Excited Delirium

Stories about Excited Delirium, the Shock Economy and a little fiction here and there.

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How To Reshape News in Canada

The CBC is dead.  The Cons have been granted their wish, they’ve killed it with 1,000 cuts (well, 1,500) and public news and the image of ‘honest’ journalism is dead in Canada.

There, I’ve said it.  Let’s move on and let’s have an honest talk about what we can do now that the CBC is no longer with us.

Years ago, many private news companies in Canada knew that the best way to create the news for corporate interests (and not report it) was to consolidate their efforts.  In effect, the chose solidarity in news reporting and put it under the banner of ‘Canadian Press’, or CP.

Under a non-profit organization, to boot.

CP is owned and operated by TorStar, CTVGlobeMedia (Bell, CTV, the Globe and Mail) and Gesca or Victoria Square Communications Group (both subsidiaries of Power Corporation).

For half a decade, they’ve been selling press releases and other content to the CBC for narration under the guise of public broadcasting.

Here’s the kicker:  as Canadian taxpayers, we’re paying ourselves to be brainwashed.

So, for those that weep about the demise of the CBC, look again.  You’re being played a fool and it’s important that you accept this before we have a serious talk about what we as Canadians can REALLY do to create real news in this country.

First, we need to take back our Internet.  We need to do something simple like start a Kickstarter campaign or something similar that will raise enough money to generate a serious bid for the next chunk of spectrum space or attack this city by city with customer-owned investment and installation plans.

We have to build our own network because the existing owners of the networks can’t be trusted to act in our best interest.  Investors in the network will be given participation rights and opportunities to vote on structure and key logistical considerations.

We get a million pissed off customers to pay in $1,000 and we’ll have a billion to start from.

Think $1,000 is too much?  That’s a year’s worth of wireless bills for the average Canadian.  Or about 3 months of the all-you-can-eat cable/phone/internet packages that we lap up on a regular basis.

Any progress will be good enough, as it will push momentum in our favour.  The future of companies like Bell and Rogers will become suspect, to say the least, as their only true rule is to act as gate keepers.  Once the fences are taken down, they won’t be able to control access to content.

And the ‘new’ internet doesn’t have to be built by individuals.  Cities and provinces can participate too.  All it takes is a simple legislative stroke to require any new road or infrastructure projects to include about a foot of fibre optic cable any time the roads are open.

All it takes is one city or province to decide that they want to do this and the rest will fall into place.  Stratford is trying, but they aren’t quite there.  Yet …

Next, we need to do what the big companies do and consolidate our efforts.  In large part, we already have the tools to do this thanks to numerous social networks and search tools, but they aren’t good enough because they’re prone to censorship.

Since we’ll own our Internet, censorship won’t be an option.  All Canadians will have an opportunity to add their own stories, have them voted on and ultimately reported on to other Canadians.

News will be ours again.

News will be new.

CBC: Death by 1,500 Cuts

The news about the harsh cuts of up to 1,500 jobs with the CBC doesn’t really come as a shock to me.  The Conservatives and those who hate any sense of equality or opportunity have hated this public institution and have never really made much of a secret of this.

That said, Canadians have a choice to make:  we can accept the slow and deliberate destruction of Canada’s public broadcaster; we can run Hubert Lacroix out of town; or … we can try to organize something a little more effective than just rebroadcasting sports and narrating PR stories from Canadian Press.

I choose the latter.

Let’s face it:  the CBC has always been OK for many, but never great for all.  I can’t stand two-thirds of their radio shows, I’ve never been much of a fan of their TV programming and I really only tune in to the radio to hear what’s up in the world of PR and mass-media manipulation from the PMO.

The cuts are much bigger than any of us seem willing to admit.  However, we must finally experience the inevitable elimination of something that was never really set up properly in the first place.

We need to collectively begin to understand that our future as a nation relies on having an effective tool for sharing our thoughts and ideas.

