Saturday, June 25, 2016

June 25: Bah! Humbug!

We often use words which, though they have a meaning to us, have no such meaning in reality. The result  is that much of our political debate is carried on with words whose real meanings we don't understand at all. And we miss the point of the whole discussion.

Norbert Cunningham adores business executives, and always speaks well of them.  But he has contempt for civil servants, so he calls them 'bureaucrats', a word which, to him, means incompetent and nit-picking.

"Bureacracy" began as a French word - "la bureaucratie". Before Louis XIV came to power in the 17th century, the king's advisors were chosen from the aristocracy and the higher clergy. Louis had no high opinion of either group. So he began choosing advisors who were educated, talented, and intelligent. These were la bureaucratie.

These were also the people he sent to govern his colonies, like New France. This spared New France the often doltish counts and barons who would have been appointed in earlier days. He continued to appoint Bishops to New France.  But most had little influence. Indeed, some never even came here.

As capitalism developed, it copied the example of  the king in choosing people of ability. Those under the king worked according to purposes and by rules established by the king. Those under the capitalists worked according to purposes and by rule established by the capitalists.

In other words, Norbert, both government and private business are served by bureaucracies. And both bureaucracies are the same.

Norbert, it's SO important to know what words mean.
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In a related case, I wonder about our varying treatment of tragedies. While shopping for my staple food of   hoofprints frozen yogurt at the supermarket, I noticed a magazine whose cover was photos of those murdered at Orlando - all 49 of them. And this sort of thing has been the universal response we have given to those killings.

All over the world uncounted millions have been killed with bombs, bullets, gasses, flames, drowning,, starvation, exposure - but with nothing like the treatment given to Orlando. In the U.S., itself, far, far more than 49 people are dying of malnutrition, homelessness, neglect - and all this in the nation that thinks nothing of spending a trillion dollars on 'defence'.

Why is that we mourn the sufferings of a few, but couldn't care less about the millions?
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The headline for A1 in the irving press is  that an infrastructure deal between the province and Ottawa is "imminent". (The "  " on imminent suggest that it may not be.) So here's a   headline that says something might happen soon - (or it might not.)

That's not a headline story. That's not a story of any kind.

The really important irving stories are inside. "Barking dog foils bicycle thief" - "Drunk Driver lands in ditch". Yep. Section A1 has all you Monctonians need to know about your city. What's the state of homelessness in Moncton? What's the rate of malnutrition? What's the condition of housing? Any  information about climate change or what we're doing to prepare for it?  Hey, don't worry. Go to A3 for "Man to stand trial for lying to police about shooting himself". And to give your brain a complete rest, be sure to visit the Irving chapel which will have a preacher with a doctorate in theology. There's also 'special' music (perhaps the minister blows hymns through a comb and tissue paper.)
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The editorial writer has nothing to say.

As for Norbert, the fix is in. He writes a hearty approval of fracking in Sussex. This follows a recent big story on a business group in Sussex which supports fracking, a story which was pure propaganda to support the idea. And there's a subtle touch here.

The government has justified its delays in approving fracking by saying it needs   'social licence'. But now, Norbert roots for an escape hatch. The escape is that if people in any one district approve it, then that's social licence. it doesn't need majority support in the province.  Get ready for the ride, folks. The push is on, and premier Gallant has found (been told) how he can break his promise while still seeming to keep it.

And the disposal of fracking water? Hey! Don't worry about it.

Norbert, compared to you, any bureaucrat,  private or public, is an angel of truth and light.

Brian Murphy is his usual self - friend to all, offensive to none, and generally useless. People, he says, want vistas in a library. I have spent much of my life in libraries all over the world, including the great ones. I never saw one with a vista. (People don't go to libraries to look out the window.)                                                
And it should have a world class art gallery? That, alone, would cost more than a dozen new events centres.

And it should be connected to waterfront trails. Right. Everbody knows that people go to  libraries so they can walk on waterfront trails. (I often walk on the waterfront trails. And I rarely see another person there. Gee! If only they had a library next to them.)

Crowning all this pointless blather is a photo of the current library with its statue of Northrop Frye. It refers to him as a bard. However......

A bard is a person who writes plays about great heroes and epic events. Frye was a magnificent literary critic and and thinker. But he was not a bard - or a ballet dancer or an Olympic medalist or even a lawyer.

Below Murphy is the usual propaganda piece of the The Fraser insitute.

Alec Bruce writes a column that is somewhat critical of a new report on the future of the NB economy. I think the problem with the report is, that like every debate I have seen about the future of this province, it is about money. Almost never is it about the people of this province and their needs. Nor is there ever any consideration of the possibility that we might be loslng billions of dollars every year to tax havens and gifts to business.
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In Canada&World, you will find the expected headline on Brexit (markets reel). Yeah. As I wrote yesterday, markets always reel.

Apparently, nothing worth reporting has happened in Africa, the Middle East, South America, Eastern Europe,,,, What the hell....it doesn't matter. The world ends at the Quebec border. especially for those unsung heroes who try to bring extra beer over that border.

And there is not a single story related in any way to the defining characteristic of our age. Greed. The race, on a scale unkown in history,  is on to acquire wealth no matter what  the damage to life, what the suffering might be.  It doesn't even make economic sense because once the wealthy nail down all the money there is, then they, too, are destroyed.

We commonly blame this on the U.S. But that's an oversimplification. Most Americans are, themselves, losers as this game plays out. It will make the Koch brothers wealthier. But the average American will see a catastrophic decline in living conditions. (It's already well begun.) The American people, including their military heroes, are simply pawns for the like of the Koch brothers.

The revolution of the rich is well under way, and its been gatheriing speed for a good, 50 years. That has a great deal to do with the formation of NATO, of the European Union and, I suspect, with the British vote to leave the EU. It has everything to do with the drive to continue developing fossil fuels, and with our very plodding steps to replace them.

In the end, the greed of the wealthy will destroy them as well as us - but greed, as it so often does, is trumping logic.
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The Faith Page has two sermonettes, one by a local preacher, the other by the Pope. Notice that the Pope spoke of  real world decisions and human need. The local preacher avoided both to write a "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam" column.
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As expected, Scotland is preparing negotiations to stay in the EU. That would almost certainly mean a separation from England. When I was in grade one, there was a British flag at the head of the class. Every morning, we stood, saluted, and said. "I pledge allegiance to this   (pointing) flag; and to the Empire for which it stands." Before I was a teen, the empire which once was 20% of the world, had disappeared, and most of Ireland had broken away. Now, it is likely that Scotland will go. All that will be left of the empire that once ruled (and pillaged) so much of the world will be Wales and part of Ireland.

Massive fortunes were made out of that empire. But most of the fortunes stayed in the pockets of Britain's wealthy. Very little filtered down to the British people. That, too, I suspect. is why the vote to quit the EU won. The EU is effectively controlled by a wealthy elite representing international banking and its friends.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jun/25/sturgeon-seeks-urgent-brussels-talks-to-protect-scotlands-eu-membership
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This next is a long one. But it's about why people voted to leave the EU. And that's a side we haven't heard much about in North America.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/25/meet-10-britons-who-voted-to-leave-the-eu
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This one is on a theme I began with, the quantity of our news devoted to relatively unimportant news. It is followed by a second story about U.S. bomber command in Africa. That is a larger story than is told here,  and I'm watching for a fuller version of it.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176156/tomgram:_nick_turse,_lies,_damned_lies,_and_statistics..._and_u.s._africa_command
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Here's one with a list of countries the U.S. has bombed since 1945. Quite apart from the millions of innocent people killed is the fact that almost all of these bombings were illegal under international war. Indeed, many were questionable under the U.S. constitution.

