Friday, August 31, 2012

August 31: Wow! A whole page of pictures, story...

...about a house being moved. I really needed to know that. It gives me a much clearer idea of what the issues are in New Brunswick, and in the world.

Of course, it might be better to know a little bit about the Bruce Springsteen show. Oh, I know he sweats and the the hill rocked, and the whole world is talking about Moncton. But...

The general idea was to bring money into Moncton. wasn't it?

I know there were 30 some thousand in attendance. But how many of those were people from the Moncton region who would have been spending their money here, anyway? How many were people from far enough away to take hotel rooms? And, when they did, how much did they spend? And, remembering that our larger hotels are parts of chains, how much of that money actually stayed in Moncton?

That's kind of important because the show cost Moncton rate-payers a good deal of money. (How much, by     the way?)

Moncton journalists and politicians are big on sweeping phrases - revive main street, borrow money, pay for itself, a new world on the horizon - but not terribly clear when it comes to real figures. Bottom line. What did that show cost? How much NEW money did it actually bring to town? How much of that money actually stayed here?

Save the pictures of house movers for a really, really slow day.

Section A also has the story about the impending loss of rail service from Moncton to North Shore. Geegollywhiz! Did that come a surprise to our provincial government, our city council and all their sharp planners?

It looks as though it did. It also looks as though it caught the Times and Transcript by surprise - though there is surely no reason why it should have. This province and this city and BrunswickNews seem to have no sense at all of the tremendous problems we face in mass transportation.

Lots of great pictures of houses being moved, though. And that pretty well covers Section A.

In NewsToday, the Reuters report on Iran nuclear development is pure propaganda. worded to give the impression of an illegal development of weapons. Yes, Iran has doubled its nuclear capacity. But that has nothing to do with anything. It's the level of enrichment that counts, not the capacity.

All the evidence that has ever been produced shows Iran is enriching to a degree necessary to produce nuclear energy and medical supplies. That is perfectly legal under UN regulations.

And, yes, Iran is  burying its nuclear facilities way below ground. Considering that Netanyahu, with British and US encouragement, is almost daily threatening to bomb them, burying them seems a pretty sensible idea.

Reuters also uses very limited information in reporting that France and Britain may intervene in Syria "for humanitarian reasons". It doesn't mention they could reduce the suffering immediately by cutting off supplies to the rebels.

No. I don' think Assad is a nice person. Neither are the rebels. And nobody on either side gives a damn about humanitarian reasons or democracy. The name of the game is to break Syria up into an assortment of weak and ineffectual states; then to do the same to Lebanon and Iraq, thus isolating Iran.

The risk? General chaos in the Middle East - even World War Three. But, hey, aren't those great pictures of houses being moved in Moncton?

The editorial is the usual ignorance of the topic (the concept of the enclosed shopping mall, for example, was not new in 1969), and there's lots of uninformed pimping for a new hockey rink.

An events centre will almost certainly not revitalize main street. Nor is it likely to attract anywhere near enough tourism to justify its expense. And that would be true even if world economies were not collapsing. As many cities have learned, the only thing that will develop downtown is one superbly reliable and convenient mass transit system. But there is no sign that city hall planners have even thought of that - or that the editorial writer even knows what it means. On the contrary, Moncton must be the only city in the world that is trying to develop its downtown by attracting more cars.

Norbert is back to  suffering a bout of editorial dementia, talking wildly about some things he has some idea of  - and many he has no understanding of whatever. The first half of the column makes some sense about the vapidity of statements by opposition leader Victor Boudreau - but then goes off on a rant that there really is no such thing as job creation, etc.

Then, he abruptly shifts to some vague rambling about wars changing nations. Well, duh, yeah, they do. But didn't you have some point to make, Norbert?

Victor Boudreau, for the Liberal Party, contributes an opinion column. (Presumably, the one that has Norbert's knickers in a twist.)  It's the to-be-expected "Conservatives are dirty, stinky, no good rats" serenade. True enough, I suppose. But there is no evidence in this column that  the Liberals are any different. (Surprisingly, perhaps suspiciously, Boudreau makes no mention of the issues of shale gas or the strange silence on MHS).

The strength of today's paper is Letters to the Editor. Agree or disagree, they all raise important points, and discuss them intelligently.

A reminder that I shall be at the current events meeting at Moncton Library on Tuesday, September 4 at 7 pm.  And, as I threatened, I shall be discussing language in New Brunswick, and the dangers of thinking with our emotions rather than our brains.

As an example of what can go wrong when we think with our emotions, take a look at the comment that was sent in for yesterday's blog (August 30).

In this, as in most issues, it's not enough to gather information. In the first place, we never have full information about anything. In the second place, most information we get consists of propaganda and outright lies. The important thing is start with a realistic understanding of how how people and nations behave.

1 comment:

  1. You must get really excited by crappy newspaper articles. Are you a dickhead or something?