The story of WikiLeaks.org is the story of both the modern whistleblower and the structure of the modern media system. The site is now famous for embracing technology in order to protect sources behind material that might be damaging to institutions as varied as the Church of Scientology, Swiss banks and the US military. Yet despite shocking revelations and damaging material emerging from the site, very little has actually changed because of them. This ought to be troubling, but there is a way to explain it.
Julian Assange, the notoriously elusive Australian mastermind of WikiLeaks, has built the site like any good hacker would.… Seguir leyendo »
When George Monbiot wrote his searing judgment of Canada’s recent descent into what he claimed is a “petro-state,” he was talking about Canada’s global reputation. But what he was actually addressing is a long history of domestic inter-governmental and inter-regional strife, currently embodied by Stephen Harper, Canada’s prime minister. Monbiot’s article left many Canadian heads spinning: how did we get to this point?
Highway 22 in southern Alberta skirts along the barrier between flat prairie to the east and rolling foothills that quickly give way to the towering front range of the Rocky Mountains to the west. And on that highway, somewhere between Longview and Millarville, is a large white sign displaying a message in tall blue letters: “More Alberta, Less Ottawa.”
The slogan is that of the Alberta Residents League, a fringe advocacy group devoted to giving the province greater autonomy from Canada’s federal government in Ottawa.… Seguir leyendo »
One man has Canada in an uproar. Former second-in-command at the Canadian embassy in Kabul, Richard Colvin, told a parliamentary committee in Ottawa that all detainees handed over to the Afghanistan government by Canadian soldiers were abused. The opposition parties have called for a public inquiry, but the Harper government has called Colvin’s testimony into question. Now, Canada must yet again have a serious discussion about its role in Afghanistan.
Colvin sat before the parliamentary committee and flatly stated: “According to our information, the likelihood is that all the Afghans we handed over were tortured. For interrogators in Kandahar, it was a standard operating procedure.” He alleged that the abuse included beatings and rape.… Seguir leyendo »
After 19-year-old singer-songwriter Taylor Mitchell was killed this week by coyotes in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, the world has suddenly noticed the wolf’s smaller cousin. Mitchell, a Torontonian who had recently been nominated for a Canadian folk music award, was attacked by two coyotes in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, in Nova Scotia on Tuesday. She was airlifted to a hospital in Halifax, but died from her injuries.
Her death has made global headlines, but any assumption that an attack this vicious is a normal occurrence has been rightly downplayed. For most Canadians, coyotes are a familiar, even urban, predator, known to target other small animals, and sometimes dogs or children.… Seguir leyendo »
Down is the new up: Canadians suddenly like Stephen Harper, but for the wrong reasons.
Michael Ignatieff’s announcement on Monday that his Liberal party will not “actively seek to defeat” the Conservatives “by proposing their own confidence motions,” was an almost direct contradiction to his resounding cry in September that Harper’s “time is up”. The Liberal threat to dismantle the Tory government is now effectively dead, and many Canadians couldn’t possibly care less. We like Harper now. Unfortunately, it will get us nowhere.
The biggest political story of October hasn’t been Ignatieff’s troubles or the widening poll gap between the Tories and Liberals, or even some Tory MPs slapping their names or their party logo on government (read: taxpayer) stimulus cheques.… Seguir leyendo »