Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Found it!

Frank Godon has left a new comment on your post, "Got a parking ticket did we? Smoked a littl pot have we? Cheated on our income taxes did we?"

Nope Clare - no citations in my past - parking, speeding, etc. The only citation I have ever been given was a speeding ticket my "wife" got on the naval base we lived on in the U.S. - military personnel are responsible for wrong doings of their families. As for "pot" haven't even inhaled it "second hand." Taxes, as far as I know everything has been done by the books. As for God and Queen - have never served either only Uncle Sam.
Dear Frank Godon:

Thank you for writing. My God what a boring existence how do you stand yourself being so pure? Into everyone's life a little petty larceny must fall. Found it! You voted for David Chartrand in the last Manitoba Metis Federation election - the biggest sin of all!

Clare L. Pieuk

Great Canadian Heros - Marc Emery "on a good day!"

Marc Scott Emery (born February 13, 1958) is a Canadian cannabis and libertarian activist, as well as a former cannabis seed seller. United States government officials have described Emery as a drug dealer for his efforts to cultivate and sell marijuana products nationally and abroad. He is the publisher of Cannabis Culture magazine. He ran for mayor of the city of Vancouver in 1996 and 2002. He is sometimes called the Prince of Pot.

He is formerly a retailer of cannabis seeds for cultivation, having started Marc Emery Direct Marijuana Seeds in 1995, which he ran until it was closed by a raid by Vancouver police acting on the request of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on July 29, 2005. He currently faces extradition to the United States.

As of January 14, 2008, Marc Emery has agreed to a tentative plea-bargain with U.S. authorities. The terms of the agreement are a 5-year prison term to be served in both Canadian and U.S. prisons. In return, he is demanding the charges against his friends Michelle Rainey and Greg Williams be dropped. On March 27, 2008 the plea-bargain deal collapsed because of the refusal of the Canadian government to approve its side of the arrangement.

Early Career

Emery was born and raised in London, Ontario. Marc bought and sold comics in a mail-order business from his parent's home from the time he was 14. He dropped out of high school in 1975 at age 17 to purchase a downtown used book store to rename and open City Lights on Richmond Street. Shortly thereafter, he began a three-year fight against the London Downtown Business Association for extracting mandatory fees from all core-area shops for beautification and other programs.

He first became politically active with the Libertarian Party of Canada, and ran for the Parliament under that party's banner in the 1980 federal election. He received 197 votes in London East, finishing fourth. The winner was Liberal Charles Turner.

Emery later left the Libertarians and became an organizer for the Unparty. On January 1, 1884 he and Robert Metz broke from the Unparty to form the Freedom Party of Ontario, which still exists. Although the Freedom Party rejects the term "libertarian" for philosophical reasons, it is generally considered to be a party of the libertarian right.

In 1984, Emery also successfully campaigned against London's bid for the 1991 Pan American Games, saying the city would lose millions. Emery ran as a candidate of the Freedom Party in the rural constituency of Middlesex, near London, in the 1987 provincial election. He received 499 votes for a distant fifth-place finish. The winner was Doug Reycraft of the Ontario Liberal Party.

In 1990, Emery rented the London Regional Art & Historical Museum (now called Museum London) for his first pro-pot rally. Later in 1991, Emery defied the province's Sunday shopping laws, spending time in jail. He also campaigned against London's by-law prohibiting sidewalk signs. In 1992, he was convicted for selling copies of 2 Live Crew's rap music video which was deemed obscene. This period of Emery's life is featured in the 1992 documentary film by Chris Doty called Marc Emery: Messing Up the System and the play, Citizen Marc: The Adventures of Marc Emery, scripted by London writers Chris Doty (who committed suicide at age 39 on February 2, 2006, two days before the play's final performance on February 4) and Jason Rip; the play was directed by John Gerry which opened in London on January 27, 2006. Emery was in attendance for the premiere.

Cannabis Party Activist

Emery moved back to Vancouver, British Columbia in 1993, and founded a store called Hemp BC. His store played a major part in expanding Canada's semi-underground industry in cannabis-related paraphernalia. The Vancouver police conducted a major raid on Emery's store in 1996, and seized his entire stock in 1998. After this, he switched his seed business to a mail order basis, and began publishing Cannabis Culture Magazine. In 2000, he established Pot TV on the internet. Emery has described himself as a "major financial backer of almost every pro-pot effort in North America and many more around the world."

He was an active member the Marijuana Party of Canada, a political party running to fully legalize (not just decriminalize) cannabis. He also helped found the British Columbia Marijuana Party, which he currently leads. Emery ran for the Canadian House of Commons for a second time in the 2000 federal election, and finished sixth out of ten candidates in Vancouver Centre with 1,116 votes. Liberal Hedy Fry won the riding.

The BCMP placed fifth in the 2001 provincial election and was only a few hundred votes short of 4th place. Emery himself received 905 votes in Vancouver-Burrard, finishing fourth against BC Liberal Lorne Mayencourt.

Emery has been the BC Marijuana Party's president since its founding, and also became party leader after the 2001 election, when Brian Taylor resigned to protest what he described as Emery's control over the party. Taylor said that Emery's personal management of the Marijuana Party was "appropriate for [the] election because it was an emergency, but it is no way to run a political party".

In 2003, when the prohibition of cannabis in Ontario was in limbo, Emery launched "the Summer of Legalization" a national campaign to legalize cannabis, as featured in the documentary Escape to Canada.

On October 18, 2004, he was released from the Saskatoon correctional centre in Saskatoon after serving his 90 day sentence for passing a joint. Shortly after this arrest, he made the following comments about Canada's Minister of Justice, Irwin Cotler: "Cotler was a life-long human rights advocate, and as Justice Minister, he has presided over a record number of prosecutions of marijuana possession, prosecutions of marijuana cultivation, and marijuana selling. I thought the term Jewish-Nazi, or Nazi-Jew, was an oxymoron until Cotler became the Injustice Minister. What a disgrace he is to his Jewish roots."

In the 2005 British Columbia election, Emery ran in Fort Langley-Aldergrove against provincial Solicitor General Rich Coleman, but was defeated.

On July 30, 2008, Emery announced he was running for mayor of Vancouver in the November election, and MLA in the upcoming by-election for the constituency of Vancouver-Fairview which remains vacant after Gregor Robertson won the Vision Vancouver nomination to run for mayor.

Federal NDP Supporter

In federal politics, Emery has been a public supporter of the New Democratic Party since 2003 as a result of Jack Layton's support for the decriminalization of marijuana. In November 2003, Layton was a guest on Emery's Pot TV program. During the 20-minute interview, Emery urged marijuana activists to support the party in the 2004 federal election. He endorsed Svend Robinson's candidacy in Vancouver Centre during the 2006 federal election campaign, and obtained permission from a judge to have his bail conditions varied so that he could campaign for the NDP candidate.

