Monday, October 7, 2013

Oct. 7:What is Alward up to?

It's been many, many weeks since the beginning of the shale gas confrontations at Rexton. As we all know, there is not the slightest possiblity that Alward will accept a ban on shale gas exploration in that region. If there were such a possibility, these meetings would have happened long ago. So why is he having them now?

Two reasons.

The court ruling which would have authorized police to break the blackade came at an awkward time. It came jas the UN announced it was sending an investigator to report on the condition of native peoples in Canada. Though most Canadians either don't know or don't care, Canada has a terrible record of abuse of its native peoples.

Then we had 'sdreadful and even racist flier on on his attitude to native leaders (and thoughfully circulation by goo-goo Goguen.)  And now, a grand assault on the mineral resources of native lands.

This is not a good time to turn the police loose at Rexton. So Alward has adjusted his approach. (Probably on the advice of somebody else becauase I've seen no sign that Alward's' mind adjusts easily.)

They will hold meetings. Yeah. That will look good in the UN report. And in the course of the meetings they will encourage splits among native leaders,splits that are already in evidence. Divide and conquer.

The rest of section A is mostly non-news. Then there's a NewsToday section that uses up one, whole page - about the size of typical car ad. But one item, at least, is important. U.S Seals raids in Libya and Somalia were carried out to capture people described as terrorists.

The news story describes Africa as a terrorist haven The words are all simple, and they all sound reasonable.

But let's see. The US routinely kills people with its drones The control is from the US and kills large numbers of innnocent people (something our news media rarely menntion. It illegally invades countries like Iraq, and kills innocent people by the million.  Isn't that what's called terrorism?

And these killings are all organized and directed from the US. Doesn't that make the US a terrorist haven?

We are all prejudiced. The Seal commandos who attacked Libya and Somalia look and talk like us. So they're heroes. If they were darker comlexioned, had beards, and attacked Washington to kill or capture Obama, it would be quite a different story.

In this case, there are lots of "terrorists" in Africa because the western countries have been attacking, killing, enslaving in Africa for centuries. Of course, there are terrorists. That's the only way those people can survive. The US is not, as the story suggests, fighting terrorism. It is creating terrorism.

What we call terrorism doesn't come of nowhere. It is a reaction to us and what we have done. No African country has ever invaded the US, not in all of history. The US has been invading other countries all over the world as long as it  has existed.

The important element in this story isn't even mentioned. The US Seals entered a foreign country and took away a national of that country. When one nation's armed forces enter another country, that is called war.

War is illegal unless the other country has attacked you. That is set out in agreements signed by almost every country in the world, including the US. Nazi leaders were hanged for breaking that agreement.

To the best of my knowledge, neither Libya nor Somalia has recently (or ever) attacked the US. But the the US stubbornly believes that, alone among all the nations of the world, it has the right to invade any country it chooses any time it likes. If so, it is the only country in the world - inideed, in history - to have that right. It's called American exceptionalism; and it has something to do with having God on their side.

That's why we have to learn to look at the world through our own eyes, not through American eyes - and our news media have done a lousy job of it.

The editorial writer feels the court injunction regarding the Rexton protest is a good one. Big surprise.

Alec Bruce has a well-written column. I don't entirely agree with it. But it's knowledgeable and well-presented as always. Where he disagree is in his view that the Energy Council should be permitted to continue because its members, unlike former chair Professor Lapierre have academic credentials.

Havinig official, academic credentials is not good enough.  I worked most of my life with people who had legitimate academic credentials.. Most were honest. Some were for sale. Most were dedicated to their work. Some were dedicated only to themselves.

Here, we have a committee selected by an unqualifed person, one who also seems to have been a toadie for the Irvings who want shale gas development to go ahead. So -

Why on earth would be have picked honest people for the committee?

Mr. Bruce advises we should wait to see how they perform.  That won't work. Most of the reports we get on their performance will come from the lying Times and Transcript. The TandT lies.  By the time we get it all nnravelled, it will be far, far too late.

No. When professor Lapierre discredited himself, he also discredited everyone associated with him, and everything he had done.

