Monday, October 31, 2016

Oct. 31: What is a newspaper that uses lots of photos? Cheap!

The most important news of the day in the iriving press is that cranberry prices are down. To send that message home, the paper also offers three-quarters of a page of photos of cranberry fields. (You see one cranberry field, you've seen 'em all. But photos are cheap page fillers. There's also a full page of photos of people in Hallowe'en costumes.)

There's a small story, very small, about the European Union trade deal with Canada - and it tells us nothing. The only item worth reading in the whole paper is Alec Bruce's column in which he points out that climate change is real - and Canada is doing little about it.
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If you want important news about Canada, skip the irving press. Read The Guardian from Britain.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/26/canada-women-un-ranking-discrimination-justin-trudeau
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And here's a letter to the editor of The Guardian about the Canada-European Union free trade deal.   This brief letter tells us more about it that we have learned through our government, and much, much more than we have learned from the irving press.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/oct/25/walloons-make-a-good-point-about-free-trade

What's happening - and it's happening all over the world - is that big business is pushing hard to free itself from any obligation to be good citizens of any country. It intends to free itself from the law, and from any control by the rest of us. They are destroying government. And they are destroying democracy.  That's what the free trade deals are all about.
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What is happening in the US is not so much an election as it is a social and economic crash. This is dangerous for the U.S., and dangerous for the world. And we're not getting even a hint of this from our news media. Nor are we learning how a very similar process is  happening in Canada.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/31/what-are-we-to-think/
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And here's a reality that rarely appears in our news media.  Our side created the ISIS that we are supposedly fighting. It funds it. It equips the ISIS armies. Our side is furious because Russia is actually attacking the terrorists we claim to be fighting.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/31/us-allies-saudi-arabia-and-qatar-fund-and-equip-isis-its-not-an-election-issue/
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And this is useful for an understanding of why the wealthy need wars.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/25/why-u-s-rulers-dont-fear-nuclear-wwiii-with-russia/
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This is a long one, but worth the read to get a sense of how dishonest most of our news media are.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/31/controversy-over-wikileaks-podesta-emails-opens-a-debate-for-future-journalism/
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I  found this initriguing comment in an article from CounterCurrents about Bernie Sanders.

Quoting from Credit Suisse’s 2013 Global Wealth Report: “Two generations ahead, future extrapolations of current wealth growth rates yields almost a billion millionaires, equivalent to 20% of the total adult population. If this scenario unfolds, then billionaires will be commonplace, and there is likely to be a few trillionaires too — eleven according to our best estimate.”

There’s a new word in there for us, says Credit Suisse. The wealth of the capitalist class will race away from the worker class like a receding star.

              This is the inevitable result of our form of capitalism.
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Here's one that tells us a good deal about the intrusion of billionaire propagandists in our education system. This one is linked to The Fraser institute, a propaganda house whose columns appear frequently in the irving press, just as if they were real, honest journalism.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/yves-engler/2016/10/munk-school-global-affairs-reveals-much-about-state-canadian-fore

As the article shows, these groups have the power to intrude into the public education system and, of course, into the universities (who will do anything for a price.)
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Even some U.S. media mention that the U.S. is equipping and financing the 'terrorists' that they claim to be a threat to the U.S. But they don't ever mention it loudly or clearly.

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/10/29/the-de-facto-usal-qaeda-alliance/
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We haven't had much news about Standing Rock - the anti-oil pipeline protest by native peoples in North Dakota. I was astonished, a few days ago, to see that the police had a large and heavily armed presence to deal with a relatively small and peaceful demonstration. More astonishing was their equipage of amoured cars with machine guns.

Interesting to see that because it's quite possible that Canada will see such demonstrations as the oil companies are determined to push through with such pipelines, and with more oil development.

(Incidentally, estimates are that it will take 30 years for an oil pipeline to pay for itself. So don't hold your breath watching for alternative energy  projects.)

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/10/29/the-passion-behind-standing-rock-protest/
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Here's Russia Today. I would advise all readers to take a look at the whole site, and let me know if this looks like propaganda. In fact, in the story below, the propaganda version (largely in the form of silence) has been all that we've seen or heard from our news media. It says something when a Canadian has to read Russia Today to learn what our Canadian government is doing.

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/364844-ceta-belgium-protests-canada/
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Here's another one that our western news media have ignored - though it's rather an important case as an issue of human rights. A US historian who revealed the extent of anti semitism in Poland is on trial in that country for "insulting the Polish people".  How's that for freedom of speech?  He could get up to three years for it.

In fact, almost all of Europe had little problem with Hitler's extermination of Jews. Nor did Britain or the U.S. or Canada. We all were profoundly anti-Jewish, not just during the war, but even after it. But we prefer not to be reminded of it.

The historian said that the Poles killed more Jews than they did Naziis. So? That's a fact. And the historian could get three years for saying so.

https://www.rt.com/news/364837-poland-jews-historian-court/

Israel's Haaretz, incidentally, carried this story. too. That puts it even further ahead of most North American news media.
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And then there's Haaretz, itself. I always keep it for last because, despite my dislike for the Israeli government, Haaretz is always a breath of the fresh air of honest and intelligent journalism. Below is the only intelligent report I have seen of Putin's sending of an aircraft carrier to the Mediterranean.

http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/1.749859
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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Oct. 29: Monton's wealthy admitted to hall of fame. clap, clap, clap

The irving press is its usual, sloppy and ill-informed self.

The headline says that the leader of New Brunswick's     'leading literacy program for children' is outraged by falling literacy scores at the grade 2 level. "Leading literacy program"? In fact, this is a volunteer group - and a worthy one - but what makes it the leading literacy program? Does it have more expertise than the education system has? And just how many literacy programmes are we comparing this to?

And why be shocked at the drop in literacy?

This is a province which really doesn't give much of a damn about literacy. It never has. Of course there's a literacy problem with children.  The children grow up in a society with little interest in literacy. The libraries are the worst funded in Canada. The parents show little interest in reading (or discussing) anything. In fact, the parents have a very low rate of literacy.

In my elementary school days in Montreal, most of my friends were functionally illiterate. Illiteracy was a social feature of the district I grew up in. I was just lucky that my father read, and encouraged me to read.

Schools can have only a very limited impact on a society that doesn't want to learn. And that's what New Brunswick's problem is. It's not the schools. Its the people of New Brunswick. Even the newspapers are notable only for trash news and triviality.

The Commentary page, for example, has yet another column by Brian Murphy guaranteed not to make anybody think or to feel offended. And below him is yet another Fraser Institute column from Canada's major propaganda house for billionaires.

Page three has yet another story about a business  hall of fame gala to honour some rich people. (This province seems to spend the time it should spend reading on creating halls of fame for rich people.) I wonder whether they keep their money in tax havens. Have you noticed that neither our private news media nor our governments have had anything to say about how the very wealthy avoid paying any taxes at all?

 For an even greater thrill, check out section B, Canada&World, which has nothing worth reading about Canada or the world.  But it does have a two-page spread for the 'Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards'. With its Chamber of Commerce awards, Halls of fame, Orders of Moncton, this small city must have the world's highest proportion of awards for making money.

Now we need a hall of fame for those who pay their taxes.
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I'm not quite sure how seriously to take this next story. But I suspect it has to be taken very seriously, indeed. The American social and economic system is crashing - and this might well be part of the crash.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/29/oregon-militia-bundys-acquittals-anti-government-right-influence

For contrast with the above, check out North Dakota Pipeline on google  to see how native people protesting a pipeline are being treated.
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The wars in Syria and Iraq defy any logic. The U.S. is supposed to be fighting jihadists ( as it is doing in Iraq.) But it is also fighting for them (as it is doing in Syria.) It pretends it has a right to be in Syria because it is helping the so-called 'rebels' against Assad. In fact, many of those rebels are jihadists. And, anyway, the U.S. has no right under law to help any rebels anywhere. One can go to war with a country if it is a threat to your country. (And it's hard to see how Syria is such a threat to the U.S.)  Or you can intervene if the government asks you - but the government of Syria has certainly never made such a request. Russia is the only foreign country that is there legally.

Then there's the doubletalk of the news media.   Rebels supported by the U.S. are called 'moderate rebels'. I have no idea what that term means. Nor do our news media. But they routinely use it. News reports commonly feature material from the Syrian Human Rights Watch. They never tell us that this is run by an anti-Assad haberdasher who lives in England, and who gets all his information from groups opposed to Assad.

The Canadian government tells us nothing about Canadian troops and aircraft that are involved in the fighting in Iraq. In reality, Iraq and Syria are the same war for the same purpose. If, as seems highly possible with a Clinton presidency, this leads to a war with Russia, and even anuclear war, Canada will be in it. This is a huge blunder committed by a Trudeau who wanted to kiss up to the U.S. government. Neither Iraq nor Syria is any threat to Canada. Nor have they ever been.

