How defending Jim Acosta and throwing Julian Assange under a bus could cost journalists a whole lot more.

The narcissistic and short-sighted strategies journalists employ are a sign that this is a profession that does not think about the future, consequences, or strategy.

They painted WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange as some sort of Russian agent or dupe because his group revealed unflattering but accurate truths about Hillary Clinton. It was all true, and everyone knows it.

Instead, the were jealous, and now some are now realizing how dangerous things will become if Assange is prosecuted.

The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald said it best:

Over the last two years, journalists and others have melodramatically claimed that press freedoms were being assaulted by the Trump administration due to trivial acts such as the President spouting adolescent insults on Twitter at Chuck Todd and Wolf Blitzer or banning Jim Acosta from White House press conferences due to his refusal to stop preening for a few minutes so as to allow other journalists to ask questions. Meanwhile, actual and real threats to press freedoms that began with the Obama DOJ and have escalated with the Trump DOJ – such as aggressive attempts to unearth and prosecute sources – have gone largely ignored if not applauded.

But Greenwald is the lone sane man in that journalistic nuthouse. The obsession the press has with hating Trump has blinded them to how stupid their knee-jerk spasms are or the consequences of their childish games.

CNN’s Jim Acosta is not Bob Woodward. He is not breaking news or doing any actual journalism. He is a clown who behaved like a moron, and when he lost his hall pass, journalists defended him, which was a supremely bad move.

The White House banned a single idiot for being an idiot, and a low-class one to boot. No one else from CNN was barred; hence, they should have taken a hit on Acosta, and then leave it alone because if it becomes a shoving match, they are unevenly matched and the regime can do worse things that cost everyone much more in the long run.

They went to court and cheered that Acosta was allowed back in as if this would be the last of it.

Stupid, stupid move.

Now there will be rules in place.

Rules that had never been there before.

And now it dawned on the press that the rules will far worse than what they had before.

And they have CNN and Jim Acosta to thank.

Politico was very naive when their headline blared in part:

Trump discovers new weapon against media

Never considering that Trump' banning Acosta was a probe for him and he was actively seeking that weapon all along. Acosta’s selfish antics was a costly mistake and the press should know by now what happens when they resort to nose-tweaking Trump.

They never think ahead. They never plan ahead. They have some narrative running through their heads that they are good guys and if they slap back, everyone will back down and they will win.

Memo to journalists: at what point do you wake up to reality?

At what point do you change your ways?

You have had people like me research and point out rationally why you were actively being the agents of your own self-destruction.

You chose to ignore me and shut me out repeatedly.

And you chose to give free publicity to a knuckle-dragger like Acosta and cheerlead him even though you all know who he is.

You earned this wallop.

You earned the fallout because you never listen to people who speak the truth because they are brave enough and loving enough to see reality.

That is the reason you all have become a joke.

You were cruel to Assange, and he was an idealist who had a good idea. He is in over his head, and you are all responsible for it.

He knew what direction it should have gone. He has flaws, but he knew something and had a piece of the puzzle to your resurrection.

Now you whine.

But you were always lousy friends to the truth, and to the people who actually were trying to do something to save an industry.

Shame on you for that.

Shame on you for being as selfish as you are….

The re-launching of Chaser News, Part Twenty-Seven: Watching the idiots walk is a very tricky business. So is listening to that little sound that compels you to act.

I

II

III

Politico is an idiot’s outlet.

This idiot article says it all:

Goodbye Nonpartisan Journalism. And Good Riddance. 

Disinterested reporting is overrated.

No, idiot: what you had was uninterested reporting, as in, you never bothered being disciplined and understanding empirical objectivity.

I wrote about objectivity in journalism. I wrote about how problematic it was because its origins were not empirical, but capitalistic, it was never truly tested or defined — and, it made no room for emotional literacy.

Not that journalists should be partisan propagandists.

Because partisan reporting is vastly overrated.

It’s just junk. Trash. Garbage.

You weren’t supposed to take sides because you were aware that all sides were little connivers and manipulators out for power and were exploiting the press. You called bullshit on both sides because it was bullshit.

The End.

So if you choose a side, you are decreeing one side’s bullshit is less bullshitty than the other guy’s — and that’s bigger bullshit.

Because once you hit bullshit, it’s over. It’s not a little bullshit.

It’s just bullshit.

So here is Politico trying to make the case that journalists should bullshit and be open about it, but in such a way that they justify being bullshitters and bullshitting isn’t bad.

Nice try, idiot.

Now take a walk.

We do not need another bullshitter.

What we need are facts.

We need to see how, when, where, why, and how we are being bullshitted, and by who.

And we do not assume what is presented as the opposite is an actual opposite that right by default.

No, no, no.

Because we can look at content, but if we ignore structure, we are ignoring a big clue.

So if you have two sides and one side uses a personal attack to hide the fact that they have no facts…but then so does the other, then they are both the same in structure, meaning the content is just a façade and a ruse to lure in suckers.

The structure of thought has to align with the content, or it’s bullshit.

True objectivity is actively comparing and contrasting and not favouring one side and then rigging the coverage to make them look better than they are and/or the other side worse than they are.

Because rigging is a form of lying.

So you just give facts and the facts reveal the reality to show the truth.

But that requires listening to that inner voice that tells you not to lie to yourself or other people because you can never find solutions if you rely on lies.

So Politico is a garbage publication. It openly says lying and cheating is a good thing.

It is far better to define, test, modify and refine objectivity than to lie.

Chaser is not going to lie. It will present facts in an empirically objective way.

And the bonus is that it will be a living laboratory where the experiments are shown as well as the results.

And that’s how changes go round, as that lovely old INXS song once mused to the world.

You find the centre of gravity and become a scale, measuring things without thinking it is about the left or right.

It is about balance and recording not just your measurements, but how accurate your scale happens to be…

The re-launching of Chaser News, Part Twenty-Six: Alchemy is the sport of detectives, magicians, authors, and victors. Bringing the lost philosophy into a new mindset.

I

II

space.jpg

III

757903794_551de7ebee_o.jpg

IV

When you have two bickering sides of the same basic entity, it is only the in-group who see their differences and think that there is a pecking order as the two fight for who will be the victor with one being decreed right and good and the other wrong and bad.

But outsiders see one big dysfunctional mess and see that the entity is is just bad and wrong — and not as morally superior as the outsider’s group.

Watching the slap fighting in the US is such a case: the Left and Right are just opposite sides of the same coin. Both tweak, both judge, and both backstab one another.

And the outsiders just wait on the sidelines hoping to take advantage of the same group for their own purposes.

V

It is the reason why I have always been a Radical Centrist. Fight all you want. Scheme all you want. Create narratives all you want.

I am not interested in being your hero or villain.

Or victim. Fuck that.

I have my own life and my own dreams, goals, ideas, aspirations and plans.

When I did Chaser News the first time, I wasn’t political in the traditional sense.

And in Western culture “political” is defined by running in Left circles or Right circles.

It is binary, and so boring.

As if everyone is following the same stupid script, but are just standing on one side of a line or the other.

That is not being political.

That is being a follower.

You might as well play dodgeball and get exercise instead.

giphy.gif

Politics has always been a milquetoast version of war the way dancing is a milquetoast version of sex.

Both are thought of as two parties getting together to either create or destroy with one as the dominant and the other as the submissive.

It’s the competitive streak that always gets in the way.

Sex is Eros, but war is Thanatos.

Dancing is Eros, but politics is Thanatos.

And in the centre of these peculiar dynamics, is a radical centre that sees the rigs of both.

Because both are just a pretext to control the other half of the equation as if one side is more right than the other.

And they are equal.

What is on the left of the equal sign is another way of expressing what is on the right of it.

If I seem as if I am speaking in Gibberish, I am.

But I am not talking nonsense.

Just the language of the birds.

Alchemy.

VI

Chaser News played around with the concepts of alchemy, and heavily so.

A Dangerous Woman Story Studio came from it, right after I did a peculiar website called Monsters and Queens that was storytelling told in a pure alchemical tradition.

But had my previous bluechrome not gone under, that would have been my follow up book to Consumer-isms in 12 Easy Steps.

Monsters and Queens had no overt narrative online, but the book did and an outrageous one, but they were told in short vignettes and musings.

But after bluechrome was gone, there would be no publisher who could possibly take it one. It was too exotic.

So I started playing around with the outré elements.

As alchemy sees everything as having a soul, Truth become Alena Love, and Love became Vivian Love.

And so, A Dangerous Woman Story Studio came to be.

And is still going on. It is a quiet little venture with zero publicity, but I have regular readers and consistent ones.

But I never abandoned Chaser.

I just wasn’t in the place in my life where I could relaunch it.

Technically, it’s still not, but who the fuck cares?

I have been given enough lead to last an eternity.

And I prefer turning it into gold.

That’s what journalism used to proclaim to do: turn lead into gold.

Find problems and then when the lead is exposed, it turns into solutions.

Gold.

Journalists turned the problems into facts.

Lead into gold.

That’s alchemy.

What they have done know is turn lead into cyanide.

Definitely in the wrong direction.

They are making problems into the fodder for war.

Thanatos.

And that’s not journalism, but propaganda.

But they got poisoned by the lead and cannot tell the difference.

But I still can.

The Radical Centre is the centre of alchemy.

You don’t move lead from the Left and have gold from the Right or vice versa.

You do not reduce things into simplistic or binary quantities.

You expand, not constrict.

As alchemy’s Axiom of Maria states:

One becomes two, two becomes three, and out of the third comes the one as the fourth.

Psychologist Carl Jung was fascinated by it as I was, but our interpretations of it greatly differ.

But they do not conflict.

He merely sees one application, and I another.

Chaser is slowly coming back to life.

Slow heat.

And when it does finally arrive, it will not be the same as it was the first time.

Yet the alchemy will still be there, but in a more subtle and sophisticated way.

Start small, and move on to something bigger without getting lost in the translation.

As above, so below.

No propaganda.

That’s not alchemic.

And propaganda has no place in Edenic equations.

Because the goal of all alchemists is to die and go to Eden.

Not Heaven.

You aim higher, or settle for more.

Alchemy is not well understood by the emotionally illiterate, but for those of us whose hearts and souls are naked for the world to see and are brave, we get it.

It is the noble art of taking your broken pieces and fusing it with the gold of wisdom.

And it makes Kintsugi a form of alchemy.

But it is not the only one.

If journalism was once a form of alchemy, then its alternative is a better version of it because it didn’t stumble blindly.

It crawled before it learned to walk and then soar.

It understands the four stages: nigredo, albedo, citrinitas, and rubedo.

