Thursday, November 6, 2014

Nov. 6: The big push is on...

I was a little surprised that the Irving press published the story of the UN report on climate change and fossil fuels. But they're making up for that single and lonely act of honesty. Since then, it's been a blizzard of stories about how fossil fuels are good for us. And not a single one reporting the other side.

Page A1 for Nov. 5 -  "Shale gas boss confident government will  'come around'."

I have no doubt that it will. I was sure Gallant would come around when he first announced his "moratorium" during the election campaign. And if anybody objects, we'll see the new gestapo in their camouflage outfits with combat rifles to protect billionaires from the peasantry.

A3 has a half-page story with a full colour BIG photo of Bruce Fitch looking, unfortunately, exactly like Bruce Fitch.  They story is that Gallant should consult on energy with former premiers such as Frank McKenna and  Shawn Graham.

Why? We elected Gallant. We did. We didn't elect McKenna or Shawn Graham. If Gallant is going to consult anybody, he should consult us voters. He should also be consulting world, scientific authorities.  Anyway, don't worry, Bruce, baby. Gallant will some around - just like the others.

But there is worse, much worse, to come.

Alec Bruce defends shale gas, fossil fuels, St. Donald Savoie (who never met a billionaire he didn't like), the wisdom of Bill Belliveau and Norbert Cunningham, then drowns himself in maudlin self-pity that his is just one voice in the wilderness of ideas - and then he invites the vilification that he says will come to him.

Oh, yeah, and he who writes for the Irving press (of all media) denounces bloggers for being uneven in their coverage.

I don't vilify you Alec. I won't vilify you because your column is beneath contempt; and it's sad to see a first rate journalistic talent going down through the hole in the seat of that outhouse we call the Irving press.

There are a couple of other little problems, too.

He quotes St. Donald as saying globalization is here, and we can't stop it. Oh?

Globalization not a force of nature. It is man made. We live, or claim to live, in freedom and democracy. If so, we have the right to change anything that is man made. It will certainly be difficult to change globalization (which means giving billionaires rights that the rest of don't have to rule the world. It means handing over virtually all government powers to a very small, very arrogant, and very greedy oligarchy.)

And we can't change it? Way to fight for democracy, Alec. I bet it took courage to say that.

He is also wrong to say that natural gas is proven to be safe. Despite what your friends may tell you, there have been successful suits against natural gas companies - and there have been out of court settlements.

As well, and as  you should know, it doesn't matter if it generates less pollution. It still generates it. And, as the UN report emphasized, we are running out of time. (Of course, what do all those UN hacks and most of the world's scientists know compared to the wisdom of Norbert Cunningham?)

Oh, Alec sees a future in which New Brunswick universities will set the world standard for energy safety and renewability. That's a nice thought. Two problems. One is that there are many universities in this world that are many times bigger than all the universities in New Brunswick put together. The other is that we have worrying evidence that some professors in New Brunswick may not be as devoted to the truth as they should be.

The op ed page is just trivial - as usual.
The NewsToday section leads with most of two pages saying nice things about oil companies.

B4 has a big headline: "Islamic state militants accused of torturing children."'  It's quite possibly true. In just about every war I have ever heard of, both sides have tortured, raped, starved, shredded children. The US tortured and imprisoned and crippled and starved to death and murdered children in Iran, Guatemala, Iraq and  Afghanistan. Ever hear if Omar Khadr? He was imprisoned and tortured by the US. But by international law, that was illegal because of his age. So - Harper steps in and puts him in maximum security - not only illegal  under international law, but the vilest and most vulnerable condition to put a young person in.

Oh, but them there radical islamic state militants behead people. Right. They do. So do our good friends in Saudi Arabia - even more so. But if you want to find the real beheading enthusiasts, you have to go to the "rebels" in Syria. You know, the ones on our side who get money and weapons from God bless America.
They have beheaded men, women, and children by the thousands - including Syrian Christians. Funny how that never makes our news - or even our awful Faith page on Saturdays. And we won't even mention the frequent killing or imprisoning (or starvation or withholding of medicines) of Palestinian children by Israel.

The don't report it because the prime purpose of our news media is to stir up hatred and fear  (which we then call patriotism).

Page D4 has yet another Big, Big story on yet another inductee to yet another business hall of fame.
More on this when I get to the Nov. 6 issue.

The editorial for Nov. 6 is another moan about poor literacy in New Brunswick - and the need to look at literacy in the home. Quite right. A good start might be to look at the trivia and propaganda that the Irving press shoves into our homes every day. New Brunswick needs an intellectual awakening. What it gets, instead, is a journalistic sleeping pill.

Good column by Alec Bruce on the approaches of the federal Conservatives and the NDP. I think he's right, and both parties are wrong. I don't expect anything from the Conservatives except scattered proposals to attract votes. And I think it's been a big mistake for the NDP to drift in the same direction.

