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Politics and its Discontents: The Surveillance State Under Stephen Harper

Yesterday, Margaret Wente wrote a piece pointing out that in terms of policy, there is no discernible difference between Justin Trudeau and Stephen Harper, and yet people are craving change. In typically lazy manner, she simply cited friends who say “He’s gotta go!” So what’s the problem with Mr. Harper? Is it the Duffy affair? The militant foreign policy? The highly dubious tough-on-crime agenda?

No, not really. It’s just … him. He’s too controlling, too snarly, too mean. He picked a fight with Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin. He sounded callous about murdered native women. It’s not (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Madness of Stephen Harper and the Unusual Wisdom of Margaret Wente

According to the Ottawa rumour mill Stephen Harper is now so obsessed with Justin Trudeau, that none of his faithful flunkies dare mention Justin's name in his presence.Lest he fall to his knees and start biting the carpet, or THEM.And for more evidence of that all you have to do is look at the speech he delivered today at of all places the Canadian Heritage War MuseumBecause it's crazy stuff. Read more »

Politics and its Discontents: The Perspective That Age Bestows

Unlike some, I do not bemoan the passage of time. True, I am of that generation known as ‘the baby boomers,’ but while I am at times mildly bemused about certain things (‘How can it be 50 years since the Beatles first played in Toronto?’), I was never beguiled by the notion that we would be young forever. Yes, I try to keep fit and hope to be active throughout the rest of my years, but ceding my place to others in both the workplace and the larger world bothers me not in the least. As Margaret Wente (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: An Open Letter To Margaret Wente

Dear Ms. Wente,

I thought that as a journalist you were supposed to do some research before you go writing stories. In the case of your August 2, 2014 column in The Globe and Mail, it is painfully obvious that you haven't even bothered to try. As a child, Lindsay Leigh Bentley desperately wanted to be a boy. She refused to wear dresses and adored going hunting with her dad. She loved sticks, guns, motorcycles and monsters. She chopped the hair off her Barbies. Her parents had to cut her own hair short because she refused to let them (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Wente Is Getting It Wrong … Again

I suppose it should come as little or no surprise that Margaret Wente is getting things wrong again.  This time, she is expounding on the treatment of transgender children. Suddenly transgender kids are everywhere – in the news, on Dr. Phil and in your neighbourhood. School boards have developed detailed transgender policies. Clinics to treat transgender kids have sprung up. A condition that used to be vanishingly rare, perhaps one in 10,000 children or less, now seems common. In a random sampling of 6th- to 8th-graders in San Francisco, kids were asked if they identified as male, female or transgendered (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Marie Antoinette Wente and the Senate Scandal

I must admit when I first saw the headline ”THE SENATE SCANDAL’S OUT OF LEGS !!!!” I was shocked, and my heart dived into my boots.

I felt like running to a window, opening it wide, and screaming: “Nooooo !!! Nooooo !!!  How could this be HAPPENING ??!!#!@!! How low can we go ?!@#!!!! How dumb are my people !#@!#!!! How short their attention spans !#@!#!!! But luckily it was too cold to open the window eh? And it was only Margaret Wente.  I love a juicy scandal. What better way to fill a column than stories about greedy, lying (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Repeat after me: Justin Trudeau is making rookie mistakes… have you got that?

Justin Trudeau at left, with some boring white guy in a tie that’s too wide. Don’t ever underrate the power of pixie dust! Below: The same boring guy with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and with well-known cage fighter Patrick Brazeau. Weirdly, everyone in these pictures appears exactly as illustrated!

Repeat after me: Rookie mistakes. Rookie mistakes. Rookie mistakes…

Do you think if we say it enough times, it’ll be true?

Plus, don’t forget Ladies’ Night, Red China and marijuana… I mean, like, really, is this a meme yet?

The entire Canadian punditocracy now seems to have jumped on the Justin-Trudeau-is-a-totally-flaky-rookie (Read more…)

OPSEU Diablogue: Impact of trade agreement may spark renewed interest in universal public drug plan

Last week Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente said the Harper government’s “consumer friendly” agenda was at odds with the pharma provisions in the new European trade agreement. As critics had been warning, the new agreement will effectively extend drug patents by … Continue reading →

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Margaret Wente’s Latest Is A Revolting Piece Of Crap

Media Culpa’s take-down is just what it deserves.  That is all.

