Wednesday, June 10, 2015

June 10: The story that never met the high standards of the Irving press.

The site above is worth a look. The New York Times may have declined - a lot. But it's still a big notch ahead of the Irving press. And Paul Krugman is still a first rate political analyst.

The Iraq war was wrong. Donald Rumsfeld, Bush's defence secretary and a war hawk, has admitted it. Jeb Bush, Bush's brother, has said so publicly (though he is still associated with the gang of liars that set up that war.) Rumsfeld and Jeb Bush   go into a lot of double talk about it. They say it was an innocent mistake because George Bush wanted to  establish democracy in Iraq. and Iraq wasn't ready for democracy. Sure. Going to war and killing over a million people and destroying schools and hospitals and a nation, and chasing millions out as refugees and driving the rest into poverty is the only way to establish democracy.

The war had nothing to do with democracy. It had to do with greed of American oil billionaires, and with the determination of American big business to control the whole Middle East. Bush was, and is, a liar. Tony Blairis  a liar. And both are war criminals and mass murderers.

Result - the whole Middle East is in chaos. ISIS has become a force that we probably cannot beat. (As well, much of its equipment and support comes from the US). There is every possibility of a nuclear war breaking out in the region. Just consider this - ISIS spreads, and attacks Israel. Time is short. Israel has to act fast, faster than help can get to it. So what does it do? Think about it.

As well, we have created a humanitarian disaster with millions fleeing as refugees. The ones who don't die on the way end up in Europe because Canada and the US don't want them. And in Europe - a continent always seething with racism (it was no accident that Hitler was a European), we are going to see enormous problems and hatreds. And we'll encourage the hatreds as we did when we made heroes of lout cartoonists in France who thought it was funny (and profitable) to draw vicious cartoons of Muhammed.

And we have Canadians there now to help with the killing. I'm so proud.

With the invasion of Iraq, we created a horror that will last and build for generations - if we last that long. And Harper has built on that by encouraging more fear and hatred.

There are, indeed, terrorists in this world and we, the people of Europe and Canada and the US, are the vilest and most vicious terrorists of the lot.

However,  don't worry about Bush and Blair, they've become multi-millionaires out of it. They can make half a million and more out of speaking for 20 minutes to a graduating class. So do the Clintons. Where does such big money come from? It comes from the very rich as a legal way to reward corrupt politicians who have done them favours, and are expected to do more.

The Iraq war and all that followed were wrong. We have broken the Middle East and most of the world. And we can't fix it. Nor is there the slightest hope that an American election will change a thing. Hillary Clinton with a campaigning budget of billions is already be paid off for what she will do as president. Ditto for the other candidates.

The United States is ruled by greed and utter contempt for human life, ruled by people who are the worst terrorists and war criminals. So is Canada. This is not disorder. This is social insanity.

The New York Times has had several stories on the lying and the corruption and the scale of disorder and chaos. For all their double talk, both Rumsfeld and Jeb Bush have admitted the US middle east policy has been a disaster. And we Canadians have military people there who are making it worse.

But there hasn't been a word about it in this contemptible Irving paper. We do, though, have a big story on B3 that Harper will visit a Canadian frigate in the Baltic. Oh, yeah, and our public safety minister says, of a police shooting in Edmonton, that Harper's anti-terror bill 'may' stop such shootings.

Or, it may not. That's from Stephen Blaney our federal public safety minster. What a twit!

Blaney -  how about suggesting to Mr. Harper that we bring back the gun registry so we have some control over who has guns, and what kind they have? Then the police would have all that information. too. Of course, that might cost him the votes of the Justin Bourques of this world.

Almost all the first news section is small-town boosterism going wild over the FIFA matches in Moncton. There's even a big story on page one that fans enjoy the game. Gee. Who woulda guessed?

There also a big, big story that the city is  offering free bus rides from a parking lot to the game. What a thrill! But it did give me an idea.

The Moncton bus service must be the most inefficient and underused transport system in the world. That's not the fault of Codiac Transit.  Transit systems work when they have a density of population to work with. But Moncton was a small town with almost everything in walking distance for most of its history. Then came it's big growth - in the age of the car. Result - it's spread out like a 1950s suburb. Such a region is extremely expensive for public services like water and sewage. And it's hopeless for public transit. Even if there is a bus out to Evergreen, for example, you have so far to walk when you get there that it's easier to take the car. Has city council never thought of that? Has it not thought about  the problems if there is more growth of that sort?

And city council wants to revive Main St. by building an events centre. Okay. But that would put us in hock for a generation and more - and it would not revive Main St.  The idea that people coming from a hockey game will then stroll along Main and shop is crazy. And, even if they did, the games don't happen often enough or at a good time for that.

So, we have a big, empty space and we want to fill it with people who will shop on Main? Then put people there. Not a hockey rink. Put people who will be there all day every day - and who will need to shop and want to shop close by.

In Hong Kong I often visited friends in apartments, big apartment buildings, that easily supported shops in the basement and on the first floor. Better still, we could build affordable apartments (and please, not wooden ones) could be built that would be imaginative and attractive. Take a look at the apartments built in Montreal for Expo 56. Each has a private, outdoor area the size of a small yard, and suitable for gardening. We could have an apartment complex big enough to offer a full complement of shoppers that would keep Main St. busy. It could include the two stores that remain on that block.

