Saturday, August 2, 2014

August 2: As my father would say,...

"....it's enough to make a saint swear."

The Friday edition of the TandT has a page one story on the party leaders of New Brunswick,and their views on job creation. It's not a very bright question as the opener of a series. I would certainly prefer a story telling us what their sense is of what a society should be, what we should be striving for, what the role of government should be....

There was a time when we were told that sort of thing. The Liberals stood for individual rights above all. That's what led them down the path to individual rights for corporations - as if each corporation were a real person.

The Conservatives saw society as a whole, with individual rights to be limited in order to focus on the whole society. That's what led them to maintain power for the House of Lords, and it was very much the message of the Anglican church - and it's why the Anglican church was the 'established' church of England. But that was all a century and a half ago.

The NDP came out of the churches,too. It originated as the CCF, whose first leader was a Methodist clergyman, and whose most famous leader was a Baptist clergyman, Tommy Douglas. Though often called a socialist party, it never was. It was certainly opposed to private ownership of fields like health, national transportation,  and perhaps even of banking. But it never even considered government ownership of all business.

But it costs money to get a party elected - and the big money went to the Liberals and Conservatives because they could be bought with it. So the CCF toned down to get the support of the only large group it could get election-winning money from - the unions.(Unions are much, much less radical than most people think they are.) Out of this came a new party, the NDP, with a programme that looks increasingly like what the Liberals pretend to be.

So here we are with much of the world in economic crisis - and here are the proposals.

Conservatives - develop shale gas and pipelines. Brilliant and, clearly, what Mr. Irving wants. We know that because the TandT has been pushing it for years with propaganda, outright lies, and withheld information.  But there are catches. Authorities in both environment and health say this could be extremely damaging. As well, the jobs and the pay to be created sound wildly exaggerated. And, anyway, most of the wealth created will go out of the province. Oh, and it could also be explosively disruptive for our lives in this province.

But SWN doesn't give a damn. It's going to go ahead whatever damage it may do to us.

Liberals - They're going to do good things. They don't have any plan, yet. But good things. (And, once in power, they'll almost certainly commission a study to prove that shale gas and oil pipelines are good for us).

 By the way, isn't the world supposed to be cutting back on fossil fuels? I mean, everybody now except for the most dedicated crackpots knows it causes climate change which will destroy most of us - and perhaps the whole planet. So why do we want to play a hand in making it worse?

And the NDP? Well, with a world in economic turmoil, the important thing is to cut the small business tax.  And, hearing that from the great beyond, Tommy Douglas wept.

The Green Party and the People's Alliance are much like the NDP, but even more vague.

But none of this matters. The fundamental political and economic problem of New Brunswick is one shared by most of the world. We are not run by our elected governments. We are run by a handful of corporate bosses. The set our economic agenda. They determine our budgets and our prioritiesThey control most of our news, and so control the information we have to work on. We don't have a democracy.

This is happening in much of the world - in the US, Russia, China, much of Europe, South America. Our government IS big business, and big business has no objective but greed, and no plans for dealing with the future at all because there is no future, only a now. This is one of the great revolutions of history and, oh, it's going to hurt us. We can't solve any problem until we come to grips with that one.

And that, obviously, ain't going to happen in this election campaign.
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The only, real news story in NewsToday is on C3, as the medical profession wants political parties to address a question that actually deals with helping people. It wants a serious approach to make it possible for ALL New Brunswickers to get a family doctor. (Fifty thousand don't have one, and can't get one.)

In foreign news, there is no sense of how deeply we are in trouble. The decline of US influence in the Middle East and North Africa, for example, is stunning. After 13 years of war, the US has lost control and even influence in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan. And we still don't know why it fought wars against those countries in the first place.

As for Palestine, we get no sense of the chaos in that country. People in the hundreds of thousands are fleeing their homes in the face of Israeli attacks. And most of those getting killed are civilians, including children, lots of children blown apart by weapons made in the good, old USA.

What's notable is that our news stories tell us close to nothing about why Hamas is putting up such a fight in the face of being so outnumbered and outgunned. Gee! Is it possible that Israel has been doing bad things to them all these years? Can we be told about them?

Oh, you won't find it in the TandT, but a lengthy research study has concluded that American drones have killed 700 people in Pakistan. Of these, 350 were civilians, including large numbers of children. God bless America.
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On the editorial page, Alec Bruce chides the city for lack of public washrooms in public areas like the riverfront parks. Sounds trivial? Just wait till you have children. There's nothing trivial about it. And then you learn about the seriousness of it all over again as you get older.

