Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sept.27: below the bottom

Usually, I get a perverse sort of joy in reading The Moncton Times and Transcript in the morning. I'm retired; and the joy is in finding something useful to do, and to share. With some 25 years experience in journalism and education, a daily discussion of how a newspaper works and should work seemed a natural.

But it's not fun any more. The TandTs lack of anything that could be called ethics, its journalistic dishonesty, the extraordinary lack of integrity (and brains)  in the politicians of this province, the greed and arrogance of those who own the province and its politicians and the TandT, the damage the people of this province suffer in consequence , and the passivity of New Brunswickers now just leave a foul taste in my mouth.

I triy to say at least one thing good about each day's paper. Today, I can't even do that.

The government is planning to save 600,000 by cutting back on flu shots.  It is quite possible that some will die as a result. But who cares? It's also likely to lead to higher costs for hospitalization. So here we have a government that is both callous and stupid.

II could save 600,000 and more on the plane that is so valuable to get MLAs to see their consituents so they can tell them nothing. (Despite paying with my taxes for  the plane, I have never even seen my MLA). We could even (shh) tax the rich just a trifle more - or ask gas drillers to pay taxes.

NewsToday is its usual, disordered trivia. There was no mention that more civilians in Yemen and Pakistan were killed by US drones, or that Pakistan and the US are dangeroujsly close to war - with China likely to come to the aid  (for its own reasons) of Pakistan. There is no mention that in Saudi Arabia, one of our strongest allies, a women has been  sentenced to be lashed becasue she is a woman - and she had the arrogance to drive a car.

There is no mention that Switzerland has banned fracking, or that the protest against poverty in New York has now spread to at least fifty cities. There was, however, a big story about Canada geese pooping in Francce.

The real crusher was in the editorial and op ed pages. It wan't the editorial, itself. I am used to that being ignorant , vicious, trivial or all three. I am even used to triviality with only occasional breaks on the op ed page.

But Alce Bruce's column has (almost) always been a treat of intelligent and superbly written insight. Today, it wasn't there. Instead,  we  have Canada goose poop from the Franser Institute, a propaganda think tank bankrolled by the rich.

This one disputes the perception that the wage gap in Canada is growing, with the rich becoming richer and the poor poorer. Neat trick, when the figures on the UN, the Canada Conference board and just about every study I have seen show that the rich in North America are getting richer at a runaway pace with the Irvings and McCains of this world able to make more duriing a coffee break than a Walmart employee will in a lifetime. Meanwhhile, poverty levels are rising.

Can some people get rich by working really hard? Well, yes. It's possible. One in a million, maybe. I mean, look at the Irving and McCain children. Think of how hard they must have worked to get ahead. I mean, that just proves the author's point that that even children raised in poverty and rags and hopelessness like the Irvings and McCains can get ahead.

The authors offer statistics to "prove" their point that most of the poor do get ahead. How can that be when when all other figures show that poverty is on the rise? Easy. You choose people enteriing the job market at low pay, and you follow them for six years. In six years, with a good deal of help from inflation, their incomes are up. Not much. But up. That means they're in a higher income group. (Actually, they're really still in the same group.)

This whole column is propaganda goose poop. The editors know that. That owners that. That's why they printed it.

This is supplemented by a woefully uninformed letter to the editor. It claims we have to respect business because it runs a 60% risk of  bankruptcy. Bankruptcies  happen almost entirely to small businesses. Big ones get bailed out - at our cost. And the big ones don't succeed because they're well organized. They succeed because they can buy off governments to get low taxes (if any), subsidies, and sweetheart public/private/partnerships at our expense.  To talk of the astoundiing success of business at a time when it is collapsing all over the world - with the rich still plucking as much as they can for thsmelves - is nonsence.

I notice that neither the Tand T nor the government nor the shale gas drillers have brought forward any of the information on fracking that they promised. Why not?

Here's a guess.. They know they don't have a case. So what they'll do is to keep us uninformed. Maybe the objections will taper off. If not, maybe they can stir up a little violence as an excuse to use force. That is not at all a long shot. There are big stakes in the energy business, very big indeed. Evergy companies have a long history of violence - even murder - in countries around the world. There is no reason to think they would obect to busting a few heads in New Brtunswick.

And the TandT will make sure they get no blame for it.

The T and T is such an utterly digusting mound of incompetence, crap, dishonesty and triviality that I begin to doubt whether it is worth wasting my life on it. It's come to the point where I'd rather see a smiling couple with religious pamphlets at my door than a copy of the TandT.

Maybe I should think of finding a difference focus for this blog.

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