Monday, February 21, 2011

Feb. 21: the good, the bad, and the stunningly trite

Let's start with the good.- which means good about the paper, if bad about New Brunswick. Alec Bruce has an excellent column on the fraud NB's electric commission calls public consultation. It's a safe bet the issue has long ago been decided.  The commission will suggest privatizing it or the greater part of it - which will mean higher costs for us, but with subsidized rates for the new owner.

Allan Abel produced the best of his columns that I've seen - this one on the sharp decline of freedom of speech in the US, and the sharp rise of the government as a threat to freedom of speech in that country. (Though he doesn't mention Canada, signs of it are have already appeared here.)

Alas! The editorial page had one of its frequent propaganda rants from The Fraser Institute. This one praises the mergers of staok exchanges as a means of freeing up regulations for business. Wonderful. Not only do we lose the power to control the  regulations that saved us through the economic crisis, we move to looser regulations like those in the US - which are what caused the crisis. The Fraser Institute, as a front for big business, wants what it has always wanted, freedom from any government controls and freedom from obligations to meet the needs of any country. For an example of where that can take us, read up on the story of Haiti and Congo. Or just check on the rate of bank failures and bailouts in the US

The front page is just unspeakably trivial. The lead story, continued inside for a another page, is about a showing of clothing for brides and grooms. Wow! This is just the kind of thing that puts Moncton of the map and draws thousands of tourists. Maybe we should borrow another 80 million to build a centre for fashion shows

The adjoining story is below trivial, but tells worlds about the infantalism of New Brunswick politicians. It's bad enough we have two parties that don't understand the democratic process. Political Parties are supposed to put forward ideas based on their philosophies and expertise. Then we vote; and the politicians who win the election carry out the proposals we approved of.

In New Brunswick, though, the parties run on no philosophies or expertise, just money given to them by the corporate world. Then we vote against whichever party we don't like. Then the winning party holds public consultations to ask people to ask people what they should do. Then it does whatever its economic masters told it to do in the first place.

The time , it's a youth summit (ages 12 to 30) of 200 who will make recommendations for planning the future. Now, planning the future is rather more complex than even brain surgery. Not many people of 30 are really up to it - not to mention the ones of twelve. As well, the age range is ridiculous for any educational purposes. It is, though, convenient for manipulating the responses.

Any such broad and complex question is better learned about by smaller groups taking on smaller topics in the early stages. To suggest that people 12 to 30 would learn anything by taking on a vast and complex set of issues of which they have almost no knowledge is as silly as putting them all into formula race cars for races
 the province on the argument it would be a great learning experience.

It's actually embarassing to see this on a front page.

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