What Canada can learn from #DNCleaks re media bias & collusion

There is no doubt about it. Canadians can learn something from the #DNCleaks about pro-liberal bias and collusion between political organisations and the media.

The Merriam Webster dictionary describes bias as “a tendency to believe some peoples ideas are better than others” and “collusion” as “secret co-operation for a dishonest purpose.

And, thanks to those leaks, we now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that staff and officials at the U.S. Democratic National Committee (DNC), have shown repeatedly that they were biased in favour of Hillary Clinton (over Bernie Sanders) and had secret co-operation with certain mainstream journalists.

Certainly, the U.S. is not alone in that regard. I mean, I have frequently wondered if there was collusion between the Liberal Party of Canada and the CBC. During the 2015 federal election campaign, for example, I used to compare media releases on the LPC website to what I heard on TV and read in print.

And, no, regardless of who appointed the CBC Board Directors, they have nothing to do with day-to-day reporting. In fact, what journalists said and wrote, more often than not, sounded very like Liberal talking points.

Yet, every time I complained of anti-conservative, anti-Stephen Harper bias (e.g., check out my “media bias” folder using my Search command), my complaints were derided as nothing more than a conspiracy theory — exactly what the DNC said when Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders complained that the system was rigged against him. Well, now we know he was right.

Anyway, speaking of a rigged U.S. system, here are some of the highlights from a Heatstreet article titled “Wikileaks Show How DNC Used Foul Language to Insult Fox News Staff, While Praising Rachel Maddow, MSNBC“(H/T NewsWatchCanada).

(1) Regarding the relationship between the DNC and Fox News: “‘Is there a Fuck You emoji?” Communications Director Luis Miranda wrote a colleague who forwarded him FoxNews.com freelance reporter Fred Lucas’ questions about Donald Trump bringing up Bill Clinton’s dalliances….

Lucas politely e-mailed the DNC again three days later asking, ‘I hoped the DNC could weigh in on the appropriateness of Trump attacking along these lines? I would really appreciate any response you have. Thanks very much.’

Palermo then e-mailed Miranda and Deputy Communications Director Mark Paustenbach: ‘The asshole from fox e-mailed us again. I did some research and there’s still no ‘fuck you’ emoji, unfortunately.’”

Now think about that. All Fred Lucas wanted was some reaction to what Trump was suggesting. Yet, all the DNC person could do was ignore him and insult his request.

(2) Regarding the Business network wanting to schedule an interview: “Similarly, in April, Business Insider’s Maxwell Tani reached out about scheduling an interview with DNC boss Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “After the hit job he did on the [Amy] Dacey piece? Hell no,” wrote Miranda.”

In other words, the people working at the DNC do not seem understand debate and disagreement are the essence of democracy.

(3) Regarding collusion: “Politico reporter Kenneth Vogel appears to have allowed the DNC to review a draft of an article, which is widely considered a violation of journalistic ethics.’ Vogel gave me his story ahead of time/before it goes to his editors as long as I didn’t share it. Let me know if you see anything that’s missing and I’ll push back,’ Paustenbach wrote his colleagues.

Vogel had sent the draft of his story to Paustenbach with the subject line ‘Per agreement … any thoughts appreciated.’ The article looked at whether the Clinton fundraising practices were potentially corrupt.”

There are other examples in the Heatstreet article as well, particularly about the DNC’s relationship with MSNBC and Rachel Maddow. But, as I said at the start of this post, what we now know about DNC involvement in the U.S. media, has been the type of collusion that concerned conservatives in Canada throughout the entire period the Harper Conservatives were governing.

The crux of the matter is that if the 4th and 5th estates cannot be trusted, what checks and balances are there on power in either the U. S. or Canada?

#DNCleaks show DNC rigged system by favouring Clinton over Sanders

The latest Wikileaks document drop involves more than 20,000 Democratic National Committee emails and files (Twitter hashtags #DNCleaks and #DNCleak). Lies, corruption, bias, blowback, collusion. Those are not my words. Those are the words that some in the online media are using to describe the truth of the leaks.

For example, here are a few sources that will provide readers with some idea of what those emails and files say — and it isn’t pretty (H/T NewsWatchCanada).

  1. Victor Smith at Regated writes about how the DNC is panicking because Wikileaks is exposing their lies and corruption;
  2. Daniel Halper & Joe Tacopino of the New York Post lays bare how the leaked emails demonstrate how biased DNC officials are for Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders;
  3. John Wagner of the Washington Post discusses how there is blowback from progressive groups regarding Timothy Kaine’s pick as VP; and
  4. Reuters highlights the collusion by DNC top officials re an anti-Sanders pro-Clinton bias.

