Some people have Class then there’s Conservatives…

April 30, 2011

We all know that the the Sun newspaper chain is basically a mouth piece of the Conservative Party.

So it no big surprise that they have gone back 16 years-to Jan 1996 – looking for something ,anything  that they might throw out there in hopes of smearing Jack Layton and the NDP -who just happen to be surging in popularity right across the country-coincidence hardly.

What did they come up with nothing, absolutely nothing…

Did that stop them not on your life, the Sun  wrote in big bold letters Layton Found in Bawdy House“…in actuality is was a registered & licensed massage clinic.

Say what you will about Gille Duceppe and the BLOC ,but the guy is definitely a class act unlike the Conservatives.

Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe dismissed a story Saturday about New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton having a massage in 1996 in a licensed clinic where there may also have been sex-trade activities, saying “there were no charges.” Layton has called the report a “smear” designed to taint his character.

“I have nothing more to say,” Duceppe told reporters.

T-minus 2 days till the only poll that counts…

Lilley’s lilliputian mind

March 1, 2011

Pro Harper / ideologically motivated Conservative’s and or anti-CBC types are just so predictable & lame in their arguments.

For example Brian Lilley’s – Senior Correspondent for Sun Media on Parliament Hill – he opines …

Yes it is fair to call CBC the state broadcaster

Now I am not sure what “senior correspondent”  means i.e.. is it a mere designator of seniority,or does it imply some kind of elder status. As in  a person valued for his wisdom who accordingly holds a particular position of responsibility ?

That said if  Lilley’s argument is a sign of the logic and or discursive skills required to be designated a senior correspondent at the Sun. It’s no wonder many people have such a hard time taking the Sun chain of newspapers seriously.

The final word goes to a reader who wrote ,in response to Lilley’s ,”Yes its fair”…

It appears that a few folks need to go back and review their high-school social studies notes on what is a public good.

CBC is owned by the public and accessible to the public. It is a public broadcaster.

PBS follows a model much closer to community broadcasting for its funding model.

As well, a re-read (or rather an initial read) of the Canadian Broadcasting Act, and perhaps a read of McChesney’s The Political Economy of Media may help cure this myopia. It’s clear this discussion is based in an ideological vendetta against public goods, loosely cobbled around a few flimsy definitions for justification.

Read more  *lilly dipping Lilley ,if you must

*lilly dipper – someone who doesn’t put their entire paddle in the water.

 

 

 

Breaking “news” Poll’s mean shit

February 13, 2011

Golly gee really ,dang who would have ever guessed…

Canada’s notoriously competitive pollsters have some surprisingly uniform advice about the parade of confusing and conflicting numbers they’re about to toss at voters ahead of a possible spring election: Take political horse race polls with a small boulder of salt. “Pay attention if you want to but, frankly, they don’t really mean anything,”

You don’t say…

proliferating political polls suffer from a combination of methodological problems, commercial pressures and an unhealthy relationship with the media.

So why do pollsters even bother ? Brace your self,apparently  its all about the money and or influence peddling …nooooo really.

Money. Or more precisely, the lack of it.

Turcotte says political polls for the media are “not research anymore” so much as marketing and promotional tools. Because they’re not paid, pollsters don’t put much care into the quality of the product, often throwing a couple of questions about party preference into the middle of an omnibus survey on other subjects which could taint results.

Read more @ Winnipeg Free Press

Globe & Mail’s new motto…

November 24, 2010

We-Don’t-do-Context

One can easily be forgiven for thinking that the Globe & Mail has or should possess -given the existence of pride,self-respect & all – at least a modicum of respect for the intelligence of its readers.

After all the Globe has the following to say about it’s self…

The Globe and Mail has consistently delivered Canada’s best and deepest coverage of national, international and business news.
The paper is an essential read for Canadians who want to know about the issues, facts and opinions that affect our domestic landscape and the world at large.

Which begs the question, if this is so ?…what’s with the National  Enquiresque like articles, that seem to be the the rule rather than the exception when it comes to issues involving Canada’s Aboriginals Indigenous Peoples ?

The latest- in a long line of questionable Globe journalism pertaining to Indian Country- dated  Nov 22 is entitled…’ More than 80 on-reserve politicians paid more than PM’,read @.

Not only does the Globe get its fact incorrect , in that the jaw-dropping-disingenuous-report that the Globe is referring to actually reads“ approx 50 reserve politician paid more than PM in 2008-09“.  Their  article seems to be more about provoking outrage,incredibility & casting yet more unsubstantiated dispersions  on First Nations Peoples . With the added effect of deflecting  criticism away from Canada’s dismal record , in-regards to it’s treatment of  First Nations, by appearing to place ALL the blame on First Nations Peoples themselves . My momma always taught me, that it takes two to tango.