In fact, neither country is any threat to anybody except oil billionaires.This whole  episode is a quagmire of lies, greed, starvation, mass murder largely by our side. And constantly lied about in our news media.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/29/domestic-u-s-politics-of-war-with-russia/
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One of the most striking features of the last  40 years has been the drive of corporations to destroy the power of the governments that we elect. And that means destroying the only power that we have. That really takes us back to medieval days when aristocracies made us their slaves. The major device for this destruction of us has been the trade treaty. Trudeau is signing one with the European Union as I write this. Here's cautionary tale about it.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/29/u-n-rights-expert-urges-nations-not-to-sign-flawed-ceta-treaty/
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Here's a story that really is common sense.  Why do those terrible Muslim terrorists attack nice people in the U.S., Canada, France, Britain?

Well, it might have something to do with the fact that us nice people have been killing Muslims at a frantic pace ever since 2001. In fact, we have been killing them since 1914, at least.

https://theintercept.com/2016/10/11/us-military-operations-are-biggest-motivation-for-homegrown-terrorists-fbi-study-finds/
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While our news media have been clapping their hands for more war in Syria, others have been more questioning. Here's an interesting example of the questioners.

https://theintercept.com/2016/10/29/the-u-s-and-russia-ensure-a-balance-of-terror-in-syria/

Almost all wars have been essentially economic, and driven by greed. That's what the Greek empires, the Roman Empire, the British Empire were all about. The crusades were fought to steal land for European knights. The British/French wars of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were efforts for each to beat the other at killing native peoples all over the world to steal their land and resources. The so-called 'indian wars' of the US were fought so that land speculators could take native lands. World War 1 was caused by Germany's drive for industrial dominance, and by the determination of its neighbours to maintain their own dominance. World War Two was the same.

The wars in the middle east have nothing to do with bringing democracy or freedom, and nothing to do with Muslims being 'bad'. They are being fought to give oil barons, mostly American, abolute control over the resources of the middle east. But recent wars have added a new angle.

Millions had died to make oil barons richer before this. The new angle is that the oil barons can now avoid taxes with tax havens. That means, among other things, they don't have to pay a cent for these wars that are costing trillions of dollars. The whole cost is picked up by us - the people who do pay taxes. We pay for the wars. And some of us die in them. But we win nothing.

Much of this is connected to the fact that our governments made tax  havens legal. That should be an issue in the U.S. election. But it won't be. Not with Trump. And not with Clinton.
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Australia, like Canada, is and has been a puppet state to fight the wars of Britain, and now those of the U.S.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45754.htm
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I am not one of Trump's admirers. But I suspect the argument below is correct about who is manipulating this election, and how, and why.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45756.htm
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As I read through Russia Today, I was struck by its resemblance to just about any western news site. Here is the page of photos of Haitians struggling to get food. Is this in any way subversive of western values?

https://www.rt.com/in-vision/363661-scuffles-haiti-hurricane-matthew/

Type Russia Today into your search engine. Take a look at the whole edition. Why is this such a threat that western banks and governments are trying to kill it? Almost everything in today's edition I've also seen in the western news media. It even has a kind word for Hillary Clinton. And it certainly beats the pants off the irving press here in New Brunswick.
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The irving press hasn't paid much attention to this story. It needed the space to tell us the important news - about the Business Hall of Fame Awards  for rich people.

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/10/29/police-clash-with-pipeline-protesters/
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This item is a cautionary tale about how the news media use pictures as propaganda. Originally, this  appeared in Russia Today. (Incidentally, Larry King of U.S. fame as host of the Larry King TV show, is now employed by ----wait for it ----Russia Today.

https://off-guardian.org/2016/08/25/a-tale-of-two-syrian-boys-only-one-of-whom-is-supposed-to-matter/
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Here's a letter from Roman Catholic nuns in the besieged city of Aleppo. It disputes the usual story we get that only Russians are doing all the killing in Aleppo. The say that our good buddies (the terrorists that we support) have carried out extensive killings.

https://off-guardian.org/2016/10/24/syrian-catholics-denounce-western-media-biased-reporting-in-aleppo/
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With the cooperation of news media, the western powers, notably the U.S. and Britain, routinely encourage mass murder and torture all over the world. And we never hear about it.

http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2016/820-how-the-press-hides-the-global-crimes-of-the-west-corporate-media-coverage-of-chad.html
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I can only hope this next one gets through. Its from Haaretz - which can create problems for sending out copies. In short, it makes the point that the battle for Mosul in Iraq will be a difficult and costly one. Part of the reason is that some of the forces on our side (like the Kurds) are poorly armed because the U.S. has no wish to see them become a force in the region. As well, ''our side" is by no means united in its ambitions.

At best, this battle is going to produce a very, very large number of civilian dead.

http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.749678
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Israelis, with Haaretz, get an impartial quality of reporting that we rarely see in North America.

http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.749678
(and I hope these last two get through.)
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Friday, October 28, 2016

Oct. 28: Propaganda as news.

There are only two items worth reading in today's irving press. One is Alec Bruce's dissection of the new, Conservative leader, Blaine Higgs. It's quite a contrast to Norbert Cunningham's adolescent drooling, just yesterday, over the same man.

The other item is a big story that the U.N. will investigate Russia and Syria for a war crime in bombing a school in Syria. What's interesting is not the story, itself. But just think. When have you seen the UN speak of investigating the U.S. for war crimes in bombing and starving, Iraq, Yemen, Syria? In North Korea, the U.S. bombed just about every building in the whole country. It carpet bombed cities in Laos, Cambodia, North Vietnam with some of the heaviest bombing in history. It illegally used napalm, agent orange, and depleted uranium. It cooperated in the assassination of the elected president of South Vietnam. The wars, themselves, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen have been illegal under international law. As well, investigations on our side have concluded that the U.S. lied about its reasons for most of those wars. Then there are the war crimes called drone bombing in many countries - not to mention mass killings in South America and Congo.

Those are all war crimes. Have  you ever read a story about the UN investigating them?  About suggesting there might be anything criminal about them? Have you ever seen a story about one of these issues at all in the irving press?

No, of course not. The UN which was founded to prevent war has become a propaganda agency to defend war. We've fallen a long way since 1945.
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Welcome to the Christian west.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/27/calais-camp-minors-children-abandoned-uk-france-human-rights
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The most terrible failure for the U.S. has been the Afghanistan war. In fifteen years, the U.S. has not been able to defeat the Taliban. The mightiest and most expensive military force has not been able to defeat a small and backward country that is even divided against itself. Just as the war against Iraq plunged the U.S. into a pit that keeps growing, the U.S. is actually losing ground in Afghanistan.

The reason given to invade Afghanistan was always a fraud. It was not 9/11. The invasion of AFghanistan had been planned before 9/11. Nor is there any evidence that the Afghanistan government had anything to do with 9/11, So far, all the evidence on that points to the good ol' boys in Saudi Arabia.

The most alarming part is that the U.S. military has not been impressive, even against small and poor countries, for decades. For all its size and power, it seems unable to win a conventional war. And that means a strong temptation to go nuclear.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/27/afghanistan-is-the-dirty-little-secret-of-the-us-presidential-campaign
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Meanwhile, in the U.S. native peoples are bearing the brunt of the fight against oil pipelines. Watch for this in Canada - and soon. And guess whose side the Canadian police will be on.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/27/afghanistan-is-the-dirty-little-secret-of-the-us-presidential-campaign
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This story is not all that important. But it's a good illustration of what Hillary Clinton is all about.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/28/because-of-hillary-clinton-emergency-contraception-is-banned-in-honduras/
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Somehow,  poverty-stricken Yemen is holding out against Saudi Arabia, Britain and the U.S. Another example of the limits of military power.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/saudi-arabia-s-bombing-of-yemeni-farmland-is-a-disgraceful-breach-of-the-geneva-conventions-a7376576.html
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And this next one, with thanks to a reader,  deals with the obvious approach of World War Three.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/russia-west-tensions-rising-putin-syria-aleppo-uk-must-accept-responsibility-a7383316.html
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Here's something we have to learn. International trade deals have not and do not make us rich. In fact, studies show quite the opposite. They're good for big business. But they have not been good for the rest of us. And there are a couple of real stinkers going through as I write this.

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2016/10/when-did-liberal-government-go-tone-deaf
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And here's a story about a Canadian corporation and how it has hidden over two billion dollars in a tax haven. Gee. I wonder if anyone in New Brunswick would do something like that. If there is, the Chamber of Commerce would probably give that person an honorary dinner.

