Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July 2: Just a short blog today....

...as I get to see two of my daughters and my granddaughters as they return to the shore for a couple of weeks. - and then I race back in time for the current events group in the library at 7 this evening.

The whole first section of the TandT is scrap paper. We are assured that 911 calls bring many people into action. Duh...I would never have guessed. It must be embarassing for a reporter to get all that education, then spend a life writing such idiot stories.

The lead, page one story is "Internet piracy can pose big problems". Wow! I'll bet a lot of internet users didn't know about that. And that's the lead story. There is no mention that far the biggest  and most illegal internet priracy in the world, and that touches every one of us, and that our security systems are ineffective against is the illegal tapping into all of our communications, bank records - everything. It's THE big news story around the world. And it's not being done by those pirates who write to you "Dear Blessed in the Lord, I am a dying man with a hundred million dollars I wish to give to you....."

No, the big piracy story never appeared in the TandT. It's the story of how the American spy system which spies on everybody, has billions of pages of information stored away on each of us.  (Yes, Canadians too. Since it also includes leaders of our closest allies, we can assume it also includes Harper.)

The rest of section is trivia with lots of pictures of people standing around for Canada Day.

NewsToday features another Canada Day picture and, for those who can't find Section A, another big story that yesterday was Canada Day. "Canadians celebrate" The news you need to know.

"Afghan bloodshed continues". Who would have guessed? That war has been going for years. It's the longest war in American history. And we still don't know why it's being fought. But now we know that in war people get killed.. Well, that clears up a lot of mystery.

Alec Bruce has a superb column on the Alberta flooding. Yes, there might very well be such a thing as climate change. It is even possible that over 90% of the world's scientists are right in saying it is caused largely by the burning of fossil fuels - like oil and shale gas. And, yes, governments really should have plans in place to deal with dramatic weather changes like floods, tornados,droughts, heat waves - and on and on. And I'm sure Moncton City council will get busy on that just as soon as it finishes its new hockey rink. And I'm sure the provincial government will make it a top priority just as soon as it gets some more pollutants pumped into the atmosphere.
Norbert tackles the same problem - but without saying a word about climate change as the major factor in these recent disasters. The sea is rising? Well, let's just build a big sea wall all around New Brunswick. Houses are flooding? Make it a law they have to be built on mountain tops. He does not mention once even a possibility that climate change might be a factor.

That's nice, Norbert. Mr. Irving will pat you on the head, and toss a biscuit in the air for you to catch in your mouth.
Alan Cochrane breathlessly tells us that car accidents are bad; and we should be more careful. Well, that's why they pay him the big bucks.
Gwynne Dyer has a very interesting column on China's proposal to build a canal near the American Panama Canal. That would be powerful competition to the Panama Canal, and would also greatly increase a Chinese presence in Latin America which, until now,has been virtually American property.

Dyer writes a calming opinion about it all. Alas, it will go over the heads of all those who rely on the TandT for news - because the TandT has never reported in the first place that China has signed a deal to build the canal.

Some excellent letters to the editor. The most important is the last one - "Studies should be peer reviewed". This refers to the fact that serious scholars and scientists DO NOT accept just any report at all, as being the truth - not even if it's a report by an 'expert'. ( Are you reading this, Norbert?.)

Such reports are first studied closely by other experts in the field to ensure that they meet high standards. Even then, the report does not become gospel. It is still open to discussion and debate. This process is called peer review.

Professor's Savoie's report ono shale gas was never subject to peer review. The TandT which, itself, knows nothing about the subject said it was a good report because Prof. Savoie is an "expert". In fact, Prof. Savoie is not an expert on shale gas. And Prof. Savoie knows that. Any peer review would give him one hell of a rough ride on his report.

The last one of the letters to the editor explains that. And that letter is a better report than anything on that subject that I have seen in the TandT.

Ah, well, Off to the shore. See you this evening at the current events group at the library at 7.

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