Showing posts with label meta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label meta. Show all posts


google does it again: recent blogger updates are not user-friendly

Once again, Google has reduced the ease and functionality of Blogger.

A while back, the layout of the Blogger dashboard changed. I used to be able to see an overview of all my blogs plus my "following" list on one dashboard page. I found this very useful, and I imagine that other users who also moderate more than one blog would have agreed. Now I can no longer check for and moderate comments on all blogs at the same time, and I no longer have one-stop-shopping for which blogs on my list have updated.

For comments, I have to check each blog separately, necessitating many more clicks.

For blogs I read, I had to subscribe to email updates, on blogs that offer this function. Not everyone does. (I don't like using feeds; I prefer to visit blogs and websites on their native platforms.)

Next, Google discontinued the option to have comments on your own blog emailed to you. So, for example, if Allan put a bunch of comments through on wmtc, those comments would be emailed to me.

I'm talking about this, found in Settings > email, which tells you when a comment has posted --

 -- not this, found in Settings > posts, comments, and sharing, which emails you when a comment is waiting to be moderated:

Now to check for new comments, I now have to go to Comments > published. I have to remember to do this for each blog in order to see what comments may have posted. Not very convenient.

Google also discontinued the option for any user with any ID to comment. Previously, the choices were Anyone (including anonymous), Any ID (Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.), or Only Members of this Blog. This has changed to Anyone (including anonymous), User [sic] with Google ID, or Only Members of this Blog.

When "Any ID" disappeared, I didn't want to exclude readers who might not have a Google ID. As a result, I've been deleting about 20-30 spam comments every day. It's become so annoying that I've changed commenting to anyone with a Google ID. I wanted to be more inclusive, but Blogger and spammers have conspired against that.

It's been months, and I'm frustrated. 


still catching up

venn diagram courtesy of Lucidchart

I just wanted to create a Venn diagram.


how to get your website removed from the wayback machine

During my recent attack by wingnut trolls, I learned something new: how to request that the Internet Archive remove your site from the Wayback Machine.

* * * *

Before I was nominated as an NDP candidate in the recent provincial election, of course my online presence had to be vetted. All potential candidates were asked to deactivate their personal profiles from social media, and in addition I was asked to delete a few random tweets from several years ago. None of this was a big deal to me. The only big deal was wmtc.

Early on, I was asked if I'd consider taking down the site. My first reaction was completely negative. Wmtc is so much a part of my life. Take it down? No way!

It was only weeks before the election would be called -- and I've been blogging for 14 years. That's a lot of words! There was really no way to vet everything. While the NDP was considering the situation from their end, I was also thinking more about being a candidate, and increasingly feeling like it was something I wanted to do. The next time we spoke, I said I was amenable to taking the blog offline for the duration of the campaign. They were happy; I was happy; things proceeded.

This is where someone made a mistake. The NDP research team should have given me instructions for getting wmtc excluded from the Wayback Machine -- but they did not.

The troll that emailed wmtc links to the Toronto Sun columnist might have done it anyway -- that person may have been saving those links for a long time, or may have found them on a message board -- but the columnist would have had no way to verify it.

But that isn't what happened. Only after the columnist got in touch with me, a research person gave me these instructions:

1. Use the email account associated with your blog.

2. Email, identify yourself as the site owner, and request removal of the site from the archives.

Then, supposedly, you will quickly receive an acknowledgement of your email, and in 2-3 days, your site will be excluded from the Wayback Machine.

I sent the email.

I received no reply.

A week went by -- a very stressful and difficult week -- and still I heard nothing. Meanwhile, the trolls and the columnist had dredged up more material to take out of context, selectively quote, and use against the NDP.

The Party's research department got in touch again -- the sight of her number on Caller ID made my stomach turn over -- and we agreed that I'd email them again.

Eight days after my first email, I received this form letter.

The Internet Archive can exclude web pages from the Wayback Machine (, but we first respectfully request that you help us verify that you are the site owner or content author by doing any one of the following:

- post your request on the current version of the site (and send us a link).

- send your request from the main email contact listed on the site.

- send a request from the registrant's email (if publicly viewable on WhoIs Lookup) or webmaster’s email listed on the site.

- point us to where your personal information (name, personal contact info, image of self) appears on the site in a way that identifies you as the site owner or author of the content you wish to have excluded - in this instance, we ask to verify your identity via a scan of a valid photo id (sensitive info such as birth date, address, or phone can be blacked out).

