Monday, September 16, 2013

Sept. 16: Almost half of section A is ads...

...and that's the only half worth reading. Page one features a hap, hap, happy speech by Frank McKenna on how great everything in the world is. It is reported by the TandT's specialist in reporting on silly speeches, Brent Mazerolle. McKenna says Canada is the happiest country in the world. Oh? And how does he know this? In fact, there are many professional studies of how happy countries are. Canada does well in them. But I have never seen one which rated Canada the happiest. The whole speech seems to have been empty blather. But Mazerolle raises not a single question. It was a feel-good speech by a man accustomed to giving feel-good speeches. As a feel-good speech, it meant nothing whatever. But it was front page stuff for the TandT. The front page also has a piece of mythology, again reported on by Brent Mazerolle, the reporter who asks no question. This time, it's about how Canada went to war to preserve freedom in South Korea, and to protect a people they didn't even know. No, Brent, they didn't. Certainly, we owe full thanks and respect for those Canadians who served in Korea, I knew many of them, including a close friend whose wounds pretty much destroyed the rest of his life. But I didn't meet a single one who had done it to protect,as this story says, a country they never knew and a people they never met. Indeed, I have never heard of any country in history which has gone to war for that reason. We went to war in Korea because the US wanted us to. It had nothing to do with democracy. South Korea was essentially a dictatorship when we went there, and still a dictatorship when we left. (President Syngman Rhee used the outbreak of the Korean war to murder 200,000 South Koreans who he suspected of being opposed to him.) At the end of World War Two, the US saw its chance for the prize it had wanted for a century, dominance of the Asian market. As the old British, Dutch, French and Japanese empires collapsed, the US was in a fever to inherit them. But there were two, big obstacles, China and the rise of communism in Asia. Canada joined in because Canadian business was tied to the success of American business. I mean, get real. Did we send help to the Vietnamese (a people we didn't know in a country we had never seen) when they were being napalmed and poisoned by the million? Did we help them when the US overthrew the elected government of South Vietnam, and set up a series of military dictators? Did we send help when the the US oversaw the murder of at least two hundred and fifty thousand Guatemalans - or when it overthrew democracy in Chile to insall a murderous dictator? And exactly who were we helping when we sent Canadian troops into the Boer War? This isn't a news report. This is propaganda. All credit to our troops, certainly. But let's not kid ourselves about why they died. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The NewsToday section has 8 pages, but with six devoted to ads. In fact, there is only one page of anything that could be called news - with the whole world covered in that one page. (Well, really less that half a page because most of it is taken up with the irrelevant story of raising a capsized ship, and the top-of-the-page item is another brain-dead piece of propaganda from Kurt Peacock about what somebody else said about how things look good in St. John.) ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Those looking for deeper insight into world affairs get a break on p. 1 pf Life&Times with the story that Julia Roberts is selling her Hawaiian home for 17 million (it has four bedrooms). And, for those who need to know, the kitchen cupboards are red. That is followed by another big story on some big star I never heard of who is getting married again. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The editorial is yet another on a story that the TandT has been following closely,presumably because of its importance to the lives of all of us - the slow pace of registration for Riverview's swimming programme. As usual, Alec Bruce and Steve Malloy contribute useful and well-written columns. Craig Babstock, like all the staff writers for the TandT, has nothing whatever to say. Reading it is like listening to somebody telling a really boring joke, and who constantly giggles while he's telling it. (He could be the next Rod Allen.) In his first installment on an election platform for New Brunswick, Norbert lays the ground work. He would do good things. He would listen to good ideas, no matter who they came from. He would keep essential services, while firing large numbers of the service deliverers to cut costs. In short, his platform would be the same one as that of 90% of all the politicians I have ever heard of. He says he did the first draft in just 8 hours, including bathroom breaks. (This mindless bilge took 8 hours? You must have some dreadfully long bathroom breaks, Norbert.) He also supplies a detail one could have guessed. He tell us he did it with little research. Duh... A hint Norbert. You start with a position based on some moral view. What is the purpose of government? What is the moral (or immoral or amoral) motive that shapes your opinion of the purpose of government? Would your government encourage democracy and public involvement? If so, what would you do about the appalling monopoly of trivia and propaganda that is called news in this province?) You intend to call on the people of this province to balance the budget by making sacrifices. Will corporations, too, be asked to make sacrfices? You might think all this over because most of what you say about economic was decisively proven wrong and worse than wrong over eighty years ago. Norbert, your "platform" is so far vague, economic nonsense, and without any moral principle that I can detect. And, so far, it's identical to much of what the Liberals and Conservatives will come up with - because it's the same as what they've always come up with. This is really puerile. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ To those who have been emailing me, here's the scoop. I've changed my e mail address. In the process I've lost any mail that might have been sent since August 1.I have also lost all record of mailing lists for various newsletters and groups. So, if you administer a newsletter or other mailing list that I'm on, please re-send it. Anyway, here's the new address. graeme1decarie@gmail.com (gosh. I hope that's right...I've made SO many mistakes in this whole change of server business....)

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