Sunday, December 26, 2004

The Myth of Media Objectivity

(Check out Chris Muir's Day by Day)

Before this present war on western societies by radical Islam ends, I'm hoping that consumers will punish big media for it's plainly biased coverage against the war on terror. Books have been written and movies have been made about how media exposure can transform into media participation, extend the duration of a crisis, and exacerbate it's deleterious effects on the victims and society. Every day sees headlines that fit this description.

example: December 20th, 2004,
AP story and photos, found in a Sun Publications newspaper Headline: 60 DIE IN IRAQ ATTACKS, (New horrors show anti-American groups can strike at will.)

AP claims they're just doing their jobs. Look at the subtitle, "...Anti-American groups can strike at will." This is news? Terrorists have ALWAYS been able to choose the place and timing of their acts of violence. Duh. Aside from providing a gratifying release to the Bush-hating news editor who wrote it, this headline serves two main purposes: to provide encouragement to Anti-American individuals, and shape public opinion by implying that the war on terror is failing.

The 'New Horrors...' headline is both a mini-commercial and act of misdirection. Encapsulating the news story as we scan the paper, it directs our attention and even surreptitiously tries to shape our attitudes. That act itself was a News Story during the recent American election campaign. Voices from both left and right willy nilly accused the media of unfairly slanting their programming in favor of their opponents.

Unfairly? Not necessarily, so long as all participants in the battle declared their allegiance openly. Commentators and columnists like Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Al Franken and Lars Larson make their ideological stance clear. What's offensive and unfair is deliberate acts of misrepresentation by news organizations that claimed to be objective. There's the obvious culprits, Al Jazira in Middle east, NPR, CBS, and Fox in America, and the CBC in Canada- all proclaimed their institutional impartiality and sole possession of a patent on the truth. Liars, every last one.

It irkes me.

I'll defend the freedom of the press. It's a necessary part of a functional democracy.
But I think it's human nature to conciously and unconciously to promote your point of view -just look at the blog phenomenon. I have sat at the big desk, deciding not only which stories go into a newscast, but also HOW THEY TELL THEIR STORY. I've heard the newsdirector or the editor say it: "I don't like this version of the story, use the other." or "re-write this piece and emphasize (a certain point) more?" While It's sophomoric to believe in complete objectivity from that same press, any nation's citizens have a right to expect their news media not to be working against society's best interests - especially during a war in which the future existence of that very society is at stake.

The clueless Ted Baxter stereotype is an urban myth. The people slanting the news know damn well what they're doing.

Friday, December 24, 2004

The PM is a Tool #2

ROTFLMAO! JJ McCullough had this Dec. 23rd on Filibuster and I laughed my ___ off. The toonist made it look like Paul Martin was pressing Libya about Human Rights abuses, but it was really a business promotion trip. I'll read JJ"s website
daily from now on.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Merry Christmas to all. Even you libs.

Isaiah 45:23

Before me every knee will bow;

by me every tongue will swear.

Army Chaplain serving in Iraq

Chaplain Brad Lewis has my prayers tonight. Serving in Iraq, he was present at the mortar attack on a coalition forces facility earlier this week in Mosul. When he and many others rushed in to help the wounded, they discovered that the terrorists firing the mortars hadn't fled the scene, but instead had deliberately waited for emergency assistance to arrive before walking the mortars back into the dining area.

Chaplain Brad Lewis has taken the time to share his experiences by maintaining his own weblog, If you read no other post this week, read his.

Chaplain Lewis's post was removed and is no longer available. The link above is to the blog only.

Charge uncooperative victims with their own crime

Police in my city have pretty well given up on anti-gang legislation to prosecute members of Edmonton's growing gang problem. They say the burden of proof required to get a conviction is so onerous that it's easier to prosecute these criminals using older laws.

Bloody law must have been written by the John Howard society

And don't tell those parasites over at the Civil Liberties Union, but we'd be so much better off if Uncooperative victims of crime who refuse to assist their police investigations, should be charged with whatever crime had been perpetrated upon them. Upon reflection, that should include those feces-processing lawyers at the Civil Liberties Unions who keep on intercepting and obstructing justice on behalf of criminals and deviants seemingly every time I open a newspaper.
But I digress.

A Edmonton Sun newspaper story Tuesday, tells of a stabbing victim who refuses to co-operate with Police. A 23 year old unnamed stabbing victim was found downtown Sunday night- he'd been stabbed in the chest. Victim was uncooperative with the police. The story provides few other details.

Is the victim not cooperating because he's been subjected to intimidation, and fears reprisal from the perpetrators of the crime? Or is he noncooperative because he's a criminal himself? A Mountie friend of mine says that it's often obvious which, but difficult to prove.

