Wednesday, June 17, 2015

June 17: Let's talk about the real news first...

I mean, Section A news is a stinker even by Irving standards. The big, ta-da story is that the FIFA tournament has put the world spotlight on Moncton. Yes, from Beijing to Capetown to New York, everybody is talking about Moncton.

Then there's "Promoters hope for big turnout at AC/DC show". Look, all you editors, news is when  promoters DON'T hope that the turnout at a show will be big. ("(Hey, everybody. The show is lousy.
Don't come.") Now, that would be a story.

From there, it just get plain sloppy with "Grocer wants to direct more food to hungry". Don't they have any proofreaders (or literate editors) at Irving press? It's not a grocer who wants to direct more food to the hungry. It's the food bank manager.

A6 has the stunning message that a Nova Scotia man is going to jail for stealing from an ATM. It takes up a half page. Yesterday, it was a half page that he was going to be sentenced. That's a total of a whole page wasted on a story that is, at best, two or three sentences. This is a paper that deliberately keeps its readers ignorant of what is happening.
_________________________________________________________________________________I think it  was just a couple of days ago that Harper had a 10 minute photo-op with Pope Francis. At the time, the story floating around in some sources was that he asked the Pope at that meeting to come to Canada and speak about the evils of the Russians - sort of a revival the old days of "kill a commie for Christ".

I hope he didn't ask that because I can't imagine anything more hare-brained and coarse than to ask a religious leader to deliver a political hate speech. In any case, the interview was short as to make it obvious. Harper was not on the Pope's must-see list, so short there was really only time to line people up and tell them to smile for the camera.  Anyway, Harper may have cooled on inviting the Pope because since then a Papal encyclical has been leaked to the press.

Now, I've never even heard of a papal encyclical being leaked. That,  by itself, is a huge story. (But not huge enough for the Irving press.)  But there's more. The Pope will be making a passionate call to face reality about climate change, and our role in it. Yes. The Pope argues that the situation is critical.

Gee!  I wonder why that story didn't make the Irving press. I mean, I'm sure Mr. Irving would immediately stop selling oil, planning pipelines except - well, he has to figure who he's going to take his guidance from? The Vatican? Or the dignified and well-paid guest preachers at the Irving chapel.
Well, he'll probably take advice from the Irving chapel which is much nearer, my God, to Thee than The Vatican.

So, I think it now unlikely that Harper will be pressing the Pope for an early visit.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/pope-francis-might-try-to-talk-about-climate-change-with-stephen-harper-1.3108399


Then there's one below, also from CBC, and from many other sources around the world; but not in the Irving press.  This is a report from the International Monetary Fund (which, I assure you, is not a propaganda front for Russia or for desert Muslims.   It's an organization of quite greedy bankers.)

But the report says that making the rich richer does NOT create jobs and it does NOT create more money for the rest of us. Actually, that has been well known for a good 80 years. And Canada has had a lot of experience of how making the rich richer makes all the rest of us poorer. Obviously, though, the word has not  yet reached the eminent and respected professor Saillant of U de Moncton, author of the eminent and respected book, ".Over the Cliff"

For something a little more up to date thant "Over the Cliff"  read "Report of the Commission on Price Spreads and Mass Buying". (1935).

Making the rich richer ( also called the wage gap), is like free trade deals we've been fed. It increases the poverty, unemployment and exploitation of everybody except the rich.  What does work, says the report, is getting more money to the poor. That will revive an economy. Giving money to billionaires won't.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/income-inequality-hurts-economy-study-suggests-1.3115232

And, for the columnists of the Moncton TandT, this is not, as I have said, a breaking story. It's been known for a long, long time.

The Irving press has, as usual, almost nothing that's happening more than a couple of hundred metres from the Times and Transcript office.  International bankers are hounding Greece for payment of a debt that was created largely by corrupt politicians and corrupting capitalists. The bankers are after every penny they can get - though that would cause dreadful hunger and suffering for most of the population. (It's much the same as bankers are doing to the part of Ukraine that's ' on our side'. The banikders  being helped by the big money that runs the Kiev government. Billionaires are creating hunger, impossible fuel prices, and stealing everything in sight. This is what Harper calls fighting for freedom.

