Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jan. 31: Mr. Alward, Mr. Higgs....

..... Please grow up. You are not clowns. You are not even the irrelevant trivialists who make up the editorial staff of the Moncton Times and Transcript. You are leaders in a parliamentary democracy. Do you understand what that means?

First, it means that the ones we elect are the ones who make the decisions. Nobody can come off the street and just announce he is now member of the government (in coalition with it). Mr. Irving did that. He had no more right to do that than I have the right to announce I am the new prime minister of Canada.

Mr. Irving is one person. He has the rights any other one person. He has the right to vote. He has the right to run for election. He does not have the right to declare himself a member of the government. Mr. Irving and others like him have very large noses stuck into government. There is no constitutional basis for this. He should mind his own business - and what the people of this province feel they need is none of his business.

Apparently nobody in the Liberal Party or the Conservative Party - or in that brainless sheet we call a newspaper has either the brains or the integrity to recognize this fandamental principle of democracy.

The second thing, Mr. Alward and Mr. Higgs, is that you were elected to government, to make decisions, to take responsibility for them. What is this drivel about holding a referendum on taxes?

The idea of democratic politics is that you join a party because it has a set of principles that you agree with. (Principles does not mean neat ideas. It means basic values that guide your judgement. In some five years of following politica in the province, I see no evidence that either the Liberals or the Conservatives have the faintest idea what a principle is.)

Taxes have a lot to do with principles. Who should pay them, who should pay how much, what services we must provide are all questions to be decided on the basis of some sort of principles. Please tell us what principle lies behind an HST tax?

You two were elected to make such decisions. You two were supposed to tell us at election time what principles you were operating on.( Lord knows, it wouldn't have taken you long to tell us.)

Then, based on those principles, you were supposed to decide on questions like taxes. You were provided expert advisers for that purpose (though you promptly decided to use some corporation hacks to do that.)

How many people, voters of this province, have the faintest idea of how taxation works, or how all of these economic pieces are to fit together? They elected you to do that. To hold a referendum on such a complex subject is to abandon all responsibility and say, "You're on your own, folks."

To make it worse, there has been no information and no discussion of what the alternatives are. And neither you nor the Irving press is going to tell us that information which we need. Instead, wall know what we are going to hear in a referendum campaign.
1. Taxing the rich will make us poor.
2. Making the rich richer will make us rich. Well, the rich have been getting richer and we've been getting poorer for thirty years. So when does the magic kick in?
3. We have cut services. We can't afford to feed the hungry or heal the sick or run the schools properly. No. First priority is to build a hundred million dollar hockey rink.- just as the whole western world slides deeper into a recession which, as we will soon see, is not turning a corner. It hasn't even begun to turn a corner. There's a reason we're suddenly fighting wars all over the world. The western economies are so desperate that their only hope for some measure of recovery is conquest of as much of the world as possible - and a cold war confrontation with Russia and China.
4. We have to cut services, and fire people because -----I don't know. I suppose firing people just creates jobs----or something.

Look, in a democracy you don't elect a government so you can tell it what to do. In a democracy, you elect people to govern, to adopt the legislation that is best for us in the light of your party's principles and insights. Can you understand that?

As a government, you take responsibilities. If your decisions backfire - tough. Then we elect somebody else to take those responsibilities.

I choose a doctor. I don't tell the doctor how to carry out the operation. That's the doctor's responsibility. If we elect a government, then are expected to tell it what to do, what's the point of having an election? We could hire any bunch of knuckleheads off the street to do that.

Will you two please grow up? And will  you please try to remember just who it is you are governing for? And who has a right to make government decisions? And who should mind his own business?

The editorial is the usual compbination of duplicity and ignorance. While shedding crocodile tears for the poor tax-payer, the editor doesn't even mention that there are some people in th is province who enjoy both very low taxes, and very expensive give-aways. (And one of the give-aways is that corporate taxes will NOT be on the referendum.) No sirree. Mr. Higgs will make certainly of that.

