Thursday, April 18, 2013

April 18: I'm actually starting this on April 17....

...guessing what won't be in tomorrow's TandT.

You won't find any mention of the pipeline spill of Alberta tarsands oil in Arkansas. It's hard enough to find much even on the web, and police are keeping the press at a distance. The spillage is huge, covering miles of land, lakes and streams. I saw a video of the area taken from a helicopter that evaded the police. I was surprised to see big ice floes on the water - I mean, this is Arkansas. But they weren't ice floes.

They were millions of paper towels dropped by Exxon to clean up.

Press coverage is heavily censored - by the news media themselves. It's not possible even to get a reliable estimate of the spillage, though all figures begin with thousands of barrels of thick, heavy tarsands oil.

Nor is the spillage unusual. In fact, it's only a small part of the pipeline spillage that has been rising spectatularly for the last five years. Hey! we want a share of that in our homes and our streams. Why should the US get it all?

Why the rush for this extraordinarily dangerous oil? Because it's cheap to produce, and the oil companies and their political flunkies like Harper and Alward want to reap the profits while they can. We know how destructive such dirty oil can be just in the process of refining it, not to mention the damage of burning it. We know that there is going to be one hell of a price for it down the road.

But big business and its political flunkies don't look down the road. That's not their problem. They don't care what happens in the future; and they don't care who gets hurt. All that counts is profit - now.

But, duh, we can get jobs in building a pipeline... Yeah. You can get some jobs. Some. For a little while. But your children will pay one hell of a price for those jobs. In fact, there is every possibility you will pay one hell of a price.

Hookers know what they're getting into. They know that every encounter is dangerous. They know the risk of STDs that can kill them. They know that it gets worse as they get older and hooked, themselves, on alcohol and drugs. And they know a day comes when it's all over, a day when the lives of other women are just getting into full stride.

The Times and Transcript isn't going to carry a story about the Arkansas oil spill. No way. They want to make hookers of us, hookers for Irving Oil. And that tarsands oil is the same stuff that's coming into New Brunswick at tens of thousands of barrels a day on railway tracks that the Truthful Times and Transcript tells us are badly in need of repair.

There won't be a story that Al Queda followers and associates fighting on the "rebel" side in Syria are already establishing local governments in Syria - under the strictest sharia law, rather like Moncton City Council being made up entirely of severe Jehovah's Witnesses.

Isn't it nice that Al Quaeda is doing so well with weapons and money supplied by the western powers? Yet one more brilliant stroke of American diplomacy.

Of, course, the west is interested only in establishing democracy and American values. That's why our major ally in the struggle against dictator Assad is the king of Saudi Arabia, the absolute dictator of his country, and a cruel one whose actions are almost never reported in our press, who rolls in pits of money while millions of his people live in poverty.

But not to worry. You won't have to read any of this nasty stuff. In fact, we might even get another news story about the events centre on p. 1.  Oh, boy!
______________________________________________________________________________ And now - todays' paper.   PRE-DICT-A-BLE. "Moncton urged to chase events centre dream". And get that choice of words. It's not visiting director of events centre advocates such a centre for Moncton. No. That would be boring.  But you and me, we're not working on an events centre. No. We're wearing glowing, white gowns with flowers in our hair, running barefoot over the grass to "chase a dream".

The speaker was the director of Downtown London, Ontario, which boasts an events centre with seating for 10,000. She didn't mention that London is some six times the size of Moncton, and has a greater London far greater than greater Moncton.

This "public information meeting" had nobody to deliver the other side of the story. It makes one wonder. Who paid for this carnival pitch? I'll bet it was you and me. Perhaps that's something we should ask Mayor Leblanc.

Oh, the third paragraph of the story says "....the city  (London) once was decimated by urban sprawl..." Perhaps an elementary school class in Moncton can do a dictionary exercise, and write a letter to the editor of the TandT,  telling him what "decimated" really means. That's the sort of thing a real editor is supposed to know.

Very sad to read about the death of Rita MacNeil. She was a lovely person, and a singer in an age when singers had good voices, and knew how to sing. She never had to wear a gown that glowed in the dark with fireworks going off behind her as she screamed and jumped into the air while playing the only three guitar chords she knew. She was a real person who could really sing.
Nothing much in NewsToday. Apparently the news editors are unaware that we are watching the second "scramble for Africa". The first one dates back to something over a hundred and fifty years ago when Britain, France, Belgium, Germany and Spain fought a series of wars to exploit African resources while enslaving, butchering, torturing, starving the people of Africa.

Weakened by World War Two, the western countries had to pull out, leaving behind them chaos, misery, poverty. And, in South Africa, a stunning level of racism.

