Los Angeles Times has a new sugar-daddy; everyone babbling the same old script.

Babble from new rich owner about fighting "fake news". How original. How innovative. 

How vague.

Old Establishment bygone relic gets to be editor. How original. How innovative.

How passive.

That's the cowardice of a dead profession, and shows just because an owner comes from the STEM-field, that they comprehend what killed a profession and how to improve it.

No original thought or thinking outside the box, just following a script that people actually think is a sure thing...

Flash-rage: Mass anger today; tomorrow, huh?

In an Age of Propaganda, there usually a fixed target and all fear, anger, and hatred is thrown at the target.

The Left have chosen Donald Trump, and they keep hoping something will stick. People get angry one cue, but it is a shallow rage: the preachers of the Left pick a target, an angry flash mob posters some shoddy quality propaganda posters on the Facebook as they rant on the Twitter...and then poof.

The momentum is lost.

It is hard to believe Facebook was a pariah this year. Everyone vowed to cancel their accounts because It Was Very Scary, and then they didn't save for a few goobers who reactivated their accounts, and then it all went back.

Remember Stormy Daniels and her attention-starved lawyer? The whole 60 Minutes interview? Somehow, it's not such a big thing, anymore.

#TimesUp? #NeverAgain?

So thirty seconds ago.

And now we are waving fists in the air over separated families. Outrage!

Flash-rage. Fleeting rage. Shallow rage.

Usually rage without focus is a dangerous thing, but this is a rage that is mechanical in nature. Slacktivist rage that is fast to come on, but the memories are short.

And then the next thing comes, and while the issue is nowhere near resolved, it is quickly forgotten.

Teflon rage. The anger that never sticks.

Because people are still holding out for They to clean up the mess. They should tell us what is fake news. It is as if public rage is seen as enough to let They know what mess to clean up, and that is good enough. People registered their disapproved, and hollered for their invisible servants to make the inconvenience to go away.

People remembered the once upon a time, journalists would shame someone, and then the government or police got involved and assured them that something was being done.

That collective habit never went away when social media came on the scene. The stimulus-response dynamic is still there, except with more gossip and stories that require a knee-jerk reaction, the potency of such behaviour has dwindled down. Ride out the storm because another incident will grab attention soon enough.

Without the emotional and intellectual investment progress needs to push forward, flash-rage overtakes the real kind, and people explode for a moment, only to forget why we were angry in the first place...

Trump tweaks Canadians about their softcore border smuggling; Empty-heads take the bait. Suckers.

Suckers.

Empty-headed suckers.

The US President must be having a ball dragging sheltered Canadians into his carnival act.

I say he is trying too hard. For the next leg, I want him to grab Justin Trudeau's schnoz, and then declare, "I got your nose!"

Watch with hilarity as Trudeau touches his nose to make sure it is still there. Watch the Toronto Star write several articles and columns, over-explaining why Trump lied about getting Trudeau's nose, and how that is not physically possible unless he has some machete, samurai sword or really sharp scissors of some kind -- and that would be physical assault.

Then watch Twitter light up with offended people declaring Trump is a nose-ist, body-shaming and picking on Trudeau's nose.

Please, amuse me. Trump can then grab Chrystia Freeland's nose, too, and then we can have offended women whining how that was A Very Bad Thing to grab a woman's nose.

And then Trump can go on Twitter, declaring victory in having two Canadian noses and that he won't give them back as we then notice the two increasingly touching their noses to reassure themselves that Trump really didn't take their noses.

We are one step away from Canadians becoming the world's laughing stock. Trump made a snarky remark about how Canadians are smuggling US goods across the border, which is absolutely true because it has been going on for as long as I can remember. Even before cheap reality shows showing what Canadians were always trying to bring back home without paying duty, they were hiding how much cheese they were bringing -- I have seen border guards dismantle cars to find a truckload of cheap booze and bed linens.

This is so not news, but now Canadians are having a fit over the remarks, and the virtue-signalling is out of control, with all sorts of nerds going on how this isn't true and people validating this remark as they are being serious.

That is the tactic of morons who really are that gullible. 

In boxing, two opponents will trash talk each other before a bout. A good boxer never takes it seriously because the point of pre-match trash talk is to unnerve the opponent and hope to undo his strong man image and replace it with a whiny little boy reality.

If you don't want to sound like a nerd, do not screech like a baby when someone says they got your nose. They don't have your nose. It is a ruse, and if that word is too hard for you, let me say it in basic language:

The mean man is making fun of you. He does not really have your nose. He knows he does not have your nose.

He just wants to make you look in the mirror to check if he has your nose before you feel silly that you thought he really had your nose.

So Canada, listen up when Alexandra Kitty tells you not to look at your noses when the man in the big white house tells you that he has everyone's noses. It is just a silly story for silly children to believe to make the rest of the world laugh on cue when you get all upset and touch your faces because he said that he has your nose...

The Reid Technique, Three Card Monte, and how political differences are just a shell game.

When I used teach Language Studies to college students, one of the most interesting assignments were the speeches where students had free reign over what they wanted to give their speech about to the class. I was permissive professor in that regard, but the structure and content had to be precise and well-researched, although I gave enormous leeway should the topic provide a challenge, but would provide a big pay-off.

One student did his speech on Sledge Hockey and he was on the Special Olympic team in that sport in Nagano, Japan complete with footage of him playing. Another student did his on breakdancing and could seemingly defy gravity, stop in mid-move, and calmly explain in detail what he was doing and the science behind the move. Two students did their speech on how to mess with people's minds and the subtle surrealist twists brought raucous cheers. One of the most popular speeches was also the absolute simplest: how to use the telephone. I had almost nixed the idea, but was glad that I hadn't: it was elegant, ingenious, and proved that we often overlook what we take for granted.

And then there was a card shark who did his on how people get scammed playing Three Card Monte, complete with demonstration.

This was my personal favourite speech in that it was a very sage lesson in looking at not just the small red flags that you are being played, but the big picture wisdom that came from someone who could do it with ease. He was a particularly bright and astute student who could pick up my subtlest hints, and was one of the smartest students I ever taught. (To wit, when two of his classmates had showed up twenty minutes late for class on the day the second part involved a test, I wanted to teach the two of them a lesson in punctuality and asked the class how hard did you find the test I just gave you? The test had not been administered yet, but the student in question said without skipping a best, I found the second question to be really hard, causing his two tardy classmates to blanche before the rest of the class caught on and oh so very seriously agreed. There are few times when you have that kind of vigilance in a classroom and can channel it to teach other sorts of lessons, and I was grateful).

But the speech on why Three Card Monte was a guaranteed scam was something I knew well as I had researched the topic as I wanted to see how people could and did get scammed: what were the mechanisms, and how were people roped into believing they could win or even out-con the con. 

It was more than just the card shark having charm, persuasive skills, and dexterity to ensure that the pigeons never saw the card to be chosen was palmed and always off the table: he usually had more than one confederate who would "warn" the mark that the game was rigged (a truth to lure the sucker in), and then form a fake "alliance" with the mark (a lie) so they could look out for each other to win.

And that was crucial to the scam: somewhere in the equation was a truth, but then in front of it and behind it were lies to hide the more important truth. 

In short,

LIE: Easy money if you find the right card.

TRUTH: This is a scam.

LIE: You have someone watching your back.

TRUTH: The game is absolutely rigged for the pigeon to fail.

Like layers of a Dobos torte, there is a hard layer alternating with a soft layer. You can't just cut through halfway and be satisfied, you have to cut through all of the layers to get to the bottom.

Most con games worked this way of being given false assurances that there are two sides, and one side has your back while the other does not. People are primed to look for a good guy and a bad guy all at once, and they feel comfortable that they have protection that will help them defeat the bad guy.

The scam works because of the illusion of a saviour: but in the end, the false hero is a confederate who is in cahoots with the grifter. There only a single path, and only a single goal: to fleece the pigeon. The rest of the set-up was an act.

I didn't just study con games. I studied magic, acting, art forgery, "psychic" readings, war propaganda, and military strategy, among other disciplines that required some sort of deception in order to do research for my first book.

And deceptions work best when there is an obvious truth that people can more than just recognize: but cling on to for a sense of hope. Greed scams promise riches with minimum effort. Pity scams promise to stroke out egos to assure us we are not on the bottom of a pecking order in a different way than a greed scam. Morality is exploited, as is evolutionary fears.

Truth is the bait, but the confirmation bias is the blinders to ensure that we don't see the truth we are given has been spun with a deceptive context, and that if we replace the lie with another truth, we realize we are being manipulated and exploited to our own detriment.

I didn't just research the things where lies are used for criminal reasons. Acting is performance, after all, but it still requires people to lie about their identity and feelings as they use other people's words. I had compared the Stanislavsky technique with the Chekov technique, for example, to understand the precursors to Method Acting, which I then studied to see how people get into their roles.

I had the chance to research undercover police work and even have a manual of it in my own collection, learning how police officers act in the real world where the stage is life and the stakes are life and death.

But it also led me to study another form of professional deception: the Reid Technique.

It is a controversial and disputed method of police interrogation, but why it interested me is that it can bring about false confessions. That is not a minor unforeseen consequence: getting innocent suspects to confess to something they did not do is, in essence, getting people to lie to their own detriment. Lies on one end encourage lies on the other. 

But the Good Cop, Bad Cop deception is very much in tune with the confederate scheme of Three Card Monte: there is a deliberate illusion that there is someone in your corner who is working at odds with the person you see as a personal villain and threat to you, when, in fact, they are working together against you. The triad deceives in order to lure a target, but the goals are different in nature -- but not the structure.

But it isn't confined to back alleys or police stations: war is also deception and requires blurring the lines in the sand in such a way that a target goes running to someone who offers a refuge, when their refuge is the same place as the trap of the obvious enemy. Create a mirage and an enemy at the same time, and your target sees the enemy as the person to flee and the mirage as the destination he must reach in order to avoid the danger.

Except it is not a straight line: it is a circle that leads right into the lair of the enemy who isn't standing at the front entrance of his trap, but the back of it, forcing you to take the long way round to enter the unseen front.

