Thursday, July 5, 2012

July 5: Was i wrong yesterday?

I'm afraid I must have been wrong. This was the blog in which I said Norbert Cunningham, in writing a report of a book on how our energy and environmental problems are going to disappear, showed that he didn't know how to understand a book. I surely wasn't thinking. Nobody could be in the news business so long and not understand how to read properly. Not even if he works for the Irving Press. I must have been wrong.

But that raises a much uglier possibility.

It was not long ago he reported on another book on the environment, writing a column that passionately warned of  the dangers of climate change, energy use - and said this was the great issue of our time. So why would he suddenly to a 180 degree turn,  denigrate environmentalists, and tell us to stop worrying about the environment?

Could it have a relationaship to the fact that the energy industries have stepped up their war on environmentalists and the environment? Big money is being spent to convince us not to worry about the environment, that there is no climate change, and there are no risks. Big pressure is being put on governments to cut regulations. You'll find much of t he results of that in the massive Bill C-38 that the Harperites rammed through parliament. Environmental research and monitoring have been gutted. So has regulation - as in the fishery, in mining, and in the oil and gas industries. The lid is off. It's a free-kill zone out there. And, sometimes, in there, right in your house.

Now, is there anybody connected with the Moncton Times and Transcript who might have put the word out on what he wants to see in print about the environment?
I should have realized that yesterday. Sorry.

Most of today's paper ranges from trivial to silly.(In Newstoday, a big headline is Canadians are suckers for a good kisser: poll.)  The lead story in that section is a long one, the report of a poll showing that most Canadians say they have no idea of how or why Confederation happened.

Well, if we say we don't know, then we already know we don't know. So why should it take a half page of the paper to tell us that? (It also mentions, briefly. that the Harper government intends to do a big hoopla on this for 2017. But don't get your hopes up that will explain anything. Harper is under the impression that the War of 1812 - this year's hoopla - was a stepping stone to Confederation. In fact, it had nothing to do with Confederation.)

The poll was commissioned by Association for Canadian Studies whose Executive Director is Jack Jedwab.  I mention that only because I was three years director of Canadian Studies at Concoria, and another three on the National Executive of ACS and, long ago when the world was young, I taught Canadian history to Jack Jedwab. So I think I have a pretty fair idea why Confederation happened; and I have no confidence whatever that a Stephen Harper extravaganza will explain anything.

Editorial and op ed? Alec Bruce is excellent - as is Jodie Dallaire. Rod Allan is irrelevant.

As I said above, I taught Jack Jedwab; and I take a certain amount of pride in that. I did not teach Norbert Cunningham. I want that to be very clear. His column today is just ranting prejdice that has no connection with any thought processe know to man. For example, he quotes a poll saying that many Canadian don't trust politicians. Reasonable enough.

Then he leaps to a conclusion that they trust the Harper Conservatives more than the others, and therfore Harper is on the right track. And, oh, yes, among the 'parties in opposition' he includes his favourite hate, the CBC. This is just mindless drivel.

If Harper is so admired, why couldn't he win a majority? If he is on the right track, Why has he been dropping steadily in the polls since he got elected? If the NDP is hated and distrusted, why is it rising in the polls, sometimes beating the Conservatives?

Norbert, this is such brainless crap that you should come out of retirement and take over as editor-in-chief of the whole Irving press. It wuld be a perfect fit.

There is something to talk about some day when I can fit it in. Boston is notorious for its upper class circle of families who believe they were born with a right to rule. That inspired a poem which, as well I remember it, is

So this is dear old Boston
The home of the bean and the cod
Where the Lowells talk only to Cabots,
And the Cabots talk only to God.

Halifax is like that. I thought of the similarity as I remembered a woman of the Halifax upper circle who was very upset when Robert Stanfield lost to Pierre Trudeau. "After all,", she said, "it was Robert's turn."

These people actually believe that, like the aristocrats of old, they and only they have the right to rule - and that right comes with birth and the family name. There are rumours you can find that sort of arrogance in Fredericton, too. Indeed, you can find it across the western world as we allow ourselves to slide back into a past we thought we were leaving behind us over two hundred years ago.

There really are people who believe that, by birth, they are a ruling class, and that we should obey.  That has got us into big trouble - and it's going to get worse.  Gotta fit that one in some day.


  1. I hate like hell to break this to you but Harper DID win a majority.

  2. being crude and ignorant, I have no hesitation in breaking this news to you. Harper won a majority of SEATS.
    Now, I don't know what your social circle is. Maybe you hang out with a bunch of seats. But I hang out with people. And Harper did not win a majority of PEOPLE. In fact, he didn't even win a majority of the rather small number who voted.
    As well, a recent poll shows Harper as the most distrusted person in Canada. The MOST. And his numbers get worse in every poll.

  3. Anonymous, I hate to break it to you, but Harper got a majority with 39,62% of the votes of the 61,1% of the population who actually voted in the last federal election. Think about that...