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Showing posts from November, 2007

Breaking news--an alien concept for Winnipeg's TV stations

God forbid that news breaks out in front of the cameras of Winnipeg's three television news stations. It just spoils everything.

Reporters and cameramen for CKY, Global and CBC T.V.were on the steps of the Manitoba Law Courts getting reaction to the sentencing of murderer Corey Spence who killed Phil Haiart five days before turning 18.

They were listening to Isora Van Dreser, Haiart's girlfriend, when the murderer's mother and some of his thuggish friends began to taunt, insult, and, according to the Winnipeg Free Press, threaten the girl.

Note we have to depend on the Winnipeg Free Press for the news that threats were made because none of the television newscasts broadcast any threats. Which is not the least bit surprising as you'll see.

All three television stations treated the incident as an irritation that detracted from the real news.

The reporters had their stories carefully plotted out. Intro, voice over old footage of the murder, clip from girlfriend, clip fro…

Murder at the Empire Cabaret: Eyewitness Details

The Black Rod is hearing disturbing reports that may explain why Winnipeg police are having trouble finding the man who stabbed 24-year-old Jeff Engen to death at the Empire Cabaret.

We've collected information from well-placed sources who were at the Empire the night of the murder---a friend of Engen's who was standing beside him when he was stabbed, and a girl who was splashed with his blood before he collapsed and died in front of her eyes.

And the story we're hearing is:

1. There were NO ID SCANNERS at the Empire so "there's no way of knowing who had been in and out of the place all night." People coming in could see themselves on security cameras, but THE CAMERAS WERE NOT RECORDING.

2. Not that it mattered anyway, because, as we're told, THE KILLER WAS A FRIEND OR ACQUAINTANCE OF SOMEONE WELL-CONNECTED TO THE CLUB and was let in through a private entrance bypassing all security measures.

Some information reaching our ears contradicts what's been repor…

War In Afghanistan 2007 Week 46 and 47

Short and sweet, the headline told the whole story.

"Troops capture Taliban's birthplace"

"Canadian troops pushed the Taliban out of their birthplace in a storm of artillery shells and rockets on the weekend..."

Canadian soldiers had driven Taliban fighters out of Sangisar, described by the Globe and Mail as "a stubborn enclave of insurgents where the Taliban's supreme commander, Mullah Muhammed Omar, founded the armed movement in 1994."

The significance of that action can't be oversold. When the Canadians forced a humiliating retreat of Taliban forces from the Panjwai district of Kandahar province in 2006 it was like NATO setting up camp in the Taliban's back yard. With the capture of Sangisar, we've moved into their living room.

By the account of G&M reporter Graeme Smith, it was a hard fought battle highlighted by the Taliban's use of children as human shields and Canadian forces calling down artillery and air strikes so close …

NDP vs NDP

Et tu, Jack? Et tu, Joe?

The federal NDP Monday brushed Manitoba Premier Gary Doer aside like a bug on a windshield in their rush to oppose changes to the Youth Justice Act.

No sooner had the Harper government announced amendments to the law to make general deterrence and denunciation key principles in sentencing, than the federal NDP declared such ideas "useless".

It was barely two months ago that Gary Doer's All-United Travelling Salvation Dog-and-Pony Show descended on Ottawa, with the mayors of Winnipeg and Brandon scattering rose petals in Brother Doer's path, and his hand-picked merry men, Hugh McFadyen and Jon Gerrard, skipping behind him like giddy schoolgirls going on a picnic. They had come, one and all, to seek changes to the Youth Justice Act and the Criminal Code through stronger penalties for gang crimes and auto theft.

And all seemed peachy at the time, according to the Winnipeg Free Press account of the trip:

Doer made his anti-crime pitch directly to …

Sherman, set the Wayback Machine to...

... a time when scientists suspected atom bombs were changing the weather, when they feared global warming would lead to a new Ice Age, when they confidently predicted satellites and computers would have all the answers, and when the year 2000 was so far, far away.

The Date: January 1, 1966
The Magazine: Maclean's
The Story: What's Changing Our Weather?

Scientists now admit man's conquest of matter may upset the climate

What's causing this crazy weather?
Freak storms, massive droughts, killer hurricanes, snow in July....It's "those damn atom bombs," many people have muttered. "Nonsense," snapped the weathermen, but now some of them are beginning to change their minds.

Cutline: The chaotic weather of recent years is enough to make a rattled TV forecaster turn in his chalkboard.