As an afterthought, I was also struck by the very low pay for the committee members. They are required to work only for very brief periods - which seem far too brief for their work to be all that useful. And, even, for the brief period of a day or a day and a half, the pay is extremely low, some 400 to 450 dollars. I know the going rates; and this makes no sense at all. So it makes me wonder what the real rewards are.

Steve Malloy, again, takes a simple, commonplace incident - and uses it to raise thoughtful questions.
I'm a little uncomfortable with his view that the Canadian respect for poppy day indicates our respect for our military. People will do things to make thsemelves look good - so they will often be enhusiastic in large numbers to be part of the crowed. It makes them "good citizens" and, best of all, it can cost close to nothing.

Poppy day is like that. It makes us feel we're part of the mainstream, and gives us the right to look down at those who don't join in. But I've seen very little evidence of real concern about our military.

What Harper has done to our disabled veterans should be well-know (except by anybody who can't be bothered to read it or to listen to the news.)

But they don't react because they really don't give a damn.

When we sent soldiers to Afghanistan, there was no great public discussion. We didn't care enough to bother. There should have been discussion because that was one hell of  a bad decision. But we didn't care.  Off hand, I cannot think of a war we h ave not cheered about when sending our troops. We were sending them off to die to to be terribly injured. Hurray! There have rarely been many people to question whether this is necessary. Everybody wants to be on the right side.

There's a war memorial, a very impressive one, in Victoria Park. I used to visit it often when I llived near there. I'd look at the names of the dead, look at the statue of soldier in the dreariness of his combat gear, and think of what that experience did to them.

I never saw anybody else even glance at it.

No. Deep down, we don't care.

Two big items are in the news, but not in the Irving Papers.

1. Canada has been caught spying on companies (and possible government officials) in Brazil. This is done by an organization I was unaware of - Communication Security Establishment Canada. And, for our security, they were spying to get Brazil business secrets.

In fact, we are part of a spying consortium consisting of Britain, Australia, New Zealand and - wait for it - the American NSA that spies on everybody. And the five contries share all their information. Isn't that nice?

It's all illegal, of course, but the news doesn't mention that part.

Of course, this sort of thing can be misused, but I'm sure Mr. Harper would never spy on Canadians.

2. Mr. Harper has refused to attend a commonwealth meeting chaired by Sri Lanka because he does not approve of Sri Lanka's human rights record - you know, jailing people without cause, perhaps assassinations...spying on people....

Everybody else is attending the meeting. Well, that's reasonable. Mr. Harper's walkout is not likely to have any effect on human rights anywhere, so it's hard to see any point to it. In any case, the US has a far worse human rights record than Sir Lanka does. But I can't seem Harper walking out on a meeting  chaired by the US.

So why is he doing it?

Well, it appeals to the more moronic voters in Canada, especially the ones who doen't even know that the UN is investigating us for abuse of native peoples. And who think it's no big deal that the US tortures more people than any nation in history. And who don't know that Harper has handed over Canadians for torture.

And it doesn't cost anything because Harper has no interest in the commonwealth, anyway.

Everything that Harper does is aimed at election day - and at his little blocs of sure support.

Damn. I rambled on, forgetting to talk about our need for moral principles in politics. I'll do that tomorrow.


1 comment:

  1. On the energy institute, its worth simply looking at their website. Its pretty much empty, even though most of these experts have certainly done research into various aspects of fracking which could at least be referenced.

    The website is still pretty much empty, which means ANY money going to the group isn't worthwhile. More important, you can click on their 'research' and their 'publications' and the ONLY thing there is the study done by Deloitte and Touche on the supply chain job opportunities, which are spurious at best, not referenced or even footnoted, but still make the point that the VAST majority of jobs are in the short term space before wells are set up-then no more jobs.

    But more importantly, it was a pretty blatant 'selling' piece on fracking, because no media really read anything further than the press release. But even MORE importantly, I don't actually see Deloitte and Touche mentioned as any of their 'experts'.

    Which means the ONLY publication the Energy Institute has 'put out' is a study that its own team hasn't even done. And people wonder whether they can 'trust' the group or not...