Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

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.

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