Category Archives: content

Analog Thinking for a Digital Age

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Wow.  Dean Del Maestro comparing digital strategy and regulation to shoes and socks?

Using this specious argument, I can’t cook chicken that I’ve bought, I can’t turn yogourt into frozen ice cream, turn my old jeans into shorts and mix my paint together for basement colours.  As one YouTube user commented, I can’t even take a bag of chips and pour them into the bowl because I’m ‘format shifting’ them into something other than what the company might have intended.

Proof again that the Conservatives are woefully out of touch with reality and incompetent when it comes to setting a proper direction for digital strategy in Canada.

Who voted for these people?

But that’s not what’s truly frightening.  What’s more horrifying (yes, horrifying) is that Bill C-11 is about to become law.  Be prepared to watch every iPod and MP3 owner go to jail or face STEEP fines because they ‘format shifted’.

MayDay 2011: Digital Platforms, Part II

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Yesterday, I commented on Michael Giest’s updates related to the digital platforms of each party.

This week, the Greens and NDP have released more details, of which I’ll share here.

As a side note, while the Cons and Liberals have the resources to leverage the digital space DURING this election, they may have their hands tied by the need to control message.  Even the NDP may be limited in how much ‘grassroots’ activity they want to encourage.

With that in mind, if any party can make headway in this election by leveraging the tools of the Internet, it would be the Greens.  They have the most to lose right now (ie. obscurity) and the most to gain (ie. a seat).

Also, as a reminder, the Liberal platform is specific enough with respect to actual policy, but doesn’t go as far as the NDP with respect to commitment to curb the appetites of our voracious media conglomerates.  The Conservatives are plainly put draconian when it comes to their outlook on the digital economy.  My perception is that they view concepts like ‘social’ and ‘sharing’ as communist ideas fostered by the UN trying to destroy the IMF.  Crushing any new initiatives that liberated people’s ability to speak out seem to be their biggest priority.

That said, here’s an update on platforms and promises.

Green Party

The Green Party has a claim to being the first party to demonstrate its support for OpenMedia and the Stop the Meter campaign.  Details can be found here.

SAANICH, BC – The Green Party is the first political party to support a bold new public engagement initiative. OpenMedia is inviting Canadians to bring political attention to the online communications crisis in Canada that has been largely ignored during the election campaign. The organization is asking political candidates to pledge their support for the Internet.

“The Greens are proud to be the first party to announce support for OpenMedia’s  proposition,” said Green Party leader Elizabeth May. “The internet is critical for modern day citizen engagement and an integral part of our economic competitiveness. The Greens pledge to adhere to OpenMedia’s Stop the Meter campaign on Internet access. We are committed to enhancing broadband access, competition, transparency and choice.”

A decade of neglecting the Internet regulatory issue is stifling Canada’s economy, global competitiveness, free expression and Canadians’ personal budgets.

“A vote for the Greens is also a vote in support of open and democratic Internet access in Canada” said Emma Jane Hogbin, the Green Party Science and Technology critic. “Vote Green – vote for the internet.”

Visit to learn more about the initiative.

Other than this initiative, the Green Party doesn’t really seem to have much of a platform.


Despite the claims above by the Green Party, they may have been first to embrace the OpenMedia message, but they have not been leaders with progressive ideas related to the Internet.  That prize would go to the NDP.

The NDP has been a leader when it comes to things like:

  • Net neutrality:  they were the first party on record to support net neutrality
  • Fair use policies and prescriptions for solving copyright issues
  • Open government, technology and source concepts

Their platform outlines digital commitments in the following way:

  • We will apply the proceeds from the advanced wireless spectrum auction to ensure all Canadians, no matter where they live, will have quality high-speed broadband internet access;
  • We will expect the major internet carriers to contribute financially to this goal;
  • We will rescind the 2006 Conservative industry-oriented directive to the CRTC and direct the regulator to stand up for the public interest, not just the major telecommunications companies;
  • We will enshrine “net neutrality” in law, end price gouging and “net throttling,” with clear rules for Internet Service Providers (ISPs), enforced by the CRTC;
  • We will prohibit all forms of usage-based billing (UBB) by Internet Service Providers (ISPs);
  • We will introduce a bill on copyright reform to ensure that Canada complies with its international treaty obligations, while balancing consumers’ and creators’ rights.

As you can see above, the NDP are unique from all of the other parties because they are committed to prohibiting Usage-Based Billing (UBB) in any form, trumping the Green commitment to just support Open Media and other anti-UBB groups.

They are also going one step further by declaring that they will enshrine Net Neutrality in law, something the other parties have yet to commit to.

These are game-changing promises.  In fact, the NDP should pressure the other parties to admit to their positions on these two issues alone or advertise that they are all about an open Internet whereas the other parties may not be.

Despite earlier promises to vote strategically, I think the NDP may have just locked up my vote because of these basic but forward-looking policies and promises.

