Saturday, September 19, 2015


Lord, I thought. It's that time of year again. These are the big, screaming letters on the sports page. And they will be the headline for every game in the hockey season. (The Moncton team is called the Wildcats.very clever and quite unique in the world of sport, I'm sure. But this is the most childish headline I have ever seen on a sports page. And they run it week after week, year after year.)

Section A news is more vapid than usual. A3 has a half-page of useless information on the Oland trial. Obviously, the Irving press plans to milk this one. There's really nothing to say about it yet. But this sort of case involving a big name attracts readers who like sensationalism – the same ones are fascinated by stories of which movie star is cheating on his wife.

On A5, our 4 rinks sports centre will now be called Superior Propane Centre at a cost to Superior Propane of $150,00 to $250,000. And, in return for the advertising, the complex will switch from natural gas to propane.

The biggest news is that 'entrepreneurs' are giving each other awards – you know, something like the New Brunswick Philanthropic Hall of Fame. This time the news is an announcement that our Chamber of Commerce has 27 finalists for it Business Excellence Awards. I'm so excited.

And, of course, there are the usual flashes about restaurants opening or closing. And the usual assortment of people charged with minor crimes.
The editorial, also as usual, is petty, soft-core stuff. This time it's a repeat of a very recent editorial about some schools being not quite ready to open in time for the school year. It takes nine paragraphs to say, in effect, “Something must be done.”

And Norbert is both self-righteous and damned disgusting with a column on the failings of New Brunswick's economy, much of which he blames on “...a sense of entitlement and laziness among some of our population. 'They owe us' seems to be the attitude amongst far too many.”

This blaming of the poor for being poor is an old and contemptible theme in the pages of the Irving press. In fact, every North American economic downturn in history has been blamed on the poor. In the great depression, it was the poor who had to take the hit while the rich actually made more profits. In the 'too big to fail' bank and auto crisis caused by unethical and even criminal business practices, it was everybody but the guilty rich who got stuck to pay it off. New Brunswick has a few very wealthy families. Where do you think their money comes from if not from most of the people in this province? And what taxes, in real money, do they pay?

Think back, Norbert, to the early days of premier Alward's government. J.D.Irving wrote a column on the page facing yours. In it, he informed us that he would take over the planning of government budgets. And, though Irving had no right to do that, Alward didn't even whimper – and the Irving press reported his planning meetings and his appointment of the advisors to the ministers of finance as though this were the Second Coming.

This province has lots of poor because they were born that way. And once you're born poor – it's hard to dig your way out. And this province does damn little to help. Half of this province can't read – and we're going to fire teachers and close schools.

Then he writes that our provincial governments have a tendency to divert general funding from Ottawa to spend it on 'other purposes'. But he doesn't say what those other purposes are.

Okay, Norbert, if you know that this money is going to purposes that are wrong –then you must know where they are going. How else could you know that they're wrong?

So where were your columns about that? Where were all your columns about who got that money? And why and how they got it?

This province is, indeed, in a financial mess. But you won't fix that by pouring contempt on the poor and kissing up to the rich. It will never be fixed until the people of New Brunswick take back their own government, and their own land and their own waters and their own lives from the very rich.

Perhaps you might want to discuss that with the pious during coffee and fellowship at the Irving Chapel. Everybody will be there.

Except God.

Good letter to the editor - “Compassion could help MHS through winter.” It's not a sin to help those who need help – just as it's not a virtue to help those who don't need it.

Brent Mazerolle doesn't really have much to say. However, he does say it with excellent style.

Gwynne Dyer is a little disappointing in wasting time and words on playing a 'blame game' on the prime minister of Greece for bad negotiation about its debt to international bankers. The real issue is how to deal with the millions of Greeks who will suffer terribly all their lives to make billionaires richer – and the Greek people who are in this position for reasons that are not their fault.

Alec Bruce has a pretty good analysis of the Federal election in New Brunswick. But there's serious problem in hoping for this province to make a good, political decision. Remember, half of this province is functionally illiterate. That and the political and news media power of the very rich are the biggest problems facing New Brunswick.

In Canada&World News, oh joy! “Alliance forms to foster shale gas development in New Brunswick.”
The alliance is made up of shale gas speculators and their buddies, like the good folk at the chambers of commerce. And they are going to have a web site giving us honest and true stories about how shale gas is good for us. Right! And they're to sponsor public meetings to get the information out there. (Well, of course. Half the population can't read. But they (mostly) can hear a speech, and they can understand videos.)

Shale gas is coming back. Never doubt it.

The should be a wonderful experience. I mean, if you can't trust billionaire speculators, who can you trust? And watch for the Irving press to follow – with hallelujahs.

B3 has a story about the Muslim woman who insists, for religious reasons, on wearing a higab while giving the oath of Canadian citizenship. Her opponent is Stephen Harper. And that gives me an idea. Jewish women who are very orrhodox (Hassidic) shave their heads when they are married, and wear wigs for the rest of their lives. Shouldn't we be demanding that Mr. Harper promise to demand that they appear bald for the citizenship ceremony?

