Thursday, November 14, 2013

Nov. 14: law and order vs. freedom and justice

P.4 "Police all over Canada are watching protests says top NB Mountie". I have no doubt they are. Nor do I have any doubt about the sincerity and honesty of our top Mountie. They are watching protesters. They are enforcing the law. (They are also reporting to shale gas execs about who their opponents are and what they are doing; and that, I think, goes well beyond the law, and it enforces a concept of order that should not exist in a democracy in which we are equal -  but we won't go there.)

Now, what's causing the problem here? Is it protestors who just go crazy every once in a while? Or might it be something created by big business that bullies its way into our lives, that pays off politicians to lie, to hide information, to force through things we don't want, to hire phony professors to write phony reports,that discards scientific reports that don't suit its profit margins, and that operate newspapers designed to keep us ignorant of what's going on?

Law and order is very good - depending on who's making the laws and giving the orders. It wasn't very good under Hitler or Stalin or Mao. And it's no  better SWN and Irving et al. And, no, that sort of law and order is not very good even when it is enforced by a respected police force.

Freedom means we are allowed to make choices and, just as important, we are entitled to have access to the information we need to make those choices. Justice would mean we are treated equally. The police would watch us for violence. It would watch politicians and business execs and newspapers for the lying and twisting and hiding information and the bullying that create violence.

Justice, incidentally, would also mean that the police would not be acting in league with one side, kissing the rear end of big business by feeding it information.

With justice and freedom, you have democracy. With law and order such as our top Mountie refers to, you have a police state.
In world news, we have FIVE (5) BIG stories on the arrest of Dennis Oland. This follows two yesterday on the same subject which follows two years of stories on how Dennis Oland was going to be arrested. This isn't news; this is village gossip.

Then there's a silly bit of advertising for the Harper government - disguised as news that we will have no debt at all by 2038. This is infantile drivel.

NOBODY can forecast what the situation will be in twenty-five years. Who could have forecast the great depression of 1929 in 1904? Who could have forecast the current, disastrous state of the US ecomony today in the 1980s? Economics is not an exact science. It's not a science of any sort.  It's a game of ideas and theories - very often influenced by prejudice and self-interest.  As news stories go, this one ranks even lower than the gossip mag stories about Mayor Ford.

The only important part of the story of disaster in the Phillipines is the horror and suffering and disorder that has resulted. Canada, despite Harper's prediction of a bountiful future for us, is doing close to nothing serious to help out.  The US has made noises about giving more aid - but Phillipinos might be less comforted by that than one might think.

American aid is almost always tied to profits awarded by a corrupt congress to the companies that get the aid contracts. As well, Phillipinos remember their first visit from Americans just over a century ago when American soldiers slaughtered one quarter of the population of 6 million, then installed a military dictatorship, replaced after World War Two by stunningly corrupt American puppet rulers.

And what might the US want today? For openers, it might want The Phillipines as a massive American base for a war against China.

Generally, there's nothing worth reporting in NewsToday.

Norbert is shocking in his column. It's about the Phillipine typhoon, the lack of preparatiion, the clear warning that this maybe a sign of worse to come as a result of climate change.

I think he's bang on.

But he is saying exactly what his paymasters usually deny. They say there is no climate change. Billions have been spent by big business on think tanks to convince us nothing is happening. Harper and Alward are both, in their fervid support of shale gas, ignoring climate change. A splurge on shale gas and other forms of extraction has resulted in destroying any attempt to prepare for climate change. Environmenal regulation and study has been slashed to the bone. The search for renewable energy has been abandoned. Canada will not meet or even come close to its energy reduction promises. There's just a mad dash to make money now, now, now - before the inevitable closes in on us.

I think Norbert's right. But the boss may not be pleased.

Alec Bruce has an important thought-piece. But it won't reach enough of  his audience. It's a tough subject to explain. Briefly, Harper has killed all government scientific research except that which can can make money for big business. But there are two problems with that.

One is that we cannot know which areas are going to be the ones most useful for the development of society. Nuclear power and the gasoline engine have no doubt been profitable. They have also presented us with problems that may destroy us.

The second thing is that scientific reserach does not exist simply to make profits for big business. We pay for it. And it exists for all of us - for the benefit of all of us. And sometimes that might have nothing to do with profits. Sometimes what profits business hurts us - as the development of some insecticides and types of seed have. Sometimes, it takes us away from the scientific challenges we  have to deal with - like climate change.

Harper has been a disaster for Canada. And science is one of the prime areas in which he has been a disaster.
Rod Allen contributes the best column I have ever seen from him. It has something to say - and it's well-written. It also shares its topic with an excellent columm by Jody Dallaire. Both are concerned about how children learn. Both are well worth reading.

I have in mind writing sometthing in line with Rod Allen's closing sentence, " ...(the kids)... must be led, not in school, but by example."

It prodded me to think more of a closely related topic I have become increasingly aware of. I need to think about it a bit more - and it scares me a bit for the enemies I will make...but it goes something like this.

New Brunswickers are narrow. The world is New Brunswick - and possibly Alberta. That's it. They are crashingly ignorant of the rest of it except when a Rob Ford pops up. They're not as bad as PEI - but close enough.

Political life is narrow, poorly informed- -and with a remarkably low quality of politicians. The political parties, for the most part, lack any sense of linkage between politics and morality. (Don't misunderstand me. That is not a call to Jesus. Nor, in any case, have I seen much sign of intelligent life in the churches.)  What defines any real political party is not that it has "neat ideas". What defines it is its sense of findamental moral principles that guide its judgement (In fairness, moral principles are rarely a feature of major parties in any country.)

In New Brunswick, serious discussion of anything scarcely exists.

Intellectual curiosity is almost non-existent. So far as I know, no original political thought has ever come out of New Brunswick. There's a magnificent statue of Frye outside the library. But I can't help noticing how little he is read.

People are afraid. They're afraid of the big money in the province. They're afraid of the pettiness and viciousness of gossip that resembles that of a small village.

The major signs of self-awareness and individual expression are tattoos.

The levels of corruption and manipulation are astonishing. Take, for example, the events centre. The debate around this, at its highest levels, is childish. It's going to pay for itself? Create wealth? If this were true, Robert Irving wouldn't let the city close to it. He'd build it himself and keep all the profits. The reason it's been pushed as a city project is because it ISN'T going to be a big money-maker. Let's get real.

And then there's the fact that most of the western world is in recession - and likely to stay there.I don't care what the promoters say Moncton is the hub  of. The fact is the world is not going to flock in tens of thousands to Moncton to see a very minor hockey league team.

None of the above is casued by the schools. It's caused by the example set by New Brunswick parents. The children are being  cheated out of learning and maturing by their own parents passing on a long heritage of ----something.... 



  1. Without law and order the could be no freedom nor would anyone get the justice. Everybody will become animals, killing each other for the possession of money and property. Law and order is very necessary.


    1. /with law and order we all become animals, killing each other for the possession of money and property. With law and order,, our government spies on us, and passes the information on to big business.
      Hitler's Germany, Stalin's USSR had lots of law and order. But they had neither justice nor freedom.
      Law and order can, of course, be crucial to freedom and justice. It depends on the motives behind law and order.
      BTW, wasn't the American revolution a revolt against law and order? And today, under a new law and order, Obama has the right (which he uses) to imprison or assassinate anybody in the world, including Americans, with no charge or trial. That's under current law and order.