2005 Arrest

On July 29, 2005, Canadian police, acting on a request from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, simultaneously raided the BC Marijuana Party Bookstore and Headquarters in Vancouver and arrested Emery for extradition to the United States outside a local storefront in the community of Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia where he was attending a HempFest. Emery and co-defendants Gregory Keith Williams, 50, of Vancouver, BC and Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek, 34, of Vancouver, BC are charged with "'Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana," "Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana Seeds" and "Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering." Canadian police have not laid charges.

Emery was freed on a $50,000 bail and prepared to fight extradition in the courts.

2008 Proceedings and Plea Bargain

Emery and his two associates charged in the United States with drug and money laundering offenses all face a minimum 10-year sentence and the possibility of life imprisonment if convicted there. Under a proposed plea bargain, Emery would plead guilty and receive a minimum five year prison sentence, largely served in a Canadian prison. As part of the plea bargain, Emery requests that the charges against his associates be dropped.

Emery's extradition hearing has been postponed to April 19, 2008 so that negotiations for a potential plea bargain may continue.

An appeal court judge ruled on March 7, 2008 in a similar case that a one-month jail sentence and probation would constitute an adequate sentence for the crime of marijuana seed selling if Marc Emery were charged in Canada. This could be used to Emery's advantage in his fight against extradition.

Personal Life

On July 23, 2006 Marc Emery married Jodie Joanna Giesz-Ramsay (now Jodie Emery). Jodie Emery works as an editor on Cannabis Culture magazine and with her husband as a political activist seeking the end of marijuana prohibition, as well as, seeks to stop the extradition of her husband.


And the winner is .....?

'Hockey mom' Being Coached For Prime Time
Palin's Performance Crucial To Allay Conservative Fears
Sheldon Alberts, Canwest News Service
Tuesday, September 30, 2008

WASHINGTON - She burst on to the U. S. political scene as Sarah 'The Barracuda" Palin, a moose-hunting, hockey-mom governor whose razor-sharp attacks on Barack Obama, Washington insiders and the media "elite" helped revive John McCain's presidential campaign.
A month later, as she prepares for her vice-presidential debate on Thursday against Senator Joe Biden, she is fighting to dispel perceptions among some conservatives she's quickly becoming a political liability for the Republican candidate.
Yesterday, Mr. McCain sent his two most senior aides -- campaign manager Rick Davis and strategist Steve Schmidt -- to his ranch in Sedona, Arizona to begin three days of intense coaching with Ms. Palin before her 90-minute showdown with Mr. Biden at Washington University in St. Louis.
The decision came amid widespread criticism in the media and -- more distressing for Mr. McCain -- mounting anxiety among Republicans over her performance in an interview last week with CBS News anchor Katie Couric.
Since then, her favourable ratings have fallen and she has become fodder for withering satire on late-night comedy shows such as Saturday Night Live, something that has hurt presidential candidates in the past.
"I think that most people looking at Thursday night's debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin are nervous, especially Republicans," said Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. "Because 90 minutes is a very long time --and you can only talk about gutting a moose once during that debate."
Ms. Palin earned a reputation as a strong debater during her 2006 gubernatorial campaign in Alaska, but she has appeared to struggle in one-on-one sessions with nationally known journalists since being named Mr. McCain's running mate.
In her interview with Ms. Couric, she offered this explanation of how Alaska's proximity to Russia enhanced her foreign policy experience.
"It's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as [Russian Prime Minister Vladimir] Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America," she said.
"Where, where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there."
Kathleen Parker, a syndicated conservative commentator, said the interviews showed Ms. Palin is "clearly out of her league" and called on her to step aside.
"I've been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly," the early Palin supporter wrote in a column after the Couric interview.
"I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted."
Republicans are divided over whether the McCain campaign is partially to blame for Ms. Palin's problems. Advisors have largely shielded her from the media since her breakout performance at the Republican convention, placing extraordinary pressure on the governor in her few high-profile interviews.
Campbell Brown, a CNN commentator, accused Mr. McCain's aides of "sexism" for seeming to shelter Ms. Palin. Her supporters say she has not been allowed to be herself.
"She'll get better. She's very talented at what she's been asked to do in the past," Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a McCain confidant, said in a televised interview.
"She's going to have to show she's a valuable part of this team, that she's capable of the job, that she shares John's philosophy."
The stakes are high. The latest Gallup daily tracking poll shows Mr. Obama with an eight-point advantage -- 50% to 42%-- over Mr. McCain.
"I think this debate is more important than most vice-presidential debates usually are because the McCain campaign is swimming upstream," Prof. Jillson said.
"They are down in the polls. And if their vice-presidential candidate looks like she is not ready to be president of the United States, should the requirement fall on her, I think people will again look to Obama."
Mr. Biden also faces many potential pitfalls, including the possibility that he might underestimate Ms. Palin.
The Delaware Senator has made several notable gaffes recently, criticizing one of his campaign's anti-McCain ads and flubbing a historical reference to the 1929 stock market crash. He has a reputation for talking too extemporaneously and sounding condescending, which could backfire.
Ms. Palin said yesterday she looked forward to the debate, and took a dig at Mr. Biden in the process.
"I have been hearing about his Senate speeches since I was in, like, second grade."

Americans have funnier political cartoons!

Good Day Readers:

Every notice how difficult it is to find a funny Stephen Harper, Jack Layton or Stephane Dion cartoon? What does that say about Canadian politics?

Clare L. Pieuk

Sarah Palin Has Trouble Again With Katie Couric
By Jessica Heslam Boston Herald Media Reporter

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sarah Palin may have survived Charlie Gibson, but she’s having a tougher time with Katie Couric, who’s taken hits herself from people who said she was a lightweight.

Things got a little heated when Couric sat down with McCain and Palin for their first joint interview together, a piece that aired on last night’s evening news. Couric interviewed Palin separately last week.

Couric asked about a comment Palin made over the weekend at a restaurant, when asked if the U.S. should launch attacks into Pakistan: “If that’s what we have to do to stop the terrorists from coming any further in, absolutely, we should,” she said.

Couric pointed out McCain has said that’s something you don’t say “out loud.” When she asked Palin if she was sorry she had said that, McCain interrupted: “Wait a minute. Before you say, ‘Is she sorry she said it,’ this was a ‘gotcha’ sound bite . . .”

Couric also asked Palin about the “flak” she’s gotten since their last interview. Palin replied she’s “not only ready but willing and able to serve as vice president.”

The former NBC “Today” show host, in a short skirt, was flashing her famous gams in the interview while former beauty queen Palin wore a conservative pantsuit. Last week, Palin fumbled when Couric asked how John McCain has reformed Wall Street and why Alaska’s proximity to Russia counts as foreign-policy experience. A CBS News-New York Times poll last week showed Palin’s unfavorable rating up among women.