Now, led by the US, they're coming back. They come back, often, under the cover of being NATO "peacekeepers" or in an even bigger lie, to get rid of evil dictators and establish democracy. But they are really the same, old butchers they used to be. And we're on their side.

There's an urgency to it this time. The job has to be done before China and Russia make inroads into Africa.

But there can't be any reason to worry about it. The TandT doesn't have a single story on Africa; and if they had one, it still wouldn't tell us anything.
The lead editorial is about - surprise!surprise! - the proposed events centre. And would you believe it? The editorial writer is in favour of the centre. Wow! So it must be a great idea.
The second to the lead editorial expresses condolences to the people of Boston for the bombing deaths. And quite reasonably so.
Children and other innocent people all over the world get killed every day by drones and bombing raids. In the Iraq war, children and innocent people were killed in their hundreds of thousands, and millions of others are orphans or cripples. A quarter million innocent people were slaughtered in Gutaemala.
How come we don't express condolences for them?
Alec Bruce has good advice for the newly-elected Liberal leader. Too bad the new leader won't pay any attention to it. New Brunswick has made its old blunder. It has elected a young lawyer on the make, eager to make his mark with - guess who? Thank you for your contribution, Kent county.

Norbert writes about nothing in particular - unless you're really, really interested in light bulb technology.
Oh op ed, Rod Allen tells us yet another story about his not-very-interesting life, all written in the wordy prose he seems to consider sophisticated. Lord, what a horror it would be to travel in a compartment with him for the whole length of the trans-Siberian railway.

Luckily, the page is shared by Jody Dallaire who makes an important point. Bullying is not just a bad behaviour; it's criminal behaviour. I attended an elementary school notorious for its bullying and its production of criminals. I well remember how bullying destroyed the lives of so many of the children in that school. I recently heard of a classmate who, to this day, lives the life of a terrified hermit as a result of that experience.

What's worse is that the hatred that leads to bullying is actively taught in our news media. Just in my own life, the news media (inspired by our political leaders) have encouraged me at various times to hate Germans, Italians, North Koreans, Chinese, Russians, Argentines, Cubans, Afghanis, Iraqis, Moslems. And there are more to come, starting with Venezuelans.

My French and Scottish ancestors taught me to hate the English, even as the English community I lived in taught me to hate the French. My great-great uncle who fought in the Riel Rebellion hated the Metis and the native peoples, just as the French Decaries hated Americans in 1812. I really need a calendar to know who I'm supposed to hate each day.

Jody Dallaire's column is a very good one. Hatred and bullying are serious crimes, far more serious than we treat them. And both run so deep in our society because they are encouraged by political leaders, by economic leaders, by news media, and even by some churches.
There is a "Letter of the Day" that I would have been kind to - if the writer had not said that those who oppose shale gas are thinking with emotion, not facts.

In the first place, there are plenty of facts about shale gas that give cause for deep concern; in fact, there is an abundance of scientific research and scientific warning.

In the second place, how on earth would the writer (or the half-wit politician he quotes) know that opponents of shale gas are working purely on emotion - and don't know any facts? Does he know them all? Has he seen studies? That's just a foolish statement.

Then he comes to his "facts". He has read the rules for shale gas development. Well, yes, it is a fact that there are rules, and lots of them.  But it is not a fact the existence of rules makes shale gas safe.
There are rules about pipelines, too. Lots of rules. That has not stopped massive leaks, like the recent one in Arkansas.

There are rules about driving cars.  That has not prevented cars from dangerously polluting our atmophere, or from killing people by the thousands ever year.

The writer admits himself that there is a risk. Think hard now. If there is a risk, that means anti-shale gas people are NOT working on emotion, but on fact. In other words, the writer contradicts himself.

Then he says he believes it is worth the risk??????? What fact is this based on? None. This is purely emotional.

Then - the crusher. He says that there are New Brunswickers from all political parties who support shale gas.  Oh?

I wonder if he could give us a few of those names from, say, the Green Party - or even from the NDP?

And if there were members from all the parties who favoured shale gas - what would that prove?

Heck. In North Korea, everybody -everybody - favours  President Kim.

It's dangerous to accuse others of being illogical when one is oneself wildly illogical.

1 comment:

  1. Things just keep getting more surreal. Obama said it was a 'shameful day' for Washington when members of the Senate rejected his proposed gun reform bill.

    But Obama shamefully signed a Monsanto loophole that effectively bars federal courts from halting the sale or planting of GMO or GE crops and seeds, no matter what health consequences from the consumption of these products may come to light in the future.