Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May 19: Let's get serious

First, a well-deserved acknowledgement that I forgot to make. Saturday's Faith page had a sermonette by Brett Annington who is chaplain at University of New Brunswick. This is what a Faith column should be.  No fairies in the sky. No God's great plan malarkey. It is religion as it should be - applied to our behaviour in daily life on earth - before we get to walking on clouds or burning in hell. It's called "Here's what The Bible really says about sex".
The editorial is actually quite decent on the subject of dress codes in schools. Below it, Norbert starts well in supporting an investigation into the failure of RCMP officials at the top level to give adequate support to the police in the field. Alas! He can't help going into a rant about how this is typical of politicians and civil servants. That may well be so. But Norbert would never have the guts to make such a criticism - or any criticism - of big business.

Alan Cochrane has a commentary on "Moncton Firefighters Historical Society Seeks Departmental Relics". The trouble is that it's not a commentary.  Commentary - derived from comment. You take a topic, and you offer a reasoned opinion about it. But this, like many that appear on this page, is not a commentary at all. Well, it does have a paragraph at the end that this is a "good thing". That, vaguely, is an opinion. But it's very vague.

Louise Gilbert does a good job on how important it is for seniors to be active. And Alec Bruce is solid with a column that is an opinion backed by sound reasoning.

Canada&World has just over one page of world news. It looks as though the Irving press is definitely running this paper purely as a business and propaganda machine. It's really being run on the cheap. And none of the stories tells us much about anything, anywhere. One gem tells us that a man named Noriega, now in prison and formerly a dictator, had an accident and hurt his shoulder.

So bloody what? For more exciting news turn to section C for a list of today's celebrity birthdays.

Or, let's talk about news that escaped the eagle eyes of Irving editors.
The big story, perhaps, is that leading Republicans and Democrats now agree that the US invasion of Iraq was a big mistake. And those who have now admitted it include Jeb Bush and George Bush Jr.
They now claim they had faulty intelligence.

No, they didn't. Jeb Bush, for example, was advocating that war a good five years before it happened. You can find it on the web under Project for the New American Century. It's a plan for US domination, military and economic, of the whole world - and Iraq  was one of the prime topics. And Jeb Bush signed that.

At the time Bush and Tony Blair announced the war, they were obviously lying. They said Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Why so vague? If intelligence had information convincing enough to cause a war that killed over a million people, it must have known exactly what kind of WMD was involved. Nuclear bomb? (It's pretty hard to hide the production of nuclear bombs). Poison gas? Sure, he had some. It was given to him by the US to use against Iran.

At the time, I had never heard the term WMD being used. Why did it suddenly make an appearance? Why didn't the American and British people and all others ask exactly what WMD meant? And were all the news media so thick it never occurred to them to ask that question?

Bush and Blair knew all the above. They knew there were no WMDs. Bush and Blair worked on public emotions and hatreds to kill all those people for their good friends in the oil industry. Bush and Blair are war criminals.

Neither Bush nor Blair apologized for their "mistake". And neither has said what the "mistake" was.
Do they mean it was a mistake to kill men, women and children by the million? To destroy schools and hospitals? To impoverish a whole nation? To send millions into refugee camps? To begin the horror that has sent at least tens of thousands to this day to flee the middle east for Europe, thousands dying on the way?

Why was it a mistake? Why don't reporters ask them?

Obviously, it was a mistake to launch a military strike that would make the US one of this world's most hated nations. It was a mistake, as well, because it created extremism all over the middle east.

Bush and Blair admit ---but admit what?

That 'mistake' was the beginning of the biggest foreign policy and military blunder in modern history. And it raises the possibility of becoming the biggest mistake in human history.

And,really, who was it that really wanted that war? For the answer, check out the the people who signed "Project for the New American Century". (Why hasn't the Irving press published this? It's in the public domain.) Also check out Dick Cheney, the real president under Bush, and the poster boy for oil billionaires.

I know the Irving press likes to go cheap. And it's obvious by now it has nobody, including the news editors, who knows a poop about foreign affairs. But couldn't the whole chain hire one person to write a weekly column that would make some sense out of the news?

(No. They don't want readers to make sense out of the news.)
Then, there's some good news for the unemployed. All you need is a good arm.  Saudi Arabia will provide the sword.      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/18/saudi-arabia-advertises-eight-new-executioners-beheadings-soar    

Boy! This could be as good as the oil sands were. Saudi Arabia uses beheading as a sort of rehabilitation for evil people -like witches, women who drive cars, that sort of thing. Lesser criminals get their hands cut off. But, oh, it's hard to get good beheaders these days.

Saudi Arabia. That's the one on our side for democracy and freedom, the one that's now bringing civilization to Yemen with cluster bombs that are really, really good for killing children - and are supplied by America which, as we all know, God blesses.
The site below ( way below), from the Stockholm Peace Institute, discusses the world arms trade. In fact, any google of' arms trade' turns up a fascinating list. The money involved runs into billions and even trillions. Any figure, though, is largely a guess because so much of the money is listed under other budgets.  Most of the weaponry goes to poor countries all over Latin American, Africa and Asia. In fact, it is easier for poor countries to get tanks than it is to get food or medical care.

Recently, Saudi Arabia has been a leading buyer, largely from the US. I wonder what that tells us about the future of the middle east.

The arms industry might well be the biggest industry in the world. And that might help to explain why we need so many wars. It's also perhaps the most corrupt industry in the world, buying politicians, buying whole governments. It's also corrupt in that it gets billions of dollars from its native countries in inflated contracts, sort of a government welfare for big business. My, it would be interesting to see an in-depth study of Irving Shipyards' contracts for naval vessels.

As well, the industry ignores even the few regulations that exist for their sales. That means that anybody can get them. That's why whole Muslim armies, like ISIS, can spring up overnight with tank battalions, missiles, machine guns - and many made in the USA. Hey. A sale is a sale.

That's why the US has decided to cut spending for things like feeding the hungry in the US..

The biggest players are Russia and the US, with the UK, France, and China as small players.

That's why Kim's North Korea has a submarine armed with nuclear missiles (The Irving press could have learned that on Google news. But that might require an extra person on staff.)

Oh, and another little item about arms and about foreign affairs that the Irving press didn't have room for. The Times of India, The Guardian, and even the National Post have reported that Saudi Arabia is making deals to buy nuclear missiles.. In fact, the deal may already have been reached with Pakistan. And there has been no reaction, so far, from the US.

Funny. The US put sanctions on Iran for developing nuclear weapons when it wasn't. And it's been carrying out farcical talks to make Iran stop development that it hasn't been carrying on. But, hey, a nice guy like the king of Saudi Arabia? No sweat. And Israel? We won't even talk about that. But, oh, we gotta nail down them there Eye-ranians.

Yes. Invading Iraq was a huge mistake. Invading Iraq to satisfy Dick Cheney and his oil friends has set up mass destruction throughout the middle east and with more, much more to come. And with crises it has set up all over the world.

 This one is about how Canadian corporations hide $200 billion from taxation, even though their corporate tax rates are among the lowest in the world.

I'm surprised the Irving press didn't publish this. After all, I'm sure no wealthy philanthopist in New Brunswick's philanthropy hall of fame would dream of avoiding taxes. So this would be a good opportunity to show up those other, thieving billionaires.

However, the Irving press had a scoop with the story that George Clooney is happy that his wife is more intelligent than he is.

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