Friday, November 2, 2012

Nov.2: Wow! Big news..........

...that didn't make The Moncton Times and Transcript - even though it came out in plenty of time.
The Alberta oilsands may be running into serious trouble. Its processing is so expensive that the energy bosses are cutting back on investing because the profits are so small. Oilsands is the main driver of the Canadian economy.

How do we know oilsands is in trouble? Because the CBC did some digging to get the story when it came across a government memo about it. Get the hint, Norbert? It wasn't the Irving press. It wasn't Rogers. It was that terrible, government-owned service, the CBC.

In other news, the New Brunswick deficit is way up, growth in New Brunswick, Canada, and the US is expected to be very, very slow.

Oh! I know. What a great time this would be to borrow a hundred million to build an events centre so that all the unemployed from all over can flock to Moncton to watch hockey games and shop in the boutiques of Main St.!
 I notice in some papers that people are told where the tax money comes from and what it goes on. I have never seen that in New Brunswick. Exactly how much do corporations take out of this province in profits and grants and favours? In real income tax, what percentage of that profit is taxed. I don't mean the official rate. I mean how much do they actually pay? And, please - give the percentage. Don't play games with numbers.

In US papers, to their credit, it is possible to find such figures - and to learn that some of some of the wealthiest corporations and the wealthiest individuals in the US commonly pay no taxes at all. That's right. Billions of dollars in profits - and not a penny for income tax. So what's the scoop on where our money goes and where it doesn't come from? If other people can find out, why can't we?

So, perhaps if Rod Allen could lay aside his pumpkin knife, and if  "the Hump" would put a lid on the latest hot news about a birthday party he went to, we could learn something we really have to know.

Funny thing about the American election that most of the American media has missed as, of course, has the TandT.

In the American  election campaign, neither Obama nor Romney has mentioned climate change. Then we get Hurricane Sandy with suggestions that it might have something to do  with global warming. And still neither Obama nor Romney is saying a word about climate change. In a campaign which has generally avoided serious issues (most of the debate has been empty sloganeering), the absence of climate, especially after that storm and its death toll, is surely astonishing.

Why aren't they talking about it? Because Obama and Romney are fighting the most expensive election in world history. And both of them need the donations of the energy industry.And the industry in not interested in hearing discussion about the impact of oil and other fuels on our world.

So don't hold  your breath waiting for any story on this to appear in the TandT.

Also stunningly absent in the Tand T is any news about the very dangerous turn the language debate has taken in Quebec, and about the levels of corruption in provincial and municipal government of that province.

In reality, the corruption in Quebec has been common knowledge for generations. My elementary school classmates in Montreal were the children of the mafioso. By grade seven, I knew all about how they controlled construction, how the Irish mob controlled the docks, how the Jewish mob controlled illegal gambling, and the West End Gang bank robbery and drugs. (In fact, I would later teach at least two members of the West  End Gang.) Us kids even knew how the police cooperated with the mobs by helping them dispose of leftover bodies. Later, I would learn how the prison system was open house to drug dealers.

We New Brunswickers should be told how Quebec is ripped off by gangs of low-class bums.

Then, we could take pride that we are ripped off by a much higher class of bums.

P. C11 has a report on a talk by a CEO about how New Brunswick could prosper. It could attract companies that operate outside the province, but could be based here with all the high paying jobs that a head office has. Right. And why would they move head offices here?

Well, of course, there would be concessions, loans, subsidies.... Tell y' what, Mr. CEO, wouldn't it be cheaper to do that simply by raising the salaries of municipal bus employees?

The editorial is its usual village idiot level with a defence of the intrusion of private medical services in New Brunswick in the form of an MRI clinic.
"We Say: Private clinics have not 'destroyed' medicare," trumpets the blurb.

1. Very few people care what you say.
2. Nobody ever said private clinics have destroyed medicare. Given the obvious presence of medicare, that would be a pretty silly thing to say. What has been said, and accurately, is that this is a weakening of the principle of medicare.
3. The principle of medicare is that health is not a commodity to be bartered in the market place, that we all should have equal access to medicare. Private health care, especially for such an expensive service, means that its not equal. Health becomes a commodity again  - like a luxury car or a new gown. It hasn't destroyed medicare. But it certainly has delivered it a kick in the crotch.
4. It also costs more than medicare. Common sense tells you (or should tell you)  that a service which has to make a profit has to cost more than one that doesn't make a profit.
5. In sum, then, all this means that more money will be spent on medicare in this province - and most of the additional money will be spent on and for the better off.

Tell you what, Mr. editor, if we don't have enough MRI machines and if there are enough people with enough spare money to pay more for special service, then maybe we should be taking a closer look at the tax structure of this province.

Norbert has a superb column. It's reasonable. It's intelligent. It's well written.  He raises some very thoughtful points about Hurricane Sandy and it's meaning - at least one point that I have not seen raised anywhere else. This is good stuff. Nothing fancy. No rant. Just good sense clearly explained so that we can all follow it. This is what journalistic opinion is supposed to be.

Alec Bruce has an important column, too. It's about the cuts the federal government is making in scientific research.What Harper is doing is throwing this country wide open to environmental damage from which, quite possibly, it can never recover. We have never had such a prime minister before - a blinkered ideologue,a man who has contempt for democracy - and close to absolute power based on the support of only a third of the population. (and, no, there is nothing anti-conservative about this.. If you think there is, then open a dictionary and look up conservative. There is nothing conservative about Harper. On the contrary, when it comes to the economy, he is the most radical liberal this country has ever produced. And we are gong to pay one hell of a price for it.

And there's a very readable op ed page. That means almost two good pages in today's Moncton Times and Tribune. And that ties the record.

For those of you who collect letters that are both smug and ill-informed, there are two in letters to the editor that deserve attention. The smuggest and most ill-informed one was chosen, predictably, as the letter of the day. The runner-up is "Little point in learning French"

But to end your reading on a happy note, there's a very clever letter from Don Leblanc of Moncton.

Remember 1. Tuesday Nov. 4 - current events - Moncton Library. 7 p.m.
                  2. Wednesday, Nov. 16 - Dr. Cleary - 22 Church St.

1 comment:

  1. In the spirit of language regulated business advertising I just have to ask: Does that there MRI speak English, or french?