Thursday, January 30, 2014

Jan. 30: Words, Words, Words......

....are funny things.

Some words are well, just nice. They sound soothing, soft and gentle. Some have a harsher sound, even brutal and jolting. Advertisers and propagandists learn that very early in the careers. That's why you'll never see a skin cream ad that says, "Makes your skin as smooth as a raw chicken liver."

When I was a kid, we used to see old movies of French, romantic actor, Charles Boyer. And he might have purred with his charming French accent into the ear of his romantic co-star, "Come away with me, my love. I am an entrepreneur."

Entrepreneur. It's gentle word, a soothing one, the language of romance.

He could have said. "Come with me my love. I am a capitalist."

But it wouldn't be the same, would it? Capitalist is  harsh-sounding. And it has overtones that are brutal and grasping, while entrepreneur sounds almost spiritual.

Now, in general terms, both words mean pretty much the same thing. But notice how seldom we see the word "capitalist" in the Irving press, and how often the world 'entrepreneur'

That's not an accident.

When a group of businessmen forced their way into a New Brunswick school board to install a programme on entrepreneurship, they didn't call it  capitalism - though that's what it was. No, they called it entrepreneurship.

(In reality, of course, it will be a programme of propaganda. If they were serious about teaching an understanding of economic systems, they would have included a course in socialism. But it didn't happen; and it won't.

There are other advantages to using the word entrepreneurship. It's a word one can use to include the smallest business as well as the biggest. Yessiree. They're all one, united group.

But, in fact, they aren't.

Big business has nothing in common with small business. Small business takes risks. Big business takes enormous handouts from government, handouts that would be called socialism if even tinier amounts were given to the needy.

Big business escapes most taxation. Small business doesn't.

But that gentle gentle word 'entrepreneurship' gives the impression of uniting them all. That's how they can sucker large numbers of small business people to spend a weekend planning the future of Moncton under a chairman who as 'big business' really represents interests and a world that has nothing to do with them.

Words, words, words. Watch out for how people use them.
Norbert has a column on N.B.'s best leaders. Funny. He left out perhaps the greatest leader in New Brunswick's history - R,B.Bennett who became Prime Minister of Canada, and who had the courage to challenge the abuses by big business in the depression, and to introduce the socializing measures of the 40s and 50s that brought us the most prosperous period we have known.

Oh, and "The last  word" in this column on political courage and progressive thinking is a quotation from Henry Kissinger. Henry Kissinger, a mass murderer who made a fortune out of government and big business connection - none of which requires any courage at all.

Alec Bruce has an interesting column on why we don't have an economically just society. Alas. He leaves out two of the most important reasons we don't have such a society.

One reason is big business which has effectively became the governments of most of the western world in the past forty years. Big business has no interest in a just society. Worse, in the blindness of its greed and its incompetence to govern, it has placed in doubt our ability to survive as a society of any sort.

I won't mention government, itself, because under the Liberals and Conservatives, anything that might be called a political government has ceased to exist.  All that we have for what we call government is a collection of toadies and simpletons.

Then we have news media, almost all of which lie, withhold information and manipulate.

Bruce sums up by blaming the voters for our failures. Well, yes...but, well, think about it;  a newspaper column that tells the whole truth might be a good start to curing that.

Rod Allen talks about his love for Pete Seeger.
All is forgiven, Rod. I love you.

And Beth Lyons has a quite fascinating column about fake bodies, fake feminism, and something called photoshop.

There's really not much to talk about in the rest of the paper. There's a story about a mountie who will enter a plea on a drug charge next month. (Okay. Tell us next month when it happens.) A case involving sexual assault has been adjourned until the court can clear up some procedural matters. (So what?) The premier of Newfoundland wants to review access to information in the province. (You would be surprised at how few changes that will make in my life.)

Then there's a big, big story about the women who are the dance team for the basketball Miracles. (Who cares? Well, maybe people who read the sports section. So that's where the story should be.)

A liquor store decision is awaited. (Okay. So tell us when it  happens. We can wait.)

If there is any useful information in Section A, I missed it. And that, Mr. Bruce, is why we  have a voting population which doesn't know enough to know who to vote for.

In fairness, page 1 has a sort of story almost worth talking about in its front page headline, the city's decision to use a piece of land given to the city to be parkland - and to use it to build a housing complex for young mothers and their children.  Local residents are objecting on the grounds it was given to the city to be a parkland.

Hey, folks, nothing is forever. Needs change. Much of downtown Moncton was donated or sold to be railway yards. Now, it's mostly empty shopping centre. And some people want to make it a hockey rink. Times change.

As well, that land was given to be a parkland in 1959. That was well over fifty years ago. And in all that time, nobody has cared enough to ask why it isn't a park yet.

Get over it. There is a real need for that land to help out young mothers. That, in any civilized society, takes priority over a "promise" that hasn't been honoured in fifty years, anyway.
Why have we had so little news on plans to close Canada Post? There are, after all, important truths that a reporter with a computer could learn in ten minutes or so. A very good reporter is Karl Nerenberg. But he doesn't work for the Irving press.  Karl was CBC most of his life. Now, he's a freelancer based in Ottawa. As he points out -

1.No other developed country in the world has closed its postal service, or even discussed it.
2. Canada Post is not a money loser. It has made profits in nine of the past ten years.
3. In Britain and other countries, the post office is also a bank.Those post office banks are very successful in attracting customers, and show strong profits.

The NDP proposed that we examine these possibilities. The Liberals agreed. But the Conservatives all stood and said "ba-a-a-a"

What's going on here? It looks very much like greed and ideology working together to destroy a government service simply because it is a government service - and to turn it over to capitalists (sorry, entrepreneurs) who will make it both expensive and inconvenient.

The mystery corner. It's actually on C4 of yesterday's paper. (I missed it in the general tumult of life.)

There is a whole page of six photos of people giving checques to other people, and both sides smiling.

The givers are the volunteers who raise money so children can have breakfast. the food banks can do their work, hospitals can get equipment.....

All credit to those volunteers. But why the hell are we leaving it to volunteers to see that children get breakfast, and adults can eat and and hospitals can cure? We, apparently, can give millions to billionaires who many not even  have to pay any taxes. Where are our priorities?

The top, two photos are a little puzzling on their own.

1. The Bouctouche Gun Club gave a cheque to a centre for the prevention of violence. Now, I was something of gun nut, and I'm still interested in them. But guns  have a reputation, deserved, as major factors in violence. That gift from a gun club to violence prevention looks just a little self-serving.

2. The New Brunswick Air Cadet League donated a new truck (Silverado) to the supervisor of what is described as a gliding operation.

Now, new trucks are pretty expensive. But there is no indication of how or where the money for it was raised. And it does seem to me it would take quite a while for the Air Cadets of New Brunswick to knock on doors to raise money to buy a truck.

Why does the story not say who raised that money from whom? How was it done?
I suspect there's a story here.

1 comment:

  1. I've noticed that the water is getting deeper lately....