Wednesday, July 3, 2013

July 3: a crashing disappointment...

.. but first the small stuff.
Our newspaper does not have the latest news about an item it has been shoving down our throats almost daily for the last several  years - the "events" centre. CBC had the story yesterday. City Council knows all about it. It is impossible to believe that the editors of the TandT did not.

This is not just bad journalism. This is outright lying by omission.

A report commissioned by council says that the existing hockey rink could be renovated and enlarged to an "events" centre for 27 milliion. That's a good hundred million less than the Highfield Square one would cost - the Highfield Square site that this newspaper has been promoting from the start, day after day.

Today's editorial demands we cut spending on luxuries like - oh - hospitals, the hungry, schools. This comes from the same writers who say that we absolutely must borrow well over a hundred million to build a new hockey rink. And council now has a special committee (unelected) chaired by the owner of the hockey team to advise it.

We must build the new events centre. But not for the reasons that are given. If we don't buy Highfield Square, then the owners of a huge hunk of contaminated land will never find another sucker to buy it. And not a word of the truth will ever appear in this wretched newspaper - a newspaper which is not entirely unconnected with the owner of the hockey team.

But don't worry. Harper is set to destroy the independence of the CBC. So, very soon, we could well have yet another radio version of the Irving Press. Oh, joy!

There is one piece of important news in Section A; so that's almost a record. "Citizens challenge city over new high school". This concerns the very expensive abandonment of Moncton High in favour of a new and very expensive school which is a long way from the downtown we claim to want to revive - but puts the new school in a location which will greatly benefit a land developer.
What's the general news? You won't findmust of it in the Irving Press. Some general news is touched on in the editorial. "No more taxes without cuts". Damn right. Cut health. Cut education. Cut decent housing. And don't raise taxes on that poor Mr. Irving who doesn't know where his next billion is coming from. And we just gotta have a new 8 million or so high school. And we just gotta have a 150 million plus hockey rink.

And attack the provincial goverment for overspending. Right - as if those servile wimps in the Liberal and Conservative parties actually had any control over spending. We know who has always been in charge of spending and taxing in this province. And it was made abundantly clear two years ago when Mr. Irving publicly told us he was a member of the government - and wimps Alward and the Irving press did not say a word.

Mr. Irving's statement was unconstitutional. Nobody in Canadian history has ever been a member of a government without a) being elected or b)being a senator. - or c)without being invited. But the government, the opposition Liberals and the Irving Press didn't say a word.

Then Mr. Irving appointed his own flunkies to be official advisors to the Minister of Finance.The budget had nothing to do with Alward. You don't like the budget Mr. editorial writer? Then you should have the guts to attack the person who set it.

There are at least two parts to this game we are watching.
1. Concentrate even more of our wealth into the hands of a few. And make the poor bear all the costs and suffer all the cuts.
2. Destroy and privatize as many public services as possible. Leading the hits are health and education. And what will that do? We don't even have to guess. We've been watching it happen in the US.
a) equal opportunity for education will be destroyed as government cuts funding for private schools, and as most people can't afford the additional costs of privatization.
b) educational standards will drop like a rock. (Read the UN reports on the desperate quality of US education.) We now have public schools that are ranked with the best in the world. With privatization, American schools have dropped below 100the place.
c)Most people will not be able to afford regular medical care - nor the insurance for it. Again, we don't have to guess. The leading cause of bankruptcy among US seniors is medical care.
In addition, the cost of private medical means most people cannot get the regular attention they need. And the result of that is people die a lot sooner than they should. The official figures are very easily available.
Privatization of health care kills people. And there are bastards in this province who don't care if it does so long as they get to keep more of their money - to tuck away in offshore banks.

Be very careful. The US, some thirty years ago and more, went the route of letting big business take over government. It now has a ruined economy with a stunning spread of poverty and desparation. And forget the crap you read in most of our press. The US economy is not recovering. There are some new jobs - but almost all are at very, very low pay. In real terms, the incomes of most people have not risen in the last forty years. The US economy has not come back, and it's not going to come back. Free trade has made sure of that. (But don't worry. The rich are doing very, very well.)