What else explains the total lack of any context , indeed any kind of analysis what so ever.

Given the sensitive nature of the subject matter,i.e relationships between peoples & or races , along with the  widespread ignorance of many non-indigenous  people- exacerbated by  racism – as to the historical record  regarding treaties,agreements,on-going negotiations and the Constitutional obligations of Canada therein. Or to put it another way Indigenous Peoples were NOT conquered (this is not to say that if  they had been  conquered that the above would then be justified).  This type of lazy & intellectually dishonest, he-said-she-said ” journalism” of the Globe  becomes all the more irresponsible. Indeed just turn on your radio and tune it to any of the right-wing talk-radio shows, and or read the hundreds of comments that follow the  a fore mentioned article, and others of  it’s kind, the intolerance & ignorance is palpable.

Again why ?… does the Globe continue to print these weak & biased articles which only aides the  spreading of  ignorance & misinformation, helping to  fuel expressions of intolerance . Indeed why is the Globe quarter-backing for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation ( hardly known for being non-partisan ) by not first vetting the facts & statistics , is there  not enough general ignorance of First Nations Peoples their culture,history & inherent  rights ?

With that in mind & given the Globe & Mails abdication of its journalistic responsibilities , a brief outline of the facts regarding Indigenous governance & transparency is definitely in order.

First off there are 633 bands(sometimes referred to as First Nations )making up approx 60 First Nations, if one averages it out the numbers let’s say 1 Chief & 4 council persons per band one comes up with a number of  3165,the actual number is probably closer to 4000.

Of those the vast majority make less than $60,000 but more than $30,000 That said if a Chief makes a salary of $60.000 – tax-free as per treaties etc – one could compare that to a $100,000 taxed off-reserve salary and jump to certain “conclusions”… blah ,blah.  Further more  if one adds up the “perks”,e.g medical ,dental ,travel etc, without acknowledging that fact or at least stating how the figures were arrived at, the more it can be made to appear as if something is amiss.

Regarding transparency,nothing involving First Nations &  the distribution of Federal monies happens behind closed doors. Rather its quite the opposite…

First Nations’ activities are so closely monitored that they often feel as though their whole lives are “under a microscope”. Yet despite the plethora of research, reports, studies, commissions, and considerations of First Nations issues, none of them have ever shown that all First Nations leaders are corrupt or that First Nations are more likely to abuse their residents than Canadian governments.

In all fairness ones has to ask who else is subject to such  scrutiny  ? More to the point who else would put up with such all encompassing scrutiny ?

All said & considering the  thousands of people involved , 80 approx 50 cases (of reserve politicians making more than $300,000) begins to look rather inconsequential. Indeed  hardly  worth the amount of hair-pulling & finger-pointing that this issue has engendered .

Considering the Globe’s rather dismal record on covering Indian Country  perhaps the time is long over due for the Globe to consider hiring an indigenous  journalist, or two. Now there’s a “radical” idea, that is put someone a bit more knowledgeable on the  beat.

With all of the above in mind there are valid criticisms to be made regarding First Nations governance,including ones involving corruption & nepotism. In fact grassroots band members themselves are often the first to point out these injustice & inconsistencies,more often than not to no avail.

But that said, context is everything i.e the Indian Act  1876 , indeed many of the issues &  failings around governance  can be traced directly back to the  Indian Act & its imposition of the  ‘band council system’  upon Indigenous Peoples .The band council system works as an arm of the federal government, which funds it, its mandate is to implement the policies of the federal government at the local reserve /community level. In short the  Chiefs and council-members are constrained by,  empowered by, and beholding to the federal government thru the Indian Act   not the band members or community.

Above all ,  lest we forget  as so many  conveniently do , the overall root of the problem. That is  the federal government and its willy-nilly,when- ever- it -suites -our -purposes-application of the law  which consistently sees the government in  violation of  not only its own laws but also  the treaties & it’s Constitutional obligations as per Indigenous Peoples,again Indigenous Peoples were NOT conquered .

In closing the government could enforce transparency on its employees,such as the Indian Act Chiefs & band council-members ,if it so chose . But that would mean they would have to include themselves in the process thus opening themselves up to the same level of scrutiny that First Nations peoples are subjected to.

And that my dear readers will never happen !

Particularly when it’s much easier to just point finger and shift ALL the blame onto Indigenous Peoples. Indeed this  type of political expediency  has benefited & enhanced the reputation of some politician with their constituents.

