This is something which should be of great interest to voting reform activists. First of all, as the voting reform message begins to gain traction, they are becoming subject to various forms of attack from those who think reform threatens them. Second, voting reform advocates need to recognize that there is more to achieving a real democracy than just voting reform. Reform of Parliament itself is a big piece of the puzzle.
You know I have been working on a forum on a parliament reform bill. That was slightly inconvenienced when the web page I put up explaining it, which the URL on the leaflets I handed out explaining it, was taken down along with everything else, by a copyright troll attack.
I have had to reorganize my web site project. It will take some time but the important parts are back up. I had to find another server. This comes as part of a new wave of harassment attacks on me that always seem to come around whenever I undertake some initiatives. I think a lot of it is because of The Honorable Michael Chong, MP, reform of parliament presentation that I have on for March 12.
What I do get very tired of is people who complain about how difficult it is to get anything to happen in public in Canada, especially in Toronto. They complain about the bad effects of a party mentality. Yet they tend to put it down merely to "apathy" and the effects of political parties. But it is a bit deeper than just this.
I have long maintained the thesis that we live in a "police state light". There is no real democracy in Canada. The ruling elite has long mastered the art of government by mass hallucination, more so than in most places.
We do not have police goons breaking down doors in the middle of the night and hauling people away. But there is a serious effort to render any kind of public initiative ineffective. Anyone whose activities cannot be slotted into some approved, party controlled and approved area of activity gets a rough time.
I have seen the same thing in Ontario, in British Columbia, and in Ontario. If I try to get involved in anti-poverty, renters rights, or police reform issues, I find there is a list. These are the bad people that everybody is supposed to not talk to or they will get in trouble. As soon as I make clear I do not want to hear this sort of rubbish, I am on the list.
I soon find that the people on this blacklist are generally the best people. But usually they have been made so paranoid that they do not know who to trust. What I get very frustrated about is that they cannot see the need for mutual support and protection. They also tend to believe the slander laid at other people yet cannot understand why everyone subscribes to the crap laid out about them.
There are plenty of very nasty attack dogs around who can be sent after people. The activities of these bastards are obvious criminal harassment and criminal libel. Yet there is no way to get the police to act. If you watch all this stuff for awhile, it becomes obvious that these attack dogs are being protected by police, unless they transgress some hidden code. Then they are attacked very aggressively by the cops.
This is a pretty good way to make community level politics ineffective; just withhold enforcement of criminal law and access to civil law that deals with personal security. Coupled with this political system which generates hyperpartisanship, in which THE PARTY is the ultimate good and must be defended at all costs, and you have a pretty effective system of social control and suppression of any kind of citizen initiative.
You may notice that much of this celebrated Canadian "apathy" is the desire not to be attacked by some ying-yang on orders from someone who thinks that what you are doing is intruding on its turf. Even worse, to be made out as being responsible for your own victimization. That is another thing giving teeth to the political suppression system; the culture of narcissism including inverted narcissism.
I do not want to get too far into a discussion of political psychology or as some call it, political ponerology, the study of evil. I restate that a very good way to control people is to convince them that it is okay for somebody to walk around with an attitude of "I have to be right" and everybody is obligated to make them feel right even at the cost of their own aims and well being.
Canada is crawling with inverted narcissists who do think that and think everybody else has to think that too. If somebody demands to not be interfered with by some narcissistic asshole, the inverted narcissists/codependent personalities/ sycophants tend to fly up at that person, the victim. Just like the jerk offs who are going to nearly piss themselves ranting about what a bizarre and objectionable person I am and be demanding to be taken off this list once this gets out on the FVCginger list.
We certainly have seen some examples of this syndrome within FVC in the last year, have we not? This is why I am less than sympathetic to the liberals whining about the attack ads and attempts to disrupt their convention, emanating from the Harper zone. The Gliberals try to pose as morally superior, but are just as inclined as the other parties to disruption and cooptation tactics directed at whatever they see as getting in their way.
