Michael Ignatieff’s Town Hall for Canada

Sunday, 24 April, 2011

Getting to know Michael Ignatieff a bit more from the video Michael Ignatieff’s Town Hall for Canada

[HT TorontoStar]

Canadian Women’s Favourite Pick-up Line

Wednesday, 20 April, 2011

Canadian Women’s Favourite Pick-up Line

Stephen Harper is an Evil Astronaut? – The power to ridicule

Tuesday, 19 April, 2011

“Actual patriotism has to do with loving a place enough to try and improve it.” – Win Butler of @ArcadeFire

Stephen Harper is an Evil Astronaut. Funny. [via ShitHarperDid]

Yoko VS Harper [Warning: strong language]

Worth Reading: Securing privacy, Showrunner DIY TV promos, Legal strategies in Charlie Sheen case, High noon in i4i-Microsoft fight

Monday, 18 April, 2011

* Guardian, Cory Doctorow: ‘The most powerful mechanism we have for securing the privacy of individuals is for them to care about that privacy’ – video – “Blogger, writer and activist Cory Doctorow on social networking, revolution and how to avoid haemorrhaging personal information online”

* The Hollywood Reporter, Q&A: ‘Cougar Town’ Boss Bill Lawrence Airs His Frustrations With Disney

THR: So what does work?

Lawrence: There are some shows like Modern Family or American Idol where lightening strikes. Otherwise, you have two options. First, you build word-of-mouth.

THR: And the second?

Lawrence: Keep your loyal fans interested by giving them as much access, content and interaction as possible. That’s what I like as a TV viewer. For me, every show that I’ve felt like, “Wow, they actually care what the fans think” or “they’re actually writing for somebody,” I’m more loyal to. On Scrubs, we gave our fans extra content and access to the cast and writers. And in return, we could count on them to find the show on a network that moved the show about 20 times. Read the rest of this entry »

1001 Chairs for Ai Weiwei

Monday, 18 April, 2011

Toronto Star report, “1001 Chairs for Ai Weiwei, Toronto version” (Facebook photos)

Torontoist, “Scene: Where is Ai Weiwei?

Protest pictures, details and comments posted onto the worldwide 1001 Chairs for Ai Weiwei Facebook group. Pix from New York City here, herehere. Pix from Munich here.

NPR, “Art And Consequence: A Talk With China’s Controversial Ai Weiwei

This Sunday, at Chinese embassies all over the world, protesters are planning a global sit-in to protest the detention of the internationally renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. Ai was taken into custody by Chinese authorities nearly two weeks ago for what government officials now say are questions about his finances.

The protesters will be bringing chairs to sit on. They aren’t worried about getting tired. The design of the protest is a homage to a piece by Ai that was exhibited in 2007 at Documenta 12, a major arts festival in Kassel, Germany. Read the rest of this entry »

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, this is not appropriate behaviour

Friday, 15 April, 2011

Again, as I wrote before, I am not a fan of Ms. Helena Guergis (Wikipedia) but Prime Minister Stephen Harper has now been proven to step out of line and his and PMO’s inappropriate behaviour cannot be ignored.

Here is audio excerpt of Ms. Guergis eloquently defending herself on April 15th CBC Power and Politics.

Check out the full 25 minutes PnP podcast here.

Stephen Harper ignores due process and justice in Helena Guergis case

Friday, 15 April, 2011

I am not be a big fan of Ms. Helena Guergis (Wikipedia) but how her reputation was smeared and damaged by Prime Minister Stephen Harper is pure and simply wrong! I am shocked and ashamed of Harper and PMO’s total disregard of due process and justice, and covering things up by smearing of Ms. Guergis’ name.

Have a watch of Helena Guergis’s statement (via CBC News). Have a listen to CBC Power & Politics April 15th podcast after Helena Guergis’ press conference.

