Friday, March 23, 2012

Journey for Justice: how project angel cracked the Candace Derken case - analysis

An assignment for the Creative Communications; reading Journey for Justice, how project Angel cracked the Candace Derksen case by Mike McIntyre, was a good lesson in journalistic literature; how to structure a non-fiction story, how much detail to include and when to use those details.  McIntyre used a good amount of details, which isn't the easiest thing to do in a non-fiction book, because they have to be accurate. The details helped paint a picture, but didn't drag on unnecessarily, much like I noticed in McIntyre's To The Grave, where some conversations and descriptions dragged on unnecessarily in my opinion, like when the undercover police officer and the suspect talked about American Idol. The style of writing was very similar, same author of course, but something I really enjoyed in To the Grave was the parts detailing the efforts made by police. When they met with the suspect as part of a sting operation, where a cop went undercover and acted as part of a criminal organization which payed big money, but they needed to know they could trust him, in an effort to make him confess his murder. I liked the behind the scenes look at how the police actually cracked the case. I was disappointed that Journey for Justice didn't take the sawn approach, considering the subtitle of the book: how project angel cracked the Candace Derksen case. I guess I was expecting.... To actually find out how the cops cracked the case?? Well, that would've been nice. But now, to what I did like about Journey for Justice. The first part of Journey for Justice was my favorite in the book; I felt for the family, as the tragedy unfolded. I felt almost in their shoes and compelled to turn the next page. It was surreal reading about it taking place, so close to where I've spent a lot of time. Talbot street and MBCI were daily sights in my life back in high school, so i had a nice visual to associate with the story and made it seem more real. However, I found this style and pace didn't hold true for the rest of the book. While the selection of the jury was informative, I just wasn't interested, as the pace really dragged on in this part. And while I feel it's important to include this information in any detailed analysis or report of the trial, it prompted myself to ponder a question: who was McIntyre writing this book for? And quite frankly, even after his presentation to our class, I haven't found an answer. In fact, due to his personal connection to the Derksens and the case, which helped prompt him to write the book, I can only assume two motivations: 1) to tell a tragic story of someone close to him that he's passionate about, and 2) to sell books.  And while he denied the latter, I deemed that to be at least partially untrue, because of course that was a motivating factor; it is for anyone producing a book. As far as what we can take from the book, it's definitely a good blueprint of how to structure a non-fiction novel. Most of the dialogue is believable and I found his descriptions to be better than that in To the Grave.  But some of what I took from McIntyre came from his presentation; did whatever he could to get the story he felt conveyed what he wanted, in regards to the luncheon at the end of the book. He was allow to attend as long as he didn't bring his notebook. He talked to people and made mental nots, and took people's contact information so he could later ask them to repeat what they said while they were there. That's what I took from it; doing what it takes to get the story, being nice to people and understanding them goes a long way to them cooperating with your journalistic goals. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tilted Magazine makes it's debut!

Hi one and all, this post is a far cry from the usual subject matter I cover on this blog – and that’s probably a good thing.

This post describes the magazine me and my group produced called “Tilted” magazine, all about spotlighting local Winnipeg filmmaking talent and giving a behind-the-scenes look at filmmaking.

In our debut issue we give readers a behind-the-scenes look of the making of “The Divide”, filmed in Winnipeg; a stunt man on fire; acting tips; how to transition from theatre to TV or film; movie reviews and more.

Our magazine will make its debut on Friday, March 30th in the Atrium of the Red River College Princess Campus/Exchange district Campus, from 12 to 4.

This will be in conjunction with a plethora of magazines also making their debut.

“It’s a festive and carnival atmosphere,” RRC Instructor Kenton Larsen spoke about the annual event.

In years past theirs been a tonne of free food, from popcorn and cupcakes to even alcoholic beverages (but don’t tell anyone).

So come on down and check out Tilted, get the inside and behind-the0-scenes look at our magazines debut issue.

