Thursday, December 17, 2015

Dec.17: The good ship Irving press sinks lower.

I haven't look at TV in years. So I bought a set some months ago. Now, I spend every supper flicking . through some 300 channels to find something – almost anything. Professional wrestling has become unspeakably corny. It's been fake since the 1920s, but never so obviously fake and absurd as it is now. And it must take a person of very low intelligence to watch “martial arts” which consists of tripping somebody, and then pounding his face into the canvas. Then there's dart-throwing and poker and, unbelievably, there are people who watch bingo on TV.

The news is not much better. TV is just not a good medium for news. The only programmes I've found that I can watch at all are Thomas the Tank Engine and Just for Laughs Gags.

For news, you need to focus and to think. TV works against those. TV is mostly about changing colours and moving shapes. That gets in the way of thinking. That's why the camera changes angle so often – because changing colours an angles is all that TV is about. If you write for a newspaper or do radio, people remember you, what you were talking about, and often think they know you personally. TV has no such effect. I guess that's why it's called a boob tube. (Too bad all the Moncton private radio stations have no, serious news – and very little talk radio.

The Irving press? Sigh! The front page story, the wow! News of the day, is that the Oland trial has gone to the jury. They have run a story about this trial every day since it started. Why? The only possible reason is that the name is associated with a popular brewery. This is the cheapest sort of brainless sensationalism.

And that's why it's the big headline in the Irving press. These newspapers are designed, quite seriously, to keep people in ignorance of what's happening in the world.

The other, big story for people who 'need to know' is on A6. A supermarket has run out of a brand of chips. But fear not. It will have a new supply this weekend.
The editorial and Norbert have nothing to say. The editorial says we have to review our water/sewer tax rates. Yeah. I've been worried about that. Norbert tells us we should privatize much of our road maintenance though, as he says, that would be more expensive than it is now. It's moaning column that tells us nothing useful.

Rod Allen has a column. 'nuff said. The guest column is yet another one from that propaganda mill for the rich, The Fraser Institute.

Alec Bruce makes sense with this column that the Senate should be made non-partisan. But I don't see how that's going to be done without radical change to the constitution. From the start, the Senate has been a last reward for political hacks. With rare exceptions, the senators have been lazy, ignorant, biased – and thieving.
Canada&World actually leads with an important story. “National Health group expresses concern about Cleary dismissal”. Notably, it's about the association of Physicians FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. In other words, this is a group that almost certainly knows why Dr. Cleary was fired.

The Irving press should be asking questions of the person who is most likely to know what all this is about – Mr. Irving.

It is disgraceful that a province has not demanded answers about this. And, if it proves to have to do with forest sprays and their dangers, then the person doing the spraying is a disgrace to humanity for greed and the jeopardizing of human lives for profit.

There's a big story that says Trudeau can't compel the Pope to apologize for the church's treatment of native children in its residential schools. Well, of course he can't. The Pope isn't a Canadian citizen. And a compelled apology is useless. What a stupid story to run!

Then, there's the hot international news on B5. It seems the top google searches of 2015 in Canada were on the federal election, and the Blue Jays.

B6 has the mandatory photo page of awkward people holding up giant cheques. Whoo! All our social problems are solved.

Oh, there is one international story worth reading. “Russian airstrikes restore Syrian military power, help push diplomacy: analysts” It's actually important. I don't know how it slipped past the editors.

There are probably more countries at war today than were in World War Two. I've lost track of the numbers, but the countries who claim now to be fighting ISIS must number fifty, at least. ISIS must be flattered to have attracted so much attention. Imagine – the U.S., Russia, Turkey, Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, all those Arab states feel threatened by a relatively small army with no air force or navy. And it's taking those combined armies which must have at least 2 million soldiers and the biggest airforces and navies in the world to fight it.

And ISIS has been getting substantial help from some of them, notably Turkey and Saudi Arabia. And ISIS owes its origins to the U.S.

And they all have different reasons for fighting ISIS. The U.S. is fighting ISIS because it has to, now. Before, it preferred to let ISIS fight Syria and to kill president Assad. But Russia spoiled that by actually fighting ISIS. And the only reason the U.S. and Russia are in this at all is because each wants control of middle east oil. Turkey is in this because it wants to take a large slice of Syria, and it wants to kill every Kurd within reach. Britain, France Germany and Canada are there to kiss up to the U.S. to maintain their status as colonies of the American Empire. (Incidentally, when is Trudeau going to keep his promise to withdraw our air force?) Israel is cooperating because it wants Palestine and a large piece of Lebanon.

