Saturday, September 1, 2018

September 1: Are things getting better?


On August 31 , I opened my irving newspaper (a newspaper monopoly in the province of New Brunswick) on the comments page to see an article by Chris Morris on New Brunswick's "onerous and outdated" tax system. She is a journalist and, according to the blurb at the end of the article, was 2017-2018 chair of journalism at St. Thomas University.  (In fact, she was VISITING chair - which really means nothing since a visiting chair does nothing much, and only for a very short time.  But it it pays really, really well. And the whole thing is a gift of Irving - who doesn't give gifts without expecting something back.)

The column is an attack on New Brunswick's high taxes.

We are left to assume that these taxes are high because of wasteful government spending - something that has been a theme of the irving press for some months in attacking the Liberals.

Now, I hold no brief for the Liberals who are, in any case, no different from the Conservatives in any respect. But I am amazed that this life time journalist and briefly visting chair of journalism at St. Thomas knows nothing about taxes in this province.

Of course, the provincial government can't balance its budget. The irvings and others of the wealthy class like them don't pay income taxes. and that means many, many millions of lost dollars every year. Chris Morris doesn't know that?

She also writes that the city of Saint John is desperately underfunded. She doesn't know that the Irvings pay almost no taxes to St. John though it owes many, many millions every year?

Nor does she seem to know that the wealthy always have their hands out for gifts from the taxes we pay. (Think of the two million or so we put out every year to spray the irving forests and poison ourselves.) Every year, we lose many millions of dollars in taxes that we need but that sit in the pockets of the rich who don't need them.

But we need schools. We need hospitals. We need housing for the poor. We need all social services. So what should our governments do? Cut teachers' salaries? Close hospitals? Kick out the poor?

Such "Chairs" are common in universities. They are funded - usually with a million dollars as the starting point- by wealthy individuals. There's not usually anything wrong with that. I have a good friend who holds a five million dollar chair of medicine at McGill. He gives no favours in return for that.

But there can be a problem.

Here we have a person holding an "Irving Chair" who has long been employed by irving - but who, we are expected to believe, doesn't have a clue about the irvings and friends who don't pay millions, many millions, in taxes and who feast off the rest of us.

And, of course, the irving press is happy to run her 'expert' column.

Come off it, Ms. Morris. It's not possible that a journalist has not heard of the Panama papers and others that long ago revealed the scandal of non-payment of taxes by the wealthy - the same wealthy who routinely ask for handouts from the taxes the rest of us pay.

Most academic chairs financed by donors are quite honest. But some are not. They become nothing more than a minor expense for wealthy donors who want to rip us off. It's one of the many ways the wealthy are taking control of our universities. In New Brunswick, the university presidents seem to be tripping over themselves in the wish to be bought. I well remember the day when Irving announced that he was going to plan the future, provincial budgets for New Brunswick. That was wildly illegal and anti-democratic. But the university presidents tripped all over themselves to get in on it.

I was once offered a university presidency. I turned it down when I realized I was being hired as a prostitute for the wealthy who sat on the university board.

Only fools believe that some nations are friends to each other. There are no such things as friends between nations. Britain was quite prepared to dump Canada in the late 1880s because it did not want to get sucked into a Canada-US war. It changed its mind very late because it saw a war coming with Germany, and it needed Canadian help. That's why it asked Canada to send troops for the Boer War - to set a precedent for Canada fighting British wars.  Even at that, it was prepared to dump Canada in 1904 when an invasion by the U.S. seemed possible.

From 1945 on, the U.S. worked very hard to destroy its good friends, the British, by destroying their economy, and taking over their middle east holdings.

Nations exist only to serve themselves, not others. Today, the U.S. and Canada are not friends. They never have been. We should wake up to that reality.

An expensive pipeline is nothing to take casually. It is an investment for the kind of future oil companies want. They don't give a damn about predictions that we have, with luck, only ten years to control climate change. They want it to keep flowing forever.

