The bad news is right at the top of p. 1. The main feature of today's edition is an interview of David Alward by Brent Mazerolle. In fact, There are TWO pages of interview with THREE suitable-for-framing pictures of Alward. It begins with a full column of babble about how unpretentious Mr. Alward's office is. Then Brent steps up to the pitcher's mound, holds the ball behind his back, nods at the catcher, spits, and sends a gentle pitch floating upward into an arc as though on the softly beating wings of a butterfly, right over the middle of the plate.
"Are you worried about the exodus of New Brunswickers to the the west?"
Alward, eyes closed but mouth, as always, hanging open, swings, just clipping the ball which then falls to earth in front of the plate as Alward admits he is worried. It's a homer. Then, as he jogs around the bases, Alward tells a long and quite pointless story about his family.
On the mound, Brent has another blazer ready. "Of course, it's a problem for all three maritime provinces."
Alward ignores this one, lays down his bat, and gives a long answer about something else. The umpire, who had dozed off during the home run, opens one eye, says "safe at home", then gently closes the eye again.
If you want to read this kind of thing, then this is the kind of thing you want to read.
World news consists almost entirely of accounts of the Newtown tragedy, all of them over three days old.
So far, I have not seen a single news source (or a church) that has noticed that many times more children than that have been killed every day for over ten years by the bombs, bullets, starvation and exposure inflicted by our side in wars.
Mourners, says a headline, are dealing with grief all over the world. How self-centred can we get? How can we ignore the tens of thousands of parents - probably more - all over the world who have their own dead children to mourn. And where are the news stories giving psychiatric assessment of our leaders who order those killings?
And where is the study of a society that makes it possible for a person long diagnosed of mental disorder to get an assault rifle and semi-automatic pistols, weapons whose only purpose is to kill people? And why is it that the US government will not face up to all the implications of this tragedy? (You think it will? Dream on. At best, you'll see some quite minor legislation. Gun nuts are already suggesting that the answer is to arm teachers.)
There are two editorials. The first, dealing with safety and emergency vehicles, defends a law that very, very few would dispute. So why bother writing about it? In fact, even without such a law, New Brunswickers are the most courteous and careful drivers I have ever seen.
The second editorial, a very brief one, is a model of self-righteous stupidity. The writer supports employment insurance reforms which will harm many people though, as the writer says, only a few have abused the system. Then read the thoroughly pig-headed and obnoxious last sentence,"Those few have necessitated this reform, and now all clients have to pay the consequences." (Little Tommy deliberately dropped his pencil on the floor. Now the whole class has to be punished.)
Where does the TandT find these twits?
Craig Babstock on op ed defends his title as chammpion of pointless columns. But Allen Abley makes a strong challenge with yet another irrelevant story about some place near Washington.
Alec Bruce offers a moment of sanity.
Did anything escape the eagle-eyed editors of The Moncton Times and Transcript? Well, according to The Washington Post for Dec. 13, there is a report approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee that torture did not lead to the capture of Osama Bin Laden; and, in fact, torture has never produced useful information. There have been no breakthroughs in the war on terror - or on anything else - as a result of torture.
It barely passed the committee since all but one of the Republican members opposed it. It may not pass the whole Senate. In any case, we shall never see it because the CIA insists it contains "information harmful to the nation." Quite so. It would be very damaging to the US if the world were to learn that the CIA is a home for ineffectual goons.
Actually, the ineffectiveness of torture has been well known for decades. But most of our news media have never bothered to report that.
Meanwhile, an American soldier is now on trial before a military court in the US. The evidence is all based on what he said under three years of torture.
Then there is a story I mentioned earlier about the 1.9 billion dollar fine levied on the British bank HSBC, the bank that had laundered tens of billions of dollars for drug cartels. It seems the story is even worse than that.
I had already mentioned that money laundering is not a misdemeanour. It is a very serious crime. If you got caught laundering drug money, you would be facing serious jail time.
The HSBC had no criminal charges to deal with. The 1.9 billion dollar fine is probably less than the profit they made out of the laundering. But it gets worse.
The period examined was only three years, 2006-2009. And examination of the years since and after, would probably show a hundred billion of more.
And the practice is widespread among banks in both London and New York. So that could take us beyond billions into trillions.
And the laundered money is not just from drug cartels but from international prostitution rings - and terrorist groups.
And nobody went to jail. It's just like the great bank bailout. The banks acted illegally, drove the world into recession, - and the government paid them for it. Not a single person faced any criminal charge. Almost all of the law-breakers got millions in rewards.
But, boy, we gotta crack down on them there EI people. Indeed, it is quite common in some circles to hear the poor blamed for the recession.
There's a line in G.K Chesteron's novel, "The Man Called Thursday". The line is "Religion will be destroyed by the rich." Amd that has pretty much happened. The making of wealth in our time is based on principles that are in defiance of any religion I ever heard of.
In the same way, capitalism is being destroyed by the capitalists. When you have people like those in control of our great corporations, we don't need anarchists and revolutionaries. The CEOs and the owners will do it for us.