[Name redacted] Case: guilty

I’ve been following this important case for quite some time. From her Dad, this morning, som,e important news:

This morning I sat in a Halifax courtroom and listened as one of the young men involved with my daughter’s case change his plea to guilty. He is guilty of producing child pornography. He is the person who clicked the button on that cellphone, and as simply as that, he ended her life.

It’s a bittersweet moment. I’m sure some will hope our family can find some peace but the truth is that plea opens the door to some serious questions.

Why did the RCMP originally tell us the production of this imagine wasn’t a police matter when it was? Why did they do nothing to protect a victim of child pornography for almost two years when they knew this image was out there, who had it, and who was spreading it. Why did they arrest no one when it would have made a difference to do so? Why did the tell us it was not a police matter but rather a “community issue” when that was obviously not the case?

Why did Cole Harbour High knowingly allow child pornography to be openly distributed throughout the school and do nothing about it? This went on for months. Is that the response we want from school officials when it comes to a crime like this?

Most importantly, why would any of us think it would be different if it happened again? What measures have been taken? Are the same people in the same positions and are they going to show the same indifference to the next victim?

Attention Team Propellerhead: Warren’s free commentary on iOS8

I thought about inserting this web posting into the hard drive of your Mac, iPad or iPhone while you slept – without your permission, gratis! – but thought that would be a really ignorant and possibly illegal thing to do. But, in my ongoing quest to impress my annual 2.2 million page viewers with my technical know-how, I decided to give you my review of iOS8, which Apple is billing as The Biggest Thing They’ve Done© since the last Biggest Thing They’ve Done©. You’re welcome.


• It takes up a ton of room in your device, which necessitated a lot of folks having to purchase more iCloud space. If you keep all of your naked selfies and sex tapes in iCloud, like I do, remember how the leak of a sex tape harmed the career of Pam Anderson and Paris Hilton. Poor girls.


• There are plenty – and you guys know how much I hate singing the praises of big, grasping, Satanic conglomerates like Apple. The iOS8 thing is a good thing, even.

• When it’s hooked up to its power source, you can holler “Hey, Siri!” – who came up with that dumb name, by the way? – and it will unerringly do anything for you without you having to look at, or touch, your iPhone. Why’s that the best thing about iOS8? Because it will actually save lives, that’s why. If you use it right, for everything, no more distracted driving. It will actually save lives. Always good.

• They’ve made the voice recognition stuff way, way better. I realize this means all of my verbal quirks and peccadilloes are in Cupertino, now – along with several sex tapes – but you can thusly dictate emails, messages, etc. for hours, without the thing rendering “marinating” as “masturbating” or “auditioning the kids” as “auctioning the kids.” Helpful.

• In messages, you don’t need to type stuff any more. There’s a little button that allows you to embed taped messages instead, and you can send ’em with a single finger swipe. Per above, this eliminates the chances of you saying “I’m bringing some cold hermaphrodites over to tame” when you really mean “I’m bringing some cold Heinekens over for the game.”

• Typing stuff is way, way better. If you have maladroit, misaligned stubby sausage fingers like me – why do you think I’ve played bass in punk bands for 40 years, and not the Philharmonic? – the Apple folks have helped you out. They call it “QuickType,” but I call it “Makes Fewer Mistakes.” It apparently learns your writing habits over time, and helpfully stores that information in the Cloud, along with your sex tapes and naked selfies.

• They’ve made the photo stuff better, meaning you now officially no longer need a camera. You can adjust brightness, contrast, whatever, and you can edit the pix of you and Paris Hilton with ease. There’s also a time-lapse mode, and a timer so you can now be in that family portrait before Uncle Fred is sent off to Millhaven.

• There’s a “Family Sharing” thing, now, but don’t do it. See “naked selfies,” above.

Anyway, those are the things I liked. For fun, I dictated an entire chapter of my new book while driving to the lake yesterday. After 500 words, it did not make a single mistake. Not one. Wow.

Now, get thee to the Cloud. You have sex tapes to delete.

Meet my little friend

Spotted him up at the lake, as I was trimming back my modest patch of grass for the last time this year. Sigh.

Just me, the dog and a steak: that’s all that’s up here tonight. Oh, and the frog.

Wish y’all were here.



Old man, take a look at me now, I’m a lot like you were, etc.


“Old men”?

Look, lots of us agree on his position on reproductive freedom. We were taking that position long before Justin Trudeau was, in fact.

But calling your opponents names – to wit, “old men” – is dumb. Makes him look defensive and callow.

Oh, and it probably won’t help him much with the many, many folks who are older than him. Many of whom, last time I checked, vote often and early.

In Tuesday’s Sun: to Scotland, with affection and concern

Dear Scotland:
To establish my bona fides, let me say that the most beautiful place on Earth is Oban, on your Western coast.  I travelled there with a girl some years ago and promptly forgot about the girl, and thereupon became fully preoccupied with moving to Scotland, hanging out in a pub and writing poetry. I didn’t do any of that, but Oban still calls me.
My bona fides thus established, let me say that I hope you did not vote to separate.  Without you, Scotland, the United Kingdom will be neither: not united, and not a kingdom.  It will be something else entirely.
What, then? What will Scotland become? What will happen to its people, and the people to the South, with whom you have been brothers and sisters for 300 years?
As a Canadian who loves Scotland in his bones, I can only tell you about our own experience with nationalism.  Sadly, we Canadians have had too much of it.  We defeated it in 1980, and in 1995, but it will come back again, like a persistent stain in the living room rug.  It always does.
On that last occasion, in 1995, I was a Chief of Staff in the federal government.  I worked in Hull, Quebec, but lived in Ottawa, Ontario.  I and other political staff had been ordered to stay out of the referendum battle then underway, so – reluctantly – we did.
In the referendum’s dying days, a cabinet minister summoned all of his deputy ministers to a room. I was invited. It looked entirely possible that the separatists were going to win, and that Canada would break up, and the minister was deeply troubled.  
I did not take notes. But I recall, as if it were today, that the minister wanted to know what would happen if the Quebec nationalists won.  One of his deputies, a good man, stood up. He peered down at his notes.
He had been talking to many of his equivalents in Quebec’s government, he said.  He had some things to report.
“In the event of a yes,” he said, “they intend to deposit truckloads of gravel at roads leading into Quebec, to establish de facto border crossings.  They also plan to padlock all federal buildings in Quebec, and say that their taxes paid for those buildings.”
He continued: “There are a large number of francophones in the Armed Forces.  They believe those men and women will pledge allegiance to a separate Quebec.  Finally, they intend to immediately go to the Supreme Court of Canada, to seek a declaration that Canada no longer exists, and create constitutional paralysis.”
“Chaos,” said the Minister.  A few of the deputies were crying, by now.
“Yes, Minister, chaos,” said the deputy, looking up from his notes.  “They win, ultimately, by creating enough chaos – economic, constitutional, legal, social – that we will be persuaded to focus on our own many problems, and let them go.”
As a strategy, it wasn’t a bad one.  After a decade or two of economic calamity, it would have probably worked, too.
Here is the message one Canadian, with a deep affection for Oban, has to pass along, Scotland: when you let loose the dogs of anarchy, there is no telling who they will bite. There is no way to predict the way things will go.
Take a look around the world, if a single Canadian example doesn’t suffice.  Virtually every war or armed conflict does not have its origin in religion.  The origins of most wars can be traced to the desire of one group of people to live separately from another – or one group of people seeking to impose their will on a separate group of people.
Scotland, if it is separation you seek, you will have it.
But, by God, you shall have chaos without end, too.