Saturday, November 15, 2014

Nov. 15: Entrepreneurs and stuff....

I have never before seen a news medium that uses the word entrepreneur as much as the Irving Press does. There is an English term that covers what they use it to mean - business owner. But entrepreneur doesn't mean quite the same thing. It means business owner who operates his business at his own financial risk. In fact, it's only the small business owners that run a risk. With the big owners, we're the people who take the risk.

But some pompous asses just love to say 'entrepreneur' because its French and, like many French words, it sounds more distinguished than the English one. It's used the way some pretentious twits who know only two, French words will say to a waiter, "Bring me a glass of water, toot sweet."

It's also used to confer a sort of mystique on business owners. It implies that from Irving Oil to your corner convenience store, they are more daring, more able, more innovative than others. They know how to govern - unlike those ignorant and clumsy civil servants. That's why Irving could claim to be a member of the government, even though nobody voted for him. That's why almost every copy of our wretched newspaper has pictures of rich people getting awards for "giving back to the community".

Actually, we have a system for "giving back to the community". It's called paying taxes, a system that allows the community to decide what to spend the money on. But the rich don't like that. "Giving back to the community" is much cheaper than paying taxes - and fools a great many people into thinking they really are doing something for us when they're actually bleeding us dry.

Friday's front page of the TandT has pictures of two fat cats grinning as they receive the Order of Moncton for their good works that rival the sacrifices of Jesus. (Actually, most of those "good works" would seem to be more symbolic than real; and some, like "educating" young people about entrepreneurship  (toot sweet) are really self-serving.

The third person getting the Order of Moncton ( is there an order or a business hall of fame of Shediac? of Sussex? of Buctouche?) - anyway, the third person getting the order is Claude Rousel who looks a little embarrassed to be there. That's because he seems to be the only one who has actually done things to help others.
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The other big story on the front page is "Downtown Moncton needs more activity to grow". Duh, yeah. Or you could say "Downtown Moncton needs to grow to generate more activity."

More logically, you could say that decades ago Moncton opted for a city plan based on the use of the car. That's why we opted for shopping malls with big parking lots for a sprawling city that is expensive to provide services (and school busses) for, and downtown parking that rivals much bigger cities for hopelessness.

Add to that a public transport system that is extremely difficult to operate in such a sprawling city. I was able to use Shanghai and Beijing and Rome public transport on my own from my first days in those city. But after more than five years in Moncton, I still can't figure out the logic of its transport system.

The whole city plan is bad. And the ability of real estate speculators to influence city planning is making it worse. That's why moving Moncton Hgh way out to help housing sales in a remote, middle-class boondocks was such a bad idea.
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There's really nothing else worth reading in Section A. The only intelligent opinion column is Alec Bruce's..... but.....how is it possible to write about our economic future without mentioning the most glaringly obvious problem?

We have a capitalist system in which capitalists, unlike all the rest of us, are being allowed to operate with virtually no government control - in fact, with all the control being in the hands of major capitalists who control the governments?

We have a system in which the wage gap is growing out of control, with almost all the profits of world business going into the pockets of the very, very rich - so the rest of us descend even deeper into poverty. We have essential services like health and education being starved because the poor and what is left of the middle class are paying out tax money they really don't have, while corporate bosses avoid taxes by banking in secretive banks outside the country - as in Luxembourg.

And the closest the Irving press comes to mentioning this is the regular, smiling photos of hypocrites who get awards (from the business leaders) for "giving back to the community".

What is happening all over the world is the mad race for all the power and all the money by a tiny group of multibillionaires who send young people off to die in wars that will make the rich richer (something we forget on the day of remembrance). We have lived through the creation of a small number of super-rich who are above the law because they ARE the law. They have created massive poverty and massive killing all over the world. That's what Ukraine and the Middle East and Vietnam and Afghanistan have been all about.

It's not the American people. They, too, are going through terrible suffering in this greatest and most violent robbery in history.

It's the greed and stupidity and callousness of those people who are so fond of giving awards to each other (and building chapels named after themselves. Somehow, I can't imagine Jesus building a chapel and calling it the Jesus chapel - with special music.).
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In NewsToday, it's interesting to see the paper splashing the story of the provincial Liberals looking for Liberal businessmen (entrepreneurs) to give contracts to. That has been the common practice of every Liberal or Conservative government Canada has ever  had, both provincial and national, since 1867 and before. So why make this case a big deal?

