This is very late because the Christmas season has come crashing down on me. It is 11 pm as a finish this.
It was many years ago that the editor of a major, Canadian newspaper told me that the Irving press was a disgrace to Canadian journalism. Over the years, I met many journalists who shared that opinion. But it has become much worse over the last several months. It looks as though it's being done to some plan.
The only real story in section A did, admittedly, make it to the first page – but it's at the bottom of the page, and brief. Twin River Paper Co. was fined 320,000 dollars for polluting the river waters near Edmunston. Some of it may have been sloppiness, but some, involving acids toxic to fish, was 'wilful'.
That's it for news.
A4 has yet another story that tells us nothing about the firing of Dr. Cleary. If the editors and reporters would get off their rear ends, and ask questions – there's an obvious one. The government said she did not meet its requirements for the job. Okay. Obvious question that doesn't offend any law---what are the requirements for the job? Surely, it's not against the law to tell us that.
As well, it wouldn't require a genius to do some checking on Roundup weed killer, the stuff that's being sprayed all over this province. It contains glysophate which is toxic and probably cancerous. At least, that's what the World Health Organization says. But what do they know?
Another local matter a reporter might look at is what plans does city council have to deal with climate change? I know, of course, that the climate isn't changing. But all the governments in the world agree that it is. And so do virtually all the scientists in the world.
The editorial is so obviously kissing the rear ends of the rich that it's embarassing, and should be hidden from children. The Coalition of New Brunswick Employers are opposed to any increase in our already low taxes on them. And when they speak, says the editor with puckered lips, “...people listen.” And there's more. There's an editorial attack on 'big government' – which means any government that leaves the people hanging while it gives favours to the rich. Yes, greater freedom to let big business loose to rip us off is what we need.
Norbert puckers up on the same theme. He adds, “Never mind the self-interested or entitled among us.”
That means most of us loafers, of course, because a boot-licker like Norbert would never dare mention the real self-interested and entitled among us.
Brent Mazerolle has nothing much to say, really. But at least his column this is a real commentary.
Then there's yet another guest column by a far, right-wing think tank that serves the real privileged and entitled people of this province. This one suggest that 'greens' are marxists – which only tells me the writer doesn't know what a marxist is. And his main point is that capitalism is the best way to control the environment. Significantly, he doesn't give a single example of where capitalism has done this. Think of all the environmental leadership we've been getting from the oil industry. And, boy, JDIrvingLtd have been real leaders in saving our environment by spraying us.
Section B, Canada&World, has nothing at all worth reading. Outside Canada, there is a nothing story about Obama. Europe gets a nod with a nothing story about how the EU will fight an 'uncompromising' war against ISIS. Ever heard of leader who said he would fight a compromising war? And there is not hint of the magnitude of the refugee crisis in Europe and the middle east – and what that will mean to the world. A whole page is devoted to really, really bad poetry by MLAs. Another whole page (out of only six) of the usual people holding up 'charity' cheques. Three of them are screaming ads for 'Parlour Pawn'.
But, oh, I never, ever thought I would say this. The Faith Page on A6 has a sermonette that is good. It takes Christian principle into the real world – which is what, I think, Jesus had in mind. As well, First United Baptist Church is putting its money where its mouth is. It is sponsoring a refugee family from The Congo – a real hell-hole created by western capitalism.
There was a great deal in world news that the Irving press could and should have reported. The U.S., for example, has lately been , to put it mildly, provocative in flying its bombers routinely over waters in the South China Sea claimed by China. And it is no coincidence that Japan is now moving major units of its fleet into the general region. Britain is readying to send 'boots' on the ground to fight ISIS in Libya. I should have thought these things worth reporting.
There have been strenuous efforts to involve the European Union in the middle east wars and in Libya. Britain and France are enthusiastic because they have to be. They are wilted empires that now have to ride on U.S. coattails. Germany has joined them; but the rest of the EU has been silent. And Italy has refused outright. This should raise a number of questions.
