Tuesday, June 4, 2013

June 4: the fix is in....down and dirty

 Lead story - "Policy expert calls for debate"

The expert is Donald Savoie who never met an Irving or an fossil fuel executive he didn't like. He is writing a special four-part series, a challenge for the looming crisis (as opposed to an unlooming one) that threatens New Brunswick. He is challenging our economic and political leaders to a debate on the subject.
(Why should they debate? The economic leaders know what they want. What's to debate? The Liberal and Conservative leaders don't need a debate. They've been told what to do, and they're scampering to do it. And the TandT has shown not the slightest interest in a debate. It's been printing nothing but propaganda for years.)

"This is not the time for conflicting messages says Mr. Savoie." Oh. Well, that kind of kills the debate, doesn't it? I mean, if you don't have conflicting messages, you don't really have a debate. Do you?"

Then the blurb says this is to be an exceptionally honest review. Hint - if you have to say it's honest, then that sort of implies it really isn't. Indeed, I have never before seen a news story that had to say that a statement (which hasn't appeared yet) is honest.

We are told that the TandT wants to encourage a debate.  How nice! So why have they spent so many years either dodging the subject or lying?

And the final essay in the series?  "Saying yes to development".  Of course.
Double whammy Front page!  "First Nations group backs SWN." The group turns out to be eight people who developed their superior knowledge of fracking from talking to SWN execs. Called the Chief to Chief Consulting Group, they will be  checking to make sure the environment is safe. Yep.

Eight people get front page. eight people whose knowledge comes entirely from shale gas execs. Gee. And who paid for their visits with these kind-hearted execs? And who's paying them to do the monitoring?

And what training do they have to do that monitoring? There is no evidence to suggest these are well educated people. Read the article, and take a close look at sentences quoted from their leader.

"I think it can be working side by side with someBODY and making sure THEY are following..."

"As far as our group,we've educated ourselves...." (not only is that an ignorant choice of words; the idea that eight people of no special training have made themselves experts on a subject requiring a high degree of training is absurd.)

"...to be quite honest with you...." Anyone who says this is almost certainly lying. It was a favourite phrase among the mafia kids I grew up with.

Then he says the anti-shale gas people are telling "flat out lies". That's a serious charge to make against people most (perhaps all) of whom he has never met.

Then, in a subtle shift to reverse racism, he implies the anti-shale gas group should be ignored because it's non-native.

Amazing it never seems to have occured the reporter to ask about any of this. Here we are presented with eight people taking a highly unusual position, whose contact appears to have been solely with SWN, whose source of funding is unknown, and whose pattern of speech suggests limited education.

And it didn't occur to either the reporter or the assignement editor that there were questions to be asked here.
Then there is the story that we don't have.

SWN cancelled its meeting in St.-Louis de Kent because, it said, it received a threat.

1. What was the threat? Do they have an evidence of it? This "threat" has been used to slander a large group of people. Surely, the company has an obligation to say what the threat was, and how it was received.

2. Did SWN notify the police? Isn't it required by law to report such threats? Are they too scared to hold a meeting? And also too scared to tell the police?

My guess is that there probably was no threat. The cancellation of the meeting was done to create divisions in NB. Watch next for an 'incident'. It's not hard to set one up. You know, hire a couple of thugs to do damage to company property. Then demand that the police be called in to protect those nice folks at SWN from those terrible protesters.
There is a desperate game being played here. The fuels from oilsands and from shale gas have to be sold soon. Oil sands fuel is deadly to our future. Shale gas may be somewhat better - BUT - at the present rate of increase of fuel, the poisoning of our atmosphere and the changes to our climate will increase even if we use nothing but shale gas.

People in the fossil fuel business have always been too short-sighted, too greedy, and too indifferent to recognize that. But even they realize that the roof is going to fall in - and soon. That's why they - and Harper - are in a desperate hurry to sell this stuff as fast as they can. Expect lots of dirty tricks.
In NewsToday, the "Hospital union fears big health cuts". They're right.
"Efficiency" was just a buzz word in reorganizing our hospitals. It was always about cuts in budget - and in service. Does Flemming understand that? I don't know. He gives no outward sign of human intelligence. But he's a good lapdog for Irving.

There are at least three issues here to consider.

1. We are going to see cuts to our hospital services. Given our scattered and aging population, our medical services have to cost more than other provinces.   Bringing the spending to average can be done, then, only by cutting the services.

2. In the next round, the TandT will be obeying the boss' orders to push for privatization - which will give us the American situation in which millions get no medical care at all, and in which the largest cause of bankruptcy among the elderly is medical bills.