- forward to us communication from a hosting company or registrar addressed to you as owner of the domain.

If none of these options are available to you, please let us know in a reply to this email.

We would be grateful if you would help us preserve as much of the archive as possible. Therefore, please let us know if there are only specific URLs or directories about which you are concerned so that we may leave the rest of the archives available.

As you may know, Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library, seeking to maintain via the Wayback Machine a freely accessible historical record of the Internet. The material in the archives are not exploited by Internet Archive for commercial profit.
This was very discouraging. I had waited more than a week, and still I was only at the form-letter stage! I already was emailing from the account associated with the site! Most of the other methods of verification were not available to me. I was a bit panicked and not thinking entirely clearly.

But finally, I logged into the DNS company that hosts my URL, and took a screenshot of the account profile page. I also scanned my driver's license, and sent both DNS screenshot and license pic to the archives' email address.

Three days later, I received the same form-letter reply to my second request.

Two days after that, I received this notice.

The sites/URLs referenced in your email below have now been submitted for exclusion from the Wayback Machine at

Please allow up to a day for the automated portions of the process to run their course and for the changes to take effect. If you have any other questions or concerns, please let us know.
By this time, of course, it was way too late.


what i liked, what i hated, and what i don't understand: a list about my election campaign

I agreed to stand for election because it was an opportunity -- an opportunity to bring a progressive perspective to a riding where those ideas are usually overlooked, and a personal opportunity to expand my own skills and experience. Overall, it was a positive experience -- because it was so short-term. If it had been gone on for six months or a year, I would have been miserable! Here's what I liked, what I hated, and what I just don't get.


1. I met a lot of people! Community activists, progressive-minded neighbours, minority voices in our suburban city. Strangers reached out to support our campaign, to encourage me personally, and with ideas of how they could help. I loved making these connections. It was personally gratifying, and it also expanded my own network in the community.

2. It was a completely immersive experience. I was fortunate to be able to take a leave-of-absence from both library and union work, so I could campaign full-time. I felt exactly like I did during our library workers' strike in 2016 -- completely obsessed. I woke up every morning before dawn, super-charged with energy, and worked like mad the entire day. If I created a brain-map for these times, 95% of it would be the strike or campaign, with a tad leftover to take care of myself physically and remember my partner and dog. I would not have the stamina to do that for months on end, but for a few weeks, it was exciting.

3. I believed we could improve people's lives. There's a unique buzz you get from advocating on someone else's behalf, and fighting for what you believe in. I fight for better working conditions and the rights of our union's members all the time, and I love it. I got a glimpse of doing that on a larger stage, having more opportunity to improve people's lives. That was exciting.

4. I loved the challenge. I used skills I've been honing in both work and union -- leadership, strategizing, planning, listening, researching, reacting.

5. I believed so deeply in the platform. I never would have or could have done it otherwise.


1. Being photographed so much. This was the worst part of the strike and it was the worst part of campaigning. It started off with a horrible experience getting my headshots done -- every single thing about the experience set up for failure -- and continued that way through the whole campaign, as I was forced to see images of myself all the time. I hated this.

2. Being cut off from much of my support network. Candidates are strongly advised to take their personal social media accounts offline during the campaign. I tried just being quiet and more circumspect than usual, but quickly found I was causing other people more work and concern, so I complied with the recommendation. I have many friends and fellow activists that I mostly see only on Facebook. Being cut off from my network was stressful.

3. Taking this blog offline. I hated this.

4. Having to moderate my responses to be appropriate for a candidate. The hotheaded temper of my younger days has long since mellowed and is well under control. But I still prefer a blunt response to a measured one. I zipped my lip... but I didn't like it!

5. Having so little time and so few resources. The NDP reached out to potential candidates in Mississauga very late, and for the most part, we candidates were on our own. The party used a central online platform -- a great tool -- but the structure and guidance it offered applied mostly to large campaigns with solid funds and an army of volunteers. I was able to access some guidance through CUPE, and about 80% of our donations and volunteers came through my own networks. I assume the Party's candidate search probably identifies people who have networks they can leverage, but it was inadequate.

What's up with that?

1. What is the effectiveness of lawn signs? They provide name recognition, but do they translate into votes?

I got calls and emails from many people complaining that they did not see my signs around Mississauga. They were often angry or at least very annoyed, implying our campaign was failing. They clearly equated signs with votes, and they thought we had failed to understand the importance of these signs.

