Thursday, May 2, 2013

May 2: ???????

It's a big story, right up there on page 1 with the biggest, blackest headline of the page, "Doctors urged to oppose lawsuit".

To story arises because New Brunswick's doctors are suing the New Brunswick government over its budget cuts affecting health.  They are suing because Health Minister Fleming has been so loutish, bullying and pre-adolescent in his  handling of discussion of the cuts. The whole story on page one is Mr.  Fleming's  response to the lawsuit. He babbles about what a sweetheart he is, and how he is always open to discussion.

Trouble is that's not really the big story of the day on that subject.  The big story is that every medical society in every province across Canada has announced its full support of the New Brunswick Medical Society. But that story is semi-buried on page 3 of the NewsToday section. Taken together, these two stories are a great example of how you use one story to kill the other.

And there's even a bigger story that the TandT doesn't - and won't mention. The medical societies know what's really going on here. This is the start of the death of a thousand cuts - killing medicare to turn health over to private-for-profit business. The Alward government, obeying its master, has started the thousand cuts. The result will be, as in the US, a stunningly expensive health system that few will be able to afford.

The time bomb in Mr. Fleming's proposal is that private companies will be contracted to deal with any health problems caused by firing 400 of the present staff. That's the first of the thousand cuts - and common sense tells us that the work contracted for private profit willl cost us more than is saved (if anything is saved) by the firings.

If you ever kiss Mr. Flemming, be sure to have a bit of tissue paper to wipe the taste of boot polish off your lips.  (And count yourself lucky if it's only boot polish.)

Fans of Mr. Fleming will find on page A9 an open letter suitable for framing. It's addressed to doctors, and is all  about how much he admires them and what a sweetheart he is. Of the many lies and hypocrises in it, the outstanding one is in the final paragraph. That's the one in which he implies that he is the kind of guy who does what's right rather than what's easy.

Yeah. And what Mr. Irving says is always what's right. The letter was almost certainly written
 by a communications expert (professional liar.)
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In NewsToday, Canada, for the first time in UN history, will not even try to get a seat on the UN Security Council. (Canada's last try to get elected was a humiliating failure.) Foreign Minister Baird, who must come from the same breeding tank as our provincial health minister, says it is because we boldly spoke out for gay rights in Africa and human rights in Iran. Yeah. That's why most of the world voted against last time.
The news story, at the top of C1 is  a pretty good summary of the truth of the matter. The Foreign Minister isn't.
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C4 has a story on Syria that almost hints about what is really going on there. The civil war there was promoted by the US and its Moslem allies of the Arab league. The intention was to destroy Syria as an conomic and mlitary power in the region.

The excuse was a desire to bring democracy to Syria. But that was never the case. The Arab League is made up of nations like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Morocco, Libya which are NOT democracies.  (Morocco claims to be a democracy with an elected parliament. But the parliament has no power. All power is in the hands of the king.) They are dictatorships. Encouraging democracy would be suicidal for them; and they have been quite brutal in beating down calls for democracy (though the TandT never reports this.)

However, the "rebel" side has been taken over by Moslem groups that are hostile to the US and to the dictatorships of the Arab League.

The US Senate is calling for American military intervention in Syria. The Arab League doesn't want that because an American intervention might cause blow-ups throughout the region which could overthrow all those pro-American dictatorships. And that's why Obama is fighting off demands for intervention.

Once again, American big business wants military intervention to benefit it. And once again, the US finds itself standing at the edge of human, military and economic disaster as a result of business interference in government.

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But where is the big story of the day?????

Once again, Harper has sneaked bills into an "omnibus" budget, bills that have nothing to do with the budget. That helps him to get the bills through with virtually no discussion. And papers like the TandT help him by not mentioning it.

This time, he is effectively destroying the CBC by giving the government power to control its day to day operatons. The CBC, like all crown corporations were designed to be, controls its own operations. It is owned by the people of Canada - not by the government of Canada. There's a difference.

In that role, it has built an international reputation for the quality of its news coverage. Within Canada, it has been the major producer of Canadian talent. It has also provided Canadians with far the greater part of programming that reflects Canadian rather than US life.

Private radio in Canada, as in the US, provides us with almost nothing of quality in news reporting, almost nothing in developing Candian talent, almost nothing is expressing a Canadian orientation to its programming. In fact, almost any private radio station in Canada sounds just like any private radio station in Alabama. The same is largely true of Canadian private TV.

Harper is not actually destroying the CBC. It would be better if he did because what he is doing is converting it to Harper TV and radio.

Harper is, without question, the most destructive prime minister this country has ever seen. He has two more years. I doubt very much that there will be any distinct nation of Canada left at the end of that time.

And, as I mentioned yesterday, there is good reason to believe that he is in power illegally.
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On the editorial page, Alec Bruce and Norbert are okay. On op ed, Jody Dallaire is strong. Then there's Rod Allen.

Rod Allen is - well  - a man who, I am sure, just loves mirrors. Today, he defends what I thought was a distasteful column by Allen Abel, one in which Abel reported on an interview with an elderly and possibly mentally declining man about space aliens. Rod Allen defended the column saying that Abel was careful to get the man's story right.

And that's where Rod Allan shows that he, who claims to be the head honcho on column editing, doesn't know what a column is - even though he defines it quite accurately in his opening sentence as an opinion-editorial piece.

Quite so. A column on the editorial or op ed page is NOT a story. It is an opinion. The writer is not simply covering an event or recording somebody else's statements.  That would be a news report. The writer is explaining something, or arguing a case. And that's quite different from a story.

Allan Abel is not really a columnist of any sort. Generally, like the staff writers who appear on op ed,
he is not columnist but simply a reporter of very trivial news. Rod Allen falls even below that level in his columns.

And this is the man who says he edits the op ed and editorial pages. Why am I not suprised?

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On the evening of Tuesday, May 7, at 7 p.m., the Current Events group returns to the Moncton Library. I haven't decided on a topic yet because things can change pretty quickly. I think we may talk about the broadest view of what is happening in the world, why it's happening, how it's happening even her in New Brunswick, and why we are seeing elements of 1930 all over again.

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