One of the crime scenes

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Simpsons 500th

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Tonight The Simpsons will air its 500th episode, (for tons of Simpsons' Stuff check out the Simpsons Archive). The only other prime-time scripted TeeVee shows that have approached this mark are Gunsmoke and Lassie. Since it is a special occasion perhaps it shouldn't be surprising that they will be having an especially polarising public figure as a guest character, playing himself - Julian Assange of Wikileaks. (from Alternet):

.....According to reports, Assange recorded his voiceovers from “a secret location” over the summer, although since he is currently on house arrest in a British mansion, it’s not hard to imagine that said location was the horse stable (or the panic room).

......for Assange to appear on a milestone episode is a perfect capper to a powerful stint as a political and cultural force. Renowned for having a distinct liberal bent, “The Simpsons” was probably the first animated cartoon with an explicit political perspective since Looney Tunes was running war propaganda storylines in the 1940s. But in 15 years, the show has never had a political figure as controversial as Assange guest as him or herself....../snip

.....the majority of explicitly political people ever to have appeared on the Simpsons have been news anchors, pundits, or news-anchor-pundit-comedians: Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Keith Olbermann, Charlie Rose, Larry King, Dan Rather and, arguably, your boy Rupert Murdoch. Of all these men, Olbermann and Murdoch, arch-rivals to the death, run a close race as to whose appearance was funniest and most wry. In the case of Olbermann, he appears in Marge’s nightmare, naming her “The Worst Person in the World” for TiVoing through commercials. But Murdoch wins by a hair: having been taken down numerous times over the years by Simpsons writers -- who can forget, “Fox News: not racist, but number one with racists!” He actually wrote his own line: “'I'm Rupert Murdoch, the billionaire tyrant, and this is my skybox.” You can cut the irony with a knife.

Back in VikiLeaks Land

That this episode would be scheduled to run on the Simpsons is serendipitous this Sunday after the week in which our own tempest in a TIVO boiled over after Viscious Vic Toews accused most Canadians of being with the Child Pornographers and Gangsters if we weren't into giving Vic's Storm Troopers warrantless access to our entire internet existence. Of course Mr. Toews claimed it wouldn't allow such intrusion without a warrant, or any oversight, UNTIL HE READ the damn bill (as apparently he hadn't bothered with such mundane a chore) before calling those who didn't like it creeps or criminals or both. The Sixth Estate succinctly explains the situation thus...

Well, That Explains It: Vic Toews Can’t Read

I suppose it doesn’t surprise me that the responsibilities of a Cabinet minister in the Harper Regime do not include reading your own bill before introducing it in Parliament.

In fairness to Vic, in between violating election laws and having children with mistresses, there probably isn’t much time left over to read draft bills. Presumably he took the law more seriously back when he was, you know, a lawyer.

I guess reading legislation isn't part of the job description for legislators in North America anymore. None of the Congress Critters in the US Congress read the USA Patriot Act voting on (overwhelmingly for it) and soon ISP's in the US were obligated to install essentially special routers to route data to the government to be perused and used by will or by whimsey by the alphabet soup of agencies that watches over an American flock of sheep kept in a chronic state of fear of terrorists, brown people, gays and anybody different or with a different point of view.

That the same Regressive Conservative government that finds the long gun registry and the long form census intrusive would think that only child pornographers would mind being under cyber-surveillance only illustrates the lack of critical thinking either taught in schools or used in government. We find ourselves in a "looking glass" world where so-called "libertarians" think liberty doesn't extend to women's bodies, but that corporations should be free to pollute and kill (environmental regulation being an attack on liberty and freedom). It has long been clear to me that ideology has no awareness or respect for either fact or reason. As a result the boys of blue who introduced enhanced dirty tricks learned from KKKarl Rove and imported from the loony bin to the south are now crying foul and trying to imply that something is improper, maybe even criminal and requiring investigation with the vikileaks30 twitter feed - that just posted information already in the public domain. The liberally biased Toronto Star, oops, well maybe not so liberally biased Toronto Sun sums it up nicely.
With more than 4,000 House addresses flowing through four IP servers on Parliament Hill, the agitator behind the now closed @vikileaks30 account can go about his or her business with impunity.

And let's be clear.

No laws were broken by subjecting thousands of followers to the sleazy details of the minister's messy divorce after 30 years of marriage and his child-bearing affair with another woman.

The only misdeed we can think of would be the use of a taxpayer-funded computer during working hours to deliver the same medicine to the minister his worrisome electronic surveillance bill could potentially deliver to Canadians. (In his farewell tweet, @vikileaks30 said he wasn't based in Ottawa).