But in Central Toronto the deepers do not just think they own everything "left", but that they own everything. They publicly disown the really radical groups, but in practice use them as "outliers" and as attack dogs. To try to counter some of this nonsense, and to encourage people to resist and to come together to resist it, is why I created the "Cause Pimps" site.
I am not really satisfied with the results of that site. I am thinking of ways to change the focus of it more towards more collective action to demand that these bastards be defunded and in many cases, prosecuted. But it has had a great effect in getting most of these people to back off from me.
I am subjected to a campaign to convince me to take the site down. The message is always the same and the wording is always similar, as though repeated from the same source, even if the fake e-mail names are different. The cause pimps site hurts my "reputation" and I won't get anywhere with the other stuff I am doing. "Everybody" is very offended by it.
Everybody who has communicated with me about it, and who seems to be an actual person, thanks me for that Cause Pimps site. Often they are people who have just arrived in Toronto and needed a heads up about what to stay away from here. No, I am not being manipulated by anyone; the stuff up there comes from many sources and I turn away more stuff than I post.
No, folks, you can't put people on Cause Pimps just because they are assholes or because they are "reds". They have to be actually doing something egregious under the rubric of being an activist for a cause.
So, lately I got a bunch of "DMCA" crap coming through the ISP I have had for the past year, Fused. Someone was searching my web site for things they could complain about or alert people who might want to complain. In the past I have tried explaining to the Fused people that this is Canada, not the U.S. If they want to claim something on my site is copyrighted to them, they take it to court.
I am not a total copyright abolition fanatic; not yet, though I think I am getting there. If somebody wants me to remove something they think they own, and if they are not amenable to providing me with a permanent link and a promise to keep it up indefinitely on their site, or better yet, giving it to me as a matter of public interest, then I just take it down and put up a summary.
However, I am not removing pictures of people who other people may need t be able to identify. I am sure as hell not removing threatening e-mails they sent to people, who then sent them on to me. For awhile, I had no trouble with that and I guess I got complacent. I used to have my site in Canada and the ISPs kept getting complaints. I simply moved the site to another ISP. Sometimes I mirrored it on two sites.
But my sites were a lot less complicated then. They are not so easy anymore to simply drop into another ISP.
So I got a server in Hong Kong. It was a bit nerve racking sometimes, because it was very hard to get technical support who actually spoke clear English. But security was superb. I know that when people tried to contact them with these copyright bogus complaints, they just got laughed at and hung up on; assuming they could find someone who spoke English.
When that crap was not working for them they tried organizing Direct Denial of Service attacks on my sites. Zentek Hong Kong was good about solving that, too. Some ISPs will run bullshit by you that they cannot do anything about that, or claim to be doing something when they are not. There is software that enables servers to detect the source of DDOS and quickly block them all.
But eventually Zentek went out of business, temporarily, it turned out. I get the impression the problem was some sort of internal dispute among the owners. But I was getting tired of paying that much. By that time this new copyright act had passed in Canada, which was supposed to create a more sensible situation in Canada for web masters like me.
So, I went looking for a Canadian hoster again. Fused technical support was great, but it gradually became clear to me that they were misrepresenting themselves as being a Canadian firm when they were not. Their server is in San Diego and vulnerable to U.S. copyright fascism.
I had already decided to move to another server but I did not want to do that until the end of the month. I was astounded to discover that they had abruptly taken out everything, even domains that had nothing to do with the supposed copyright infringement.
I decided not to get into a panic and spent some time looking for a server, even if a temporary one. Some of my site I am not putting back up for awhile because it is too complicated if I have to move again. As of today, there are still things I haven't put up yet that should.
I have learned how to do this; get a server, get the passwords and the File Transfer going, then create the domain folders on the server, then put the files into them, then go to the domain registrar and get the NS headings rerouted.
I looked into locating overseas again. I talked to somebody who wanted to set me up in Russia, which sounded intriguing. I am something of a fan of things Russian these days. But he wanted too much up front.
