The Black Rod

The origin of the Usher of the Black Rod goes back to early fourteenth century England . Today, with no royal duties to perform, the Usher knocks on the doors of the House of Commons with the Black Rod at the start of Parliament to summon the members. The rod is a symbol for the authority of debate in the upper house. We of The Black Rod have since 2005, adopted the symbol to knock some sense and the right questions into the heads of Legislators, pundits, and other opinion makers.

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

We are citizen journalists in Winnipeg. When not breaking exclusive stories, we analyze news coverage by the mainstream media and highlight bias, ignorance, incompetence, flawed logic, missed angles and, where warranted, good work. We serve as the only overall news monitors in the province of Manitoba. We do the same with politicians (who require even more monitoring.) EMAIL:

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Free Press crime, Bruinooge primed, email time...

Newspapers usually love an exclusive, but the Winnipeg Free Press's new editor Bob Cox decided there was one scoop he didn't want to see in the paper.

So it's been kiboshed--- until today.

A man is in hospital following a vicious beating by a gang of intruders right in the cafeteria of the Free Press building on Mountain Avenue.

And the question circulating through the corporate offices yesterday was "how could this happen? Where was our night security when this was going on?"

The beating happened Sunday night/Monday morning. A Free Press mailroom employee was getting a ride to his early morning shift, and they pulled into the parking lot with another car in hot pursuit.
They dashed into the building to get away from the men chasing them. The employee knew the nooks and crannies of the building but his driver wasn't as lucky.
The gang of men that followed caught up to the driver and put the boots to him until they got tired of the sport and skidaddled the scene, leaving the cafeteria a blood-spattered crime scene.

Police were at the Free Press yesterday taking statements.


Liberal MP Reg Alcock woke up with a headache today, a headache named Rod Bruinooge.

Bruinooge will take his second shot at being a giant-killer after winning the Conservative Party's nomination to run in Alcock's riding of Winnipeg South. The last time he ran against Alcock in 2004, he took about 34 percent of the votes to Reg's 51 percent.

But the one thing that's giving Reg conniptions, is Bruinooge's attitude. Unlike most candidates running against cabinet ministers, Bruinooge is not intimidated. He's planning a fighting campaign, despite losing six months of preparation time when the Tories shunted him aside for a "star" candidate, Hugh McFadyen. That was when McFadyen thought he could waltz to a win, but after Liberal fortunes improved and it looked like a fight, Hurricane Hughie ran for the nearest exit, which happened to be John Loewen's "safe" provincial seat.

Bruinooge hasn't won many of the campaigns he's run within the Conservative Party, but you've got to give him full credit for having heart and never ducking a scrap. If he gives Alcock a run for his money, the biggest loser may be Hugh McFadyen, whose own run-for-the-hills attitude won't escape scrutiny.


Our recent review of the hypothesis of Hydro pricing didn't sit well with everyone we mentioned. Here is an email we received:

Re: A new brand for Ed Schreyer and one for Manitoba, Posted Saturday, November 19, 2005

Your post discussing the Frontier Centre’s work on energy policy was way off the grid. Such blatantly sloppy scribbling tarnishes your blog’s reputation for sharp, insightful and accurate writing.

The Frontier Centre does believe that means-tested, income-based subsidies are a better way to protect the poor from market fluctuations and price spikes than across-the-board subsidies. So does every free-market economist ever born.

Do we think we should subsidize the middle class, as the Black Rod says? Must have missed that thought when we wrote they should pay the full market rate for energy sources like electricity and natural gas.

Does that mean we want to “let the government change private behaviour for your own good”? If that means government gets out of setting prices of any kind, yes, we’re guilty.

What happened here? Perhaps the writer on shift you describe yourself as citizen journalists in Winnipeg who break stories ahead of mainstream media -- was playing hookey when the public school taught reading. In short, someone who can’t read and concludes from reading our energy materials that we want government to be larger or more powerful.

Peter Holle
Frontier Centre for Public Policy
All this goes to show that in the new paradigm, you can't easily tell who the socialists are without a program, as Ed Schreyer would be the first to admit.