Thursday, April 1, 2010


To digress: The spelling differs, but I hope the Philadelphia blue-eyed soul duo, Hall & Oates, will lend me the title of their 1976 smash hit - Sara Smile.

Just recently in my native province of New Brunswick, the Government of Premier Shawn Graham reversed its decision to sell the provincial utility; NB Power, to the world's largest power generator, Hydro Quebec, because polls showed the Graham Liberals would lose the next election over the issue.

It seems in politics, as in television's ratings battles, popularity contests trump noble objectives and principles. Just this week, environmentalists have been outraged by decisions south of the border.

In order to mitigate the anticipated fall-out in November's Congressional elections from the bitter divisive battle with the country's right-wing elements over health care. President Barack Obama has unleashed a wholesale assault on the oceans. In an unexpected, unanticipated and aggressive declaration on off-shore oil and gas exploration, the American Leader has lifted the country's moratorium on drilling off the east coast of the Atlantic; and he's set in motion measures to support and promote gas and oil exploration in the eastern Gulf Of Mexico and in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off Alaska by 2012. Not surprisingly, Obama's Republican opponents applauded his pronouncement.

Now this: Discovery Communications, which owns Discovery Channel and several other popular American cable and satellite television outlets is - (It seems with some measure of justification)- accused of being inconsistent with its owns principles and objectives by signing the former Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, to a contract to star in one more American reality TV series. It's not just that we all have had already too much of staged television reality; but critics point out that Discovery, known for its spectacular wild-life focused productions, appears here to sacrifice its own principles by signing Palin who served all of 2 1/2 years as Governor. Environmentalist note that during that period her State's government escalated a war on several endangered animal species including wolves and polar bears which, at the very least, appears inconsistent with Discovery's mission. At last check, a petition against the planned production launched by the a Washington based lobby group, "Defenders of Wildlife" claimed to have received close to 150,000 signatures.

Some think that Sarah Palin may be positioning to launch a campaign for the U.S. Presidency in 2012. Lest she flame-out like Norma Desmond in "Sunset Boulevard", she remains coy about firming-up her plans. She knows media interest would quickly evaporate if she abandoned aspirations to her nation's highest office. Anyone remember H. Ross Perot? And, he's a billionaire! - A wink and a smile perhaps; but Mrs. Palin is obviously not quite ready for her close-up.

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