Lawn signs are very expensive, and Mississauga Centre is large and sprawling. The Liberal candidate had enormous signs and they were everywhere. When we investigated the price of those signs, and the number you would need to achieve a noticeable presence, we were amazed at how much she must have spent. Allan's rough estimate was that the Liberals may have spent 8-10 times our entire budget on signs and door leaflets alone. (Our budget was $5,000, and we spent around $7,500.)

Instead, we chose to put our resources into printing. We focused on the many huge apartment and condo towers in the riding. A tiny band of dedicated volunteers put a leaflet in front of every door of more than 90 buildings. This reached a lot of people -- but it isn't public, the way signs are.

Our strategy also included a limited round of phone calls to likely sign takers, leafletting community events, meet-and-greets outside mosques, and every possible public appearance. When we received a sign request, I would contact the requester and invite them to canvass their neighbourhood with me.

Despite our lack of signage, we came in second with about 27% of the vote.

2. Why would people call a candidate for general election information?

I fielded many calls from people who received a leaflet and wanted to know where to vote, how to register to vote, why they hadn't received a voting card, what riding they are in, and so on. I returned every single phone call, and supplied whatever information was needed. Part of that is the librarian in me, and part of it is wanting the caller to come away with a favourable impression of their NDP candidate.

But why would anyone do this? Is the answer "because they don't know how to find information, and one phone number is as good as the next"?

3. Why can't people find the name of a candidate in any party?

We received many emails and phone calls from aggrieved residents saying they didn't know who the candidate was -- often because they didn't see any signs. Many of these emails were forwarded to me from the central party! If they could figure out how to email the NDP, why couldn't they figure out how to look up the name of a candidate?

4. Why do people expect a personal contact initiated by a candidate?

We did very little "door-knocking" (in-person canvassing) or phone calling, because we deemed it a very poor use of our limited resources. This contradicted advice from the central party, so I frequently questioned our decision. Then Allan and I would estimate how many people we could reasonably expect to reach in person, given the size of the riding and our small number of volunteers -- and we affirmed our decision every time.

When I did canvass, I was wholly unprepared for this reaction: "We haven't received a single phone call, not one knock on our door, not one word from any candidate!" This is said with resentment and hurt feelings. More than one person told me she would vote for me because I was the only candidate she met! In a riding of 85,000 potential voters, in a city with a population of 750,000, why would residents expect personal contact initiated by a candidate? Is this extreme passivity?

5. In a parliamentary system, where members of the legislative body vote in a block according to party, why is personal contact so important?

People want their candidate to be smart, honest, dedicated, and so on. I get that. But in a parliamentary system, the personal attributes of your representative are really not very important. What matters is where the party stands on various issues, and how many seats they win. You're voting for the party leader and the party platform. Yet many people vote for an incumbent because they're thought to be a nice guy or they host community barbecues.


best of wmtc, 2016 edition

Even though I don't blog very much anymore, my editor still manages to find some highlights.

Best of wmtc, 2016 edition.


there is a major design flaw in the new blogger interface

Blogger has rolled out a redesigned dashboard. For those of us who write or manage blogs with comment moderation, it is decidedly not an upgrade. And for those of us who manage multiple blogs with comment moderation, it downright sucks.

Unfortunately I can't illustrate this post; I didn't know my dashboard was going to change, so I didn't screenshot the old one.

Previously, when I went to Blogger, which I have set as one of my home pages, I would see -- on the same screen -- all the blogs I manage. In one glance, with zero clicks, I could see if any comments were "awaiting moderation," as Blogger calls it, on all blogs.

Now when I go to Blogger, I see only one blog at a time. First I have to choose a blog. Then I have to click comments, awaiting moderation to see if there are any comments. Then choose another blog, click comments, awaiting moderation, and so on.

I did notice that when I return to the page, it has remained on the comments field, kind of like a default view, so that's not as bad as it could be.

However, many people manage multiple blogs. A dashboard that allows us to monitor activity on all blogs at the same time is very helpful. If Google will not scrap this new interface, I wish it would allow us to go back to the previous version.


best of wmtc, 2015 edition

I barely wrote at all last year, but my editor and partner managed to find a few (possibly) worthy of a best-of post. Thus, this page has been udpated.

I miss blogging.

