Thursday, June 13, 2013

June 13: Ignorance? Lying? Corrupted?

These three are a running theme for today's blog.

First, a public policy expert is NOT an expert on what public policy should be. He or she is an expert on how a policy should be carried out once it has been decided on by experts in economics, urban planning,environmental matters, politicians, etc.

Do you see the difference Mr. Editor? Norbert? Do you see it Dr. Savoie? And if you all do, why did the TandT publish Dr. Savoie's series on the virtues of shale gas? And why did Dr. Savoie agree to write it?

If Dr. Savoie ever does a seies on public policy (how to apply a policy once it has been decided on,) I shall be delighted to read it. I have no interest in his opinons about economics or environment. I am an historian. I don't use that as a basis for me to make public pronouncements on the nature of tap dancing.
(Good thing I don't. If I did, Norbert would write "expert historian says tap dancing   causes toenail damage. Alward government must act on this.")

Then there are the inflammatory pieces by the editorial writer and by Norbert. I'm inclined to put these two down to a combination of ignorance and lying with a hint of corruption.

Both take up the problem of our provincial debt and the state of the economy in general.It's really hard to know where to start on these lumps of slime.

To the editorial writer - Yes. We are in an economic crisis. No. It was not caused by New Brunswick doctors; and penalizing them will not cure it.

1. We are in a world wide recession. It was triggered by the criminal bechaviour of western bankers, none of whom was ever called to account for it, and none of whom have ever been criticized by the TandT. It was made even worse, far worse, when governments rewarded criminal bankers by giving them bailouts. In one stroke, this was a far bigger bank robbery than all the deeds of Bonnie and Clyde, and Jessie James and Pretty Boy Floyd and all bank robbers in history put together.
2. It was made worse by a redistribution of wealth from almost everybody to the very rich. This has been going on for decades, and has brought parts of Europe - and maybe not just Europe - to the edge of very serious violence. In the process, much of the middle class has been destroyed - and the proportion of the poor dramatically incrreased - and our traditional markets savagely weakened.
3. It has been made even worse by the ease with which, under free trade, our very rich can destroy jobs here by exporting them. Free trade has also opened up even greater opportunities for the very rich to avoid taxes, and to hide money in foreign banks. (A large company is building a factory in Haiti. It will pay no taxes for fifteen years, and will pay workers two dollars a day.)
Breaking a contract with New Brunswick doctors will have no effect on that.
4.The government has been dishonest about the health situation from the start.
a)Though it has claimed to be seeking cuts in order to improve efficiency, in fact it annouinced the cuts and the cost BEFORE it had the report it commissioned to find out where efficiency was a factor. It had already decided the amount to be cut. It had also planned the size of the cuts BEFORE they settled a contract with the doctors. In short, the government was dishonest in the whole process.
b) It is hard to see how the handling of this could have been handed over to overweight, blustering, bullying, cabinet minister like Mr. Flemming.

Even the dolt who writes editorials for this paper must know some of this. And that raises the question of corruption. He behaves and acts like a caricature of a field boss for slave plantations.

Norbert - much the same as above plus -
Norbert still cites Dr. Savoie as an expert on public policy - but invokes his name to defend actions that are not in that field.  Dammit, Norbert. Will you please learn what words mean?

Then he dumps on the politicians as though this were all their fault. It's true that the Liberals and Conservatives of this province are the weakest and most snivelling lot of their breed I have ever seen. But get real, Norbert. They don't run this province. Even am irresponsible ranter like you must know that.

They are owned by the big money in this province. They don't run the province. We all know who is making the record profits in this province. We all know who tells the Minister of Finance what to do. We all know who gets off with light taxes. We all know who gets special deals and big business welfare payments.

And you think the answer to the problem is to make government listen to the people? Norbert - that was the main plank the Alward government ran on. Are you suggesting that Alward has broken that promise and has been lying to us all along? So how come none of the great minds at Irving press have told us this?

And what do the people of this province have to tell the government? How do they know what to say?  They don't get any information out of your ignorant and lying print media to know what to say.

You write of critics "Tell us of a better way that achieves the goal." Bullshit, Norbert. Anyone who suggests a better way doesn't get reported in your press - but gets ranted at by you, anyway. Frankly, Norbert, you are long since too ignorant or too bought to recognize a better way.

Ditto for the editorial cartoon. It carries on the TandT theme that the economy is in trouble - and it's all, duh, because of the doctors. Duh, it's all those poor people. Duh, it's the politicians. Duh, it's all these social programmes, duh, duh...and it's just happening in New Brunswick, duh.

