The War in Gaza

‘We desire death as you desire life.’

– Hamas

Melanie Philips of the Daily Mail in the UK wrote a devastating analysis of the war.  The one place I disagree with her is in her conclusion:

But the Middle East conflict will not end until and unless the West comes to realise that Israel is in the frontline of the West’s own fight for survival, and starts properly defending the country struggling to defend civilisation instead of siding with those waging holy war against it.

There will be no peace until Hamas and organizations like it stop indoctrinating their children in hate, and martyrdom.  Otherwise each generation will have the same prejudices as the previous.

Israel Hamas Gaza TV programme Indoctrinates Children To Hate Jews

Hamas Indoctrinating Toddlers

11-year-old Palestinians: Martyrdom better than this world

Every Palestinian has a right to a full and productive life.  They are being robbed of that right by the people who teach them hate and martyrdom.  Do not be fooled by their manipulations of public perceptions.

Every Israeli has a right to a full and productive life.  They are being robbed of that right by the people shelling them with bombs.  They’ve had enough and it’s time to retaliate.  If Hamas decides to put their own people in harm’s way, that’s a tragedy; but Israel shouldn’t be expected to sacrifice its people because of Hamas’ lack of scruples.

National Do Not Call List a Crock

DNCLAs previously reported, I proudly registered my phone numbers on the National Do Not Call List the day it went live.  Since then I’ve received the usual number of telemarketing pitches from the usual assortment of crooks, swindlers and Conservatives.

In each case, I submitted a complaint about them at the DNCL website, but haven’t heard boo back.  (There is a checkbox to specify that you’d like to know the outcome of the complaint.)

Today I noticed a link to verify your registration on the list.  I checked mine, and what do you know?  It wasn’t registered.  All this time, I thought Bell and the CRTC had my back.  Guess they showed me, huh?

So I re-registered my number.  But it takes 24 hrs for it to “take” in the database.  Then, of course, it’s another 31 days before the telescum have to respect the Do Not Call request.

How long are we going to have to endure the ineptitude and incompetence of the CRTC?

Vote For Net Neutrality

ABC: Anything But ConservativesYou can’t swing a cat these days, it seems, without hitting a federal election.  The American election has been going on for years; and thanks to Stephen Harper’s transgressions of his own rules, we’ve got our own to deal with.  Well, bully for us!  Too bad the media are allowing important issues to remain buried.

But we have an opportunity at election time to send a message to our officials about what is important to us and our country.  How many parties pay attention to the issues that mold our quality of life?  Consumer protection, net neutrality, the protection of water and other natural resources.  The Conservatives and Liberals take these things for granted.  They trade them away for a song.  (Well, not the Conservatives, of course.  They don’t believe in the Arts.)

Now is the time to decide how we want Canada to grow and develop in the Internet Age.  We can vote for the things we know are important to us and our country.

This October 14th I’m voting for the Green Party of Canada.  Here’s why:

One last point: your vote translates into dollars to the party you vote for.  Every vote garners the party $1.80.  So, if you vote for a party you don’t really believe in, you are, in fact, also supporting them financially and putting money in their coffers!  Worse still, you’re taking money away form the party you really do believe in.  So don’t fall victim to the lie of strategic voting: by voting for the party you do believe in, they’ll have more funds to get their message out next time.

So, that’s where I’m coming from.  Whatever you do on Oct 14, please vote.  If you’re thinking of voting Conservative, please read the links above first.  If you’re still thinking of voting Conservative, I entreat you to consider moving to the US.  Possibly Michigan.

News Update

It’s been over two weeks since I blogged.  It’s been busy: lots of projects at work, my sister and her husband came in to town and stayed at our place, my mother-in-law had health issues so my wife and her sisters were visiting her.  As I say busy, busy.

In the meantime, I’m participating in my Green candidate’s election campaign, putting up signs, canvassing and managing the fauxharper attack blog.  I attended an all candidates debate at Beth Emeth synagogue, but the clueless moderator turned it into a very boring, single issue debate.  It was all Israel, Israel, Israel.  Of course, Israel is an important issue, deserving of our support, but let’s not lose sight of the fact we live in Canada, and we’re under attack here as well, from the right-wing policies of Stephen Harper and the Conservative party.

