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hp blogger Adam Kingsmith's Comments

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In 2013, Problems Are Worse Than

In 2013, Problems Are Worse Than "Orwellian"

Commented Aug 20, 2013 at 10:33:19 in Canada

“"The author...doesn't understand the full extent of what is happening..."

If you bothered to click any of my hyperlinks you would see the extent to which I've written on the digital erosions of our freedoms, this topic is basically what I am writing my dissertation on. Here are just a sampling of some of the work I have done which I think encapsulate that "full extent" you are referring to:

The Slow and Painful Death of Freedom in Canada

The Harper Government's War on Critical Thinking

How The Trans-Pacific Partnership Will Kill Internet Freedom In Canada?

Trade Freedom for "Security"? That's a Raw Deal, Canada

What Does the Trans-Pacific Partnership Mean for Free Expression in Canada

Canada’s Surveillance State Equates Protest to Terrorism

NSA North: Why Canadians should be demanding answers about online spying

WakeUpCallToAll on Aug 20, 2013 at 10:51:15

“I am actually very well informed on this subject, and can provide you with the evidence proving this fact, including evidence clearly establishing that what is happening is far beyond what you have reported and could be reasonably described as Orwellian...that in fact Canadians do have a new "BIG BROTHER". If you would like me to provide you with this evidence, including proof that I personally was seriously unlawfully victimized by Canada's new "BIG BROTHER", which is why I know so much about this subject, I can provide you with this evidence, if HP allows me to post it.”
Trade Freedom for

Trade Freedom for "Security"? That's a Raw Deal, Canada

Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 13:15:25 in Canada Politics

“Thank you for your very kind words! I hope that I can rise to the challenge!”
Trade Freedom for

Trade Freedom for "Security"? That's a Raw Deal, Canada

Commented Jul 9, 2013 at 11:01:08 in Canada Politics

“"Naturally the common people don't want war... that is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

-- former Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, Nuremberg Trials, 18 April 1946.
I think it serves as an especially poignant quote considering the source and context.”
In Defense of Judith Butler

In Defense of Judith Butler

Commented May 28, 2013 at 20:28:32 in Canada Living

“Excellent piece. Thank you for saying what should be more obvious to any critically-thinking citizen.”

Canada's "Mosaic" Has Racist Cracks

Commented May 15, 2013 at 15:50:11 in Canada Politics

“"Hal Wood," I give full credit and support to the hard work of unions, and have always been a staunch supporter of them, so I'm not sure where you're getting that distain of the blue collar from. Also, I think it's rather hypocritical to call me a "hatemonger" when you recently posted a comment saying: "do not think 30 million people are going to stand silent while indians destroy Canada." Do you really think it's okay to throw around charges like that when you are clearly the one using racially-charged language to debase Indigenous populations? Pretty shameful stuff.”

Hal Wood on May 15, 2013 at 19:26:39

“You are conveniently ignoring what Indians are saying. I will ask again who are these racists that you are railing against?”

Donna Meness on May 15, 2013 at 19:20:07

“Adam: I buried him under referenced & researched answers..sigh
I worked in the best PUBLIC Treaty & Aboriginal Rights Library & dealt with a lot of people like "Hal Wood"

Now the consultation goalposts have moved further toward the aboriginals’ conception, courtesy of a ruling by the Court of Appeal for Yukon. In a case involving the Ross River Dena Council, the court said the way the government had previously dealt with mining claims and their possible impact on aboriginal land claims was inadequate.

Mining companies, in what was called an “open entry system,” would prospect, stake a claim, record it with the government registry, then begin more intensive exploration, with exploration activities subject to government legislation that would then require consultation with aboriginals.

Not good enough, said the court. Even before a company does anything, the government’s obligation to consult kicks in. From now on – in ways yet to be determined – governments have to consult aboriginals before anything is done that might some day, somehow, have an impact on whatever land they might claim, or have claimed, even if such claims haven’t been tested or resolved.
huffingtonpost entry

The Slow and Painful Death of Freedom in Canada

Commented Apr 26, 2013 at 01:02:44 in Canada

“Thanks so much for your comment and for reading.”
huffingtonpost entry

6 Cognitive Biases That Make Politics Irrational

Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 11:28:35 in Canada Politics

“Of course, and irrational politics are thus a product of irrational people.”
huffingtonpost entry

6 Cognitive Biases That Make Politics Irrational

Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 11:25:31 in Canada Politics

“Thank you for your insights. I agree that people are more than there leaders, but I also think that they are in part responsible for them. Hitler, Bush, Harper, they were all democratically elected by the people. Also the reason many of these biases seem so simple, so mundane, is that we all fall victim to them. I'm familiar with "The Great Conversation," and I'm glad that you brought it up, I think it serves as another example of the point which I am trying to make.

