Saturday, October 22, 2016

The love of sobriety

Speaking of Wayne Moriarty and media mergers, he just wrote an inspiring editorial in the Vancouver Province on the love of sobriety. He talked about how last week he came home to a strange woman passed out on the front lawn of his apartment building and talked about how that reminded him of his love of sobriety. Indeed.

It's not often you see the editor in chief write actual articles for the paper. Yet it appears in June of this year he stepped down as editor in chief and went back to being an editorial columnist. I wonder if that has anything to do with the media mergers? If all of these local papers are now owned by the same company, doesn't that mean one of the chief editors can take the job for more than one paper? Evidently so.

Harold Munro is the chief editor for the Vancouver Sun. He is now also listed as the editor in chief for the Vancouver Province. Things that make ya go hmmm.... Times have changed so they have. That's a sobering thought. Welcome to the new media order.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Postmedia Spin and the resignation of Dan Murphy

The Financial Post is reporting that "Postmedia holds the largest audience in Canada, with a nationwide readership of 11.1 million people on all platforms, dominating all other Canadian newspaper groups." The exact same article was in the Vancouver Province. At first I thought it was a joke but it wasn't in the comic section, it was in the news section. The reason why Postmedia has the largest readership in Western Canada is because they are the only media outlet. They now own almost all the newspapers here.

We've talked about media mergers and how it is concerning when all the media is owned by one entity because it becomes easier to control. Well, wait until you see where I'm going with this.

Here we have a news agency reporting on itself. The article states "According to a new study by Vividata, Postmedia leads the Torstar network by more than 2.9 million readers and the Globe and Mail by more than 5.2 million readers." Ah so Toronto still have two independent newspapers, the Toronto Star and the Globe an Mail. Time will tell how long before they too buckle and cave into the hostile takeover killing the freedom of the press once and for all. Honourable mention goes to the CBC who are also independent. For now.

In all fairness, the Toronto Sun confirmed the findings in this new report. Oh wait, they're owned by Postmedia as well. Same article, same media outlet. While this propoganda piece hit the airwaves, the Globe and Mail reported that Postmedia to cut more jobs as net loss spikes. At the same time, the CBC is reporting that Postmedia Network Canada Corp. says it intends to reduce staffing costs again as the company reports lower revenue and a deeper quarterly net loss.

I was joking when I said Postmedia could fire Keith Fraser now that Kim Bolan writes for the Vancouver Province as well as the Vancouver Sun. Shockingly, it looks like that just might be a reality in the new media order. Kim Bolan recently wrote an article that was printed in the Vancouver Province and instead of saying the Vancouver Sun has learned, she now says Postmedia has learned. Well let's take a look at what the new media empire did to Dan Murphy.

The Death of Political Satire

Yesterday it finally dawned on me that I hadn't seen an editorial cartoon in the paper for quite some time. My employer subscribes to the Vancouver Province so there are always several copies in the lunchroom at work. In 2015 the Vancouver Sun reported that "A longtime British Columbia editorial cartoonist described as a survivor among his Canadian colleagues is a victim of budget cuts after more than three decades at the same newspaper. The Victoria Times Colonist announced Tuesday that it can no longer afford to employ cartoonist Adrian Raeside."

I remember him. Budget cuts... The Victoria Times Colonist isn't part of the Postmedia empire as it was sold to Glacier Media in 2012 but it shows a disturbing trend. Political satire has been a long standing Canadian tradition. Removing political satire is another step towards eliminating the royal opposition and turning everything into one homogeneous machine of royal assent.

Now for the shocker. In 2015 the National Observer reported that editorial cartoonist Dan Murphy lost his job with the Vancouver Province for printing a cartoon that upset one of it's corporate advertisers. The story as also in Huffington Post and the CBC.

He claims he reigned after management said it was time for him to move on. Dan Murphy claims that after he made a video spoof of an Enbridge commercial, it was taken offline out of fears of upsetting the corporate advertiser. The story made the New York Times.

The National Observer reported that "In his meeting with Moriarty, Murphy says he was told Enbridge had complained to the Toronto head office of The Province’s owner, Postmedia Network Canada Corp., Canada’s largest newspaper chain. He says the order had come down to pull Murphy’s satire off the paper’s website – and that $1-million in Enbridge advertising was at stake."

