Your Alberta Propaganda

WARNING: The following blog post contains government propaganda (literally). Reading it may cause a warped sense of reality, and loss of your bearings.

It’s repulsive that Government is paying for this propaganda promoted tweet They sound like a Trudeau Liberal, ‘The money from destroying the earth from selling oil and gas will pay for renewable energy transitions on the dead Earth…’


2017 Tobacco Company Ad-buy For YouTube

My YouTube viewing on TV was interrupted by an ad. I uncharacteristically watched it because it seemed political. It was an astroturf ad by what looked like JTI-Macdonald Corp. in the disclaimer flashed at the end of the ad, and it had a spiky haired older guy going by “Mike” (I think), who said he quit smoking on his own (unlikely, but that’s what Tobacco companies want you to believe is possible), and plain packaging is the government interfering in personal decisions. And the result, he claimed, is that illegal tobacco trade will only increase, which is at least six year old nonsense, of course. He wanted people to visit his website to write MPs and Senators.

Laughably, their Twitter bio states:

“We don’t advertise or promote our tobacco brands.”

I thought I’d mention this, since others may see the ad where JTI are surreptitiously arguing they should have the right to promote their tobacco brands. The intention is for people to not realize it’s paid for by Big Tobacco, but shot to look like a home video by a wealthy-libertarian/concerned former smoker.

This is another ad by the same astroturf campaign:


Yep, JTI is going to need all the money they have, for the lawsuits against tobacco companies.

Can we stamp out the tobacco threat to our health? Can we convince Regina to catch up to other municipalities?


First tweet was at the end of August:


In conclusion, why is Big Tobacco fighting plain packaging?

SaskPower’s Power To Grow A Nose

SaskPower’s latest consultant on renewable energy might be Pinocchio.

Their misinformation about renewable energy intentionally leaves out the point that our power mix is not entirely coal, hydro, or natural gas today, so it wouldn’t make sense to power every aspect of our grid with only PV solar which presently depends upon storage to deliver power on very cloudy days and at night. We can however, use solar to reach 100% renewable power on our grid’s mix. I’ve previously outlined two plausible ways this could be done with existing technology.

Oil and Tobacco

It’s worth remembering that marketers should not drive scientific research.
Cigarettes are dangerous?
We’d better make them appear less dangerous so they will still sell.
I know, let’s filter the smoke. This fibre seems to do some filtering, or at least we can convince people of that.
Wait, what’s the fibre? Asbestos.

Link dump:

What Saskatchewan and Canada should do with oil wealth.


Something other than oil would be nice.

SK Climate Hearings talked about some of these solutions.

Commodity In the Real World

I read Jackson’s comment about Maystruck’s presentation and “Brandwashed”, and it stuck out in my mind. It came back to me when Hedges talked about it last night, and I found the comment in a speech he gave at UofT almost two years ago, before Egypt’s uprising took place.

“Everything in our world is a commodity – everything is either bought or sold and will be recommended or not.”

“When your community physically breaks down”, people retreat into fantasy and magical thinking. “Miracles and magic” are desired. “Absurdist policies” rule the day. Military spending is rising, but people want government spending to be cut. Attempting to push people back into reality, brings a rage from those attempting to avoid the world that almost destroyed them. “The end of the world is no longer an abstraction” in Detroit as Hedges points out.

37:30 in the video:

“The rise of the commodity culture, where everything from human beings to the natural world have no intrinsic value, but are judged only on their monetary value.”

Hedges studied religion, and is of the opinion that the loss of sacredness, where people don’t hold certain things like the natural world and life at a higher value than money, is a crushing weight on preserving civilization.

Ads As News A Swindle

It’s bothered me for quite some time how the “professional” media tends to cover campaign ads (particularly attack ads) as news, and thus goads the victim of the attack into responding in turn. It’s not a coincidence that the way to respond in turn happens to send money to the company funding the journalists failing to talk about a real issue that could matter in legislation. It’s a clear violation of ethics, I think.

The Real News digs into this swindle that most media will obviously never explore.

Wasn’t This Solved in the ’60s? Re-Branding is Ineffective

The 1960’s saw Canada pick up a new flag. We even gave it a day, February 15th, to be celebrated. Canada’s New(TM) Harper Government(TM) is undertaking a “re-branding” of the public service.

If you’re like me, your hair stands on end when you hear the word “re-branding”. Even typing it is difficult and is making my scalp crawl. “Branding” should not be a word if it doesn’t mean to put hot iron next to cattle skin. If you’ve been so unfortunate to be to a meeting where branding and logos are discussed, I’m sure you sympathize. If not, you’re probably working in marketing and have lost that part of your soul a long time ago, out of necessity since “re-branding” pays the bills.

Unfortunately for you and I, the people paying the bill for this is… you and I. Re-branding makes no additional money for a government who undertakes it, and it sends tax money to marketers, artists, and advertising agencies. It’s a big make-work project that only benefits those who get the contracts. Re-branding products and services, like re-branding cattle, injures the product — burns up resources better spent elsewhere.

OTTAWA — The federal government wants to update its brand image for the modern social-media world, keeping symbols like the “Canada” wordmark but competing better in a more crowded market of images and ideas.

The goal is “an exceptionally challenging idea” that will require unique co-operation among departments and agencies to work, says a veteran marketing consultant and trainer.

“It will require exceptional clarity about how we want to brand the government of Canada . . . and what we will do to live up to the promises the government is making,” said Josef Jurkovic, a partner in Ottawa’s Centre for Excellence in Communications, which provides training and consulting services to a vast array of government groups and non-profits.

“Unique co-operation” means it’s never been accomplished before because various roadblocks have prevented this sort of thing from taking place before. And it’s not up to a 2cm square logo to convey effective government to me, it’s up to the politicians in charge of the public service! Re-branding conveys the opposite of effective government, and that is what I’ll associate with the new visual identity.

“[I]t has become evident that there is a need to refresh how the Government of Canada applies its corporate identity to paid advertising.”

When translated that says, “My bills are high due to fiscal mismanagement and deregulation. Coupled by my poor investments, I need this work. If I convince the right people in government to think a new logo improves their appearance to other people struggling like I am, then I can finally get that brand name sports car I always wanted, on credit.”

“Pimp my Canada: Government seeks fresh new brand image for 21st century”

Governments don’t have a “corporate identity” expressed by a logo, it’s expressed by our politicians and public service, and our people. Our national identity is what counts, not what comes on the envelope of our tax bill or GST cheque each year. Our country’s image is being degraded by the re-branders this government has hired. Where is their pride in what we already have?