See, when it comes to public broadcasting and media, there are four options:

  1. Do nothing – be brainwashed by private media and see what happens to the future of humanity
  2. Create content – the failed model of the ‘old’ CBC
  3. Enable content – possibly the intended model of the ‘new’ CBC
  4. Distribute content – shift its mandate so that it helps all Canadians access and distribute content

I believe that the CBC’s future should be as a distributor of content.

I’d like you to join along in this new chorus.  Canadians should demand a platform of internet services that would rival the monopolies in this country.

We need to finally understand that a government-run business should NOT be in the content creation business.

Instead, the CBC needs to act as a public utility delivering internet services that would acknowledge digital access as a right and not a yoke.

The time has come.

CASL A Kick in the Junk to Canadian Small Businesses and All Canadians

The CASL – Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation – is the new ultimate four-letter word for all small businesses and operators that stay in touch with clients and friends via newsletters.

Introduced by the Conservatives, this legislation shows a complete and absolute lack of understanding how things work in the digital universe.

Businesses – especially small businesses run by one or a few people – are being forced to get their clients and subscribers to ‘re-subscribe’, an obtuse and idiotic process that is flooding the in-box of every single Canadian over the last few weeks and in the few days to come before the ‘deadline’ of July 1.

These same businesses have worked extremely hard to build up a list of subscribers that they can be in contact with independent of other media companies or social networks.  This is a level of control with small businesses that the Conservatives, Facebook and big business find unacceptable.

Happy Frickin Canada Day, Canada.  You’ve been spammed by thousands of companies that work extremely hard to avoid spamming you.

This pile of insult is another fine example of how the Conservatives know nothing of the digital environment.

When any organization collects email addresses, they almost always include options to ‘unsubscribe’.

Unsubscribe guys.  That’s all it takes.  You don’t need unwieldy legislation and you don’t need to force every organization in Canada or outside that wants to talk to Canadians via email to send more spam.


A Clean Federal NDP Campaign …

… Could Break the Cons and Dirty Oil.

Harper just said F-U to just about everyone in BC who cares about the environment so that he can continue to pad his accounts with cash from Enbridge.

Good.  That means the 2015 election is already over because 42 seats in BC are now up for grabs.

And that means that in about a year and change we’ll have an opportunity to take Canada back from Dirty Oil (aka Stephen Harper and the Conservatives).

So far, the NDP are the only party qualified to do this, given Justin Trudeau’s recent statements that he would allow certain pipelines (if they were done right).

If Canadians want Canada back, the NDP is going to have to outshine the other two mainstream parties and I have a few suggestions:

  • For Ontario:  promise to end the fiscal imbalance; bring in new safety standards and regulations for the ‘explosive’ growth in rail traffic related to Dirty Oil.  Focus on energy prices and funding programs and promise to end any/all subsidies to the Dirty Oil business.  Put an end to Fossil Fuel subsidies and divert funds saved to public transit and more efficient commuting in Ontario.  New projects would get 50% federal funding, with 30% from provinces and 20% from municipalities (which, incidentally could deliver more seats if you promise a better funding formula like 2-cents of HST to municipalities for public transit projects).
  • For BC:  appeal to those opposed to the pipelines and BC being the oil version of a ‘drug mule’ for Alberta’s booming crack-cocaine business.
  • Quebec:  same as Ontario, but focus on the safety of small towns without specifically referring to Lac Megantic (otherwise, accusations of opportunism will fly from all directions).  Do everything you can to maintain your existing base in Quebec.
  • Saskatchewan / Manitoba:  the ‘wildcards’, discussed below.

The three big provinces (Ontario, Quebec and BC) represent 72% of all available seats.  In the last election, the Harper Conservatives won a majority by cracking the Liberal base in the suburbs surrounding Toronto and other urban areas.

What do Voters in Saskatchewan and Manitoba Want?

… and what could the NDP offer them?

As an amateur political pundit, I find it nearly impossible to make recommendations concerning the folks in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, but the NDP have to ‘crack this nut’, so to speak.

The prairie provinces represent 28 seats.  They rely on resources, but most importantly, oil is becoming a booming business for them as well, so pushing away from Big Oil will also push these voters away.

