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Paranoia and delusional = a scary combo.

Ok, I’m not sure what makes me more worried – the fact that there are Blogging Tories going around photographing reporters and trying to use who they socialize with in their off-time as proof there is a “liberal bias” in the media, or that the majority of the conservative commentators on the said blog are congratulating the blogger for doing what they did and bravely asserting this proves the liberal media bias (most from folks who decided to bravely remain anonymous, I might note).

At least Stephen Taylor to his credit got on there and said this was rather unsettling and didn’t show any proof at all of this supposed bias. I’m thinking though he may have more of these folks with like mind running around on his blogroll then he would care to admit. You might wanna tighten up the membership requirements over there, Stephen.

[email protected]:43 pm: Red Tory discovers more evidence of the sinister plot by the MSM to infiltrate Conservative ranks and become moles – they hang out with known Conservatives!  I expect we’ll hear calls from the horrified Conservative bloggers for a Royal Commission on blogger/journalist ethics.

Conservatives proposed copyright law making news even in rural newspapers

I noticed this article over at the Law is Cool blog today about how the Conservatives proposed new copyright law, known as Bill C-61, is rallying Canadians in unprecedented numbers (now over 87 000 members at the Fair Copyright For Canada Facebook group) to oppose this legislation.

I believe this is reinforced by the fact that the local paper around here, The Tillsonburg News, ran a front-page story today talking about the proposed legislation and informing the area about a public meeting that would be held to tallk about it:

..this week, thanks to Tillsonburg’s Linux Users Group (tillug), anyone interested can learn more about this important issue. Sam Trosow, an associate professor at London’s University of Western Ontario, is a recognized expert in intellectual property rights and has co-authored a citizen’s guide to Canadian copyright law. He will be in Tillsonburg on Wednesday, July 16th at the invitation of the tillug to discuss what the legislation proposed in Bill C-61 means to Canadian users and producers of copyrighted material.

I have said before that Bill C-61 and the proposals the Conservatives have put in this bill to update the copyright legislation could be the sleeper issue in the upcoming federal election. The opposition to this bill continues to grow, and when it’s provoking concern in smaller communities like Tillsonburg and warranting frontpage coverage and details about public meetings on this issue, it has the potential to blow up in the Conservatives face.  And it should – as this legislation is not the kind of reforms we need for copyright law.

In-And-Out returns once again

I kind of like how we seem to lurch from one scandal the Conservatives have on their hands to another different one on a seemingly weekly basis – it keep the news fresh and the discussion interesting, if you know what I mean. It also lets the public see how much crap this Conservative government has gotten into in the time it’s been in power.

Anyhow, I know there is a lot going on elsewhere today, but if you want to get yourself re-acquainted with the “In and Out” election financing problems the Cons. have with Elections Canada, Kady O’Malley of Macleans is live-blogging the proceedings at the Ethics Committee here. The Chief Electoral Officer of Elections Canada, Marc Mayrand, has been testifying so far, and it seems he’s aiming squarely at the Cons. claims of persecution:

Looks like the Conservatives aren’t the only ones on the offensive — Mayrand just took on the “But every party does it; why is Elections Canada picking on us?” argument that Pierre Poilievre, among others, brings out so often. He asked the agency to look into that claim by examining all party returns for the last few election cycles. His conclusion? No, they don’t.

Should be a fun day up there at the Hill 🙂

[email protected]:05 pm: Part 2 of Kady’s Liveblogging is here, where among other things, you’ll see Pierre Poilievre’s conspiracy theory claims on parade.

Apologies for the interruption in service.

The server I’m on had a bit of a hiccup yesterday, meaning I was offline til sometime this AM. Anyhow, once back up, I took the opportunity to upgrade the blog to WordPress 2.6, which is out a month early. Mostly administrative improvements, but I like the changes they’ve done, which you can watch a demonstration of via Youtube video.

UPDATE: I think I’ve discovered what’s causing the excessive spam capturing of Wp-Spam Free from trying to apply it to Vijay Sappani’s blog, where I help him with admin. stuff. It seems to not like anyone who is not a registered user on here leaving comments. If you’re registered […]

On name changes.

I was just reading NBC Dipper’s piece here on one of their candidates proposing a name change for the NDP and dropping the “New” from their name and leaving it as “Democratic Party of Canada”.

Personally, I always preferred the name if it was ever to be changed to Social Democratic Party, which is an accurate reflection I think of the NDP’s social democratic roots.

Lots going on that I missed.

Who says nothing happens on a Sunday?

– Zytaruk’s audio tape on Harper over Cadman gets more publicity, with another audio expert seeming to contradict the Cons 2 paid experts that doctoring as conclusive (he says it isn’t).

– Even the right-wing press out in Calgary are calling for Omar Khadr to be repatriated.

– We find out that it seems it’s the Cons. who are spending all the money on the East in an effort to win seats and votes, with hardly any money going to the West (do you see that, John Murney, and Grumpy Voter? I expect blogposts full of outrage from you comparable to the […]

Testing the Spam plugin out – Phase 2. (Please leave comments!)

