Thursday, October 30, 2014

Oct. 30: October thirty, part two....

Nothing changes. The TandT is still running "news stories" (ads) about the wine expo on page 1. Page A2 still has ads for itself disguised as news stories. A6 has a story  "Refinery benefits of Energy East project questioned". It's about a report from the Council of Canadians and Greenpeace which says the oil industry is lying about the benefits that Canadians will get from the pipeline. It looked promising.

Then I noticed that the greater part of the article was about the oil industry responses. Well, I guarantee that the Council of Canadian and Greenpeace are already on our Gestapo's suspicious list. And the oil industry never will be.

A7 is also about energy. At the top we have p.m. Gallant in a photo of him doing what he does best, looking lost. He's says he's looking into 'types of moratoriums' for exploration of shale gas. Conservatives said, quite reasonably for change, there is either a moratorium of there isn't. The real message of this story? The real message is it's game over. Gallant is poking about for a cover story. But the reality is he intends to go ahead with shale gas.

The page also has a hot, hot story "Exclusive: Mine would face 'profound implications' if cut off from natural gas."  Exclusive! Extra. extra, read all about it.  And this time,there is no response. The reporter didn't even bother to ask if there is anybody who disagrees with that.

"Exclusive".  Right. I'll bet the whole media world is eating its heart out for missing that one.
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Almost all the editorials are about raising money. Today's starts out as if it were a eulogy at the death of a much loved grandparent, in this case the former amusement arcade at Crystal Palace. But it's soon evident it's really about making money with the old rides. Then, it gets ominous. It mentions that the family which purchased the rides are the owners of Magic Mountain water park.  And - the city should approach them to open a dialogue.

Gee. And I'll bet the owners never even thought of that.

Alec Bruce has a good, common sense look at the tale (tail?) Jian Gomeshi. Unfortunately, more of it is something of a tirade against scientists (and other "eggheads") who say that the Harper government's passion for secrecy often means they are forbidden to publish results of their research. He also names the people like those in Wikkileaks who publish the truth about what government do as "provocateurs".

Right. We should never be allowed to know what our government does that is hidden and often criminal.

Now tell us, young Bruce, if they are provocateurs (for telling the truth), exactly who are they provocating for?

Norbert writes a very intelligent and compassionate article about the man who murdered three RCMP officers in Moncton. This one is really good. Rod Allen has a column that is unintelligible, partly because it's so badly written as he attempts to stuff every sentence with adjectives and adverbs and to peddle what deludes him to think of a sense of humour. If you intend to read it, bring at least one meal and some liquid refreshment. Better still, drink the refreshment first.

Jody Dallaire has a solid column on the need for a national child care programme. New Brunswick, like most of Canada and all of the US, serves most of our children (and their parents) very badly, indeed.
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The headline of B1, NewsToday, is an important one. "Shooter not terrorist, says Mulcair" He makes the point that it is obvious the killers in Ottawa and St. Jean were both seriously deranged. The RCMP, Trudeau and Harper all insist they were "politically and ideologically motivated".

Well, of course they were. Deranged killers are always motivated by something. Of course. The RCMP use motivation as an excuse to brand him as a political terrorist, perhaps even trained and armed by some terrible foreign agitation group in Canada.

Look, the link with terrorists foreign or Canadian, is absurd. I have seen reference to the Ottawa killer as using a double barreled shotgun. And others saying it was an old, Winchester 30/30. Look, super-sleuths Harper and Trudeau and the RCMP commissioner, if any terrorist group organized such an attack using either of those guns, it would be kicked out of the terrorist club.

The shotgun would have two shots. That's it. And the shooter would be dead before he could reload - which, in fact, is what happened. As for the Winchester, it's an antique with a relatively small magazine, takes a long time to reload the magazine, and, using a lever, has a relatively slow rate of fire.

The Ottawa killer was amateur hour. There was no organization behind it. If there were, he would have had a semi-automatic with a combat sized magazine.

Yes, there was an ideological factor involved. He was also deranged. The two are quite compatible. Just look at Harper.

So who wins by this? Well, the RCMP commissioner will gain powers that will shoot a big hole in the credibility of a force with a heroic history.

Harper will get the excuse to establish the police state he has always wanted, one that will be spending billions researching all who have ever disagreed with him. What added protection will the added police power give us? None whatever. What it will do is to make the police the enemies of all of us (except the very rich and,  perhaps, the clergy - who are harmless).

We  are living through what historians are likely to say is the defining moment of Canadian history - the completion of the police state and the crushing of democracy with the transfer of all power to the very rich.. Well, that's what they'll say if our fuehrer of the day will let them..

There's also an article "Canadian jets join anti-ISIL campaign". It really says nothing, but has some intriguing points. it said, for example, authorities in the region broke up a "suspected" ISIL cell. Fourteen were tried and  sentenced in Saudi Arabia. Curiously, there is no mention of what the sentences were. Care to guess?Hint. In Saudi Arabia, the standard punishment for even the most minor offences is beheading.

By the way, I taught several of our airmen. They were strongly motivated by ideology. They were passionate believers in democracy, and in service.  Ideology, despite the way it's used in our press, is not a dirty word. Harper is an ideologue. He uses his ideology as a means to intimidate people. Under Canadian criminal law, that's a crime.

The story also talks about a crackdown on the internet because it might spread "radicalism".I don't know why they were calling for it. After all, the crackdown on the internet has been going on for years.

B3 says "Privacy, information czars want more eyes on spies." And I guess czar is the right word because the last czar was the man most responsible for the Russian revolution. Lenin and Trotsky could just ride on his coattails.  It says that our czar, Harper, is thinking of news laws to make it easier to arrest people who haven't done anything wrong, and outlawing the glorification of political extremism.

yeah. Arrest anybody who looks at  you cross-eyed, Be alert. It could be anybody - especially anybody who's ----different.

