Saturday, June 18, 2011

June 18: Hints, etc. for The Moncton Times and Transcript

Today, the first section, mostly local news, has nothing of interest - unless you are really, really interested in the rules governing the use of cadavers for medical reserach.  NewsToday, as usual, is patchy and superficial (and with a business page that is pitiful). So I thought I'd give some hints to the editors on how to find news quickly and cheaply. I'll start with items the T&T has missed - though they've been carried in Europe and even (though less so) in some North American papers.

1. The International Monetary Fund is predicting a very bad year for the US economy; and perhaps a long series of very bad years. The top one percent of the population is doing well, still making profits. In fact, when tax payers went into debt for the rest of their lives and their children's lives to bail out the financial houses, the ones that caused the recession, their directors and executives rewarded each other with a world record 139 BILLION dollars in bonuses. I don't think that made the T&T business page.
2. Tax cuts to the billionaires, alas, meant that aid to the unemployed and destitute had to be cut back. One and a half million Americans were cut off from national assistance. As well, school classrooms have been packed with as many as 50 students and more to save money.

In Florida, people are being arrested for giving food to the hungry. It's illegal to give more than a small amount of food away, and severe limits to where and how it can be done. Police have been ordered to concentrate on this problem, and to use massive force.

3. Remember the war in Libya? The one our politicians voted massively for with only one person, Elizabeth May showing any integrity?
American congressmen, both Democrat and Republican are furious about the war. They say:
a: They have never been told what the war is for. (Gee. I guess they ain't really smart like our mps.)
b: They say the war is illegal, if only because the president can only wage war for two months. Then he has to get congressional approval. He's been fighting a war for three months without that approval.
Generally, Congress sees no reason for the war.
c: Obama claims this is not a war. Seriously. We're droppping bombs and stuff but, hey, it's just funnin'.
d: We are not following the UN mandate. It specifically said we could not fight for one side. We are fighting a war. It's an illegal war. People who do that are called war criminals; and they get hanged  - but only if they're on the losing side. The behaviour of our government and most of its opposition is a betrayal of everything we like to believe Canada stands for.
e: Afghanistan will be bankrupt within a month.

In fairnes, you won't find much about any of this in the North American press. So how can a small city paper keep up?  Well, it can buy a computer. Then it can look up:
a: The Guardian. It is perhaps the world's best English language newspaper.
b: The Independent. Another British paper that digs just a little harder to tell the truth.
c: El Haaretz - and Israeli paper of high standards, and the best source of news on the middle east.
d: Al Jazeera - yes, it's run mostly by Moslems. It also is more truthful, ethical and intelligent than most of the North American press all put together.
e: If somebody at the T&T can read French, try Le Monde from Paris. And, if German, Der Spiegel.
f: Finally - and this one has to be read with caution because it often mixes opinion with news, and it does have a bias. But it does have hard news that most of our news media hide under the rug. This site is the life work of one man. International Clearing House.

The editorial was the usual piece of idiocy about the hackey arena. The infrastructure of the city is cumbling. The schools are starved for money. They province is in debt. The American economy on which our economy depends is going down the toilet. What a great time to borrow a hundred million (and more) for a hockey rink!

As to Bill Belliveau, I 've always respected him for doing his homework. But he, too, tumbled into the mentally challenged category today. His point was that unions don't understand the realities of modern day conomies and of free competition.

So, tell us, Bill, who does understand the realities of today's economies and of free competition? Is is the financial houses around the world who caused the recession? And then got taxpayers to pony up enough money so they could pay each other big bonuses? Does it mean today's business leaders who have plnuged the whole world into crisis through their own greed?

As for the "free" competition - does that mean the people who electricity at less than cost, who are given thousands of acres of public forest, who get tax breaks that we have to make up, who get low interest loans, who can poison our soil by drilling for gas - with few regulations and no public oversight?

These are the people who understand the realities?

With apologies, Bill, unions represent the people who pay the bills for the mistakes and the greed of the big buusiness. When the auto industry got into trouble, it was the auto workers who got fired, while the "free competition" execs got multi-million dollar bunuses.

Most of us live in the "reality". We don't need a hack for big business to tell us what reality is.

The teens page in the Whatever section remains far the best part of the paper. The articles are thoughful, intelligent and welll written. The same pages  also have a good advice for teens column. It's too bad the T&T isn't run by  teens like these.

1 comment:

  1. You mean the T&S ISN"T run by teens?????

    ( the way....Bill Belliveau may do his research but he (and his father before him.....Ned Belliveau) belong(ed) to the Liberals can DO NO WRONG brigade.