So far, we have killed at least a couple of million Muslims, largely civilians, destroyed whole nations, driven millions out as refugees, orphaned uncounted children. The destruction we've caused to make oil billionaires happy will be a blight on this world for generations. It's a story of unspeakable murder and destruction.

But that's okay.

Muslims are bad. They aren't gentle and peace-loving like us. So they have to be killed. They're so evil that some of them killed several dozen, innocent Americans in California. Americans would never do something like that, not in California. Unless, of course, they're California police officers keeping America safe.

It's hard to write in any sensible way about a world that is insane. Worse, insanity is normal, human behaviour. The ability to hate and fear – and to murder by the millions – is something easily taught to a whole population. The ability to be blind to our own murdering and greed is just as normal.

Islam has nothing to do with this. Christianity has nothing to do with this (except to make us Christians self-righteous even as we murder children.) This is all greed and indifference to human suffering. It's a greed nurtured by a small number of the very wealthy who suck us into it through the news media they own and the politicians they own. We buy into it because, in our pride and ignorance, we believe that we are superior to people who look different from us. That's the history of the last 500 years of British, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese and American empires – greed, cruelty, exploitation, and self-righteousness. And it was the foundation of Hitler's naziism. And the greedy will just as happily exploit and destroy us. In fact, they've always done it, and they always will – as long as we let them.
I notice that the Irving press seems to think that David Suzuki is no longer worth reading. The Guardian thinks differently.

For those who buy into the idea of nuclear power, check…..

Then, for some really good news, try the next story.

The Irving press has computers, and their computers can surely find The Guardian. How come the editors don't seem to have known about the story below that has some considerable meaning for New Brunswickers?

Then there's this excellent article on how our 'war against terrorism' has, in fact, created more terrorism, and will continue to do so.

Then there's this one by a retired colonel of the U.S. army who held high positions in the Bush government. He's a pretty good source, and he talks about the disastrously high levels of corruption in American government, and the disasters of big business control of foreign policy.

The Irving press missed this one, too. (But it made up for it with its great story about how a local supermarket will soon re-stock its supply of chips.)

Then there's this story about child exploitation in the cocoa business. I really don't believe it. The business is owned by very, very wealthy people who, as we know, would never exploit anybody. No. Very rich people are philanthropic. We have halls of fame for them.

Then there was this item from Media Co-op sent to me by a reader. It deals largely with Quebec – but a similar situation exists in New Brunswick. It's about the political-economic-education interests of closely linked groups of politicians and the very wealthy. I know a good deal about the Quebec part, and it's all true. And so far as I've seen, it's also true of New Brunswick. It really sank into me when I was offered the presidency of Concordia U. The extent of the rot and manipulation decided me against it – and has caused me to have a continuing distrust of senior university administrators – and some professors.

Saudi Arabia is talking of sending ground troops to fight ISIS. I don't think that will bother ISIS much. The performance of the Saudi military in Yemen has been one of the most dismal in history.

And, in other news, the U.S. Congress has just made a change to government spending and controls in 2016. It permits American oil companies to export U.S. crude oil with no controls at all. So much for the Paris Climate Conference. And Canadian oil seems to be playing the same game. God bless them for their big-heartedness.

Oh – a suggestion for any Irving press editor who reads – why not assign a reporter to do a story on the state of research into glyphosphate? This is a part of the herbicide that is widely used by the Irvings and others in New Brunswick. There are nasty stories that Dr. Cleary was fired as chief medical officer because she was doing research on glysophate, and Irving wanted her fired.

Now, we know these nasty stories can't be true because Mr. Irving would never interfere in government, and would never do anything bad because he's a Phil-an-throp-ist. So, in the absence of any response from government, reporters could do a little reading up on glysophate just to clear things up. They could just got to google and type g-l-y-p-h-o-s-a-t-e. And then Rod Allen could write one of his super-cute commentaries on it. And don't worry about that silly, little word cancer.

Last, in an overlong post – I wonder how many feel as I do that that Irving press has actually become worse in the several months? I would have have thought it possible – but it looks that way. And I hope it is just a coincidence that this coincides with the appointment of a young Irving to VP.

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