As for political extremists, like anybody in, say, the NDP, we've always spied on them. But, Harper is, without question, the most extreme pm this country has ever had. Does that mean he gets arrested? In fact, can you think of a single far right wing conservative who would be arrested for being extreme?

And we'll arrest them for glorification of political extremism? Exactly what do glorification and extreme mean. Hey! I'm alert. So I'm going to report Norbert Cunningham for his column on Moncton's mountie killer.

B4 has the fascinating story "Quarantine ordered for returning U.S. troops."  According to a US spokesman," The are not running away from Ebola but walking toward the burning building." And she urged other countries to do more.

Now, start at the beginning. The US has a thousand COMBAT troops in Ebola with another three thousand COMBAT troops to go; and they aren't walking toward any burning building.  They are kept in seclusion So they cannot come in contact with anyone who might have Ebola.

How the hell can they help people if they're not allowed to go near them, and if they are combat troops with no medical training whatever? And the spokesman had the nerve to say other countries should be doing more. In fact, many other countries are doing a lot more than the US is. Tiny and poor Cuba has sent well over 200 doctors who will actually be touching patients.

And don't get fooled by any aid figures the US government might toss out. Sending over combat troops is expensive - but it's not going to be a whole lot of aid. In any case, almost all US foreign aid is funneled through private (and thoroughly corrupt) private companies who rip most of it off for themselves.

That was the deal when Bush promised to rebuild Iraq after the war. The money's been spent - but with little effect on Iraq. Most of the contracts were awarded to vice-president Cheney's former employer, Haliburton. In fact, he was still an employee collecting paycheques from that company the whole time he was VP.

Oh, a final story that didn't make the Irving press. The UN General Assembly voted almost unanimously to recognize Palestine as an independent state. Only nine countries voted nay. One was Israel, of course. Then there was the US, Czech Republic, Marshall Islands, Micronesia. Nauru,  Panama, Polynesia - and Canada. Harper has really built up our status as an international leader.

Oct. 30: You made me what I am today---

---I hope you're satisfied.
You dragged and dragged me down until
The soul within me died.
You shattered every hope and dream.
You fooled me from the start.
And though you're not through
May God bless you.
That's the curse of an aching heart.

That's an old, old song from the days music halls and melodrama. (I was planning on singing it for the opening concert at the new events centre, the one we're building on polluted land.) It's a lovely melody; and it came to mind as I was preparing for this blog, partly because I like to sing while I type, and partly because that song is a key to  understanding current events.

We have all, all of us in this world, been made what we are today. Those people who hate us often feel that hate because we have behaved in hateful ways to them. Most criminals I've known - and I've known more than a few - have been the products of vile mistreatment not only by parents but by our whole society as we neglect the effects of poverty and opportunity.

The dictators and racists and bigots and mass murderers do not create themselves. We create them. And we don't even notice them if we're on our side. Just think of it. How many George Bushes (father and son) have you known to be jailed or executed? Both were mass murderers (Remember Guatemala? That was George Bush the first. As head of the CIA he also has unrecorded kills all over the world.) Then there's George the second, and Tony Blair. Both were mass murderers. Both have retired as extremely wealthy men, and must sought after as speakers at dinners of the very wealthy. And now we have Obama.

Many criticize the behaviour of Israel. That many includes me. What made Israel such a racist and murderous nation? Well, that would be us Christians. Starting about  fifteen hundred years ago, Jews were routinely slaughtered by the Catholic church, then by Protestants. It happened on the Crusades: it happened on religious days like Easter. Persecution, in fact, happened every day. Hitler was nothing new for the Jews. Russia and our good friends, the Ukrainians, happily joined in the killing of Jews in World War Two and much earlier. Indeed, young men in Ukraine in their thousands joined the Nazi armies, many of them used to round up and kill Jews.

Meanwhile, the western world (including us) didn't lift a finger to give refuge to the Jews - not before the war, not during it, and not after it. The only Jews able to live in relative peace throughout that whole 15 centuries were the ones who lived in the Moslem middle east - especially the ones in what is now Israel.

Israeli leadership today is as intolerant and cruel as any we have seen. Of course. They didn't simply move to Israel. They fled to it - from Canada and the US and Britain and Germany, and every country in Europe.It wasn't just Hitler. They fled from 1500 years of unending horror. That is what created Netanyahu, a racist, bigoted, murderous man - and a major  cause of bloodshed in the middle east.

To understand current events, don't look at just the bad guys on the other side. Take a hard look at the good guys on our side.

....that's the curse of an aching heart.
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For the Oct. 28 paper, I'll concentrate on two columns because there really is nothing else to look at.

Alec Bruce wrote a column which is ---bad, stinking, deceptive. I cannot believe that a man of his intelligence and background did all that simply in error. He must have known what he was doing.

Essentially, he argues for shale gas and pipelines to save our economy. He says we have listless and fearful political classes (true enough), but then salvation rests with our entrepreneurs  (a word that has become a code in this province for letting big business run everything.)

For a start, it's true that our political parties are listless. But, as Bruce must know, that is not where it starts because government doesn't decide our economic policies in the first place. Just after Allward was elected, Irving announced to the world that he was a member of the government - without getting elected. There was a column in the TandT about it - by Irving. The minister of finance was a former employee of Irving, and Irving told Allward who to appoint as his advisers.

There is no evidence either Allward or his predecessor as PM made any important decisions about the economy. They did what they were told to do. The truth is that there is no point in blaming politicians for the power we have allowed Irving and others of the wealthy to amass. We have allowed them to destroy democracy, and to rule with only their own greed as a purpose.  Come on, Bruce. You know that.

Then there's something called the wage gap. In Canada, and around the world, the very, very wealthy have been getting wealthier while the poor and the middle class get poorer.