I love my job and I love leading our union. I love having a steady paycheque, too! But I miss my old life. #CantHaveEverything #StopWhining #YesIKnowItsAFirstWorldProblem


u.s. election circus puts wmtc in the news again

About a month ago, I received an email from a film producer: Netflix is making a documentary about Americans who moved to Canada for political reasons, and asked if Allan and I would be interviewed. We spent a long time chatting with her, before being told that the film is being shot in Vancouver and we're not in it. Oh well.

A few days later, a writer called about a story for The Guardian, asking much the same questions. That interview resulted in this article: 'An alternative exists': the US citizens who vowed to flee to Canada – and did. This writer didn't use much of my interview, but I did get the last word!

Then someone at The Toronto Star noticed the Guardian story and did a long interview with me. That story came out yesterday: Disenchanted U.S. voters look with longing eyes to Canada, but few follow through.

The editors scrapped most of what I said about the differences between Canada and the U.S. I even gave them the bullet-point version: universal health care, didn't invade Iraq, no death penalty, no abortion law, one of the first countries to legalize same-sex marriage, a party to the left of liberal. A functioning democracy. A more secular society. On the other hand, no one mentioned Stephen Harper, so that was nice.

Funny thing about that Guardian story. The man in the photo is someone I used to work and hang with in the War Resisters Support Campaign. And we met through - wait for it - a radio interview about Americans who had moved to Canada for political reasons.

The Star article includes a link to this blog, so I figured I should write something.


best of wmtc, 2014 edition

Every year since embarking on graduate school, then beginning to work full-time, I've thought: I have no time to write, I don't write any more. And every year, Allan chooses a sizable number of wmtc posts as best-of for that year. I'm always surprised at how much I've written.

I believe 2015 will finally change that. Adding my new union responsibilities to the mix seems to have displaced this blog. This time next year, we'll see if that proves to be true.

For now, this page has been updated. Thank you, as always, for continuing to read wmtc.


happy blogiversary to wmtc

This month - July 11, 2014 - I have been blogging for 10 years. Ten years!

I clearly remember telling Allan I was considering beginning a blog about emigrating to Canada. He thought it was a great idea.

July 11, 2004. I was working weekends at my (incredibly easy, wildly overpaid) job at Most Evil Corporate Law Firm. Our applications had been submitted, and we were waiting.

August 30, 2015 will be the 10-year anniversary of our move to Canada, but I felt the 10-year anniversary of wmtc was worth a mention. Thanks for being part of what I love* about blogging.

* Or hate, in some cases


best of wmtc, 2013 edition

The wmtc greatest hits page has been updated with the best posts of 2012, as chosen by my partner and editor.

About this year's picks, Allan says: "I tried to be a bit more ruthless this year. Also you should highlight our Spain trip and also the tag "what i'm reading" since so many of those are great." All right, sir!

Thanks for reading and sharing my posts, and thank you always for your support.


wmtc posts now being tweeted

At the suggestion of a longtime reader - someone I had never heard from before, although he's been reading wmtc for many years - I will now be tweeting wmtc posts. For some people, this might be an easy way to follow or subscribe to this blog.

I've been on Twitter for a little while, under a pseudonym, mostly to follow certain feeds, and to ask the occasional question. Now I've changed my account name to @wmtcblog. I like how Twitter let me change the name but keep the account; following and followers all stay the same.

I suspect following me on Twitter will be redundant with following wmtc, but if you care to, here you go.


wmtc trolls are alive and as insane as ever

I haven't been writing much lately, so it's good to know loyal wmtc readers are still reading every post. Well, one is, anyway.

Yes folks, a full seven years after first appearing in comments on this blog in the guise of a female fan, the freak we call Mags is still spewing his bile on a regular basis. We delete most of the comments without reading, but once in a while, it's good to share.

For the record, I regard every one of those (nearly) 3,000 victims of September 11, 2001, and their loved ones, among the extremely long list of victims of US imperialism. I have mourned them all. Not a one deserved their fate.

I merely recognize that their numbers are dwarfed by the millions of unacknowledged victims of US imperialism and other wars the world over. And I've had my fill (and then some) of the US exceptionalism and UScentrism that fetishizes the event.

I know you all know that. But some things just need to be said, even if it brings attention to the class clown that we normally ignore.

September 12, 2001: a view from new york.

September 11, 2010: it is so time to be over 9.11

September 11, 2011: 9.11.11: an anti-remembrance

It appears that in 2012 I ignored the day completely!

