Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Jan. 30:winter is cold. pennies are useful...

...That's it. That's the op ed page of The Moncton Times and Transcript. You know, the op ed page, where two-fisted, crusading journalists give their fearless opinions of the news behind the news. The Canadian penny is going out of production. But the penny will still be legal tenders for years. This is the opinion of Eric Lewis, staff writer. And he's not afraid to say so right up front. He even provides insights on how to keep piles of pennies on your bureau.

Not to be outdone, writer and communications professional Brent Mazerolle comes right out and tells the truth. Winter is cold.

I had to lie down and take a rest after reading these.

The editorial is one we could have guessed. There should be no tax increases in the budget. Most especially, we must not tax the very rich and their corporations. My goodness, if you let the rich keep their huge profits, they'll spend them on us - and we'll all get rich. Just like in the Great Depression of the 1930s.

And prosperity is just around the corner. And that, too, is just like the Great Depression of the 1930s.

In fact, there is no sign the western economies are recovering. There is no evidence that the wealth piled up by the rich will make us prosperous. Corporations can spend their money anywhere in the world, not just in New Brunswick. If wealthy corporations meant a prosperous society, Haiti would have streets paved with gold - instead of being the poorest country in the western hemisphere.

But the editor knows what Mr. Irving wants. And the finance minister knows, too. The poor  will pay for the recession in cut services. The middle class will pay in taxes.- and in cut services like education and health. Only one social project is safe.

We must have a hundred milllion dollar hockey rink.

Alec Bruce talks about jobs from building a pipeline. That doesn't sound like a long-term remedy. Nor is it likely all those jobs will go to New Brunswickers.

We have two fundamental problems. One is that the whole western world probably faces a serious and very long term economic decline.

The second is that this province is run by a very few who control everything, and who think only of themselves. And they back it up (with TandT cooperation) with hokum economics theories about how making the super-rich even richer will benefit us.  So how come the super-rich have been getting richer for over 30 years while the rest of us get poorer?

Page A3 has a  big story with full colour photo about Liberal leader Brian Gallant  spinning the usual buzz words, presumably to an audience so loyal it took him seriously. I challenge anyone to read that story, and to find anything he said that has not been said before (and for decades) by leaders of both the Liberals and the Conservatives.

Tell you what, Brian. First, get a good dictionary, and find out the meaning of the word 'principles'. Then get some Liberals together to define what Liberal principles, if any, are. Show how they differ from Conservative principles. Then we'll talk.

Gallant reminded me of the candidate who came to my door in the last election to tell me the great challenge for education was to train children for a global economy. Within two minutes, it was clear she had no idea what "global economy" meant, nor any idea how we train children for it.

Let me suggest a good, closing line for Mr. Gallant in his next appearance. "We must move. But we must move - forward." (The crowd goes mad with applause. Strong men weep.)

Skip NewsToday. It's just stuff picked up from the usual sources by editors who know nothing of what's important and what isn't.

Is there any news missing from the paper?  Well....

Remember those Canadian troops that Harper sent to protect our embassy in Mali? Well, substantial numbers of them have been posted to a region in neighbouring Niger. (and the Canadian embassy for Mali is not in Niger. The region our troops have been posted to, though, does have uranium mines owned by France's equivalent of the Irvings.)

That story was in The Star for Jan. 30. And Harper isn't they one who told them. In fact, The Star points out that none of the news about our involvement in Mali has ever come from Harper. As always, Harper lives under a dome of silence, with only occasional breaks to leak a false story.

By his silence, Harper constantly lies to us. We certainly appear to have troops committed to a combat role in a foreign country. That's called war. And we're not supposed to go to war without public discussion first and parliamentary debate and consent.

Then there's the story in The Independent. A French cabinet minister told reporters, "France is totally bankrupt". Gee. Maybe that has some connection with the billions of the German gold reserves, stored in French government vaults - but, now that Germany asks for them back - cannot be found. And I'm sure it's just a coincidence that Mali has extensive gold resources.

A former Guatemalan dictator, who was really an American puppet,  has been charged with genocide in the torture, rape, murder of some 1700 Ixil Indians in the 1980s. But don't worry about it. He's just a sacrifice thrown to the wolves.

The murder of Ixils was a very small part of broader scheme of torturing, raping, and murdering at least 250,000 Maya (and including a New Brunswick lay missionary). But that part was done with close US involvement and leadership. So we won't charge anybody with that. Let's settle for the fall guy who killed 1700 Ixils. That way, we won't have to mention George Bush 1sts role as head of the CIA, and its connection with the Maya.

And, according to The Globe and Mail, Elizabeth May of the Green party says that Harper plans to merge Environment Canada with Natural Resources. That's something like setting up a blind date between Little Red Riding Hood and a wolf. Environment Canada is designed to protect the environment. Natural Resources is the department that's eager to destroy the environment.

But there's no need to worry about all this. It isn't in the TandT. But in fairness, C1 has a must read story for everyone. Queen Elizabeth is not thinking of retiring.

Two reminders.
1. Tomorrow's blog (Jan. 31) will be late because I'm teaching a history group for Tantramar Seniors in the morning.
2. Current Events will meet at the Moncton Library the first Tuesday of February ( Feb. 5) at 7 pm.
This time, I think we'll look at questions that should be asked about this province. The politicians have a bad habit of announcing answers - without saying what the questions are. (The move of Moncton High is a good example.)

I won't kid you. Getting a current events group going in this city is one hell of a job. I've come to realize that Moncton is a city in which people (fear? distrust?) public comment on public affairs. That's how you end up with a Brent Mazerolle and an "opinion" column which fearlessly states that winter is cold.

In the hundreds of such meetings I've spoken to in other provinces, turnout has consistently been in the hundreds. In Moncton, I rarely need more than two or three chairs.

Hey. I'm lonely. Tuesday, February 5 at 7 p.m.


  1. Good one here today:

  2. I wish I could come to your Civic Events class, but I think they cancelled all the trains between Moncton and Ontario, so I'm stuck here in central Canada (without central heating), cleaning up after my donkeys. Unlike most politicians, my donkeys are civil.

  3. Very good one Graeme. Andie C

  4. And the implications are that I'm not usually good?

  5. No just that I particularly liked today's...:)