Tuesday, April 21, 2015

April 21: Justice Triumphs

Three minor figures in the Lac Megantic train disaster have been criminally charged in the case of the oil train explosion that killed 47 people in Lac Megantic. One is the driver of the train who had to drive it alone from Alberta to the coast. Apparently that villain, thinking only of himself, thought he should stop the train at night, and should sleep before driving another day. He had no-one to stay with the train overnight because the Irvings have a Christian respect for money that does not permit them to waste it on frills. Thus the firing of all photographers at Irving press. Thus the insistence that reporters and other staff members have to write columns they aren't qualified to write, and to do it in addition to their reporting and editoring work.)

The train driver and the minor railway officials face possible sentences of life imprisonment.

Irving Ltd., as always motivated by a sense of compassion, made a generous contribution of some 75 million to settle lawsuits from the case out of court, thus saving us taxpayers a good deal of money. And that, no doubt, will lead to another star on the Irving files at the Philanthropy Hall of Fame.

There is  no mention of the person at Irving head office who signed a false affidavit which misrepresented the dangerous nature of the product being shipped. There is no mention of why Irving Ltd. contracted the shipment to a railway company notorious for its dangerous, cost-cutting measures.

This will, no doubt, be a summer of joyful worship at the Irving Chapel. God, indeed, is kind to His servants.

(Don't look for the story about the police charges in the Irving Press. After all, it can't afford to cover stories that happened so far away. You have to go to a news source that just throws its money away. I found the story at Google News.)

There's an important point to remember, here. Commercial news outlets, with rare exceptions, do not exist to tell the news. Like other commercial enterprises, they do not exist to create jobs. They exist to sell advertisements. And, since the start, they have existed to lie for the benefit of their owners. The Irving press is simply a gutter example of the common breed.

Also not in Brunswick news, but well represented on the web is the imminence eviction of up 20,000 people in Detroit for non-payment of property taxes. For a sense of what that means, take a look at Detroit on Youtube. Get a good look at the filth, decay, and violence. As well, water is being shut off to some 3000 people per week.

Some years ago, I was in Detroit, and you could go from white heaven to black hell just by crossing a street. Today, it's far worse. This is a city that has gone from prosperous to filthy, decaying and very, very dangerous in just thirty years. And where will the thousands of evicted people go? Some to the streets. Some to abandoned office buildings controlled by armed gangs.

Detroit is a decaying, rotting city in a decaying, rotting country. But in that country, the richest 1% now have 90% of all the wealth, much of that wealth coming from wars to get control of oil in the Middle East and Venezuela, of minerals in Congo and Latin America. And the 1% have plenty of money to give Hilary Clinton 2.5 billion for her presidential campaign - and at least as much to her Republican opponent.

This is what social collapse looks like.
I regularly receive copies of The Brief, a one-sheet newspaper out of Fredericton. You can reach it at nbmediacoop.org     And it's well worth a read.

The current issue has a story that a company called Forest Products Ltd. which is owned by companies like JDIrving has been spraying cut areas with a chemical that causes cancers in humans and, presumably, in wildlife.  Local people have been protesting against it.

Well, we certainly can't have dangerous things like that going on. So the police arrested three of the protesters.

Alward, in his last months as premier gave much of our crown forest (at bargain rates) to Irving Ltd. to  have fun with. In the sale terms, it is mentioned that in a short time, Irving will be exempt from any change in environmental regulations. Wasn't that sweet of Mr. Alward?

Yep. Mr. Irving works within the law. That's because he makes the law in the first place.

The paper also has some news I must have missed in the Irving press. It's on the front of the paper, just under the words IN BRIEF. It's about an investigation into the police handling of the anti-shale gas demonstration near Rexton.  There were 20 formal complaints about police actions at the protest. (I must have missed the report of that, too, in the TandT.) The head of the investigation has now announced there are reasonable grounds for the complaints. One was that native peoples were treated much more harshly than non-natives. Another was that though the police were told that an SWN truck had hit three native women, they refused to take action. (I might have just missed that. I was there with a person who recognized an SWN truck driver as a neo-Nazi. He had a big grin as he drove toward the protesters, giving them the finger.)
No. I haven't come to today's TandT. I'm killing time because there's not much in it.. Lets start with the editorial page.