The poor, little U.S. All those little countries are always picking on it.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44962.htm
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Here's a story that the situation in Venezuela, while bad, is not so bad as the North American news media are telling us. (Of course, the irving press is innocent beause it hasn't told us anything.)

I can't pretend to have a full understanding of what is happening there. But I do know the dangers of imposing a solution.  If the U.S. uses this as an excuse to intervene,  it will put Venezuela completely under the thumb of U.S. big business - as it has with so many Latin American countries who now suffer under an imposed poverty to make the wealthy wealthier.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44963.htm
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Here are two items by Paul C raig Roberts that are excellent on the British vote against the EU.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44969.htm
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The U.N.'s top legal expert says the TTIP trade deal is illegal. Don't expect to see this story in the irving press.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/06/25/u-n-s-legal-expert-calls-proposed-trade-deals-illegal/
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It's still way too early to pronounce on the wisdom or lack of wisdom in Britain's decision to quit the EU. And we can't rely on our North American news media to  explain anything because they're almost all owned by the kind of people who like organization such as the EU. Even its failure wouldn't tell us much. For example, most of our new media will tell us it failed because  leaving was a bad idea. It's at least as likely that the failure would be something engineered by big money. But our news media would never say that.

Whatever happens, this issue touches many problems that Britain suffers -  the excessive power of the wealthy, the decline of democracy, the sense that Britain (like Canada) has become an errand boy for big, U.S. money....  Expect lots of confusion in Britain, lots of political divisions, with neither the Conservatives nor Labour survivng in their present forms.

And watch the reactions to the U.S. challenge to Russia in placing troops in aggressive moves along the Russian border. Russia has, logically enough, responded with nuclear-armed subs in waters close to the region.  It may dawn on eastern Europe that making itself the battlefield for World War Three might not be a really good idea. Not really good.

Friday, June 24, 2016

June 24:Brexit - What we don't know...

We commonly speak of people as being semitic or anti-semitic. And we're usually wrong because semite does not mean Jewish. It refers to people who speak a number of similar lanuages called semitic.  It can include Jews. It also includes Palestinianns, in fact, all  Arabs. Yes, Arabs are a semitic people.
Hebrew is a semitic language; but Jews of Europe and the Americas use the language sparingly, and almost entirely in a religious context. The common language of German Jews, for example, was  Yiddish, which was derived  heavily from German, (and is, perhaps the world's best language, for telling jokes. Yes, even a goy or shiksa would laugh. Only a schlemiel would keep a straight face).

And all that means that if we hate people for being semitic, we hate them because of the language they speak - which is pretty silly. Oh, it also means that when Netanyahu of Israel preaches hatred of Palestinians, he's being anti-semitic.
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The biggest story, by far, in today's irving press is that the remains of a human settlement of 12,000 years ago right here in New Brunswick have been found near Marysville. It was a campsite on the beach of a glacial lake which covered what is now Fredericton. (Sounds like a good idea.) I look forward to learning much more about this.

It's the biggest story in the paper. But it didn't make the front page headline. Instead, it's at the bottom of A1. The lead story is that vandalism at the vacant Moncton High, over the years, has cost the province thousands. Well, the big hit apparently, was when the school fire-extinguishers were sprayed all over the assembly hall. The cleanup cost $3,000. (The story also lists the hundred times higher cost of general upkeep.) So why do we get that sensationalist headine of vandalism costing thousands when that has been a very minor part of the cost?)
Well, halfway through, the story becomes one about the importance of moving the public library into the school. This story isn't about vandalism. It's a propaganda pitch to build up support for developers.

From there, section A goes from trivial to laughable. One story is headlined "Company launches donair-flavoured chips". Hey, that's for real. It's on A6.
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The editorial says police should crack down on bad drivers. It appears, really, to be about motorcyclists, but with car drivers added to sound impartial.
Norbert Cunningham has a quite reasonable column about the failure of the Gallant government to make good on its election promise of jobs. Well, Norbert will show Gallant what's what. Next time, he'll advise New Brunswickers to vote Conservative. So there.

Justiin Ryan has a touching column that gives a hint of what refugees from fighting in the middle east are suffering.

Cecile Cassista has a blistering column on  how New Brunswick has the worst and most expensive care for seniors in all of Canada. (The costs are not just higher. They are stunningly higher; and much of that is because the government has handed much of it to the private sector.) She also points to the importance to keeping seniors in the community rather than warehousing them in homes.) This is a real commentary. And a good one.

For obesity, smoking and drinking, New Brunswick is reminiscent of some of the less desirable parts of the U.S. This, blended with working conditions, computers and other problems led Alec Bruce to a column warning us about out bad habits.
This is well worth a read. I would add only the brain-deadening effect of TV, and of android phones.
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And Canada&World? Lord love a duck. The only world story is that there were tornadoes in Illinois. Seriously. In a world flirtiing with world war and even nuclear war, with mass starvation, with refugees in almost unheard of numbers and dreadful suffering and millions of deaths by drowning, exposure and starvation, with the European Union close to collapse, with much of South American in collapse, the big, world story is about tornadoes in Illinois.

The longest story in Canada and the World is that businessmen just down the road from Moncton are rallying to support fracking. In the whole story, there is no mention of any person in the whole region who is opposed to fracking. Not one.

This isn't a news story. This is a cheering section. And that's an unethical as journalism can get.

And why do we see all businesses, large and small uniting on this?

Part of the game plan of big business is to convince those in smaller business that they're all one, happy group of buddies with everything in common. That fraud is part of what chambers of commerce are about.

The reality is they don't have anything in common. If fracking turns out to be dangerous, Corridor Resources will just move on. But the storekeepers, restaurant owners, motel operators will be stuck to face the consequences.
This kind of propaganda journalism is what puts the irving press in the journalism gutter (where it has lots of company).

Below it is a small story about how Prince Edward gave a funny speech in Regina. The joke? He said that some of the audience people were so tall, they might hit the ceiling. Haw! That must have had the news editor rolling on the floor.
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Read just the top five stories in The Guardian (site is below)on the British exit from the European Union. And don't pay much attention to any opinions. It's far, far too early to do that. As well, I would not pay attention to opinion in The Guardian on this. It's editorial stance and its reporting suggest that The Guardian has not been impartial. New Brunswickers, in particular, should be cautious about opinions because we have been told almost nothing of what it's all about.

What we do know so far is that British Prime Minister Cameron (Conservative) has resigned.

Scotland voted to remain. That means a Scottish vote to separate from England is almost a certainty.

The wealthy British voted to stay. The lower middle class and the poor voted to get out. (except in Scotland). This means the issue has created a sharp class divide. But it is not yet clear why. It might mean that the EU was a good deal for the rich and a bad one for the poor - but we don't  yet have evidence on that.
It might mean a breakdown of most of the EU. There is some, considerable distaste for the EU in other countries.

Will it have an effect on markets and the British pound? Of course.  Any uncertainty always affects the markets and the currency for at least a short time. A sneeze at the wrong time can do it.

The campaign for this referendum has been an extremely bitter one, and it leaves England divided, to a large degree, on class lines. We don't know enough yet to even guess where that might go.

We don't yet have much information about whether or how much this issue is related to the desire of U.S. capitaliststs to control European economies. And most of our news media are most unlikely even to mention the possibility. We do know that they have long wanted a fully privatized British banking system - such as exists in other Eruopean countries -so that they and not governments can control economic policies.