Yes, I know, politics is not called a blood sport for nothing. But, there is nothing sporting about the anti-Sanders betrayal and subversion. Remember, the DNC is supposed to be a neutral organization.

However, over and above the anti-Sanders bias indicated in the #DNCleaks, in my opinion, the allegation of collusion between the DNC, Clinton and the media is the most damaging. I mean, what the leaks expose is the reality that an awful lot of professional mainstream journalists are quite willing to do the DNC’s partisan bidding.

And so, on the eve of the 2016 Democratic Convention, the question is: will Sanders, knowing how the DNC undermined him every step of the way, continue to endorse Hillary Clinton for President?

As well, will the super delegates chosen by the DNC continue to support Clinton knowing what we know now, including what the Chicago Tribune refers to as her contempt for the rule of law.

As a Canadian, I don’t have a horse in this race but I have many American friends who do. I like both Sanders and Trump because they both have a message that rings true, even though they are on opposite sides of the political spectrum.

However, no matter what messaging comes out of Hillary Clinton’s mouth at this week’s Democratic Convention, as a progressive Tory, I have a feeling the spin won’t matter because the leaks will have done their damage. And, speaking of damage, for those who would like to check out this first installment of the Wikileaks, they can click here.

The crux of the matter is that the #DNCleaks are going to result in Republican nominee Donald Trump winning in November. Why? Because, Americans are now going to realize the extent of the corruption on the left. Meaning, the 2016 U.S. presidential election is now a fight for the very soul of America.

“FRIENDS of Broadcasting” asks if Stephen Harper poisoned the well?

What in heavens name can the staff or volunteers at the FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting be thinking to send out a fundraising letter via regular mail, dated summer 2016, bashing former Prime Minister Stephen Harper by putting the following question in bright red letters on both their envelope and letter:

Has Stephen Harper poisoned the well?

Poisoned the well? Which well are they talking about? As a former Stephen Harper supporter, I don’t believe he poisoned anything.

FRIENDS letter reducedYet, here are a few sections from the letter that my husband and I received at the end of last week. A scan of part of the first page is shown to the left. Which makes me wonder how FRIENDS got our personal information?

Anyway, in the first paragraph it states: “Has Stephen Harper poisoned the well? You bet he has. I’m referring to the CBC and our Canadian Broadcasting system. If you’ve got a minute or two I’d like to tell you all about it. And then I hope you’ll join me in putting things right….

In the final paragraph, FRIENDS sum up with: “If you love the CBC, if your vision of a strong independent Canada includes a vibrant Canadian broadcasting industry, then please become a FRIEND. Yes, the end may be in sight, but we need one more push to get us over the finish line. With your help by monthly donations or a single donation if that’s not possible, we’ll push the government to reform the CBC Board…

Reform the CBC Board? So that is what this is all about. Former PM Harper had the audacity to appoint qualified candidates to the CBC Board that are known to have contributed to the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) at one time or another? And, that is related to poisoning the well?

To put it bluntly, are the FRIENDS suggesting that those appointees are poisonous?

I mean, if the current Liberal government eventually replaces the so-called conservative appointees with those who have contributed to the Liberal Party of Canada in the past —  is that what FRIENDS mean by cleaning up the CBC Board? And, is that what FRIENDS are referring to as non-partisan governance?

Good grief. Canada is a free, democratic society. There is nothing wrong with people contributing to any registered political party or any prime minister making appointments to public boards with qualified people who may have contributed money to his or her political party. In fact, our Charter guarantees all Canadians such affiliations — to conservatives, as well as liberals and progressives.

In my opinion, the FRIENDS is not only partisan, its fundraising clearly crosses the line into political activism. I mean, of the several images scrolling on the main page of their website, one is of a smiling PM Justin Trudeau and an interview related to the Leaders Series on the CBC.

Another is the featured image I am using in this post of the 8 members of the CBC Board who are deemed Conservative simply because they donated money to the CPC. Note that FRIENDS included a hint of the partisan image when they used the letter “C” of the Conservative Party’s logo in the headline — CBC?

FRIENDS also used the CPC’s logo beside each of their 8 names in an April 26th, 2016 blog post — alongside the word “Donor.” Talk about negative stereotyping!

So, has Stephen Harper poisoned the well? Absolutely not. Rather, he did what he was constitutionally allowed to do and supposed to do. On other hand, has FRIENDS poisoned the well using the former PM in such a disrespectful manner to fundraise with people like my husband and myself?

Absolutely. Talk about a witch hunt!

The crux of the matter is that the FRIENDS of CANADIAN BROADCASTING owes former PM Harper and all conservative Canadians an apology. And, if FRIENDS are truly non-partisan and do not favour one broadcaster over another, they should immediately withdraw this negative fundraising campaign.

