Thursday, May 7, 2015

May 7:Remember how Moncton mourned the deaths of three police?

They were killed by a man using a combat-style rifle (high rate of fire, large capacity magazine). It was a rifle of no hunting value. (If you miss a deer on the first shot, you're not likely to hit it on the 20th). Nor was it of any value for target shooting. This was a combat rifle, useful only for killing people. We mourned the dead in that incident.; and there seems no limit to the Irving press concern about it. But I don't recall a single article about that rifle. Now, take a look at the back page of "This Week" section. Start with the CXA VZ-58, Suomi M31, CSA VZ 58 sporter, Norinco M305/M14.

These are combat rifles - semi-automatic with large magazines. They are of no hunting or target use whatever. They are for killing people. lots of them.. They're for sale.

You'll note they also have a sexy, military, he-man appearance, something to appeal to the simple-minded or mentally ill.   The same can be said of the FB 9mm rifle and the Norinco Type 97, designed to look like submachine guns - and close to useless for any purpose except short-range assassination. And the Dominion Arms AR15.556 (using a small but very high velocity bullets that are designed to do the kind of damage done by hollow-point bullets).

The Thomson M1 carabine (the ad is full of spelling mistakes) is simply a copy of an American military rifle of the 1950s. Then there's the delicately named Winchester model 94 Sioux - presumably fer killin' them there injuns.

The pistols, though commonly named as target range weapons, are most of them useless for that purpose.

What the hell is going on here? For all its proud  talk about the bravery of our police, the evil of their killer, the sympathy of the people of Moncton, the paper runs this full page ad to put even more dangerous weapons into the hands of the immature and the mentally disturbed.

Instead of putting up a statue to police who were killed as a result of our sale of weapons like this, the Irving press (and us) should be demanding legislation to get these things off the market. When they see ads like this, why don't the editors assign a reporter with some knowledge of guns to tell us what's going on? Why has no politician had the wit to ask questions about this? And why has Harper made it even easier to get such guns?
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Now, today's TandT (sigh).

"Moncton man faces sex charges...." Sorry kiddies. That's sensationalism. It belongs on the Ann Landers page. If he's convicted, okay, then it's news. Until then, it's just cheap sensationalism.

 Nor is it a front page story that the Canadian Tire store is moving.

As to the apartment fire, Moncton seems to have a lot of these. Could that have something to do with our construction laws? Editors - have you ever thought of asking about that?

And the rest of the news in section A is just irrelevant.
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Then there's the editorial and comment section of Section A. It has not a word about the passage by the House of Commons last night of the Anti-terrorism act, perhaps the most extreme piece of legislation in Canadian history, and one that effectively wipes out individual rights. Now, it has just the Senate to approve it - and that should be a laugh. Then there's the governor-general to sign it. We have had governors-general who would refuse to sign such a piece of legislation, and who would resign. The current governor-general is not one of those. He's a former university president who would walk naked through a shopping mall if told to. Harper's kinda guy.

Everyone knew this vote was being held. Everybody knew how it was going to turn out as soon as Trudeau betrrayed whatever principles he might have, and told all the Liberals to vote for it. It wasn't impossible for an editorial writer or commentator to have a column ready for that. Is their nobody on the staff of that wretched paper who is capable of writing such a commentary? Apparently not.

Indeed, it was even possible to get the story of the passage of  the bill as a news story. However, that would call for somebody to work overtime, and the smart businessmen who run the Irving press as a business would be too cheap to do that.

No, on this day in history, the editorial and commentary columns have not a word about it. Or even about the Alberta election. No, we get an editorial about a new ambulance. Norbert's column says "harrumph" about nothing in particular. This is a column so vacant, even by Norbert's standards, that it really isn't worth reading.

Rod Allen has yet another commentary about nothing, really, and set in such a ponderous wit that it's annoying.

The guest commentary is not a commentary. It's a piece of propaganda from a "think tank" (Fraser Institute) financed by big business to spread propaganda for big business.

Alec Bruce deals with a serious topic - our former auditor-general, and how she is now speaking publicly and critically of the financial management in our province. Alas! He tries to hard to be amusing about it ( a la Rod Allen) that the point gets lost.

Nobody, ever, on these pages has ever, ever, ever mentioned the root cause of New Brunswick's economic problems and much of its social problems. The problem is it is owned by Irving. The government is owned by Irving. The newspapers are owned by Irving. The Norberts are owned by Irving.  Irving sets financial policies. Irving is interested only in himself and his profits. We are made poor to make Irving richer. The Irvings are a very heavy economic burden on this province.

