Propaganda Chains: Leaking by proxy to hack reporters is an old game.

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News feels like a re-run with BuzzFeed’s latest foray into getting used and they pretending they have a scoop. Many outlets are reporting this as if this were absolute fact without so much as attribution.

BuzzFeed is an easy target. It’s pure garbage. They are desperate, and it is easy to put out feelers and play games. You leak garbage in the trash can, and then back away from it.

And with Robert Mueller’s office denying it, we can see that this game is a common ruse, and why news outlets are hotbeds for political propaganda and war games.

The news is classic bait that is the brick that gets thrown to get a jade: watch the reaction and the counter-strategy, and that’s how you find out where to strike.

I have had opportunities in my career to play the game. I always begged off. For the record, none of the “leaks” were true or in the right context. There was always an angle.

Because most of journalism is cringeworthy and in the realm of yokel. Watching a local newscast has over seven minutes of news about how cold it is going to be tomorrow. There is snow! In the winter! Be careful when you shovel! With two reporters reporting on making sure you shovel your fire hydrants!

I worked in that business. I had more than one editor think that bridesmaid dresses would be a fun thing for me to write about. That’s not what I was there for nor was I using my job for my own marital aspirations — considering I am going to be 46 and never had a spouse, you can be sure the topic wasn’t making me giddy.

And when it comes to political or corporate propaganda, it is easy for a reporter to get sucked in — they get spoon-fed “serious” stories, and their pseudo-source gets to pollute the information stream. Defence attorneys often use the press to make their client look innocent. Executives battling for control spill gossip. Even America’s fading A-list stars will engage in it when they are getting divorced and want to grab or keep as much cash as they can.

Most of it isn’t news, however. Nor it is even true. You can tell a lot more of reality by working backwards from the story: who has the most to gain by presenting the narrative and why? Leaking by proxy who then leaks to a hack reporter is a propaganda chain: the person who has something to gain hopes other media outlets report the story because what is reported first sets the narrative and in the pre-Internet days, would be believed without opposition.

However, when someone has to build a Propaganda Chain is actually bluffing. They are in a position of weakness, but hoping throwing the grenade with shatter the stronger opponent and control the narrative and the optics. It is manipulation, nothing more.

If you want to know the truth, move back link by link, ask the hard questions, as you expose each link, and that’s where the real story lies…

We call the shots and reap the rewards and glory, but you foot the bill: That's not how it works, kids.

The Left have a serious problem being Reality Deniers these days.

Once the voice of reason and compassion, their ideology has been hijacked and replaced with some idea that they are owed something to the point that they can call all the shots, reap all of the reward, get all of the glory, and the people they slag have to foot the bill.

This is sanctioned insanity.

You want to call the shots, foot the bill.

That should have been the Left’s focus all along: ensuring that people have the economic freedom and ability to earn their own way.

Not to be dependent on a nanny state or look for well-heeled sugardaddies and sugarmommies, but to have the cash money to afford upward mobility.

Not a hamster wheel. Not a chain of debt.

But the Toronto Star has problems with the notion of personal competency.

They lament that student newspapers will wither because students will have the option not to fund them. Ontario university students — the ones who get titles running for useless organizations — are upset that those who do not wish to find them will have the right. No one owes you a paper crown, kids. Do not pretend you are holding anyone “accountable.” What you are doing is résumé-padding, but no worries: you will still land that same crappy jobs after graduation as your friends who skipped that exercise entirely.

Contract work “unfair” to newbies in universities? How old are you people again? It was profoundly unfair that my grandmother was dropped by paramedics and that I had to look after my mother who had cancer at the same time I had ovarian cancer. An untested commodity not getting a bragworthy contract, who gives a flying fuck? Earn your strips first.

But the Star’s logic extends beyond post-secondary education, and lands currently right on Ontario Place with a pair of very manipulative articles:

Ontario Place must remain ‘family friendly’ and accessible to all, experts say. Here are their ideas.

and:

Ontario Place Cinesphere, pods could be demolished under Ford government plan.

Must be “family-friendly”? No, it doesn’t. There is no logical or physical necessity. It can be condos, a retirement village, an airport, a casino, a mall, a hotel, a factory, a school, a resort, a university, anything.

It can be a nudist resort. It can be a weed haven. If the Ontario government wants to convert it into something else, they have the mandate. Experts do not. They can try to exploit their paper crown to meddle, but at the end, it is not their call.

I have many times in my life decided on a course of action where “the experts” said that I must do something else that went against my wants and needs. Every time, I was right to trust my instincts, and had I gone with their sexist decrees, I would have not succeeded or been in a good position.

Ford got his majority. He has never made a secret of what his vision of Ontario Place was — and it is not called Toronto Place, but Ontario Place.

It used to be “family-friendly”, but then it didn’t work. It wasn’t making money, nor was it attracting people. It had to be shut down and has been in limbo ever since.

Experts are not elected. They can have opinions, but they cannot dictate the parameters. Your cabal of experts rig the results one way. Someone else’s cabal of experts will rig it the opposite.

But what we have are people trying to bluff their way into power. They do not have the financial or political authority or means, so they try to position themselves as having the moral or intellectual superiority to be the ones in charge.

Except they have neither. It is just a grab. The way Torstar openly lobbied for government money — forcing people to pay for a product they do not use — and then pretend the money is not for them to keep their titles and pay checks even though they are incompetent propagandists.

You cannot be a functional system without fiscal management skills. You cannot borrow and get yourself in a hole because then you are beholden to someone else. The Left have never been a viable option because they want control of a populace by making them financially dependent on the state so that the state can scare them and do all of their thinking for them.

This scam doesn’t work. Other Leftist nation who played that gambit imploded. It is time to retire that economic ideology once and for all.

If you truly believe in freedom and freedom of choice train people to thrive on their own out in the wild. Do not throw them in cages and then feed them a bullshit story how glorious and moral it is to live in a cage. That’s what Millennials are doing to their own perpetual misery — and instead of moving out of the cages, they want to be forced to be in a smaller cage with less freedom.

Western thinking lacks instincts and literate ferality. When you have a society trained on apps and prepackaged goods, something gets lost.

Life is not trouble-free or without effort or heartbreak. It is ironic that for all the bad-mouthing of capitalism, champagne socialists are the most indoctrinated — the difference is they want someone else to give them stuff and an enviable lifestyle, not be the ones who earn it themselves.

If capitalism had one serious defect, it is that it failed to take human greed into account. It rewarded financial hoarding. Had there been a slight tweak in its structure, we wouldn’t see the blaring inequities we are seeing now.

Nor would we be seeing people expect a champagne lifestyle as if it were a human right. It is not a human right. There is something to be said about having to earn your way and not be given it.

We don’t have an adequate system that deals with the worst of human thinking, such as greed, jealousy, deception, anger, arrogance, or laziness. Sins or not, a truly viable political and economic structure goes in knowing that grifters, thieves, and manipulators want to leech from the competent and the diligent, but in order to do that, they have to dupe enough empty-heads into relinquishing their power and free will to form a barrier to keep prying eyes away from their blood-sucking.

We have two seemingly competing ideologies that have the identical structure, meaning we don’t actually have a choice.

It’s just like journalism: we don’t have a choice. We have propagandists who spew from the Right, and those who spew from the Left. We have no alternative structure that actually does its job.

Journalism that wants to call the shots, reap the reward, and get the glory — but have someone else foot the bill.

No wonder the profession is fubar: with ridiculous thinking like that, it was inevitable…

Method Research, Part Five: How Yes, Inc. destroyed journalism.

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The late nineties and early Aughts was devastating for journalism. So many publications were folding, and some of them folded as I was writing articles for them. Canadian tech magazine Shift was one, and it folded one month before my article for them was slated to appear, and I found out about it while reading Romenesko.

