Memo to Canadian Journalists: Put down the label maker and stop giving names to every grain of sand. That’s just a way to dawdle as you keep the status quo.

The Toronto Massacre has so far resulted in a lot of self-congratulations and chirpy articles about all the wonderful things people do after an emotionally-disturbed man rans a van into a crowd of innocent people, killing ten, and injuring more, forever changing the outcome of people for generations.

That's what cults do to keep the suckers from questioning those who are exploiting them -- and questioning their own gullibility as they toil in squalor and abuse. Stop giving looking for excuses to give people a lollipop for doing things that they are supposed to be doing -- namely, being moral and responsible

And no, CBC, tracking down the original post of a killer from a screenshot isn't a big deal. Kids can do it. I do it all the time. You still do not get this whole Internet thing.

But that's just one half of the problem with the alleged coverage.

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It is the compulsion to label this event with no real facts. You have journalists using speculation without questioning anything.

And it is highly irresponsible garbage.

We have the Globe and Mail offer this sophistry-filled article:

Can the radicalization of ‘incels’ be stopped?

Incels is not an actual thing. It is a hypothetical construct given to describe some men. War propaganda is all about aiming a message at young childless men who are naive enough to enlist in a war to be killed in the name of rich and powerful men who want more power and control, and it did it by exploiting their evolutionary fears of being too weak to survive, and not strong or manly enough to find a mate and reproduce.

In other words, the very label "Incel" is a form of war propaganda used to control that same pool of young men to behave in a certain way.

In a world of 7.4 billion people, there will be millions who have various mental and emotional problems, and so far, the Toronto Van Killer waved red flags of having those problems since childhood. There is no "incel" problem. We have a problem of ignoring troubled people until they explode, and then wasting time thinking up all sorts of labels so we do not actually have to honestly use work and investment to deal with those problems. 

Policy Options, another cesspool of sophistry, had this drivel to offer without actual effort:

Why misogynistic killings need a public label
Until we label misogynistic acts including killings for what they are, their underlying motivations will be obscured and our ability to respond disabled.

Newsflash: we already have such a label. It is called Hate Crime.

Notice how that label did not end the practice; so why do you think having sub-labels will solve the problem?

Because labels are meaningless.

Labels do not save lives. They are a way we judge other people and pigeonhole whoever we do not like, usually people who do not as us as superior to them and hence do not applaud our every thought and action. It is an easy script to follow so we do not have to think.

No label would have stopped a man with serious mental problems from renting a van and killing people.

Labels are no-brainer ways of sustaining a pecking order and creating make-work programs for over-thinkers who are averse to actual work.

We are now in a Post-Progressive world filled with experts and labels they create to dawdle instead of produce results.

What would have stopped the tragedy in Toronto?

For starters, if you have people talking all about how this young man was acting strangely all those years, and there was no intervention, that's the first step.

Instead of heaping on praise, some factually-based criticism would put the heat on a system that gobbles billions of dollars, and doesn't produce solutions. Stop giving paper crowns to people for doing their jobs with basic competency.

You do not need a label to stop bloodshed. You need action. You are assuming socially awkward men who cannot get dates are all alike. There is a difference between being socially awkward and anti-social, and now you have ignorant people who have polluted the information stream with the unfounded assumption that not having sex is a problem.

What now? Do young women put off by men have to endure dates with these disturbed individuals in order to save humanity? Are we going to advocate sexual social workers to the save the world?

Do you realize the label "incel" implies that a Beauty and the Beast delusion is the answer to this problem? 

Or perhaps these alleged "incels" have a right to engage with unwilling partners because it's better to torment one person instead of a group?

Because a sexist media has just given legitimacy to the notion.

The emotional illiteracy in journalism is out of control. Journalists stick little fake labels on people without ever even being in the same room as the person who sparked this fake debate in the first place.

The coverage is not acceptable. It's vile. We have no facts, but plenty of babbling, and the worst thing of all is it will produce nothing and we can expect more bloodshed even with journalists playing with their label-makers instead of looking for facts as they deal with reality...

Journalism's Sour Grapes: Facebook outplayed them, and now they are making decrees about deleting Facebook. Nice try.

The CBC as well as Salon (via AlterNet) are marching lockstep like good little zombies, musing whether news organizations and the little people should just give up their autonomy and freedom like the #NeverAgain gang, and delete Facebook. To the dead profession of journalism: yes, you should delete Facebook because you always sucked at it. Old relics who are unteachable should just, like, stay away from the big scary monsters and just go continue to rot under the bed.

