Monday, September 23, 2013

Sept. 23: Lies, stupidity, and the burning, sulphur smell of real evil....

Mr. Alward and his merry men, especially Craig Leonard, have made much of their claim that Professor Lapierre was honoured by the prestigious National Academy of Sciences when it invited him to be a speaker for its convention. But the National Academy of Sciences was not pleased to read that.

 It sent an  a mail to CBC four days ago making it clear that Lapierre was in no way being honoured. He was invited only because the academy was holding workshops on organizations like the Energy Institute; and it invited people like Lapierre not out of any interest in their opinions or scholarship - but only to answer questions about their operations. The Academy, obviously indignant at the lies, made it clear that honouring and/or respect for Lapierre's scientific record had nothing to do with it.

This was news. The CBC reported it.  But you won't find a word about it in today's TandT.                                                                                              

That is called lying by omission.

A clergyman in Sackville and government officials in Fredericton have said he should not lose his Order of Canada status because "he confessed up front - and that took courage". Actually, he did not confess "up front".  The CBC discovered he had faked his credentials. (The Irving press, of course, did not report it.)

Lapierre was silent for a week. Then, with the evidence now public and unquestionably true, he confessed. That is not what "up front" means. Perhaps some of the Sackville clergy and all of the Conservative party need a refresher course on what words mean.

But enough of Professor Lapierre. He is not the cause of the problem. He was never more than a stooge for the real villains, He was a stooge - as Mr. Alward (and the Liberals have been), as most of the editors and staff of the Irving press are.

The shale gas industry has been determined for over a decade to establish itelf in this province. It really doesn't give a damn what damage this might do to the environment or to people.  (It still has not been very open about where it is dumping its toxic waste. Nor have we heard a word about regulation for that waste.)  The idea that there should be regulations arose only recently when it became evident that large numbers of New Brunswickers were critical. That was when its stooges in government began their elaborate pretence of setting up regulations.

But the situation worsened  when the province's chief medical officer warned against fracking.  The Irving press butchered its report of her presentation. But that wasn't enough.

Enter Professor Lapierre, a man with a long record of making himself useful to big business and government. They sent him on a farcical tour to "listen to the public", and present a report that would dodge around Dr. Cleary. Then they made him head of an institute that would wink, wink, nudge, nudge supervise the "regulation" of shale gas development.

The Irving press, always happy to do what the boss tells it to, praised Lapierre as a man of world reputation. It praised the skills of the members of the institute he chose - though neither it nor Professor Lapierre had any qualification to judge their skills.

Indeed, the members are chosen from such a wide area of North America that - well - a nasty suspicion arises.

The shale as industry operates all over North America. Is it possible that all the institute members are academic prostitutes who were actually chosen by the shale industry itself?

A professor from Memorial University who actually has a relevant PhD has called for the closing of the energy institute The obviously fraudulent nature of it is why he thinks so. (The Irving press has not reported that story, either.)


The real problem facing us is not the stooges - not the Irving press, not the institute members, not Professor Lapierre. The real problem is a vicious, arrogant and irresponsible industry,  prominent among them some people who have been plundering this province for years, and who don't give a damn how much poverty and suffering and damage they cause. These are not stooges. These are the masters of the stooges - and they are more than vicious, arrogant and irresponsible. They are the genuine face of evil.

And if New Brunswick votes for their stooges in the Liberal and Conservatives again, it will create its own hell in this province.

NewsToday is just one page and a bit. But most of it is, in fairness, devoted to the big stories that really count - who won the Emmy award for drama, an interview with David Alward in which he says it's hard to be a premier, and Kurt Peackock's column applying his ignorance of economic and social questions to say nothing useful about our political prospects.


The editorial on our automobile traffic problem and our reliance on the automobile proposes solutions. All of their solutions are ones that most of the developed world abandoned two generatons ago. London, for example, does not encourage automobiles by building multi-level garages. Indeed, it forbids such garages in the busiest parts of the city, thereby encouraging people to use mass transit and leave their cars at home.


Norbert, blessedly, has finished his puerile series on his political platform. Today, he's back to his normal coverage of irrelevant but harmless little stories. So, instead of being obnoxious, today's column is just a waste of space.


Steve Malloy, again, writes on a topic some people would consider trivial. It's not trivial. And he brings the subject to life with  writing that combines passion with a common, day to day problem.


The Malloy and Alec Bruce columns  are the only items in this whole paper worth reading. And Bruce is very, very worth reading.

Oh, and there is an excellent letter to the editor, "Don't cut front line services".

There are also two letters agreeing with Norbert's ideas for New Brunswick's economy. Actually, his ideas were tried - and they failed miserably. It was called The Great Depression of the 1930s.


On Wednesday, Sept. 25, I shall be at the community college on Mountain St. registering people for my course on how to understand current events. The registration is from 12 to 1:30, and is sponsored by Tantramar Seniors.


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