Archive for February, 2011

Illustrative Example of The Effect of Misinformation from News Sites

Just added an illustrative example to my previous blog on Social Engineering Threat and HBGary’s Fake Social Media Persona Propaganda tools for the U.S. Government. This example look at how repetitive lies and corrupted journalist could affect voters sentiments.

As an example of how repetitive lies can influence public opinion. There are times when people would express opinion based on what they perceive as true because it was heard repeatedly. Say person A would tell his friend that Mr. Smith is a racist or Billy is a “leftie”. But if challenged to prove it and forced to pause and think, all he could think of was lots of people posting comments at a news site said so. Upon thinking further, he realized he does not know any facts and was just relying on hearsay. A lot of people would just go with perceived popular opinion. If so many people think so then it must be true.

Nowadays, lots of news outlets and networks get their news from one source (e.g. Canadian Press, Associated Press, etc). You can read the same sentence paragraph or whole news article with exactly the same content repeated and presented under different newspaper, TV network and news website. So if the news is corrupted at the source, then the false news will just propagate down different news outlets giving it an air of legitimacy. The whole news agency does not have to be corrupted, it just take one journalist working for that agency injecting a misleading news at the critical moment of election or history making event.

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G20 – T.O. Police or Mubarak’s Security Forces?

Just finished watching CBC’s Fifth Estate’s feature on the violent police crackdown against peaceful G20 protesters. There were lots of footage that I have not seen before. Pretty disgusting. Are we living in a democratic country or a police state? I know it is not as bad as Egypt with sniper firing on protesters. But the violent crackdown gave me a flashback of Mubarak’s security forces attacking protesters.

I would say that the innocent people who were assaulted by the police, without provocation, should file class action suit. But then the taxpayers are the one who would end up paying and the politicians and police would just get away with it anyway. Even a guy with prosthetic leg whose leg got pulled off have allegedly not been shown any mercy, even after the police got his severed prosthetic leg.

Not too long ago, I was observing how we are lucky here in Canada that when we see a police officer we feel safe and respect them. In other countries, when you are in trouble and was a victim of a crime, you are afraid of approaching the very corrupted police, fearful that you would just get into more trouble. We should keep our police force respectable. Any politicians who use them as a political tool should be incriminated. Any police officer who have violent tendency and have a wife-beating demeanor should be banned from the police service.

Glad to see that investigative journalism is still alive, at least at CBC’s Fifth Estate.

Full video @ youtube:

For more extensive video, including the Black Bloc instigating violence, watch this video: I did not know there was a horse charging moment tramping on a fallen person similar to the Egyptian’s camel attack. There were also plain clothes police officer. Isn’t there a law that requires police to be clearly identifiable?

My previous related blogs:

Toronto Cop Charged with Assault on G20 Protester Adam Nobody

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Three Pillars For A Better & More Democratic Government

Government’s Business is People’s Business

The three pillars for a better and more democratic government are:

I. Open Government of the People

Government are NOT the boss. The people/voters are the boss and thus have the right to supervise and monitor government officials activities. Make open government an integral part of a modern democracy. Allow people to easily access government information with just a click of a button without having to ask and wait.

II. Leadership of Equals

A principle of round table leadership council of equals. One person is in charge. But the leader does not dictates. There is no dominating leader. A good leader harness the equally talented ideas from the people whose views are promulgated by their representatives. The representatives are the voices of the people in his riding/district, and NOT the voices of special interest group, campaign contributors, or their party whip. A rule by consensus through working cooperatively, instead of adopting a confrontational approach.

III. Well-Informed and Learned Voters

A well-informed voters can easily be achieved with an open government system where information are not needlessly concealed. A learned voters can be achieved through voters education. Educate voters to ensure they do not easily fall for tricks and dirty politics. Provide them with the ability to reject divisive and hate promoting tactics.

Voters should be educated (e.g. as part of the curriculum for senior secondary level) to promote independent thinkers able to independently verify facts. Able to think critically without being cynical. Avoid being enamored with a leader. This often lead to blindly taking a hardline stand and adjusting of their truth to defend their esteemed leader. A voter should be able to do away with bandwagon mentality.

The third pillar is crucial for a genuine democracy to succeed. There are enough lessons from history to learn from to prevent deceptive and manipulative tactics.

I have added a separate page / tab on top called “Better Government”. It contains compilation of previous blogs dealing with the topic of a better government for the information age. It provides some specific examples for promoting a better system.