Well, it's a reminder to Gallant of who the boss is, a reminder to get off his butt and go ahead with shale gas. (don't worry, boss. He's going to do it. He intended to from the start.)
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I seldom look at the sports section because it's such a feeble one. It has almost no analysis or comment in it. It's a surprisingly drab, narrow and amateurish sports section for a city that is supposed to be mad about sports.
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Section A for Saturday is the usual flood of trivia and ads in disguise.The editorial opens with a piece of advice from Robert Goguen, always a bad sign. He and the editorialist are opposed to any public inquiry into the RCMP shooting deaths in Moncton. The excuse is a wartime one. We don't want to tip the enemy off to our plans.

Well, yes. The police have to keep some of their action plans secret. Of course. But the public certainly has a right to know (this is a democracy, remember?) how this happened, how a person got a very military rifle, how  he was able to routinely take it to a shooting range without anybody mentioning it....There are lots of questions. This also has implications for Harper who has been a big friend of the US National Rifle Association, and very casual about controls. (This buys him the gun nut vote.)

The editorial ends by saying that if we know how all this happened, it would be counter productive. Huh?

Notice, too, that the editorial has war language. "Loose lips sink ships." Yes, indeed. The last thing in the world we need is a police force that is militarized. But it's happening across Canada and, even more, in the US. In a democracy, we have police to protect us and our rights. Militarization creates a police force that protects the very rich by keeping us peasants in line. And that's where North America is heading.
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Norbert is just silly. He's opposed to helping writers in a society which doesn't have a big enough market to pay them enough to write. A Norbert solution? Put a small charge for getting a book out of a library, and use it to help writers.  Brilliant.

We already have libraries that are the worst funded in Canada in this, the most illiterate province in Canada.
Norbert's proposal would do serious damage to the small library use we already have. and writers are not just story-tellers. They give us insight into what our society is like, what we are like, why people behave as they do. Independent writers have told us more about New Brunswick than all the Irving papers put together. I think here of people like Maillet and Nowlan.

His other bright idea is that writers should get day jobs. It works for Norbert, but only because his day job is writing, and only because he uses his writing to kiss up to his boss and owner. That's why it's good to  is be illiterate in New Brunswick. You don't have to read Norbert.

Bill Belliveau is back on the "fiscal cliff". He suggests we bring in 50,000 immigrants a year to New Brunswick in units of families of at least eight. And with a capital worth of $250,000. Oh, and with university educatons. Right. And we should also bring in a boy in green who can fly and a fairy with a wand. Peter Pan and Tinkerbelle spring to mind. (check first, though. They might be Muslims.)

I went to public schools with a high proportion of immigrants, mostly Italian and Syrian. None of them had any capital worth until pay day, and then they had it for only a couple of days.

If a family has a capital worth of $250,000 in its own country, why on earth would it migrate to New Brunswick - or anywhere? Most immigrants are people desperate to get out of their own countries. They're fleeing persecution. They're refugees fleeing the wars that we inflict of them. They're people fleeing places like Haiti and Guatemala to get away from the poverty that we and the US have imposed on them.

Besides, Harper is very, very choosy about immigrants. He doesn't want Romas or Arabs or anybody who looks or dresses too differently. That's because he needs voting blocs -and he knows that large numbers of Canadians are racists and bigots. He wants their votes. (I know. You think Canada is and always has been open to the world. Forget your high school history books. Ask those immigrants who get jailed or deported because they aren't the "right sort".)

We happily accept Ukrainian Naziis, but are less welcoming to Guatemalans. We wet our pants for Chinese billionaires, but won't touch any of the millions of Iraqis and Syrians who have been made desperate refugees by western butchery and destruction.

We don't even treat our native peoples as equals, even though we're the ones who pushed them aside.

He also says we should build bigger schools,  consolidating smaller ones. It would save money. Uh, yeah. It would also make the schools increasingly too big to maintain welcoming atmospheres. And it would and hugely to the cost of transportation.

His best idea is quick and efficient rail transport linking St. John, Fredericton and Moncton. That's a good idea but he proposed we do it a dreadfully expensive way by laying new rail. Surely, what rail we have now must be perfectly safe. My goodness, the nice people at Irving Oil use it every day to transport crude oil in fragile, antique tanker cars.
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Brent Mazerolle blazes another, really good column - so far, the only intelligent column I have seen in any paper about the US Navy Seal who claims to be a hero for shooting an elderly, unarmed man (Osama bin Laden) while the latter was with his wife. My hero.

I know. You think, perhaps rightly, that bin Laden deserved it.  But read the paragraph at the centre of Mazerolle's column. He says it much better than I could.