And on the endlessly fascinating, maddeningly inscrutable topic of trolls, I am still wondering, why, why, why???

Scrolling through the "wingnuts" wmtc category, I notice that I also mentioned Mags when we returned from Spain in late May. I must be running out of material!*

* Not really.


special update for long-time wmtc readers

In 2009, I wrote this brief history of trolls at wmtc. At that time, the sad man who calls himself magnolia_2000 had been reading and leaving comments on wmtc for about three years.

Now it's mid-2013, and Mags is still reading. It's been six years. Six years!! None of his comments is ever put through moderation. Ninety-five percent of his comments are deleted unread. But still, he continues to post.

GaryStJ went away. The guy from the Naruto fan forums went away. But not Mags. Allan says Mags is my most loyal reader, and at this point, I can't disagree.


best of wmtc, 2012 edition

The wmtc greatest hits page has been updated with the best posts of 2012, as chosen by my editor and second-biggest* fan. Thanks for reading, and thank you always for your support.

* My mother, who else?!


further thoughts on why i blog: a clarification

My recent post about no longer voting in US elections caused some dismay and upset among some of USian readers. At least one friend interpreted that post as encouraging others not to vote. I was surprised by this - but my friend was surprised that it meant otherwise! It seemed like a clarification was in order.

First of all, I would never try to convince anyone not to vote. For most of my life, the idea of not voting was anathema to me. I would have never considered it. And, in the first few presidential elections in which I was eligible to vote, I voted Democrat, and I didn't agree with people I knew who voted third-party. So I understand all the arguments about voting and about voting Democrat. I know where my USian friends are on these issues, because I've been there.

What's more, the inaction of not voting is not enough. Boycotting the duopoly without working on building a new system, or educating people about alternatives, would be fairly useless. And I am certainly not telling people what to do with their time or how to be politically engaged.

My statement about why I no longer vote in the US is a description, not a prescription. I'm explaining how I feel.

Anywhere from 200 to 700 people a day read this blog. Do most of those readers share my assumptions and my worldview? Or do most of them find my blog a restatement of what they already know? Do some people read wmtc to challenge their own views? I don't know the answer to any of these questions, and I never guess at the answers as I write.

I write about what's on my mind, because the writing process is how I discover clarity. If people like the blog, maybe they'll keep reading. If they don't, they'll (usually) go away. (In some cases, I can only wish they would.) I can't control those things and don't concern myself with them.

In 2008, I wrote this. (Scroll down, there's more.)
Why I Blog

  • I find it an extremely valuable writing discipline. Blogging helps me write every day. Writing every day primes the pump for my life as a writer.

  • It is very useful to write for an audience. Instead of writing in a notebook and ending up with a bunch of half-formed ideas, knowing that someone is reading helps me write more clearly, which means it helps me think more clearly.

  • On the other hand, it is very difficult and time-consuming to get columns or essays published. My work was published before I started blogging, and continues to be. But writing without the need to attract an editor frees me from having to construct a complete, publishable essay tailored to a specific audience.

    Thus, somewhere between the personal notebook of vague ideas and the slaved-over, multi-drafted essay for possible publication, lives my blog post.

  • For self-expression. I have a need to write. I have had this need all my life.

  • To share information I find interesting, noteworthy or valuable.

  • For community. We've met most of our friends in Canada through this blog. Other people have met each other (independent of me) through wmtc.

  • To help people interested in emigrating to Canada. People email me for information all the time. I can't always answer their questions, but I can try to point them in the right direction, and I can at least offer support. Many Canadians were incredibly helpful and supportive to me and Allan in our journey. I try to do the same for others.

  • To learn. I ask questions, I put forth ideas, people of similar viewpoints offer more information and direct me to other sources.

  • To have a record of my experience, first as an emigrant, then as an immigrant, and one day as a Canadian citizen.

    Not Why I Blog

  • To gather a spectrum of viewpoints on a particular topic. Because I don't tolerate all viewpoints and opinions on wmtc, I am frequently criticized for being close-minded. The truth is I see a lot of different viewpoints. I just don't want them on my own blog. It would ruin the experience for me. A new friend of wmtc recently described my blog as a "safe space"; for me that affirmed I was doing the right thing.

  • To debate. I dislike debate for its own sake. I find it tiresome and tiring, a misuse of my limited time and energy. My preferred method of learning is to read and consider. I will read and consider anyone's opinion, but I won't be baited into an argument. When I forget that, I am always sorry.

