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.










Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Nov. 21: late news. In fact, it isn't here yet.

(an apology for today. You may find two copies of this coming up on your screen. That's because while I was typing the first half or so, the cat sat on something that published it long before I had finished. This is the real one. Believe no others.)

The National post for today (Tuesday) breaks the story that Harper has ordered Revenue Canada to crack down on the tax files of "left-wing" think tanks to take away their tax-free status. He claims that they are biased. But they are not touching right-wing think tanks like the CDHowe or AIMS, presumably because they are broad-minded and open and honest and good things like that - even though they are financed by big business and very wealthy individuals to be propagandists.

Now, I commonly read reports from a variety of think-tanks, right and left. My experience is that the "left-wing" are more intelligently researched and more honestly presented than "right-wing".  Is there some bias? Of course. The fact that we can label some as "right" and some as "left" surely proves that. But the word bias is not an evil one. I have a bias against people who murder other and innocent people by the millions. I don't apologize for that. We all have biases and preferences. The right to express them is what is called "free speech", and it's an essential part of democracy.

900 university professors have written in protest to the government. Of course, Harper is deciding to target anybody who disagrees with him. For all the deaths and destruction, he never investigated the Lac Megantic disaster properly. On a far lesser note, he never fully investigated the sleaze of Brian Mulroney who, while prime minister, accepted a large valise full of money delivered to a hotel by a lobbyist (whose job it is to corrupt governments). And he didn't declare it for taxes. And it is impossible he had not done this many times before - but nobody looked at that.

No, Brian, though he spent all his life on his knees for big business, got off with a slap on the wrist. But, oh, gotta shut up them there free speechin' "left wingers".

It's been obvious from the start that Harper intends to destroy democracy. He puts contentious but important legislation into one, massive bill with a lot of other, unrelated measures, distributes it late so that opposition MPs don't have time to fully study it (or,  sometimes, even to read it all) before it's presented to the Commons for a discussion so brief that nothing useful can be discussed. Then all the smirking Goguens who kiss up to him vote for it.

This is a man who has given secret police a far wider role than we have ever seen. The big excuse for them is terrorism, and he uses that to prey on the fears of Canadians, and to accept the growing abuse of police and secret police powers in this country. He's following the lead of recent US presidents who have played on fear to effectively destroy the rights and freedoms of the constitution.

Americans have never really been big on free speech. That was surely evident with the McCarthy UnAmerican Activities committee of fifty years ago. Communism was pronounced unAmerican. Now, I have no sympathy for communism; I don't think it can work. But, aside from that, neither neither McCarthy nor the press nor the politicians seem to have known what communism meant. Stalin's state was called communism, even by Stalin. But it never was. Castro's Cuba is a lot better than it was under American dictators. But it's not communist, either. Nor is China.

But inside that intellectual vacuum, McCarthy could publicly destroy Americans for any hint of approval of communism. So it was free speech - yes, but only in the sense that the Spanish Inquisition was freedom of religion. The land of the free hasn't been free for a long time. The ticket to that loss of freedom was terrorism.  Politicians and press built up a fear of terrorists that could be used to destroy anyone who criticized the government.

Harper has done the same. I listened to his press conference on the hit and run in Quebec that killed a soldier. It was calculated to build fear, "Canadians must be alert to the terrorist threat among us." Translation - look out for all them there Ayrabs who sneak in to kill you in your sleep.

That frees him to hire more secret police to spy on those of us who criticize him and his business buddies - and report us to the Irvings of this world.

In fact, the biggest terrorists in the world are the people on our side. Harper is the most destructive prime minister in our history. Democracy, in any real sense, has just about vanished.

The National Post, never a good newspaper, is very, very late with this story.  In fact, I  have before me my October 1 copy of CCPA Monitor. It is one of the groups, along with Amnesty International, the David Suzuki Foundation, the Broadbent foundation and others that has been going through investigations that are not only abusive of free speech but very expensive to defend against.

Oct. 1. That's over six weeks ago that the story appeared in CCPA Monitor. But it's greased lightning compared to the Irving press which seems not even to know about it  yet - and probably never will.
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The Monday editorial, as usual for all the editorials is about how the province can make money. I have yet to see one on what sort of society we are trying to build, what our idea of a society is, and what money that requires. You start with that. Then you set priorities for money.

Norbert's not bad on the need to improve minimum wage laws. This unlike the editorial, is a starting point to plan how much money we need.