I received a phone message from Ken Dryden after blasting his campaign workers for ignoring my request for face-time until they needed my support during an election.  He promised to call back, but never did.  I spoke to him briefly at the debate, but he basically wouldn’t commit to a position on either net neutrality or copyright.

Onto more pleasant subjects: I bought an electric guitar off craigslist and took my first music lesson.  Sadly, I’ve been too busy to practice much; but I’ve already started to turn that around.  This is important to me, so I pledge to dedicate time to this.  I’m shooting for at least 15 minutes of practice a day.

Well, that’s it for now.  See you in the funny papers.

National Do Not Call List Goes Live

Finally!  The CRTC’s Do Not call List, as implemented by our friends at Bell Canada, throttlers of Internet feeds everywhere, has gone live today.  Then keeled over and died because Canadians across the nation pounced at the opportunity to shield themselves from the nefarious effects of telemarketers.

If you want to register, and I recommend you do, you can reach the website at https://www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca/ or call one of these toll-free numbers: 1-866-580-3625 or 1-888-362-5889.  Telemarketers will then have 31 days more with you, then they need to stop.

Update: By mid-afternoon, on the first day of the DNCL, over 1.2 million phone numbers had been registered.

Sick Kids Doesn’t Want My Money

Last weekend, an earnest young lady named Taylor Lewis knocked on my door.  She was wearing a Sick Kids Hospital vest, and had a special tag hanging on a lanyard around her neck, identifying her as a certified agent of the hospital, empowered to represent the institution for the purposes of collecting donations.  I listened to her enthusiastic descriptions of the good works the hospital was engaged in, and how the benefits of their highly successful research extended far beyond their walls, to other hospitals, and other countries.

She answered my questions forthrightly, and I was prepared to donate twenty bucks.  Why not?  As she showed me the form, it was evident they were looking for monthly donations, rather than a one time hit.  Sure.  That made sense.  Fund raising is an expensive proposition.  If you take a one time donation, you have to start all over again the next day.  But if you find people prepared to donate monthly, it’s an ongoing revenue stream. Continue reading

Checking Up on Your MP

Ever wonder about what your Member of Parliament is up to?  How he or she voted on legislation that interests you?  Well, wonder no more.  Just clock in at http://parl.howdtheyvote.ca/ and check up on your MP or on that bill you were wondering about.

It’s not perfect:

  • some bills gak the Ruby app
  • they only have data for 3 sessions of parliament
  • there’s no information about who put this together, or how you can help out
  • they tend not to have the names of bills, never mind the text

But for now, it’s better than nothing.  And, unless I’m prepared to do something better, I can just keep my trap shut.

What I’ll Tell Ken Dryden

Over a month ago I contacted Ken Dryden’s riding office to arrange a meeting with my Member of Parliament.  I expected to see him within a week or two; I’d tell him of my concerns related to various issues of the day, and he’d take that into consideration when he returned to Ottawa.

But no.  It’s been over a month, and I don’t even have an appointment yet.  I was told his office had been flooded, and was currently being renovated.

If my office were flooded and needed to be renovated you can be sure I wouldn’t wait for the renovations to be completed before seeing my clients and assuring them I’m still on the job; that they can count on me to continue getting things done for them.  That it was business as usual.  I wouldn’t let a small matter like a bit of water get in the way of the important work I’m doing for them.

But hey, I’m not a politician. Continue reading

Why Peer-to-Peer Filesharing is Good For Big Media

Mom invited me over for dafina yesterday, and as my car was in the shop most of the day, I spent the afternoon with M&D.  I had Bender with me and, to pass the time, I uploaded a few episodes of Weeds I had on my hard drive, to a jump drive.  Then I played them on Mom’s Ubuntu computer.

I always enjoy watching TV and movies with my mom: she’s very emotional and expressive.  Without fail, she’s more entertaining than the show itself.  In fact, even though she was tired and had said she was going to have a nap, she watched six episodes back to back!  She was hooked! Continue reading