Saturday, October 27, 2012

Oct. 27: Okay. I'll be good....

.... Tomorrow, I'll be positive. I'll suggest a few things that might make the The Moncton Times and Transcript a better newspaper. Of course, nothing on heaven above or earth below will make this a better newspaper so long as it has its present ownership. Under that ownership, it's purpose is to hide the truth, to keep people trivial, to hire really sloppy journalists (I suppose because they're cheaper), to throw out any old piece of "news" as if it were a breadcrumb carelessly tossed to pigeons.

But there are things that could be done. It still won't be worth a damn as a newspaper - but it could look almost respectable. I get fed up reading the same incompetence and lying every day. So I will try, tomorrow, to be as positive as one can.

By the way, the best news you will get in Canada is the CBC, radio or television. The Globe and Mail has some good columnists. Underline 'some'. Almost all private radio stations are bad news. They don't have enough reporters - and they can't offend their advertisers. For TV,  CTV is passable.

To get a jolt, go to International Clearing House on google. It's one-sided; it's sometimes extreme; but very often, if sadly, it's true.

For local news, again head to google, and type The Moncton Free Press - or it's full name La Presse Libre de Moncton Free Press. It doesn't have nearly enough writers (all are volunteers); so it's coverage is limited. But it's put together in a very professional manner. And it tells the truth that you will never find in the TandT.

The front page report on the NB Liberal leadership is the usual jargon and bilge. "We must govern from the centre." "We must have a vision." Such were the meaningless urgings of, God help us, Shawn Graham. Do you know what the centre means in New Brunswick? Damned if I do. You need a vision? Look, Shawn, the world Liberal is supposed to indicate you have a philosophy of government. What is that philosophy? That is what your vision is supposed to be based on. What does Liberal mean? But, evidently, the meeting was made up entirely of the usual blather - "we must go. but we must go - forward." (wild cheering.)

Of course, the reporter just took notes -obediently. There doesn't seem to have been a single question to try to find some meaning in all that brainless jargon. Look, New Brunswick. You have a bad government by any standard I have ever seen. Even the mafia-run governments of Quebec have been more effective than the corporation-run governments of New Brunswick. If this stinker of a Liberal convention is the best you can do to challenge the clowns and puppets who now are the government, you're in a hopeless position.

Also on the first page, we are told that our basketball team will supply us with community leaders.

Leaders? Why? What special talents do basketball players have to be community leaders? If they want to volunteer as individuals to  help out, fine. But community leaders? This is the sort of bilge that is really a free ad.

 I worked as a community organizer at one time. I got to meet plenty of famous and admired athletes. Some of them I admired very much. I remember with great fondness Sam Etcheverry of the Montreal Alouettes, and a Maurice Richard who had been dumped by the Canadiens ownership after years of minting money for it while getting only a low salary in return. Both Etcheverry and Richard were fine people. (I'm not just saying that. I also met many pro athletes who were the biggest jerks and louts you could hope to come across. There is nothing about sport that creates leadership or good character.Sport is just like any other trade in that respect.)

But I could never see that their visits had the slightest value in changing anybody's life. Let's keep sports mania where it should be - in the arena or, more likely, on the TV couch. This news story is just an ad.

So is the story below. This one, about a housing development, is full of brainless jargon. It's being built to a "master-plan" for a "community". All housing developments are built to a master plan. Any group of people constitute a community. A penitentiary is a community. This, like the previous stories is just pretentious blather.

Oh, it's called Vision Lands. Of course. Ya gotta have a vision. Like the liberals.

How does such a project with its obvious urban sprawl fit into Moncton's development plans? Does Moncton have development plans? The reporter didn't ask either (or any questions). Nor did he ask what building a new project designed around the automobile has to do with planning for the future. Actually, it sounds very 1950s.

There's nothing in the first section but pretentious jargon, trivia, and ads disguised as news stories.

Read NewsToday only as a sedative. There's no mention that in his omnibus budget bill which which allows no time for debate or public information, Harper has almost completely dismantled any environmental protection left in Canada. Oil and gas companies and mines will now be allowed to destroy Canada as thoroughly as they have been destroying third world countries for a century. As well, he is pimping a trade deal with China which gives that country the right not only to poison our lands and waters, but also to bring over cheap labour to do it.

Then there's a story of Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird howling insults at a UN official because he dared to be critical of Israeli policy in its treatment of Palestinians. Way to kiss ass, John. It was coupled with an attack on the UN, itself. That's more kissing. US policy for some years has been to get rid of the UN. It loved the UN when it controlled that organization. But now, the UN is starting to represent everybody. So the US has been replacing with a fresh set of puppets called NATO. That will make it much easier to prepare for World War Three.

The Conservative government of Canada is the most dangerous government this country has ever seen. Stephen Harper is not a Conservative of any sort. He is driven by a fanaticism so narrow and destructive that Canada will be lucky to survive his term in office. And, if it does survive, it will be a horribly changed country.

Bill Belliveau? Just read the headline.  "Liberals will need vision for future." Here's another one who thinks that by using the "vision" word he has said something. But at least he wants a vision for the future. Well, yes. I mean, a vision for the past....well...no. I has to be for the future. Good thinking, Bill.

The editorial has nothing to say. Neither has Brent Mazerolle.

David Suzuki's column is one of the most important he has ever written. It is the only item worth reading in the whole paper. This one really isn't about science or warning about a theoretical future. This is about damage which is being done right now by Stephen Harper. There's nothing theoretical about it. It's real. It's happening. It's obvious. It's being rushed through parliament with virtually no debate. It all underlines something more serious that is happening in Canada and the US.

Stephen Harper makes his contempt for democracy quite obvious. He has no time for parliamentary debate or public discussion or even public information. As well, he is driven by an ideology that is concerned only with the making of money - and only with the making of money by the already rich. He doesn't give a damn what that does to Canada.

We are seeing a similar pattern in the US and Britain. In the US, in particular, human rights guaranteed in the constitution have been shredded. The US is not heading to be a police state. It is a police state.

Much of this has developed over the past forty years, coming out of the greed and the desire for unlimited power by the world of corporations. This is the ideology that drives Harper. This is what is behind his contempt for democracy.

Democracy certainly has its annoyances. But when you destroy it, you create a situation in which change can happen only with popular violence. And popular violence often has an outcome as terrible as the greed and lust for power that it rebels against.

We are in very deep trouble. Of course, if you read The Moncton Times and Transcript, you'll never know it. So that's okay.

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