Saturday, March 2, 2013

March 2: the blahs....

Section A of today's Moncton Times and Transcript can be safely skipped. - except for an item on page 2, just a small item; but it says a lot about the TandT. "Smoke smell closes school again". In yesterday's paper, it said the school was evacuated immediately when it filled with smoke. A reader who happened to be at the school that time wrote to this  blog to say it was NOT immediately evacuated. In fact, there was  and unwise and dangerous time lag. Now, note the wording of today's item which begins by referring to the same incident.

"...students were sent home shortly after the school day began on Wednesday..." Shortly after the school day began is not the same as evacuated immediately. It's much vaguer. Does that matter? Yes, it means the whole issue of whether the right action was taken is hidden in vague words. Now, nobody has to worry about a fuss being made. And DECs and Home and School can go back to sleep.

(A real newspaper would have printed this with the label - correction.)

Anyway, bless 'em all for printing a whole section A so irrelevant there's no need to read it.
The lead story in section D is important. Obama and Congress have not come to a budget agreement. That means there will have to be cuts. Some will have to be in a big area like defence. There are, of course, huge areas of defence spending that are pure waste and corruption - but those are not likely to get touched. Then there are benefits to whole society, a society in which tens of millions are already living in something worse than poverty. (I know. I know. They're all lazy and drunken and Mexicans and Africans. But they're still people. And, gee, there might even be some white folks in there.)

The suffering will be severe, and possibly dangerous with the police cracking down on the complaining poor just as tough as they crack down on terrorist environmentalists.

It will also slow down the American economy even more - with effects on us.

Fortunately, there's no need to worry about the rich who caused this recession. They all got bailed out by the tax money of the poor; and they're making great profits.

There's also a story that the State Department has approved the pipeline from Alberta to Texas. They admit that a pipeline will be a serious cause of pollution (something our heroes in Fredericton haven't done.) But - now get this - they say that our reliance on gasoline means we'll get more pollution, anyway.
Anybody notice the flaw in the logic?

Ignorant, biased, ranting, self-righteous, and hate-filled were a few of the words that occurred to me as I read the editorial, "Is CUPE now a political party?"
Apparently, the Canadian Union of Public Employees has said it is opposed to shale gas.Well, huffs the editorial, it collects dues from its members for union purposes, not for taking political positions.
Oh, bullshit, you ignorant, bigoted lout.
1. In a democracy, everybody is allowed to speak on political issues, even people that the twits who write editorials for the TandT don't agree with. Every person, every group has that right. Bankers have that right. Remember Fixer Frank McKenna's speech recently, the one that you praised?
2. The Irvings not only speak on political issues, they get private interviews with wimpy Alward; they get their hacks into official positions advising the minister of finance; they have their own newspapers to spread their political opinions and to shut out others; they pay the scum of the world of journalism to write editorials in praise of what they want and to condemn those they don't agree with.
When I see a journalist in Brunswick News who has the courage and integrity to criticize the boss, then maybe I'll start to take it seriously.
3. CUPE exists to serve its members? Damn right. Just as you exist to serve Mr. Irving who is not only allowed to speak publicly on political issues but even had the nerve to announce in your pages that he was a member of the government. Where was your tough talk then?
CUPE does exist to serve its members. That's part of the reason it was right to speak on shale gas. Not everybody has to kiss the same ass you do.
4. As to its demand that the federal government get active to modify what is being done to EI, you say they were wrong to do that because it is not a provincial government matter. They know that, you moron. Can't you read? They don't ask the provincial government to change it. They ask it to discuss change with Ottawa.
The editorial writer would not have said a word if Mr. Irving asked Alward to go to Ottawa. And you can be sure that Mr.. Alward would have his little roller skates on in minutes. And you'd be praising him for his quick action.
5. The editorial says shale gas is mainly supported by various community groups across the province. (I shall not waste time pointing out why this sentence is an incoherent piece of writing.) But exactly what is a community group? And how many are there in this province?
Nobody, including you, Mr. Editorial writer, could possibly know the answer to those questions. Nor can you possibly know the figures for how many such groups support shale gas, and how many oppose it. Your statement is one of pure ignorance.

