Monday, July 20, 2015

July 20: What can I say?

The newspapers of the Irving press are designed, as a leading purpose to keep New Brunswickers in ignorance of what is going on  in New Brunswick and around the world. So,we are trained to think that it's important that today is the birthday of Squeaky LaBeef. And that Charlie Hunnam  gave a thoughtful birthday gift to Jessica Chastain.    (Whoever all those people are.)

There's also a front page story about a musician who enjoys travelling to concerts.

 Nor are the editorial and commentary pages any help.

The editorial pretends to be about protecting our wildlife. But it's really about protecting those creatures which attract tourist dollars. Norbert has a column which - well - he thinks that,  politically, we should all be in the "thoughtful"  centre. Norbert, I know of no people in the centre who are especially thoughtful. Indeed, people in the so-called centre are often there because their newspapers keep them so ignorant, they can't think at all. And a paper that never, never criticizes anything done by the Irvings can scarcely claim to be in the centre of anything. This is just a silly column.

For his commentary, Craig Babstock tell us funny stories about stupid criminals. That's not a commentary. That's a stand-up-comic routine. We need commentary to help to understand news. Why are things happening? What should we be doing about them? Does the city council have any plans for Moncton besides holding street fairs and building a $100,000,000 plus rink to be a toy
for a wealthy man? Does Moncton have a lot of house fires? If so, is that a sign of bad regulation and substandard housing? Does the city seriously plan to spend money on new busses for a city whose most prominent feature is empty busses?

We don't need jokes. we need informed and intelligent commentary about things that really matter to us.

Alec Bruce's column is replaced by a couple of university professors. But that's not the whole  story.They also conduct studies for a far right  propaganda "think tank" called Fraser Institute. I expect that very, very few serious academics would have any respect for such work that is really propaganda to help the very, very rich. Anyway, I doubt whether a whole lot of people in New Brunswick will read this article about amalgamation and de-amalgamation of communities in Ontario and Manitoba. I wonder what genius of an editor thought that this would be a hot item for the Moncton Times and Transcript.

Steve Malloy, like Craig Babstock, doesn't really have a commentary, either.----but..
well, he writes about how people, just about all people, abuse animals. He writes it well, and with what I can only call a passion. I would prefer to see a real commentary. But this one really carries a punch. So all is forgiven.

Canada&World is the usual disaster scene. The lead story is that Irving Oil is no longer shipping oil to its refinery in New Brunswick by rail that goes through Maine. Why not? Is it going through New Brunswick now? How much oil? Irving won't say. It's none of our business what goes through our province or how much it is. This is our democratic response from the company that accepted "some" responsibility for a similar cargo that killed  47 people just a year ago.

Result? There is no story. Or, rather, there is a story but this isn't it. The headline should read something like "Irving tells people of New Brunswick to F-off".

Two hundred "hidden homeless" people age 16 to 18 live in Fredericton. They stay indoors, when possible, in the homes of friends. They have no regular place of sleeping or eating, no money, no family, no guidance, no models.... This is the result of a study by UNB.  Moncton is bigger than Fredericton. How many homeless teens does Moncton have? What has city council done about it? Has it had time to do anything besides scramble to borrow money for a hockey rink for a rich man? Why isn't the provincial government doing something?  Doesn't the Irving press have reporters to look into this? Wouldn't it occur to the opinion and commentary editor to ask for a commentary about this?

C8 has the big story about the U.S. dropping leaflets over Syria to say that the U.S. is bringing freedom to Syria. Right. The U.S. is famous for bringing freedom - well, except in Libya, Vietnam, Iraq (having your country impoverished and split into pieces isn't what freedom means), Afghanistan (where the U.S. put the world's most corrupt government into power), Guatemala or any other place one can think of in Latin America.....  When you hear that the U.S. is coming to free you, look for a deep, deep shelter.

There is, of course, no follow-up to the oil pipeline spill of 5 million litres in Alberta - though interesting things have recently come to light. The company has said it followed all regulations. And, it says it had a fail-safe system that automatically would stop the oil within seconds on even a tiny leak.

In fact, the system never stopped the oil at all. It was a passing worker who noticed the leak a long time after 5 millions litres had leaked.

And even AFTER the leak, the oil company is still saying it's perfectly safe.. Alec Bruce might want to rethink some of his columns about how safe this all is, and how the regulations are so perfect.

