Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March 19: The Pope

(This blog is a bit of a mess because I'm using an Ipad, and my lessons on it don't begin until tomorrow. It has absolutely refused to let me correct some errors or to finish. I wanted to say something about the governments' (federal and provincial) sudden interest in training for skilled trades, and draw attention to some serious problems it may raise. I'll do it tomorrow. ---and it just got worse as writing in this part wiped out a chunk at the bottom.)
The new pope has some importance to all of us. He has been elected at a time when the moral order in the western world has collapsed. The economic system is based on greed and coveting, enforced by collusion between billionaires and governments to murder torture, impoverish, starve - whatever is necessary.

It is not the churches alone that are diminishing. It is the whole concept of having a code of morality at all.

A new pope could be a factor in improving (or worsening) this. But I have yet to see a serious story in the Times and Transcript about this. What has been the outlook of the Pope up to this time? Is there any indication of what his general policies will be?

The TandT has had at least one story on the Pope each day. He's humble. He goes for walks. He shakes hands with people. Today, the big word is he kissed a woman on the cheek. The papacy is being treated with all the gush of a celebrity page story about Kate's baby or some actor coming out of the closet. There is surely a difference between news and gossip.

This happens because the news editor - and his/her superiors - are sloppy and lazy. There appears to be no research of the world press. They simply accept whatever is coming in - mostly from Associated Press or Canadian Press - anything to fill blank pages in the NewsToday section.

Ditto for the Business Page. One of the big stories is that the Royale brand of tissue paper has been wiping bottoms for 50 years now. The news you need to know.

A6 has what should be an important story. "Provincial ombudsman resigns". So I looked for the reason he had resigned. It's not there. In fact, what the story is about is how the Alward government plans to change the system of appointing such officers so that it will be less partisan. (Mr. Alward has always been an advocate of non-partianship, and has long opposed appointing political friends to jobs. Right.

As things are, the story is that the ombudsman resigned for no reason; and the premier is taking advantage of the resignation to restore virtue to political appointments.

I'd sure like to know the real story.

Oh, yeah, there's a deal on for a CFL game in Moncton in September. But two councillors are questioning the costs.  Good point. Moncton council is forever looking for spectacular events to draw people to the city and spend money. The trouble is that these events always cost money - and we never know exactly how much it costs, how much of that stays in Moncton, and who gets most of what stays in Moncton.

These are substantial costs every year for t he city. It would be nice to see exactly how high the costs are, and what we get in return.

As well, the city spends so much time and energy for spectaculars that one has to wonder what effect this has on planning for long term and planning and development.

  On p. D 1, we learn that the federal government maintains a file on Omar Khadr which lists the activities which got him into prison. There are several things wrong with this.
1. Most of the information comes from the US army which obtained it by torture. No legitimate justice system in the world accepts information which comes as a result of torture. It is notoriously unreliable. So why is the Canadian government using it?

2. By using any US information at all, Canada would seem to be cooperating in an illegal practice. It is ignoring international agreements by treating Khadr as if he were an adult at the time of his capture. He wasn't. (The treatment of Khadr as an adult by the US government is one of the signs of moral breakdown I mentioned at the top.

3. The government document also lists as fact some charges that were NOT reported by the US military, and seem just to be made up.

I can only I never get into trouble overseas, and have to rely on the Harper government to defend me.

The edictorial is the usual half-wit on about the events centre. Alec Bruce is solid, though he raises
The editorial is the usual half-wit one about the events centre. Alec Bruce is solid, though he raises a point  which may have more serious implications than are readily apparent.

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