Consider yourself pardoned!

Katterine has left a new comment on your post, "Got a parking ticket did we? Smoked a little pot have we? Cheated on our income taxes did we?"

Pardon my ignorance? Where is the post about a parking ticket?
Dear Katterine:

Thank you for writing. There isn't one. Long time reader and contributor Frank Godon made the dangerous statement, "I have never been on the wrong side of the law - ever in my life!" Surely he must have gotten a parking ticket. Have you?

Clare L. Pieuk

Monday, September 29, 2008

Got a parking ticket did we? Smoked a little pot have we? Cheated on our income taxes did we?

Frank Godon has left a new comment on your post, "The Red Baron's back!"

Mr. Baron - whatever are you talking about? I have never been on the wrong side of the law - ever in my life! There is no cover up as you say. You're smoking or sniffing or drinking something wacky.
Dear Frank Godon:

Thank you for writing. An exemplary citizen who has done his duty to God and Queen are we?

Clare L. Pieuk

Annual General Meeting - Indian & Metis Friendship Centre!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "The Red Baron's back!"

Indian & Metis Friendship Centre is having their AGM on October 7, 2008. Starts at 5:00 p.m. Memberships need to be purchased by September 30, 2008 to be able to vote.
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. Do you have a copy of the agenda for posting on the internet?

Clare L. Pieuk

The Red Baron's back!

Red Baron has left a new comment on your post, "Have we got a job for you!"

Lucky for Frank they didn't follow this approach when he was in trouble a few years ago - eh, Franky? You can cover it up and pretend it didn't happen, but there are still a few of us who remember.
Dear Red:

Thank you for writing. As always, nice to hear from you its been a long time - hope you're keeping well.

We're smiling to ourselves because we don't have a clue to what you're referring - seriously!
Clare L. Pieuk

Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen (2 May 1892 – 21 April 1918) was a German fighter pilot known as "The Red Baron." He was the most successful flying ace of World War I, being officially credited with 80 confirmed air combat victories. Richthofen was a member of an aristocratic family with many famous relatives.

Freiherr (literally "Free Lord") is not a given name but a German aristocratic title, equivalent to a baron in other countries and the origin of Richthofen's most famous nickname: "The Red Baron." The German translation of Red Baron is "der Rote Baron." Richthofen is today known under this nickname even in Germany, although during his lifetime he was more often described in German as Der Rote Kampfflieger, (variously translated as the The Red Battle Flyer or The Red Fighter Pilot). This name was used as the title of Richthofen's 1917 "autobiography."

Richthofen's other nicknames include "Le Diable Rouge" ("Red Devil") or "Le Petit Rouge" ("Little Red") in French, and the "Red Knight" in English.


Richthofen was killed just after 11 a.m. on 21 April, 1918 while flying over Morlancourt Ridge, near the Somme River.

At the time, the Baron had been pursuing (at very low altitude) a Sopwith Camel piloted by a novice Canadian pilot, Lieutenant Wilfrid "Wop" May of No 209 Squadron, Royal Air Force. In turn, the Baron was spotted and briefly attacked by a Camel piloted by a school friend (and flight Commander) of May, Canadian Captain Arthur "Roy" Brown, who had to dive steeply at very high speed to intervene, and then climb steeply to avoid hitting the ground. Richthofen turned to avoid this attack, and then resumed his pursuit of May.
It was almost certainly during this final stage in Richthofen's pursuit of May that he was hit by a single
.303 bullet, which caused such severe damage to his heart and lungs that it must have produced a very speedy death.

In the last seconds of his life, he managed to make a hasty but controlled landing in a field on a hill near the Bray-Corbie road, just north of the village of Vaux-sur-Somme, in a sector controlled by the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). One witness, Gunner George Ridgway, stated that when he and other Australian soldiers reached the aircraft, Richthofen was still alive but died moments later. Another eye witness, Sgt Ted Smout of the Australian Medical Corps, reported that Richthofen's last word was "kaputt" ("finished") immediately before he died.

His Fokker was not badly damaged by the landing, but it was soon taken apart by souvenir hunters.

No. 3 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, as the nearest Allied air unit, assumed responsibility for the Baron's remains.

Who fired the fatal shot?

After 90 years of controversy and contradictory hypotheses,
exactly who fired the fatal shot remains uncertain.

RAF credited Brown with shooting down the Red Baron. However, Richthofen died following an extremely serious and inevitably fatal chest wound from a single bullet, penetrating from the right armpit and resurfacing next to the left nipple. If this was from Brown's guns, Richthofen simply could not have continued his pursuit of May for as long as he did. Brown himself never spoke much about what happened that day, claiming "There is no point in me commenting, as the evidence is already out there."

Most experts now believe that Richthofen was killed by someone on the ground.
The wound through his body indicated that it had been caused by a bullet moving in an upward motion, from the right side, and more importantly, that it was probably received some time after Brown's attack.

Many sources, including a 1998 article by Dr. Geoffrey Miller, a physician and historian of military medicine, and also a U.S. Public Broadcasting Service documentary made in 2003, have suggested that Sergeant Cedric Popkin was the person most likely to have killed Richthofen. Popkin was an anti-aircraft (AA) machine gunner with the Australian 24th Machine Gun Company, and was using a Vickers gun. He fired at Richthofen's aircraft on two occasions: first as the Baron was heading straight at his position, and then at long range from the right. Popkin stated — in a 1935 letter, which included a sketch map — to the Australian official war historian, that he believed he had fired the fatal shot as Richthofen approached his position.

Such a shot would have been from directly in front of the aircraft and could not have been the one that resulted in the Baron's death. However, Popkin was well placed to fire the fatal shot when Richthofen passed him for a second time on the right.

One source, a 2002 documentary produced by the Discovery Channel suggests that Gunner W. J. "Snowy" Evans, a Lewis machine gunner with the 53rd Battery, 14th Field Artillery Brigade, Royal Australian Artillery is likely to have killed von Richthofen.

However, Dr. Miller and the PBS documentary dismiss these theories.

Other sources have suggested that Gunner Robert Buie (also of the 53rd Battery) may have fired the fatal shot. There is now little support for this theory. Nevertheless, in March 2007, the municipality of Hornsby Shire, in Sydney, recognised Buie, a former resident, as the man who shot down Richthofen. The Shire placed a plaque near Buie's former home in the suburb of Brooklyn. Buie, who died in 1964, has never been officially recognised in any other way.

The commanding officer of No. 3 Squadron AFC, Major
David Blake suggested initially that Richthofen had been killed by the crew of one of his squadron's R.E.8s, which had also fought Richthofen's unit that afternoon. However, this was quickly disproved, and, following an autopsy that he witnessed, Blake became a strong proponent of the view that an AA machine gunner had killed Richthofen.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Better Bailout By Joseph E. Stiglitz

Have we got a job for you!

