Thursday, October 3, 2013

Oct. 3:

For a start, just a brief return to young Goguen and his "newsletter". He made much of Harper's determination to get tough on crime, and also to crack down on pedophiles.
1. One of the toughest countries on crime is the US. It has more people in jail than any other country in the world. Both sentences and prisons are extraordinarily brutal with solitary confinement for years at a time, with torture, with the use of prisoners as slave labour to make extra profits for the owners of the private prisons.

2. Private prisons are another scheme Harper has expressed interest in. In fact, as the US experience has proven, they cost far more operate than publicly-owned prisons, and they are less effective.

3. With all that, US crime rates are way higher than Canadians rates. As well, the Canadian rate is going down; and it was going down BEFORE Harper came to power.

4. He's going to get tough on pedophilia? He's been saying that for years. So far, it's all mouth and no action.

So why this big deal in the Goguen news letter as though crime and pedophilia were the biggest problems facing Canada?

Harper is the master of rounding up the support of various groups of people - militant Zionists,  fundamentalist Christians, royyalists The most recent are gun owners. (Now, I have been a gun owner of rifles, revolvers, authomatic pistols and one shotgun - so I'm not hostile to gun ownders). But to curry their favour,  Harper is putting the lives of millions all around the world at risk by refusing to sign a UN agreement  that every major nation in the world has signed - including the US. The world is awash in weapons designed for no other purpose but killing people. His argument that he is doing it to protect the right to gun ownership in Canada is hogwash. It is no threat whatever to private gun owndership.

But that's Harper. All decisions are really about the next election. "Defending" gun owners has nothing to do with defending anybody. It has to do with getting yet another group to fall in behind Harper.And, if people get killed all over the world by guns exported from Canada, well, it's worth it to get those votes.

 Typically, they are relatvely small groups that vote for Harper  because of only one issue; but they bote as a bloc, and they make the difference in many a crucial riding. That's how Harper  got to be Prime Minister with less than 40% of the vote.

Criminals and pedophiles are easy targets. After all, who's going to complain about getting tough with them? As a general rule, he has done nothing about these issues. But he talks as though he is the only political leader in the country who will deal with pedophiles.

He gets the moron vote. It's a minority. But it's solid - and that makes it worth getting.

Spin doctor Mazerolle has a "story" on the front page that is really propaganda to plunge into building an 'events centre'. It has quotations from Mayor Leblanc, many of which are pure gibberish. For example, the good mayor says that attendance was down at our last CFL game because we are victims of our own success.

I can't even figure what the hell that sentence means. How has success make us victims?

Then he says his plans for a summer concert fell through. Why would success make a plan fall through? Mayor Leblanc doesn't say, and Mazerolle doesn't ask.

Then the mayor says he feels such subsidized events are profitable in the long run. Okay. Then can we have some figures on costs, revenues - and who paid the costs and who got the revenues? I've yet to see any of this from either the city or the TandT.

In short, this "news story" is really a piece of shabby propaganda. And that seems to be Mazerolle's role at the TandT.

B.C premier Christy Clark is featured on p. A 6,, saying that fracking is "absolutely safe." Why is this a story?
1. She is not a scientific or medical expert on fracking - or even a PhD in Education.
2. She has a political stake in fracking.
3.She's speaking in Toronto - so we don't even have the excuse she was in  Moncton when she gave her quite uninformed opinion.
4. Note the row of Union Jacks behind her. That's probably Harper's pitch for the God Save our Gracious Queen voters.

Finally, section one has a story on the Rexton demonstration that says nothing is happening. So why the story?

Oh, it does report that the government says it will not negotiate with protesters. Quite so. It negotiates only with people who give it big cheques.   (Quietly).
NewsToday is the usual random scattering. The intriguing one is that super-patriot Harper who cut pensions for hundreds of disabled Afghanistan vets, guaranteeing that most will end their lives in poverty, is now trying to prevent them from taking the issue to court.  Our hero.

Of course, he probably needs the money to get more portraits of the queen.

