Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 wishes

My wife forwarded me one of those e-mails people who work in offices get. She thougth it was actually good enough to pass on to me, (knowing how I hate mindless chain spam mail), and I thought it was good enough to post. To all those secret closet readers... have a GREAT 2011!

2011 Contract
After serious & cautious consideration... your contract of friendship has been renewed for the New Year 2011!
It was a very hard decision to make... So try not to screw it up!!!

My Wish for You in 2011
May peace break into your home and may thieves come to steal your debts.
May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet for $100 bills.
May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips!
May happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy
May the problems you had, forget your home address!
In simple words ............
May 2011 be the best year of your life!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Asper speaks!

Kevin Engstrom published the following letter from one Mr. D. Asper in the Winnipeg Sun.

Dear Fans, I guess David is writing to a small minority of people here
The transition regarding the stadium is now complete as in, "Go away David. The public backlash against this whole deal is making a mess of things for us politicians"  and as we close out 2010, I want to wish all of you a great holiday season and a happy new year. Ideally, 2011 will be the year that Lords Grey and Vanier return to Manitoba! Yup. The Winnipeg battle cry, "Next Year!"
Throughout the twists and turns of the past four years, one thing has remained constant — Manitoba needs a new stadium to ensure the long-term viability of our Blue Bombers. Seems to me,  the club was a team holding it's own at this time. That might all change in the future though. I am very glad that the project will continue to completion and provide many added benefits for the Bisons, University of Manitoba and the entire community.
This outcome is precisely what I envisioned because the project is and always was about doing something to get a new stadium built. Not with his own money, not with any sort of honour or openness, even selling his soul to support the NDP, those things seem unimportant when viewed against the stated goal. Build it, and damned the cost.
There is an old saying to the effect that “you cannot plough a field by turning it over in your mind”. But you can plow a field by talking smoothly to a neighbour, promise him you'll pay for your share of the plow, the horses, and the feed as well as the other guys time, get him to start plowing and then say, "Fooled you!"Someone had to actually start the process and it has been an honour to have been able to lead that charge.  Starting a process and digging a hole are not the same things.
I want to sincerely thank the thousands of fans who have given their support to our efforts. And what do you have for the tens of thousands who don't support your efforts, but will pay regardless? Even up to this day, people have continued to offer their personal encouragement and this has truly made the journey all the more worthwhile. When the project is finally completed, I know that all of us will share in the pride that it will bring to Manitoba. I don't see a lot of people from Dauphin feeling the giddiness David does... or Thompson, Churchill, Ashern...
I offer my sincere heartiest good wishes and encouragement to the team that will see the project through to completion. And the "best of luck" I hope. These guys had this dropped in their laps, and they know as much about building a stadium as you do David. Nothing. They should be commended for having the fortitude to stand up and be counted in responding to a need in this community. Or re worded, "Commended for making their desires known, starting a project under false pretenses, and having someone else finish, and pay for their mess.
Once and for all, it’s time to finally get it done! Go away David. Please... we can't afford your style of "getting it done"
David Asper RM

Ya, Ya, I know, "Bitch and complain". I've said before, I'm NOT anti-stadium. I'm BIG on invest money in our City. BUILD roads, bridges, invest in new infrastructure. I'm TIRED of seeing that the Louise and Redwood bridges are in better shape than Disralie. I'm tired of "piece meal" refurbishing of old buildings like the arena balcony we slapped in because "we" couldn't get our heads around building something world class. I'm the guy saying, "Put a roof on it". 
The "deal" stank from the opening coin toss. Sure, we hear about all the "personal wealth" of a certain "media mogul" family, but all I SEE is that family starting things that reach DEEP into my pocket, and the pockets of my children, and grand children.
Like any building project, we deserve that it be done RIGHT. Winnipeg does NOT have a track record for that.
Original plans for an inner city belt way had overpasses... we have lights everywhere.
Original plans for a subway were scrapped... we have diamond lanes so we can watch 6 people on a bus zoom by during rush hour.
Winnipeg Enterprises couldn't see their way to giving Shenkarow a fair deal at the old arena so they had an "interim operating agreement" that had people mad at the business man and not the stooges running the mess at WEC.
Instead of replacing both the antique bridges flanking the Disralie "freeway", we have a "new" secret plan we never saw before by "Plenary Roads" designed to keep traffic open during construction. 
We build a new airport terminal and blame the delays on "plumbing" so people don't find out the building sunk and the paid consultants screwed up the geo technical work.

