Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Monday, March 23, 2015

A short one to follow up on a long one - Week 203 - March 16-23

It's funny that when you criticize Harper everybody assumes you are pro Trudeau.  Can't I just be anybody-but-Harper?  I am kind of pro Trudeau, just because he seems like the most likely choice to make anybody-but-Harper happen.  But, it does kind of feel like he's screwing things up.  Please just cooperate with the NDP, put forward some meaningful electoral reform and call it a day.  Please?

The government has been forced to buy $4.3 Million worth of marijuana.  Medical marijuana.  For veterans.  My friend Slippin' Jimmy probably could have sourced it for a few hundred thousand and use of a warehouse.

Not to worry though.  Even though we wasted that money on pot for Veterans, we put $24 Million to good use, advertising on behalf of our Energy Industry in the US of A.

The argument is made that there are potentially Billions to be saved with a National Pharmacare program.  I heard Rex Murphy say something this weekend along the lines of "but can the taxpayers afford it?"  I'm not really sure if he gets it.

Conservative MP Larry Miller figures that immigrants should "stay the hell where you came from".  Which is bad English and a horrible sentiment.  He actually thinks that terrorists can sneak into the country by...I think by impersonating another person and hiding their face during a citizenship ceremony?  I'm not sure how that works, and As it Happens pointed out that he probably doesn't either.  And sorry...I went on a bit of a twitter tirade against some jackass Realtor, agreeing with this garbage while proudly flying his Century 21 employment.  I assumed they might care that their name is being attached to a horrible set of thoughts.  But they didn't.  Unless I made them aware by phone.

Looks like the knee jerk public reaction to Bill C-51 has shifted in the opposite direction.  I mean, if you're going to base things on the opinions of people, many of which have not taken the time to research or understand the issue, I guess this is good news.

Microsoft is opening up a new office in Vancouver...and plans to staff it entirely with foreign workers.  Well.  Not entirely.  20 of the 400 jobs would go to Canadians.

The two Libs accused of...who even knows at this point...will be booted permanently from caucus.

Old news, but more detail on how companies are abusing the new Canadian Copyright rules.  Because corporations never try to push the boundaries on legislation solely created for their benefit and always tell the truth in the process of pushing for their creation.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Tonnes of stuff - Week 201 & 202 - Mar 2-16

Stepping away from a computer for a few weeks is illuminating.  You come back, and the same people are talking about the exact same things.  And the majority of people don't care at all.  I was out at trivia the other night, and a question came up about Bill C-51.  The question being, "A recent anti-terror bill has been announced.  The name of that bill is Bill C *blank*."  Please name the bill.  And people were shocked when I got it!  Like...what the fuck?

Onwards we roll.

Ha ha ha.  Refugees are claiming more Canadian income than millionaire, line jumping, investor immigrants.

Another oil train derailment.  And no, this is no an argument for pipelines.  This is an argument for rail safety.

Brian Williams gets some stories wrong 15 years ago.  Total shitstorm.  Canadian government makes up confrontations in the Black Sea with Russia.  Nothing.  Jason Kenney said the Russian jets "buzzed" the Canadian frigate..  NATO officials say it was 128 kilometers away.  He's also a bit confused about viral images on the Internet though, too.

More TFW awfulness.  Facebook, who are supposedly in Vancouver because of all of our computer talent, ended up hiring a bunch of TFW's to fill Software Engineer positions.  So, it seems like their office here is really just about skirting US labour law.  Ant the Parliamentary Budget Officer suggests that there is no accurate information on TFW's, that the numbers have gone up substantially and we really have no idea what this means for Canadian workers.

And then...fuck...and then...a Conservative MP says it makes no sense to pay "whities" to stay home while giving their jobs to "brown people".  This has somehow not generated a massive controversy.

A Canadian soldier has been killed...but we're somehow still not in a combat mission in Iraq.

For some reason, a bunch of white dudes hell bent on creating race war aren't as scary as Muslim terrorists.  CSIS internally highlights the threat of white supremacists over Muslim terrorism, but that's not what we end up hearing about, is it?  Meanwhile, Conservatives are definitely trying to stoke up fear of Muslims, doing lots of work publicizing threats by terrorists (and perhaps violating their own law in the process?).  And another MP is creating some "with us or against us" type rhetoric in his mailouts.