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2016/10/dear-cra-dont-let-cameco-get-away-its-22-billion-tax-evasion
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It seems only yesterday that Canadians were vowing to make amends for our treatment of indigenous peoples. Alas! Today we're breaking all those promises.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/views-expressed/2016/10/justin-trudeau-continuing-proud-liberal-tradition-betraying-i
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This story wasn't important enough for the irving press.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/millions-starving-as-saudi-bombs-tear-yemen-apart-xdxb23cbb
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According to Russia Today, Amnesty International says the U.S. may be guilty of the deliberate killing of civilians. But I''m  sure the U.S. government would never allow that.

https://www.rt.com/news/364132-amnesty-us-killings-syria/
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And here's an intemperate  column (but not an entirely unreasonable one) from Paul Craig Roberts.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45750.htm
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Here's a damning look at our free press.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45752.htm
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And this is the most chillling one.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45742.htm
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Gee. This looks very similar to the Russia Today report on what Amnesty  international said about U.S. attacks. So how come it didn't appear in our newspapers?

https://theintercept.com/2016/10/25/pentagon-ignored-evidence-of-civilian-casualties-in-isis-strikes-human-rights-group-says/
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Another UN problem. In this case, it takes quick action on poor countries for issues of human rights, but complete ignores the abuses of rich and powerful countries.

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/10/25/us-impunity-erodes-world-justice/
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There is nothing unusual about a rigged election in the U.S. In fact, it  has pretty much become a routine practice. I don't know enough about the Canadian situation to say much about it. However, I can vividly remember going through two, wildly rigged separation votes in Quebec, both of them rigged by the separatist government. And, when I was in my teens and twenties in Montreal, i knew people who were hired to wreck election stations, and destroy the votes at selected sites.

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/10/27/the-modern-history-of-rigged-us-elections/
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Saudi Arabia has been elected to the UN Human Rights Council, despite having one of the worst human rights records in the world.

https://www.rt.com/news/364584-russia-saudi-unhrc-election/
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CBC has the story that Canada has and Belgium have now agreed on the Canada-Europe Trade Deal. It also says a bit about the terms. But the Canadian people have not yet been given much information at this deal. Worse, we've had no assessment of the  potential impact of it.But we're going to get it, anyway.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-eu-trade-friday-votes-1.3825583
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When did the popular news media become corrupt dispensers of propaganda? From their start in the late nineteeth century. Two motives drove them. One was the need to create sensation, even where there was none, because sensation would sell papers. The other was that ownership required wealth - and the wealthy owners of newspapers had more in common with other wealthy people than they did with common people.

In the late 1890s, Britain invaded South Africa. (It had already been invaded and settled by Dutch farmers who then defended it against the British. Both the British and the Dutch treated the native peoples as sub-human.
)
The British invasion was for the purpose of looting the region's gold-fields for the enriching of those British who were already wealthy. That worthy ambition immediately put the British news media on the side of war.

But, oh, the war went slowly. The news media desperately needed a British hero. And they found one in an officer who, with his regiment, was defending the town of Mafeking against the Dutch (Boer) army.

For months, the British press made him a hero for his valiant and courageous defence, his calm, his setting a tone with smiling and whistling at all times.
When the British army at last relieved Mafeking, it wanted to court martial the hero. He wasn't supposed to be defending Mafeking in the first place. There was no point in defending it, and it had taken a tremendous effort by the army to relieve him. As well, he could have led his troops out at almost any time. He chose to remain under siege. The army wanted him stripped of his rank - at least.
But the news of the relief of Mafeking to a British public which had spent months fascinated by this model of British courage and determination creat celebrations so wild that to this day wild celebration in Britain is sometimes called 'mafeking'.

The army had to promote him to general. But it  had no intention of giving him a command again. So it was that Baden-Powell turned to Britain to work with young boys. In 1914, he offered his services to the king. But the king declined with thanks, saying his work with the Boy Scouts was too important.
The popular news media, from the beginning, were propaganda agencies. And they've become very, very skilful at it. Read the irving press. From its origins, the role of the paper has been to keep New Brunswickers in ignorance of even their own province, to praise  (and on some issues to hide) the wealthy. Some of its commentaries are written by staff who don't even pretend to comment on anything. They just tell pointless stories.  Some, like those of the Fraser Institute, are the the direct propaganda of the wealthy.

And that has happened to almost all of the private news media around the world. They have effectively put most of the western world out of touch with any reality.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Oct.26: The irving press continues to amaze

The irving press continues to set new records as an intellectual swamp. The big item in section    A is that a new men's wear  store has opened in town.   Section B, Canada&World, never gets  out of Canada - and rarely gets out of New Brunswick. None of it is worth reading.

(Well, in fairness, the comments page has a suggestive article about the needs of the new Moncton High. The article needs more work. But it's a welcome break from the wails that the biggest education problem in New Brunswick is that Moncton High's football field is less than regulation size.)
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Sometimes, one can just wonder at what is presented at news. The Guardian has this story of NATO rebuking Spain for even thinking of allowing a Russian fleet heading for Syria to refuel.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/26/russia-cancels-spanish-fuel-stop-for-syria-bound-warships

NATO bombers, with the U.S. in the lead, have been to top killers of civilians in the world for at least forty years. Other NATO bombers of civilians have included Britain, France, Belgium and Canada. But the news story doesn't mention that. It's surely amazing how the western world can get loudly righteous about the brutality of others while ignoring their own failings in that respect.
This certainly has become one hell of a murderous world. And we take a back seat to no-one in making it so murderous. A news story should reflect the whole story.
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I don't doubt that the following story about "communist brutalism" in Moldavia is true.
But I have never seen a story in The Guardian or any other paper about "capitalist brutalism",  though it certainly exists all over the world.

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/oct/24/insiders-guide-chisinau-moldova-communist-brutalism
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After almost a century of U.S. occupation, and dictators, Haiti remains a land of immeasurable misery and poverty. And that misery and poverty remains a matter of indifference to the U.S. and the west.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/oct/25/united-nations-expert-special-rapporteur-calls-actions-over-haiti-cholera-outbreak-2010-a-disgrace
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The murders of environmentalists go on in South America.  I note, though, that The Guardian does not call this 'capitalist brutalism'.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/24/brazil-amazon-environmentalist-murder-luiz-alberto-araujo
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And here's a story that could be repeated all over South America.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/oct/26/discontent-cerrejon-coal-mine-colombians-cry-foul

But don't waste time looking for it in the irving press. It likes mining companies.
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https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/series/counted-us-police-killings
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Ohmygoodness. Our side is killing civilians, too, as it attacks Mosul in Iraq. Who would have guessed?

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/26/civilian-toll-mounts-as-mosul-offensive-enters-second-week/
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American elections are the most expensive in the world. The result is that only wealthy people backed by very wealthy people have any chance of winning an election. Effectively, democracy does not exist. What remains is rule by aristocracy. And Canada is on much the same track.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/26/an-alternate-narrative-on-hillary-clinton-and-donald-trump/
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A U.S. obssession which dates back to the annexation of Hawaii as a naval base for Pacific wars and to the 1899 invasion of The Phillipines has been the conquest of Asia. It seemed on the edge of fulfillment in 1945. But Britain defied the U.S. and took Hong Kong back for itself, and Mao beat the U.S. out of the rest of China. The Korean War was fought to give the U.S. another toehold - which it now uses to threaten China. However, it lost the more important target of Vietnam. It now seems possibly, even likely, that the U.S. has lost its chance for an Asian empire.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45736.htm
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Clinton and Trump have not even tried to deal with the real election issues. Instead, both have resorted to bluster, name-calling and gossip. And the American news media have followed their lead every step of the way.Which is crazier? I don't know. Which is more likely to take us into a nuclear war? Clinton.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45736.htm
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In North Dakota, police are using force against native peoples who do not want an oil pipeline across their land. The story hasn't made the irving press. And it won't. But not to worry. The pipeline builders are coming this way, too.

https://theintercept.com/2016/10/25/video-police-viciously-attacked-peaceful-protestors-at-the-dakota-access-pipeline/
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Some fifteen years ago, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan. The reason given was that Afghanistan was behind the terror attack on 9/11. In fact, it wasn't. In fact, there has never been any evidence it was. In fact, the attack on Afghanistan was planned BEFORE 9/11,

And, thouh it rarely makes the news, the war that began fifteen years ago is still on.That the mighty United States, with Britain and Canada, has been unable to defeat a small and poor country is a clear indication of the limitations of warfare.
As well, the war has cost the U.S. over a trillion dollars, much of that lost to corruption in the American arms industry, and in the 'democratic' government we established in Afghanistan. That same corruption has carried over into all the tensions since. It is a stunning reminder of what President Eisenhower warned was the "military/industrial" complex which makes monstrous profits by keeping war hysteria at a pitch. And that diversion of trillions has magnified poverty and hunger all over the U.S.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article193627.html
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What? Our side commit war crimes? Never.

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/10/25/us-impunity-erodes-world-justice/
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Here's Russia Today, the newspaper that western leaders feel needs to be banned or destroyed because of its vicious propanda. So take a look at these articles, and tell me how they are different from our newspapers.

https://www.rt.com/usa/364159-americans-trust-democrats-republicans/

https://www.rt.com/news/364132-amnesty-us-killings-syria/

https://www.rt.com/news/364209-saudi-arabia-unhrc-election/

(Saudi Arabia has one of the world's worst records for human rights abuses.)