In fact, why was bin Laden shot at all? The Seals had him. And they had a helicopter. It would have been an easy matter to put him into the helicopter, and take him back to the US for trial.   (In fact, they did take his body into the copter; but they dumped it into the sea. Why?)

Anyway, aren't we and Americans people who believe in trials? Well before the US invaded, Afghanistan offered to send bin Laden to an international court for trial. Bush refused at what proved to be a cost of a over a trillion dollars, uncounted ten of thousands killed, and all for a lost war.

Could it possibly be because the FBI back in those days publicly said, several times, it had no evidence that bin Laden had planned 9/11. And no evidence, except for a video of bin Laden claiming credit for it, has surfaced since.

Navy Seals are heroes only in a very sick society. And that's true of a lot of what we call "special ops". I grew up with some kids who became mafia killers. When I was still a kid, our next-door neighbour was a small-time hood who missed a payment, and was found wrapped in chains at the bottom of a lake.

Navy Seals are very well trained thugs - and they're the creation of a government (and it's financial owners) that are very similar to the mafia. Any society that calls them heroes is in trouble.
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There are two, superb letters to the editor. One is about the "events centre".  "A pleasure dome, or built for vanity?  Then there's a hilarious, but sadly true letter - "Puzzled by tycoon's gas-fracking lawsuit". (I had to correct my original spelling of tycoon. I had spelt it "tygoon". I think I had it right the first time.)
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And, in a world on the edge of nuclear war and desperate for some sort of international means of fighting climate change, perhaps the biggest (of only two) foreign news items is "Wildcat prowling Near Disneyland Paris is not a Tiger...." I'm so relieved.
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According to the Faith page ad for church services, there are only three churches in Moncton - two Baptist and one Anglican.  In other words, the family that built the Irving Chapel to talk to their very own God, charges churches to advertise their services -and charge too much for most churches to afford.

The sermonette of the day is the usual babble that has nothing to do with real life. It reflects the fundamentalist Christian  obsession with believing simply in order to get themselves into the New Jerusalem where they will walk on solid gold sidewalks, clapping hands for Jesus, and do it forever and ever. Every day. (I don't know. Sounds like a hard sell to me.)

You don't even have to do anything for anybody - except, of course, give money to the church. All you have to is to read The Bible with special attention to all the things you must not do - like being gay or lesbian, or worshipping one of those yuckie-poo gods who isn't the real one. Oh, and  you have to be completely dunked or it doesn't count.

The Congregational Christian Church plans to bring Christ into your life with an evening of bluegrass music and jokes. Well, it beats walking golden streets while clapping hands every day for millions and millions of years.
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The Whatever page (C9) is, as usual, a good read - though I want to protest against its absence of male writers. This is feminism out of control..

I was particularly interested in Aurelie Pare's column on some of the harmful effects of video games - for children and adults. As I read it, I thought of another problem which video games worsen.

We are not taught to think. From my own teaching experience in elementary and high school, I know that almost all parents will say they want their children to learn how to think -and almost all will raise hell if you try to teach them to think. For the most part, universities are no better, largely because almost all profs have no training at all in how to teach people to think. I found that true all the way through the doctorate.

Most of university is about learning professional skills, and memorizing information which is soon forgotten. But the processes of thinking get little attention. To learn the processes, you need lots of small-group discussion, lots of reading, and lots of freedom and imagination in planning courses. And perhaps you need Order of Moncton hall-of-famers who can do something more than be boosters for entrepreneurship.
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Now, for some news  you'll never see in the private media.
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First, there's  stunning documentary about the levels of corruption and election rigging in the US. It is very likely that George Bush 2 stole both of the elections he won.That was particularly true as the use of electronic voting machines spread. There was lots of information about it at the time - but very, very little reporting. This documentary looks, for example, at how computer vote results were wildly out of sync with voter exit polls.

There are also bits about how Bush made himself very, very rich while governor and then president - and how he did illegally by, among other things, insider trading. That's not surprising. His daddy made an even bigger fortune in the same way.

It also covers the way in which big business has become the real government.

The commentary is excellent, and delivered by first-rate journalists. But be warned, it's an hour and 45 minutes. So forget  your video game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOygpf#17nE
I hope I got that right. If not, let me know.
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Henry Kissinger was a real powerhouse in American foreign policy until his retirement and even after. He was as right wing conservative as it was possible to be. He was a murderous imperialist and servant of big business. And he was probably the most powerful Secretary of State in American history.

