Wednesday, March 2, 2016

March 2 : I begin with an apology.

. I forg0t to mention an important commentary in the Irving press yesterday. It was by a student columnist,  Jana Giles, who is a grade 12 student at Moncton High school. The school has 1200 students. To deal with all the emotional, mental, social and educational problems of those 1200 students, it has two (count them, two) guidance counsellors and one part-time counsellor.

Guidance counselling requires a wide training; and it's crucial to a great many students. We have 2 and a half of them for 1200 students. Any more deep thoughts on how our schools are overstaffed, Norbert?

On the opposite page, I noticed a list of all the seniors' events in the city - bridge, knitting, line dancing, mandolin playing - nothing that exercises a brain. No film society, no discussion, no writing groups. Just bridge, line-dancing, knitting...  Hey, we get old. We don't get stupid.
I also should draw attention to a feature of the current U.S. leadership races. What has been mentioned is that Trump attracts the biggest following among evangelical Christians - as in the Bible Belt of the US. It's odd that no-one has noted the significance of that.

Trump is the one who has been the leader of those who fear, hate, and are the most racist. He is the one who most closely resembles the ideals of Adolf Hitler. And he is the one who attracts the evangelical Christian vote. Think about that.
And note that the sermonettes on the Irving press Faith Page are predominantly by evangelical Christians.
Section A news is the same vacuum it always is. My attention was caught by only one story - that New Brunswick has become 'unattractive' for mining ivestment. Part of that is explained by the fact that we're not nice enough to them.
The report comes, of course, from the Fraser Institute, a think-tank "..which calls itself...independent, non-partisan...." The 'calls itself' statement is a cop-out. The reporter knows damn well what the Fraser Institute is. Why doesn't he say what it is?

You want to attract mining investment? It's easy. Be like Congo or Guatemala - have no environmental laws, give the lowest possible pay, murder workers who complain. It takes so little to making mining investors happy.
Our firefighters, though still the lowest-paid firefighters in Atlantic Canada, got a raise. And that has twisted the knickers of the editorial writer.  That means that by the year 2019, they'll get 30,000 a year more than in 1908. Why, that's an outrageous jump in just, um, eleven years. Certainly, says the editorialist, we support their dedication to their noble and often dangerous work. ( But we don't support it that much.)

The editorialist wonders how many other workers in the public or private sector have enjoyed such increases. Wonder no more, my child. Take a look at the salary and perks at  the higher levels of business (and of their buddies who run universities. Take a look at the bonusses of boards of directors who granted themselves millions when they caused the recession that we're still in. And their work is neither noble nor dangerous.

Over the last couple of decades, their has been a world-wide shift of wealth to the very rich from all of us. How about developing the guts to write a fiery editorial about that?

For example, you could find out how much Mr. Irving has paid himself each year from 1908 and will be paying up to, um, 2019.

Norbert is reasonable. Brian Cormier still thinks 'commentary' means writing a little story, this one much like those "What I did last summer" essays we had to write in grade school.

Then we have a  guest column from a senator, no less. It favours an energy east pipeline; and he quotes The Montreal Economic Institute. He doesn't mention that the institute is another phony think tank like The Fraser Institute and The Atlantic Institute of Market Studies. I'll bet Senator Mockler was a Harper appointment.

Note, too, that we pay senators $142,000 a year for work that is rarely noble, and never dangerous - and which has few work days, none of them strenuous.
How come all the commentaries in the Irving press never criticize oil executives and what they want?

Similarly, Alec Bruce has a soft sell for fracking. If we allow fracking, we can use that fuel to provide energy which will develop renewable energy. Cute, Mr. Bruce, very cute. But  -

1. Couldn't we just as well develop renewable energy with the energy we already have?
2. Though we have lots of energy now, and have had it for many years, we have done almost nothing to develop renewable energy. So how will fracking change that?
3. Why on earth would the oil industry, if it were also making money out of fracking, want to use that resource to destroy itself and the profits of the companies that it owns? The industry does not support renewable energy. It never has. The Koch brothers, in particular, have spent billions to convince people that climate change isn't happening. And they're not the only ones. That's why Canada and the U.S. have never met their goals in reducing emissions, not from the day, now decades ago, when this all started.

The U.S., Russia, Britain, France - and now Canada - are spending trillions in wars  to control oil. Where is the evidence they give a damn about  developing renewable and safe resources?

When Norbert's commentary stands out as the best of the day, you know we're in trouble.
There are tens of millions starving to death, especially in places like Yemen, Syria, much of Africa. And not a word about it in this paper. In fact, there is not a word about the middle east, though it has brought us to the edge of World War Three.