That is the problem. And until that problem is tackled, nothing is going to happen in this province.
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In Canada&World, "Fewer workers in public sector..." we are told that more cuts for the public sector are probably coming. Way to go, baby. Fire people. It's a great way to create jobs, and pick up the economy..  Finance Minister Melanson  says its good to cut jobs because the size of our public service is outpacing the Canadian average.

Melanson, New Brunswick has a high proportion of lobster  fishermen, very high compared to, say, Manitoba. Should we fire most of them to get to average?

Melanson, the number of and type of public employees you need depends on what the people (are you familiar with the world 'people' Mr. Melanson?)  need. You are not running a business. You are serving people. Do you have any social philosophy at all? Does your party have any? Do the Conservatives have any?

Have you ever read any history? Have you ever read of a recession cured by making more people unemployed? You are not running a biscuit factory, Mr. Melanson. You are, supposedly, helping people. And you aren't doing it. And if you are going to cut spending, may I suggest you cut it on people who don't need your spending? The name Irving springs to mind. We can afford teachers and civil servants. What we cannot afford is the (largely unreported) cost of keeping all the Irvings living in the style they seem to see as part of God's great plan.

 I would recommend reading (and thought) about a story on B3. "Doctor describes daring migrant rescue".
Africa and the middle east, largely because of "our side", are enduring one of the most terrible periods of suffering in history, with at least 38 million refugees trying to flee the killing and starvation. 38 million. And, of course, there are the millions of dead and crippled and orphaned and starving and terrorized who can't flee. They just have to endure it. We have no idea of the depth of misery caused by war and, certainly, we rarely think of ourselves as a cause of it.

In an early version of the war in Yemen. Iraq (that means Saddam Hussein) was financed and armed by the US. He was also supplied with chemical weapons, including poison gas. The war killed over a million people, half of them civilians, between 1980 and 1988. But it was rarely mentioned in the western press; nor was the leading role of the US reported.

The motive for the US was to get control of Iran's oil. Later, the US would kill well over a  million Iraqis and hang Hussein for weapons he didn't have. Bush and Blair lied. And they murdered, crippled, orphaned, and made refugees of over ten million people. Nobody knows the real number. Yet our press routinely portrays Iran as the evil one.

This slaughter and terrorism has been going on British, French, and now Americans for a full century. It's difficult to find accounts of it - and impossible to get even a vague estimate of the dead, the wounded, the economies destroyed, the social systems destroyed, the orphans turned loose in countries that cannot feed them. And all of it for billionaires who want the control of oil for their own profit only.

And one can see the same, unreported pattern all over the world - in Africa, Latin America, Asia - the killer squads, the special ops, the assassinations of people who get in the way of the billionaires, the starving, the fear....

It's our side that's been doing that. Of course, people all over the world hate us. I hate us. And our news media and political leaders have talked us into believing we are the ones who are threatened. They have talked us into believing we have to give up our rights and values and our democracy in order to preserve our rights and freedoms and democracy. And on Nov. 11, we'll remember the sacrifices of those who died to preserve our rights and freedoms and democracy.

How can we possibly believe all that?

And economies are crumbling, especially in the US, because of the enormous cost of these wars - and because of the corruption of the very rich and of whole political parties. That's why there's such a rise in US poverty (which most of our news media don't tell us about). That's why we're in a recession created by billionaires, and managed by people like Melanson so that everybody but the rich has to pay.

The US, like Britain and France before it, has destroyed Africa and the Middle East. It's a continuation of the mass murder, brutality, exploitation, starvation, torture that began with Christopher Columbus, and has never slowed down.

And now, the very wealthy of the US want wars with Russia and China with the horrendous risk that creates. These people are insane. But our news media have trained us to believe that we are the ones being picked on, that we are the ones who have to fear all those we have murdered, orphaned, widowed, and driven to hopeless despair.. This is worse than insane. I would say that we are the Hitlers and Naziis of our time -but we have gone beyond, far beyond, Hitler and the Naziis.

What we should do on Nov. 11 is to apologize to those who died for us. We have betrayed all they fought and died for.
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There is no news in the Irving press. Always a gutter press, it has shown an even steeper decline in recent weeks. That's due, I suppose, to running it like a business. It's in the gutter, and it's dragging us down with it. 

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