Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How to spin Ukraine news into anti-Russian propaganda

Versions of this story are all over the internet today.

What seems to be a common thread in most of these stories is this; a column of six Ukraine Army armoured vehicles were on their way to Kramatorsk, a city in eastern Ukraine that has been suffering from mob violence by a pro-Russian mob.

By the time the column reached the town, the Ukraine soldiers aboard had either defected to the other side or had been removed from control of their vehicles. Either way, by the time they reached their destination the armoured vehicles were sporting Russian flags.

The main point of the story would seem to be that Yatsenyuk, America's non-elected leader in Ukraine, has little popular support among either the people or the Ukraine military.

But the headline at the CBC, Canada's government owned broadcaster, frames the story as "Combat vehicles in east Ukraine fly Russian flag."

That's subtle but slick; it leads the reader to surmise that these combat vehicles are part of some Russian subterfuge. They're not armoured cars, they're "combat vehicles." The fact that they fly the Russian flag is proof of Canadian government allegations that Putin is behind the unrest in eastern Ukraine.

That lets the reader avoid the realities of a) Ukraine soldiers defecting against the non-elected and illegitimate goverment of Kiev, and b) massive popular resistance against that government.

This allows the public broadcaster, under severe attack by the Harper government, to score some brownie points with its benefactor. All they had to do was slant the narrative ever-so-slightly to align with the Harper-Baird commitment to that illegitimate government in Kiev.

Mass stabbings ignite knife-control debate

Everybody got something in a kitchen drawer that, when used incorrectly, can sever an artery, or even a head.

Thus far, knife owners have escaped the general opprobrium directed at gun owners.

That's about to change.

In recent weeks mentally unstable folks who were most likely heavily prescribed very legal psychotropic drugs have succeeded in killing dozens in places as far afield as Kunming China, Murrysville Pennsylvania, Regina Saskatchewan, and Calgary Alberta.

With a knife!

Oh-oh!

It's just a matter of time before the do-gooders notice that any mentally unstable idiot can walk into Walmart and walk out with a sharp pointy object that can kill innocent people.

Look for a politician near you starting a debate about a knife registry. Maybe screening for potential knife purchasers. A criminal background check?...

Might as well get used to cutting that T-bone with a butter knife... or not. A butter knife could be modified into a rapid-fire steak knife by anyone with a file or a bench grinder...

Mark my words; in a year or two we'll all be forced to pick up that T-bone and eat it with our hands!

Unless the National Knife Association comes out and impresses upon the public imagination that it's not knives that kill people; it's people that kill people.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Toronto's corporate sports overlords celebrate rare playoff appearance by giving fans a good screwing

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment is the name of the conglomerate that controls professional sports in Canada's biggest market.

They don't really concern themselves with fielding winning teams, because they have found the docile Toronto market will sell out their games year after year even with the most mediocre teams on the ice/pitch/hardwood.

This year was to be a rebuild year for the NBA Raptors, but after getting rid of one of the teams' bigger salaries in mid-season, the team unexpectedly gelled. Not only did they gel, but they're in the play-offs!

For the first time in six years!

So how does MLSE reward their long-suffering fans?

By sticking it to them with the highest playoff ticket prices in the NBA!

And how are the fans responding? They're lining up to buy the tickets, of course!

Don't forget; this is the same town that made Rob Ford their mayor!

American money

Junior been busy...

https://soundcloud.com/#jakeneumann/american-money-unfinished

Baghdad Strong

Boston marked the first anniversary of the Marathon Bombing today, with a timely reminder from VP Biden that "we own the finish line."

What exactly such jingoistic nonsense may actually mean is not a question welcomed on a sombre day such as this. It's enough that the Red Sox are playing again. The Bruins made the Stanley Cup finals mere months after the terror attacks. Boston gamely shook off the effects of a terror attack that killed three. There have been no known terror attacks in Boston either before or since the Marathon Bombings.

Boston Strong.

If you go back to the pre-invasion era, you will find that Baghdad used to be a very peaceable city. Although much larger than Boston, it had a similar number of violent deaths. That all changed in March of 2003.

Since then, three deaths on any given day in Bagdhad would not be considered newsworthy either inside or outside the country. It takes dozens of deaths to get the attention of the media, and even then it will be a story relegated to the back pages.

There is of course no need for commemorations, because Baghdad would never have a chance to do anything else. Every day would be given over to marking the anniversary of one slaughter or another, every one of them dwarfing what happened at the Boston Marathon. Many days would have to commemorate multiple slaughters.

Unlike America, the Iraqis do not "own the finish line." They are victims of history, not makers of history. Specifically, they are the victims of the history that America has made for them.

That's something to remember the next time you hear an American politician speculating about why "those people hate us?"

Sacking of Bandar Bush signals failure of Saudi Syria policy

Bandar bin Sultan is unemployed today. When he was handed the keys to the intelligence apparatus of The Kingdom less than two years ago it was widely assumed that Bandar would use his Washington connections to draw the US more deeply into the Syrian war.

When Obama balked at his own "red line" last year it became obvious that Bandar's influence in Washington wasn't what it used to be.

While the immediate goal of regime change in Syria has reluctantly been abandoned, is there a new strategy?

Coupled with the recent propaganda initiative that claims the US is now giving "rebels" advanced weapons for the first time, it would appear the answer is no. America and its allies are prepared to let Syria burn. In fact, they are determined to keep the fires burning at any cost. The fact that this strategy poses very serious risks for all of America's allies in the region, especially Jordan, Israel, and The Kingdom itself, is a risk that the beltway war-mongers seem willing to take.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Alwayne Bigby to challenge Rob Ford for Mayor's chair?

Now let me make it clear right off the top that Alwayne is presumed innocent until proven guilty. It's just an allegation that he shot that woman having a smoke in her garage, as he was cruising by in his Land Rover.

That's what makes Alwayne uniquely qualified to run for Mayor. The incumbent may strike a gansta pose, but he just cruises his Escalade aimlessly whilst in a drunken stupor. 

Alwayne at least has the brio to shoot off his 9mil while he's cruising his Land Rover down your street.

And it's all allegations of course. We don't even know yet if he is alleged to be the driver or alleged to be the shooter.

So Bigby doesn't have the typical Mayoral wannabe resume, but he's no poseur; four years of NCAA and a Master's degree in education attest to that. He coulda made the NBA if he'd worked a little harder...  Hell, if fate had taken a different bounce he coulda been the chair of the Toronto District School Board some day soon!

I think he could give Ford a run for his money!