the Moncton Times and Transcript is..
Page B 1. Finance Minister Higgs will hold a public consultation with the citizens of Moncton. It will concern the budget. That's in keeping with Mr. Alward's election plank to listen to the people. Right. As if a meeting with 50 or so Moncton residents, self-chosen, will have a whole lot of insight to offer on the budget. Nah, why bother? Who can make sensible comments when our daily newspaper doesn't tell us what's happening?
And as if Mr. Higgs gives a damn what they think. He's an ex-Irving executive, has an official advsory group created by Mr. Irving, and his party has never opposed Mr. Irving on anything.
Then there's a big story on a village mayor who would like his village to get a community health centre. Wow! Stop the presses.
There's an even bigger story on the hundredth anniversary of the Moncton Public Library. It's a dry, boring, and informationless story about moves, fires, etc. Hardly a word about what the library does (and, yes, some libraries do quite a few things.)
Nor does it mention that New Brunswick libraries are worst funded in Canada - so they can't put on programmes that other libraries do; and they can't keep up to date on stock.
I have seen libraries in communities smaller than Moncton that have far better and more up to date book collections, that offer a wide range of programmes that draw community participation in the hundreds, that are full of school children as soon as the school day is over.
It's not the fault of the Moncton library. They couldn't hope to match that on their budget. It's the fault of a city and a provincial government that will spend hundreds of millions to fill hotel rooms (most of whose profits go out of the province); but have no sense of any purpose of government other than to promote business.
It's also the fault of a general population that acts as if the whole province were just a big village - so you have to watch everything you say or show any interest in. (Scrap-book making is safe.)
Anyway, if we have a high illiteracy rate, we can always blame the teachers.
Oh, the sub head, that medium size print that broadens the meaning of the story, suggests that maybe the library might go in the events centre - if it gets built. That piece of nothing news is right up there under the headline, though there's no information on it; and it takes only one line at the end of the story. It has nothing to do with the story. So what on earth is it there for?
Oh. I see. It's a promo for the events centre. Nice kissing Brent.
Speaking of kissing, Health Minister Flemming must have had a warm feeling on his bum after reading today's editorial on his superb handling of cuts in the health budget.
In another story on the abrasive Mr. Flemming, the headline looks promising, "Flemming takes heat from New Brunswick Medical Society". But the story isn't about that. It's all about how the doctors in his home riding support him. One doctor does say Flemming tends to be "fairly robust in his language"; but that's okay. I'm glad to hear he feels that way, the f-----g half-wit.
Billl Belliveau's column attempts to suggest how Harper should deal with our First Nations people. He doesn't succeed except in very vague terms. He's not to be blamed for that. Nobody else has succeeded, either.
Anyway, we know what Mr. Harper will do. He'll stall. He'll lie. He'll leak false reports to the press; he'll continue to encourage pollution of native lands (for all of us natives of Canada); and he'll continue to neglect First Nations. If that leads to violence, he'll blame it all on First Nations people while Canadians applaud him because they don't know any better. After all they get most of their news from papers like the Moncton Times and Transcript.
Norbert is good today - single topic, sticks to it, makes a strong case. It's also very frightening.
Brent Mazerolle demonstrates once again a skill that is highly prized in the Irving press - filling lots of space without saying anything at all.
And Gwynne Dyer has a solid column about the prime minister of England - and how speeches that sound patriotic and stirring and proud can be none of those things.
And the Faith Page. As usual, the sermonette is vague enough so that no-one should be offended.
It's all about forgiveness - and how there has to be punishment or penance, too. We willl pass lightly by all the evidence that says punishment is rarely effective. (Kids are bad? Whack 'em. It's all part of God's great plan.)
But once again, it's so detached, so aimed at easy targets. What inspired it, apparently, was Lance Armstrong's confession that he took drugs. Steve Malloy wrote a much better column and - dare I say it? - a more Christian one on the op ed page of yesterday's paper.
But why pick on easy targets like Armstrong when there are so many big ones?
President Obama's drone strikes have killed at least 115 children in Pakistan and Yemen. (That's from the Bureau of Investigative journalism; and it doesn't include children killed in Afghanistan and Yemen. Nor does it count innocent, adult civilians who were killed.)
So what's appropriate here? Prison? Spanking? Christian applause?
American bankers broke the law, destroyed the American economy and perhaps the world economy, impoverished millions of Americans, caused a never-to-be-known number of suicides. Call me a whacko, but I think that's worse than Lance Armstrong taking drugs to pedal fast.
And their punishment? Well, they were forced to accept a trillion or so dollars so they could give their executives and board members huge bonusses. Ah, the Lord forgives, I guess. But only if you're a billionaire banker.
Same thing with the British bank that got caught laundering money in the hundreds of billions for terrorists and drug gangs. Now, reverend, there's an example of penance and punishment. They didn't get away with it. No. They got fined - for almost as much money as they had made in the laundering.
Is the New Brunswick government notably Christian in its behaviour? Are its wealthier citizens notably Christian in theirs?
Jesus talked about real conditions in the world he lived in. I wish His churches would do the same in our world.
And the news that didn't make it?
Honduras is over the fiscal cliff. There's chaos and suffering. Teachers haven't been paid for six months. Doctors are out of essential medecines and equipment.
But the foreign news editor seems never to have heard of Honduras, and probably still has to check a map to find Mali. I have never seen any sign of editorial judgement in either Foreign or Canadian news in the TandT. I can only assume the appropriate editor doesn't have a clue about them either.
The French troops in Mali are Foreign Legion. Forget Beau Geste. These are not lovable guys. These are hired thugs, murderers, rapists and thieves. They have also been sent over the Mali border into Niger to - to help little girls go to school? Well, no. To protect French owned uranium mines in that country. Incidentally - a small point - France has now invaded two countries under conditions illegal in international law. And we are taking part in it. The Faith Page might consider the meaning of all this. It may be even more important that Lance Armstrong.
From The Independent on Jan. 25, secret funds from anonymous, multi-billionaire donors with an interest in oil, shale gas, all fossil fuels, are behind massive campaigns to discredit the idea of climate change. That would include paying off politicians, planting false articles in newspapers, organizing massive, social media campaigns..... But I'm sure the government of New Brunswick and the Moncton Times and Transcript would have nothing to do with any such thng.
This kind of misinformation has the power to, at the least, put hundreds of millions of people at risk. But we'll just sing another hymn.
From the Los Angeles Times of Nov. 22, 2012, the US government has established a Cyber Corps to interfere with computers and private phones, to plant tracking devices on cars (with no reason given and no permission needed), start false, propaganda threads in Facebook - that sort of thing. It's been done before. It was done way back in 1953 to Iran.
Iran once had a fully legitimate and elected government and a largely secular society. All that was destroyed when Britain, France and the US set up a coup so they could grab the oil fields. The BBC as well as US agencies were active in spreading propaganda for the coup (and they knew it was propaganda.) The BBC actually broadcast the code word that set off the coup.
But I guess that's all okay with our churches. I mean, really, all we have to do is to take more kids to the woodshed.
And then may they burn in Hell.