Wednesday, April 20, 2016

April 20, 2016: Inventing an unreal world.

One of the old stunts in a journalist's bag of tricks to get a party leader to criticize his own party. It's so old that even the slowest-witted of politicians usually know enough never to fall for it. But Dominic Cardy walked right into it as loudly and proudly as if he were leading a circus parade when he was questioned by the Irving press.

Much of the press across Canada - and Maclean's Magazine -  has been shedding crocodile tears over the quarrel within the NDP. But one should notice that not one of them has supported the NDP, not ever, not in its whole 50 plus years of existence. So why are they so mournful now?

They aren't mourning.  They're quite delighted. But crying over the split is useful for putting a nail in the coffin of a left-wing party that isn't owned by the corporate bosses who also own most of the news media. And Cardy certainly spit out all the nails the Irving press could ask for. If Cardy has any integrity at all, he should quit the NDP, and join whatever Irving party his heart has always longed for.
A reader sent me an interesting story that has, like so many interesting stories, been missed by the Irving press. The story is from a Russian source, RT. But I've also seen some reference to it in the mainstream American press. As well, RT is certainly pro-Russian. But I have not known it to lie.

This is about the Saudi role in the 9/11 attack on New York; and, in fact, there has long been strong suspicion about such a role ( though it probably does not go up to the level of the king.) This time, Obama hints that there is a story in this.

And note the cute reference that Obama makes to suggest that the U.S. has the right to influence neighbours like Mexico - and Canada.

Remember the rule. There are no friends between countries.  In two wars, especially in World War Two, the U.S. worked very hard to destroy the British and French empires overseas - so the U.S. could take them over. That's how it got its present day foothold in the middle east.

It also deliberately destroyed British economic power to establish itself as the great, western power.

In the case of Saudi Arabia, that country has a strong attachment to the ideals of ISIS. That's why it has been supplying ISIS. And that's partly why the U.S., itself, has not been vigorous in fighting ISIS. Similarly, the once seemingly close friendship between the U.S. and Israel is showing decided signs of wear. There are no friends between nations.
500 refugees are feared to have drowned in a shipwreck over the weekend. That wasn't important enough to be mentioned by the editors of the Irving press. They needed the space for a really important story that PEI will balance its budget this year.
I included the following site because it's a break from all those God bless the royal family mags that we see at checkout counters in the supermarket.

There's no doubt that Charles has inherited the low intelligence which has so often been a feature of the Windsors. And I suspect there are moves afoot to encourage him to decline to accept the throne.
Many Americans - perhaps millions - believe that in the American revolution, the British troops forced civilians into a church, then set fire to it, burning those civilians alive. They believed that because such a scene appeared in a Hollywood movie. (There was such an incident in World War 2. But it happened in Europe; and the soldiers who did it were naziis.)

Much of the history of Canada and the U.S., much of our image of  people of other nations and of ourselves, is derived from movies, poetry, history books, TV... They are all powerful propaganda tools.

But, despite the lessons from poetry, the Acadians were NOT expelled by British troops. Paul Revere did NOT ride through the country shouting, "The British are coming."  Hollywood invented an American west that never existed. How many movies have you seen with black cowboys? In fact, a high proportion of cowboys were black. Texas began, after all, as a slave state; and cowboys were cheap labour. Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts, was not a brilliant general. In fact, he was one of the most incompetent officers ever produced by the British army.

American film makers had a deal with Hitler. They would not make films critical of him; and he would keep the large, German market open to American films. When Charlie Chaplin broke that agreement, he was widely condemned in the U.S.

And countries which don't have, say, a popular film industry often find themselves with no history at all. I wonder how many Canadian have heard of Sir Arthur Currie? He was a very amateur soldier who led the Canadian army in World War 1. Despite his inexperience, he emerged as an outstanding general,  far superior to most of the British leaders, and infinitely superior to the American, General "Black Jack" Pershing.

All of this propaganda is still going on. Some of it is deliberate propaganda. Some is based on a distorted national pride. In Korea, the UN troops, dominated by the U.S. army, fled in terror when blocked by Chinese troops. But the news media didn't say that. They said this was a strategic withdrawal. Hollywood joined the pack with a  film "Retreat. Hell". It's final scene was a gallant, American soldier standing defiantly and saying, "Retreat, Hell. This is a strategic withdrawal."

