Friday, March 4, 2016

March 4: On the last page...

...there is an ad critical of privatization. It is one of, perhaps, four items in this paper worth reading.

The front page headline is that the light snowfall we have had means that it cost us less this year to plow our streets.  And that, kidding aside, it the biggest news in all  of  section A.

For the editorial writer, the burning issue facing this city is our treatment of dogs. (I think). It's an editorial that wobbles and wanders so much, it can be hard to see what the point is. This writer has a brilliant future with Irving press.

The commentary below the editorial is a  speech by the Conservative party.
Cole Hobson gives us a stunningly trivial column that's really an ad for
veterinaries in Moncton. And it ends with the ridiculous but often repeated phrase that in veterinaries, Moncton punches above its weight class.

Below it is an excellent commentary from Andrew Leblanc who is chair of Pink Shirt Day NB. It's a reply to a column by Steve Malloy who said we should teach bullied kids to fight back. Leblanc says that is exactly the wrong thing to do. And I think he's right. This commentary is worth reading.

Alec Bruce's column is an admittedly 'feel good' one about Moncton's handling of the refugee crisis. But it's a well-deserved 'feel good' for the city.

The Leblanc and Bruce commentaries are the only two items worth reading in all of section  A.    ______________________________________________________________
Canada and World has no world in it. It's mostly New Brunswick with a little bit of Trump. It is not possible for readers of this paper to have the slightest understanding of what's going on anywhere. One of the big stories, for example, is about a new liquor store in St. John. The excitement (be still, my heart, is that it will  have a tasting room.)

The only story worth reading is the lead one in which the New Brunswick Law Society has attacked the Liberal government for interfering with the justice system.

I don't know who the editor for this section is. I suspect there isn't one, probably because it's cheaper that way The choice of stories is bizarre.

This is a newspaper that is not only full of propaganda and dishonesty. It's also run on the cheap - and that's particularly noticeable when you see a paper that relies on reporting staff and other freebies for its commentaries.

The Irving press is an operation that wants to keep people ignorant of what is happening - but is too penny-pinching to do a good job of even that.
Last night, Donald Trump (who had been accused by a competing candidate of having short fingers)  told a TV audience that he had normal-sized fingers, and normal-sized everything else including, it was clear, his penis. None of the candidates came out of that debate covered with glory. It was all even more trivial than an editorial in the Irving press. But Trump outdid the others by adding a comment from the gutter. This should a wake-up call for evangelical Christians.

So far, the only candidate who seems to have Christian values is Bernie Sanders - and he's Jewish. So why are evangelicals so heavily supporting Donald Trump who, in addition to not having any trace of religious values of any sort, is crudely vulgar with a mind that is never a step from the gutter?

That's a serious question.  Maybe evangelicals need to take a deeper look at themselves to find out what it is they really believe.
The Irving press (and the North American press in general) rarely mention South America. It can't be because nothing ever happens there. Wars, each with hundreds of thousands of dead, have gone unreported. We do hear about drugs. What we don't here is how drugs are often sold by government figures - and with U.S., quiet approval. We don't hear about the murders of clergy, including missionaries and nuns, who have been murdered because they supported the poor.

South America is, in fact, largely controlled by the U.S. government working for the benefit of U.S. capitalists to make big profits by paying low wages, almost no taxes, destroying whatever environment is in the way...

Very often, governments are controlled by local elites who may also be major figures in the drug traffic, and who play ball with the U.S. That has been true for over a century. Funny how none of our press ever looked at why Cubans supported Castro, or at why the U.S. invaded Haiti when that country had the nerve to overthrow a murdering dictator and, for the first time, to elect a  president.
The whole middle east is make up of artificial borders that were invented by the major western powers - notably Britain and France - a hundred years ago. There was no concern with any distinction between , say, Syrians and Libyans and Egyptians and Palestinians. Politicians, who represented  western capitalists, simply drew lines that created each country, then said this one will be controlled by Britain, this one by France, etc. The lines had nothing to do with creating nations. They had to do with getting control of the resources for western capitalists.
Any sign of one of those new countries trying to set up its own government or of arab countries trying to unite has usually been put down by force. We may be in for another bout of this as the west now wants to divide Syria, perhaps Libya and others, into a number of tiny states. Then, small and helpless, they would be in no position to react against western control.

