The headline in today's Irving press is a gripping of story of how somebody, maybe, is thinking about buying a piece of land in Dieppe (a suburb of Moncton) to build an apartment. I was spellbound.
It was followed by the earth-shaking news that somebody in Moncton has a dog, chickens and cats living together in peace in the backyard. And it just keeps going like that.
Nothing in 'Canada and World' sheds any light on Canada or the world. The one, notable feature of this section is what it tells us about our news as propaganda. Page 1 of section A has the story of how a car bomb in Turkey killed 27 civilians. The report doesn't say who did it; but we all know who did it. Right?
So where is the story about how many civilians in Yemen were killed by Saudis using weapons supplied by the U.S., Britain and Canada? How many civilians have lately been killed by American drones? How many union leaders and other trouble-makers have been beaten or killed at the order of corporation bosses (from Canada and the U.S.) in South America?
Propaganda is not just what the news media carry. It's what they don't carry.
When was the last time you saw a story in the Irving press about Yemen or South America?
At first glance, I was mildly impressed by the editorial. It was about improvements to our system of protection for victims of domestic violence. Then it dawned on my that this was a pretty safe topic. There are very few people (and no people of power in this province) who are going to support domestic violence.
But would it be likely to get such an editorial on the victims (largely women) of corporate violence that imposes a minimum wage too low to live on?
Norbert has another rant. This time, it's about how our provincial politicians are dishonest. Now, Norbert, close your little eyes really hard, Norbert. And think. Who could it be that makes them dishonest? And which is the newspaper that never mentions who that 'who' is? This is a typical Donald Trump stance. You blame the easy targets while ignoring those who cause the corruption.
Craig Babstock still doesn't know what a commentary is.
Alec Bruce has another long column that really doesn't say anything except to spread gloom about the state of the provincial economy. It's true enough. But shouldn't we be looking at why the economy is doing badly? If, for example, it's true that the wealth of the very rich pours down on all of us then how come this province, with one of the richest families in Canada, is not knee deep in money?
And when, oh, when, is this paper going to learn that news has very little meaning unless you stimulate it with thought-provoking commentary.
Not a great day for the Irving press. Not even a passable one.
In despair, I checked out CBC to find something that would give me hope for the future of journalism. But this was not the day. It had an opinion column whose headline gave the impression it was about how the U.S. was repeating the the German experience of the 1930s.
In fact, it ends up saying that the U.S. is different because it has a vibrant and healthy democracy.
Oh? Really? American democracy died a long time ago. Even some American presidents have said that. It died of an overdose of corporate money and of the propaganda of corporate-owned news media and corporate-owned politicians. That's why it has only two parties able to take a run at being in office or introducing any ideas. That's why the two parties are essentially the same.
Let's get real. The current American election is a re-run of Germany in the 1930s, even to the levels of hysteria and racism as well as big money interference. For that matter, it's not clear to me how Germany of the 1930s was all that different from what Britain and the U.S. and France had been for centuries.
Racist? They all were. The British were a superior race. That justified their murder, enslavement and looting of countries in America, Asia and Africa that were populated by inferior races. Remember the words of that exciting, British anthem, "Land of hope and glory, Mother of the free, How can we extol them, Who are born of thee?.....God who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet."
(For all its detestable racism, the song has enormous emotional appeal. Catch it on google - by Vera Lynn.)
It's all there - the racial superiority of those 'who are born of thee' - and 'God who made thee mighty..'
That spirit justified the slaughter of inferior peoples all over the world. It justified the confiscation of land in India, the enslavement of its people. It was done in the name of God and the Queen. And the churches of Britain and France and the U.S. and Canada were happy to toss in God for free.
This same racism is what made it possible for the wealthy, imperial leaders to hog most of that money for themselves while their own poor lived in dreadful conditions. The concept of racial inferiority was applied to the poor of Britain (and other imperialist countries) as much as it was applied to Asians, Africans, and native peoples. And it still is. That's why, when we have a recession, we blame the poor, and make them pay for it.
The best that can be said for Christian churches in all this is....well, there were a few who took a hand in helping. Most were happy to ignore problems and tell us that Jesus loves us.
It's the same spirit of racism and sanctification of the rich that drove the killing of native peoples of the Americas, the enslavement of Africans (with tens of millions of deaths), the American conquest and exploitation of South America, and that now drives hatred and fear of Muslims so their lands can be taken.
Hitler was not unusual in modern western history. He followed a tradition that goes back at least to the Crusades, to the tradition of slavery, the inferiority of peasantry (or, these days, of minimum wage workers and the poor.)
