Saturday, May 23, 2015

May 23: Fireman thanked for saving dog..

.....Yes, it's a heart-warming story. But it is not a front page, lead story in a serious newspaper. It is, however, a striking example of how the Irving press uses a newspaper to keep people's minds on triviality.

A3 has the Brunswick News patting itself on the back for winning two national newspaper awards. One is the justly famous photo of Justin Bourque taken by Vicktor Pivovarov. There is no mention that the Irving press soon after this fired Pivovarov along with other photographers in order to save money and boost profits. James C. Irving, vice-president of Brunswick News, the man with fastest-rising career from cub reporter to VP that I have ever heard of, is quoted as saying he's proud of the achievements of "our journalists". Well, gee, if you're so bloody proud, why did you fire him?

And so it goes for the rest of a dreadful section A - 13 pages of trivia and fuzz.

The editorial offers the brilliant insight that school buildings should be maintained in good repair. Who woulda thunk it?

Norbert starts his column off as if this will be another rant. But it's so vague, it's not even that.  Come off it. Norbie. You know that it doesn't matter whether the Liberals or the Conservatives get their act together. Irving (you've heard the name, Norbie?) runs the province. The age of  democracy is well behind us - if New Brunswick ever had such an age.

There is a big, big commentary by the CEO of Corporate Research Associates advising us on how to run New Brunswick - sort of. It's, to say the least, vague with a wordiness that leans to bafflegab. Not many are going to read this. Essentially, it suggests we focus on developing seven urban centres in New Brunswick as bases for social services and for economic development. It makes sense for social services and education. It's much less clear on how this can be adapted to economic development. The writer seems to have just a wish and a kiss for that.

Half of Brent Mazerolle's column is about how he took dozens of pictures of the designs proposed for a memorial to RCMP officers killed in Moncton a year ago. Well, of course. Like the other reporters who have to take photos with their cellphones, he's not a pro like the real photographers the Irving press fired to increase profits. The second half consists of vague ramblings about how fascinated he is by the process of choosing a design for the memorial.

Brent, this vague rambling is not a commentary.

Brent Belliveau writes about the lack of leadership in this province. I will agree that for a government to call in discussion groups to decide on its policy is absurd. But the reality is that New Brunswick does have a strong and clear political leadership. It's leadership by a group of aristocrats by birth (something out of the 16th century or so. It's a group whose only interest is in taking money from the rest of us.) That's why you have two political parties that have no principles and no policies. Can't anybody at the Times and Transcript spell I-R-V-I-N-G?
In Canada&World, there is not a thing worth reading. You can get more and better on Google news.
B6 has a story that looks promising. It's about Hillary Clinton andsome classified info. And, apparently, it's such hot stuff if took two reporters from The Associated Press to write it. The reality is it doesn't say a damn thing.

The best part of this section is that a half of it is ads.
The Faith page on C7? God help us in the fullest sense of that term. In a world in which millions are dying from starvation and bombs and brutal work conditions and  pollution caused by our economic leaders, and in which we Canadians are playing a role in all the above, the sermonette is on how it is not Christian to practice astrology.

Great hopping Christ! It's as if Jesus and the apostles and all the books of the Talmud and the Torah came to remind us to brush our teeth twice a day and to floss regularly.

Now, I am not a Catholic.I have no desire to be a Catholic. And I do not attend any church. And the prattle of Faith page almost every Saturday confirms my wisdom of not going to any church. However, far the most intelligent and progressive religious leader of our age, one who speaks frequently but is reported on rarely, is Pope Francis. (Forgive me, all my Scots Calvinist ancestors.)
You can find him often  on -

I don't read the parts about ritual or holiness. But the pope very often uses his faith as the basis of his general view of the world and its hatreds and violence and politics. And he manages to do it with intelligence, courage, gentleness - and often in conflict with powerful elements in his own church. Quite a remarkable man.

In one of his posts, he speaks of how the middle east chaos can never be settled by war. Obama has grasped that. That's why he trying so hard for a settlement with Iran. But Saudi Arabia, Israel, and American and British oil billionaires want war. And every person they kill increases the hatreds and adds to the "terrorists". This is the war that will never end until we are all destroyed. Harper encourages the hatreds and fears that drive these wars. He does it because the wealthy who pay for his elections and who own most of the news media want those wars. They are unquenchably greedy, and their greed makes them stupid, even insane.

And all the hatred and fear that Harper preaches creates massive hatred and fear of us all over the world. That is what has created an alliance between China and Russia, one that may well draw in India and many others. We cannot create a world of peace by killing. And we cannot win in a world at war. So far, fifteen years of unbroken war, including many secret wars that go back even further, have cost us heavily, gained us nothing except to make a few billionaires in the oil and arms industries richer.

But our Faith page never mentions that. So I guess it's okay. Be sure to make it to the Irving chapel this summer for coffee and fellowship in the barn. All the best people will be there.

Actually, reading The Guardian, Catholic News Service, Al Jazeera and Haaretz every day (and all available on the web) will give you more news than a full year of the Irving Press.
This item, sent to me by a reader, enlarges a great deal on what I said yesterday about the California drought and the oil spill on its coast. While crops are dying, and even drinking water is running out, California still permits fracking - which uses enormous quantities of water to flush out the wells. The waste water is very dangerous stuff, laced with toxic chemicals added to the water. Disposing of that is a huge problem. But not for the oil industry in California. It sells the wastewater to desperate farmers whose crops are dying. Enjoy your California salad, and your next bottle of California wine.
But don't waste time writing to the oil billionaires. They know what damage they're doing. And they don't give a damn.

That's why Gallant is going to decide that fracking is perfectly safe.

Yet another story that I did not see in the Irving press is one that appeared a week ago (May 14) in other papers - even The National Post. At that time, the federal Conservatives, Liberals and the NDP were in a three-way tie for the coming election. (The NDP was the leader, but by only a small margin.)

Hey! Harper! Notice I wrote a criticism of Israel above. I wrote it because of you. You have created such a Canada that I am ashamed not to be in prison.

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