See CBC News “Harper ‘tossed me under a bus’: Guergis”

“During the news conference, Guergis accused staff in Harper’s communications office of running a “destructive campaign” against her and perpetrating “false allegations” that damaged her reputation.

“Not only was it made to seem I was guilty of conduct that has never been disclosed to me — going against the very core of what our principles of justice are built on — the Prime Minister’s Office still made it seem as though I was guilty of something even after I had been proven innocent,” Guergis said.

“This of course is the worst kind of politics, the kind that Canadians abhor,” she said.”

Toronto Star, “Guergis slams PMO for ‘concerted effort to perpetrate lies’”

To me, the following nine words said by Andy Beaudoin, Ms. Guergis’ campaign manager, summarize what made me angry most.

“Guilty until proven innocent. Guilty after being proven innocent!”

As proud Canadians, we have to keep our elected political leaders honest, regardless of which party we support.

I will try to add more to this entry later.

Release Ai Weiwe 艾未未i ! Where is Ai Weiwei?

Friday, 8 April, 2011

The lawless Chinese government has detained Chinese artist Ai Weiwei but his family, friends, and supporters have no idea of his whereabout.

More news from: The Independent, Newsweek “A Provocateur Finds Out Just How Far He Can Go“.

Release Ai Weiwei ! Where is Ai Weiwei?


Weiwei sent a message to the police back in China,

Some photos, at the right moment, completely change the history. - part 1

Some photos, at the right moment, completely change the history. - part 2

Weiwei snapped this photo. Then he tweeted it to his online followers. - pix 1 Read the rest of this entry »

Ignatieff accepts Rick Mercer debate offer – Canadian democracy in the social media age

Saturday, 2 April, 2011

Thanks Rick for adding your push to get the promised one-on-one harper Iggy debate (see below Twitter exchanges). And getting the youth (and Canadians of all ages) on Twitter interested and excited about the election.

rickmercer When Harper challenged Iggy to a debate I missed part where he said in 2015 when debt erased. My bad. #elxn41
10:18 AM Mar 31st via Mobile Web
Retweeted by you and 100+ others

rickmercer Ok hell i will rent massey put the camera’s in place and moderate the Harper Iggy smackdown. #elxn41 #cdnpoli
7:33 PM Apr 1st via web
Retweeted by you and 100+ others

M_Ignatieff I’m in. RT @rickmercer: Ok hell i will rent massey put the camera’s in place and moderate the Harper Iggy smackdown. #elxn41 #cdnpoli
about 10 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®
Retweeted by you and 100+ others

rickmercer Ok i’ll produce a Iggy Harper debate. 50 grand to a charity of their choice. I’ll find a broadcaster or 4. #elxn41 #cdnpoli
7:53 PM Apr 1st via web
Retweeted by you and 100+ others

M_Ignatieff You can make that contribution to the Alzheimer Society. RT @rickmercer: 50 grand to a charity of their choice. #elxn41 #cdnpoli
about 10 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®
Retweeted by you and 100+ others
Reply Retweeted (Undo)

@pmharper Why did you back out of your promise? Why are you afraid of questions from reporters?

Opposition Motion (LP) Non-Confidence in the government vote for Contempt of Parliament (yeas 156) (nays 145)

Friday, 25 March, 2011

For the record Opposition Motion (LP) Confidence in the government.

Opposition Motion (LP) Confidence in the government

Clock at 00. Getting ready to vote.

Opposition Motion (LP) Confidence in the government - Clock 00

12:13pm MST The moment of truth has started. The fall of the Harper government is in progress.

Opposition Motion (LP) Non-Confidence in the government vote - (yeas 156) (nays 145)

12:25pm MST The moment of truth. Opposition Motion (LP) Non-Confidence in the government vote – (yeas 156) (nays 145). The Harper government has fallen.

Go out and vote and exercise our democratic rights, the same rights that citizens of other countries are willing to die to have.

