Thursday, April 7, 2011

April 7: Two naughties and two goodies in today's Moncton Times

In the section News Today (a humorous title?), The Moncton Times carries the story of the how the American government might run out of money on Saturday. Right on the ball, kids. except -

That was yesterday's news in The New York Times - which means the story was known to news media two days ago.

At that, it's a pretty shallow report with little sense of just how serious this is. If the budget is not approved, most government services will have to shut down or be seriously reduced. That includes everything from support for autistic children, food for a large part of the US population, law services, and pay for the military, including for troops in Afghanistan. All that will be enormously damaging at home, and even worse in terms of world standing for the US.

Nor does the arcticle make it clear what has caused this crisis. Big business is determined that the cost of the recession (which big business caused) will be borne by the poorest and most vulnderable in American society. Republicans are fighting to save money by cutting off the poor, the sick, the unemployed - while cutting taxes for the very, very rich - large numbers of whom don't pay taxes at all, anyway.

  Why such a badly written (and late) story? That's because the T@T gets most of its news outside the metropolis of "greater Moncton" from Post Media, a news agency whose purpose is to play down the greed and social irresponsibility of large corporations and their political flunkies.

The other piece of junk news is the decision of Moncton council  to ask Canadian taxpayers to put up 25 million for a glorified hockey rink. The rest of the hundred million or so is expect to come from NB and , especially, from Moncton taxpayers.

Wasn't it just very recently that the editorial writer was foaming at the mouth over a pay raise for city workers that was too high by a few hundred a year?

The undertaking would, of course, be a "partnership" between government and business.However, in this partnership there appears to be no mention of the business partners putting up any money. What a clover patch this is going to be for rich bees. Yeah, we're partners, see?

The hockey team owner (and prime beneficiary of this project) has generously agreed to terms. In a badly written sentence, the story seems to say that the hockey team will be the anchor tenant, and as payment will contribute 2.5 million  - spread over ten years - to HELP with maintenance costs. In other words, maintenance alone will cost over a quarter million a year, and the main beneficiary only has to pay part of the maintenance to get a hundred million dollar stadiusm. Zippo on the loans because we'll be paying them, How would you like to live in a nice, big house on those terms?

No wonder Moncton attracts so many scam artists - not just from the "better sort" of people, but also from common thieves. That's the trouble with common thieves. They aren't smart enough to incorporate themselves, set up their own news medium,  and to finance elections.

The editorial, which gleefully bashes anybody who isn't rich - teachers,city workers, etc. has not a word to say on these two, major stories. Instead, we get the usual bilge that the whole world is watching Moncton.

Luckily, there are two, good columns of comment on the editorial page. (The cartoon, as usual is trivial; it's about the rise in the price of coffee at Tim's).

Except for those two, solid columns on the editorial page,  the paper isn't worth reading unless you really,really want to know which celebrities you never heard of are having a birthday today.

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