Saturday, June 21, 2014

June 21:It was last night on St. George St.....-

.....as I drove by I caught a glimpse of an elderly man. He looked pretty ragged, and he was sleeping in the doorway of a business closed for the day. Gosh, I thought. We really should do more for these people. Then it hit me. Big business has already taken steps to solve that problem. We'll borrow over a hundred million to build an "events centre'. Yeah. That that old man will have a much nicer doorway to sleep in.

That all came to mind as I read E6 of today's paper. with pictures of three people who never sleep in doorways. It seems they're being honoured by the New Brunswick Business Hall of Fame. It is, of course, sponsored by big business. That's why this province is awash in Halls of Fame and Halls of Philanthropic Fame constructed by people who nominate themselves, and who donate photos of themselves.

This one honours three people for reasons unclear. There will be an expensive gala held in Fredericton. This will provide a wonderful opportunity for the hungry of Fredericton to gather at the garbage cans for the leftover treats of their social betters.

The same Hall of Famers can also be found as members of various "community development" meetings to tell our city council what it should spend money on.

What does community development mean? Usually, nothing. It's just of those terms that makes it sound like they're unselfishly doing good for others. (No, Norbert, It's not just bureaucrats who think in silly buzzwords.)

As a rule, their proposals are almost always to get rate payers' money spent to benefit themselves. In fact, most of these people seem to have only the vaguest idea of what community development means - and the haven't a clue as to how it's done.

But they can depend on loud praise for their efforts in the Irving press - as in the case of the events centre, such a centre paid for by us would greatly benefit one of the honorees on p.E6, Robert Irving who owns the hockey team. That's has nothing to do with community development - but everything to do with getting a rink on the cheap for Mr. Irving. And that's conflict of interest.

I am often struck by the arrogance and vanity of people in business who assume that they have the right to make recommendations to city and provincial governments on subjects they know nothing about - and by the encouragement they get from city councilors and politicians. Hey the latter, are the ones we elected to plan for the future. We did not elect those self-serving clowns with their self-serving halls of fame.

Mind you, they always do include a few people who have worked to help the community. But those people are decorative. More explicitly, they are to cover the asses of all the serving business people who dominate these groups.

More serious and better-informed people could, of course, form similar  advisory groups. But we all know neither the Irving Press nor the councilors nor the politicians would pay the same attention to them.

It has gone so far that when an Irving, illegally and unconstitutionally, named himself a member of the government (in 'coalition'  means to be part of the government). It you accept that, then we all have the right to name ourselves members of the government, We don't have to be elected. We all have the right to attend government consultations, cabinet meetings, to dictate advisors in, say, finance.

That (Hall of Fame) ad at the bottom of E6 might look like a harmless piece of vanity and even arrogance. But it's not. It's at the root of the destruction of democracy that we've seen in the last 40 years and more.

To City Councillors, we elected you to plan for the future of Moncton. We did not elect those people who know nothing about social planning, who use council to get their hands on our money, and then hold galas in honour of themselves.

And a hint - the wealthy and the TandT speak of government almost exclusively in terms of money, almost never in terms of people. Normally, it's only is mention of us "people" and that our "sense of entitlement" is costing the province money.

First - expecting to have food to eat, expecting equality of opportunity for us and our children, expecting health care, expecting living wages...you're damn right we have a sense of entitlement. And it's not our sense of entitlement that has destroyed economies all over the world.

It's the massive sense of entitlement of the super-right to pillage our taxes, the entitlement not to pay any taxes of their own, the entitlement to earn thousands of times the minimum wage that others must live on, the entitlement to tell governments what to do,the entitlement to be rich because their daddies were.
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New Brunswickers are nice people. They are easily the politest and friendliest I have ever seen. They are also the most frightened people I have ever seen. They have a village mentality. That is, they're afraid to be different from everybody around them. They're afraid to think differently. They are afraid to have any but the most conventional political ideas. They are afraid to discuss or even to learn about politics in any public way.

They stick to conventional thinking. That's why they elect such a series of dolts and toadies for prime ministers. The Liberals have indicated no guiding principles, no serious plan of action in any area. Alward was a toadie to big money as as having no serious plan of action in any area. The only difference between Alward and Gallant is that Gallant seems to be even dimmer than Alward. But the majority of New Brunswickers will vote for one of them

Pity. There are intelligent, informed, and honest people in this province. But it's almost impossible to get through the fog of fear in New Brunswick.
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What's going on in Iraq? Well, for a change, I disagree with Gwynne Dyers' column. What's going on is what Obama wants to go on.  In Friday's paper, Obama says, "It's not the place for the United States to choose Iraq's leaders."

