On this Tuesday, Dec. 4, the current events group will meet at Moncton Library from 7-8 p.m.
This time the topic will be the origins of our modern (mass-circulation) newspaper, and how it has been wide open to corruption and abuse since its origin in the 1890s...and how there is a connection between that corruption and Lord Baden Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts...with a glance at how and why it reached its lowest point with the founding of the Irving Press.(and when I say lowest, I mean I'm placing the supermarket gossip tabs a notch above the Irving Press.)
We'll also take a look at the impact radio and TV news had - and didn't have.
I won't pretend the current events group has been a breakaway success. New Brunswick has, so far as I can tell, no tradition whatever of public discussion of public matters. That is what has made it such easy pickings for over two centuries for scoundrels and liars.
I invite all the local news media to be there to explain to the audience where I am in error.
Is Mr. Craig Leonard, our energy minister a fool? A liar? Both? (I am also open to the possibility that he is too big a fool to be a liar) Mr. Leonard told the legislature that the reports of Dr. Cleary and Prof. Lapierre on shale gas came to the same conclusion, that the development of shale gas should go ahead.
I will pass lightly over a convention in our democracy. An elected member does not EVER lie to the legislature.Such a lie is so far beneath contempt that no apology can ever make up for it. There is only one, possible answer for such an act, only one act that can restore some degree of honour. The liar MUST resign.
That won't happen here, of course. The word honour has no meaning in New Brunswick public life unless, of course, it refers to being elected to something like the NB Business Hall of Fame.
It's not hard to predict where New Brunswick will be in the very near future if it continues to elect a government made up of people whose normal form of locomotion is slithering, and continues to bow down to corporation bosses who are notable mainly for greed combined with a general incompetence in provincial affairs, and a lack of anything that could be called morality.
This is going to be a an economic and environmental sinkhole. Soon. It is already on the way.
One of the most disgusting examples of all the 'elites' of this province working together was the period that began under the Liberals and continued under the Conservatives. It was a period of vile attacks on the public system, encouraged by ignorant editorials in the Irving Press (was it Rod Allen who wrote those? Or Norbert?) Much of the attack was based on "studies" released by Atlantic Institute of Market Studies, an organization of intellectual whores assembled by the corporation bosses of New Brunswick to peddle their propaganda.
What they were after was a gradual privatization of the schools as has been carried out, with disastrous results, in the US.. This was a part of the drive for privatization of everything - as in public/private/partnerships. It wasn't to help the schools or the children. None of those people gave a damn for either. It was to make rich people richer.
That drive has left us with continuing interference with the schools coming in the form of school rankings - a thoroughly unscientific and fraudulent practice.
To cap it all, Mr. Irving had the arrogance to announce that he was in coalition with the government, that is he was a member of the government - even though nobody elected him. And Alward was, apparently, so unprincipled and/or spineless that he failed to point out the illegality of that in a democracy, and then crashed all the way by naming Mr. Irving advisor to the government on economic policy.
Apparently, we have prime minister and we have a leading businessman, neither of whom understands the concept of democracy or the concept of conflict of interest.
I have seen rot in many Canadian provinces (heck, I'm from Quebec). But I have never seen anything so bad as New Brunswick. And shale gas will be the final touch.
Follow the lawsuit in which an American fracking firm is suing Quebec for imposing a moratorium on fracking. Apparently, under the North American Free Trade Agreement, if a government discovers that fracking is damaging to the environment and human life - and so tries to ban it or even just to pass stricter regulations - the company can sue the government for the loss of all the profits it expected to make. And that can be figured out to any number they like - certainly many billions.
So - New Brunswick gives the green light to exploration. And what happens here is what has happened elsewhere, devalued property, sickly and dying livestock, poisoned lands and water tables, sick people, maybe even dead ones. So, we finally elect a government with brains and integrity - and we try to do something..
Boom....we are hit with a lawsuit that will impoverish New Brunswick forever. Property rights comes first. Human rights don't count.
But would our corporation bosses do such a thing?
They've had no qualms about doing it for the whole history of this province.
If you want to sit in a church to reflect on that, I suggest you try the Irving Chapel. Its ad invited people for just that purpose.
Well, anyway, we may touch on some of this on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. in the Moncton Library. This will be the only chance to hear it unless, of course, there is a big story in the press or in ding-ding, trumpet blast, Moncton's News-Talk station. "In breaking news, the sun is shining. Now - an ad-break....ihere is a special report from out on -the- spot news team....a retired man said something at a library last night somewhere.ding ding ding, clatter...and now an ad-break....."