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/363919-france-calais-demolition-refugees/

This is dangerous propaganda? I don't see any such thing. In fact, most of these stories could have appeared in a western paper. Some did. Certainly, there is less propaganda here than there is in the Voice of America or our own irving press.
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And here's an item by David Suzuki, perhaps Canada's best known scientist. Too bad we don't see him in the irving press any more. Of course, that's because he ain't real smart like that there Mr. Irving who would probably have got a university degree (maybe a BA in paper folding) if he'd really wanted to.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/david-suzuki/2016/10/heated-debates-ignore-overheating-planet
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And here's one about Canadian native peoples taking the Enbridge case to court. The Canadian government will respond, I expect, in the usual, democratic  way, by calling out the boys in camouflage suits and carrying combat rifles.

http://rabble.ca/news/2016/10/chippewas-thames-take-line-9-to-court
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And here's an issue that most Canadians seem unaware of.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/views-expressed/2016/10/why-canada-still-privatizing-public-services-when-most-world-#at_pco=smlrebv-1.0&at_si=5810dc93c14b0361&at_ab=per-2&at_pos=0&at_tot=5
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Here's an update on the war Americans prefer not to hear about. (Its figures on cost of that war and casualties are, to say the least, modest.)

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/10/elections-mention-afghan-war-161023150934602.html
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Monday, October 24, 2016

Oct. 24: Cheap journalism and the irving press.

The longest story on the front page of the irving press is that a former finance minister, now running for leadership of the Conservative party of New Brunswick, says he will do politics differently. How will he do them differently?  The story really doesn't say. But for lovers of stories that say nothing, there are two more big ones on exactly the same topic in section B.

The lead story -  hold on to your hats, is that school registration is up 2.4% this year. Then there's a page of pictures of people at the zoo. Well, it tells us nothing. But it fills space - and it's cheap.

For World News, once we get through the two non-stories about the provincial Conservative convention, there's a whole page about a prison break in Haiti. Actually, it's almost  a whole page of photos of empty places they escaped from. Great stuff for people who like pictures of empty places. Also great for newspaper editors and owners who are too cheap to even look for real news.
And that's about it. Well, there's also a big story that Canada has lots of work to do on indigenous issues. But that's surely not surprising given that Canada hasn't done anything on inigenous issues. And there's a big, big story that some people think some hallowe'en costumes are offensive.

Yemen? Turkey? Canadian bombers and special ops troops in Iraq? Never heard of 'em. War developing between India and Pakistan - and both of them nuclear powers? Yawn. Who cares? Nine thousand Syrian refugees of all ages being kicked out of a camp in France, and with nowhere to go? Who gives a damn?
And for local news that doesn't appear in the irving press, an oil pipeline from Alberta to New Brunswick would take thirty years just to pay for the line. And that means thirty years of no action on cutting carbon emissions. Boy, it's a good thing that climate change isn't really happening.
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Here are photos of a story the irving press didn't consider worth reporting.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2016/oct/24/clearing-calais-refugee-camp-france-in-pictures

And the children.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/29/they-are-falling-apart-the-fate-of-lone-children-in-calais-refugee-camp
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Here's a bitter, but quite accurate, outline of world history over the last 75 years or so. Despite the myth of the American love of democracy, the U.S. has very, very seldom brought democracy to anybody. It does, though, have a record of overthrowing democracies, and installing dictators. Just a few examples of this have been Iran, Egypt, Haiti, Guatemala, Chile, South Vietnam....  (They like to call it 'regime change'.)

It is now engaged in conquering the world. That's not loose talk.It has announced that in Project for the New American Century. Obama has publicly embraced that idea with his acceptance of 'American exceptionalism' - the idea that the U.S., and only the U.S., has the right to invade any country it pleases to.

And that is why the U.S. is by far the world's biggest spender on weapons. That money could be spent on easing poverty in the U.S.. It could be spent on helping the nearly thirty million refugees the U.S. has created. (with the help of its toadies like Britain, Belgium, France, Canada...)

What the U.S. has done is to revive the cold war - and to revive it in a much more dangerous form. Russia backed away from a nuclear war over Cuba back in the 1960s. But Russia and China are not backing away this time. Though the irving press hasn't noticed it, we are very, very close to nuclear war.

https://off-guardian.org/2016/10/22/western-hypocrisy-and-why-it-makes-the-world-a-dangerous-place/

Speaking of spy service, and Canada's CSIS, Canada now has troops in Latvia near the Russia border. They are there because CSIS said Russia is preparing for war. That's it.  Well,  isn't the U.S. preparing for war? Isn't almost every country preparing for war? In fact, the reason Russia is preparing for war is because the U.S. is doing things like planting troops and nuclear weapons on the Russian border. They'd be damned fools if they weren't.

In fact, if CSIS detected  Russia preparing for war, wouldn't that mean Canada, by spying, was preparing for war? And if the U.S. is planting nuclear weapons on the Russian border, doesn't that mean the U.S. is preparing for war?

But those five words that tell us nothing became our excuse to put Canadian troops in danger. CSIS was used to create a crisis where none existed. That's a large part of what spy agencies do.
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Let's count the nations that have forces in Iraq and/or Syria. There's Syria and Iraq, of course. There's the U.S., Russia, Turkey, Kurds  (though not not yet recognized as a nation), Canada, Belgium, Britain, Iran, and there are Jihadists from many countries.

To add to the confusion, they are there for varied and often contradictory reasons.  The U.S. is there to defeat the Jihadists in Iraq. But it's also there to support the Jihadists (same ones) fighting Syria. That's why it's attacking Jihadists in Iraq, but  defending them in Syria.

Turkey is in Iraq mostly to prevent Kurds from getting a part of it. Kurds are there for the opposite reason.

Russia is there to help Assad - which is why the U.S. is mad at Russia. The U.S. wants Assad destroyed.

Everybody's there for a different reason and, for the U.S., the reason changes from one target to another. And this is a war not likely to end any time soon - probably not for many, many years. And in every one of those years there will be many times when the confusion could cause a blunder that would lead to World War Three. In fact, this may well be World War Three already.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/24/mosul-offensive-intensifies-regional-tensions-as-turkish-soldiers-intervene-in-iraq/
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There is a company which manufactures devices that record private conversations, phone calls, somputer files, you name it - and sells them to governments. One of its customers is Canada.  It's a wonderful way for governments to find out all about you. And the beauty of it is it doesn't just take down information about criminals and terrorists. It takes down information about everybody - includiing you.

https://theintercept.com/2016/10/23/endace-mass-surveillance-gchq-governments/
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It's been a slow day for news. One of the reason is that the U.S. is winding down a presidential race in which neither candidate has said anything about any major issue facing the U.S. The U.S. is currently fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen. It is also bombing an unkown number of countries.  Why? It is on the edge of fighting with Russia. Why?

(Oh, look at me, teacher. My hand is up. I know why. It's because Russians are bad people.)

Neither Clinton nor Trump seems to consider this important. U.S. living standards are dropping as the very wealthy get a bigger and bigger share of the national wealth. Government spending has soared above any possibility that the U.S. debt can ever be paid.

Fundamental social services, even education, are being destroyed as the wealthy privatize them for their own profit. Racism is far out of control. And there's surely something wrong with a nation that has far the largest prison population in the world.

We are watching the collapse of capitalism as it becomes a  system in which the wealthy are able to avoid government control (which means they are able to avoid citizen control.) The system is no longer capitalism. It's simply a primitive affair called unlimited greed.

Greed, nothing else, is the reason for wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya. Greed is the reason for poverty in Africa, South America, much of Asia - and right here in North America.

But neither candidate for the presidency mentioned this.

So it is that Hilary Clinton will probably win this election - because Trump raped women - and Clinton didn't.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Oct. 22: The Gutter that is the irving press Deepens.


Today, for the third day in a row, the front page headline story is another sensationalist one - and again on the same murder trial. "Deceased victim was stabbed more than  100 times, jury told."  Just the information we need to vote intelligently, to plan for the future, to understand the world around us. And this mindless, useless drivel is characteristic of the whole of the paper.

They have also added yet another think tank without telling us what it is. This is called Cardus Family. And it's a religious, fundamentalist propaganda house. Its general view is that religious fundamentalists should be allowed to force their views on others - but others should not be allowed to force their views on fundamentalists. In other words, they should have the right to force their values on voters. But voters should not have the same right against them. Apparently, we're now going to have this thrust on us, and we aren't going to be told what this propaganda house is really all about - just like The Fraser Institute.

Of course, there are probably advantages that come with Cardus and Fraser. I suspect that irving doesn't have to pay for these columns.

Canada and World is pretty much just Canada - and slim pickings at that. There is no mention that a powerful Russian fleet is on the way to the middle east. But who cares? Right? Nor is there yet any mention that Canada is selling armoured cars to Saudi Arabia to help kill civilians in Yemen. Nor is there any mention that the U.S. openly admits to wanting the government of Syria destroyed - but wants other people, notably ISIS terrorists, to do the destroying.