Alec Bruce suggests that Justin Trudeau could lose the next federal election for the Liberals. I think he's right.

Craig Babstock gets all virtuous about the need to prevent violent anti-gas protests in future. Craig - it takes two to tango. The government insisted on going ahead with a project that the local people were strongly opposed to. That, as much as the protesters, is what caused the violence. But nobody in the government went to jail.

Steve Malloy fears that the price of gas will keep dropping, and all that nice, oilsands oil will just come to an end. Gee, that would be terrible, just as our summers are getting warmer. The whole world now recognizes that climate change is happening and it's a result of our use of fossil fuels. Well, the whole world knows except the oil companies and the Canadian government. But duh, we need the money to create jobs.

Duh, grow up. Burning fossil fuels will, very soon, be causing suffering and death on a wide scale. Duh, you can make more money and cause less damage by selling your wives and daughters as sex slaves on the international market. For those who insist on burning oil, check out the story on B2, "Changing rainfall common problem for entire globe: UN-sponsored book".

Other news for Monday? Not really.
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Headline on Tuesday, Oct. 21, "Events centre plan reaches critical stage". No, it hasn't. The critical stage came long ago when a hockey team owner decided he needed a new hockey arena - but didn't want to pay for it.  Anyway, the story, by Brent Mazerolle, tells us demolition of Highgate Square will soon be complete, and is to be followed by construction."

Brent, reporters are supposed to ask questions. Look at your story.Demolition, construction. But that land was declared polluted by the government. Of course. It's the old railway yards. Clearing up polluted land is a long and expense job. I learned that when I did a TV interview about the  original Decarie farm of the seventeenth century in Montreal. for over a century, it had lain for under a railway maintenance yard. Recently, a huge hospital was built on it. But first, they had to dig up thousands of truckloads of polluted soil, and truck it very long distances (hundreds of miles) for dumping. It took a long time and piles of money. How come there's no mention in the story that there is serious pollution, and it will take a long and expensive time to clean it?

Or has our government decided not to enforce its own pollution laws on a city that needs, more than anything else, a new hockey rink?

You're a reporter, Brent, not a stenographer. Ask questions. Dig.
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The editorial says "There is no point to supporting an oil pipeline and opposing a gas industry." Quite so. The logic would be to oppose both. Oh, I know. We need the money. But, you know, there are some things you cannot have. Your mummy and daddy must have told you that. We should be working very seriously on the reduction of emissions. But we haven't done a damned thing - not even the little things we promised to do. Of course not. The oil industry sees trillions of dollars for itself just lying there in the ground. It doesn't want to reduce emissions. It wants to create more and more emissions to make more and more money. The oil industry is owned and run by people who are short-sighted and greedy - and who really don't give a damn about us peasantry. And aren't bright enough to realize that what affects us will also affect them.

Alec Bruce says we need fossil fuels in order to shift away from them. Okay. So how come we aren't lifting a finger to shift away from them? We aren't. We never have. And I've seen no move in that direction. The reality is that the oil industry doesn't want alternative sources of energy. That would cut into its profits.

Bruce concludes his defence of oil saying "Indeed, it's a no-brainer."

Indeed it is a  no-brainer. And adding a no-brainer opinion column doesn't help.

Norbert writes about ebola, sort of. He says its okay so spell it with a capital E. Norbert, there are bigger questions to ask about ebola - starting with where it came from. So far as I know, this is a brand new disease. Isn't that unusual?

We know that the US supplied Saddam Hussein with chemical weapons and germ weapons to be used against the Iraqis. (Supplying it, by the way, is a war crime.) It didn't make the Irving press. But it made the New York Times not long ago.

If the US could produce germs for warfare, that means it must be doing scientific research into the subject. (And, if the editors can spare a reporter who actually knows how to report, they would find that such facilities exist in the US, Britain, and Canada, all working together. Then you have to test the stuff....

Oh, our side would never do such an evil thing, would it? Why not? After all, you have to be pretty damn evil just to create the stuff in the first place.

Alan Cochrane has an opinion column on selling pumpkins to raise awareness of the SPCA. He doesn't mince words. He's in favour of it.Let me read some of his biting insights for you, he says he has a dog and - you know, a dog- and, and-z-z-z-z-z-z

Jock Finlayson (you know him. He's the VP of the British Columbia of the Business Council of BC - yeah, Jock) has a column on how "....youth education more important than ever..." Good title. Too bad the article isn't about that. It's about the costs of an aging population. Nice try, Jock. But I think we already knew that.
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In NewsToday, we are told that Gallant is all for an oil pipeline to New Brunswick. Hint - watch for his "researchers" to prove that shale gas is perfectly safe.