Blackness, whitness, yellowness, and redness.

It is also the four colours of the Four Horses of the Apocalypse.

But it all depends if you understand the direction alchemy is supposed to take you.

Higher than you thought you could reach, against all impossible odds where nothing and no one can either stop you or move you.

You cannot be intimidated, nor can you be manipulated.

You are the core. You are in a radical centre.

You are the atom of truth and reality.

Even in dreams.

And when you become unleashed, you can alter outcomes because you have the combination of facts that actually get people to take notice.

Journalism lost that sense.

And it is why they died.

But for those of us who resurrected ourselves, we learned from our mistakes and o the mistakes of others, and like the Phoenix, we are reborn from lead and allow ourselves to make gold no matter how strongly those who do not understand our ways try to stop us from doing what comes naturally to us.

We don’t take sides. We see both sides and bring them together.

With the glue of gold.

And not even broken pieces deject us or stop us from working from our own little worlds.

It is not about left or right.

But expanding a core that has no use for artificial boundaries and linear divides.

It is about truth.

And creating life where there are nothing but omens of violence, despair, and death…

♛The Sport of Queens♛ Part Three: The Madness of Queens

In this instalment of The Sport of Queens, Joan the Mad unleashes her insanity for the sanest of reasons…

Cleopatra looked at the Mighty Queen Nzinga and shook her head. “You just had to tweak Joan the Mad’s nose again, didn’t you?”

“This force blocking our path is made from the madness of those who have lost their sanity in the waking world. Joan is the only one here who understands that mind’s fragmented language.”

“But what if she breaks and we cannot get her back to us?”

“Then I will jump that wall and join her as my penance. However, I do believe she can converse with that wall and come out of it in one piece.”

“But why is there a wall?” asked Victoria, “To block us?”

“Perhaps,” said Nzinga, “But after I had been drenched in that sporkle, I had wished to find the solution to our dilemma, and then Joan came to me, and she never does. I believe this substance is the essence of stars that compels it to make wishes come true. It is a spore with sparkle.”

“Sporkle,” sighed Mary.

“Joanie!” Queen Maria shouted as her sister in arms began to walk unsteadily toward the Vortex of Living Insanity, “Be careful! It is not worth losing your essence to a wicked beast.”

“It is not a beast,” said Joan she reached the outer layer and went on her hands and knees to examine it, “It is my mind on the outside.”

“It’s a trap! Be careful!” shouted a distressed Grace O’Malley, “Joanie! It’s not your madness! It causes madness to those in the waking world! It is a virus that feeds on the souls of those who become infected.”

“It is my mind. It is my own mind…”

Just as Joan the Mad touched the vortex to caress it lovingly, it nipped her finger.

“Traitor!” she howled with rage, “I gave you love and you gave me hate!”

“Oh no,” said Catherine the Great as she pushed herself to the front, “What has she done? Joanie, come back here before it devours you!”

Queen Joan began to scream as her words suddenly became visible, but unintelligible – each was frozen and shattered into razor-sharp shards that cause the vortex to bleed.

“Joanie!” screamed Cleopatra as she ran toward her, “Come back!”

But Joanie began to laugh, grabbed one of the shards of her broken words, and tore open the vortex as a sea of blood surrounded her before it became a wall separating her from her companions.

Then the wall became a thunderous cloud and shattered, leaving nothing but a laughing vortex in its wake, causing the queens to feel its madness as if it were their own and Queen Victoria grabbed the queens as she pushed them aside to safety until she got them all safely away from the vibrations of madness.

Himiko held her head as she looked around. “I have been in the Otherworldly for many moons, and never I felt something so wrong and overpowering.”

“That’s madness for you,” said a grim Grace O’Malley, “It knows our wavelengths and it tried to take us, too.”

“Nina,” said Vikki to Queen Nzinga, “That madness just devoured Joanie.”

“I had not anticipated that.”

“Because it feasts on insanity, and now it has a queenly version of it. We are now without a queen and with an enemy that can unbalance us at any time.”

“What can we do?” asked Queen Elizabeth the First.

“Wait,” said Mary, “Juana la Loca is a queen regnant.”

“So?” asked Cleopatra.

“Now it knows the ways of a queen regnant, but there is another sort of queen – a queen consort. We replace Joanie with a consort until we figure out how to reverse this nonsense.”

“A different kind of queen, meaning a different set of rules.”

“Any particular queen consort in mind?” asked Catherine.

“There is Queen Draga of Serbia, who was slaughtered. She already knows the ways of being devoured by an army.”

“Her husband was smitten with her against his mother’s wishes, and he exiled her,” said Grace, “The people never liked her, and when rumours circulated that her brother would be made heir to the throne, the army was sent in to killed them both rather gorily, stabbing them to death in their pajamas and then throwing their bodies over a balcony right into a dung heap. She isn’t an Edenite, and I doubt we’d find her in Heaven.”

“I don’t think she’d be in Hell for what it’s worth because it’s not a sin in the Sport of Queens,” replied Maria, “But where would we find her?”

Nina smirked as she raised an eyebrow. “She was murdered.

Himiko gasped. “Of course, one of the Women of Orchid would know. They give orchids to the Fallen and Draga would qualify.”

“Draga would seek them out,” added Vikki pensively, “She’d want to know of the injustice of her waking world fate.”

“Where are the Orchids these days?” asked Lizzie, “I hear the male companion has flown the coop to go back to the waking world to cause a ruckus.”

“There are three of them hanging about, and my best guess if we post one of us at the Sorting Station, we’ll run into one of them,” said Mary.

Catherine nodded. “Some of us will have to deal with that Vortex. If this sporkle that Nina found has any wish-granting powers, perhaps we can wish for Joanie to come back to us unharmed.”

“Agreed,” said Maria, “But one of us does have to pick up a replacement queen first.”

“I’ll do it,” said Nina, “After all, it was my idea to send Juana la Luna to reconnoiter that mass of insanity in the first place. If I speak to their leader, she will tell me.”

“And if she doesn’t” asked Vikki.

“I am certain I can decollate her even in the Otherworldly and use her head as a reminder that no one defies the command of a Queen.”

“I pray for her sake, that she is the accommodating sort,” said Himiko.

Nina nodded regally and walked toward the Sorting Station as she used her own will to create a mighty sword that looked as sharp and fierce as the queen holding it.


The Mighty Queen Nzinga sighed as she looked regally bored at the groups of recently arrived at the Sorting Station. Some were the sort to immediately get whisked away to Heaven, while others were the sort to wind up in Hell. None would be queens, and their lack of good breeding showed. She waited patiently until a beautiful black woman came to console a group of children who were murdered by their mother and pinned orchids of their shirts. The woman had one blue eye and one brown eye.

That was the leader of the anarchist activists known as the Women of Orchid.

Queen Nzinga sauntered over. “You are the leader I wish to seek.”

Belinda Markey looked up. “Who are you? I can tell that you weren’t murdered.”

“I lived to a ripe old age and died peacefully. I am Queen Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba and I have come to speak with you.”

“With a sword?”

“It has its own message should my first fall on deaf ears.”

Belinda looked angry. “A threat to my essence? What kind of nonsense is that? I had a murderer kill me because things like that wouldn’t persuade me! Now if you want something, put down the toy and speak your peace, Your Majesty.”

Queen Nzinga looked impressed. “You are a sister in arms. I have heard much about your valour and bravery.”

“They couldn’t put me in Hell or stop me.”

Queen Nzinga made the sword vanish. “I am looking for a Queen consort that may be among your ranks. Queen Draga of Serbia.”

“What about her?”

“There is horrific imbalance in the universe and ten Queens have been dispatched to stop it, though one of our rank has fallen into a sentient vortex of living madness, and now it knows the sport of queens regnant, but not of queens consort…”

“And Draga is a queen consort.”

“She managed to exiled her mother-in-law and nearly got her brother to be heir to the throne when her mother-in-law’s army slaughtered her and her husband.”

“The son who exiled her.”

“Yes, her mindset is cunning enough for the job. We need to speak with her immediately. The fate of existence rests in finding a replacement to Juana la Luna.”

“Juana la Luna?”

“Joan the Mad.”

“She wears an orchid, I can tell you that much. I can relay the message, but it is up to her to decide if she wishes to join you – or if you can trust her.”

“She is not an Edenite. We must do our best given the horrific turn of events. Joanie was our friend and we all loved her despite her sorrowful disposition.”

Belinda looked sympathetic as she nodded. “I will do my best, your majesty. If the Orchids can do anything more…”

“We will let you know.”

Queen Nzinga walked away and vanished to rejoin her fellow Queens as the clock begin to tick louder and the air felt darker and colder around them…

To be continued…

STEM-education doesn't have the same problems as the Humanities...so why isn't j-schools moving over to STEM?

My alma mater McMaster University does not get back to me when I give them proposals to transform journalism education, but they are hiring for the following bird course:

Date of Posting: 15 Nov. 2018 to 29 Nov. 2018 (inclusive)
Department Contact: Shelley Anderson, Program Administrator
Arts & Science Program, LRW-3038
Course Name/Number: ARTSSCI 3IE1/ Interdisciplinary Experiences:
A Celebration of Winter as Place
Term: January 2019 to April 2019
Number of Section(s) Available: 2 sections (C09 & C10)
Number of Units per Section: 1 unit
Location (on/off campus): Central Campus
Projected Enrollment: 30
Projected TA Support: N/A
Start time and Duration: To be scheduled, Winter term
Wage Rate*: $2,469 (1/3 of $7,407/3 unit course) as per Schedule
A of the CUPE, Local 3906, Unit 2 Collective
Agreement

Course Description
Winter is the misunderstood season. This module will explore winter as a fundamental expression of Canadian identity through the lenses of history, geography, and literature. While travelling by snowshoes and skis, and of course sitting around the fire, we will examine key stories and characters in our Canadian understanding of winter, including Franklin, wendigos, Sam Magee, and Grey Owl. This exploration will also include the “idea of North” and the Norwegian friluftsliv approach to winter outdoor life. The central goal is to embrace the winter season as a “place” in our personal psyche and Canadian consciousness.

A long, rambling sentence, kids.

A celebration of winter as place?

Really, Mac?

What kind of job can students get trying to positively spin the deadliest season that is heartless to the sick and homeless?

You cannot be serious about this opening.

Though I understand that one of your Commerce professors was doing his job so badly, students filed a petition and he was removed.

Where is that innovation Mac was once renowned for?

Is it hiding under your bed and you have mistaken it for a monster to fear?

Come, come, you are home to the Marauders, live up to the ferocious name, please.

