Friday, January 27, 2017

Three cheers for the irving press!

On Jan. 26, it included a column on the editorial page by Gwynne Dyer. I met Gwynne many, many years ago when we were both commentators on a CBC  radio show. It was obvious that he was one of the best in the business of analyzing military and foreign affairs. And based on the column I just read, he still is. And  he's recognized all over the world for the quality of his journalism.
Naturally, that means most Canadian newspapers have dropped him - and the irving press dropped him over a year ago. But there he was on yesterday's editorial page. And I hope this is a sign of a permanent return.
Yesterday, I (briefly) watched Trump on television. In a long speech, his statements were  mostly one-liners. There were no broad pictures, no statements of social values. Muslims have to be killed because they cut off people's hands. Well, for centuries, Christians have cut off heads, hanged people, murdered, crippled and starved millions of innocent people - the latter just in the past 70 years. Our closest Muslim ally, Saudi Arabia, cuts off hands every day.

Therefore, we should kill all Muslims overseas, and deport the ones who are in the U.S.

At the end, he called on God's blessing for his intentions. (The is no record to indicate that Trump has the slightest interest in Christianity or any other religion.)

What struck me the most was the brevity of his policy statements, and the lack of any general, philosophy of what a society should be. And that's when the obvious hit me.

Donald Trump is playing the only role he knows. He's back in his TV show, The Apprentice. And he's over and over reliving the scene in which he stormed into a contestant's presence to say, "You're fired."

His speeches are really a series of tweets. They reflect no general sense of values and, commonly, make no sense at all. For example, he talks much of what he'll do for the working class. But one of his first moves will be to cut off their health care. Nor will his taxing of Mexican-built cars so much to help American employment. The job losses of recent years have more to do with automation in factories than with Mexican-built cars.

Our news media have had little say about automation. But it has drastically cut employment- and will cut it much more in the next generation.  So far, corporations have had a free hand to deal with what is a major social problem. We urgently need to get the bloodsuckers out of the way, and deal with this in a humane and intelligent manner.

But Trump doesn't even recognize it's happening. He deals in the crisp, one-liners that are the popular image of the business executive. Results to look for?  - severe trade dislocations, a drift of many nations,  especially in Asia, to China, serious dislocation of economies and politics in Europe, a  strong possibility of violence in South America, severe damage to education and to access to education in the U.S. For Canada, it will mean openly becoming a colony again. It will also mean an insistence that Canada send more of its troops to die for the American Empire as their great-great-grandfathers died for the British Empire in South Africa. And depend on Justin Trudeau for nothing.

Leading a government is not at all the same as running a business. And it is nothing at all like delivering one-liners on TV. The whole world is in real trouble.
Nor is there anything to look for in the Democrats. Of all the developed nations in the world, the U.S. is the one with the worst record of social services - and one of the worst of regulating business. We have to get used to the idea that it was the failures of Bush and Obama that gave the stage to Trump.
Here's rather an important story that I didn't see in my irving newspaper. Strange.

This is even worse than it appears. We have, increasingly in recent years, been drifting into government interference with our basic freedoms. We  don't call it that - but the west is drifting steadily into naziism. In the U.S., the position of Muslims is dangerously close to that of Naziis toward Jews in the 1930s.
American governments, which happily kill innocent people by the millions, take a stern view of abortion because, you know, it's terribly unChristian. In fact, their view is so stern, they are enforcing it on much of the world.
New Brunswickers stopped worrying about pesticides like glyphosate (which kill people).  The government silenced a complaining doctor. Problem solved.
Canada sent troops over a century ago to fight for the British in South Africa, and 270 of them died there. Why? South Africa was no threat to Canada or Britain. But the Canadian newspapers (the anglo ones) loudly beat the drums for war.

That's because the war was fought so wealthy British could loot the gold of South Africa. And wealthy Canadians - who owned the newspapers -  depended on the support of wealthy British for much of their market.

Australia's history is much the same as Canada's. The only change since the Boer War is that both Australia and Canada depend on American markets so, of course, the U.S. expects them to fight its wars for its billionaires.
Climate change? Not to worry. Mr. Trump says it isn't happening. And if we don't believe Mr. Trump (and all our oil barons), who can we believe?
I could sympathize with those 'Christians' who oppose abortion if it were really because they oppose killing. But they don't. They cheer for our starvation, slaughter, abuse of millions all over the world. They even say  "God bless our bombers." "God bless our soldiers who killed over a million Iraqis - including babies."

