Monday, October 10, 2011

Oct. 10: a blank

I had intended to prepare in advance a list of stories that would not appear in the TandT today. Just as well I didn't. I had never imagined it possible to leave so much out of the news.

1. The British Minister of Defence almost certainly faces firing for becoming close friends to a weapons manufacturer - and allowing him full access not only to meetings of senior civil servants, but to paticipate in policy making decisions. It is, in most democracies of this world, a policy to not allow any unelected person such access.  It's a major news story across Canada; but I can see why the TandT skipped it.
Months ago, Mr. Irving announced that he was a member of the government (though never elected.) Then he announced he had formed a committee of cronies (also unelected) to plan the New Brunswick financial policy. The spineless (and probably brainless) Mr. Alward accepted this.

Alward even gave these private and unelected people entree to the Minister of Finance. (This is precisely what the British minister of defence did - and is in trouble for.)  Mr.Alward then actually paid this gang of scoundrels to do what is highly improper for private interests to do in any democracy.

And soon the budget is coming down.  Guess who prepared it? Guess who will benefit from it? New Brunswick is being bled to death.

It's time for Mr. Alward to go. Not only is he intellectually and morally incompetent - I mean, we're used to that - but he has now acted unethically, and in such a manner as to destroy democracy.

2. The paper has no mention of the Wall Street movement. It's big news all over the world. Even the Canadian and American press have had to recognize it. It covers most cities in the US, is spreading to Canada and all over the world, even to New Brunswick.  Clergy are now joining it. A Jewish congregation had a service at the centre of it.

But here, in The Moncton Times and Transcript, it's just another do-de-do day. (Don't think about those things. Don't talk about them. Concentrate on a new hundred million dollar hockey rink. You are getting very, very sleepy....)

3. The paper has a front page SPECIAL REPORT on whether public education is sustainable. This is in a city and province which speak of borrowing 300 million dollars and more for a hockey rink and a football stadium - and even more for a CFL team.  But it wants to make cuts in education. It wants to start bleeding our children more, just as it has always bled us.  How much more foul can this get?

The report tells us that Allward is looking for our input. Sure. Just like he looked for it when he supported shale gas development.  Where is all this going? That's easy.

Watch for a series of articles and editorials advocating a gradual privatization of public schools. That's what AIMS wants. And if AIMS wants it, then that's what private corporations want. It's been going on in the US for decades with desastrous results. The same sort of bastards now want to destroy our children so that they can make money out of them. (But don't even read this. Close your eyes. Think about how the whole world will be watching Moncton to see if we build a hockey rink.)

4. The sports section gave more space to a hot dog being thrown at Tiger Woods than the whole paper has given to the Occupy Wall Street movement since it began. And almost as much as it has given to fracking in the past month. .

5. In big news of the day, Bahrain is still fighting its "Arab Spring". Iraq, though still occupied by US troops is now opposing the US by supporting the Syrian government with words and money; and by developing an alliance with Iran. Saudi Arabia has been dealing with an Arab Spring.  President Obama's government has formally announced the president has the right to assassinate American citizens simply by giving the order. No reason need be given before or after.  Afghanistan has signed an alliance with India: and China is moving to an alliance with Pakistan - both in preparation for an American assault on Pakistan. New York doctors have called for a ban on fracking. Apparently, large quantities of shale gas have already been shipped out of New Brunswick - at no charge. Violence in "free" Egypt is out of hand with police killing at least 28 people in Cairo. Libyan rebels have not been able to establish control in Libya, even with massive Nato firepower and other help.

None of this made the TandT today. They big story NewsToday? "CBC distances itself from Don Cherry's fighting words. Boy! maybe Moncton can get an CHL team. Then the whole world will really be watching us.)

The editorial is a pseudo-spiritual comment on how good it is we share at Thanksgiving. Indeed, we do. Just think of how much we have shared this year, some of us going hungry to do it - so our coporate bosses could have overflowing tables, (always remembering to thank God for His kindness to them before tucking in.)

Craig Babstock has the usual inane staff writer op ed piece, this one about how chldren can thank their parents for standing up for them. Right. Think of how boldly they have stood up to corporate bosses and their journalistic friends who want to destroy our children's education so they can make a profit out of it. Think of the valiant and public stand taken by Home and School and Parents' Associations.

Alec Bruce's column, as usual, is intelligent - though he goes too far in saying Allward wants to help New Brunswick through supporting Senate reform. I have seen no evidence that Allward has any wish but to obey Harper - probably in return for a promise of some sort.

A democracy represents people. It represent them as individuals. It does not represent welders simply because they are welders or nurses because they are nurses. It does not represent people because they are short or because they are tall or because they live in a small province or because they live in hilly country. A democracy represents all of us.;

We all have equal right to vote for members of the House of Commons. That's democracy.

The purpose of a Senate has nothing to do with democracy. John A. Macdonald created a senate because he did NOT trust democracy. It was appointed so it could be stuffed with the better sort - bankers, railway builders, and their reliable political hacks ...  The idea that it is now a place of "sober, second thought" is absurd.

I have watched Senate debates. I have testified to Senate committees. Not all, but a clear majority of senators, are highly partisan and not very bright political hacks. They do almost nothing useful.

And, if we do give the senate more power, the only place it could come from is Commons. In other words, we would be taking power from a democratically elected body to put it in the hands of a less democratic one. As well, candidates would need money, lots of it, to run in province wide elections. They won't be able to get enough from widows and orphans. So guess who will be paying their election bills?

An appointed senate is largely useless. An elected Senate would be destructive of democracy. Best to simply get rid of what what has been a deliberately anti-democratic institution from the start.  (The same, incidentally, is true of the US Senate. The men who wrote the American constitution were dominated by the wealthiest people in the US - with George Washington leading the way as the nation's largest slave  owner.)

There is a good letter by Francis Cormier on city planning for downtown. It makes far more common sense than the ideas from city council which, I suspect, are based more on corruption than on thought. (To be fair, it is possible that city-councillors are not currupt - just as dumb as squids at low tide.)

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