Tuesday, May 14, 2013

May 14: The story you won't see in the Times and Transcript.

I am beginning this blog on the evening of May 13 because I'm confident the big story will not appear (ever) in the Times and Transcript.

The President of Guatemala (who was almost certainly involved in the genocide of Guatemala native peoples that ran up a death toll of a quarter million) has decared a state of siege against native peoples who are defending their lands against a mining company.

This happens often in Guatemala. People are kicked off their land, their houses destroyed, then land and streams forever poisoned by some of the most brtual and irresponsible mining companies in the world. Those who protest are jailed. Some are quietly murdered. And, if that doesn't work, then the president sends in the army and the police who kill men, women and children indiscriminately - just as they did in the years of the great genocide.

I have often referred to this as a genocide practiced by the government of Guatemala with leadership, agents, and weapons from the US government. I should also have mentioned the mining companies, themselves, as partners in the slaughter.

In this case, the mining company is listed as a Canadian one with headquarters in Texas. It's Tahoe Resources. That's us. I should have realized our role earlier. Canada is a world power in mining. Canada is a major player in Guatemala. Canadian mining companies have a dreadful record of abuse of land and people - especially in Latin America and Africa.  Canada, then, was almost certainly a party to the great genocide that President Clinton apologized for, and that the news media did not report. And it certainly is a party to the violence that's happening now in Guatemala.

The people of Guatemala  have shown often enough they don't want the mining companies. They're going to get them rammed down their throats, anyway.

Gee, why does that remind me of shale gas companies and New Brunswick?

Well, if it turns into an ecological disaster, our government can always hang up more pictures of the Queen.


It's now the morning. And what a surprise! The story was not in the TandT today. Maybe tomorrow....

Meanwhile, there is a big story on p. 1. "Time to hike HST, N.B.urged" Yes, we have to raise the HST, and cut government spending - according to the head of Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, who spoke at a Rotarian dinner. That's front page news because - because...well....he's the head of a propaganda front which is strongly supported by the Irvings. So there.

And he's a statistician. Now, that doesn't mean he knows anything about economics or government budgetting. But he is an expert in taking statistics, and making them mean whatever you want them to mean. For example, he can take the statistics on rainfall in Senegal for 1947 and make a pretty convincing argument they show that the Moncton Wildcats will win the championship this year. Or that it's time to raise the HST and cut government spending.

Why did this story make the front page of the TandT? Hey, I told you that AIMS is strongly supported by the Irvings. So whenever they have a story to put out, they call on the head of AIMS to make it sound official.  Of course, he can't just say it. You need some sort of occasion of his statement to make it a news story.

And providing occasions is what Rotarians are for. They're genetically engineered to enjoy listening to boring propaganda. And that gives the Irving papers an excuse to send a reporter, and write this up as though it were important.

But, you say, we're in a recession. Isn't this a time when we need to take it easy on taxes that hurt those who are already suffering from falling income? Isn't this a time when we need government services? And haven't most economists decades ago recognized that cutting government spending in a recession is exactly the wrong thing to do?

Well, yes....but that leads to a logic that says the answer is to make the rich pay their share of taxes, and make them cough up on their companies with phony head offices on desert islands that don't charge them taxes. And neither AIMS nor the TandT want that sort of irresponsible thinking going around.

Section D, NewsToday, is the section which would normally have had the Guatemala story. But native peoples of another country getting beaten, jailed and killed for being in the way of a nice, Canadian company is boring. So section D is mostly lovely pictures of trailers and boats for sale.
The editorial - surprise!- is about the events centre. (The Tand T is in favour. Whoever writes these editorials is so biased, he's as subtle as a belch from the minister during the moment of silent prayer at a church service.)

Norbert launches into a wild rant about the uselessness and arrogance of our senators. And this is a topic on which he's damn right, even a little gentle. Take a look at the headline, for example, "The senate: a rotting, corrupt Victorian institution". That is far too kind.

Alec Bruce has the sort of "personal story" column that I so often oject to when it's done by a staff writer on the op ed page. But - this one - well, it's different.For a start, it's far better written than the others. It also carries a meaning that I won't pretend I understand yet. It takes some thinking. This one is worth reading.

