Monday, July 18, 2016

July 18: A very bad day in the news.

Of 33 metro regions in Canada, St. John holds down position no. 33 for its poverty rate among single income families. And, before you raise a cheer for Moncton, it stands at 31.

No, I didn't find this story in the irving press.  (In fact, I couldn't find any story in the irving press abut anything for the past Saturday and this Monday.) If it were carried, the story would be just a moan that these are tough times - or that poor people are too lazy....  Anything but the truth.

The truth is that, in New Brunswick, greed rules. The wealthy get low taxes - and whether they pay even those is unclear. Then there are the rip-offs - like a hundred million dollar 'events centre'. Then there are those news media, owned by the very wealthy, that tell us nothing except to pump out the gospel of the wealthy - that rich people create jobs and make us wealthy. (If that were true, St. John would be rolling in money - rather than in poisonous fumes.) But enough people believe this to vote in government after government that gives away millions to the wealthy, and doesn't ask questions about their taxes.

In Canada&World, the headline is "Premier says talks going well for regional register of lobbyists". And what will that do? Well, people who ask for the multi-million dollar gifts and tax breaks - or contracts at inflated prices, will have to register.   And what will that do? Nothing whatever. People who have been getting special access to the government will now have to register.

But the problems is not that they aren't registered. The problem is that there are people who have access to government to get special favours. In fact, any of us could name several of them as it is. The story says this will make the practice transparent. No, it won't. They'll still have access. They'll still be a corrupting force in a provincial government that exists largely to be corrupted.
The attempted coup in Turkey made the Irving press on Saturday and Monday - on the last page! And there's no hint of what that coup could mean. No, the big, front-page headlines  were about the drop in the price of beer and about nothing happening on the question of booting cars.

What does it all mean? I don't know. But there are suggestions worth thinking about.

Given the character of Turkey's leader, Erdogan, it could mean that Turkey will now become, effectively, a dictatorship. Or - well - there's a question of who was behind this coup. Was it just a few, top army officers? Maybe, but not likely.
Could it possibly have something to do with Russia or the U.S.? Or both?

Turkey is close to Russia, economically, in general trade and in oil. Is it possible that Erdogan was moving too close to Russia? Is it possible that the U.S. paid for what it likes to call a 'regime change'. After all, this is something the U.S. has been doing at quite a pace for over a century, now.

Or is it possible Russia was behind this?  Possible. But, if so, how could the U.S. not know about a plot in a NATO coutry involving thousands of people? If the many U.S. and allied espionage agencies did not know about this ----- no, it's not possible.
A reader sent this to me from The Saker. This is by a Russian who now lives in Iceland. Yes, there is a possiblity of bias - but no more so than in almost all the western news media.  Generally, I've found The Saker an honest and reliable source - and this analysis of what might have happened in Turkey makes sense - as most of the others do not.

The item below, quoting Kerry, suggests (unintentionally) that the U.S. was behind it. Otherwise, diplomacy alone would have made Kerry's reaction overdone.

Whatever the case, this could mean a major change in world politics, with Russia taking a very strong position in the middle east. Most of the Muslim world has no enthusiasm for Russia - but it has even less for the United States.
And here's one that gives a general picture of the whole mess the world is in. I agree with it  - except for the final paragraph which, I think, is off the wall.
I haven't spoken ot the irving press for Saturday and Monday. How can I? There's nothing in it.

On the Faith page, Brett Annington comes very close to  having something to say with,  "When the rich young man came to Jesus to ask what he might to do inherit eternal life the answer was quite straightforward....Give everything you have to the poor."

But readers need to be taken a step further than that. They need an example not from 2,000 years ago in another land, but from now - in New Brunswick.  In the long history of this province, can you name a single rich man who has given all he had to the poor? Do you think this is a regular topic for discussion at board meetings of Irving Oil? Or from the rent-a- revs who preach at the Irving Chapel?

In fact, this statement is based a concept that is contrary to the whole structure of our society. If Jesus said this at a dinner of the Chamber of Commerce, He'd never be invited back; and His picture would be removed from its place in the Chamber's hall of fame.

There is simply nothing in this paper. We have been told that the editor-in-chief of the irving press has a master's degree in journalism. I've taught journalism at the Bachelor's level where students were taught to write well, to avoid triviality, to avoid bias. I guess the Master's level is where they learn to put readers into a collective stupor.
I have spent many hours, now, plodding through every source I can think of for an analysis of the failed coup in Turkey. Everything I find is speculation. The Saker one makes sense - but it's still speculation. The Guardian really has nothing (which is somewhat more than the Irving press has.)  So here's Gwynne Dyer, though even he is less than his usual self.

My sticking point is that we are asked to believe that in a Turkey, crawling with international spies and with electronic espionage as well as its own s[pies,   was unaware of a plot involving at least 6,000 people. (Incidentally, Turkey is also home to a stockpile of U.S. nuclear weapons.)
Then we have the political chaos in Britain. The new prime minister, Theresa May of the Conservative Party,  looks like the kind of person who could trigger some severe violence.

Nor is there much reason to look to the Labour Party. It was destroyed by the treachery and self-serving policies of Tony Blair. And it's nowhere close to recovering.
In the U.S. there's been a tremendous growth of charter schools. These really are private schools - and they're based on the Norbert Cunninham delusion that private ownership is always better than public ownership.

Now, there's nothing wrong with private schools - except   that these are supported by a massive campaign of propaganda. In many regions, unless you send your children to a charter school, they are dead in the water so far as any future is concerned. The result is huge numbers of parents going into debt for a system which is in  no way superior - but is very, very expensive, and which also gets money from the government. And the offshoot of that is savagely reduced budgets for the public schools which are now the schools of  the poor.
Again, there is nothing wrong with private schools. But there's somthing terribly wrong when the growth of public schools is destroyed by budgetting, and the only choice of the poor - and much of the middle class - is to attend the schools of the poor  to train for a life of being poor.
And here's a cheery one to get you through the evening.

Not that it makes any difference. HIllary Clinton has her own devils. If fact, she's one of them.
And here's one to squelch any notion that British prime minister Theresa May  is intelligent.

Even the irving press has come to accept that climate change is real. However, it has also decided we should not do anything about it because it creates jobs.
We have yet to realize that there are things we cannot have no matter how much we want them.
This has been a profoundly disturbing day. We have been fighting wars or preparing to fight them for over 70 years. And despite the impression one might get from the news, we are not fighting to bring anybody democracy or to protect ourselves from all those poor and small countries that we are told are a threat to us. It's all being done to make hundreds of millions poor so the rich can get much richer.

So, if you're poor, good luck on asking a rich New Brunswicker to give you his money.

As for the world, we appear to be on the edge of the crisis of greed and indifference to others. It's happening all over the world and we, believe it or not, are part of that world. What makes it worse is that the greedy and indifferent are also remarkably stupid. They have been destroying whole societies, whole nations around the world.  They have created over 25 million refugees. They have murdered millions.

Can you seriously expect a better world out of this? And Canada is wrong, dead wrong, in playing a role in this orgy of greed and mass murder.

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