Monday, February 24, 2014

Feb. 24: Where to begin?

Yesterday, I wrote that a government is not essentially a fund-raising organization. It is an institution we have created to serve our human needs as members of a society.

Today, both Norbert and Alec Bruce write about government as a fund-raising organization. Alec Bruce give us some highly doubtful figures on the financial benefits of an events  centre. He gives no idea of who the profits, if any, would benefit. Apparently, just having the money pass through into the pockets of the rich is enough to solve all our problems.

He also has a highly fanciful view of how most people of Moncton live. Relatively few live "In our capacious suburban homes where we park our cars and RVs...."

Norbert is his usual arrogant and ignorant self. He says we should not listen to stories of conspiracies. That is immature, he says, because real conspiracies are rare.Norbert - conspiracy is one of the commonest forms of human behaviour.

In fact, Norbert, you are a man who has built his life on conspiracy. You work for a paper that is a conspiracy to make people think what the boss wants them to think. That's why this is a column devoted to big sounding but brainless phrases. It discourages thinking.

Norbert says "We no longer live in a world in which governments can afford our every wish." Hey, el stupido,, just when was that golden age in which government gave us whatever we wished?

Funny thing, too, the rich can always get what they wish from government. Across Canada big business profits are at record highs. There has never been so much money around. But we get damn little of it. That's because most of its goes to your buddies, Norbert.

The US is even worse with millions homeless, hungry, in despair, a hundred million without jobs, whole cities facing bankruptcy and skyrocketing crime - can big cuts in food stamps so the government can afford to pay corrupt contracts to to the defence industry, and can afford drones to kill innocent people all over the world.

The US is not going to get better. And, according to a report from the Conservative party (which the Irving press hasn't published). there is no future for the middle class in Canada - even as the rich go from rich to super rich to hyper-rich. It doesn't matter how productive we are. /All the benefit goes to the rich.

And it must have happened entirely by accident because, as Rupert assures us, there is no such thing as conspiracies.

As always, Norbert ends with an inspiring but brainless quotation. "The great day in your life and mine is when we take full responsibility for our attitudes." Sounds good. Makes no sense at all. We are the products of where and how we grew up.

A very rich person can be arrogant and self-centred. It's just natural that when you have too much you  see yourself as entitled. That rich person can very likely be contemptuous of the poor because seeing them as unworthy helps to justify the wealth of the rich. The poor will often accept that because they have no power. We all have attitudes that are heavily influenced by where and how we grew up.

This column is full of statements that sound good, but are mostly pure nonsense and mindless.

Section A is a wipe-out except for the  important, page one news that Canada won the gold in hockey. Wonderful. The hungry will be fed. The homeless will sleep in a bed. The millions of dead in wars over the last fifty years will rise again.

As I wrote earlier, there is not a word of the report of a Conservative Party committee that Canada as a land of opportunity is a myth. The middle class is going to get squeezed more, much more. There will be very little class mobility - except downwards. Particularly hurt will be the small retailers (sorry, entrepreneurs). You know, these are the ones that our provincial government tells us are the future of New Brunswick. These are the ones for whom a school board has recently created a whole new, 13 year programme for the careers of the future. We can make room for it by cutting down on useless courses - like reading.

No school board, in the first place, should have allowed a business group to take over a section of the school day. Nor, frankly, is there that much to teach. This course will be what it was obviously intended to be - a propaganda course. And there can be nothing but contempt for any education minister and department that would allow such a gross interference with the school day.

There is nothing in the paper that mentions the very serious implications of events in Syria and Ukraine - even though the story has been public for some 15 years.

A small but influential group of very right wing conservatives in the US formed a study group called Project for the New American Century. (It's on Google.)

It decided that the US had to establish "world dominance". (It used to be called world conquest. But everybody knew that sounded crazy. Project for New American Century sounded more  -  benevolent.

In order to establish world dominance, it was deemed, for strategic and economic reasons, that some countries had to be destroyed. That means really destroyed, each cut up to make them all very tiny and helpless countries. (This was revealed by General Wesley Clark in his memoirs.)

9/11 was the excuse for war, the ideal moment to stir up fear and anger. That's why the US attacked Iraq - though there has never been even a hint that Iraq had anything to do 9/11. But Iraq had to be destroyed. The method has been to break the country up. It now has three parts, separate from each other, and will  almost certainly decay further

Afghanistan was on the list. It looks as though it will divide into two parts with constant chaos.

Libya was on the list, too. That's why Canada bombed it. It now has no functioning government at all.

That's why the US has been paying al quaeda to fight in Syria - to break the country into anything from 3 to 16 helpless parts.

Ukraine, of high strategic value to Russia, is targeted for division into at least three countries - with at least one of them to serve as a base for US nuclear bombs aimed at Russia. The section of Ukraine which will break off and join the European Union might be doubly interesting. It has a long Nazi tradition.

Sudan is on the list for destruction, too. Thus the frequent use of drones and assassination squads.

And then there's Iran.

In all cases, the purpose is not to conquer these countries. The purpose is to break them up into so many small and poor states that they will be not able to get in the way of US profit-making.

Of course, there's no plotting or conspiracies in any of this. We know that because Norbert said so.

In the "ain't no conspiracies field", we  have a story from the Bayer company.

All over the world, there is a mass die-off of bees. That has pretty serious consequences for the world food supply. A European Commission has found that they are dying because of a pesticide made by Bayer. So the European governments will be banning the pesticide.

Bayer, thinking only of the good of the people, is suing governments over the ban.

And there's Nestle - which doesn't only make chocolate bars It's also big in pharmaceuticals.

Now, there's a common flower called fennel which has been used for a thousand years as a medicine, often to good effect. It has been particularly important in the third world where millions have no other affordable source  of medicine.

Nestle announced that it owns the formula, and those who need it must now buy it from Nestle - at a hefty price.

(Please don't say those nice, drug companies heed the money to pay for the research they do. In fact, they do little research.More of it is done by universities with research funding that the drug companies get from government.

They also concentrate on drugs they can get high prices for. That's why the poor of this world don't get anything close to t he medication they need.

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