Sunday, January 4, 2015

Jan. 4: Prince Edward likes girls....

Quelle surprise...I guess that's why it made page A2 of the ever-alert Irving press. But surely this has been public knowledge for years. I knew one of the Prince's teachers at his very expensive private school in Ontario. He told me the Prince was of very low intelligence, and incapable of learning beyond grade 9. He was also very openly obsessed with sex from the age of 12 or so. - two traits that have been common in the royal family. Even Queen Victoria had her raunchy side.  But the British taxpayers, who yearly lose more desperately needed social services, still ante up for the lavish homes, clothes, servants, travels of people whose only function is to smile and look interested in the people they shake hands with.

It's no secret that Prince Charles, whose lips move as he slowly reads the comics, is not a great thinker. But taxes pay the salaries of some 150 personal servants for him. And here we North Americans are building a very similar class of aristocrats by birth. This has been going on around the world for thousands of years, producing uncountable numbers of Neros and Caligulas and Windsors whose only talent has been to get born to the right people - and who think themselves wonderfully superior for having done it.

The biggest story in lenght is under the banner headline "Federal election looms this year". Those five words, though, are really the whole story. But the report fluffs that out to fill a whole page. Yep, it rambles. They's guuna be an election. The Conservatives is goin' to win, they think. But the Liberalc think they's goin' to win. and on and on.

Norbert, as he so often does, starts with one topic, then shifts to another without really saying anything about the first one. Luckily, his second topic is a better one on the abysmal treatment of waiters and waitresses in the US - a treatment that might be coming to Canada.

Bill Belliveau joins the Irving press stampede  to tell us that fracking is good for us. In doing so, he is sometimes either ill-informed or dishonest - as when he says there is no evidence of serious incidents of shale gas damage anywhere in the world.  In fairness, I don't think  he's dishonest. I think he prefers not to see any evidence that contradicts the party line.

So here's the newspaper that claims it has always presented both sides of the story to give us the information we need to make a choice But not a single editor or columnist has given us anything but the oil industry side.
The columns written by students (Section C) again are the only quality columns in the paper. I was particularly struck by the one by Jana Giles, who says she loves learning, but hates studying at university. That's not at all a silly point. There can be a big difference between learning and studying.

University professors usually have no training as teachers.  As well, teaching  has virtually no status in universities. I learned that in nine years of being a university student. Almost all that I "learned" was stuff I had to memorize for exams. It wasn't learning. It was stuffing me with information I had little use for except in the exam. In consequence, I forgot almost all of it as soon as the exam was over.

All I really learned was how to know what the teacher wanted to hear, and how to develop that phony veneer of arrogant wisdom that so many professors think is a sign of intellectual activity.

Learning is something different. It isn't about memorizing. It's about the processes of thought. It's about reading with organized understanding. It's about making judgements. It's about identifying those things that hamper our ability to understand, to analyze, to make judgements - and it's about understanding the human  limitations in doing these things..

In all my student years at universities, I can remember only one, good teacher. Just one. Out of some 50 or more.  But, hey, I can act the arrogant academic with the best of them.. That's what my professors taught me.

 The Faith Page has withered from two pages to one - and that one with very little on it. A quarter of it is devoted to worship services in Moncton. But, apparently, only two churches now exist in Moncton. Church activities are sharply down to four.

But there is no sermonette. God is kind to His servant.
Foreign news is pretty limited. The biggest story is that Obama is imposing sanctions on North Korea in retaliation for what he says was criminal hacking of Sony Pictures. There are some problems with that.
1. Obama blamed North Korea for the hacking as soon as it happened. It's not possible he had any significant evidence at that time. (And he did the same in blaming Russia when the government of Ukraine was overthrown, and when an airliner was shot down over Ukraine. He still has no evidence of any of those claims - and the North American news media are, for the most part, still taking his word for it.)

2. Many experts have warned that it was not North Korea that did the hacking, that it was almost certainly the work of former employees at Sony. The news media sometimes mention that, but only as a very, very small part of the story.

3. If it was North Korean sabotage, Obama could take it to the international court.
er ---no---he couldn't. That would just draw attention to the much, much bigger and more damaging hacking that the US and Israel have been carrying out for years against Iran and others - not to mention its illegal wars on Vietnam, Guatemala, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and its illegal involvement in the Syrian wars. We might also remember it's illegal overthrow of the democratically elected government of Haiti (with the assistance of Canadian and other "peacemakers".)

Anyway, Obama is not a believer in international courts. As he has said publicly, he believes in American Exceptionalism. And that means the US is permitted by God to ignore any law and to do whatever it wants to.

In any case, he is the president of a country in deep trouble based on class and race, and made worse, far worse,  by the capitalist destruction of the American economy, a country now held together largely by the news media's creation of artificial fears and hatreds And he has a congress screaming for war - with just about anybody.  He has to look tough and decisive - even if that risks a war that would become world wide and nuclear.  It's all pretty insane.

Then there's the news the Irving Press doesn't have.

Both Canada and the US praise themselves for their generosity in foreign aid. But generosity is not quite le mot exacte.
1. Foreign aid is usually given on terms which require the recipients to do very big favours for Canadian and American business - like suspending all environmental restrictions and/or charging them no taxes. It is also commonly given directly to Canadian and American corporations on very generous terms. Indeed, much of the "aid" never reaches the needy country at all. It goes straight in the overseas bank account of the corporate contractor, who then reports it was all spent conducting studies. That's how it was when the US supposedly spend billions on rebuilding an Iraq destroyed in war - but nothing got rebuilt.

