Aug 6

The Independent reports that Russia's military buildup on the Ukraine border could turn into an invasion on thin pretexts.

There are plenty of Russian troops already inside Ukraine (without even counting Crimea). I wouldn't be surprised if their massive troop buildup is just cover for men and materiel to flow into the occupied zones. It's a giant reserve and supply pool for the insurgents.

Most alarming is the Russian air combat exercise coming up. They will of course shoot down or make intercepts on a few Ukrainian planes, maybe drop supplies or do medium-altitude bombing runs. Close air support is probably out because it would be too easy to get photo and video evidence from the ground.  But the idea that they will just fly around and pretend to shoot at each other seems far-fetched.

The leaders of the rebellion are already openly identifying themselves as infiltrated Russian citizens, which makes the use of the word "separatist" dubious. The Russian-speakers who actually live in Ukraine are as likely to be terrified of the rebels as they are to support them.

Flick Harrison

Jul 19

I love this article and agree completely.

Why Google Glass Is So Bad and Hated and Will Never Work.

"People pay thousands of dollars to have lasers shot at their eyes so they don't have to wear glasses. People put little pieces of plastic right on their eyes so they don't have to wear glasses. People hate glasses.

You can feel them on your face. You can see them on your face. They restrict your peripheral vision. You have to keep track of them. If you take them off you have to carry them with you. Your one pair has to compliment all your clothes. Wearing glasses makes it harder to wear sunglasses and be cool. Lots of people don't like how they look in glasses. Though imo some are in actuality very fetching. Disclaimer I don't wear glasses."

READ THE REST

Jul 12

Extraction Chinese Character
Extraction Cast and Crew

After two years of research and planning, Theatre Conspiracy is digging into the creation of the documentary-style play Extraction. Our international cast and team of theatre artists are in residence at The Cultch in Vancouver for the next couple of weeks to experiment before a work-in-progress presentation at Your Kontinent: Richmond International Film & Media Arts Festival on July 21. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 18

Terry MilewskiTerry Milewski

Politics

Online surveillance bill opens door for Big Brother - Politics - CBC News.

"Essentially, [this law] says that government agents may enter an ISP when they wish, without a warrant, and demand to see absolutely everything — including all data anywhere on the network — and to copy it all. If that seems hard to believe, let's walk through it."

Feb 15

Fast-moving news today about the new internet surveillance law, bill C-30.

Vic Toews, Canadian Public Safety Minister, has pulled the GW Bush card in the war against privacy: "You either stand with us, or you stand with the child pornographers."

He denies saying this, but here's the video:

In response, the anonymous Twitter user Vikileaks30 has launched a campaign of revealing private details of Toews' own divorce case.

I won't repeat any of those tweets here, since I can't vouch for their truth.

Today, House of Commons staff handed out the "wrong" version of the new law allowing warrantless surveillance of internet traffic.  The error revealed the guts of Conservative communications strategy: accuse defenders of privacy of supporting child predators.

"The short title is listed as "Lawful Access Act." An hour later, House of Commons staff withdraw it and replace it with the identical bill, save a new short title. It's now the "Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act.""

It's a strategy that backfired on then-opposition-leader, now Prime Minister, Harper when he accused PM Paul Martin of defending child molesters in the 2004 election.  Now that Harper has a majority government, it might be more useful for battering down the scattered opposition.

Open Media.ca has a petition against the new law, bill C-30. The law grants unprecedented powers to police, and forces ISP's to pay for surveillance technology.

Feb 15

Stop Online Spying | OpenMedia.caStop Online Spying | OpenMedia.ca.

Please circulate and sign this petition.

The government is about to push through a set of electronic surveillance laws that will invade your privacy and cost you money. The plan is to force every phone and Internet provider to allow "authorities" to collect the private information of any Canadian, at any time, without a warrant.

This bizarre legislation will create Internet surveillance that is:

  • Warrantless: A range of "authorities" will have the ability to access the private information of law-abiding Canadians and our families using wired Internet and mobile devices, without justification.
  • Invasive: The laws leave our personal and financial information less secure and more susceptible to cybercrime.
  • Costly: Internet services providers may be forced to install millions of dollars worth of spying technology and the cost will be passed down to YOU.
Feb 7

"...While talent is an undeniable part of the mix, nurturing has a lot to do with the result. And the Quebec film industry’s success is due in no small part to Radio-Canada’s role as an incubator."

Hébert is one of Canada's most astute political writers.  Today she does a really good analysis of how arts funding, including public broadcast funding, lead indirectly to impact around the world and commercial box-office success. Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 14

Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult | Truthout.

"It should have been evident to clear-eyed observers that the Republican Party is becoming less and less like a traditional political party in a representative democracy and becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe. This trend has several implications, none of them pleasant."

Jul 2

Final Cut Pro X means Apple has abandoned professional artists

by Flick Harrison

Guy Debord said that the main function of our society is now the production of spectacle. The spectacle alienates us from life and each other. Facebook, for instance, transforms our relationships into images of those relationships, mediated by Facebook's own hidden desires.

Fifteen years of engagement with the Final-Cut-Pro-using professional class is, at best, a good self-funding, street-cred foundation for the new consumer version of FCP, called FCP-X.  It could be compared to the free itunes app of yesteryear which slowly led us to the Itunes Store and thence to the app store, iphone and ipad.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 9

 

On June 1, 2011, SunTV broadcast an interview with veteran Canadian dancer and choreographer Margie Gillis see link below, which quickly turned abusive towards the guest. In a message on his facebook page, Canadian dancer Louis Laberge-Côté, currently a teacher at Nationaltheatre Manheim in Germany, offered this assessment.

In response to the Sun News Network interview with Margie Gillis

By Louis Laberge-Côté

Contemporary dancer / choreographer / teacher / arts lover / taxpayer

If by attacking dance artist Margie Gillis on the Canada Live show aired on June 1st, Krista Erickson, anchorwoman for the Sun News Network, intended to publicly insult a well-respected artist on a sensationalist broadcast news channel, she certainly achieved her goal. Of course, Miss Erickson is allowed to have her own opinions and she has the right to express them. But when it comes to journalism, shouldn’t it be somewhat of a moral obligation for the reporter to put aside her personal opinions to look at a situation from different perspectives, gather information from different sources and, obviously, allow her guest to express her point of view? Isn’t it ridiculously unprofessional and profoundly inhumane to invite a woman such as Margie Gillis just to publicly bully her, with no possibility for real discourse, in the name of a few minutes of “great television”?

via On SunTV and Margie Gillis : Canada's online magazine: Politics, entertainment, technology, media, arts, books: backofthebook.ca.

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