Wednesday, May 15, 2013

May 15: Bugs and blah...

News media are the first line of defence for democracy. That should be the first lecture in any Journalism 101 course. Without a supply of unbiased and relevant information from our news media, we cannot make the decision that the electorate in a democracy must make. That's not being preachy. That's a reality.

Today's lead story? A small cruise ship with no passengers aboard pulled in to a nearby port to resupply on its way back to New York. It's the replacement for another ship that was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy - and there's lost more that's just as good and just as important as that.

The pace gets even faster on p. 2 where, we are solemnly informed, Riverview has appointed a new deputy mayor. Read all about it.

In NewsToday, Canada has backed out of UN disarmament talks because Iran is chairing them. Foreign Minister Barid says that such a conference with Iran in the chair is a mockery of disarmament and blatantly ignores its international obligations.

1. Canada is backing out because the US is backing out. And the US is backing out because it has no intention of disarming. Indeed, disarmament would destroy the economy that is the world's largest weapons salesman.

2. The last time the US came to a disarmament agreement was when, under Bush, it agreed to dismantle some of its nuclear stockpile if Russia would do the same. So Russia did dismantle some. Then Bush cheated. He just put his surplus ones into storage.

3. Iran is ignoring its international obligations? What are you babbling about, Mr. Baird? What obligations? Are you referring to US and Israeli claims it is buiding a nuclear bomb? Then how come UN inspectors (and leading western intelligence sources) say it isn't?

4. Who would you accept as chairman of the conference, Mr. Baird? The US which has the largest stock of such weapons in the world and which refused to honour its commitment to reduce them? Israel which has 250 nuclear missiles (illegally)?

Mr. Baird, I can never tell whether you're talking into a toilet, or from one.

Then there's a big story about how Kate and what's-his-name haven't decided where they'll live after tthe baby is born. The news you need to know.

There's a big story about a US embassy official who has been ordered out of Russia because he was caught trying to recruit people to spy for the US.  What's the big deal? All embassies recruit spies. That's what they're for.

And so, filled with the information we need to know so we can vote intelligently, we come to editorial and op ed pages.

The editorial is bizarre. Yesterday, the big story was that the head of the Irvingite propaganda house, Altantic Institute for Market Studies was calling on us to raise the sales tax. I have never known the TandT to question a pronouncement from that oracle. It's like Moses telling God that he was off base in that stuff about not coveting. I mean, if your neighbour has a good-looking wife, why let her go to waste? Anyway, this time the TandT gave its God the raised eyebrow. We'll have to see.

It gets back to its usual style with the last sentence in which it tries to turn "workers" against civil servants by saying the government should help workers by firing civil servants (who, apparently, are not "workers).

The editorialist doesn't say why there are too many workers. But that's understandable. He obviously doesn't have a clue what too many would be.

He doesn't mention our real handicap - too many very wealthy people making far too much money at the expense of all the rest of us.

Norbert plays his favourite game of writing about three topics. The first is about the case in Cleveland where a man kidnapped three girls, and kept them as six slaves. Norbert says that's not a nice to do.

Way to speak up, Norbie. Let the chips fall where they may.

Then he launches into a rant about the UN. It has a report on food shortages, saying it may be necessary to cultivate bugs as a food ..." if there are no other solutions". Well, Norbert, for a world short of food and getting desperate, could you tell us those other solutions? Obviously, the UN needs a man of your wisdom.

And, he says crankily, "For the UN, everything is a crisis." Well, Norbert, I'm sure you're well stocked with boxes of Ganong's. But there are hundreds of millions of people in this world for whom food is a crisis. I know they don't move in your social circles, and they aren't the wealthy ones you slobber over in your newspaper. But they are people. And they are starving.

And, yes, I do know the UN should spend more time giving money to the real premier of this province.

He also says, "it goes against human nature to eat bugs." Drivel.  Norbert, there are societies in which eating ham "goes against human nature", in which eating meat of any sort" goes against human nature. " But there are also societies in which insects are necessary and even delicious - including ants, cockroaches, crickets ...  People have been eating bugs as long as there have been people. Actually, I've eaten ants - not raw, of course, deep-fried. They're okay - except their little eyes get quite hard in the frying, and get stuck between your teeth.

Then he has a frivolous comment about the Pope. Watch it, Norbert. This Protestant has a relative, Rev. Zenon Decarie, who's on the list for sainthood. That could give me some muscle in pretty high circles.

Brian Cormier has a time-wasting column on how young people are getting younger these days now that he's getting older. Read it only if you're dreadfully bored and lonely.

This is the kind of information that New Brunswickers get ever day to help them think about who they will vote for on election day. And it works every time. Wearing their innocence as proudly as if it were armour, they vote for one of the two parties that are both Irving parties.

As usual, there's nothing in this paper about the big, provincial issues like fracking, medical care, taxation (or lack of it) of the very rich. And when these do make a brief appearance, it's always slanted and/or lying.

Above all, it never mentions the incident in this province that was unique in North America. All over this continent, big business has corrupted governments to such a degree that almost all governments operate under its control.

But this is the only jurisdiction in which a businessman has actually declared his arrogance and his contempt for any government we elect and for the concept of democracy itself by declaring himself a member of the government with bothering to run for election. He has made himself the ruler of this province.



  1. I'm not fan of the Times and Transcript, that's why I don't read it.

  2. I certainly won't try to change your mind. But, for most New Brunswickers, Irving news is all they get in print. And private radio and TV do nothing to pick up the slack.

    But the voters have to clip Irving's wings, and get his face and his flunkies out of government. That's the biggest problem this province faces- and it's the cause of most of the other problems.