Monthly Archives: June 2016

The National Observer: PostMedia Pawn?

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After decades of assaulting good government, supporting bad government and everything in between, all the while being owned by American hedge fund managers, Paul Godfrey of PostMedia has been very passionate in his pleas for money from the Canadian government for dollars – advertising, subsidies, grants, whatever; just give me the frickin money! – while his media empire slips into oblivion.

I say good riddance.

Anyways, it seems the National Observer has just joined the chorus of complainers.

For a while, I had some respect to the National Observer.  They covered interesting and important stories with an objective eye.

Now they’re just resorting to America bashing to try to make a buck.  What makes it worse is that they’re repeating the same meme that Paul Godfrey was using to complain about the new Canadian government.

Boo hoo.  Canadian media has had its proverbial head in the sand for the last decade while the Harper regime ripped the guts out of Canada.  Canadian media has done nothing to create Canadian media.  Yes, the National Observer was unique in its criticism of the regime, but resorting to defending PostMedia and others seems like a low blow.

The main reality is advertising is going elsewhere, both at a consumer and business level,” said Bob Cox, publisher of the Winnipeg Free Press (a Post Media subsidiary) and chair of the Canadian Newspaper Association, in an interview. “A lot of those advertising dollars have migrated.”

The government spent $3.6 million, just under 24 per cent of its digital ad budget, on news website ads in the 2013-2014 fiscal year. In the following year, that number dropped to just over $2.1 million, or 15 per cent of the annual budget.

In that same period the government more than doubled its advertising spending on services like Facebook, Twitter, and Google, spending over $4.6 million, more than a third of its ad budget.

And after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government was sworn in last November, federal departments steered a number of their marketing campaigns away from Canadian media, choosing instead to spend more than $2.8 million over the next five months on social media advertising.

“If the government of Canada spends on ads on Facebook, they send money directly to Silicon Valley,” said Steve Lowry, founder of Discovery Media House, an advertising consulting firm. “It’s almost like outsourcing, in a way.”

They’re conveniently ignoring the fact that Facebook, Google and many other digital media companies employ thousands of people in a healthy, thriving business of actually delivering results and creating business opportunities.

They’re also ignoring the notion that most ‘Canadian’ ad agencies who book all of these buys are also American subsidiaries and have been for decades.

Let’s ignore these facts and let’s just do what Paul Godfrey tells us to do.

What’s next National Observer?  Should we stop buying iPhones because they’re made in China?  Maybe we should boycott China altogether? How about we just cut Canada’s internet off from the rest of the world to save a few ‘horse and buggy’ jobs?

C’mon National Observer.  You can do better than this.  You still have the opportunity to do something different than traditional media companies.  You could even build your traffic if you show Canada that you ‘get’ digital.

Drop the paywall.  Bring us in.  Be objective.  Don’t quote PostMedia.

Talk to Facebook, Google and others.  They’re now the biggest media companies in the universe.  Make them your partners, not your adversaries.

EARN the dollars being spent by our government.  Don’t expect them like media companies have in the past.

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Bye, Bye Britain

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Unprecedented peace and stability for the last 70 years?

Unprecedented growth and economic opportunity since the end of World War II?

The greatest economic market by value?


We choose #Brexit.  The voters of Britain have decided to go it alone.

Good luck, Britain.

Will the US be next?

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And we want these guys handling our Stats Can (personal) data?

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It seems Lockheed Martin should pardon itself from the database business.

Apparently, the US Air Force has lost 100,000 documents and a vast history of documents ranging from workplace complaints to fraud because of a systems error with Lockheed Martin.

Are we really supposed to trust them with our personal and private data with Statistics Canada?  It’s time that contract was put out to tender.

Story details:

The U.S. Air Force has lost records concerning 100,000 investigations into everything from workplace disputes to fraud.

A database that hosts files from the Air Force’s inspector general and legislative liaison divisions became corrupted last month, destroying data created between 2004 and now, service officials said. Neither the Air Force nor Lockheed Martin, the defense firm that runs the database, could say why it became corrupted or whether they’ll be able to recover the information.

Lockheed tried to recover the information for two weeks before notifying the Air Force, according to a service statement.

The Air Force has begun asking for assistance from cybersecurity professionals at the Pentagon as well as from private contractors.

