Here's a story that's a year old - one I missed at the time. In fact, It also connects with several stories at the bottom of the reading. It's a story of the absolute contempt the Irving family has for the people of this province - with a few examples of the Irving rip-offs which explain why New Brunswick government's can't balance their budgets.
Monday's paper is a prime example Irving contempt. It has no news whatever. The lead story is about hospital overcrowding. It's a story that has little useful information, no sense of anything to be done, but is grandly labelled EXCLUSIVE - as if anybody else would want it.
Then there's a story in adoration of a wealthy father (and his son) who are buying an old high school for renovation. And so it goes for page after page of non-news. This isn't a newspaper; it's a sleeping pill. Where is the (intelligent and honest) story about mining development in this province? Where is the story about how Irving (and other) funding makes it impossible for any party but the Liberals and Conservatives to win an election in this province? Where is the big story that we cannoit properly operate our hospitals or schools or universities because the very wealthy skip paying taxes? Where is the story about the health hazards in St. John because of you-know-who's pollution?
Then there's a commentary that looks useful, but isn't. It calls for more education aimed at specific job training to meet the needs of business. There's nothing wrong with that. But we also need far more people with training to think and to understand. This world won't last long without that. But all the commentator can see is the needs of big business. (The great lesson for me in some fifty years of teaching is that teaching people to think is discouraged at all levels. We prefer to train robots.)
The Canada and World section has no news worth reading about Canada or the world - unless you really, really care That the mayor of Nashville has returned to work after her son died. The whole paper is designed to put the province into a stupor. And, in that respect, it's a great success.
The U.S. is in very, very serious political and economic trouble. Some leaders are trying to solve that problem with a world war. Greece has been destroyed by international bankers. The government of Ukraine is an illegal one controlled by international bankers and die-hard Naziis who have pretty much destroyed that country's economy - and the U.S. created it - and Canada has sent troops to the neighbourhood to fend off an invasion by Russia which, almost certainly, Russia has never planned. The real purpose of the Canadians is to be a provocation in the service of the U.S.
Trump is seriously thinking of war with North Korea - and guess who will be expected to contribute troops. (And how come it's only American wars we send troops for now?) Europe is getting quite frightened by American behaviour, and much of it is looking to get away from American "protection". American foreign policies have been disastrous since 1945, and especially since 2000. The result is that most of the middle east and Africa is in a hopeless chaos. Noticed any wise words (or any words at all) in the irving press about that?
No. These are newspaper designed to keep New Brunswick in complete ignorance. And, what a coincidence, the editor-in-chief is an Irving.
New Brunswick makes China look like a land of free speech and lively discussion.
Thanks to a reader, here's a full story of fake news in our time.
The same reader also pointed out that my count of countries which offer free, university education was a little short. I should have added Russia (for the undergraduate years), Austria and Belgium. And, as I read his note I remember the year I taught at a Dutch university. ALL students received a living income for their university years.
But not Canada or the U.S. we have to feed our very wealthy, first.
The big story in the world today was the developing crisis between the U.S. and North Korea. (Any use of nuclear weapons by either nation could turn into a world, nuclear war.)
It was obvious in 1945 that the world could not survive more use of nuclear weapons. But there has been no attempt by any government to put an end to them. So long as they exist, someday they will be used.
I am still not finding any helpful news about the violence in Venezuela. I'm finding lots of propaganda. But no news. So here's a rough possibility.
Venezuela, historically, has been run by a small but very wealthy upper class - much like New Brunswick. Most people were very poor, and were kept poor. However, in the years following the Cuban revolution, Venezuela voters turned to socialism.
Living conditions improved enormously as the people of Venezuela got the benefits of the nation's vast oil reserves. The wealthy of Venezuela were not pleased. Nor were American capitalists pleased at this intrusion of socialism. And when its capitalists are not pleased, the U.S. has a long record of interfering.
Then, the world price of oil dropped dramatically. (That world price is not affected by the market, but more commonly by the oil bosses who see an advantage in it.) In the case of Venezuela, it made the country poor in quick order. And the poverty turned quickly to anger against the government.
Has the socialist government handled the situation badly? Yes.
