Saturday, August 16, 2014

August 16: have a swig of fracking waste water?

In the TandT for August 15, the first page actually has a real news story. "Can cities ban frack water from sewers?" The questions arises because a company in Nova Scotia wants to dump 30 million liters of the stuff into our sewers, and thence into the river. They claim it has already been treated so that it is drinkable.

Well, there are questions that weren't asked. If it is actually drinkable, why won't Nova Scotia allow it to be dumped there? Why was the company allowed to conduct fracking if it didn't have a sure place to dispose of the waste water? It may be okay for me to drink the stuff. But I'm rarely thirsty enough to drink thirty million liters. In that quantity of waste water, how much poison is left to do damage if it's all dumped in one place? Do other Nova Scotia companies have the same problem? If so, do they plan to dump in Dieppe? Exactly what are the chemicals in it? (fracking companies keep that a secret from everybody.) What happens to the "cleansed" poisons? Do they simply disappear? Or is the company just dumping them back in the ground?

And if fracking resumes in New Brunswick, how do companies propose to dump the waste water? That's important because we're talking a lot more, a LOT more, than thirty million liters.

I really wish that TandT editors would tell their reporters to ask questions.

Now - watch for the editorial on how many great jobs will be created by dumping waste water in our sewers.

On A5, the interviews with party leaders continue with the question of the day being the minimum wage. Both the Green Party and the NDP had clear answers that also gave an indication of their philosophies of government, and where their political sympathies lie. They would increase the minimum wage.

People's alliance would not increase it because that might discourage business. In other words, it believes in maintaining poverty in order to provide a cheap work force.Well, that tells us something about their philosophy of government, and where their sympathies lie.

Premier Alward dodged the bullet with a statement that really said nothing at all.

Gallant, as always, was vague and feeble. "We're going to have to find a way to....." Hey, kid. We're in the middle of an election campaign. Isn't it a little bit late to say gee, golly whiz; we're gong to have to find a way to....?

Gallant was a debater at McGill. I was on the debating team at Acadia. We won our way to the finals, losing only to Simon Fraser. McGill never even made it into the nationals. I would love to debate Gallant. This is a man who has no political philosophy, no guidelines, no plans...and, unlike Alward, he can't even fake it.

In NewsToday ("Parties spar over Grit tax proposal"), Gallant is a little clearer. He would raise business taxes, and taxes on the rich to pull in $63 million dollars. He mentions Walmart as a target.

First, 63 million doesn't sound like a big bite for large corporations and the rich. Secondly, why mention Walmart? Does it make more than the Irvings?
For the weekend in foreign news, it wasn't as bad as I feared it would be. It wasn't good. But it was, mostly, on hold. The exception was the humanitarian aid convoy sent to Ukraine by Russia - and being blocked by the Ukraine government.

I don't really understand this one. But it's scary. Does it show that Putin is now prepared to risk war with the US?  Or does it show he thinks the US too tied up in the general collapse of just about everything in the Middle East to intervene?

Certainly, the Ukraine government wants a war. That's why it's holding up the aid convoy, hoping to provoke a Russian attack - and to suck in the US and NATO.
The best of editorial and op ed is Alec Bruce on Gallant's job creation plan. The rest of those two pages are a waste of time and paper.
In today's paper, Section A has nothing worth reading. There is a big story on "Acadians celebrate in style".- and lots of photos.
 But it really doesn't say anything beyond very vague references to culture. It tells us nothing about Acadians, who they have been, and who they are now. And random interviews with people on the street do not make up for this lack of any research or analysis.

There is a story in the history and meaning of Acadia up to this day. I wish I knew more about it. But it just isn't here n the TandT. Section B has more photos of the Acadian celebrations in Section B. But they tell us nothing.
In Section B, the lead story is about First Nations' Chiefs who are asking to courts to block deals between the NB government and forestry companies. Nice to see some New Brunswickers who take action.
B1 also has a story on Canada sending aid to help in humanitarian work in Iraq where thousands of innocent civilians have been killed by Isis. That's odd. We didn't send aid to Iraq when thousands (hundreds of thousands) of innocent civilians were being killed by American troops.

