Friday, May 1, 2015

May 1: Little of anything in the Irving press today...

so skip most of section A - except for A1 "Deer-car collisions taking toll."  Apparently record numbers of deer are being killed on our highways this year. It's partly because they're starving after a long winter, and are feeding on new grass along the highways. So the answer being suggested is to put up more road signs. That's been done for years with little success because many drivers don't bother to read - and deer can't.

They're being chased out of the woods by lack of food at this time of year. Wouldn't it make more sense to establish feeding stations for them in the woods. Just think. What would the government do if a dozen Irvings were lost in the woods, starving, and stumbling out onto the highways.. Put up road signs saying "Irvings Ahead"?

The editorial is a typical one.
1. It's a kiss-up to a speaker for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business who already has two, big stories in yesterday's paper. Essentially, it's a demand for deregulation of business. And I can imagine the editorial writer listening, drooling on shoes and panting like a dog.

Deregulation began years ago for big business.  It's been a disaster, and a major factor in this recession. The idea that deregulation benefits us is one that only fools still believe in. (okay, fools and editorial writers for the Irving press.)

2. As always, it begins and ends with money, and with nothing but money in between. Mr. editorial writer, have you never heard of people? of society?

Norbert has the paper's daily boost for the events centre. He says we need to have a vision. Right. Too bad he has no suggestion what such a vision would be. However, he is quite sure that a vision would mean a profit - maybe.

Norbert, you don't start with a vision, not unless  your name is Paul and you're strolling along the highway to Damascus. You start with people. You start with their needs and priorities. We already have restaurants and bars along Main St. If we put even more them in an events centre, it can be done only at the cost of those already in place.

And when you talk about retail shops, you're really talking Malls and shopping centres. Same problem. Any customers drawn to the centre are lost to shopping centres we have. Forget the vision.

If the owner of the hockey team wants a new rink, let him build it That fact that he is not doing so screams at you - he knows it won't make a profit. That's why he's so eager to stick us with the bill. If this were to be profitable, he wouldn't let any government touch it.

And if you must build something, think of the people of this city and what they need and what our priorities are. You might for example, think of a library that's properly equipped, much more up to date with books, and able to offer help to the many, many semi-literate and illiterate of this region. It could even sponsor contests to see how many books our wealthy superiors can speed-read in a week. We could start with a great book called Irving vs. Irving.

Cole Hobson has a column on daycare in this province - and the utter inability of the provincial government to understand the importance of it in educating children. Hobson does a solid job of it, and with attention to the payment of minimum wage for a job that requires skill. If daycare were an events centre, we'd have editorials and Norbert columns daily boosting it. But it's not something that creates profit for the owner of the hockey team.. It's only about people, and children at that. So who gives a damn at the Irving press.

Good column by Hobson.

Below Hobson, and writing on the same subject, is the Minister of Education who smooth talks his way, and who does not seem to understand what early childhood development means. And is this commentary spot for just the Liberal or Conservative of the day? Are we not allowed to know about other parties?

Today, Alec Bruce is Norbert  if a classier version thereof. Alas! This is, just like Norbert, shilling for the events centre. Has there ever been a column in this paper critical of the events centre?

B2 has a photo and story of a clothing factory in Bangladesh that collapsed, killing 1,200 workers, mostly women. And there's a connection with Moncton. Loblaws owned it, to make those nice, Joe Fresh clothes.
This is not unusual for the clothing trade. When impoverished Jews were migrating to Canada about 1900, they often could find work only in the dangerous conditions of the clothing industry. They called it, in Yiddish, the Schmata trade. It was dangerous and vile and badly paid. And that's really the whole history of the clothing trade. In the US, some women were locked into the rickety factories - and died when the factories caught fire and theycouldn't get out.

Unions improved conditions, but then the manufacturers had an out, especially after free trade. They could relocate in foreign countries where there are no business regulations or unions, and where starving people have to work for two or three dollars a day. (Now, take a look back to A10 for that half-wit editorial that says business doesn't need regulation. Then take another look at the photo of the rubble that covers the bodies of 1200 dead women.

That's a story that could have happened in much of Asia and Latin America, with plenty of Canadian bastards as the owners.

A story on B3 made me, for the first time ever, proud of Jean Chretien. He met with Putin in Moscow, and they seem to have had a civilized talk. Harper's Conservatives are upset. They feel he should have been a boorish ass just as Harper was when he met Putin. (Remember his one-liner - "Get out of Ukraine"?)

Harper completely ignored the fact that the US started the civil war in Ukraine when it overthrew the elected government (something the Irving press has not yet mentioned.) That, combined with aggressive remarks by Obama, made it essential for Putin to react.

Harper has quite a record of braying like an ass in public. But never doing anything. And what can he do? Send an icebreaker to attack Moscow? It's like the case of Israel in which he talks a great game - but has never actually done anything for Israel.

Closer to home, there is a country that frequently violates our sovereignty by sending its ships through the Northwest passage, simply to rub in its contempt for our claims, and as a warning it will ignore any attempt by us to regulate Arctic development. So where's the tough talk, Harper? And how come our news media seldom even mention it?

B3 has a story that is much bigger than it may look, "Canadian Forces' culture hostile to women..."  It certainly is, and with a high rate of rape. I began to find the reason why when I was working on a film about the war of 1812.

As I visited the various battlefields, I was astonished at how close the two armies had stared at each other.
Packed shoulder to shoulder, they might be shooting at an enemy just 100 feet away - and it, too, lined up as solid as fence of wooden planks. Even with the muskets of the time, how could they miss/

But as I checked the casualty figures, it was obvious that most shots, by far, must have missed. So I did some reading of military history.  I read about abandoned muskets after a civil war battle. Over half of them were loaded. (I'll leave that for the gun nuts to understand. Hint - It took a good minute to load a musket, but just a couple of seconds to fire it.)

In the second world war, American researchers found that it had taken some 60,000 shots for every enemy soldier killed.

Further research showed that most soldiers don't like killing people. Many shoot to miss. Many don't shoot at all. Well, something had to be done about that. Soldiers had to learn to have contempt for others. That's why military training introduced the development of contempt, starting with contempt of women. The idea was to make them - and any enemy - into subhumans who could be killed or abused within remorse, perhaps even for the joy of it.

It worked. The kill rate was doubled in the Vietnam war and, to the gratification of commanders, led to a much higher kill rate of women and children. That training may explain the My Lai massacre of some 800 innocent people in Vietnam, including babies .It may explain the delight of an American soldier in killing without regard to age or gender, a soldier who regretted he did not kill more, and became a national hero from the film about his life, "Sniper"

Remember Obama's recent apology for the killing of two Americans by mistake in a drone attack? He has killed thousands of people by drone attacks, many of them innocent people, children... How come there is no apology for that? And how come we don't even expect an apology?

It's not just the soldiers who learn to dehumanize others - like, for example, Muslims.. It's deliberately taught to all of us in the propaganda of our news and entertainment media. There are also uncountable hate sites all over the web. One of the worst is the official "Voice of America".

As for those who still don't have sufficient contempt, well, that may help explain the rise of PTSD.

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