Wayne Moriarty has a different recollection of the conversation but the fact remains, the spoof was pulled and Dan Murphy resigned. This has been one of the public's primary concerns with media mergers. When the news becomes censored because it may offend and affect advertizing revenue from corporate sponsors, the freedom of the press is diminished.

So what happens when all the editorial cartoonists are done away with though attrition and budget cuts? Will that be the end of political satire? Will that be the end of dissent? Does the media then simply become the mindless propaganda tool of the state? Heaven forbid.

I like Wayne Moriarty. He treated me fairly once. Years ago the Vancouver Province printed an article form the National Post mocking 911 truthers. I wrote in to complain that the article said 911 truthers concerns were unfounded yet the article didn't cite a single fact. Wayne and I started to argue back and forth about the issue. I cited Conrad Black's ownership of the National Post and other media outlets claiming that when he was in charge, if a reporter printed a labour friendly article they could lose their job. He passionately disagreed that was the case and we agreed to disagree.

I kept saying the bottom line is that you're only printing one side of the debate until finally he said fine, you write an article and I'll print the other side. I was shocked. I wrote an article and he printed it. Truthers were contacting me and ask how on earth I got that article published. I honestly said I'm not sure. One minute I'm in a heated argument with this guy and the next minute he says he'll print my side of the debate. That was fair. Sadly I don't see it happening again.

I understand the pressure to make money. I just think political satire is a Canadian tradition worth preserving. The public has to be able to question government polices. That is the fundamental aspect of a democratic society. Peace.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Police seize a kilo of fentanyl on Vancouver Island

The BC RCMP are reporting that the seized a kilo of fentanyl from a suspicious vehicle just south of Nanaimo near Cassidy Airport on Vancouver Island last week. Now they just have to take the next step and arrest the drug dealers in Whalley selling fentanyl mixed with other drugs.

202 kilos of cocaine seized at Alberta border crossing

The Calgary Herald is reporting that "Authorities intercepted $10 million worth of cocaine at Alberta’s Coutts border crossing in the biggest such seizures of the drug in Prairie history. The 202 kg drugs were packed with goods in three separate shipments aboard commercial trucks, beginning with 60 packages of cocaine weighing 69 kg secreted in a cargo of televisions discovered Sept. 2. Another 40.5 kg of the drug was found two days later amid cargo of 2,000 Halloween costumes - the two making up the largest weekend seizure numbers for the Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) prairie region.

The largest was yet to come on Oct. 10 when 83 bricks of cocaine weighing 92.74 kg were seized from another commercial truck where it was hidden throughout its cab" The Calgary Sun is reporting that "In all, five men have been charged in the three busts with importing a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking. The suspects hail mainly from B.C. The amount of cocaine being shipped is definitely organized crime-related."

Rod Sweeney convicted of assaulting a 14-year-old

The Winnipeg Sun is reporting that "A judge has convicted prominent Hells Angels biker Rod Sweeney of assaulting a 14-year-old leukemia survivor and the boy’s uncle after the two were seen riding their bikes behind Sweeney’s house." This guy has been involved in Winnipeg gang violence for many years.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Dusty Swanson sentenced to 15 years without parole for Second Degree murder

Local sources in Greece are reporting that Dusty Swanson was sentenced to 15 years without parole for second degree murder today. Full patch Alberta Hells Angels Nick Dragich and Brent Koziak were found guilty of accessory to murder and were sentenced to 5 years with parole. Sadly, that means the two accessories just get time served and walk away free. Nick participated in the beating. They also have to pay bail of 20,000 euros each.

Bob Green's Eulogy

As everyone here knows, high ranking BC Hells Angel Bob Green was shot dead on Sunday. Although I certainly didn't lose any sleep over the death of Jonathan Bacon, I want to be clear in that I am not happy about this murder and I do not support it.

I always thought Len Peltier would get shot before Bob. CKNW is reporting that 27-year-old Jason Francis Wallace is charged with the second degree murder of Bob Green. Jason was a member of the 856 who work for Len Peltier and Bob Green. Jason was charged with drug trafficking along with Lenny last year. It is highly likely Bob Green wanted him to take the fall for Lenny like many others have in the past and he said no.