The idea that Western civilisation is the one having some "great" conversation is disgustingly Eurocentric. It discredits all the postcolonial, critical, Marxist, and feminist perspectives by insisting that the Western canon is somehow the absolute best of humanity. Yet it is the same cannon that wrought colonialism, slavery, religious evangelicalism, overconsumption, pollution, obesity, and environmental degradation. In short, it is a group of Westerners conversing, but generally reaffirming each other's thoughts on the big things such as capitalism and classical liberal ideals, both of which are very narrow-minded principles of governance that rarely even pay lip-service to what thinkers in the more exploited parts of the world have to contribute.”

jarnakak on Apr 16, 2013 at 10:47:19

“agree with most of your comments that there is much left to be desired as much as there is to be learned. there are the classics (Wells, Dickens, Steinbeck, Hesse, etc.) then there are social commentators par excellence in contemporary music (all arts actually).
my wife bought me a magazine called, MOJO, that is a veritable tropical rain forest compared to the monocultural music magazines that are sold in north america that reads like a course in anthropology, history...
I come from an aboriginal culture and am interested in documenting the philosophical and literary discourse (though the traditions are passed on orally) of my culture in the context of finding cognates in the western canon and eastern spiritualism - i have found Socrates insight that though human cultures vary the issues and questions of being human are pretty constant to be a truism.
the problem with the contemporary western megaculture is that it's darwinian in nature, but there is still diversity to be found in local- and counter-cultures (some brand-new some ancient)...”

Achilles Wrath on Apr 16, 2013 at 10:32:22

“Love the point about the ridiculous Eurocentric views. F & F.”
We're Not Entitled, We're Just Screwed

We're Not Entitled, We're Just Screwed

Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 12:39:19 in Canada Business

“Thank for your all comments, I agree with most of what you've said, and I think you made some really strong points which have fostered good discussion.”
Non-Aboriginal? Idle From the Sidelines

Non-Aboriginal? Idle From the Sidelines

Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 19:41:24 in Canada Politics

“Thanks for reading and for your comment. I think that you make very important clarifications regarding some of the aims of the movement.”
Non-Aboriginal? Idle From the Sidelines

Non-Aboriginal? Idle From the Sidelines

Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 16:30:06 in Canada Politics

“I think you’re making quite the assumption by taking “un-informed non-aboriginals” as a synonym for “anyone who doesn’t agree with their rhetoric.” What I mean by this signifier (which I reiterate in the blog), are those without a firsthand understanding of Indigenous customs, treaty negotiations, and reserve conditions.

Clearly a non-aboriginal social worker who has spend years living on reserve, or a professor who has spent decades studying the constitutionality of treaty agreements have much to contribute. Yet this doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s rather difficult to comprehend the racism and condensation which First Nations peoples face on a daily basis without personally experiencing it.

Moreover, I literally state in the blog that it’s a free country, and that non-Aboriginals should at times be critical of the movement. Clearly I’m aware of Canada’s democratic nature, and that #IdleNoMore is not without its faults. I’m also aware of who founded the movement, as is anyone who opens a newspaper in Canada right now.

I’m just tired of non-Aboriginals who’ve never even put on Indigenous shoes - let alone walked a mile in them, trying to give advice as if they understand all the angles. They just can’t, and trying to do so for the past few hundred years is what laid the unjust foundations driving this protest movement in the first place.

Finally, if we’re footing the bill by selling off resources from their annexed ancestral homelands, who’s really paying the cheque?”
What Idle No More Should Really Be Protesting

What Idle No More Should Really Be Protesting

Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 11:46:06 in Canada

“I think the point you are missing here is that the government has spent hundreds of years putting structures in place that relegate aboriginal populations to poor education, corruption and relentless poverty. Then - whilst the citizenry supports parties which simultaneously uphold these repressive structures, we also criticize First Nations peoples for being lazy, unambitious, and substance abusers.

It's akin to giving an employee a broken-down vehicle, and then chastising them when they cannot make it to work on time. In short, much of the blame also rests on the employer, as the "handout" they offered up has set the employee up for a lifetime of tardiness.

Moreover, does anyone else see a problem with a non-aboriginal telling First Nations people what they should and shouldn't be protesting and striving for? Isn't telling aboriginal populations what they do and do not need without bothering to ask for their opinions what got us into this mess in the first place?”
huffingtonpost entry

Why I No Longer Give a Puck About NHL Hockey

Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 11:48:01 in Canada

“Thank you for your comment. I agree with you completely that with adulthood comes the acceptance of certain realities which age one's views. But the realities that I had come to terms with in adulthood are such that I can no longer enjoy the NHL as I once did. I still love hockey, but personally, I have outgrown the NHL - less fiscally centric things interest me now. Trying to trick myself into continuing to pay patronage and lip service to a league that I have lost my passion for in the benign hope that I will someday rediscover that it, is, for me, be the most childish thing of all.”
Why We Self-Censor When We Read Online

Why We Self-Censor When We Read Online

Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 17:41:10 in Canada Living

“I totally agree in theory. But I also feel like the structural imposition on the Internet is much less rigid. For example, many would agree to the authority of a magazine because they assume the magazine is well-edited. I personally think that many people assume the same with the Internet due to that cognitive laziness. A sort of "it's written down on the Internet, so someone must have edited it," if you will.”

jf12 on Jan 4, 2013 at 21:57:57

“Right. Write.
"It's in black and white."
"It is written."”
Why We Self-Censor When We Read Online

Why We Self-Censor When We Read Online

Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 17:36:51 in Canada Living

“Thanks for your comment. In principle, it's not really. In scale, it's 14.1 billion pages of online content versus a couple dozen in the Times. Also, I think it's fair to call it self-censorship when we subconsciously or otherwise restrict or withhold opposing viewpoints from ourselves.

