Friday, July 12, 2013

June 12: "Iwalked in the garden alone....

"While the dew was still on the roses..."
My father, a mechanic, loved to sing hymns, putting all 250 pounds of him into it. And, from the age of eleven, I was his piano accompanist. "And he walks with me and he talks with me...."  It all came back to me as I saw the ad on p. A3 of today's Times and Transcript.

We are invited to attend Irving Memorial Chapel in Bouctouche, and "Enjoy the beauty of God's creation throughout the grounds..." Of course, God didn't really do a great job in the first shot at it. The grounds needed a lot of expensive work by Mr. Irvinig before it could meet  holy standards. But there's no worry about time in the wilderness here because at The Irving Chapel, you can walk along the "...lovely ivory silk lilac path."

And there's none of your sittin' on the ground under a hot sun and chewin' on loaves and fishes. No sir. The Irving Chapel's got coffee fellowship in "The Barn".

And there's none of your standin' around listenin' to a  guy in sandals and a bunch of fishermen. No sir. The Irving Chapel's got one of them there Reverend Doctors all the way from Moncton.

Come and capture the spirit of the Irving Chapel. Learn how Our Father gave us shale gas that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. Listen to tales of the holy work of offshore bank accounts. Feel The Spirit as it moves through the pages of the Irving Press, into the halls of government and the disciples of Business Inc. in Moncton.  Shout hallelujas for the events centre.

Enjoy, knowing that at The Irving Chapel, you are with the right sort of people, the ones who never get crucified.

Or, if you'd rather, check out the ad next to it for the casino. (The Lord works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform. All we need now is a temple to the whore of Babylon.)


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The Times and Transcript continues to ignore the confrontation between the SWN and anti-shale gas protesters. Well, they do carry the story of some trees cut down. But that's only so they can hint it was done by protesters.

They haven't written a word about the coming together of so many people in such difficult conditions (you try standing day after day under a hot sun with limited water or conveniences of any sort.) They're suffering for what they believe in. They're suffering not just for themselves but for everybody in this province.  There's an important story there for a real newspaper.

This is the biggest story for New Brunswick in years. The outcome of it is going to mark this province for a long time to come - not just in the impact of shale gas itself, but in the trust and cohesion essential for any society to survive.

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NewsToday has a big story on Lac Megantic. It's over a day old but, what the hell, it's the spirit that counts. I am still puzzling over the response of premier Alward and the silent stupor of his Liberal opposition.

Alward said that the railways in NB were safe. In response, Mr. Gallant seems to have sat there with his face hanging out. But consider this...

There is strong reason to believe that a factor in this accident was that the engineer was alone, one many driving a long train across a continent. He had no relief, no breaks, nobody to take over should be become ill.  Think of it. Isn't it amazing that a train could, any day, be racing along with only a dead man at the controls?). Aren't there regulations to cover that?

Well, there used to be. But the railways didn't like them. They thought it was too expensive to have two or three engineers on a train. So Mr. Harper changed the regulations to require only one engineer.

And that may well be why a town was destroyed and fifty people are dead.

If Mr. Alward did not know what the regulations were, then he was a fool to make a statement in the legislature that all was safe. If he did know, then he was a scoundrel.

In any case, what possible justification did he have to say an accident that happened in Quebec could not happen here? We have the same regulations in New Brunswick that applied in Quebec.

The leader of the opposition seems to have been equally ignorant. It was simple enough to find out. A phone call to Ottawa would have done it. I got it simply off the web.

Oh, well, every penny saved can go to projects like making the gardens at The Irving Chapel ever more lovely.
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There is no news story on Edward Snowden, the whistle blower who revealed that President Obama is illegally spying on virtually all Americans - their letters, their e-mails, their credit cards, their phone calls. The information is also being handed over - illegally - to anybody who has the connections or money to get it.
And, most certainly, there is no story about how our own Mr. Harper is doing the same thing to us.
There is no story that a great many Americans who see the danger of all this to constitutional rights and to freedom itself are on Snowden's side.
Meanwhile, Obama is determined to get Snowden - to put him in a military prison for a long period of torture to be followed by a rigged trial, just as was done to Private Bradley Manning.
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The editorial is on a subject the editor knows nothing about - as usual. It concludes with a drool that the debate over shale gas is irrelevant; it is happening only because some people don't like shale gas; and it should go ahead because the government is willing to take the risks.
If you think this is a rational statement, then read it again, changing the words shale gas to Nazi death camps.
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Alec Bruce and David Suzuki are the only two items worth reading in the whole paper. And both are VERY worth reading.

