Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Jan.29: People in the US are suffering from a sudden, severe cold weather system...

...made worse by a severe shortage of natural gas for heating. In some areas, it's as cold as -50 F.

Why don't they have fuel? Because, just a matter of days ago a natural gas pipeline in Manitoba that they depended on blew up. But not to worry. It can't be a very important story. I mean, the Irving papers didn't even report it.

In a story that broke just a few days ago, some 30 or more officers in the US military were fired. They were caught cheating on mandatory proficiency tests for their jobs. There is also concern about drug use.

But not to worry. These aren't real combat officers. They're just the ones who decided when to fire nuclear missiles. Yep. The ones who make the big decision can't pass a test on their ability to do their job - and they're a collection of Rob Fords, anyway.

But not to worry. The Irving press didn't carry the big story in the first place. And it's not carrying the follow-up. So there can't be any real cause for concern.

Closer to home, we still don't have a report on damage cause by the Plaster Rock derailment and fire. That's odd. Inspectors who have been on the scene for days keeping reporters away still don't know whether there is any serious damage. But premier Alward knew from the start.

Oh, yes. ithin an hour of the accident, long before workers could even get to the fire, and when Alward was miles away, he announced that there was no damage. So,see? That's probably why the Irving press hasn't bothered to follow the story.

The Pope has taken a very tough and dangerous stand against the mafia. Not only is he demanding quick action against it, he has already cut it off from the Vatican bank which, it is said, has been extensively used by the mafia for money laundering. As a friend pointed out, this is pretty courageous stuff, and could set up the Pope for assassination.

Luckily, the Christian churches of Moncton are in no danger. They're concentrating on the important things that churches stand for - like holding pancake suppers.
There's a big, front page story on the attempt to sell Castle Manor. It's the second one. I have no idea why there was a first story - and less why there is now a second. Are we being set up for some slick deal?

The front page also has a story that the N.B. Energy Institute (the one that was founded to pimp for the shale gas industry) is planning to do research work and to rehabilitate its public image. That's absurd.

Here is an organization that was founded by the government in order to pimp for shale gas in the first place. So the government set up phony community hearings. It hired a toady professor (who was also unqualified). And they got the professor to propose the institute.

The government has lied and cheated all the way - and all the way with the full support of the Irving press.

Anybody who thinks it is now going to turn honest and listen to anything it doesn't want to hear from an institute it created is a fool. That simply is not going to happen.

Besides, this all began with the attempt of the government and the Irving Press to kill the Dr. Cleary report which raised serious doubts about the health problems associated with shale gas. Most of the Insitute members do not seem to be qualified to make decisions on medical question. And most of them were picked by Dr. Lapierre or the government, anyway.

If there were the slightest possibility that this "institute" would be independent of government, then there is no way either the government or the Irving press would allow it to exist.

The Energy Institute has no credibility. That's not entirely a criticism of the institute. It's criticism of a lying and manipulating government, and criticism of a press that makes the government look almost honest.

C2 has a big story (with a protrait suitable for framing) of Robert Goguen. This is about Ottawa saving Via Rail. A similar story appeared yesterday. Yesterday's story seemed to offer hope, but actually said nothing. Today's story is the same. So why is the story there?

Because Goguen will be facing an election soon.

A man in Halifax who once got convicted of drunk driving just got arrested again for drunk driving - in Halifax. The news you need to know.

The only useful mews in section A is that Sobey's has a pretty good sale on for toilet paper.

There's very little NewsToday. The biggest story is that Obama is going to narrow the gap between rich and poor in the US; and he's going to do it over the heads of Congress. Don't put any money on this one.

With free trade, with the tremendous power of big business to corrupt, with the closing of whole industries in the US, Obama is not going to significantly close any gap. We'll see serious violence in the US long before we'll see honest and fair government there. Maybe. It's always dangerous to think we can control the results of violence.

And big business is going to let Obama close the wage gap? Yes. Big business has always been a sweetheart that way.

The basic question is the one about who runs the US? Is it the people? Or is it just the very rich. It was a good thirty years ago and more that the rich decided they would run it. What they have run it into is economic ,social, and military disaster. But the rich can be terribly slow learners.

Anyway, even if Obama is sincere, it has taken him one hell of a long time to figure out what the problem is. More than thirty years suggests a pretty slow learning curve.

Norbert's column looks good. But it doesn't begin to show any understanding of the problems of universities, or even an understanding of what they do. He shows no knowledge of the spectacular rise of management in universities - and its very, very nice contracts.

He doesn't understand that universities are about teaching and research. So he doesn't understand that professors who choose to become management don't want to spend their lives doing what universities do.  In particular, my experience is that university management people know nothing whatever about teaching, for example, and don't care about it.

And his column is full of statements that just don't make sense.

For example, he says "Professors also know maritime universities have long ago got top rate professors by hiring bright, newly minted Ph.D.s..."

Any professor who says he knows that is out of his tree. In the first place, a newly minted prof usually has no significant experience in teaching - and almost certainly has no training in it. That makes him or her a great catch?

Anyway, the statement is silly because I have never seen a useful method of measuring the teaching ability of professors. And in all my time as a prof, I cannot recall any interviewer discussing teaching with me at all.

They hire bright, newly minted Ph.D's, and that gives them top profs? And what do the big schools in Quebec, Ontario and the West hire? Do they deliberately hire morons to fill in the time until they can decide who to swipe from the maritimes?

Norbert, this is all nonsense. I have seen few differences in quality between the Maritimes and the rest when it comes to teaching or research, though the schools close to big money will usually have more money for the kind of research the rich can make even more money out of.

In any case, your statement makes no sense whatever.

Alec Bruce puts a happy face on a situation I don't think is happy. He talks about how Americans and Canadians distrust their governments, and quotes somebody who says that more critical media along with a more cynical pop culture have made us  doubt governments.

But, he says, it's really our fault because we are the ones who, by voting, make the decisions.


Critical news media? We have never seen such an absolute control by the rich and powerful over our news media As a result, the media is not very critical at all - except when its bosses tell it to be. Most of our media don't even give us basic or honest information.

A cynical pop culture? You mean like Miley Cyrus? There are always elements of pop culture that are cynical. But most of it is just  mindless. It's always been that way.

We make the decisions by our votes?  Well, sort of. But we don't have any information to make judgements with because we have a dishonest and manipulative press owned by the rich. And the rich have long since bought the two, largest political parties in Canada and the US. And the rich give them huge funding to fight campaigns against the parties of protest.

The op ed? Sigh....

Sorry to be so late today. It's been  crowded day. I meant to talk about this province's love for the word entrepreneur - and I hinted it had something to do with manipulation. I don't have time to do it day. But let's start with a test. Think of two words.



How would you characterize the difference is sound between those two words?


  1. Great thoughts as always!

    You continue to impress!

    You're absolutely right Graeme, about us - the citizens of the world, having no critical media to rely on.

    We already know Obama is not sincere in the slightest.

    CBC is still promoting the lie of Washington's version of Syria, never mind the human carnage!

    And CBC is loathe to report on anything truly news worthy. But very busy playing their morning 'happy songs', and offering chintzy contest prizes.

    The big, important story of how the TPP agreement if signed, will screw Canadians over just as NAFTA did, gets almost no play coverage on CBC radio.

    It's as if the many horribly, negative ramifications of the agreement does not exist.

    Come to think, the TPP will finish off what NAFTA began to finish off - the middle class!