  • There are hundreds of thousands of blogs and message boards on which people can debate any topic under the sun. Readers seeking that type of experience would do well to avoid wmtc.

  • To bait others into an argument. See above.

  • So that other people can use my blog as a soapbox. And lest any friend of wmtc be paranoid, I welcome long comments from wmtc readers and discussions among readers. I'm referring to people who don't read my blog but think it might be a good place to direct other people to their own blogs, or to spout their opinions on any unrelated topic.

  • For money. I love being paid for my writing, and if blogging helps me land a paying assignment, that's beautiful. But the blog itself has to stay noncommercial in order for it to remain completely independent, and to retain its value to me.

  • Because I have nothing better to do.

  • Now, four years later, I would slightly amend that statement.

  • I'm no longer writing professionally, so I need this blog more than ever. It's my only writing outlet and I can't imagine being without it.

  • I no longer blog about emigrating to Canada. That is over and done with, and my experience isn't very relevant to someone considering or trying to emigrate now. I do still get emails from grateful readers, thanking me for helping them sort through the confusion of immigration information, and showing them it can be done. I treasure those emails. But emigration is no longer a principal motivating factor in my blogging.

    But everything else holds true. You'll note that "to persuade" is not on the "why" list. Here's what I told my skeptical friend.
    I write about what matters to me most, what I'm passionate about, and social justice is a huge part of that. But my writing about social justice doesn't serve a different purpose than my writing about books or travel or my experiences at school. It's just me, what I need to express.

    I do hope my writing is informative and educational (in a broad sense), and if it influences how a reader thinks, that's fine, but my goal is not to influence. I'm never trying to change minds or votes, and my intention is not to challenge people to question their assumptions - not at all.

    . . . . My only writing challenge is my own, to express my thoughts in ways that are both clear and lively - the writer's constant losing battle.
  • 6.27.2012

    คาสิโนออนไลน์ แจกเครดิตฟรี 2019 is back!

    I am SO happy! My own domain name, คาสิโนออนไลน์ แจกเครดิตฟรี 2019, is once again working with the Blogger platform. URLs for this blog will now show the คาสิโนออนไลน์ แจกเครดิตฟรี 2019 address, as they did many years ago, and I (again) have blogspot out of the blog's URL.

    I registered คาสิโนออนไลน์ แจกเครดิตฟรี 2019 in 2006, before Blogger really supported custom domain names, and used a cumbersome FTP transfer to get Blogger and คาสิโนออนไลน์ แจกเครดิตฟรี 2019 to communicate. It worked, but not well. Page-specific URLs (permalinks) wouldn't publish with the คาสิโนออนไลน์ แจกเครดิตฟรี 2019 domain; every page showed as คาสิโนออนไลน์ แจกเครดิตฟรี 2019 You could get the permalink by right-clicking, but of course no one ever did that. So when readers shared my posts, they would only link to the home page.

    Then, after a time, Blogger stopped supporting the FTP transfer altogether.

    For a while I tried switching to WordPress, but that didn't work for me for a variety of reasons (all documented under the "meta" tag).

    Eventually I stopped banging my head against the wall and set คาสิโนออนไลน์ แจกเครดิตฟรี 2019 to forward to That wasn't what I wanted, but at least I could still use a simple, short, custom URL when posting on blogs, in my sig line, on Facebook, and so on.

    With its more recent upgrade, Blogger now supports custom domains. But because I had the forwarding set up, and because I use a company not specifically listed in Blogger's instructions, I wasn't sure how it would work. I was waiting until Allan and I could both sit down and puzzle over Blogger's and easyDNS's poorly-worded, spotty instructions. And of course when something isn't urgent, it continually gets put off.

    So finally, after months of delay, we worked on it this morning. It involved a bit of guesswork and breath-holding, but now... ta-da! It's done!

    คาสิโนออนไลน์ แจกเครดิตฟรี 2019 lives!

    PS: I don't expect anyone to care about this. I'm just so excited I had to share.

    PPS: Regular readers don't have to update anything. will automatically point to คาสิโนออนไลน์ แจกเครดิตฟรี 2019


    why is someone from the house of commons and office of privy council reading my blog for hours?

    Progressive bloggers, check your stats.

    The Statcounter for wmtc shows "multiple visits spread out over several days" from an IP address in the House of Commons, and a separate visit from the Office of the Privy Council.

