Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July31: Have they no shame?

The first page of today's Monton Times and Tribune has at least two stories from yesterday's paper - without adding much to them. (They cover the weather and a home invasion.) It has two more that may have been in yesterday (NB Liquor and NB Power); but I'm not going to dig through the garbage to check that.

Worse, the weather story is labelled "Special Report". Wow! How exciting! A special report to tell us two days in a row that it's been a hot and dry summer, and that this is bad for farmers.

There's also most of a page telliing us that the Westmorland Fair was just as much fun yesterday as it was the day before. In the photo section, the theme shifted from pictures of people riding horses to pictures of children in home-made, wooden cars.

But there is great news on p. A6. "N.B.'s shale gas rules hailed". Yes. Shale gas is good for you. That's the message of a report from the president of a U.S. consulting firm. And the TandT, true to its promise to keep us informed, has given us the story. It's one of the few times it has kept us informed, and not once has it published a story that made the industry look bad. But, be grateful for what you get.

If you read three paragraphs down into the shale gas story, you come to an interesting point. The US consulting firm was hired to prepare that report. It was hired by Canadian Petroleum  Technology Alliance. So, okay, it's propaganda - but it's high class propaganda.

Still, shouldn't the headline have read "Canadian gas executives pay U.S. company for self-flattering report"?

The report also says our rules are right up there with Alberta's. Quite possibly. Alberta is the province that has developed a high cancer rate among native people living downstream from the oilsands. And where the government has been shutting up a doctor who wants to report it. Alberta has very tough rules on what you're allowed to say.

No. The TandT has no shame.

The NewsToday section has nothing that explains anything. Notably, it makes no mention that in Syria many of the rebel fighters are jihadists - moslem militants affiliated with Al-Quaeda. As well, the rebels are so divided there seems no chance that any group will be able to form a government. Add to that the fact that the war can go on only because the rebels are financed and supplied with weapons, training, money, mercenaries and leadership by the Britain, the US, Saudi Arabia and the emirates. So isn't it time to tell us what this is really all about?

The business page doesn't bother to mention that news media and business leaders are now openly muttering the word 'depression'. (More on that in Alec Bruce's column.) Nor does it mention that Finland and Sweden, two of the healthiest economies in Europe, are not cutting government budgets or social programmes. This is contrary to the budget cutting in Europe and North America - which is making matters worse, not better.

Of course, what do Finland and Sweden know?  They don't let corporations run their governments the way we do. And everybody knows that corporations are better than governments.

P. C9 has an amazing statement by presidential candidate Mitt Romney who has been courting favour and raising campaign funds in Israel. He said that Israelis have a cultural superiority over Palestinians, and that this is why Israel is economically far ahead of Palestine. Think about that.

Romney is saying that Jews are good at making money. That's a centuries-old prejudice that took European Jews (most of them poor) through lifetimes of hell, and ended up as a justification for the holocaust. It's hard to imagine a more typically anti-semitic statement. And his Jewish audience applauded. Boy! there's a lot more racism out there than we realize.

The letters to the editor are worth a read for what they tell us about the editor. There are five, excellent letters there. Then there is one, the longest, that is simplistic, has most of it its facts wrong, and is one of the most illogical letters I have ever seen. And it is the one that the editor chose to be Letter of the Day.

On the editorial page, Alec Bruce has a blunt and all-too-true assessment of the world economic situation - using the UK as an example. It's one that has been pretty much dodged by most of the news media. We are very close the reliving the 1930.  This is a column to take very seriously. We are in a crisis - and the policies favoured by our business leaders (who tell our political leaders what to do) are dead wrong.  This would be a very good time for New Brunswickers to learn why they should be proud of R.B.Bennett, the New Brunswick boy who became prime minister. Hint - he in no way resembled either Stephen Harper or what's-his-name in Fredericton.

On the oped page, Alan Cochrane chatters. But Gwynne Dyer has a fascinating comment on Buddhist oppression of Moslems in Burma. You have to read it all before the full meaning hits you. It is useful for Buddhist politicians in Burman to stir up hatred of others. Such hatred is often reinforced by religious leaders.

That's common. It happens in some Moslem countries, of course. We'll all happily agree to that. But it is also running wild in the US, and encouraged by the news media as well as the politicians and prominent churches. And it happens in Canada. If Omar Khadr had been a Christian child soldier illegally detained by Moslems, Harper would have led the demand for him to be returned to Canada immediately, and most Canadians would loudly have supported him.

Let's face it. We're hypocrites and hate mongers, just like the Bhuddhists of Burma.


  1. Perhaps you've seen this already, but I haven't seen you mention it. Anyway, more on Syria. The Free Syria Army has fighters linked to Al-Qaida.


  2. Yes. I've been trying to get some numbers on that. So far as I can tell, they may be numerous enough to carve out an enclave, though not enough to take over government. They've been there for some time, but the numbers have been growing in recent months. They would certainly be a small minority of the rebel forces - but the rebels are very divided, so a small minority of well trained fighters could be an important factor. I'm not sure the US cares. In many ways, a broken up or unstable Syria would be better for the US than a united one.

  3. I am just noting the hypocrisy. I know you know, I don't think that you need to be reminded, but since the beginning, news organisations like Reuters are making it out to be a black and white conflict - democracy vs evil dictator. Their may be an evil dictator, but the free syrian army is definately not for democracy. The fact that they are linked to Al Qaida and the USA is supporting that, goes to show how narrow minded some politicans can be.