Nor can we speculate yet about the effect this will have on NORAD. And again, our news media are not likely to be of much help in this. NORAD has long since ceased to be a defence organization. It is a military arm of the U.S. empire, used to fight wars for the U.S. (as Britain did in Iraq) and to threaten Russia - as it now is doing in eastern Europe with the help of Canada). NORAD is also important as the second largest customer after the U.S. for the U.S. defence industry.)

As usual, nothing is what it seems. And nothing is even like what our news media will tell us.

Oh, some people say that the ones who voted to leave the EU did it because of their racist feelings toward refugees. I shouldn't be surprised if some did vote for that reason. But why the class split?  after all the British wealthy take a back seat to no-one in their past and present as racists.

http://www.theguardian.com/international
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Much of the news out of South America is dismaying. Economically and politically, the problems are severe . And it doesn't seem to matter whether the governments are on the left or right. The only difference is that the ones on the right, with American support and coaching, are the more murderous.
I don't have an explanation for it. But I expect that well over a century of U.S. invasion, U.S. dictatorships, mass killings and hired killings of  honest people who threaten profits has something to do with the limping development of South American democracy.

Apparently, the mistress of Brazil's  president helped the Chinese to get a big contract in Brazil. It just goes to show you can never trust them Latins. A Hillary Clinton would never dream of being corrupt.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/24/bolivia-evo-morales-press-freedom-gabriela-zapata-child
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What Hitler did that caused World War Two was to invade countries that were no threat to Germany. That was and is illegal under international law - and it calls for the death penalty.

U.S. policy in Syria (as in general) has been a non-stop disaaster from the start. It was illegal for the U.S. to support Syrian rebels in the first place That is an act of war against a country that had not attacked the U.S.

"Regime change" is illegal. No country has the right to change the government of another. No matter how much we may disapprove of another country, who governs it is none of our business. That's been law for a century now. But the U.S. has been invading and changing regimes before and ever since that  law was enacted.  It has invaded at least 70 countries in the last 70 years, and all of them illegal invasions. Obama calls it "American Exceptionalism".

The war in Syria has been yet another disaster, particularly since Rusiia has intervened (legally) on Assad's side. So Obama is now under pressure to intervene directly by bombing and with troops.    (And Canada has lent itself to this illegal plan.)

Gee! Russia and the U.S. on opposite sides in the same war....what a great way to start a nuclear war!

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44949.htm
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And, on a lighter note, the Koch brothers, the multi, bulti-billionaires (sorry, philanthropists) who don't believe in climate change have launched a huge campaign to bring about social equality. Yes. The way to do it is to let the rich do whatever they want, and not pay any taxes.

http://www.alternet.org/right-wing/kochs-biggest-joke-billionaires-pretend-care-about-inequality-latest-ad-blitz

Thursday, June 23, 2016

June 23: Dum-dee-dum, no news today.

This post, sent to me from a reader, is the only one I have read on the European Union that makes sense.  It is, like the trade  treaties we're signing, an effort made by the wealthy, largely in the U.S., to override democracy, and to put themselves in charge.

It's a part of the revolution against nations and against democracy that I have mentioned many times.  (This is a long item; but stay with it.)

 https://professorwerner.wordpress.com/2016/06/21/eu-basics-your-guide-to-the-uk-referendum-on-eu-membership/
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Sometimes, the CBC annoys me. Lately, it's been an opinion piece by a journalist that the U.S. Republican party is no longer the party of Abraham Lincoln. The reality is that Lincoln as the freer of slaves is one of the many myths of history that American believe of themselves and their values.

Lincoln was opposed to freeing the slaves. He didn't to to war to free slaves in  the first place. He went to war because the South wanted to break away - and any such move would seriously weaken the U.S.

The South lived on cotton. It needed free trade to get agricultural machinery as cheaply as possible from overseas - mostly Britain.  But the north was industrializing. It needed tariffs on imports to protect its factories from competition. And the industrial north,  by the time of LIncoln, had become more politically powerful than the agricultural south. That's why the civil war was fought. When one of his generals, early in the war, freed slaves, Lincoln tore a strip off him. For reasons I don't know, he changed his mind late in the war. But, as the subsequent history of the North shows, it was obviously not because the North wanted freedom and equality for Africans.
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The front page headline is that New Brunswick industry is furious that the provincial government did not consult it on expanding the Canadian Pension Plan. Actually, it didn't consult me, either. Or the clergy of New Brunswick. Or fishermen. Or teachers.

Even more actually, we do not elect governments to consult anybody. We elect them to govern according to the  principles they get elected on.  If they want a general consultaion with the public, all of us, I suppose that's okay. (The problem is that is only used to buy delay for governments when they're buying time to okay things like fracking.)

Admittedly, we're handicapped in electing them on their principles because the two, leading parties don't seem  to  have any.

But a special interest group, like business, has no right to demand it be consulted on legislation. A government is elected by all of us to serve all of us. New Brunswick's business community should be spanked and sent home.

Anyway, I don't believe the whole business community of New Brunswick was ignored. There are a few people in this province who just have to blow a whistle, and the Brian Gallants will come running and wagging their tails.

The rest of section A news is the usual trivia, only more so.

I have attended more graduations in my lifetime than I care to remember. All speakers give pretty much the same, safe (and boring speeches). Today, a whole page is devoted to them.
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The editorial writer really has nothing to say, but fills a space, anyway.

Norbert is still ranting about the education report. But he still misses the point. He is for example, indignant whent the report says that supportive learning must occur "starting at birth". His response to that is that until New Brunswick can solve its illiteracy, it's poverty, it's addiction and other social problems, learning from birth is a hopeless pipe dream.( By the way, Norb, the word it's used to signify possession is wrong.)

We can't solve education until we solve illiteracy? Norbert, illiteracy, social problems addictions, poverty are the key problems that have to addressed. They are not separate from education.  They are not different problems. They are all part of the same problem.

Our children move around in a daze because we wander around in a daze. And most of the reason we wander in a daze is because the irving press encourages that, and because we all are the children of generations which kept themselves ignorant in order to conform and to be accepted by the provincial bosses.
No education report is likely to solve that. It's not the system that's wrong. It's us.
Rod Allen's commentary isn't a commentary, and it's a useless, overwritten waste of time. That's the sort of thing that keeps New Brunswick in the education toilet.
The Ombudswoman's column is a good read. But it's not really a commentary. She should have her own space.

Alec Bruce argues for a think tank to plan New Brunswick's economic future. It would be something like AIMS.

If it were anything like AIMS, it would be a body blow. That last thing we need is another bunch of propagandists pumping out 'studies' to please the wealthy.
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Canada&World is, as always, an information desert. The lead story is that Ottawa has made a list of people against and people for the Energy East pipeline. Those on the list will be invited to be interveners in the discussion of the pipeline. How very democratic! (You will be allowed to speak - but only if the government approves of you.)

Anyway, it doesn't matter. This isn't consultation. It's almost certainly cover for a decision the government has long since made.

Apparently, nothing much is happening in the rest of the world.
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The Guardian has this series of photos of the sharp division between blacks and whites in South Africa. Some commentators say this just shows the separation between rich and poor. I'm not sure which it is - and I'm not sure it matters. One group lives very differently from the other. It might be interesting to see an aeriel photo of Moncton.

