Monday, February 11, 2013

Feb. 11: the missing Moncton Times.....

This morning, I checked the gallery for my paper. None. Okay. So turned to Google to get my computer edition.

The date Feb. 11 came up. And a picture of snow, obviously from Saturday. So far so good.
But then I noticed that most of the stories were ones I had seen before. That's not unusual for the TandT  which often runs the same story two days in a row or even twice in the same edition.
So, I clicked to the get the whole of today's edition. And all I could get was the whole of Saturday's edition.

So - muttering words usually used only for the most perverse versions of sex or in religious services, I bundled up to walk to the store for a copy. But Lord, Lord, Lord, there was nothing in it. The   thing I can recommend you read is the last letter to the editor. Otherwise, there is zip in this edition.

For example, page one has a story which draws on psychologists to explain why most people will not react to help in an emergency situation. They just stand and watch. (This story arises from the unusual response of Joey Leblanc who, alone in a group of people who were  watching a woman die in a burning car, ran forward to save her life.)

Mr. Leblanc (despite his age, he has certainly proven he deserves the respect of the title) certainly should be recognized. But they ran this same story, complete with psychologist opinion, ON SATURDAY. Furthermore, the psychology of the "passiveness of the crowd" has been well understood and well publicized for at least 50 years. It became common knowledge internationally that long ago with the murder of a New York Woman whose screams brought no help from the hundreds of people who heard them.

Yes, people in a crowd are passive. New Brunswickers, of all people should know that. That's why they get the governments they do. That's why they allow corporate bosses to bully them. But I don't think the TandT is likely to interview psychologists about that.

The story of the former Los Angeles police office who shot three people and is now on the run made p. C1. But it's not the whole story. (In fairness to the editor of that page, he probably doesn't know the whole story - on this or anything else.)

Take a look at the picture of the police officer. Notice he doesn't look perfectly white?

The Los Angeles Police Department has been notoriously racist, brutal, and thuggish for decades - and deliberately so. In the 50s and 60's and later, it actively recruited whites from the old south - men who were guaranteed to be the most brutal of racists.

There's a reason why LA has had riots in its African and Mexican population.

The reputation became so bad that the LAPD turned to television to win public opinion over. That began way back in the 50s with a show called, I think, Dragnet - with detective sergeant Joe Friday. The basic formla was the police were alway polite and honest. It was the general public that tended to be caustic, unreasonably angry or hysterical -   "Just the facts, ma'am," said Joe Friday.

Then there was Adam 12, the story of two LAPD officers (not coincidentally, both were white) who were always honest and polite and reasonable. It was the ordinary citizens who were irrational and uncontrolled and even violent.

The LAPD was, to say the least, closely involved in both shows.

Such programmes still appear, still with LAPD cooperation, though now with the mandatory appearance of the occasional officer who is not white.  However, the force remains as  racist and thuggish as ever.

That does not, of course, excuse the shootings. But it does give a better sense than the TandT story  does of what it's all about.

There is a curious story on C, p. 1.  Much of the world wants Canada to ban the trade in polar bear parts. They mention heads, skins, etc. They don't mention other parts, like testicles, which have a big market in China to restore virility and other ailments.

Canada offers two, pretty silly arguments against the ban. The first is that a ban on selling bear parts would not affect the survival of the species because the Inuit hunt the bear for meat - and there is also the polar bear hunt for sport. Well, yes. But the profitable trade in parts offers an additional and powerful motive for killing. It's financially worth killing a polar just for the testicles.

As well, the official Canadian position is that it is not the hunt which endangers polar bear survival. It is climate change. But thats can't be true.

Mr. Harper, himself, has repeatedly said that there is no climate change.

Well, we may run out of polar bears. But we'll still have a dinosaur for Prime Minister.
The only useful story in the paper in on D2. It 's about the dangers of deep-fried foods - and how they bring on strokes and well as levels of obesity that cut lives short. It associates these foods especially with the US Deep South.

Yes, indeed. It reminded me of that hamburger I had in New Orleans - meat, cheese, onion, lettuce, tomato, bun - all of it - all - deep fried. With French fries on the side.

Norbert is beneath contempt. I'll have some respect for him the day when he uses his slurs like 'sense of entitlement' and 'culture of dependency' when he uses them on the Irvings and their buddies as freely as he does on those of us who have no choice but to be dependent.

I can understand a man I disagree with. I cannot  understand an intellectual and moral coward and bully.

And that's it for today's Moncton Times and Transcript.

I guess there's two things worth reading - the story on deep fried foods and the last letter to the editor, "Poliical culture due for a change".

Unlike the writer of the letter, I am not optimistic that the people of New Brunswick will change. I think they will continue to be passive, to be scared, to be bullied, to be lied to and propagandized by their newspapers, to be betrayed by their political leaders, and to be cheated by their economic leaders. I think they will continue to let democracy die.

But I agree with the writer on his main point. If this province is ever to get better, the change can only come from the people of New Brunswick, themselves. It will not come from miracle shale deposits or from more gifts to the Irvings and friends. It will not come the slogans and catch phrases of politicians; it certainly will not come from penalizing the elderly, the sick, the poor for the schools for the poverty the rich of this province have created.

If this province is to get better, then the people have to act more like Joey Leblanc, and less like the slack-jawed crowd who stood around with their faces hanging out while a woman's life was in danger.


  1. On a slow news day I was thinking you might slip into a discussion about elevated tax rates?

    Here is my 2 cents: When someone comes up to you looking for money stating a "real" purpose, it becomes a matter of trust. Do you trust them to use the money as they say they are going to use it, or will they be diverting the money you give them to some other purpose?

