Saturday, May 26, 2018

May 26: The World as Seen by our Betters...

New Brunswick's irving press published the story of Trump cancelling the summit with North Korea. At four, short paragraphs, it is the shortest report of a major world event I have ever seen. And it lies...

It did mention that Trump accused Kim Jong of making an angry statement. But it didn't mention why Kim Jong had done that. (It was because John Bolton and other leaders in the Trump government had publicly and loudly threatened to kill him.)

Does the irving press have news on the starvation of children in Yemen? The crisis in Iran as the U.S. and its allies threaten to attack it? The election of an Iraq government that hates the U.S.? The American threat to go to war against the recently elected government of Venezuela? The Israeli wounding and killing of thousands of unarmed Palestinians? Of the boats, including a Canadian one, now on the way to challenge Israel's behaviour? Of the involvement of the U.S. governments in the smuggling of cocaine and opium? Of Canada's shameful silence about the American threat to Venezuela?


Then there are the opinion and commentary columns. In a real newspaper (of which there are few), these columns are written by knowledgeable and impartial observers.

So let's see.

There's one column by a Sheri Somerville - who is CEO of the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce. In other words, she's a front for business. How's that for impartiality? And insight? Well, there's lots of ranting. But not much sign of any insights at all. For example, she attacks NB government for overspending. But she doesn't mention the role played by the wealthy of this province in refusing to pay taxes, and constantly insisting on handouts. This 'commentary' is heavily biased and intellectually pretty shallow stuff.

Then there's a regular 'commentary' by Justin Ryan. As always, it's a cute little story - but a pointless one  - that has no real commentary in it at all.

Above it is a big commentary from some outfit called the Coalition of Concerned Citizens. It's a long list of "good things" for government to do. Alas! The list is trite. For all the bluster, it's pretty trite and really quite vague. Essentially, it could have been reduced to one sentence - "The government must do good things."  This is not what an informed commentary is.

Then there's one by a Progressive Conservative MLA.  In other words, this a free election ad for the Conservatives. But it is not a great insight into any problem. In short, its message is that parents should be nice to their children. Well, okay. But that's scarcely a flash. (Is it possible the Conservatives are going to run on a policy of being nice to children?)

So there you have it - four 'commentaries' of no  great insight or value. And three of them come from special interest groups. How's that for impartial analysis?  Even better - I would guess that three of these columns cost the irving press nothing at all. How's that for running a newspaper on the cheap?

If you read this CBC story, you get the very clear impression that Kim-Jong Un, by his intransigence and insulting note to the White House, was demonstrating what an irresponsible flake he is. And that is far from true.

What happened is that American leaders, like John Bolton and Pompeo and Spence - and Trump - made public and insulting - and murderous - threats against Kim Jong Un. The latter responded, not surprisingly, with an angry statement. In fact, the U.S., including Trump, has been issuing a steady stream of murderous threats to North Korea for almost seventy years,, including threats to the lives of its leaders.. (When Trump announced Kim Jong's agreement to a meeting, he also set up American military manoeuvers on the South Korean border. Very diplomatic! And he has almost daily threatened Kim Jong  Un. How's that for setting up peace talks?)

Oh! wasn't it rude of Kim Jong to get angry?

The CBC story, though a long one, doesn't mention the role of American threats and public attacks in causing this incident. And that's what's called 'fake news'.

And this sort of fake news is a standard feature of our news media including, sometimes, even the CBC.

Here's a story that our irving press didn't have - and won't.

And that reminds me of another question that has been bothering me. The irving press has been pretty openly supporting the Conservative party in the coming provincial election. Why? After all, both parties are pretty much in the pockets of the wealthy.

This might explain it.

There has never, ever been any criticism of fracking in the irving press.

And here's an example of good reporting - with a fair look at attitudes on both sides.

Will Trump ever agree to a peace with North Korea? I doubt it. Powerful members of his government, like John Bolton, have made it clear. They want war. And if it grows into a war with China, so much the better.
The Guardian is not the paper it used to be. But it still outclasses any commercial newspaper in Canada. Here, for example, is an opinion the irving press will never report. (It hits too close to the snivelling irving press.)
We Canadians who are concerned about the future of our environment owe a huge debt to our indigenous people. And that's another story that will never make the irving press.
And, gee, who woulda guessed?

Certainly, the irving press, the Liberal party and the Conservative party have never guessed. Now, let's have a nice little talk about why we don't have enough money for our hospitals, for our education system, for a decent basic wage, for free tuition at our universities....

For centuries, western capitalists have plundered the world - including their own nations. That's what empires are all about.
And here's a reason why the irving press dropped Gwynne Dyer as a columnist.

The following commentary is a long one. But it's an important history of what capitalists and their empires are all about. And their home countries over the years have been brutalized, starved, abused almost as much the colonies they have stolen and plundered. And today's American empire is very much like the earlier ones. Capitalists are entirely about making money - for themselves. That's why most Americans, at the peak of national power are making less money and getting fewer services while their millionaires become billionaires and maybe some day trillionaires.

Any nation that has trusted its wealthy has been burned.

Humans have destroyed countless forms of animal life. Now, we're working on bees. But that's not a priority for the New Brunswick conservatives. They're busy making profits for shale gas.

This is really an old story. But the western press still hasn't caught on to it. And it won't. And, for sure, the irving press won't lead the way.

The democracy that never was....

Don't worry about the following story. If there was a problem, mr. irving would tell us.

The American military commander in Europe wants more money, troops and weapons in Europe for a war with Russia. Brilliant!
1. Russia, far from preparing for a war, is cutting its military spending which was already far below that of the U.S.
2. The huge and lavishly armed military of the U.S. has not been able, in 18 years, to overcome peasants in Afghanistan.
3. Any war in Europe is guaranteed to go nuclear immediately.

So what's this really all about? It's probably about more contracts for private business - at the expense of taxpayers. (Of course, when I say taxpayers, I don't mean the wealthy.) And the military commander is quite possibly, even likely, to be in the pay of billionaires.

What does being patriotic to your country mean? In reality, it means being ardent supporters of the people who control it. In Nazi Germany, then, it meant, supporting Hitler and killing Jews. In the U.S., it meant supporting the mass murder of Iraqis, and it means supporting a policy of starving the civilians of Yemen to death.

Only a damn fool is always patriotic. That's why all people in a democratic society have a right not to be patriotic. (And may I point out that George Washington, a general in the British army and sworn to support the monarchy, was being unpatriotic when he led a revolution).

In the U.S., this principle of free speech and independent belief is rooted in the U.S. constitution. But Donald Trump  doesn't believe in any of that fancy talk. That's why we supports the NFL in forbidding football players from kneeling at the playing of the national anthem.

You think it's disgraceful to be unpatriotic? Well, you would just have loved living in Nazi Germany where you could have been a super patriot betraying Jews in hiding.

In effect, the western world (and, increasingly, Russia and China) is dominated by people of extreme greed and self-worship, of lack of any morality, and no sense of the future - rather like the medieval days of knights and aristocrats, like ancient Rome....look at the past. Do you really want to live there?


  1. i'm currently enjoying a podcast aboot famous human conflicts called "Dan Carlin's Hardcore History". I'm currently listening to his series on WW1. He apologizes for how long it is taking him; he mentions something that if he didn't watch it, he could spend 250 episodes (of around 3 hrs each) going over WW1. Ack!

  2. A good short youtube Documentary, Yemen: the world looks away.