Monday, June 27, 2016

June 27: walking in the dark with irving news

We have recently committed troops to Afghanistan, Syria, and Eastern Europe. In no case  has any government sent its mps around to ask us first if we wanted to do this. I have never even heard of a government that sent its mps and mlas asking the public for its 'social license' to raise or lower taxes.

A government is elected to govern. It is not elected to ask us what it should do. The theory is that parties run for office on the basis of general principles and goals. If it acts on those then, maybe, we re-elect it. If it doesn't, we  elect a different one next time.

For decades, the world's leading scientists have been telling us we cannot go on burning fossil fuels for energy. We have to stop it, and we have to stop it soon. Ice that has existed for thousands of years is melting. Our temperatures are steadily rising.

A new and very expensive pipeline to New Brunswick means a commitment to fossil fuels for decades to come. So does fracking.

So the government of New Brunswick is going to ask the people of this province what it should do. The people of this province are, incidentally, are the same people that the Irving press tells us are the most illiterate and worst educated people in Canada. (I'm just quoting our press.) And, for most of them, all they know about the Energy East Pipeline and fracking  is what they read in a newspaper owned by people who stand to gain from both no matter how risky they are.

This would be comic - if the likely consequences were not so dreadful.
And the government, which has been studying this problem and consulting experts for years, a government which has heaps of information we haven't even seen, is going to ask us what it should do.

This is exactly what it looks like. It's a con game. And it's not a coincidence that this comes just days after the big, big irving press story about the people of Sussex rallying in support of fracking.

Gallant, like most of his predecessors, was never the real leader of this province. He and most of  the rest have been puppets dancing on strings. And, with the guidance of the irving press, we have elected them.

In keeping with the solemnity of this occasion, I think we should all attend these proposed consultation meetings and, when the MLA of the occasion arrives, we should stand - and fart.

In other section A news, a Fredericton lingerie store is opening a branch in Moncton. So there's no shortage of things to do in Moncton. You can look at lingerie, or read about grad speeches that are the same ones that have been given for hundreds of years, or fart.
The editorial cartoon makes fun of government think tanks. I would have thought it funny if I didn't know that the cartoonist would never dare to print a similar one about think tanks owned by big money. (Atlantic Institute of Market Studies springs to mind.)

Norbert Cunningham's column on language in New Brunswick seems quite reasonable. I don't know why some anglos get into such a fuss about language in this province. Premier Robichaud did a pretty good job of setting New Brunswick on the right path in that respect.

If you want to see a real language problem, try being English in Quebec, or French anywhere else in Canada.

The Commentary page for today  is quite possibly the best I have seen in the irving press. Alec Bruce is particularly insightful and lucid on the Canada Pension Plan issue.
Canada&World news has little worth reading. The lead story is that British is in turmoil after the EU referendum. True enough. But that will mean nothing to a reading audience that has never been told all that the EU is or what the referendum was all about.

Then there's a story that really tells us nothing about a conference in Ottawa that hasn't been held yet. And there's nothing of any significance about the rest of the world.

But, at that, the section is better than usual. There's a story about the Pope calling our attention to marginalized people in our society, and to the apology our churches owe them.  He's one of the very few religious leaders to be prominent in dealing with issues of real life.

(Incidentally,  one of the Pope's key advisors is Cardinal Karl Marx. Yes. That's for real.)

And, for people who think climate change isn't happening, there are two stories important to read on unusual conditions in the U.S. - floods in West Virginia, and a wildfire that destroyed 400 homes in California.

Then there's a big story on how climate change is forcing builders to change their designs.  You know, the climate change that our provincial government isn't sure about - so it has to ask us.
The Guardian is disappointing on the Brexit referendum. Most of  its reporting is either about confusion or about disapproval of the vote. There is virtually no examination of why voters wanted to get out.

There is some examination of racism, particularly in regard to refugees. That's terrible, of course. (Except when the American government practices it, and to a far greater degree.) But if racism were the big issue, why wasn't there a big, exit vote in Scotland? The Scots are certainly not strangers to racism. And why was the working class vote for exit so heavy in England when the middle and upper class of England have also had such a pronounced dislike for 'others' for generations?

Nor is it clear why this should lead to collapse of the EU. If all but the English are  happy about it, then why are there so many predicting that the EU, itself, will dissolve?  (In fact, there is a quite widespread unhappiness within the EU.)
Then there's talk about how this threatens the 'new world order'.

Let's see, now.  Here's a system dominated by big money, especially American big money, which is designed to assure American dominance of Europe and, through that, American dominance of the world.

Is that the new world order we dreamed of in 1945? Is that what our soldiers, sailors and airmen died for?

The Guardian took an anti-Brexit editorial position from the start. And both both its reporting and its opinion columns have reflected that. That makes it look like a British version of the irving press and, indeed, of virtually the whole North American press.