And, two good columns on op ed.
A letter to the editor will bring a humiliated blush to the cheeks of all Canadians. It seems that just after the 9/11 attack, PM Jean Chretien addressed an audience on the subject. The audience included, mind you, the American ambassador and many clergy. And Chretien didn't mention God. This is presented as a characteristic of Liberals as the writer notes that Justin Trudeau favours same sex marriage.

How different, how very different, from George Bush who praised God on an almost daily basis while he killed, crippled, orphaned, widowed millions of innocent people  in Iraq, and sacrificed thousands of American lives in an illegal war.

(It's come to this. I'm actually defending Chretien and Trudeau. I never woulda thought it.)


  1. There's never progress, only incremental corruption when the voting public are continually faced with having to pick the lesser of two evils.

    But, how some Canadians can still support Harper's fascist, and consistent attack on democracy really makes you aware of the descent of our country.

    Which leads me to our largest trading partner with ten times our population south of the border.

    Take Obama on the American front for instance. I thought George Bush Jr. was evil, but compared to what corporate-oligarchy-puppet Obama has been up to, Bush almost seemed juvenile in his approach to evildoing.

    At least, you could at times tell when Bush was lying which gave one a heads-up.

    In other news; Bilderberg group is meeting in the U.K.

  2. I know what you mean, Graeme, I never supported Trudeau's constitutional perspectives, never voted for him, often protested against him ..... and yet often feel compelled to come to his defense when the name is invoked as a sort of lightning rod to attract all sorts of mindless bigotry, hatred and Reform inspired profanity parading around as political discourse. When you're dealing with that level of ignorance, it serves little purpose to add your voice to the " I hate Trudeau too" crowd, or to try to patiently explain differences to those whose critical faculties have been numbed.

    Speaking of Rotarians whose minds have been genetically engineered to enjoy listening to boring propaganda, a master at the art of delivering Rotarian speech was former Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach, who it is claimed had an almost superhuman ability to deliver " mind-numbing speech", sort of like a Marvel superhero. His talents were wasted with the Rotarian crowd, and could have been put to better purpose with the SWAT team in dealing with some hostage situation.

    I take it the Moncton Times and Transcript did not run some obituary piece on Peter Worthington, which is running on many other news media sites, with all sorts of lively commentary. On the Yahoo site one Quebecer called Worthington an "English neo-conservative dinosaur" which elicited a homophobic "Gaybec" response from some Reformer, a sort of two for one rejoinder that they excel at, to which I submitted my comment:

    "Gaybec, Queerbec .... don't you Reformers have any original material? I liked Worthington, didn't agree with his politics but liked the man, you could laugh with him, laugh at him, unlike many of these Reformers so consumed with hatred you can't even recognize them as belonging to the same species. My father once bought a used car back in the cold war days from Worthington's fellow Progressive Conservative and anti-communist Sun Columnist Lubor Zink, the other vehicle being a Lada, and when he would drive to Ottawa to fill up on gas would be mobbed by angry Sun readers shaking fists and shouting insults, whereas when he would drive around Gatineau in Zink's anti-commie mobile would be tailed by KGB on the lookout for Zink and his buddy Gouzenko. My brothers and I were politically indiscriminate - as far as vehicles went - and would drive both vehicles on fishing trips down dirt trails no vehicle was meant to go... "
    "But back to Worthington, even if his stuff was wacky it was good reading, there was a basic humanity beneath the bluster, and he wasn't afraid to embrace unpopular causes like Imre Finta or Bambi Bembenek. I always considered Worthington as the J Jonah Jameson of Canadian journalism."

    And I hold to that opinion, while Worthington and Zink may have been over the top, right-wing, anti-communist Progressive Conservatives, they still had the basic decency to attack Trudeau as a "crypto-communist", that is for his ideas and program, but never descended to the level to attack him for being a Quebecer, that is for his cultural background. That I leave to Reform ....



  3. Wow! Lubor Zink. There's a blast from the past.