On the same page, CSIS, our gestapo, says it doesn't  have enough staff for monitoring Canadian "radicals" who are returning from involvement with Islamic militants. That sounds strange because we don't have THAT many of them, and CSIS is heavily financed and equipped. The problem might be that they're using so many spies to keep an eye Canadian "radicals" who don't agree with Harper about the environment and social services and the behaviour of big business - and, of course, to make regular reports to big business.

As an aside, I do wish our news media would learn what the word radical means. It has nothing to do with extreme and dangerous views. It means going to the root of a problem. When you swat a fly, that's radical. The oil business is both extreme and dangerous, for example. But it is not radical.

B4 has a big story on how Sweden thinks there is a Russian sub within Swedish territory. The area is quite a small one; but Sweden's quite modern anti-submarine forces cannot find anything. Still, countries in the region are huffing and puffing about Russian aggression. Maybe so. But it's hard to see why Russia would attack Sweden, thereby provoking a nuclear war.

If it is there, in such narrow water, it's amazing that Swedish detection equipment can't find it.

Or maybe it isn't there.

B5 has a story on Palestinian-Israelis being thrown out of their homes to make a district uniformly Jewish. Actually this sort of thing has been going on for years. And this one also has a very striking picture to give meaning to the story. The US has disapproved of the action as it has of other samples of racism in Israel. But everybody knows it won't do anything. Nor, of course, will Harper. "m quite sure that either won't comment, or will say if's all the fault of the Palestinian-Israelis.

There's also a story on B5 about Ukraine. It says the ceasefire has often been violated by both sides. Quite true. And this is the first time I've seen it admitted that the Kyev forces as well as the rebels have been violators. And there's an amusing note. The Kyev government also insists there must be local elections in eastern Ukraine in compliance with Ukrainian law - in other words by the government in Kyev. The article never mentioned that the Kyev government, itself, was created not by law, but by a coup.

B6 has a good story on falling oil prices. There are two, important points in it. One is that in a world of falling prices, Asian use of fossil fuel will pollute more than ever. The other point is that the Canadian oil industry recognizes that but insists we must avoid regulating because that would close the oil companies' growing market with heavily polluting countries.
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The big news in Your Business is "Piano teachers help keep a song in our hearts". Zounds. I must inform my brokers at the TSX.



Saturday, October 18, 2014

Oct. 18: Let's start with the Faith page, I mean...

I mean what the hell.... we live in religious society. Right? Business operates on principles of being charitable, loving neighbours, etc...  I mean that's why we have an Irving Chapel in celebration of Judaic-Christian principles. This time, the sermonette on the faith page is about Thanksgiving Day.   (There's also, as a sign of the free-thinking of the writer of the sermonette, a daring statement that God does not create hurricanes. No doubt there are also people who will think its worth arguing about that.)

As Rhett Butler said to Scarlett O'Hara, "Frankly, I don't give a damn." Nor do I see such an insight having any use to anybody. No doubt, though, some damfool will found a new church based on that. They could call it the "Windless Church of Christ" - but that might lead to confusion with too many other churches.

Anyway, the idea that the American pilgrim fathers were the first to celebrate thanksgiving (and that it was essentially a religious experience) is pure bunk. The practice of feasting to celebrate the harvest goes back all over the world for nobody knows how many thousand years. Commonly, it was not a religious occasion.

The myth our modern thanksgiving was created by American history books to create the impression that the Pilgrim Fathers were the founders of a nation devoted to good works and faith.  Indeed, the American nation is part of God's great plan. (If it was part of God's great plan, then God must have planned the slaughter of native peoples, the American aggressions and killings and exploitations all over the world, including Canada, and the current idea that US has a right to rule the world. That's what the term "American exceptionalism" means; and it is currently the official position of both the Democrats and the Republicans - though I don't believe it has ever been mentioned in the Irving press.)

Incidentally, the US government did not recognize Thanksgiving as an official holiday until the Civil War, when Lincoln needed something to associate his war with "God's great plan".

