Friday, May 8, 2015

May 8: Was Smirky Goguen lying?

Yesterday, the TandT carried a story from our normally dormant federal member of parliament, Smirky Goguen. He says the city has already received funding from Ottawa for the events centre. They did it by giving a yearly fund to help pay for police service. Legally, he said, the city was entitled to used that fund for any purpose - and it used a good deal of it to clear the site for the proposed events centre.

He also said that if Fredericton will donate $14.5 million to the events centre, then it is guaranteed that Ottawa will match it.

CBC has a different story. In its story, Moncton did NOT have a right to dip into that police fund for any purpose but meeting police needs. And - authorities in Ottawa are either silent or declaring that Ottawa will NOT match any fund for an events centre.

Didn't the Irving reporters check Goguen's claim with the federal government? No doubt, it's cheaper not to check; and that's good for the paper's bottom line. But a news paper is not just a business enterprise. It's an essential source of the news that a democracy needs. It would have been easy to check what Goguen said. A phone call would have done it. But the Irving press was too cheap to do it. Profit comes before news.

As a footnote, if the city did divert police funding to the events centre, what was it the police didn't get?
Three police died because squad cars were not equipped with rifles.  Just wondering.

The headline on A1 is "Groundwater study could help set quality target if fracking allowed". Or maybe not.
The is the first stage of a larger study which may- or may not - be useful in setting a quality target.  The reporter, as always, simply quotes what he was told. There is no evidence of any checking.

At best, this is not a front page headline story. At its worst - and it probably is at worst - another plug for fracking. I don't believe I have ever seen an article in this paper which was critical of fracking. Skip the rest of the news in section A unless you really, really care that Air Canada has added a flight from Moncton to Montreal.
The editorial is about parking in Moncton. It says it's great. and that's why people come from all over to shop in Moncton.  Right. No other city in the world has a shopping Mall and a shopping centre with parking.
Whoever writes these dreadful editorials must be a real help for people suffering insomnia.
Norbert, again, produced some half-baked ideas on the economy without once mentioning the major cause of our economic problem.

 Justin Ryan seems to have learned how to write a column from Rod Allen.

Alec Bruce has an excellent column about how all political parties at election time show a great concern for what is vaguely called the middle class.  (In fact, the term is so wide and vague that nobody really knows what it means.) But that's where the votes are.
The big story in News&World is that Mr. Khadr is out on bail. Well, that's easily fixed. We can replace him by puting mass murderer Bush in jail. And that, unlike the case of Mr. Khadr, would be legal.
1.It is not legal to charge a 15 year old as a war criminal.
2. It is not legal to put him before a military tribunal instead of a civilian court.
3. At the time Khadr was throwing a grenade, he was not invading the United States. In fact, the United States was illegally invading Afghanistan.
4. When he threw the grenade, American troops were charging him, and firing. What would you do? Stand up and sing God Bless America?
5. A Canadian judge who is (so far as I know) not a terrorist has deemed him not a risk; and has granted bail.
6. So why is Harper upset? well...
    a)  He says this will harm our relations with the US. Really? So Mr. Harper is suggesting that our justice system must deal, not with justice for Canadians, but with making American politicians happy? Thank you Mr. Harper. But if I wanted to live in the US, I would go there.
   b) The two, great killers who went to war illegally, who lied about the reason for going to war, who killed over a million people (including women and children), who crippled and orphaned millions more are George Bush and Tony Blair Those two have been millions of time worse than a fifteen year old boy who tried to defend himself against people who were shooting at him. When will Harper issue a warrant for their arrest.
   c) The real reason Harper wants to play dirty is because it will appeal to the base of his support, all the bigots and morons of this country.

There is really nothing else worth reading in this section unless you really, really care that a baby monkey was named after the royal baby. Or unless you just love a whole page of photos of grinning people holding up giant cheques.
Isabelle Agnew has her usual, good column on p. C5. The only problem with it is not her fault. There are a couple of errors in spelling. I note them with pain because it is not unknown for me to make errors in spelling. And it can be hard to spot them when you're checking your own writing. That's why newspaper have editors. They're supposed to check everything. But the Irving press seems to specialize in sloppy editors.

