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The police force that cried wolf

Dear RCMP,

Invoking national security as a reason for not releasing the complete Tommy Douglas dossier reminds me of a certain fable by Aesop. Every time you cry “national security” in order to cover up organizational shenanigans from the past, you invite commentators to disbelieve you when national security may actually be a legitimate concern. So, really, use a little common sense, and a little honesty. There’s no way that you have legitimate national security concerns over the contents of the Tommy Douglas dossier. You are afraid of the press rightfully mocking you for ridiculous McCarthyist concerns over reds under the bed, once the file is released. Just admit that and stop abusing the ‘national security’ meme.

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Who’s the most persecuted religious group in the world?

Please, take a mouthful of coffee (or other liquid) before reading the answer:

The answer, according to Pope Benedict, is Christians.

Oops! I’m sorry. Please send your keyboard cleaning bill to me, care of Blevkog.

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Victims matter…

unless they are Indian, apparently.

Anyone who watches commercial video online will be familiar with the ad campaign Victims Matter. I’ve seen that ad more times than I can count. It rings hollow when the government completely ignores the concerns of the Air India bombing victims’ families, and treats them with disdain.

From Terry Milewski at the CBC:

In a series of meetings over the past two months, ministers Kenney and Toews have floated a trial balloon: modest and symbolic payments on the order of $20,000 to $25,000. The ministers emphasize that this is not to be considered “compensation” in the legal sense — as were Libya’s $10-million payments to the Lockerbie families. Rather, the two ministers insist, these “ex-gratia” payments would serve as goodwill gestures which entail no legal liability.

Shipra Rana wipes an eye as she talks to the media in June about losing relatives in the Air India bombing. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press) Major did recommend such payments — but he said much more. For one thing, he said the government should not decide for itself how much to pay; an independent body should do that. The government rejected that finding — which seems to fit with the official record described by Major. Here’s another sampling:

“For the longest period of time, the government seemed dedicated to self-justification and denial of fault that led it to cast a blind eye and a deaf ear to the suffering and the needs of the families. The government was too preoccupied with its international reputation to appreciate its obligations to the families of the victims. It was so keen on debunking any notion that the bombing was tied to deficiencies in Canadian safety and security that it alienated the very people who deserved support and empathy: the families of the victims.”

Major wasn’t done. He went on:

“In stark contrast to the compassion shown by the Government of the United States to the families of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, for all too long the Government of Canada treated the families of the victims of the terrorist attack on Flight 182 as adversaries. The nadir of this attitude was displayed when the families’ requests for financial assistance were met by the government’s callous advice to seek help from the welfare system. Even after the modest settlement of the civil litigation, a settlement which, ironically, prevented the families from receiving disclosure from government of the extent of the deficiencies in the pre-bombing period, the government was slow to recognize any duty towards the victims or their families.”

Finally, Major noted that the government had steadfastly tried to keep the truth from them.

“For over two decades, the Government of Canada and its agencies stood adamantly opposed to any public review. … the government was indiscriminate in its denials, doggedly denying all potentially unflattering facts, even some that had been uncontrovertibly shown to be true. As well, the government’s constant over-claiming of privilege and its continued withholding of information have had a painfully negative impact on the vulnerable families of the victims of this immense tragedy.”

Victims matter, my ass.

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On distributed denial of service attacks:

Dear Hillary Clinton, Joe Lieberman, et al,

Cyber attack forces Wikileaks to change web address

Whistle-blowing website Wikileaks has been forced to change its web address after the company providing its domain name cut off service.

EveryDNS.net said it had terminated services because Wikileaks.org had come under massive cyber attacks.

This sort of foolishness, on top of death threats and other seriously illegal crap, does nothing to protect nor repair your credibility. It only makes us spectators wonder what has yet to be revealed in future leaks. Your childish hacking pranks only serve to prove who wears the black hats and who wears the white hats in this little story.