This editorial is so bad, so biased, so unethical, I plan to submit a complaint to Atlantic Press Council which is supposed to oversee such matters. I don't know whether the take Atlantic Press Council seriously. It may be a puppet of big business as so much else in this region. But one can try.

Norbert Cunningham writes his column about universities. He knows nothing about universities. There are, indeed, serious problems with universities across North America. But Norbert doesn't have a clue what those problems are.

University of Toronto is a respectable, quality institution? What are you talking about Norbert? What does quality in a university mean? I taught in universities for forty years, and I can tell you that the universities themselves have no clue about what  quality means. All they have is ego and PR.

Excellent column by Bill Beliveau on the behaviour of Harper on the EI question. Well worth a read.

Brent Mazerolle contributes a quite incoherent column on the papacy - I think. I'm not really sure what it's about - if anything.

There's also a column on pensions which I won't comment on since I know nothing about the subject.
Get the idea, Norbert?

Then there's the Faith page.
We live in a world controlled by the greedy who suck every bit they can out of us, out of our environment, out of our hopes for the future. We live under politicians and business leaders who give no outward sign of the principles of any faith I have ever heard of. (I don't suggest that churches should directly intervene in politics or business. I do suggest that churches, mosques, synagogues should be places where we discuss the principles of faith and morality, where we learn to live by them. and to apply them in our daily lives, including politics.)

I don't say this for simply religious reasons. Morality does not exist simply because it is goody-goody. Morality and ethics exist because no society can survive without them. The society I have in mind is ours. Our country. Our world. All of us.

We live in a world in which torture, mass murder, assassination, plunder are quite acceptable in the most polite circles and by the nicest people. We sent Canadians to die and to kill in Afghanistan. Why? (No. Afghanistan did not attack the World Trade Centre.) We sent Canadians to kill in Libya. Why? Had Libya attacked us? To bring democracy? Oh? Have you looked at the mess in Libya, and the sort of people we brought to power?

We live on cheap resources from near-slave workers in countries where we install dictators, plunder the land, commit mass murder.

We live in a country in which the very rich add too their wealth by taking the little and diminishing that we have. And we check the houses of the poor who are on EI and who might be getting a few bucks somewhere else. When when was the last time you heard of police going to Mr. Irving's house to find out what he's doing with his money?

Morally and ethically, we live in a wasteland. And so I read the sermonette on the faith page.

Spring always returns at Easter, and the earth revives. Yes. So we should always look up to the skies, and hope for the future.

What an inspiring message! I must send copies to the quarter million men, women and children murdered in Guatemala, the million or more killed in Iraq, the millions of dead and tortured and enslaved by us in Congo, the tens of thousands dying in the hell we have inspired and created in Syria, to those of us in Canada and the US who sleep in the streets or live at bare survival level so that the rich can get even richer, for the children who will never get a chance.

I know what. I'll go sit in the spiritually vacant Irving Chapel, and I'll reflect. Then, following the words of wisdom in today's sermonette, I shall "Go outside, bask in the sunshine, look up at the stars, believe in tomorrow."

Our clergy must believe that Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed were real wimps.


  1. I would not hold my breath waiting for anything from the Atlantic Press Council. Lofty ideals, and promises, are the main staple of their website:

    But, like the Better Business Bureau, I *think* you will find that the folks they are supposed to "watchdog" are their sole source of funding. Do you *think* for one minute that they will "bite" the hand that feeds them?

  2. I notice that their website seems remarkably inactive.
    But I note that one member of the board is a Rotarian. (They list everything those people have ever done, all the way back to the day they stopped wearing diapers.)
    And, hey, if a man is a Rotarian, what more can you ask for?