Do You Believe What You’re Reading?

So here, you’ll find the Post Media outrage that RT gets paid to be on the cable services, as if pretty much most of the rest of the offerings aren’t mouthpieces for a toxic system of private profit and public plundering.


For a bit of perspective, here is a piece from Lee Camp who broadcasts on RT and whose work is highly critical of the bulk of media outlets. It’s eloquent, obviating the need for me to blather on.


Dark Days At Year’s End

Dead-End John


Dear John,

When I last wrote, it was about the novelty of the Dear John phenomenon. This time, I fear that the intent is very much in line with the original intent of letters of this nature. Your reading of the data for and against Site C construction seems to be very different from mine, and in any case, the idea of flinging another good seven billion dollars after the bad four that was essentially down to Christy Clark and her lot is a powerful inducement to quit the project, sorta like what Dad used to say about getting out of a hole: the first step is to quit digging. You have now pretty much forever linked your name with a project conceived in greed and executed with blunt force political trauma: you have turned Christy’s nasty little quip about getting Site C to the point of no return into a self-fulfilling prophesy. You have chosen to stick with a 20th-century project that has no place in a climate care strategy in the 21st century and have therefore earned the nickname “Dead-End John”, the dead-endedness referring not only to this project, but also to the length of your mandate and to the legacy that you leave to future generations of British Columbians. You have effectively become a patsy for the former Liberal clique, all of whom must be feeling rather smug right about now. What explains the rubber-kneed capitulation that we got to witness this morning? Is your political, social, economic, and reconciliatory acumen so stunted that you were able to overlook the impending catastrophe that awaits us, both in terms of legal battles the apologies that you will be forced to issue over cost overruns and completion delays? Did some Bilderberg-like group of rich heavyweights reach out to twist some painful part of your anatomy to incite the sort of tone deafness to your constituents that produced this gawdawful abomination? Are we completely ignoring the consequences under NAFTA to control over water exports? Do we not have a willingness to explore other opportunities in terms of energy production and the kind of jobs that might go along with it?

I guess in real life there’s no chance that you’ll be back in the rotunda tomorrow to tell us that it was a bad joke, and that really, no one could be that politically blind. I think it’s very likely that the New Democratic Party of BC has seen the last contribution and the last vote from this British Columbian, and I suspect that this kind of shenanigan is likely to produce a similar effect elsewhere. When that alternate to corruption is foolhardiness, or for whatever reason produces the sort of headscratchingly blunders on the order of continuing Site C, I’m guessing that many voters are simply wishing a pox on the houses of all politicians and going off to get what they can while they can.

Sadly, there is no respect left with which to sign this missive…


Dan Schubart

Previous, pre-decision note:

Dear John, (I’ve never before had the privilege of writing a Dear John Letter!)

Pull the rug out from under the Site C project, would you please? It was a political decision made by Christy Clark as a gift to her contractor friends who have already done untold damage to the province and who need to wear the blame for the, pardon me, downstream effects. Our union brothers and sisters should be looked after by an ambitious (but well thought-out) program of renewable energy infrastructure, forest and fishery remediation, and programs to encourage small-scale intensive organic farming, as well as the protection of vital water resources. The Liberal Party needs to wear the blame for this project, every aspect of it, like Coleridge’s Albatross, as they parade through the upcoming corruption inquiry (you will encourage Mr. Eby to undertake this, won’t you?), along with all the other (NOT) on-time, on-budget fiascos that characterized the Campbell and Clark tenures on the government benches.

John, er, Mr. Premier, I like your style, generally, and much of your policy platform and would like to think that I could, with a clear conscience lend both moral and financial support to your party. But a decision to maintain any part of the Site C project or to support the various pipeline fantasies would preclude support of any nature, particularly as a decision on a moral basis: I have grandchildren and I would like for them, and for all citizens of B.C. (your bailiwick), Canada and the World to have a reasonably stable planetary environment in which to grow and thrive. Site C cannot be part of that vision.

Get in front of the cameras, with or without that Weaver feller, and tell BC that the citizens are in charge, not the SNC Lavallins of the world.

In hopes that you’ll act in a way that allows me to sign this…


Dan Schubart

Port Alberni

Na, na. na-boo-boo!

Remove Sexism From the Indian Act


Reported in the Globe and Mail that it will cost $407milion a year to eliminate sexism from the Indian Act. Why do we still have legislation on the books do deal with Indians? Might it be time to take down the window dressing and to invite First Nations to participate in truly meaningful deliberations on their own affairs? For my money and theirs, I suspect that the removal of sexism here is no bargain, and that perhaps we ought to clean our own stables before we address the needs of one segment of the greater whole of society.

Where Does Innocence End?

This was in a signature file from A Word A Day:

I don’t believe in playing down to children, either in life or in motion pictures. I didn’t treat my own youngsters like fragile flowers, and I think no parent should. Children are people, and they should have to reach to learn about things, to understand things, just as adults have to reach if they want to grow in mental stature. Life is composed of lights and shadows, and we would be untruthful, insincere, and saccharine if we tried to pretend there were no shadows. Most things are good, and they are the strongest things; but there are evil things too, and you are not doing a child a favor by trying to shield him from reality. -Walt Disney, entrepreneur and animator (5 Dec 1901-1966)

This is a lofty and worthy sentiment, completely belied by the output of Disney Studios where the happy endings in the face of overwhelming odds are legion and where the characters seem as idealized as they could be in stark contrast to the nastiness that seems to be in charge of the human universe of late. Witness that Disney has reigned over the magic kingdom as a form of refuge from the toil and turmoil of everyday life, a place where even adults can cast off the cares of life and unilaterally declare a hiatus wherein they can say, in effect, “Piss on it, enough of the serious shit. I’m gonna revert to the world of thumbsucking again for a few days!”, at least until the credit card bills come in. What?! You pay for the privilege of visiting the magic kingdom and going into the kid cocoon for whatever span of time? Oh, yeah, and you’ve already made your kids part of the conspiracy.

“Telle est la vie des hommes, 
quelques joies très vite éffacées
par d’inoubliables chagrins. 
Il n’est pas nécessaire de le dire aux enfants.”

                             —Marcel Pagnol

Life, a few joys quickly overtaken by unforgettable pains, and no need to mention it to the children…they will see it soon enough and perhaps it’s better to monitor this and get out in front of it, letting children in on the secret of choosing a path toward some sort of fulfilment and working to make some joy with friends and family.