Author Archive

More On Sam Bulte

January 10, 2006

sambulte Michael Geist notes, “The Sam Bulte fundraiser story has gone mainstream”, in his lengthy response to comments Bulte recently made about him. He has also written a summary of the whole affair, taking note of blog involvement (here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here)

Bulte and Henderson appear to think that they can ride this storm out by arguing that the technical legality of the fundraiser should end the discussion or by attacking the messenger. I suspect that they are wrong. The issue was apparently discussed at this week’s all-candidates meeting, it continues to generate enormous discussion among the bloggers, receive profile from political sites such as Bourque (“Bulte Buntoss Blows Up”), and even the blog on Quill and Quire has described it as “problematic”. The time has come for Ms. Bulte to cancel the fundraiser and take the Copyright Pledge. is also taking a deeper look at Bulte’s past.

In the November, 2000, election, Ms. Bulte had managed to scoop up over $81,000 in campaign financing. And now some of the big copyright names are there: SOCAN, the Canadian Motion Pictures Distributors Association, Alliance Communications Corporation, Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc., Epitome Pictures, Chapters, CanWest Global, CTV, Rogers Communications, Baton Broadcasting, Good Earth Ventures and the Astral Television Network. Interestingly, there are a number of other IP intensive industries represented: beer (Molsons), wine (Pilliteri Estates Winery) and pharmaceuticals (Pfizer and Apotex – makes you wonder what she said to these two!). And when the 37th Parliament began on January 29, 2001, voila, Ms. Bulte began publicly uttering pro-copyright platitudes.

Mainstream coverage here, here, here and here and also check Google News too.

Bulte’s opponent, Peggy Nash is also weighing in on the issue.

Again, via Boing Boing.


More On Alaska Airlines Blogging

January 7, 2006

alaskaairlines Ask The Pilot is a regular column on Salon featuring Patrick Smith, explaining the workings of planes, airlines, a pilot’s job, and the flight industry. In this instalment, Smith addresses the experience that Jeremy Hermanns had aboard an Alaska Airlines flight in recent news (and reported on many many many blogs).

I found Hermanns’ account of the incident, which he describes as “horrific,” and “the unthinkable,” to be luridly overblown. He confuses the smell of activated oxygen canisters as that of commercial jet fuel, which he wrongly identifies as “AV-gas” or “JP4” (it is neither). Hermanns said repeatedly that he believed the fuselage hole was located at the back of the aircraft. Some news stations actually showed an MD-80 with graphics inexplicably pointing to the jet’s rear pressurization outflow valve as the purported hole — well aft, and on the opposite side, of the damage. “Ask the Pilot” obtained this photograph from an Alaska Airlines employee (who asks to remain anonymous) showing the actual puncture. As you can see, it is well forward of the wing.


Liberals Still Getting Hurt Online

January 6, 2006

liberallogoIn a follow-up to the previous post, it seems that there is more another Liberal MP finding himself the target of inpection over at popular blog Boing Boing. The controvercy is about the funding that Sam Bulte is receiving from the Canadian Motion Pictures Distributors Association. Michael Geist writes:

As with the January fundraiser, it is becoming increasingly clear that the pro-stronger copyright lobby is a major Bulte backer. From what I can find on the Elections Canada site, consider that Bulte’s riding association received contributions during this period from the following groups:

What makes the thousands of dollars raised from these groups particularly noteworthy is that Bulte’s riding association was the only one to receive such contributions. In other words, at a time when the publishing, music, movie, and photographer industries and collectives were concerned with copyright reform, they chose to provide campaign contributions to just one Member of Parliament – Sam Bulte (or at least only one chose to accept such contributions).

It seems that everyone is talking about this story.

Link via Boing Boing

Update: Sam Bulte’s entry in the Wikipedia now mentions the blogging:

During the 2006 federal election, Bulte was criticized by blogger Cory Doctorow and professor Michael Geist for her stances in favour of strict copyright laws and substantial campaign contributions from Canadian and American entertainment industries. They speculate she is a likely candidate for Heritage Minister in the next Parliament. [1]

via Accordian Guy who also has a rather unique graphic about the story.

Liberals Getting Hurt Online

January 4, 2006

liberallogoFor some reason it seems that the Liberals are getting more attention– bad attention– this year on blogs than any other party.

First there was Mike Klander who posted a very low brow attack against NDP candidate Olivia Chow (click to see image), and wife of NDP leader Jack Layton comparing her to a chow chow dog. He has since resigned (a nice word for quit) due to the outrage his comments produced. Was he just naive to think that people would actually read his blog, or did he not realize what he was writing was offensive?

