Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July 31:Now, it gets dirty...

A communications specialist, so-called, is commonly a spin doctor - a person who lies for whoever will pay for it. There's a beautiful example of it on p, 1 of today's TandT.  "Shale gas foes claim victory" That wasn't written by one of the TandT's hack editors.

Think of it. When was the last time you saw a story anywhere in the TandT (let alone on page 1), that had to do with the anti-shale gas movement?  And when was the last time you saw the TandT publish a story about the anti-shale gas movement as though it were doing well?

Nope. The fix is in. The shale gas people are trying a new angle  to divide the voters, to appear reasonable by offering protection in areas that don't really matter while ignoring those that do.

The real meaning of that headline, the one it was designed to evoke, is that the shale gas people are reasonable, and we can surely all discuss this. Yeah. And the subtext is that them there protesters is the unreasonable ones. That will unite the shale gas lovers with the wobbly middle ground, and isolate the protestors. That's why "communications specialists" can make big bucks. It also means, not surprisingly, that the TandT has still never heard of journalistic ethics, and has made itself a partner in the con game.

This is all part of the new approach coming from all those reasonable people at Irving Oil, and other companies we have learned to love and trust.

That headline says the shale gas protestors have won - and that means we should all have a reasonable talk and find common ground.  You want to sicken and kill people. We say no. Okay is the answer, you have won. Now, let's discuss to find common ground. What if we kill only five percent?

On p. C3, we find Frank McKenna, everybody's friend, pimping for an oil pipeline to benefit much the same people as shale gas would. Frank has made himself a wealthy man by appearing to be a friend to us common folks. Not sure where all that money came from. But I don't think it was from us common folks.

Of course, the shale gas supporters will continue to ignore the advice of Dr. Cleary and the entire medical profession. That was pretty clear advice. The risk of serious damage to human health and life is very, very high. This is the major area in which we have expert opinion. And it is an area they have avoided discussing. They will also continue to ignore the problem of what to do with waste water that is toxic.

Expect to see a rash of letters to the editor from experts who once read a book saying shale gas is good for you.

And always remember - international corporations don't give a damn what risk they put you to. They've shown that in third world countries where millions suffer and die from their working conditions and from environmental destruction. They showed it in Canada for years with extremely dangerous working conditions for factory workers in this country. And it was unions that put the pressure on them to clean up their act, and install safety equipment.

It doesn't happen any more? No? What to you think happened at Lac Megantic? Irving oil had to know that it was taking a risk with human lives when it contracted with a railway company that had a bad record of safety, and would be sending a train of oil cars driven by just one man, and left untended every night.

Irving Oil company didn't break the law. But that's because somebody changed the law just last year. Irving Oil didn't break the law. But it knew the risk it was taking. And almost fifty people paid the price of its greed - and the company doesn't give a damn. It doesn't give a damn about our lives, either.

By way, when is the TandT going to ask the big question. Who changed the regulations a year ago to permit the use of just one engineer for a train? And who asked for the change?

Meanwhile, if you want to kill me, my answer is no. Don't waste your time making videos so we can discuss it and find common ground. There is no common ground. To insist there is is just stupid.

Speaking of stupid, check out the editorial. Most of it is reasonable enough comment on the rise in the Moncton crime rate. But, about the middle, the writer notes that Moncton is enjoying better economic times than most cities and, therefore, "This could likely result in criminals coming here looking for a place to practice their art."

Yeah, I can it all now - a street scene in Toronto...
"Harry, what are you going to do now that you've quit high school? Just hang out?"

"Hell, no. I got ambition. I'm going to Moncton to train to be a criminal."

Maybe we could make it a community college programme.
Norbert, not unreasonably, thinks something should be done about the Senate.  True enough. But it's obvious in reading his piece that he has no knowledge of the problems in the areas he mentions. For example, an elected Senate would be a very bad idea, indeed.

First it would seriously weaken the House of Commons. After all, if it's elected, it has to have power - and there's only one place for that power to come from. Secondly, It would create three groups struggling for power over each other - the house of commons, the senate, and the provincial premiers. And that could very very divisive, indeed, for the whole country.  Thirdly. we have a system in which, unlike the US, the head of state has, or seems to have, no real power. The greatest power level we have is that of prime minister. But the pm is not elected to that position. He gets it only as a result of having support in the house of commons. It's not at all clear what role the senate could play in that - or whether it should. What if we have a situation in which the pm has support in the house of commons, but not in the Senate? Well, I can guess what would happen. Chaos.

I regret to see that Alec Bruce has bought into the "let's have a reasonable discussion" camp on shale gas. I can neither agree with or trust a word that he wrote in today's column. This looks very much like 'spin-doctoring'.

The op ed page has the usual, pointless stories by Eric Lewis and Brian Cormier - two lovely people with nothing to say, and too much in love to say goodnight.

The move is done. But I still have no idea when I shall have a computer. Bell-Aliant seems to be very relaxed in its approach to business. I have been give some reason, but no certainty, that I might be able to have something in place in only a week or so.



  1. I love reading your blogs, every time I read them, I find you are very insightful, thanks! :)

  2. Not much dust settling on those aging shoulders Graeme. An astute observation based on deductive critical reasoning. Bravo.
    Now, a Group I'm affiliated with is weighing the pros and cons of sitting at the table at the bequest of that same company who is rigging the fix. Many have leaned towards the same deductions you have stated. As you so eloquently put it, ' there is no common ground '

  3. Did you see an other article pimping for the TransCanada pipeline project in today's Telegraph-Journal ? It's called "Pipeline to the port city is a go"...It reveals that TransCanada will go ahead with the construction of a pipeline to Saint-John, as if it's a "big scoop"...Like there was ever a doubt that they would go ahead with this project...Wow, the reporter must really have connections to get those news...I'm sure this is another story written by PR experts. You can sense the "overwhelming enthousiasm" over this project...I can just imagine the Irving salivating thinking of all the money they are going to make...Disgusting.