And, experts ask, though it's warming up, can a new Ice Age be far behind?

snip

Since implications are tremendous for birds, fish, animals and plants---and therefore for our…

Bulletin- Anti-Semitism 101 at Sturgeon Heights Collegiate

The Hate Crimes Unit has been called to the investigate the harassment of Jewish high school students attending the University Fair at Sturgeon Heights Collegiate Thursday.

In a scene straight out of 1964 Mississippi, the Gray Academy visitors ran a gauntlet of coins being thrown at them, on their way to board a bus taking them back to the Asper Campus. The harassment, which started inside the school, didn't stop when they reached the sanctuary of the bus- as the vehicle was rocked and one public school student was seen flipping a switchblade near the tires.

Sturgeon Heights Collegiate is no stranger to the attention of city police, as a 17 year old student identified as a member of a street gang was arrested for brandishing a metal pipe only a week ago, and two students told the Winnipeg Sun, ""There are always cops here, all the time,".

War In Afghanistan 2007 Week 45

For a brief, shining moment the mainstream media was excited about the fighting in Afghanistan. You could hear it in their voices on TV and sense it in their written words.

Taliban forces were sweeping through the northern approach to Kandahar City, outsmarting the Canadian and Afghan troops who were tied up protecting the southern and eastern access routes. It was surely Tet all over again.

But a day later...poof. The same dull tones returned to the news from Afghanistan. Canadian and Afghan forces had routed the Taliban without breaking a sweat, killing, wounding and capturing a third or more of the attackers and sending the rest running for their lives. Phooey.

Among the worst offenders was Graeme Smith of the Globe and Mail.

"The Taliban have opened a new front in their push toward Kandahar city, invading a previously secure district and holding parts of their freshly gained territory in a bloody seige that continued into the night." he wrote.

Well, it was sort of accurate.…

Free Press accidentally exposes the sham of Judicial Inquiries

Ouch...Hot. Hot. Hot.

That's what you get for grabbing a smoking gun.

The words "judicial inquiry" entered everybody's vocabulary this week as the province roiled over the controversial prosecution of a police officer responsible for a woman's death in a car crash.



So it wasn't unexpected to see a column about judicial inquiries by Winnipeg Free Press reporter/columnist Dan Lett. ("Inquiry could show inner workings of justice system", Oct. 31, 2007)



But what he wrote had us falling out of our chairs in surprise.



The Black Rod has written about previous judicial inquiries, namely those into the murder convictions of Tom Sophonow and James Driskell. We pointed out that the mainstream media always fails to explain that these were not independent, unbiased examinations of what led to the convictions of the pair; they were the modern equivalent of show trials, where the verdict is determined first and the evidence supporting the verdict is presented in a char…

The 12 Steps Update and Feedback

It was two weeks ago that The Black Rod rose to the challenge of Ron Evans, Grand Chief of the Manitoba Association of Chiefs. If natives are to blame for social ills, he said, he would welcome help to fix the problems.

What he had in mind was a "roundtable" with, of course, all levels of government. Lots of talk, coverage on the television news, and a declaration or statement at the end. Then it's off to the casino for a little r 'n r.

We said waitaminit.
Why waste time and money?

Everyone already knows the problems and the answers. And we offered Ron Evans our 12 Step Program (http://blackrod.blogspot.com/2007/10/memo-to-grand-chief-12-steps.html ). FOR FREE.

Sadly, we have to report it doesn't appear the AMC wants to change its ways.

Within days Ron Evans was in the news again, signing on to A NEW STUDY of aboriginal life in Winnipeg. And it will lead to A NEW REPORT.

The AMC and a Winnipeg think tank, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, w…

Lack of success doesn't deter Lloyd, Glen or Brad

You can blame the Law of Unintended Consequences or you can call it an extreme example of bad judgement, but Lloyd Axworthy has a lot to answer for.

Ever since his grandstanding performance in September as the Great Defender of the University of Winnipeg from scrawls on bathroom walls, there's been an unprecedented spike in threats written on bathroom wall at Winnipeg schools.

And it appears the Axworthy Effect has spread to other cities in Canada.

On Sept. 20 Axworthy, President of the U of W, announced with great fanfare that a threat (of an undisclosed nature) had been written on the wall of a toilet in the university which apparently included "a threat of an occurrence on the morning of Weds, Sept. 26."

Police flooded the university, keeping watch for a week, even as police spokesmen claimed that they couldn't find a single extra police officer to patrol high-crime neighbourhoods where shootings and stabbings were a daily occurence. Sham searches of students' b…