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wmtc: we like lists: things we learn from tv detective and murder mystery shows

If you enjoy detective shows, murder mysteries, and legal dramas, you learn a lot of things that don’t necessarily reflect reality. Here are some things you may learn from these shows.

1. Women are crazy and kill people.

I have already blogged about and disproportionate percentage of female murderers on TV detective shows.

In reality, about 90% of homicides are committed by men. I don’t know what percent of TV murderers are women, but on some shows it’s well over half.

2. Defense lawyers are all scum.

On quality police and legal dramas, most categories of people are portrayed as (Read more…)

wmtc: thoughts arising from the death of a defender of free speech

This week’s obituaries included the last living link to two landmark moments in the history of freedom of expression.

Al Bendich was just two years out of law school when he wrote the brief that is credited with the victory in the famous “Howl” obscenity case. In 1957, Lawrence Ferlinghetti published Allen Ginsberg’s masterpiece “Howl” in book form and sold it in his City Lights bookstore (now a San Francisco institution). Ferlinghetti was arrested on obscenity charges; the story of his trial is tremendous. You can read a bit about it in Bendich’s New York Times obituary; the movie (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Many Burnaby Mountain arrests may have been illegitimate, says BCCLA

The BC Civil Liberties Association says the recent RCMP arrests on Burnaby Mountain, and the civil contempt charges laid, “could be found illegitimate.”

The post Many Burnaby Mountain arrests may have been illegitimate, says BCCLA appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Politics and its Discontents: A Dystopian Present And Future

Those of us who consider ourselves progressive bloggers are well-aware of the dystopian nature of the world we live in. It is a world where black is often white, white is black, and deceit abounds. The perpetrators of environmental degradation and climate change offer us commercials showing pristine landscapes to ponder; the moneyed elite tell us that their success is our future success, and those who wage war tell us of their commitment to peace.

Sadly, Canada is not exempt from this madness. Now that the Harper regime has seized the narrative following the attacks in Quebec and Ottawa, almost (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Harper’s new terror laws must respect Canadians’ fundamental rights: watchdogs

Canada’s provincial and federal privacy commissioners are warning the Harper government against using the recent shootings in Ottawa and Quebec as a pretext to attack Canadians’ fundamental rights.

The post Harper’s new terror laws must respect Canadians’ fundamental rights: watchdogs appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Politics and its Discontents: And Thus It Begins

One of the misgivings I expressed in yesterday’s post seems to be a little closer to reality today.

The National Post headline reads:

Conservatives mulling legislation making it illegal to condone terrorist acts online.

Says John Ivison, The Conservatives are understood to be considering new legislation that would make it an offence to condone terrorist acts online.

There is frustration in government, and among law enforcement agencies, that the authorities can’t detain or arrest people who express sympathy for atrocities committed overseas and who may pose a threat to public safety, one Conservative MP said. “Do we need new offences? (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Something We Should All Keep In Mind

H/t Michael Nabert Recommend this Post CSEC is Watching

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The Canadian Progressive: RCMP’s War On Canadian Environmentalists Escalates

A newly-released RCMP report wants Canadians to believe that “environmental extremists” pose a “clear and present criminal threat” to Canada’s tar sands-dominated energy sector.

The post RCMP’s War On Canadian Environmentalists Escalates appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Canada’s Secretive Spy Agency CSEC Spies For Israel

A story recently published by Glenn Greenwald reveals that Canada’s highly secretive spy agency CSEC cooperates with with the NSA to support Israeli intelligence agencies with “cash, weapons and surveillance.”

The post Canada’s Secretive Spy Agency CSEC Spies For Israel appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

wmtc: guest post: "rob ford, eid prayer and the silencing of dissent"

Rob Ford, Eid Prayer and the Silencing of Dissentby Fizza Mir

July 30, 2014

My Eid started out like most, enjoying a morning coffee after a month of abstinence, rushing to get to the downtown prayers at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and navigating through hoards of playful children and beautifully dressed congregants. The khutbah was moving and poignantly addressed the state of our Ummah. Even as we celebrated the end of a blessed month, our hearts were heavy and our thoughts consumed by the horrors unfolding in Gaza, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Burma . . . it seemed like an (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: House Bars NSA From Meddling With Encryption Standards

The U.S. House of Representatives last month inserted into a defense appropriations bill a measure barring the National Security Agency from meddling with encryption standards.

The post House Bars NSA From Meddling With Encryption Standards appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Cowichan Conversations: Israel Is Captive To Its ‘Destructive Process’

This analysis by Chris Hedges is well worth the read.

By Chris Hedges

Raul Hilberg in his monumental work “The Destruction of the European Jews” chronicled a process of repression that at first was “relatively mild” but led, step by step, to the Holocaust. It started with legal discrimination and ended with mass murder. “The destructive process was a development that was begun with caution and ended without restraint,”

Hilberg wrote.

The Palestinians over the past few decades have endured a similar “destructive process.” They have gradually been stripped of basic civil liberties, robbed of assets including (Read more…)

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Glenn Greenwald on why government snooping is dangerous and what we can do about it

Journalist and author Glenn Greenwald suggests how we can protect ourselves from government snooping, and defend our civil liberties in the digital age.

