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Wise Law Blog: Canadian’s in Action for Release of Blogger Raif Badawi from Saudi Prison

You may have recently read about the blogger Raif Badawi who was imprisoned in Saudi Arabia for criticizing Saudi Arabian clerics. It caught the media’s attention because he was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashings.

Yes, you read that right. 10 years and 1,000 lashings – 50 of which have already been administered.

In positive union, the Quebec Bar and Lawyers Without Borders Canada recently announced that they would join forces to have blogger Raif Badawi released from jail.

Mr. Badawi’s wife and three children live in Sherbrooke, Quebec. However, given that he is not a Canadian citizen, (Read more…)

Wise Law Blog: SlawTips: 5 Tips on Marketing for Law Firms (Video)

The world of marketing remains a bit of a mystery for many legal professionals.  We know enough about it that many of us become do-it-ourselfers for our websites, blogs and even our branding.

Nonetheless, there is much we can learn from true marketing professionals.

To that end, I have the pleasure today of introducing the first in a series of videos on Marketing for Lawyers and Legal Professionals I’ve done with Sandra Bekhor of Bekhor Management and Toronto Marketing Blog. Sandra’s firm provides marketing and practice management services nationwide to lawyers and other professional practitioners.

In this installment, Sandra discusses (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: 200,000 Thank Yous

It seems that only yesterday I was saying thank you to my first 100,000 unique visitors at this blog after just over two years of writing. That was at the start of March. Now, 10 months later, I want to say thank you to more than 208,000 visitors for coming here and reading my humble […]

A Puff of Absurdity: On Pseudonymns

A post at Feminist Philosophers discusses why some bloggers feel the need to write under an alias, and the respect this decision necessitates.  The reasons are primarily around safety.  Bloggers – particularly female bloggers – can get some nasty comments.  Sexually aggressive comments are the pinnacle of this escapade.

I used to write under a pseudonym.  When I was on mat leave with my youngest, now ten, I wrote a mommy blog that got about 100 times the traffic as this blog.  I was able to write a few times a day, targeting a niche audience.  I wrote short posts (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: This is the last post on Alberta Diary, sort of: Welcome to

Your blogger with Alberta Premier Jim Prentice. Your blogger with another Alberta premier, whose name escapes him at the moment, and with a former Alberta opposition leader.

Maybe it’s evidence of the “seven year itch”? Leastways, it was seven years ago on Dec. 31, 2007, that I started this blog, promising commentary on politics, baseball and Uechi-ryu karate. It was called St. Albert Diary.

Well, I managed to deliver one of those promised topics. I think maybe I wrote about karate once or twice. Baseball? Not so much.

Eventually I changed the name to Alberta Diary, since I seemed (Read more…)

Exponential Book: Don’t mix me with them!

In these two videos [1,2], prominent non-believers [1] Neil deGrasse Tyson and Sam Harris reject the denomination “atheist” as not only inaccurately portraying their views on the (non) existence of God, but also, according to them, of little content or use, and even potentially pernicious. The Oxford Dictionary defines Atheism as “Disbelief or lack of […]

Exponential Book: Absence of evidence and evidence of absence

It has been a while since my last blog post (yes, I love euphemisms). I have not been writing for the simple reason that I ran out of things to say, a fate that I am told few, very few amateur bloggers escape. So, what am I doing here now? Well, I have been engaged lately in the […]

Alberta Diary: Alberta Diary is closed, but, like Gen. MacArthur, we (I) shall return…

Yeah, we’re closed, but we don’t plan to be closed for long. Below: Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Below him: Alberta Diary’s crack research staff scouring the Internets, looking for blog ideas and royalty-free illustrations to go with them. This may come as a surprise to readers, but actual Alberta Diary researchers may not appear exactly as illustrated.

I had a friend who travelled to Portugal many years ago. Or maybe it was Brazil. Whatever, she brought back a poster torn from a lamppost that proclaimed (in Portuguese, I presume), “Fear Not! O Globo is back on the stands!”

Here in (Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains

I love Nicholas Carr’s book. There are lots of studies and science mixed with many stories and asides and discussions of philosophers and other great thinkers. It reminded me of reading a Bill Bryson book. You get the facts painlessly. And it presents a strong argument for keeping kids (and everyone) off-line when they work, but I’m still unlikely to  convince them to actually turn off facebook.  Reading the bare bones here doesn’t do it justice, but here’s what I don’t want to forget about my memory:

The Medium is the Message

He quotes McLuhan from 1964 – “The electric (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Author’s Note: Changes are coming to Alberta Diary, soon to be

Write hard. Live a long time. (Edited version.) Tattoo by Jason Edward Morgan, Bastrop, Texas.

Round about the end of summer – Labour Day or thereabouts if God’s willin’ and the crick don’t rise – there are some significant changes coming to Alberta Diary.

The biggest will be a change in the name of the blog to

This blog will thereafter be found at both and Indeed, it is already, if one is inclined to click on those addresses.

It will continue to be found at for a good long (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Six years ago…

I received a notification last week from WordPress noting that I registered with them six years ago. Six years with their blogging platform… happy anniversary to me… what, no flowers? Party favours? Is this my modern life: email reminders from software companies? That got me thinking about dates and anniversaries. And in trying to recall them all, […]

Montreal Simon: Blogging and the Great Escape from Harperland

Well I must admit that there are so many things I want to do with my free time, now that the Winter from Hell is over and it finally feels like Spring.Almost all of them have to do with bikes and boats.And blogging about the horror of Harperland is not one of them. Not when sometimes all I can think about is how to escape the grubby living nightmare that the Cons have created…Read more »

April Reign: Puppy Love

April Reign

Nothing of great social or political import just some cute shots of the dog.

