Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sept. 14: Trivia and deliberate omssions from the news

Two, BIG stories on today's front page of The Moncton Times and Transcript. One - the people who live in Dieppe, our "metro" neighbours, are happy. That is big and, without doubt, will be one of the features of Moncton that the whole world is watching.  Two - a gull stuck in the mud at Jones Lake got free. Strong men wept openly at the sight.

Just to show the importance of those stories, they had to move the usual ad for the casino - (disguised as a news story)- to an inner page.  And it was a big story. Dog the Bounty Hunter will appear on stage. The whole world will be watching Moncton.

The words fracking and shale gas, as usual, did not appear anywhere in the paper, though both government and the newspaper have asssured us many times that they are going to keep us regularly and fully informed. So, just for you, here's secret the Moncton T&T doesn't know.
Go to google. Search for "Shale gas accidents". There wou will find over a million entries, most  of them very recent.

In fact, just in the last few months, you will find confirmed reports of poisoning of streams and the water table due to spills, massive escapes of shale gas into the atmosphere, leaking transmission pipes that poison both the air and the land, enormous tanking trucks of waste fracking fluid that have spilled their loads all over the land, law firms which have sprung up to specialize in damage caused by fracking, explosions that have killed and maimed....

Perhaps the TandT and the government could go just a little step further. They've already said we have to look at what NB can earn from this. Okay. Give us a look at how much we will get from the almost certain environmental damge. What percentage are we getting on oil sales? What tax breaks do we  have to pay for?  (For openers, I know one company won't have to pay taxes until 2016 - and not much even then.)

From what I've able to learn with computer searches, It doesn't sound to me as though we're getting a whole lot for the risks. Indeed, this deal has all the earmarks of all those other rip-offs by our economic bosses that have characterized the  history of New Brunswick - ripping off the resources and taxes of New Brunswick ( with the help of a lying press), and leaving its people among the poorest in Canada.

'course, it ain't big like a story of a gull getting out of Jones Lake. Or the thrilling op ed column by Brian Cormier in which he confesses he likes to knit.( Hey, c'mon Brian. The whole world is watching Moncton.)

I have a small quarrel with Alec Bruce and his defence of Stephen Harper's comment on "Islamicism" being the greatest threat to Canada. I know Harper specified Islamicist extremism.  But the importance of a statement  lies not in what you say, but in what people hear. And what is heard is that Islam is the problem.

Actually, though I am a Christian - and rather serious about it - I think the biggest threat in the world today is Christianicism extremism  It has certainly killed far more people than Islamic extremism has for some centuries now. Still, I fully agree with the main thrust of Bruce's column. Canadian democracy, never so strong as we think it is, has entered its most dangerous period. "We'll learn about that when Harper announces his plans on how to deal with them there Islamicist extremists.

My guess is that we can look forward to the destruction of fundamental freedoms -and lots and lots of wars that have nothing to do with protecting Canada..

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