Friday, February 12, 2016

Feb.12: The big news is that Camilla got drunk,..

... and hit Prince Charles with a dead fish.

Oh, no. That was in a gossip mag for people who aren't interested in news, just in sensationalist gossip of no importance whatever. No, today's headline is that Dennis Oland has been sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 10 years.
Now, this isn't just sensationalist gossip because - well - because.  Anyway, it's the most important thing that ever happened to Moncton. No doubt it will change all our lives.

In real news, six Atlantic companies have been given $12.6 million in federal funding. That's odd. It was just yesterday that Norbert Cunningham told us that artists should not get government grants. After all,  he wrote,  we never give grants to commercial entrepreneurs.

So much for section A news. It gets worse in opinion and commentary.
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The editorial is a vague one about how senior RCMP officers should be more thoroughly investigated and, if appropriate, charged in relation to the deaths of three police officers here in Moncton. The editorial writer seems to think it should all be handled quietly. Put simply, this is put simple-mindedly. Of course, it calls for full (and public) investigation. Three police officers were killed. They were not properly prepared and equipped for what they had to face. If we are so grateful to our police as we say we are, we owe this to them.

We also should have some news coverage about the guns that are available for legal sale in New Brunswick.

Norbert thinks our   governments have too much ideology. But as I read his column, I really don't think he knows what ideology means. I've never seen a New Brunswick government have an ideology at all. They just follow orders from big money. My impression is that Norbert thinks an ideology means anything he disagrees with.

Anyway, the whole column is badly written, and so sloppily worded as to be incomprehensible.

Cole Hobson has an article about a boy who has his own video recording business. That's nice. But it's not a commentary. It is, or should be, a very short news story.

Murphy's Law is about --something. A lot of it is history, and most of its history is pure bunk. It's true, for example, that no Canadian prime minister was ever a slave owner. But that had nothing to do with Murphy's notions of the Canadian character. It happened that way because we didn't have a prime minister until 1867, some 25 years AFTER slavery had been banned in Canada. And we didn't ban it. The British government did.

And Canadians were sent to Haiti help others? Like hell they were. They were sent to make the U.S. overthrow of the elected goverment of Haiti look like a peacekeeping operation.

And, by the way, we did kill native peoples, almost to the end of the ninenteenth century.  Obviously, Mr. Murphy's teachers never told him about the starvation of the plains Cree or the killing of the Metis.

It's true, as Mr. Murphy says, that most American wars have been economic. So  have most Canadian wars, and most Canadian killing of native peoples. In the Boer War, World War One, World War Two, Korea, Afghanistan, Syria, Canada went to war because its big business leaders depended on being   good colonial partners for British big  money, and then for American big money.

This is a shallow, political speech, not a commentary of any sort. Oddly, I kept thinking of Donald Trump as I read it.
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The Canada&World section is the worst and shallowest it's ever been. And Yemen still doesn't exist.

There's a  big story that New Brunswick religious leaders are speaking out against assisted suicide. Sure. Easy target. But they've been okay with killing Afghanis and Syrians. Can you spell 'shallow, self-righteous hypocrites'?
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Let's get away from the Irving press world, and into the real one.
The United States has moved thousands of troops up closer to the Russian border. It has asked all its allies to do so as well. Why?  Russia has given no sign it is thinking of attacking Europe.

The United States is bombing Syria, is moving troops into it, has been financing both the Syrian rebels and ISIS. Its objective is clear - to oust the government of Syria because Assad wants to trade with Russia, and  because the U.S. wealthy want to control all the oil in the middle east. Under law, the US has no right, none whatever, to be in Syria. And, since Syria has not in any way threatened the U.S., the U.S. has to right to invade it.

Russia is in Syria for the same reason as the US. Its capitalists (enterpreneurs) want to be major players in the middle east. For the same reason, China has been strengthing ties with Iran. The similarities between Russia,   China and the U.S. are pretty clear. All are capitalist countries whose capitalists want at least a share in middle east oil.

The difference is that neither China nor Russia is breaking any law in being there. Syria invited Russia. Iran invited China. The U.S. IS breaking the law. It was not invited into Syria or Yemen by the governments of those countries. But nothing can be done about that because the U.S. long ago has destroyed any hope at establishing the enforcement of international law.

Why is it sending troops to the Russian border? After all, Russia has made no threatening moves in that region.?

