Wednesday, April 15, 2015

May 15: Section A is village news.

So is most of section B.

This is a serious problem for both Moncton and New Brunswick. We have a population here that is miserably uninformed - and is now used to being uninformed. And, I suspect, it doesn't want to be informed. Or, perhaps, it's afraid to be informed. Or afraid that someone might see them reading something intelligent or even just different, and report them to the Irvings.

I read that 2 out of 3 university students do not want to stay here after graduation. I don't blame them. The people of New Brunswick, so far as I have seen, won't do anything to help themselves or to make this a place where there children should want to live. And I would advise the one of three who does want to stay to think it over.

The Irving press does't say anything. It's designed not to say anything. It's designed to keep people ignorant, submissive,and to accept the authority of the Irvings on all matters - without ever mentioning the name. That does no good for anybody except the Irvings, and the few who ride on their coattails.

I looked hard from A1 to A9. The biggest stories were two, count them two. They take up most of A4. They were largely quotations from Peter MacKay to students in Moncton. Imagine, all those quotations from the man who was the most ignorant and servile Defence Minister  we have ever had, and who now is repeating the same act as Justice Minister. Why on earth were students taken out of class to waste their time listening to this national embarrassment?  Isn't this the year when it's supposed to be urgent to make up lost class time?

The editorial, as usual is pure bilge. As a result of the women's international football competition, we will get to see visitors from all over the world so we will understand the world. So it says. And the whole world will become aware of Moncton. That is all childish gush.

Norbert has a column that flirts with being intelligent, but is scared off before getting there. It's about how politicians play partisan games with issues like the shale gas moratorium. He says this sort of thing is not in the best interests of the province. He's right, so far as he goes. But he doesn't go very far.

Why do the Liberals and Conservatives play these games? Think hard Norbert. It's because they are not here to do things in our interest in the first place. They are here to do things in the interest of large corporations - the ones who pay their bills, and perhaps give them rewards after.

The Liberals and Conservatives are, indeed, a pretty miserable lot. But they are not the cause of the problem. The cause of the problem is the corporation world of which this newspaper and Norbert are servants. The finger, Norbert, points at you. You deliberately keep people ignorant of what is really happening. You deliberately suppress news you don't them to hear.  And you are never, never critical of the family that makes this province poor.

Brian Cormier, as always, has a commentary guaranteed to offend nobody - and say nothing.

Alec Bruce, too, seems to avoid saying anything.

There is an interesting commentary on the idea of a national drug plan. Now, there is an industry that grossly overprices its products and puts the poorest in the greatest danger. And that's why you're not likely to see the Irvings of this world favour it. (Unless it's a largely phony plan, like Obama's  medical insurance plan.)

In Canada&World, B1. there's "Gun crime mandatory minimums struck down" The Supreme Court  struck down a Harper law which requires a minimum sentence for a crime involving a gun. That's an important story because the Harper government must now have an all-time record for having its laws struck down as unconstitutional.  That suggests a pretty strong Harper disregard of human rights. It also suggests  a Justice Minister who is out of touch with the justice system - or too spineless to tell Harper when he's wrong.

We finally get to some foreign news on B4 - sort of.  It's about Canada sending soldiers to train Ukrainian troops. As usual, it's full of propaganda.
1, Defence Minister Kenney is quoted as saying we are a strong friend and ally of Ukraine. (We are? When did that happen?) So we're going to help against unacceptable Russian actions. Well, they could at least have mentioned there is strong evidence that the problem was caused in the first place not by Russia but by the US.
And if Canada is so hot on defending countries against unacceptable actions, how come we didn't intervene when the US launched very unacceptable and illegal actions against Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen which it bombed with drones for years and for which it now supplies Saudi Arabia with bombs for its illegal war; Then there were its bombings and murders in Cuba, overthrow of a democratic government in Haiti, attempted overthrow of democracy in Venezuela, and mass murder (including a Canadian) in Guatemala. And many others. So where was our fire-breathing defence secretary then?
2. And, he says, there is no danger of a nuclear war breaking out. Right. American politicians are already threatening a nuclear war. And Russia and China will soon have to decide when they will have to consider a first strike.

3. The story does mention that large number of Naziis in Ukraine have formed large military units which fight on our side. There are Naziis in the Kyiv army, and the Kyiv government, too. Very comforting to know they're on our side in this struggle for freedom.

B6, incidentally, has the story that fighting in Ukraine has become intense which, among other things, hugely increases the chances of nuclear war. I must make a note to send an Irving press subscription to our Defence Minister.

There's another worrisome part of this. The US has special ops (specializing in murder, destabilization,etc.) Last year, it's known that they carried out some 650 missions all over the world including some in Venezuela where a Canadian RCMP officer was involved. In short, these are terrorists, and perhaps the most active ones in the world.

Canada has special ops troops who are joined at the hip with American ones. Their central command includes Americans, Canadians, several European countries. Those other countries have been involved in operations under American command. We don't know about the Canadians because our government has never even told us they exist, or that they are a part of the central command system.

B6 has a (sort of) foreign story about the prime minister of India visiting Ottawa. It's pretty much the same story (and the same photo) the paper ran yesterday.

B6 also has two, big stories about sexual violence which, we are told, is a tactic of extremists, terrorists. The story also applauds the government of Congo for dealing with this problem. Apparently,  the writer of the article did not realize that the people in the Congo who were punished were not what we usually call extremists or terrorists. They were soldiers and officers of the army of Congo, the ones who defend the mines owned by us westerners. And they've been raping and murdering women by millions for almost a hundreds and fifty years.

The figures are terrible - but much like those of all armies. Our side just doesn't get reported as a rule.

