This is an extra and unusual edition of my blog.It does not quote any press. And it deals strictly with the press in this province of New Brunswick.
The good news is that the letters to the editor section of today's irving press has an intelligent one. It's about water pollution at Parlee Beach in Shediac This letter points out flagrant violations of the law that that extended over years, that denied us information about how dangerous conditions are. We're talking here of illnesses that could already have affected thousands.
There's a smell not only of pollution but of gross corruption that allowed the pollution to get out of control. But so far, Moncton Times and Tribune reporting on it has been pretty wimpy. And that's through years of corruption and poisoning. It is not possible that that a newspaper editor, even one with the intelligence of mosquito, could have failed to realize that.
We still don't hear of any serious investigation into this. And we are not likely to.
The irving press no longer carries the commentary columns of David Suzuki or Gwynne Dyer. David Suzuki is Canada's outstanding writer on climate change. (But the Irvings would rather we not think about nasty things like that.) Gwynne Dyer, also a Canadian, is probably the best military analyst in the world. But ALL Canadian newspaper owners, beginning with Conrad Black, fired him.
All daily newspapers are, of course, owned by wealthy people. And all of them are used to spread propaganda for the wealthy. The wealthy don't like us to read what Suzuki and Dyer have to say.
(As it happens, I had some acquaintance with with both Conrad Black and Gwynne Dyer in my early radio days when the three of us (at different times) were on the same show. I liked Dyer. Black was a man who closed his eyes when he spoke to you because he liked to concentrate on listening to his own voice. He made Donald Trump look humble.)
What the irving press does carry regularly is The Atlantic Institute of Market Studies. It's billed as an independent think tank. Like bloody hell it is. In fact, it's not independent. And it doesn't think.
Most of these 'think tanks" owe their existence to an extremely wealthy, American foundation called The Donner Institute. And that means most are dedicated to spreading propaganda for the very, very wealthy. Not surprisingly the Irvings have been very prominent in The Atlantic Institute of Market Studies. (Hey! If you can't trust an Irving, who can you trust?)
Today's topic is "Higher Minimum Wage Is Bad Policy for Atlantic Canada". Damn right. We don't want all those ordinary people sucking up money that the wealthy want for their secret, overseas bank accounts. These think tanks are, most of them, fronts for the most greedy and disgusting people in our society. And The Atlantic Institute of Market Studies is one of the worst of them. So count on the irving press to carry it forever.
Incidentally, AIMS has also supported the movement to united the maritime provinces. What a coincidence! Professor Savoie just a couple of week ago wrote a column advocating such a union. Birds of a feather....
Norbert Cunningham writes a column attacking governments for their management of tax assessment. I have never seen a column by Norbie or anybody else at this paper that criticized anything named Irving. For example, Irving worked out a deal with the government to cut the appraised value of over 200 million dollars worth of property in St. John. So now, and for years to come, it will pay only 5 million a year in taxes. (At the same time it is collecting close to 10 million for rental of that property.) The irving press missed that story. But it did run the story that a chamber of commerce hailed Mr. Irving for giving a much smaller sum to a charity. Clap, clap, clap.
The Irving official report is that it gives to education, the environment, and the needy. Gee, golly, whiz, if they would pay their taxes, we could look after all that and more. (And Irving protects the environment? really? So the Irving press must have dropped the David Suzuki column because he was to soft on the issue.)
The major purpose of commentary columns is to give us a broader understanding than a news column can. But the irving press has nobody competent to do that.
The big, front page stories? A driver was yelled at. Wow! A decision is coming on former Moncton High school. This is news? It's been coming for years. A golfer got a hole in one. Well, that certainly changes my plans for today.
A women stole from her employer to buy drugs.
Man accused of five sex offences. (What the hell. The story fills space.) Homeless man pleads guilty to panhandling? (How could a modern society have so many desperate people? How could we allow that to happen?)
Then there's fearless editorial that we should do better in posting swimming advisories. No doubt. But there's a much bigger story here we aren't getting.
Then there's world news. The big, world story is that our elected members of the provincial government did not get a pay raise. The news YOU need to know.
Then there's a story that our air force has been flying surveillance planes and jets to fight ISIS in Syrian. Um -that's nice. But it's also illegal.
1. To fly anything over Syria without the permission of the Syrian government is illegal. In fact, it's an act of war.
2. I do not recall our government declaring war on Syria. But we're a democracy. Our mps are supposed to approve of wars before we move in.
3. Even at that, we're still in the wrong because a)Syria has not threatened us and b)the Syrian government didn't ask us. It was the U.S. which (illegally) gave us the orders.
