Thursday, August 1, 2013

August 1: Norbert criticizes the CBC...

but loses it.

It's funny, really. Norbert has a magnificent vocabulary that is an echo of nineteenth century rural life. CBC editors, he suggests are "nervous nellies" and "sourpusses".  Boy. And they talk about Shakespeare.

The CBC, it seems, is also superficial, with minimal research. He even compares it to tabloids. You know, the ones with headlines  like "Harry shocked to learn that Prince George is not his child." Of the tabloids and, presumably,the CBC, he concludes, "The tabloids operate in an amoral parallel universe where the bottom line is selling newspapers."

Oh, Norbert. You're speaking of privately owned papers - like the one you sold yourself to. The CBC is publicly owned, and far the best news service in Canada.

As well, your paper goes lower than "amoral tabloids". Not only does it exist to sell newspapers but to go a step lower down to amoral to immoral with its lying propaganda.
It's hard to know whether the editorial writer is in on a government fix - or is just dumb. His column is about a new committee being formed to check railway regulations. That's a great way to take attention away from the real issue.

There has been an agency to check railway regulations. It has existed for over a century. The Lac Megantic disaster was not caused by a lack of committees to regulate railways. It was caused because somebody or some committee changed the regulations last year. That's why almost fifty people are dead.

Who was that somebody? Who was the responsible person? Why were the regulations changed? Who requested a change? Is there any connection to any railway company or user of one? Those are the questions an editorial writer and the whole Canadian media should be asking. Is it a coincidence that the regulations were changed just as a desire developed to transport large quantities of oil?

Another committee won't do a damn thing to answer any of those questions. Harper could assign a clerk to answer these question in two minutes. But he won't. He'll set up a new committee - clap, clap.
And we still won't know why all those people died. And the new committee is being created to make sure we don't ask. Who are you covering for, Harper?

Oh, as an aside. The writer also says Moncton lines have an excellent record. It also says several people have been killed in train accidents in Moncton. Well, you can't have it both ways. You can't have a record of several people killed - and say the record is excellent - not unless you are an executioner.

Then there's Rod Allen's 'opinion' column. 'Bring back the Wikiwalk; bring it back, woo!' Well, that's fair warning. If you read this crap you have only yourself to blame.

Excellent columns by Beth Lyons and Alec Bruce. In the case of Bruce, he offers a well-reasoned column on why Justin Trudeau has picked up the pot issue. I don't say that to defend or support Trudeau in any way. And Bruce doesn't put it that way, either. This column is neither for nor against Trudeau. It is simply an intelligent and impartial explanation of why he has picked this issue.
The Sports section is still a cheap, lazy and sloppy few pages for people whose lips move when they read. This time is has a sort of sports column - on fishing. But if fishing is a sport, then chess is a sport and, in comparison, a violent sport with heavy body contact.
In Your Business, Adam Huras has an article on how a new shale gas video praises a "research" panel. Have you no shame, Adam?

The video was put together by the same people who put together the "research" institute. Of course, it praises the "research" panel.

Huras also mentions research and researchers frequently, giving one the feeling, along with the word "institute" that this is really an impartial, scientific body devoted to carrying on research. And that is loaded writing, and loaded writing is dishonest. This is no more a research institute than is Atlantic Institute of Market Studies or the Fraser Institute. This is a collection of scientists who are flexible in their views, put together to serve the interests of the very, very rich.

I didn't see the name of Dr. Cleary on the list of this "research institute". Nor do I see any medical doctor. Gee, I should think that a good reporter would have the brains and integrity to ask about that.

As for those who are named to this "research institute", I would suggest that universities clean up their act, and establish some code of ethics for their intellectual prostitutes. Of course, that's not going to happen. After all, our university presidents were all among those who dutifully trotted out a few years ago when Irving invited them to be on his highly improper committee to plan the economic future of New Brunswick.

Not surprisingly, Huras also mentions the "pioneering" work of Frank McKenna. Yep. Good ol' Frank. That's how he's made his money. He's a "fixer" for the very, very rich. Don't expect him to be the kind of guy who lies beside you in bed with his hands above the blankets.
Private Bradley Manning will soon learn his sentence for telling the truth about the American government. It had lied to the American people about its reasons for going to war and killing over a million people. It had lied (or covered up for very serious war crimes). Now, he's going to die.