They are prime examples of the hypocrisy that showed itself in Christianity almost from the start. You can get samples of that hypocrisy's most wimpy form every Saturday on the Faith Page of the irving press.

The reality is that whether doctors do them or not has no effect on the rate of abortions. Canadian newspapers of a century ago carried plenty of ads for "female weakness" medicines that were designed to encourage abortions. Even worse were those carried out by terrified women on themselves. But the anti-abortion crowd, like Trump, prefer one-liner solutions

Hint to the self-righteous. Think of something to deal with this that does not  involve simply pointing a self-righteous finger.
Here's a detailed look at what's been happening with the anti-pipeline protest at Standing Rock. This is the leading reality of American political life. The legal authorities automatically take the side of the wealthy.
The American news media are not noted for being critical of the wealthy and powerful in the U.S. The certainly weren't critical of Clinton. That doesn't mean that they were honest about her. It just means she represented the kind of power they were used to praising. The private news media have happily published lies and propaganda for over a century without breaking a sweat. It may well come to terms with Trump
And here's a story you won't find in most Canadian newspapers.

So, we readers in New Brunswick can expect some of our tax money to go to the irving press so we can get breaking news on who got fined for drunk driving and .
The real problem - or problems - are two.
1. Newsprint no longer makes sense for most news. We can get more of it, and more quickly, on radio, TV and by the internet. What a newspaper could do is to supply us with commentary so we can understand what the news means. (But that has not been a strong point of the irving press.)

2. It could provide us with important local news based on investigative reporting. But the irving press has never done that, either.
One of the outstanding concepts for the brave, new world that our soldiers had died to create after World War Two (so we were told) was an institution to prevent conflicts and to work together for peace. They called it The United Nations. But  American governments worked to destroy it almost from the start. Trump is just the latest to do so.

The current excuse is that the UN wants to recognize Palestine as a state.  But the Israeli lobby in the U.S.  won't allow that. Since 1948, Palestine has been a prison camp more than a state. The warden is Israel. it controls Palestine's (limited) economy. It keeps Palestine poor. It routinely invades Palestine, stealing its land, kicking its people out of their homes and destroying them, and annexing the land to Israel. And it intends to keep doing that.

The U.S. has always supported Israel no matter what. And why? It's not out of sympathy for Judaism. In fact, the U.S., like Canada, has a long record of fervent anti-semitism. No. It's because U.S. oil billionaires need to control the middle east. But almost every nation in the region hates the U.S. That's why it needs Israel as a friend - a very expensive friend.
I seldom quote Los Angeles Times editorials. But this one makes a lot of sense.
The western news media, almost all of them and almost always, refer to many of Syria's rebels as "moderate rebels". This means the ones who get funding and supplies from the U.S. In fact, those rebels are not moderate in any sense. And most are not even Syrians - so they can't be called rebels.
I long ago decided  that al jazeera (despite some bias) is one of the most underrated newspapers in the world. Here is a warning from it to be taken very, very seriously. Note, particularly, its comment on Jerusalem as a Jewish city.
I have mixed feelings about the following statement. It is true that the American 'left' has deserted the working class, just as it is true the Canadian 'left' has largely abandoned it. But I could wish the writer had given some indication of an alternative to this.
Oh, I know. This is from the Russia Insider. So we can't trust it like our own, dear irving press. But, well, it's been known for years (except to western news media) that the overthrow of the elected Ukrainian government had nothing to do with Russia. It was planned, organized and financed by the U.S.)

(Thanks to a reader for forwarding this to me.)
And here is a model of commitment to medical care that no U.S. government  (not even Obama) has ever followed. The U.S. medical system is run on greed - greed of drug companies, of hospital owners..... And Canada has the usual suspects who want to do the same to us.)
And I always have something from Haaretz because it's the most honest and intelligent newspaper in the world. This one is on Jewish American support for Muslim immigration.
Life is chaos right now because I am moving on Jan. 30. I don't know whether I will have time to write something before then. Nor can I know how long it will take me to get organized in my new home. So please be patient.
There's a small, New Brunswick news sheet that appears monthly called The Brief. It has stories like how our forests are being destroyed by the people who own our newspapers  (which may explain why this story does not appear in our newspapers), how our police are being militarized with armoured cars, and an account of students rallying to demand free education. I know the feeling. I graduated with eight years of debt that it cost half of my teaching career to pay for.

You can get a brief look at it below...

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