    This visitor or visitors spent time at several of my "greatest hits" posts, information about my new career, my bio at The Mark, various essays, and a good deal of time searching for "ndp cooksville east mississauga kaminker" and "kaminker member ndp", and the like.

    The entry post was this: july 1 2012: national stop harper day. I noticed this post was tweeted a lot yesterday by many anti-Harper Twitter accounts. No doubt government operatives are monitoring those tweets.

    Sorry for the small font. There were so many, I could barely fit it in one snip.

    Is the Harper GovernmentTM trying to show a connection between National Stop Harper Day and the NDP? (I have no idea if there is a connection.) Do they think "Stop Harper" is meant to be taken literally? Should I expect a visit?

    Anyone else seeing this in their stats?


    a trip down memory lane with wmtc

    Combing through some old files, I found this lovely bit: a comment from "GarySTJ", a former troll who was obsessed with me for a time. I used to delete his comments, then paste them into posts so wmtc readers could have fun kicking him around.

    After being banned from wmtc, he started appearing at other blogs where I commented, hijacking the thread with insults directed at me. One blogger noted (a paraphrase), "I don't know L-girl or GarySTJ, but L-girl has an internet presence, has written a blog for several years, and is commenting on this post. GarySTJ has an anonymous profile, has never commented here before, and is posting personal attacks on another commenter. End of discussion."

    After that, GarySTJ must have gone into rehab, and we never heard from him again. This old email really brought me back.
    From: GarySTJ []
    Sent: Wednesday, July 19, 2006 12:45 PM
    Subject: [we move to canada] 7/19/2006 12:45:10 PM

    Returning to the Blog this afternoon, I thought I might see some reasonable responses. Instead I've yet again been drenched in a tidal-wave of masturbatory, nationalistic, verbal diarrhea - and in only its most stench-filled, nauseating form.


    I have stated my purpose here quite plainly, and on a number of occasions. I have given you every opportunity imaginable to do the simple research I've requested and
    prove to me (and the readers) that, yes, you did make an informed decision emigrating to this country and that, no, you didn't come for aesthetic, self-aggrandizing, self-congratulatory purposes. I have pleaded with you to demonstrate with even the smallest shred of evidence that you have even the most basic understanding of the political, military, social, cultural history of this country. On each and every one of these accounts you have failed to deliver, cementing my suspicion that you are an ignorant, all-talk, narcissistic blowhard. You have moved from the cutting edge of leftist activism to the centrepiece of a nationalistic circle-jerk. Congratulations, as this is no small accomplishment.

    Laura, you are a typical liberal. You are a liberal in the purely American sense of the word. You are an embaressment to a long tradition of left of centre, progressive socio-political thought. You are ignorant to history, you are ignorant to the movements of people, you are ignorant to anything outlying the myopic trope of the impotent American liberal movement. You are, simply put, the personified reason why the American left is a walking train wreck.

    You fancy yourself to be a modern day Harriet Tubman, ushering in fellow politically disenfranchised Americans (and other white, middle classers) to the "great white north". Realistically you are the contemporary equivalent of a UEL. In other words, you are the unwitting descendent in long line of historical, Tory losers.

    Every single advancement of the average Canadian has been won by fighting tooth and nail against complacent shitbags such as yourself. And the shit runs deep in this country. This community serves as an example of that as its complacent, complicit nationalism is equate-able to a less literate, less articulate, less self-reflective version of the O'Reilly Factor. Laura, the people you've stumbled upon here are not leftists, they are not progressives, they are not academically or personally motivated towards the critical analysis of this country. This community is, Laura, typical of mainstream nationalists found all over Canada. You are as likely to find honest, critical perspectives about Canada here as you are about George W. Bush at a Republican convention. You have tapped into a demographic whose heavily biased outlook will not serve you in any truthful understanding of this country. This is evidenced in the mountains of one-liner, cliched platitudes that have apparently, and in your mind only, passed as "answers" to my very pointed question.

    Now, you claim to have done your homework before moving to this country. You claim to have come to the intellectual conclusion that Canada is a fundamentally more innocent country in which to live. You've come to the conclusion that so different are the United States and Canada in this respect that a massive, expensive and time consuming international relocation was warranted. In the face of evidence, in the face of fact, in the face of a hundred years worth of objective studies you've stuck by this conclusion. This does, however, rely on the fact that you've actually done more than a surface level, superficial analysis of this country - and to be honest, I think thats an overly-generous assumption.

