Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Monday, December 24, 2012

Guns for the New Year - Week 86 - Dec 17-24

Great timing Steve!  The Government announces that they won't adopt laws aimed at making gun shows safer.  The proposed requirements?  Gun show sponsors would have to notify police and provincial firearms officers that they are hosting a gun show, and they would have to "ensure the security and safety of the location and the firearms".  Boy, those sound like tremendous burdens.  The reason why these won't be adopted (other than "because a committee full of gun advocates decided it's unnecessary"?  "The vast majority of gun show hosts and exhibitors already follow the rules."  Shit.  That's totally logical!  I mean, we could do away with all sorts of laws now.  The "vast majority" of Canadians don't drink and drive.  Let's get rid of those laws too.  The "vast majority" of Canadians don't murder one another.  Don't really need those ones either.

I like this idea that boingboing is following...essentially trying to understand if gun control laws actually have some effect.  This first story speculates that they might...or might not.  It's hard to say as it's difficult to study the issue without passing actual laws.

But then this link points out that gun lobbyists have actively worked against the very studies that might shed some light on this issue.  So, I guess it is convenient to point out that there is no science to support gun control while you work to stifle any science that might support gun control.

On a similar note, Slate points out that gun control laws in Australia have been very effective at stopping mass shootings.  Different country, yes.  But enlightening.

And can you even believe these NRA shitheads?  Holy fuck.  Announce a major coming announcement as everybody anticipates you changing your insane stance on guns and then just double down on fucking crazy and announce that every school needs armed police officers!

These Vancouver Sun "Top 10 Photos" articles are usually the worst thing ever.  This one is kind of interesting.  The top 10 Countries in per capita gun ownership:
USA! USA! - #1 at 88.8 guns per 100 Citizens
Yemen - #2 with 54.8 guns per 100
Switzerland - Surprisingly #3 at 45.7
Finland - #4 at 45.3
Serbia - #5 at 37.8
Cyprus - #6 at 36.4
Saudi Arabia - #7 at 35.0
Iraq - #8 at 34.2
Uruguay - #9 at 31.8
Sweden - #10 at 31.6
Yes.  The USA has more guns per capita that recently war torn Iraq and Serbia.  Within smelling distance of 3 times as many guns.  Crazy.

Once again, Matt Taibbi gets the rage going.  This time combining two awesome themes:  Too Big to Fail and the War on Drugs.  This post highlights the settlement that HSBC made after being caught laundering Billions of dollars in cartel money.  No jail time, just a (relatively speaking) small fine.  He points out the discrepancy between being a white collar banking executive committing monstrous crimes vs. the average bloke caught with a joint in his pocket.  Pretty fucked up.

A troubling article about our dealings with China RE CNOOC, Chinese Mine Workers, Etc.

Those pesky opposition parties with all of their questions!  Don't they realize all of this "democracy" and "accountability" costs money?  We could save a fortune if we could just do what we want.

I think this guy misses the point a little bit.  First, is this a news piece?  Opinion?  Anyhow, he points out that all fighter jets are expensive.  And they all cost money to service and operate.  Which is true.  But he loses the point of the hullabaloo.  All of this was done without a rigorous evaluation of options.  And it was done with figures that didn't really represent the reality of the situation.  Yes, we may end up with the F-35 in the end.  But we need to make an informed decision and not just buy something because it's awesome.  And "stealth".

Surprisingly, most Canadians aren't willing to give up their rights in the name of "stopping terrorism".  Bloody communists!  Don't they know that government intrusion is okay when it's done for "security" reasons?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Andrew Scheer for Prime Minister - Week 85 - Dec 10-17

It's a weekend that makes me glad that I'm Canadian.  As bad as Mr. Harper seems, at least we don't have a country tearing itself apart over weather or not to ban assault rifles.

Good on Andrew Scheer, the Speaker of the House.  He layed the hammer down on his own party that seems intent on re-writing the rules of Parliament.  Maybe he should lead the party?

Hallelujah!  One guy has admitted that a robo-call stopped him from voting.  Does this mean the lawsuit can go forward?

The Conservatives have come up with another way to battle the robo-calls accusations without actually addressing the robo-calls accusations.  This time they say that the case should be thrown out because the organization representing the individuals in court (footing the legal bills, etc.) has a vested interest in the outcome and sought out applicants to bring the cases forward.  Wow.  How evil.  Somebody made people aware that they had standing to bring a case to court after they were victims of an illegal action.

Oil lobbyists have met 2733 times with public officials in the last 4 years.  Enbridge and other pipeline companies have had 52 meetings with cabinet ministers.  During the same time, there was 1 meeting with Greenpeace.

Apparently "temporary" foreign workers means "only foreign workers will be hired for four years and then will remain for another ten years after that".  But that's okay.  Jason Kenney insists everything is okay.

Even worse, many of them are unskilled and forced to pay recruitment agencies a large chunk of their earnings.  There was a CBC Radio story a few days ago that interviewed some of these miners.  They talked about how this was a "chance of a lifetime" to make decent Canadian wages to send back to their families.  I softened a bit on this program.  But knowing that most/some of this money is going back to unscrupulous recruiters completely kills this whole thing for me.  No jobs for Canadians.  No finanical windfalls for the Chinese workers.  No actual "advanced skills".  This whole program is crazy.

Oy.  Fighter Jets.  I can't even begin to follow what is going on any more with the Fighter Jets.  What was the original price estimate?  What did that include?  This timeline sets some of it out.  The government has released a "revised" number of $42 Billion, and announced that they are putting things on hold.  Is this the official 3rd Party number?  And we'll see how long it takes to blame this on the Liberals/NDP.

And...not just a fiasco in costs.  It looks like all of the financial "benefits" in the forms of construction contracts aren't really based in reality either.

A bit of a Tyee link dump.
First, an article that highlights some of the problems with the Oil Sands and the CNOOC deal.  Man, there's some crazy numbers in there.
Here's a pretty fucked up article about our foreign relations with the Congo.  Key points:  The Congo has perhaps the greatest mineral wealth of any country on Earth.  Yet it is dead last in per capita GDP.  We aren't really helping much.

This is a pretty great little story from CBC about bad behaviour in Parliament.  My favourite, and I can't remember if I posted this last year...was Justin Trudeau becoming unhinged when Peter Kent suggests that opposition members would be better informed if they had attended the UN Climate Change Summit in Durban...after they had campaigned for months to be included in the UN Climate Change Summit in Durban.  I think I did talk about that but it still is just an awesome example of how clueless these guys can be.

I don't really have an opinion formed on this story.  On one hand, Federal Government Employees have seen some significant wage/benefit increases in the last few years.  On the other hand, many of them are going to lose their jobs.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Selling Out the Country - Week 84 - Dec 3-10

So.  A Chinese state-owned oil company is allowed to buy a chunk of our Oil Sands.  A Malaysian state-owned oil company is allowed to buy a chunk of our Oil Sands.  Why don't we just run the whole place with a Canadian state-owned oil company instead?  No.  That's crazy talk.  Commie.

