Wednesday, June 5, 2013

May 5: special edition - by idiots - for idiots...

Let's start with the editorial. Predictably, it's a hymn of praise to the Native "firm" which SWN has contracted to check its safety procedures in fracking.

Obviously, these are eight people of unusual insight. They can tell without ever having met them that the many, many thousands of New Brunswickers who oppose fracking for shale gas are "liars". Obviously, these are people who can see around corners.

So how come we haven't been told all about their superb training and their work experience? How many such contracts have they had? From whom?

Monitoring for toxic materials and dangerous procedures in pretty sophisticated work, calling for very advanced training. Can we be given some idea of their advanced training in chemistry? Engineering? The distinguished universities they attended?

And if they are so highly educated, how come they don't talk gooder?

Does the hiring of this firm mean we can't trust government regulators to do the job? But aren't you the one who earlier said we could? And if it's true that there's a danger of cheating in the process, then that would mean the cheating would originate with SWN. So why on earth would SWN contract a company to see if it's guilty of cheating? And why should we trust a company (which seems low on brains in the first place) to report cheating by the people who pay its bills?

This is an editorial that shows utter contempt for the common sense of the whole population of New Brunswick.

Either that or the editorialist is so thick he needs a sheet of instructions to zip his fly.
Then we have the first of Prof. Savoie's series on the economic future of New Brunswick. (sound of trumpets, curtains open to reveal parade of elephants, each with a trumpeter seated on its head.)

It's an interesting view of the economic future as one might have seen it in 1950, but perhaps a bit dated for 2013. It's also, to put it kindly, a string of mindless platitudes tarted up to sound like scholarly wisdom. He also completely ignores the impact that Irving and other big business have on the province - the enormous costs they thrust on us, the enormous ripping off they have subjected us to as they get richer every year to the degree that they make us poorer, their de facto control of our government.

We all, says Prof Savoie, should be involved in the planning of our future. Come off it. The government doesn't give a damn what we plan. The government IS Irving. You're a professor. Do you know what the word coalition means? Irving has publicly said he is in coalition with the government. He also appointed the official advisors to the Minister of Finance. Close your eyes tight, and really think hard, Prof. What does that tell you about who makes the decisions in this province?

Incidentally, there are citizens who are trying to play a role - the anti-shale gas movement. I'm suprised you don't praise them for their efforts. (Well, no, I'm not suprised. You praise only those whose role is kissing Mr. Irving's rear end.)

As to my suggestion that Prof Savoie writes as if this were the 1950s, he writes as if the future will be much like today - but just getting better and better at doing more of the same. But this is not 1950.
1. The western economies are in collapse. The "recovery" has been mainly by the very, very wealthy. For the rest, there has been no recovery. Even those jobs that reopen are now at lower salaries.
2. For 500 years, western economies have depended on their military dominance of the world and its trade. That is almost certainly over. That dominance, despite American and British and French attempts to turn back the clock, is done.
3. Big business has, through free trade, freed itself of any need to give a damn about loyalty to its own countries - including Canada.
4. Big business has assumed almost complete dominance over elected governments in the US, Canada, Britain, France, and Germany. They, not we, control our governments.
5.It is aiming at complete privatization of everything - schools, medical care, prisons, police forces, everything. So much for our role. (Such privatization, incidentally, has proven both enormously expensive and socially disastrous.)
6.Our growth of the past half-century has come at tremendous cost in resources, many of which are running out - at tremendous damage to the environment with effects we already feel in climate changes which will become much - and often fatally - worse in the very near future.
7. Big business is pillaging what is left of the wealth of the western world. As US companies post bigger profits every  year, the number of Americans who now cannot afford enough food is one in six. (And the US government is cutting down on food stamps.) Banks in the US and Britain have criminally looted the state of hundred of billions of dollars - at least. In Canada, the very rich have been getting richer as everybody else gets poorer - and that has been going on for at least twenty years.
8. Cutting government social programmes to balance the budget will not make things better. It will make them worse. That was one of the great lessons of the 1930s. Indeed, the looting of Europe, coupled with the cutting of budgets, has turned Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece - at least those - into breeding grounds for violence and revolution. These hardly seem like good models for us to follow.

None of these problems can be solved by a pipeline or developing shale gas or by building an "events' centre. We are facing the need to make fundamental changes to a society based on materialism. We are going to need to rethink fundamentals like the way he house people and the way we move about in cities. We are going to have to re-establish governments that once were democratic but which now fit the dictionary definition of fascist. The people who really govern us are greedy, short-sighted - and really not very bright.

But none of that will be discussed by a professor who has shown all the signs of being Mr. Irving's court jester.

Another good column by Norbert on the Senate.

Alec Bruce is certainly the most knowledgeable person at that paper. But in today's column - as in many others - he stops short of seeing reality.

Eric Lewis warns about the dangers of a  moment of stupidity. It's about the dangers of lighting bush fires. He's right. But this is scarcely the stuff of an opinion column. A news interview with a fire chief would have been quite adequate.

Brian Cormier talks about how pretty flowers are.

Way to speak out and tell it like it is, Brian.



  1. Well, with re to shale gas in NB....they say "trust us , we have the best regulations in the world etc"....but SWN still hired chief to chief consulting to keep themselves honest?... seriously?...they will use their traditions to protect the land and water?... did their traditions deal with modern fracking techniques?...maybe they should hire Dr. Cleary to monitor them...or maybe not...

  2. “Be stupid and this place.“ The new unofficial slogan established by our NB government.