And there could be a large, green space for a playground and two pools (one shallow one for very young children). It could probably be done for far less than the cost of an events centre. It would actually create a community. And it would be a relief from those dismal stretches of 1950s bungalows. Add to that busses to serve Main St., and we would revive the street, and really open it up to business.

Mind you, given the corruption of this province, I'm not sure I'd trust the job to a private contractor.

The editorial (one could see this one coming) supports Richard Saillant's enthusiasm for shale gas. (Since when is an economist an expert on shale gas?)  And it also quotes a report of the "globally respected"  U.S. Environmental Agency. Two points on that.

1. If it's globally respected, then, like being eminent or noted, you don't have to say so. And whether it is so respected is a matter of opinion not of news. That means this editorial is propaganda. And we know who this paper writes propaganda for.
As for it being globally respected, I'd like to see some evidence. The US has scarcely been a big leader in environmental issues.

2. Yesterday, I expressed maidenly doubts about the integrity of U de Moncton's school of public economics and public policy. I read yesterday's smarmy propaganda disguised as news on this topic. When I see it so promptly followed up by a flattering editorial by a writer who isn't competent to write about bicycle paths - well, I'm now really holding my nose.
3. Oh, yeah. The editorial refers again to the "respected...public policy analyst Richard Saillant". I am reminded of what a said yesterday. If a story refers to a person as respected, you have to wonder why it's necessary to say so.

Norbert Cunningham has his best column yet on the Truth and Reconciliation report about our native peoples - and the two that have already appeared were very good, indeed. I still have one qualm. He says we have to assist native peoples along so they can take their rightful place in our society. I agree we should welcome them if they wish to have a place in our society. But that decision is up to them, not us. We cannot presume that our society is one that everyone is just dying to be a part of.

Phil Comeau, president of the Paramedics Association of New Brunswick, offers a thoughtful and thought-provoking column on a possible role for paramedics in easing hospital crowding. This is good stuff, well worth a read.

Below that one is Brian Cormier who still doesn't know what a commentary is. This, again, is an irrelevant story, this time about going to the dentist..

Alec Bruce does not do himself any honour with a column that looks a lot like that awful editorial on the opposite page. It's good writing. But bad ranting about the joys of shale gas.
1. developing shale gas means committing ourselves to decades, at least, of more fossil fuel use. I mean, it's nice to see people get jobs - but at the cost of human survival? As well, increasing a use of a fossil fuel almost certainly means decreasing interest in renewable sources.There are consequences.
2. How many jobs? For how much money? Shale gas companies, like all companies, do not exist to create jobs or to toss out big salaries. They exist to create as few jobs as possible, and to pay as little as possible, and put their profits in offshore banks so they won't have to pay taxes.
3. How much will they pay us  to get at that shale gas? Remember, this is the province that gave away its forests to Irving.
4. The Environmental Protection Agency says not to worry about the waste water laced with chemicals? Well, then that must be the first form of chemical waste I've heard of that doesn't create problems.
5. How did the agency come to that conclusion when the companies insist on keeping the names of chemicals they use a secret?
6.Oh, and, of course, he says, there must be strict rules.  And he's wrong. What there must be are rules that are obeyed. Do you trust the Liberals or the Conservatives to make sure the rules are obeyed?  Then you must live a sweet and innocent life.
7. Whatever the rules might be, Harper has made it a practice to cancel environmental protection laws and rules across Canada.
8. Harper is also concluding giant trade treaties which give billionaires the right to ignore rules, and gives them the right to sue the pants off this whole country if we don't let them do what they want to.

But not to worry. Gallant is going to betray the people who voted for him - just as Allward did. It's a New Brunswick tradition.

Incidentally, when Gallant accepts shale gas - and he will - why doesn't he set up a crown corporation to drill for it? That way, all the money from the shale gas would stay in this province, and help to pay down our debt.

Oh? You think only private shale gas companies know how to develop production? Get real. Do you think Mr. Irving knows how to design and build a ship? Or how to be captain of an oil tanker? Or even how to back up an oil truck? Or run a newspaper?
Not much Canada or world in Canada&World.

B2 has the news that the Liberals are sliding in the polls for New Brunswick, and the NDP rising. That's good in that the NDP is honest - and that would be a revolution for this province. The catch is that this province is badly informed, and has a terror of public discussion and thinking. As a consequence, the voters of this province have no idea of the changes that are needed. Add to that the fact that the NDP, honest as it may be, has moved it too close to the centre with the result that neither the people of New Brunswick nor its honest parties (NDP and Greens) are ready for what has to be done.

On a closing note, the site below is a page of Haaretz, a major Israeli paper. It has those rarities in the jounalism world - intelligence and honesty. It also tells us that Harper is full of it. It is not true that Israel can do no wrong. On the contrary, many Israelis are very opposed to what the Israeli government is doing. So just google Haaretz. It comes in English as a weekly paper,  but also carries breaking news.

Incidentally, Haaretz operated in Palestine for thirty years before Israel was founded. It operated in peace with the large, arab population and, indeed, with financial help from the city of Jerusalem. Yes. There were a couple of thousand years when Jews and Muslims lived together in peace. But that was before the oil companies and their political stooges created the chaos and hatred that now exist.

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