Shall I go on?

We NEED accountability. Screw politically correct, screw covering everyones butt, and screw the deception that seems to lurk at every turn. I might have almost considered voting for someone like Just Judy if I thought she had any ability to run a city (or a hot dog stand), and I'll be working for the "official opposition" in the upcoming election (the first time ever) because I'm sick and tired of public policy being guided by special interest groups without consideration of how the masses are affected. 

Our un elected Premier makes decisions that will have far reaching implications for generations of Manitobans, and we have no way of stopping him for another year. (+/-) Bi pole III, east side sucks, "land that gives life", communities need an all weather road, and all.

So for all the criticism I offer up, here's how a simpleton thinks it should all work.

Stadium. Cost benefit analysis of maintenance and upgrades to a REAL cost of building new. That real cost can be obtained by having an RFP, with an accompanying fixed price for the proposal. Once it's decided which way to go, build it, and keep every one accountable. Sue engineers and consultants who screw up, forget things in their pricing, or "miss" specifications. Maybe even a "private/public partnership"? This has worked with bridges, and roads, why not a stadium. I imagine a contractor who will "own" the building and be responsible for major structural maintenance and repairs would ensure the best materials and engineering go in so as not to require too much work before the building is actually PAID OFF.

The mandarins at City Hall and the backroom deals at the Ledg are keeping Winnipeg a hick town that's hard on itself, not helping promote us as "One Great City".


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hate Crime?

Driving down Ellice yesterday morning, I stared incredulously at posters put up at the Ellice Cafe overnight, clearly by do-no-gooders. I can say that, because I know (first hand), no one at the cafe would give permission to put up these "free speech" posters.
The Ellice is a not-for-profit restaurant run by New Life Ministries. The late Rev. Harry Lehotsky started the cafe with the intention of making a safe place, where everyone in the community was always welcome. A business man in a suit sitting a table over from a local in a T shirt. Everyone is welcome here.
The posters read, "Pro choice, because God raped Mary", and had "Youth Against Christ" and "Youth Against Celibacy" at the bottom, as well as a picture of a small building with "Women's Resource Center" as a banner.
I was unimpressed. Angry even. I called the office to let them know, and suggested that they photograph the posters, and report it to the Police as a hate crime. No other buildings were targeted, and while I know the burden of proof required to convict on a hate crime is over the top, I didn't think this should just be "washed away".
I went to the cafe for lunch with a friend and spoke with another friend there about the posters. She said, "Let it go".
Frankly, I didn't want to, and suggested that my Jewish friends probably wouldn't take to "Kristall Nacht was just a joke", or my Muslim friends consider, "Mohammad never read the Koran"  posters as something to "let go", nor should they.
I guess my anger came more from the assertion that Mary was raped than any other part of the poster. Pro-choice/pro-life debates are another matter. Maybe it's because it's Christmas.
Mary was first told about what was going to happen to her. "You will be with child..." To that Mary asked "How will this be, since I am a virgin?" Gabriel explained that the Holy Spirit would come upon her, and she responded, "I am the Lord's servant, may it be to me as you have said."
She wasn't tricked with a date rape drug, she wasn't promised anything, she wasn't raped.She willingly obeyed and participated in the event.
Dogma aside, I'd like to know who it was that plastered these posters on the building, and why they chose to target a group whose only purpose is to serve the community. I see no purpose in the posters aside from being inflammatory, and anti-Christian.
IMO, a hate crime.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"Happy Holidays" ?

