Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Sept. 18: Park or Ride to CFL game.
That's the big news, front page story for today. Boy, I'll bet no other city in the world can offer that that service. And, at that, it's a modest claim. If you're going to an NFL game in Moncton, you can also walk, run, ride a bicycle, hop on a pogo stick, crawl, or lie down in the bicycle lane and roll to the game. Only in Moncton. I have no idea why some genius of an editor thought that this was not only a story, but the big story of the day. Nor do I understand how one can park TO a game. I have often driven TO a game, then parked AT it. Parking TO a game must be one of the things you can do only in Moncton. However, in a major break with tradition, there is also a real news story on page 1. A group of residents of Mpncton, Dieppe and Riverview have organized public discussion of how to make metro a region of mass trsnsportation by 2040. That's certainly an intelligent and responsible move - and necessary. It's too bad we're not seeing any similar intelligent and responsible and necessary move from our governments at any level. In cities like Hong Kong and Rome and London and New York, only a fool would drive a car, given the convenient, fast and cheap mass transportation available. (Alas! These cities still have large fool populations.) But by 2004, there is likely to be no choice but mass transportation for any city. And I have seen precious little government planning for that day. So, it's congratulations to the hundred residents who are showing more brains and foresight than any of our elected officials. The only other story in Section A that (might) be worth reading is yet another on the Oland killing. By contrast, here is still no mention of all those killed at Lac Megantic. There is no mention of the connection of Irving Oil to those killings. Nor has any reporter or editor at Brunswick News had the wit or integritay to ask whether such volatile cargo is still being sent to St. John. Whoever killed Mr. Oland is not likely to kill again. But the who or what caused a mass killing in Lac Megantic is quite another matter. That's news we need, even more than we need the news we can either park or ride to the NFL game. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Newstoday has six pages of ads, two of news. Most of the news is trivial. Only one is worth reading. "N.B. to privatize non-clinical services management". (This refers to cleaners,and other maintenance workers.) The explanation for it is that this will introduce "new technologies and innovative management practices." The result is to be savings in costs. And the technical term to describe all of the above is "bafflegab". New technolocgies and business practices are not secrets. They are readily available to anybody who wants to know them. And they are usually designed to benefit the bueiness, not the consumer. And the business of the business is to make money, nothing else. Related to that, business has to be paid enough not only to cover the cost - but to produce a profit. So what we are almost certain to get out of this deal is poorer service at greater cost. Contracting to private business also quite commonly introduces corruption into the system. That's why US defence budgets are so high. (And Canada is not innocent in this area.) Result - privatization of non-clinical services in our health system will almost certainly cost more, not less. So why is the government doing this? The answer is obvious. We have a government(and an opposition) run by Mr. Irving. Mr. Irving wants privataization of everything so that he and his friends can control everything, and make money out of everything. Privatization of non-clinical services in health is much like Mr. Irving's "generosity" in interfering in education. It's the thin edge of the wedge to an ever-widening privatization of health care so that the Irvings of this world can get richer while the rest of us get sicker. There is no evidence that privatization will save us a cent. There is no evidence that the present system is inefficient. This whole game is simply greed at work. And damn the public interest. Oh - and the story uses the usual propaganda words. This will be a "partnership" between business and government. But... In a democracy, business has no business being a partner of government. I am not a partner of government. You are not a partner of government. We are subjects of government, all of us, and that includes Mr.Irving. Our national anthem is O Canada, not O Canada and Irving Oil. To say that business is in a "partnership" with government is a (very arrogant) claim that business is an equal to government. In a democracy, that cannot be. In New Brunswick, it is true that business has assumed not only equality with government but superiority to it. And once we accept that, we had all better start learning to click our heels, and shout "Sieg Heil." Watch for that word "partnership". This is a word that often appears in business releases and in Brunswick News. I suspect it is used quite deliberately to make us think of such a relationship as natural and normal. It isn't. It's the first, big step from democracy to fascism. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Today has another kiss-kiss editorial for Alward, which suggests Mr. Irving has decided who he will vote for. An important column by Alec Bruce gives some hint of how governments and big business are in collusion in the takeover of universities and of scientific research in Canada. in both business administration and science, the idea of producing thinkers and truth-seekers is out the window. Instead, they produce trained seals. (I've also seen it in economics and political science.) The op ed page is lining for your box of kitty litter. But intelligent cats might be offended. Norbert's dreary platform-making goes on, In the fifth column of this one, he says the magic words "partnerships" and "PPP" (public private partnerships). Sieg Heil. Grants and favours to business will cease. Good idea. Glad to hear it. So how come Norbert has never written once about such grants and favours to Irving? And Ddes that mean tax breaks to the rich will be ended? Norbert is silent on this point. But they probably won't be ended. Instead, "We'll invite our corporate elite and wealthiest citizens (who already contribute generously in giving back) to join in a new effort to spur development." Our rich already contribute generously by giving back? You mean like Mr. Irving contributed so generously to education? Great idea, Norbert. Tell you what. You let me pay close to zero taxes, and I'll contribute voluntarily back. And we can have a banquet honouring me and naming me citizen of the year with Frank McKenna as the speaker, and I'll give a little talk about how I am humbled. Norbert - why not tax that "elite" properly in the first place? I'm sure that would raise a lot more than their "generous donations"; and then we'd have the money we need to run this province without all the slobbering thank you banquets, and thank you speeches by ex-politicians who have learned how to make the system work for them. In general, Norbert assures us he is going to do good things. Ever read a platrform that promised to do bad ones? In general, he has no idea what he's talking about. And he has one sentence that is hopelessly beyond understanding. It is firm. It is a good thing. It is said with all the air of certainty that Norbert always carries. It's just that it makes no sense. "Public safety will be an equally high priority. 'Nice to have' takes a back seat to 'necessary'." What is the possible connection between those two sentences? Is something that is "nice to have" dangerous? Is something that is "necessary" by definition safe? So far, Norbert has produced a platform that suggests no foundation in any ethical or moral code I have ever heard of. (Talk about "empty platitudes".) Most of his promises are so vague that he is simply saying he will do 'good' things, which is what every platform promises. Worse, he shows a complete ignorance of any principle of economics or government. Still worse, he repeats the jargon of "partnerships" that not only allows the rich and big business to interfere in government, but also propagandizes a respect for fascism. Norbert, you are NOT a partner of government. I am NOT a partner of government. Mr. Irving is Not a partner of government. We all have the same right ot vote. But we are ALL subjects, not partners. Norbert - go back to your harmless little stories about how you read a good book. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Words to Inspire (under Bulletin Board on the op ed page) quotes a paassage from Matthew that every word in (The Bible) must happen. I'm glad to hear it. Why don't we begin with public stoning of disobedient children. We could hold it at Highfield Square, and charge admission, attracting tens of thousands to the hub city and reviving business on Main St. You will find this authorized in Deuteronomy 22:18-21. The stoning, incidentally must be done only by men. Indeed, it might be necessary to refuse admission to women for the word tells us that women must stay in submission - 1 Corinthians 14: 34. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________