Monday, May 23, 2016

May 23: not a nice day

The big, front-page story in the irving press is that Moncton's mayor wants a solution to the car-booting issue. That's nice, even commendable. But it's scarcely a big story of the day. And it gets worse. Its companion on front page is a story that New Brunswick needs a new generation of truckers. Think about that.

The world is going under to climate change. And our great need is a whole new generation of truckers so we can burn lots of fossile fuels for forty years to come.
And the rest of section A doesn't get any better.

The editorial left me hopelessly confused. "Celebrate Queen Victoria, but Canada's future, too." I can quite agree it's time to dump Vicky, a thoroughly self-absorbed woman of no great intelligence who never did anything useful. But to celebrate a future that hasn't happened yet? That makes no sense at all.  Anyway, Victoria Day doesn't celebrate Victoria, anyway. And it hasn't for at least a century.  It's just a day off.

Then it wobbles into the idea featuring a prominent Canadian woman for the May holiday. Then switches to a Mi'qmac grand chief who fully cooperated with Jacques Cartier and the French, converted to Catholicism and adopted a French name. Thus, according to the editorial, helping to found our nation.

I'm not sure that native peoples would be nearly as thrilled by that as the editorial suggests.

Craig Babstock's commentary is trivial, as usual.

Steve Malloy is on burning question our day - the right to buy enough beer in Quebec to get decently sozzled back home in New Brunswick. Alec Bruce writes about premier Gallant's love of travel - but really says nothing. And that leaves us with Norbert.

He''s brilliant. He writes on climate change. He doesn't rant. This is solid, common sense - something which is not common at all. I would just add one point. He mentions large numbers of Americans moving to Canada to get away from the climate problems showing up in states. This could be a very big problem, indeed, big enough to become th end of Canada.

Think. You are an American billionaire who needs the large American population to vote for the parties that the billionaires control, who needs their taxes and their bodies to fight  his endless and expensive wars. Do you really believe they would allow large numbers of those voters and taxpayers amd potential warriors tosimply walk away to create a U.S that would be weaker?

No way. Canada would be annexed tp become states. And a Justin Trudeau (or a Harper) would be their boy.
In a miserable, four pages of Canada&World news, one of the biggest stories is about a dress designer in Halifax who sells tartan dresses. Then there's the same story we've read a dozen times about the fire at Fort McMurray. I've yet to see an irving story that even mentions the  role of climate change in this.

There's a nothing story about Trudeau visiting Japan for trade talks. There's no mention, for example, that Japan trade is being proposed at a price that means giving up almost all control over our own environment.

Then,Trudeau solemnly tells us that China is a real threat to Japan. Any commentary columnist who can find Wikkipedia on the web could  have written a column of instruction for Justin.

Of all the major power in this world, China has, for centuries been the least likely to invade anybody. The U.S. has invaded other people's lands in almost every year since it was created. Ditto for Britain and France and Spain and Portugal for some centuries. One of their favourites for invasion was China.  

Japan has long been a happy and vey brutal invader invader. Ask any Canadian who served at Hong Kong in 1941 orthe Russians who got invaded by Japan in  1900. Ask the Chinese who suffered long years of murder and famine and Brutality in World War Two.

Then check China's history of invasion for the last several thousand years. It's relatively slim pickings.

Canada has a more aggressive history than China does.

So we have a prime minister who doesn't know what he's talking about. And a press that doesn't know enough to question him.

The Canada news is trivial and even silly. The world news doesn't exist.
In this story, we are told that that Russian and Chinese aircraft are patrolling international air spece, but close to American coasts. And the U.S. feels this is very dangerous. Gee! The U.S.  would never do such a thing. Well, except in the Baltic, or the South China Sea or, possibly, almost the Russian land border - or perhaps via its thousand or so bases all over the world. Oh, and the Black Sea.
Notice that the article never mentions any of this.
The trouble with stories like the ones below is they don't realize that we need to build oil pipelines and get more truckers because - duh - they create jobs. That's why our politicians and oil billionaires  (bless their little hearts) have so far done close to nothing about climate change. That's why we're preparing an invasion of Libya ( something the irving press didn't consider worth mentioning). It's not because of ISIS. And it's not because most of us give a damn about Libya. It's because Libya is bursting with oil. And western oil billionaires want to control it, all of it. Hey. they want to create jobs. They're real sweethearts that way. Look how rich they've made Iraq.

P.S. Don't worry about the year 2200. The world would be dead long before that. And good luck if you're counting on Justin.
But don't worry. I'm sure our world leaders and the billionaires they serve will do the right thing.
And this comment spoke to my heart. I'm having the same problems as the commentator. Damn microsoft. Damn Windows 10.
This next one seems extreme. But I'm  inclined to accept it because 1.the west has centuries of proving it is as aggressive, murderous and thieving as the article says and 2. I've always found Paul Craig Roberts to be a pretty reliable commentator.
The next story is crackpot. But I think it's real. (I've heard of samples of it in Canada, too.)  This comes at a time when a victory for either Trump or Clinton will provoke serious anger from the many who hate either - or both.
This one is about how the U.S. government claims to be fighting terrorism when, in reality, it has been financing, supplying and even training terrorist groups for years. It's really old news. But it has yet to appear in the irving press.