Then there's the fact that we are (really) part of the world. According to Credit Suisse, in the last three years 99% if us have have seen our money  disappear into the pockets of the very rich. In 1911, the top one percent of the world had an estimated 100 trillion dollars. It is now 127 trillion, and rising. We are suffering. Around the world, many millions are starving and dying.

Certainly, some short-term, labour jobs laying oil pipelines is not going to help New Brunswick much. We have allowed our society to be taken over by people of insatiable greed, of little if any morality (for all the churches they might sponsor), and no capacity whatever for government.

All this is made worse by the arrogance so common to people who have no great talents but who believe that in being born rich they are, by God's will, above us scum. Like all aristocracies, economic ones inevitably produce arrogant, incompetent, and even dangerous asses. (One thinks of Charles II of England who, as Dutch ships sailed up a British river to destroy his fleet, was busy chasing a moth in his mistress' bedroom.)

If New Brunswick ever hopes to get out from under, they first has to destroy the power of big business in this province, and restore democracy.

It is not possible that Bruce doesn't know all this.

Then there's Gwynne Dyer. He praises the recent election in Ukraine as a sign of a healthy democracy. He didn't pay much heed to several facts. He neatly ignored the reality that three million people (virtually all who would have voted the other way) couldn't vote because they were fighting a civil war against the government. But, even at that, the pro-Russia supporters in eastern Ukraine got 13% of the vote - and this in a region where voting against the government can be a very dangerous thing to do. As well, there is no information on how free the voting was. Nor are we likely to get any.

Nor did he mention the substantial neo-Nazi vote which went to the leading parties. (And Naziis don't usually look kindly on democracy.)

He also talks about the democratic (and close) victory in Bolivia for a government that had remarkably reduced poverty. He suggests that it now should join forces with its opposition to make Bolivia more attractive to big business.

Uh, Gwynne, there was a time when Bolivia was very, very attractive to big business. That's what created the poverty.
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There's a news story about new rules for rail transport as a result of Megantic. It's odd to put out new rules when we don't know the whole story about how it happened. Who signed the false affidavit of the oil cargo? Did the shippers specify they wanted the old and dangerous oil cars? Were they cheaper? Did the shipper understand that the train would have only one crew member? Did all those people die to save a few bucks?
So far, there is no info on that; and the news media haven't been asking any questions.

If you want some real information, skip the TandT, and go to Karl Nerenberg (at rabble.ca) for Oct. 29. He has a good article on the government's security plans. There's also a good one (same day) by Brent Patterson on what our gestapo is already doing to protect us. Anyone who attends a native healing service is on the list. Ditto for social movements that are at all critical of Harper policies. (I think you might get away with giving turkeys away at Christmas - but that's pushing the limits). There is no evidence they have ever investigated anybody who's rich. And now, Harper's bringing down even tougher legislation. The police state is here. Big time.

Heil Harper.
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This is so long,  that I'm now going to start a second one for Friday. It will be called Oct. 30, part 2.



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Oct. 28; Memories of the First Afghan War ; 1842

The Irving press has pretty stinking papers But only part of it is by design. The rest is just natural incompetence and ignorance. For stinkers by deliberate and intelligent design, you have to turn to the supermarket tabs or, best of all, some of the British Press- like the Daily Mirror.

Google  Daily Mirror Afghanistan. One of the first stories to come up will be "We will remember them. Union Flag Lowered at Camp Bastion as Britain's war in Afghanistan finally ends". Read the speech by their commanding officer as he tells them he feels pride in all of them, that they did their job, and it is now complete.  They succeeded in defeating the Taliban in Heldmand province. The day was hailed in the Mirror as a triumph.

But it wasn't. At the cost of 13 years of fighting, the lives of 453 British soldiers, uncounted wounded, many with wounds that they will suffer for the rest of their lives, Britain lost. The Taliban still operate in strength in the province. You'd think the British, in particular, would know better.

In 1842, Britain sent some 10,000 troops plus thousands of Indian sepoys to install a puppet king in Afghanistan. Army officers travelled well in those days, so it took 60,000 camels to carry their cigars, furniture, libraries, wives. Officers also had the right to bring at least ten servants each, with as many as a hundred servants for a general's wife. Then there were some 30,000 camp followers on foot, including the usual, large number of prostitutes.

As has just happened to a British army now, they had to get out to survive. Getting out then meant  reaching  the Indian border. Thousands were killed or captured on the trek. Some of the women were released for ransom. But most were kept for servants or entertainment. Of all the others, only one man would ever reach the safety of India. It was one of the greatest disasters in British history. And the recriminations and mourning ran deep back in Britain.

Actually, nobody was ever clear on why this war had to be fought. Afghanistan was (and is) no threat to Britain. And,certainly, nobody ever was fool enough to call  it a victory.

But, today, there's a large newspaper market for fools. And the Mirror is a leader in the field. The British are quitting. After wasting 453 lives and billions of dollars. They were beaten. Thank you, Tony Blair, for sending so many to die in a war that had no reason in the first place.

But this time it will not be called a disaster. The returning soldiers will be hailed as triumphant heroes. In Canada both the Liberals and the Conservatives led us into this same war - and with the same, tragic result. All died to serve the insane dreams of those who created the disaster that American policy has been for thirteen years.

By all means, on Nov 11, remember all those who died. But also remember the irresponsible asses who sent them. And make sure they don't do it again. Patriotism means caring for all of us in this country. Patriotism does not mean sending them off to die in somebody else's wars that have no reason.
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There's really not much to say about the last two days of the TandT. Neither section A has news. NewsToday, has the usual sloppy choice of whatever comes down the line. B3 for Tuesday, for example, has "Canadian election observers upbeat about Ukraine vote results". They don't mention that, because of the civil war, there was NO voting in the eastern half of the country. No wonder "our side" won. Nor did they mention that a substantial part of the vote went to neo-Naziis.

