Monday, December 23, 2013

Dec. 23: I should add....

to yesterday's blog that when I suggested we need political parties based on moral principle, I did not mean parties based narrowly on any religion in particular. Churches   certainly should be more active than they are in communicating to the congretations about the immorality (by the standards of any religion) of our political/economic system. But I certainly wouldn't want any religious group to have the power to inflict its own views on everybody else.

I was thinking of a person like Warren Allmand, Solicitor-General under Trudeau who is a Catholic, and active in the Catholic Social Action Movement. In active politics, he always based his decisions on his moral principles - which had much in common with Protestants, Jews, Moslems and even Confuscists I have known.

He has, since retirement, remained active in causes around the world because of his sense of moral obligation.

I could say the same of Tommy Douglas, though I am certainly not a Baptist (or a Catholic). Or Stephen Lewis, though I am not Jewish. (In fact, I don't really belong to any brand of church).

Morality does not mean following any, particular set of rules. It means having a code of behaviour and obligation. There are Liberals and Conservatives who have that. There just aren't  very many and, certainly, neither party is based on anything that could be called a morality of any sort.

And that, in any civilization, is fatal.


The big stories on p. 1 are the usual sort of triviality. "Metro preacher who is also provincial cabinet minister, high on drugs, attacks six-year old boy."

Well, no. The TandT front page never reaches as high as that standard.

It noses around in triviality. The new Codia Transpo manager, it seems, likes his job. I'm so happy to hear it.

"Snow makes for outdoor fun".  Really? Maybe we could export it to less fortunate parts of the world like Florida.

Inside, there's a big story on rug-hooking, and a whole page of photos of people skating with Santa.

NewsToday has 1 and 1/4 pages of news. Count them. 1 and 1/4.

The biggest one is that mayor Ford of Toronto was named by The Canadian Press as the newsmaker of the year. And that tells you all you need to know about Canadian news media. To most of the news media, news is entertainment, and a man who daily  parades himself as a lout is entertaining.

And that makes him much more important news than Harper destroying virtually all environmental protections, destroying our tracking of climate change, and almost certainly lying about his connection to Duffy.  Nor is it important that a tiny group of people pocketed most of Canada's wealth this year, while millions of Canadian lived in poverty and even hunger.

We also get the usual Associated Press story about how that terrible Syrian government is bombing innocent people in Aleppo (a city held by the rebels who are, I presume, doing nothing but making Christmas stockings for Syrian Christians.)

That news comes from a British organization based in London which is a long way from Syria. This so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is a rebel organization run by a haberdasher who knows even less about what is going on in Syria than the TandT does. But the news media have  been publishing his propaganda as news for least a couple of years now.

The picutre with the story is of a Palestinian celebration. I have no idea why.

The editorial began well. I thought it was about what it opened by saying - that immigration enhances the cultural life of Moncton. (And that certainly needs all the help it can get.) I thought it was admirable that Moncton should show an accepting attitude, and that it should be making an effort to help the poor and displaced of the world.

But no.

We get the true story close to the end.

Help and compassion for the poor and displaced of this world is not what it's about. "...the majority of immigrants are entepreneurs who have bought into businesses and invested heavily in improving them, creating jobs and boosting the economy along the way."

Then it slides back into santimonious self-righeousness.

Welcome, imimigrants. or, well,welcome to the ones who have money.

Norbert is puzzled by Dieppe planning to build its own water system. At the end, he's still puzzled. So why bother writing about it if there is nothing to say?

Oh, and he has his usual quotation. I have no idea why. This time. its a quotation right up there with the best of Rob Ford, "mayors are judged by results."

Gee. Nobody else is.

Craig Babcock puts up a good argument against city council giving land to the YWCA to built a housing complex for young mothers, to give them and their children a chance in life. Trouble is, residents of the area gave that land to the city (44 years ago) on condition it be used for a park.

Babcock makes a reasonable case. I don't agree with him at all. But at least it's well written.

A councillor who voted against the idea says he   won't be able to sleep, knowing what council has done. Really?

Would he be able to sleep better knowing that the land will continue to sit there, unused, while young mothers go homeless, and try to raise their children in poverty?

Babcock says a deal is a deal. No doubt. But people are people. And in my book, the needs of people like young mothers and babies beat a deal every time.

Babcock adds he saw no sign among residents of the area of a "not in my back yard" attitude. I'll bet he didn't. People in middle class suburbs are well-known for their lack of snobbery.

The city promised a park. No park has been built in, so far, 44 years. Better to leave it empty so that young mothers and their babies can sleep out in the fresh air. Anyway, it's their own fault. Middle class suburban girls don't have sex until they're forty - and then only when absolutely necessary.

Steve Malloy is lighter than I would like this time. Or is it that I'm not sympathetic enough to the problems of pet animals? I"m really not sure. In any case, this one is, as always, well written.

Oh, I forgot Alec Bruce. This one, again, is solid.

Whatever the price of this paper is, it's way too much for a paper that has only two columnists  and no news at all worth reading.

I'll be off until January 2. Meanwhile, I'm afraid to say Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas. Who know who I might offend.

So - see ya.

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