Thursday, May 8, 2014

May 8: Big news, today. I mean b - i - g

On page 1 of section A, summer is coming. Who would have guessed? On A3, preparations are in place for a Moncton byelection. I'm SO relieved to hear that. I was sure they were going to have it without preparations.  We know nothing whatever about what either of these candidates stands for - though one  says he want' to make Ward 2 a nice place. That's nice.

On A 7, we learn that we learn that there is a new restaurant opening at Parlee Beach - and there's even a picture of the new restaurant, and of its owner.

On A8, for mature readers only, their is a stunning photo of a portable toilet.

All this, and great car ads with pictures. Find your favourite chair, sit back.........

And close your eyes.

NewsToday has a story on Farley's Mowat's death which I can say, even from my slight acquaintance with him. is pretty superficial. It gives only a mention that he served  in the Canadian army for the whole of world war 2 - and he served in the very difficult and costly Italian campaign. Out of that he became one of the few to write about fear - his own fear.

The book is "And No Birds Sang". Mowat knew fear, but he was a tough, cocky, swaggering (often annoying) little guy who wasn't afraid to say he was afraid - afraid to the point of terror.

C3 also has a atory on Ukraine "Putin softens over Ukraine". It really tells us very little, and that little is hidden by lots of hostile criticism from NATO - all of it with no evidence.

What is surely noticeable by now is that our yahoos like Stephen Harper have done nothing but issue threats, Putin has usually been the one looking for a peaceful solution. That surely must give a hint as to who it is that wants a war.

Then there's a bizarre, only in New Brunswick story on C3. "Spending legislation introduced". Under new legislation, if the government fails to reduce the deficit or fails to maintain a budget surplus, each of its cabinet ministers will be fined $2,500.

This is a childless pitch to those voters who are.........well....not very thoughtful. In fact, this is Hicksville stuff.

Running an economy is not a simple matter of balancing the budget or even reducing it. It's a matter of knowing what kind of spending is essential for the province. And it's about people, people and their welfare. It is NOT a business exists only to make money. It has responsiblities to all of us. Sometimes only a fool would balance the budget. Sometimes, extra, targeted funding is essential not only to present needs but for future growth..

As well, It's not just cabinet minsters who have a voice in the budget. In fact, I'm not sure at all. This province has A LOT of budget interference from big business. Will it face fines for overspending?

This looks like a typical move by some clown who wants to impress big business.

This is childish legislation. We need a government with some real understanding of economics and budgeting. We need a government that knows how to focus on human needs. We don't need a government whose idea of managing a province is to spank the naked bottoms of naughty cabinet ministers.

C5 has a story that TandT normally doesn't pay attention to. As is shaping up in Ukraine, there is a civil war in Syria. It is one savage and brutal war. The rebels,  most of whom are hired mercenaries from other countries and from terrorist groups, are armed and paid by the US, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and a few others. But the stories on the war never mention that. It looks very much like the civil war that's shaping up in Ukraine. But we won't mention that, either.

The purpose of the war is to destroy Syria as a nation. This is a war of pure slaughter and destruction. It is not possible to have any respect for a western world  which not only accepts this but leads it in its brutalities. But you'd never guess that from the (very few) Irving press reports.

So where are the demands from Harper and NATO to tell the US to bug off from Syria?

The editorial reads as though it is meant to settle scores with somebody. It blasts city council for not being nice enough to a  builder, and for not saving Moncton High School. At the time, the Irving press never showed it gave much of a damn about Moncton High, and was light on ideas of how to do it.

I don't know what the greasy story is behind this editorial. But I'm sure there is one.
Norbert is back to choppy writing on three topics at a time. But his story about Facebook is worth a read.

Alec Bruce is in great form on the wage gap. It begins with a book by one of the Toronto Globe's wackier writers. (Yes, Virginia. The Globe has some writers as wacky as the (almost) worst at the TandT. This column is an important one to read on a gap we have not taken nearly seriously enough.

Rod Allen continues his string of not very funny stories about his not very interesting life. This is a disgrace to appear on the op ed page of any newspaper.

Beth Lyons is what an opinion column should be about - an informed opinion on a matter of some importance to all of us. This one, about women who are marginalized in our society by income, violence, drugs, and so are isolated from help, takes a bit of thinking to understand - but it's worth the effort.


  1. Some reading on Ukraine, some supporting your view, others not so much (mostly agreeing with your view on US interests-but mainly stated as 'neo con', not current administration, but also adding that Russian involvement was just as intrusive, if not worse).

    "Russia plays an active role in civil society in the former Soviet states, financing not-for-profit organizations and other non-state actors."

    I think the big research right now ought to be on the ECONOMICS of Ukraine, particularly in the past couple of years. Economic instability leads to all sorts of crises and the ability of 'non state actors' to take advantage of the situation. I think thats as likely as any 'political' cause of either the US or Russia.

  2. A little common sense.
    why to you think the US is taking such a strong stand on Ukraine?
    In Syria, it's quite the opposite. The US is sitting out of side, while al Quaeda with money and weapons to slaughter Syrians. Gee. Why isn't it helping those people?

    What was the US fighting when it killed one and a half million Iraqis?

    Why does the US kill on a grand scale all over the world? But it's a good samaritan in Ukraine?

    Why does it isolate Cuba because it's government isn't democratic - but at the same time supports murderous and thieving dictators throughout Central America.

    And if China doesn't see American actions in Ukraine as the beginning of a deliberate threat to both Russia and China, then why is it holding war games with Russia, and why is it forming an alliance with Iran?

    And what makes you think that economic causes are not "political"?

  3. A LOT of common sense tells me that when trying to understand something its not a good idea to bring in preconceived notions. I'm certainly not arguing that the US has benign interests in Ukraine, I'm simply stating that I don't think they are nearly as important as you seem to think they are.

    I didn't say anything about China. EVERY nation in the world is going to seek to arm itself in whatever way is possible to combat the US. But 'war games' are just that, and if every time they happened the assumption was that war was next, there would have been a lot more war.

    Again, it may well be true that we are on a slippery slope to armageddon or world war three. However, these kinds of international incidents have occurred before, and didn't result in war.

    I read the Globe and Mail article you referenced, and you may have noticed that virtually ALL the comments were to agree with the article and state that it is pretty self evident. Thats pretty good evidence that contary to what media may be doing, the public is certainly not falling lock in step behind the government propaganda.

    Economic causes are not political because obviously if they were, then they would be political causes. There are political reasonings involved in economic decisions, which is what would be interesting to learn.