Today's sermonette on the Faith page is by the best of the regulars who write for it. But, as Christian churches have been doing for 2,000 years, it wiggles away from the point. It says the central point of every belief system in the world is that we should love everyone and help everyone.

As he wrote that, the very Christian U.S., Belgian, British (and Canadian) Christians were busily cutting off food and medical aid to much of the middle east, killing and refugeeing tens of millions. If fact, for the last 2,000 years, Christians have been killing and pillaging each other - and those of other religions. And in every case they have done so with the approval and even the blessings of their churches. George Bush, who killed a million and a half people in Iraq, is a real Hallelujah boy. The message of Cardus is we gotta stop them there transgendered sinners. But we won't mention bombing civilians.

What a pack of hypocrites!

Oh, where's the big story on how Montreal's Bombardier aircraft plant is asking the federal government for a couple of billion dollars? Isn't capitalism the system in which bold entrepreneurs risk their own money, and don't go around begging for handouts like those lazy slobs on UI? I wonder how many people on UI can expect to get 2 billion....
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Here is what's happening to wine production as a result of climate change that our oil billionaires tell us isn't happening. And this is just a start. Grapes are not the only crop that is in trouble. One result of this is going to be mass migration - and a very, very messy one. Another result is going to be a general reduction in all crops.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/oct/20/global-wine-production-falls-2016-climatic-events
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American foreign policy since 2001  (and earlier) has thrown the middle east into a profound instability which is dangerous for us all. It's campaign against Mosul (with Canadian help) will make it even more dangerous.

The purpose of the campaign is not to defeat ISIS. No. The U.S. needs the terrorists of ISIS to destroy Syria. What it now wants is to move ISIS out of Iraq - and into Syria. Will civilians be killed in the process? You bet. Will Russia continue to attack Aleppo? No doubt about it. Will this heighten the possibility of nuclear war? Sure thing.

Will this end the fighting in Iraq? Not at all. The Kurds want a large piece of Iraq. So do the Turks. Expect Iraq to get much worse. Remember Bush strutting on the deck of a carrier to welcome the troops home from Iraq? In fact, that war was not over. It still isn't over. And there is no reason to believe that any of the wars that were begun in 2001 will be over in any foreseeable future.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/22/turkish-bombing-in-syria-threatens-wider-war/
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Is Russia killing Civilians in Aleppo? Yes. Are these war crimes? Almost certainly. Is the U.S. killing civilians in Mosul and in Syria? No  doubt about it. Are these war crimes. Yes.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/22/us-led-sanctions-targeting-syria-risk-adjudication-as-war-crimes/___________________________________________________________

Here's an example of how tangled violent interference with other countries can get.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/20/libya-five-years-after-gaddafis-brutal-murder/
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And here's a pretty telling attack on The Guardian.

https://off-guardian.org/2016/10/22/guardian-cites-terrorist-leader-saying-there-are-no-terrorists-in-aleppo/

I have noticed more than a few The Guardian offences similar to the one above.
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I've just taken a break to look at Haaretz. It's well worth a subscription. It has a fascinating range of articles and, oh, it's honest journalism.
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Here's a story about Australia as a puppet nation doomed to fight other peoples' wars. In fact, this is almost  identical to the history of Canada.

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/10/19/australia-tagging-along-into-other-nations-wars/
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Here's a gruesome account. It's not about any  'bad guys' in particular. It's about all of us.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45719.htm
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Here's the current issue of Russia today. I see propaganda here in the sense that nothing is ever the fault of Russia. But as I read western papers, I read that nothing is ever our fault. What's the difference?

And, certainly, there's no lying in here. There often is in our daily news media.
https://www.rt.com/news/
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Now, here's something that is highly biased. Sometimes, I think it goes overboard. But it does hit on a major issue never touched in our news media -  the profound corruption of American political and economic life up to the highest levels. And the corruption of all our private news media and their billionaire owners.  And the huge danger that places all of us in.

http://thesaker.is/the-usa-are-about-to-face-the-worst-crisis-of-their-history-and-how-putins-example-might-inspire-trump/
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In our news media, we get very little sense of what war means. This might help us to understand.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/10/mosul-battle-produce-humanitarian-catastrophe-161020081949949.html
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Here is something that has passed right under the wobbling radar of the irving press. India and Pakistan are playing with war - again. No big deal? Both have nuclear weapons.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/10/voices-peace-opposing-war-india-pakistan-161019053544807.html
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Now, here's a real problem for the oil industry. If true and acted on, this means 1. the oil industry, in accepting it, will be admitting it has been lying about climate change. 2. the oil industry could find itself facing competitors in the fuel business.

It's also an interesting test for your local news media. Will they  run this story?

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/10/scientists-find-convert-c02-green-fuel-161020204550567.html
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One of the proud boasts I frequently came across in studying Canadian history was that Canada, by its performance in World War One, got the right to declare war on its own. And that's rubbish.

1. Britain agreed to full independence for Canada to get rid of us. It feared a U.S./Canada confrontation that could drag Britain into a war with the U.S. This was a worry the British had felt since the U.S. civil war. They wanted to get rid of Canada.

2. Canada, actually, was never required to go to war when Britain declared war - except in the most technical sense. It was required to go to war - only if Canada itself was invaded. The British put pressure on Canada to fight whenever Britain did when it drew Canada into the Boer War. The did that to establish a precedent because they know war with Germany was on the way.

Canada is now actively at war bombing bombing Iraq. It has played an active role in that war going back to the start. And it has never declared war. It has had naval ships involved from the start. It has special ops troops involved. Canadian aircraft are bombing Mosul. That's a war.

The Canadians are fighting a war without parliament ever voting for it or even discussing it. In other words, we have betrayed what we claimed our soldiers were fighting for in World War 1.   (And we betrayed even more the promises we made in World War 2.)

I must remember that for Nov. 11.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/canadas-secret-war-iraq-ten-years-after-shock-and-awe/5326879

Friday, October 21, 2016

Oct. 21: "Not with a bang, but a whimper"

The lead story in the irving press Canada and World section is that a New Brunswicker is among 4 new members of a (rigged) panel studying an oil pipeline scheme. I rather thought the following story (CBC) was more important. But you'll never see it in the irving press.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/saudi-arabia-arms-deal-canada-macdonald-1.3810952

Strut  your pride, Canada. Canadian armoured cars will soon be killing children in Yemen thanks to Trudeau's decision to ignore our signing of a treaty that bans us from selling weapons to murderous regimes. the treaty specifically names   Saudi Arabia. (Doesn't Mr. Trudeau;s hair look nice?)
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The headline in  the irving press for Oct.20 was "Neighbour tells murder trial she heard banging and screaming". For Oct. 21, it is "Murder trial jury shown dagger, shard of glass, curtain rod".

This is gutter journalism. Cheap and useless information, it appeals only to those who love the thrill of gossip. These headlines (and the rest of paper) tell us that the purpose of the irving press is not to inform but to keep us ignorant and uninformed of what we need to know.  It's called sensationalism.

And it works. New Brunswickers haven't the faintest idea what problems this province faces.

Oh, in Commentary, Oct. 21 has its usual propaganda piece from that billionaire's mouthpiece, the Fraser Institute. Oct. 20 treats us to a group called Cardus which does 'research' to prove that religious schools are superior. (Of course, the irving press doesn't tell us what these outfits are.)
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The news on the American election is pretty superficial, too. Of course. Nobody is ready to face the reality of what that means.

We get lots of bilge on how the election of Hillary would be a great advance for women. Right. If she wins, this will inspire other rich women who are well-connected politically and well-funded by big money in oil and banking (mostly male) to run for office, and kill whoever big oil and banking tell them to kill.
Of course, it won't do a hell of a lot for the women who have to sleep on the streets of Los Angeles. Nor will it help all those millions of women who have to work for minimum wages at  places like Walmart. Nor will it help the unmarried or abandoned mothers who raise their children in deep poverty.

We have had national leaders before who were women, from Queen Elizabeth 1 to Mary Queen of Scots to Catherine the great to Margaret Thatcher to the current British p.m. None of them did a thing for women. Nor will Clinton. She knows well who she serves.

Donald Trump, even if he were sane, would be a disaster. As a billionaire, he is an ardent believer in neoliberalism, the right of the wealthy to rule, to avoid taxes, to escape regulation, to prosper by sheer greed. How could a country with so many millions of people produce such a pair as the only serious candidates for the presidency?

That's because of something else the irving press has never told us.

The American political and economic system is rotten to the core. It is corrupt. It is anti-democratic. It is murderous. And it is hopelessly out of control. No matter who wins, we are watching the collapse of American society. The only question remaining is - how many of us it will take with it.

