Friday, June 10, 2016

June 10: I am not a happy boy

Yesterday, I spent some hours reading news sources,  then several hours more writing. Much of what I wrote was uncomplimentary to some people in our midst. But it had to said, and I happily prepared my often-saved copy of Word at the end to put it into the blog.

And all by the last sentence had disappeared. I don't know  how it happened. And I was too busy kicking myself to do it again.
Anyway, today's section A is even worse than its usual blah. A6 devotes nearly a quarter of a page to a non-story about one of those phony think-tanks sponsored by the wealthy. (This is one I knew in its early days. It's called the Montreal Economic Institute - and it's just like AIMS and Fraser Institute. So what we get is a quarter page of propaganda.) In this case, it's a hack job of boosting pipelines.

Opposite is another one of  those dumb surveys. This one ranks Moncton as the best city to live among the Atlantic provinces. The report reminded me of another survey I've lost track of. It rated Moncton as the most  unromantic city in Canada to live in.

I am astonished at the lack of any attention to city planning. Moncton is going to face some very serious problems in public transit. (In fact, it already faces them, but refuses to look). We have a city laid out for the 1950s. But they're gone, and they ain't coming back. We have to do some serious planning regarding energy use, urban housing, density of population.... But what we're getting is slick talk from operators successfully pulling con jobs on us - and at our expense. And the paper routinely supports these schemes as though they are answers to questions that nobody has even asked yet. A city is not just about making a quick buck. It's about people and how they live and where they live.

The tax payers are saddled with a hundred million plus events centre. And, of course, it's going to make us rich. And we put it on Main St. to revive Main St. Now, I don't know of any city in which a stadium has revived a street. But, okay, we'll revive Main St.

And the next scheme is, at great expense, to move the library which is quite alive and draws people to Main St., and move it into district a long, uphill walk from Main. Reason? We have to revive the city core.

Now, I have never even seen a definition of the city core. But Main St. is surely a part of it. Why on earth would taxpayers spend a hundred million plus on an events centre to revive main street - and then move one of the Main Sts. few lively draws away from Main St?

Where is the long term city plan? Can we see it? We don't need 'neat ideas' from people who have friends at city hall. We need a long term plan from the council.
The editorial deals with an issue that needs such a plan - affordable housing. Where are we going to put it? In a series of ghettoes for the poor? And we have to make public transit affordable for the poor? How can we do that in city that sprawls like this one? And you have to get downtown to enjoy civic life to the fullest? Look around some day. You want to see people enjoying civic life? Then don't waste your time downtown. Go to the mall or to Trinity.

Give us reports on what other cities are doing. Find out what a city plan means, and what the changes that we can expect are.

Norbert has a commentary that sounds nice. But that really says nothing. It's about rural New Brunswick and its problems.  Norbert argues these problems should be solved by the locals. Maybe. But nothing he writes encourages that.
His high point is a quotation from a deputy mayor, "If we want to make something happen, we can make something happen, and we will make something happen." Uh, that's nice Norbert. But I notice there isn't a word there about what it is that should happen.

He also says that government can't do this. Norbert always says that. It seems not to have occured to him that a deputy mayor is a part of government.

Justin Ryan has a useful commentary on his work with new Canadians. I have only one quarrel. He says that Canadians are a tolerant people. They aren't. And they never have been. Racism and discrimination in this country at all levels run like a  sewer through our history.

The guest column is another pitch for fracking from, of course, the Atlantic Instiute of Market Studies. I don't see how an ethical newspaper can run this stuff.

Alec Bruce is puzzled by the appointment of a provincial minister of Celtic affairs. I don't blame him. I have belonged to Scottish social groups,  have routinely led the annual toasts for 'Rabbie' Burns, and it's fun. But that's all it is.
By the way, a small correction to Mr. Bruce. The Scots did not defeat the Roman invaders. That's a popular myth in Scotland. But the Roman legions creamed the Scots, and they stayed for some years. They left only because the troops were needed elsewhere, and there was nothing left to steal. Hadrian's wall was simply to keep out nuisance raids.

However, the Scots have made an imprint on this world. A scholar who wrote a book on the hundred most influential people in history gave his highest rating to Scots. Among other achievements, it was the Scots who pioneered public education for all.

For those who want to test our new minister of public affairs, ask her to repeat...
"If y'can say it's a br-road, br-recht, moonlicht nicht t'nicht, then y'r-re all r-richt, y'ken."
Irving Shipbuilding inc. has given 2 million dollars to fund arctic marine research. Well, that calls for another award from the chamber of commerce. And photos in the Irving press.

