The Moncton Times and Transcript had a picture of yesterday's Idle No More demonstration. But it has still given no clear idea of what it is all about. The reporter does talk to a few people. But haven't TandT reporters ever learned how to ask questions, and how to use them? If these reporters are trained at UNB's School of Journalism, doesn't it teach them how to ask questions? Doesn't it teach them how to get information readers need to understand the story?
Mind you, an editor should know that, too, and should be coaching reporters. But the editors of the TandT seem to be a particularly clueless lot who couldn't find their own bellybuttons using both hands.
I'm trying to be nice to them when I say they're clueless. If they aren't clueless, if they actually know something about journalism, then they routinely lie and obscure the news in order to keep us in dark. Take your choice. But it has to be one. Either they are remarkably incompetent, or they're sell-outs.
What, exactly, has Harper done to destroy environmental protection in Canada? Why has he done it? Hell, this is not hard to find. The proposed legislation has been (or should have been) public knowledge for weeks. Why don't we know exactly what it says?
And what is it that Harper plans to do with the Indian Act? And how will t his affect native peoples?
What is the point of printing pictures of a demonstration if few readers know what it's all about?
But, oh, how quick journalists across Canada are to print Harper's newsleaks discrediting Theresa Spence. (Trust Harper to play the sleaze card). They're laid out instantly and in detail. Lord, journalists across Canada have been one lazy and irresponsible lot in their coverage of Idle No More. This is the only time I have seen the Irving press up to the Canadian average.
By the way, are there any leaks about Harper's deals with the mining and oil industries that have led him to gut our environmental protection? I mean, I'm sure Mr. Harper would never do anything improper.
The Governor-General won't attend any meeting. It wouldn't matter if he did. David Johnston is a former university president. That means he's built his career on kissing up to the right people. (Remember how NB university presidents scampered for Mr. Irving's big economic conference of a couple of years ago?) University presidents are usually picked by the leading business members of the board of governors -and they are not picked for their independence of thought.
As for the official council of chiefs that will meet with Harper, don't get any hopes up. They have been a pretty submissive lot for years.
There's a small editorial of indignation that School District Two is wrong not to make public its reasons for not making public the study of a case in which two students were tied together with duct tape. It is dramatically headed "Mark this one an 'F'".
Damn right, kid. Way to blaze it. The School District should tell us such an important story, just as the TandT constantly strives to get the whole truth about lesser issues like the city's proposed purchase of contaminated land for a hockey rink, the bizarre move of Moncton High, and the whole story on shale gas and on what Bill C-45 is all about.
Solid column by Alec Bruce.
Norbert Cunningham makes an important point about the US gun culture. "A healthy economy with good jobs will reduce crime. If you have a poor safety net and ghettoes without hope combined with culture of accepting guns, you'll see gangs and violence.....If your entire national identity is built around guns, viewing them as an effective solution to all kinds of problems, you'll have body counts."
Well put. The US is an economy that has become based on exploitation of the poor for the benefit of the rich - whether those poor are in the US or Haiti or Congo.Seeing guns (or bombers or drones or assassinations as the solution to all problems is a characteristic of the whole nation, including governments at every level.
In fact, US political and economic leadership (as that in Canada) is in an advanced state of moral rot. Most weapons should be banned. But that won't solve the problem. We need to re-establish some sense of moral responsibility in the Obamas and Harpers and Cheneys and Irvings of this world. (No. Don't panic. I didn't say religion. Indeed, we have to reinforce - and maybe re-establish - some sense of moral responsibility in our church leaders, too.)
And I'm afraid it's not going to come from them. It's going to have to come from us.
Jody Dallaire, on op ed, writes a tough and solid column on a topic related to Norbert's, the need to re think the role of government and the way we raise money. Her view is contrary to the knee-jerk (and not very intelligent) conventional thought that government is bad and big business is good.
Quite the contrary, the leadership demonstrated by big business has been disastrous - and we are going to pay very, very dearly for it. Mr. Irving is going to have to learn that he is not "in coalition" with the government, and that he has no more right to be in such a coalition than any of us peasants. If we continue to let these pretentious and self-centred clowns run wild, we are headed for serious violence in North America to go with the wars that are already being fought, largely unreported, all over the world.
There's a reason for morality. There's a reason to be scared when it rots away.
Rod Allen is Rod Allen. It could be worse. He could have been a twin.
The back page has an opinion piece by Marilyn Simon Ingram. It is well written, profoundly moving-really a must read. It's a superb finish to a newspaper edition that started out so dismally.