Sunday, 12 May 2013

Why are some psuedo-writers getting the big stories wrong over and over again!

                                                           Your newspaperman!

Today, I bring you an interesting article, verbatim by Mitch Potter, Washington Bureau news reporter for the Toronto Star, entitled, 'Tragic Cleveland saga often descended into voyeuristic media farce driven by ‘vanity’, Coverage of the Cleveland missing women, like the Sandy Hook massacre and Boston bombing, saw many journalistic mistakes made for the sake of being first.' My response is below with room for your comment below that, unless you prefer to send an email but please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack others personally, and keep your language decent.

It was another week of breaking news breaking bad. First it was the three Brothers Evil in Cleveland, or so everyone thought. Until a day later, when the supposedly Unholy Trinity melted away as two siblings stumbled off the stage, exonerated. And the hot glare of suspicion settled instead on Ariel Castro alone.
Then there was the saga of Charles Ramsey, the McDonald’s-munching, door-kicking saviour of Seymour Ave., a viral sensation for 48 hours, until a fresh round of muckrakery by The Smoking Gun unpacked Ramsey’s own troubled past.

The revelation of Ramsey as a repeat domestic abuser stirred wild debate of its own, not least for its powerful message to never do the right thing lest your own personal baggage be displayed before the world.
Yet even those arguments began to cave amid new reports that Ramsey came late to the rescue party and that it was another neighbour altogether, Angel Cordero, who kicked in the door, bringing a tortuous decade of confinement and assault to an end. Cordero would have gone viral but for the click-limiting fact he speaks only Spanish.

Scott Pelley, the CBS News anchor, summed it all up with a self-incriminating screed at Quinnipiac University Friday, adding up the mountain of mistakes, from the massacre in Newtown to the bombings in Boston to Cleveland, as evidence that journalism’s house is on fire.

“We’re getting the big stories wrong over and over again,” said Pelley.

He railed against “vanity” and “self-conceit,” as the drivers of a real-time scramble to be first with any new crumb of information, often lifted without scrutiny from the uncorroborated pages of social media.
Twitter, Facebook and Reddit, said Pelley, are “not journalism. That’s gossip. Journalism was invented as an antidote to gossip.”

It’s “a world where everybody is a publisher, no one is an editor, and we’ve arrived at that point today.”
Yet there at more still grievous dimensions to the horrible revelations in Cleveland: the very unusual fact that the world learned (and published) the names of the three captive women first and only later, in graphic detail, the sheer extent of the sexual violence they were forced to endure.

The Cleveland story came with a built-in broken rule, a very big one, that journalists not publish the names of those subjected to rape. By week’s end some news outlets sought solace in reminding readers they at least scaled the ethical bar by not naming the 6-year-old girl born in captivity as others had.

“What is especially awful about the Cleveland story is that the victims were in effect victimized a second time: first, the gigantic misfortune of being kidnapped, then, the victimization of becoming part of a huge international news story,” said media analyst Robert Thompson.

“Breaking news has been around since the telegraph. But now it is breaking with previously unthinkable speed, from the first 911 call, which rings like an invitation to satellite trucks around the country to ‘Come ye all to Cleveland.’ ”

Thompson, director of Syracuse University’s Bleier Centre for Television and Popular Culture, said journalism’s “muddle” is fast becoming everyone’s muddle now that everyone is a journalist.
“All these misreported stories, from the Boston bombings on down, are a call for making media literacy a part of basic public education in the 21st century, alongside reading, writing and arithmetic,” he said.

“Basic rules need to taught, not only on consuming media but how people themselves use media in these completely democratized ways. And that would include a sense of ethics, even if you are not a professional journalist.”

Thompson calls the rush of TV trucks to Cleveland “the original sin,” arguing that, while the emerging story “was big and terrible, on a completely rational level one can argue it’s a local story.

“But the decision to cover Cleveland more than anything else now is dictated not by journalistic standards but the audience itself. The option of TV news bosses to make decisions based on anything but the corporate bottom line of maximizing audience and income stream is now almost impossible,” said Thompson.

