Monday, April 1, 2013

April 1:April Fool...........

well, I have to assume the TandT staff did go to church for Easter Sunday - and stayed there all day. There is certainly no evidence they worked on today's newspaper (and Norbert admits he wrote his column some days ago.)

The front page headline "Four parties to battle Kent riding byelection" tells us nothing whatever. There was no report on the platform of any of the four candidates. The closest to a mention of any platform is Susan Levi-Peters (NDP) who says she is concerned about Kent county issues - and is not running to further a legal career. (Gee. I didn't know lawyers did that. Actually, I thought they ran for premier to get rewarded with high-paying jobs afterward for the favours they did.)

The only other big story in Section A is a series of pictures of a pancake brunch at Stilesille United Church (caution - some violence and sex.  Parental guidance advised.)
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NewsToday? The big story is that Pope Francis had made an appeal for world peace, and expresses concern for the poor and suffering. Can you think of a pope in the last century who has not made that same speech on Easter Sunday? Or do they normally wave swords over their heads, wear bomber jackets like Bush, and call down the wrath of God on the other side?

The pope's statement is worth mentioning. It's scarcely newsworthy enough to be worth almost a full page, or to stand alone as the only foreign news story in this whole, village paper.

However, Section C does lead with the only story worth reading in the whole paper. "Prison guards lack basic respect for inmates' needs: survey". On the basis of some familiarity with prisons, I can add that such an attitude goes all the way up the ladder of prison administration. And it's an attitude not likely to change under Stephen Harper - who sees harsh treatment as important - because it get him votes from the self-righteous and ignorant who form an important voting bloc.

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Loved the cartoon by de Adder. It's inspired by a Japanese print, "Great Wave off Kanagawa". Look it up on Google under the Images category - or look it up by the name of the artist, Hokusai.

Alas! There is one hell of a worrying message behind this. As Cyprus has now shown, banks have the right to loot customers' bank accounts to pay debts that the bank owes. Cyprus has established a precedent. There is every possibility that other countries will follow suit, just to make sure the super rich don't suffer any hardship. (Their own savings are more safely distributed.)

Both Alec Bruce and Norbert Cunningham write about the bedget and the provincial debt, though Bruce did so with more insight and less rant. However, both missed an essential point.

There is no reason to believe that Finance Minister Higgs or any other member of the government wrote that budget. Over two years ago, Jim Irving named himself a member of the government. Then he held a conference of his own invitees to plan the economic future. And then he appointed his own boys to be official advisors to the Finance Minister.

Alward was either foolish, ignorant of democratic principles, or weak. Whatever the reason, he accepted this. And, in accepting this, he gave up all responsiblity for the budget. That was the day an editorial in the TandT should have demanded his resignation. That's the day when New Brunswick should have woken up to show soupport for that demand.

Alward publicly gave up his responsibilities as a premier, and handed them over to people we never elected, and who have long demonstrated their contempt for our needs.

So I certainly blame Alward for what he did. But not for the budget. I blame Jim Irving for that. He is the one who pushed his nose in where it had to business to be. He is the one who casually dismissed the whole concept of parliamentary government and of government responsibility.

What we now have is a budget that  does us no good at all. It hurts both education and health. It does nothing to create jobs. It does nothing to prepare for a future. It does nothing whatever for the people of New Brunswick.

As in the US, where major bankers plunged the country - and much of the world - into severe recession, and then made the taxpayers reward them for it, this is a greedy and inward-looking budget which serves only those who wrote it -and treats us as though we are guilty of something.

Put the blame for this where it lies - not on the people of New Brunswick, and not even on a feeble and submissive government. This was an Irving budget. Jim Irving made that clear two years ago. What he has ignored is that with power comes responsibility. But taking responsibility does not seem to be his strong point.

And reporting on that does not appear to be a strong point of the TandT.

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Skip the op ed page. Letters to the Editor is far superior.

 

 

 

 

 

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