Look.

The US has the largest spy system in the world.

Thousands of troops were trained by somebody for ISIS. An they are so well trained, they obviously had help from some pretty sophisticated armies. The officers, in particular, seem to know what they're doing. That means a year and more of training.

Those troops were paid; the trainers had to be paid; and the troop were very well armed and supplied. That takes big money.

And the US spy services - the ones who record millions of phone calls and who hack into computers  and who have thousands of spies all over the world never knew? Nobody noticed thousands of soldiers being trained?

And most of their money and supplies came from one of the closest allies of the US, the king of Saudi Arabia.  He never mentioned it to Obama?

Please. Of course, he knew.

And it's not the place of the US to choose national leaders? This will come as a flash to dictators all over Latin America - and to democratic leaders who were overthrown or murdered by US agencies. It will also surprise people in Syria where the US has been sponsoring a "rebellion" to overthrow an elected government - and to Ukraine which is similar.

Obama is lying.

What has happened, almost certainly, is that Obama wants to force the elected prime minister of Iraq to resign- to be replaced by a Washington puppet. He certainly intends to send troops - but not until p.m. Maliki  steps down. Maliki is a sinner.

Sin 1 - He rejected a US proposal that it keep an occupation army of 30,000 in Iraq.
Sin 2 - He is too friendly to Iran. (And the US hates Iran because Iranians insist on running their own country.)

It was the same with Saddam Hussein. Yes, Saddam was a bad man. But that scarcely justifies killing a million and a half people to get one, bad man. For that matter, Saddam and the US had been buddies for years as the US supplied him with money and weapons to invade Iran. But Saddam sinned, too.

After the Iran war, he wasn't nearly as obedient to the US as he should have been. He even began making friends with Iran. That's why the US killed one and a half million innocent people.

Yes, Saddam was a bad man. But he came nowhere close to the pure  evil of George Bush and Tony Blair.

In the end, Iraq will shatter into three countries, each hating and in conflict with the other two. That suits Obama fine. He will encourage Iraqis to destroy each other just as he is now working to destroy Syria.

Divide and conquer.

If you go through American papers and TV, you will note the pressure is on to support Obama in this. And they are all falling into line - even the professional haters of Obama like David Frum. He's a Canadian who has made it big time in US opinion columns because he's at the most extreme right, just loves big business, is a vicious Moslem hater, a bigot, and is crashingly ignorant of any topic you can think of. But he always sticks to the party line.

His sister is a Canadian senator. They're a matched set.
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Many papers are wagging fingers because Putin has moved some troops to the border with Ukraine. O-o-o-h. In fact,  he had pulled them back. But the fighting in Ukraine is very close to the border, and artillery shells have landed well inside Russia. Of course, Putin has strengthened border defences. He'd be a fool not to.

We can be sure the US would do the same thing. As it is, one Chinese airplane flew by well outside the American border and outside territorial waters. The US government flew into a rage. Can you imagine the US reaction if China were to land troops in Mexico and along the border?
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The TandT didn't mention it, but Ottawa has just changed laws regarding the labelling of flammable goods and the use of vulnerable tank cars to transport them. This is a response, of course, to the Lac Megantic disaster.

We know that police raided Irving offices on that occasion. The initial story was that Irving had mislabelled its highly inflammable product as a safe one. And, certainly, Irving must have known the weakness of those tank cars.

But the only people ever charged were lower level employees of the railway. No mention of Irving. And, in today's TandT, not even a mention of the change in the law.
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Three Israeli hitchhikers have disappeared, presumably kidnapped, while on the Gaza Strip. Israel is conducting a massive hunt for them. Reports are of Israeli police and soldiers breaking into Palestinian homes, searching for all kinds of things, arresting scores of people, and generally evening old scores.

There is such a thing as Israeli terrorism and, like Moslem terrorism, we have created it.

When European Jews needed help, we didn't lift a finger. We didn't care that Jews were being jailed and murdered in millions. We even tried to keep Jews out of Canada for several years after the war was over. The whole western world was like that. And in most of Europe, especially Poland and Ukraine, our good friends happily helped to round up and kill Jews.