Harper has recently added a wrinkle to that by ordering investigations of volunteer aid groups. (He doesn't like groups he doesn't control.) The investigations are lengthy, costly for the volunteer organizations, and specialize in looking for loopholes which might enable Harper to cut their tax-free status. Harper is a real sweetheart. Think of that the next time you see a Goguen smirk.

As well, Harper will not accept any significant number of refugees. He can't. That would cost him the bigot and racist vote in the coming federal election.

2. As a result of the recent US elections, the U.S. congress is dominated by people who want war with Russia. They want it because Russia is a stumbling block to getting control of all world economies through control of trade by American corporations. It's all about money - and getting all of it. That's why Russia suddenly became evil in the North American news media. That's why so many people believe that Russia is still Communist when, in fact, it isn't - and really never was. Nor is China, whatever it calls iitself. And neither are Canada and the US capitalist in any accurate meaning of that word.

The issue with Russia is that it stands in the way of dominance of the world by North American "capitalists".

3. The move has to come soon. After all, China knows that it's next on the list after Russia. And there are other targets - maybe India, Venezuela (in fact, all of Latin America), Africa...and maybe our "good friends" of the European union. (Corporations are voracious eaters that will happily eat their own children, and each other.)

The move to break Russia has to come soon because all those other countries aren't dumb. They know that the defeat of Russia would be a defeat for them.  That's why China, which has no reason to love Russia, is forming closer links with Russia - and with India and Iran and Venezuela. Every day, the unity of those who fear the US is getting stronger. Every day, the economic power of the US gets smaller.  Every day, the US loses people who used to admire it. Every day, the US circle shrinks so that it will soon be just its more submissive toadies - Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, all that is left, the shreds of  a broken empire. This is all that is left of Churchill's racist dream of the dominance of the world by the English-speaking peoples.

The corporations have to move now or never. And the corporations pull the strings on the US  Congress.

Meanwhile, the middle east and Africa continue their descent into hell. Our news media lay the blame on religion - especially what they call extreme Islam. And that's bunk.

Jews, Muslims and Christians lived together and largely in peace in that region for 2000 years. So how come religious slaughter is just happening now? Similarly, Hindus and Moslems lived together in peace for thousands of years in what we now call India and Pakistan. Now they are two countries who hate each other with war a constant possiblity. What caused that?

The British caused it. The invaded India, divided the people by favouring Moslems at the cost of the needs of Hindus, and that caused the hatreds that tear that region apart.

In the same way, various European countries invaded and exploited Africa and the Middle East for two centuries, dividing, destabilizing, brutalizing, looting. So the victims turned to their religions as all that was really theirs. Wars cause fears and hatreds. Fears and hatreds become religious, and cause more wars so that, in the final analysis wars cause wars.  World War Two was caused by World War One. And World War Three will have been caused by World War Two.

And the news media, instead of telling us what is happening, simply teach us to fear and hate so we will kill when it is convenient for those who control  us.

Oh, a closing item. It has been revealed that top Canadian CEOs now make 195 times as much money as the average Canadian does.  The reason,  so I heard on a radio newscast, is because their jobs require enormous ability, so they have to be very clever and highly trained. Gee!

If all our CEOS are clever and highly trained, how come they drove the whole world into such a terrible recession? And how come us stupid and useless people are the ones who had to bail them out so they could give each other billions in bonuses?

And if they are so clever at creating prosperity, how come most of us are still getting poorer while they are getting richer?

And if they are so clever, it must be genetic because a high proportion of them are people who inherited their wealth from their parents in the first place.

And if they are so damn clever, how come we rarely hear one of them say anything that is clever?

The response of a 'think tank" has been that if their salaries were distributed among all Canadians, the average person would get 93 cents a day. But that's just playing games with numbers. Yes, perhaps if you took just the TOP CEOs, and ignored their bonuses and stock deals and hidden bank accounts, and insider information, and their outright thefts (like Brian Mulroney's) it might only be a 93 cent difference. But if you distributed it to the malnourished it would mean a lot more. And if you took more from those who are CEOs, but not just at the very top level, and if you took more from the other highly paid, and if you could find out how much the very, very rich have hidden away, then we could decently, house and educate just about everybody.

I see no evidence that the top CEOs make anybody better off except themselves and their own social set. On the contrary, they operate a business to get everything out of us, and give back as little as possible. And I would dearly love to meet the sneering lout who came up with the idea of trivializing the fact that some people in this world have the power to pull so much of this world's money into their pockets while billions work much harder than they do, and starve.


  1. I would have been better entertained if the royal sex scandal had involved boys.
    Distraction may be needed this year. Looks like a very rocky road ahead in finance and economics

  2. ......It's a rocky road in finance and economics - but not if you're really rich. They've done very well through the recession - and it was the same in the great depression of the 30s when the very rich made their biggest profits in history. Making people poor is how they builtd their fortunes.
    It always amazes me how the British throw money at a family whose chief qualities are being stupid, and producing more stupid babies to throw money at.
    Of course, it really helps sales of those gawdawful magazines in supermarkets which have headlines like "Isn't it wonderful that Kate and what's-his-name are having another baby?", or "Camilla gives Queen the finger."