Norbert is still off on his rant about life imprisonment being a "good thing".  He notes that putting a person into one of the hell-holes that we call prisons has been a great success because it cuts down on crime.
Oh - a couple of problems, there, Norbert.
1. The decline in crime in Canada began BEFORE Harper toughened the sentences.
2. The longer a person is kept in one of our appallingly violent prisons, the more likely he or she is to return to crime. If long sentences and death sentences deterred crime, the US would be the safest country in the world. It has more people in prison than any other country. And they have some of the worst prison crowding and violence in the world. But, no, the US doesn't lead the world in safety.

On op ed, Rod Allen is Rod Allen. Cut it out for the kitty litter box.

Beth Lyons is Beth Lyons. So that's a worthwhile read.
With a world in greater uncertainty than we have ever seen, NewsToday  devotes a full page (shared on B1 and B2) of photos and story to somebody who bakes donuts.

Any world news  (and there is very little) is heavily biased in favour of the good guys on our side. If you want to understand what's happening, there's no point in reading the Irving world news.

There's also a story on the humiliating defeat of Obama's democrats in the US mid-term elections. The story says almost nothing. But the reality is it doesn't really matter. It's like New Brunswick. Both the Democrats and the Republicans are owned by the same people. The only thing that might change is that the Republicans are probably a little bit more crazy.

The basic problem is still there. American democracy is just a word. You have a whole population running on fear and  hatred propagandized to them by their media. (This is the country where a nation cheered for the George Bush 2 who send thousands to die while killing over a million in a war that had no reason except to make money for big oil, a man who loved to swagger for the cameras in his bomber jacket when, in fact, he had spent a previous war as a draft-dodger - with daddy's help. General Eisenhower, who had a hell of a lot more right to a uniform that Bush ever did, never wore his uniform when he was President,)

The big problem for congress now is - should they try to kill medicare? That's a tough one.
Almost all Republicans hate medicare on principle. They believe everything should be for private profit only.
But -

The type of medicare Obama put in was a very, very expensive type that is FOR private profit. It gave tax money to medical insurance companies -at their full rate - and all from the taxpayers. That's why it's so ruinously expensive. So here's a case where the government isn't actually running medicare. Instead, it's being patriotic by handing out billions to private companies for very excessive private profit. Gee, what's good Republican to do?
Then there's the Your Business page. This time it's a tough-hitting story by ace reporter Brent Mazerolle who forces Robert Irving  (another appointee to the hall of fame) to tell the truth about what a great guy he is.

This sort of thing is a standard, propaganda feature is almost every issue of the Irving press. It's to make us worship at the feet of private business. But they almost never call them businessmen or businesswomen. They say "entrepreneurs". That sounds so much more sophisticated.

It's the same with that NewsToday story(with photos) about a baker and, also on B1, the story about this same awards ceremony

The message is clear. Business people are wise and good and they give to the poor, and think of nothing but our welfare.  As I read the sacred words of Robert Irving talking about his selflessness and "giving back to the community" I thought that it must have been like this to be at the Mount of Olives when Jesus addressed the multitude.

Mr. Irving, it seems, thinks of nothing but us and giving to us, never thinking of himself.  I'm so glad that someone was kind enough to give him a necktie to wear for his photo.

The purpose of this propaganda  (and it often works) is to convince people that entrepreneurs have abilities - economic, political, charitable, social - us common folk lack. They keep the focus wide to include small entrepreneurs as much as the biggest. That's to encourage the myth that big and small entrepreneurs  are all of the same, sterling qualities. Their point is that the way for any society to go is "private for profit". From that, and only from that comes progress.

It's rubbish, of course. Small entrepreneurs have an important role of course. They are not, as this propaganda suggests, the key to prosperity for New Brunswick. But they provide useful services, and certainly deserve what they earn. Even better, they don't buy off politicians, and they don't risk our lives and health to make themselves rich.

As Mazerolle tells us,big entrepreneurs just give and give and give. (Perhaps Mazerolle can some day give us the big story on how they take and take and take and take some more. It's surely an insult to readers to call us to worship at the feet of the wealthy at a time when the rich are getting richer every year and the rest of us getting poorer because the rich are getting richer.)

Enough of this propaganda crap.

Meanwhile, I'm going to go out and do what so many of the rich have built they success and goodness on. I'm going to find me a rich father.


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  2. Just one little note. Although burning natural gas is said to be less polluting than burning oil and coal, what is not taken into account is that at the production stage it is the greenhouse gas methane that is flared off. Methane is 20X more effective at warming the atmosphere than Co2. Testing done on the air around the flaring of gas on the "plays", as they call them, varies from 1.5% to 10% methane emissions. Anything over 3% and you lose any benefits that might be gained by burning gas for heating etc.
    Actually, I rather liked the article on the doughnut bakery, aside from the fact that they are hardly a nutritious choice. This baker does things the old-fashioned way in terms of the single ingredient rule. No additives, just the basics. Considering that this is pretty rare in this day and age, I approve and as a struggling "entrepreneur" I wish him well.
    Perhaps they could have positioned the article better in the lifestyle section.