Saturday, February 4, 2012

Feb. 4: You know there isn't much in the paper when.....

The big story on p. 1 (which is continued on p. 4 becoming, perhaps, the longest story in the paper) is about how to save on foodshopping by using coupons. And, of course, the front page also carries a free ad for a Jerry Seinfeld show coming to the Coliseum. There's also a full column of hype for Seinfeld on P. 5, along with the information YOU need to know - date, ticket prices,  where to buy them, etc. (Great way to keep us informed on what we need to know in local news.)

P. A10 has a long story on census figures which haven't been released yet, not even to The Moncton Times and Transcript. But, luckily, it interviewed Prof. Savoie (of course) who hasn't seen the figures either - but says they show New Brunswick needs to develop shale gas (of course).

There's also a story about a couple of entrepreneurs who want to expand the digital business in Moncton, and who say they need a big tax break to do it. Maybe so. But the only planning I have ever seen in this city is to make it wide open to promoters - of real estate, manufacturing, concerts, whatever. Only two things have been missing...

1. Where are the audited accounts of what these deals have produced for us as compared to what they cost?
2. What plan does City Council have for the PEOPLE of this city - a plan for where and how they are going to live over the next fifty years?  In this plan, should it exist, why does it make sense to move Moncton High into a sort of suburban development? Why does it make sense to encourage such a development at all. Why does it make sense to build a new hockey arena downtown? Why does it make sense to maintain a city plan (if there is one) so heavily dependent on the automobile? I mean, that sort of thing is what is called local news.

Again, good students' columns in the Whatever section. Alex Corbett has one that is funny, and quite cleverly written. There's a thoughtful column by Isabelle Agnew on bullying. In fact, all of the columns are worth a read.

The news today section has a bizarre statement by Stephen Harper, Iran, he said, is led by a fanatical regime..building weapons of mass destruction...I look at the philosophy that drives it (what does this mean?)...for the first time in world history we are facing a regime that not only wants nuclear weapons but compared to virtually all other holders of nuclear weapons...wants to use them...

Harper is bringing a style of hysteria-buildling into our politics which we've never seen before. This is real, Newt Gingrich stuff. It's also the purest bullshit.

Only one country has ever shown a desire to build nuclear weapons and a will to use them. That country is not Iran. It is the United States. And it did it twice.

Smaller countries all over the world want to build nuclear weapons - but not to use them. They know that would be suicidal. They want to build them to keep the keep countries off their backs.

There is no evidence that Iran is building a nuclear bomb. That is an opinion which has been expressed by both US intelligence and UN inspectors. It wants to develop the ABILITY to make one should it be necessary.

Iran is a threat to the world? Really? When was the last time it invaded a country? If you guessed a hundred years, you're still way short. Has Iran ever been invaded? You bet. Over the past century, it has been invaded by Britain, France, the US, by Iraq encouraged and supplied by Britain, France and the US. It's democratic government was overthrown by Britain, France and the US, who then imposed a brutal dictator. The present government came to power to get rid of the dictator.

The element of hysteria runs through Harper's statement. (He says, I look at the kind of philosophy that drives the Iran regime.)  Note that it's not a government. It's a regime. Evil. And what does me mean by philosophy? Does that there philosophy mean the evil words of them moslem fanatics? Of course, they's different from us. We's good. They's evil.

In fact, the tone of that statement reminds me of a passage in Mein Kampf, when Hitler talks about his first reaction to seeing a Jew.

Anyway, we're good. Why, our side is so good we've had to kill millions of people over the last 60 years. Had to. They were going to attack us - Vietnam.Algeria, Yemen, Grenada, Guatemala, Somalia, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan - and maybe now Syria and Iraq. Sometimes, we even had to torture children. A man's gotta do whut a man's gotta do. Why, if we hadn't bombed Libya, next things you know Ghadaffi would have been running wild in the Crystal Palace, and taking free rides.

What happens in almost all newspapers is  wild charges like this are almost the only news presented. And we hear all about whatever the Iranian government might have said at some point about Israel - but there's not a whole lot of reporting on Israel explosives and assassinations in Iran.

NewsToday is a bit of Egypt, a bit of Iran, a bit of a mill at Miramichi, a bit of Mitt Romney. It's not possible to understand news you get in that way.

What we need to start understanding is a realistic sense of what people are, and how they behave, and why. And that brings me back to my famous politician who told me he never read the papers. I think I'll get onto that on Monday.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy your posts. I am appalled at pudding-brained acceptance of the news as it slops out from the paper. Appreciate your abilities to point out that the "Emperor has no clothes."

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