Even the CBC piece tries to dismiss the real reason for trying to weaken the medium that humbled them:

It's easy to dismiss the comments as sour grapes, but news organizations — including the CBC, which boasts more than 2 million subscribers on its Facebook page — have long wrestled with how to manage what the site has become: an available audience of more than 2 billion people, but without much differentiation between real and fake news.

Of course, it is more than sour grapes: it is a transparent attempt to try to reclaim the power Facebook undermined. Once upon a time, CBC could dictate the narrative and control the information Canadians heard. Now they cannot, and have discovered that the populace may not be the brainless sheep they had mistook them for over the years. People can finally make fun of CBC coverage out in the open, as they present their own realities with each other.

The AlterNet piece is particularly fascinating meta-propaganda trying to confine the narrative to install fear in people:

Whether the Facebook fiasco conclusively proves either Russian involvement in the 2016 election (or the UK’s Brexit referendum), or simply highlights the violation of campaign finance laws, is yet to be determined.

It is a loaded statement along the same ilk as Have you stopped beating your wife? 

It assumes that Facebook is a dupe or an agent of those evil Russians who manipulate those stupid Right-wing people living in trailer parks, and had there not been any meddling, everyone would march lockstep to the Left's decrees, Comrade, and let them do all of thinking for all of us.

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The article is pure childish fantasy that rips off more of Soviet-era propaganda than modern-day Russia ever could.

Both of these articles are manipulative fear-mongering meant to terrify the masses who should realize one thing: a healthy mind is an unpredictable mind. So let the algorithms tell you what colour underpants you should buy -- you do not have to follow marching orders.

I know Facebook has never managed to sell me a single thing -- not a pair of socks or a political ideology.

East Germany had something even more powerful -- the Stasi and those people married the targets they spied on and had children with them. The Stasi failed and fell, and those who fought against it won out at the end of the day.

There is another amusing sentence here as well in that long, rambling piece:

But in a world in which we have all become reliant on the internet for our information, our searches and declared preferences are constantly recorded.

So what? I work as an author, and whenever I publish a book, the whole planet can pretty much guess what my searches and declared preferences are by reading my work. If I was going to be a paranoid coward, I wouldn't have had a public profession.

Besides, look who popped in my LinkedIn page:

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No, I will never tire of showing that.

So, it is not just Facebook. Homeland Security had no trouble looking at my LinkedIn profile, and leaving a trace for giggles. So what?

The CIA and MI6 can stop by, and leave me a message, too, as well as CSIS, and any other kind of spook or government agency. Go for it. Figure me out, send me my personality profile via Messenger to amuse me...and my mom who will tell you that you are all hopelessly wrong, or any surveillance pictures you have ever taken of me, especially the ones that are flattering. It beats plastering my Facebook page with selfies.

We share a planet, kids. You had nosy neighbours listening on the party line way back when. People had their phones monitored by all sorts of people as they heard that odd "clicking" sound when they talked on the phone. It is nothing new.

Just as all those ballots you filled out to win stuff were used to gather information on you to sell you junk.

Nothing new.

But the self-righteous babbling goes on:

But a centralized, monopolistic exploitation of these interpersonal links is inviting public intervention, especially as the technology can also survive on a distributed, competitive basis. In the eyes of many, these companies are unlikely to escape the opprobrium of helping to allow the Trump disaster to descend upon us.

They will be regulated because governments will want to hijack that massive power for themselves. Trump didn't win because of Facebook, contrary to the sore-loser narrative of journalists, whose own mendacity lead to their own ruin. He won because this was the first election where the media's power was so weakened, that any media-savvy entity could bypass them.

When that happened, the profession squealed. No longer could they make decrees to the little people who was acceptable to vote for -- and they turned into paranoid conspiracy theorists. Some of the paranoia came from all that weed they love to smoke, but mostly, for the first time, reality kicked them where it counted, and they realized they weren't the cunning evil geniuses they always fancied themselves to be.

They do not realize that people moved on from journalism. They moved on. Journalism became irrelevant because of their own arrogant incompetency and inability to see reality, and that is a reason to celebrate. Those shackles were finally broken.

But now, it is time for journalism's replacement, and one that can thrive in any media as it embraces reality and truth to show a better path where free will is nurtured, and critical thinking brings out the best of humanity.

