Friday, October 24, 2014

Nov.24: The Heirs to Dr. Goebbels

Dr. Goebbels was Hitler's propaganda chief. He was pretty good at it, convincing Germans that everything was under control even as Allies troops fought into Germany from East and West, and as allied bombers turned whole cities into piles of rubble. Brent Mazerolle is no Dr. Goebbels. His  front page, banner headline story is propaganda that is childishly written, corny, largely false statements. And it's damned unethical. But let's take it one point at a time.

1. The story is not  news story. It's an opinion piece. There's a difference, a very big difference. News is something that happened. News gives the basic facts. Opinion  is not fact. It is simply one person's opinion of the meaning of the news. If a newspaper insists on putting opinion on a news page, it should clearly label it as opinion. Not to do so is unethical, bad journalism. Properly labelled, we would know that this is not information. The is an opinion by a person whose only idea of an opinion prior to this has been writing little stories about himself - and who has shown no special understanding of international, national, or even local affairs.

This is a repeat of a lesser unethical practice, again involving Mazerolle. I believe it was yesterday that Brent Mazerolle wrote, at the top of A2, what looked like a news story, but was really a free ad for the TandT.

No competent editor would ever allow this to appear as a news story. It's our bad luck that the Irving press doesn't have any competent editors. (And I really wonder what the Ombudsperson thinks of this. By reputation, she's an excellent journalist.)

2. Then there's the writing. The theme that runs through this headline "story" is "O Canada". Of course. National pride. The true north strong and free. The lines keep popping up as you read. Very dramatic. Very emotional. Very grade 9.

It's too bad Mazerolle seems unfamiliar with all the words. At one point point, the line he quotes is "sea to shining sea". So I tried to sing it. O Canada, from sea to shining sea....dum, dum.... But it didn't sound right. Of course not. The line is from "America the Beautiful";  but he does remember that we have three seas (though the US does not recognize that third sea as ours. (Ooh - does that constitute an attack on us when the US illegally sends ships through as it frequently and deliberately does?)  But three seas makes fitting it into O Canada even tougher - "O Canada, from shining sea to shining sea to shining sea..." Nope. doesn't work

And, of course, we stand shoulder to shoulder, and strong because we live and survive in a vast wilderness.

 Wow! That brought back memories of my first summer at Boy Scout camp.

Brent, as inspirational writing goes, this is utter crap; and remarkably reminiscent of Harper's speech.

And, as Canadians he says, we all stand for Canadian values that we all strive for that define the best of Canadian values. Oh, bullshit. What are Canadian values? Care to name some? Do they include our amazing redistribution of wealth from all of us to the very, very rich? Do they include creating a poisonous environment by changing our laws to make the very rich even richer?  Do they include killing Libyans and Afghanis and now Iraqis (and soon Syrians) to make American billionaires happy? We know, of course, they include lowering taxes on the rich, and letting them hide their money in offshore accounts (And giving away our forests to them).

Could you give us a list of the Irving values to give us common folk something to strive for?

Oh, and all Canadians knew Moncton in June.. Really?  Did you talk to them all, Brent?

He ends with "we stand, shoulder to shoulder, with glowing hearts_". Brent, you should be standing with glowing face, not heart, glowing from embarrassment at writing such corny drivel.

3. I really don't see why an extremely foolish act by one madman should count as an assault on Canada. Surely, any criminal attack by anybody could be called an assault on Canada. But we had something much more like a real assault on Canada when a noted Canadian politician was murdered by an enemy to Canada.

Betcha don't know who that was, Brent.

This whole "news story" has nothing to do with a madman in Ottawa. It has to do with creating national hysteria so that Stephen Harper can destroy our rights (as Bush and Obama destroyed American rights. We are going to see more secret gestapo with more freedom to spy on us,  all of us, and for reasons that have nothing to do with terrorism. We're going to see more militarization of our police. We're going to see more intimidation of those who actually believe this should be a free country. Gee, we might even follow the US into having a worldwide system of torture prisons. (Actually, Canada has already been involved with the American torture business.)

