TagCanada

Olympics activist detained six hours at US border

Thuggish petro-state Canada is at it again:

The Vancouver-based activist was en route to Portland to give a speech critical of the Games. By Renn’s own account, U.S. guards refused to let her cross the border. They cited her lack of employment. She finished school three months ago, and doesn’t have a job.

Renn claimed she was photographed, fingerprinted and searched. Guards went through her cell phone. She was grilled by Canadian and American officials about her anti-Olympics activism and contacts in the U.S. The interrogation lasted hours, Renn said.

Z Magazine: Olympics activist detained six hours at US border

This follows Amy Goodman being detained for 6 hours at the Canadian border and questioned about the Olympics.

Update: See also Naomi Wolf on border restrictions and fascist shifts.

No Security, Prosperity, Or Sovereignty For Canada in a NAU

“Much of Canada’s sovereignty has already been eroded, but a North American Union would be the final nail in the coffin for an independent nation. It use to be the NDP who championed preserving Canadian sovereignty, but they have become a shadow of their former selves, and it appears as if they have been taken over by the very same interests that they had sworn to fight and protect us from. For what it’s worth, I have challenged the NDP to make this issue the pillar of their election platform. The Canadian Action Party (CAP), a little known party with limited resources, is putting the NDP (a national party) to shame, especially in regards to fighting and exposing the NAU agenda. Even with no current members in the House of Commons, the CAP may serve as a real alternative and play a big role in defeating the NAU and preserving an independent Canada for future generations to come.”

(via Stop Lying)

(via NAU Info)

(see also Canada Admits the NAU Exists)


Draconian copyright laws in the States. Consider Canada?

Good ol' Bush Salute

In the context of all the good advancing copyright law can do for us as we move further into the twenty-first century (see “How creativity is being strangled by the law“), I almost shed a tear for Americans this afternoon because of these two bills being rushed into action:

House vote on illegal images sweeps in Wi-Fi, Web sites

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bill saying that anyone offering an open Wi-Fi connection to the public must report illegal images including “obscene” cartoons and drawings–or face fines of up to $300,000.

That broad definition would cover individuals, coffee shops, libraries, hotels, and even some government agencies that provide Wi-Fi. It also sweeps in social-networking sites, domain name registrars, Internet service providers, and e-mail service providers such as Hotmail and Gmail, and it may require that the complete contents of the user’s account be retained for subsequent police inspection. [cont.]

Download A Song–Lose Your Loan

Page 411 of this 747-page bill is “Section 494(A): CAMPUS-BASED DIGITAL THEFT PREVENTION” wherein the bill’s meaning takes a serious detour from its title. To prevent college students from illegally accessing copyrighted material, the section says all schools shall (when you see the word “shall” in a law, it’s a requirement, not a suggestion):

1) Have “a plan for offering alternatives to illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property”
and
2) Have “a plan to explore technology based deterrents to prevent such illegal activity.”

The craziest thing about this is that noncompliant schools would lose all their federal funding, for all their students. No more Pell Grants. No more federal financial aid. No more student loans. This is not just draconian punishment for students who break the law, this punishes all students at that institution even if they did nothing!

Beyond that, both requirements actually work against the point of the bill itself–implementation would likely raise school fees. [cont.]

I won’t name names, but recently I helped out a friend occultist in California review Canadian cities to expatriate to. I sent him a bunch of info on crime, lifestyle, popular job markets, and some ethnic/religious backgrounds to the cities to help him decide which was more his flavour.

As we move into an era where identity exists more and more online, and who knows as more transhuman technologies become more mainstream over the next decade. Copyright, essentially communications in general, has become the quiet battleground in the American government. Because these Draconian laws benefit not only the corporations down there, but the right-wing zealous nuts who want the world safe for their Sears-inspired Christian regime, might I suggest you, too, look at moving abroad rather than putting up with the weird Fourth Reich that is bubbling and brewing.

For those of you not caring or fighting your government before it swelters and your personal freedoms are abandoned in favour of a “safe, secure Christian state,” please feel free to inquire with any of us Canadian occultists about which cities might be welcome to you. There’s always South America, Asia, or Europe if you’re thinking more exotic, and I have friends that are always flying down to South Africa to work.

For those of you that decide to fight on your native soil, kudos to you. To the rest of you, if you don’t feel it’s your battle, the world is your oyster. America is not the end-all, be-all of the human experience.

