Monday, May 5, 2014

May 5:Petty unprofessionalism.

I missed something in the issue of May 3. I'm no expert on photography; but even I should have caught it. Stephen Downes, of Moncton Free Press (it's on the web) is an expert on photography and on a good deal else to do with news media. He spotted it right away. And it's a no-no in all but the sleaziest of newspapers, the ones with headlines like "Shocking news. George Bush is pregnant".

The picture on C3 is (it says) of three deer in Parkindale. And it's a fake.

The second and third deer are exactly the same (one) deer. The trees in the forest behind them are fake. The whole photo is fake. The process  (which I don't understand but which Stephen Downes does understand) is called photo-shopping. Almost any journalist at the TandT should have recognized it was a fake. Any editor MUST have recognized it.

In any newspaper with any pretence of being ethical, the photographer would have been fired on the spot. And it's very likely that at least one editor would go, too.

It may sound like a small thing. It isn't. It is unethical for any journalist to publish news knowing that it is not true. I well remember, back in my radio days, a TV news reporter who was covering a strike. When his crew got there, the strikers were quietly sitting down, talking to each other.  That wasn't good enough. So the producer told them to stand up, put them in a line, pushed strike signs into their hands, and told them to march up and down the street shouting slogans.

I shall never forget the storm of anger that caused. The reporter's name was mud with everybody in the business. The station publicly apologized.

It's a serious business in almost all newspapers to deliberately lie - even when it's just a cutesie picture of three deer.

(I wonder how the new ombudsman will handle this one.)

I'm hearing a lot of doubts about my view of how dangerous the Ukraine situation is, and how it is linked to to Project for the New American Century. Look. You can read all this for  yourselves on the web. It's not a secret. The members of the project announced their plans in 1998. Eighteen of them became senior figures on the George Bush White House team. One of them, Dick Cheney, was Bush's  VP. And he was the guy who was the real president. (You surely don't think that a dolt like George Bush ran anything..) Another was Bush's Chief of Staff. Another was George's brother, Jeb.

They, not I, said that the US had to conquer (dominate) the world. 9/11 became the pretext to start wars, and the first target, already planned well in advance, was Iran. Afghanistan was planned from the start, way back in 1998.

The PNAC closed in 2008 because it's work was done. American government had been completely rewired to aim for world domination. And the White House is still full of PNAC connections, including the Assistant Secretary of State who helped to set up the Ukraine crisis.

And the person who recently wrote in support of a war with Russia was not me. It was Brezezinski who has been close to PNAC, and a major policy advisor at the highest levels going all the way back to Jimmy Carter.

They have all said for many years that Russia has to be invaded. Obviously, Ukraine is their excuse.

If you want confirmation, don't read me. Read them.

The headline says that our food banks are in trouble just when many people depend on them for survival. Yep, lots of people are having a hard time  now. Makes you wonder how we can afford to spend over a hundred million on an events centre - or even 200,000 to redecorate a university president's home. Makes you wonder how Harper can spend millions to fly himself and 300 friends to Israel to hear him give a nothing speech. Makes you wonder how big corporations can manage to hand out millions in bonuses to CEOs.

But then, them there folks is hungry because they're lazy. Same thing back in the 30s. There really was no economic problem. It was just a mass attack of laziness. That's why the average US salary is now less than it was 40 years ago. They're lazy.

And don't worry about the massive shift of money from the poor to the rich. That's good. Because now the rich can give back a tenth of one percent of it to build a philanthropic hall of fame where they can hang up their own portraits.

Otherwise, Section A is its usual barren desert. It has two military stories about how much we respect our veterans. It  does not have the very recent story about a soldier living the horror of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and who was promised military leave of absence to deal with it.

