Friday, June 21, 2013

June 21: Ain't nuthin' t'see folks. Just keep movin'.....

We won't talk about anything in the news section. There's nothing there that you couldn't find on google news - or on a radio or TV newscast - yesterday. And both radio and TV do it better. There isn't even a good example of bad reporting. So let's talk about the editorial and op ed pages.

The editorial has admitted what yesterday's news story did not. The opposition to shale gas development is strong. But, pig-headed as usual, the editorial writer simply decides the majority is wrong - and they have to be propagandized better.

The government has to do a better selling job. Now, here's a government which has lied and covered up for years on this issue. And here's an editorial writer who has lied and covered up. And what's his/her solution? We have to do a better job oof lying and covering up.

In short, this twit thinks the answer is more propaganda. He doesn't suggest the government give fuller information which, one would think, is what a government in a democracy is supposed to do. No. It should do a better job of lying.

He's quite specific - "must do a better job of talking about benefits". In a democracy, a government is supposed to do a good job talking about both sides and providing information. But the editorial writer sees the government and the newspaper as having the same responsibility - to act as whores for the shale gas industry.

In keeping with that, the editorial calls attention to a statement of huge benefits to shower on all of us. It quotes everybody's friend, Frank McKenna.

Look -the great appeal of being premier of New Brunswick is to be a smooth servant to the boss. Do that, and your future is assured. Show you can handle things, deliver what the boss wants, do it smoothly, be really slick - and the rewards await you when your term is over.

(Alward and Graham will get some rewards - but not much. Smooth and slick is exactly what they are not. But Frank McKenna's a rich man. That's because he's very useful; and everybody loves him, so he can go on being useful to the right people.. But he knows where his money comes from. Perfect.)
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Alec Bruce's column is good to the last paragraph - and then it's disturbing.

He, too, says what the newspaper story of yesterday tried to hide - that a majority doesn't want shale gas. But then he says that if the government believes we need it, it should go on, anyway "safely, responsibly and openly, of course".

But in all the years this has been going on, the government, the shale gas companies - and the TandT - have never been any of those three. And there is not the slightest reason to believe they will change.

That really means that Bruce is advising - go ahead with it, anway.

And what that really, really means is immoral and undemocratic.

It is immoral to expose hundreds of thousands of people to what medical professionals warn us is very dangerous. It is immoral to expose the environment in which we all must live to very serious damage. it is undemocratic to lie to the public, then ram a dangerous scheme down their throats.

But ramming it is precisely what the government and and the companies (and the Irving press) are going to do.

It is wildly irresponsible to jeoparidize law and order as that might well do. (But don't worry. They'll blame the protesters, and call out the police.)

And to encourage the use of fossil fuels at a time when that threatens our climate and our survival is bloody insane.
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Norbert continues his series which should be published in a book called "Things That I Know Nothing About".

Look, Norbert. The key problem we face, the one you refuse to look at, is that big business has taken over governments (none more so than NB), and is using its power to enrich itself by impoverishing everybody else.

Every year, for decades, the rich have been getting richer while most of us are getting poorer. The rich have done that by corrupting governments, by hiding profits, by creating recessions so they can lower wages, by making government cut essential services.

In the US, for example, some 50 million Americans are living (barely) on food stamps. But the US plans to cut the food stamp programme so it won't have to raise taxes for the rich - you know, the ones who drove the banks broke, then got the taxpayers to bail them out. and then gave multi-million dollar bonusses to each other.

Where does that lead us?

Well, one possibility is the medieval world where lords of little brain lived well off a peasantry that starved.

More immediately, it leads us to a police state which budgets enormous sums of money to spy on all of us, and to control us with fear. (and if you think that is not happening in Canada, you're too naive to go outdoors all by yourself.)

It leads to violence. You can see it coming in parts of Europe. It leads to fascism. We already have the fascism part in NB and, in fact, in much of North America.

It also leads to the breakdown of any form of capitalism. I mean, when it gets to the point where one percent have most of the money in this world, who are the rich going to sell their products to?  Big business is good at being greedy and ruthless. But brains is not its strong point.