Dammit, the police are spread thin enough. Not counting my traffic tickets ( mea culpa ) my last three encounters with law enforcement illustrate this:

- 10 years ago my car was stolen from the only lit driveway on my street. I called the city police daily for four days, hoping my car had been found. On the fourth day, the clerk told me, in an exasperated tone of voice, "Sir, when we find it, we WILL call you." So I relented, rented a car, and waited patiently. After 3o days, my insurance company's car rental provision expired, and I gave up the rental. I called the Police. Guess what? They found the car in a nearby town on the FIFTH day! My city's police service instructed the local police to set it aside for evidence collection and then promptly forgot about the case. Guess who had to pay 30 days worth of special storage fees? That summer we moved out of the city into one of the suburbs.

-5 years ago there were a rash of break and enters in our new town. My car was broken into twice. My wife's car window smashed, My garage once. A coat, cell phone, my daytimer, a car stereo (non-functional- heh heh) were stolen. The juvenile thieves used my cell phone to call their own house and the homes of some of their friends. When the garage was broken into, I followed the asshole's distinctive foot prints in fresh-fallen snow to within a block of the home of one of cell-phone thieves. A couple days later I saw the culprit and his very distinctive footprints in the snow outside the local convenience store. Lucky for the kid, ALL the local police detachment had time to do was assign a case-file number. Whoopie fu**ing doo. I've known the kid with the footprints since he was oh, seven? His mother goes to my church.

-2 summers ago my wife and I called the police when we saw vandals damaging municipal property in the alley across from our home. It was just after midnight. The police took half an hour to show up. The little shits had been gone for 10 minutes.

Back to our uncooperative stabbing victim. Call me a fascist pig ( I won't agree ) but I'm suggesting that if, after the dust settles, the victim was stabbed because he was an accessory in a criminal event, the state should charge him with the crime. That's right, don't want to cooperate? You want to be part of the problem? Face the music yourself then.

This would give law-enforcement the discretion on whether or not to allocate (waste) resources protecting burglars, drug addicts, and gang members from themselves. Free the police to investigate crimes perpetrated on willing, cooperative law-abiding citizens.

What would be the repercussions? Obviously our society's soft-headed liberal elements would shit themselves sideways in protest. Sure, it would make life as a member of the criminal element more dangerous as crimes against criminals would be less likely to be investigated. They'd probably tend to become more brutal crimes too. Awww, too bad. Boo hoo.

Oh, and they caught the guy who did the stabbing, -no thanks to their ungrateful victim.

Two tigers

Two tigers were stalking prey, slinking silently in single file through the jungle. Without warning, the 2nd tiger moved up and licked the 1st tiger's butt.
The first tiger was upset by this, and halted to give the 2nd tiger shit.
The 2nd tiger apologized, and promised he wouldn't do it again. They continued walking through the forest.
Then, without any warning, the 2nd tiger licked the 1st one again.
"I told you to quit it!" roared the 1st tiger.
"I'm really really sorry," the 2nd tiger apologized, "but a while a ago I ate a lawyer,
and I just cannot get the taste out of my mouth..."

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Who uses TOOL derogatively?

Is dismissively (SPELLING?) calling someone 'tool' a Canadianism? Does it get British or American usage?

It's like knob. knob = doorknob, as in "dumb as a..." But more recently, knob as a figure of speech equating the person with the male sexual organ, dick or prick as in, "What a knob."
The use of "What a tool" is somewhat similar. The obvious reference is to the tool that knows not for what purpose it is being wielded, as in " unwitting tool." Then there's a tool, like a hammer, as in "dumb as a sack of hammers." (okay, I've heard that one in the States) My favorite is of course the equating the subject's character or intelligence to that of the male sexual organ, as in "what a tool."

The Prime Minister is a Tool

In his reach for respectability Moammar Gadhafi used Canada's Prime Minister Paul Martin like a tool, Sunday. I know what you're thinking. Paul Martin is a tool anyway, so what's the big deal?

What I want to know is, Is he an unwitting tool? Or not?

What the hell is it that prompts Canada's governing Liberal Party Politicians to repeatedly and incessantly cozy up to despots and dictators? Just off the top of my head, I recall that over the last 30 years they've cozied up to Communist China, the Soviet Union, Vietnam, Fidel Castro, and Prime-Minister-for-Life Suharto of Indonesia.

The Canadian Press reports that the Prime Minister met Sunday with Moammar Gadhafi in Tripoli. The two reportedly discussed the potential for increased trade opportunities and human rights abuses. This is a big deal for Gadhafi, who last year publicly renounced support for terrorism and reportedly ended his quest for weapons of mass destruction after watching American-led coalitions roll through Saddam Hussein's and the Taliban's sandboxes.

Libya should be welcomed back into the community of nations ...warily. And Moammar Gadhafi, who has said before he doesn't really rule Libya, should turn over his effective leadership to a successor. Don't harbour any illusions that anyone he choses would be innocent in Libya's past transgressions, but at least it would smell better.

