Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Jan. 2: don't kiss me.... matter how great the urge. I don't know what this latest round of flu or colds or whatever is all about. But it's a honey. I've slept only one night of the last five. Last night, I know I was awake because I regularly checked the clock. But I lay in a stupor with my eyes closed, and seeing on my eyelids column after column of the Times and Transcript. I hope I can credit that for reduced time in Hell.

Any maybe a bit of was conscience. I didn't give credit to editorial cartoonist de Adder for a good daily cartoon, plus a page of his best for the year. For all his skill as artist, I've been slow to warm to him because he lacks the viciousness of the great editorial cartoonists. Most of them are really not nice guys - and that's what gives their cartoons an edge It may well be that de Adder is just too nice.
As well, of course, he wouldn't dream of being critical of a corporate boss. How many cartoons have you seen of Irving?  But, then, who is there in the whole world of New Brunswick journalism who has ever criticized Mr. Irving or his trolls?

Page one. Big story. 'Snow clearing safety is essential'. Page 3 is entirely taken up with pictures of people swimming on January first.

Four is pictures of city politicos at a party.There is no story to this. And the pictures seem pointless because few of them are either naked or beautiful.

And so we come to the obituaries, the only page with even a sense of journalistic integrity..

That last page completes a big story that began on page one. It's really not a story. It's a free ad for an expensive restaurant.

The biggest Canadian story by far is the Idle No More movement of native peoples, centering on a courageous fast undertaken by a native leader who want a smug Stephen Harper to talk to her about the horrible conditions on Canada's reserves - and to discuss some action.  You know, she wants him to talk to her in the same way he scampers to talk to big money when it wants to find faster ways to poison our lands and waters.

Whatever and whenever Harper makes up his mind, his inaction has already branded him as beneath contempt.

Anyway, that's far the biggest story in Canada. But it wasn't big enough to displace whole page in Section A given over to New Year's day swimmers, another of partying politicos that hardly anybody ever heard of, and another about an expensive restaurant. The only room for Idle No More was two,half-page columns on p. C3.  Near it, with almost as much space, was a big story about beer sale hours in Russia. Well, you never know when you might be stuck in Moscow, and can't find a beer anywhere.

Page C 8 has a rather important story about the grim health of President Chavez of Venezuela. Too bad it missed most of the important part. The US used to control Venezuela as it still controls much of Central America through dictators and other puppets. It would like to control Venezuela again. That's why US newspapers rarely say a kind word about Chavez and what he has accomplished. Venezuelans are nervous that the US will take advantage of the uncertainty in Venezuela to manufacture a phoney rebellion. (Gee! Would that nice Mr. Obama do such a thing?)

Anyway, don't worry about it. If it does happen, the Times and Transcript and most of the rest will publish it jubilantly as Venezuela's struggle for freedom. Just like those other struggles for freedom (as in Guatamala) that led to American dictatorships.

The big story in Section D, p.1. is that Duchess Kate craves lavender shortbread. Lord love a duck.

The editorial is about how Mayor Leblanc deserves the title "Newsmaker of the Year" from the TandT.Quite so. He deserves to bear the shame of being praised by the Times and Transcript.

If you felt intellectually challenged by the story that Dutchess Kate craves lavender shortbread, you may find that the two, op ed columns a more comfortable read.

Alec Bruce has a thoughtful column on the truth. What is it? What you want to believe? What you have evidence for? What you sense the truth to be?

Very often, it's what we want to believe. That may explain why Mr. Harper has pretty much abandoned even a pretence of concern about climate change or environmental protection. It's simply not happening. Mr. Harper, with his degree in economics, knows more than most of the world's scientists - even without doing any research.

After all, a great many people could die because if his decisions. So I'm sure he's confident.

Shale gas companies, along with a UdeM prof with no medical training at all are convinced that shale gas is prefectly safe. Of course, it's to their advantage to really and truly believe that, and to believe that the chief medical officer of the province doesn't know what she's talking about.

The politicians of both parties and the Irving press all believe it.

When we want to believe something, no matter  how outrageous it might be, we have to make ourselves stupid in order to believe it. It's happened over and over again throughout history. And so we have a political and economic leadership basing its decisions on an assumed stupidity.

Well, it's either that or they're a bunch of greedy and murderous bastards. And I certainly wouldn't want to say that.

No. they believe what they want to believe because they're stupid.


  1. "No. They believe what they want to believe because they're stupid"

    That is right up there alongside the morons feeding their extremities into the business ends of snowblowers.

  2. Speaking of shale gas, The movie "Promised Land" about fracking opens in theaters tomorrow.