Frank Godon has left a new comment on your post, "Vote for Frank Godon as Canada's next Minister of Justice?"

Well its a great idea because:

1. Saves money
2. No repeat offenders
3. Good deterrent
4. Weeds out the weak links in the evolutionary chain
5. If the person was innocent - sucks to be him/her

Have a good day.
Dear Frank Godon:

Thank you for writing. Can't argue with any of your points. Why don't you apply to be Mr. Hug-a-Thug's Campaign Manager?

Clare L. Pieuk

Vote for Frank Godon as Canada's next Minister of Justice?

Frank Godon has left a new comment on your post, "Have you hugged-a-thug today?"

Do what China does - put a bullet in all the criminals' heads - then charge the cost back to the families.
Dear Frank Godon:

Thank you for writing - we think? Getting a little radical in our old age are we? Spent too much time in Russia did we?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Have you hugged-a-thug today?

Mr. hug-a-thug!

Cutting House Arrest A Costly Proposition: Lawyer
Friday, September 26, 2008

The Conservatives' campaign promise to get rid of conditional house arrest sentences for about 30 crimes would be expensive, a group of Manitoba defence lawyers says.

If the Tories are re-elected October 14, leader Stephen Harper says they will end the use of house arrest sentences for property crimes, weapons offences, serious vehicular crimes, as well as drug trafficking, kidnapping and trafficking in people.

But house arrest is for low risk offenders and it saves the government millions of dollars, said Mark Wasyliw, spokesman for the Criminal Trial Lawyers Association.

If the 771 people currently serving conditional house arrest sentences in Manitoba were sent to jail, it would cost the government $110,000 per day or about $40 million a year, Wasyliw said.

Finding room for more prisoners in jails that are already overcrowded would also be a problem, he said.

Low risk offenders also hold jobs, pay taxes, support families and become rehabilitated in the community, he said.

"We're talking about huge sums of money for somebody who works and pays taxes," he said. "You're going to take that tax money out of the system and you're going to have to pay money for welfare for their families."

But Manitoba Conservative candidate Steve Fletcher defends the party's campaign promise, saying the public wants the government to get tougher on criminals.

"I hear this at the door all the time — that people are sick and tired of these revolving doors in the justice system and the hug-a-thug mentality of some of the other politicians," said the incumbent in the Charleswood-St. James Assiniboia riding of Winnipeg.

Harper has said the cost of sending more people to jail would be "small and manageable."

Shawinigate - should Canada have "shield" laws?

L'Auberge Grand-Mere

High Court To Hear Post Appeal
Fighting For Right To Protect Sources
Shannon Kari, National Post
Friday, September 26, 2008

TORONTO - The balancing of state powers in a police investigation against the right of a reporter to protect the identity of a confidential source is going to be weighed for the first time by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The High Court agreed yesterday to hear an appeal filed by the National Post in what is expected to be a landmark case in the area of such confidential sources as government whistle-blowers.

The newspaper is appealing a decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal this spring that found there is no "blanket" right to protect sources, in a case that stems from a series of stories in 2001 into the so-called Shawinigate scandal.

The Supreme Court hears only a small percentage of cases where an appeal is filed. While it does not give reasons for its decisions on leave applications, it normally requires an issue to be of national importance for it to agree to hear an appeal.

The Ontario Court of Appeal ruling was criticized by media organizations that suggested it could put a chill on whistle-blowers and hamper the ability of reporters to uncover wrongdoing at all levels of government or state agencies.

Douglas Kelly, editor-in-chief of the National Post, said yesterday the Supreme Court grants leave to appeal only in cases that raise issues of national importance, and he is pleased that the court has recognized that this is such a case.

"The issues of press freedom presented in this case go to the very heart of what we as a newspaper do -- which is to inform the public about the important issues of the day -- and whether we are able to continue to do it. I look forward to a vigorous defence at the Supreme Court of those rights on behalf of the National Post, other Canwest papers and media in general across this country,'' Mr. Kelly said.

In asking the Supreme Court to hear the case, lawyers representing the National Post argued that the Court of Appeal failed to balance the Charter rights of the media against the interests of police.

Instead, the decision contained a "structural bias against press freedom," wrote Marlys Edwardh, one of the newspaper's lawyers in the appeal.

Ms. Edwardh stressed yesterday that this case is not simply about the media and their desire to protect sources.

"While at first blush it looks like a major issue that affects the media, in fact, what is most important about the issue is the public's right to know," she said.

The ability to protect sources is especially vital when a story "is about the detection of wrongdoing by the government or powerful public figures. This affects the overall well-being of the community," Ms. Edwardh said.

The decision by the Supreme Court yesterday is the latest chapter in a seven-year legal dispute connected to the Shawinigate scandal.

A series of National Post stories, written by reporter Andrew McIntosh, detailed potential conflicts of interest involving federal grants and loans awarded in the riding of Jean Chretien, who was then the Prime Minister.

The RCMP believed one of the loan documents received by Mr. McIntosh from a confidential source was forged. Police asked for the original document as well as the envelope in which it was sent, to conduct DNA tests to determine who the source might be, as part of an "uttering a forged document" investigation.

The newspaper refused to turn over the document or the envelope and police obtained a search warrant in July, 2002.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Mary Lou Benotto quashed the search warrant obtained by police in a ruling issued in 2004.

"The eroding of the ability of the press to perform its role in society cannot be outweighed by the Crown's investigation," Judge Benotto said. Confidential sources could "dry up," the judge noted, if reporters are ordered to turn over information that could identify them to police.

The Ontario Ministry of the Attorney-General appealed the decision, arguing that the "public interest" in any police investigation must override the Charter guarantees of freedom of expression.

The Ontario Court of Appeal agreed and ruled that Judge Benotto made legal errors, in a decision released in March of this year.

"We do not diminish the press's important role in uncovering and reporting an alleged wrongdoing. But in our society, it is the police who are charged with the critical role of investigating and prosecuting crime," wrote Justice John Laskin, with Justices Janet Simmons and Eileen Gillese concurring.

More that 30 U. S. states have "shield" laws that protect reporters from having to reveal sources. There are no similar laws in Canada.

The Supreme Court is unlikely to hear arguments in the National Post appeal until the spring.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sarah will he'p you Joe!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Geez, now we have a Sarah Palin look-alike!

Maine TV News Anchor Gets Hate Mail For Palin Resemblance
Associated Press
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
BANGOR, Maine - A Maine TV news anchor who bears a resemblance to the Republican vice presidential nominee says she’s been getting "hate mail and nasty phone calls" from viewers who think she’s trying to copy Sarah Palin’s signature style.
Cindy Michaels from WVII-TV has long brown hair that she sometimes wears up in a style similar to Palin’s, and she also wears glasses on occasion.
Michaels says viewers recently began accusing her of trying to copy Palin’s style or, worse, somehow trying to subliminally sway votes.
While smarting over accusations of bias, Michaels says she’s generally flattered by the comparisons to Palin. Michaels describes her as a "beautiful woman."

