Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

Remember, remember the fifth of November

The Anonymous group hacked 115 government websites across the Philippines and Singapore Tuesday. The cyber attacks took place shortly before a protest against government corruption and censorship in Quezon City. The demonstration was part of the worldwide Million Mask March that happens annually on Guy Fawkes Day, Nov. 5.

“The government, in many ways, has failed its citizens. Fairness, justice and freedom are more than just words,” Anonymous said via Facebook, urging the public to join the revolution.

Guy Fawkes, the 17th century figure behind the failed gunpowder plot of 1605, has become quickly associated with the mask seen in the comic series V for Vendetta. The details surrounding the plot have been blurred by its many retellings and Hollywood adaptations, with Guy Fawkes, a mere pawn in a larger scheme, emerging as “the last man to enter Parliament with honest intentions.” It’s a fun, cool holiday, though. Dissent!

The attacks came in opposition to Internet restrictions in Singapore and the alleged misuse of public funds in Philippines. [Source: Bloomberg]

Ford admits to smoking crack

“Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine,” Rob Ford said Tuesday. “I’ve made mistakes in the past… I can’t change the past. I can apologize.”

He told a Toronto audience he probably smoked the drug while drunk, saying it happened about a year ago.

Rob’s brother Doug, also in City Hall, is calling for the chief of police to step down while the force deals with the video and admission, claiming he’s biased against his brother

Ford on Stewart

Ford’s alleged (though becoming less alleged) connection to the crack video scandal currently taking over news feeds across Canada is something John Stewart allegedly finds funny. Neat.

Funnyman Stewart laid it all on the table, drawing laughs from Ford’s “apology” on Newstalk 1010, and getting an audience-worth of traction out of Ford smoking crack and making inappropriate comments.

Ford’s public apology and promise to curb public drunkenness is, indeed, hilarious, especially when smoking crack is on the table. Stewart found this funny, as well.

According to this news brief’s source, HuffPo, Howard Stern and Jay Leno have also grabbed the comedic low-hanging fruit that is Rob Ford’s current situation. [Source: HuffPo and CBC]

India goes to Mars

It would become the fourth country to reach the Red Planet, if the Mars Orbiter Mission proves successful. The craft took off Tuesday from India’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre, and is scheduled to travel for about 300 days before reaching its destination 780-million kilometres away. This exploratory effort, like most others, is a way for India to show the world its tech savvy and interested in scientific exploration.

The U.S., Russia, and Europe are already part of the Red Planet club India will soon join. [Source: BBC]

Oil: Alberta’s vampire

Alberta’s energy sector, “sucks the life out of every other aspect of Alberta” is something most liberals who don’t have six-figure salaries would say, but this utterance came from the province’s municipal affairs minister Doug Griffiths. And he came under fire Monday for saying it.

He made the comments during a speech at a rural initiatives conference in PEI on Oct. 3.

“It’s very difficult to hire people in hotels and restaurants,” he said. “Or in arts and culture. Because they can’t compete with the wages. Which damages the other parts of your economy. It’s better to have balance.”

Opposition to his analysis came during question period from Wildrose leader Danielle Smith, who chastised it coming at a time when Alberta is fighting for pipelines in U.S. and B.C. to expand the industry Griffiths was criticizing. [Source: Sun]

A luddite in Newark

The City of Newark’s interim mayor, standing in after Cory Booker won the special U.S. senate election, doesn’t email, Facebook, or“twit.”

“I am old-school politician. I only walk,” said Luis Quintana, 53.

This is interesting, and the Death and Taxes website from where this brief hails ponders the idiocy of this move to intentionally disconnect from constituents and wonders whether Rob Ford would like to unplug the social media machine that he’s currently drowning in: “Showing disdain for social media is pretty relatable. But not when more than a quarter of a million people depend on your public service.

“We are talking about a metropolitan area in which you’d think city officials would want the Always On immediate connection to its constituents. I’d love to hear the counter-argument for a city official wanting to divorce himself from it–and a situation like Rob Ford’s does not count.”

Luddites, once cool, perhaps no longer have a place among the influential. [Source: Death and Taxes]


Toban Dyck sometimes calls himself a writer. But usually refrains because somehow uttering it makes it disappear. 

For more follow @tobandyck

And for even more follow @spectatortrib