I don't think there is any comment required beyond the headline here: "Minister for Canada’s foreign aid agency says he was unaware of its key principles"

This is kind of a sad commentary of where we are and actually a personal justification for why I am doing this in the first place.  The Conservatives are trying to jam through another Omnibus budget bill.  And the Conservatives are limiting debate.  And I've just ignored it for the last few days.  I've come to accept that this is just the way that things happen.  And that's pretty fucking scary.

Interestingly, the morning after the Omnibus Budget vote I'm looking at the National Post and there is absolutely nothing on their front page and nothing on their "Canada" page either.  I guess it isn't newsworthy to them.  In fact, when I search "omnibus" on their site, absolutely nothing comes up.

Oh man.  Ohmanohman.  I'm going to quote an entire passage from this article on the latest Omnibus Bill.
As the final group of amendments proposed by the opposition went to a vote late Tuesday night, the NDP began to chant "2015," a reference to the next federal election, which is when they say the Harper government will be held accountable for the bill. (CBC's Kady O'Malley reported that the Conservatives chanted back, "Carbon tax. Carbon tax.)

A pretty fantastic opinion piece outlining just how fucked up Stephen Harper's policies are with respect to Israel and Foreign Policy.

Speaking of which.  We've voted for Israel again on an even more one-sided UN vote.  This time, only 6 countries voted with Israel (USA, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau)  against a UN resolution calling for Israel to join the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.  As well, there were only 6 abstentions this time.  Slate explains why we might be on the wrong side here.

Not only are we blindly supporting Israel.  Now we're no longer going to provide any aid to Palestine.  As punishment for the rest of the World voting in their favour in a UN vote.

Boingboing provides a nice summary to the changes in the Navigable Waters Act.  Good info in the comments as well.

Looks like Stephen Harper's war on crime is working really well!  Homicide rates rise 7%.  The first time it has risen in a long, long time.

The Conservatives have learned from the various copyright lobbies.  Just keep trying until something sticks!  Didn't work?  Change it a bit and try again.  A Conservative MP proposes "condemning" sex selective abortion.

A great article from Slate debunking some recent claims on how there is no Global Warming.  I love, love, love this claim that all of these scientists that claim "Global Warming" just do it to keep the gravy train rolling.  Yes, thousands of scientists around the World have advanced a singular conspiracy just so they can keep their probably-mediocre-level-of-income gravy train rolling.  All those oil and gas companies that are making billions of dollars have absolutely no economic interest in this fight.  It's those greedy scientists!  Nor surprisingly, the article that is being debunked originates from the National Post.

I had to look long and hard to find any other reference to this story that I saw while perusing a Metro paper while waiting for my Breakfast Club.  There isn't any.  Anyhow, this is very interesting.  First, Stephen Harper did the right thing?  He rejected some insane proposals created by Vic Toews "firearms advisory committee".  These claims included easing restrictions on handguns and assault rifles and increasing gun control licenses from 5 year to 10 year terms.  So, good job.  But, my next...why do we have a "firearm advisory committee"?  Why is the committee composed almost entirely of firearms advocates and why is the head of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police not allowed on it?

The Harper Government has delayed enacting a law requiring every gun sold in the country to have a unique serial number.  Really?  They don't need one now?  But, as the article kind of mentions, it doesn't really matter any longer because we have no idea who has the guns anyhow.

Don't worry!  Everything is fine!  Sales numbers have dropped by 30% but look at the prices!  They're still okay!

Another story on potential Copyright Lawsuits.  I like that this one points out that the government promised that this wouldn't happen while they were putting together this legislation.

This is why we shouldn't give the Copyright Companies more control over our computers:  They don't even know what is on their own.  This story from Boingboing outlines attempts by various networks and studios to shut down "infringing content", some of which was their own websites.

I really like this story via boingboing about how some companies are saving money and improving product by relocating manufacturing to the United States.  Two points:
1) One, as an engineer that buys lots of expensive equipment, I'm very often surprised by how quite often the best equipment is also the cheapest equipment.  Not always, but it often seems like for two relatively similar parts, the company that does a better job of designing it and building it often can make it cheaper.  Great design transcends.
2) How long until somebody thinks "wait a minute...with all these production efficiencies that we've designed in, imagine how much cheaper we could make it in China!"
3) I'm also reminded of an argument I had a few years ago with my brother.  "My economics prof says that the Porsche Boxster is the cheapest car to manufacturer in the world!  And they sell it for $60,000!"  I pointed out to him that maybe it was possible that they manufactured it with the cheapest amount of labour as compared to any other car due to it's modular design and modern factory but that it was impossible for a leather upholstered, high performance engined, mag wheeled, high dollar suspensioned sports car to cost less to make than a Geo Metro.  But no, he wouldn't agree with me.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Crazed Idealogues - Week 83 - Nov 26 - Dec 3

So, Canada has gone from moderate negotiator of peace to crazed protector of Israel.  A vote for Palestine as a "non-member observer state" in the UN didn't go our way, so we packed up our diplomats and went home.  I'd imagine many of our diplomats aren't even bothering to unpack we seem to be calling them home so often.  When did we take this turn?  What is the reason for it?  Is it simply blind support for Israel through fear of a second holocaust?  Islamophobia?  Why does Canada get to decide the way this will play out vs. the other 138 countries that don't agree with us?  The 9 countries that voted against the motion...those would be Canada, the USA, Israel, Micronesia, Palau, the Czech Republic, Marshall Islands, Naura and Panama.  You remember all those times in the past when Russia has voted for things that make no sense?  And it just defies all logic that they're standing in the way of meaningful dialogue and the will of the UN?  Ya...that might be us now.

Have you heard about these Queen's Jubilee medals?  Ya, there's something like 60,000 of them being awarded and it sounds like it is largely at the discretion of individual MP's.  One Saskatchewan MP has decided that a pair of ladies who have continually been arrested for anti-abortion related harassment.  He's praised them as "heroines of humanity".  Surprisingly, he's a Conservative MP.

So.  I was thinking about the above mentioned Saskatchewan MP story and I was thinking about why we have so many prairie yahoos doing all kinds of stupid shit.  And I started to think that there must be something to this...some reason why a disproportionate number of yahoos from the praries are in Parliament to stir up ridiculousness.  To Wikipedia!  Check out the table a few scrolls down from the top of the link.  If Canada were evenly distributed, one MP would represent exactly 113,308 people (with the current number of MP's).  We always hear about how Quebec is over-represented, and sure enough, each Quebec MP represents around 100,000 people.  "The West" is kind of shafted with 114,000 for BC and 117,000 for Alberta.  Ontario actually sees a similar amount of shaftedness.  But you want to talk about crazy over-representation in Parliament?  Look at Saskatchewan, ground zero for MP craziness.  69,000 people.  14 Yahoos that represent around 69,000 people each.  This explains a lot.