Religious cults practice a form of this, only they create the false enemy of the target's family and friends. Money scams turn poverty into that enemy. 

But so do political parties.

Yet in 2018, people still cling on to the idea that one political party is the enemy, while the other is the oasis.

One side does something odious, and those who pledge allegiance to the other side will cling on to the bad act as "proof" their side is more moral...

Except when you find the exact same odious deed committed by their leader and group, all of a sudden, there are excuses galore, and dismissals that it is an act of the made-up childish babble word "whataboutism".

No, that is the blinders of the confirmation bias. If a country has two or more political parties, and the same bad things happen regardless of which political party is in power, then what you have is a game of Three Card Monte with two confederates playing along -- the only difference is the two sides take turns at playing the card shark and the false saviour, depending on who waddles into the back alley, looking for a sure thing that does not exist.

It doesn't matter who is in charge because the same con games go on as people get fleeced with nothing to show for their gullibility. Should two different pigeons run into each other, they will argue which of the two grifters is the Good Guy and the Bad Guy, never cluing in that both are bad guys playing the same rigged game.

So why do people keep falling for the same con games, thinking they found the "sure thing" political ideology?

Because our social narrative is Patriarchal. The One. There is One Good Guy and One Bad Guy. They are binary, separate, mutually exclusive, and static and easily identifiable entities. We are programmed from Day One to filter reality through this inaccurate and infantile lens without a shred of proof that this filter is accurate, reliable, valid, credible, truthful, honest, or useful.

If we were raised with multiple structures, such as Matriarchal, we could actually see how childish and offensive the Patriarchal structure is. We could see that two competing interests (real or perceived) could both be Bad Guys out to get us. We could see that the illusion of five options are hiding that there is a single forced choice that works against us.

In fact, so horrific and antiquate is the Patriarchal, that society's lack of embracing the Matriarchal by now shows just how primitive our collective thinking happens to be. We see allies as enemies and enemies as allies because we are stuck on a hamster wheel and refuse to see that we are getting nowhere -- and neither are the people who we disagree with ideologically.

No matter who gets elected, the rich stay rich. The poor stay poor. Governments raise taxes. They stomp on our human rights in the name of nannying us. They are quick to bomb people and start wars. The Left is as prone to those things as the Right. Campaigns are wars. War is deception.

But it is easy to create a forced choice when your audience has been primed since birth to accept only The One, never taking the Infinite into consideration. We are told that prisons are safe havens and chains are there to keep us safe from harm because the other side's prisons and chains are horrible and deceptive.

And the worst thing is that we allow ourselves to believe it because if there are two sides, then we must pick the One -- never mind the two sides are merely a bigger one -- and out true choice comes from denouncing all those false promises as we learn to think, feel, explore, and act for ourselves...

Baby-slappers and other manufactured media monsters.

If the US government wants to curb the tide on illegal immigrants, they could just air on a jumbo screen episodes of Dr. Phil, where most of the children on the show have home lives that would make forced separation from their families a welcome relief. I mean it.

We have a lot of precious moral masturbation going on here. It is classic propaganda that shows how far journalism has sunk.

Yes, it is a scumbag policy to separate children from their parents, but Canada's residential schools came before this nincompoopity and those poor kids were being carted off from their parents by the original illegal immigrants who crashed their country.

As the regime at the time patted themselves on the back with it without worrying about journalists taping those poor souls crying out for mommy and daddy; so let us not pretend that childhood isn't hell. 

The US has their fair share of nightmare parents, such as the homeschooling Turpins who got away with it for years because nobody gave a damn who lived in the vicinity and saw it all happen. Jennifer and Sarah Hart didn't win Mommy of the Year, either by killing their entire brood, even though the warning signs were screaming everywhere. Parents leave their children with anyone who will have them, leading to catastrophic results.

The open abuse so many children take is sickening, and even when those children take the risk and expose the abuse, adults will not believe them. We don't know what to do with children, and it shows, even with all the blustering and virtue-signalling used as a form of deflection.

I wrote one story about women breaking the law to please a boyfriend years ago, and I had to interview several women serving hard time in jail -- or had already served their time. Some were mothers separated from their children and got twenty year minimums for something that used to get you probation.

The story was pure trauma for me. I heard women in the background having meltdowns screaming the names of their children. I talked to women whose now-grown children were emotionally damaged by the state-sanctioned separation and blamed their already victimized mothers for it. Their mothers most times didn't even know the mundane things she was doing was illegal, and the separation made a mess of lives.

I tried pitching this new angle to publications, but since it was not sexy and I had no Donald Trump to blame, the pitch was consistently shot down.

The press doesn't like to deal with children in peril unless there is some angle they can exploit. I remember one horrific example that happened while my family was away in Florida on vacation of a young African-American child who witnessed his estranged father murder his mother after she left him because he was abusive. The child had two younger siblings, but a genius reporter thought it was a great idea to interview this kid after it happened in front of rolling cameras.

Needless to say, this child was weeping as he dutifully told the exploitative grown-up how his life got torn to shreds.

So disturbed was my family in our hotel room, my mother phoned whatever agency was in charge at the time and asked if we could adopt those children. Both my grandmother and I were fully onboard, willing to do whatever it took, but fortunately the children had grandparents.

I can still close my eyes and see and hear the shameless ratings grab to this day.

It wasn't always this nakedly manipulative. 

As far back as the 1970s, when a news producer exposed a horror inflicted on a child, it was genuine righteousness. Nick Ut's photograph of Phan Thi Kim Phuc running naked in the streets during the Vietnam war as she was the innocent victim of a US napalm attack didn't just bring global outrage that led to action, we know her whereabouts to this day because she was more than fodder for a photograph: Ut's eyes became our own.

By 1985, the grains of journalistic righteousness started slipping away. Steve McCurry's iconic National Geographic cover of "Afghan Girl" showed the haunted eyes of a young anonymous orphan. For decades, she had a face, but no name, and she was eventually tracked down, mostly as a publicity stunt, but her plight didn't spark what it should have, and she had years of personal suffering, and only after exposure of her now adulthood trauma, was something done.

It wasn't the same by then. Already, the humanity part was gone, and something less sincere replaced it.

The drive for instant gratification and attention. I remember in the 1990s when war broke out in the former Yugoslavia, how many US journalists -- many of them female and mothers themselves -- would shout things to then President Bill Clinton with absolute glee: Mr. President! Mr. President! When will you bomb the Serbs?

That's right, Mr. President: when will you throw bombs on children, maiming them, killing them, and if they survive, maiming and killing their parents?

Some children's plights are just more newsworthy than others: some children can go suffer in silence if we cannot exploit a narrative, while others the press devours hungrily, hoping to label their designated villain as a baby-slapper.

It keeps happening, but the worst of it is those children who get media attention are discarded once the game of combat has ended. It never changes.

The Sixties Scoop was framed as being normal and necessary, but now let's hear the press howl at Trump.

We'll bomb the brats, and the pity them for being orphans.

It is sanctioned insanity and exploiting a vulnerable and captive segment of society.

Spare us the faux outrage; we see who you are really looking at, and it is not the kids.

Because if the press actually cared about kids, they would have directed news stories straight at them years ago, but children are props in a news story, meaning they are unimportant citizens.

It is why the ones railing against this latest attack on children are as immoral as the ones who perpetrated it.

And the suffering continues...

Journalism's war propaganda continues: Exploiting the children as they condemn their enemy of doing the same.

Journalists and politicians do have one thing in common: they love to exploit children.

We now have a classic war propaganda situation in the US with people outraged that children are being separated from their migrant parents.

This is not a good or acceptable situation, and it is a boneheaded thing to do, but now we have an immoral press trying to say their president is immoral by exploiting these same children.

It reminds me of an old poster Spy magazine did years ago:

Screen Shot 2018-06-19 at 1.11.41 AM.png

ProPublica was the worst offender of this game, and there is a lot more going on than this overly-simplistic narrative.

We have people violently complaining how horrible their regime is in their treatment of illegal immigrants. Fine, fair enough. Lots of wealthy complainers, and they should shut up, and open up both their wallets and their homes, and accommodate the influx. 

During the civil war in the former Yugoslavia, my mother inherited grandad's house, and though we were never wealthy (a single parent working class family), she donated that house to refugees from the war, and said it could be any of the warring sides: so long as they were homeless refugees with children, there were no questions asked. She never received so much as a thank you note, but she put her money where mouth is.

And you have billionaires squawking at Trump, when they have multiple homes that they could open up with the same stipulation. If you had citizens on the Left who did their civic duty and took in people in need, then the government resources wouldn't be taxed to the limit. Talk is cheap.

But we let children fall through the cracks all the time. How many are killed by their families -- or pimped out? There is a case here in Hamilton of a child who has been through vile abuse -- and not too many people are losing sleep over her damage.

But it goes back to lazily expecting the organization called They to do Something About It.

It is a vile thing to separate children from parents. It is also a vile thing to exploit those same children with war propaganda disguised as news because once the gambit either works or blows up in reporters's faces, those same children will be ignored and left alone to fend for themselves.

Those children are mere pawns, and in fact, children are separated and abandoned in camps all over the world and no one is the least bit excited. This outrage is a manipulative and insincere one of convenience, and it is the motive that makes it look as hollow as it appears.

But illegal immigration is a serious global problem that has gotten worse over time. No one has been handling it, let alone handling it right.

However, that is the unfortunate but painfully obvious byproduct of instigating and fanning wars in various countries: you tear down entire civilizations, you create a nomadic class looking for a pace to plan their roots, and they are going to look for a sure thing because chaos traumatizes and exhausts a person.

Poverty spreads, and then people look for salvation anywhere they can find it, always looking for a sure thing.

There is no such thing as a sure thing: you go to outsiders for a refuge, and you will pay a price twice over: the first from the ones who do not want a burdensome wounded stranger to drag them down, and then from the exploiters who will feign to give you a sympathetic ear until they reach their goal, and then treat you with worse contempt once they got what they wanted from you.

