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Sunday, September 26, 2004

Press Review

From today's edition of NORMAN'S SPECTATOR (where the articles are hotlinked).

In the US , Hurricane Jeanne slammed into Florida, but most of the action took place after the Sunday papers had gone to print. (Here’s a report from Haiti.) In a late-breaking development, Israel has claimed responsibility for killing a senior Hamas official in Damascus.

The New York Times leads with a health story, the Washington Post leads with Iraq . The Post also fronts, from the Bible Belt, the first in its series about growing up gay in the US .

The Los Angeles Times leads with the presidential campaign and off-leads an interesting piece on the new face of al-Qa’ida.

The New York Times’ editorial board looks at Iraq ’s election. Mahdi Obeidi says Saddam posed a nuclear threat. So what?--Maureen Dowd says Iyad Allawi is George Bush’s Mini-Me. Public Editor Daniel Okrent looks at the Times’ corrections policy and the use of anonymous sources.

The Washington Post’s editorial board looks at the presidential candidates on Iraq . Ombudsman Michael Getler reviews the Dan Rather affair. After a half-century as a journalist, David Broder is embarrassed by the media.

Michael Kinsley wonders whom Osama is supporting. Jim Hoagland says he’s trying to split the UN.

The Los Angeles Times’ editorial board looks at a true tale with a modern lesson, especially for dog companions/guardians. Chalmers Johnson says money talks in elections.

Carlos Fuentes says George Bush gives Latin America the willies. Edward Glaeser has some bad news for most Canadians: no matter whether Bush or Kerry is elected, the US will remain the most conservative nation in the world.

In the UK , Tony Blair heads into the Brighton conference with Ken Bigley still hostage in Iraq . A poll for the Independent on Sunday has Labour at 32% against the Tories' 30% and the Lib Dems' 27%. A News Of the World poll puts Labour in third place for the first time in more than 20 years.

At home, Prime Minister Paul Martin was in the “asymmetric society” trolling for votes, but you have to have read the French papers to discover what he said Friday night. (Here’s my translation: "I believe in asymmetrical federalism. I believe in the specificity of Québec. It’s an advantage. It is not an illusion, it is one of the strengths of our country.”)

The Toronto Star fronts an assassin pleading for refugee status in Canada . Sandro Contenta reports from the place seriously wounded US soldiers go. Tim Harper reports that Americans now have a clear choice on Iraq; as for his colleague Contenta, it's clear that Kerry is Harper's choice.

Mitch Potter is in Bethlehem looking at the situation of Christians; interestingly, he mentions that Yasser Arafat's mother-in-law is "of the faith," but not that Suha was required to convert to Islam before the wedding.

In commentary, Richard Gwyn says Paul Martin did not know what he was doing at the health care summit. (Here’s my take.) Graham Fraser was frightened by something else.

Linda McQuaig says the problem of homelessness can be solved. Rick Anderson reports on exciting things happening in Europe . Haroon Siddiqui says the UN is doing nothing about Darfur because George Bush invaded Iraq ; seems to me it did nothing about Rwanda or Kosovo when Bill Clinton was president.

Antonia Zerbisias says US media should have spent more time on the 9/11 Commission, less on Rathergate; you’d think as the “media-critic” for Canada’s largest circulation daily, she’d spend more time telling Canadian stories to Canadians--from the televised Gomery Commission hearings, for example.

The editorial board “still cannot conclude with any more certainty than we could 15 years ago as to whether the benefits of the free-trade deal exceed the costs, or whether it is the other way around.” Give the former Liberal apparatchik who writes this stuff another 15, and maybe he’ll figure it out.

In the CanWest corral, the Calgary Herald fronts Alberta ’s rat patrol. The editorial board disses an unmarried federal judge who’s crying “discrimination.” Their counterparts in Edmonton are cynical about Ralph’s big bucks for cities.

The Montréal Gazette fronts Hurricane Jeanne’s arrival in Florida . The editorial board wants municipalities to have a seat at the fed-prov table.

The Ottawa Citizen fronts a soldier mouthing off about medicare and the military. Pierre Berton says that, after 50 books, he’s written his final word. In the Citizen Weekly, Shelley Page serves up a first-rate report on the Broadbent-Mahoney battle in the June election.

