Thursday, February 13, 2014

Feb. 13: The best-written story in the TandT for a long time...

It's written by Adam Huras.  And it's a very balanced presentation of news, and clearly presented.

"Debate rages pver 'no-failure' policy." is a continuation of story in yesterday's paper in which NDP leader Dominic Cardy accused the government of having a policy of promoting students at the end of a school year even if they haven't really passed.

Alward furiously said there was no such policy. Education Minister Jody Carr issued a long statement that was so loaded with bafflegab as to be unintelligible. (By the way, Jody Carr is supposed to Minister of Post-Secondary Education. Why on earth is she the spokesman on an issue dealing with secondary and pre-secondary education?)

The best response she could manage was that the NDP was advocating stoning children in a public square. (Actually, if Jody Carr ever reads The Bible, she should check out Deuteronomy 10:18 which advocates the public stoning of disobedient children.)

But when Cardy asked for a more intelligent comment, she returned to her old style of bafflegab. It's all well recorded in the story.

Then Alward insisted the government does not have a no-failure policy but, perhaps also lacking a knowledge of The Bible and stoning, completed his statement with another piece of bafflegab that, somehow, the province is a world leader in education.

Cardy then pointed to the government's own policy statement on the subject. It says there is a no-failure policy.

There was no comment from the Liberals. Good thinking, Mr. Gallant.

Almost everything else in Section A was village chatter.

Cardy also had a good day on the issue of shale gas.(NewsToday, lead story,"N.B. parties sparring over shale gas"). Alward contended that NB needs shale gas development right away. Gallant is still playing games with his maybe yes, maybe no statement which, one can assume, will be a yes if he wins the election.

But Cardy, at the end of the story, makes a pretty clear statement. People speak, he says, of safety and profitability. The reality is we don't know. We don't know whether it's safe. And we really don't yet know whether it will produce a profitable return. This is all speculation.

There's nothing else really worth reading in the rest of NewsToday. The only news from outside North America is a picture of a woman sitting outside a tent, and the words, "Violence continues in Syria."  I don't think anybody needed to buy a paper to know that. Actually, violence yesterday continued in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ukraine, Egypt - and the hundred or so countries all over the world where the US has assassination squads and drones at work.

The front page also has a big story about a speech given by former federal cabinet minister Jim Prentice. I have no idea why this was considered worth reporting. It seems to have been pretty simplistic stuff. The two main points were that Canada has to get the US to allow Alberta crude oil to be piped south, and it is urgent for Canada and the US to focus on the problem of climate change. He says that climate change is an economic question. And we also need to build piplines to sell oil to the world.

Uh, Jim, baby - the burning of oil is the major cause of climate change. Isn't it possible there might be just a tiny contradiction in selling more oil AND dealing with climate change at the same time?

Norbert Cunningham wets his pants with glee at the prospect of the CBC being shut down. He pours contempt on it, especially on its news division.

Norbert, anybody who would write for a lying, manipulating, trivial paper like those of the Irving chain should be very careful I should also add that its editors appear to have a crashing ignorance of any part of the world beyond Vaughan Harvey Boulevard.

To make it worse, our private radio stations seem to be just as bad. And private TV across North America is no hell on wheels. Indeed, many of them are in a class with the Irving press.

Generally speaking -and this is openly said in professional journalism circles, the private news media across North America are appallingly bad, manipulative, and lying. Indeed, around the world, it's hard to find a trustworthy news source.

CBC is probably the best news service in Canada - and I would happily compare it to any in the US.
I don't know how many times I've heard important news, even local news, on CBC that never made the Irving press.

The reality is that private news media invariably come to be owned by very rich people who use them to spread the propaganda they want us to think is news. Look at your own, paper, Norbert. Look, if you can stand it, at yourself.

Then there's the Washington Post whose major owner also has a huge contract with the CIA. How's that for being impartial?

You may not like it, Norbert. But CBC is the only real news service we have.

By contrast, Alec Bruce has a column that is superb by any standard. It's about how empathy, our ability and willingness to think of others and their needs, is in severe decline - especially among children and young adults.

It is. And that's dangerous because empathy is what sustains a society. And Bruce's column is a warning that we should take very, very seriously. I would just add a footnote to it.

Empathy is being destroyed by the code of big business, the view of Ayn Rand that you should think only of yourself, and not give a damn about anyone else.

I don't know how often I've heard this view expressed by some economists, and virtually all business leaders. Think only of what you want - and the hell with everybody else.

It's destroying our universities, our forests, our climate. It has created huge profits for the wealthy while millions starve. New Brunswick is run by this philosophy of ignorance, of self-serving, and of greed.

This is really the issue New Brunswick and Canada face in their elections. We are ruled by the greedy and the not-terribly-bright. And the occasional gift from them to get themselves into the Philanthropy Hall of Fame doesn't change anything.

If I were looking for just one quality in a political candidate, it would be empathy.

We have to face these people down. We have to stop living in a society that puts millions into poverty so a few can have private jets.  Get real. If you don't stop those bastards, they will destroy you and your children and your communities. And that's a reality, and it's happening very, very quickly.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed. Been saying that for a while. That's also the reason bullying in schools has become deadly. All the technology and no humanity.