As Jews fled, their terror turned to hatred. It justified the murders of British subjects and of arabs in the Middle East.  Eventually, it justified the hatred, murder, vicious imprisonment, and inhuman treatment of Palestinians.

As it so often does, the imposition of terrorism and murder turned into terrorism and hatred and murder imposed on others.

Had we helped the Jews from the 1930s on, that might not have happened. But we did nothing. The rage of Israelis grew as they realized that we were not a lot better than the Naziis.

What we, all of us, did to the Jews was unforgivable. And it has created a reaction which has essentially destroyed any real Judaism. And now that Israelis are abusing Palestinians so horribly, we're doing nothing to help the Palestinians.  Some day, we will pay for that. We are the makers of our own problems.
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Reading the news in North America is depressing. Journalism has become a network of a few, very wealthy people who own newspapers only so they can use them for propaganda.And the reporters and columnists all fall into line.

They pay no attention to obvious lies except to  print them. The idea that Obama did not know of the trouble developing in Iraq is an obvious lie. They printed it. And nobody questioned it.

The idea that Russia invaded Ukraine is absurd. But all the reporters and commentators give that impression. None of them seem to have noticed that the change of government in Ukraine that caused all this was the overthrow of a legally elected government - and all the evidence is that the US staged and financed that operation.

The Irving press is still the worst - though when you see an ignorant ranter like David Frum writing for a "quality" magazine like Atlantic Monthly, we can hope we will not be the worst forever.

For now, we still hold an edge for being a journal of propaganda. and a massive lead for triviality.But the rest of North American is catching up to us.

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Oh - in passing....
The front page headline is that NB has given a grant of five million dollars to a company of five million. It's a gaming consortium which will, oh, create jobs and build community - whatever that means.

Okay. But if it's so  hot and a sure money-maker, why are we giving it a grant? Wouldn't it make more sense to buy shares?

We often hear that the world is more at peace today than it has ever been. It's repeated often in news media. The origin of this story is a book, heavily statistical, on the frequency of wars. It is not a book I ever found impressive. For start, we don't even have a count of all the wars in history - or anything like an accurate count of the dead.

And I'm not just talking about our lack of data for the ancient world. We don't have anything resembling accurate statistics for wars today. We don't even have an agreed definition for what counts as a war death. That's why the count for Korea can be anywhere from two and a half million to five million or more.

But here's a statistic that might be useful. Today, at least 50 million people are wandering and living in terrible hardship and danger because they are displaced by war.  Is that a lot? Well, it's more than have been displaced since World War Two.  Talk about how peaceful the world is!

Finally, there's a recent book on New Brunswick's fiscal problems called "Over the Cliff" that has been quoted over and over in editorials and opinion columns of the Irving press. That's a hint. Mr. Irving likes it. And if Mr. Irving likes it, take care.

A major theme is that we have overspent by so much that we face bankruptcy. So we have to cut back on government spending.

Essentially, that solution is called austerity - which means cutting back on services to the public in order to balance the budget.

We know quite a bit about austerity. It's being employed all over the world to cut wasteful spending on frills like health, education, social assistance....It's been in effect in Greece for a couple of  years - and unemployment is still over a quarter of the work force. There is no sign it's getting better.

We had austerity for ten years in the 1930s. Canadian suffered terribly. And austerity didn't do a damn thing to hellp balance the budget. It never has.  The very rich like austerity, though.

It means the poor become responsible and have to pay for the economic crisis caused by the greed and political influence of the rich.   There are a couple of things to notice......

1, The very rich normally prosper in economic hard times. They prospered in the 1930s. Austerity worked for them because Canadians, in their desperation, would work for pennies. I presume the rich  ate well. I  hope so. I didn't notice because at the time I was just a baby being taken to emergency for lack of food. (My parents worked hard. But couldn't make enough to feed even themselves.)

2. Much of our spending isn't for services to us. It's for services like grants, and highly questionable (and cheap) sales of our forest land.

e..Another source of our unbalanced budgets is that the rich pay little, and sometimes nothing, in taxes That is one of the reasons for our hard times because the rich get to peddle the bunkum that the key to prosperity. After all, as they get richer, the wealth will trickle down to us.

