Thursday, March 13, 2014

March 13: Forestry plan will spur investment: Alward

Well, that's not entirely a truthful headline, is it? I mean, we all know that Mr. Alward has never had a thought all his own since he began politics. Having ideas all  your own is not how you get ahead in political New Brunswick.

What you do is whatever Mr. Irving and the other bosses tell you to do. And if you're good and useful at doing what they tell you to do, then you've won the lottery. You get lots and lots of other nice jobs at high pay, and soon you become a multi-millionaire. That's called New Brunswick democracy.

I don't think Alward will make the cut. Certainly, he's been an obedient little servant to the rich - but too obviously. He's not one of those premiers  with the knack of serving the rich while giving a general impression of loving and helping the common folk. No, what he really is is much too obvious to make  him useful

So Irving gets a sweetheart deal to wreck our forests in defiance of all common sense about the environment. And, oh, the industry will do wonderful things creating jobs and paying royalties. And we won't even talk about the horrendous cost to us of cleaning up the mess. And maybe we shouldn't bother to  clean up the mess because the damage will already have been done forever.

An announcer of the new direction was Jim Irving who demonstrated his gifts for insight and oratory with "Government is doing a good job on this one. As far as I'm concerned, we needed more good news. We need to move forward, to make things happen, get positive, and this is a great first step."

Oh, I know. Lots of people would say we need more bad news, we need to move backward, to stop things from happening, get negative..... But this is a man of oratorical talents and rare wisdom. (We need another Hall of Fame, one for New Brunswickers of such high intellect.)

Meanwhile, we're getting ripped off again.  (Sound of one hand clapping.)

On p. A6, We remember 162 Canadians who died in a twelve years of war in Afghanistan, in a war that had nothing to do with us. It was also an illegal war. We know now that Afghanistan had nothing whatever to do with 9/11. In fact, all that was known 12 years ago. Aghanistan was no threat to us, to the US, to anybody.

When that war began, I was teaching, among other things, military history to classes with a high proportion of fine, young students who were officers in the military reserve, with many looking forward to careers in the permanent force. They were idealistic. They were dedicated. They were a delight and a privilege to teach.

I wonder what they think about it all now.

What we did in sending troops to Afghanistan was  criminal and contemptible - both in what we did to our troops and what we did to innocent people.

So why did we do it? Please don't feed me the crap that we brought democracy to Afghanistan (we didn't) or that we thought it had planned 9/11. We knew very well by the time we sent them that Afghanistan had nothing to do with 9/11.

We sent them for the same reason we sent troops to another war that had nothing to do with us, the Boer War between the British and the Dutch settlers in South Africa. Then, we were kissing up to Britain. Later, we were kissing up to the US. In both cases, it was because business relations with those countries were important to our business leaders. That's why 162 Canadians died.

Meanwhile, the New Brunswick government covered up for this colossal stupidity and greed in the usual way. They held a solemn, military ceremony, with pretentious ass of a politician lowering the provincial flag. Present were officers and troops of a regiment - and parents of some of the dead - who could better have spent their time demonstrating so we never throw lives away again like that for no purpose except somebody's profit.

Provincial MLA Brian Macdonald said "This adds one more chapter to Canada's long, proud tradition of doing the the right thing.

To which I can add only bull and shit.

I think of my military classes and their idealism and dedication. They didn't think they were engaging to kill people we had no legal right to be at war with. They didn't expect to risk their lives to improve somebody's profits.

The story says that the first Canadian troops to hit the ground were commandos sent in to hunt Al Qaeda. I don't blame the reporter for saying that. Some half-wit from government PR probably told him that. In fact, there were virtually no Al Qaeda in Afghanistan at the time. Still aren't.

Canada has announced it will help build Afghanistan's shattered economy - particularly in the resource sector.

Ah--so that's it. Mining company bosses will be turned loose to rip off the resources. Good. That will be very nice for some New Brunswickers. Not many. But nice.

I saw no mention of a chaplain saying anything. Odd. They usually dig up a clergyman to decorate the hypocrisy of these occasions.

They had lots of flags, though, held stiffly erect. The central one, and the tallest, appeared to be a Union Jack. What the hell was that all about?