And the answer, as I watch the kiss-ups of Justin Trudeau, is it will take all of us Canadians with it.
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And, oh, I agreed with this next one. Canadians have an image of themselves as false as the image Americans have of themselves. And Canadians have routinely shown a political sense just as bad as that of Americans. Of course. Both countries are controlled by billionaires who own media to keep us ignorant, and who buy politicians.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/21/canada-politics-progressive-liberal-trudeau

Right now, Trudeau is holding energy board 'consultations' with the public about pipelines - and with implications for fracking. It's pretty clear that these are an attempt to wiggle around those opposed to such development.  (They will certainly not discuss the storm of earthquakes that has hit Oklahoma City since its development of fracking.)

The fossil fuel industry has not the slightest intention, ever, of cutting down to reduce climate change. It has even, with the help of newspapers like the irving press, convinced many people it's not happening. Greed will beat common sense every time.
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I'm afraid that, each day, I notice that The Guardian has a little less worth reporting on.
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Reuters has reported on a story that the  irving press has not bothered to notice. The Phillipines has placed its future in an alliance with China. The American response is to act suprised, and say that the U.S. and The Phillipines have been close for over a century. In fact, the U.S. conquered The Phillipines in an extraordinarily brutal war, then ruled it with an American military dictator until 1942, then with local puppet dictators from 1945 until recently. This is a huge defection of what had been a major American foothold in Asia.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-philippines-idUSKCN12K0AS
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The wars in the middle east are increasingly bizarre. The U.S. is supposedly attacking ISIS. But it isn't - not usually. In fact, it's supplying ISIS - as is Saudi Arabia. It wants ISIS to defeat Assad in Syria. And it is criticizing the Russians for bombing the city of Aleppo precisely because Russia is bombing the ISIS terrorists.

So why is the U.S. launching the Iraq army to fight ISIS in Mosul?
Well, that's because the U.S. wants itself, not ISIS, to control Iraq. It also wants those ISIS troops in Mosul to join in the fight against Syria. It doesn't want to kill them. It wants to evacuate them to fight in Syria.

It gets even more difficult to follow because the U.S. does not want its own troops fighting on land. Americans get very, very nervous at casualty lists. That's why it's bombing. In these wars,  the air force suffers very, very few casualties. Bombing, of course, kills a lot of civilians. But nobody cares about that.
To make it messier, the Kurds are involved in the Mosul attack because they want a new Kurdistan which will necessarily mean taking territory from Iraq and Turkey. And Turks are involved because they want to squeeze out Kurds, and to take over some of Iraq for Turkey.

I hope that's all perfectly clear. American strategic planning over the last fifteen years has been of a sort the world has rarely seen. It has destroyed the stability of the whole region, and that may never be recovered. And, en passant, it has killed or refugeed over 30 million people (mostly civilians)  - which have carried that destabilization to Europe. And it's all to satisfy oil billionaires.

Oh, and millions of children have effectively been orphaned, and will have little chance for any significant education. But that's their problem.

And that's okay because we all know that burning fossil fuels is good for us.

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/10/18/turkey-and-us-consolidate-terror-assets-from-iraq-to-syria.html
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Here's a story dating back to 2003. It's important because it's the key to all the wars of the last fifteen years.  It's the reason for "American Exceptionalism", the belief that the U.S. has the right ( a right denied to all other nations) to ignore international law, and to kill whoever it wishes to. And it has the right to kill in order to gives the U.S. control of the whole world. (That's not my opinion. That's what the document says. That's what Both Bush and Obama have publicly said. That's what the irving press has never reported.)

Clinton shares this view. That's been obvious in all her years in government. Trump has never explained anything clearly enough to be sure of what his views are - but he would almost certainly follow the same policy. This document is the key to understanding American policy for the last 16 years.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1665.htm
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http://www.voltairenet.org/article193788.html
_________________________________________________________________Here's Russia Times, the web site that British and other leaders are trying to destroy because, they say, it's Russian propaganda. well.....

almost all western news is propaganda. In any case, take a look at today's edition of Russia Times. Does that look like lying propaganda to you? In fact, almost all the stories in it have also appeared in the western news media.

https://www.rt.com/
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Ever read or heard any news stories about the use of torture by Canada's spy agency, CSIS?

Here's a chance to catch up on reality.

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2016/10/canadas-torture-consumers-and-faux-national-security-consultation
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Canadians just love Justin Trudeau.  His hair is so nice...... here are some different viewpoints. The one that most interested me is about his pledge to undertake electoral reform. That's an important issue  because we aren't getting election results that reflect public opinion. We also have extremely lax rules on financing which can (and do) produce government as corrupt as those in the U.S.
But Trudeau has decided to drop electoral reform because - well - the public isn't demanding it.

The job of the prime minister is to see our needs, and act on them. It is not to do only what we tell him to do.

http://rabble.ca/polls/whats-most-liberal-thing-justin-trudeaus-government-has-done-so-far
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On the same issue.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/karl-nerenberg/2016/10/can-trudeau-get-away-killing-electoral-reform
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In the greatest theft in world history, the wealthy can escape taxation using tax havens. They can also register their companies as foreign - using countries that have   few or no taxes. Americans want that money paid as taxes. So Clinton is responding with a sweetheart deal.- to get them to pay the money - but at very, very low rates.

Millions of Americans are living in deepening poverty. Universities are so expensive as to be unobtainable for most famjlies. Record numbers are living on the streets. The money hidden overseas amounts to some 23 trillion dollars. That's TRILLION.  But, oh my goodness, we musn't take money from those poor rich people. Professor Saillant of Moncton U. could write a book on the importance of making the rich happy. (He probably will. And Norbert Cunningham will drool over it.)

https://theintercept.com/2016/10/19/democratic-sen-chuck-schumer-says-top-priority-for-next-year-is-giant-corporate-tax-cut/
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Funny how our news media missed this story.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/21/the-debates-are-over-and-no-one-asked-about-climate-change/
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Here's an account of the Mosul offensive that you won't find in our private news media. Incidentally, Canadians are doing some of the bombing. Gee. How did the irving press miss that? Of course, our air force would kill only adult male members of ISIS. (It makes them hold up their IDs before bombing them.)

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/21/mosul-offensive-stirs-a-cauldron-of-conflicts/
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And this is what is happening in Mosul and Aleppo.

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/10/17/good-deaths-in-mosul-bad-deaths-in-aleppo/
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Long ago, I promised a list of the sources I have been using. Here it is,  though missing a few I have misplaced. It includes some, , like The Saker, that I use with caution.

The Guardian
Information Clearing House
The Intercept
Countercurrents
voltairenet.org (English and French)
Russia Today
Offguardian
Media Lens
The Saker (with caution)
Rabble.ca
 Consortium News
Al Jazeera (with caution. Its formation was excellent - but one sometimes sees the influence of the boss.)
Haaretz - narrow in its coverage, but still the most honest newspaper in the world. Unfortunately, I cannot send it because it will not send stories unless the person I send it to is a subscriber.

And I'm always looking for more sources.

Most discouraging is the Canadian/American ignorance of what fossil fuels are doing. Scientific opinion is close to unanimous on this. Climate change is happening. It is already affecting agriculture in large parts of the world - including California. Storm patterns are changing. The ice caps are melting. Animal and fish populations have been noticeably disturbed.

But a majority of Canadian and Americans don't believe it's happening. They prefer to believe th oil barons  who have no scientific credentials whatever.

'This is the way the world ends.
Not with a bang, but a whimper.'

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Oct. 19: Neoliberalism in action.

The headline story is that a former mayor of Moncton who just gave a speech about the murder of three police officers in this city over two years ago. He had nothing to add to what we already know about it - and have known for two years.
Why is this the front page headline story?

The rest of section A  is the usual potpourri of courtroom chatter, pointless commentaries, free ads for businesses, and the mandatory propaganda  piece from the Fraser Institute.

Meanwhile, Irving is suing Greenpeace because it wants to protect our forests against assaults from the irvings and others. But that didn't make the news.

About a year ago, a report on our treatment of native peoples drew wails of remorse from our leaders, and promises to make good the damage we had done. So far, not a damn thing has been done. On the contrary, our governments are trying to bully and lie native peoples into accepting oil pipelines across their land, and fracking on it.

But we are moving speedily on drying the tears of that nice Mr. Oland who was convicted of murdering his father. He's getting a new trial, and the irving press is all agush.

In other news, a private hospital is suing the Canadian government, saying that medicare is infringing on its RIGHT to make money out of illness. Actually, this is an issue that is behind the reason why New Brunswick has been quietly cutting away at medicare by contracting out some of its work.

If they win, expect a general assault on medicare, one that will deprive most of us of any care at all, but which will return medical care to its proper role of making the rich richer. These people are pretty vile bastards. ( I remember the days when I was a child, and there was  no medicare. I remember people suffering and dying at home as I watched. They couldn't afford private medical care. Tough on them.)

Oh   - another item that didn't make the irving press - the Canadian army, funded by your tax dollars, is testing armoured cars to help out a Canadian company that is building the cars for sale to Saudi Arabia. What's wrong with that?