The gaff machine!

Good Day Readers:

American politics can be so funny at times. A couple years ago a rival politician called Senator Joe Biden, "The Gaff Machine!"

He's just what the federal Conservative Party needs campaigning for it or better yet Mr. Harper's Chief Political Strategist.

Clare L. Pieuk
Joe Biden Does His Best To Make Sarah Palin Look Good
Posted: September 23, 2008
WASHINGTON • Senator Joe Biden was spinning folksy one-liners with CBS News anchor Katie Couric the other night when he offered this pearl of wisdom about how real leaders act during times of national crisis.

“When the stock market crashed (in 1929), Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.’ ”

It was a great sound bite except for two things – Herbert Hoover, not Roosevelt, was president at the time, and commercial television didn’t exist.

The good news for Biden was that hardly anyone noticed the historical error. The bad news? The blunder was overlooked only because the Democratic vice presidential candidate was busy doing damage control Tuesday over two bigger gaffes that have landed him in Barack Obama’s doghouse.

After weeks of being overshadowed in the U.S. media by Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Obama’s running mate is suddenly making headline news for all the wrong reasons. First, he blasted his own campaign for running a “terrible” ad that claimed Republican presidential candidate John McCain did not know how to operate a computer or send email.

Then video surfaced of Biden telling an environmentalist voter in coal-rich Ohio – a vital battleground state – that there would be “no coal plants here in America” in an Obama administration.

McCain’s campaign made political hay out of both comments, using them to underscore Republican claims Obama is waging a dirty campaign and to cast him as out-of-touch with working-class voters in the American heartland.

“Barack Obama and Joe Biden must really think they can win this election without Ohio, because they're doing their best to lose it with stupid comments like these,” Bob Bennett, chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, said in a statement. “Keep talking, Joe.”

Biden’s slipups have underscored Democrats’ biggest concern about the loquacious senator – that his unscripted, freewheeling speaking style might lead to embarrassing distractions for a campaign with little room for political error.

In recent days, Biden has claimed it was the “patriotic” duty of wealthy Americans to pay higher taxes, urged a wheelchair-bound man to “stand up” at a Democratic rally, and suggested Hillary Clinton “might have been a better pick than me” as Obama’s running mate.

But many of those remarks were lost amid the media fascination with Palin.

Biden’s real trouble only began when CBS aired its feature interview with him on Monday.

Asked about an Obama campaign ad that mocked McCain for admitting he doesn’t use computers or email, Biden retorted: “I thought that was terrible, by the way.”

McCain’s campaign has said the Arizona senator has difficulty using computers because of injuries to his arms incurred during the Vietnam War. Pressed by Couric about why the ad was aired, Biden offered up more criticism of his own campaign: “I didn't know we did it, and if I had anything to do with it, we would have never done it.”

Biden backtracked within hours, protesting that he had never actually seen the ad and was “reacting merely to press reports.”

Potentially more damaging for Obama was Biden’s comments about coal. “No coal plants here in America,” Obama told a woman in Ohio who had asked him why the Obama campaign supported clean-coal technology.

“We’re not supporting clean coal,” he said.

“Build them, if they're going to build them, over there (in China). Make ’em clean because they're killing you.”

Biden got it wrong. Obama has vowed to “develop and deploy clean coal technology” as part of a plan to create “green jobs” in the U.S. Midwest.

The more Biden talks, the more Obama seems to be concerned. The Illinois senator on Tuesday publicly chastised his running mate for saying last week he did not believe insurance giant American International Group “should be bailed out by the federal government.” The comment undermined Obama, who had criticized McCain for saying the same thing.

“I think Joe should have waited, as well,” Obama said on NBC’s Today show.

The anxiety among Democrats about Biden is likely to grow as he prepares to debate Palin on October 2 in St. Louis – the most important single event for both vice presidential candidates.

But even as Democrats fret over the challenges of debating a woman – especially amid Republican claims Palin has been subjected to sexism – Biden doesn’t sound worried.

“There are an awful lot of very, very accomplished women holding high public office that I debate,” he said during a recent campaign stop, “and we beat each other up every day.”

National Post
Canwest News Service

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Battle of the backyards!

Tansi/Good Day Readers:

On September 12 of this year ABC News Anchor Charles Gibson interviewed Republican Vice-Persidential candidate Sarah Palin from Wasilla, Alaska

During the discussion, Governor Palin noted she could see Russia from her backyard. Not to be outdone, here's the e-mail we sent to http://gov.state.ak.us/govmail.php - wonder if we'll get a reply? Not bloody likely!
Dear Governor Palin:
We're a blog located in Winnipeg, Manitoba a Canadian province.
We noted in your September 12th interview you mentioned you could see Russia from your backyard. Well, we can go you one better. It you think that's interesting, on a clear day we can see the President of the Manitoba Metis Federation David Chartrand and his wife Glorian Yakiwchuk from our backyard!
Hopefully, our e-mail has not been hacked.
Blogmaster Clare L. Pieuk

Very interesting indeed - Thank You!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Palin-tology: The study of Sarah Palin!"

I'm thinking of opening a small business so decided to do some research on Google. These two links may be of interest to your readers:

http://www.thesbcc.org/reports.php?WhereInd=&WherePur=aqu&extra_title=Acquisition (Entry 22)


URL (Entry 158)
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for the links. In the case of the first one, it will take readers to the home page for the Small Business Funding Centre:

Quickly scanning its home page we found:

Where can I find grant information? You can find grant information by contacting each individual government department (there are over 60) and asking them to provide you with detailed information on the many funding opportunities they offer to small businesses. Of course this can be time consuming with phone calls and letters going back and forth. Alternatively, visit our program types and case studies pages or just phone toll-free 1-800-658-9792 to speak with one of our grants and loans representatives.

It would appear SBFC is a private company which assists clients wishing to start a business identify available government funding. We assume it makes money by charging a flat fee for its services or perhaps a small percentage of the grants received by applicants.

When we scrolled to Entry 22 as suggested this is what we found:

Category: Professional, Scientific and Technical Services Acquisition

Project Description: To acquire an insurance business

Business: Glorian Yakiwchuk Winnipeg, MB

Amount: $25,000.00

We did not reproduce the second URL because readers would receive the error message, "Windows Internet Explorer session timed out, log in again." However, Entry 158:

Category: Professional, Scientific and Technical Services Acquisition

Project Description: To establish an insurance business (business plan)

Business: Glorian Yakiwchuck Winnipeg, MB

Amount: $5,656.00

Very interesting indeed - Thank You!

Clare L. Pieuk

Monday, September 22, 2008

Palin-tology: the study of Sarah Palin!

"Go ahead make my day! Do you feel lucky punk - keep playing electronic Prime Minister!"

