Monday, July 27, 2015

July 27: Makes ya think, don't it?

How is it possible to fill so many pages with print - and still say nothing? The only item worth reading in Section A is on page 5. A child and youth advocate says New Brunswick, like other provinces, has far too many aboriginal children in youth care centres.  They would be far better off in their own homes, with help from professional youth workers.

I've had some experience with this issue; and he's quite right. Adoption by even the most well-meaning non-aboriginal family is often (usually) highly damaging to the child. Why do our governments continue the practice of taking them out of their homes and communities? Because our government really don't give a damn.

This is a story worth reading. It's the only one worth reading.
The editorial yet again talks about money as though that were all this city is about. It's a pep-talk, full of 'feel-good' statements that don't real,y mean much.

Norbert writes a reasonable enough column on the decline across Canada of crime for the last thirty years. Quite true. But how does he write a column on this subject without questioning why we have a federal government that has been stirring fear for years over our "vicious crime rate"?

As a result, Harper is spending money to put more people into prison for longer periods With that approach, it's amazing that the crime rate has still continued to go down. One would think that this would be the ideal time to examine other approaches to rehabilitation. I have met many, many criminals from petty thieves through armed bankrobbers to killers-for-hire. The ones I met in prison were often  in for the second or even third time. Prison does not make criminals into better people. In fact, it makes them worse. So why has Harper, with the support of bumboy  Peter MacKay been encouraging longer sentences?

And why has he made Canada a police state that spies on all Canadians who are a:middle-class or poor or b)environmentalists or c) critics of the government?.

Because it draws the moron vote - Harper's largest constituency.

Really, Norbert, what you said could have been said in a paragraph. That would have left you with space to tell the rest of the story that gives it it's full meaning.

By the way, and in fairness, Harper has been gentle with a man, it is said, who beat his father to death. But that was way over a year ago, maybe two years....  And that man has yet to spend a day in jail or even in a courtroom. Harper has said nothing. The Irving press has said nothing.

But, of course, he's not a low-class bum.  He's a very high-class bum.

Craig Babstock has a very reasonable column on the damage done by solitary confinement. He's quite right. I've seen it. It was hard to detect any rehabilitation process in the man I saw sitting on the floor of his empty cell eating  his own fesces.

Steve Malloy has an interesting piece arguing that we should vote for the best candidate, not for the party. I don't agree with him - but it's a good column, and well-argued.

I have always voted CCF or NDP -except - I once voted for Warren Allmand, Solicitor-General in the Trudeau government. I voted for him because he was a friend, very intelligent, compassionate, committed to social causes, honest - and very tough as I learned when I was questioned by a panel he was on. I have never regretted voting for him. But ....

A single MP, no matter how fine his qualities, is not enough when he is surrounded by a party that is corrupt or serves only the rich. A vote for any Conservative is a vote to put Stephen Harper in power; a vote for any Liberal is a vote to put Justin Trudeau into power. I think that either of those would be a disaster for Canada - no matter how "good" a candidate Moncton might have.

The party is more important. Learn the 'philosophy' of the party - how it views society, what it's general direction is. Those, not charm or charisma or even good intentions, are what count.

Alec Bruce has a long and boring column. In those respects, it closely resembled the usual editorial column. Then, I came to the punch line. The whole thing is really a pitch for building the events centre/hockey rink.

Baby fwowed up.
So I was looking forward to see what important stories the Irving news editors decided we just had to read.

Page B1 had two stories that were real stories. One announced the death of Flora MacDonald who had been Canada's first female external affairs minister. She was widely - and deservedly - respected.

There's also an important one on the finances of today's political parties. The Conservatives are loaded with cash, much more than all the other parties put together. (Guess why the Harper Conservatives have so much money. Also ask Harper if he knows a Mr. Irving.) That means Harper can easily afford a long campaign. The other parties can't. (They don't know the Irvings and other such Canadians nearly as well as Harper does.) That means that Harper has a huge edge in the campaign.

But the longest story in the section is about the man in Lafayette who shot up a movie theatre, then killed himself. I have no doubt this is a big story in Lafayette. But it's really not something that affects us, and it gives no information we need. This is something like those brainless tabloids at the supermarket checkout with headlines like 'Camilla hits Queen with loaf of French bread' or 'Tony and Kit' cheating on other with same man.' (whoever Tony and Kit are.)

With millions dying, starving, being brutalized all over the world, with nuclear war looming, we really need to know something about all that. The climate is changing. We are possibly suffering from that in western Canada. And that can have consequences we should know about. But we hear almost nothing about what we need to know.

A mentally ill man shoots people in Louisiana. What are we supposed to do with this information? What news editor would choose this cheap sensationalism as the big story of the day?

