Propaganda, PR and Spin

Loading

What is propaganda? The word gets thrown around easily by people who obviously mean “anything we dislike or don’t agree with.” It’s a pejorative often used by a small group to describe anything official that any level of government puts out, no matter how benign or factual. Libertarians, for example, often grouse that government information about, say the efficacy of flu shots or the safety of fluoridated water, is “propaganda.”* Ironically, many of these individuals and groups then turn around … click below for more!

Half Time News

Loading

This month, Collingwood residents got a newsletter in their Collus- PowerStream utility bill: The Half Time News. Recognizing this is the season of the Super Bowl, our  brochure provides residents a fun yet non-political update on the events and activities around council’s first two years in office: at the end of 2012 we are at the half-way point in our term. And what a term it’s been so far! While media attention is often focused on a handful of issues, … click below for more!

The other conspiracy theories….

Loading

After writing about the nonsensical “chemtrail” conspiracy theory and its tin-foil-hat brigade believers, I amused myself by reading up on some of the other conspiracies-du-jour on the internet. And no, I don’t mean your garden-variety secret-mushroom-farm, PRA dome, lobbyists-and-rec-facilities, aliens-in-disguise-running-the-library, Eddie-Bush-is-falling-down, Scoop-is-working-for-the-town or other local conspiracies. I mean real conspiracies: meaty stuff shared by thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of wingnuts. Maybe millions… Wikipedia – gotta love that site, even though it may be a conspiracy itself (see below) … click below for more!

The chemtrail conspiracy nonsense

Loading

Scientists need not apply for membership in the Chemtrail Conspiracy. In fact, scientists will probably be booted out for even walking on the same street where the meeting is being held. That’s because scientists would shine a light into the utter darkness of this nutty conspiracy. According to Wikipedia: The chemtrail conspiracy theory holds that some trails left by aircraft are chemical or biological agents deliberately sprayed at high altitudes for purposes undisclosed to the general public in clandestine programs directed by various government officials.[1] This theory is not accepted … click below for more!

Musings on public input

Loading

When I hear a call for a public meeting, my first thought is to ask why we need it. Is the issue something that absolutely needs more public input above and beyond what is already widely available? Public meetings require considerable planning, advertising and recording. Sometimes they require a large space, which has to be rented. Is the issue big enough to warrant such a process or cost? Is this meeting efficient, or will it delay a process or a decision unnecessarily? … click below for more!

Musings on representational democracy

Loading

Representational democracy, says Wikipedia, is “…founded on the principle of elected people representing a group of people, as opposed to direct democracy. All modern Western style democracies are various types of representative democracies…” And so is Canada, and by extension so is the Town of Collingwood; small cog it may be in the great machinery of democratic government. We elect people to represent us, to make decisions for us, to debate the issues for us. Some people mistake the point … click below for more!

The mayor sets the record straight about the PRA

Loading

The following is a statement made verbally by Mayor Sandra Cooper, at Collingwood Council, Mon., Jan. 28, 2013. It explains the timeline of events between the Pretty River Academy and the Town of Collingwood. It should set the record straight and clear up the misinformation around this issue: JANUARY 28, 2013 – MAYOR’S STATEMENT ON THE PRETTY RIVER ACADEMY As noted at last week’s Council meeting, as Mayor, I agreed to provide an update to the community about the facts … click below for more!

Forgery!

Loading

Forgery. It’s something that one normally associates with criminals; passing counterfeit bills, scammers, online pirates, people selling fake relics or fake ID. It’s something I would not normally associate with religion. But it’s a significant problem in the book millions of people cherish as infallible, perfect and absolute: the Bible. At least that’s what Bart D. Ehrman contends in his latest book, Forged. If you are not familiar with Bart D. Ehrman’s writing, then you are in for an intellectual … click below for more!

More construction at Centennial Pool

Loading

Here you can see the additional aluminum supports that have been erected to hold up the fabric covering. Only a small area at the north has had some of the fabric installed (visible at the lower left of the photo). Workers were doing some maintenance jobs, Saturday. You can see how tall the centre of the building is. It will feel spacious and airy, inside. Checking the struts and supports. Nice to see the company working on a weekend. This … click below for more!

Another day on the job in Paradise… chapter one

Loading

Mayor Ralph “Bosco” Hearne, whistling softly “Everything’s Up to Date in Kansas City” under his breath, gazed at the wood-and-polished-brass, 19th-century front doors of town hall and nodded slightly in approval. He stopped whistling, paused, and breathed out a gentle sigh of satisfaction. The gleam of the brass was unobstructed; his view extended through the big glass window clear into the atrium and to the back with its veined marble wall without a single thing to distract it. A few … click below for more!

Not the expected blog post, I’m afraid

Loading

Sorry to disappoint those readers who expected this to be a blog post on ukuleles, tequila or our beautiful Mexican Sister City, Zihuatanejo (“Zee-hwa” for those in the know). I refer, of course, to comments in the recent parody video, in which my blog was commented upon (as if blogging was something conspiratorial, but it seems pretty much everything is, these days for some folks…). However, my energies have of late been taken up by several other pressing projects, meetings and … click below for more!

Foolish words that still resonate

Loading

Foolosopher. What a wonderful word. Not much in use these days, but it ought to be. It is a portmanteau word, first used in English way back in 1549*, according to my copy of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary. It defines foolosopher as, “A foolish pretender to philosophy.” So foolosophy is therefore the “foolish pretence of philosophy.” Philosophy comes from the Greek (philo and sophia), meaning, literally, “love of knowledge,” but more generally the word means just knowledge or reasoning … click below for more!

What’s this nonsense about mushrooms?

Loading

In the middle of a video parody on YouTube that skewers council on our new rec facilities, there’s a comment about “the mushroom farm debacle.” It then goes on, rather erratically, to rail about “two yanks” and mushrooms growing in manure and “enobe” mushrooms. What debacle? Clearly the video’s creator never actually watched the public presentation made to council a year ago about a possible use for the terminals as an indoor mushroom farm. Or read the stories in both … click below for more!

It’s snowing, snowing, snowing…

Loading

I was looking outside today as the snow fell in Collingwood (-11C when we awoke, -10C when I first walked my dog…) and thinking of my brother-in-law in England, where they are getting walloped by a Canadian-style winter. He must be perplexed by the weather this week. It’s very Canadian. These pictures are from the Daily Mail, sent in by their readers from all over the country. You don’t normally think of Britain in the snow. Rain, yes, fog, yes, … click below for more!

Back to Top