Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jan.12 From solid analysis to hypocrisy to what makes the moncton times a stinker.

Today's hypocrisy wasn't the fault of The Moncton "Times editorial staff. Occasionally, a paper has to publish some piece of self-serving trash by a politician. Today, the Liberal critic for education got his turn with a column on the Conservative budget cuts to education.

Mr/ Albert is a Liberal. You remember the Liberals. They're the ones who created a crisis at Moncton High with their years of neglect of its obvious dangers, and with their interference (through kissing up to AIMS) with a fundamentally good education system. Yes, Mr. Albert is quite correct that the Conservatives are going to do even worse damage. But any race between Liberals and Conservatives to see which could first destroy public education would be too close to call.

In fact, public education is underfunded across Canada. In just a couple of generations, we've gone from free public schools to schools that charge fees for basic materials (often amounting to hundreds of dollars a year for just one family), and that waste the time of students and teachers with the constant push for fund-raising drives.  At best, it simply is not possible for most schools to keep up with needs in that way. Why doesn't the government put adequate money into education? Because - and this is true right across Canada - they can lower taxes, especially for rich and influentual, by underfunding the schools.

Why don't the rich and influential use their money and influence to increase public school budgets? One reason is they are the ones getting the tax breaks out of cut-rate public education. The other reason is they don't give a damn. Their children go to private schools.  Private schools are not places of superior teaching. I have taught with people who later taught at some of the most presigious schools in Canada. They were very average teachers. I have frequently spoken in nationally-known private schools. At university, I taught many graduates of private schools.  I saw no reason to believe either the schools or their teachers or their students were any better than the public schools - except they had enough money for more teachers and more equipment. (In Quebec, private school fees had an added bonus for the rich. They were tax-deductable.)

Expect nothing from the Liberals or the Conservatives. They both do what they're told to by the wealthy and influential.

The Moncton Times, like its masters,  has shown no concern about cuts to the education budget. But that's understandable. After all, we need to cut somewhere so we can borrow the money for a new hockey arena, football stadium, and professional football team. First things first.

Then there was the stinker part. That showed up in "Letters to the Editor".  It showed up in the form of  the longest letter to the editor I have ever seen. It is a letter fulsome in its praise of Woodlands, a part of J.D.Irving Ltd.  Look. We all know whose boots the editors lick. But don't they have any pride at all?
Do they have to be so obviously wretched? 

Still, one column, all by itself, made today's Moncton Times cheap at ten times the price. Alec Bruce wrote a piece on the Arizona killings and the wounding of a congresswoman that was throroughly sensible and thoroughly well-written. It was good to see a class act in the paper.

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