Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Monday, July 30, 2012

Vic Toews is a Genius - Week 65 - July 23-30

The crime rate continues a drop which started in the early 90's.  It's now at the lowest rate it's been at since the 70's.  And Vic Toews is claiming credit because of the laws introduced a few months ago.  I can't wait until he claims he invented the Internet with his anti-snooping bill.

I'm not sure why.  But somehow, China buying up our resource companies doesn't make me feel very good.

In other economic news, the Conservatives are losing less money than they were last year.  Don't even read the comments on this story.  You'll never vote again.

Greenland just started melting all of a sudden.  But, it's okay because something similar happened one-hundred-and-fifty years ago so it is probably normal.

One of Stephen Harper's close ex-advisors has been charged with fraud (and perhaps influence peddling?).  People are jumping all over this, but you can't really hold people responsible for what their employees do after they leave your employ.

However...you can be held accountable when you accept donations from people actively currying your favour for a specific license.  Sadly, this is all probably legal, but a Conservative MP took donations from competing companies attempting to gain a license for a radio station of which said MP had some influence.

You know...it almost seemed like Christy Clark was going to do the right thing.  At first.  But then she just kind of turned it in to a big cash grab and pissed everybody off.

And then Enbridge tops things off with another pipeline leak in the USA.  And another (non Enbridge) leak in Alberta.  It's really hard to argue about your great intentions when your past keeps coming up, isn't it?

Overall, it sounds like the psychologist that interviewed Omar Khadr had relatively good things to say.  But, of course, the Globe latches on to the fact that he was called "manipulative" and feels that he is "suspicious, hostile and feels that he has been mistreated."  As one comment poster suggested, how can you feel anything but hostile and mistreated after you get locked up in Guantanamo for many years.

Luckily, Peter McKay's wife is on his side!  Oh wait.  No she isn't.  The evil media tricked her in to saying those things.  All she wanted to do was talk about her book!

A Canadian doctor has suggested that we can't possibly get rid of AIDS if we continue to criminalize drug use.  I can just see Stephen Harper and Obama jumping on board with this plan.

Oh ya.  All that lawsuit money that the record labels have taken from consumers on behalf of the artists that they represent?  Ya, none of it has gone to an artist.  Like, none of it.

Kramer is a racist.  George Costanza has well-written and reasoned arguments about gun control.  Elaine Benes is the Vice President.  Jerry just drives around in his car.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Guns and Stuff - Week 64 - July 16-23

This wasn't going to be at the top.  But read the article.  Holy shit is it scary.How is it that Rolling Stone is now one of the best sources of hard hitting investigative journalism?  Between Matt Taibbi pointing out all of the crazy financial stuff going on in the States and this guy writing about Global Warming, they're doing some good work.   Of course, he probably just made up all of those numbers.  Or they don't point to a pattern.  Or something like that.
It's pretty hard to talk about anything but guns and violence this week.  After the Batman shooting (I'm not going to link to anything here) and all the shootings in Toronto, one has to think a bit.  First, we have Rob Ford suggesting...who knows.  He doesn't even make any sense, but he seems to want to deport anybody who is violent.  Jason Kenney actually makes some sense and tells him that this isn't possible.  But it's scary that politicians seem to miss the point.  It's not like spending money on youth programs is going to solve all of these problems, but the politicians of the day seem to be able to talk about nothing other than longer jail terms (see earlier Rob Ford link and anything Stephen Harper has said in the last 10 years).

Speaking of Jason Kenney, a young refugee was arrested for interrupting his speech at a BBQ.  He paid for a ticket.  He ate his BBQ.  And he interrupted Jason Kenney's speech to ask a question.  It's illegal to interrupt a speech to ask a question?  How can that warrant getting dragged out of a room by four people and then an arrest?  That's crazy.

The Globe actually seems to suggest that Stephen Harper has made some mistakes recently!  The emperor is only wearing underwear?  Anyhow, even they can agree that blindly supporting Enbridge (honestly...follow that link.  They still claim that Enbridge knows what they're doing!) and completely screwing up every military purchase ever, are bad things.

