Saturday, May 21, 2016

May 21: Well, I never - a rich man who doesn't pay taxes!

A man has made so  much money he can finance his own run for president and have his own private jet. But he didn't make enough to pay any income taxes. And this is a man that a public, angry at such excesses, is turning to for leadership.

The Irving press didn't have the story; but we will seldom see a more iimportant one. This could well destroy Trump's chances even of getting the nomination.And, leaving the angry with a choice of just Hillary Clinton,  create some serious violence.

This could be the final blow to any  belief in the 'American Dream'. It could turn into an anger that will only be destructive because the American media have never given people a sense that there are other choices.

( Or it could force the warhawks to make their move for world conquest now - before it's too late.)

Or the American people could already be so propagndized it won't have any effect at all.

And it can't possibly help Sanders becaue there is no way  the party bosses are going to allow him to win the nomination.

Gee! I wonder if there are any rich people in Canada who don't pay taxes. Nah. If there were, the irving press would have told us.
Nor has the Irving press had much to say about Justin Trudeau's use of his elbow. To my knowledge, there is no parallel to this in the  history of Canadian government. And it suggests something more serious than coarse manners. It suggests that Justin is very much over his head in the role of prime mininster. He never offerred more than good looks and his father's name. He has never really achieved anything. And there's no sign he has any idea of what has to be achieved. A CBC anyalyst put it well...

There has been no sign that he and Dominic Leblanc have any social values or any political principles begond winning elections. And Trudeau's anger suggests that he, at least, has some sense of his inadequacies.
The crash of an Egyptian airliner is fading fast - though with lots of hints and an outright charge from Trump that it was a terrorist act. What's lost in this is common sense.

If terrorists did this, why didn't they announce it? It would make no sense whatever for terrorists to  hide their involvement in such an act. The whole point of terrorist attacks is to stir up an overreaction from the western world - and to attract desperate people to their cause. Indeed, one might expect them to claim credit even if they didn't do it.
The most important news story I could find in Section A of my paper is that a new Tim Hortons has opened in Moncton. And the dining room has seats.
The editorial is about parking meters whose parking .money goes to the poor. But some have been smashed, and the money stolen. Without even a hint of evidence, the editorial blames panhandlers. It is gracious enough to admit that it could be the pub crawlers of the area. But in the end it calls for legal action against panhandlers. So far, it hasn't called for any action at all against those wealthy who, in tax avoidance, steal a lot more than parking meter quarters.

Once again, Norbert has a plan for university spending. Once again, he doesn't know what he's talking about. He says university administrators get paid too much. Quite true. But he seems to be unaware that 'too much' is because salaries at that level are largely set by the business people who dominate the university boards of governors. And they pay the same sort of absurd salaries that they pay  to business executives. (The administrator salaries are admittedly not so absurd as the business executive ones. But it's the same idea.)

As for bloated professor salaries, come off it. After six years as a public school teacher, I went through five more years to get a PhD - Yes, I had scholarships. But they came nowhere close to living costs. At the end of it, I had a huge debt - and got a university job at the same salary as I would have had if I had stayed in public school teaching.

Norbert takes a business approach to university education - and that business approach is precisely what has the universities in trouble. If Norbert really wants to find a solution, he might look at poor countries, like Cuba, who have been able to provide free university education for all who want it. Why advocate more of big   business methods when they obviously don't work?

Brian Murphy, again, says nothing that could offend (or challenge) anybody. This one is a pitch for  Sophie Gergoire. (In Quebec, women keep their maiden names after marriage.) Murphy argues that she is qualified to organize groups to deal with things like eating disorders because she was a media personaliy. (So was I, Brian. Could you get the premier to pay me to give speeches as chief medical officer of NB?)

Canada has a great many women who work very hard on various causes, and who do good work - even though they have never had radio or TV   experience. They also don't have wealthy husbands.

Is Brian Murphy suggesting Ottawa should provide them all with offices and staff and domestic help? If not, why is Sophie Gergoire the only one so valued?

Because she's the prime minister's wife. That's why.

Murphy's first paragraph is pure, childish blather. Trudeau has received worldwide praise for the manner in which he took on the job? That's just mindless drivel. He's drawn interest because he's telegenic.

He has been the most accessible western political leader in decades? I doubt very much whether Mr. Murphy can even name all the western political leaders - not now, and certainly not over decades.

I do know that Pierre was far more accessible than Justin will ever be.  And Pierre never elbowed anybody in the gut. Like all of Mr. Murphy's columns so far, this is one is dreadfully shallow.

Alec Bruce has a column so pointless it could have been written by Brian Cormier.

The only item in all of Section A worth reading is the commentary on children's literacy by Erin Schryer. But, oh, it would be nice if New Brunswick parents could set an example for their children by reading.

Well, in fairness, it was pretty exciting to read the story about how the new Tim Hortons will have seats.
There is no reason to read Canada&World news. However, C6 has the best commentary on transgender washrooms I have yet seen. It's 'A few thoughts on gender and public washrooms' by student columnist Amanda Cormier.
As she says, let the world pee in peace. Amen.