Michael Geist talks Bill C-51.  Surprisingly, not a fan.

Trudeau admits that they're supporting C-51 so that the Cons won't yell at them.  This is pretty terrible.

Even Christy thinks C-51 might be a bad idea.  But she's more of a "give money to corporations" kind of Conservative than a "control your citizens" kind of Conservative.

Our Privacy Watchdog won't be allowed to speak during the C-51 hearings.  Because it's about terror, not privacy, right?  I guess they already know he's not a fan.

The former Security Information Review Committee chair suggests we're in for a Constitutional mess with C-51.

A Conservative MP ignores the facts during a C-51 hearing, throws out a lot of general Muslim fear mongering and guilt by (perhaps non-existent) association.

Meanwhile, 300 criminal investigations have been sidetracked by terror investigations, according to the RCMP.

We're going to have police guard the soldiers at the National War Memorial.  But who is going to guard them?

We're letting FBI agents testify under pseudonyms in terror trials.

Our good buddy Vic Toews is back in the news.  He's been accused of inappropriately lobbying, and his wife may have received a huge chunk of money from a First Nation in the deal as well.

Another Conservative Minister, Diane Finley, committed a conflict of interest, awarding her own riding $1 Million in funding that she shouldn't have.  Brazeau suggests she's been up to other things too, pulling funding from ridings after NDP wins.

Stephen Harper thinks that guns in the hands of citizens play an important role in keeping people safe in rural communities.  Because....well...just because.

Maclean's looked at the potential impact on greenhouse gas reduction policies on Oil Sands profitability.  Surprisingly...the impact would be fairly low.  Meanwhile, Obama hasn't bought in to the Oil Sands greenwashing.

Several people have pointed out that forcing women to not wear a niqab is hardly a form of liberation.  And then he runs around claiming he has the support of moderate muslims?  Based on?  And he claims the overwhelming majority are with him too.

After years of battling it, the Cons are going to provide a bit more support for disabled veterans, just in time for the eleciton!

Conservative MP thinks he's a member of the tea party.  Argues against the "theory of evolution" with the time worn "It's just a theory" argument.

We're cutting funding to a program to treat sex criminals and prevent them from re-offending.  Because somehow, cutting off your sexual predator to spite your citizens makes sense.

Monday, March 2, 2015

It's a Milestone! - Week 200 - Feb 23 - Mar 2

200 weeks!  Holy shit!  I mean, I've probably gotten my math wrong somewhere along the way, but it all sounds impressive.  I can't wait for the next election.  So I can stop having to do this shit.

An MP admits that omnibus bills are so large, they seldom have any clue what is in them.

Law professors.  What do they know about such things?  100 academics speak out against Bill C-51.

The Cons aren't really interested in hearing from experts before voting on C-51.  I see their point.  I mean, if you have your mind made up already, why bother with more than a couple of days of listening to experts?

Some documents have been released showing that our Security apparatuses were on "high alert" prior to the October attacks.  But weren't able to do anything.  And wouldn't have been able to do anything with their new powers.

Steven Blaney insists that families know all about their radicalized children and their beliefs before they head oversees.  Except for all those times when they have no idea.

FactsCan is checking up on some of the statements Conservatives are saying to get C-51 passed:

Daryl Kramp: “You have to commit a criminal offence” to fall within the scope of C-51 powers - False

Jason Kenney: “Bill C-51 does not add new powers to CSIS, it adds new powers to our independent judiciary, to the courts, to judges.” - False

This sounds ominous and terrible but it's sort of one of those "What did you think they were doing?" kinds of things.  CSE monitors visits to government websites and e-mails to government.

Oh boy.  The reasoning the Cons are giving for no National inquiry into missing aboriginal women?  They're just all victims of domestic violence.  Yikes.

The Cons, those pillars of public communication, are thinking that maybe they should have a whole pile of debates for this upcoming election so that they can try to embarrass Trudeau.

Finally.  Inside the mind of Stephen Harper, thanks to an exclusive interview in the Costco Connection, conducted by the hard hitting editor of that well respected rag.

