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:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Selinger and Katz, the bank of Asper scams

It's getting harder and harder to run a good scam in Winnipeg.

Just ask David Asper who's been drop kicked out of the hinky deal he screwed together to build a new stadium for the city.

One minute he was the city's darling and the next he's the goat. And why? Just because he low- low- lowballed the cost of a stadium to con the public--- and to throw his construction company some business.

So who hasn't done that in his life?

David can't figure out what went wrong since his sister Gail has been running the same scam successfully for years as the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. But even she's sensing that the public is catching on to the game.

Last week the Ukrainian Canadian Congress declared the Aspers and their friends need to be pried out of positions of power at the CMHR.

"The UCC has consistently maintained that the governing body of the CMHR must be representative of all Canadians. Unfortunately the composition of the Boards and Advisory bodies of the CMHR has been dominated by friends and supporters of the Asper Foundation. This unfortunately brings into question the objectivity of the Content Advisory report, the Museum layout and content, and the selection process for staff and consultants to the CMHR." reads a statement issued by the UCC.

The Ukrainians thought they had a deal with Izzy Asper to get in on the ground floor of the CMHR. They would give their support, way back in 2003, and in return they would see their genocide story, the Holodomor, (Stalin's official campaign of starvation that killed 7 million Ukrainians) given equal status with the Holocaust in the museum's galleries.

Equally important, Ukrainians would be recognized as victims of the Nazis ("this would be portrayed as an historical fact in any discussion about the Holocaust") thereby forestalling the expected charges of collaboration.

"A review of the “Content Advisory Committee Final Report to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights,” dated 25 May 2010, makes only one minor, passing reference to Canada’s first national internment operations and only one reference to the “Holodomar” (sic). Further articles and information about the Museum evidence that the Holodomor will not have a permanent and prominent position in the Museum," the UCC states.

"(T)he crimes of communism receive no mention in the Content Advisory report."

"The current vision of the CMHR, as expressed by the Content Advisory Committee, is to include only two permanent galleries in the museum – one devoted to aboriginal issues and another to the Holocaust. Any other experiences and issues will be addressed thematically in the remaining galleries. This is unacceptable...".

But even while being attacked for overemphasizing the Holocaust in the CMHR, the museum's designers were defending themselves from allegations they were underemphasizing the Holocaust.

The Asper Foundation brags on its website that the CMHR "will incorporate the largest Holocaust gallery in Canada."

Bernie Bellan, publisher of the Jewish Post, got a tip from an inside source at the museum that shocked him.

Bellan wrote:

"...the individual, who asked not to be named, told me that the size of the Holocaust Gallery had, in fact, been reduced to 4,500 square feet. Given that the original size of the gallery, as previously mentioned, was 13,000 square feet, this represents a diminution of approximately 67 percent."

That's fancy talk saying the Holocaust gallery is going to be only one-third as big as promised in 2003.

"I was also told that the Holocaust Gallery does not have “a stitch of information about the great diverse European Jewish world annihilated by Nazi Germany and its allies" nor is there any “mention of Christian anti-Semitism”, said Bellan.

"Finally, I was told, the Holocaust Gallery will be part of a larger “Mass Atrocity Gallery”.

Bellan started phoning everyone he knew who was connected to the museum project. Angela Cassie, Executive Assistant to Stuart Murray, confirmed what he heard---the Holocaust gallery will be 4500 sq. ft. of the 47,000 sq.ft of exhibit space.

What the gallery will look like is still undecided, said Cassie. Design development won't be finished until January.

"Design Development is a process where decisions about use of technology, delivery method for information, placement of electrical, and major design components are made in order to begin tendering these components of the project." she told Bellan.

She's playing fireman.

The last thing the museum wants is a public fight over content.

Nothing scares money away faster than the chance of being drawn into a squabble over Holocaust vs. Holodomor or should we blame the Christians or not?

Millionaire moocher Gail Asper is still begging for money, at least $25 million more just to cover the costs identified a year ago.

She's started tapping her rich friends twice over but the pickings are getting slimmer and slimmer.

The last million dollars they got, from a donor who had given $3 million already, came with a door prize.

"We are delighted to show our appreciation by unveiling a feature room within the museum -- Stuart Clark Garden of Contemplation," said Gail Asper, the National Campaign Chair of Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

It beats a decoder ring.

But the money is drying up.
The scam doesn't work like it used to.

Faced with shaking her begging bowl for two more years to get another $25 million, Gail Asper is turning to the usual marks---the premier and the mayor, who can always be counted on to give away taxpayers' money.

"Asper and her team are still counting on municipal and provincial support for the final leg of the fundraising effort." said the Winnipeg Free Press when reporting on the latest CMHR donations.

"I am very confident we can reach that goal. We're working with the city and the province, hopefully it won't be all from the private sector," said Gail Asper.

Oh, horrors, no. Not all from the private sector. Not that.

Such a vile idea belongs in Homer Simpson's Ukrainian Beer Garden of Atrocity.

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