Monday, July 25, 2016

July 25: We have met the enemy. And he is....

Since 1970, the rates of autism in children and of alzheimer's in seniors have risen spectacularly. Some scientists, working out of the very authoritative MIT, have concluded that autism will affect 50% of all children by 2025.
The cause? Chemicals, especially glysophate,  that is widely used as a weed killer domestically, and is used to on crops and - oh, yes - on us in New Brunswick to spray our forests (and anything else that's down there.)

The story hasn't appeared in the Irving press. Nor is it likely to. But perhaps it will be discussed over coffee an the barn by the Irving chapel. This is well worth reading. And you may note that, unlike most news that does appear in the Irving press, this one tells both sides of the story.
In Saturday's section A, there's a big story about two lawyers who are challenging the provincial government's right to offer help to students at publicly funded universities if their families earn less that $60,000 a year. The legal team of Murphy and Lamrock says no. Private colleges should also get this benefit. Their argument appears to be that the law guarantees the right to equal protection and benefit of the law.

Like hell it does. There is no right to equal protection and benefit. If you think there is, try suing Mr. Irving. Or load up a plane with Roundup and spray his house.

This case has nothing to do,  in any case, with the legal rights of students. It's about the legal right of private institutions to get extra money - in the same way we throw money at private companies to build, say, warships. They're making a case for the institutions, not for the students and what they need.

The reality is that students from families with incomes below $60,000 have far, far lower chances of going to university. It's not just the cost. It's also a matter of social background that causes students not even to think of higher education. It's growing up in a society that has no intellectual interests, and no sense that those who live in it  should even think of   higher education. Put costs and background together - and that adds up to low-paid jobs for life.

I see no reason to have respect for lawyers who take up a cause of the privileged - and who seem to be unaware of social realities.

There is nothing worth reading on the Opinion and Commentary pages. Brian Murphys column is particularly vapid. "There's more than a building worth saving in the MHS story". Yes, yes. There's also memories. This is dreadfully bland and pointless stuff. It's not really a commentary of any sort. But it's guaranteed not to offend anybody.

Below Murphy is a propanda piece from the Fraser Institute.

Canada&World News is almost all trivial. And, again, most of the world doesn't exist.

And, in a world in which Christians are killing people by the million with absolute indifference to whether they are soldiers. civilians, men, women, children, babies. And Christians are deliberately starving millions to death (in Yemen for example) - not to mention that American and Canadian Christians are now confronting Russia Christians; and American special ops (Christian to a man) are assassinating South American Christians, we get to read an intellectually and spiritually drooling Mickey Mouse sermonette on the Faith page.

In Monday's section A, there's a big story about a teen who has been playing chess for fifteen years. Then there's more than a full page on ghosts. And a Dieppe pyschologist is opening a women's boutique. It's a full life.

The commentary page has not a single commentary on it. A commentary takes an important issue of the day, and offers a reasoned opinion about it. And there just ain't one.

Canada&World for Monday is, well, not as good as usual. The tone is set by the lead headline - that the Algonquin Hotel in St. Andrews, which received over 30,000,000 dollars in provincial government loans is "...finally starting to pay off".

What does that mean? Damaned if know. There is not a single word in that whole story to tell us what is being paid off or how much. In fact, the final paragraph says it's not making a profit yet. Aren't newspaper reporters supposed to ask questions? What has been paid back on the loan? It created 250 jobs. Sure. Most of them seasonal and low paid. That's now much of a return for over $30,000,000.

There is no story about Yemen, where the U.S. is helping Saudi Arabia,  one of the richest countries in the world, to bomb, starve, cut off medical supplies, destroy hospitals and to kill soldiers and   civilians with no distinction in one of the poorest countries in the world.

And Canada has a finger in that pie. We are supplying the Saudis with armoured cars - even though we signed an agreement that we would not. So why did Canada change its mind, and approve it? We never heard a word about the manufacturer or its ownership or its political connections.  And there's something else very odd about this.

There is  no armoured car that is fit to be on a battlefield. Their chassis cannot take the strain of adequate armour to fend off even the lightest tank gun.. Nor can they carry anything resembling an adequate gun. That's why most armies abandoned armoured cars by 1945 - even earlier.

Today, armoured cars are more likely to be found in police forces   (of the more violent sort) for crowd control. They're great for shooting up civilians who have only light weapons - if any. So what are the Saudis using them for? I've heard no mention of public uprisings in Saudi Arabia. That leaves just Yemen. It particularly leaves just the starving civilians of Yemen.

Why don't we know much, much more about what our government is doing? This is surely easy information for journalists to get.
The irving press has said remarkably little about the Panama Papers. That's surely odd for what is the biggest act of thievery in world history. The papers also throw considerable doubt on Norbert Cunningham's fundamental belief - that billionaires create prosperity wherever they invest. In fact, history shows the reverse to be true. The very wealthy are usually thieves on a vast scale There's insight into this   (based on the Panama Papers) in a column about the workings of the wealthy in Africa - particularly in the mining industry. You'll find the same thing in Asia, South America - and Canada.

The site also lists a couple of others worth looking at.
Then there's this one about Bangladesh where the billionaires who made you favourite cheap clothes flock to exploit  child  and adult labour (though child labour is supposedly illegal.) Hours are long, wages, extremely low, and working conditions very dangerous. But, oh, the profits are high. So much for all the journalistic crap about billionaires creating wealth for the society.