The NDP would be wise to invest in market research that identifies ‘points of pain’ for these people.  Surely there’s something that the NDP could offer that the other parties don’t (or won’t)?


What can I say?  If you run for Canada, you’re apparently against Alberta.  It seems to have come down to that.

While it’s possible that the NDP might gain in urban ridings, it’s unlikely that the Conservatives will lose any of the 34 seats that are up for grabs in Oil Country.


Political predictions are a tonne of fun, especially at this stage in the game because they’re a lot like predicting the weather a year from now.  It might be hot.  It might be cold.

Anyways, here is my prediction if the NDP is able to get its act in gear NOW:

  • Current composition (based on 308 seats):
    • Conservatives:  151 seats
    • NDP:  99
    • Liberals:  36
    • Bloc:  4
    • Green:  2
    • Indie:  2
  • Prediction (based on 338 seats):
    • NDP:  157 +/- 15 seats, pushing them very close to a majority
    • Conservatives:  117 seats,
    • Liberals:  58 seats
    • Bloc:  4
    • Green:  1
    • Indie:  0

Yup.  I’m a gambling man and I’m recommending that Mulcair et al become gamblers as well, rolling the dice in a few months based entirely on the Conservative approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline.  They need to build a plan that reminds ALL Canadians that our future does not have to be tainted by Dirty Oil.

At a minimum, we can all see that it’s vital that they find some way to work with the Liberals to ensure that they are in power long enough to create a substantially more democratic Parliament than what Stephen Harper is leaving us with.

Why Mainstream Media Is Failing Canadians

Post Media is apparently republishing advertorial as editorial.

The recent allegations by DeSmogBlog concerning Post Media expose a much more important truth:  media in Canada is at a crossroads and is poised to fail.

Canadians need to take this example and understand that they cannot trust mainstream media.  It is routinely packed with content that’s poured in from corporate sources. Whether it’s car industry recalls being pushed to back pages, oil industry advertorials, vaccinations that are good for us, GMOs that we should be shoveling down our throats, political spin fine-tuned to make us hate someone somewhere else (or even in our own backyards), or a thousand other messages that we’re supposed to believe, they CAN’T BE TRUSTED.

The greatest and most talented with this rouse is the one you’d least suspect:  the CBC.

For years, the CBC has been paying for private news from organizations like the Canadian Press, a privately held mouthpiece of some of Canada’s largest media conglomerates.

The repeat the stories verbatim and as fact, when what the stories really consist of is spin, un-truths and propaganda.

The way to control the world is through the voice of media. The Communists taught us this, the Fascists honed it, and today’s Corporatists have perfected it.

The more important question: what are we going to do about it?

I Voted

You Should Too.

Conservatives rely on apathy.  Their forces are motivated.  Their opposition should be too.

After this election, we on the progressive end of things need to mobilize our minds, spirits and energy to systematically take back our future, regardless of who the winner is.

I say this because I am disgusted with all parties and options.

I cannot stand these ‘nail-biters’.

A majority of us do not want the right-wing, Tea Party madness, but here we are.

Liberals:  just too many issues have come up under their watch.  I don’t know if it’s bad luck, bad timing or corruption, but I can’t vote for them.

Conservatives:  sorry to paint you all with the same brush, but you’re all liars and cheats.  If you stand for the nonsense that Tim Hudak spews, you have no respect from me.

NDP:  I’ve tried to work with you and support you, but the union mentality cannot be broken and I cannot support you as a result.

Greens:  I LOVE that you were the only party that put the most important issue – public school funding – on the table, but you’ll never win an election.  The libertarian sub-voice also scares the bejesus out of me.

Perhaps we register a party called ‘no one’ or ‘Canadian Citizens’ on both the provincial and federal level.  And maybe we figure out a different way to fund political parties.

I don’t know, but I know this:  we can do better than we are.

More Evidence of a Dark Future Ahead

I was helping my son with his homework a couple of weeks ago, mainly in an effort to help him prepare for a test on ‘Rocks & Minerals’.