SNC Lavelin is turning into a smear on our entire country.  The World Bank highlights all it's corrupt subsidiaries, and it's a huge chunk of their "corrupt companies" list.

Student loans are a hot topic in BC.  First, the Advanced Education Minister conducted an interview where he made up some numbers about student loan rates.  Nobody cared.  Next, the BC Government is proposing to not issue you a drivers license if you have unpaid student loans.

The transit referendum in BC is making me very nervous.  It shows just how easy it is to torpedo an idea with a bit of fear mongering.  That's not to say that criticism of Translink is not valid...but to torpedo public transit in Vancouver over CEO salaries?  It reminds me of how election reform was torpedoed...and the HST was torpedoed...basically, if you want a policy to not be enacted, put it to a public vote.

I think I might start highlighting one story every week that contains the most clueless comments.  This week "Calgary students disciplined for wearing KKK robes" - shit...let's take this further.  Let's highlight one particularly ignorant comment.  Oreillia Hoover of Calgary Alberta:
Most White teenagers don't tend to have guns... Most White teenagers as a rule don't go out and shoot people just to see how it feels like or for bragging rites or to pass initiation in a gang...! I don't believe I've ever heard any comments regarding black youths in Calgary/Canada...! These teenagers ARE in Calgary...! 
You want me to keep going cause I could...! And please spare me your terms of endearment...!

Monday, February 23, 2015

TERROR! - Week 199 - Feb 16-23

Of course, the week has been dominated by proposed "Anti Terror" legislation.  I'll let you know once we're done talking about it, lower down.

What does this say about democracy?  After several weeks, Thomas Mulcair announces that NDP will pointlessly grandstand as the Cons jam through their anti-terror legislation.  Good for him, for sure.  But at the same time the Liberals are on the other side pointlessly supporting it.  All so they can essentially cause no real change or input and then grandstand on one side or the other come election time.  

Joe Clark, Jean Chretien, Paul Martin and John Turner have all called for more oversight of security agencies.

The Cons claim "rigorous oversight" but these appear to be empty words.  Watchdog staffing levels and budgets are on the decline.  14 people work in the SIRC office!  14 people are watching the watchers.

Michael Geist outlines just how Big Brother crazy the new "anti-terror" law actually is.

May as well limit debate on the fucker.  Why the fuck not?

And the slippery slope begins.  The RCMP warns of the growing environmental terrorist threat.  Could it be growing because under new laws we'll be able to call a whole bunch more people terrorists?

It is kind of absurd that a bunch of white kids trying to kill a bunch of random people is not considered "terrorism" in the eyes of Peter McKay and his new legislation due to lack of "cultural motivation".  Fucking code words.  And then he turns into a pouty asshole and refuses to answer questions about his answer.

Al-Shabaab makes a threat against the West Edmonton Mall that nobody is taking seriously.  Our Minister of Public Safety suggests that this proves that we need to strengthen our anti-terror laws and "fight against ISIL".  Do the new anti-terror laws give us super Youtube sleuthing powers?  Have our troops started fighting in Somalia?  Am I missing something?

Steve's insistence on appealing his loss of the niqab ruling is kind of insane.  He says Canadians are "offended".  I would hazard that most really don't care.

Trudeau calls Harper out for his anti-Muslim fear mongering.  Over the wearing of a niqab.  Not, you know, in stoking fear over terrorism.

And I think that brings to the end this weeks discussion about foreign radicals and terrorism.

Oh.  Maybe that's why they didn't want to tell us how much the ISIS mission is costing?  PBO pits cost of Iraq mission as much as $44M more than estimate

This brings up an amazing point.  The government has been including Temporary Foreign Workers in their "jobs created" stats.  This is really misleading.  As many as 1/5th of the jobs "created" by the Cons went to TFW's.

This may have been a good decision, but the optics are tough.  Over $350,000 to fly Luka Magnotta back to Canada.  How much would an extradition hearing have cost?

The Cons are pumping $11 million more into their advertising budget.  By "their advertising budget" I mean "our money used to advertise on behalf of the Conservatives".

The Cons continue their crusade against Palestine in the UN.