It’s greatly appreciated, you’ll see a lot of new magazines, and let’s face it – it’s a freaking party, come on down!

Checkout the team's blogs!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bell eats Astral Pie

So, BCE Inc. (owns Bell Media) bought Astral Media this week. I’ve noticed lately that a lot of media I consume is Bell Media. It’s interesting to think of the advertising, PR, and propaganda possibilities with such a conglomerate. So, here’s a snippet from a Toronto Star article to explain the purchase, followed by my rant. Yay!  
BCE Inc.
The telecom giant has been moving into the media space to ensure content ownership in Canada, as it competes with Rogers Communications and Quebecor.
Last year, it bought 100 per cent of CTV and started Bell Media, a new business unit to make television programming available on smartphones and computers.
Bell Media operates 28 conventional stations as well as 30 specialty channels, including Business News Network, Discovery Channel, Much, MTV, The Comedy Network, Space, and TSN and RDS.
It also owns 32 radio stations, including TSN Radio, and Dome Productions, a mobile broadcast facilities provider, and dozens of news, sports and entertainment websites including
It also has acquired a minority stake in the Montreal Canadiens, and it is joining with rival Rogers Communications to buy a chunk of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which is due to close in mid-2012.
Astral Media
Astral is Montreal-based company founded in 1961. It owns many familiar television channels such as Family, Disney Junior, Teletoon, to premium channels such as The Movie Network and HBO Canada. In Quebec, it operates 13 French-language channels Canal Vie, Canal D, VRAK TV and MusiquePlus.
Astral also has 84 radio stations in 50 markets, including CJOB 680 and QX 104.
It also has 9,500 outdoor traditional and digital billboards in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia, which Bell sees as a growing market.
While this acquisition is an example of capitalism, it is also an example of corporatism—well not yet, but a step in that direction. See, it would be different if the people governed the people; however we have career politicians that are influenced by big business’s lobbying and influence.
I suppose my concerns are mostly unjustified, in BCE Inc. at least, it’s more of a philosophical issue. And even though this is the natural progression of capitalism… it’s like all businesses circle around a drain—like in a bathtub. The rich get richer, and buy up the poorer, until everything is in the hands of two or three corporations in that sector with a myriad of divisions and subsections so you don’t start thinking “hmmm… you know, everything I like to watch and listen to is owned by Bell Media.”
See, that’s what I’ve been finding I’ve been saying to myself. I love the Jets, so I watch TSN and the Jets channel—all owned by Bell Media. I also like to listen to them, and TSN 1290 owns the broadcast rights—Bell owns TSN 1290.
Bell also owns CTV, which broadcasts my favorite local TV news program, of course, CTV News… with Gord Leclerc, lol.
And when I’m not consumed by Jets or news, I like to sit back and watch some Big Bang Theory or South Park on Comedy Network or American Pickers or some documentary on History Channel or Discovery. Oh… Bell Media owns all those eh?
Just a tad bit concerning when the majority of the media I consume comes from one place. And I sure hope there is a high level of trust in an organization with that much control in the greatest propaganda tools known to man.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Powerful Video