For everything there is a season – Thanks to our retiring Members of Parliament

Thursday, 24 March, 2011

For everything there is a season

I may disagree with our elected politicians’ views and policies, but I understand it is not easy to run in an election, to serve constituents, and have ones’ private and public lives be constantly scrutinized. As I watched many retiring Members of Parliament said their goodbyes in the House today, I want to thank them for serving our country.

I know it is easy to be critical of  “politicians” in general but today, I want to thank our our retiring Members of Parliament for making our democratic system work.

Without MPs – Who will run our country, be tasked to make our great country better, and be held accountable?

Thank you all.

Democratic right Twitter-blocked by @MPJamesMoore

Thursday, 24 March, 2011

You would think no Canadians should be blocked from following minister’s *public* policy announcements and *public* discussions/debates with Canadian journalists/citizens, right? Well, you would be wrong. I had to jump through hoops (very time consuming, if possible at all) in order to follow what is going on.

When the current Canadian government is charged of contempt of Parliament and will likely fail a confidence motion because of said contempt, I thought it is time for me to take my own democratic right more seriously. Democracy is not free, so I took some time to write and send in the following complain. I know my chance of seeing any positive changes is really small but sometimes one has to do what is right.

Here is an excerpt for the record.

Democratic right twitter-blocked by @MPJamesMoore

To: Prime Minister Mr. Stephen Harper (Member of Parliament for Calgary SW)
cc: Heritage Minister Mr. James Moore
Opposition Party Leaders
Mr. Pablo Rodriguez, Liberal Heritage critic
Mr. Charlie Angus, NDP Heritage critic

March 24, 2011

Dear Mr. Harper,

I am writing you as a Canadian living in your Calgary SW riding. I hope you can promptly help me to restore my democratic right to be an informed citizen so that I can vote in an knowledgable manner.

Recently, ministers have been announcing important policy decisions on the social media platform Twitter and using Twitter for active debates and discussions with Canadian citizens and journalists. With a possible election coming soon, Minister James Moore‘s (note: new Twitter account, the letters “MP” have been expunged and _org added) discriminatory act of blocking me from following his Tweets (see background info below and attached files) has become impossible to ignore. Let me emphasize, Moore’s discriminatory act of blocking me on Twitter has become increasingly detrimental to my ability to exercise my democratic right and duty to be informed & engaged in public discussions/debates, and to stay informed on Canadian government policies when I vote in an election. Read the rest of this entry »

Harper’s contempt of Parliament

Thursday, 10 March, 2011

Sometimes we have to fight for our democracy and this is one of those cases. We have ourselves to blame if we don’t hold Stephen Harper accountable for his government’s contempt of Parliament. And lets not forget his abrupt suspension of Parliament two years ago to prevent a confidence vote! We, as Canadians, need to hold Harper accountable for his contempt of our democracy. If we keep letting him get away with it, one day it will be too late.

For the record.

* From CBC,

“There’s a case against the government for breach of privilege after it refused to hand over detailed cost estimates of its anti-crime agenda, and a minister may have misled MPs, House of Commons Speaker Peter Milliken said Wednesday in a ruling reasserting Parliament’s authority.

Milliken ruled there was a “prima facie breach of privilege” — in other words, enough evidence to send two separate motions back to MPs to decide the next step.”

* Globe and Mail Editorial,

“Contempt in its ordinary meaning is not terribly far off the legal one, and it is that ordinary meaning – lack of respect, intense dislike, scorn – that offers a useful guide to understanding Wednesday’s ruling by Speaker Peter Milliken. The government has scorned Parliament, and shown a lack of respect to the people entrusted by Canadians to represent their interests, in refusing a committee’s request for detailed information on the costs of federal law-and-order legislation. Mr. Milliken’s ruling that the government “on its face” breached parliamentary privilege will now give rise to a vote on contempt. Read the rest of this entry »

Tahrir/Liberation Square 2011 – witnessing history unfold

Thursday, 10 February, 2011

The world is “witnessing history unfold” in Egypt. I am watching Al Jazeera LIVE on YouTube.

