Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 30: Life is.....

...I'm sorry. But there is a time when a man, a real man, must use coarse or foul language.
I  have been moving since Saturday. Everything hurts. I'm tired. I feel every day of my age - and there are a lot of days in it. I'm using a borrowed computer because I probably won't have one operating for a week. Tomorrow, I go back to the old place for the last part of the move. Then I have to deal with the mass of garbage bags and boxes in my new place.

I'm sorry. But I have to say it. Ladies, (with the exception of those on St.. George St. under police surveillance) should avert their eyes before the next sentence.

Moving is heck.

Looking quickly through the Monday and Tuesday papers, and not looking for topics, I was struck by something I had not paid attention to before. The Irving Press is really run on the cheap - and for maximum profit with minimum spending (or news).

The proportion of ads in the average issue is a little high. But with the frequent inserts it's extremely high. The revenues for the Irving press must be very, very high. But, oh, it's cheap in news coverage and staffing.

Most of the 'news' items seem to be purchased from news  wholesalers like The Canadian Press. Lots of papers do that. But they have editors who know which stories are important. The Irving press does not. Its editors seem to be so lazy or so ignorant of the business that they just choose whatever is on sale for the day.

The press also saves money on opinion columnists. Most other newspapers have opinion columnists who do nothing else. Writing an opinion on most papers is a full time job. That way you develop people   who can write columns with some insight and authority. But the Irving press uses columnists who are either staff people who also have other jobs to do - and a few part-timers.

The problem with this shows up chiefly with the staff writers. They really don't seem to know enough to have any opinion worth discussing. That's why a section of the paper that should be stimulating is full of cutesie stories about riding a motorcycle or a childhood pet dog. And so you get opinion columns by people who really don't have any opinion about anything - with the occasional ranter like Norbert who pronounces on matters he clearly knows nothing about or, on a good day, about something interesting (but irrelevant) he just read.

It was the sports section that really brought this to my attention. I had never before seen a sports section with no sports columnist. Nor does there seem to be any specialist in sports reporting. The result is a sports section that reads like the rest of the paper - stories bought cheaply off the wire with no evident sense of what is important in the field, a few,usually trivial, local stories...and no analysis.

So what we get is a paper designed to be cheap to operate (and therefore highly profitable) - and full of pro-Irving propaganda. That's certainly a businessman's idea of a newspaper - but it is certainly not any journalist's idea of one.

It's also not a very bright idea. Since Irving owns all the papers in the province, he could hire a few, really good opinion columnists, and use them for all the papers.  (Of course, there are many good journalists who would rather share dinner from the cat's dish than work of Irving press.)

As a consolation prize. here's a question for serious, sports fans. Maurice Richard of the Montreal Canadiens was known as "the rocket".  His younger brother, Henri, became the "pocket rocket".
But there was a third brother who played defence.  He, too, played for the Canadiens - but only for a short time. However, I once saw all three on the ice at the same time.

What was the nickname for the youngest brother?  I'll bet nobody at the TandT knows.

Once, a man dropped to his knees, and begged the love of his life to marry him.

She sneered. "I wouldn't marry you if you were the last insect on earth. You're vulgar, selfish, rude and disgusting."

He jumped to his feet, and placed a hand on her shoulder. She hit him with a left, the solid product of years of martial arts training.

"Ah, shrink not from me," he said. "Let us seek common ground. I'll prepare videos to show you. We'll tour the province for public discussion of our differences. I'm sure we can find common ground, somewhere."

The full story - so -called - is to be found on p. A2 "Common ground sought on shale gas."  It's really a free plug for a scheme hatched by - guess who - Irving, SWN and other bottom feeders.

The reality that there is no common ground. Either you develop shale gas or you don't. There is no compromise between right and wrong.

The major players appear to be the usual hangers-on - like Professor Savoie - who knows more about medicine than doctors do. Indeed, a name prominently missing is NB's chief medical officer, Dr. Cleary.  In fact, there is not a single medical doctor listed. Obviously, there must not be a competent doctor in the whole of NB. But who needs a medical doctor when you have sages like Professor Savoie  who are qualified experts on all topics. Indeed, I wouldn't be surprised if a Norbert Cunningham, feeling the pains of appendicitis, should immediately call Professor Savoie to come over right away, and bring his pen knife.

This is obvious manipulation with the TandT a willing accomplice. It will continue to lie, to give heavy publicity to this campaign, and to ignore those who oppose shale gas. We pay, every day, for a newspaper whose major function is to lie to us so that we accept the interventions of people who want to make money out of us - and who don't give a damn what it does to us.

I have never seen a newspaper before with such a combination of lies, ignorance, journalistic incompetence, and indifference to the interests of its readership.

As a footnote, we have a  government in Fredericton and one in Ottawa which are ignoring the warnings of a vast majority of scientists all over the world. We face a crisis in climate change. It is too late to stop it; but we can limit its damage and prepare for it. But relying on fuel sources like shale gas will soon make it too late to limit the damage.

We cannot go on using fossil fuels. Cannot. Not should not. Not maybe a little bit. Not common ground.  Cannot. Cannot. Cannot. It isn't a matter for debate. There is no compromise of common ground. We cannot.

But neither Fredericton nor Ottawa has shown the slightest interest. Indeed, Harper has virtually  destroyed all environmental protection and research. The energy interests are sitting on trillions of dollars worth of fossil fuels. They have to sell that before the the danger becomes so obvious, they have to stop selling it. They are rich. And they are greedy. And their greed makes them stupid.

If we don't stop them, our children will suffer terribly. Indeed, it is happening fast enough that many of us will suffer. Some already have.

Cannot. Like greedy and demanding children, there are people who do not understand 'cannot'.

There is no common ground. There is no compromise.

Lord, what a stinkingly corrupt, lying, manipulating, and intellectually vapid press we have in this province.


  1. Moving IS heck, on every level--mentally and emotionally. If you're like me, organized and geometrically exact, moving wreaks havoc. I'm getting really good at it, now that I've decided to stay where I am for a long time.

  2. You rock,Graeme! Stay strong and unfractured!
    Keep rocking.
    Leslie and Ron