Monday, February 11, 2019

Snowmageddon??

Snowmageddon? Since when?

Snowmageddon is upon us on the BC south coast. Or not.
So... now BC Ferries is cancelling sailings in anticipation of the weatherman being right. Here's the thing: The folks at the weather bureau have been predicting Winter Armageddon for days, now, and it hasn't happened.
Every day for over a week, my phone has had "extreme weather alerts" on it. Since when is a wind chill factor of -20 Celsius (-7 Fahrenheit) something to be scared of? Where has everyone been living? Florida??
Yeah, it's cold, but hey, button up your shirt, maybe put some socks on in your sandals, and for Pete's sake, switch to long pants for a couple of days!
Then the weatherman started sending out extreme weather alerts about heavy snowfall, day after day, anywhere from 0 to 2 cm. Wow! That's almost an inch!! The horror of it!
I carefully scanned the sky, hour after hour, yet nary a snowflake did I see, at least apart from the folks who think Donald Trump is going to end the world... but I digress...
Then they said, no chance of snow, but now we would get extremely high winds. Shingles might come off your roof! I have a hint for you: If you live on the west coast and shingles are blowing off your roof, they either weren't installed properly or they've been on there too long. The wind blows, here, people!
But... it didn't. It blew out on Howe Sound and the Salish Sea (Strait of Georgia), and did some real damage in Horseshoe Bay.
But what it did here... is started snowing. Throughout the day on Sunday, the weather folks tried to keep up. They predicted less than a "skiff." Everything turned white. They predicted 0 to 1 inch. That was passed in the first hour. They predicted no more than 2 inches in some areas. Passed again. They started predicting 10 inches of snow and calamity upon calamity. It might have reached 4 inches. Maybe.
Now, they predict another 10 inches on top of the 10 inches that was really no more than 4 inches, and they're cancelling ferries in advance of this apocalyptic event.
But the weatherman has a better chance of winning the lottery than calling west coast weather accurately!
My weather stump in my front yard is more accurate. Yesterday morning, it was stump-coloured. Early in the afternoon, it was turning white. Stump prediction: SNOW! ACCURATE!
Today, weatherman prediction is a snowpocalypse. Ferries are being cancelled. Guess what... 3 pm. NO SNOW. Snow on stump from yesterday: Maybe 2 inches.
Ferries - get to the lineup early if you want to get on. A lot of people will be doing the same thing. Because they're going to roll the dice and trust the weather bureau - AGAIN!
Here is my advice to BC Ferries: Put a little pressure on those looking after the roads to maybe be prepared to do a little salting and plowing in the event that it snow. Talk to Victoria about making it mandatory to have M+S or Snow rated tires on in ALL regions when winter officially arrives.
Otherwise, I might just have to take my BIG. OLD. RUSTY. 4WD truck for a drive. Hit this, suckers!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Covington Catholic Schoolboys Fiasco

The Covington Catholic Schoolboys fiasco continues...

The Covington Catholic schoolboys, while waiting for a bus to take them home from a March for Life event, have probably had irreparable damage done to their lives. 

The teenage boys, from Covington Catholic Highschool in Kentucky, were gathered at the Lincoln Memorial, a venue well known for the exercise of free speech by people from all walks of life. 

Early reports by USA Today and other media outlets portrayed the young students as surrounding and threatening a Native American veteran with racial chants and threatening body language.  The short video clip that was shared in the report went viral.

Many other media outlets picked up the story and continued to share it.  Then some well known people who should know better took to social media, including Kathy Griffin, who tweeted that the boys needed to be doxxed and harassed to completely ruin their lives and the lives of their families.

Doxxed refers to posting the contact information and physical addresses of people on social media, so that people can easily find them to harass them.  According to Wikipedia, "Doxing or doxxing is the Internet-based practice of researching and broadcasting private or identifiable information about an individual or organization."

Kathy Griffin has since taken down her tweet, but the damage has been done.  The whole, rotten, false report and all the suggestions for "proper" retribution have gone viral.  The boys and their families are receiving threats of physical violence, including death threats.  The Covington Catholic School was shut down for a while out of fear of serious violence.

The fears were quite reasonable, as groups of people have heeded the suggestions and gone to the school to protest.


But here's the thing:  The entire narrative was a lie.  Other video footage has come out, including a much longer video that proves that the video used by USA Today was a clip that was pulled out of context and used to create a false narrative.

It is painfully obvious that the clip circulated was deliberately clipped to falsify the story.  It is simply not possible for anyone but a complete imbecile could have believed the very story circulated after watching the video they pulled the clip from.

A number of media outlets now face lawsuits, and so they should.  This kind of trash cannot even be remotely termed "journalism."  This was 
not a mistake!  This was the calculated and deliberate slandering of children by the media.

Mr. Phillips, the Native American veteran at the center of the story cannot be let off simply because he is a Native American veteran, either.  He has repeatedly lied about what happened, deliberately, it seems, because the video, some of it shot by his own entourage, show that he is lying.

He was not surrounded by any group of "beastly" white racists shouting slurs and threatening violence!  Instead, as his own video coverage shows, he marched right into the crowd of schoolboys, who parted like the Red Sea to let him through, then marched up to the teen who has received so much horribly false, negative coverage, and played his drum right in the boy's face.

I know for a fact that if it was me at that age, I probably would have had a face something like that youngster.  I would have tried to smile and look relaxed, but I really wouldn't have known what to do.  Even now, at this point in life, I would be very intimidated by any stranger, male or female, regardless of skin color, who got in my face like that!

The media, of all stripes and philosophies, needs to first and foremost have a philosophy of always telling the truth, even if they don't like it.  This applies to both journalists and the media outlets they work for.  If any journalist is found to be creating a false narrative, he or she needs to be immediately fired and exposed.  Period.

I hope, in this case, that the lawsuits go ahead and the media named receive heavy, punitive penalties.  That won't repair the damage done to these teenagers, but it will show the news media that they simply cannot create the news, any more.