Alberta Diary: Got trouble with ‘overbearing urban planners’? The Manning Centre wants to help!

A civic election all-candidates’ meeting in Calgary. “Why don’t we pass the time with a game of solitaire?” Actual Manning Centre supported candidates may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Manning Centre namesake Preston Manning; Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi; Calgary developer Cal Wenzel (CTV photo).

If on Oct. 21 the market-fundamentalist slate trained and sponsored by the so-called Manning Centre for Building Democracy should fail to sweep most of the seats on Calgary City Council, the wealthy developers who bankrolled this effort can take comfort in the knowledge they received their money’s worth in other ways.

Leastways, the Calgary-based (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Journalists found guilty of ethical breaches really shouldn’t lecture on journalistic ethics

People who live in glass houses next door to used car lots shouldn’t … Below: Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente, the Globe’s disclaimer.

S’cuse me! We ex-journalists are permitted to do whatever we like! And if Prime Minister Thomas Mulcair wants to appoint me to the Senate, I’m taking the job!

The same thing goes for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau if he makes the offer, if you must know.

But then, I haven’t worked as a journalist in this century and, with a little luck and the intervention of a kindly and progressive prime minister, I’ll never have to (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: A Classy Apology

Regular readers of this blog may be aware of my almost boundless enthusiasm for The Toronto Star. I deeply admire its progressive mission, and I find its roster of excellent columnists informative and thought-provoking. I have come to regard it as a trusted source of news and opinion.

It was therefore a bit of a shock to realize how badly below acceptable journalistic standards it recently fell when it published a story about Ontario Liberal MPP Magaret Best who, after being dropped from her cabinet position in the new Wynne government, took a medical leave, which she is still on. (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: The Guy Who Said Of Child Pornography

…it’s just pictures, is back in The Globe.  And Margaret Wente remains there.  Globe is all but invisible behind its firewall these days.  I’m not sure its worth boycotting.

bastard.logic: Ethics in Exile

Silly Prince George Citizen, holding a staff writer to account for generously liberating other writers’ work:

To our shock and dismay, multiple incidents of plagiarism were uncovered from work over the last number of months. The staff member plagiarized various online new publications, while writing opinion pieces that appeared in this space. Entire paragraphs were copied and then blended into articles, removing a word here and there, or adding a clause to link certain phrases, but leaving the words of the original writer all or mostly intact, without attribution to the original writer or publication.

As of Tuesday morning, that (Read more…)

bastard.logic: Ethics in Exile

Silly Prince George Citizen, holding a staff writer to account for generously liberating other writers’ work:

To our shock and dismay, multiple incidents of plagiarism were uncovered from work over the last number of months. The staff member plagiarized various online new publications, while writing opinion pieces that appeared in this space. Entire paragraphs were copied and then blended into articles, removing a word here and there, or adding a clause to link certain phrases, but leaving the words of the original writer all or mostly intact, without attribution to the original writer or publication.

As of Tuesday morning, that

. . . → Read More: bastard.logic: Ethics in Exile

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Flash! Margaret Wente Makes Error In Column!

I’m shocked!  shocked!  And I’d forgotten she’s on the BOD of Energy Probe, which is probably where she picks up most of of anti-renewable nonsense in the first place.

Boreal Citizen: Nonsense Alert: When Canadian journalists succumb to climate denial folly

I don’t want to be one of those grandpas who spoils the grandkids with a habitable planet. It’s the same reason I will not buy life insurance. I get hit by a bus and my family gets rich? Sorry, I don’t want anybody happy at my funeral. –Stephen Colbert’s facetious bit about President Obama’s “radical pro-survival agenda,” January 28, 2013

Sticks and stones can break my bones but “alarmist” doesn’t hurt me. I do find it irritating, however, and exhausting. In Terrance Corcoran’s Financial Post article, Extreme media alert, he trots out the over-used “alarmist” and “extremist” insults countless

. . . → Read More: Boreal Citizen: Nonsense Alert: When Canadian journalists succumb to climate denial folly

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Wente Still Goin’

…and still mis-attributin’ stuff:“An earlier online version of this column contained unclear attribution. This version has been clarified”.And still employed by the G&M.  Luckily, Carol’s still on the case, and still got them hopping ove… . . . → Read More: BigCityLib Strikes Back: Wente Still Goin’

The Sixth Estate: Wente: Promiscuous College Women Bad. Promiscuous Bureaucrats Good.