There's a big project on to raise the level of a street in Dieppe so it won't flood. That's nice. But I have no idea why it's worth writing an editorial about that. Norbert Cunningham has a decent column about how silly it was for premier Gallant to give a very misleading speech about the wonderfulness of the New Brunswick economy - and to do it with an audience that wasn't nearly naive enough to believe it.

Well, it's true. Gallant is a lightweight leading a party of featherweights. But, alas, Norbert is no better. His economic solution is to dump the whole blame for the recession and for the deficit on the middle class and poor.

Norbert. Can you spell I-R-V-I-N-G -S? How much tax do they pay? What are their profits? What do they get from us in lavish gifts every year? What does supporting them and their friends cost us? Is it possible they own the Gallants of this world? Is it possible they own you? What percentage of all the money in New Brunswick is held by the Irvings?

How many children in New Brunswick live in poverty so we won't have to tax these people? How many schools have to close, and how many children will have to ride buses for hours a day, and how many classrooms will be overcrowded? How many people will have to live on ten dollars an hour so the Irvings and their friends can live on ten dollars - and even more -  a second?

Louise Gilbert has an interesting column on the interaction between seniors and youth - and how they can benefit each other. This deserves a follow-up.

Alec Bruce has an excellent one about our recent visitor, prime minister Modi of India. Modi is, as our press releases have not mentioned, a thoroughly ruthless bastard, and a sell-out to big business. No wonder he and Harper liked each other.

Canada&World has little worth reading about either Canada or the world.

Apparently, the Irving press still hasn't heard about the murders of opposition leaders in Ukraine's Kyiv government (the one on our side.) Nor has it heard about the anger at US bullying in Latin America. Or about the stunning increase in poverty in the US.

B3 does have an interesting story from the deputy minister of the RCMP. He has been forced to reassign over 600 police officers from organized crime and other essential work to deal with terrorism. Give that some thought.

How many Canadians, living in Canada, have been killed by terrorist attacks in this country? The only ones I know of were the two recent killings that seemed to have more to do with mental derangement than with international terrorism.

How many get killed, quite routinely, by organized crime? Nobody really knows that because organized crime is tidy, and usually places the body out of sight, perhaps by wrapping it in chains and dropping it in a lake.. (There was even a case in Montreal in which the police helped the killer by picking up the body and dumping it out on a remote road.It's in a book about the history of nightclubs in their Montreal glory days. I have forgotten the name of the book, but could find it quickly enough since it was written by a colleague of my teaching days.)

We have been manoeuvred  into a position in which we are now throwing away all democracy and all freedom  because of an anti-terrorism bill to protect us against something that hasn't happened, while at the same time transferring police from threats that are very serious indeed, and which happen daily.

And we're doing it all to defend that same freedom and democracy that we're destroying with it.

You want to know a good way to stop terrorist attacks? Just lay off from attacking their countries. We'll never stop terrorism by creating it.

Meanwhile, B5 has two heart-warming stories.about how the king of Saudi Arabia, arguably the richest man in the world, is killing people in Yemen which is arguably the country of the poorest people in the world - and also the ones who have had uncounted and unreported civilians killed by US drones over the years.

The King, who is also perhaps the most extreme Muslim in the world - and our good friend  - has been bombing Yemenis with bombs supplied at high profit by the US defence industry. US ships have also been firing along the shore - being careful, of course, to kill only those people carrying signs saying "I am a Yemen terrorist."

But, no...this is too big a story to start here. I'll do it tomorrow because there probably won't be anything worth talking about in the Irving press. In fact,it goes way back to 1918 - to an international hero, and a popular song, and a madman..... And it's a story about you and me. Tomorrow.

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