Oh, they did mention that the rich oligarchs (including the President) own the major TV stations, and use them to circulate lies and propaganda. Gee. That's just like the good, old democratic way in Canada.

But, added the Canadian observer, they all  lie and propagandize for their own interests. So that gives voters a choice of lies and propaganda. As a result, voters are informed enough to make an intelligent choice in elections.

That's what we need here. We have only one, big lying and propagandizing news network here. We just need more variety of liars.

Then there's the missing news, this in today's Halifax Herald but not in the Irving press - though it's about Irving.  According to the Auditor-General, Harper has not budgeted enough money so that he can properly overpay Mr. Irving to build 6-8 patrol ships to protect our claim to the Northwest Passage. We can build only four - and possibly only three.

Hey, what the hell, a prime minister about to face an election needs to show a budget surplus. The price to help Mr. Harper get re-elected? Well, there's all those jobs that won't be there. And the money that Nova Scotia shovelled  to Irving to get the contract for his Halifax yard. And three or four ships are not enough to do the job.

But don't worry. Only one country has challenged our claim to the passage by routinely running ships through it without permission and without even giving notice. That would be our good friend, the US. And the US doesn't give a damn how many patrol ships we build.

Then there was the annual survey from Geneva of gender salary gaps in the world. Of 142 countries, Canada came 19th. Lucky for us, most of the 142 countries are both poor and treat women as being vastly inferior to men.
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But there really is nothing worth reading in either paper. So let's take a look at patriotism, lies, and history books.

We've heard recent news about patriotism and the barbarity of people who cut heads off. Okay, now check out the New York Times, "The worst is yet to come". 2/14/1993, p. 25.

In Vietnam, American troops "...had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in a style reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks....."

That was testimony  from one of almost a hundred and fifty veterans who testified to a US Senate committee. The speaker was John Kerry, - and,  yes, he's the same one who is now Secretary of State. He and others testified that everybody, up to the highest level of command, knew about this - and did nothing.

Remember Lt. William Calley, another Vietnam vet? He's the one who led his men into a village (which had no enemy fighters in it) and had them murder everybody - men, women, children, babies, almost 800 people. It took a long, hard fight even to get the story into the papers even though all the military high command knew about it. In fact, that sort of behaviour was routine. But eventually, Calley had to go on trial. His punishment? One night in jail.

Atrocity is not the product of twisted soldiers. It's a standard practice of almost every army there ever has been. It's quite deliberate. Terrorism is a basic strategy in war.

Canadians would never do that?  Many years ago, I attended a Canadian Senate committee to testify about a film series on Canada at War. After my testimony, I listened to a retired Canadian general who talked about Canadians murdering German prisoners. He had seen guards marching the prisoners down a road. He heard shots. Then he saw the bodies floating down a nearby river.

(The senators didn't question either of us and didn't mention us n their final report. That's because they were all Conservative senators who had been pressed by the Legion to do a hatchet job on the films.)

It happened in World War 1, as well. Good luck on finding it in a Canadian history book.

There were relatively few Japanese prisoners in WW2, and the usual explanation is that they fought to the death. But it's also true that they were commonly slaughtered after surrendering.

The images in our history books are usually pretty. giving a sense of what wonderfully good people we are. The nasty parts are left out. Most Canadians, until the 1940s, lived in vile conditions and horrible poverty. As prosperity came, we forgot that because we had never learned it in the first place. The prosperity came because well into the 50s, government kept real power to do what the voters wanted. Then, big business spread the myth that it had created our prosperity, and used that (plus money) to buy up the real power in Canada. That's why recent years have seen a rise in poverty both in Canada and the US.

And patriotism, pride in the past, is fed to us to keep us in line. The recent killings of two soldiers is Harper's big chance to finish the job. And the patriots will cheer him on.   With their slim claim to any knowledge or understanding of what Canada is and has been, they will see Harper as a true Canadian - and our corrupted private news media  will encourage them.
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But,  please - to those who hail their "patriotism" as a sign of how proud they are to be Canadian ---

You can only be proud of something that you have done. I'm a Canadian because I was born here. I'm glad I was. But, really, I had nothing to do with the choice. And I know of no way in which I am genetically superior to Chinese or Yemenis or Bolivians.

Nor am I proud of the slaughter of native peoples and the theft of their land. I am not proud that Canada sent soldiers to die in the Boer War to make wealthy British mining companies richer. Nor am I proud of the way we have allowed big business to destroy our prosperity and to govern our lives. I am not proud of a prime minister who ignores the suffering of Palestinians just so he can get the Zionist vote in the next election. Nor am I proud of a government that slobbers all over Obama's boots as it agrees to fight a war that he and his predecessors created for reasons of pure greed.

Nor am I proud to be a Canadian when I hear Canadians, ignorant of their own history, go into hysteria as if patriotism (whatever they think it means) were the highest virtue.

"My country, right or wrong" But my country."  That was said by an American patriot. But it could have been said by Hitler.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Oct. 25: Patriotism: the last refuge of a scoundrel

Thought for the day. Harper sternly said that ISIS leaders have threatened to launch attacks on Canada. But, said our  hero leader, we will not allow such barbarism from evil people. We will stand shoulder to shoulder and, in fact, we have already sent jets to kill them.

Isn't that bizarre? The reason ISIS exists is because western power have been killing Muslims and looting their lands for over a century. Among the worst killers in history have been our good friends the US and Britain. We have not only supported what they are doing. We are now actively joining them.

Gad, say our PM and journalists and our commentators, these people must be barbaric and irrational - and evil. And, probably, most Canadians will nod their heads and say we have to stand up to these vicious threats.

