Monday, April 11, 2016

April 11: A change of pace

Instead of the Irving press, let's begin with the world press stories that I'm quite sure won't be in the Irving press.
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For those who thought I was exaggerating when I wrote bout those who are in    ecstasy with the belief that the world will end any day now,    try the sweetheard pastor below. And, of course, his  villains are them there Muslims while us Christians, who have killed them by the millions, are the ones who will be saved.

"God works in mysterious ways...."

http://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/aipac-speaker-obama-cant-be-anti-christ-because-hes-not-jew

Ah, I've know many of those.
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Then there's the story about how the Chicago police operate their own torture system. Well, why not? Both Bush and Obama have approved of torture. And if you think it started with Bush and Obama, you're dreaming.

http://www.theguardian.com/international
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And here's more news about the wonderful things we're doing for refugees, this time in Turkey.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/11/fewer-than-01-of-syrians-in-turkey-in-line-for-work-permits

Figure the adults living in this and the children growing up in it  will develop a love for what the Christian world is doing to them?
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Here is a typical British reaction to the Panama Papers (yes, they're still running stories about it.)  Journalists there see the papers as a world-changing event. And it is very likely to cost prime minister Cameron his job. But here in New Brunswick, it was a two-minute side-show. And the Irving press showed not the slightest interest in asking questions or even offering a commentary about it.

http://www.theguardian.com/news/commentisfree/2016/apr/10/money-offshore-corrupt-democracy-political-influence

We have been told, with evidence this time, that, yes, tax havens do exist; yes, the rich are putting their money in them to avoid paying taxes like the rest of us. And, yes, it costs us one hell of a lot of money. So where is the column by professor Savoie on this subject? Where is the towering indignation of Norbert Cunningham?  Where are the questioning reporters of the Irving press?
Innocent people are suffering from   poverty. Basic social needs are not being met as we are robbed by people who have more money than they can count. Read all about it.

But not in the Irving press.

Find some old papers from 1945. Read what they said our soldiers, sailors and airmen  were risking their lives for. They don't mention letting billionaires skip taxes. They don't mention making refugees of millions of the poorest people in the world. They don't mention setting a minimum wage below the subsistence level while a few, a very few, can make millions (and more) in a year - and skip the taxes on it. And they sure don't mention the 1% who loot the 99%  so that some hundreds of the 1% can play with their hundred million dollar yachts while billions live in poverty..
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Then there are these stories about Canadian mining companies in Guatemala  (among other places). They ignore the rights of native peoples. They pay low wages. They murder people who object. The destroy the environment. And gang rape is tossed in as a freebie.

But I think it safe to say we are not likely ever to see a story about it in the Irving press. Gee. It would be interesting to see the names of the directors and major stockholders in these companies. We'll certainly find some Canadians. Might even find some 'entrepreneurial' New Bunswickers.

http://business-humanrights.org/en/hudbay-minerals-lawsuits-re-guatemala-0
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And here's an interesting story about the role of the press in downplaying the Panama Papers. It's not just the Irving press. And we should remember it's not just just foreign politicians and billionaires who are involved. I mean, it's just possible that Canadian politicians and billionaires are connected. After all, there are a lot of tax havens out there. And the Panama Papers deal with only one.

Here's the view of Julian Assange.

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/listeningpost/2016/04/panama-papers-media-censored-story-160409095509553.html?utm_source=Al+Jazeera+English+Newsletter+%7C+Weekly&utm_campaign=4d06b1a278-weekly_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e427298a68-4d06b1a278-224603881
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Here's the CBC news on Mulcair's loss of the NDP leadership as seen in a speech at the convention by David Lewis. It may read as if the reporter is overdoing his praise for Lewis' oratorical skills. He isn't.

I have spent a lifetime of either giving speeches or listening to them on almost a daily basis.  David Lewis is far the most intelligent and the best orator I have ever heard. He's the son of the late Stephen Lewis, Rhodes Scholar and a leadiing figure in the CCF party that became the NDP.    The father was a brilliant man but, I think, dead wrong in turning the CCF into the NDP. Stephen, a prominent worker for the U.N., didn't agree with the change. He still doesn't. This is a superb account of his speech at the NDP convention.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/stephen-lewis-speech-at-ndp-convention-1.3529470
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CBC also reports that the   federal Liberals intend to crack down on tax havens. I don't believe that for a minute. Unless the Liberals suffer from the same handicap as the three blind mice,  they've known all about tax havens for sixty years and more. And they've never said a word about them.