Actually, though, the headline is misleading. If you read the whole story, this 'gift' will really be coming from the Canadian taxpayer because its part of the contract Irving has to build five Arctic patrol vessels for 3.5 billion. But you have to read over two-thirds of the story to learn that.

And it's surely a little strange. If the Canadian government wants Arctic research done, why doesn't it directly finance it? In effect, Irving's not funding anything. This is all taxpayer money handed to Irving. (But I'm sure that won't occur to the chamber of commerce. Kiss, kiss)
Canada&World is all Canada, and two stories about the US leadership races. None of the stories is worth reading.   This can't be natural stupidity. If it were, something intelligent would get in here - once in a while - by accident. No. This is an example of stupidity on purpose.
Never kid yourself about Hillary Clinton. She is as brutal, as savage, as murderous, as greedy as they come.
This story is an astonishing one. I'm amazed that editors even at irving press could have missed it.

Be careful in reading it, though. This may or may not be a cure for climate change.  It's still early in the game.
Anyone who has followed the relationship between Israel and Palestine knows that many, perhaps most, Israelis want all of Palestine. They want to settle it with Israelis. That is their solution to the whole problem. It always has been. I can remember dicussing this with Israeli friends many, many years ago. Palestinians might be permitted to stay as Israeli citizens but they would be, like those Palestinians now who are Israeli citizens,  ghettoized and discriminated against. Here is the story coming from top, Israeli authorities.
U.S. torture of prisoners from Iraq and Afghanistan was practiced all over Europe as well as at Guantanamo Bay. Nobody knows how many countries were involved, or how many prisoners. Nobody knows how many prisoners died in the course of torture. This, so far as we know, is the widest use of torture this world  has ever seen. The European countries haven't lifted a finger to find out which of them took part. (Canada has never lifted a finger to examine its role.) This scale of torture is a breakdown civilization, of morality, of religious faith.... Yes, I did say religious faith. How many sermons have you heard about this massive cruelty?

If even a tiny fraction of this had been done to, say, an American in Yemen, the U.S., perhaps with Canadian help,  would have slaughtered much of the population, and hanged anyone in the government. And we would be getting articles about the barbarity of those people of Yemen.

The reality is that the whole world has slipped into barbarity. And the leader into barbarism has been the United States.

What's needed is not that we kill or turture ever more people. That should be clear even to those louts who say 'Canada has to do its share'.  The reality is that we are on the edge of destroying our own civilization.
This article shows a clear bias toward the end. But its main points have been confirmed many times and long ago. It's just that our news media never thought it important enough to tell us.
This journalist  is an excellent one - and his story is much more important than it seems. It's about the rapid decline of public infrastructure in the U.S. And we are just in the early stages. I have several times mentioned that we are passing through a revolution, a takeover of the world by big money. U.S. defense spending is important in that. The defence industry lavishly pays off politicians - like Hillary Clinton. The news media, owned by the wealthy, build on fears and propaganda to encourage war and defence spending.   (In fact, the U.S., itself, has not been invaded since the war of 1812 - and that was in response to an American invasion of us.) Yes, there was the Japanese attack on an American territory in 1941. But that was a set up that the U.S. government wanted - if not so  dramatically.

The cost, made worse by corruption, has run up a monstrous debt, and enforced a neglect of human needs like homes, education, adequate income, health . Of course. It takes money out of public hands and stuffs it into the pockets of the wealthy who evade taxes, and invest their money in countries where they can use something close to slave labour.  So of course the American infrastructure is crumbling.
I add the following because, yesterday, I had an excellent article on the Koch brothers, multi-billionaires who are among the wealthiest and most brutal people on this earth. Not surprisingly, then, some of their major holdings are in oil. (I'm using this article about them because I can't find the one I had yesterday. Damn yesterday.)

It might help to start with the knowledge that their father was a founding member of the John Birch Society, a group dedicated to, among other things, a belief that the rich should pay no taxes at all, and should be free of all government control and regulation. The sons learned well from their father. They spent vast sums on think-tanks, newspapers and other liars to spread the word that climate change wasn't happening. They are terminally greedy and uncaring about the needs - or the rights - of anybody else in this world. That's probably why Wikkipedia lists them as 'philanthropists'.

Oh, they did believe that everybody else should pay taxes. After all, that money was needed to fight their wars.
I have much, much more. But this is long as it is. Anyway, I have to lie down and cry some more about yesterday.

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