Right.

Look - If you want something to trickle down on you, stand under a pigeon. You'll get more from that than you ever will from the rich.

Austerity doesn't work. It never has. It never will. And we ordinary people can't end the economic crisis because we never started it in the first place.

Hint - the economic crisis began to form when Reagan and Thatcher began the carnival of cutting taxes for the rich, and getting rid of regulations that hampered the rich in any way. That was when we began to see the wage gap.

And the economic crisis hit at a time when big business was building huge power in government, and turning governments into puppets.

Big business is driven by greed. That greed is what has pushed it to take over government. And the imcompetence of big business when it goes out of its only field of competence - making money for itself - is highly destructive.

If New Brunswicker's ever want to solve their problems, they're going to have to kick big business out of their governments, out of their schools, and out of their health services. (Alward's announcement today of raising literacy in NB by 2% if pure bunk. That's because it's based on a business model -and business methods do not adapt well to teaching needs.

If we  want to survive, we have to take back our province. If we don't do that, we'll just get smaller and poorer.

12 comments:

  1. As usual I agree with about 90% of what you say, I just wanted to add some comments about New Brunswick. I 'sort of' agree about the 'fear factor', and its not surprising its a 'village mentality' as most of its population does not live in large urban settings, and even its cities are fairly small in comparison.
    And you get a lot of fear when the only potential for a decent livelihood is either government or one of the large conglomerates running the province. However, as we saw with the NBPower and to a lesser extent, the shale gas issue, not EVERYONE is so scared.
    Fear or whatever has little to do with voting. You mention the two main parties, but the NDP has famously refused to comment on the Irving forestry deal, and has accepted about 6 grand from an Irving and reportedly said along the lines that you have to be a cynic to think that somebody who contributes to a party is expecting anything in return.

    And given that even places like BC, or Ontario, have failed to elect a single Green rep, then like I say, voting for the other parties, even the NDP, is like throwing your vote away. If some of the people who constantly complain about politics actually got involved in politics, maybe that would be different.

    Thats not exclusive to New Brunswick. In Ontario a party infamous for scandals and corruption just got re elected with a majority. Alternatives included a conservative who seemed unfamiliar with basic math, and an NDP who didn't have a platform til the election was almost over, and whose platform was more to the right than the governing liberals!

    And certainly not all New Brunswickers are so friendly, but I've found most people all over the world to be remarkably friendly, so they are no different in that respect.


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  2. well -
    1. I never said EVERYONE WAS SCARED.
    2.Fear has a lot to do with voting. If you're too scared to disagree with the system in the first place, you're going to avoid understanding it or listening to criticism of it - and you're going to the polls without much sense of what's going on.
    You often make extreme pronouncements with no logic in them. People who are afraid aren't likely to admit it even to themselves. Not even in the privacy of a polling booth. So they'll vote like sheep.
    3. As for voting for a winner so you won't "throw your vote away" - you would then have voted for Hitler in this first and only election?
    All votes count. There is no such thing as throwing yours away. A vote for a loser is a warning to the winning party. And it's the only expression of your views that will ever be heard.
    There is nothing sillier than voting for someone simply because you think he or she will will the election.

    But I know a lot of people do it. And it's a hell of a destructive and useless approach to democracy.

    4. Then you criticize people who "constantly" complain about politics - and say they should get involved in them. In fact, they do. People who get active in the Greens are doing just that. The old CCF (now the NDP) was founded by complainers who, strongly influenced by clergy, demanded a just society. (It did nothing? Oh. Do you know anything about the history of the old age pension in Canada? Ever hear of medicare?
    The one who doesn't get active is you. You just want to vote for a winner - and you're willing to vote for a person you call an idiot.
    Look in a mirror.
    5.I don't know what Ontario has to do with NB. However, I note that Ontario has for most of this century has NOT simply voted for two parties which are really both the same.
    And the Ontario NDP didn't have a platform? And with the same logic you're in favour of voting for a party run by an idiot - and which also has no platform.
    5. And you again leap to extreme conclusions with no sign of any logic. I NEVER said ALL New Brunswickers were friendly. Then you say most people all over the world to be remarkably friendly - not just friendly, but remarkably so.
    You've met most people all over the world? And you have found them not just to be friendly but remarkably so?
    And New Brunswickers are no diffferent?
    You're telling us they aren't friendly, then that they're just like other people who are remarkably friendly, and you've met most people all over the world.
    Can you see all the contradictions and fallacies and impossibilities in that statement?
    Sometimes, I think you like to argue just for the sake of it.