It is an Age of Propaganda, after all: too many players have a narrative to peddle, and a game to play. People lose their humanity even when they think they still have it, and they do not see that they are no better or different from the enemy they wish to destroy.

No one wants to be the displaced parent who has nothing to give their children. They already have nothing, and now they have less than nothing.

But then to become a pawn in a foreign country in some egotistical game of combat is the worst parental nightmare come true: your life is a nightmare and no matter where you run and try to hide, whatever wars destroyed you once have found you to do it again.

And they took your child's innocence in the bargain.

But in five minutes, everyone forgets, and goes on until the next convenient child victim is ripe for the next round of exploitation.

And the press has always been so very good at it.

It wasn't always this way. Once upon a time, horrors were exposed to right wrongs.

And then those wrongs were righted.

But along the way, journalists forgot what it meant to be moral and allow their humanity to guide them more than their seething vendettas and egos, and then no problem ever seems to be resolved, as every problem becomes worse for no good reason at all.

And the never-ending torture and abuse of children around the world goes on without challenge or resistence...

Ontario newspapers take another hit -- provincial government cancels their subscriptions.

This is a subtle way the government has propped up the industry, but Doug Ford is cutting off that avenue already.

We often think subscriptions are of the residential variety, but many come from governments, businesses, schools, and the like.

This is a quiet statement, but a definitive one...

People cannot discern the difference between fact and opinion? Neither can journalists. Where it all went wrong.

When I taught Language Studies at Mohawk College way back when in the early Aughts, grammar was always an important component of Communications courses. I was always careful to include the importance of nuance, connotation, and subtext in those lessons because loaded language, spin, doublespeak, and opinion were real problems and language was not supposed to be the place where you parse you words and lie.

There would always be a lesson about not using doublespeak, for instance. Be clear, direct, and to the point. Do not use the divine passive -- sentences had to have a subject, object, and verb so if there was a decision made that was not favourable to the receiver of a communication, they would know who was responsible as the divine passive implied it was some otherworldly entity ("Management rejected your claim" is direct and gives facts; "Your claim was rejected" is the divine passive suggesting the some nebulous god was behind it).

But there would also be a lesson about the differences between facts and opinions because it wasn't always easy to tell. I would begin with softballs such as "The room is huge" versus the square footage of said room. Then it got to more complex differences between stating the "The woman was angry," versus "The woman pounded her fist on the table and yelled."

The more complex the hierarchy I went, the more objections I would receive: surely, it was a safe bet to say a person who was yelling was angry, they'd tell me.

To which I replied, "You don't know that." The person could be genuinely angry, or she could be a grifter playing a game. You need facts to tell the story for you. The more facts, the easier it was to determine what the best course of action would be.

Opinion was the way to bypass having to dig for facts, and usually, opinion uses faulty logic to blind people from the facts that would refute the opinion's hypothesis.

So that the Pew Centre has a study that says people cannot discern fact from opinion is a no-brainer. Journalism is mostly filler these days and has been peddling opinion as fact for a long time.

But for Pew to jump to the conclusion that this show that people cannot discern so-called "real" journalism from fake news is absurd for the simple reason that journalism has no almost no verified factual statements: just opinion and narrative. You cannot tell apart things that are the same.

And journalism has no core when it comes to understanding the factual.

Take the National Post's silly and sophomoric attempt at playing detective, trying to find patterns of unsolved cold cases that may or may not be linked to accused serial killer Bruce McArthur.

On the surface, it may seem to a lay person to be a solid effort, but on closer inspection, it is riddled with holes with some very big and unfounded assumptions, namely that McArthur was the only game in town.

The Highway of Tears has seen many slaughtered First Nations women over the decades -- all sharing the same pattern, but to assume it is a single killer?

At least forty women, but it would not surprise me if that actual number was double or triple that as this is a very lax and lackadaisical country when it comes to comprehending gravity: only one of these murders/disappearances has actually been solved.

We can have multiple murderers: some serial killers, and some one-time murderers who just happen to pick a victim that fits a pattern.

The Drunkard's Walk by Leonard Mlodinow is essential reading for those who are obsessed with patterns and believe that everything and everyone fits one. Randomness is a far more important factor than patterns, and the Post's amateur sleuthing shows how little they comprehend the significance of it.

The article also suffers from a serious confirmation bias and to explain how deeply ingrained that bias is in Western academic and professional thought, let me go over something I have mentioned previously: the inherent flaw in the FBI's book for criminal profiling The Crime Classification Manual.

I have all three editions, and have read them all cover to cover. There are a lot of real-life case studies, and it is very organized, but it exclusively relies on cases where there was a conviction, making it less than reliable.

You cannot just look at the cases where you have a conviction: you also have to look at unsolved murders, and more importantly, cases where someone was wrongly convicted.

It also is a very good idea to make an assumption that many of those who were convicted were possible wrongly convicted.

Because often, criminal profiling is no no different than fake psychic readings.

The killer was someone who is prone to angry outbursts. How often do we hear that?

And how many people who are prone to angry outbursts never kill anyone?

And those vicious killers who are not prone to angry outbursts but do what they do in order to make sure their targets are dead?

It is a serious problem that the CCM has yet to acknowledge, let alone correct.

Vague, no-brainer statements doesn't make you a detective. There are obvious statements, but often, what seems like a certain pattern is anything but.

Because we are mistaking opinion with fact.

And when professional investigators are prone to make them, so are journalists, and the public because it's not exactly taught in schools. How many of us take critical thinking courses?

Or have their Language Studies professor take it upon herself to sneak it in her grammar lessons?

So for Pew to jump to the conclusion to imply that journalism is somehow superior to filler opinion is just another opinion itself.

Because journalism doesn't discern between fact and opinion.

I created F.R.E.E.D. as a method that does discern between them to report on fact, not opinion or narrative.

Because we need facts that have been more than just verified, but empirically tested.

The National Post has no clue how to do this task -- and neither has any other media outlet.

Or university.

And it is 2018.

Think about that...

 

Why journalism can't resurrect itself: It always goes back to its glory days of a different world.

The Los Angeles Times is going into their Glory Days attics, taking Norman Pearlstine out of the box, dusting him off, and hoping he can change their dismal fortunes.

He was one of those so-called Great Men when journalism had all of the communications power; so the passive logic is that someone who did well on an old rigged board can make it on the new one.

It doesn't work. Journalism's old formulas do not work -- but the profession never got the memo...

Washington Post employees throw temper tantrum: refuse to improve their product; want their sugar daddy to use his successful business to enable them.

It is hard to imagine what kind of child-like ditziness permeates through the Washington Post's newsrooms. It reminds me of a little boy I knew who saw an ATM machine for the first time when his uncle took out cash from it. He then thought his parents were total nerds because all you needed was a card and all this free money came out of the machine -- so why didn't his clueless parents get the magic money card so that they could buy anything they wanted?

The Washington Post has a special kind of stupid in their logic, signing a petition demanding that their overlord Amazon titan Jeff Bezos fund their sining ship.

They have done nothing to change. They honestly expect their owner to throw money from an independently successful company to fund their deadweight. 

You don't enable bad journalism. Throwing money in a black hole will not fix anything or magically turn their fortunes around. If they had been competent, they would not be in the position they are in now. They own this mess. Why don't they write a petition to themselves, making the demand of stop arrogantly following the same old script, and do things differently?

Journalists love their sugar-daddies, kissing up to them until those same sugar-daddies demand those lazy sugar-babies pull their own weight and produce a profitable product. Then come out the tempter tantrums and their noble victim act.

Enough. It's not as if you do anything of value; you crib, and that's not worth pouring any more money into -- if your owner wants to spend his loot on frivolous nonsense, he can spend it on himself...

 

Watching the Game of Go: Canada losing their liberties as they still think it is a game of chess.

I

April 19, 1995 was a dark day for Americans as it was the day of the Oklahoma City Bombing. The civil war in the former Yugoslavia was still going on. This Week with David Brinkley was still on the air and Bill Clinton was still President of the United States. 

I was just about to embark on grad school. I had been accepted at the University of Western Ontario's j-school program that was to commence on May 8, 1995, exactly fifty years since V-E Day. I already had several journalism credits under my belt at the time, and this was the in-between time for me. I took a political science course at my alma mater McMaster University so that I could skip taking its graduate equivalent at Western, and free up my schedule the way I did as an undergrad, taking summer school courses to lighten my load during the year.

I was working as a journalist, even a newspaper columnist, and I was not even twenty-two years old at the time. My birthday would come two days after I began j-school, and my day before birthday present would be winning a scholarship.

But the Oklahoma City Bombing was dominating news coverage at the time. It was when journalism was still a thing, and when the gate-keepers were still the boss, but it was something a government official said on This Week with David Brinkley on a Sunday soon after that caught my attention and stays with me to this day.

I watched This Week for years at that point. I was just a kid and I would watch that show every week, even when the family was on vacation. It was not as if I thought Sam Donaldson and George Will were all that, but the Establishment guests would park themselves there and talk.

The government by this edition of the show knew it was a case of domestic terrorism and the masterminds were Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.

McVeigh was a Gulf War veteran, and he orchestrated the deaths of 168 people and injured 680 others.

But the government official on the show had said something that shocked me: We were hoping it was the Serbs. 

That off-the-cuff remark struck a chord with me, and I knew it was a slip: the US had been banking on egging Serbs to the point of attacking US civilians -- and why unless there was already a plan in place to bomb and attack Serbs -- but hoping there would be a patina of a legitimate reason to maintain their hero title in that narrative?

McVeigh must have been a huge disappointment to his own government for not recruiting a single Serb in his plot.

But Serbs weren't going around attacking people around the world the way ISIS does or Al Qaeda did. Serbs didn't have a 9/11 or the World Trade Centre bombing in 1993 before it. Even Croatia had dabbled in those kinds of episodes in the 1970s and 1980s: hijacking a plane in Canada in 1976 where its mastermind received a hero's funeral back home years later; bombing the Statue of Liberty in 1980, and most likely had their first run of it in 1975 with the bomb attack on LaGuardia Airport.