From CBC News “Egypt braces for Mubarak’s possible ouster“.

P.S. A very [I hope for a very] different outcome than what happened in Tiananmen Square 1989 in China.

1:46pm MST Update: Muybarak speaking LIVE. Looks like he is NOT quitting tonight. I don’t think thats what the Egyptian people in Tahrir Square want to hear.

I hope CBC Neil Macdonald analysis in “Brace yourself for an inevitable crackdown” is wrong but I am deeply worried now.

9:52am MST, Feb 11, 2011 Update: “Egypt’s Mubarak resigns – Hard and uncertain job of transferring power to people begins

Debating complex political issues in tweets 140 characters or less

Thursday, 3 February, 2011

Whether you are ready or not, I think we are in the age of arguing/debating complex political issues in tweets 140 characters or less (see article),

From Industry Minister Tony Clement’s tweets yesterday, looks like the government has made up its mind to order the CRTC to start over on the issue (see also “CRTC must reverse internet usage ruling: Clement” [from CBC]).

What I like

* The openness in the discussions and directly from the source.

* The source can be quoted and linked directly.

* The exchanges between politicians and reporters/academics/bloggers are “fun” to watch.

What I don’t like

* Tweets in 140 characters or less may not be the best medium for debating complex issues.

* 140 characters or less = Soundbite and headline ready

Concluding thoughts

I like the openness in the debates and discussions. At some point, I like the ministers (and even prime ministers) to go one step further by add links to mini-blog entries to expand on some of their thoughts and positions.

Canadian Copyright Bill C-32 submission

Friday, 28 January, 2011

Feel great! Finally got around to send in my Bill C-32 submission to the parliamentary committee (Committee’s mailbox at CC32@parl.gc.ca) three days before the 31 Jan, 2011 deadline!

Check out Prof. Michael Geist’s “Canadians Speaking Out on Bill C-32” for his views and other experts’ takes. And I found Project Gutenberg Canada’s submission very insightful.


“In order for briefs on Bill C-32 to be considered by the Committee in a timely fashion, the document should be submitted to the Committee’s mailbox at CC32@parl.gc.ca by the end of January, 2011. A brief which is longer than 5 pages should be accompanied by a 1 page executive summary and in any event should not exceed 10 pages in length.

Gabby Giffords and the tragedy in Tucson

Sunday, 9 January, 2011

Jan 10th, 2011 Update: MSNBC and CBC interviews of Daniel Hernandez, a Giffords intern who had basic nursing training and his heroic actions at the scene have been credited in saving Giffords and other victims’ lives. Henry Champ (retired CBC foreign correspondent), “Time to listen to the sheriff and pack up the vitriol“.

Here is a video clip from CNN. [HT My Latino Voice]


I am very saddened of the tragedy happened yesterday in Tucson, Arizona. The attack on Rep. Gabby Giffords and the bystanders was sickening. My thought goes to Rep. Gabby Giffords, her families & loved ones and to the people who were killed or hurt yesterday and their families and loved ones. (From NYT, “Among those killed were John M. Roll, 63, the chief judge for the United States District Court for Arizona, and Gabriel Zimmerman, 30, who was the director of community outreach for Ms. Giffords. The others who died were identified as Christina Green, 9; Dorothy Morris, 76; Dorwin Stoddard, 76; and Phyllis Schneck, 79.“)

Watching the news yesterday and the ongoing updates today made me feel sad state of American politics and democracy. And also made me reflect on the rhetorics that have infected Canadian politics in recent years.