In the 1920s, North American women swooned at the thought of being carried off by a Muslim arab. This started with a  film, "The Sheik" starring the very handsome Rudolph Valentino. More recently, Hollywood and TV destroyed the joyful image of the sheik in his robes who,  "At night, when you're asleep, Into your tent I'll creep..."

Here's an outline of the process. It includes two more sites at the bottom of the page.
The editorial is about the community centre being planned for North end Moncton. The problem is it's not really an editorial. It's an ordinary news story; and it's twice as long as it should be.

Norbert Cunningham has a good column on priorities for our river and our connections to the other side of it.

Brian Cormier has another pointless, little story, this one about garage sales. Again, it's a long story that has nothing to do with anything.

The guest editorial is by the owner of a private college. He thinks the province should make free tuition available to students In what he calls private colleges. The column is more than a little glib about this, and it seems to deliberately avoid precise numbers.  As well, the only source he names is The Atlantic Institute of Market Studies. And a couple of his 'statistics' make no sense at all. In fact, if true, then they defeat much of his argument. This isn't a column. This is an ill-informed and self-serving rant.

Alec Bruce also writes about the new, free tuition policy. He likes it, but has concerns it may get bogged down in administration. That's a reasonable fear. And there's a bigger problem.

Universities have to start thinking seriously about what their role is as educational institutions. So far, they haven't. And I have never seen the slightest desire on their part to do so. Educationally, the universities are relics of the dark ages.

Oh, Mr. Bruce... The compliment for a well-written line is "Hear. Hear." not  "Here. Here." The latter is for bars - you know - where people who drink go.
The Canada and World  section is it's usual, vapid stuff. A story on the last page is about how Fidel Castro gave a public speech to say that he will soon die. It's from American Associated Press, and a good example of how our news media use 'news' to spread propaganda.

Half of the story, at least, has nothing to do with the speech. It's about the failure of Castro to bring more wealth to Cuba. There is no mention of the U.S. embargos on Cuban trade, embargos that have caused the poverty. There is no mention of the wretchedness of Cuba life before Castro, when it was controlled by a U.S. imposed dictator who ruled by terror. And no mention of the American capitalism that created that situation. Nor is there any mention of the enormous strides in education made by Castro with free tution for all from K to university. Nor does it mention a medical care system available to everyone, and far more efficient than the private system of the U.S.

This isn't news of any sort. This is pure propaganda.
And, for a world that is perilously close to world war with all that implies, there is not a damn word on any of that. Nor is there word on the destruction of Haitian society by the U.S. Nothing on the stunningly wasteful spending of U.S. government money on corrupt defence contractors. Nothing on the American mining company that is suing a Latin American government for billions of dollars because that government has created a national park to save its rain forest that the mining companies are destroying. This is important for us to know because that kind of overruling of our elected governments is exacly what the Trans-Pacific Trade Deal is about. This is going to happen to us.

But don't worry. The Liberals and Conservatives will protect us - as they always have. You tell 'em, Mr. Cardy.
And I have a blunder to admit to. I have, at least once or twice, referred to professor Donald Savoie as the author of Over the Cliff?, a book I have no respect for. But the author - mia culpa - is professor Richard Saillant.


  1. What communist crap...Before Castro, Cuba was the wealthiest Latino, they live off tree bark soup whilecYOU communists rake in the millions...YOU ARE DISGUSTING LIARS!
    There no education and health care except for the communist elite...
    And the embargo is the least that could be done as Cuban spies organized the drug trade all over South America by Che Guevara, the fake doctor...

  2. Thank you for your thoughtful comment and the evidence you offer to support your views.
    A couple of small things.
    1. Cuba was not the wealthiest latino nation - though it's certainly true that the U.S. kept all of them poor.
    2.There is both education and health care available to all. In fact, many Americans study medecine in Cuba.
    3. The organized drug trade in South America has nothing to do with Cuba or Guevara. In fact, a good deal of it is American organized because that's where the market is.
    4. I'm surprised you know so little about Guevara. In fact, he was a thorough bastard, and Cuba was better off without him. Didn't you know that?
    5. Oh. I know Castro calls himself and Cuba communist. However, people who know what the word communist means knows that neither Cuba nor Castro was ever communist.
    It's so important to know what words mean.