That seems to be the Christmas greeting at stores, staff trained to be PC. We had Hanukkah already... we didn't call it anything else did we? What else have we got happening? Kwanzaa? Not too many folks celebrating that, although store clerks could easily be trained to wish people who MAY celebrate that a "Happy Kwanzaa"... unless there is a fear of racial profiling.

It's CHRISTmas.

I'm OK with people NOT celebrating, or choosing to take what they want from it (a tree, a fat guy with a red suit, exchanging gifts) but why must we dumb it down to remove the word Christ from it?

"Winter concert", "festival of lights", and whatever other names we could summon aren't found on the calendar I own... yours? A Festival tree, a multicultural tree, a Hanukkah bush... STOP already.

I'm not offended by anyone elses beliefs. They shouldn't have to fear celebrating whatever they like, so why should the (second) most important date on the Christian Calendar be white washed of the name?

Ya, I know, "Christ wasn't even born that day". But it is when we celebrate it for various historical reasons. I know, the tree was assimilated into Christmas from the Romans pre Christ to celebrate the winter solstice.

You can have the tree and the ornaments, you can (if you need to) take it back, especially if your an ancient pagan and you want your holiday celebration returned to you, but leave Christmas alone. You can't have it...

... but you can. It's a weird religion. It's open to anyone who wants to join. Sure, there are tenets you are expected to adhere to, but there are no racial barriers, no need to be "born" in. No "levels" to attain before being told about the fundamentals. No secret handshake, or needing to be "sponsored in" by someone who'll vouch for you. No one cares where you've been or what you've done (at least not in places where they "get it"), you're welcome.

Maybe that's the problem. It's so easy. It's not sexy. It's not prestigious. It's simple, despite our best efforts to make it complicated.

Review. (Lets' just say you're inclined to believe the following for a sec, K?) A baby is born, homeless, under an oppressive regime occupying the land. He's the child of a carpenter... (blue collar, a skilled trades man, but not likely heavily laden with coin), and the first visitors are guys who were living in a field with livestock. Seems pretty humble. Seems pretty simple. Seems almost "sad".

We (in a royal sense) build magnificent cathedrals where we have nativity scenes carved out of wood and/or stone, stained glass windows retelling the story, fresco walls and ceilings showing a happy child with a glow about him, making the whole event pretty "special" visually. Go up a paragraph and see it for what it was. A shit filled animal stall, with a kid who was laid in a feed trough. Some cow dropping it's scat in the background... pigs squeeling... nice huh?

The "wise men" didn't come till later if you check the "real" story. The star arrived at the birth... they followed it, possibly for a few years. A LONG camel ride from the east. Back then, "the east" didn't mean Transcona. Take a look on a map, find Babylon... ahem, sorry... Baghdad and check out the route. The "Magi" were astronomers. These guys watched the planets and the stars. The alignment of the planets (likely) sent them looking. These guys REALLY were able to read the stars. ( as opposed to todays typical horoscope pages). We figure there were three guys because they brought three gifts. Fact is, there's no specific number of men mentioned as the "came to the house" and saw the baby (previously mentioned, now a toddler) with his mother.

We don't know if this was a rental, but clearly Joseph decided to stay in Bethlehem for a while after the census. Any way, the "wise men" leave after tricking an illegitimate "king" named Herod, who then murdered all the babies in the city under two years old, but not before Joseph awoke from a dream. He was instructed to pack his stuff, and leave to (of all places) Egypt. (Remember the story of Moses and the slavery... ?) He did. He packed all the stuff they could carry (which wasn't much) and went to Egypt, leaving his clients, his business, likely his tools...(again), behind. Good thing they had that gold they got as a gift. It was going to come in handy. Gold speaks Egyptian, even if Joseph didn't.

Anyway, it's about a baby. Christ. A character who has been divisive and "trouble" since he stayed at the temple at the age of about 12. I never said it was all about peace and love. Christianity has had it's issues... all as a result of men who didn't "get it".

It's not forced down anyone's throat, but I do wish you a Merry Christmas.