Canada’s Media Future: Just Make Stuff Up

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In a recent interview with Media Matters, a Fox insider admitted that they would routinely ‘make stuff up’ in the wake of mounting pressure from managers and owners, but also to cope with rising costs associated with actually investigating and reporting on a story before making it public.

Media activities and publishing or broadcasting in Canada face the same future.

With the prospect of the CRTC approving the ability for journalists to essentially lie to the Canadian public, we’ll get more stories like this:

For the first few years it was let’s take the conservative take on things. And then after a few years it evolved into, well it’s not just the conservative take on things, we’re going to take the Republican take on things which is not necessarily in lock step with the conservative point of view.

“And then two, three, five years into that it was, we’re taking the Bush line on things, which was different than the GOP. We were a Stalin-esque mouthpiece.  It was just what Bush says goes on our channel. And by that point it was just totally dangerous.  Hopefully most people understand how dangerous it is for a media outfit to be a straight, unfiltered mouthpiece for an unchecked president.”

Imagine a future in Canada where Stephen Harper has a station like Sun TV to repeat everything that they say, verbatim.  Lies will be spread about the evils of women working, the sins and depravity of homosexuality and the top 10 reasons why we should kill anyone that describes themselves as a socialist.

Intolerance will be the future of this country.

Stop the CRTC now and do what you can to demand truth in journalism.

Unfortunately, if the CRTC fails to ignore the public (which it probably will), it will prove yet again that this institution is nothing more than an industry mouthpiece and that it’s useless to the average Canadian citizen.

Project Censored Top 25 List of 2010

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I would add unprecedented G20 arrests in Canada as one of the biggest stories.

That said, here are the 25 stories from Project Censored:

In Guantánamo, the notorious but seldom-discussed thug squad, officially known as the Immediate Reaction Force (IRF), deployed by the US military remains very much active. Inside the walls of Guantánamo, the prisoners know the squad as the Extreme Repression Force. In reality, IRF is an extrajudicial terror squad, the existence of which has been documented […]

A little more than a year before he was fired on June 23, 2010, for making potentially insubordinate remarks in a Rolling Stone profile, General Stanley McChrystal was appointed by President Barack Obama as commander in charge of the war in Afghanistan. He had been formerly in charge of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) […]

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has become history’s first global army. Never before have soldiers from so many states served in the same war theater, much less the same country. At the eighth anniversary of the United States’ invasion of Afghanistan, the world is witness to a twenty-first-century armed conflict waged by the largest […]

India’s 1.2 billion citizens are to be issued biometric identification cards. The cards will hold the person’s name, age, and birth date, as well as fingerprints or iris scans, though no caste or religious identification. Within the next five years a giant computer will hold the personal details of at least 600 million citizens, making […]

Speaking in advance of the climate summit in Copenhagen, Rajendra Pachauri, the United Nation’s leading climate scientist, warned that Western society must enact radical changes and reform measures if it is to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), told the Observer that Western society […]

Charter schools continue to stratify students by race, class, and sometimes language, and are more racially isolated than traditional public schools in virtually every state and large metropolitan area in the country. Charter schools are often marketed as incubators of educational innovation, and they form a key feature of the Obama administration’s school reform agenda. […]

On April 24, 2009, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner hosted meetings with finance ministers from the world’s top economies to discuss increased oversight of the global financial system in the wake of the meltdown. The meetings preceded semi-annual gatherings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank in Washington, DC. The April G20 meeting […]

Chevron’s 2008 annual report to its shareholders is a glossy celebration heralding the company’s most profitable year in its history. Profits of $24 billion catapulted Chevron past General Electric to become the second most profitable corporation in the United States. The oil company’s 2007 revenues were larger than the gross domestic product (GDP) of 150 […]

Nanotech Particles Pose Serious DNA Risks to Humans and the Environment Personal products you may use daily and think are harmless—cosmetics, suntan lotion, socks, and sports clothes—may all contain atom-sized nanotech particles, some of which have been shown to sicken and kill workers in plants using nanotechnology. Known human health risks include severe and permanent […]

In October 2009, under great pressure from the United States, the government of Spain decided to limit its own jurisdiction in cases of genocide and crimes against humanity, thus closing one of the last windows of accountability for the most serious crimes committed by the most powerful nations on Earth. Under international law, such crimes […]

Archive for the Category ‘Top 25 of 2011’

Around midnight on December 2, 1984, the citizens of Bhopal, India, a city of over 500,000 people in central India, were poisoned by approximately forty tons of toxic gases pouring into the night air from a largely abandoned chemical insecticide plant owned by the US-owned Union Carbide Corporation (UCC). The long-predicted gas leak at UCC […]

Several contentious issues still plague the US government and their version of the events of September 11, 2001. Those in political power along with media elites would like to see the ongoing grassroots debates surrounding unanswered 9/11 questions and discrepancies disappear, despite the mountains of evidence that suggest that American citizens were told little about […]