I had it published in another magazine, but not every article could be re-housed. The biggest and most complex of these was an article I wrote for Vent, that was supposed to be a cover story, but that magazine folded one issue away from the one I was slated to appear.

It was a shame. It was an article about the most interesting places to work and how to get a job there. I interviewed someone in Human Resources and someone who was hired six months or less. I enjoyed writing it. Even though I was still paid in full, I was devastated that all the work went down the drain.

But not exactly.

I was doing my Method Research, and in that I still had not wasted my time. That the magazine folded was important for my research. It was a newsstand magazine that was well done. It targeted the right demographic, and did all the right things, but so did Shift.

That demo just wasn’t interested in print publications — but they weren’t flocking to the online versions, either. When those magazines folded, their online presence vanished with them.

It was an interesting void.

But the Vent article was very instructive. There was one human resources manager I interviewed for USA Today, and she was sharp as a whip, and told me something that made me think why journalism was tanking.

Because you didn’t have enough people like her in it.

I asked her about one job interview she conducted that stood out to her, and she told me there once was a fellow who came in and during the interview, outlined his critique of the newspaper. At first, she said, she was offended, Who are you to say what’s wrong with the newspaper?

And then, she had a revelation: he wasn’t saying it because he disliked the newspaper. He obviously cared enough to want it to succeed. It meant he read it regularly and did his homework. He was rooting for it.

She hired him.

He wasn’t a Yes Man.

If journalism had more of those kinds of people: those who see the problems as well as those who see the value of hiring those who are honest, truthful, and brave, we’d be in a better place.

But she was a rarity.

But Yes Men and Yes Women are the dead weight of any group — be it a company, family, industry, or nation. They are disloyal and treacherous, allowing rot to go on as they use the misdirection of cheerleading to seem devoted.

They just want to ensure they get pull out all the resources as they put nothing into it. They are the leeches who look for other people’s hard work, steal it as they nod deferentially, and then spin a narrative that those who are pointing out the rot are the traitors.

Raging egos always seek those from Yes, Inc. as they attack those whose perceptions are aligned with reality.

Journalism was destroyed by the infestation. Canada is being seriously weakened because of them.

When I was doing my own Method Research, I was doing it in hopes for finding an antidote to cure what ailed journalism. It now is way beyond saving. It needs a replacement with the structure that repels the Yes, Inc. assholes from gaining traction in the first place.

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Journalism became overrun with people who sucked the last drop of blood from the profession, attracting asset-squeezers who see there is nothing left but to grab the few prized-assets left. The profession became enraged — partly because no one wants to hear their party is over and now they have to find some other, less glamorous industry to suck dry, but that their charade was more transparent than they thought it was.

The temper tantrums from Yes, Inc. merely exposes their true motives for being in the business. Quality and calling have nothing to do with it. It was a mask of convenience to them where they could kiss up to power brokers and get things all while pretending to love their profession.

Nice try.

I saw those players. I covered those players. Certain professions attract leeches, and journalism was one of them.

The good guys of journalism were squeezed out a long time ago.

And yes, there were some very good people. I remember them fondly. Not all of them were journalists.

Some were behind the scenes, trudging in human resources.

But you cannot wear a mask of the past and then pretend that is the state of the present. One has nothing to do with the other.

I saw the shifts and conducted my own experiments and observations. It was a very stressing thing to witness.

I learned my lessons well, however.

And I am applying what I know so that the future has no semblance to the Dark Ages we call the Woke Generation.

Because the name in no way fits the goods. Yes, Inc. is the mindset going into 2019. People want validation when they have earned nothing less than a hard kick in the shins. All the games Yes People play: virtue-signalling, shaming — it’s all there.

But not all of us are fooled or will sit around and let it go unchallenged…

Building antidotes to war games, Part Five.

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Propaganda works best when it hits people with one punch.

People rise up and bitch, but then you wallop them with something that overrides their whining and they are primed to be obedient to you.

That’s chess.

But there is also Go, and we can see how the Internet manipulates people from both the Left and the Right.

Equally.

The agitation surrounds people.

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And uses their own thinking against them.

Saul Alinsky’s rule dictates that you make people live up to their rules, thereby placing them in a corner.

And it is a funny thing: people can admit they are wrong in private, but when they broadcast their bullshit on the social media, they won’t back down.

Social media has, in essence, created a new propaganda playbook that incorporates both Alinsky and Go.

The good news there is a cure for it.

It is called sensibility.

I have been studying propaganda for decades now. I never tire of building antidotes for it. It gives me superpowers.

And I will continue to build them because the world doesn’t need another lie or another propaganda campaign…

Method Research, Part Four: Welcome to Yugoslavia, 1989.

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Memo to Maclean’s: Canada is in a recession. Figures can’t lie, but liars can figure. Ontario is cutting and squeezing, and this province alone lives and dies by public service jobs.

Nontraditional cities now have beggars out on the street. Stores are closing. Rental prices are more than what people can comfortably afford. All the signs are there, but when housing sales plummet almost 18% in one year, and the propaganda press keep trying to assure the little people there is no recession, they are mimicking Communist-style propaganda.

How many seniors are remortgaging their homes, for instance? How many seniors have to get jobs?

We can play games and lie, but people know that GM closing its plant is not a good thing. Alberta growing angry is not a good thing. While Alberta, like Quebec, have always made rumblings about separating from the rest of Canada, it is interesting the West’s musings are being a little louder than before.

And the federal government is bailing various industries. If there was no recession, it wouldn’t be necessary for the country to borrow money to keep the charade going. Household debt is out of control.

Canada, 2019 is Yugoslavia, 1989.

Everyone knew the country was beyond repair. The government-sponsored propaganda called the news certainly was cheery. Recession, what recession? Discontent, what discontent?

I was in high school at the time, and for my history project I did a presentation on how Yugoslavia was in trouble and would break apart, but my history teacher didn’t believe it. He thought I was being a drama queen.

And yet all the media reports were wrong. My teacher was wrong.

How could a high school kid be right?

Simple: some people can face and confront the signs, and others cannot.

Fiver, the strange little bunny from Watership Down had no supernatural powers. He could see a change in a routine and surroundings, and knew it wasn’t a good thing. Other rabbits shrugged it off. Fiver up and went as far away as he and his brother and friends could.

If people are fretting about the economy, it means that they know official reports are not aligned with reality.

They can feel the recession, even if the measurements used do not detect it.

We have been losing well-paying full-time jobs that are offset by poorly-paid part-time jobs. No benefits, nor security.

It is beyond obvious there is a recession in Canada, and increasing anger. It may not have hit wealthy folks, but it is hitting everyone else one way or another.

But critics are being dismissed as being silly, but there is a serious problem out there.

Yugoslavia was held together by Josip Broz — Tito. He could play the US against the USSR and fund his version of champagne socialism that all the kids want these days.

The problem is it doesn’t work. After all the rich people lost their wealth, the government burned through the money in five minutes.

And then there wasn’t any rich folks to fleece. Go figure, I wonder why.

So where to get the money to bribe the populace?

Play coy in the Cold War. Let the US and the USSR give money to keep the more ambiguous socialist country on their side.

Then Tito kicked the bucket, and the Cold War was, like, over.

Ronald Reagan saved his country lots of money that way.

And Yugoslavia had to borrow to fund their country, but had no way of paying it back.

Then the breakaway republics said, fuck this shit, we’re out of here.

And then all hell broke loose.

Canada has pissed off the US and China, and even Saudi Arabia.

They have made a huge tactical error in arrogance.

It is a country that is used to build a nest by weaving a spider’s web, and now the web broke.

There will be safety nets that we once took for granted that will suddenly no longer be there, or be there, but modified and rigged.

I don’t think Canada will fall apart by splitting up, but it is in for a very rough ride.

When I saw that I could read small signs to see the big picture, I started to be more calculated and methodical in my approach.

