Saturday, February 8, 2014

Feb. 8: Long ago, in hie early days as president, Franklin D. Roosevelt read the weekend comics to the kiddies.

This was with the magic of radio which, even in the homes of the poor, was standard equipment by the 1930s. Funny how the front page  headline of today's TandT reminded me of that.

"Victoria's Secret planning a store in Moncton." Dieppe, actually.

Now, personally, I don't know Victoria. And if she has a secret? Well, we all do. But I guess this story in the adult version of having somebody read the weekend comics to you.

Brent Mazerolle picks up the mood with a "news story" that n the old days, the CN rail shops in Moncton marked the passage of time with a steam whistle. I feel better, knowing that.

The only serious news story in Section A is there as a proud boast for this city. "Moncton nabs high billing in national adult toy poll".  Now, this one might need a little bit of explaining for the kiddies. But I'm not a prude; and I'm not afraid to write it out loud. Adult toys, as they're called, are - well - they're -

we have to be frank about this. We're all adults now, even children. So let's face it...Adult toys are for, well - if you ocan't tell the truth in a blog, where can you tell it. Right?

So, adult toys are for, like, you know, s-e-x/

The TandT is a little more prudish. The only person in the article who says, you know, that word, is a PhD candidate at UNB. But  you know how it is. Anybody who goes to school to study, you know, it  -  must long since have lost interest in the subject.

TheTandT chickens out with words like 'frisky', like to have fun, 'open' and 'liberal". ( as opposed to Conservative?) Another speculation is that it's our cold winters.

Actually, Fredericton beat us in sales. So it's, you know, even friskier.

Besides, it has all those politicians who need all the help they can get.

NewsToday leads with a story that the NB government is going to look for a deal with Ottawa which would made this province the beneficiary of any oil found in Northumberland Strait and Bay of Fundy.

Well, that's nice, but....

Newfoundland and Nova Scotia already has such agreements with Ottawa, and has for years. Did our financial experts in this province just figure that out?

As well, we're seeing quite an outburst of oil companies scrambling for oil under the ocean, under the Arctic, wherever it can be found. And many of the news site are more expensive to develop and more risky.  So what does this tell us?

It tells us that the world is heading into one hell of a competition for  oil. (there's a reason why the US wants better relations with Iran. There's a reason it hit Iraq and Libya.)

That means rising costs in getting the stuff, more and more expensive wars to get at it, and more risk of disastrous spills. As a side-effect, it means he cost of gas eating heavily into the usefulness of having a car.

There's also a silly story from the government about how Conservative election reforms will solve election spending abuses. Right. They'll made most of thenm legal.

There's also a story that the federal budget will crack down on terrorist funding. That's nice but -well - shouldn't that have been done a long time ago?

Norbert has a brilliant article on how a coalition government would solve all our problems. And by coalition, it's obvious he means a coalition of just the conservatives and liberals. Right, Norbert.

You take the two parties whose behaviour has got us here, two parties which have the same policies and the same owner, anyway, and you just put both of them in power, and all our problems will be solved.

Norbert, I don't think you even begin to know what the cause of our problems is.

Oh, and Norbert, you say "Canada had a coalition government during World War II....." I don't know where you got that amazing fact from. It came as news to me who spent most of a lifetime teaching Canadian history. One of my profs in graduate school, in fact, was closely associated with prime minister Mackenzie King - and he never mentioned it. King also left detailed records in his diary. It says nothing about a coalition government. So if there was such a thing, it is the best kept secret of the war.

You don't understand, Norbert. The whole government of this province needs a change. Under both the Liberals and Conservatives, the province has really been run by a handful of the wealthy. That's your problem. A coalition of Liberals and Conservatives won't make it better. It will make it worse.

We need change, Norbert. Change. Not more of the same.

Bill Belliveau criticizes the  finance minister - but makes the same mistakes the minister does.

1. A budget is not just about money. It's about people. It's about ensuring that the needs of people are met. A budget is just one of the ways to do that. I see no evidence in the words of Belliveau and Higgs that the people even exist.

This is why it is so important to know a candidate's basic principles - not his "neat" ideas but in those principles which tell us what  his aims are, what his priorities are.

2. Like all columns in the newspaper, it discusses the budget without once mentioning the biggest players in shaping our budget - the Irvings and their associates.

Gwynne Dyer's column is sad but true. Mr. Kerry is not going to make a peace deal for Israel and Palestine - most of all because Israel doesn't want one.

Nowm  Israel is the only nation in the region to have a nuclear arsenal - and a large one. Iran does not have one, and has no programme to built one.

You tell me who is most likely to start a nuclear war.


"Safety first, sure; but get one with it" is a letter to the editor that - well - it's a letter that shows, I think, the basic decency of the writer. It also shows bigotry. That's the problem of dealing with these issues. Not all the bigots are bad guys. Indeed, the line between  bigotry and decency for most us is is usually a pretty thin one.........

The bigotry is at the start with an attack, largely on native peoples for the shale gas protest. It speaks of the high rate of violence.

Oh? And how many police were injured in the violence? and how many native peoples were injured?

Speaking of violence, 47 people were killed and much of a city destroyed or damaged at Lac Megantic. Where is the indignation over that? Where are the demands for action?

Funny how some things matter more than others.

But we all do it. So we all have to watch out for it.

The Faith page is mostly about faith in pancake breakfasts. We live in a city in which one family in eight doesn't have enough to eat, while a handful could stuff themselves with pancakes for a million years with scarcely a dent in the budget, where the great priority of the city is  to build an expensive     events centre, where the interference of the rich in government and health, and the scale of corruption is massive.

Call me a wacko. But it seems to me that Christians might skip the occasional pancake breakfast to discuss a Christian response to this.

And, no. I don't think opening another Philanthropy Hall of Fame for Mr. Irving would really meet any Biblical standard. 

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