Well, maybe. Or it might be that these evil people dress differently from us, have a different religion from us, and are slightly deeper coloured. Different is bad because deep down (and not as deep as we might think) we are all of us bigots and racists.
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One of the most dismaying aspects of recent days has been the rise of a particularly ignorant and strident form of patriotism. It's called jingoism. And for a sample of it, check out Brent Mazerolle's column on A 15. The tone he strives for is Julius Caesar addressing his legions. Alas, he just sounds like Brent Mazerolle.

The jingoists, standing shoulder to shoulder from sea to sea, are singing O Canada over and over. Yes. We were attacked by two, Canadian deranged men. Therefore, Islam is evil. Muslims are insane, irrational killers. And we must kill them --kill, kill. And if we write the term our soldiers, we must insert the word
'brave' between our and soldiers.

When the American army killed Vietnamese civilians by the millions, they weren't evil.  Nor were they evil when they killed over a million, mostly civilians, in Iraq and Afghanistan. They weren't evil even when they manufactured a 'civil war' in Syria, and created more millions of refugees. Oh, and especially not evil when they killed a Canadian lay missionary among the 300,000 civilians they murdered in Guatemala.

When I was a child, we still saluted the British flag and honoured the 'brave' British soldiers (with Canadian help) who brought misery and disorder to one-fifth of the earth's surface. It was all glory, glory, glory.

When will we grow up? Muslim hatred of us was created by us with over a hundred years of killing, impoverishing and stealing. And that's what this war is about. Billionaire capitalists, especially of the oil variety, want absolute control of Africa and the Middle East. As well, the so-called military/industrial complex in the US has made enormous wealth out of producing weapons, usually for exorbitant prices in one hell of a corrupt country. Most of the weapons being used by both sides were made in the US.

This war is about greed and murder, nothing else. And it's our side that is greedy and murderous.

So I turned to the Faith Page to read of a greater loyalty that we owe - a loyalty to religious faith, to social princiiples. Some bloody hope!

This one was by Rev. Richard Jackson, a Baptist, and on this traumatic day in our history, he talks about--wait for it ---making up a family tree.

Throughout history, our churches (especially the Christian ones) put patriotism above faith. Tell me where Jesus says "we must stand shoulder to shoulder and sing our national anthem." I am not suggesting the clergy should tell people what to think. (In fact, I see no sign they are capable of doing so.) But they should be encouraging people to see their world in the context of their faiths. For Christ sake, will you people get off your rear ends and out of your pie sales?
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Despite the intensity of developments, Section A manages to have no news at all.  Norbert adds his  (half) wit. He says ISIS is made up of sociopaths who butcher people. Norbert, the west has been butchering and enslaving Asians, Africans, our own native peoples for over 500 years. (In fact, until at least 1941, there were prominent voices in the US that spoke in favour of genocide - killiing all native peoples.)  It is not even possible to count all the dead. Talk about sociopaths....

It's true, though. Nobody could call us religious fanatics. Our clergy are just (not very) decorative additions to the podium on Nov. 11

Oh, below Brent Mazerolle's column is one by Peter Stockland. It's a gee whiz ain't we wonderful column that pretends to be modesty.
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In NewsToday is a picture of Frank McKenna in  his typical state with his mouth wide open.He was pimping for shale gas. Of course. He has always tried to deliver for those people who can make him richer. Some day, New Brunswickers might realize that the main beneficiary of McKenna's time in government was McKenna.
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On C14, Jana Giles, editor of the Whatever pages, has an excellent column, "Dress Codes at not at all Unreasonable." Indeed, they aren't. I've noticed how high school students dress. The boys look like sloppy, ignorant louts. And the girls? Well, when I was 17 or so, I had a spell as preacher (and organist) at a mission church in Montreal's red light district. The hookers I preached to were better dressed than most of the girls I see in our schools.

Quite apart from the distastefulness of how our students dress.with flashing breasts and legs and the boys with their underwear showing, sloppy and sleazy dress profoundly hurts the learning atmosphere in the school. (That's true for teachers, too.)

Aurelie Pare, also in this section, writes on health. But she scares me. I'm sure that if she ever saw me, she would immediately see eight, fatal diseases that I didn't know I had.
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We are at a turning point in our history I never thought I would see. We are going ever deeper into a police state (and one integrated with the US police state) that is not there to protect us or the law. Quite the contrary, it is there to control us as a mindless mass..

We are also committing ourselves to wars that can end only in nuclear war - and soon.  We are the aggressors. We are the sociopaths - standing shoulder to shoulder and singing O Canada.

So follow the latest advice from the churches. Get cracking on your family tree.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Nov.24: The Heirs to Dr. Goebbels

Dr. Goebbels was Hitler's propaganda chief. He was pretty good at it, convincing Germans that everything was under control even as Allies troops fought into Germany from East and West, and as allied bombers turned whole cities into piles of rubble. Brent Mazerolle is no Dr. Goebbels. His  front page, banner headline story is propaganda that is childishly written, corny, largely false statements. And it's damned unethical. But let's take it one point at a time.

1. The story is not  news story. It's an opinion piece. There's a difference, a very big difference. News is something that happened. News gives the basic facts. Opinion  is not fact. It is simply one person's opinion of the meaning of the news. If a newspaper insists on putting opinion on a news page, it should clearly label it as opinion. Not to do so is unethical, bad journalism. Properly labelled, we would know that this is not information. The is an opinion by a person whose only idea of an opinion prior to this has been writing little stories about himself - and who has shown no special understanding of international, national, or even local affairs.

This is a repeat of a lesser unethical practice, again involving Mazerolle. I believe it was yesterday that Brent Mazerolle wrote, at the top of A2, what looked like a news story, but was really a free ad for the TandT.

No competent editor would ever allow this to appear as a news story. It's our bad luck that the Irving press doesn't have any competent editors. (And I really wonder what the Ombudsperson thinks of this. By reputation, she's an excellent journalist.)

