Archive for the 'new media' Category

Sep 18 2011

God’s Blog in the New Yorker

Published by under blogs,new media

What if God had a blog? The New Yorker answers this age-old question. Hilarious? Check. Blasphemous? Also, check. Nicely done.

H/T Ophelia Benson

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Oct 05 2010

What’s Going On At The Vancouver Courier?

So far, Vancouver’s community newspaper has been known for producing Greg Felton, perhaps best known for his worthless book, The Host and The Parasite, a conspiracy-theory laden tome about nefarious Jewish influence in North America.

Now we’ve got Vancouver Courier columnist Mark Hasiuk‘s bizarre fawning and utterly uncritical review of 9/11 conspiracy nut Michael Keefer’s claims from his book, “Antisemitism. Real and Imagined”.

What is it about the Vancouver Courier that attracts these weirdos?

Check out my series in The Propagandist for a critical analysis of Michael Keefer’s Zionist-neocon conspiracy claims, in which I debunk this sad, seemingly delusional English professor.

Mark, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

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Dec 31 2009

My New Year Resolution for 2010

Published by under new media

I resolve to focus more on achieving long-term goals in 2010.

In the past, I’ve probably spent a bit too much time concentrating on activities that would provide me with a quick return (ie. cash). That’s all well and good, but lately, I’ve been looking at what it’s going to take for me to really build a legacy that makes the world a better place — the kind that gets you a Wikipedia entry, last-minute reservation at a fancy restaurant or at least a Duddy Kravitz-style coffee shop tab.

In practical terms, this means devoting more time to causes, getting back to writing fiction that somebody will actually want to publish, and really building my business and other professional writing. Of course, it also means continuing to develop this blog you’ve been enjoying — I’m thankful for reaching lot of new readers in 2009 and I’m looking forward to sharing my ideas and opinions from this online soapbox in 2010.

Best wishes from Vancouver to my family and friends for all that will happen in the coming year

Of course, it’s not too late for me to add a bit to my resolution made thus far. Looking for inspiration. What’s your New Year resolution for 2010? Leave it in a comment below.
Vancouver sunset

UPDATE: Some New Year’s resolutions from my friends and family via Facebook
Sherry Narvey
To love you more baby!!! (NOTE FROM NEW MEDIA EDITOR TO SHERRY: I resolve to kiss you 1,000,000 more times in 2010)

Daniel Schloss
Well I quit smoking this past week. 8 days smoke-free now. So mine are to keep that up and to….get washboard abs. My new year’s resolution is caring more for my health in the coming year.

David Drucker
I always try and pick New Year’s Resolutions that are easy/fun to achieve. Like, ‘I will drink more red wine because I hear it’s good for me.’ Yeah, I think I’ll do that one this year. It’s a golden oldie.

George Petoussis
not to make any new years resolutions

Kenny Chiu
1. Get rid of at least twelve pounds in the next twelve months. 2. (extended version) respect use of metrics for resolution #1 (i.e. 12 kgs)

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Dec 20 2009

When a Dictator Isn’t a Dictator

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is accused of acting like a dictator. The real issue is why an experienced editorialist can’t act like a professional.

It is a well-understood principle in most editorial and blogging circles that when you compare your opponent to Hitler, you’ve automatically lost the argument. Reductio ad Hitlerum arguments say far more about the one making the accusation than the target of the attack.

This rule also applies to an only slightly lesser extent when one compares their opponent to a dictator, particularly in a country like Canada. Let’s face it, when you use the word “dictator”, the face that most often comes to mind is Austria’s most notorious firebrand. Unless you’re talking about Kim Jong Il, Robert Mugabe or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, labeling someone a dictator, or more cautiously using the phrase “acting like a dictator”, is not just wrong — it’s stupid.

So it’s disappointing when I see this sort of accusation leveled against our Prime Minister in a publication like the Toronto Star. Haroon Siddiqui’s clownish piece, Harper acting like an elected dictator, is a perfect example of the genre.

Not to delve too deeply into this muck, but one would at least expect such an outlandish assertion to be backed up by some sort of, well, evidence. An excerpt of Siddiqui’s piece:

Stephen Harper is centralizing power in the PMO on an unprecedented scale; defying Parliament (by refusing to comply with a Commons vote demanding the files on Afghan prisoner abuse); derailing public inquiries (by a parliamentary committee and the Military Police Complaints Commission); muzzling/firing civil servants; demonizing critics; and dragging the military into the line of partisan political fire.

Let’s see. Harper has “centralized” power within the PMO. So what? The PMO doesn’t make laws. The House of Commons does. The Conservatives are still hamstrung by their minority status. It makes little difference whether Harper keeps a firm leash on his closest cronies, so long as their leader and party must answer to the people in parliament.

Harper has not defied parliament on the Afghan file. He has defied a select number of MPs who are doing all they can to sap the morale of our citizenry and military for short-term partisan gain. There’s no question which political parties have actually tried to bring our soldiers into disrepute; apparently for the high crime of turning over our captured common enemy combatants to our Afghan allies to deal with before they’ve reached a civilized enough state where terrorists’ rights take precedence over those of their victims.

As for muzzling civil servants, Harper has done no such thing. Bureaucrats have always been subject to privacy rules and confidentiality considerations determined by their elected masters. This is hardly something unique to the Conservatives. And civil servants certainly don’t have any right to lifetime job security.

Extreme language and partisan rhetoric have ruined public discourse. I expect more from an editorialist in one of our nation’s most well-read newspapers.

Is this really how Canadian PM Stephen Harper starts his day?

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Dec 17 2009

Vancouver City Hall Report Card. Interview with CityCaucus

Vancouver City Hall watchers and municipal political junkies across the nation are probably already familiar with the severe budget woes facing this city. Services will be cut and it seems likely that treasured institutions like the Blodel Conservatory will soon be remembered only in postcards.

In addition to the economic challenges of city finances in a very tough year, the city is also facing some other more familiar issues. For instance, is Vancouver really preparing itself to meet its Greenest City goals for 2020, or are most of the announcements thus far simply window dressing? And how has political collaboration improved, if at all, over past City Councils where partisanship was the name of the game?

I got some answers to these questions when CityCaucus co-founder Michael Klassen stopped by for a coffee and an interview. For the full CityCaucus perspective on how City Hall ranked for 2009, check out their Report Card.

Just click play on the black bar thingie below, sit back and enjoy this New Media podcast, the first of many over the coming months. Cheers.

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