Mounties always get their man

The title words for this post have taken on a stark new meaning in recent times in Canada. I’ve been trying to write about the Robert Dziekanski incident from Vancouver International Airport in October for a week or so now, and haven’t been able to find the right words. I’m still not sure I’ve found them, but I’ve decided to soldier on anyway.

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When comedy goes too far …

bin Laden Everybody loves a joke … well, except when they don’t. In all honesty, its hard to believe that the people who came up with this idea truly didn’t see the potential for chaos and problems. In today’s world, its very hard to imagine anyone thinking that security personnel guarding a major international conference will have ANY sense of humour at all regarding potential security breaches, but that seems to be the excuse given by members of Australia’s ABC TV program, The Chaser.

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A call to violence

I stumbled across an interesting article this morning over at the War Room at Salon, that highlights the differences between the left wing and right wing elements in the US right now as far as rhetoric is concerned. Tim Grieve found a clip from a recent Ted Nugent show that is very interesting. As most people probably know, Ted is a fairly vocal supporter of the Republican party, and Bush’s policy in the War on Terror and Iraq/Afghanistan, and during a recent show he attacked both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, which wouldn’t be too unusual, if not for the content of the attacks.

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agents provocateurs – Updated below …

The Youtube video posted recently of a protest rally in Montebello, Que raises some pretty big questions about the role of SQ and/or RCMP officers in violent protest. Coming late onto this story, my first exposure to it is through the Youtube video (well, in truth, I found the Youtube link 3 lines into a news story on the event, but I watched the raw video before finishing the article, so as to know what ACTUALLY happened first), and it certainly raises some interesting questions.

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We don’t know Dick …

Jon Stewart is one of those guys that falls into the trap of excellence. The Daily Show is comedy and satire at such a high level so consistently, that it takes something truly great to grab attention and provoke comment. On the August 15th segment of “You don’t know Dick” he really knocked one out of the park.

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Activism abroad

This week has seen 3 Canadian activists arrested, then later released, in China for activist related activities. As is often true in cases like this, the immediate media attention around the arrests focussed on the message of the protest for which the activists were arrested, and on ways to free them. What’s interesting in cases like these is that there is little effort to look at the incidents from a law and order perspective.

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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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