I know I shouldn’t let her bait me like this, but I can’t help myself. The two-facedness of it is among the worst I’ve yet seen in the Canadian press. Last weekend, Canada’s favourite plagiarist, Globe & Mail columnist Margaret Wente, published an extraordinary broadside against young women, complaining that they weren’t charging enough for [...] . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Wente: Promiscuous College Women Bad. Promiscuous Bureaucrats Good.

The Sixth Estate: Wente Checkup: Men Not Paying Enough for Sex Anymore

I thought it might be nice to have a check-up and see how Canada’s favourite plagiarist is getting on with her career. Regular readers will remember that after Globe & Mail columnist Margaret Wente was caught plagiarizing other journalists by an Ottawa blogger, Media Culpa. Sixth Estate has also published evidence of Wente plagiarism. Some [...] . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Wente Checkup: Men Not Paying Enough for Sex Anymore

Alberta Diary: Message to Canada’s media: OK guys, you can stop campaigning for that Romney guy now …

Romney Defeats Obama! U.S. President Barack Obama – perhaps not exactly as illustrated – holds up a copy of the Toronto Globe and Mail after his election victory last night. Or something like that. Maybe they just missed it that we don’t get a vote. Most Canadians don’t get to vote, that is, in the … . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Message to Canada’s media: OK guys, you can stop campaigning for that Romney guy now …

The Sixth Estate: Another Wente Column. Another Sixth Estate Investigation.

Margaret Wente has published another column, sans apology for specific “careless mistakes” (as she calls them) in the past and also complete with her unique pre-moderated comments section (since she needs extra protection from rabid readers). And this one, entitled “The Best Protection Against Bullying Isn’t Legislation,” appears to rise to the standard I have been regularly setting for professional journalists: sources must be attributed, and word-for-word passages must be quoted. Thank you, Wente. That’s all I wanted from you.

However, since Wente did not explain in her most recent apology what she was apologizing for (or how

. . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Another Wente Column. Another Sixth Estate Investigation.

The Sixth Estate: Weeks After Plagiarism Scandal, Margaret Wente Still Suffering “Originality Breakdowns”

After brazening her way through a plagiarism scandal, Globe & Mail columnist Margaret Wente appears to be back on her exceptionally busy three-times-a-week pace, even though this hectic workstyle was what some fellow journalists blamed for her ethical lapses. I’m sure she wants to put it all behind her. But she will have to earn that right. A first step in that direction would be to avoid having any more of what one overly charitable commentator euphemized as “originality breakdowns.” Another would be to drop the unique, time-limited and pre-moderated comments section the Globe has set up

. . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Weeks After Plagiarism Scandal, Margaret Wente Still Suffering “Originality Breakdowns”

The Sixth Estate: National Post: Wente Plagiarism Affair “Creepy and Soviet” — Plus, More Quote-Lifting by Wente

After Globe & Mail resident plagiarist Margaret Wente returned to work this week following a brief hiatus to lick her wounds after plagiarism allegations from blogger Media Culpa went viral, the National Post waded into the fray yet again, this time via Jonathan Kay. Kay provides a superb and scathing review of the aftermath of the plagiarism affair, calling Wente guilty of a “delusional stupor” and dismissing the bizarre management response — first denial, then a “secret” and unspecified punishment — as “creepy and Soviet.”

But then Kay comes back to what has been all too common in the

. . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: National Post: Wente Plagiarism Affair “Creepy and Soviet” — Plus, More Quote-Lifting by Wente

The Sixth Estate: Margaret Wente Returns, Issues Yet Another Apology for… “Careless Mistakes”

The Globe & Mail’s resident plagiarist and cheap-shot artist Margaret Wente has finally resurfaced after a mysterious two-week disappearance, with a typically vapid column on the U.S. election. Strangely, the Globe & Mail seems to be introducing an extra-special moderated comment format just for Wente. They also had her print yet another vague non-apology, referring to the fact that she’s been doing this a long time (13 years!) and that she “apologizes” for the fact that she’s made some “careless mistakes.” Due to the ongoing link boycott, you will have to find your own way to

. . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Margaret Wente Returns, Issues Yet Another Apology for… “Careless Mistakes”