The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Sunshine List Case hits the court #nlpoli

The public sector unions’ attack on freedom of information is finally in front of a judge.  The unions want to  block disclosure of the names of public servants in response to a request from the Telegram’s James McLeod for a list of public service positions in which the person holding the job makes more than $100,000 ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The value of inquiry #nlpoli

Information is good. Information is the basis of knowledge. Information is also power. That’s why people who have information don’t want others to have it. The power that comes from knowing is why some politicians, government officials and others, historically, have raised all sorts of objections to laws that allow people to obtain government information. ...

Politics, Re-Spun: Just How Many BC Government Comms Staff Are There?

Below are all the job titles of all the comms staff in the BC Government Communications and Public Engagement bodies as of last week. Count with me! 🙂 There are 278 people! 278. That’s more than a few. The records include folks in these two areas: Government Communications: which tends to the day-to-day communications functions, including ...

Politics and its Discontents: Mansbridge Revisited

The other day I posted a report on Peter Mansbridge speaking out against cuts to the CBC and the unprecedented secrecy that pervades public institutions under the current federal government. I gave some praise to the broadcaster for finally speaking out about important issues that potentially affect all of us. My friend Dave, from Winnipeg, ...

Politics and its Discontents: Peter Mansbridge Speaks Out

Readers of this blog will know that I am a frequent critic of both the CBC and Peter Mansbridge. Both ‘institutions,’ in my view, often fail to live up to the standards ethical and brave journalism demands. They have been far too passive, even complicit in, the Harper regime’s scorn for the so-called ‘state-broadcaster.’ And ...

Politics, Re-Spun: The BC Government Doesn’t Know Who Graduates With What. What?

I know. It’s true. The BC government’s Ministry of Advanced Education has no data on who has graduated with what from BC universities in the last 40 years. I know, hey. You’d think it would be interesting to them, even because maybe some of them were curious. Maybe some of them would want to do ...

Politics, Re-Spun: Facebook Is the New AOL/Compuserve Big Brother

The evolution of the decay of Facebook privacy. The late, great Neil Postman once wrote that we’d more likely voluntarily embrace the fascism of Huxley’s Brave New World than Orwell’s 1984. The corporate version of this is the crack-like addiction a billion people have to the Facebook. But it’s worse than you thought, in terms ...

Politics, Re-Spun: Online Surveys, No Longer Much Fun

Once upon a time, it was fun to take online polls. For lots of reasons. But one of my favourites was to watch how poorly polls could be constructed. Once, six years ago, Innovative Research Group put a racist poll into the field. It included questions about whether I had favourable or unfavourable feelings about ...

Politics, Re-Spun: Class War: US$11.5 Trillion Hidden in Tax Havens

Which tax haven is right for you? Class war is alive and well. I have this rose-coloured, nostalgic dream of history. Once upon a time we emerged from feudalism with a democratic revolution. All were equal. Well, most. But the hope of democracy was to rid the world of the despot rule of aristocracy. But ...

Alberta Diary: The real reason upgrading bitumen in Alberta ‘doesn’t make sense’

A bitumen processing plant near Fort McMurray, back in the day. Below: An actual bitumen bubble. The government of Alberta is “desperate” to get the province’s bitumen resources to market, as its media echo chamber relentlessly informs us. And it says it’s equally desperate to pop the “Bitumen Bubble,” the alliterative but misleading term Premier ...

Politics, Re-Spun: Aaron Swartz, Intellectual Property and the Public Good

Should academic work be locked up like Disney[tm] artifacts? I’ve been quite inspired by this very good analysis of the context surrounding Aaron Swartz’s suicide. As news spread last week that digital rights activist Aaron Swartz had killed himself ahead of a federal trial on charges that he illegally downloaded a large database of scholarly ...

The Canadian Progressive: Operation Last Resort: Anonymous Declares ‘War’ On U.S. Government

Hacktivist collective threatens massive WikiLeaks-style exposure of potentially-damaging secrets. by Guest Blogger | Jan 27, 2013 In response to the death of Internet activist , Reddit programmer and extraordinary hacker, Aaron Swartz, Anonymous has declared “war” on the U.S. government with an operation code-named “Operation Last Resort”. Late Friday the hacktivist collective hacked the United States Sentencing Commission‘s ...