    Oh - yeah - I agree the NDP should not have accepted money from Irving. There's nothing illegal about it. And no party is going to give Irving anything back for an election fund that small. As well, Irving also gives funding - and rather more substantial funding to the Liberals and Conservatives. (I knew a Liberal bagman quite well.) And that most certainly does by the Liberals and Conservatives.
    I think that tactically and in public relations terms, the NDP was wrong to accept that money. But to say that puts them in the same class as the two, bigger parties is silly.
    And think hard. Why did Irving give that money? He'll get nothing for it.. Is it just possible he intended to damage the NDP by leaking the story? Because that's the only effect it will have. I can just see those two twits, Alward and Gallant, having the nerve to accuse the NDP of being crooked - instead of honest like them.

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  3. Whew, take a breather. I DO like debating for the sake of it, its how you learn things. Anybody that doesn't look at views outside their own hasn't got an education. But I disagreed with your points, so I pointed out that disagreement, I'm not sure why thats considered 'arguing for the sake of it'. Would you prefer comments saying "yeah I agree with this", and "this is correct"? You seem to take an awful lot of this personally, which you shouldn't, and if you don't want comments, just say so.

    An example of an 'extreme pronouncement' would sound a lot like "People who are afraid aren't likely to admit it even to themselves". Have any evidence to back that up?

    Or perhaps "a vote for a loser is a warning to the winning party". Its hardly a warning, unless its close. If Alward barely beats Gallant, then thats a warning, if the NDP wins one seat, that means nothing.

    But nobody said anything about 'voting for the winner'. I don't say vote for Gallant because 'he might win', I say vote for him because he is inexperienced and so might be easier to challenge than Alward, and because Alward's policies we already know. If Alward were ahead in the polls I wouldn't say 'vote for Alward because he might win'. Unlike you I don't think that the only political power that people have is the ballot, in fact in New Brunswick it isn't even their best power. That comes from protest and demonstrations, which government at least pays SOME attention to, certainly more than elections. For the most part its fairly irrelevant whether people even vote or not, as being politically active means a lot more than voting.

    The other votes are a throwaway simply because it takes a lot of work to get votes. In Nova Scotia the NDP got a slew of new young members who then went out and pounded the pavement. In New Brunswick the NDP has no such thing. It doesn't look like the Greens are even going to have enough nominee's in the next election. As for the payoffs, the NDP ALREADY has 'paid back Irving' by NOT saying anything about the forestry deal. Essentially none of the three main parties have said anything negative about it. The NDP's line was that "oh, well, we haven't got the whole deal spelled out yet", which is ludicrous, the deal is well known, and numerous groups have stated what is wrong with it. And as for fracking, the NDP's policy is no different than the liberals-a 'moratorium while we work things out'. In Nova Scotia they thought an NDP Premier would be stepping outside the mold, it turned out to not be the case. Anybody that thinks a province run by Irving would be different under an NDP government, particularly one run by Dominic Cardy, who has said that his personal hero is Tony Blair, well, I won't be insulting but good luck with that. The NDP is in the 'same class as the other two' because their POLICIES put them there. Go look at their website, almost half of the main 'commitments' are the same as the conservatives platform in Ontario. Then they talk about balancing the budget but not raising anybody's taxes (including Irvings).

    As for the other comment, you said "New Brunswickers are nice people. They are easily the politest and friendliest I have ever seen. They are also the most frightened people..."

    You didn't say SOME, of course any reasonable person knows what you meant, which is why I pointed out that most people I've met from all over the world are nice. I also didn't say ALL, but usually when people say such things we know what they mean.

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  4. 1. You don't debate. It's not just the lack of evidence, It's the lack of logic. I know a little bit about debating. When I was a student at Acadia, my partner (Pat Shepherd of Fredericton - and a devout Liberal) and I were runners-up for the national universities title. (Not bragging. Just giving evidence that I know something about debating..)

    2. I'm not allowed to decide for myself that New Brunswickers are the politest people I've ever seen? Gee. Am I allowed to decide for myself what I want for breakfast? Do I have to present evidence that I like it?
    That's not debating. That's a nit-picking and absurd point.