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/gallery/2016/jun/23/south-africa-divided-cities-apartheid-photographed-drone
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In these terrible times of unemployment and low wages, it's a blessing to see that the super-rich around the world are getting still richer. The sour note is that the super-rich of China and Japan and the Pacific region now outnumber the super-rich of the U.S., and they're growing faster. We may have to bomb them.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jun/23/china-japan-super-rich-asia-pacific-north-america-wealth
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I've found The Guardian reporting and opinion on the vote regarding the European Union is very one-sided, and the editor has been championing the no side. I have never understood why newspapers have editorials. Their expertise, if any, is about setting up a newspaper. They have no special insights into politics, the economy, or foreign affairs.
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The next one comes from a Syrian newspaper. But it's quite credible. We already know the U.S. does not want to see ISIS defeated. Russia does. The fighting in Syria is not about religion of any sort. The fight is about which capitalists will control middle east oil. American capitalists want Assad destroyed, not ISIS.

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/israeli-intelligence-chief-not-want-isis-defeat-syria/

Y 'see, irving press? Something is happening in the rest of the world.
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I'm not sure this story is right when it refers to a "demographic time bomb" of relations between European Jews and Arab Jews. But there has been a dislike between the two groups from the start. And I've seen that antagonism among immigrants to Canada from both groups.

http://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comment/israel-considers-its-demographic-time-bomb

Netanyahu and his predecessors have been working to create - not a Jewish state, but a European Jewish state. Therefore, the Arab Jews, who are the descendants of the Jews of ancient Israel, don't really fit in. The Israeli government, dominated by European Jews. has been taking a racist approach to the 'real' Jews.
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There have been stories lately that Israel has been stealing Palestinian water. Now, it has taken a really, ugly turn.

http://imemc.org/article/rabbi-calls-for-poisoning-of-palestinian-water-supply/

The U.S. has a profound interest, especially politically, in supporting Israel. But making almost all that support in the form of weaponry, and looking only at military solutions, the U.S. is doing no favour for Israel - or for the rest of the world.
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And, on the British referendum on the EU, I think this writer is quite right in his criticism of The Guardian.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44942.htm
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The following is a bit overstated. Suggesting that China is a democracy or a special sort of one is, I think, over the top.  But there's a lot of truth, too, in this interview.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44945.htm
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This story is obviously untrue. We know that oil pipelines never leak.

http://www.alternet.org/environment/california-oil-spill-30000-gallons-crude-oil-leaked-ventura-county
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I was astonished to read this about the number of refugees in this world. There must be something we can do about this. Maybe we can send them discarded hymn books so they can sing "Onward Christian Soldiers".

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/06/22/un-agency-reports-65-million-people-are-refugees-worldwide/
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In South America, many countries routinely use their soldiers to kill activists, environmentalists, all that trash. They do so, and have done so, for many, many years with the full knowledge and cooperation of the U.S. government.  And their targets are people who  interfere with the profits and abuses of American (and Canadian) big business in South America. Here's a story about it.

https://theintercept.com/2016/06/23/state-department-turns-blind-eye-to-evidence-of-honduran-militarys-activist-kill-list/
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See, irving press? There is lots of important, foreign news in the world every day, news even more important than "Lac-Megantic says it won't pursue legal action against Canadian Pacific". ( This relates to an explosion that killed 49 people.)
Incidentally, wasn't the name Irving connected with that incident? And weren't there questions about false labelling of the cargo of that train? And weren't there comments on the unwisdom of sending that train on a long trip with its dangerous cargo - and with only one person on it? And doesn't that all suggest a rather casual approach to public safety?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

June 22: irving news is an oxymoron

In the  Irving press, first there's section A news. Yawn.

The editorial writer repeats much of what Norbert was talking about yesterday, the faults of our education system. And the editor knows just as much about the subject as Norbert does.  Nothing.

Here are a few questions for the editor. If the education system determines the degree of learning attained by the nature of the system, how come the  anglophone school system in Quebec produced a higher poportion of high achievers among Jews than among gentiles - even though both went to the same system?

How come children of poor districts tend  to score lower than those in middle class districts, even though both go to similar school systems? Are they born stoopider? If so, how do you propose to improve this by changing the system? In Montreal    (and all over the U.S.), blacks score poorer than whites - though they go through the same school systems. Are blacks inferior to whites? Does the editorial writer ever think before doing an editorial?

The editorial mentions Paul Bennet as a prominent education consultant. So he is. But how would the editorial writer know that? What is the writer's qualification to judge who is prominent in that field? And how come the writer doesn't mention that viritually all of Paul Bennett's experience (and a very competent experience) was in expensive private schools?

Education is not a business. It cannot operate like one. And it is most certainly not an assembly line.

How can editors have the arrogance to make pronouncements on subjects they know nothing about?

Norbert tells us that our medical system is inferior to those of other provinces. The reason, as he graciously admits, is because it doesn't have as much money as other systems do. Another reason is that people like Norbert have encouraged us to contract out some services to private business. If they had their way, we'd be like the U.S. with a private health system nobody can afford.

He really dances around our "worsening fiscal position". Yes, it is worsening.  And that means our health system can't get the money it needs. So shouldn't Norbert be asking why our fiscal position is worsening? Could it be that ever year we are losing billions in taxes because the wealthy aren't paying any? And could it have anything to do with the handouts we so freely give to the wealthy?
The guest columnist is, not surprisingly, the president of an energy group. And it's all about the horrors of renewable energy. Just think. Windmillls will get old, and will have to be replaced with new ones. So then, we'll have unsightly dumps of discarded windmills. I admit that's a terror I had never thought of.

All energy sources present a range of challenges. So let's stick with oil. Then it will kill us all. And then we won't experience the horror of seeing discarded windmills.

Can someone be this dumb, and be president of an energy company? Obviously, he can. In fact, it might well be a requirement of his job.

The other columns, by a professor at U de Montreal and Alec Bruce, are far more intelligent and worthwhile reads.
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The most exciting story in "Canada&World"  is that a British star soccer player whose wife was a Spice Girl favours staying in the European Union. The story is almost entirely about those who favour staying. And it gives us very little sense of what the vote to leave or stay with Europe is all about.

Then there's a big story, "Ontario doesn't know whether its ban on pit bulls reduced dog attacks." So bloody what? The whole section is like this. It appears to be of stories chosen at random and with a yawn about how boring all this is. There is no sign of any priorities or any thought. This could have been done by an office boy. But I suspect the irving press is too cheap to have an office boy.
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The west is in a panic over attacks by Muslims, such a panic that we spend billions on guarding, investigating, spying - all directed at Muslims. Actually, the numbers of us  killed by good ol' Christian killers is far higher. U.S. police kill far, far more people than "terrorists" of any sort do  ( over 500 Americans killed by police so far this year).As well, there are certainly more people killed illegally by U.S. drones and even by the U.S. hitmen we call "special ops".  I suspect the real purpose of domestic spying in Canada and the U.S. is to create more of the hysteria that justifies us killing more Muslims so our oil billionaires can loot their oil.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/22/rightwing-lone-wolves-islamist-extremists-report-thinktank-rusi
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The crisis in Venezuela has been pretty much ignored by the irving press. The root of it all is that Venezuela, like all of South America, has been manipulated, attacked, and generally interfered with for well over a century by the U.S. The result has been generations of dictators and other rulers who have run their countries for the benefit of American billionaires and for the few, home-grown wealthy.   Opposition groups have commonly had to fight their way to power, but then have suffered more serious U.S. interference. And, in fairness, some of the opposition leaders have been as corrupt as their predecessors. It's now approaching the point at which it will become the middle east of the Americas.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/22/venezuela-economic-crisis-guardian-briefing
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Here's a hint of what's coming because of the climate change   (which, as well know,  isn't happening). California is also running out of water. That's going to mean population displacement. But at least there are none of those unsightly dumps for used windmills.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/21/wildfires-la-san-gabriel-complex-california-heatwave
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It may be my imagination, but I think we're seeing a decline in the quality of The Guardian.
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Here's a story that has really been clear but unreported for at least a year, now. The U.S. does not want peace in Syria. It wants the destruction of Syria. To achieve that it has been supplying Islamic terrorists - either directly or through countries like Saudi Arabia - with money, training, and thousands of tons of weapons. It does not want to defeat ISIS and its friends. It wants to use them.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alastair-crooke/syria-cease-fire-russia_b_10510126.html
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This one is a little scattered. But its major point is quite right. The U.S. wants to provoke a war with Russia. It's way of doing so is illegal under international law for the same reasons that Hitler's war was illegal under international law.

