Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dec. 5: Always be suspicious....

At the bottom of A1 of the Moncton Times and Transcript is a column by Brent Mazerolle, the TandT's chief hatchet man.  In just four years, the city's labour costs have risen by ( hide this from the women and children)------------ 3%. Wow! Let's see, now -3 multiplied by the cost of postage stamps, then the square root of the number of hockey pucks used by the Wildcats in season..... Why, that's almost one percent for every one of those years. This is sheer madness. And what is causing it?

Is it possible that it has had something to do with city projects in that period? We don't know. Young Brent doesn't even look at that. No. But he does take a long look at them those unions. Drivin' us to perdition they is. Nor does he waste any time looking at the inflation rate (almost one percent per year.)

And so you got them there city workers sashaying around and wavin' their money in the faces of our business leaders who don't know where their next billion is going to come from.

Has Brent Mazerolle ever written a report on what percentage of our money goes to corporations in the form of gifts, grants, tax breaks, overpriced contracts, etc.? Does anybody think he ever will?
For contrast, turn to C4. Take a look at some of the really big money being dished out to "labour" at the highest levels of the civil service, such as the head of NB Energy. And check out how many people are getting those high salaries. Then notice how quickly those top salaries have been rising, and how the number of people getting them has been rising. While NB Power has been talking of cutting back to pay down its debt, it has increased its higher-salaried staff

But there's not a hint in the TandT story of anything wrong with .  But two point eight percent for bus drivers? A-a-a-a-h. They aren't worth it. Damn union. At NP Power, the number of those getting a hundred thousand or more has jumped, in just two years, from 580 to 739. Nor is that the whole story.

The government service follows the private model. That is, it shows contempt for the lower paid jobs, and real hatred of those unions. But for the top level jobs, nothing is too good. Even getting fired for doing a lousy job is rewarded.

If you get fired as a bus driver because you're not a good driver,you're just fired. That's it. But get fired from a top job in either government of private business because you have botched everything and caused millions in losses? Well, then you're looking at a goodbye gift of half a million at least - and often far more than that.
On the op ed page, Brian Cormier and Eric Lewis have less to say than the SPCA's pet of the day at the bottom of the page.
The editorial is, yet again, on the 'events' centre. Again, it's written with the skill of a hired propagandist. It's about a city councillor, Daniel Bourgeois, who suggests the real cost of a centre will not be 100 million, but more like 165 million.

While pretending to be impartial and calm, the editorial is cleverly set up to discredit the councillor. The headline, for example, is "Real Concerns or Fear Mongering?"   And that sets the tone. It's built on in the second paragraph, "...we will take Mr. Bourgeois at his word and assume his statement is based on real concerns rather than cheap politicking." That's a particularly slimy way to plant the idea that m. Bourgeois IS politicking - without entering the slightest evidence that he is.

Then, rubbing it in, the writer suggests council appoint a mature, experienced councillor to be a watchdog on the project - a neat way to plant the idea that m. Bourgeois is immature and inexperienced. Concentrating on the watchdog also takes us away from the real issue. Is the project wise in the first place? If it isn't then a watchdog becomes just a helpless spectator watching a disaster.

This editorial was not written by Norbert.  You can tell.  Norbert rants.  Rod Allen?  I don't think so. I haven't seen any skill in him or any of the editors to write in this slimily clever way. This is a very skilful example of lying by insinuating. It takes training to do that. I remain convinced that the TandT has lately been getting its events centre editorials written though a "communicatons'  company - perhaps even from one within an easy walk of the TandT offices.
Alec Bruce has the first, intelligent column I have seen on the proposal for maritime union. It's a sensible column. But I'm not convinced that sense is a factor here. Nor are our opinions a factor.

Confederation of Canada did not happen in the first place because British North Americans liked each other or shared a culture. In fact, nobody cared what they thought. Confederation happened because wealthy and influential investors in Britain wanted it to happen. It was needed so they could build a profitable railway and shipping line connecting to British Imperial markets all over the world.

Today, maritime union will happen if the local financial barons want it to. If they want it, you will see the Irving papers full of babble about our common culture, etc. If they don't, you will see the Irving papers babble about cultural differences, mutual suspicions as if we were three primitive, tribal regions, each with its own gods.
Oh, the UN (NewsToday, C1)has issued a strong warning about climate change and the disasters it will trigger. Will it have any effect? Probably not.

It's a very human quality for us - of all degrees of intelligence - to see only what we want to see. That's why it's very human to be good at one thing - and to be terrible at everything else.

Mr. Harper is a smug and confident man. He also has a considerable skill in maintaining his authority. His weakness? He does not see what he does not want to see. He doesn't believe in climate change. So he doesn't see it. He doesn't see damage to the environment. If you took him by the hand to an area in which the land was poisoned and the animals extinct, he would look at it - but not see it. We all know people like that.They will not see anything they don't want to see or don't want to understand.

In consequence, far from responding to environmental problems, Harper has done more to dismantle existing protections than any prime minister in Canadian history. And Canada's sluggishness in dealing with climate change has become an international scandal.

In this,  he is supported by business leaders in Canada and the US. They, too, don't see any problems because it is not in their interest to see them. Clever as they may be in making money, they are commonly of low intelligence in anything else. Unfortunately, their ability to make money has convinced them that they possess a broad wisdom, so broad that, as Mr. Irving suggested, they have a right, a right by birth and social station, to take part in government. And they really believe it.

And as long as we accept that view, we will be in trouble.

1 comment:

  1. Labour costs, in the hands of a "slick" accounting type, mean NOTHING. Though I should probably say: they mean exactly what that "slick" accounting type wants them to say. It's called "outsourcing". Contractors, and/or contract workers, are an entirely different line item on a balance sheet. I'd be willing to bet: that while the "labour cost" line item only increased 1% a year, the cost of contracts/contract labour doubled?