Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sept. 3: Important Story Makes The Moncton Times@Transcript!

It's from Wikipedia, no less. And it's a leaked report from the US ambassador to Canada that puts Stephen Harper in a pretty dismal light. Check it out in the NewsToday section, section D, page 1.

A Libya story is on the same page, of course. There's always a Libya story; and it's carefully laundered to tell us nothing. So here's a story on Libya the T&T could have picked up on in plentyof time for today's paper. Ever hear of Abdel Hakim Belhaj? He's an important leader among the rebels who has been put in charge of security in Tripoli.

He is also a man who was tortured by the CIA as a terrorist insider. Gee. Now we know something about the rebel leadership. Other stories were missed, too.

The US government is suing many of the banks it bailed out. It seems it was their criminal behaviour that triggered the economic crisis. I don't know why they're suing them. I you or I do something criminal involving billions of dollars, we go to jail, and the money is confiscated. Must be different rules for banks.

Another miss - a report to the US Congress says private contractors cheated the US out of 30 to 60 billion dollars in Iraq. One of them, a food supply service, overbilled by billions. And it's contract was renewed AFTER that was discovered. The general who renewed the contract is now president of the company's US operations. Coincidence.

A study of North American news shows that the Somalia famine is being largely ignored by the North American press. Well, that puts the T&T in the mainstream.

Oh, as corporate profits soar right through the recession, twelve major American corporations paid more in salary to their CEOs than they did to the government in taxes. At least, Americans can get information on what is happening in the tax world.

How come we can't find out the profits and the taxes paid by major New Brunswick corporations? How much do they cost us in subsidies and other favours?  Surely this is, or should be, a matter of public record. Doesn't Brunswick media know anybody in those corporations?

In fairness, there's another important story, this on page A 1.  Some 12% of all big prizes in Atlantic Lottery to people in or connected to the lottery corporation, to retailers or suppliers. Coincidence, says the head of Atlantic Lottery Corporation. Nonsense, says anybody who is sober. It is not credible that such a small proportion of the population should win such a high proportion of the major prizes. Obviously, there should be a criminal investigation.  But this is New Brunswick.

There is an interesting article on attitudes to work in China - in the entertainment section. (I have no idea why.)

Tess Allen, editor of the student column pages, is moving on to university. Happily, she will continue to conribute to the pages. Isabelle Agnew, always a reliable read, will succeed Miss Allen as editor. What's on Miss Agnew's mind this week is getting high enough grades to get into one of her "dream" universities. Don't worry about it, Isabelle.
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There is no significant difference, at the bachelor level, between any two universities in Canada. The MacLean's ratings are a crock. At that level, the only difference I have seen is in the degree of intellectual and social snobbery. The Canadian champion in those fields is McGill - though Queen's and University of Toronto are contenders.

Getting into a university with a high level of snobbery is more important when you apply for master's level, and supremely important at the the doctoral level. That's not because these universities are better. It's because they have more snob appeal; and snob appeal is important in landing a job.

A reminder that the current events group meets on the evening of Tuesday, Sept 6. All are welcome. You will find it useful to bring a copy of the Times and Transcript with you.

The library regularly submits a list of its meetings to the Times and Transcript. But the editors usually do not print the one for the current events group. Jounalistic ethics, Moncton T&T style.

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