Wednesday, April 13, 2016

April 13: A slow news day in the Irving press.

This issue of The Saker has a very uncomfortable sense of bias in most of its stories. However, the first story on the site, about the explosion of a Russian civil airliner over Sinai with the deaths of all aboard,  has an element that was not mentioned in most western news media. It brought us close to a nuclear war. It's not the first time this has happened. But our press rarely mentions it. And there's a lesson in it. Nuclear stockpiles do NOT deter war. In fact, as in this case, they can make war - and nuclear war - more likely.
Sometimes, I think the CBC is wrong. This CBC analysis suggests that, in the election, the NDP lost much of the left wing vote to the Liberals.

Another CBC analysis has it that the record shows that parties that hold on to a losing leader (like Mulcair) are more likely to win later it they hold on to that leader. It starts with the notion that Liberal left-wingers swung to the Liberal party.

 Well, maybe, with a very sloppy use of the word liberal.

1. There is no such thing as a left wing Liberal. The Liberal party has been dominated by big business from its origins before confederation. That party has often borrowed policies (like medicare) from the left; but only because of voter pressure. They have borrowed as little as possible; and they have never created any leftist ideas on their own.

2. As to holding on to a losing leader in order to win an election later, the author of point forgets that the CCF and the NDP were not simply going for power. It's purpose was to orient the policies of governments to improving the lives of Canadians, not simply to filling seats in the Commons. But the NDP, if it had won, would have been able to accomplish very little with its platform. It was too vague.

The Liberals and the Conservative exist solely to serve their masters. The remedy is not just to  get elected. Doing anything useful means changing the way Canadians think.

It's not just a matter of winning votes. It's a matter of changing how Canadians think about themselves, and about each other. Then it will be possible to make the necessary changes.
And here are a couple of angles on the Brussels bombings that I haven't seen in most of our press. One is that they have more to do with home-grown criminals than they do with ISIS. The other is the the idea of an Islamic state is going to be with us for a long time.

The Arab peoples were once the leadiing civilization of the western world. Their decline, their eploitation by the European and American powers. have been a massive humiliation. And we have done nothing to ease that humiliation. And humiliation is often the father of terrorism.
Here's an item with a piece of important information missing. It's about a source of energy in many parts of the world that is being largely ignored - though it is about as clean a source as one could  hope to find, and could last for a century. It's heat below the soil stored in water and rock. Why isn't it being developed?
It may be a question of who will get the profits and/or of how this will affect the oil industry.
And here's an effect of the gutter politics campaign in the U.S., and it's an effect that promises to have a long term impact. Odd. The U.S. is a huge country  with far the biggest defence spending in the world. It has a thousand military bases all over the world. Nobody can possibly attack it in a conventional war.  It has thousands of troops killing people all over the world. It has bases on the borders with foreign countries - nuclear bases. Nobody is invading the U.S. except, possibly, its police forces.

And the U.S. election campaign is largely abour fear and hatred.
Here is an assessement of Hilary Clinton that, if anything, is too kind. There is probably no political leader in American history who has so effectively used political power for personal enrichment. And she has an appalling record of decisions. Even by the morally bankrupt standard of U.S. politics, she and Bill are horrible examples.
The Irving  press almost never carries news about Latin America -  which is probably just as well. If it did, it would all be just lies and propaganda, anyway. But there really is such a place. It has quite a large population. And it is still in the early stages of getting out of a state of hell imposed for over a century by U.S. big business, now with Canadian help.
The Irving press has a headline that really is a headline story. It's a warning about our health care system. And it's well -written.

And, annus mirabilis, the editorial is on a topic of some substance, expresses an opinion, and it's a sound opinion.

I'm not quite sure what Norbert's column is about. It seems clear in the first sentence, then   wanders. I note that Norbert expresses disapproval of the wages that the Canadian Union of Public Employees demands. Fascinating. Could he now do a column on the wages that corporation executives demand - and get?
Brian Cormier tells us yet another "what I did last summer" story. Brian, get in touch with a real newspaper. Ask them what commentary means.

Then there's a commentary from the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies - which doesn't know what honest commentary means.

Alec Bruce makes a solid point about how voter turnouts have been declining and, at the same time,  we are getting fewer candidates for mayors and councillors. He suggests that both are caused by scepticism about the political system. He may well be right. I have yet to read or hear of any mayor or council candidate who has any sense of anything. There is no sense of what's needed reflected by the candidates - or voiced by the public. And that probably has something to do with the limp and feeble coverage of issues by the Irving press.
The headline for Canada&Word, the big story of the day, is  'More PC leadership candidate decisions imminent". Wow! Hold me back.

There are three stories - count them, three - of news from outside Canada. All three are from the U.S. And none of the three matters much of a damn to anybody.

For the first one, I can't even figure out what the headline means. "Bill Cosby's ordered wife to continue deposition".

Think about it. Is this a story that the wife is a good housekeeper?

Then there's a big story that the U.S.   House Speaker will not run for president.

Who could possibly care?

Then there's the heart pounding news that the first contract for baseball player Jackie Robinson in on display in New York. (He's the one who broke the colour barrier in baseball, going to work for the Montreal Royals, a team owned by the Brooklyn Dodgers.) And there's even a real picture of the Montreal contract.
Yes, It's a wonderful way the Irving press has of telling us what is really important to know about this world. And, you know, it sort of puts Yemen in perspective and Trudeau approving the sale of 10 billion dollars worth of weapons to kill more of those starving people. Bless your heart, Mr. Trudeau. And who cares about mass murder in foreign places, anyway?

Tell us  more about Bill Cosby's housekeeper - or whatever.

The only story worth reading in this section is about the tidal wave of suicide and attempted suicides in Attawipskat. But, like almost all serious news stories in the Irving press, there's no commentary to put this into perspective, and to suggest what has to be done.

Ever since the report on reconciliation with our native peoples, there's been lots of talk but not much in the way of serious action. In fact, I have yet to see even a vague suggestion of what our objective should be. The damage done to these people is enormous. We are going to have to make a correspondingly huge effort to improve things. So far, I have seen no sign of even a general idea of where we are going.

Perhaps some of our mining companies could start by paying compensation for the native lands they looted, and for the profits they made. And, I suspect, we have to go way beyond that, expanding native lands so that it will be possible to create larger communities - and with something close to sovereign power.

1 comment:

  1. keep pushing that geo thermal energy. I spent a couple thousand on a geo thermal stock several years ago. not long after, several earthquakes were reported near drilling sights. but all hope is not lost . they say you haven't lost the money if u haven't sold. my couple grand is now worth a couple hundred, but if you keep hyping the resource......