Friday, March 6, 2015

March 6: Guns, guns, guns....

recently, a gun strore has been putting illustrated ads in the Times and Transcript. I'm quite dismayed to see what can legally be sold in Canada. One of the ads is on page 6 of the ThisWeek section of the TandT for Thursday, March 5. A photo at the bottom of the page caught my eye.

The CSA Combat Scorpio is designed to look like a submachine gun (close range combat). It has a large, combat-style magazine holding, perhaps 20 shots. It's useless for target shooting, useless for hunting. And, in fact, its .32 cartridge is on the feeble side for killing people. Its cost is $779. All it has going for it is a macho style. Now, think of who would want to buy such a gun. Do you think it's a good idea to have something like this on the market? For somebody immature enough to want it?

On rhe second line from the bottom are the Chiappa and the Ruger, both low-calibre copies of the Colt .45 of cowboy movies. You know, the ones for the quick draw shoot-out on main street at high noon. (Actually shut shoot-outs never happened. They were invented for movies.)

Now, the Colt was a good design some 150 years ago. So were the bustle and the hoop skirt. But just about any modern revolver beats it. So why would any one buy it? Cowboy macho. Do you really think a person like that should have a gun?

On the same line is the Bond, a powerful gun, but with a barrel so short that's it's very inaccurate,  useful only if you're a western gambler playing against cowboys who might shoot across the card table at you.

Fourth line up is the Suomi 9 mm carbine which comes with three magazines for a total rapid fire of some 60 shots.  The 9mm is really a pistol cartridge which has almost no use in hunting. And any hunter who needs 60 shots to hit anything should not be allowed in the woods.

On the line below that is the Winchester Extreme Defender, a 12 gauge shotgun Think 'Extreme Defender'. Is that how you would describe shooing ducks? Then notice the pistol grip. That's a characteristic of a military gun, not a duck gun  And notice the odd shape of the butt. It closely resembles the butt of the German MG34 medium machine gun of WW2. Gee. I wonder what kind of person would be attracted to a gun like that? And why?
Page 1 of  March 5 has its usual pitch to get rid of the moratorium on shale gas exploration., this time because Nova Scotia's shale gas potential is way below early estimates - estimates churned out by the same people who now predict huge reserves in New Brunswick. And, as always, the person who is interviewed and quoted is someone from the industry.

This a story with a strong note of panic for fuel costs in the future. And that should raise some panic in general - but not because of the fuel cost. We have all known from the start that fossil fuels were going to run short. Nothing is forever. We have all known from the start that falling supply would mean rising costs.

We have also known that climate change is happening as a result of these fuels, and that sea levels are rising.

So where the hell has all the planning been for the future? How are we going to deal with what is surely happening? And how come the fossil fuel industries who should have been leading this planning have instead been crooning lullabies? And how come nobody at the Irving Press has seen this coming?

It is a very, very big mistake to allow big business to be your government. I don't know whether it's stupidity or greed or some combination of the two, but big business thinks only of its own profit margin, and never of people, And, unlike elected government it never has to answer to anybody but itself.

Capitalism is a system of economics. It is not a system of government. Nor has it shown any talent for government (or, for that matter, for economics.) And, in any case, what we have is not real capitalism, and it is not compatible with democracy.

Gallant, there's a bigger question here than even the question of fuel supplies. Do you think your party has the ability to produce a real plan for our future?

No. I didn't think so.

The whole first section of the paper is trivia - a local chef gets a promotion. And, in case you missed it, the story is repeated on p. 1 for March 6.  A barber is shearing hair to put tattoos on heads,, (it's trendy, and that will make Moncton a leading force in trendiness). Who could possibly care?
Editorial and oped are up and down. The editorial is on schools - of which the editorial writer knows nothing, and so, really, says nothing.

Norbert has a quite decent column that should provoke thought.

Rod Allen has a column on the late Marc Chouinard. It's quite touching in a couple of spots; but it really tells us almost nothing. In fact, m. Chouinard isn't mentioned for the first half of the column. Rod Allen always lets  hi love for adjectives and adverbs and 'wittiness'  get in the way.

Jody Dallaire  has a good column - as usual. Someday, she might take a look at the status of women in Christian history. It's very similar to what we now call extreme Islam. Until very, very recently ( and often still today) men take off their hats in church and women keep them on because, according to the apostle Paul, man's hair is a glory unto God, and woman's hair is a snare and a delusion.

The Bible is full of references to the need for wife-beating, to the inferiority of women, and to the superior nature of men.. Under Canadian law, a wife could legally be beaten by her husband until the early twenties.  In the late nineteenth century, a women was supposed to look incredibly pure and innocent, and incredibly sexy at the same time. Thus the clothing that covered her from neck to toe, combined with the bustle to give her a huge rear end, the girdle to give her a Barbie doll waist, and falsies to give her a huge bust.

As well, female clergy are a quite recent development.

In accordance with Christian practice, women could hold only the most menial jobs, such as household servants, and were commonly victims of the master and sons of the family -well into the twentieth century. Any difference in this respect between Christian and even 'extreme' Muslims is very, very recent.

And Alec Bruce has a zinger about the mayor of Fredericton. It's called "King of the dip-twits".
Canada&World is mostly a mish-mash of whatever gets dumped on the editor's desk.

However, B2 has an interesting story that there will soon be an online database of classified information on American government surveillance. This is important to Canadians as our government develops the same gestapo methods as the US. Edward Snowden, the man who leaked the documents showing improper behaviour by government authorities faces 30 years in prison if the US government gets hold of him. There is no penalty for oil barons who kill millions and destroy whole nations to increase their profits.