Speech before the US House of Representatives, 02/12/09 (R) Ron Paul. This man is running for president! unedited version: Madame Speaker, I have a few questions for my colleagues. What if we wake up one day and realize that the terrorist threat is a predictable consequence of our meddling in the affairs of others? What if propping up repressive regimes in the Middle East endangers both the United States and Israel? What if occupying countries like Iraq and Afghanistan - and bombing Pakistan - is directly related to the hatred directed toward us and has nothing to do with being free and prosperous? What if someday it dawns on us that losing over 5,000 American military personnel in the Middle East since 9/11 is not a fair trade-off for the loss of nearly 3,000 American citizens, no matter how many Iraqi, Pakistani, and Afghan people are killed or displaced? What if we finally decide that torture, even if called enhanced interrogation techniques, is self-destructive and produces no useful information - and that contracting it out to a third world nation is just as evil? What if it is finally realized that war and military spending is always destructive to the economy? What if all wartime spending is paid for through the deceitful and evil process of inflating and borrowing? What if we finally see that wartime conditions always undermine personal liberty? What if conservatives, who preach small government, wake up and realize that our interventionist foreign policy provides the greatest incentive to expand the government? What if conservatives understood once again that their only logical position is to reject military intervention and managing an empire throughout the world? What if the American people woke up and understood that the official reasons for going to war are almost always based on lies and promoted by war propaganda in order to serve special interests? What if we as a nation came to realize that the quest for empire eventually destroys all great nations? What if Obama has no intention of leaving Iraq? What if a military draft is being planned for the wars that will spread if our foreign policy is not changed? What if the American people learn the truth: that our foreign policy has nothing to do with national security and that it never changes from one administration to the next? What if war and preparation for war is a racket serving the special interests? What if President Obama is completely wrong about Afghanistan and it turns out worse than Iraq and Vietnam put together? What if Christianity actually teaches peace and not preventive wars of aggression? What if diplomacy is found to be superior to bombs and bribes in protecting America? What happens if my concerns are completely unfounded - nothing! What happens if my concerns are justified and ignored - nothing good!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hey Feds, wanna save money? Don't legalize the rope, legalize the dope!

"A senator known for advocating on behalf of the victims of crime backed off slightly on comments that suggested serial murderers should be given a rope to hang themselves in prison. Sen. Pierre Hugues-Boisvenu made the remarks ahead of the Conservative caucus meeting in Ottawa on Wednesday." - CTV Should serial murderers be given a rope to hang themselves in prison if they see fit?  Wow, way to open up a can of worms. If one of the factors of this idea was to reduce the prison population... I don't know, it just sounds too Hitler-esq.  Why not have softer penalties for non-violent crimes? Why not legalize marijuana?  That would decrease the prison population more than the rope e dope, saving taxpayers money - and not just that.  It would also act a significant source of revenue that would help pay for federal services and chip away at our national debt. "Every year, a widely consumed illegal substance makes potential criminals of millions and actual criminals of hundreds of thousands. And like booze during Prohibition, this substance, marijuana, is the easy revenue of organized crime, contributing tens of billions of dollars to growers, who commit a variety of bad acts both at home and abroad. What about possible tax revenue? From Canada we’ve learned that the production cost of (government-sponsored) marijuana is roughly 33¢ a gram. Currently, U.S. marijuana consumers pay at least $10 per gram retail for illegal marijuana. If the cost of retailing and distribution is the same as for legal tobacco cigarettes, about 10¢ a gram, then selling the (legal) product at exactly the same price as on the street today ($10 per gram) could raise $40 billion to $100 billion in new revenue. Not chump change. Government would simply be transferring revenue from organized crime to the public purse." - Business Week. Absolutely, couldn't agree more with business week on this one.  Don't legalize the rope, legalize the dope. It just makes sense. Some people could say "if the government doesn't save us from it, everyone will use it".   Really? If Cocaine was legalized, would you go try it just because?  NO!  Because you can think for yourself and don't need the nanny state to tell you what is and what is not safe or healthy for you. Hell, alcohol is far more dangerous than weed is. Alcohol is: More toxic Responsible for more deaths More violent behavior Deadlier long/term use  And more.... Yet it's still legal. Why? The money! Now, I know I started this post ranting about the idea of putting ropes in murderers cells so they could hang themselves.. But rather, I looked at the cause of the issue- an overflowing prison population and the tax dollars it takes to keep them in jail.  Legalizing would help solve both of these issues, it could also increase tourism and would definitely stimulate the economy. So what's wrong with that? I say:  don't give 'em rope, give 'em dope. Spock would say: it's only logical. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Tim Thomas: American Patriot (when he's not the Boston Bruins goaltender)

