Do Not Call List (Canada): is the fox guarding the chickens?

Announced in 2004 and implemented in 2008, Canada has a nation-wide do-not-call list. This list supposedly is of telephones numbers that should not get telemarketing phone calls. My two land lines are on this list. I still get the phone calls. I just confirmed that both numbers are on the list, and are good for years.

The list is the legal job of the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.) It is administered by Bell Canada, which company was itself fined for violations. You can find the details here. It cost Bell Canada over a million dollars.

Registering for the list is quite easy; how and what’s involved are available here.

If you go back to the Wikipedia article, you’ll find that the list has been described as a disaster. You will also read that other implementations have done a better job; in Australia, the government washes your list (where here, if you are/pretend to be a telemarketer, you get a straight-text file of the list.)

Now for the dumb questions. How come Bell allows pre-recorded calls to be made to private homes, when this is clearly against the rules? How come some companies make the call, and when answered, say (pre-recorded) “Good Bye?” How come I’m supposed to get a number from the call, when the caller provides a clearly bogus call display (all zeros, or 1234567890? How come Bell allows this to happen on its equipment?

Is the fox guarding the chickens?

A Dumb Idea on Cyber Bullying

Cyberbullying seems to be taking off, in a bad way. I say ‘seems’ because our news is full of it. However, our news is ‘full of it’ in another sense – it is created to fill the air time as cheaply as possible. So ‘social studies’ is often what ‘news’ really is, especially on television.

Assuming that cyberbullying is a real problem, then it behooves each one of us to stop any instances of which we are aware. So I’m posting this dumb idea in the hopes that someone with a better idea will implement something.

Suppose there was a well-know, Facebook and Twitter visible, website for reporting cyberbullying. Supposing the bullied could report there and get an eMail token or something and send electronic evidence of the bullying – cut&paste or whatever.

Supposing the recipient of this evidence, who presumably supports the assumed website, were to confirm its validity in some way, and approach the ISP of the source of the bullying, asking for a warning or cease-and-desist to be sent to the perpetrator.

Supposing this works, the website could claim to have helped one more person, anonymously of course.

Supposing the ISP were to disdain taking action. (Apparently, this is a likely outcome – go to and read Gibson’s report on ISP action after he was victim of a DDS attack.)

Suppose the ISP were then, er, encouraged to pay attention. I’m thinking a five-minute distributed denial of service (DDS) attack might get their notice. No doubt there’s a nicer way to do this, and I’m open to suggestions here also.

I wonder if a group like Anonymous, or some similar organization, would consider doing something vaguely like this to be in the public interest.

(As an aside, I have read that it is possible to buy ‘bot time’ by the thousand compromised computers, by the hour, in certain criminal circles. I find this fascinating and scary. I wonder how come the ISPs of these compromised personal computers aren’t aware of this waste of their bandwidth. )

any ‘Anonymous’ comments on this would be appreciated. AND, you must provide a real eMail address – which will never be visible on this website. But I will test it – with one short eMail to confirm validity.

Counting: Israel, Palestine: some Gaza numbers, and the usual dumb question

Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism. Praise of Israel is not Semitism either, eh?

In the Toronto Star of Sunday, July 13, front page, there is an article. Since I cannot point to it online (common with ‘today’s’ content) I’ll give you a summary. I’ll point to some substantiating web pages later.

Number of rockets fired from Gaza in the latest volley: nearly 700.

Number of airstrikes in Gaza by Israel in retaliation: more than 1200.

Israel’s current position: more, and more intense strikes ‘in the next 24 hours.’

Number of Israelis killed by Gaza rockets: zero.

Number killed in Gaza, latest estimate: over 150.

Latest targets in Gaza: a centre for disabled people. The home of Gaza’s police chief.

Now for some arithmetic: 1200/700 is almost two. So every rocket fired from Gaza came from an average of two locations. 150/0 is infinity. So the Gazans are paying an incommensurable price for the rockets.

Here is a BBC News page on this, where you will find these words:

“When Israel says, ‘We dropped leaflets to evacuate the northern part of Gaza… we don’t need collateral damage’ – well, they have been bombarding all of Gaza. And where do these people have to go? There are no shelters, no bunkers, no place to go, except their homes. If they leave their homes, they will be hit on the street.”

and these words:

Early on Sunday, Israeli air strikes destroyed most of the security headquarters and police stations run by Hamas Islamist militants. The homes next to the compound suffered extensive damage, as they are located in the densely populated neighbourhood of Tel al-Hawa in south Gaza, correspondents say. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said its troops had also raided a site used to fire long-range rockets at Israel.

Predictably, the numbers quoted by Israel differ somewhat from those given above. BBC quotes this: The IDF says it has so far struck some 1,320 “terror” sites across Gaza, while Hamas has launched more than 800 rockets at Israel. I note that the Gaza targets are said to be lower, while the rocket count is said to be higher. Propaganda, anyone?

A final quote from the BBC page:

At least three Israelis have been seriously injured since the violence erupted, but no Israelis have been killed by the attacks. Palestinian sources say more than 1,000 people have been injured.

If you read the BBC article, you’ll find that France and Germany are trying to stop the wanton bloodshed in Gaza. If you have the Toronto Star in your hand, (or search for it tomorrow, eh?) you’ll see that the UN wants a ceasefire.