The sermonette by Jichard Jackson of First Moncton United Baptist is short. But it's a pleasant surprise. Instead of having a narrow focus on how to get yourself into heaven, it touches on the wide range of issues that Christians (and people of all religions) should address. That means loyalty to the principles of faith is more important than loyalty  to any political party and even more important than loyalty to a country.

The meaning is clear. The churches should address these issues.  I am not suggesting that churches should have any direct control over government. But they should encourage the political thinking of people who claim to be Christian.
There may have been very small political parties in Canada that were shaped by churches. But I know of only one in our history that was founded largely on principles that were Christian (and also shared by other faiths.)  That was the CCF - the ancestor of the NDP - whose major founder was a Methodist clergyman. And it's no coincidence that Canadian medicare was founded by a Baptist, Reverend Tommy Douglas. One can still find echoes of this in the United Church but, oh, you have to listen closely.       ( In fairness, you have to listen closely to hear echoes in any church. Richard Jackson is a very pleasant exception.)
Here in Canada. where we fire chief medical officers who do  their job, and where news media owned by the wealthy hire hacks to babble about how we should privatize health care and run it like a business, it's nice to hear from real experts on what privatization is really like.
The news from Israel constantly gets worse.  I can remember the jubilation of my Jewish friends in the early years of Israel. Then I watched their disappointment as it became increasingly a place of hate and racism. My friends still followed (and still follow today) Judaic tradition and practices. But they feel no attachment to Israel. Now, Netanyahu is taking an even more racist and vicious turn.
This next item concerns the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership. The British people, for good reason, show strong signs of being opposed to it. One reason, it that it could be used to kill Britain's health system. It could kill Canada's, too. But the Canadian people don't know that because the 'approachable' Justin Trudeau and our billionaiaire-owned news media haven't told us much about it.

The TPTP is not just another trade deal. It's a revolution; and it's not a revolution to benefit us.
In the lead story of Zenit, the Pope is having a meeting with a leading Muslim of the middle east. He does more to reach out for world peace than most of our political leaders put together. Obviously,  and like Richard Jackson of First Moncton Baptists, he sees no separation  between religious values and political activity.
And here's a comment on how 'approachable' Justin Trudeau has been on the issue of TPTP.
Here's the pope again on a subject I can't imagine Norbert Cunningham discussing.
Could this have anything to do with climate change? Shouldn't we ask?
The following item refers to a point I made earlier in this edition - but does it in a much fuller way.
And this one is very useful for anyone with dreams of military glory. It's the kind of realistic appraisal we used to  get from Gwynne Dyer until the irving press decided it was dangerous to encourage readers to think.

I would just add that technological, economic, and numerical superiority have not been winning assets for the U.S. in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. And the American people have demonstrated a lack of enthusiasm for war over the past half-century. Of course. They've been the invaders, not the invadees. It's hard to think of killing people thousands of miles away as doing something to protect your home.


  1. The Trans Pacific Trade Partnership is not the same thing as the TTIP which is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership that the Guardian is discussing. There is confusion in what you're saying.

    TTIP is the US equivalent of CETA that Freeland is so hot to trot on, and is US-EU. CETA is Canada-EU.

    Also, you keep saying Canada has troops in Syria - not today but frequently. You are confused - they are in Northern Iraq supporting the Kurds, who for some reason we officially call Iraqis.

    From DND: "The total number of CAF members deployed under Operation IMPACT is increased from approximately 650 to approximately 830, which includes tripling the size of the train, advise, and assist mission in support of the Iraqi security forces.

    The CC-150 Polaris and CP-140 Aurora aircraft continue to conduct air-to-air refueling and aerial intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions in support of coalition air operations."

    That's how 69 trainers on the ground, recently tripled to 210, swells to 830 personnel when you add helicopters, people highly skilled in opening tin cans of food, electronic specialists with a high skill set in social media, blah blah, blah. But no CAF in Syria.

    1. 1. Canada has assigned troops to be sent to Syria as training and, if necessary, combat units. This was confirmed by Trudeau just six days ago on CNC news.

      This is illegal. It is a war crime to send troops of any sort to any country without the consent of its government. There is not consent from the Syrian government.

      2. Canadian aircraft also broke international law when they flew (twice) from Iraq bases to bomb targets in Syria. This, at least, was widely reported.

      3.We also acted illegally in bombing Libya earlier.

      4. We have acted extremely foolishly in committing ourselves to the foreign policy disaster that the U.S. has created in the whole, middle east. Ever since the invasion of Iraq ( also illegal), it has made the middle east a black hole for policy of any sort. And Canada has volunteered itself to jump into that black hole for reasons that have nothing to do with Canada.

      5. I won't dispute your point about the trade deals because it doesn't matter. The reality is we are in a rush for gigantic trade deals which benefit billionaires while depriving us of control of our own countries. And our news media are telling us close to nothing about them.