Memo to the CBC: Journalism prompts no closer look at anything. If it did, it would be questioning the very propaganda it is now so gleefully pushing.

CBC has a very deceptive piece here about BuzzFeed UK's yarns about the fate of dead Russians in the UK. It is worth tearing apart not just because journalists are arrogant sots, but because the piece tries to spin a narrative that doesn't align with reality. Let's go back to the very flawed "dossier" BuzzFeed published. They got themselves in trouble in more ways than one -- and then ran to a former senior FBI official to try to verify that dossier because they were not capable to do any actual fact-checking themselves. The dossier itself was written by Christopher David Steele, a former MI6 agent. That it came from the UK and not the US matters for reasons I will explain below.

The provenance of the original dossier should be a red flag that BuzzFeed has caught the eye of people in the optic manipulation business. BuzzFeed is not like Jane's Intelligence Review. It is not a publication that can handle any sort of "deep" investigative journalism. It can be a proxy for special interests, but it cannot be taken as real investigative journalism.

Because BuzzFeed's stories leave a lot to be desired. There are a lot of questions, such as why would Russia bother killing ex-pats whose best before dates expired years ago, or who had something to gain by making it look like there is a Big Bad enemy to fear. The smell test for the narrative fails. When we focus on fearing an enemy, we do not focus on scrutinizing those who either pretend to be our allies, or are neutral and hiding in plain sight.

But these kinds of games are nothing new. Magicians make a living of using misdirection to get attention away from the obvious and towards lies. In fact, one stage magician, John Mulholland, wrote the CIA's manual on trickery and deception decades ago, but was finally declassified and is freely available for a long while now.

But CBC refuses to question the narratives proffered by BuzzFeed -- or how accurate their stories actually are.

But then again, CBC is the same network that had one of its foreign correspondents in a war zone in the middle of the night, pretending to quiet her camera crew so they wouldn't be detected, but then had glaring lights all around them as if soldiers had super-hearing, but were utterly blind. Yeah, you weren't in any real danger, were you, kids? Nice try.

What the CBC piece does prove, beyond a doubt, is that journalism is still seen as a place to pollute the information stream to frighten middle class people into giving up their rights in the name of freedom. The problem is that it really isn't working.

Another problem is that journalism isn't actually what it pretends to be. Finding sources and stories takes effort, but journalists go to (a) authorities in government, and (b) public relations firms to get information. Whenever they try to go one step more, they always have to walk back because the story turned out to be false (you can read Don't Believe It!, the upcoming When Journalism was a Thing, or earlier entries on this web site if you want proof from me).

Social media became a real threat to those who wish to quash free speech and democracy; and so, an online publication is an ideal place for a vested interest to spin a yarn -- particularly one whose base is not the United States -- not because the UK is some horrid place, but because the US has an inconvenient measure in place that the UK does not.

Because BuzzFeed's narrative is pure war propaganda, I find it very interesting that these stories are originating from Britain, a nation that has no equivalent to FARA in the US.

If you do not know what FARA is, then shame on you. I mean it. Shame on you. Whenever a foreign agent or country wishes to seek the services of an American law firm, lobbyist, or public relations firm, those firms have to register with the US government. This has been law since 1938. So really, shame on you for not knowing that.

Why it is shameful not to know is simple: whenever a group of foreigners are suddenly seen as "good folks" or "bad guys" in the press, that means that a foreign agent has paid a PR firm to make their people look good while making their rivals or targets look bad, and reporters, being the lazy and deceptive slackers that they are, cribbed the press release. That means that there is a paper trail in the US...but not in other countries. UK has unbelievably effective public relations firms -- and they do not have to let anyone know who is footing their bills. If you are particularly dense, the year 1938 should give you a clue why FARA was created in the first place -- because it was about preventing Nazis from infecting the US information stream.

The UK government is now openly talking about meddling in journalism -- and a government that is already in a weakened position thanks to their own election bungling, they are not exactly disinterested parties. May's government will find ways to make it seem indispensable anyway it knows how. There is nothing impressive with BuzzFeed because they are giving a floundering government the perfect narrative to deflect attention away from their own troubles as they try to make themselves look strong.

