Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dec. 14: hang out the flags, serve the drinks....

...this is a proud, proud day for Canada. Under the leadership of Harper, Canada today becomes the first country in the world to pull out of the Kyoto accord to control climate change. Imagine. Canada leading the world because, as Harper says, "the Kyoto accord is socialist". Why is it socialist? Because it takes money from the rich countries and gives it to the poor ones.

So that's what socialist means! Harper also says Sweden is a socialist country. But Sweden doesn't take money from rich countries and give it to poor ones. Oh! I get do confused.

Oil companies certainly don't intend to let anybody take any money from them. So they say there is no climate change problem. And they probably believe it. People are like that. If they don't want to believe something, well then, it isn't true because there is only one truth. And they have it.

That's why Harper exercises so much control over the members of the party and his cabinet. That's why he is so supremely confident. Harper is an ideologue. He has the truth, and the only truth. And the truth is that the only function of government is to ensure that the rich get richer. And if that conflicts with scientific opinion about what this is doing to the climate, the scientific opinion is wrong - maybe even :"socialist".

This man is an economist, an economist actually doesn't know what the word socialist means. But in his locked, little mind, he thinks he knows. He has the truth, the only truth, a truth beyond the understanding of us mere humans. He is an ideologue - which is something like being a religious fanatic who hears voices.

Harper is the only ideological prime minister this country has ever had. And the most dangerous one we have ever had.

That's why today we are leading the world in pulling out of Kyoto. So break out the champagne. (Oh, the story didn't make the TandT. Of course not.)
The big story in every paper is the school shooting in Connecticut. But I haven't seen any coverage that sees the full meaning of this tragedy.

Most of the focus is on calls for gun control. But that's not going to happen to any meaningful degree. It's not going to happen for the same reason that Canada is going to pay any attention to climate control. There's big money in the sale of guns. And that's only part of it.

There's also an ideology behind gun sales. Ideology - that belief of so many of us that we have the truth and the only truth whatever the evidence may say. The gun ideology is that American freedom and democracy arose out of violence and guns, that government may at any time become dictatorial, making it necessary for patriots to take up their guns. That's why why freedom to own assault rifles and other automatic weapons with large ammo capacity is so important. You need to match the military that you will be fighting with.

And the moment is here. Obama is not really an American. Obama is really a Moslem terrorist. The moment for patriots has come. Millions of Americans believe that.

It's an attitude supported by a generalized atmosphere of hared and fear encouraged by government and news media. America, the most powerful nation in the world, is constantly being attacked by enemies like Grenada, Libya, Venezuela, Cuba, by the sandaled warriors of Afghanistan. The nation with the world's most powerful forces and most defendable location lives in fear and hysteria or attack from small and backward nations.

All of this supports the gun culture. The killings were, indeed, terrible. What's even more terrible is that nothing will be done about them. Big business in the US needs a nation that lives in fear and hysteria to justify the use of the military for its own ends.

Oh, no newspaper that I have seen mentioned it, but I wonder how many children were killed yesterday in Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, Yeman, Somalia? How many were killed by drones? by bombs? by trigger-happy soldiers? How many children were killed in the great slaughters in Guatemala and Iraq?

Of course, they're different.
The front page has a very unprofessional news story, unprofessional because it's not a news story at all. It's "Should N.B. follow Ont. lead on teachers?" When I first looked at the story, I wondered who could have made such a proposal. It turns out nobody has. And, according to the story, the NB government isn't even thinking about it.

So why do we have a front page story on something that didn't happen and that nobody suggests should happen? This makes as much sense as having a story on whether all Monctonians should be dipped in luminous paint so that drivers can see them. Why on earth would a newspaper run such a non-story?

One possibility is crashing ignorance among TandT editors about what  a news story is. I would hate, of course, to have to make such a suggestion. But the only other possible interpretation is that the TandT is deliberately trying to create an atmosphere of tension around education salary negotiations. Perhaps the owner has something in mind? Let's watch the TandT for developments.
The Liberals say "It's time to move past Atcon..." (Acton is the company that seemingly falsified its financial record to get 50 million dollars from us taxpayers, all of which we got stuck for.) If that's what happened, it's a crime. It also suggests gross incompetence the part of the Liberal former government. Somebody should be facing criminal charges. But NB governments take a very Christian, forgiving attitude to crime. I mean, there no point in pursuing respectable criminals.

And the Alward government has done nothing to take up the slack in this case. Did Atcon commit a criminal offense? If so shouldn't there be a charge - not matter who the government is right now?
On the same page, D4, is a story by Shawn Berry. It's worth reading because this is what a news story should look like. "Reverse 2009 tax cuts, gov't urged".  It reports on a position taken by a large number of economists in this province, explains their case well, allows a response from Victor Boudreau (who was finance minister in 2009) - but not until after the story has made the position of the economists quite clear.