Sadly this applies equally to the media as per their portrayal of indigenous Peoples & issues and to some journalist/authors. For example Christe Blatchford.,who is busy flogging her latest book Helpless which paints Indigenous peoples, in this case Six Nations, as law-less tormentors of  peaceable & law-abiding whites,”helpless” ones at that.


Also read @ mediaINDIGENA  “First Nations leaders reject “inaccurate,negative publicity” over salaries do they have a point ?” and definitely read ‘Cnd  Taxpayers Federation Publishes First Nations political salaries‘ pay particular attention to the last paragraph.

AND DEFINITELY READ ,the always insightful, Pam Palmater @Non-Status Indians ;  The Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s Chief -Bashing Campaign


Is there a Corporate-media conspiracy to obfuscate…

September 6, 2010

Silly as this might sound I have to ask, because when it comes to “Aboriginal” issues that’s the impression I get.

After all it’s very easy , particularly given the unprecedented access to information afforded by the internet, to at least get one’s facts straight. Is this to much to ask of  journalists & or the media outlets that employ them,apparently so.

What else explains their most recent servings of  crap ? Indeed steaming piles of crap from the Montreal Gazette we get  this , from the National Post Putz this.

To add injury to insult any & all context is totally lacking…

Interestingly both are unsigned…hhmmm -but then again when one throws around phrases like, “enough Soviet-style native property rules” & “current law gives band councils powers undreamed of except by the North Korean leadership” ,I suppose it’s understandable-lest one risk being labeled an  idiot.

Editorials like these are designed to do one thing heap even  more scorn on Indigenous Peoples in general and to build on  popularly held notions that Indigenous Peoples, their culture, & traditions are the problem.

Or to put it another way, just more of that  same ol’ same ol’ 19th century thinking -”kill the Indian,save the man” -that continues to dominate the thinking of so many Canadians/non-aboriginal people.

That said if you really want to UNDERSTAND why Indigenous Peoples are leery about fee-simple/private property rights and allowing even more settler government oversight of their lives,and as I wrote in my previous post, read the latest issue of the First Nation Strategic Bulletin.

O,arrogance thy name is a Euro/white  settler.

Also read; ‘Now First Nations are Soviets & Primitive Communists ?’ @ Non-Status Indians blog

I am writing this blog today because I have had enough of the right wing misinformation campaign against First Nations in Canada. It isn’t enough that First Nations had to endure colonial control, theft of their lands and resources, broken treaty promises, loss of their languages and spirits in residential schools, and the ongoing impact of the Indian Act for the last few hundred or so years, but now they are being shamed, harassed and bullied into abandoning what First Nations have managed to save for their future generations.

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On a side note:

Happy Labour Day-peace ,solidarity  & all…

Common sense prevails;Despite Richard Warman’s war on the right to be stupid

May 4, 2010

And thank god for that…

I posted on this a while back about…

…self described  human rights advocate/ law-suit-instigator extraordinaire, Richard Warman (god-bless his heart) has  unleashed his paternalistic self-righteousness,yet again .

His target this time ,  anonymous commentators,specifically those that comment  on web sites that he has a particular “fondness” for.

In a nut shell Warman wants the state to pass a law,which would  force website owners/administrators (without first having to show cause) to disclose the names and IP addresses of those who would dare say bad/rude things about others,in particular himself.

Remember we are talking  about comments here,not actions.  Comments made  during on-line conversations & debates. Usually on personal blogs & websites discussing political & social issues,subjects that can very easily go from passionate (but respectable) debate to juvenile name calling. Jeez…welcome to life…@

Anyway as the title implies Richard Warman has lost yet another “case”…

The targets of  his latest suit, Connie &  Mark Fournier of Free Dominion -a one stop talk shop for all your bigotry needs,will not have to disclose the ISP’s & e-mail addresses of  the eight anonymous commentators who posted comments that Warman did not like.

The idea that Warman , a lawyer who should know better,would even launch such a suit defies common sense. On top of it all, Richard Warman’s actions have given ‘Free Domain’ much more publicity than they deserve,or that the site would have ever gotten otherwise.

Perhaps Mr Warman over looked the adage…’any publicity good or bad is better than none’ ?  Then again maybe that’s the point publicity,albeit for himself ?

That said ,we all know which side is having the last laugh now yet again…

Way-to-go Richard for helping to boost   ‘Free Dominion’s’ credibility & visibility. Just like you  did for Marc Lemire &  ‘Freedomsite.org’ ,in-fact just 7 short months ago.

