Tuesday, June 7, 2016

June 7:The news that isn't in the irving press

Here's an interesting piece from CBC about how we are being robbed, really robbed, every day  by the wealthy. It begins with the tax havens, and goes on to the government which robs us to make up at least part of the taxes it isn't getting from the rich. This isn't just penny-pinching. It's theft on a scale of uncounted billions. It's theft that means poverty and suffering for millions of Canadians; and it's getting much worse. We send shoplifters to jail. We give wealthy tax-dodgers honours and awards.

The Panama Papers should have been a bombshell. But how many reports of these tax havens have you seen in the irving press?

Your children pay for it in underfunded schools, in university fees so expensive they will be paying loans off until retirement . Millions pay for it with malnutrition and all the hopelessness of poverty.

And most of the news media sit around with their faces hanging out.

Also in CBC news (There's almost no news in the irving press), Canada seems to be planning to go ahead with the F-35 fighter. We've been paying millions every year just to stay in line for it. Its development has been problem-plagued. For our purposes, it's no better than the F-18 that we have. It looks likely to be the most expensive fighter jet in history. (Just the helmet for the pilot costs $400,000. Think of that. $400,000 for a hat.) And it's being produced by an industry that's quite outstanding in its outlandish prices and corrupt relationship with politicians.

And, sometimes, CBC does a bad job. Here's one on China that looks well-founded - if you don't think about it.


It's certainly true that China is a human rights violator on a grand scale. You, know, they even torture prisoners to get information. Gee! I'll bet no other country does that.  (The U.S. not only tortures on a scale unmatched in history; Canada was a party to it.)

And China has no democracy? Gee! Not like the U.S. where the average voter is the real power?

And China spies on its people? Double gee! The U.S. and Canada would never dream of that.

Then the article dwells on Mao. He was certainly dictatorial and murderous. He learned it from us. Mao rose out of a China in which the western powers (God bless Queen Victoria) had been looters and murderers for over a  century. It had also forced the curse of opium addiction on the Chinese.

So a reporter asked a Chinese official about human rights violations in China, and the official had to nerve to get angry at him. Here's a hint for the reporter. Let him ask about the human rigihts record of Canada (which now, in violation of a treaty it signed, is selling weapons to human rights violator and good friend, Saudi Arabia. Let him ask about the record of the U.S. in killing millions all over the world. Let him ask Britain and Canada about their participation in this. Let him ask those same countries about their violations of human rights with spy agencies to spy on their own people.

Yes, Mao was as nasty as they come. But do you think that reporter would ask those questions of an Obama?

What a self-righteous twit!
The headline for irving press today is what is called sensationalism. It's a story we can't do anything about - which makes it of no use to us. But it's like those headlines in scandal mags. You know, "Kim's secret boyfriend cheating on wife".
 It's perfect from dumbing people down.

At that, it's the most newsworthy item in section A.

The editorial begins reasonably with a request for help for Fort McMurray. Then it becomes a pitch to open up the oil fields again. It says we need oil for at least another 50 years and more. Brilliant. Except - it's not really up to us. What we need (in the view of the editor) doesn't matter. The climate will decide how long we're able to use oil. It's not our decision; and it's extremely foolish to talk as though it is.

Norbert has a good commentary.

The president of the New Brunswick council of business has a column entitled, "Immigration isn't just good for business, It's good for all of us. Then, the column is all about how immigration is good for business. Is there nobody in this province who can think about people and what they need?

Then there's a really dumb one from Troy Media. I wonder about this outfit. It's the only news service I know that routinely publishes reports from those "think tanks" that are really propaganda houses for big money. (AIMS springs to mind.) There are a few honest "think tanks"; but I've never seen one of them in a Troy Media release.
Essentially, Troy media seems to be a chain of very small time community papers. Its outstanding journalist is a well-known but undistinguished newsman who wrote for The Post (a propaganda paper on a large scale) and, even lower on the ladder, for The Sun.

