Starting over in a Post-Journalism World, Part Forty-Six.

Canada is not a country run by adults, nor is it professional region that is observed or monitored by adults.

That is the reason we are a vassal state thanks to the pantywaists who bungled USMCA as badly as they did.

Not that we have adults at the National Post who can see it. Andrew Coyne is still in heavy denial, explaining away the truth of the deal — first by insisting on calling it the “new NAFTA”, which is silly because it is no longer “North American.”

That would imply three nations with equal footing, which it no longer is. The US comes first, then Mexico, and then Canada. USMCA is the accurate reflection in the shift. The parts are no longer whole. USMCA is truth in advertising. NAFTA is just a cowardly denial of what has happened.

But Coyne doesn’t see the obvious and sticks to a Pollyanna narrative:

To be sure, most of the language in the chapter is merely about the need for “transparency” and “reporting.” Even the strange new tripartite Macroeconomic Committee is supposed to just “monitor” and “consider” each country’s monetary and exchange rate policies. But then there’s that bit about any party being able to demand “consultations” with another whenever it suspects the latter is engaged in “competitive devaluation,” or to haul it into trade court (“dispute settlement”), with appropriate penalties imposed if it has not been “transparent” enough.

It probably doesn’t mean anything. Folks at the Bank of Canada seem unfussed by it. Still, it’s unsettling to see such intrusive language in a trade agreement, especially at the behest of an administration with such a tenuous, paranoid grasp of trade and monetary policy as this one.

If that had one ounce of truth to it, the US wouldn’t have fought so hard to make shallow cosmetic changes, and Canadian negotiators wouldn’t have tried to fight and resist as hard as they did. The US do not waste resources or would have bothered on wording. They are about action. Canada are the fantasizers who find comfort in symbolism.

Wording can be spun and interpreted, and vague terms are often prime for loopholes and creative interpretations where the losing side feels relieved and is lulled into thinking they dodged a bullet, while the victor is thinking several moves ahead and has a strategy that comes after the pigeon thinks everything will go back to normal.

I do not appeal to authority. Authority didn’t see Trump or Brexit, or many other things. You have to look at multiple factors, from history, case studies, and street level gossip — something both academia and journalism perpetually fail to do.

But so does our own federal leadership. We have an incompetent prime minister scolding Quebec for wanting to have people wait until they are 21 years old before they can buy weed because that will create a black market.

Only Justin Trudeau would think of something that stupid and utter it in public.

Aside from the fact that the human brain does not fully develop until your early to mid-twenties (obviously something his own brain has never achieved), the Prime Minister’s warning is merely a manipulative manoeuvre to try to blame Quebec for something his government has already failed to do: stop any black market for weed.

For starters, there is already a black market. They are not going to go away. Second, they sell more than just weed, and it is not as if everyone who snorts cocaine or injects heroin is just going to give it all up and go for a softcore drug. Only someone who has no connect with reality would think it.

And the black market sells more than just drugs. They also are the place that deal with prostitution, weapons, and stolen goods. Their currency is stolen art, among other things. They target young teenagers, not eighteen-year-olds.

The prime minister can spew garbage to deflect attention away from the fact that an awful lot of people at all levels of government were heavily investing in cannabis enterprises, and there may be a lot other questionable, if not illegal connections and skulduggery going on — meaning there was a sketchy lobby going on all this time that the Canadian news media did not bother to report — but no, let us wag a patronizing finger at Quebec for trying to do something sensible other than give nervous pills to a dysfunctional middle class at an age where habits formed tend to be life-long chains that hold people back.

Canada has a himbo for a leader who lacks a moral compass who seems to be working overtime in altering young people’s minds.

But Canadian journalists are asleep at the wheel — they are always making excuses for his repeated screw-ups and dubious decisions.

Had they had investigative journalists — the first question they would ask — for any change in governmental direction — would be who is behind this push?

Journalists were not supposed to hold the hands of the fragile and jittery middle class — they were supposed to keep them awake by showing the facts.

Not the easy to get facts of statistics or press releases.

But the hard and secret facts of who is connected to whom, who is lobbying, who is bribing, bullying, and blackmailing.

The alternative to journalism exposes the tangled webs hidden from the public. WikiLeaks had the right idea, but they lacked the ability to connect to a mainstream audience. I mused about this problem in one of my fictional novellas. WikiLeaks lacked social graces, throwing information at people with anger rather than presenting facts with reason.

If we had the journalistic alternative, Trudeau would be having hard questions to answer long ago. Instead, the press here doted on him and gave him a free pass, and he in return, made damage this country will never recover from decades from now.

The sky isn’t falling. That is not what does people in.

It is when the ground slowly erodes when grains start getting away from you until they form the quicksand that drags you in because you became adjusted and numbed to the very warning signs that danger is approaching.

That is one of journalism’s greatest failures: the inability to foresee problems.

But the alternative does not have to fall for the same ruses or play the same games…