Good on ya Tim Thomas.  The Conn Smyth winning goaltender from the 2011 stanley cup winning Boston Bruins didn't join his teammates visiting President Obama at the White House Monday.  Now, Thomas has been hearing a ton of flak from the media for his decision to exercise his right of free speech and his individual right to choose what he wants to do.  He doesn't respect Obama or his administration, and can you really blame him?   What I respect about Thomas, is he had the guts to do what he felt was right.  Yet most media is slamming the guy for.... Not joining his teammates?  Hmmm.  Why doesn't TSN mention the real elephant in the room here.  His actual statement; here it is: “I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People. This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government. Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL. This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic. TT” We should be debating his statement, which I find to be accurate and I welcome a debate on it because his statement is truth, and not the Boston Bruins or Obama or political affiliation. Now, if you're a hockey fan reading this post and don't know much about the Federal Reserve, just google it, do some research.  Research the American monetary system and how it drastically changed in 1913 with the Federal Reserve act. It's the only "government" agency to have never been audited.  I think it's time to audit the Fed.  Why not? The Fed it supposed to benefit the people, is it not?  In fact, rewind to the 19th century and every company operating in the U.S. Was audited and had to prove that it benefited the American public.  Of course, big business (David Rockefeller oil company) lobbied to change that in the late 19th century. Go to YouTube and search Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the fed, and how he explains that there's no action the government can take to overturn decisions the fed sees as prudent.  In other words, they're above the law. Thomas is the only American born player on the Boston Bruins... And flat out rejected the invitation. Now, I've been hearing the spin from the local winnipeg sports talk shows.. Saying how this is a disrespectful move by Thomas, and that these kind of comments could have been made in the off-season. Would anyone care what he says in the off-season? NO! It's brilliant PR to get his message across and bring awareness to his cause and the message of liberty against a federal government constantly eroding liberty and freedom in exchange for "safety" against an external threat, the"terrorist".   Reminds me of Hitlers campaign of propaganda to hate the Jews, erode their rights... And then eveyones rights. Anyways... Tim Thomas exercised excellent PR to bring serious issues that everyone should understand and be aware of into the mainstream.... Expect this story to be swept under the rug unless Thomas makes further statements, which is unlikely because he said he wouldn't make any further statements. Certain sports talk show hosts say Thomas took some thunder from the Boston Bruins celebration of their Stanley Cup victory. Well i say the future of our society is more important than sports.  Even though I love hockey and football.  Go jets go! Tim Thomas = 2 thumbs up. It took a ton of courage, inner strength and integrity to make the statement you made.  Hopefully this helps bring the issues you brought up to the forefront....   Before they elect Romney.... Wow, please don't elect Romney.  Need a third party candidate.  Break the two party paradigm. Pce.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

CNN Cut Off US Army Soldier, Cpl, Supporting Ron Paul, Anti-War, 2012 Iowa Caucus

CNN was interviewing a 28 year old active duty US Army Corporal, Jesse Thorsen, who voted for Ron Paul and explained why.

"I'm really excited about alot of his ideas especially when it comes to bringing the soldiers home I've been serving for ten years now and all ten years of those have been during war-time. I'd like to see a little peace-time army and I think he has the right idea," Thorsen said.

The reporter said other Republicans view Paul's foriegn policy objective to bring troops home from overseas conflicts to be dangerous.  Thorsen replied: "I think it would be even more dangerous to start nit-picking wars with other countries..." the feed goes dead and they move on to continue their biased support for Mitt Romney.

This is more than a little fishy considering this was the ONLY dropped feed during the entire broadcast.   I can just imagine the director yelling "cut him off; shut him up," behind the scenes.

This is yet another example of the mainstream medias bias against Paul and his policies for personal liberty, limited government, and sound currency, which they've made no attempt to conceal.

A disgusting piece of journalism.

At least they're consistent ;)