It was as if the US regime at the time had mixed up the Serbs and the Croats, thinking they were all the same sort of people, and maybe they can give a beleaguered Clinton an excuse to deflect attention away from himself as he showed how he can bomb those dirty little Slavs back to the Stone Age.

But the Serbs weren't bombing Americans. The ex-pats were peacefully protesting, begging not to be seem as global pariahs. Serbs kept going back to the Second World War and foolishly kept reminding Americans how their people saved 500 US pilots.

No one wanted to hear how their people were in need of rescuing decades ago. They wanted Serbs to have plotted and executed a terrorist attack on innocent civilians. It turned out the guilty party was an American soldier.

Serbs still got bombed back to the Stone Age. It was in the script, and no matter how careful they were, and no matter what kind of relations they had with the West in the past, the script was set.

It was a game of Chess and Serbs never knew it. They never understood it wasn't personal: debts had to be paid, and that parcel of land had to be decimated in order to do it. Once upon a time they took one more step than they should have and ended up on a rigged board.

Canada has now done the same, and like their spiritual twin the Serbs, have no idea what they did or how, why their demonization has its perks, and that they are no different or better than the Serbs who had the same mindset, played the same game, and lost.

II

There was at least one Canadian who saw the link very clearly, and it was iconic Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. He got it, and it explains how he could stand up to the US without taking a single step on the the chessboard. He visited the former Yugoslavia, helping build roads in the country. He maintained ties to the country and sensed there were mindsets to study because there were latent problems to be riddled out by looking at that symbolic mirror.

As someone who is Canadian by birth and Serbian by ancestry, I always saw it. Both "the Canadians" and "the Serbs" recoil in horror whenever I say it, with Canadians haughtily thinking they are superior to the Serbs, while offended Serbs thinking they are superior to the Canadians.

Serbs were never feeding their children poor nutrient foods such as cereal, peanut butter and jelly on over-processed bread, or mac in fake cheese that came in a box or can. Your grandmother knew every place you went and literally chased you around the room with vitamins so you would never get sick. Your undershirts were changed at the slightest sign of being damp, and windows were to be closed so the draft didn't get you -- let alone allowing any child to drink something with evil ice cubes.

My childhood was completely Serbian in that regard, although I was born and raised in Canada.

But it wasn't entirely Serbian. We didn't go to church or go to those big annual picnics in Niagara Falls. I was born in Canada, and my mother wasn't going to make me a stranger in Canada. Both her and my grandmother spoke English to me, and I didn't start learning to speak Serbian until two girls my age moved to the neighbourhood after leaving their home in Belgrade. They taught me Serbian. I taught them English.

When my family went on vacation in Yugoslavia in the 1980s, everyone asked me if I was German or French. There was nothing remotely Serbian about me.

And yet, Canadians never think I am Canadian, either. They ask if I am Polish, French, or some other random European country.

So I am the person who is both of those things, meaning I am never seen as either. I am not easily classified or pigeon-holed. No label can stick on me, and yet the world cannot function unless they find the label that they can slap on you, and then stop thinking, believing their are intellectually superior to you.

The only people who never put a label on me are Americans. I worked for Americans. I have mingled and socialized with them most of my life. They never ask me about my label, and if they do, they assume I am of the same ilk as they are.

America is a melting pot. I am a hybrid. There are a lot of similarities, and I often see things from a more American perspective because of it -- bringing me no end of grief when discussing politics with Canadians or Serbs.

When you are a hybrid, your whole becomes bigger than the sum of your parts. In my case, I am both, making me neither. Hydrogen and oxygen make water, meaning out of two elements, the combined create something that is utterly unrecognizable.

And because I am both, but seen as neither, I never pined for acceptance because I never quite fit into either. I could see the blaring similarities. The differences were mere illusions, and yet illusions were what both sides saw. I was to both, a peculiar and maddening optical illusion. They heard non-existent exotic accents when my mouth was shut, and that was the least offensive form of othering I endured. 

When people find lies to pigeon-hole you, you don't pine for acceptance because you know there is something bigger than labels, and that's why my loyalty has always been to the Truth.

III

Because I had the cultural freedom to explore, my perspective was always a global one. I devoured and savoured cultures from all over the place. I have a deep reverence for Japanese culture. I highly respect much of British culture. 

But American culture fascinates me on a completely different level.

They are not anything like Canadians or Serbs. They are innovators, pioneers, explorers, and have an ability that has set them apart from the rest of the world: the innate ability to admit flaw, learn from the past, and grow from it as they change their strategies. They do not allow themselves to be stuck in a vortex. What was true twenty years ago is no longer true now. They get that reality is not static.

They move forward as they shed things they no longer need. They jettison cargo and bring on board what is vital to the next leg of their journey. Serbs were history's mercenaries, and while they were fair soldiers, they suffered a real trauma of being nomads, and it's why they get stuck in the past. They still talk about the Battle of Kosovo, centuries after it ended. Family is the world to a people who once had no base, and it is this sentimental attachments to the fallen that has pushed Serbs to succeed as it often led them straight to defeat. No one will understand how traumatic the breakup of Yugoslavia was to the Serbs. They bought into the "Brotherhood", and old wounds were torn open again.

Americans left their homeland because they are a people who are self-sufficient. It may be lonely at the top, but traveling light has its perks, and no one can beat that billion-dollar view. They took a risk coming to an unknown land, but they crossed an ocean and never looked back.

It's why the US had extremely good chess players running the White House: they know what to take, what to drop, and what to take down to clear a path to travel.

Americans have a fairly modest population, and yet have dominated for a good long run. They set the board to play a game of chess, and as chess masters, they are without peer.

For a long time, other countries either didn't clue in to the obvious, or they they played chess only to get trounced on by the US. Chess, boxing, and the Art of War, are all based on the same strategies and logic. It is not as if Americans invented the games or the structures of combat, but when you are willing to invent a country by re-inventing it, you need strategy in order to do it.

For all the bad-mouthing of Americans, other countries are merely envious and are expressing some serious sour grapes.

But after decades of chess playing, other countries and players clued in, and like the now over-granted PhD, too many people figured out the game, and though it was TORTEE -- The One Rule That Explains Everything. Just play chess, and maybe you will be good enough to beat the US.

Everyone got complacent and thought the strategies of chess was some sort of divine truth that would always be played on a global scale.

Cue in Donald J. Trump, and the game of chess became obsolete and inferior.

Journalists, Lefties, and other countries are howling -- but only because he looked at the rigged board, laughed, and then picked a trickier game to play.

Go.

Because Americans learn from the past and are willing to jettison everything that works against them in favour of things that will help them. They change. They grow. They evolve.

And the rest of the world is now in complete fear and disarray just because the game they memorized has been replaced by a superior model.

IV

There have been many casualties of this strategic shift, and many women in power are falling because they passively relied on TORTEE instead of (a) questioning how bright it was to stick to an Old Boys' game when they could have changed the game themselves for an advantage, and (b) learning to do what a seventy-year old white man can do with ease: be active and change. Women can blame Trump all they want, but it was their own doing of honestly thinking passive thinker Hillary Clinton had a snowball's chance of winning the White House.

She was stupid enough to play chess when it became obvious that Trump played Go. He defeated the Bush Dynasty because they haughtily insisted to play chess. Trump played the better game and won.

Chess has too many flaws to be a serious game of intellect. For one, each piece has different rules, making it an inefficient way of gaining power. Pawns are pawns, and calling one a King and another a Rook is mere sanctioned insanity, and it becomes too easy buy the hype.

It is a game of rote memorization, and there is no strength training within it. It is not as impressive as an intellectual exercise as people pretend it is. Contrary to what its aficionados proclaim, it constricts thinking rather than show people the big picture.

Go is more honest. You have your stones. The goal is to remove liberties from an opponent until you surround them and they have nowhere else to move.

But there is an added element of what I call "strength training": the winner gets a handicap on the next game, giving the advantage to the loser of the previous game. True Go masters can be saddled with a serious game handicap and still win the game.

We are now seeing a major shakeup of the world. It began when the Internet fatally weakened journalism, and journalism's old rules by their wealthy owners started to backfire on them for two reasons: (a) they could no longer dictate what information people received, nor could they offer a single narrative that set opinion and thinking patterns, and (b) the rules of chess could no longer apply because it opened the floodgates where the moves got lost in the intellectual stampede.

So the old tricks started to backfire, and had these players been a little smarter and more humble, would have reasoned that their old ways of thinking were archaic and their structure of thought no longer applied to reality.

Trump, on the other hand, saw it. He actually saw it, and for all the arrogant babble from the Left, they are slagging Trump because they are jealous that he is a bigger rebel and disrupter than their best big budget summer movie protagonist. The Left memorized a little script and took it as a map as they went down the garden path, while Trump saw an opportunity to change the game.

The Progressives love their empty phrases, such as "game-changer", but they never had the guts to actually change the game.

It is not Trump's fault that he actually changed the game to Go. New rules. New skills. New thinking. New outcomes. New rewards.

New alliances.

And Go is a game where you know if you win one round, you will be handicapped in the next round as you make it easier for an inferior opponent to play -- but the handicap is a blind and a ruse, meaning the one doing the intellectual heavy-lifting is the one carrying the burden, while the loser get further sheltered.

Serbs lost the game of Chess to Bill Clinton because they wasted their time standing around on the stupid board, trying to tell him they weren't the Bad Guys. They weren't listening when that same regime said on national television how disappointed they were that the body count in Oklahoma wasn't caused by the Serbs. The Serbs were supposed to play Chess. They were supposed to make moves. They stood in place, and their pawns fell one by one until it was Checkmate.

Canada thinks it is one step ahead playing a game of Chess, when they are just as oblivious as the Serbs were in the 1990s.

Kids, you are playing an antiquated game. It's a Game of Go, not Chess.

And your liberties are being lost because you don't have the savvy to see the stones around you. 

V

Canada, like Serbia, is an undisciplined nation with Bohemian tendencies that is a little too impressed with itself and sees itself as polite, friendly, tolerant, and welcoming at the expense of being obtuse to how other people actually interpret their behaviour.

