Assange- Hero or Criminal?

The report today is that Assange, who is fighting extradition and is in a British jail, without bail as he was deemed a flight risk, has been moved to an isolation facility. Why he was moved is not clear-perhaps for his protection from other inmates? The sexual assault charges, even by Swedish standards are a real stretch. Why is he fighting extradition? Keeps him in the public eye, doesn’t it?

Both Mastercard and Visa have “blacked” wikileaks to prevent the organization from getting donations. In response, hackers flooded both organization with data requests in an attempt to shut them down. Assange has denied any involvement with that plan.

I still fail to see the heroism in what this organization is doing. The information that has been leaked is raw data, unconfirmed, quotes alleged to be from one or another government official, whether true or not, whether gossip, innuendo, malicious lies, etc. Who knows? If the stated purpose is to bring down governments and corporations by preventing communication, how is that different from other forms of terrorism? And I for one don’t want the world to have less communication, and that, I think, will be the result. Less communication, more misunderstanding, more bad decisions based on too little information because no one wants to run the risk of being quoted.

I don’t think this guy is a hero; I think he is a fanatic, who has set himself up as the champion of truth and freedom.

Ten rules for writing fiction | Books |

A member of my writing group, the Internet Writing Workshop, posted a link to this article in the Guardian: collected lists from authors such as Margaret Atwood and Stephen King – their personal rules for writing. One rule is on all the lists – write and then write some more. Write, revise, write, make it as well. I must say I always get a kick out of Margaret Atwood’s. I like her advice to take a pencil on the plane as pens leak. Take two, she says, one may break. A link to her blog is to the right.
Another piece of advice, not in these lists, is to do something “writerly” if you come to a blank spot: look for an agent; write your blog; read about writing; read about grammar; read.

The Globe and Mail reports this morning that the G20 meeting is coming to Toronto in June. Much wailing about the disruption to the city, to commerce, to the life of the people who live and work downtown. It’s only for two days, people. The city has that much disruption from marathons for this cause, and parades for that.
The potential violence is another matter. Earlier this week I blogged about the Black Bloc, the criminals in facemasks allowed to march with legitimate protestors and commit random acts of destruction. I don’t understand why, if it is reasonable to assume that a person wearing a mask in a bank is about to commit a criminal act and should be arrested, or at least called to account, the same individual in the midst of a crowd of similarly dressed people – the Black Bloc – which has a history of random violence, should not. And no, I don’t think hiding one’s face with the clear intention of creating terror and avoiding responsibility for criminal acts is a civil right.

A Serial Killer?

Tire tracks led police to Williams – The Globe and Mail.
This article reads like a story outline for Criminal Minds, including a behavioural analyst from the OPP. The headline says that tiretracks in the snow led to the Colonel being a suspect, so perhaps I mean CSI.
I hope that this is not a horrendous mistake, of the sort we have seen too many times in this country. Names like Morin and Marshall and Truscotte come to mind. If the Colonel is guilty, the question becomes, how did the military miss such a degree of pathology? The top brass thought he was great. What did the men and women, especially the women, think of him? And if there were complaints, who buried them? And if he is guilty, what about other countries where he was posted, and unexplained murders or assaults there? It could get deeper and uglier and much sadder.

Spain and security and fear

We’re going to Spain in the fall. At the airports, in Toronto and in Madrid, we will endure enhanced security, some of it very intrusive. Will it make us safer, prevent some young man, in love with the idea of violence, as young men have been in other generations, from triggering some destructive device? Perhaps. But it seems to me that these young men need a more hopeful future, with rewards in this world, not the next. There are too many of them, these young men, as there have been in previous times. The solution in the past has often been war, and their deaths, as they follow old men who fill them with myths of honour and sacrifice, as they do now. People are framing the conflict in terms of religion. I see it as a lust for power in the men behind the violence, safe in their secret lairs.