For to us a child has come, to us a son is given; and the government has been placed in his hands; and he has been named Wise Guide, Strong God, Father for ever, Prince of Peace.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ass-per syndrom

What is it about Winnipeg media types?
Let's begin with, I'm not against a new stadium, and I'm not against paying for it (primarily) as a tax payer.
Cloutier (almost) defended Assper today explaining to an e-mailer, (paraphrased), "He deserves to get his $4 million back, as I understand it from a good source, there's no profit for him, it's just reimbursing his money spent and the countless hours he's invested. He got it done! He got the new stadium started!"
What a sham. This guy's a "journalist"?  We were lied to and fed bovine scat for months, and this qualifies as "got it done"? We were told (By Asper paraphrased), "I'm doing this to give back, it's philinthropic. I know people won't understand that, but that's it."
Ya huh. Tell us Assper, how much have you "given"? Gifts "in kind"?
Lemme start a project! What do we want?  I'll dig a hole, and it's as good as done and everyone can thank me for my "philanthropy" after giving me back whatever I spent, AND cover my time. I'm a businessman too after all, why treat me differently?
Who starts a project without plans? How can you even "guess" at a project budget without a napkin drawing of what you want to build.
Gary Lawless in the FreeP had another great one, and was asked by readers in the comments area if he had been playing football without a helmet. "We need Asper back on the team"
No. Winnipeg no longer needs any Assper. Winnipeg has spent enough hard earned Winnipeg tax payer money on Assper projects. Go away. We don't need "visionaries" who are nothing more than dreamers with no money of their own to invest. Stick to what you know (whatever that is... but it ain't media, museum building, or stadium (or retail mall) development), and STOP spending MY money. WE did not elect Assper (either one), and  have no way to hold them to account, Katz clearly misled us all and kept his knowledge under warps until after his election victory, and Selinger... well I wouldn't buy anything off that guy. If you removed all the slime off him you'd be left with a wire similar to the skeleton of a "Gumby" toy.
When will someone in the mainstream media call this for what it is? A sham! we were fleeced, and now we're told it's a "done deal".
This is (possibly) the first time I hope Harvey Smith and Jenny Gerbasi et al block something.
"A great deal for Winnipeg". NOT. The Bombers are a team almost yearly hanging from a silken thread... suddenly they're re paying MILLIONS. Doubt it... so I guess we'll cover it, after Assper and Slimey are forgotten... and who'll remember that the tract of valuable land near Polo doesn't generate property or school taxes in 15 years?
This is not a good deal. We're taking "some"design, and "some tenders", and completing a shit hole someone else started digging. An RFP for a design/build should have been sent out for proposals instead of a few years of listening to Assper talk about where HE was going to build a stadium.
What happened to Ledohowski? Leo isn't looking at a huge empire of hotels in receivership, but I'm not sure he wants to get into something he knows NOTHING about, which is (I think) what the biggest problem here was. Assper thought he knew something about building stadiums because he's been in one and he's built some building, so he MUST be qualified.
No. Just because you've slept next to a 2x4, you're not a carpenter. Just because you helped your uncle build a dock at the lake doesn't mean you can renovate your kitchen, and just because you watched a crew stand your neighbour's garage in 3 days doesn't mean you can build your own new house.
Assper (pick one), should please STOP helping, and the media should offer up a scathing review of the project (s), the time lines, the budget changing (monthly), the fundraising goals (ongoing), and the self professed "philanthropy" that involves getting paid, jet setting around, and having all your expenses covered.
Methinks the "children" didn't ever have "real jobs", so now they need to "find work" by spending more money they didn't earn, and was never theirs.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winnipeg Radio... sucks