    Unlike you, I h ave not met all or even .0001% of the whole world's population. However, even I have seen other parts of the world. In fact, I've lived and worked in China and Europe - and visited North Africa, Mexico, and other places.
    The impression of my inferior mind is many are not as friendly or polite as in NB. China was polite. The Netherlands was. Italy was not. Nor was Tunisia. And, certainly, Mexico was not. Nor do you have to go that far. Try New York some day. Take a walk in Central Park after sunset. Enjoy a stroll through Detroit.

    3. Incidentally, I didn't say ALL NBers were polite. As you point out in your last paragraph, people understand that when we refer to people as a group we do not mean every single person in the group.
    So how can twist what I said so it doesn't mean that - and And how can you cry that you were misquoted when I used the same criteria you do?
    4. You almost never give evidence, and you only rarely produce a logical argument.
    5. Oh - you claim I made an uncomplimentary comment about you. Personal. Quite terrible.
    Ever notice you do that in almost every post?

    You don't want to debate. I think you are driven to contradict people. It reassures you of your intellectual superiority.

    Yes, I think you should vote Liberal.

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  5. Dude, WHERE did I twist what you said? All I made was the pretty benign statement that people are friendly all over the world. I've BEEN to Detroit and New York and people were plenty friendly. Mexicans were amongst the friendliest people I've met, and the same with Italians.

    Forbes survey by friendliest: New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Canada, United States, Turkey, United Kingdom, Phillipines, Spain, Malaysia, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, Singapore, France.

    Daily Mail ranking: Iceland, New Zealand, Morocco, Macedonia, Austria, Senegal, Portugal, Bosnia, Burkina Faso, Barbados, Canada, Thailand


    That's really not even a point worth debating because, like I said I've found most of the world pretty friendly. Dude, THATS ALL I SAID. I didn't make a point on your comment at all except to say that you DID say 'New Brunswickers', and not 'some' New Brunswickers, but like I said, we know what you mean, I thought it was equally clear what I meant.

    You keep saying I'm not producing evidence or logic, even AFTER I produce evidence logically. Here it is spelled out:

    Hypothesis: The NDP is no different than the other two major parties

    Points: Cardy has refused to join other NBers in condemning the province's forestry plan:

    "We need the jobs, absolutely, and I’ve got no problem with the Irvings creating jobs," he said.

    "Cardy also said he won’t take a predictable, knee-jerk position against the Irving companies just because that was the NDP stance in the past."

    "Cardy is a self-professed admirer of former British prime minister Tony Blair, who espoused a so-called Third Way instead of conventional left-wing policies. Cardy has a poster of Blair in his office at NDP headquarters."

    "Cardy also said recent donations by a member of the Irving family had nothing to do with his position. 'Anyone who thinks a political party's opinions can be bought for $6,000 a year is hopefully too cynical to participate in day-to-day politics."

    "Public records show Jamie Irving donated $6,000 to the NDP in each of 2011 and 2012, the maximum legal contribution and the largest donation the party received in each of those years."

    In a Spin Reduxit Podcast Dominic Cardy defines himself as a 'fiscal conservative'.

    I can post all the links if you want, but all you have to do is go to CBC.ca/NB and type in Dominic Cardy and it is all on page one.

    Their own website lists their 'priorities' right there. The NUMBER ONE commitment is to "Hold the line on Taxes"., and that INCLUDES corporate taxes and taxes for the wealthiest New Brunswickers.

    That sounds pretty logical to me, and certainly looks like evidence.


    The Greens and the Peoples Alliance are another story and at least they 'seem' quite different. I'm not telling other people who to vote for, but history has a way of at least indicating the conclusions of our actions. If there were a large lobby effort, and not just some commenters at CBC, saying to vote for the Greens or the PA, then that would be different. But there has been virtually no organization around those two parties, so its not a big stretch to say that IF you vote for those parties, you aren't going to get the representation you want.

    While Gallant is no great heck, maybe he won't be as bad as Alward in doing things like just last month sneaking through a bill in a week that changes the entire Legal Aid Act so that decisions the board makes on rejecting people who apply for legal aid can't be challenged in any way. Or like Alward phasing out the property tax on people with second homes and apartment building owners, costing the government about 100 million in revenues every year.


