Friday, May 20, 2016

May 20: Slim pickings in the news today

Despite 'tough' government regulations, oil spills on a grand scale are quite common. And, even with a cleanup, the damge from them lasts for  years.  Amazing how most of our eagle-eyed news media (especially the Irving ones) can miss something like 90,000 gallons of oil on the loose.

http://www.msn.com/en-ca/video/news/90000-gallons-of-oil-spilled-in-the-gulf-of-mexico-last-week-and-no-one-is-talking-about-it/vi-BBtfx6L?ocid=spartandhp

In fairness, though, Irving did catch today's biggest story. A new breakfast restaurant is opening in town.  (Eat your heart out, New York Times). As a blessing, though, we are spared yet another story about the wonderful plans to save Moncton High school.  I mean, it must be a good idea because I have not yet seen a news story or commentary critical of this very smelly proposal. More typical is today's editorial which heaps praise on the project because - get this - it has the support of a questionable polling firm. And, get this, the idea is supported by some imminently business and political leaders.

(The support of such people is precisely what makes me distrust the whole idea.­)

Oh, the editorial writer should also learn the difference between    'imminently' and 'eminently'. And, at that, the final 'ly' creates an awkward suggestion that they haven't made it yet - in politics or in business.

Oh, and I note that one of the imminently eminent (or eminently imminent) backers of the project was a candidate for mayor. What a coincidence!

The editorialst also informs us that moving the library from Main St. will stengthen the downtown core of Monton.

1. Oh? How? The library already is at the downtown core of Monton. So how will moving it strengthen the core?

2. This all began with the events centre to strengthen Main St. When did it become a project to strengthen the whole, downtown core?

3. Does City Council have a definition of downtown core? If so, exactly what is it that should be in the downtown core? And how does that fit in with council's general plan (if it has one) for climate change?

The editorial just makes the scheme smell all the more.

Really,  I've seen no mention that the city has any plan for anything. Or that it has done any consulting about conditions of the future.  What are the changes we are going to see in the environment in the future? Seen any studies? Any suggestions? The present Moncton is laid out rather like a 1950s bungalow suburb. Is this layout going to be feasible in the future?

All I've seen so far is a lot of hype by fast-buck artists.

Then there's a commentary by a speechwriter for Harper. He says that Sophie Trudeau should get an office and a staff because she gets a lot of invitations to speak to or to visit various groups. No   doubt. But I see no reason the Canadian public should pay for that. Obviously, the beneficiary of all this publicity will be the Liberal party. Let it pick up the tab.

(The speechwriter also is quoted as saying that Canada's international image rose tremendously under Harper. Rubbish. It was once high, but has been dropping for a good forty years as we have become simply a US colony.That's most evident in Canada's position - or lack of it - in the UN.)

There's quite a decent commentary on the need for refugees to be accepted in NB because we need them for population growth. That's true, of course.  But there are surely even more compelling reasons why why we should accept them.
I have no idea why Alec Bruce wrote his column.
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There's nothing of any significance in section B. For example,  there's a big story about Shawn Graham and Jean Charest having a discussion about political matters. Who could possible care? And, in Fredericton, there was a demonstration of the (self) righteous against the right-to-die and abortion. Funny how those people didn't demonstrate when the western powers were killing Vietnamese, South American, and Muslim men, women and children  (yes, and babies) by the millions. And nothing while men, women, children - and babies, in Yemen are being starved, bombed, and shot to death by our good friends, the Saudis, with weapons supplied by the U.S. and Canada.

I wonder if they can spell 'hypocrite".

Perhaps the item most worth reading in the paper is "Children should have the right to experience losing' by student columnist Mhairi Agnew on C3. (I'm not sure I agree with her - but, unlike the rest of the paper, it's worth thinking about.
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Here's a sample of the stories that are pouring out of South America, but have never been noticed by the Irving press.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/20/venezuela-breaking-point-food-shortages-protests-maduro

This is happening under a left wing government that for many years was succesful and popular. Brazil has been taken over by a right wing group which is doing similar damage.
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This sort of a story has been going one for  decades. But the irving press never mentions it.

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/US-Provokes-Tensions-with-Russia-Venezuela-and-Now-China-20160519-0016.html
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Morley Safer of CBC, who died yesterday, was a damn fine journalist. I can think of no better memorial to him than the story about him that appears below.

https://theintercept.com/2016/05/20/pentagon-official-once-told-morley-safer-that-reporters-who-believe-the-government-are-stupid/
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And here's a reminder of what makes an extremist. It's not a racial drive to be evil. And it can have very little to do with religion. We  (and the Syrian government) have created extremist activists and sympathizers by the million.

https://theintercept.com/2016/05/19/trauma-and-deprivation-lead-syrian-youths-to-extremist-groups-says-new-report/
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I have often spoken harshly of the  international, pharmaceutical drug industry. Here's a reason why.

https://theintercept.com/2016/05/14/leaks-show-senate-aide-threatened-colombia-over-cheap-cancer-drug/
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The news, generally, was pretty slim today. That's partly because there's been little coverage of the biggest issue. There are powerful people in the U.S.  who want a world war. They have not made a secret of it. They put it on the web as Project for the New American Century. Under the guise of uniting the world under one government,  they want to conquer the world for the same reason that Britain wanted to - to put all power into the hands of the dominant figures in  big business.

The United States business class has been building an empire since 1776. They saw their big chance to scoop up the British, French, Dutch and Belgian ampires in 1945. But, with a few exceptions, they failed - and they have largely failed ever since.

The election of George Bush and the wars in Afghanistan and the middle east were foreign policy disasters that have seriously shaken western confidence in U.S. leadership. All of this has continued under Obama, and will continue under Trump or Clinton. But there's a growing urgency to it now. The U.S. is not going to grow any more. It's past fifty years of empire building have met with little success - and the clock is running down.

That's why we're seeing these very dangerous attempts to rattle the sabers at China and Russia. Any one of those rattles could accidentally create a world war. And the military forces of the U.S. have not shown the capacity to win a conventional war even against small states. Any such war would quickly become a nuclear one.

Would any country be stupid enough to do that? Certainly. They've been stupid enough to stockpile nuclear weapons. Anybody stupid enough to stockpile them is stupid enough to use them. And that would set off a war that nobody would win.

Consider Israel as a miniature of this. Israel has some 200 or more nuclear-amed missiles for use as deterrents. Nor doubt they do deter, but... if a war broke out against a sufficient number of arab states, the Israeli military would be at a severe disadvantage. That disadvantage, combined with its small size would force Israel to use its nuclear arsenal early. But....

....the targets would be terribly close to Israel. Any such close and heavy, nuclear bombing would cause massive poisoning and death in Israel.
Some defence!

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