Canada is not supposed to be selling weapons for Saudi Arabia. We signed an agreement to that effect because Saudi Arabia is a notorious abuser of human rights. But Canada is not only breaking its word by allowing the sales; it is also subidizing the manufacturer by testing the cars at our expense.

And where will they be used? They will be used in Yemen against some of the poorest people  in the world who have been shot, bombed, starved and denied food by Saudi Arabia and the U.S. because -----well, nobody has ever bothered to tell us why. The suffering of that war has fallen on civilians - and deliberately so. This is a repeat of the suffering inflicted on Jews in Hitler's holocaust. ( Yes, I know we're not allowed to compare the holocaust to anything else. so sue me.)
In fact, the rate of civilian murder in the middle east today is rapidly approaching that of the holocaust. And our churches are accepting that as quietly as the Nazi churches accepted Hitler's brutality.

And that bring us to a term we need to understand. Neoliberalism.

Neoliberalism is the economic/political system we now live under. it is based on the idea that corporations, just like private individuals, have human rights. Yes. That's what democracy means to these people. Therefore:

1, Corporations should be free to do whatever they like to our environment, to our forests to our waters, to our soil.
2. Corporations should be free to do whatever they like to people. - pay them starvation wages, ignore their needs, charge them for medical care....
3. It follows that government is bad because it interferes with the human rights of corporations. That's why we have to get rid of it with trade deals that penalize governments for interfering with the right of corporations to make as much as they like any way they like. Neoliberals want to own and control even the courts that will decide their cases But the irving press hasn't noticed that.
The irving press is neoliberal. Read Norbert Cunningham. Notice his contempt for civil servants and for governments. That's a staple of neoliberal thought. The purpose of all human activity is to make profits for the wealthy. Government is not of the people, by the people and for the people. No. And both the Liberals and the Conservatives accept that.

Government is for the corporations. Just leave them alone to do what they want - and blessings will tumble from the sky. You can find that message on almost every page of the irving press.

To the very wealthy, the purpose of a military is to a)make money for the arms industry b)provide killers to murder people and take their land for neoliberal corporations. The purpose of government is to pass laws freeing the wealthy from paying for any of the above, and passing laws that make it possible for the wealthy to avoid paying taxes at all.

And it all runs around disguised as patriotism.

The Christian churches have, as usual, made it a point not to notice any of this, even though it is the final denial of Christian thought. And that is what happened in Germany, too.

Neoliberalism. Remember that word. It is the low point of western civilization - and perhaps the final one. It's not hard to remember. You'll see it reflected in every news medium owned by billionaires in the western world.
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Quebec made The Guardian today with its fluttering and quacking about Muslim women who wear the burqa, the veil that covers the face except for the eyes. There really aren't that many of them. And I can recall the day when Quebec nuns wore headcoverings that no-one would dream of demanding they remove.
But Quebec is profoundly racist, always has been. That's true of both French and English. And it's been true for most of the history of every province in this country.

://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/18/burqa-ban-proposal-quebec-parliament-hearings
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Generally, I found today's The Guardian full of bad news. But none of it with enough explanation to make it useful. And some of it is misleading. The people the Russians are bombing in Aleppo, for example, are referred to as 'rebels'. That's the preferred term in the western press. But large numbers of them are, in fact, jihadists, the people we call terrorists when we pretend we aren't helping them.

The U.S. and Britain are all indignant because they say the Russian bombers are killing civilians. Goodness gracious me. The U.S. and the U.K. would never, ever kill civilians.

So, though the Russians have offered a ceasefire, the U.K. and U.S. have refused to accept it. And where that takes us is anybody's guess. But where it takes us could be nuclear war. That's what the U.S. seems to want. After all, that's what U.S. corporations seem to want - nuclear war against Russia and China. And, gee, corporations have human rights.
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The American invasion of Iraq destroyed the conventions that had held that country together. Now, all these years after 'victory', the killing is still going on with the country  increasingly victim to the wars of factions. In reality, the war in Iraq is as long and, probably, as unwinnable as the war on Afghanistan. The U.S. has created one hell of a mess for itself, for the middle east, for the world.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/19/mosul-offensive-threatens-to-inflame-sectarian-conflicts-in-iraq-and-syria/
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September 2016 was the hottest September on record. The story didn't appear in the irving press, course. Our oil barons prefer to assure us that  none of this is happening  so we can go on happily pumping fossil fueld forever.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/19/hottest-september-on-record-basically-locks-in-2016-as-hottest-year-nasa/

Neoliberalism promotes unlimited greed. And unlimited greed creates gross stupidity. But don't expect to read that in the irving press, either.
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I shall not be watching tonight's presidential debate.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/19/the-appalling-u-s-presidential-election/

So far, it's been a disgraceful display by the candidates and by the news media - and by American voters.
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And we're being set up. The U.S. wants more war.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/19/americas-new-gulf-of-tonkin-in-the-red-sea-another-excuse-to-invade-yemen-syria-and-then-iran/

These are the people  who denounce  terrorism for a home population that doesn't realize that they are the world's leading terrorists.
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When Canadians voted for Trudeau, they voted for a man who has the same bosses harper did. And his policies on major issues are pretty much what Harper's were.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/views-expressed/2016/10/one-year-after-election-trudeaus-climate-mettle-no-better-har
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The following is from the Russia Times, a news source that our leaders are telling us is propaganda. So it is. My experience is that it's usually truthful propaganda - which is far superior to the lies for morons we get from the irving press, and even from bigger media outlets.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45703.htm
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The following item is from the Boston Globe, by no means a radical newspaper. The US record in The Phillipines, never mentioned in our news media, is quite dreadful. Worse, The Phillipines may not be the only region eager to break out from U.S.control. But not a word about it has appeared in the irving press. (Isn't it terrible the way Russia Today spreads propaganda?)

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45699.htm
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Who can be surprised?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45692.htm
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Trump is an obvious danger. Clinton is not so obvious - but probably even worse.

http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2016/829-centrist-soft-liberal-feminism-presidentialising-hillary-clinton.html
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I have seen no mention in the irving press that Clinton is promising a big tax cut for corporations. But she is. So what the hell is going on here?

Corporations in the western world now have easy access to tax havens. That has given them the power to steal from all of us in what must be the greatest such theft in history. Uncounted billions of dollars, money that is owing to us, goes out of our countries every year.                    That's why millions are hungry or unhoused, uncared for. That's why so much of our taxes goes to paying interest in the debt.

There have been lots of reports on this. So where is the government action?

Where is the press that should be digging into this story?

All other considerations aside, such massive theft means disaster for us all - and not far down the road. Where is the public demand in this nation of wimps? Large numbers, quite likely including you, are going to suffer from this. Greed and stupidity in our business world is bad enough. We make it worse by our silence.

Professor Saillant of U de Moncton writes a book on the perils of the New Brunswick economy with no mention of this massive and constant theft of our money. Norbert Cunningham slobbers all over the book as if this were the second coming. An Irving gives a very small part of his fortune to a charity (deductible), and the Chamber of Commerce goes into an almost sexual excitement to fete him and kiss his feet at a dinner.

God made some big mistakes in designing humans.
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Let's take a look at the reality of these wars we are fighting. Let's take a look at "economic santions" which sound so harmless.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article193738.html
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Most of all, let's stop acting as if kissing up to corporations means that goodies will trickle down from the wealthy to us. They won't. They never have, and they won't start now. The idea of creating prosperity in New Brunswick by encouraging big business doesn't work. It never has.

This province, this country, needs governments that govern for the good of all the people. What we have, and have always had, is governments that govern for the good of the rich on the theory it will benefit all of us. It never has. It never will. (But it has put more than a few -ex-premiers into great jobs.)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Oct. 17: The most amazing thing.....

The most amazing thing....

Today's irving press has no news at all in it. What it has is more pictures than even those scandal mags with headlines like "Camilla dances nude in courtyard of Buckingham Palace."

A3 is almost entirely made up of photos of firemen demonstrating how they cut open a car. All the photos look much the same. A4 is over  90% photos of people riding bicycles, each one looking pretty much like the one before. A10 is dominated by almost identical photos of men standing on the riverbank carrying surfboards. I mean - hey, you see one guy standing by a muddy river holding a surfboard, and you've seen 'em all.

Section B, Canada&World, is almost as bad. And, like the others, these are photos that tell us nothing. What's going on?

Well, for openers, it's cheap. Just tell your reporters to take lots and lots of pictures with their cell phones. And all this news that really isn't news keeps the population of New Brunswick in a stupor so people don't ask awkward questions like, "Who are these people with tax havens who don't pay income tax? How much does this cost us? What, if anything, is this province doing about dealing with climate change? What kind of rebates and other gifts do we give to the wealthy of this province in return for their goodness in staying and robbing us? Why wasn't the toxic filth of the railway yard cleaned out BEFORE building the events centre? For New Brunswick, who are the bagmen who visit corporate bosses to get political funding? And what deals to they make in return?"

There is no news in this whole, scumbag newspaper.