This item is by "a prominent Canadian business leader". Wow! He must be real smart. But, if he is, he's too modest to let it show. In effect, he says the scientists are all wrong, and there is no climate change. He "proves" his point by saying it was hotter in the 1930s on the prairies.

Brilliant. But, you see, we're all part of a world. Yes. We really are. And those scientists, while they might not be as smart as a businessman, check temperatures for the whole world -- and they say the temperatures have been rising and running at record pace for some years now. European nations are so convinced, they have been working hard on renewable resources, spending billions on them.
But what do a bunch Europeans know compared to Canadian business leader who has been a director of five, global corporations.

And, oh yes, he'd rather have Canadian oil than that stuff from countries with bad human rights records. Yep. Canadian business takes a strong position on human rights. That's why it invests so heavily in mining companies in South American dictatorships and in Congo.

Alec Bruce softens his opposition to fracking and a pipeline He doesn't deny climate change. But, he says, we need fossil fuels to get through to the point at which we can ban them.

Mr. Bruce.  We are not in a position to set the schedule. The climate will do that. We are not in the driver's seat. Our scientists don't know  how much time we have to deal with this. We don't know and, certainly, the oil industry does not know.

Now, think hard about the record of oil industry leadership on this. Tell me about the giant steps it has taken to reduce C02 in our atmosphere. Tell me about it's pioneering work in developing renewable resources.

 Then face realiity. If we give them permission to build a pipeline or to develop shale gas, the industry will exploit those for maximum profit and for as long as it can. That is the history of the oil industry.  It has surely proven all over the world that it doesn't give a damn about human lives. Look at the horror and chaos it has created in the middle east.

It has never shown any sense of humanity. And, on the issue of climate change, it has never shown any leadership or even brains beyond the self-seeking drivel in the column beside yours.

This cannot be their decision. Their history shows they have neither the will nor the respect for others to do it. No.  This has to be our decision.
The Canada&World news section is a disgrace. Most of  the Canadian and U.S. news is trivia. The only story outside North America is about the fighting in Syria. But the situation is a very complex one, and the story is no help. This is one that desperately needs a good, foreign affairs columnist.
The UN has backed off its condemnation of Saudi Arabia for human rights abuses. Some of this was based on its killing of children in Yemen. But I should think there's far more than that on Saudi Arabia's charge sheet.  (And how come the U.S. has never been charged. It's killed far more children that Saudi Arabia has.)

As readers know by now, Hillary has the Republican nomination. So now it looks like a contest between an egomaniac with inadequacy problems and an utterly unprincipled Hillary.

For some reason the irving press has not said a word about the approaching British vote to leave the European Union. Indeed, the whole EU looks pretty shaky.
I really don't know what to say about this one.

Remember the story about the Saudis killing children and civilians in Yemen? Well, John Kerry says it wasn't the Saudis' fault. It was the fault of the civilians.
While we're on the subject, the U.S. has killed unknown numbers of children. If you put together Iraq, Vietnam, Libya and Guatemala, it could well be over a million.

Meanwhile, from the country that (thinks it) brought freedom of speech to the world, here's the new rule. You are allowed to think anything you wish. But you must not write it or say it out loud.


Mind you, if you're running  a magazine whose cartoons encourage ridicule and hate for Muslims, that's okay. Hey. We live in the free world.

This is heading for a record year. Mind you, I don't think all the blame goes on the police.  I don't even think it all goes on the nutbars in the National Rifle Association. American society, in general, is extremely violent, a violence that owes much to racism, to poverty,  to severe class differences - and a sort of national worship of violence.
As I wrote above, I'm puzzled by the aims of Russia and the U.S. in their seeming cooperation against ISIS. This article might explain it.

And here's an article for those who know nothing about tax havens and the Panama Papers (i.e. anyone who relies on privately-owned news media to get information.)


1 comment:

  1. There is a series on the Irvings in the National Observer.