From ABC: ‘This Week’ Transcript: Tragedy in Tucson

An older but insightful MSNBC video “Rep. Gabby Giffords after her office was trashed” [via Roger Ebert]

For example, we’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but the thing is, that the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gunsight over our district. When people do that, they have to realize that there are consequences to that action,” Giffords had said in an interview with MSNBC. [text copied from CBC]

NPR Radio, “Giffords: A Centrist, A Fighter, A Public Servant

Guardian UK, “Gabrielle Giffords remains in critical condition after Arizona shooting

Naheed Nenshi: Calgary’s 36th mayor

Monday, 25 October, 2010

Naheed Nenshi will be sworn in as Calgary’s 36th mayor tonight. The city council swearing-in ceremony will be on live webcast and ShawTV starting at 7pm.

Here are three interesting articles about Naheed and his campaign,

Calgary’s 36th mayor fulfils parents’ dream – Family sought better life for kids in Canada, Calgary Herald

New mayor celebrates Calgary’s ‘crazy mix’, by Don Braid, Calgary Herald

How Naheed Nenshi won Calgary’s race for mayor, Calgary Herald


– Call him Mayor: Naheed Nenshi, new council sworn into office (with video) (emphasis added) Calgary Herald, 11:03pm Oct, 25, 2010,

“As he received claps, hoots and hollers normally reserved for rock stars, Naheed Kurban Nenshi told a City Hall atrium full of purple-clad supporters: “We cannot let you down.”

After a winning campaign of promises to build an airport tunnel and a southeast LRT, improve snow removal and shred bureaucratic red tape, he offered Calgarians a further pledge:

This council will be more open,” he said, the mayor’s chain around his neck and the city’s 14 alderman at his side.

We’ll make it easier for you to engage in our conversation. We’ll better understand your needs and your priorities and we’ll act on them. We’ll listen. We’ll get beyond division and individualism to work together for the best interests of all Calgarians. And we’ll do it every single day.

He marvelled at the election’s high voter turnout and public conversation, and challenged Calgarians to keep doing their part.

“You have to do your part. Hold us to account,” he said.

“Tell us when we’re devolving into the politics as usual. Tell us when our priorities are not your priorities.”

“Get engaged and stay engaged,” he said, exhorting people to join community associations and other groups.”

Census mourned on World Statistics Day – World Statistics Day and the Canadian Census

Wednesday, 20 October, 2010

CBC has an insightful piece, “Census mourned on World Statistics Day“.

Here is a serious and funny YouTube video that a group took time to create: World Statistics Day and the Canadian Census

Vote for Barb Higgins, Ric McIver and Naheed Nenshi today and stay involved in city politics

Monday, 18 October, 2010

Oct 18th 10:14pm update: Live Blog: 2010 Calgary mayoral election (Naheed Nenshi, Ric McIver, Barb Higgins)


Calgary election 2010

Vote today 10am-8pm (Monday Oct 18th)

I wish I could vote for the winning combination of Barb Higgins, Ric McIver and Naheed Nenshi today because there are some qualities in them that I admire (even though there are things in them that I wish I could change).

Based on discussions amongst friends and the online (Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc) interests (mostly by supporters urging others to vote for their choices), civic engagement  is a clear winner in this election. If the polling predictions of a tight three-way race comes true, then almost 50+% (0r probably 60+%) of Calgarians will wake up Tuesday morning to a new mayor that they have NOT voted for.


Record turnout.

What to do after the election?

It is important to vote today. But equally important is for us to stay involved and care about Calgary after the election. Hold our elected representatives accountable. I have outlined some of what I expect from my alderman and mayor in their 3-year term no matter who gets elected tonight.

P.S. Who am I voting for today?

Some people may wonder who am I voting for today. I have debated the pros and cons of publicizing who I support but I decided to stay focus on what is important. The key to this election can’t be just about picking the winner in a popularity contest. My hope is Calgarians will actively engage our aldermen and mayor to build a better Calgary regardless of who we individually support in this race. The mayor will represent us all, and the aldermen will represent each of the 14 wards.

Please hold our aldermen and mayor accountable after the election, regardless of who you vote for.

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