PMO Calls In Spooks To Find Pranksters Who Sent E-mails In Harper's Name
OTTAWA — The Prime Minister's Office has asked Canada's secretive electronic counter-espionage police to investigate how someone might have gained access to a government Internet service to send out spoof e-mails in Stephen Harper's name.

The RCMP and the Communications Security Establishment have been asked to track down the source of at least two prank emails issued Sunday to scores of people signed onto the prime minister's e-mail service.

The CSE has the dual role of electronic eavesdropping and protection of federal computer systems.

One of the messages suggests Harper's recognition of Kosovo's independence could lead to Quebec sovereignty.

The other begins with the greeting, "Hi The Average Canadian, Stephen Harper wanted to tell you" that he intends to destroy health care, make Canada the 51st U.S. state, is beholden to the Alberta tar sands, and dislikes all things green except for the almighty American dollar.

The notes were sent to an e-mail address that automatically distributes messages to people who have signed onto the PMO listserv mailing list.

The jokesters would not necessarily have needed to hack into government computers to perform their stunt; all they would have required was the listserv's e-mail address.

Members of the public are able to join the mailing list by visiting the prime minister's website at www.pm.gc.ca.

A spokesman for Harper said the Privy Council Office, the bureaucratic wing of the PMO, contacted the RCMP and the CSE.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What about this?

Tansi/Good Day Readers:

In deference to our previous reader wondering why we were focusing on American politics we decided to post something from "Truth To Power" (http://accesstoinfo.blogspot.com) about our Canadian election. Enjoy.

Clare L. Pieuk
A Graveyard For Our Dreams: Why I'm Not Voting Conservative
by David Orchard
As originally published in The Globe and Mail
June 14, 2004

The "new Conservative party" under Stephen Harper declares itself a moderate alternative to the Liberals, ready to govern Canada.

In reality, the party has never had a convention or meeting of its members. It has no constitution. Policies are set with no control by, direction from, or accountability to a membership — whoever those members may be. (The party is mailing out unsolicited membership cards informing surprised recipients they are party members. Mine arrived last week.)

The "new" party is the old Reform-Alliance which took over the Progressive Conservative party, its colours and half its name. The word "progressive" was purged (along with its progressive wing). As Stephen Harper explained last June: "We may not have some of the old conservatives, red Tories like the David Orchards or the Joe Clarks. This is not all bad. A more coherent coalition can take strong positions it wouldn’t otherwise be able to take — as the Alliance alone was able to do during the Iraq war."

To accomplish the takeover, the Progressive Conservative constitution was trampled. Roughly 20,000 Alliance members were allowed to join, in Trojan horse fashion, increasing the PC membership by 50%. These Alliance members then voted twice — in both the PC and Alliance ratification votes — producing the farcical figure of over 90% support for the takeover/merger. Senator Lowell Murray described the takeover of the PC party as a "coup, similar to what we have seen in some countries where the constitution is suspended and a new order ratified in a quick plebiscite."

Now Mr. Harper’s party has set up a Truth Squad to challenge Liberal lies, headed by none other than Peter MacKay, the man who infamously broke his word — including that given in writing to win the leadership of his party — not to merge with the Alliance, and who now refuses to reveal the source of the large donation he subsequently received to erase his campaign debts.

This is the party that attacks the Liberals for lacking ethics and accountability! A vote for it will legitimize the actions of the clique, accountable to no one except their unseen backers (the most visible being Brian Mulroney) which destroyed the party that created Canada and which now openly spurns the most basic elements of democracy. As Mr. Harper has charmingly admitted, policy for the new Conservatives will be essentially what he says it is.

For years Mr. Harper headed the National Citizens Coalition (NCC) — whose motto is "More freedom through less government." Speaking to the NCC in 1994 as a Reform MP, Harper boasted: "What has happened in the past five years? Let me start with the positive side. Universality has been severely reduced: it is virtually dead as a concept in most areas of public policy. The family allowance programme has been eliminated and unemployment insurance has been seriously cut back... These achievements are due in part to the Reform Party of Canada and... the National Citizens' Coalition."

As Alliance leader in Parliament, Stephen Harper set out his views on health care: "Several provinces are involved in pushing for alternative private delivery, even on a profit basis. This is a natural development. In a properly functioning system, profit is the reward that businesses obtain for making substantial, long-term capital investments... The federal government must support this initiative."

The Canadian Wheat Board, established in 1935 by Conservative prime minister R.B. Bennett, has in spite of fierce U.S. opposition become Canada’s largest net earner of foreign currency. It has played a crucial role in keeping the grain industry in Canadian hands and provides one of the few defences left for western farmers.

Harper and his colleagues, cooperating fully with the U.S. grain industry, call repeatedly for its destruction.

Mr. Harper has promised to scrap Canada’s commitment to Kyoto, joining the U.S. in its opposition to the only international agreement to reduce harmful carbon dioxide emissions. He plans to privatize major parts of the CBC and gut the nation’s broadcast regulator, the CRTC, opening the broadcast industry to foreign takeover.

And there is more: since coming from the U.S. Tom Flanagan, a key founder of the Reform Party and now Mr. Harper’s chief advisor and the party’s campaign manager, has made his career attacking Aboriginal people. The Alliance platform called explicitly for the privatization of the reserve system and the deliberate assimilation of Native people. In his book First Nations? Second Thoughts Flanagan writes: "European civilization was several thousand years more advanced than the aboriginal cultures of North America." He sneeringly dismisses Aboriginal treaty rights: "Sovereignty is an attribute of statehood, and aboriginal peoples in Canada had not arrived at the state level of political organization prior to contact with Europeans." With Flanagan’s man in power Aboriginals are offered one choice: to cease to be a distinct people with fundamental rights.

On June 29 a minority Conservative government can expect Bloc support — for a price. Both parties agree on dismantling the central government and national institutions in favour of greater provincial powers. As constitutional affairs critic for the Reform Party in the lead up to the 1995 Quebec referendum, Mr. Harper stated: "Whether Canada ends up with one national government, or some other kind of arrangement is, quite frankly, secondary in my opinion." His essay in 2001 defending Alliance MP Jim Pankiw’s private member’s bill to emasculate the Official Languages Act, "Bilingualism — the God that failed," is equally revealing.

Bloc MP Yves Rocheleau prefers a Conservative victory, he said, because it would "demonstrate what René Levesque called 'the impossible Canada.' Canada is a madhouse. It’s a country that cannot be administered."

A unilingual French speaking Quebec, a unilingual English speaking rest of Canada and no need for the twain to meet; this is the meeting ground for the Bloc and the Conservatives and a graveyard for the dreams of all who have fought for a tolerant bilingual nation stronger for our efforts to learn from, and be protective of, the other’s culture and language.