I find it very interesting that Mark Carney gets so much credit for Canada "weathering the storm".  I'm far from an expert on this kind of thing, but it's very curious.  But two things jump out:
- I've seen him/Canada praised several times for "not having to bail out our banks".  Were the policies not put in place many, many years ago to prevent this from happening?
- Many people believe we're on the verge of some severe housing price corrections, which won't have a very positive effect on the economy.  Is it going to be the poor bastard that fills his shoes that takes the blame for this?
Looks like his landing might not be so soft after all.

This graphic doesn't make things look very good with respect to Conservative fiscal management.  When did these clowns start?  Seems like we took a big swing down around that time.  Ya, ya.  Global financial crisis.

Somebody at the National Post has rationalized that a Mayor getting tossed out for breaking the rules is un-democratic.

I can't believe that we actually have to praise a decision by the Federal Government to not allow gas drilling in a National Fucking Wildlife Area...but here we are.

Elections Canada has finally released some official information as to how widespread the robocall scandal was in the last election.  56 ridings, apparently.

An article on vote splitting.  Unfortunately, I'm not sure we'll ever make it to a point where a party is in power that is able to implement this.  Perhaps an NDP/Liberal coalition could push this through.  Perhaps.

There was an interview on the CBC yesterday.  The lady was explaining how "lucky" we are in Canada that damages for Copyright infringement have been capped at $5000.  She was telling us all about how forensic internet companies had moved into Canada and were now tracking torrent traffic.  Ya.  Lucky.  A thing that was legal is now illegal and a bunch of companies are working on suing Canadians (Michael Geist explains it in more detail here).  Awesome.  At least we're not Finland, where the fines for illegal downloading are hundreds of times worse than the fines faced by rapists and murderers.

I agree that if it isn't necessary, Government officials shouldn't travel in private aircraft.  But it seems sad that our country has only two private aircraft left for government use.  A bit 3rd World, really.

I'm really starting to hate the National Post.  And the Financial Post seems to be the place where "rich" assholes can go and talk shit about how much money they've made on stocks.  That's why I love this.  November 22nd...A story on how much money there is to be made on RIM.
November 27th...A story on the dramatic one day collapse of RIM stock.
I know that this doesn't mean anything long term.  I know that there is still an incredible potential upside to RIM.  As well as a potential that they will go bankrupt.  I just hate the certainty that these articles are written with.  When they're just so full of absolute shit and really have no fucking clue what might happen.

Oh fuck the hell off.  The government that seems to treat Parliamentary committees as a joke is drafting a motion to haul Trudeau and McGuinty in front of a committee for their "anti-Alberta" comments?  And some poor schlubs were waiting in the background the whole time this insane debate was going on?

Perhaps in an effort to prop up his image, Patrick Brazeau has created a video in support of finding missing aboriginal women.  Still...who is this guy?

I'm sharing this story for one reason only...I sent Joyce Murray the link to this fine blog and she claims that she read it and laughed.  She sends me invitations to stuff as well.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Hooray for Wal-Mart! And Exclamation Marks - Week 82 - Nov 19-26

Let's start the week by revisiting the 1%.  The Wal-Mart heirs - 6 people - have the equivalent wealth of the bottom 41% of America - Roughly 49 Million Households!  As well, somebody has compiled an interesting theorem.  Wal-Mart is essentially subsidized to the tune of 2.7 Billion per year due to government support of its ill-paid workers.

Here's a fantastic article about Gary Bettman.  It contains this fantastic analogy - Imagine your neighbor knocking down his house, then rebuilding it from scratch as his family lived in a hotel. You had to listen to the construction guys hammering, sawing and banging for a solid year. Finally the house goes up, the family moves back in … and seven years later, suddenly they're knocking the house down again. You ask the neighbor what happened and he says, "Yeah, sorry about that — we screwed up when we rebuilt the house, had too many flaws, we needed to do it over again."  Fantastic

An interesting defence has been raised by the Conservatives over robo-calls.  They're now claiming that everything is fine because there's no direct evidence that anybody was actually deceived by their misleading calls.  Goodness.  Basically "You can't prove that we did something.  But even if we did do it...it didn't really work, so there's no problem here."

And, just to prove that they aren't one trick election fraud ponies, a bunch of people in Quebec have shown up on the Conservative donors list.  The problem?  They claim then never made a donation.  And, I love this...to defend themselves, the Conservatives have produced cheques from some of the individuals who claim they didn't donate.  Except, the values of the cheques they've produced don't necessarily correspond with the values claimed!

Doesn't this whole system seem a little arbitrary?  So, a person deemed not responsible for a murder based on reasons of mental defect has their case analyzed once per year to see if they are healthy enough to be released.  That will now become once every three years...Why is there a timeline on this in the first place?  Shouldn't this be based on whether or not a person is "cured" and the opinion of medically trained individuals?  I know it sounds a bit crazy when you say something like "these people stand a chance of getting out every year."  But another way to look at it, maybe, is "once a year we take a look at their case to see if they've made enough progress to be released."  It feels like locking mentally ill killers up for longer is a cheap target.

Ummm...Call me crazy, but I don't exactly see anything terribly wrong with what David McGuinty says here about MP's "Going Back to Alberta".  Okay, for a backbench MP, yes, they do represent their riding and should be able to take a regional point of view.  But the government as a whole is supposed to represent the country, right?  Is it not reasonable to question the government on whether or not it has the entire countries interests in mind?

The Conservative candidate the Calgary center by-election skipped out on a debate.  This prompted a pretty amazing comment from the NDP candidate in the riding - "We don’t see them between elections. In fact, we don’t even see them during elections either".  Sadly, only 200 people were there to hear it.

What exactly does this bozo Brazeau do and how did he get appointed to the Senate?  It looks like he may falsely be claiming a Senate housing allowance.

This would only be better if it had been Bain Capital that had done the buyout.  It looks like Hostess had been subject to a past Romneyesque takeover that resulted in huge amounts of debt that ate away at profits.  The unions already rolled their salaries back once, several years ago.  One guys wages had gone from 48,000 per year, down to $34,000 and under the new proposal would be $25,000.  Yikes.  The executives?  Yep.  Bonuses and pay raises.

Justin Trudeau thinks that we should let China buy our companies because the USA is dieing and trade with Asia is our salvation.  Oh brother.  That's okay though.  Once the Chinese FIPA is in place, we probably won't even be able to decide this on our own.

This article says - Federal health minister Leona Aglukkaq (I think I may have spelled this wrong) says she is compelled by law — specifically, Canada’s Food and Drugs Act — not to withhold approval for a drug that is otherwise considered safe and effective for its intended use.  There are just so many holes in this argument.  First up, the only thing that we need to consider when approving drugs is whether or not it is safe for its intended use?  Even if there's drugs out there that do the same thing with a lower chance of addiction, we still have to approve it because it's "safe for its intended use"?  And what about marijuana then?  It could probably be argued that marijuana would be safe for a whole number of medical uses.  Why has it been a crazy political shitstorm to make any sort of progress with medical marijuana if the government is so against politicizing drug approval?