Speaking of Enbridge, they finally realize what everybody else has: Their pipeline sucks and needs some changing.  Aren't you glad that you don't own stock in this company?  I mean, ignore all of the ethical questions of Enbridge Stock Ownership, these guys have proven that they don't really know what the hell they are doing.  They handed out raises after the last spill!  And, Christy Clark actually takes a bit of a stand against Enbridge.  Surprising.

And this came out of nowhere (for me).  Peter Kent announces tougher regulations on wastewater from municipalities.  Of course, there's no mention of how to pay for it...but I think this is good news.  I don't like poop in my water.

A Supreme Court ruling on the Etobicoke election paves the way for a by-election?  Maybe?  Elizabeth May has suggested that only the Liberals and Conservatives should run if there is a by-election.  I think this strategically makes sense for anybody that is not a Conservative.  Others don't agree.

Doesn't it seem odd that Canada is the only country in the entire world that refuses to deal with it's own Guantanamo inmates?  I don't care what you think of Omar Khadr.  He is a Canadian.  There is no reason to leave him in Guantanamo.  And then you read this article and it gets even worse.  For two reasons:
1) Stephen Harper continues to fabricate reasons to not bring him back.  This time, he wants to see video of psychiatric interviews.
2) The psychiatrist that conducted those interviews...ya, he says Omar Kadhr is an "unrepentant, dangerous, Islamic extremist who has been “marinated in the radical jihadism” during his imprisonent."  Yes.  I know.  Double quotes.  But what does this say?  "We threw a guy in jail with a bunch of terrorists but now we can't let him out because he's been hanging out with terrorists."  Joseph Heller would be proud.

Helena Guergis.  Good god.  Who even knows about this.  However, Stephen Harper seems to suggest that he hasn't done anything wrong here, based on a technicality: Crown prerogative and Parliamentary Privilege.  I'm sorry, but when I'm ducking out of blame based on a technicality, I find it's best not to suggest that the other party is speaking "gibberish".

Speaking of ducking out of legal responsibility, the BC and Canadian governments have responded to one of the RCMP harassment claims by, and I'm paraphrasing here, suggesting that the victim is a drunk who was asking for it (by daring to work in the same location as her harasser).

Strange Harper Obsessions makes a comeback!  Stephen Harper is issuing military personnel with pins to celebrate the War of 1812.  And they can wear them for 3 years!

I'm like a teenage girl when an American publication talks about Canada.  Here, Slate talks about our housing bubble.

Why are the Conservatives so hell bent on not letting this lady die?  I think the potential of an unscrupulous doctor or family member taking advantage of a patient's vulnerability is not a factor here (seeing as she has continually and consistently fought for her right to die with dignity), what' the problem?

Michael Geist talks about the Supreme Court copyright rulings.  It all sounds like it makes a lot of sense...but what's going to happen when the latest batch of laws take effect?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Kiss of Death - Week 63 - July 9-17th

Oh dear.  Is this the kiss of death from Thomas Mulcair?  He's predicting the death of the Northern Gateway pipeline.  I see Stephen Harper putting it in now just out of spite.

And how about Enbridge?  It seems like the US officials have hammered them for causing the Michigan spill.  Honestly.  Story after story after story after story.

Vic Toews, man.  He's going to win the next election for the NDP.  First, he comes out swinging, pointing out that prisons aren't overcrowded due to the omnibus crime bill, and aren't all the people who said such things stupid?  I mean, never mind that it's only been a couple of months since this legislation has passed and the effects probably won't be seen for a year or two.  Vic Toews claims success!  And "no overcrowding problems" apparently doesn't include double bunking.

There were some protests against Stephen Harpers various cuts to science research.  Ya, I'm sure this will change his mind.

The Supreme Court has decided not to decide on the Etobicoke election...fiasco?  Yes, that's what we'll call it.  Fiasco.

