Saturday, November 16, 2013

Nov. 16: A giant, New Brunswick flag dominated the stage. General Alward....

stepped in front of it, adjusted his helmet, then straightened to attention with his hand rigid against the pearl-handled revolver at this belt. His steely eyes seemed to probe into the very souls of his audience, the good people of New Brunswick. "Protests threaten development", he thundered. (The whole story is the headline for Section A.

Yes, the invaders have made a "beachhead" on the sacred soil of New Brunswick.  Why, SWN might leave the province. He leaned back, savouring the shudder of horror that ran through his audience of true New Brunswickers.

This sort of over the top language, bordering on hysteria, has become a staple with our blood and guts  premier. Remember what he said the day after the police moved in on Rexton demonstrators and found 3 guns, a few knives, and some tin cans filled with pebbles and explosive?

"It's an armed camp', he said. Wow! And the police had - tops - only a couple of hundred guns and an armoured personnel carrier. They were lucky to escape with their lives.

As for extablishing a beachhead, the ancestors of those anti-shale gas protestors established their beachhead in New Brunswick when Mr. Alward's ancestors were still living in caves in Europe.

Mr. Alward, you have created a crisis by your lying, your hysteria, your disregard of scientific warning and your outrright fraud in hiring a fake professor to mislead us. You are the lying, bullying, incompetent who has created this crisis.

Add this.

Scientists have been warning us for decades about the severe danger to climate posed by fossil fuels and poorly regulated resource industries. The typhoon in The Phillipines is the clearest warning we have yet received of what is to come, of what already has come in form of floods, storms and cropo failures for much of the world.

And you want to speed it up and to make it worse? Are you as stunningly stupid as you appear to be? Or are you insanely criminal?

You want to create jobs in fossil fuels so that young people can stay in New Brunswick? Don't worry. Within a generation, they could be staying in New Brunswick because there's nowhere else to go.

And SWN might get its feelings hurt and go away? Great. I'll be standing on the dock waving a handkerchief to them.

Then there's the mandatory story on Rob Ford. Amazing how they evade the real issue.

Ford is not accused of breaking a Toronto by-law. He is accused of breaking federal, criminal law. The evidence points, so far, not only to smoking cocaine, but to trafficking in it.  So where is 'get tough on crime" Harper? If Ford were a street person hanging out on Main, he'd be in jail now. So why is it different for Ford. This issue is not whether Ford should resign. The issue is whether he is a criminal.. So why isn't our press looking at that?

One reason is that Harper needs Ford. The most ardent supporters Ford has are those in his region who vote Conservative. And they are just about the only support Harper has in the important ridings of Toronto. That's why Harper and Ford became early buddies. Ford is the only mayor ever to be invited to spend holiday time with Harper at his Meech Lake cottage. (There are no videos.)

The Ford story isn't just comedy. It's also a story of political rot.
C6 has a "should I laugh or should I cry?"  Harper spoke a Montreal dinner which burst into applause when one of the guests was announced. It was Brian Mulroney, the man who was proven to accept bribes while prime minister, the man who got off with no significant penalty thanks to "get tough on crime" Harper.
The story that Moncton paid Robert Irving 86 thousand a year to keep his hockey team here (or to make diapers - whatever), would have most news media beating the bushes to find out what other goodies the city is handing out to billionaires. But not the TandT.

No. Today's editorial calls for the person to told the truth to 'fess' up and resign. People must not be allowed to know what there city governments are doing. Above all, nobody must say anthing not nice about the Irvings.
Belliveau and Gwynne Dyer are well worth reading. Mr. Alward in particular should read Gwynne Dyer on the lesson of the typhoon in The Phillipines. (somebody could help him with the big words.)

Brent Mazerolle is confusing. The headline "Online world widens horizons, doesn't deepen perspectives". Well, yeah. And that's also true of the offline world. So?