Canadians, British and Americans and Russians and French died to end that sort of behaviour - so we are told every November 11.

It's even contrary to U.S. law. - not to mention that it's almost certain to create a nuclear war.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44927.htm
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Here's something I did not expect to find in a financial review. And it's quite right. We have replaced democracy with corporatocracy. You don't have to look further afield than New Brunswick to see that.

http://www.europeanfinancialreview.com/?p=6074
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And here's a story that would go right to the heart for most writers at the irving press. Privatize government services. Run 'em like businesses. Think profit. Don't think what people need. that's a constant theme of Norbert and the editorial writer. (But don't you dare tax the wealthy.)

https://www.opendemocracy.net/transformation/daniel-l-hatcher/transforming-poverty-industry?utm_source=Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=46f219a6e2-DAILY_NEWSLETTER_MAILCHIMP&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_717bc5d86d-46f219a6e2-407396303
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Perhaps the most honest news source I have ever seen is Haaretz from Israel. But it now wants us to pay for it. Reasonable - but that makes it tough for a blogger. If it's cited in a blog, it might appear as just a headline to the recipients - with a note that you should subscribe.

Today, for example, it has the story that Israel has been stealing water from Palestine for some time now. That's kind of important in  the middle east. Then there's the story about East Jerusalem which is largely a ghetto for Palestinians who are Israeli citizens. And almost all of them live in poverty. What a coincidence.

But things are improving. Israeli 'settlers' are moving in to displace the Palestinians to -----well, who cares where?

Israel is a profoundly racist society. And that may well be the death of it. Incidentally, Israelis recently attacked a group of Greek Orthodox visitors who were at prayer, calling them 'evil'. It made Haaretz, but not the irving press.
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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

June 21: The irving press: The New Brunswick form of opium.

I've been watching the large number of hits I'm getting from the U.S. I warned readers weeks ago that this could be domestic espionage. But I don't think it is. The numbers would be massive overkill for that purpose. More likely, this is a large scale sample of what has happened before. Other blog sites incorporate mine into theirs.

In this case, what has probably happened is that somebody has incorporated it into some mass circulation site -  like Facebook.
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Then there's this story from CBC. This is what happens to scoundrels and thieves if they're rich scoundrels and thieves.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/panama-papers-victor-dahdaleh-york-university-honorary-degree-1.3644284

Nor are their 'honorary' doctorates the full story. The money they give the university  in order to get the doctorate normally has to be used to glorify them by naming buildings and programmes after them. And, commonly, it has to be used to turn university training into a kind of  dog-training that is useful for them.

The  irving press doesn't carry stories explaining this. Nor does it like running stories, like this one, that have a connection with tax havens.
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The headline story is actually a story. It's about proposed changes to the Canada Pension Plan. But the tone taken by some of our politicians is disturbing. They say, for example, that many people don't save enough for their retirement. How the hell do people save for retirement on an average New Brunswick salary? They can't all put their money into tax havens. And how do they save when their children want to go to university?
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The editorial writer is incapable of understanding that there are people in this province; and we should think first and most of them when we are planning for the future. Today, it says that pending trade agreements will be a boon to our airport.

Perhaps. But what will they do to our people?  The trend in trade agreements is to use them to destroy the powers of government (the only powers we have). They are there to make the rich richer while they destroy the quality of living for people. Take a good look at the city of Chicago for that - now mostly a ghost town. We've seen poverty and homelessness  growing in the U.S. as a direct result of such trade treaties.

Norbert, once again, rants on a subject he knows nothing about. it's true that the report on literacy in New Brunswick has nothing much to say. But neither does Norbert. Norbert thinks like some of the bureaucrats that literacy tests show that NB literacy is lower that it should be.

That's true. I knew that as soon as I saw my first copy of the irving press. But that does not prove there's something wrong with the teaching of it. Think hard, Norbert. Literacy tests show there is something wrong. But they don't show what the something wrong is. The something wrong is not necessarily in the schools. It's far more likely to be somethng wrong in the society. And that something wrong is encouraged by the brainlessness of the irving press.

In my elementary school, a very high proportion of my friends was illiterate. And they would be for life. I read heavily. We all had the same teachers. I read. My friends didn't. The cause was not the schools. The cause was that we lived in a part of town where large numbers of parents were either illiterate or didn't care. But my father read. And every Saturday he brought a book home for me. That made a difference for the rest of my life.

Illteracy is a social problem more than it is an academic one. I don't have a magic wand to cure it. But I can think of something that would help. The irving press could develop columns designed for weak readers at various age levels. And it could make it a point to have something meaningful to say in these columns.

Think, Norbert. Don't rant.

There's a commentary that's critical of the attempts to force rural communities to amalgate their local governments. I know nothing about this subject - but the commentary seems worth a read.

Below is yet another piece of propaganda from the Fraser Institute.
Alec Bruce writes on how we will see the reduction, mostly of low paying jobs, in the near future as automation replaces those jobs. That's bad news for a very large part of the New Brunswick population. The government plans to adapt to it by developing an autmation industry. Very nice. But that's not much help to those in low paying jobs.

Read Bruce's last paragraph carefully. We and our politicians  (and the editor) are going to have to stop thinking just about geegoshwhizbang sure moneymakers like the events centre, and to start thinking more about people.
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Canada&World is a miserable three pages of nothing. There is no mention of the out of control suffering and   corruption that is throwing South America into chaos, no mention of the war games near the Russian border, no mention of aggressive U.S. patrols in the Pacific...really, nothinig about anything.

The fourth page is, again, pictures of people holding up cheques.
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Media Lens is a British site that concentrates on the sins of news media, mostly in Britain. But what it says applies to most news media in the world. This time, it aims a well-deserved kick at the seat of the BBC which once was a superb news medium, but has since fallen on bad times.

http://medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2016/821-the-fairy-tale-of-the-self-questioning-bbc.html
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The is a long one about the damage done by corporate media  (like the irving press.)

http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/alerts-2013/719-jousting-with-toothpicks-the-case-for-challenging-corporate-journalism.html
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I rather like Media Lens. It's written by professional journalists who know what to look for when they're left alone.

http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2016/820-how-the-press-hides-the-global-crimes-of-the-west-corporate-media-coverage-of-chad.html
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This one might be a shocker. Where is the worst corruption in the world? What is the cause of it?  What is the world's major centre of corruption? Who is creating the corruption?

The one is a bit of a long read, and it takes time to to get to the point. But it's worth following the whole trail. And, at the end, you will find some of the 'very best' people.