The story also has a long statement by a colonel that that the US did not cause the Iraq crisis. But it has a moral commitment to help the Iraqis.

How can a person say that with a straight face? And why would Canadian Press even bother to include it in a story about Canadian aid? This is simply propaganda. Of course, the US caused the crisis. It bombed and shelled Iraq into chaos - so that it could get control of the oil. It created a country mired in poverty, and with no political stability at all. In the process, American violent intrusions into the Moslem world created groups like Isis that thrive in destablilized countries. Of course, the US caused the crisis.

Does it now believe it has a moral commitment to help Iraq? Of course not. No country goes to war out of a moral commitment. It is not there to save Iraq. It is there to get back control of the oil fields - and to keep Iraq a weak, divided and unstable country so that it will be easier to control the oil.

Harper assures us that Canada will not stand idly by while innocent civilians and religious minorities are murdered. When did Harper become all that pious and morally pure? We stood idly by when the US killed innocent civilians by the millions in Vietnam, Guatemala, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. In the case of Libya and Afghanistan, we actually even helped the US. We have also stood idly by while the US encouraged, supplied and trained the mercenary thugs we call rebels in Syria.
There is nothing on the editorial page.

Brent Mazerolle has an opinion column about the militarization of police forces.But I'm not sure he understands all the issues.

It's true that some police (or whoever they were) were wearing camouflage outfits at Rexton last summer. Mazerolle does not address the question of why they were wearing them. After all, they were standing there in plain sight. So why the camouflage?

Because the clothing was intended to send a message. They were not simply police. They were warriors. That's why US police often wear such outfits when working on city streets and on raids on houses. They're not for camouflage. They're to send a message.

And why, at Rexton, were they carrying combat rifles? These are not designed for crowd control and they are not designed for sniping. They are designed for mass and rapid fire against hordes of soldiers on the other side. That's why they have big magazines.

I quite agree that police should have rifles at their disposal. But combat rifle firepower is more than a little much for crowd control.

Above all, militarization means changing the way police think of themselves. They are to stop thinking of themselves as protectors of the people. No. The people are, as in a military war, the enemy.

There's always been an element of that thinking in police forces. I learned that in my days as a pistol instructor for a local police force. Some would tell how they'd like to nail one of those peace marchers, especially if he had a beard - and beat the daylights out of him. (That type was very common in the Montreal riot squad.)

They reminded me of the school bully in grade 5. The teacher appointed him monitor for the cloakroom. He just loved lining us up in rigid order, punching anybody who moved. Keeping us in line - that was his job, and he loved it.

That is the attitude a soldier needs. And the people the soldier meets are simply enemies to be demolished.  But that is not the role of police. They exist to protect us and our rights as well as a central reason for enforcing the law.

Militarization of police is not just a question of equipment. It is a recasting of the mentality and the role of police. Under it, they are not there to protect us. They are there to obey the masters of society, and to keep the people in line. And so they become the death of democracy - and the godparents of violence (as we saw in Missouri.)

That's why the military camouflage outfits are a very bad idea. They are deliberately chosen to send a deliberate message to us and the to police who wear them.

With all the trouble spots to choose from, it's odd that Gwynne Dyer chooses to write about an uprising in an obscure part of China - especially when Dyer himself says it's not going to succeed.
In Life and Times, the sermonette is the usual pious but irrelevant chatter. Jesus must be embarrassed to read those things.
In Whatever, all the student columns are worth a read.  But for a real, kick in the teeth, read p. F7 where Isabelle Agnew has a really furious column on sexism and misogyny. And it's well done.l

Finally,  check out the site below. It's a  government news site for North Korea. And it even has a reference to Moncton when it tells us that the North Korea women's soccer team beat Germany at FIFA by nine to zero. (I didn't know that.)

