Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July24: You know you're in for a slow day when.....

...a big, front page story is about the opening of a new catalogue store.  Page A2 has a  big story about the premiers' summit conference in Halifax. It's a very big story. But, since the premiers haven't actually said anything yet, there's nothing to report.Premier Ghiz, apparently, has some really specific suggestions to make - which is certainly better than than having unreally specific suggestions.

The are also going to come up with a pan-Canadian energy policy in cooperation with the federal government. Translation? They'll produce a long and wordy (big words, vague words) document that is unintelligeable, and says nothing, anyway. There isn't going to be any energy policy anywhere, and certainly not in Canada. We just helped to ruin a world summit on that very question. Remember?

Section B is a must read for anyone who care that "Rachel Weiz says going out unnoticed is easy". Great. That gives me something in common with Rachel Weiz. Who is Rachel Weiz?

NewsToday has an interesting headline "Syria threatens use of chemical arms". There wasn't room in the headline to add that it said it would use them ONLY if Syria was attacked by a foreign country.  Then the story says western leaders are alarmed. Why?

I mean - the US used chemical weapons on a lavish scale in Vietnam. All these years later,Vietnamese are still dying from them. And remember those very small amounts we used at Camp Gagetown? The warning signs are still up. The US and Britain and, perhaps, Canada also used depleted uranium in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So what's the worry? I mean - it's not as if western leaders would ever dream of attacking Syria - or any other country.

And there's still no mention that a major reason Syria is full of death and refugees is because the West  and the dictatorships of Saudi Arabia and the Emirates are funding, training, and supplying mercenaries to the rebels. (And what kind of sweetheart do you think becomes a mercenary?)

The business page does not carry even a hint of the revealed criminal behaviour of world banking. Tell, you what. Save some money.Check over today's copy of the TandT for the price of a coffee at Macdonald's - if you really must read it. Then google The Guardian. You can get yesterday's edition free - and you'll still be weeks, maybe years, ahead of The Moncton Times and Tribune.

International banking is up to its ears in irresponsible and criminal behaviour. Read all about it in The Guardian. There's also an important story of a British parliamentary report about basic problems in the business world that should have been obvious for decades.

1. Large corporations become so big that the leaders often do not know what's going on in their own businesses.
2. The emphasis on quarterly reports of their earnings creates short term thinking. and planning. And it's made both worse and more expensive by by giving executives cash bonuses for meeting quarterly objectives.

That's why shale gas producers don't give a damn about the effects of their fracking. That's why Shell is not worried about the devastation of the Arctic by its oil drilling. That's why mining companies are eager to begin open pit mining that will poison Canada's (and North America's) largest breeding waters for wild salmon. What the hell! Nothing will show in the next three months. Maybe.

The bottom line of this report - and it's a report by top people in the field - is that the corporations which want to rule the world can't even rule themselves.

In New Brunswick, our minister of finance is a former Irving exec, and his leading advisors were picked from similar types.  That's highly improper under any conditions. It's also why New Brunswick has no long term plans. Everything is tied to three months at a time.

The reality is that it's not only improper for corporation bosses to claim a right to power and influence. The bigger problem is that they are incompetent to do  it.

Oh, you'll also learn it's getting worse at the London Olmpics. Apparently, the private security company G4S not only cannot supply the guards it promised, but it turns out that their training - and the standards for passing it - were comically low.

As well, the   private company that contracted to see the tickets has fouled up on a grand scale. People who paid for tickets long ago on a promise they could pick them up at any country in the world have just learned they have to travel to London to get them - and the waiting lines are nine hours and even more - to get tickets that are not the ones they paid for.

But PM Cameron is determined privatize everything - because private business is so efficient.

Good column by Norbert Cunningham on guns in the US. I would just add one point to it. The government and the news media of Canada and the US cooperate to create an atmosphere of hatred and fear. In the US, it has reached hysteria. They need that hatrred, fear and hysteria to carry out both foreign and domestic policies. The need hatred of Moslems to justify invasions to steal oil. They need fear of Syria's chemical weapons - though other countries, notably the US - have far bigger stockpiles. They need fear of an Iranian nuclear bomb that doesn't exist - so  the US, Britain, and Israel, (which do have nuclear weapons) can attack Iran.

It's not suprising that societies based so heavily on hatred, fear and paranoia produce madmen who shoot strangers in a movie theatre.

As for the editorial - it might have been more useful if it had given us the discussion of shale gas that the paper has been promising for years.

Alec Buce manages to inject some humour into a national political scene that is not very humorous at all. But he does make good sense.  I would disagree only in that I see nothing radical remaining in the NDP of Thomas Mulcair. It has been drifting to the middle for decades, ever since it was created out of the CCF.

And I think the Conservative party of Harper is a very radical one, indeed. Not only does it have radical objectives for our future; it has an open and utter contempt for democracy.  Much of our democracy and independence, unnnoticed by the TandT, has already disappeared. Much, much more will disappear before the next federal election.

But why think about that? Why think about anything? Alan Cochrane has a gripping oped commentary on restoring a 45 year old bicyle.  This could well be city hall's next big project - making the hub of the maritimes the site of an annual parade of 45 year old bicycles from around the world.

Speaking of city hall, I still haven't heard from those busy little bees like the city managet, suit Silliker, mayor Leblanc, or councillors Hernderson or Leger about exactly what pollutants lie in the soil under Highfield Square, what the concentrations are, and what it will cost to remove that soil.

Oh - on a sad note, I was wading in Northumberland Strait at low tide yesterday. I loved that since the first day ai did it, many, many years ago. I was fascinated by the swarms of tiny fish, the crabs so numerous that you had to be careful where you stepped, the tiny holes in sandbanks where razor clams waiting for the returning tide, the jellyfish that littered the shore, and that I had to dodge around as I went out. And, of course, the flights of shorebirds looking for dinner.

So I went out again yesterday. I walked out on a low tide from sandbar to sandbar, all the way looking into the warer. There was only seaweed - seaweed and rocks. And one, very tiny, crab. No fish. No clams. Not even any jellyfish. Above me, only one gull carried out his lonely search.

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