Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Feb. 18: Wow! "Metrp plans major air show"

Of course, they've carried that story before. Was it yesterday? The story hasn't changed. But it's there again. This isn't a news story any more. This is free ads.

And, apparently, it will generate millions in profits. Well, of course. That's why they're having it. It's certainly not being held to stimulate our thinking or improve reading skills. This is purely money-making.

Now, making money is the way business exists. It's the whole purpose of business. It does not exist to cure illness, to pay pensions, to provide education, to help the needy. Quite the contrary. Big business will kill, abuse, debase, and enslave people to make money. In much of the world that's exactly what it does, with Canadian mining companies leading the way in violence against workers - and low pay and refusal to pay taxes.

And business is here in New Brunswick not to raise living standards but to keep them as low as possible so it can escape taxes and pay the lowest possible salaries (except to CEOs.)

It's government that is supposed to look after our needs as individuals, and as a society. And it's supposed to regulate business, and to make sure it pays its share to the society.

But big business has not only taken over government; it has changed the way governments think. Under both Liberals and Conservatives, we get governments  that think like big business. Instead of  looking a what society needs, it concentrates on air shows and hockey rinks to make money. (and, if they do make money, most of it will go to the already wealthy who will, as usual, avoid paying taxes on it.

As for health needs, the front page has a story  in which the health minister actually brags about cutting spending on health. That's business thinking with a vengeance. (0f course, he says he did it by being more efficient. He says lots of things.)

And the Irving press plays ball by not interviewing a single person who disagrees with the minister's assessment.

Incidentally, it was 80 years ago under a prime minister from New Brunswick that the world learned that cutting government spending is exactly the wrong thing to do during a recession. What saved us then was government spending (notably on war) combined with government regulation of the economy. Oh - and the rich paying their share of the taxes.

That came crashing down with the idiocies of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher that allowed "entrepreneurs" (especially the big ones) to become parasites on our society. Thus the recession, the obscene wage gap, the cuts to essential services.....

And that will not end until we get a government (and a people) with the courage and brains to see and attack what is being done to us.

Whoopee! Air shows and events centres . Sorta reminds ya of old Rome, don't it?

P. A8 has the story of a U de M delegation visiting Haiti in order to help out. I hope it does a better job than the TandT of explaining why Haiti is the poorest country n the hemisphere.

There is no mention that Hairt has been the best part of a century under dictators chosen, paid for, equippid and armed by American governments. These thugs routinely tortured and raped and murdered just for the fun of it.

Salaries were forced down to a few dollars a day (they still are). Working hours were long and brutal. It was (and is) what New Brunswick 'entrepreneurs" and politicians would love - cheap labour, no services - not even household water and sanitation. And the entrepreneurs came in droves to set up factories and cheap labour fruit plantations.

When the Haitians at last disposed of the dictator and elected a government that represented them, the US promptly send a "peacekeeping" force in which Canada took part. They arrested the president, exiled him, then held a phony election to choose an American puppet for president.

And the American aid money to rebuild after the earthquake?It was never fully paid - and what was paid, most of it, never saw Haiti. It went to contractor friends of the US government who promptly put in in overseas banks.

None of this has ever been mentioned in the Irving press.
NewsToday is the usual one and a half pages for the whole world. Most of it is trivial. One item is amusing. One is frightening.

The lead story is that Irving Oil is "voluntarily" upgrading its rail tanker cars.

Why is that word "voluntarily" there? The use of it  implies that it wasn't voluntary at all. I mean, if they were to paint them blue, would the story be that Irving Oil  'voluntarily' painted its tank cars blue? If Mr. Irving went to a reception wearing shoes. would the TandT say he voluntarily wore them?

That word is a giveaway. It almost certainly wasn't voluntary at all. We already know there have been several strong "recommendations' from the Transport Board. Most likely, Irving Oil was given time to avoid embarrassment by saying it was 'voluntarily' fixing the cars.

When 47 people have been killed and much of a city destroyed, no government, not even a Harper government could let that pass. And, even at that, Irving certainly took its time about fixing those cars.But they should fire whichever PR hack put that word 'voluntarily' into the news release. That gives it all away.

At the bottom of the page is a much more important story about how changes in the Arctic are accelerating climate change. Yes, folks. The climate is changing - and we're rapidly approaching the point of no return.

The only people who dispute this are oil executives and their flunkies - and self-ordained wise ones who write letters to the editor.

And Canada, under Harper, has not lifted a finger to respond to it. Of course not. He has a business mind. In business, the vision limit is three months at a time. It was a very prominent businessman who told me that - and I'm seen it often enough. If climate change does not become drastic until after the next quarterly report, we can forget about it.

There's an exciting editorial on the events centre and how much money it will make.  But that won't mean much money for you. Indeed, it will more likely cost you heavily. But the owner of a hockey team should do well out of it.

Meanwhile, you just look up at that air show. Isn't it exciting?

It's impossible to comment on Norbert's column. The language is vague, the ideas less than half-baked, "Politicians will follow the prevailing winds", he says. Cute. But to hint that we are the prevailing winds they follow is just childish. This is just a high school essay by a student who should not be promoted this year.

Alec Bruce is interesting on the literacy debate in our schools. He offers a view that I have some doubts about. But it's an intelligent and reasoned view - and it does what a column should do. It stimulates thought.

For contrast, Alan Cochrane presents a column which requires no thought at all. In fact, thinking would get n the way.

For contrast, there is an excellent column below his by Tracy Glynn of the Conservation Council of Canada. He writes, and knowledgeably, about the plundering and destruction of our forests, and how, far from making money out of it, we taxpayers are actually losing money. We are actually paying Irving and others to destroy our major resource.

Is there any news the TandT missed?  well....

There is a tremendous rise across Canada of private companies that run fund-raising events for schools. (And they need fund-raising because government cut their funding - and government cut their funding partly so they won't have to tax the rich - but I digress.

When schools have to raise their own funds, the basic purpose of public education - equal opportunity - is destroyed.

Schools in middle class and higher districts can easily raise 5 to ten times as much as schools in poor districts. Instead of  guaranteeing equal opportunity, we're destroying it.

And, in the end, fund raising costs more than taxation. After all, with fund raising, we have to raise money for the school - and also for the fundraiser's expenses and profits. Sounds like, you know, dumb.

Saudi Arabia is supplying Syrian "rebels" with missiles to shoot down aircraft. Sounds good to you?

Well, it doesn't sound good to the US. Most of the "rebels" have ties to al quaeda and other groups. It won't take long for those missiles to circulate. Then they can be used for terrorist attacks on commercial airliners. Still think it's a good idea.

Saudi Arabia has often broken with US policy lately. It's a sign of the declining influence of the US.
But, meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and the US,  together, are paying the salaries of all those 'rebels'. Gee. If it weren't for their generosity, it wouldn't be possible to have a war in Syria.

The US is paying people in Ukraine to riot. Don't know how all those eagle-eyed editors at the TandT missed the story. That American Assistant Secretary of State publicly told the National Press Council that the US has invested 5 billion dollars to enourage rioting against the government of Ukraine.

Why? Well, she says it's so Ukraine can get the future it deserves - and future that would include becoming a staging ground for US nuclear missiles aimed at Russia.

But where would the US get $5 billion dollars? Easy. They just took it from the food stamps budget to feed hungry Americans.

And - bring out the cake with one million, five hundred and seventy thousand candles on it. The US has set that as their new world record for Americans in prison. The majority of them, of course, are African-American, hispanic, or Native Peoples. No nation has ever had so many people in prison.

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