Good news. Norbert has admitted that climate change is happening. He hasn't yet connected the dots to see where shale gas and oil fit into the pattern. But it's a start.
And now the crashing disappointment. Alec Bruce is a columnist of outstanding ability, one of the best I have seen. But  - his column today is heavily biased - to please the boss. I don't use the word 'biased' lightly or as a sort of swear word. I've spent many years as a writer and a columnist. I know a biased choice of words when I see it.

The purpose of his column is to denigrate and belittle shale gas protesters while praising  (kissing the ass) of energy minister Craig Leonard for some pretty vacant statements he made.

This is a column so deliberately slanted, illogical and distateful to rank among the worst I h ave ever seen, even  in the Irving Press. I really wish I could believe in Mr. Bruce's honesty even while disagreeing with him. But, no. Alec Bruce is intelligent and well-informed. Regretfully, very regretfully, I don't believe he can possibly have been honest in writing this.

He paints a picture of the protesters has being highly organized. Maybe they are. Is it a sin to be highly organized? Aren't political parties highly organized? Aren't billionaires highly organized?

Protesters are plotting to defeat the government plan to allow shale gas drilling? Oh? Is it a crime to plot to defeat a government plan?  And here I thought it was sort of a part of democracy to do exactly that.

But, no. The protesters are "marvelously orchestrated". Wow! That sounds evil. It's meant to sound that way. And, apparently, all our professional politicians of high education and experience and with the backing of very, very big money and the full support of a lying press just can't deal with these highly organized protesters, Mr. Bruce, that is bullshit, and you know it.

Then he quotes Craig Leonard saying, "We can't afford to do nothing...We will ensure we can enjoy the economic benefits...while proceeding in a safe, responsible and sustainable manner." Bruce calls this a strong argument, and wonders why no-one has made it before.

Are you for real, Bruce? The government has been making that vague and almost meaningless argument thousands of times.

That is a statement as vague as they get. It is as close as one can get to saying nothing at all. But Mr. Bruce heaps high praise on Craig Leonard for his "useful contributions to what should be an informed, public debate."

And  a columnist who writes for the Irving Press can have the nerve to say we should have an informed debate? - a man who writes for the paper that garbled Dr. Cleary's report on shale gas, then completely ignored it? a newspaper that routinely quotes a professor as an "expert" in a field he knows nothing about?

But there it is. Our poor, helpless billionaires who own and control most of our news media and our politicians are helpless in the face of these evil people who dare to think they have a right to protest in this democracy.

They're evil, that's what they are, using fracking "like some dark incantation..." o-o-o-ooh.

Oh, while we're on fracking, young Alec, maybe you can tell us Craig Leonard's wise thoughts on how we can dispose of millions of gallons of toxic water that's produced by fracking. (He hasn't explained that yet.) And what have we done with all the toxic waste we already have from fracking?

The protesters are also doing something else that is evil. They have looked through the internet to get information. Wow!

But where else are they going to look to get the truth, Alec? At the Irving press? (Oh, I suppose they could look at David Suzuki once a week. But he's only a scientist. So is a chief medical officer. But  What do they know compared to a regular columnist for the Irving press?)

I could go on for a very long time pointing out all the dishonestys in this column. I wish I  had less respect for your intelligence. If I had, I could write this off as ignorance. But I can't.

No. This isn't ignorance. This is the worst sort of gutter journalism.



  1. Thanks again. Clear and Sharp!

  2. thanks for being heard <3

  3. Well said Grahame, I'm mad as hell....:)

    Katrina's mum

  4. "If you don't want your tax dollars going to help the poor, then say so. Just don't say you want a country built on Christian values."--President Jimmy Carter. My kind of Liberal. My kind of Christian, too, come to think of it.

  5. Carter had his faults. But he was probably the most moral man (possibly the only moral man) ever to occupy the White House.

  6. Great stuff Graeme! Well said and true.