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:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The 4 R's of Idle No More---Wretched music, wrong facts, red racism, and Ransom redux

You can tell in a second why the Idle No More movement isn't attracting any support (despite what the mainstream media is telling you.)

The music sucks.

Our condolences to the reporters who are forced to stick around listening to the ear-bleeding screeching over mind-numbing drumming that passes as the soundtrack to the mob scenes which alienate the public more with each passing day. We shall overcome our urge to puke when we hear it.

An estimated 500 Idle supporters showed up at the Legislature Monday night to perform for the television cameras. That's the same number that showed up a month ago. No growth means nobody cares. The Idle crowd even dredged up Buffy St. Marie from somewhere to give their show some star appeal, except that the reaction to her presence was more "Is she still alive?" than "Wow."

A smaller crowd the same day had a bigger impact up north. About 30 people threw up a blockade of what the Winnipeg Free Press described as "the largest new mine development in the province", just west of Snow Lake between Thompson and Flin Flon.

The group included the chief of the Mathias Colomb Indian Reserve, the regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations and Pam Palmater, a self-proclaimed spokeswoman for Idle No More.

Mathias Colomb Chief Arlen Dumas told the Free Press he was "asserting" sovereignty over unceded territory. He said a littler "revenue resource sharing" would go a long way to ending the problem. That's another term for "white man works and then writes cheques to the Indian band which doesn't."

The reporter dutifully regurgitated the Idle propaganda without, you know, actually trying to find out if it was true. Because that's how the MSM reporters do it nowadays.

Well, you guessed it... Since, all together now---WE'RE ALL TREATY PEOPLE, we pulled out our trusty copy of Manitoba Treaties and started reading. Oh, look, there is the Mathias Colomb band and, what's that say? The band signed on to Treaty Six in 1898?

And in reading the treaty we discovered it states:
"The Plain and Wood Cree Tribes of Indians, and all other the Indians inhabiting the district herinafter described and defined, do hereby cede, release, surrender and yield up to the Government of the Dominion of Canada for Her Majesty the Queen and her successors forever, all their rights, titles, and privileges whatsoever to the lands included within the following limits..."

It goes on to describe north of this lake and west of that bend, then adds the following paragraph:

"And also all their rights, titles, and privileges whatsoever, to all other lands, wherever situated
, in the North-West Territories or in any other province or portion of Her Majesty's Dominions, situated and being within the Dominion of Canada."

We've highlighted a few words to make it easier for Chief Dumas and Pam Palmater to read.

In short, IT'S OUR LAND, CHIEFY, NOT YOURS, and has been for the past 114 years. You want some of that resource money? Learn a trade. Wait for when the mine is hiring. Update your resume. And get in line.
The Winnipeg Free Press has devoted space in their Saturday paper for two weekends in a row for stories on Idle No More. The first time it was five pages, the second three pages. In eight full pages they've never printed the text of the Manitoba treaties.

Gee, you'd think they don't want people to know what the treaties say. Even though WE'RE ALL TREATY PEOPLE.

Manitoba's phony hunger striker returned home on Friday, but not before he indulged in a little racist smearjob on a white nurse in Ontario.

Raymond Robinson started a faux hunger strike 43 days earlier in support of Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, and nobody cared. For a month and a half he lived in Spence's shadow. Reporters came to talk to her, to fawn on her every twitch and proclamation. If Robinson got mentioned at all it was in the last paragraph of a story that said, oh, and Manitoba elder What'sisname is on a hunger strike, too.

When Spence was forced to stop her grandstanding performance (more about that in a moment), Robinson saw his chance to snatch a piece of victimhood from her. He went on television and cried about the" racist" treatment he got in an Ottawa hospital.

Oops. You know what they say about comedy. Timing is everything, even in a farce like a hunger strike that lasts a month and a half and the participants lose less weight than Jennifer Hudson and Jessica Simpson did eating full meals including dessert for the same period of time on the Weight Watchers plan.

Robinson's story went like this:
He went to the hospital emergency ward and was given a gown and told to get undressed. But first a nurse---a white, blonde nurse, he said---asked him some questions.

"What are you doing here? What brought you here?" she asked.

Robinson said he told her he hadn`t eaten in 43 days. But he didn't like her tone. She was aggressive. "It was almost a racial tone, was the way I took it," he told an enrapt Hannah Thibodeau on CBC's Power and Politics show.

Robinson told the nurse, Ìts all been prearranged.`` She wasn't mollified or intimidated.

