Friday, May 23, 2014

May 23: The Irving press couldn't find much news in the world- so let's help them

A big problem with New Brunswick politicis, I think, is that politicians get their news from the Irving press. So just to pep up the range of topics for election debate, here is some information they haven't seen - and won't see - in this dreadful papers.

1. Of each new dollar generated in Canada in the 14 years, 66 cents has gone to the wealthiest 20%. Twenty-three cents has gone to the middle class. Ten-cents, count them, ten, have gone to the rest of us.

The result of this is that the wealthiest 86 Canadians - not the wealthiest 86% - the wealthiest 86 people in this country Could buy EVERTHING in New Brunswick that is privately owned - including all housing, half a million cars and other motor vehicles, all pension plans, jewelry, clothing, stocks and bonds - everything. And still have billions left over.

So much for journalistic drivel about how the very rich "create" wealth which trickles down to us. In fact, it doesn't trickle down. It never has. It trickles up; and the rich get rich by looting the poor.

2. The very rich do NOT create wealth for anybody except themselves  You don't need statistics to know that. You just need eyes and some basic reading skills. Look at those countries where the rich have been growing fat for years - Central America, Africa, the United States - all of them are suffering massive poverty. There are very, very wealthy people in Europe and Canada. whose fortunes have soared in the last twenty years.

But they haven't created wealth for anybody but themselves. Everybody else has suffered a relative drop in income.

This is a hint for our Conservatives and Liberals to stop babbling about grand projects to restore prosperity to New Brunswick through the wonders of capitalism. There are no wonders. So here's a hint, kiddies -
stop babbling about get rich quick schemes in shale gas and events centres and neat ideas. Stop this nonsense of cutting services off from the poor just when they need them. Anyway, none of that has anything to do with our budget woes.

Stick with capitalism if you will. But learn that capitalism like anything else cannot be allowed to run wild. It has to submit to regulation; and it has to made to serve the greater social purpose.

I"m not sure that it can be done peacefully any more. The leading capitalists may have become too powerful and too contemptuous of the law to even think of themselves as citizens any more. And, certainly, I have seen no sign of either courage or brains for such a challenging job in either the Liberals or the Conservatives.

Tell you what. Why not pretend the rich of this province are native people?. Then we could call out some of those guys with the neat camouflage suits and the combat rifles,

3. Depending on how it's counted, some 21% of all land in the whole world is owned by 15 people. Here in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Maine, three Irving brothers owns 3.6 million acres.

That doesn't count thousands of squares miles of forest Alward gave to them on the cheap to loot. Apparently, the government has no problem with offering social services to people who are rich. It's the poor ones they feel the money would be wasted on.

4. In 2013, Canada was involved in an UN committee discussing the sale of arms around the world, including those to private buyers. Before the meeting in invited a number of groups from the gun lobby, affiliated with the Natonal Rifle Association in the US. They appear to have been invited at the insistence of Defence Minister Baird. He did not invited any anti-gun group.

Then, the president of an NRA-affiliated group was in included in the "non-partisan" Canadian delegation to the US. (Funny that wasn't mentioned in the Irvinig press). His role in the gun lobby was not mentioned in forms sent to the UN.)

Result - thanks to Canada, the NRA had got in to negotiations at the world's highest level for domestic gun sales. (I know. This has nothing to do with the NB election. But you might keep it in back of your mind for the federal one.)

5. Then there's this NB school board that has adopted a course in entrepreneurship that will be taught to every student in every year from K to 12. And it will be directed by businessmen who know nothing about education. As well, it seems this is happening across Canada.

One might reasonably ask - "What the hell is any group of businessmen doing pushing its way into the school system?  Ever hear of teachers demanding the right to run certain departments of Irving Oil?

There's an article on this in CCPA Monitor of May 2014. I doubt whether Irving reporters would ever read this. It's left wing. They read and report on far right groups like Atlantic Institute of Market Studies - and they do it without even telling us what it is. So, here I'm telling you. CCPA Monitor is left wing.

In it is an article by Laura Elizabeth Pinto of the faculty of the Ontario Institute of Technology's Faculty of Education.- - who has just written a book on the subject of teaching entrepreneurship. She says that thirty years of research have not shown it to have any value. It doesn't work. It's a waste of time. It takes time away from more important subjects. And it's misguided because it defines all problems as being created by the schools and the governments - while ignoring the colossal human and social failings of business.

So one might ask of the Minister of Education why the hell she handed over our children to a completely unqualified bunch of propagandists? These are our children. These are your children. Where the hell were the parents' associations while all this was happening?

I can understand a school board approving it. Most boards have few who know anything about education, are heavily politlicized - and it's all made worse by parents' ssociations (Home and School, etc.) who think that their only purpose is to make tea.                                        

This is real damage being done to our children - and it's just an early stage of much, much greater business interfering in something it has no business in - and of which it is largely ignorant.

This could and should be an election issue.

Lots of stuff in here that the Irving press never mentioned. Much of it could provide policy ideas for the election. Instead. The Irving press will continue to keep us in ignorance. And most of the politicians will continue to spin neat ideas that are simple-minded and out of touch with any reality.

Oh, and the NDP proposes tougher laws on drunk driving. Well, that should certainly solve all our social and economic problems.
The big news on the US-Ukraine-Russia turmoil isn't in today's paper. Russia has signed a thirty-year fuel deal with China. The deal implies the shaping of an alliance to defend half the world against US aggression, with others, like Iran, probably to be added. So much for the big talk of isolating Russia.

In other words, without using violence, Putin has reshaped the strategic and diplomatic world - and he has done it to the disadvantage of the west.  Great leadership, Obama and Kerry. The American government has blown almost everything it has undertaken in the last fifty years and more.

It's wars have killed millions and destroyed whole nations - and with no improvement whatever to anything. And it has done so at enormous cost to itself. Now, it has re-created the cold war - with no sign whatsoever this will cause any improvement of anything.

There is not the slightest chance that Russia staged that coup against the Ukraine government. After all, the loser in the coup was Russia's man. The obvious response for the US, if it wanted to avoid trouble, was to immediately work out common ground with Russia. Instead, it opted for bluster and threats, assisted by stooges like Harper.

At every stage, Putin avoided threats.. Instead, he has used the master stroke of starting an Asian alliance. Putin has won this round. Unfortunately, this will not end the crisis. Indeed, it makes the situation even more dangerous.

The businessmen who are the real planners of American policy may feel they have to go to war now before Russia builds an alliance that is too big and too strong to deal with. And that could well shape a war in which ALL of the world's nuclear powers would participate.

At no point in this did Obama and Perry make any serious attempt at negotiation. From the start, it was threats. This could have been a moment that would make the world less dangerous. Instead, it is one that has made it much, much more dangerous.

I have mixed feelings about Alec Bruce's column. I loved the title. I wasn't crazy about the solution.
I agree that the election speeches we're hearing and brainless and irrelevant. But I don't think the public service is too big. And I don't think that getting collaboration across party lines makes any sense at all.

A government is not simply a business enterprise. It has obligations to the whole of society that a business does not have. A party should be based on senses of what society should be, of what obligations we have to each other. Business does not have any ethics or any responsibility or anything that could be called a philosophy of what a society should be. A politician must have those. And it is on those that a party should base its  actions.

Most of ours don't.

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