That's a part of what has us in a mess. Our politicians, purchased by big money, will not allow most people of the middle east to make their own decisions.

Long years ago, when General Eisenhower was U.S. president, Britain, France and Israel united to attack an Egypt that had broken away from British control. I saw President Eisenhower on TV. He was visibly furious, actually shaking with rage. He said that the British, French and Israelis were practicing "gunboat" diplomacy, He threatened military retaliation if they didn't get out.

It was, we all thought, glorious to see a U.S. president standing up for freedom. But, as we've since learned, Eisenhower was not standing up for freedom. He  was telling the British, French and Israelis to back off - because the U.S. intended to take over in that region. Since then, the U.S. has tolerated only cooperative military dictators in Egypt.
I've long been puzzled over what the war in Yemen is about. Why did Saudi Arabia invade? Why are Britain and the U.S. (and Canada) helping the Saudis in their very clumsy war?  The site below has some convincing reasons.

And note the tremendous suffering in this war, the high levels of starvation, especially among children, the lack of medical supplies, the deliberate destruction of hospitals....

There appears to be no limit to what private capitalists will do to get more power and money.

This would be an interesting sermon topic for whichever Rent-A-Rev will be preaching this summer at the Irving Chapel.
And here's one that, rightly, criticizes all of us.
And here's an item that didn't make the Irving press. It's an interesting idea.

Climate change is not going to go away. It is happening, and it will go on happening. We are already seeing refugees created by climate change. We're going to see millions more. There's been lots of talk, but no significant action. Nor are we likely to see any action so long as we sit here with our faces hanging out. The fossil fuel industries are opposed to recognizing climate change.
Don't expect them to become humane. The exist for profit, and human life is not allowed to get in the way. That's a lesson to be learned from the killing we've seen and the killing we are going to see in the middle east. And the fossil fuel industry owns many western governments.

If there is going to be a change, it's going to have to come from us.

And that reminds me. What are Moncton City Council's plans to deal with climate change? What has it determined the problems are likely to be?
Here's a challenging item for teachers and parents. Teachers are often discouraged from telling what they think is the truth. They're discouraged by parent protests and by unofficial but enforced rules of the school system.
That's why American children grow up to believe that the U.S. has always been right. Its soldiers  have always been patriotic and heroes. And its enemies have been evil. This is reinforced all their lives by news media and TV and movies. And that is what makes it possible for big money to send out soldiers to kill and to die for very questionable reasons.

It also happens in Canada, though on a slightly reduced scale. Teachers are under pressure to teach conformity. We are told that Hitler was an evil man. It's acceptable to think that. We aren't taught that Britain, the U.S. and France have been at least as murderous and evil - and for the same reasons.

 Take a look at the world. This is where conformity has brought us. That's why I found this item interesting.

I think that schools are, above all, places to teach thinking. Students are not there to be trained so that they grow up exactly like their parents. They are not there to memorize.

This is a problem that could be getting much worse. Not only are schools not free to teach thinking,  but thinking has also declined along with the art of conversation and imagination starting, I think, with TV and now much worse with androids and with the shallowness of texting. All of these make it easy to  accept an Irving press that has nothing to say, and nothing to stimulate the mind.
Oh, I should add that school busses are a factor in this. When I was a high school student, we went by public transit. That made it possible for some teachers to form clubs - like current events, debating, writing - after school. Now, all the kids can do is climb on the bus and text on their androids.
Education has been on my mind because a reader has sent me material of questionable behaviour by our school commissions and the politicians who intrude on them - and the money that intrudes on the politicians. A great course would be one on learning what journalism is about, using the Irving press as the example. (How long do you think a teacher in this province would be around after doing that?)

I'll fill you in as I go through more of the material that was sent to me.

As an aside, and not related to the above, I think we now have to accept that the closing of Moncton High School was a deal to make money for private contractors and for a land developer who wanted a high school to draw home buyers to his project.

If Moncton High is repairable now, it was certainly repairable when it was closed. I don't blame the school commission for that. This one smells of political interference.

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