Though Viscious Vic tries to claim Bill-30 is all about stopping child pornographers, currently there is no problem in getting access with a warrant to any helpful information. Indeed, one of the duller knives in the Regressive Con drawer, Dean (of dumb) del Mastro was on CTV's Question Period today undercutting his own case by stating that prosecutions for child pornography were up 36 percent last year, more resources for investigation would would be more effective at stopping more exploiters of children than stomping on all Canadians' right to privacy. Since this whole kersmozzle was not only covered by the social media and blogosphere but to a great extent created by it, Kevin Newman had to do a drive by smear on those who are putting his position as portal to the truth at risk. Referring to bloggers he patronizingly referred to "what passes for journalism among bloggers," high irony indeed Kev. He must have had a shot of novacaine before the show to actually say that on CTV, a prime example of a network that journalistic standards forgot, and keep a straight face.

As far as publishing so-called personal information about Vic, using only public information from court documents or previously published material being somehow a new low goes, that is absurd. I'm old enough to remember, before there was any social media, when Francis Fox was forced to resign from Trudeau's cabinet for forging the signature of his mistress' husband, so she could terminate their pregnancy. That would have been the saner version of the Cons jumping on that, the so-called Progressive version that was stabbed in the back by Peter MacKay so Reform could assume its current alias. Maybe that's a bad example, as it would seem most of the Regressive Conservative caucus would like to go back to the days when a man had to approve a woman making that choice. Remember too, that the Trudeau Liberals weren't a crew of Christian Talibaners constantly shoving family values down everyone's throat while choosing what ever life style they prefer on the down low (Hi Bulldog Baird)!

Apparently vikileaks30 has ridden off into the sunset with the Lone Ranger and Tonto, but unless the Cons are willing to be reasonable and consult with the non Cro-Magnon opposition, bigger things will be in store for Vic and the boys. According to the same article in the Sun....
Now that @vikileaks30 has retired his or her thumbs, life won't get any easier for Toews and his political handlers.

A new menace has emerged to dog the government and its cyber-crime bill, called the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act, as it moves to committee for an overhaul to protect Canadians against the invasion of privacy by police.

The hacker group Anonymous posted a YouTube video Saturday instructing Toews to scrap the bill and resign, or face the consequences.

More discussion about Vic and the amazing screw up in the attempt to implement Herr Harper's First Reich of Canada can be found at both the Galloping Beaver and DAMMIT JANET. Especially scary are some excerpts from the bill that some bloggers actually read, though apparently neither Vic Toews or Kevin Newman have, doesn't even have to be the police who have access to your information.
Section 33
"The Minister may designate persons or classes of persons as inspectors for the purposes of the administration and enforcement of this Act."

or Section 34
(these inspectors - anyone Viscious Vic might select - Maxime Bernier perhaps who would take it to his chippy's pad and leave it laying about?) may "enter any place owned by, or under the control of, any telecommunications service provider in which the inspector has reasonable grounds to believe there is any document, information, transmission apparatus, telecommunications facility or any other thing to which this Act applies."

(and)...... may "examine any document, information or thing found in the place and open or cause to be opened any container or other thing." He or she may also "use, or cause to be used, any computer system in the place to search and examine any information contained in or available to the system."

The Prince of New York

The Cinderella story that is LIN-sanity rolled on today as the New York Knicks beat the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks and Jeremy Lin got 28 points, 14 assists and five steals.......

While on sports, a billionaire raised in Seattle who was broken hearted when the Sonics left town has offered to build an arena and bring an NBA team to town without public money and agree to not move the team for thirty years, after which the city would own the arena. Much smaller Portland supports an often competitive team with the Blazers. I had the pleasure of attending a Blazer-Sonic game before the Sonics left town.

If a group could be found to bring a sun-belt hockey team to town too, it would not only make the over-all deal more likely to succeed, but provide the 'Nucks with another automatic rivalry of Flames-Canuck intensity (tho the Hawks and Bruins may stay the most hated American based teams in Canuckville for quite awhile). Phoenix comes to mind, but lately it appears Quebec City has the inside track if the city of Glendale and the NHL decide to quit subsidizing the team nobody knows is there. Seems they might be able to build a NEW facility for about the same amount the Campbelloids spent on the leaky roof at BC Place. But hell, they pay the Admiral of the Washington Ferry Fleet a fraction of what the Libs are willing to pay an expert from out of town run a fleet of boats that sink and/or breakdown.


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