The front page wins back its spot as the "dumb-down" page with a big story about how Tim Horton's is changing its cup sizes.
Just above it is another piece of fast-breaking news. Moncton is having a mayoralty election this year. And the big news is that there's nothing yet to report about it.
The NewsToday section is, as usual, made up entirely of stories from Postmedia and Reuters - and they display the typical qualities of those sources.
There is for example, an interview with Donald Savoie of Moncton U who can always be relied on to say something that Mr. Irving will nod and smile at. This time, he helps out by missing the point of criticisms that have been made of Harper for getting public involved in the Alberta pipeline debate.
Of course, as Dr. Savoie says, Harper has a right to speak on the issue. In fact, we all do - and nobody has denied that. But that was not what the criticisms were about.
1. Harper and his ministers have made wild charges that those who oppose the project are billionaire socialists and/or enemies of Canada. The sort of irresposible statement is fearmongering and lying. You see, Dr. Savoie? It's like a prime minister farting. It's okay to do it. But he shouldn't deliberately do it in public.
2. The project is now before a supposedly independent and quasi-judicial body. For a prime minister to comment on the issue, especially in the terms he did, is highly improper. It is an attempt to put pressure on what should be an independent body. As such, it is comparable to the prime minister publicly accusing a person of being guilty of murder while the case is still in trial.
Funny how we can always know what Donald Savoie will say before he says it. Funny how he's almost the only professor ever quoted in The Moncton Times and Transcript.
Then there's a story about how things are improving in Haiti, thanks to independent, small businesses that are springing up. However, it says, investors are still nervous because of Haiti's history of corruption.
1. The earthquake devastated Haiti two, full years ago. Close to two milliion are still living in tents; and even basic cleaning hasn't been done. What happened to all that aid money?
a) much of it was never paid. Canada paid. Iceland paid. China paid. The US has never paid more than a fraction of it. It's easy enough for even a Moncton TandT reporter to check this. It's all on google.
b) Most of the American money never got close to Haiti. It went to contractor friends of the Bush government who spent it all on "studies" and banked the profts offshore.
c) Private business is worried that the government might be corrupt? That's odd. It didn't bother them for the eighty years that they were busy maintaining those corrupt and brutal governments - with the approval and help of the American government. Indeed, what upset private investors was Haiti's first, real election when it chose Aristide as leader. He was a former priest, and he was honest. That's what bothered them. That's why they and the American government overthrew Aristide.
Haiti has been deliberately kept poor and corrupt by private business and the US government. Again, it's no secret. There are many quite respectable studies of this - and lots about it in google.
d) The same thing happened with the US' much-touted aid to rebuild Iraq. Almost none of it ever reached Iraq. It went to private contractor friends. That's why Iraq has electricity for only hours each day, why sewage is in dangerous disrepair, and why, even in a major city like Baghdad, there is a lack of clean water. (In fact, for hours every day, there is no water at all.)
Then there's a half-wit editorial on how the idea of lowering cottage taxes shows that the government is listening to the people.
1. Governments are not elected to listen. They are elected because they stand for certain principles, and they convince voters that those are the principles they want to be governed by. (So far as one can tell, neither the Conservatives nor the Liberals have any principle beyond being loyal servants of their feudal lord.
2. If they listen so much to the people, how come they're still not doing anything about the shale gas issue? There's been no information, no enforcement even of the feeble rules that do exist, no hint of new regulations - nothing. This scheme is simply being bulldozed no matter what people in New Brunswick think or say. And Mr. Alward will, like so many of his predecessors, retire from politics to a better paid world.
Alec Bruce's column is a gentle warning. Read it carefully.It is a very gentle but much ignored expression of a reality.
The reality is that the power of the US dying, and dying fast. And, no, it's not going to get better. That has pretty severe complications for us. And Jim Irving's recent babble about us needing to get more peppy has nothing to do with any reality.
We can only hope that the US does not decide to hold on to power by starting a major war while it still has a huge, nuclear edge. It would never do that? Have you been following the speeches of the Republican Party candidates? Have you googled Project for the New American Century? A document signed by leading figures in American public life?
The perverse variety of capitalism that is now practiced in the US and Canada (as well as much of the western world and very especially in New Brunswick) is self-destructive. In fact, it's not capitalism at all. It's more correctly called corporate fascism. We may well be facing the its last moments.