Friday, May 5, 2017

May 5: A brief note....

I'm  just back (three days late,  thanks to Air Canada) from a trip to Montreal. I'm just recovering from the horror of that return trip - and I'll do a regular blog tomorrow.

Incidentally, one of the saddest aspects of the trip to Montreal was to read what was, just ten years ago, a decent paper by the admittedly loose standards of the North American press. The Montreal Gazette has since, probably due to the decline of anglo population in Montreal, fallen almost to the level of the Moncton Times and Transcript. Very sad.

And that takes us to the May 3 column in the TandT news of May 3. - today's blog topic.

In a typical 'bend over Mr. Irving so I can give you a nicer kiss column", he attacks the provincial government for going over budget. How irresponsible!
They should balance the budget, not spend over their means. No. The next day has a political cartoon on the same note. ("Norbert isn't the only kisser on that page.)

The purpose of government is it ensure that the needs of all of us are met. If we cut health budgets, people suffer and die. They also, in large numbers, suffer from malnutrition, bad housing, no housing at all. But with all their spending, our governments do a poor job of that.

Tiny and poor Cuba can provide free university tuition for its people. Big and rich us can't.

But just recently, we were able to forgive Mr. Irving a 200 million dollar tax for some of his St. John property. Wasn't that Christian of us?  I'm sure he cried with gratitude on behalf of his starving family.

Norbert, when are you going to have the courage and integrity to write a column on WHY it is government's go over budget? Why don't you tell us what the wealthy pay (or don't pay) in taxes? And why don't you tell us about the wonderful gifts they get from our governments?

Across Canada, that comes to many, many billions of dollars - and that is probably understating it. It's all perfectly legal, of course. Our governments, which are paid for by the wealthy, passed laws making it legal to escape taxes - if you're rich. The rest of us are systematically being bled.

Have the guts to say so, Norbert. It's happening in the U.S., too. For decades there has been a steady drop in the size of the American middle class - as the middle class falls into the working class. And there's been a steady rise in the incomes of the very wealthy - the ones who don't pay taxes.

Take a look, take a serious look, at what is happening in the U.S. as a result. While we all shiver at the prospect of Trump, he's not the problem. He's a product of the collapse of the American social and political system. Remember - the people elected him. And when that many people vote for a Donald Trump, we're in trouble.
Nor would it make a difference if they had voted for Clinton. It doesn't matter which party Americans vote for. They're both awash in corruption, especially in the quite terrible corruption of feeding billionaires - and the hell with everybody else.
Trump is, of course, a cartoon figure. But people voted for him. A healthy society, well informed by its news media, would not have done that. In fact, in a healthy society, neither the Democrats nor the Republicans would exist.
What we are watching is the collapse of the American empire. (The U.S. itself is an empire of lands stolen from others. It also controls most of South America, a large part of Asia and, of course, of African and the Middle east. That control is used to keep those people poor and wide open to exploitation, especially by American and Canadian mining, food farming, and oil industries. If they don't, well, then there are assassinations,  sponsored rebellions, invasions.

The American empire is collapsing. The American people are getting poorer and more abused. The same thing is happening in Canada. Both countries are governed not for the people but for a tiny group of the very wealthy, a tiny group who are too greedy to see the inevitable consequences of their behaviour.

Norbert also says that the Liberals and Conservatives are moribund. Brilliant insight kid, but that been true since colonial days. And your and your newspaper have consistently supported only those parties.

Your newspaper, instead of informing voters, is a constant diet of propaganda and trivia. Your (lack of) reporting on the fouled waters of Shediac and Murray Park, is a prime example of trivia. So far, the paper has told us almost nothing.
Think hard, Norbert. Use every foot pound of brain power. This pollution has been going on for 15 years, at least. We can't even guess how many have been sickened (or killed)  in this.
Norbert, somewhere here is a story of greed, indifference to human life, corruption. We  should be witnessing fact-finding, correction, and (probably) criminal charges.
And we aren't seeing anything.

For the last  seventy years we have fought wars - almost all of them to make profits for billionaires while everyone else got poorer. It's a good deal for the billionaires. The wars give them countries to loot for minerals and cheap labour.

And the sweetest part is that the very wealthy don't have to pay a cent for those wars because they don't pay taxes. In fact, they even make extra fortunes out of an increasingly corrupt war industry which doesn't pay taxes, either.

Norbert,  this province has been looted since it was founded. (There are really interesting stories about the timber barons of New Brunswick.) The U.S. is collapsing under the weight of greed.- quite seriously mislabled as 'free enterprise'.

So is Canada.

Neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives are an answer to these problems. Indeed, they never have been. The greens are too narrow in their focus. The NDP badly needs a high voltage charge up its collective rear end.

We are living through a major change in social structure that is highly destructive. We need to change that - and soon.

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