In any case, the column turns out to be a story about nothing in particular. You need connections outside the web as  well as one it. Sounds reasonable to me. But this column is so wishy-washy that the only reason I can even guess the point of it is because of the title.
There is an excellent letter to the editor "Vet's eye view of senatorial luxury"
The Faith Page is - well - it's the Faith Page. The sermonette, as always, takes a goody-goody position on some issue without ever getting real about it. Today, it's the typhoon in The Phillipines.

It seems we Christians should be willing to contribute help. Okay. I'm sure nobody has trouble with that.

However - as Gwynne Dyer points out - along with most of the world's scientists (with the notable exception of prof. Lapierre) the  typhoon is a sign of a much, much deeper problem. Our mad rush to develop and use fossil fuels is going to develop even more terrible and more deadly events all over the world.

Now, I know Jesus did not specifically mention fossil fuels or climate change. But it surely does seem to me that the spirit of His message goes far beyond the conditions of His own time. There were no nuclear bombs in His time - but that surely does not mean there are no moral implications to the use of them. There was no Agent Orange. But it surely was wrong, in Christian teaching, to ignore the immorality of it.

Must the church forever waste its time by pointing accusing fingers at those things that are obviously wrong and universally regarded as wrong? Can't it ever consider the morality of those things which we do that are not specifically covered in The Bible?

Would Jesus have advocated the invasions of Afghanistan or Iraq? Would He have approved of developing even more fossil fuels?

Jesus had the courage to talk about the real world. I wish our churches could do the same, and break out of their goody-goody Sunday school world. Being Christian (or any religion) does NOT mean being liked or agreed with or acceptable. In fact, it's quite the opposite.



  1. "And SWN might get its feelings hurt and go away? Great. I'll be standing on the dock waving a handkerchief to them."

    If you promise to let me know when they leave and promise to let me join you with my own handkerchief, I'll give you my e-mail so as you may contact me. I'll drive down that 17 hours to NB to help you wave goodbye to the Psychopaths... er, SWN.

  2. Re: Herr Harpo. Oops, Alward

  3. Replies
    1. Or not....:)...I'm bringing my hankie too......

  4. As for resource industries, the demise of a key resource industry in rural Ontario, the Heinz tomato processing plant in Leamington, hardly an environmental threat, hardly warrants any interest from our political leaders on either the federal or provincial level, despite federal by-elections...

    From the CBC news article on the Leamington Heinz plant closure:

    "Ken Hamm grows tomatoes for the Heinz plant in Leamington. He said close to 40 per cent of all field tomatoes grown in Ontario are shipped to Leamington."
    "He said the plant’s closure means he no longer has a buyer. He’ll have to stop growing field tomatoes and start growing soy beans, corn or wheat."

    "He said the cost of the change is “very substantial” because he has to buy new farm equipment that differs from that used for growing and harvesting tomatoes."

    "Hamm said his 82-year-old father has been growing tomatoes for Heinz all his life."

    "CBC News asked Premier Kathleen Wynne, who is also the Minister of Agriculture, for comment but did not receive a response."

    And when our political leaders do offer comments on supposedly relevant matters, they foolishly praise the economic successes of brutal dictatorships based on labour camps and slave wages, passively observing and occasionally lamenting the demise of important sectors of Canadian industry and agriculture. And you have Liberal bloggers complaining of the NDP's alleged "far left" stance with respect to Alberta oil sands and proposed BC or East-West pipelines in the current federal by-elections.

    Whereas Leamington tomato plant processing can hardly be deemed harmful to the environment and is economically beneficial to rural Ontario, growers, plant employees and local businesses, and to Canada as a whole.

    It is time for local growers and plant employees to close ranks and defend the continued existence of a key local industry, through demands for public ownership if required. And it's time for the alleged "far left" NDP to show some political leadership by taking the lead in such campaign, by embracing some of those socialist principles that its leadership abandoned as an electoral albatross in its search for middle class electoral respectability....