Systemic Arrogance Why Parents Pulling Kids Out of Public Schools

There are many reasons public school enrolment is dropping by the hundreds of thousands of students in both the United States and Canada and all those reasons relate to what I am going to call “systemic arrogance.” (H/T JNW)

Systemic arrogance because when parents speak to educators in positions of authority, their concerns are usually minimized or outright rejected. Why? Because the educators believe that “they know best” because of their training — even though it is the parents who know their child best.

The other problem is that liberal politicians and similar minded public education officials tend to use ONLY research results from the most neo-Marxist and progressive research out there. The reality is that eclectic approaches, combining progressive and traditional time-tested approaches, are what are used in most charter and private schools today.

For example, if you check page 21 in this link, the findings of an Ohio study show that parents in fact prefer traditional independent schools — a reality that today’s public educators need to think about very carefully.

Specifically, public schools today:

  • Do not offer scheduled time for such basic math concepts as times tables and operations drills;
  • Allow and expect very young children to use a calculator before they know how to do operations manually;
  • Do not offer compulsory phonics training when teaching a child to read; and
  • Do not offer scheduled classes for formal grammar, spelling and cursive writing.

Yes, I know that texting and email do not require capitals and punctuation or the ability to do more than print. But, what will college and university graduates do when they have to read historical sources and once employed, write a business letter or report?

Then, there is the social engineering, politically correct, aspects to public schools that many of today’s parents want to avoid, such as the topic of gender fluidity, which is taught in sex education programs throughout both countries.  

I mean, only a couple of weeks ago, President Obama ordered all public schools in the U.S. to allow students to use whatever gender specific bathroom they identified with and to not do so public funding would be cut.

In my opinion, there should be a difference between an adult making a personal choice to identify as the gender opposite to that of his or her biology, compared to a 6 year old child doing the same. Why? Because elementary aged children have not fully developed physically, intellectually or sexually.

In any event, it is not like people in public education and government haven’t heard from parents on these issues. There have been petitions in both Alberta and Ontario regarding the lack of math fundamentals, for example. And, in Manitoba, parents have been removing their children from sex education classes — a practice public teachers’ union officials are actually trying to stop.

The crux of the matter is that if public school officials and others involved in public education want parents to stop taking their children out of public schools, they are going to have to change.

For one thing, they are going to have to really listen to what parents want and act accordingly. For another thing, they are going to have to use more than progressive research findings to justify what they actually do.

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Attribution: The featured image is from a video at the Council for American Private Education (CAPE) website here.

Trudeau proposal at Liberal Convention vs Stephen Harper record

After reading his very balanced analysis of former PM Stephen Harper’s ten years in power, I agree with Michael Den Tandt that history will be kind to the former PM. In fact, I believe that, since no human being is perfect, he will eventually be seen as one of Canada’s best PM’s.

Now, compare Den Tandt’s Harper record, both pro and con, to the last seven months of the Justin Trudeau Liberal Government, including what is going on at the Liberal Convention in Winnipeg this weekend.

Ah, yes, everything is now sunny ways. Except it isn’t! Elbowgate comes to mind. While I don’t want to make a big deal out of that incident, one thing was clear. When things are not going Mr. Trudeau’s way, he just might barge in to make sure everyone behaves as he thinks they should.

At the Liberal Convention in Winnipeg, for example, Mr. Trudeau is aggressively promoting a change to the federal Liberal Party Constitution that would allow anyone to become part of, at no cost, what the current PM is calling “a Liberal Movement.” Whatever that is supposed to mean. One thing is for sure, Liberal party loyalty will go by the wayside if there are no longer any grassroots “members.”

And, yes, many of those grassroots are complaining. I mean, when even liberal-friendly Joan Bryden is questioning the rate and kind of change Mr. Trudeau is recommending for his party, you have to know that Liberal leadership arrogance has already set in.

On the complaints about the Trudeau proposal, Bryden writes:

While the proposal is being touted as a way to throw open the doors of the party, it has raised hackles among rank and file Liberals who suspect it will actually turn the party into a different kind of exclusive club, one in which the leader and his cronies run the party as they see fit.

Of course, the irony is obvious. For years we heard that Stephen Harper was a controller who had a hidden agenda and, as such, was going to change the face of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC), if not all of Canada.

Well, as Den Tandt summarizes, Harper wasn’t the controller people claimed he was, he didn’t have a hidden agenda and he left both the CPC and Canada in good procedural and fiscal shape.

I wonder, will Liberals be able to say the same by 2019? I doubt it!

In my opinion, then, I believe that history will judge Stephen Harper’s leadership legacy, both to his party and his government, to be superior to that of Justin Trudeau’s.