One last quote from the BBC: Israel says it is targeting Hamas militants and “terror sites”, including the homes of senior operatives. However, the United Nations has estimated that 77% of the people killed in Gaza have been civilians.

It’s time for the dumb questions. Ready?

Why does Hamas fire rockets at Israel with such low effectiveness? (Why did Saddam Hussein fire missiles at Kuwait with essentially no casualties, generally with dirt instead of explosive payloads?) Is it conceivable that this is manoeuvred, or provoked, by Israel to justify its ever-increasing encroachment on all Palestinians? Remember, rebar was not allowed into Gaza after the last disastrous incursion, so rebuilding gets stalled.

Why does not Israel simply laugh at the ineffective barrage? Because their air raid sirens go off and people rush to shelters? Or is this part of the continuing incitement of their own population against Palestine?

Does anyone out their doubt what Israel’s end-game will be with Palestine? Am I nuts when I say this is the eventual outcome?

  • all Palestinians live in ghetto slums with minimal food, water, sanitation, and electricity
  • settlements keep happening
  • walls keep getting built and moved, an incremental encroachment
  • checkpoints get more numerous in the ‘occupied territories’

There is one very dark side to this evolution of the so-called co-existence. Israel uses Palestinian workers to harvest crops. They are bussed in and out, not allowed to stay overnight. They will become more and more desperate as their lives are incrementally taken away from them. So, a final dumb question:

Would you like to be dependent for food on those you oppress? Would you like to be dependent on food for those with nothing to lose? Would you like to have them on the farm next door?

Enough, already. Meanwhile, keep counting. The numbers are going up, rapidly, very soon.

Not a terrorist organization: Tzipi Livni

A Palestinian was killed, apparently as revenge for the deaths of three Israeli teenagers who were abducted and killed.

At first, Tzipi Livni said it was atrocious and condemned the death of the Palestinian youth. Here is a quote from this web page:

“This is the difference between Israel and a terrorist organization,” she said, vowing “zero tolerance” for acts those who take the law into their own hands.

Those of us with longer memories may beg to differ. When the UN Observer Post in Beirut, Lebanon, came under increasing fire from Israeli sources, they sent their GPS coordinates to Israel asking them to cease and desist. They were killed by Israeli cruise missiles. In another similar situation the result was this:

Peacekeepers from Austria, China, Finland and Canada were killed in an Israeli air strike on a UN observation post in southern Lebanon.

You can check this claim here. The earlier atrocity seems to have vanished from the Internet.

Let’s go into Gaza (metaphorically only, eh? It’s not safe there). Here you will find one of many bad things that happened in Gaza. Tank shells fired into tents (this link). Tank shells fired into occupied houses (my memory). Snipers killing grandma as she leaves the house (my memory).

Back to Tzipi Livni. Here you will find an israelnationalnews article on how her condemnation of the killing of an Arab youth turned out to be crocodile tears, soon retracted. I quote this article here:

Apparently a little too “quick on the trigger,” Justice Minister Tzipi Livni retracted a Twitter post she wrote condemning the “murderers of an Arab child who seek to turn us into a society of killers,” after the abduction and murder of an Arab youth Wednesday.

Calling the killing of an Arab youth “shocking,” Livni wrote that “the murderers must be found and tried immediately. Nothing must stop us. This is the difference between the State of Israel and a terror organization.”

You may note that I have omitted a lot of potential stuff here. The ongoing encroachment of settlements ‘which Israel disputes’ are illegal. The ongoing theft of Palestinian homes and land. The ongoing enforcement of checkpoints throughout Palestine. The ongoing control of Palestinian tax money. The ongoing embargo of ‘dual use’ materials, such as rebars and cement, making repairs difficult. The limitations on fuel for generators, and on batteries. The ongoing use of Palestinians as crop labourers (which Israel probably cannot, any more than the Southern US States, versus Mexicans) afford to stop using.

A terrorist organization is one because the United States says it is. Simple as that.

Since I generally end with a dumb question or two, those of you scrolling this far shall be rewarded (more or less) with these:

By any moral definition, does Israel’s actions in Lebanon, Gaza, and the West Bank, qualify it as a terrorist organization?

Does the UN’s universal condemnation of such actions matter a soft white damn? (to quote e.e.cummings)

Given that Israeli news outlets condemn, in a few cases I can read in English, these actions, can we assume that Israel is not uniformly united in these ‘non’terrorist actions?

Comments? usual rules apply. Sense, and a real eMail address.

laranita’s free content source: used by spammers?

I was asked by a ‘comment’ on this blog (not approved, eh?) to google the first four words of the title above. When I do, I find this page, in which you will find several things of interest.

For example, the very first sentence, which reads:

WordAI rewrites articles like human does, this is revolution in content creation.

there are two, perhaps three, grammatical errors. I would rewrite this as:

WordAI rewrites articles as a human does; this is a revolution in content creation.

The site intends to allow you to copy articles, and rewrite them for you, such that Google does not recognize them but is impressed by ‘your’ content. See this quote:

That enhanced AI helps WordAi rewrite text and to instantly spin entire phrases and even articles, guaranteeing Google cannot discover your site content whereas staying totally readable!

This would be funny if it weren’t such a pain in the backside. I get far too many ‘rewritten texts’ with about this level of English smoothness, grammar, and accuracy.

So, a warning for all you spammers of blogs. We will report you to your providers. We will expose you on our blogs.

In short, go somewhere else. You are not welcome here.