I guess nobody at Irving press knows that.
One of the t hings our military fought for was the right to declare war for ourselves. But since 1945, we have consistently fought wars as American pet poodles. We have thrown away our independence. And that is going to cost us heavily.
It is quite possible the U.S. will nuke Russia and China. They are pushing up to Russian and Chinese borders to equip them with anti-nuclear rockets. The theory is that these rockets would destroy Russian and Chinese missiles but allow American nuclear missiles through.
And we have committed Canadian troops to be in the border area. That's called preventing a Russian invasion. More accurately, it's called helping the US to provoke a war. But the irving paper don't tell us about that.
But the big, world news story is that a St. John boy says he was born here and wants to work here. This is a news story? In fact, there's nothing in the whole section. This is a newspaper quite deliberately designed to keep readers in the dark, to keep them passive and ignorant of what is happening
We are involved in the dreadful slaughter in Yemen. (We illegally sold armoured cars to Saudi Arabia for that war.) Saudi Arabia are fighting a war for reasons we have never been told about. They are deliberately starving millions of innocent men, women and children to death. And they are saturation bombing towns and cities - the best way to kill civilians in large numbers - and to leave a heritage of millions of unexploded mines and cluster bombs and depleted uranium.
(Japan has approved the dumping of massive quantities of nuclear waste into the Pacific Ocean. The irving press has not thought that worth mentioning.
It seems likely that the U.S. has lost any hope of making Syria and American oil colony. Putin has bluntly told the U.S. to back off. That whole string of wars beginning with Afghanistan has been a strategic disaster. Every one of them has been lost. And, as a side effect, stability in both the middle east and Africa is collapsing.
But not a word in the irving press.
We are facing food shortages - NOW - in much of the world. They are going to get much worse as climate change destroys farmland. (It's already happening in places like Somalia. but who gives a damn? Right?
But it's also happening in the western and central U.S. Droughts are becoming regular. The great, underground reservoirs of water that farmers depended on (that's why they have those little windmills) are almost exhausted. And they're too deep to be refilled in any lifetime. What will the U.S. do for food? What will its cities do for water?
Think Great Lakes. Think annexing Canada to the U.S. And that is not by any means just in a distant future.
Thinks of the tens of millions of refugees becoming hundreds of millions. Does Canada, New Brunswick, Moncton have any plans for that? Any thoughts from the irving press or the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies?
Think of the rapid increase in the population of a world that is already dangerously overcrowded.
No. Our newspapers and politicians and the billionaires who own them are not interested in planning for anything. They live in a world they want to go on exactly as it is now except, of course, for lower pay for the poor, and the privatization of medicine.
We have enormous problems facing us. You think billionaires can solve them? The you'll just love Donald Trump. (There's no reason for believing that billionaires have any special talent for running anything. Most, like Trump, are billionaires because they were born that way. (My father was a mechanic and a welder. I have no talent as either of those. One of my ancestors was world weightlifting champion. I need help to open a can. The Rockefellers and the Rothschilds have been born as billionaires for well over a century.) What it takes to become super wealthy is to have an obsession fuelled by greed that makes everything else irrelevant. Take a good look at Trump. That's what he's about.
The purpose of the irving press is not to inform. It is not even to make money - and I suspect it doesn't make much. The purpose, almost the only purpose, of the Irving press is to keep people in ignorance, to keep them as willing puppets controlled by the owner of the province.
Earlier, I suggest that decisions of the very wealthy are commonly based on greed. I'm not sure that's entirely true. Something more important might be status and recognition. Take Donald Trump, for example. Here's a man who screams for status and recognition.
He ran for president without having anything that could be called a political philosophy or a programme. He was born rich, so rich that he had not need to left a finger for anything. Now, look at his personal obsessions.
He had to have a beautiful wife. Not just good-looking. Not even just beautiful but a beauty queen. There is no reason to suspect any affection between them. It's a deal. She gets money. He gets status.
And note that she does not seem to have permission to get older.
He not only likes to fondle women and makes passes at them. He likes to talk about it. That's not greed. That's status-seeking - though admittedly of a crude sort.
He loves to bully people in public. Status again.
Thought already wealthy, he took on a job on a popular TV show. That's status.
If he made a 100 billion dollars, ,he would still be seeking status. his drive for the presidency was not based on a political philosophy. He has no political philosophy. But, oh, he needs status.
This, I suspect, is a common denominator in the drive of the very wealthy. Put another way, they are too immature to be greedy.