You used to be very innovative. Once upon a time you were trail-blazers.

And now you are giving away degrees by offering garbage like that.

I do not want to knock my psychology degree, but if you don’t listen to empirical reason, that’s what’s going to happen.

But it isn’t just McMaster that does very foolish things when it comes to the Humanities, that has become the sewer of academia.

STEM-disciplines may have their numerous faults, but it is about having reality-based goals that confront problems, not avoid them.

Journalism education was more Humanities, than Social Science or Sciences, and it is the reason it imploded.

I feel like the lone sane person who is trying to bring change to the way universities deal with how they teach young minds who lack the experience or the savvy to know how their thinking is being restricted and not expanded.

Yes, it is a shameful waste of resources of both the taxpayers, donors, and students, but the waste will blithely continue until enough people put their foot down and demand that Humanities begin to show STEM-like discipline and revolutionize their archaic and frivolous ways...

Toxic is the word of the year? You don't say!

Oxford Dictionary has decreed that the word of 2018 is toxic.

You don’t say!

The National Post has always been the Establishment’s best friend. They are sycophants to the Man, and do all that they can to scorn and deride anyone who dares question an authority figure.

Of course, that is propaganda, and the Post is nothing more than propaganda.

Christie Blatchford has made a living being a managandist, and she does her best to push around a university student who did not like a speech from a police officer and lodged a complaint against him to the Edmonton Police Service and demanded he be suspended.

In the column, Blatchford appeals to authority, and decrees that if other students didn’t mind, then the student was wrong, but then repeatedly makes fun of the young woman’s surname, as if that was a legitimate reason to put her down.

If you have to stoop to making fun of someone’s name, then you have no argument. That is bullying, and when you are picking on someone who has less clout than you and you are belittling them for complaining against an authority figure, you are indulging in cowardice.

People will complain and if something bothers them, they should. It doesn’t mean they will get results or be seen as correct by others, but that’s called feedback.

And if you have a problem, you should still speak up because there are times when you are right.

When you are young, you have to learn to complain and you should speak up and learn from trial and error. You will not be right every time. You will not get results every time, but you do not become discouraged just become some timid troll misuses a media outlet to try to break you into silence because they are slaves to the minion mindset.

And memo to Blatchford: a veteran police officer doesn’t a mommy hack to defend him, unless, of course, you think he is not competent enough to do so himself.

But 2018 has been a very toxic year.

In the US, voters didn’t get an actual platform from either the Democrats or Republicans, but cheered that they keep voting in the same patterns, thinking they have made progress. If voters weren’t drowning in toxic propaganda, they would have demanded both parties give them a reason to vote for them, and should have lodged complaints that they have two political parties that are allegedly different, but believe they are entitled to rule just because they are special.

Toxic.

And CNN and Jim Accosta are prematurely celebrating because a judge ruled being a spoiled brat is glorious and that immaturity and a lack of producing factual reports is no reason to revoke press credentials.

I wouldn’t spin the ruling as a victory for CNN. Trump has lost in court before, but consistently gets the last laugh, and his own way in a more unpredictable second round. Doug Ford lost in court when he slashed the number of seats on Toronto City Council, but he pulled out the notwithstanding clause, and the election went ahead with a leaner council.

And speaking of Ford, the Toronto Star has childish toxicity, decreeing in an editorial that, golly, life isn’t fair:

Ontarians did not sign up for deep cuts in services

So what? People don’t sign up for getting cancer, either. Reality doesn’t heed to what you will and will not “sign up” for, and Ontarians have been very stupid by allowing the previous regime to amass such a colossal debt that the next entity that owes more is an actual country.

But Ontario signed up for trouble because they thought they were getting something for nothing. Teachers threw fits because they wanted more than what the province actually had to give.

So yes, Toronto Star, Ontarians did sign up for it. They allowed themselves to be self-entitled and nannied for years, and then abandoned the party who enabled that to happen. Voters got greedy, and voted for the NDP, and the house of cards collapsed.

It is called consequences.

And voters in Ontario do have to take some responsibility and stop throwing temper tantrums in order to grow up and get the house in order.

A premier is not a concierge who is in charge of making you happy. The job is to guide and make complex and complicated decisions based on the bottom line and the resources at hand. Sometimes inequality is the most pressing matter and that is what needs top priority. Sometimes youth cannot find work because they have been inadequately prepared by those teachers who want even more for doing less, and that needs to be straightened out.

And sometimes the place is broke and needs to work on paying down their debt.

But a toxic editorial wants to incite people so that there is an identifiable people can blame for the woes of their own making.

An honest one looks at the books and reports on the numbers and sources of income.

But the toxicity has made people complacent: they have no facts to guide them.

Just toxic propaganda.

Facts are the cure for toxicity, but they are in scarce supply these days, and the stupidity and barbarism runs rampant unchecked…

The Cult of the Enterprising Chicken Littles: It's the end of the world...unless you do what we tell you.

The Guardian has been brazen in begging for money, and it shouldn’t be surprising that to force people to use their product, they are now stooping to doomsday propaganda to give an impression that the world cannot survive with the Guardian.

Take a look at this column for instance:

The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us

And let me guess: we have to do what a wealthy Leftist cabal decrees is right.

Big Brother, you are relentless in trying to scare us into compliance.

And this is brazen.

We know how the “iGen” cohort are fragile and dependent on their godphones, and we have shameless news outlets trying to frighten them into being dependent on them and the masters they serve.

Humans cannot help their manipulative little selves: if it isn’t gods and devils who are going to destroy the Earth, it is foreigners, and if it is’t foreigners, it’s Mother Nature.

Just stop.

Stop trying to manipulate people with fear-mongering. No wonder this generation have become timid, dysfunctional, and defeated. They think there is no tomorrow.

And journalists should remember if there is a generation who think there is no tomorrow, they are not going to buy your product because there is no point.

And stop being exploiters, Guardian. Your stealth paranoia isn’t going to save your tomorrow, either…

The Sucker Circus: The Good Samaritan Hoax is exposed.

The middle class love their feel-good stories.

johnny-bobbitt-1.jpg

And journalists love spewing them because they are cheap and fact-free yarns that are easy to do and no questions asked.

Mark D'Amico, Kate McClure and Johnny Bobbitt were spinning a yarn: McClure ran out of gas, homeless Bobbitt gave her twenty dollars for gas, and she and her boyfriend D’Amico set up a GoFundMe page and netted over $400000.

And then the truth came out that the story was a scam.

And a very different picture emerged.

scam-1542317056-622.jpg

No one bothered to verify any of it, and when you are dealing with a crowdsourcing story, it is extremely important to verify.

It is a sucker circus out there, and the carnivalesque antics I have covered in 2005 in my first book.

This yarn had all of the markings of a typical grifter’s scam.

But journalists are not trained in spotting those feints and ruses.

And I have been fighting for the last two decades to change that.

But it won’t.

And you are left on your own if you want to donate money to shady people who know how to manipulate reporters…

The Goddish: All Good Authors Love Detectives

Author’s Note: This is not a regular Story Studio offering. It is a Shibboleth for those familiar with other Dangerous Woman stories, and if you don’t know anything, it will make no sense. This is literal alchemical Gibberish — the language of the birds. This is under the “Everything!” banner, and it is a meta-story with nudges, winks, nods, and in-house humour. You have been warned…

I

“…”

“Norton?”

“Verity? Verity! Is that really you?”

“Yes, darling. Are you all right?”

“We’re back on Viking Island, aren’t we, Sweetness?”

“It seems that way. Beloved Holly? Are you here?”

“Sure am, big sister. Eli?”

“He’s not here…”

“But I am…”

“Wait a minute, I know that voice…”

“It’s me, Vendel Langston…”

“Vendel?”

“Vendel?”

“Vendel? How did you end up on the edge of Viking Island?”

“I left the Otherworldly to help you all to inspire that soldier Holly’s great-granddaughter…”

“I thought that was you. You’ve really changed…”

“Well, I was stuck in Hell for several decades before winning my freedom on a game show.”

“You’re kidding. They have game shows in Hell?”

“Only one, but it is the one that counts. I left and joined the Women of Orchid who find those who were murdered to bring them together. We stumbled upon something important and I took it upon myself to find you all to warn you.”

“It was very good of you that you did.”

“Which reminds me…”

“What are you doing?”

“Pinning an orchid on your lapel as well as Verity.”

“That would suggest that were had been murdered.”

“The both of you were the first time.”

“What? Murder? I thought I died of a heart attack in my sleep.”

“It was murder. I have a sense for those things. Verity’s marking pens were poisoned. You both were going to Africa and that would have exposed the truth of who was behind all of your town’s problems. They thought if Verity was distracted by your death, she’d retreat. She was heart-broken, but then decided to find the missing Beverly Stoney, and she would have stumbled upon the truth. They couldn’t allow it.”

“My sister was murdered?”

“Yes.”

“But why did they kill us when we did nothing to them?”

“To keep secrets hidden. The same people who killed me killed the both of you.”

“I am absolutely devastated. Why didn’t I see it? That’s my sister!”

“No one could have seen it. That was the way they operated for centuries. Since I started pinning orchids on the Fallen, I had to pin many flowers on the victims of that wicked cabal. I am sorry to tell you something so distressing, Holly.”

“Where are they now so I can unleash my righteousness of them?”

Verity, it is thanks to your ideas that the Otherworldly and a Goddess are dealing with them all as we speak. Your job is done, and it is the reason you all were brought back here. And I am truly sorry.”

“For what, Vendel?”

“For not being friends with any of you when we were all still alive. I was in madly in love with Holly, and admired Verity and I never said a word. I owe you a world of apology, Norton, for standing by and allowing others to abuse you as I was very envious of you. Please forgive me.”

“Of course, Vendel. We were all different people back then.”

“I am relieved that you are out of Hell, but if you are here on Viking Island with us, it means your words are sincere and we happily accept you as one of our own.”

“…”

“Holly?”

“Beloved Holly, what is the matter?”

“Verity, someone killed you and I died of a stroke before I ever had the chance to…”

“You knew Holly. Deep down, the moment you sensed it, it killed you before you had a chance to act. It is not your fault your body was given a fatal blow.”

“Beloved Holly, do not be distressed. We are back home, and together. Time and space could not tear apart the Lake Sisters. Never forget it.”

“I have to go find Eli. I have a lot to think about right now.”

II

“Where’s Eli?” Holly asked her grandmother Alena Love who smiled.

“You still haven’t found him?”

“I second I was thrown back here, I find out Verity and Norton were murdered.”