1. Why does the U.S. need so many large and powerful countries to defeat ISIS? Does the U.S. really need them against ISIS? Or does it need them against Russia?
2. If the U.S. thinks ISIS is so terrible and has to be destroyed, why did it allow ISIS for so long to transport its oil to market through Turkey? Answer – the U.S. didn't want to destroy ISIS, not until it had destroyed Syria. Putin destroyed that plan.
3. If the U.S. wanted to get rid of Assad, why didn't it help the Syrian 'rebels' to do it? Answer – they did help the Syrian 'rebels', directly and through Saudi Arabia. But the 'rebels' never gained much support among Syrians. In fact, a high proportion of them were not Syrians, but hired mercenaries. And, since the Russians came on the scene, the 'rebels' have made themselves very scarce. As well, it's not at all clear that the rebels are 'moderates' as our press routinely says. It's quite possible that many, perhaps most, of them are closer to ISIS in their thinking.
4. Have the U.S. and Russia come to an agreement on Syrian elections after the defeat of ISIS? Most of our news media say they have. But they haven't. They've agreed there should be elections. But Russia wants Assad to be eligible to run. The U.S. doesn't. The U.S. did not start this war to bring democracy to Syria. It started the war to get Assad out of the way so that US oil companies could control Syrian oil. Russia did not join the war to bring democracy. It has exactly the same objectives as U.S. oil companies – except they need Assad in power to do that.
Another event that really isn't producing much useful reporting is the contests for leadership of the Democrat and Republican parties. We hear all the idiocies and insults on the Republican side, and most of what we hear is about the war against terrorism.
But the U.S. is a country with social problems that could (and probably will) tear it apart. And this is a race being fought out on pure fear and hysteria. What would those candidates do about racism? About the startling rise of poverty? About the decay of the education system? About a wage gap that is the biggest in the developed world? About the rich who are getting much richer while everybody else is getting poorer? About a national debt that is so far out of control that it can never be paid. The U.S. may well have to go to war with China simply to get out of paying its debt to that country. What would they do about an arms industry that is out of control in both civilian and military sales, an industry that needs and wants as many wars as it can create?
They're going to get tough on ISIS? ISIS is the least of their problems. American police kill more Americans in a year, far, far more than ISIS does. Armed American civilians kill so many Americans that they make ISIS look like amateurs.
I have never heard of people running for a leadership on such a narrow platform. It's ISIS, ISIS, ISIS, and Americans are buying it. They are getting no sense whatever of the terror and slaughter and horror and misery that the U.S. is inflicting on the world. They have no sense of how much the world has come to hate and distrust the U.S., and the unlimited greed of its wealthy. They have some, but little, sense of how democracy and rights have vanished in the U.S. The country is now ruled by big money. Nothing else. And they can vote for Trump or Bush or Clinton. It makes no difference.
It's a country that is either ignorant of or indifferent to the illegal acts of illegal wars carried out in over a hundred countries by drones, by the highly trained murderers who are called special ops, and who kill friend or foe, soldiers or civilians or babies with equal dedication. Again, the scale of U.S. killing leaves that of ISIS in the dust.
Americans have been doused in fear and hatred of a movement that was created in the first place by the unlimited greed and brutality of the very wealthy – the same very wealthy who already own all of the candidates but one.
That one is Bernie Sanders who is running against Clinton for the Democrat leadership. He has given some thought to social policy. He has a humane and moral view of this world. But he isn't going to win the leadership.
He won't win because the war industries and the oil industry aren't going to give him campaign money. And he's not going to get help from the Democrat hierarchy, because they, like Clinton, have long ago been bought off.
A long, long time ago when I was just learning to swim, I nearly drowned. To this day, I remember the feeling of panic vividly. I very much fear that is what we are watching in the United States. It is a drowning nation. And the panic is being manipulated by those very wealthy who own the news media and the politicians, and whose greed has destroyed whatever shreds of morality they might once have possessed and whatever judgement they once possessed