Monday, May 16, 2016

May 16, 2016: SPCA Finds Homes for Dogs.


That is the lead story for today's Irving press. Who woulda guessed that's what the SPCA does?

And - a vegetarian restaurant is opening in Moncton.

And - a soldier at Gagetown is training to be a diving engineer (one who works under water.)  This is the news YOU need to know.

I note, too, that fully half the news stories in section A are by one reporter. And some of the regular reporters' names have disappeared. Has the Irving press been shedding reporters just as it recently shedded photographers?__________________________________________

The commentary page is made up of three columnists, all writing on othe same topic - the municipal elections.  All three criticize the low voter turnout in essentially moral terms. But voter morality has nothing to do with it. A major cause of low turnout is the Irving press.

The job of a newspaper is to keep us informed about municipal (and school district) issues. But how many articles and commentaries have you seen in the Irving press about these? What are the major issues facing these bodies? Is there any interference in this by interest groups? What are the challenges Moncton has to deal with? The only issues I have seen covered by the Irving press are economic ones - and they are always on the side of some interest group. Of course, people don't vote. How can they vote when they have no information?
One of the writers suggested the candidates are lazy, and should be going door to door to stir up interest. Come off it. Any candidate who did such a thing could not  possibly cover a major part of his/her riding. Nor are all people pleased to have strangers knocking at the door. Nor do I see any use to this when we don't have the basic information and discussion we should be seeing in the newspaper.
And - the Irving press made no effort whatever to tell us what the candidates stood for. All we got for each was a name, a photo, and something gushy.

The voter turnout was low because people in this province are deliberately starved of information, and discouraged from thinking.

The class act, once again, in commentary is Norbert Cunningham. This is a thoughtful column on First Nations. It doesn't have any easy answers. And that's honest because there aren't any. I certainly agree that First Nations should have sovereign powers over their own lands. That will certainly pose problems for the rest of us. But it has to be done.

 However - there is another and possibly more difficult problem.   How will native societies be different from ours? Neither native people nor the rest of us can restore a native culture. In the first place, there were a large number and variety of native cultures. In the second place, the world those cultures were adapted to no longer exists. It's easy to destroy a culture. We've done it all over the world. But I know of no-one who has ever been able to restore a culture.
Good cartoon by de Adder.
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Canada and World section is a joke. The big news about Fort McMurray is that some residents are returning to get their cars. The other story is that that government is keeping in touch with people who escaped the fire by using the telephone. When are we going to get the important story? The fire happened because of record high temperatures coupled with a drought. That is what is called climate change.

When do we start discussing this and what it mean to all of us? What can we expect? How can we prepare?

World news is more piddling than ever. Police in Manchester, England, evacuated a stadium because they found a bomb in it. But the bomb was a fake. So there really is no story. We are dreadfully close to World War Three. We read nothing about that.  But we get a big story about something that didn't really happen.

In the Baltic Sea region, the U.S. has been stepping up its presence. That's rather like the Russians sending their fleet to check out the Caribbean. And the U.S. army is moving more troops up to the Russian border in that region, and establishing missile sites. The story is that they aren't meant to fire missiles at Russia. They're to defend against an attack from Iran on Europe.

Damn right.  Them Eye-ranians is always attacking innocent couintries like Poland. So let's forget the nonsense that all of this is about  the U.S. looking for a war with Russia. The U.S. would never attack another country.

Nor is there a word about the war in Yemen, and what it is all about.  Could we get a hint? After all, Canada is supplying Saudi Arabia with some of its weapons for this war. Why did the Canadian government partipate by allowing the sale of armoured cars to the Saudis? Is it possible this indicates a desire for Canada  to get involved in the quagmire that the U.S. has created in that region?

There's also a story about  how an ISIS attack killed 29 across Iraq. The story referred to ISIS as terrorists. The US killed over a million across Iraq. I cannot recall a story that called the U.S. extremist. Nor have I seen a story in the Irving press about the Saudis being extremists in Yemen or even in giving financial and training support to ISIS.
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By the end of  his term, Obama will become the first U.S. president to spend his full presidency at war. Number two, by a small margin, is George W. Bush.   (Actually, it's hard to be sure because most U.S. presidents over the past century and more have fought many, unreported wars - particularly in Latin America. As well, presidents since 1945 have fought many secret wars marked by assassinations, and usually against small countries.)