I'm picky... maybe too picky. I would have (at one time) simply thought that my somewhat eclectic musical tastes were... too eclectic for radio, at least in it's commercial sense. I would have also thought (at one time) that my strong thoughts, and need for cerebral stimulation had grown since Peter Warren, to a point where traditional talk radio left me feeling "hungry", or perhaps "starved".
Thank goodness I found out that my thinking was flawed and wrong.
While driving through (of all places) Salt Lake City, I discovered a station called "The End". These guys played music that kept me listening as long as the signal held out as I headed to the Grand Canyon (with my daughter in the co-pilot seat and a large silver camper in tow for the trip of a lifetime (at that point in our lives), and had me looking for the signal again after passing through Donner Pass and the Great Salt Flats upon my return drive.
Alas, I had "The End" on my live streaming radio stations when I was back home, but unfortunately, about 6 months ago, they went country or something. I guess that maybe the Mormon crowd wanted to line dance. Whatever. They can have Billy Ray Virus and whatever other country music they want to listen to. The point is, I listened... I had no other station I wanted to tune to. I had found my music Valhalla.
Talk radio in Winnipeg... what a state. Aside from CJOB, is there one? We had CFRW back a long long time ago. I listened to Fast and Collison. I didn't agree with a lot of their ideas, or their delivery... I found it a little over the top, but I may not have fully realized at the time that it was likely a part of "the act". (maybe) That said, those two were ripe for a Fast Collision after setting their sights on (then) Mayor Glen Murray, and focus on his sexual orientation. I told a friend, "These guys are getting yanked soon". As predicted, the entire talk format was replaced with "easy listening", meaning it was no longer worthy of using up one of the pre set buttons on my radio.
Peter Warren. I had grown up listening to him, and recognized even as a young adult, that he had the respect of his guests, and he in turn respected them. He also let his own biases show, and didn't try to completely "remove" himself from his interviews. While Warren isn't the be-all and  end-all in talk radio or call in shows, he does have a place setting the bar, and I think he set it fairly high.
CJOB never did fill his spot. Sure, they fill the time slot, but not the spot. More and more we see national shows, with Adler filling the afternoons. I can't be bothered. I can't make it through the constant advertising, including the "Pizza hotline newsroom", his incessant talking about himself in a "I've got a bigger cerebral cortex" than anyone else on the planet, and the total waste of time his weekly rants with (in a reverb filled boxing announcer voice) "David the Menzoid Menzies".  Sorry... uninterested.
Cloutier tries, but I think he's on a short leash... or he's chosen to dumb his show down to the lowest common denominator (which is indicative of the callers and their uninformed opines).  The only breath of fresh air is "The Night Hawk", but unfortunately, I can't stay up that late. I almost feel for Geoff Currier, having to fill the night air waves. I think that out of all the CJOB radio "personalities", he's absolutely my choice for the top dog. He HAS an opinion, and if YOU call and are STUPID he'll say so. Atta boy Geoff.
The "Drive home show" stinks to high heaven. Stupid questions on the part of the host are not endearing to anyone under 75 who's not suffering from dementia. The guy filling in for Karen Black must have just graduated from High School. He can't read e-mails live, and has trouble with words. Today was "infamous", which he did twice, and the second time was pronounced in-famous. Buddy... the root word is infamy, and if you're a reporter, or radio announce, I can forgive you for being unable to pronounce the latest leader of Kazakastahn's name, but "infamous"? Were you educated here in Manitoba? (Honours student, right?)
Enter the non profit radio market.
Yes, I find myself listening to the oldies station somewhere on the 107 area of the FM band. At least I don't expect polished radio announcers, but I'm not quote old enough to appreciate too much of the play list. 92.9 at the RRCC Kick-FM station used to get some air play on my receivers, but they are also no longer tuned to. The clowns who are under 20, offering up advice on how to run a rapid transit system, including the suggestion of heating the roads to provide better traction for buses in the BRT lanes, and suggestions to make a network of black diamond lanes that can later be turned into BRT lanes is too inane for me to stomach. In a mental wrestling match, the displaced host Marty Gold, could have taken all three or four of these kids on with a beer in one hand, and the other arm tied behind his back and not spilled any of the beer.
Marty's show was kicking the ass off a number of commercial stations, and likely taking advertising $$$ from them too. For this very reason, on has to wonder about the wisdom of having commercial radio station representation on the board of the RRCC's radio station.
If you can't live up to expectations, lower the bar.
I'm getting to the point where satellite radio is looking like an option. And who suffers?
I don't subscribe to either paper, since I can get the basic content on line, and test the reporting on line at the same time. I skip from station to station like someone suffering from ADHD, and finally go to one of the CD's my wife left in the vehicle, so there is NO local advertising reaching me... until I get home, where I can watch HDTV, but not from Winnipeg. Apparently, we don't rate, so we watch the other feeds where people who do rate live.
Advertising dollars are being tossed around, but I'm not sure where it's landing.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

