We shall pass lightly over the fact that the state of New Jersey has just put a moratorium on fracking. But it seems they didn't have room for the story in The Moncton Times&Tribune, You know, that's the paper that wants us to have an open and informed debate. What a collection of hypcrites and sell-outs! Do the T&T staff actually go to the Press Club to share drinks with real jousnalists? Don't they find it embarassing? I don't mean to say that all journalists are perfectly ethical. but for T&T staffers to belong to a press club is rather like hookers hanging out in a convent.
In Tommy Douglas' long careet as leader of the CCF and then the NDP, not a single daily newspaper in Canada had ever supported him or his party. Many of them supported Brian Mulroney who proved what was obvious from the start. He was, to put it kindly, a betrayer of public trust. But it was Mulroney, the self-interested opportunist, who got the support of the press. It wasn't Tommy Douglas, the founder of medicare and the man Canadians later voted as the most admired politician in Canadian history.
When Layton died, and the depth of Canadian mourning was obvious, the daily press, including the T&T, praised him for courage, honesty and compassion. Then they got worried. What if the mourning should turn into increased support for his party?
The counterattack began early with, of course, The National Post a leader, the Winnipeg Free Press, and then dribbling down to the gutter of Canadian journalism in the New Brunswick papers.
The general idea was to say that Layton was really no big deal, and to hint that he engineered it to get a state funeral - and the prupose of it was to whip up a frenzy of hysteria for the NDP. (An minor point here. The only person in a position to authorize a state funeral is Harper. Oooh - is Harper a secret NDP agent?)
The gutter crawlers in this case are Brent Mazerolle and Bill Belliveau. Their columns are beneath contempt. Belliveau, in particular, is contemptible for his suggestion that Layton's partner is using his funeral for her own political gain. No, Belliveau has no shame. And not much in the way of common sense. Mazerolle's column is just ass-kissing the boss - as usual.
The reporting on Libya remains heavily biased. Canada has now recognized a government - though there actually isn't one. Nor is there the slightest possibility of a democractic one. Even if NATO wanted a democratic government - and it doesn't - the conflicting factions among the rebels would make it impossible. It is quite likely that Libya will become an Afghanistan. But the important thing is that western companies will resume control of cheap oil and cheap labour. It's been a profitable war for them - and paid for by us. (Gee. We gotta cut back on education and them there useless things like medicare.)
The ruins of Tripoli suggest a heavy loss of civilian life. We Canadians have killed one hell of a lot of people. Why? For humanitarian reasons?
Get ready for lots more wars for years to come as Harper makes us part of the NATO brigade to fight wars on obehalf of American corporations.
Maybe a Moncton clergyman will give a sermon on it...you know....thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not covet, thou shalt not be a thug for the US.....
Nah. The Baptists will denounce gays (who aren't in their church, anyway). The Jehovah Witnesses will hear about how they're the only ones going to heaven. The rest will play word games over the precise meaning of the word kill, being careful not to offend anyone before the collection is taken..
That's why I turn to the teen columnists in the Whatever section on Saturdays. I don't always agree with them. But they[re honest. They're intelligent. And they write well. They pose those serious questions that we all should ask when growing up - and continue asking after we grow up. These are not hacks trying to propagandize us. These are people who genuinely want to share thoughts and discuss them.
For example, I was impressed by Alex Corbett's column. But I think the riots iin the UK were far more serious than he suggests -and I don't think police are the answer.
For several generations now, the very rich, especially of the western world have impoverished people all over the world - including their own people. They exploit cheap labour (ever wonder why a country like Haiti is so poor - even when it has hugely profitable factory farms and industries such as clothing? Check out your Fruit of the Looms and Levis.)
In other poor countries, they get aid from us -but only if they use it to pay our corporations to build and own such things as the water supply - with the result that water is so expensive that millions have to drink from polluted streams.
In the US, as in much of the West, the earnings of the very, very rich have continued to rise. while 50 million American live on food stamps, and governments cut social programmes that would give them at least some help.
This is a recipe for rioting and disorder. Expect it to happen here, too. And expect a brtual response that will make things worse. Those weren't just riots in the UK. They were a rebellion.