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/15/us/politics/obama-as-wartime-president-has-wrestled-with-protecting-nation-and-troops.html?_r=0
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This one is long, and will certainly provoke disagreement. But it's worth a look.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44663.htm
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This is a site worth exploriing at your leisure. I think I can guarantee that not one of the stories in this has ever appeared in the Irving press. There really is a lot of world our there. And a lot of news. And it affects all of us, even here in New Brunswick.

http://www.democracynow.org/
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And here is an article of remarkable common sense by a remarkably qualified observer. I would just add one point he hints at but doesn't explain. He speaks of how government departments - like defence - will  create situations that divert budget money to their departments. It's not just government departments that do that. Really, it's quite a human action.We almost all do things to benefit ourselves
The military will create or exaggerate threats then ask for money to fight them. The defence industry is a close partner in this. The drug industry  will promote foreign aid - so it can induce the government to send overpriced drugs to needy countries. Need, of course, has nothing to do with their promotion. It's the profit the companies can make for themselves.

War is profitable to a wide range of  billionaires who make big money out of war. And sometimes, that greed is what creates the war. It's short-sighted, of course. But big business thinks only three months into the future.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44674.htm
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Thirty million children - refugees - are at risk of losing even the most basic education. A group is now raising $4 billion to educate them. That happens to be the current price of a new destroyer for the U.S. navy.  Nobody knows what the U.S. has spent on recent wars - only that it's several trillions of dollars
Meanwhile, American children are losing their chance at education as  budgets are cut to build more weapons. Millions of Americans go hungry, and have been cut off food aid.  In all the rush to war, only the rich have become richer, much richer. That's the mark of a collapsing empire - and the whole world has to suffer for that collapse.

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/may/16/education-30-million-children-have-lost-their-homes-syria-new-fund

And Canada is a colony that is expected to do its share in making the wealthy of the empire even wealthier. That's why we had troops in Afghanistan, aircraft in Libya, Iraq and Syria, and now troops going to Syria.
This is all insane.
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And here is some bedtime reading that the Irving press should have provided for Moncton.

http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/may/16/fort-mcmurray-alberta-canada-worlds-most-fire-prone-cities

Note the mention of wooden cities. Then look around Moncton.
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I can make only a general comment on the next item because it is going to cover a lot of ground. It's a  lengthy copy of government documents leaked by Edward Snowden.

https://theintercept.com/2016/05/16/the-intercept-is-broadening-access-to-the-snowden-archive-heres-why/
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This next one should not be a surprise.

http://www.alternet.org/world/retired-cia-agent-us-assisted-capture-nelson-mandela
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There's so much more Canada&World news that never makes it into the Irving press...

....The U.S. backed (and supplied munitions for) Saudi Arabia's invasion of Yemen. Now, it's such a mess, that Obama has begun sending U.S. troops to save the situation for Saudi Arabia.The U.S. is getting dragged deeper into othe swamp that George Bush created. Syrian children overwhelmingly see the U.S. as their enemy.---- Well, the whole Muslim world sees that. Beginning with the invasion of Iraq, the U.S. has made itself hated throughout the Muslim world, even among that majority that hates ISIS. Starting with Iraq, the U.S. has destabilized the whole region - as well as killing a couple of million people and creating  60,000,000 refugees.

Europe, no stranger to reckless and greedy policies itself, is so  alarmed enough at where the U.S. is taking it that many want the European Union to become the European Nation which will be strong enough to opt out of U.S. policy.
Meanwhile, watch for rising violence in South America as the U.S. is destabilizing it just as it has most of the middle east. But so far, the Irving press has ignored all this.

The U.S. is a nation which is approaching dangerous instablility itself  with a leadership race that demonstrates the mindlessness of the two most likely leaders in the race, and an equally mindless anger on the part of those who support them. And behind it all is the control of a capitalist class which thinks only of itself and its own wealth.

It is all controlled by dangerous fools and killers - if a very high class of dangerous fools and killers.

There is no escaping this. We in Canada are in a most dangerous position living beside the most dangerous nation. And if we don't make a decision, then it will be made for us by our own high class dangerous fools.

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