In the US, the news media are so corrupted and so given over to manipulating public opinion that a recent poll shows 70% of Americans believe Iran has a nuclear arsenal. (even though US intelligence agencies have publicy said it doesn't, and that they have no reason to believe it is even working on one.)
Much the same can be said of most Canadian news media. But the Irving media of New Brunswick beat them all. They don't print any news. Not even false news.
A big" news" item on the first page is that a storm forecast for two days ago didn't happen. And everywhere, I suppose, people asre saying, "Did you know we didn't get a storm on the weekend?" ("No, honest, we didn't. It says so in the Times and Transcript.")
The big page one item is a children's hockey tournament - a free ad for a coffee shop. It gets not only a full page of section A, but four, full pages of colour pictures in the Sports section.
NewsToday has no interntional news at all. It's largely taken up with three (count them, three) stories about the Oscars.)
Even some of the news stories aren't news stories. Brent Mazerolle has one of his kiss-up specials on page one. Moncton High School is to be rebuilt at a remote location.( This means that Moncton is going to be ripped off for huge costs to supply sewerage, water, and other services.)
"Wow!" says reliable Mazerolle, "MHS Plan means growth for Moncton". The reason? Highway, water, sewage infrastructure will need to be improved (at Moncton's expense.). Well, if that is what growth means, let"s be the little city that really could. Let's build Moncton High at the top of Mount Everest.
The whole story is just a pitch for approval of a scheme that makes no sense at all. For openers, this is a pitch for building a major school in an area which is not yet even developed. The world, including Moncton, is facing a damned uncertain economic future. So what happens if the houses don't sell. What if a sudden jump in gas prices makes suburban housing less attractive? (And what if the new buyers don't produce large numbers of children for enough generations to make the school economic? (Living in an upscale house is not necessarily an indicator of virility.)
We're being suckered into a long term debt so that somebody else can make a quick term profit. Way to give a helping hand, Mazerolle, the friend of the downtrodden rich.
The intriguing part of this whole business is that nobody has even tried to show how this fits into the city's develpment plan. Is there such a plan? If so, was it really designed under the illusion that this is 1950?
This is like the half-wit decision to revive main street by bringing in more cars. Cars are what killed Main Streets all over the world. Reviving Main Street with cars is like reviving murder victims by shooting them. No city on earth has ever revived its Main Street by encouraging more sidewalk parking. Most sensible cities are working to eliminate cars from downtwon.
Nobody has even addressed the essential question. 1. Why should we want to revive the obsolete idea of a Main Street? Should we also rip up the asphalt roads and the sidewalks so we can go back to dirt roads and wooden sidewalks?
The editorial shows the usual obsession with increasing government revenue without taxing the rich, and without discussing who will pay - and what the cost to society will be. This is a province which depends on drinkers and gamblers for much of its revenue.
Now, I suspect that few billionaires booze it up very much - and very few line up for a turn at the dollar slots. So that means the government is relying for revenue from people who have relatively little to spare.
As well, the problems arising from addictive habits, problems both social and economic, are pretty costly. Has the government (or the editorial writer) considered those costs? So, in the final tally, are we making or losing money? Are we helping or harming our people?
Norbert Cunningham, once again, has read a book he doesn't understand, and written about it in a way that nobody can understand. Read. Enjoy.
Alec Bruce has a solid column on privacy and how the internet destroys it ( and at great cost). He also mentions the dangers of government abuse of tapping into our privacy.
Meanwhile, the Moncton Times and Tribune continues to be the only daily news medium in Canada to ignore the biggest threat to Canadian democracy in our history. The scandal of recorded phone calls that were used to interfere in voting in the last federal election has now spread to at least thirty ridings. That means it's close to a certainty that Harper's election victory was fraudulent.
The company that prepared and organized the calls has publicly admitted that it did so. It is a company close to the Conservative party, and it is an expensive one.
Harper's response has been to fire a very junior election worker.
1. It is not credible that a junior election worker could authorize such a large expanditure. It is not credible that a company so close to the Conservative party carried out such a large job for the party without informing it.
2. This is contrary to election law. It is criminal. It's not a firing offence. It's a jailing offcnce.
3.It is so serious that it demands an immediate and very public investigation, something Harper has so far shown no interest in.
That's no problem in New Brunswick where you have an Irving press guarding the gate against any infornation that might sneak in. But news media in the rest of the country, awful as they can be, have some, higher standards.
And, of course, there is no mention of Syria where a war of unforeseeable consequences could be in the works.It could even affect Ottawa, New York, London, Mosdow, Beijing, and Moncton. Quite apart from the nuclear fallout, it could drive up the price of gas which would really hurt our annual old folks rock concert at Magnetic Hill.
Relax. Don't worry. Have a brew. Go to the Casino. Buy the Times and Transcript. Look at the pictures.