Hitler's outlook on the world was not very different from that of Churchill, or Roosevelt, or Stalin. Modern Canada's outlook has been not so much to have an outlook as to play along with the big kids.- - (though MacKenzie King admired Hitler, and quite agreed with him about the inferiority of Jews.)
The only sense in which the current American election race is different from Germany in the 1930s is that Germans of that time had a wider range of democratic choices.
A curious thing I have noticed is that the Irving press has never mentioned American Exceptionalism or The Project for the New American Century. Now, these are rather important because they are the base for almost all American foreign policy. And, despite the CBC analysis I quote above, American Exceptionalism and The Project for the New American Century come straight from Hitler's playbook. (I know I have touched on these before; but bear with me. We not only have to know about these things. The meaning of them has to sink in.)
The Project for the New American Century was prepared in the 1990s by a group that included Jeb Bush. Briefly, it was a plan to conquer the world. It was a logical development of western imperialism. Like British and French and Italian and Hitler's imperialism, it was a plan to kill and torture in order to make the conquerors (or their ruling class) rich at the expense of others. The only difference between it and Hitler's Third Reich as that the U.S. now intends to make the U.S. into the ultimate power, the conqueror of the whole world.
And, no, the intention is not to make the rest of the world democratic. It is to make it subservient. Notice how many democratic countries have had to suffer 'regime change' because the U.S. didn't like the people they elected.
Just google Project for the New American Century. There's nothing secret about it.
The excuse for it was an old idea in American politics called Manifest Destiny, the belief that God intended the American people to be his chosen people, and to rule the world. That was the excuse for murdering most of the native population of the U.S., forcing American rule in much of South America, and torturing and killing the native peoples of The Phillipines to put an American dictator in charge. (It also justified the theft of Hawaii from the native Hawaiian people.
And all of it was done to benefit the wealthy of the American population. Latin America was for the potential profits to be found in factory farming and minerals. The Phillipines was to be the base for the American assault on the great prize - China.
Though it was Republicans who shaped the document called The New American Century, Obama adopted it in his first term under the label 'American Exceptionalism'. This is the concept that the U.S., and only the U.S., has the right to ignore international law, to invade without cause, to conquer, to torture, to loot. It's not different from the old idea of imperialism. It's just worded to sound more acceptable.
This is the web that Canada is being drawn into. In comparison, Hitler was a small-timer. American Exceptionalism and the American century are what caused the illegal wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya. It is what put the Middle East into chaos. It is why we are flirting at war with Russia and China.
As in 'Land of hope and glory', this is giving the sanction of God for the rich to kill. 'God who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet'. The bulk of the American people will not gain from this, of course. They'll do the fighting and dying.....though they might be doing less of that.
The American people are not as fond of fighting and dying as the rich would like them to be. So what has been notable in recent years is the rise of private companies which supply mercenaries to do the fighting and dying. Though expensive at first, they're cheaper in the long run because they don't get veteran benefits.
Indeed, this is a move which could make the nation-state, itself, unnecessary. Just let the super-rich cut up the nations into departments of the great corporations. Let the very wealthy run everything. There's a dream that would make Norbert wet his pants. And the elements of it are ready in the document we call The Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership.
We're getting lots of gush but little news from the Obama/Trudeau extravaganza. One news report even made the absurd statement that Obama had passed on the torch of progressivism to Trudeau. In fact, Obama the torturer and murderer, the man who brought terror to Syria and refugees to Europe has no progressivism to pass on. Even his medical insurance plan was of benefit mostly to private insurance companies. His policies have, for the most part, been the same as those of Bush. He has also declared himself a true believer in American Exceptionalism. No, passing on the torch was not a feature of that meeting.
p.s. We have senators in Canada who have values similar the dreadful ones above, who share the notion that the rich are superior to all others. One of them is Senator Frum, a Harper appointee, of course. Her brother, last I heard, was still a speech-writer for American politicians who favour this brand of racism.
Then there's this news from al Jazeera. Putin is pulling the majority of his troops out of Syria. (It's too early to speculate on what this means.)
And here's a piece of good news from the U.S. It comes (via a reader) from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Once again, I find Pope Francis the only world leader to have something useful to say.
This has quite a meaning to us. We are quick to kill those we have been taught to hate, while forgetting the misery we have foisted on the world. Try to think of a single sentence in the Irving press (or in the speeches of the American leadership candidates) that suggests our side(or our wealthy) might have something to do with the suffering in this world.