Oh, that won't be the sentence. That will be the effect in the new, US police state. He has already been held three years in solitary, forced to sleep on the stone, cell floor with no blankets, and wakened every half hour. Whatever time they give him, he'll go back under those conditions. And he'll die.

Now, they just have to murder Edward Snowden for telling the truth. Move over, Mao and Stalin.
There's really no news in NewsToday. So here's a story they could have used  - but never will. Did you know that Canada has at least four units of special ops - troops trained for special missions, raids, assassinations? Did you know that they are closely tied to US special ops, the ones that Obama sends at random into any country at all to kill or destroy?

Okay. Do you also know that we have no right to decide on or even hear about their actions? The only people who do that are the prime minister, the minister of defence, and those in special ops.  Parliament is completely in the dark.

In short, Harper has the power to send troops into combat in any foreign country. That's an act of war. In other words, Harper can commit us to a war without consulting parliament.

He wouldn't do that? He already has. So, for that matter, did at least two of his predecessors. Canada, through its special ops, was in combat in Afghanistan from the start. It still is.

It can also be useful for, say, Canadian mining execs who have a world reputation for brutality and destruction.  Their behaviour commonly raises local opposition. How nice that they can just drop a word to Harper - and we'll secretly send in some thugs to terrorize those trouble-makers. US special ops does that. It's a safe bet that ours do, too.

If these are heroes, then so are mafia hit men.

Above all, we have a constitutional right to decide through parliament when and where we will go to war. You may well  hear that on Nov. 11. They gave their lives to maintain our rights and freedoms. In particular, (read your history), those who died in World War I died to win us the right to decide for or against war.

That right has gone. So - where is the column by the editorial writer? Where is the indignation from Norbert? A lot of other rights have gone, too, like freedom from arbitrary invasion of our privacy. The US is a police state as vicious as any in history. We, especially under Harper, are rapidly moving in the same direction.

But maybe good ol' Frank McKenna can help to set up a province wide discussion so we can find - you know - common ground.
And, surprise, surprise, our pipeline will be built. Too bad that so many people in Lac Megantic died too soon to hear the good news.

So, let's see. What does this mean? With most of the scientific world warning us that we are close to tragic effects resulting from burning fossil fuels, we are going to encourage the heavy consumption of the world's dirtiest oil for decades to come.

Meanwhile, I see no great activity at any level to deal with the tragedy this will lead to.

Anyone who can still vote either Liberal or Conservative is either a fool or, like our corporation bosses, too greedy and stupid to see the end of this road.


  1. All mainstream parties have sold out to extreme corporatists. I agree with Chris Hedges that the only hope is to establish a popular movement that challenges the mainstream. Unfortunately, that popular movement has a fifty-fifty chance of either being progressive or fascist.

  2. Did you read all the articles in the Irving press today about the TransCanada pipeline ? Gross...Felt like puking...

    "This is a very personal issue for me, just like it is for so many in our province", Alward said, his voice wavering as he fought back tears"...barf. To go ahead with this project, with the already disastrous effects of climate change, the catastrophic climatic events we have seen so far, all the pipeline spills in the US, is not only stupid and reckless, it is immoral and CRIMINAL...How deep in the sand can politicians and big business have their head ?? When you listen to them, they never mention the words "environment", "climate change",
    "climatic disasters"...How far more in denial can they be ??? Are we living on the same planet ?? I feel like crying out of we watch these people destroy our planet and everything that is on it.

  3. I loved Beth Lyon's column. I'm glad she is shedding light on the hypocrisy of governments and police forces on the issue of prostitution. Ah, it's a patriarcal world we live in...where we shame the women who are forced to sell their bodies to survive and eat, instead of blaming the men who prey on them and consider them as « objects » or « merchandise » to be consumed...Of course, prostitutes « aren't members of the community », we need to "protect" the community from them. Such a retrograde and passé way of thinking. My god, I'd swear we were in the 50's.