Ooooooh.  I haven't watched it yet.  But the NDP has created a counter-ad to Stephen Harper's attack ad.  I'm going to watch right now.  Meh.  It's pretty good.  Similar look to the Conservative ad.  Points out that Stephen Harper, while claiming he is the second coming of the economic christ, hasn't done shit to fix the economy.  And yes, I realize this is a world problem and not all his fault.  But he claimed he was going to fix it and he hasn't so he can deal with the repercussions of that.

This has nothing to do with Canada.  But it's a pretty interesting article explaining why we are where we are (in the economic toilet) and why the average person is kind of screwed, at the expense of a few very rich bastards.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Bye Bye Bev - Week 62 - July 2-6

Holy Crap!  Bev Oda is leaving politics.  Which begs any number of questions.  First and foremost, how does somebody like that get elected multiple times?  How do they get appointed to Cabinet and remain there?  And how can they justify quitting a little more than 1 year after getting elected?  But then again, I guess Bev Oda was never terribly concerned with appearances, propriety or saving taxpayers money.  I'm actually going to miss her.  She was a really nice argument against this government.  "Oh yah.  If you're so smart, tell me one thing that Stephen Harper has done that has been bad for Canada?"

Those stupid Enbridge assholes...They have the gall to complain about a 3.7 Million Dollar Fine by pointing out that they spent over $700 Million on the clean-up.  Ya.  Poor you.  You had to spend $700 Million kind of cleaning up a giant shitstorm of awful that you created through sloppiness, error and poor judgement.  How does this not automatically disqualify them from building a pipeline across British Columbia?

Oh man.  Jean Charest.  Don't follow the lead of Stephen Harper.  Asbestos is not the future of Canada.  How are there two jackasses in such positions of power in one country?

Dean Del Mastro.  First, he complains that the election fraud allegations are "hurting the family name".  Okay.  Not first.  Maybe only.  Anyhow.  The opposition seems like they're willing to give him his chance to clear his name.  And he's meeting with Elections Canada.

Hey immigrants!  Welcome to Canada!  Now fuck off!  No.  Wait.  After considering how terrible this looked a few weeks ago, a few of you can have some healthcare.  But the rest of you can fuck off.  You didn't think you were going to be equals or citizens or anything like that, did you?

This National Post article suggests that NDP support is "slipping".  As one commenter points out, they're quoting surveys done by two different companies, they haven't published what questions were asked and this is easily in the realm of statistical error.  So.  Great story!

Gotta love the even playing field we're on with Hollywood and the record industry.  Remember the Megaupload takedown?  The case is completely falling apart...probably because the raid was conducted at the request of Joe Biden.

Stephen Harper hosted a BBQ at the Stampede.  He talked a lot about how Canada is going to continue with economic dominance.  Who cares about that though.  I'm more interested in Tony Clement, Jason Kenney, Peter McKay and Vic Toews wearing "western duds".  Because I bet they're all kind of authentic.

And, speaking of all those guys...Steve-O has his team and he's sticking with it.  No cabinet shake-up for at least another year.

Here's a few links to end the week.  The Economist suggests Stephen Harper is a bullyHere is a guest editorial in the Globe about how badly the Conservatives are screwing up Fisheries.   I have to stop linking to these polls!  Canadians come out in support of abortion and gay marriage.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My Imaginary Kickstarter for an Anti-Enbridge Ad

Okay.  So I found out that you can't fund "causes" via Kickstarter.  So, hopefully somebody else can figure out a way to run with this.  Here is my imaginary Kickstarter to fund a series of anti-Enbridge television ads.

Anybody currently watching Television in British Columbia has probably seen the Enbridge ad a few times already.  Jobs!  Prosperity!  Environmental Regulation!  It sounds like this Pipeline could really solve all of our problems!

However, with even a minor eye on the news it’s pretty easy to see that Enbridge seems to lack the primary abilities to run a pipeline.  Leaks in Alberta.  Leaks in Michigan.  It’s actually surprising that the toilets in their office function properly.

So, to counter the maddening Enbridge ads that are trying to shove a pipeline down our throats (not to mention the Conservative Party of Canada’s anti-Mulcair ads) I think we need to fight fire with fire.  I’m proposing the production and airing of the truth about Enbridge’s ability to run a pipeline.  I’m thinking a working theme of: 

Enbridge Clown College.  Clowns are scary.  These clowns are terrifying.

