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Letters to the editor, August 13, 2015 

These are the letters and comments from the print edition

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Canadaarrrr votes

The Pirate Party of Canada was founded by a group of people including university students who would normally have avoided politics. However, the continuous erosion of rights and freedom, and the security of the new information infrastructure, by the copyright monopolist and the corruption of government officials, roused these individuals from their comfortable lifestyles into the fire of politics. It was a time when copyright reform advocates were being jailed and prosecuted like heretics, while laws are passed to continuously extend copyrights to benefit the controlling agencies long after an artist has died. The song "Happy Birthday" is still copyrighted to this day, by an organization who was not the original creator of the work. This shows why our copyright law needs serious reform to meet the realities of the digital age.

The pirate movement is an international movement that is continuing to grow out of shared beliefs that our democracy needs an upgrade. The pirate principle of open government means government should make their data readily available in an electronic format that can easily be accessed and analyzed by the press, experts and citizens. There is no greater oversight against government waste and corruption than millions of eyes and brains who have unhindered access to government data. The data must be distributed in an open source format available to all for free, and viewable with freely available software.

We are living in an era where there is an abundance of information. But the technologies with the potential for providing the greatest democratization platform are, instead, being used to enforce unprecedented control on information. Privacy is increasingly being violated. Dissenters appearing before the senate hearings are labelled as terrorists. The open nature and security of the internet is being sacrificed in the name of profit and mass surveillance.

We intend to participate in federal debates by responding to questions raised during the debate and analyzing what the various leaders have said. Please visit our votepirate.ca website often during the election campaign. Ric Lim, Pirate Party of Canadaposted by samcan at thecoast.ca


Don't group me

About Patricia George-Zwicker's article "Group homes won't ruin your neighbourhood, Dartmouth" (Voice of the City, August 6), I feel this is just another example of how you feel that "independent" and "mad at the world" should be in the same sentence. You should not be giving people an audience for such mad-at-the-world rants or rhetoric. I was diagnosed with autism as well, but this is not the entire definition of me and I would have no reason to constantly wallow in how the big bad world has failed me. I can think about bigger things than my selfish adequacy or my need to survive. 

I feel that too many group homes in Dartmouth is a problem. All the nuthouses and futile counselling programs have made an uncomfortable wreck of Gottingen Street, and cramming the same types of people into the same area is ineffective at best. Besides, we autistics should not automatically be forced into the group home anyway—I know it would not work for me if I am sometimes best left to my own devices. —Allistair Fraser, Halifax


Benched

Nazis did not call themselves Nazis and they did not call their symbol a swastika ("Does this bench look like a swastika to you?," The City by Michael Lightstone, August 6). Germans called it a Hakenkreuz (hooked cross) and Hitler's people used it to represent crossed "S" letters for "socialist." Hitler's minions called themselves socialists under the National Socialist German Workers Party. Everyone should complain about vandalism to the bench and demand that they restore it. People who use the word "swastika" for Hitler's socialist symbol, who refer to him as a Nazi, are the ones who warrant complaints. A swastika is a good symbol. —posted by Daniel Pose

Fucking stupid to have commissioned a piece by a Nazi! —posted by Jesus Sonovabitch

Yet it took me a phone call to 311 and three angry tweets to get an actual graffiti swastika—and the n-word—scrubbed off a guardrail. Beautiful. —posted by Heather Tyson-Fader

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