Actually, it's happening all over the world. And it's happening because big business so corrupts our government and feeds us propganda that it has been able to loot whole nations - the US, Britain, Greece, Spain, Ireland......, to destroy millions of jobs, create hunger where there was none before...Never once has the TandT mentioned any of this.

No,  the TandT blames it all on New Brunswick doctors.

But another no. Calling the Irving press ignorant, lying or corrupt isn't enough. We have to consider the  word "gutless". (Look it up in the dictionary, Norbert.)
Alec Bruce's column is a well written defence of the events centre. I can't agree with a word of it. Any research body that issues a report on the economic future and how an events center would draw huge audiences and big profits is - well - questionable.

The whole world is in very serious economic crisis. We have no idea where this is going to go - or how far. In the US, 1 person in six cannot buy enough food. The new  jobs opening up there are almost all at very low salaries. The middle class has been largely destroyed - and we are nowhere near close to the botton. A forecaster might have considered this will have an effect on our economic future.

An events centre would draw between 317,000 and 396.000 people a year? Really? Not 315,000 to 397,000? That's quite a precise guess, especially for a world that's still hitting early days of a world recession that shows no sign of easing, early days in the which the middle class that can afford to travel to shows and stay in hotels and eat at restaurants is melting.It also ignores all the cases in which this scenario has not worked out - even in better times than we are facing.

And we, who live in a province that cannot afford enough books or teachers for its schools, and cannot afford health care, are being urged to borrow $500 million - probably more - at a time when major American cities are going bankrupt.

Oh, and we just gotta get a CFL team. Duh.
Rod Allen again demonstrates his general lack of knowledge. But this time he discusses a specific topic in the news. Alas! I think he must get all his news from the Irving press.

He discusses shale gas, but with the sort of glib comment that used to be called  "old wives' tales". That is a sexist term, of course. So we'll call them "old assistant managers' tales."
The savinig grace in the whole paper is the other column on the op ed page. It's by Doctor Robert Desjardin, president of the New Brunswick Medical Society. This shows first-rate knowledge of the subject laid out in remarkably clear and well-written style.  If  you have already paid for the paper, better read this one because it's the only thing worth reading in the whole paper.

The headline on page 1 "Book stirs controversy at U de M." hints at an important story - but never really gets into it. The reality is that universities are generally under the heavy-handed control of their boards of governors - typically made up of the very rich or their stooges, all of whom typically know nothing about education of any sort.

They operate in secret, and issue orders that are never explained. I taught at one university at which I knew the president of the university quite well - a very capable and honest person. After just months, the  board of governors fired the president - a move that cost the university millions of dollars. No explanation was ever given.My guess?

Well, I served as facultry representative on many a board committee. My guess is that the president's sin was something like refusing to appoint some millionaire's son to a major position.

Some board members are decent. I worked with a chairman of our board who was super-rich (the head of the family that is probably the oldest super-rich family in Canada). I liked him very much as a thoroughly decent and intelligent man.

More common, though, was the born-rich lout who assumed that his family name meant he had a right to rule, was entitled to live high at public expense, and who had nothing but contempt for us commoners.
I was wrong in my appendix yesterday when I said what a hash the TandT would make of yesterday's anti-fracking protest at City Hall. The report is actually well done, and quite honest.

Mea culpa.

What   wasn't in the paper?

Well, UN peacekeepers all pulling out of the Golan Heights. right between Syria and Israel. That means an almost certain war no matter which side wins in Syria or even before either side wins. And that could spark one hell of conflict in the whole region. And Stephen Harper has pledged in public that Canada will participate in any war Israel fights, no matter who starts it.

The scandal of the US spying on its own citizens? Well, the reporter who broke the original story says that there is much, must more to tell. The more part is, I would guess, that the spying is aimed at covering EVERYBODY in the US - and in other countries. And that is the end of the personal freedom and privacy that is the foundation of democracy. It means we are all living in Germany about 1932.

And the spy system is immense. Almost all spying in the US has been contracted to private companies. And those companies have something over a million employees. Many of them are not Americans - but are given top secret clearance, anyway.

It is the biggest espionage system in history, the most expensive, and with equipment so advanced that we cannot imagine its abilities. And it's all aimed at everybody.  (Well, Harper says it doesn't operate on Canadians. Harper is almost certainly lying.)

Ever wonder how ordinary German could simply walk placidly down Hitler's path of invasion, torture and murder? Wonder no more. We've been taking the same walk for some years, now.

Sorry to be late today. I had to go for a blood test t his morning. Apparently, I still have some.


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