Saturday, June 6, 2015

June 6: And the big story of the day is...

....JDIrving is reneging on a sweetheart deal he had with the city of St. John. It has an Irving property on the waterfront that JDIrving got for, of course, a specially, low tax rate - with the proviso it was to be used for shipping liquid natural gas. But Irving has been using it for oil shipments. That should mean the deal is off. But, well, you know the Irvings. They live in a world more tranquil and godly than ours. And they don't intend to pay a dime extra.

The story was carried CBC radio and TV yesterday. But, well, you know how it is. Irving news editors don't listen to CBC radio or watch TV.  They spend their days listening to music radio ("Hi, kids. This is radio" :with it" Moncton, with the songs YOU want to hear." The more intellectual ones watch TV, but only for WWE.

But, to be fair, there are some big stories in today's paper. Britney Spears confesses that she thinks Brad Pitt is hot. Some actresses I never heard of are in their 50s. (Be still, my heart.) B3 has the breaking story that the royal baby  (gush, gush) will be christened next month. I could cry. I could just cry.

And the Faith page, well... The sermonette is by someone rated as a "youth pastor". I hope youth means really, really young because the message for today in this troubled world is that "God is the greatest artist of all". Yes. Look at the beauty of the clouds God paints. And the fresh snow in your driveway that God showered on us this winter. And the beautiful mud flats of the Petitcodiac river.

Nor are the churches behind in other spiritual activity and Christian work. A church in Upper Sackville will be holding a gospel and country music afternoon. Hold me back.

For once the headline story on A1 is a real story. The Province lost 5,300 full-time jobs in May. That is news. The problem is that the story is full of conflicting numbers. At some points, it says we've lost 400 jobs since the Liberals came to power. How is that possible if we lost 5,300 just in May?

More to the point, the rich of this province and of most of the world have been having their best years ever through the whole recession. And we've been cutting their taxes - most of which they don't pay, anyway. And we've been told that this is good for us. We've been told that by big business. We've been told it many times in the Irving press. That's why JDIrving got a cheap rate on his property in St. John. This has been going on for years. So where the hell are the investments and the jobs?

The reality is we've been fed a lot of crock. Making the rich richer does nothing for us. It never has. In the depression of the 1930s when most people were suffering terrible hardship, the rich did magnificently well.

Yes, if the rich have lots of money, they'll invest it. Sure. They'll invest it in impoverished country where they can pay low salaries and pollute to their hearts' content. And when they've destroyed it, they'll move on to another.  Meanwhile, lack of jobs in New Brunswick is good. That means they can lower salaries, worsen working conditions, and not worry about those pesky unions.

Uncontrolled capitalism is destructive and ultimately self-destructive.

Never confuse JDIrving Ltd. with a fairy godfather.

The Irvings might go away if we tax them? Good. That would be like getting rid of an infectious disease. The resources are ours. -We can develop them. Yes, it's been done. The Irvings are not a super race born with powers we don't have. Indeed, they more closely resemble leeches on our bodies.

Read the rest of the page only if you really care about the FIFA because the rest of the page is pure, small-town boosterism. The only other news story, if you really, really care, is that a Don Cherry restaurant is opening in Dieppe. I might go. But only if it's guaranteed that Don will not be there.
The editorial is the usual stuff of some village idiot. He thinks we should privatize liquor because the free, competitive market is the only way to sell more booze. And, of course, we don't have nearly enough drunks.

Look, village idiot. We don't have a free, competitive market. We never have had. It's a myth. Big business wants to be free, of course. But not to compete.  It want's to be free to suck us dry, to underpay us, to destroy social programmes for the damage big business causes, to pollute, free not to pay taxes like the rest of us, free to call in the police if anybody complains...

But the last thing in the world it wants is competition. Competition means bringing prices down, it means allowing people to compete for a voice in how much they earn. Big business doesn't compete. It fixes laws. It corrupts governments. It expects government welfare - not for us, but for itself. Big business is greedy, ruthless, murderous. So spare us these half-wit editorials.

Norbert has a good column on polling that's been done on the nearing federal election. I must confess that no election has ever had me so scared. Harper, given another term, will destroy this country. Trudeau is nowhere near being up to the job. He's an immature man who will probably never become a mature one. And his party, like the Conservative party, is dreadfully weak in anything that could be called intelligence or integrity or principle.

The NDP and the Greens are honest. They also, unlike Harper, believe in democracy. Mulcair is a capable man. But there remains a problem. The NDP has, over the past 40 years, moved much to close to the centre. t don't doubt their intentions or their ability. But I don't think the Canadian people are anywhere close to realize what has to be done in this country. And that is going to hamper those parties in trying to do what has to be done.

The same is true in New Brunswick. This province's biggest problem is a capitalism that is a horribly disfigured warping of real capitalism. It's very, very destructive. And it's public face is largely that of the Irvings. Nor is there any sign of New Brunswick losing its passivity.

It is frightening to think that I live among people who could vote for Robert Goguen.

Brent Mazerolle wrote a commentary that started to make a point. But, once again, it drifted off to become just a story - and one that's best told over a beer. Maybe two.

Gwynne Dyer is excellent on the economic tragedy being played out in Greece. That country is hopelessly broke - thanks to enormous corruption by political and business leaders. (too bad our "researchers" at U do Moncton didn't look into that aspect of New Brunswick's economic crisis - and too bad Norbert didn't know enough to raise that point.) Greece is now in the hands of voracious international banks - the suffering is going to be terrible, and possibly destabilizing on a larger scale.

Bill Belliveau has an interesting column to deal with our energy problem. It's too early in the game to know how practical his solution is. But it's much, much to late in the game to ignore it. Despite what the oil companies say, fossil fuels are not an option. It doesn't matter how many mobs they create because what they create in the end is destruction.

And it would be nice to have a provincial government that would tell The Ivings to stuff it and then would get busy on developing alternatives.
Section B, Canada&World is full of great stuff if you really, really like reading ads. Otherwise, only two stories are worth reading. On B3 is "Canada facing tough climate questions internationally".
Canada certainly is. With our record on dealing with climate change, our name has never been so low in world circles. Harper might impress Canadians. But he certainly hasn't gained even polite respect in the world. Probably no prime minister in our history had done so badly in that respect. And that, I'm afraid, has become the whole image of  Canada.

The other story, on B7 isn't really news. "Analysis: Is it fair to boycott Israel?" is, as its title suggests really a commentary. And it's what a commentary should be - balanced, fair, and well-informed.

As I look at all the ads in this paper, I realize how profitable it must be - especially Irving effectively has a monopoly on newspapers in this province. (It makes you wonder how an editorialist in this paper can babble about the glories of a free and competitive market.)

It's also run very, very cheaply, with too few reporters, with reporters wrongly used to write commentaries, with world news almost non-existent and, of course, with no questions about such things as the Irving role in the Lac Megantic disaster.

It's run exactly like a business. That's what makes it, quite seriously, the worst English language newspaper I have ever seen.
Yes, I know there are a couple of typos in this. But my cat walked across the computer, and stepped on something. So if I try to correct an error, I have to keep correcting to the end of the paragraph.

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