Yet it is a country that has inter-provincial tariffs that are slapped against their own citizens, as if that were a good thing. It also allows price-fixing on staples, meaning Canadians are always getting hosed one way or another. 

It is a country that is defined by over-paying for everything while getting underpaid for their work.

And it is a place that does a splendid job of covering up the extent of their poverty. People talk about the "sharing economy", which is doublespeak for selling your old junk so you won't have your electricity cut off again.

People have tenants in their broken down houses to make mortgage payments.

But do not say this out loud.

It reminds me of one Canadian comedian's routine where he discusses how his family was homeless, but his dad sold it to them by saying they were camping.

And we are really good at it, too.

We have a food bank that are trying to sell themselves as a "pay what you can" grocery store -- it is a food bank that does its donation collection at the same place as their food bank.

It is not as if there aren't other countries who play they same semantic games with the same concepts, but in Canada, it is a way of life.

We wouldn't want anyone to feel bad because they are living in hell -- they may just see how badly rigged everything is and demand change or something.

Let's keep it all positive, positive, positive, as one newspaper editor once told me when I began to work as a journalist.

And that Stepford mentality extends beyond economics, but also crime. We crow how we have gun control, as little girls get gunned down in the park and pedestrians get mowed down by drivers. We have gangs who have much tied up in legitimate businesses who will have much to lose by the new tariffs, and will lash out with the same violence they do to those victims of human trafficking in this country.

Americans are not comfortable with this kind of spinning: someone complains, they get on national television, start an organization, and then have laws named after a person who got killed for some real lapse.

Americans will throw righteous epic fits. #MeToo is a righteous epic fit. Black Lives Matter is another righteous epic fit. Code Adam and Amber Alberts came to be after two separate, but related righteous epic fits.

Rich, poor, male, female, transgender, gay, straight, black, white, you name it. Americans succeed precisely because they see problems and deal with them head on. They may fight with each other, but they will come together in a heartbeat.

Canadians get offended and deny there is a problem, and then keep the status quo. Serbs, on the other hand, will acknowledge the problem, make a flippant joke about it, and then keep the status quo. The end result is the same: keeping a flawed and antiquated structure in place because to change it implies that you were mistaken.

Heaven forbid that you are human.

Americans aren't of that ilk where it counts. They have built checks and balances in their own political systems to evolve and shift focus whenever a certain set of needs scream for attention.

When there was need for a hawk when terrorism was rearing its head, George Bush had two terms to deal with it. When domestic inequalities were becoming troublesome, Barak Obama had two terms to clean up the mess. 

When the economy was starting to falter, Hillary Clinton stared vapidly at Americans as Donald Trump vowed to look after their bottom line, and he won the presidency.

Wait your turn. It is what the American Left never got the grasp of. You cannot be greedy. When their skill set can solve the most pressing issue, they get their turn, but when they let something else slide, the voters gently push them aside and let someone more skilled from the Right fix the mess.

It can be easy to miss this pendulum's predictable swinging in all that raucous screeching. Left, right, left, right, that pendulum happily sways, keeping silent as the shrill debates give it clues when to move over to the other side.

I could always see their pendulum, even as a kid. I used to even think about it when I would physically sit on a swing and move through the air. Left, right, left, right. It was like being in tune with an entire country.

But it was more than just left, right, left, right. It was up, down, up, down. You were up on the left before gravity pulled you back down to the centre for a moment before you got pushed up again on the right.

Simple. The loud binary noises pushed the pendulum, as the pendulum guided the binary noises.

Left, right, left, right. It is the sound of peace moving forward one step at a time -- and the sound of war of soldiers marching left, right, left.

America has it down to a science with a game of Chess to keep the flow going...until Trump altered the game from Chess to Go.

Serbs were the inferior chess players and they lost. They didn't know the rhythms of another nation, let alone the game they were supposed to play. It was all or nothing. The US handily won, even when Serbs didn't commit any terrorist acts on American soil.

Serbs had the excuse of living on another continent and speaking a different language.

Canada doesn't have that luxury. They are dependent on the US for their survival, live right next door, consume their media, and speak the same language.

And yet they are blind to it all.

VI

Canada does not take well to a lot of things: change, criticism, and reality. Serbs are mired in tradition, and also do not like change, while they also bristle at criticism, and failed to see reality: they didn't see that war was coming. They didn't change the way they took care of their own house, and they thought history would convince the world that they weren't the aggressors.

I was a teenager in high school when one of our non-Serbian relatives told us before the war happened that war was being planned and that Serbs were in the crosshairs. It was 1986 when it was still Yugoslavia and the discussion happened over dinner in Belgrade. He was dismissed, but his prophesy turned out to be bang on. Everything he warned Serbs -- and others -- at the table that night came true.

All of it.

I was convinced. He would be in a position to know. He looked agitated and was trying to get through to people that the winds of war were coming. There were no hostilities. There was no hint of war, only peace.

And yet what he said made immediate sense to me.

I could feel those winds. They never left, and when war broke out, so did everyone else living there.

It was during one of my high school history classes that I gave a presentation on Yugoslavia, and my talk was about how the region was in debt, and the chances it would stay together for another five years was nil. My thesis was Yugoslavia's days were numbered and would split up.

My history teacher, who liked me and was of Scottish ancestry, did not believe me. He thought I was exaggerating.

Where will they all go? He asked me.

I wanted to say, Down the garden path and straight into Hell, but insisted that if you calculated the nation's debt, what it owed, its chances of paying anything back, its ethnic tensions, bloody history, lack of a culturally ambiguous leadership (Josip Broz, otherwise known as Tito had died and as he was exotic to every region, no one could accuse him of favouring one group or another), and that there were stronger European countries who would have some serious stuff to gain if the region disintegrated, the most logical thing to happen was a civil war.

He thought I was smart, but prone to exaggeration.

And then a couple of years later, my prophesy was right on the money.

Serbs never bothered to cut things off at the pass. They thought a few of their old reliable gambits would work, but that old chess board was out, and Serbs were ill-prepared.

Just the way Canada is ill-prepared now, and have been losing liberties ever since.

VII

I do not know who is the bigger clown in this entire tariff fiasco: Justin Trudeau or Chrystia Freeland. Trudeau is riding on a charm gambit, which has short-term legs with his own sheltered people. Freeland doesn't even know what's going on.

It is as if Trudeau agreed to a boxing match with Trump, but then didn't want to partake in a real match, roped in Freeland into thinking this was all going to be some perky photo op, telling her the gloves were part of a spa treatment as was the mouth guard and head gear, and she went into the ring, and Trump punched her lights out, and then she had a meltdown, getting up, and pointing to the audience that Trump was a bully and to watch out because he was going to punch them all in the mouths, too!

But both Trudeau and Freeland don't get the fact it is a game of Go driven by a Chaos Narrative, an essential fuel to control the flow of the game. Both of them keep harping on how ridiculous it is that Canada is being dinged on a "national security" loophole, not realizing that this a perfect set-up to a later pay-off, and one they cannot control.

There has already been one death threat lobbed at an American envoy, but it was never claimed that the Canadian government or military would be the threat. Canadian laws are atrociously lax. Organized crime is a concern. We have too many undocumented immigrants coming in, and if just one of them is unstable enough to harm Americans using Canada as a base, Trump's assessment is vindicated. If one gang or mafia get violent because their operations get hobbled because of tariffs, the assessment is vindicated. If one Canadian loon does something worse than a death threat, everything is justified in the Chaos Narrative.

But harping on "national security" and keeping it in public play isn't the only faux pas Trudeau's regime is making. 

Canada's inter-provincial travel is far more expensive, and throwing slacktivist fits such as #BuyCanadian misses the point: Go requires the victor of the previous round to start a new game with a handicap The US can afford to take a minor hit from a poorer country in order to win a bigger and more important game -- and considering the amount of tariffs provinces slap each other with, the boycott looks both petty and foolish, especially as there isn't all that much Canadian-made to buy.

And with there being a never-ending glut of various boycotts on Twitter, the US economy roars without much worry about the economic impact a few myopic and offended Canadians can do, especially as Americans can return the favour. They can skip Toronto and Niagara Falls, and both regions can be devastated, especially as both went to the Ontario NDP, the Poor Man's political party.

What is left of Canadian journalism doesn't help matters as they are playing the same futile game the Serbs unsuccessfully tried during the civil war, pointing out facts that no one cares about. It will not change anything. If Trump cherry-picks facts, so did Western journalists when blaming Serbs for everything under the sun as if they were the only ones with soldiers and shooting guns. Serbs pointed out that Western media outlets were cherry-picking their facts, too.

And guess what?

The cherry-pickers could confidently ignore it with absolutely no penalty whatsoever.

Those cherry-picking journalists picked up their propaganda in white tents set up by PR firms, and not a single journalist covering the war was ever charged with a war crime, or lost their job for their deceptive practices.

You are playing a game of Go, not Tattle Tale.

Canada is falling into every trap, throwing fits as the US is asking for Fair Trade. Canada's tweak retort was to brag about what a great lop-sided deal they scored for themselves with Trans-Pacific free trade deal.

And a lop-sided deal is an unfair deal. It plays well on the home front, but it plants a seed of a narrative that is not so cute abroad.

Just as Trump said from the get-go with that opening salvo, the US wants a fair deal, but only a Smooth and Spoiled country crows about getting special treatment, and hints at a deceptive and duplicitous nature, and it is Canada that indicted itself trying to show up Trump.

It is not as if the rest of the world doesn't get the subtext.

Italy is making noise about not enabling all of Canada's demands, meaning more liberties are in danger of being removed. It does not matter if everyone backs off tomorrow; it is damaging, and sets up the next move in the game.

Chest-thumping optics are always part of a political dog and pony show, but when you have someone who actually can pull the feat of replacing a game of Chess with a game of Go, the dynamics forever shift, and you cannot go back to the inferior old game because those rules no longer fit with the new shifts. 

Journalists were oblivious and still try to make this whole Internet thing go away so that they can go back to the old rigs and rules that favoured traditional journalism, and no one is falling for it. It has gone on for too long and we have too many things that came on the scene since then for that to be possible. 

