Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Internet will break you - Nov 12-17 - Week 185

I did a stupid thing the other day.  But I was honestly confused.  Momentarily.  So I typed into the Google machine "Why do Republicans want Keystone XL".  I had momentarily forgotten that oil money bankrolls half their campaigns and was honestly curious as to why they were killing themselves to allow Canadian oil production to expand.  And it took me here.  This is a terrible place that makes me fear for the United States.  Pretty much every comment contains a reference to "American Exceptionalism, suggestion that Obama is a secret muslim or born in Kenya, and support for the idea that Obama hates America and is trying to destroy it.  There is no hope for these people.

Steve continues to be a hard man against Russia.  With tough talk in the handshake line of a summit.

Somebody better than me has taken a plunge into the ridiculous Conservative bill names.  Great stuff.  Man.  So pumped on this!

Canada's reputation is terrible in countries where our mining companies are destroying things.

The US and China seem to have agreed to some real emissions targets.  Will Canada follow suit?

CSEC gets a $385 Million budget increase.  The watchdog gets a budget cut.

This is interesting.  A detailed evaluation with a simple money shot.  $1 Billion in public spending cuts eliminates 18,000 direct and indirect jobs and sucks $2 Billion out of the economy.  $1 Billion in corporate tax cuts generates 6,000 jobs and adds $1.3 Billion to the economy.  Which is a net loss, if you need to do the math.  I would imagine that this analysis breaks down at some point, but it is telling.  Right now, every time we cut corporate taxes to starve the public sector we're harming the economy.  i.e. Stimulus spending works.  Throw declining oil revenues into the mix, and we might be fucked.

The Americans insist that we've made a secret deal to purchase 4 F-35's in a fighter jet trojan horse deal.  The Cons insist that we haven't.

Interesting take.  According to Conservatives, the science is crystal clear that marijuana is harmful.  But there isn't enough science to support medical marijuana.  I guess you could have different science.  Nobody seems to be fans of the new anti-pot ads.

An American story on Rehtaeh Parsons and how Canadian journalists can no longer speak her name.  This is so fucked up, all the way around.

The Cons are going to erect monuments of Light Armoured Vehicles across the country as tribute to Afghan war veterans.  This is the funniest thing.  How can you ignore a group of people while erecting a monument to celebrate them?  Angry Veterans against Harper is gaining some momentum.

The Cons seem to be trumpeting their "surplus" loud and hard.  Even though it hasn't happened yet.  And has been seriously eroded.

The Parliament Hill shooter did reconn the week before his attack.  Which seems like some pretty great information to rile people up about shutting down Parliament Hill to the public.

Access to Information is out of reach of the average Canadian.  Thousands of dollars.  Weeks of effort.

The Cons promised to follow the court ruling to offer health care to all refugees.  But they might not actually be doing so?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Late again - Week 184 - Nov 3-12

The BC Government has come out hard and fast to protect it's citizens from danger.  Strong language.  Talk of increased fines.  Government resources to investigate and hold people to account.  Mine safety?  Pipelines?  No, no, silly human.  Uber.  Of course, it's all in the citizens interest.  Nothing to do with complaints from the Taxi and Limousine industry.

This story is titled "Less Money to Help Veterans, More to Remember Them".  Seems fitting.

It's kind of embarrassing how excited everybody is getting about bombing ISIS.  "ISIS dump truck may have been target of first Canadian air strikes in Iraq" reads the headline.  The rest of the world is embarrassed for us.

Del Mastro took the high road!  Holy shit.

Unfortunately, the Cons have not.  This is a video link, which sucks.  But Thomas Mulcair is pointing out that the Conservatives have quietly amended a bill to remove the pensions of MP's convicted of crimes to not include MP's convicted of crimes under the Elections Act.  So basically, Del Mastro gets to keep his pension due to the Conservatives changing the law.

An intervenor in the Trans Mountain/Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion approval process has withdrawn and blasted the process as ridiculous and too heavily in favour of Trans Mountain/Kinder Morgan.  No big deal.  Except that he's a former government minister and oil company board member.  More people are speaking out about the Kinder Morgan/NEB hearings being a farce.

The NDP is upset that Trudeau made public statements about the MP harassment issue.  I don't understand was he was supposed to do.  Suspend the MP's with no justification?  Not suspend them?  I guess that was an option.  The complaint seems to be that the victims privacy has been violated.  But they haven't been named.  I don't know though - Maybe this isn't right, but it seems like you can have privacy or you can have justice.  You might not be able to have both?  Question mark.

