Friday, September 21, 2012

Sept. 21: I agree with Premier Alward.....

....and, oh, it hurts.

I don't agree with the values (if they have any) of the New Brunswick Conservatives or the Liberals. Therefore, I would not run for office for either of them. Nor would I vote for either. But  Dr. Parrot joined the Conservative club and sat, not only in the legislature as a Conservative, but as a member of the caucus in which the party carries on its confidential discussions.

Dr. Parrott expresses quite different views from the party, and expresses them publicly. So Mr. Alward says he can't come to the clubhouse any more. Fair enough. Nobody is saying he can't say whatever he wants to say - any time, any place. He still has a seat in the legislature. He still has full access to the public and to the news media. He can still criticize the government.

Indeed, I cannot understand why he ran as a Conservative in the first place. He seems to have nothing in common with that party. Or with the Liberals.  (and, in my book, that's good.) So he should check out the other parties. If he doesn't like them, he should start his own or run as an independent. (Indeed, his popularity might make him a quite challenging independent.)

But, in expelling him from caucus, Premier Alward did what any party leader has every right to do. (In fact, I would at least have called him on the carpet for the way he expressed himself on language duality.)

There's a story on p. A7 that reminds me of a time I asked a man who he hired to plough his driveway. What I got was a long answer, delivered in something between a whine and a teary plea for justice. What I got was a lecture, a cry of despair that there aren't enough enterpreneurs in this world. We live, apparently, in world of people with no drive, no hustle, no ambition, no spirit of enterprise. It wasn't an answer so much as it was an appeal to justice and to the deepest values.

At the end, he said, yes, he knew a man who would do it for $20. This information was followed by another whine, "He's an entrepreneur", and the whine really meant, "Why aren't there more people like that?"

Well, the man I was questioning was a quite successful businessman. He lived in the propaganda world of big business, a propaganda I had seen often enough spread in commerce courses as well as in The Moncton Times and Transcript. Entrepreneurs are good. Entrepreneurs build societies and prosperity. We should encourage everybody to be an entrepreneur, and then get out of the way. Get rid of government regulations and taxation that only crush the souls of these saints.

Now to p. A7. "Youth need incentives to stay in the province: panel". 'Moncton businessman George Donovan says we need to breed a new generation of enterpreneurs and get out of their way'. (that last bit is a hint of the Norbert rant, 'government is bad.' (except, of course, when its giving tax reductions and forest land, etc. to the boss.)

The "panel" was an activity of an independent think tank - you know, one of those independent think tanks whose board of governors is made up of independent thinking business executives. Yep - entrepreneurship without any restraint is good. Never mind that it has created the economic disaster we living through, that it lives off brutal exploitation and poverty in countries like Haiti and Congo (and, often enough, Canada.) We'll forget, for the moment, it makes money out of an infrastructure it refuses to pay taxes for. We'll even forget that pay raises seldom come from "entrepreneurs". They more often come from the workers themselves when they join unions.

And entrepreneurs, the very big ones, have created the growing wage gap that is destroying western society. They are,as well, hypocrites. For all their preaching about government being bad and inefficient, They need big government. They live off it. They need big government to fight their wars, to supply them with roads and bridges and trained workers, to give them resources like timber and oil, to quash any civil unrest they cause. They need big government to buy their produce. If the US, for example, didn't have a government big enough to buy more weapons than any country in the world, it would have almost no industry at all.

Yes, this is a role for the entrepreneur. But it would be nice to have a newspaper to give us balanced information rather than just publicity blurbs for "think" tanks.

By the way, if the panel were one on how young people should get active in unions,  would the TandT have made such a big story - or any story - out of it?

In NewsToday (which, like all newspapers, is really NewsYesterday), there is one story worth a read. "Minister vows to end prison pizza parties". The minister is Vic Toews, Canada's minister of public safety - which includes prisons ,who is very worried that eating pizzas and having chocolate bunnies (which do not raise prison costs), will spoil prisoners, That going for a walk with their families will turn them into raging beasts. Lots of people, who know nothing about prisons or the people in the them, think he's right. That's why he and Harper are busy returning our prison system to medieval times - to create even more and worse criminals.

That appeals to the people who vote for the Harpers and Toews of this world.

Norbert's column looks nice; but it's so vague (and sometimes so plain wrong) that it's just meaningless. He uses the word ideology, for example, without seeming to know what it means. Or he makes ideology acceptable for one party  (the Conservatives) while unacceptable for another party (the NDP) - even though the Ottawa Conservatives are far the most ideological of the two.

As well, he refers to news media as 'biased' media - the implication being that they aren't biased at all. Come off it, Norm.  Look in a mirror.

In an intriguing column, Alec Bruce talks of the rise of unmarried couples, of single parents as shown in the census. Without taking any side as right, doesn't this suggest a more general breakdown of social customs? We have a rise of consumerism, a rise is self-centredness, a decline of community volunteerism (most notable in the near collapse of youth groups which were so prominent from about 1900 into the 1970s. A large part of this collapse due to the lack of adult volunteers.) Then there is the decline of religious institutions, not only in numbers but in activities.

In parallel, we have developed a business ethic that says self-interest is good. Greed is good. That concern only for oneself is good. There is surely a good deal more to this census that shows in the figures.

A final thought, I came across information that Crandall University, which discriminates against gays, has received, on average, some two million dollars a year from us tax payers. I had known about the $150,000 from the city. But two million a year from public funds?

I cannot recall ever reading a report on this in the TandT.  Has any read ever seen one?

I have read all the Baptist defences of this. It is certainly true that they have a right to exercise their religious beliefs. But there are at least two exceptions to this. They don't have a right to inflict their beliefs on others. And they don't have a right to expect taxpayers to pay for the cost of their religious beliefs.

Consider this. Moslems set up a university in Moncton. They refuse to permit either Christians or Jews any access to employment in it or use of it. They also demand 200 million a year in taxpayers' money.

Do you see Moncton's Baptists out there demonstrating in the streets in favour of Moslem U and its government handouts?

And let's not even guess how they would react to a gay university.




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