    PS what 'uncomplimentary comment' did I make? I don't think the fact that I ONLY agreed with 90% of your comment is really an insult, at least it certainly wasn't meant to be.

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  6. The NDP has undoubtedly drifted to the right. That's why I opposed the formation of it more years ago than I care to think - and had a long and heated argument with David Lewis over it.

    New Brunswick is in deep trouble and, I suspect, it's too late to get out. Certainly, the Liberals and the Conservatives will just push us down faster and deeper. I don't see that as a good reason to vote for either of them. If, as you say, you vote for either of them, you won't get the representation you want.

    And if you think you can scare Gallant, dream on. Irving can scare him a hell of a lot better.

    What we are watching is a collapse of western power, a desperate turning to war as a last minute solution, a virtual disappearance of democracy, and rule by an aristocracy of money.

    There's going to be violence. I don't advocate it. It's going to happen. And it will come from an economic leadership that is anti-democratic, greedy, destructive even of itself and, in any case, incompetent to operate a society.

    As an example, it was American economic leadership that lied to get it's Iraq war. So what we have now is a destroyed nation with internal hatreds that never existed before. This was all done simply to satisfy the greed of the oil industry.What is happening there now is the fault of Blair and Bush - both of them puppets of big money - and both now very, very rich men.

    All over the world, government is really by an aristocracy of the very rich who have twisted capitalism into a mindless and cruel greed - which is going to destroy itself. Soon.

    I'm afraid that voting for Gallant will not change any of that.

    Oh, "dude" is very 1960s. It's kind of, you know, out.

    graeme

    Oh, I don't care whether people disagree with me. What I pointed out is your tendency for nit-picking and you faulty logic.

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  7. Dude is more 80's, and introduces a levity that is usually needed. People tend to get offended with 'sir', Mr. Decarie is too much to write, and I don't know you well enough to write just your first name. Plus, this is the twitter age, NOTHING is 'out' anymore, except maybe the notion of things being 'out'.

    Its quite a conundrum, you don't mind being disagreed with, but when I say I agree with about 90% of what you say, then point out the 10%, then you say its 'nitpicking'. I agree that the friendliness issue was not a big issue, but I wrote it really as a byline and didn't expect it to be turned into an issue.

    But now at least you admit I'm USING logic, its just 'faulty' logic. Thats fine, people's opinions are often based on faulty logic. Predictions of the future are fairly illogical to me, but to each his own. You MAY be right, but like those talking amageddon, thats a prophecy that's been around a LONG time. Maybe the second coming will be tomorrow, I don't know, but I tend to base provincial issues on policies.

    Like I said, there is more than one issue in the province, and not every policy has to do with Irving. And at the very least the liberals aren't going to have an ex Irving manager as their finance minister, an aged aristocrat who talks down to people worse than his grandfather in Hugh John Flemming, a lying resource minister in Craig Leonard whose sister works for the oil industry, and Bruce Northrup, who hadn't even read the only pertinent legislation governing the industry he was overseeing before he started talking about lawsuits and criminal charges.

    So theres THAT. Plus, as I've said before, a moratorium on gas exploration is better than the status quo. A 'study' on abortion policies is better than Alwards "suck it" reply. So somebody else might consider that 'faulty logic', but to me when choosing between two bad scenario's, the one that is worse bad, seems a logical choice.

    I do tend to agree that 'maybe' the Greens or PA, maybe even the NDP, would be better. For the NDP though just the creepy way that Dominic Cardy got 'acclaimed' as head of his party (and the fact that his first comments were to belittle members of his own party who commented on that fact, and his second was to talk about merging with the liberals) is enough to make one doubt the seriousness of many of their campaign promises.

    But here's logic again, Gallant may be 'afraid' of Irvings, but ANY party is going to be afraid of Irvings, unless they are idiots. If your a new party with a new Premier, and the biggest industrialist starts talking about pulling out all their investment, you've got to have some pretty steel balls to allow that to happen. Danny Williams did it for a number of years because he was a millionaire anyway, but it wore him down so much he won't have anything to do with politics anymore. I like David Coon, but he doesn't strike me as the kind of guy with any kind of cajones.