The Cons are on a rampage against things that are already illegal in our country.  Honour killings.  Polygamy.  These are problems for Steve.

We've decided to pay Roma refugees money to abandon their refugee claims.  I guess one could argue that if you're willing to accept cash to go away, your refugee claim is suspect.  But what the fuck?

We're resorting to hiring smugglers to deport people to Somalia, because it's so fucking dangerous there government officials aren't allowed to travel there themselves.  This is insane.

Other refugees...well, we just throw them in prison with no charges until we can sort things out.

How noble.  The Conservatives are going to comply with the court ruling that requires them to provide health care to refugees.

John Baird isn't just making Canadians angry now.  Russia isn't too pleased with his comments about the Ukraine.

The Governor of the Bank of Canada suggests that unemployed, basement dwelling kids, should work for free.  You know, for experience.  I'm not sure if he went on to give other advice from his childhood...pound the streets...hand out resumes...Why it only took me a couple of days to find a great job, why can't these kids manage it?  What a fucking asshole.

Two new spy watchdogs have been named.  One, a former Conservative MP with no intelligence experience.  Two, a former security consultant who might have a conflict of interest.  Mulcair doesn't like either.

Another report on the insane amount of subsidies for oil companies from rich, western governments.  $88 Billion a year, apparently.  Similarly, BC Natural Gas subsidies are insane.

I'm sure that this was the result of a direct question...but if I'm Peter McKay, I find a better answer when somebody asks me if I've seen harassment on Parliament Hill.  This could be part of the reason why the Conservatives very recently decided to do nothing about workplace harassment on Parliament Hill.

More detail on why it's terrible to ban travelers from Ebola ravaged countries.

Trudeau lays out his case against income splitting.  Interesting how supporters are sticking to their argument that income tax splitting is somehow more fair.  Global News is on the case and has proven that 87% of Canadians won't benefit from income splitting.  MacLean's shows that even with the $2000 limit, it's primarily benefiting people with higher incomes.

Way to go RCMP.  You lost a "high risk traveller".  If you can't manage the resources that you have, why should we give you more?  Failing at things should not be an argument for more power.

The Cons lost in court a few months ago with respect to CSIS and their actions overseas.

A pension board appointed by the Cons to oversee federal employee pensions has been accused of utilizing offshore tax loopholes.  The same loopholes the Cons are apparently really upset about.

America thinks we're getting four F-35's in 2017?

The Federal Information Watchdog is nearly out of money.  I'm sure Steve will tell her to manage her budget better.

Use of foodbanks in Canada is accelerating.

I'm not saying that this is a result of cuts to Statscan or hating science...but it's funny that the Conservatives aren't able to give numbers to support their policies.

UBC is building a pricey international students only college?  That seems like a terrible idea.

Kinder Morgan is really upset that protesters are giving them dirty looks.  Seriously.

The Q Billy Bob Thornton interview is pretty humourous in hindsight.  Billy Bob comes off looking kind of amazing rather than kind of crazy.  There's some amazing leaps in the comments.

A few more states decide to legalize marijuana.  Pretty much the whole west coast (come on...California with it's medicinal marijuana culture is pretty much legal) except for BC is now legal.

I'm not going to pretend to know what this guy is talking about.  But he's suggesting that the munitions we are sending our fighter jets into battle with are less than ideal.  "Own a powerful gun but buy no ammo to shoot with it' mentality" is what he calls it.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Trapped in the Closet - Week 183 - Oct 27 - Nov 3

Stephen Harper feels bad that he hid in the closet.  I actually don't blame him for that.  

We're officially arguing over the semantics of the word "terrorism".  Mulcair thinks that because the man was mentally ill, it might not be terrorism.  Russell Brand points out that when a white guy shoots 3 cops, that's not terrorism.  Which makes me a bit sad.  This isn't even his country.  How does he come up with these amazingly relevant things to say?

The Information and Privacy Commissioners are encouraging us to not over-react with draconian laws in the wake of last weeks incidents.

I love that we're using domestic attacks by Canadian citizens who never left the country to justify a global spying enterprise.  Among other things.

I always root for the underdog.  I have no idea why.  I can't remember the last time that a team that I cheered for won a major championship.  Hell, half the time I'll switch allegiances if my underdog team starts winning.  So,today we'll talk about Dean Del Mastro.  Don't get me wrong, this man deserves no sympathy.  But I can't help but feel a bit sorry for him as all his buddies skitter away and leave him holding the bag.  How does Steve not get tarnished by all the buffoons that he has surrounded himself with?