It is like trying to convince people to give up electricity.

Buster, that's not happening.

Just as Go isn't going to go away to make life easier for rickety old thinkers who are Yesterday's Men and Women. The game has changed, deal with it because you cannot go back, and the new reality will deal with you whether you like it or not.

Serbs were stuck in the past, and those blinders cost them everything. They never learned to adjust to keep up in the present, let alone make a bold leap to the future.

There are world leaders who do not understand what has happened and what a subtle, but profound innovative leap has occurred. They are playing by the rules that used to work for them, but cannot anymore because a far better game has taken its place.

And Canada is throwing fits when they should stop being offended, and start looking at the board that has completely changed, and that is the very board that they have taken one step too far on.

And this is a country completely unprepared. It is a nanny state where people are sheltered from their own travails and vulnerabilities because everything is spun, whether good or bad. Lull your people with chirpy and folksy nationalistic narratives at your own risk.

Just ask the Serbs. The worst of it is that we have had Canadian thinkers stick that very label on Serbs and have failed to see it had travelled back to them.

Go is a game where you must be able to immediately assess what is good and what is bad so you do know your strengths and weaknesses as you see what your opponents's strengths and weaknesses are.

Just as Trump absolutely saw that journalism was Yesterday's Profession and social media was Today, he saw something else: that Chess was Yesterday's Game and Go was Today.

There are definite reasons why, and more than one reason why Chess is no longer a viable game. You cannot have Chess in an Internet world where you can no longer control the flow of information and the restricted narratives. If your points of view are limited, then finding evidence that refutes a theory becomes more difficult.

Journalism never figured it out, and that prolonged and comical blindness nullifies any credibility they once had -- and proves that if they are obtuse to reality, then they cannot chronicle it because they will always be off.

Canada also hasn't seen the obvious: they think making fun of Trump will solve of their problems as they cheerily pretend everything is all right and good.

And when it is all good, you have no idea where to go or understand what to do when you are labeled as a villain, and then you are stuck in a No Man's Land.

The Serbian regime never got that memo and their people suffered as a result.

If Canadians think they are superior to their spiritual twins, they have yet to show they have clued in and are making demands of their government to get their act together as well as their strategy.

I see it clearly. I can feel those same winds of war, and it speaks a more complicated and enigmatic language, yet I can decipher it perfectly. When you have one revolution, it begins to break rules one by one until there is nothing left but anarchy.

And this time, this is an anarchy with its own set of rules. Anarchy and chaos are naturally attracted to games of Go, where there are levels of different sieges, where little grains begin to surround you and serve as your quicksand, ready to sink you.

The rules require different alliances and different mindsets. You cannot be chained to the past as both the Serbs and journalists were -- and are still, respectively. Americans are at a peculiar time in history where you have a seventysomething Establishment businessman who sees the future and can adopt to embrace it, while the youthful Left are so terrified of returning to that past that oppressed them, that they are trying to somehow get to the future by sticking to old mindsets of the past, meaning they are doomed to fail because they want to keep those outdated scripts they memorized to get this far. It is now working against them; however, I do believe they will snap out of it, but not in time for the next presidential election. A humbling is in their cards.

Nominating Clinton for the Democratic ticket shows how out of touch the American Left are with the future, and has been the single most fatal tactical error they have ever made, but if they can openly disavow the Clintons and break away from their pretentious and precious narratives, I do believe they will find their footing again. They have to stop going to the same old well, stop pretending they aren't part of the Establishment, stop trying to shame diversity of thought, and stop wasting energy trying to get everyone to think the same way. If they are proclaiming they want what's best for America, then they have to remember that they are Americans, warts and all.

Canada is foolishly following their lead, and actively so, thinking it will help them pull out of the scrape of their own making. It didn't help the Serbs from seeing their house of cards collapse, and it won't help Canada, either.

The game has already begun. The stakes are high, and one misstep will unleash the anarchy on the board. It is a dangerous game being played, and one where nothing and no one is to be taken for granted. No happy spin if you lose a single liberty.

The stones have been surrounding Canada for months, but whether this is a country that can face the reality before they lose one stone too many remains to be seen, but if history is any barometer, they will lose every single one before they can admit they have been surrounded, and there is no way out...

Interview Magazine's zombie antics squeeze an extra few seconds of fame for it.

Interview magazine had a single saving grace: it was founded by an iconic artist. If it weren't for the fact that Great Man Andy Warhol brought it to life, no one would talk about it, and it would have folded years ago. It was never all that, but having a marquee name told the nouveau riche what to rave about at cocktail parties, even if they didn't actually read or understand what they were reading in that rag they never actually bought or subscribed to as the only place I have actually ever seen it lying around was in upscale-ish Middle Class spas and hair salons. Add a few publicity-hungry starlets voguing in odd and pretentious poses, and you have slopped together something you can sell to a few odd and pretentious chichi advertisers.

And then that darned Internet ruined everything.

Interview ended up not paying a lot of people, including its freelance editorial workers, who agreed to be paid a pittance -- never mind their owner was well-heeled, but journalists were always stupid that way.

It folded, and now there is babble of bring it back to life under some other ownership, although why anyone would do it or how that would even be possible is anyone's guess.

You have reporters grumbling that the magazine folded even though its last owners had scratch -- always forgetting that just because a individual or company is doing well (even if at least on paper) it doesn't mean all of the holdings are profitable. The ones that do not bring in the dough get trashed, and when was the last time Interview generated any interest aside from the fact it folded?

This is a publication that always rode on the coattails of other people's fifteen minutes. It was always a vanity project centring around rich white people indulging themselves. The Kardashians hijacked that niche and used Instagram where you didn't need to tax that demographic with actual words. They made it more accessible by making it all a little more lurid and trashy, but the shallowness is the same draw and that hasn't changed.

Interview is a zombie in search of a few more seconds of fame. It's time has come and gone, and Instagram has replaced it in pop culture, and you don't even have to fork over a penny for it.

People aren't even reading magazines at the salons anymore -- they got their little godphones and stare vapidly at the screen as their highlights process under the lights...

How war propaganda destroys nations long after the end of bloodshed.

As someone whose heritage is firmly Eastern European who grew up in North America, I can say with zero hesitation or doubt that Western Europe and North America are completely ignorant morons when it comes to having the empathy or ability to understand Eastern Europe, but Westerners have some patronizing misconception that what they believe is universally applicable, regardless of situation, history, geography, as well as a slew of other factors.

It is why the war in the former Yugoslavia made a horrific mess of absolutely the entire region. The meddling created more than just destruction and death: it placed various barriers on different regions that in 2018, they still cannot overcome.

Let's take Croatia, for instance, the instigators of that war. My maternal grandfather was Croatian -- from Dalmatia, to be precise -- and he never let you forget it.

Croats honestly believed they were being oppressed by being stuck in Yugoslavia. Their fascist past during the Second World War has never been confronted by that same Western world that rightfully put the screws to the Germans for their Nazism. The Croatian equivalent of Nazis was the Ustashe, and the self-documentation of their own atrocities against Serbs, Jews, and Roma was both prolific and vile. Smiling while holding beheaded victims was the least offensive atrocity. Burning Serbs in churches by Utashe nuns and priests was an actual thing as was a special concentration camp for children.

When the war ended, those Ustashe took all of their stolen loot (the real reason for the war) and ran to the Vatican who gave them all protection. They were small potatoes compared to the Nazis, and they got a free pass.

And then the West grabbed the Serbs and grabbed the Croats and threw them in a single country called Yugoslavia.

Surprisingly, this country did fairly well for itself for decades. There were a million intermarriages. 

But Yugoslavia was short-sighted in its single economic strategy: take advantage of the Cold War by playing the US against the USSR to get the funds to support this lab-grown utopia.

Sooner or later, you pay the piper, and when the Cold War was over; so was Yugoslavia's source of free money, and they borrowed heavily until the piper came.

No one had the funds or the inclination to pay it, and then the leaders of the various regions remembered the good old days when the Santa Claus America gave away free money, and they thought if they broke away with some nationalistic twaddle as a cover, they would have the US continue to fund them.

And that's what almost happened. The regions broke away, killed as they looted, but when it came for all those magical Benjamins to solve all of their problems, it never came.

Twenty-plus years after the war, Croatia is in serious trouble. Their youth are leaving the tiny nation in droves. Corruption is rampant. Their wages are the worst in the EU.

And because the world never put their foot down to that old fascist mindset, it is roaring back with a vengeance.

That is the inexcusable legacy of Western meddling by ignorance. It created a nation of never-ending poverty where youth must flee for mere survival, and those who are left behind are falling back to the destructive ways that brought out the worst of humanity.

Had the West had a clue, they would have heavily punished the Ustashe, made a people confront and acknowledge the blood on their hands, and had this been done in 1945, there would have been no civil war.

Yugoslavia is a nation that was artificial and forced. It should have never been created in the first place. If the regions healed their rifts, and wanted an economic union, that would have been one thing, but what happened was a forced marriage between a group of perpetrators and their victims of irrational hatred.

Now that Croatia cannot blame the Serbs for their prolonged slump, they are free to see that their notion that the United States was going to be their sugar-daddy was also a mistaken theory. 

But they can also think about how Western journalism did them no favours, either. They blindly went along with their narratives, obscuring the reality of the situation. They were played by an industry who knew nothing about the region, its mindsets, and then made decrees, enabling all of the delusions that brought a nation and its people into poverty and despair.

Ironically, Serbia -- who were portrayed as the Super Evil Bad Villains in the civil war, had their illusions shattered, and then they had to forge their own way, and ended up as a stronger and more tolerant people with a stronger economy. So strong that NATO is starting to meddle again because Serbs ended up far more progressive and stronger than what was expected of them, and proportionally, at least, in a far healthier position than most of the nations involved in their demonization and bombing. They moved on because they had no options left.

