Tuesday, April 7, 2015

April 7: A shameful waste of good paper....

The front page headline is okay. It's an important story on a coalition of rural New Brunswickers that is trying save rural schools. It's nice to see New Brunswickers getting interested in something other than car shows. But then -Section A becomes a swim in the toilet with the big flush on A4.  Moncton may hire somebody to test the quality of beer in bars. It's actually a bigger story than the one about rural schools.

The editorial is, as always, about money. It's an editorial that rants all over the place, and so makes no clear point.

Norbert has a point, sort of, but it's hardly worth writing about.

Alan Cochrane has a commentary---which is about a maker of stained glass windows - and it's pretty much the same one he wrote as a first page story on, I think, Saturday. What was the commentary page editor thinking of when he approved that? And maybe both Cochrane and editor Rod Allan should get a dictionary, and look up the meaning of 'commentary'.

Louise Gilbert has a senior's commentary that actually is a commentary. She talks of us sitting down and writing our histories - our histories and the world we lived in. That's a top idea for everybody. We get to write about ourselves as a record for our descendants.. That way, we remain real to them.It also tells our descendents of what a very different world we lived in - and it is very different from the one we live in now.
Like today, it was a world in which he were taught and propagandized to hate others - but with nothing like the professionalism and madness we see used on us today.

As an example of what a stupor we now live in, I think of the obvious (or should be obvious) and imminent danger of nuclear war with Russia and China. But it hardly makes the news at all. And most people seem unconcerned about it. When I see that, I flash back to the (justifiable) terror of the Cuban missile crisis. I was teaching high school at the time, and the fear in my students was as solid as a wall. Today, people seem to be less interested in their own survival - and neither thinking nor caring about anything else.

A family tree is a great project, too. And it can be a great ego booster. On my French side, the first Decarie born in Canada (about 1655) and my direct ancestor was Jean Decarie. His godparents were deMaisonneuve, the founder of Montreal, and Jeanne Mance who built the first hospital. Then there was Dr. Yves Decarie, a good friend and advisor to Pierre Trudeau, and Reverend Zenon Decarie who is being considered for sainthood.

But beware.

I also came across a dentist, Dr.Noel Decarie, who was deputy-Fuhrer of the Nazi party in Quebec. Hey! You win some. You lose some.

Alec Bruce has a very light column about how Canadians, as compared to Americans, are polite and self-deprecating. There could be a big story in there. Americans are raised in a history of pure mythology in which they are God's chosen people. Thus the belief in their 'manifest destiny' to rule the world, and in 'American Exceptionalism', their right to do whatever they like anywhere in the world and with no regard for law.

Couple that with the faith that they were born tough, good with a gun, but also with a code of honour. Much of this comes from the example of the cowboy quick draw shoot-out at high noon on Main St. A man's gotta do whut a man's gotta do.

In fact, the quick draw, code of honour shoot-out never happened. Usually, people were shot in the back or killed with a rifle at long range. The quick-draw shootout was invented for the movies.  And - a high proportion of the cowboys were black. Of course. Texas had been a slave state. Cowboying was a low-paying, bottom of the scale job. So that's what blacks got after the civil war. But you'd never guess it from the movies.

The "American" character and personality has been shaped by images from history that have nothing to do with any reality.

We watch the same movies. So how come we don't pick it up? Well, when was the last time you saw a movie about Canadian cowboys?

B3 has an important story that should be of interest to Canadians - but its placement in the bottom of B4 suggests it's not of much interest. "CIA spy on Canada's intelligence safeguards 'You're kidding me.'

We aren't. Harper's idea of making sure that his anti-terrorism bill won't infringe our rights is an oversight committtee- appointed by Mr. Harper. And reporting to Mr. Harper. And not to parliament. That is a   classic definition of a police state.

On B4,  take a look at the picture at the top of the page. It's a battered street jammed with thousands of people lining up for food. This one is of Palestinians being besieged by Syrian troops. But it really doesn't matter who they are. This is what all sides, including Canada, are doing all over the middle east. And it has nothing to do with religion.

This is what it looks like when oil billionaires destroy whole societies so they can get even richer off their oil.
These people have no food. No medicine. Almost no shelter. No electricity. No clear water. This is what we are doing. Praise the Lord. We'll have to send them missionaries, and sermonettes from the Faith Page of the TandT.

It's even worse in Yemen where people live like that in good times. Now, they're being battered by Saudi Arabian and Pakistani troops armed by the US, with US observers spotting targets for the invaders, and with US warships bombarding villages along the coast. (Of course, they don't ever shoot at women and children.)
This is what war is about. This is what we're doing.

We're all behind the US oil billionaires as the inflict death and misery on millions. And neither those people nor what's left of the city around them will ever recover. We hanged Germans and Japanese for less than this after World War 2. This is what greed looks like. And the greedy would be just as happy to do this to you.

In paragraph two, the ISIS state fighters are referred to as 'extremists'. I don't know. It seems to me that anybody who destroys and kills like that in an extremist - even if he's relaxing in his private club in New York, enjoying a drink and some appetizers.

As always, I am left wondering where the Irving press gets the dozy editors who think the story or an Ontario couple who are suing a sperm bank is hot stuff. Meanwhile, they ignore the ecological disaster that is the southwest US. There has been a drought there for years with vast areas of California, Texas, Arizona, Utah turning to barren desert. It is a tremendous blow to food production in a very important part of the US; and a threat to human survival.

There is no water. Rain is forecast for today, but not enough to make any difference. Massive forest fires have swept California, right up to areas of human settlement. There's water to drink - for now - but that won't last. Now what?

Gee! Do you think it could be climate change? That might explain why glaciers in the Rockies are melting, too.

Nah. Our oil billionaires have told us there is no climate change. And if you can't trust an oil billionaire, who can you trust? Certainly, Harper trusts them. That's why this country is behind most of the world in cutting back on the use of fossil fuels.

There is no plan to cut back on fossil fuels, There is no plan on how to deal with the disasters they are causing. Indeed, one of earth's most fragile environments, the far north, is being opened up to the search for oil. Greed creates insanity. Good thing the Irving press doesn't bother to tell us about it.

Nor has the Irving press said much about the Iran deal. But don't worry. I don't think it will ever take effect.
Israel and Saudi Arabia are both looking for dominance in the Middle East. For both, Iran is the rival that has to be knocked off. Israel and Saudi Arabia can easily buy off Congress so it will refuse to permit lifting the trade sanctions on Iran. And that will kill the deal. Then, someday soon, Saudi Arabia and Israel will have to deal with each other......One of them has to go.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Graeme,

    Sometimes reading your take on international affairs, although preaching to the converted, makes me think. Comparing the security threat to Canadians from radicalized youth in Canada, to the security threat of the conflagration in Lac Megantic (lest we forget). How we wage war against the threat of terrorism, but allow the oil and gas industry to continually threaten us unchallenged. How we interpret a deranged gunman's killing of three policemen as a war on Moncton, in contrast to the imagery of Moncton under siege with bombs dropping, as they are half a world away. Thanks for the reality checks.