Who are our resources here for?  Should companies be allowed to extract them for pennies and turn around and sell them for dollars?  Is "providing jobs" and paying taxes enough?  Or should people demand more?  A new BC government policy will charge Nestle $2.25 for a million liters of water and the government is claiming it will aid in "conservation".  Because when I think "conservation", I think of handing a company millions of liters of water for nothing so that they can put it into tiny bottles and sell it for a huge profit.

Wow.  These right wing imbeciles, the Macdonald Laurier Institute, have some knowledge to pass along:
- More railway regulations would be a bad thing!
- Judges are evil!
- A public inquiry into violence against women is the last thing we need!

I guess we're in trouble then.  The Cons are changing the law so that rail companies have a bit more responsibility if they blow shit up or leak shit all over the place.

Progress!  Oil train derails, doesn't explode!  Merely catches on fire.

The Cons never met a strike they didn't like.  To end via back-to-work legislation.  CP gets the treatment.  Until they don't need it.

Cons have more problems over taxpayer funded mailouts.

Hollywood hopes that part of the TPP will include sending people to jail for file sharing.  The US Government might be on their side.

Big words about vaccination.  Little money.

Don't worry.  There's a loophole that says this Con MP hiring her daughter's fiance is okay.  He's not "family" quite yet.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Using the wrong words - Week 198 - Feb 9-16

It's amazing how worked up the opposition parties are getting in forming their inconsequential stances on the new terror bill.  The NDP is going to vote against it.  Probably.  And smart people are starting to point out that the criminalization of language is a scary thing.  And here.

Venezuela is accusing us of participating in a failed coup attempt.  Silly Venezuelans.  Don't they realize that if we had actually participated, it would have been successful?

Leona!  On fire!  Calling Don Cherry out for a joke about seal hunting.  The nerve of that man.  How dare he turn his machine of offense against something we proud Conservatives believe in.  For some reason.  I mean we don't give a shit about the aboriginal population otherwise, but fuck you if we're not going to come to their defence if you're going to talk about a commercial seal hunt that way!  Oh fuck.  They rip her to shreds with replies.

Mohamed Fahmy is not happy with our dear leader Steve and John Baird.  He blames them for his long stay in prison.  Fuck.  That's enough to get you labelled a terrorist.  And get your Conservative talking points straight.  He's a "whiner" and "Canadian of convenience".

Speaking of which.  In Baird's departure, somehow Poilievre gets a promotion.
Interesting take.  The spin the Cons have put on Eve Adams (we didn't want her) doesn't really stand up.  She was still parliamentary secretary.  If she was so awful, why not shuffle her to the outer fringes of the backbench?  As well, in the run-up to the last BC Election, Bill Tileman wrote an article about how the BC NDP needed to fight dirty.  I wasn't sure if I agreed with him at the time.  But he ended up being right.  I think Demetri Soudas is an asshole.  But he's probably going to help the Liberals.  And it looks like Eve Adams is to run against Joe Oliver?  Oh man.  I like it.  Will they turn it into Kerrigan/Harding, only to have an un-hyped 3rd Party steal gold?

The TPP negotiations are moving ahead.  Next steps: Expansion of copyright terms and criminalization of file sharing.  Seems important for the good of the world.

A Conservative minister embraced science!  Rona Ambrose lashes out at anti-vaxxers.

Joe Oliver decided to lecture Greece and Europe on how to fix things.  Which is truly amazing.

Lawyers won't have to spy on their clients finances on behalf of the government.

Details of how terrible a veteran has it in dealing with the government.

Damn whippersnappers!  Wanting everything for free!  I didn't get anything free in my day!  After I graduated high school, it took me weeks to find my management job.  And it took a full 3 years salary to afford my first house.  Damn whippersnappers.  Probably want to scale back the CPP and healthcare next.  Wanting everything for free!

Fuck you, America!  You got nothin' on us now.  Sun News shuts down.  Blames the government for not forcing it upon us.

Russian Bank faces sanctions.  Russian Bank hires John Baird's former chief of staff.  Russian Bank no longer faces sanctions.  Granted, he was chief of staff for Baird a long time ago...and was hired for the sole purpose of accomplishing this very task...it kind of stinks a bit though, no?

Peter McKay's friends and wedding guests are all going on to extremely successful government sponsored legal careers.

Gun nuts continue their freak out over High River flood temporary gun seizures.  So...RCMP taking firearms bad.  RCMP and others as secret anti-terror police good?