The reality is that we don't live in a society that has religious principles of any sort. The very rich are running wild in scooping up the world's wealth. In the US, the wealth gap is bigger than it's been in a least a century. In Canada, as most people get poorer, the super-rich are making their biggest profits in history. They're doing it by exploiting the poor (especially those in really poor countries), by hiding their money, by controlling governments (in fact, buying them), and by destroying the environment.

They are greedy without limit, and the greed makes them short-sighted. Put together greed and short-sightedness, and you get stupidity and destruction - and self-destruction.

The writer of today's Faith Page column is a preacher who describes himself as progressive. But just like the others, he writes a column that makes no connection whatever between religious concepts of morality and ethics and religious teaching with the reality of our daily behaviour.

No wonder so few go to church.  My advice to the clergy is to understand that religious teaching is meant as a guide for daily life, real life, and was designed to influence our daily behaviour. Remembering that, try to write something that connects religion to real life.

We are living in a world - and a country - characterized by greed, destructiveness and stupidity. And it is getting worse. And too often the churches are in bed with the greedy and the destructive and the stupid.

So, to all of you clergy and the many of you self-righteous, it's time to get past the pious words and to give meaning. For Christ's sake.
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As that long foreword suggests, there isn't much in the Times and Transcript.

In the Friday edition, Alec Bruce has a strong  ( and worrying) column about the collapsing price of oil. He doesn't really understand why this is happening; and he doesn't pretend to. And that makes it more worrying because Mr. Bruce has a far better understanding of the economy than anybody else I have seen in the Irving press (or most others).

David Suzuki roasts Canadian government as among the slackets in the world in copying with environmental destruction. Harper has been, for some time, making it worse by slipping through bills that make it legal to destroy the environment - as in allowing mines to dump their poisonous tailings into lakes and streams. Greed and short sightedness and stupidity. And we'll all pay a price for it.

(I"m aware that Norbert thinks poisoning the environment is good for you, and that environmentalists are all crazy. I'm also aware big-hearted industrialists like oil producers have spent billions to assure us that it's all perfectly safe - and there is no climate change.  That, alone, should tip us all off that those industrialists have been lying to us. They're not big on spending money to help us.)

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In NewsToday, there's a story on B1 "Federal bill to expand anti-terrror powers." Harper intends to give CSIS (our equivalent of the Gestapo) the power to prevent their sources of information from giving testimony at the trials of people they charge with terrorism.  Sounds harmless?

Well, we (it is said)live in freedom and democracy. And in such a state, everyone is entitled to a fair trial. How can there possibly be a fair trial when key witnesses cannot be questioned in court - or even identified?
This is one more step in taking away our rights and freedoms with the excuse of protecting our rights and freedoms. In the US, a similar attitude has allowed the US to deport or imprison Palestinian-Americans. And it's done in cooperation with Israeli intelligence,

Some day, we're going to wake up to realize we've slept through the deliberate destruction of rights and freedoms. It's already happened by scaring people into believing that terrorists are going to kill them in their beds. (Actually, people have been killed in their beds - but by police in the US. It has become common to break into homes at night "on suspicion", and to shoot to kill. The break-ins now number in the tens of thousands. A few days ago, a courageous policeman shot to death a seven-year-old girl who was asleep. Well, she had to be protected from them there terrorists  who might have killed her in her bed.)

In the attempt to hold the town of Kobadi on the Turkish border, Kurds have asked for more weapons from the world.  Well, why not? Most of the weapons in fighting in the middle east were made in the USA. These are good times for the American military-industrial complex.

But don't get me wrong. I mean, it's terrible the way ISIS is killing Kurd civilians. I'm sure it was nicer in 1920 when Churchill ordered intense bombing of civilians in Kurd villages.

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Friday has a promising headline. "Salary guide shows region's top earners".  So, at last, publication of the Irving's yearly pay.....  Well, no. but it does say top dollar is $118,00O a year.. So I guess the Irvings must be getting about that. And that would explain their low taxes.

A3 for Friday has a good story on 'Living wage concept gains traction". This means a wage which really reflects what it takes to live on - and a minimum of $10 an hour doesn't do that. Actually, it makes sense for business, too, because you can't make money out of a market in which people can't afford to buy what you have to sell. But big business, in particular, has never understood that. (Well, I said it was short-sighted, greedy and stupid.  Instead, big business operates on the old colonial principal - to exploit people of the empire for the benefit of big business in the "mother" country.)

