Thursday, April 28, 2016

April 28: Journalism 101

It's a standard practice that the banner headline for Section A of a newspaper deals with the major story of the day. And the major story of today is - wait for it - a new middle school is to be built in Dieppe.

There was actually another and bigger story. So I checked the lead headline for Canada &World to find it. "Minister says province may review rules for prosthetic eye coverage."  No, that didn't seem to be it. Then I found it on B3. "Study: Canada won't meet international climate vows."

These are the vows made to reduce emissions by 80% over the next 29 years. Well, we didn't meet the standards on the last go-around. So this was almost predictable. But there's an even bigger problem. We may not have 29  years.
A recent commentary in this very same Irving press revealed that climate change does not happen at a steady pace. As well, we are rapidly approaching a point at which it goes on no matter what we do. I think that may be more important than a middle school in Dieppe or even eye surgery.

This is information that Justin Trudeau must have had when he signed the Paris Agreement. Eventually, we may realize that Mr. Trudeau's specialty is not public policy. It's public relations.

The editorial writer, always alert to the great issues of the day, has a column of pure gush about the opening of the events centre which will take place two years from now.

Norbert Cunningham offers us an almost incoherent rant   about people who are opposed to the centre. And it has all the stock lines like "Moncton punches above its weight".  Then he gushes over a business group which is contributing money. Two things, Norbie. One - this isn't like your daily photos of people smiling and holding up big cheques. When businessmen promise big money like this, there's a reason. He gives the reason, but doesn't seem to understand it. It has to do with what they own or are interested in - hotels and other property develpment. He also says  something important but doesn't recognize its importance. He says they work closely with city hall.

I'll just bet they do.

Oh, and in their praise, he says they are using their own money, not taxpayers' money. Norbert, we all use the same kind of money. And all money has its source in the work we ALL do. There is no difference between taxpayers' money and businessmen's money. And, anyway, that 'gift they'll be giving is tax deductable. Right? So - as a result, who will have to pay most of it in higher taxes or reduced services?

Rod Allen has a long column, seemingly designed to show how many words he knows. To get the whole (and very tiny) story without the agony of reading the column, just read the second to last paragraph.

Justin Ryan had a good idea for a column. Unfortunately, the first half and more is in the style of Rod Allan. What he writes about, usually, and writes well, is the work he does in settling immigrants in New Brunswick. But by the time he got to the topic for today, he didn't have enough room left to say anything.

Alec Bruce has a solid column on free tuition for universities. One, little suggestion, though. He says our financial situation doesn't premit us to finance free tuition for all. Gee,  could that have anything to do with the wealthy paying less tax than they should?
Canada&World is,  as usual, mostly trivial, and with almost nothing about the world. But it's better than usual - with four stories worth a read. "Edmundston passes mostion opposing pipeline route", "Canada won't meet international climate vows", "Canada breaking its own export control rules with Saudi deal", and the war in Syria is on again as the peace talks fail.
I rarely watch TV news because I've learned that TV is a very bad medium for anything that requires thinking. But last night, while channel hopping after watching Thomas the Tank Engine, I  caught a news story that wealthy Canadians have at least a TRILLION dollars invested in other countries - mostly to take advantage of cheap labour, no regulation, and almost no taxes. That's in addition to the money in tax havens.

And, no, Norbert. It's not THEIR money. It's the same money we use (or can't use because it's hidden.)

Corporations don't exist to create jobs or to benefit any nation. They exist to make money for themselves and to pay back as little as possible in salaries to as few people as possible,  and to avoid  taxes. If corporations created jobs to help people or nations, Haiti would today be one of the wealthiest countries in the world. So would Congo.
The next, two items were sent to me by a reader.

Recently, the U.S. government was very upset when Russian aircraft made passes close to an American warship. How aggressive!  They were doubly upset because the Russians were able to block all the ships fighting capacities so that it could not fire either guns or missiles. But our news never said why the American ship was so close to Russian waters, and why it was patrolling.

The American ship carried missiles - including nuclear ones. Now, think about that. The U.S. routinely uses nuclear armed ships and submarines in position for an unstoppable nuclear attack on Russian (and Chinese?) territory. How's that for aggression? How's that for looking for a war?

It also has troops near the Russian border doing "training".

What is the whole story on this? I have no special insights. But here's what I think is happening.

The American empire is well into collapse. In its desperation, it has to knock out its major competition. It wants a war with Russia and China. But it cannot win a conventional war with either without a monstrous cost in lives and money. And the American people would never tolerate that. This would be much, much greater than the opposition to Vietnam. As well, any such war would be certain to go nuclear, anyway.

No. It needs a war on the cheap and quick. It needs a nuclear war; and it needs one that might be ended quickly and with limited retaliation. Nuclear weapons fired from a ships and submarines just offshore might do it. It's risky - to say the least. But the business leaders of the U.S. are desperate. And this would be, like most wars, a business war. It's remarkably callous, dangerous for both sides, cruel, even insane, and with very little control over the consequences. But, what the hell! The empire is collapsing anyway. (No Donald. America will not be great again - whatever that means.)

Time is passing. And the American empre is passing with it.

The buzzing by Russian aircraft was a warning. "Don't even think about it! We can paralyze your attack."
And then there's one of my favourite commentators...

With the fall of Empire, there is also a social collapse happening in the U.S. The only candidate talking about it  (gently) is Sanders. Apart from Sanders, this is the only election I have known in Canada or the U.S. in which only one candidate has a policy on anything. The others are just playing with crowd emotions.

The  empire is falling.

You think leaders of big business are too intelligent to demand policies that are dangerous to the whole of humanity? Read this.

Heard much from the Irvings on the need to control carbon emissions? To control the use of herbicides in our forests?   To demand full payment of taxes? Do you think the rentarev at the Irving Chapel raises these issues in his sermons?
This can be an interesting site. The problem is that so much of it deals with regions and issues  unfamiliar to us. It takes a lot of going down the list to see that you want to read.
In the U.S., police have killed 329 Americans in just four months. That's maintaining the rate at 4,000 a year or more. That's more Americans, far more, than have been killed by terrorists since 9/11. Maybe some of those domestic spies should be checking out the police.

Here's a sample case.
And, ain't it always like this? Here's a story that comes too late for me.

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