Monday, February 3, 2014

Feb.3: page C4 - only in the Irving press....

 C4 is in NewsToday, the place for big national and international news. At the top of the page is a story about Toronto mayor Rob Ford. He got a jaywalking ticket.

Well, for openers, this story is at least several days old. This isn't news; this is history.

Was he drunk? No.  Did he fight with the policeman who issued the ticket? No. Was he on drugs? No.
Was he walking with gangsters? No. Was his fly open? No, not even that.

Not even is this old; it's not even a story. People jaywalk every day. But I've never heard of any such ticketing being a news story. In fact, in Montreal where I lived most of my life, and drivers have so little regard for their brethren on foot jaywalking can be the safest way for pedestrians to get across the street. Why would such a story so out of date and so trivial appear in a newspaper?

It happens because editors at the Irving press either have utter contempt for their readers, or are too lazy and unprofessional to care what appears on their pages, or just aren't very bright.

I don't which which of the above is the case. But in a good newspaper, an editor who approved of that story appearing would get at least a severe dressing down.

For more of the kind of serious editing one expects of a newspaper, check out A 3 with its thought-provoking pictures of women getting bridal gowns on sale. Then turn to A 4 for a whole page of even more exciting pictures of horses, and children eating maple taffy, and everything.

In even more serious news, an Ontario mp is going to call on Harper, in parliament, for action on VIA rail service in New Brunswick.

Of course, as Robert Goguen and other Atlantic mps have been working on this for years - but not out loud.  After all, as Mr. Goguen puts it, Mr. Harper needs to get a "total vision" of the whole Canadian railways system. And that will take time....lots of tme.......Z-Z-Z-Z...

But it just makes sense. You can't do anything without a total vision - whatever that is.

A6 has the story that Finance Minister Higgs will present his pre-election budget tomorrow - and business and taxpayer groups are telling him to resist a spending spree. Relax, folks.

Mr. Higgs' budget advisers are Irving appointees. Remember that story that appeared in a column by Mr. Irving several years ago - but was never reported? The one in which he said he was in coalition with (meaning a member of) the government? Remember the big gathering of flunkies like university presidents to decide the economic future of the province? That was when he told Alward who to appoint as financial  advisers.

So you aren't going to see any wild spending to ease poverty, to ensure that children have breakfast before school, to waste on health. No. Any wild spending will go where it always goes - to the right sort of people.
Remember Saudi Arabia? It's one of our closest allies in the Middle East. And it's one of the tightest dictatorships in the world. It has now passed an "anti-terror" law. And how does it define terror?

Anything the government does not like is terrorism. If you report corruption, that's terrorism. If you're a woman and  you drive a car, that's terrorism.  If you ask for democracy, that's terrorism.

On his middle east trip, Harper praised Israel as a beacon of democracy and freedom in the middle east. So will he now criticize Saudi Arabia? Not bloody likely.

Israel, by the way, is that beacon of freedom and which arabs who are Israeli citizens are not allowed to walk in Jews-only sections of the city, who are forced to live in segregated districts, and who can be and are expelled from their homes with no compensation if Jewish-Israelis want those homes.

That information came to me from a Jewish friend who lives in Israel, and was infuriated by Harper's foolish statements on his visit.

Norbert, that great advocate of voting for politicians who have "neat ideas', has nothing but praise for Trudeau's decision that Liberals who become senators will no longer be called Liberals, or meet with the Liberal mps.

Well, that is a neat idea. It does nothing whatever to solve the Senate problem. But it's good politics.

Yep. That's Norbert's idea of what a great politician is.

Alec Bruce has a column that sounds reasonable. It's on the economic problem of New Brunswick. And, once again, it discusses that problem without a mention of the very rich people and the sell-out politicians that have caused most of it.

Steve Malloy's column struck me as being lightweight for almost two-thirds of its length. And I was wrong. It's about the possibility we are over-protective with children.  It has a slow start. But that just makes the ending all the more effective. This one is worth reading and discussing.
Anything missing? Well....

1. When do get the report from our social betters who met for a whole weekend to decide on the economic future of Moncton and us?

2. When do we get the government report on environmental damage at the Plaster Rock derailment?
In this context, I  came across an old  item from The National Post. Now, The National Post is not one of the world's great newspapers - or even one of Toronto's great newspapers. But when it reported the Lac Megantic disaster, it said that was Quebec's worst environmental disaster. I can't remember the TandT paying a whole lot of attention to the environmental aspect of it. (or any other aspect).

3. When are we going to  hear about the Quebec Charter of Values? When are we going to discuss whether this is the denial of freedom that it certainly seems to be?

And let's not start by ranting about language. Language has nothing to with it. Hitler began his persecution of Jews with very similar legislation - and Hitler was neither French nor English.

The Charter of Values is intellectual bunkum from the start, verging on  racism so far that it sometimes goes right over the edge.

It's pure politics and juvenile politics at that because it addresses problems that don't exist.

At the core of it is legislation which forbids people from wearing indications of their religion in the civil service. That wipes out the job of a friend of mine. He's English but speaks fluent French, has a French wife, and has a daughter in a French school. He was sympathetic to Quebec separation. But///

He's a Jew, and an observant one. So he wears a yarmulka (a small head -covering) indoors. He belongs to a conservative branch of Judaism, so that head-covering is required at all times. But that will be against Quebec law for his job.

Oh, if he were a Catholic, he would be permitted to wear a cross - so long as it isn't a big, clanging one. And there will be crucifixes in some offices because that's part of the Quebec heritage. (There will, of course, be no religious symbols for native peoples since they aren't part of the Quebec heritage.)

The new, Catholic cardinal of Quebec, by the way, has condemned the whole charter.

No Moslem woman wearing a veil can be hired. (It's not as if the civil service is now just swarming with veiled Moslems. In fact, there are none, and never have been. But you can't be too careful.)

In fact, no man or woman wearing anything that could identify the wearer as a Moslem will be hired. Again, there are no such employees now, and never have been.

And just when did these become Quebec values? Damned if I know. They weren't in all the time I lived there. Quebec was littered with crucifixes - in almost every home, in offices, in police stations, in courts...and a great, ugly monster of a cross in steel dominating the skyline.

The is a deliberate attempt of one group to give rights to itself while denying them to others. It is against the Canadian constitution.

Now, will Harper, who spoke so eloquently on the democracy and freedom of Israel (despite its abuse of its Palestinian residents), now take action against Quebec for this attack on basic rights?)

Not bloody likely. Nor will Trudeau. We can guess that from the behaviour of his father in a similar situation. I was there, and I remember it well. Only the NDP, at the federal level, has taken a position against the charter of Quebec values.

I am in favour of the defence of both French and English. But I have no patience whatever with those who attempt to create a dominant class, to assign different rights, and who do it with laws that have a strong hint of racism.


  1. According some people with a good record on these matters, the fracking bubble should burst later this year. Not only is the practice an environmental nightmare, but it's a financial flim flam too. It only keeps going by drawing in new investors. Good chance that fracking will never happen in NB

  2. I've heard those same rumors since fracking's inception Doug and it may very well be true. The ponzi logic is compelling and maybe intentionally misleading? Not to sound overly leery of their methodology, but a few drops of well placed misinformation may take some of the wind out of the resistor's sails, non? Just because we're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get us.