Wednesday, June 1, 2016

June 1: What can I say?


The big news, the banner headline of the day, is that we're going to get an extra telephone area code in New Brunswick. It's really amazing how the  news media have dumbed us down. That's really what the phenomenon of Trump is all about.

Here's a man running for president who really has no idea of foreign policy.

Here's a man running for president who doesn't seem to know there's a rising tide of poverty in the U.S.  (The same is true of Hillary.) That poverty could well lead very serious social disorder - and worse. But it's not an issue in the leadership race.

Trump has a massive ignorance of both foreign affairs and domestic issues. But many millions of voters, including a majority of Republicans, don't know that. They cheer for idiotic schemes like building a great wall against Mexico.
Anyone should see through Hillary Clinton as an unprincipled tool of the very  wealthy. And even Bernie Sanders is a pretty pale reflection of what is needed  - so pale that he couldn't possibly get most of even his modest proposals through congress.

We're watching a society that has had a century and more of thought control.
But who is this New Brunswicker to talk when, in my newspaper, the biggest issue of the day is that we are getting another area code.
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The editorial is pure gush about an anglo student who studied at UdeM in French. All over the world there are students who study in another language. When the editorial writer gushes that this builds the Metro 'brand', I have no idea what the writer is talking about.Nor do I see what this is supposed to tell us about 'devoted teachers'.

This is the kind of journalism that produces Trump supporters.

For Norbert, the great issue of the day is the right of New Brunswickers to buy beer in Quebec, and bring it home. Donne-moi un break.

Darren Robertson is a man whose only qualification to write a column is that he ran for mayor, and lost. It's all about  how running for mayor is fun. This isn't a commentary of any sort. But it's an intellectual masterwork compared to the column below it by Brian Cormier. This is all just trivial babbling.

The only item that is intelligent is Alec Bruce's column on the departure of our very own Donald Trump - Stephen Harper.
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The big story in Canada&World  news, I mean all of Canada and all of the world, is that the leader of the province's official opposition wants fracking to go ahead. We already know that. He has nothing new to say about it. He presents no evidence that it's safe. And he has no power to put it into effect - so who could possibly give a damn what he says?

Donald Trump, you're looking better with every page I turn in the irving press.

B2 has a worthwhile story about Senator Romeo Dallaire. This is the man who was ordered to just stand and watch massive killings in Rwanda. He wants the world to take action to end the fighting in Syria. But note that he does not suggest military action. As a soldier, he knows that would only cause more suffering.

What he is suggesting is a negotiated settlement. This is the sort thing Canada should be leading the way in. But Canada isn't - because the U.S. wouldn't like that.

B3 at last has the story of how over a thousand refugees have drowned THIS WEEK while fleeing from the horrors of the middle east - horrors that were created largely by the U.S. oil industry.

B3 has a  story of the hell that is the city of Fallujah in Iraq. ISIS holds the city; but Iraqi forces are closing in and, as they do, there's a heavy death toll among the 60,000 civilians trapped in the city. And it's going to get worse.

And before we get a Donald Trump writing me a note that this proves the evil of ISIS, I'll point out that Fallujah has gone through this before. In their invasion of Iraq, American troops gave Fallujah one of the worst batterings any city has ever received. It was quite deliberate, and a revenge on Fallujah for the killing of some military "contractors" (mercenaries). To this day, Fallujah has no love for the U.S. or for the puppet government it has forced on Iraq.

Section B is better than it usually is. But not much. And it still doesn't give any analysis of the news so that we can better understand it.
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Here is the kind of reporting needed if we are to understand the battle for Fallujah - and the issues involved in settling the general conflict.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/31/iraq-falluja-isis-hearts-minds

The American invasion of Iraq was so brutal it destroyed Iraqi society. In the case of Fallujah, it has created a population that hates the U.S. and its imposed government. In fact, many people in Fallujah support ISIS. I'm sure that nobody likes the situation they're caught up in - but there are no good guys for them to turn to. This is an element that our press largely forgets.
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The recent bombing of hospitals is neither accidental nor the act of the 'bad guys'. It's a standard practice for all us 'civilized' nations. The indiscriminate bombing of civilian targets has been a practice since the days of the earliest aircraft. It became standard in World War Two.  Hospitals, schools have been targets, and the killers have been not only the Putins of this world, but also the Obamas - and even us.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/01/hospitals-are-now-normal-targets-of-war-says-medecins-sans-frontieres-adviser
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Yes, there is climate change. Read about this sign of it. And be sure to read the final paragraph.

(And send a copy to MLA Bruce Fitch who really thinks we have to develop fracking and oil pipelines.)

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jun/01/coral-bleaching-spreads-to-maldives-devastating-spectacular-reefs
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This article opens the way, I think, to the only path to peace in the middle east. The  tendency of the U.S. - as it was with imperial Britain and France and Spain- is to try to solve all problems with force.  Listen to any speech by Donald Trump. He reflects an attitude that Americans have come to think of as normal while they ignore all its defects. The press, instead of countering that, usually beats the drums for more hatred in order to justify force.

http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2015/12/to-defeat-isil-the-israeli-palestinian-conflict-must-be-resolved.html

The writer's name is Khouri which is, by the way, a Syrian name.
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The following is from the University of Kansas Press, by no means a radical source. It's about the impact of the corporation as a bully to its workers and to a whole society. (New Brunswickers should understand that because that explains a lot about New Brunswickers.)

It also disputes the old story that capital creates jobs.  It creates some, of course. But it creates as few as possible at the lowest pay possible. The result of this is that it commonly creates poverty, not prosperity. You can see that all over South America. (or you would if the irving press ever did some honest reporting on South America.)

http://www.alternet.org/books/how-unchecked-capitalism-and-massive-inequality-made-america-bully-nation
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Paul Craig Roberts is a superb analyst of world events. Here's a story you won't find in the irving press.

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/05/29/there-has-been-a-coup-in-brazil-paul-craig-roberts/
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This one repeats points I have often made on this site about the military record of the U.S. It is not impressive. Canadian readers might also be interested in his comment about the F-35 fighter which the U.S. is trying to foist on Canada.

(McKay, as defence minister, was very big on the F-35 - a stunningly overpriced and out-of-date aircraft. Trudeau has promised to cancel the Canadian order for it.)

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/05/28/as-our-past-wars-are-glorified-this-memorial-day-weekend-give-some-thought-to-our-prospects-against-the-russians-and-chinese-in-world-war-iii/
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And here's a blog by an excellent reporter (now retired).

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/karl-nerenberg/2016/06/canadas-economic-well-being-stagnant-according-to-new-report#.V070nbVtxFk.gmail
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The biggest obstacle to peace in the middle east is the Israeli government. Netanyahu is determined to take more arab lands; and he has ignored all appeals from the U.S. to be more moderate. And he gets away with this, even though the U.S. pays for virtually all of Israel's military.

http://www.haaretz.com/israelnews/1.722467utm_content=%24sections%2F1.722467&utm_medium=email&utm_source=smartfocus&utm_campaign=newsletter-daily&utm_term=20160531-16%3A05
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And here's just some of the Canadian news you won't see in the irving press.
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/155089017e826db3
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