But then he spoke in public about the nature of PTSD. Harper and our super-patriotic generals promptly cancelled his leave.
NewsToday really has no news. How could it, with only a page and a half. There's a long story on Ukraine. But it says nothing of any value. It says Harper is putting more sanctions on Russia. Big deal.
The editorial, on education again, really is an example of how easy it must have been to graduate when the editorial writers were in high school.  This one, which seems to end up talking about getting back to the basics, makes the point by talking about a school that is demonstrating a 3D printer. I'd certainly love to see that. But I'm damned if I can see what that has to do with getting back to the basics.

No Alec Bruce today.  Instead we get an item by a Ben Eisen with fancy titles from Atlantic Institute of Market Studies - a front for propaganda for big business. It's all about the best way to deal with poverty. (Yeah. From an institution bankrolled by people who don't give a damn about poverty.)  He quotes the insights of another propaganda front for  rich people, The Brookings Institution, claiming business-friendly solutions to poverty have the effect of lifting four million Americans out of poverty every year.

Really? Wow! So how come the US now has the highest rate of poverty in its history?

And Norbert has a column on the excessive cost of health care and education. And they both have one thing in common. Neither of them says a word about the real money power in this province, and how that money power has decided not to lift a finger to do its share.

And there's hint in here. Watch for big business to increase its muscling in on education and health care - for a small profit. Yeah. I know. We;ll call it a public private partnership. Yeah. Partnership.

I don't understand, I really don't understand why Craig Babstock has a column. He takes stories of court cases, then draws sweeping moral lessons from them as though they have any lessons to give. Doesn't the TandT have anybody who knows enough about anything to have something to say?

Steve Malloy has a light piece, but a very nicely written one about people who tell us what we should be allowed to read and what sort of music we should be allowed to listen to. I called it light - and his touch is light, but the matter is serious.

Personally, though, I think we should ban all music recorded since the early 50s. I want songs that have words and tunes. And is sung by people who can sing.

And playing a guitar should carry the death penalty.


  1. I sent the following email to the Brunswick News Ombudswoman :

    Dear Ms Graham,

    The photograph of three deers on Page C3 is obviously fake.    In other words,  Ron Ward or someone else used a computer software to create this photograph.    The first two deers are identical and the background is beyond questionable.     If Ron Ward took  the  picture of deers roaming in a field, he surely altered this one.   Or, he simply didn't take this picture.   Either way, this picture is fake.    And he should be fired or, at least, reprimanded for deceiving his readers.

    Brunswick News should have never printed it.    But then, we are speaking of a news media empire which doesn't know the meaning of the word INTEGRITY.    It prints articles about local businesses disguised as NEWS.   I remember the Times Transcript calling the shale gas protesters  MISCREANTS a few months ago.    What a show of partiality and a lack of respect.

    Plus, Brunswick News rarely publishes any articles about the Irvings.  I am sure you know the reasons.

    I am not a Brunswick News subscriber and I never will be.    It publishes only propaganda ( e.g. - a new Convention Center is good for Moncton,  Louis Lapierre was a victim,  Shale Gas protesters are evil doers {miscreants} ), trivia, and multiples pages of advertisements & photographs, including altered ones. 

    Why be a Brunswick News subscriber when one can get news from reliable sources such as the CBC, The Guardian, and others?  That question answers itself.

  2. I'm not sure if I'm the 'a lot' or just one of many, but seriously, are you arguing that during Clintons reign the US DIDN"T control the world, but once George Bush 2 had eight years and invaded two worthless countries that their aim of world domination was realized? Well, maybe so.

    I'm assuming your mentioning Iran meant Iraq, but I read Brzeninski's article, and it said NOTHING about 'invading Ukraine'. His direct quote on 'what he'd do differently from the current administration which has held the policy of NOT intervening: "I'd refrain from indicating that the US would not intervene". Thats a big step away from 'invade Ukraine, then Russia, then China'. If you have a quote stating that this guy said 'lets go to war in Ukraine' then post it.

    However, there are LOTS of 'former policy advisors', and we should note that term in caps: ADVISORS.