Recently -now get this - he said that the major blame for the Ukraine crisis lies with the US. For the most part, the US has provoked, and Putin has simply responded. That's what has just happened at the G20 conference. Western leaders like Harper made outrageous threats to Putin. Putin knows of course, that Harper always talks big and tough, and never does anything. He knows Harper is talking to the Canadian-Ukrainian vote ifor the next election. So he just said the hell with it, and went home.

Actually, Kissinger is kind to Obama. He knows that Obama is the one who provoked the crisis in the first place, but he doesn't say so.  And, as Kissinger does say, Putin has consistently looked for a peaceful solution, and Obama has consistently been provocative and threatening. And Kissinger knows that all the privately-owned mass media in North America have been lying through their teeth.

Anyway, read what Kissinger says in

www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40223.htm
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There's also a story about how some 17 states - with more to follow - have restored that horror of Charles Dickens' time, the debtors' prison. 48 million Americans live in poverty. (notice the Irving press has never mentioned that?) They're poor because the very rich have made them poor - just like New Brunswick. And when you're that poor, there comes a time when you can't meet even a small debt. So US courts are now sending them to prison.

And it's not like the kind of prison master thief Conrad Black went to with good food and tennis courts and, you know, the right sort of people. No. it's the hell holes that are the overcrowded and violent places that are among the worst in the world.

This is a well told story, with lots of evidence, and with the mark of solid research.

www,informationclearinghouse.info/article40216.htm
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In the Iraq war, Britain and the US made heavy use of "depleted" uranium for munitions.Despite the word "depleted" this stuff is radioactive and toxic. They're all over Iraq, and they have already killed uncounted numbers by creating cancer and birth defects. And they will keep doing it for many thousands of years.

The UN has voted for its member states to help clean up this disaster. A majority said yes. Who said "NO"?

Britain and the US.

Funny how the North American news media missed that one.
https:/www.change.org/p/john-kerry-secretary-of-state-sign-the-united-nations-resolution-on-depleted-uranium-weapons
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There's another site I've just looked at. It's an American site, sometimes a little uneven in quality; but generally it's good, and offers insight to a world we never hear of.

To reach it, google Black Like Moi
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Ever hear of Ezra Levant? He's a very successful newspaper columnist for the Toronto Sun - a newspaper slightly below the intellectual standards of the Irving press, but with more imagination. He's a celebrity on
radio, television, , very well paid.

He calls  himself a conservative but he's actually closer to nazi. He's a hate-monger, climate denier, racist, stunningly ignorant and, according to recent news, perhaps a liar. Recently, he claimed that an Ontario school board had given Muslim students Nov. 11 off so they wouldn't have to attend a school Remembrance day event.

Levant said that, then launched into a racist, hateful rant about the board and about Muslims.

In fact, the board had done no such thing. Even if it had been true, his column about it was vile. But none of it was true.  It was big, big news in The Toronto Globe. But it wasn't carried by the Irving press. It needed the space for a really big story about how Brooke Shields regrets marrying Agassi.

Will Levant's career be harmed by this revelation that He made up all that vile and untrue stuff. I doubt it. He'll continue to be a poster boy for the sewer that North American journalism has become.

To read the story, just google Ezra Levant Muslims.
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Enough. There's lots more, but I need to find a life for the rest of the day.

For a quick summary of what's happening in the world, American governments  (not necessarily the American people) are determined to hand over control of all trade all over the world to American super-billionaires. That's why it wants a war with Russia. That's why it's fighting wars against Muslim countries to destroy their nation-states and their social structure. That's what Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya and the Syrian "civil" war are all about. That's what the new Iraq/Syrian war is really about. That done, they have to muscle in on China in the near future.

Will the American military be able to restore normalcy? 1. no. 2. it can't. Check the record for the US military restoring normalcy in Vietnam, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iraq, again. The war in the Middle East is going to get much bigger - with lots and lots of boots on the ground - and we're in it because Canadian big business wants to suck up to the US to share in the loot. Then we can remember more dead. Ditto for Britain.

Can this be avoided? Possibly. Big business has destroyed the American economy while making itself richer. It has created massive poverty -and is too greedy and callous and stupid to do anything about it. All the blame for the damage is being laid on the poor. The same thing is happening in Canada. That puts the danger of civil violence very high on the list of possibilities. And that civil violence would put a crimp in world conquest. (But it wouldn't help us much).

The race is on. The news media have to create hatred and fear to make people focus on those evil foreigners instead of our evil business leaders. (Sorry, entrepreneurs).

And that pretty much sums up what's happening in the world. Oh, and if you check the Irving press, something else important is happening today. Petula Clark turned 82.

                                             

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