3. Budget-cutting in a recession does not work. It never has in human history. Making even more people poor will not bring back the good times. That was the lesson of the 1930s. And right now we're watching a Europe which is sinking into unspeakable poverty - and certainly into very serious violence - because of budget cuts.

4. sorry - forgot this one. The province that can't afford library books for its schools or adequate medical care for its citizens can afford astroturf for school playing fields, and a hundred million plus for a hockey rink.

In the US, budget cuts in social services have done nothing to ease the recession for anybody except billionaires who are now wealthier than ever. Meanwhile, and as the government makes cuts in food stamps, one in six Americans goes hungry. So far as we know, the rich are eating regularly.

The editorial is the usual piece of idiocy, using the word efficiency to cover the reality of budget cuts and less service for those who need it. Amazing how no editor in the history of Brunswick news has ever written to suggest that a better answer might be to get Irvings and friends pay their share of taxes.

Good column by Norbert. Good column by Alec Bruce.

Alan Cochrane continues his adolescence with a vroom-vroom column about a motorcyle parade.

And Gwynne Dyer shocked the pants off me. I knew Gwynne many years ago when we were in our early radio days. I liked him. I had a lot of respect for his views on foreign affairs.  But today's column by him is bizarre. He argues that the world is more at peace than it looks. Well, maybe such an argument can be made - but much of his evidence is just plain wrong.

There are not "just two wars" going on in the world. The US is killing people in Afghanistan, and supplying  the "civil" war in Syria. But it is also killing people in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. Using your army to kill people is called war. Whether it is actually declared doesn't matter.

Incidentally, an embargo is also an act of war - so that means war against Iran and Cuba. And, in the case of Iran, people are dying - adult scientists by assassination, and young children for lack of medicines cut off by the embargo.

Then there's the war in  Mali - inspired by the French who want Mali's resources.

Oh, an a thousand were killed in fighting last month in Iraq. It's getting worse. But I think a thousand dead in a month sounds like a civil war now.

The war in Syria is being fought with money and weapons from Britain, the US, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with mercenaries from a dozen countries. That means all of them are at war, too. The US is also active in encouraging revolutions in uncooperative countries in Latin America. And it has recently killed several hundred thousand in Guatemala.

Oh, and to slip back to Africa, there was war in Libya with the war largely financed, organized and supplied by the US - and with Libya now hopelessly ungovernable and wracked by a hundred small wars.

Then he says "only" a million have been killed in the 21st century. That's nonsense. The Iraq war alone killed well over a million - and it is largely the cause of the violence and killing now springing up between Islamic sects throughout Africa.

Meanwhile, it is almost certain wars can be expected involviing Israel, Iran, Lebanon, the US, Britain, As well, American expansionism (to put it kindly) is forcing China and Russia to confront it.

And, oh, yes, the world has 17,000 nuclear weapons.

Oh, Gwynne, Gwynne.....

Tonight at 7 pm at the library, I shall meet with the current events group. Though you would never guess it from the Brunswick Press, we are living through a time of the greatest change since the fall of Rome - and maybe a good deal greater than that. So I'll be talking about where that change comes from - and the real issues we have to face.

The old ways are dying (or being killed) before our eyes. And there is no plan for the future.

I invite all the wise folk of the TandT - Rod Allen, Al Hogan, to challenge any point they like.

In fact, I even invite Mr. Irving. After all, he is, by his own declaration, a member of the government - and the department of Finance's official advisors are his appointees. I'm sure he'll want to report to the people on what he's been doing in government, and seeking our approval.



  1. Mr. Decarie, I think I love you.

    I hate Donald Savoie and all his 'expert' pronouncements on this province. Would someone please just shut him up for Christ's sake?

    I think there needs to be a communal smackdown of the press and all the 'business as usual only we're in a crisis so let's liquidate all our natural assets' crew that is so omnipresent in this province.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  2. The Savoie trash will likely end our subscription to the TG for good even at 10 bucks a month its rural propaganda.

  3. Mark DArcy, FrederictonJune 4, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Beautiful analysis. Graeme Decarie is a voice of reason and wisdom in the otherwise barren media landscape of New Brunswick.

    Like the last commenter, we can't say thank you enough.

  4. Now THIS is entertainment. And news...all rolled into one. What a novel approach. Keep it coming!

  5. Ditto, ditto & ditto (especially on the entertainment, Nance and I had tears rolling whilst reading it aloud)