    So again, its really you making these statements, or else jumping to conclusions from what other people have indicated. That's not to say that the situation isn't important and dangerous. I'd just write you off as another conspiracy nut if it were, but you are right on the money about the media coverage, Harper and the west's hypocrisy, that a little extremism in the other direction is a pretty healthy thing.

    I think it would be worthwhile to do a chart or a video showing Harper's priorities. On the one hand we have Central Africa, where its very likely that another Rwanda is about to break out, yet the UN Security Council and assembly can only get around to sending troops next fall, when they may be just cleaning up bodies.

    Compare the number of times Harper has said "Central Africa" in the press compared to Ukraine, where at the very least, we see a country where then number now killed by the 'new' government is closing in on the number supposedly killed by the last 'corrupt' government.

    Harper sends planes to eastern europe, but only 'says' that we will send 5 million dollars to central africa. And from the looks of it, Canada will send nobody at all to the african operation.

    As for the PNAC, if it no longer exists, then how can it be talking about war with China? I think in order to make your point you have to AT LEAST identify the main people behind PNAC, and show that not only that they are advocating these wars you mention, but that they have some clout.

    1. The PNAC closed because it's job was done. it's job was not to dominate the world, but to make that the objective of US foreign policy. It succeeded. That is the objective of US foreign policy.

      Getting info about PNAC, including names, is easy. Just google it. It's all there. And I would think that a member becoming Bush's VP, another his his chief of Staff, another his minister of defence, and dozens others taking up senior positions throughout US government suggests they succeeded.

      Of course, Brezezinki didn't say "we must invade Russia." That would make it too blatant. Read his words carefully. The policy he suggests would certainly lead to war - and he leaves the door open for it with a broad hint.

  3. Forget about the Ukraine though.....the early fifties?? Here's where we really part ways! Lets check out some lyrics from noted drug addict and frequent top 50 in the 50's singer Rosemary Clooney:

    "A girl went back to Napoli/because she missed the scenery/The native dances and the charming songs
    But wait a minute, something's wrong/Hey, mambo! Mambo italiano! Hey, mambo! Mambo italiano
    Go, go, go you mixed up sicialiano
    All you calabraise-a do the mambo like a crazy with a
    Hey mambo, no more a mozzarella
    Hey mambo! Mambo italiano!
    Try an enchilada with da fish a bac a lab and then a
    Hey goombah, I love a how you dance a rhumbah
    If you gonna be a square
    You ain't a gonna go nowhere"

    Wow, now that is just right up there with Eddie Fisher! The tune is just middling mambo, far better is free form mambo from somebody like Tito Fuentes who was often heard to say "whats a tune?"

    For something more modern:

    As for lyrics, in keeping with this blog, these lyrics are from a failed album that hardly anybody has ever heard, so are hardly even considered great:

    We watched the tragedy unfold/We did as we were told
    We bought and sold/It was the greatest show on earth
    But then it was over
    We oohed and aahed/We drove our racing cars
    We ate our last few jars of caviar
    And somewhere out there in the stars
    A keen-eyed look-out Spied a flickering light
    Our last hurrah
    And when they found our shadows
    Grouped 'round the TV sets
    They ran down every lead
    They repeated every test
    They checked out all the data in their lists
    And then the alien anthropologists
    Admitted they were still perplexed
    But on eliminating every other reason
    For our sad demise
    They logged the only explanation left
    This species has amused itself to death
    Amused itself to death

    Give me lyrics like that from a guy who croaks more than sings anyday!

    And I'm aware that dates me as well:)

  4. PS: no offense there, I meant that the lyrics were anti war 'in keeping with this blog'- not that its a failed blog.

  5. Actually, my real tastes go back even further.
    at the pop level, they're still Pete Seeger, clesmer East European Jewish bands,. Some Dixie.At the light level, Gilbert and Sullivan. Otherwise, nothing after 1900.

  6. Pete Seeger would roll in his grave to be called 'pop'!