“You do not know how outraged I am…”

“Well, so am I. How dare they? They are the two nicest, sweetest, kindest, gentlest people you could ever get to know and love, and to kill them? It’s disgusting. I want to unleash more than just my righteousness.” Holly folded her arms and looked agitated. “What am I going to do now?”

“Your husband said it’s been dealt with…”

“Eli didn’t say anything. I still can’t find him…”

“He’s not your husband here, Holly.”

“What are you saying? Vendel can’t be my husband! Can he?”

“Something has changed between the time you left and the moment you came back.”

“But what made you call him my husband, Nana?”

“I just did.”

“And you’re always right. But how did that happen?”

“A glitch!” a young man’s voice chirped brightly as Holly and Alena turned around.

“Kirkland! You’re back!”

Kirkland Hughes hugged Holly and then Alena who both greeted him warmly.

“I am, and I just spoke to the Goddess’s Messenger, and he said when you all went back to the waking world to right wrongs so you could bring your friend Jane Carrington here, you fixed quite a few glitches, but not all of them.”

“So a switch in husbands was a glitch?”

“Reality is made up of many layers and sometimes they get tangled and snarled. So, for Jane to have been able to come without a glitch the first time, you and Vendel would have fallen in love, and he would have gotten divorced and left with you to go to Queen’s Heights, giving up being a professor and become a victims’ rights activist. Verity and Norton would have still gotten married, and with the four of you all going back, Jane would have gone back because her house would have accidentally exploded…”

“Exploded?” Holly and Alena gasped at the same time.

“Right. She was too attached her home in Ottawa and that’s why she didn’t come back, but Vendel and Norton would have been bickering all the time if they were related by marriage, with Vendel trying to prove he was better than Norton because he would have felt inferior because he was married before, and Norton would have come out of his shell for the first time to stand up to Vendel because he would be emboldened by Verity after they worked it out when he confessed he used to be a cat burglar, and when Jane would have thrown a farewell party in her house, Vendel and Norton would have accidentally caused it to explode, and Jane would have seen it as a divine sign and come to Queen’s Heights with you. Nifty, huh?”

“Shocking is what it is,” said Holly, “And how could Vendel just up and go when he had children…”

“Oh no, his wife was having an affair with some poor musician, and those were all his kids. She actually loved the musician, but her parents made her marry Vendel because his parents always thought he was gay because he was really sensitive, and her parents owed his parents a lot of money. Vendel doesn’t remember her at all, but someone in the Otherworldly keeps records. She was a nice young lady whose meddlesome parents really ruined her life by selling her to decrepit people, and made her really crazy and bitter, not that you can blame her. I hear she and her kids reunited with that musician in the Orchid’s garden, and are doing great now. Vendel was even the one who pinned an orchid on them a long time ago, and he never knew who it was, and neither did she or the kids.”

Alena raised an eyebrow. “You are certainly up to the Otherworldly gossip young man.”

“I come from a small town; what else was there to do back then? But isn’t that neat? They can take an alternative reality’s outcome and bring it over here as if that is what happened all along. That’s why it’s official that Norton is now my actual brother…”

Both women gasped anew.

“I know. Mom had to bring him into the family as Hammond Hughes, but there was another glitch and Norton was actually supposed to be the eldest Hughes Brother, but his essence got mixed up with some other one, and he ended up a Dunlop, which was flagged as being a place that was deemed unsafe for him, but there was a clerical mix up somewhere. He wasn’t supposed to be born so early, but all that red tape can cause a lot of screw ups. If he was the first born, he would have talked mom into moving to Queen’s Heights, and he would have married Verity much sooner and the two would have had a daughter, but still ended up as novelists.”

“Patrice must be thrilled,” said Alena.

“That’s why she told me to find everyone to throw a party. My other three brothers are moving here permanently, so it will be the first time where all five of the Hughes Brothers are together.”

“Do you know where Eli is?” asked Holly.

“He’s with my mom right now and she’s scolding him as usual.”

“Does he know what happened?”

“Sure, and he’s fine with it. Your daughter will still be your daughter and his; and that’s a glitch, but it’s like you both were never married and got divorced at the same time. That’s why the Otherworldly can be so confusing. Oh, and Jane’s here with her son Douglas. Verity and Norton are welcoming her right now. Are you two coming?”

Holly nodded, but she never felt so lost or devastated before. The shock of her sister’s murder was a blow, but that a single turn in the Otherworldly altered her marital state was an equal blow. Somehow, she had to sort things out for herself.

III

When Holly was alive and she had problems to work though, she would sit under her grandmother Alena’s birch tree and doodle. The birch tree was still growing strong in the waking world, and though Viking Island was filled with beautiful trees, none of them were the tree.

She frowned as she looked at all of the beauty and remembered this was the same way Verity behaved when she first came to Viking Island. Trouble was outside of paradise and Verity knew it. Their dear friend Jane Carrington wanted to come, but the Otherworldly said it was impossible, and that unleashed Verity’s righteousness and she left to inspire people in the waking world to wake up.

It worked, and the Otherworldly relented, and Jane was now officially here along with her grown son Douglas.

Jane was even given the title of Matriarch, and that meant she was their advocate and guardian.

Everyone was overjoyed, and Holly was happy that was resolved.

But something was not sitting right with her.

And she was certain she could find it. Verity always had a knack for finding presents, and when she went back, she found the gift they all needed: truth.

But Holly had a knack for finding lost things, and she knew it wasn’t in Hell or below it, and it wasn’t on Earth or Heaven.

It wasn’t in Eden or else Holly would know where to look.

There was only one other place to look and she look up, raised her eyebrow, and snapped her fingers.

No one ever thought to look in Eden’s attic.

The sky could be the limit, and she wondered if there was something above the cloud up there that would hold some sort of answer.

The question was how to get up there, until she saw Florence Tenney who was co-owner of Queen’s Heights’ hardware emporium Weavers and Tenney.

She walked up to her old friend and told her what she needed.

Florence nodded. “You need a ladder.”

“Do they even have ladders on Viking Island?”

“Are you kidding? This is part of Eden now, and how could this place be paradise for me if there aren’t any ladders?”

“Good point.”

“Why do you need a ladder?”

“I want to examine that cloud. I think it is hiding something.”

“Trouble in paradise?”

“Or hanging over our heads.”

Florence went to get a ladder and she returned with an opulent one made of gold. Holly climbed up to reach the cloud, and gasped before coming quickly down.

“It is an attic! And there are two very shocking things.”

“Do not keep friends in suspense.”

“There is a Hell above us if you open the latch.”

“There’s a latch in a cloud?”

“Yes.”

“And there is a Hell?”

“They were all having some sort of cocktail party, and if you die in the Otherworldly, there is a level above.”

“And if you were bad in the afterlife…”

“You go to a different Hell. It’s still for the bad, but for the not-as-wicked. It is very strange. They thought I was some hayseed beneath them.”

“My word, Holly, you do find some strange things. But you said there are two things you found.”

“I found glitches.”

“Glitches?”

IV

When Holly told Verity of her findings, they immediately climbed up the ladder to examine the cloud that was an attic-warehouse filled with them.

Verity examined them with interested as Holly animatedly explained her findings.

“When Kirkland said there were glitches, I thought he meant in the hypothetical sense,” said Verity pensively, “But these little orbs are peculiar, and remind me of a snow globe.”

“Everyone in the Otherworldly talks about them, but they stick them all up in that cloud not to litter the place with them. It is bad enough that there are so many ducks in Heaven that poor people keep stepping on.” She picked one up. “I can feel its essence and it is familiar to me.”

“They are in different states of evolution. They all vibrate on different frequencies, and they have a soul, too, and they keep chattering about needing to be repaired. I don’t like them.”

“Why not?”

“It’s like everything is so tenuous, and less certain. Who’s to say someone else doesn’t fix a glitch and then you’re not my sister anymore.”

“I will always be your sister, Beloved Holly. These glitches to affect what transpired in the waking world. It merely removes the barriers of alternate outcomes and merges them together to get the best of all worlds.”

“But if Norton was born a Hughes, you never would have had your three boys.”

“Perhaps, but I do have them no matter how many glitches a corrected. Norton and I would have been together no matter what. We were together based on impossible odds in the waking world. There are two other possibilities and we managed to be together for both. When we went back to the waking world to inspire others, we reunited and found one another.”

“But I didn’t stay married to Eli. We were very happily married.”

“But you would have been happy with Vendel.”

“But you and Norton are soul mates.”

“As you were with Eli. The only difference is you would have been with another had circumstances been different. You have always been grounded, and you followed your dreams wherever they took you. You should be grateful that your life is one with many happy outcomes.”

“Except not finding Beverly Stoney…”

“We inspired two others to find her. We did find her in a different way…”

“But the matter of your murder…”

“Again, we went back to inspire those same two women, and we prevailed. One does not need to be confined by a few decades of a lifetime when there is eternity. Your fateful painting turned our town’s fortunes around. There is much to celebrate.”

“Except that orchid on your blouse. You have one, and I don’t. It’s like a huge dividing line.”

“How so? This flower represents how you were wronged as much as I was. Your death was triggered by mine, and you were no less a casualty.”

“It’s just not what I expected when we came back. I am just shaken, Verity.”

“As you were when Norton came to Queen’s Heights to propose to me, and then you embraced his survival and his inclusion in our lives and it was many years of joy that blessed us. Jane is here with us as is Douglas. The entire Hughes clan is here, and Norton is formally recognized as being part of the family he cherished and loved with reverence and gratitude. Eli is safe and happy, and no worse for it. He will find love again as he deserves it. Vendel is out of Hell, and here where he always longed to be as he has triumphed over every one of his demons and your essence inspired him to do it. Besides, everyone who left Viking Island is back, and we even have a Goddess as our guardian as Her parcel of Eden has merged with our own.”

“I didn’t hear about it.”

“She came to congratulate us along with Her companion and Messenger. Thomasina is a lovely woman who is as kind as She is brave. Her companion is quite an endearing sentimental oddball, and he adores Her. We should go back and inform the others of these glitches. Perhaps if we sort through them, listen to them, and repair them, there will be less trouble in the universe, and it can finally begin to heal. You did well, Beloved Holly. You effortlessly found the source of many vexing troubles, and we may soon be on the way infinite solutions.”

Verity gave her sister a reassuring hug as Holly closed her eyes and was grateful that she always had her big sister to guide her and calm her, but now she had someone else she had to speak to before she could begin to feel at ease.

V

Vendel held Holly tightly as he swayed with her the moment she came to speak with him. He longed to hold her ever since he first met her, and now she no longer seemed upset by the fantastical turn of events.