One of the questions that came up:  ‘Define ‘fracking’ and list the pros and cons of fracking’.

My son is in Grade 4.  Grade 4!!!!

When I saw the question, I calmed myself and found a great way to explain fracking:

‘You see, fracking is like smoking.  There are no pros.’

(He’s also being shown the array of pictures with lung cancer and other smoking-related diseases as part of a health topic, so the timing couldn’t have been better).

The message sunk in.  There are no pros of fracking.

He went on to write his test and for a kid who’s 10, he showed an amazing amount of knowledge of some pretty complex topics.

However, he received NO POINTS for stating that there are no pros of fracking.  Now, the key here is that other parts of the test had requests to state an opinion on certain topics, but not fracking.

(For the record, the regular bullshit answers related to this are things like employment and revenue for governments etc.  Yeah.  Just like smoking.)

I don’t know what to do with this.  I’m saddened that a teacher won’t accept a child’s opinion that something SO INCREDIBLY STUPID could have any ‘pros’.

If this is a small glimpse of what’s to come with our educational system, we are entering dark days indeed.

What’s next?  Scientists are witches?

What Will Conservative Cheaters Do When They Win?

Please, for the love of everything that’s decent in Ontario, please, please, please vote tomorrow and do everything you can to stop the Hudak Conservatives.

More examples of cheating – correction, ‘oops … we made a mistake … again’ – just came up this morning and if they have to cheat so much to get in, what the hell are they going to do to our public finances, social infrastructure and way of life when they actually run this province?

I’ll tell you what they will do:  they will DESTROY Ontario.

You were warned.

Con Witchhunt on NDP

The Cons recently launched a vicious witch hunt against the NDP and the media cows are following right in step with the Con plan.

Recently, the ‘spending scandal’ of the federal NDP has drawn away from the most critical case in Canada – investigation of the Robocall scandal, an issue that’s the heart of Conservative corruption – and our blind, idiotic narrators at various media shops are playing right along with the whole thing.

The Cons have intentionally changed the rules, leaving the NDP holding the bag and awful mess that the Cons have created.

The NDP are not to blame in this situation.

A corrupt and vicious Conservative government, bent on destroying any form of opposition in this country, is responsible for what’s happening.

Turn the focus on how corrupt this government is.

And CBC:  turn your f*in commenting on, you cowards!!

In A Swing Riding and Not Sure How to Vote on June 12?

This list provides some good insight into the leading ‘swing’ ridings as they relate to the upcoming Ontario election on June 12.

I prefer not to post stuff like the above as a means of telling who you should vote for.

However, I’m not afraid to tell you this information as a means of voting AGAINST Conservatives.  They are poison to our system, so please choose wisely and do your best to prevent a Tim Hudak government.

PS. I read the article above and was astounded by how many site trolls the Cons have hired to spew their hate on.  The Koch Bros have really gone all out to crowd the sites with this junk.

Here’s a re-print of the potential swing ridings:

Pickering-Scarborough East — (polled Sunday, 602 people, accurate to within 4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20) Liberal Tracy MacCharles 49 per cent, Progressive Conservative Kevin Gaudet 35 per cent, New Democrat Eileen Higbon 11 per cent, Green Anthony Navarro 4 per cent.

Thunder Bay-Atikokan — (polled Sunday, 380 people, accurate to within 5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20) Liberal Bill Mauro 38 per cent, Progressive Conservative Harold Wilson 30 per cent, New Democrat Mary Kozorys 19 per cent, Green John Northey 9 per cent.

Windsor West — (polled Sunday, 408 people, accurate to within 5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20) New Democrat Lisa Gretzky 41 per cent, Liberal Teresa Piruzza 34 per cent, Progressive Conservative Henry Lau 18 per cent, Green Chad Durocher 5 per cent.

St. Catharines — (polled Monday, 664 people, accurate to within 4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20) Liberal Jim Bradley 46 per cent, Progressive Conservative Matt Siscoe 27 per cent, New Democrat Jennie Stevens 21 per cent, Green Jennifer Mooradian 5 per cent.

