Saturday, January 18, 2014

An Information Holocaust

Andrew Nikiforuk has been documenting the closure of government libraries and the wholesale destruction of their contents. The process has been chaotic and blind:

"The fact that many materials were thrown away or given away [most of the books at Saint Andrews Biological Station] is heartbreaking to those of us who are dedicated to marine science and the history of science in Canada," said ocean pollution expert and former federal researcher Peter Wells.

The dismantling of the libraries was so chaotic that no attempt was made to retrieve books on loan. At some of the closed libraries, books were given away to staff or ended up in landfills. In Winnipeg, private consultants took away truck loads of material from the Eric Marshall Library, while some members of the public scavenged shelves for Christmas gifts.

The party which claims to revere the nation's history has been destroying it:

"We are used to narrowing and broadening of the focus of federal libraries," said one former librarian. "But previous governments never went back and destroyed what other people did. Going back and destroying everything that came before is simply vandalism."

There is a reason for the vandalism. Destroy the history and you destroy the baseline that serves as the foundation for comparison. You destroy the metric by which citizens can judge their government's performance.

 We are witnesses to an information holocaust.


Danneau said... information holocaust as precursor to a geophysical and social holocaust of unprecedented proportions, brought on knowingly by Harper and others of his ilk whose illogic, ignorance, spite and ego leads them to believe that they can profit from the demise of an entire planet.

Dave said...

I expect this is just the first touch of the Harper torch to the fields. If his polling fortunes continue to demonstrate the low opinion held of him by a majority of Canadians, he will do it again. This creature is very "soviet" in everything he does. Expect a scorched earth.

Owen Gray said...

It's is a necessary step in their assault on the planet, Danneau.

It's so much easier to accomplish your objectives when people don't know what's going on.

Owen Gray said...

His whole information strategy has been taken from the Soviet playbook, Dave.

The closures characterize the man. His very existence is predicated on ignorance.

Lorne said...

Pictures like this are unspeakably sad for those of us who value truth, information, and knowledge, Owen. It is an apt metaphor for the barbarians that Harper and his ilk truly are.

Owen Gray said...

"Barbarians" is the correct term, Lorne. "Nihilists" is another.

Anonymous said...

We all remember the other Dictator that destroyed books. We know Harper has the same type of characteristics the other dictators of the 30's and 40's had. Make no mistake, Harper is evil.

Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini's personalities, were very similar. They all lied, deceived. thieved, were corrupt, used dirty politics, dirty tactics and all of them cheated to win. Sound familiar, it should?

Heads up, on the 3 Amigo's meeting as well. There could be, more dirty work ahead.

Owen Gray said...

I think it's fair to assume that there's more dirty work ahead, Anon.

the salamander said...

.. Gail Shea is on record recently, clearly stating they did not follow The Library and Archives Act. The law is very clear re Disposition.. and easily found.. as well as all other aects of federal information management. When she or any other Conservative will be called on to explain their violation is a question right now. is a major question.

That The previous Librarian resigned and was considered a failure at managing Digitizing or explaining the shortfalls is astounding. His interim replacement, another economist may be just as incapable.. but how Gail Shea or others have simply gone around them calls for resignations.

Owen Gray said...

It's been clear from the beginning that these folks pick and choose which statutes they will obey, salamander.

It was Stephen Harper who told his security staff some years ago, "I was under the impression that I made the rules."

The Mound of Sound said...

Harper operates in shadows and behind closed doors. From the start his efforts have been directed at severing the public's access to information, knowledge.

Through Stalinist communications control he has divorced the public from their civil and armed servants and transformed the military and the public service into his personal, partisan agencies.

His suppression of science has been relentless. It seems that anything that falls short of motivating us to take to the streets and come for him with pitchforks and torches is fair game to Stephen Harper.

Maybe we need to follow the lead of Italian dissidents if all political stripes and social stations and establish our own pitchfork movement.

Owen Gray said...

It was Harper -- at the G20 summit in 2010 -- who promoted the very policies that brought the pitchfork brigades into the streets, Mound.

It may take a home grown pitchfork movement to get him to head for the exit.

ffd said...

Germany used to be considered an international leader in science. They never recovered this reputation after Hitler.

The same thing is already happening in Canada. Foreign scientists won't work here and Canadian scientists are being pressured out of the country by the insulting and demeaning way they are being treated.

Germany was drained of intellectual talent in all fields and it went abroad and benefited foreigners, especially the Americans. One reason the allies won was because Jewish German scientists developed weapons for the Americans.

Canadians better wake up because we are on the same path as 1930s Germany. No one can say where it will lead but it is the same path. I am getting very weary of the complacent attitude that such things can't happen here because it is Canada.

Anti-intellectualism is rampant in Canada and according to OECD surveys about 40 to 50 % (varying according to which survey) can't read a book. People from an educational milieu don't realize this but the surveys are actually accurate. So unfortunately Harper's hatred of eggheads is echoed in much of the population.

Owen Gray said...

When the promotion of ignorance becomes official government policy, ffd, the fate of the nation hangs in the balance.

Worse still, ignorance works in Harper's favour.

PoliticalGuard said...

I don't know much about Canada (don't live there and have never been).

That being said, after reading this post and some comments I find the whole matter surprising and disturbing.

I never knew such things were happening in Canada.

Owen Gray said...

Our present government is much different than anything we have had before, Political. The majority of Canadians didn't vote for these people.

But, under our parliamentary system, a political party can win with less than 40% of the vote -- if the opposition is divided three ways.