2. Then there's the writing. The theme that runs through this headline "story" is "O Canada". Of course. National pride. The true north strong and free. The lines keep popping up as you read. Very dramatic. Very emotional. Very grade 9.

It's too bad Mazerolle seems unfamiliar with all the words. At one point point, the line he quotes is "sea to shining sea". So I tried to sing it. O Canada, from sea to shining sea....dum, dum.... But it didn't sound right. Of course not. The line is from "America the Beautiful";  but he does remember that we have three seas (though the US does not recognize that third sea as ours. (Ooh - does that constitute an attack on us when the US illegally sends ships through as it frequently and deliberately does?)  But three seas makes fitting it into O Canada even tougher - "O Canada, from shining sea to shining sea to shining sea..." Nope. doesn't work

And, of course, we stand shoulder to shoulder, and strong because we live and survive in a vast wilderness.

 Wow! That brought back memories of my first summer at Boy Scout camp.

Brent, as inspirational writing goes, this is utter crap; and remarkably reminiscent of Harper's speech.

And, as Canadians he says, we all stand for Canadian values that we all strive for that define the best of Canadian values. Oh, bullshit. What are Canadian values? Care to name some? Do they include our amazing redistribution of wealth from all of us to the very, very rich? Do they include creating a poisonous environment by changing our laws to make the very rich even richer?  Do they include killing Libyans and Afghanis and now Iraqis (and soon Syrians) to make American billionaires happy? We know, of course, they include lowering taxes on the rich, and letting them hide their money in offshore accounts (And giving away our forests to them).

Could you give us a list of the Irving values to give us common folk something to strive for?

Oh, and all Canadians knew Moncton in June.. Really?  Did you talk to them all, Brent?

He ends with "we stand, shoulder to shoulder, with glowing hearts_". Brent, you should be standing with glowing face, not heart, glowing from embarrassment at writing such corny drivel.

3. I really don't see why an extremely foolish act by one madman should count as an assault on Canada. Surely, any criminal attack by anybody could be called an assault on Canada. But we had something much more like a real assault on Canada when a noted Canadian politician was murdered by an enemy to Canada.

Betcha don't know who that was, Brent.

This whole "news story" has nothing to do with a madman in Ottawa. It has to do with creating national hysteria so that Stephen Harper can destroy our rights (as Bush and Obama destroyed American rights. We are going to see more secret gestapo with more freedom to spy on us,  all of us, and for reasons that have nothing to do with terrorism. We're going to see more militarization of our police. We're going to see more intimidation of those who actually believe this should be a free country. Gee, we might even follow the US into having a worldwide system of torture prisons. (Actually, Canada has already been involved with the American torture business.)

As the tragedy of that day in Ottawa unfolded on the TV screen, it was generally assumed that the killer was an Arab Muslim working for ISIS. And what I heard for hours on CTV was an outpouring of bigotry, hatred, racism and ignorance aimed at all Muslims.

What we need is some journalism to point out that the killers were Canadian, non-Arab, and were mentally unbalanced. That would have brought back some calm and sanity. Instead, we're getting "opinion" columns to spread hatred, fear, even hysteria. And we're going to pay one hell of a price for that when Harper meets parliament again.

Sieg Heil!
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The editorial also picks up on the O Canada theme. Titled "Strong and Free", it also makes mention of the Canadian way of life, whatever the hell that is. Oh, part of it is "We need to deal with a harsh climate..." and that creates individual courage". I know what he means. Just yesterday, I had to roll up my car wind\ow because of the rain. And I was Canadianly fearless in doing it.

Alec Bruce returns to his theme of being an entrepreneur because it brings freedom  No, it doesn't. I did quite a bit of   commercial work as an entrepreneurial writer for magazines, newspapers, as a freelance broadcaster for radio  and TV, and some work for film - not as much as Alec Bruce because it was spare time work - but I did a lot and it was financially very rewarding. And when you're an entrerprenurial writer. you still have to please the boss.

When I was broadcasting for CBC, the leading Quebec pro-English and anti-separatist group elected me as its chairman. CBC dropped me the next day for becoming too prominent in the language quarrel. Now, in the same building were the Radio-Canada (French) studios. On that side, you pretty well had to be openly separatist to get a job.

(No. I'm not anti-French. I think New Brunswick has been pretty sensible in language matters. Down here, it's some of the English bigots I'd be worried about.)

Norbert has the best column I have even seen him produce. It's on global warming. It's solidly factual. I doesn't rant. This one is a must read.

Check out the letters to the editor for some samples of bigotry, racism and general ignorance about Muslims - and about the whole history of the middle east, and who the real terrorists are.
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Headline on NewsToday, B1 "Nation stands resolute, on guard". Back to the O Canada theme, and raising hysteria. People in the middle east will be on guard, too, against Canadian bombers. But that's different.

At the bottom of the page is the story that Gallant wants a natural gas pipeline to export it to the world. Because, duh, it will create jobs. And what will the world do with it? Duh, they'll burn it. Now read Norbert's column again. What is the crisis we face? Duh, climate change, but they won't burn it here.
And wherever they burn it, won't it be sending carbon dioxide into the sky? Duh yeh. But it won't be our sky.

Congratulations, sir, Welcome. You have passed the test to sit in New Brunswick's Liberal government.

Duh, thanks. Can I smoke in the Assembly?

B4 has a good story on political reactions to the attacker in Ottawa. Harper is taking the hard line that, deranged or not, the killer is still one of them there Ayrab Muslim terrorists, so Canada has to go on a war footing to fight this terrible threat. Was he mentally ill? Harper says he had "weakness of spirit" - whatever than means. And it's just as evil.

