Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Jan. 6: The Irving press actually gets worse....

Section A, on a quick read, seems its usual, ghastly self, though it has an important headline for a start. "Report fails province on poverty reduction". The report comes from the Common Front for Social Justice. And it condemns both the Liberals and the Conservatives. Well, of course. Both parties are owned by big business. And big business loves poverty. Letting the poor stay poor cuts down on taxes for the rich. It also provides the rich with a pool of cheap labour. That's why big business just loves free trade because that lets it get away with, among other things, making people in poor countries even poorer - and keeping Canadians poor at the same time.

The story is also typical of the Irving press standard of journalism. Though the story had two reporters assigned to it, they seem to have done no research at all. They interviewed two people - and that was it.

On op ed, Craig Babstock did his usual thing, a column on the killing of the mounties here in town. I certainly have no disagreement with his opinion. But it's been said many, many,many, many times in this paper. I don't know of anyone who would disagree with what Babstock says. But he adds nothing whatever to what we already know. And that's a typical column.

Steve Malloy has a much more useful column.

But the great disappointment is Alec Bruce on the editorial page. It's a disappointment because it's so cleverly written that it's obviously written to fool us. To make it clearer, that means it does not tell what he knows to be the truth.

He starts by condemning people who have what they call a 'world view'. And, yes, lots of people who claim a world view are annoying. That's because they really don't know what it means. But every religion, every civilization in history has been based on a world view. And they've all been destroyed by world views gone wrong.

Then he paints himself as occupying a moderate position, almost middle-of-the-road one. I don't know whether he's being honest about that. He may just be fooling himself.

Then he claims that there is no case of any problem with shale gas in the history of New Brunswick. Well - he attributes that to the careful supervision of New Brunswick governments. Oh? And could he please tell us more about this careful supervision? This is the province that has set up lying committees to study the issue, and that has hired incompetent frauds to report to it. Alec Bruce writes for a newspaper chain that has openly sided with shale gas companies from the start. Of course, there are no reports of problems. That's because there are no reports.  Period.

If Bruce is right and honest and knowedgeable on this, then New Brunswick must be the only place in the world in which fracking does not release huge quantities the greenhouse gas, methane, thus speeding up climate change.

He also says using examples of damage caused in other places around the world just creates paranoia. Oh? We should ignore all scientific evidence unless it's created in New Brunswick? Then there's not a whole lot of evidence we'll ever see. After all, New Brunswick is in no position to be a world leader in scientific research. By the same reasoning, we should welcome Ebola in New Brunswick until local research proves it's a problem

Then he ends with cutely clever but absurd arguments.. Let's assume, he writes, that fossil fuels are really seed capital for sustainable energy research. Let us imagine that the engines and factories that use fossil fuels are actually generating new ways to radically curtail their use.  Let us hope that the judicious, reasonable use of oil will change the our attitudes about how we treat the planet we share........go to sleep my baby....

His closing paragraphs are such utter illogic and simple-mindedness that they are utter crap - and I would be insulting Bruce if I said I believed he actually thought that. But he is insulting the whole province  by putting this forward as an argument.

And he doesn't even consider three points.
1. Making a commitment to shale gas means making a commitment to fossil fuel for many years to come.
But how many years do we have before it's too late to change? And the answer is - nobody knows. It could be very soon.
2. Where is the evidence that any government in Canada, past, present or future, has any intention of studying the problem of climate change and taking action?
3. This is a column that is written, quite deliberately, to sell false arguments and to present logic so false that it is asinine.

Call me paranoid. But I think this is a contemptible column from both a logical and an ethical point of view.

NewsToday is four pages. Talk about covering the world!

Most of those pages have nothing much on them. But two items are frightening. One is the story of how New York police assigned to public events are deliberately turning their backs on the mayor. That may not seem terrible. But it's sign of growing social disorder in a country that already has a lot of it. We may well be approaching a breaking point.

The other one concerns the Sony Pictures hacking. Obama is taking very strong action against the hacking - even as the US is probably the world's leader in hacking destructiveness. And congress is showing strong signs of wanting war. any war, with anybody. It calls  North Korea brutal and dangerous. Well, it's certainly brutal. But dangerous? The US is far, far more dangerous, and takes a back seat to nobody on brutality. (Our newspapers, for example, have ignored the recent story that US torturers used to turn attack dogs on prisoners to "rape" them.)

The papers also do their bit to add to the hysteria. Their news stories routinely accuse North Korea of making a racial slur by calling Obama "a monkey in the tropics". The phrase would have such a racist meaning in the US where racism is the national sport. I'm not at all sure it would have the same meaning in North Korea. But the papers pointedly call it racism every time they report it. And that's called using the news as propaganda.

For Tuesday, a big, front page story tells us it was cold yesterday. And it proves it with a real photo of a man holding a shovel. But the big, banner headline is a fast-breaking story that the Casino has a "Variety of concerts slated for 2015". It's a big, big story for the Irving press. Too bad most newspapers would call it a free ad.

The editorial is a "must read" about moose fences.  I didn't know that moose (meese?) ran pawn shops for stolen goods.)

Norbert has a column on "social license"; and I largely agree with it.

Alec Bruce was a huge surprise. Based on my earlier experience, I read it with caution. But this one was quite different. He talks about how oil has many uses besides being a fuel. Quite true And some of those uses are not harmful. Quite true.

