Thursday, February 5, 2015

Feb. 5: Government is about people.....

Greece is deeply in debt to international banks. The human suffering in that country has been profound - and the malnutrition deadly. But the banks refuse to give easier terms on the debt. Particularly vehement has been Angela Merkel of Germany who takes the toughest of tough lines. (She forgets that her country,in 1945, was forgiven ALL its debts - most of them incurred in killing us. Without that forgiveness for debt, Germany would still be the wasteland it was after the war.)

But let the Greeks suffer and die is the word today.

Something similar is going on in Ukraine. That country is broke, so broke it has been surviving with oil it gets from Russia, but never pays for. (That's one reason why it is absurd to think Putin wants Ukraine. It would mean taking over massive debts.) If you look at the presence of international bankers and their agents in the Kyiv government, it is obvious why they're there. They want to suck out every last drop of blood from that country. And one of the interests of the US is it wants American companies to control the supply of oil to Europe.

That's one reason why western Ukrainians (the ones on our side) are refusing to volunteer for the army and, now that there is a draft, are fleeing it. There is no future to fight for. If the Russians don't get them, the bankers will.
There's a lot of death all over the world. Malnutrition is the biggest cause, especially of child deaths.

In the US, eleven percent of US families suffer from hunger.  That's the largest number of modern times. In Canada, every week, 850,000 Canadian use food banks, and the number is rapidly growing. And all those food banks depend on volunteer donations and volunteer workers.

And I can assure  you that those 850,000 people are not the only Canadians who are going hungry. I grew up in a household and a district in which food, especially nourishing food, could be hard to come by. Going to school hungry was routine. But we and our neighbours would have died before going to a food bank. Some did.

All of this is why I find it contemptible that most leaders across this country - and the news media -  (with the help of university 'experts") can talk of nothing but cutting budgets, and making the suffering even worse. Check the columnists in the Irving press. Check the editorials. Check the news stories. They're very big on the need to balance the budget.

But they rarely talk about the people, what they're going through, what they need. (Neither, I note, does the Faith Page.)

Right now, Harper is pushing through a very dangerous bill to complete the job of destroying democracy and making this a police state. His excuse  is terrorism. Yes, we have to guard against terrorism. But terrorism, however spectacular and newsworthy it might be, kills far fewer Canadians than do hunger, malnutrition. In fact, it probably kills fewer than are killed by lightning.

Why the hell are we spending billions to create a gestapo to check our every move? Why do we have a piece of legislation to fight terrorism that doesn't say what terrorism is? If you're an environmentalist, you're a terrorist. (That's not an exaggeration. The police spy on environmentalists now, and report on them.

Once you are listed as a terrorist (that is, someone who disagrees with Harper). then you are open to gestapo interference in your life just for talking about  it.  If you disagree with terrorism but say you can understand what causes it, then you are a terrorist. If you talk to someone who MIGHT be a terrorist, then you MIGHT be a terrorist - and the gestapo can then interfere with your bank account, your job, whatever they like......

This is a law that uses our fear to destroy our democracy, and us.

And it's expensive when there are 850,000 (and counting) Canadians who are hungry - and even more who are undernourished. And it's a safe bet that more Canadians are killed by hunger than are killed by terrorists.

To Conservatives and Liberals who support such a bill, I can only say, "you bastards."

Government is not about raising and spending money. It's about people. So you don't start by talking about money - which is largely what Gallant did in his recent speech.

Government is about people, what they need. So you start by electing politicians whose own starting point is human need - not balancing a budget. And not coming up with get rich quick schemes like building an events centre.

You start by outlining what is needed for health, for education, for shelter, for food. And you do not leave any essential service to private business or volunteers. Moncton can be proud of its volunteers. But it should be ashamed of its politicians who make volunteers so necessary.

That takes what I have not seen in the Liberals or the Conservatives - a sense of what a human community is, and what it needs.

Once  these priorities are settled, then you examine needs and costs. Why are North Americans becoming poorer? Why are our budgets so far out of adequacy? For example, we have what's called the wage gap. That is, for some 40 years the rich have been getting richer, and most of the rest of us poorer. And where is all that money for the rich coming from? Us.

When will the rich have enough? Never. The Greeks can tell you all about that.

So will cutting budgets help us? No. They will just make most of us worse off, especially as the government hands over public responsibilities like health and education to the rich. (which will also transfer more of our money to the rich.)

To make it worse, we are now in a severe recession which shows no sign of easing. What caused it? Free trade with very special terms for the rich was certainly a factor. So was behaviour by the banks which was probably illegal, and certainly unethical. And who paid for it? Tax payers - so the rich wouldn't feel bad. And execs and board members all got bonuses for their cleverness.

Balancing New Brunswick's budget will make no difference to the basic problem - and that is the massive flow of money from most of us to a few - and the   ability of those few to pay some of the lowest taxes in the world. And this is happening all over the world. The result of it, inevitably, will be massive suffering and, almost certainly, violence.

The rich have to pay their share, and they have to be forced to pay a fair share to their employees. Uncontrolled capitalism simply does not work. It never has. And the rich do not have a special gift for managing money or societies. that's pure bunk because all they understand is making money for themselves. That is their only purpose in life. (well, that and getting named to philanthropic halls of fame.)

Government is about people and society I have seen not the slightest sign that the Liberals or the Conservatives or the Irving press understand that.

I didn't focus on the Times and Transcript today because there is a limit to how often one can say this is mindless crap. The latest paper has a new format which, for some reason, seems annoying. However, it now uses a real photo of Norbert Cunningham, and the real Norbert is a delightful improvement on the cartoon one.

One point in Thursday's paper caught my attention, though. Moncton High School athletes are the Purple Knights. In fact, almost all the Moncton teams have very masculine and fierce names. I've never met anyone who knows who Beatrice McNaughton was or what she did. But everybody knows the school symbol, a hairy Scottish warrior whose picture dominates the entry hall. (There are no pictures of Beatrice McNaughton.)

Now, it's quite possible that Scottish warrior is transgendered - but it still seems to me that school athletics are dominated by male images, and the worship of male warrior prowess. Don't those schools have girls in them, too? And don't some of those girls play on school teams?
I still have lots of notes on other topics I want to cover. I'll try to set aside some time tomorrow for that.


  1. Another excellent post Graeme. I wish Canadians would only wake up and see what is happening. It seems we are all frogs in the pot.

  2. Absolutely. Well said.