Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Nov. 15: Questions the TandT might ask - if it were a real, big kid newspaper.

There's even less in today's paper than usual.

Worth reading is a report on the US and Canada to set up a security deal so that both countries follow the same, unified border and internal security procedures. Then think about what that means.


One of the prime characeristics of a nation is that it sets its owm security standards. That's more than must an abstract theory.

The US is a madhouse of security with over a million people (chosen by whim and rumour) not permitted to fly. Millions more are on lists kept by uncounted numbers of agencies. If you opposed the war in Libya, You're on a list. You opposed it because you thought it would harm the US? Doesn't matter. You opposed it. You're on the list.

You're suspected of knowing somebody who might be in touch with somebody who might be a terrorist, maybe? You're on a list. You might already have been sent abroad to be tortured, courtesy of the CIA. (At least a couple of Canadians have already had that experience.)

Looking forward to having CSIS tap your phone? Monitor your computer? Think a police state would be a great idea?  Well, you're in luck because that is almost certainly what the Canada-US security deal is.

Ah, well, Alec Bruce, as ever, has a mature and intelligent column. Agree with him or not, he's informed; he's logical: and he's not a puppet for anybody.

And so, the rest of the paper can safely be skipped.

What`s not in it? Well, as I mentioned yesterday, Libya wasn`t in it -  though the war we just ``won`there (at the cost of billions of dollars from Canada, and enough Canadian explosives to kill uncounted thousands of civilians)doesn`t look so won any more.
Nor is the constant violence in Iraq even mentioned.

But the TandT, if it isn`t interested in tellings us the news, might at least ask questions for us to think about..

1. A shale gas company carried out illegal drilling. It has admitted it. It has also admitted it knew that what it did was illegal. So the government asks the RCMP to investigate.

Well, gee. It looks kind of open and shut from where I sit. So I wonder why the long delay on action. Are we allowed to ask?

2. What has happened to the occupy movement in places like Oakland and Halifax?  What are all these you-tube videos I see of riot cops, holding their sticks in both hands and swinging hard on the bodies of people lying on the ground   

Is this what shale gas companies can expect for breaking the law?

3. The minister of finance for New Brunswick says that government has to be run like a business. Well, maybe... But we could use a newspaper which at least asks whether a government is the same kind of animal as  a business.

As I understand it, business is run to make profit - no other reason. But, a government is not a profit-making enterprise. It is the mechanism we use establish and ensure standards of treating and organizing people  within our society- and to do it according to the wishes of the electorate.

Do I misunderstand what governments and business are? Just seems to me that running a government like a business could be as damaging as running a car like a bulldozer.

4. In drawing up the budget, our Minister of Finance (an ex-Irving exec.) will be drawing on advice officially offered by only one group - a group hand-picked by Mr. Irving. In short, the making of the budget is entirely in the hands of one business and one, unelected man.

Is this democratic?    Is it legal? if so, is it ethical?   Are we likely to suffer because of it?  Perhaps a really hot editor like Alan Cochrane, with his guitar and his motorcycle could be sent off to give Dr. Savoie to a tough grilling on this subject.

5. Then there`s the gas pump. If the middle east collapses into war - which seems quite possible - the effect on gas prices will be stunning. I thought of that as I drove through supper hour traffic in Moncton yesterday, and then into the bleakness of Riverview - the city whose design was outdated before before the first house was even built.

Moncton and Riverview live on cars.

So what plans do our governments have for the day gas prices skyrocket?

I`ve long since stopped expecting the TandT to give us answers. But it could at least let us know what some of the questions are.

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