Please fire me. Our regional loss prevention associate came in yesterday and educated me on how to better secure my department because it contains the highest value merchandise. After her pleasant and enlightening visit, my supervisor told me that the security of the department was entirely my responsibility every single day from now on, “since you feel that you are so important that you spoke to the l.p. manager without permission.” I only work 2 days a week and all the other employees in the department are temps who didn’t go through criminal background checks.

Rest In Peace Cpl. Nathan Cirillo

Shocking and tragic shootings took place today in Ottawa, Ontario. Thoughts and prayers go out to Cirillo’s family.

Amazing action taken by RCMP, Ottawa police & Parliament security to end this before more casualties took place.

It is being asked that Friday October 24th everyone wear RED to show support to Nathan & show solidarity in Canada.

7

This week’s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world. We are also reminded that attacks on our security personnel and on our institutions of governance are by their very nature attacks on our country, on our values, on our society, on us Canadians as a free and democratic people who embrace human dignity for all. But let there be no misunderstanding: we will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated. In fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts, and those of our national security agencies, to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats and keep Canada safe here at home. Just as it will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts to work with our allies around the world and fight against the terrorist organizations who brutalize those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery to our shores. They will have no safe haven.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the Ottawa shooting, October 23, 2014

Sadness and Fury Call for Enhanced Democracy, Not Enhanced Security

Today was deeply disturbing for me: what should have been a routine day of presenting at a conference panel turned into a day where I (and other conference members) were placed into lockdown (along with thousands of others in downtown Ottawa and government offices) in the wake of a serious crimes event.

The panel was for the IIC-Canada, and we were to discuss the topic of telecommunications transparency reporting. Immediately prior to the panel, however, a gunman shot and killed a reserve soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. The gunman then proceeded to Parliament where he was ultimately shot dead. He was killed inside the central block.

Shortly after the panel, and just as lunch began, the second floor of the convention centre was cleared and we were moved to the third floor. It was a bit strange, truth be told: we moved using cargo elevators so as to keep people away from the building’s exterior windows. Then, after several hours under lockdown we were all freed to leave.

We were never in any particular danger. The lockdown was just a precaution for safety’s sake.

Nevertheless I’m sad. And furious. Absolutely furious that a reservist was killed at a war memorial. Enraged that someone had the audacity to enter the Parliament with the intent to cause serious harm and death to those within. Sickened that bad legislation may follow from the attack, an attack which targeted people who have committed themselves to protecting and advocating for Canadians. Public service is an honourable calling and the criminal targeted exactly those who had heard the call.

Thus far the Canadian media has generally been balanced. And I think my reaction - sadness and anger - is in common with many Canadians. We’re not terrified. We’re righteously pissed off at the individual or individuals who choose to attack the symbolic heart of our democracy.

No matter how problematic the laws passed, however dysfunctional the party politics, and regardless of the bad-behaviours in Parliament, our MPs are there to peacefully and verbally resolve and address the issues of the day. Words are the way that problems are addressed and dealt with; they are not solved using violence involving martial weaponry.

The solution to the attack today is not more weapons and less public access to Parliament or more constrained or secured debate but the opposite: equivalent parliamentary security and access to Parliament, and even more robust and transparent parliamentary debate. We can choose to seek vengeance or simply carry on in the face of this attack. I, like many or most Canadian, pray that the latter approach is adopted over the former.

youtube

3:19min… you can see the girl run up the ramp on the PWT stage… and right after a security guard runs up the other ramp and their meeting was legendary… 

A Nobel Laureate in Fargo

A humorous story from a North Dakota boy. Krista often teases me about how North Dakota will come up in any conversation I’m part of. (Yes, I’m proud of my roots!) So, of course I’m going to share this great story from Scientific American about Brian Schmidt, an astrophysicist who won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics for co-discovering dark energy:

"When I won this, my grandma, who lives in Fargo, North Dakota, wanted to see it. I was coming around so I decided I’d bring my Nobel Prize. You would think that carrying around a Nobel Prize would be uneventful, and it was uneventful, until I tried to leave Fargo with it, and went through the X-ray machine. I could see they were puzzled. It was in my laptop bag. It’s made of gold, so it absorbs all the X-rays—it’s completely black. And they had never seen anything completely black.

They’re like, ‘Sir, there’s something in your bag.’

I said, ‘Yes, I think it’s this box.’

They said, ‘What’s in the box?’

I said, ‘a large gold medal,’ as one does.

So they opened it up and they said, ‘What’s it made out of?’

I said, ‘gold.’

And they’re like, ‘Uhhhh. Who gave this to you?’

'The King of Sweden.'

'Why did he give this to you?'

'Because I helped discover the expansion rate of the universe was accelerating.'

At which point, they were beginning to lose their sense of humor. I explained to them it was a Nobel Prize, and their main question was, ‘Why were you in Fargo?’”

Cracks me up.

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