And if anyone in that government has a brain and is concious, it must be known that the tax haven organizers have been hiring Canada Revenue senior staff for years  to get their expert advice on cooking the books.

And now, with a sigh, to the Irving press.
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The front page has a breathless story about  how our provincial Liberals are going to unroll  the gee whiz, wow, golly biggest reform ever in the whole history of New Brunswick. It's going to give more power to local governments.
Well, yeah. I guess that is the biggest reform in New Brunswick history.

But the big flash is on page A7. People in Moncton like wine. Yes, they do. And that makes it a half-page story.
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Then there's the editorial. The burning issue for the day is saving the oldest house in Moncton, one that goes back to 1766. We'd do it by moving to the outdoor rink at the 'events centre', and use it for a  changing room for skaters. Yes, I can see it all now. That would fit right in with the architecture of the events centre, and give us a real sense of history.

This was a pretty trivial thing to write about in the first place. And the writer takes it somewhere beneath trivial. But it gives me a great idea. What if the events centre doesn't work out, and very few people go to it?

No problem. We use the events centre for a changing room; and hold concerts in the old house. Waste not. Want not.

Norbert reaches new heights in pointlessness. He says the events centre is being built. The decision has been made.  The majority of people in Moncton are in favour. Therefore, nobody should be allowed to criticize it any more.
Yep. That's the great issue of our time -  clamping down on people who disapprove of the events centre.

Then there's the 'commentary' by Caig Babstock. It's a tribute to the commanding officer of New Brunswick's RCMP who has just retired. It's a nice story. I have no doubt the tribute is deserved. But it's not a commentary.  A commentary is not a story. It's an opinion and, it has to be on a major issue facing us. The column below, by Steve Malloy, argues an opinion.  It's not one of the great issues of our time. But it is, at least, an opinion.

Scratch almost all of section A.
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As for Canada&World - well, coverage of the NDP convention is pretty good.

There's also a comment by the New Brunswick Federation of Labour. I don't know why. His only point was "What can I say?" Obvously, he has not grasped the idea that major labour leaders caused this collapse by trying to make the NDP a wing of the Liberal party.

Anyway, nice as it is, the NDP coverage takes up almost a page and a half in a section that has only 4 pages to start with.

The only important world story is on B1. It's about how a confrontation between refugees and police in Macedonia has left hundreds hurt. The bigger story (which we don't get) is what a disaster U.S. foreign policy has been for at least the last 15 years. And we have supported it every inch of the way. And that nice Mr. Trudeau (isn't he cute?) has made it worse by supporting the illegal sale of weapons from Canada to Saudi Arabia, and by sending Canadians to Syria.
We are nowhere close to solving the refugee problem this has created. Yes. WE created it. Syria did not attack Canada or the U.S. or Britain or France. Assad is, no doubt, a brutal dictator. But he was and is no threat to us. The U.S. has happily supported brutal dictators all over Africa, Latin America, Asia, the middle east. Britain and France both had empires that beat Assad for brutality any day. And Canada has happily toddled along with British and then American brutalities and mass murders because it's good for business.

Big business, which dictates U.S. foreign policy, has been a  disaster on a scale, already massive, that is going to get far, far worse. I can't even guess where it will take us. A whole world is collapsing because we have handed over all power to billionaires.

The other two, important stories are on B4. One is about a First Nation community in Ontario that is living a tidal wave of suicides and suicide attempts. The federal government has done nothing.

The other is about the severe  lack of programmes in our criminal justice system for native peoples and the mentally ill. That puts the problem very gently. I remember seeing one prisoner in solitary, eating his own body waste.

The system was never very good. Harper made it much worse. And the Liberals have done nothing.

But isn't it wonderful how Justin can stand on his hands?
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Notice that not one of the stories I started with appeared in the Irving press?

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