Harper's language was full of loaded words. Canadian forces men and women are brave. The other side are terrorists, killers. Canadians are peaceful. (So how come we peaceful people have just fought a war in Afghanistan for no reason at all, and are now bombing ISIS for reasons that have nothing to do with us? And how come us peaceful people have armed forces at the edge of Ukraine? And how come we're so closely allied to a country that is the world's biggest torturer? Isn't torture terrorism?)

Harper's words will heighten hysteria. Hysteria is what he wants so he can destroy rights and freedoms.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May says the killer was a madman, working alone,so Canada is not as a result in any greater danger than it has been for years.

Mulcair and Trudeau say we should see final police reports before we jump to conclusions. Well, of course. That's what you do in a free country. But Canada hasn't been free since it elected Harper.  And he's not going to wait for police evidence. He'll go immediately to destroy freedom.

Mulcair said he hopes Harper is not using his extreme position to win the next election.

Well, of course he is. And he's also going to use it to destroy whatever democracy is left in this country. The biggest threat to Canada, by far, is Stephen Harper.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Nov. 22: Sieg Heil!

I am embarrassed. I wrote the blog below early this morning, and posted it  (I thought)/  To my horror, late on this Thursday night, I discovered I hadn't posted it.  If this keeps up, I'll be in line for a job as editor with the Irving press.
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I had to follow yesterday's Ottawa shooting on CTV. It was so bad, I was embarrassed to be a Canadian. So a friend sent me the site below for the CBC coverage. I haven't had a chance to look at it yet. But he said it was far superior.
http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/canadas-cbc-news-shows-what-thoughtful-breaking-news-coverage-really-looks-like_b243081#more-243081

CTV got really bad in the evening when it flooded the air with racism, hatred, and ignorance. Worse, many of those interviewees were people of prominence in government and journalism - and a few from the academic world. It was reminiscent of film records I've seen of Hitler Youth rallies. Most obnoxious was Michael Taube of The National Post. "those people", "savages", "hate democracy", "aren't rational", "racist ideology".

1. Those people - and savages - make a  racist term. It suggests a genetic base to their behaviour. That's what racism is.

2. "Hate democracy".  In fact, any country in the middle east that tries to get democracy is slapped down by the US. After years of military dictatorship, Egypt achieved democracy. So the US pumped in money and weapons so the military could stage a coup, and form a dictatorship. When Haiti revolted and took democracy after decades of rule by very brutal American dictators, the US invaded, kicked out the elected president, and set up a puppet president. (And Canada helped by sending "peacekeepers". Great window dressing.)

3." they aren't rational". Again, to suggest "they" aren't rational is  to say their irrationality is genetic. And that's racist. And it's hard to understand that from a Canadian. We,the western world, were centuries in the ignorance of the dark ages. The great force in lifting us out of that was Muslim scholarship and civilization.

4, Then there's the racist ideology crap. Racism is not an ideology. Anyone who could say that doesn't know the meaning of either racism or ideology.

5. Oh, and of course, they're terrorists. We aren't. We deliberately allowed Plains Indians to starve to death. But that's okay. The US deliberately bombed Cambodia civilians, killing at least half a million.  But, as Don Cherry would say, "That's not terrorism. That's just love taps."

6. And, horrors, they have slavery. Well, some do. And so do we. Western mining companies (Including Canadian ones use child slaves to work in the mines in Congo, for example. Cuba and Haiti were kept in worse than slavery conditions to make American families like the Doles very, very rich. Ditto in Guatemala where starving workers living in filth, routinely beaten and/or raped by mining company guards, their land and waters destroyed, complained. The result was a slaughter of 300,000 civilians by the Guatemalan army, whole families, whole towns destroyed in a killing spree directed by the CIA (George Bush Sr.) and assisted by Israeli Special Ops.

By the way, the American slaves "freed" in 1865 didn't get any real freedom until the 1960s. And to this day, they live in poverty and suffer heavy discrimination.

We are, all of us, profoundly racist.Look at our native peoples. Look at the Nova Scotia Home for Colored children. Look at the history of New Brunswick.  - "O city of cold, white Christians, so white you will not cut a black man's hair..." (Fred Cogswell, "Ode to Fredericton")

And we are now being sold more racism to stir up our willingness to kill even more.
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There's not much to say about the TandT for either Wednesday or Thursday. On today's edtorial page, for example, the editorial is about soliciting for charities. Alec Bruce has a propaganda piece on entrepreneurship.  Norton talks about Justin Bieber. Rod Allen talks about nothing.

News is full of the usual crap about "entreprenurial" hot dog pedlars giving each other awards.

Check out A2 for Nov. 22. At the top is what looks like a news story by Brent Mazerolle. But it's not news story. It's an ad to sell the Times and Transcript on your computer. Brent, that's borderline unethical. The page editor should have known that.

But why is there no opinion about the Ottawa shooting? There was plenty of time to write one well before printing the paper. So why isn't something there? Because there is nobody at that paper who knows enough about world affairs to write such a column.

The only item worth reading in the last couple of days is the column by Beth Lyons on leaders for changes for women in Canadian society.

The rest of them should feel ashamed.( If they have any capacity for shame. ) So here's a helping hand for them on a recent, big story that they and  almost all of our news media have missed.
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A couple of weeks ago, the New York Times broke the story that the US had supplied Saddam Hussein with chemical and bacteriological weapons. They were to be used against Iran; but some were left over and were stored. The US couldn't reveal that because it had long ago signed a convention not to  produce chemical of bacteriological (germs) weapons. So the manufacture of these weapons was assigned to European countries That way, the use could, very technically, claim that it hadn't made the weapons. And the research labs to create them? They were built along the coast of western Africa - where Liberia is.

Now, think back just a week or so to when, to help fight ebola, the US sent thousands of soldiers to Liberia. I wondered why on earth they would send combat troops to fight ebola. The US also announced that they had received four hours of training to deal with ebola???????

Now google information clearing house. When you get it click on the general entry line at the top.

