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In-Sights: News from the echo chamber

Columnist Vaughn Palmer reports concerns expressed by Moody’s Investors Service about growing BC Hydro debt. The agency stated the obvious, which is that numerous capital projects are adding billions to the public utility’s debt and higher electricit… . . . → Read More: In-Sights: News from the echo chamber

Politics, Re-Spun: Permanent Delusion, Rex Murphy and Rob Ford

I can’t watch this. I can’t. Rex Murphy’s ode to Rob Ford includes this quote: “Mr. Ford was one of the most remarkable ordinary people Toronto has ever produced.” Here’s another perspective; you decide: To create and solidify their base, Ford and his backers used a strategy that has proven successful elsewhere. It is a … Continue reading Permanent Delusion, Rex Murphy and Rob Ford

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Permanent Delusion, Rex Murphy and Rob Ford

Alberta Politics: Unite-the-right poll results ring alarm bells and raise interesting questions, none of which are asked by the media

PHOTOS: A pollster asks a typical Albertan if she’d prefer to vote for a united Wildrose-PC Party … or the NDP. Actual Alberta pollsters and their subjects may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Pollster Quito Maggi, Alberta Prosperity Fund … . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Unite-the-right poll results ring alarm bells and raise interesting questions, none of which are asked by the media

Politics and its Discontents: Democracy’s Lifeblood Is Slowing Draining Away

There are a number of blogs that I read on a regular basis. There is Owen with his superb synopses and wry, informed commentary. There is The Mound of Sound, whose deep research and informed commentary provide much-needed information on both domestic a… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Democracy’s Lifeblood Is Slowing Draining Away

In-Sights: Distortions and half-truths but mostly outright lies

February 13, 2013, Premier Christy Clark announced:
…the new British Columbia Prosperity Fund to ensure communities, First Nations and all British Columbians benefit from the development of a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry…

LNG development is poised to trigger approximately $1 trillion in cumulative GDP within British Columbia over the next 30 years and that means more than $100 billion will flow directly to the Prosperity Fund.

Province wide, LNG is expected to create on average 39,000 annual direct, indirect and induced full-time jobs during a nine-year construction period. As well, there could be as many as 75,000 full-time jobs required once all LNG plants are in full operation…


…Projected total revenues to government are estimated between $130 billion and $260 billion over the next 30 years. In order to maximize the benefits of these developments to future generations of British Columbians, the provincial government is establishing a new British Columbia Prosperity Fund…

During the election campaign, Liberals promised that LNG revenues would not only ensure a debt free British Columbia but gas production would also fund essential spending for health care, education and social services. They claimed their plan demonstrated the superiority of BC Liberal financial management because, after almost 40 years, Alberta’s Heritage Fund contained only $17 billion, a fund accumulation 1/10 or 1/20 the rate intended for B.C.

So that we don’t forget this good news, Northern Insight will calculate the accrued income that is coming our way. It updates regularly.

First Pamela, we’d have to move to Norway.

Bringing us some of the news that’s fit to print, and a little more, Dirk Meissner rewrote pre-election Liberal press releases for Postmedia, the company that chose to partner with Canada’s resource industries and their favourite politicians.

B.C.’s LNG plans on same scale as oil sands: Clark, Dirk Meissner, December 13, 2012:

VICTORIA — Premier Christy Clark says her government’s plan to export liquefied natural gas to Asia is British Columbia’s economic equivalent to Alberta’s oilsands.

In a year-end interview with The Canadian Press, Clark said B.C.’s LNG development ambitions will transform the economy, but the province must act quickly before the opportunity evaporates like gas into the atmosphere.

Clark, who has spent the last year describing her “bold” and “audacious” plan to turn B.C. into Canada’s job-creation engine, said British Columbians will still be cashing in on the benefits of LNG exports 50 years from now.

“Think about it in these terms: what oil has been to Alberta since the 1970s-80s is what LNG is going to be for British Columbia, nothing less than that,” said Clark.

“Energy output from LNG will likely be as big as the total energy output today from the oilsands,” she said.

…[experts] are on board in describing the opportunity as monumental and one that should be fast tracked.

“This is huge,” said Ron Loberec, Deloitte’s Canadian resources spokesman. “It’s a no-brainer.

Now, almost three years later, the so-called experts are proven to be no-brainers. They were drawn willingly or stupidly into participating as partisans in the 2013 BC election. Not only has the province not moved forward on LNG, it’s lost billions of revenues that used to flow from its gas fields. BC is not realizing additional revenues from natural gas despite returning billions of dollars to the industry through drilling and infrastructure subsidies. In fact, the province is no longer receiving material payments through royalties or the sale of petroleum and gas rights.