North End on Edge

Such was the title of the FreeP article. They quoted a gentleman named Rodney Hunt and listed him as the Chief of "Saskatchewan River First Nation Inc.", who lives on Boyd Ave.
I was curious. Who is he, why does he live in Winnipeg, and why is he advocating an aboriginal Police Unit for the North End and gathering names for a petition?
Firstly, I have no qualms about ANY Winnipeg citizen asking for changes to how Winnipeg Police serve the community as a whole. (Check out three posts ago... I did) I was curious though... who polices "Saskatchewan River First Nation Inc."? The RCMP? DO they have their own Police service like the Dakota-Ojibway Police Force? Where is "Saskatchewan River First Nation Inc." anyway, and why does their Chief live in Winnipeg?
I Googled "Saskatchewan River First Nation Inc." before posting a comment in the Freep "comments" area. (RM1). My post was obviously NOT found to be acceptable to the moderators. WHy not? My comments were not against Mr Hunt, First Nations people, or anything else I'd have thought were offensive to anyone. I was simply asking questions. Could it be the Freep didn't know who they were interviewing? It seems they've gone to Mr. Hunt a few times now. Was it because the only hits on Google were... the Freep itself? It seems to me that there is no "first nation community" called "Saskatchewan River First Nation Inc." I couldn't find it. So I kept looking.
No real info from a Google search of the "band", so I tried "Rodney Hunt". Still not much... except the Freep's articles again.
Then I got a hit. It looks like Mr. Hunt is a non-status aboriginal. I found that by "stumbling" upon it. Now don't think I'm suggesting Mr Hunt is "hiding" anything, it's just that this whole thing still made little sense to me. I made "assumptions" about Mr. Hunt, being Chief of a band I had never heard of, and started asking myself questions. I found the answer on a blog.  From the site, the following information was posted there,

We are the first Non-Status Indian Band in Canada, Saskatchewan River first Nation Band Inc. We incorporated on December 1, 1998. We are located in Manitoba Canada. We are a Legal Indian Band in Canada.

There's also a Facebook page,  which read slightly differently,

We are Non-Status Indians, we are the first to incorporate in Canada. Our Band is the Saskatchewan River First Nation Band Inc. We have entered the Self-Government process as a legal Indian Band.

and a Google web site (not sure why that didn't come up in the Google searches),  where almost everything on it has appeared after October. (using the same picture, and the same text. All of the info appears to be in "free" areas, and seems to be authored by the same person... looking to get his name out.
The sites appear almost identical, all with the same message. "So what?", you might ask.

Well, why is the Freep giving someone who appears to me (after 15 minutes of digging) to NOT be a representativeof any "group" legitimacy? How many "band members" does Mr. Hunt lead? Sure the "reader" could be blamed for not doing their own digging, and assuming that the "band" he is "chief" of is a First Nation community of some record. They (or he) seems like he's not.(in the traditional sense I've come to understand the words). And maybe this is what Mr Hunt is trying to fight... the traditional sense... but that doesn't give him any legitimacy to be a "community representative" in and of itself. Is this the only guy the FreeP could find? They whould have received more empathy from me had they interviewed some Mom on Boyd with three young kids than their new "go to guy".

There is one follower on the blog, (not that that matters), no Facebook friends, few links other than to his own "free press"... and so now I'm still left guessing and filling in the blanks.

I started asking some questions based on the early assumptions. The new questions are, Can I join the band? Can I start a band? Can I play in the band? Can I conduct the band?

If "Headman/Chief" Rodney Hunt is the "president" of a "corporation" he started, then the Freep has (I think) egg on it's face (again). If I'm way off on a bunch of these things, I'm very open to being educated, but please, do it without attacking me and calling me names. My "real" First Nation friends might not like it.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Wiki leaks

Two words. I didn't mis spell it. It's leaking. Duct tape? Here's another.