This murder represents a crossroad for not only Bob Green but also for myself and the future direction of this blog. Obviously the family is struggling with the loss but also with the why. Instantly we all knew it was related to the drug trade. That was the why. We just didn't know the who or which one. We already have an answer to that question as well. It was not a rival, it was internal. Only it didn't come from above, this time it came from below. No wonder he turned himself into the police so fast. He knew he'd be killed if he wasn't in police custody.

I'm not a reporter, I'm an activist. I'm not here to sell newspapers and make money off of a family's tragedy. I'm here to help people see the consequences of their choices and encourage them to leave the life and have a fresh start on life. As I previously said, Bob Green was not a bad man. There are a lot worse out there. He was a good father, loyal husband and devoted friend. He also profited from the sale of drugs. So does the CIA, Hillary Clinton and Wall street.

Bob was a businessman. Sometimes it's hard to find ethical investments. Often when we invest our money, we don't really want to know about the sweatshops or the exploitation that goes on behind the scenes as long as our investment turns a profit. Lenny and Caylan are pieces of garbage. No disrespect to the family. Every family has black sheep so to speak.

Lenny was supplying crack houses in Surrey back when the Surrey House of Horrors was in existence. Larry Mizen was a debt collector that worked for Lenny. Lenny is a weasel who hides behind John Crowston and uses Bob Green's name. Now that Bob is gone the industry will take care of Lenny themselves. Many sources claim that Len Peltier is a rat. Well, he doesn't call it that. When you get busted and get someone who works for you to take the fall they don't call that being a rat. They call that the price of doing business.

It's pretty obvious that Jason Wallace was expected to take the fall for Lenny again and evidently he did not approve of the idea. Why should Lenny the weasel sell out everyone that works for him over and over again? It's also possible Bob Green said that since the heat was on the 856 it was time to change it up and disband the 856 until the heat is off. It's quite possible that the puppet bit the hand that fed him. Which just goes to show, even a 12 year old kid can pull a trigger.

As for the crossroads and the change in direction of the blog, I will reiterate George Christie and Kerri Krysko have convinced me that not all Hells Angels are bad. Not all of them are involved in criminal activity. Many of them are but many more are not. In this case, Bob Green was. Yet he was not like David Giles who boasted that his friendship was for sale or the many pieces of garbage with patches running around Edmonton.

Bob Green's kids are good. His family wasn't involved in the business. This tragedy reminds me of a mother who spoke at the Gang Violence Rally in Bear Creek Park which inspired me to start this blog. They released doves in memory of loved ones lost to gang violence. One mother stood up and said she lost her son to gang violence. Only unlike Chris Mohan and Ed Schellenberg he was not an innocent victim. He was involved in the drug trade. Yet she was hurting too and grieving the loss of her son just like Bob Green's family is now.

The question is, will the club and the press let the family grieve in peace or will they turn his funeral into another circus side show promoting the drug trade when his family had nothing to do with that life and are suffering now as a result. Peace.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Targeted Homicide in Langley - Update

The Langley Times is reporting that "Homicide police are investigating the death of a male in Langley, B.C. Langley RCMP say officers were called on a report of suspicious circumstances Sunday morning and arrived to find a male who had injuries consistent with foul play. They say he died as a result of his injuries. RCMP say the attack appears to have been targeted." The identity has not yet been released but one reader claims it is someone signifigant in the local drug trade.

I've received confirmation on the identity of the victim and I am indeed shocked. I always thought Lenny would get shot before he would. I never really had beef with him. He was pretty far removed from the Janice Shore incident. Lenny was more directly involved in that. I will pause before discussing his ID publically to give all the family, friends and associates time to be notified properly. They shouldn't hear it first from Gangsters out. My condolences to the family.

This is big news though. Perhaps the tide is changing. I do hear good things about this guy. I hear good things about his kids. There are a lot of others that would be more logical choices. Makes me wonder about motive. Kim's picked up on it now as well. I'm going to pause for a bit.