Cleveland unfolded with some checks and balances in the struggle between almost voyeuristic infotainment versus info-containment. Nancy Grace, who lives and breathes overwrought true-crime scandal at Headline News took a reputational walloping as she feasted on the latest news from Seymour Ave., while simultaneously covering the verdict of the Jodi Arias murder trial in Phoenix.

Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show, signalled that Grace was in for the full Jon Stewart treatment when she tweeted, “Seriously. This week is like Christmas Morning everyday for a tragedy muncher like Nancy Grace.”

The next night, Stewart rounded on Grace in his opening segment, eviscerating her as an “engorged tragedy tick” feeding with sadistic glee on human suffering. For the Bleier Centre’s Thompson, media looking for a high road in the midst of the breaking-news muddle need to think in terms of “reputational branding.”
“It’s not meaningless to choose to avoid publishing names of sexual assault victims, even when the general public already knows — and shares — those names,” he said. “The JFK era of breaking news is over. But the values of accuracy, care and caution are not.

“If journalism’s great calling is to provide information for the greater good — something we all believed in as we went to journalism school — it has to adapt. And quickly.”

my response.......

Mitch Potter's article above speaks to the looming information disaster we are facing while the shift from quality journalism to quick and dirty gossip is well underway. It is hardly a secret that certain media coverage is partly responsible for the political fix we are in, be it the Obama Democrats in Washington or the Wynne Liberals in Ontario, when messaging is too often drowned out by coverage of hype and hubris instead of control over our debt and deficits.

                                                Vic Gupta, Rob Weller and MPP Peter Sherman
                                                         at a local manufacturing business

Specifically, these media lackeys have done their best to push Ontario taxpayers into a box, because all they say is, 'the PC's are only concerned with is balancing the budget and cutting spending and taking things away from people,' when all along, what the PC's are trying to say is that the Ontario taxpayer wants to control spending in order to grow local manufacturing and re-energize the opportunity machine of Ontario.

To rise above these folks, has the time has come for Tim to let the taxpayer know what he going to do for that assistant manager of a fast food restaurant?

                                           the late Aqsa Parvez with her family members who
                                                     were convicted of murdering her!

Has the time has come for Tim to say what is he going to do for single moms who are waking up in Scarborough this morning and facing the fact that their kids are going to schools that can’t even provide a safe place for these mothers to leave their kids, let alone get an education?

Has the time has come to craft a more appealing political message, most notably in relation to minority voters calling for more substantive engagement with minority communities who came to our country seeking safety from tyranny?

                                                                 Recent protest sign!

Has the time come for Tim to soften the party’s economic message, considering that it appears it’s easier for Andrea Horwath of the New Democrats to sell a message about personal irresponsibility than it is for Tim to sell a vision of personal responsibility and fiscal discipline that would drive economic growth?

Granted, Tim has taken some steps necessary to maintain his commitment to fiscal discipline so vital to economic growth but now Tim needs to speak for the people who, frankly, may have begun to turn off because they don’t feel Tim has an agenda that speaks to them.

                                                                        Tim Hudak

The PC's are all about giving people opportunity but this message won't resonate until Tim Hudak takes the lead with effective media messaging after shouldering much of the blame for the party’s failure to capture Queen's Park in last election, after pre-election polls had him ahead.

Tim must do a better job of speaking to the concerns of people at the lower rungs of the economic ladder if the PC's are to win the coming election. Regardless of what certain media lackeys have up their sleeves, Tim needs to let folks know what his agenda this year is all about.


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Why are some psuedo-writers getting the big storie...
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Sunday, 5 May 2013

'War on Women' IV

As a memorial to the late Miss Aksa Parvez and the late Miss Zainab Shafia, I am providing this article, verbatim by Ezra Levant, a noted Toronto Sun writer, to my readers. My response is below with room for your comment below that, unless you prefer to send an email but please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack others personally, and keep your language decent.