B6 has a breaking story about a Saskatchewan rancher who called a tow truck to get his horse our of a well.

And that's pretty much it. Apparently, people being bombed and starved to death in Yemen is not important. Nor is it important that Japan is in turmoil because many, probably most, Japanese do not want to rearm their country so it can, like Canada, fight American wars.

Violence in Israel involving Palestinian Israelis against Jewish Israelis is on the rise. So is Nethanyahu's determination to treat Obama as an enemy, and create a war with Iran and, possibly, with Lebanon.

Historically, Jews and Muslims have lived in peace in the lands now called Israel and Palestine. They had lived in peace there for thousands of years. The fighting began when the western powers kicked many Palestinians out, and onto that barren land called the Gaza Strip.

So why did they do that? After all, the transition to Britain, Canada, the U.S. would have been easy. Jews have been coming to Canada since General Wolfe. And immigration really picked up in the 1890s. Much the same was true for the U.S. As for having the room for them, even Britain has some room. After all, it accepted large numbers of Poles as British citizens in World War Two. Well into the 1950s, Israel's population was barely one and a half million. And even at that, many of those israelis were Palestinians. So why did the western powers create a new state that was obviously going to be a trouble spot?

Britain, the U.S. and Canada did it because they were profoundly anti-semitic. They had been anti-semitic for at least fifty years before they war – and they were still anti-semitic long after it. They didn't want any Jews coming in.

And, for the U.S., Israel could be a useful place from which to control the middle east and its oil. That's why there is so much turmoil.

“The evil that men do lives after them.”

In much the same way, Britain and the U.S. have been massively interfering in the middle east for a century. Under Bush, that interference expanded into the invasion of Iran, an invasion that succeeded only in massive destruction. Now, that destruction is spreading through the whole region.

Most politicians and news media tell us we are fighting terrorism, and trying to rebuild the homelands of millions of refugees. But we are doing no such thing. If we were, we would rejoice at the Russians giving help to Syria against ISIS. But we aren't rejoicing.

Of course not. The war has less to do with ISIS that it has to do with establishing American dominance over the oil wealth of the region. A Russian presence means sharing that dominance. And oil billionaires don't share.

All of this is helped by the birth of a new kind of anti-semitism. Just like Jews, and in many cases, more than Jews, arabs are semites. We accept the killing and displacement of millions of people because they are semites, and therefore inferior to us. The world hasn't changed as much as you might think since the 1930s. Norbert's contempt for the “lazy and shiftless” in New Brunswick is the same sort of thing in a local wrapping.

Europe is going to get much, much worse. In the first place, it cannot possibly manage the number of refugees it is getting, especially when most nations won't accept them at all. And, in the nations which are accepting, we are likely to see severe unrest, encouraged by the Charlie Hebdos of this world.

And Canada and the U.S. will do nothing significant to help. Anti-semitism in Canada still lives and is healthy.

I grew up and went to school in a district of immigrants. I'm glad I did. I learned the pleasure of knowing friends who were different from me and, as I learned, very much the same as me.
Oh, page B2 has a story about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Don't waste time on it because it doesn't matter which wins. It doesn't matter who, of all those candidates, wins. Whoever wins will be personally owned by big money. And so will the Senate and the House of Representatives – and much of the judicial system. U.S. democracy is a thing of the past.

Canada is going in the same direction. We have a very serious problem with our form of democracy that makes it very, very difficult to get elected without the support of big money. And there's a price for that money.


  1. Think back, Norbert, to the early days of premier Alward's government. J.D.Irving wrote a column on the page facing yours. In it, he informed us that he would take over the planning of government budgets. And, though Irving had no right to do that, Alward didn't even whimper – and the Irving press reported his planning meetings and his appointment of the advisors to the ministers of finance as though this were the Second Coming.
    Perhaps you could point out the date and actual content of the item to which you refer??????????????????

  2. I wrote it on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2010. So that was almost certainly the day it appeared.
    He announced he had formed a coalition with the government. Coalition does not mean supporting the government or advising the government. It means that one is a member of the government. The German word is anschluss, and when Hitler took over Austria and made it the same country as Germany, he called it anschluss - as so it was.
    Coalition means a joining of two as one. With his battalions of lawyers, Mr. Irving must have known that. In other words he was appointing himself to the government without getting elected.
    He followed it up by presenting his economic plan for the province, and by appointing the advisors to the minister of finance.

    I tried to get the Dec. 11, 2010 edition on my computer - but I couldn't get it to respond to my requests. It's on the comment page (9) that follows the editorial page.

  3. Unfortunate that you are unable to show the direct quote from which your allegation is taken.

  4. Yes. The fact that I give only the date and the page is a sure sign that I must be lying.
    However, you or an acquaintance with more computer skill that I have would surely be able to find it, and to prove that I cannot be trusted.
    It's the Times-Transcript, Saturday, December 11, 2010 on the page opposite the editorial page.

    But, hey, it's possible I slipped a fake column into the Irving press computer. You can never trust a person who makes 'allegations'.