Friday, September 8, 2017

Sept 8: A big week for news - and lies.


Meanwhile, yesterday's irving press had an excellent column  by Alec Bruce on the reality of climate change.

Alas! It also had its usual 'commentary'  by a politician. (If a politician has something to say, that's a news story, not a commentary. There's a big difference between a news story and a commentary. A news story tells us what is happening. A commentary offers independent analysis to help us understand the meaning of what is happening. But most of what the irving press gives us as commentary is simply propaganda.)

For an example of bad reporting, check out today's front page headline. "TransCanada puts Energy East pipeline on hold". That's an important story, something we need full information about. (It's a setback for the owner of the newspaper who was looking forward to the building of that pipeline. And its good news for all those who recognize that we cannot go on playing with oil.)
But almost all of this 'news' story is about the views of the pipeline builders and their friends. ("Almost all" means all but a couple of sentences towards the end which really say nothing.) And few readers read more than the opening paragraph, anyway. This is bad journalism. We need to know the whole story.
World news means, for the most part, Hurricane Irma. Like most North American news, that means it's about how terrible hurricanes are and how everybody is rushing to help. But that's not the story we need. We need to know WHY this is happening, and implications this has for future planning. But there are some very powerful people who prefer us not to think about that.

What Moncton needs, for example, is planning for a future that may require mass transportation. And that would mean, probably, a more compact city with a replacement for oil-fuelled busses. But that planning has not happened, and time may be short.
Yes, Kim Jong-un can be ruthless and eminently dislikable. But that isn't the whole story.   (American presidents have been ruthless and murderous, too, and so far more ruthless and murderous than Kim jong-un). And Donald Trump...?  The U.S. government is now deliberately starving millions to death in Yemen. And that began under Obama.
This is the kind of problem we need to concentrate on.
Isis may be facing destruction in Syria. So does this solve all the problems?

No.For a start, the groups we commonly label as 'terrorist' are quite numerous and varied. They range from ultra-Muslim to very secular indeed. They are not so much the products of fanaticism as they are a reaction to western destruction, particularly of the arab part of the Muslim world, going back to the late nineteenthy century.

The arab world was once the successor to the inellectual model that had been the Roman empire. The great thinkers and leader of those days were arabs. Now, they have been smashed into artificial 'nations' by westerners interested only in getting their oil.

'Terrorism' has been their means of drawing attention to what the west has done to their world, and drawing recruits to fight against the west. And some are, as Christians always have done, rallying around religion, usually in an extreme form, of drawing in people for their armies.

The defeat of ISIS - or of all terrorist groups - will not end the friction. The way to end it is to help rebuild a civilization that can be called arab.  But the oil companies are most unlikely to allow that.
This is the kind of news we need (but are rarely getting) about hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

And this is where our energies have to go - not into wars. And that's why we have to get control of capitalism. Capitalism is based on competition.
Competition leads to exploitation and wars and, ultimately, our own destruction. We have to bring capitalism under control. Our failure to do that has caused us far more damage that ISIS or Kim Jong-un.
Here is another complexity in a war in which you cannot tell your partners without a programme. Syria's Assad is close to defeating ISIS.  But isn't ISIS an enemy of Israel, too? So why, at this time, is Israel bombing Syria?

Answer, to help ISIS. The U.S. and Israel have both, at times, supported arab "terrorist" groups. Neither wants any arab country to be a winner in this. The U.S. and Israel have both attacked Syria, and the U.S. has given financial and weapons support to ISIS. Like Saddam or not, he is obviously the one with the support of the Syrian people.

Similarly, Ghadaffi was obviously the person with popular support in Libya. And Canada helped to destroy him. And in the process, it has destroyed Libya as a livable country.

The issue in wars and confrontations rarely has to do with anything but money. And American big money needs wars.
This next analysis is rather more sophisticated than anything I have seen in the irving press (or any other commercial news medium. is a particularly useful site because it attracts top-level journalists.
This next one reminds me of another story our commercial news media are largely ignoring. The Sears stores are going into bankruptcy. Senior executives and directors are getting dismissal notices - but those don't hurt because they come with bonuses or six million dollars plus.

Meanwhile, the peasantry who work in those stores are just getting fired without a penny. (It was exactly like this in the 1930s.)
The next seems a terrible thing to say. I mean - I'm sure that the presidents of big oil companies are all great philanthopists who make themselves rich only so they can serve the poor.

David Suzuki no longer appears in the irving press. It needs the space for the wise words of hack politicians and propaganda  houses. This one is about the sinking of Mexico City - which hasn't yet caught the attention of irving editors.

And did you vote for Trudeau because he looks neat in a suit?
The irving press has pretty much ignored the flood of refugees from the U.S. to Canada. Montreal is particularly being hit. And that's just the beginning for a world that hasn't begun to understand the consequences of climate change.
For over a century, we in the west   (or at least our big businesses) have plundered and impoverished the people of Congo - and other parts of Africa. What drives us is pure greed. An old friend was a missionary there for thirty years. But the first need of those people was not to find Christ. Their first need was to meet Christians acting like Christians. If we had some of those in our big business world, Congo would soon be much better off. And then the people of Congo might want to be saved.

Global Press, in general, is a pretty good source to read and see what's happening all over the world.
I can see why people in other countries might not be impressed by the Christian world.

Now, think hard. The irving press has not had a story on Yemen for weeks, at least. What does that tell  you about the irving press?
The U.S. and the West have not defeated Muslim rebels in Syria and Lebanon. Inded, the U.S. and the West have often supported them. The defeat is being inflicted by Syria, Lebanon and Russia.
Here is a story I did not see in the irving press.
This is a very brief report - and there may be more to it.  But it seems likely to be true. The U.S. main targets in the middle east were never the 'terrorsts'. The main targets were Syria and Lebanon.
Funny how most of our news media haven't noticed the sins of Israel's president and his wife.

My experience of Jewish communities is that they don't just sit down and believe propaganda. Their are always many who demand the truth. And many of them don't buy the idea that Israel should abuse Palestinians, treat their land with constant threats, steal large parts of it, kick Palestinians out of their homes, discriminate against arabs who are legally Israeli citizens, and breed a Netanyahu who robs his own people.

I wish I could say the same of Christian communities I have known.
I shall be away on business for a couple of weeks. And I may not have access to a computer in that time.  we'll see.

1 comment:

  1. The editorial content in the Times and Transcript is the worst I have ever seen, they are worse than public letters to the editor - and you would expect them to be bad. Norbert Cunningham's work is particularly poor. He repeatedly builds straw men and then takes great pleasure in knocking them down, I don't particularly care for that style of commentary - it teaches us nothing.