Thursday, May 1, 2014

May 1: Today, we have the comment of the century.

The only story in Section A worth reading - and even that only for a sort of bitter amusement - is "Tories set to tackle spending:: premier". Wow! The Flash in person.

It took him four years to recognize there is a problem - and it's a  problem New Brunswick has had for a very, very long time. And he's going to do something about it. Yep. He's going to order cabinet ministers to stay within their budgets. Well, that should wrap it up.

The problem is that neither he nor Mr. Gallant has given the slightest indication of any understanding what has caused our economic problem in the first place. The only clue either of them has is to make the poor pay fpr problems caused by the rich. Alward doesn't even mention the rich. - and a good thing for him he doesn't. If he did, he'd get his little bottom smacked until it turned red.

That's it for Section A.

NewsToday, at last, has a real news story on Ukraine. "Ukrainian leader addresses tensions". And it actually tells us something.

Instead of simply quoting provocative statements with heavy bias in favour of western leaders, it actually gives us information to help us understand what is going. And the statements    it does quote give essential information. Well done by The Associated Press.

The story is that the President of Ukraine admits that his government cannot cope with the pro-Russian rebellion in east Ukraine. Not only is it out of his control, but many of his own troops are in sympathy with the rebels, and are joining them or cooperating with them.

So what we are supporting, with a great deal of moral huffing and puffing and the threat of a nuclear war, is an illegal, unelected government in Ukraine which has very limited popular support. Hurray for democracy!

Yulia Tymoshencko (leading presidential candidate and extremely wealthy woman) has added to the turmoil by calling for volunteers for a resistance force she is setting up. Great.

Yet another army running wild. She is not likely  to attract many Russian-speaking Ukrainians to her resistance force. It was not long ago she was publicly demanding that all Russian-speaking Ukrainians should either be expelled or killed.

This is what a news story should be - not just scattered quotations, but giving a clear picture of what is actually happening, and doing it without bias or propaganda intent.

Alas! The Irving press missed several items, important items, in reference to Ukraine.

A couple of days ago, The Wall Street Journal interviewed Assistant Secretary of State Kerry. Kerry said, yes, nuclear war is possible if the west keeps pushing and being provocative. And he intends to keep pushing and being provocative. So, yes, he intends to risk setting off a nuclear war.

In other words, there are important people in the US who are in government or who are influential who want a war with Russia. I don't know why - but there are unquestionably such people. They may feel a prompt disposal of Russia is necessary before the US economy gets into desperate trouble. It may be they feel it necessary to destroy Russia before China and India rise to challenge American power. It may be they have invested so heavily in a war machine that they cannot just let it rust, and probably cannot replace it as it ages.  In any case, Kerry has put the risk on the table. It's real.

Oh, another point that may have been influential. The American people are turning against the last 14 years of American wars of aggression. After 9/11, the support for war was high. But now, Americans are showing they've had enough. 47% of those polled recently say they want to the US to back off on its warring foreign policy.

Then, there is the comment from Kerry, hilarious coming from him, and one that will go down in history books, "You just don't in the 21st century behave in a 19th century fashion by invading another country on a completely trumped up pretext."

I gather he said that with a straight face, too.
The editorial trumpets "Gas could be our main energy source". Well, yeah. So could coal. So could wood. So could demolished houses. There's no end to the possibilities. But what the world is talking about right now is whether gas SHOULD be an energy source or whether it's too dangerous in the long run. Come on, editors, try to follow the bouncing ball.

Norbert takes another run at Gallant, accusing him of having to economic plans. True enough. But, as Norbert shows , he doesn't have a clue either. Instead, he says the people should tell the politicians to make plans. Well, duh. The people don't make demands because the boss doesn't want anything done, and the boss knows neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives will do anything. So as long as the people keep voting for those two, wretched parties, ain't nothing going to happen.

And Norbert still shouts about the economy without once mentioning the role of big business and wealthy people in making in such a mess.

Alec Bruce's column was on early immersion, and it brought back memories of me, in my first year of teaching, listening to a speech by the father of early immersion, Dr. Penfield. We all pretty much dismissed his silly idea. But then it was new, and we were still in the dark ages. We know now it works. I should have realized that early.

I grew up in an overwhelmingly francophone district. My sister's friends from the age of 4 or so were French. (Girls played with each other. Boys formed gangs and fought.) By the age of seven, my sister was so fluent in French that her friends' parents all believed she was French.

Of course, early immersion works. And it works even better if it starts BEFORE school. Time for New Brunswick to wake up.

For the first time in my experience Tod Allan has an opinion column that is an opinion column. Big improvement. But he almost destroy it in the last two paragraphs which he uses to make a pointless joke. You don't do that. Your final paragraph should rub in the point you want to make. It shouldn't be something that trivializes all one has said.

Excellent column by Jody Dallaire on the federal government's foreign worker programme. It's really not so much an opinion column as it is an information one. But that's what you have to write when people aren't getting adequate information in the first place. Parts of this programme are a real horror show - and one has to wonder about the motives of those who drafted it.

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