Wednesday, July 18, 2012

July 18: Kings and popes and emperors....

When King Louis XIV woke up in the morning, courtiers would crush into his room to flatter him about the grace with which he put his pants on, the delicacy with which he ate his Krunchies. And when he sat on the toilet, there were bursts of ecstatic applause for his performance. That's all in the diaries of a courtier named le duc du St.-Simon. (Good read.)

We don't have courtiers these days. So we have to make do with newspaper editors, headmasters of private schools for rich kids, and university presidents. Today's editorial is applause for the toilet part of the king's morning. In effect, it says Codiac Transpo doesn't work; that (in the editor's opinion) the wage demands are too high; that the whole system should be redesigned; that employees should pay the price for whatever has to be done; and  the union should be broken.

Can you imagine that kissup saying that Mr. Irving has too much power? That his wage demands are too high? The Irving doesn't give enough to this province for what he takes out? That his conglomerate should be broken up?  No-o-o-o-o.

Like the courtiers of Louis XIV, the editor of the TandT would be more likely to applaud and cry out. "Great aim, Mr. Irving. You almost got it in that time."

And has it occured to the editor or anybody at city hall that creating more parking spaces on Main St. when you want to encourage bus use is - well - sort of - retarded? In fact, I do agree with the editor on one point - City Council and City Hall staff have been a disaster in planning and development of mass transit. So why don't we lock out City Council and all those staff planners, the latter of whom, I'm sure, get paid a hell of a lot more than bus drivers and mechanics?

But, like most editors I have known, this one just loves to get tough on people who can't hit back. But he will rush to kiss any rear end that is the rear end of money and power.

Alec Bruce mentions a similar case, a headmaster of a private school who took huffy exception to an article he didn't understand.  The headmaster wrote, "As educators, our role is largely about character development." That would have been all right if he had added - "the kind of character that the rich people who sit on our board approve of." Being headmaster of a private school is another kissup job - like being president of a university. That's why university presidents all turn for 'consultations' when they are summoned.

Good column by Bruce. And a useful one by Norbert. And a political cartoon by de Adder that really is a political cartoon.

As for the op ed page, the page that challenges our minds and provides insights into the world around us?  Well there's a doggie story by Eric Lewis. It could have been worse. It could have been about a doggie playing a guitar while riding on a motorcycle.

The other 'commentary' is yet another free propaganda piece for NB Power.

There is an excellent letter to the editor "Organic farmers can teach much".  There is also one that is either careless or uninformed "Natural gas in good for the economy".  For example, as for the incidence of cancer in western Canada- it depends on where in western Canada you are. If you live downstream from oilsands, the rate of cancer is so very high that governments have kept secret all
medical reports on it.

Interesting story on NewsToday. Green organizations are requesting  government  help to explore alternative energy sources. They point out that, though nobody in business or government talks about it, it was government that paid for much of the development of oilsands. They might also have added that governments largely paid for the development of the computer industry, the trillion dollar wars of the oil industry, the railway industry that created this country, the automotive industry and, in fact, most industries.

The Harperites are responding with a charge that all them there greens is bein' financed by American millionaires who just want to hurt Canada. Yeah. (Betcha never knew that Harper is a critic of American millionaires. Wull, I never knew it neither.duh.)

Reuters is still giving us news from Syria courtesy of a haberdasher in England who handles propaganda for the rebels.  Meanwhile, unmentioned in the TandT is news that the US forces are undergoing their biggest buildup in the region since the Iraq war.

Incredibly, the TandT still does not have the story of the stunning shambles that is security at the London Olympics. The job had been given to G4S, a private company that runs prisons, police forces, rents out assassination squads, mercenaries. It's one of the biggest companies in the world. Watch for it in Canada, coming to a prison or police force near you.

The mess is so bad that the army and British police forces have had to take over at the last minute - and security could now be one hell of a problem with this last minute change.

The president of G4S, appearing before a parliamentary committee is, according to viturally all of the British press, a complete and incompetent ass. He admits he completely messed up on the contract - only a small fraction of the promised guards ever appeared and, at that, he has no idea where they are or what their training is. But he still insists the British government owes him over a hundred million for his services. And this is the man who is slated to take over British prisons and police forces. He's also a major supplier for the US.  Good luck to the US on its prison system.

Watch Harper. He intends to move in the same privatization direction. Of course, this might change his plans for which incompetent company to choose.

A front page story sums up the attitude of The Times and Transcript to artistic or cultural activity. It's good when it fills hotel rooms and provides restaurant business.

Oh, a heartwarming story that perhaps the TandT is saving for its church section on Saturday. HBSC banking, a world-wide conglomerate has apologized for laundring hundreds of billions of dollars for drug-traffickers and other gangsters. Well - they were caught doing it. Then they apologized. Still - this should restore faith in our banking system.


  1. It's refreshing to read your column, as usual. Refreshing, not reassuring, as it's also scary as hell.

  2. It certainly scares the hell out of me.

  3. I had another comment that I couldn't post because it had an attachment that could be construed as an ad. it was a request for information on how to set up and operate a blog.
    Answer - I'm just a writer. I haven't a clue of how to properly set up a blog. The attachment you sent (and, I assume, that you did) is way superior to anything I could do.
    The best I can tell you is to start with a focus - but be prepared to modify as you and you're audience react. It's also important to be prepared to be very, very patient in building up an audience.