Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Nov.9: You know it's a slow day when......

....the banner headline on p. 1 is "Mayor looks forward to sewerage meeting."  (one has to feel compassion for a man that lonely.)

The other big story is that Moncton High had a school assemply for Remembrance Day. In all my ten years of being a high school student and high school teacher, I never even heard of a school that did NOT have a Remembrance Day assembly. Nor have I have heard of one, till now, that was considered front page news.

The premier is wallowing in indecision about how to reduce the deficit. He mentions a tax hike as a last-ditch resort - though he clearly does not mean a tax hike for corporations and the rich. Apparently, it did not occur to the reporter to ask a question on this point.

Somebody made a quick mention about cutting the grants and other gifts we give to the very rich. Again, no question from the reporter.

Generally, though, the message is clear. Alward has no idea where he's going. Neither do the Liberals. The only moves seen by either party involve cutting services and/or raising taxes for everybody but the rich. Either of those moves will create more poverty and suffering.

That's pretty much it for local news.

There are two op ed columns by staff writers. Eric Lewis writes about keeping fit - a subject far more effectively dealt with in the Saturday columns by students. Brian Cormier writes about what a thrill it is to send out greeting cards. Is it possible that anybody cares?

Oh, yes. National and international news. The F-35 fighter plane, overpriced and largely useless for us, is going to cost even more, and delivery will be delayed until 1918, An unnamed official in the defence industry is quoted as saying "All reasonable people will agree that we need aircraft to defend Canadian sovereignty."

Do we? Against whom? Are we expecting Afghani jets to come over the pole? Libyans? And why do we, in particular, need stealth aircraft for that purpose? Or even super high speed ones? There have been only two countries who have challenged out sovereignty. The Russians have done it using antique aircraft that have been obsolescent for forty years.  The Americans have routinely done it with  ships and nuclear subs in the Arctic. Do we plan to use superstealth jets to attack American ships and submarines?

That's pretty much it for the day. A year ago, the TandT was quite ruthlessly attacking our public schools, softening them up for interference and looting by the Irvings and others. Now, the strategy seems to be to send us into a stupor with a lack of any news at all, and page after page of triviality.

Look. It's not hard to find real news. It may be possible that the Irvings and McCains et al can legally hide their tax payments (if, indeed, they made any at all.) But surely the extent of our handouts in the form of subsidies, grants, cheap electricity, etc. should be public information. So if, say, Brian Cormer were to stop drooling for a moment over his greeting cards, he could ask the government for that information.

Perhaps we could also find out exactly what the regulations are on fracking, how much (if at all) we have beeen enforcing the regulations, and what the cost of repairing ou roads will be after all the traffic of heavy equipment on them. Are there people actually checking the regulations or monitoring the roads? How many? What have their reports been? Have there been any reports?

How come we've heard no reports of the Senate committee investigating news media quality in Canada? In previous studies (I can think of three), Brunswick Media came out as the scum at the bottom of the barrel. Will we be hearing anything about this study? (Mind you, a Senate dominated by Harper hacks will probably be much kinder than the earlier ones.)

In city news, I'm sure many of us would dearly love to know if Moncton, the hub of the maritimes, will, like most winter cities in the developed world, move those dangerous heaps of snow that make every corner an accident-in-waiting.

But it's not to be. The Moncton editors and their owner have decided on another strategy. They take turns waving a watch in front of our eyes, and saying, " are getting sleepy...very...sleepy."

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