Another item on government crime is on B3. Harper seems to be cracking down on charities that don't cheer for him and his political friends. He uses Canada Revenue to put them through expensive and, probably, biased audits.

In other big news, Prince William has urged china to do more against poaching. Well, that should change the world.
March 6 features big, breaking stories about how we don't yet know the date for a provincial budget, maple sap producers anxious to get going, a second and bigger story about the Moncton-born ehef who got a promotion, milking machines are on display at a show that has already been reported on at least twice, a new car store is opening, And that's about it. Lord, this is one, lazy newspaper.

The only item worth reading on the oped pages is a letter to the editor, "Nobel winners: dumber than our government?)

Norbert doesn't think there is any other intelligent life in the universe.  So?

Cole Hobson thinks daycare is great for children. I agree. But we differ in our conclusions. He believes it should be only for those who can afford it (and, therefore, we should give owners the rules that they want.)
I believe that all children should have equal access to educational opportunities. The objective is to help the children, not to make profits.

The president of U de Moncton has a column on the importance of university research. It is not only both vague and boring ( I have heard these words many, many times while sitting on stage in a front row seat that denied me the escape of sleep.)

Yes, research is important to universities (though not so often as they think). But just once, I'd like to hear or read a university president who thinks teaching is important, who wants to do something to improve it, and who actually knows something about it.

It would also be nice to find a university president who can write something readable.

Alec Bruce lost me in  his first paragraph. He actually seems to think there is a difference between liberal and conservative parties. The reality is that very, very few people even know what those words mean.  There is  no great difference between liberals and conservatives in Canada. There never has been since, oh, 1890 or so. Justin Trudeau is not on the left of anything. (and liberal doesn't mean on the left, anyway.)

Both Harper and Trudeau are opportunists who are servants of big business. Harper is a smarter opportunists (trickster). Harper also has a marked distaste for democracy. And neither being a trickster nor an anti- democracy freak has anything to do with conservatism.

Let the games continue, indeed.
Section B is as lazy as Section A with stories seemingly just picked at random out of a pile. For example, there's a big story on how the mother of a Manitoba girl who was murdered 30 years ago was surprised to hear that the man accused at the time, but released,will now be tried.

And there's yet another story on the bombing at the Boston Marathon in 2013. Really, there are more important things happening in the world.. But only two made it into this world news section.

One is that the federal government is probably going to continue its combat mission in Iraq, and for the long term.

Look. There isn't gong to be a winner in this war. Winning (or defeating terrorism or whatever) isn't in the plan. Nor do we care about terrorism. If we did, we wouldn't be playing a role in spreading it.

The purposes of all the wars in the middle east are to get control of all the oil for American billionaires, to destabilize most governments in the region so they cannot challenge US oil control, to destroy governments which have the delusion that their countries are independent (this is what the wars on Iraq and Libya were about, this is what the American-sponsored "civil war" in Syria is about. this is what the fuss over Iran is about).

The wars are about crushing any Muslim independence by getting Musliims to fight and kill Muslims. Divide and conquer. ISIS is at once an American enemy and an American creation.

Oh, a a side effect our news hasn't mentioned the killing of Christians in the middle east, particularly the Syrian Orthodox Christians. They and Muslims have lived there in peace for, in the case of Christians, two thousand years. This region is the birthplace of both religions - which are actually quite similar to each other. But now, the Christians are suffering for the oil greed of billionaires, most of them Christians. Gee. That might make a good sermon when I get invited to lead the service at the Irving Chapel.

As for freedom, the US government helped the army to destroy freedom in Egypt, and topple the elected government. Far from spreading freedom, the US has been the world leader in destroying it, and imposing dictators. Its closest friend in the Muslim world is Saudi Arabia, the most extremist Muslim and most brutal and least free country in the world.

Why don't we get news about the massive interference and violence of US constant interference and killing in Latin America, it's imposition of poverty and suffering in Central America, its destruction of democracy in Guatemala and Cuba where the US (and Canada) destroyed the only democratic government Cuba ever had.

Why is this never in the news?

The other story worth a look is about the decline of job quality in Canada -  quality in terms of pay, stability, choice. Oh, it's great if you're rich. The rich have been on the rise in job quality. Not so the rest of us. And it's going to get worse. And neither Harper nor Trudeau will change that.

The rest of the world? There's two stories on ebola.

There is news worth reporting, but which didn't make the cut. The people of Ukraine are now being forced into permanent poverty by world bankers. Getting those bankers into power is a major reason why the US organized the overthrow of the Ukrainian government.

The European Union is increasingly worried about American aggressiveness. As well, its trade patterns are shifting toward Asia - and with that, expect alliances to change.

Most noticeable is that the world is notably and insanely without any form of law and order. The UN was supposed to provide that. But it never did because the major powers destroyed its ability to do much of anything. The US answer? It's been said openly, but rarely reported. The US answer is 'American exceptionalism'. The US will rule the world. Why aren't we getting news stories about this? It was the policy of Bush, and it's the policy of Obama. Both have said so.

In reality, rule by the US would mean rule by a handful of billionaires. And we've already seen the damage they can do. They have no competence to rule anything. They have no morality. They have no philosophy of anything except making money.

Even if they could succeed in ruling the world without a nuclear holocaust, they could only maintain order with massive armies of hired thugs.

Could we please get some real news, and some comment of substance?

The TandT idea of big news is on B8, seven full colour photos of shy people holding up  giant-sized cheques.

Bloody awful papers. And tomorrow is Faith Page day. Whoopee!

I wonder if the sermonette will talk about our role in destroying Christianity in the region of its birth?
Nah. It'll be another Tweety Bird bedtime story.

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