Sigh.  This is a story about how the average global temperature - i.e. the temperature of the entire planet, taken as a whole - has been higher than average for the last 332 months.  I will admit that there is some information missing here and it's not particularly well written.  What exactly is the average temperature that we're comparing this too?  Over what time period was that taken? (of course, you could click through the link and see that the temperatures have been taken since 1880)  But read through the comments and you realize what sort of battle we're up against.  There's one guy saying that of course it's rising, it always rises between ice ages.  And another guy that points out that Australia has experienced many cooler than average months so this is bogus.  Hey fuckface!  He didn't say that every point on the entire planet experienced higher than average temperatures!  He said that the earth as a whole did!  Anyhow.  There's numerous excuses for ignoring science, I guess.

Here's a good round-up of US Election stories from Slate.

Did Vic Toews actually do something productive and not step in it for once?

Time to go out and buy!  It only takes 42% of your pre-tax income to own that house of your dreams.  Bargain!

Why won't Harper attend a Premiere's meeting?

Monday, November 19, 2012

All Over the Place - Week 81 - Nov 12-19

I've been feeling a strange feeling the last few weeks.  And this isn't just a problem with Stephen Harper.  Why are we continually talking about the lack of money?  Sure, there was a recession.  But there were years of boom times when we should have built up a nest egg.  Why do we have crumbling infrastructure?  Why are people ending up dead because we have no mental health services?  Why is it just kind of accepted that things are worse than they used to be?  From service on airlines to general corporate culture, it seems like it is a given that there isn't enough money to properly do a job and that's just the way it needs to be because we need to save money.  What the fuck are we saving our money for?  To pay for shit that's worse?  And...kind of related, but not really...why do we accept a strange story about two girls in Thailand ingesting DEET and dieing, and then just stop talking about it?  What is our government doing to get some answers on this?  Why is a bullshit story just accepted?  What the fuck do we have a government for if they can't even ask a few questions about why two citizens are dead?

Hmmmmmmm...The Conservatives aren't polling too well in the lead up to the Calgary Centre by-election.  If they can't win this seat...holy shit.

This is my favourite article so far about the US election.  And it comes from a hockey blog.  Anyhow, it details the meltdown of Romney's Project Orca.  And it includes:
- A Canucks playoff meltdown reference
- A Tim Thomas the Tea Partier reference
- A Kevin Smith "gretzky" reference
It's pretty awesome.

Don't worry everybody.  Real Estate is going to be fine.  Record debt loads growing at an even faster rate?  No problem.

Holy Fuck!  This newspaper is psychotic!  First up, a story about racism rising in Greece results in crazed racist lunacy in the comments section.  And this article about "support for unrestricted abortion"...my goodness.  It's like a pro-life reunion in the comments section.  I love the new term though.  "Unrestricted Abortion".  Like doctors are just going to drive around, randomly aborting things.

I like this.  Stephen Harper suggests that, wow, just in time for the next election, the budget will be balanced...probably until right after the next election.

This article...oh man...this article.  So it talks about how Thomas Mulcair is a crazy communist for suggesting that Canadian oil be processed in Canada.  And then it talks about how we'd be better off shipping our oil outside of the country for world market rate.  And that we'd be better off bringing gasoline in from China and India because it's much cheaper.  Which...I don't know.  Seems a bit contradictory to me.  And it's a bit short sighted.  Okay.  RIGHT NOW, we can sell our oil for more outside of the country.  RIGHT NOW there are some cheaper gasoline markets.  But does it not seem insane that we ship one thing out at a lower price, only to buy it back with a bit of processing at a higher price?  Why don't we look long term?  Okay, 10 years to build a refinery.  And then...we're golden.  We don't have to worry about "world markets".  We don't waste crazy amounts of energy shipping things around the world in the name of maximizing profits.  But no.  Thomas Mulcair is an insane communist and Alberta should be allowed to do whatever they want, even if it involves digging up the rest of the country.

I haven't followed this temporary-chinese-mine-worker story all that much, but it sounds kind of sketchy.  Apparently the jobs were advertised for a ridiculously low wage in Canada and when there were no takers they went offshore.  And the government is doing all that it can to avoid transparency.

Stephen Harper doesn't care that the CBC has no money.  In fact...I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that he's pretty darn happy about it.

11,000 Federal Government jobs have disappeared this year.

Can't wait for John Baird to grandstand about the latest UN "outrage" - declaring contraception a universal human right.

Oh boy.  A comedy of errors in the Federal Governments efforts to entice internationally known (Rob Base?) scientists to Canadian Universities for obscene amounts of money.  First, they hired the guy but made him languish in immigration hell.  Then, they offered his wife a job but balked at giving her an extra 11 days off.  Unpaid.  Then, well, then he actually went to Edmonton and tried to live there.  In the end, he went home.  And millions and millions get sunk into high profile scientists while homegrown programs are cut in the name of cost savings.  Sometimes fairly trivial amounts of cost savings.  Interestingly, some of the other famous science chairs is actually doing climate change research.  Surprised that was allowed!

This is an interesting article from Slate suggesting some real world ways to combat climate change.  I agree with these, for the most part, and appreciate that they don't dwell on trivialities like "buy a new refrigerator".  These all make sense.  Except cap-and-trade.  But maybe I can be swayed.  See, as an engineer, I'd probably be one of the people called upon to calculate the actual outputs of "polluters".  Having participated in exercises similar to this I can see how pointless and difficult and bureaucracy creating something like this is.  It's so, so difficult to even get an accurate representation of things like liquid effluent pumped into a pipeline, let alone an accurate idea of the amount of gases escaping into the air.  I just cannot see a meaningful measurement system that would work in any meaningful or reasonable form.  Perhaps you could make something work for the largest of large corporations and perhaps having something in place for the...I don't know...60%(?) of emissions that this would cover would be good enough.  But it just doesn't feel workable to me.  Too many workarounds and loopholes.  Honestly.  A carbon tax with some sort of low income reimbursement mechanism is probably the way to go.  Make energy more expensive and watch the "free market" stumble all over itself to save energy.

I didn't talk about this last week, when the data was published that supported "P2P users spending more money on music than non-P2P users".  Michael Geist dug into it a bit.  And discovered that the arithmetic presented in the chart supplied by RIAA associated group that published the study is way, way off.  They added a bunch of numbers into a subtotal, and then included the subtotal and the original numbers to get their sub-total.  When you do the proper math, P2P users actually spend 50% more than non-P2P users as opposed to the 30% claimed.  But how can you trust anything that these bozos produce anyhow?  And why are they trying to discredit their own study?