The Irving press doesn't seem to have the story of the U.S. embassy to Cuba re-opening. And nobody has suggested why this is happening. Now, that would be a commentary that makes the news understandable.

The story that the U.S. wants to be friends with Cuba is propaganda. The U.S. held Cuba under a murderous dictator for 50 years. It has done, and still does that, all over Central America. As in those other countries, people were forced to work for starvation wages, children got virtually no education, nobody but the rich got medical care- so most Cubans died early - all so American (and Canadian) billionaires could make huge profits. Haiti, Guatemala, Puerto Rico and others still live through brutal conditions - including mass murder. Anyone who tries to establish democracy and to improve conditions is either murdered by the romantically named "special ops", or find the country torn apart by U.S. financed and armed 'rebels'.

Latin America is a part of the American Empire - with all the brutality and exploitation that means. Latin Americans are fleeing to the U.S. not because they love it. They're fleeing to escape the horrors the U.S. has created in their countries. (And with some Canadians joining in for the plunder)

Castro was the first one to break the American grip, and govern Cuba for the benefit of Cubans. He introduced medical care, free education all the way through university, financial planning and much more.

The U.S. was furious It feared Castro would set an example for all of Latin America. It bombed Cuba. It equipped and paid an invasion force. It tried, many times, to kill Castro. It paid agents to set bombs in resorts. It had another agent who bombed a Cuban civilian airliner, killing all aboard.

Castro tried very hard to stay friendly with the U.S. The U.S. government was the first one he approached to establish good relations, And the U.S. government turned him down. It insisted it wanted only the old Cuba - poor, uneducated, and wide open to U.S. big business. Then it went on to (illegally) put Cuba under trade sanctions to keep it poor. And it named Castro a terrorist when, in fact, all the terrorism had been carried out by the U.S.

Of course, the Irving press carried none of this.

But Castro survived all of it, and made Cuba a better place than it had ever been under U.S. rule. Castro's accomplishment in the face of tremendous odds was one of history's great accomplishments. Like him or hate him, Castro was a great man who stood up to the enormous power of the U.S.

And that, sort of, is why the U.S. now wants to restore relations. It faces serious rebellion against U.S. brutality all over Latin America.  That's why, in Ecuador, Pope Francis said, "Capitalism is dung".  (Of course, the Irving press didn't report that, either - thereby proving the pope is right.)

The U.S. needs to be "friends" with Cuba - and to re-establish U.S. capitalism there to deter other countries from following the Cuba example.  Friendship has nothing to do with it. Nations don't work that way. This is to do with solidifying U.S. 'dung' all over Latin America.

Greece didn't make the news today. The Irving press needed the space for a really big story about how an Ontario company makes money by selling dinosaur bones. (Hint to that company - check out staff at the Irving press.)

But Greece is really quite a big story. It's a big story because it is the triumph of Germany after its loss in World War Two. It is close now to what Hitler dreamed of - German dominance of Europe. It was Germany that pushed for the tough terms, not the others. They knew what it was all about. Hitler, in death, has won. Look now for more moves to unite Europe politically as well as economically, and all under German dominance.  This is yet another, major change in the world's direction.

And it signals an even bigger change. Greece really no longer has an elected government. All the power is in the hands of the bankers. They set the taxation levels and, oh, the Greeks are going to suffer for that. They set the social service level. And that means there is no social service level, no medicare, no pensions,... All public works have been given to the bankers to be redeveloped as privately owned (and expensive) institutions. Prices for millions of the homeless and hungry and ill and destitute are going to go up.

This is why the Pope referred to capitalism as dung.

And this is going to be the model for all of Europe - and Canada, and the U.S. For Canada, the game started many years ago with Irving press writers who sneered at civil servants, opposed social services, and kissed Irving asses. Now, Canada and the U.S. are well on the way to the abuse that's being heaped on Greece.

(Oh, yesterday, I said the Greeks had been forced to sell public works such as energy. I was wrong. They weren't forced to sell them. They were forced to GIVE them to the bankers, who will now sell them to fellow-vultures who will raise prices.)

Tell us again about how evil Hitler and Stalin were. Unregulated capitalism can match them any day - and it's working on it.

I found two items of interest in understanding what's going on in Greece. The first is by a writer I have learned to trust. The second is by a man who well knows the reasons why Greece is being destroyed.

On reflection, I think the Pope was wrong to call unregulated capitalists 'dung'. Dung is useful. He should have just called them "bastards".

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