There's a non-story on the Campbelltown case of two boys who were killed by a python. The non-story is that there is no news on the case. Thanks. I needed to know that.

Any news on the case of Lac Megantic?

I am usually annoyed by Norbert Cunningham's columns. Today, I'm afraid, Alec Bruce has to join the club, too.

In all the years that I have read columns about the financial problems of this province, I have never once seen any suggestion that the rich have any responsibility at all to help with those problems. Nor have I ever seen a word about how the rich are a part - and a major part - of the problem.

But no. Instead, in a recession caused by wildly irresponsible behaviour by the very rich in the US and Canada, journalists talk about nothing but cutting EI, cuttinig pensions, slamming the most vulnerable people in the province, raising taxes and  curring services like health and education for them.

Meanwhile, and for decades,  the wealth of much of the western world has increasingly gone into the pockets of the very rich.

The theory is that if you make the rich really rich, they will invest that money, thus creating wealth for all of us.  And that is pure nonsemse.

We've been this route before. In the depression of the 1930s, the very rich made huge profits. But they didn't invest worth a damn. Why should they? You invest to make money. If the people you're investing in don't have money to make you a profit, then you take your money some place else.

Far from investing, what the very rich do in a depression is to take advantage of the suffering to slash wages, cut benefits, soak the poor for taxes - and  demand even lower taxes for themselves.

We are watching the grossest of gluttony at the very small head table while billions of the hungry look on.

This is not capitalism. This is simple greed, irresponsibility, the power of corruption going deeper and ever deeper into political power. This is also stupidity. It is stupidity because it is destroying itself.

The decline in American military, economic. and diiplomatic power over the last thirty years or so, for example, has been stunning. We are watching all the pieces fall apart as the biggest and richest empire in history collapses.

Punishing most of the for the sins and stupidity of the very rich will  not work. It didn't work in the 1930s. It won't work now. Cutting EI and pensions and health and education, and raising taxes to give more money to the super-rich will not make us prosperous. It takes a special kind of thick-headedness even to imagine it will.

Norbert dismisses corruption as no more than 150 million a year. Where did that number come from Norbert?  And even if that's estimate is good (very unlikely) - why have you never written a word about it -  have never said who was feeding the corruption?

And you won't ever say, will you, Norbert?

In fact, if it is 'only' a hundred and fifty million - which I coubt - that's because you're not counting the whole cost of corruption to us. When a wealthy person slips a million into somebody's hand, he's not doing it just to get a million back. It's to get many, many millions back. And we pay for that.

And then there's the damage caused by intellectual corruption. - the damage that happens when  a whole population gets nothing but lies and trivia and propaganda for its information.

There's no shortage of money is Canada or the US. In fact, there's more of it than ever.  What's happened is that so much of it now falls into the hands of a tiny group - and that they can buy enough politicians to keep their taxes between low and zero, and they can get government contracts and Public/Private Partnerships to make even more while impoverishing everybody else.

And where do they invest their money? Well, they have all those nice free trade agreements by which they can hire workers in foreign countries at two dollars a day, make them work long hours in dangerous coniditions, pollute to their hearts' content, and pay no taxes at all.

Capitalism has been so perverted by greed and stupidity that it is killing itself.

If we want to prosper - if we want to survive at all - then there is only one issue in the coming election.  We have to restore democracy in this province, and break the political power and influence of big money as represented by the corporations and, in parricular, the Irvings.

Despite some worthy and honest members, neither the Conservatives nor the Liberals will do what is needed.

We are so deep in moral rot that the real issue, the only issue, is to establish democracy in this province, to break through the ignorance imposed by the Irving press, and to put an end to the high cost of corruption imposed on us by the very rich.

p.s. for Brent Mazerolle - Gotten is an ugly and obsolete past tense of the verb get. It is usually frowned on in educated circles. The correct past tense for get is got.

1 comment:

  1. Great blog, solid observations, great work!

    And yes, it is sickening that there seems to be no (or little) mention in the media about the false labelling of the Lac Megantic rail cars.