When it comes to your example of cricket vs. hockey, I'm not sure if it works for what I'm getting at. Hockey and cricket are two completely different subjects, not varying opinions regarding the same subject. In short, reading about hockey instead of cricket is not really censoring the cricket news, but reading only one perspective on cricket and refusing to engage with any of the others, that would be censoring the cricket news. I hope that helps clarify what I'm trying to get at, I don't think I ever written the work "cricket" down so many times before.”

DavidToronto on Jan 5, 2013 at 07:01:40

“But the 14.1 billion Web pages are not staring you in the face each time you turn on your computer; only one does. You can chase down a ton of info, it's true, but there's no firehose of info without your making a special effort over a period of time to spray yourself with it. Without that extended effort, the info comes in a trickle, not a firehose. (The NY Times, by contrast, has multiple stories per page). Hockey vs cricket is not a problem? That seems to imply that this warning about self-censorship applies only to tendentious Web sources, which would make the victims just those sorry people who choose to restrict their choices to only one viewpoint in their tendentious sources.”
2012: Canadian Politics Was a Game of Tomato, Tomahto

2012: Canadian Politics Was a Game of Tomato, Tomahto

Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 12:03:58 in Canada Politics

“De-constructive discourse is never dangerous in my opinion. Asking Canadians to reflect upon the petty narcissism playing out amongst our parties in a desperate attempt to differ themselves for the voters has value. For example, while the Conservatives may be worse than the NDP or the Liberals on the environment, are any of them willing to take a stand strong enough to put a halt to global warming? Not likely. We weren't doing enough for the environment before the Tories, and we won't be doing enough after. So if one looks at the bigger picture, they're not really that different on the environmental end game of an increasingly warming planet, just perhaps how we get there.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to be somewhat of a partisan Liberal. Perhaps you should take a look at my recent post on confirmation biases and cognitive laziness. If you approach the information looking for ways to magnify the distance between the Grits and the big-bad Tories, that is how you are going to interpret all the data. Clearly you are very passionate about Canadian politics, kudos, but perhaps our respective biases will not allow us to see eye to eye on this one.”

ProgressiveCDN on Jan 4, 2013 at 12:59:58

“I appreciate the response.  Sorry if I offended you, but I hear this argument all too often...   I am a Liberal member, however I've been critical of them as well.  It is frustrating that the right-left dichotomy is being over-used by our media.  The reality is that historically we've always been a progressive country, even our Conservatives.  Harper has changed this slant to our politics. He himself is "right", but even his party is still mostly progressive on social issues (outside of Alberta)...  Calling all political parties the same only serves to justify the apathy of many.  That is why it's dangerous.  It's also not new at all.  The only new aspect is that the NDP is now entering the battle for the centre.  Your perfectionist view of politics is not realistic.  Global warming is a problem that requires a real international will to change, which I think the Liberals have shown in the past despite a lack of hard policies to address the issue.  Rhetoric and intention does count for something, IMO.”
Why We Self-Censor When We Read Online

Why We Self-Censor When We Read Online

Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 11:37:59 in Canada Living

“What I mean by this is that no-one needs to get permission from anyone to post online. Allow me to clarify- I love that this is the case, I think it makes the Internet stronger for it, and I have in fact based much of my graduate research on the benefits of this hierarchical-less system. Nonetheless, a lack of authority prevents many arguments from being vetted by an informed source such as a professional editor- making misinformation commonplace online.”

jf12 on Jan 4, 2013 at 11:59:42

“But the argument from authority only holds weight if the participants have previously agreed on the authority. The structure basically has to be imposed, ahead of time.”
Why We Self-Censor When We Read Online

Why We Self-Censor When We Read Online

Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 11:32:40 in Canada Living

“It's not really, except for the fact that on the Internet we are exposed too much more information all at once than we have ever been before. Hence the tendency to engage in cognitive laziness is much greater as infobesity overwhelms the readers' senses. If it's so flimsy, how come rumours still tend to masquerade as truth on the Internet when in fact they are realities- i.e. global warming? By choosing to skim the material as opposed to really engaging with it because you don’t agree with what it’s saying, you are just further proving the point that I am trying to make.”

DavidToronto on Jan 4, 2013 at 17:15:37

“You're probably right about info overload and so on--everybody says it--but I'm still struggling to see how the Internet is so different from picking up the NY Times, flipping the pages, skimming the headlines, reading a paragraph or two of this article or that column, and only reading thoroughly the parts that strike one as potentially interesting. It seems eerily similar to what I do online. I also wonder whether it's not a little odd to call this kind of selection process "censorship". If I read the hockey news and not the cricket news, is that the same thing as censoring the cricket news? Just wondering.”