So when I began my Method Research, I did the same thing, and could easily see the collapse of journalism coming, even though there was nothing but denial and positive spin.

But Method Research was the way the break though those fortresses to see the rot underneath.

It is easy to see critics are caricatures and dismiss them by calling them names, such as bitter or cruel, but what they are feeling is the state of affairs.

Canada could have easily avoided these problems if it had a more savvy and competent leadership. What they have are arrogant connivers. There is a huge difference. They remind me of a cocky middle-class kid who lies to mom and dad who are too busy getting drunk and having affairs to parent, and pretend to believe the lies their kid is telling them — and then give them some money to go away.

The kid thinks he is a fucking genius: he lies and is not only believed, but is rewarded by his own evil genius.

Fucker, you are an irritant.

But when mom and dad finally divorced and stepparents enter the picture, they don’t buy the bullshit stories, and call it out.

Canada and journalism have that in common: they got neglectful dotage for decades, and now think they are entitled and clever.

But now it’s gone, and they are struggling.

Strangely enough, neither had to be in this bad position.

Method Research exposes those problems because you experience them and see them.

But you also test and explore them.

You don’t need an expert to tell you if there is a recession or not — you can see it and feel yourself.

Human beings are an absolute marvel of being a multi-purpose measuring tool. When you feel happy, sad, scared, and angry, you are learning about the condition of your environment.

And yet we run to electronics and not people to do the measuring for us.

People are the superior measurement device — we are the ultimate measuring and testing device.

But only if you allow yourself to feel.

And immerse yourself as you are willing to go against the grain as you go with the flow…

Method Research, Part Three: Journalist, Expose Thyself.

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Both those prints hang on my walls in my home. Catwoman is a sentimental favourite heroine of mine. She has nine lives, is a survivor, but does it all so very glamourously.

The second one reminds me of a character I created years ago named Magnus Lyme, aka, The World’s Most Dangerous Woman.

When she wears her red dress, watch out.

When people come to my house, they usually say that you can tell an artist lives here.

It’s true. You can tell a lot about me from my house. I am not a secretive person. I am an open book.

My fiction also represents me in different ways.

When I did Chaser the first time, I was open. There were things that pissed me off no end. I put my cards on the table, and that was the reason I used playing cards as an allegory for the website.

Particularly the Queen of Hearts. Particularly the rigged game of Find the Lady.

I talked about magic tricks. There was a reason.

There were many reasons for it. If you are going to chronicle reality, you have to face it first.

And the best way to face the failings of a profession is by working in it.

When you have things on the line and your future invested in it, you have a completely different mindset.

Because when you are walking among those you are studying, it is a completely different experience than merely looking on the outside.

There is an interesting story about a doctor who had cancer:

As A Doctor, I Thought I Knew Cancer Inside And Out. Then I Found Out I Had It.

And he discovered he didn’t know as much as he thought.

He went into a version of Method Version, a post-hoc version, but he was trained to know it as a scientist.

I did the same thing with journalism (and if any moron gets offended by me comparing myself to him, fuck you. I had cancer while looking after a mother who had it at the same time. Read the memo, asshole).

When you compare your understanding before the event and after, you cannot believe how clueless and naive you were. You cannot compare.

That’s why journalism turned into a garbage pile. There is no method to the research.

And we now have a sterilized generation who think they are cunning by not doing anything and living in a bubble: you cannot be an armchair opinionist. You have to get dirty, beat up, make mistakes, and live through it — but when you go in with a plan of study, you are not wasting the ass-kicking you get: you go back and learn. Eventually, you kick-ass yourself as you gain mastery.

You see how the problems really operate. You don’t take educated guesses because it is on your own skin that you feel it as you immerse yourself in it.

Journalism has no transparency.

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For example, what PR firm or lobbyist is behind this cover? What generous benefactor hijacked or co-opted coverage? What friends in high places are waging war through the media? Positive and negative coverage has those who benefit, and yet we keep pretending the work is objective or accurate.

I worked as a journalist. I heard the cheerleading and the demonizations in equal measure. I have heard reporters who bragged about their own drug use condemn newsmakers for having substance abuse issues in their reports.

Psychoanalysts have to undergo psychotherapy before practicing their trade. Journalists should be made to do the same as well as their overlords. You would not get the cocky propaganda being spewed now.

I saw how twisted the logic became in the profession. I saw the justifications and sophistry used to make excuses for rot.

That is the reason I have always been an open book. Unless you have torn yourself to shreds, you have no business tearing other people to shreds. Journalists are assholes, plain and simple, and they should be torn into a million little pieces.

And that’s what I have done as a Method Researcher.

I tore that profession to shreds, examining every atom. I examined it as I broke through façades to see how that industry was dysfunctional.

And bigoted, misogynistic, and ignorant.

It is hard to imagine that in 2019, people don’t make demands.

And call for a replacement.

I have the blueprints because I know how that garbage was left to fester.

Because I am a Method Researcher…

Method Research, Part One: What is it?

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The Calgary Sun is in a tizzy as one of their own has been leaking leaking one columnist’s pieces to City Hall before publication. CBS News is also in a tizzy because there is an ongoing investigation and employees know squat about it.

Serbs lost the image war to Western journalists, and that defeat would plant very wicked and poisonous seeds in that profession: Serbs flailed and then retreated, and then journalists thought they were smart, in power, and cunning.

And then their arrogance spiralled out of control just as the Internet came swooping into town.

Journalists thought they had control and power. They thought they were brilliant and essential. They had no idea that just because they could bully Serbs that they could do it with everyone.

And now, look at the manure pile that makes up the Castle of Journalism.

And it stinks.

But it is interesting how unaware the profession is about their fortunes. Absolutely stupid and clueless.

Once upon a time they could puke out propaganda and people would believe them the way little kids believe that you got their nose.

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The stagnate air restricted how much people heard in terms of facts and perspectives. It is like being raised on pork and beans and nothing else.

And then the Internet brought an epic buffet, and the rest is history.

And yet, journalists keep trying to reclaim their glory when they could control the flow of information and narrative.

How does this happen?

How do you study how this happened?

In that regard, we had two ways of studying it: hiring a consultant, or having academic researchers study the profession.

Consultants are hired to improve a particular workplace or financial health. In that regard, the consultants failed and did not stem the losses or reinvent the profession.

So much for that.

Then there is academia.

But they haven’t exactly done anything, either.

It is sort of right, unless you start thinking about certain things, and then realize it is completely oblivious.

It is sort of in the ballpark, but consistently off.

Yet, it is not as if researchers in an academic sphere are wrong as a matter of recourse. Far from it.

When I was an undergrad, I was a psych student, and in order to memorize everything I was learning I used to do two things: (a) rewrite my notes in a colourful quasi-comic book style, and (b) test run what I learned conducting my own form of amateur experiments in the real world.

So, for example, if it was true that the words “crash” and collide” produce different estimates of speed for the same car accident in a lab, then I would apply it in various settings and record my results.

At first, it was informal. I found that some times, the results could be replicated in the real world under any condition. Sometimes there were exceptions. And there were times when the results would not replicate. They may happen in a lab under unnatural clinical conditions, but take that out of the lab, and everything would fall apart.

As time progressed, I practiced and refined what I was doing, learning to create natural experiments. After all, psychology is the study of living beings in the real world. I also learned how to analyze that kind of data and interpret it. By the time I was writing my undergraduate thesis, doing that sort of thing was second nature to me. I literally could devise an experiment on the drop of a hat, meaning I could take advantage of opportunities, learning all sorts of things, and I learned to observe human behaviour with an eagle eye.

It wasn’t as if people were guinea pigs or lab rats. Quite the opposite. I was the subject as well as the experimenter. I was deceiving or manipulating. It is not different than changing the way you behave when you are approaching a boss for a raise or someone you like to ask them out.

