Monday, February 15, 2016

Feb. 15: And the headline is ...

Liberals think...

That, alone, would be a great and important front page headline. But, alas, it is not quite the header in today's paper. Instead, it's 'Liberals toy ...."  and it gets even more trivial, "Liberals toy with idea of February holiday."
But we should be happy with what we get. That headline is the most gripping item in Section A news.
Today's editorial is a gem. Some 95% of it rambles on about finding jobs for Moncton's six percent unemployed. (Though, as it says, any society has 5% of its people who are unemployable for various reasons. So what we're really looking for is jobs for 1%).

Uh, no, it isn't. In paragraph four, the 1% disappear. We're looking for jobs to attract outsiders to Moncton.

Then, in just two sentences near the end, we get the pitch of what the editorial is really about - developing shale gas.

Nobert begins his column with a headline that asks why Atlantic Canada doesn't foster more scientific discovery. But it takes him four columns of pointless discussion of gravitational waves before he gets to his  point that we could hold talented people in Atlantic Canada if we encouraged scientific discovery in our universities and, best of all, it could be privately funded.

Norbert, making scientific discoveries would not hold all that many jobs in Atlantic Canada. And private funding will only fund research that produces something that the funders can make money out of - like a new hairspray, or a proof that forest sprays are good for, oh, just everything. That means that much private research actually drains the resources of our universities to serve the narrow interests of the rich. And that's how we get books on how the New Brunswick economy is going off a cliff.

The commentary page is much better. All three of the commentaries are worth a read.

Oh, there is a big, big story on the last page of Section A. It covers two-thirds of the page, and it's even bigger than "Liberals toy with idea..." It's "Riverview man enjoys his job testing beer quality."
Canada and World is just chock-full of hot stories. It's amazing what the Irving press can pack into four, lousy pages. For example, there's a big world news story on A3. It's a half-pager. I'll bet you didn't know that some of our Valentine flowers come from Kenya. Yes, they do.

There's no room for what's happening in Yemen, or the American buildup in Ukraine and Syria, or the Saudi intervention in Syria. But, hot damn, we have the scoop that flowers grow in Kenya.

In fairness, there are three stories worth a read. The first is that Turkey is shelling Kurdish positions in Syria. It's main purpose to destroy all Kurds. (Turkey has a record of genocide). This is possibly part of the American plan to break up Syria into a pot-pourri of small and helpless countries. It might also spark a broader Russian intervention.

There's a story (please read it, Norbert) that New Brunswick school spending has gone down dramatically over the past several years. It also mentions that the schools need more teachers with expertise in dealing with students who are gifted, students who are challenged, students  who have disabilities.
Tell you what Norbert. You try to do that all on your own with a class of 25 or 30 - or even much smaller than that.

And there's an excellent story on Pope Francis in Mexico. Francis is a man of astonishing courage, energy, and directness. (and Mexico is one of the 3 most dangerous counties in the world.) Compare what he says to those wimpy 'Jesus wants you for a sunbeam" sermonettes on the Faith page of the Irving press.
Here is a New York Times report on Pope Francis in Mexico.

Can you imagine a sermonette in the Irving press telling churches to get off their unattractive rear ends, and deal with the real world?
The next source is one I use with care because it has a bias. However, I have never caught it lying or leaving out important points. In this case, I have seen plenty of corroboration of its point. In brief, the U.S. actually believes it has the right to tell people what government they should have, and it has the right to kill people who say, "Thank you, but we have to right to choose our own government, whether the U.S. approves of it or not." The idea that the U.S. has the right to tell people what government they must have is at the heart of "American Exceptionalism". So is the God-given right of the U.S. to invade any country it wishes for any reason it wishes.
And here's one I don't entirely agree with. It puts our failure to deal with climate change while we devote enormous resources to fighting terror down to human character. That has some truth. But I think there's a more important element.

Oil billionaires  don't want us to deal with climate change because they make their money our of it. That's why the U.S. congress is trying to kill Obama's climate change measures.  They do want us to fight 'terrorism' because it's an excuse for them get control of oil resources. And, since they are major figures in deciding who will be president of the U.S. - or prime minister of Canada (or of its provinces), and since they own most of the news media, it's easy for these blindly greedy people to take advantage of our human weaknesses.
Then there's a very realistic look at India. Many people comfortably assume that India is and always has been our friend. And it's important to have a friend whose economy is the fastest growing economy in the world. And it has a sizable, modern military with lots and lots of nuclear missiles.

