Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Oct. 12: a confusing day

Important --- it is necessary to read the October 11 addendum which appears below this commentary. You need it to understand my opening comments here.

To my surprise, the TandT did carry a story on the final report by a federal education council. Full marks for carrying it. But it was close to unintelligible and with huge gaps. That seems partly to be because it is based entirely on a staff reporter's interview with a New Brunswicker who was on the council.

The gaps are so big (universities and colleges aren't mentioned at all; there are few specifics on why the problem has developed; no mention of international comparisons;...) Obviously, the reporter never read the report in the first place - and never even read the stories on it that appeared in other Canadian papers yesterday.) I expected devious reporting. I didn't expect hopelessly incompetent reporting.

As for it being incoherent, the first two paragraphs give the impression this is a provincial report. Not until the third paragraph do we get a hint this is federal - and even then it's not clear.

Anyway, if you read my report in the blog below, you will find it contains far more information than the TandT report does - though it's no longer. You can also get far better reports simply by googling Canadian Council of Learning final report.

I must confess to my own blunder, though. I misnamed the organization that issued the report. The TandT reporter got it right as Canadian Council on Learning.

The next thing to watch for is what the TandT does with the report.

There are some stories in which we can't even guess the truth. A prime example is in NewsToday "Iranians charged in U.S. over plot". Two points to bear in mind....
1. Many countries routinely assassinate leading figures in other countries. The US long ago admitted it has made several attempts to kill Castro. In the Vietnam war, it cooperated when South Vietnamese generals assassinated the president. that's no secret. It was almost certainly complicit in the murder of a president of Chile. And there's not the slightest doubt it assisted the murderous General Pinochet in replacing him as dictator.  The reason we have tense relations with Iran is because back in the 50s, the US, Britain and France overthrew the democratcally elected government of Iran, and replaced it with the murderous dictatorship of the Shah. For information on this, just google Mossadegh (the leader who was overthrown).
The was the final step in decades of western invasions and plundering of oil by western nations that drove Iranians into the arms of the Ayatollah.

2. The US has been looking for years for an excuse to make war on Iran. Iran has oil. It is now oil that is outside US control. The US says Iran is evil. Gee! Coincidence after coincidence.
Remember the story that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction? -the ones that nobody has been able to find?  Remember the story that Afghanistan was behind 9/11?  We now know it was planned by Saudis - and they did their planning in Europe. (Did you know that polls show a majority of Americans still believe the 9/11 attackers came from Canada?)

Who knows what's going on in that secret world of international plotting and propagandizing? Certainly, I don't. I do wonder, though,what Iran could possibly hope to gain from the assassination of a Saudi ambassador. This is a strange story.

On the op ed page, a big business hack pushes the hare-brained scheme to build a hundred million dollar hockey rink to revive the downtown area. He will no doubt have the cooperation of a not-very-bright city council.

Reality - people shop in malls because malls provide free and convenient parking. The mall stores are not going to pack up and move to main street just so they can be close to a hockey rink. 

This scheme will also put New Brunswickers heavily into debt when they are already sliding pretty deep, and when we are almost certainly heading into a deeper recession.

There is nothing for New Brunswickers in this scheme but disastrous indebtedness. The only winners will be large  hotels and the owner of the Wildcats. This, with shale gas, is the final suck at the orange. There isn't much left to steal from us. Thank you, all you Liberals and Conservatives; thank you Moncton Times and Transcript; thank you, corporations.

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