As the tragedy of that day in Ottawa unfolded on the TV screen, it was generally assumed that the killer was an Arab Muslim working for ISIS. And what I heard for hours on CTV was an outpouring of bigotry, hatred, racism and ignorance aimed at all Muslims.

What we need is some journalism to point out that the killers were Canadian, non-Arab, and were mentally unbalanced. That would have brought back some calm and sanity. Instead, we're getting "opinion" columns to spread hatred, fear, even hysteria. And we're going to pay one hell of a price for that when Harper meets parliament again.

Sieg Heil!

The editorial also picks up on the O Canada theme. Titled "Strong and Free", it also makes mention of the Canadian way of life, whatever the hell that is. Oh, part of it is "We need to deal with a harsh climate..." and that creates individual courage". I know what he means. Just yesterday, I had to roll up my car wind\ow because of the rain. And I was Canadianly fearless in doing it.

Alec Bruce returns to his theme of being an entrepreneur because it brings freedom  No, it doesn't. I did quite a bit of   commercial work as an entrepreneurial writer for magazines, newspapers, as a freelance broadcaster for radio  and TV, and some work for film - not as much as Alec Bruce because it was spare time work - but I did a lot and it was financially very rewarding. And when you're an entrerprenurial writer. you still have to please the boss.

When I was broadcasting for CBC, the leading Quebec pro-English and anti-separatist group elected me as its chairman. CBC dropped me the next day for becoming too prominent in the language quarrel. Now, in the same building were the Radio-Canada (French) studios. On that side, you pretty well had to be openly separatist to get a job.

(No. I'm not anti-French. I think New Brunswick has been pretty sensible in language matters. Down here, it's some of the English bigots I'd be worried about.)

Norbert has the best column I have even seen him produce. It's on global warming. It's solidly factual. I doesn't rant. This one is a must read.

Check out the letters to the editor for some samples of bigotry, racism and general ignorance about Muslims - and about the whole history of the middle east, and who the real terrorists are.
Headline on NewsToday, B1 "Nation stands resolute, on guard". Back to the O Canada theme, and raising hysteria. People in the middle east will be on guard, too, against Canadian bombers. But that's different.

At the bottom of the page is the story that Gallant wants a natural gas pipeline to export it to the world. Because, duh, it will create jobs. And what will the world do with it? Duh, they'll burn it. Now read Norbert's column again. What is the crisis we face? Duh, climate change, but they won't burn it here.
And wherever they burn it, won't it be sending carbon dioxide into the sky? Duh yeh. But it won't be our sky.

Congratulations, sir, Welcome. You have passed the test to sit in New Brunswick's Liberal government.

Duh, thanks. Can I smoke in the Assembly?

B4 has a good story on political reactions to the attacker in Ottawa. Harper is taking the hard line that, deranged or not, the killer is still one of them there Ayrab Muslim terrorists, so Canada has to go on a war footing to fight this terrible threat. Was he mentally ill? Harper says he had "weakness of spirit" - whatever than means. And it's just as evil.

Harper's language was full of loaded words. Canadian forces men and women are brave. The other side are terrorists, killers. Canadians are peaceful. (So how come we peaceful people have just fought a war in Afghanistan for no reason at all, and are now bombing ISIS for reasons that have nothing to do with us? And how come us peaceful people have armed forces at the edge of Ukraine? And how come we're so closely allied to a country that is the world's biggest torturer? Isn't torture terrorism?)

Harper's words will heighten hysteria. Hysteria is what he wants so he can destroy rights and freedoms.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May says the killer was a madman, working alone,so Canada is not as a result in any greater danger than it has been for years.

Mulcair and Trudeau say we should see final police reports before we jump to conclusions. Well, of course. That's what you do in a free country. But Canada hasn't been free since it elected Harper.  And he's not going to wait for police evidence. He'll go immediately to destroy freedom.

Mulcair said he hopes Harper is not using his extreme position to win the next election.

Well, of course he is. And he's also going to use it to destroy whatever democracy is left in this country. The biggest threat to Canada, by far, is Stephen Harper.


