Just yesterday, the big, foreign news story was that Harper was walking on a beach with his pants rolled up. Today, a nation sighs with relief and church bells are ringing at the news he was not killed in an earthquake in Chile.
We know he survived because reporters asked me if he was alive. And he nodded.
Well, that's not sure proof. But it's encouraging.
In fact, nobody was killed in the earthquake. Nobody was injured. And there seems to have been no damage.
That is the big, foreign news story of the day in The Moncton Times and Transcript.
Why was he in Chile? Who cares? Nobody asked. Canada is facing an economic wall. We have large investments in South America. Those investments flourished in a South America dominated by the US. Now,in their round of meetings with Couth American leaders, Obama and Harper have been told to get stuffed. That suggests a tough future. But not in the pages of the TandT.
Any evidence of shale gas problems (earthquakes, poisoned land and water, escaping methane, illnesses)? Not in the pages of the Times and Transcript - though you will find them in other papers all over the world.
Windsor has had it lease renewed despite having broken regulations and drilling without local permission. They and the others intend to come in, do what they want, push us around, destroy the environment, rip off most of the money to be made while paying the least they can, then leave us with a ruined province and an expensive and impossible bill for the cleanup. All with the full cooperation of the Irving papers. (You know them. They're the ones owed by that great philanthropist.)
Eric Lewis longs for a day when the East Coast Music Awards will be held every day year-round in Moncton. Heavy thinking. Heavy. Somebody give him a yo-yo, and send him out to play.
The only item in the whole paper worth reading is Alec Bruce on David Suzuki. It's sad column about Suzuki and environmentalism; and it mourns what it sees as an anger that has replaced the hope in Suzuki.
I can add just a little to that from my contact with Japanese-Canadians. When the Canadian government , in World War Two, gave Japanese-Canadians in BC twenty minutes to pack whatever they could carry, then took them off first to a cattle barn then to detention camps - and confiscated everything else they owned - they humiliated these Canadian citizens with a humiliation that is as profound today as when it was first inflicted. I have known and worked closely with many of them. They rarely show their anger and humiliation but, oh, it is there and all the more because it is repressed.
Suzuki worked for a oause that could only worsen his feelings toward those who control this country. Corporations, blinded by greed and by short term thinking, and supported by the news media they own, are destroying us. In the longer term, not much longer, they are also destroying themselves. But they are too self-centred and too short-sighted to understand that.
The callousness and stupidity of those who controlled Canada 70 years ago is matched and more than matched by the callousness of stupidity of those who control it tody, assisted by their legions of bootlickers and sell-outs in politics and the news media.
That's why Suzuki might feel angered and discouraged. It's all those 'philanthropists' he has seen in our lives.
As for real news the TandT missed, well....
When I was a kid, I read all about the British Empire and how it spread civilization and Christianity and, oh, did just wonderful things.
Well, when the Empire was collapsing in the fifties, The British government decided it would be wise to burn certain files - tens of thousands of them. It feared they might be misunderstood - you know, stuff about widespread use of torture camps, of beatings, of killing of civlians (quite innocent people..) of plunder, of exploitation. (One of those beaten and damaged for life was a young man in Kenya who simply wanted his country to be free. He was arrested on no charge, and thoroughly beaten by police so that he was crippled. His name was Obama. His grandson later became famous in American politics.
However, it seems some of the files, thousands of them - enough to fill 200 metres of shelves, were not burned, but hidden. And they've just been discovered. And by law, they have to be opened to the public. Interesting. But not interesting enough for the TandT which feels the real issue of the day is we need more music award shows, more poison in our earth and water,and more hockey arenas.
I often wonder whether our economic and political leaders understand the scale of the disaster they are creating for us and for themselves. They are destroying democracy. History suggests that any replacement for democracy will be a horror.
Money and power do not indicate either brains or ability. Kings, emperors and Tsars learned that the hard way - hard for themselves and hard for the people they ruled. We are very close to the edge. Close to the edge across the western world, and beyond it.
And, in New Brunswick, fracking is the issue that may be the last push.
That's why the Times and Transcript seldom mentions it.