Monday, April 13, 2015

read educhatter.wordpress.com

It's an article by Paul Bennett of the coalition to save our rural schools. Paul, though more conservative than I think respectable people should be, has spent his life in education, and knows far better than most what it's all about. He tears apart the government's claim of savings by closing the schools, points out the very damaging results of closing them, and points out that the process is a farce of democracy.

Good stuff.

I also pass on an interesting item I received from a reader. Harper has recently said that he would boost spending if the Canadian economy were in decline. But, he says, it's projected to the be the strongest of the G7 economies. Harper is a liar. And not for the first time

The Canadian economy is expected to continue in decline. The very rich don't care because they are effectively no longer Canadian. Free trade with its special terms has made it attractive for these vultures to scavenge countries that are very poor and do it under their terms. (Yes, that also makes it easier to escape taxes. But they really have never been paying them in the first place.)

The site is:   http://www.pressprogress.ca/en/post/how-conservatives-imagine-canadas-economy-
                   completely-odds-reality

A reader also sent me a site for an interesting American magazine. Just go to google for common dreams news. This one (for April 12) has two, excellent stories you might not see in the Irving press.

One is about how American Corporations making tens of billions of profits in a year escape paying any taxes at all. This comes at a time when they are making their biggest profits in history - and the rest of us are making less. Of course, Canadian corporations would never do that. Why, JD Irving is even in a philanthropy hall of fame somewhere. This could be a wonderful opportunity for a story in the TandT about how much profit the Irvings make, and what huge taxes they pay.

If the Irvings are too shy to talk to reporters about their generosity, go to http://www.Isourforestreallyours/
Ep.28html

The other one is about how 25,000 Canadians marched in Quebec this weekend to demand action on climate change. I don't know whether the TandT will have the story. The particular targets were the oil sands and the pipeline to St. John. And both of those are divine crusades in the eyes of the Irvings, and all their sucks at Irving press.

There was a similar (but smaller) demonstration I attended outside Moncton city hall on Saturday. I didn't see an Irving reporter there.

The usual, "baby fwow up" line in the TandT columns is that we have to create jobs for New Brunswickers. Even if it kills them. So we must rush ahead with shale gas.

There's also a story in the Globe and Mail that Valentina Lisist, a pianist has been barred from appearing with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra because she is critical of the Ukraine government. What the hell does that have to do with playing the piano? Who are the people who demanded she be banned? And what gives them the right to decide which pianists we are allowed to hear?

Hell, Bush is a mass murderer and a liar. But he's welcome in any church, and makes big money as a speaker even though he has nothing to say.

This is not a small matter. The hallmark of a free society is that we can decide whether to see or not see something. You don't open the door to bigots or political gadflies to make that decision for us.In the US, of course, that's standard practice. But we haven't done it here. And it is dangerous.

Actually we have done it here. Harper has done it with his pronouncement that wearing a nigab is not a Canadian value. No. (A Canadian value seems to be electing horse's asses like Harper to tell us what our values are.)
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All the above was written while waiting for my TandT to make an appearance. Surprisingly it did mention the massive demonstration of thousands in Quebec about the crisis of climate change. But it was hidden deep in a pointless story on a back page on premier Gallant. And it had nothing about the similar demonstration at City Hall in Moncton.

But, in fairness, there was a big story about the closing of a pet shop, and a heart-warming one about how our social betters spent some $80,000, plus many thousands more on clothes to raise $108,000 for a charity. Why do we leave the raising of money for vital social causes up to the ditzy, (sorry, glitzy) crowd that appeared at the Daffodil Ball? Couldn't we raise even more if they all paid their taxes? And we might have enough left over to feed even the hungry.

Oh, there are several stories about how premier Gallant is cutting funding on just about everything that affects most people in this province. Of course. Gallant is Allward who was Shawn Graham...and so it goes. They all did and are doing what Irving told them to - make the bottom 99 or so % of us pay for the recession that the top 1% caused (and are making a profit out of.)

The latest farce is closing of schools and getting rid of teachers. The story that class sizes are too small is absurd. Classes have always been too big so that schools can be run on the cheap. And the Education Minister, like every education minister I have ever seen, ignores or is ignorant of the broader purpose of schools. The so-called "public hearings" on the issue (just like the "moratorium" on shale gas) is a fraud. The decisions have long ago been made.

Elections should not be about programmes.These are usually very narrow, and give us little sense of what a party will actually do. The important thing to know about a political party is its sense of principles, the value it places on human lives, the sense of what a society should be like.