How badly does the RCMP suck?  In Stephen Harper's Canada, the RCMP thinks that environmentalists are a greater threat than "religiously inspired terrorists".  That must have been some argument, trying to sort out which Boogieman is scarier.  As well, the RCMP have kept no records of their warrantless requests to snoop on Canadians, so have no idea how often it happened or if it breached privacy.  Lastly, it looks like up to 4 RCMP officers slept with witnesses over the course of the Surrey Six investigation and trial, throwing the verdict into question.  Four!

Canada won't be granting visas to people from "Ebola ridden countries".  Many people point out that this won't stop the disease from spreading.

Because it's nearly impossible to achieve one legally, women in New Brunswick are inducing their own abortions.

We don't have the budget to build all the arctic ships we are expecting to.

Income Tax Splitting could be really, really messy.  A dream for accountants.  We know that income splitting favours people that have high incomes.  So limiting the tax credit to $2000 is a step in the right direction.  But why is it limited to people with kids?

This is really embarrassing.  We've started photoshopping logos onto the Canadarm.

The overall best selling car.  In all of Norway.  Is the Tesla Model S.  Some people point out that it is hypocritical of Norway to make buying a Tesla cheap through funding provided by their Oil industry.  But I think that's awesome.  If Canada decided to jack oil and gas royalties and use it to fund clean energy programs, that would be a good thing, no?

An opposition Commander in Syria points out that 6 fighter jets isn't going to accomplish much against ISIS.  Biased opinion?  Sure.  Mysterious source?  Of course.

You know who doesn't have confusion about whether or not to buy in to an overly expensive, unproven fighter jet program?  Russia.  That's who.

Buried way, way in the back of an already long bill are some provisions to control working conditions within the CBC.

Hooray for Canada?  A student staged a fake act of racism and filmed it as a social experiment.  Somebody sucker punched the fake racist.  Somebody else pointed out that Islam isn't a race.

It's official.  Communication from Revenue Canada makes no sense.

This is a really great cartoon that explains Obamacare and what is wrong with US Healthcare.

Every once in a while, an issue comes along that is so confusing, you're not even sure which side you are on.  #Gamergate is just such a thing.  If you use that hashtag are you a sexist?  Against sexism?  What if you're criticizing #Gamergate?  Are you allowed to use the hashtag then?  Who the fuck knows.  Anyhow, this post is beautiful.  Not just for #Gamergate, for life.  Read it.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Terrorists Win - Week 182 - Oct 20-27

It's been an interesting week.  Of course, everything has been over-shadowed by the most Canadian of terrorist attacks.  A French Canadian turned West Coaster turned Muslim attacked a War Memorial and Parliament with a rifle before being stopped by a retired gentleman.  I don't want to diminish the seriousness of this.  It is indeed a terrible event.  A soldier is dead (a soldier in place to prevent teenagers from spray painting a war memorial) and, well, two soldiers are dead, but one of them has already been largely forgotten.

But there's been a lot of "this changes everything!" going on.  I will admit that this does suggest we need better security at Parliament Hill.  Guards with guns, perhaps.  But if one crazed lunatic with a gun and one crazed lunatic with a car "changes everything" ...man, we're in trouble.

The response has been muted a bit more than I expected.  There's the right mix of discussion about "increased security" and "not caving in to terror".  But some of the first words out of Stephen Harper's mouth were about giving law enforcement more tools to do their job.  What does that mean, exactly?  Do we really need more surveillance?  Worse?  The hit and run terrorist was already being watched.  And the Parliament Hill terrorist had been denied a passport and was on somebodies radar.  Is "more tools" the answer to not doing a very good with the tools that we currently have?  "Making it illegal to condone terrorism online" certainly isn't a step we should be taking.  What does that even mean?

As well, we have this.  The PM got shoved in a closet and MP's were wielding flagpoles as spears.  And are keeping the spears as trophies.

CBC actually has this as an "Exclusive!".  The Parliament Hill shooter used a piece of junk mail as a license plate.  Conservatives set to announce new legislation seeking enhanced penalties for using junk mail as a license plate.

The Cons have decided that now isn't the right time to unveil legislation to make it easier to buy a gun.

This was written before the attack on Parliament hill.  Greenwald points out that we've been at war for 12 years and shouldn't be surprised that there are repercussions.