Now bloggers are taking notice of Tony Ianno and his anything but transparent trust fund used keep campaign contributions anonymous. Iñaki Mondragon writes on his blog:

The citizens of Trinity-Spadina have a right to know the answers to the following questions:

1) Who donated to Tony Ianno’s trust fund?
2) Does Tony Ianno still maintain a trust fund?
3) How has Tony Ianno spent the money in his trust fund?

Have any of Ianno’s donors received any favours in exchange for passing him money in secrecy? Ianno has an obligation to tell voters the whole truth in plain English. Ianno and the Liberals stonewalled attempts by Canada’s chief electoral officer to get to the bottom of the trust fund issue.

Are the Liberals ever going to realize the power of the internet, or do they just not think it matters in the long run? And why do bloggers continue to pick on the Liberals leaving the NDP and Conservatives unscathed.
Link to the well researched post on Mondragon’s blog via The Torontoist

First-hand Reporting Brings Lives Into Focus

January 4, 2006


Sandeep Junnarkar writes about his new multimedia blog which covers the impact of India’s new patent law on the medical treatment of the country’s HIV-positive population:

I was motivated in large part by my dissatisfaction with the superficial coverage of this issue by the American mainstream press. I wanted to work outside the traditional freelance options of magazines or newspapers so I could allow those affected by AIDS to describe their experiences in their own words. Their lives, I reasoned, should not be reduced to a traditional anecdotal lead and kicker.

Lives in Focus, a multimedia blog, was the result. The project is an effort to document the lives of families struggling to buy anti-retroviral drugs in order to keep a family member healthy, and to show the challenges that stigmatized AIDS patients face while trying to earn enough money to buy lifesaving treatment. My colleague, Srinivas Kuruganti, a photographer, took portraits, while I interviewed on video more than two dozen men, women and children.

Link via This Article via Westervelt


BBC Opens News Archive

December 31, 2005


“For the first time in its history BBC News is opening its archives to the UK public for a trial period. You can download nearly 80 news reports covering iconic events of the past 50 years including the fall of the Berlin Wall, crowds ejecting soldiers from Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and behind-the-scenes footage of the England team prior to their victory over West Germany in 1966.”


Apparently you have to be in the UK to use the service, however I am sure that there are going to be ways around this.

Bloggers Publish Leaked Torture Memos

December 31, 2005

craigmurrayCraig Murray, Former ambassador UK to Uzbekistan is appealing to bloggers to spread the truth about the torture practices there. His forthcoming book is being blocked by the Foreign Office until he removes references to two documents concerning the legal opinion of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office concerning evidence that may have been obtained through the use of torture.

However, instead of removing the references to the documents, he has published them in full, and asked bloggers to spread them around the world.

In one letter he wrote, Craig Murray said,

“I will not attempt to hide my utter contempt for such casuistry, nor my shame that I work in and organisation where colleagues would resort to it to justify torture. I have dealt with hundreds of individual cases of political or religious prisoners in Uzbekistan, and I have met with very few where torture, as defined in the UN convention, was not employed. When my then DHM raised the question with the CIA head of station 15 months ago, he readily acknowledged torture was deployed in obtaining intelligence. I do not think there is any doubt as to the fact”

The documents are below in full.

Link to Register article by John Lettice.

Link to the former ambassador’s blog, here is the Wikipedia entry on Craig Murray (which currently also includes text of the banned memos) and here is a related thread on MeFi.

Link to Boing Boing article where we first read about this story.

Link to site tracking all new developments and reports.


First Blood – Torontoist Takes Jab at blogTO

December 31, 2005


Torontoist takes a jab at blogTO today. Apparently they are disgusted with using the above picture from the Toronto Star’s coverage of the Boxing Day shooting on Yonge St. in a post initially about iPod theft.

Torontoist writes,

“In the blogosphere, as they say, BlogTO takes a gruesome photo from the Star to accompany a description of a stolen iPod. A snippet:

About a week before Christmas, one of my best friends was mugged. His newly purchased prized Video iPod, that he had gone through a great deal of trouble to finally own, was snatched right out of his hands on the TTC subway. The brave soul that he is, RAN AFTER the thief and cornered him at the wrong end of the platform.

Torontoist says: Nothing. Torontoist says nothing, but rather is completely mystified. Is this really a post about petty theft? Does it have any relationship to the picture, or these issues? (Makes disgusted face.)”

So far it seems blogTO hasn’t noticed. Will this be the first sign of a rivalry between the two very similar blogs?