Monday, August 22, 2011

August 22: How to create a passive and uninfomed society

The first section of today's The Moncton Times@Transcript is at least half advertsing. That doesn't count the big, free ad on the front page (disguised as a news story) for a pro football game next month. The rest is a page and a half of pictures of motorcycles, a page of people standing around watching a parade   And it goes on....

There's a story about premier Alward - though it gets less space and prominence than a picture of a motorcycle making smoke by burning its tires. Mr. Alward, who's usually too busy listening to speak, says there will be no referendum on fracking. He says the election was a referendum because  his platform included the responsible development of shale gas.

 Well, but that's the problem, isn't it?

We haven't seen a responsible development. Years into the process, the government still hasn't completed basic studies on the impact of fracking for shale gas. It only recently hurried some regulations through - though how anyone can trust the regulations of a government that tells us nothing is beyond me.

Then - the stunning comment - "Fear comes from a lack of information."

Quite so. And why do we have such a lack of information?  Could it be that two governments have committed us to this without giving us any information? And Alward has the nerve to say it's somehow our fault if we fear what this may do?

On the same note, where has The Moncton Times&Transcript been? It has told us close to nothing about fracking, and why some jurisdictions have banned it. It doesn't take a huge news staff to do research. Start by going to google. Type in fracking. You will get 5,600,000 hits. They reflect both sides in the debate.

But we aren't going to hear anything but one side from Alward and from the T&T. There is big money on the table (though we are not likely to see much of it). There's a lot of power and control on the table - and neither of those is for u, either..

There is so much at stake for the people behind this that Alward is willing to politically destroy himself and his party, just as Shawn Graham did. But not to worry. The people behind this look after their flunkies.

For an example of how newspapers can lie while telling the truth, check out p. C 1 (NewsToday). It's an excellent example of how to slant a story. The head blares: Canadians increasingly frustrated about health care: survey. The impression given by the story is that Medicare is collapsing and people have lost faith in it. In fact, 70% in the survey rate it A to B in quality. That is down from 75% a year ago - but even that could well be within the margin of error. In either case, it scarcely qualifies as a collapse.

The CMA is quite right to raise demands for improvement in the system; and to use this survey to help it. But the tone of the story suggests a level of popular anger that isn't there. Why? Because the story comes from Postmeda. And Postmedia, like the T&T, would much prefer to see health care privatized. Then the rich could pay even lower taxes - while the rest of us live shorter lives.

Again - Libya is mentioned. Again, we are not told why Canadians are killing Libyans. Nor are we told how many civilians we are killing in order to "save civilian lives." (and expect a lot more civilians to die as the fightinig moves into Tripoli). Nor are we told exactly who the rebels are or what they want.

Oh, by the way, NATO aricraft have so far flown over 7000 sorties in Libya. That's seems a lot to control the skies over a country that has no air force capable of operations.

On the editorial page is an excellent cartoon by de Adder. There are also two excellent columns by David Suzuki and Norbert Cunningham on different but related aspects of government control.

The most important thing the editor could think of to talk about is how the "Metro" area is the entertainment capital of Atlantic Canada - I mean.  in how many other cities can you watch motorcycles making smoke by accelerating while held in place? That's why all over the world people are talking about Moncton. Hint - if you want your children to make big money on the Atlantic entertaintment circuit ,don't waste your money on music lessons or education of any sort.. Keep them so dumb they won't even watch informercials on TV. Then get them a V-6 motorcycle that can chain it in place, with the rear wheel on a couple of logs, and let them go vroom-vroom.

They'll be so rich and famous, they'll get the Order of New Brunswick.


  1. Thanks for this very insightful article. You are a voice of reason in a sea of corruption.

    Wikileaks has taught many of us that governments lie to their people on a regular basis.

    David Alward was elected on openness and accountability. Shale gas will be his Waterloo.

  2. Not to worry about young David. If he pushes this shale gas through, he will go to Elba with enough corporate directorships to cover the rent with some left over.

    Ask Brian Mulroney about it.