Friday, September 7, 2012

Sept. 7: ..without actually lying... I mean...

....not really lying... like---not really....

The story should be a pretty clear one. It's about a poll that shows support for the NB Conservatives has dropped. They still lead. But the drop has been substantial - and with all of its lost support going to the NDP. The Liberals, though still in second, haven't gained an inch

This is the biggest earth tremor in the politcal history of New Brunswick. Ever since time began, New Brunswickers have voted Liberal, then Conservative, then back again. A change in that pattern is astonishing. That is the news story, and the headline is supposed to give the general point of the news story.

But, gee, we don't want to say that, do we? No. So how else can we put it? "Liberals maintain position?" No. The boss doesn't want us to be nice to the Liberals yet. "Alward wets pants over joyous poll results?" No. We don't want to suggest that Conservatives - you know - eliminate body wastes like other people. No -

"Tories still ahead: poll" Yeah. There's a head that hides the drop, and says, "We're number one. We're number one."

But what about the sub-head? I mean, the NDP was the one that picked up ALL of that lost Conservative support. Okay. We can play that part of it down. Just stay away from real numbers.  "Survey shows growing support for NDP in N.B.: polling firm.

The first paragraph reinforces the idea this is still a two horse province with its first paragraph which portrays the  Liberals as catching up to the Conservative (while standing still), and the NDP is only "also in pursuit".

Eventually, the story tells the truth. But, hey, lots of readers don't go past the head and sub-head and, in any case, the tone has already been set.

So, relax, everybody. Nothing  has happened. 

Oh, it gets even better. The story is continued on A15 with the head" "Tories still enjoy support."  That's something like "Drowning Alward still afloat."

Hot news on A6. Two real estate companies have merged. Well, that certainly changes my life plans.

Brent Mazerolle has a two-fisted, tough nosed story on A10 that you won't want to miss. A funeral home is planning to modernize its building.Wow! In the usual TandT reportorial style, Mazerolle doesn't ask a single question. He's just just a stenographer for a press release (ad).

But the Tand T doesn't print just lies and trivia. Not all the time.  The NewsToday section actually has a story about shale gas on C7. (Remember how, a year ago, the government was going to keep us up to date on shale gas development? Well, we now have one, whole article on it.) And they actually quoted a geology professor who is at least a little bit critical of the government. But, fundamentally, they picked a story they could put a positive spin on - nothing of that nasty stuff about shale gas accidents and poisons.

Reuters reports that Syrian troops are using cluster bombs. These are especially dangerous because they can lie around long after the war, then blow up to kill civilians, especially children who are tempted to play with them. Where would those terrible Syrian troops get such an idea? Reuters doesn't mention it, but they might have got the idea from the US and Israel which have routinely used cluster bombs (though Reuters has rarely mentioned that part of the story.)

There is a bizarre editorial about a new shopping centre on Mapleton. Apparently, Moncton leads the world again, because this is an important sign that all of North America, maybe the world world, is recovering from the recession. How does that editor manage to type with his nose always so deep in his own bellybutton? (possible cartoon for de Adder?)

I agree with Alec Bruce's column on Quebec - as far as it goes. But there is still one hell of a problem with that province. It's true that Quebeckers are turned off politics. But the problem is that no party in Quebec shows the slightest sign of realism in planning the future of that province. Nobody in the worlds of scholarship or politics have come up with anything. All parties are committed to catering to the hatreds and fears that have characterized Quebec, particularly in regard to language, but also in regard to anyone who is not pure-bred (pur laine) Quebecois. It's so strong, it's really a form of racism.

There is a real world that Quebec, whether separate or a part of Canada, has to live in. As things are,  it's going to be a disaster for most French-speaking Quebeckers. No party at any level has come to grips with that.

As well, the chatter about 50% plus one being adequate for separation is ridiculously naive. Whatever laws or agreements might say, to separate the province on such a basis would mean chaos in Quebec.

The danger today is not that Quebeckers have a PQ minority government or that they are bored with politics. The danger is there is no party in Quebec or in Canada which has a realisitic position on the future of Quebec. And there is nothing in a society more dangerous than a vacuum. Quebec, especially Montreal, is probably in for a very rough time.

On op ed, Suzuki has a wake-up call. The melting of Arctic ice signals serious and dangerous changes for all of us. Time is short. I don't know of any government at any level in this country that is making any plans to help us cope with what is going to happen.

While the burning of fossil fuels, like oil, is driving us into the destruction caused by global warming, Moncton city council is actually planning to provide more parking space downtown, and it's encouraging the spread of automobile suburbs (one of which will have a giant high school requiring the transportation of students from downtown). 

Harper sees the Arctic melt that is hastening global warming, and says, "Wow! What a great chance to do more oil drilling and make even bigger profits for oil companies!"

And so I think, "Don't worry about Quebec. We'll destroy this country and Quebec- and ourselves - long before separatism can do it."

But, duh, oil drilling and fracking for shale gas could create some jobs. 

Yep. So could burying the dead. It's a win-win situation.

Some good reading in letters to the editor, notably one on bilingualism in NB, and one on Crandall University's  eternal witch hunt, partially financed by our taxes. (I hope I didn't excite anybody at Crandall when I made that remark about Alward wetting his pants.)


  1. M. Decarie, while reading a series of essays written by George Orwell, I fell upon one (I'm looking for it online, but can't find it for the life of me), but it is exactly the same critiques then, that you make now.

    If anyone is interested in the reference, As I please, published in the Tribune on 7 April 1944.

  2. It scares me how much our world has become what Orwell foretold. And most people have no awareness of it.

    I'd be most interested in reading that article if you find it.

  3. I can't find it for the live of me. I've decided to type it out myself..