. . . → Read More: In-Sights: Distortions and half-truths but mostly outright lies

In-Sights: Stenographic journalism

Writing in Salon, maverick journalist Glenn Greenwald criticized news reporting that follows the stenographic model. It involves repeating what people say without any effort to judge the truthfulness of statements or the facts of the situation under re… . . . → Read More: In-Sights: Stenographic journalism

Alberta Politics: You tell me, Dear Readers: Did I unfairly beat the Wildrose finance critic like a piñata?

PHOTO: Your blogger, at right, wearing the brand new string tie he just bought in Santa Fe, takes a whack at Derek Fildebrandt, the Wildrose Opposition’s finance critic. Actual Alberta politicians and political commentators may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Derek Fildebrandt; Globe and Mail reporter Carrie Tait; the famous Globe headline […]

The post You tell me, Dear Readers: Did I unfairly beat the Wildrose finance critic like a piñata? appeared first on Alberta Politics. Can we talk politics without lashon hara?

Over the course of the election campaign to this point, the Jewish community has seen repeated and sometimes flagrant violations of halachic and ethical prohibitions against lashon hara – wicked speech – and some of the 31 transgressions related to it, such as unnecessarily engendering controversy and division. But although negative politicking has become more […] Jewish issues at centre of partisan sniping

Jewish issues and candidates made headlines last week and became the subject of some distasteful political rhetoric on the campaign trail. In Alberta, a 21-year-old hijab-wearing university student resigned Aug. 18 as the Liberal candidate in the Tory stronghold of Calgary Nose Hill a day after conservative activists publicized noxious tweets from her past. Ala […]

Alberta Politics: Code Crossover: How long before the Edmonton Journal and the Edmonton Sun are merged?

ILLUSTRATIONS: Sun Journal, or Journal Sun? Hyphen or no hyphen? Broadsheet or tabloid? Now that Journal subscribers are being pitched the Sunday Sun, and the two papers’ staffs will soon be working at the same address, amalgamation is only a matter of time. With apologies to the Lewiston, Maine, Sun Journal, whose front page I […]

The post Code Crossover: How long before the Edmonton Journal and the Edmonton Sun are merged? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Things Are Good: Iceland Wants to Help Journalists Expose Real Threats

Iceland continues on it’s quest to be the ‘Switzerland of data‘ and is extending its program to do so for journalists. Part of the country’s plan to become a haven for people exposing the immoral and questionable behaviour of powerful people is already in action. Iceland is quickly achieving its goal of not only protecting data but also protecting people who analyze and process that data.

The motivation for Iceland to lead this charge comes out of a first-hand knowledge of how devastating a lack of transparency can be. Iceland’s financial crash of 2008 was catastrophic to the (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: CBC House Cleaning Claims the Vapid Evan

Evan Solomon was always a pathetic pseudo-journalist.

Ask an intriguing question, politician spins or lies or evades or trots out talking points, then Evan…what does he do? Move on. Nothing to see here.

Waste of air.

The world is better off with him off the air.

January 10, 2014 What Does Post-Corporate Media Look Like? (0) February 5, 2014 The Media Corruption Trifecta! (5) November 26, 2013 More CBC Privatization (2) February 25, 2012 Yas A., Kagan Goh and Carmen Aguirre: Monday at 6pm on COOP Radio (0)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Flawed analysis

Following the passing of Alberta’s Conservative party, Macleans writer Colby Cosh described a drawn-out illness that made the result inevitable. Followers of British Columbia politics will recognize symptoms also found west of the Alberta border: Elections Alberta, despite some political and legal controversies, did important work in investigating and documenting the web of illegal kickbacks from schools, municipalities, and other provincial institutions that the Progressive Conservatives had come to take for granted in hinterland Alberta.

Political financing disclosures added to this picture, showing that the PCs have consistently relied on donations from corporate clients of government—contractors, builders, professional associations—that would (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Mohamed Fahmy “has no relation to the Muslim Brotherhood”

A billionaire telecoms tycoon has told an Egyptian court that Mohamed Fahmy, a journalist and Canadian citizen, “has no relation to the Muslim Brotherhood”

The post Mohamed Fahmy “has no relation to the Muslim Brotherhood” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Cracks in credibility remain

Two days ago, retired journalist and TV newsman Harvey Oberfeld headlined, “Bell Media President Brings Shame to CTV.”

Today, the company reacted to disclosures Bell Media President Kevin Crull interfered with news coverage that affected Bell’s business interests.

BCE announces departure of Kevin Crull from Bell Media BCE Inc. today announced that Kevin Crull will depart from the position of President of Bell Media effective today.

“Kevin Crull departs Bell with our thanks for his contributions to our customers and shareholders,” said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell Canada and BCE Inc…

“However, the independence of Bell (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Shining a light

Glenn Greenwald, “A key purpose of journalism is to provide an adversarial check on those who wield the greatest power by shining a light on what they do in the dark, and informing the public about those acts.”

A BC political journalist, “For sums paid to my agents at the National Speakers Bureau, you can engage my undivided attention and I will shine a light for you, enabling your organization to deal successfully with those who wield the greatest power. I won’t inform the public about acts done in the dark.”

