Monday, October 22, 2012

Oct.22: Just back from anti-lockout demo....

..the one by bus drivers and mechanics at city hall. There were some 30 or so protesters being quite peaceful, a squad car, and eight or so "security" guards rather amateurishly  placed at considerable intervals around the perimeter. They didn't look like police. The looked more like private guards hired in a hurry, and with minimal training.

I saw no reporters. Nor had I noticed any advance notice in the TandT, though it was known from at least Friday that the demonstration would be held. Watch for minimal coverage tomorrow. Watch for no coverage of the story that lurks behind this. My strong guess is that the lockout is deliberately planned to break the union, hand over the system to private ownership - then to cost more than we are paying now.

CBC News (but not the Times and Transcript) had a report on the salaries paid to high level city hall employees - well over a hundred thousand. The big numbers would include, I suppose, the genius who planned Codiac's routes. I was never able to figure them out.

The buses in Shanghai with its population of some 20 million are easy. From the start, I rode them alone, and with no help. But the Bus routes of Metro Moncton beat me. That wasn't the fault of the drivers who, as we are told, "aren't worth what they're asking for." No, it was the fault of somebody at city hall who was getting two or three times what a driver got.

Obviously, the mayor's talent is not in deciding what people are worth.

Perhaps the only important story in a particularly dreary edition of the Tand T is buried on A8, a brief, space-filler on the widening gap between rich and poor in, well, almost everywhere, and very noticeable in New Brunswick. The report, by Brent Mazerolle who attended a meeting of the "poverty summit", is the usual stenography reporting of the TandT, so it's hard to get any full idea of what was said at the meeting on this subject. I would hope that at least two points came up.

1. That a widespread drop in income means the loss of at least a generation for New Brunswick. Children raised in very low income conditions commonly do badly in school, and drop out early. It has nothing to do with brain power, but everything to do with income and social surroundings. That means the skills they might have had and the contributions they might have made will never happen. That's a loss for all of us, and one that is likely to be continued in the children they produce.

2. The stated attitude of City Council toward bus drivers - "they aren't worth the money" as it was delicately put in a Times and Transcript column. Turning people into commodities is not only immoral, a denial of their existence as human at all. But there are practical reasons for morality. Morality is not just a lot of goody-goody stuff. To use the power of big money to strip most of the nation of its sense of humanity is also economically fatal. To take money out of most pockets and stuff it into the pockets of a few is a guarantee that recession will become depression.

That, in turn will breed violence; violence will breed repression; and repression will put an end to democracy. And that's where we're headed.

The rich, who demand ever more power and more riches,are  quite incompetent to run an economy or a society. The evidence of that is all around us.  But you won't find it in Mazerolle's story of the meeting.

By the way, I mentioned this is a moral issue. Too bad so few clergy make that connection in their Sunday sermons.

The lead story on page 1 is "Tidal energy 'not a big priority for N.B."  Who would have guessed it? It's a long story, and that's understandable. It takes a while to explain what NB is not doing.

The big story in NewsToday is that the US is having an election on Nov. 6. Wow! Great scoop.

Alec Bruce has a solid column on the editorial page. The rest of the editorial and op ed pages are - like all the rest of the paper - pure trivia. Food for thought for the editor - if he ever does think.....this paper has nothing in it. Now, unlike a person, a newspaper really is a commodity. And, being a commodity, this one is not worth the price, not worth any price. Why should we pay for it? Let Mr. Irving pay for it. After all, it's his propaganda.

Today's Moncton Times and Transcript has a big picture of the Legs for Literacy run on its front page. That's odd because the TandT is a major force for discouraging literacy in this province. It's irrelevant stories and opinion columns  (most of them) offer no reason to read at all. The Moncton Times and Transcript is the major force in keeping us uninformed and uninterested in the issues crucial to our lives. We can all run our little legs off; but this province will remain a literary death zone so long as it is dominated BrunswickNews.

And it's not simply because the staff is incompetent. (not entirely, at least.) It's because this paper is designed to discourage reading and thinking. It's the newspaper that serves those who want New Brunswickers to be in the dark, to be poor, to take the blame for all the misery forced on them by their politicians and their corporate leaders.

It was very hard to write a blog on this today because it was just so...nothing. I read every page. And the only item that caught my eye was a brief note that a rapper named Shaggy is 44 today.

I knew I was in trouble when that was all that caught my eye.

Sorry for such a boring blog today. Not my fault.

1 comment:

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