Tuesday, March 29, 2016

March 19: The Irrational Norbert Cunningham


I  use the word irrational as a sort of kindness - though that makes me something of a hypocrite because I don't feel any kindness.                                                    
Norbert Cunningham has a column today in which he admits that David Suzuki was  right all along.  Climate change is happening, and it's happening even faster than  Suzuki thought. In other words, Norbert and his newspaper have been wrong every step of the way. And his gods in the oil industry have been misleading us into disaster to keep their profits up. And you know what?

It's all David Suzuki's fault.

Yes, Norbert spews venom on him.  He says Suzuki fell for the propaganda of those ignorant environmentalists; apparently, they were wrong even though Norbert admits they were right. Then he says Suzuki should have   confined himself to research instead of telling us what was happening. Let's see, now. He warned us of a disaster, and that was wrong. He should have just kept studying it and saying nothing.  He ridicules other scientists, too, for telling people what was happening instead of just buckling down to research. This is followed by the inane comment that Suzuki simply fell in line with 'prevailing environmental ideology'.

Norbert,  either he was right in his research or he fell in line with a wacky 'ideology'. It can't be both. Oh, and CBC, that awful news service not nearly in a class with the Irving press, went overboard in praising him.

The column is wildly irrational , hate-filled, ignorant...and it offers not a word of criticism  of the oil barons who have been lying to us for decades about climate change. Then he quotes some of the scientific reading he has done that he finds reliable. Norbert, you have not the faintest capacity to understand or to judge the quality of scientific research in anything.  

I have never before seen a commentary as irrational and contemptible as this one. And I really wonder about - how shall I put it? - the disorderly nature of Norbert's thought processes.

There's another gripping editorial about how food trucks will revolutionize the liveliness of downtown Moncton. I'm glad to hear it. If there's one major issue this world has to come to grips with, it's the liveliness of Moncton's downtown.
The Commentary page has a gem by Bruce Fitch, leader of the provincial conservatives. It seems we really, really need more of that greenhouse gas that is causinig climate change. Oil! More oil!

Then there's a commentary on doctor-assisted suicide. I  don't have an opinion on this because, among other things, I would not want to put doctors in the position of having to take a life. But I can also understand the wish of a patient to die. But I must disagree with one comment of t he writers - that we deplore killing in a war. Like hell we do. We cheer killing in a war. We love it when western movies and TV shows end up with piles of bodies. Think Clint Eastwood. Think the popularity of American Sniper. Where was the mourning for the millions killed in Vietnam, Libya, Guatemala, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya....?

Alec Bruce has a column of pure dynamite - good dynamite. This could well be the best and most important column ever to appear in this paper. In effect, this says that capitalism has to be brought under control, that uncontrolled it turns into a greed that is destructive of our own society - and of our own economy including, in the end, of the leading capitalists whose greed has led to destruction.

We must raise general income levels. We must put a lid on $8 million dollar a year executives. We must make the very weatlhy pay their taxes. If we don't, then ours is a lose-lose society.

The rest of section A should be kept as toilet paper for masochists.
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The biggest story in Canada&World is "Brussels attack victims came from around world."

Well, that certainly explains a lot.
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Finally, the Life section has a very useful column on mental illness. especially among children, in our schools. This is by Jana Giles, the student editor for the paper.
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We have not yet recognized the scale of the disasters that were the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both, at immense cost, were disasters in cost and results and, of course, of millions of lives lost. The immediate losers were the U.S., Britain, and Canada. Not only did they alienate most of the world, but the cost of those wars has been a major factor in the shift of our national wealth from almost all of us to the very rich.

As for Iraq and Afghanistan, they won the wars but at the cost of massive deaths, deep poverty, social disorder, and the loss of decades of social and national progress, a loss that has not yet even begun recovery - and may never begin it.
The U.S., seemingly slow to learn, plunged into another disaster when it interfered in Syria and played boy scout secret operations by funding "terrorist" groups  to interfere as well. If we ever get out of this mess we have created, it may well be Putin's intervention that has saved us from our own idiocies.
In any case, there's more to come. Canada has, with extreme foolishness, committed us to join in the Ameerican cowboy adventures in the region. It is likely that Israel intends in the very near future to expel the people of Palestine, and to annex the whole country.

In the short run, it can get away with this - if only because nobody is going to attack an Israel which has a large nuclear arsenal. But Pakistan, India and North Korea long ago got nuclear savvy without permission. It would be no great challenge for Arab countries to get it. What Israel needed to do starting 68 years ago was to come to terms with its neighbours. Instead, it pinned its hopes on U.S. support. That support is weakening - and it's going to get a lot weaker.
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A reader sent me a source I  haven't seen before. It looks promising. And it has something to say about our very selective sympathies.

http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/maintaining-perspective-after-brussels-attacks-318673054

Here's another from the same source.

http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/brussels-just-proved-once-and-all-war-terror-has-failed-us-spectacularly-2054338702
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Another reader sent me the story below. al Jazeera is closing its American cable service. And that's a real loss because most North American news media are at least half lies. Fox is only worst of a very bad lot. So the Russians are thinking of filling that gap with an American service called RT.

I've seen quite a bit of RT. It's not in a class with al Jazeera. But it's a cut above virtually all news media in North America.

To read this story, click the URL below, and scroll down on the left to "Can a Russian funded cable network actually promote a free press in the U.S.?

https://theconversation.com/us

Actually, it's worth hanging in, and reading most of this site.
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The Northwest Passage is claimed by Canada. The U.S. has refused to recognize that claim. Now, read the story below, and guess how long it will take for the heat to be on Canada to drop its claim.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/28/us-canada-arctic-cruise-ship-titanic-emergency-training-coast-guard
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We are facing crises that need attention - and now. We are facing climate disaster, economic disaster due to mindless greed, global social disasters. (The European refugee crunch   is a very mild taste of social disasters to come. What do you think will happen as rising oceans  combined with drought start driving more millions out of their homelands.) And to deal with this, we have governments so accustomed to serving only the wealthy that that most have become counterproductive.

What we're watching in the U.S. and Europe is 'democracies' turning against their traditional political leadershp. Most people don't yet know why they're doing it; but it's happening. We're seeing levels of violence and intimidation, especially in the U.S. and Europe, that can only get worse - and with unpredictable results.
Starting from home in New Brunswick, we can expect no guidance from either the Liberals or the Conservatives. They're on the other side. That's also true at the federal level.

The Greens are too limited in their interests. And the NDP has almost destroyed itself as a useful party.

Both our governments and our economic system have become destructive and self-destructive. Somehow, we have to start now in remaking how we see ourselves and our world. New Brunswick, in particular, has to crawl its way out of the nineteenth century. It has to develop the courage to speak openly, to have opinions, to discuss them with others. In general, New Brunswick has to grow up.  As it is, we are our own worst enemies.

The direction we're going in can lead only to poverty, crime, and some very serious violence raging from social disorder to nuclear war. We have to grow up, and fast.

As a sidenote, it's interesting to see how infuriated the American press is about terrorist attacks. The is a fury coming from the country that for generations has killed more civilians than any other country in the world. And the American people actually buy this, and are genuinely and with Christian fervour, furious at terrorists. The also demand that people attending political debates should be allowed to carry guns.

Follow the debates. This isn't ignorance. This is insanity.

And Trudeau has committed us to a role in Syria.



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