Thursday, August 13, 2015

August 13: For Moncton, the city in trauma....

Check out the last page of 'This Week" section in today's Irving pablum.

A year ago, we read of Moncton in trauma as three of our police officers were killed by a disturbed young man  with a gun our police couldn't match. And, oh, there was public sorrow and flowers and thank you RCMP signs, and plans for a memorial. There was, oh, just everything - except something that would help police by cutting down the supply of such firearms.

Now, check out the full page ad  for DoctorDeals on Elmgrove.

The first deal is a semi-automatic gun using the NATO cartridge. The gun is called The Hunter, though what it's designed for is hunting people. The cartridge, though relatively a small calibre, fires its bullet at extremely high velocity. That gives it very high energy. The bullet is also unstable when it hits, so it tumbles coming into the body and stops there causing enormous shock. In fact, it acts exactly like a hollow point bullet which is banned in warfare because it's so cruel.

It is not particularly good for hunting, and especially poor for shooting in forest. But it's great for killing people on an open street.

Then there's the combat Skorpio.  With it's huge magazine, no butt, and short barrel, it looks exactly like a submachine gun. It has no value whatever for hunting  or for target shooting. But it's excellent for killing police at short range.

Then there are 'tactical' shotguns, short barreled guns designed to kill people at close range.

Most of the rifles are imitation military guns designed to appeal to morons. Most of the pistols are good only for killing people. Only a few are for target shooting.

The ad covers 66 models, so it's a safe bet that this ad will sell several times 66 such weapons in Moncton.

So, you put up your sign thanking the RCMP?  Bless you, my child. Now - when are you going to do something about the guns that kill them?
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The only interesting news in Section A is on A4. It tells us which city councillors voted for spending a hundred million of borrowed money to build a hockey rink for a rich but tight-fisted man. I shall keep that list on file for election day.

And there's a saddening (and a bit sickening) story on A6. A boy who was spending his summer at Camp Gagetown doing military training died for unexplained reasons. (It's quite common for high school and college boys to do such training to earn money for school. My son has just completed his summer of training.)

The Conservative candidate for southwest New Brunswick, John Williamson, offered his condolences, and added "We are a nation at war, explicitly targeted by an enemy that is setting a new standard of barbarism. Volunteering to put on the uniform and take up arms for one's country takes on a special significance....."

a) we are not at war. Only a parliamentary vote can take us to war - and Harper has not held such a vote.
b) The young boy did not volunteer to don the uniform and take up arms for his country. He was simply going to a summer training camp.
c)We are not fighting an enemy who has explicitly targeted us. ISIS has not come here to kill us. We are invading the Middle East to kill them.
d) The west has been killing Muslims in that region for over a century. All that's changed is that Muslims are shooting back.
e) They are the most barbarous warriors in history? Oh? Does that mean they're worse than the people who bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Worse than the people who slaughtered the aboriginals of the Americas?   Worse than the people who killed millions of civilians in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and now Syria? More barbarous that the people who killed with bombs, mines, Agent Orange, napalm, depleted uranium, torture?

John Williamson, you twit, all wars are barbarous - and barbarous on both sides. And you, John Williamson, are as barbaric as they come.
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The opinion and commentary pages are a wipe-out. The editorial really tells us nothing. The cartoon is childish with no sign of wit or insight. I suggest the cartoonist study the work of Aislin (Terry Mosher) in The Gazette (Montreal).

Norbert has a useless bit of information about political parties you never heard of. Ted Allen talks about a rock singer he likes. The guest columnist writes about a type of poutine thought to be Acadian but which might really be German. And Alec Bruce really has no focus and, so far as I can tell, no topic in particular. He ends, predictably, by wetting his pants in excitement over the approval of the "events" centre.
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Reading Canada&World will tell you little about Canada, and little about the world. The little about Canada is that the our domestic spy agencies have been spying on environmental groups as being 'radical' and even 'terrorist'. They're also spying on native peoples. Actually, anyone who reads more widely than the Irving press knows that this sort of thing has been going on for fifty years and more. Harper  has just made it much worse. Anyway, the article doesn't say much because the government won't say anything.

I don't think we begin to realize how much the western world has changed since 1945. Back then, the naziis guilty of war crimes were tried and hanged. But, more recently, when U.S. officials launched their massive campaign of torture, the only ones who went to jail were the ones who reported it. Not a single person involved in the torture has been charged. The American invasion of  Iraq was clearly a war crime on a massive scale. There was no legal cause for that war. But Bush and Blair still walk freely. And we call ISIS barbaric?

B5 has a story and photo of ISIS preparing to behead a captive. Yes. Beheading is barbaric. So how come we've never seen a story or photo of our good friend Saudi Arabia, which almost almost daily cuts off heads and hands? And how come when ISIS does it, they're extremists while when Saudi does it it's just getting tough on crime? And if ISIS is extreme, how do we describe the massacres by U.S. led and trained and supplied troops operating under U.S. command in Guatemala?

And how long will it take us people of the western world to realize how barbaric, corrupt and murderous we are? When will we realize that we are extremists and terrorists?

In the western world in general, we have seen a collapse - even a disappearance - of any religious principles at all. We have accepted rule by people who are consumed by greed, and who thus are capable of matching any cruelty inflicted by "terrorists". Even our domestic spies don't spy to protect us; they spy to report us to the very rich if we criticize them.