The difference was I was analyzing the feedback in an empirical way, and most other people blindly go through the motions.

And people aren’t very self-aware: that is the very reason we have experimental psychology in the first place. People aren’t even vaguely aware of what they are doing or why. They don’t think a single word alters their perceptions of reality. They don’t think their cowardice, greed, and jealousy is making them create fortresses and defence mechanisms.

People don’t think they can be brainwashed by a cult or be fleeced by a grifter who romances them. They don’t think they can have false memories implanted in a heartbeat, or that they can be tricked into hearing or seeing things that aren’t there.

Experimental psychology is mostly about how average people think and behave in their everyday lives. It is as much about the science of the mundane as much as the extraordinary…

And yet people romantically pursue people that they do not like, or feel jealous over someone else’s lies, having no clue that they have been bamboozled and manipulated.

To paraphrase one astute comedian, some people know which buttons to push because they were the ones who installed them.

As time went on, I got very proficient. I would see dysfunctional dynamics, and would quietly stymie the manipulator. Watching an exploiter or emotional abuser lose their power and control was fascinating. They would keep going back to the same behaviour, but be more forceful and persistent. I found you could break spells just by quietly putting up roadblocks.

Sometimes the manipulator would come up with a new method. I would go back to the stymieing.

One thing that I noticed was that people who were the subservient dupes were not only not aware of abuse, always using a narrative to spin it into a positive thing, but they wouldn’t take advantage of a break. Their habits made the victims, and why predators saw their ways and took advantage of it.

Sometimes the victims actually thought they were the savvy predators, thinking they were getting something out of a bad deal.

I was mastering what I was learning at the time, nothing more. I was sifting through my course work, refining and exploring various lessons, discovering that not all experiments were created equal, and many theories never applied to the real world.

So here was this teenaged girl from Canada who was tinkering with her knowledge. I turned the world into my laboratory as well as my stage to the point where I was writing essays testing my own theories instead of merely regurgitating someone else’s. I had my own theory about why war propaganda works. I had my own theory and computer model on phobia acquisition. I incorporated my own theory of reality perception in my undergraduate thesis.

And then I had my fill of the West’s anti-Serb propaganda. There is no doubt or question of the extent of deceptions. I have chronicled a fraction of it here and in my books.

But how do I find out what is really going on in journalism? It is one thing criticize and know something bad is happening, but it is another thing to see the actual core of the problem.

I wrote letters asking journalists what were they doing. They were appealing to authority or other media reports, which was a real knee-slapper because I was an undergraduate who would get in trouble if I used a media report in an essay because that was considered junk.

That I always found interesting.

Journalists were making excuses, such as telling me that the first casualty of war was truth and that a journalist’s knowledge was thirty miles wide, but only one inch deep.

Then there was the “so what” and even the outright lies they were telling me. They would actually omit or just lie about what was written or broadcast even though I had a copy of what they just spewed in front of me.

I had the UN reports, and those were misrepresented an awfully lot. They mislabelled graves. They told narratives that were directly contradicted on their own footage.

That’s the ticket.

Yeah…yeah!

Nor are they admitting to me that they are cribbing from press releases form PR firms hired to puke propaganda.

And I know this to be a fact because (a) I got my mitts on those same press releases, and (b) I seen those press releases in the newsrooms, and (c) those same companies registered with FARA because that’s the law in the US.

But what is happening here? How do I find out?

None of the books or academic articles explained it because they just didn’t do that research. The research they had was based on faulty assumptions, and so, was worthless. I am poring over databases day and night as well as reading any and every journal article I can find, and I am not netting a single thing. Nothing. It’s useless.

And then eventually, as I have recounted elsewhere, inspiration struck: I could find out what is going on by becoming a journalist.

I could work as a journalist. That’s actually a very easy job.

However, there is no point of becoming one if I am just going through the motions. I am not picking up anything because I am not focussing on the scaffolding of it.

But I knew how to create experiments in the real world. I was doing it for the last four years full-time.

I could devise and conduct experiments — natural experiments that would net me testable data that I could compare and contrast (and as I would eventually concurrently work as a college professor who is relaying information to an audience, that would serve as my comparison) and see under what circumstances certain things happened.

Actors get into character through Method Acting. I was doing the Method, but I wasn’t acting.

I was researching.

And so, Method Research was born.

Being an experimenter who is both a subject and experimenter who walks in the real-world lab, conducting actual experiments and tests to explain a facet of reality.

In my case, I was researching journalism. From rejection letters to interviewing sources, everything was fair game.

And I wasn’t a pretend reporter. That was my job. That was my label. That was how I paid my bills. That was my life.

I employed the Scientific Method. I saw how lax and lazy the structure was, and how oblivious the profession was to the tidal wave called the Internet.

I was a journalist who had the bonus of writing about the business of journalism. I was aware of what was happening. Sometimes my theories were bang on. Sometimes they were off. Sometimes they were wrong.

But unlike the academic books and papers that had no clue about that world, I knew it intimately.

When they say, “You had to be there,” it’s true. You do.

You may think you know what it’s like to have cancer, for instance, but until you have it, you don’t.

You may believe you have empathy, but empathy doesn’t take you all the way. You cannot anticipate things or your reactions.

I remember when my grandmother was dropped by paramedics and mom and I had to look after her round the clock. Mom slept on a sofa in grandma’s room and had to turn her over every fifteen minutes in order for her not to develop bed sores. She couldn’t feed herself between the broken teeth and her inability to use her arms, she was helpless, but still coherent and completely aware of what was happening.

This was a horror movie existence. Her stump could not be sewn and the leg had to be open.

It was a horrific sight. We set up her room in such a way that everyone who came in asked if we were a nursing home. We had the hospital bed, the Hoyer lift, shelves of supplies, you name it. If you are not changing diapers, you are tending a traumatic wound. We had to keep a watch to the slightest change in skin colour, urine, bowel movements, nails, breath, eyes, you name it.

And then I’d talk about what my family was going through, and almost every single time, people would have the nerve to say, “Oh, I know what you’re going through. My grandma died of cancer".” Or mother, father, spouse.

Did you look after them in your house?

Well, no.

How many diapers did you change?

Eww, none.

How many wounds did you dress?

How many times did you feed this person or bathe them?

Well, the nursing home/hospital/hospice did that.

So how do you know what I went through?

Having a sick relative is not the same as having one who was catastrophically disabled.

You don’t know. You were hands off, and now you are indulging in an offensive ruse of conversational narcissism. You are being selfish, heartless, unsympathetic, vulgar, and rude.

But every once in a while, I would come across someone who had a terminally ill child or relative, and they did go through something that horrific or were going through it.

It is a completely different conversation. The institutional indignities are real and shocking. People say heartless things to you that are vile.

I remember overhearing one recent amputee talking to the nurse who told this man that he could order groceries to be delivered to his door. She was all proud of herself even though he kept telling her that he lived alone, was on a fixed budget and couldn’t afford it, and would not be able to get into his apartment because there were stairs.

(And while I am here, let me tell all of you reading this article that if you have one step in front of your house, it is like having a mountain for someone who has mobility issues. The end. But I digress.)

You are so focussed on the war of giving someone the gift of one more day of life, that you put yourself last. You are focussed on grains. You are not babbling about “me time”. That’s not an actual thing.

Because that’s an hour away from someone who is completely dependent on you for survival, and you can have all the “me time” in the world — but once someone you love dies, there is no more “us time.”

And when that “day at the spa” cost someone their life, then what?

You don’t know what it is like to be in a war just because you were involved in a drunken bar brawl.

You don’t know what it is like to be kept a hostage just because you have to be at home for Thanksgiving.

The problem usually is when we are in those situations, we panic, and are wired for baser survivalist strategies. We don’t know how to assess things in an empirical way — we get thrown in and all our attention has to be elsewhere.

