Saturday, October 1, 2011

October 1: What's news; and what isn't.

President Obama ordered the assassination of an American-born man. It as done. Did you know that since Bush American presidents have the power to order the assassination of any person, even a  US citizen? In the land of the free and the home of the brave, you can also be imprisoned indefinitely with no charge, no proof even that an offense occured, and no trial. That land of the free and the home of the brave is a police state.

But the Times and Tribune doesn't mention those nasty bits in its story of a Moslem cleric, American-born, who was just assassinated on Obama's order.

In the The Moncton Times and Transcript, here is no mention at all of of the Wall St. protests that have been going on in New York for two weeks, and that have spread to at least fifty American cities.

There is no mention of Tony Blair, the former British PM who has been working as the official head of the attempts to reach a peace agreement in the middle east. Check The Guardian  (a British paper generally considered one of the best in the world).  It seems he has been deliberately working to prevent an agreement, and blocking Palestinian attempts to get one. He has also run up a fortune of at least ten million dollars, probably more, since he began this public service. I wonder where that came from?

Nor did I see the story about Mr. Baird, our foreign minister, who insists on on gold embossed calling cards - with the word Canada removed - at triple the cost of the usual ones.

Nor is there much on the war going on between the Canadian military and the government. A few weeks ago, the general staff refused to carry out a reorganization order by the federal government. It's not a healthy sign in a dmocracy when the miliraty refuses to obey the government.

Then the government released a report on aircraft use and abuse by the Chief of General Staff.

Then somebody leaked the story that the Minister of Defence had an even worse racket going in the use of government aircraft for personal reasons. Now, who would have all the information on these government aircraft that are operated by the military?

We have a war going on between the government and the military. That's a dangerous sign in any country - and I wonder who and what is behind it. . But I'll certainly never find out from the TandT.

The lead story is an incoherent, "special" report on education commissions by the usual suspect, Brent Mazerolle. It's a lengthy report, but so poorly explained that it is incomprehensible. One of Mazerolle's leading sources of information is Charles Cirtwill, President of the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies, a man who is quite ignorant of anything whatever about education, but who constantly interferes with it in his role as propagandist for New Brunswick's owners.

Page A3 has an obvious error. It reports that a pair of Molsons will be delivering a speech on the "fascinating saga" of the Molson family, owners of the oldest, faimly-owned busniess in Canada.

Molson's is NOT family-owned. Didn't anybody at that paper notice that it's now called Molson Coors? Didn't anybody wonder why it's called that? It's becaise the Molsons are now junior partners in what WAS the oldest family business in Canada.

On the editorial page, "Bill" Belliveau has a good column on Harper's crime bill.

Below it is a commentary on fracking that ranges from embarassing to disgusting. It is by Don Savoie, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Public administration and Governance. This is the man the TandT regularly trots out to support whatever it is that big corporations want done.

Savoie appeals for reasoned debate about fracking. Sure, Donny. Companies have been taking out gas for ten years. Government and business have told us nothing. It's surely clear by now they aren't going to tell us anything. For most of those ten years, there have been no regulations. They still aren't in place. Exactly where is this reasoned debate going to get its reasons? Certainly not from BrunswickMedia that you write for, and not from our government.

Then Savoie smears the opposition to fracking by saying SWN had to suspend it activities because of "vanadlism and threats to its employees". That is a smear that is almost certainly untrue. Do you seriously think that SWN gives a damn if its employees are threatened?  (and what were the threats?)
And the reported vandalism could easily be prevented. SWN SAID that threats and vandalism were  why it suspended drilling. We don't "know" the reason - and Savoie is a big enough boy to know that, and to know that what he was writing was propaganda. (Incidentally, other companies continue their drilling.. I guess Savoie has not noticed that as a "hard fact".

But Savoie, though he admits he knows nothing of the engineering risks involved, is the only academic I have seen quoted. Doesn't New Brunswick have engineers teaching in its universities? Why doesn't the Tand T ask them about it? Why do they limit themselves,  every time, to a professor of Public Administration?

Savoie says we need a proper debate based on facts. Quite so. But facts are precisely what the companies, the government, and Professor Savoie have not given us. That's the real story behind this issue.

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