“We’ve kind of exhausted everything we can to recover within [the Air Force] and now we’re going to outside experts to see if they can help,” said Ann Stefanek, an Air Force spokeswoman at the Pentagon.

For now, Air Force officials don’t believe the crash was caused intentionally.

“[W]e’re doing our due diligence and checking out all avenues within the investigation to find out if there’s anything that we’re not aware of,” Stefanek said. “Right now, we don’t have any indication of that.”

Lockheed declined to answer specific questions about the incident.

“We are aware of the data corruption issue in the Air Force’s Automated Case Tracking System (ACTS) and are working with the Air Force to identify the cause, and restore the lost data,” Maureen Schumann, a company spokeswoman, said in an email.

The Air Force inspector general is an independent organization that reports directly to Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and Gen. Mark Welsh, the Air Force chief of staff. The office investigates claims of waste, fraud, and abuse within the service.

Stefanek said the ACTS system contains all sorts of personal information, such as complaints, the findings of an investigation, and any actions taken. The database also contains records of congressional and constituent inquiries.

The data lost dates back to 2004.

“[W]hen the system crashed, all those historical records were lost,” she said.

Data about current investigations has also been lost, which is delaying them.

“The Air Force is assessing the immediate impact of the data loss, but at this time we are experiencing significant delays in the processing of inspector general and congressional constituency inquiries,” the service said in a statement.

It’s possible that some data is backed up at local bases where investigations originated.

“We’ve opened an investigation to try to find out what’s going on, but right now, we just don’t know,” Stefanek said.

In a letter to Secretary James on Monday, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said the lost database “was intended to help the Air Force efficiently process and make decisions about serious issues like violations of law and policy, allegations or reprisal against whistleblowers, Freedom of Information Act requests, and Congressional inquiries.”

“My personal interest in the [Inspector General’s] ability to make good decisions about the outcomes of cases, and to do so in a timely manner, stems from a case involving a Virginia constituent that took more than two years to be completed, flagrantly violating the 180-day statutory requirement for case disposition,” Warner wrote.

The case Warner was referring to was conducted by the Defense Department’s inspector general, but the senator said he is worried the Air Force’s data loss could further delay investigations.

“I am very concerned by any problems that could negatively impact case outcomes or that could exacerbate the already lengthy process for [inspector general] investigations to be concluded,” he wrote.

He also criticized the Air Force for notifying Congress on Friday afternoon, five days after senior service leaders was told about the problem.

“The five-sentence notification to Congress did not contain information that appeared to have the benefit of five days of working the issue,” Warner wrote.

Air Force officials originally said information on sexual assaults might had been lost in the crash. After the article was published, they said that while sexual assault and harassment claims might have been part of the files lost, those types of investigations are backed up elsewhere. The inspector general does not investigate cases solely involving sexual assault. However, sexual assault or harassment might be tangentially part of an inspector general investigation, a service spokeswoman said.

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After Orlando: Divest!

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What’s the plan?

Cut down on guns?  More enforcement?  Fewer civil rights?

None of the above seem to be working and they’re all resulting in higher tax bills and less freedom.

So why not just turn to money to solve the problem?

We need to funnel the rage of all civilized people into a sound Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) campaign against makers of weapons.

Ask your broker if they’ve recommended any portfolios or holdings that include the following companies:

Cutting them out of the money machine would be an important first step in sending a message that they are not wanted as part of your life any more.

Here’s the REALLY big challenge for all of those of you who want to go one step further.  Boycott ALL manufacturers of weapons, armaments and companies that are part of the security establishment.

The sooner we cut them off, the sooner we’ll be rid of massacres like what happened in Orlando.

Call me naive, but I like to think it would be an important first step.

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I understand.  I really do.

At least I try to.

No one wants to see another living thing suffer.  It’s stupid and pointless.

But is anarchy the solution?

Where were the enforcers?  Where were the police?  Were they too busy on the beach chasing down a couple of students with open containers?

Why didn’t someone call CAA?  There’s an easy solution.  In fact, maybe we should legislate that the CAA (or something similar) be called first before we resort to such extreme measures.

And what would have happened when such a violent reaction hurt the puppy in the car?  Would the hero still be a hero?

I have to admit, I’d probably to the same thing, but we really have to ask ourselves why we’re paying upwards to 40% of our tax bills on policing and enforcement of civility if those enforcers are nowhere to be found.

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