Sudbury — (polled Monday, 479 people, accurate to within 4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20) New Democrat Joe Cimino 44 per cent, Liberal Andrew Olivier 36 per cent, Progressive Conservative Paula Peroni 15 per cent, Green Casey Lalonde 4 per cent.

Brampton-Springdale — (polled May 29, 531 people, accurate to within 5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20) Liberal Harinder Malhi 38 per cent, Progressive Conservative Pam Hundal 34 per cent, New Democrat Gurpreet Singh Dhillon 19 per cent, Green Laila Zarrabi Yan 4 per cent.

Burlington — (polled May 29, 713 people, accurate to within 4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20) Liberal Eleanor McMahon 42 per cent, Progressive Conservatives Jane McKenna 41 per cent, New Democrat Jan Mowbray 13 per cent, Green Meredith Cross 4 per cent.

Cambridge — (polled May 30, 559 people, accurate to within 4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20) Liberal Kathryn McGarry 42 per cent, Progressive Conservative Rob Leone 29 per cent, New Democrat Bobbi Stewart 16 per cent, Green Temera Brown 9 per cent.

Davenport — (polled May 31, 446 people, accurate to within 5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20) Liberal Christina Martins 44 per cent, New Democrat Jonah Schein 38 per cent, Progressive Conservative Lan Daniel 11 per cent, Green Daniel Stein 5 per cent.

Etobicoke-Lakeshore — (polled May 30, 681 people, accurate to within 4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20) Liberal Peter Milczyn 49 per cent, Progressive Conservative Doug Holyday 39 per cent, New Democrat P.C. Choo 7 per cent, Green Angela Salewsky 4 per cent.

Glengarry-Prescott-Russell — (polled May 30, 560 people, accurate to within 4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20) Progressive Conservative Roxane Villeneuve Robertson 45 per cent, Liberal Grant Crack 41 per cent, New Democrat Isabelle Sabourin 10 per cent, Green Raymond St. Martin 3 per cent

Kitchener-Waterloo — (polled Monday, 604 people, accurate to within 4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20) Liberal Jamie Burton 35 per cent, New Democrat Catherine Fife 33 per cent, Progressive Conservative Tracey Weiler 24 per cent, Green Stacey Danckert 7 per cent.

London West — (polled Sunday, 730 people, accurate to within 4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20) New Democrat Peggy Sattler 35 per cent, Progressive Conservative Jeff Bennett 31 per cent, Liberal Nick Steinberg 29 per cent, Green Keith McAlister 3 per cent.

Mississauga-Erindale — (polled Sunday, 457 people, accurate to within 5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20) Liberal Harinder Takhar 47 per cent, Progressive Conservative Jeff White 34 per cent, New Democrat Michelle Bilek 13 per cent, Green Vivek Gupta 3 per cent.

Niagara Falls — (polled Sunday, 468 people, accurate to within 5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20) New Democrat Wayne Gates 44 per cent, Progressive Conservative Bart Maves 34 per cent, Liberal Lionel Tupman 16 per cent, Green Clarke Bitter 4 per cent.

Ottawa South — (polled Sunday, 660 people, accurate to within 4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20) Liberal John Fraser 46 per cent, Progressive Conservative Matt Young 41 per cent, New Democrat Bronwyn Funiciello 9 per cent, Green Matt Lakatos-Hayward 4 per cent.

Ottawa West-Nepean — (polled Sunday, 650 people, accurate to within 4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20) Progressive Conservative Randall Denley 45 per cent, Liberal Bob Chiarelli 38 per cent, New Democrat Alex Cullen 12 per cent, Green Alex Hill 4 per cent.

Trinity-Spadina — (polled Sunday, 409 people, accurate to within 5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20) Liberal Han Dong 37 per cent, New Democrat Rosario Marchese 36 per cent, Progressive Conservative Roberta Scott 19 per cent, Green Tim Grant 8 per cent.