Saturday, November 24, 2012

Nov.22: Good for Brent....

It's top of the op ed page; and it well deserves to be there. It's a column by Brent Mazerolle - well written (he's usually a good writer) - but with substance. This is worth reading. It's about a man who suffered terribly most of this life trying to help his country escape from dictatorship, corruption,  and crime. He became president, then retired to live on the same, bare survival pension as that given to all the seniors of  his country. He now lives with his wife in a tin shanty on a small lot where he tends a garden to live on.(No, he wasn't a premier of New Brunswick.)

This is a well-written column, and well worth reading. Good stuff, young Brent.
On the lower end of the scale is the big, front page story about a survey conducted by a (get ready for it) radio disc-jockey which proves that Moncton wants a hockey rink that's really big, not just the piddling 7500 seat one that city council is looking at. The story says the survey is not a scientific one. (Gee! Who would have guessed? I thought that all surveys were conducted by disk-jockeys.)  This DJ loaded the dice from the start by giving his expert opinion  that we should go for bigger seating capacity.

What makes it notable, says the reporter (omigod. It's Brent Mazzerole), is not the number who responded. (I'll say that's not notable. It was sixty people out of a population of over a hundred and sixty thousand.) No, what made it notable, says Brent, is that most of those seventy were in favour of a bigger seating capacity - offering it as their expert opinions ( like the d-j's expert opinion) that it should seat at least 15,000.

Yessiree. He de rockin' crawdaddy. So he should know.And those 57 rockers who voted for a bigger seating capaciy must be real experts. Otherwise, why would they listenin' to de rocking crawdad?

Front page. Special edition. BIG headline. Read all about it.

This is a front page that insults the intelligence of the whole population of Moncton.
Also on p.1, Black Friday was a shopping day. Wow! Who would have guessed? Hark, the herald angels sing....

We haven't heard the opinion of any DJ on shale gas yet. But there's another story on it that the TandT might have found room for on its front page. A shale gas company from the US called Lone Pine is suing Quebec for billions of dollars. It seems that written right there into NAFTA it says that if a company invests in Canada, and then Canada or any province or municipality changes the rules in a way that might affect the company's "anticipated" profits, it can sue.

Quebec declared a moratorium on shale gas exploration until it can clear up safety concerns. O-o-o-ooh. Can't do that. The evironment might be be poisoned? People might become chronically ill? They might die? Hey! That's not the shale gas company's problem. It has a deal.

The may be the most important case ever to come before a Canadian court, a case that may define the future of Canada.

Are we founded on the principle that all Canadians human rights - the rights to freedom, to physical safety, to life itself?

Or are we founded on the belief that corporations have rights? And if corporations have rights, do they trump human rights? In other words, if a corporation chooses to poison our land and our waters, to poison us, are we required by law to let the corporation do it?

US courts have already moved close to that with the declaration that corporations are people, and so have all the rights of people. That comes very close to the leading principle of Mussolini's fascism.

It's an especially important case to New Brunswick. Has Mulroney's NAFTA agreement put us in danger? Has it put our land and us and our children and our grandchildren in danger of having poison thrust on us? With the full support of the forces of law and order?

It's worth following this case, especially since Harper has just negotiated an even worse treaty with China. Like NAFTA, it takes away our control of our own country. The China deal is worse because the case could be heard in any court in the world - and could be held in secret - and it would still be binding on Canada. Harper has surrendered our right to govern our own country.

Perhaps the TandT could interview all of the city's DJs to see what they think.
The editorial in this paper, the same paper that wants the city to borrow a hundred million dollars for a hockey rink, says we have to cut city taxes. Has the editor ever thought of becoming a DJ?
Gwynne Dyer is a little bit surprising today, and well worth a read.
The Faith page is the usual weekly doze. This time, again, it has a sermon written as though faith were all about wonderfully magic tricks by God. You know, Jesus never talked much about that sort of mush. He talked about how people, real people around Him behaved, how they should behave...that sort of thing. If he were in Moncton today, I doubt very much whether he would talk about floating our heads into the mysteries of space.

On the contrary, I think He might talk about the obsessive consumerism of Black Friday, the perverted form of capitalism that is followed by our corporate leaders, the greed of billionaires who don't give a damn for those who have to suffer to provide those corporate leaders with corporation welfare, the supineness of two, political parties that are ethically and morally corrupt; and the moral and intellectual swamp of the Irving press that encourages all of the above.

Some weeks ago, there was an ad inviting us all to go to the Irving Chapel to sit and to reflect. There's too many of us for that, course. But it might be a good idea to hold regular gatherings of our newspaper editors and corporation executives and leaders of the Liberals and Conservatives to the chapel to sit and reflect. Just as, I am sure, Mr. Irving does.

Maybe we could even get a DJ to deliver the sermon.
Oh, interesting column by Jerrica Naugler (grade 8), section F, page 3. "When is the right time to start dating?" I can offer only a few suggestions from my own experience.
My first date was in grade one. I followed a girl named Carol home from school, and stayed there until her mother hinted it was time to go home. So I did. And got a spanking for being late.
My advice - grade one is too early for any sort of relationship.

For the next 24 years, even as I opened my mouth to say, "Would you..." the girl would remember an urgent errand, and then run off.
My advice - don't worry about relationships. If you're a loser, get used to it.

At the age of thirty I got married.
Advice - It may take a while. But there are people who will take pity on even the most wretched of us.

I hope you find this advice useful.

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