Kosovo's woes exploded near the tail-end of the civil war, although it was always simmering for decades. Albanians in the region thought it was a very good idea to break away and declare themselves a nation, even though unemployment in that region was always devastatingly bad, they had no tax base to speak of, and crime was always rampant as it was a prime region for organized crime, with human trafficking still out of control (mind you, Canada also has a serious problem with human trafficking; the difference is Canadians are happily oblivious to it, and people in Kosovo are perfectly aware of it).

So why did the Albanian population in Kosovo want to break away?

The same reason the other regions broke away: they were honestly convinced that the US was just going throw piles of free money to them.

Of course, that didn't happen. It is a fantasy. There is no advantage to do it.

When Kosovo declared independence in 2008, a local television station interviewed me about the ramifications of that decree. I was still running Chaser News, and I agreed to the interview.

Most of the interview did not make it to air (though I recounted all of my points on my site), but the gist was that Kosovo was stony broke, in anarchy, a criminal playground -- so how the region was going to get its act together was going to be very interesting. I also said that Western journalists would be wise to keep a track of FARA and see which PR firms were going to get hired to spin this pie in the sky mess and then let news consumers know all about it.

An interesting article from Al Jazeera from a reporter who had been there in 2008 was interesting in showing just how misled people in the region were by the Western media. Albanians and Serbs alike were the Western media's victims. Those in the region had been disillusioned thinking they were perfectly justified in wanting to break away, and that they honestly believed that the West were going to make their lives better by giving them cash, thereby completely vindicating and validating their illusions of being without flaw. Their leaders got wealthy at their people's expense, and even some Western players, such as Madeline Albright had tried to make a buck from that misery they helped exacerbate.

But it was journalists who were the biggest warlords and mongers of them all. They stoked the fires of hate with their ignorance of basic history and reality. They wanted the power to dictate how a war was going to play out, never mind that reality in no way aligned with their narratives.

Serbs got the worst press coverage, but it was the other regions who paid a bigger price in the long run. They will never recover because they were given false assurances from people who had no clue what they were talking about.

It's like asking your cab driver whether the mole you have is cancer and making plans based on his clueless diagnosis.

And the press drove those regions straight into a hell they never imagined in their worst nightmares.

I have genuine sympathy for all those regions. They were played, made fools, and bought the hype.

Once upon a time, journalists were so powerful, they could malign and misreport and be believed.

Now, they have all focussed and attack their president, and despite their relentless and lockstep cannibalization, they still don't get that they have no teeth.

It is a sad state of affairs, and it never had to happen if journalists were responsible, diligent, honest, and humble. They should have checked their Western filters at the border and be moral enough to admit they knew nothing about anything in Eastern Europe, and then do their research, and report facts, not narrative.

Because war is no time for some deceptive bedtime story people hold on to for comfort, never realizing it is slowly poisoning them for generations to come...

Memo to the Hollywood's Establishment Actresses: You are not owed sunny reviews for bottom-feeder dreck.

People do not applaud you for making a photocopy from a photocopy as you make millions of dollars from it?

Gee, how sad.

The movie Ocean's Eight is cheap and disposable entertainment. It is not feminism. It is an Establishment studio making an Establishment movie using an Establishment cast using a re-hashed patriarchal script with no surprises. Pretty ladies in pretty clothes sashaying in a highly processed and choreographed manner.

It is as bottom-feeder as you can get.

So The Guardian's silly article about how the female cast is whining (yes, whining) that reviewers were not all that impressed with by-the-numbers stuff that comes from a re-used storyline is just indulging spoiled Hollywood babies who should grow a pair of ovaries, not think that there should be more female reviewers who would give them a free pass.

Please, spare me. When you are raking in millions of dollars and been doing so for years, do not pretend you are part of some resistance: you are Establishment. You arrived. Be grateful. No one owes you a good review.

As an author, reviews are something I am very familiar with, and I take no stock of them because people have every right not to like your work -- or just as frustrating, like it for the wrong reasons. It is not up to you.

When my first book came out, I had someone give me an atrocious review on Amazon that I asked to be removed for the simple reasons that (a) the person admitted he never read it in his review, and (b) he thought a book called Don't Believe It!: How lies become news was a book about music producers.

I kid you not.

When OutFoxed came out, I asked Amazon to remove one positive review because the person was praising the book -- but said there were things in it that were not. It would have deceived people into getting a book that did not include what the reviewer claimed it did.

After that, I no longer bothered with policing reviews. People have every right to love or hate your work.

Most reviews are opinion-pieces, not actual reviews with no commentary -- it should tell you genre, content, style, structure, unifying theme, and whether this is something that is based on established conventions, or deviates from it.

It is not easy to write a helpful review. I have written them, but it is not a genre that appeals to me.

But if you are looking for applause or a reviewer understanding the amount of work you put in it, forget it. You are in the wrong profession.

I had a recent amateur review of my latest book that wasn't all that -- and the criticism was peculiar, to put it politely. Here is a book that took years to research, months to write, and laid out countless examples of journalistic rot...and the reviewer dismisses it all because, despite the overwhelming verified real examples written from a veteran in the profession, it couldn't possibly be "that bad."

What do you mean? Do you think those examples I crammed in one book weren't real? Do you think I could possibly put every single case of journalistic incompetence in a single book?

Meaning, no, it is far worse than what I can absolutely physically chronicle in a single book.

And it was a woman who reviewed it.

She has every right not to like my book. She doesn't like the thesis, obviously, because it goes against the Middle Class narrative that self-described authorities and established institutions could not possibly be dysfunctional. Those They must know what they are doing and the little people can go on worrying about the next episode of Game of Thrones instead of wondering whether there is crucial information being suppressed, distorted, and mishandled.

It is the same when a doctor gives a patient the diagnosis that he is terminally ill and there is no recourse. The person can see the test results, but may not want to believe he is really that bad. That means that all of his enemies and people he wishes to make jealous will outlive him. 

And he will be in denial, hoping his narrative will be the one where he bucked all of the odds and survived.

Not if you got to it too late.

Journalism got to it too late. I will have an uphill battle for the simple reason that such a serious message coming from a woman gets dismissed.

But that is the reality of the situation. I am not going to kvetch and to wallow, demanding different reviewers because that is not who my psychographic happens to be.

People who do not look to reviews and think for themselves gravitate toward my work.

You have to be emotionally and intellectually ready to even consider the possibility that something once so powerful and titanic is dead.

And that is not everyone, nor will it ever be everyone.

That's fine by me.

The Ocean's Eight cast is behaving like crybabies: stop gnashing your teeth because not every reviewer gave you a lollipop.

That's life -- and to openly demand rigs that distort in your favour is absolutely heinous.

Get over yourself.

The crowd called Planet Earth is a tough, tough crowd. You either have the mettle to deal with the scathing reviews -- because no one owes you a pat on the head -- or you don't.

And if you don't, find yourself another profession.

Just deal with the reality that no one is obliged to love your work, and for the record, I am a radical feminist, and I find the idea of women being so devoid of talent and originality that they must stoop to starring in old mediocre movies nauseating -- and believe me, you wouldn't want me to review your movie, either...

Digital is not the future: Rogers cuts one third of their digital arm

Rogers is as big and powerful of media as Canada has, but publications such as Maclean's and Canadian business will be whacked with pink slips. Digital content isn't resurrecting journalism.  Seventy-five redundancy papers is one third of that workforce.

Concordia University can live in La La Land all it likes, but using Canadian tax dollars to go into areas that abandoned their media is not going resurrect a dead profession. Rogers Media is national in scale, and gets all sorts of government funding and special breaks -- and they are not digging out of any hole.

Journalism is still in denial -- doing the same things and expecting a miracle outcome.

Not happening...

A day late and a dollar short, Guardian: Journalism go trapped by their own games.

The Guardian is trying so hard to save a dead profession, but it is all a day late and a dollar short. 

Worse, they think pinning everything on Donald Trump is going to save them.

No, it won't for a good reason.

This precious piece dutifully instructs the little people how the US president is "winning" debates against the press because journalists are parroting his phrases such as "fake news".

Yes, he knows how to use the media to his own ends and how to use their own corrupt and flawed methods against them. The conformation bias in their entire argument ignores the most important fact: that journalists are guilty as sin: they crib from PR firms and press releases, all while making it seem as if they got that information on their own.

And now that the US Justice Department has uncovered that journalists were essentially bribing FBI officials with free golf games and trips all while pretending that they have some fake antagonistic relationship with them, we now know exactly how the mainstream press operate: dishonestly and deviously.

And Trump saw it all upfront for decades. They gave him free publicity as they ignored the real problems happening in the world.

He is a master at the the game of Go: he knows how to surround a target as he removes their liberties one by one; however, the press all banded together and cast the first stone -- meaning they willingly played with him. No babes in the woods, and let's not cast journalists as either Heroes or Victims, because they are neither. They are Villains wearing Heroes and Victims as they try to deflect attention away from their own sketchy actions.

Their own conniving nature sunk them: and then someone who knows who they really were all along.

So go tell that dwindling and apathetic audience how the press is under attack -- but be certain you tell those people how that profession brought themselves into the position with their conniving nature in the first place...

Art Crimes in Canada is alive and well.

Banksy's work was stolen in Toronto, hardly the first art theft in Canada, and as usual, it is an easy thing to steal art in Canada because security is non-existent because it is not seen as a problem. The University of Toronto had two serious thefts exactly eleven years apart -- and those eagle-eyed knuckleheads didn't notice the missing paintings for months.

Which is patently ignorant. Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal are close enough to US hubs of art crimes. Art is an underground currency for millionaires and billionaires who do some shady business and need something of value to pay certain elements under the table.

I had repeatedly tried to pitch stories about this serious issue to various Canadian media outlets over the years as I had a huge dossier of various cases. Every single one haughtily turned me down, including the now defunct Saturday Night magazine, whose editor at the time accused me of "exaggerating" -- even though I had listed real-life cases that had happened here. I had sources, too, but even Canadian-based art magazines took a pass, even though it was crucial for museums and small art galleries and centres to know that to take precautions (not to display stolen art, for instance) was an extremely expensive proposition.

I did give a speech on the topic at an art centre. I remember the reaction of one gallery employee when I said how much a single search in a stolen art database cost.

