Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream Your Daily Digital Digest for Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Your news links for today:

Bill C-51 violates Universal Declaration of Human Rights, OSCE finds – ThinkPol A Licence With Limited Value: Copyright Board Delivers Devastating Defeat to Access Copyright – Michael Geist Why The Copyright Board Decision Affirms Canadian Education’s Approach to Fair Dealing – Michael Geist ‘How Movie Studios Exploit Video on Demand Services’ – TorrentFreak What Sony and Spotify’s secret deal really looks like – Boing Boing Google: Targeting Downloaders Not The Best Solution to Fight Piracy – TorrentFreak Complaints illustrate Canadians’ telecom gripes – MoneySense Heart-Wrenching Wireless Complaints vs ‘Big 3′ Carriers Revealed, Obtained from CRTC (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Using Bacteria to Make Buildings Healthier

A new field of research, that doesn’t even have a proper name yet, is looking into ways we can incorporate biology into our built environment. It turns out the bacteria and germs found in our indoor worlds are vastly different than those found in natural environments. It makes me wonder what are we inadvertently breeding in our workplaces and homes.

Bacteria can be used to cure our “sick building syndrome” issues while improving our individual health too!

As evidence continues to mount against ultrasterilization, scientists are looking for alternatives that nurture, rather than eradicate, microbial communities.

One way (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: If trouble comes?

We live a very peaceful life in Canada. It was surprising though the other day when in an interview on Global Television, Tom Clark asked Ottawa’s chief of the defence staff his major concern for Canadians. Without hesitation, General Tom Lawson said his main concern was a natural disaster. He made no reference to any threats from the jihadists of the Middle East. He did note that we were well protected by moats on the east and west of our country known as the Atlantic and Pacific, as well as on the north.

The natural follow up to that answer (Read more…)

Warren Kinsella: Will the Orange Crush thing fizzle?

Here’s what Senior Statesman Ed Broadbent says:

The polling done by the Broadbent Institute shows Canadians support those ideas.

“Time after time, we find on almost every issue, a majority of Canadians are social democrats,” he says.

“On tax policy, on (the) Canada Pension (Plan), a whole range of issues that are reasonably described as social democratic, there is a significant majority of Canadians that are on that side.”

Broadbent says the long-term trend shows voters are warming to the NDP.

“One of the things that is happening now, and we’ll see if (it) persists in the election, is (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Rafe Mair’s Modest Proposal: Scrap environmental assessments

The resignation of Economist Robyn Allan from the National Energy Board (NEB)underlines the futility of funding these rigged operations and what is worse is that we pay through the nose for them to jam

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Warren Kinsella: This changes everything

When someone says something "changed everything," you know something didn't.

— Warren Kinsella (@kinsellawarren) May 26, 2015

the disgruntled democrat: Fuck the Job Count! What People Need Are Living Wages!


Every month the charade continues. Governments in North America announce the latest labour market statistics, hoping to pull the wool over the population’s eyes, making them believe that things are a lot better than they really are.

It’s relatively easy to do: just don’t count those who are so discouraged that they have given up looking for a job.  In reality, these people still exist; they just don’t show up in the unemployment figures.  As a result, people are spoon fed a distorted picture of reality that they seem more than happy to accept, unless, of course, (Read more…)

Northern Reflections: Raising Those At The Bottom


There has been a lot of discussion about the 1% of us who are fabulously wealthy. A new OECD report, In It Together: Why Less Inequality Benefits All, suggests that concentration of wealth at the top does not promote economic growth. And taking our cue from recent economic research, our current political discussion is focused on cutting the rich down to size.

But Clive Cook suggests that a careful reading of the report leads to a different conclusion. We need to  focus our efforts on raising the economic prospects of those at the bottom of (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Day Stephen Harper’s Attack Ads Made Him look Like an Idiot

As I've been telling you for a while, Stephen Harper's PMO is not the mighty Death Machine it once was.These days it's looking desperate and disorganized. Its election campaign is veering wildly in all directions. It's making a lot of dumb mistakes.And there couldn't be a better example of that than what happened yesterday. When the fanatics in the PMO launched two new attack ads.Only to have them go horribly wrong.Read more »

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The party is over #nlpoli

There are times when you wonder why anyone pays attention to a crowd like the Atlantic Province Economic Council.

They showed up in St. John’s on Monday to tell us that the major major projects that have been driving the economy are winding down.

And they charged $230 to anyone who wanted to show up for that insight or for the other one quoted in the CBC online story:  the “party had to end.”




Penetrating Insight into the F**king Obvious.

(Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Horgan was in Edmonton for celebrations. Here he is with a Cowichan ex pat now Alberta NDP MLA Shay Anderson.  


Horgan was in Edmonton for celebrations. Here he is with a Cowichan ex pat now Alberta NDP MLA Shay Anderson.

He sent this on his iPhone. I think he had better get

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Melissa Fong: Henry Yu on #WhiteSupremacy in Canada

"Canada had a history of #WhiteSupremacy similar to South Africa-building its immigration policy around White Canada" — Melissa Fong (@internationalmf) May 25, 2015 "Canada had a history of #WhiteSupremacy […]

Art Threat: The outlaw love and godless gospel of roots rocker Rodney DeCroo

Albumn review, “Campfires on the Moon”, by Michael Nenonen.

Rodney DeCroo’s latest album, “Campfires on the Moon,” reveals hidden faces. I’ll say more about that in a moment.