In other copyright news, House Republicans released a paper suggesting some sensible rollbacks on the psychotic copyright laws that exist in the States....and promptly retracted them due to (speculative) pressure for lobbyists.

Once again, stories from unlikely places.  Here is a story of a 1-percenters making of a fortune.  Long story short - buy a baseball team with borrowed money and interest free loans.  Run the team into the ground while dangling the promise of a "winner" to the fans.  Blame your woes on a poor stadium.  Threaten to leave town until your government subsidized stadium is built.  Fund your portion with government provided interest free loans.  Reap the profits.  This isn't a story of "working hard".  This is rigging the system to make a fortune on the backs of regular joes.  And then charging them to watch your shitty team.

As a cyclist, I feel like I have some perspective on Lance Armstrong that has been formed by more than just a few headlines over the last 6 months.  Friends and relatives seem to get a bit confused as to why I so passionately hate this man and why I get riled up about any defense of this terrible human being.  The comments of "they were all doping so it was a level playing field" or "it's their bodies, why can't they do what they want" completely miss the point.  I don't want to get into it too much, but read through an article such as this one and you might gain perspective.  If it was simply a matter of Lance Armstrong doping and admitting his malfeasance when finally caught, I would probably be okay with how things have unfolded.  Indeed, I have a lot of respect for past dopers that admit their past wrongs and work towards a solution.  But Lance Armstrong bullied and intimidated his way to all of these victories.  He ruined careers.  And now he's acting like a smug little baby.  This tweeted photo sums up how much of an asshole this guy is.  It's like OJ Simpson showing off the receipt for the leather gloves a few weeks after his acquittal (okay...not that bad).  It would be pretty awesome if USADA got a special court order, busted down his door and took back those 7 jerseys.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Obama - Week 80 - Nov 5-12

Fucking assholes.  I didn't take a screenshot, but the National Post still had Romney in the lead 30 minutes after everybody called the election.  And the morning after...this is what their site looks like.  What a bunch of sad idiots.

And they give this fucking blowhard an avenue to spout his ridiculous shit?  Have you read any of his articles?  Oh my gosh.  I guess this must be just as frustrating for the paper, forced to print the ramblings of your mad uncle.

Does anybody know anything about this trade treaty with China?  It doesn't sound very good.  And, at Chinas insistence, we have to give them 15 years notice if we want to leave it.  Yikes.

Oh.  Great.  20 totally impartial financial forecasters don't think we're going to have a real estate crash.  Merely a 10% drop.  And get this, they think that it's because Jim Flaherty is reeling things in now that we won't have problems.  See, I don't really see it that way.  If you asked me, well, he changes the rules in 2008 and allows things to become insane over the next 3-4 years.  And then, just on the cusp of a major turn, he changes the rules back to compound the problem?

 I post this Globe link only because I accidentally followed it from Google News and I really liked the photo.  I think it's funny that India wouldn't offer up our Prime Minister a decent car.  In my mind, I picture him huddled over a rental car counter arguing with an uncaring clerk.  "But I paid for a full size sedan!  What do you mean you only have compacts?"

Stephen Harper and his "transparent government" are preventing the Parliamentary budget watchdog from doing his job through lack of information.

A Liberal Senator is suggesting that we spend some time tracking down overseas tax cheats.  Ya.  Good luck getting Steve-O motivated for that.  They're probably his biggest donors!

MP Pension reform?  Ya, not so much.

This story is pretty crazy.  I've known about some of the Sting's that the RCMP runs in Canada.  But this puts a new perspective on how...well...fucked up the whole thing is.  First off, you're not allowed to coerce a confession out of a suspect if you're a cop.  No threats.  No bargains.  Etc.  But, if they don't think you're a cop, then it's alright?  What the hell.  So, basically, the cops set up a sting where they convince you that they'll kill you if you don't confess to a murder.  And that's allowed to stand?  Crazy.

Anonymous claims to have hacked Jim Flaherty's website.

I searched for "Nancy Greene" in Google News for some reason today.  Here's an article about how great she is.  And her views as a climate change skeptic.  I hate this woman so much.  So very much.  "I got mine.  Go fuck yourself."

Monday, November 5, 2012

Back into it - Week 79 - Oct 29 - Nov 5

A Conservative Senator has come out to suggest that the Government doesn't need to act to protect Canadian's online security.  Let's see...
1 - Increased regulation to limit the use of technology by consumers in the name of "copyright protection" - No problem.
2 - Increased government monitoring of technology in the name of "crime prevention" - Sounds good.
3 - Increased regulation to prevent fraud and hacking on citizens - Not the governments concern.

Remember when Stephen Harper decided that the Long Form Census was a silly, bad thing?  Well, Statistics Canada is starting to see some problems with data.

Oh man.  They're really grasping at straws.  Real Estate sales in the Fraser Valley jump 23% in October!  Oh.  Wait.  They're down 8% compared to last October?  But they jumped?  23%?  Right?

I'm always looking for new and novel ways to explain what is wrong with Real Estate in Vancouver.  This link is a bit old (from the summer) but there is a gem buried inside it.  In April of 2012, there were 7,000 homes in the entire United States sold for over 1 Million Dollars.  Around the same time period, there were 5,000 homes in Greater Vancouver on the market for more than 1 Million Dollars.  Yes, yes, sold vs. listed, etc.  It's just very interesting.  And there's some fantastic graphs buried in this story.

The changes tot he Navigable Waters Act are confusing.  At face value...it almost makes sense.  Cut everything that doesn't have to do with navigation out of it.  Of course, the act has always done more than that.  And it's interesting that the majority of waterways that remain protected are in Conservative ridings.  Regardless, this shouldn't be in an Omnibus bill.

The report in to the collapse of Sockeye Salmon runs has been released.  Great, a whole bunch of new recommendations that can be ignored.

The man who would probably have the largest part to play in all of this is Peter Kent, our Minister of the Environment.  Problem is, he seems to have a habit of skipping out on media questions by providing incorrect and misleading estimates of his schedule.  He shows up early, does his thing and then leaves before the media shows up.

The guy that the Conservatives are blaming for the entire robo-call scandal - you know, the junior guy that had no authority or access to information? - has spoken out and suggested that he's been a convenient scapegoat.

Supposedly Jim Flaherty has cut 8 Billion in spendingAnd some Conservatives fear that this might cost votes.

Wait.  MP pension reforms haven't amounted to much of anything?

Somehow, I was thinking about prorogation.  The whole "Jean Chretien did it to avoid the sponsorship scandal" thing came up.  And it's funny because I don't really remember that happening.  This guy dug into it a bit and it all seems to be a myth to support Steve-O doing whatever he wants.  So, the fact is, Stephen Harper appears to be the only Prime Minister in recent memory to prorogue Parliament to avoid accountability.  Prorogue is a legitimate tool of Parliament.  Just not that way.

The Long Gun Registry has been destroyed.  Except in Quebec.