Pamela Geller, author of the book The Post-American Presidency and 
a proponent of the proposed World Trade Center Islamic Center answers 
emails inside her home on August 3, 2010 in New York City.                    
(JASON ANDREW/Getty Images)
Pamela Geller is a New York liberal, concerned about shariah law. Most Canadians don’t know who she is, but she did something for us that no Canadian did: She arranged for a proper gravestone for Aqsa Parvez, the teenaged Canadian girl murdered by her father and brother in a so-called honour killing in 2007.

Aqsa was murdered for daring to dress like a Canadian, instead of wearing a punishment sack, as women in shariah countries like Saudi Arabia are required to do. But Parvez was also victimized even after she died. No Muslim cemetery would agree to have her buried there. Nor would they allow a marker of any sort to commemorate her.

It’s almost as if the leaders of the Muslim community blamed Aqsa and tacitly agreed with her murderers, that she was dishonourable. For two years, until her family arranged for an inscribed stone, Aqsa was buried in an unmarked grave, in a public cemetery.

For two years, all that was on her tomb was a number, 774. Her murderer father must have been pleased; he got his wish, didn’t he? His daughter was erased from life and, for a time, erased again in death.
This did not sit well with Geller. She set about raising funds for a proper memorial for Aqsa.

Once the Muslim cemetery refused, she proposed to have a small memorial built at the University of Guelph’s arboretum, with the simple inscription: “Aqsa Parvez: Loved, Remembered, Free.” Tasteful and understated. A small gesture of justice and freedom for a murdered girl. Paid by donors.
And the university refused.

Eventually, Geller found the one place that would accept a memorial — not in Canada, but in Israel. Geller has a tough side, too. She organized New Yorkers, especially firemen and cops, to oppose a massive Ground Zero victory mosque proposed for the site of the 9/11 attacks. And she raises funds for ads on American subways and buses warning against jihad and terrorism.

She’s an enormously popular speaker — partly because she’s an energetic doer, too. Which is why she was invited to speak in north Toronto next weekend, at a Jewish synagogue. But then Insp. Ricky Veerappan of the York Regional Police got wind of Geller’s speech. Veerappan is with something called the diversity, equity and inclusion bureau of that police force. You’d think he’d want to meet Geller, to learn about honour killings

Geller’s a bit of an expert in that. But Veerappan didn’t want to meet Geller. Nor did he want anyone else to meet her. He contacted the rabbi at the synagogue, and told him to cancel Geller’s speech — and that if he didn’t, the rabbi would lose his position as a police chaplain. The rabbi caved.

What crime did Geller commit? Veerappan was happy to tell QMI Agency: “Some of the stuff that Ms. Geller speaks about runs contrary to the values of York Regional Police and the work we do in engaging our communities.”

Really? Like what — offering a proper burial for girls killed in honour killings? Standing up for women’s rights, against shariah law? Warning against terrorism? But even if her values were “wrong,” what business is that of a cop? Do guest speakers at synagogues now have to register their opinions in advance with the police?

So that’s who’s banned. But who’s welcome? As I write this, a student group not affiliated with the University of British Columbia is scheduled to host a conference on campus with a guest speaker, named Leila Khaled, appearing via Skype.

Unlike Geller, Khaled doesn’t believe in peace and security. Khaled is a Palestinian terrorist, convicted of hijacking planes, twice. That’s Canadian “diversity, equity and inclusion.” Our police will bully a Jewish rabbi into cancelling a speech from a Jewish New Yorker whose chief contribution to our country was to give Aqsa Parvez a proper gravestone.

But a convicted terrorist? No problem! Help yourself to our leading universities, paid for by public tax dollars. Maybe police will even provide security — to keep out any troublesome Jews.

                                                                  Aqsa Parvez
 my response......

I can't help feeling that Insp. Ricky Veerappan of the York Regional Police has boxed himself into a corner by at least not letting Pam Geller speak. An affront to free speech which smacks of hypocrisy, when you consider how many terrorists apologists have been heard from. Wouldn't it be wise to advise Pam of our laws and then wait for her to break them before reacting? Should a 'terrorists apologist' receive the courtesy that Pam didn't, will Ricky then be 'walking the beat'?