There was another shooting Sunday night in the parking lot of the Vancouver Game Farm. That is messed up. The Peace arch News is reporting that there has been an arrest in Surrey possibly related to one of the Langley shootings. The Stopru is reporting that Vincenzo Spagnolo, former right-hand man and friend of the deceased godfather Vito Rizzuto, was killed Saturday night in Laval. It's time for a little Ghetto Gospel so it is.

Update: CKNW is reporting that Arrest made in shooting death of Hells Angels member Bob Green This was an 856 member who was charged with drug trafficking. Bob probably wanted him to take the fall for Lenny. The 856 is their own puppet club. They are not a rival.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Rise in Opioid addiction in the US

We are hearing a lot of bizarre stories about a heroin epidemic in the US similar to the crack epidemic there back in the /80's. For many of us it's hard to comprehend. Most people think although heroin is highly addictive, you have to be pretty far gone to stick a needle in your arm. Yet we are hearing more and more reports of middle class families resorting to doing exactly that.

In 2014 the Guardian reported A deadly crisis: mapping the spread of America's drug overdose epidemic. In 2015 Time Magazine reported that Heroin Use in U.S. Reaches Epidemic Levels. In 2016 RT dot com reported that Unprecedented: Heroin use & overdose deaths triple in US.

So what happened? Recently Activist Post claimed part of the problem is the DEA Protecting Big Pharmaceutical companies. I am hesitant about headlines that refer to the failure of the drug war. The drug war hasn't failed. It's just that many agencies are on the wrong side of that war.

The Activist Post reports that "Purdue made $31 billion playing its part in getting America hooked on opioids, under the guise of effective pain treatment. When people could no longer afford OxyContin or other patented painkillers, they turn to its close cousin heroin, which is far cheaper and relatively easy to obtain through the black market."

Likewise, USA Today reports that "Heroin use is reaching into new communities - addicting more women and middle-class users - as people hooked on prescription painkillers transition to cheaper illegal drugs, a new report shows." The common thread is that people are getting addicted to prescription painkillers then turn to cheaper illegal drugs like heroin.

Logistically two villains have merged motivated by the same greed. The big pharmaceutical companies coveting their patent monopolies, exploit consumers as much as the market will allow. The other villain is those that produce and profit from heroin production. Don't forget who created the Golden Triangle and what country is the largest producers of opium in the world.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Verdict coming in Greece murder trial

Local sources in Greece are reporting that the three Canadian Hells Angels from Alberta on trial for a vicious assault that resulted in murder were in court yesterday to have the matter adjourned until Tuesday for cross examination and a possible a verdict will be rendered.

Dusty Swanson (in the top picture on the right) a prospect for Westridge, formally from the Dirty flu appears to be taking the fall for the patch holders as per usual. Nick Dragich was one of the Hells Angels posing with Rob Ford when he was mayor of Toronto. Lets hope Greece has a better judicial system than Spain. More information will be forthcoming.

Just for the record, this is a picture of the guy they beat to death:

This is a picture of Nick Dragich:

Nick is huge and has a background in MMA. Nobody likes a bully.

Having one guy take the fall for this murder is pretty offensive. Compare this case with the brutal murder of Dain Philips in Kelowna. Dain was a big man. So was Robert Thomas who yelled "So you want to f*ck with the Hells Angles?!" as he confronted him with a baseball bat and a car load of members and associates.

Dain saw he was outnumbered, raised his hands in a neutral position of surrender and said he wasn't there to fight. Thomas hit him several times with the baseball bat. Dain did not fight back. When Dain was hit in the head with the baseball bat that finally brought him to the ground. Once Dain was on the ground everyone else joined in kicking and punching him while he was on the ground and beat him to death with hammers. It was a disgustingly brutal and cowardly act. It wasn't just one person involved.

In the Greece murder there is no way just one person was involved. With the Hells Angels it's all about fight me, fight my gang. All Nick had to do was stand there as a Hells Angel and the victim would have been paralyzed with fear while Dusty beat him to death. I do not believe the others did not join in. Even if they didn't their presence aided the murder through intimidation and their presence supporting it not stopping it makes them accessories to murder at the very least. They were the patch holders, Dusty was the prospect. All they had to do was say stop and he would have. They didn't. That makes the criminally culpable.