But Method Research is the way of collecting data in the real world with a plan in mind — and at heart.

It is very easy to use sophistry, over-think, and believe you can see things strictly from an intellectual standpoint.

You are missing the heart of everything, and without a heart, there is only a corpse.

So Method Research is also the method of empirical study with a balance of emotional literacy. You are not in a clinical lab.

You are out in the real world. You see truths because you face reality.

So, for example, I can conduct a study on how people behave when they have a tight deadline. I can have students sign up in my experiment, sit in a room, and I can have a loud clock ticking, and pressure them.

I will get results.

But as there is no one in the room who will have a history with the person or trigger certain emotional responses, my conclusions are shallow at best.

Now, if I conduct the experiment in a newsroom where there is an sexist editor who is sexually harassing some employees, giving his university chums a free pass, and playing mind games with those he is in competition with — and I run the same experiment, I am going to get very deep, different, and real results.

But I can go even deeper than that.

I can be one of those reporters working in that toxic stew. I can tell you exactly what is happening.

Now, if I am that reporter, I may be too panicked or focussed on revenge to see what is happening to others or to me. I will too busy declaring myself a victim or hero and demonizing other people.

But if I am a Method Researcher, I can observe dynamics. I know what i am thinking — but also feeling.

It is very easy for a psychologist to label faceless strangers. It is very different to label yourself or people who get to know around you.

And that is the difference.

That kind of intimate research forces you to be accountable to it. Who do you know better — the person you read about in news articles, or the person you live with and talk to everyday?

You can make guesses about the person you don’t know, but you don’t actually know if your fantasies have anything to do with reality.

That’s the reason I can now see the troubles of journalism, know why they happened, and predict their future — I was in that hell hole.

I can tell you that CBS employees are clueless about their workplace. I can tell you that a newspaper is falling apart, and it is more frequent than you can imagine. There have been activists, operatives, and other partisan people who can go in and manipulate a newsroom with ease.

There are no mechanisms in place, not even in national outlets.

And if there isn’t any mechanisms now — there wasn’t any back then, either.

It should have never gotten this far. There were numerous options and countless opportunities.

But when you have people who are not self-aware, they have no idea what they are doing or why.

They only think they know.

But their results say otherwise.

Temper tantrums aren't saving Canada. Let's try something that actually gets results.

The Reality Deniers of the Toronto Star are at it again, using irrational and oblivious chest-thumping in lieu of actual reportage:

China needs to pay a heavy price for its treatment of Canadians

Are you serious? Are you truly that stupid? Canada stepped into dog shit without thinking about something called consequences.

Canada has no cards to play. Our economy is tanking. Housing is crashing. The few quality jobs are being lost. We fucked up USMCA because the Arrogance-Obliviousness Disease the federal regime has. We pissed off the Saudis as we are tweaking their noses as they can still make damage.

But China is another matter. They can, for instance, recall all of their university students studying in Canada. That can screw up our post-academic viability in a heartbeat. Canada can recall all of their students studying in China, and…that regime will not feel a thing.

Or, China can decide to stop all exports to Canada. Canada would collapse. We don’t have factories that can pick up the slack. We don’t have the workers who are trained. From medical equipment to food, most of our staples come from China.

And you asshole think that China gives one flying fuck about your threat? We put all our eggs in one basket, and then dropped the basket.

China is now throwing every single word we threw at them back in our faces, and this has been a long time coming.

Grow up, children. You have been nannied and sheltered. Stop making a mockery of this country with your moron hick schtick.

This reminds me of a horrible tragedy that happened in Toronto in 2003.

It was a ten-year-old girl named Holly Jones. She was grabbed by an adult male and dragged away to her death.

She was a lithe and dainty girl, and I remember the case very well. I have always had issues with adults who prey on children. There is cowardice, but that kind of cowardice is vile.

But I remember one columnist who basically opined that had young Holly taken self-defence lessons, somehow, that would have saved her.

Right.

A grown adult male and a child fighting. He has a plan, and she doesn’t.

Self-defence is not some sort of magical cure-all.

We could train a 10-year-old to box and then put the kid in the ring to fight the adult male.

You wanna place your bets on who would win that bout?

It takes a special kind of stupid not to understand that kind of grossly unequal fight, but it broadly hints that Canadian journalists have not gotten very far on Jean Piaget’s Four Stages of cognitive development.

That they have not reached Stage Four is not a surprise, but they are struggling through Stage Two — the Pre-operational Stage where they have yet to master this key concept:

Children at this stage tend to be egocentric and struggle to see things from the perspective of others.

They also have serious issues of Stage Three’s Concrete Operational Stage where children:

[B]egin to understand the concept of conservation; that the amount of liquid in a short, wide cup is equal to that in a tall, skinny glass, for example.

There is no logic. None. It is just anger control issues and temper tantrums. How does Canada go up against China? With irrational vendettas, wasting thoughts, money, and resources with childish tweaking? By making alliances where they have to enslave themselves with odious and costly favours? China can do to Canada whatever it pleases. They can literally hit us with such economic force that we will not be able to recover for decades.

And they know it, but we don’t.

But the Star column is as privileged white bread as you can get — sounding like some rich snot who becomes enraged because the foreign nanny spoke out of line. How dare she? I’ll show her! Do you know who I am?

Oh, get over yourself, you morons, and take some racial sensitivity courses.

Or didn’t you get the memo that this is the Woke Generation?

If China were to call Canada’s bluff, we’d be screwed, and royally.

The Globe and Mail also is making silly remarks: yes, Canada was in a weak position, but we have already lost that war. We lost it when the US knocked us off that pedestal. We got cocky and like our housing market, we vastly overestimated our value and power.

So is the National Post who are oblivious: China doesn’t need to “frighten” Canada — they can just fuck up the economy. They can flood the market and undercut us. They have intelligence they can use. If it comes to a brawl of might, Canada is cooked.

And once again, Canada had to go crawling to the United States for help because we are not an actual power.

Anger is not Canada’s friend. We can roar, and then get stomped on by someone who’s power is bigger than our own.

We don’t need propaganda sending us down the wrong path. We need an accurate picture of reality. We need strategy based on our own unique circumstances. This storm was brewing for months. We ignored it, thinking some They was going to make all better. It has gotten worse.

So instead of petty and vindictive rage puking based on nerdy revenge porn, we need a plan that actually works, given Canada’s deteriorating circumstances. Use wit, not a shit fit.

Because the longer this drags, the more incompetent and weak we show ourselves to be — and no temper tantrum can hide that bottom line…

What to election campaigns actually measure? Ability -- or theatrical performance?

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Consider this passage of this Toronto Star article from November 9, 1994:

Rowlands under fire at debate

…Hall and Meinzer peppered Rowlands for being absent at the crucial times when Toronto residents needed a calm, reassuring voice that said, "Someone's in charge." Two incidents support the view, they said.
Rowlands, 70, carried on with a city council meeting while Toronto residents watched Yonge St. erupt in violence in May, 1992, after a peaceful demonstration outside the U.S. consulate over the verdict in the Rodney King case.
And Rowlands didn't know a band of youths had terrorized merchants and swarmed people for several hours along Yonge St. this Halloween. She was caught off guard when asked about it the following day at an all-candidates meeting.
"It's important to have a mayor who knows what's happening in this city. You've missed the boat, June," said Hall.
Meinzer called it "inexcusable that the mayor, 16 hours after the event, doesn't know" the swarming happened.
Hall said that "after incidents like the so-called (1992) riot on Yonge St., the mayor has an obligation to speak" to the public right away. "I also believe it's important for the mayor to know what's happening in the city."
Rowlands said she was busy holding a council meeting during the 1992 incidents. But after the violence, she said, she "met first thing in the morning with black leaders and issued a joint communique which cooled out the situation."