The post Glenn Greenwald on why government snooping is dangerous and what we can do about it appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Harper Government Rejects Supreme Court Privacy Decision: Claims Ruling Has No Effect on Privacy Reform

by: by: MICHAEL GEIST | June 17, 2014

Having had the benefit of a few days to consider the implications of the Supreme Court of Canada decision in Spencer, the Senate last night proceeded to ignore the court and pass Bill S-4, the Digital Privacy Act, unchanged. The bill extends the ability to disclose subscriber information without a warrant from law enforcement to any private sector organizations by including a provision that allows organizations to disclose personal information without consent (and without a court order) to any organization that is investigating a contractual breach or possible violation of any (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Harper’s Online Surveillance Bill C‐13 Reveals “Canada’s Growing Privacy Deficit”

by: Obert Madondo | June 8, 2014

Canada’s privacy experts are gravely concerned about Bill C-13, the Conservatives’ Orwellian cybercrime bill, deceptively named “Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act“.

Last week, over 30 of them expressed their concern in a scathing letter addressed to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The signatories also told Harper that, Daniel Therrien, the newly-appointed Privacy Commissioner of Canada, lacks the “perspective and experience necessary to immediately tackle Canada’s many privacy problems.”

In a previous blog post, I quoted outgoing privacy commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, who said Bill C-13 lacks “accountability and reporting mechanisms to shed light on new investigative powers.” I added:

Stoddardts statement (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Why Has the Canadian Gvt Given Up on Protecting Our Privacy?

by: MICHAEL GEIST | June 4, 2014

In recent years, it has become fashionable to argue that Canadians no longer care about their privacy. Supporters of this position note that millions of people voluntarily post personal information and photos about themselves on social media sites, are knowingly tracked by Internet advertising giants and do not opt-out of “targeted” advertising from telecom companies. Yet if the past few months are any indication, it is not Canadians that have given up on privacy. It is the Canadian government.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes the public (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Bill C-13: Harper tries to turn Canada into a surveillance state… again!

by: Obert Madondo | May 20, 2014

Call it the Harper Conservatives’ resurrection the Orwellian ghost of Vic Toews.

Back in 2012, Canadians nuked the then public safety minister’s Bill C-30. The bill, deceptively christened Preventing Children from Internet Predators Act, had sought to give law enforcement agencies unlimited power to spy on Canadians.

A new cybercrime bill currently being rammed through parliament by Justice Minister Peter MacKay, is the reincarnation of Bill C-30.

Bill C-13, also deceptively named “Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act”, has nothing to do with curbing cyberbullying. Instead, it gives government law enforcement authorities, particularly secretive agencies (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Illegal Spying: Class action lawsuit filed against Canada’s electronic spy agency

by: BC Civil Liberties Association | Press Release | April 1, 2014

VANCOUVER – Today, lawyers for the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) filed a proposed national class action lawsuit on behalf of Canadians whose private communications and metadata information has been collected by the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) in a manner that violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The proposed class action statement of claim, filed today in Federal Court, is a companion case to the claim filed by the BCCLA in the B.C. Supreme Court in October of 2013. If the BCCLA’s original lawsuit (Read more…) Protect Our Privacy with our Letter to the Editor tool

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Susan on the Soapbox: Alberta’s “Traffic Court Reform”: One Step Closer to a Police State

Justice Minister Denis is touting “Traffic Court Reform” as a “citizen-friendly” dispute resolution process to “resolve” traffic tickets. It’s also the first step into a quagmire that erases our civil liberties in order to save money (and help the minister meet his 2014 budget targets).

The Justice minister requested “feedback” on the four principles underlying his draconian proposal. I sent him the following response:

Principle 1: The premise underlying the request for feedback is flawed. It is based on the assertion that traffic matters should be removed from the traditional court system and into an administrative (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Rights groups demand independent oversight of federal agency CBSA

by: BC Civil Liberties Association | Press Release

Public inquiry recommended oversight in 2006 – no action since that time

The BC Civil Liberties Association, the Canadian Council for Refugees and the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers today called on the government to end its long inaction on the need for an independent and effective complaints and monitoring mechanism for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The Maher Arar judicial inquiry recommended that CBSA’s national security activities be subjected to independent review in 2006. The federal government has failed to act on this recommendation.

While CBSA has sweeping police (Read more…)

wmtc: freedom to read week 2014: celebrate your freedom to read

Image from Freedom to Read website

Freedom to Read Week 2014 runs from February 23 to March 1. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Freedom to Read Week in Canada.

Freedom to Read Week – called “Banned Books Week” in the United States – encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, a human right guaranteed to us under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. For me, it is also a time to celebrate the library as a bulwark against censorship, and for library workers to reflect on our jobs in a broader political context.

(Read more…)

wmtc: surveillance at the border: outrage fades as we accept the new normal?

The surveillance state continues to grow; news of its magnitude continues to trickle out. Some people shrug, claiming only criminals and terrorists need be concerned, but in these extreme conditions, that attitude looks increasingly ridiculous – or government-sponsored. The rest of us shudder and shake our heads… but what more?

The Canada-US border has become another instrument of the surveillance state. For decades, people have claimed that border agencies had access to all our personal information, including tax and credit status. In the past, that was a myth. Now, what was once paranoid rumour appears to be true.

We, the (Read more…)

wmtc: canadian woman refused entry to u.s. based on confidential health records

According to this news story, a Canadian woman named Ellen Richardson was refused entry into the United States because of a prior medical condition. That is, when the US border guards swiped her passport, information taken from her health records came up.

Now, the US can refuse entry to any non-citizen for any reason or no reason. The more important question is why was a Canadian’s confidential medical information in the Department of Homeland Security database?? How did it get there? How many of our health records are in the DHS database? You don’t need to wear a tinfoil (Read more…)