It doesn't work. You need customers. And you can make those only by offering a living wage.
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To my great relief, Dr. Norbert Cunningham says there's no reason to worry about Ebola. He says there have been other health scares that didn't pan out. Therefore, this one won't.

Then he switches gears to say we should be very concerned and should prepare for it. And, yes, we should.

But where are the streets that are full of people running in panic? Where is the hysteria? I haven't seen any.

What I've seen is a very disorganized response to the outbreak in Africa, and very disorganized preparations being made here for it. And yes, that does concern me. And I am concerned when the major US response is to send troops. And I am concerned the the world's muted response in sending help.

Norbert ends with a couple of limp suggestions and, of course, a quite irrelevant quotation, "Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood."

Brilliant. If we understand nuclear weapons better, we won't fear them. Norbert, Einstein feared them. I was told that by his friend and disposer of his will who wrote a book called 'Einstein on Peace'.

Brent Mazerolle's"opinion" column is another bedtime story about himself. For something of more substance, look down to Gwynne Dyer on how world opinion is turning against Israel. Help for Israel is  holding firm in the US with voters of 50 or more, but is strongly opposed by the younger generations. And that's a real danger sign for all of us.

Israel has just illegally annexed another 1000 acres of Palestinian land, and kicked its people out. With opinion severely turning against Israel, Netanyahu may well decide he was to move now to annex all Palestinian land, and get rid of all Palestinian people. He might even decide that it's now or never to launch a nuclear attack on Iran.

Of course, he still has Harper's assurance that Canada will stand by him come hell of high water.

I'm surprised at the continuing absence of any news about Ukraine. The Kiev government is proving utterly inept, and is actually demanding that Russia continue its gas supply to it, even if Ukraine refuses to pay for the last several years of gas. The Kiev government has consistently broken the ceasefire terms, and has blocked peaceful settlements - and the American press has consistently not reported it.

I'm quite sure the US has been behind the  government coup in Ukraine, and that it wants a war with Russia.
Norbert, some things do panic me. And among them are the stunning messes of American foreign policy and the deliberate looking for wars. The mess is the Middle East policies which created ISIS and which will continue to get worse even if the "coalition" kills every person fighting for ISIS. American policy created ISIS. If it now defeats ISIS, that will create a worse form of it.

The US response in Ukraine has consistently been aggressive and negative. ( and please don't tell me they're doing it to defend democracy. No country goes to war to save democracy. In any case, Ukraine had a democracy. The present government of Ukraine is the one that destroyed it.)

Remember, God wants America to rule the world. That belief is what made Thanksgiving Day into a holiday. And the time to take over the world is running short.

Onward Christian soldiers.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Oct. 16: Sometimes it's easier to talk about what's not in the Irving press...

...than to talk about what is. For example...

The Wall St. Journal for Oct. 14 says that the reason third world countries lack enough health workers is because Canada, the US and Europe encourage health workers in those countries to emigrate to them. The poor countries pay the bills to train them. Then we grab them, free. The result is that the poor countries can't even deal with normal conditions, let alone crises.

Really, rich countries should be offering free university training to produce adequate numbers of health workers. A tiny and poor country like Cuba can do it, and it has supplied large numbers of doctors to Liberia as well as to South America. Big and rich countries like Canada and the US can't afford it. There's something wrong with this picture.

However, if you have femophobia (fear of women), relax. The US has them under control. One-third of the women in jail all over the world are in US prisons.

The American soldier who, in the Iraq war, raped a 14 year old girl, then killed her and her parents, has at last explained why he did it.  As a result of his military training, he didn't "...think of Iraqis as humans." Of course not.

It's long been known that most soldiers don't like to kill. That's why it takes tens of thousands of shots for each kill. They deliberately miss targets, and often deliberately shoot to miss. The phenomenon has been noticeable since the invention of the musket; and it was studied by psychologists during and after World War Two. Their advice? During their training, imbue soldiers with a hatred of enemy; convince them that the enemy is not a real person as we are, make killing into something to enjoy. And the enemy was EVERY native of the country being invaded - young, old, anybody. They also advised that soldiers be trained to have contempt for women. Women were to be  used, then killed.

That has long since been built into military training - with a gratifying saving in ammunition as it now might take a few as twenty thousand shots per enemy killed, way down from the sixty thousand or so of wars in the first  half of the twentieth century.