Good job Paul. You've just poked our neighbors and 2 closest allies in the eye again. Thank God Canada has such a low profile on the average British subject's or American citizen's horizon. My first reaction to the news story was anger. Gadhafi reportedly sheltered Abu Nidal, and by paying nearly 3 billion dollars in compensation to the families of the victims of Pan Am flight 103, admitted his country's culpability. I'm glad he recanted. But if Canada's Prime Minister thinks that makes everything okay, then no wonder Canada has a penile system instead of a penal one.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Health care a right?

Ironcross at "Brutality of Reason" posed a question about health care as a right. I commented, and I'm reposting my thoughts on that subject here.

In our society we have no shortage of people willing to whine about their 'rights.' I'm all for talking about 'rights' as long as we can include talk about our obligations. I think our obligations to to each other and our society/nation/tribe distill down to a few simple concepts.

Do you like living in your Country? If it needs you, answer the call.

A parent is obligated to grow (GROW! - the verb,) their children, like a greenhouse for future citizens.

A citizen sees a crime in progress; DO something about it.

Don't be freeloader if you can help it. Pay your own way so those that truly need help can get it. If you see someone freeloading unjustly, DO something about it.

You see busted glass on the road where some flipping drunk smashed his bottle, pick it up, kick it off the road. Lucky you didn't drive over it -don't leave it there for someone else.

You become a member of your community. Join a church, the Lions, the Knights of Columbus, boyscouts, -whatever. If your life up to now is shaping up so that your only legacy is an obituary that says "all he/she ever did was turn food into shit" move to North Korea. They need more shit.

Our society still works because enough people still live by the conventions that allow our society to function. You obey the law and follow the 10 commandments. You expect your grocer to be honest and your Financial Planner not to abscond with your dough. You expect the police to catch the bad guys. You expect most of your politicians to be assholes, but what the hell... Two out of three ain't bad.
But seriously, One of the 3rd world's most insurmountable obstacles to peace and prosperity is that graft and corruption rule their governments, and too many mullahs think the rules don't apply to them.

A guy I respected once told me that there were two kinds of "Rights."

-"Inalienable rights,"
-"Bullshit rights."

The simple way to tell the difference was to apply the following litmus test:

Will your exercising this "right" cause a loss or an infringement of someone else's rights?

By this litmus test a whole host of so-called rights are revealed as bullshit. The right to freedom from religion, which silences believers and restricts them from public life. The right to live with the (imaginary) peace of mind some people think they'll have if their town has an ordinance banning private gun ownership. The right to Gay Marriage, which undermines the basic unit of our society, the family. The right to abortion, which steals the right to life, liberty, and happiness of BOTH the mother and her dead baby.

Likewise, the so-called right to health care can and will lead to infringements on those who will be forced to pay into it, and on everyone else who will lose their (heh) right to choose. In Canada, well-funded (by taxes) supporters of the tax-supported medical plan zealously attack anyone who tries to provide medical services outside the government rationing system.
I do mean a rationing system. I am every day amazed at the number of ignorant people I meet, who think the government's money-supply is limitless. Once you reduce health care to a single national HMO (the government) the ONLY way to limit overhead will be by rationing. They won't be able to limit access to services- it'll be a right. Therefore the only choice left to the government will be waiting lists.
Need a heart-bypass? Cancer surgery? MRI? In Canada the waiting lists are months long.

So much for your right to life...


I turned 40 last month.
I told my wife, "hey, this is the Golden age, ...I wanna buy a convertable."

She just a looked at me. Silently.

A sales trainer I met in 1990, Tom Hopkins, once told me that when you ask the closing question, the first one who talks, wins. Where the hell did she hear it? I'll have to work harder on the sales presentation.

Of course, living in Alberta at a latitude that's as close to the north pole as Moscow, Russia is, might have something to do with her skepticism.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

This is the Golden Age

The landscape of Historical, Science Fiction, and Fantasy ficiton is littered with stories set 'after the golden age.' The old Republic in the Star Wars saga, Asimov's Empire in the Foundation series, Niven and Pournelle's 1st Empire of Man in 'the Mote in God's Eye' and 'King David's Spaceship' are a few examples. Characters invariably look wistfully back to those times, as their great deeds, great accomplishments, and greater knowlege has since been lost.

In the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, North American commentators repeatedly announced the end of the 'Golden Age.'

With all it's warts, and all our current troubles we are still living in a Golden Age. Are you unemployed in Germany? Going through a divorce in California? Your kid's are in court?

In a recent movie, a mentally ill character played by Jack Nicholson posed the questions, "What if this is as good as it gets?" I thought that was a little pessimistic. But I loved what his character did in the wake of that question. I was so impressed when he became less self-absorbed, and took an active interest in his role in the lives of his friends. With all it's warts, and all our current troubles we are still living in a Golden Age.

I don't want to be like the characters in those books I mentioned, looking fondly back at the past. I'd rather have those feelings now, when I think about my family, and my life now.
The here and now is the only here and now you have. What are you doing with yours?