Friday, April 4, 2014

April 4: I tried, I really did.... find something worth commenting on in Section A. At last, on page 8, I found something. It's the best I can do. "Senior dog left abandoned....."

It wasn't the story itself that got me. (I can think of no other daily that would have run a story of an abandoned dog as being a big, news story.) What got me was the "Senior dog" part. I have never seen that term used before - old dog,yes; but not senior dog.

Usually "senior" is a polite way of referring to old people, not dogs or white mice or blue jays. I think this is a pioneer step in our treatment of animals. But we should do it gradually, because that's the way we did it with people. We could start them as "older-", then as special, then "uniquely-experienced". Then perhaps as seniors. I'm not ready yet to share my only courtesy title with old mutts.
In Section C "Tories work on dividing shale gas royalties." I had visions of a different reality, of shale gas companies working on dividing the royalties for each of them. But, but our trustworthy energy minister, Craig Leonard, means something different.

Landowners would get .5% (that's one-half of one percent) of the two percent that the government gets. Let's see, now. A half of one percent of two percent....add something, carry the logarithm. multiply by the dividend, get the senior dog to check it...Wow! That's a whole cent for every dollar the government gets, which will be - who knows?

I mean, there are sure to be clauses in there protecting the companies from paying royalties and taxes on everything they don't want to pay royalties and taxes on.

Then, of course, that cent has to be shared among who knows how many landowners - so don't make a down  payment on a yacht yet.

Still, the minister is right. If the government lets landowners negotiate, they'll take advantage of those nice, gas companies. So it's better to trust Mr. Leonard handle this as he has handled so many other deals.

Every day since the Malaysian jet disappeared, we have had a story on it - the same story. They can't find it. They'll keep trying.

Hint to the news editor. Wait until you have something to say before running this again.
Harper continues to chase the idiot vote with his victim's rights bill. For Harper, the purpose of law is not to protect against crime. It's to get him votes. So instead of spending money to ensure that offenders don't become offenders again, we'll spend it (much less) on measures for crime victims. And that combination is what has given the US the biggest and least effective prison system in the world.

This is similar to the old game of catering to our revenge instincts by whipping prisoners or putting them in solitary, etc. In the end, it actually raises the crime rate, and does nobody any good.

But Harper couldn't care less. his 'get tough on crime' drive has nothing to do with cutting down crime. Instead, it has to do with the biggest crime of all, re-electing Harper.
Energy Minister's empty face appears on C3, a wonderful opportunity for collectors of photos of Craig Leonard- or at least as a sanitary convenience for senior dogs.

To say, as he does, that the government has already implemented all of Dr. Cleary's advice on shale gas is---and it's an easy word that goes with that blank face - lying.

And to attribute their public differences to a "breakdown in communications" is vague, unsupported, and meaningless. The two of you live in the same, small province, Mr. Minister. You can probably call each other toll-free.

This "breakdown in communications" has been going on for some two years. I know you're a busy man practising your blank look. But in that time you could surely have discussed such an important matter.

Mr. Leonard, it is not possible to believe you.
The story most worth reading in the whole paper is on C 12. "Ex-auditor (Sheila Fraser) slams election bill." She joins a long list of credible and distinguished people who say that Harper is destroying democracy with this election bill.

So he is.

He has largely destroyed it by his abusive treatment of parliament, his obvious contempt for it, his ignoring of rules, his use of omnibus bills that cram hundreds of new laws into a package that must be voted on in one piece - and he makes sure there is no time for  parliament to discuss them properly. One of his new laws gives the rich the right to give as much as they like to parties, guaranteeing us a    government like he US in which almost all legislators are in the pay of big business. It is stunningly corrupt - and it destroys the chance of any fair system being restored.

Harper is the most dangerous, unprincipled and irresponsible man who has ever been prime minister.
If he wins another term, Canada will not survive. Indeed, I am not at all sure it can survive now.
There is virtually no news from the rest of the world. So I guess there is no Afghan heroin and opium coming to our shores, no more crisis in Ukraine (how come nobody had the wit to find a story on the brutality of the new, Ukrainian budget?) There must be no more American-sponsored war in Syria, no more western colonial troops conquering their old colonies in Africa, no more American-sponsored rebellion in Venezuela, no more drones killing civilians. no more assassination squads from the US busy in various countries. Oh, and Putin has not launched his war that NATO has kept squawking about.

That's nice.

The editorial is a spirited defence of admitting lawyers to practice in NB, even if they come from faith-based schools. (Practising lawyers in the province have opposed it.)

The editor says that no lawyer or judge would allow faith to affect a legal decision. He also says we have adequate laws for protections of our rights. He  also says any university that is faith based to such a degree that it discriminates does not receive public funding.

Wrong on all counts, baby.

In the US, where faith-based judges and lawyers are more common, their faith rules can and have affected legal decisions.

Our laws protect our rights? Hey. I'm from Quebec. Tell me about it.  Tell the hundreds of thousands who left Quebec that they really had nothing to worry about.

As to public funding, it can come in many ways. One is to have charity status so that donations are tax-deductible. Guess who has to pay that deductible part.
Again, columns by Alec Bruce and Norbert Cunningham that are well worth a read. Bruce takes an informed and balanced approach to the idea of full day kindergarten. (I've always admired kindergarten teachers. As teachers, they are the class act from K to PhD.)

Norbert offers what he did well yesterday, an urging for us to stop arguing about climate, and to think through conditions that are likely to occur, and to plan for how we ( through local and regional governments can take measures now or can, at least, structure some planning.)

The City Manager has a column calling for a public debate on how many seats the events centre should have.

Now, there's a silly idea.

How many people in this city or any other have the faintest idea of how to plan something like seat size for a building?

The whole idea of an events centre and the benefits it will bring is expensive nonsense

Okay. 50 million seats - just in case we get taken over by China.



  1. Graeme, you are the smartest and courageous man in this province, I agree with everything you say, you should be editor in chief, but they are not interested to hear the truth. The events center is pure crap, read this, you'll like it:

  2. Thanks. Already, I like that article's title.