Ricky has set the bar very high and I hope he can see over it for many folks will never forget little Miss Aksa Parvez and Miss Zainab Shafia, who are just two of too many young local woman; murdered by their family members who are currently incarcerated in Canadian prisons for a very long time.  

Aqsa "Axa" Parvez (April 22, 1991 – December 10, 2007) was the victim of a murder in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. During the murder trial for little Aqsa, Superior Court Justice Bruce Durno acknowledged the slaying as an honour killing, stating, "that he found it "profoundly disturbing that a 16-year-old could be murdered by a father and brother for the purpose of saving family pride, for saving them from what they perceived as family embarrassment." Her brother, Waqas Parvez, had strangled her to death when Aqsa would not wear a hijab covering. Parvez's death was reported internationally and sparked a debate about the status of women in Islam. Pam was fundraising for a memorial for little Aqsa...something her family has gone on record of rejecting!

                                                       Guilty of Murdering Aqsa Parvez!
 For those who will never forget their horror when Miss Zainab Shafia and her sisters were murdered, the Shafia Family murders took place on June 30, 2009 in Kingston, Ontario. Shafia sisters Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13, along with Rona Amir Mohammed, 50, were found dead inside a car that was discovered underwater in front of the northernmost Kingston Mills lock of the Rideau Canal on the same day. Zainab, Sahar, and Geeti were daughters of Mohammad Shafia, 58 and his wife Tooba Mohammad Yahya, 41.

The couple also had a son Hamed, 20. Rona, who was herself infertile, was the first wife of Mohammad Shafia in their polygamous household. On July 23, 2009, Mohammad, Tooba Yahya, and Hamed were arrested on charges of four counts of first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder under the guise of honour killing. They were found guilty of all four counts by the jury in January 2012

                                                                     Zainab Shafia
The Toronto Sun polled a number of readers with a simple question ...did police go too far calling a synagogue over Pamela Geller giving a speech and as of 10 am on Sunday, May 5th, results are as follows...94% said yes with 1085 votes, 3% gave a categorical a No with only 38 votes, 1% with 17 votes responded with 'they may have a point' and less than 1% saying they are not sure at only 10 votes

If you are disturbed by the action of York Regional Police, you may want to call the Chief, write your provincial Attorney General and your Federal Minister of Justice. Regardless, Pam will continue her mission to bring forward important issues to is her right and our right to listen or change channels, under our constitution.

                                                             Sahar and Zainab Shafia

I will be surfing the web to gather timely information for a continuing series about the 'War on Women' so that we may understand the mindset that justifies and perpetuates 'honour killings' in Canada. Hopefully, by exposing this scourge, our governments will provide additional assistance, like safe housing to protect those threatened.


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 'War on Women' IV 
A memorial...  

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Toronto Marathon organizers warn participants and spectators to 'be vigilant' during this weekend's race!



Today, I bring you an interesting article, verbatim by Rachel Mendleson, a news reported for the Toronto Star, entitled, 'Toronto marathon expected to draw big crowds despite Boston bombings. Marathon organizers warn participants and spectators to 'be vigilant' during this weekend's race. '.  My response is below with room for your comment below that, unless you prefer to send an email but please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack others personally, and keep your language decent.

"Immediately following the Boston Marathon bombings, several concerned parents called Toronto marathon organizer Jay Glassman and withdrew their kids from volunteer roles in the upcoming event. But a few days later, Glassman says, he heard from them again. They asked him to put their children’s names back on the list.

“Given some time to think about it, they realized that life’s got to go on,” he said. “You can’t give in.”
More than 12,000 runners and 1,000 volunteers are expected to participate in the GoodLife Fitness Toronto Marathon on Sunday, where Glassman predicts that there could be as many as 60,000 spectators spread across the length of the course.

And rather than deter athletes and supporters, he says the tragedy in Boston has galvanized Toronto’s tight-knit running community “The community, almost in defiance of what happened, will come together stronger and better than before,” Glassman said.

The memory of Boston, not yet a month old, will be palpable at the event, from the minutes of silence planned at Mel Lastman Square at the start of each race to the “Remember Boston” patches on every bib.
On the marathon’s website, organizers are urging runners and spectators to “be vigilant,” and notify police or race officials “should you notice anything suspicious.”