Just a friendly word from Fell. And if there is any interest, perhaps I should put together an Guide to Canada for American Counterculture Expats. Aforementioned Californian seemed to appreciate it and is checking out his city of choice this winter. And I know we’re not exactly 100% sovereign from the U.S.’s influence, but things are nowhere near the psycho state that is growing down there. =]

EDIT — A bit of a perception/context update for the SAFE Act, via the good boys at Ars Technica:

Despite hyperbole to the contrary, the SAFE Act that passed the House yesterday won’t force local coffee shops, libraries, and home users to monitor their network connections for child porn.

Adam the DreamHealer? on The Hour

Airing tonight at 11:00p (I dunno the timezone, probably PST), Tuesday, 4 December 2007, on the CBC’s The Hour. In Canada. Or for those of you with satellite or in the U.S. who subscribe to Newsworld.

Adam.

UPDATE — Due to this wonderful thing called technology, you may now watch the segment online!

How creativity is being strangled by the law

Larry Lessig gets TEDsters to their feet, whooping and whistling, following this elegant presentation of three stories and an argument. The Net’s most adored lawyer brings together John Philip Sousa, celestial copyrights, and the “ASCAP cartel” to build a case for creative freedom. He pins down the key shortcomings of our dusty, pre-digital intellectual property laws, and reveals how bad laws beget bad code. Then, in an homage to cutting-edge artistry, he throws in some of the most hilarious remixes you’ve ever seen.

EDIT — Couple links I thought might be noteworthy in regards to Lessig’s talk: BBC’s “The view from The Pirate Bay” and Boing Boing’s current coverage of the upcoming Draconian copyright laws being pushed forward in Canada (similar to the ones already enacted in the U.S.).

The Falun Gong, CBC-PRC Saga

“Is the CBC affiliated with the Chinese Government? This would explain why the CBC opted to protect Beijing by trying to dissimulate the truth on forced organ harvesting in a documentary on Falun Gong called “Beyond the Red Wall” aired on Nov. 20 in Canada.

Let me get this straight. Last week after a phone call from the PRC bosses, the CBC undertook several rounds of re-editing and carefully doctoring what first started out to be an ?independent’ film by long-time respected producer Peter Rowe.

The funny thing is that the film had been aired in French last March and it was a done deal. Then the CBC’s reputation went under fire for first pulling the doc hours before it was supposed to be aired on Nov. 6 and went reported in over 200 media- from NY Times, to the Jerusalem Post, the Taipei Times, CFP and others. By that time, the CBC realized that they couldn’t get away with not showing the documentary due to pressure coming from everywhere not to mention from the Beijing government. What to do? Make more cuts with or without the producer! Finally the film was aired on Nov. 20.”

via the MWC News

Upload the movie via Between Heaven and Earth

The Hour’s Disinformation on the CBC

I was just watching The Hour on CBC Newsworld and was happy to see its host, George Stroumboulopoulos, introduce its Disinfo segment. That’s right. Everyone’s favourite mainstream counterculture media darlings are an official part of one of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s most popular hour-long news programmes. (Newsworld is the CBC’s 24-hour news channel here in Canada, but also available in the U.S.)

Watch segments and clips: LINK TO THE HOUR’S DISINFORMATION

Fuck Guy Fawkes

OK, I’m a day late on this one but I’ve been in Canada, so I’m catching up and I can’t not bring this up. Individualist anarchist Wendy McElroy (who I think is a Paul supporter but I could be wrong):

I don’t get it. So Guy Fawkes was used as a role model in a comic book (actually a wonderful graphic novel V for Vendetta that was trashed by its movie adaptation)…does that make him a libertarian ideal? There was nothing libertarian about Fawkes. He was a Catholic crusader who wanted to blow up Parliament as part-and-parcel of removing a Protestant monarch from power. He wasn’t against government or tyranny; he was against one form of government that he wanted to replace with another form he liked better: a Catholic one. There is no indication that Fawkes was a champion of the people whose personal vision of political power would have produced less tyranny than what proceeded it. Certainly, 17th century Catholic states were no more tolerant than Protestant ones — indeed, the Protestant Netherlands were freer and more tolerant than most. If wanting to overthrow a government per se makes you a libertarian, why not idealize Che Guevara? At least he was a successful revolutionary.

Full Story: WendyMcElroy.com.

Canadian post office upset by Sex Party

A small political party in Canada is suing the government because the state-owned postal monopoly refused to distribute information on the party. Called the Sex Party the party advocates relaxation of laws on sexuality.

