Thursday, January 23, 2014

Jan. 23: From best of the year to stinker of the year

It's hard to believe that just days ago the TandT produced an edition that was quite decent.

For this one, tough-thinking, sharp-eyed reporters went into the wild streets of Moncton to tell us
a) skaters at the city hall rink were wearing their helmets.
b) it's cold out.
c) Metro Moncton was ready for yesterday's snow.

And that's just the front page. Inside, we learn that election officers are preparing for the September vote. Well, that's a relief. I was sure they weren't going to prepare for it.

The whole of section A is a write-off. Most surprising is the continuing lack of any information of the "summit" meeting  of  300 "community leaders" who were going to solve all Moncton's economic problems. All we've heard so far is we all have to pull together.  Brilliant.

In NewsToday, Horizon Health cut 12 jobs in radiology; and it won't affect patient health care at all. And we'll save a half million dollars.  That's good. You can never know when Mr. Irving might ask for another  half mil.

This is actually a well-written news story, the only well-written one in the paper. The reporter gives equal play to the very contrasting opinions of administration and workers - with workers quite certain it will have an   effect on services. The most important line is in the final paragraph in which Horizon CEO McGarry says the bottom line is that Horizon needs to find one to two percent savings every year in the future to live within a two percent growth model in its budget.

You really shouldn't have said that, Mr. McGarry. It gives the lie to all you said earlier. Patient needs are not even a consideration in your cuts. You are simply following a business model that was imposed on our hospitals by businessmen who know (and care) nothing about hospital services.
Harper is quoted at length in "Canada warns of Syrian dangers". The Syrian war has become, he warns, a sectarian war that reflects wider sectarian tensions in the region.

Wow! What insight!

He and Baird then go on to blame Assad of Syria for bringing in terrorist elements. Right.

In fact, the terrorist are mostly on the other side, the one Harper supports. And they were brought in and paid for and equipped by our good friends in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Oh, and trained by soldiers of the freedom-loving USA and Britain.

In fact, that whole war was created by our side.

Mr. Harper's views are an embarrassment in print. They come across as baby talk at best - and lying when not at best.

In another story, mostly of fluff about his sightseeing, Harper expounds on the Iranian nuclear threat, saying he will be suspicious until he sees evidence Iran is not building a nuclear bomb.

Harper, you twit, American intelligence has announced many times it has no evidence that Iran is building a bomb in the first place. The US, after many inspections, has said the same. The only country in that region that has had a secret nuclear programme and has built a nuclear arsenal is Israel. So, Harper - why don't you threaten Israel?
This is connected with a much bigger story the Irving press hasn't mentioned - and probably has never heard of.

A majority in the US congress is determined to wreck the Iran peace talks that Obama is now engaged in. The pressure is coming from AIPAC, the very powerful and wealthy Israeli lobby in Washington (and Canada - thus the visit to Israel of Harper and his 300 closest friends.)

AIPAC wants congress to pass a bill imposing more sanctions against Iran. The ones now in place have caused enormous suffering in Iran. The new ones would made it worse.

But AIPAC has money, lots of money, and the US congress can be bought. Additional sanctions would wreck the peace talks, and make a war with Iran almost inevitable, smashing Obama's attempt to avoid it. He will have to invade or bomb because that's what he said he would do if the talks failed.

If Congress passes such a bill, Obama can veto it - depending on the size of the vote. Past that point, he cannot veto it. The bill automatically will come into effect.

With only twenty or so congressmen undecided, Congress is within a half dozen votes of having its veto-proof bill. And when that happens, Obama will almost certainly feel forced to attack Iran, creating a major war - and one that could draw in Russia and China among others.

The only country in the world that really wants that war is Israel - and for reasons that have nothing to do with a nuclear bomb. Israel wants that war to destroy Iran, and to make Israel the dominant regional power. And it wants the US - and us - to do the dirty work.

And, as Harper has said,l we are with Israel no matter what happens.

So, how do  you feel about sending Canadians to kill and be killed in Iran as, you know, a favour to Israel? It would give us something extra to mourn next Nov. 11. If the world lasts that long.

Also missing from the news is that France is sending troops to "restore peace" in some of its old, African colonies. How nice of France.

What's really happening, of course, is that France is scrambling to recapture its old African empire before the US grabs it all.

As the old, western empires crumble, Africa and the middle east is in for a terrible time. Much of western wealth was built on gold and other minerals pillaged from that region. The US is there now to take over from them - so far, rather messily. Britain has joined in as a sort of junior partner to the US. Now, France is moving in as a "peacekeeper".  Meanwhile, the US is destabilizing those countries by sending in "special ops" (assassination squads) and drones.

Mr. Harper has joined the game in a minor role. He is being used by Netanyahu to destroy the Iran peace talks. And I'm sure he knows that. That will kill at least hundreds of thousands of people. It may put the whole world at risk. It may be a lot of Canadians killed for something has nothing to do with Canada. And he knows that, too.

But it's going to get him the Canadian Jewish vote in the next election.
The editorial is the usual, old crap. We need to cut spending, cut pampering people with decent incomes and with services. We need - well, it's okay to spend as long as it's on that tiny group of people  who already take the greatest percentage of the wealth production of this province every year. And we mustn't ever tax that group.

This is the usual TandT economic view - to find prosperity by making most people poor, and by ignoring the corporate bosses' responsibility for our lack of money.

Norbert is still talking about universities - and still has no idea what he's babbling about. University teachers who ask for a raise are due for a reality check? Norbert, you drooling sycophant, will you never have the courage to say something like that to corporate bosses who have been making record profits for decades, and still demand more. We have some who make more in a year than all the professors in all the universities put together - and they still want more. And toadies like you have never had the courage (or, perhaps, the brains) to challenge them.

Yes the universities need changes. But your columns make it clear that you don't have a clue what those changes are. The reference to video learning, for example, is trendy - but shows that Norbert has not the faintest idea what education is about.

Alec Bruce, untypically, avoids proving his point (the value of shale gas) by calling those who disagree with him names. The only possible answer to his column today is "nyah, nyah".

Rod Allen is Rod Allen.

The only column worth reading today. is Jody Dallaire.

That's it. One news story. One column. Lots of ads, though.



  1. Those 12 radiology jobs, you know the ones, the $42,000 a year jobs (500,000/12), good middle class jobs, where those folks who had those jobs will no longer be paying income tax from, and a province with a growing deficit. Not much "adding up" here as to what "problem" this is going to solve.

    1. The job cuts are not saving money. People whose jobs are cut, are bumping into other jobs. Those people have to be trained by the person they have bumped. The other person who was bumped, bumps and the training goes on...Sometime the person is not even fully trained in the new position and they are bumped again.

      They have eliminated front end patient care workers an loaded their work on someone else. They are short staffed in the wards because of stress, sickness, etc etc and can't get anyone to pick up hours, because they will be expected to do the work of two and in some cases 3 positions.

      And they say patient care is not affected, well you would not expect the government to admit to their faults do you. The same idea back in the early part of the year 2003 when they eliminated beds in the hospitals in NB. It affected patient care. There were patients in make shift room in hallways with a screen for privacy. Now tell me that the bed closure did not affect patient care....

      But they continue to pay the CEO over 300 thousand a year, plus benefits and other perks, to do what? I am thinking that the cuts should have been to areas not affecting patient care..Horizon is top heavy...And so is the Premier's office, starting with him.