    I've said it before and I'll say it now, I'm not going to do your research for you. I will, however, concede to give you a brief list of topics to look up on your own. This is no small task and will take a great deal of effort - an effort which you've presumably (though implausibly) already exerted. You're going to need to use strong primary sources. You're going to need to research current events such as Canada's direct role in the war in Iraq, including the JTF2, the manning of AWACS, the escorting of the US Gulf Fleet, involvement with CENTCOM, the supplying of uranium to the US, the refueling of aircraft in Canadian air-space, the commitment of over $20 million to the training of Iraqi police and $400 million to running the occupation regime, and the effort to replace US troops abroad so as to make more available for service in Iraq. You'll need to research recent events in Haiti, such as the Canadian aided 2004 coup, the training of HNP forces, the July 6th massacre, the Duvalier Policy, assisting in regime change and propping up the new, un-elected puppet government. In Afghanistan we have the PTA, the breakdown of the third GC, the willing transfer of Canadian held POWs to Guantanamo Bay, non-compliance with AIHR, Kandahar "POW" camps, the 1 in 2 chance of an Afghan being shot with Canadian munitions and the slaughtering of over 75,000 civilians. In Israel we have Government complicity in IDF actions, the IAI (including Whitney Canada, Pratt, NMF, etc.), the CHIC, the Trans-Israel Highway, Raytheon Canada, the en-masse deportation of Palestinian refugees in Canada and the 45% share Canadian companies have in the manufacturing of IDF military equipment. Domestically we have Maher-Arar, the security certificate five, the deportation of war resisters and the smashing of the democratic Quebec sovereignty movement. And we can go further down the line to the Pinochet Junta, commitment in 1991 Iraq, Iraqi sanctions, the 1999 bombing of Kosovo....

    In a couple of minutes I've just scratched the surface of questionable Canadian foreign and domestic involvements during the last few years ONLY. And to scratch the surface is an understatement, as there are mountains and mountains of information available for those who care to look. To go back even further is to bring on another deluge of highly researched, and publicly available, allegations. Now, can you honestly tell me that you had even the foggiest notion of even one thing which I've mentioned above? Can you truthfully say that in the face of these things (which you've apparently already researched) you can still tell me and the rest of your readers that the conclusion you came to was based on objective, researched fact. Can you tell me with even one shred of self-respect that your choice to relocate was based on a strongly educated conviction that this country was guilty of so few transgressions on humanity so as to make them able to be excused and overlooked. This suggests either gross apathy or wide scale ignorance, the latter being most likely, as any bit of research sees your flimsy, liberal-American stereotypes of this country fall flat.

    Laura, I think we the readers deserve something. I think we deserve to hear that your move to Canada was prompted not by research, not by a complex understanding but rather a selfish desire for attention - as evidenced by this blog, as evidenced by your G&M article and most fittingly by your reactions to me. To do otherwise, Laura, is most plainly and most simply an intellectual dishonesty.


    Posted by GarySTJ to we move to canada at 7/19/2006 12:45:10 PM
    After finding this file, I treated myself to the history of GarySTJ at wmtc. The posts are minor - it's the comments that illuminate: one, two, three, four, five. And to complete the picture, here's where I turned on comment moderation, and here's the essay I got out of the experience.


    how to have a one-sided conversation, or how not to ask for a favour

    A reader - or at least someone who stumbled on my blog at some point - emailed me with a request. When I replied, I received this auto-reply:
    Your message to xxxxx was not delivered because this mailbox does not accept mail from the Gmail system. Gmail not only invades the privacy of its users, but of their correspondents. Please re-send using another service, or call or write.
    This is an interesting approach to Google privacy issues. It assumes that other email systems don't glean information from users the way Google does. I'm not sure we know that to be true.

    Unlike those old anti-spam systems that asked the sender to type a confirmation, this is just a block. Unless it's a simple auto-reply, written to appear to be a block, as a kind of protest against Google, while the email is actually received, and possibly kill-filed into trash.

    Either way, this person isn't too concerned with receiving email. All my email accounts are through Gmail. I have email at both my workplaces, but I don't use them for personal matters. And I'm certainly not opening an email account from some other company to correspond with this person I don't even know.

    The reader gave no phone number. Not that I would call, but her auto-reply suggests that option.

    And she's asking me for a favour.