During the U.S. war on Iraq Stephen Harper and Stockwell Day repeatedly and vociferously advocated Canadian participation, including attacking the Canadian government in the Wall Street Journal: "Today the world is at war. A coalition of countries under the leadership of the U.K. and the U.S. is leading a military intervention to disarm Saddam Hussein. Yet, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien has left Canada outside this multilateral coalition of nations.

This is a serious mistake... The Canadian Alliance — the official opposition in Parliament — supports the American and British position...

Make no mistake... the Canadian Alliance won't be neutral. In our hearts and minds we will be with our allies and friends...

But we will not be with the Canadian government."
(March 28, 2003)

Only in Quebec with its "pacifist tradition," Mr. Harper alleged, were most people opposed to the war. Peter MacKay, now Harper’s deputy leader, excoriated Mr. Chrétien for being weak and vacillating, even cowardly, in refusing to join that illegal invasion. Today, apparently hoping Canadians and the media have lost their memories, Harper and Day try to deny their words.

For those who want to protect Canada’s culture, its environment, its institutions and its sovereignty, Mr. Harper and his inner circle have nothing but words of contempt as they work to dismantle our nation. They march to a different drummer, to the beat of Mr. Mulroney and Mr. Bush, pledging allegiance to a foreign flag.

David Orchard is the author of The Fight for Canada - Four Centuries of Resistance to American Expansionism, and ran for the leadership of the federal Progressive Conservative Party in 1998 and 2003. He farms at Borden, Saskaatchewan and can be reached by telephone (306) 652-7095, E-mail: davidorchard@sasktel.com; http://www.davidorchard.com/.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Got news?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Sarahmania!"

Hey man , why are you suddenly so obsessed wth American politics?
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. Got any news you'd like to see posted?

Clare L. Pieuk


Sarah Palin Action Figure: Sarah The Executive, The Super Hero And The School Girl Go On Sale

The dolls are the latest in a line of American political candidates who have been immortalised including John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Two variations of the doll are on sale - Sarah Palin the Executive and Sarah Palin the Super Hero - available from toy company Hero Builders at $27.95 for the executive doll and two dollars more for the super hero version.
It is designed to capitalise on Sarah Palin mania that has gripped Republicans after the electrifying speech by the self-confessed "hockey mom" at the party convention in St Paul Minnesota.

How safe is your e-mail?

Tansi/Good Day Folks:

Reading the article below about the 20-year old son of Memphis Democratic Representive Mike Kernell, a suspect in the hacking of Sarah Palin's e-mail, is scary because it sounded so easy.

Recently, we were told of two friends one of whom was able to figure out the others password leaving them a, "See I did it!" type message. No damage was done and it was not a malicious act but it does demonstrate it can be done by anyone who knows their way around the internet.
For us this story reminds us of what luddites we really are not having heard of terms such as Internet 4chan forum, photobucket, Ctunnel.com, Yahoo! Mails (a password recovery tool) and Wikileaks.
Wikileaks is a website that publishes anonymous submissions and leaks of sensitive governmental, corporate, or religious documents, while taking measures to preserve the anonymity and untraceability of its contributors. Within one year of its December 2006 launch, its database had grown to more than 1.2 million documents.[1] Running on modified MediaWiki software, Wikileaks is hosted by PRQ, an internet service provider in Sweden. (http://wikileaks.org/)
You don't have to worry about us hacking into your e-mail anytime soon we don't know how.
Clare L. Pieuk
Tennessee Politician's Son Suspected Of Hacking Palin's E-mail
Thursday, September 18, 2008
By Trevor Aaronson
Scripps Howard News Service
MEMPHIS, Tennessee -- Tennessee State Representative Mike Kernell declined Thursday to respond to online allegations his son hacked into Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's personal e-mail account.
"My son's the one in question, and I can't comment on him," said Kernell, a Memphis Democrat.
Bloggers have alleged that David Kernell, 20, is the one who has claimed responsibility for breaking into the Alaska governor's e-mail account.
The evidence is tenuous. In fact, one of the first blogs to allege the son of a Democratic politician was responsible, relied on e-mail tips and described its evidence as "pretty thin."
On Wednesday, the FBI and Secret Service launched an investigation that includes agents in Memphis. C.M. Sturgis, a spokesman for the Memphis FBI branch, confirmed late Thursday that his office is involved.
"All I can say is that a matter was referred to us from the Anchorage, Alaska, office. An investigation at this time is being coordinated out of FBI headquarters in the Department of Justice," Sturgis said.
Also Wednesday, a person using the e-mail address rubico10(at)yahoo.com posted to an online forum about how he used Yahoo! Mail's password-recovery tool to obtain Palin's password.
"i am the lurker who did it, and i would like to tell the story," rubico10(at)yahoo.com wrote on the Web site.
The hacker later explained how he reviewed Palin's e-mails one by one: "I read though the emails... ALL OF THEM... before I posted, and what I concluded was anticlimactic, there was nothing there, nothing incriminating, nothing that would derail her campaign as I had hoped, all I saw was personal stuff, some clerical stuff from when she was governor.... And pictures of her family."
The hacker used easily available information about Palin to answer questions Yahoo! Mail uses to verify identity.
The hacker answered the first two questions easily - birth date and zip code. The third question - "Where did you meet your spouse?" - required the hacker to research the answer until he found the correct one, Wasilla High.
"it took seriously 45 mins on wikipedia and google to find the info," rubico10(at)yahoo.com wrote.
After changing the e-mail password to "popcorn," the hacker then posted the username and password to 4chan, allowing others to access Palin's e-mail.
In Nashville on Thursday, Representative Kernell would neither confirm nor deny his son was involved in hacking Palin's e-mail account. Although Kernell said he was aware of claims his son was responsible, the politician would not address any of them.
"Father-son relationship," Kernell explained.
The longtime legislator would not say whether rubico10(at)yahoo.com is his son's e-mail address.
"I can't comment on my son," he repeated.
Asked if he has been contacted by investigators, Kernell responded: "Me, no."
"I can't say about my son," he added. "That doesn't mean he has or hasn't been contacted."
David Kernell, now a student at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, could not be reached.
Although FBI and Secret Services officials have not identified suspects in the case, they are reviewing logs that could confirm the hacker's identity.
The hacker accessed the Alaska governor's private e-mail account after the news media disclosed e-mails indicating Palin's administration used private e-mail accounts as a way to work outside Alaska's Open Records Act.
David Kernell excelled at chess while at Germantown (Tenn.) High School and won the 2004 Tennessee Open Scholastic Chess Championship. Internet searches show someone uses the handle rubico on chess Websites. In addition, an inactive blog, with one post dated May 2004, included rubico as a username. Its author identified himself as a chess player from Memphis named David.
E-mail Trevor Aaronson at Aaronson(at)commercialappeal.com. Staff reporters Jody Callahan and Richard Locker contributed.
(Trevor Aaronson writes for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn.)