My spam-free plugin is still being very erratic with allowing comments on here. Some people it gives no trouble with,others it does, and it doesnt seem to matter if they have cookies and javascript on or not; it still wont let them post. The next day though on a new blogpost I do, sometimes it gives them no issue and they can post stuff with no trouble. So, I’m turning off ALL other plugins on here as has been suggested to me in the spam-free docs, and I want to see if I can isolate which other plugin is causing a conflict, which is what I believe it is.

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Tommy Douglas-era CCF/NDP member Reid Scott joins the Liberals.

I thought I’d mention this little piece of news this morning, not to bug our NDP friends over it (particularly Cam, who always takes great umbrage at his party getting criticized by us Liberal supporters. By the way, Cam, congrats and good luck on your impending wedding), and not to mention that this is now the 3rd story in less then a week from NDP supporters or former NDP supporters criticizing the NDP’s current direction under Layton, but to say that Reid Scott is a rather significant Canadian in his own right.

He was on the flag committee held in Lester B. Pearson’s day to try and find a […]

Dion gets good reception in Guelph; local bloggers there to report on it.

I thought I’d point out this article by David Graham who resides in Guelph and is also the Liblogs blogging aggregate coder. He was on hand in person to watch Stephane Dion’s appearance in Guelph yesterday, where he drew a very nice crowd and from what David says, a pretty good response. That would seem to be backed up by Steve V who also witnessed the event and came away suitably impressed by what he called “Dion’s authenticity”.

You might also note in David’s blog article the rather dismissive tone the local newspaper, the Guelph Mercury, did on Dion’s event, and which continues at their local blog, which is here. […]

Obama’s move to the centre/right.

There’s been a backlash against Barack Obama in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party for his reversal on the controversial FISA legislation.  He changed course from a year ago when he vowed to oppose this law from passing and supported the passage of this law that offers retroactive immunity to telecom companies for obeying illegal orders by President Bush and his administration to eavesdrop on American citizens in the name of fighting terrorism,  without a warrant, back several years ago.

This new FISA law is a sore spot for libertarians and liberals alike because it not only prevents Americans from suing these telecom companies for allowing that illegal activity, but it more importantly will cover up what exactly Bush and his administration were doing  (and there has been some disclosure that Bush and his administration were getting the telecoms to do this BEFORE  Sept 11, 2001 occurred); another sore spot is that this law is written in a way that more or less forces the FISA court to rubber-stamp any of this activity.

Many liberal/progressive Democrats feel that Obama has helped to push the country back to pre-Richard Nixon days, when there were basically no laws or rules in place on spying on Americans.  The US administration and its law enforcement agencies could spy at will back then, which is why after Watergate and its revelations, the original FISA Court was brought into existence in the first place. This new FISA law seems to revert back to those ugly days, and  the outrage amongst the liberal Democratic bloggers was so great, Obama was forced to get on his own website and issue a statement to them why he voted the way he did – an explanation that not many believed or accepted. Many charge him with “caving” in to Republican fear-mongering.

It is fair to point out that it wasn’t just him that caved on this FISA vote – the Democratic Congress leadership did as well – most likely as an attempt to prevent being called “wimps” on national security and to try and prevent that being used as an attack either on them or on Obama in the upcoming congressional and presidential elections. In essence, they caved on the issue for political expediency and political cover, rather then stand up and fight this on principle.

Obama knows (as do the Democratic leaders) that he has the progressive wing of the Democratic Party in a bind. They’re sick of Bush, so he’s taking the rather safe calculation that despite FISA, they won’t stay at home or vote for McCain. I don’t think this cave-in was necessary, (several polls on this issue showed that the US public did not like what the US government and the telecoms were doing) but Democrats aren’t exactly renowned for having spines when faced with either caving or standing up to Republican fear-mongering on national security.

There is already talk amongst the Democratic blogosphere of making an example of some of the Democratic enablers in Congress of this new law by running challengers against them the next time Democratic primaries roll around (think of them as the same as the party elections up here to select candidates for each riding).  Will they do the same thing to Obama and or vote for Mccain, or vote for the minor candidates, or not vote at all? I find that highly unlikely.  While the US is in a 2 party setup, this is going to occur. The liberal Democrats have a choice: either try to get more progressives to run and get elected to Congress and reform the party from within, or else they’ll need to split and form a “Progressive Party”.  For now, they’ve chosen the former.

As for the new FISA law, like the Military Commissions Act, it will probably take a split decision Supreme Court decision to overturn this law, rather then a Congress that abdicated its responsibilities, and that is what the American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations are going to ask the US Supreme Court to do. In the meantime, progressives in the US are going to have hold their noses and vote for Obama, because if they don’t, their reward for punishing Obama is 4 more years of Republican rule – at least at the presidency – and a continuation of the Bush policies.

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