Friday, April 10, 2015

April 10:Liberals ask departments to show how they would cut from budgets.

That's the front page headline in the Times and Transcript. Think about that.
Each department has to cut 5 to 10% from its budget. Think about that.

Surely the purpose of a government is to serve the needs of the people who live under it. So, if a government has to cut, wouldn't it start by deciding what is essential for it to provide. And wouldn't that mean the party would have to know what its philosophy of service is? And it that's what you have to do  first, then how can you begin by saying cut 5% from this department, 10% from that one, 8% from that one?

But, of course, the Liberals don't have a philosophy. Neither to do the Conservatives. And, from their public statements, I know that neither party has any idea even what the words Liberal and Conservative mean.

I'm afraid I can't have any confidence in the budgeting wisdom of political parties that exist simply to get elected. (Not that any of this matters. Mr. Irving will tell them what their budget should be.)

A6 has a heartwarming story about "leading citizens" (they lead only in the sense that they can afford $200 each for a superb supper with dancing at a hotel.) It's for the cancer society. So, once again, we have the rich patting themselves on the back for having a big evening of expensive food, new dresses, etc.,   with whatever is left over going to the Cancer Society. Oh, and I'm sure the TandT will have pictures of the gracious lot of them.
That's it for section A news.
The editorial writer gives us a long (and I mean l-o-n-g) and thundering editorial on the "crisis" in our health care system. In it, he never says exactly what the crisis is, and offers not even a hint of what should be done. This whole, self-righteous column can be summed up in four words. Something-must-be-done.

Well said, sir.

Very perceptive. Eventually, he will get around to saying that health care would be best if it were privately owned. (The TandT has already hinted at it.) Indeed, it applauded the government for introducing business methods to the system. And it seems to me that the 'crisis' came just after that.

If that writer ever wants to see a real health care crisis, he might take a look at the US where it is privatized.

Norbert has a rant about the cost of running universities. And he actually has the nerve to say university administrators are grossly overpaid. They are, of course. But Norbert doesn't seem to know why. I was once offered the position of university president. I was stunned at the salary and all the goodies that went with it. I was more stunned to find that even if I got fired on the first day, I could expect a high salary for the rest of my life.

The university lawyers loaned me a book on the subject to convince me I should accept the job.  It began with the huge increases in salary and perks that shot out of sight a good 30 years ago in business, and are still rising out of control. Yes, Norbert. University administrators are overpaid. That's because of the example of gluttons at the top of the ladder in the business world.

Want to write a thundering column about that , Norbert?  No. I didn't think so.

As for his suggestion of teaching by video....Norbert, you don't have a clue what teaching is but, properly done it involves sensing what a class needs, and adjusting to it. You cannot do that with a video.

Yes. The administrators are overpaid. Yes, the universities should be reaching out to communities. Yes, they have a weakness, encouraged by the news media, for courses  that are more trendy than useful.

As for programmes being politicized, some are - though certainly not most. Some have to be. The whole rationale for teaching women's studies, for example, or poverty is political. The very idea of teaching business administration is a political one.  Many, perhaps most, of the decisions we make are political, based on our view of society, what we decided is needed. It's like writing a newspaper column, Norbert, only with brains.
Then Norbert says the programmes are worthy, but not rigorous, and the approach is poor.

I have made such comments about some courses. But I've worked in  universities for decades. Norbert exaggerates, generalizes, and hasn't a clue what he's talking about.

Norbert's suggestions would save nothing. Universities could be saved by developing some respect for teaching, and adjusting spending so it is based on teaching needs.  Or, as a reader of this blog pointed out, the whole crisis could have been solved if the 70 million given to Atcon had been given to post-secondary education.      

Nothing much on the commentary page unless your really care for the details on how some restaurants are opening, and some are closing.
Canada&World has no story on Atcon, the company that yesterday's Liberals gave (and lost) to Atcon. The Conservatives have made some noises about the need for an investigation. But they're lying. They had four years in power to do an investigation; and they didn't do it.

Why would the Conservatives have passed up the opportunity to embarrass the Liberals? Well, some of that 70 million may have gone to leading Conservatives, too. And now, it's certainly clear that premier Gallant is not going to ask any questions. And clear that the Irving press isn't going to, either. Nasty things, questions.  This one reminds me of the questions never asked about the 47 people who were killed in Lac Megantic. Why did Irving Ltd. pay all those millions even though it  said it was as pure as he driven snow? Don't expect the Irving press even to ask.

The lead story in section B is worth a read. Payday loan companies lend money, usual small sums, at such exorbitant rates that many borrowers can never pay them off. In the end, such a company can make thousands out of a $200 loan. Green Party leader David Coon, wants tougher legislation to stop that.

