Thursday, April 16, 2015

April 16: The worst yet....

....I didn't think it possible.

The big story is that premier Gallant gave a speech to big business leaders at Canadian Club in Toronto - and he spoke from the very same platform that Hilary Clinton had spoken from - and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and even NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.  What an honour! I hope we put his shoes on display at the Resurgo Museum. It would be a big draw in tourist season.

I'm sure the corporate bosses in his audience were captivated by his message that our economy is great. I mean, how else would they know?

A3 has a must-read report that Spring is a good time to change your tires, a point driven home by a photo of a man changing a tire. On the same page, a fast-breaking story about a man facing trial for harming a dog. And it even gives the name of his lawyer. And so it goes on for eight pages.

Then we hit editorial and comment pages. The editorial writer has his knickers in a twist because the Moncton Wildcats will have to play an "at home" game in Fredericton. Heart-wrenching. He manages to tie this to our essential need for a $105 million dollar events centre. Damn right. Our society can't afford mistakes like this.

Norbert is pure rant today. And I mean pure.Anybody who worries about climate change is a fool. Anyone who is concerned about our reliance on oil and our development of shale gas is a fool. No reasons are given for why they are fools. They are just fools. Politicians are all fools.

Careful, Norbie, almost all those politicians you call fools were bought by the same person who bought you. This is all pure rant with not a piece of evidence or logic in it. It's like a like a conversation with a chronic drunk.

Or is it that Norbert has contempt for democracy?  And, perhaps, contempt for all of us who would prefer to live under it?

Rod Allen begins as if he has something to say. But it's really just a confused mix of pitching for shale gas, telling us about his college days for no obvious reason and, of course, a call for the events centre. There is no focus to this, no logic.  Presumably he, like Norbert, doesn't think there's any such thing as climate change.

Alec Bruce really has nothing to say at all.

To this point, the editorial and commentary pages are their usual selves, focusing entirely on money, and kissing up to the gluttony of the boss. To this point, there is not a word about people - what they need, what a society is.... To this point, both editorial and comment pages are worthless and ignorant.

Then - there is Jody Dallaire. She talks about people, real people, real life. She talks about relationships between people, and how we should develop our attitudes and behaviour toward each other. This is a rose growing in a dung heap - coubly welcome as break from the stench and decay that surround it.

With the welcome exception of Jody Dallaire, the whole of section A is the worst I have ever seen in a daily newspaper. And it gets worse in section B..
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Section B, Canada&World, pretty much ignores the world. The big, boffo headline is the exciting story that the provincial Liberals caused NB's economic problem. Now, I have no wish to defend the Liberals but, really...  The absurd statements come from Interim Conservative leader Bruce Fitch and Finance critic Higgs. And they must think we're all really, really stupid. The financial problem stems from a world economic crisis which neither of those parties causesd - certainly not their New Brunswick branches.  It's caused by the failure of the very rich who pay little, if any tax, who hide much of their income, and who suck heavily at the public breast. And that has been assisted by both the Liberals and Conservatives since the founding of this province. The corporate bosses have become so powerful that parties like the Liberals and Conservatives are irrelevant.

The Liberals and the Conservatives are, in fact, the same party. To make this crap into the lead story for a whole section suggests that the editors are as bad and as bought as the Liberals and Conservatives.

A more important story is beside it "Province told to put kids ahead of bottom line. This is one of the very few occasions I've seen when this newspaper had a story about people, and not just money. It also, if you think about it, shows a dismaying truth about the Liberals and the Conservatives. The fact that it's about people, by the way, has nothing to do with the editors. It has to do with people in education offering their opinions.

Neither party has ever announced a platform about the people of this province. It's always about vaguely defined "policies" which are usually about money. Money is the only priority. That's why we're hearing about these draastic cuts in spending. The only people the Liberals and Conservatives care about are rich ones. And it never,  never cuts back on them. But children - what the hell? Screw 'em. So it is that we are going into a period of severe cuts with no thought whatever of what people need or of what our priorities are.

It's the same in most of the editorials and commentaries in this paper. The only person whose 'needs' have to be met is Mr. Irving.

B2 and B3 have nothing worth reading unless you really need to know how long Mike Duffy's trial will be. (Actually, the story is nobody knows. Wow! a stop the presses scoop.)