Norbert has another remarkably silly and ignorant column on the standards expected of journalism. I don't know how a person with his career record can have the nerve to write on such a subject.
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The front page of the Saturday edition continues the series on economic policy. Saturday's question deals with the provincial deficit.Liberal leader Gallant is vague. So is Alward. So is Coon of the Green Party, and so is People's Alliance leader Austin.The one leader with some, rational idea of how to do it is Cardy of the NDP.

Buy, again, nobody mentioned the key to the problem - the extent to which big business routinely interferes in government and effectively controls it. We can't do anything about the economy - or anything else - until we establish democracy, and take control of our own province.

A prime example of this is on p.A9 where we once again get the story of how the Business Council wants us to go on an austerity plan of cutting services -  a plan that has introduced terrible hardship (and no benefits) wherever it has been tried. But the Business council just loves it because it maintains big profits at the expense of all of us.

Oh, the article describes The Business Council as non-partisan. I guess that's true. The Business Council doesn't give a damn which party is in power so long as it does what they tell it to do.
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In this world of wars and hunger and illness and terrified refugees and poverty, the big news story in NewsToday is that the president and CEO of Corridor Resources has stepped down.

On op ed, Gwynne Dyer has an article about how Christians are fleeing Iraq. They have lived there for thousands of years - just as they have been living in Syria and Palestine for thousands of years - they and some Jews and Arab Moslems are really the same people. They are semites in the correct sense of the word, and they have lived together, usually in peace, for these thousands of years.

They are killing each other now because of well over a century of cruel and greedy and degrading interference from Europe and the US. (And the Jews of Israel are disliked not so much because they are Jews as because they are yet more of those vicious and exploiting Europeans.)

This is what created what we call extreme Islamic groups. And these extreme groups are now the ones killing both Christians and Moslems in Iraq and Syria and, soon, in Lebanon. And they are being recruited, paid and equipped and trained largely by Saudi Arabia and the US.

Dyer doesn't mention all this. I added it because it might help to understand his column.
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I always enjoy the student columnists in the Whatever section.Aurelie Pare's column on health always humbles me. And they're all usually insightful, and worth a read. Today, it was Mike Elliott's column that caught my eye. "Why is the world always hungry for conflict?'

Well, Mike, throughout history, it has usually been the same - because there's money in it. Rome built an Empire to tax it in food and cash. The British built an empire so that wealthy British could get cheap agricultural land, cheap labour, and minerals like gold from South Africa. The US fought its many wars in South America (which it never talks about) for the same reasons. World War 1 was fought largely to prevent a rapidly industrializing and united Germany from becoming a threat to British business.

There's money in winning wars and, for some, money in just fighting them. Wars mean contracts. And the US, now, is living on those war contracts.

The money spent on war could end world hunger and poverty. But ending hunger and poverty would do nothing for the wealthy and powerful. So we kill to feed the rich.

On F8, Sabrina Space has a column that wouldn't even be thought of in most cities - the importance of smiling at people and being polite. It makes sense in Moncton. This is the smilingest and politest city I have ever seen.

But, oh, it can be very dangerous in other cities.
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The sermonette for the day, E7, is the usual vague advice of use only to the self-obsessed and self righteous - we should be good, yep. Okay. Was it good to send troops to Afghanistan for kill people we knew nothing about and were no threat to us? If so, what was good about it? If not, -well, if not, where the hell were the churches when this was going on?

1 comment:

  1. The lack of most churches willingness to address anything real and to inform; the US' and UK's murder of millions around the globe in order to create and maintain chaos; Israeli's ongoing holocaust of Palestinians; all these things are the product of an invisible infection within a matrix we cannot see.

    Get your children out of public education. Afterwards, as a young adult, they can always attend university if they so wish.

    Public education has very little to do with actual education. Instead, it has everything to do with indoctrination, and assimilation. It's a psychological passive conditioning in which your child will become a lesser person than their real potential would allow.

    Get rid of your debt, and carry no debt.

    Get rid of the meds if you can.

    Realize all corporate media including national broadcasting systems will mix truth with lies much of the time.

    Attempt to discipline yourself to learn something new everyday, and afterwards it will come naturally.

    ReplyDelete