The commentary pages are for informed discussion of important issues. But this is rarely the case in the irving press. What we more commonly get is uninformed rant, propaganda, pointless little stories on topics like how the columnist enjoyed ice cream as a child. courthouse trivia, the pretentious, pointless and trivial wit of Rod Allen....
Even the good ones - like the seniors' column - should not be on the commentary page. The senior's column is advice, not commentary.
The commentary should deal with something in the news, and should express an opinion (an intelligent one) about it. We don't need to agree with it. But it should be well-informed, about an important development, and should stimulate our thinking. And that is rare in the irving press.
But on January 10, the irving press had a real commentary. It was written by Susie Proulx-Daigle; and it's about blood donorship. She attacks, with strong reasons, the intention of New Brunswick's government to privatize blood donorship. It would raise the cost of blood, pose dangerous health risks, and seriously handicap Canadian Blood Services which is now responsible for blood collection. And privatization almost always costs more.
But to a New Brunswick government, "Thou shalt privatize" is the 11th commandment that Moses lost on the way down the mountain.
Agree or disagree with it, this is an intelligent column and a real commentary in the irving press. Read it now. You may never see its like again.
Funny. The U.S. had no problem invading and bombing the middle east - spending billions and creating millions of refugees. But it just can't afford to help those refugees. That's left up to poor countries like Greece.
Of course, this could never happen in New Brunswick.
Obama came to power on a wave of hope that was never justified. The reality was that he could never break the power of big money in the U.S. And he never really tried.
I include the next item because there may be readers who understand the demonetization that is going on in India. (I don't, but hope to make that up when I have some time.)
The above story is obviously untrue. The leaders of our oil industry are intelligent and caring people who are in business only for our welfare. If you read the irving press, you will understand that when Jesus comes back, it will be as an oil executive.
The U.S. has teams like the navy Seals who kill all over the world. Estimates place them in 80 countries or more, carrying out assassinations. Luckily for them, this hasn't been noticed by our Christian clergy and their followers.
Oh, and those who thought the 9/11 terrorists were just awful think the Seals are inspirational.
It was the photo at the top that started me shaking my head over this opinion piece. It's not entirely Trump's fault. American democracy has been dying for a long time. Trump has just added the last touches.
The name - Victoria Nuland - is worth remembering. She is the one who set up the overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine.
Here in New Brunswick, our puppet government has concluded a deal with Ottawa on Health care. Watch for problems to come out of it. And look for Trudeau to edge us toward privatization of health care.
One of the major casuaties of neoliberalism in the U.S. has been public education. I mean, it's such a waste to design it around the needs of children when we can design it around the wants of billionaires. It makes sense. The U.S. private health care system is the lowest ranked in the developed world. And the wealthy can do the same with public schools.
A Russian alliance with Turkey would put the U.S. in serious trouble in the middle east. And such an alliance is quite possible. That is the result of the hare-brained wars begun by Bush and continued by Obama.
I have never been fond of Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel. That goes back to the day about a dozen years ago when I watched a vicious riot that he had engineered. He has also blocked any settlement of the Israel-Palestine issue, all the while stealing land from Palestinians. Now, he may be the one in real trouble. It's called corruption.
Here's more on the climate change that isn't happening.
Is it possible that oil executives don't know about this? Possible, I suppose, if they're very, very stupid.
So are we all. A grain of sense should tell us it's happening and, even more to the point, that this cannot be changed by simply carbon taxing or electrifying cars and trucks. It demands a sweeping change in the way we live. We have created a world that we cannot survive. It's as simple as that - something we all should have learned in childhood - there are things we cannot have.