Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March 14: news and common sense...

Like any human creation, news sources are flawed - sometimes clumsy, sometimes gullible, sometimes prejudiced, sometimes deliberate lying for propaganda. It's important in reading the news to remember that we are, at least, gifted with common sense. We have to ask ourselves as we read whether the story seems slanted - or even logical. Take, for example, the story of an American soldier who killed 16 civilians in a shooting spree, then poured chemical on their bodies and set fire to them.

Let's see - he left camp in the middle of the night with his rifle and perhaps a gallon or so (remember, he burned 16 bodies) of some chemical. He appparently had no permission to leave the base. Didn't it have guards? It was, after all, in a combat area.

So he breaks into a house, puts his gallon of chemical on the floor, shoots five or six people. Picks up his gallon, breaks into the next house, puts the gallon down again, shoots three more, picks up his chemical....... Then, at leisure, he revisited each shooting, poured chemical, lit a match.....16 matches in all.....

That same day, the army officially announced that he was severely mentally disturbed as a result of an injury in Iraq. It was something, apparently, that the army had such a good record of that it could find the information in a no time at all. So - the army posted a man it knew to be seriously mentally disturbed to another combat zone?

The army calls him a "rogue soldier".Why call him a rogue? Why not just say a soldier? That's because it wants you to think that American soldiers don't kill civilians - not even when thousands of civilians see to die wherever they got.

 Incidentally, eyewitnesses say it was several soldiers, not one. And that all had been drinking. But most news reports don't mention that part.

There's a lot of room in those paragraphs for your common sense.

Oh, yes. Obama says the soldier will be tried in a US court, and will be treated just as though those dead Afghanis were Americans. If so, it will be the first time in history that has happened.
Lt. Calley, convicted of killiing 120 Vietnamese civilians - women, children, etc (and the real number was much higher) - spent one night in jail, then got a presidential pardon.
Just recently, a marine sergeant who quite deliberately led his men into a killing spree of some 30 plus civilians (women, children, elderly man in wheelchair) was found guilty of (let's hear a drumroll) disorderly conduct. He was  given probation.

Like most war news, none of the official story about that soldier makes sense.

Yes. News can be misleading. But you do have common sense - if you care to use it. Just ask the questions the reporters didn't.

There's another example, if fact two more, in today's issue of The Moncton Times and Transcript.
check out p. A1 (Business group takes stance on  gas exploration); and p.C9 (Water is tainted by faulty gas well: industry).

Both stories are on fracking. Imagine. Here's a subect the TandT has been avoiding for years. Suddenly, two stories in one day. And they both say the same thing. Fracking is perfectly safe. If just needs Tight regulations and enforcement. What a concidence!

And we know it's true because the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce used its immense resources and scientific expertise to study it.  We know from the other story it's true because Angie Leonard (who left NB government servce  to be a lobbyist for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers - a propaganda front) says so.

(Angie Leonard used to be an inefficient, unmotivated, overpaid civil servant who didn't know what she was talking about. Now, she's an expert crusader for truth about the wisdom of private industry - and probably getting much better pay.)

My goodness, if tough regulations and enforcement is what we need,  why didn't the industry tell government that some ten years ago when all this started? Why didn't they tell us that when it was conducting its big campaign to inform us? Why didn't Angie tell her brother, our Minister of Energy? He could have fixed it.

If you ask those questions, it's obvious what happened. Mr. Irving, for years, went on his knees to pms and cabinet ministers, pleading for tougher regulations and tight enforcement. And they laughed in his face, and told their secretaries to pick him up, and dump him outside the back door.

My heart bleeds for the humiliations Mr Irving had to endure, all on our behalf. Gee! If only he had told us during the big information campaign, we would have known all about it. But he was too humiliated and hurt by his experience. The poor man no longer had it in him to speak out;so  those smirking government members haven't done a thing.

See? If your mind is asking  yourself questions as you read the news, then you can understand it. Indeed, you can even tell the future.

Someday soon, there will be an editorial on how our good friends at the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers say fracking is harmless. (They couldn't do the editorial today because they had to get one in on how brilliant the mayor is to focus on getting the hockey rink (oops) events centre built. There's a municipal election coming up, and another Irving here to fight for the truth.)

And watch for the grand announcement that the government has tough, tough rules all ready, and a hard-nosed team of enforcers. Then we can thank Mr. Irving and his sainted petroleum producers for saving us.

All you have to do is to ask yourself the right questions as you read. It's clear as - as fracking.

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