When we make that friendship assumption comfortably, it's because we believe the poems of Rudyard Kipling, and all the tales about the glories of the British Empire. We forget that wealthy British and others looted India and treated it brutally for 200 years. We forget. India doesn't.
Our news media have not told us much about what it's like to be a refugee in Europe. Here's a sample from al Jazeera.

It's getting  much, much worse. European racism simply cannot deal with refugees. With uncounted numbers of refugees still feezing in tent camps and filth, and being worked over by child traffickers and rapists and murders and thieves, Europe now pushes refugees back out to sea, and likely to drown. Even at that, expect very serious disorders throughout Europe. Europe is no more loving of  'different' people than the United States is. At some time    (and, often still today) it has abused blacks, native peoples, Irish, Jews, Italians, Ukrainians, Poles....  Just like Canada.
And here's an important story on a disaster in the U.S. that the Irving press, busy with the really big stories about new restaurants opening or the joys of testing beer quality, has missed.
Another story that didn't make the Irving press is how Netanyahu of Israel wants to take the right to vote away from Israeli citizens who are Palestinians. These make up a sizable group in Israel. In theory, they are full citizens. In practice, most are not allowed to live in Jewish districts - or to even walk on the streets of some of them. And they are restricted in the right to ride on public transportation.
Finally, you may read in places of a 'Plan B' that the U.S. has for dealing with Syria. You won't read about it in the Irving press, even though American political leaders have used the term.

Plan A is what 's happening now, a conference to settle the Syrian issue. However, this is not going to work because the U.S. objective is to dump Assad, and break up Syria into several, small countries, with the U.S. in control.
However, Russia wants Assad to stay power, and wants Syria to remain united.

 So goodbye Plan A.

Plan B for the U.S. is to invade Syria with the help of Britain, France, The Netherlands, Turkey, Saudi Arabia - and others, including Canada -   thereby risking a world war - and a nuclear one.

We just gotta risk a nuclear war to keep up oil profits.

Think of it this way. Addiction to big money, like an addiction to alcohol or android cellphones, destroys the brain.


  1. Syria has few oil reserves (2.5 bbl) and ranks about 37th in the world; before the war it was expected to be a net importer in the not too distant future.

    The Golan Heights on the other hand has an immense amount of shale oil, a rumoured 50bbl - so a company called Genie Energy was formed by Cheney, Rupert Murdoch and some Rothschild or other and was given permission to have a go at fracking that. Right next to the main water aquifer. So the Israelis want their "own" oil, assuming the Golan Heights is Israeli territory. All in Wikipedia. Of course, given that the countries/borders in the Middle East are all constructs of past British, French and latterly US buggering around, who can say whose territory is whose.

    Consequently, I've never quite seen the point you make about scooping up Syria's oil reserves as a US priority for causing the civil war in the first place. Must be something else.

    The bombing today of five medical facilities in Syria, of course attributed to Assad/Putin by a feverish US, needs to be examined. If I were a betting man, I'd blame the French in the agent provocateur role for the US. Delta wing aircraft are not common, and apparently nobody took good photos, just video.

    So far as ICH goes, I find it biased as well, somtimes past the point of wacko conspiracy theory. However, it is an aggregator, so you can find its articles elsewhere in their original context if you really want to. What it does provide, to me at least, is after reading it for months, you do finally get a perspective on what's really happening after you strip away the over-the-top stuff, and get used to the individual commentators.

    The Guardian is inconsistent, and its comments section a miasma of shallow shouting, like all the other MSM sites. I'm beginning to think that reasoned thought is beyond even the capability of the couple of percent who actually read and consider politics. In which case, no amount of railing against poor reporting and US rewriting of the news would help. Stupid creatures kill themselves as the lemmings have demonstrated as a genetic trait.

  2. You may well be right on the Syria question. It may be simply an attempt to keep Russian influence in the region. Or - there are so many players with so many agendas that it's hard to even guess what each of them wants.

    And I'm afraid you are right about The Guardian. I find it good on news, but spotty on commentary. Al Jazeera is actually more consistent. So is Haaretz - though Haaretz is weak on anything outside of Israel.
    ICH, as you say, is highly variable, and a weakness for some sources that I cannot trust. Alas! Donald Trump is very much a man of our times. Most people simply feel an emotional response to news. It's joy or anger, neither based on any understanding. But both based on various attitudes that become their substitutes for thinking.
    Trump knows how to play to that anger. But playing to anger would be disastrous if he won public office. (Mind you, it might not be worse than the present style of manipulating people into anger.

  3. Sorry. Syria - correct sentence two. It may be simply an atempt to keep Russian influence OUT of the region.