A brief disclaimer.  I’ve never created an advertisement for television.  I have no idea how to buy ad time on television or how much it will cost.  But....I’m pretty confident that we can pull this off together.  And hopefully we’ll attract the attention of some people that can fill some gaps in the knowledge base of my “team”.

$5 – Gets you a reassuring feeling that you’re helping to make the world a better place.
$10 – Gets you an Enbridge Clown College decal to place on the flat surface of your choosing.
$50 – Gets you an Enbridge Clown College T-shirt in the size of your choice.
$100 – Gets you...I don’t know.  2 T-shirts?
$100,000 – Gets you a fully funded ad run on as many TV stations at as many times possible in the Province of British Columbia.  We might get around to posting it on YouTube as well.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Separating from Reality - Week 61 - June 25-July 2

Remember when Stephen Harper suggested that the NDP and Liberals were evil and going to destroy the country when they suggested they might work with the Bloc Quebecois to unseat his minority government?  Well, now he's suggesting that he's going to work with the Parti Quebecois if they are voted in to power.  And I can hear his excuses:
1)  No, no.  That was the last government that said that stuff.  This is a different government.
2) Aaaaand...this is the Parti Quebecois we're talking about.  Not the Bloc.  Big difference.
And I'm in no way suggesting that this isn't what he should be saying.  I'm just pointing out that when you make ridiculous, hyperbolic statements you should be prepared to eat a lot of ass when you turn around and do a similar thing as to what you criticized.

Hey.  Enbridge can't handle their American pipelines either.  They tend to leak and they can't seem to respond in time.

One of the environmental groups that Stephen Harper is targeting have opened their books.  Good strategy.  Completely flummox Stephen Harper by using a tactic he's never even dreamed of: open sharing of information.

Oh.  Hey.  All those Robo-Calls.  Ya, the Conservatives are trying to make sure the election results aren't called in to question based on a technicality.  How does that make you feel?

And they've launched their latest (predictable) attack ads as well.  On Mulcair.  I actually watch those ads and it makes me think "Shit...that guy has some points".  "Make them pay now for what they are doing."  You know what...that makes sense.  You mean they aren't doing that now?  Holy cow.  Let's elect this guy.

Digging back to the same incident, Michelle Jean (well....her advisor) is now speaking out about her part in the whole prorogue fiasco.  Turns out she didn't think it was a great idea but couldn't do much about it.  The second part is obvious, but it's interesting to hear that she actually thought about not doing it.

Who do all these former ministers think they are, speaking out against cuts?  What do they think, that just because they ran an organization for a long period of time they know something about how it runs and what it takes to keep it going?  Balderdash.  Parks Canada this time.  More on the Freshwater Research Facility as well.

More on Copyright.  Not sure if I linked last week about the Cracker frontman speaking out about people "stealing" his music.  Honestly, it was a newish point of view for me and it made me think.  But, now, a whole pile of industry folk are speaking out against that opinion.  Pointing things out like:
- Major labels taught us how to steal from musicians in the first place (Steve Albini)
- More musicians are actually making a living these days (Jeff Price)
- The labels are just as to blame for this fiasco as anybody else (Ethan Kaplan

I'm not an overly political human being.  In that I don't really like or know how to play politics.  But, I do know that when presented with your questionable attendance record in the Senate, you probably shouldn't suggest that the journalist pointing it out is a bitchAnd then apologize a few hours later.  It should be apparent that this will end badly for you.

I think that when a poll is written about they should actually reference the poll question.  "Majority supports mixed health care model."  Well...what did you ask them?  I would imagine that if I went around and asked a bunch of people something like "Do you want to enjoy government provided health care yet still have the option to pay for medical treatment as well?" most people would say yes.

Meh.  Globe and Mail.  Obama hates Canada.  Wah.

I was thinking the other day about why there are so many wealthy Chinese buying things in Canada.  Where does the money come from?  Well, This might explain it?  Sounds kind of awful.