``Ì don`t need this kind of abuse,`` Robinson remembered saying. ``I`ll take myself out of here and go somewhere else.``

"Where's my place in Canadian society?" he said to the CBC. "When I needed medical attention …. I can't even go to the hospital to get the proper treatment that I want and to be confronted in that way."

Complaint of racism in a hospital. Check. Straight out of the Sixties Indian playbook. The problem for Robinson was that he had spent the last 43 days twiddling his thumbs in a teepee. If he hadn`t he would have known about the announcement made by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority to use nurse practitioners to get phonies like Robinson out of hospital emergency wards so that really sick people can get treated faster. In 2012, 45 percent of emergency room visits were by non-emergency patients.

Robinson demonstrated his own racist attitude to a white nurse. She was acting precisely how nurse practioners are expected to act in emergency rooms---triage the patients and send those who don`t have a life-and-death emergency elsewhere.

But, but, it was all prearranged, Robinson cried. Well, emergency rooms are not studios for photo ops. Even for phony hunger strikers.

All Robinson managed to do is to demonstrate for the camera what doctors and nurses put up with at Health Sciences Centre.

As for Chief Theresa Spence, she was playing out her own theatrical production. The MSM was giddy at the news that she had given up her protest after delivering a 13-point declaration of priorities. You had to read way, way, way deep into the CBC story, 24 paragraphs deep, to find the real story.

Spence quit playing hunger striker because her reserve had contacted a law firm and was going to endorse a resolution forcing her out as chief.

“If she was not to accept [to end] her hunger strike, then she would be asked to step down,” a band spokesman told CBC News.

And, finally, kudos to Brian Ransom, a Conservative Party MLA from 1977-1986, for standing up to the press bully Lindor Reynolds while the current crop of gutless Tory MLAs, starting with Mavis Taillieu, cowers in fear of not being seen liberal enough.

Reynolds used her Saturday column to villify Reed Turcotte, the owner and editor of the Morris Mirror. His great sin? He wrote two sentences giving a "thumbs down" to "Canada's native community and those of Manitoba" for making unrealistic demands of government and "in some cases acting like terrorists".

"Indians/Natives want it all but corruption and laziness prevent some of them from working for it." he said. Reynolds rails that the comment was "racist", so racist that the Free Press reprinted it in full.

She declared that "the majority of Morris residents say the editor does not speak for them." She obviously spoke with more than 800 of Morris. Manitoba's 1600 residents in the half day she spent in Morris in order to make such a statement.

Her rant went into overdrive.

"Unless Morris wants to join Selma, Ala., in the annals of shame, it's time to stand up and be counted."

Okay, enough, said Ransom in a reasoned op-ed. He painstakingly went through Reynolds carpet-chewing screed and took apart, almost line by line, her personal attacks on Turcotte, and Morris, and everyone who didn't agree with her harangue.

"Montgomery, Ala. Little Rock, Ark. Memphis, Tenn. Unless Morris, Man., wants to join the roll call of shame, the majority of decent people here must stand up and agree name-calling is no substitute for reasoned debate." Reynolds wrote.

The only thing missing in her spittle-drenching verbal assault was any reasoned debate.

She never mentioned the name of Chief Theresa Spence, who was exposed in a forensic audit of spending millions of dollars without any record of where that money went, for what purpose or to whom. She did pay her boyfriend $850 a day to look after the band finances, though.

She never examined the claim of terrorist words and actions. Ransom did. He quoted the definition from the Criminal Code which fits many of Manitoba's Indian spokesmen to a T. And we did.

So much for reasoned debate.

Reynolds learned her version of reasoned debate at the feet of former FP editor Margo Goodhand, who always spouted her support of free speech, then used her personal relations with the president of Red River College to kill a radio talk show that was humiliating her by exposing how bad the newspaper's civic election coverage was.

Goodhand's backroom interference eventually resulted in the cancellation of the talk show - as well as the eventual demise of the entire college-sponsored radio station.

It's clear by Reynold's column that she's after the same thing--- the destruction of the Morris Mirror.

Ransom thought Lindor Reynolds wanted reasoned debate, so he offered it. He failed to realize that the true impetus of the column was not an exchange of opinion. It was to win an award to feed her preening ego.

The FP bragged last month that one of her pieces (on the mass murder in the Sandy Hook elementary school) was named as one of the 12 best columns of 2012, according to Daily Beast, an American news and opinion website that merged with Newsweek.

They forgot to mention the nominees were compiled in a 10 hours blitz of Facebook and Twitter and picked by a panel of one man on a deadline.

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