When she explained why they were never together in the waking world, he was shocked.

“So these glitches are real entities?”

“Very much so.”

He sighed. “They may be a buffer between Eden and the upper level Hell you saw.”

“They are not the most pleasant neighbors around.”

“The Hell below it was even worse, though I suppose Eden is their Place Below Hell.” He chuckled in amusement. “What is up is down and what is down is up. It is a spiral staircase where you encounter all of the same problems as before, but only a story higher.”

“You think it can help your friends find their loved ones?”

“If some of these glitches are responsible, then it is a matter of finding them. Belinda and Sharon was be thrilled if that happens to be the case, but to think one of these glitches kept us apart is heart-wrenching. I always thought there was no way you could love, or would have considered a divorced man with children. It pains me to think how shallow I was, but that I no longer remember them is no less painful.”

“No memory at all?”

“I could not tell you how many, their names or genders, and not even how old they were and what they looked like. I know I was married with children because when I was sent to Hell, the reason was how I treated my family.”

“What about your parents?”

“I used to remember them at first, but when I left Hell, they began to fade from memory. They brought me nothing but sorrow, but when I forgave them and let go of the pain they brought me and the consequences that plagued my tortured life, they no longer were in my memories, but that is far less unsettling than forgetting about your offspring, even if they turned out not to be mine.”

“It would have to be. You did raise them. There are attachments and bonds, and I never would have stood in the way of your relationship with your children, Vendel, even if they weren’t your flesh and blood. There is nothing wrong with being attached to children you raised and nothing wrong with being a stepmother.”

“I must have made them all profoundly unhappy in the waking world, and when they found the man my wife truly loved, they bonded with him. It’s as if everything that I had done wrong in the waking world corrected itself here. There are no more bad memories of me to plague them, and it is just as well.”

“What about your friends the Orchids? Do they have memory gaps?”

“Sharon still recalls her husband, but only because he murdered her. Belinda recalls her father abusing her. It was the traumas they brought that keep those memories alive, but neither has seen either tormentor. I think they keep those memories alive to fuel their drive in bringing attention to the Fallen. Jenna has no one in her life that brought her misery, and she remembers her family vividly, but she is no less passionate an advocate.”

“They sound like fighters with grit.”

“They are three wonderful women and you will like them very much when you meet them. I still need to help them, and I will always be an Orchid myself, but now that Viking Island is my home, it will be a place where I spend much of my time.” Vendel looked at the orchid on his lapel and sighed.

“It’s hard to see that flower now. I see it on Verity and it shakes me to the core.”

“It is a symbol. We are those who are the Fallen, Holly. We were ordinary, extraordinary, and yet have that one thing in common. We serve as a reminder of how cruel we are to one another. They hide it in the waking world, but not here. Once the Orchids began to draw attention to it, things here began to change, and glitches were exposed because life would have taken very different turns had we lived. Your sister did the right thing in going back to inspire. She retained all of her memories and she could guide those in the waking world. Belinda does it with her detective friend through dreams, and when she was in a coma, met her here, but even then, she had forgotten everything she wanted to warn her about because the chords of time work differently here.”

“Maybe the glitches hold a key.”

“They must. When my friends come her for a visit, I will have to show them that cloud.”

“We can invite over for dinner.”

Vendel looked surprised at Holly, and suddenly felt his soul expand with joy as he pulled her in for a long and loving kiss. Glitches may have kept them apart, but they were now doing their penance and seemed to be working overtime to bring them together the way it was always intended.

VI

Verity was busy talking with Jane when she saw Holly running toward her just as Thomasina’s messenger summoned her to come over and the women went their separate ways, but not before promising to have a feast of manna later on.

“What is it, Beloved Holly?”

“Verity, have you had any revelations in the Otherworldly?”

“None at all.”

Holly looked at her and smiled. “I think it’s the glitches that gave them to you.”

“How so?”

“Because these cosmic mistakes that get all thrown into the same pile, and then it all is supposed to work themselves out.”

“The is the very definition of chaos.”

“This is the reason you had revelations, Verity. You kept stumbling on these glitches. I just don’t know if they were meant to distract you or warn you.”

“I saw them, and I worked them out, improving on things already in existence. Perhaps some of us are given a few of them in order to work out their equations. They are a very peculiar notion, and difficult to see.”

“But I can see them, big sister. Vendel was never supposed to be born outside of Queen’s Heights. He’s one of us. Norton was supposed to move here as a teenager from Somerset along with Patrice and her four sons. There are so many things that should have been, but weren’t. Kirkland wasn’t supposed to die young, and you, Norton, and Vendel weren’t supposed to be murdered. It’s as if the glitches are some sort of interference. It’s not as if we never have problems, but these are major shifts and upheavals. Vendel and I have been examining those glitches, and that’s how we know.”

“It is utterly fascinating, but have you had any revelations about their essence?”

“Yes. Glitches do get corrected, that’s why people who were obscure in the past become icons a century after they die. The glitch in the Otherworldly gets flagged and corrected, and eventually, the waking world gets wind of it. Norton was never supposed to become a cat burglar, let alone get arrested and held a hostage where he got abused. You found him in the nick of time because that glitch got discovered because your watch broke open and you saw his message. The glitch would have killed him, but it got straightened out.”

“You always had the gift of finding lost things, Beloved Holly.”

Holly smiled. “And you always had the gift of finding presents before you were supposed to get them.”

“Perhaps finding revelations was a form of me finding presents.” Verity paused. “You seem deep in thought.”

“There is a mystery here, but I was thinking about something you said to me when I was down thinking about everything I found out since we got back to Viking Island.”

“Yes?”

“I was shaken that Eli and I weren’t considered married anymore.”

“He is still with us, and neither of you forgot one another.”

“I thought about that, and it’s just strange seeing Vendel like that.”

“Happy? Easy-going? Modest?”

“Gentle and strong at the same time. If he had been like that from the beginning…”

“He would have never wished to be a professor and you two would have most likely met each other at some protest or another as you became in love while you were both unleashing your righteousness.”

Holly chuckled. “That’s why he doesn’t remember big chunks of his life.”

“They weren’t supposed to be there, and the Otherworldly corrected it.”

“It just got me thinking about free will and fate.”

“There is plenty of free will, even if there were no glitches. There are infinite possibilities. The glitches occur when we just think we our intellect and forget to think with our hearts with equal measure.”

“It explains a lot, and of course you would know so much about them. You kept stumbling on them in the waking world and they gave you revelations.”

“That I no longer have, Beloved Holly.”

“Because here they are right in front of us in that cloud.”

“They are peculiar.”

“If you touch one, you can feel the possibilities that glitch stymied. It is like a story with many threads, but one big knot tangled it and prevented it from weaving.”

“They are inspiring little mysteries and they have inspired me to become a detective here.”

Holly looked at Verity. “A detective?”

She smiled. “Why not? You were one when we were in the waking world, and you a brilliant one.”

“I never thought you’d want to do it.”

“I had many responsibilities back then. First my career, and then when I married Norton, he had been physically weakened by the horrid abuse his captors had done to his body. He had been traumatized, but determined never to hold me back, and then we had our boys and our novels. We joined you on your little mysteries frequently, and we enjoyed them, but we also had to guard our own from predators, and we had to guide the Heights to make it strong and prepared. Now that we are free from those responsibilities, we can indulge any way we wish. Jane has her Matriarchal duties. Nana has returned to look after Viking Island. Vendel is still chronicling the Fallen. You have glitches to explore. I need my own purpose, Beloved Holly, and it is to be a detective of the Otherworldly.”

Just then, Norton came over, placed his arm around his wife’s waist and gave her a kiss on the cheek. “What’s going on?”

“I have decided to become a detective in this realm.”

“Whatever for?”

“To amuse myself.”

“Mind if I join you?”

“I’d love nothing more.”

“I think I may have a mystery for you to solve already.”

“Yes, darling?”

“My chest feels funny.”

“Funny?”

“It hasn’t stopped tickling me since we came back.”

“Have you been thinking of something humorous?”

“The idea of Vendel and I being related by marriage is quite strange…”

Verity watched as Norton suddenly made a comical face of surprised and looked around.

“Is there a problem?”

“No, but I’ll be back, Verity.”

“What is it, darling?”

“I have to jump over this roman numeral because I think I have stumbled on to something important.”

VII

“Excuse me? You, the one typing.”

“What is it, Norton?”

“You’re the Author of this story, aren’t you?”

“I am.”

“Can you hear me?”

“I can read your words as I type them.”

“What was the meaning of having me lose my left leg? That wasn’t very nice.”

“I hadn’t thought of going to that extreme, but when I was writing Dr. Verity Lake’s Journey of a Thousand Revelations, my own grandmother had her own leg amputated, and then I dealt with her loss that way, and the story made more sense.”

“That’s still a rotten thing to do.”

“Listen, I gave your leg back to you; besides, it was a rotten thing to have happened to a nice lady like her.”

“So, what now?”

“What do you mean what now?”

“What bad thing is going to happen to me now? I became a cat burglar, got arrested, tortured, nearly killed, went through a war zone, was murdered…”

“And you’re still a living figment whom I adore. What happens to you in paradise is going to be surreal and fun. Besides, you have the love of your life by your side, and Verity loves you. What more do you want?”

“I wish I could meet you to see what you’re like. Are you more like Verity or Holly?”

“Everyone says I am just like Holly.”

“Interesting. How did you come up with her?”

“Holly?”

“Yes.”

“She came to me in a dream, and so did Verity in another dream, but they weren’t presented to me as sisters. When I started writing, Verity was never supposed to be present in my stories, but then I changed my mind. Holly and Eli would talk about her, but she would not be a character.”

“I suppose it’s a good thing because then I wouldn’t be mentioned in those stories.”

“You would have as Hammond Hughes.”

“What about Norton Dunlop?”

“That was another character separate from the Hammond Hughes stories. Norton was supposed to go to jail and die. The end.”

What?

“I took two different characters and then merged them: villain and a hero. That’s how you got a second reprieve.”

“What do you mean second?”

“After I wrote the Turning Leaves, I thought you had another story in you; so I wrote one more where you didn’t die after all, but would have after a botched assignment, and then realized I was too hard on you, and then saw what you had in common with Hammond Hughes and inspiration struck.”

“The man divided?”

“Yes.”

“So the Turning Leaves is the story where I began?”

“Yes, and then the Man with the Broken Stick, but then I was inspired to write a novel called Dr. Verity Lake’s Journey of a Thousand Revelations where your heart and soul spoke to me, and I learned to appreciate you. Then came the novella The Future According to Hammond Hughes, and all those stories based on your three sons.”

