The big story of the day is hidden on p. A6. The Dr. Cleary report on shale gas and public health is not likely to be released - not ever.The reasons given for holding it back are obviously untrue. One minister says it's held back because quite a few departments have to look at it. So?
You make multiple copies. All departments look at it at the same time. That takes no more time than one department looking at it.
Another government clown, a Bruce Fitch, said that the government is waiting for a "more important" report from some a professor who will be looking at concerns beyond health. So?
Won't the health risks still be there no matter what the other report says? Is he suggesting the development of shale gas might be okay if only, say, 30% or our environment is destroyed and only a few hundred thousand made ill?
He added that parts of the two reports might overlap. Such parts would be deleted. Why? Is there something dangerous in reading parts twice? Or, more likely, it he saying they will cut out parts they don't like?
The government promised from the start it would be informing us. So did The Moncton Times and Transcript. Obviously, neither had any intention of doing so. In fact, we have had no information from them in over ten years of exploration - and they still don't even have regulations. All we're getting is propaganda about how good it will be.
The reality is the government doesn't give a damn about the health dangers. And it doesn't give a damn because it's bosses don't give a damn. They want the profits from that gas no matter what it does to us. They're treating us like children. Worse, they're treating us like children for whom they have utter contempt.
There is a grimly humorous report on B, p.1. Brian Mulroney gave a speech at a tribute to him in Toronto. Imagine that. A prime minister who admitted he illegally accepted a large sum of money, secretly, in a suitcase while he was prime minister - clearly accepting a bribe - and who also hid it to avoid paying tax on it was asked to speak at a tribute honouring him. (He also received no punishment for accepting the bribe or for avoiding taxes.) Only in Canada, you say? Pity.
He used the speech to praise free trade which (thanks to him) has made the world prosperous. And he's right. It sure has been prosperous for him and his friends. (Just yesterday, it was announced in the US that 93% of all economic gains of the past year in that country have gone to the super-rich one percent. It's much the same in Canada. Indeed, jobs are being lost and incomes for most of us cut as this new, free trade world world takes effect.) But Mulroney is quite right. It has worked well for people like him and like the sort of people who would attend a dinner honouring a man of proven sleaze. (For some reason, Harper has not applied his "get tough on crime policy" on the former P.M.)
How can "commentators" like the editorial writer and Rod Allen write such trivial crap year after year when they have news like this that screams for comment?
Luckily, Alec Bruce and Jody Dallaire are in place.
There's really little to say about today's paper. It's mostly, as always, trivia. So let's get started on something bigger that has not appeared in the paper - and won't. We are well into a revolution in government that is bigger than anything seen in more than 200 years. And we are about to lose everything we gained in those centuries and even longer.
First, let's dispose of a silly myth promoted by the TandT - that big government is bad, that it's inefficient, that is gets in the way of business efficiency. And let's also dispose of the myth that big business is opposed to big government. In fact, big business loves big government. It's a major source of income and profit (and welfare) for corporations. In the US, for example, if it weren't for big government and big government spending, the immensely profitable defence industries wouldn't exist. Here in Canada, a leader we know and love would not be developing shipyard to build warships for the government, and come out of it with a modern, up-to-the-minute shipyard that can be used for private business.
Corporations want big government to give it lush contracts for what they like to call public/private/projects.
There are projects that were public, but which friendly governments cut in private business for a share, usually on very good terms, indeed. You can see it big-time in road building and maintenance. Watch for it many other public areas like prisons, police forces,schools, health care.
Corporations want government to be big. They need it to be big to hand out lush contracts to corporations so they can run what used to be public services.
In the US, profit-making in education has shown up in a public/private hybrid called "charter schools". I don't know what the costs and profits are like. But I do know they have been educational disasters, with the US dropping into the basement of the developing world for education quality.
Ditto with privately-owned prisons. And, under private ownership (paid for with tax dollars), the prisons are actually less efficient. For example, they refuse to take prisoners with health problems. These are expensive prisoners - so they get dumped back in the public prisons. The American army now relies so heavily on mercenaries that the mercenary business has become one of the biggest in the world.
Britain's Conservative government is following the US lead, privatizing prisons, police services, and security of all sorts - almost all of it supplied by the same people who provide mercenary soldiers. Are they value for money? Well, security was an expensive disaster at the London Olympics. The private company responsible for it made such a mess that some 17,000 British troops had to be rushed to London, along with thousands of police from across the UK. Estimates are that it will take the army two years to get back to normal. Meanwhile, the private contractor got full pay for his services.
Harper is looking for the same in Canada. Private prisons are already on the agenda. So is a gradual privatization of health care. CBC is very much in the gunsights.
Corporations need big government to raise big taxes (but not theirs) so it can hand out sweetheart contracts to corporations. And, if people object, they need big business to keep those people in line. That's why US police forces have been militarizing with armoured cars, heavier duty weapons, and drones. That's why "Homeland Security" recently purchased a billion rounds of ammunition for use in the US.
They need big government to fight the wars that give the corporations economic power all over the world. It is no coincidence that Iraq, Libya, and Iran are all major oil producers.
And, after all, those poor, innocent shale gas fracking sites need protection from demonstrators who could be terrorist agitators. You need big government for that.
And you need a big government and you need big news media owned by big corporation to spread the propaganda of fear and hatred -fear and hatred of Moslems, for example. You have to learn to focus on the fears and hatreds. You have to learn to trust big brother to protect you.
I know Norbert hasn't figured that out yet. But, yes, corporation need and want big government.
That's the background to the change that's coming (that already is well advanced) in our democracy. I'll finish it next time the TandT has a really boring edition.
Oh, yesterday, a friend (Roy McMullin) lured me to Victoria park, sat me on a bench, pointed a camera at me, and asked me questions, mostly political. Natrually, I modestly refused to have my picture taken. But he hit me. So I cooperated.
He did three videos and put them on youtube. (There must be a problem with his lens. I'm sure I have more hair than that.) Anyway, the easiest way to find them is to go to youtube and search Graeme Decarie. They should be the first ones to pop up.