From the Code of Ethics of the (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Chomsky on media

What Makes Mainstream Media Mainstream, Noam Chomsky, Z Magazine, October, 1997

Part of the reason why I write about the media is because I am interested in the whole intellectual culture, and the part of it that is easiest to study is the media. It comes out every day. You can do a systematic investigation. You can compare yesterday’s version to today’s version. There is a lot of evidence about what’s played up and what isn’t and the way things are structured.

…The real mass media are basically trying to divert people. Let them do something else, but (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: The moderating effect of moderation

RossK writes about the Pro-Media Club and its implicit rulebook, which includes a requirement that no one reprove a colleague, even if overstatements and misrepresentations morph into purposeful lies. The blog world doesn’t follow those guidelines so we can point at any load of old codswallop encountered. In coverage of the Metro Vancouver transit plebiscite, there is plenty, particularly from alternative media that claim to publish content less influenced by special interests. Unfortunately, the interests are still special, just different.

Writing in a Vancouver Observer “Special Report”, Paul Hillsdon presents implications of a “NO” vote. These are but a few: (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Setting priorities

I’ve written about politics influenced by a captured and compliant press. This is from a helpful Canadian Press article published by Macleans Magazine weeks before the last BC election: …A Liberal government would dedicate all revenues from liquefied natural gas and a proposed oil refinery in Kitimat to debt reduction until all provincial debt is eliminated, said Clark. She pointed out that the New Democrats have said they will increase taxes on the LNG industry.

B.C. would be debt-free in 15 years under her stewardship, she said, and the Liberals would tie government spending increases to the rate of (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Agenda journalism

Black Press political reporter Tom Fletcher, whose wife is a Public Affairs Officer for the BC Liberal Government, occasionally recalls the nineties: The dark decade, the dismal decade, the decade of destruction …when investment, jobs and people packed up and headed for the B.C. border in response to the NDP governments of Mike Harcourt and Glen Clark…

That is Fletcher’s memory and he reminds community newspaper readers throughout British Columbia whenever convenient. Many of us remember differently. BC Stats, a division of the provincial government, provides information to test Fletcher’s accuracy. First, we can determine if people were departing (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Oh, what a tangled web we weave…

I will comment about BC Budget 2014 after more study but I’ve read a few reports from media stenographers. Studying detail takes more time than rewording notes issued by the gaggle of Liberal flacks paid for by munificent taxpayers. One Globe & Mail report, written by the father of an executive assistant in the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, is titled, “How B.C. balanced its books by controlling health-care costs.”

Credibility of the piece is revealed by its first sentence, When B.C. Premier Christy Clark made debt reduction an early priority of her government…

Priority? (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: MORE Sexism Against Female Canadian Athletes!

THIS picture respects the dignity of a tennis player. Not, “give us a twirl” demeaning, sexist abuse.

Today is a terrible day for gender equity in sports. What it looks like is either continued sexism, or increased anti-feminist backlash against women who have been asserting their human rights to safety and dignity around the world.

Female World Cup soccer players have to play on plastic artificial turf while the men have played on actual…grass. They started a human rights complaint but have now dropped it. And last year at the Australian Open, an idiotic [female!] Australian media interviewer asked (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Nobody’s servant…

North Van’s Grumps is the proprietor of Blog Borg Collective. While I search for material in the main aisles of information warehouses, NVG prowls the dark recesses. Happily, he shares many discovered gems and I appreciate him as a source of valuable leads.

In comments on the last article here, NVG connected us with a piece of work by the late Hubert Beyer, a journalist who covered public and political affairs in British Columbia. This is an introduction but I urge you to follow the link for the entire piece.

“When the press fails to keep its distance from politicians” (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Real Journalism: Holding Harper To Account

Unlike the kind of faux journalism that the CBC’s most reverent chief correspondent, Peter Mansbridge, has perfected, real journalism requires critical thinking and hard-hitting questions. In that, The Toronto Star holds to consistently high standards.

To appreciate this fact, consider first the following exchange during the year-end interview the Prime Minister granted his media acolyte:

Mansbridge: So why don’t we propose something then?

Harper: We have proposed something.

What have we proposed? Well the Province of Alberta, excuse me, the Province of Alberta itself already has a, it’s one of the few GHD regulatory environments in the country. It (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: In the Time of the "Official Truth" There’s No Room for Journalism

John Pilger looks at what the Western media offer up as journalism and sees instead propaganda.  He sees the essence of the mainstream media as not information but power.

The world is facing the prospect of major war, perhaps nuclear war – with the United States clearly determined to isolate and provoke Russia and eventually China. This truth is being turned upside down and inside out by journalists, including those who promoted the lies that led to the bloodbath in Iraq in 2003. The times we live in are so dangerous and so distorted in public perception that propaganda is (Read more…)