The boy’s on a roll…

H/T  Big City Lib

Its always about the money ; Dependent-ungrateful-conniving-welfare-addicted-incompetent- Indians”

January 19, 2010

What’s up with the the Globe & Mail …

Do they do  any homework before publishing ? Indeed is the Globe & Mail on some kind of mission to tell half-truths,confuse or  just insult Indigenous Peoples in general ?

Damn…

First Margret Wente then Christie Blatchford and now Gary Mason, although to be fair the Mason piece is  not quite as bad. None-the-less his piece; ‘It’s always about the money:VANOC & the aboriginal torch relay’ is confused, insulting,predictable  & irritating to read. Particularly given  the Globe’s reach &   influence,being one of Canada’s only national newspaper,yikes.

Mason start off..

Dependency spending doesn’t work,as some native leaders understand

After all everybody knows that Indigenous Peoples are all on welfare, well not all.Why can’t they all be like … (I’ll come back to the who,the predictable who, later)

First the gist of his piece…

From the day organizers of the 2010 Winter Olympics began their planning, the role that Canada’s aboriginal communities would play in the Games was interwoven into virtually every discussion.They would be full partners, VANOC chief John Furlong insisted, not guilty-conscience afterthoughts. The Games were to reflect the rich, cultural influence Canada’s first nations have had on the country.

VANOC would choose the inukshuk, an Inuit landmark, as its symbol. It would make sure that aboriginals got Games-related jobs and positions on Olympic-related committees and boards. The Olympic torch would travel to remote aboriginal communities in the Far North where the flame had never been before. Olympic tickets would be made available to first nations communities.

And those were just a fraction of the efforts VANOC was making to ensure that Canada’s aboriginal communities didn’t feel left out.

So you might have imagined VANOC’s surprise when a group of B.C. native leaders announced last week that they were going to use the Games to protest against their people’s miserable lot in life.

Yes indeed surprise,surprise hey Gary,damn Indians,imagine even after all that good-will they still want more. Imagine, trying to take advantage of VANOC’s  “generosity & obvious respect for First Nations cultures” my,my. Or should that be,’it’s all about the money VANOC‘.

The group represented the B.C. First Nations Forestry Council. At a news conference, its spokesmen said that, since there were going to be 14,000 journalists in Vancouver during the Games, it would be a perfect opportunity to tell the world how horribly treated Canada’s native people were. And, oh yeah, they were upset that the B.C. government hadn’t coughed up $6.2-million in funding to help aboriginal forestry businesses. The insinuation was that if the group got the money, the protests might not happen.

Damn them “dependent-ungrateful-conniving-Indians” .

What the group’s representatives failed to mention was that they hadn’t given the B.C. government any type of business plan that showed how they were going to spend the millions. The government said it wasn’t prepared to hand over the money with no questions asked.

Damn them “dependent-ungrateful-conniving-presumptuous-Indians” . As if  anyone with a clue, would just handover a pile of money without first seeing a plan.

And further more, just when are all those “dependent-ungrateful-conniving-presumptuous-Indians” going to get with the program.

Gary Mason “gets it” , white-people “get it” …

The problem with a certain sector of the aboriginal leadership in B.C. – and much of Canada, for that matter – is that it’s always about money. There’s never enough of it from government to address aboriginals’ many problems. And I don’t say that disrespectfully.

We all know about the horrific situation that exists in too many aboriginal communities. And it persists despite the billions of dollars that have been spent over the decades on a wide array of (mostly failed) programs aimed at addressing the problems.

Let’s face it: Dependency spending doesn’t work. That’s surely been proved by now. And many of the more enlightened native leaders in Canada understand that. The way to halt the cycle of welfare addiction, with the societal and health-related issues it promotes, is through the stability provided by economic independence.

Damn  “dependent-ungrateful-conniving-presumptuous-welfare-addicted-incompetent- Indians”, and I don’t say that disrespectfully,really I don’t.

Thank god for small “miracles” hey Gary i.e…that handful of “enlightened native leaders” who finally understand that “dependency spending” does not work. Unlike all those other “dependent-ungrateful-conniving-presumptuous-welfare-addicted-incompetent Indians”…

There are a growing number of first nations communities, most notably the Osoyoos and Westbank in B.C., that recognize this. Many of these groups, led by young, smart, charismatic leaders, aren’t waiting to sign treaties – an agonizingly slow process. They’re just moving ahead, building wineries and housing developments, and leaving their grievances with the government for the courts to sort out.

Yesiree why bother with them pesky treaties. Like figured it out already geez, the government has no intention of seriously negotiating treaties . One might as well get what one can, while the pickings are good.