[…]

The flyer was an attempt to recruit members and the party did run three candidates. But the post office would not deliver the pamphlet. They say they are obligated to protect people from anything they might find offensive. But they did deliver an anti-gay brochure by a Christian group that was very aggressive in its tone and dislike of gay people.

The head of the post office said they delivered the anti-gay brochure, which she said was vile, because they aren’t in the business of censoring the mail. But when it came to the Sex Party they were in the business of censoring the mail. And since the post office is a legal monopoly the ability to send one’s message another way is very limited indeed.

Full Story: Classically Liberal.

(via ifeminists.com).

The US as Police State, part 1

This week marks the beginning of the “terrorism preparedness” drills Top Officials 4 and Vigilant Shield 08:

VS-08 will be conducted concurrent with Top Officials 4 (TOPOFF 4), the nation’s premier exercise of terrorism preparedness sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security, and several other linked exercises as part of the National Level Exercise 1-08. These linked exercises will take place October 15-20 and are being conducted throughout the United States and in conjunction with several partner nations including Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, as well as the Territory of Guam

As usual, the truthers are shitting their pants in anticipation of a false flag terror attack and/or a preparation for the declaration of martial law. Nevermind that these threats failed to materialize during Operation Noble Resolve last August. (Aside: does anyone have a list of times that Alex Jones has “cried wolf” about terrorist attacks and/or declarations of martial law?)

Critics on the war on terror often remark on how our reaction to 9/11 is exactly what the terrorists wanted. We now cower in fear of terror attacks, give up freedoms, and question each other loyalty. I can’t help but wonder if the reactions to these drills aren’t exactly what the police state wants: a constant state of fear and loathing. Besides, “they” don’t have to declare martial law. We’ve been living under martial law since at least the 80s, when Reagan escalated the war on drugs to its current paramilitary status. But even before the effective beginning of martial law in the 80s, the US has had a long history of government repression. The real question is not whether the United States is becoming police state, but to ask if it has ever been a democracy.

When the Constitution was adopted in 1787, it was still legal for a person to own another person, only property owners were allowed to vote, and women weren’t allowed to vote at all. Only about 10-16% of the population had the right to vote.

It wasn’t until the ratification of the thirteenth amendment was passed in 1865 that slavery was constitutionally banned. It was another 5 years before the fifteenth amendment, guaranteeing blacks the right to vote, was ratified. Until the 19th amendment, ratified in 1920, women didn’t have a constitutional right to vote.

However, even these constitutional protections didn’t ensure a right to vote for every US citizen – it took another amendment, the 24th, to ban poll taxes. The 24th amendment wasn’t ratified until 1964. Also in 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, finally ending any legal basis for racial or sexual discrimination. In other words, for the first 177 years of US history there existed state based repression of significant segments of society (and that’s aside from the Lebensraum policy of US expansion that all but eradicated the native population).

Even those who were allowed to vote couldn’t rely on their vote being counted. Vote fraud didn’t start with Diebold machines and the 2000 election – the case against Kennedy is one of the most famous.

Meanwhile, throughout the Vietnam War, men who couldn’t get deferments were enslaved by the government to fight and die on foreign soil, until the draft expired in 1973 (thanks to a one man filibuster by Mike Gravel).

Which brings us up to the War on Drugs, declared by Richard Nixon on June 17, 1971. Before we even had all our troops out of Vietnam, Nixon was already declaring war on a segment of US citizens: drug users. Though, as stated on Wikipedia the “war on drugs” could be considered to go back to the prohibition of opium in 1880, it was Nixon that began using the martial term “war.” So just as the US was finally being freed of slavery and granting a universal right to vote (except of course in the cases of prison labor, and I won’t even go into voter suppression issues), we entered a new era of government repression.

But if there was ever any “free” period in US history, perhaps it was the 1970s. Although the war on drugs was officially declared, the country seemed to be awash in drugs at the time. The war was ending, segregation was ending, AIDS hadn’t hit epidemic levels and homosexuality was being more accepted. In 1993 R.U. Sirius wrote:

The seventies actually were cool. Much cooler than the ballyhooed sixties. There was more sex in the seventies, more tolerance, the right wing was completely in retreat, Richard Nixon was still a pig, and cocaine wasn’t bad for your health yet! In the mid-seventies it was possible to believe that the whole country was moderately hip–and if that wasn’t enough, Punk was coming along to kick moderately hip’s laidback butt.

I’m sure there was more of a dark side, but if there’s a case for nostalgia for a period of US history, I guess this was it. But if the people of the United States were at last free from government repression in the 70s, the state made up for it in the 80s.

End Part One.

Read part 2.

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