Thursday, June 4, 2015

June 4: As I expected...

...Over five pages of section A, including all of the editorial and commentary pages, are about one year ago in Moncton when three mounties were killed. It's presented as a mark of respect to our RCMP officers. But it's not.

If the city and this province respected its police officers, we would have done something to help them. And in a year we've done almost nothing.  Our newspapers and politicians (and us) should spent that year to ask the questions our police need answers to.

How was it possible for a deranged young man to buy a rifle designed only to kill people? How is it possible for any such weapon to be on the open market? Whose decision was it to send those mounties to deal with a rifleman without giving them rifles? Pistols are good only at very short ranges. - far, far less ranges than rifles can handle. Were there rifles at the police station? If so, why weren't they broken out? And if there were none, why not? And our police aren't trained to use rifles? Why not? It doesn't take a long time, and it's not expensive.

All the articles in today's paper talk about our sorrow. I don't believe it. If we felt such sorrow, we would have demanded answers to those questions. Even though that would have offended all the gun nuts and the weapons industry in general.

But nobody asked. And nobody did anything to prepare for such an event happening again. Our police officers have nothing to thank us for.

All those pages in the TandT aren't about sorrow. All they are is maudlin sentiment and self righteousness. Even worse, we've added a myth to the story of that day -- a hymn of praise to Moncton, itself, to it's rising to the occasioon, it's reconstruction from the ashes of a broken city.

Bull and shit.

Some people, I'm sure, were frightened. But I didn't see any. That had nothing to do with courage. It had to do with the fact that this is a metro region of over 160,000. The chances of any of us being an unlucky one were pretty small. But all year, the TandT has been treating that day as though it was a time of highest trauma - like the bombing of London in World War Two, or the horror of the Russian front in the same war when over 30,000,000 Russians were killed. There are many, many cities in this world that have suffered far more than Moncton did. If  you want to see what trauma is, visit Haiti or Guatemala or the middle east.  And spare us all this bilge about this the greatest little city in the world.

"A swift, brave response to a city in crisis" says a headline. Come off it. If you want to see crisis, take a walk in Detroit at night. And if you want to see bravery, who in this city, besides the police, showed bravery? This isn't news. This is sentimental crap.

As I remember it, the people of Moncton responded with flowers for the dead. That's nice. But it doesn't require bravery, and it does nothing whatever to help any police, dead or living.

So far, all Moncton has done is to produce maudlin sentiment - and to invent a heroic myth about the city. And it's very likely that a monument will do the same thing.

And the Irving press has led the way in this farce.

Please do something useful. Demand that your newspaper do something useful for the police. Raise the questions that should be raised. Demand answers. And demand action.

Almost the whole, first section is just a reminder of the display of the maudlin Christianity we weekly read on the Faith page.

There is almost nothing in section B.

The Ontario Provincial Police have reported that Canada is not prepared to stop terror attacks on Parliament. That can hardly come as a surprise. However, not to worry. Harper immediately set up over 150 secret police to talk a drug-additced couple into setting a bomb off in BC, showed them how to make one, supplied the materials, paid them, badgered and threatened them to make them plant it - then brilliantly arrested them. It's the bust of the century.

Thanks to Harper, this country is now crawling with secret police who every minute ignore our rights and now, we see, create their own terrorists so they can arrest somebody. And this in a country whose only "terrorist" experience has been with two, mentally ill people who had no connection with world terrorism.

B2 has the big story that the US has announced its airstrikes have killed 10.000 IS fighters. Wow! That's pretty good counting from a jet bomber. And they could even tell they were IS fighters. The story is worth reading, though, because the reporter does more than just write quotations. He also did a bit of research, and used some common  sense.  Good stuff.

The last page is the usual half-dozen or so pictures of people holding up giant cheques. Well, it fills a whole page. And now that the Irvings have decided to fire all the photographers, it's cheap.  Just send a reporter with his or her cell phone camera to snap shots as an extra job at no extra salary.

Hey. Ya gotta run a newspaper like a business. Schools, too. And hospitals.
On C4, student columnist Aurelie Pare is her usual, excellent self in her health column. I hate to read it, though. Just seeing it reminds of what a broken, rotting wretch I am.
_________________________________________________________________________________Some final notes.
1. Have you noticed all the Energy East Pipeline ads? They're all over our computers. Expect a really hard sell on this. Expect betrayal by our governments. Expect violence -  by our governments.

We know there are leaks in pipelines.. They have happened - and not just a drop here and there. They have poisoned long stretches of land and water. Yes. A pipeline would create jobs. So would a permit to sell guns to bank robbers. It's not enough to say "duh, we need jobs". Tell you what else would create jobs. We could breed cats and dogs for meat to sell to poor countries. In fact, expand the programme a bit, and we could save tons of pension money and create jobs by selling baby boomers born about 1950 for meat.

The reality is that oil is a dangerous pollutant. Another is that burning creates another,even more severe pollutant. We know that our climate is changing. We can be sure it's changes will be marked by suffering, starvation, and lots and lots of wars.

It might be tolerable then, to live with oil if we could see our governments at all levels working to deal with climate change - and seriously working on projects to lessen our dependence on oil But that's not happening. Of course not.  Oil billionaires don't want it to happen. They make their billions out of oil. For years, they have spent big money on bribing governments, and propagandizing us to believe that oil is harmless. And, if we object too much, well, that['s what armies and riot squads are for.Apparently, it does not occur to them that the climate changes for them, too. They are so greedy, they cannot see the consequences of their greed..

2. I have two articles worth a read. One concerns prisons. You know, those places that Harper thinks that sticking people into them forever will make this a better world. This is from a source I'm always wary of. But some of its stuff is very good - and this one on prisons  is by a very credible and socially active lawyer.

Changed my mind. I'll save the second article for Sunday. It' touches on an incident in what has much interested me lately. - how history is full of lies, and how those lies affect the way we see the news today. And we all absorb much more history than we realize. We get it from movies, from radio and TV. It is used or implied to back up almost every argument we make. It shapes our thinking on how we see the world. And it's almost all false.

There is so much news that isn't in this paper.  For example, in this trivia that the Irving press gives us, there is no mention of the crisis over the South China Sea. This is perhaps the greatest crisis the world has ever seen. The US is looking for a war with Russia and China. More Accurately, perhaps, it is trying to stare down Russia and China. Ii should think it very unlikely they can be stared down. But the staring alone has a high possibility of creating an incident.

The whole world is watching this. Much of the world is shifting allegiances. Vietnam might be thinking of becoming a US satellite. European countries are wondering how far they can go with Ameican expansionism.

Everybody is watching - except the Irving press. One of its big world news stories is "Moons perform dance around Pluto". ( My hopes were up for a while. I thought it might be about Mickey Mouse.)

Obama has warned Netanyahu he will drop American support for Israel in the UN unless Israel becomes more reasonable in its treatment of Palestinians. That's a pretty strong statement. Israel not only depends entirely on US aid, but it needs the US veto to ward off UN charges of war crimes against Israel. But the Irving press needed the space that story would take for a really big one about how a salt marsh on the Bay of Fundy is doing well.

Then, there's no mention of an old story that's coming back to life. Did Saudi Arabia play a role in the terror attacks of 9/11? Apparently, there's some evidence to that effect which has never been released. It's quite possible the Saudis did. Remember; there are no such things as friends between nations. I may also explain why Saudi Arabia is bombing Yemen, and why it's so eager to wreck the US negotiations with Iran.

In fact, the rest of the world is, in the judgement of editors at the Irving Press, of no importance and no possible effect on New Brunswick. I expect is was the same in 1939.

Awful, awful, awful paper.


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