Meanwhile, Chris Cobb examines the role of “influential Pearson and Trudeau-era advisers who gathered for a secret summit early in the June election campaign and decided that unless some radical fix was made to Paul Martin's message, the Liberals were going to lose the election. And so they launched "Saving Private Martin," a desperate lobbying campaign from within the hopelessly fractured Liberal party.”

Sounds like a bunch of spin from some has-beens looking to take credit; in any case, we’re glad they got involved, or at least the plurality of Canadians are.

In the Toronto Sun, Christina Blizzard reports from the health care front lines. John Downing tries to see Toronto as others see it; you ain’t seen or said half of it, John. Lorrie Goldstein explains John Kerry’s woes. Bob MacDonald writes about hi-tech terrorism.

Eric Margolis says Japan should have a seat on the Security Council, something Brian Mulroney said 15 years ago and which his son will probably write 15 years from now. (Today, Ben writes about Nelson, BC’s proposed monument to draft resisters/dodgers.)

Peter Worthington also has his mind on military matters. Over in Calgary , Ted Byfield blames voters for perpetuating Liberal "rot." Rick Bell writes about Ralph bonds. Bishop Fred Henry writes to Klein about what he should do with Alberta's surplus.

In Edmonton , Paul Stanway has his eye on the same big bucks, while Mindelle Jacobs writes about the world’s first STD vaccine, which I’m not sure the Bishop would welcome.

From Ottawa , Doug Fisher has been watching the Gomery Commission and Paul Martin on television. Greg Weston writes about the mess at Public Works, and he says it could get worse.

Posted by Norman Spector on September 26, 2004 | Permalink


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"Jennifer Wells is disappointed that Toronto took a pass on car-free day."

The drive towards trying to create an "automobile-free" society has been demonstrated here in Florida to be a helluva stupid idea. I don't know if you've caught the news about the millions of people having to evacuate during Bonnie, Charlie, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne - but it's an amazing thing to see footage of millions of people on the roads getting the hell out of Dodge before Nature comes calling.

Now - imagine all the people who could NOT flee because.... They DONT HAVE CARS. Whats more - when wind speeds have topped 35-40+ MPH public transport that millions rely upon each day doesn't work and will not run, for safety considerations.

I'm witnessing first hand some of the problems that government intervention is creating in this part of the world. For instance - thanks to "anti-price gouging laws", there are now shortages in Florida for some very essential products like Ice, Water, Gasoline, electrical generators and I'll tell you what... you visit a grocery store within a day of the hurricane visiting and you will see the shelves empty of bread and canned goods.

It's amazing to be in the wealthiest country in the world and to see line-ups stetching for a couple of miles (like Communist Russian bread lines) for people to buy gas.

And WORSE yet... a friend of mine in Palm Beach had his roof ripped off of his home. He called a school-days friend of his that he's known his whole life, (now living in Upper State NY) - and who is a roofer. The friend bought the materials and brought the tools he needed to come fix my buddies home in Palm Beach, and drove it several thousand miles down. They started work on the roof - and within half an hour a sheriff's car rolled up and demanded to see the NY friend's "permit" for roofing in that county. Of course he didn't have one - he wasn't there as a contracted professional. He was there as a friend to help his friend.

Anyways - the Sheriff's office told him he had to cease work or face arrest. So - the NY had to shlep his way back to NY leaving the Palm Beach House without a roof. Estimated time to get an actual "Liscened contractor" in that county in to fix it in Palm Beach - 3 months. Guess all the furniture and household goods that are being ruined from the heat, humidity and rain are worth being destroyed to "protect" the consumer from terrible contractors swooping in to re-build!
Thank You Government!

As for ice and water... we got our power back within 4 days during the last hurricane. If anti-price gouging laws were not in effect, we would have been happy to try and make a little money by bottling water and making ice-blocks and selling them to stores and individuals who were having shortages. But no - Can- do. So... we have all the means to provide such goods to people who desperately need these things... but there were actual laws preventing people like ourself from doing so.

Thanks Government Again! I'm sure the family of 4 whose freezer was filled with rotting food because they couldn't get enough ice to keep their food frozen are grateful to be protected from "price-gouging".

It's pretty sad to see.

Posted by: MWW | 2004-09-26 6:35:45 AM

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