Information Clearing House is a site that carries much material you won't find in any news medium. I use it with caution because some of the entries are so strident as to make me uneasy about their reliability. But many are quite trustworthy. Scroll down about a page length and you will find "The history of Ebola into the US hallmarks of a planned happening." It's by Paul Craig Roberts who has a solid and even distinguished background as a journalist, and also as an academic.

After you read it, scroll down to Oct. 21 for "Is the US government the worst criminal of our time?" It, too, is by Roberts.

Incidentally, both Canada and Britain are mentioned as being involved with this evasion of a signed convention.

US has biological warfare labs in West Africa. US sends combat troops to fight ebola. Think hard. Are these connected?

Oh, did I mention that ebola seems to be a man-made virus?
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By the way, the country which has sent the most doctors and health care workers to Liberia is poor, tiny Cuba. You know, that awful place run by the evil Castros. How typical of them to send something useless like health care workers. Fighting ebola needs real men, thousands of them, with rifles and bulletproof vests. That's the way to handle them there ebolas.



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Oct. 22: You probably won't agree with me.

I've been watching TV this Wednesday with a sinking heart. First, there's the killing of two Canadian soldiers. Some official made the idiotic statement that what was terrible about this was that they were killed on Canadian soil. That was a pitch to Canadian patriotism, of course - and it implies what I'm going to talk about. (It's an idiotic statement because it's terrible when Canadians, soldiers or civilians, get killed on any soil, not just here.)

It's terrible because now, I'm quite sure, this will be used to create a turning point in history, a turning point I hoped we would never reach.

The idiot who made the statement a soldier being killed in Canada is also the one said that the killers (and we all know who they were - wink, wink, nudge, nudge) did it because of their ideology. It may be true. All people have ideologies. And all includes westerners and Christians and Jews.

So, the killings were done because of an (evil) ideology. So how do you deal with that? Well, you show those people that they can't kill Canadians. We'll kill a whole bunch of them. Nobody actually said we should do some killing back but, oh, it was the whole tone of the news coverage. The clear assumption by reporters and commentators was that in both cases the killers were Muslims. This was before they even knew their names. And the killer in St. Jean was a Muslim - but he was also mentally unhinged, a not unknown condition among. Christians and Jews.

But, oh, a Canadian would never kill people like that ---uh---wasn't it just this week crowds gathered to applaud six Canadian jets going to kill people in Iraq? Wasn't that Canadians killing Muslims in Afghanistan and Libya?

Look. You shoot at people; they shoot back. Get used to it. We have allied ourselves with the US and other western powers that have killed millions of Muslims, starved hundreds of thousands  of their children to death, forced many millions out of their homes and onto the roads as refugees. For over a century, we have been slaughtering Muslims, looting their resources, destroying their countries.

So why do they shoot us (If they are the ones who killed those two soldiers)?  Gee. It must be their ideology. When Israelis indiscriminately killed men, women and children in Palestine, Harper breezily said it was all the fault of the Palestinians.

We are guilty of sharing in that western killing of Muslims through the wars that we fought - Afghanistan, Libya and now Iraq - wars that had nothing whatever to do with Canada. They were wars whose only purpose was to nail down American big business' stranglehold on the resources and trade policies of those countries. That's why we just sent aircraft to bomb Iraq. That's why the US sent soldiers to "fight ebola". Our news media did not mention that they have exactly four hours training in dealing with ebola. They aren't there to fight ebola. They're there to make Liberia a part of the American empire -and to protect their biological warfare laboratories in western Africa. (But that's another story.)

Oh, I know Canadians will have orders not to harm civilians.Right.  In fact, though,you cannot engage in modern warfare without killing civilians - and, usually, without killing mostly civilians. That's been true at least since 1914.

Americans, of course, are on record as being outraged by the attacks on Canada. And I wonder. Has it ever occurred to them that Vietnamese, Libyans, Afghanis, Iraqis, Syrians must have been outraged when Americans (and us) bombed them out of their homes, poisoned their land, killed their children, ruined their nations and their lives to make profits for American billionaires?

What will Harper do? For a start, just as Bush and Obama used hysteria to destroy the American constitution to create a police state, Harper will do the same. It's all in the name of homeland security. And its really to solidify the control of big business over our lives.

He also might feel it electorally helpful to get tough, and send more of our military to fight the wars in the middle east for billionaires. That will suck us what will probably be a long, expensive and bloody war - and one almost certain to draw other nuclear powers into it. If so, a great many Canadians will get killed in it. And if it goes nuclear, then it is quite possible that most Canadians will be killed.

American foreign policy has been a disaster ever since American billionaires got control of the government. It is now possibly the most corrupt government in the world; trillions of dollars have been spent on war and weapons - and all of them wars that have made the world worse, not better. Within the US, it has created massive poverty, made access to medical care unaffordable, cut off aid to those made poor by the wars and corruption.

It has also created a strong possibility of violence in the US, and possibly in Canada.

The killing of two Canadian soldiers is of great interest to Obama. It fills an old dream to integrate Canada with the US. And Canadian big business will help him to do it.

Will Canadians support this? Probably. For a start, the news media will enthusiastically peddle the idea. Any opposition will be muted as our gestapo does its good work spying on us.

Will the war stop Muslims from hating us? Not bloody likely. We got into this in the first place by allying ourselves with brutal empires like Britain and the US. We got here by helping them to make their very rich very, very rich by killing and looting all over the world. Meanwhile, as we patriotically sing 'O Canada' the very, very rich will go on picking our pockets, steadily making themselves richer, and the rest of us poorer.

Our governments are controlled oligarchs, families of the very, very rich who are our new aristocacy, rich by birth, arrogant by ego, utterly ruthless and uncaring for people of any nationality, and oh so stupid.

This is probably a turning point in history. And I regret I have lived to see it.