Saturday, November 30, 2013

Nov. 30: And the Moncton TandT is holding steady at..

...stinking.

P. A8 has yet another set of photos of our social betters holding a gala to raise money for the needy.
Well, volunteer efforts like this are never going to make a dent in the problem of the needy. They're needy because our society, without a whimper, gives all its money to the rich - and the hell with everybody else.

It's a social problem, and the solution lies with the governments of our society. But they and the rich have decided it doesn't matter how many are made poor by the demands of the rich. We have, for example, Walmart whose handful of heirs hold as much wealth as the poorest 40% of the whole United States.  And they keep those people poor and themselves rich by paying stinking wages.

If mayor Leblanc (a guest at the gala) really wants to do something about that, he should put away his tuxedo, and use his political influence to find a solution - not a band aid that provides the rich with a chance to have an expensive party.

(I find these things a bit stomach-turning because I remember the high society wife of a prime minister who was very big on organizing these social galas to help the poor. It gave her an excuse to spend thousands on clothes for that one occasion, to appear as the star at a party of  her social friends (which did not include any poor people), and to read accounts in papers like the TandT gushing about her exquisite taste.

Norbert continues his hopelessly ignorant rant about the CBC - and in terms so vague, he obviously has no idea what he's talking about.

There are only two things worth reading. One is Gwynne Dyer on the conflict between Japan and China, with the US joining in on the Japan side. If this does not scare the hell our of you --- you're a very lucky person.

In short, the US has to be forever in a military confrontation with China in order to maintain what power it has left in Asian trade. And any slip on either side could be fatal - for all of us.

The other bit worth reading is the editorial because it's so contemptible. Just months ago, the TandT dumped all over Dr. Cleary because she dared to criticize fracking. They even ignored it when she won a prestigious national award for her work.

Now, the editorial is all love and praise because the shale gas industry desperately needs her support to overcome the mess that it and the Irving press has created through years of lying and fraud. What a collection of slime buckets!

I suspect her position is impossible no matter how she chooses. Neither the government nor the gas industry is going to change its mind in any meaningful way. These people are conscienceless, greedy liars. They aren't looking for Dr. Cleary's input. They're looking to use her.

The only solution to this is at the polls. But simply switching to the Liberals won't do it. That would just be changing gutters.
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And now back to amateur sports.

Amateur sport was a way of defending the dominance of the powerful and rich over the rest of us. We, who couldn't afford to play amateur sport, were by definition without character, the essential quality of leadership.

But that concept lost a good deal of appeal in the twentieth century. That was particularly true in the failure of leadership by the rich in the 1930s, and even more so during the war when civil servants proved to be better managers of the economy than the rich ever had been. So, to this day, we are still in the messiness of rewriting the rules.

One tactic is to ridicule the civil service as inferior to big business, and even to impose business methods on the civil service as an indicator of who's boss. Popularization of that idea is left to hack journalists like Norbert.

In the US, it gets added force by linking it with the American revolution. Just as indviduals must be free, big business must be free. Both are part of God Blessing America. And, of course, the revolution was against unfair taxation. So making the rich pay taxes is unAmerican.

After all, It's their money. They earned it. (The same rule does not apply to the poor,, though. They have to pay taxes because they didn't earn the money; their jobs and incomes were created for them by the rich.) In fact, there was a New Brunswicker not all that long ago who was so insulted at the idea of paying taxes that he moved to Bermuda for just over half of each year to escape paying taxes.

The rich and powerful remain people of high character of course. But they now have an even greater mythology that even they believe. They are wealth creators. Yes. They create wealth.  Yes.

And, like the earls and dukes before them, they ignore the reality. The rich do not create wealth; they absorb it. Anywhere in the world that the rich have gone on their own terms has been driven into poverty, suffering, violence, environmental destruction.... Take a look at Africa, at Central America, at much of Asia...take a look at what is happening to the US.

Today, poverty levels in the US are hitting record highs. As the rich have flexed their muscle to corrupt and even to take over politics, money has flowed like a great river to the rich. Some 150 families in the US control a full half of all the wealth in that country. The incomes of the rich rise by 30% and more every year. The incomes of everybody else rise by less than 1%.

But, and again like the old aristocracy, they delude themselves that they are entitled to be rich and to keep it. They believe they have some qualities that make them superior to others.

The British aristocracy, secure in their belief that they were of superior character and therefore entitled to lead,  lost ground steadily in the nineteenth century due to the rise of commoner capitalists. By the middle of the century, they had fallen so far behind, the couldn't afford the upkeep of their stately homes. That's why you find a stampede of British aristocrats looking for wives from the families of newly-rich Americans.

That's why Winston Churchill's father married an American girl. You'll find her name on a ghost town in Arizona where once there was a spectacularly productive mine.

And so today, the British aristocracy go on thinking, against all the evidence, that they have some inherited character which makes them entitled to be leaders.

Tomorrow, we'll take a look at how our better sort of people maintain their illusions about their superiority - and where that will take us.

3 comments:

  1. Your opening line made me laugh as that was the exact same thought I had when I saw the photos. I wondered to myelf, if the cost of all the wine that was served, could be donated for the cause wouldn't that make a dent in the need?. As someone who has volunteered with survivors of violence, I note that in N.B., the money does not go to the needy. It goes to the people who work in this organization to keep them in jobs.
    Thanks for our common thought Graeme.

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  2. http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Age_of_endarkenment

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  3. http://www.theguardian.com/science/2007/aug/15/endarkenment

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