    I have absolutely no trust in the current government of this province not to squander any increased taxes on stupid stuff like unneeded/unwanted high schools, creating over paid "positions" for their friends/neighbors/relatives, and cash handouts to (failing, or otherwise) businesses.

  2. I don't disagree with you. I'd just focus it a little more.
    When the TandT speaks of raising taxes, it means only those taxes on us peasants. When it speaks of cutting services, it means only those services for us peasants. You can see that in ever column Norbert writes on the subject.
    We are living in one hell of a dangerous time. The are no moral or human values. There is only the marketplace and the greed of very rich. They effectively control both governments and most news media. Their appetite for profit is unlimited. If they destroy us and our children, then don't care. They would simply move on to new fields to ravage.
    World conquest doesn't mean conquest by nations any more. Business control of government is so advanced that armed forces are simply tools of business.
    People in general are just things to be used, and then thrown away.
    Human values and morality have been disposed of. It's something to think of next time you're sitting and reflecting in the Irving Chapel.

  3. The "thing" I simply don't "get" is the EI changes protesting fools. Sure, they are going to be forced to find other employment, and yes, the jobs they get aren't going to be the best, but they will adapt. The ones who are going to be affected the most are the ones who are being strangely silent, the crummy employers, who are using the system as an excuse to not provide 12 month jobs. Their way of life is going to be virtually over (with a bit of luck), and as of yet, not a peep.

  4. Where are the jobs to adapt to? The official unemployment rate in NB is some 11%. That means the real rate is almost double that.
    There are no jobs to adapt to. In fact, this puts the seasonal employers in a really sweet seat. They can cut the already low wages, because workers without EI will be even hungrier.
    And, no, shale gas will not create full employment or anything close to it.
    Don't worry about the crummy employers

  5. "EI changes protesting fools" ??? Anonymous, you have got to be kidding...These people are NOT fools. Do you realize that most people receiving EI do seasonal work and are paid minimum wage ?? These people ALREADY can't pay for food, heat, gas AND school supplies for their kids...And you think that accepting a job at 70 % of their current salary and having to travel up to 100 km for work isn't "that big of a deal" ? YOU try to go work in a crab or lobster processing plant for 12 hour shifts standing up and see if you can stand to do it 12 months a year...Do you know who the majority of the people who do this work are ? Women. And they are paid less than men to do it. Why should they "adapt" to governements who are attacking the poor while their rich friends make billions of profits and destroy the environment? This reform is just disgusting, that's all it is. It's modern-day slavery. Just another attack against democracy by our neoliberal governments. If the world cared just a little bit more about the poor and the needy and was a little bit less selfish, we'd all be better off, don't you think Anonymous ?

  6. If either one of you 2 think Harper (and his Conservative cronies) gives 1 whit about disgruntled workers in New Brunswick I suggest you give your head a shake.
    And, if you think you are going to see Mr Alward going to bat for anyone but his "big buck buddies".... that one falls under head shaking too. It will only be, once Alward's buddies figure out they have no slaves to work seasonally for them, that there MIGHT be some mention..... but it will be a toss-up between New Brunswick workers, and the need to import workers from the 3rd world.

    1. "You 2"? Have I somehow given the impression that Harper and Alward give a damn about workers? If so, it was quite unintentional.
      nor would I limit myself to their Conservative cronies. I would certainly define among the don't give a damns their Conservative and Liberal cronies.

  7. "If either one of you 2 think Harper (and his Conservative cronies) gives 1 whit about disgruntled workers in New Brunswick I suggest you give your head a shake..." I said our neoliberal governments, not liberal...Look up what neoliberal means in a dictionary...This is not a partisanship issue...Lord knows that the Liberals are just as sold out to big business as the Tories are. I don't trust either of them. And I can say that I am not really "affiliated" to ANY political party. I don't understand how people can have blind faith in ANY party. I don't really look at the parties, but more what they are suggesting, what their policies are, what they DO and not only what they SAY...

  8. “I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I'm a human being, first and foremost, and as such I'm for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”Malcom X

  9. "Neoliberalism is a political philosophy whose advocates support economic liberalization, free trade and open markets, privatization, deregulation, decreasing the size of the public sector and increasing the role of the private sector in modern society."

  10. well, here it gets complicated. Neo-liberals claim they want small government, open markets, etc. Some do. But most of the really don't.
    They're a bit like the gun nuts of the NRA who say they need guns to oppose the government if it should break from the constitution.

    Hey, the US governments threw the constitution out the window years ago. It's long ago too late to defend it.

    Neoliberals claim to want smaller government. But they have been the biggest spenders in government - and they need big government for the massive military, defence industry and espionage services they demand. The US defence industry and the military now soak up ALL of the income tax revenue of the US government. The rest h as to be borrowed. And the neoliberals have supported this huge growth of spending and government all the way.
    They support open markets? So they say. But they don't. They advocate closing down any open markets for, say, Cuba and Iran. Free trade means letting them muscle in on other countries. Increasing the role of the private sector means handing over power - political, economic, foreign policy, everything to them. And much of that has been done - with the result that democracy has largely vanished. In a democracy, the people, all of them, have the decisive powers. You cannot hand over those powers to big business and claim to have a democracy.
    To call Neoliberalism a political philosophy is more than a little flattering. It's just a mixture of greed and self-interest to serve the interests of the very, very rich.
    There are middle class people who support it - though I've never met any of them who had any sense or consistency.