Monday, October 17, 2011

Oct. 17: They noticed!

Occupy Moncton was on p.1 - though with a smaller headline than the one for a more important story, the Riverview Harvest Frestival. Still, it was p. 1.  The arrival of our part of the Democracy Now movement was noticed - and with not a bad writeup. Unfortunately, the pictures show that the reporter arrived quite early - and left early - long before the crowd had filled the site to near capacity. That may be why she  didn't notice that most of the demonstrators wre not students. I met young people who can't find decent jobs, office workers in their forties who are fearful about the future, and lots of seniors.
She also missed the main point of the demonstration. More on that later.

Too bad, though, she couldn't spare a moment to go back and see how it was growing; it was just a short walk down Main St. from her office.

The District education committees have trouble recruiting members. Three quarters of them are not elected. The either win by acclamation, or are appointed.  Of course. Voluntary service has been dying for forty years. Nobody has yet come up with a solution for that in a society that just doesn't give a damn. Oh, I know. Let's blame the teachers for it.

In NewsToday, a poll shows that support for the war in Afghanistan is declining, though it remains surprisingly high at 60%. Most authorities on military affairs decided long ago that the war cannot be won, and that there was no reason to fight it in the first place.

Generally, what the poll showed is that Canadians have a remarkable ignorance of their own military, of its possible roles, of a Canadian purpose for it, and the importance of Arctic defence. But they remain quite happy to send young people out to get killed whenever the US asks them, and then to pretend to remember them every November 11 (while at the same time cutting down on treatment for the mental illnesses they develop in war.)

The same page carried a Postmedia report on Democracy Now in Toronto. Well, it was Postmedia. What can you expect?  A third of it was devoted to lies by finance minister Jim Flaherty who wasn't even at the event. (Yes. I said lies. When you say something that isn't true, and you know isn't true, that not just  inaccurate. That's a lie.)

It's different here, said Mr. Flaherty. "We don't have to bail out our banks." In fact, Mr. Flaherty has already bailed them out in advance, and with our tax money. He has given approval for Central Mortgage and Housing (our corporation), to raise its compensation to the banks for any losses suffered when the housing bubble bursts (and it will).  In other words, we have given Canadian banks a bailout in advance.

Then he says we don't have the economic inequality the US has. Look at your own department figures, Mr. Flaherty. Most recent figures show the economic gap in Canada is comparable to the US one, probably even bigger.  And the rate of growth for the Canadian gap is faster than in the US.

In Canada, a bank executive can now make more in just one, annual bonus than most Canadians can earn in a lifetime.

Generally, the Postmedia report was worded so as to play down the movement. The reporter didn't even try to make it clear what it was about. That was particularly noticeable in the last paragraph.

There's also a report on the investment page. It is designed, like Postmedia, to play down the protests. That's why the headline says the protest rippled.  Rippled is a gentle word with images of soft movements of a breeze over the water. Always look for the wording in a  news rerport. The choice of words in important in writing propaganda.

The editorial headed 'A great example of people power' looked promising. It turned out to be about saving a hockey rink. (Great. At last the hungry will be fed, and the naked clothed.)

Take the time to read Alec Bruce's column - and wait for the kicker at the end.

Norbert Cunningham's column begins badly. He begins by calling Democracy Now amorphous -  which he then defines as without clearly defined shape or form, vague, ill-organized, lacking a clear structure or focus.

He uses  the world amorphous as  though it means something bad. But most movements are amorphous in their early stages. The American revolution was pretty amorphous until the Declaration of Independence got written. Christianity was pretty amorphous in its earlest days when it was just a sect, ill-organized, and lacking a clear structure.

And sometimes not being amorphous is very bad indeed. The newspaper Norbert writes for is not amorphous. It has a very clear purpose - to write propaganda for the boss.

The Irving corporations are not amorphous. Their purpose is to feed an endless greed, and do it by taking as much as possible from us.

In any case,. Democracy Now does have a clear purpose.  Democracy Now.  Is that hard to understand? Norbert, do you know what democracy means?

It means we choose who will govern us. It means we do not want to be governed by unelected people like corporation owners. We don't want unelected Irving hacks to be setting our provincial budget. Democracy Now means we want the democracy we have never really had.

 Yes, Democracy Now will need leaders and specific goals. But at that stage it is called a political party. You cannot get to that stage until people realize that we don't have democracy in New Brunswick. We have two political parties that are the same, and both run by corporate bosses for their own benefit. They have done so with the full support of The Moncton Times and Transcript.

On the op ed page, Craig Babcock writes in the staff writers' column. It's about crime and correction. He shows an appalling ignorance of even basic facts about both; and, though he glories in the title of editor-at -large, he can't  write worth a poop.  He writes, for example, that is is only a matter of time before some armed robber kills an employee at a Moncton store "with tragic results..."

Duh. Think about it. Is there a possibility he might kill an employee with happy results?

Tell you what, Craig, I meet with a current events group at the Moncton Library the first Tuesday of every month at 7 pm. (The Moncton Times usually refuses to list it in its Weekly Events section - though it mentions all other library events.)  Why don't you come along, and we can debate the subject?

I also teach writing for a class of seniors. Maybe, with help, you could catch up to them.

The final column is by Allen Abel. I have never understood why it appears at all.

For the time being, the game seems to be that our news media have been told to appear neutral, even with pretences of sympathy, for Democracy Now. The hope is that it will fade away quietly. For the sake of all of us, it had better not.

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