There's also a great section on how North Korea leads the world in almost everything, including being the freest and most advanced democracy in the world. And how Kim is brilliant and just everybody loves him. This is hilarious, far the funniest thing I've seen on the web.


  1. You're right! Now this is more like it!

    At least if DPRK news is going to be full-blown propaganda, it might as well be totally, laughably funny!

    There;s nothing Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un can't do!

    Now if Harper could only be half the man Jong-Un is!

  2. To embrace fracking is to embrace our own future slavery.

    Why? Because it maintains the status quo of imbalance in our society.

    It also comes with a psychological effect communicated by our esteemed leaders that we can't do any better.

    We know the energy giants buy-out better technology to suppress it from wider, public use. This is not fiction but a simple provable fact.

    For instance, my 1966 Volvo literally averaged 30 miles per gallon on the road. Literally, not figuratively. Its engine was designed in 1963.

    Transport Canada's fuel reports for new cars are based upon running under optimal conditions such as on a stationary dynamo conducted in a sterile lab with no wind resistance, no load, or tire friction.

    50 years later, do we as a driving public even average 30 miles to the gallon?

    Who killed the Electric Car is a good documentary on this subject. The 1990's EV-1 all-electric-car was just too good a vehicle. That's why it had to be destroyed.

    Even Jay Leno for instance, has an all electric vehicle from the 1920's in his collection. New York city was slated to have recharging stations back then.

    Almost a hundred years later, sure, a few workers in New Brunswick will get jobs today from the fracking industry, but in the end, it will only serve to keep political and corporate power in the hands of just a few, and ensure to make matters down the road worse.

    This is the inevitable outcome as collusion between certain government officials and certain corporations will become further intertwined.

    And with this happening in enough provinces, or states, the ability of better technology to make it to market cannot have a fair incentive to flourish, nor will democracy ever.

  3. You might want to check out the CBC for some actual stories.

    A pertinent one is that an access to information request showed just how closely the federal government was monitoring the protest in New Brunswick. The whitewash has already begun as they claim that 'violence was necessary after police cars were set on fire' and they 'had' to deal violently with people who couldn't be dealt with peacefully. Which isn't even close to protestors account.

    On another story, the University of Moncton, or was it UNB, I forget, anyway, released its 'lucrative' contract with its president. I love the constant reasoning that "we need the money to attract good people". You know, LOTS of companies have 'good people' who they rave about, but don't pay them a fraction of that amount. I really fail to see what great leadership any university in NB has shown on, well, anything.

    And more pertinent to our other conversation, I notice that Charles Leblanc's blog has disappeared. Its still early to speculate, but it was operating normally yesterday. The only other time this occurred was when the government had it shut down years ago.

    However, in this case it was probably the police, who Charles frequently refers to as 'pedophiles' on the absurd logic, well, I won't go into it.

    Anyway, THAT claim was so insane that anybody with half a brain knows it wasn't true, but Charles has been a thorn in the Fredericton Police's side since they harassed him with the libel charge.

    Now, THERE is the 'strong arm of the law' coming down on somebody. But again, Charles certainly gave them the ammunition for it. What is sad is that ALL the content is gone, and this was easily the most public place for what was going on. It was certainly the only place that was in any way critical of the police force, and sadly there was also tons of other content which just covered events and people in downtown fredericton.

    Maybe I'm wrong on that, but once again it remains to be seen whether the Fredericton Police's strong arm tactics bite them on the butt. I'm not positive, but I"m pretty sure that a person can set up their own blog outside blogger and set it up in some third world country and rant even MORE than previously. But again, Charles didn't do himself any favours, but for the conspiracy minded, perchance this has something to do with the election? Charles covers lots of events...including the election, which now really has no popular blogs talking about it. Charles has already interviewed numerous politicians, and with his anti fracking stance, perhaps its not JUST the police that shut him down!