Friday, October 9, 2015

Oct. 9: Sometimes, reading the Irving press is really...


On A1, there's big story about - guess what? - the Oland trial. It seems the attack on Richard Oland was ferocious. Well, yeah, I had figured that since we learned the day after it happened that he had been clubbed to death, and there was a great pool of blood. I had sort of figured out it wasn't a genteel sort of killing.

This is cheap sensationalism, in  a class with those mags that have headlines like, "Elvis Presley is still alive, and living as a woman with a male dwarf."

Then, for those who want to keep up the latest developments in world affairs, there's a story that some people in Moncton will be drinking beer and watching the world series.

And that's as good as section A news gets.
The editorial is even more brainless than usual. It's about the city government and the private sector, and how they can become a "strategic" spending team. I have news for the editorialist. We elect the city government. We do not elect them to bring in the private sector to help them with planning. The private sector is about making profits. That's all it's about. It's not about urban planning. It's not about the future. It's about profits - now -for itself. Builders of the 'Events Centre' couldn't care less whether it's a success. They will make millions NOW. And that's all that counts.

We do not elect the private sector to be a   'partner' in planning our spending. If fact, we don't elect it at all. This New Brunswick habit of babbling about P3 partnerships is exactly what Mussolini's fascism was about.

The final sentence is a collector's piece of idiocy in writing - "We expect solid proposals from the private sector in this regard, and strong leadership from the municipality to ensure that happens."
Gee! And what if we get wasteful proposals and weak leadership? It's nice to see the editorialist take a stand. But where is the evidence that we will get solid proposals from the private sector - or strong leadership from the city? For that matter, why should the private sector be the one making proposals for how to spend our money? Isn't that the responsibility of the elected council?

This is just mindless twaddle.

Then there's Norbert. It seems that a Cape Bretoner has won a Nobel prize, and  a New Brunswicker was in the running, too. This proves that maritimers can be world class intellectuals. duh, well,   yeah. For that matter, any part of the world can produce intellectuals - unless, of course, you're a racist and believe that your kind are born superior to all others.

"What's holding us back", says Norbert. "is a culture in which far too many of us have resigned themselves into thinking the status quo is the best we can expect...."

Very true. And that happens because this province in dominated by people who want us to think that way. Among their tools to kill intellectual activity or interest are 1. a newspaper chain designed to keep us ignorant 2. a social atmosphere that discourages intellectual activities or open discussion. 3. radio stations that allow little, if any, discussion, and that think the only music is that written for thirteen-year-olds and presented by brainless DJs whose abilities rarely extend beyond saying, "Hey, gang, this is YOUR station with the music YOU like to hear."

Brainless news and entertainment are, of course, common all over the world. There's some relief in a big city because it will have enough population so that at least some will have intellectual interests.
New Brunswick doesn't have a big city. So, of course, the sort of people who win Nobel prizes are not likely to stay here. That leaves us with a province dominated by people who want us to be dumb, and who produce newspapers to do it.

Then Norbert wanders off to hail the glories of the Trans-Pacific Trade Treaty - a document which he still hasn't read. I know that because I know it hasn't been released yet.

There is no intellectual life in this province because there is no intellectual leadership.

And, for a sample of the kind of leadership we're getting from the Irving press, look over to A11 for Cole Hobson's 'commentary'.

Alec Bruce's column says much of what I have said above. But Bruce does it in a gentler way. Better writing, too.
Canada&World takes us away from petty, local news  to see the greater world that Norbert says we need to understand. The lead story, the one you really have to read to know what the world is about, is a speech by the New Brunswick health minister "Private sector used successfully in health care elsewhere".

Gee! You learn something new every day. All the statistical sources I have seen on life expectancy, general health, infant mortality show that private health care is a disaster for its exorbitant cost that keeps it out of reach for most people. As a child, I watched people, some of them quite young, die slowly at home because the families couldn't afford to put them in palliative care at the hospital.

The only country the minister mentions is The Netherlands. That's because his speech was a soft sell.

Big business wants to get in on health care as it also wants to get in on education. (Big business in the U.S. leads in this. Privatizing high schools for middle class families has enabled the government to severely cut spending per students in the public schools. In the U.S. today, your kids don't have a chance unless they go to a privatized high school. Tough luck for those who can't afford it. (This has become a major cause of the social breakdown of the U.S.)

But the health minister has to play it gradually. So he pretends he's just thinking of privatization for things like laundry. This, he says, will speed up operations, make more beds available... It's not quite clear how farming out the laundry will create empty beds or speed up operations. But, what the hell...

Then he says private business will be more efficient. He offers no evidence of this. Nor does he show  that business is so efficient that it can do the same jobs the hospital does now AND take a profit AND still be cheaper.

No. This is soft sell for the harder one to come - closing down medicare.  Nor will it matter if, as the minister claims, the costs will still be paid by government. Whether the costs are paid by government or directly by us, they are still paid for by our money. And you can bet that private business will gradually raise the costs.

B3 has a bizarre headline. "Stabbing of U.S. airman latest tragedy to befall men who thwarted French train atack". The latest tragedy? Wow! How many have there been? Twenty, thirty? Is it a Muslim  plot for revenge?

