Yesterday, my mind a turmoil of flu and banana-strawberry juice with veggies, I forgot the date for the Idle No More protest in Moncton. At last, a friend told me - and I put it in my blog. Alas, I had forgotten it appeared twice in my blog - and I changed it only once.
It is Wednesday, Jan. 9 at noon. We meet in the parking area on the east side of Sears in Champlain Mall, and march to City Hall.
There's an excellent letter to the editor about it in today's TandT, "All N.B. can join protest movement."
The movement also made the first page again. Alas! It doesn't say much more than the very uninformative reports we've earlier had from The Moncton Times and Transcript. Now, here's a movement which is turning into a huge, international one, with support from all over the world, and with demonstrations occurring as far away as New Zealand. It's a Canadian movement, and one with a strong base in this province. And the weakest reporting on it that I've seen is in the Irving press. Mr. Irving must be all in a tizzy about this terrible Mrs. Spence. It's a good thing he has a real man like Stephen Harper to protect him from the demands of a starving women who's been living in a tent for weeks. Wotta man!
However, it is possible to get news about this Canadian and New Brunswick event. For a fuller story than I have seen in any Irving paper, check out the British press for Jan. 7, notably The Guardian.
Probably the biggest story of today begins on p. A1 "EI reform criticism 'premature': minister". The minister is Keith Ashfield, minister of Oceans and Fisheries. It also carries a large picture of Mr. Ashfield. I have no idea why. It quotes him as making the fatuous statement that his his cuts in EI will create jobs. But he never really explains how that would work. If it would work, then places like Congo and Haiti which have no EI at all would just be rolling in jobs.
The closest the story comes to explaining his bizarre view is that the unemployed will have to work harder at finding jobs. But how that will create jobs is not clear to me. It that was creates recessions? People suddenly get lazy by the millions and stop looking for jobs? What? Is it some kind of virus? And jobs are created when people look for them?
This is a fatuous statement by a smug servant of big business like Mr. Ashfiield for which he offers no evidence whatever. But it appears as the sub-head to the story, as though this is the main point made by the story, "Reforms to employment insurance will create jobs, Ashfield predicts."
Right. And closing hospitals will cure all illnesses. Don't TandT reporters ever ask questions? Surely, they must know it's simply a fatuous waste of time to write down whatever the Ashfields of this world say.
NewsToday has the story that Stephen Harper has chosen this time to release a study suggesting very bad accounting for public spending in Attawapiskat reserve (home of Theresa Spence). What a conicidence!
Too bad we couldn't get such timely reports on the T-35 contract, or on the thievery of Brian Mulroney. Too bad Mr. Harper has never taken a look at things like health, housing, education, social conditions on Canada's reserves. To bad he doesn't intend to, not ever.
A reader sent in a comment that I should have read Monday's editorial as an example of everything that can go wrong with an editorial. I have to admit I rarely read editorials unless they appear to be particularly lying and obnoxious.Usually, they're just too trivial to read.
However, I should have read Monday's. It's trivial. But, oh, what a real stinker as a piece of writing! It's so wordy and awkward that it's really a tough read - and for no good at all.
And a painful decision. The current events group will not meet tonight.
I'm quite sure my bout of flu is over, and I'm now non-infectious. But I'm no doctor (actually, I am. But I'm not the kind that's much use for anything.) Accordingly, I decided I should not take the chance of putting people at risk. So no meeting tonight.
But there are a couple of points I want to talk about, points of serious failures in New Brunswick society.
One is the fear that runs right through this society. It was highlighted recently when a Moncton city councillor announced his resignation from council because his outspokeness on council made it difficult for him to find a job.
And he's probably right. This is a city and a province knee-deep in questionable land deals, questionable contracts, questionable projects (like the Moncton events centre) -but everybody plays deaf and dumb.
When the Times and Transcript a couple of years ago ran a campaign of ignorance and hatred aimed at our public schools, I wondered where the hell the parents' association and the home and school were. Why were they silent? When I did contact them, what I met was hostility, that sullen disappoval you find in people who are afraid to challenge the boss. The district boards were equally weak and submissive.
This is a province of lying and cheating and bullying, a province full of people who prefer not to hear or see what is going on.
This is coupled with a revolution sweeping the western world, a fundamental attack on democracy and individual rights. It's led by big business and you can read it every day in the new language that's coming out of big business.
In fact, it's not big business any more. It's not even capitalism. No, no. They are "creators of wealth", God bless their little hearts. Through illegal practices and widespread corruption, they plunge the world into economic crisis. But there is no penalty. If fact, governments give them more money so their executives can pay themselves even bigger bonuses. Every year for over two decades the very, very rich have taken a bigger and bigger share of the pie while everybody else gets poorer.
But that doesn't cause recessions. No. Recessions are caused because millions of poor people suddenly get too lazy to work. (Must be some sort of virus).
The other part is that they like to talk of public sector and private sector - of groups rather than of people. That signals a profound change. Our society was based on the rights of individuals. It's become based on the rights of groups. And guess which groups get the most rights.
These are fundamental changes. They mean the death of democracy as we have known it. And newspapers h ave played a key role in killing democracy.
And New Brunswickers pretend it all isn't really happening. Deaf and dumb.
Each of these points takes a while to explain -and we naturally have a strong resistance to hearing what we don't want to hear. I haven't figured out how to do this yet. Public meetings like the current events group would be best. But New Brunswickers are terrified about being public. (unless, of course, it's standing with a group of other people, smiling and holding up a giant cheque).