Monday, May 21, 2012

May 21:

Special note - The Moncton Times and Transcript has still not said a word about the Quebec student strike, though it has now, as was predictable, gone international. Very few of the news media in Canada have shown any grasp of what this is all really about, and how serious it is. The Irving press, once again, stands out. It has not misread the student strike. It doesn't even seem to know it's on.

The Chronicle Herald feels they should sit down with the Quebec government should chat reasonably with Charest. This is the Jean Charest who is up to his ears in corruption in the construction business, and in connections with the mafia that almost every Quebec premier has had.

Make no mistake about it. This student strike is going to continue to spread. As I said several days ago, this is a spark in an explosive world. It's not about spoiled brats. It's about a spoiled rotten government - not unlike the one in New Brunswick.

NewsToday devotes four (plus) pages to the visit of a man whose only distinction in life was being born into a royal family. There is also a picture of his wife smiling. Yes. It's true. It says so right under the picture...Duchess...smiles.... I was so thrilled to read that. Will his visit to New Brunswick cost us much? You bet. Will it change the life of anybody in the province (or anywhere else in this world?)  No. Of course not. But we still get four pages of pictures and gush.

So why are we, who need medical equipment, money for the elderly, for schools, for housing. spending millions to see pictures of two nonentities smiling? Because, like the War of 1812 celebration, it's good press for Harper. He's playing the patriot card for the type of person who is a major factor in his electoral base. This goes with put 'em in jail and throw away the key, dismantle environment regulations, cut government service just when we need them and, now, God bless the empire. It all appeals to that hard core of "differently advantaged" voters that Harper depends on to hold power with only two-thirds of the voting population won't vote for him.

In lesser news, Canada is being urged to stay on in Afghanistan past 2014 to train troops. We may well be asked to help out, too, with Obama's promise to pay Afghanistan's military budget for years to come. And what has all this achieved?

In over a decade of war, the US government is broke, the US economy in tatters, at least tens of thousands of civlians murdered, thousands of our troops killed. There is no democracy; and the government is so corrupt and hated that it doesn't even control the capital city.

Canada won't run for the exits? Then Canada is a damn fool. Why should we squander more lives and money for a war that never made sense in the first place?

Oh, yes. There is a reason. We have to pretend we succeeded in ----whatever. )Get ready for the speeches about how this war preserved freedom in Canada. We have to do that to save the faces of war criminals, murderers and torturers from Dick Cheney to Obama. We have to pretend we kill people to bring them democracy. Besides, we need to transfer combat troops Syria, Iran. possibly Yemen, along with other parts of Africa. We're also going to need them for Latin America and Asia. In fact, those moves are already happening.

Oh, don't miss  page B 6. That's today's regular page of photos of strangers, holding cheques for a worthy cause and smiling.

Then there is an unfortunate letter to the editor. (Not surprisingly, it was selected as letter of the day.) Its expresses anger over the protests at moving Moncton High to Royal Oaks. Its main points are -

1.   writer ----We have to set priorities in provincial spending. The government has spent 1.475 to buy land for a
new school.  Documents have been signed. If we block the school now, that money will be wasted.
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Me----(Well, yes. We do have to set priorities. But we didn't. The government simply chose that location - and has refused to tell us why Our first priority is that a government damn well tells us why it makes the choices it does. Our first priority is to make t his a democracy. And you don't make a democracy by telling government it can do what it wants to without telling us why.
Another priority  is to plan locations of major buildings which will last at least fifty years so that they will make sense for all those years. Royal Oaks almost certainly won't. That means you don't have to worry about the 1.475 million being wasted. It already has been. And just wait till you see the sweetheart deals for the "public/private" partnership that will build it.)
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2. writer----The opposing group can't even agree on whether it wants a new school or a restoration of the existing one.
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me ----(And your point is?  The argument is not about exaactly what the solution should be. The argument is that there has been no public discussion of what should be done, no information in the press about alternatives; and the government refuses to say why it made the decision it did. Straighten out democracy in this province. Then you can work out the details.
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3. writer----Opposition leaders are using this issue to blemish the government.
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me----(Again, in a democracy, oppositioin leaders are supposed to oppose. That's why they are called opposition leaders. In any case, this is a government which can do a bang-up job of blemishing itself without help. And when you reveal that sort of thing in a government it benefits everybody. You seem to be hazy on the concept of democracy.)
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4. writer-----Only a small minority are opposed to moving the school to Royal Oaks. And this issue affects only a minute percentage of the Moncton population.
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me----(Oh? How do you know how many are opposed? Did you read it in the Truthful Times and Transcript? My own guess is that  you are half right. Only a minority of the total population is opposed. But, as well, only a tiny minority are for. Perhaps bitten too many times in the past, perhaps cowed by the oppressive control exercised over the province, most people in Moncton seem to prefer to have no opinons about anything. Remember the turnouts at the provincial and municipal elections?

As for the percentage affected, are you sure you understand the meaning of the word minute? In fact, it affects a large proportion directly -and all of us indirectly since we have to pay for it in money as well as in the fiture development of our city. As well, we pay for it whenever democracy is ignored - as this government so frequently does.)
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5.writer ----Most Monctonians are tired of hearing about MHS.
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(Ah, I must have missed the report on that in the Truthful Times. Or do you have special abilities, and can see around corners?)
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6.writer----We must live within our means and focus on our priorites.
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me----(Yes. But how do you decide either means or priorities unless you discuss them?)
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7.writer----- "My priorities are health care, job creation....which will happen wherever the school is built."
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me----(Impressive but, again, shaky on the concept of democracy. In a democracy, we are all allowed to have our own priorities - just like you. My first one is getting a handle on what the future is going to be like, and how to prepare for it so that we can make rational plans for health care, educaton, etc.
Actually, no, there's a priority before that - to establish a real democracy in New Brunswick. Until we do, all the rest is just blowing bubbles.

On the question of job creation, am I correct in assuming you are a Conservative? Now, it's no secret that both the Conservatives and the Liberals have a close relationship with large corporations in this province.Now, close your eyes and think really, really hard.

Why would large corporations want job creation (or prosperity at all) in New Brunswick. This is only a small part of their market. But it is a major part of their labour force and of their resources. Is there a picture forming in your mind?

Of course. Our major corporations don't want full employment and prosperity in New Brusnwick. they don't want those any more than they want an honest newspaper.

They want cheap labour, kept cheap by fears of unemployment. They want cheap resources from people too scared to refuse them. They want low costs for health care and serniors so they can pay even lower taxes. Not only are they not interested in your priorities; they have every intention of making sure they don't ever happen.  This province has a long, long history of what big business wants. Read it some day.)
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back to just me.....

And why did the TandT publish this as "Letter of the Day"?

Gee. I'll have to think about that.

Readers should look over this letter carefully. The wording suggests it was written by a person with political ambitions. The language is in a very  "politician" style. Notice that she says the opposition is trying to "blemish" the government. Blemish is a loaded word. It suggests that not only is it attacking the government, but it is doing so in an improper, even immoral, way to a government that's as pure as the driven snow.

You can just tell she thinks Liberals and Conservatives are different. That's cute.

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