April Reign – In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

A BCer in Toronto: The bloggers meet Broadhurst: On the economy, 3000+ attendees and #selfieswithbroadhurst

Our contingent of bloggers had a wide-ranging briefing this morning in with Liberal Party of Canada national director Jeremy Broadhurst – you may know him from the popular new Twitter meme, #SelfiesWithBroadhurst. Lets start with a few stats. About eight or nine bloggers have been accredited to the 2014 biennial – its unknown how many are Conservative spies. Some six Senators registered, so watch out for them, NDP spies. There were 2500 delegates pre-registered when online registration was closed, and more will register on site. As off last night, over 2000 were on site. For last night only, local Liberals (Read more…)

April Reign: Snowy Afternoon Walking With My Dog

April Reign

A few pics and short video showing just how hard it was snowing. Looks lovely and for once wasn’t bitterly cold.

April Reign – In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

. . . → Read More: April Reign: Snowy Afternoon Walking With My Dog

Toronto Lawyer | Omar Ha-Redeye, J.D. » Politics: Barreau du Quebec Oppose measures in Bill 60

A report by Barreau du Quebec on Bill 60 has been leaked to the media, opposing the measures proposed by the Parti Québécois.

See Slaw for details.


Barreau Du Quebec Report on Bill 60

April Reign: What Happens When You Just Don’t Clique?

April Reign

The internet has been fantastically effective in allowing people to communicate. While post and phones and radios did allow communication across distances, they were not as easy and accessible as such things as Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Tumblr etc. are.

Social networks have brought together political nations, self defined nations such as Leaf Nation and Ford Nation (both the vehicle and train wreck varieties), political groups, those looking for medical support the list goes on.

And yet while some find their voice, or ‘friends’ beyond number or become ‘Tumblr famous’ others feel even lonelier than ever. Being an introvert (Read more…)

April Reign: Facebook and Progressive Values

April Reign

I deleted my Facebook account awhile ago because I could no longer feel right with myself visiting a site which so clearly violates my principles. Complaints about misogynist groups advocating rape and other abuses towards women, groups degrading those with physical or mental handicaps were regularly met with ‘this does not violate Facebook standards’ yet apparently perfectly lovely shots of breastfeeding mothers do. Tattoos on breast cancer survivors seem to also.

However, I have found myself wondering if standing up for my principles does anything but soothe my conscience. I see many many progressives on Facebook and I (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: The Top 13 from 2013: Alberta Diary borne ever upward on wings of far-right loons

Ron Paul, the crazy uncle of the American right, surrounded by grinning acolytes at the 2013 conference of the Manning Centre for Undermining Democracy in Ottawa. Putting Dr. Paul here worked before, so maybe it’ll work again! Below: For New Year’s Eve, we show Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who says he doesn’t drink alcohol, hoisting a doublethink cocktail. Below him, Deepak Chopra, the exercise guru from Canada Post. And below him, put there as a service to the public, Deepak Chopra the New Age guru. Thanks to Alberta Diary, you now all know the difference!

The midwinter holidays equal (Read more…)

The Wingnuterer: The Twitter Wars – Damany Skeene

There are funny Trolls, trolls who have a purpose and use snark, satire and humor to get their point across. An example of this kind of Troll would be @CanadianCynic (aka CC). CC is the master of the 140 character snark on twitter.

There are brain dead Political Trolls, trolls that continuously spout lies and mis-information. An example of kind of troll is @ejb__, she tweets bs an lies to support @TOMayorFord and decries anything that supports pedestrians and cyclists. Her lies are legendary and if you try to correct her she screams that you are cyberbullying her, stalking and (Read more…)

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Blogger ponders on things instead of musing about them

LONDON, Ontario (The Skwib) — The web is still reeling from the revelation that a blogger has been pondering things instead of musing about them. “Yeah, I’ve spent a lot of time musing, in fact, the tagline from my blog … Continue reading →

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Value of Controversy and Colleagues

Over the past few days,  one American political science blog has been at the centre of a pretty hot controversy about a post on the value of networking for younger political scientists.  Follow the links below and you’ll find further

Brian Rathbun, the author of the post quit the collective blog called The Duck of Minerva, with a short note that included this comment:

Through poorly chosen and ill-considered language and images, I made light of women’s challenges both in their academic and in their daily lives, for which I am deeply sorry.

Thankfully, someone reposted the original Rathbun piece that some found offensive. Take a moment and read it before going on with the rest of this.  Be warned the title is crude and some may find it distasteful: “Intellectual Jailbait: Hunting for Underage Ideas at APSA”.  That’s the American Political Science Association conference he’s talking about.

. . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Value of Controversy and Colleagues

RedBedHead: Blogging, Democracy and Revolution

I came across this well-written piece on the role of social media in social change, written by Jesse McLaren. I’ve often thought that the role of new media, social media etc etc has been under-theorized by Marxists. You tend to see stuff that goes in one of two directions: either an uncritical boosterism about social media as the motor of revolutions or completely dismissive and contemptuous.

A Puff of Absurdity: Blogger Rights and Responsibilities

I think of myself as a C-list blogger.  Sometimes I wander into B-list territory, but I’m largely unseen by the masses.  If I make it into the double digits on a post, it’s pretty exciting.  I have two posts that made it into triple digits here – largely, I think, because they’ve caused disagreement and outrage.  One’s about why I’m not fond of Eckhart Tolle – some commenters insist I’m just jealous of his success.   And the other is on why I don’t like Regulation 274 and the way it was just added to the Education Act without discussion. (Read more…)

Toronto Lawyer | Omar Ha-Redeye, J.D. » Politics: Ontario Divisional Court Ruling in Magder v. Ford

The Divisional Court of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has overturned Justice Hackland’s ruling in Magder v. Ford.

For a summary of the case see Slaw.

Magder v. Ford, 2013 by