This is clear, honest, and thoroughly professional reporting.

(I could wish he had asked Boudreau a tough question or two because Boudreau's statement is both vague and slippery.)   But this is still good reporting.
There is nothing really worth reading on the  editorial or op ed pages. Even Gwynne Dyer, who does have a point, lbut acks punch in this one.

On the Faith page, it looks as though columnist David Yount has become a regular feature in his role of feeding religious banalities to the intellectually toothless. This is a page with no news, no debate, no opinion worth discussing,

The sermonette is on giving to the poor at Christmas.I have no quarrel with that. But....
......if we have so many people in need that it is up to individuals to give them food (if only one day a year), then we do not live in a Christian (or any other kind of religion) society. We do not think of our governments (nor do they think of themselves) in terms of anything resembling morality.

Actually there are, of course, many people who are moral without having any religion, just as there are many people who have loads of religion (or religiosity) but not a bit of morality.Judging by the Faith page and the whole paper, I would put the TandT in the latter category.


  1. * It reports on a position taken by a large number of economists in this province*

    Must you be reminded that it was these very same "economists" who recommended these tax cuts?
    Must you also be reminded that most "economists" have not worked a day it their lives? (especially this "group": made up from academics, so neither have they worked a day in their lives, they very likely have never had a "real" job).
    Does it not seem to you that the "trouble" only begins when we place people in charge of things who have never worked a day in their lives?

  2. Well, I usually don't go to bat for economists. But it's a bit hard to say they've never worked a day in their lives, and never had a 'real' job. I suggest you try doing research, writing it up, teaching - and then tell me what a gas it is.
    BTW, I have also worked in a factory, a particularly foul one at low pay. Amd I was some four years at the lowest and most miserable level in an office. I know it's not a rewarding experience as I found teaching to be - but both are work.
    Trouble only begins when the people in charge have never worked a day in their lives? Hitler worked. Mussolini worked. Stalin worked.
    Bush never worked - but then, he was a disaster.
    I wasn't aware that these economists recommended the tax break in the first place - and that makes me wonder why Boudreau didn't say so. Do you have evidence that the cuts they recommended are the same ones that Boudreau made?

  3. You don't give a bat, Graham? Is that because you're a moron?

    I see you haven't published my other reply? Why is that? To much of a coward to admit the truth?

  4. I published the above note because Mr. Rumain has managed to clean up his language. And I think it's a good idea for readers to see what's out there.

    Mr. Rumain appears to be searching for people to read his blog. (Actually, being mostly pictures and venom it doesn't require much reading skill.)

    Judging from what I read, he's an anti-moslem bigot who uses his blog to vomit a sort of racist hatred.

    I probably won't publish another from him. But I do think it's useful to remember there are people like him out there.

  5. About the shooting in the US, please read this article and my comment below :

    I agree with what you're saying about the "gun culture" there, but I think we are also ignoring a very big elephant in the room, and that is that we live in a patriarchal society that encourages men to be violent...It seems that it is not « politically correct » to talk about the fact that most of these crimes are committed by men...But how can we prevent violence if we don't look at who's committing it ? It would be like trying to prevent breast cancer and withholding the fact that it mostly affects women...So I don't think that it's the gun culture alone that caused this massacre...It's also our very patriarchal society, and the refusal of society to address the root cause of violence...Andie C.

  6. Graeme, I don't know why you post Rumain's comments...They are just vulgar and offensive and bring nothing to the discussion...He is not bringing forward arguments, but just insulting you...I say : delete, delete, delete...There is no reason to give this troll visibility...Andie C.

  7. Oh, you're quite right. the gun culture is itself a product of a male violence culture. Read the sports page any day. Notice the use of warlike language "Wildtown catfight". Listen to Don Cherry, and guess what mentality he appeals to.

    And it's all made worse by a nation whipped into a frenzy of fear and hatred by its government and news media. Imagine, the country with the world's most powerful military - by far - lives in terror of Cuba, Afghanistan, Libya.....

    The violence inflicted on women may also be a product of the unadmitted sense of failure that so many men in our society see in themselves - but that's a long story.

    As to Rumain, I usually delete him. I let him in occasionally as a reminder of what's out there. He's in the Don cherry audience.

    His site in a monument to bigotry, ignorance and hatred -all the signs of a man who knows how worthless he is. there's a sadness in that, just as their must have been sadness in the sight of people with leprosy or a dog with rabies.

    This is another excellent article about male-pattern violence, for anyone who is interested...Andie C.