Friday, August 2, 2013

August 2: Wow! 12 billion dollars just for jobs in NB

That's certainly the impression given by the headline on p. 1. "$12B pipeline is 'a game changer' "
The same tone is picked up in the story (several stories, actually) and the editorial and Alec Bruce's column. Yes. Those who left will come streaming back. NB's economic problems are solved. We're all going to be rich.

Right.  All that money will go to create jobs, and all of those jobs will be in NB. Right.

At the same time, we are hastening and worsening the catastrophe of climate change. But the important thing is that Irving stocks should do well for the coming months.  And the climate change won't bother the stockholders. They can guarantee that through special prayers at the Irving Chapel.

Directly below the story is a photograph of a leading oil executive.
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In related news (p, A4), Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians will be at the Capitol Theatre on Tuesday at 7 p.m. on Tuesday to say why we should oppose shale gas. It'll be nice to hear from somebody who hasn't been bought.

NewsToday and Your Business have more wow! Wow! Wow! stories on the pipeline. One of them says that the Liberals and the NDP and the People's Alliance all clapped hands for the project. I expected the Liberals to do so. They approve of whatever they're told to approve of.

The NDP is a disappointment - and not for the first time over the last dozen years or so. The Green Party opposes it. Trouble is the Green Party has too narrow a policy base to ever form a government or even an effective opposition.

A reader, responding to yesterday's blog, said that we have only two choices facing us. We will either develop a more progressive political system, or we will develop a fascist one. Not true - because we already have a fascist one. Mr. Irving made that very clear when he announced himself as a member of the government, and when he and his friends appointed committees to "advise" government departments and city council.
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The search for bodies has ended in Lac-Megantic. Now, can we begin the search for responsibility?  Who changed the regulations last year? There are strong indications that one of those changes is what caused the disaster. So who did it? For what reason? Who asked for it?

Give a call to your man in Ottawa, the man who speaks for the people and who serves them. Give a call to Robert Goguen. And good luck.

All those people are dead. Did they all die to save a buck? Of course, they did. The only question is who made this possible....

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There is no mention of serious and growing riots throughout Turkey in opposition to the government for its Alward-like habit of kissing corporate rear ends. Turks are also opposed to its attempts to establish strict Islamic law. Interestingly enough, the US supports the extreme Islamist government in this quarrel. But that's a long story involving the whole hoax of the 'war against terrorism and extreme Islam'.
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The editorial is the usual corrupt pitch to contract road maintenance to private business because it would be cheaper. It provides not the slightest evidence that it would. And the editorial writer would be an even bigger fool if he tried to prove it.  Government contracts to private business are notorious sources of corruption and overspending. That's one of the things President Eisenhower warned about in his final speech as president.

Norbert talks about something he knows nothing about - proving his opponents wrong in his usual way  by calling them names.  A young man had been threatening people with his knife in a Toronto  streetcar. It stopped, and everyone got off. The police came to deal with this man in a stopped and otherwise empty streetcar. When he refused to drop his knife, they shot him.

Were the police right to do so? I have no idea. Neither does Norbert. If he attacked the police, they were certainly right to shoot. If he just stood there and refused, they weren't right. But there seems to be no evidence on this one way or the other.

But, oh, Norbert knows all about it. And those protesting the shooting are "spouting nonsense" based on "bias and pure speculation". Speaking of nonsense, bias and pure speculation, I 'd be willing to bet that Norbert doesn't have even the faintest idea of who those people are or what reasons they gave.

He concludes with a quotation from Martin Luther King which has no clear relation to his column and which, I suspect, Reverend King would find offensive.
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We'll skip lightly over Alec Bruce.
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Michael Sullivan has a quite reasonable column about how and why Alward's Conservatives are in real trouble.  Mr. Sullivan's problem is that he still thinks there is a difference between Liberals and Conservatives. Even more bizarre, he thinks Liberals are on left, and Conservatives on the right.

Look. The terms left and right were coined to describe which side of the speaker members sat on in the National Assembly that followed the overthrow of monarchy in France. They have nothing to do with political philosophy.

As well, neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives have anything that could be called a political philosophy. Provincially and federally, both parties exist solely to serve big business, and to create career openings for smoothies like Frank McKenna who get a chance to show big business how useful they can be.

This column really decided me. My next talk at the Moncton Library (the first Tuesday of August at 7 pm) will be on the correct meanings of Conservative and Liberal. I invite Mr. Sullivan to attend.

(Oh, yeah. The word 'tory' has pretty much gone out of use except for older members in some of the more exclusive men's clubs in London.)
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David Suzuki is, as always, pretty solid.  And he's the only one in this paper who would never clap hands with joy over the pipeline.
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Watch out for a subtle note that you'll find in the papers - that we have to cut social spending because
1. Our debt is becoming too big.
2. It encourages people to avoid work.
3. We have to practice restraint in spending because of the recession.

This is a serious propaganda campaign being spread over the western world, a campaign financed by big business. In contradiction of it........
1. A debt can become too big by spending. But it can also become too big by letting big money pay absurdly low taxes - and by spending money on gifts to big business.
2. Countries like Sweden which have extensive social programmes do NOT suffer from large numbers who stay home and loaf. Nor has cutting social programmes, as in the US and much of western Europe, had the slightest effect on increasing employment. Most people on social programmes are on them because they need them, not because they suddenly became lazy.
3. Practicing restraint will not end a recession. It has not done so in Spain or Greece or France. It did not do so in the 1930s. Quite the contrary, cutting social programmes makes a recession (or depression) worse. In Canada, the prime minister who was the first one to understand that was R.B. Bennett in 1935. He is the real starting point for Canada's social programmes.

And, for the benefit of Michael Sullivan, R.B. Bennett was a Conservative. And if you use the word conservative correctly, it is natural that a Conservative should be the one to introduce social programmes.

And why would big business be so eager to crush social programmes? For the same reason it created this recession. It's a mix of greed and stupidity. As a result of the recession, big business has made massive profits, shifting an ever-greater share of the world's wealth into the hands of a very few people.

But there is still some left to get. Cutting social programmes would create money that could be funnelled to the very rich. We are watching an income gap growing at a rate never before seen in modern history. It would also, with the destruction of unions, force incomes down to third world levels. So far, it's working as average salaries in North American have been in decline for years.

What will the result be? Massive poverty and suffering. Crime. Violence. More of the wars we have been waging since 1945, many more of them, wars of the rich against the poor, wars for even bigger profits....a strong possibility of widespread fascism.

The alternative? We remind the rich that even they are just equal - not superior -, to elect government that honour that principle, governments which will force the very rich to live under the law just as the rest of us do.

And we don't want their crap newspapers feeding us ignorance and propaganda.
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