“I am in shock.”

“It was your sweet disposition from both your halves that told me there was more to you than being a mere thief.”

“So, you write the way I wrote. My characters did the same thing with me.”

“We have that in common, and from that, a bond.”

“I understand it completely. It’s the same way I feel about Pillar Rivers. So, if I have a need to talk to you, will you be there for me?”

“Of course, Norton. As long as I am alive.”

“Please be kind to my boys and my wife.”

“Of course.”

“And don’t do something to tear us apart.”

“Your marriage is safe, Norton. I know it means the world to you and Verity.”

“I didn’t like that whole part where I was coming on to Holly in that story where I stole a book, the Turning Leaves. That was so shameful.”

“All right, Norton.”

“That was also very cruel and disrespectful, and I wasn’t even in love with her. I knew it was just not like me in the slightest.”

“I got the memo.”

“And marrying me to some very mean woman was just horrible.”

“Do you even remember her?”

“No, but I know it happened, and that was just not the kind of dramatic plot twist I would have ever signed up for. I am a very romantic fellow, you know, and a bad marriage is just not in the cards for a passionate man like me.”

“Point taken.”

“I mean, I love Verity with all my heart.”

“I was there when you proposed to her, Norton.”

“Were you there on our wedding night?”

“I wrote about it…”

“Oh, why?”

“Because it was part of the story.”

“Look, just because you’re the author, it doesn’t mean that we don’t need ground rules: no writing about our love lives. It’s too…too…”

“Sexy?”

“Don’t say it!”

“For a figment, you are very bossy. I have cats for that.”

“I am lobbying for our rights, you know.”

“You ought to go over to the stories of the Dream Detective. Her friend Atticus the Soulfinder is an advocate for figments. I am going to bed, Norton. It is past two o’clock in the morning, and besides house hunting, I have homework to finish from Harvard University. I will write the last scene of you and Verity dancing together in paradise. All right?”

“Then, I’m off to the last segment of this story.”

“See you on the other side of the roman numeral, my friend.”

“Wait!”

“Yes?”

“I don’t even know your name.”

“It’s Alexandra Kitty.”

“That is a very nice sounding name, Alexandra.”

“Thank you.”

“So why did you give me a name like Norton Dunlop?”

“It was symbolic. Norton means a farm to the north. Dunlop means a muddy hill.”

“Oh.”

“Anything else?”

“No, I want to dance with my wife in paradise as we bask in our love and good fortune. It’s what every good-hearted man could ever ask for, and you gave to me. Thank you, and good night and pleasant dreams!”

“Is that supposed to be a sly reference to one of my other stories?”

“What other story? The one about the dream detective?”

“We’ll talk about that some other time. Your sweetness awaits you!”

VIII

Verity chuckled as Norton told her of his exchange with their Creator as they danced in the home on Viking Island.

“It is a she?” Verity asked they waltzed effortlessly across the floor.

“And her name is Alexandra.”

“It is a lovely name.”

“I thought so.”

“It must have been quite the exchange.”

“I didn’t know someone could just go and do that – talk to the one who created you, and then they talked right back, and had nice things to say about you. I am starting to enjoy our second spell in the Otherworldly.”

“As am I, darling.”

“We all seem to have new things to occupy our time. Holly has her glitches, Vendel is back chronicling the Fallen, Jane is our Matriarch, I have made a major discovery in how we came to be, and you have a new job as a detective.”

Verity kissed Norton on the lips. “As thrilling as our new escapades shall be, I would rather be dancing with you here. I always knew you were a strong and capable dancer.”

“I used to enjoy it as I wasted it on those I never loved, and when we finally got together, my cane got in the way. Now, where were, Sweetness?”

“In paradise, my darling. In paradise.”

And the two danced as they laughed and swayed to the rhythm of their hearts and souls as the Author smiled as she felt those figments’ kindness and love.

But just as Verity touched Norton’s chest, she jolted her head back.

“Norton, I do believe I have solved the mystery of why your chest feels funny.”

Norton stopped dancing. “Don’t keep loving and devoted husbands in suspense.”

“I do believe there is a small child in there.”

“A small child?” Norton gasped with a comical expression of shock on his face, “Now how could there be a…”

Just then, a beam of light flew out of Norton’s chest and when the light vanished, a small boy appeared before them. Verity looked surprised, but Norton gasped and began to weep as he crouched down and held the boy tightly.

“Billy!” he shouted as the boy cried, “How did you get in there?”

“When I hung myself, I saw myself there, and when I was floating to go away forever, you came into my room and tried to save me, and I jumped in your heart and stayed there.”

Verity crouched down and caressed the boy’s head as she looked at her husband. “This is the young orphan you were asked to study, but could not find an adoptive home after his parents were murdered.”

Norton nodded he kissed the boy and continued to hold him. “You’ve no idea how happy you have made me just now, Billy. I never forgot you. I always mourned you, and my last novel when I was alive, I wrote about a little boy named Billy because it was the light I could light to keep you alive in the world.”

“You did that?” asked Billy who nuzzled in.

“I wish I was a braver man back then. I was just a psychology student who stole from people, and if I had the courage back then I would have fought to adopt you.”

“You can adopt me now, can’t you?”

“What about your parents?” asked Verity, “We would love nothing more, but your parents would long to see you again.”

“I don’t remember who they are anymore. It’s been too long.”

Verity and Norton looked at each other and smiled as they nodded in unison.

“Well then, Billy,” Norton said brightly as he lifted the boy up as he sprang to his feet, “You’re our son now.”

Billy looked at Verity. “Is she your wife?”

“My wife, my best friend, my hero, my partner in mischief, my everything.”

“Do you have any kids.”

“Three grown boys still in the waking world,” said Verity, “Winslow, Malcolm, and Rufus.”

“Can I call you daddy and mommy?”

“That’s what sons do best,” said Norton.

“You used to tell me the best stories in the world,” said Billy.

“We both can tell you all the stories you like, but we can also be in stories together, Billy.

“What kind of stories?”

“Well, Verity has decided to become a detective.”

Billy’s face lit up. “Wow, that’s exciting.”

“It is quite thrilling, but perhaps the mystery we should solve is finding out who you are and what you wish to be now that you are here with us. There is always an escapade on Viking Island, and many people who would love to get to know you.”

“Viking Island? Is it dangerous here?”

“It may be the strangest place of them all,” said Norton as he looked up and winked as he smirked, “But I have an in with the Author, and She promises never to make our adventures here dreadful ones.”

Billy sighed in relief as he held Norton tighter, relieved that his biggest wish had come true as Norton sighed dreamily as he looked lovingly at his wife. Their lives were always eccentric in the waking world, and yet it would be their afterlife that took all of those eccentricities to a whole new level – and Norton could hardly wait…

 

=3The Beginning0=

Memo to Dawna Friesen: Journalism no longer is a pillar of democracy. It is actively trying to destroy it.

It is very common these days for journalists to misuse their outlets to run little propaganda campaigns to instruct the little people how they cannot live without them, and Global News’ Dawna Frieson is playing that same arrogant and deluded game with this propaganda spew:

I’m going to take advantage of you — my captive audience — if you’ll indulge me for a few minutes, to talk about journalism.

So right off the bat, Frieson acknowledges what she is doing is unethical. Wonderful.

Just like the war propaganda movies Hollywood churned out in the 1940, people are being asked to listen to a narrative how they would be moronic savages who did not know right from wrong if it weren’t for people parading as journalists.

Canadian journalists have no right to consider their profession part of democracy.

Media concentration in Canada was always abnormally high; so where Friesen gets her bullshit ideas from is anyone’s guess. Torstar and Postmedia are just about it in print, and Torstar’s recent acquisition of iPolitics has resulted in layoffs because a diversity of voices is too democratic a concept for media owners.

Yet she spews on:

You know that journalism is a business, too. And it’s a business that is seriously under threat. The business model of the traditional newspaper, radio and TV station is broken. Advertisers are going elsewhere — mostly online. The way we consume news has changed rapidly.

Journalism was never under threat: they fucked up their own fortunes by thinking they were perfect and in no need to change or bring in fresh and innovative ideas. You alienated yourselves from your audiences, what else do you want? This paranoid ideation has no basis in reality. Journalism isn’t a damsel in distress: it is an obnoxious spoiled brat that never listens to reason or thinks reality applies to them. You made your bed, sister, now lie in it.

And now the arrogant delusions become unleashed:

But here’s the thing about journalism. It’s more than a business. It’s a pillar of democracy. Journalism underpins every free society. It informs, it uncovers truth, and it holds power to account. Without knowledge about what’s happening in your town, your province, your country, you can’t be an informed citizen. And if you aren’t an informed citizen, you can’t make informed decisions about the kind of community you want to live in, and the kind of political leaders you choose to represent you.

No, journalism has proved to be anything but a pillar of democracy. People found alternative modes and bypassed the gate-keepers.

Journalists were given special powers of having access to communications — that is far from having democratic underpinnings. Now that everyone has the same access, you should have reinvented yourselves: instead, you are asking people to give you more credibility and powers than other people. That’s vile.

You have no standardized empirical methods to do your jobs. You are not licensed, nor have any governing body to investigate your transgressions. You are not doctors, teachers, or lawyers who have to go through hoops to get those letters after your name. You spew a few snippets: that’s not information people can actually use.

When I was asked to speak at a book club yesterday, the complaints I heard about all the things journalism didn’t know was rational and true.

I can personally attest to journalists cribbing from press releases without disclosing the information because that was the impetus for me becoming a journalist in the first place.

The propaganda continues:

Right now, journalism is under assault not just because the business model is broken, but because there are political forces actively working to undermine it and discredit it. An army of online trolls and activists question the veracity of stories they don’t like, attack individual journalists they don’t like, and ridicule institutions that for decades have been trusted sources of news.

State-supported trolls from places like Russia and Saudi Arabia seed our news feeds with false stories and conspiracy theories, and actively work to undermine western liberal democracies.

Paranoia and fear-mongering trash. So Friesen openly decides to scare people into maintaining her job. She is being a troll, and not a classy one to boot.

Journalism isn’t under attack: it made its own messes by being willfully irresponsible. I have written three large and well-documented books on how they did this to themselves.

Do not buy the lie. Journalists have told so many bullshit stories, that they should all be held legally accountable.

And the shameless and vile manipulation goes on:

I think we are living in a dangerous time. We live in Canada, not America, but we’re not immune to the rancour and the division and the political dysfunction that we’re watching unfold in the United States.

