Friday, April 19, 2013

April 19: What the hell......

..well, before that an apology. For some reason much of my blog is coming up in some language I have never seen before - so I end up pushing the wrong buttons.
And - five minutes ago, I  had just finished the whole blog - when it disappeared. So I have to start all over again. I am not a happy camper.
Okay. Section A, p. 4. An elected councillor has been removed from the Anglophone East DEC.

This person, elected by voters of his school district, was fired by a secret meeting which held a secret vote based on a secret charge.
The sin? A violation of Code of Conduct policy 2.6, regulation 48, section (1) (b). And what is Code of Conduct policy 2.6, regulation 48, section (1)(b)? Who knows? Chair Tamara Nichol didn't say. And, incredibly, the reporter seems not to have asked.
An outsider was called in to confirm the decision. What outsider? With what qualifications?Nobody said. Nobody asked.
What did the councillor do? Goose the chair? Apparently, we'll never know.
How many votes were for and how many against? We'll never know.
Nor will the voters get a chance to elect a new councillor. Instead, the chair will ask all the Parent School Support Committees to name up to three people - and the minister of education will appoint one of them. Democracy in action.
As a sidenote to that, I should add that in all my experience of education I have known such parent groups to be useful for serving tea and raising funds. And that's it. A few years ago,when the Irving Press launced a series of brutal, ignorant and lying attacks on the schools, I was in touch with both the provincial and local PSSTs and Home and Schools, and found both of them utterly useless.

That a public body should be permitted to operate in such secrecy is scandalous. That it should be reported without fundamental questions even being raised is something that would fail this report in any first year course in Journalism - and, yes, I have taught journalism.

But I don't want to blame the reporter. The choice on what stories appear and on what they say is a choice of the editor. And whoever this one is, this is one miserable specimen of an editor. It must be profoundly embarassing for a jouranlism school to be turning out staff for Irving Press.
Page 1 - read "Health job cuts coming" - and weep. 400 jobs are being cut - with no effect on health services? Bull and shit. The source of this information is the usual one for those animal products, Health Minister Flemming. And the cuts have nothing to do with making service more efficient.

The cuts are happening because Mr. Irving  has imposed a variety of business management method on the whole civil service. It's a system that has nothing to do with efficiency except in very narrow sense. It saves money. It does not improve service. Big business doesn't give a damn about service. It cares only about hanging on to its money. The health service is not going to get better. It is going to get worse. How nice for Mr. Irving who, almost certainly, doesn't use it - and would be happy to pay even less in taxes if the peasantry lost medicare altogether.

Mr. Flemming will growl at employees and janitors and nurses and drivers. But he can be counted on to wag his stumpy little tail when Mr. Irving barks at him.

The saving will be some $21 million dollars. And this is the response of a government and a press that is all hot to spend over a hundred million on a hockey rink. Great sense of priorities, Moncton. Hey - and we gotta borrow some more for a CFL team.

Nor does this make sense in the context of a recession. Economists have known for some eighty years that firing people just makes recessions worse for the poor and middle class - though it does make them highly profitable for big business. That's happening now as big business is making its biggest profits in history while we're firing health workers and cutting EI - and cutting wages.

There's a federal study on this - "Report on Price Spreads and Mass Buying". You might want to lend a copy to Mr. Flemming - if you can find an edition that tells the story in pictures.
On the editrorial page, Alec Bruce is---well---disappointing. He's writing for a paper that has, without shame, been pimping for the events centre on an almost daily basis. I cannot recall a single story which has told the truth about how many events centres, hockey rinks, etc. have been economic disasters and long term drains on the public purse. And almost all have been marked by influence peddling, land deals that smell like a skunk's early-morning breath - and without any of the promised benefits.

The only public meeting we have had on the centre was a recent propaganda/pimping display that mentioned none of the dangers. I know that Bruce must be under pressure to get on board. But it's sad to seem a columnist of his quality mixing with the scum of the world of journalism.
Norbert? Well he opens with a mini rant against the journalistic standards of the CBC. Next, he'll tell us he's prettier than Justin Trudeau, and take off his shirt on Main St. to prove it.

Then he talks about a study which he claims says that "tweeting" creates intellecutal, moral and ethical decay in our society. Actually, the study shows that there is a link between "tweeting" and those characteristics. But didn't it occur to Norbert that causation could be working the other way? It could be that the intellectual, moral and ethical decay of our economic, political and journalistic leadership is what has caused "tweeting".
The op ed page has yet another column by the oil industry pushing for shale gas. How many columns critical of shale gas have you seen in this paper? Where are the stories about the very big and very recent stories of shale gas damage - not to mention the related stories of the frequency of massive pipeline spills such as the one in Arkansas?

But big business doesn't think of these things. Of course, shale gas and oil are enormously destructive. But the destruction could take 10 years. Big business thinks me first, and me only, a greed and self-absorption that means it can never plan for more than three months or so ahead. That's how the banks led us into a crisis that still  has a long way to go. And, what the hell, big business isn't suffering - just you.

And bless you, Steve Malloy. He's at the top of the op ed page, and into that top he squeezes more insight and common sense than you will find in all the rest of the whole Irving press for today. And it's all done with a simply expressed honesty.

We are, only a little less than Americans, fearing and hating people. We're being abused by our own leaders -and we're looking for foreigners to blame it on. As well, the US is, without doubt, the world's most vicious terrorist, killing and torturing innocent people on a world scale. It's all to make more money for big business - to recapture the old empires, to rip out their resources while murdering,torturing  and debasing their people. The Boston bombs that blew up a child in Boston happen every day in Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia. Big business and governments need to get people scared and filled with hatred to support that.

So they use news agencies - like the Irving Press, Associated Press, Fox News, National Post to fan the hatred and fear. You can see it every day in the choice of words those news media use. And they make heroes of men who sit in front of video games sets to murder children on the other side of the world.

There are so many we  have to hate - Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Syria, the Maya peasants of Guatemala, Mali, Lebanon,...and so it goes. And we have to learn to fear and hate anybody who opposes the wise killing of our governments - "liberals", environmentalists, champions of free speech...kill 'em all. And we send 'peacekeepers' to destroy the only democracy Haiti ever had after almost a century American dictators.

But you won't find much news about that.
And among the missing news today is a UN report that child poverty in the US has reached one child in seven - one of the highest rates in the developed world - even worse than Greece which is an economic disaster area. Nor is Canada any hell on wheels with its score of one in ten - well down in world rankings.

What causes such poverty? Oh - firing health workers, cutting EI.... It's also caused by the rich who stick their noses into the schools to make money out of them. The objective of the schools ceases to be education just as the objective of hospitals has ceases to be healing. The objective is to make money. But there's no money to be made out of poor kids. So the hell with them. It's already happened in the US where education for the poor and the lower middle class has effectively been destroyed. Think of the Irving intrusions into our schools in the same way.

That's how the Irving brand of capitalism destroys itself - and, unfortunately, us.

No comments:

Post a Comment