Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April 5: at the end - our first step to sanity is recognizing why we aren't sane.

Here's a story that didn't make our Brunswick news. Bombardier aircraft in Montreal, which has been feeding itself lavishly on our taxes recently got a huge handout from the Canadian government.  And it promptly used some millions of it to give huge pay increases to its senior executives.

Big corporations create jobs? Like hell they do. They suck every penny they can out of us. Nobody in this country lives off welfare more than our corporate bosses.
Christian churches have always shown more national patriotism than Christian principle. Thus, for example, The Boston cardinal of the 1960s who used to bless bombs that were to be dropped on Cuba. Now, there's a bishop critical of the pope for being too Christian.
Brunswick News doesn't like to print nasty stories. So its lead story in World News for April 4 is that five people died in storms in the southern U.S. This was a day when millions were starving to death in Yemen. It is a deliberate starvation imposed by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

Page two of this vital section had the big story, with picture, of a horse that had fallen into a five-foot deep hole in California. in another story, U.S. aircraft are killing civilians on a grand scale by bombing in Iraq. They that wasn't important enough for the Brunswick News.  It had a really important story about a girl getting killed in the bathroom of a school in Delaware.

Yessirree, when the time comes, New Brunswickers will be well-informed to make decisions on the big issues in this world.  

Or, they will draw the wrong conclusions from what news there is.

I've taken the Haaretz version of this story. It seems to be true that Syria has used a chemical weapon to kill dozens (though it might not be). Yes, it is terrible. And Haaretz gave a sober account of what happened. Then I turned to Brunswick News for today. Yes, it had the story, too. It hasn't had the story of the U.S. starving millions to death in Yemen. It hasn't bothered with the thousands killed by drone bombers just as, in the Vietnam war days, it never criticized the use of the chemical weapon Agent Orange to kill and mutilate huge numbers. Nor has it ever bothered to mention the terror bombings of Laos and Cambodia - or the use of depleted uranium in Iraq.(all of these illegal under international law.)

But it is big on loaded language. The headline is "Suspected chemical attack in Syria condemned." From the start then, and unlike Haaretz, this is a condemnation rather than a report.

For a source, it quotes the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.  It doesn't bother to mention that this body represents the anti-Assam forces, and that it is really a propaganda agency.

The story also says that world leaders have condemned the attack. Well, yes, some have. (It doesn't bother to tell us which ones.) The White House called it a "heinous act which cannot be ignored by the civilized world".

Actually, one could be amazed at what the civilized world will ignore - the killing of seven or eight milliong, mostly civilians, in Vietnam, the killing of over a million in Iraq during an illegal invasion, the illegal invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Guatemala, drone killings - and the use of chemical weapons. I must have missed all the stories about those.)

And, of  course the story is told with lots and lots of adjectives and adverbs to draw the tears. Stories about U.S. mass murders don't get that treatment. I guess it's nice to be starved, poisoned and blown up by Americans.

Oh, yeah, well down in the story, it mentions that Syria denies having used chemical weapons. (I have no idea whether that's true. It's quite possible our side did it and put the blame on Syria. But a story should give all the necessary information from the start, not just emotional blather.)

The editor who approved this would have flunked first year in any decent journalism school.

In short, this is not a news story. This is propaganda. The Haaretz  version is not perfect, but it's closer to what news looks like.
The Guardian has the best response. In effect, it says we need more information before we can give a decent account of this story.
This next opinion piece is about Britain,  the European Union, the U.S. - but it also applies to Canada. We are shaping a new world - and it's a disastrous one. It's a new world based on giving extensive rights and privileges to the wealthy - and denying them to everybody else. It's a world in which democracy won't matter because governments will have surrendered all their powers to the very wealthy.

We are creating a new ruling aristocracy which, like all the old ones, is made up of the rich wiith power passed from parents to children - with, like all the old ones, each generation droolingly sillier than the one before it. We shape trade treaties that allow billionaires to escape regulation. We enact laws that allow them to escape taxation. The result of that can only be increasing environmental degradation and rapidly increasing povery as money shifts from the rich to the poor.

Canadians did not die in World War Two so that the wealthy wouldn't have to pay taxes. They didn't die to that education would increasingly cost too much for most of us. They didn't die so that the homeless could be left homeless (as they are.) They didn't die so that health care could be privatized to destroy the growing numbers of poor. They didn't die so that the rich could be made even richer. They didn't die so that the wealthy could buy our politicians. (And our news media.)
Justin Trudeau may well prove to be the weakest prime minister Canada has ever had. And then there's Trump. They have decided that 97% of the world's climate scientists are wrong. They have also decided that anyone who's very rich must know what's right.
ditto for this one. But people in New Brunswick don't have to worry. The government has put this problem into the hands of the government department responsible for keeping our beaches clean by taking away any awful signs that say they're polluted.
This is rather a long one It is not, as some people might think, anti-Israel. Israel, after all, was created primarily by two countries - by Britain and by Hitler's Germany. In fact, when Britain came out publicly in favour of creating an Israel, most European and American Jews had no desire to go there.
Is Putin evil? He certainly is in the western news media. For that matter, it's hard to think of the leader of any large (or small) country who isn't evil. ho
Obama is still much seen as the 'good guy' of recent American politics. But he's not.
Remember how strong and confident Brunswick News was in its story on the chemical attack it attributed to the government of Syria? In fact, there are a lot of questions about it. Here are some of them.
The U.S. has been ruled by billionaires for a long time. Now, it's out in the open.
One of the billionaires is a man who rents out mercenaries (killers) for the U.S. army. Among other things, they have made the military much, much more expensive since a mercenary can start at a salary many times that of an American general.
Here's a site I've just discovered. It's largely devoted to Canada. I haven't had time to read much of it yet. But it looks promising, and it's operated by the very reliable site
Here's a story about a poisonous insecticide containing glyphosates. Luckily, New Brunswick is led by courageous politicians and honest business leaders. And they say it's good for you.
The movie version of George Orwell's "1984", with its warnings about the kind of world we now live in, has been showing around the world.
But not, so far as I know, in New Brunswick.
Want to understand American, Russian and China relations? It's easy. Just think what all three have in common.

Think hard.


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