We paid $180,000 to run an office that didn't do anything.

Some info on how questions get formulated for the Prime Minister at his press conferences.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Big News! - Week 197 - Feb 2-9

This was a week when all of the stories are so big, there's almost no point in posting.  Yet...here we are.

Steve re-shuffles the deck in the wake of John Baird's departure.  An interesting article on how John Baird was a master of blowing smoke up peoples asses.

Eve Adams is now a Liberal.  Man.  This seems like bad news for everybody.

The Cons lose another court case.  The ban on wearing a niqab during a citizenship ceremony is struck down.  Fuck.  Can you believe that any of that was necessary.

This wasn't a law created by the Cons...but they certainly aren't happy about losing this case.  Supreme Court to allow limited physician assisted suicide.

The Liberal MP loses his bid to re-instate the long form census.  Here's some details, not that it matters.

A disproportionate amount of infrastructure funding for disabled access has gone to Conservative ridings.

A former soldier is asking why the government is giving details about the mission in Iraq.  Because details are what could jeopardize soldiers.  Not telling people the cost of the mission.

Who is in charge of Parliament Hill security seems to be a big political deal, somehow.

The Libs confirm that they will follow the Cons on anti-terror legislation.  And we've totally misunderstood.  We shouldn't worry about people getting swept up in terror accusations if they're just "teens messing around in the basement".  In Steve's world, those fuckers belong in jail!:
asked how to distinguish between teens messing around in their basements and someone who is radicalized, Harper said it would be a serious offence "no matter who you are."  "It doesn't matter what the age of the person is, or whether they're in a basement, or whether they're in a mosque or somewhere else," Harper said Friday in Richmond Hill, Ont.

Because he thinks all this terror shit will get him elected.  Worked for George Bush, I guess.

A BC businessman received a huge settlement after  having his business destroyed by a misguided "terror investigation".  Over two boxes worth of electronics.

Andrew Weaver wins a defamation suit against the clowns at the National Post.

And Trudeau announces some sort of plan on carbon reduction.  It might not be a great plan, or much of a plan yet.  But it's more than the Cons have given us.

This is just a nonsense article that is tough to follow.  Don't begrudge the 1% attaining half of all the wealth...people making $40,000 saw an increase of 3.9% over 4 years.  That's nearly a percent a year!  Fuck, hope Wal-Mart party supplies are on sale because we're going to celebrate the shit out of this.  With quotes from the Fraser Institute!Just a reminder.  The Fraser Institute receives huge amounts of funds from pro-oil billionaires from the US.  Foreign Radicals indeed.

Wow.  Rich.  Harper suggests that Trudeau has it in for the military.  I guess if you think that committing the country to wars where soldiers can go off and get killed and then cutting support for veterans is "pro military", than yes, he may be right.

What a fucking mess.  The Feds allow some TFW's to stay in Alberta, because they might be on track to stay anyhow, but the rules are so convoluted it probably won't help anybody anyhow.

The NDP is going to have to pay back $2.75 Million in salaries due to the satellite offices controversy.  Yikes.

BC raw log exports have increased dramatically under the Liberals.  From 200,000 cubic meters in 1997 to 6.5 Million in 2013.  Much of that jump coming from 2009-2013.  There's really no justification for this.

Copyright has been for life of author, plus 50 years.  That's been wholly and totally adequate.  Except all the pouting entertainment companies are demanding an extension to cover a handful of their franchises.  So now it's life + 70.  Fuck these people.  Why do we need to keep changing laws to support their business model?

Fuck.  Alberta.  You don't want a sales tax.  And corporate taxes are off the table.  What are you going to do?  I love it though.  "If we charge taxes to all of these oil companies, they'll take their business elsewhere."  Because oil is an incredibly mobile resource.  I drink your milkshake?

These are the stories that get me up in the morning.  "MacKay once backed intelligence oversight now rejected by Tories"

I didn't read the full story, but I'm extremely troubled by this.  A lady in her mid 30's attacked a pipeline worker in Alberta.  But how was she radicalized?  I mean, she's a terrorist, right?