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Great Browkin - "I did not do it!"

Dear CyberSmokeBlog Aficionados:

Thank you Blogmaster Pieuk for allowing me to clear my name.

As this site's resident computer science/electrical engineering/internet research genius, I deny hacking into Sarah Palin's e-mail although the thought did occur. I was no where near the crime scene when it happened - that's my story and I'm sticking to it so please don't sue!

I'm still galivanting in Vancouver, British Columbia - "catch" me, sorry I mean "find" me, if you can!

Browkin The Innocent

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Court ordered publication ban against Blogger in internet defamation lawsuit!

Tansi/Good Day Readers:

A publication ban has been issued against this site in the Manitoba Metis Federation's defamation lawsuit against www.CyberSmokeSignals.com. Therefore, we are unable to comment further about the current situation except to say the second Pre-Trial Conference will take place October 30, 2008 at 9:00 a.m.

Clare L. Pieuk

Brave new world!

Todd and Sarah Palin

What’s in the Palin e-mails posted on the Internet?
By Lisa Demer
McClatchy Newspapers
Thursday, September 18, 2008

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A hacker broke into the Yahoo e-mail account that vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin uses for official business as Alaska’s governor as well as for personal communications.

The intrusion, which apparently began early Tuesday morning, alarmed the McCain-Palin campaign though Internet security experts and Palin critics weren’t surprised that her Yahoo account on the Web was vulnerable.

"This is a shocking invasion of the governor’s privacy and a violation of law," presidential campaign manager Rick Davis said Wednesday in a written statement. "The matter has been turned over to the appropriate authorities and we hope that anyone in possession of these emails will destroy them."

The FBI is investigating what happened along with the Secret Service, said Eric Gonzalez, FBI spokesman in Anchorage. Cyber agents are looking into it as a possible "computer intrusion" crime, he said.

In a post that it called "Today’s Viral Thing," Time magazine said hackers who are part of a "cryptic Internet posse known for its attacks on Scientology" were responsible.

Some blogs say the group consists of people who chat on the same bulletin board about whatever amuses them, however offensive it might be. Some reports say her e-mail address and password were posted on that bulletin board.

Hackers handed over the contents of the e-mail account gov.palin@yahoo.com to Wikileaks.org, a site that anonymously hosts leaked government and corporate documents. Wikileaks posted screen shots of two e-mails, Palin’s contact list, and her inbox list, along with two previously unpublished family photos, according to a story on Wikileaks. That address was previously unknown but another, gov.sarah@yahoo.com, already had been mentioned in published reports.

Both e-mail accounts have been canceled, said Meg Stapleton, a spokeswoman in Anchorage for the campaign.

Palin’s contact list included her children’s e-mail addresses, her parents’ e-mails, and private e-mail addresses for several staffers and Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, according to the screen shots posted.

The screen shots soon jumped from Wikileaks to other Web sites.

Neither of the e-mails posted concerned state business, but some of those in her Yahoo inbox had subject lines that sounded official. "Memorandum of Law," "John Harris’s response to Lyda Green," and "CONFIDENTIAL Ethics Matter" were all forwarded to her on Aug. 7 by chief of staff Mike Nizich.
Aides wrote to her about scheduling, nominations to the state Court of Appeals and a letter being sent to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Some of the e-mails concerned "DPS Personnel and Budget Issues," presumably referring to the Department of Public Safety, which Walt Monegan led until his firing in July. Lawmakers are investigating whether Monegan was pushed out over refusing to fire the governor’s ex-brother-in law, Trooper Mike Wooten.

One of the e-mails purported to be a July exchange with Parnell over concerns about how KFQD radio talk show host Dan Fagan was treating him over his support for Palin’s higher oil taxes. Under the subject line "Looks like it’s my turn in dan’s crosshairs" in an e-mail written after normal business hours, Parnell complained that things were getting "ugly."

The reply, from gov.palin@yahoo.com, came at 2:14 a.m. the next day: "Arghhhh! He is so inconsistent and purposefully misleading! I am sorry Sean. He can keep trying, but you are the right one for the Congressional position and he KNOWS it (that’s the inconsistency!)"

Efforts to reach Parnell were unsuccessful and the private e-mail address listed had been permanently changed, according to an automatic reply.

The other e-mail posted was sent Sunday from a private e-mail account in the Valley. "Hey Sarah, I am reading the paper, and have thoughts and prayers going your way. Don’t let the negative press wear you down. Pray for me as well," the writer said.

Rachael Petro, state deputy commissioner of administration, said the governor’s Yahoo account is outside the control of the state e-mail system, which she said is very secure. The reported breach doesn’t change anything for the state system, she said.

"Our security shop runs 24-7, 365. We have monitoring ongoing every single day of the year, 24 hours a day," Petro said. "Is it heightened? No. We are already monitoring 24-7."

It’s easier to hack into Web mail like Yahoo and Gmail than corporate or government-sponsored accounts, which by design are better protected because they are not available to everyone on the Web, said Bill Pennington, vice president of a Santa Clara, Calif., Internet security company called WhiteHat Security.
"Yahoo obviously is open to anybody on the Internet wherever you go, so it’s much easier to break into from that perspective. I can go on and if I know someone’s Yahoo e-mail address, I can spend many hours and days if I want to trying to break into that user’s account just by guessing passwords," Pennington said.

The screen shots posted on Wikileaks included what looks to be a draft e-mail to an aide, Ivy Frye, asking that Palin be alerted.

"This email was hacked by anonymous, but I took no part in that. I simply got the password back, and changed it so no further damage could be done. Please get in contact with Sarah Palin and inform her the new password on this account is samsonite1." It was signed "the good anonymous."

Passwords should include a combination of letters, numbers and punctuation and never should be given out, Pennington said.

Activists trying to pry loose e-mails from the governor’s office have been accusing the governor of operating in secrecy through Yahoo for months. Andree McLeod, who is appealing the administration’s decision to withhold 1,100 e-mails from a public records request this summer, was concerned about security even before the breach.

"If this woman is so careless as to conduct state business on a private email account that has been hacked into, what in the world is she going to do when she has access to information that is vital to our national security interests?" McLeod said Wednesday.

The Palin administration did turn over four banker’s boxes of records, but not everything that McLeod and another activist, Zane Henning, sought.

"My reaction is "wow" and "I could have told you so," Henning said about the breach.

He said while the activists are seeking records, they are doing so through legal procedures. Hackers haven’t gone through proper channels and could tap sensitive information, he said.
Palin is not concerned that any sensitive items were let out through the breach, said Stapleton, the campaign spokeswoman.

The governor already has turned over e-mails to the investigator looking into Monegan’s firing, Stapleton said.

Because of the security concerns, her aides won’t say what e-mail service she now uses.

Yahoo didn’t respond to a request sent through its Web site to address the breach.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.