  1. Yes I have a question about the Parliament Hill shooting, and I have no evidence to suggest it was anything else than it might appear to be – just the work of a lone gunman. But in a country that supposedly loves freedom; it's what PM Harper likes to remind us of, I have the right to wonder out loud... Of course, UK PM David Cameron thinks otherwise.

    I'm wondering if the recent Parliamentary Building shooting in Ottawa is a false flag? Was it orchestrated to aid in ushering in the previously scheduled CSIS counter-terrorist security bill tabled for Parliamentary debate in the House of Commons? Was it used to usher in the bill that has far reaching sweeping security provisions without any serious opposition in Parliament? Is the bill going to make some fatcat politicians even wealthier by allowing them to engage in lucrative defence contracts with their favourite weapons manufacturers?

    And why was the FBI involved in passing along the identity of the shooter? Were the alleged recent Islamist converts said to be responsible for the hit-and-run in Montreal, and the shooting at Parliament Hill radicalized by our very own intelligence agencies? Were they patsies? Or, were our intelligence agencies co-operating with outside intelligence agencies to covertly create a false impression we here in Canada need to give up our rights and freedoms in exchange for security?

    These are not likely questions you will ever hear being asked by anyone in the media, not if they want to keep their jobs. But, in a free country lol that wishes to remain not yet outright slaves, we need to ask the tough questions, because no one else will.

    Former Judge Andrew Napolitano who has written a couple of extensive volumes on the US constitution, has a hard-hitting piece available on YouTube showcasing how the FBI has prevented 17 attempts at terrorism from occurring, but then documents how the FBI were themselves instrumental in staging the attacks in the first place.

    I haven't researched to see if this is factual, but here's a revealing article of CSIS infiltrating Muslim communities to paint them in unfavourable light.

    Or, try this one:

  2. Steven Blaney, the public safety minister, said Monday’s attack was “clearly linked to terrorist ideology.”

    Mr. Blaney said last week that he was about to introduce legislation explicitly allowing Canadian intelligence agencies to circumvent laws that prevent them from spying on Canadians by allowing foreign agencies, including those of the United States, to do it for them. The bill would also let those agencies keep the identities of their sources secret, Mr. Blaney said.

    This from:

    Is this accurate? If so, I guess we're Americans and not Canadians. We're Americanas! Will anyone else really notice or care, or realize what this means?

  3. Hi Graeme, I anticipated a great blog for the 24th and you did not disappoint, you came up shining. It is so depressing as we watch all the media outlets trying to emphasize such maudlin, sentimental crap (CBC telly is one of the worst, and all to improve ratings) and it was interesting to watch the "At Issue" crew trying to be sensible about it all in the nicest possible way. Canadian journalists are all either cowed or insulting, we should take a page from the BBC journalists, for example, who are willing to ask tough questions when conducting an interview.
    The only thing that matters might be climate change, but defeating Harper is certainly right up there.

  4. Again, thats absurd. We KNOW the police were involved with the guy in Quebec, they SAID SO. They worked with his cleric and mosque to try to DE radicalize him. And of course they took his passport, which certainly helped create the situation.

    That this was orchestrated to have this desired effect is absurd. Go to one of those cops and mention your theory and you will probably rightfully get a punch in the face.

    When Isil gave a public statement asking muslims in Canada to respond with violence, then its obvious they have no network here, otherwise they would have activated some 'cells' and the gunmen would have wiped out everybody within shooting distance.

    So I suspect the government simply didn't think anything would happen. The bill they were about to present had NO opposition, it was just about to be signed and made law. So the idea that this 'helped' what was already a foregone conclusion is just crazy.

    But absolutely, the fear right now is perfectly valid that not only will they bring in those laws, but a whole slew of others. Thats why I say if readers here actually want to accomplish something, they may want to contribute to the liberals and voice their opinion. A political party is going to act according to what votes are there, if they think all the peacemongers are just going to stay home and cower in their basements, then they will be just as militaristic as Harper. There is an election next year, and while I'm not liberal fan, it may be time to consider the lesser of two evils, and attempt to make it good.