The Port Metro truck driver dispute is a total shitshow.  Drivers strike because they're paid shit and have to wait for hours and hours (unpaid).  Well fuck you then.  We'll just create a new licensing system that puts a whole bunch of you out of business.  In the name of "fairness".

Monday, February 2, 2015

All ISIS, all the time - Week 196 - Jan 26-Feb 2

The Cons seem pretty adamant that they won't tell Canadians how much the non-combat mission to kill Iraqi evildoers is costing.  Because ISIS can get key Canadian strategy from a single number provided by the government to the people of Canada.  That would be more helpful to them then telling them exactly how many soldiers we sent and crowing about the things they've accomplished.

Teens!  Armed Robbery!  Terrorism!  This is why we should be afraid of all these "you can't be a terrorist" laws.  Seriously?  A 15 year old kid is going to rob a store and fly oversees to fight for ISIS?  And he should be punished extra because of it?  Sorry.  This is armed robbery, not terrorism.  Thankfully, we don't seem to really have a choice.  The Libs have decided to join the Cons (maybe) and are supporting the legislation (I think).  And it sounds like some of what is contained in the new "ANTI-TERROR!!!" bill sound like Steve wants our spy agencies to be like a meddling parent.  Cancel plane reservations?  Block financial transactions?  Okay.  I'm fine with that.  But criminalizing language is all kinds of fucked up and extra-criminalizing people for an arbitrary "TERRORISM" target is unnerving.  They know it when they see it, I guess.

The PBO suggests we're heading for a "small" deficit.  Who to believe...him or Joe Oliver?  Income splitting has raised it's head again.  One report says families with incomes higher than $233,000 per year are going to receive the largest benefit.  Thank god the little guy is finally getting a break!  And it's easy to say the "middle class" receives the largest benefit when you arbitrarily pick a large income that qualifies you as middle class.  Joe Oliver thinks $120,000 is that number.

Hooray!  We're letting rich people cut to the front of the immigration line again.

This war on crime is fucking amazing!  Crime is the lowest it has been since 1969!  All thanks to the Cons and their awesome policies!  Woo hoo!  So...mandatory life in prison.  Many people have pointed out that there are already mechanisms in place to achieve this end - but that's never stopped the Cons from introducing laws to make already illegal things super illegal.  This time they're proposing life in prison with no chance of parole.

The government spent $650,000 in court (so far) trying to not pay seven Veterans injury benefits.

Anti-Marijuana ads cost $7 Million.  Which is quite a lot considering they only really came about when the Liberals started supporting marijuana legalization.

The damage to our information gathering capacity due to the loss of the mandatory long form census has become more apparent.  As well, the government continues to put out bad job data.  The actual 2014 numbers have been revised down 35%.

Tax revenues are actually up under the "tax-slashing" Conservatives.  That's a pretty neat trick they've pulled off.

Fucking idiots.  "Expert says spy agencies 'drowning in data' and unable to follow leads".  By "fucking idiots" I mean the "fucking experts", not the professionals within our National spy apparatus. (Hi there!).  I mean, who doesn't think monitoring every download on the planet isn't a sound strategy?

Some detail on how Health Canada doesn't seem to hold anybody accountable for not following their drug advertising requirements.

Transport Canada is thinking about letting small boats dump their untreated shit closer to shore.  This is a stupidly terrible idea.

Missed this from a few weeks ago.  James Moore is threatening exploding trains all over the place if we don't choose the correct false choice that he presents to us
"Yep.  You can either  have this clean, safe, responsible pipeline...or trains that explode all over the place.  The choice is up to you."
"Oh boy.  I don't want trains exploding all over the place.  What was that other choice again?"

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is wondering why they're putting this bleak bullshit on her doorstep.  Another reason to question the silly "Victim's of Communism Memorial".

The Fraser Institute looks at public sector wages and benefits and decides that we should all strive for the lowest common denominator.  Thank goodness they're still considered a charity.

Somebody took the time to lay out Thomas Mulcair's various election promises to date.

Elizabeth May points out that the Libs and NDP are probably too delusional to team up and take on the Cons.

With assholes like this running the US, we don't stand a chance.  "The hoax is that there are some people who are so arrogant to think that they are so powerful, they can change climate. Man can't change climate."  Don't worry though, the Koch brothers are going to make sure they have their way with the next election.