Monday, October 8, 2012

Oct. 5: Will NB get new area code?


Read NewsToday for all YOU need to know about the world.  One page.

The editorial is simple-minded hypocrisy of what we have to be thankful for on this day - free speech,open dialogue on matters like the environment...

Bull shit Mr. editor. and no-one knows that better than you. You and your friends have withheld the information we need to have an open dialogue. Anybody you don't agree with gets smeared in your newpapers - and there are no other newspapers on the stands. (Though there is the Moncton Free Press on the web. Check google.)

Craig Babstock and Allen Abel combine on the op ed page to say nothing

Alec Bruce writes an amusing column - and it's not as light as it might look; there's a hard edge of truth in it.

And as for Norbert - the kid does it again. Right out of the ball park with a column on climate change. Norbert says we have to deal with it now. And Norbert is right... but...

1. Which newspapers are the ones who have been holding back information on the risk of environmental abuse in this province? Read much about shale gas in the TandT?
2. Our municipal politicians are planning to look ahead on this issue as regards the danger of flooding, says Norbert. He congratulates them, though adding that politicians seldom look ahead.
Well, okay. But who has been looking ahead on this one? The Moncton Times and Transcript? The corporate bosses? In fact, the latter are the ones who have been getting in the way of looking ahead. They're the ones who own the politicians and the news media that have downplayed the dangers facing us, and have encouraged risk for the sake of their profits.

Worse, the corporate bosses have demonstrated very clearly that they are not capable of planning ahead. All around the world economies are in ruin. Levels of poverty in North America are reaching levels we haven't seen in a century - even as the rich are themselves reaching news levels of wealth. Face it, Norbert, these people you have been praising for their enterprise are greedy, short-sighted, and self-obsessed.

In t his case, notice that it's civil servants and municipal politicians who are taking the lead - not corporations. Not for the rich this planning for the future. They're too busy with the present - as in getting rid of a large piece of contaminated land that they don't want to pay for cleaning up.

Earlier, I said I would take a look at what the corporations are planning for us. Okay. This is a slow day.

I said corporations actually require big government. Their banks go broke? They need big government to bail them out. Oil supplies are in jeopardy? They need big government to fight wars to stop that. People are opposed to shale gas? They need big government to make the world safe for polluters. And, very soon, people rise up against the poverty and dangers being forced on them? Corporate bosses need departments of homeland security to buy lots and lots of ammunition to shoot at them.

So where is this all heading?

 Corporations want control of all major political parties. This has largely been achieved. In the US, they are now fighting the most expensive election in world  history. The resources for press control, for psychological manipulation of the voters,for advertising, for spreading lies are enormous - and all of them come from the very, very rich. One effect has been that the two most immediate and pressing issues have not even been mentioned by either side - the closeness of nuclear war, and the crisis of climate change.
Result? It could not matter less whether Mitt or Obama wins. Both are controlled by much the same money.

American politics are even a bigger comic opera than New Brunswick politics.

Why do corporations and the very wealthy want this control? Well, there's the obvious need to keep their taxes down, and so to discourage social programmes, education spending, etc. But there's something even more important.

Government spending has become huge, necessarily so in a modern society. Corporations want that tax money, your tax money, for their profit. They want to privatize everything they can -education, police, prisons, the military. They don't want government to charge them taxes. It wants government to charge everybody else taxes, then hand them all over to private business.

They want politicians, as our representatives, to take full responsibility. But they want them to have no power and, certainly, no power to regulate big business. They want us to be sheep in the field with no shepherd. They want to be wolves who are free to dine as they like. That's what 'think tanks' like Atlantic Institute of Market Studies are all about. Thats what The Moncton Times and Transcript is all about. That's why they're eager to destroy CBC as the US has destroyed Public Broadcasting. That's why Norbert is forever telling us how incompetent civil servants are.

The movement for a world run by the wealthy has gone a long away. Here, we have our cutely named Public/Private Partnerships (yeah. that's what we'll call it - partnership.) In the US,we have public schools that are privately owned but charge fees as well as getting tax money. All people are created equal; but in the US that changes when they go to school.)

Britain has private prisons and private police forces. Private armies operate all over the world, the largest private one being that of the US.  All of this requires control against those foolish, ordinary people who don't know what's good for them. So we have massive domestic spying. In the US, some five million people are on lists as suspected terrorists -or whatever -  All of us all over the world are now easily watched at every movement by spy drones.

We're watching power over the whole world being gathered into a very few hands to a degree and with means of enforcement never seen before.

Go to the Irving Chapel this Thanksgiving. Go by all means. And as you sit in that hallowed room, reflect on that.

In general, the privatization of everything has proved disastrous. Of course. A society is not simply a creature of economic principles and self-interest. Schools and police forces and social services have to be run on moral principles. The foundation of a society has to be moral. It doesn't have to be a religious morality. But some sense of morality, of the worth of people, of our obligations to the whole society have to be there. Morality exists and has existed for millennia because it's practical, because it's a necessity for survival.

Corporations do not operate on morality. They exist only to make profits. Nothing else. Morality means consideration for others, not just for yourself. You can cover the earth with Irving chapels, and still not change that reality.

The greatest single crisis we face is the intrusion of powerful corporations into our democracy, and into the moral base of our society. There are, most certainly, other and very serious problems. But we cannot deal with them until we take power back from those who are stealing it from us.

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