Besides which, don’t you think Wikileaks has prepared for the nuclear option, should you actually succeed in killing all of their servers?

Yours,
Briguy

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Tom ‘Fatwa’ Flanagan

Some people disagree with Wikileak’s decision to release all of those fun, gossipy, and occasionally damning embassy memos.

Some other people, such as Tom ‘fatwa’ Flanagan, believe that Julian Assange should be extra-judiciously murdered for his prominent role with Wikileaks. Or ‘disappeared’, Tom ‘fatwa’ Flanagan clarified, as if conjuring images of Pinochet’s murderous regime (which I assume Tom ‘fatwa’ Flanagan is a fan of) would be a good thing.

Tom ‘fatwa’ Flanagan:

Well, I think Assange should be assassinated actually (laughs) I think Obama should put out a contract and maybe use a drone, or something.

eh I’m feeling very manly today, ah, but ah, the revelations about the Arab Diplomats asking the United States to bomb, to bomb Iran, ah, that is extremely interesting, these guys have to live next to Iran, now the Iranians know exactly what the King of Saudi Arabia is supposedly saying, you know this is, this is really stuff that should not be out, even if, in the vast sum of pages most of it is probably harmless, but there are things in there that really could complicate international relations and even conceivably lead to war so I wouldn’t feel happy if Assange, unhappy if Assage disappeared.

I personally wonder why so many high-level people connected with all sorts of governments are afraid of honesty and disclosure. Also, I want the word “fatwa” to appear in google’s auto-complete feature whenever Tom ‘fatwa’ Flanagan’s name is typed. These sorts of thoughtless presumptions by the powerful need to be punished, if only through the power of embarrassment.

Tom Flanagan fatwa. Tom fatwa Flanagan. fatwa Tom Flanagan.

You are now free to resume your surfing day. Thank you for contributing to the Tom Flanagan fatwa counter.

(h/t to Dammit Janet!)

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Feeding The Trolls

This blogs founder, Kevvyd and I, had a conversation over beer tonight (and damn tasty beer it was too) about the blog and the nature of some of the comments we’ve been getting lately. I’ll digress slightly at this point to note that the blog has been inactive lately, real life and a troubling lack of outrage having intruded on the contributors which may be having an effect on the nature of incoming comments. In any case our conversation was about how we seem to be attracting comments to the long dead threads. Invariably they’re threads about our reaction to some religious issue or another that was in the news at least a year ago. These comments are always nasty and have an annoying underlay of moral and intellectual superiority. They also never add to the discussion and usually make some pretty spectacular assumptions about our point. We’ve apparently dared to voice an opinion that isn’t the commenter’s and have to be called out for it so they pop in, make their schoolyard bully of a case and then leave. Oddly, never to return. They apparently don’t really get the concept of trolling.

The comment that’s inspiring this post came in today responding to a two-year old post by Flash (“Demilitarized Zone” if you care to look it up) and made a full 10 point triple spin of an assumption and then calls Flash a coward based on same. I guess my question is this: What the fuck is wrong with you that you need to troll the internet looking for obscure examples of disagreement with your personal views so that you can validate them by slagging the OP? Seriously, how fucking old are you? Twelve? Because these posts are the internet equivalent of twelve-year olds spray painting FUCK on a wall when no-one’s around.

I guess that last bit probably answers my own question doesn’t it. The sad part, (and if the troll named ROME comes back looking for a reaction I’m talking to you) is that few things make us here at Blevkog happier than a good argument. We love point-counterpoint. Try to prove your assertion to us and we’ll do the same. We’re pretty sure that Kevvyd has personally converted a couple of believers to rationalism. In any case they stopped ringing his doorbell every week. If  your only argument is “You don’t agree with me. Why can’t you see that that makes you wrong” though, which is all we seem to be getting lately, then I weep for your lack of emotional maturity and can muster no other feelings for you than scorn and slight regard. Now stop bothering the adults.