New  year’s resolution

So, it’s been a while. Half a year actually. Which would make the chances of succeeding with this resolution for the new year all the more improbable.

The resolution: Three items posted each week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, by 8AM.

There will also be a few additional changes in terms of style and content.

For one, the effort to avoid using people’s names will be dropped. The reason behind the initial effort was never explained, but it’s worth clarifying. The problem with referencing individual names, in particular when critiquing a politician or political leader for their policy position or undertaking, is that it gives the impression the named individuals’ ethics and/or competence is the reason behind thieir questionable or dubious decision-making.

Popular news outlets do it all the time, demonising the political leaders or appointees of a current governing party for policies that invariably lead to worsening outcomes for the general public, stoking public dissatisfaction with that party and its leaders to the point where they are eventually voted out of office and replaced by their opposing party – which then proceeds with the same policy agenda.

The current federal government is a stellar example of this perpetual hypocrisy: whether it’s individual privacy (Bill C-51, 2016 census), trade (CETA, TPP),  environment (Kinder Morgan, Enbridge pipeline approvals) and a raft of other policy issues, the current federal Liberals are virtually indistinguishable from the Conservatives they replaced just over a year ago.

So naming names distracts from the cynical, perpetual cycle of poor policy outcomes. Then why switch to using names? Frankly, it just makes it easier for the purpose of identification. It’s easier than constantly referring to individuals by their title and whether they’re the current, former, incoming, etc. Also, the use of names will not be restricted to just elected officials, but will also be used to refer to their appointees as well as individual public servants.

The second change that was planned was posting the items on here to social media, in particular twitter and facebook. It’s been suggested by numerous parties in the past that items posted here should be concurrently shared on social media to raise awareness of the topics referenced herein that the media often (sometimes intentionally) fails to report on.

That plan was quickly abandoned following (attempted) registration with facebook and twitter. Immediately after initial registration, without so much as a single share or tweet being initiated, both accounts were suspended — supposedly over security concerns. Attempted log-ins thereafter were redirected to forms for requesting a suspensions be lifted. Neither form worked, each leading to a perpetual login loop. The experience helped reinforce the initial reluctance to register for these sites.

The lack of ‘social media’ presence isn’t really as big a deal as its made out to be. Studies have shown the majority of stories and articles people share or (re)tweet are never actually read by the individual(s) sharing or (re)tweeting them.

On the other hand, the majority of visits to this page over the years have come from search engines. People actually looking for information are more likely to read it, which is the desired goal. Also, many of those hits have come from the very government agencies referenced in certain write-ups, bringing the information to the immediate attention of the intended audience (more on this in Wednesday’s post).

That said, visitors who read the content posted herein and find it might interest others are welcome to share it. Sharing links for some of the most popular social media sites are provided at the end of each posted item.

The third and final planned change is moving this site to a secure platform. Since apparently google search results are favouring secure  sites (not a bad thing), this site’s traffic relies on search results and site security has been a concern in recent years, such a move simply makes sense.

So without further ado, welcome 2017.

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