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/jun/21/which-most-corrupt-cities-in-world
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The Guardian is conducting a long-term study of gun violence in the U.S. So far, it has no answers. But it has questions that most of us haven't thought of.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/21/gun-control-debate-mass-shootings-gun-violence
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And here's what really happens in foreign news - but you'll never see it in the irving press. This is what the 'economic leaders' of world society do.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/21/berta-caceres-name-honduran-military-hitlist-former-soldier
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Then there's a new book about the Clintons. The lesson is that anything bad you've said or though about the Clintons was too kind.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3635882/Hillary-Clinton-called-disabled-children-Easter-egg-hunt-f-ing-ree-tards-referred-Jews-stupid-k-s-Bill-called-Jesse-Jackson-damned-n-r-claims-Bill-s-former-lover.html

No, the Daily Mail is not a great source. But the book it reports on seems to be.
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This looks overstated. It's not. Influential leaders of  the U.S. economy and its politics said it on the web almost twenty years ago. They intend to conquer the world. It's all in The Project for the New American Century. Bush and Obama have both publicly supported this. it just never made our news media.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44921.htm
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In the U.S., prisons are either privatized - or turned into deals with private companies. This one is a useful reminder of how big business abuses people whenever it can get away with it.

http://otherwords.org/the-civil-war-didnt-end-slavery-after-all/
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I had doubts about running this one. It's highly critical of evangelical Christians. But there's some truth in it. Christians, expecially the evangelical ones, believe in believing. But they don't believe much in asking questions. (Check out the Faith page for proof. It  always has answers, but no questions.)

In the U.S. Donald Trump is getting large support from evangelical Christians. Now, Donald Trump's views don't seem to me to have much to do with Christianity or any other religion I have ever heard of. So why this massive support for Trump?

http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/why-many-evangelicals-love-trump
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And here's another prison labour story.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/06/21/u-s-study-finds-immigrants-imprisoned-to-boost-prison-corporation-profits/
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And here's a warning about what trade alliances really are.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article192440.html
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Enough. Time for a break to watch Thomas the Tank Engine. I need to make notes on it in case the Chamber of Commerce asks me to give a speech.

Monday, June 20, 2016

June 20: Philanthropy and Tax Avoidance.



http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/canada-offshore-treaties-barbados-tax-avoidance-1.3641278

How is it possible that the irving press missed this story? We have been robbed of uncounted billions of dollars. We have to make up for that every year out of our own pockets. We have to get along without the services that we and our children need. We have to listen to the Norberts of this world who tell us we are spoiled and wasteful, and the government has to reduce taxes.

The government has reduced taxes. It has reduced them for the wealthy. It has reduced them to nothing. As well, our governments have reduced even property taxes, almost  to nothing, for the wealthy.

If you or I shoplifted in a store, you can bet we'd be in the paper. "Decarie faces charge of theft". We'd probably get jail. But the billionaires who use these tax breaks (designed by our governments for them) get awards and places in halls of fame for their generosity.

And forget the crap about how they create jobs. We all create jobs every time we go shopping or get our driveways ploughed. Creating jobs is not a charitable act. Business creates as few jobs as it can, and at the cheapest possible prices. Nor does it create jobs out of a sense of love of humanity. By the standards of that thinking, the slave-owners of the old U.S. south should be thanked by their slaves for creating jobs.

The greatest threats to our future are the greed of the very wealthy and the streaming of all the world's money into their tax  havens. That can only lead to mass poverty and, very likely, to widespread violence. Perhaps professor Saillant will write a book on this.

Nobody at the irving press saw this story? Possible. Norbert sneers at CBC as a news source. How very inferior it is to irving press! But newspaper editors are supposed to follow other news sources to see what's happening in the field. Some people at irving press must have seen this story. But journalistic integrity could cost an irving press editor his job.
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You thought it was warm,  yesterday? In Arizona, it hit 120 degrees fahrenheit, a record for Arizona. That's 49 celsius. Page A1 But, what the hell, we all know that climate change isn't happening. So let's build a pipeline for oil, get on with the fracking, and keep  killing Muslims until we get all the oil.
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Page A1 reports on an expert who blasts a government report on education, saying it ignores all that's wrong with teaching methods in New Brunswick. Paul Bennet taught at a private school in Toronto, then was principal at a private school in Montreal. He knows his stuff. But I think he's wrong.

In all the years I taught in Quebec, Jewish students dominated the list of graduates almost every year. When I was in high school, I was in the top stream class. It was a least half Jewish, though the Jewish were a minority among English in the city, and though most Montreal Jews went to a school in another district. So how can we account for the academic dominance of Jews?
If you're a racist, you might say that Jews are born with better brains than Christians. But I have never seen any medical sign of that.

And it certainly wasn't anything to do with teaching methods. Jewish kids were in the same school system I was in, and had the same teachers. So why did they do better?

I had a similar experience teaching in China and The Netherlands where students performed above the Canadian average - in both cases while working in a foreign language. In neither did I see any difference in teaching methods exceptt that China seemed weaker than Canada in teaching methods.

The most important factor in learning is not teaching methods. Most important, by far, are social ones. Children of a society that respects learning will do better than children from a society that doesn't. My Jewish students were not smarter than others. They had grown up in a religion that respects learning and open debate. In China, the social pressure on students to do well was so great that failure could mean humiliation of a whole family, and even suicide for the student.

In my Canadian experience, working class children do worse (and less) that middle class and upper class. I learned this in my childhood when my schools from grade one to nine were in profoundly working class districts. There were about 30 children in my grade one class. Only one (not me) would finish high school. Most of the others dropped out from school between grades four and nine.

For us, the idea of higher education was in a class with space travel. We never even dreamed of such thing. For the upper and middle class, on the other hand, higher education was as natural as taking a shower (something else that us working class kids could experience only after a gymn  class at school.)

Jewish kids of the time in Montreal were mostly working class. But they had the advantage of a religion that encouraged learning.

Education is not a business. We won't make it better by adjusting schedules, cutting out snow days, or playing with gimmicks. If New Brunswick (and Canada) are going to improve their education systems, they're going to have to start with changing their social values.

A3 has something I have never seen before in a newspaper. It's a story about a man who is building a most impressive model of a tall ship. But the bulk of it is made up for five photos, all of them essentially the same. And the five captions beneath them are all EXACTLY the same. What editorial genius approved that?
From there, it's all downhill. A7 thrills us  with the word that a Pizza Delight VP is opening a new restaurant in Gagetown. Hold me back.
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The editorial is another 'something must be done'. It talks about nursing homes and  how the government needs a plan. But that's all it does. Why not suggest a plan? Why not, for example, get our wealthy out of the habit of not paying taxes?
Norbert has a vigorous but intellectually flabby column on the direction the world is going in. We are, he says, witnessing a political revolution in the U.S.
No we aren't. Americans are choosing between two people who, like most presidents we have seen in our lives, represent big money. The only candidate who represented change is out of the race.

He sees a political revolution coming in New Brunswick. From whom, Norbert? Tell us the party you would vote for to bring a political revolution? Liberals or Conservatives?

The big question New Brunswick politicians have to face? Bringing beer across the Quebec border. And it's all the fault of politicians and bureaucrats. Oh, and we have to cut government spending.

Norbert, do you ever consider that the politicians and bureaucrats don't  control this province? That, perhaps, big money does? That's been true since 1867 and earlier. A 'revolution' of any useful sort     would mean taking back our control of the government we elect. it would mean the emergence of a party that would put an end to tax havens and other gifts to big business. It would mean a government of people concerned about the rest of us - and not about earning a quick buck - which usually means making more money for the already wealthy.

