what can I say?..there is nothing in this paper. The lead story is that municipal labour costs have gone up. But so have revenues and values, so it makes no never mind. Duh - then why is this a news story?
Brent Mazerolle reports, for anybody who can't read the for sale signs, that churches are in decline. But, we are assured, people still believe in God.
Well, for openers, very large numbers of people throughout history have not gone to church. The poor, for example, have been weak in attendance since the beginning. In fact, for centuries most church-goers had no idea what was going on in the service becaue they couldn't understand Latin. Bored congregations make so much noise that a screen had to be built so the priest and monks could conduct their service in peace.
Just take a look at some of those huge, stone churches in Moncton - and you know they weren't built by or for the poor.
And, if so many people believe in some kind of God, I see little sign of it in our political or economic lives.
In fact, in the US, where church attendance is higher and where even the filthiest comedian ends his act with "May God bless you all", they are cutting off food and health care to the poor so they can give tax breaks to the rich, and still spend half the national budget on killing. God bless America.
But there is almost no news worth reading in all of The Moncton Times and Transcript. From Reuters, we hear about how terrible the Syrian government is. Reuters admits that it gets it news from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights - a rebel propaganda front.
In reality, the government is brutal. So are the rebels - who are paid for and supplied by western powers, Saudi Arabia, the Arab Emirates...Few on either side give a damn about democracy.
What is the real local and world news?
1. We're not running out of oil or other fossil fuels. We're running out of the capacity of our planet to aborb the damage they do. We are also running out of the easy and cheap sources; so we're going for the really dangerous stuff - offshore drilling, Arctic, oil sands, shale gas....
The risks aren't risks. They're sure things. And people in the energy industries don't give a damn.
At root, it's because business does not think long term. It needs profit. It needs it now. It thinks from quarterly report to quarterly report.
Government needs to plan long term. That's why business is incompetent to run a government. That's why New Brunswickers have been damn fools to let business run their governments.
2, Governments are supposed to think long term and, unlike business, to think of the whole society. New Brunswick governments don't. That's because they're controlled by a few corporations.
You find the same thing on a smaller scale within Moncton. City council should have a plan for a world with very expensive and dangerous energy. That plan has implications for the whole shape and size the city will need within a generation - if that long.
You think it's a pain to rely on you car with gas in $1.40s? What do you think it will be like in five years? In five months?
3. Nationally, the situation is much as it is locally. Business has always had a powerful voice in most western governments I can think of over the past 500 or so years. It has used that power to create wealth the easy way, by using government power to exploit the poor and to fight wars of pillage (always blessing them up with Godly reasons and sending off chaplains with the troops. The British general Gordon, who specialized in training native peoples to kill each other for the greater glory of British business, actually believed he was doing God's work. He used to preach on street corners in London while in full military dress.)
4.The change of the last fifty years, is that big business and the wealthy are coming out of the closet. They are now actually replacing the government. Most western banks, for example, no longer even pretend they have to obey regulations. They break the law, destroy the lives of millions, and then actually get the tax payers to reimburse them.
Mr. Irving has actually announced that he is a member of the government. He said he had formed a coalition with it. That is what coalition means - that he is a member of the government. This comes straight from the fascist textbook of Benito Mussolini.
We are also, across the western world, cutting back on freedoms, and building up the apparatus of state control - demestic spying, for example. And keep an eye on the US department of Homeland Security. It classes even environmentalists as suspected terrorists; and it's stocking up on weapons and ammunition for use in the US. In short, we're in the early 1930s mode of western Europe.
5. Internationally, we're into a world in which corporations have no national boundaries - or obligations. Those in the US and its NATO allies are following an international US lead to establish world domination - for business purposes. The first objective is to nail down Africa Thus the many wars we hear about - and the ones we don't hear about - to "change regimes". The rebellions are frequently started and paid for by the west, often with a few, wealthy arab states like Saudi Arabia chipping in. Few of the rebels have any interest in democracy. There are no good guys, usually not on either side.
At the same time, the west has to limit China's growth. That's why the US has recently expanded its Asian bases and its Australian links. It also has to re-establish its power in South America - so there are a few more democracies to be disposed of.
To these ends, the US, Britain, Israel - to some degree France - carry out propaganda, buy off individuals, even operate special ops assassins and terrorists and drone strike aircraft in so many countries that nobody has a count.
This is bad news - even for those who think it's a good idea. Western armies have been largely ineffective ever since World War Two. When the US couldn't defeat a Vietnam that was one-tenth its size, it broke American military morale. We're repearting the experience in Afghanistan. The war in Libya has created nothing but chaos. Even Iraq will probably not remain conquered.
The US and Canada have gone from being the most admired countries in the world to being the most hated. (At the most recent Olympics, Canadian athletes were warned not to wear their team jackets in public. In over a century of Olympics, such a thing had never happened to Canadians.)
Many years ago, when I was travelling in Europe, I made it a point to have a maple leaf symbol on my pack. Friends have told me that is no longer a good idea.
But you won't find any of this in The Moncton Times and Transcript. Instead, you get only the news that Mr. Irving wants you to know.
On of the biggest stories in today's paper is that a man named Couples is leading the the Masters for golf.
Wow! makes y' stop and think. Don't it?