Friday, January 24, 2014

Jan. 24:No word from our social betters?

It's been almost a week since the meeting of our social superiors for an economic summit on the Moncton region (or Metro Moncton as the TandT just love to call it). But, so far, the only report is that we have to pull together.

Now, not only do we have no information on what it was we are all to pull - but that pulling together stuff - well, it sounds downright anti-capitalist and anti  that there on-tra-pra-noor-ship.  I mean, think about it. The principal of capitalism is that we all have to compete. Yessir. Man-to-man struggle in the wilderness. No rules.

And now they're telling us all to pull together? What are they? Some kind of socialists? Has Robert Irving been reading Marx? Has Robert Irving been reading?

A piece of disturbing news is that Horizon Health has decided that its chapels will all be multi-faith. Well, I'd like to see God's reaction to that when He gets his morning TandT.  It's a well-known fact that God hears prayers only when they come from a certified location. And it needs all the right trinkets like a cross and a collection plate.

Only in New Brunswick and some of the more remote regions of Baluchistan would this be the subject of a banner headline on the front page. If there are people who really object to sharing prayer space with people of differing religions, this must be one hell of a bigoted town.

And that's pretty much it for section 1.


(Just as an aside, I've never looked much at the Sports Section. Today, I did. Pretty feeble stuff. Most of the stories, just like the news stories, are simply bought from news agencies. And, for the first time I've ever seen, there doesn't appear to be even one, daily sports columnist.)

NewsToday has more than the usual number of stories, though most of them are of the type in which the headline tells you all you need to know. For I don't know how many times we  have yet another story on the production of medicinal marijuana in New Brunswick, and its meaning for entrepreneurs. (That's cute. Use the word entrepreneurs as much as possible, even where another word would do. Ignore all of our real employment problems by make the word entrepreneur mean universal cure. That's good propaganda; and it doesn't happen by accident.)

One of the least important stories, at the top of C 4, is about Brian Gallant's plan to put more computer training in the schools. The most important story, just below it, gets only three paragraphs. There is a serious problem with the US nuclear force. Security has been dangerously neglected; morale is low; leadership is almost absent.

Some years ago, we almost had a nuclear war when Russian radar reported American missiles on the way to the USSR.  All that saved us, all of us, was a Russian officer who was on duty to push the button in such a situation.

Luckily, he had a strong sense of security; his morale was high; and his leadership outstanding. We all owe our lives to that man. He doubted the reliablility of the radar report, and demanded a second reading. It showed there were no missiles on the way. And the button was not pushed.

Unfortunately, there seems to be no such man in charge of the US nuclear force. This is an important story.  Three paragraphs.

Okay. You want a big story? Irving press style?

C12 has a picture of Harper shaking hands with a king few people have ever heard of. And there's another photo of Harper inspecting an honour guard wearing a uniform perhaps designed for Miley Cyrus in her next reincarnation.
The editorial warns us about  government ("big brother") is looking on. So it is. We have at least three spy agencies tracking all of us - our phone calls, our computers, our social circle...... And we get reported to Mr. Irving, among other industrial bosses. But that's not the 'big brother' the editorial is criticizing.

Of course not. There isn't an editor in the whole Irving news system who would have the courage or the integrity to do that.

This editorial criticizes city council for passing a bylaw requiring helmets for skaters. Way to speak up and address the important issues, baby.

Norbert Cunningham rants again about the need to raise taxes and cut spending on useless thinks - like hungry people. Norbert, read some history.

It's been done. It doesn't work.

In the 1930s, the great depression, we did exactly what Norbert approves of. We raised taxes. We cut services. We allowed big business to make record profits. It didn't work. People suffered- and it got worse with every day.

I know you read, Norbert. Read some history. Read Report of the Royal Commission on Price Spreads and Mass Buying. a report produced and approved by a CONSERVATIVE prime minister from New Brunswick. Read about the hardships and humiliations forced on ordinary people - and the scandalous profits made by big business.

Then read about what got us out of that depression. It was spending, Norbert, spending, not cutting. With 1939, a man who couldn't feed his family could get a nice job with three meals a day just for flying around over Germany - free gas and everything.

And that prosperity was maintained during and after the war largely by government control, by civil servants.

And that all ended when the civil servants were replaced by business leaders motivated by greed who promptly drove the world into recession, and are keeping it there because they make even more money that way.

Read, Norbert. And while you're at it, read your own "The last word" - " a time of crisis, there is no way out but for the government to be bold and aggressive."

The op ed page has an excellent column by Cole Hobson, and another by Greg Cormick on the importance of stimulating railway service in this region - particularly so from the point of view of Moncton. The railways are important to industrial development, to the environment, and to a society that desperately needs better and cheaper transit services.

And this is a good year to remember that.

2014 is the 110th year of Via's "Ocean" passenger service. It's the oldest, continuously operating, named service in the the world.It far beats out The Orient Express and the Flying Scotsman. But when it was suggested, many times, to Mr. Harper and various of his people, they refused to sponsor a celebration of that achievement - and usually refused to answer at all.

Obviously, Mr. Harper sees nothing in it for him.

a footnote...
I have just returned from chauffering one of my sons to the Y. As I came to a street crossing, I looked to my left, and saw it was clear. My son and a snow bank were blocking my view to the right. I was pretty sure there was nothing there; but I asked him to check.

"There's a truck coming."

Well, I didn't think there was. If there were, I'd surely see something that big, even with a snow bank. And, well, I guess the thinking of shale gas advocates had begun affect me, so I began inching into the crossing. And that's when the big, red truck whizzed by my nose.

That's pretty much the way the whole environmental debate is going in Canada.

We are approaching a crossing. One side, representing some pretty impressive scientific expertise says something big is coming. The other  side says it can't see it, so it's inching, and more than inching.

Now, when you get a serious warning, it could be wrong. But you don't just barge out, anyway, not if you have any brains at all.

But barging out is exactly what our governments are doing. Harper, for example, is not just ignoring the warning, he has actually destroyed most existing environment protection.

And, if he had any brains at all, he would at least encourage further research to understand what is happening. But not only has he drastically cut down on climate and ecological  research, he's actually destroyed most of the research our scientists have done.

I'm not talking here about who is right and who is wrong. I'm talking about the intelligent way to handle a warning from experts. Simply ignoring such a warning is not intelligent.

1 comment:

  1. Soaring gas prices in N.B. see some customers switch to oil.

    Remember what a "boon" natural gas was promised to be?