Monday, January 27, 2014

Jan. 27: I was wrong.

It's been bothering me since yesterday when I wrote that New Brunswick is a fascist state. It isn't.

As Benito Mussolini defined it, a fascist state is one run by the civil government and business corporations working together. But that's not true of New Brunswick. Civil government and corporations don't work together. In this province, civil government is made up of stooges who do whatever corporation bosses tell them to do.

That means that New Brunswick is even less democratic than fascism.

Sorry for the error. But that is New Brunswick's biggest problem by far. Corporations run this province entirely for their own benefit. They couldn't care less about your health or your hunger or your homelessness or your children's education. The province, all of it, is for them. And if they can bleed it dry and send unemployment into the stratosphere, that's fine. That just means lots of nice, cheap labour.

Until New Brunswick faces that and deals with it, it ain't going nowhere.

Today is a keep 'em ignorant day at the Times and Transcript unless you really care about the front page story that reveals  (gasp) business slows down in winter in Moncton bars  - or unless you really, really love to look at more than a whole page of very young boys playing hockey.

For the more intellectually inclined, there's a notice that some guitarist named Richard Young is 59. I would guess that's a real traffic-stopper in some circles."Didja hear? Richard Young is 59."  "No. Wow! Makes y' stop and think, don't it?"

So, in the absence of news in the paper, let's look at a few items they might have covered.
Trans-Canada Pipelines (you know what pipelines are. They're the things that are going to make us rich, rich, rich off building them down here...well,it seems a natural gas pipeline of Trans-Canada exploded, sending flames 300 meters into the air in a fire that lasted a good 15 hours. And get this reaction from the company...

"(it) generated a loud noise but posed no risk to the public."

And that's true of course. Even a small explosion of TNT could kill hundreds. But it's a well known fact that an explosion of natural gas sending flames 300 metres into the air wouldn't hurt anybody.

I wonder how TandT missed the story. Every other news outlet in Canada had it yesterday.
Scientists working for the emergency response division of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Division have issued a report on the proposal to build pipelines for Alberta oil to the west coast for tankers to Japan and China, south through the US  to Texas, and East to good ol' St. John. They were not impressed.

They said there are very risky unknowns in the transport of oil by pipeline, tanker or rail. And, they say, it's bad enough with ordinary oil but very risky, indeed, with the crude of the oil sands.

They also say there are huge gaps  in our understanding of how such oil acts when it is spilled, and in  how to control it. They have advised Obama not to allow it.

I'm sure they're wrong. After all, the Harper government has approved it; so we know it must be perfectly safe.

And the company, Enbridge, says it's perfectly safe and there is no problem.

And, anyway, the Enbridge spokesman says they will soon begin research to find answers to the problems that don't exist. For real. That's what he said.

Funny how all those editors at Irving press missed this story.
In less important news, do you remember Iraq, that brilliant triumph of the British and US armies that brought peace to Iraq? Well, all these years after, Iraqis are still being killed at the rate of 50 or so a day. (And that doesn't count the number who have died because their hospitals were bombed, and have never been properly restored. Much of the restoration money went to crooked American contractors who promptly put it in their overseas bank accounts.)

In fact, Iraq is close to being a failed state, and descending into the hell of a civil war.

Meanwhile, in another, Brilliant victory in Afghanistan, and after the longest war in American history, negotiations for the reduction of American troops seems to be breaking down. So the US is threatening to withdraw even more quickly and completely.

Sorta makes ya wonder why the war was fought in the first place.The story that Afghanistan was behind the planning of 9/11 is and always was ridiculous. No intelligence agency in the world has ever turned up a scrap of evidence that Afghanistan was involved in 9/11.

In fact, most of the terrorists in that operation were from Saudi Arabia. And the planning was carried out in Europe and in the US. So what was all that killing and spending for?

So far, the only winner in this war has been Afghani cocaine producers who are now, with American military protection, the largest cocaine exporters in the world. Good news for Rob Ford.

In the US, TV news has traditionally been a major market for advertisers. But no more. Audiences have been cut in half over the past decade or so. The drop is especially noticeable for viewers in their twenties. Once enthusiastic news watchers, some 90% of that age group no longer watch TV news. I'm not sure what that means. But it can't be good news for a democracy.

Oh, yes. The US launched an air strike on Somalia. That's an act of war. And it is illegal under international law without an attack on the US first, and without a declaration of war. But the US is special. It hasn't bothered to declare war since 1941. When a gang of Saudis attacked New York on 9/11, this was an act of savagery and naked terrorism. But when Americans attack and randomly kill people in a country they aren't at war with, it's understandable.

Besides, the raid was to kill a man who was suspected of being hostile to the US. I mean, he was suspected. Ya gotta kill people like that. But only Americans are allowed to do it.

Nothing that I've written above has appeared in a newspaper chain that stands knee deep in editors and reporters, and that has access to all the news services we all can get now by computer.
We don't even get local news.

What happened to the brain-storming of our social betters to plan the future of Moncton? I mean, we know they're going to urge us to borrow piles of money to build and events centre so that people will come from all over the world for the excitement of a "wildtown catfight". Yep. That's us fer sure. Wildtown.

But when do we get a report?

When do we get the big report on Plaster Rock?

When are we going to hear about legal action for the 47 killed in Lac Megantic?

Are they still running those accident-prone tankcars to St. John? What route do they take?

When do we find out why the government is such a big advocate of entrepreneurship? Actually, it's for a reason that has nothing to do with the prosperity of New Brunswick - and it's all pure hokum.
I'll have to talk about that in another blog.

But the big news of the day is that Moncton bars don't get as many customers in winter as they do in summer. I'm sorry I can't think of anything to say about that.


  1. Graeme, love your blog, love your writing but your site isn't productive.
    I can share your articles but only through my browser. You need to create a share button on your blog for twitter and facebook.

  2. Okay. I pushed a button that said share. But my knowledge of writing technology ended with the invention of the quill.
    Is share working? If not, what do I do?