Wednesday, August 10, 2016

August 10: Trump or Clinton? It doesn't matter.

The lead story in today's irving press is dramatic and exciting. It's accompanied by a dramatic photo of a man in full, Boy Scout uniform, picking garbage, including lots of oil, that some idiots dumped into a woodland brook. It's a story we should know about. But....

Why would a man don a full boy scout leader uniform complete with neckerchief and ribbons, and recently washed and ironed, to wade into a brook to take  garbage off the bottom? And how did reporter Laura Booth know about it? Was she just on a daily stroll in the woods, and happened to have a camera?

Still, what Jamie Chiasson is doing to clean up is commendable. A picture of garbage later in the story is, without question, vile. But where were the local authorities? Obviously, this problem is well known and has been going on for a long time. How common is this in New Brunswick? And why does such a damaging act get a maximum fine of only $1,000?

Then we're back to the usual section A.

A local cafe is serving cold coffee treated with liquid nitrogen so it tastes like beer.  Hold me back. A man was caught with contraband cigarettes. All the things YOU need to know.

The editorial is  yet another piece of selective virtue, pleading assistance for affordable housing for the poor and the homeless. It recognizes the problem that the city and the province don't have enough money for this. But there is no mention of the obvious solution.

Make the wealthy pay taxes. Stop shovelling government grants into the pockets of the wealthy. Getting rid of Irving tax breaks alone and just in the city of St. John would probably solve the affordable housing problem in that city with some left over to clean up the pollution.

Norbert, again, has a rant. But it's a deserved one about the provincial government's lack of any plan for economic recovery. Hump Day continues his unbroken string of commentaries that have nothing to say.

Then there's a 'commentary' by a shill for the oil industry on how bio-fuel will not solve the emissions problem. He deplores how biofuels pollute the pure air of our ancestors. He's written before on how oil is good for us. Lord love a duck....
Alec Bruce has a column on oil pipelines that's subtle and amusing, and has a good deal of truth. But I think he misses an essential point. He says we have to use pipelines as long as we remain hooked on oil.

That suggests a choice which, in fact, does not exist. The climate we live in will decide what we can use, and how long we can use it. And reliable predictions say the time is very, very short, so short that it may already be too late.
If you look at the progress over the last quarter-century, it has not been impressive. A major factor in that has been the influence of people in the oil industry and their use of their wealth to corrupt.

They - and we - have not learned one of the most important lessons of childhood. I had the advantage of having been poor. I learned early there were things I could not have. Period. Most leaders of the oil industry were born wealthy. They never learned that lesson. The only lesson they ever learned was the virtue of greed. They are now, to satisfy a greed that can never be satisfied, enouraging the destruction of all of us (even the 'best' families), and earth itself.

As a sign of that thinking, the U.S. will spend more money, far more money, on weapons and war that it will spend on reducing emissions this year. And don't even try to guess what the emissions are from all those bombers, and tanks, and trucks and ships.

The Canada &World section is laughable. One of the biggest stories in Canada and the whole world is that Nova Scotia has a lower deficit than was forecast. Hillary Clinton delivered a stirring speech on mosquitoes in Florida.

The only important story was the smallest and last one. Turkey is mending relations with Russia. This could have a powerful effect on world alliances though, admittedly, it will not  drive the mosquitoes from Florida or affect the budget in Nova Scotia.

There is no mention that the world's most expensive military is still losing ground  after fifteen years of fighting Afghanistan, and has had to re-open its heavy, bombing campaign. Ever get the feeling at a party that people really, really want you to leave?
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https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/series/counted-us-police-killings

There could easily take us to a new, world record for this year.
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Here's an interesting report on climate change that we aren't likely to see in the irving press.

://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2016/aug/10/climate-scientists-make-a-bold-prediction-about-sea-level-rise
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None of this story made it into the irvingpress.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/10/russia-accuses-ukraine-of-armed-crimea-incursion

Ukraine is the obvious flashpoint for a nuclear war to start - even by accident. I won't waste time arguing who's right or wrong. In an accident of that size, it doesn't matter. The reality is that all the things we were told we fought for in World War 2 - world peace, the UN, international law have all been lost. We're all to blame. We didn't follow up on the promises we made to those who served.
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Our news media are packed with stories about Trump and Clinton. None of those stories matter. Both Trump and Clinton are disasters. Trump is an egomaniac. Clinton has a long history as a mass murderer and a kissup for the very, very wealthy. It really doesn't matter who wins. American democracy is over. It's been dead for a while. Now, you can smell the rot.

Both of them work on hatred and fear. Neither has the slightest sense of an economic policy - or any other policy. Clinton will do whatever the very powerful tell her do do (Which, actually, is what  Obama has done for eight years.)  Trump will do whatever seems like a neat idea at the time. Neither has shown a touch of morality or of a political philsophy.

The press will continue to lie for its owners. They want Clinton. So most news media simply play Trump for laughs.

Here'sa  reliable source on their economic policies.

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/08/10/how-long-can-economic-reality-be-ignored-paul-craig-roberts/
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Here's an issue most of our news media ignore - because there's no money for their owners in it.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/10/humans-are-poisoning-the-ocean-and-its-poisoning-us-back/

Heard much about it in the U.S. debate?
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This is an important assessment of why israel and Palestine remain at odds. And how the western press has lied about it. The article is quite right to say that the only newspaper one can trust on this issue is Haaretz. It's a paper that doesn't have a wide coverage - but I don't know a better one for honest and intelligent reporting.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/10/obstacle-to-peace-the-us-role-in-the-israeli-palestinian-conflict/
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www.alternet.org.  a news source I have often used, has many, many articles about Trump, all of them making fun of him, and all with derogatory pictures of him. Clinton makes it into one story - and then only as a fringe actor.

I've been wondering about alternet for some time.

This is the standard tactic of the mainstream media. They want him out. So they portray him as a comic figure. They lay off Hillary because big money in the U.S. wants her for its wars and its murders and its corruption.

We have to face reality. No matter who is elected, the U.S. will face violence and collapse - or it will destroy the rest of the world.

I understand the difficulties of this for Canada. But if Canada remains a servant to U.S. billionaires, Canada is dead meat.
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Here is the only full version of the Canada Post confrontation between labour and management that I have seen.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/policyfix/2016/08/clash-visions-public-postal-service-whats-stake-canada-post
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Over a hundred years ago, the U.S. invaded and conquered The Phillipines in a particularly murderous war. The news media told readers that this was to bring democracy to that land. Rudyard Kipling took up the theme with a ridiculous and racist poem, 'Take up the white man's burden."

Ever since, The Phillipines has been governed by a series of dictatorships - the first forty of them by American dictators - then to home grown ones and victors in rigged elections. The most recent one has captured a spirit closer to the American model.

http://rabble.ca/podcasts/shows/asia-pacific-currents/2016/08/death-squads-kills-hundreds-working-class-communities-p
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And  here's one that won't be in our local papers.

https://theintercept.com/2016/08/09/ex-cia-chief-who-endorsed-clinton-calls-for-killing-iranians-and-russians-in-syria/
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Finally,  I wonder why New Brunswickers don't take advantage of community radio and TV?  The quality if news on radio, with the exception of CBC, is generally beneath contempt. Not only are radio stations often owned by the same people who own the irving press, but they're hopelessly understaffed.  Private TV is no better than the Irving press. And CBC is under pressure not to offend people who count.

Community radio, in particular, would give large numbers of New Brunswickers a voice.

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