Friday, June 8, 2012

June 8: Teacher makes great sandwiches

That's front page stuff in the Moncton Times and Transcript.

Then there's a story by Brent Mazerolle about how Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Wilson explained why Royal Oaks was chosen for the new high school. The only weakness in the story is that he didn't explain anything.  He gave us the old line about how it has fields, etc. - but no hint of how this compared with other sites. In fact, he wouldn't even name half the other sites.

For fuller information, he said people could fill out forms for access to information. Really? and he is prepared to handle hundreds of thousands of requests for access to information (something this province has a dismal record for responding to.) If people have a right to this information, why put them through a cumbersome and expensive access system? Why not just tell them, you pompous twit? Isn't that what the news media are for?

Brent Mazerrole, you are a reporter, not a stenographer. You are supposed to ask questions, not just to write down whatever drivel some politician hands you.

The minister said he cannot name sites without the permission of the owners since that is private information. No, it's not. They made bids involving the spending of public money on a public matter.  Claude Williams is full of it. We have a right to know. Williams has told us nothing whatever - and Brent Mazerolle simply played his stooge.

There is also a story on the design of the new school which looks exactly like a thousand other high schools that have been built in the last sixty years. Nor do I see any intellectual stimulation or excitement in spending one's days looking out the school windows to look over a flat expanse of grass in Fall and Spring, and snow in summer with, in the near distance, rows of banal suburban bungalows.

I do, though, understand why we are building a school that will require an immense additional cost ($68 million dollars) for municipal services. That's because it will result in nice, fat contracts for friends of the government. Then there's the cost of the school itself which will make this - school plus services - the most expensive high school in Canada - and for the thrill of having a lawn and looking out over bungalows as architecturally banal as the school.

Meanwhile, the new school, like all the others, will have to hold fudge sales and chocolate bar drives to buy office paper and books for the library.

In a related example, the school system now supplies computers to teachers and to some students. Money is not problem because you can bet the schools have to buy them from a supplier whose a good ol' boy with the government. But don't let your computer break down. They get enough money for only one repairman for the whole province - which means that most of the time people don't have computers. My son has such a computer that we haven't seen for months.

Like everything else in this province the whole project is designed to make money for private contractors - with leftover pennies going to anything that has to do with education.

What a sleazy, slimy government!

Meanwhile, a poll shows the Conservatives  still in the lead with the other stooge party in second place. Well, that's what happens when you have an education minister who thinks the most important things a school needs for intellectual stimulation is a lawn - and a profit for contractors.  But it's too bad our children have to suffer for what we have deserved.

There's nothing much in NewsToday - but a lot that was missed.
1, The American military now suffers suicides at the rate of one a day. That does not include veterans, who also suffer high rates of suicide, mental illness, and homelessness. Our Irving newspapers don't give enough of a damn to find out what the figures are for Canada. Nor have they mentioned the Canadian veterans' recent protest in Ottawa. But some hypocrite will write a glowing editorial for Nov. 11 on how much we are grateful to those who served. (And it will be no problem to find a clergyman to echo that.)

2. The Colombia gangsters in the cocaine trade make billions a year out of the traffic to the US and Canada, and with support from a national government backed by the US. . Ever wonder where they put it to keep it safe? Why, into our western banks, of course.Yesiree. We can be proud of our banks making fortunes out of the drug trade. It's  not new, though. Western business has been making big money out of drug trafficking at least since the Opium Wars of over a hundred and fifty years ago.

3.Republican Governor Scott Wallace of Wisconsin was so unpopular for his union-busting and his harsh treatment of the poor that citizens demanded a recall - that is, an election to vote him out. Historically, governors usually lose such votes.But Wallace got such a flood of money from extremely wealthy donors, most of them out of state, that he won.  How could so much money be raised?  Because in the US, now, corporations are people and can give without limit. From now on, money wins elections in the US -  even more so than in New Brunswick.

This is bad news for Obama. He's been the most successful money raiser in US history - but that may now be over. Harper is moving the same way to make money count so that here, too, some people will become even more equal than others.

4. Sam Walton of Walmart left all his money to six heirs. Those six now have more money than the whole bottom third of the US population - 95 million people. Congress is now cutting off food to the hungriest of those people so it can reduce taxes on people like the Waltons.

5. In fairness, the TandT does mention the killing of 78 women and children in Syria, and Hilary Clinton's condemnation of it. But two things are not mentioned. a) we don't know who did the killing and b) the indignant Hilary Clinton belongs to a government that kills more than that number of women and children every day.

The editorial says nothing in particular. The cartoon will offend nobody who's rich. Norbert writes a good article on the dangers of tanning salons. But we all know he would never have written it if the Irvings owned tanning salons.

Excellent commentaries by Alec Bruce, Lynda MacGibbon, and David Suzuki. Many will not like what ms. MacGibbon has to say. But that is because it is intelligent, insightful and compassionate - qualities which must be rare in a province in which a majority of the voters support either the Liberals or the Conservatives.

Excellent letters to the editor by John Whitmore, Leslie Chandler, Ruth Richard and Don Copp.

Dave Daigle has a sensible letter on how to cope with winning the lottery. But that is a problem I have not had to face.

1 comment:

  1. You forgot to mention the bit about NB hosting the 2014 World Acadian Congress, a fact that has been known for about 2 years now...