It would require newspapers which would tell us the news.  It would require a population not afraid to discuss political ideas openly.

(How is it even possible to rant about the provincial debt when the wealthy are allowed to hide the money they should be paying taxes on?)

Norbert, the revolution happened over a hundred and fifty years ago. That's when the wealthy took over this province. And you don't even mention them.
Yeah, New Brunswick will revolt. It'll vote Conservative nest time. That'll show 'em. That's why they call him revoluting Norbert.

Craig Babstock has quite a good column on the control of firearms in Canada. But the reality is that guns very similar to the one used in Orlando are easily available in Canada. One such weapon was used in the killing of three police in Moncton. It could well have been bought in Moncton. But the only response of the people of Moncton has been to put up statues. That's typical of Moncton.  In a crisis, always do something that nobody will criticize you for. Conform.
Steve Malloy has a good column, if a painful one, on registering his son in total immersion so he becomes fluently biligual. I won't pretend to have an answer to this. But - in The Netherlands, all of my students spoke English as a second language. Many also spoke German, French, Italian... And they did all of them well.

In China, all my students spoke and wrote English fluently. (They had to. The only Chinese I knew was "Excuse me, foreign devil..."  roughly, that's ng'goy. Here, in New Brunswick, most francophones seem quite fluent in English - without taking English immersion.

Again, I'm not sure the problem is so much educational as social.

Alec Bruce, as usual, has an interesting and well-written column.
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At least ten shousand refugees from the middle east have drowned. Uncounted (probably thousands) of children have died of starvation and exposure in their flight. But the U.S. is determined in its effort to destroy Syria. The U.S. continues to act aggressively against China, with close patrol of its shores. It is also leading in giant war games close to Russia, has planted nuclear weapons on Russia's borders, and patrols just off its waters. And Canada, without parliamentary debate, has committed its troops to what could become a world war.

None of this made the "Canada and World" section of the irving press. The lead story is about the Orlando shooting, yet again. And it really has nothing new to say about it.

Then there's "Ontario woman could possible become Iceland's first lady if husband wins election," Who could possibly care?

At last, the irving press has noticed that the British are soon to vote on leaving the European Union. But it doesn't say much about it. This is an issue we need analysis of if we're to  understand it. All we get here is vague information.
The whole section is pretty much trivia.
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I am not sure just who are the people who call themselves True Torah Jews. They appear to be at least conservative, possibly Orthodox. In any case, they seem to be people who support israel, but can be highly critical of its behaviour. Jewish friends tell me they are people who place literal reading of the scriptures over doing anything to help others.   Still, they produce a thought-provoking page on the web.

http://www.truetorahjews.org/
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Haaretz writes that Trump has spoken of racial profiling - that is using the law and the police in a manner based on the skin colour or religion of people. Haaretz also implies, correctly, that this is precisely what Hitler did with Jews.

http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/u-s-election-2016/1.725857?utm_content=%24sections%2F1.725857&utm_medium=email&utm_source=smartfocus&utm_campaign=newsletter-breaking-news&utm_term=20160619-19%3A06
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The following might not be news.  But it's interesting - and it offers some background to help in understanding the news.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/05/victorian-muslims-britain-160514100711278.html?utm_source=Al+Jazeera+English+Newsletter+%7C+Weekly&utm_campaign=1075429b7b-weekly_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e427298a68-1075429b7b-225407993
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The story below is of South Africa. But it's typical of the mining industry (and not just mining) all over the world.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/05/victorian-muslims-britain-160514100711278.html?utm_source=Al+Jazeera+English+Newsletter+%7C+Weekly&utm_campaign=1075429b7b-weekly_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e427298a68-1075429b7b-225407993
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Compare this  to what Canada is doing.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jun/20/china-to-generate-a-quarter-of-electricity-from-wind-power-by-2030
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Here's one view of the EU exit debate in Britain. This one is from a writer opposed to the exit.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/20/brexit-make-britain-worlds-most-hated-nation
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As often revealed by irving press editorials and commentaries, words no longer have real meanings, just emotional ones. "Terrorist" means Muslim, now. Just 'Muslim". The invasion of Iraq which killed over a million people was, therefore, not terrorism. The bombing of people, hospitals and schools in Yemen is carried out by Muslims from Saudi Arabia. But it isn't terror before the Muslims of Saudi Arabia are on our side.

https://theintercept.com/2016/06/17/why-is-the-killer-of-british-mp-jo-cox-not-being-called-a-terrorist/
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It's not just Britain that is dissatisfied with the European Union. There is plenty of discontent across Europe. That discontent is blending into the discontent with a NATO  that has been turned into a puppet group controlled by the U.S. with its desire to turn Europe into a battleground.

I would not even attempt to guess at the consequences of that. But they promise to be very severe, indeed. And Canada has committed itself to be a part of the consequences.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/1125217/germany-slams-nato-warmongering-russia/
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The following comes from a socialist web site. But it's far superior to anything I have seen in the capitalist irving press. In fact, with other news, things are worse than this suggests. U.S. oil money wants Syria destroyed. It want Assad out - not because he's a dictator or brutal. The U.S. has lots of brutal, dictator friends. We can take Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and The Phillipines as examples. And the U.S. almost never establishes democracies. What it does, as in Egypt and Iraq and Guatemala, is to set up puppet regimes.

No. This war , this mass murder, this creation of the misery of refugees is for just one reason - to establish U.S. control of Syrian oil.

Even in economic terms, it makes no sense at all. U.S. taxpayers are spending trillions to fight wars that will never produce that much in profits. Of course, the oil billionaires don't care about that because they don't pay taxes, anyway.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44909.htm
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Sometimes, Norbert Cunningham is right - and the CBC can do some pretty weak reporting. (The difference between CBC and the irving press is that the irving press does almost nothing but bad reporting.) NATO has become an American tool. And that tool is controlled by the wants of American big business.

And Justin Trudeau buys into this every step of the way.

http://www.countercurrents.org/miles200616.htm
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Here's a heart-warming story about philanthropists.  Members of our Chamber of Commerce should read this.

http://www.alternet.org/right-wing/big-men-campus-koch-brothers-university-donations-are-veiled-political-weapon
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And here's a story on the record-breaking heat  wave in the  south western U.S. - which will spread to the East coast. The article says it's due to climate change.  But we know that's not true. There is no climate change. If there were, Mr.  Irving would tell us.

http://www.alternet.org/environment/deadly-record-breaking-heat-wave-scorches-southwest-us-worsens-raging-wildfires
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The story below is about university tuition costs in the U.S., and how the business world is cashing in on them. It's pretty much the same in Canada. And it wouldn't be happening in either country if the wealthy were paying their taxes.  The average student debt in Canada is $28,000. (Student debt in the U.S. now stands at $1.7 TRILLION.) And if you stay on for graduate school, the debt gets much, much higher. (Tell me about it.)

http://www.alternet.org/education/new-loans-let-rich-invest-college-students
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There's more, much more in the news. But it's getting late.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

June 18: the irving press reaches new depths

Clergy could  tell us  the truth much better than newspapers do. But they don't. I thought of that as I read today's Faith page sermonette. The writer quotes Obama on the Orlando killings.

"...hate attacks cannot be tolerated."

And he quotes Clinton, "Weapons of war have no place on our streets."
And then he cites God, "God hates evil,  and so must we."

