Monday, June 25, 2012

June25: Moncton Free Press scoops TandT

The Moncton Free Press, a news service on the web staffed by volunteers, is way ahead of The Monctron Times and Transcript, though the TandT has a paid staff of hard-nosed reporters whose front-page flash was that motorcyles can be dangerous. Wow! Who would have guessed?

Other front page news is "Frye statue set for reveal", this one written by a biggie, Alan Chochane. It must , I guess, be a statue of Frye twisting in his grave at that headline's grotesque perversion of the English language.

The Moncton Free Press Story, which outclasses any news story in the the whole edition of today's Tand T, is that the Alward government, assisted by a not-very-bright and not at all ethical Moncton city council, is trying to sneak through a legal approval of the Royal Oaks school deal before opponents can get the case to court. How's that for listening to the people? Or even listening to the law?

Apparently, the city council discussed this at a secret meeting, approved it; and  it could well go through the provincial legislature today.

So much for listening. So much for democracy. So much for respect for the people of New Brunswick. As for The Moncton Times and Transcript - so much for honesty - or so much for ethics, or so much for brains. Pick any or all of the three.

For those who still lust for more, more, more, today's edition has two more pages of pictures of grads.

There was nothing to speak of in NewsToday. The Truthful Times has yet to catch up with the three- day old news that Syria shot down a Turkish military aircraft in Syrian airspace; and Turkey is taking this to the UN while the US is muttering dark threats. (Gee. Americans would never shoot down an enemy aircraft over US territory.)

 And no mention of the news that US troops last week carried out military exercises with armoured personnel carriers in the streets of St. Louis, Missouri. (Gee. Wonder what that could be for. Fear of a Stanley Cup riot?)

It's now common knowledge that the "rebel" troops in Syria are being paid and equipped by the US, France and Britain working through Turkey and those great democracies, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain  (both of whom have been killing their rebels with nobody saying boo.) But I've yet to see it in the TandT.

The president of Syria may well be all that is said of him -mass murderer, dictator. But these are not unusual among our best friends. Why get our knickers in a twist over Syria, but not over the US murder by drones of thousands of innocent people, many of them in countries that the US is at 'peace" with.

Any intervention in Syria also poses the risk of becoming a very big war, possibly the biggest one.

But here in Moncton, we don't need to worry about that. What we have to do is to complete a deal for building a new school, a deal that smells of corrutpion and theft.

Section D, p.1 has a remarkable photo of Mallory Belzile, a Moncton dancer. It makes me feel awed and old, so old that I'm obsolete. And I'm willing to bet that this is a dancer Moncton will be very proud of.

The first editorial is a remarkably ignorant one on the recent loss of a school day. In the opinion of the editor, it is the terrible example of an education administration disrupting a whole school year by cancelling one day of classes. Where does the TandT dig up these foaming at the mouth ignoramuses? In all my years in education, I never even heard of one day disrupting a whole school year - and that includes the day a fellow professor murdered five professors in their offices.

In any case, and as any teacher or schoolchild knows but the editor doesn't, this was at a very slack time in the school year.

Of course, anything to say that will provide an excuse to attack the schools and the education system will do. It also uses the words 'union' and 'bureaucracy' as dirty words.
1, Of course unions look after the interests of their members, That's what they are supposed to do. Just like Mr. Irving looks after his interests, and the Truthful Times kisses his.......... feet for it.

2. Please buy a dictionary for whoever is the twit of the day writing editorials. A bureaucrat is a professional administrator. That does not mean stupid or stuffy or dumber than even a TandT editor. It means a professional at administrating within an organization. All such structures (Irving Oil springs to mind), have bureaucrats. If the editor can read, he or she might try reading a history of the reign of Louis XIV. That's when professional administrators were first used in place of incompetent aristocrats to manage the affairs of the country. Louis' system was so successful, it was copied by private business. Jim Irving is a senior bureaucrat. Wanna try writing something derogatory about him?

The second editorial apologizes for a de Adder cartoon. Such an apology is extremely rare in the newspaper world. That's because most newspapers hire editors who are intelligent enough to recognize a cartooon that is both erroneus and insulting - so the cartoon never makes it onto the page in the first place. What went wrong here was not de Adder. What went wrong was an incompetent editorial page editor.

Norbert has a mixed bag, really, of three editorials. The first one looks good but has a secret agenda. See if you can figure what it is. The second one makes sense (except for the civic centre). The third one is just a rant, not completely wrong; but just a rant.

There's a very solid, and rather a sad column by  Alec Bruce.

Allen Abel, on the War of 1812, gives a hint of just how much American history is pure bunk. For what was simply a war of aggression by the US against Canada, American students are still taught the war was to defend their freedom. (It's rather like  how they are taught that George Washington believed that all men were created equal - a rather odd belief for a man who was the biggest slave holder in the US.)

In fact, the US has never had to fight a war for its freedom because nobody has ever attacked it. (No. The attack on Pearl Harbor was certainly a lawful cause for the US to declare war. But American freedom was never the issue. And that was the only attack, ever, by any government on US soil. Check Google. You will find the US has fought probably more wars in the past 230 years or so than any other country in the world, and almost all have been wars of aggression.)

Canada is distinguished as the only country that stopped the US - until Vietnam did it, too.

Meanwhile, Mr. Harper is creating his own mythology. Our celebration of the War of 1812 has nothing to do with any aggression.My goodness, no. It's all about what good friends we have been every since  and, as Mr. Harper said in an original flash of inisght and wit, "we have the longest, undefended border in the world."

Shove it, Mr. Harper. The War of 1812 was not about peace and friendship. And, in fact, the US frequently threatened wsr again through the nineteenth century and early into the twentieth. At the end of the civil war, it encouraged Fenian invasions of Canada, ready to step in should the Fenians have proven successful.

We are at peace with the US now because we can't possibly go to war with it. It is at peace with us now because it doesn't have to go to war with us. It can get all it wants without war.

As Mr. Harper has designed it, the celebration of the War of 1812 is pure politics, and probably based on a genuine ignorance of a)what our history is and b)how nations interact.

And the bigger reality is that the US is now involved in the greatest wars of aggression of its history. It is effectively at war with most of the world because its wealth, now more than ever, depends on its military power. But for the past fifty years, that military, though certainly murderous, has not been very successful Thus the turning to NATO and to us.

So the War of 1812 celebration is not about how we saved Canada. It's about what good friends we are, and how we're going to help them fight wars to make their billionaires richer. (And our billionaires, too.)



  1. Hi Graeme,

    Do you know what happened to the Moncton Free Press? It seems to have been taken over by the Irvings and Frackers. The articles are all pro-fracking and most provided by AIMS. I thought we finally had an alternative to the Trashscript but this seems to be doubling down on the Irving Message.


    Neil Gardner

  2. No. I haven't known anything about this. (Reading for my blog, and then writing it, takes up hours - so I rarely have time to keep an eye on what's happening in papers I don't use for the blog. I'll check it out.)
    It may take me a couple of days to do it because I'm suffering severe computer problems due to a scam posting that has messed up the computer.