Friday, May 31, 2013

May 31: Some good news....

When, a week ago, I saw Michael Sullivan's first op ed column, I thought - and said - it was a disaster. It tried to define him as a conservative - but showed no understanding of what conservative (or liberal) means. It also gave bizarre examples of conservative. For example, he named U2's Bono as a conservative because of his interest in social justice. And that's not unreasonable. The trouble was he also named Ayn Rand as a conservative when, in fact, she had contempt for the very idea of social justice. In face, Mr. Sullivan himself showed contempt for social justice when he called our social programmes the "nanny state". Indeed, Mr. Sullvan himself appears closer to the definition of right wing liberal. It really would be wise for him to do some reading on what the words liberal and conservative mean. (and right wing and left wing. All four of those terms are commonly used in complete ignorance of what they mean.)

Not that it matter in our politics. Neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives have any noticeable political philosophies of any sort.

But I judged too quickly. Today, Mr. Sullivan today has an excellent column on city planning - and the lack of it in Moncton. It's well argued and, I think, quite right. Moving Moncton High out to Royal Oaks makes no sense at all. The encouragement of new developments - like Royal Oaks- so far from the city centre makes no sense in the 21st century.

And we do need to pay more attention to architecture. Much of this city with its wooden duplexes is ugly and costly to maintain. Much of it is also decrepit. But there are also wonderful buildings of the very early 20th century (Capital Theatre, the churches and houses of the Church St. area) that are gems.

But you really should read his column. It's at the top of the op ed page.

I offer Mr. Sullivan just one, very friendly, piece of advice. Don't use acronyms like CBD or even TCH. Many readers don't follow local politics all that carefully, and won't know what they mean.

Good stuff.
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The op ed page is good. Alec Bruce and Norbert Cunningham are good. Even the editorial is - well - better than average. It points out flaws in the reasoning contained in a recent study of our hospital costs as compared to other provinces. It also draws attention to the fact that hospitals are not, like businesses, profit-making ventures. They're about essential services.

Alas, it also shows the usual lack of consistent logic. It makes the glib claim that the study endorses what Mr. Flemming has been saying - that our hospitals cost more than the Canadian average.
1. The controversy about Mr. Flemming has never been that our costs are above average. We already knew that. It has been over Mr. Flemmings ham-handed and short-sighted and arrogant handling of the issue.
2. It also blames unions as the cause of the problem. Of course. Attack unions. Never attack a Mr. Irving who wants to cut taxes so he won't have to pay any.
3. It closes by trivializing the issue - as though the central problem were the high cost of laundry workers.

Well,it's still better than usual.
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As usual, Section A is mostly trivia. There's big, front page story about how Moncton has lots of coffee shops. Then there's the one about a Beatrice MacNaughton grad is now working as a PR man for mayor Ford of Toronto. (He was formerly the PR man for the mayor's equally notorious brother.)
Boy, I'll bet the folks at Beatrice MacNaughton are bustin' their buttons over that one.

But the biggest stories in the section are two that are pure propaganda for SWN and its search for shale gas. It's the TandT doing what it does best - pimping for big business and a contemptible government.

The newspaper which has told us virtually nothing of the the dangers of shale gas, and which deliberatly garbled the warnings of our Chief Medical Officer - and then ignored them - has more than a full page of SWN praising itself, and implying that those opposed to shale gas are dangerous trouble-makers, and a physical threat.

Trouble-makers? I would say the trouble-makers are the TandT and the shale gas companies and the and the Conservatives - and the Liberals - who have lied to us from the start, have hidden information, and fabricated wild stories about the wealth this will bring to New Brunswick. On the latter point, take a look at today's op ed column by David Suzuki. Shale gas is dangerous to people, enormously destructive to the environment, very short term, and of little benefit to most people.

It's not the protesters who are dangerous to social order. It's the political and journalistic liars; and the gas companies which muscle their way in because they don't give a damn what damage they do. Their thinking is very short term- and concerned only with their own profits. Once they pillage and destroy New Brunswick, they'll simply move on. That's why it's so dangerous to have big business running a province - the way it runs New Brunswick.

NewsToday has nothing much. You can get far more on google news.

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