Canadian ProgressiveCanadian Progressive: Anonymous: The Betrayal Of Wikileaks

Last week, the hacktivist collective Anonymous dumped WikiLeaks. Anonymous accuses WikiLeaks’ beleagured  founder Julian Assange of turning the whistle-blowing website into a one man “Julian Assange show”. Below is the full text of Anonymous’ statement explaining the divorce: Greetings World – In December of 2010 Anonymous came to the defense of and began supporting the organization WikiLeaks and it’s ...

eaves.ca: On Being Misquoted – Access Info Europe and Freedominfo.org

I’ve just been alerted to a new post out on Freedominfo.org has quotes of mine that are used in way that is deeply disappointing. It’s never fund to see your ideas misused to make it appear that you are against something that you deeply support. The most disappointing misquote comes from Helen Darbishire, a European ...

Left Over: Pussy Riot? Can you Say Assange?

A well-known British politician, who is considered a bit of a ‘radical’ in the best sense, in  the UK,  has launched a defence of Julian Assange, pointing out that, should Assange be convicted of what he is accused of, there would be no penalty in Britain, since his alleged acts are not illegal in Britain.. ...

Politics and its Discontents: Would I Lie To You?

Faith can be a marvelous thing, one that people take strength from as they go about their daily lives. One meaning of faith, as offered by Oxford Dictionaries online, encapsulates this idea: strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof. However, there is another definition of faith that ...

centerandleft: Conservative Transparancy Now Scientifically Proven to be a Joke

51st place isn’t necessarily always a bad thing. The 51st wealthiest person in the world, or the 51st smartest are blessed to be so lucky. It’s a placement they can be proud of. When your country is ranked 51st on any list, it is unlikely to be a source of such national pride, especially when ...

CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE WORLD: Harper Government Must Set Canadian Scientists Free

Nature, one of the biggest and most-read scientific journals in the world, made this call in a February 29th editorial. The journal lamented the Harper Government’s undisguised hostility to openness, expert opinion and publicly-funded scientific expertise. Rightly so. At some point, the government’s stated communication policy, posted on a federal website and directed civil servants, was to: ...

Politics and its Discontents: Freedom of Information: Turkey, Mexico and India, Yes – Canada, Not So Much

The Harper obsession with secrecy and control is well-known and the source of much international attention. However, it seems we now have new reason to be both embarrassed and outraged. According to the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), our country also lags behind other less developed nations in meeting freedom of information requests: The ...

Right of Center Ice: Wikileaks: It’s not free speech

Part 1: An issue of semantics? Maybe I’m splitting hairs, but I don’t necessarily view the Wikileaks drama as being an exercise of acting on a person’s right to free speech. My question: how is it a person’s right to be able to view a confidential document, pass judgment on it, and leak it to ...

Railroaded by Metrolinx: This is not my Canada; This is not my Media

There was a time when the pen was mightier than the sword. That was a time when people believed in truth and regarded truth as an independent power and not as an auxiliary for government, class, race, ideological, personal, or financial interest.Paul Craig RobertsGood-Bye: Truth Has Fallen and Taken Liberty With It At the end ...

Railroaded by Metrolinx: This is not my Canada; This is not my Media

There was a time when the pen was mightier than the sword. That was a time when people believed in truth and regarded truth as an independent power and not as an auxiliary for government, class, race, ideological, personal, or financial interest.Paul Craig RobertsGood-Bye: Truth Has Fallen and Taken Liberty With It At the end ...

Railroaded by Metrolinx: This is not my Canada; This is not my Media

There was a time when the pen was mightier than the sword. That was a time when people believed in truth and regarded truth as an independent power and not as an auxiliary for government, class, race, ideological, personal, or financial interest.Paul Craig RobertsGood-Bye: Truth Has Fallen and Taken Liberty With It At the end ...