Saturday, May 28, 2016

May 28: A headline about a story! But there's no story.

Today's headline story is a real headline story. The provincial government is delaying any decision on fracking.  Unfortunately, neither the government nor the story have much to say about why. The Liberals say it's the fault of the Conservatives for delaying a decision. Well, okay. So how does that make it right for the Liberals to delay?

And where is all  the research to prove that it should not be delayed? Or to prove it is safe to go ahead?

There's no social license? That's just bafflegab for saying that the government might lose the next election if it approves fracking. Hey! A  government is supposed to have principles and to act on them whatever the cost.
The industry says we need the jobs? No problem. There's a safer solution. Sell our children into slavery to work in Canadian-owned mines in South America and Congo.

In short, this announcement is really 1. The government has done nothing serious to research the issue or, more likely, it doesn't want to tell us the results of its research. 2. It's been told by Mr. Big to lay off the topic for a while so the industry can get more propaganda out.

There's a much better news story on the government's  (in)decision on A6.
In other big news, a Dieppe grocery store is moving to a bigger building. And buying beer in Quebec is still a hot issue. And that's pretty much it for Section A.
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The editorial expresses a hope that the new city councils for this region will collaborate with each other. It's not a bad idea. It's not one of the burning issues of the day. But at least it's not mindless.

Norbert takes a rare stand against some members of the business community in this city when he raises questions about the plan to move the public library into the old Moncton High.

I disagree with several of his points. I think that moving the library is a big deal, a very big deal, indeed, when we're removing it from Main St. at a time when we claim to be reviving Main St. with a hundred million dollar hockey rink. The move would also make it necessary to dump a large part of the library's holdings. And he says it's important to preserve the historical facade of the high school. Didn't he read his own paper yesterday when it printed a picture of the proposed building which would destroy the old facade?

Then he says he doesn't see the value of objections the library board has raised. Well, some of them are the ones he raises. Others are worthwhile because they concern the functions of a library - but Norbert can see only the dollar signs.
This, like the 'events centre' is a scam. Just be grateful it isn't as big a scam as the events centre is. And, for all my reservations, it's nice  to see Norbert taking a stand against what seems to be corrupting behaviour.

Brian Murphy, as usual, has a column  that would not offend man or beast. Just sit back. Turn off your brain. And enjoy. It's a column about parking in the city; and it would have made sense in, say,  1950 when the western world was swept up in transportation by car. But even without considering the problem of fossil fuels, the car is way beyond its best before date. Most cities have now developed effective and cheap public transit - some of it going back well over a century.
The guest column, on genetically modified salmon, should be a good one. But the writer, though certaintly knowledgeable about the topic, is not a very clear writer - especially for any audience with a weak literacy rate.

Alec Bruce offers us a satire about premier Gallant. And it's a pretty accurate satire.
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The big excitement in the Canada&World section is that Dominic Leblanc has announced a review of our terrorism laws. Never mind reality.

The reality is that Canadians have a better chance of being attacked by little old ladies witih hatpins than they do of being attacked by terrorists.  (In the U.S., which crawls with domestic spies beyond counting and which spends billions on them, far more people are killed by police than by terrorists. The score so far in 2016, is 406.)

Canada now has 19 agencies to deal with terrorism - and they spy on everybody.  (The practice of using such agencies to spy on political critics of the government is a very old one in Canada.  And so we now have 19 such agencies in this true north strong and free.)

This story really doesn't tell us much. More interesting would be a story on what these agencies are, how many they employ, what they cost and what restraints there are, if any, on their spying. Good luck on finding such a report in the irving press.

There's a story about Trudeau at the G7 that really tells us nothing.

There's little news in the section, and what there is tells us nothing much about anything. Nowhere is there a word about the alarming social and political collapses in South America, the involvement of the U.S. in overthrowing the elected president of Brazil. nothing about the crisis that is shaping up as China and Russia respond to military threats by the U.S., nothing about the widespread social disorder in the European Union......
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The Faith Page sermonette tells us that even though this is May when the days are getting warmer, God doesn't change; so we should still believe in Him. Wow! Whoever wrote that must be a graduate of the Brian Murphy School of Theology.
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Obama who came to power as a figure of hope and change for the world has been one of the most dismal failures in the history of the American presidency. I remember thinking, during his first election race, that he was all show and no substance. So it has proved. He did nothing whatever to end torture; and he has done nothing to deal with the people who carried it out. He has continued the Bush policy of invading countries  ( Libya and Syria), that have oil. He has continued the use of special ops (death squads) all over the world. He has expanded illegal drone attacks. He has routinized the jailing of American citizens without charge or trial. And this man, who won the Nobel peace prize for promising to lead the way to nuclear disarmament has actually built more of them than most presidents. He has also pioneered in the making of small nuclear bombs whose lower destructive power makes it much easier to use them. especially against countries that have no means of responding. Obama has actually been a bigger disaster than Bush was.

But our news media  haven't noticed.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2016/may/27/hope-and-hype-of-hiroshima-cant-conceal-obamas-dismal-record-on-nuclear-disarmament
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Here is a very fair-minded report of the crisis in Brazil, the one the irving press hasn't thought it worth reporting on.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/18/the-guardian-view-on-dilma-rousseffs-impeachment-a-tragedy-and-a-scandal

Note that The Guardian can  actually write intelligently on something that didn't happen just outside the editor's office window on Main St.
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This next item reflects a situation in Britain. But the same patterns are taking shape in Europe, Canada, the U.S.... This is an opinion column that encourages us to think about the value of religion, the failures of it, and the consequences of its collapse.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/27/the-guardian-view-on-disappearing-christianity-suppose-its-gone-for-ever

I'm not beating the drum for Jesus, here; but it's a reality that a society without a moral code cannot survive. And nobody's going to learn much about morality at a business school. I think churches (synagoges, mosques, temples) have to give serious thought to what it is they're about._____________________________________________________________________________
This one is a little old. But the situation hasn't changed. This is how we get clothes at bargain prices. Can you even imagine the irvingpress running a story like this? Think of this the next time you are buying clothes at Walmart or the Joe something stores.

http://projects.aljazeera.com/2015/08/rana-plaza/
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The following item is a reminder that there are no friends between nations. International relations is a game of me first.

https://theintercept.com/2016/05/25/former-911-commissioner-wont-rule-out-saudi-royal-family-foreknowledge-of-911-plot/
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And here's an insight into our glorification of war and killing. This is why almost all war movies are really propaganda. Gee! I've seen this story from several sources. You'd think that with all it's super-keen editorial staff and reporters somebody in the irving press would have noticed this.

https://theintercept.com/2016/05/25/american-sniper-chris-kyle-distorted-his-military-record-documents-show/
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And here's a research project  that, en passant, tells us a lot about the political atmosphere of New Brunswick.

 https://theintercept.com/2016/04/28/new-study-shows-mass-surveillance-breeds-meekness-fear-and-self-censorship/
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