Rowlands, not surprisingly lost the election. That was a turning point.

Now consider this latest faux pas from federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh when asked about Chinese Ambassador to Canada Lu Shaye’s article in the Hill Times (where he wrote “The reason why some people are used to arrogantly adopting double standards is due to Western egotism and white supremacy. In such a context, the rule of law is nothing but a tool for their political ends and a fig leaf for their practising hegemony in the international arena. What they have been doing is not showing respect for the rule of law, but mocking and trampling the rule of law.”):

“Sorry, who accused who of white supremacy?”

It didn’t play well, but considering the Liberal opponent just stepped aside given her own comments, political memory can be short. Rowlands bad luck was the debate happened too close to voting day and her opponents avoided stepping in the dog shit she did.

But campaigns are pretty much canned events and photo ops that don’t do very much unless the politician in question really screws up. The Hamilton Spectator once waxed on it during the last federal election on October 3, 2015:

There was a time when election campaigns were…spontaneous, intimate, passionate. Politicians said what they thought, and actually answered questions…
Reporters were allowed more access, and were discreet and respectful, sticking to the issues and overlooking what might then have been considered none of their business.
Today, those rules are gone and the campaign is a highly scripted event.
Journalists are kept at a distance, the farther the better. Questions are few; answers are evasive.
Politicians are told what to say, when to say it, how to say it, and to whom. Every line is memorized, rehearsed and focus-grouped. Any attempt to go off-script is dangerous, sometimes suicidal.
No matter how unpredictable the question, there is always a predictable response.
Unlike the stump speech of another era (so named because politicians stood on a stump to see above the crowd) today's are controlled, with picturesque backgrounds and obedient onlookers. The Conservative party events are by invitation only. The party even tried (and gave up) to put a gag order on attendees, making them promise not to transmit "any description, account, picture or reproduction of the event…"
The result is that today, voters are left with - well, they're left with the campaign we see before us: three leaders mostly unchanged in the polls since the day the election was called…
None of the leaders make many - if any - gaffes. But neither do they say anything remarkable. They do not use journalists to get their message out; they use social media or blanket the airwaves with multimillion-dollar advertising campaigns…

In other words, everyone was slumbering, and too deferential to dig. Now that social media allows a finer refinement, politicians are trying to rig the canned event so that no one can see, hear, or witness what is really happening.

Campaigns have never been empirical. They have always been theatrical. Even if someone makes a gaffe, often it is not a real gaffe; it is a mere flubbing of a line that looks bad in the context of a performance.

The qualities we ought to consider are slumbering we ignore because there is no way to measure it. Instead, we revere the irrelevant, and that’s a case of sanctioned insanity. Every once in a while some out-of-control vice explodes in spite the choreographed scripts, and they stand out.

Until someone even worse upstages it.

That is the question. Journalism played along and then got shut out when they couldn’t deliver voters.

The alternative to journalism has to create the measurements in order to empirically measure what is out there, and what it means.

Because in a Zero Risk Society, we take unwise gambles for no good reason at all…

Method Research, Preface.

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VI

Each one of those pictures represents a milestone in my life. The first is my first profile on me when I was operating Chaser. The second was my undergrad photo where I was on the cusp of creating something called Method Research. The third was at the height of said Method Research. The fourth was taken on my first day in j-school when I was in my first year of Method Research. The fifth was taken when I won the Arch Award at McMaster University where it all began and it came full circle less than a year before my two books of my results of Method Research would be published by Disinfo.

Those were taken years ago, and I thought my work was done.

But sometimes there is a new picture, and a new revelation that brings old ideas into a new light…

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Informational Seepage: We lose facts at an alarming rate. Why aren't we worked up about that damage?

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The Washington Post might get snitty as they try to instruct the little people not to listen to non-experts, but that reminds me of those who make decrees that “anecdotal evidence is not research data.”

Sure.

Get mugged, go to the police who can now say, “Sorry, nothing we can do. Your report is anecdotal evidence.”

Anecdotal evidence is a grain of data. It is a starting point that can be confirmed or refuted.

But when people want to dismiss non-expert-based information, they make up all sorts of made-up rules.

Such as , No anecdotal evidence! No non-expert input! That’s all bad!

No sense of what the nature of facts are, and what they mean.

Because it is a pissing contest.

The problem has been that people are trained to think with blinders, meaning a confirmation bias is creeping up somewhere, contaminating more than just information, but critical thought.

A truly empirically-minded person does not dismiss anecdotal evidence. Nor does the person dismiss facts given by non-experts.

But because we do not train a general audience to think empirically, we lose a lot of critical information.

It is a form of information seepage: we keep people ignorant on how to gather and test the raw data they witness and possess, and hence, we lose facts along the way.

We talk about environmental waste, but the amount of factual waste we throw out is beyond alarming.

We dismiss facts because someone is religious or atheist. Or because they lean on the Right or Left.

We are always looking for excuses to waste facts. We ignore facts that tell us that we are wrong.

And the lies and propaganda we consume instead of facts.

If we want to save the planet for real, then let us begin at stemming informational seepage first…

Nerds on the playground: Why Canada's diplomacy stinks.

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Those worthless fuckers we call a federal regime really know how to act like first-class turds.

China, a nation that could literally stomp us to death, is giving Canada no end of grief. All China has to do is recall of their students who are studying in Canadian universities, and we are seriously screwed. They could stop importing things to us, and we’d be stranded. When a measly thirty-plus million go up against over a billion, well, it really is an uneven fight, isn’t it?

It is really hard to imagine a piddly nation raising the ire of a giant, but Canada managed to do that all by themselves.

We are Leonard and Sheldon here, trying to impress the US, who is Penny, by going to China and arresting someone that will piss off China. The US keeps their hands clean here. They get Canada to do the dirty work and get atomic wedgies as if our backsides weren’t sore enough after the US and Saudi Arabia kept kicking it in 2018.

You would think the federal regime learned a little lesson in how nerdy they were on the world’s playground, but unteachable is a good word to describe them.

Canada got involved in a fight where they had no horse, and set off China, who are smart enough to know easy it is to slap us around.

And we keep upping the nerdcore.

Because of the trauma that none of the 193 countries in the world came to our defence when Saudi Arabia called us nerds, our federal turds made it a point to list all of the countries who were pitying our losertude.

This is just pathetic.

Who the fuck cares? All the countries put together are nothing combined in comparison to China who have suddenly become rather feisty over this diplomatic lunacy.

When Canada’s hijab hoax hit earlier last year, many Chinese were outraged. I know because my site was discussing the episode and had been quoted and linked numerous times and I had a significant bump.

But even as far back as 2017, China was very pissed at Canada:

The superiority and narcissism of the Canadian media, that Canada is being pursued by China, is beyond words.

And it continues. We are already in a precarious state and we are way too dependent on the very countries that our regime is tweaking to be so careless. We can thump our chests all we want, we are lightweights on the world stage. We don’t have the population or the clout to make those kinds of missteps. Out of 195 nations, we rank #38 in terms of population. Poland ranks above us. So does the Sudan. Japan clocks in at #11 with almost 128 million people. The US clocks in at #3, but China has almost a billion and a half people compared to 322 million US citizens. Do the math.

It would have been one thing if China was an aggressor toward us, and had our backs against the wall: but we had been trying to cultivate ties with the nation, and then it all broke loose.

And the federal regime doesn’t seem to get it, babbling about the “rule of law” as if anyone cared about what hall monitors spew. The jocks don’t care. They have muscle and they flex it — and if a nerd gets into their way, no rule of law is going to prevent them from pummelling those who annoy them.

It is easy to sell a bullshit story to the sheltered little people back home. They aren’t the ones who can destroy Canada’s economy. They can only be victims of it.