Parliament Hill renovations have slowly but surely ballooned to ridiculous levels.  I love that a part of the renovations is to get rid of asbestos.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Get your fix - Week 76 - Oct 8-15

Whoah...I just clued in to the rhyme in my title.

Well.  I'll be away for a couple of weeks.  So there will be a bit of a break after this post.  Maybe a summary of all that has gone wrong once I get back?  Who knows.

I think that most people can agree that spending millions of dollars of other peoples money to tell the world how great you are is bad form.  Especially when you're a government.  Spending hundreds of millions of dollars telling people that you're saving their money and making things better in these tough economic times.

The Enbridge hearings are digging in to Enbridges past ability to detect and stop leaks.  Short version of the story: They can't and they haven't.  How this doesn't disqualify them immediately from building more pipelines is beyond me.  But apparently detecting and stopping leaks isn't a big part of the job of running a pipeline.  Imagine if we were contracting out our prison services and the company had past experience with inmates escaping, not catching them and not being able to detect that they had escaped.  Would they still be in the running for that contract?

A Conservative take on "The Tragedy of the Commons".  This idiot summarizes "the tragedy of the commons" as "the Tragedy of the Commons problem, where lack of private ownership causes a resource to be overused."  Oh...so if all of our parks and lakes and everything were privately owned, we'd all be okay.

An internal quirk of the CMHC valuation process may have led to an increase in the run-up of our housing prices?

Conservatives for science!  A new study announces that the oil sands aren't a problem for the environment.  Unfortunately several scientists have pointed out that the methodology is flawed (too far away for samples to be meaningful).  As well...it just happens that the study was funded by Suncor.

Here's another report showing that baby boomers haven't really "earned" all of their entitlements...as we'll be paying the bill for years.

I like this headline (which will probably get changed several times in the next few hours as that's what the Globe does)"NDP Attacks Conservatives for How They're Attacking NDP"

Check out this graph on drug enforcement spending in the US of A.  Ya, that seems to be working pretty well.  There seems to be far less drugs and violence these days.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Giving Thanks - Week 75 - Oct 1-8

This seemed like an incredibly slow week in Canadian politics.  Perhaps everybody was just excited about the US Presidential Debate?  Speaking of which, what a horror show.  Every time Obama spoke I was thinking "Okay...here it comes...coherent words..." but they never came.  Romney seemed absolutely certain of what he was speaking, even if it had no bearing on reality.  The worst moment for me was right after Romney launched into a passionate attack on Obamacare and I thought "Man...here it is.  A perfect chance to sell this program.  Talk about the millions of people that can't qualify for insurance and the bankruptcies and the fact that the US Government already spends more per capita on health care then other nations with fully nationalized health care and that it's insurance companies that are driving up the costs and all that."  But no.  A ramblingly incoherent spiel about...who even remembers?  Gosh that was terrible.  Anyhow, I think Obama needs to just Sara Palin the shit out of the next debate.  Memorize a series of 2 minute speeches on his key talking points and just ignore all the questions and talk about what he wants.

Somehow I don't think that this was big news.  The Canadian Government accidentally ran some ads on the Pirate Bay.  Which is sort of awesome.

Seems like the Conservatives have learned something from the Copyright Lobby.  If your immediate proposal isn't approved, tweak it a bit and keep trying.  Heck, even if you get exactly what you want, tweak it a bit and keep trying, but we haven't gotten there yet.  Anyhow, there's a new backbench motion to outlaw "sex selection abortion".  Don't worry.  They have reams of data to back up the need for this.  What?  They don't have any data?  They've only mentioned one study?

I know I promised to try to elevate the tone of political discourse by refraining from name-calling and such.  But "Sleepy Time" Rob Anders is throwing me off my game here by suggesting that Thomas Mulcair contributed to Jack Layton's death.  Who votes for these people?

Keeping going, it's like a rogue's gallery of Conservative incompetence.  Vic Toews makes comments about Omar Khadr that a government minister probably shouldn't.  Maybe he thinks he's a talk show host and not a government minister?  The comment of the story:  pointing out that a decade in prison had "radicalized" him.  Soooooo....because we kept this kid in prison for so long without charge or trial, we can't possibly let him out because he hates us too much for what we did to him.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Entitlement - Week 74 - Sept 24-Oct 1

There was an awesome comment on the National Post today about "Boomer Entitlement".  Somebody replied "I'm a boomer and the only thing I feel entitled to is what I've spent my life paying for."  Or something like that.  It made me wonder...

First up, please follow this link to a CBC article with an interactive chart on the Deficit.  Seems to me that we've run a deficit (more-or-less) from the early 60's to the late 90's.  So...that seems to me do be 30 years of not paying for what you've earned.  Thinks perk up for a few years.  Check out this graph.  You can see how the Liberals almost immediately cut the deficit, resulting in a surplus in their 5th year.  Steve-O inherits a nice surplus which he holds for...oh...10 minutes or so.  Really.  Startling, striking figures.  Trudeau does seem to be the worst offender though.

And on that note, we're soon going to have to really start defining which Trudeau we are talking about, as Justin confirms that maybe, well, he might just be running for Liberal leader.  Wait.  He didn't actually confirm it yet?  The National Post already called him out as the next Prime Minister.

In the political move of the year, Thomas Mulcair announces support for a pipeline from Alberta to the East.  His reasoning is that this can be built in a way that it won't be environmentally destructive (perhaps I projected that in there myself) and it will help to refine a raw product and generate value within Canada.  In one reasoned argument he's shown:
1) He's not opposed to all oil sands.
2) His opposition to Northern Gateway really is about the environment.
3) He's serious about creating value from our oil in Canada.
Really.  Well done.  I kind of hope I'd be saying the same thing if Steve-O had made this proclmation.

I love this farcical hard line on Iran.  First, the whole embassy/ambassador thing.  Because we only have embassies and ambassadors with countries that we like.  Now, the Canadian delegation storms out of Ahmadinejads speech at the UN (again...I'm pretty sure this has happened before).  Honestly, did they just go there so that they could storm out?  Did they sit there with an open mind for a few minutes and then decide that this whole thing wasn't really up their alley?

Omar made it back home.

Oh abortion.  How exciting you made this week.  First up, I think we should thank the good lord for this weeks vote on "exploring the definition of a human being".  What better way to flush out all the social Conservatives!  As well, read the comment boards on some of these stories.  All of a sudden it's all CONSERVATIVES FOR SCIENCE!  "We don't want to change anything, we just want to explore the science of it all!"  Unless you're using science for crazy things like exploring climate change or evolution, they're all for it.  Man.  I'm using too many exclamation marks lately.

And then there is Rona Ambrose.  Rona Ambrose, the "Status of Women" Minister.  The woman who is supposed to be out there, crusading for womens rights.  Voted for this crazy motion.  People pointed out that she's entitled to her opinion and how dare these crazy feminazis try to stifle her right to have these opinions!  Do they know she's not the "Status of this particular woman" Minister and the minister (supposedly) for all women?

