Government by “3-year-olds in a sandbox”

The past couple of weeks has been a rather appalling spectacle in the Canadian House of Commons. Whether we are talking about the case of Navdeep Bains and Mr. Harper’s attempted smear, or the name calling surrounding various governments’ handling of the income trust tax issues, its been a pretty dark couple of weeks for Canadians who expect leaders that are mature enough to actually do the hard work of governance instead of petty name-calling.

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PolyOS – A technical solution to a common systems problem

I’ve seen the following complaint quite a few times in my years of tech support, and I finally took some time to research the causes and some ACTUAL solutions for this all-too-common set of problems.

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Reflections of Turmoil

ReflectionsOfTurmoil

Reflections of Turmoil – A Self-Portrait

Detention without trial is unconstitutional … and other obvious truisms …

When we talk about labeling people “enemies of the state” and arresting and holding them indefinitely and without trial based on that label, we tend to think we are talking about history, from some nasty totalitarian regime like the former Soviet Union or East Germany. But the fact is, Canada’s Security Certificate procedures, in place since 9/11, amount to essentially the same thing. Through a finding that someone (a foreign national or resident … citizens are not covered by Security Certificates) is a threat to national security, its been possible to hold that person without trial and essentially indefinitely. Even more egregious, in most cases, the evidence for why and how the finding of “threat to national security” is arrived at is kept wholly secret from the accused, violating one of the most basic rights in a democracy, the right to face our accusers and the evidence against us in open court.

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Watch “Manufacturing Consent” online …

Manufacturing Consent – an online link

Most folks who know me will have heard me rave about Noam Chomsky at one time or another … I tend to think he is one of the most important cultural philosophers and ethical commentators of the 20th century, and nearly everything I’ve seen or read of his has been thought provoking and worth my time.  Having said that, as with all “love affairs” with a particular author, my appreciation of Chomsky came from a film I saw, based on his book Manufacturing Consent, more than a decade ago.  It was the first time I had seen anyone say the sorts of things about the media that I had been thinking (I love his quote about sound bites meaning you can’t say anything interesting or you’ll sound like you are from Neptune), and after watching it, I started to seek out other work by Chomsky.

Turns out, I just stumbled across an online version of Manufacturing Consent … http://www.veoh.com/videos/e66100JDmwXygX;jsessionid=C996233274FE281B869017C0E6841D4F (or http://tinyurl.com/2vezqd) … I recommend you check it out … it remains perhaps the best documentary I have ever watched, IMO.

The History of Truth in Advertising

The web is full of fascinating nooks and crannies, documentations of things both strange and mundane … at its best, the web can give us insight into who we are or who we might have been at one time. The “Truth in Advertising” site is a perfect example of this, harking back to, as the sub-title ironically reminds us, the “age of innocence.” Its a reminder that, at its base, advertising is about selling product, and always has been.

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“Love isn’t like a pie, love is infinite”

As many of my readers will already know, my personal life doesn’t conform to the same patterns as everyone else. After my second divorce it became pretty clear to me that the traditional structure of relationships wasn’t working for me. I suppose I could have blamed the end of my marriages on bad choices, or on the other people in the relationship, but I also recognised a larger pattern at that time, a pattern that has always left me feeling increasingly trapped inside long-term, traditional relationships.

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