The story below it is a Saudi claim that the American government staged 9/11. It's possible, I suppose - though I doubt it. Certainly, I would not rush to take the word of a Saudi official.
It's always hard to guess what news readers want. It's especially tough with

Much of its commentary will seem esoteric to most readers. But it's worth checking out from time to time to see what rouses your curiosity.
I also found several items arguing that Jesus was a homosexual. That's quite possibly true - but it's a  hard sell. The average Canadian, 21st century heterosexual Christian will feel that Jesus was of, course, just like him or her - and voted Liberal or Conservative, and bought Lotto Canada tickets every week. Many scholars who have spent their lives studying the subject say he was almost certainly a homosexual. But what do they know?
I found the article below on World War Two a little questionable on its avoidance of Russia's occuption of Poland after the war - but  quite reasonable in its main point. The U.S. planting of missiles on the European borders of Russia does nothing to protect the people of Eastern Europe. Worse, it puts Eastern Europe on the front line should a war break out.

At every stage of World War 2, the U.S., like most countries, put first the interests of those who controlled it - in this case, the very wealthy. It deliberately impoverished Britain during and after the war so that we now see a puppy dog British government wagging its tail at whatever its master tells it do do.

In the same way, the U.S. controls almost all the European countries. They have become economic servants and battle fodder. It tried, but failed to get control of the British and French empires. The colonies of those empires beat out both the Americans and their old, European rulers.

It also failed to get control of China - a task it is now assigning to Japan. Its only great success was stealing control of British and French-owned oil fields in the middle east - and now even that is in danger.

The author of this article was, of course, jailed last week by the freedom loving government of Poland. I am not aware of any objection to this from the North American press.( I doubt whether the irving press even knows about it.)
Something to watch for -- Democrat contender Bernie Sanders has to start a new party. Even if he were to win  the presidency, he would never be able to achieve anything with a Democrat party that is fully as corrupt and bought by big money. In fact, Hillary Clinton has far the largest campaign fund, one big enough to buy both her and the party.

Both parties are very old apples that are rotten to the core. And there is not the slightest chance they will change. There probably isn't time before the presidential election. But nothing useful is going to happen until a third party is formed.

Americans don't have a democracy; and they don't have choices. So far, the country has hung together on the basis of myths and illusions which are collapsing into pure anger. So far, it's anger that has little direction but violence. And that could be very, very dangerous for all of us.


  1. I think you went easy on the Victoria Day editorial. Not only is it muddled, it also has a glaring factual error:

    The article asserts that Empire Day (also a Canadian creation) is the official name for Victoria Day. This is incorrect. The first official recognition for Victoria Day was in 1845 in the united Province of Canada. Empire Day was first celebrated in 1898. It was established on the same day as Victoria Day due to Clementina Trenholme identifying with the Queen. In 1904 it was upgraded to an empire-wide celebration (and later still renamed Commonwealth Day and moved to a new date). Victoria Day both predates Empire Day and is separate from it.

    It is perhaps this confusion between the two holidays that leads the writers to note Great Britain and the increasing multicultural status of Canada (this apparently is some sort of justification for changing the holiday).

    A second error comes about when the author states that we are no longer a dominion (another term of Canadian invention). Well...not so fast. While we are no longer self-governing colonies of Great Britain, this was not the terms original meaning. 'Dominion' was adopted as a term to describe Canada's (at the time) unique constitutional setup. Canada was an experiment to see if federalism and monarchy could be wedded together successfully. So, we will be a dominion until we either ditch federalism (not happening) or the monarchy (also not happening). 'Dominion' is used throughout our various constitutional documents to describe Canada. We are a dominion.

    Regarding your comments about Queen Victoria; lets accept your premise for a second that Queen Victoria was a "thoroughly self-absorbed woman of no great intelligence who never did anything useful." Well, to the south of us we are being treated to the spectacle of a thoroughly self-absorbed MAN of no great intelligence who stands to do a great deal of harm. I think I am right in preferring Vicky to Trump.

    But I feel your view is more of a caricature. The result of her being the first monarch of a true constitutional monarchy. Queen Victoria was the first to start making the trade of political power for symbolic power. Did this make her useless? Not at all. But it did make qualifying her reign more difficult. Her actions regarding the Munshi seem to indicate a lack of the racial prejudges common among Britain's upper class (and lower class for that matter). And when India was formally brought into the Empire the it was her influence that had a passage of the bill threatening the "undermining of native religions and customs" replaced by a passage guaranteeing religious freedom.

    As for celebrations. Me and my coworkers had birthday cake.

  2. i admit that i am becoming soft and even mawkish in these, my declining years. Criticizing the editorialist is something like kicking a crippled toy poodle, though, and I really felt guilty about it.

    Bu I have solid, documentary evidence for calling May 24 Victoria's birthday. When I was in grade one, shortly AFTER 1898, I learned to chant - The 24th of May is the Queen's birthday. If we don't get a holiday, we'll all run away.
    (it took very little to amuse our little minds.)
    I did not know about her role in India. That intervention, given her social glass and imperial arrogance, was quite remarkable. And on the basis of that, I will withdraw my critical remarks.
    At some point in her reign, she had a secretary from India to whom she because quite attached. I suppose it is possible he made her more sypathetic to the people of that country.
    I don't approve of birthday cakes for workers. Work is not a time for frivolity.