This is why I am a proud pirate and will never give these scumbags any of my money if I can in any way help it.  We just passed Copyright reform.  True, isn't wasn't the all encompassing police state that the various entertainment industries wanted, but it gave them a lot of stuff.  But no.  Not good enough.  They couldn't get their law through so they'll try another way to ram this shit throughInternet disconnection may be a part of an international trade agreement.  Ohhhh...THIS is why all those people hate globalization.

The Globe and Mail continues their continually weird "Expat Dispatches" series.  They've put a lot of effort into tracking down Canadians that have bad things to say about Obama.  Honestly, you'd think that every single Canadian living in the US is some crazed right winger from reading this series.

Stephen Harper plans on a big "Buy Canadian" push for military procurement.  Too bad we have no military equipment manufacturing industry to speak of.  And then there's that whole pesky NAFTA thing.

Hey, did you know that there's a crazily disproportionate number of aboriginal women in Canadian prisons?  And it's feared that the tough-on-crime agenda will only make this worse?  Ya, I don't think the government did either.

How does this ground beef recall have you feeling about food safety in Canada?

Another big story this week was Margaret Wente and her plagiarism.  God.  I don't care if she shoplifted a chocolate bar.  If this gets rid of her, I'm all for it.  This Tyee article points out that it's probably not bigger news because journalists feel it is bad form to kick a competitor when they're down at risk of seeming petty...This isn't a problem at the National Post.

Here's another great Rolling Stone article talking about the US FBI entrapment machine: creating terrorist plots just so that they can knock them down.  This one on the 5 Occupy kids caught trying to blow up a bridge.

This article is very interesting.  I actually had to punch this in to a calculator to make sure I didn't have it wrong (the number is just so staggering)...but apparently 5.5% of all teenage girls in Mississipi get pregnant!  Which is crazy.  It seems even crazier, but the bastion of progressive knowledge example held up as the "right way to do things" (New York) is at 2.26%.  Yes.  Half the number.  But still very high.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sick of This - Week 73 - Sept 17-24

Awesome.  Let's start the week by highlighting the $750,000 that Stephen Harper's government spent fighting disabled veterans over their pensions.

In further "Let's not worry about the law" news, a judge has struck down part of the Conservative's 2008 tough-on-crime legislation.

More on the dismemberment of the National Archives.  Who needs history or culture?  We've got England!

Will and Kate fever continues.  We're going to start sharing embassies with the British.  I guess we're hoping we get a few more invites to Harry's wedding?

And then let's highlight some of the dueling stories about the upcoming real estate meltdown.  The rest of the world seems to think we're kind of fucked while we bicker over the extent of the problem.

I don't think people truly understand what wealth discrepancy is.  Here it is.  The top 400 wealthy individuals in the US hold 1/8 of the wealth in the US.  Got that?  0.00016% of the US population controls 20% of the wealth.  Their wealth has grown 13% in the last year.  They don't need a tax cut.  They don't need loopholes.  They don't deserve a disproportionate voice in politics just because they can spend their opinion into prominence.

This is why we hate the Census!  Families are shrinking.  Not shrieking.

Gah!  Canada agrees with Stephen Harper?  We agree that the Iranian embassy should have been shut down?  Well.  I guess that proves Canadians don't know shit about International Relations.

If they're so eager to reform their own pensions, why don't they stick it in their next Omnibus?  In fact, why don't we just write all of the laws that we plan on passing in the next 20 years down on a piece of paper, sign that shit and just get this done?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Iran and I Cried - Week 72 - Sept 10-17

Let's start with a graph:
Yep.  Sure looks like the Conservatives are in "cruise control".  Just like real estate values are "holding steady".

Wow.  The Harper Government has finally "agreed" to stop supporting asbestos mining.  The awesome thing is that they are actually "blaming" the PQ Government for this decision, as they (the PQ) took the lead on made up their own minds.  I can't even come up with an equivalent to illustrate how insanely ludicrous this is.  Here goes though.  Say you have a big family.  You're the father.  And one of your 10 children is a crack addict.  For years and years you support your crack addicted son.  You give him money for crack.  You threaten to beat anybody up that complains about his crack use.  You yell at the police when they show up to bust him and claim that "crack isn't harmful" and all that stuff.  You get angry at all of your neighbours and other children when they try to help your son to stop smoking crack.  You're the ultimate crack enabler.  And then, your son finally comes to his senses, checks in to re-hab and decides that he'll never smoke crack again.  And you begrudgingly write your neighbours, children and local police an e-mail telling them that you've finally caved in to their ludicrous no-crack policies.  But it's all your sons fault.  You'd happily roll along buying him crack if he would just stop being so selfish.

Jason Kenney announces the stripping of citizenship of thousands of people.  Which sounds impressive.  It must have been the Liberals fault that they made it in the first place.

You read Matt Taibbi and it's just like "What's the point?"  He digs out stories that you couldn't even imagine being real and he writes about them in a through and captivating way.  And they're all just so depressing...Anyhow.  Here's another one about banks manipulation of bonds, interest rates, etc.  Depressing.  Straight up bid rigging.

Stephen Harper wins something!  World Statesman of the Year.  Gawsh.  That's fancy!

Grrr....Stupid experts getting in the way of reasonable policy!  Here, some schmuck claims to know more than our beloved leader about what is going on in Iran.  So what if this guy used to be our "Ambassador" to Iran.  What does that even mean?  He should just stick to...whatever it is he does while he's "Ambassadoring".  Not lecturing our beloved leader on how to deal with Iran.  And another one.

I love how all of the political science majors posting in the comments section of this story (Ahmadinajad blames the west for destroying rain clouds) use this as justification for yanking diplomats from Iran.  And the suggestion that if you think the diplomats should stay, obviously you support Iran.  Oh.  Wait.  Here's a Globe and Mail columnist making the same argument.

Experts again!  Who is this guy?  President of some polling company?  Well of course he has a vested interest in...something and should be banned from providing evidence in the robo-calls case.

Speaking of voter suppression.  There was a study done during the last Presidential election.  A Facebook Banner and reward widgets was enough to make a significant bump in polling numbers.  Which is kind of awesome.  And incredibly sad.

Vic Toews sez (not a real quotation): "It's not my fault that Omar Khadr hasn't come back to Canada.  It's the US."  Because nothing is ever his fault.  Doesn't this guy have another job or something?

Is it me, or does it seem kind of crazy that the Vancouver Canucks and the Toronto Maple Leafs have the most expensive ticket prices OF ANY PROFESSIONAL SPORTS TEAM IN ALL OF NORTH AMERICA!  Not just hockey.  Every sport!  How's it feel to pay for failing hockey franchises in the Southern States, everybody?

Another fantastic story on the moral superiority of Americans.  We have Waste Management actively lobbying against composting laws.  Awesome.