In the case of Greece, we are close, very close, to Greece telling the bankers to get lost. That would probably mean Greece pulling out of the European Union, and away from the Eurodollar. And that could lead to other countries pulling out, and serious damage to the American and the Canadian dollars.

But I guess Mr. Irving didn't carry the story because he doesn't want us to worry.

Haaretz ( but not the Irving press) also tells us that Israel could be facing serious economic problems if it doesn't come to a settlement with Palestinians both in Israel and in Palestine. One of the problems is that Israel has a large population of ultra-orthodox  Jews who don't work, partly because prayer and other observances take up so much of their time. They now make up a large proportion of the poor in Israel. Joining them are Palestinians who are discriminated against in the job market. Both groups are very poor - and make up almost a third of the population. As well, it has the immense costs of its military - much of that a direct result of Israel's failure to work out a peaceful settlement with the Palestinians.

Recently, I wrote to friends who live in Israel for the greater part of each year. I asked them what their stay had been like.  They answered. "Have you ever lived in a war zone?"
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Okay, now to the Irving press, iself, which had none of the stories above.

de Adder's cartoon captures, I suspect, the full tone and meaning of Harper's meeting with the Pope.

The editorial is just brainless. It's the old theme that people in private business are so much wiser and capable than us and than politicians that they should run everything. Oh, and it says that Moncton is world famous. Right.

Norbert read a book on a very complex subject. I won't even pretend that I can understand it. It reminds of a childhood argument about the end of the universe.

"Where does the universe end?"
"I don't know. Probably at a big wall."
" But what's on the other side of the wall?"
"Nuthin'"
"But there's no such thing as nothing."
"Everything has an end."
"But what comes after the end?"

Brian Cormier talks about eating lobster.  And so we move from that which cannot be understood to that which isn't' worth knowing.

In the bottom commentary is what seems to be a worrying and possibly horrible danger for retirees in the not too distant future. I don't have nearly enough expertise to comment on this. But it seems eminently worth a read.

Alec Bruce is replaced, today, by Mark Milke with a commentary on helping our native peoples. My first impulse was to dismiss him since he's a 'senior fellow' with one of the more notorious think tanks, The Fraser Institute. His point is that spending money to help native peoples will not solve their problems. ( and he is further annoying by comparing such spending in 1912 to what it was in 1950. Obviously Mark Milke must have been dozing the day his teacher was explaining inflation.)

I can quite agree that simply spending money is not going to solve the problem. But not spending will create even more of a problem. He mentions two solutions. The first one is half a sentence about choice in education. A half sentence on that doesn't tell us a thing. His other suggestion is moving the reserves closer to population centres. Duh, Mark, do you know somebody who does that free?
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There's only one story in Section B worth reading. (The headline story on DNA equipment doesn't have enough information to justify a story. It's obvious that the Irving reporters, as usual, are just writing quotations, and not doing any digging.)

But B 3 has a bizarre story. Harper admits he pressured the mounties to 'swiftly' destroy the long -gun registry even as he was assuring the federal information commissioner that he would not destroy anything until her study of the registry was completed.  But he did tell the mounties to destroy it, anyway (thereby making it impossible for the commissioner to carry out her mandate to study the case.)

Now the mounties involved are in danger of charges for an illegal act in destroying the registry.

Now, in admitting what he did, Harper says it was legal because he had sneaked a law through making it legal. Well, even if he did, and even if passage of that order was legal, Harper lied. He lied to the commissioner.

And, though the story doesn 't mention it, he must also have lied to the House of Commons. Lying to the House, for a person of any integrity, means resigning.

And there's another question. Why was Harper in such a rush to destroy that registry? It's not enough to say he wanted the gun nut vote. He could have got that while letting the registry stand for a while. Somewhere, there is bigger money behind this.
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Finally, Donald Trump is running for the Republican presidential nomination. This will no doubt make the editorial writer of the TandT wet his pants with joy because, as he says, rich people in private business know everything and should run everything.

So there are now three, rich candidates in the running. Hillary Clinton for the Democrats, Jeb Bush and Donald Trump for the Republicans. Americans will have an enviable choice between two horrors and a self-worshipping ass.






































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