Saturday, May 4, 2013

May 4: another cranky night with this opening to the May 4 blog....

I'm writing this part of the blog on the night of May 3. I have just been looking over the CBC story that Irving has been awarded 228 million dollars to design a naval patrol ship. 228 million dollars, -just for the design. Ships similar to it have been built in other countries for less than half that. Yes, the whole damn thing fully built and ready for service for the price that we are going to pay just for a set of blueprints. In fact, the government already has a set of blueprints for the ship the Canadian ones are going to be based on. They cost us only five million.

I don't know whether Harper and Defence Minister Mackay are stunningly stupid - though I would not dismiss the possibility out of hand. I do know that the only other explanation that immediately presents itself is a high degree of sleaze and corruption involving both the government and Mr. Irving.

At this rate, those patrol ships will cost us at least a billion each, roughly ten times as much as they should cost. (Actually, it will be even worse because Nova Scotia will turn a 220 million dollar loan to Irving into a grant if the contract creates 4,000 jobs.)

In a real democracy, the government would be defeated in a vote in the house; there would be a thorough investigation followed, almost certainly, by criminal charges. But we know that isn't going to happen in Harper's Canada. So let's talk about something that will happen.

The Irving press will have to publish this story in some form. How will they handle it? No - Norbert will not write one of his indignant ravings - those are only about teachers or doctors or people on welfare.

And there is no way they will publish as the CBC did, simply laying out the facts of what has been learned.

One possiblity might be to call on their star spinmaster to write something that looks reasonable but avoids telling the truth. My guess is it will be something along those lines,  making it a story based on propaganda produced by government officials with lots of talk about all the jobs this will create. (Actually, the design contract will be going to a company in Denmark - though that company will certainly not get $226 million for it.) It will all be about job creation and benefits for the maritimes. And with a lot of bafflegab about how expensive it is to design modern warships and the tremendous value of what they will do to guard our Arctic.

And many readers will suck it up, and clap hands for their favourite philantopist and menber of the New Brunsick buiness hall of fame. We really should accept the invitation extended months ago to all of us to go to the Irving chapel, sit in a pew, and reflect.

This is not cute. It's not something to laugh about. This is a federal government that refuses to pay its treaty obligations to native peoples - with the result they struggle with degraded housing and terrible services. Children grow up in poverty so that Canada's biggest welfare recipient can get this absurd contract. Medicare, our whole health system, is under attack so we can find $228 million for a contract that should cost less than a tenth of that.

Meanwhile, I go to bed to happily dream of all those Irving press hacks sitting up into the night, sweating over how they are going to handle this story of, at best, sleaze.
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I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

 Yesterday, a reader told me the Times and Tanscript would ignore the story. I said, "Nah. They couldn't do that, not even the the TandT could ignore that." But they did.
Spinmeister Brent Mazerolle was too busy with an important story about how lotto winners spend their money - and on a column arguing that the police sometimes have to shoot elderly people.

Norbert writes passionately (and shockingly ignorantly) about what he calls the two political items of the day - both involving those lazy wretches who are unemployed, and are using up money that could be given to billionaires.

Bill Beliveau writes an almost good column. But not about a scandalous shipyard deal. No, it's about how the CBC is sometimes biased but shouldn't be punished for it. Look, Beliveau, there is no organization in history that is or ever was run by humans that is not biased. For Pete's sake, look at that bundle of lies you write for. Look at your own column that goes into ecstasies at the mention of the word "Liberal".

To all those half-wits of this world who say that the CBC is biased, name me one news agency anywhere that as no bias at all.

Belliveau should also look up the meaning of "bias". It refers to a deliberate and concious act - like the lies and misleading stories and the trivia that fill every page of the Irving press.

Many people would characterize the CBC as left of centre. And it might be somewhat, if slightly, left of centre. But in many years of following the news, I have never known it to deliberately try to be left of centre. It reports what it sees - right wing nutbars scream that it's leftist. What little far left this country has will scream the opposite. It's the screamers who are deliberately biased, and who refuse to see what is right before their eyes. And what can we call someone who would deliberately write for a scumbag paper in the Irving press?

The publisher of all the Irving papers is, of course, an Irving - and a graduate of the Harvard School of Journalism. Boy, I'll bet the profs at Harvard are bustin' their buttons over this grad.

Gwynne Dyer has an excellent column on Syria. We have inflicted a hell of murder and theft and brutality and rape on that country. Yes. We have done it. This whole 'rebel' farce was organized, paid for, and supplied by the US, Britain, France and the Arab League. It's purpose is to destroy Syria, and so to improve the position of western companies operating in the region. Go sit in the Irving chapel, and think that one over.

Israeli aircraft have bombed Syria. That's illegal under international law. But it's okay. The US has bombed, invaded, deposed elected leaders without declaring war or having legitimate reason for it dozens of times. I mean, when God is on  your side, it's okay to kill as many as you like whenever you feel like it.  God says, "Go, baby."

Oh, yeah. Alward wants doctors to drop their lawsuit and negotiate with Flemming. A real premier whould have decided long ago that Flemming, due to childish, tantrum behaviour, has long since lost any credibility as Minister of Health. A real premier would replace him and start fresh. But Alward isn't a real premier. He's just Irving's office boy, and he'll probably lose even that job to an eager Gallant.

There's a story that the number of women burned alive in a garment factory fire in Bangladesh is now over 500 and climbing. What the news hasn't talked about is why they died. That will be the subject of tomorrow's blog.

We'll start wirth former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney.
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Don't forget to come to the Current Events group at Moncton library on Tuesday, May 7. We have a lot, an awful lot, to talk about. Love to see you there Norbert, Brent....

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