Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Toronto G20 demonstration riots

Well the G20 is over and I think most of us are glad it is.

Over the weekend there was wall to wall coverage of the demonstrations and the police response.

It's incredible really by Monday everyone who had access to the mainstream media was criticizing the police and the police have been on the defensive ever since. So 48 hours later and we already have historical revisionism about the events of the weekend! It took about two decades for the revisionism and reeducation around the October crisis to be accepted. I guess we're moving at Internet speed now.

On Saturday the riots were in full swing. Police cars burning, windows being smashed, looting, all in broad daylight. I think there were more police cars torched than arrests. By Sunday the cops had had enough of being embarrassed and humiliated on international TV and had reestablished the rule of law. Good, about time. After all their motto is "to serve and protect". That means protect the property of law abiding citizens and businesses from criminal elements within the demonstrations.

So on Sunday a bunch of people got arrested and now some demonstrators are complaining it may have been a bit rough. Oh boo hoo. Here's the thing. The situation with the police response is the fault of the "peaceful" demonstrators. Because they in fact weren't peaceful! It was obviously a riot, not a peaceful demonstration.

Some of the activists have attempted to distinguish themselves from the hoodlums. This is hogwash. If the "vast majority" of the demonstrators were peaceful then why did they stand by and let this supposed "tiny minoriy" run wild. If the peaceniks outnumbered the black block 100:1 or more then why didn't they do something to obstruct the criminals in their own midst? Instead they stood aside, tacitly cheering on the black block or even joining and assisting them. It was disgraceful; criminals openly walking up and smashing windows and nobody thought to block them from doing it. Then they sheltered them and let them blend back into the crowd. If they wanted "peace" then why didn't they do something to create peace by disrupting the criminal opportunist element within their own ranks?

As "peaceful" demonstrators it was their responsibility to keep the demonstration peaceful. Instead the peaceful protesters chose to stand by during the riots and left it to the police to do the dirty work. And that's what the police did, they dealt with the criminals. They were successful. Hundreds of arrests and no police cars were burned Sunday.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Bug - Ellen Ullman

I finished off another book recently. It was The Bug by Ellen Ullman.

It was a good book. A compelling story, I finished it quickly. It's the story of a computer programmer named Ethan who is working on a software team delivering a large database system. Set in 1984, they are developing the now familiar windowing system for the first time.

In the story the system GUI suffers from a defect, a software flaw. This is a very vexing problem as it occurs quite sporadically and typically at inopportune times such as when a sales person is demoing to a potential major client.

The book is the story of Ethan's quest to find and fix the bug, which is apparently in Ethan's code. In the story Ethan's struggles to fix the problem UI-1017, aka Jester, coincide with major problems in his personal life. Also the startup company Teligentsia is struggling and going through chaotic periods as startups often do. As the weeks and months pass and the issue is unfixed and pressure steadily increases Ethan acts increasingly erratically.

As a software developer myself I could relate to this book. The author's portrayals of programmers are surprisingly accurate. It is a rare book that features programmers prominently so it was an enjoyable read. That said anyone who works with others in an office would enjoy this book. I recommend it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


My arms were sore all day Sunday. I helped a friend move on Saturday. His former girlfriend is moving from their townhouse to a nearby apartment.

I'd helped them move in around 18 months ago. I guess they didn't last long living together. From the move last time I kind of knew what to expect. And it was about the same. Disorganized, not really prepared. There was a good sized crew there to help. For the number of people there and the amount of stuff to move and the distance the whole thing should have been done in about 2 hours easy. When I left after 4 hours it was finally at least all at the new place.

But alas there was no cube van only his brother's regular pickup truck. So it was many trips back and forth. In the new place they haven't painted yet so it was cramped to stay inside the walls. At the townhouse we were slowed down by many loose unboxed items and other lack of preparation such as beds not taken apart yet etc. Plus there were shall we say issues between my friend and his now former live in and that caused distraction and delay.

But anyway it's done now. I was thinking of moving myself to a better apartment this year. There have been some distractions and delays there too but I may still get it done this year. I think I can safely predict it will go a lot smoother than this move, at least for the volunteer helpers.

America Alone - Mark Steyn

I finished off another book recently. It was America Alone by Mark Steyn.

It was a good book. Interesting and thought provoking. Steyn makes his case persuasively for the challenges facing America and what the USA should do. He's a good writer in the style of the National Review. Mixing humour with strong analysis.

He puts 9/11 in context as a skirmish in a long cultural war. A war we're slowly losing. He paints multiculturalism as corrosive to our western society.

I gained a new respect for the USA after reading this book. Steyn, a Canadian immigrant, is a great fan of the United States and its way of life. The ideals such as freedom and personal responsibility, and national responsibility.

Friday, June 04, 2010

The Ken Fells Graham Creighton incident

Most here in Nova Scotia have been the Ken Fells video

Incredibly after this happened the school board staff, led by superintendent Carole Olsen tried to have principal Fells fired. What a disgrace! Failing to confirm the principal's authority inside the school walls. Instead siding with the miscreant and undermining the principal. It's Olsen who needs to be fired, not Fells. Good thing the elected school board had at least some sense to back Fells, at least a bit.

It's pretty bad the direction society is going. Led by the education system. In New Brunswick a principal agrees to pull Oh Canada from the school and he doesn't lose his job. He took no sanction at all over that. In Nova Scotia a principal confronts a bully and stands his ground when the bully decides that he wants to blow right past him; and he loses his job over it.

It came up on the Steve Murphy CTV interview with Irvine Carvery about race in the Fells case. They've got it wrong. Carvery is right, this isn't at all about race. It's actually about gender. Ken Fells ran afoul of the modern feminized society. Look at those who want him fired. Carole Olsen, her female dominated school board staff, her NDP activist university professor husband.

The punk openly challenged the principal's authority on the school grounds, challenged Fells manhood. Ken Fells taught those students and anyone who saw the video a valuable life lesson. He showed them how a real man acts.