And I'll take this space to touch on another point which has annoyed me about Norbert and others. Whenever they speak of programmes to help the poor - or just to keep them alive, they foam at the mouth at the idea that the poor have a sense of entitlement, that they think they deserve this. What scum those poor must be!

The idea that billionaires deserve all they have, that they are entitled to make more money while having a coffee than most people make in a year of hard work -now, that strikes me as one hell of a sense of entitlement.   

For the most part, the poor work a lot harder than the rich. And they have a right to benefit from the land and all it produces  just as much as the rich do. Maybe more - because without their work, damn little of the wealth of this land would ever get to market.

Yes, we're entitled. We are all entitled to share this earth. Billionaires did not create it. Billionaires do not work it. And for billionaires and their flunkies like Norbert to sneer at the idea that the rest of us are entitled to anything is ignorant and contemptible.

Oh - while I'm at it -big business does NOT create either wealth or jobs. The wealth in our earth is created by all of us who work on it. As for jobs, Big business doesn not exist to create either jobs or prosperity. It exists solely to make profits.

What it does then, is to use technology to replace jobs. (It does not exist to create jobs. It exists to get rid of as many jobs as it can.)

And it uses free trade to pull out of any country that offers decent wages, and to move its operations to where people will work in dangerous conditions, with no social programmes, for two dollars a day.

There are some days when Norbert really annoys me.
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Michael Sullivan does not have a good day with his column.
For openers, he still doesn't understand what the word "conservative" means. Now, he shows he doesn't understand "Tory" either.

Tory is an old Irish word meaning "bandit". Then it became a political party to defend the right of Catholics (of the right birth) to be kings of England. Later, they merged into a party called conservative which actually wasn't conservative, either.

Very, very few people on this earth are pure conservative or pure liberal, anyway. We are, most of us, mixtures. Do not use buzzwords that you do not understand, and that have only emotional meanings for most people.

Then he advocates the city council work closely with a new, business group chaired by Robert Irving. Michael, that concept has nothing to do with either conservatism or liberalism.

Michael, in a democracy, we elect those who will govern us. We do. Us common people. Others do not get into government simply because they are teachers, or nurses, or unionists, or clergy, or millionaires.

When you have a government in which people have representation not because they were elected by the people but because of their social or career status, that is not called democracy. That is called a form of fascism. That's why the government is New Brunswick today is properly called a fascist one.

Would you suggest a group of union leaders to advise city councils? Of course not. An anti-fracking group? Another no. Jehovah's Witnesses?

No. You want a self-interested group with no elected legitimacy to become a part of our government. Mussolini's fascism was closer to democracy than yours.

And tell us. What qualities does Mr. Irving have besides his last name and the size of his pockets?

And what will the first priority of Robert Irving and Friends for this city? Duh...we gotta build a hockey rink....duh....

Fortunately, very few people will read this column. The writing is a dense nuisance to plough through. The Hallelujah Chorus for Frank McKenna is a bit too "fwow-uppy". The use of acronyms is annoying. Remember, you are writing for an audience which, we are told by official sources, has a low rate of literacy.

Meanwhile, we live in a democracy. If Mr. Irving wants to be a part of its government, let him run for election like everybody else does.

(Oh - if you check a good dictionary, you will find that Mr. Irving is more liberal than conservative. So are you. But don't waste your time joining the Liberal party. It's not really liberal any more than the conservatives are conservative.)
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Then, at the end of the round, we have Suzuki's column. The TandT is saved by the bell. This is a good one.
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There's also an excellent letter "Doctors want to work with Gov't." in Letters to the Editor.
What's still missing is a letter sent to the TandT by Sackville doctors almost two weeks ago. The mistake of the doctors, I guess, is that they didn't sign their letter, "J.D.Irving".
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1 comment:

  1. Maybe the T&T are on a mission to better propagandize us but, on the heels of the G20 and what is shaping up on the No Shale front,it seems Harper's soulless strategy to be one of no warning shots. If someone gets in the way of his energy schemes just walk all over them and worry about damage control after the fact.

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