2019 will not be a good year for many in Canada, particularly those who have been believing the bedtime stories their federal nannies have been telling them. They may be promising their folks a pony, but it’s a pile of pony manure they have been conjuring up so far with no resolution in sight…

Asset-squeezing continues...

Variety is sounding the alarm on Hollywood’s creeping into asset-squeezing territory.

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Particularly, this passage:

“If you listen to [AT&T’s] current message, they appear to be laser-focused on generating cash through assets sales to reduce their debt load,” Begley says.

If grabbing cheap-debt financing was the trend of the past decade, taking a hard look at nonessential assets is becoming the go-to move of the next few years.

“Every single major media company is looking at selling assets to de-lever,” says Carlos Jimenez, managing director and media specialist at Moelis & Co. investment bank. “What’s even more interesting is we’re seeing companies going back to fundamentals and being more focused. There was a time where people were just buying assets to grow an empire across as many verticals as possible. What we’re starting to see is a focus on questions like ‘Where do I deploy my capital to make sure I have biggest return on investment?’ and ‘Do I have enough capital to compete in this [pay-TV] ecosystem?’”

And so, the cannibalization spreads in the communications and entertainment segments...

The Labellers: Creating false narratives with ridicule and fear-mongering.

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I have had an interesting couple of days where I have had different threads and unexpected comments and messages that are worth mentioning, so here it goes.

I get messages from people, and someone made an interesting indirect comment reminding me how insular and incestuous Canadian journalism happens to be. It’s true, and I remember when I was a Canadian correspondent for Presstime magazine in the late 1990s’/early aughts, and I was at a industry function where someone who was the head of a Canadian journalism organization made the comment that he was surprised that I got to write for NAA’s publication, when you would “expect” some Canadian editor or publisher to hold that lofty title.

Why would they? There is absolutely nothing inherent about the position that would have required that because other people who wrote articles for Presstime were journalists the same way journalists write for every other publication.

But that’s not what he meant. I wasn’t there because of nepotism or cronyism. I wasn’t part of an incestuous network of the usual gang of idiots; so how the hell did I get a job that, in Canada, would have absolutely been reserved for someone who was part of that stagnate clique?

Answer: because I have talent and the ingenuity to put my resume in to a US publication where that degree of cronyism didn’t exist; thereby bypassing the xenophobic structure of the journalism back in my own country.

Most of my credentials rest with US publications, and when it comes to my books, my publishers have either been from the US or the UK. Aside from the fact that Canadian publications and publishers don’t pay anywhere near what the other two nations pay their writers, the truth is that if you are going to hedge your bets and put in the most effort with the best pay-off, do it with publications with a bigger audience, better pay, and more merit-based filters. It’s not as if I have never written for Canadian outfits, but the traditional “harder markets” were just easier to deal with in my case.

There are rigs in place because the structure of thought dictates that these rigs are normal.

And that happens to be the Canadian way.

Just look at Canadian politics.

Rachel Notley is the premier of Alberta. Her was was Grant Notley.

Doug Ford is the premier of Ontario. His father Doug Ford Senior was an Ontario MPP. Doug Junior ran against Caroline Mulroney whose father was a prime minister and Christine Elliott, whose husband was a prominent federal cabinet minister.

Even our prime minister’s daddy was a prime minister.

I liken it to people looking for established names as if they were luxury brand items, but people are not shoes or cars. The one after it is not a replica of the one before it.

People in Canada have a Zero Risk mindset, and the heuristics are based upon this kind of rule of thumb-thinking, always looking for a “sure thing.”

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But I would in no way say Canada is proof that there is a conspiracy afoot. We have nepotism and cronyism not because of some vast and diabolical conspiracy, but because citizens make no demands, and look for “sure things”, consistently confusing provenance and quality goods with human behaviour.

I remember when the Jive Turkey was running for prime minister, and people who decided to vote for him had a narrative set. When I asked about his profound lack of experience, the answer I always got was since he “grew up” with a politician father, he, by some miracle of intellectual osmosis would have to be up to code.

I would nod and ask would they feel comfortable if their surgeon or criminal lawyer assigned to them didn’t bother with a degree, license, or experience, but had a mom or dad who were surgeons and lawyers. Usually, an alarmed, “No!” told me everything I needed to know about their thinking. In their drive for Zero Risk, they will take a 100% gamble, yet don’t see it unless you place their own logic in a proper context.

Throw in Appeal to Authority and the Confirmation Bias, and what you have is the recipe for cronyism to flourish.

There is no conspiracy. Cronies stick together, yes, but if outsiders put their foot down and give resistance, then the clique no longer exists. Fresh blood comes in, circulating and creating a flexible structure, and people who thrive through rigs and stagnation can’t build walls and fences, keeping out people who have new ideas, better talent, and different approaches. If you want true diversity, then you have to stop taking gambles, and learn how to take risks.

But for those who thrive in rigs and cronyism, they are terrified at the prospect, so they do what all lesser talents do: try to villainize outsiders and label them in order to discredit them from the get-go.

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Conspiracies happen and frequently, and people often go to jail because of them. These conspiracies aren’t from a Bond movie, however. Conspiracy to commit murder is common enough. Also common is conspiracy to commit fraud, especially when it comes to fleecing the elderly. Less common is conspiracy to commit forgery. Price fixing is also an example of a conspiracy, and in Canada, we saw bread being at the centre of such an accusation. We have anti-trust laws for a reason.

But “conspiracy” is also a trigger word and a propagandistic one. When someone wants to dismiss someone’s accusations of collusion, or even disagreement, suddenly, the person is painted as a loon and a “conspiracy theorist.”

I just across such a case on Wikipedia where someone with multiple Ivy League degrees was labelled a “conspiracy theorist” without a shred of proof. The person isn’t making wild accusations about Illuminati groups —they are disagreeing with a mainstream patriarchal narrative that I happen to know is wrong. That isn’t a “conspiracy theorist.”

I have written to Wikipedia to ask about it, and got a long, but not an entirely satisfactory reply, and it is something that I am pursuing, and will write more about it later. There have been many radio personalities and authors who exploit the persona of a conspiracy theorist, but the term itself is a real form of propaganda.

Whenever a certain Establishment group want to deflect attention away from their inbred incompetency, they slap the label of “conspiracy theorist”, and then hope the little Middle Class people will brainlessly parrot the label.

Most times, the Labellers banks on mass laziness and complacency to keep a status quo — usually a label that creates both a false role and a false narrative that constricts thinking, stigmatizes and belittles the target with both ridicule and fear.

This is a monster out to make trouble! They are ignorant, and insane! Don’t believe them!

The Catholic church successfully played that gambit on children for decades. You had little boys and girls who were repeated molested and raped by the clergy, and instead of being believed by their own parents, police, and courts, they were labelled as liars and troublemakers.

And as we know now, those young children weren’t conspiracy theorists. They were victims.

Labellers are a very wicked form of propagandist: they try to cut criticism off at the pass, spinning a narrative that questioning them is an act of insanity, bitterness, and evil.

Labellers take advantage of the accuser’s emotionality, which is a normal and healthy reaction to being consistently constricted or even harmed. The problem with their argument is that emotionality isn’t irrationality — but the lack of emotions is a red flag that the person may have an Anti-Social Personality Disorder.

Or at least is overplaying their hand with a mask.

That’s why we always need facts.

Labellers try to hide facts at all costs. They will use other phrases other than “conspiracy theorist.” There is always “disgruntled employee”. Well, yes, employees often become disgruntled if you fuck them over. It is akin to calling a rape victim a “hysterical female” after she’s been assaulted and using that distressed state as “proof” that she isn’t a reliable source.

And yes, “hysterical female” is also pet insult of Labellers. Women, who are often discriminated against are rightfully upset that they are being screwed and denied — the agitated state is often evidence of the claim’s veracity.