    PS: It MAY all lead to violence thats true, but nothing about the future is written. I'm not as gloomy, but still pretty gloomy. If there is going to be big change, I suspect it will come from climate change and more natural disasters, when people will HAVE to cooperate, and realize "why the *&^% do we pay all this money for crap we don't need when we can just share it". Heck, even Fox News has now finally admitted that climate change is here, thats practically an apocolyptic moment right there. But then maybe the next generation will simply have better ideas, or even the fact of more women getting into politics (everywhere but NB it seems).

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    1. you did it again. You interpret faulty logic as meaning you do use logic - it's just wrong but its logic. Well, no.

      Illogic means no logic at all or faulty logic. You play with words - easy target for a debater.

      I'm not convinced any party can save New Brunswick. No party can make any significant changes without a public that is informed and aware. The New Brunswick public is neither.

      I jumped on the "friendliness" issue because it was a prime example of Illogic - indeed, of no logic at all.

      I admit to being gloomy about the future. I don't think people will cooperate if things get dangerous. I fear they are more likely to turn on each other.

      I'm surprised you find the use of a first name too familiar. I think the same way - but it has come as a surprise to me to find that people in New Brunswick commonly do it on first contact - even on business matters.

      In montreal, the substitution of Dude was pretty rare. If we did use something informal, it was usually something quite filthy, and either in Yiddish or French.

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  8. Graeme, your email not working again?

    Attempted emailing you last night, but bounced back.

    BTW, great thoughts!

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  9. I think my e mail is working. you might be using my old e mail address, which is slightly different - and doesn't work.

    Do you live in Moncton? If so, don't send me your address. But give me a rough idea of the area.

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  10. I don't share that gloom, in any kind of emergency situation I typically find people VERY eager to share and be helpful. Just the other day was a report about the Calgary flood, and how people were going door to door, everybody helping clean out other's basements. In cases of larger emergencies, like the ice storm, even public utilities have been eager to help, I remember being stuck on the 401 behind a whole line of utility trucks from Texas and had to show them how to drive on icy roads.

    Actually the ONLY place I get gloomy in that regard is when government is more involved, like, say, in New Orleans, but that was a huge city in a messed up country, and there were still tons of stories of people working together. I'm not naive though, I know the tendencies toward other things, and won't pretend that what is happening now in the middle east and other areas can't happen in the west, particularly with large groups of young men angry and unemployed.

    But now who's nitpicking!:) Il-logic, means without logic, that would be something like free verse or poetry, but 'faulty' logic, which I don't think I showed, is still 'logic', simply an incorrect application of the form, much like 2+2=5 is 'incorrect', however, it is still 'math'.

    In informal logic, the byword would be 'consistency'. If I said, "I like corn, but I don't like canned corn", thats logically inconsistent, although its still 'logic'. Its just a fallacy, because by definition if you don't like canned corn, you don't like corn. It should read "I like corn on the cob...". Just like when you say "New Brunswickers are nice", that means that if a person is a New Brunswicker, they are therefore nice, which I believe is 'wrong', but its still 'logical'.

    In my statements: "And certainly not all New Brunswickers are so friendly, but I've found most people all over the world to be remarkably friendly, so they are no different in that respect" seems perfectly logical AND correct.

    1. "not ALL new brunswickers are friendly"
    I have personally met NBers who are not friendly, therefore this is true, and I think pretty evident.
    2. "I've found most people all over the world to be remarkably friendly"
    This is based on my personal experience, unless you are calling me a liar, thats just what it is. I didn't say they WERE remarkably friendly, only that "i've found' them to be so.
    3. "so they are no different in that respect"

    You may argue that its WRONG, that the conclusion doesn't necessarily follow from the arguments, thats fine, but that doesn't make it 'illogical', and to me it doesn't even make it 'faulty logic'. I will grant that there may be a fallacy in that the conclusion sounds too certain and should have read, "therefore, 'in my opinion' they are no different in that regard", however the conjunction 'so', acts in a way to connect the conclusion to argument right above it.

    In politics, if NO party can save NB then it doesn't matter who one votes for. I sort of agree with that, but the liberals are 'less bad', so its 'logical' to vote for that party. I think the public has to change first, I'm not as gloomy in that respect either, but the problem is that right now there is little reason to actually BE 'informed', and very good reasons to be afraid. Whether and how that changes is anybody's guess.

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  11. And on that note, I heard that Pierre Cyr just passed away. So I guess in a way its good that the NDP wouldn't allow him to run for leader, unless that broke his heart. RIP.

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