Friday, September 14, 2012

Sept. 14: What didn't happen in the TandT...

In the last two days, physicians at the Moncton Hospital and medical staff at the Dumont have voted for a government moratorium on fracking for shale gas in this province.

The Moncton Times and Transcript, the paper that promised to keep us informed on this subject, and the government that vowed it would listen to us and respect our views - and also that it would keep us informed about developments - have neither of them said a word about it. The medical concern is that fracking and shale gas could have serious medical repercussions. But, obviously, neither the Times and Transcript nor the government give a damn about was happens to us. They're now lying by omission. Their position is by now quite clear.

They will support fracking for shale gas at whatever the risk to the people and the lands and waters of this province. The government doesn't listen to us or to doctors who know something about medical risks. What it will do is to make grand statements about passing the toughest regulations in the world, regulations that we are still in no position to judge, that almost certainly are deeply flawed, and that almost certainly will never be enforced.

We are being lied to and placed in danger to make a tiny number of people very rich, leading figures among them people who have enriched themselves at our expense and our loss for generations.

Meanwhile, we have a prime minister in Ottawa who who never saw a piece of pollution and destruction he didn't like.

We are all getting a lesson in greed, and the stupidity induced by greed. The people who call themselves capitalists have long ago destroyed both capitalism and democracy by their greed and their indifference to the rest of us. Now, they are destroying the very earth we live on. And the reason they offer is that this will provide jobs - until, of course, they have destroyed the earth as effectively as they have destroyed capitalism and democracy.

In the past year, while the poor have been getting poorer, the very rich have actually been getting richer. Latest studies around the world show the wage gap continues to grow, even as tens of millions more fall into poverty.

Common sense would tell a child the outcome of this. As the poor get poorer and the rich richer, fewer have money to buy goods. That means even more poverty as businesses cut back on staff. The remedy proposed by the rich? Cut the taxes of the rich. Right. Make the wage gap even bigger. Impoverish even more. Ultimately, set off severe violence all over the world (which, now I come to think of it, is happening.)

Common sense would tell a child this. But common sense is quite uncommon in the corporate boardrooms of this world. Watch this year for another favourite idiocy of corporations. They want even more control over government, more  'private/public partnership (a form of corporate welfare), and more privatization of just about everything. It's a movement so strong it dominates the US and the UK; and Harper is a certifiable ideologue for the same madness.

I also watched for another story that I knew wouldn't be there. It's one I mentioned yesterday, the deportation of the American woman that American warhawks are demanding.  A volunteer in the American army, she served in Iraq. There, she was horrified by the slaughter of civilians. This was not at all what what she had been raised to believe America was about.

On her return, her conscience would not allow her to stay in the army; so she sought refuge in Canada. Big mistake. Harper is deporting her within days. She will almost certainly be separated from her two, young chldren, and imprisoned.

Harper, you could have protected her. It's not as if she did damage to anyone or betrayed a trust or killed anybody.  Harper, can you spell bastard?

On the editorial page, the editorial is the usual bombast, Norbert is harmless; I profoundly disagree with Alec Bruce (first time, I think.) Alberta is, as he says, making big money out of oil. It is also up to its ears in pollution that will stay millions of years after the oil is gone. The oil and gas industry could create jobs for us? Yes.So could selling all our water and marketing out children as slaves. Then what? Alec - think of priorities.
Think of consequences.

There are two, absorbing columns by Lynda MacGibbon and David Suzuki. I agree with both, but think ms. MacGibbon has to look at the church, itself, as part of the problem. One part of the problem is, of course, the highly commercialized and consumerist world that the business world (which has taken over the task of parenting) has created.

But then there's the problem that the churches have largely failed to get past ritual (and some mythology) to deal with the issues Jesus talked about. Jesus did not come to say, "Nyah, Nyah. My mother's a virgin and yours isn't." He dealt with rather more important problems. But you'd never know it from listening to most sermons.

As for the rioting in the Moslem world, why the surprise? And, no, the anti-Mohammed movie is not the cause of it. It's the trigger. It's not the gunpowder.

There is a reality, several realities, ignored by almost all of the western press. For over a century, western powers have been invading Moslem countries (among others). They have killed by the millions. The have killed or impoverished mothers, fathers children. They have shattered societies.They have extracted trillions of dollars in profits- with a healthy share going just to dictators and "kings" they put in power - just to keep the locals quiet.

No wonder so many governments in the region are unstable.

The West is, with excellent reason, hated in much of the Moslem world. The United States, as the most prominent of the western countries in leading the assault since 1945 is the most hated though Canada, under Harper, has brought Canada up to the front rank.

Governments and the news media, especially North American ones, used 9/11 to fan hared and fear of Moslems. (This did not escape the notice of Moslems.) They created a paranoia which made it seem justifiable to invade Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11. Hatred of Moslems was easily extended to a trillion dollar assault on Afghanistan which, almost certainly, had nothing to do with 9/11. It is now used to justify attacks on Pakistan, Libya, Syria, and sundry African countries.

Let's get real. The US and, to a lesser degree, Canada were once the mostly high respected countries in the world. We are now the most distrusted, feared and hated. That's the reality, and there are hundreds of polls to show it. When I was travelling in Euope and Asia, wearing a maple leaf with the word Canada over it was a guarantee of welcome. Today, Canadians are commonly warned not to wear national symbols when travelling.

The film about Mohammed would once have been ignored. Now, it is a cause of rioting, destruction and death. Who caused that?

 We did.

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