Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Jan. 17: The no-news snooze

Again, there's little to say about The Moncton Times and Transcript because so little is in it. There's the usual ad disguised as news about a new act at the casino. There's a good deal of space devoted to a story about the choice of a new location for Moncton High School. Indeed, the real story is that we are even discussing the proposed location. The 1950's are over. The very idea that we should discuss whether we should be building a new school in a remote and undeveloped area of bungalows, each with a big lawn and a hedge, suggests that the City of Moncton still has no plan for the future development of the city. And, if   the city does have a plan, it has no sense of what the future will be like. The day of the auto-based suburb is over.

The relocation of MHS appears to be a short term, money-making scheme being promoted by a developer. It's a plan that is half a cenutry out of date. We need a newspaper that would offer us some serious ideas of what the future will be like, and what kind of a Moncton we need to meet it.

And, no, I don't mean public consultation. "Listening to the people" sounds good to NB politicians since it's a cute PR stunt to make us think the government really cares what our opinions are.  But, at best, it's like consulting a random group of amateurs for the kind of insight that can be gained only from professionals."Listening to the people" is not democracy. The listening part happens on election day. Once, the people have spoken, it's up to the winning party to carry out policies based on the principles it campaigned for. And it consults experts on how to do that.

Running for election on no principles at all, and then using cute PR like "listening to people" has nothing to do with democracy. Look back. It has produced one government after another that has simply been a mouthpiece for large corporations.

A related big story is the death of Highfield Square. Gee. They noticed. It's about time.Higihfield Square has been a corpse for years. Still, it somehow escaped the notice of Moncton City Council in its plans for the future. The result is that the fate of Highfield Square is likely to be left to developers who will be looking for a quick profit and, almost certainly, public favours to help out with the costs.

The lead editorial delicately hints at that possibility, though without mentioning how rate-payers and tax-payers will get stuck with the bill for hundreds of millions of dollars.  And this for a project whose greatest beneficiaries will be a hockey team owner and a handful of hotels.

Staff writer Alan Cochrane, ono the op ed page, picks up the theme the editor didn't finish. Why, this is the perfect opportunity for the hockey arena/convention centre to be built with borrowed public money in order to serve private money. Cochrane even gushes that it has an ideal location.

Really? If it has an ideal location, how come it's been running at a loss for years?  And exactly how would this fit into the city plan for development even if the city had one?

Anonymous has a comment below yesterday's blog in which he says that he checked the google sources on the story about Obama sending troops to Libya. He looked only at the first one, saw that it was a right wing, conspiracy-mad site - and decided to give the whole story a miss.

Well, that's not a good idea.

There isn't just one site carrying the story. There are thousands of them - and not all of them are right-wing fanatics. In any case, the sources themselves have a source. There is a report of such a move of troops from a real person. And that person is not right wing.

She is a former Democrat congresswoman with what passes in the US for left-wing credentials. She then became national leader of the Greens. As well, she has long been critical of US policy toward Africa, and has been in a better position than most of us to get information about it.

Okay. Maybe she's a left-wing conspiracy nutbar. There's still good reason to consider she might be right.

The US regards control of Africa as essential. In particular, it wants to shut out China because Africa is a rich source of loot in the form of oil and other natural resources. The West has been looting Africa for over a century. The cost in poverty and human life has been enormous. Little Belgium, all by itself, was responsible for millions of deaths. The US is now actively at war (undeclared and under-reported) with at least two African countries.  It has also had a heavy hand in recent regime changes.

The story, for the press, is that the US is intervening for humane reasons and to spread democracy. (I won't waste time arguing what utter nonsense that is.) As well, they also had ground troops in Libya during the rebellion (as did the Brits); and Libya has recently seen a falling apart among the rebels, as well as signs of support for the Ghadaffi side.

I don't claim the report of troops is true. But I would suggest that if you connect all the dots, it seems plausible. Looking for a "reliable" source sounds nice. But there is no fully reliable source, never has been. You have to connect the dots.

And you can't connect them if you have only one dot.

1 comment:

  1. In the Miramichi Leader yesterday, there was an "article" by Brunswick News about how you can get province-wide news on the web for "as little as $2 a month". I can't believe what idiots the Irvings take New Brunswickers for.

    For a good laugh, check out the Miramichi Runner-Up: http://www.twitter.com/chirunnerup