We send Canadians away to be killed for no reason at all. And these pompous asses make it a big ceremony. What we should be doing is putting Harper on trial for war crimes.____________________________________________________________________
NewsToday has a story on Ukraine that tells us nothing. The real story is that we now know who the people in the Ukraine government are. They are heavily made up of a group we scarcely have over here - neo-Naziis, neo-fascists, anti-semites, anti-poles (in other words, racists). That is not just name calling. These are people who wear party uniforms with swastikas, who proudly call themselves naziis and fascists. And the president is a far, far right international banker - who fits right in. These are the people Harper calls freedom fighters.

It's major policy - also not yet mentioned in our press - is to impose extreme poverty on Ukraine, allowing the government to help its banker friends get all their money out of the country.

Meanwhile, western leaders like Obama and his dog, Harper, continue to make provocative statements and moves. The US military has threatened to attack. An American warship carrying missiles has been sent to patrol off the Crimean coast. (Brilliant way to reduce tensions, and avoid accidental situations.)

It looks quite possible that powerful elements in the US want a war. They want it before the US economic decline gets worse and begins to weaken US military power. That's crazy, I know. But there are some very crazy people running loose in Washington.

So far, the only national leader who has behaved with intelligence and restraint is Putin. That doesn't mean Putin is a nice guy. I'm quite sure he's as cold and ruthless as they come. But he also has brains.

When the Ukraine government was overthrown by street mobs that we now know to have been heavily fascist and financed by the US, Putin did what any leader would have to do. Crimea is essential to Russian defence. It is also heavily pro-Russian. So he made it clear it would be under Russian control.

He did not threaten Ukrainians. He was restrained.

The US, Britain and Canada (who cares) were not at all restrained. All made wildly dangerous threats. All made the situation far more dangerous. They're still doing it.

Whatever Putin's faults may be, he has shown better judgement and more restraint than the whole , western world. That could have consequences. As the West declines, it is losing influence around the world for its aggressive and dangerous behaviour. And Putin is standing out as the successor to American leadership.
Pauline Marois wants to separate from Canada? What Canada? The whole of Canada is run by big business. As well, Harper feverishly signs trade agreements to hand over all the vital controls of our country over to foreign companies (and some Canadian ones). We would have to create a Canada before Pauline would have anything to separate from.

In any case, Quebec is in the same boat. Big business runs Quebec, too. That's why, if you examine Quebec's reasons for separation, they have become increasingly trivial over the years - as in that childish and petty Charter of Values. Any party that is happy to get press baron Pierre Peladeau as a candidate is not a party that is going to make any significant social changes. (Peladeau is an extraordinarily greedy and arrogant man of huge newspaper control. Perhaps you can think of a person of that type closer to home.)

Alec Bruce's column on how the internet has encouraged bullying and rudeness is  interesting. In fact, a group has been formed to study why the internet does that, and to take action.

But I'm not sure the internet is what does that. People do it. People  have always been rude, bullying, disruptive. The internet is just one more way to do it. When telephones became common a century ago, we started getting nasty and anonymous calls.

Bruce says it's terrible in universities where students have become very rude to teachers. I'm sorry to hear that. But long before that, professors were stunningly rude and abusive to students - and to each other. And they did it without computers.

That's not to say we shouldn't take action. We should. But the problem isn't the internet. It's us.

Then there are the news stories that just disappear.

Oil train crashes in Lac Megantic. Kills 57. Railway president angers residents and press by taking so long to visit Megantic and offer condolences. Then he makes it worse by concentrating on himself as the victim who has lost all his money.  Press goes wild on that. Lots of stories.

But there were two companies involved in the crash. There was the railway - and there was the shipper who sent the oil. That shipper never went to Megantic at all or expressed a word of regret or even concern. And the press said zip.

Did the shipper have any responsibility? Surely, the shipper knew the risks in that shipment. After, the shipper had his own railway - so he knew how they worked.

Then there was the story that the shipper had misrepresented the volatility of the oil. But that story disappeared after one sentence.

Then the RCMP raided the head offices of the shipper. But even the birds in the forest were silent about that.

When are we going to get a full report? 57 people were killed. That death toll, almost instantaneous, was a third of our deaths in Afghanistan. We never have been given a full report on what Afghanistan was about, either. But at least we had  some marching, and flags being lowered by political dolts.

So when do we hear about Megantic? And when will the shipper drop by to offer condolences? And if he doesn't, when will the press start making fun of him as it did of the railway president?

And where is that full and final report from Plaster Rock?

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