Why bother with the fundamental  questions that go to the very core of  one’s very existence and long term survivability as  peoples/nations. Hell there’s “nothing wrong” with  being seen as just another  ethnic minority/hyphenated Canadian ?

Indeed , its much easier to just  assimilate, incorporate  your communal properties &  nation and let the settler government’s courts & laws sort out the important stuff. For example who is and who is not native,who actually owns native lands,now there’s a “mystery”.,etc ,etc…

Hell I say put the white-man’s two favorite Indians- Chief Clarence Louie* & Robert Louis- in charge..

They’ll  show  those ,”dependent-ungrateful-conniving-welfare-addicted-incompetent-its always-about-the-money-Indians” how to do things the “right-way” ,i.e incorporate your people’s communal lands & resources then sell off or lease  said  lands for 99 years to white-people/developers .

The question that should be asked is, why do so many ;

think that structuring band assets and Indigenous nation assets in the individual hands of an Indian Act chief or of Indian Act councillors is a good thing? Why do so many serve to transfer collective assets such as to become de facto private assets of a few who thus no longer even need to be elected by band members? Why would lawyers ever think it correct to be the facilitators?

Why,indeed !

Can you imagine the righteous outrage, if the Prime Minister of Canada attempted to incorporate Crown lands & resources(i.e the nation) and then install himself as head CEO .Creating a situation that even if he were to lose his position as PM he still remains in control/charge of the nation’s lands and resources.

So quit “whining” about the “past”  , develop some of that white-man’s…can do spirit /  pull-your-self-up by-the-boot-straps-claiming-other-peoples-lands.

Imagine you too – just like Robert Louis- could  have a $400,000 Mercedes Maybach sitting in your garage. Indeed you to could be held up as the poster-boy of assimilation.

See it doesn’t always have to be about the money,by the way I have a bridge I am trying to sell,are you interested ?

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* It’s kind of  telling  don’t you think , that when it comes to Chief Clarence Louie , who is also the Band Manager & CEO of the Band’s Economic Development Corporation, not one of his fawning white-admirers  raise any alarm bells about his mixing of politics and business. Indeed this obvious & blatant conflict of interest should be a warning sign that perhaps all is not quite peaches & cream.

Uhhmm for some “strange”reason,the words banana & republic keep dancing in my head.

Christie Blatchford the scowling munchkin

January 5, 2010

Well look at her ,you tell me what she reminds ya of…

Particularly when you put that face beside the articles she wrote regarding the Caledonia land-claim.  Articles designed to do one thing, pump up the already rampant anti-Mohawk /Indigenous feelings around this issue ,and in Canada in general.

Silly me,and I thought the purpose of the media when covering highly emotive issues,was not to add fuel to the fire further inflaming emotions, but to provide the facts  so as to explain the underlying causes.

You know so reader can make an informed opinion.

The latest from the blathering munchkin,hopefully the last we will have to bear. Talks about  the   “suffering” of a white couple at the hands of the “lawless Indians”,and how their “suffering” is finally over.

“The shit we’ve seen out these windows and doors,”

I feel for ya brother,I can just picture the “dancing savages full of blood-lust”,and right outside your window !

The fact they bought a house on land that was in dispute (going back not years,but decades), from a developer (Henco-since bought out by the government) who knew this,is besides the point. In fact the developer was warned by Six Nations leaders that if they went ahead and developed the site, the chance for trouble was quite likely.

Damn them Indian…

Also according to the munchkin, “there’s  one law for  Indians and one for the rest of us”,surely she jest’s ?

After all it’s not like white people grabbed all the land,only 99%…what’s another 40 hectares here and there ? Damn “law-less Indians” ,will they ever be satisfied ?

Christie…if your reading this may I suggest a different hair-dresser,dang.

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Update : Apparently my hope that this would be the last from the blathering munchkin was a bit premature…

On she blathers this time round,of … “unprecedented tales of fear and distress”.

O my goodness what did those “Indians” do now…yawn, time for my nap.

I wonder if she will ever be able to  figure out the real story behind Caledonia ,i.e Six Nations people are the real victims ,yes a handful of white people were caught up in the middle ?  Blame the government not the Six Nations  people. That said it should also not be forgotten, that  many other citizens openly sided with the developers against their neighbors. Many of whom used  the opportunity to express just what they thought, about those “Indians”. San  facts,reasonableness or respect.

The highly charged atmosphere that surrounds many  out-standing land claims,  is a direct consequence of  decades of government inaction and  a total unwillingness to show leadership. Or even talk with Indigenous Peoples, before things have a chance to go sideways.

So if you happen to be reading this Christie,write about that injustice,write about the  suffering & distress of the real victims here,Indigenous Peoples.

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