And I have never understood the layout of this paper. Section A is, obviously, local and provincial trivia, for the most part.

But Section B, Canada and World, is also provincial, plus with little bits of US, and little to nothing of the rest of the world. And much of what does appear is pretty useless. A meteor was seen over Scotland. Will that change your plans for this weekend? Trudeau says Canadians are uniting in wanting growth while protecting environment. Okay. So how come he (and the premiers) have for years now been sitting on their hands about it?

There's a bizarre story headed "Scientists tell politicians in letter to rethink pipelines." But that's not or even most of what the story's about. It's also about another letter from the the new, clean energy companies. As for the letter from the scientists, there seems to be no mention in it of scientific issues. This is quite useless.

The one story worth reading is about safe drinking water for First Nations communities. An astonishing number have to boil their water before drinking it. And in many cases, the boil order has been in effect for fiteen to twenty years - and this in rural and lightly populated regions. It think that tells us, yes, it is possible for industrial activity to poison water even at great distances.
For a change of pace, here's a story from Haaretz that is, well, fascinating. It's a about a wall 150 kilometres long that runs across the sands of Jordan. That's a pretty strong evidence of civilization and order. And it seems to go back well before the Romans.

Nobody can figure out what it was for.  It's an astonishing feat for a world we've never even heard of.
Iraq has never recovered from the American invasion under Bush. Though the U.S. voted aid to restore the country after the tremendous damage of the war, most of the aid money never got to Iraq. As is customary, it ended up  in the hands of private companies that never did the work they had contracted to do. (Funny  how the issue of the massive corruption of American government and of big business has not emerged as an issue in the leadership race.)

Communications and electricity supplies (as well as hospitals, schools and homes) were destroyed in that American invasion - and they were never brought back to adequate usability.

Iraq, itself, was destroyed. As the state withered, groups simply broke away from it. Thousands of refugess still have nothing to return to. The levels of poverty have been rising since the war. Think of all this when you see the picture of Bush swaggering along the deck of a carrier to meet his victorious warriors.
Iraq is not likely to recover. In fact -----

In a nation full of utility services that have been destroyed, and never fully restored, the greatest threat is the dam at Mosul. It needs repairs that an Iraq, already entangled in war, can't carry out. (In fact, it can't even feed its people.) And the U.S. embassy has warned that the dam could go at any time.
The war in Yemen gets no attention from the Irving press. Here is a war which wealthy Saudi Arabia is fighting against some of the poorest people in the world. (And doing a miserable job of it for a country with its wealth and its enthusiastic support from the U.S., Canada, and other Christians.) We've never been told why this war is being fought or why we are encouraging it. The people of Yemen were in starvation before the war began. Now the toll, especially among infants and children is monstrous.

Think of it as a small part of the price of oil.
Spy agencies don't just supply intelligence. They often and commonly supply a form of intelligence - leaving some things out and adding a few others - whose purpose is to give the agency the power to dictate policy. You won't find many news media reports on this.
Ever heard of the Bilderberg organization? It features very serious gatherings of people with  political and economic clout who wish to change the world in ways more favourable to people with clout. I can't tell you much about the meetings of this organization because it's very secretive.

The basic idea of it has been kicking around for years - to create an ideal country - or world - partly by getting rid of those people who are not desirable. In the Canada of a century ago, people like this were interested in improving Canada by keeping out Jews, Ukrainians, Italians, and by, in a nice way, killing the mentally ill. (Remember, Hitler didn't get his ideas all by himself.)

Now, population is a real problem we have to deal with - and soon. China, despite the  years of Mao's limiting family size, is still facing population problems.

The Bilderberg group feels, among other things, there are too many people on this earth. That's probably true. So large numbers of them have to go. The people who get invitations to attend Bilderberg conferences are the wealthy, and those connected with the wealthy. Former premiers Bernard Lord and Frank McKenna come to mind.

And guess what kind of people they think have to go.

If you're interested in knowing more about Bilderberg, there are lots of sites on google. It really is something you need to know a little bit about to fully understand the next news item.
Every noticed that the Irving press tells us nothing about the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership? This may explain why it tells us nothing.
Though hundreds of millions may be starving all over the world, and millions more on the edge of starvation, let's end on a cheery note. The number of billionaires is down, but only slightly. And the value of all the money they hold has gone up.

So here's happy reading if you're a billionaire.

No credit cards, please.

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