Friday, July 13, 2012

July 13: Target to take over Zellers.......

......Wow! Stop the presses. Front page for sure.

Meanwhile, the only important story in section A is on p. 2. All NB Liberal leadership candidates have taken a position to delay fracking. It is not, as the story seems to suggest, an anti-fracking position. It is a position favouring further study. It is also a story that tell us virtually nothing. Reporters are not supposed to just write up press releases. They've supposed to ask questions. But those of the TandT never do. So here are a few of the more obvious ones.

1. If the Liberals think the information on fracking is inadequate, what were they thinking all their years in office while they allowed it to go on? They had virtually no regulations in place, no inspection, and gave out no information. This sounds very much as though the Liberals must be one, incompetent bunch.

2. If the Liberals are so gung ho on renewable resources, why have they not even whispered about it till now? Little PEI was experimenting with wind power forty years ago.

3. When, in the last fifty years, have the NB Liberals opposed anything the Irvings wanted? Why are they doing so now? Or -are they doing so now?  Consider this possibility. (This is me, Graeme Decarie Enbridge Irving ,speaking.)

The profits of natural gas are too low to continue exploration right now. And the public opposition is too strong. So, we have a situation in which it is not worth going ahead - for now. That gives us shale gas explorers time to straighten out the politics.

The Conservative have made too many enemies to be any more use. Dump them.

The Liberals will use a couple of years to chatter about studies. Nothing else will be happening, anyway. If, by the end of that time, the price of gas goes up - and it will - then we start another soft sell.

By this time, New Brunswickers will have jumped back on the Liberal/Conservative merry-go-round. But this time the soft sell will work because the Liberals will seem like the good guys (for a little while.  Their colours will start to show again; but by that time the wells will be in operation.  If necessary, we can then dump the Liberals and back the Conservatives on a platform of, say, tougher regulations).

Too bad TandT reporters don't know they're supposed to ask questions.

That's it for section A.

NewsToday has the usual Reuters story on Syria and, again, Reuters is getting all its information from the rebels. There has been nothing in these stories to give a hint of how dangerous this situation is.

Russia has sent troops to Syria. It has also said it will send naval ships to escort its commercial shipping to and from Iran if the US tries to block it. The US has already sent major naval units and troops to the area. China and India have vital interests in Iranian oil. Israel has made it clear it is eager to attack Iran and, possibly, Syria and Lebanon. Syria and Iran are the closest of allies. And attack on one is, in effect, an attack on the other. The US is virtually a prisoner of Israeli policy - with leading Republicans demanding war immediately.

The reason given for intervention is that Iran is developing a nuclear bomb. There is no evidence it is. And major figures in Israeli and US intelligence have said it is not.

However, on both sides in this showdown there are nuclear stockpiles - US, Russia, China, Britain, France, Israel. Six countries. And it takes only one fool.

Use your own imaginations and your own common sense.

The Business Page breaks a big story - NB is an important centre for the arms trade. I have a bigger story. On a per capita basis, Canada is the third largest exporter of weapons (oops, sorry - defence) in the world. Talk about a military-industrial complex. And where do these arms end up? Some with allies. Some with enemies. Some with gangsters - as in the case of Mexican drug gangs. What the hell. It's business.  Good for jobs.

Liked Alec Bruce's column.  Disagreed with Gwynne Dyer. But it's informed and well-written - and that's what it has to be.

I had earlier promised a list of little known facts about Canada that should make the news. But you'll never see them in the Times and Transcript. Here it is.

Here is where Canada stands in the world, - on a per capita basis. That is, other countries may be worse than us in these fields - but only because they are bigger. On a per capita basis, we are the biggies.

1. Mining - world's leading mine developer. World's worst recycler of mining products.
2. forestry - heaviest forester, worst recycler of wood and wood products.
3. heaviest user of energy - electricity, oil, gas, etc.
4. world's leader in consumption of non-renewable materials.
5.Leading source of depleted uranium for weapons. (Depleted radium is used to make shell cases so hard they can penetrate almost anything. However, they also seem to be a major cause of cancer - as in Iraq cities which were shelled by US and British troops and where babies are now born with cancer.)
6. Major supplier of uranium for nuclear warheads - including for the two countries most likely to use them, India and Pakistan.

The TandT should either get serious about its business page - or scrap it. The same holds for NewsToday. There is nothing here that is not better covered on radio and TV. It would be more useful to have several pages of commentary by syndicated columnists of quality (not hacks as in National Post). There is really no point in news which doesn't have enough comment to give it meaning.

Oh - re the weekly column by Lynda MacGibbon - Lynda, you're a good writer,and you're a sensitive one. Usually, you write about the contrasts between Toronto and Moncton - as, today, you wrote of your balcony garden in Toronto as compared to your garden in Riverview.

It's good. But I think you need to remember more that you are writing about a contrast. In this case, for example, we need a stronger sense of life in a residential tower in Toronto. We know enough about the Riverview end of it - but not enough about the visual and physical experience of the Toronto end.

There's a great deal that Monctonians need to know about the range and variety of life in a big city - and how Moncton compares. We need that here because Moncton isn't really a city. It's more a rising town, heavily oriened to consumerism, narrow in its intellectual and entertainment activity. (That's not a condemnation. It's the natural result of being a small city with a monopolistic and tenth rate press -and rather isolated as cities go.) Nor does it suggest that Toronto is better. In fact, I've never liked Toronto. On balance, I prefer Moncton.

But there are striking contrasts - some in which Toronto comes off better -and some in which Moncton is the winner.

You're a good writer and sensitive one. You can do this. And it would be a real service to Moncton.



  1. It seems a bit banal, but the story is still worth talking about and you seemed to have missed it. More terrible investing being done by our provincial governement.

  2. Thanks for the input - and the site. I think many people will find that useful.