Hate attacks cannot be tolerated?  The Christian world has been busily attacking Muslims for a century. And to win support for these attacks, much of the west has been bombarded with calls to hate Muslims. Remember the Charlie Hebdo cartoons?  Have you noticed the European reaction to Muslim immigration? We have made much of the middle east a place of such horror that millions have had to flee. Among them are large numbers of children with no parents. They had to cross deserts, unknown numbers of thrm dying of starvation on the way. At least ten thousand of children and adults have drowned in the sea. Once in Europe, they are penned up in vile tent cities, largely without adequate food and medical care. And the U.S., which caused this, does nothing but to preach hatred and fear of Muslims.

War weapons have no place on the streets of America? Hillary certainly doesn't feel that way about the streets of Falluja or Syria or Libya or Afghanistan. The US arms industry has flooded the cities of the world with war weapons - sometimes as sales, sometimes as attacks. And it happily fills the skies with drones. And it tells glorifying stories about "The Amerian Sniper". An American who bombs Muslims (and hospitals and schools) gets medals for it.

And God hates evildoers?  Maybe. But we Christians have been the leading killers and abusers of other humans for some five hundred years. Who the hell are we to decide who is evil?

But we don't see it that way. And we won't. We will endlessly parade our grief at the mass murder in Orlando. But we don't see the death and starvation and poverty that  greed has imposed on many millions of others. And it covers every part of the world.

The American leadership has blossomed a hatred across the U.S. Clinton and Trump are as evil as they come.

But we don't really see that. Our news media have piled hatred on a man who, it seems certain, was mentally ill. Meanwhile, we elect leaders who approve of mass murder and brutal treatment for millions. And they use fear and hatred to do it.

Now, take a look at that sermonette. There's nothing Christian about it. That's what's wrong with most of the churches. They don't teach us to apply Christian values to this world. They teach us to conform to a society that hates and kills.
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Section A1 - the big headline is that three Moncton fathers get more time for their children because they're rockers, so their work schedule gives them more free time. The news YOU need to know.

Below it is a story about a report on education. But it doesn't tell us anything because nobody's read it yet. Following that are some pages of trivia and big ads. Then there's an important story that a local car dealership is changing hands.
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The editorial is simply brainless and pointless. It's about making the city beautiful by painting murals on the buildings. We need to 'capture the soul of the community' - whatever that means.

Norbert has a column that, in a vague way, blames the politicians for being incompetent. It's mostly about the ban on bringing in your own beer from Quebec. (Maybe that could be a sermonette.)

I draw it to Norbert's attention that the only political parties he can be referring to are the Liberals and Conservatives. But Norbert has, so far as I know,  always supported one of them, never another party. Think about that, Norbert.
Brian Murphy has produced another column guaranteed not to offend man or beast. It also says nothing. (Well, okay. It says fathers should be good to their children. Wow! Who woulda guessed?) It begins with the Orlando killings but, then, without telling us what the killings had to do with fatherhood, goes on to a story a rape case which the rapist's father treated as a triviality. Then it just withers into blandness. This column would fir right in with our Faith page - and it would be well received at a Chamber of Commerce dinner. But an adult reading audience deserves something better on the Commentary page.

The guest commentary is from a propaganda think tank, again.

Alec Bruce, for reasons not clear to me, chose to write about blueberries.

There is nothing in all of section A worth reading.
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Section B, Canada&World, is not as good as section A.

Quite seriously, It is dangerous as well as irresponsible to deliberately keep a province so uninformed and dumbed down as the irving press does. The  world that we were told we were fightiing for in World War Two has long since collapsed. In particular, the major powers, notably the U.S.,  have destroyed the U.N. As well, we are about to enter trade deals which we have been told little about, and which will destroy what democracy we have left. Canada has committed troops in two, extremely dangerous areas - and one of them is in a situation that could well go nuclear. In one case, there is no good reason for us to be there. In the other, it is illegal for us to be there.

 For all the deniers,   climate change is not just coming. It's here. Check out the temperatures in Arizona for this week. The impact of this change will be felt in many ways. For one thing, it will spark massive migration all over the world. What are our plans for that?  It is very possible Canada will see heavy migration from the  southern and western U.S. Now, think hard. What will the U.S. do when it see itself losing significant population?

Answer - it will annex Canada to be a part of the U.S.  (So we'll all be able to get assault rifles, and eligible to get drafted for American wars.)

There are huge issues facing us. But the biggest news in today's irving press is that a local car dealership changed hands. And there is no commentary at all to help us understand what is happening and how to react.
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Here is, surely, a major statement by Putin that the editors at irving press seem not to have noticed. I don't suggest Putin is a nice guy. But he is realistic. And we're the ones who are pushing him into a corner so there are no realistic choices left.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/18/vladimir-putin-donald-trump-striking-america-superpower
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Southern California and New Mexico how have a wildfire coveriing almost 2,000 acres. And tonorrow, in that area, temperatures will rise to over 100 degrees fahrenheit. it's lucky there's no such thing as climate change.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2016/jun/17/california-wildfire-spread-over-heatwave-video

By the way, note that the site above also has TWO stories of the reaction of Canada's parliament to the murder of British m.p. Jo Cox. One of them is quite dramatic. The Irving press has the story of the killing, but no mention of the Canadian reaction.__________________________________________________________

And, just to show that American values are still there to protect us -

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/17/new-hampshire-car-dealer-free-ar15-assault-rifle
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This nest one is long, but worth the time. It talks about the U.S. defence system as essentially a money-grabbing scheme. It consistently overspends, inflates costs, and likes wars without end. Well, that's what president Eisenhower warned about over a half-century ago. the military is closely tied to the defence industry,  and together they've driven American debt to the skies.

The crown jewel of their effort is the F-35 fighter programme which is now, at a cost of one and a half trillion dollars (U.S.) the most expensive weapon in history. And it still doesn't perform as well as the F-16 that it is supposed to replace.

This is the one the Peter MacKay says is the one he regrets not buying. Yep. Maybe he could have made a big commission on that.

We have very little sense of the political and big business corruption that is bleeding the U.S. dry. And not just the U.S. That is going to bring us all crashing down -  unless, perhaps, the U.S. can provoke a nuclear war.

The U.S. is being looted. We are being looted. But don't look for the story in the irving press.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176154/tomgram:_andrew_cockburn,_victory_assured_on_the_military's_main_battlefield_--_washington/
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Here's the account of a CIA report on the torture of a prisoner. It's okay, though. We're Christians, and  God wants us to hate evil. And anybody who isn't on our side is obviously evil.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44885.htm

Besides, didn't we fight World War Two for the right to torture?
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Think Hillary's better than Donald?

http://www.voltairenet.org/article192318.html
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This one is undoubtedly right. NATO was founded to be a defence organization for Europe and North America. And, like any other defence organization it was required to go to war only with the approval of the UN.

But the UN (as a former chief of it says) is now ignored by the U.S. It routinely breaks international law in going to war, and in the way it fights it. (So much for the new world we fought for from 1939 to 1945.

I wonder why The Legion has never recognized this.

Records of our more than 46,000 war dead in World War Two can be found at
http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/second-world-war/second-world-war-dead-1939-1947/pages/files-second-war-dead.aspx
Has it come to this? That they died so that U.S. business could control the world?

 Doesn't this concern The Legion at all?

NATO has become simply an American-owned alliance that is used to fight wars for American big business all over the world. That's what's happening right now in eastern Europe. And Trudeau has agreed to Canada playing a major role.

 (When did parliament debate this? When were we asked our opinion?)

http://www.countercurrents.org/
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