I talked to Canadian servers and found this problem of misrepresentation to be common. They did not want to tell me where they were really based, but three of them admitted to being in the states. Two of them were in Provo, Utah. I bet they are right next door to the NSA data center.
Finally I found some people who strongly insisted their server is in Canada, though they said they wanted the location kept secret for security reasons. Their business address is in Oakville; close enough to serve legal process if things go bad. I get a strong impression that their business from the USA is booming as people flee away from the disgusting copyright troll environment there.
So, that is how my net project stands. My project of getting The Honorable Michael Chong, MP, to Toronto to talk about his bill is still going. However, the "organizing meeting" I tried to convene last Thursday did not go well. Net trolls are bad, but live ones are something else.
I heard second hand that a few people wanted to show up. Nobody did. I heard that the local Toronto action group is anxious to work with me on it. They had not contacted me yet. I wondered whose permission those people were waiting for?
If I have to do that all by myself, I will. It will be harder to do the set up on the day, and do the promotion for it. It is always hard to get people involved or to get the word out about an event if it is not something that fits an established political network's Weltanschauung.
I was just about to call it quits and leave when Lehrer walked in the door. He started giving me the usual routine, how I am a big coward, am I really tough in person like on the net, he is going to sue me, I do not understand that I am being manipulated by these people who are feeding me information. Try every button and see if something worked.
I do not even know any of the people he cited as manipulating me. He can sue me to his hearts content. I am not stupid enough to engage lawyers. When he served me with papers before I just ignored them and eventually the case was dismissed for lack of prosecution.
So I started heading for the elevator. He followed. I was not getting on the elevator with "fat bastard". He tried to block me from getting out of the elevator. I went down the stairs but I realized I was on the fire exit and ended up at the back door of the 519 center.
There was no way back in and we were in a dark fenced in area. The only way out of it was this gate that was left open just enough for someone to wriggle through. So I tried that and was just able to get through it. I went around the corner toward the front of the building. Behind me in the dark I could hear Lehrer grunting and swearing as he tried and failed to get through the gap.
That was a hoot! I am sure some people familiar with "fat bastard" Lehrer will love this story. I am skinnier than fat bastard, which makes me feel much better. I wonder how long he was stuck back there in the cold and dark?
I told the front desk what had happened and asked their basic policy about this sort of thing. The Fags understand what harassment is about; they get it. There was no point making a complaint about Lehrer at that point, as the meeting never happened. But unlike some venues where they give an attitude of "settle it among yourselves, we don't want to be involved", somebody who crashes a meeting where he or she is not welcome will go out of 519 Church like quick.
I did not tell them that he was probably still back there, trying to attract someone's attention. I did not want them to go and let him out. Haw, haw.
But what if he shows up at the Chong event? If there is a big crowd there, he will do nothing. But he is a seriously dangerous individual, as you will know if you read my page in the Cause Pimps devoted to him.
He used to be good at getting some very nasty people to do dirty work for him. He won't do anything to get himself a jail sentence. But lately, his maliciousness is turning too many people off; he is losing prestige. I think my site has a lot to do with that. He is getting desperate.
Google still has a block on my page for Lehrer. It doesn't slow traffic down much; he is still the most popular item on that site, which gets very little traffic from search engines anyway. But I am sufficiently offended by these draconian American laws being enforced in Canada that I might start a new civil suit with Google.
Yes, I am one of these people who has sued Google. I got some results from it; they removed the block on one of my domain names. I had decided not to pursue them further; I just have too many bigger fish to fry. But....
So, these are the realities of being an active citizen in a sham democracy, especially as might interest some people in Fair Vote Canada. I have spent a lot of time dealing with this stuff when I would much rather have been watching the olympics, especially the women's ice hockey team.
I am now sufficiently pissed off with things American that I really enjoy watching them clobber the American team tomorrow; a catharsis. Go, Canada! Go GusBus, Wick, and Spoons! Kick gringo asses tomorrow at noons.
Note that I actually wrote most of this two days ago and I have been so busy with other stuff that I haven't had time to draft it and get it off. tr