And Intelligent too!  47 Percent of Ohio Republicans are "not sure" if Mitt Romney is more responsible for the death of Osama Bin Laden than Obama.  I for one am glad this country runs the world.

I don't even know.  Some House of Commons clerks don't want to release F-35 documents.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Might as well kill yourself - Week 71 - Sept 3-10

Oh man.  Maybe it’s just my mood this week, but things seem really grim.

We’ll start with the always excellent and always depressing Matt Taibbi.  He lays out just how Mitt Romney made his millions and just what is wrong with it.  Gawd.  Don’t worry though, Mitt is on the scene making sure we aren’t side-tracked from the most pressing of America’s many problems – identifying Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  At least he finally may have admitted that climate change is real…but not his problem.

Moving on to more depressing talk on the economy.  Here is a nice summary of some 21 truths to our current economy.  If any one of those doesn’t depress the hell out of you…man…I just don’t know.

And I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.  With all of the “improvements” in our lifetime, why are we so much worse off than our parents?  Why can’t we buy homes for reasonable prices?  Why are our wages stagnant?  Why is our environment shit?  Why can’t we invest for the long term with some reasonable expectation of a return?  Well, because we’re the fools holding the bag on a Ponzi scheme.

We’ll move on to Quebec, where a separatist government has just been elected.  But don’t worry, it’s a chance for Stephen Harper to really prove himself by ignoring all of their requests/demands/questions.

Because a Quebec branch of the Public Service Alliance of Canada supported a separatist party in the Quebec election, a Tory MP (Pierre Poilievre) figures all federally regulated union members should be able to opt out of paying union dues...which kind of kills the union, no?  As well, last week, Mr. Poilievre saw a car speeding on the highway and suggested that all cars should be banned.  He also caught his son looking at pornography on the computer and suggested the dismantlement of the Internet. 

Enbridge has done some legal maneuvering to set up their proposed pipeline as a limited partnership.  A cynic might suggest that they're trying to avoid legal responsibility.  And, somehow, I don't quite understand this, but the pipeline is going to raise our fuel prices.

So, out of nowhere, Canada has broken off diplomatic ties with Iran.  There's no crisis.  No incident.  Just...time to no longer talk to those guys.  It happens to be on the same day they announce five new Senate appointments...but I couldn't really make sense of this.  But the National Post put it in perspective.  Oh Israel appeasement.  What haven't you done for us lately? (and Iran is pissed)

Stephen Harper named five new Senators?  How many of these fuckers are there?

As well, he's announced that KPMG will review the spending on the new Fighter Jets....and some people are complaining that he's spending more money!  Can't win on this.  In other fighter jet news, somebody is proposing to resurrect the Avro Arrow.  Seriously.

Hey.  Let’s talk about real estate.  Despite statistics showing a decline in house prices and an admittance that sales numbers are way down…hell, if we just use a different statistic “prices remain high”.  Look at that fucking graph!  This shit is not sustainable.  Not by outside money.  Not by drug money.  Not by Vancouver being the 3rd most liveable City (didn’t we used to be #1?).  You’re fucking delusional.  Prices are going to come down.

I don't know if he's totally full of shit, but a dude in the comments section of this article just laid out a plan for how BC could become a wireless internet province by piggybacking the smart meter infrastructure.  Very, very cool, if possible.  It's kind of sad that the best idea that I've seen in some time came from a Tyee article comment section.  I actually e-mailed this link to my MLA, Christy Clark.

Oh.  Some good news.  Bruce Willis is actually becoming a bit of a copyright crusader!  Yes, he’s trying to figure out a way to make sure, and I’m not making this up, to make sure that his children have access to his iTunes catalogue if he dies!  Why anybody would pay money to “own” a digital something that is not really theirs is beyond me.

Hey.  Fracking causes earthquakes.  It's no biggie though.

Bev Oda strikes back from beyond the grave.

We'll end with some inspiration.  Alex Zinardi lost his legs in a CART accident a few years back.  He just won a gold medal at the Paralympics.  Honestly, read this story.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What a Week - Week 70 - Aug 27 - Sept 4

We'll start with a quote from the lady that will head up the next Quebec succession movement: “More than ever the Stephen Harper government is reminding Quebeckers that Canada was not their country,”

Hey!  Vic Toews doesn't have a monopoly on creepy.  You've undoubtedly heard of Maygan Sensenberger?  The 23-year-old wife of 69-year-old Liberal Senator Rod Zimmer?  Apparently they had some sort of altercation on an airplane.  Here's their photo:

Oh man.  Real Estate.  First, the Vancouver Sun had this article.  They changed the headline after I posted my comment, but the initial headline said "Vancouver home prices continue to rise..."  Yet, nowhere in the article does it say that housing prices in Vancouver have risen.  It says that the percentage of income required to own a home has risen by 2.2 percent to 91.0 percent (which is obscene and a dramatic indicator that this is unsustainable)...but this does not support the claim that house prices have risen.  A totally bogus and deceptive headline.  And then you look at this graph...and it shows you just how clueless these writers are.  Throw this StatsCan page into the mix with median household incomes....boy.  Let's buy some Vancouver Real Estate!

Hey look everybody!  Alberta, with all their oil money and Conservative principles...they're looking at a massive deficit.  Of course, the comment trolls are claiming that they're not Conservative enough and that's the problem!  I thought everybody in Alberta was a hard working taxpayer supporting the rest of Canada?  Why do they even need social programs?

Imagine that you had this business...you could borrow as much money as you wanted for super cheap.  And then you could turn around and lend it out for a larger rate, guaranteed.  So the more money you lent out, the more money you brought in.  And you could release all kinds of reports and self-serving "research" that encouraged people to borrow more-and-more from you because things can't possibly go down.  Yes, you might be able to make gobs and gobs of money as well.  Of course, anybody that points out that the banks seem to be making an awful lot of money off the backs of Canadians is just "jealous".

Rob Ford is just the gift that keeps on giving.  In light of the reading while driving and the conflict of interest trial (and that's just in the last two weeks!) you'd think that Stephen Harper would keep his distance from this guy.  But no.  They're going on a fishing trip.  I can just see this guy getting thrown out of his Mayor's job, and then named as a Senator or Ambassador a few days later.  And then, his awesome niece makes an amazing twitter comment about women preventing sexual assault by not dressing "like a whore".  Yes.  The woman below, who plays in the lingerie football league, said you shouldn't "dress like a whore" in order to not get raped.

Just another independent government adviser for Stephen Harper.  His Chief of Staff has maybe used his position to improve his financial standing with Barrick Gold.

The new Chief of Defence Staff?  An ex-fighter pilot in favour of the F-35.  May as well double down, I guess.

Jack Layton's funeral cost a bit of money.

So we have a Senator that is legally incompetent....I realize that we need to respect her dignity, but come on...

Am I mistaken, or did the guy who is supposed to "clean up the RCMP" just have a bunch of on-duty cops do some ceremonial shit at his wedding...and he didn't know they were on duty?