Some forty years ago (my, I'm getting old) a very prominent Canadian politician to me he never read the newspapers His friends assured me that was the truth. I still didn't quite believe it at the time. But I begin to see that it makes sense.
Ever since their beginnings, almost all of the mass circulation newspapers (and mass circulation magazines like Time and Newsweek) have been superb instruments of thought control. exercising an almost hypnotic influence on their readers. It's done with heavily biased reporting and opinion columns, careful choice of misleading labels like terrorist and rebel and public/private/partnership.
(Terrorism is widely used by both sides in any war. But it is never called terrorism when it is used by our side. Rebel is freely used to describe hired mercenaries on our side because rebel sounds, you know, patriotic and freedom-loving. This one can become quite bizarre. 'Rebel' is now being used to describe hired thugs, and extreme Moslem jihadists hired, equipped, trained and fed intelligence by our side to invade Syria. P/P/P uses a goody-goody word, "Partnership" to describe what is really an intrusion by private business into our governments to rip off our tax dollars.)
They also use slanted words to build hatred of whoever we are supposed to hate at any given time. Right now, Moslems are the "in" group. Gee. it seems like just yesterday it was the Chinese.
Often, of course, they leave out vital parts of the news, or slant them, or they just lie. Quebecor (The Sun)is good at this latter part. So is Fox News.)
Right from the start, these newspapers and magazines gave enormous power to their owners - who were always closely tied in big busines. In fact, they were always part of big business.
William Randolph Hearst, for example, rightly claimed that he set off a war with Spain to grab parts of the Spanish Empire that Spain could not longer defend. Cuba, for example, gave the US a base to establish and control dictatorships in Central America. In fact, that's the reason Guantanamo Bay is, to this day, a part of the American empire.
In that same war, the capture of The Phillipines gave the US a base to establish military power - and thus economic control - in Asia.
His influence was so great that Hearst once seemed to have the presidency within his reach.
New Brunswick's Lord Beaverbrook had a similar career in Britain. During the first world war he became so influential that he looked like a sure bet to become a member of parliament, even prime minister. That's why he was made a lord. As a lord, he could not be an m.p. nor, by that time, could he be a prime minister.
Another Canadian, Conrad Black, seemed to be on the same path. But ego caused him to be side-tracked into mere attention-seeking and display, a sort of Donald Trump, but with less modesty. And, of course, he did something naughty.
I think that is partly why my only famous acquaintance never bothered with the papers. But I think, too, he realized something else. To understand the news, all you really need to know is how people and nations behave. So, using that method, let's take a shot at what is going to happen in the near future. To keep it short, we'll stay in the Americas.
The US is in the process of establishing world economic domination through military power. The leading American businessmen said so almost twenty years ago. Google - Project for the New American Century.
Economic domination of the Americas has been an American goal for a hundred and fifty years. That's what the Monroe Doctrine is really all about. In the same period as the Spanish-American war, a US-inspired rebellion gave it Panama. - vital for American expansion into Asia.
That domination, both military and economic, was once almost complete. But it has been weakened. Cuba was the first to challenge it - and win. (Please don't tell me the US dislikes Cuba because it's not fully democratic. Before Castro, Cuba was controlled by an enormously brutal dictators - and it was the US that installed and supported the dictators. Just as it did in Haiti and Guatemala and other states.
To add to the trouble, Venezuela, rich in oil, established a real democracy under Valdez who, for the first time, spent the oil money for the benefit of the country instead of handing it over to American billionaires.
At the same time, Argentina is showing signs of sudden economic growth - and a less tight reliance on American influence.
One way for the US to establish economic dominance was globalization and free trade. (how that really works and what it's really for is too long a story for this post.)
What's needed now, an quickly, is complete US dominance of all the Americas as one trading zone dominated by US business; and one, vast military base which would be virtually immune to attack, and open only to those investors who would be no threat to US investors.
What the US needs for this purpose is absolute dominance over other governments. Stephen Harper is already on board and, I suspect, might even favour a complete union with the US. Cuba and Venezuela are immediate obstacles. But military attacks on either would be too obvious.
So - with Valdez now dead, watch for interference in the coming Venezuelan election, an interference perhaps marked by an uprising of "Venezuelan freedom fighters" armed, trained and paid by the CIA. There may well be something similar planned for Cuba.
Oh, and watch for a much, much closer relationship with Canada, probably marked by an even greater slashing of environment protection laws, and the spread of American police state laws and methods.
You don't need a newspaper to figure that out.- And you certainly won't see it in a newspaper- not even when it happens. The Moncton Times and Tribune is not worse in the respect than most other newspapers. It's just lazier, sloppier, more trivial, and more ignorant.