Wednesday, May 18, 2016

May 18: Oh, what a tangled web we weave...

Moncton High School, a particularly impressive building of stone, was closed because, it was said, it required repairs that were too expensive to justify the cost. By coincidence, a new site was available  (on a housing developer's land), though at a considerable distance from the old school.

After the new school opened, annus mirabilis, it was discovered that the old one could be  repaired after all. And it would be the ideal place for a new library  - replacing the one on Main St. - the same Main St. that we trying to revive with a hundred million dollar 'events centre'.

Why move the library? That's not clear. The library thinks the present location is fine. The major advocates for the move are Corporate Research Associates and MH Renaissance. And who are they?

The story doesn't tell us.

But Corporate Research Associates is a business that conducts polls to serve paying clients. Who paid for this one? The Irving press doesn't tell us. Did the pollsters just do it out of a sense of public service? Was there a paying client? Does that paying client have a financial interest in the old high school? We are told that 397 people were polled. We are not told how they were chosen. Nor are we told precisely what the questions were.  (The wording of a question can make a big difference.)

All of this is followed by a bafflegab of numbers.

Then there's the MH Renassance group, volunteer 'developers' we are told - with a strong hint they are an association of fairy godfathers. And they are going to hold 'public information' meetings. Isn't that thoughtful of them? Let democracy rule!

There's even an artist's rendering of the preserved building which is actually a retouched and remarkably ugly photo in which the school is largely hidden. The idea, we are told is to preserve the architectural splendor of this building.  Here's a better picture. You'll note how the school is hidden behind a drab and boring 1950s street-corner shop facade.

This whole deal smells. But the reporters of the Irving press, as usual, aren't doing any sniffing. That's not the fault of  the reporters. The editors are the ones who are supposed to make sure  that reporters ask the tough questions. But the editors know damn well that they're working for a propaganda sheet - And if they want to keep working they had better publish all  the lies they're told to publish.
The other big news in section A is that McDonald's  will have McLobster on its menu again.

The editorial is on one of the burning issues of the day. Are campground owners being overtaxed?

Norbert is back to rantinig that private ownership is good. Public ownership is bad. Damn right. Let's privatize the armed forces, schools, medical care, public works, washrooms....

Brian Cormier's "commentary" is yet another 'feel good' story of little substance. Alec Bruce supports the idea of a New Brunswick senator that all senators should work together, regardless of party lines. That might be a good idea but....senators are appointed in the first place because they are political hacks. Original thinking   (or thinking of any sort ) is rare in the Senate. Get used to it. They aren't going to change.  And, more to the point, I've seen little evidence that most of them have any brains to work on anything.

Then there's a superb   guest commentary  by a businessman on the topic, believe it or not, "Why Canada should stop 'investing' in corporate bailouts, subsidies". (I don't know how that one sneaked in.)

Canada and World is mostly New Brunswick and a bit of Canada. Of a world on the edge of world war three, of South America close to very serious violence that could spread across the continent , of the U.S. facing the most bizarre presidential election ever, of world record numbers of refugees, of these and many more, real issues. There is nothing.

There is a story on the firing of Dr. Cleary as the province's chief medical officer. It's about a Council of Canadians' appeal of that firing. But this is an Irving press report - so it ignores all the important parts, the ones that hint at an Irving involvement in the firing. So here's the real report.

The newspaper had the full account. It chose not to give it. That's called lying.
Here are several stories about the dark hole that much of South America is sliding into. It also has another story the Irving press missed - the behaviour of Canada's border guards in arbitrarily imprisoning people for no given reason. (One was a sixteen year old boy who went straight into solitary.)
Al Jazeera America is closing down. The site below is its farewell with samples of its reporting - mostly on the U.S.

Al Jazeera has its faults. But it's far superior to any private news source in the Americas. It was modelled on what the CBC was supposed to be - before Harper crippled it.
There may be no industry on earth with such a record of brutality and exploitation as the clothing industry. In North America, it enforced long hours, low pay, working conditions so dangerous that hundreds died. Employees were commonly locked into their work places - with no hope of escaping a fire. These  conditions persisted in Canada and the U.S. at least into the 1940s.

