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 adopted the symbol to knock some sense and the right questions into the heads of Legislators, pundits, and other opinion makers.

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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: black_rod_usher@yahoo.com

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

In the Olympics of Guilt and Recrimination, we have a winner



The 2014 Winter Olympics have ended and Canadians are still on a high.

We trounced the Americans in hockey (always a good thing) and our women's curling team set an Olympic record that can never be beaten (all wins, no losses).

All in all, we're betting Canadians will say they got their money's worth at these Olys. How much money?  The federal government kicks in $22 million a year towards winter sports. (Another $34 million goes to summer sports and $6 million to team sports.)

Canada sent 221 athetes to Sochi: 27 speed skaters, 25 men’s hockey players, 24 snowboarders, 21 women’s hockey players, 20 freestyle ski jumpers, 17 figure skaters, 16 bobsledders, 15 alpine skiers, 13 cross-country skiers, 10 curlers, eight lugers, eight biathletes, seven ski jumpers, six ski cross competitors and four skeleton racers.

They did us proud, each and every one of them, and that includes the coaches and parents of the athletes.

But while rooting through the numbers, we were struck by a sad fact.

The federal government is spending $22 million a year to support athletes and coaches
who leave us bursting with pride, win or lose, at their dedication and sportsmanship.  At the same time they are spending nearly the same amount, $21.7 million, on the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, whose only goal is to make Canadians hate themselves, to blames themselves for historical wrongs, to promote ideas that divide the people, to feel as bad as possible about their ancestors and their political leaders.

That's when we stumbled across another shocking fact.  Public support for the CMHR is almost non-existent, if you measure it by financial contributions.

Ever since chief promoter Gail Asper launched a smear campaign against all ethnic groups that oppose giving primacy to the Holocaust at the "rights" museum, financial donations have plummeted.

The fundraising arm of the CMHR, Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, headed by Gail Asper, announced that it had raised $4 million in 2013.  That's less than the amount the museum owes for city taxes (and isn't paying).

But what was striking is that the total amount raised came from ONLY THREE DONATIONS. 

Yep. You read right.  The "Friends" had to go hat in hand to rich people, some of whom had already signed cheques, for more money. Hardly anyone dug into their pockets.

* They got $2.5 million more from Michael and Amira Dan, of Ontario, who had already pledged $1 million.
* And they got $1 million from Alice and Grant Burton, also of Ontario. 
* The remaining $1.5 million came from the Manitoba Teachers Society, which overrode opposition within its ranks to give money to the museum.

The Friends of CMHR say they got donations from another 200 people in 2013, but the money raised from the little people was so paltry they don't even count it in their total.

The largest non-millionaire contribution was $68,000 from two auctions of guitars signed by famous people. But those people were buying guitars, not giving money to the CMHR, probably in the hope their purchases would go up in price because of the autographs. 

Even then, the Friends of CMHR couldn't be honest about the guitar money. Their news release said they raised $101,000 from the sales of guitars -- which was true only if you add the $32,000 raised in 2011.

You can already smell the desperation from the CMHR. In public statements, their spokesmen have backed away---far, far away---from initial claims that the Canadian Museum for Human Rights would attract a quarter of a million additional tourists to Winnipeg each year.  Now they deftly speak only about a report they were given (don't blame us it it's wrong) that claims 250,000 people will visit the museum (they're here anyway, so if they've seen the zoo already, why not the ugly museum).

And they're trying to hype the white elephant through "exclusive" peeks at the museum interior for various news agencies.  The latest was Global News, which got the skinny on the 11 levels of choking propaganda that will greet attendees.

Like:

2. Indigenous Perspectives
Aboriginal concepts of humanity and our responsibilities to each other are explored in one of the most dramatic spaces of the museum. The focus is a circular theatre of curved wooden slats representing the multitude of Canadian aboriginal traditions, which will play a 360-degree film and serve as a space for storytelling, performance and discussion. (2,700 square feet plus outdoor terrace)
 
 

So you will get to sit in a giant basket and watch a movie, half of which is projected behind your head. Pure genius. Or you can go on the terrace for a smoke (hey, you got rights).

Maybe you will stop at:
3. Canadian Journeys
Canada’s Journey will contain 18 “story niches,” most of them eight-by-eight-foot “boxes.”
 
You can explore the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike.  We're betting they skipped the admiration of the strike leaders for the Communist Revolution in Russia in 1917. And how if they got their way, we would all be enjoying the same rights that citizens of countries controlled by the Communists enjoyed for 50 years.

Oh, and there's the perennial favorite, the Chinese Head Tax. Do you think they'll mention how Canada fought a war with Japan to free China from military dictatorship? We repaid that head tax a thousand times over. 

Of course Japanese Canadian Forced Relocation gets a box. Will the Canadians captured at Hong Kong and tortured by the Japanese for four years get a mention here?
 
Where would you rather see your tax dollars go? 
Athletes?  Or sackcloth and ashes? 


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