Monday, November 4, 2013

Nov. 4: Cheap and sloppy Monday...

There really is a pattern to the Irving press. Monday is always something thrown together in a few minutes with almost no news about anything, anywhere, and no news ever for New Brunswick worth reporting.

This one, though, has one, blockbuster news story that New Brunswickers bloody well should think long and hard about. Indeed, it has serious implications that go well beyond New Brunswick and even beyond Canada.

First, just a quick review of stories the Irving press was too lazy and/or ignorant to pick up.
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1. Polls show four out of five Canadians approve of the Europe trade deal. Sound good?
Well, think of this. Two of five Canadians are functionally illiterate. Of the remaining three, it's a safe best that most don't know what's in the treaty - and wouldn't  have enough training to make a judgement even if they did know.

So much for the wonderful world of statistics - you know, the things we use in Lean Six to make political and business decisions.

2. The rash of train derailmeents involving hazardous goods continues. There have been at least two in the past week, both with explosions and fires. How come the news media aren't asking the obvious questions?
We know that the Lac Megantic crash came after a change in regulations. What changes in regulations have there been in last dozen years or so? Who made them? Why? Who requested them? Why have we seen no results of any research or investigation of this? Have the changes in regulations resulted in lower costs for some shipppers?
These are obvious questions. How come the Irving press doesn't ask them?

3. A recent edition of the Wall Street Journal, a not unrespectable business paper, suggests that shale gas is a flash in the pan. Unlike oil, it is typically found in small "sweet spots" that usually play out within a few years. That means that searching for of drilling new holes is a constant and very expensive business which can made shale gas very expensive. Some recent ones in the US are expected to go dry by 2017. Shale gas, it says, is expensive, and short term.

So much for opening a new era for New Brunswick. So much for risking our health and environment. Duh, it'll create jobs and prosperity for New Brunswick.

No. What it will create is some short term jobs. And quick profits for SWN and the Irvings, etc. before the bubble bursts. We'll be left with the wreckage.

4. Over the next four years, the US plans to downsize its military by 1.2 million. I'm not at all sure that's going to be possible but, if it is done, 1.2 million veterans, many of them disoriented by their experience, will be one hell of a load to drop on a society in which poverty is at record levels. I wonder how many will be returning to live in Detroit where the real unemployment level (not the official one) is probably well over 50%. And how will they react to the cut in food stamps - which tens of millions of Americans rely on to (barely) stay alive - a cut made to spend more billions on weapons.

As well, many of them will be former special-ops troops. I have known a few of them. I worked with one for thirty years. Psychiatrists say many of them are in special ops because they like violence and they like killing. They aren't patriots. They're seriously disturbed people. That was certainly my experience of the ones I knew. That opinion has been echoed in a number of US publications including USA Today - which may not be a great publication, but is certainly not a left-wing, liberal, ignorant,communist, anti-Norbert Cunningham publication.

Discharged veterans could be a very interesting addition the US population in these troubled times.

But don't worry. None of this will ever appear in the Irving press.

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The big story is on p. 1 (a rarity). "Another blockade possible in shale gas protest".

Alward, of course, calls for law and order. Of course. He (and Irving) made the laws, and they'll give the orders.  Besides, "law and order' sounds good. It sounds proper. It sounds respectable, very Christian - though Jesus was crucified because some powerful people say him as a threat to law and order. (We can be sure, though, that nobody will ever make that accusation against his wimpy churches.)

Anyway, Alward doesn't even know what law and order means..

When Hitler rounded up millions of Jews and blacks and gays and Romas, that was the law at work. And when these people lined up to get on the freight trains that would take them to death camps, they were being orderly.

By Alward's declared standards, this was law and order.

When the Americans and the the French took up arms in revolutions to establish republics, they were being unlawful and disorderly. Mr. Alward would have been on the other side.

Law and order don't usually break down just becaue of rebellion. They break down because of government that uses law and order in an abusive way. Alward refuses to speak with one native leader because that leader has already decided against shale gas. Has it not occured to  him (or the TandT), that the reverse is also true, that there is no point to native discussion with Alward because he has already decided For shale gas.

Mr. Alward has lied and manipulated on this issue from the start. So I think we should be able to understand why native peoples are not eager to line up to get on the freight cars for the death camps.

 If the government were to order you to do something which you were convinced would damage you, your land and water, with a damage that would last for your life, your children's lives and their children's lives, would you do it?

Surely,  the law requires us to protect our land, ourselves and our children. So if we do it, shouldn't the RCMP be surrounding the offices of SWN with armed police and "paramilitary" snipers? And shouldn't they be arresting Mr. Alward for causing disorderly behaviour?

What has now developed is an extremely dangerous situation. It was created by Mr. Alward who tried to force native peoples to allow themselves to be abused.. SWN is ruthless and powerful; there is no evidence it gives a damn for human life.

It is quite possible that blood will be shed this time. And no matter who 'starts it' and whose blood is shed, that blood will be on Mr. Alward's hands for having created this situation as he lied and manipulated and crawled to please his bosses.

The Irving press won't notice that. The Norbert Cunningham bigot club won't notice it. All of those people who thought that Mr. Harper's racist pamphlet on native peoples (thoughtfully distributed by smirker Goguen) won't notice it.

But the rest of the world will. And Canada will suffer one hell of a loss in reputation, one that will cost us,  - as well as more bloodshed across this country and, quite possibly, the US.

As to native peoples, their guiding point has to be that they cannot win an exchange of violence. Whether violence is justified or not has nothing to do with it. The reality is that if there is violence, the government will win the fight every time. Those opposed to shale gas have to be on the receiving end of violence to win. So it's important to keep a lid on the nutbars. Make sure it's clear that all the nutbars are in the government and the shale gas companies.

As to Mr. Alward, stop lying on your back, waiting for Mr. Irving to scratch your unattractive belly. Start acting as though you really are the premier. Starting acting as though this province actually belongs to us, and not to any pirate company that comes through. In the name of human life and basic decency, tell SWN to get the hell out. That's what real law and order would be.

Do you have the courage to do that, Mr. Alward? Do you have the courage to kneel on the road with a feather of peace in your hand?

 

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