“Campfires”, released by Tonic Records, is DeCroo’s seventh album (eighth if you count his 2012 spoken word album “Allegheny”, and you probably should). Its gentle tempo is a noticeable departure from his previous musical works, which combined his signature lyrical depth with palpable anguish and anger. Those albums were well-received, and deservedly so, but he has achieved something remarkable with this new compilation, and that’s where my comment about hidden faces comes in.

(Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: Cassandra’s Curse

Climate scientists are reporting higher incidents of depression.  It could be from living like the mythological Cassandra, who had the gift of prophecy but was cursed by Apollo for refusing his advances.  Her curse was never being believed or listened to.

Imagine studying one topic for decades, figuring out the problems and solutions, and being largely ignored by the world.  Or worse – being hated and vilified regularly.

Nobel Peace Prize winner, Camille Parmesan said,

I felt like here was this huge signal I was finding and no one was paying attention to it…. I was really thinking, ‘Why (Read more…)

Molly'sBlog: Marie Goldsmith: Her life and thought


     Maria Isidorovna Goldsmith was born on July 19, 1871 in  Russia (1). There is some confusion about both the date and location of her birth. Some assume that she was born in Switzerland, around 1873 probably in Zurich where the family later moved, but this move was years later. Her father Isidor published Znanie, a positivist (2) oriented review. He was exiled to the north for his views, according to the historian Max Nettlau first to Pinega and later to Arkhangsk (3). Nettlau was of the opinion that she was (Read more…)

cartoon life: Captain Cosmo Cat

I am reminded again of the rule I have been neglecting. Make a mark.

Filed under: art Tagged: Cat, madeWithPaper, space

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe Mair’s Modest Proposal: Scrap environmental assessments

The 3-member NEB Joint Review Panel for the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline (Damien Gillis)

Do you enjoy being a raw hypocrite?

Well, if you’re a taxpayer in Canada that’s what you are because you support raw hypocrisy every day in the various hearings on environmental matters that take place.

I’ve written in the past, from personal experience, about environmental assessments of independent power projects (IPPs), the environmental disgraces of British Columbia, and how they are so biased in favour of industry that it defies all but spluttering language of anger.

Let’s call the whole thing off

Economist (Read more…)

A Different Point of View....: We must start ‘shaming’ thosewho lie to us, destroy our climate

During a flight from Montreal to Halifax I missed a chance to carry out an act of defiance – “shaming” – against a person who has greatly abused his position of authority in Canada.

Given how powerless ordinary folk and public interest groups have become, I would like to see people embarrass the hell out of those who take advantage of the public by lying to us, cheating us, or destroying our priceless environment.

As I made my way down the aisle, I spotted the square jaw, the glasses and the prematurely-balding head. I was going to get my chance (Read more…) How fast is your Internet? We’re helping launch a new open source Internet Performance Test

By collaborating with our community, volunteers, and different partners around the world, we get to do a lot of cool things here at OpenMedia. But today’s launch is one of our most exciting yet. We’re collaborating with experts at the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) to launch a new open source Internet Performance Test that will help us better understand Canada’s Internet.

read more

Cowichan Conversations: Judith Lavoie on the Shawnigan Contaminated Soil Battle

This article was originally carried in Victoria’s Focus Online. It covers the issue well but misses the crucial matter of the CVRD Shawnigan land use bylaws that prohibit treating and processing materials from off site.

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The Moncton Times@Transcript - Good and Bad: May 25: What can words say?

Netanyahu yesterday thanked Secstat Kerry for the US role in killing a big meeting of Middle East leaders to discuss de-nuclearizing the whole region. How nice of Mr. Kerry. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia says it has a deal to get nuclear weapons from Pakistan. And ISIL may be getting them, too.

Isn’t that nice? It will bring peace to the Middle East. Well, not right away. We have to kill everybody first. And don’t worry. You’ll know when it happens. Five hundred or so Nuclear bombs going off at the same time will be noticeable. Even here in Moncton.

Obama drops (Read more…)

Blunt Objects Blog: The Best Voting Method for Canadians – STV

Since Éric Grenier posted his somewhat controversial “308PR” post last week, I’ve spent some time looking at differing electoral systems and really trying to nail down what I liked and did not like about the various options on the table. I’ve come up with the one that I think I like the most, and would love to see implemented here in Canada – and I’ve even done a little example below.

Just to review: currently, Canada’s federal, provincial, and municipal elections use a plurality vote system, whereby the candidate with the most votes in a district wins the election. (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: First Nation, star chef team up for unique herring benefit

Every year, the Great Bear Rainforest welcomes one of nature’s miracles as millions of herring return to spawn. Wolves, bears, eagles, whales, sea lions are all drawn from the forest and ocean to feast on the golden herring roe, deposited along miles of coastline.

For 10,000 years, First Nations have been sustainably harvesting the roe from kelp and hemlock boughs they set amidst the spawn. It is the keystone of their diet and culture – not to mention the entire ecosystem. But all that has become threatened in recent decades by commercial overfishing and mismanagement by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (Read more…)

B.C. Policy Perspectives: The Debate About the Debates

“Pick your battles” is a wise adage for life, especially in the intensely competitive and adversarial arena that is politics. That is why we have a certain tolerance and even admiration for leaders who display this wisdom in their campaign strategies.

But what if that campaign seems never-ending,  and the battles avoided include major issues of the day and time- worn avenues of democratic accountability?  I am referring of course to the prime minister’s recent decision to not attend the traditional debates put on by the consortium of Canada’s major broadcasting networks.  These debates have become known (Read more…)

Warren Kinsella: Spotted by a sharp-eyed reader: good news and bad

The good news for Liberals: they have a way to make fun of that new CPC ad.

The bad news for Liberals: that old Manitoba campaign ad worked – my very good friend Hugh (sadly) lost.