That is what is called having a political philosophy, a sense of morality, a sense of why government exists. The Justice Minister, lacking any of those qualities, says, oh, it will take a long, long time. Well, of course, some of the best families of New Brunswick could be owners of  payday loan companies and even shadier enterprises than those. It would be fascinating to see a list of their holdings in Latin America.

Prime Minister Harper, we are told on B3, will be pressing for more details on Obama's deal with Iran.
Why is he doing that? He surely knows that neither Iran nor the US give a damn what he thinks.

Well, try this. Netanyahu wants to make life as difficult as possible for Obama on this deal. So the Israeli lobby, which contributes lavish funding to US politicians may have spent some on the Conservative party. Possible. But they really don't need to.

Harper has an election coming. He needs the Jewish vote. So he has to look as though he's really on the case. In reality, outside the borders of Canada Harper is irrelevant.

But why is Obama, in the first place, negotiating a treaty with Iran to end a nuclear weapons progamme that, as Obama knows from his own intelligence service, doesn't exist? He has three reasons. He needs to look tough  in what is becoming a disastrous presidency. He has to bring Iran into the circle to prevent it from forming an alliance with China and Russia. American oil billionaires want control over the Iranian economy so they can make money out of all that oil.

Why is Iran expressing concern about the deal? Because of reasons one, two and three above. And also because of a long experience of Iran in being looted and impoverished by oil billionaires.

And why is Netanyahu so eager to break the deal? After all, Israel has at least 200 nuclear missiles. One would think that Israel is pretty secure. And why is Netanyahu, with the help of Harper, trying to put the heat on the US, the country that that played a major rule in creating Israel, that has financed its growth and equipped its army? Here's where I offer a word of sympathy for Netanyahu and Israelis in general.

Nethanyahu doesn't trust the US - or Britain - or Canada. Nor should he.

One of the myths of this world is that we fought World War Two partly to save the Jews.

Not true. Not at all true.

As early as 1910, Canada and the US were intensely anti-Jewish. That's why, in the 1930s they refused to accept Jewish immigrants.. Long before the war, Hitler had launched his anti-Jewish war. And it was plain and obvious on Nov. 8 of 1938 (two years before the war) when naziis stormed the Jewish districts, smashing windows of homes and synagogues, setting fires, beating and murdering Jews. That was the beginning of the mass murders that culminated in the "final solution".

Canadians, Americans and British knew about it. As the extermination camps were developed, our leaders knew about it. Some of the news media must have known as well. But not a word was spoken to us. And we didn't lift a finger to help them. In fact, Canada once refused to accept 200 children. Canada stopped them though it knew it meant death in the camps for them

And we wouldn't accept them after the war, either.

But we did agree to creating Israel, didn't we?

Yes. But that was for three reasons nobody talks about.
1. Canadians and Americans were afraid of a stampede of Jews to get out of Europe. We didn't want them here.
2.Jews were already fleeing to Palestine in large numbers. They forced their way in, and set up terrorist groups to kill Christians and arabs. It was too late to stop them.
3. Americans, in particular, decided to support a state of Israel because it could give them a foothold for dominance of the Middle East.

Netanyahu and the greater part of Israelis are pretty loathsome, remarkably similar to the Naziis who murdered their kinsmen.

But we made them that way. We may not know that. But every Jewish child learns that as a first lesson in life.

The Saudi war against Yemen goes on, a war of one of the richest nations on earth against one of the poorest. As well, the Saudis are being heavily supplied with bombs by the US. Yemen is also the country that suffered uncounted dead with many, perhaps most of them civilians. They were killed by US drones.

The US has no right to be there at all. And neither has Saudi Arabia. But the US has warned Iran not to get involved despite the close ties between Yemen and Iran. So how come the US can invade whoever it likes without even saying why - and can also tell other countries what they can't do?  That's what's called American Exceptionalism. Obama has said he's a great believer in it.  The US is allowed to ignore all laws, domestic and International, and has the right to make up its own rules for everyone else. That's what's called world conquest - something even Hitler never considered.

And of course, what it really means is the world is to be ruled by American big business. The American people have been systematically frightened into hatred and killing. But they, too, are the victims. The villains are capitalists who are not really capitalists at all, but oligarchs.

Then there are the stories that didn't make the Irving press. For example, it seems that the melting of permafrost, speeded up by the melting of Arctic ice, is releasing huge quantities of carbon dioxide to that which has already changed our climate.

Tomorrow (Saturday), there will be a gathering of those concerned about pollution and climate change at 2-4 p.m. in front of city hall in Moncton. It's not announced in the TandT. But you have to be fair. It needed room for big stories, like a picture of a cat up for adoption.

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