Thursday, February 11, 2016

Feb. 11: I haven't checked the spelling.....

...because I'm running late, and I have other exciting things to do - like feeding the cat.

For years, the Irving press has been pimping for the privatization of medical care. After all, business people are so much more intelligent and efficient than civil servants. Just read Norbert Cunningham's columns. He'll tell you.

So here's a heart-warming story about the efficency of privatized medical care in the U.S. It's also about racism in the land of the free.

Norbert is so right. Private business is so much wiser and compassionate than governments and civil servants. That's why I'm amazed the Irving press has not criticized Moncton for building a new hockey rink with us taxpayers to pay a hundred million for it. After all, civil servants will must mismanage it, and waste all that money. It would be far cheaper for private business to build the new rink and to manage it efficiently.  The man who stands to benefit most from this plan is the owner of the hockey team. He's wealthy. He's well-connected. And, as an entrepreneur, he's intellectually and morally superior to the rest of us, especially civil servants. I'll bet he could build it for less than half what a government would pay.
A3 has the gripping news that a massage parlour is back in business after a fire. And the excitement goes on in A4 in the story of how a local bar will have a wine festival all year round. And that's pretty much all the news in section A.
The editorial writer is impressed by interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose, a remnant of the stone age . Why am I not surprised? He/she is also alarmed that the feds are slow to approve the Canada East   pipeline project. After all, if we don't get the pipeline to St. John, then St. John will lose jobs - and if St. John loses jobs those people won't be able to afford to come to Moncton to see hockey games in our new arena.

This editorialist is one who sees the big picture.

Norbert begins his profoundly ignorant column on the irrelevance of art to a society with a headline that is laughable. "Artists need to work like any other entrepreneur:   without subsidies." Since when, in this province, have entrepreneurs worked without subsidies? They get them as tax breaks, as cheap prices to buy and poison whole  forests, as grants (as Irving has been known to get for shipbuilding)  and as was given to Atcon. We're now building a humdred million dollar hockey rink  to please the wealthy owner of a hockey team.

But Norbert is a man of many insights. He also knows most art is just lazy, simiplistic fraud. This is just a stunningly ignorant column.
Much better is the cartoon above it which tells us what the new funding formual for arts is really all about.

Rod Allen writes on the same topic - but does it intelligently, and with some considerable knowledge of what he is talking about.  I have often been critical of Rod Allen for writing columns that are really overwitten, self-worshipping. and trivial. But this one would be good in any league. If he ever finishes his great novel, I would certainly read it.

Great   column by Alec Bruce.

The guest commentary is a superb one by Geoff Martin who teaches political science at Mount Allison. In effect, he says that Richard Saillant, author of a book on New Brunswick's economy, is full of it. He also mentions that Professor Saillant is director of the Donald Savoie institute at U de Moncton. That's not surprising. My impression is that both are toadies of Mr. Irving - which would explain why Norbert Cunningham writes orgasms of praise to their economic advice.

Of course, Geoff Martin has thrown away his chance to get the JDIrving chair of political science at Mount Allison.

You have to be careful with the holders of chairs and honours at various universities. Universities are desperate for money, so they will often accept large grants from the wealthy to appoint their flunkies to grand-sounding honours.
If there's anything worth reading in Canada&World, I missed it.
Dennis Oland who was found guilty of beating his father to death after a trial that was viciously rammed through in just five years, will have a welcoming party of his rich friends at the sentencing, perhaps with signs saying "We love you, Dennis". Anyway, he'll soon be out on bail.

After  all, this is a democracy, and all people get equal treatment before the law.

Former Conservative MP Williamson has been appointed VP of the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies, a propaganda house that toadies to the wealthy. I note that he was once an editorial writer for The National Post, Canada's most biased, contemptible, patsy newspaper for the rich. He'll fit right in at AIMS.
And there's yet another big story about the Gomeshi trial. But still not a word about Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the world, which is being bombed and starved to death by the world's richest countries - Saudi Arabia and the U.S. The country, starvinig at the best of times, has been cut off from all food and medical supplies. Millions are going to die -- and soon.

