....I can scarcely say anything about it.
The one important item is that it's looking like a very bad lobster season. The warm water has made the shells too soft for market purposes - so the season will have be later (and shorter) than the normal one.
What continues to strike me in the past week has been the failure of the TandT to publish anything about the horrors of a U.S. funded hospital in Afghanistan. It's called Darwood. You can check the story the web at Interntional Clearing House (a site that I sometimes find over the top - but often bang on with news the the rest of the media have missed.)
Darwood is a large hospital run by the US army for the treatment of Afghan soldiers (the ones on our side). Senior American officers blew the whistle on it. They were attacked by the general in charge of hospital who tried to block any investigation - but it got to a congressional committee, anyway. It was also on CNN news, along with the testimony of several officers. They spoke of corruption at every level that is running wild - just as it does in most of the US aid system. But it is the pictures that are most terrible.
There are pictures of patients so thin, they are obviously close to death by starvation. Why aren't they fed? Because they can't afford to bribe the hosptiral staff for food. Afghani families have been know to sell their farms to pay the bribes. There is no sanitation. There are no anaesthetics - so patients are operated on while concious.
Care is so bad that doctors ignore patients with maggots in their wounds - still open after days at the hospital. Parents and family have to come in to empty vats of blood. If their are no parents or family, the blood is simply left to coagulate on the floor. Everywhere is filth, untreated wounds, and skeletal patients.
Some of the pictures are so hard to look at, they remind me of Hitler's death camps.
In another story, the Times and Transcript which, for at least a year, ran savage attacks on our public schools, and called for privatization, has been ignoring the effects of privatization where it is occuring. In the US, standards of education, as measured by UNESCO, have plunged.
In Britain, public schools are being converted into fee-paying (with government subsidies) private schools. One of the first demands of the new, fee-paying schools was the right to hire untrained teachers. (Teachers with no teacher-training will almost certainly be bad teachers. But they'll be cheaper because they are not allowed to join unions. It takes some people a long time to realize tht business is not about teaching or doctoring or creating jobs or any of that other babble. It's about making money for itself.
People like Norbert don't undestand that. So they write column after column about how bad government is, and how the "free" market runs everything perfectly - just like waving a magic wand.
The reality, from the hospital at Dawood to the public schools of New Brunswick, is that the magic wand does not always work. We're facing a hard lesson in that.
Governments should be spending money to get us through this recession. They aren't doing it. They can't. They can't because over the last forty years we have pulled money out of everybody's pockets to stuff it into the pockets of the very rich. And the very rich aren't investing right now because it look safer just to keep their money in tax-free havens.
Just a tiny fraction of that money (estimated to be 21 to 35 trillion dollars) would be enough go feed eveybody on the planet, and to stimulate every economy.
But it's not going to happen. And, yes, what the British are now calling a depression is coming to Canada. And Stephen Harper is no Roosevelt or R.B.Bennett. He's as dull, as narrowly ideological, as servile to the very rich as British P.M. Cameron, as President Obama (and Mitt Romney). Alward is not ideological. But that's because he can't spell it.)
What a ghastly, ignorant, ranting, trivial, propagandizing newspaper is our Moncton Times and Transcript!