Whenever we are presented with neatly prepackaged labels, the point isn’t to accept them, but to question them. We don’t accept or dismiss, but then start asking questions. Often, just challenging the label as we ask for verifiable evidence for its usage is enough to prove the label is nothing more than a propagandistic ruse used to hide anything from incompetence to illegal rigs.

Labellers bank on people’s fear and aversion to risk to dismiss inconvenient information that may negatively impact their home sales or promotions. It works until there is one too many “conspiracy theorist”, and then a scandal erupts. Or one too many “hysterical females” come forward and we have #MeToo.

Then all hell breaks loose with those some Zero Risk people howling, how could it happen?

Easy. It wasn’t conspiracy, but complacency. We avoid challenges, confrontations, and debates. We try to stifle diverse points of views and new and untested commodities or ideas. When we fear change or challenge, we allow stagnate and inbred methods to infest society, creating the perfect environment for bad and corrupt practices.

The solution is to keep asking questions as we demand real and concrete answers.

It is the reason why journalism failed: they stopped asking hard questions. They stopped answering hard questions of themselves. The end result is that we are living in a factual void right now.

It won’t last. We have had spells where propaganda dominated because those who were supposed to ask questions became Labellers. As problems mount, they infest and then destroy those comfy “space spaces” and the monsters that we hid under the bed and swept under the rug come to life to terrorize us.

It's never a foregone conclusion. We can’t blame “conspiracies” for our own failings and fears. That’s on us — not on some Them or make believe Bond baddie.

In other words, we are the heroes, victims, or villains of our own story — it all depends on how much risk we take — and how much we gamble…

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Inertia and disconnect: how to kill your own profession.

I

That’s why I don’t watch or read the news. It’s just a bunch of bullshit.

—Overheard in Dundas, Ontario today.

II

I overheard two women talking about the case of Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, the convicted Canadian drug smuggler whose 15-year sentence magically got upped to a death penalty. Like many Canadians who get away with their crimes in their permissive home and native land, they think the rest of the world is as indulgent.

The younger one was raging against it as she saw it flash on the television screen in the store she worked in, but knew absolutely none of the other details — such as Schellenberg’s previous conviction in Canada, nor the impetus for the dramatic change in sentencing. The other woman explained that this was mere politics, the journalists never told the truth, and it was the reason she no longer bothered with the product anymore.

No wonder the profession collapsed. One person knows almost nothing, while the one who knows more doesn’t believe what has been told.

That was an interesting exchange to me. The more informed person distrusted journalism — period. The less informed one truly had no knowledge, either. She had no clue about the diplomatic spat raging for the last few weeks.

That’s disconnect.

And the root of the problem.

But if so, why has the profession refused to change?

It comes down to the true motives of the industry.

If it was about informing the public and all those noble bullshit stories, then the profession would have made changes.

But if it is about ego, control, and manipulation, they will cling on to it, and then make no changes.

That’s what happened. Inertia brought disconnect with disastrous results.

The smarter audiences tuned out, and that says something significant.

And it is something I will discuss more about later…

Gannett in the crosshairs of Asset-Squeezers. When the vultures come in, the body is already cold to the touch.

For all the Trump hysteria, journalism is still dead. Gannett is in the crosshairs of asset-squeezers, and that is the sign that there is nowhere to go but down…about six feet.

Gannett has been slashing jobs for years. Journalism is incestuous by nature, and very isolationist, and that the numbers in the business keep dwindling reinforces their dysfunctional narcissism and cult-like delusions that they are martyrs and superior to those they report to and those they are covering.

This situation was entirely avoidable. When you are arrogant, conniving, and ignorant at the same time, certain realities do not compute. Stenographers are not saviours.

The profession doesn’t get it, and that they are now being taken over by companies who have no media experience says it all. The ship has sailed, but expect more wallow puking in the weeks ahead…

Mutus Praestrigio: finding the silent feints that manipulate narratives.

In my early days in journalism, I was listening to a group of reporters who were praising one young newsmaker excessively. As in, off camera and heaping on praise for this person, which isn’t something you would expect. It was truly uncritical, and me being me, a person without a filter, said, “I wonder who his parents are.”

The conversation ended right there. I know that no poor newsmaker is going to get that kind of praise. Somehow, this person had to have had some serious doors opened because not only would this individual — had it truly been some regular Joe — not get national players to heap on praise, getting any coverage, even local, would not happen. There are a lot of people who fell into that category, and to get attention of that magnitude would require some serious strings because it wasn’t actually newsworthy.

As my grandmother used to say, “Nothing special.”

Maybe it wasn’t the parents who were the ones with clout. Perhaps it was the grandparents or uncle and aunt, but behind every “accidental” newsmaker, there is a first-degree relative who has the money and the connections to choreograph the spectacle.

I was watching some bullshit story on television this evening that got me asking the same questions, but in a very different angle. The story was presented in a certain way, but key details of the newsmaker were left out: how did this person get such a lucrative position? When things went south, how come they received resources that average people in the same situation never do?

Who’s your daddy?

Sometimes the question isn’t that, but What did your wife really do to ensure that you became the Great Man?

Wired finally got around to asking that question — only after the façade of one alleged Great Man was exposed to be a gross exaggeration. Only when things are revealed does the press acknowledge it. Not one second before. It is always downplayed or completely ignored.

The subtext of that kind of article simple: Yeah, we were lying to you all along.

Journalism’s silent swindle always involves manipulating facts to support a false narrative. From the special ingenue with star quality to the Titan of Industry, every journalistic profile fudges the facts one way or another. Grifters such as Bernie Ebbers and Kenneth Lay were praised in national publications. It still happens.

Only when bad things get leaked out that we start hearing about all the facts not in evidence in the court of public opinion.

We often forget to ask about the things not mentioned in a news story, and often asking questions destroys the narrative just enough for the reality to show itself and go against the lies that make news…

Memo to the Washington Post: The Dunning-Kruger effect describes journalism perfectly. Especially you.

The Washington Post is the perfect example of someone pointing a finger of blame at someone else when three are pointing back at them.

Such is the case with their latest foray into journalistic propaganda with this article:

What’s behind the confidence of the incompetent? This suddenly popular psychological phenomenon.

The Dunning-Kruger effect explains why unskilled people think they know it all and tend to be overconfident.

Quoting something in social psychology isn’t always a bright idea as it often veers into pop psychology and their experiments more times than not have serious flaws. Or they make stuff up. And there is a the issue of an academic journal monopoly.

But journalists, who are not empirically trained, are not experts, yet are very confident of the junk they puke in their work.

Like this piece of garbage that is, in fact, propaganda, meant to sound authoritative — and try to make people question their opinions and go defer to an authority source.

There are some serious problems with the article — and the “theory”. It is not an actual “thing.” It is a hypothetical construct that is dependent on the current academic narrative, and there are many alternative explanations that are more elegant and make more sense, even though it seems to nail journalists.

But the Washington Post loves its intellectually-stunted nincompoopity as they play make-pretend in public…

Canadian Liberal Regime's Propaganda continues. Exploiting women is an age-old ruse.

The latest photo-op hoping people are morons with short memories.

Journalists are playing the propaganda right to the script, but Canada’s record on women’s rights are appalling.

Let’s ask all those First Nations women how well Canadian women’s rights are working for them.

Or all women who try to report sexual assaults.

Or get murdered by their partners or former partners.

Or the shortage of shelter spaces for battered women.

Or pay inequity.

Or job discrimination.

Oh, and human trafficking.

And forced branding.

We sometimes notice alarming things, do nothing about it, and then ignore it.

I could go on, but I have a life.

This is a smash and grab publicity stunt, hoping it serves as a misdirection, and Rahaf Alqunun has become a propaganda ploy. I wish her luck, and that she can not fall for the exploitation of her.

I know I am not buying what a corrupt regime is selling, but then again, having morals and a working brain has a lot to do with it…