But this is not to be found in either the Conservatives or the Liberals. These parties are almost always led by people on the make, who are in it to make connections and establish careers with those to whom they give real power - the very rich.

A party that starts with making cuts should never be trusted. A real party starts with a sense of priorities based on what people need, what society needs. If it must cut, it looks first at what should be its lower priorities.  How much do we give to the very rich in this province? How much do they give back? Are they worth their cost to this whole society?

We are entering into an age of greed such as the world has never seen before. We are seeing massive transfers of wealth in money, in resources that are reminiscent of Congo in its worst years. And both the Liberals and the Conservatives in New Brunswick and in Ottawa have hitched onto the wealthy for the ride.

For the ultimate in double-talk, read the story about Gallant on the last page of section A. Essentially, he says he's committed to dealing with climate change but----we have to balance it with our need to create jobs and make profits for the rich by building an oil pipeline from Alberta to St. John. That's like a preacher saying we have to be faithful; but we have to balance it with being unfaithful

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The Canada&World section is pretty dreary stuff. It's official that Hilary Clinton is running for president. Big deal.  She and husband Bill Clinton are extremely wealthy for people who have spent the last twenty years and more working for their country. As well, she will be running a campaign costing hundreds of millions of dollars from democracy lovers like the king of Saudi Arabia. Hilary is Obama who was Bush who was Bill Clinton - and so it goes.

Then there's the Pope's statement that Turkey's killing of almost two million Armenians was the 20th centuries first genocide. It certainly was a genocide  (killing people based on race, nationality, religion, etc)
But I wold argue it wasn't the first of the twentieth century. It's edged out - but just - by the US slaughter in the Philippines that began  in 1899 and last until 1902. We can be fairly certain of US casualties at about 4,000.  Philippine death are tougher because the US won, and had no interest in counting dead "savages".
A best guess is 220,000 - of whom 90% were civilians. The US also made wide use of torture.  (No. that didn't start with Afghanistan.)

But before we get all morally indignant about all that, we might remember that our ancestors who settled here in the Americas committed a far greater genocide than either Turkey's or even Germany's. It  wascenturies of murder, deliberate starvation, and then the long years of abuse still happening, that we inflicted on our native peoples. It has killed uncounted millions, and impoverished most of the survivors And with no sign of change coming any time soon.

Whatever world news there is seems to be chosen at random. We are told, for example, that Syrian airstrikes killed nine people.So? What does that mean? And did the "rebels" Syria is fighting kill nobody today?  Worse, the story comes from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights which is, in fact, a propaganda front for the "rebels".

The story also refers to militants and activists. What's the difference? Activists are the ones the US wants to to be the winners. Militants are the other side.

Then there's a story on Mike Duffy's journal, a story that wobbles from gossipy to boring.

There is not a word about the Saudi Arabia invasion of Yemen, though this is now a danger spot for all of us that ranks in seriousness with Ukraine. But nothing in these wretched newspapers tell us about this.

It's a long and complicated story. But, to cut to the chase, the US and Saudi Arabia are both anxious to have absolute control over Yemen so they can stop it from developing trade with Russia and China - and prevent it having any development toward democracy. Neither the American government nor the Saudi kings are keen on democracy. That's why the US is rushing bombs  to Saudi Arabia to  kill the poorest people of this world in Yemen.

For the same reason, the US wants absolute control over Iran. That's why Obama initiated talks over an Iranian nuclear weapons programme that he knew didn't exist. That's why I don't think the Iranian deal will hold.   American big business isn't interest in peace. It wants Iran, like Yemen, to be completely subject to its power.

And that's why countries like Russia and China have a stake in what happens to Yemen and Iran. And that's why nuclear war between the major powers is a strong possibility in both cases. And that's why NATO troops are massing for war games very close to Ukraine.

Within Ukraine, there are also serious internal problems as leading members of the Kyiv government are vultures feeding on that country's economic weakness They have already sold off most of Ukraine's best land to multinationals, with the proceeds going to the banks they represent.

There's also a big story about Canada. It's coming soon. Our news media must know it. But they aren't saying anything.  The US is an ecological disaster area. The long drought over most of the southwest shows no sign of easing. And it is extremely unlikely that it will ease. The US needs water. And who has it?

Canada.

The US is going to demand that water. We can't afford to sell that much water. But if we don't,  the US will take it.  There are no such things as friends between nations. That was the message of the War of 1812, the message the government didn't give us when it held its lavish celebrations of that event.
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Re-reading this blog, I see it's messy. Sorry. I have constant interruptions all day.





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