But we are living in an emergency. I'm sorry, mr. Irving, if our planet and our children are to survive, we need action now. This is the greatest emergency we'll ever know. And you want more pipelines? And more fracking? Are you insane?


The mad scramble of the rich.....

And the irving press cheers, saying making billionaires richer makes us all rich...yeah.

The wealthy just cannot understand it. Climate change will destroy all of us - including the rich. We have, maybe, ten years to act. Our wealthy must be unbelievably stupid not to understand that. And, yes, they are unbelievably stupid.

We have, maybe, ten years. But we're just standing around with our faces hanging out.

In all the years since 1945, our leaders have done nothing whatever to scale down wars, to deal with the nuclear threat...... We have betrayed everything we told our veterans they were fighting for.

Racial murder is racial murder - whether it's carried out by Naziis or by Jews.

Cuba wants to run its own country. The U.S. won't allow that. It prefers the old days when Cuba was run by a murderous dictator with the help of American gangsters.

A former New Brunswick premier is a member of The Bilderberg Group, an organization of the very wealthy who intend to rule the world. Real power is in the hands of groups like this which have no moral foundation but greed.

So who gives a damn? Right?

We have, maybe, ten years to deal with climate change. This is not coffee chat. This is every day reality. This is the future for you, for all of us. Care to share the latest news on what New Brunswick is doing about? About the giant steps taken by the irvings? Are you impressed by the stance of the Liberals and Conservatives?

The world is going back to where it was in the 1930s. Only this time there are many, many more naziis among us. And, just as happened in Nazi Germany, the naziis have the support of big business.

The heroes of our side at war.

Hey! It's good for business.

America's real heroes.

The U.S. has been running wild over much of the world. Now the bluff is being called. And don't kid yourself this will be a pushover.

It won't be. Not for anybody. And not at all for us.

The money that the U.S could have spent for its people has instead been spent to make obscene profits for the arms industry.

Writing this blog for today has been a profoundly depressing experience. It's hard to go through the murder, starvation, greed that we impose on other nations in the name of democracy. So now, I'll take a look at the local scene.

The headline for Sept. 1 is that New Brunswick is spending heavily on education, but getting little result. (In fact, that's exaggerated. N.B. is a little weak, but scarcely a basket case.) Anyway, there's a limit to what any schools can do.

Here is a province that lacks any tradition of reading, discussion or thought. That goes back a couple of centuries to its tradition of kissing up to landowners, etc. who control all the jobs in the province. That control is strengthened by news media that discourage any thought or truth at all.  It's still true with the result that any intellectual activity  is a no-no (which is why the only political parties of significance have been the Liberals and Conservatives. They never think.)

Norbert Cunningham says the smaller parties have to show they are credible alternatives. Why? For the most part the Liberals and Conservatives haven't been credible in over a century and a half. The Conservatives now are probably the worst because they are so obviously irving puppets, especially leader Blaine Higgs.

The Greens and the NDP at least have the beginnings of being credible alternatives - but both also reflect the New Brunswick fear of having an opinion on anything. This, like most New Brunswick elections, is lose/lose. The Liberals and Conservatives have no sense whatever of any bedrock of principles on which they base themselves. They exist - to get elected. That's it. And to be nice to our wealthy. The Greens and the NDP have the idea of working from principles. But they have to take that idea a lot further.

The World Section had three quarters of a page on a less than accurate picture of what John McCain was like.  It has nothing on the American starvation of children in Yemen, of the daily bombing of innocent people by American drones, of the illegal wars being fought by American mercenaries and of the mass murder they inflict.  But read Trump. He says they're all heroes. Oh, yes. And there's all those countries that the U.S. has driven into poverty, especially in Latin America, because they won't let American billionaires run them.

Meanwhile, though the irving press hasn't noticed, the American empire is cracking up. China and Russia are displacing it. That's true in the middle east and in Asia. All the grand ideas we said we voted for in World War 2  have been abandoned. And, in the face of greed of the very wealthy, Americans and, probably. Canadians could well be facing increasingly difficult times.

Sorry for all the talk. It's been a bad day to write a blog.

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