B4 has a long story about our Minister of Veteran's Affairs making up excuses for the dismal record of the Harper government in its treatment of Veterans. I can see no reason to make that a big story with a big photo of the minister. Now, if Mr. Harper were to take a tough stand with billionaires....but why even talk about it?

B5 has a big story that this is the first anniversary of a multiple killing in Calgary. That's sad. But we're on B5, and still not out of Canada.

B6.s largest story is still in Canada - and it's scarcely news. It's the story of how Abraham Lincoln's assassination was planned in Montreal. That's news? I learned that in my first university class long, long ago.
At that, the story has a big mistake. It says that Abraham Lincoln's government was anti-slavery. That's a common belief. But it's not true. He went to war with the confederate states to prevent them from separating. Slavery was used by the press to stir up support for the war. But it was never the cause of the war. It was really a struggle between an agricultural south and an industrial north. For all the preaching, most northerners didn't give a damn about the slaves. They've been proving that ever since.

It's rather like the story that we're at war in the Middle East and close to it Ukraine because our government is defending freedom and democracy. Like hell we are. Like hell the US is. Nobody fights wars for freedom and democracy - except for those few who want them.

Every war the west has fought since 1945 has been to make the rich even richer. And we don't bring democracy. In fact, we commonly destroy it. Think Egypt. Think Guatemala.

The other story at last gets us out of our own bellybuttons to look at the Mediterranean where record numbers of people from Africa at the middle east are  fleeing to Italy, usually in dangerous ships. 400 died recently when their boat capsized, In one month, 10,000 were rescued from the sea. Last year, at least 3,500 were drowned.

And why do they still flee at such risk? Because if they stay, they will likely be killed by bombs and machine guns and land mines made by our side. Because their own societies, governments, food supplies, schools  have been shattered by our killing and looting for over a century. And why do we send such weapons and why do we help in killing so many?

Well, that's so our nice billionaires can make even bigger profits out of oil and other resources using labour so cheap it amounts to slavery. And nice billionaire weapons manufacturers can make more billions selling weapons and gettiig American tax money which is freed up by cutting off food for the American poor.

But don't feel bad. Our news media will explain to us how the victims are the evil ones because they don't have the same religion we do. (Suddenly, it makes sense that Hitler was a Christian.)

Then there's a "must-read" story about how this is the second anniversary of the Boston marathon bombings. Thanks for bringing that to our attention.

And that's it. That really is it. Nothing has happened in most of the world. This is worse than those magazines about how the prince and Kate look so nice.

I'm not sure it's entirely fair to say that this paper publishes propaganda.. Today's edition is simply mindless crap designed to push us into a stupor. I really don't understand how anyone could work for this paper, and still have a scrap of self-esteem.

New Brunswickers are not allowed to think or to know. If they did either, they would never buy this drivel about the great importance of an events centre. That is nowhere close to a priority. For a start, go to the corner of Main and Enterprise. Look at the house there that was burned out. It's a horror of construction and materials. Take a good look at the plywood extensions tacked on. It's an obvious fire hazard. And it looks horrible. How it is possible that was permitted to happen? I grew up in slum housing. But it was far, far superior to that.

This is a city full of fire traps and decaying housing. Is there no plan at all for dealing with this? We have large numbers of people living in unhealthy and dangerous conditions. Large parts of Moncton are shacktown. We're closing schools which are actually understaffed. And we're doing it with no serious study of the consequences of closing them, and no examination of alternatives. And our municipal priority is an events centre?

We have a city that can never have an effective mass transit system because the older part is too scattered with farm-style houses, and the newer parts designed for the 1950s world of the automobile. The sheer area makes effective mass transit impossible, and the maintenance of services extremely expensive. Any priorities there?

Culturally, this is a city whose idea of culture is listening to some guys in need of a bath and haircut singing while jumping up and down with coloured lights flashing in their navels. I don't blame the people for that. I blame a province which wants a population of robots, and which discourages intellectual curiosity and discovery. That's why it's a priority to spend 105 million on an events centre while we're closing schools and firing teachers.

It's a city of no discussion and no debate because neither is encouraged by the news media or by any government agency.

The eyes of the world will be on us if we build an events centre? Maybe. But that's a good reason not to build it. You really don't want the eyes of the world on Moncton now.


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