By TONY SEED
(July 11, revised July 19) – The world has been saved from an England-France Brexit final at the 2018 World Cup, renditions of “Three Lions” and “Rule Britannia” in the stadiums, and the tsunami of British chauvinism unashamedly embraced by the Canadian sports media.
What goes around, comes around. The dodgy English threw their final match in the opening round with Belgium back on June 28 with the pretext of resting players and avoiding injuries for the Round of 16. “Sometimes, you have to make decisions with the bigger picture, and that’s what I did tonight,” rationalized head coach Gareth Southgate at the time – as if the decision was his and his alone. That bigger picture seems to have included getting a better draw in the knockout stage, that is, to avoid Brazil and therein build the betting pool, the TV market, the revenues of the English Football Association, and “hearts and minds” diversion from the crisis at home – giving a new definition to match fixing and a level playing field. Such are the elastic ethics of England. Continue reading
Picket against occupation of Palestine at Israeli consulate in Montreal on Land Day, March 30, 2018.
Global Affairs Canada, whose minister Chrystia Freeland is busily lecturing Russia on the necessity of a “rules based order” in connection with the alleged poisoning of two individuals in Salisbury, England and – co-ordinated by NATO – expelling its diplomats en masse, is maintaining an eery silence on the premeditated Israeli massacre of the Palestinians, 30,000 of whom were demonstrating for the Right of Return, committed by Israel on March 30. Continue reading
Still from Telesur
The same newspaper that heralds “a new era” for women in Canada victimized by “men in power” has no objection to the brutish treatment of Ahed Tamimi, the 16-year-old Palestinian girl who is in indefinite military custody for courageously challenging Israeli occupation forces on her family’s property. The Globe and Mail has carried but one item – on January 1 from Reuters. CBC also carried the same item on January 1st. The Toronto Star carried a derivative six-sentence item on the same date. Continue reading
By TONY SEED
International Women’s Day March, Toronto, March 2017
(Revised and expanded from a Facebook post on January 25) – CBC TV’s The National hosted by Michael Serapio devoted the first 21 minutes of its 3-4 p.m. newscast on 25 January to the case of Patrick Brown, who has resigned/sacked as leader of the Conservative Party in Ontario although not his seat as an MPP after two women accused him of sexual misconduct. The case is dominating the news cycle. Premier Wynne, head of a government known for corruption and selling out the interests of the working class as in the case of U.S. Steel, was “shocked.” For its part, the Ontario PC Party declared it “unequivocally upholds the principle that a safe and secure society is what we expect and desire” and has “a message of change.” Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh called the Brown allegations ‘heinous.” Tory MP Lisa Raitt says she has an “open door” for anyone experiencing harassment. All apparently stand for women’s empowerment. Continue reading
The social effects of extreme weather for the homeless, the poor, the elderly and the colonized, in the cities and on the roads; the abnegation of social responsibility and the public interest by the media and governments shows the need for empowerment. “When tragedies do occur, the monopoly media focuses on the technical mechanics of the disaster, excluding who should be held accountable, how the concerns and campaigns of the community were dealt with or ignored, and the response of the public bodies” | TONY SEED
(December 30, updated January 5) – According to the CBC, the main “news” and social consequences of the record extreme cold weather seems to be the status of outdoor civic New Year’s parties, the condition of the ice on a short-term, multi-million dollar outdoor rink erected on Parliament Hill, polar bear dips, and an outdoor World Junior hockey game between Canada and the U.S. in Buffalo on Friday December 28th.
A fiery crash of a tractor trailer truck on the QEW (pictured above) that shut down the Niagara bound lanes near Bartlett Ave. in Grimsby was reported merely as a freak obstacle or an inconvenient “long delay” to the many Canadians heading to the game. While no one was hurt this time, the damage to the highway was extensive and will take time to repair.
One CBC anchor, Hanna Thibodeau, joked with meteorologist David Phillips as to whether Russia was to blame for the Arctic front.
In seeming contrast, CBC published on December 29 a long photo feature titled “Toronto has officially frozen over. See it here in all its icy glory” highlighting the beauty of a nature that is benign. The kicker called on readers to “Take in the stunning sights of the city during the deep freeze.” (The photos were submitted.)
As 2017 ends, the working people face a media onslaught about what is going on in Canada and around the world, of which the weather occupies one sphere. We think that a sober approach going into 2018 is of importance.
An awesome lake effect snow squall (snowsquall) drops heavy snow over Sudbury on February 27, 2014. Lake effect squalls from Georgian Bay are noted for their persistence and linear banding, producing blinding visibility on Highway 400.
The following reflection was written on February 28, 2014 but for some reasons was not published at the time. I am posting it now in the midst of the extreme cold weather front that is gripping Canada and the United States.
The view from Blantyre
By TONY SEED
WHEN extreme weather event strikes, the reporting of the media proceeds from the premise of the insurance companies: it is a supernatural “act of God,” a natural disaster divorced from the social conditions made by man. It has become a genre and given a name – disaster journalism. It was all so “unexpected.” Hurricane Katrina? Just blew in suddenly from the Gulf. That ice storm in Atlanta? The weather suddenly shifted upstate in the morning. That tsunami in the Indian Ocean? No-one at the U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii had the phone number of the Sri Lanka president and hence the island received no warning. Thousands of people, mainly poor fishers, along the eastern and southern coastline were engulfed by the deep blue sea, as if an act of Buddha. Due to the large number of victims, that far-off disaster did make the evening news. These were not “accidents”; natural disasters became crimes. Continue reading
The name Amtrak comes from a combination of “American” and “track.” The USA does not have a national passenger rail system, let alone a publicly-owned system.
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) is a government-owned corporation established as a product of the Rail Passenger Service Act of 1970, to provide intercity passenger train service throughout the United States. It was created by the Richard Nixon presidency largely to protect the private railroads (today’s Class I freight railroads) from their obligation of having to run money-losing passenger routes. The U.S. government owns the preferred stock while private rail companies, including Canadian Pacific and Canadian Rail, own the common stock. Later the Congress stripped preferred shares of voting rights and any liquidation preference, effectively leaving common shareholders in control. Curiously, there has never been a shareholder’s meeting. Continue reading