It is journalists who are causing that division because they are livid that Donald Trump unrig their chess board and outsmarted them. They fellated him in their outlets for decades, and then, when he realized he could win without those losers and proved journalism is dead, they were going to destroy their own country to prove a point.

It is journalists who are inciting war and making a mockery of justice. You people played games in the former Yugoslavia. You played games in the Gulf Wars. You played games in countless countries in my lifetime, and the psychopathic machinations are unforgivable.

Yet she continued to write babble because no one thought to hold an intervention:

So here’s my message to you. Be an active part of the solution. Don’t be drawn into partisan ugliness that paints political opponents as traitors and the enemy. Support quality journalism. Think of it as a public service.

Yes, just take the partisan Left side of the press and give them lots of money for them to tell you how to think. Lovely.

Journalists used to be seen as the public watchdog. Don’t fall for the line that we are the enemy of the people. That’s the talk of a dictator who wants to silence those who question him.

No, Ms Friesen, you are the enemy of the people. You were once the almighty ideological dictators who destroyed lives. The fact that you people use press releases to cover international hard news stories convict you of the charge. The traumas I have witnessed thanks to Western journalists are shocking. Stop pretending to be moral. When I had procured videos of Serbian soldiers being tortured by enemy sides and offered Canadian news producers the chance to see them so they would stop presenting Serbs as Nazis who weren’t being victimized in the war, they said So what?

I wrote countless letters to news outlets — including your Global News, and was dismissed no matter how much evidence I had to flat-out counter the lies told night after night.

And I would discover that Serbs were hardly the only ones.

Then a real knee-slapper:

A well-functioning democracy requires free and diverse news media capable of keeping people informed, holding powerful people to account, and enabling informed public discussion of public affairs. It is not elitist to value the truth.

Perhaps, but none of your practice what you preach; so enough with the moral masturbation.

And then, the sales pitch.

Quality journalism increases public knowledge, political participation and engagement. It helps reduce corruption, expose the nefarious. Just look at the power of the #MeToo movement, which was driven by strong women who came forward, and journalists who told their stories.

And here’s my most important point. Don’t expect to get quality journalism for free. It’s not a giveaway. You need to pay for it.

The big failing of the internet — which gave us access to the world — is that we expect to get it for free. Unless news organizations are owned by a billionaire like Jeff Bezos, that’s not sustainable.

So pay for news, subscribe online. Demand quality. Consider the source of what you are reading and watching.

Don’t get sucked in by clickbait. It just panders to sites which thrive on viral video.

Read and listen and watch a variety of sources. Keep yourself informed. Learn to recognize a bad argument, a false equivalency, and a poorly sourced story.

Give us money!

Are you throwing a free Slap Chop if we do?

This isn’t an article.

It is an advertorial.

Notice there is not a shred of proof of anything in this piece. No hard evidence of what journalism has actually done: she merely rambles and takes it as a truism without coughing up the goods.

Notice not once does she ever entertain the notion that journalism should look inward to see how they can change and improve.

Nope, it is Trump’s fault.

Uh-huh. Likely story.

A lousy journalism outfit.

And even worse salespeople.

At Donald Trump knows how to sell, and he knows what your lot is truly worth…

The re-launching of Chaser News, Part Twenty-Five: Journalism never got out of the Stone Age. Neither did j-schools.

Journalism is still a very misogynistic industry.

The managanda from the National Post is obnoxious, and the fact that they pay women to spew self-loathing propaganda doesn’t make it okay.

The structure is still Patriarchal. The assumptions are still skewed and rigged to favour those who oppress others. You can pretend to be politically correct all you want, but if you have a system that shames people for thinking differently than you do, then you are not a free or democratic society.

And sexist it remains. We see articles on white male doctors who have breakthroughs, but I doubt you know Person #23 on the List of People Everyone should know.

Dr. Jane C. Wright.

336.jpg

You may have heard of her breakthrough treatment from the 1940s.

Chemotherapy.

That’s right, for those of you who fought against cancer and won thanks to that treatment, that’s the African-American woman who saved your life.

Yet do we talk about her at all? Do you know who we are discussing?

No.

Not at all.

The whitebread folks never do.

Women have a lot to contribute, but when they do, they are not appreciated.

And it takes years for them to be able to see their plans through.

I have been fighting that fight for over a quarter of a century.

Try getting j-schools to listen to a radical new approach to journalism.

I am white, but female, and the road is no easier for me.

And yet, Google sees me as a person of note.

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 1.03.16 PM.png

Twitter won’t give me a blue check mark, but the biggest search engine does.

And so does Bing.

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 2.52.32 PM.png

McMaster University recognized me with their Arch Award — and I was the first female to receive it.

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 3.02.02 PM.png

I am referenced in academic articles. I am referenced in serious scholarly books. I have students from Ivy League schools interview me for their own scholarly work. I give talks, as I did to one lovely book club yesterday. I gave interviews.

And yet, I am shut out. Repeatedly.

My work is sound. My research goes beyond thorough — one of the members of yesterday’s book club marvelled at me having 61 pages of references.

Nice catch: I did have 61 pages of references; almost 14% of the book contains references I used.

That is thorough research.

I was as thorough with Chaser News, just as I was that thorough as an author, journalist, and academic student.

I use references from multiple countries and multiple languages. I use references from the distant past to the present. I have used interviews, studies, legislation, transcripts, you name it.

And I am certain many of you have stumbled upon my site, and have to click on the Who Is She? page to figure out who is this fiery woman who keeps saying journalism is dead?

How would she know?

I know because I am the creator of Method Research. I know because I have no trouble doing the legwork and seeing things up close for myself.

I work tirelessly on this problem and have done so for many years. I have had comments that I should be creating programs at the university level to change journalism’s ways.

And as I have said, I have.

Read When Journalism was a Thing, and see how much I have crafted the blueprints for such a thing. Read Don’t Believe It!: How lies become news because that is a textbook for information verification for journalists.

But I am routinely ignored.

I do not stop trying.

And I am still actively working on it. Chaser as well A Dangerous Woman Story Studio figure into F.R.E.E.D. and Matriarchal Storytelling and prominently so, and both have been around for a while now.

But unfortunately, too much of the toiling could be entirely avoided and placed where it should be placed: at creating something innovative and new — not having to create the space to make it.

And don’t think I am expecting a statue, building, or huzzahs for this work.

Dr. Wright invented chemotherapy, and you all still don’t even know her name…

An interesting turn in the White House...

Mainstream Western media is deliberately keeping quiet about the more salacious details of Mira Ricardel, the deputy national security advisor for the White House who has clashed swords with First Lady Melania Trump.

CNN and the Wall Street Journal aren’t telling people the whole story, and Esquire is too stupid of a publication to get the connection, and don’t expect NBC to get it, either.

Or the BBC.

Or the Washington Post.

Or the New York Times.

Or the Guardian.

Because they very well know of Ms Ricardel’s pedigree.

They will tell you she is of Croatian heritage, as the Weekly Standard did way back in 1995 when she was known then as Mira Baratta:

Needless to say, Baratta's ethnic background has opened her to charges of pro-Croatian bias. Some eyebrows were raised, for example, when she received the "Award for Excellence in Politics" from the National Federation of Croatian Americans in May for her "exceptional leadership on Capitol Hill in assisting Senator Dole's efforts to bring justice and peace to Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina." But this hardly counts as treason, and most of the specific allegations range from the disingenuous to the downright comical, such as the claim from one Serbian group that Baratta is working for Dole because he is of Albanian descent (proponents of this theory -- which his office denies -- say his name should really be pronounced "doe-LAY")

It is not comical, you bigots, and the Standard failed to confirm or refute one way or another.

(And remember, it was Serbs who had first revealed that Madeleine Albright’s family had been Jewish, not Catholic, and were proven correct, something that had not be known at the time, but Serbs were murdered in concentration camps as Jews were during the Second World War, and they kept watch and never forgot who was victimized).

But back to Ricardel.

Her family weren’t merely Croatian, which itself is nothing to note — but they were fascists during the Second World War.

Ustashi for the historically illiterate.

Her background was a radicalized anti-Serb one and she played a major role in the 1990s on how the former Yugoslavia would be dealt with:

It’s also worth mentioning that a Dole staffer advising the then congressman on foreign policy was a Croatian woman named Mira Baratta, granddaughter of an officer of the Ustasha regime (the Nazis’ Croatian incarnation) and daughter of Petar Radielovic, who called Croatian Fuehrer Ante Pavelic “the greatest man in Croatian history” — and who in 1985 defended Andrija Artukovic, “the Himmler of the Balkans” at his L.A. trial. Artukovic had said, “Kill all Serbs and Jews including children so that not even the seeds of the beasts are left.” Baratta helped frame a 1995 Senate bill lifting the U.S. arms embargo against Croatia and Bosnia, and even advocated for the Albanian cause against the Serbs. To quote Richard Perle, “Other than Richard Holbrooke, Baratta has been the most influential individual in shaping U.S. policy” in the Balkans.

That is akin to calling Adolf Hitler the greatest man in German history.

There is absolutely no difference.

She shaped US policy in the Balkans in the 1990s with not a single person questioning her bigoted background.

And that anti-Serb bias blared in the US who were behaving just like Ustashi did in the Second World War.

This wasn’t some distant ancestor: these were the people who raised her — people who were never held accountable for their own war crimes and were left to keep thinking in their hateful and deceptive ways.

And she was driven to get very far where she could have a president’s ear, and with renewed Western interest in Serbia, there are many important questions that need to be answered.

And then Ricardel clashed with Melania Trump, a woman who is Slovenian by birth, and knows the workings of her old homeland very well. If Ricardel thought she could bully the First Lady, she was in for the surprise of her life. A disrespectful attitude hints at a game of wills, and usually there are very strategic reasons for it.

For meddlers in Balkan affairs, this is a serious blow to their clout, but the mainstream Western media will be certain to keep the secret fascist backgrounds hidden from the middle class, but not all of us are going to inveigle the public…

California is burning...through dumb ass excuses why they have a fire. Big hint: rich and spoiled celebrities building mansions in places not meant to have it.

Jerry Brown is as big of a dumb fuck as Neil Young.

They are blaming all sorts of people for the fires raging in the rich part of California.

No, Mr. Brown, “climate deniers” are not at fault for those fires. Asshole.

No, Mr. Young, it is not Trump’s fault, either. Moron.

You have big populations near wildlife and you make it a safety hazard, but you have to appease spoiled and rich motherfuckers who hog and hoard those areas, and then have meltdowns when Mother Nature tells them to go fuck themselves by puking fire.