Of course, all of this is somewhat related to our "taking it to ISIS".  This Tyee article points out that most of the wars and/or saber rattling that we've completed over the last 10 years has been a disaster (Libya. Afghanistan. Ukraine).  Trudeau thinks it's Stephen Harper's ego that is the cause of our mission.

This is fairly damning.  Canada is ranked last of OECD Nations - 58th overall! - in dealing with climate change.  We beat Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia though!

A pretty fascinating interview with Pierre Polievre on partisanship.  It would be similar to interviewing Gretzky about scoring goals.  If Gretzky was a bit delusional and had insane ideas on how to score goals and painted himself as a non goal scorer.

I'm not super excited about the Christy Clark plan for LNG.  Accepting a pittance from multinationals making billions off of our resource seems like a terrible plan.

Home mail delivery for 74,000 addresses stopped this week.

The Conservatives have a new batch of out-of-context quotes/attack ads.

Great news!  Another Quebec only political party.  That will sort things right out.

Somebody points out that we're putting more effort into silencing bird watchers than we are into catching tax cheats.  This is a good point.

The Cons commissioned a "health report" on the effects of Marijuana.  It's fairly one sided.

There's another nomination skirmish over an easy Conservative seat.  In this one, the battle is against one guy selling Conservative party memberships out of his fathers Canadian Tire, and another guy who lives far, far away from the riding.

A story summarizing all of the companies that have recently pulled out of the Oil Sands.

There were warnings that our ability to deal with stranded ships on the North Coast is terrible.

Kinder Morgan doesn't really get it.  Tries to prove First Nations don't actually eat all that much fish, so why should they be so concerned about an oil spill in the Fraser, right?

America!  Fuck Yeah!  The Koch Brothers have a new batch of dirty tricks.  Now, they're running pro-pot ads to entice liberals/Democrats to vote for a Libertarian candidate so that their Republican candidate can win.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Threats to Society - Week 181 - Oct 14-20

It always takes a farcical story to drive a point home.  A group of Ontario birdwatchers have been threatened by Revenue Canada over "political activity".  They wrote a letter to several cabinet ministers expressing concern over bee deaths.

Stephen Harper fears that the people he's in charge of are trying to bring back the Long Gun Registry.  And all he needs is your money to stop it.

He also seems to be researching privatization of Canada Post and writing secret reports about it.

It's easy to form an argument that CSIS needs more power to track "terrorists".  (It might not be credible, but it's easy)  It's harder to understand how they decide who a "terrorist" is.

Fraser Institute economist thinks that he has solved science and proven global warming is a farce.  Science points out that he is an idiot.

Kinder Morgan pro-pipeline ads come at a time that can be seen as influencing upcoming municipal elections.

There are a truly insane number of foreign caregivers waiting for Permanent Resident status in Canada.

This might be getting complicated.  Sun News dug up some documents that suggest the major media companies (most of them) in Canada came to an agreement not to air attack ads that used copyrighted information originating from any of their broadcasts...Which may have lead to the Conservative political copyright law...and may be illegal...and Sun News views as collusion to put Trudeau into power.

Jason Kenney took it upon himself to decide that a niqab can't be worn during a citizenship ceremony.

One Russian cargo ship loses power on the coast of BC and exposes our "World Class" ship safety plans as a farce.

Canada's Indian status system seems insane.  And one lady is challenging it, as her status was revoked as she does not know the identity of her grandfather.

The Canada Food Guide kind of sucks.  And it's been put together by people closely attached to the food industry.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Thanks - Week 180 - Oct 6-14

I love Tom the Dancing Bug.  This is a pretty good one.
Jason Kenney uses his government staff to create anti-Trudea graphics.  But of course, they're doing it on their "spare time".

Oh fuck these clowns.  More pandering to gun owners.  Fuck off.  Nobody cares about your stupid "Swiss Arms rifles".  All announced at a shooting range.

The Europeans are upset about the Stephen Harper Airlines free flight to Europe as well.  Turns out bureaucrats accepting an unnecessary $300,000 flight has ruffled some feathers.  And they've pointed out that the whole thing was unnecessary and the excuses are probably bogus.

Joe Oliver thinks changes to EI premiums will create 25,000 jobs.  The PBO thinks it will cost 9,000 jobs.  Hmmmm...that's a bit of a spread.

Another Harper law will be challenged in court.  A group is suing to overturn the new election laws.  As well, they won't provide information on how much it cost to make changes.

Patrick Brazeau has more problems.  He has been arrested again.