But free trade opened the world  of our clothing giants with nations that permitted even worse brutality and lower wages. Here's a story about all the cheap clothing we see in Walmart and in some of our supermarkets.
Here's a story you'll never see in the Irving press. It's just one small incident of what is daily life in South American countries with dictatorships backed by the U.S. for the benefit of American and Canadian capitalists of the very best families. There's a reason why Cubans kicked out the dictator imposed on them by the U.S. It wasn't just because Cuba had suddenly become evil.
And here's something from Ralph Nader on the state of democracy.
Ralph Nader is always worth a read. So here's another one. We should have a clear idea of why millions ae being killed, tens of millions driven into lives of misery - and with millions more to be added. There's a reason why the U.S. can afford trillions for killing, but cannot feed its hungry or adquately fund its schools. This isn't happening because ISIS Is evil. ISIS certainly is evil - but that's a result, not a cause. This is happening because the very wealthy want to conquer the world so they can get even wealthier. That greed is as bad as (or worse than) any of the Barbarian hordes of history.

Right now, at least 80 million people are homeless; millions have been killed; millions of children have been cut off from any chance of education; millions have no food. And all of this is being done to boost corporate profits.

And most of our news media gives us a steady diet of news that this is all the fault of the dead and the starving and the uneducated. We just want to bring democracy to them.  However, the pope recently made a statement that we are wrong to think we can impose democracy on the world.

Actually, we aren't trying to. Whenever the U.S. sets up a democracy, it's really a dictatorship in disguise. That's what happened in Egypt, in Iraq with its 'democracy' of U.S. puppets. That's what happened all over South America. That's what happens in The Phillipines since the American conquest of over a century ago. That's what happens all over the world with 'democracies' whose news media exist to lie and propagandize for the benefit of the wealthy.

The pope also made another important point. Democracy is NOT the only way a country should be run. It's up to a people to decide what kind of government they want. Often, there are good reasons for not having a dmocracy.  In the middle east, for example, most countries are artificial creations made by the western powers. The same is true in Africa. In such countries, a person's loyalties are to tribe or religious faith or even just to family. You find that also in Afghanistan which was working toward democracy before the Russians and American interfered. Now, the 'democracy' the US imposed on it is hopelessly corrupt, incompetent and divisive. And people have drifted back to the tribes or family groups that were their traditional loyalities lay. We haven't made Afghanistan a democracy. Rather, we've set back the progress it was making. And we've set it back a century.

You cannot 'give' democracy to anybody. A society has to evolve into  it - if it wants to.

In any case, the west has no interest in spreading democracy. That's a  pious myth spread by our politicians and news media. For five hundred years, the west has been conquering countries, destroying their governments - and setting themselves or their puppets up as rulers. Britain and France and Spain and Portugal never brought democracy to anybody. And anybody who tried to set up a democracy in, say, South America, was either invaded or assassinated by the U.S.

Spread democracy? We, in the west, will be lucky if it even survives here.
There's lots of other news. Lyme disease is spreading to Canada - a result of climate change. It seems also to be spreading to Europe, and for the same reason.    
This is a time - in fact it is past time - we should be seriously discussing how climate change is going to affect us at every level, and planning what we should do. But there is no discussion, no planning. All we're getting are international conferences to set goals we don't reach.

It's not just a matter of switching to renewable resources. We have to make fundamental changes to our everyday lives. Yes, I know that's difficult. I also know the only other option is to be dead.

But we aren't getting that basic discussion. We aren't getting leadership or even basic information from most of our news media. What we are getting is very casual action from our governments.

Of course. The fossil fuel industries that own our 'democratic' governments can't see beyond their own profits and their grotesquely inflated salaries.                    

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the Nader link. Here is another article you might enjoy