So you can skip the editor's crying in his beer as he worries about the taxpayer. He doesn't mean yoj.
And, Norbert, in all kindness - never pretend to be an authority on a subject when you clearly aren't.  Never cast a slur on a group when you don't know whether it's true.

Norbert is obviously a reader - and he does well at getting  us interested in some books. In such cases, he doesn't pretend to be an authority. But he reports the book well, and suggests ideas it could give rise to. And that's fine.

Today, he writes on medical care in the province - and criticizes the government and the medical profession for not following advice he has been giving them for years.

Why the hell should they? When did Norbert become an authority on health care?

Then he slanders the medical profession by saying it is backward and fixed in its ways of doing things. -AND - admits in the next sentence that he doesn't know whether that is true.

Sorry, Norbert. If you don't know something is true, you don't say it in the first place. By the time you write that next sentence, the damage is already done.
Alec Bruce's column is a masterpiece. In no case should you miss this one.

Rod Allen's column on op ed reaches new depths with a story about how he likes doughnuts and Timbits, and plans to watch hockey on TV while eating Timbits. There are, I suppose, readers who might find that sexually stimulating or piercingly observant. My only reaction was a fear that in watching TV and eating Timbits at the same time, Mr. Allen might suffer brain damage.
Excellent column by Jody Dallaire on sexual assault - and its prominence in New Brunswick. I suspect, though, that there should be more thought given to why there is so much sexual assault in this province. I don't think a propaganda campaign is the answer. Dallaire suggests that culture is a factor -and I think she's right. But that suggests we should be looking at what is wrong with male culture in New Brunswick. And we won't change a culture by putting up campaign posters that say sexual assault isn't nice.
Also in the news, Alward offers a grand, job-creating plan. Any business that hires a newly graduated student will get paid 70% of that person's wages. NDP leader Dominic Cardry says it won't work. And he's right.

If such a scheme would create more business and more prosperity, then it would make sense to make it apply to everybody who doesn't have a job. Yessir. We'll create an unemployment rate of zero. Brilliant.

The reality? This is a handout to business. They can get 70% of somebody's salary? Of course, they'll fire people to get new ones on those terms. After all, it's easy to cover up the real reason for a firing. There's no protection for workers in this plan. And Mr. Alward must have noticed that when he drew it up.___________________________________________________________________________

It's been a rushed day, so I may not have noted each story as well as I should have. But there are some rather big stories I didn't notice in the paper.

1. Israel has entered the war in Syria, invading Syrian and Lebanese air space to attack ground targets. That's usually illegal under international law. But the US, France and, Israel have special permission to invade anybody they like, any time. You ain't seen nothing yet. There are decades of war, pillage, profiteering, starvation, suffering coming to Africa. We've been doing that for a century of course. But it's about to get much, much worse as the western world attempts to reconquer Africa and, in the process, set up the possibility of wars with Russia and China.
2. The gap between the very rich and everybody else in Canada is still growing. Gee. We should cut the taxes of the rich even more. Then, according to economists Harper and Alward, we'll all get rich.
3. Teen pregnancies in New Brunswick are up by 40%. Gee. I wonder if that could have anything to do with the rather high proportioin of men in this province who think rape is okay.
Well, there's only one thing to do. Make them stand and listen to O Canada TWICE every day at school.
4. The TandT again forgot to list my current events group that meets on Thursday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. in the Moncton Library. We'll be talking about questions that journalists should be asking - and that we should be demanding they ask.

Oh - a reminder - check out Moncton Free Press/La Presse Libre de Moncton on the web to get a look at stories The Moncton Times and Transcript would rather you didn't know about.


  1. Here we go.... ignore this:

    Building stadiums and arenas have little economic benefits for cities, research shows

  2. I think the teen pregnancy rate has really increased in the province in the last 5 years because the Alward governement closed sexual health centres for teens / young adults...There is also a huge increase in STD's in the province since they did this...Several women's organizations had warned the government about the impacts of this decision, but they didn't listen...Surprise, surprise...I guess they are so desperate to increase our demographics that they are happy that teen girls are getting pregnant, even if they will probably end up being the working poor and not be able to pay much taxes...