And the editor-in-chief of the chain has a master's degree in journalism, I believe. Take a deep breath, and smell the rot.

And New Brunswickers, always eager to conform so Mr. Irving will like them, just sit there and smile at this abuse of them - and their chldren.
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Here's a story about the effect of climate change. But (in Scots diaclect), dinna fash -yr-sel'. If the climate were really changing, Mr. Irving would be leading the way in taking action. (He's a great Christian, has his very own church, and is highly thought of by all the saints of the chamber of commerce.) But he hasn't budged. So it can't be happening.
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/oct/17/climate-change-could-drive-122m-more-people-into-extreme-poverty-by-2030-un-united-nations-report
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British banks have shut down the bank account of RT (Russia Times), saying it's a propaganda site. So it is. That's why, though I use it, I use it with caution. For that matter, every daily newspaper in North America is a propaganda sheet with the irving press only the most boring one.

Generally, I have found that while its aim is propaganda, Russia Times often tells the truth. In any case, in a free society, it's surely up to me to decide what I want to read - not up to British bankers who are up to their ears in their own propaganda.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/17/russia-todays-uk-bank-accounts-frozen-says-editor
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Speaking of propaganda The Guardian is not above peddling it. Take this story about a Russian bombing of Aleppo.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/17/airstrikes-aleppo-marjeh-syria

1. The U.S. has often killed thousands in bombing raids. Russians kill 13 - and it's a big story. Where are similar stories about U.S. bombing?

2. Despite the garish headline, the story is not confirmed. There is no evidence whatever for it. we have only the word of Syrian 'rebels".
This is something worse than sloppy reporting.
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Here's a story about Canada and a Canadian mining company. Now, wouldn't it be nice if the irving press were to do some digging and get the names of prominent Canadians who are major shareholders in this scandalous mining company? Why, we might even know some of them.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/oct/14/canadian-firm-nevsun-resources-new-forced-labour-claims-eritrea-bisha-mine
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Here's a story about a story that has never made the irving press - the protest by native peoples in the U.S. against an oil pipeline. Maybe an editor at irving press will tell a reporter to do some digging on this one.

Nah... no irving editor wants to wake up a dozing province..

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/17/filmmaker-faces-45-years-in-prison-for-reporting-on-dakota-access-protests/
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http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/16/german-think-tank-warns-of-growing-nuclear-war-danger/
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A world the irving press never sees. (But don't worry your little head about the wealthy. They have their money safely tucked in tax  havens.) When is our press going to ask questions about those? When are our governments going to show interest in this?

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/drowning-in-debt-35-percent-of-all-americans-have-debt-that-is-at-least-180-days-past-due
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Something you won't see in the irving press.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45686.htm
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And, just for the thrill of it, here's an item from the now forbidden Russia Times.

https://www.rt.com/news/363003-mosul-assault-humanitarian-catastrophe/
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Mr. Obama is such a nice man. Always smiling. Just like that  nice Mr. Trudeau.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article193738.html

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Oct. 15: How to spot propaganda 'news'.



Page B5 - irving press "Fresh wave of airstrikes hit Syrian city of Aleppo".
The large photo features an obviously posed boy sitting in the rubble. There's ruin. There's 'dozens' killed (according to  unnamed sources). Food and medicine are running out. Poor president Obama has been at a loss to stem the violence. And who's doing it? It's them there Russians, that's who.
Well,

1. the boy in the photo is posed. He's far too neat to be a casualty. And nobody sits on rocks to look around.

2. There's dozens killed. No doubt. That's what happens in bombing. And it happens no matter who is doing the bombing. The U.S. has specialized in carpet bombing of civilians by the million.

3. Food and medecine are running out in Aleppo. True. They've been running out all over Syria for over a year. That's because the U.S. has cut them off. It's done the same to the people of Yemen.

4. Obama is at a loss to stem the violence? Oh? Didn't he start this war? And the one in Yemen? If he's so eager to stem violence, why does he start it?

5. The Russians are bombing jihadist troops (terrorists) which our press prefers to call 'rebels'. Isn't our side supposed to be fighting terrorists, too? Well, it was. but for over a year, the U.S. has been supplying and training the terrorists. It's also been supplying the bombs that kill people in Yemen, and provides the courses for Saudi bombers to drop them.

Oh, and it also helps the terrorists with bombs it drops on Syrian government troops (and civilians.)

There's lots of evil and cruelty in Syria. But this story sees it only on the other side. That's propaganda.
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Section A is a collector's item. The story and photo of a local prof who won an award is on A7. A9 has the same story.

A11 has the story with  photo of people walking in socks to raise money. A13 has exactly the same story, and almost the same photo. The only paper I have ever seen this level of editorial incompetence in was also the irving press - and that was two other stories earlier this week.
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In his Commentary, Brian Murphy is again everybody's friend with an attack on Trump for being a lout. Trump is, of course. He's also a safe and easy target. Hillary is a mass murderer. Any thoughts on that, Brian baby? Any thoughts on billionaires who hide their profits so they won't have to pay taxes?

No. I didn't think so.
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Let's face reality about the U.S. election. The American political and social system, after generations of gross corruption, has collapsed. It's gone; and it's not going to come back. It's over. And it's not just Trump and Hillary. It's the greed and callousness of the very wealthy. It's the corruption of the news media they own.

 The only question is whether it will take the rest of us with it.  (And Canada is much, much closer to the edge than we might think.)
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The good news is that the Faith Page doesn't have a sermonette. It's amazing how our churches can accomodate themselves to the behaviour of our wealthy and greedy and murderous - and never mention it or discuss it. Hillary has murdered and refugeed  in the ten of millions. The wealthy of our society hide their tax money while leaving large numbers homeless and hungry. The wealthy also demand cuts to medicare. And the response of the churches? "Jesus loves me yes I know...."

I could wish our clergy would read The Bible and take it seriously.

Most of the churches of Germany supported the Naziis. The churches of Britain, France and Spain supported the vile empires of those countries. The churches of the U.S. supported their country even as it murdered Christians and clergy in South America - not to mention Vietnamese and Iraqis and Libyans and Yemenis and Syrians.
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The U.S. has entered a new war (without declaring war), and nobody has even noticed.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/15/us-bombed-yemen-middle-east-conflict
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This one will sound insane. It is. It will sound like a stretch.  It is not. The U.S. has clearly threatened nuclear war. Russia and China have clearly indicated they will no longer back off.

https://off-guardian.org/2016/10/15/president-obama-threatens-president-putin-with-nuclear-war/
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This is one to take very seriously. Canada does not have a foreign policy. It has rarely had one of its own. Historically, it's policy was to follow the British. Since 1945, it has usually been to follow the U.S. The only  (brief) period in which we had - sort of - a foreign policy of our own was in the Pearson peace-keeping days.

Trudeau is very much a U.S. puppet.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/15/canada-goes-to-war-pretending-to-keep-peace/
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Trade sanctions are an act of war. The US has never declared war on Cuba. It still imposes sanctions on Cuban trade, and it still enforces poverty. So it's not only an act of war; it's an illegal act - a war crime. That's the kind of arbitrary behaviour all of South America gets from the U.S. And Canada is safe only as long as it is good and obedient. That makes Justin an ideal prime minister.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/15/cuba-rejecting-sanctions-sending-a-message/
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Here's an item in favour of Trump. I don't think it's enough to justify his existence. But it does counter the campaign to elevate Clinton simply by destroying Trump. It's not just Trump who's wrong. It's not just Hillalry who's wrong. This is a general collapse of all ethical and moral standards.
There is not going to be a happy ever after ending in either case.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/15/hysterical-mainstream-media-back-warmonger-hillary-clinton-against-donald-trumps-america-first-isolationism-9-11-truth/
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Virtually all scientists in the world are agreed that climate change is happening, and that it's very, very dangerous for all of us. But billionaires tell us its okay. So who do we listen to?

Propaganda has made us stunningly gullible.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/15/400-ppm-co2-the-case-for-renewable-energy/
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Here's a story about tax havens which are holding something over 2 trillions dollars in U.S. accounts alone. Canada has its own wealthy spongers and whiners. It was, I think, just yesterday that the  irving press carried a story from The Fraser Institute which claimed average Canadians were getting wealthier (even as they were being massively robbed by wealthy Canadians.)

https://theintercept.com/2016/10/15/d-c-hivemind-mulls-how-clinton-can-pass-huge-corporate-tax-cut/
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The news we get on Trump is simplistic. Of course, he's a despicable person. But that scarcely explains why so many are ready to vote for him.

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/10/14/end-of-growth-sparks-wide-discontent/
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One of the great failures of history has been the failure of 'neoliberalism', a  corporation-friendly economic system, to produce prosperity. (Of course, the irving press hasn't yet recognized that it has been a wretched failure.) It's an extreme form of capitalism that has been pimped to us for some 40 years. And it has imposed poverty all over the world.

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/10/13/obama-re-imposes-neoliberalism-in-latin-america/
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