Saturday, May 11, 2013

May 11:

The toll of dead women in the collapse of a clothing factory in Bangladesh has now reached a thousand. The corporations who bought their clothing are, of course, shocked. Gee. They didn't know these women were working in deathtraps for $38 a month. Sure.

Those same corporations moved their work to those factories BECAUSE they knew they could get women to work in deathtraps for $38 a month. That's the reason why the clothing and mining industies, among others, support dictators in Latin America. That's why they, especially the mining and oil industries, have been plunging Africa into more centuries of the living hell of starvation, disease, war, murder and poverty. And I can hear their propaganda now, "We're creating jobs."

Now, let's open the other eye and the other ear.

On p. D1 "Gas plan needs more health focus, Cleary says". In other words, our government, committed to providing welfare for shale gas companies, has paid not the slightest attention to our Chief Medical Officer's warning that there could be one hell of a human and environmental price to pay for developing shale gas.

But the government doesn't care and the industry doesn't care. We New Brunswickers are no different from the women of Bangladesh, the sweat shop workers of Haiti, the starving of Yemen. We are here to be used so long as we're cheap and useful. The government and the Times and Transcript are going to help ram shale gas down our throats. No matter what the costs.

Hey, duh, they aren't poisoning us. They're creating jobs, duh. Just like the clothing factory owners created jobs in Bangladesh.

Thank you for the jobs, Mr. Irving. Thank you and God bless you for a pipeline carrying the world's dirtiest oil. And don't worry if the Conservatives lose the next election over this, 'cause we'll just vote those nice Liberals back in - so nothing will change.
On the Bangladesh scene, the news we're getting is that a women was found alive after two weeks under the rubble. I'm glad. But surely the real news here is not human interest stories. The real news is how many such factories there are - in what countries - who owns them - what governments, including Canada and the US, encourage these factories through trade deals, support of dictators, and outright war....

Don't give us this bilge about how owners have promised to improve conditions. We have deliberate policies of encouraging this dreadful exploitation of people   (including Canadians whenever possible). Give us real news, not sob stories.
On the editorial page, get this lead sentence in the editorial. "Now that the City of Moncton's chief financial officer has crunched the numbers.......we believe the time is ripe to continue moving forward with the (events centre)."

The TandT has decided NOW? Gee. I was under the impression it decided years ago - and that's why we've been getting biased news about it. Just yesterday, Norbert ranted about those opposed to the project, saying they claim that special interests want this centre for their own benefit - and he says that those who claim that don't have a clue who those special interests might be.

Okay. Let's start with the owner of the hockey team who gets a new rink to lease (and on his own terms), and we take all the risk. Then add the owners of a piece of land that is contaminated and with a large building that has to be destroyed. Right now, it's worthless. But, suddenly, they are going to get millions for it.

As to priorities, think of governments that are going to borrow a hundred million (and probably much more) at a time when the whole western world's economic future is highly uncertain - and when our school libraries are the worst funded in Canada, and could be fixed for a tiny fraction of the cost of an events centre.

Norbert applaud's Moncton's 30 year plan. Since he never says what it is or why it's good, this is not terribly useful. Then he goes on to write about how we have to booze more for the good of the economy.

David Suzuki has a column that cuts to the heart of our problem. We live for materialism, for things, for gadgets, for money. Our economic system is a worship of materialism and wealth. And, indeed, they pretty much defines our social system, too. Suzuki's column is about a small country which is planning its future not on all the things one can own, but on planning first for the happiness of people.

I'm sure that sounds corny. But read it, think about it, think about the enormous suffering and destruction all over the world as a result of our materialism. Pursuing happiness is a naive idea? Well, pursuing materialism is one hell of a destructive idea - that will destroy us as well as everyone else.

Bill Belliveau has a column that ties into that theme. Brent Mazerolle has a column that---well--it's a column.
Isabelle Agnew has a powerful column well worth a read on the youth page. Aurelia Pare has a good one on the importance of regular exercise. (But I didn't like it. I don't need the guilt.)
On the faith page, the sprirt of the Lord walks the land. Trinity United is holding a spring fling and card party. St. Andrew's Anglican is having yard sale. Then there's a lobster take-out and a rummage sale - and it goes on and on.

And there's no mention of nasty things like women crushed to death in Bangladesh so we can have cheap clothes, no mention of the murders and exploitation of millions in Africa and Central America, no mention of drones, no mention of the poisons of shale gas or the triviality of building an events centre for a city that needs so much else, no mention of the utter absence of any spiritual values in an economic leadership motivated entirely by greed and indifferent to human needs.

I guess that's why Christians don't get persecuted any more. Who would bother?



  1. Here's a look at severe health effects shale gas fracking is having on people and animals living nearby, or downwind of operations in Pennsylvania.

    Also, Truthdig has many shale gas fracking articles by doing a simple search by typing 'shale gas' in its search box on its site.

  2. thanks. I was going to put all this in my Sunday blog, and claim credit. I didn't realize you had sneakily put this in as a comment.