For security reasons, Glassman declined to discuss any special precautions that are planned for this weekend’s event, but described security measures as “status quo.” In past years, between 250 and 300 paid-duty police officers have provided security for the event, Glassman said. Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash would not say if that number will rise this weekend, or confirm whether security arrangements have changed in any way, but he said there is currently “no increase in threat levels” in the city.

“We’re always monitoring any threats against the city. We tweak our security arrangements when that’s necessary,” Pugash said. Security, however, is not a worry for Julie Yip, who will be running her first full marathon on Sunday. Yip, who manages the York Mills location of the Running Room, said she has “never heard anyone express concern” about the upcoming race.

“If anything, it’s like, ‘We’re going to show them,’” said Yip, who plans to wear a blue and yellow ribbon during the race to show her support for Boston. Kevin Smith, who travelled from Toronto to run the Boston Marathon, and was in a pub a block past the finish line when the explosions went off, has registered for the half-marathon this weekend.

Smith said his body is still healing from the wear-and-tear of the recent marathon. But if possible, he will run on Sunday. “People are really gathering together and celebrating being runners,” he said. “There’s a need to get out there with other runners. We feel like there’s safety in numbers — safety with brethren.”

my response.....
                                                    Runners at a Toronto Marathon!

While it is certainly understandable that several concerned parents called a Toronto marathon organizer to withdrew their kids from volunteer roles in the upcoming event, their action proves that folks are not convinced that our politicians are taking Terrorist threats seriously! In his book, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, Lawrence Wright provides a historical account of the people, ideas and events leading up to Terrorist attacks, specifically the 9/11 terrorist attack. This book was so well received that it was a New York Times bestseller and won the Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction in 2007.  The question is...why didn't our politicians learn enough from this cowardly attack on innocent civilians to save lives in Boston?

Today, in the post-9/11 world, superlative law enforcement capabilities we saw on display by the FBI, Mass State troopers and Boston Police were in full evidence for the world to see at the Boston Bombing, but North American, yes Americans and Canadians need and deserve a combined law enforcement establishment that emphasizes other capabilities, which in my view, were not much in evidence leading up to the bomb blasts that fateful Monday afternoon in Boston.

                                                      Runners at aother Toronto Marathon!

Now, more than ever, we need our politicians to enable law enforcement to place a premium on three related capabilities: detection, assessment and warning.

Detection: Identifying potential threats and discriminating between potential threats and non-threats.

Assessment: Confirming, characterizing and prioritizing threats.

Warning: Remaining in front of the public’s need for information and for physical safety.

From the mountain of video and still images now available on the internet, it appears the alleged two bombers were in the vicinity of the finish line for at least ONE HOUR, carrying heavy backpacks prior to detonating their bombs.

                                                        Runners at a Vancouver Marathon!

One could make a strong case that by employing 'video analytic' software available today, a trained surveillance operator with access to the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, (TIDE is the Government's central database on known or suspected international terrorists containing highly classified information) may have detected the two suspects as potential threats and alerted police on the ground to approach them to make an assessment. Ask yourself, could  this have prevented the cold-blooded murder of an MIT officer?

It has already been reported that one of the dead Boston marathon bombing suspects was added to a CIA terror database a FULL EIGHTEEN MONTHS before the attack. Instead, what we saw, after the bombs were detonated, was the deployment of millions of dollars worth of equipment which, in the end, helped bring down these alleged terrorists but was of little value to detect and assess threats and warn citizens BEFORE the attack.   

                                                 What can happen when a bomb explodes!

I have the highest respect and praise for the brave law enforcement professionals, who, through their selfless and heroic efforts, prevented even greater loss of life but politicians on both sides of the border need to rebuff efforts by terrorist apologists and enact legislation that will enable law enforcement priorities to be more proactive, and waiting until after the next terrorist attack on a VIA Train or another soft target should not be an option!


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 Toronto Marathon organizers warn participants and ... 
Are we doing all we can?