Did the U.S. and the wealthy capitalists of Venezuela fan the flames of that anger? Did they help to create the mobs?
Do butterflies have wings?
And that, I think, is what is happening in Venezuela.
What next? I don't know. A strong possibility is a US military intervention that will be called a "peacekeeping force" may invade Venezuela. Canada may be asked to play a role - as it did when it got suckered into sending 'peacekeepers' to Haiti whose real job was to destroy democracy in that country. And, if asked, Justin will trip all over himself in his wish to obey.
Venezuela needs help for its people, not just for its wealthy.
David Suzuki used to appear twice a month in the iving press. But that ended some years ago. After all, he's just one of those mouthy scientists who don't understand the world as well as, say, the Atlantic Insistute of Market Studies does.
Our news media don't seem to mention the fact that the NAFTA trade deal gives business the right to pollute to its heart's content. And if we try to pass laws to protect ourselves, It can sue us for millions of dollars on the claim that our laws will reduce its profits. And the case is heard not by a national court but by a court owned by business.
A libertarian is a person who believes in liberty for the very wealthy at the expense of everybody else. They use think tanks like the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies and newspapers like the irving press.
Incidentally, today's irving press has a gem from the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies. It claims that raising the minimum wage would hurt employment. That's close to the 'thinking' of Norbert Cunningham - if you make the rich even richer, then we'll all get rich. Yes.
Gee. That must mean than lowering the minimum wage would create more jobs, and make us all richer. We could try that out by cutting the wages of all staff at the irving press.
And yes, "think tanks" like the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies flourish all over the world.
And here's a look at what us loving Christians are doing for the suffering all over the world.
If you want a real show, just wait until the refugees from climate change and starvation start coming.
I don't think the great minds at the irving press have noticed this story yet.
Trump has almost been destroyed by the Washington establishment and big business. At this rate, he cannot possibly survive his term. There is only one person who would be a superior president - Bernie Sanders. But there is no way the Washington establishment or big business will accept Sanders. As for the American people, they have been so long soaked in a propaganda image of what they and America are all about that they are nowhere close to seeing the reality.
(And I can assure you that the American news media will never support a Bernie Sanders.)
Large corporations just love to pay off university professors who write phony reports about how safe their products are. In my experience, and luckily, there are very, very few professors that will sell themselves like this. But these, not suprisingly, are the ones who get media coverage. All the honest ones, like David Suzuki, are dropped from the pages of the irving press.
In my early teaching and broadcasting years, I was approached by oil company pimps to write nice things about them. (And if I had, I might be a rich man today. Damn!)
I won't vouch for this article's estimate of the numbers killed by capitalism in Congo in the last 20 years. But I do know of the record of over a hundred years of murder, torture and abuse of the people of Congo. And the figure of recent deaths in this article is not an impossible one.
Another article by Suzuki that the irving press protected us from. (The Canada&World section needed the space for a real, world shocker - a woman in Toronto hit a dog.)
British Columbia is under pressure from oil companies to give them subsidiies to develop more oil fields in Canada. Fascinating how fearless, enteriprising, independent, big money corporations always want subisidies from the rest of us. They hate social programmes for the poor. But they just love them for the rich.
This next is a long one. Please bear with it.
We commonly have a false understanding of wars and what we did and what causes them and why. That happens because news media give us a simplistic account, and sometimes a lying one. It also happens because we always assume that our side was a good one, and that it was forced into war - as was the case with the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria......
It also happens because us humans like to fit in with mainstream thinking. In fact, we're afraid NOT to fit into it. But the wars against Napoleon did not occur simply because of the aggression of France. They were also cause by the aggression of England. World War 1 did NOT happen because an archduke was murdered. And World War Two was NOT caused simply because of a Hitler turning Germans evil.
In fact, Hitler had good friends - on our side.....
Of course, it would be difficult for a school teacher to tell the truth about these wars. A problem schools have to deal with is that parents don't want the schools to teach children how to think. They want the schools to teach them to conform.
I learned that in my first year of teaching grade 7. I had taught my class some history that was true, but....... the principal called me into his office.
"Now, Mr. Decarie, we don't want to cause any disturbance, do we? Of course not."