Contrary to the spin that it was "highly likely" that the Russian regime ordered hits (notice there is never any definitive proof) -- using a method that would be immediately associated with them -- and then pretending these deaths were not hits -- sounds like a theory Inspector Lestrade would offer to Sherlock Holmes -- or Sheriff Amos Tupper would offer to Jessica Fletcher. The underlying logic is more aligned with what an uninitiated and sheltered middle class Westerner would think Soviets would do than be what an actual Soviet would do because the mindsets are nothing alike. Either the Soviets are cunning strategists -- or bumbling buffoons. They cannot be both at the same time, and this working theory reeks of someone who is both culturally illiterate and has a severe bigoted view of Orthodox Christians.

If you are going to malign an entire group of people with a paranoid conspiracy theory, have the good sense to at least look up a few things on Wikipedia to get your story semi-straight.

The loopy and fear-mongering narrative makes little sense: those Soviet ex-pat spies have already spilled everything they knew to their new hosts long ago. Their use or threat would be extremely limited given they have been out of the loop for as long as they have been. So the propaganda here makes little sense.

Do nations meddle in the affairs of other nations? Of course they do, but that is the unfortunate byproduct of allowing bored control freaks to be leaders of nations. Americans have been meddling in the elections of foreign countries for decades, and they get indignant and huffy if you point out the obvious to them.

And through all of these ghost stories to frighten the gullible middle class, this yarn does suffer from a huge confirmation bias: that if the Soviets -- who aren't all that powerful globally -- would be doing such things, then which other more powerful countries are doing it, too?

For instance, I have noticed quite a few high-level hackers have wound up dead lately. Why aren't we questioning those very, very coincidental deaths?

Because they would reveal that those who point fingers at others have three fingers pointing straight back at them.

Contrary to the article's assertion that journalism "prompted a closer look" at 14 deaths -- journalists were fed information from a source with vested interests to spin a certain narrative a certain way, allowing various institutions to use it as an excuse to push their own narrative that they are needed to Save Humanity from the Bad Guys.

It was done in precisely the same way during the first Gulf War when the PR firm Hill and Knowlton was hired to bring public support to Kuwait. Their secret weapon was a teenaged girl -- but you had a couple of reporters back then, who had thinking caps -- and they found out the story of Iraqi soldiers killing Kuwaiti newborns was a lie.

The structures of both stories played identically; however, the mandatory FARA filings gave savvier people a lead that perhaps the story was a fraud. Unfortunately, the stunt did its trick and the war was already over.

And make no mistake, the purpose of this propaganda dread tale is to prime people to support a war they should absolutely avoid at all costs, but this time, someone was smart enough to use an Internet era to avoid having to file with FARA and do it in an English-speaking country that has superior PR without the pesky foreign agent registration act. They still reach a global audience, but through the backdoor.

Far from journalism prompting a "closer look", what it is trying to do is resurrect itself at the cost of human lives. It is a psychopathic and desperate gambit, that blinds with fear, not see with rational calm and critical thinking. We have gone through this scheme before over the decades, but this time, with journalism being a dead profession. It is not doing what it is supposed to do. BuzzFeed may be a digital-only outlet, but its fortunes have tumbled, and its reach is not sparking what it is supposed to be sparking. It would be something that someone who doesn't actually understand this whole Internet thing would assume is some hip place where all the Young People surf, and leak it to them.

It will be interesting to see what the next move will be when it didn't do what traditional outlets could have done even 20 years ago.

The former Yugoslavia this is not, when people bought whatever CNN told them to believe.

And it reminds me of all those Dateline/48 Hours/ 20/20 stories about how the police go after innocent people because they form a theory, and then just look at who they believe is guilty without asking hard questions or creating alternative theories you need to confirm or refute.  BuzzFeed didn't do that, and that calls into question their methods, motives, but most importantly of all, their sources.

That is not journalism. It is partisan propaganda, and we are living in an age of propaganda.

When news stories pick bogeymen, it is usually a preface to a needless war. It never fails.

If we had genuine journalism, the real impetus for the resurrected Red Scare would have been exposed, the same way the real impetus for the first Gulf War was exposed, albeit a little too late.

But we don't. We have stenographers whose partisan pseudo-journalistic outlets spew propaganda to dwindling audiences. The theatre of patriarchal narrative is the same, but the seats are still empty.

Because while this may be an Age of Propaganda, but also an age out Outrage Passivity and slacktivism where people think marching in the streets and ranting on Twitter will make all the problems go away. When people ignore it and stand their ground, nothing actually changes.

So the CBC is doing what the rest of journalism is trying to do -- use hyperbole to pretend that journalism still matters. It doesn't, kids. It cannot compete with selfies or memes.

You know, something like this...

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