Thursday, January 1, 2015

Jan.1: Oh-my-God...

The front page, banner headline in the TandT is, "Spirit of Moncton is newsmaker of the year". That is surely an embarrassing reminder of the worst of the small-town boosterism of the 1920s. Yeah, greatest little city in the world. Yeah. Great new hockey rink that will bring the world to our doorstep, too.  And, hey, buy yer forests here - cheap.

Look, there are cities in this world that have suffered the deaths of  innocent people in the hundreds of thousands - and have survived.  Moncton is not unique. When policemen were murdered, what did the editors think would happen? That everybody in Moncton would flee into the woods?  Or jump into the tidal bore?

Yes, people mourned, and then went on with their lives. It happens every day all over the world. That's a big, news-maker? That's a sign that Moncton is the greatest little  town on earth?

I regularly read a Fredericton, one-sheet paper that has more intelligent news than that. It's the NB Media Co-op.  info@nbmediacoop.org   It currently has a story that would be the big newsmaker of the year if the Irving press had bothered to run it. In the last year, the percentage of children in New Brunswick living in poverty has risen to 25%. And such is the effect of poverty that most of them will never have a chance to  get out of it. And very, very few of them are named Irving or Ganong or McCain. And that  means they will never get their names and photos published in a New Year's edition of the Moncton Grimes and Dripdrain like the ones on today's B6 "Newsmakers who died in 2014".

In fact, this one sheet has more important news in it - the justified anger of native peoples, the brutality of our immigration system, the dramatic rise in poverty in New Brunswick.......  Gee. Why can't those poor people just pull themselves up by their own bootstraps like Mr. Irving did?

At that, the TandT gets one of them wrong. On July 9, David Azrieli died - not David Arieli as the TandT. He was a billionaire and, of course, a philanthopist. Any billionaire who gives away a half percent of his wealth (most of it made by avoiding taxes) is automatically a philanthropist. A poor person who gives away many times that percentage is still just poor.

In other section A news flashes, the Liberals won the last provincial election. Gee. I bet nobody knew that. In fact, just about the only big and fresh news in the section is that Wendy's in Sackville is closing. But I'm sure the spirit of Moncton will get us through that.

Norbert writes a column defending (surprise) shale gas. He says shale gas companies invested in New Brunswick in good faith; so we'll deserve it if they sue us for millions for banning fracking.  Really?

Norbert, you kindergarten dropout, you're saying that even if studies prove that fracking will destroy our land and water forever, and will contribute massively to global climate change with the catastrophe that will be for billions  and probably for all of us, we have a responsibility to let the frackers go ahead?

Norbert, can you understand how stupid and even immoral that statement is?

And the frackers invested in good faith --ah-ah-ah-ah-. Way to load your language kid. Yeah. Frackers are people of faith. In fact, I hear that they even have their very own chapels, and even poor people  (if decently dressed) are allowed to attend.

If Alward was ever so intellectually and morally corrupt as to sign an agreement that permits frackers to sue in such a case,  he should never be permitted to run for public office again. And if our courts were so immoral as to permit such suffering and dying for the sake of honouring a contract, even one signed by 'faithful' men - well, I don't give a damn if they are angels without sex organs, I would give up a life-long belief in non-violence.

Alec Bruce's column is a brief history of the last century - all in one column. As a result, it doesn't really say anything - and often gives a false impression. The sinking of the Lusitania with its 2000 passengers is NOT what caused the US to enter World War One. It was the excuse, over a year later, for the US to enter the war to ensure Europe would pay back the money American banks had loaned it.

He says the US was in the ascendance after World War Two. Oh? So how come it got its pants kicked off by tiny Vietnam? And how come tiny Cuba could kick out its American-sponsored dictator, suffer crippling sanctions, and still offer public education and public health care that is far superior to the American equivalents?  And if Lyndon Johnson did such a great job with his 'Great society' to eliminate poverty, how come poverty wasn't eliminated - or even reduced?

There is a letter of the day worth reading simply because it's so off the wall.   Apparently, the writer feels that fracking is the only way to go. He also feels that abortion is immoral. Tricky. So it's okay to kill or injure people, includiing the unborn, so long as its done by frackers. But it's bad if the abortion is done by doctors. I wonder if he'd compromise. Make abortion legal, but only it it's done by frackers.

Half of section B is lists of local people who died in 2014, most of whom you never heard of.

The only important story in what is grandly called "NewsToday" is that Palestine plans to charge Israel with war crimes at the international court level.  Well, that's what the court is for. But the US and Israel don't like it. Israel is quite likely to retaliate by stealing more Palestinian land. It will also ignore any judgement against it. And it will be supported in defying international law by Obama and the Canadian goy, Harper. (And before anybody gets all indignant, goy is not a derogatory word. It simply means a non-Jew and, usually, a Christian.  Shiksa, now, is different.
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Apart from Israel's decision to go to the international court, there really is no foreign news. Well, when you're the little city whose big news is that "spirit of Moncton is the news story of the year", who cares about foreigners? So there's not a word about how civil war is about to start again in Libya, how Russia and China are strengthening their ties in the face of American threats - and are also adding to their allies overseas -, not even a mention of how an American serviceman had to move his wedding so that Obama could get in a round of golf, no follow-up on anybody being accused of anything after that dreadful report  on US torture. And not the slightest  attempt to find any information on the Canadian role in torture.

Oh, a footnote for Alec Bruce. the Lusitania was only one of many ships carrying civilians that was sunk in both world wars. And it was one of the lesser ones. The worst was a ship carrying German refugees which was sunk by a Soviet submarine, drowning some 9,500, over half of them children, in 1945. As well, both British and US subs killed more civilians than did the sinking of the Lusitania.

Curiously, the only case I can find of a submarine captain being punished for it was the Soviet captain who  drowned 9500.

Beware of citing reasons why a country declares war. It is usually done strictly for business reasons. The reason that appears in the news is just there to create the necessary hatred. The invasions of Guatemala, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya had nothing to do with "bad men". The war in Syria has nothing to do with good guys and bad guys. Ditto for ISIS.  Israeli attacks on Palestine have nothing to do with protecting Israel. If Israel wanted to stop the attacks, it could have done so years ago by letting Palestine be a free state, and by giving back the land that Israel has stolen from Palestine.


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