Odd - we've never had a sermonette about this on the Faith page. I guess Jesus must have been in favour of cheap labour and the degradation of humans
Then there's a minor story that appealed to me only because I worked for some time in Hong Kong where I taught history and journalism. The major English language daiy in Hong Kong is the South China Morning Post. And the story is all about how the Chinese government is trying to control the paper.

I don't doubt that it is. But the reality is the South China Morning Post has always been controlled. It was controlled by the British and the British governor for almost a century. And it was operated by the most arrogant and least competent journalists I had seen until I read the irving press.

But I have never even heard of a newspaper that criticized the control of the SCMP by brits. Indeed, all around the world, most newspapers, by far, are controlled by governments and by billionaire owners.

Funny how The Guardian gets all excited when the Chinese government controls the press.  It's like the stories on our TV and newspapers that shed tears for the victims of Orlando. But have almost ignored the massive killing all over the world imposed by the U.S. and its allies.

It's all, really, a close relative of racism.
The next article accuses Poland - and much of Europe - of moving toward fascism. That's rather a casual use of the word 'fascism'. I think it would be more accurate to say it's moving  back to a racism that has always been there.

All of us humans have a strong tendency to racism - to a sense that we belong to unique race, and that it it morally and intellectually superior to the races of all other people - especially ones that we are killing or exploiting.

There have been strong echoes of racism on both sides of the language debate in Canada.  Racism gave the British the arrogance to plunder, exploit and murder millions for the empire. There are echoes of racism in most national anthems that I have heard. Racism is what made it possible for the U.S. to condemn the Orlando shootings while giving no thought whatever to the millions of men, women, and children killed by American bombs. The Americans who died in Vietnam are remembered as heroes. But we don't use that word to describe the Vietnamese who were killed defending their country (when they weren't just civilians killed in the general slaughter)  against the most powerful nation in the world.

Hitler didn't invent racism. Racism  goes back thousands of years in human history. It particularly shows up in times of fear - as now in the U.S. and Europe. Poland is just a sample.
And the article above is a close relative to the one below. It's also a useful example of how the wealthy do NOT create prosperity.
And here are two, good articles - one on nuclear war, the other on a reality our news sources never talk about. The US wants the world to live in a constant fear of war. That's why Canada is under pressure to dramatically raise its military spending. That's why some European countries are driven into a panic of military spending.

The military industries of the US have immense power over the government. They exist to sell weapons. Ever notice that once famous military brand names like Supermarine and Hawker have disappeared?  That's because the dominant suppliers of the US war industries have taken over - and the major purpose of NATO is to buy US weapons for 'standardization'.

Watch for Canada's war spending to go up - and soon.
An excellent site, especially for readers interested in the middle east and India is

If like me, you were a child raised on the myth of Lawrence of Arabia, there's a  truer  version currently available in countercurrents. There is also an examination of the "special relationahip" between Britain and the U.S.  The reality is that no such relationship ever existed. Big business has no connection with special relationships and special friends. The two world wars were convenient for the U.S. That's the only reason it entered them.
Perhaps the most thieving companies to found in this world are those in pharmaceutical business. (Not, not your local pharmacist. It's the companies that make the drugs.)_
Lots more. but it's supper time.


  1. "There is  no armoured car that is fit to be on a battlefield. Their chassis cannot take the strain of adequate armour to fend off even the lightest tank gun.. Nor can they carry anything resembling an adequate gun."

    So the Belgian 105 mm gun that is going to be fitted to the General Dynamics LAV III Canada is selling the Saudis is "inadequate"?

  2. You can an A for your research in Wikkipedia - but a D for your understanding of it.
    The armour is the latest in the ceramic reinforced type. But I would still not care to be in a LAV being fired on by a modern take. Nor is it primarily designed as a vehicle to fight tanks (and it's not really an armoued car in the traditional sense.) It's an armoured personnel carrier. (a personnel carrier looks like a tank, but is designed, essentially, to carry infantry.)
    It can carry a 105 mm gun. But more commonly, its main armament is a large, machine gun - not much use against tanks. it's fast, but also top-heavy so it's not a good idea to drive quickly over a battlefield.
    Yes, it can carry a rocket. But so can the tanks it has to face. in fact, a jeep can carry a rocket.
    What it's going to kill in Yemen is, largely, children, because children are mostly what there is to kill. (Didn't it occur to you there must be a reason why Canada was prohibited from selling such vehicles to Saudi Arabia.)
    Like the armoured car, it's major virtue is its speed - to move troops quickly while avoiding contact with slower weapons like tanks.
    Defining the value of any type of weapon is very difficult because each war is different. In World War 2 British and American tanks were inferior for most of the war because nobody had poperly thought out their use. The USSR was the only country to start the war with an excellent tank. The German tried to catch up with the Panther and Tiger, but it was too late to match Russian production. That sort of problem is very common in war. The British dreamed up the warship with the big guns of a battleship, but with high speed, obtained by reducing the armour. It blew up on the first hit.

  3. Oh, before you swoon over the 105 mm gun, think of three things.
    1. a very long barrel is essential for high velocity. not all 105 mm.guns are equal.
    2. The 105 mm tank gun dates back to 1945. Today, a main gun can be 120 mm, which is very, very big.
    3. And most tanks can carry rockets, too.