Well, okay. It could be useful. If you're in lineup at a movie theatre, and a guy in front of you is raving about plots and waving a revolver, get some popcorn, and wait for a later showing.

B4 has a half-page story about armoured cars made in Canada for rich people. It starts at $629,000 and up - very up.

So what?

On the last page, we read a Hispanic has become chief of the FBI office in New York. That's something you really need to know.

A gangster in Boston is appealing his life sentence. A man in Florida won a contest because he looks just like writer Ernest Hemingway. There is a more real story about a suicide bomber in Somalia - but it really gives us no understanding of what is going on in the region.

Then there is a real, but almost useless story about a truce in Saudi Arabia's attacks on Yemen to allow humanitarian aid into the country. Like many news stories, it tells us incidents but doesn't really explain anything. Why is Saudi Arabia attacking such a poor country? Why is the US giving weapons, training and money to carry on this war? Why has the  US been drone-bombing Yemen for years? And killing mostly civilians?

This is an abysmal choice of stories for a section called Canada&World. It strongly suggests the news editor deliberately chooses stories for sensationalism or just for space fillers.

There are other, more important things for us to know about. For example....

It is possible that the California drought is spreading to western Canada. Farmers have already lost a major part of their crop. Lack of grass is forcing ranchers to sell of their cattle at low, low prices. And they're looking for it to get worse, much worse. It's happened before. The Prairies were devastated by drought in the 1930s. This time, though, scientists are suggesting it may be the effect of climate change, and, therefore much more severe and longer lasting.

As a part of that, the west has just had the most wildfires in a year - and the real, wildfire season is still a month away.

The Irving press does have a related story - but just about British Columbia. It, too, is suffering a drought,, and Vancouver has begun rationing water. Scientists there are warning about a future of alternating floods and droughts for the province. The article, curiously, doesn't mention climate change.

Climate change may well be the biggest story in history. But we sure don't read much about it in the Irving press. And it has a direct connection with the federal election. Harper is pushing hard to get more free trade deals rushed through. These are deals which strip us of our powers to legislate rules for our new  'partners'. If we do, the deals now being settled allow them to sue us for unlimited billions of dollars. So much for our ability to respond to any crisis.

There's been very little about Greece, and what its debt agreement means. For a start, big money owns just about everything in Greece - and the government has no significant power to govern at all. The government of Greece is purely decorative. It's even had to give up its ownership of water supply and electricity. The bankers have them, too.

Democracy in Greece no longer exists. Now, picture the conditions in Greece. Real unemployment may be as much as half the population. There are no pensions. Big business took them back. There are no relief services. There is, for almost all Greeks, no medical care. And the debt agreement, far from giving Greece a fresh start virtually guarantees that conditions will get worse.

Can Greece simply declare bankruptcy and walk away? Not likely. Remember - it doesn't own any of the public services any more.

Greece can't walk away. And it can't vote for change. That means there's only one way to make change - by violence.  The western world, the greater defender of freedom, has destroyed freedom all over the world - in Latin America, in Africa, in the Middle East, and now in Greece.  And this is just the start of the great grab.

The very rich are now using their power to bleed us all dry. It's not a coincidence that the wage gap in the U.S. and Canada is increasing. And that makes democracy impossible. (We're already seeing some effects of this in the huge campaign fund of the Harper Conservatives. Even the Liberals, who usually get as many handouts from the wealthy as the Conservatives do, are left out this time. That's because Harper is making the big play for the very rich. That's why the Liberals, no slouches at giving welfare to the very rich, aren't getting much this time.

The real news of this election is that the very rich are making their move to make Canada the Greece of North America.  When they give so much to the Conservatives and so little to the Liberals, that's the message. But you won't see it in the Irving Press.

Will there be much violence in the world as a result of all this? You bet. There already is. After all, we already have Canadians pilots bombing Syria - killing people in that sloppy and undiscriminating way bombs do.       (Sorry. They're defending Canadian freedom against Syrian threats. And fighting for God and country. God is very big on bombing.)

The violence will come in one of two forms. If socialist, the revolutionaries will be killed as threats to the 'western way of life".  But, if Nazi, they will be funded and equipped by the very rich. That's the way it happened in the 1930s. For the rise of a violent, Nazi movement in the near future, watch Ukraine - the Kyev part.

We need to know what is going on in the whole world because it's all of it now just around the corner.
And we need analysis by people who know what they're talking about (which excludes almost everybody who writes for the Irving press.

We need information about climate change We need expert and honest opinion about it, neither of which is available from the Irving press.

We need editors who know what news is. We need newspaper ownership that allows a newspaper to tell the truth.

And maybe we could even get an opinion piece about what should be done to prevent the very rich from buying every election.

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