But I don't see how that is connected with global warming. At issue is that oil and gas used as fuel make the earth a far more dangerous place for all forms of life.And even if we use some of it to power essential energy devices, that still burns far, far less of it, and creates far less damage to our atmosphere.

But he does take up that point and, very reasonably, says we should focus on innovation to get away from our excessive dependence on oil. That sounds eminently reasonable. But that takes us back to the original problem.

Oil companies are immensely powerful in our governments (and our news media). And oil companies have shown no interest whatever in any innovation that would reduce their steady profits. They have shown themselves quite willing to risk the survival of life on this planet. Oil companies are not abstract entities. They are people. They are people who have lied to us for decades, telling us that climate change wasn't happening. They spent billion lying to us long after it was obvious - surely even to them - that they were lying.

They are people who have shown that they are unspeakably greedy, shallow, and indifferent to any needs except their own. So it's not just a matter of starting research for innovation. It's a matter of getting past the opposition of those extremely unpleasant and amoral people.

All the grand and worthy theories of what we should do depend on putting these real people with real faces into their place in a democratic society. They have blocked change for decades. They will continue to block until even they and their closest kin die of what we are doing. Research for innovation is good. But before we can get it, we need to block these greedy and self-serving people.

On op ed, Alan Cochrane is his usual, irrelevant self. He's all wetting his pants with excitement that a new sign saying "Riverview" is going up. And we're going to have a motorcycle festival. And a Ribfest - and it just goes on, and on, and on, and o....

Below that (even below that) is a column from yet another "think-tank" propaganda house financed by billionaires. This time it's the C.D.Howe Institute - The writer talks about Cuba's problems - and either knows nothing about the subject or is a liar. I suspect the latter.

For example, he says that Castro set up a communist system. I know Castro said that. I know all of North America thinks that. But Cuba has never been any more communist than North America has been capitalist. Words have meanings. I wish these propagandists would learn that.

He should also know that Castro set up his system (whatever you want to call it) because the US forced him to. Cuba had been pillaged, impoverished and brutalized for decades by American companies protected by American-supported dictators of quite extraordinary cruelty. That's why there was a revolution.

But the first country Castro turned to for help and cooperation was the US. And the US not only turned him down flat, but imposed sanctions. The only way Cuba could survive was by turning to the Soviet union. (The US puppets in Europe certainly weren't going to help him.)

At this point the writer graciously admits that the mafia - US branch - was a huge problem that Castro had to contend with.

But he says it was just terrible the way Castro confiscated American-owned land. I mean, when the US set up a torturing murdering dictator who forced Cubans into poverty to work cheap for American business, that was understandable. But to confiscate American-owned property? That was sinful.

And how did American big business come to own that property? The writer doesn't say.  But they stole it by force. It was called the Spanish-American War.

Oh, and Castro wasn't democratic like the US. And we all know that democracy controlled by the people is the only system that works.  Uh, the American people have never had such a democratic system. The US is and always has been controlled by big money. And the world's fastest growing country right now is not a democracy.  It's China. As for the American"capitalist" and "democratic" society, it is busy spreading poverty and dictatorship all over the world - including in the US itself.  Anyway, to point the finger at Castro for not making a democracy is a stunning statement to come from a man who much know that the US NEVER permitted democracy in Cuba.

And, oh, incomes are low in Cuba. If only Cuba would allow an open and "free" market, it would be rich. Right.  The reason Cuba doesn't have an open market is because the US closed it. As well, the writer seems to forget that Cuba's worst poverty was before Castro, when it was run by the US. But even as it is, the tiny and poor country can do what the rich and large US cannot. It can educate all its children - free - from kindergarten to graduate schools. That's why it can send more doctors to fight Ebola than the US can.

The education system also ranks among the best in the world (and ahead of the US and Canada). Over 99% of Cubans are literate!!!!  Eat that, New Brunswick.

As for health, Cubans get medicare that far outclasses the US. Not bad for a tiny and poor country that has been invaded, bombed, harassed, economically starved by the US for the last fifty years.

The US has impoverished and exploited Cuba for over a century. And Cuba has responded with a courage and skill that is unmatched in the history of very tiny countries with big, rich and aggressive neighbours.

The writer graciously agrees that good relations will probably require some change in Washington - but also in Cuba.  The whole message of this idiot piece is that Cuba really caused all its own problems. And if they would just accept American "democracy" and "capitalism", Cuba would be fine - just like it was when it had US-appointed dictators, US mafia, and US corporations looting it.

That column of utter crap and lies is typical of what the Irving press considers as serving the people. It's follow by a NewsToday section that really has nothing in its 4 pages (count them).

Oh, there's a story about bigotry in France where, as in the rest of Europe,  the Roma (gypsies) have been discriminated against for centuries. In France, a cemetery refused to bury a Roma girl who died at the age of two months. The reason they refused is because he was a Roma.

Though the story doesn't mention it, that could never happen in Canada. Nosirree. Never. Not since Stephen Harper, years ago, put a blanket ban on the immigration of any Roma to Canada. Canadians must approve of it because I haven't heard of any protests.

Given that Canada has a worse record of bigotry against the Roma than even France has, I'm surprised that the news editor published the story. (Actually, I'm not surprised. The news editor probably doesn't even know what a Roma is.)

Sorry to go on so long. I felt driven. It's such a really, stinking newspaper.

1 comment:

  1. The most I learned about the Cuban revolution was from the film Godfather II.