Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dec.22: the news media - entertainment, propaganda, trivia, very little news.

Again, most of today's TandT is trivial. Again, important news is barely touched on. There's still  no analyis (and barely a mention) of the bill allowing the US army to imprison people without charge or trial - or any mention of how this is certain to affect Canada.

They do mention new border crossing and airport rules. But there isn't much to say yet. However, what will be announced will probably be the gentle beginning. The border agreement between Obama and Harper is going to have a profound effect on the nature of Canada. But don't worry. It'll happen so slowly, you won't even notice. And, Lord know, the TandT will not spoil it by telling you.

That's what the new health accord is about, too. Medicare is an offence to the Harper ideology.The new accord is another thin end of the wedge.

Oh, there's no mention of a leaked report by Environment Canada that poisoning of  the rivers by oilsands production is causing serious damage to plant and animal life downstream. (Us people count as animals.)

Norbert Cunningham's colum on the editorial page is particularly annoying, today. It's begins as a generally decent column on charities. But it flushes the toiled towards the end..."If charitable services didn't exist, we'd either be living in a much less pleasant, more brutal society or our governments would be raising their taxes well above the present levels and creating a full-bown nanny state."

Norbert you're full of it - "it", in this case, meaning buzzwords, ignorance, and bias - as well as a stomach-wrenching display of kissing up to the boss.

1. Do you seriously think that distributing cans of beans at Christmas makes any serious dent in poverty?
In the US, some 150 million people are living in poverty. Uncounted numbers are homeless. Children go to school hungry. Are you seriously suggesting that volunteer groups can compensate for that?
I grew up very poor - just as many New Brunswickers have and still do. In that whole childhood, I can remember only one gift of charity, a gift of crayons from Santat Claus at a lodge party.
In northern Canada, we have a reservation with appalling conditions of hunger, sanitation, of life in worse than an animal state. Have you sent them a can of beans, Norbert?
The poor are poor because the rich have gathered in such a high proportion of the money in circulation. Don't you read the national income figures, Norrbert?
What a column of ignorant (or lying), self-righteous blather!
2. Norbert, you know as well as we all do that  New Brunswick would have had a smaller government years ago - if Mr. Irving wanted it to have a smaller government. But he doesn't want that. He wants what you call a nanny state. But he doesn't want the state to nanny the poor. He wants it to nanny him.
Tell you what, Norb, why don't you collect and publish the figures on how much government charity we give to corporations in this province? How much of our forests we hand over? What sorts of subsidies we give to corporations? What we pay for their energy supply? What we have to pick up for the taxes they don't pay?
Norbert, the corporations of the province are what cause poverty - along with flacks like you and Mr. Allward, and with the propaganda and triviality of the newspaper you work for..
3. Norbert, can you name a single society in all of human history in which charity has made even a dent in poverty?
4. Yes, government help would mean higher taxes - from those people who have money to afford higher taxes. Are you under the impression that the money paid in taxes comes from somewhere different than money we pay for charity? Do you seriously suggest that amateur volunteers whose work is necessarily on loosely coordinated and whose administrative and economic skills are limited can make the most economic use of that money?
5."If we opt for less of a government role, the bigger role we can expect charities to play." Where did that gem come from? If there were any truth to that, the people of Haiti today would be living the good life. Again, can you name a single society in human history in which lack of government social services has led to the need being filled by volunteers?

Norbert, this column is not only vicious and ignorant. It is a kiss-up to the boss. You, if I recall correctly, were the one who recently wrote about how how the CBC is biased. You, of all people. You, who work for the most biased and  trivial newspaper I have ever seen.

Mind you, some blame has to go to the people of New Brunswick. They've put up with this sort of crap for years. If they are robbed by corporations (who now want to add even more to the environmental damage they do) it is because the people of New Brunswick are too passive to dump your propaganda, and too gullible when they decide which Irving Party they should vote for.

We might, too, consider the role of the churches in all this. New Brunswick is the province in which many churches rise with the wrath of the virtuous and self-righteous to denounce gays and lesbians - but smile on and even bless those who inflict poverty, suffering, and environmental poison on them and their spiritually shallow followers.

Well, maybe Norbert's right. Maybe we should cut down government. Tell you what, let's close off all grants, subsidies, etc. for Irving and his corporate friends. Then, all of a sudden, volunteers will spring up to pass around the hat.

Let's try it, Norbert. And, if it works, then we'll try it on the poor.

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