Why is it sending troops and bombers into Syria when it knows this could spark a war with Russia? And possibly China? Well,it could be in hope of bluffing Russia to get it out of the middle east. If so, this is one risky bluff.

Neither Russia nor China is likely to back  off. And any such war is certain to go nuclear. All three are heavily armed, and cover huge areas. All three have weapons far beyond the power of those of World War Two. And, nobody can be sure of how these very sophisticated weapons will perform against each other. (We are way beyond the weaponry of 1939-45).  At least one of those countries, probably all three, would feel compelled to go nuclear.  And all three have probable allies with nuclear ability.

Even a small fraction of that nuclear power would be enough to destroy all of us, and even if it were just dropped on one country.

It's obvious, in this case, that the country willing to risk a fight is the U.S. It is the one making the direct and open threats. And it's all economic - all to serve the greed of a small number big time oil barons.

There's even a more dangerous possibility. It's possible the oil barons aren't just bluffing. It's possible they want a war. The U.S. is in deep economic trouble, made worse by social trouble. It's military spending and its corruption have put it hopelessly in debt that can never be paid. The debt due to military spending, already far the highest in the world, will be even higher this year - and a million or more living on food coupons  will have to hungry to make up for that. Great way to create even worse economic and social problems.
The U.S. unemployment rate is officially 5%. Tripling it (or more)  would get us closer to reality.              

It's quite possible the oil barons have decided that the U.S. empire has seen its best days, and only a war  can now save it.
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Add to that another risk of war. The U.S. now has, by far, the most expensive military in history. But, since 1945, it  has been able to defeat only the tiniest and weakest nations. In 1983, Americans cheered for their brave forces which conquered Grenada -an island which had a population of less than half of Metro Moncton. (In fact, the whole list of reason for that attack was lies. It was attacked because it had voted for a socialist government, and the US was afraid of that bad example spreading to its dictatorships and puppet rulers across Latin America.)

Anyone interested in the nature of the Grenada invasion should check out....
https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/155/25966.html
It got humiliated in Vietnam when, even with half the country on its side, and even with brutal bombing and chemical sprays,  it couldn't do anything. Iraq was such a disaster that the U.S., though technically a winner, had to abandon its plans to stay in the country. And, for fifteen years, all of the military might of the U.S. has not been able to defeat Afghanistan - and that despite carpet bombing against a people who have no aircraft to fight back, and despite the fact it has to fight only half of a small and relatively backward country.
Even Korea was a draw rather than a victory.

It may well be that the nature of warfare has undergone changes we have not grasped. And it may be that the days of imperial power are coming to an end. We can still defeat armies and shoot down aircraft and sink ships. But it is becoming, it seems, impossible to defeat people - only possible to murder them, all of them.
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Then there's this  item. It couldn't happen here in New Brunswick, of course. But it's interesting to see how greedy and, frankly, demented some people can be.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/17/government-gags-pesticide-advisers-refusal-support-bee-harming-neonicotinoids
http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2015/11/is-the-usda-silencing-scientists/413803/

Nobody in New Brunswick would dare to behave in this way. And if they did, Norbert Cunningham and the Irving press would sure tell them off.
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Then there's this item about my old school, Concordia University.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/concordia-severance-claudia-trudel-1.3444553?cmp=rss&cid=news-digests-montreal

It didn't suprise me. I was offered the job of president, and found myself surrounded by lawyers telling me what a great deal it was. And, financially, it was a great deal. If I  had agreed, and had proven hopelessly incompetent, the contract offered me a huge separation pay - and a high salary for the rest of my life.

I turned it down because I knew it meant becoming a puppet for the Board of Governors. These boards are dominated by big business people who think that running anything is just like running a business - and who don't have a clue about education. I knew I could never make the changes I wanted to. So I said no.
Boards of Governors are the death of universities as educational institutions. These people think that running a university is  like running a chain of gas stations or a brewery. But universities have to appoint them because they are desperate for donations and for the contacts these people give them.  ( And a great many professors, themselves,    know little about education, and don't care to know.)

I have not found school boards to be much different.
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This next item deals with a couple points I touch on in this post. (So it must be good.)

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44199.htm

I have quite a bit more material. But I'll hold it for tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Completely unrelated to anything that you wrote in this post, but I figured you might enjoy reading this article.

    https://medium.com/bright/what-i-m-afraid-of-and-what-i-hope-for-6cb3b86ac8a4#.uf6gxtzed

    ReplyDelete