Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sept.12: Gee! Wayne Gretzky

Today's Victoria Colonist has an interesting story on how Harper said in 2007 that global warming is the biggest crisis the world faces. But ever since, he has been encouraging the use of fuels that create global warming (and sundry other forms of poisoning), has shut down our only station to monitor the ozone hole in the Arctic, and has put in its place a science station to encourage oil production in the Arctic. Oh, and he just relaxed regulations on the use of coal (which, as a producer of the gases that cause global warming, is even worse than oil.)

But don't worry about it. You haven't have to suffer reading any nasty stuff like that in The Moncton Times and Transcript.  Instead, put on your Oilers  sweater, sit back, and enjoy most of the front page and another page of pictures of Wayne Gretzky and trivial chatter. After all, you're only twelve once.

Apparently, people paid some 70 bucks a shot to hear discussion of the great issues of the day - like who is the greatest player after Gretzky.  Money well spent.

Nothing about shale gas leaks or about the storm of opposition to fracking in the US and around the world.  No, the purpose of the TandT is to keep people in the dark about anything of importance. It's the daily popsicle for the mind.

There is a story about a businessmen's group that wants to play a role in discussions about language in New Brunswick.(A3.) Look, kids,I don't know where business leaders get the idea they have any special talent in dealing with social issues. Their record so far on anything is not very strong. They have ruined the world economy, created a global warming that threatens our survival, spread poverty, particularly in Africa and Central America. And destabilized the whole world.

Tell you what, kids, find out where Wayne Gretzky is speaking next, get out your old Oiler sweaters, and sit back and enjoy something you understand.

There is a language issue  bubbling below the surface in New Brunswick. But it's one the francophone community has to deal with. Some of its leaders seem to be enthusiastic about the Quebec model for language. But the Quebec model has been a disaster. It has cost Quebec heavily - and things are likely to get far, far worse.

As well, there's a great difference between Acadiens and Quebecois. Quebecois are deeply racist in the form that's called nativism. That nativism breeds and feeds on hatred- and there's no future in that. Acadiens are not Quebecois. They are not living in the same situation. They are not dealing with the same problems. What is not working in Quebec is going to be even worse in New Brunswick. And that can only hurt the Acadiens. But I don't think a committee of anglos and francos is the way to solve it. Acadiens are quite capable of dealing with their own affairs.

NewsToday has a story, quite true, that both government and rebels are committing war  crimes in Syria. Big deal. I'd like to meet anyone who can name any war in history in which both sides did not commit war crimes. In every war of the past century, the majority of victims have been civilians. And it h as been quite deliberate on all sides. Torture has been freely used.  But the only people ever charged with war crimes have been the losers.

There are very strong and recent examples of war crimes by Britain, the US, Russia, and uncounted others. Tony Blair, former PM of the UK, is commonly described as a war criminal, even in the British Press. Bush and Obama and Blair are certainly war criminals, if only for their use of torture. So where are all the trials?

Israel was condemned for war crimes and for abuse of human rights by the UN on many occasions. It was saved only by the US veto.(and the silence of most of our news media.)

The only trial of note on our side was Lt. William Calley who was found guilty by a US court of murdering 112 people. (The real total of dead was closer to 800). He spent one night in jail.

Remember the marine in Aghanistan who slaughtered 30 or so women and children, then burned their bodies? Heard much news about his trial?

Meanwhile, Iraqis are being killed every day in large numbers. Two days ago, it was a hundred. Read much about it in the TandT? Or about the protesters shot by soldiers in Saudi Arabia and the Emirates?

Forget war crimes trials. They're for losers. We hang a Saddam Hussein. We don't hang a Washington cabinet minister named Rumsfeld who paid him to kill Iranis.

The only columnist worth reading on the editorial or op ed page is Alec Bruce. And he's very well worth reading. I'll just add a touch which he may or may not agree with.

Over the past sixty years, we have seen a tremendous expansion of business moving into control of government. In fact, one observer said the American system of government had become the same as that of the Roman Empire in its last days - legalized bribery.

That's always been a problem in Canada, too; and Harper has been encouraging the problem. Here in New Brunswick we see it with business people appointed by business leaders acting as official advisors to the government on economic policy. Corporate bosses can be extraordinarily arrogant people, actually believing that they have wide gifts to make decisions about human affairs.

One of their decisions was to widen what we call the wage gap - the difference between incomes of the very rich and the rest of us. So we watched it widen. We watched it for thirty years.And what happened was what should have been obvious would happen.

The very rich stored up vaults of money. Most others went downhill, and became unable to buy. Result? Recession, of course. And made worse by deregulated banks that played money games which were illegal even after deregulation. In the past month of "recovery", an additional million and a half Americans have slid below the poverty line. The very rich, meanwhile, sit on their vaults of money safely stored in tax havens.

And who do they blame for this crisis? Why, it's them there poor people, expectin' too much when they ain't  worth it.Yeah, I have a few billion. But I worked hard for it. Had only two billion to start, but built it up.It's mine. Ain't payin' it in no taxes. You got hungry kids? Your problem. Tell you what. You give me a tax break and a government grant, and it'll all get better.

We have lived increasingly well  for five hundred years based on the ability of a very few of us to exploit the resources and the people of all the world, the years of the western empires. Most of us never got much even in those "good' years. And now they're over. We need a new formula. We need an improved system of leadership and governance. And, as we face that, one thing is surely clear. He who has eyes to see, let  him see.

Business leaders do not, as a group, have the competence to run any part of a society.

Oh, skip the op ed page. That's just a lollipop with no lolli and no pop.

Oh - a last note. This blog began a couple of years ago, drawing a hundred or so viewers a month. But things are picking up. It's now running at 5000 viewers a month and - today - it should hit a grand total of 50,000. When it does, I'll crack open a lollipop.


  1. Great post! Sadly very true.

    Yes, a good number of people have likened the excesses of America today to what Rome had become as it was declining.

    Chris Hedges also makes the connection in his great lecture 'The death of the Liberal Class'. He mentions how subverted not only Rome's leaders logic had become, but also that of the crowd's.

    And today, only in America can someone like Romney vie to become the next president.

    Only in America, land of the patriotic, flag-waving Republican mantra 'jobs, jobs, jobs!', can a former wall street 'businessman' (vulture in Romney's case), entice companies to grow and overextend, and then swoop in to pick up the pieces when they fail.

    Only in our current perverted era can people think selling the assets of those companies, and forcing people to lose their livelihoods while Romney and his Wall street friends made a ton of easy money is acceptable.

    No, its criminal.

    How can anyone think this is a good plan?! How subverted to corruption do people have to be not to understand this?!

    It was the same as if Romney was conducting a Ponzi scheme to bilk money from people who ended up losing their homes.

    And a lot of people think this is the guy they want for president???!!!

    If it wasn't so comically tragic, I'd laugh.

    Here in Canada, an individual with no morals like Stephen Harper is just following by example.

  2. I think it is significant that they're talking about two sides committing atrocities- usually, there is silence about the atrocities of one side. Good victims and bad victims. The fact that the "good guys" in Syria are being identified as not necessarily good- well, that's new.

    1. True enough. And I'm glad to see it happening at last.
      And, since Obama has approved aid to the rebels, that makes the US a supporter of terrorism and, therefore, subject by American law and practice to sanctions.