Saturday, March 8, 2014

March 8: Some truth emerges...

We are getting a hint of what the new, Ukraine government is about. Yesterday, it cut all state pensions in half. That doesn't mean all civil service pensions. It means all those pensions that keep the elderly alive. All cut in half.

All means those now getting them as well as those looking forward to them.

That sort of budgeting is called austerity. Our own Alward is very big on it.

All our evidence is that austerity budgeting, though it sounds sensible, makes economies worse, not better. So why the rush to do something that doesn't work?

.....because it works for the very rich. By making the poor even poorer, bondholders can make sure they get paid off before it's too late.

It is not just a  coincidence that the new president of Ukraine is a very wealthy banker.

Ukraine has now well and truly joined the European Union as many of its states are already suffering massive starvation and deep poverty.   (Take a fun trip to Ireland or Greece to check it out.Or save your money, and just check it out in the US).
 The result will do nothing whatever to restart those economies.

But it will mean those nice, rich bondholders will be sure to get all their money money back.  We don't want them to suffer, do we?

I don't believe that story made the Irving press. Nor did the next one.

Ten million scallops have been found dead along our Pacific coast. Many more species will follow. Scientists say they are dying of carbon dioxide poisoning - you know - the stuff that comes from fossil fuel. It is now poisoning our oceans. And I understand we have an ocean on this side, too.

But what the hell, who needs sea food? Right?

So climate change is likely to be irreversible very soon after we get our shale gas moving. That's good. We'll need something to eat. And shale gas might just do it.

I was astoniahed at another story that wan't  in the TandT. The world's oldest hockey stick (about 180 years old) is on sale on E Bay. But don't worry if you missed it because it isn't the world's oldest hockey stick.

Contrary to the popular stories about how hockey was invented in Halifax or some fishing village on on the East coast, it wasn't.  The modern game was invented in Montreal (with rule copied from Canadian football.)  But even that is nowhere close to the beginning. There are pictures of Dutch children playing hockey on frozen canals over 200 years ago. And even that isn't the start.

Europeans have been playing variants of hockey on ice and on fields for unknown centuries. The first game probably goes back to the day when some lighthearted caveman cut the head off an enemy, then  began swatting it along the ice with his club, inviting friends to join in.

Don Cherry, the one who had lost his head and was now the puck, saw the possibilities immediately, invented the high collar and fedora to hide his deficiencies - and the game began.

On p. B1. The Associated Press has a reasonably impartial account of  Russian reaction to events in Crimea. But it's already too late to tell the truth. People, based on their prejudices, and the skill with which their leaders play on them. Indeed, if they are already sufficiently programmed to hate, then they will hate no matter what information they get.

The US government, and its very cooperative news media (including in Canada, got off the mark quickly with a stream of lies - that this all began with  a Russian invasion, that the overthrow of a government by a street mob is enough to make the new government legitimate, that the Russian exercise of its treaty rights in Ukraine constituted an interference in Ukrainian internal affairs.

And it was all backed up by the real whoppers from Obama and Kerry - that modern countries obey international law, that the US never interferes in the affairs of other countries, and never invades them.

I would expect Americans and Canadian to roll on the ground laughing at these absurd statements.
If the US believed in international law, Bush and Obama would years ago have been turned over to be tried and hanged for war crimes. And  the US is unquestionably the world leader in interfering with other countries, invading them, and carrying out mass murder.

But I haven't seen a word of that. Nor have I seen any evidence that a mob has the right to overthrow an elected government, install it's own, unelected people - and that government immediately becomes liegitimate.

Hey! How about we all march on Fredericton, toss out Alward and his flea circus, and appoint each other ministers. I can see Turner applauding that, now.

The shocker in today's paper is that Ottawa will do nothing about Canada's high rate of attacks, murder, and rape of native women.

Gee! said Mr. Mackay, if we stop what we're doing to conduct a study, to find out what's going on, we son't be able to keep up our good work in helping these women.

I presume that all of mr. Mackay's schools must have had a no-fail policy. Authorizing a study wouldn't mean he would have to stop doing anything. And what he's doing isn't working, anyway, so why keep doing it just because it's what you're doing?

Then he says they can't be studied because they're all different from each other. Some live in cities; some in the country, some in the far north......

You want something in common Mr. MacKay? I h ave it for  you. They are all women who get beaten, raped and killed at twice the national rate for women.

Mr.MacKay's casual approach to t his issue may not just be stupidity. There is a smell of vindictiveness in here.

This is a government with a strong record of antagonism to native people, of anger, even of crude racism. (Remember those questionnaires circulated by flunkies like Goguen,  the ones that asked if we agreed about getting tough on native peoples?

There is nothing exceptional on editorial or op ed pages. - well - except that I'm baffled why, given tensions over Ukraine, they would run a column by Gwyenn Dyer on India.

On the Faith Page, we are advised to Ask God to shine his light our our hearts.

This is a great page to for collecting old and bland Sunday School lessons.

Now, I must go because this cold (which has already slept away half my day is making me so weak and useless,  I feel like a premier.

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