Friday, November 25, 2011

Nov. 25: stunning (sorry, stunned) editorial....

As expected the TandT editorial was lavish in its praise of Alward's "visionary" throne speech. And it is dazzled by the almost meaningless reduction in legilsative seats.

The editorial write is delighteded the government didn't mention details. In fact, did. It mentioned an information campaign on fracking - a promise that was broken a long time ago; has also been broken by the TandT.

It mentioned tight regulations on fracking. - something else it long ago broke its promises on.
Another promise, enforcement of what miserable regulations there, seems to  have vanished into the mist. Remember the company that pretty flagrantly disobeyed the law (and has admitted it) by doing seismic testing without permission of the municipality? So where are the riot cops?

Roughly, the throne speech said the premier will focus on good things. That's good. I'm in favour of good things. Way to tell it like it is, ed.

More disturbing is the lack of comment on how government is going to act like a business, and how business leaders will advise on our budget. I don't believe I have ever before heard of a government openly admitting that special interests would be admitted to the planning process at such a high level. (Most of them do it, of course. But I've never known one to admit it.) In fact, this whole "businessification" of government is troubling.

The fact is that government is NOT a business. It has quite different functions. Nor are business leaders experts in government economics. The only reason they want to be in on the planning is to do themselves good - at your expense. The reason we elect a government is to represent US, not corporations.

Inviting corporate heads to plan the provincial economy is a death blow to democracy. (Not that it makes much difference, since democracy has been a corpse for a long time in New Brunswick.)

On this note of the roles of government and business, take a careful and thoughtful read of Alec Bruce's column.

Excellent columns, as well, by Lynda MacGibbon (our abysmal treatment of housing for native peoples) and David Suzuki (the limits of the business idea of "progress"). I'll just add a footnote about ms. MacGibbons' column.

Some journalists and politicians are making a big stink about how Occupy camps are attracting druggies and the homeless. Get real. Any big park I've seen in a Canadian city has always been a magnet for druggies, alcoholics and the homeless.The Occupy movement, if anything, gave our parks a moment of life and class,

It's a good op ed page, so nice to see one vacuumed of TandT staff writers.

In NewsToday, the best part is the used car ad pages.

 PostMeida News is still avoiding the whole story of what is going on in Egypt. What is going on is that the army is trying to put up something that looks like democracy while still holding power for itself. Even Google News has more on this than the TandT has.

There is still no mention of the very dangerous situation in the middle east with Syria and Iran.

Stephen Harper, always first off the mark on a photo op and cheap glory, made a big celebration out of our "great military success" in Libya. That got reported in the TandT - but other Canadian papers were not so gushing as the TandT is.

What great success? Libya is still in chaos. Al Quaeda still seems to be a force in any conceivable government to come. And any real democracy is as remote as ever with tribal chiefs fighting it out for power.

We protected the citizens from harm? Oh? Did we protect the thousands of Black African migrant workers who were jailed, tortured and murdered by our side? Have you seen pictures of the cities we bombed, of the row on row of demolished houses and apartment buildings?

No civilians got  harmed? Well, this is the first time in the history of warfare that houses and cities have been so destroyed without killing very large numbers of civilians. (Oh, I know. Many of our bombs were accurate. Big deal. That just means they hit what they're aimed at. It doesn't mean
that they don't explode if they land on civilians.)

The North American press and NATO have been shy releasing figures on the dead. Other sources post figures as high as 30,000 but, based on the extent of damage, I should think the figure is almost certainly higher. And 30,000 dead would mean at least 150,000 wounded, many of them to die of wounds.

Canada's Lt. General Bouchard was praised by Harper for his demonstration of exceptional operational and strategic acumen." What acumen? He saturation bombed people who had no means of defendeing themselves against aerial attack. Another Duke of Wellington he ain't.

Another speaker said, "They basically stopped massacres right across Libya, risking their lives....."
What?  Look Ghadaffi was a thorough rat. In fact, that's why he was such a close ally of the west for such a long time - just as Saddam Hussein was a thug and was our buddy for many years. But we didn't stop a massacre. We were the massacre.

And our pilots were risking their lives? Gee. Lucky nobody got killed. Or wounded. Or even an ingrown toe nail.

That report comes from Postmedia, of course. Check out Google, The Guardian, el haaretz, The Independent for something closer to the truth.

Sorry. I am not proud to be a Canadian - not for the killing, and not for the cheap, political posturing of Harper. Nor, as I read the press in Canada and abroad, am I alone in my reaction.

In section A, p.2 has a good story about the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra. It's really a fee ad. But they deserve it.

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