Saturday, March 22, 2014

March 22:Gee: I guess the TandT didn't get that letter to the media...

......from the former biology officer who said the new forestry deal is a fraud, and strongly implied the government is lying about it  - and that it's a sell-out to Irving. Or it might be that they needed the space for that banner headline and big story on the Salisbury recreation controversy.

This is, I think, the fourth story (at least) on the confusion over village recreation services in Salisbury. The story could have been told in one edition (and it was); but they keep repeating it without making the issue any clearer. Today's big flash is that the mayor is silent on it. And so that provides an excuse to run the whole story over again.

The big story on A3 is more worrisome, "Teacher regulations are 'archaic': report."

I won't pretend to know whether the regulations are archaic. I did know the chief researcher on this project in his Toronto and Montreal days, and always found him an excellent and very active educator. But------

What the hell are we doing allowing a propaganda front for the corporate world to interfere in education? This report was for the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies in which the Irvings have been prominent from the start - along with all those who attach themselves to their coattails.

I don't know all the academic credentials of the Irvings and their hangers-on; but I have no reason to expect to find academic distinction as a common feature. Nor is this an organization funded by the sort of people who have spent their lives teaching and studying education.

Our schools are none of their bloody business. Nor have I ever noticed that corporate New Brunswick ever intervenes in our lives to do us good. These are people who think only of themselves, and who sit on committees and fund propaganda 'think tanks' only to benefit themselves.

They want our children and our schools and our hospitals. And they have only one motive in what they want. Profit. There is a powerful push for privatization and profitization all over the western world. And in every case I know of, it has resulted in higher costs and inferior results.

People in the corporate world have every right to debate these matters (as we do). They do not h ave the right to intervene without the consent of the rest of us. We are living through a major push by big business to take over government. That will be the end of democracy - and we're getting close to the end.

It will also be the end to any hope that government will serve our needs The corporate world does not move in on issues like our forests in order to protect either us or our forests.

If we feel we need a report on education, then it is set up by us, not by a bunch over-moneyed con artists.

Let's use a little bit of common sense. AIMS is an organization set up and financed by big business. And big business is not made up of boy scouts looking for good deeds to do. Obviously, any report it produces is designed to serve the purposes of big business.
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The story on Harper and Ukraine is again by The Canadian Press and, again, it's propaganda. We are told that Harper will have extra sway with other leaders because of his consistent warnings about Putin. Donne-moi un break.

Name one western leader who has not been a constant critic of Putin. Blair? Cameron? Bush? Obama? And where did Canadian Press get that opinion? They don't say - but they did say yesterday. It was from some twit in a corporate-serving think thank. Of course.

Harper is a toadie. He's tough with those who work for him. But he knows his place with those he works for. And Harper is no big deal to anybody in the diplomatic world.

On D4, there's a story on how Ukraine is now working out a membership in the European Union. They trace the history of it without mentioning the key factor. Ukraine had a coup. At somebody's great cost, mobs were organized, the government overthrown, and people who had not been elected were put in power. Few news items ever mention that. And when they do, the term used is something soft like - a change of government. The word coup is rarely used.

D4 has the usual story on Syria that says nothing. Hundreds of thousands are being raped, murdered by starvation and butchery, and millions have fled their homes.. And the North American press is lying by omission.

It does not mention that the US has led in providing money and weapons and training for the hired killers that we call rebels in Syria. All that killing and misery is being inflicted by Obama. (Oh, that Putin is such a terrible man.)

A few months ago, the press was in a frenzy over Syrian use of chemical weapons. Then the UN inspectors anounced that chemical weapons were not used by the Syrian government but by the rebels. Suddenly, the press doesn't mention chemical weapons any more. (Gee. I wonder where the rebels got those chemical weapons.)

We're deep into the age in which 'journalist' means 'professional liar'.
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Bill Belliveau has a column on how we can't fix today's economic problems with yesterday's tools.
Au contraire, we can't fix them with today's tools.

Today's tools are private business. Cut its taxes. Give it free forest. Let it rip off our resources. Build an events centre to benefit private business. Yeah.

But it won't work. It never has. All it has ever done is to make us poor work to make the rich richer. That was our experience of the early 1930s, too. Then, something happened.

Suddenly, in 1939 and later, young men who hadn't been able to find jobs for years were getting free trips to Europe and Hong Kong, free evening air tours over romantic cities like Berlin. My father, who had been shovelling snow for pennies an hour, got exhilirating trips on the North Atlantic.

It was free food, free accommodations, free clothes, free medical care.

Gee. Suddenly, the country that couldn't give its babies free milk now found the money to open huge factories. And,  suddenly, the prosperity spread. In a household that sometimes couldn't afford any meals at all, we now could have half a chocolate marshmallow cookie after supper - six for ten cents.

We will never get out of recession by destroying health, spreading hunger, cutting education while giving enormous breaks to the rich. When you create a class of super-rich, you create a society in poverty.

Those are yesterday's tools. They didn't work then, and they aren't working now.

Norbert speaks with enthusiasm of how we are now moving into an age of more and better information, and therefore of more rational thought.

Wrong premise. We are not moving into an age of more information. Except during wartime, we have never lived in an age in which we had so little truthful information. More often, we get lies and omissions. The whole Irving press is testimony to that. This is not thinking. This is thought control. And it has become a distinguishing feature of almost all North American news media.

Discussion and thought are also held back by fear. Of course, there is fear. We now in Canada and the US have so many spy agencies checking our phone calls and mail and bank accounts what we are actually beyond the level of gestapo spying in Hitler's Germany. And that information is passed on not only to government but to big business.

New Brunswick, already a fearful place before this happened (it's a characteristic of New Brunswick that goes back well into the nineteenth century) is now a place of intellectual paralysis.

Gwynne Dyer has a VERY delicately worded column on Putin and Crimea. (He knows he's writing for a thoroughly brain-washed audience.) On a casual reading, he appears to be gently critical of Putin In reality, he clearly thinks Putin was right in Crimea.
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On that pancake dinner page we call Faith, the sermonette, as usual, is so bland it wouldn't offend a serial rapist, torturer, strangler and Conservative. Does it never occur to our clergy that Jesus lived in a real world, and talked about our behaviour and our responsibilities in it?

Oh, I know. Jesus paid a price for what he said, and got crucified. It's such a comfort to know that our clergy will never be in any danger of getting crucified.
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The student columns in the Whatever section are the good read they usually are. F3 has two, nicely matched ones. Mike Elliott talks about the importance of developing curiosity in school. And he's very right. Much of the memorized information we get from public school to university is soon forgotten.
I have almost no information memories from grade one to the end of my MA - and of only two classes in the PhD.

But I did develop curiosity,  and  habits of thought and expression. And those are the important parts.

Directly below him is Jerrica Naugler (any relation of Harold Naugler?) who uses curiosity and thought to analyze a popular TV show.

Aurelia Pare always scares me because she's so smart and well-informed on her topics Today, she scared me right out of my wits by showing she knows a good deal about literature, too, as she identifies diseases in characters in literature.

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