......says Frank McKenna. It says so right there at the bottom of page 1 as the Moncton Times and Transcript honours its promise to keep us up to date with all the latest news on shale gas. Yes, sir. Let the chips fall where they may. The Times and Transcript will honour its promise to keep YOU up to date on the latest news about BOTH SIDES of the shale gas issue so YOU can make an informed decision - as if anybody gives a damn what YOU decide.
The whole story consists of quotations from McKenna. Apparently, the reporter asked no questions of him, and made no attempt to find anyone who disagreed with him. Indeed, it's not clear why the paper sent a reporter at all. A tape recorder would have been quite adequate.
The article is highly recommended to retired dairy farmers who miss the old smells of the barn, and that familiar squish when stepping in the wrong place.
Meanwhile, McKenna continues his successful career of speaking up fearlessly for the rights of billionaires to rip us off. He's a rich man, himself, now. And we're very proud of him.
The Pope has retired. So?
The Roman Catholic church is in very bad shape, partly due to its complicity in protecting child molestors, partly due to the huge damages it has had to pay, partly due to an eagerness of many church leaders to change its traditional structures, partly due to the triumph of consumerism. The Pope is 85 and in poor health. Retirement seems very sensible. The fact that no Pope in the past 589 years has shown enough sense to retire - though long past their best years - does nothing to change that.
The Frank Mckenna story is reported all over again on p. C2, just case you missed stepping on the squishy parts on page 1. Lord, this is one, stinking paper.
READ THE EDITORIAL. No, it's not intelligent or informative or even coherent. But read the last paragraph. It praises a new, volunteer that will improve literacy in our schools. Yes. It's made up of volunteers. Isn't that sweet? It also has the blessing of that eminent authority on education and literacy, David Alward. Kiss, kiss. And it's called Elementary Literacy Friends (ELF), - oh - isn't that cute? So I checked it on google.
For an voluntary group, it has a very expensive looking websiite. It's also highly structured with a board of directors.
The chairman of the board is Jamie Irving of Brunswick News. What a coincidence! Isn't it sweet for a busy man to take out time for the little children? Just like Jesus. And there's somebody there from a bank, and somebody from a business group, and the minister of education, etc.
Too bad the editor never had the wit to find out who the "volunteers" were. (Of course, he would have said so if he had.)
This is part of a very dirty story, the story of a soft sell that is happening throughout Canada, the US, and Britain. It's a story that began, for New Brunswick, some years ago with propaganda from AIMS that was repeated by the TandT. It is almost certainly the leading edge of making your children into commodities. It's a long story. So I'll probably save it until Sunday.
Hint - The US currently spends over 800 billion a year on its public schools. I couldn't find the figure for Canada - but it is surely up from its five billion of 2005. New Brunswick has recently been a big spender on education, using the money for critical education measures like providing sewage for Royal Oaks, and building that essential key to good education, an expensive football field. Boy, I'll bet the whole world is looking at Moncton, now.
But more about this massive scam on Sunday.
Norbert is Norbert, though with a few decent paragraphs on gun control.
Solid columns by Alec Bruce and Gwynne Dyer.
Alan Cochrane---is must reading for those people who check each day to see which singers, actors, etc. are having birthdays today. The column is all about how hard it is to keep track of your cell phone. For some reason, the word airhead kept going through my mind.
Two, interesting letters in letters to the editor. The good one is "University's money woes writ large, in gold".
"Ottawa doing well by veterans" responds to concerns voiced by veterans and others that our veterans are being abused and denied services they have a right to. Well. The letter says our veterans are being treated just great. And we know that's true because the letter was written by the Minister of Veterans Affairs. It so nice to have that cleared up.
And now for the story that didn't make the TandT.
There are three law suits now before the Canadian courts. The law suits come from Mayans, the native peoples who are 80% of the population of Guatemala. They concern a Canadian mining company called HudBay which operates in Guatemala.
You can check the Hudbay web site. It seems that HudBay specializes in building happy, sustainable communities, with mining a sort of side activity. The site even has a picture of a happy, sustainable town the company built for its workers It seems to be built entirely of happy, sustainable tents.
But some workers aren't happy. Go figure. It seems they were living in their own homes and farming, when company police kicked them out, demolished their homes, and took their land. That's when they were moved to happy, sustainable tents.
In the process of moving these people into happy, sustainable tents, company police gang-raped a dozen of the women, shot and killed some husbands, beat up quite a few people.... And that's what the law suits are about.
There's nothing unusual about it. Canadian mining companies are notorious in Latin America and Africa for brutal behaviour, low pay, unspeakable pollution, arbitrary destruction of communities and, of course, happy, sustainable tents.
I'm still looking for the names of members of the board of directors. They seem shy about it.