Saturday, June 15, 2013

June 15: Going too far...

...that's the title of today's editorial. And going too far is exactly what the editorial writer does.

The editorial is written, almost certainly deliberately written, to be inflammatory. (I don't discount the possiblity of crashing supidity on his/her part - but I more strongly suspect deliberate provocation, with stupidity as a sort of bonus offering.)

He/she/it accuses the anti-shale gas demonstrators yesterday of being bullies. Oh? Were they punching out the trucks? Slashing the tires? Beating up the drivers and the police? What, you moron, is your definition of the word bully?

What happened is that they blocked the road to fracking trucks. When told to move to the side, most did. Some refused to move. They were arrrested, so far as I know, with no gunfire, no police assualted, nothing.

But the editorial writer didn't even confine himself to those who were arrested. He condemned ALL protestors as bullies. In fact, he doesn't even know who most of the protestors are. And there has been no violence. So where's the bullying?

He/she also complained that some of them wore masks. Yes. That's because we live in a province in which believing in the wrong things can cost you your job. That's why New Brunswickers shy away from public discussion of public issues. That's why people like you make their livings out of kissing up to the big boss.

Oh, speaking of masks and hiding identity, I notice the editorial column isn't signed. Why not adopt at least a pseudonym like, say, gutless? Unethical would work, too.

The final sentence is a gem, suggesting that protestors are acting for their own agenda without any care for the rights of others.

Do you know what words mean, Mr./Ms. X? We all act for our own agenda. Even Jesus did that. So how about an editorial accusing Jesus of being a bully? And, you write they do it without regard for the rights of others. Oh? Others don't have the right to know about the dangers of shale gas? Others don't have a right to be protected from poisons?

Tell you what. Why don't you write an editorial about your big boss. He acts on his own agenda. And I see little evidence that he gives a damn for the rights of others.

Instead, you have written an editorial that encourages violence - by the government and supported by anybody who's dumb enough to take your editorials seriously. As journalistic ethics go, that is beneath contempt.
Norbert writes another column blaming most of us for causing the world economic crisis, and demanding that we pay for it. Apparently, the super rich who are still getting richer need all the help they can get from our sacrifices. This is juvenile.
Ditto for Beliveau. He's another one who doesn't know what a professor of public policy and administration is. Professor Savoie is an expert - and apparently an all-purpose one.

Like Norbert, Belliveau also skips lightly over the role of big business in causing our economic problems. Bill - tt was over two years ago that Mr. Irving announced he was a member of the government - and he appointed the official advisors to the Minister of Finance. He's the one who calls the shots, not that moth-eaten bunch in Fredericton. So why not give your advice to him?

And, speaking of experts, as you do whenever say Professor Savoie and kiss his hand, isn't the province's Chief Medical Officer a sort of expert? And an expert in a field that neither you nor Dr. Savoie has a clue about? So why don't you ever quote her?
Brent Mazerolle is back to writing trivial irrelevancies, wasting a perfectly good space I could have used for my crayons.
The remaining column (that I won't say much about because I don't know much about the subject) is by Ernest MacKinnon, a former provincial deputy minister for pensions. I will say that it is well written,, clearly argued, and looks eminently sensible. And that makes it today's class act in the TandT).
The West has been killing people, most of them civilians, at a pretty hectic rate over the last dozen years, killing several million, at least - and creating more millions of orphans and crippled and starving. The West (with the help of the Moslem dictatorships of Saudi Arabia and Qatar) has created a civil war aimed at destroying Syria as a nation.

The US is also spying on the personal lives of quite innocent people all over the world, and using robot drones as indiscriminate assassination machines. It sorta seemed to me there must be moral implications in all this. So I turned to the Faith page for inspiration.

And, oh, the churches are getting right to the heart of the moral aspects of this crisis. Three of them are having barbecues; one has a yard sale. Another is having a speech by that paragon of all the Christian virtues, Frank McKenna.

The sermonette is by a minister who is, we are told, passionate about relating faith to modern culture. It's about how we have to use more modern parables. The message is, to say the least, unclear. And his concluding question about whether we should forgive mass murderer Robert Pickton doesn't seem to me to come to grips with much of anything.
Escept for the op ed piece by Ernest Mackinnon, read today's TandT only if you are terminally bored, or if you genuinely enjoy being talked down to by liars, hypocrites, and fools.
For something worth seeing, I have two suggestons.
One, sent to me by a reader, is:

Show it to the editorial writer. Help him with the big words. Send it to Dr. Savoie and ask for his expert opinion.

I also recommend another blog not for anything it has to do with all this, but for the sheer beauty of it. (and  because it was created by the very artistic younger sister of a girl I taught in my first year of teaching (grade 7). It's a pleasure just to look at it.

Oh, some minor notes.
There are reports by auditors indicating serious, even gross, underestimates of building and other costs by the City of Moncton. The city has not released the reports; and the TandT seems to think it not worth mentioning. This is the same city that has estimated the cost of a new hockey rink at $105 million.

There are also reports, official ones, of fracking companies in Canada and the US spending almost a hundred million on Communication specialists  (hired liars) to tell people that fracking is good for them.

And I have not received a reply to a note I sent to education minister Jody Carr asking -
Now that an Irving has been given a two million dollar contract to improve reading skills for younger students, can us taxpayers be told...
1. What training he has to justify such a contract?
2. Why can the work not be done by trained teachers that we already have?
3. Why are we laying off teachers at exactly the time we are handing out such a huge contract to an Irving, and at a time when we are being urged to cut spending on health and education?

And young Jody might get after our environment minister to answer some, small questions I posed months ago.

1. Under the law, land owners whose land is polluted are required to clean it up. Why was that law not applied to the owners of Highfield Square? (The best i could get is that the minister's office didn't know where Highfield Square is.)
2. How far does the pollution extend beyond Highfield Square? (for answer, see above.)
3.What dangers does this pollution pose? (ditto)
4. How do you intend to get rid of the highly toxic waste water produced by fracking? (dead silence.)


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