Actually, there were only three men who thwarted the train attack. One of them got into a drunken fight at a party and got stabbed several times. No. Not by a terrorist. By another drunken person, probably Christian,  who stabbed him several times. He's now getting better. It's too bad. But it's not what Shakespeare would have called a tragedy.

The 'latest tragedy' among those three people is ---remember the recent shooting at a College in Oregon? ---well, one of the three goes to that college. Oh, he wasn't shot. He wasn't even on the scene. In fact, nothing happened to him.

Now, read that headline again. Think about the wording of it. This is not even cheap sensationalism. This is creating a story where there is no story at all. And, on B3, it's actually the first story that takes us out of New Brunswick.

On B5, we're back in Canada with a story about Canada and middle east refugees that won't be understandable to most readers because the Irving press never carried the story when it came out a few days ago on CBC and The Globe. Harper has been directly intefering with the admittance of refugees to Canada.  Of course. He's pitching for the racists and the bigots among us.
 If that cute child from Syria who drowned off the Turkish shore - the one the Harpers of this world all got weepy about - --if he had drowned just offshore from Nova Scotia, Harper would probably have ordered him towed out and left to sink past the 200 mile limit.

None of the parties have distinguished themselves on the refugee issue. That's because they all know how racist this country really is.

For the Globe and Mail story, see below. It's also on the CBC news site.

Yes, Muslim children and Christian children are being killed. And we are helping to kill them. Forget the babble about bombs and bullets that are designed not to kill women and children. There are no such things. And the deliberate killing of civilians and women and children has become a major tactic of war since 1920 when Churchill ordered the bombing of helpless, Kurd villages.

B6 has a story about Russia in Syria. It's interesting only for its use of propaganda words. The West,   for example, is reported as accusing Russia of killing 'moderate' rebels. What the hell is a moderate rebel? (And we won't even bother with the reality that most of those 'rebels' aren't even Syrians.)

It also reports what the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has to say about the war. It doesn't bother to tell us that the 'observatory' was founded by a British-Syrian haberdasher in Britain who has used it as a propaganda machine for the U.S.

Then there's the line that the civil war just, you know, broke out. They don't bother to mention that it was sponsored by the U.S. because Assad wasn't cooperative enough with it.

Are the Russians different? No.  In the book 'Animal Farm', the animals take over a farm and chase out the greedy and cruel humans.  The pigs, being the smartest, soon take control over the farm. And it soon turns out that they are as cruel and greedy and the humans were. By the end of the novel, the pigs and the humans have become great friends. In fact, at the last page, when the animals peek in, they see everyone, including the pigs, standing on hind feet and wearing suits.

And the animals look at each other with dread because they can't tell which ones are humans and which ones are pigs.

On that note, take a look at -

It's an interesting book about how Britain and the U.S. saw Hitler as the man who would unite Europe to stop any spread of Soviet Communism. (It's also very pricey. Try for a used copy.)

For reviews of the book, check out -

Canada and the U.S. played major roles in all this.

We also forget that Canada and the U.S. helped Hitler in the 1930s by refusing to accept Jewish refugees. They also refused them DURING the war, and for several years AFTER. Hollywood cooperated with Hitler by refusing to make films critical of what was going on in Germany. The only person to break that rule was Charlie Chaplin in 1940 with "The Great Dictator". And he paid for it for the rest of his life.

We are all the victims of false history that's used as propaganda to create patriotism. On Nov. 11, nobody will remember the thousands of South African civilians who died some 115 years ago in prison camps run by Canadians troops.

Few are likely to know about the belief of the British aristocracy and business leaders (and most British) that Anglo-Saxons were a superior race whose destiny was to rule the world. Few are likely to have any idea of the millions they killed in the process, and the millions more who lived in slavery or near slavery. This belief broadened in the twentieth century to include Germans as part of this anglo-Saxon 'race'. It went with British colonists across the ocean to justify the wide-scale murder of our native peoples, then, in the U.S., to be renamed Manifest Destiny, the belief it was God's will for the U.S. to rule the world - thereby justifying its invasions in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and The Phillipines. The new, magic term, is  American Exceptionalism - which means exactly the same as all the other terms western countries have used to justify their killing and conquest and looting.

The most important thing to learn in history is not how glorious we are. It's how all people in the world are much alike.

But we'll never learn that from the Irving press. This is a news chain designed to keep us in ignorance, to keep us unthinking, to confine our reading to looking up sports scores and celebrity birth dates in the paper.

Most of the world's important news never even appears in these pages. Worse even than Fox News, the Irving press is sleeping pill that wakes one up only to spend an evening in a bar looking at a baseball game.

I hope the editors are well-paid. Really. They need something to restore their pride and self-esteem after selling out any hint of integrity and intelligence in their work.

We are living through world going through the greatest and quickest changes in recorded history. And the change is largely under the control - all over the world - of people who are too greedy and power-hungry to think of anyone but themselves. And Canada, like other countries, has been sucked into these changes.

This is a period when we desperately need to be thinking, to be getting informed. to be discussing....
and it's not happening. No political party is really in a position to deal with the problems we face because we, the public, are so dozey we don't even know the problems are there.

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