Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Feb. 4: Happy Guilt Trip day

Yes, it's right up there on the front page, "Police shale protest costs reach $9,5M"

(That headline, by the way, means that the  police were protesting against shale gas. Do we have a secret agent writing headlines for the TandT?))

Still, it's sad, but true. When governments and big business lie and cheat and mislead to force something on people they don't want, it often leads to a situation that costs money to handle. We should re-write our history books to make people more aware of that. Perhaps with chapters like,
"How the American revolution drove Britain over its budget estimates". "How the impertinence of Iraqis in shooting back cost the US money that could have been spent on building more prisons."

Public Safety minister Bruce Northrup said, "The highest priority of this department to ensure New Brunswickers are safe..." Duh, yeah. I guess that would be the highest priority of a department of public safety.

"...and at the end of the day we are seriously lucky that no one was hurt..."  I guess so, considering there were some 200 police there, all armed with pistols and clubs, and some mysterious figures in camouflage and carrying combat rifles.

"....$9.5 million is a lot of money that could have been spent on education....."  Sure, Bruce, this government is always looking for ways to spend money on education -and nobody has encouraged that more than the hired hands of  Irving press.

Northrup ends the story with two, glaring errors in grammar in the, last sentences.

Look, putting bad grammar aside, this is a government and a newspaper that set up that whole demonstration.

It ignored a report from the chief medical officer, and hired a phoney professor - one who had done this sort of dirty work before for his masters - to discredit the chief medical officer, to write an incompetent report of his own, and to set up a front of "experts" to supervise the whole project.

The Irving press supported this every step of the way, promising information but never delivering, largely ignoring the the chief medical officers' report, then lying and covering up and misrepresenting when the phoney professor was unmasked.

Who caused that breakdown in civil order? You did, Mr. Public Safety Minister, you and your lying government and the lying press that serves your master.

Then there's a statement by the fire chief that his department is well prepared for a train derailment in Moncton, but says the chances of one are small. After all, the last two derailments were in the 1990s.

Really? Well, that's practically forever. So, what the hell. Let 'em roll.

When was Lac Megantic's previous disaster? or Plaster Rock's?
In NewsToday, there's a story about the report on the story that our spy agency, CSEC, was illegally spying on Canadians.  Not  so, says the chief of the agency. And, if you can wallow through his gobbldey gook, his claim appears to be that they were developing a system to spy on Canadians by following their air travel.

Well, if it's illegal to spy on Canadians, why is he developing a system to do it? Anyway, Harper's chief security officer says it's okay to spy on Canadians. So that takes care of that.

On, it's not in this story, but there was discussion in the House of Commons about whistleblower Edward Showden, and one of his helpers who said that Canada is spying on Canadians - and it shows up in the Wikkilleaks documents.

Harper's closest adviser on seccurity told the house it's not true, and that the man who said so is a porn spy. Now, I'm not sure what a porn spy is. But what does this have to do with whether Canada is spying on its own citizens?

And if the man is a porn spy - whatever that is - how would Harper's lackey know it unless he has access to spy reports on the man?

Harper's conservatives, always the first the wave the flag and spend money on portraits of the Queens for every bare wall in Canada, have turned down an NDP motion to honour promises made to veterans who need help. One Conservative MP, Cheryl Gallant, said that veterans who suffer post traumatic stress disorder have to "overcome the stigma within themselves".

That's, arguably, the most disgusting comment ever made by an MP.

The editorial and op ed page are the usual stuff. The editorial page discusses the economy without ever mentioning the problem. The op ed page is just silly.

We are suffering economically, largely because St. Ronald Reagan and St. Margaret Thatcher encouraged the silly idea of turning capitalism loose. It is, they preached, the only humanly-created system in history that does not need control and regulation. No. Why, we just have to let it run, and prosperity will shower down on us.

That's pure rubbish. Capitalism does not, by its nature, create wealth - except for itself. It exists only  to create wealth for itself. And it does that partly by creating poverty for most others. That's why we are living in a time economic decline while big business is enjoying record growth.

You don't need to read editorials to know that. Just take a look around at the world

And it gets worse. Free trade enables big business to make even bigger profits by shifting operations to poorer countries. (And it does it without making those poorer countries richer. Haiti, Guatemala, and Bangladesh and Congo are good examples of that.

As well, free trade has done much to make our elected governments simply decorative as private business slipped out of national boundaries and as it has come to own national governments (and smaller ones like that of New Brunswick.)

We are not going to get rich by a shale gas miracle. Shale gas developers come here to make money, not to give it away. We are not going to get rich by cutting budgets - though it might help to take a look at where are tax money is going (and to include tax breaks to the rich as a part of the money that is going.)

Not only is big business taking a lion's share of the profits of our society, it is also using our tax money to fight its wars, and its propaganda clout and control of politicians to stir up the hatreds necessary for any good war - and to spend billions on spy agencies to spy on us, largely for the benefit of big business.

Alas! Big business is no better at planning foreign policy than it is at creating wealth for others. The US is obviously closing down its longest war. Riddled by the corruption of big business, that war has cost over a trillion dollars - and its been a dead loss. And the demand for wars for big business goes on. Do you seriously think the drones and assassination squads in Africa, the threats on Syria and Iran have anything to do with terrorists?

And, if so, why do we have this sudden appearance of terrorists? And why are they terrorists when they kill civilians on our side - but we are not when we kill far more civilians on their side?

We are now in one hell of a dangerous situation - largely because big business is allowed to be greed unlimited.

Big business is not going to save us. It has never shown any talent for saving anybody - and it's the biggest, single threat we face.

It's not at all like the fairy tales we read in the Irving press. The reality is that the only salvation for us is us. Yes, maintain capitalism. But make it operate according to rules that we set, the sort of rules we freely use against protesters; but never use against the rich who do far more damage than any protesters.

And recognize that some business is far, far better run by government than by private business. And we h d better do that fast because we are rapidly moving to hospitals and schools that will run for only one purpose - to make the rich richer.

The theory ( seriously) is that greed is good. You'll find lots of people writing in praise of that theory. Greed gives incentive for the rich to develop wealth - and we all get richer.

You don't need to think very hard to see what drivel that is. Just look at the world. Look at the abyss we now stand on the edge of.

I have several items that have never appeared in the Irving press. But I'll save them for tomorrow. One of them is about the Alberta oil sands - and it's hard to see how New Brunswick newspapers could have missed it.

Another is something about Pete Seeger that our news agencies never mentioned. It may upset Rod Allen.

But I doubt it. He's been well house-broken.

1 comment:

  1. "...and at the end of the day we are seriously lucky that no one was hurt..."
    I was there that day. Betwixt 50 and 100 feet from those cars when they were lit up. I saw plenty of people that were hurt. Some with red welts from bag bullets and some with red eyes from pepper spray. Right you are though, we were lucky one of those frightened younger cops didn't get jumpy with a trigger finger. Seriously