Iraq. by the way, is no longer a nation. The army is ineffective and has been replaced largely by Shia fanatics  (that's the ones on our side) are carrying out extortion and slaughter of Sunnis and Christians.  Odd. You'd think the owners of the Irving Chapel would want to spread the news at least of the killing of Christians by "our side".

The New York Times, obviously unread by the Irving press, carried a dreadful story about the war on Saddam's Iraq. US troops discovered large stocks of chemical weapons that had been buried. No, these were not Saddam's "weapons of mass destruction". But you might wonder why George Bush didn't announce this at the time as proof of how evil Saddam was.

Well, it was awkward. The chemical weapons were American design, and were supplied to Iraq by the US when it was friends with Saddam, and using him to kill people in Iran. No. This had to be kept secret. Soldiers were assigned to dispose of it, and  some became very ill, indeed, as a result. But the American government denied them treatment, and they were forbidden to talk about it.

This had to be kept a secret. But if those soldiers were treated, the secret would get out. To this day, those soldiers  have received no treatment or compensation.

Get used to it. American foreign policy has caused wars within wars in the middle east as Saudi Arabia is in the coalition to fight terrorism - even as it finances it. Our good friend, Turkey is killing Kurds (the ones on our side) because they are a threat to Turkey. The US, which is attacking ISIS, was a major factor in creating it. In any case, the US doesn't care about Iraq or the Kurds. It's real purpose in this war is to cause the disintegration of Syria so that evil man, Assad won't be able to open trade with Russia.

For the next round of excitement, watch for Israel to take advantage of the crisis to get rid of the Palestinians, and to annex all their land.

Ukraine is a basket case. It's broke, and worse than broke. It depends on Russia for fossil fuel; but has never paid for it. It demands now to keep getting it, but only paying (maybe) for new supplies, not for the old ones.  The US agrees. (American oil companies have always been generous - just giving the stuff away.) The Ukraine has only one use now - to provide an excuse for a war with Russia.

And Canada has generously committed itself to war in the Middle East and war against Russia. Brilliant.

Oh, yeah. The world price of oil is heading for the toilet. The impact on existing operations in Canada will be serious, and possibly fatal. So much for the thousands of permanent jobs that were about to be created. So much for the pipelines. I never expected Gallant to oversee an honest moratorium. But now the shale gas might make an honest man of him by putting its plans on hold.

However, you won't find any of this in the Times and Transcript.
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Wednesday's paper has nothing much in section A. The editorial is about making money out of tourism. Have you noticed that the editorial is almost always about making money? In fact, the central purpose of government is to determine social needs, and then move from there to the financial end. Too bad our government doesn't understand what government is for. Isn't there anybody in the editorial room who does know?

de Adder is back in excellent form. Alec Bruce is not. His column this time is the sort of personal reminiscence we usually get from Brent Mazerolle. This time, Bruce's column, while very well written, indeed, is not an opinion column. It's just a little story.

Norbert has another puerile suggestion for improving democracy. He suggests that government daily get advice from the general public through a web site. He also claims that it was tried in Buenos Aires where it was a big success. (Actually, it wasn't ever used; but in the most recent election, 1,5% of the population voted for it.

Norbert, in a democracy when you elect a government, you elect it to govern. You don't elect it to tell it what to do. Nor does the vote have any validity when there is no number mentioned that should be required of public opinion for the government to do what it says. Thirdly, How can people vote intelligently when they depend on private media that lie, and distribute nothing but propaganda and trivia?

Wednesday's section A is , like all of the  Irving section As, heavy on court news, most of it trivial. But it's a cheap and easy way to fill space. The only interesting news story is on A1, "Community service in NBCC curriculum". It sounds interesting, but I can't tell if it's a good idea. Like almost all reporting by the Irving press, it's covered simply by quoting a spokesman. There's no research, no digging, to give us a very clear idea of what it''s to accomplish except, vaguely, offering credit for community service.

Alec Bruce is back in top form with a column, a real opinion column, on a federal daycare programme.As he points out, it really makes sense both for families and for our government budgets. Rod Allen calls one of his children Brat no. 2.  Ho, Ho......hum.

Jody Dallaire has an excellent column on the cost of sexism in the workplace and in the home. It's an opinion - which a column is supposed to be. And it's intelligent and well-argued - as not all columns are.

Both NewsToday sections are the  usual, shallow stories from a few news services, seemingly chosen at random to fill space. There is, amazingly no story about the crash of oil prices, and what effect that might have on Canada. There is no story about the UN warning that we have just 60 days to contain ebola. No story about the very dangerous position Ukraine is in. And no mention that almost all the ceasefire violations in that country have been committed by Kiev troops, and have killed mostly civilians.

