Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sept. 26: Headline News

Here are headlines from Newspapers across Canada today.

1. Audit of access to information gives New Brunswick government an F.

2. New Book by Dick Cheney protrays Bush as a stooge.

3. Montreal Public/Private  Partnerships result in dangerous roads and massive corruption.

4. Switzerland bans fracking

5. Civil war conitnues against pro-democracy forces in Bahrain

6.  As US leaders threaten Pakistan. China offers it greater friendship

7. Libya war, declared to have ended a month ago, still rages.

8. Canada to extend "three month" war in Libya to at least a year.Only NDP opposes.

These were headlines to be found across Canada today. And I think they were all of importance to Moncton readers, with some quite directly hinting at Moncton issues.  But in the Moncton Times and Transcript, most were ignored, with any reporting at all on only two - and with  huge gaps in those two. On Libya, it dd not mention NDP opposition to the extension, referring only to the Liberals -though they are only a third pary. (That's what happens when you buy your news from PostMedia.)

Postmedia was also the source  for an idiot  speech at the UN by our Foreign Affairs minister Baird. He said the second world war taught us the danger of going along with anti-semitism. Actually, Mr. Baird, we didn't just go along. We actively supported Hitler's treatement of Jews by sending any Jewish refugees who got here right back to Germany. We did it in the 1930s when we knew damn well what was going on. Canada was a hotbed of anti-semitism at the highest government levels before, during and after the war.  About 1942, we even refused sanctuary to 200 Jewish children, even though we knew they would be sent back to the death camps. And we maintained that policy for several years AFTER the war. There is no evidence we learned anything from the holocaust.

Then Baird shows another flash of ignorance.  He says democracy and freedom are linked, and that is why religious freedom is a key aspect of his foreign policy.

May I point out that Israel defines itself as a religious state, and that religious laws are enforced? So - you're sayinig Israel is not a democracy?  Could you enlarge on that, please?

May I also point out that our ally, Saudi Arabia, is a religions state - and a woman now faces trial there for having the impudence to drive a car ?

Where does Canada find these bozos?

But I began this talking front page stuff - the story of the day for the MontonTandT.
{sound of trumpets)

"Moncton Eyes the next big event.". 

This time, the big news is that we MIGHT get the Women's World Cupt matches in soccer. AND the CFL is really thinking about us.

The language of the reporting would embarass even the sort of people who say, "Does itsy-bitsy baby like milky-milky?"   Tha last such event (a track meet) held here, writes the adjectively gifted Brent Mazerolle, was an "unprecedented" success....

 Unprecedented? Even more successul than the American university football games that pack stadia several times the size of ours?  And do it every week? More successful than soccer matches in Latin America where there is at least one stadium that could hold the enitire adult population of Moncton, and most of ther children?

Another big story in A section is that Paul Henderson's sweater will be passing through Moncton. Wow!

Just to refresh memories, Canada entered that series convinced that this would be a pushover. There was no shortage of bravado, of boasting that amounted to a sense of racial superiority. When a Candian hockey authority warned the the USSR might be far better than expected, he was booed. After all, Canada had a century of continuous hockey development. The USSR had less than forty years, and those marked by civil war, savage purges, and the deaths of over 20 million in a world war. This was going to be a pushover.

In fact, it was anything but. It was hard fought the whole way, with Canada at last winning by only a single goal - and that only after injuring the leading Soviet player. So this is what we celebrate as proof of the superiority of Canadians. Wow! Paul Henderson's sweater will pass through Moncton. The whole word will be watching Moncton.

Many Canadians will be proudly kneeling at the sweater - as though it says something about being Candian. I will be remembering the boorishness, arrogance, violence, and poor winner attitude displayed by the Canadian team - with one exception - Mahovlitch, who showed us what I would prefer to think a Canadian is..

The purpose of these headlines is not to inform the public. It's to pump us up to spend money on what are supposed to be money-making projects for the city.  But do they make money? We never get any clear figures on that. For example, we never get clear figures on where the money is coming from - or where it is going to. How much of it comes from us?  That is not new money. That is local money going in a circle.

How much is from people from far enough away to rent a hotel room? There are two things to note here. The hotels did NOT fill last weekend. (That suggests fewer visitors than expected.)  And money that goes to chain hotels does not stay here except, for the most part, as low paid jobs. So what's the real financial scoop on this?

The other purpose of these headlines is to keep us overexcited about trivia, and ignorant of everything that matters.  This, I expect, is particularly true of the CFL chatter. A CFL team in a city this small and so far from other urban centres makes no sense at all. Even people who write for The Moncton Times must know that.  The purpose of the CFL chatter is to keep us hypnotized while our public/private patrnerships go on ripping us off. That' s why I didn't take today's editorial (on CFL football, course) seriously.

In the staffwriter section of the op ed is  Alan Cochrane gushing about, God help us, CFL football.

Strong column by Alec Bruce. Gwynne Dyer's column inspires a sort of hope, and it's well done. But the hope is mixed with horror.

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