In that kind of a world, a Harper will never deal with the damage we have done to aboriginals. To give them any sort of status would be a crimp in his plan to destroy our environment in the name of profits for the very rich. He has already wiped out much of the environmental legislation that existed. The Trans-Pacific trade deal will finish the job. And, as a bonus, he has steadily refused to act on climate change. On the contrary, he has committed us to generations more of fossil fuels.

As well, he has committed us to wars we are not equipped to fight - and should not, in any case, be fighting - in Ukraine and Syria. We are already involved in both, though parliament has never approved them. So much for democracy.

We are also in a world in which big money has taken over running whole countries. In the U.S., it has been done by corruption with the result that only the ignorant could still believe the U.S. is a democracy. It's being done the same way in Canada - and with the help of Harper.

Government run by wealthy foreigners has been forced on Greece - and we're going to see that in many more countries.

And in the face of all this, it's a safe bet that thousands of New Brunswickers will say on  election day, "Well, my family has voted Conservative since 1867. So I have to keep up the family tradition."



5 comments:

  1. "a) we are not at war. Only a parliamentary vote can take us to war - and Harper has not held such a vote."

    This is incorrect. Declarations of War and (undeclared conflicts) are a prerogative of the Crown on the advice of the Prime Minister. Parliament has no direct say in the matter. But as a matter of tradition such a approval is often sought but it is neither required nor consistently sought after.

    ReplyDelete
  2. 'well, it's a tangled story. The original pronouncement of the crown was that war could be declared as you say.
    However, the government was free to proceed as it wished - and in 1939, it insisted on a parliamentary vote. Since then, that precedent has been followed - until Harper.

    In our system, precedent is important, and the consistent precedent until now has been parliamentary approval. Without that approval, it is absurd to say that Canada has the right to declare war simply through the PM and the crown. That means that Canada really does not have the right to declare war on its own. On the PM has it.

    The precedents are clear. Without them, our right to declare war on our own is a myth.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "According to Professor Kim Richard Nossal, “one of the most deeply rooted traditions in Canadian foreign policy is the idea that only Parliament should decide to commit Canadian forces to active service overseas.”(10) The application of this theory to practice – whether for an offensive deployment or for peace operations – has been inconsistent, as the analysis of deployments in Appendix 1 shows. To complicate matters, since the early 1990s it has become more difficult to distinguish offensive from non-offensive missions, because peace support operations have increasingly become high-risk for personnel. Involvement of Parliament in this decision-making has ranged from no consultation at any time to a full debate and vote in the House before the making of a formal commitment. In many cases, however, debate came only after the government had made its decision, or so close to a deadline that it had little influence on the final decision."
    ~Taken from 'INTERNATIONAL DEPLOYMENT OF CANADIAN FORCES: PARLIAMENT'S ROLE'

    The Executive has committed the Canadian Armed Forces to military actions without parliamentary approval and successive governments have defended their right to do so.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Let's go back to square one. My point was that Canadians have been led to believe that
    Canadians died to win us the right to declare war on our own. That is simply not true, though I hear it every Nov. 11 in speeches. Britain gave us that right to get rid of its commitment to us so it could concentrate on building an alliance with the U.S.

    But Canadian governments routinely insisted that Parliament had to decide, first. That's why a mentioned the importance of precedents. (Nor do I understand how we can be a democracy when the representatives of the people do not have the right to decide on something as serious as war.

    In addition, there is substantial international law that we have agreed to. This law deals with the right to go to war at all. One of the conditions is that it is a crime to go to war unless you are attacked. (The US pays very little attention to this.)


    as deployment of Canadian forces, that is not the same as declaring war. It can be very dangerous, indeed. But the assumption is that the troops are there to restore order, not to defeat the nation.
    THIS executive has committed the Canadian forces to military action without parliamentary approval. Most others have not.

    We have no right to be in Iraq under international law. And a British dictate of some 70 years ago does not change that. (We also had no right be be in Afghanistan).

    More dangerous, much more dangerous, is that this government has committed military forces to serve in Syria and Ukraine, both of which could commit Canada to fight wars which are a) unnecessary and b) for which we are hopelessly unprepared. In fact, American generals have said the U.S. is not ready for such wars.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Let's go back to square one. My point was that Canadians have been led to believe that
    Canadians died to win us the right to declare war on our own. That is simply not true, though I hear it every Nov. 11 in speeches. Britain gave us that right to get rid of its commitment to us so it could concentrate on building an alliance with the U.S.

    But Canadian governments routinely insisted that Parliament had to decide, first. That's why a mentioned the importance of precedents. (Nor do I understand how we can be a democracy when the representatives of the people do not have the right to decide on something as serious as war.

    In addition, there is substantial international law that we have agreed to. This law deals with the right to go to war at all. One of the conditions is that it is a crime to go to war unless you are attacked. (The US pays very little attention to this.)


    as deployment of Canadian forces, that is not the same as declaring war. It can be very dangerous, indeed. But the assumption is that the troops are there to restore order, not to defeat the nation.
    THIS executive has committed the Canadian forces to military action without parliamentary approval. Most others have not.

    We have no right to be in Iraq under international law. And a British dictate of some 70 years ago does not change that. (We also had no right be be in Afghanistan).

    More dangerous, much more dangerous, is that this government has committed military forces to serve in Syria and Ukraine, both of which could commit Canada to fight wars which are a) unnecessary and b) for which we are hopelessly unprepared. In fact, American generals have said the U.S. is not ready for such wars.

    ReplyDelete