Still,, this is a good column, and worth a read and a discussion.  So I'm going to discuss the last paragraph.
I agree with the column - except with its closing. Yes, people in disadvantaged groups.must be allowed to speak for themselves (agreed) because only they can know how they feel (agreed) and "what is needed for social change."(disagree)

My experience of  such groups is that they seldom know what is needed for social change. So, if we sympathize, I think we should examine how we can actively help them - and then do it. That would also give your column a real punch at the end.
In all of the developed world, which country is the worst one to have a baby in? Well, after years of being low in the world rankings, the US has hit the bottom of the developed world. Thanks to the people who will not permit medicare. Thanks to the billionaires who need all the country's money to fight their wars for them.
If you want your baby to die at birth or in early childhood. Go the the USA.

The National Post was miffed by this statement, and said American hospitals are the best in the world. Perhaps so. But they're also the most expensive - and most people can't afford them. The highest chance for a baby to die in childbirth is for women who are black and poor. Chances of the baby living improve considerably if you're white and rich.

That has meaning for Canadians because Harper seems determined to put an end to medicare, and in that he has the support of the very rich who want to own hospitals to make themselves richer. That is also clearly the case here in New Brunswick. Apparently, tiny and poor Cuba, forbidden to trade with friends of the US, can afford medicare and has an excellent hospital system. Meanwhile, tiny and poor Haiti, after a century of American control, is really in the toilet with one of the worst systems in the whole world. (That helps to keep down Mr. Dole's taxes)

My original source was an unusual one. It was RT (Russia Times) which is the world propaganda equivalent of the Voice of America. But it intrigued me because while Voice of America is obvious propaganda, RT usually tells the truth. It's a selective truth. But it is truth. Still - I thought it best to check google under searches like World childbirth mortality, and similar sites.

They all back up the RT figures - and almost all of those sources are very reliable.

The plans are on for the destruction of medicare. The very rich want that destruction - and they don't give a damn what it does to the rest of us so long and they make their pile. In New Brunswick, it's happening. That's why we had to the big move to reorganize medical care along business lines. That's why we're now about to privatize some hospital services.

And we already know what will happen when this is complete. Life expectancy will drop. Infant mortality will rise. Most people will feel unable to afford medical care. What's happening means misery. What's happening means, really, murder.

We can be sure that this privatization has the support of the Irvings because the Irving press has supported it every step of the way. Here is the RT story. And it is easily checked in google.

The drive to privatize medical care is well-financed by people with easy access to government, people whose greed stops at nothing - not even at killing.

There's a similar story about the US that the Irving press hasn't mentioned. The economic situation of the US is much worse than it appears to be. The employment figures are cooked. They always have been. Poverty is rising. And the nation's money for now and perhaps forever has gone into the pockets of the very rich, most of it to pay for wars that the very rich want so they can make even more money.

For a frightening picture of what lies ahead, go to youtube, and just write 'Detroir". It's a disaster area, and it's not the only one. And the city (as well as other cities) has been cutting off the water to those who can't pay for it - at least tens of thousands of them - with hundreds of thousands to come.

Picture that. No water to drink. To bathe. To wash dishes. To wash clothes
No water to flush toilets.

And all of this is happening to homes already decrepit, in decaying and filthy districts...

Dirty dishes. dirty bodies dirty clothes clogged and unusable toilets. What a formula for disease, indeed for plagues. This takes us all the way back to the middle ages. (and, of course, no medicare to deal with the disease.)  And all this is caused by the very rich who don't like to pay taxes, and who own the news media that urge us to fear and kill Muslims because they're "evil" and  "dangerous".

In reality, Americans face no geater threat than their friendly, neighbourhood billionaires who are far more evil and dangerous than anything else they are likely to encounter.

The site below deals with this. It's really a blog. But I've also seen the story in a few papers.

There's also a CBC report. When it appeared. 79,000 people had had their water and electricity cut off, and it was continuing, just in Detroit, at 3,000 a week.

This must be the better world our fathers and grandfathers and great grandfathers fought for in World War Two.

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