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Winnipeg Joining Day of Action Against UBB

Winnipeg will be joining the rest of Canada for a day of action against UBB. Meeting place is at 1 pm in Portage Place.

Here is the Facebook page:

And to check the Stop the Meter Day of Action in your local area:

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Prankcall Lands Wisconsin’s Gov. Walker in Possible Criminal Probe

Wisconsin Governor talked candidly to what he thought was David Koch on the other end of the phone. David Koch is a Libertarian and Conservative fundraiser. He is said to be linked to Tea Party. During the prank call, Governor Scott Walker claimed he thought of infiltrating the peaceful protesters with troublemakers. That comment have lead Madison Police Chief to seek clarification on exactly what plan of infiltration he was thinking of.  The person on the other line was actually Ian Murphy, editor of the Buffalo Beast.

Madison Police chief said:

“I spent a good deal of time overnight thinking about Governor Walker’s response, during his news conference yesterday (Wednesday), to the suggestion that his administration ‘thought about’ planting troublemakers among those who are peacefully protesting his bill,” Wray said in a statement issued this morning. “I would like to hear more of an explanation from Governor Walker as to what exactly was being considered, and to what degree it was discussed by his cabinet members.

“I find it very unsettling and troubling that anyone would consider creating safety risks for our citizens and law enforcement officers. Our department works hard dialoging with those who are exercising their First Amendment right, those from both sides of the issue, to make sure we are doing everything we can to ensure they can demonstrate safely.

A Liberal Campaign Watchdog is also asking for a criminal probe against Walker for possible illegal fundraising activity. Responding to the question, from who he thought was his campaign supporter billionaire David Koch, on “Now what else could we do for you down there?” He respond:

The coming days and weeks and months ahead, particularly in some of these more swing areas, a lot of these guys are gonna need, they don’t necessarily need ads for them, but they’re gonna need a message out reinforcing why this was a good thing to do for the economy and a good thing to do for the state. So to the extent that that message is out over and over again, that’s obviously a good thing.

David Donnelly, national campaign director for the Public Campaign Action Fund claim that

“If Wisconsin law forbids coordination with political donors similar to federal law, Gov. Scott Walker is not just in political trouble, but in legal hot water,”

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Libyan Fought With Hands and Won Against Gadhafi’s Forces

CBC reported that Libyan in eastern area of the country have fought Gaddafi’s “elite troops” with bare hands until they managed to grab some looted weapon later. The dictator’s forces then use helicopter gun ship and bombing from the air to attack the rebels. But the rebels eventually won and drove out Gadhafi’s forces.Whole area is now safely in oppositions control.

Libya’s Interior Minister have resigned and told CNN about 300 bare hands protesters being killed in Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city. Soon after, Libya’s state TV reported that he have been kidnapped. The Guardian reported how the battle was won.

All day defecting troops and officers were lugging in thousands of pounds of ammunition to a courtyard inside the secret police headquarters on Bengazi’s waterfront. By the day’s end an arsenal that could easily supply an army brigade was piled up. There were plastic explosives, rockets, machine guns and even the anti-aircraft weapon that was used to mow down demonstrators as they assaulted the military base on Sunday.   ……

This was a savage rampage on both sides, a blood and guts revolution, fuelled by decades of repression, neglect and rage. There has been nothing peaceful about it. …

Gaddafi’s reported use of mercenaries appears to have tipped the hand of many protesters and armed forces. “That is why we turned against the government,” said air force major Rajib Feytouni. “That and the fact that there was an order to use planes to attack the people.”

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Pressuring Libya’s Dictator

Trying to influence an irrational dictator might be difficult. But international community should make them aware that there will be severe consequences to their actions and illustrate explicitly what those consequences will be.

Just to clarify my earlier post tonight, which compares U.S. reaction on Iraq to current Middle Eastern and Libya’s crisis. I am not proposing an Iraq-like invasion of Libya. I don’t believe that will alleviate the situation. I’ve pointed out Iraq to show how far U.S. was prepared to go back then. I’ve mentioned establishing a no-fly zone just as one possible consideration following reports of air strike against protesters. Emphasis should be made on threatening the Libyan leader with war crime charges and freezing of his assets. A strong statement backed by concrete steps of action to be taken should also be made against anyone giving order to shoot unarmed protesters. The person giving orders on the ground should have no doubt that international community is going to come after them if they participate in carrying out these atrocities.

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