Evidence for Democracy has released a report detailing the muzzling of Canadian scientists.  Basically, it's way, way harder for Canadian government scientists to present their research and speak out than it is for US government scientists.

The Cons new regulations on TFW's have no teeth.  Remember the Victoria area McDonald's caught abusing the program?  They were denied more TFW's twice...then phoned and complained and had the decision reversed and the TFW's fast tracked.  As well, a cafeteria on a reserve that suffers from high unemployment has brought in temporary foreign workers.


Let's just ignore your thoughts on the Harper Government response to global warming.  Not enough regulation?  Weak targets?  Needs to go further?  Irrelevant.  As this story details, the Environmental Commissioner thinks we aren't even on a path to reach our insanely low goals.  And even worse, the actual regulations are a secret!  And the reductions we have made have come primarily due to Provincial programs, not Federal.  Jeffrey Simpson is onto it as well.

An organization involved with treating addiction has come out in favour of legalizing marijuana.

Wow.  American TV networks are suggesting that if their business model isn't propped up by forcing their channels on people that don't want them, they're going to lose money and have to pull out of Canada.  I guess I see their point.  I mean, who wants to be forced to keep customers by offering them something they want for the money they're giving you?  And I would also be upset if people no longer wanted to give me money for something that they didn't want in the first place.

This is really interesting.  The Cons want to be able to freely use copyrighted news in political ads.

Great news.  There's not only a 1 percent for money...there's a 1 percent for booze consumption.  People wonder why macrobreweries still exist.  It's to service those guys.

Two cops responded to a noise complaint, entered a house illegally, beat a bunch of people up and kept their jobs.  The people they beat up won their court case...but the City won't pick up their $66,000 in legal costs.

Well of course we're not going to support the Hong Kong protestors!  That would take balls.

This is sad.  The pot smoking mountie has been found dead.  Just a really sad, tragic story.

I'm going to be super fucking pissed if refusing to support a plan to bomb ISIS with six fucking airplanes results in 4 more years of the Cons.  Super pissed.  Here's my bold prediction: As the Cons receive a boost in support for their bombing the shit out of terrorists, an election is called.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fur Hats for Everyone - Week 179 - Sept 29 - Oct 6

This is just a perfect example of the Harper Government.  We've got accusations of extremism.  Overturning somebody else's decision because you know better.  Grandstanding.  Killing animals.  Jobs!  Jobs!  Jobs!  It's perfect, really.  The Conservatives decide to overrule the RCMP's decision to no longer wear fur hats.  Claim it's for the greater good of Canada.  Congratulate themselves for saving...like what?  10 jobs?  And stick it to the extremists, for good measure.

Jim Prentice feels like all Alberta really needs right now is a few more temporary foreign workers.  Seriously.  What an asshole.  I know this isn't science or anything...but a year ago all the Oil Sands companies were advertising for engineers in BC.  Now?  Not a one.  I'm not surprised that our CEO/worker pay gap is the worst in the western world.  Well...except for America.  And some more stories about TFW's getting taken advantage of.

Does anybody out there have a really good idea for how to deal with ISIS?  At this rate, I feel like if we go in and take them out it's going to be some kind of flesh eating zombies that take their place.  The west just keeps making shit worse.  Maybe blowing the fuck out of everybody isn't the answer?  But no, Trudeau is the asshole here for questioning things.

Somebody decided that there would need to be a prison lockdown if Omar Khadr is granted an interview.

Sometimes you make a mistake, admit that you're wrong, and then move on.  Other times you double down on awful.  The Harper Government decides to appeal the decision that struck down their cuts to refugee health care.

This story details the impossible decision members of our military face.  Admit that you have a mental health problem and get treatment...or keep quiet and keep your pension.

MacLeans has a take on the Paul Calandra affair.  And some more about stupid things he has said.

The Conservatives don't want a motion to go forward that would grant the speaker the power to make people answer questions.  This is all kinds of confusing.

Once again, the Cons explanations for spending a lot of money beg greater explanation.  There's no real logic towards last minute changes leading to Canada footing the bill for a private plane ride home for some European bureaucrats.

Stephen Harper's "Ra Ra Canada is Great so let's stick it to the Russians" Franklin expedition to enhance Canadian ownership of the North...had a Russian component to it.  Which kind of chips away at the justification for it.

We now basically have one newspaper owner in Canada.  Good thing nobody reads them any longer.

And lastly...Sun news apologizes to Justin Trudeau for calling his mom a whore.  Basically.