Saturday, August 6, 2016

August 6: This is the real news. Don't blame me for it.

In New Brunswick, the name Irving is closely identified with the championing of the Christian faith - drawing in the faithful and the wannabe faithful to the Irving chapel with its sacred coffee and fellowship in the barn. (fellowship? Isn't that a little sexist?) And it also has what used to be a two-page spread every Saturday with a sermonette, church announcements and religious news.

Alas, the commercial world has forced its way in. The two pages of faith are now just half a page of faith with the the other page and a half devoted to the worship of Mammon.  But today,  there is a bigger change. The sermonette talks about Christian attitudes in the real world - this time about Gay Pride.

It's good column though, curiously, it does not mention the connection of this issue with faith. It's a faith column about gay pride (which is eminently sensible)  But with no mention of any connection of Gay Pride with the faith.

Incidentally, the proportion of men who are gay - in varying degrees - is estimated to run as high as 20%, an estimate that includes world figures of some eminence.
The big, blazing  headline for Section A of the irving press is that employment increased by over 5,000 jobs in July. Curiously, it also says the labour force grew by 3,200. So what does all this mean? The story doesn't say. But a safe guess would be that much of the growth is due to July being a summer month.
Then there's the good news that the city  is hiring a consultant for advice on creating affordable housing. But that sentence is all I can tell you. The rest of the story  is about a tent city somewhere in Moncton.

Please, city council, the homeless are certainly a problem. But they are not the only ones who suffer from a lack affordable and safe housing in this city. Building a new rooming house isn't going to solve the problem.

And that's it for section A news.

The editorial seems to begin by talking about the importance the Cape Jourmain lighthouse to the history of New Brunswick. It appeals for government help to save it. But it turns out the reason has little to do with history. It's about attracting tourists.

Norbert has a rant - but a quite justifiable one - about the economic zero that the Gallant government has turned out to be. But I really don't see how anyone can write about the economic condition of this province and its debt and the performance of its governments without mentioning the word irving.

Brian Murphy, yet again, contributes a column that isn't really a commentary on any issue, but which  will warm hearts and is guaranteed to offend no-one.   Or to cause anyone to think.

Below Murphy is a passionate and well-written commentary (a real one) about government interference in health care. I don't know enough to comment on the validity of the commentary. But it does what a real commentary should do - cause us to think.

Alec Bruce does the same, dealing with the often false priorities our children are trained to have.

The big, world news story is that the provincial Conservatives are all in a tizzy about rules for their convention. Sigh.

The real, if still local, news is that the provincial government has backed down on a free tuition progamme for provincial colleges and universities, and is willing to discuss extending it to cover privately-owned institutions. Interestingly, there is no mention of the names of those private institutions the tax payer is being asked to subsidize.

We subsidize public universities and colleges because they are ours. That's why they are called public and designed to service the public. Private colleges and universities are owned by - you know - entrepreneurs, those fearless people who invest their own money and don't go looking for handouts. They represent the spirit of free enterprise, risk taking. Why, if we give them public money, we'll be destroying their individualism. And I'm sure they wouldn't like that. Certainly, the irvings of this world would never dream of accepting taxpayers' money.

The other big story is that a Canadian clothier is selling ties that say 'dump Trump'. It is in honour of Captain Khan, an American Muslim who was slain (not killed, slain) while in Iraq slaying (not killing) Iraqis. including children. Just like good ol' Americans, he was trained to be patriotic more than he was religious. God and Allah are okay. But it's more important to hold your hand over your heart and recite, "My country, right or wrong. but my country."
And here's a story that did not appear in the irving press, and that never will. It's a story  about the moral corruption of oil companies, and the National Energy Board, and with a prominent role for Jean Charest, former conservative cabinet minister under Mulroney, and then Liberal prime minister of Quebec.

Charest's presence in this story as a master of sleaze is not surprising. He studied uner sleazemaster Brian Mulroney.

All of this is remarkably similar to what is going on in the New Brunswick government - and which will continue to go on if NB elects Conseravtives next time. It's time to wake up and sniff the sleaze. Start with a sniff of the irving press.
The story of American nuclear missiles on the Russian border is absent from almost all western news media. So is the story of the American surrounding of China with warships and military bases.

It was just over 50 years ago that the Soviet Union tried that with the U.S., using Cuba as a base. The U.S. immediately threatened a nuclear war. The news media went mad in covering the story. It was the lead story in every western news medium. And the Soviet Union was always the villain. The whole western world was in terror. I can remember some of my students crying in their fear.

Where the hell is the story on what the U.S. is doing to Russia and China? The irving press newspapers - and almost all other western media - haven't said a word about it. Nor has it been mentioned in  the election debates. There, the press is too busy covering sotries about what a devoted couple Bill and Hillary are, and how Trump has a funny haircut.

We are very close to a world nuclear war that is being deliberately encouraged by the U.S. Canada has sent some 800 soldiers to be wiped out in the opening minutes of such a war.

Is there no gutter too deep and too foul for our news media?
This next story will not appear in any New Brunswick paper. As you read it, have someone beside you to speak common sense to you over and over..."a pipeline will create jobs..a pipeline will..."

I thought the following was the most important story in today's Guardian. It says a great deal about humans and how they treat each other in general.

American intervention in the middle east has not only created jihadism and murdered millions. It has pretty effectively destroyed any societies that existed in the region. There will never be a full recovery from this. Even Israel will never recover as a truly Judaic state. That's what the greed of oill billionaires does.
Gee. Ten thousand people turned out on a  brutally hot day in Philadelphia (95 F) to protest the day before the Democratic convention about the failure to act on climate change. That's almost as exciting as Moncton. Funny the irving press never mentioned it.
Speaking of the way we treat people in our crumbling democracies, here is a prime example. It never made the irving press. Compare this with  the coverage given in the irving press  to a wealthy man who was convicted of beating his father to death.
This story is about Africa and the collapse of a political party But it's much more than that - and it's something t o act on. It's something called globalism. Roughly, that refers to the rise of very wealthy private business owners who have become dominant forces in most of the world, effectively destroying democracy - and us. (And, eventually, itself.)

The greatest evil facing us is not terrorism. It's the rise of the very rich. (You know, the ones who own most of the news media.)
George Bush and Obama have attacked 37 countries since 2001. (Actually, the number is higher since it does not include special ops killer squads.) All of these killing expediitions were illegal under international law since the countries targeted were no threat to the U.S. But the U.S. adopted a special law in 2001 that gave it the right to kill anybody, anywhere, and time it felt like it.
Here's a  very brief one on killings by police in the U.S. They hold the world record, by far. The figure used here  (for dramatic reasons) is the early part of 2015. But 2016 is on track for another record.

This is very clear sign not only of a democracy in collapse, but of a whole society in collapse.
There's much more. But I'm hungry, and it's way past supper time.

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