This sort of gap is not just ignorant editing. It's damned lazy.

The business news YOU need to know is on the businss page "Moncton's Tide and Boar open new ballroom". And the Chamber of Commerce is having yet another gala in which the members give awards to each other.

Sorry to be late with this. It's been a busy day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Oct. 14: Wow! A page and a half of people......

....picking apples. (Actually only one photo is of a person who is actually picking an apple.)  Also in the Monday edition, a big story that the Fundy lobster season is ready to start, and fishermen are hoping for good prices. Gee! Who would have guessed? And, in a world that is on the brink of the biggest war it has ever seen, the edition has not a single story about foreign news. In more exciting news, ace reporter Dale Hobson breaks the big news that a Pita Pit restaurant will be opening in  Riverview.- Page A1, and continued on P. A4.  (Paris will be so jealous.) I bet it took some real digging to get that story. But real digging is what ace reporter Dale Hobson was trained to do at journalism school.

The Monday edition has three and a half pages - AND an editorial - on volunteers in Moncton. In fact, there are stories about and photos of volunteers in just about every copy of the Irving press I have seen.It seems not to have occurred to anybody that there is something wrong with a society that leaves it up to volunteers to provide for basic needs - like food and shelter. All credit to the volunteers. But we should be ashamed of our ourselves for living in a society that does not care for basic, human needs.The Tuesday edition has two more stories on volunteers.

On the good side, volunteers keep taxes on the rich down.

For Tuesday, t he editorial writer must have wet his pants in excitement about the saving of Castle Manor. He writes, "Historic architecture is part of a community's culture and character." I don't even know what that means. What is the culture of Moncton? What is the character? How does it show itself in a pretentious but childish copy of a medieval castle with lots of windows? Does it show we are all pretentious and clumsy and have no taste?

For Tuesday, Norbert has his usual column attacking bureaucrats and technocrats. Actually, I don't get a sense that he knows what those words mean. He just uses them as swear words. The truth is that a modern society needs bureaucrats and technocrats. For an intelligent article on the subject - and why we're having problems in that area - go to www.cbc.ca/news/Canada new -brunswick/political-problems-plague-new-brunswick-s-public-service-1.2797638

It's written by Jeff Patch, a senior civil servant of some twenty years ago who says the politicians interfere with hiring to put incompetent friends into civil service jobs. It began with McKenna, and has gone wilder ever since. I guess Norbert doesn't listen to CBC.

The reality is we desperately need bureaucrats and technocrats - and we probably need more of them. But Norbert just loves to spit hatred and bigotry.

Alec Bruce has two, excellent columns.On Monday, he takes an informed look at the needs  of our education system. On Tuesday, He look at the federal government's self-congratulation on handling the economic crisis - but points out that our relatively easy time might have more to do with the structure and traditions of our financial institutions than with the government. But there's worse to come - and Harper is not prepared for it.

Ono Tuesday, Louise Gilbert offers a very useful column, well-written,   informed advice, and encouraging on adjusting to being a senior.

Alan Cochrane has a column on, God help us, volunteerism.
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Monday's NewsToday has NO foreign news at all. There is, however, an excellent story on B4 "Lax climate policy hasn't resulted in 'energy superpower status' for Canada"'  The story is that Harper (and his Liberal predecessors) deliberately sacrificed the environment - and are still doing so - in order to make Canada a superpower in oil production. And that has created crises and distrust at home and abroad - and may well be topped off with a decline of our oil industry.

Tuesday's NewsToday has a silly story that Canada will not make raids in Iraq that might kill civilians. Come off it. I don't think any war has ever been fought without killing civilians. (The story admits we may have killed some in Libya.)

It's B4 has a story that John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Lincoln, met in Montreal with Confederate agents just before the assassination. I have no idea why they printed it. In the first place, it really tells us nothing of any significance. In the second place, it's an old story that was first published shortly after the assassination.

