill Belliveau has a shocking title for his column, "The case for hiking taxes on the wealthiest Canadians".
I never thought I would see those words in the Irving press. But they don't mean nearly enough because 1. it's easy for the wealthy to hide their real income.'s not just that their taxes are low, but that they get the lion's share when it comes to government spending. 3.the rich also have far too great an input to the government on spending matters.

Anyway, none of this matters because the whole column is really a pitch for Justin Trudeau because his father was brilliant and his mother beautiful. (Yep. That's what I would look for in any prime minister.) Trudeau hasn't said anything yet, it's true, admits Belliveau. But that makes him flexible. Right.

Brent Mazerolle maintains his near-prefect record of having nothing to say.

Gwynne Dyer's column looks pretty esoteric. But it isn't. It's about Greece, and a tough, new leadership determined to raise it from economic disaster by very unconventional means that will not please bankers. This is a country that doesn't babble about balancing budgets. It's focusing on people, and what they need to survive. Greece is going to fight a very tough fight, indeed. And most of Europe has he same problem - just down the road, and some within sight.
In NewsToday, there's a lead story on Ebola with a few comments by Dr. Cleary, our chief health officer. There's even a photo of her if you look very, very closely. (She's way  in the background.) The large picture dominating the photo is the Health Minister, the least important person in the photo. (Photos in the Irving press rarely add anything at all to the story.)
Section F has two, wonderful pages of somebody's house that's for sale for only 600,000 dollars - a wonderful answer to homes for the homeless in Moncton.

Section C, p.13, has a wonderful message for a world lost in wars, starvation, collapsing social systems (including ours), abd the systematic spread of hatreds by our news media. The message is in the sermonette on the Faith Page and, - wait for it - Jesus doesn't want to us worry about the future because we can't do anything about it.

This is the school of thought of those Christians who who feel that the only reason to live is so we can die and spend the rest of eternity walking on golden streets and  clapping hands for Jesus.

Meanwhile, the rest of the page shows that the churches of our region are busy with the real, divine purpose of our lives - attending pancake breakfasts.

So far,I haven't said much about foreign news because there's almost none of it in the paper. So let's take a look at what's not there.

In North Dakota, there's been a leak of 3 million gallons of saltwater, crude oil, all heavily laced with,the chemicals, some of then secret, of fracking. This comes from a process which, as we have been been assured by Alec Bruce and other writers in he Irving Press, has worked without any problems for decades - and so is perfectly safe.

The three million gallons have now happily bobbed down a laughing brook, and have entered the Missouri River.  ( This story is from Reuters).
Netanyahu has been invited by the US Congress speak to Congress in March. No big deal? Well....

Such invitations are normally extended by the President. Congress knew that. Netanyahu knew that. Both knew that this would be a public slap in the face to Obama. Both did it, anyway. Even worse, neither of them even bothered to inform the president.

And this is the president who has given billions to Israel, who has defended it from criticism, and has even used his power to cripple the UN so it cannot investigate serious charges against Israel. Why did Congress do this? We have to go all the way back to the 1920s, when Britain ruled Iran.

The British were there so wealthy British could loot Iran's oil. Indeed, as a bonus, Iran had to supply the whole British navy with oil - free.

After the war, Iran became a democracy, and elected a government that felt Iran should control Iranian oil. Britain was furious at this impertinence, and determined to re-conquer Iran. But it needed help. So it offered the US a 25% cut of the oilfields. The US then happily overthrew the democratically elected government, and installed a ruthless dictator.

That's when  Iran, a relatively secular state, more fully embraced traditional Islam. It overthrew the Shah, and elected a government with stronger ties to Islam. Thus US, ever since, has been Iran's enemy.

Israel hated Iran, too, because it threatened the power of Israel in the region. Many years ago, it began accusing Iran of developing nuclear bombs. (Israel is allowed to have them, apparently. But nobody else in the region is.) From the start, Israel has claimed that Iran is just six months from a bomb.

Well, six months have come and gone - and another -and another - and another...with no bomb - and no evidence that one is being developed. But Israel has, all those years, been murdering Iranian scientists, setting bombs, and pressing the US to invade Iran.

Many American politicians have supported that because many American billionaires want control of Iran's oil fields.  But Obama has been working on peace talks, much to the frustration of oil billionaires who don't know where their next billion is coming from - and to the anger of militant Israelis who want to destroy Iran.

That makes all this quite a slap in the face for Obama. And it gets worse.

With the US showing an eagerness for wars, and fighting them non-stop for the last sixty years, many countries - over half the world's population - are forming new alliances. In just ten years, there have been enormous changes in economic and military alliances, changes affecting Russia, China, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America - and with more to come. One of these changes is the alliance between Russia, China and Iran. A very large and economically growing part of the world is now opposed to the US.

And Obama knows that an invasion of Iran could lead (almost certainly would lead) to a world war with both sides having thousands of nuclear weapons. What would be gained for the survivors?  (I say survivors because there would be no winners).

Very little, if anything, would be gained. But billionaires have trouble thinking beyond their greed. And American lawmakers don't think at all beyond the payoffs for doing what billionaires wants them to do.

And what motivates Netanyahu and his supporters? Hate. Pure hate. For those who suffered through it and survived, the holocaust produced massive hate. It was a hate not only of the Naziis, but of a whole world in which few had lifted a finger to help the Jews. That includes Canada and the US. What has struck me mostly about Israelis I have met is their racism and hatred - very different from the Jews I had known all my life. Indeed, Hitler's greatest and only success was a side-effect of the holocaust in the form of severe damage to Judaism. It was never before a religion of hate - but much of it has become so.

Watch this story of Netanyahu speaking to Congress. It may became the most important story you shall ever read.
After World War 2 and the development of nuclear bombs, a group was formed, using foreign affairs experts and scientists, to determine how close to nuclear war we are - or, as the group put it, how close we are to midnight. It uses minutes, but not to literally mean 'minutes', just to get a sense of the closeness.

It's latest estimate, (which didn't make the Irving Press) was three minutes.


  1. I have noticed, for the first time in my life, that there is a vocal, ignorant minority in Canada who is vigorously behind the middle eastern war effort. It seems that the ISIL propaganda has worked well.

  2. Mr. Decarie, great blog read each one. They make me think about issues from angles I hadn't considered before. Thank you for that and I hope you continue to show how weak the press is and our own moral failings as a society.
    I agree with the above comment from Doug, I think it may be related to how powerless people are in Canada. They seem to be channelling their frustrations with life into violence.