The reality is that for centuries, the western powers have been brutally exploiting people around the world, destroying their social structures, creating vast suffering and death. The empires were built for profit, with all the profit going to the very rich. (The British lived with high rates of poverty though its 'glorious' years of empire. Even the British soldiers were treated like animals and, when they were no longer needed, simply discarded.)

The US entered World War Two in the hope of taking over the old, European empires. That's what Vietnam and the Middle East and Africa are all about, with the old, imperial powers like Britain and France, joining in to get the crumbs that fall from the table.

In the process, we continue to degrade and demoralize and fundamentally destroy the societies of those places. And if they shoot back, we call them terrorists. And all of this, just like the old,  empires, is about profiting the rich while maintaining the rest in poverty.

Two results are easily predictable.
1. The continued breakdown of societies - which is what has created 'terrorism'. Fighting will not end it. Indeed, fighting is guaranteed to increase it.
2. The shift of wealth all over the world from most of us to the very rich will cause a breakdown in our own society. And we shall become the Middle East, and Africa.....

The root of it all is greed. And the mechanism to satisfy greed is not communism or socialism. It's our thoroughly corrupt and bastardized form of capitalism. That form of capitalism, not terrorists, is what we have to fight.

That form of capitalism is what owns our governments, what prevents action on climate change, what sends us into wars..... Nothing will improve so long as that exists. We have to either put a leash on this killer dog, or replace it with something that works. And we really don't have much time.


  1. I am too old(80) to pay for a Times Subscription. I would be interested in reading the Articles that you comment on. A sub number would be good!!! BYW I am following CharlesTheriault. Good Stuff also.

  2. It would be helpful if you could include links to sources once in a while. The world wide web would not exist if it were not for the edifice upon which it is built - the humble hyperlink. Also, it would be nice to have recommendations on what to read instead of what not to read.

  3. As to recommendations on what the read, I have, frequently, given the names of reliable news sources.But I've written over 1500 blogs. Am I to repeat those lists in every one?

    Or, if you mean references to what to read in the TandT,, I do that every day. It's just that there are never more than two or three to read.

    I do provide links to sources But much of what I write has nothing to do with sources. When I criticize Norbert, for example, it's usual on the basis of his logic and choice of words, not his sources.
    Understanding news is not simply a matter of finding sources. It is also a matter of using one's own logic.

  4. As to recommendations on what the read, I have, frequently, given the names of reliable news sources.But I've written over 1500 blogs. Am I to repeat those lists in every one?

    Or, if you mean references to what to read in the TandT,, I do that every day. It's just that there are never more than two or three to read.

    I do provide links to sources But much of what I write has nothing to do with sources. When I criticize Norbert, for example, it's usual on the basis of his logic and choice of words, not his sources.
    Understanding news is not simply a matter of finding sources. It is also a matter of using one's own logic.

  5. I've yet to see an embedded link inside one of your posts. Can you show me one example? And link to it?

    You write about current events, so obviously you are getting information elsewhere - and lots of it. It would be nice to have sources that you used.

    Take this post for example. You make specific claims about special ops and the number of them that have occurred. Where can we find this data? Or about Nazis in Ukraine? Or the West threatening nuclear war? It is Putin who has continuously threatened such a thing.

    If you provide sources once in a while we can evaluate whether your conclusions about current events are warranted or not. A few book recommendations would be nice too, as obviously your reporting is a synthesis of news sources and histories.

    The hyperlink is your friend. There is no web without it.

    If you don't have the time nor patience to include a hyperlink when making a specific claim, then a list of sites in which you frequently visit would be helpful.

  6. Well, I'm flattered you think so highly of my extensive offices and large staff. But this is really a small operation which takes up most of my time as it is.

    I have, for example, often listed sources that I think are reliable. I have often, for example, listed The Guardian, Haaretz among many others. But with some 1500 blogs already in this series, they get lost within a few days. And I can't do a list every day. I mean, there's just me and the cat.

    As to books, I have spent my life reading books. Much of what I know comes from them. But there have been thousands of them. I occasionally suggest a book - as I did for April 18. But, really, There are so many of them - and many whose names I have long forgotten let alone remember which is the precise one I got the information from that it would take both me and the cat to find most of them.

    As well, the library system here is appallingly underfunded - and you would have great difficulty in finding those books - even with access to a university library.

    I have never seen a newspaper that routinely gives sources to everything it says, certainly not in a commentary column which is what a blog is. Nor have I ever seen one with a daily list of good books.

    I do it quite frequently. But I can't possibly afford the time to do it routinely.

  7. Guardian, Haaretz.

    Hyperlinks ^^ It's the purpose of the world wide web. The dying print legacy media can't do this. Blogs excel at it, and always take time to do it - because we can.

  8. Okay. I'm no computer expert. Explain hyperlinks to me.

  9. Okay. I'm no computer expert. Explain hyperlinks to me.

  10. The World Wide Web (the www in the address bar) functions by a series of linkages to resources located on servers around the world. One "surfs" the web by clicking anchor links around words or images that take you to different destinations across the web. You know when something is clickable due to the fact that when you hover over (typically a blue underlined word) the cursor turns from an arrow to a hand (indicating that when you click it you will be taken to another webpage).

    In the blogger post textarea, for instance, you can highlight any word you have written and then click the 'link' button and paste a url into web address input box. Now your word will not just be a word but a direct link to another resource anywhere you like. It's akin to notes in an academic paper, I suppose, except not only will you be able to tell them what the resource is but they will be able to directly read it for themselves. Once you get used to it, I guarantee you will want to use this ability in different ways to make a point or just to share something of interest with your readers.