The act or practice of spying or of using spies to obtain secret information, as about another government or a business competitor
I (sort of) recall some of the espionage during the cold war. Spy swaps on bridges and so on. Foreign countries held some pretty serious consequences for spies. Along with the above definition, there is also another word.
1. Violation of allegiance toward one's country or sovereign, especially the betrayal of one's country by waging war against it or by consciously and purposely acting to aid its enemies.
2. A betrayal of trust or confidence.
In Canada, punishment for treason is as follows,
"(2) Every one commits treason who, in Canada,
          (b) without lawful authority, communicates or makes available to an agent of a state other than Canada, military or scientific information or any sketch, plan, model, article, note or document of a military or scientific character that he knows or ought to know may be used by that state for a purpose prejudicial to the safety or defence of Canada;

(e) conspires with any person to do anything mentioned in paragraph (b) or forms an intention to do anything mentioned in paragraph (b) and manifests that intention by an overt act."
It is also illegal for a Canadian citizen to do any of the above outside Canada.
The penalty for high treason is life imprisonment. The penalty for treason is imprisonment up to a maximum of life, or up to 14 years for conduct under subsection (2)(b) or (e) in peacetime"

My point? Assange isn't Canadian... he's not guilty of treason, BUT clearly what he's done (and has been doing for some time) is against almost EVERY countries laws. Many of the things he's published are NOT exposing gross misconduct and crimes, they are remarks that were intended to be confidential, much like the disclaimer many of us have on our e-mails or faxes. We have a line at the bottom that might read something like,

"Confidentiality Warning: This e-mail contains information intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above. If the reader of this e-mail is not the intended recipient or the employee or agent responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, any dissemination, publication or copying of this e-mail is strictly prohibited. The sender does not accept any responsibility for any loss, disruption or damage to your data or computer system that may occur while using data contained in, or transmitted with, this e-mail. If you have received this e-mail in error, please immediately notify us by return e-mail. Thank you."

I think that if someone who wasn't the intended recipient of any correspondence, and that information is given to a third party for no reason other than to disseminate the information publicly without the senders and the recipients knowledge AND permission of at least one of them (or both depending on the circumstances), it's a crime.

If someone hacks an e-mail account, even Sarah Palin's hotmail account, it wrong, plain and simple.

There are times, when courage and civil disobedience is required. Those times are in extreme circumstances. These are not extreme circumstances. Assange found a way to make money by republishing things people feed him.He claims there is now a "smear campaign" against him by virtue of Sweden wanting him extradited for some charges related to some alleged crimes. As if. Does he figure that's the BEST they could do? C'mon buddy. You've clearly pissed off a lot of people.

Sure, I read GH's blog finding the glib suggestion that he should get "taken out by a drone" as unbelievable, and he's right. The comments were clearly not in good taste, but they weren't serious either, making Vic Towes' response absolutely correct. They were not criminal comments.

Assange however seems (in my mind) to have either committed, or assisted in espionage. The penalty for that ranges from prison, to a capitol crime.

Free speech is a right almost everywhere there is a "free country". (article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)That is protected. Assange may SAY whatever HE wants to say. He can PRINT whatever HE wants to write. What he can't do is reprint what someone else has written, especially if that's private correspondence.

Assange, and (by extension)  Wikileaks should be both shut up, and given some time to consider the stolen information he reprinted. After that, he can go the Sweden to face his charges... and hide behind their journalism laws.

This is NOT a Free Speech issue. Our society often limits free speech and other freedoms to fit with our mores and norms (and laws). We take away children from parents who teach their children to hate Jews and Blacks and ink swastikas on their arms. We send Holocaust deniers back to Germany to face criminal charges there (good-bye Ernst Zundel, we miss your stupid hard hat... how is prison in the Fatherland?), and we prosecute people guilty of espionage, either against our country, or industrial espionage. It's just plain wrong.