Saturday, November 28, 2015

Nov. 27:

The National Post was founded by Conrad Black - one of the few people in this world who, with the most expensive of lawyers, could be sentenced to years in prison - and come out insisting that it was all the fault of  stupid judges. Black is a man of collosal ego who believes that anyone who disagrees with him is, by definition, wrong and probably ignorant.

I can remember the joy of my few conversations with him. When he speaks to you, he closes his eyes. I thought it was because he was concentrating. Then I realized it was because he was listening only to himself. The National Post was created in his image.

In the site above, The National Post criticized David Suzuki for saying that the oil industry stance on climate change (that it's an economic issue) is like that of slave owners.

The National Post is displeased. It points out, for example, that slave owners didn't pay high wages like the oil industry. And, no, they didn't. But that's not what Suzuki was talking about. Slave owners DID argue that slavery was an economic issue. It was essential to cotton-growing - the big business equivalent to today's oil industry.

But what's really worthwhile is to scroll down to the responses from readers. Almost all are bitter, angry at Suzuki. They really have nothing to say - but they're angry. Like Black with his eyes closed, they don't think, and they don't want to think. They're fed up, and in a frenzy at people who say we have to make changes. These are the same people who are racist, who hate Muslims....... They believe they have never, ever done anything to regret or even apologize for.

These are the sort of people that the Republican leadership candidates are speaking for. This is what Donald Trump is appealing to. This was the Harper vote in our last election. This is what P.M. David Cameron of Britain and Hollande of France represent.

These are the kind of people that Hitler appealed to.
A11 has the big story that a local pizza chain has expanded. And, just to prove it, it has a photo of somebody holding a pizza. The only story in section A worth reading is at the bottom of page 1. It's about domestic violence, and a young mother's escape from it.

The editorial is sensible enough; Norbert has an extremely vague column about what he thinks is wrong with health care.  In fact, it's so vague, I have no idea what the point is. The guest column is another freebie political speech.

Brent Mazerolle has a passable column.  Jo-Anne Moore is excellent, and very helpful, on the issue of abuse.

But in all of these opinions and commentaries, the world pretty much ends at the border of the little circle we call metro Moncton. I was surprised that no part of the paper carried a major story that - who knows? - might involve us.

A man now living in France has revealed the names and accounts of foreigners hiding taxable income at a Swiss bank. One thousand, eight hundred of the names are Canadians with some two billion stashed away. And this is only one of many, many banks around the world who are in the money hiding business.

Of course, the whistleblower has been found guilty and sentenced to five years. So far, no billionaires have been charged. God bless them.

Gee! We've had all those commentaries on how we just have to cut school and medical budgets. Anyone care to comment on how our governments should be taking action on something like hidden money? Or how our commentators should mention this issue as we're on the edge of a   'fiscal cliff"? And my, it's odd that the book on the 'fiscal cliff' didn't mention this sort of thing.

Canda&World has three - count them - three stories about the world. (Okay. We'll count Toronto as a foreign country for four. Its island airport won't be expanded. Phew! I've been worried about that.)

One of the biggest Canada&world stories is at the bottom of A1. A woman found a lost child, and took him home. It happened up the highway in New Brunswick.

Other than that, nothing is happening in the whole, wide world.

On the very last page, B8, we get "Pope arrives in Uganda to celebrate Christian martyrs." That sounds as wimpy as our Faith Page. But Pope Francis is no wimp. On his visit to Africa, as in his  visit to Latin America, the pope is not just celebrating martyrs and accepting flowers from little girls. He's been visiting the slums. He's been talking about the vicious greed of big business that drowns millions in a sea of poverty, filth, and early death. That's been the thrust of his messages.

But the Irving press uses reports that don't mention that part until half-way through - if at all. For a full text of the Pope's speech read the site below. Note especially his mention that all people have the right to clean water.

In Kenya, they don't have that right. In the U.S., hundreds of thousands have been denied that right. In Canada, many of our native peoples don't have that right. And it's quite possible we shall see people in New Brunswick denied that right.

This is a religious leader who doesn't babble goody-goody trivia like our Faith page. He applies  his faith to the realities of daily life. But I guess the Irving press would never allow that sort of thing in its pages. And I guess that's why all its sermonette writers sound the same.

Last night, I caught Canada's General Hillier on TV. He was expressing the view that we must bring freedom to Syria; and Assad must go. Not for first time, the general indicates a lack of understanding of the world 'freedom'.

If Syria is to be free, that means Syrians get to choose their own government. And it is certainly no business of General Hillier to tell them who they are allowed to vote for. Hillier is reflecting an American wish. The US wants Assad gone because he's a "bad man". The real reason is that he's friendly to Russia, and Russia wants a presence in the middle east.

The reality is that Russia IS now a presence in the middle east, perhaps the major foreign presence,  and most Syrians have more to thank Russia for than they have to thank the US, or even General Hillier.

As a side note, the eagle-eyed editors at the Irving press missed another new 'presence', this one in Africa. China is building a naval base in Africa - next door to a U.S. military base.

It's about 17 years ago that the "Project for the New American Century" was born - the plan that brought Bush to power to begin a conquest of the world by invading Iraq. It's really not going according to schedule. On the contrary, the American empire is now under serious challenge. It's time to look for another view of how the world should work.
Oh, and be sure to google 'Behaviour British Troops Iraq'. It's a big story of torture, murder, brutality and rape by British troops in Iraq. Funny how the Irving press missed that. It's all over the British press and parliament. It's a story of mass torture to the death, of gang rape.... In short, it's a story of what almost all armies do, and have been doing for thousands of years. And these troops were not acting out of some sort of native evil. This is a normal reaction to the horror of war. I don't blame the soldiers. I blame the war - and the people who decide for war when they know this will happen.
Below is a brilliant opinion column from The Guardian. In fact, I would recommend reading most of the columns on that page.

Our good friends in Saudi Arabia, besides dropping American bombs on Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the world, have beheaded 150 people this year for various crimes. They're planning over 50 more before the year's end.

And aren't those people in ISIS just terrible?
Finally, and on a lighter note, Brussels, Belgium is experiencing a complete shutdown of just about everything as the army searches for terrorists. But fret not. That's normal for Belgium.

When I was living in The Netherlands, every house had its interior lighted and its curtains up, day and night. It was as if the people had to say, "Look all you want. We aren't doing anything wrong."

Belgium, France and Luxembourg were quite different. At nightfall, their cities are filled with the clang of closing, iron shutters. They're very suspicious people. I learned that when I parked my car overnight, and came back to find it smeared with garbage. Of course. I had Dutch licence plates.

Belgians are French and Flemish (the latter close to Dutch). And they hate each other.

Anyway, I can control my tears for Belgium. This is the country that killed tens of millions in Congo through overwork, starvation, torture, and plain murder.

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