President Obama’s decision to increase military spending this year and in the future will result in the greatest administrative military spending since World War II. This decision is being made in spite of continued evidence of extreme waste, fraud, abuse, and corporate welfare in the military budget. At the same time, spending on “non-security” domestic […]

Cuba was the first to come into Haiti with medical aid when the January 12, 2010, earthquake struck. Among the many donor nations, Cuba and its medical teams have played a major role in treating Haiti’s earthquake victims. Public health experts say the Cubans were the first to set up medical facilities among the debris […]

The H1N1 virus has spawned widespread panic and fear throughout the world. However, upon closer examination, many of the claims made by the World Health Organization (WHO) seem to be based on weak and incomplete data. The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created and used data to grossly exaggerate the need […]

In a continuous flow of money, American tax dollars end up paying members of the Taliban and funding a volatile environment in Afghanistan. Private contractors pay insurgents with the hope of attaining the very safety they are contracted to provide. Concurrently, US soldiers pay at checkpoints run by suspected insurgents in order to get safe […]

The Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa (HSRC) has released a study indicating that Israel is practicing both colonialism and apartheid in the occupied Palestinian territories. The HSRC commissioned an international team of scholars and practitioners of international public law from South Africa, the United Kingdom, Israel, and the West Bank to conduct the […]

On World Environment Day, June 5, 2009, Peruvian Amazon Indians were massacred by the government of Alán García in the latest chapter of a long war to take over common lands—a war unleashed by the signing of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Peru and the United States. Three MI-17 helicopters took off from the […]

Resource exploitation in Africa is not new, but the scale of agricultural “land grabbing” in African nations is unprecedented, becoming the new colonization of the twenty-first century. State violence against Kenyan indigenous pastoralists and Nigerian civilians in oil-rich regions has heightened, leaving thousands dead as the military burns whole communities to the ground and police […]

Despite national legislative health reform, health care in the US will remain dismal for many Americans, resulting in continuing deaths and personal tragedies. A recent Harvard research team estimates that 2,266 US military veterans died in 2008 due to lack of health insurance. The figure is more than fourteen times the number of deaths suffered […]

Archive for the Category ‘Top 25 of 2011’

At a covert forward operating base run by the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, members of an elite division of Blackwater are at the center of a secret program in which they plan targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda operatives inside and outside Pakistan. The Blackwater […]

Agents of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are holding thousands of US residents in unlisted and unmarked subfield offices and deporting tens of thousands in secret court hearings. “If you don’t have enough evidence to charge someone criminally but you think he’s illegal, we can make him disappear.” Those chilling words were spoken […]

Following in the steps of its predecessor, the Obama administration is expanding mass government surveillance of personal electronic communications. This surveillance, which includes the monitoring of the Internet as well as private (nongovernmental) computers, is proceeding with the proposal or passage of new laws granting government agencies increasingly wider latitude in their monitoring activities. At […]

The US military is responsible for the most egregious and widespread pollution of the planet, yet this information and accompanying documentation goes almost entirely unreported. In spite of the evidence, the environmental impact of the US military goes largely unaddressed by environmental organizations and was not the focus of any discussions or proposed restrictions at […]

Nations have reached their limit in subsidizing the United States’ military adventures. During meetings in June 2009 in Yekaterinburg, Russia, world leaders such as China’s President Hu Jintao, Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev, and other top officials of the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation took the first formal step to replace the dollar as the world’s reserve […]

What are yours?

Tracking the CBC Sellout

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This is nothing more than a rant against the CBC.  If you’re not interested in hearing the truth about the CBC, walk away.

For those who think the CBC is packed tight with a bunch of progessives and pinkos, think again.

The CBC continues to be a complete and absolute sellout to Canada’s media monopolies.

Day after day, I hear them on the radio bringing talk show guests and so-called experts in from the Globe, MacLean’s the National Post, Sun Media and other media companies in Canada that belong to Bell, Rogers or Quebecor.  ‘Research’ originates from organizations like QMI Agency, a shell company for Quebecor and Sun Media.

Day after day, they make pitches for programs on other networks.  The other day, I heard one radio host pushing a show on a private radio station.

Most of their news seems like its one big ongoing retweet from other services.  Granted, they probably still have the best international news coverage through their network of freelance reporters, but the rate at which they replay info from networks like CNN, Fox and others is appalling.

This ongoing effort and laziness is killing the CBC by 1,000 cuts.  They’re intentionally pushing away their audiences so that the people calling the shots – the Conservatives and their media friends – get more excuses to shut down the only real and potentially legitimate roadblock to media domination in this country.

There are lots of solutions, but first we have to get the CBC back into the hands of the people that own it.

What are the options?  Does anyone know of specific actions or lobbies that are taking place?  Which political party supports MORE funding for an independent CBC?

What would you recommend for improving the CBC?  Would it be a broader range of social news aggregation tools or crowd-sourced news and information?  Would firing the whole lot and rehiring with a bunch of Ryerson Journalism grads be the answer?

Tell me and I’ll keep track for when we actually get serious about making the CBC stronger.