Michael Sullivan continues to show a strong talent as a communicator. He writes this one to say it's silly to change licence plates just because the letters on it may be a racial slur. I don't agree with him. After all, it's easy to say we should ignore such things when you belong to a group that doesn't get slurred.

However, the fact that I don't agree with him doesn't mean this is a bad column. It's well written. It's clearly argued. It far outclasses the staff-written columns and the editorials. I just can't see it as a big enough issue to write about. Mr. Sullivan has talent. He shouldn't waste it.
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Generally, there is no sense in this paper of the enormour and dangerous change we are living through. The nature of world economies, the decay of democracy, the rise of government by a new aristocracy, the wildly out of control imperialism of the US, the tremendous chaos this has caused all over thw world, the weakening of our social cohesion with all the implications that has for our survival - none of t his is reflected in the Irving Press. And there seems to be only one writer at thos papers who has the brains to see it.

As a very small example of what is happening, take a look at what is happening with the shale gas issue. This confict has arisen largely because New Brunswick governments have been dishonest from the start. And they are dishonest because they are controlled by business leaders who have unlimited greed and arrogance and utter contempt for democracy.

As a result, New Brunswickers now find themselves bitterly divided against each other. Worse, a very large number have become divided against our police. The RCMP, once a universally admired force, is now seen by some not as an enforcer of the law but as an oppresser under the almost direct control of those who want to exploit us.

It is even worse in the US, much worse. Across North America, we are losing trust in politicians, in police, in the law itself. The rules, trust in the rules, trust in those who make the rules, trust in those who enforce them - all these are the glue that holds a society together. But all these trusts have been discredited. And behind it all is the realization (often unadmitted but still there) that democracy no longer has a meaning.

Either we repair what we had or we slip wholly into the chaos that was the twentieth century for most countries. If we don't recover the democracy that we once had (and improve on it), then we slide over the cliff.

One slide, the one led by big business takes us into fascism. That is what is now happening in Canada and the US. That is why I have reacted so strongly to Mr. Irving's arrogance in declaring himself in coalition with the government.

The other slide takes us into the communism of Mao and Stalin.

Add to that the witch's brew of nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, and robot killers at our disposal -and we are living in the most dangerous times this world will ever see.

And the Irving Press, far from being any help, is the front line of fascism. (Yes, I know the editorial staff of the Irving Press is too stupid to know what fascism means. But their ignorance of what they are doing does not do anything to find sanity.)
 

5 comments:

  1. > But there's no worry about time in the wilderness here because at The Irving Chapel, you can walk along the "...lovely ivory silk lilac path."

    Actually, I've been there. You're not supposed to walk; there are no footpaths. You're supposed to drive.

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  2. I'm sorry to hear that. I'd get a kick out of driving my car over the lilacs.

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  3. Brilliant, as usual, Graeme. And I laughed out loud reading the comments!

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  4. You can pass this on to our "special" (as in short bus special) Premier:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2013/jul/11/fracking-water-injection-major-earthquakes

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  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you! 4,000 thanks are extended to all of you for signing, and getting us past the 4,000-signature point! Let's keep the link moving!

    Just as important as passing the link along is reaching out to those who aren't online. Please, start a paper petition in your area. Get it signed by those who do not have online access, or an e-mail address. This is very important, and as the time nears to present the petition, we will need to add the paper copies to this electronic one. You can message me privately on change.org regarding getting the paper copies included in the presentation to the Legislature.

    Added to the basic cost of duality, we now see that there is a lawsuit coming against the province due to the new riding boundaries. Some francophone communities don't want to be a part of a riding that is mostly anglophone, and the taxpayer-funded SANB is backing this lawsuit. If we're equal, as the languages act states, then it shouldn't matter where the invisible riding lines are drawn. Once again, "equality" is actually proving to be "division", and will cost NB many millions more.

    Our Legislature will not meet again until Nov. 28th, so we have 4 months to work. Organize a community meeting. Get paper petitions signed. Write your MLA. Submit letters to the editor. Put a sign on your lawn. Let's do one thing every day to bring positive change to NB!

    If you agree with the People's Alliance of NB's stand on this issue, join with them (as I have done) to see another choice in your area for next September's election. History has proven that the traditional parties just keep making things worse in regards to this language issue, and our current leaders are completely ignoring us. The NDP is also on board with this discrimination, and has actually called for "more" to be done to promote the OLA. It will be harder to achieve positive change without another voice in our Legislature to combat the bullying we've been getting from the traditional parties.

    We deserve better, and together, we WILL achieve it!

    Thanks so very much!
    Joyce Wright

    http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/the-government-of-new-brunswick-stop-the-hiring-discrimination-against-citizens-who-speak-only-english?utm_source=supporter_message&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=petition_message_notice

    ReplyDelete