Interpol has its own database on stolen art. It is a serious global problem.

But Canadian editors didn't like the narrative that bad things like that happened here.

The 2001 movie The Score was an art heist movie set in Montreal -- not even that hook was enough for editors back then to cover the issue -- from stolen works, vandalism, to forgeries -- there was no shortage of real-life art crimes, but no takers.

Now add Banksy's Trolly Hunters has been thrown at that pile.

banksy_print_trolley_hunters.jpg

Thank Canadian editors for keeping you in the dark about the laundering of money through art -- because they think their fellow Canadians are just too delicate to be able to face unpleasant truths.

And considering that the Russian mafia uses art to launder their ill-gotten gains, I am surprised those jittery Canadian editors haven't had the ovaries to cover it...

 

Concordia University oblivious to reality: Launches "Investigative Journalism" program doing the same things that helped destroy the profession.

Journalism is a cheap faculty to put up to take money from students who become unemployable after graduation as the industry collasped, but from the looks of it, they are doing the same thing in a climate where journalism has proven to be antiquated to a modern world.

How oblivious are they?

Just take a look at their silly press release complete with my translation:

Headed by Patti Sonntag, former managing editor of the New York Times’s News Services Division, (an unemployed news producer who worked in a legacy, old school outlet)... 

the institute will be headquartered in Concordia’s Department of Journalism and will attempt to foster investigative journalism and alleviate “news poverty” in certain regions of the country caused by the loss of advertising revenue for local and regional media. ("attempt" means "do not expect anything from us", while "news poverty" means "places that have abandoned a product that no longer spoke to them as they now have social media to replace the arrogant old guard." Worse, this is forcing taxpayers to fund a dead profession, an even more vile than having unpaid interns, they are using more than just free labour journalism students -- they have to pay the university in the bargain. How immoral -- and using the same fatal errors that destroyed the profession in the first place).

Media partners in the project include Global News, The National Observer and the Toronto Star, while academic partners include Carleton University, Humber College, Mount Royal University, Ryerson University, University of King’s College, University of Regina and University of British Columbia. (translates to "All the organizations that were so dense as to allow their profession to collapse are now meddling to help further decimate a dead corpse).

Pathetic? Absolutely. Worthless degree? You bet. Money grab without an ounce of innovation? Oh, yes. Arrogant, tone deaf, and oblivious to reality?

What do you expect? All the players who pontificated until there was no more platform to do so, are at it again...expect nothing from these morons -- they only know how to ape actions for comedic effect, not bring true innovation with an alternative to a dead profession...

Journalists were buttering up government officials with perks? You don't say, US Justice Department!

The sewer rat ways of the legacy media are discussed here, but you can read the actual US Justice department report on it here with this passage being very instructive:

In addition, we identified instances where FBI employees improperly received benefits from reporters, including tickets to sporting events, golfing outings, drinks and meals, and admittance to nonpublic social events. We will separately report on those investigations as they are concluded, consistent with the Inspector General Act, other applicable federal statutes, and OIG policy.

I remember trying to pitch a journal article for one FBI publication on how to deal with the press, way back in the early Aughts. They were quite haughty in their decline, and now we can see why: because they perhaps wanted some goodies to go along with the media requests.

This is a very bad revelation, and may have gone unnoticed, but as journalism's fortunes have been decimated, keeping the serious scandals from leaking out have been quashed. First came #MeToo revelations, and now buttering up government officials into potentially breaking the law to go after newsmakers the media's handlers do not like.

Tip of the iceberg, kids. The FBI may have to be renamed and completely overhauled in order not to have the rot of journalism completely destroy their credibility in the dark bargain. (Got that, Homeland Security?)

Journalism looks for the enemy Them. F.R.E.E.D. exposes the figments of They.

Antagonism often seems the staple of narratives in both fiction and nonfiction. You always have to have a Bad Guy to make life bad for you and all the other Nice people.

When I began A Dangerous Woman Story Studio in 2013, I thought about this constricted dynamic very carefully, and decided there would be levels instead.

Some stories were conventional in an Us versus Them dynamic where bad was bad and good was good, and the banner was Case Files and Other Mysteries.

Some stories had elements of Us and Them, but the outcome wasn't a given. Sometimes rivals or antagonists were defeated, but sometimes, they had a deeper secret that forced them to be perceived as such. They hammered things out with the protagonists, negotiated, and often made amends, and ended up being allies, with some even becoming heroes in their own stories. These could also be classified as Us versus Us. The banner was Fables and Bedtime Stories. These were less dark and violent than the Case Files banners.

Then there were two more banners:

Some stories technically had no good guy. These were anti-heroes and/or villains fighting each other. Assassins dispatched to kill murderers. These were dark and had no heroes per se. Them versus Them -- and protagonists often reneged on their word in order to get the job done -- often in the name of Goddess (who would have never condoned it). The banner for these is Dread Tales.

And then there was the fourth classification that was the sweetest, lightest, and most gentle, but also the most radical.

Stories with no antagonist. There is no Us versus Them, not even an annoying neighbour, in-law, or sibling to snark at you.

These are classified as Silliosity.

It is not as if there are no problems. It is not as if people all agree with each other. It is not as if there isn't a story, but these are tales from beyond Happily Ever After.

In the novella The Future According Hammond Hughes, the central protagonist, eccentric and endearing sentimental sop and science fiction novelist icon Hammond Hughes lives a very happy and productive life with his wife, three children, in-laws, and family in Queen's Heights. He dresses wildly in the late 1940s. He gets along with his neighbours. He is close friends with his brother-in-law. His brothers look up to him. He adores his three young sons. His wife is a feminist whom he worships and she worships him in kind.

It begins at the standard end of a story where it is Happily Ever After. Hammond Hughes is a man who has it all.

What else could there possibly be to write about? He is considered the city-state's beloved Patriarch, so what does one do for any encore?

How about getting together with his brilliant wife as both create a computer with Internet access in 1946.

That's the story. There are no fights or battles. It is Us with Us. Both learn and grow as human beings. Husband and wife have personal revelations and change -- they just don't need to be arguing with people in order to do it.

Other things happen along the way, including Hammond embarking on a new medium called television with his own program as his wife's nonfiction book takes her to places where she meets new people along the way. Progress happens because there is cooperation without one side taking all the spoils for themselves.

You can read a story from each intersecting category to see how profound the difference in balance is with each level. The Doyenne Assassin in a homicidal practical joker who kills other killers, but while Danni La Croix of Danni's Wall lacks social skills, she is a hacker who never harms people as she tracks down murderers -- and the spray paint she uses as graffiti to trigger a killer's capture eventually washes off because she doesn't want to vandalize other people's property. One is a Dread Tale heroine, the other comes from Case Files and Other Mysteries. Holly Lake is a detective of non-lethal mysteries of the heart, and her stories are filed under Fables and Bedtime Stories.

After writing for several years under this subtle, but radical system, I understood why journalism never grew and changed.

It was always Us versus Them. They never veer anywhere outside this contrived dynamic.

That can work when you are in a small bubble where outsiders are not likely to read or hear your narrative. A Toronto newspaper can villainize any foreign country, for example, because those papers once upon a time were not readily available to that demonized group who could challenge them in public.

Immigration would begin to put the world on notice that they were getting a bad reputation in other places, but it went so far.

Then came the Internet where everyone could monitor what other outlets had to say about them.

And then the Us versus Them paradigm alienated a lot of people who then questioned those outlets and many times, showed how inaccurate and even manipulative they could be.

But journalism never moved to expand their repertoire to find more than one paradigm that could actually reflect the reality of the situation.

Journalism is always on the prowl, looking for an enemy Them. It is why their Trump-bashing has long ago ceased to have any semblance of rationality: with dwindling resources, they are looking for a cheap and easy target to bash. It is a collective mental breakdown that has shackled an entire profession into a coffin.

F.R.E.E.D. is not about finding Them to demonize. It is about finding facts to show us reality to find the truth. It is not binary. it is not Us versus Them all of the time. Sometimes it is Us with Them or more sobering, Us versus Us.

But F.R.E.E.D. goes on step further than this: it is about creating a map of tangible reality, and that means more than just testing and verifying what is there: it is about giving facts that are practical, showing what is reality -- and what is mere fantasy.

And the biggest fantasy figment distorting modern thought is the belief in They.

Not Them. Them is the designated enemy, real, perceived, or misinterpreted.

They, on the other hand, is the imaginary group of hard-working, brilliant, flawless, and benevolent leader-servants who fix our messes and save the day for us so that we do not have to think or work on a big problem.

F.R.E.E.D. is a method of intellectual liberation from our own delusions and ignorance: we expect They to look out for our own interests, but F.R.E.E.D. reveals that groups is not there -- but does show us who is in charge -- if anyone -- and what is and isn't being done.

If any one country on the face of the planet is in need of F.R.E.E.D., it is Canada. They are always banking on a nanny They to make everything great. They have not made our negotiating woes with the US go away. 

Premier-elect Doug Ford -- once the bane of the news media's existence -- the same media who went after his baby brother Toronto mayor Rob Ford -- making fun of his weight, substance abuse problems, and very existence, howled, labelled the family rubes, and dismiss them as intellectual lightweights...

All until Trump put his foot down at the rigs Canada has in NAFTA.

Then, all of a sudden, only the sour grapes and partisan fringe keep putting down Ford. Other outlets are hoping he is the new They who will make this terrible thing go away, so their golden boy Justin Trudeau can go back to his selfies and the press can pretend he is a capable leader, and then slag Ford again as a peasant beneath the sophisticated collapsed rubble known as Establishment media.

Journalism is always about finding Them to pin all of society's woes. F.R.E.E.D. is not propaganda: it seeks facts to see how they interlock and interact.

Journalism is Patriarchal storyselling. F.R.E.E.D. is Matriarchal fact-gathering. There are differences -- and that journalism no longer functions in modern society is proof that we need an alternative to it.

It is not about hand-holding. It is not about fear-mongering or handing scripts to the little people to prevent them from independent thought. It is about facing reality because no true solution can be found by hiding amid lies...