I would like to see less opinion and more information than I  have seen so far in The Guardian or anywhere else.
Here's an item about Trump from an excellent source. It talks about, among other things, Trump's mob connections. Mind you, he would not be the first U.S. president to have mob connections.
The fullest coverage of Brexit I have found is Information Clearing House.  Some show strong bias, and some use loaded language. But on information, they beat anything I  have seen in The Guardian for months. And I've seen almost nothing in the irving press from the start.

This one breaks the naivete surrounding what the EU is really all about.

The British vote will, I suspect, be ignored as the PM has already ignored it. And that will arouse an anger of its own.

The vote comes at a time of crisis. U.S. capitalists and the news media they own are determined to get world dominance no matter how much poverty, starvation, ruined lives, and killing that costs. That determination has us on the edge of a world, nuclear war.

At the same time, we are becoming poorer as a rapidly increasing part of our money goes straight into the pockets of the wealthy (who, largely, don't pay taxes on it). It is the rich, not the panhandlers, who are the economic threat to the rest of us.)

The Brexit vote is, whatever may happen, a turning point in history. It could lead to a collapse of British society. It could lead to a collapse of the EU. It could lead to the final collapse of the U.S. attempt to rule the world. It could be the step that triggers World War Three.

And, so far, we're just watching with our faces hanging out. And reading the non-news of the irving press.
The world is facing a number of national debt crises - and well as millions of personal debt ones. As this one points out, there is a long history of such crises in this world. Greece is hopelessly in debt. Ukraine has been robbed by the friends of its new, 'democratic' government. Debt is a serious problem in most of the world, including personal debt in the U.S.

The answer of the wealthy is always the same. Hammer the poor. Blame them. Make them pay. Weaken or destroy social services. Cut out pensions. This is what Canada did in the depression of the 1930s. And it did make the rich richer - but it did nothing for a good, 90% of the population.

The indebtedness is rarely caused by the poor or the middle class. They're in no position to create such debt. But they pay. That's the history of the world going back to ancient times. Indebtedness is almost invariably caused by the greed of the wealthy.

But don't expect the Liberals or Conservatives to do anything about that. These are the puppets of the wealthy. The Greens are too narrow in their focus. And the New Brunswick NDP is mired in the delusion  that politics is just about winning elections.

 No, it isn't. It's about changing the way people think. If anyone runs just to get elected, then we already have two parties for that person.
Incidentally, the Liberals and Conservatives have bagmen in each province. The job of the bagman is to kiss up to the wealthy and to make deals with them in order to get money for the next election.

Any guesses on who New Brunswick's bagman  (bagperson) is for the Liberals? Any guesses on who he/she visits?
Then, from a friend, a note on what artcle 50 of the EU treaty is about, and why it's important.


  1. Went to that jackofkent site, and was met with the same non-analysis of Brexit as the British press has generally exhibited so far. Never read such loads of rubbish, utter falsifications, lack of clarity and blaming people for voting Leave who are in the bottom demographic, no jobs, bad jobs, poorly paying jobs, bad housing - the direct result of neoliberalism and the upper class dishing it out to the serfs.

    There was actually a first class article in the NY Times Monday where somebody got off their London ass and went to Sunderland to meet actual people. No equivalent to be found in the UK MSM press. Not even in Murdoch's rags, and he was the leading Leaver, crass neoliberal to the core.

    As someone born in England but a naturalized Canadian since the age of 16 in 1965, I've read a lot on this Brexit morass these past few days, and only one article brought up the most salient point as I see it.

    Before the UK Government can send off its withdrawal announcement via article 50 to the EU, Parliament has to formally repeal the European Communities Act 1972, which provided for the UK’s accession in the first place. The EU demands that a country wanting to leave has to do so constitutionally within its own laws.

    So far as I know, there are more MPs in favour of Remain than Leave by some decent margin, and the referendum is non-binding in any case which means said MPs are not bound to vote Leave.

    So with all the general hoo-hah with everyone walking around in ever diminishing circles in the UK, people seem to have forgotten the basics.


    Furthermore, I'd say the Brits are screwed either way. The EU has devolved into NeoLiberal Central - the European Central Bank has treated Greece so badly, even the damned IMF has suggested mercy and been told to bugger orf by the Germans in control of the ECB.

    So to Remain means more of the 0.1% lording it over the rest, and particularly the poor who are reduced to living in really crap conditions not that different from those Glasgow pictures you showed. Or if they Remain, such uncultured brutish conservative sociopaths as Boris, a man interested only in himself, will become PM and introduce even more austerity than the public schoolboy Cameron is already visiting on the land such as threatening to dissolve the NHS.

    It's a turning point all right.

  2. I wish I could disagree with you. But the reality is I think it's even worse than that - matter what happens with the EU. I haven't found a really coherent general picture. And I don't expect to. This is a problem that has its roots in 1945 when we made promises that we all broke. It is now one hell of a mess that covers the world.
    In fact, I've been thinking of beginning tonight to do a full blog on it. It still won't be nearly adequate. But it might explain why this is not just a British or just a European problem. And it's not the fault of a mysterious 'somebody else".
    It's about greed and power and betrayal and the rise of a new aristocracy even more slack-jawed and incompetent than the old one.