April 21st, 2012

News you can use.

CRTC plan to lift ban on false news prompts political investigation

A CRTC proposal that could make it easier to broadcast false or misleading news has prompted confusion and criticism among opposition MPs and consternation in at least one of the unions that represents Canadian journalists.

It has also led to allegations of interference by the Prime Minister’s Office and a hastily called investigation by federal politicians, who were caught off guard by the move.

A little-watched committee of Parliament has been pressing the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission for many years to do something about a regulation that bans the broadcast of false or misleading news because the wording appears to contravene the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Andrew Kania, the rookie MP who is the chairman of the joint committee for the scrutiny of regulations, said on Monday the committee has been asking the CRTC about the regulation for a decade.

Government officials said the problems with the ban were noted as early as 1996 – four years after the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel that the right to freedom of expression meant a person could not be charged for disseminating false information.

The regulations committee pointed out to the CRTC in 2000 that its regulation seemed to be out of step with that ruling and asked the commission what it planned to do about it. Letters were intermittently exchanged, but the CRTC indicated no interest in responding to the committee’s concerns.

Then, on Jan. 10, the commission announced it was seeking comments on a proposal to change the wording of the regulation to say that it applied only in cases in which broadcasters knew the information was false or misleading and that reporting it was likely to endanger the lives, health or safety of the public. The cut-off date for public input was set at Feb. 9.

The decision caught many people by surprise.

“We’ve looked everywhere to try to find out who’s pushing this, and we can’t find anybody,” said Peter Murdoch, the vice-president of media for the Communication, Energy and Paperworkers Union, which represents more than 20,000 journalists, including those at The Globe and Mail.

“It’s totally bizarre. Nobody in the industry has called for it,” Mr. Murdoch said. “Where is the motivation for change that would lower the standards of truth and fairness in broadcast journalism?”

NDP MP Charlie Angus noted that the proposed change precedes the start of Sun TV, a network that has been shepherded in large part by Kory Teneycke, the former director of communication to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

“We all know our Prime Minister well enough to say we don’t have to be in the realm of conspiracy theory here,” Mr. Angus said at a news conference on Monday. “We can draw our conclusions and they are pretty clear.”

Behind the scenes, officials say the timing is purely coincidental, the PMO had nothing to do with it, and that the CRTC simply realized it eventually had to answer the concerns of the regulatory committee.

But Mr. Angus persuaded the Commons committee on Canadian heritage to initiate a study of the CRTC proposal. And he urged Canadians to let the commission know how they feel about it before the Wednesday deadline.

“What’s disturbed us with this [proposed] regulation change is that it’s happening very quickly and there’s very little awareness of it,” Mr. Angus said.

“It seems astounding that the CRTC would consider such a move at a time when we see the growing backlash in the United States to the poisoned levels of political discourse in the American media.”

Globe and Mail
olivia dunham - Fringe

Dem Governor attacks Romney on Polygamy, ignores Obama family



In this Obama Family photo are: (bottom row, from left) half-sister Auma, her mother Kezia Obama, Obama’s step-grandmother Sarah Hussein Onyango Obama and unknown; (top row, from left) unknown, Barack Obama, half-brother Abongo (Roy) Obama, and three unknowns.


On Thursday Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer decided to go after Romney’s family history regarding polygamy stating Hispanics would not approve of such a history.  So it is only fair to point out that President Obama’s family has a history of polygamy and bigamy as well.  Yet the majority of Hispanics voted for President Obama in 2008.


The Washington Post reported:

“The line of polygamists in Obama’s family can be traced back generations in western Kenya, where it was an accepted practice within the Luo (pronounced LOO-oh) tribe.” His great-grandfather, Obama Opiyo, had five wives, including two who were sisters. His grandfather, Hussein Onyango, had at least four wives, one of whom, Akumu, gave birth to the president’s father, Barack Obama” before fleeing her abusive husband. Obama Sr. was already married when he left Kenya to study at the University of Hawaii, where he married again. His American wife-to-be, Stanley Ann Dunham, was not yet 18 and unaware of his marital situation when she became pregnant with his namesake son in 1961.


It is also well known that Democrat Senator from New Mexico, Tom Udall, and his cousin, Senator Mark Udall (D) from Colorado, come from a long line of polygamists. But that was never an issue because they are Democrats.
Mens Journal reported:

In the Udall family, politics stretches back generations. Mark’s and Tom’s great-grandfather, David King Udall, was a pioneer Arizonan and a Mormon polygamist who was sent to federal prison (on testimony of an ancestor of Mitt Romney’s, family lore has it). He was pardoned by President Grover Cleveland, then tossed back in jail. This time, it was Barry Goldwater’s grandfather who got him off the hook.


It’s only ever an issue if the politician is Republican.


Source

Leader of 'radical' US nuns rejects Vatican criticism

The leader of a group of US nuns the Vatican accuses of flouting Church teaching has rejected the claims.

"I've no idea what they're talking about," Sister Simone Campbell, head of Network, a Catholic social justice lobby, told the BBC.

"Our role is to live the gospel with those who live on the margins of society. That's all we do."

On Wednesday the Vatican announced a crackdown on US nuns long considered too liberal by the church hierarchy.


The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly known as the Office of the Inquisition, issued a highly critical report that accused US nuns of engaging in "corporate dissent" and of ignoring, or worse, challenging the church's teachings on abortion, homosexuality and an all-male priesthood.

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Pride & Prejudice

Church of England should 'rejoice' over gay marriage, Bishops say

In a public letter, influential members of the Anglican Church claimed that “God’s grace” was at work in allowing same – sex couples to marry.

The group, including members of the General Synod, the CoE’s governing body, dismissed “mistaken” impressions that church leaders were “universally opposed to an extension of civil marriage”.

Instead, they argued that same-sex couples who wanted to “embrace marriage should be a cause for rejoicing in the Christian Church”.

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Source