Why is this being done? Nobody has ever told us. But it's a very safe bet that they are dying because billionaires in Saudi Arabia and the U.S. want them dead.  How can we grasp the horror of what this tells us about the dead - and about the unspeakable evil of the very rich?
There's a recent story that keeps coming to mind, and bothering me.  A great many students who have passed courses given in French are being flunked out because they can't pass the Frrench test. I presume most of these are anglo students - but it's still mysterious.

These are students (French and English) who have passed two or three years of courses given entirely in French. Presumably, they have written exams and papers in French - and have passed them. How is it possible they could fail an exam on whether their French was adequate?

I taught students for many years who were of all languages.  If they could write intelligible English, I would know that pretty early - as soon as they finished their first papers for me. (Well, I also accepted French papers, so I would soon know if they couldn't speak French, either. And all my lectures were in English.)
How could it take a university so long to find out its students weren't learning? How could all those students possibly have got passes on papers and exams at the university level? I have a couple of guesses based on my own experience of universities.
1. The French tests are prepared by a pedagogue who lives in a dream world of perfection in language, and sets a test that requires  far more than a working knowledge. That would explain why some French students are failing the test.
2. The professors are giving easy marks, or they are giving useless (but easy to mark tests) such as  putting X beside the right answer or filling in the blanks.

Both are epidemic in the U.S. where straight As are as common as dandelions. And it's been spreading in Canada for many years, now. One of my last jobs at Concordia was to prepare a report on grading. My own standard was that an average paper rated a C to C plus. Better than average was a B. An A meant I wished I had written this.

I was astonished to come across professors whose classes were 90% As. I was astonished at the number of professors who gave the easy-to-mark type of exams that gave no opportunity to test for thinking processes, and for understanding as distinct from memorizing.

Classes are made up of normal people. Normal people should not all be getting A any more than they should all be getting F. There should, in normal people, be small numbers of As and small numbers of Fs.

Before U de Moncton goes into a panic over its French tests, I would suggest it do some study of these factors.
I'm surprised the Irving press doesn't have the story of the Canadian warship  Fredericton which has become part of a force to patrol the Aegean to look for refugees. It's not to save them from drowning. It's to take them back to Turkey. So it's come to this.

Our big oil, through its ownership of  Bush and then Obama, has made the middle east so unlivable that people risk their lives to escape it. And Europe refuses to  handle them - so they're being dumped back into the hell that we have created.

Who will help them now?  Almost nobody. And, certainly, big oil won't lift a finger for them. Men, women, and children - in their millions, are dying and more are going to die. Onward Christian soldiers.
Do you think the very rich are so greedy they are utterly thoughtless about the consequences of their actions? Read the column below for confirmation.
The next item is about the U.S. But it applies equally to Canada. The Irving press has barely mentioned it. When it does  become an issue the Irving press has to deal with, count on Norbert Cunningham to put on a rant in favour of it. He might even consult the Don Savoie group of experts.
And here is an issue I have seen displayed in the Republican debates, but have not seen any comment on.  
We don't hear much about mercenary soldiers like those rented from Blackwater and other agencies. These are special people. They'll kill anybody for a price. They're also noted for rape and theft. Usually centred in Britain and the U.S., they draw on people from poor countries. We don't know how many get killed, because nobody cares. The so-called 'rebels' in Syria are commonly mercenaries.      

Remember how we were told the people of Ukraine rose in rebellion against an undemocratic and corrupt government? Ever since, western banks and the politicians they 'democratically' elected have been bleeding the country dry.  

1 comment:

  1. Well the Ukraine was basically a fascist, nay nazified state, before all the trouble with Russia.

    The PM was fed dioxin and almost died, the legislature featured every hatred known to man, and Ukrainian football supporters were in the habit of calling black players from European teams "monkeys". At high volume.

    The soccer fans started this well over a decade ago, have been banned from attending international games in Europe, and generally acting like racist jackasses to this day. Just check Google "Ukrainian football fans", and stand back for the deluge. It's a problem right now today.

    I suppose that's why Harper and the US backed these idiots against Russia. Suits their style.

    Largarde of the IMF is completely two-faced. A couple of weeks ago, she ruled Ukraine didn't have to pay Russia back for a $3 billion loan, under some false pretence or other. But this week, she's worried about them paying back the Western bankers.

    Quelle surprise. Dear Mme Lagrade, Ukraine won't pay you back either, it's outlaw country and they appear to not give a shit about anyone or anything.