Monday, March 31, 2014

March 31: opening with stories that don't appear in the TandT

1. Oil, gas, and mining companies can now do legal exploration drilling British Columbia provincial parks. Industrial development in them will follow,of course. What's the point of exploration drilling if you can't do the development?

2.Big oil is moving into the classrooms of Alberta with something that looks suspiciously like private business, (oops, entrepreneurs) moving into New Brunswick schools to teach their own programme on entrepreneurship from K to 12.
Coincidence?  Not bloody likely.

3. US figures show low, low income tax payment by major corporations. Some of the largest and most profitable US companies paid no income tax at all.

Now, wouldn't it be nice if the New Brunswick government were to make such figures available to the people of this province?  Wouldn't it be nice if the editors and reporters of the Irving Press were to get professional, and do some digging on the story?
For today, you'll need only half a cup of coffee to get through the paper - and that that will include reading all the obituaries.
Page one gets it rolling with a gutsy story that must have taken a lot work. City fire departments, it seems, use few volunteer firemen. Village fire departments, on the other hand, often rely on volunteers. Who would have guessed?

Page A4 has pictures of snow for those who don't know what it looks like.

Page A8 has the story of how NB Energy is studying ways to protect water near oil and gas drilling. That would have been interesting if the the Irving press had not already told the story at least twice before.

Anyway, what does it matter? The government and the shale gas industry assured us long ago there is no possible danger. Case closed.

And those, dear reader, are the high points of a section A that is trivial, lazy and sloppy.
NewsToday does nothing to pick up the slack.

The top story is that  Montreal real estate salesmen are watching the Quebec election in fear that a win by the Parti Quebecois  would mean a drop in sales. Well, yes. That happens in every election in Quebec. But it's scarcely the only thing or the biggest thing that is likely to happen in such an event.And it is surely well down in the list of major world events.

There is a half-decent story about Justice Minister "fumble fingers" MacKay and his latest legislation to get tough with crime. It points out that the tough measures much favoured by Harper won't work, and  have never worked. More commonly they make crime worse - and they make any treatment of it impossible. It's all just revenge. So why do MacKay and Harper support it?

It attracts the moron vote, those people who think it's better to "get revenge" than it is to actually reduce crime. The system is an utter disaster in the US, with its prisons holding the highest number of prisoners in the world - and reforming the fewest.

Then turn to p. C3 to read a full page of names of the winners of the Crown reserve fishing draw.

And that's it. That's all that happened in the world.
The editorial cartoon is just dumb. It shows three figures in armour and riding armoured horses out looking for war and death. I presume these are the horsemen of the apocalypse (in which case there should really be four.) One of them is Putin, grinning at the prospect of killing and terror.

There is not the slightest evidence to suggest that Putin is doing any such thing. In fact, anyone with even a passing knowledge of recent years knows that the US has been far the biggest killer in the world. So why this lying cartoon hitting on Putin?

Because he's a Russian. Hate. You have to learn to hate. All Russians are hateful It's your patriotic duty to hate them.

Americans killed a million and a half in Iraq. So where are Obama and Bush in this cartoon? They have killed and are killing with drones in Pakistan, Yemen, Sudan. They have killed (and we have) in Libya. They have slaughtered ( with their money) hundreds of thousands in Syria.

But there are no cartoons of Obama and Bush. Instead, we have a cartoon of a gleeful Putin setting out to kill (when Putin has been and still is the moderating voice in this whole affair. Compare what Putin has said to what Obama and Cameron and Merkel and the fearless Harper have said.)

We don't criticize that last four for their dangerous statements. So why this cartoon of Putin?
1. because de Adder wouln't dare criticize an Obama or a Harper for anything but a minor matter.
2. because we have to learn hate Putin because he's a Russian.

And that's what is called racism.

Norbert writes one of his "something must be done columns" in which he says nothing - and he kids himself he has a real impact on provincial thinking.

You want to understand our budget problem, Norbert? Then you have to open your eyes, and see who runs this province. It's very simple.

Every year, the very rich take a bigger share of all the wealth we produce. Every year, the rest of us get less.

As well, the very rich pay little or no taxes - and since they have 40% or more of the wealth, that's one hell of a loss.

The rich, in this world of corporate welfare, also expect to receive substantial gifts of money from us.

Now, think hard, Norbert. Every year, the rich get a bigger share,and we get less. Think hard. Where does that get us - and soon? It gets us to economic collapse and social chaos. These people who are making us all poor are short-sighted, greedy, irrational, with no sense whatever of morality - that.....and we are handing over our schools and our children to them.

It's greed that goes beyond common sense. That's why senator Sanders called it a psychiatric rather than an economic problem. And you, Norbert, won't even look at it. No. you think we should demand answers, look for competence, and any other vague and meaningless word you can think of. Norbert is the classic man who pounds his fist and says "something must be done", and thinks he has pointed the way to a solution. He would have been a big help on the Titanic.

Craig Babstack has a column that child molesters who cannot control themselves must have controls put on them. Duh....very insightful, Craig. Are you training for Norbert's job?

Steve Malloy has some simple but very, very useful advice. This winter, I've had all the symptoms of winter that he speaks of. And a bit of the cure he suggests - not enough, but even a little bit makes the winter easier.

Alec Bruce has an excellent column on Harper's reforms of election law.

So, in the whole paper, there are two things worth reading - the columns of Alec Bruce and Steve Malloy.

A letter to the editor (Business Banquet was great success) if interesting only for its use of the language of propaganda. It's a about a dinner for "entrepreneurs"; (the have more eating fests that the church's do.)

But why call them entrepreneurs? Shouldn't they be called what they are -  small business or small capitalists? Well, yes, they should be. But entrepreneur sounds more elevated, and even suggests an image of knights out slaying dragons. They also like to kid themselves it gives them something in common with Irving.

This is propaganda - designed to fool the public, and to fool the small businessmen, too. And you can bet this kind of crap will be a staple of the courses they design for our schools.

A    parting thought on the events centre. It will be designed to draw people from a considerable distance, and to encourage them to stay in Moncton at least one night, plus restaurants, etc.  This is not designed to appeal  to the poor. As such centres always have been, this one is designed for the middle class.

And the middle class is disappearing. That is stunningly true in the US where much of our audience would have to come from.

So we are going to invest heavily in something whose market is disappearing. And don't kid yourself. That market is not coming back. The distribution of wealth in the US has effectively destroyed most of the middle class. And there is no sign that distribution of wealth is going to change.

The Irving who owns the hockey team needs a new rink. But he, and his entertainment colleagues, must know that it is most unlikely to make money. So they need suckers, like you and me. And they need shills, like the editorial writers of Irving press.

1 comment:

  1. When you look at the prerequisites set aside for submitting a tender to the Correctional services of Canada for such basics as medical treatments, food supplies, radiology etc, it becomes apparent that there is money in crime, even if there is no crime. In Herr Harpo's field of dreams, he says 'build them, and they will be filled', even if we need to get creative in ways to make more honest Canadians criminals.