She’s not impressed with their shitty music and movies.

And memo to Neil Young: You are a hypocritical asshole of epic proportions. You are an alleged musician, and that meant you toured, correct?

As in, all over the world?

With cars, tour buses, limos, and private planes, yes?

You’ve a got big-assed carbon footprint there, buddy, or are you going to try to spin a bullshit story saying you walked and rode a horse and buggy to those places?

You know why California is burning?

Liars, liars, pants on fire…

Memo to French President Emmanuel Macron: Fuck you.

Politco’s propaganda may babble about Macron’s pathetic “containment” of Donald Trump, but the French government have shown their true immoral colours.

It was Armistice Day, and the swinish boors of Western European “leadership” did the same bigoted things they always do: walk all over Eastern Europeans because that’s what inferior people do to create false pecking orders, and it is a sham.

So what happened?

France placed Serbia in a no man’s land during its Armistice ceremony:

At the November 11 Armistice ceremony in Paris, which brought together leaders from numerous countries, Kosovar President Hashim Thaci was behind the leaders of France, Germany, Russia, and the United States, while Vucic was placed in a separate stand on the opposite side.

Serbian media quoted Vucic as saying , "You can imagine how I felt," and adding that he had "a lump in the throat."

"I couldn't believe what I was seeing before me, knowing the sacrifice that the Serbian people made in World War I," he said.

Historians say that Serbia suffered more losses as a proportion of its population in World War I than any other country embroiled in the conflict.

To put this in perspective to the culturally and historically illiterate, during the First World War, Serbs were slaughtered and had their population slashed by a third. They fought hard and won, and were allies who had been traumatized the most — and France repaid Serbs with a big fuck you, and it is not the only fuck you.

And this was not a minor oversight:

Dean of the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade Professor Dr. Dragan Simic told Prva TV on Monday that a truly big scandal had occurred in Paris when it comes to the seating of the invitees. 

As he added, this is in some way a revision of history, because in 1918 "some other victors were sitting in the front row." 

"When it comes to the First World War, Serbia deserves the first row, along with France, Great Britain, the countries who won the First World War. And maybe three, four countries in the first row, and then everyone else. Maybe there was no place for anybody there. Some really did not exist as a state at that time," Simic said. 

In other words, Serbia lost the most people and fought along Western European allies, and they are treated as nothing.

And just to be clear: the “excuse” is no excuse. You cannot try to find some sort of loophole and then pretend it wasn’t. This is Armistice Day where the seating counts — you do not have wedding parties where the bride’s family is placed in the back of the room because of some clinical categorizing arrangement. It is pure, cowardly and psychopathic bullshit.

This is bigoted, disgusting, disrespectful — and a sign that Serbs are being deliberately marginalized as a revisionist history is being spun by France. This act is a willful ruse of deceit, propaganda, and fascism.

And the nationalism Macron pretends to abhor. You are not fooling everyone, you arrogant asshole.

A French Ambassador tried to smooth this spit in the face with acknowledging just how horrific the gaffe was and why:

"We are very close to Serbia. Serbia lost almost a third of its population in the First World War, 62 percent of all men. I don't know what happened (in Paris.) I say it was a regrettable mistake and we plead with President Vucic and the Serb people to accept an apology," he said. 

And you did that to the Serbs on Armistice Day.

Fuck you, France.

Fuck you for treating Serbian life as unimportant.

It is easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission. This was a cowardly act meant to demonize and degrade Serbs, and there are people like me who will neither forgive France nor ever forget what they did.

Trump mocked Macron for his empty words and virtue-signalling, and good.

That makes Trump the morally superior leader in this bout. 

And memo to the Guardian: fuck you, too. You get all huffy that Trump didn’t take the dog and pony show seriously — and yet where the fuck were you ignorant sleepwalkers when Serbs got bullied and degraded once again?

Trump did not have a meltdown: he just knows what dumb fuck incompetent leadership Western Europe has, and has no respect for Eurotrash.

All the Guardian does these days is fellate people in positions of power as they beg their readers for money and ignore real stories.

Scum defending scum, and completely missing the bigger story of a Western European country humiliating an Eastern European one for political gain: Serbs are being told in no uncertain terms that whatever valiant things they did in the past are not respected, and that they will be forced to abide by whatever political gang rape Western Europe decrees with regards to Kosovo.

France showed their true colours, and how worthless they are as allies. If one third of your family was wiped out saving another, and those others relegated you into the broom closet, you would not be happy, either.

This sin is unforgivable and shows just far down the gutter Europe has fallen… and no, Mr. Macron, nothing you say against Trump can hide your own lack of decency and moral compass…

000_par3742228-29333102.jpg

CNN throws temper tantrum, yet never tries this actual journalism thing.

CNN throws yet another arrogant shit fit.

You act like self-entitled divas and boors, and that is not journalism.

This is a grandstanding publicity stunt to make themselves part of a story, and when that happens, the motives is not about doing a job, but strategically positioning yourself to get maximum optics to cultivate a persona.

And they are nothing but swine.

Acosta has no purpose being there in the first place. He doesn’t break stories. He doesn’t give facts. He shoves his ugly mug in front of a camera as he babbles and thinks slamming Trump is some sort of equivalent of being a journalist.

And it is bullshit…

The Clement Affair: As always, no one bothers to ask the men what they were wearing when they found themselves trouble.

Tony Clement was a known troublemaker for many years, but journalists in Canada never let those yokel middle class commoners know anything about it.

But now it all comes out.

But as late as 2016, the Huntsville Forester has a profile on him called “The Real Tony Clement”:

Our MP, Tony Clement, announced his bid for leader of the federal Conservative Party on Tuesday night. This positions him to possibly be our prime minister in the event Trudeaumania weakens by the next election.

Clement has always worked hard for this riding and has been uniquely available and considerate of its people. He has always had our backs. An "unapologetic Conservative," he has been generous of his time and his influence when it comes to both the people of privilege and those who struggle to get by; he has been a strong supporter of the non-profit organizations that serve those in need.

Doubtless having our representative in the big chair would benefit our riding. Certainly, it has the journalists at this newspaper intrigued; covering the top office from a Muskoka perspective would be one sweet beat.

The question is - would it be good for Canada? Clement's track record is with two hyper-conservative governments that turned even dyed-in-the-wool Conservatives into Liberal voters. There are strong arguments against the value systems demonstrated by both Ontario's Mike Harris and former prime minister Stephen Harper.

Clement did well with both governments, toeing the party line and building a powerful career. But have we met the real Tony Clement? He is loyal to his leaders and we suspect there are times when he didn't necessarily agree with the line he was toeing. He's selling an "optimistic, modern conservatism" and we're curious to see what that looks like on paper. He said Canadians want government to be an empowering force for good - and he's right. He said he is the leader to bring a better quality of life from health to the environment. Those are two tricky pledges given the records of Harris and Harper on both topics. Clement is running on the values of hard work and personal responsibility, enterprise and freedom, family and community, and equal opportunity for all. He calls these the highest aspirations of Canadians. In his time here in Muskoka, he has personally demonstrated those values. Clement has got our attention and we are eager to learn more about Tony Clement the leader.

Nothing about what is happening now.

Not even in non-journalistic media.

Remember how Rick Mercer had fun with him?

Yeah, nothing based on what has been revealed now.

It is nothing like the UK’s Profumo affair, however. No dreamy babes in this equation.

lewis-morley-1963-christine-keller-insta-final.jpg

But a whole lot sleepwalking.

The local press in Clement’s riding made no hint of it. No national reporter did, either.

Big media, small media.

Brain dead media.

That is the reason we had a news media: to ensure someone was watching and said something before it got this far.

But, ha ha, not a chance.

No one bothers with men in power.

Not to question their truisms, behaviour, untested nutjob theories, nothing.

No one to ask them what they were wearing when they got into trouble.

We have a “boys will be boys” mindset, but no female equivalent.

Where women get their money is actually counted against them in many financial dealings as if it spoke about their character without a shard of empirical evidence, but not for men, for instance. No one questions where men got their wealth.

They do not question if the man is up to the job or not.

Women get scrutinized from every angle.

Now we find out that there were all sorts of red flags with Clement, never mentioned before until the trouble got too big to hide.

Think of the financial resources it took to clean up his messes over the years.

And he had the cover of doting press coverage all along.

Now the narrative is to blame government officials.

Not so fast.

Journalists loiter those halls of power every day. They see things. They hear things.

They witness things.

For all the babbling and spewing how journalism is needed, they never actually do their jobs.

CNN is putting out feelers about suing because the White House had enough of pissant Jim Acosta, and his buffoonery became a cringeworthy spectacle.

If he was a competent newsman, he wouldn’t be sitting his ass on that chair.

He would be finding out facts, not grandstanding, and certainly not voguing and morally masturbating at the same time.

Ick.

Bad governments come from a sleepwalking press, and a public that cowers in the corner as they don’t really want to know the truth…

Publishing is a fickle business...

It is sad to see my first publisher The Disinformation Company vanish. They no longer have the old web site, and this is on their Twitter feed.

Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 3.58.36 PM.png

My first two books were published by them. Don’t Believe It! was the first, and it was Richard Metzger who asked me to write the companion book to the documentary OutFoxed. I was teaching at Sheridan College at the time, and I was teaching a workshop on using “web logs” in the classroom to other professors on campus that day when he called me and asked if I would do it.

I was shocked and thrilled at the opportunity and happily said yes. That kind of opportunity doesn’t happen every day, and I was grateful. In 2005, thanks to Disinfo, I had two books published exactly one month apart.

I thought Don’t Believe It was going to be my swan song, but it was merely a preface to a new era for me.

I am sad to see it go, however. They were anarchistic, unruly, and daring, and even Skeptic magazine (where my breakthrough article about objectivity in journalism was published) never got them. For people like me who do not fall into little categories, they were truly independent.

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 12.06.48 AM.png

Truth be told, I didn’t fall into their regular fare, either, but they accepted eccentric Alexandra Kitty all the same. I had a controversial idea for a book, and it was a breakthrough for me…

300x300.jpg

We are entering a "Post-Facebook Era?" You don't say, Forbes!

Forbes seems to be slow on the uptake:

We Are Now Entering The Post-Facebook Era

Memo to Forbes: that happened a long time ago. We are beyond the entering point. Facebook lost clout; that is the reason they had all the scandal. The rats jumped off the sinking ship because much of what was presented to the public was a strategic bullshit story.

And, of course, I saw this coming

Calling it in January.

picsart_12-15-041082193398.jpg

But trust journalists to be oblivious to reality even after the mushroom cloud littered the sky…