Two things have happened today that may be closely related. The TandT reported - not very well - on one of them. It didn't report on the other at all, though both may be the most important news stories in decades.
I have spent much of today checking news sources, mostly in North America, Britain, Europe, and Israel.The story that emerges is not a pleasant one.
1. The US government announced that terrorists under Iranian orders were caught, planning to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to Washington. Many of the best media in the US and Britain and Europe are not buying the story. That includes The Guardian - perhaps the outstanding paper in the English-speaking world.
It is, as I suugested in my own, regular blog, not credible. Such a scheme, whether succeeding or failing, would be diastrous for Iran - with no possibility of any gain at all.
And why kill him in the US - the place where the scheme is hardest to organize and most difficult to pull off?
Agreement is pretty widespread that this is a set up, almost certainly arranged by the US government.
Is it, like Saddam's "weapons of mass destruction", an excuse for invading or bombing Iran? If so, they have two months to do it before the weather makes it more difficult. And Harper has already committed us to follow in the greater war that would certainly follow.
Is it to stoke up the fears of Americans so that the Occupy Wall Street movement gets pushed into the background? It could be both.
Occupy Wall Street. That's the story the TandT didn't mention. And it is rapidly becoming the biggest story you will ever read. US newspapers reported police beating up on veterans who were participating in a Boston demonstration as members of Veterans for Peace.
Essentially, it's a demand for a return to real democracy rather than what we have now - politicians owned by wealthy families and corporations. The wealthy and the corporations created their own problems with their greed and arrogance.
In the US, they showed greed by destroying the American economy with their demands for bailouts and their refusal to pay taxes. (Please don't say that giving money to the rich is a way to create jobs. Look at the millions of hungry and hopeless Americans. See what is there, not what some "expert" tells you. And we are not yet even close to hitting bottom)..
Western captialisn, in its present form, has failed. Possibly it can work again - but not in its present form of corporate domination over governments - all the way from Washington down to Fredericton.
It's over. It's failed.
Then there was the arrogance of accepting taxpayers' money for bailouts - then publicly giving hundreds of millions of it (probably more) as bonusses to executives for their good work in causing the crisis. At the same time, they continued to kick millions of Americans out of jobs, out of homes, out of lives.
The anger that created is why Occupy Wall Street has spread so quickly.
We haven't completely hit the wall yet - but it's coming. The arrogance has been here a long time.
Mr. Irving publicly declared himself a part of the government. That's what the word coalition means. That is contrary to Canadian constitutional practice. And it's arrogant.
He formed a committee of his hacks to plan the New Brunswick economy. That's what we are supposed to control, through our elected representatives. That was arrogant.
He then got the government to give his gang official status for access to the Minister of Finance. That is not only arrogant; it is profoundly anti-democratic. The most important power of a democratic goveornment is its power to control spending - what the British called "the power of the purse."
As for the premier, I don't know whether he is stupid or cowardly or unashamedly for sale. But I do know the reality. New Brunswick, like much of Canada and Europe and the US, is not a democracy. It hasn't been for a long time.
Most of the western democracies are controlled by a greedy and out of control minority who get richer even as we get poorer. Their greed and arrogance has destroyed our economic and political lives. There comes a time when you have to choose sides. Folding your arms to show your tattoos and biceps isn't enough.
Occupy Wall Street is a movement to return to the democracy and the freedoms we once had. For many of its supporters, probably most, it's a move to save western capitalism before the greed and arrogance of western capitalists destroy it.
I'm not sure there's time left to do that. But I am sure that that unless we can make changes very soon, our lives are going to become very brutal, indeed, and the futures of our children destroyed.
On this Saturday, Oct. 15, the movement spreads across Europe, South America, North Africa and many other parts of the world. It comes to Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and other cities. Including Moncton.
I have no great love for filling my life with demonstrations. But I have no choice. I can either be on the side of the fascism we have slid into (yes, fascism. I am using it in a correct, dictionary sense.), or I can demand the right to live in a democracy. I will not stand by while arrogant bullies destroy our society. So I shall be with Occupy Moncton at Moncton City Hall on Saturday, Oct. 15.
I would be delighted to see you there - unless, of course, you prefer to spend your life being debased, lied to, and ripped off by arrogant and greedy billionaires.