D4 also has a story on the life of Billy Bishop, our first air ace in World War One. It is by no means the full story, leaving out all the  unsavoury parts of his character. When an NFB film told the whole story, there was a political storm led by furious veterans who demanded the film be destroyed (for what it said about Bishop, and for other reasons - like telling the truth that we took part in bombing raids that were deliberately aimed at civilians in WW2. The government (of Mulroney, I think) appointed a committee made up entirely of Conservative senators to study the complaints. That committee is mentioned in this story

I remember the committee well because I attended it in order to give testimony. The senators were a rare collection of dolts who were obviously there under orders to condemn the film. They knew nothing about the two world wars, nothing about the military. My greatest shock came when a senator asked me what a Lancaster bomber was.

Billy Bishop was, indeed, a fine fighter pilot. He was also a liar and a cheat who got caught in military college.He is strongly suspected of lying about some of his fears in the war. In the second world war, he held a very high rank at the marshal level. But he had no role in commanding the air force. He couldn't. He was a chronic drunk, useful only to appear in public in his uniform to boost morale.

For Tuesday, p.4 has as its big, business page story the tale of a woman who likes sewing leather, and has a small business selling leather products. So that's what the business world is all about.
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There were some stories the Irving press missed. Yes, it actually did.

There was the one I've already mentioned about Jeff Patch who took the lid off political interference in appointing civil servants.

Then there's Liberia and ebola. Now, Cuba is a poor country, largely because of US embargoes on Cuban trade. But Cuba has sent 120 doctors to fight ebola in Liberia. They have 120 doctors to spare because poor Cuba, unlike the rich United States and Canada, makes it possible for every citizens to have access to education to the highest levels. It also has a medicare system at least equal to Canada's, and one that leaves the US in the dark ages. So Cuba sent 120 doctors to fight ebola.

The US sent 7,000  - no, not doctors ----it sent soldiers. I guess they're going to shoot the germs.

Why on earth would the US send 7,000 soldiers? We have to guess. My guess is that Obama is taking advantage of the ebola crisis to establish an American military base in Liberia. He's all heart.

Then there was an interesting story in The Star (Toronto) on this Oct. 14 - and one that has a direct effect on New Brunswick. Perhaps the most corrupt and the most corrupting big business in the world is the pharmaceutical manufacturing business in the US. Certainly it is, according to most reports, the one that spends the most to buy politicians. That's why the US pays the full, retail price per pill even when it sends medical supplies as foreign aid.

Most developed countries keep prices for medicare down by requiring that the pharmaceutical companies compete in bidding to get prices down. But not Canada.

No, here in Canada (including New Brunswick) we pay a fixed price set by the provinces for medication. No competition. (Funny how capitalists always talk about the superiority of competition - but hate to engage in it themselves.)  The result is that New Brunswickers, like all Canadians, pay over twice as much as other developed countries for medications

Why do the provinces do such a crazy thing as to pay twice as much as necessary for a product? Gee - could it be they're paid off to do that? Nah....not our politicians.
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de Adder is an excellent cartoonist. Sometimes he is an excellent political cartoonist. What gets in his way is that his thinking about political affairs simply follows that of the crowd. Tuesday's cartoon is a picture of the the earth, with Africa facing the reader. The word at the bottom is contagion. On the cartoon is the word ebola pointing to Liberia. There is also the word ISIS pointing to the middle east.

In fact, the only political contagion in that whole region for the last century has been us of the western world who have murdered. pillaged, exploited every country, a job the US has taken up with a vengeance ever since 1945. That contagion is what created ISIS. And ISIS spread because the US and allies like Saudi Arabia supplied it with money, weapons, and training so it could kill for the US.

And they behead people? How cruel. The western powers would never to do that - not on video. They're Christian. They kill by bombing civilians, burning people to death, starving them to death, torturing. The largely Christian western world now represents the most dangerous and irresponsible killing force of our time.

So why, after we have starved hundreds of thousands, tortured thousands,killed millions, do we now express horror at Muslims who kill people by beheading? Because our private news media tell us about the horrors of beheading; and they tell us to hate Muslims because they kill people in such a terrible way. But they say nothing about the children we starved to death in Iraq, the civilians we murdered in Afghanistan, the millions we made into refugees, many of them to die deaths that are never reported.

So why do we believe our news media when they blame it all on Muslims? We believe it because we, all of us, have within us the seeds of bigotism, hatred, and racism. The private news media and their billionaire owners have learned to water those seeds, to bring them to full blossom. Racism has always been widespread in the western world. Hitler was no exception to the rule. He was a very typical example of the western world: and a devout Christian to boot.

All of this is why de Adder misses the point of what is going on, and so misses the greatest contagion of them all - us.